I am interested in astrology as one of the better approaches to attunement with the rhythm of the Uni-Verse – the One Song. The more we can be in tune with this Grand Musical, the more harmony in our particular Song. And so we chart the planets on the 360 degree circle of 12 signs to appreciate their geometric shape. In this case, of a New Year, we focus on the 1st instant of what we call the New Year # 2022, the first second after midnight on January 1st in our location called Santa Cruz (Holy Cross), California. (see the attached chart) The month of January is named for the Roman divinity Janus of the two faces, one looking forward and one looking back.Looking in two directions is also the symbolism of the Nodes of the Moon or Rahu and Ketu. 2022 is a well-packed package of potential with several surprises seemingly in store. I will start by listing a few notable themes with some possible meanings. For those of you who want to dive deeper, read on after the opening section.
The Time Serpent
The most obvious feature of the 2022 New Year chart is that all of the primary cosmic characters – planets, asteroids, etc. are only on one side of the line connecting the opposing Nodes, with North Node in Gemini and South Node in Sagittarius. The Nodes roughly symbolize the future and the past. When all the planets are on one side of the Nodes, it is called a Kala Sarpa Yoga in Vedic astrology or “The Time Serpent”, and is given a rather negative connotation. Rahu and Ketu are seen as capturing and imprisoning all the planets. It can suggest a lockdown and perhaps there is some basis for considering the Nodes as representing evil. A more neutral interpretation suggests either extreme focus or imbalance for this formation and for the coming year, with time and timing paramount. An extreme focus on the frightening virus is clearly an obvious example. On a personal level, one might feel strongly that time is running out or running the show. The Nodes are also close to changing signs. The finality of events may be especially accented after January when the Nodes retrograde back into Taurus and Scorpio. The Nodes stay in each sign for about a year and a half. The South Node in the sign of the Scorpion might be accompanied with memories surfacing of previous traumatic terminal events in the collective or personal consciousness. Both the Tail of the Dragon and the Tail of the Scorpion have ominous associations.
Sagittarius/Capricorn – Bright/Dark
Mars, Moon, and Vesta in positive expansive Sagittarius is something of a balance to the Sun, Juno, Venus Rx, Pluto, and Mercury in serious Capricorn. The mid-winter Sun at midnight and Pluto, divinity of the underworld nearing the end of Capricorn and a Pluto return for the U.S. 1776 chart, paints a rather bleak picture. This extreme duality creates an almost schizophrenic feeling for me, with bright hopes for an Aquarian New Age in the wings, but a sinking dread in the bowels of a flawed experiment and widespread sickness and death.
Powerful Planets – Ruling Planets Galore!
VENUS – The Midnight time of New Year always creates a Capricorn Sun at the bottom of the chart and balanced Libra rising. Hence, fortunately, lovely Venus is always the overall ruling planet of the New Year chart. In 2022 Venus is retrograding back from a conjunction with underworldly Pluto, suggesting Venus in the role of Persephone leaving Hades to return to her Mother, in this case Lady Luna. The midnight Sun represents light in the darkness. Venus is busy in other ways also, retrograding back in order to make a conjunction with her lover Mars. This dance of the gender polarity continues as Venus follows along and then finally conjoins Mars again on March 5thexactly on the Capricorn/Aquarius cusp! It appears that we can expect some wild shenanigans in our passionate relationships and basic gender interactions. Our loving feminine self goes from spiritual highs to deathly lows…running away, returning home to mama, following behind (stalking?), finding love in all the right and wrong places, plenty of conjunctions, and finally, one last tantric embrace at the kundalini corral.
