|JANUARY 2018 FORECAST
©2017 by Richard Nolle
last revised December 31, 2017
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 psycho-babble 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). Location for all mundane charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. 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 month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2018 World Forecast Highlights (41 8-1/2 x 11" illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2018 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in toll-free anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761, and charged to any major credit or debit card. Orders may also be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to email@example.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.
"Stop longing. You poison today’s ease, reaching always for tomorrow."
-- Robin Hobb
The biggest celestial news for January is the pair of full SuperMoons book-ending the month. That’s more than we had in all of 2017! Of course, you know all about this already, if you’ve been paying attention to the popular media for the past month; or if you saw the free 21st Century SuperMoon Table I published at my website (astropro.com) back in the last year of the last century.
SuperMoon is a term I created and defined in a 1979 article for Dell Publishing Company's Horoscope, the world’s leading astrology magazine, describing a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs with the Moon at or near (90th percentile) its closest approach to Earth (perigee) in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. (My most recent print article on this subject appeared in the October-November 2007 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.) Over the last several years, astronomers and science writers have adopted my terminology. I’m told this is the first instance since Johannes Kepler in the 17th Century of astronomers adopting a concept that originated with an astrologer.
In the last year or two, I’ve been asked how I arrived at the 90th percentile figure just mentioned above. Back in the 1980s, Michael Erlewine and crew at Matrix Software published Blue*Star, which was at the time the most capable astrological software available. (As much as I appreciate today’s Solar Fire software from Esoteric Technologies, I still miss Blue*Star.) Blue*Star had what was called a “distance value” function, which rated a planet’s distance from Earth (or from the Sun, if running in heliocentric mode) on a 0 to 100 scale, where 0 was as far away as possible (apogee or aphelion), and 100 was as close as possible (perigee or perihelion). After a year or so, I found that on that scale, 90+ described perigee syzygy quite well – roughly equivalent to a syzygy occurring within plus or minus 12 hours of perigee. And, thanks to Blue*Star’s powerful search function, generating a century’s worth of SuperMoons was a snap. Hence my description of a SuperMoon as being in the 90th percentile of close perigee syzygy.
History and definitions aside, at the very most basic geophysical level, a SuperMoon is a type of extreme lunar alignment that is associated with especially powerful tides in the atmosphere, seas and crust of our home planet. These extremes manifest as increases in the frequency and magnitude of strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation – and all that entails, including flooding, property and infrastructure damage and worse. Also in the SuperMoon arcanum comes an uptick in notable seismic activity, including moderate to severe (Magnitude 5 and up) earthquakes and significant volcanic eruptions. Extreme tidal surges are the third leg of the SuperMoon geophysical tripod – sometimes these are tsunami, but more often they’re just normal tides that happen to be much higher than usual.
These geophysical manifestations of SuperMoon are only the larger, grosser expression of this alignment; the macrocosmic end of the spectrum, so to speak. The other, microcosmic end is much subtler, in the grand scheme of things. It’s an intensification of human psychological and emotional extremes. Although these sometimes make headlines in their own right, as when someone becomes unhinged and commits atrocities of one kind or another, usually we see the personal side of SuperMoon on a much more private level. We feel it in ourselves – some of us more than others – and we see it in the people around us. There’s an intensification of emotionality, for better or worse.
The Full SuperMoons of January
How much bigger does a full SuperMoon look, compared to a full moon that occurs with Luna at apogee (the most distant point from Earth in the Moon’s orbit)? Some critics have charged that you can’t tell the difference, which is just plain silly. A very close estimate of the difference in apparent size can be obtained from the ratio of the full moon’s distance at perigee, divided by the full moon’s distance at apogee. (The result from this method actually agrees to within less than one percent of the actual difference in apparent size as measured in pixels with a CCD.) Take for example the March 19, 2011 SuperMoon, at 356,577 km. away. Compare that to the 406,434 km. distance of the apogee full moon on October 12, 2011: 406,434/356,577 = 1.1398. This puts the Moon 14% (49,857 km.) closer to Earth on the March 19 full SuperMoon than it was on the October 12, 2011 full moon. The intensity of light being the inverse square of the distance between a light source and an observer, squaring this ratio tells us how much brighter the March 19 SuperMoon appeared in comparison to the October 12 apogee full moon: 1.13982 = 1.299, or 30% brighter.
