HAPPY NEW YEAR! Did you know that January was named after Janus, the 2-headed Roman god of transitions, endings & beginnings? This symbolism is particularly auspicious this year, as the morning of January 1 starts off with the somber Venus-Saturn square — an aspect of closure involving friends and loved ones. It represents a time for saying GOODBYE to the past — and HELLO to the future. Mercury is stationary retrograde on the 1st, but happily, it turns direct in SAGITTARIUS that evening (at 7:08 pm PST). After a sluggish start, the NEW YEAR is finally off & running — cheers!
As always, the first three weeks of the New Year — with the Sun in CAPRICORN — are concerned with getting organized, clearing out last year’s paperwork, setting up the 2024 calendars and recycling those things you no longer need or use. The entrance of Mars into practical CAPRICORN on January 4 (along with Pluto in the final weeks of its 16-year cycle in CAPRICORN) will truly amplify the urge to take care of business and clear the decks! You will want to have your feet planted firmly on the ground—with an open heart & mind—as you embrace a future filled with unprecedented changes and continuing disruptions of the status quo.
Circle January 20 on your calendar! A radical, transformational new cycle is initiated on this day, as the Sun & Pluto conjoin in the last degree of CAPRICORN and then proceed together into the sign AQUARIUS (where Pluto will be for the next twenty years). The message is clear: out with the old, in with the new! We had a hint of what’s to come last spring when Pluto took its initial steps into this new cycle (from March 23—June 11, ’23). Artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced technologies, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, autonomous vehicles, interplanetary travel and the development of fusion are just some of the things that are going to be turning our world upside-down. We are embarking into the wild & woolly unknown — fasten your seatbelt!
The New Moon in AQUARIUS (on February 9) introduces the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. Out hops the gentle rabbit, in swoops the ferocious dragon! In Chinese culture, the dragon represents power, vitality, risk-taking and the male element Yang. It suggests an electric, combustible year ahead, filled with fireworks, surprises, revolutionary ideas and grandiose schemes. A tendency towards confrontation, anger, hotheadedness and impulsivity will need to be contained; look before you leap or speak your mind. Considering it’s an election year, these tendencies will most likely be even more amplified.
From a numerology point of view, 2024 adds up to an 8 (2+0+2+4). Each calendar year adds up to a single-digit number, which carries a unique energetic influence. The 8 Universal Year relates to manifesting on the material plane and dealing with real world matters; it’s associated with Saturn & the sign CAPRICORN. With patience, determination and conscientious efforts, you could accomplish something significant of long-lasting value this year. Business success, productive alignments and shared prosperity can be yours with a practical approach and ethical actions.
The North Lunar Node (a point symbolizing prevailing social trends) has been in ARIES since last July and stays there throughout this year. A creative, enterprising & risk-taking spirit is trending — totally in sync with all the other life-changing things we’re experiencing. It’s a time for innovation, regeneration, renewal & transformation. Say yes to any opportunity to get involved in a new hobby, project, business or romance. Let your inner child out to play and, by all means, have fun!
As Pluto charges ahead in AQUARIUS this year, it will be quite the challenge to keep up with rapidly-changing pace in technology computers, phones, communication systems and lifestyles. However, we will undergo a short course correction when Pluto retrogrades for its final hurrah back into CAPRICORN (September 1—November 19). This will be the peak of the election season — and we’ll face a significant reality test as a country. Will the majority vote in an authoritarian government (CAPRICORN), or will democracy & freedom (AQUARIUS) win out? In our desire for change, let’s hope we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The continuing presence of Neptune in PISCES (2012—2025) will likely bring more attention (hopefully more enlightened) to water management, a safe food supply, physical & mental health care, workplace safety, drug policy, medical/recreational marijuana, animal welfare, race relations and gender issues. With Saturn also in PISCES (March 2023—February 2026, we will need to be more realistic in how we deal with these issues. Some major restructuring needs to take place to deal with poverty, crime, homelessness, addiction, disease and victim’s rights over the upcoming 2 years. A society is only as strong as its weakest link. . .
