2022: A User’s Guide

As we head into 2022, I want to offer a guide for you to refer to as the year unfolds. The last two years have been difficult ones by anyone’s standards. Though 2022 will not reverse the trend, it offers some genuine bright spots as Jupiter finally breaks free from Saturn’s reins. 

The first section of this guide includes an at-a-glance summary for hotspots and dates to be aware of this year. The second section provides you with a bit of analysis on the big themes of 2022. Anything underlined will take you to different sections of this document for more detailed information.

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

Read the overview of the year, but if you want to track personal hotspots, you need a copy of your birth chart, which tells you where the planets were at the moment and the place of your birth. You can print your chart from the “My Astro” section at astro.com. Either create an account to login, if you want to save your chart, or simply enter your birth information as a guest user and print a copy. You’ll need your date of birth, time of birth (preferably from your birth certificate — accuracy matters), and place of birth to create the chart. 

Note: If you don’t know your time, use noon.  Your moon, ascendant, descendant, midheaven, and IC won’t be accurate, so ignore those placements, but all the other planetary positions will be in the ballpark. 

After you enter your birth information, you’re taken to a new screen. Click on the option that says, “Chart Drawing, Ascendant,” and your chart will pop up. To the left of the page, you’ll see an information box that lists the planet positions. EX: Sun 22 Aqu 55’ 4”.  

In this example, your sun’s position would be 22ᵒ  degrees Aquarius 55 minutes and 4 seconds.  As 10-25ᵒ degrees of Aquarius is in a hot spot this year, you would pay special attention to the hotspot summary connected to the fixed signs and use the link in the summary to read more about the Saturn-Uranus square. Then do this same process for your other planets.

You can also look through the tables for any other influences activating your chart and read about them. For those of you more familiar with your charts, pay attention to the houses ruled by the planets being activated this year. Those houses (areas of life) come into play. I’ve also provided a summary of each quarter. You can read these sections in chunks as the quarter arrives and/or copy the dates that are important to you into your calendar. (Note: all dates are run for Eastern time.)

2022 HOTSPOTS

10-25 of Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius

If you have planets or angles at 10-25ᵒ degrees of a fixed sign, you’ll feel a tension between the winds of change and the structures in your life that anchor you. You can expect disruptions or, more positively, innovations. If you have planets at 16ᵒ-22ᵒ of a fixed sign, you will feel these tensions most strongly, starting in late August and peaking Oct 1-12th at 18ᵒ. Aquarians born around Feb 5-12, Taureans born around May 7-14, Leos born around August 8-16, and Scorpios born around November 9-16 should pay special attention to my section on the ongoing Saturn-Uranus square. In general, the fixed signs continue to feel the pressures of change most strongly, especially as eclipses fall in Taurus and Scorpio this year.

25-28 of Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn

Those people with planets or angles at 25-28ᵒ degrees of a cardinal sign may face a confrontation — externally or internally — requiring soul-searching and deep change. Some aspect of yourself or your life is ready for release or regeneration. If you are a Capricorn born around January 15-20, an Aries born around April 15-20, a Cancer born around July 17-21, or a Libra born around October 18-23, pay special attention to my section on Pluto.

20-25 of Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces

If you have planets or angles at 20-25ᵒ degrees of a mutable sign, prepare to get spiritual and work on your detachment. Life works better this year if you go with the flow rather than trying to nail things down. April can bring exhilarating possibilities and renewed dreams, especially if you are Pisces born around March 10-15, Gemini born around June 10-16, Virgo born around September 13-19, or Sagittarius born around December 13-17. The key is to keep it real. Read my section on Neptune for more detail. If you have placements in 9-25ᵒ Gemini, check out my section on Mars Retrograde.

0-5 of Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) & 26-29 Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

If you have planets or angles in the early degrees of an air sign or late degrees of an earth sign, you are invited to explore your ideas and then revisit, revise, or reorganize them so they become more workable and practical. Those born around January 14-31, June 16-27, or September 16-October 3 are uniquely positioned to make the most of these periods and should check out my section of Mercury Retrogrades.

Eclipses

DateTypeDegreeSouth/North Node
4/30/2022Solar10ᵒ Taurus 28North
5/16/2022Lunar25ᵒ Scorpio 18South
10/25/2022Solar2ᵒ Scorpio 00South
11/8/2022Lunar16ᵒ Taurus 01North

Mercury Retrograde Periods

StartsDegreeStopsDegree
1/14/202210ᵒ Aquarius 202/3/202224ᵒ Capricorn 22
5/10/20224ᵒ Gemini 516/3/202226ᵒ Taurus 05
9/9/20228ᵒ Libra 5510/2/202224ᵒ Virgo 12
12/29/202224ᵒ  Capricorn 211/18/20238ᵒ  Capricorn 8

Planetary Stations

DatePlanetDegreeDateDegree
1/18/2022 DirectUranus10ᵒ Taurus 498/24/2022 Rx18ᵒ Taurus 55
1/29/2022 DirectVenus11ᵒ Capricorn 05
4/29/2022 RxPluto28ᵒ Capricorn 3610/8/2022 Direct26ᵒ Capricorn 07
6/4/2022 RxSaturn25ᵒ Aquarius 1510/22/2022 Direct18ᵒ Aquarius 36
6/28/2022 RxNeptune25ᵒ Pisces 2612/3/2022 Direct22ᵒ Pisces 39
7/28/2022 RxJupiter8ᵒ Aries 4311/23/2022 Direct28ᵒ Pisces 48
10/30/2022 RxMars25ᵒ Gemini 371/12/2023 Direct 8ᵒ Gemini 08

Major Planetary Ingresses

IngressDateTimePosition
Jupiter Enters Aries5/10/20226:22 pm Eastern00ᵒ Aries 00
Jupiter Enters Pisces10/28/202212:10 am Eastern29ᵒ Pisces 59
Jupiter Enter Aries12/20/20229:32 am Eastern00ᵒ Aries 00
Mean North Node Enters Taurus12/22/202129ᵒ Taurus 59
True North Node Enters Taurus1/19/202229ᵒ Taurus 59

New & Full Moons (eclipses in bold)

DateNew MoonDateFull Moon
1/2/202212ᵒ Capricorn 201/17/202227ᵒ Cancer 51
2/1/202212ᵒ Aquarius 202/16/202228ᵒ Leo 00
3/2/202212ᵒ Pisces 073/18/202227ᵒ Virgo 40
4/1/202211ᵒ Aries 314/16/202226ᵒ Libra 46
4/30/202210 Taurus 28 SOLAR5/16/2022  LUNAR25 Scorpio 18
5/30/20229ᵒ Gemini 036/14/202223ᵒ Sagittarius 25
6/29/20227ᵒ Cancer 237/13/202221ᵒ Capricorn 21
7/28/20225ᵒ Leo 398/12/202219ᵒ Aquarius 21
8/27/20224ᵒ Virgo 049/10/202217ᵒ Pisces 41
9/25/20222ᵒ Libra 4910/9/202216ᵒ Aries 33
10/25/20222 Scorpio 00 SOLAR11/8/2022  LUNAR 16 Taurus 01
11/23/20221ᵒ Sagittarius 3812/8/202216ᵒ Gemini 02
12/23/20221ᵒ Capricorn 331/6/202316ᵒ Cancer 22

Equinoxes and Solstices

DateTime

3/20/202210:33 am EasternSpring Equinox00ᵒ Aries 00’
6/21/20224:14 am EasternSummer Solstice00ᵒ Cancer 00’
9/22/20228:04 pm EasternFall Equinox00ᵒ Libra 00’
12/21/20224:48 pm EasternWinter Solstice00ᵒ Capricorn 00’

Out-of-Bounds Planets

PlanetEntersMax/Min PeaksLeaves
Mars1/12/20221/27/2022 25S51/min 2/3/2022
Pluto(Not OOB – max decl)4/6/2022 22S20/max
Mercury7/6/20227/10/2022 23N45/max7/13/2022
Mars10/22/202212/6/2022 25N00/max
Mercury11/23/202212/8/2022 25S41/max12/22/2022
Venus12/1/202212/13/2022 24S13/min12/24/2022

2022 MAJOR THEMES

SOMETHING OLD SOMETHING NEW

Uranus-Saturn Square US Pluto Return

Saturn in Aquarius Nodes in Taurus/Scorpio

Pluto in Capricorn Venus-Mars in Tight Orb

Neptune in Pisces Jupiter-Neptune Conjoin in Pisces

Venus Rx in Capricorn Jupiter in Aries

Jupiter in Pisces Mars Rx in Gemini + OOB

SOMETHING OLD

If I were going to summarize 2022, I might say it’s the liminal space between elation and exhaustion. We have some lovely, much needed highs in the second and third quarters of 2022 amid the gnarly, frustrating lows that have dogged us since 2020. 

And, yes, it’s a liminal space. Collectively, we are all still experiencing the reverberations of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January 11, 2020. I once heard Rick Levine describe outer planet transits as having “seasonal lag,” the way the hottest days of summer come after the longest day of the year. I’ve found this helpful to keep in mind. Pluto’s last hurrah in Capricorn isn’t until 2025, and we are still in the messy process of restructuring. 

