Aquarium Age, Blogs

The Aquarium Age: Dec. 30 – Jan. 5

By Ralfee Finn

Take a deep breath, sit back, relax, and get ready to be uncomfortable—2016 is another long year of change that challenges body, mind, heart, and soul. It’s a year of many retrogrades, and hence, it’s a year of review and reflection on what’s already in motion, rather than a year of moving forward with plans and projects. For those new to retrograde cycles, they indicate periods when daily life can slow to a crawl. Hardly anything moves quickly during a retrograde, but that snail’s pace is all about assuming a deliberate way of moving in the world, a way that can deepen an awareness of thought, word, and deed—and their consequences. But even as 2016 offers plenty of opportunities for fretting and frustration, it also offers time to digest, metabolize, and integrate responses to a changing world.

Frankly, from that perspective it seems appropriate for 2016 to move at the speed of a tortoise, given we’re still processing several years of profound collective and individual shifts in both circumstances and consciousness. I suppose the best way to characterize the coming year is to understand that 2016 is not a year to hurry through. It’s a year that no matter what your goals may be, slow and steady is the way to win the race. [See below for a list of 2016 Retrogrades.]

Something to note: A significant repetition occurs in each Mercury Retrograde of 2016. Mercury goes direct at the same degree—14 degrees—in each of the three Earth Signs—Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo. [See list below.] I’ve never observed this before, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. (Maybe my eyes are improving or the brain food is working.) What is particularly interesting about this pattern is that each direct motion of Mercury relates back to Pluto’s transit of that degree which took place during 2015. Mercury’s emphasis on that degree contributes to the retrograde tone of the year: All year long, after each period of Mercury Retrograde review, we will be referring back to events that occurred in 2015, specifically January/February, June/July, and December 2015. I realize that every year can be, and often is, a reference point to the future, but it might be interesting to observe how this astral “pointer” will manifest.

Several additional astral alignments weave the fabric of the year:

While exact contact between Uranus and Pluto has ended—there were seven squares from June 2012-March 2015—these two astral agents of change are still traveling very close to each other for the first six months of the year. Their mathematical proximity continues to stir the cauldron of revolution, which means we can expect to experience continuing upheaval in all those places already spilling over with violence. But given the signature of recent outbursts, we’re likely to see an increase in violence in all those places we least expect it.

Dealing with these random eruptions of psychotic behavior, as well as the psychotic behavior of war—period—is part of the ongoing challenge of our times. We have tremendous information about the causes of such cruelty, but we have yet to find ways to integrate that information into the places that require it the most. Of course, each of us can practice an end to violence of any kind in our individual lives. And as the great sages have taught us, that practice can turn the tides of social conventions in a more positive direction.

Uranus/Pluto interactions are related historically to periods of revolution, specifically to times throughout our collective global history when the movements for social justice have the strength, momentum and urgency to override the selfish needs of those in power. It would be wise for the 1% to pay attention and consider the needs of the many, if only because there are so many more of the 99% that require a helping hand. And given the astrology of the coming year—and years through 2020—the 99% will not go quietly.

Next, a Saturn/Neptune square dominates the summer of 2016. From June through September, this fractious interaction is going to challenge reality. Or should I say realities? While this clash doesn’t pack the wallop of Uranus/Pluto, it is nonetheless powerful. Saturn represents structure, tradition, and “the way it’s always been done.” Neptune signifies the dissolution of structures, traditions, and getting anything done. Expect to feel dislocated and disconnected from what might have normally tethered you to conventions. Be aware that under this influence, you may find yourself hyperaware of your own peculiar neuroses or the odd and idiosyncratic behavior of others. The highest octave of this interaction reaches for the kindest understanding of others, so align yourself with its compassionate potential.

A trine between Jupiter and Pluto occurs in March and again at the end of June. Although this is a positive interaction, it inclines toward a voracious appetite for power. So it should be interesting watching the presidential candidates struggling to handle these power surges. For us mere mortals, this combination has the potential to support the development of leadership skills as well as spiritual pursuits.

