2013 – key issues; retrogrades and eclipses

Here we are, about to jump into another year and some pretty interesting aspects to help us on our way. Today we have Mercury moving into Capricorn – he’s thinking hard work, responsibility, perseverance, just what we’ll probably need if we’re going to achieve our New Year’s resolutions. Then tomorrow we have Mars sextiling Uranus and Mercury sextiling Neptune. Mars and Uranus in mutual reception (each in a sign ruled by the other) will enjoy the party atmosphere and the fireworks while Mercury, for all his more serious mood now he’s in Capricorn, looks like he’s going to enjoy a few drinks or at least the dreamy, slightly befuddled mood that Neptune can bring. It’s a gentle start to the New Year and a good opportunity to look forward to some of the major moves we’ll experience over the coming year.


To begin with we have Jupiter turning to head forwards again at the end of January. By this time he should have cleared away some of the confusion surrounding events, messages or feeling from the beginning of July and is ready to take a fresh look at them and this time reach a real way forward. This is what Jupiter is going to be working on between now and the end of April. Anything which seems to have been stuck or making us feel particularly frustrated should start to click into place and move forwards again – maybe not quite in the way we first imagined it, but quite possibly in an even better way. We will need to exercise patience over the next couple of months as Jupiter is moving tortuously slowly while he does his turn around but the change will come, we can be sure of that.

In the middle of February Saturn does his about turn, moving to head back over ground he has covered since mid November. Saturn in Scorpio and in mutual reception with Pluto is working on very deep, long lasting, structural changes in our lives. He’s bringing together Scorpio related issues of shared resources (including taxes, bank loans and so on) and politics with the way our life is structured, our career, our responsibility for others, our sense of being in control. Anything in our lives that has been connected to such themes over the last few weeks will be re-looked at over the mid part of 2013, an idea of the way forward will come when Saturn turns direct again in the second week of July and the changes will be complete by mid October.

The timing of the Saturn retrograde is connected to the year’s coming eclipses and the themes are shared as well as the eclipses will focus on the signs of Scorpio and Taurus – this is all about security, finance, building solid foundations for the future. The influences began with the solar eclipse back in November when Saturn was just about to enter his shadow. In April there will be a lunar eclipse conjunct Saturn which is likely to see some arrangements unravel completely leaving the way clear for more productive agreements to be reached. In May there is a solar eclipse very close to the degree of November’s solar eclipse and which should see some resolution or understanding about the significance of changes that have been going on behind the scenes since then. November sees a solar eclipse on the degree that Saturn will turn backwards on in February, this is the final eclipse of the Saturn related series and marks the final pieces being put into place. It is important to be aware of how these eclipses are working with Saturn to strip away what is unnecessary or depleting your resources so that you can put in place more stable and secure arrangements. Work with Saturn to let things go, even if it means letting go of some dreams – and then work hard to find more productive and sustaining things (including dreams) to put in their place.

Saturn, god of time, demands patience and hard work to establish stable and secure arrangements for the future.

Saturn, god of time, demands patience and hard work to establish stable and secure arrangements for the future.

There is another eclipse in 2013 which is tied into the movement of Jupiter and the issues he has been going back over in the past few months. Over the past couple of years most of the eclipses have fallen in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius and so have related to learning, travel, writing, communications and ideas of all kinds. In May the final eclipse of the Gemini/Sagittarius series is a lunar eclipse that falls in early Sagittarius and is the final piece in the jigsaw before Jupiter, Mercury and Venus all meet up at the end of May on the degree that Venus turned backwards on back in May 2012 – the eclipse will see the final bits of debris swept away from all the issues that have been raised relating to the themes of travel, learning, communications and so on and the conjunction of those three planets just a couple of days later show the final outcome of the changes that were first set in motion with the Gemini lunar eclipse of December 2010.

As we see the ending of the Gemini/Sagittarius series of eclipses, the autumn of 2013 ushers in another series, this time affecting the signs of Libra and Aries and so having an impact upon relationships and our sense of our self, our own needs and what we want to achieve in our lives. These eclipses will slowly start to trigger the issues raised in the Cardinal square making those issues very personal. If we make the most of the changes brought about by the Saturn retrograde and the associated Taurus/Scorpio eclipses we should find ourselves in a position to make the most of the changes in our personal lives and in the lives of those we are closest to that will come with a focus gently moving onto Aries/Libra – we will have established a solid foundation so that the changes need not leave us feeling insecure.

Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace 1770 by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace 1770 by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces at the end of February and through the first three weeks of March suggesting some delays or confusion when it comes to communicating our ideas or pressing ahead on achieving our dreams. He turns retrograde in Cancer at the end of June and through the first three weeks of July indicating delays, crossed wires, mixed messages around issues to do with home and family. He then turns retrograde in Scorpio in the 4th week of October and through the first 11 days of November, tying into the Saturn related eclipse issues and making this an important time to double check contractual arrangements, read the small print and be prepared to change your mind or go back over things if necessary. Mercury’s retrograde moves all in water signs means that he is working this year on bringing emotional issues into our everyday consciousness. It urges us to think about how we feel about our life, whether our quality of life truly reflects our values and how far our life is helping us to mature emotionally. The retrograde phases may well bring people back into our lives who have had a significant emotional impact upon us in one way or another and who will give us a chance to see just how far we have come since we last encountered them. Erin Sullivan has made a useful study of retrograde planets, here is something of what she says about Mercury retrograde in water signs:

Mercury retrograde in Water is the best time to analyse patterns based on inherited psychological traits… Subliminal messages in the environment signal what requires attention and often one becomes more sensitive to the psyche/soma balance. One’s psychological needs and their physiological manifestations are particularly in synchrony during the years of the Water regression cycle.

                Dream analysis and journal writing is particularly effective over this time. By noting closely the symbols that arise spontaneously from the unconscious, one can become aware of emotional issues that remain unresolved. Water represents the greatest depths and also the stagnant  ponds of our most sensitive, private places. One’s emotional needs in relationships with others could also probably use some revising, though only through time will the complex web unfold.

                Retrogression in Water signs activates the feeling function, and our ability to trust the intrinsic value assigned to our life. If this aspect of our nature has been ignored, it will now demand attention… Emotional and mental balance are challenged. Forthrightness in relationships is recommended because if one attempts to escape from emotional responsibilities during this time, they surface later with increased complications. Out of the past may come old associations, representing who one was in the past, provoking an evaluation of emotional growth and change. This is one of the best times for self-evaluation. Emotional and spiritual growth become pressing issues, though they may be disguised as practical matters. If one probes deeply enough, it becomes apparent that the source is deep within and related to the submerged past. This will be the time in a six-year period when this particular overhaul can be performed in synchronous balance with one’s own inner timing.

Erin Sullivan ‘Retrograde Planets’ pp71-72

retrograde planets

Mars does not move retrograde this year, and Venus does so only at the end of the year so in general this year should feel as though it moves forward more easily than last, it has a slightly less introspective feel to it suggesting that those times of introspection indicated by Mercury retrograde and eclipses will find outward expression reasonably easily.

Finally, February sees the Chinese New Year and we move into the Year of the Snake which is supportive of humanitarian ideals, steady progress and attention to detail. The snake often works quietly to achieve his aims. It is an energy that works well with Saturn in Scorpio and the associated eclipses – it’s a good year for getting finances on a stable footing, maybe even being able to save a bit more that you expected which hopefully is a good sign for the global economy as well as our own personal financial status.

chinese snake


Some links to sites with my favourite 2013 horoscopes:

Darkstar astrology

cafe astrology

And try Patrick Arundell for Chinese Horoscopes


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