HIGHLIGHTS of 2019: A PREVIEW OF THE YEAR AHEAD
2018 and 2019 astrological insights by Stephanie Shea with an introduction originally written by Jan Spiller
WHAT WE ARE LEARNING ALONG THE WAY by Jan Spiller
Astrology is a valuable tool in helping us to navigate life and maximize the energies of certain planetary transits. By understanding Universal timing, we can recognize when it’s time to move forward and when we need to attend to the past.
The challenges and opportunities that come our way help to move us towards our life purpose. Astrology is an extension of the natural forces here on Earth. Planetary transits can usher in different “seasons” of our lives, signaling us to initiate action, wrap up unfinished work or re-evaluate our current path.
It can be helpful to remember that just as the seasons change, a challenging planetary transit also has an end date. Each planet symbolizes a different aspect of personal growth. Having knowledge of the planetary movements can help us gain valuable insights into our journey through life.
LOOKING BACK ON 2018
By Stephanie Shea
2018 got off to a slow start, as we were concluding the “shadow phase” of a Mercury retrograde cycle that lasted from December 3 to 22, 2017. By January 6, we cleared the shadow, and people felt inspired to initiate new action at the New Moon on January 16. A Lunar Eclipse in Leo on January 31 ushered in major life changes, some of which allowed us to reassess events that occurred during the Eclipses of August of 2017. Themes of this Eclipse included romantic partnership and other matters of the heart. On February 15th, a Solar Eclipse in Aquarius set the stage for revolutionary energies as new beginnings that challenge the status quo were encouraged.
The year began with a loose trine between Jupiter and Neptune, creating an environment for healing to begin on a personal and global level. Jupiter is a planet that emphasizes faith, trust, and the expansion of ideas, while Neptune promotes the dissolution of boundaries and our egos. As a result, many people came together to support immigrant families being separated at the US border, and other marginalized groups in need of advocacy. The Jupiter-Neptune trine was at its strongest from late April through the end of September. When Jupiter ingressed into Sagittarius on November 8, the humanitarian efforts that began on a small scale over the summer expanded their reach to become more powerful agents of change.
Much of 2018 involved inner planet retrograde cycles that directed us to resolve the past. Between June and early December, we were either in the shadow phase or directly in an inner planet retrograde cycle. It was a year of completion to clear the ground for new beginnings in 2019. We experienced both Mars and Venus retrograde, which made it a unique year for interpersonal relationships. The emphasis was on learning from past experiences and putting old conflicts to rest. From June 26 to August 27, Mars was retrograde through the signs of Aquarius and Capricorn. During these days, the desire for freedom, independence, and individuality was strong. On a global scale, populations that have felt oppressed were inspired to stand up for themselves and their community.
Venus was retrograde from October 5 to November 16 in the signs of Scorpio and Libra. For those who didn’t finish working through past relationship issues during the Venus retrograde of 2017, the opportunity to reconnect or gain closure with a former partner arose again during these days. The energies offered support to deal with unfinished business related to love or money.
Saturn was in Capricorn all year and Uranus spent almost half of the year in Taurus. As a result, we felt the grounding influence of Earth sign energy during much of 2018. Between June and early November, Saturn and Uranus were in a favorable trine, helping to promote constructive, lasting change. The focus was on our connection with planet Earth and the environment as well as the step-by-step processes necessary to build a stable future for ourselves. We began to see the ability to create change from within existing systems and felt an infusion of youthful energy challenging the old guard.
All of 2018’s Mercury retrograde cycles occurred in the Fire Signs, reopening some of the social and personal battles that began in 2017. The power struggles between authority figures and the general public continued to boil, and people reasserted themselves around issues such as sexual harassment, human rights, and the environment.
Between April and September, Chiron was in the sign of Aries. On a global level, this promoted a more active approach to healing our planet and ourselves. This minor planet holds the theme of the “wounded healer” and, when expressed in Aries, it offers strength, resilience, and the desire to create better lives for ourselves. Chiron in Aries helped those who might not ordinarily speak up to find the courage to go to battle for the causes they felt passionate about.
2018 was a distinct turning point in history that forced many to walk their talk. The Uranus-Pluto square that began in 2010 concluded in May. While this tense aspect peaked between 2012 and 2015, it has remained in orb the past several years, serving as a backdrop for political and social change. Pluto, planet of authority and structure has been in a push-pull dance with Uranus, planet of revolution and rebellion, forcing necessary changes that have required us to let go of old ways of being.
We felt a marked change between May 16 and November 6 when Uranus entered the early degrees of Taurus. This planet hasn’t expressed itself in this sign since the years 1934-1942. With the planet of radical change in an Earth sign, our relationship to our planet, natural resources, food, and finances began to shift. Additionally, polarizing social issues emerged, creating a tense environment that challenged our sense of security. We’ve been scheduled for these feelings of discomfort in order to prompt us to make changes to stand up for ourselves and our fellow humans.
Uranus was retrograde between August 7, 2018 and January 6, 2019. During this time, it returned for a last visit in the sign of Aries between November 6 and the end of the year. The timing was perfect to finish making any changes initiated during the Uranus in Aries years (2011-2018).