Back in the present moment, it is vital to back up all of your important data now, before Mercury Retrograde begins on January 5. Waiting until January 2, 3, and 4 will be too late to avoid potential glitches.

Currently, a Mercury/Mars square that lasts until January 9, is turning minds toward nervous anxiety. Don’t let this inclination to magnify all the things that are wrong in the world make you fearful of what lies ahead. Anyone who’s been to see the Great Oz—and has a brain, a heart, and some courage—can recognize that our future is uncertain. (And those of you who haven’t seen the Wizard, get cracking!) The future is always uncertain because we create it moment by moment by our thoughts, words, and deeds. The past becomes the present as the present becomes the future. This is the gift of life and life’s mystery—we have the power to create our reality by our response to what we have already set in motion.

And while many can argue that they have no responsibility for the negative acts of the world, if we are going to heal all the wounds of war, each of us must acknowledge and be honest about the wars that wage within. They have a profound effect on how we live. So this year, as the calendar New Year begins, make a commitment to living a more peaceful life, a life that embraces and celebrates our differences, and a life that treats all life as an expression of the divine.

Retrogrades and Eclipses 2016

I don’t usually break the year down as a list, but so much is going on this year, I think it might be handy for those interested in the mechanics of astrology to look ahead. Those not versed in astrology, don’t despair; each week of the coming year, this column will cover the meaning of what’s covered below. (What’s more, those who live in the moment and simply want to know what the coming week is about, just skip the list completely.) Here’s a month-by-month line up that might make it easier to understand just how much goes on this year:

Mercury goes retrograde January 5 – January 25.
For those of you new to Mercury Retrograde, here’s the tag line:
This is never a good time to initiate projects, and it is the perfect time to reexamine plans already in motion.
(More about this retrograde next week.)

Jupiter also goes retrograde on January 7- May 9. Yes…this is a long retrograde phase, but it’s not as worrisome as you might think. As Jupiter moves “behind” instead of “ahead” it will form significant aspects with Pluto and Saturn, and then when it goes direct, it will make contact with Neptune.
Jupiter’s retrograde phase occurs between 23 Virgo and 13 Virgo.

Jupiter remains retrograde.
There are no other retrograde planets in February.

There are two eclipses:
A solar eclipse on March 8 at 19 degrees Pisces
and a lunar eclipse on March 23 at 3 degrees Libra.

Saturn goes retrograde on March 25.
Jupiter continues retrograde.

This is a tricky retrograde month, and navigating April is going to take a strong intention to stay on track and not be thrown into a tizzy because so much isn’t working the way you would like it to.

Mars goes retrograde on April 17 – June 29. Yes…that’s a universal “Oy” understandable in any language. Approximately every 26 months Mars goes retrograde, and very little about its “backward” motion goes smoothly. But adding insult to injury…

Pluto goes retrograde later the same day. And if that isn’t enough…

Mercury begins its second retrograde phase of the year on April 28 – May 22.

Jupiter Retrograde continues.
Saturn Retrograde continues

Don’t expect anything to go smoothly during
the last weeks of April into the last weeks of May.

Both Jupiter and Mercury go direct in May.
Jupiter Direct begins on May 9.
Mercury Direct begins on May 22.
Mars Retrograde continues.
Saturn Retrograde continues.
Pluto Retrograde continues.

Neptune Retrograde begins on June 13.
Mars Direct begins on June 29.

Saturn Retrograde continues.
Pluto Retrograde continues.

Uranus goes retrograde on July 29.
Saturn Retrograde continues.
Pluto Retrograde continues.

Saturn Direct begins on August 13.
Mercury Retrograde begins its third retrograde phase from
August 30 – September 21.
Pluto Retrograde continues.

There are two eclipses:
There is a solar eclipse on September 1 at 9 Virgo,
and a lunar eclipse on September 16 at 24 Pisces.
Mercury Direct begins on September 21.
Pluto Direct begins on September 26.
Uranus Retrograde continues.
Neptune Retrograde continues.

