“I told them how I manifest things – by writing a letter to the universe at the start of every year.  In the letter, I thank the universe for helping me accomplish several specific goals, even though they hadn’t happened yet.”

~ Laura Lynne Jackson, from “The Light Between Us”

Highlights and Lowlights of 2016

Welcome to the New Year!  You may be happy that we cleared the Uranus-Pluto square last year.  In March 2015 we experienced the last of 7 squares which began in June 2012, and you may have found completion on a complex series of events throughout that time.  The Uranus-Pluto energy was shocking and violent, and with the rise of ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAESH last year we cannot claim that violence has decreased in the world, sadly.  But in November 2015 we faced a new challenge, one which engages us in this New Year, 2016.  Saturn squared Neptune, and will do so again twice this year.  This combination is not quite as powerful or acute as the Uranus-Pluto challenge, nor as long lasting.  But it brings its own lessons and in its way, it can be dampening and insidious in its energy, so we need to keep our spiritual light buoyant.  Here is what I wrote in November:

“Saturn represents the frustration of inaction and Neptune oversensitivity which can also result in paralysis.  This square has been stealing on us for a while, and so you will not be surprised by it, as you will have felt in some area or areas of your life an inability to proceed, which peaks at this time.  But there are hidden agendas which may now emerge: the factors and causes which you may not have suspected, but which have contributed to the current state of affairs, like a slow pollution which has gone unnoticed.  The good thing is that it is now coming to the surface and can be seen, so you can deal with the problem from a more enlightened viewpoint.  Such world problems which are now coming into clearer focus are the plight of the refugees (Saturn and Neptune represent borders, from the point of view of tightening and relaxing them, so two principles at loggerheads), the threat posed by the over-use of antibiotics (Neptune rules drugs), and the fear and paranoia surrounding the possibility of further terrorist attacks (Neptune represents paranoia, and here it is combined with fear from Saturn).”

Its energy is also very resonant with the severe flooding that we have seen in Northern England recently, which has affected vast numbers of homes and lives, with the insecurity of knowing it could happen again.  At the heart of that problem is the issue of climate change, which needs to be priority with our government (who cut flood defences) and world governments (who are dealing with different manifestations of climate change).

So, to summarize, this year astrologically doesn’t look as difficult as last year, and the human spirit is indomitable – we live in hope.  Austerity has bitten in Europe, but there is always the hope that karmically those responsible will be held to account and become more merciful.  Who would have thought that the House of Lords would oppose austerity cuts?  Miracles can happen.

 Dates for your Diary if planning ahead:


Friday 8th: Jupiter turns retrograde – progress plateaus, a need for reworking.


Wednesday 9th: New Moon and Eclipse at 18 degrees Pisces – a spiritual turning point, and important for the health of our oceans, sea life, and the management of water resources.

Wednesday 16th: Jupiter in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn – an opportunity for power to be used productively, in our own lives and globally.

Wednesday 23rd: Jupiter in Virgo squares Saturn in Sagittarius – a stand off in international affairs, e.g. in the Syrian crisis.  An impasse in our own lives needs careful negotiation.

Friday 25th: Saturn turns Retrograde in Sagittarius – a setback to progress.


Monday 18th: Pluto turns retrograde – a deeper level of setback, necessitating psychological understanding and awareness of reality.


Monday 9th: Jupiter goes Direct – full steam ahead.

Thursday 26th: Jupiter square Saturn – more stalling.


Monday 13th: Neptune goes Retrograde – spiritual backtracking, more illusions surfacing.

Saturday 18th: Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces – wading in the water.

20th/21st: Jupiter conjunct True North Node at 15/16 deg Virgo – a karmic gift on a spiritual level.

24th/25th: Jupiter conjunct Mean North Node at 16 deg Virgo – a karmic reward on a more practical level.

Sunday 26th: Jupiter in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn – large projects bear fruit.


Friday 29th: Uranus turns Retrograde – the excitement of progress suddenly turns flat, for a period of re-examination.


Saturday 13th: Saturn goes Direct – hard slog starts to pay off.


Thursday 1st: New Moon and Eclipse at 9 deg Virgo – turning point in environmental affairs, and in your working life.

Friday 9th: Jupiter enters Libra – an injection of fresh positive energy into your relationships, and peace negotiations.

Saturday 10th: Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces (3rd pass) – learning the lessons of illusions highlighted since last November and beginning to deal with them more effectively.

Monday 26th: Pluto goes Direct – Psychological progress, and more cohesion globally over issues that affect nations.


Sunday 20th: Neptune goes Direct – spiritual progress, and a boost to issues that affect sea life and water management on the planet.

Thursday 24th: Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn – a power stand off internationally.  Power issues prominent in personal lives, too.


Sunday 25th (Christmas Day): Saturn in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries – a very constructive time for dealing with international problems, or structural problems in society and communities, or long term projects in your own life.

Monday 26th (Boxing Day): Jupiter in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries – a time when people, and nations, will be attracted to risk (rightly or wrongly).

Thursday 29th: Uranus goes Direct – Intuition rules.  The Higher Mind is able to operate limitlessly in personal and worldwide affairs for the time being.