The North Node moved into Cancer on November 7, ushering in an emotionally sensitive energy that will prevail over our planet until May of 2020. The end of 2018 was marked by a desire to nurture and support others, build a sense of community, and create emotional connections. Intuitive decision making served us better than analysis, as we lay the groundwork to create more compassionate connections in 2019.
WHAT 2019 WILL BE LIKE
By Stephanie Shea
2019 will contain more forward-moving energies than 2018. While we experienced both Mars and Venus retrograde in 2018, neither of these planets will be retrograde this year. Therefore, there will be much more opportunity to take action on new ideas and leave the past behind.
As the year begins, Uranus will be traveling through the final degrees of Aries, finishing a journey through this sign that began in 2011. Last year, we got a taste of Uranus in Taurus between May 15th and November 6th. Beginning on March 7th of this year, Uranus will be in the sign of Taurus until 2026. During the next seven years, we’ll feel Uranus’s revolutionary energy directed towards themes ruled by the sign of Taurus, such as money, the environment, stability, comfort, and values. The way we do business is scheduled to change, and we’ll likely witness the rise of cryptocurrency and other alternative monetary systems. Uranus is a planet ruling technology, while Taurus symbolizes the Earth and nature. It will be an exciting year for technological advances that promote a cleaner environment.
This will be a year to take practical action on our ideals. Earth sign energy will provide a powerful force to help us create sustainable, long-term plans. Saturn and Pluto will be in Capricorn, a sign associated with authority, structure, business, and commitment. In April and May, these two planets will be within a few degrees of each other, hinting at themes to come at the end of this year and the beginning of 2020, when they’ll be exactly conjunct. Pluto is the deconstructor, ready to tear down anything that’s not healthy or stable. Saturn is the builder, with the skill and determination to put in the hard work and lay the groundwork for a better future.
We’re fortunate to have these two planets working together this year, as so much of what has been ripe for change has been waiting for a new structure to help it take shape. Confronting fear will be a big theme of 2019. In order to embrace new and better systems, we’ll need to release fears about letting go of the past. Even when we know the status quo isn’t working, it can be scary to abandon the familiar. Yet, the more we’re willing to let go of the things offering a false sense of security, the more we can gain this year. Ultimately, Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn are calling for each of us to take individual responsibility for our lives and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
There will be a definite momentum building this year, and we’ll feel a culmination of our efforts by December and moving into 2020. Last year, Jupiter and Neptune were active in a favorable trine. Each of these planets were expressed in water signs, making emotion, intuition, and spirituality strong themes. For most of the year, Jupiter will be in Sagittarius, the sign it rules. Themes of Jupiter in Sagittarius include personal growth, higher education, the quest for knowledge, freedom, adventure, and spirituality. In general, 2019 will likely feel as if there is a bit more flow to the luck and opportunity that comes our way. When Jupiter was in Scorpio for much of 2018, we found our luck when we were brutally honest with ourselves. There were some amazing opportunities for transformation last year, but they weren’t easily won.
Jupiter will be in Sagittarius until early December, and during much of that time it will be forming a challenging square to Neptune in Pisces. With these planets of spirituality and values squaring each other, people may question their beliefs, and conflicts over religion will be more likely. Last year, Jupiter and Neptune worked in a harmonious trine, helping people to recognize what they had in common. However, this year there will be more focus on our differences and people will likely strengthen their faith. Sometimes this will be a helpful force to allow people to make choices that honor their integrity. But when this energy is out of balance, righteousness, zealotry, and delusional behavior could result. It will be important to focus on the productive cooperation that these planets can inspire, and work with others to prevent extremist action in the name of religion.
All of the Mercury retrograde cycles this year will involve the water signs, signaling us to slow down and review our feelings. Mercury is a planet ruling intellect and information, and when expressed through the signs of Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio, it encourages us to tap into our intuition and emotional intelligence. Use March, July, and November as months to check in with yourself and identify what you need. Much of the year’s energy will be focused on practical action steps, and it could be easy to ignore your intuition. The Mercury retrograde cycles of 2019 will be ideal for emotional exploration and healing.
Chiron will be in Aries from February 18 to the end of the year, as part of a longer cycle that will last until 2027. On a global level, Chiron in Aries will facilitate deep healing and people’s ability to strengthen their sense of self. This energy will promote self acceptance and the discovery of each individual’s unique purpose. Those born between 1969 and 1977 are scheduled to step into their power over the next eight years. This is a process that can take time and effort, but will be well worth the investment you make in yourself. The knowledge you’ve gained through the trials in your life will serve to help others who may now be facing obstacles that you’ve previously overcome.
The North Node will be in Cancer all year, providing an overarching support for those in caretaking roles. We’ll be in the flow when we extend ourselves to others and create a nurturing environment in our families, communities, and the world. Aggressive tactics are less likely to succeed than the fierce determination of groups working together to support each other. Instead of attacking our adversaries, we can turn to those around us to create a safe space and limit the options of those who wish to divide us.