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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/5/16

Astrology Year 2016: Change Is Gonna Come

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Astrology year 2016 is the year when "change is gonna come," after years of dramatic transformation both within ourselves and on the outer plane. This is the year all of us can finally put our plans into motion for new lives, with better health and relationships, and bigger opportunities, and really begin living our personal Heaven on Earth.
Astrology year 2016 is the year
Astrology year 2016 is the year 'change is gonna come.' Find out why in this in-depth forecast for the new year. 2016 Janus graphic
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If we do this with a deep connection to our essential, spiritual selves, we have the best opportunity in years to change our health for the better, find our true calling, and be of highest service to others. What a wonderful year awaits us!
What's In This Article
This article gives you the key astrology dates and details you will need to stay in harmony with the energies available to you during the astrology year 2016:
. The Sun's movement into each sign: "when to do what"
. The Moon's monthly full phase: when emotions run high (but breakthroughs are possible)
. Mercury's retrograde periods: when communication, travel, and tech go awry (but new insights arrive)
. Annual trends and movements for the other planets: when we undergo major changes (but get new opportunities)
Read on for all the details and see how you can make the most of astrology year 2016!
Get Ready For Astrology Year 2016
With the Sun in hardworking, strategic Capricorn until January 20, this is a good time to get organized and prepare for the year ahead. Here's how to begin your personal astrological planning for the coming calendar year.
Look Back
. Look over your 2015 calendar, diary, or journal to see how you spent your time last year.
. Set aside time to meditate about the past year. Consider how you have grown, what you have learned, and how your life is different now than it was one year ago. Also consider how well you expressed your highest nature and when you fell short of your ideals.
. Think about each zodiac sign and month and how well you expressed its energies, as each astrological month came along throughout 2015.
Look Ahead
. Now think about astrology year 2016, especially your hopes and dreams for yourself and your loved ones. Write down your heart's desires for the coming year. Also consider the larger world of your friends, colleagues, and community as well as your country, all humanity, and our planet. With good will in your heart, write down your highest ideals for all these areas as well as ideas on how you can help your ideals come to pass.
. Mark your calendar for the astrology year 2016: note all the important Sun, Moon, and Mercury dates listed in the later sections of this article. Also jot down the other planetary movements in store for 2016.
. Set aside time at the start of each astrological month to meditate on that month's energies. For example, what sign will the Sun occupy? When is the Moon full? Will Mercury be retrograde? Will one of the other planets be changing signs? Think about how you can make the most of these energies.
Make The Most Of Each Month: "Follow The Sun"
One of the best ways to stay in harmony with astrology energies is to "follow the Sun" by paying attention to the Sun's location as it changes signs each month. Focusing on the Sun empowers us by aligning our lives with the astrological signs and nature's seasons so that our efforts remain in harmony with cyclical rhythms. This is the energy that tells us "when to do what" because it literally "shines a light" on the energies we're supposed to work with. So if you focus on each sign in turn throughout the year, you'll move smoothly through all your essential 2016 tasks (and the entire zodiac) by the end of the calendar year.
How To Follow The Sun
As the Sun enters a new sign each month, think about how you want to work with its energies (and how you want to build on your efforts with this sign in earlier years).
Also, pay special attention to your identity and how you "shine your light" during the month when the Sun moves through your own zodiac sign.
NOTE: For more details on any zodiac sign throughout this coming year, visit our "Find Out More About Your Zodiac Sign" page at
Zodiac Sign Start Dates For 2016
Here are the dates for the Sun's entry into each sign through the end of 2016, based on U.S. central time.
Capricorn December 21, 2015 *
Aquarius January 20, 2016
Pisces February 18
Aries March 19 +
Taurus April 19
Gemini May 20
Cancer June 20 *
Leo July 22
Virgo August 22
Libra September 22 +
Scorpio October 22
Sagittarius November 21
Capricorn December 21 *
* Dates marked with an asterisk indicate when the solstices occur
+ Dates marked with a plus sign indicate when the equinoxes occur
Tune In To The Moon: Enjoy The Full Moon
Each month, we experience a full Moon. During these powerful times, emotions may run higher, and we may have especially meaningful experiences and insights that can help us resolve issues or harness new inspirations.
You can benefit from the Moon's beauty by going outdoors to gaze at this satellite of Earth whenever the Moon is full and the skies are clear in your area.
Notice Your Feelings And Insights
Also, take time to notice how you feel in the days around each full Moon and jot down whatever insights and inspirations you receive so you can act on them later. The day of a full Moon as well as the day before and the day after offer especially powerful opportunities for spiritual efforts, so be sure to make time for prayer and meditation at this time each month.
