Kate Arbon is an astrologer, writer and spiritual teacher. Living in West Cork for over 20 years she gives personal consultations locally and internationally using traditional natal and Horary astrology. email: astro@katearbon www.katearbon.com
If you’ve been sensing that 2018 has started off on a different and more positive note then you’ll be pleased to know that it really does have some exceptional astrological trends to back you up! A key feature of 2018 is the absence of any major planetary alignments. This is remarkable in itself but we also have some significant repositioning of planets as some of the strong players move into their next zodiac sign. This brings a very different feel to 2018 when we contrast it to recent years.
Since 2008 we have had a succession of very challenging aspects between the slow moving outer planets. These alignments have set the tone of the last decade, which has seen us through a global economic crisis with major shifts and changes in world politics. Social depravation, unrest and uncertainty have dominated the news. Our personal circumstances and the lives of those nearest and dearest to us have undergone great changes in the last ten years as the planets played out their cosmic drama. In many ways we have awoken to reality, been shaken out of a comfort zone and had to face what we feared. Now we know about many things that were hidden before, so there’s no going back! Some of the things that have broken down are just not worth fixing. But what next?
2018 is likely to be a year of reassessing and re-evaluating and there is no need to push ahead too quickly. The new trends will take several years to play out and this year begins the build up to 2020 and then into 2025. So think of your longer-term future and allow for changes to your goals and core values as the year unfolds.
What makes 2018
Saturn in Capricorn. This planet takes around 28 years to come back to each sign. In late December of 2017, it returned to its home sign, Capricorn, where it will stay until late 2020.
Mercury retrograde in Aries, March 23rd – April 14th, Leo, July 26th – August 18th and Sagittarius, November 17th – December 5th. Mercury spends about three weeks in retrograde three to four times a year and in 2018 it’s all happening in the Fire signs
Uranus in Taurus, from May 15. It stays in each sign for about seven years and doesn’t move into Gemini until 2025. It was last in Taurus from 1934 – 1942.
Mars has a retrograde phase about every two years and from June 26 to August 27 will be moving backwards through Aquarius to Capricorn.
Venus goes into a retrograde phase every 18 months in an eight-year cycle. This year from October 5 to November 16 she will be passing back through Scorpio and Libra, the same signs as she did eight years ago.
Jupiter in Sagittarius from November 9. Jupiter takes 12 years to complete the zodiac and it’s returning to its home sign this year.
The overview for 2018
The major shifts in zodiac sign that take place this year, for Saturn and Uranus in particular, set the trend into the next few years. These two planets are very different in their energy and both are now in Earth signs having been in fire signs previously. Uranus has a fiery and volatile quality so works well in fire signs but can be quite explosive in earth signs, symbolically moving mountains but also literally changing the landscape. Saturn however, is cold and heavy in nature so is very well suited to an earth sign and puts the emphasis on stability, maturity and steady growth.
Uranus represents the urge to break free of constraint, oppression and limitation and in the earthy sign of Taurus we can expect some shifts in the earth itself, as well as the way we express our earthly nature. The eccentric planet of change, disruption and freedom can create a bit of a shake up in this peace-loving, resource-conscious, stability-focused, fixed earth sign. We can expect to see some form of rebellion and breakthrough around the sharing of resources. Our relationship with food, money, land and all the basic requirements in life will be highlighted and radical shifts can be expected over the coming years. There may be a lot of fluctuation in the value of natural resources and currency. Independent virtual money systems may become a stronger feature as people expect to have autonomy and direct access to wealth. Possession of resources will become an issue and the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ are likely to be accentuated. Some unexpected ways of addressing the balance may be sought and found. Core social values are going to be challenged so we may find ourselves appreciating things that didn’t appeal before and disregarding what was previously precious when it comes to our heart desires as well as practical assets. Value of the self and personal authenticity will become more prevalent whilst false values and facades break down.
Saturn is always looking to constrain and preserve. It’s at home in Capricorn and can do his best or worst there, unhindered. This is a time when putting in the effort over time can pay off. Saturn likes responsibility and will build things diligently for long term gain whilst being comfortable with shortterm hardship or deprivation. The rewards come later. Use this year to make plans and put in the work to become something that you have always wanted to strive for. It may take this whole year to really tell what is working well for you and what is simply a restriction or drain on resources. Saturn is known as Lord of Karma and it may be the case that you will reap what you have sown now. Whilst Saturn was in Sagittarius we had to work with our beliefs – spiritual, social or economic, and the limitations they imposed. This year we can start work building systems and structures that provide stability and are ‘future proof’ using our wisdom and experience. Those who have been working away in the background without expectation for reward or acknowledgement may see their efforts paying off and make significant gains or promotion. Whilst in Capricorn Saturn will eventually meet up with powerful Pluto, and although this is some way off in 2020 the energy will be building and we will get a feel of what’s coming in the next few years. Whatever we invest our time and attention in now will be the foundation for the years ahead when we can expect to be clearer about the true meaning of physical existence and our proper place in the world.
