appy Day Miracles, As 2015 rushes to a close many of us like to engage in some ritual and ceremony to mark the end of one year and begin a new one. One popular act is to consciously release and let go of what no longer serves us. Another is to get hip to the astrological happenings that will accompany the unfolding of 2016. Now there are many places on the web that you can go and get basic information about planets, signs, transits and more throughout 2016. That is useful information to know, but it is really just the tip of the iceberg.
So, in this astrological guide you will find important dates and descriptions of celestial events; but more than that, you will find questions to ponder, to be inspired by, to journal about and to create with – practical questions evoked by each astrological happening in 2016. Enjoy!
Start with the Moon
La Luna is the most visible and easily trackable celestial body in the sky besides the sun. And so it makes complete sense that the earliest calendars were lunar to say nothing of the many ceremonies, rites, and feast days that honored Luna in her various phases. Within the sacred arts there are four lunar phases to pay especial attention to: Full, New, Dark, and the First Quarter. Most folks are familiar with Full, New, and Dark or Balsamic moons but not as familiar with the First Quarter moons, however the moon in its first quarter phase marks the halfway point between new and full. This is the phase that for the ancients was most associated with divination and prophecy, perhaps made most famous by the Oracle at Delphi who only issued her prophetic statements when the moon was in this phase.
So here are the lunar phases for 2016 in central time.
New Moons in 2016
1/9: New Moon at 19 degrees Capricorn, 7:31 PM
Ask: What needs to be renewed or refreshed in my career or craftsmanship?
2/8: New Moon at 19 degrees Aquarius, 8:39 AM
Ask: How do I honor new relationships and how do I renew old relationships?
3/8: New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse at 18 degrees Pisces, 7:54 PM
Ask: What is ready to be healed once and for all?
4/7: New Moon at 18 degrees Aries, 6:24 AM
Ask: What big thing am I ready to begin?
5/6: New Moon at 16 degrees Taurus, 2:30 PM
Ask: What seeds can I plant now for financial sustainability?
6/4: New Moon at 14 degree Gemini, 10:01 PM
Ask: What am I ready to learn?
7/4: New Moon at 12 degrees Cancer, 6:03 AM
Ask: Where is the poetry in my life?
8/2: New Moon at 10 degrees Leo, 3:46 PM
Ask: How can I honor my tribe?
9/1: New Moon and Annular Solar Eclipse at 9 degrees Virgo, 4:04 AM
Ask: What am I ready to devote myself to?
9/30: New Moon at 8 degrees Libra, 7:12 PM
Ask: What new aspect of love am I ready to explore?
10/30: New Moon at 7 degrees Scorpio, 12:39 PM
Ask: Where are the deep waters asking me to go?
11/29: New Moon at 7 degrees Sagittarius, 6:19 AM
Ask: Where do I find freedom?
12/29: New Moon at 7 degrees Capricorn, 12:53 AM
Ask: What new element will benefit my work and craftsmanship?
Full Moons in 2016
1/23: Full Moon at 3 degrees Leo, 7:46 PM
Ask: What is my favorite way of celebrating?
2/22: Full Moon at 3 degrees Virgo, 12:21 PM
Ask: Where have I brought order and beauty into my life?
3/23: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 3 degrees Libra, 7:01 AM
Ask: Right relationship means…
4/22: Full Moon at 2 degrees Scorpio, 12:24 AM
Ask: What investment(s) has yielded fruit?
5/21: Full Moon at 1 degree Sagittarius, 4:15 PM
Ask: Where have I created more freedom for myself?
6/20: Full Moon at 29 degrees Sagittarius and Summer Solstice, 6:03 AM
Ask: Where do I shine brightest?
7/19: Full Moon at 27 degrees Capricorn, 5:57 PM
Ask: One of my big successes has been…and I learned this from it:….
8/18: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 25 degrees Aquarius, 4:27 AM
Ask: Who shows up for me and who do I show up for?
9/16: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 24 degrees Pisces, 12:06 PM
Ask: What have I healed and what did I learn in the process?
10/15: Full Moon at 23 degrees Aries, 11:24 PM
Ask: What project did I see through from start to finish? How did I do it?
11/14: Full Moon at 22 degrees Taurus, 7:52 AM
Ask: Where is there abundance in my life?
12/13 Full Moon at 22 degrees Gemini, 6:06 PM
Ask: What have I learned this year?
Dark or Balsamic Moons in 2016
Note: Dark/Balsamic Moons are actually counted from the Last Quarter through the New Moon.
1/1: Dark Moon at 11 degrees Libra, 7:30 PM
Ask: What relationships am I ready to release?
2/1: Dark Moon at 11 degrees Scorpio, 5:27pm
Ask: What mysteries need to be protected?
3/1: Dark Moon at 11 degrees Sagittarius, 5:10pm
Ask: What am I willing to give up in order to have more freedom?
