Please note the forecasts for each of the constellations concluding this Star Trends column are done in the system of Indian astrology, called Vedic astrology, which uses the observable constellations. These are different than the signs. Even though the names of the constellations and the signs translate the same, they have different reference points in the heavens. You will notice the difference in the dates in this column compared to the typical Sun sign column that Western astrology uses. These dates reflect the constellations, which Vedic astrologers use in their forecasts.
The increasing darkness concluded on the Winter Solstice last year on December 21st, the darkest day north of the equator, as the Sun begins his northern course and with it increasing light. The Civil calendar celebrates it with the January 1st New Year. The Indian calendar celebrates the gradually growing light with the Sun's passage into the constellation of Capricorn on January 14th called Makara Sankranti. This heralds the bright part of the year as the planet gradually awakens from its blissful slumber. The cycle of light will continue until it reaches its height at the Summer Solstice this year on June 21st. From this time forward the shadows and darkness will recede bringing all into the light in vivid color.
Light is the great revealer and creates the most vivid of colors during the bright part of the year. The most auspicious is the color green, which heralds the green shoots of new growth. However, green is also the color of money and monetarization. Mercury is the planet of monetarization and finance, and Mercury's color is green, just like the color of money. Financial volatility reigned in world markets as 2018 ended, leaving many in doubt regarding the world economic outlook for 2019.
As 2019 starts, Mercury, the planet of commerce and business, will be in alignment with Saturn and the storm planets until early February, so the indication is for financial volatility to continue for the time being. Of all the planets that revolve around the Sun, Mercury is the closest. It takes 365 days for our Earth to revolve around the Sun; it takes Mercury but 89 days to make the same revolution. This is merely a three month period of time which corresponds to the quarterly business cycle. Thus, Mercury is indicative of short-term, not long-term, trends. It is only human nature to believe that a short-term trend is going long, whether up or down. However, this is where the quicksilver nature of Mercury can break bad for those who believe they are in the know. The economic trend is volatile for now in the short run, not necessarily the long run.
What you will continue to see in the long run is increased reporting shining a light on how our personal business — our personal data — has been exploited for monetary gain by Big Tech and Big Data. These stocks are presently dragging the business indicators rudely down to earth. Big Tech and Big Data have been driving the markets with record profits, largely due to the collection and sale of our personal information. As the scandals emerge on just how much data has been collected and sold with little to no oversight, perhaps due to public scrutiny, the market forces that have driven Big Tech's value no longer believe the days of unprecedented profits are over. However significant the data breaches of the past, they may seem dwarfed by the breaking scandals revealing the enormity of how personal data has been bought and sold on social networking platforms and the surveillance economy many times over. The Facebook scandal merely seems to be just the tip of the iceberg for the monetarization of our personal information for capital gain for those who believe they have a right to collect and profit from it. Since there are no clear current guidelines on how this information is to be used, you can be sure it has already been sold many times over, enriching those who have purchased it in ways one could never imagine!
This has enabled a modern-day data Gold Rush for the commodification of personal information. Many bad mercenary actors have already staked claims. The scale of this commodification of collected personal information is beyond comprehension, and it will continue until guidelines on the future accumulation are legislated and enforced. The data Gold Rush had already sold personal information many times over, with little to no oversight long before the hackers got it. Contrarians and conspiracy theorists believe that Big Data has allegedly set up the hackers as fall guys for the data already collected and sold, as they only want the profits, not the liability! Either way, the spotlight is now on data collection and third-party brokers, and the easy benefits gained from your personal information are now in question, creating market volatility regarding future profits.
Mercury is the planet of commerce, trade, and information/data. He is neither a benefic or malefic planet, as it all depends on how the data is used. As consumers, we have naively assumed that when we engage in a commercial transaction our business was concluded then and there. However, in the new surveillance capitalism, that transaction lives on as an identity marker for future purchases, perhaps in perpetuity with no oversight on how that information is to be used. As consumers, this can rightfully lead us to question even our most simple commercial transactions commonly taken for granted in the past. The data scandals and hacks have revealed there are little to no guidelines on the collection of personal information. This raises a legitimate concern that we now need to be proactive regarding any and all transactions. We should place all data brokers and their marketing minions on notice that we do not consent to the collection of our personal information without due cause.
