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©2014 by Richard Nolle
last revised DEC 31, 2014

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 mundante 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 monthís forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2015 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11Ē illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2015 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 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 rnolle@astropro.com Ė or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.
-- Winston Churchill

The Skinny

The main themes for January include the Uranus-Pluto waxing square (270°), which has tightened up to the point that it spends the whole month within a degree or less of being partile (exact). Not to be overlooked is the start of the yearís first Mercury Max cycle on the 14th, subsuming the January 21-February 11 retrograde cycle and the January 30 inferior solar conjunction; and continuing through February 24.

Also included in this Mercury Max period is the first (stealth) SuperMoon of the year. Itís exact on the 20th, but effective from the 17th through the 25th This wider that usual shock window is extended a couple days by the Moonís northward crossing of the celestial equator Ė Earthís equator extended out into space - on the 24th.Itís the vanguard in a trio of consecutive stealth SuperMoons, in fact.

The Uranus-Pluto Square

DEC 15, 2014 Uranus-Pluto square This configuration speaks of social and political unrest aplenty, ranging all the way from the microcosm of individual acts of protest, violence and even insanity; all the way to the macrocosm of the collective: riots, revolution, civil and international war. A lot of this is already in progress, as predicted when I point out several years ago that this would be a major them from 2011 into 2016.

This is no flash in the pan. It stays within a degree of its December 15 exact alignment all the way from mid-November 2014 well into April this year. Itís not new, but itís tightening up and becoming more prominent now. Youíve seen it in the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements in the US, the Arab Spring; the uprisings in Ukraine, Thailand, Egypt, Greece and Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, China (including Hong Kong) and the like Ė and the wars that have been cropping up since 2011 the same way they did in the 1930s, when this alignment last appeared. We all look forward to a time of peace. We need to look beyond 2016, when the Uranus-Pluto square finally begins to separate, and the waning Jupiter-Saturn square prepares the way for the 2020 Great Chronocrator Mutation (change of element).

The whole month remains a time of conflict with and resistance to the powers that be, on the part of the underclasses. Itís the 99% against the 1%, and they underdogs donít go quietly. And as the turmoil boils over, it tends more and more to overrun all boundaries; such that revolt morphs into revolution, into civil war, and from there into war between nations. This is more or less continuous all month, but especially pronounced within a few days either side of the full moon on the 5th (in a T-Square with the Uranus-Pluto square, with Mars opposing Jupiter); the 12th (Mars square Saturn); and the 23rd (Moon conjunct Mars).

None of this happens in isolation. It occurs in the context of paroxysms in the economic system and the financial infrastructure, which impoverishes the lower and middle classes to the point of desperation. Expect January to be choppy in the equity and foreign exchange markets. Yes, a long term upward bias for equities; but itís not steady and continuous.

Watch also for breakthroughs in science and technology, the announcement of profound discoveries in quantum physics, astrophysics, medicine and biotechnology. This too is ongoing throughout January and well beyond.

January 5 Full Moon

Itís not a SuperMoon, not even an eclipse. But the full moon of January 5 still stirs up the crust, oceans and atmosphere of Planet Earth. Watch for increasingly strong and numerous storms, with powerful winds, heavy precipitation and dangerous lightning. This trend will be in effect from the 2nd through the 8th. Weather-related travel delays and breakdowns in transportation, power and communication infrastructure are on the agenda during this period. There's also bound to be an increas in newsworthy seismic activity (Magitude 5 and up quakes) and volcanic eruptions during this phase. But theyíre only a mild foreshadowing of what accompanies the January 20 stealth SuperMoon. Be prepared!

January 14: Mercury Max Begins

Mercury's Synodic Cycle

The Mercury Max cycle begins when the little Sun-grazer reaches its maximum elongation east of the Sun - its evening star phase. This happens when Mercury has come 'round to the same side of the Sun as Planet earth, and is relatively near us. The little planet is then pulling up to pass Earth on the inside track, as it were; catching up to us from behind and then passing between us and the Sun. Just as it catches up with us, Mercury passes directly between Earth and the Sun. This is Mercury's inferior conjunction with the Sun. After the inferior conjunction, Mercury continues pulling ahead of us until it reaches its greatest elongation west of the Sun (its morning star phase), at which point the little planet is headed toward the far side of our parent star. Between these two extremes, the greatest east and west elongations, comes the fabled Mercury retrograde period of astrological lore.

Take note that, with the inferior planets (those inside Earthís orbit; namely Mercury and Venus), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the inferior (retrograde) conjunction with the Sun. With the superior planets (those outside Earthís orbit), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the planetís (retrograde) solar opposition. Clearly astrological doctrine regarding planetary retrogrades is completely unthinking. Rather than being weakened or debilitated in some way, a retrograde planet is in fact bigger and brighter in our sky, and closer to our home planet. Not unlike a SuperMoon, in that respect . . .

Thereís way more to Mercury Max than I can do justice to here and now. Iíll refer you to my free online Mercury Max article, the Mercury Max section on my 2015 World Forecast Highlights; and the animation here. For now, I want to concentrate on what to expect during the current Mercury Max cycle, and particularly around the critical points in it: January 14, 21, and 30; and February 11 and 24.

