Happy New (Calendar) Year to all our lovely Skyvibe readers! Hope you had a happy and peaceful Christmas and are ready to tackle all the astro-energies that 2018 has in store for us.

January 2018 is host to two Full Moons, one on 2nd January and the other a Full Moon Eclipse on 31st January. When two Full Moons fall within a calendar month it is called a “Blue Moon”, although it does not look blue in colour. More about the eclipse later.

The first Full Moon occurs on the first official working day of 2018, with the Sun in Capricorn illuminating the Moon at 11° Cancer. This Full Moon is casting light on the push/pull we all feel balancing work/family, and occurring on the first working day it may trigger intense emotions around these issues. Some may feel resentful of having to return to work after having spent precious time with loved ones, others may breathe a sigh of relief to leave the chaos of Christmas holidays for the relative sanity of the workplace. On the same day the Sun is sextile Neptune in Pisces and on the next day Venus also sextiles Neptune, so this will be a particularly sensitive time for many, so treat yourself, your family and your work colleagues with a little extra care and respect.

Action planet Mars meets up with expansive Jupiter on 7th January, a good day to start anything that needs energy and initiative, so dust off your New Year’s resolutions – you know, those same resolutions we all make every year – and get yourself to the gym or start that diet, because the planets are giving you a helping hand. The same day Mercury makes a trine to Uranus in Aries and squares Chiron in Pisces, so be careful about what you say or what dialogue you have running in your head, as you may say something explosive or hurtful to someone. If you miss this date, don’t worry, because you have two more opportunities to start those resolutions, on 15th when Jupiter in Scorpio sextiles Pluto in Capricorn, giving us the opportunity to transform in positive ways, and the New Moon on 17th January at 26° Capricorn is giving us the support to start new projects and overhaul our public image. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is A Mountain Pilgrimage, so whatever you start you will be in for the long haul. It won’t be quick and it won’t be easy, but you will be rewarded for perseverance.

Intense energies are occurring around the 9th and 10th of January. On 9th the Sun in Capricorn is sextile Jupiter in Scorpio and Mars in Scorpio is sextile Pluto in Capricorn. On the following day, we have a triple conjunction between the Sun, Venus and Pluto at 19° Capricorn. Later in the month on 25th January Mercury will conjunct Pluto at this exact same degree. Whenever we have a lineup of planets all buzzing at a particular point in the Zodiac, we need to pay attention. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is A Hidden Choir singing during a religious service. The Hidden Choir is our intuition, the voice of the Angels whispering in our ears, giving advice and lending support if we allow ourselves to hear them and be guided. With the power of Pluto combined with the faith of Jupiter, the energy of Mars and the gentle beauty of Venus, we have an opportunity to transform ourselves in a profound and positive way if we stop, meditate, listen and act on our intuition. Mercury enters Capricorn on 11th January, bringing more order to our communication and thoughts.

To wrap up the month we have a total Lunar Eclipse on 31st January. A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are in opposition and conjuncting the Nodes, with the Earth coming between the two Luminaries and casting its shadow across the face of the Full Moon. Lunar eclipses have a different energy to a normal Full Moon as the Nodes are involved, and as the Earth is in direct alignment to both the Sun and the Moon, the impact of an eclipse is deeply felt. This Lunar eclipse is conjunct the North Node, so it has the flavour of destiny about it, and brings to an end the cycle that included the lunar eclipse of August 2017. Look at your chart to see if you have any planets around 11° to see the aspects this eclipse is making in your life.

This Full Moon is a Blue Moon, being the second full moon in the calendar month of January. It also has another distinction – the dwarf planet Ceres will be exactly conjunct the Moon, to the degree and only one second off exactitude. Ceres was discovered on 1st January 1801 in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Named after the Roman Goddess of the harvest, she is often depicted in art holding stalks of wheat, or a cornucopia abundant with fruit, nuts and grain. Ceres lost her daughter Proserpina when she was abducted by Pluto and taken to the Underworld. In her grief, Ceres abandoned the crops and the world was plunged into famine and hardship, until Jupiter intervened and dictated that Proserpina would spend half of the year with Pluto and half on the Earth with her mother. Thus we have our seasons – Spring and Summer when Ceres rejoices, Autumn and Winter when she grieves.

First designated an asteroid, Ceres was promoted by astronomers to the status of dwarf planet ironically on the same day that Pluto was demoted. Perhaps Ceres got her ultimate revenge on the God of the Underworld after all.

Astrologically Ceres represents gain and loss in our chart. She has a Moon/Pluto feel about her, a feeling that something has to be sacrificed in order for something new to come in. Eclipses represent beginnings and endings, and this one is conjunct the North Node, so something has to shift so that progress can be made and forward momentum maintained. Ceres does not give way gracefully, so be aware that whatever the Universe asks you to sacrifice cannot be changed by complaining. Know that transformation is never easy, but whatever comes to us is always better than what it is replacing.

The eclipse will last for 5 hours 17 minutes, the duration of totality is 1 hour 16 minutes. It will begin at 9.51 pm, become full from 11.51pm to 1.07am, ending at 3.08 am. The Sabian Symbol for 11° Leo is An Evening Garden Party of Adults, and I cannot think of a better way of spending an evening than watching the wonders of the sky with my friends and neighbours.

~ Joanne Rixon,  January 2018