The increasing light on data collection reveals that the ship of our data has long since sailed. Where we can be collectively proactive is to assert that we do not consent to the ubiquitous collection of personal data. Further, we need to lobby our representatives for data-usage guidelines so we can limit which ports these data ships can anchor and unload data cargo. The coming data wars will concern its sale and usage. As the proliferating profits continue to come to light in 2019, the data Gold Rush will face increasing scrutiny from privacy advocates, demanding that data collectors file their claims with terms of usage, potentially limiting this pervasive form of identity surveillance for monetarization. Like all wars, disinformation and propaganda will continue until our personal data enjoys the same democratic civil liberties that we ourselves hold dear.
Mercury, the planet of commerce and business starts, off the New Year in the constellation of Sagittarius until the 20th of the month. Mercury aligns with the challenging planets Saturn and Pluto midway through the month trending volatile well into January. Later, from the 20th onward, Mercury aligns with the storm planets Rahu and Ketu, giving no relief until he enters Aquarius on the 6th of February. Mars will continue to transit Jupiter's sign of Pisces while Jupiter transits Mars' sign of Scorpio. This planetary combination is excellent for teamwork and collaborative partnerships for those so inclined.
The month of January will feature two eclipses. The first is a partial solar eclipse at 21 degrees of the constellation of Sagittarius. With Mercury and Saturn in Sagittarius, this eclipse trends to a time of collective confusion and uncertainty as the first New Moon of the year is partially eclipsed. Whatever New Year resolutions you wish to embrace, it is better to start them later in the year as you may find your energy is not focused or sustained enough to follow through on them now. The part of life that Sagittarius associates with in your chart will need additional scrutiny and diligence due to the effects of this eclipse and the influence of Saturn. Energy and momentum will be down as the year starts with this partial eclipse, so be patient as matters will become clearer later.
The second January eclipse is a total lunar eclipse on January 20th at 6 degrees Cancer. The part of life that Cancer is associated with will come under stress at this period of time. The effects of lunar eclipses drop off sharply once the full moon is passed, so any important decisions that need to be made should be deferred under a total lunar eclipse, unless it is a crisis or an absolute necessity. Emotions can run high during total lunar eclipses. Stay clear of the proverbial lunatics and delusional people during this time. Remain calm, and as the Moon wanes, seasoned deliberation will win the day.
The celestial good news during January is that both Venus and Jupiter will remain together in the constellation of Scorpio until the very end of the month! It is always a special celestial treat when these two planets of light align, as they only come together in the same sign every nine months. The sight of both Venus and Jupiter together in Scorpio will light up the part of life that Scorpio is associated with in your chart, as well the opposite part of your life that Taurus rules! Venus and Jupiter represent the creative and wise people who populate your life. They are the creative artisans and Gurus who will show you the way out of the shadows and darkness of the January eclipses. Focus on where the light shines brightly this month, not where it is absent.
Mercury enters the constellation of Aquarius on the 6th and finally clears all the malefic planets trending to a more definite time for judgment, commerce, and crucial personal decisions. On the 23rd of the month, he will enter Pisces, falling under the aspect of the benefic planet Jupiter. This month trends positive for Mercury's indications, most auspiciously towards month's end.
Venus moves from his alignment with Jupiter to now aligning with Saturn in Sagittarius. This alignment presents a more sober and realistic approach to important partnerships and relationships. Ones that are solid will stay the course. However, relationships that have suffered distance and strain will trend toward a difficult time with the potential of a break or separation. This is decidedly more so as Venus enters Capricorn and aligns with the storm planets Ketu and Rahu at months end after the 24th. Venus will clear the storm planets later in March around the Spring Equinox, so don't get your expectations up until well after Valentine's Day. My advice is to keep it simple and sincere this Valentine's Day, however, not so simple as to take your partners for granted!
Mars will leave the constellation of Pisces and enter his own sign of Aries on the 5th of February. Here Mars will remain strong in his own sign until later in March. The part of life that Aries is associated with will become infused with energy and enthusiasm this month. As Mars becomes free from any planetary association, he becomes more playful and physical in his approach to life. Now is the time to follow through on your New Year resolutions that lacked enthusiasm and focus in January. If you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle, this will be the time to start a new regimen of progressive activity. Physical exercise and expression will satisfy Mars and get the creative juices flowing again. Nothing too risky and dangerous, as Mars will align with the unpredictable planet Uranus more around the middle of the month. Physical exercise, hiking, but don't try to summit Everest during the middle of this month!