The Great Conjunction of solstice 2020 — Remember that? Feels like a few hundred years ago, right? — was a nascent beginning of sorts, but as I explained last year, we’ve just got a toe in the water of that 200-hundred year cycle. With all these slower-moving planets in the final five degrees of signs at the tail end of the zodiac, there’s dying off and finishing up happening, too.

Some of the major players this year are familiar by now, such as the sparring between Saturn and Uranus. Though no exact squares occur in 2022, we start the year with those planets within a degree of one another, and from mid-August until early December they remain within 3 degrees.

We can expect continued tensions between how things stand and how one might move forward, existing structures and disruptions to those structures, and security/familiarity versus risk/innovation. Neither Saturn nor Uranus likes to bend, creating a great deal of sustained stress, especially for those with planets around16ᵒ-22ᵒ of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. 

For examples of how these tensions play out, look to the wrangling between conservative and progressive factions of various governments around the world and the paradigm shocks of cryptocurrency to the financial sector.

The nodes have moved into the fixed signs — Taurus (north node) and Scorpio (south node) — so April-May and October-November eclipses will further intensify those tensions.

Remember, the tensions are there for a reason: something needs to give. The aim is to break free of limitations without tearing down the essential scaffolding that supports us.

With Saturn and Pluto in the later degrees of Saturn-ruled signs, we continue the hard work of eliminating the unnecessary so that we may rebuild. The first quarter of the year may feel particularly heavy, as a majority of planets will be in Capricorn and Aquarius, activating Saturn or Pluto, and both Venus and Mercury are retrograde in Capricorn in January.

SOMETHING NEW

The United States will also experience its first Pluto return at 27ᵒ Capricorn on the following dates: February 20, July 12, and December 27. Pluto for the collective is not unlike Pluto for the individual: disowned aspects and dirty secrets must be confronted, addressed, and healed. 

How has might/power (Pluto) been used for the benefit of those in authority (Capricorn)? What secret histories need airing? What not-so-secret histories — such as slavery’s role in the new republic or the lands taken from indigenous people — need to be acknowledged meaningfully?

Pluto, as Lord of the Underworld, judges souls: what we bury is powerful. Keeping secrets (and/or rejecting what is painful) ties up a great deal of energy. Once we acknowledge painful truths, enormous reserves of energy become available and regeneration follows. For a more thorough investigation of the US Pluto return, I’ll direct you to Ray Grasse’s excellent article

Also new this year: a Jupiter completely untethered from Saturn’s yoke. Last year we had a teasing peek at Jupiter in Pisces in May of 2021. The masks came off, people began to travel, and a tentative sense of optimism broke through. By July 2021, Jupiter went back into Aquarius, a Saturn-ruled sign, and the Delta variant brought more restrictions and masks. 

Jupiter will move between Pisces and Aries this year, which will help buoy us. I’m especially excited for April, when Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune team up for a bit of dreamy goodness in Pisces. We may struggle a bit to keep our feet planted on terra firma, but after the long subjugation under Saturn’s rule, I think we all can do with a bit of inspiration, escapism, and idealism. 

We just need to remember that it may be more of a short-term bubble than a long-term reality, so enjoy the magic while it lasts. It’s a bit like basking in the sunshine during a hot day in deep fall. Enjoy the glorious warm weather, but don’t toss out your sweaters and jeans for t-shirts and shorts. We have a bit more of the season in front of us.

The “Great Conjunction” might be a helpful reference point. We saw lots of hype on social media about it being the dawning of a new era. And, who knows? It may be using the long lens of history. But with the exception of a few people with planets at 0ᵒ Aquarius, I saw very little real tangible difference in folk’s lives. For most of us, it was a temporal (and welcomed) boost in the midst of restrictions. 

The last notable player in 2022 is Mars retrograde in Gemini in October. It goes out of bounds (OOB) on October 22nd and turns retrograde on the 30th, squaring Neptune and Jupiter, potentially letting the air out of any inflated dreams or unrealistic hopes hanging on from April. Take away? Use April to dream and the rest of the year to anchor your vision and make sure it works on the ground.

Mars in Gemini brings to mind a few things. Fighting words, scattered efforts, mental burnout all come to mind. Both Mars and Gemini move at a pace, but while Mars likes to focus, Gemini likes to go explore broadly. Gemini can be all talk and no action, while Mars can be all action and no talk. 

This combination by transit accentuates the restlessness of both Mars and Gemini, so it runs a bit hot, manic, and edgy. And Mars is already somewhat piqued by its retrograde motion and extreme declination. I imagine it pacing on the sidelines, waiting to move forward again and disrupting everyone and everything in its path because it needs to do something. As focus can be an issue, a burst of writing that doesn’t require fine-tuning, just getting words onto the page, could combine Mars’ need for intense action and Gemini’s knack for language. 

SATURN THEMES

Both Pluto and Saturn are at the end of Saturn-ruled signs, indicating that the hard work of elimination, restructuring, and eventual regeneration continues, both globally and individually. Wherever Capricorn and Aquarius fall in your chart describes where this work is taking place.

Saturn describes how we define ourselves, the roles and rules by which we abide. The houses it rules describe where we pay a price if we don’t adhere to our own standards of integrity. Saturn’s strategy is to set boundaries and to point out where our foundations are less than solid, forcing us to engage in realistic assessments.  

Often this comes in the guise of necessity: doing what one must and shouldering our responsibilities. It’s where we’re asked to do the right thing rather than the easy thing.

Below are some of the arenas in which you should take stock this year and hold yourself accountable to restructure if you feel you’re falling short of the mark. (The sign and house where Saturn falls in your chart provide additional clues.) 

If you know your rising sign, find it below to determine the areas Saturn governs for you. If you don’t, use your sun (sometimes called your birth) sign.

Aries: You’re in the process of reevaluating where you are in the world, the direction of your life, and whether that direction aligns to your dreams and aspirations for the future. You may be taking stock of your friends, allies, and the groups with whom you associate. Are they moving in the same direction; do they share your vision? It’s up to you to check your compass and your company.

Taurus: It’s time to take responsibility for the shape and direction of your life. Specifically, it’s time to assess whether your life reflects of your beliefs and spiritual/moral truths. The way forward is to view your circumstances through the lens of your highest aspirations. If your life doesn’t reflect your spiritual or philosophical ideals, now is the time to ask yourself why and to restructure. 

Gemini: If you’re not living according to your beliefs, is it because those beliefs don’t actually hold up when life gets hard? Or is it because when things get tough, you don’t hold yourself accountable to your own code of honor? Plumbing the depths of your own psychology pays off here. What old beliefs/conditioning need to be eliminated or brought to a close so you can move forward? 

Cancer: Right now it’s important to take a hard look at your own mortality. We all have a finite amount of time here. Are you prioritizing what is important? Do you honor your boundaries? If some of your relationships are entanglements rather than partnerships of equals, take note. Also note where you act from obligation or duty at the expense of yourself and what is truly important to you.

Leo: You may find yourself casting a critical eye toward your relationships — the give and take of self and other — and your daily routines and habits, wondering if they’ll hold up over time. Who is worth your energy and attention? Where is the exchange less worthwhile?  Part of this stocktaking includes evaluating your daily schedule and whether you’re spending your time fruitfully or habitually. 

Virgo: You tend to feel better when you’re productive and establish strong daily routines and healthy habits. Right now you can evaluate your duties and obligations through the lens of self-expression and creativity. How might you restructure your day so that both get equal reign? How might you change work habits to ensure enough play?

Libra: Where do you feel you’ve tamped down on your expressiveness or made yourself smaller than you are: creatively, intellectually, or even interpersonally? Looking back in time can provide answers about the roots of those issues. This period points to a transformation of your personal foundations, so that, ultimately, you feel more at home within yourself.

Scorpio: Right now the focus is on getting your house in order, whether that is metaphoric — attending to where you feel psychically unmoored or disordered — or literal, such as attending to home projects. The focus? Shoring up your foundations so you’re standing on firm ground. Part of that includes reassessing your communication style and any unproductive stories you tell yourself. 

Sagittarius: You may find yourself taking a hard look at your community or local network and if you’re communicating effectively and understood. Restructuring old patterns tied to your thinking or communication is one leg of the journey. The other leg is about self-sufficiency and whether how you earn money aligns to your values. Put your focus on what feels essential or non-negotiable.

Capricorn: You may be examining how to make an income that supports you, honors your values, and genuinely reflects who you are. You’ve been going through a period of enormous personal change. Now you’re grappling with how to concretize your emerging sense of self and values in the world without sacrificing your vitality and sense of empowerment. 

Aquarius: You may find yourself in the process of making decisions that will impact your life for years to come. Your focus may narrow: old commitments may need to be completed so you can begin a new cycle of activity. Part of this process requires you face self-defeating patterns so you can transcend them, allowing you to be of greater service to others or opening you spiritually. Now is the time to let go of old things to make room for the new.

Pisces: Right now you have the capacity to unflinchingly evaluate patterns of self-sabotage. You may feel a sense of ennui or that you’re in a holding pattern. You’re not; you’re in transition. Fertilize the soil by surrounding yourself with individuals who share your vision for how the world could be and cultivating your aspirations for the future.

