The Sun enters Aquarius early Tuesday morning, Jan. 20, followed by the Moon just a few hours later. Their conjunction at 8:13 a.m. EST is symbolic of turning a new page, at least in an intellectual sense. Other planetary factors in the astrological forecast of the next few days are reminders to withhold judgement and remain internally centered.

Aquarius is an interesting sign, one that is often categorized as both aloof and independent, as well as humanitarian and democratic. It describes an airy intelligence that can often see the big picture, but is sometimes a little detached from personal interactions– like the person who is so busy posting pictures of their vacation on Facebook that they forget to enjoy the exotic beach they’re photographing. One of the blessings and curses of Aquarius is the sense of living in one’s own head. There can be brilliant theories and ideas brewing when Aquarius is strong, particularly when it comes to improving groups or organizations. This lunation is a pivotal planning moment, where we may have a keen sense of insight about what would work best for us. Maybe even what would work best for everyone.

The wrench in the works here is a pair of diffusive transits that can make the clearest insight seem incomprehensible. Mars and Neptune will form a conjunction Monday night, marking this New Moon phase with a sensitive, empathetic, and impressionable softness. Mars, the planet of action and assertion, is spaced out around watery Neptune in its home sign Pisces. This is a great influence for any creative endeavor, and is hugely inspirational for artistic and spiritual expression. It can also lower our boundaries with other people. So on the positive side, there’s compassion and acceptance in the air; on the down side, perceptions are a bit cloudy.

Adding to that Neptunian blur, we have Mercury slowing down to a halt, about to turn retrograde on Wednesday through Feb. 11. When Mercury goes retrograde, we have to slow down and reassess what we’re doing. In work, home, and personal life– this is a time when things just naturally seem to come back to us to be fixed or revised. There’s a bit of strangeness in the atmosphere when Mercury crawls along, since it normally travels swiftly. Our thought processes, communication, technology– all of it can be a little odd. Not necessarily wrong, just not normal. The 3-week retrograde is a time to clarify the course you are set on, and to tie up loose ends or cut off extra baggage before moving forward again next month.

The planets seem to be urging us to stay open-minded. If we get too attached to our own opinions or perceptions, we may miss the possibility of something even better. The supportive 60 degree angle from Saturn to this Aquarius New Moon implies that there’s work to be done by each of us to create a more tolerant and cooperative world. It may be small or large scale– it can be as simple as not holding a grudge. There are many people in the news and in our media who push the extremes of negativity, and it can feel as if we have no power to stop them. Hell, we meet those people driving on the highways, in our jobs, on the bus. That’s a shadow side of Mars/Neptune– feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and seeking escape. But maybe this New Moon is a second chance at resolutions, a time to check in internally and decide what we can improve on.




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