With the emphasis on earth signs we can expect a calmer approach to our current state of affairs than we saw in 2017 but we still have plenty of flare and feisty creativity to express. It is well to remember that ‘slow and steady wins the race’! There could be some considerable frustration if you try to push ahead recklessly, with energetic Mars in retrograde and the Mercury retrogrades in fire signs this year. These periods take up a good portion of the year so plan your time and actions accordingly. The whole year from early March through to late December is accounted for if we include the shadow period of the retrogrades. There is a window in early May and again in mid October that are the exception. A retrograde period isn’t necessarily a non-productive time and putting everything off is not practical or desirable, so simply take these phases as a reminder to be extra diligent and prepared. Do the inner work and take adversity as a re-routing opportunity. Keep the focus on what is helped not hindered under these conditions.
With both Venus and Mars in retrograde this year we have a strong emphasis on relationships, our desires and personal values. With Mars going backwards through Capricorn and Aquarius, both traditionally ruled by Saturn, it is the tried and tested that wins favour and motivates us fully. This is not the best time to start a new relationship or invest heavily in any new venture. Those things that we have been working on over a longer period are supported as long as we don’t try to push ahead too fast.
Whilst Venus is in her retrograde phase from early September to mid December (including the shadow period) we may find that someone from our past re-emerges or comes back into focus so we can address the relationship from a new perspective. If a past love returns it could be a chance to rekindle something special but it is best to wait until the retrograde has finished to know if it was simply a reminder of why it was in the past! There may be the opportunity to change the way we deal with relationship issues as some habit or way of relating comes back into our awareness and can be dealt with in a more mature or loving way. This may have more to do with money and abundance issues if that’s more relevant, bringing up anything that is still not working well for you in this area. This is a time of resolution. Because the Venus retrogrades occur in eight-year cycles you may find that looking back you experienced something similar in 2010.
For some of the time whilst Venus and Mars are in their retrograde phases they are both in fixed signs and will receive challenging aspects from Uranus in fixed sign Taurus. This is likely to bring anything that is limiting or hindering the full expression of Mars and Venus issues to a crisis point. The changes that occur now will ultimately set you free by making you depart from the old ways or habits that you have outgrown. Now you can finally let go of unhealthy relationships, financial problems or whatever blocks you from reaching your goals. There maybe some surprising results.
Throughout the year the only slower moving planet making a strong aspect to the outer planets is Jupiter and they are the positive sextile to Pluto and trine to Neptune, active until September. Jupiter with Pluto helps bring more truth and justice with an increase in the correct use of power. Jupiter and Neptune allow us to expand into greater awareness of compassion and our spiritual connections to each other.
The final major planet move this year is when Jupiter goes into its home sign, Sagittarius on November 8. When Jupiter went into Scorpio in October last year the effect was felt almost instantly with positive responses. Many past abuses of power came to light (Scorpio) and justice was sought by those affected. We can look back 12 years to 2006 when Jupiter was last in Sagittarius. This is generally a very positive placement and the theme is beneficial expansion, with the worst effect being too much of a good thing! We can expect the last months of the year to have a more upbeat trend with a sense of optimism after what may feel like a long and serious year. If you want to travel or start a new study course this is the time to take off in your chosen direction. There is the potential for more openness, tolerance and breaking into new ground either geographically or spiritually.
Total Lunar Eclipse, January 31 at 12 Leo
Partial Solar Eclipse, February 15 at 27 Aquarius
Partial Solar Eclipse, July 13 at 21 Cancer
Total Lunar Eclipse, July 27 at 5 Aquarius
Partial Solar Eclipse, August 11 at 19 Leo
The Eclipses are usually significant in world events but if you have your Sun or Moon on the same degree as the eclipse you will probably feel its effect on a very personal level.
Personal Astrology for 2018
Everyone will experience the major shifts that occur this year. Some zodiac signs are going to be more affected than others by this year’s planetary movements. Notice where in your chart Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter fall this year. This will show you which area of life is going to get the full impact so you can make the most of the positive effects available to you.
If you have your Sun, Moon or Ascendant in Capricorn or Cancer especially but also Aries or Libra, you will notice Saturn’s effect more strongly. Along with those born in early fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius you are also most likely to notice the shift when Uranus moves into Taurus.
Notice the houses in your chart that each of the Mercury, Venus and Mars retrogrades are taking place as they will mostly have their impact in these areas of your life.
If you want to know more about your natal planet placements or understand your birth chart please get in touch with me for a full consultation.
Aries: Over the New Moon don’t mix business with pleasure if you want to avoid trouble. Not everyone will be on your side over the next few weeks so you may want to choose your friends carefully and keep your personal thoughts and opinions to yourself. With your career and reputation very important to you at this time, you can make significant gains regarding your ambitions. Recognition for your efforts and receiving credit for your accomplishments are likely now, but only if you’ve ‘done your homework’. This is an excellent time to ask for a promotion, or to engage the support of those in positions of higher authority.