The storm planets, Rahu and Ketu, are respectively transiting the constellations of Cancer and Capricorn and will regress into the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius later in March. In the meantime, they will trend to domestic volatility as represented by Rahu in Cancer, and government and corporate volatility as represented by Capricorn. With a new Congress taking office on January 3rd, do not expect cooperation, but instead continuing polarization, storm, and conflict. With Venus entering Capricorn in the last days of February, you may see the specter of deteriorating relationships prompting more government and business resignations and firings from office due to the storms of scandal and impropriety, or from sheer fatigue or exasperation. Overall, a topsy-turvy couple of months start off 2019.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14-May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars is transiting the signs of Pisces and Aries. This presents an auspicious time of increased energy and accomplishment, especially during February when Mars enters his own sign of Aries when the time trends positive for taking action on short-term goals. Venus and Jupiter are transiting the domain of life associated with investments, legacies, and taxes. In light of the economic volatility of the times, you may wish to consult an investment consultant to steward your wealth and legacies during January. The solar eclipse of January falls in the 9th domain of your life associated with education and travel. Be advised to be very deliberate with your travel and educational plans during this time, for the eclipse coupled with Saturn in Sagittarius can create false starts, delays, and obstructions if your intentions are not well thought out and grounded in reality.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th-June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus and Jupiter are transiting the part of your chart that is associated with your partnerships and relationships - and also shining their light on you. This tends to be a positive time for romance, relationship, and marriage for Taurus. Be on the lookout for potential new partnerships with knowledgeable and gifted people who can positively impact your life. Jupiter is also the planet of friendship and community for the Bull so keep a Bull’s eye open for new friends and new communities that reflect your growing interest. The solar eclipse of January falls in the 8th domain of life related to taxes, investments, and legacies. Be advised to be very deliberate in your investments and tax preparation as much has changed in the tax laws this past year. Professional advice can assist you to take full advantage of the changes and limit costly mistakes.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th-July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the year starts with your planet Mercury transiting the domain of life associated with relationships, heralding a time of change. The January solar eclipse is also in the relationship domain of life adding to the celestial stresses. However, Venus and Jupiter in Scorpio transiting the 6th domain of your chart trend positive for self-care and establishing good habits which will support you during this time of change. Choose foods and habits that leave you feeling refreshed and vitalized, not exhausted. Mobile Gemini needs to be on the go and not get run down during the early part of the year. Saturn in Sagittarius is transiting the 7th domain of you chart stressing romantic relationship. The pressures of everyday life are anything but romantic so be advised to take some time off to rekindle, revitalize and remember that you are loved and supported by your partner.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th-August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet the Moon is eclipsed later in January with storm planets Rahu in Cancer in Ketu in Capricorn. This will be an up-and-down month of change, so roll with and surf the waves of change. Venus and Jupiter’s transit of Scorpio influences the 5th domain of life in regards to children and creativity. Their blessing here will trend to keep you optimistic and open-minded during this time of change as Jupiter mitigates the lunar eclipse! Mars in Pisces is tenanting the 9th part of your chart and is favorable for travel and educational pursuits. If you have been contemplating another educational opportunity or training, Mars will give you the energy and momentum to follow through on such endeavors. Saturn’s transit through the 6th domain of your chart trends positive for you to stay focused and remain competitive by exercising by proper diet and self-care.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th-September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet is momentarily eclipsed in early January but returns to full form in short order. Venus and Jupiter are transiting the 4th domain of your chart associated with home and family —the Leo native's pride and joy. Here Venus and Jupiter also shine their light on career, trending well for the Lion’s place in this world. This is a desirable time to start a remodel or move to a more spacious home for a growing family. The Lion needs to live in an area that is reflective of their regal bearing, so caution is advised not to overdo it. Mars' transit of both the 8th and 9th domains of life the first two months of the year will assist in revitalizing energy, so the year starts out very positive for the Big Cat. Saturn's continuing transit of the 5th part of the chart keeps the focus on the needs of progeny making sure they have all they need to be successful in their endeavors.
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th-October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury is transiting the domain of life associated with home and family. This trends for a time of domestic uncertainty and perhaps a change of residence, or a move is in the making. With the solar eclipse and Saturn also transiting that part of your chart, plan carefully and be very deliberate in regard to these matters. Venus and Jupiter are transiting the domain of life associated with your siblings and comrades, which also shines a light on the realm of travel and education. Time spent with siblings, as well as travel for leisure or education will take some of the stress off you. Academic advancement is favored for Virgo, so it’s full steam ahead. Mars will be joyfully transiting through the domain of life associated with romance and relationship under the influence of Jupiter during January, so passion is in the air for Virgo as well with the potential of so much more!
