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©2016 by Richard Nolle
last revised JAN 31, 2016

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 month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2016 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2016 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. Orders may also be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

"I might cry tomorrow, but I may be smiling the day after.
That's enough. That's the way life is.
If I don't lose hope - tomorrow will come."

-- Ai Yazawa

The Skinny

FEB 7, 2016 Mercury Maximum Elongation West (Mercury Max Ends) Planetary Maxes are the heavyweights this month, and there are two to be aware of. By far the more important is the biennial Mars Max, which starts on February 4, as the Red Planet begins lining up for its close approach to Earth on May 22. The other one is the first Mercury Max of 2016, which comes to a close on February 7, when "morning star" Mercury achieves maximum elongation west of the Sun (rises as far ahead of sunrise as it gets). The other noteworthy celestial phenomena are the moon on the 8th, and the full moon on the 22nd. Let’s deal with these solunar alignments first.

Tidal Surges in Earth’s Skies, Seas and Crust

The new moon on the 8th looks like the more important indicator of geophysical stress in February, coming as it does so close to the beginning of Mars Max and the end of Mercury Max. I figure the cosmic stress window associated with this new moon runs from the 4th through the 12th – extended a day before and after the usual three days either way stress window, due to the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the celestial equator (Earth’s equator, extended out into space) on the 5th, and the northward lunar crossing of the celestial equator on the 11th.

The other notable geophysical stress signal this month, the full moon, sets up a shock window that runs from the 19th through the 26th. Extended a day by the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator on the 25th.

By storms, incidentally, I mean not only the ones that rip through Earth’s atmosphere; but also those in and emanating from the Sun: an on and off barrage of M and X-class solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and attendant Kp 5 and higher geomagnetic storms here on Earth.

In both cases, you can plan on headline storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, extreme tidal surges along the coast, and notable seismic activity – including Magnitude 5 and up earthquakes, and an uptick in sizable volcanic eruptions. If you’re going to be anywhere vulnerable to such, and particularly if you’re in transit during these stress windows, it’s not a bad idea to have emergency plans and backup procedures in place, just in case. I believe this kind of potential is likely to be most disruptive during the new moon shock window, from the 4th through the 12th.

Solar Storms and Mercury Max

Mercury's Synodic Cycle Terrestrial storms aren’t the only ones to expect this month. Disturbances emanating from the Sun are also on tap, during the first week of February: an on and off barrage of M and X-class solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and attendant Kp 5 and higher geomagnetic storms here on Earth.

Any Mercury Max cycle coincides with increased solar storminess, particularly within a few days either way of the key points within the cycle; not only throughout the whole Mercury Max, but especially around the key points. For this month, that’s the end point of the cycle, Mercury’s maximum elongation west of the Sun on February 7. This makes February 4-10 the dates to watch. .

These periods are not items of interest to astrophysicists only. Inject Gigawatts of surplus solar radiation into Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and you get a real power surge – manifesting as extra storminess in the atmosphere, in the crust (seismic stirrings including M5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) and in the magnetosphere (Kp 5 and higher geomagnetic storms, plus showy auroral displays). Watch the news, you’ll see what I mean.

Also be aware that electrical systems of all kinds are apt to go fritzy under these solar surges. This means that electrical grids, electrical and electronic devices and networks, satellite systems and the like are all extra vulnerable to disruptions – as is the human nervous system, a particularly sophisticated and sensitive electrical complex. Have your backups and fallback plans current, just in case.

For more on Mercury Max, see pages 18-25 in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights; or my free online article on the subject.

Mars Max: Fires, Crashes, Clashes and Explosions

FEB 4, 2016 Mars Max Begins)February 4-September 1 marks out the 2016 Mars Max cycle, when the Red Planet slows its progress through our skies, eventually goes retrograde and then reaches its May 22 closest approach to our Home Planet (perigee), before resuming direct motion and then finally coming back up to normal apparent motion. This is, in short, when Mars and all it signifies will assume heightened significance in human experience, as the Red Planet grows bigger and brighter in the night sky. Think of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the start of World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 911, Fallujah, and similar Mars Max manifestations.

More of the worst and most dangerous manifestations of human recklessness and belligerence – an excess of "fires, crashes, clashes and explosions," to put it in a nutshell. "War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" That’s the anthem for this February 4-September 1 cycle, and most especially around its key points; e.g. February 4 (when Mars Max begins), April 17 (Mars’ retrograde station), May 22 (the Sun-Mars opposition, when Mars is closest to Earth), June 29 (Mars’ direct station), and September 1 (the end point of the Mars Max cycle). This month, I’m looking at the full moon February 1-12 as the Red Planet’s red zone. Be prepared to take cover, don’t be surprised at outbreaks of impatience, hostility or even violence from the individual to the collective levels – including, in the latter category, ranging all the way from a rash of shooting and mass shootings, to terror attacks, to military conflict. And explosions – some of them really big! (For more on Mars Max, see pages 11-18 in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights; or my free online article on the subject.)

Now that you know what to look out for, here are some things to look forward to. They’re lightweights, but nice distractions from the heavy-handedness all around us this month. These include the Moon-Venus alignment on the 12th and Moon-Jupiter on the 24th: times to appreciate the finer things in life, especially if the earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) were prominent in the sky when you were born. Check your chart!


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 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 Earthquake Alerts ör QuakeWatch app for iPhone.

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