Wandering Around the New Year


A month into a new year, where we currently hover, is usually about the time when the 'new year' ceases to be new.

If we are to legitimately claim our new year is indeed different than its predecessor, we should be able to point to illustrative examples of this change—or at least sense a palpable energetic shift—by now.

Any such instances, whether concretely observed or inwardly sensed, should be all the more noticeable this year, given that the annual calendar-flip coincided with Saturn's first sign-change since late 2012. Thus far, 2015 has been all about getting our first tastes of Saturn in Sagittarius… and if there's one central theme we can confidently associate with the taskmaster-planet's recent occupation of the archer's-sign, it's that our job is now to move decidedly forward, straight into the heart of the action, the adventure, the excitement, to the obvious next-destination on this journey and/or toward that which really matters to us. Life's too short to get caught replaying details of the past.

Just in this past month, certain stubborn blocks have been removed from our path, whether we worked our asses off to root 'em out of our way or whether the extenuating circumstances simply turned with the changing winds. Out of willful desire, necessity or chance, we're now set to advance,… though while some of us are greeting freer passage than we've experienced in a while, others are coming to discover another obstacle which had lurked unseen behind the impervious spectacle of that previous block, as one overbearing symptom sometimes serves to mask another source-cause behind its misleading cover.

Nobody said that 'moving forward' was necessarily easier than staying where we were before (even if, for some, it definitely feels that way)—only that it necessitates dealing with something different, a fresh angle, novel input, a set of original questions to answer or targets to aim for. Sometimes, it warrants us taking an invigorating leap, or sets us off on an inspiring quest. Other times, an existing problem 'moves forward' by becoming worse, revealing connections to other previously-unexamined concerns and/or opening up into further avenues of development, before it can effectively spur us to evolve through it.

Our only cause for worry? If we cannot find any way to do our lives differently, for greater personal interest or meaning. What a disappointing (and, yes, potentially dangerous) deficiency of imagination.

Since the new year began, I myself have gladly found a wider berth of psychic space cushioning me… extra room which I worked steadily, over a couple years' time, to carve out, with the intention of earnestly reconnecting with my creative self. Behind the first wall of unfettering was no carefree poet dancing in the meadow. Rather, I found a tearfully exhausted overworker, unable at first to breathe into this bigger space, challenged to shake off the anxious response-patterns until enough stress had been sobbed out. Then, gradually, I began to relax. I re-experienced momentary purposelessness for the first time in a while. I spread out.

I still sometimes lapse back into sleepless worry about balls dropped or responsibilities shirked, only to be met with reassurances from those I'd trained to take over for me that, in fact, they'd taken over for me, my successes now theirs and vice versa. In the wordless freedom of having triumphantly delegated, I both wistfully missed the dignity of duty resting on my shoulders and wondered, with a touch of regret, why I hadn't unburdened myself like this so much sooner. Also come the occasional flinches, as I discover improved processes installed by eager reformers have replaced what I'd cobbled together prior, the best I'd been able to do with what I knew at the time. But to engage too intently with replaying those details is to return to where I've already been, gilding yesterday's lily (or beating myself up for not having gilded it better earlier) rather than tackling something markedly new, different, and edifying.

I'm also embroiled in my version of the new-year's recommitment to bodily wellness, as I continue grappling with a slower-than-I'd-like recovery from knee surgery. In my measured process of rebuilding strength and balance through physical therapy, my knee has gotten increasingly better. Yet, through the process, I uncovered more bodily incongruity in my hips, ultimately a contributing factor to the weakening of my knee, which has now gone on to cause me lower back pain. Another prescription later, and now I'm doing physical therapy for the knee and the back—which is wonderful support in the long run, but has me frustrated I haven't yet been able to return to my pre-surgery fitness level. Not sure how long this will take, or even what realistic outcome I should expect, but I continue egging myself on: 'As long as I just keep moving…'

For the time being, many of us are sort of wandering through our new year, still acclimating to the different Saturn vibe. We aren't sure quite how quickly or dramatically to move forward, caught between eager optimism and recalcitrant fear. Even as circumstances change, our minds remain in a struggle to catch up, as suggested by Mercury's current retrograde (continuing through Feb 11). In this unfamiliar territory, it makes sense to proceed by feel, sensitive to our surroundings, somewhat meek or tempered with the force of our actions, still assessing the astrological temperature before taking more confident ownership.

Both Mars and Venus are now in Pisces, a proceed-by-feel sign which represents the end of the zodiac-wheel's cycle before it begins again in Aries. This pair is presently both pregnant with anticipatory possibility and aching for the past, just as Piscean energy always straddles the line of idealism and melancholy, each fish-half carried in a different direction by the warring tides. Venus is quite happy in Pisces, her exaltation sign, where she's wide open and receptive to benefiting, on a heart-level, from the gorgeous communion of souls tossed together by the serendipity of divine perfection. We may not know exactly what we're up to or where we're going, but at least we can bask in each other's presence, emotional wisdom, and love. Mars is less comfortable, unable to proceed with a clear direct focus, so tugged at and affected by the psychic impact of whatever's going on at a given moment, who else is involved and what they need or want, or what type of mood any of the players woke up in that morning.

At the time of this writing, Mars's simultaneous square to Saturn and conjunction with Neptune has already passed (Jan 14-19), while Venus's is occurring now (Jan 30-Feb 1). These are Mars-and-Venus's most significant aspects during their time in Pisces, showing glimpses of where too naively following overly sympathetic, romantic, or faith-based impulses can cause us to overshoot our mark, overlook important specifics or critical nuances, or otherwise goof by imprecisely assessing a situation's ultimate upshot. File away a clear memory of any such instances; these themes are likely to recur, as Saturn and Neptune move into their exact square over the course of '15.

Under this Mars-and-Venus-in-Pisces sky, it's perfectly okay to proceed by feel a bit more, wandering through the next few weeks ahead, noticing, receiving, readying. The unmistakably perceptible energetic shift occurs Feb 19-21, after Mercury's direct again and the Sun has just moved into Pisces (and mutual reception with Jupiter in Leo): During that time, Mars and Venus will cha-cha across the zodiac-wheel begin-again-point together, conjoining at the very start of Aries—and thusly kicking off a very fiery period of straight-ahead hops, jumps, and lunges.