Highlights for Jan. 24-30, 2022: Reality Checks, Fine-Tuning, and Liberation

24 Jan 2022, 05:10 am

Reality Checks, Fine-Tuning, and Liberation

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

Put Mars in Capricorn in Charge


isciplined, pragmatic, and resourceful, Mars in Capricorn (Jan. 24, 2022, 4:53 am PST through March 5) is like a highly-trained soldier. Its instincts and reflexes are carefully trained; it understands the rules of engagement. While Mars is transiting Capricorn, the heavens favor structure, rules, and a clear plan.

But how can Mars in Capricorn implement his strategies while Mercury and Venus are retrograde, encouraging introspection? An insight came to me this morning in a conversation with a friend, when it came up that we both have our bills set to be paid automatically; that way, we don’t have to remember a lot of due dates or pay late fees if life gets busy and we forget to pay our electric bills. Which is a pretty good example, actually, of how to use this transit of Mars in Capricorn in a helpful way. Establish and refine an infrastructure that keeps your life organized even when your mind is sleepwalking its way through a retrograde period.

Notice what’s slipping by you and making your life complicated, and then find a way to provide a protective, practical structure around it with calendars, recurring phone alarms, to-do lists, automatic payments, or whatever works. Imagine – no more getting in the car to go to work and finding an empty gas tank. No more late fees for your missed credit card payment. No more forgetting to buy your mom a birthday gift. Put Mars in Capricorn on the task of managing your affairs… and then your brain can enjoy future floaty, retrograde seasons.

Reality Check


he Sun in Aquarius tends to feel that its aims are objectively in the best interests of all and that they delineate the very best path to a fair and equitable future. But there is a potential shadow side to Aquarius’ view of progress, and our investment in seeing ourselves as champions of freedom and equality benefits from the occasional reality check. Enter the Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio (Jan. 25, 2022, 5:41 am PST, 5.33 Scorpio), injecting a healthy amount of self-examination. Scorpio is the sign most likely to engineer a hard fall from grace if our ego gets out of hand, so it’s a good time to reflect with honesty: are we driven entirely by altruism, or is there a touch of power and control in our motivations?

With the Moon opposed, and the Sun square Uranus in Taurus, it’s time to be honest about whether we sometimes demand that others change, while staying entrenched in our own ways and mindset. The Last Quarter Moon’s Sabian Symbol is 6 Scorpio, “A gold rush.” What new discovery or project excited you back in late Oct. 2019, when a New Moon at 4.25 Scorpio initiated the current lunar phase family? You’re now at a critical moment wherein your truthfulness and ability to change will determine the future of that project.



etween Christmas and New Year, I enjoy a ritual of sitting in front of the fireplace with my scheduler, a blank notebook, and an ephemeris, to do some business planning for the coming year. Nothing pleases me more than making neat to-do lists with my favorite purple Sharpie and setting goals for the next twelve months.

You’d almost think I had Mercury in Capricorn (I don’t, but Mercury is opposed Saturn in my chart!), which loves planning, to-do lists, and systems. Mercury symbolizes the way we gather, analyze, and communicate information, and in Capricorn it favors a simple and pragmatic approach. This year, I couldn’t restrain myself; I began my planning for 2022 right around the time Mercury first entered Capricorn on Dec. 13, 2021. Since then, Mercury has spent some time in Aquarius and turned retrograde; some of the things I’d planned took an unexpected turn. So this week, as Mercury returns to Capricorn for another stint (Jan. 25, 2022, 7:05 pm PST, through Feb. 15), it’s back to the drawing board. Time to pull out our calendars and schedules and do some fine-tuning.

In any year, our New Year’s resolutions tend to have a poor track record for longevity. This year, though, they have a better chance of going the distance, as Mercury makes a series of conjunctions with determined Pluto. The first conjunction was just before New Year’s Day (Dec. 30), the second is this week (Jan. 28, 2022, 8:16 pm PST), and the last comes on Feb. 11. This week’s combination of Mercury and Pluto suggests that your mind will be laser-focused on what is truly essential for your 2022 to-do list – because you’re not only getting clear about what you really want, but what you’re willing to do to make it happen. But wait until the final conjunction on February 11 to write down your plans in ink.

Moving toward a conclusion


enus has been on a perilous journey since her first conjunction with Pluto on Dec. 11 – turning retrograde on Dec. 19, then making a second conjunction with Pluto on Dec. 25. Since then, most of us have probably seen important changes in at least one important relationship or in our personal financial landscape, or both.

But if we’re honest, we know that these changes didn’t start in December – we just came to a different understanding of them. As Venus turns direct this week (Jan. 29, 2022, 0:46 am PST), your perspective might change again, like waking up from a rather unpleasant dream. But while it’s natural to want to sweep unpleasantness under the rug and go on as before, trust your instincts; what you’ve been seeing over the past month and a half is the truth. Something is ending, and it’s important to conclude it in the right way, when you feel settled in your convictions. Look toward Venus’ last conjunction with Pluto (March 3) for the conclusion of this protracted, rocky journey.

Breaking Out


magine you’re in the Old West and you’ve been thrown in the hoosegow. It would appear you’re there for the duration – but in the dark of night, your posse arrives on horseback to bust you out. That’s what Uranus wants to do: liberate us from our confinement.

As the Sun in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus this week (Jan. 30, 2022, 11:32 am PST), it’s on the Sabian symbol 11 Aquarius, “A man tête-à-tête with his inspiration.” Somehow, this doesn’t feel like a Sun that’s just dying to escape. We’re perhaps content in our jail cell, with time to think our thoughts and engage with exciting new ideas.

But the Sun’s square to Uranus insists that we expand our horizons a bit – and there’s more than one way Uranus might persuade us to do that. Let’s put a lovely woman within eyesight of the Sun’s cell, watering her flower garden and singing a lilting tune. The Sun looks up from his books, from his experiments, and is entranced. He begins a conversation with her through the window, and they hit it off. She sweet-talks the deputy into letting him go. And before you know it, the Sun is alongside her, tending the garden and shining his light. Uranus is satisfied – because nurturing things and making them grow is certainly one way to create change.

Writing and collages © 2020-2022 April Elliott Kent

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