The Astrology Of 2019: Cathedral Restoration
Cracks in the old foundations over the past year have demanded our attention; the tower strenuously lifted by necessary means and the slipping fissures fixed and reset. For some this required disassembly and the mastering of stone craft to put the fortress back upon firm footing, while for others it was more an exaggerated episode of routine maintenance. For some slick, black salamanders slipped through the thin portals and swarmed their basements, stirring the darkness into a fearful froth, scampering over forgotten bones and unearthing corroding corpses exposed to the dim and dusty light and flash of torch glow. We were banished to this place to toil in exile until the faults were fused and triple tested to check that this time the construct would keep hold. This required both tried and true methods remembered or learned at last as well as innovation and hypothetical solves, truly trial and error. Having been forced into this mode of research and development we came to re-assess what we even value about our selves, our lives, our deepest desires, our relationships and our communities. All the while, watching our health and habits and how they impact our organs, how we needed to pull illnesses out of our depths and wash away the dross and dilute the slime in portions which yield a healthy serum. We strove for the light, for visibility, for warmth, for a time of things more radiant, while cleaving from us all the conceptual clutter so that we could eventually find our way back from the fringe and step up onto the central stage, escaping our labored exile.
We now look forward by looking both up and through. We’ve dealt with some foundational issues, and the time has come to consider more formidable construction, more enduring structures, to realize architectures, assemble empires, and erect monuments. To do this our attention transitions from the foundations to the structure itself, and the first step we must take is to clean up our work site to ready ourselves for clean construction. Decades, if not centuries of decay and unnecessary additions and quick fix bandaids applied to more intricate problems have build up and layer the formidable but failing frame beneath. Demolition precedes building and addressing unknown issues beneath the surface layers requires revealing the skeleton and performing strengthening surgeries before modern updates can be appropriately added to and integrated into the greater system. We must pull the trim, crack off the plaster, strip the insulation, reduce the structure to its bare bones, see what the real issues are that plague the dark spaces beneath; do rats nest and insects infest, do termites chew, has rot spread to the sills, has mold colonized behind the walls? We roll in dumpsters, prepare burn piles, prime hoses and power washers, readying ourselves to strip down the system, cleanse the castle, flush the fortress, purge the temple. In the process we must accept that when trees are pruned they lose limbs, that the nostalgia of certain rooms will be destroyed, but that these are necessary steps to keep the rootstock healthy and keep the roof from collapsing on to our heads. What was begun must be finished, and attention brought to deeper layers than we might have ever looked at before.
Luckily, we have optimism, we are fueled with inspiration, we are ignited with hope, we are prepared to combine our resources, quest after our ideals. This is an adventure, and trials and tests come with the territory, but there is a zeal burning in the year to come that has us moving at and directly through obstacles rather than avoiding them or attempting to swerve around them. Are spirits yearn, we bear a torch that lights us on with quickness, we are pathfinders, and whatever vehicle available that might take us to our targets we are willing to take. We are motivated in a way we were not last year. Where as we were dragged through the ditch and put to work in a single isolated stretch for months on end before, now we set our sights far and wide, up and away, off to new territory and to those things that we don’t just most desire, but are most worthy, and resonate with purpose and divinity. With this spirit roused we notice we are capable of more than normal, that certain resources almost mysteriously present themselves, as if gifted from the gods; laid before us in our path so that we might have that which we need to reach our goals and seize our holy grails. Although, strangely, these brimming cornucopias might not be the ones we asked for, so we must be willing to think big enough to understand how they can be incorporated into the plan and fuel our directives. This is not an era where hand outs can be turned down, instead we must learn to be creative enough to turn whatever turns up into a ticket to success. The goal destination doesn’t change, but maybe the car we drive their differs along the way.
For some the goal will change. They may realize that what they’ve been aiming at isn’t worth their arrow and there are more noble targets. For some this might have to do with necessity rather than inspiration, or a combination of both. As we are early in the year yet we might spend some time asking ourselves what we really want. If nothing were to hold us back and no other factors interfered what is it that we most truly desire, ultimately rather than circumstantially. Then we must put equal meditation on what must happen, what is of grave importance that we might have preferred to previously ignore. It is likely that we will come to find that we are ready and mature enough now to dream bigger and take care of business, but also few will walk away from such meditations without a renewed sense that the world is in danger and it is all our responsibility, so we must step onto the path and walk firmly along in a unison of diverse gaits and strides.