Uranus Retrograde continues.
Neptune Retrograde continues.

Neptune Direct begins on November 19.
Uranus Retrograde continues.

Mercury goes retrograde December 19 – January 8, 2017 Yes…if you’re counting that makes four Mercury Retrograde phases in 2016.
Uranus Direct begin on December 29.

Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.

Aries March 21-April 19
2016 bodes well for all work-related plans and projects, so fire up those ambitions and be confident in your abilities. The challenge of the New Year is knowing when enough is enough. Translation: Don’t work so hard that you forget to take care of yourself. Make “balance” your mantra, and you’ll make energetic progress toward your goals.

Taurus April 20-May 20
2016 offers continued opportunities for creative self-expression, and while I wouldn’t necessarily expect an award ceremony, this is a year to hone your skills and strive for excellence. The challenge of 2016 is staying true to your passion. Commit to doing what you love most and the rest of life will fall into place.

Gemini May 21-June 21
2016 is likely to be about a number of significant shifts. But don’t worry; there’s more than enough positive support to facilitate smooth transitions. The challenge of the New Year is three-fold: (1) Be authentic. (2) Stay moderate. (3) Be present for this process because you are birthing a new self. Again, don’t worry; you’re a great multitasker.

Cancer June 22-July 22
2016 puts the emphasis on meaningful exchanges with significant others. Be prepared for these conversations to span a wide variety of subjects, but also accept the challenge of deeply exploring the issues that matter most. Be brave and broach delicate subjects—if you’re sincere in your efforts at intimacy, your partners will respond in kind.

Leo July 23-August 22
2016 provides a platform for improved finances, especially when it comes to issues of safety and security. The challenge of the New Year is facing all those habits that keep you mired in bad spending habits. Accept the challenge of rehabilitating your relationship to money and you’ll be able to seize this moment and make good use of it.

Virgo August 23-September 22
2016 offers support for making lasting changes in how you present yourself to the world. It’s not quite an identity crisis so don’t be worried that the ground will shake with change. The New Year challenges you to stay true to yourself, without holding on to old habits that no longer serve, as you simultaneously refine your strong suits.

Libra September 23-October 22
2016 presents plenty of opportunities for you to make significant strides in self-awareness, especially when it comes to what you need and what you want. The challenge of 2016 is learning how to wear your heart on your sleeve despite how dangerous that might feel, and while being true to your emotions isn’t an easy task, it’s a valuable experience.

Scorpio October 23-November 21
2016 bestows an assortment of blessings, not the least of which are opportunities for sharing your gifts with your community. Even if you don’t think you have talents to share—think again. And let that be the challenge during the New Year: Finding and identifying your wisdom and figuring out how to share it with others.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21
2016 nurtures your ambition to achieve recognition coupled with financial stability. Make the most of this cosmic moment by being the best you can be. Understand, however, the challenge of 2016 is facing your anxieties with courage, determination, and a strong intention not to let fretting about the future interfere with your presence in the moment.

Capricorn December 22-January 19
2016 is about establishing a deep sense of belonging in and to this world in a manner that builds confidence and strength. And while that might seem a challenging task, the real test of 2016 is holding onto what brings you joy. There’s no reason to suspect that this might be impossible—confidence and joy go hand-in-hand.

Aquarius January 20-February 18
2016 promises to be a year of many changes, especially when it comes to personal growth, so let yourself go through as many shifts as you can tolerate. The challenge of the New Year is distilling wisdom from all your experiences. Don’t worry—this isn’t about bad things happening; it’s about pushing your personal envelope by engaging in new adventures.

Pisces February 19-March 20
2106 provides a wide range of opportunities to expand intimacy in all your relationships. The challenge of the New Year is balancing all the feelings that arise from these close encounters of an emotional kind. Stay present in this process, even if it is often difficult to feel so much so intensely. This is a chance to develop true heart muscles.

Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit, or e-mail
Copyright © 2015 by Ralfee Finn

This article was originally published on December 31, 2015.