If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT, aka GMT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
PLEASE NOTE: This monthís forecast incorporates elements of my complete 2012 World Forecast Highlights (34 8-1/2 x 11Ē illustrated pages), focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. If youíd like your own copy of the full 2012 World Forecast Highlights, itís available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761) and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to email@example.com Ė or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.
The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
-- Nikola Tesla
Groundhog Day is always in February, of course. This year, the whole month has a kind of Bill Murray Groundhog Day movie feel about it; something like that eternal instant on a ferris wheel when youíre at the top, frozen in time for a second, going neither forward nor backward, up or down. For one thing, thereís that once-in-twenty years Jupiter-Saturn opposition, which although not exact anymore has held within a few degrees of it since December 20 Ė and continues to do so until February 11. This is amplified by Saturnís retrograde station. While exact on February 7, the Ringed Planet has been within a degree of this station point since back on January 4, and remains that close into just about mid-March. (No wonder the Greek debt crisis and the whole Eurozone mess is going nowhere fast.)
Iíve described this Jupiter-Saturn alignment as a sign in the sky that there is no return to business as usual Ė and that extends to politics and culture as well. Thereís a struggle to achieve balance, to fix systemic problems and conflicts. But itís an enormous, generational job in this case, because this is the last such opposition of the whole earth sign Chronocrator series that has defined modern civilization. (For more on the historic context of this temporal watershed, see the full version of my 2012 World Forecast Highlights.) Among other things, this means there will be no immediate fix to problems like the disintegration of the Euro zone (and its common currency), the paroxysm in the global economy and financial system, the great struggle of East and West, etc.
The whole euro dilemma is a major focus for this lately, and will be for some time to come Ė but thereís a lot more to it than that. This is global, not regional. That said, if youíve been watching the European Union (EU) drama lately, with its Greek tragedies, Italian comic operas and such, thereís a passage in my December forecast that probably sounds rather familiar. " keep an eye on the Jupiter-Saturn opposition lining up in the heavens again this month. It points to a political and economic crisis response, possible anytime this month but probably peaking in early January, as the Venus-Neptune alignment chimes in . . . euro, schmeuro Ė short the thing . . ."
Shorting the euro has been pretty good business until lately. Euros were going for just over $1.34 early in December; and then dropped to as low as $1.27 by early January. Euro-schmeuro indeed! However, tantalizing rumors of a Greek debt deal have lately tempted investors into believing that the Eurozone will recover soon, ushering in a euro/dollar recovery. Indeed, the euro recovered to just over $1.32 in late January. If youíve missed out on the euro short, you might not wait for my December forecast target of until ďit pops up much over around $1.37.Ē Iím planning to start shorting it again soon myself, although at this point Iím not so sure it will recover to $1.37 before dropping again. Iím looking more at a space-time target than a price target - like sometime between Monday, January 30 (when Jupiter and Saturn are aligned in opposition, with the Moon conjunct Jupiter) and February 7-9 (same major planet alignment, with some extras tossed in, including Saturnís retrograde station). Significant developments in this process are also to be expected around the 13th, when the Moon aligns with Saturn) and the 27th (the Moonís alignment with Jupiter). Iím looking to wait as long as possible to allow the euro/dollar to pop as much as possible. But once it starts dropping again, I donít want to miss the move. (This is by no means a recommendation; only an outline of what Iím seeing!)
As I read these configurations, weíll see another conclave of the EU financial cardinals, the white smoke will be seen, and there will be great joy among the believers that something historic and wonderful has transpired. But that Jupiter-Saturn opposition, with Saturn turning retrograde says to me that this isnít a real fix Ė only another kicking the can down the road scenario. The euro/dollar pops on the announcement, and then drops when reality settles in; as it must, with Saturn being so bright and so high in the sky at the midnight hour.
Complicating attempts to deal with these issues is the other prime celestial factor at work now, the current Mars Max cycle. It began on October 28, 2011, when the Red Planet's daily apparent motion through Earth's sky dropped below its mean motion for the first time since May 25, 2010 at the end of the last Mars Max cycle. This relative slow-down is the precursor to the Red Planet retrograde that began on January 24 and ends on April 14. Mars Max also marks the beginning of the biennial Mars perigee phase, as Mars and our home planet come together for their close approach during the Sun-Mars opposition of March 3, 2012.Since the Red Planet remains within a degree of its January 24 retrograde station all month (and into February), we can expect an intensification of the Mars Max effect throughout this whole period.