3/31: Dark Moon at 11 degrees Capricorn, 10:16 AM
Ask: What does my work and craftsmanship need less of?
4/29: Dark Moon at 10 degrees Aquarius, 10:28 PM
Ask: What anxiety about the future can I release?
5/29: Dark Moon at 8 degrees Pisces, 7:11 AM
Ask: What delusion is no longer serving me?
6/29: Dark Moon at 6 degrees Aries, 1:18 AM
Ask: What foolishness can I let go of?
7/26: Dark Moon at 4 degrees Taurus, 5:59 AM
Ask: What shame can I banish?
8/24: Dark Moon at 2 degrees Gemini, 10:40 PM
Ask: What kinds of communication do I need less of?
9/23: Dark Moon 0 degrees Cancer, 4:56 AM
Ask: What dreams am I ready to let go?
10/22: Dark Moon 29 degrees Cancer , 1:14 PM
Ask: What obstacles do I need to remove?
11/21: Dark Moon 28 degrees Leo, 2:33 AM
Ask: What pride is no longer needed?
12/20: Dark Moon, 0 degrees Libra 9:56 PM
Ask: What struggles in the name of love am I able to release?
First Quarter Moons in 2016
1/16: First Quarter at 25 degrees Aries, 5:26 PM
Ask: What does courage tell me?
2/15: First Quarter at 25 degrees Taurus, 1:47 AM
Ask: What does pleasure tell me?
3/15: First Quarter at 25 degrees Gemini, 12:03 PM
Ask: What does speech and thought tell me?
4/13: First Quarter at 24 degrees Cancer, 11:00 PM
Ask: What is nourishment to me and where is it in my life?
5/13: First Quarter at 23 degrees Leo, 12:03 PM
Ask: What does my heart want right now?
6/12: First Quarter at 21 degrees Virgo, 3:10 AM
Ask: What does devotion teach me?
7/11: First Quarter at 14 degrees Libra, 7:53 AM
Ask: What does love show me?
8/10: First Quarter at 18 degrees Scorpio, 1:22 PM
Ask: Where is the mystery for me right now?
9/9: First Quarter at degrees 17 Sagittarius, 6:50 AM
Ask: What does freedom tell me?
10/8: First Quarter at 10 degrees Capricorn, 11:34 PM
Ask: How can I bring more endurance and patience into my life?
11/7: First Quarter at 15 degrees Aquarius, 1:52 PM
Ask: What does my community teach me?
12/7: First Quarter at 21 degrees Pisces, 3:03 AM
Ask: What dream is waiting for me?
Just like the stars, planets move throughout the sky all of the time. The inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) all move relatively quickly through signs and sections of the chart. The outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto) all move at a much slower rate through the various constellations and houses of the chart. Inner planets traditionally are understood to deal with every day, practical, real-life issues while outer planets are understood to work with big cycles, realizations, and patterns in our lives. First we will spend some time with some of the inner planet happenings in 2016, starting with the ever dreaded Mercury retrogrades.
Mercury Retrograde Dates
January 5 – January 25: Retrograde starts in Aquarius moves into Capricorn on 1/8
Ask: How am I showing up for my community, my friends, my neighbors, my work?
Do the ways I show up feel good or do they need to change and if so, how?
April 28 – May 22 in Taurus
Ask: How is my relationship with my physical body, what is my body trying to tell me?
What are the pleasurable things I do for myself or someone else regularly? Is it enough or is there room for more pleasure?
August 30 – September 22 in Virgo
Ask: How is my physical health? What areas of health and wellness might I need to focus on more going forward? Where is devotion in my life right now?
December 19 2016 – January 8, 2017: Retrograde starts in Capricorn moves into Sagittarius on 1/5
Ask: What do I need to remember about endurance? What teachings have I accepted that are no longer valid?
This is the one to watch: In 2016 Mars will spend a big chunk of the year in the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. Mars enters Scorpio on January 3rd and then on March 5th it goes into Sagittarius. On April 17th Mars goes retrograde in Sagittarius, continues to retrograde in Scorpio starting May 27th and stays retrograde until June 29th at which point it goes direct again.
In astro-land Mars sometimes has a bad reputation and no matter where they occur in your chart, Scorpio and Sagittarius both pack some intense energy. You can resist Mars – and in doing so you will discover your angry, competitive side most likely while you waste a lot of energy and ignore your physical health. OR you can do high-end Mars, harnessing this planet’s incredible will power, endurance, courage and stamina to discover what aspects of your life are in need of optimization and bring those improvements into being.
Ask: What do I put my energy into? Do those choices serve me or not?
When Mars enters Scorpio on 1/3…
Ask:What can be optimized in my intimate connections? In my love and sex life? In the investments that I make (whether those are investments of time, resource, energy, money or a little bit of everything)?