THE DANCE OF SATURN AND URANUS

Key dates: 

  • Feb 1 New Moon at 12 Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus
  • March 19-22 Venus/Mars 12 Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus
  • March 28-April 4 Venus/Mars 21-22 Aquarius 
  • April 30 Solar Eclipse at 10  Taurus squares Uranus in Taurus
  • May 16 Full Moon at 25 Scorpio squares Saturn in Aquarius
  • June 3 Mercury stations direct at 26 Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius
  • August 1 Mars at 18 Taurus conjoins Uranus
  • August 11 Full Moon at 19 Aquarius conjoins Saturn and squares Uranus in Taurus
  • Sept 11 – Nov 7 the two planets are between 17-19 Taurus-Aquarius (Oct 1-12 at 18, never exact)
  • Nov 8 Lunar Eclipse at 16 Taurus conjoins Uranus and squares Saturn in Aquarius

The dance of Saturn and Uranus describe the friction between the principles of security, order, and limits and those of upheaval, change and freedom. One of the main questions of 2021-2022 is how to enact change, given the very real structures and limits of our lives and world. 

If we ignored tensions in our life, if we feel hemmed in or oppressed in any way, those stressors come to the surface to be resolved.

We structure our lives slowly over time. We define how we want to show up in the world, what it looks like to be a responsible person, and establish rules and routines that order our lives. This year, we need to revise some of our rules and notions about the world. 

We may discover that some of our past choices didn’t create genuine stability. Or that small compromises we made along the way have concretized into structures that now imprison us and we don’t know how to break free. 

For some, it’s our box — we built every cramped corner and wall — and we’re afraid to venture beyond its security. For others, we may find that it collapses around us and we have no choice but to venture out. Whatever our situation, 2022 asks that we continue to re-envision ourselves, to redraw the boundaries of our known four walls. 

The challenge with Saturn and Uranus is that neither wants to bend. Saturn, the traditionalist, prefers familiar ways of doing things, the tried and true, and fears change. Uranus, the innovator, prefers to toss aside the rules and lacks patience for Saturn’s cautious approach. 

This year we all need to stay pliable and explore the ways in which we might move out of our comfort zones. With Saturn in Aquarius, you may want to explore where your ideas have become fixed. Where do you feel stuck or in a rut? Is the structure of your life an authentic expression of you?

If not, take active steps to enact change. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” If any aspect of your life falls into this category, you know where to start. Aligning with innovation and change will lower the pressure and make it less likely that tensions rise to a breaking point.

Capricorn and Aquarius continue to be focal points, so the themes of the houses they governs are highlighted. You may want to note the events around February 1st New Moon, which squares Uranus in Taurus, for indications of what must shift. The rest of the key dates listed will point to other pressure points around these themes.

Our challenge? To identify the systems, rules and structures that genuinely support us versus those that oppress, limit and cause us to compromise our growth.

Disruptive events can crop up that challenge our sense of order or bring us to a tipping point. The energy here is impatient and rebellious. Our lives need to be updated; we need to break free from the past. Change can come quickly or be a stressful grind between the old and the new as we reform from within the existing architecture of our lives. 

Either way, the process can be stressful. Those with planets or angles at 10-22 of fixed signs will feel the push for change most strongly. January to April, 10-12 of fixed signs will be in the crucible. Starting May, 16-22 of fixed signs feel the pressure most intensely.

If you have planets between 18-22 of fixed signs, you may want to note these dates in your calendars and simplify your activities during this period where possible. Pay attention to the pile up in August, starting on the 1st with a tense square from Mars to Uranus, followed by Mars square Saturn on August 7 and a full moon squaring both Saturn and Uranus on August 12th. The tension will be palpable and could come to a head. 

For those with planets between 17-19 of fixed signs, another period to watch is September 11 – November 7. It will peak between October 1-12. All of us will be feeling the tension, but you are more likely to feel it most directly.

When under this kind of pressure, we can be tempted to toss out the proverbial baby with the bath water — walk from that job or ditch the relationship in a fit of pique. But try to take stock first. Ask yourself whether the situation aligns with your greater purpose or whether you’ve accepted undue restrictions because of your need for security. If the structure of your life is essentially sound, you can reshape your life from within. If you’ve accepted limitations because you’re afraid of change, you may need a clean break.

To approach this process consciously, examine long-held notions about duty, responsibility, and your sense of order as a start. Where might you needlessly restrict yourself and require boundaries to be redrawn? The houses that hold Taurus, Capricorn and Aquarius provide clues. Since this influence comes with a great deal of tension — physical, mental, and emotional — remember that making time to exercise or having people you can talk to freely can be helpful releases this year.

PLUTO IN CAPRICORN

Key dates: 

  • December 6 Mercury conjoins Pluto at 25 Capricorn (Mercury-Pluto cycle begins)
  • December 11 & 25 of 2021 Venus conjoins at 25 Capricorn (Venus-Pluto cycle begins)
  • January 28 Mercury Rx conjoins Pluto 26 Capricorn 
  • February 3 Mercury stations direct at 24 Capricorn 
  • February 11 Mercury conjoins at 27 Capricorn
  • February 19 US Pluto return at 27 Capricorn 32
  • March 3 Venus/Mars conjoins at 27 Capricorn (Mars-Pluto cycle begins)
  • April 10 Mercury square 28 Aries (Waxing square of cycle)
  • April 16 Full moon at at 26 Libra squares Pluto
  • April 29 Pluto Rx at 28 Capricorn
  • May 27 Venus in Aries 28 squares (Waxing square of cycle)
  • July 1 Mars at 27 Aries squares (Waxing square of cycle)
  • July 12 US Pluto return at 27 Capricorn 32
  • July 13 Full Moon at 21 Capricorn 
  • July 18-19 Mercury and Sun 27 Cancer (Opposition of cycle)
  • August 9 Venus at 26 Cancer (Opposition of cycle)
  • October 8 Pluto stations direct at 26 Capricorn
  • October 19-20 Sun and Venus at 25 Libra (Waning square of cycle)
  • October 27 Mercury at 26 Libra ((Waning square of cycle)
  • December 27 US Pluto return at 27 Capricorn 32
  • December 29 Mercury Rx conjoin Venus/Pluto at 24 Capricorn (New Venus-Pluto cycle begins)

Since 2008, Pluto has been making its way through the sign of Capricorn. In 2022, it stays between 25-28 of Capricorn. If you have key planets or angles in any of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) at these degrees, it’s a period of death and regeneration. 

You can confront aspects of yourself long denied or repressed and free up enormous reserves of energy, but only if you face the hidden elements rather than shoving them further from view. 

The planet or angle at these degrees provides further detail as to what has been obscured or needs regenerated. The sun? Aspects of one’s identity or purpose in life. The moon? Residual emotional patterns, sometimes inherited from our family, that need to be confronted and perhaps triggered through intense emotional encounters or issues of control. Venus? Relationship dynamics, old patterns around self-worth, obsession. Mars? A new relationship to power, aggression and ambition. Honoring our boundaries without trampling all over others’ boundaries. Jupiter? Spiritual regeneration and personal growth that benefits not just oneself but others. Saturn? A need to overhaul one’s life structures and eliminate that which isn’t working. Getting by with less.

Power struggles and power dynamics of all sorts fall under Pluto’s domain, so if you find yourself fighting for control, take heed. Pushing forward your agenda without accommodating the greater good of all involved will blow back on you. Conversely, if you find someone overstepping your bounds, you may be called to claim your power and stand your ground. 

Pluto rules all processes of decay/destruction for the ultimate purpose of renewal. If Pluto is active in your chart in 2022, ask yourself what needs to be torn down, eliminated, released. The aim is to transform, so embrace it. If you find yourself trying to control everything around you, rather than attending to what you can control (namely yourself), you’re resisting the process. Something needs to die so new life can come into being. Actively let go of anything that isn’t working and then engage in the rebuilding.

The interpersonal dimensions are especially highlighted If you have planets between 24-27 of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), especially through March 3rd when Mercury, Venus and Mars entangle with Pluto and, again, around May 27 when the Pluto-Venus cycles reach a crisis point. The opposition of August 9th may provide greater distance and insight into matters.

The good news? Saturn is no longer in Capricorn with Pluto, and Jupiter has moved out of Saturn-ruled signs, so the process may feel more manageable. This year, most of that tension has moved on to the fixed signs. That said, the inner planets, lunations, and planetary stations stir up Pluto, so the sediment underneath our lives continues to churn.

July looks to be a potent month if you live in the United States. On July 1st, Mars in Aries squares Pluto at 27 Capricorn, then enters Taurus on July 5th. (Mars also entered Taurus the day of the January 6th Insurrection.) This tense pairing is followed by the US’ second Pluto return on July 12th and a full moon on Pluto July 13th illuminating what was hidden or we don’t want to see. Sun and Mercury oppose Pluto on July 18-19. Mars and Pluto often describe a ruthlessness, where “might makes right.” We may see the events surrounding the Insurrection back in the news and tensions rising over the narrative as well as ugly displays of power.  

