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2017 Astrological Forecast

A Focus on Fire, Venus and the Eclipses

The element of fire is dominant for 2017

All 12 signs of the zodiac fall into one of the four elements of fire, earth, air or water. The sun moves into a new sign each month and the moon changes signs every few days. In contrast, some of the slower moving planets stay in the same sign for a whole year, thereby intensifying a particular energy. Both Saturn and Uranus will embody fire signs this year, offering us a wealth of inspired creativity.

Saturn, the great malefic, is all about creating stability and setting boundaries. Saturn will spend the year in mutable, fiery Sagittarius, also known as the centaur, the truth seeker and the philosopher. With this placement of Saturn, we may be motivated to examine our traditions and beliefs.

Uranus points to the future and brings unexpected change, even chaos. He too is hosting a fire sign this year, sparking our desire to rebel against conformity. Uranus is in the cardinal sign of Aries, which stands for the warrior and the knight in shining armor riding off to battle. This energy is motivating—even inspirational—and can be used to make sudden transformations.

Saturn and Uranus form a series of trines over the course of the year, heating up the fire between them. This means one planet will be visible to the other, like spotting a familiar face across a crowded sky. Though the trine is usually a happy angle where energy is easily exchanged, Uranus and Saturn do not generally play nicely together; while Saturn wants to stabilize, Uranus wants to disrupt.

Saturn and Uranus will remain within 10 degrees of a trine so we will have access to this ignitable energy throughout the year. Two key dates when the planets are making an exact aspect will be May 18 and November 11. On these two days, the energy will be at its most intense so be aware of spirited interactions and sparks of inspiration.

Venus goes Retrograde in Aries, her detriment

Most of us are aware of the Mercury retrograde when the
planet moves backward and wreaks havoc on our daily communications. This typically happens three times a year and 2017 is no exception. Mark calendars for this year’s Mercury retrograde periods on April 9-May 3, August 13-September 5 and December 3-23. During these times be sensitive to all forms of miscommunications.

Though Mercury goes retrograde several times a year, other planets move backwards less frequently. Venus alternates every other year and 2017 finds her in a retrograde. Venus, the benefic planet that governs our relationships, will not only be affected by the awkward backwards movement, but this occurs in Aries, a place known as her detriment. Venus is a lover not a fighter and she will “stamp her feet” back and forth through Aries for 11 weeks, rather than the usual four due to the retrograde. This Venus retrograde period is most intense from March 6 through April 15.

Venus governs all types of relationships and dictates how we connect to others. In the sign of Aries, it sometimes inspires child-like behavior. But in a positive light, it could be used to approach others with an innocent curiosity. During a Venus retrograde, be aware of rehashing old wounds and repeating the same mistakes in relationships.

Eclipses light up Leo and Aquarius

The most significant astrological events of the year will be the annual eclipses. Each year, we receive four eclipses; however, in 2017, the cycle is shifting from the Virgo-Pisces axis to Leo-Aquarius. This shift from practical, sensitive Earth-Water to thoughtful, inspiring Fire-Air supports this year’s action-oriented energy.

Despite certain superstitions, eclipses are not bad luck; in fact, they may be just the opposite. Four times a year, the sun, moon and Earth move into perfect alignment to affect the beams of the sun. These are, in fact, magical times when things can be seen from a whole new perspective. Consider lighting white candles to compensate for the altered light and use these eclipses to pause and reflect.

It is important to note the position of the moon’s nodes during an eclipse; they are known as the head and tail of the dragon. Ancient sky watchers envisioned a dragon swallowing the sun to explain the phenomenon of the sky going dark in the middle of the day.

If the eclipse occurs near the north node, or Rahu, then something will be illuminated via the head of the dragon. A message could be revealed through a dream or a song. Pay attention to the lyrics of that song that keeps randomly playing on the radio. Eclipses on the north node point toward our future and light up something that needs a nudge in the right direction.

If the eclipse occurs near the south node, or Ketu, then the message will be delivered via the tail of the dragon. Like an alligator snapping its tail, something will be eliminated from our life. This could be associated with ending a toxic relationship or quitting a bad habit.

The first two eclipses come in February and the second round arrives in August. Mark the calendar for these opportunities to work with the powerful eclipses of 2017.

February 10th hosts a lunar eclipse in Leo. The first eclipse of the year seems fitting in fire, the first of the new Leo-Aquarius axis. On the north node, this eclipse illuminates the future and lights a flame on a new courageous, creative spirit.

February 26th offers a solar eclipse in Pisces. This is technically the last eclipse of the previous cycle and the last one in either Virgo or Pisces for a decade. On the south node, we are wrapping up a story connected to our visions and illusions.

August 7th is a partial lunar eclipse in Aquarius. This lunar event signifies our karmic ability to tap into the eccentric, rebellious energy of Aquarius. On the south node, it may challenge a belief carried over from early life that no longer resonates.

August 21st is a total solar eclipse in Leo. The second eclipse for the proud lion is, by far, the most remarkable of the year. A total solar eclipse means that the sun is completely covered and it appears to become night during the day. This will be visible across the United States and the first time an eclipse has passed from coast to coast since 1918. This eclipse on the north node is pushing us forward toward a bold new future.

Those with strong fire influences in their birth chart will feel super-charged this year. And for the rest of us, we will have access to the courageous energy of Leo the lion, the boldness of Aries the warrior and the knowledge of Sagittarius the guru as we navigate through 2017.

Michele Leigh, owner of Dark Moon Astrology, is an astrologer, author and podcaster. A practitioner of ancient astrology and planetary magic, she is an active member of the Organization for Professional Astrology. See ad, page 79.

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