“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
The background noise you’ll be hearing in 2022 is the same one we’ve been listening to for over a decade now — the low hum of Pluto as it has been traveling through Saturn-ruled Capricorn since 2008, testing the foundations of our civilizations.
It’s the sound of long-standing institutions crumbling under the pressure of immutable realities that demand change, the usual bureaucratic failures to adapt in time, and corruption.
Institutions of government, business, religion, health care, agriculture, science, art are all being challenged to prove their worth and competence. The ones that survive the events of the coming decades will be the ones that are willing to recognize what is needed, adapt, and create change from within.
The same is true for all of us. After all, our lives are thoroughly intertwined with our institutions. We work in them, interact with them, depend on them for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and entertainment.
If you were hoping 2022 would mean getting back to “normal” (do we even know what that is anymore?) you’ll be disappointed. However, the planetary patterns this year suggest tremendous opportunities to create and define new structures for our individual lives and the institutions that support our society.
These are extraordinary times, and few of us will be untouched by the metamorphosis of our civilizations. Astrology gives us the knowledge that helps us take full advantage of the windows of opportunity life presents to us while skillfully managing the various and inevitable tests and trials.
I’ll take a few paragraphs to go over the technical stuff with those who speak our astro-language (or want to learn it), then we’ll get into an overview of what we can expect in 2022, and what astrology suggests we want to keep in mind as we navigate the year ahead.
(Astrologers: I’m looking at aspects and sign ingresses of the outer planets, stations of inner planets, eclipses, and the quarterly Cardinal Ingress charts. If you want to investigate these events yourself, you will find the “Hot Degrees 2022” pdf useful (Gratitude to Bart Lidofsky and Madalyn Hillis-Dineen who put this out for free every year).
And of course, you’ll need your ephemeris. (You do have an ephemeris, right? No serious astrologer would be without one.) Cardinal Ingress charts are cast for the moment the Sun enters one of the 4 Cardinal signs — in other words, the solstices and equinoxes. You’ll find the the dates and times in the ephemeris. The charts I’m using are cast for for Washington, DC.
Note that the Saturn-Uranus square is ongoing through the year. While it will not be partile again, it will remain within a 10° orb all year, reaching less than a degree during October. The square will be activated by transits of slower planets, even when the orb is at its widest.
The other big player this year is Jupiter, powerful in its own sign of Pisces, conjuncting co-ruler Neptune, then moving into Aries before briefly retrograding back into Pisces later this year.
On its journey, it will cross 0° Aries 3 times. 0° of any Cardinal sign is considered an “Aries Point” (abbreviated AP). They are particularly powerful points in the Zodiac — the points of the solstices and equinoxes — and they tend to light up and emphasize the planets crossing them.
Jupiter, in its journeys, also will make tense semi-square aspects to Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. While Jupiter in Pisces features the planet’s visionary, expansive, philosophical side, Jupiter in Aries is the Big Boss and tends to throw its considerable weight around.
Look particularly at what’s going on in April/May/early June. It starts with the Mars-Saturn conjunction just days before the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction. Then there’s a powerful solar eclipse conjunct Uranus, then Jupiter moves into Aries, a lunar eclipse squares Saturn, and Mars conjuncts Neptune, then moves into its domicile of Aries, conjuncting Jupiter. Now the Big Boss has an enforcer, Mars, and there will be bold and expansive actions taken with profound consequences. This is an extremely active time.
Late fall/early winter is another active time. A lunar eclipse activates the Saturn-Uranus square, Jupiter jumps over the sign line thrice before the end of the year. Mars retrogrades square Neptune. Note that both Pisces and Neptune indicate pandemics, and Jupiter expands whatever it touches. Mars can indicate infectious illnesses. Watch both its conjunction and retrograde square to Neptune — communications are likely to be aggressive, some will be outright delusional, and there will be problems around translating information into useful action.
Pluto remains in the later degrees of Capricorn, finishing the job it took on on 2008. Remember that Pluto is nothing if not thorough.)
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” ~ Frederick Buechner
It looks like we will have to deal with waves of the pandemic all year. There will be increasing pressure for public health mandates, and, while it’s likely some of the resistance against them will subside in the face of the obvious upsides to the vaccine (exponentially fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths for the vaccinated being reported by not only the CDC, but hospitals and boots-on-the-ground medical staff) what remains may get crazier and more violent.