JAN 14, 2015 Mercury Max On Among the sort of things to be ready for during the above mentioned Mercury Max cycles: strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess at these times.

ranted, Mercury Max as a whole tends to be a period of greater than normal solar activity Ė solar flares (M and X class), Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and geomagnetic activity (KP5 and higher). These tend to peak around (within plus or minus three days of) the dates of the five critical points in the Mercury Max cycle: the maximum eastern (January 14) and western elongations February 24) at the beginning and end of the cycle, as well as the two stations (January 21 retrograde and February 11 direct) and the January 30 inferior conjunction with the Sun. Because of the geomagnetic activity component of these solar storms, circuits and networks here on Earth can get erratic. Think Carrington Event (1859) or the Quebec Blackout (1989). Even today, a Carrington-level event would be catastrophic. But work continues on hardening the technological infrastructure that sustains humanity, to make it more resistant to solar storms. Already, satellite systems and power grids are better equipped to handle these surges, precisely because scientists and engineers have studied the problem, tested solutions, and applied the ones that work best. In other words, they have done their Mercurial best. Thatís exactly what we need to do during the Mercury Max: think sharp, stay focused, and carry through.

All things considered, I expect January to bring another rash of solar storms Ė most especially around the dates mentioned above. Youíll know itís happening when you see strong solar storms (M and X class flares and Coronal Mass Ejections), auroral activity spikes, and geomagnetic storms (KP 5 and up). Remember that network hardware (power grids, computer networks, satellite systems etc.) are not the only vulnerable systems at times like this. The human neural network sometimes gets erratic during solar storms. Not everyone is obviously affected, but those who feel it know who they are. If youíre one, get ready.

January 20 Stealth SuperMoon

And then thereís the first stealth SuperMoon of 2015, opening its shock window on January 17, initiating a heightened storm, tide and seismic risk period (including Magnitude 5+ earthquakes and headline volcanic eruptions) that extends from the 17th through the 25th (extended a couple days by the Moonís northward crossing of the celestial equator Ė Earthís equator extended out into space - on the 24th.Get ready: disturbances in the crust, seas and skies of Planet earth, as well as in the neural networks of individuals and the infrastructure of our civilization, are huge on the horizon this month. Not end of the world huge, mind you: my 2012 World Forecast Highlights well and truly gave the lie to that sort of nonsense. But get your safety nets ready nonetheless. Most of us wonít need them, but those who do will sorely regret not having them. You might want to pay special attention to this 0° Aquarius SuperMoon if you were born with significant planetary placements or other natal chart factors at or near 0° of the fixed signs; namely Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. (Check your chart!)

JAN 20, 2015 New Moon (Stealth) SuperMoon Astro-Locality Map Be aware that this particular SuperMoon is occurring in the midst of the yearís first Mercury Max cycle, within a day of the Mercury retrograde station on the 21st. Mercury Max cycles generally point to disruptions in terrestrial and solar weather, especially within plus or minus three days of the five critical points within each cycle: these are the elongation extremes at the beginning and end of each cycle, the two station points (retrograde and direct), and the inferior conjunction with the Sun. In this connection, the January 20 SuperMoon looks like an indication of the kind of solar storms and heavy weather that plays havoc with transportation and communication infrastructure (including electrical and electronic networks, power grids, etc.). Not an optimal time to be in transit; weather-related delays can play havoc with schedules. In addition to stirring up Earthís atmosphere and crust (and setting off geomagnetic storms that can disrupt all these large-scale networks), the human nervous system is also vulnerable under the aegis of this combination of factors; again, perhaps most especially if you were born with significant planetary placements or other natal chart factors at or near 0° of the fixed signs; namely Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. (Donít forget to check your chart!)

Being astronomical in scale Ė involving a special alignment of Earth, Moon and Sun Ė SuperMoons are planet-wide in scope. The whole of our home planet responds to the amplified tides surging through the skies, seas and crust of Earth at times like this. No place is entirely safe Ė storms can strike anywhere, for example - although some special risk areas are pretty well geographically defined. Extreme tides happen along the coasts, for example. Most seismic activity will focus on known risk zones (fault lines, etc.). That said, I advocate and practice a set of sensible preparations for such possibilities, and make a point of checking my list coming into periods of lunar extremes like this. A well-stocked pantry, some basic emergency supplies, a full tank of gas and some ready cash wonít go to waste if you donít need them Ė but you might be wasted if you need them and donít have them.

Apart from obvious geographical pointers, astro-locality mapping offers clues as to some of the more vulnerable zones on Planet Earth for any particular astrological alignment. Mapping the January 20 SuperMoon, for example, there are a couple longitudinal (north-south) meridian arcs associated with this alignment: one from Iceland down through the Atlantic just off the coast of West Africa; and the other from the Kamchatka Peninsula down through the Pacific Ocean, passing right between Australia and New Zealand. In addition to these meridian arcs, thereís a horizon arc of note, running up from the South Pacific across southern Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico, crossing the central US and into eastern Canada and Greenland, , passing just north of Iceland before bending southeasterly through Scandinavia and Russia on into the Middle East and out across the Indian Ocean.

Iím not by any means saying you can go to autopilot if youíll be outside of one of these zones during the January 17-25 SuperMoon shock window. Again, this is a planetary phenomenon, and therefore planet-wide in scope. But a little extra preparation and influence is these particular areas canít hurt.

Doing and Saying It in Style

Thatís plenty enough to keep you on your toes for the month, but itís not all about avoiding trouble. Look for the Mercury-Venus near conjunction (with a degree or two) from the 4th through the 18th. This is an auspicious time for creative writing and communicating with style Ė most particularly for people with significant natal planetary and other placements in the first couple decanates of Aquarius (0-20d). Check your chart, clear your calendar! (Yes, this comes in a time of solar storminess Ė but that may be just what it takes to loosen the tongue.)


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 Technologiesí Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app 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 QuakeWatch app for iPhone.

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