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: I apologize for the delay in posting this forecast (and the free abbreviated 2012 World Forecast Highlights). First and foremost, his was due to the 2012 World Forecast Highlights being bigger (34 8-1/2 X 11" pages, illustrated) Ė and I hope, better Ė than ever before. Despite all that extra work, every one of the pre-paid copies went out to my clients on December 31. There were so many orders (and so many every day since), that there just hasnít been time to get to publish the complimentary online versions until now. Thanks for your patience and understanding! Meanwhile, if youíd like your own copy of the full 2012 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Ė or by using the astropro PayPal order page.
For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.
-- Alfred Lord Tennyson
Two of 2012ís prime celestial pointers are zeroed in as the year opens. One is the near-exact Jupiter-Saturn opposition (within two degrees of precise alignment from late December 2011 through January 2012). Itís the final near-alignment in the 20-year cycle of this opposition which was last exact on March 28, 2011. This is another part of the Great Chronocrator cycle Iíve been writing about for several years now, the changeover from the earth sign Chronocrators that have held sway from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. This is the last Jupiter-Saturn opposition in the earth sign Chronocrator series. It points to a breakdown in the social, political, cultural and economic order Ė and the response to that breakdown, which is always initially an attempt to preserve the status quo, until that attempt itself breaks down, as it must.
Being so close all month, and so historic besides, this is 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. (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 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. (In particular, watch for these themes to come to the fore around the 16th, when the Moon aligns with Saturn.)
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 begins this month, on the 24th; and ends a few months later 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.
This 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'll loom larger and larger in the news from late October 2011 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 on or about the 24th; also around the 14th, when the Moon aligns with Mars.
Being months in duration and planetary in scale, you can pretty well figure that Mars Max effects will be seen worldwide. But there may be one very broad hint as to areas of particular vulnerability during this cycle. Astro-locality mapping the March 3, 2012 Sun-Mars opposition that anchors the 2011-2012 Mars Max cycle reveals several longitudinal special risk zones, including one in the western US from southern California in the vicinity of Los Angeles due north through western Canada, passing over the pole to come down through Russia and the Middle East in the area of the border Iran shares with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Except for skimming the far north of Canada and the southern tip of Greenland, the Sun-Mars horizon arc mostly spans open ocean - except where it touches eastern Australia (around Melbourne), Papua New Guinea and New Britain on its way across the Pacific to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the coast of Siberia. Keep an eye on developments in these target zones this month, and throughout the rest of the 2011-2012 Mars Max.
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. And while there are no major geophysical warning signs in the January sky Ė i.e. no SuperMoons, eclipses or the like Ė there are a couple that do point to an elevated risk of strong storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation. One runs from the 5th through the 14th. Itís anchored by the full moon on the 9th, but extended beyond the usual plus or minus three days by lunar declination factors: the Moonís peak declination north of the celestial equator on the 6th, and the southward lunar equatorial crossing on the 13th.
Another similar geophysical shock window is centered on the January 23 new moon, and runs from the 16th through the 27th. (Itís extended before and after by the lunar perigee on the 17th and Moonís south declination extreme on the 20th at the front end, and the Moonís northward crossing of the celestial equator on the 26th.)
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 . . .
Last but very far from least, the Moon-Venus alignment on the 26th augurs romance and other of lifeís finer things Ė a good time to savor affection, conviviality, hedonism, entertainment and sensuality generally. Make the most of it!
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)