Manifesting Magic

Jupiter was exactly square my natal Sun on New Year’s Day, and unleashed my inner Anthony Robbins!  The resulting insight that came to me under the influence (assisted only by an inch of Shloer topped up with sparkling mineral water) might be too outlandish for some, yet elementary for others, but for what it’s worth, here it is:

Everybody at some time experiences magic in their lives.  Magic is a part of life.  It is usually something that “happens” to us.  What if we were to tap into that vein, harness it, and make it an ever-present part of the flow of our lives?  Some people do that.  Let’s increase the magic in our lives, and the magic quotient in everyone’s lives.  Let’s lift the collective experience of being on this planet.

If we were to convert the discomfort of the Saturn-Neptune square of this coming year into a trine, we would be indeed manifesting (Saturn) magic (Neptune).  Manifesting Magic, then,  is my mantra for the coming year.

On a note of personal application, I finished writing my novel “The Quiet Office” on 30th November, which had taken me 10 years.  I have always called its genre “magical realism meets kitchen sink”.  So one of my creative endeavours this coming year is to polish up the first three chapters and send them to a publisher!

Do you have a New Year project which involves magical realism (Neptune) meeting kitchen sink (Saturn)?  If so, its time may have come.


It’s a busy busy week in terms of aspects, launched by Mars entering in Scorpio today, around late lunchtime.  Mars has been in equable Libra, so you may hear a roar as it enters Scorpio.  It can express its true nature better in a Scorpio climate.  Some may have been holding back or dithering, and may change, going full steam ahead.  Some may even go on the warpath.  Others may be wise to steer clear.  If the issue is “who’s doing the washing up?”, leave it to the most passionate.

On Tuesday (5th), Mercury squares Mars.  We encountered this aspect last Tuesday (29th) and you may have experienced harsh words.  But I have been reading the biography of David Frost this week, and he had Mercury exactly square Mars in his natal chart.  He was able to deploy this sharpness of mind and speech in incisive interviewing, and really turned this into a positive tool.  Maybe you can find someone to dialogue with in such an exciting way at Noon on Tuesday.

You’ll have to be quick, because Mercury was slowing down preparing to turn retrograde, which is why Mars caught up with him again.  At 13.05 Hrs, Mercury turns retrograde – duh duh duh!  You know what happens when Mercury turns retrograde, don’t you.  Communications can go haywire.  There’s an uproar at the moment at the cost of railway tickets in this New Year, with year after year services deteriorating.  So there may be a stand off in travel or communication on Tuesday.

The period between Tuesday (5th) and Wednesday (6th) looks most complex and intense.  First we have the “words” at Noon on Tuesday, then the blocked communications an hour later, and no doubt more words as Mercury retrogrades to the Noon position around an hour after that: so we have irate commuters, trains travelling backwards, then commuters irate about that, followed by Venus square Neptune at 14.33 Hrs (still Tuesday 5th): the confused commuters don’t know where they are; they don’t know if they are coming or going.  Venus square Neptune affects relationships, so the irritability around lunchtime could start to impinge on the general atmosphere.

That itself might calm down if it were not for a conjunction of the Sun and Pluto at 15 degrees Capricorn in the early hours of Wednesday (6th).  Our hypothetical commuter characters will have trouble sleeping with the stress of it all.  There is a sense of overwhelm which may only be alleviated by surrender to your Higher Self, Soul or the Universe.  That is possibly the high point of the tension of the week.

However, the rest of the aspects are still challenging.  Would love to soft soap the aspects, but I don’t think I would be doing anyone any favours.  Next one up on Thursday 7th is Sun square Uranus, the element of the unexpected, and sometimes the Spanner in the Works.  You may prepare by looking at possible loopholes and plugging them in, or using your Higher Intuition to survey the lie of the land (or water) and find out the optimal perspective.

Friday (8th) is a mixed bag: first Jupiter goes retrograde in the early hours of the morning.  You may have reached a plateau in your progress in a work or environmental scheme, and need to do some revision or reworking for a while.  The night’s half waking / half sleeping state may bring forth insights about this.

During the day, the Sun sextiles Chiron, which brings the possibility of healing-related activities or seeking alternative solutions to problems.  That may be the best aspect of the week, but a subtle one which some may miss if they are focussed entirely inside the box.

On Friday evening, Mercury while on its retrograde path re-enters Capricorn; it entered Aquarius on Saturday, bringing a fresh collective perspective, and now institutionalized or more conventional thinking holds sway again.  Maybe your ideas were a little outlandish or slightly before their time.  You need to make things sit well with certain people before you can go all out with your fresh 2016 outlook.  Give it till 25th January to get communications moving again, when Mercury turns direct, and then until 13th February when Mercury re-enters Aquarius and you’ll have more people on side for changes you want to make.

In the early hours of Saturday (9th) Venus conjuncts Saturn, and there may need to be some letting go in relationships.  You may feel depleted, that you have given your all.  Venus will be at 11 degrees 11 minutes of Sagittarius, exciting numerology for some, which may be significant.

There may be a feeling that this prime week of new year’s resolution has been a long haul to try and establish the principles, patterns and habits you want to live by in 2016.  But in the struggle you may have a sense of achievement, which bears fruit in the New Moon of Sunday (10th).

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – intensity
  • Tuesday – on edge
  • Wednesday – profound
  • Thursday – spanner in the works
  • Friday – some healing space
  • Saturday – in serious mood