MERCURY – Mercury has his wild story as well in 2022. Since he also begins the New Year conjunct Pluto, he is cast in the role of Psycopomps or Guide of Souls to Hades. It should be noted that the Greek Hades is not identical with our present notion of Hell; nonetheless once again there is a reference to Death. Mercury transits from Capricorn into Aquarius and retrogrades back and then once again transits into Aquarius, suggesting journeying between realms. This wild guide of souls reminds me of Coyote at the southern border. It looks rather dangerous with plenty of thrills and spills. Since Mercury/Coyote ends up conjunct Saturn in Aquarius, it looks like his band of lost souls gets caught by the ICE-man in the end. We should keep this in mind if planning any such escapades!
MARS – We mentioned that masculine Mars has his highs and lows with lovely Venus and that he starts out the New Year widely conjunct Lady Luna in a fire sign that matches his temper. He is quite the player and points to a new year of adventures galore.
JUPITER – Jupiter at the 1st degree of his traditional home sign, Pisces, is also accented geometrically by being the pivot point in the mutable t-square with the very prominent Nodes. Fertile Jupiter in fertile Pisces sounds…well, fertile. And you can add in Piscean Neptune and his partner, Salacia, for oceanic fertility. Being in the 5thhouse of creativity adds to Jupiter’s fertile playful nature. If you are hoping to literally conceive a child, this could be a good year for it, or if you have other creative projects in the works this could be a good time as well, but read the next section on Saturn also because that is where you will hear the rest of the story. Ha!
SATURN – Saturn is another of the particularly powerful planets in the New Year chart. As if being the ruler of the Sun’s sign Capricorn, and the traditional ruler of Aquarius is not enough, Saturn makes several important aspects including the major square to Uranus, emphasizing the timely theme of Past (Saturn) and Future (Uranus). Careful Saturn also balances exuberant Jupiter in this 5th house of creativity. Expect some serious delays in your projects, although long-term dedication to a task looks to succeed, especially if you have good group support.
URANUS – As mentioned, Uranus’s square to Saturn is a classic pushme-pullyou but as the planet of surprises, Uranus in Vacca/Taurus’s very close trine to the midnight Sun in Capricorn is a strong hint about the likelihood of fundamental earthy surprises. Being in the intense 8thhouse of sex, death, and other folks’ resources, it sounds rather formidable to me. Hopefully the sex part might include a few pleasure-full surprises, but market crash and heart attack could spoil your while day! We are already slated to get some practice with intense stuff over the next year and a half as the Nodes retrograde back into Taurus and Scorpio and the 8thand 2nd houses of the New Year chart. Might I recommend that you enjoy your addictions while you can because it looks like they will be up for review in 22. By the way, dwarf planet Ceres (mythologically, like Demeter for the Greeks) is the Great Earth Mother and I consider her a co-ruler of Vacca/Taurus. She is already conjunct the North Node in the New Year chart and will clearly play her part in the drama, getting special attention from eclipses in 2022 as will Uranus. The Taurus/Scorpio nodal story has a couple likely outcomes, the first, of course will be a renewed climate change drama, but from the Scorpio underworld perhaps it will be revealed to the surface dwellers that there is no longer natural weather; it has been under the control of geo-engineering for many years. Wouldn’t that be an entertaining Uranian surprise?
NEPTUNE — Neptune is the new ruling planet of Pisces, bringing an oceanic depth to Jupiter’s perspective on fertility. Whereas Ceres and Uranus in Vacca/Taurus represent a literal earthy fertility, Neptune, especially conjunct protective Pallas in the 6thhouse offers a healing balm of vast depth and breadth. Tune into the sea in 2022 and 2023 for healing help. For those of you who especially enjoy sexuality, it has been my perception that Pisces is the most straight forward sex loving of the signs. With Jupiter together with Neptune both rulers of Pisces, 2022 could be a super sexy year!
PLUTO – Pluto is a major player in 2022 and for the next few years as I will expand upon below. Conjunct both Venus and Mercury at the end of Capricorn, the divinity of the apocalypse holds sway over our hearts and minds. Pluto is also square his sister dwarf planet (Eris’s orbit actually crosses over into Pluto’s) and so the energies of extreme transformation and fierce justice are having an intense dialog. Although their effects are largely a matter of shifts on the grand scale, personally I can imagine how we might feel massive injustice happening and want to do something about it. It would be wise to investigate how much of the grand drama is really our business or can we simply either live with the tension or let the tension be?