NEPTUNE IN PISCES

Key dates: 

  • March 13th Sun conjoins at 22
  • March 23rd Mercury conjoins at 23 (Mercury-Neptune cycle begins)
  • April 12th Jupiter conjoins at 23 (Jupiter-Neptune 12-year cycle begins)
  • April 27th Venus conjoins at 24 (Venus-Neptune cycle begins)
  • May 18th Mars conjoins Neptune at 24 Pisces (Mars-Neptune 2-year cycle begins)
  • June 14th Full Moon squares from 23 Sagittarius
  • June 28th Neptune Retrograde at 25 Pisces
  • July 2nd Mercury squares from 24 Gemini (Waxing square of cycle)
  • July 14th Venus squares from 24 Gemini (Waxing square of cycle)
  • August 21st Mercury opposes at 24 Virgo (Opposition of cycle)
  • September 10th Full Moon at 17 Pisces
  • September 23rd Venus opposes at 23 Virgo (Opposition of cycle)
  • October 2nd Mercury stations direct opposing Neptune & square Mars at 24 Virgo
  • October 12th Mars squares Neptune at 23 Gemini (Waxing square of cycle)
  • October 30th Mars Retrograde at 25 Gemini squares Neptune & Jupiter
  • December 1st Mercury squares at 22 Sagittarius (Waning square of cycle)
  • December 3rd Neptune stations direct at 22 Pisces
  • December 4th Venus squares at 22 Sagittarius (Waning square of cycle)

For those with planets or angles at 20-25 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), keeping your plans loose and your expectations low works well right now. Neptune dissolves boundaries and definitions, so the more we identify with or invest in some aspect of ourselves or our lives — in short, the more ego is involved — the more challenging Neptune can be.

Neptune yearns to transcend ordinary reality. As such, our everyday life can feel disappointing, unsatisfying. We may long for something grander, more rarified, and lose ourselves in those imaginings. A dash of magic, please! Or we may find ourselves overwhelmed thinking about our dreams and all we must do to bring them into being. Mundane responsibilities can feel too much.

Staying present to the moment as it is, without the weight of our hopes and dreams, often helps. Ride the wave of each day, do what you must, and remain detached from outcomes.

You may want to simplify your schedule and create a bit of wiggle room for daydreaming, meditation, or creativity.

Disorientation can be an issue. The world asks us to define ourselves, our plans, what we want, where we are going, and so on. Neptune requires we do the opposite: to surrender our attachment to certainty. A cognitive dissonance can ensue where we feel unmoored and unsure of ourselves. Self-doubt, worry and confusion follow. Again, cultivating a sense of detachment from the outer world of doing and achieving can help.

A key bit of advice: don’t take anything too much to heart. Neptune sensitizes us — we become much more porous and influenced by our environment and the people around us. We feel it all deeply, our imagination runs wild, and we can mistake the clouds for the sky. The feelings, sensations, hopes and fears: all clouds. If you don’t latch onto them and create stories around them, you can have a pleasant enough time watching them drift past and recognize them for what they are, temporal.

Activities such as vision-boards, dream interpretation, and creative brainstorming can be enriching, as the world of symbols falls under Neptune’s domain. What do you aspire to? What needs healed? Use Neptune’s capacity of boundless imagination to tap into your larger vision.

Rather than pushing ahead, consider this time a gestational period, where your imagination moves beyond its normal limits. Embrace a sense of open-endedness and space. If you can, delay big decisions for now. Once your feet return to terra firma, you’ll be able to incorporate elements of Neptune’s vision into your life without getting mired in unrealistic expectations or plans.

April 12th kicks off a new 12-year Jupiter-Neptune cycle (at 23ᵒ Pisces)of dreams, aspirations, and spiritual vision. We won’t see this planetary combination again until March of 2035. Use the week leading up to April 12th to delve into your greatest dreams and wishes. You’ll have six years to put your vision in place. (Hint: Look to the houses where Sagittarius and Pisces reside for the areas of life most ready for inspiration.)  

Also note that for any Neptunian aspiration to come into being, it usually requires two things: a sacrifice on our part and a focus that is greater than us (and our self-cherishing egos).

If your aspirations are inflated or if you have ignored messages of caution that Saturn throws Neptune’s way, you may find that all the air goes out of your dreams in the month of October, when Mars sharpens its sword to burst Jupiter-Neptune’s balloon. 

To avoid this, take Saturn’s hints. From late April to mid-July, Saturn and Neptune are in different signs, but roughly the same degree (24-25ᵒ). This happens again starting late December and into January 2023. Starting in February, they’re usually between 18-24of their respective signs. 

What this means is this: every time a planet squares Saturn from Taurus or Scorpio,  it is sextile or trine Neptune. We can use that friction to break through the fog and see hard truths for what they are and simultaneouslyaccess Neptune’s capacity for a healing vision. In short, the Saturn-Uranus squares can serve as course corrections, if we remain mindful of this dynamic as it arises.

Conversely, every time a planet squares Neptune from Gemini or Sagittarius, pointing to over-inflation, its trine or sextile to Saturn creates a pathway to a more realistic way forward. The trick in both cases is to look for the solution. 

Saturn points to the way out: take stock, acknowledge what is/isn’t working, own it, and move forward in a way that is principled. It isn’t about wallowing in self-pity and self-recrimination or taking the easy way out. Use Air signs ability for intellectual questioning and engage in objective problem-solving. Get a bit of distance and perspective.

Otherwise, you may find yourself in a pattern of building excitement followed by dissolution (at Neptune square) without taking advantage of practical solutions available (Saturn trine/sextile) or situations where your frustrations with existing tensions (Saturn-Uranus square) blind you to imaginative alternatives and possibilities (trine/sextile Neptune).

Course Corrections:

  • May 16 Full Moon at 25 Scorpio squares Saturn (trines Neptune)
  • June 3 Mercury stations direct at 26 Taurus squares Saturn (sextile Neptune)
  • June 14th Full Moon squares from 23 Sagittarius (sextiles Saturn)
  • July 1st Mercury squares Neptune from 24 Gemini (trines Saturn)
  • July 14th Venus squares Neptune from 24 Gemini (trines Saturn)
  • September 25th Libra New Moon, Mars at 18 Gemini trine Saturn
  • October 12th Mars squares Neptune at 23 Gemini (Venus/Sun trine Saturn)
  • Nov 8 Lunar Eclipse at 16 Taurus square Saturn (Sun/Venus trine Neptune)
  • December 1st Mercury squares at 22 Sagittarius (Mars trine Saturn)

You’ll find more course correction opportunities than those above, as the Sun, Moon, and inner planets move quickly. Also, if you see an aspect coming to Neptune, Uranus, or Saturn, look in the week or so BEFORE the exact aspect for possible support from other planets. The ephemeris is your friend! If you’re not sure how to read an ephemeris, you can find a good guide here.

If you have planets in the 20-25 range of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), ideas that arise around March 23rd may inspire you or tap into a dream, as Mercury begins a new cycle with Neptune. The period around July 1st may challenge the viability of those ideas, so take note and adjust (rather than ignore real issues). If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you don’t acknowledge possible weaknesses or ways you (or others) may be deceiving yourself, the days around August 21st and October 2nd may let the air out of your overblown expectations.

If you can keep it real, your capacity to see new possibilities and imagine new worlds can eventually open up new vistas. In your chart, the houses governed by Mercury can provide feedback on the areas of life where periodic reality checks can keep us grounded and help us spot issues earlier.

A similar story holds true for relationships and creativity.  On April 27th, Venus begins a new annual cycle with Neptune at 24 Pisces. We’re more likely to be more tolerant of others, erasing the hard edge of difference. Relationships that begin around this time may be idealistic or in soft focus.  

We all need a sprinkle of fairy dust and a whisper of gossamer wings, especially after these past few years. Just keep a critical eye around July 14th for any less-than-magical problems that arise. This period is about adjusting your expectations. It’s also okay if people or situations have flaws as long as we acknowledge and deal with those issues rather than downplaying or ignoring them. 

If you do the latter, the opposition on September 23rd may reveal your magical relationship was more smoke and mirrors than a true meeting of souls.

MERCURY RETROGRADE: FROM AIR TO EARTH

Key Dates: 

  • January 14 – Feb 3 (10 Aquarius – 24 Capricorn)
  • May 10 – June 3 (4 Gemini – 26  Taurus) 
  • September 9 – October 2 (8 Libra – 24 Virgo)
  • December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023 (24-8 Capricorn)

It’s interesting to note that we start 2022 off with Mercury turning retrograde on Pluto and we end the year with Mercury turning retrograde on Pluto. What needs to be uncovered this year? What secrets need unearthed? Look to the houses that Mercury rules — Gemini and Virgo — to determine where a bit of obsessive digging will do you good.

In the first three Mercury retrogrades in 2022, Mercury begins in the Air signs and moves back into earth. We start in the realm of ideas, decentralization, and movement, and land in the realm of practicality, concretizing, and anchoring. 

The opportunity being presented all of us in 2022 is to reexamine our thinking, views, and understanding by testing what works. Ground your talk. It may be a great idea but does it actual work in your life?