Beneath us the territory changes. The earth itself shifts and shuffles erratically and with it all materials transform, morph, radicalize and within that which once held fixed we find revolution. To keep up with this seismic activity we must prepare ourselves to approach our construction duties and our inspired quests in a posture of innovation, experimentation and a willingness to operate with materials and landscapes that cannot be expected to act predictably. This might be the biggest challenge of all, and truly in 2019 we stand at the threshold to a world unknown. For many this is exciting and for all it is faced with fear. Preparing for change readies us and ignoring the oncoming tides break us; in that rigid posture we face destruction. Expecting the unexpected is hard for a rationalist materialist paradigm people, as we are so used to drawing conclusions from the past, and even though the future may be the result of our own actions throughout modern history, what comes next is sure to surprise, as nothing is fixed, in fact fixity itself is going to become radically redefined.
Much of this we’ve already sniffed and licked; 2018 was like a painful waiting in line for 2019. It was the cross country trek and three days of uncomfortable camping in line to assure admission into the concert that is 2019. What we find once inside is an extension of the same conditions but with much more optimism, movement, purpose and realization. It gets more real, in both a positive and negative sense. In 2019 we go live, for better or worse. Some of what occurs will be fated, and much depends on our behavior, strategy and perspective. Remediate the bad, roll away from falls with agility and dignity, face obstacles directly, and find abundant channels for the gifts of good to fill into and fuel and your projects and you will likely come out of 2019 stronger and closer to your ideal life than you entered.
The nodes in the Cancer-Capricorn axis
For roughly the next year and a half we’ll be tasking a serious look at purging structures and assessing our needs for growth and safety. Nurturing, needs, emotions, incubations, mothering, mothers, that which we want to and need to grow and protect and feed will be more strongly identified with and trend to increase, while structures, hierarchies, systems, boundaries, territories, strategies rules and histories will be getting purged and put under serious reductive scrutiny. With any eclipse cycle its important to not let go of things you still need to hold on to to keep balance and not grab at things prematurely which can pull you out of whack, all the while moving along in the direction you are ultimately headed. If you know your rising sign it is helpful to see where this dynamic will be playing out in your personal life.
Much of this will have to do with natural limits and the repercussions experienced when they are surpassed, as well as what form of protection is appropriate, militarized and fortified prisons vs. the careful nurturing of domestic space. These are already clear issues in our world, served to us since Pluto and Saturn both respectively have ingressed Capricorn. But Saturn and Pluto form their own cycle, and their meetings in Capricorn tell a story about power and dominance over territory and the structures of oppression. The fact that the nodal axis places the eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn modifies this story and shapes it into very particular significance. When the Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars parade through Cancer in June they will all oppose Saturn, Pluto and Ketu (the South Node) in Capricorn, preceding the eclipse that will take place in the Crab's sign. Our experience of more strongly identifying and manifesting needs for nurturing and protection of what is tender will be at a more violently boiling temperature than cooling balm, making both ends of the spectrum both serious and turbulent. As we go through the rest of 2019's key configurations we will see that we are passing through a gate into a new era rather than experiencing transitory weather which will pass and leave us back at home safely; this is clear to all inhabitants of our world without referencing astrology, but as we consult the stars we see even more assuredly that the time of transition is now, an epoch which contains the majority of familiar historical experience is draining away and an unknown reality awaits us on the other side of the threshold. What the nodes are up to this round then has extra significance; Ketu's disgust with manifest reality and need for purification and Rahu's insatiability for whatever topic he is directed at define our transitional state as we pass through into a future world.
-1/5/19: South Node (Ketu) solar eclipse in Capricorn:
-1/21/19: North Node (Rahu) Lunar eclipse in Leo:
-7/2/19: North Node (Rahu) Solar eclipse in Cancer:
-7/16/19: South Node (Ketu) Lunar eclipse in Capricorn:
-12/26/19: South Node (Ketu) Solar Eclipse in Capricorn
Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn
Saturn remains in rulership in Capricorn throughout 2019, which even though lends a sober and serious tone to our lives and society as a whole, we’ve lived with this since December 19th of 2017 already, and have had a chance to straighten out much of what Saturn has decided to pressure test in our lives. What was going to break has broken and it is now an issue of replacing these failed systems with stronger and more permanent structures. The previously mentioned eclipses coming up certainly will increase the urgency and depth of this experience, but are less likely to be surprising, instead act as pinnacle points on the timeline where we remove excess components and experience pressure events to see how our structure holds up. With Pluto involved we can expect unprecedented and overwhelmingly powerful elements to be involved, even though we can’t guess at exactly what they might be. But it’s safe to assume that we will encounter the dead, our own and those long ghosts along the way. We might need to pay attention to their messages, offer them proper respect and veneration, help them to be at peace and no longer restless, to respect their world, their own structures and systems of the past, and learn from things long forgotten. This same dynamic may have us clearing out the haunted house of more ghoulish and parasitic types that have ben sucking our resources for god knows how long. Some of our own dead are as diabolical in death as they were psychotic and meddlesome while alive, and through fear and obsession have grown more powerful. For this we need forms of exorcism both metaphorical and literal.