Here are the full Moon dates for 2016:
Moon Is Full In Each Sign Below On The Date Listed Beside The Sign
Cancer December 25, 2015
Leo January 23, 2016
Virgo February 22
Libra March 23 *
Scorpio April 22
Sagittarius May 21
Sagittarius June 20
Capricorn July 19
Aquarius August 18
Pisces September 16 *
Aries October 15
Taurus November 14
Gemini December 13
* Dates marked with an asterisk indicate those full Moons also are lunar eclipses. Eclipses can bring powerful energies for change, so mark your calendar and watch what happens in your life on and right around these dates.
NOTE: 2016 also will see two solar eclipses, coinciding with the dates of two new Moons: March 8 (solar eclipse in Pisces) and September 1 (solar eclipse in Virgo). These dates will bring powerful energies as well, so notice what happens in your life on and around these dates of endings and new beginnings.
Moon Gives Double Dose Of Sagittarius
Be aware that, because the full Moons are occurring quite early in each sign for the next several months, we'll experience two full Moons in fiery, optimistic Sagittarius. This double dose of emotional insight, coming in this noble sign, can help us improve our lives around Sagittarius themes such as the role of beliefs, faith, higher education, philosophy, and high aspirations.
When The Moon Is Full In Your Sun Sign
Pay special attention to your feelings, memories, and nurturing as well as mothers, children, and emotional security whenever the Moon moves through your Sun sign and especially when it is full in your Sun sign. (See the Current Planets Position chart on our site any time you want to check the Moon's current sign.)
Watch Mercury: Notice When The Messenger Planet Goes Retrograde
Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system, and it's the closest to the Sun. Named for the ancient Roman messenger god who could travel among the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld, Mercury moved around swiftly thanks to the wings on his sandals and cap. This zippy planet rules the signs Gemini and Virgo and is associated with communication and thinking as well as siblings, transportation, commerce, and technology.
What Is Mercury Retrograde?
About three times each year, Mercury goes retrograde: that is, it looks like it's moving backwards in the sky from our vantage point on Earth. When Mercury is retrograde, we often experience slowdowns, obstacles, errors, and other challenges. Typically, these issues affect areas ruled by Mercury, such as communication, travel, commerce, contracts, computers, electronics, and gadgets. Retrograde periods offer an excellent time for all tasks involving "re" such as reviewing, redoing, rewriting, and reworking.
How To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde
Rather than starting anything new or launching a new project or product, you can make the most of Mercury's retrograde by slowing down, noticing your thoughts, and observing how you and others communicate.
Also notice what new information comes to light, both during and at the end of the retrograde period; often, helpful data surfaces that makes it much easier to make better decisions and move forward more effectively after the retrograde ends.
In addition, retrograde times are excellent for starting to meditate, making time for inner reflection, and enjoying solitude.
Here are the dates for Mercury's retrograde periods in 2016:
January 5 -- 25
April 28 -- May 22
August 30 -- September 22
December 19 -- January 8, 2017
Tap In To Annual Trends: Flow With The Other Planets' Changes
Besides the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, be sure to watch for a few other major planetary changes and energies that will be in force during astrology year 2016. Here are highlights of the planets and dates so you can mark your calendar and make the most of these new energies.
The Big Year Of Virgo: Get Healthy, Get Things Right
Virgo is key for everyone during astrology year 2016, whatever their zodiac signs, because of some key planetary placements:
. The giant, jolly, generous planet Jupiter occupied fiery Leo for most of 2015, asking us to have courage and speak from our hearts. But on August 11, 2015, Jupiter made a major shift when it entered earthy, detail-oriented Virgo, where it remains until September 9, 2016. Jupiter expands our lives through travel, learning, wisdom, and conscious growth, but it can be a double-edged sword that expands flaws or problems or spending if we let it go out of control. With Jupiter in Virgo, we're all feeling motivated to expand our perception of health, details, and service. If we avoid ramping up Virgo's tendency to be picky or critical of others and instead focus on our own lives and needed improvements, this can be a powerful time to apply wisdom in useful ways that perfect our health, daily lives, and jobs.