Da DEEPER DIVE
The Time Serpent
You might say that Time is the most compelling of illusions. In this sense it is like the Hindu concept of Maya in that it turns the Nothing/Everything portal into separate things. This New Year 2022 chart features what is called a Time Serpent in Vedic astrology because all of the planets are on one side of the line connecting the South and North Node or Ketu and Rahu. In Vedic myth the Nodes were considered to be one single serpentine demon who stole a drink of the gods’ ambrosia drink of immortality, and in response, Vishnu cut the demon into two parts, Rahu and Ketu, becoming the two opposing points of the zodiac where eclipses occur each year. It is generally interpreted in a person’s natal chart as points representing past experience or karma and future potential or dharma, aka Ketu and Rahu. The close alignment of Sun, Moon, and Earth that creates spectacular eclipses of Sun and Moon are highly charged new and full Moon times, seemingly with effects much more profound than one might expect otherwise. Rahu and Ketu are also portrayed as the head and tail of a serpent or dragon, suggesting to me that their particular 180 degree opposition is resonant with the central channel or Sushumna Nadi of the Tantric chakra system with its kundalini serpent symbolism, which in turn suggests the further reference to the serpentine DNA helix. Could it be that these times of especially close alignment are related to evolutionary (or de-evolutionary) shifts in human DNA? This is suggested by the Vedic astrology practice of making special healing ceremonies during Kala Serpa times. Because of the symbolic connections of the serpentine lunar nodes with kundalini energy rising in the central tantric channel, I believe that the meaning of the Moon’s nodes can be expanded to their connections to multi-dimensional levels of time from past to future and future to present with ramifications in terms of the DNA.
Because all the planets are in signs previous to the North Node, the northern end of the eclipse cycle will be retrograding back through all the planets which are presently located closely together from Vacca/Taurus back to Pluto, (which will be in Aquarius in 2027) and eventually will transit over the charged Capricorn/Aquarius cusp in 2028. These compact 5 or 6 years of eclipses should offer rich opportunities for enhanced evolution or de-evolution.
As noted above, the Nodes will first be retrograding back from Gemini/Sagittarius to Taurus/Scorpio on January 22, 2022. Steven Forrest has an informative article on the ramifications of this transit. (https://www.forrestastrology.com/blogs/astrology/the-nodal-axis-shifts-into-scorpio-taurus) I agree with what he writes; however, it is a lower chakra perspective. The mythology of The Great Mother Cow for Vacca/Taurus and the high-flying Eagle and Phoenix for Scorpio expands these two signs upward into the Heart Center and above for higher chakra symbolism.
Sagittarius and Capricorn, Bright and Dark
Similar to the transition from Sagittarius’ positive Thanksgiving Day to Capricorn’s dark New Year’s Eve, the 2022 chart for the New Year accents the duality of fiery Moon and cold mid-winter Sun. I have named the point around 10 degrees of Capricorn where the Sun dwells each midnight January 1st, the Morpheus point, to mythologically emphasize the dream-like shifting quality of this time. In each New Year chart I have noted the astrology and especially the planets transiting this Morpheus point. In recent years Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto have all been near this point in the New Year chart with correlations to extreme worldwide shifts. This New Year the asteroid Juno is widely conjunct the Sun, contributing some needed grace and presence to the mix. Although the trinity of retrograde Venus, Pluto, and Mercury adds a differing underworldly perspective to the drama with Venus Rx in the role of Persephone returning and Mercury as the guide of departed souls.
