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©2003 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 14:44 JAN 1, 2003
If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).

If you want a future, darling
Why don't you get a past?

--Cole Porter

JAN 2 New MoonSome years start out with a bang, but 2003 is more likely to start in a fog - figuratively, if not literally. What with the new moon at 12 Capricorn and Mercury's retrograde at 28 Capricorn both kicking in on the 2nd, there's a kind of Keystone Kops on thorazine theme at work as the new year gets underway. The new moon is a sign of weather disturbances, including storms that can cause locally heavy flooding and all kinds of travel delays due to missed connections, cancelled flights and snow-clogged highways. The new moon effect is already in evidence as the new year begins, since December 30 at any rate. And it continues in effect until the 5th. While not in the same league as an eclipse or a SuperMoon, this lunation does occur within just a few hours of the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator. Consequently it would be unwise to disregard this new moon's potential as indicating an increased risk of seismic disturbances, including Richter 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions through the 5th.

Travel delays due to weather are just the start of the snafus as the new year gets underway. Mercury's retrograde adds a copious element of human error to make things sublimely ridiculous. The only thing that can make bad weather worse is incompetence and inattention, and these are plentiful when normally swift Mercury dawdles and then regresses. Double-check everything, allow extra time for things and people that get lost, misplaced and delayed during the retrograde. Above all, be patient: Mercury's retrograde lasts until the 23rd, and it's not until mid-February that the little planet finally recovers all the ground lost since the beginning of the year. These are the times that test our mettle, times when Murphy's Law reigns supreme and everything that can go wrong does. The one thing these retrogrades are good for is fixing stuff - if only because there's so much that needs fixing.

There's some strong Mars activation this month, the kind of thing that is historically associated with war on the collective scale, and with criminal violence on the personal scale. People are reckless at times like this, so keep your eyes sharp and your guard up. January 14 brings Mars to the opposition point of the November 20, 2002 28 Taurus lunar eclipse (i.e. conjunct the Sun's 28 Scorpio position at that eclipse). Remember: strong Mars activation like this brings danger by mishap as well as malice. Accidents, fires, crashes and explosions are par for the course. Look for all of them to make headlines within a few days either way of the January 14 Mars eclipse degree transit. This is one of a couple of Red Planet transits to the eclipse degrees of late 2002, which I have previously indicated appear to be likely candidates for the onslaught of a major US military campaign against Saddam Hussein - assuming, of course, that the Butcher of Baghdad isn't disposed of in a coup first. (I could have said 'deposed', but I didn't.)

JAN 18 Full MoonThe January 18 full moon at 28 Capricorn is an indicator of a notable though not extreme increase in storm and seismic activity from the 15th through the 24th. (This particular risk window gets a couple of extra days due to the lunar perigee and equatorial crossing on the 23rd.) Keep your candles and flashlights handy if you're staying in, allow extra time if traveling if you're going out. This particular full moon falls right on the degree where Mercury's retrograde began on the 2nd. It also happens close on the heels of the Moon reaching maximum north declination on the 17th. So I do expect to see disruption in transportation and communication infrastructure - certainly due to weather, possibly to other natural causes, and also possibly for reasons of a business nature (including labor-management issues). Given that Mars is still within just a few degrees of its eclipse transit during the full moon, weather-related accidents are not the only possible reasons for infrastructure tie-ups. Military and terrorist strikes could also figure into things at a time like this.

The January 30 lunar south declination maximum presages another bout of severe weather and moderate to severe seismic activity as the month draws to a close. Figure this particular risk window to start on the 29th and carry through to February 7. That's because it merges into the new moon on February 2, which in turn melds with the northward lunar equatorial crossing on the 6th. New moons, it should be noted, are preferred by the US military for launching stealth military campaigns. And this one happens just as Mars crosses over 12 Sagittarius (the location of the December 4 solar eclipse) on February 4. So late January into early February is bound to be a tense time in the Persian Gulf - and anyplace else where trouble lies within reach of a B-2 or two.

There are also a number of planetary alignments in late January suggestive of a drop in equity markets, as Venus conjoins Pluto on the 25th and opposes Saturn on the 29th. A solar alignment with Neptune on the 30th and opposition to Jupiter on February 2 lends credence to the notion of an unsettled market. War jitters? That fits the pattern . . .


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