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The Astrology of Year 2018

The first half of 2018 is hampered by a `hang-over` from 2017 as so many dreary things remain outstanding. However the second half has more opportunity when things start to move into fruition and there is a much improved environment to get your issues sorted! Don't waste the potential of the last six months.


To examine the astrological outlook for 2018, I have to explore the 9 or so different manoeuvres that the outer planets are undertaking during the year. Some are getting into different geometrical relationships or aspects with those around them whilst others are moving into different parts of the Zodiac Belt.  All of these changes will be synchronous with our lives here on Earth. So by examining the different movements one at a time, we can build up the bigger picture, rather like building up a jigsaw. Or maybe I am describing the different ingredients going into a cake. So are the ingredients describing a chocolate cake year or a lemon and blueberry cake year!


Okay, so let's find out. The first of the planetary configurations is the Uranus Pluto Square


This long standing configuration represents the technological transformation and progress which has fuelled unprecedented cultural change, and the unbridled growth of informational systems and electronic devices. The Arab Spring, a new world of cyber threats and artificial intelligence, along with lone terrorist killings have become its hall marks. This has been around for 7 years, but it will still be influential for another year yet. I've covered it so many times before, so let's move swiftly on….



Uranus Moves into Taurus  


Uranus is now in the final few degrees of Aries and has to move into the Taurus sector of the sky soon. It first dips its toes into this Earth element energy from May to November 2018. Taurus is a pretty fixed and stubborn environment, so this might indicate that the strident, futuristic, revolutionary, Masculine energy of Uranus may be slowed a little. Does this mean that the technological tsunami will begin to slow? Or will it go the other way around? Will the things that Taurus represents be shaken up and perhaps even broken down by Uranus’s awakening and lightning actions?


The planet Earth, money, possessions and our bodies themselves all come under Taurean rulership. So we might expect Earth crust movements as Uranus literally breaks up earth, but maybe we also make revolutionary new discoveries about our planet. 


Uranus represents higher intelligence and futuristic thinking, so maybe there will be an even bigger break through into Artificial Intelligence.  A.I. is already entering material things and silently working its way into all areas of our lives. The most worrying influence is its presence in military situations and on the stock markets which are associated with Taurus. There could be a few shake-ups and flash crashes there as Uranus and AI work faster than humans can. I think we are also looking at new ways of thinking about money, as with cyber currencies such as Bitcoin.


It is possible that new and better fitness regimes to care for our bodies will appear, but Uranus remains in Taurus until 2025 and during its time there, we should see A.I. used inside human bodies. A science report tells us that "artificially intelligent nano-machines will be injected into humans within 20 years to repair and enhance muscles, cells and bone…" Ughhh!



 Jupiter Pluto Sextile


Another one of the influences in the year to come will be symbolised by Jupiter at a 60 degree angle from Pluto. (Called a sextile – so it is the Jupiter Pluto sextile)


In astrology, Pluto symbolises a forceful transformation which breaks down the old and evolves it into the new. If ever you want to change your life, you need a Pluto transit. It works at fundamental, unseen levels and causes the very fabric of things to come apart. But behind the leaf that falls in Autumn is the bud for next year's growth, and that is what Pluto does; it ensures the rebirth as well as the death. It `kills` the grub, but cracks open the casing that releases the butterfly.


Pluto represents the underlying force behind life, genes and the genetic code, and the depths of anything. It is evolution’s unsympathetic yet creative power. Pluto is an ever present, ruling principle in the universal life force, which fulfils the cycle of evolution and constant renewal without restraint.


Now let's add some coaxing from Jupiter. This giant gas planet expands what it touches. So it will expand our consciousness of Pluto's cycles. It will expand inevitable growth into what must become, and exaggerate the cycle of death and birth. But Jupiter is expectant and also brings confidence and buoyancy.


So this is a year when we can experience the possibility of expansion and growth, but be careful what you wish for. This is a powerful combination.



Jupiter Neptune Trine


Jupiter remains in the middle of Scorpio for the whole year, making a harmonious relationship with both Neptune and Pluto. So it is both urging us to grow and evolve on the one hand, but also to take on a more spiritual and compassionate vision for the future.


Just looking at the Jupiter Neptune influence now…  Neptune represents religious experiences and the yearnings to be at one with whatever god or deity is revered. So the spiritual longings of the Collective may be stirred. This is coupled with a longing for redemption, or a need to compensate for the hurt and injustice in the world. There could be a shared compassion for the suffering of the under-privileged, for instance. The sentiment of this Jupiter Neptune trine is already in place, but its strongest expression will be in May through to August.


This alignment of planets indicates some illusion in terms of what is possible. The aspirations of the Collective may be beautiful, well-meaning and redemptive. But we should not lose sight of how much work is needed by all of us to get there. Expecting just a few politicians to sort it all out may sound ideal, but we all need to do our bit.



Uranus Semi-square Neptune


Ok, next one is Uranus semi-square Neptune, which is already in place, but could be stronger in June and December 2018.


