(Horo)Scoping Out 2011

by Boots Hart, CAP on January 1, 2011

Solar eclipse

Since we humans are so fond of planning ahead, and having a “feel” for what’s coming down the cosmic pipeline, today we’re going to take a trundle through the solar system park, checking out the scenery, taking notes on the celestial lay of 2011’s astrological landscape.

Since planetary shifts mark events and dynamics in our lives—their transits to our charts being when we will either “do” or be “done to” in order to evoke the symbolic concepts involved—those who sort out their own plans against the immutable order of What Will Be Anyway would seem to have a definite “leg up,” if you will.

Oh—and before we get started, all dates are given for a UT/+0 calculation. Fine-tuning is less important here than getting the gist of the year and all these dynamics will come up for closer inspection in various monthly articles you too can read if you’re a subscriber to Daykeeper Journal.

As one might expect, this survey will start with the Sun and Moon, neither of which ever goes retrograde. Maybe to “make up” for this (though I think we would vote we could be spared!) they do get together to do every month’s New/Full Moon cycle marking the waxing and waning of mundane/global/daily effort(s). That’s a given—and not what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about are the real solar/lunar fireworks: eclipses. And this would be a very good year—if you’re an eclipse, that is.

We start the year with a Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn on January 4. This eclipse is all about life’s basic structural components and the “13” part of it tells us there’s a lot at stake, feelings about “what’s right” will run particularly high and at some level the “old” is out. In fact, it’s a mistake to hold onto What Has Been here, though many will certainly try to.

Uhh... can't we just fudge?

The next eclipse is also a Solar Eclipse on June 1 at 11 Gemini. Again, this being a degree between 10 and 20, we know emotions run high. The issue here is choice and the willingness/ability to make a choice. It’s guaranteed that nobody is going to want to cut the cake cleanly. Can’t we just…fudge? No, you can’t fudge, and those who try to fudge now will find they have missed a boat while fudging around.

After that comes a Lunar Eclipse on June 15 at 24 Sagittarius. Any degree between 20 and 29 being one which is about how we are received, this can be connected to the Solar Eclipse of the June 1 but certainly doesn’t have to be. (The simple question is whether both aspect your natal chart and how—again, a matter which will be taken up in months to come.) Sagittarius is a fire sign driven by what could be…and sometimes by what can’t be because we have to figure out how to do it properly, making this a high-emotion (high drama?) moment about whether things work. Or maybe whether we’re working, yes.

Remember I said this was a particularly good year for eclipses? That’s because there’s another Solar Eclipse on July 1. This one is at 9 Cancer. With all degrees from 0 to 9 being about our physical self and/or what we do/don’t do in/about life, the eclipse is an indication that things are changing in that area. Cancer being a sign about all those things we “base” life on (“the basics”), there’s a whole lot of changing to how we do things going on—which fits with the January Solar Eclipse which this eclipse opposes.

The last time we had an “eclipse sandwich” was back in 2009. It heralded and marked the crumbling of the world’s economic markets. That sandwich was composed of two Lunar Eclipses with one Solar Eclipse between them—an interesting picture of how emotions had driven the markets and our desires against the greed which had undermined them with life posed right in-between in a position to get munched.

angry sandwich

Another eclipse sandwich in 2011... (Photo by Sakurako Kitsa)

This time there are two Solar Eclipses and one Lunar Eclipse. Prepare for big, life-driven changes!

And we’re not done. November 25 hosts a Solar Eclipse at 2 Sagittarius—a correction in how we are going about doing things—and December 10 will see a Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini, the specter of emotional choices driven and confronted by emotional (or maybe financial?) aspects affecting a whole lot of people.

We have eclipses every year—they’re the symbolic/celestial engine behind life and society’s constant evolution. Indeed, nothing is as consistent as change itself. But 2011 is a big year for life-driven changes. We will change because life itself is changing.