Those of you with planets in air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) — and particularly those with planets or angles between 10-0 degrees in air signs — plug into the gestalt more easily this year. Those of you with planets or angles between 29-24 degrees of earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) may find it easier to move from the theoretical to the applied.

Another note of interest: almost every station direct of Mercury comes with the wallop of an outer planet. In February it’s Pluto, in June it’s Saturn, in October it’s Neptune, and in December it’s Pluto again. The universe wants to integrate some major lessons before we get back to business as usual.

When Mercury turns retrograde, one of the swiftest planets slows to a crawl. The symbolism points to a constructive way to align to this cycle: slow down! This internal recalibration helps us clarify what we find important and renews focus. (Focus can be harder to come by when air signs predominate, as air scatters and disperses.) Use this year’s Mercury retrograde periods to settle your thinking and reassess your ideas. 

Mercury retrograde periods are a wonderful time to complete what you’ve started. Tackle all the loose ends that you’ve been meaning to clear from your to-do list. Declutter, organize, and streamline. 

Key areas that benefit from slowing down are planning and communication. Most of the headaches associated with Mercury retrograde have to do with avoidable missteps in these areas. Take the time to double check plans, to carefully attend to scheduling and details, and to be more mindful when listening or speaking. 

January 14 – Feb 3 (10ᵒ Aquarius – 24ᵒ Capricorn)

  • December 6, 2021 – Mercury conjoins Pluto at 25 Capricorn
  • January 28 Mercury Rx conjoins at Pluto 26 Capricorn 
  • February 3 Mercury stations direct at 24 Capricorn 
  • February 11 Mercury conjoins at 27 Capricorn

On January 14th Mercury turns retrograde at 10 Aquarius, the air sign highlighted in 2021. Aquarius is known for its future-orientation, inventiveness and independence. Use this period to revisit where life feels rigid or your ideals or plans need updated. What kind of future do you want and what needs cleaned up before you can move forward? If you’re feeling stuck, what aspirations might need revisited or refined?  

Aquarius is one of the most perceptive signs in the zodiac. Its super power: the ability to step outside of a situation and look at things askance. It sees how things work as a system and then it questions assumptions and innovates. Use this super power to hone in on your own life, and then pair it with Mercury retrograde’s “slowing down and reviewing” process to see where you are with fresh eyes. Aquarius knows how to fix problems within complicated systems, to think steps ahead in the future. Access that wisdom. Pay special attention to the topics that Saturn governs in your chart, as it oversees this retrograde period.

As Mercury heads back into Capricorn on January 25th, it gains depth but also may feel more internal and psychotherapeutic, really digging up old material.

Pluto influences the entire retrograde period, beginning with the December 6, 2021 Pluto-Mercury conjunction.

Pluto is Lord of the Underworld while Mercury, especially when retrograde, acts as a psychopomp, a guide to lost souls trying to navigate the Underworld. This Mercury retrograde enables us to explore shadowy places and buried connections. If we dare to look, it can unearth secrets and bring greater self-awareness.

If you had challenging communications or events that began early December or around the January 14th retrograde, you may want to delay making firm decisions until after Mercury goes direct. 

Give yourself time for information to come to the surface and be reviewed, especially between February 3rd, when Mercury turns direct within a few degrees of Pluto, and February 11th, when Mercury and Pluto meet again at 27 Capricorn.

May 10 – June 3 (4ᵒ Gemini – 26ᵒ  Taurus)

On May 10th Mercury turns retrograde at 4 degrees of Gemini, the sign it rules. It’s as if it leaves the sluggishness of Taurus and rather than picking up speed in Gemini, it grinds to a stop. It’s a strange retrograde period. 

On the day of the retrograde, Jupiter moves into fast-moving Aries. Mars joins it on May 24th, so in general, life begin to heat up and momentum builds. Mercury taps into this energy, connecting with Jupiter on the 19th, the Sun on the 21st, and Mars on the 23rd. Yet, it’s moving so slowly. Our need for motion outpaces our processing speed.

From May 10th to May 21st, you can use Gemini’s curiosity and knack for synthesis to connect the dots and network. As with all Mercury retrogrades, slow down, review information and get organized. It’s a period of integration, and snafus in communication and planning tend to occur when we ignore the new tempo and move full speed ahead. 

Once Mercury moves back into Taurus on May 22nd, ideas need to be digested more thoroughly and the tempo dials back further. Practical problem-solving, step-by-step processes are also helpful approaches. 

On June 3rd, Mercury stations direct at 26  Taurus on the fixed star Algol and square Saturn. If you’ve been chewing on problems or if obstacles crop up, don’t lose perspective. Algol has the reputation of enflaming passions, rage, and frustration. 

Saturn turns retrograde the following day, so these few days may feel especially heavy, problems may seem intractable, tweaking our anger, but a sextile to Neptune implies that alternatives are possible if we surrender our fixed views and release our attachment to being right.

On June 10th, Mercury will trine Pluto, so the possibility of new insights and deeper understanding is right around the corner.

September 9 – October 2 (8ᵒ Libra – 24ᵒ Virgo)

Mercury retrogrades September 9th at 8 Libra opposite Jupiter, and then stations direct on  October 2nd opposite Neptune. This retrograde period may activate the less savory displays of the Jupiter-Neptune cycle that started in April, such as hype and unrealistic exceptions.

When acting from their shadows, Jupiter inflates and Neptune deceives. Holding this in mind during the retrograde period can help us consciously self-check for unwarranted optimism or deluded thinking. 

In addition to making sure our ideas are practical, we need to recall that  hubris can get us in trouble, whereas humility will ensure that our ideas are as sounds as we think they are.

The tendency for inflation starts September 1-2, when Mars and Mercury aspect Jupiter at 6 Aries, emphasizing a shoot-from-the-hip enthusiasm. As Mercury retrogrades, it inches its way back to Jupiter for its second opposition on the 18th of September

On September 23rd, Mercury re-enters Virgo, which can support us thinking more critically about our enthusiasm, especially the week between September 23-October 1 when we can fix ideas that aren’t workable. 

On October 2nd, Mercury’s station at 24 Virgo, opposing Neptune and squaring Mars may expose where we didn’t take that task to heart…or simply add fuel to the fire through confusion and spark heedless action on our dreams and desires. Feeling disheartened, ineffectual, and low energy aren’t unusual.

Two days later, October 4th, Saturn and Uranus are both at 18 of fixed signs, as close as they get to a conjunction all year. This influence can also help expose underlying tensions that need to be more directly addressed.

Once direct, Mercury opposes Jupiter for the final time on October 12th, the same day Mars squares Neptune at 23 Pisces. If we used the Mercury retrograde to question the validity of our ideas and plans — to fix things properly, in true Virgo fashion when we had the chance — then we’re less likely to feel crestfallen or duped by our hopes being dashed. 

If not, the days around October 30th, when Mars retrogrades, activating Mercury’s station direct and square Neptune/Jupiter, could be another time when the bubble bursts in a big way.

December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023 (24ᵒ-8ᵒ Capricorn)

As most of this cycle falls in 2023, I won’t go into it with any depth, but I do think it’s important to note that Mercury stations retrograde within 3ᵒ of Pluto, echoing the themes of the first Mercury retrograde of 2022. 

It won’t actually conjoin Pluto until February of 2023, giving us plenty of time to explore the shadowy depths of the houses in our chart that hold Capricorn, Gemini, and Virgo.

MARS RETROGRADE IN GEMINI

Key dates:

  • August 20, Mars enters Gemini
  • Sept 28, Mars at 19 Gemini trines Saturn (course correction)
  • October 12, Mars at 23 Gemini squares Neptune 
  • October 22, Mars moves Out of Bounds (OOB) and Saturn stations RX at 18 Aquarius
  • October 30, Mars turns retrograde at 25 Gemini
  • November 19, Mars retrograde at 22 Gemini squares Neptune in Pisces
  • January 12, 2023, Mars turns direct a 8 Gemini

October 2, Mercury at 24 Virgo stations direct, opposing Neptune 23 and square Mercury

Mars moves quickly and so does Gemini. In fact, Gemini often likes to go in two directions at once. Our mental processes can be sped up, resulting in feeling scattered, anxious, or restless. Trying to do or think about everything at once can leave us burnt out and frazzled. 

Tibetans describe this as “disturbed wind” (or “disturbed lung”): feelings of anxiousness and unsettledness that come from our mind racing ahead rather than being present in the moment. This tendency is fairly chronic in Western cultures. Our mind races, speeds up subtle body which then disturbs the emotions and impacts how we feel physically, too. 

“Wind” is the horse, facilitating movement. Our mind is the rider and should be firmly in the saddle. When mind races, it loses control of the horse. The solution is to slow down and get embodied. Mindfulness processes can help. Rather than spinning out mentally, take a few big breaths, closer your eye, and check in with your body. Ask it, do I need to act on this right now? Is my sense of urgency really warranted? Is this really something I need to be concerned about? If body feels settled, you’re fine. You’ve got the rider back on the horse.

