HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  So…what guidance can astrology provide us for successfully navigating the terrain of 2017?  Starting with the imaginative Mars/Neptune conjunction on New Year’s Eve, visualize how you want your personal year to unfold – and know that you have the power to co-create your own reality.  Be very clear in your intentions!  With both the Sun and Mercury (which is retrograde) in responsible CAPRICORN as this year begins, things are likely to get off to a slow start.  Be patient and commit the first few weeks of January to taking care of business, getting organized and recycling those things you no longer use or care about.  At the same time, Venus, Mars & Neptune will all be in contemplative PISCES; devote some quality time into work, health care, exercise, sleep, spiritual practice or pets ‒ and strengthen your immune system.

Things begin to lighten up and move forward when the Sun enters AQUARIUS on the afternoon of January 19.  And finally, late on January 27, Mars moves on to fiery ARIES (the symbol of renewal & transformation); the next 6 weeks will be an ideal time to get new projects, hobbies, business ventures or romantic adventures off the ground!  The New Moon in AQUARIUS, also on the 27th, will bring in the Chinese New Year of the Fire RoosterIt’s out with the old, in with the new!  Following the shenanigans of the past Year of the Monkey, this particular year seems to call for practical solutions, well-proven paths, hard work and self-sufficiency.  Steer clear of argumentative, ostentatious or cocky individuals who could ruffle your feathers and disrupt your inner peace.  Instead, follow your instincts, pay attention to the details, and be sure to get the facts straight.  Do something to crow about!

From a numerology perspective, 2017 adds up to a “10/1” year.  A “1” year initiates a new 9-year cycle and represents a time for starting afresh, reshaping your personal identity, and putting a positive, new spin on your life.  For those who resonate to the “10”, this can be a year of major achievement based upon previous efforts.

The North Lunar Node ‒ symbolizing the prevailing social trends ‒ completes its 18-month cycle in analytical VIRGO during the first 4 months of this year.  Utilize this time for tying up any loose ends, putting your life in order, cleaning out the cobwebs, and clearing the decks.  Prepare yourself for a more joy-based cycle once the North Node begins its new 18-month transit in LEO on May 9.   Let there be less energy spent on worry, criticism and complaining ‒ and more emphasis on creative self-expression, a positive self-image and authenticity.  Put on a happy face — and become the star of your own show!

 Venus will undergo a 6-week retrograde cycle on March 4 (until April 15); friendships, social alliances and aesthetic tastes will be up for review & re-evaluation during this period.  Since this retrograde toggles back & forth between the signs ARIES & PISCES, ask yourself if these relationships are pleasurable, helpful and healthy for you.

For the first 9 months of this year, Jupiter is in LIBRA — the sign ruled by Venus and associated with the arts, friendships, social life, small groups, cooperation, collaboration, peace & diplomacy.  Join up with those who share similar interests, and make it a priority to create more love, beauty, balance & harmony in your personal universe.

Unpredictability is afoot with the Jupiter/Uranus oppositions (on March 2 and September 27); be prepared for changes of plans or perspectives, unexpected travels or visitors — and an expanded awareness.  The Jupiter/Pluto squares (on March 30 and August 4) could bring about  high-stress situations, but will give you an opportunity to transform some outworn beliefs & opinions; don’t mix friends & finances around these days.  And the Jupiter/Neptune inconjuncts (on both May 17 and July 4) suggest a time for creating sturdy boundaries in your relationships and protecting yourself against those who could take advantage of you.   Your social relationships can solidify in positive ways with the Jupiter/Saturn sextile on August 27; much can be accomplished by associating with loving and productive people.

On October 10, Jupiter begins its new year-long cycle in SCORPIO; leadership, power, energy & sexuality will become the dominant themes.  This  cycle presents a potent opportunity to set clear intentions, actualize your desires and achieve those goals that you’ve been working towards.  May the force be with you!

Saturn remains in SAGITTARIUS until the end of the year; publishing, journalism, travel & the communications industries will undergo significant restructuring.  We’ll have serious conversations regarding immigration, foreign policy, international trade, global terrorism, sports, higher education, religion & ethics.  The test of Saturn in this sign is to seek truth, understanding and greater tolerance of others’ opinions, faiths & belief systems.  Practice what you preach – and most of all, maintain your sense of humor!  The two Saturn/Uranus trines – on May 18 and November 11, suggest a time for awakening to more enlightened approaches to dealing with old patterns of behavior.  These are times when major progress can be made!

Expect more bluster than action until December 19, when Saturn moves on to its own sign, CAPRICORN, and joins Pluto.  Then, reality strikes! We can expect major reshaping in government, laws, taxes and financial affairs once this new 3-year cycle gets off the ground.  Expect some exciting discoveries & inventions while Uranus carries on in ARIES. The continuing theme of Neptune in PISCES will  hopefully bring more enlightened approaches to physical & mental health care, workplace & food safety, drug policy, medical/recreational marijuana, animal welfare, and racial & gender issues.  And with Pluto more than halfway through its 16-year transit of CAPRICORN, we will continue to experience societal upheavals and  an ongoing transformation of existing structures, institutions, economies and alliances.

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Among the major highlights of the year will be the long-anticipated Total Solar Eclipse in LEO, making its grand entrance on August 21.   Named the “Great American Eclipse” because its path crosses the entire country from Oregon to South Carolina, this dramatic astronomical event will be focusing the world’s attention on the sky and its luminaries (and will likely stimulate increased interest in the subject of astrology)!   This eclipse, falling on the 29th degree of LEO and conjunct the Royal Star Regulus, has also evoked many dire predictions regarding the U.S. leadership, extreme weather and earth changes.  It will be a most spectacular event, and despite its long shadow, it’s a strong likelihood that this eclipse will bring increased light (and enlightenment) to this planet!

Mars leaves ARIES & enters comfort-oriented TAURUS on March 9; channel your energy into planting, constructing and creating more security & stability in your home, family and base of operations.  When Mars moves on to breezy GEMINI on April 21, you’ll be ready to hit the road, get back in circulation and connect with relatives & neighbors.  On June 4, Mars enters nurturing CANCER, where the focus will be on food, fuel, finances & feelings.  Once Mars moves on to sunny LEO on July 20, put energy into revitalizing your life and personal environment.  Plan to focus your energies into work & health matters once Mars enters efficient VIRGO on September 5 (after Labor Day weekend).  When Mars moves on to sociable LIBRA on October 22, it’s the time for participation & collaboration.  Mars enters its own sign, SCORPIO, on December 9 and stays there into 2018; set clear intentions and go for what you want!

It is always wise to be aware of the year’s Mercury retrograde cycles, which occur December 19, ’16January 8, April 9May 3, August 12September 5, and December 2–22.  These are the times for reviewing, editing & repairing — but not for start-ups, new projects, buying cars, computers or electronics.  Instead, utilize these cycles to catch up with yourself!

Wishing you a stellar year in 2017!  Happy New Year!

© 2017  Diane Elizabeth Clarke