Saturn in Capricorn 10/19/17—3/22/20, 7/1/20—10/16/20
Jupiter in Sagittarius
This is where we are receiving our optimism, opportunity, motivation, inspiration, sight of ideals and realization of noble goals. Jupiter entered Sagittarius on November 2nd 2018 and will remain there until December 2nd 2019, the entire period ready to deliver opportunities and resources and insights that move us toward our ideals. We won’t have Jupiter in such dignity for three years, at which time we can expect to be in a brave new world, so while things remain clinging to the present make sure to take opportunities as they come and fill your larders with as much Jupiter virtue as you can get, saving it or putting it to good use, transferring it into usable resources for yourself. This can even come in the form of wanderlust; where following your nose into foreign lands may find you in the right place at the right time unexpectedly or simply deliver experiences that kindle inspiration for years to come. Again, knowing where Jupiter and the signs he rules are in your chart will help you understand where in life to look for his assistance.
Jupiter will not be aligned by sign to Saturn, Pluto or Uranus (after Uranus returns to Taurus in March) so the challenges, solidifications, mysteries and radicalizations these slow moving planets present are likely to be on a completely separate story track from Jupiter so it becomes a matter of either taking inspiration from elsewhere and/or trafficking this spiritual fire and creative wisdom to where it might be needed in more practical affairs, and this goes for looking at the events of the world as well as our personal experiences.
Although, Jupiter is set to square Neptune multiple times in 2019, (January 13th, June 16th, September 21st) at which points our avatars of adventure might meet with the most mystical and fantastical elements of their journeys. This is where mists obscure our quest and in these amorphous tides of spiritual fire and emotional water colliding into expansion we can easily find our inspirations and spiritual or philosophical strivings blow us way off track, or at least have us oblivious to more concrete problems which might be concurrent. These might be pivotal psychedelic vision quests we experience at points in the year, but also are periods we are likely to be inebriated with our own dreams and even inspired delusions. We will be challenged to pull the pearls of resonant wisdom out of the misty pools and enchanting fog without tarrying or wandering for too long in a daze. This is the very challenge artistic and romantic types face day to day; to listen to intuition, preserve the magic, preserve ideals and not end up penniless in the process. Psychic sensitivity will be on high around these junctions so a little divination can go a long way when the regular beaten path seems to be replaced with astral staircases and lofty switchbacks to cloud clothed heights.
Jupiter in Sagittarius 11/8/18—12/2/19
Uranus returns to Taurus
The promethean planet of volatility, revolution, radicalization, turbulence, technology, innovation, experimentation insight and change first entered Taurus in May of 2018, reaching only 2 degrees and change before turning around and ending back in Aries by November 6th. Uranus spends about seven years in a sign, usually hoping back through the door for a few final adjustments before he commits to an elemental and modality change. The shift is jarring, and makes a splash in our lives as well as in the world at large. For many people 2018 was defined by the sudden change Uranus made in their lives by moving into a different sign and house in their chart, revolutionizing a whole new area of topics, only to revisit Aries and reignite issues that connect to the past seven years volatilizing cardinal fire. Uranus’ time in individual and impulsive Aries made for some notable flare ups in resistance movements as well as actual explosions, counting both Fukushima and Arab Spring, as well as fomented what is now a society that operates from behind social media handles; and with only a preview of Uranus in fixed earth, we know we can already look to re-wilding, improved permaculture, cryptocurrency, 3D printing, natural disasters, food fluctuations, territory disputes and volatile markets. We must literally keep our ears to the ground and see what area of life Uranus is likely to shake up, and make sure that we have laboratories set up in preparation for these issues to go off the charts so we can experiment with mutating materials in order to make discoveries which lead us to valuable innovations and bleeding edge advantages rather than have us left behind in the dust on shaky ground. Whether Uranus brings us fuse blows and lightening surges or electricity and eureka moments is largely up to us having the right area lab ready to receive the charge. You can find this by knowing where Uranus, Taurus, and its ruler Venus is in your chart. In general, look to Taurus’ significations: fertility, rhythm, pace, craft, material, food, value, preparation, organic matter, art, comfort, pleasure, goods, sensuality, and substance, and imagine these channels getting radical updates.