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th-November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus, with Jupiter, transits the domain of life that is associated with finances and domestic happiness. This time is trending to improve your finances and once monies increase your domestic life will adjust proportionately. Mars in Pisces is positively transiting the domain associated with diet, health, and exercise. New Year's resolutions around a healthy diet and exercise are favored as Mars will give you the energy to follow through. Once you get started, you might even find romance as Mars moves into the domain of romance and relations early in February, for when you feel good, you look good! Lastly, the early January solar eclipse and Saturn fall in the part of your chart associated with siblings and comrades. They may be in need of your sagacious advice or cheerleading so they can face momentary difficulties and obstacles with a positive attitude.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th-December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars has positive productivity in store for you. He transits the 5th and 6th domains creating an optimistic outlook and the return of your mojo! His transit in Pisces is excellent for progeny, and his entry through Aries in February is excellent for starting a new health and exercise program to embrace the new you. Venus and Jupiter are transiting through Scorpio, the part of the chart that is associated with you confirming the positivism you are experiencing. The light of these benefic planets also shines within the domain of romance and marriage. This creates an increased sense of connectedness, with a real potential for a new relationship and growing felicity and love if currently married or engaged. Saturn in Sagittarius in the 2nd domain of your chart will focus on your finances and food, reigning in both diet and spending so you can keep that positive mojo moving.
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th-January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter is aligned with Venus in the domain of life associated with rest and repose. Perhaps you have been burning the candle at both ends, and seek to take a step back to reevaluate and reflect. This is in perfect alignment with the planetary energy. The Archer's bow has just been weighty of late with Saturn in your sign this past year. Saturn’s transit through your sign is favorable for self-reflection and assessing and eliminating negative patterns that obstruct your sense of self and influence your intimate relationships with others. It is time for the Archer to hit the pause, not the fast-forward button. As this year starts, Mars is transiting the domain of your chart that is associated with your home and family. Mars here can assist in making changes in your domesticity that are positively adding to, not detracting from, your revitalization and restoration.
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th-February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn is in the domain of life that is associated with rest and repose. The solitary Goat does not mind taking a sure-footed step backward to restore and rejuvenate. However, watch the tendency to become the proverbial hermit, as balance is the key to your well-being. To remedy this Venus and Jupiter are transiting the part of the chart associated with your friends and community. Social activities with friends will lighten your serious nature and allow you to step back and just enjoy yourself, rather than being your productive self. Perhaps there is a new Sangha that calls and is in perfect alignment with your core values. This will give you the opportunity to engage in serious fun - the best of both worlds for Capricorn. Mars in Pisces trends for improved relations with others. You may find you are much more appreciated than you realize.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th-March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn is transiting the domain of life associated with your community and friends. Being of a deliberative nature, Saturn here will lead you to reevaluate existing friendships in favor of those friends who reflect your core values. Venus and Jupiter are transiting the domain of life associated with vocation, and their combined light is positive for career vision and advancement. You are poised for vertical upward movement in your career as the auspicious light of both Venus and Jupiter grace you early in 2019. Don't be afraid to jump ship if vocational sailing seems better in uncharted waters as Jupiter's transit will continue almost to the end of 2019. At the same time Mars in Pisces, exchanged with Jupiter in the 2nd domain of life can fuel your financial ambitions for the attainment of wealth. The light for Aquarius is career and economic advancement.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th-April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter with Venus transits the domain of life associated with travel, education, and spiritual advancement. Education and spiritual progress are favorable for the Fish as Jupiter will remain in this most desirable part of the chart until late 2019, so you will have the opportunity to enjoy this energy for some time to come. Mars will transit Pisces for all of January, and auspicious Mars will grant you the energy and enthusiasm to engage more fully in all you do! Saturn and the solar eclipse are influencing the 10th domain of life associated with career and casting their influence on home and family as well. Saturn on the vertical axis of your chart can pressure you between the growing needs of job versus the increasing demands of family creating dual stresses for Pisces. The Fish needs to swim the middle course, not the perilous shoals, to be successful at this time.
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