Regulars and Shorts

Integration and Preparation

By Ralfee Finn

Your astrological path for 2018.

Transitional is the key word for 2018. It’s a year of integration, a threshold moment where past, present and future meet to create what happens next. David Whyte describes a threshold as the place where you don’t know how to proceed and need to ask for help. And that ability to ask for help—that need and that willingness to reach out to others of like mind, heart and soul—is the key to navigating not only 2018. It’s the key to navigating all the years ahead.

Seen from that perspective, 2018 is also a year of community, where those of us who understand the deep physical and metaphysical ecology of life on planet Earth move into an active and deeper experience of unity. Some of us will find it hard to acknowledge a need for combined effort, working with others to achieve necessary goals. But others will find it comforting, because as the individual and collective confidence in our ecological connectedness grows, the realization that we’re not alone fertilizes a determination to work even harder to preserve our shared ground: Planet Earth. Transitions, as many know, are seldom easy—the passages from one phase of life to another are often tumultuous, so be prepared for more than a few rough moments. But also anticipate glorious moments of authentic transformation.

Perhaps the best way to think of 2018’s transitional signature is to see it as the astrological equivalent of gap year—you know, that hiatus between high school and college that’s supposed to facilitate greater maturity before taking on the rigors of higher education. Not that 2017 was high school—it was a year of extreme polarization, symbolized by a series of three Uranus/Jupiter oppositions, which turned the world upside down with one startling shift after another. And all those upsets were punctuated by the American Eclipse, with its preponderance of startling revelations. 2017 simply tilted the axis of reality, throwing the planet and most of her inhabitants into a tailspin.

While 2018 has its own share of unexpected plot twists, it is essentially a year of integration and preparation, because what lies ahead of us is even more intense than what we’ve just been through. From 2019 through 2025, we’re under the influence of increasingly intense planetary patterns and we need to prepare for those changes. Unfortunately, that’s means 2018 is not a vacation. In hindsight, it’s likely to be seen as relatively quiet—the calm between the storms. Don’t misunderstand…there are plenty of astrological changes occurring over the coming 12 months but with the exception of Uranus and its change of signs, what happens astrologically in 2018 are tiny inconveniences compared to the coming years. I don’t mean to be scary or obscure—I’m simply suggesting that we make the most of the year ahead. Forewarned is better prepared.

The Big Shift of 2018

On March 11, 2011, Uranus, ruler of the sign of Aquarius and symbol of revolution, invention and surprising twists of fate, shifted into Aries—the same day that an earthquake sent a tidal wave crashing onto the shores of Japan, a wave that started the Fukushima nuclear fires. (In an article in the New York Times on the anniversary of this event, an expert is quoted saying “radioactive waste is likely to pour into the ocean for the rest of time”). Because Earth tends to experience the presence of Uranus more intensely than almost any other planet, I tend to think of it as the most dramatic of all the planets—there’s just no ignoring how immediately we feel its influence

On May 15, 2018, Uranus will enter Taurus, beginning a cycle that lasts until 2025. It’s leaving a Fire sign and entering an Earth sign. Recently, predictions of increased earthquake activity during 2018 appeared in the news because of the slight wobble in the Earth’s rotation—Earth slowing down. When I heard that more earthquakes were a possibility, I couldn’t help but think about Uranus and its dramatic effects. Originally, I thought this Uranian move from Fire to Earth would be more akin to a huge volcanic eruption and the ensuing disruption. But there’s simply no telling what the effect will be until Uranus settles into Taurus on March 6, 2019. The good news is that the retrograde pace of its transition between signs allows plenty of time to tie up the loose ends of the last seven years.

From a practical perspective, finances are certain to be an issue for the next seven years, as Taurus signifies money, and all personal resources other than real estate. I don’t necessarily think we’ll see the full effect on markets and banks until March 2019—but we will get glimpses throughout 2018. What we are most likely to see is a backlash to the newest version of the tax bill passed by both Houses of the Congress in 2017—a backlash that’s indicative of just how polarized we continue to be.

Uranus throws lightning bolts of illumination into stagnant situations. From a personal perspective, these lightning bolts tend to manifest as startling events. For example, you think your marriage is doing just fine, and then Uranus enters your solar house of relationship, and suddenly you or your significant other start talking divorce—from zero to 60 in the blink of a cosmic eye. From a collective perspective, Uranus, in Taurus, could also mean that previously tried and true financial institutions fail—again—only this time, there’s no way out of the mess other than a complete overhaul.

As Uranus shifts the focus from Fire to Earth, everyone is going to experience that shift, consciously or unconsciously, so be prepared to review and reflect on seven years of changes.

Integration: Saturn

I often describe Saturn as the voice of reality, and for the next two years, it’s broadcasting in no uncertain terms information about what’s working and what’s simply falling apart.

Saturn signifies authority, structures and organizations; it helps us to get to the bones of things. The next couple of years are essentially about the battle to solve problems—there is so much to figure out and the problems are mounting daily. As Saturn transits through its home sign of Capricorn, its powers of problem solving will be at an all-time high. The thing is…things are going to continue to fall apart during 2018 and it wouldn’t be wise to be too hasty putting things back together. No quick fixes will work; the solutions have to be real—ground in practical wisdom that will serve the greater good.

Eclipses 2018

After the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017, it would be difficult to not mention the eclipses of 2018—none of which will gather the publicity of the Great one. And for good reason: No eclipse in 2018 travels as dynamic a span.

That being said, next month’s solar eclipse (February 15) comes very close to the degree of the Great Eclipse, and we are likely to see a resurgence of the same issues in both individual and collective arenas. Here’s the list:

January 31: Lunar Eclipse

February 15: Solar Eclipse

July 13: Solar Eclipse

July 27: Lunar Eclipse

August 11: Solar Eclipse

Retrogrades 2018

There are always Mercury Retrograde phases, and this year there are three:

March 23-April 15

July 26-August 19

November 17-December 6

Mars is also retrograde, from June 26-August 27. Note that the second Mercury Retrograde of 2018 occurs during Mars Retrograde—and that means those few weeks are sure to be brutal when it comes to getting anything done. More about the particulars as the year unfolds. And there’s more: Venus Retrograde runs October 5-November 16, with the final Mercury Retrograde of 2018 beginning the very next day.

Find your voice (and learn to listen)

Learning to work together toward the greater good is part of the transitional force of 2018. Healing is always about finding the truth of a condition, recognizing its causes, and then applying the appropriate remedy.

Mr. Trump and his gang of hungry ghosts are the manifestation of the worst of us. The conceit of their greed is that they believe themselves to be the best. Their egregious behavior woke many from a deep sleep of complacency. You might even say that while the Trump Gang was one extreme of what happens when you are unaware of the interconnectedness of life, complacency is simply a milder version. Failing to recognize yourself as a part of a much bigger reality—one that requires your active participation—you become complicit. Silence is consent. If you want to make a difference in the world, find your voice and speak your truth to power.

Earth has a lot more to say during the coming year. It’s our job to listen closely and take her seriously. We also need to listen to each other closely, and not just because we need each other, but because a continuing dialogue will help us to handle the transitional signature of the year. The realization that we are all in this together—that we are not alone even when we feel as if we are—gives us all hope for a better future. And learning to listen eventually strengthens and widens our ability to be kind and compassionate with our fellow travelers. u


This article was originally published on January 1, 2018.