Venus is always accented in the New Year chart as the ruling planet of Libra rising and in 2021 and 2022 she and Mars present an especially impressive show. Coming from a conjunction with Mars in Leo at the crown in the summer of 2021, Venus proceeded in the winter to meet Pluto in dark Hades and turned back for another rendezvous with Mars, then followed behind him for a few weeks, finally catching up for another conjunction at the exact cusp of Capricorn/ Aquarius; the same zero degree where Jupiter and Saturn came together on the Winter Solstice of 2020. Speculating on what this wild mating dance of Venus and Mars might represent, I notice how it contributes to the emphasis on duality and polarity seen elsewhere in the New Year chart, with the overall Time Serpent arrangement, Jupiter and Saturn together in the 5thhouse, Saturn square Uranus, Moon square Neptune, Venus and Pluto square Eris, and Jupiter square the Nodes. Perhaps Venus and Mars point to the amazingly complex dance of Yin and Yang going on in so many ways in the world these days, both culturally and individually. Apparently we can expect more of the same in 2022.
PLUTO THE POWERFUL PLANET
Of all the notable planetary manoeuvres happening at the New Year 2022 transition and in the coming year, Pluto approaching his return to the 1776 U.S. chart is probably the most impactful. (see the very thorough and in-depth treatment of the Pluto Return by Ray Grasse. )
In Alchemical Tantric Astrology (ATA) the cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius corresponds to the beginning of the central Sushumna channel in the Tantric chakra system which I call the Kundalini Portal because the serpentine kundalini energy is said to reside here in this 1stor Root Chakra. The transits of this Kundalini Portal by a large number of important planets and the South Node in 2019 and 2020 is related to the spectacular transformation during the last few years. In many ways this same cusp and portal can be considered the true beginning of the greater spiritual cycle. Hence, when Jupiter and Saturn were here at the end of 2020, not only was this the beginning of a new 20 year conjunction cycle, but also the beginning of a new trigon cycle in the air signs of 200 years, a longer 800 year cycle (4 x 200) until the next return set of trigons in the air signs, and finally some HUGE number of years until the next time the trigons return so exactly to the 1stdegree of Aquarius, the first ATA Hermetic sign.
When Pluto transits this charged cusp three times in 2023 and 2024, it will be not only rare for having completed a 250 year return for the founding of the U.S. in 1776, but because it will be entering this 1stsign of the spiritual cycle in Aquarius. Pluto will then join all the outer planets on the upward-moving side of the ATA spiritual zodiac, resonant with the inhaling of the cosmic and individual breath. Mars and Venus’s impressive cycle of conjunctions described above culminating once again in a final conjunction at the 1stdegree of Aquarius exactly on the Kundalini Portal super-activates the larger cycle known as the 2160 year Age of Aquarius, which by the same logic, can be viewed as the spiritual beginning of a new series of 25,920 year Great Ages. The Earth’s north pole points towards the star Polaris in this our era and in about 13,000 years it will point toward the star Vega; hopefully by then it will be a new Golden Age! Don’t hold your breath. Ha!
Pluto’s transit of the end of the final sign of the ATA cycle, Capricorn, has other reasons for our attention; as divinity of the underworld, Pluto is especially appropriate in this lowest position of the ATA cycle (see my attached article, “Is Pluto a Co-Ruler of Capricorn?”). And there is another reason to pay extra attention to Pluto in the next few years. John Michael Greer, author of a new book to be released in March of 2022 by Inner Traditions, The Twilight of Pluto, demonstrates why Pluto being demoted to a dwarf planet is likely to result in Pluto’s power as a planet likewise being reduced. It will be fun or at least entertaining to keep an eye on Pluto over the next few years to see if the question of his formidable power is noticeably affected. If Greer’s ideas are correct, Pluto’s over-evaluation corresponds with the rise of authoritarianism, plutocracy, the secret government, nuclear weapons, extreme CIA overreach, and other horrible effects. Hence, it could be a good thing that Pluto is losing some of his influence.
I think it is accurate, in summation, to say that the year 2022, according to astrology, looks to continue the intense transformation of the last few years with some new twists and turns in store. Good Luck!