Uranus in Taurus 5/15/18—11/6/18, 3/5/19—4/26/26
There is particular significance to Uranus' activity in Taurus this time around, and how it relates to the cycle of Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions. As I wrote in May of 2018 when Taurus first ingressed into the Bull's sign:
Uranus’ seven year stretch in Taurus straddles the last few years of the Earth element epoch, the series of conjuncts between Jupiter and Saturn that occur almost always in one element for about two centuries, and extends into the first few years of the Air Epoch we are headed into in December of 2020. The entire industrial era of human culture occurred within the confines of this Earth elemental Epoch which is very shortly coming to a close. The last Earth element epoch before that was situated roughly between the 11th and 13th century: the High Middle Ages when population in Europe increased, the climate warmed, technological and agricultural advancements were made, emphasis was put on trade, society was organized feudally and the Crusades were hosted. This time around it would appear that Uranus is poised to radically change how we think of materials, craft and agriculture as the Great Chronocrators (Jupiter and Saturn) usher us in to an era marked by everything Air element: intellect, socialization, analysis, abstraction, information, conceptual paradox, media and culture. Clearly we have one whole foot on the other side of the threshold, likely due to the 1980-1981 interruption to the pattern which occurred in Libra when major strides where made in computers and communications technology, as well as the mean conjunction (average mathematical projection, like the rhythm of the cycle, the metronome under the music even if the music contains syncopation) in 2000, a major year for internet development.
2018 and 2019 have very different retrograde narratives
2018 was host to a very long chain of retrogradation which began in mid May when Mars entered the shadow of his impending retrograde and then turned backwards on June 26th, at which point we experienced Venus entering her shadow as Mars turns direct and her turning retrograde just as Mars exits his shadow, then Mercury turning retrograde in detriment a day after Venus turns direct; a sequence it took us until Christmas to finally completely clear. We were forced to face how we might have to do things differently in 2018, this had us changing our minds about what we ultimately even desire or what brings us pleasure in the first place, after which we had to seriously rethink what our goals might be and how we might get organized to reach them. This had us extremely distracted and working double time to achieve relatively little over the second half of the year.
In 2019 neither Venus or Mars goes retrograde and enjoys steady motion of both planets throughout. Our desires and attractions move along towards what they wish to bond with and our capabilities and tactical competence drives run relatively unhindered. 2019 goes off much more undistracted and on track than 2018’s long and hard way around. This is highlighted by the pistol shot start of the year with Mars in rulership in Aries, and while we have the red planet there it is wise to get many of our lamps lit and engines revving right out of the gate so we can get ahead of our competition early in the race so we have the right momentum to move through his time in Taurus and beyond.
As far as Mercury, his retrogrades, which occur three times a year (sometimes four) about three to four months apart happen this year mostly in water signs, where as they occurred mostly in fire signs in 2019, and half in fire-half in earth signs in 2017. This year what we might be rethinking, reorganizing and re-editing is logic, language, thinking, symbols and details surrounding our emotions, needs, feelings and intuitions. This could mean how we ‘feel’ about something may have us changing our minds, and that more than other years our mental abilities are tied into our moods. This is likely to get mentally blurry at times, but has great poetic potential, especially in terms of relocating poetic and intuitive thinking abilities you misplaced at some point along the way; just take care to not let your emotions wrestle the reins of your mind away and get your intellectual cart stuck in the slurry somewhere.
Mercury retrograde in Pisces: 3/5/19–3/28/19
Mercury retrograde in Leo, Cancer: 7/7/19–7/31/19
Mercury retrograde in Scorpio: 10/31/19—11/20/19
Much of the outer planet activity is cardinal, earth element and yin
Speaking of intuition, 2019 has an abundance of yin polarity receptivity, and with the eclipses in the Moon’s sign its safe to say there is a more night sect and lunar vibe to the year. An interesting aspect to this is the prominence of cardinal modality, present in the signs that initiate, take action, begin sequences, instigate and get things happening. With so much earth we might look to practical affairs, substance and that which can be physically quantified; the proof is in the pudding as they say, this is largely about reality and what we’re going to do about it. As yin polarity and night sect dominates the configurations 2019 might generally be inclined to and require our instincts, intuition, our ability to read impressions, to feel our way through, to use our senses as well as how they connect to our listening minds. We will be called to respond, but before we do we want to measure what we are dealing with with our whole bodies, all of our senses, and when we see and hear and smell and touch and taste significance we are ready and respond.
And respond we will, but not in a major way until the dramatic shift of 2025 when Pluto, Uranus and Neptune all move from yin polarity signs (Earth and Water) to yang polarity signs (Fire and Air), at which point action, energy, initiation, will all suddenly pick up, and we enter our brave new world in earnest as cultures and technologies and new identities trigger and sizzle with frenetic activity. There is plenty of work to do now, listening, getting our bearings on the waters we tread and terrain we trod, shedding old skins and learning new instincts so we may pass safely through. This is a process, and is sure to bring its discomforts, but those that become the kind of animal that thrives in the new habitat may find that they are in position to prosper.