So here we have Masculine Uranus and Feminine Neptune in a direct clash. This could be seen as an indicator of the Feminine awakening. In general, women will express Feminine energy more openly, so they can be vehicles for its expression. In looking for an example of how the Feminine is emerging we can see how women are playing this out as they find and use their voice regarding past abuses at the hands of male dominance.


The semi-square aspect between them describes a relationship that blocks, impedes, delays and hinders. There is frustration and it holds up the action of both planets. They neutralise each other, but remain irritated.


Neptune represents the accepting, tolerant, sensitive and gentle aspects of the Feminine, whilst Uranus represents the technologically adept, impatient, organised, harsh and unyielding aspects of the Masculine. During the year, the Feminine feels attacked and aggressed, whilst the Masculine feels irritated by sentimentality and impotence.


This is forcing both Masculine and Feminine, male and female, to defend their corner. But that helps with identity. If we can’t identify what we want, what we are, and what we are trying to protect, or if we can’t find our core beliefs or true definition, then it helps to be challenged. This will make us think clearly about them. We will then define all that we need to.  


This aspect between Uranus and Neptune has 5 hits in total and runs from 2017 right up to 2020 and is clearly important. These are pivotal years in the redressing of the male female gender imbalance and the Masculine Feminine imbalance too.


For those that like to know these things, Neptune is hovering between 12 and 16 degrees of Pisces all year, so this is where it will be working from. Check out 12 to 16 degrees of Pisces in your personal birth chart to see how you fit into this.



Saturn Moved Into Capricorn


Next we need to look at the planet Saturn which has changed Signs from Sagittarius to Capricorn and remains in the early part of Capricorn all year.


Built in to our Earthly experience is a rigorous testing regime that astrology calls Saturn. By using a process of denial and struggle, it refines and strengthens us through hard work and unbearable emotional pain.


Sometimes, we don’t make it a particular endeavour and we are returned to a previous position on the Snakes and Ladders board game called `life`. That relationship or job just wasn’t the right path for our overall journey. Or we needed a health scare to encourage us to focus on areas we had missed. In astrology, this is called a Saturn transit and although painful, we are told it is `another opportunity` for personal growth`.


Coming back to this year, Saturn, or this relentless testing mechanism, has now moved into a new Zodiac Sign and this shifts an emphasis in the Collective. No longer are our `beliefs` or confidence (Sagittarius) being tested. Now it is the time of Capricorn. So our structures, material comfort and life-building skills are under the microscope.


How tough is our toughness? How robust is our resilience?  We are about to find out.


Saturn will test out these things within the financial structures and institutions of the Collective. Wherever there is building, forming and accruing riches, there will be a shaking of the foundations. If structures are built on shifting sands, they may not last in their current form. It looks like Bit-coin is a target, but property may be too. More will be revealed as we go along.


This applies to our personal lives too, but it is hard to be specific, because it depends on whereabouts the Capricorn is in your horoscope. (Check your own birth chart for any natal planets between 02 and 09 degrees of Capricorn, Cancer, Libra or Aries. If you want an in-depth, more accurate appraisal, you would have to have a personal astrology reading with me.)


The `bright` side?  Saturn has left Sagittarius. Spiritual sustenance and confidence should slowly return.  Also, Saturn rules Capricorn, so there should be harmony between Saturn and its environment. Building could be possible. Preservation, practical achievement and sensible, sustainable growth could be possible. There is work to be done, but it can be done. We are re-aligning with the Earth element. If you have done the work, you will be where we are meant to be.


The `not-so-bright` side?  Just looking at a birth chart for a moment, the Zodiac Sign that Saturn is in is normally the one where we most struggle and the one we form our greatest fears in. Our early experiences reinforce our belief that we will not achieve the potential of the Zodiac Sign. Hence, all the `should and coulds` in that previous paragraph will probably not come to fruition without a great deal of hard work, pain and focus on achievement.


Saturn in Capricorn can also mean the loss or break down of conventional, institutionalised, old-fashioned, formal structures…. like banks and financial institutions for instance. However, the next aspect will help out….  



A Fading Saturn trine Uranus


This was around in 2017 and is fading now. It describes a harmonious relationship between two hard-hitting planets, but although it can diminish or belittle us, it really pays off to get up and follow the cosmic instruction. Essentially, it means we can draw together cautious and slow building actions with intellectual thinking and original ideas. Yes, we may get the usual saturnine feeling of ineffectual uselessness and hopelessness, but we should also be able to inject some ingenuity and form something new.


You may not be able to see where the things you form are leading, but be patient and work at a serious project anyway, for you could be taking part in creative change which will be useful in the future.  This is when something unique can be born.


It is definitely time to write your book, since Saturn gives us the earthy ability for perseverance whilst Uranus provides the bright and original ideas.



A Fading Saturn square Chiron


For many of us, 2017 was not a good year. The astrology in the sky that foretold this was a 90 degree angle or `square` between Saturn and Chiron. It symbolised a time when we felt put out, put down, put upon, angry, wounded or otherwise demoralised or hurt. Perhaps we might have been aware of feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism which played out as "I'm such a useless let-down and the world hates me" in our heads.


