Welcome 2018!

After the wild ride of the past few years, 2018 represents a significant shift in tone and themes. Most notably, Saturn and Uranus move from fire into earth signs. Both planets take several years to transit through a sign, so the themes sounded in 2018 will become the ‘new normal’ for quite a while. So here’s a quick guide to 2018 and some general ideas on how to make the best of this profound shift.

Saturn and Uranus: who are these guys?

Saturn symbolizes the need to stabilize and contain, whereas Uranus symbolizes the impulse to break through and innovate. And however much we may complain, we need both. Innovation without structure is chaotic; structure without innovation can become stale or oppressive. 

Saturn’s focus on form and structure requires both generation and dissolution, often in the same moment. After all, every decision we make opens up one path while closing other possibilities. (“I’m painting the kitchen green” ends the fantasy of the psychedelic kitchen.)  Saturn seeks security, yet in its deeper wisdom honors all stages of cyclic change (sowing, reaping, decay, and regeneration).

Where Saturn seeks to get real, Uranus seeks to get free; the urges for breakthroughs, innovation, liberation, are all common Uranian experiences.  Uranus can sometimes just seem reflexively rebellious. But at its best, Uranus brings new ideals that transform how we define freedom, liberty, and empowerment, often through ideas or technology.

As a principle, Uranus may unite us through an ideal (the American and French revolutions were fought in the name of Enlightenment-age ideals). In practice, however, it works by separating us from the conventional and habitual.  So the experience of Uranus often involves inspiration and/or rejection. We are inspired to change by a new ideal and we reject current realities as imperfect or too constraining. Brexit was a Uranian moment, which now requires hard Saturnian work to put the bones of responsibility, boundaries, and limitations (Saturn’s gifts) around the Uranian dream of independence and autonomy.

Saturn in Capricorn: 2018-2020

Saturn moved into the earthy sign of Capricorn in December and will be there through 2020.Traditionally, Saturn is concerned with the management of natural resources (agriculture) and material resources (finances). So Saturn in Capricorn will likely mean significant reorganization and consolidation around the stewardship of material resources, infrastructure, government, banking, and concepts of social organization and hierarchies.  “Hierarchy” is a good Saturnian word that’s been out of favor for a few years: look for some renewal around this idea. How can we create trustworthy business and governmental organizations, for example, with Saturnian accountability and authority?

Wherever Capricorn is in your chart, consider a three-year horizon of change and improvement towards your goals. Saturn’s gifts are not ‘received blessings’ but rather the stuff at which we work, practice, often come up short and try again. With Saturn in Capricorn, it’s time to:

·      Get real about managing your material resources.

·      For example, do you want more money? Have you prepared to make a place for money? Are you showing respect by paying attention?  Are you balancing your checkbook, actually examining your bank statements, learning about financial tools? Saturn in Capricorn is a powerful agent of manifestation but it’s not a “get rich quick” route. It’s more the “appreciate the work of earthworms in aerating the soil.”  Give yourself a financial checkup: are you leaking money by unnecessary expenses? Do you have a current will or revocable trust or health care proxy that specifies how your resources will be managed in the event of illness or death? Start now so you can look back in 2020 with satisfaction.

·      Get real about your participation in communities and organizations (including citizen, neighbor, family, to name the basics). How can we become better skilled practitioners able to work together towards shared or complementary goals?  Facebook is very Uranus (“I’ll share only what and when I want to share.”)  But can we build communities with workable models of accountability, transparency, and honest communication? Saturn’s transit through Capricorn is an important time to re-examine ideas of how to be a responsible member of larger communities, a badly needed skill and one that needs reinvention in an increasingly virtual world.

Uranus in Taurus: 2018-2025

The last time Uranus was in Taurus (1934-1940), the USA passed major banking reforms and Social Security in order to increase financial accountability and social stability. Expect the 2018-2025 Uranus in Taurus cycle to coincide with equally radical innovations intended to increase stability. One Taurean area is food and how we nourish others and ourselves. Expect significant changes in food production, both in terms of new technologies (fake laboratory meat is on the way!) as well as an expanding awareness and integration of permaculture practices and philosophy. In addition to changes in currency and financial institutions (will we still have banks in buildings?), expect cultural disruptions around gender and the power of the feminine.  2018 is a transitional year, when Uranus will be in Taurus from mid-May through early November; during this time, we’ll get a vivid preview of themes that will get fleshed out in the years 2019-2025.

Taurus in our individual charts speaks to the need we all have for nourishment, pleasure, physical security, and sensuality. Wherever Taurus is in your chart, get ready for change, innovation, and a shift from the habitual way of life. Taurus, a fixed and habit-loving sign, doesn’t generally welcome such disruption and change. The good news is that if it holds the promise of eventually improving your capacity to relate in comfort and security, Taurus will sign on for the job. You just may have to talk yourself into it!

Some highlighted periods for 2018

I'll continue the monthly forecasts in February, but for now, here's a preview of three key periods for 2018.

·      Mid-March—mid- May: With Mars joining Saturn and Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, this is an important period where daily effort and keeping the larger picture in sight is crucial; seeming obstacles may dominate the immediate view so keep your longer term goals in sight. Call on your inner Ernest Shackleton for inspiration. [Mars joining Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn]

·      May-November. This is when Uranus dips his toe into Taurean waters. Uranus entering a new sign is rarely subtle. To get a sense of what Uranus in Taurus themes will emerge, check the headlines around May 16-20, Aug. 1-4, and Sept. 16-19.  These are all windows when we should see some activities that augur the larger themes of the next 7 years, probably related to currency, technological shifts, and food production.  [Mars in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus.]

·      August-September:  Excellent time for ‘productive disruption’, using creative change to anchor or repair relationships or structures as Saturn and Uranus are in a cooperative working relationship. Good time for investing in a technological or philosophical shift in how you approach your work. This is the one time when both planets are working together, so take advantage of it and be proactive! [Saturn trine Uranus.]

Sheila Roher