Taurus: This is a time to lift yourself out of your usual mundane concerns in order to get a larger perspective on your life. Although it may all seem overwhelming for a while remember that as long as you keep plugging away you will make gains. You really can get things up and running if you try. A chance to do things a little differently will make all the difference in the world. Don’t slow down because someone can’t keep up with you. You have to maintain the momentum. A teacher or mentor who appears this New Moon may be particularly important to you later.
Gemini: Don’t push your luck now. Joint financial affairs and investments are likely to be an issue at this time, and it is a good time to clarify each person’s expectations and to take care of any legal business, insurance, wills, and so on. On a personal level, there is a desire to intensify the level of intimacy and honesty in your closest relationships and to clear away anything in yourself, which is impeding that deeper union you seek. Any temptation to make abrupt decisions and changes could lead to additional problems that you can do without. Stick to what’s clear and avoid taking on other peoples responsibilities.
Cancer: Partnerships, marriage, and one-to-one relationships take your attention now and you are called upon to cooperate and perhaps to relinquish some of your own personal interests for the sake of harmony and mutual benefit. You may end up questioning yourself as well as the motives of the people around you. Get to the bottom of things before it’s too late. Once you have all the facts you will be in a much better position to make a decision. Don’t let anyone pull you in a direction you don’t want to go and do what’s best for you but the emphasis is on ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.
Leo: Doing your best work and taking pride in it are a focus for you now. You should be able to make some worthwhile career moves or at least secure your current position so that you don’t have to worry about your financial future. This is a good time to examine how you use your time and energy, with an eye to improving your efficiency and productivity. Watch out for health matters as you are concerned with your body now, and you may be inspired to begin a self-improvement programme, create better habits, or begin a new diet or fitness plan.
Virgo: You are energised and inspired creatively and emotionally coming up to this New Moon time, and you want to bring forth all that’s deep within you. You express yourself more freely, playfully, and spontaneously and are more willing to take chances. You will have Lady Luck in your corner so be sure to look for good deals. Social activities, travel and attending different cultural events will all lead to meeting people who can help further your goals. The dramatic and performing arts, sports and games, or other forms of self-expression and entertainment appeal strongly to you now. You can accomplish much if you set your mind to it.
Libra: From the beginning of this month you will have been enjoying the success that you worked hard to achieve. Don’t be too quick to put your energy into new projects as you approach the New Moon, wait until the end of the month. All kinds of creative work are favoured and you might find yourself more closely involved with children at this time. Don’t be surprised if there is some conflict between your personal enjoyment and what others think you should be doing for kicks. Those things that need to be discussed and settled with the family can be dealt with in the next few weeks.
Scorpio: Take a trip back into your past and you will find the answers you are looking for. Now it’s time to make changes instead of doing a repeat performance. Taking time to talk with neighbours and folks you cross paths with daily may result in more positive and smoother-running relationships generally. You’ll want to fritter away your time on fun and social events over the New Moon, but this may not be at all bad, things have been serious enough for you to want to take a break now. This is a good time to participate in or contribute to any community events in your area
Sagittarius: Money, possessions, financial security, and practical matters are a focus for you now. You can make some very interesting professional or financial moves this month. Be ready to put your money on the table in order to get ahead. If you have tended to be generous or extravagant with your resources, you may begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the least, it should become clear to you what your next steps should be regarding your finances. Your astute vision will enable you to correctly assess the right investment, job or any other money matter that arise after the New Moon phase.
Capricorn: During this time you can make an impression on others by making a strong statement to the world about who you are. People recognise you and are likely to follow your lead, or at the least they stay out of your way. You are likely to feel more confident and vital now. However, you may be so preoccupied with yourself and your own desires that you unintentionally ignore other people and their needs. Include the ones you love in your plans and things will get progressively better. You should be able to strengthen the bond with someone who has been an influence in your life.
Aquarius: You’ll be torn between what you want to do and what you have to do. Retreating from the world for a while and spending some quiet time alone to relax and rejuvenate appeals strongly to you now. You may feel like you are at low ebb and as if nothing is happening or you may simply not want to be ‘where the action is’. Don’t overreact, overdo or over-indulge to compensate for things not going according to your plans. Sometimes it’s best to do what you must, get it out of the way now. You’ll get your turn to please yourself. Competitive ambitions and ego drives are on hold now.
Pisces: Get involved in charity events or social action groups that interest you and you will make headway in many different areas of your life through the people you meet and the information you discover. You may be asked to take responsibility or even a leadership role or to contribute and participate more fully than you have in the past. You will enjoy being part of a team or group effort now. Being part of a community or circle of friends and building your social network is important to you at this time.