What hidden aspects of my life am I ignoring because I am afraid to look at them head on?
When Mars enters Sagittarius on 3/5…
Ask: What does the way I live my life teach others? What ideas no longer make sense or seem correct to me?
Throughout the Mars retrograde whenever you encounter a difficult situation:
Ask: How can I bring more courage (more heart) into this situation? What do I need to let go of in order to move forward with more freedom?
Saturn and Neptune Square Off in 2016
Actually these two potent planets started facing off in 2015 with the first exact square occurring at the end of November 2015 – think back to that time and ask yourself if anything major was happening in your life. I think of this tense conversation between Saturn (in Sagittarius) and Neptune (in Pisces) as dreamtime meets real time.
In other words: Neptune says “Look, at my dream, isn’t it pretty?!”
And Saturn replies,
“It is, and the world needs it, so how are you going to make it a reality? Get to work, moonbeam.”
THAT is the Neptune/Saturn square in a nutshell. Though it may feel taxing at times, this configuration has the ability to take many impressive visions and possibilities and put the elbow grease into them so that they become part of our collective experience and cosmos.
Ask: What is my big dream right now, how can I practically support it?
Think about an actual dream that you are having now or that you have had – one that really stayed with you; where is that happening in your life right now?
What does nourishing structure and creative rigor look and feel like? Where in my life do I need more of those qualities?
Jupiter in Virgo and Libra
Jupiter is currently in Virgo and continues to transit through Virgo for most of 2016. On September 9th Jupiter will go into the sign of Libra and transit that sign for the rest of the year. Virgo has a reputation for calling to mind all things orderly, put together, and organized, but Virgo’s deeper resonance deals with devotion and unconditional care. Ruling over the 6th house, Virgo is also the sign to work with whenever there are physical health concerns. Jupiter’s benevolent authority and sovereignty can help all of us ground deeply by organizing our personal spaces/businesses and also creating a bigger role for devotion in our lives.
Ask: Where does my physical health need extra care and support? How and what kind of order would allow me to have more space to create?
Jupiter in Libra turns the spotlight on love, partnerships, diplomacy, art, and culture.
Ask: How can I bring more blessing into my relationships? What kind of generosity do I bring to my loved ones?
Saturn in Sagittarius
Throughout 2016 Saturn continues to wind its way through the sign of Sagittarius, the Archer. This is the area of our lives where we engage in creating a VISION for ourselves and the world that we live in. Freedom, philosophy (as in your philosophy of life), education, and religion all have a role to play in this relationship. Saturn, planet of Time among other things invites us to consider our relationship to each of the areas that Sagittarius speaks to.
Ask: Where in my life can greater discipline lead to truer freedom? What is one thing that I absolutely believe? Why?
Neptune in Pisces
Neptune IS the ruling planet of the sign Pisces so it is very happy to be hanging out with the fishes, even despite of (and maybe encouraged by) its square with Saturn. This is a year when it can feel like the inspiration is flowing and the Muse is showing up on a daily basis. The squares with Saturn can symbolize “stuck” periods that really require creativity around practical concerns.
Ask: What do I want/need/feel called to make/be/do in 2016 and what practical actions can I take to support that work? What is the role of creativity in my life right now?
Uranus in Aries
This is the cosmic rebel yell! Uranus is radical, as in it goes right down to the root of things, takes in the entire landscape, and then plunges ahead with a fully formed (or maybe not) vision of what CAN be. Aries joins in the fracas all too happily reminding us all that, as my dad (an Aries) says, “you can stare or you can start.” Of course with this energy we want to start ventures deliberately and not leave a trail of half finished really good ideas behind us.
Ask: What needs to be shaken up and expanded? Where am I ready to rebel and why? Can I finished what I start?
Pluto in Capricorn
Capricorn works hard and Pluto goes deep so this pairing cannot help but leave an impact wherever it happens in your chart. Capricorn is often thought of as the career sector of the chart but I think of it more as craftsmanship. The difference is that for many of us career is a notion tied distinctly to our jobs, while craftsmanship is a virtue that we can apply to many areas of our lives. Pluto relentlessly tears down whatever is not working and Capricorn has the good sense to continue moving forward and refining all needed skill sets.
Ask: What does mastery mean to me? Where am I a master in my life and how do I share that with others?
Further Reading + Resources:
If you would like more personal one on one astrological guidance book a series of Sacred Arts Sessions for deeper exploration.
Astro.com – home of free charts galore
The online ephemeris – any planet, any year – yes, for real.
Heidi Rose Robbins – soulful astrological readings via phone or skype
Mystic Medusa – fun astrological insights often tied to current events and pop culture
Amelia Quint – brilliant advice on tarot and astrology
The Tarot Lady – check out her specialty forecasts like the Entrepreneurcast