This is exactly why the only SuperMoons likely to get any notice from the media in 2018 will be the full SuperMoons of January 2 (11° 37’ Cancer) and January 31 (11° 36’ leo). You’ll see lots of dramatic photos, as usual. And if you happen to get clear skies and go out at sunset, looking to the east will reward your eyes with a visual feast. Alas, the SuperMoon storm connection means that some people won’t get a peep at the show. This one anchors a somewhat extended shock window, from December 30, 2017 to January 5, 2018. That’s the period when a surplus of strong storms and seismic activity is likely to make news – especially in areas marked out by the astro-locality map for this SuperMoon. Among the target zones is a meridian line running down from Winnipeg through the US Midwest and Gulf Coast, through eastern Gulf and southern Mexico. Another meridian line runs from Greenland through eastern Brazil, emerging on the other side of the world to cross Japan, Papua New Guinea and eastern Australia. And notice the horizon arcs sweeping across the Bering Strait and the Aleutians, down through Siberia, Mongolia and on through India and southwest Asia, into Egypt and East Africa. These are some of the particular target zones for the January 2 SuperMoon effect, but they’re not the only ones. Remember: SuperMoon is astronomical in scale, and therefore planet-wide in scope.
The January 2 SuperMoon occurs with Venus conjunct the Sun (opposing the Moon in this case, of course), and Mars conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio. I suspect that this indicates an irrational boom/bust event in financial markets, and a surge in saber-rattling, military confrontations and terrorism. On the geophysical front, storms with extra heavy precipitation threaten severe flooding; and extreme tidal surges are on the agenda. Check out the astro-locality map for this SuperMoon, and take another look at the Mars-Jupiter lines (horizon and meridian) as well as the other horizon and meridian lines for the likely target zones. These include Alaska and the Aleutians, Japan, Indonesia and Australia; Russia, China, and Southwest Asia; plus Eastern Europe, the Middle East and East Africa. (This is only a partial catalog, because this particular SuperMoon is part of a complex configuration. A picture being worth a thousand lines, pay heed to the lines on the map!)
On the personal front, pay particular attention to this time period if you were born with significant chart placements around twelve degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), as these will be a focus for this eclipse. For example, this SuperMoon hits Mercury in Donald Trump’s natal chart: a mental lapse, a miscalculation.
The second and final full SuperMoon of the month and the year is the January 31 total lunar eclipse at 11Ò?36’, anchoring a shock window that extends from the 28th into February 5 (extended a bit by the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator on February 3). This too is an exceptionally potent SuperMoon, since it includes the extra alignment factor of a total lunar eclipse, plus the Moon’s peak declination north of the celestial equator on the 29th.
Checking the astro-locality map for the January 31 SuperMoon lunar eclipse features a Sun-Moon-Venus meridian line stretching southward from Kamchatka down through the South Pacific and on to New Zealand, emerging on the other side of the world to cross over Iceland and westernmost Africa. The horizon arcs for this same three-planet SuperMoon configuration sweeps across easternmost Australia and westernmost Africa. Notice the focus on West Africa and Australia/New Zealand? This is a planet-wide phenomenon of course, but pay attention to the target zones mentioned above.
All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Charts are set for the location of the Great Pyramid - a purely arbitrary choice, since location is irrelevant to these charts. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe or Star Rover apps for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from the QuakeFeed, QuakeWatch or QuakeZone apps for iPhone. Any market images are screen captures from the default iPhone Stocks app, unless otherwise noted. Weather images and storm tracks are screen captures from the Weather Channel app for iPhone.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)
||Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
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