So keep your masks on, but make an effort to interact with your friends and communities. Identify and firmly establish your personal boundaries — emotional, physical, and mental. Once you’ve done that, it’s easier to reach out and connect with others. And connecting with others, understanding the power of community to create change is a big theme for 2022.
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." ~ Carl Jung
Another focus for the year will be our visions — some of which will be brilliant, far-seeing, and offer a clear road to a brighter future. But some people’s visions will span the gamut from misinformed to batshit-crazy delusions, and those delusions will have consequences — some of them quite serious.
Step carefully, think things through, make sure you have solid, accurate information as you plan a path to your envisioned future. And be sure to have a Plan B, because, no matter how accurate your information, there will be unexpected events. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to influence and shape the future. But we’ll each need a vision to guide us if we want to take advantage of them.
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ~ Thomas Merton
There will be a growing interest in religion and spirituality. But like our collective visions, people’s approaches will vary widely. Fearful people tend to cling to fear-based philosophies that focus on sin and punishment. Or on misguided New Age concepts of transcendence. “Get me the f*ck out of here” is an understandable attitude, but not particularly useful for personal and spiritual growth. It’s based in the belief that “here” is a bad place to be. And maybe it is. But it doesn’t have to be.
If the human race could get its collective act together, we could make this a wonderful place to be. Therein lies the difficulty, of course, but each one of us has a part to play in the transformation that is happening all around us.
“Here” is really all we have to work with, and we need to get to work. Instead of trying to figure out how to transcend it all, or cowering in fear of “the wages of sin”, those of us with a clear vision of a better future will check in with our souls and our personal values, then work to create the best life we can from what is in front of us in the here and now.
A little escapism is fine. We all need a break occasionally — some time to relax, dream, and seek our visions. But make sure it’s just a break, not a year-long sabbatical.
This work is a creative endeavor, and the astrology suggests that there will be a lot of support for those endeavors. We all have creative abilities, but creating like an artist means listening to our souls, attending to the ongoing healing of our emotional/psychological wounds, and living by our values. Each life is a work of art.
We are in a time of rapid change. This means many things are no longer stuck in their same old pattern. When our lives are in flux, it’s often easier to create something new, to tap in to the flow instead of having to set things in motion first. If we can adjust to the changes we are faced with like a bird skillfully coasting on the currents of the wind, we can land safely in the future we envision for ourselves and our loved ones.
Which brings me to another theme for the year, which is expanding compassion. The wider your circle of people you love, the wider the even larger circle of those you have compassion for, the more you will be working in tune with the currents of 2022.
Does widening those circles seem like it would be hard to do? Well, I did mention that we needed to get to work. Here’s a place to start.
Almost done with this overview, but stick with me for one more, very important factor in 2022 that we need to consider — managing fear.
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done does away with fear.” ~ Rosa Parks
Fear is a natural reaction to unexpected change, but unless an immediate response to a threat is required fear doesn’t really do us much good. It affects our mental state — when we are feeling fear, certain areas of our brain are activated at the expense of those areas that help us make rational decisions.
Fear also affects our emotional and physical health, particularly when we are chronically anxious and fearful. And that’s something most of us are prone to, unless we eschew all forms of news and social media.
We want to manage instead of banish fear, because fear is a deep, primal emotion that evolved because it contributed — and still does contribute — to our survival. We can’t banish it entirely. But these days, it contributes to our ill health because we can’t react in the way we evolved to react — by running from an imminent threat.
Instead, we are told of distant threats, we imagine threats, and those distant or imagined threats can trigger the same biological reaction as a physical threat. And we deal with actual and inescapable physical threats of modern life like speeding cars, guns, and pandemics.
There are things we can do to minimize the effects on our mind and body of distant or imagined threats. They involve facing and identifying our fears, rationally considering their likelihood, and adjusting our attitude towards the real threats we do face. There are two books I can recommend to help with this process:
Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
The astrological currents of 2022 are powerful, and will require a combination of flexibility, groundedness, and clear vision to navigate well. This is also a pivotal year for the USA (a Pluto return, solar arc of Pluto to the MC, and a variety of challenging transits to the Sibly chart). Time permitting, I’ll follow this post up with one about the USA’s chart this year.
Best wishes to you for the new year.