Category: Forecasts and Horoscopes Written by Pam Younghans
MERCURY AT STATION: The planet Mercury is completing its three weeks of backward motion this week, and will station direct on January 18 at 5:11 a.m. PST.
This has been an especially complicated Mercury-retrograde phase since it coincided with Mars being retrograde in Gemini. The nervous energy has been quite high, and memories from the recent and the long-ago past have surfaced on a daily basis, giving us the opportunity to review and reflect. The mind has seemed to turn inward even more than usual, sometimes tumbling over itself in an effort to make sense of life events.
Mercury will be in hard aspect to Mars throughout the coming week, due to being nearly at a standstill for several days. The Mercury-Mars quincunx is exact to the minute on Monday, Mercury will station on Wednesday, and the aspect perfects again on Friday.
This Mercury-Mars aspect can be very impulsive, both in speech and action. We can promise more than it's possible to deliver and exhaust ourselves trying to live up to our word. Or, we might waste a great deal of mental and physical energy spinning our wheels without a clear understanding of best directions. But this quincunx requires that we become aware of that sense of urgency and understand its underlying message: That anything worth doing will have even better outcomes if we pause and pay attention to our intuition about direction and proper timing, rather than following the dictates of calendar or clock.
SUN-PLUTO ALIGNMENT: Once a year, the Sun and Pluto rendezvous, highlighting themes of power, personal will, and deep desire. As they align in Capricorn this week, ambitions and passions are (re)awakened that inspire decisive action. The drive for success is strong.
One of the dangers of the Sun-Pluto conjunction is becoming obsessed with achieving a goal, to the point of not caring about the impact of our actions. In this scenario, we can believe that the ends fully justify the means. It is also possible to have such laser-like focus that we ignore sound advice from others, or even from our own inner voice. Some may use manipulation or psychological tactics to further their agendas under this influence.
However, the energy of this conjunction can also be used in very positive ways, to more fully understand our own motivations. Pluto is the Psychotherapist planet, seeking to mine deeper truths and to unearth patterns that have been controlling us from behind the scenes. This influence can take us on a shamanic journey, where we explore the realms of soul to gain a greater understanding of self and of our higher mission in this lifetime.
Pluto is also the god of the Underworld, the catalyst of major life transitions and the agent of transformation. When we work with this planet, we often experience a process of death and rebirth, the burning of the flame and the rising from the ashes, in greater glory than before.
NEW MOON: The first New Moon of 2023 occurs on Saturday, January 21, at 12:53 p.m. PST. At that time, the Sun and Moon will align at 01°32´ Aquarius and will be very close to Pluto in late Capricorn, separated by only three degrees. With this New Moon engaging Pluto's energies, everything that I've described about the Sun-Pluto alignment on Wednesday holds true for the New Moon, and for the entire new lunar cycle that begins on Saturday.
This lunation may also provide some clues as to how Pluto-in-Aquarius is going to manifest, due to the Sun and Moon already being in Aquarius as they draw in Pluto's empowering influence. The dwarf planet will officially enter Aquarius on March 23, but is now within two degrees of that threshold, and so already connecting with the Aquarian energy field.
I will, of course, share more about the Pluto-in-Aquarius themes in the weeks ahead. For now, it may help to know that Pluto's twenty-year journey through the sign of the Water bearer is destined to bring about major social changes and ideological shifts for humanity. It will be interesting to see what we observe along those lines with this week's New Moon ...
THE URANUS EFFECT: The influence of Uranus is heightened this week, due to it moving very slowly as it prepares to station direct next Sunday, January 22. When this sideways-spinning planet is strong, we feel restless and are keenly aware of where changes are needed. There is a rebellious quality to Uranus, which means people can tend to act out, especially if they have been feeling restricted or controlled.
Sudden or surprising events are "expected" when we are working with Uranus, although we cannot precisely predict its effects – for then, where would be the surprise factor? In general, we may see either literal or symbolic earthquakes, eruptions, and electrical events while Uranus is strong, both this week and next. Nervous energy is likely to be elevated, so please remember your conscious breathing exercises, get good rest, drink fluids, and support your nervous system through your food and supplement choices.