One of the difficult things about it may have been the feelings of dejectedness which might have come from something quite small or insignificant, but then again some of us may have experienced life shattering events too.


Whichever applies, we could still feel too humiliated to say what is really going on inside. In fact we might not even be able to identify the internal chaos, so we have to pick on something else to wail about instead.


For instance, we might be angry that he came home with white wine when we asked for red wine and we might make a big song and dance about it. But really, it was more about not being appreciated for all the hard work we put in at Christmas. We feel silly saying "No-one appreciates me", so we rant on about red wine instead.



Jupiter Semi-square Saturn


We now leave the essentially personal, psychological arena of the Saturn Chiron square and look lastly at the Jupiter Saturn semi-square, which describes bigger cultural and socio-economic cycles.


We get the second and third hits of Jupiter Saturn in March and September. Jupiter describes the expectations of the Collective and our expansion into them. It is how we cope with growth and the way in which we do that is described by the Zodiac Sign it is in. For the whole of 2018, Jupiter is in Scorpio, so this expansion will come through intuitive, hidden or emotional channels.


The primordial Feminine and Masculine actually meet each other in Scorpio. But this is true of any coupling involving two people. Scorpio is the intense connection. So Jupiter indicates growth into this territory.


Saturn describes our fears and restrictions, what is missing and what we will have to work to compensate for. In 2018 Saturn is in Capricorn, the hard working and rugged Earth Sign that is ruled by Saturn, so one is complimenting the other. Hence, austerity will be easily felt and expressed. There is a strong focus on materialism and capitalism and there might be an abundant work ethic. All this may be at the expense of sensitivity and gentleness though.


As I described previously, the semi-square aspect between Jupiter and Saturn describes a relationship that blocks, impedes, delays and hinders. There is frustration and it holds up the action of both planets. They neutralise each other.


So let's put that together. We can expect growth in deep emotional attachments, but not without some exasperation and irritation involving materialistic achievements.


There could be some dysfunction between hard work and achievement on the one hand and intense or sensitive emotional exchanges on the other. Perhaps trying to balance emotional lives and work demands might be a feature of this year, but these are both Feminine Zodiac Signs, so the focus is not on rapid growth anyway, it is on the unconscious and adjustment, it is about synthesising and integrating. This is an uneasy consolidation of sorts.


One last general comment before an overview of the whole year taking this all into account and deciding if we have a chocolate cake or a blueberry cake. From August through to September 5th – all the outer planets are retrograde. This means that things will feel `stuck`, and whilst deeply buried issues may finally make it into your consciousness, no new territory can be covered. You may feel like a caged hamster going around in a wheel. Try to get new projects off the ground before this time.



Overview of the year 2018.


There are some delicate undertones in the astrology that could get missed if we aren't careful. 2018 is rich with subtle opportunity as we are given new spiritual visions that could comfort us after the psychological turmoil and stark emotional reality of 2017. Our hopelessness can slowly be replaced with a new vision as we head towards the pivotal year of 2020.


The Jupiter Pluto sextile suggests there will be growth, but this expansion will hopefully come through the intuitive, hidden or emotional channels. We need more Feminine energy to cope with and compensate for the aggressive masculine technological growth of recent years. We need to consider our human responses to the technological environment we are creating. For instance, is this much fast-paced technology destroying our contemplative, slow-moving but necessary `me` time?


In keeping with this, we should get better access to spiritual planes for comfort and reassurance. Is this merely be illusion? Yes, but fantasy is reality’s genesis. We imagine it, we can achieve it. The Jupiter Neptune Trine should stir our spiritual longings and compassion for the vulnerable. It requires that we raise the plight of the weak, the disadvantaged and the frail.


The Uranus Neptune semi-square talks about a continuing male/female gender imbalance correction. Women need to redefine their role after centuries of degradation. As I said above, feminine and masculine meet each other in Scorpio; it is time for progress in this interaction.


Saturn will test out Capitalism and the financial structures and institutions of the Collective in Capricorn. It will also test what we have personally accrued, built and saved. There may be a strong focus on materialism as we search for an appropriate material achievement in our lives.  


There could also be a testing of our resolve and stamina. How tough is our toughness? How robust is our resilience?  We are about to find out. However, the Saturn Uranus trine suggests that we can draw together cautious and slow building actions with intellectual thinking and original ideas. We are both tested and encouraged.


The growth of A.I. is of concern and we need to address our complacency and apathy to this. Maybe it is not in itself a bad thing, although it could be inimical to life as we know it. Shouldn't we be asking questions?


When contemplating this year I got the image of a diver carving a hole in the arctic ice above him to get to the air. In our case this represents a lifeline to the belief and hope that needs to come from the invisible realm, for it defies the logic of this one. We need that `air` of belief and hope for the future. I believe that those who cut such a hole `in the ice` will find it.


Within the context of our approach to 2020, which is a pivotal year, 2018 will guide us to an outer marker. It tells us we are on course, but we don’t have the end in sight yet. The `end` being gender equality and a better balance between industrial growth, the natural resources of planet Earth and our spiritual selves.


Peace on Earth and Good Will to all its inhabitants.