We've made it to the final week of 2011. It's been a very busy year astrologically, and there's plenty more to come in 2012. Before we celebrate the new year, let's take a look back at some of the biggest astrological developments of the past 12 months...
One of the most important themes of 2011 was manifestation. A wide variety ideas, beliefs, even fears and dangers, all percolated up into physical reality this year. We saw protests, the physical manifestation of unrest and the desire for change. We saw terrorist attacks and environmental disasters, the manifestation of our fears. We saw political change and political gridlock. Astrologically, we can thank (at least in part) the sign of Aries for a great deal of this.
Aries, the first of the 12 zodiac signs, is the sign of initiative, of action, and is the point of physical manifestation in the zodiac. Aries is associated with the spring equinox, the time of new beginning and new growth. In January of 2011, Jupiter moved from Pisces into Aries- the planet of justice, optimism and expansion, spurring initiative and opportunity in a very direct, physical way.
Later, in March of 2011, Uranus moved into Aries as well. Uranus, slower moving and carrying more long-term intensity than Jupiter, helped spur the rebellion and the imperative to take real action for independence and freedom around the world as it made its way into Aries. This event encouraged individuals around the world to take action in standing up for their beliefs, and protests became ubiquitous (so much so that Time's Person of the Year was "The Protester"). This manifestation led to real change, though unfortunately was not lacking in violence (another association of Aries). Many thousands of people died as they challenged corrupt rulers, and unnecessary violence and brutality have become commonplace.
While Aries was the focal point for manifestation, Neptune moved into the deep waters of Pisces, beginning in April. Neptune hasn't been in Pisces since shortly after its discovery in the mid 1800's. As the planet of creativity, imagination, spirituality and illusion moves into its home sign of Pisces, the sensitivity of our collective consciousness is heightened. The usual boundaries of perception are misty; the lines between ourselves and others less solid. Now, as in the mid 1800's, Neptune in Pisces can show us creative new developments in art, music, fashion and spirituality... as well as new drugs, new diversions, new ways to retreat from the the intensity of life. We may also see changes in policies toward the ocean, and water resources are bound to have a heightened roll in years to come. Have a beer (but not too many!) and open up to your creative side.
We had a brutal Mercury Retrograde when Mercury opposed Neptune this past summer. The deeper themes of Neptune- creativity, consciousness, boundaries- added deeper, much more difficult lessons to the usually mundane reminders of Mercury retrograde.
Saturn and Jupiter moved into opposition earlier in 2011, pitting the need for individuality and pioneering optimism (Jupiter in Aries) against the responsibility and structure within our relationships and obligations to others (Saturn in Libra). Tensions mounted this year between being spurred into rebellious action and being aware of our responsibilities in connection to others.
Finally, towards the end of 2011 we saw Mars enter Virgo, a much needed "nose to the grindstone" period for the planet of action, energy and drive. In Virgo, Mars is forced to focus on details, and we have the energy and focus to take action on our everyday "dharma". This can also lead to a buildup of nervous energy and stress, however, so it's also an important time to assess our relaxation techniques and express anxious energy in a constructive way (not a bad time to consider exercise or yoga to keep the body's energies balanced).
So, what is there to look forward to astrologically in 2012? Quite a bit. The big doozy astrologers have been anxiously waiting for is Uranus squaring Pluto, a volatile aspect that hasn't been seen in quite some time. There are plenty more events as well (posts to follow!) that should make for a busy 2012. I hope you'll join me in toasting the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, and I hope to share more with you in the new year!