On a transpersonal level, Uranus represents Higher Consciousness and Divine Mind. While its influence is elevated, we may want to increase meditation and other activities with the purposes of elevating consciousness. We have greater access to higher information now, as we can enter realms that are above and beyond the workings of the rational mind.
DAILY ASPECTS: Here are this week's most important planetary aspects, with my brief interpretations of each.
Retrograde Mercury quincunx Mars: Communications are challenging with this influence, due to impatience with listening and a strong need to assert one's own opinions.
Venus semisquare Jupiter: Self-indulgent tendencies can make it hard to focus on work.
Mercury stations direct: As Mercury begins to move forward in the coming weeks, it encourages us to set our sights on what we want to achieve and to make plans for the future.
Sun conjunct Pluto: The drive to achieve is strong, compelling decisive and determined actions.
No major aspects are exact today.
Sun enters Aquarius: The Sun's month-long transit of nonconformist Aquarius supports us in more fully expressing our authentic selves. It may also inspire new community activities or social activism.
Mercury quincunx Mars: There is an opportunity to revisit issues that arose earlier in the week, and to make new decisions about how to communicate our desires.
New Moon 12:53 p.m. PST: We begin to look forward instead of behind us with this New Moon, focusing on what potentials the future may hold. Significant changes may occur as a result of this shift in perspective.
Mercury semisquare Venus: Although Mercury is now direct, there are still some challenges in expressing our thoughts to a loved one.
Venus conjunct Saturn: This annual alignment represents a reality check in the areas of relationship, finances, and personal values. Depending on how we objectively perceive the situation, it may be either a time to commit or a time to cut losses and move in a different direction.
Uranus stations direct in Taurus: The restless energies of change are very strong this week and next. We are inspired to reinvent our lives based on new insights and are more able than usual to disassociate from old forms.
IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: If you were born in the first half of this week, you are completing a two- to three-year period of deep personal transformation, and are likely working this year with the reverberations of some profound changes that have occurred. Those whose birthdays fall in the second half of the week have recently entered or are now entering a powerful, transitional phase of your life. Either way, the process of understanding yourself on deeper levels is a high priority this year. As you get clearer on your motivations and desires, you are inspired to change your life based on a clearer understanding of your priorities. Emotions are especially powerful this year and may be seen as "real" but perhaps exaggerated to get your attention. (Solar Return Sun conjunct Pluto, square Eris)
In peace and with gratitude,
No major aspects are exact today.
All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time. For Greenwich Mean Time, add 7 hours.
- MON: Retrograde Mercury quincunx Mars
- TUE: Venus semisquare Jupiter
- WED: Mercury stations direct, Sun conjunct Pluto
- THU: No major aspects are exact today
- FRI: Sun enters Aquarius, Mercury quincunx Mars
- SAT: New Moon 12:53 p.m. PST, Mercury semisquare Venus
- SUN: Venus conjunct Saturn, Uranus stations direct
"A QUANTUM SHIFT" RECAP: My thanks to everyone who signed up for last week's webinar! It was great to see so many people in the Zoom gallery. Whether you attended live or will watch the replay at your leisure, I hope you enjoy the class and find benefit in the information and insights I shared.
If you missed the class, no worries! You can still purchase the replay and monthly aspect calendars for January-April. Simply send an email with "Webinar Replay" in the subject line to and I'll reply with details.
If you pre-registered: Elsie sent out two emails containing the replay links, one right after the class aired and the second the next morning. Please check your spam or junk folder if you don't find it in your inbox. If you're not able to find either email, contact Elsie Kerns, at or call 856.988.7426 (Eastern Time Zone).
Astrologer Pam Younghans writes the NorthPoint Astrology Journal based on planetary influences and insights received. Her hope is to bring astrology "down to earth" in a way that will help readers navigate current energies, while also utilizing these energies for spiritual and personal growth.
Feel free to share this NorthPoint Journal with others who may enjoy it! Please forward it in its entirety, including all contact and copyright information.
To learn more about Pam's work, please visit www.northpointastrology.com.
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