The new year launches with a bang. The starting gun goes off while the calendar is changing pages, and fires us up to get going already.  

Where we’re racing isn’t particularly important at first. Simply being able to move at all, and unfettered at that, is motivating. 

That vibe blazes throughout the month, even as we barrel into monkey wrenches, course-altering insights, fog that blurs our minds and vision, and imperatives to slow down and be practical. It’s a paradoxical mix, and sets up a template for the year.  

The get-going impulses grant an extension on making resolutions or setting intentions for the year. Even if you make them, they are likely to change. Quickly.  

 Not so fast, says the cosmos January 2. The Sun meets Saturn, planet of adulting, and a brake engages; a wall appears; maturity overtakes us. Concrete thinking and planning with staying power creep in when Mercury enters practical Capricorn on January 4. Direction arrives around the Capricorn New Moon Solar Eclipse of January 5th. It’s the first of four eclipses this year on the Cancer-Capricorn / home-career / Mommy-Daddy axis, and it hits the reset button but good on goals, plans, responsibilities, foundations and institutions.  

Adding to the process, the Clue Fairy arrives when radical changemaker Uranus stations direct the next day. See if you don’t look at the path ahead with refreshed vision.  See if you don’t rechart any parts that don’t fit with your awareness of who you are now. (This may take a few days.) (Actually, maybe a few months.)

Whatever dawns on you, you’re aren’t likely to retreat in contemplation. Sociability ignites when Venus enters Sagittarius on January 7 and stirs wanderlust, high spirits, gregariousness and laughter. With the love goddess and Mars in compatible fire, relationships are high energy, active and exciting.  

It’s not all hi-jinks  and making light, though. The days leading to mid-month bring demands for follow-through (raise expectations and be prepared for enforcement), fighting words and steely self-awareness that has you standing your ground.  

Words have consequences, and some will be immediately apparent.  Ramifications and responsibilities seep into our thoughts and communications (with Mercury joining Saturn), and lock in reality as Jupiter and Neptune take us on flights of fancy. 

The planets make their first of three exact squares on January 13, ballooning dreams  and visions into the magical, mystical and seemingly impossible, escalating some lies and illusions and forcing others out into the open.  The first square comes with a helpful opening to Mercury.  Use it to ask for inspiration, not to mention guidance through the fog.

You’re likely to sail through happily. People are getting along, or enjoying jousting and sparking in the style of screwball comedies. Venus and Mars are in the easy flow of a trine, exact January 18, which encourages fun, risk taking, going after desires and more high-energy relating.  

You may surprise yourself. Uranus is tossing a liberating lightning bolt right at you. Even if it startles, even if it stuns, the impact cracks your armor and frees you up.  It’s one of the last steps in wrapping up the revolution that’s rocked your identity since Uranus entered Aries in 2010.

A constraint drops by the time the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20. The shift into detachment and individuality occurs in a cinematic atmosphere, fit for a chick flick, or a sci-fi fantasy, or a booze cruise. We’re in the thrall of the two guardians of love and creativity, Venus and Neptune.  

They’re gently but effectively pummeling our grip on control and reality. It’s yet another facet of the month’s paradoxical nature, pairing the Aquarian bent for distance and friendship with the seduction of dreams and romance.  

Perhaps Venus and Neptune will force you to open to love. Perhaps they’ll orchestrate magic, or nudge you toward the promise of their conjunction late last February. Perhaps they’ll fool you. Perhaps all of the above. You won’t mind.  

You’ll know what to embrace and what to end, and circumstances will take care of both if you aren’t consciously clear. You’ve reached a new level of expressing yourself (including comfort with that), as will be unmistakably shown by emotions and events around the Leo Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, on January 21. It’s bringing dramatic chapter closings, departures and revelations, and leaving powerful relationship changes in its wake.  

A metaphor with widespread applicability is the phoenix entering and emerging from a purifying fire, which you’ll see both in yourself and in many a relationship. This fire is raw and life-changing, fueling desire and a sense of entitlement to them, beating down obstacles and demanding loyalty, commitment and fulfillment.  

Wreckage ensues, sure, but what remains is what we want. (Give the process time; a lunar eclipse takes months to play out.)  

Still uncertain? Information or insights out of the blue tilt perspectives and knock cobwebs from thinking, when messenger god Mercury squares Uranus and flies into the big-picture vantage point of Aquarius January 23-24.  

No waiting to process or figure things out. Rocket fuel is pouring into our drive and ambition, with action hero Mars answering the more-more-more call of Jupiter. Their trine is amping up self-righteousness, too, but that would be a waste of this dynamic duo.  Aim higher; push yourself beyond what logic says is possible. This pair could carry you much further than you would have believed.

Even Saturn’s in on it. The planet of adulting and rules is opening a doorway with Neptune and his magical mysteries. Love, compassion, forgiveness and trusting in the divine are on hand. And sometimes, a little glamour and glitter is what’s needed.  

Learn more about the year’s eclipses in Kathy's talk, live on Sat., Jan. 12 and on mp4 afterward.) 

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