And those who don’t…? Well, to the stubborn among us I offer astrologer Robert Hand’s well-honed statement: use the energy wisely, lest it use you unwisely. When we resist life, that resistance often causes the “bottled” energy to do us wrong internally. The directive may be external or internal, but those who won’t do, often it seems, end up manifesting physical problems which prevent them from doing. Get the connection?

For those of us not in favor of Venus and Mars going retrograde (that would be all of us, duh!) you can let out a big cheer: neither planet is going retrograde during 2011. Huzzah!

But Mercury? Oh, yes…of course Mercury is going retrograde—it’s sort of too close to the Sun not to! However—this year is one we might refer to as Mercury Lite as we’re only getting three Mercury retrograde periods. The first begins on March 30 and ends April 23. Occurring entirely in the sign of Aries, this is about who we are being in life and how we are going about living our life. We are our best resources and for whatever reason(s) we need to learn something more about ourselves or what it takes to get something done, well-received…something.

Mercury retrograde number two begins on August 3 and ends August 26. Beginning in the very earliest moments of Virgo (the means, methods and propriety connected with getting things done) it then backs into Leo, giving us a signal to clean up the “oops” components (things we forgot to do or which we need to do better) or to reconsider our motivations. Too much “me” and not enough “everybody else” may well spoil the broth and the workability of whatever is at hand now…which is an interesting dotted line back to the Mercury retrograde in Aries, don’t you think?

The last Mercury retrograde of the year begins on November 24 and ends on December 14. Taking place wholly in the sign of Sagittarius, this is a cautionary moment for Mercurial communications and choices as Mercury in Sagittarius tends to be flawed either because of haste, personal conjecture or lack of proper timing. That the station/retrograde here happens the day before a Solar Eclipse underscores the need to not just plow ahead, though coping is apt.

Those are the personal planets—the planets which have to do with everyday, dealing-with-it life stuff, after which comes Jupiter and Saturn, the long-term planning/building pair.

Jupiter enters Aries on January 22, heralding a shift from emotionally based Pisces understanding into a fiery Aries mode which can either get to finding the answers or presume you already know them.

After racing through Aries, Jupiter then enters Taurus on June 4—right after the Solar Eclipse in Gemini, sounding a note of focus on values and what the differences between the “worth” and “worthy” really are. Self worth is the real “up” side of Jupiter in Taurus; monetary worth is what many strive for, considering that a replacement. And while there’s no doubt that in this modern world it takes money to survive, it is our self worth which we put to use in going out to get that money: self-worth is a cause and money is the “incoming” (income) effect when we harness that self worth and our talents.

Jupiter goes retrograde on August 30 at 10 Taurus—picture Jupiter as having taken us through part of the process of learning/relearning what is really valuable to and about our Self. In retrograde, the lesson goes on—Jupiter does not go direct until December 25 and that it does so at 0 Taurus is sort of like asking us to make a present of ourselves to ourselves…a celestial sort of “we are not ‘things,’ we are people and people outrank things”!

Saturn the taskmaster remains in Libra for the whole of the year, teaching us that Who we are in the world and what we present ourselves as in this world counts…and woe be to those who merely lip-sync this song. Given that Saturn represents “building in the world,” that it goes retrograde on January 26, but a few days after Jupiter enters Aries suggests we need to concentrate on the human part of us and everybody else for a while. That Saturn takes this station/retrograde at 17 Libra, an emotional degree of an airy, “conceptualizing” sign, means we either have it “wrong” about who people are or that we need to recognize that people aren’t concepts.

Gee, I wonder which one it is. Hmmm…..maybe both?

Saturn going direct on June 13 at 10 Libra is one of those chances to “do it right” (or at least better) in the relational, public or worldly arena. With this happening just a couple of days prior to the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse suggests that either big needs or a serious need to cope with/fix things is in the air. This is a time to own one’s intellectual power as a tool of leadership. Otherwise, aren’t you just blabbering and theorizing? This isn’t the time for that!

Once we get past Saturn, last planet visible from here on Earth with the unaided human eye, then we’re in the realm of the Truly Evolutionary and Totally Cosmic/Karmic. This is the realm of the speculative and reactive—what happens along the way in life and how we respond.