Mars is likely to clear the fog for us, not necessarily in pleasant ways, this fall. Pay attention around October 2nd, 12th, and 30th. If our ideas, plans, or expectations have become inflated or unrealistic, Mars may let the air out of our balloon. As a result we may feel ineffectual, prickly, and discouraged when Mars begins to activate Neptune in the fall. Worse, the less-than-pleasant results of our misguided actions can come home to roost, especially if we’ve been hoping it would all just go away.

However, the Libra new moon on September 25th provides a course correction, a sort of last stop before Mars-Neptune kick off. 

Libra can help us see both sides of situations and recalibrate. Mars and Saturn are both in Air signs that day and trine each other. It’s an opportunity to confront our fears, shore up our backbone, and engage in objective problem-solving. Take a disciplined stance and act on it before the potentially deflating corrections of October arrive. Use this new moon and the other course correction dates to anchor your dreams and plans realistically before you reach October.

SOLAR AND LUNAR ECLIPSES

Key dates:

  • April 30, Solar Eclipse 10ᵒ Taurus 28 
  • May 16, Lunar Eclipse 25ᵒ Scorpio 18
  • October 25, Solar Eclipse 2ᵒ Scorpio 00
  • November 8, Lunar Eclipse 16ᵒ Taurus 01 (Note: Election Day, USA)

The eclipses this year move into the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio and tie into the stressful Uranus-Saturn theme. Eclipses can bring beginnings and endings. (This year, they’re more likely to bring beginnings when the moon falls in Taurus, which is with the North Node, and endings when the moon is in Scorpio, which is with the South Node.) 

These signs are connected to building/sustaining/conserving/stabilizing (Taurus) and elimination/regeneration/power/secrets (Scorpio). Eclipses speed up time and have a wild card energy about them, so the signs in which they fall can act as portals for radical discontinuity where we leap forward. The Taurus – Scorpio axis points to rips in the fabric of our wants and needs so we can recalibrate our definition of contentment. We may reexamine our values to ensure that they still spark passion and energize us. 

As the eclipses — especially those of April 30, May 16, and November 8 — plug into the Saturn-Uranus square, destabilizations that occur during these periods can point to aspects of your life you’ve built over time that may need reassessed.  

We may also explore our psychic baggage and where our need for control or our inability to let go of old wounds or conditioning hold us back. Taurus and Scorpio are fixed signs, so where do you get stuck? The houses in which these signs reside can provide hints to where you are due to pull down old structures in order to rebuild on more solid ground.

Eclipses obscure and distort the light of the Sun and Moon. As such, it can help to look for what we’re missing or what is hidden. Eclipses are simply super-charged new and full moons, as such, they can also super-charge (distort and intensify) our emotional response. Keeping that in mind during the weeks around the eclipses can help turn down the volume.

FIRST QUARTER  2022

The first three months of 2022 continue much like 2020-2021 did, with lots of emphasis on Saturn and Saturn-ruled planets, pointing to restrictions and hard realities that require perseverance. Until March 9th, a minimum of five celestial bodies will be in Capricorn and/or Aquarius at any given moment.

It’s quite the pile up, activating Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus, sometime in turns but often at the same time.

For instance, the New Moon on January 2nd pulls in Uranus by trine, while the full moon on January 17th conjoins Pluto. Mercury turns retrograde on January 14th square Uranus and then turns direct on February 3rd on Pluto. Variations on this theme play throughout the first quarter.

So what does this mean?

Last year we had outer planets (Saturn-Uranus) clashing, implying structural stressors: i.e., how we’ve ordered our lives doesn’t/won’t work anymore so structures must change. And often these changes feel like they’re out of your hands or, conversely, the changes you want to make can’t easily happen because of longstanding responsibilities. 

At the start of 2022, inner planets trigger the activity: lunations, Mercury retrogrades, the dance of Mars and Venus. Now the process of change becomes more personal and interpersonal. We’re still dealing with structural reverberations, but how you show up impacts and influences the situation.

Tensions may spark in our relationships and interactions. Negotiations, entanglements, and creative frictions come to the forefront. What you want (or don’t want) impacts others and what they want impacts you. How you show up or how you’ve been thinking about things need reworked.

We begin the year with Venus Retrograde in Capricorn. Retrogrades represent a slowing down and digging up process: we review, reassess, and sift through the areas governed by the planet. Venus oversees relationships/attraction, money/values, and pleasure/happiness. We may start the year asking ourselves what or who is “worth it”? Does this person, job, location bring me pleasure? Is it essential to my happiness?

During Venus’ time in Capricorn, it conjoins Pluto three times between 25-27 degrees. This combination increases the tendency to rehash the past and delve into hidden recesses. Personal encounters and relationships may be more intense through the first quarter of the year. We may find ourselves digging through the past and identifying all the ways a person or situation hasn’t valued us or examining the ways we’ve been hurt, especially if we have planets if the late degrees of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn).

Complicated, intense, or messy confrontations with others that expose our values, our need for approval and/or control are not uncommon. Though Venus turns direct at 11 Capricorn on January 29th, creative obsessions or interpersonal wrangling that started in mid-to-late December (Dec 11 & 25) may not fully resolve until around March 3rd, when Venus and Pluto conjoin again.

Venus and Mars stay within three degrees of one another starting February 5th until March 21st, so within the intensity also is a seed of play and creativity that can be harnessed. Venus loses a bit of its softness and Mars is exalted in Capricorn, so it’s the stronger of the two planets. Expect more of an edge here. That said, the potential exists for productive creativity, drive for tangible results, and capacity for healthy boundary-setting, especially February 5th-20th. Look to the house that holds Capricorn for the area of life where creative approaches can be applied.

Relationships may get trickier toward the end of February into March, as both planets approach Pluto, joining it on March 3rd, and then move into Aquarius on March 6th, where they both lose dignity and are less comfortable.

Shortly after entering Aquarius, Venus will be stranded between Mars and Saturn all month, a condition called besiegement. It’s as if armies have surround Venus’ fortress, preventing food or reinforcements from arriving. Venus’ is trapped and its talents hampered. Most of March is tough for Venus-related things. (On top of being besieged and conjoining Pluto that month, it squares Uranus on March 19th and conjoins Saturn on March 28th. Let’s just say it’s not my favorite month for weddings in 2022.)

Though March has plenty of tension, as planets move into Pisces, high notes come in as as well: intimations of possibilities, the promise of the sun breaking through the clouds, a bit of optimism. Some areas remain hard, but others start to glimmer. 

Jupiter shines in Pisces throughout the first quarter, helping us tap into our hope and aspirations, and the March 2nd Pisces New Moon falls on Jupiter and Uranus, emphasizing bright, hopeful energies. Go have fun! Then on March 5th, the Sun joins Jupiter bringing more buoyancy. Mercury joins the party in Pisces on March 9th.

On March 13th, the Sun joins Neptune, and Mercury follows suit and joins Neptune on March 23rd. All the while, Jupiter is edging toward Neptune as well, foreshadowing April.

Other notable events in the First Quarter include:

  • January 2 New Moon at 12 Capricorn supported by Uranus in Taurus, good for innovations and breaking free of stifling habits. Not a bad kick off for New Year’s resolutions.
  • January 14 Mercury retrograde (10 Aquarius) square Uranus, activating the Saturn-Uranus square. (Read that section for a more detailed explanation of the influence.) Mercury oversees communication, information/data, travel, thieves and trickery, as well as business/merchants. Expect disruptions and surprises. New information might upsets plans or challenge your understanding. Dig deep, review, and research. You’re more likely to uncover more information around January 25 when Mercury Rx conjoins Pluto, or on February 3, when Mercury stations direct  at 24 Capricorn. Mercury is again with Pluto at 27 Capricorn on February 11 providing the final reveal or deeper insight. Mercury again squares Uranus on February 24: you have one more opportunity to take in new information. 
  • January 17 Full Moon at 27 Capricorn conjoin Pluto.
  • January 18 Uranus stations direct at 10 Taurus 49.
  • February 1 brings a chaotic New Moon at 12 Aquarius conjoin Saturn at 15 and square Uranus at 10 Taurus. Again, the themes of Saturn-Uranus are highlighted.
  • Feb 16 Full Moon at 17 Aquarius and Venus conjoin Mars at 16 Capricorn.
  • Feb 20 US’ Pluto returns at 27 Capricorn 32. First of three.
  • March 2 New Moon 12 Pisces with Jupiter 14 Pisces and sextile Uranus at 11 Taurus. An exuberant moon after the trying new moon in February.
  • March 18 New Moon 27 Virgo trine Pluto
  • March 19 Venus 12 Aquarius square Uranus
  • March 22 Mars 12 Aquarius square Uranus
  • March 28 Venus 21 Aquarius conjoin Saturn
  • April 1 Venus and Jupiter on Sheat

SECOND QUARTER 2022

The second quarter of 2022 begins with a New Moon at 11 Aries conjoins Mercury at 9. It’s a new moon in the first sign of the zodiac on the first day of the month, heralding the new energy to come. 

We have a little rough patch on April 4th, when Mars conjoins Saturn.The pairing can be testy and frustrated or driven and focused. If you have a project that requires discipline and you know will be hard, sometimes frustrating work, today’s the day.