As described in full detail in my 2012 World Forecast Highlights, his proximity means that Mars gets brighter and bigger in the night sky, culminating in the March perigee and then slowly dimming back to normal. Likewise, all things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, heat, fire, danger, belligerence and conflict - literally and figuratively - are more and more on the rise during the October 2011-July 2012 Mars Max cycle. This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from domestic, school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities. Criminality, terrorism and military conflict are never rare, but they've been looming larger and larger in the news since late October 2011, and this will continue into July of 2012.
Not all of this happens with malice aforethought, mind you. Recklessness, haste and inattention are no less dangerous than evil intent, and can easily cause just as many fires, crashes, clashes and explosions. You know what copy writers say: "If it bleeds, it leads." They'll have plenty of material to work with as Mars looms large in the night sky. So stay alert, and steer clear of danger and conflict as much as possible. Blessed are the peacemakers . . . always of course, but especially during a Mars Max like the one thatís so prominent in the sky this month, and most particularly around the 10th, when the Moon aligns with Mars . . . and late in the month, as the Sun and Mars close in on their opposition and Mars nears its perigee.
If youíve been paying attention at all, youíve seen ample evidence of Mars Max in the headlines lately. Expect plenty more of that amplified fires, crashes, clashes and explosions stuff as this Mars Max cycle continues Ė which it does of course, throughout February. In particular, keep a wary eye on the more emphatic Mars alignments in the sky this month, such as the Moon-Mars alignment on the 10th. And be aware that Mars remains within a degree of its retrograde station of last month (on the 24th) right up until the 5th; and within just a few degrees of its March 3 perigee (Sun-Mars opposition) from February 26 through March 11. These are the dates and periods when the Red Planet looms especially large in the sky: note them, watch them, watch "the other guy" and watch yourself. Youíll see this manifesting in your own adrenaline surges, in the surfeit of headlines about extreme violence, from the individual level of experience (e.g. murder, mass murder, school and workplace shootings etc.) to the collective (e.g. military and paramilitary conflict, terrorist atrocities, etc.) to a rash of spectacular accidents in the fires, crashes and explosions category.
Donít forget that every one of us, no matter how careful we are to keep out of the line of fire during a Mars Max, can nevertheless pay a price Ė literally. As Iíve written for many years now, this heightened potential for conflict on the geopolitical level almost always affects the oil markets. Disruptions in supply are not good for prices Ė unless youíre long crude, that is.
That does it for the predominant themes this month. There is an interesting Mars-Venus opposition on the 1st, which is within a few days of exact from late January through February 4. Watch for it in the sky, stretched across the horizon after sunset. Itís a sign of amplified avarice, desire and passion: great for two (or more) people in love or lust. Similar in nature Ė although more on the libertine than merely lusty side Ė is the Venus-Uranus conjunction on the 10th. Clearly, thereís lots of party hearty action this month!
Once again, there are no major geophysical warning signs in the sky this month Ė i.e. no SuperMoons, eclipses or the like. However there are a couple celestial events that do point to an elevated risk of strong storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation, as well as moderate-to-severe seismic activity, from magnitude 5+ earthquakes to volcanic eruptions. The first of these begins on the 1st and runs into the 11th. Itís anchored by the full moon on the 7th, but gets extended beyond the usual plus or minus three days by lunar declination factors: the Moonís peak declination north of the celestial equator on the 3rd, and the southward lunar equatorial crossing on the 10th. Frankly, this particular full moon, which coincides with Saturnís retrograde station and the inferior Sun-Mercury conjunction, looks like the most active storm and seismic window this month. Itís also a harbinger of enhanced solar activity, such as Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). These are associated with an increase in geomagnetic activity here on Earth, which can manifest as unusual auroral activity, disruptions to the satellite network and terrestrial electrical infrastructure, elevated radio noise, etc. Look for these effects to be most prominent around one and two weeks after the 7th - i.e., on or about the 14th and 21st, give or take a few days. (This works before as well as after, and in the before category came lots of Januaryís solar outbursts.
Another similar though probably lesser geophysical shock window is centered on the February 21 new moon, and runs from the 18th through the 24th. Again: these are not the kind of geocosmic factors that would typically indicate megastorms and megaquakes. But they are times to keep an eye on the sky and check your emergency stores just in case . . .
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)