Having started the year in Pisces—a shaking of the emotional tree to see which of our nuts is going to fall out—Uranus follows Jupiter into Aries on March 12. We saw a little of what this can be last year; the Deepwater Horizon blowout happened as Uranus hit the end of Pisces and that certainly shook us up in terms of realizing how what we do in this world can have big consequences…and what we are and are not capable of coping with and why, and the questions of repercussions, and what it means to have put ourselves in that position to begin with…etcetera, etcetera.

Deepwater Horizon on Fire, April 2010

Uranus in Pisces... the Deepwater Horizon on Fire, April 2010

That’s Uranus in Pisces. Pisces being all the emotional “recognitions” and “realizations,” Uranus’ passage through this sign is all about being confronted by facts. Life isn’t what we want it to be simply because we want it to be that way. Our hopes, dreams and faith are no substitute for reality. The old saying “the higher they rise, the farther they fall” is very aptly Uranus in Pisces as those who are the most invested in emotional fantasies find the hitting reality point a real smack in the face.

Against this we have Uranus in Aries; the reality of life experienced not emotionally, but physically. Those who have not dealt with life realistically now get a big dose of it. Those who have dealt with life realistically have to deal with it too—but at least they have practice!

Being a planet which moves a net of about four degrees a year, Uranus will go retrograde at 4 Aries on July 10. This being a degree all about new things, new starts and that old “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it,” especially in the wake of the July Solar Eclipse this would appear to be a time to catch up with ourselves and to think things through as we proceed. Saturn is still direct…we’re still building, which makes Uranus going retrograde a time to reflect on what we can or cannot yet safely do, take on or make workable.

Everybody’s favorite symbol (not!) Neptune starts the year in late Aquarius, symbolizing the dissolution of social and societal structures, dreams and illusions. Upon entering Pisces on April 4, Neptunian precepts get even stronger—Pisces is Neptune’s one and only “home” sign. On the surface, Neptune in Pisces represents dynamics which may look and feel similar to those we’ve seen while Uranus transited Pisces between 2003 and March 2011: an idealizing of some things, an unwillingness to look reality square in the face…but with Neptune, the method is totally different. The Uranian way is to instigate or demand/require change. The Neptunian way is to lay ego aside and to…commune.

Neptune in Pisces... watch out for those rose-colored lenses.

We are going to see a lot of mass movements and calls for togetherness while Neptune is in Pisces. Count on many calls of “all you need to do is have faith” (or pray, or care) which is the Neptune/Pisces version of Uranus in Pisces call to optimism. Those who do not want to “see” what’s wrong with this world over the next 14 years will prove a big bugaboo. Yet curiously, they will end up living with the curse of those blinded by their own ego.

Being a slow-moving planet, Neptune is still at 0 Pisces as it goes retrograde on June 3, but to have this “turn” occur in the immediate wake of the Solar Eclipse on June 1 and just a day prior to Jupiter entering Taurus on June 4 marks this as a highly dynamic moment. That the June 1 Solar Eclipse is but the opening round of three eclipses in a single “eclipse season” underscores the sense of shifting times.

It’s going to be an eye-opening year, to be sure. Many—unquestionably—will try to just ignore what’s going on. And many will do just that, if ultimately not to their own benefit, or the benefit of those they love. As always, it’s up to us…and yes, more details will be yet forthcoming in the “monthly trends” posts as well as in articles penned (or typed, is probably more like it!) by other worthwhile Daykeeper Journal contributors. Keep your reading glasses on!

astrological milestones 2011

Astrological milestones for 2011 (click the image to see a larger view).

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Andriano January 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Whoa! Thank u for this.. this one’s a front of the frig reference booklet.. God bless us everyone!

PSW January 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

The eclipse on June 15th is at 24 Gemini…not 24 Sag. I should know. It is conjunct my natal sun as I was born this day….this has me a bit freaked out.

PSW January 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

was thinking solar not lunar…my bad

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