On April 5th, Venus moves into Pisces, the sign of its exaltation, freeing it after a month of mistreatment by Mars and Saturn. Existing interpersonal tensions may ease, as Venus can once again smooth rough edges and remind us how our similarities outweigh our differences. More unity, empathy, and tolerance result.

One of the brightest spots of the year arrives on April 12th when Jupiter conjoins Neptune at 23 Pisces. We may have felt the stirrings of renewed faith and optimism since late March, but in mid-April the mood turns decidedly more buoyant. 

For the past two years, Jupiter has been under Saturn’s thumb. This year is the first year it’s free to be its exuberant self, full of possibility and enthusiasm. When paired with Neptune’s boundless imagination, those possibilities can feel limitless. 

Use this time period — especially April 4 – 20, when the two planets are within a degree of one another — to “what if?” and daydream. Imagine the best version of your life and of yourself. Are there untapped, creative potentials inherent in your current situation that you haven’t considered? Have your aims been too small?

Both planets are connected to vision and spiritual aspirations, as is Pisces. For those who are creatively- or spiritually-minded, the joining of these two planets can open vistas previously unexplored, so you may want to set aside blocks of unfettered time for yourself. 

Pisces is tied to explorations in consciousness and the capacity to tap into something larger than ourselves. Our boundaries and sense of separation can dissolve, allowing us to experience a sense of oceanic oneness or timelessness. Examples of this might be when we lose ourselves in the creative process and a poem or song seems to come through us. Or moments of profound gratitude when we feel deeply connected to all life. Jupiter and Neptune will magnify these traits.

The offerings of the work-a-day world can cease to feel sufficient. Instead, our outer striving and self-gratification may begin to feel like the sorts of pursuits that are roadblocks. In short, the nonmaterial aims of life take on greater prominence: peace, happiness, concern for others, and what gives genuine meaning to our life.

Paying attention to our longings and creating space to turn inward can be helpful strategies during this period. 

Of course, these dreamy, visionary influences are equally as prone to escapism and delusion. Instead of transcendent experiences, we may be tempted to lose ourselves in other ways, such as drinking, shopping, gaming, and binge-streaming. Or we may refuse to see problems that need addressed, losing ourselves in an ocean of magical thinking when discrimination and effort are required.

At best, this period can help us imagine a creative path forward. And that envisioned future can act as a beacon, lifting and inspiring us while we do work that lies ahead. For key dates on when to conduct reality checks to tweak your vision and for more insight into the Neptune-Jupiter cycle, review the section on Neptune.

Also in mid-April, Mars and Jupiter team up. They are same sign (co-present) all the way until early-July, except for a two-week period in May when instead of being co-present, Mars simply rules Jupiter. In either case they’re compadres, urging each other to act on their ideas and visions. The result is momentum after the dry, slow first quarter. 

April 16th brings a full moon at 26 Libra square Plutoand the potential for emotional intensity or deepening. There’s a need for profound emotional encounters, whether it be a counseling session, a soulful talk with a trusted friend, or even a film that speaks deeply about the human condition. 

If you have planets is the 23-29 of Cardinal signs, you’re more likely to feel the full impact of this lunation. Confrontations — these can be external or internal — are possible, bringing what was hidden to the surface of our awareness: memories, aspects of ourselves, emotional triggers or interpersonal dynamics. If we lean into it, genuine emotional catharsis and psychological insight are possible.

On April 30th, we have the first eclipse of the year at 10 Taurus. This new moon or solar eclipse will be conjoined Uranus, the planet of change, innovation, and disruption. It also happens on the day of a very sweet Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Pisces. Venus rules Taurus, so it ties the two influences together. 

The last few days of April could kindle healing, the end of turbulence in an area of your life that Venus rules, with Uranus’ influence signifying genuine breakthroughs. So this eclipse could be very sweet and exuberant, bringing a lovely surprise or a healing that helps us move through life more authentically.

That said, it’s still an eclipse, which is a wild card, and Uranus loves the unexpected, so proceed with caution. In particular, excesses are more likely to send you off the rails. You know, the sorts of big gestures where you buy the tickets to Thailand with your rent money and trust everything will work itself out.

My Neptune-Jupiter caution remains: keep dreaming and aspiring but also keep it real.

The lunar eclipse of May 16th at 25 Scorpio is a different beast all together. Activating Saturn by square, it suggests restrictions, dilemmas, or hard realities that must be acknowledged,while Mars with Neptune in Pisces represents the dreams we want to act on. 

How we want to grow and what stands in our way could be highlighted and the way forward unclear. The lunar eclipse is with the South Node, which is called the Tail of the Serpent/Dragon. It’s the backend of the creature, so a point of release and elimination. Without eyes to see, its focus is internal and intuitive. These themes underscore Scorpio’s need to periodically shed its skin to renew. What might need to be released or eliminated so that we may move forward?

On May 10th Jupiter leaves Pisces and enters Aries, heating up and itching for action, while Mercury at 4 Gemini crawls to a stop and retrogrades. The speed and urge to initiate and act will continue to pick up all month, especially after Mars enters Aries on May 24th, conjoins Jupiter at 3 Aries on the 29th.

In short, outward momentum builds while intellectual processes and communication slow down, inviting us to review and reorient. Mercury will enter Taurus on May 22nd. Mercury in Gemini is incredibly generative: the ideas don’t stop coming. Taurus will ask us if those ideas are practical or just hot air. 

We can use Taurus’ grounded wisdom to put a break on any tendency to act first and ask questions later. Another question worth asking: will I have the staying power to finish what I begin? If you can’t imagine sustaining the level of energy required for an extended time, then use another Taurus’ strategy and simplify. 

The New Moon at 9 Gemini on May 30th will highlight the tensions between our desire to act on our inspirations (Jupiter-Mars conjunction) and perhaps difficult realities or decisions that must be attended to before it’s possible (Saturn approaching a square to Mercury, the ruler of the new moon).

These tensions peak on June 3-4, when Mercury stations direct at 26 Taurus square Saturn and Saturn turns retrograde at 25 Aquarius. This combination may involve hard truths, heavy thinking, or decisions where you face a dilemma. Say you are apartment hunting, looking for a two-bedroom apartment in the city near shopping and restaurants. Given your budget, your choice becomes either a dark, postage-sized basement studio in the city or a spacious two bedroom with good lighting and amenities, but 35-minutes outside the city. 

In short, we wrangle with an intractable problem.

With this Mercury stationing direct on the fixed star Algol, it’s important to keep our perspective.

Soon after, Mercury re-enters Gemini on June 13th, picking up speed and feeling more like its old self. 

June 14th we have a full moon at 23 Sagittarius square Neptune and sextile Saturn. We’ll all may yearn for more softness and kindness around this full moon. Neptune’s themes predominate: with creative imagination, vision, spirituality, sacrifice, and compassion in the positive column and delusion, escapism, denial, confusion, and disillusionment in the negative column. 

The week leading up to the full moon is one of the course corrections available to us this year, where Neptune’s cloudy perception can be dispelled using Saturn’s clear eye to assess our position. That said, Neptune is louder here, so we have to consciously decide to take the hard look.

On June  28th we have a high energy New Moon at 7 Cancer square Jupiter on the same day Neptune turns retrograde at 25 Pisces, an echo of the energies of the Neptune-Jupiter square of April 12th. Our dreams may take flight again, hopefully incorporating some of Saturn’s sage advice from mid-month. 

In the final days of the month, tensions build between Mars and Pluto. Use the power surge to drive yourself, not others. (Luckily, Venus and Jupiter are also in a supportive dance and their more tolerant natures may help smooth over the rougher edges.)

THIRD QUARTER 2022

The Mars-Pluto tensions of late June come to a head on July 1st, with Mars square at 27 Aries. This influence can provide plenty of juice to get things done. But it can also devolve into conflict, if we aren’t mindful about how we wield our power. 

Might-makes-right approaches are likely to be met with fierce resistance. Indeed, ego conflicts can quickly escalate. Mars and Pluto govern our survival instincts, so can turn an edgy disagreement into a fight-to-the death power struggle, especially if tensions have been simmering for a bit. 

If you are of a more retiring disposition and have planets from 24-28 of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), the end of June into early July might point to a period where you’re forced to stand up and fight for yourself. Look to the houses Mars rules in your chart (Aries, Scorpio) to determine the areas of life where stresses might emerge.

On July 5th, Mars will leave fast-paced Aries, where it has dominion over its own affairs, and move into Taurus, the sign of its debilitation. Taurus will not be hurried, thank you very much, leaving a frustrated Mars to cool its heels. As mentioned earlier, the January 6th US insurrection occurred when Mars was in its final degree of Aries and heading into Taurus, and the period between July 5-19 has a lot of potential to stir up old wounds and disagreements.

The second pass of the US Pluto return at 27 Capricorn occurs on July 12 and an emotionally intense full moon conjoin Pluto follows the next day. Then July 18-19 the Sun and Mercury sit opposite Pluto

Strong feelings and strong views stir during the first half of July. Mercury opposite Pluto can help us unearth secrets and get to the bottom of a problem — think research and psychology — and it’s also connected to propaganda, indoctrination, and intractable intellectual conflicts. If you feel the itch to convince someone of your position, you might want to wait until after July 19th.