. The North Node--a sensitive point in space at which the Moon's orbit intersects the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun)--left airy, relationship-loving Libra for practical, perfectionistic Virgo on November 11, 2015. The North Node forms an axis with the South Node, which has occupied Pisces since that time. The North Node indicates our collective destiny or way forward in order to evolve, while the South Node indicates our past and the strengths we may draw on to fulfill the destiny indicated by the North Node. With the Virgo-Pisces emphasis, we must draw on our skills in spirituality, compassion, and the arts (Pisces) in order to develop our skills in perfecting ourselves, serving others, and creating a true Heaven on Earth (Virgo). This period lasts until mid-2017, giving us an opportunity to turn Virgo's famous ability to clean, improve, and perfect toward any area that has become sloppy, unclear, or detrimental to health. It's also a call to build upon -- yet move beyond -- the Piscean Age and fully enter the Aquarian Age.
. Three out of four eclipses we'll see this year will occur in either Virgo or Pisces, further ramping up these signs' energies. Eclipse dates are March 8 (solar eclipse in Pisces), March 23 (lunar eclipse in Libra), September 1 (solar eclipse in Virgo), and September 16 (lunar eclipse in Pisces). Eclipses can bring powerful energies, so mark your calendar and watch what happens in your life on and right around these dates. Keep alert for Virgo and Pisces themes that emerge, and make necessary changes based on the insights you experience.
From now until Jupiter leaves Virgo for Libra in September, we have the most powerful energies supporting health and healing and all other things Virgo since 2003 and 2004, when Jupiter last moved through the sign of the Virgin. Combined with the North Node's energies and the coming eclipses of 2016, this is a powerful moment in your personal history. Make the most of it, and you'll see a brand new you by this fall.
If all of us handle this energy properly, we can make real progress toward living holistically, letting go of jobs that leave us feeling like downtrodden servants, and embracing the "right livelihood" that feeds our souls as well as our families. We also have a once-every-dozen-years chance to move much farther and faster toward our vision of perfection.
Mercury Retrograde: Earthy And Practical This Year
Mercury, the ancient messenger for the gods who had wings on his sandals and helmet, loves to flit about quickly and share information. About three times a year, this information sharing turns inward, when Mercury goes retrograde and appears to move backwards in the sky. At this time, data comes to us in surprising ways, and ordinary communication faces disruptions to help us think differently.
In 2015, all three Mercury retrogrades occurred in the air signs, which gave some needed lightness to our lives, as Mercury is a quick thinker and at its best in air signs. This year, Mercury will make a star turn in the earth signs:
During 2016 and 2017, Mercury will go retrograde seven times, rather than its more typical three retrogrades per calendar year. In each of these years, three retrogrades will occur fully within the calendar year, with the seventh one acting as a "bridge" retrograde, spanning the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. All this adds up to some extra time to slow down and re-think and re-do over the next two years so we get things just right.
Except for the first three days of its January 2016 retrograde, all Mercury's retrograde time during astrology year 2016 will be spent in the earth signs: Capricorn, Taurus, and Mercury-ruled Virgo. Our thoughts will turn toward putting our feet on the ground, enjoying our bodies and senses, and making steady progress toward goals. See just how practical, smart, and patient you can be this year in the face of each retrograde's inevitable slowdowns, and you'll reap long-term rewards.
Jupiter in Virgo highlights Mercury even more, because Mercury rules Virgo. So all that big Jupiter energy in the sign of the Virgin will focus its beams on Mercury and whatever sign it occupies. So watch your thoughts this year because they're more powerful than ever, and pay attention to Mercury's sign as it sparks your mind and thoughts, makes you feel changeable or "mercurial," and puts your mental world into overdrive at times.
Mutable Sign Spotlight: Allow Change
After years of focus on the cardinal signs, thanks to the grueling energies of the long series of Uranus square Pluto alignments, we now find ourselves in a new era of change associated with the mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces:
Neptune has been traveling through its own sign, Pisces, since 2012 and remains there until 2025, while the powerful, healing asteroid Chiron also is moving through Pisces and remains there until 2018. These placements give us several years to reckon with Pisces energies by healing its lesser expressions of addiction, deceit, and escapism and embracing its higher, noble qualities of compassion, dreamlike oneness with all creation, intuitive and psychic powers, otherworldly creativity, and universal love and service. These years also are prime ones for closing out the Pisces Age and moving fully into the Aquarian Age.
Saturn entered Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, dipped back to Scorpio June 14, 2015, and moved back to Sagittarius on September 17, 2015, where it will remain until December 2017. So now Saturn is demanding that we streamline and grow up in all things Sagittarius, including higher education, religion, beliefs, and philosophy. This stern planet asks us to be mature and act with integrity, and it withholds rewards until we fulfill the responsibilities brought to us. As a result, Sagittarians likely will see pleasure take a back seat to duty; all the other mutable signs also will feel the stress of this draining energy and be forced to integrate Saturn's lessons in some important area of life.
