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Planetary Illuminations for January 2017



Major influences

January begins with Mercury traveling in retrograde motion.  Until Mercury turns direct again on January 8th it is wise to initiate as few new projects as possible.  Instead, this is an excellent time for reflection and review - a time to slow down and use your practical instincts rather than your genius.  

The challenging square between Saturn and Chiron that began at the end of December which tends to trigger emotional upsets and create pressure for personal evolution is beginning to wane, although it will remain in effect through most of January.  Under this influence there is potential for a great deal of release as we find ourselves working through past hurts and emotional traumas in order to free ourselves from any remaining energy that they have left in our hearts. 

This month's  planetary activity mostly involves the faster moving planets which have a more fleeting influence, making this a good time to start fresh and empower your vision!


(See complete list of planetary events at the bottom of this email.) The first few days of the month bring a dreamy and mystical quality to enhance creativity and imagination as well as open the doorways of intuition and higher perception.  Our awareness is heightened by greater sensitivity to the world around us and we are more sensitive to others and more easily able to express our feelings.  

Venus (relating and aesthetics) enters Pisces on the 3rd, so for a few weeks we may have more difficulty than usual setting boundaries in our relationships, but this creative sensitivity will help us to see more clearly through our inner eyes. 

On January 4th Mercury (mind and communication), which has been retrograding back through practical Capricorn, will re-enter Sagittarius and remain there until the 12th.  In the open-minded sign of Sagittarius Mercury can be expansive as we seek greater wisdom and higher ideals, but it can also be blunt and insensitive, especially because it is in retrograde motion where it is not at its most effective.  Watch for careless speech during this period. 

January 7th offers a brief opportunity to experience our lives at a deeper level than usual.  This could manifest as a situation that arises to permanently transform something in your life that has not been working for you. 

Mercury turns direct on January 8th but it will take a week or so for its motion to return to something more normal.  This is called the "shadow' period and during this time we may still feel somewhat stuck.  Just be patient - things will soon be back to normal.

On the 10th we have a brief transit that requires an inner adjustment. Something in our lives has changed but we haven't yet adapted, and that will become easier under this short (one day) cycle.

Over the next few days (the 10th-13th or so) a harmonious Mars cycle helps to energize us and shake off inertia.  We are inspired now for transformation and are likely to feel more alive and aware.  On the 11th this excitement could become overinflated and combine with an aspect that facilitates healing and balance so we may want to take some time for reflection on that day. 

This leads up nicely to the Cancer Full Moon on January 12th. Full Moons always include some tension since the Sun in Capricorn with its focus on practicality and the ends justifying the means , is exactly opposite the Moon in Cancer, inspiring emotional sensitivity and connection to tribe, pulling us in both directions and requiring us to find a way to integrate the opposite signs.  

Creating even greater tension is an exact Grand Cross with Jupiter and Uranus as well as the Sun and Moon.  Grand Crosses carry a tremendous amount of power in the tension that they bring to bear. They aren't always comfortable, but this will be a powerful Full Moon that is full of magic. Any hidden restlessness or longing for freedom will erupt under this Full Moon which demands that we find balance between our need for connection (Cancer) and our need to create something in the world (Capricorn). 

The effect of a Full Moon lasts for about three days, and then we have a couple of stressful Mars aspects from the 16th-20th that could bring up an old wound which we have been trying to ignore and put the brakes on our plans.  These few days may be a bit frustrating and it will be important not to become discouraged.  Wait for clarity to come - it will!

The Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th.  The 20th brings a lovely aspect for relationships which deepens our feelings for our loved ones and helps us to strengthen our relationships.  On the 23rd our creativity and imagination is awakened and we will find it easier to connect deeply within in meditation.  This aspect lasts only for a day or two so take advantage of it!

The New Moon in Aquarius occurs on January 27th. Aquarius is the sign of social justice and rational thinking - it inspires us towards independence and innovation.  The airiness of the New Moon combines with the fact that four planets are in Pisces which is a very watery sign - this helps us to integrate the intellectual brilliance of the Aquarian influence with the sensitivity and imagination of Pisces.  

Creativity abounds under this New Moon, but a challenging Venus aspect suggests that this is not such a great time for our relationships. Under this New Moon it will be best to focus on our individual inspiration and endeavors and put our interactions with others on a back burner for the rest of the month. 

Mars (aggression, assertiveness) enters its own sign of Aries on the 28th and will remain there until March 9th.  Mars is at its very best in Aries where it can fully express the power of its energizing force openly and free from conflicting tension. 

That will be helpful during the last few days of the month when Mercury (transmission of information) interacts with both Pluto and Uranus, linking those two behemoths of power once again and creating potential communication conflicts.  This is a good aspect for writers, since the power of words is at its peak right now.  But it could be difficult for any difficult conversations and it might be best to put those off until early February. 


  • 1/1 Mars conjunct Neptune
  • 1/3 Venus enters Pisces - Mercury sextile Venus
  • 1/4 Mercury Rx into Sag
  • 1/7 Sun conj Pluto
  • 1/8 Mercury direct
  • 1/10 Sun square Uranus
  • 1/11 Mars sextile Pluto - Sun sextile Chiron - Sun square jupiter
  • 1/12 FULL MOON in CANCER - Mercury into Cap - Venus conj Neptune
  • 1/16 Mars conj Chiron
  • 1/19 Mercury trine NN - Mars square saturn - Sun enters Aquarius
  • 1/20 Venus sextile Pluto
  • 1/23 Mercury sextile Neptune
  • 1/27 NEW MOON IN AQUARIUS - Venus square Saturn
  • 1/28 Mars enters Aries
  • 1/29 Mercury conj Pluto
  • 1/31 Mercury square Uranus

I hope you find this information useful!  If you'd like to know more about how your own chart is affected by these planetary influences consider a personal consultation with me.

Meanwhile have a wonderful month!

best wishes,


Lynn Hayes has been a consulting astrologer since the mid-1980s, working with clients to achieve greater self-understanding and empowerment. She uses the birthchart to identify psychological and evolutionary patterns and systems, and then uses a process using a powerful combination of methods including "vision crafting" to permit breakthroughs in all areas of your life and heal old wounds that can prevent you from moving forward. Clients report rapid progress in breaking through areas where they formerly felt "stuck," and achieving a level of self-understanding not before known. This is why Lynn calls her practice "Astrodynamics."
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