Unpredictable Uranus is now more than halfway through its 7-year stay in TAURUS, continuing to stir up significant changes, rearrangements and disruptions in home, family, property & community matters. The role of Uranus is to free us from old patterns, habits or routines — and to hasten our evolution. We are in a process of questioning the foundations, structures, support systems and comforts that we’ve taken for granted in the past. Many will consider pulling up roots, moving their base of operations and seeking greener pastures, perhaps related to the weather, earth changes, political chaos, taxes or lifestyle choices. Environmental concerns, sustainability, global warming, territorial borders, land & water use, agriculture, earth changes and population shifts will become even more potent issues.
Jupiter has been in earthy TAURUS since last May, prioritizing home, family, community and property matters. This is ideal time to fix things up on the domestic scene (decorate, remodel, landscape or start a garden) and solidify your foundations. Jupiter‘s conjunction with Uranus (April 20) and its sextile to Neptune (May 23), could stimulate major change and increased comfort on the home-front.
Once Jupiter begins its new year-long cycle in GEMINI on May 25, things will lighten up. You’ll want to get out of the house and back into circulation (particularly with the exuberant Jupiter-Pluto trine on June 2). It’ll be a restless, inquisitive cycle, where you’ll be inspired to learn new things, exchange ideas & information, take short trips and make stronger connections with relatives & neighbors. The two Jupiter-Saturn squares (on August 19 and December 24) will certainly challenge us all to face reality, curb our excesses and be respectful in our communications. Speak your truth responsibly, and BE the change you want to see happen!
Mars is in adventurous SAGITTARIUS as this year begins, but immediately moves on to join the Sun & Pluto in serious CAPRICORN on January 4. Joint finances, taxes, insurance, legal or bureaucratic matters will be requiring your conscientious, disciplined attention. A desire for change & spontaneity will arise with Mars’ entrance into freedom-loving AQUARIUS on the evening of February 12. You’ll be ready for a spiritual uplift once Mars drifts into sensitive PISCES on March 22; be caring & compassionate with yourself & others, and tend to your physical, emotional & mental health. Pets, too.
Mars leaps into ARIES on April 30; this intense, dynamic energy will inspire you to explore your creativity and immerse yourself in new projects, hobbies, business ventures or romance. Mars then settles down in comfort-oriented TAURUS late on June 8; channel your energy into planting, constructing and establishing more security & stability in your home, family and base of operations. Once Mars moves on to join Jupiter in breezy GEMINI on July 20, you’ll be ready to hit the road, reconnect with your grapevine, express your opinion and get to know your neighbors better. Variety is the spice of life!
Your survival instincts will kick in when Mars enters nurturing CANCER on September 4. Finances, fuel, food & feelings will be highlighted; prepare for all contingencies, stock up on basic necessities and stash some cash. Once Mars lights up in sunny LEO on the evening of November 3, put energy into revitalizing your life and personal environment. Express yourself and enjoy just being! Mars will turn retrograde on December 6 (until February 23, 2025). Use this time to re-evaluate your self-image, appearance & lifestyle. Who are your heroes? What brings you joy?
It’s always wise to be aware of the three Mercury retrograde cycles in the year ahead, occurring on April 1—25, August 4—28 and November 25—December 15. These cycles, which occur every three months for approximately three weeks, represent times for reviewing, editing and regrouping — but not for initiating new projects or businesses, undergoing elective medical procedures, signing contracts or buying cars, computers & electronic equipment. Instead, utilize these cycles to do your research, repair things, file, de-clutter, clear the decks and catch up with yourself!
We’re going to experience unprecedented, unpredictable times ahead. Be pro-active in making any necessary changes and freeing up your life from old habit patterns, along with outgrown possessions. Lighten your load. An exciting new world awaits — and this is the year to embrace it!
Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a stellar 2024!
©2023 Diane Elizabeth Clarke