As of August 2015, Jupiter entered Virgo. (See The Big Year Of Virgo above.) Combined with Neptune in Pisces and the North and South Nodes in these signs, we have a powerful call to improve our health, find our true calling, and perfect our ability to be of service. We also have a unique opportunity to see any underlying patterns or habits and to tap spirituality, art, and holistic tools to accomplish these tasks while exploring uncharted territory within our souls and our energetic connections to all creation.
With these placements, three of the four mutable signs are hosting powerful, slower moving planets, along with the asteroid Chiron. They form an alignment called a t-square, which is a challenging formation of one opposition (Neptune opposing Jupiter) and three squares (Jupiter square Saturn, Neptune square Saturn, and Chiron square Saturn). The squares force us to overcome internal obstacles, wrestle with situations that appear to have no easy answer, and finally turn a corner on these issues to make real, lasting change. The opposition brings us face to face with people and situations that can mirror our own shortcomings and challenge us to harmonize the different energies of Neptune and Jupiter and of Pisces and Virgo.
The mutable signs come at the end of seasons, giving us a clue to how to work constructively with their energies. In the coming year, be ready to change, let go, and move on by using the natural gifts of these change-savvy, "out with the old" signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Take special note of what happens in your life when the Sun moves through these signs and when the Moon is full in them (especially the two powerful Sagittarius full Moons in the middle of this year).
The t-square and its pressures will ebb in September, when Jupiter leaves Virgo for Libra, ending the Jupiter-Neptune opposition and leaving only the squares between planets in Sagittarius and Pisces. In the meantime, Gemini can help us release the stresses associated with the t-square and all its changes because it's the only one of the four mutable signs without a major planetary body moving through it. If we embrace Gemini's gifts for curiosity, humor, playfulness, and lightness, we can lighten our burdens considerably as we clean out our lives (and closets).
Also, with two of these four signs ruled by Mercury (Gemini and Virgo), watch your thoughts and use them consciously and constructively to re-make your reality into the perfection you seek. Little things will mean a lot, so pay attention to details and small but loving gestures.
Mars Retrograde: Just Stop (For A Little While)
Mars, the planet named for the ancient Roman god of war, goes retrograde in Scorpio April 17 and remains so until June 29. Before humanity became aware of Pluto in 1930 and astrologers came to associate this planet with Scorpio, Mars ruled both Aries and Scorpio. It's useful to keep this association in mind, as a planet in its own sign (in this case, Mars in Scorpio) carries great power.
Mars gives us drive and courage and pushes us to take action, but during a retrograde it feels as if his powerful gifts are being withheld from us. It also may feel frustrating, as Mars energy typically expresses itself directly, with force, and on the outer plane, but those options may be blocked or may not go at all as planned. So this is a good time to allow ourselves to stop. Just stop"and feel rather than act, plan for future tasks rather than plunging in or starting something new, and forgive yourself for not making much obvious progress on the material plane.
Let your real progress happen inside: go within to review the role that action plays in your life and how you use warrior energy, pioneer new projects, and make decisions. With Mars in Scorpio, the deeper you go, and the bolder you can be in entering your inner darkness and hidden wisdom, the more you'll benefit from this time. Also, during this period, people (especially Mars-like people and perhaps former loves), projects, and actions from the past may return to your life, giving you a chance to see them in a new light, reconsider actions you took in the past, and give thanks for how you held true to your unique identity in various situations.
Wishing You Health, Harmony, And Happiness
As you can see, astrology year 2016 offers tremendous energies for change. It also gives us one of the best opportunities in years to heal and embrace a new life of vibrant health in our physical, psychological, and spiritual lives.
Take this remarkable year in hand, and take its healing energies to heart. Let the winds of change blow through your life and free you from what has held you back from living your personal Heaven on Earth.
You can do this, with these wonderful winds at your back and the astrological year 2016 energies fully at your disposal.
May you enjoy all the health, harmony, and happiness this coming year promises!
A FINAL NOTE: You can find many more resources to help you navigate this upcoming year on my website, Besides in-depth astrology articles, you'll find artwork to help you harmonize with each astrology sign, tips for handling Mercury retrograde, and background on all the zodiac signs.
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Anne Nordhaus-Bike is president of ANB Communications. The author of the award-winning Living in Harmony astrology column for the Gazette newspaper in Chicago, she has won several journalism awards and in 1997 was added to the "Wall of Fame" of the (more...)
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