On July 28th, Jupiter turns retrograde at 8 Aries. Those of your with planets at 7-8 Aries, Sagittarius, or Leo will have Jupiter’s benign support for all of July and August. 

If you have planets at 7-8 Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, Jupiter can bring opportunities, but it comes with speed bumps. Potential issues include overextension (too much of a good thing is still too much), unwarranted optimism (why you thought you could handle more), or an overestimation of your own importance. If you remember the power of saying no and make sure you acknowledge everyone’s contributions to your successes, you’ll manage just fine.

July 28th also brings a New Moon at 5 Leo trine Jupiter stationing retrograde, which sounds lovely until you see the fixed T-square of Mars and Uranus in Taurus square Mercury opposite Saturn. The configuration crackles with nervous tension and frustration, so beneath Leo’s sunny skies a fire is smoldering. 

And the heat and tetchy-ness continue to build. On August 1st, Mars joins Uranus at 18 Taurus. Then Mars squares Saturn in Aquarius at 22on August 7th.

The Full Moon on August 11th at 19 Aquarius illuminates the tensions further and may be another a flash point. Uranus is at 18 Taurus and Saturn at 22 Aquarius, so the full moon translates light between these two on August 12th, activating the Uranus-Saturn square and then activating Mars at 25 Taurus

Remember, the dance of Saturn and Uranus describe the friction between the principles of security, order, and limits and those of upheaval, change and freedom. Neither of them likes to bend. Then you add Mars’ short fuse to the mix and you can have real volatility. 

So, if you have planets between 17-23 of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius,late July to mid-August could be quite stressful. Having strategies in place beforehand can really help. For instance, knowing that people are likely to be on edge and prickly during this period can help us take things less personally and be less reactive. 

Exercise can help release the nervous tension from our bodies. Also try scheduling less during this time. We are likely to be more reactive, frustrated, and irritable when we’re pushed for time.

Mars-Saturn-Uranus is a classic signature of accident-proneness, so from July 28th-Aug 12th slow down, be mindful, and big. deep. breaths. 

The Sun squares Saturn August 14th perhaps leaving us feeling heavy and discouraged.

August 20, Mars enters Gemini where it will retrograde and remain the rest of 2022.

Beginning September 10th, Saturn and Uranus, both retrograde, are within a degree of one another. Though they never quite make an exact square in 2022, they are in a tight tango. Keep doing the work of structural change in the areas of your life ruled by Saturn. 

September 25th brings a New Moon at 2 Libra opposite Jupiter in Aries. Mercury and Venus in late Virgo trine Pluto and even pick up a note of Neptune. The whole mix lend itself to soulful conversations that are productive and a more aspirational tone. That said, Saturn and Uranus tensions are present.

Other notable events in the Third Quarter include:

  • July 2, Mercury square Neptune
  • July 14, Venus square Neptune
  • July 28, Jupiter stations retrograde at 8 Aries
  • August 24, Uranus stations retrograde at 18 Taurus 55
  • August 27, New Moon 4 Virgo square Mars in Gemini
  • Sept 9, Mercury Retrograde at 8 Libra
  • Sept 10, Full Moon 17 Pisces
  • Sept 23, Mercury enters Virgo

FOURTH QUARTER 2022

The final quarter of the year is choppy. We have the final two eclipses of the year, Saturn screeching to a halt nearly perfectly square to Uranus, lots of out-of-bounds planets, and a retrograde Mars that hovers around Neptune and Jupiter, kicking us while we’re feeling down.

The last three months of the year are the reckoning, forcing us to face the work we’ve done or not done in the first nine months. If we’ve escaped rather than envisioned new possibilities, if we’ve spun our ideas without grounding them, if we’ve forged ahead rather than listening to feedback and correcting course, if we’ve not made changes to make our lives tangibly work better then the last few months are apt to point this out to us.

From October 1-12, the Saturn-Uranus square at 18 is within minutes and the tensions and frustrations in our life — where we’ve not adapted, broke free, or innovated — will be self-evident. 

The Aries 19 full moon of October 9th highlights these tensions. (Pluto stations direct the day before on the 8th at 26 Capricorn, so the whole week carries a heavy cast.)

October 2nd, Mercury stations direct in Virgo, within a degree of opposing Neptune, perhaps pointing to a tendency to blame others for problems rather than owning our part in misunderstandings and confusion. We’re likely to be prickly, as Mars starts the month at 20 Gemini and is edging its way to a potent square to Neptune on October 12th. It’s better to keep our calendars light, avoid decisions or work that requires precision, and go with the flow.

Our folly may be quite apparent in October, leaving us feeling incompetent, overwhelmed, and discouraged. Even if others were less than honest, the greater wound may be that we were complicit in the deception: we wanted it to be true so didn’t look deeper.

On October 12th, we may have a shock of awareness. Moon applies to Saturn-Uranus on the day Mars squares Neptune. And Mercury opposes Jupiter, pointing to overreach or exaggeration. If you haven’t kept it real, this moment could be a bubble pop. Mars-Neptune can be oversensitivity, discouragement, prickliness, feelings of inadequacy, low energy, acting on delusions or deceit, etc. It can also be the unpleasant results of past actions that you hoped would just go away.

The October 25th solar eclipse at 2 Scorpio conjoins Venus and trines Jupiter, which may take a bit of edge off, but it’s still an eclipse, so a wildcard. And it’s in Scorpio, so deep and probing, rather than light and fun, and conjoin the South Node. Both Scorpio and the South Node are about elimination, release, and what’s hidden, so look beneath the surface for greater insight. Saturn-Uranus remain within a degree of each other at 17-18 of fixed signs, so frustrations and things going sideways continue.

Mars will turn retrograde at 25 Gemini on Oct 30th pretty much square the midpoint of Neptune/Jupiter, so that another possible big deflation moment in a month of them. Jupiter is on the fixed star Sheat at 29 Pisces, with its reputation of turning things to Sheat. 

As October has so many opportunities for deflations, it’s important to talk about perspective. If things fall apart, if dreams deflate, give yourself some space to do a postmortem, and refrain from spiraling into victimization and hopelessness. Try to reconnect with the essence or initial aspiration. Some seed within the vision is worth holding onto.

Also ask yourself if you lost touch with the initial impulse: did it start as a vision to do good and then your pride stepped in the more identified with “your” idea? What is it about the hope or dream that is symbolic of something missing or yearned for that absolutely needs acknowledged and brought into your life? Remember, Neptune asks us to sacrifice and works best when we keep our ego out of it. 

Regardless of what happens, the Jupiter-Neptune connection in April (that Mars is activating) represents a touchstone of hope or faith for something better. It’s important not to lose the essence of it: something here is worth salvaging, though it might be hard to see in our low state of mind.

Our second eclipse in the fourth quarter falls on November 8 at 16 Taurus, electrifying the Saturn-Uranus square and a nervy and chaotic Mercury-Uranus opposition, while Mars retrograde  in Gemini continues to square the Neptune-Jupiter midpoint. Did I mention it’s the US election day? It looks hectic and tense with a dollop of confused (or deceptive) actions thrown in for good measure.

On November 19th, Mars retrograde squares Neptune again, echoing October 12th, its first pass over Neptune. It’s another day to do a postmortem if things aren’t going well, accept what isn’t going well, and put the self-recrimination aside. If you’re off-course, acknowledge it, and evaluate what needs changed. Don’t simply give up because you’re feeling temporarily defeated or opt to take the easy way out rather than address things head on. Take it slow, recalibrate and face your fears. 

O n November 28th, as Mars eases away from Neptune and trines Saturn, we’ll have more energy and distance to act effectively. And on December 9th, the full moon at 16 Gemini conjoins Mars, giving us more light by which to see. With more light, it’s easier to act with greater awareness and objectivity.

December 29th brings us full circle. Mercury stations retrograde conjoin Venus on the exact degree that it stationed direct on February 3rd: 24 Capricorn. Pluto nearby at 27 Capricorn, is also at the same degree of the Mercury station in February. 

As if to underscore this, Venus joins Pluto on New Year’s Day, echoing both Christmas Eve of 2021 and March 3rd of this year.

Given Mercury’s and Venus’ retrograde dances with Pluto at the year’s start, this circling back asks us to review what we’ve learned about ourselves, our relationships, our values, and the stories we habituate and let define us? 

Let’s use the end of 2022 to ask ourselves if we’ve become more loving, forgiving and gentle in our speech, in our interactions, and with ourselves. Let’s commit to doing better where we’ve fallen short and acknowledging the distance we’ve come. Let’s hold onto our healing visions, keep correcting course, and moving forward together.

Other notable events in the Fourth Quarter include:

  • October 22, Saturn stations direct at 18 Aquarius and Mars goes Out-of-Bounds
  • October 28, Jupiter retrograde reenters Pisces
  • November 23, Jupiter stations direct at 28 Pisces & New moon at 1 Sagittarius
  • December 1, Mercury at 22 Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces
  • December 8, Full moon 16 Gemini conjoin Mars
  • December 20, Jupiter reenters Aries
  • December 23, New Moon 1 Capricorn
  • December 30, US Pluto return

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