New Year's Chart 2015: a look ahead to the coming year

(2 January 2015) As the calendar turns over for another year, we can again look up to the heavens to see what signals the stars may be giving for 2015.  Although it is not conventional astrological practice, I have found the planetary alignment at the stroke of midnight on January 1st can provide intriguing hints for what may come during the coming year.  As with all astrology, it is as much art as science, and we have to reserve significant room for interpretation.  The effects of the planets cannot be read deductively or according to some simple formula as one might do in chemistry or physics.  Human beings are not atoms or molecules.  They are endowed with consciousness and free will and this makes prediction an inherently uncertain and open-ended process. 

For example, my analysis of last year's New Year's horoscope left something to be desired.  I had spotted Mars rising in the Ascendant in Virgo at midnight and saw the nasty-looking square aspect with the Sun, Mercury and Pluto and thought some kind of significant destructive or violent events were more likely during 2014.  The fact that unpredictable Uranus was also in a hard angle with these planets seemed to increase the impact of any of those kinds of events. 

Depending on how one sees it, however, I think it's fair to say that 2014 didn't quite live up to that kind of level for violence and suffering.  Yes, we did get the Ebola outbreak in Africa which has killed almost 10,000 people that gave rise to a global effort to contain it.  The planetary significator of disease, Neptune, was in the 6th house of health and it suffered from a close aspect from Rahu.  And we witnessed the rise of the violent terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq and Syria which shocked the world with its brutal methods and nihilistic religious doctrine.  This was perhaps a better reflection of that prominent Mars energy.  But disasters and strife occur all the time so it's only the very noteworthy ones that ought to have corresponded with such a potent alignment.  It's a matter of subjective interpretation, but I feel we didn't quite get that. 

I think one reason why 2014 didn't include a major disaster was possibly because of the Jupiter influence on Mercury and all those other planets in Sagittarius.  Jupiter is a calming influence usually and when it is prominent in the chart, it can herald favourable developments and significant achievements.   In a tense alignment as we had last year, it can mitigate the worst outcomes into more manageable events.   Jupiter's close aspect to Mercury may have also moderated the Mars influence in the 1st house since Mercury is the dispositor of Mars through its rulership of Virgo.  This is another possible reason why the destructive capacity of events were kept fairly well under control.  Without Jupiter in the picture, we might have seen the Ebola outbreak become much worse than it is.  Or ISIS might have gained even more territory and started a larger Middle East conflict if not for Jupiter.  While I had seen Jupiter's position in the chart, I was not fully convinced it could forestall all those other influences singlehandedly.  As it turned out, it largely did a lot of good, even if there was still a widespread sense of anxiety over some of these ongoing global problems.


This year's chart also contains some potent alignments.  While Mars rose in the 1st house last year, Rahu (21 Virgo) rises this year in Virgo.  Rahu is more of an unsettled influence and may be seen as an indicator of changing circumstances.  There may also be the theme of innovation and charting a course through unknown waters as Rahu is associated with problem solving that lies outside of traditional or conventional approaches.   We may find, for example, that some of the humanity's challenges are addressed through more radical or experimental means as opposed to falling back on tried-and-true methods.  The winds of social change and social justice may also blow more strongly in 2015 through this placement.  Interestingly, there is a lunar eclipse just one degree from this placement of Rahu in April this year.  This is more evidence that Rahuvian themes of disruption of the status quo and radical innovation are more likely to be prominent this year.  This sense of change is further emphasized through the aspect of Uranus (18 Pisces) to the Ascendant. 

Perhaps the most striking feature of the New Year's chart in 2015 is the close t-square alignment of Jupiter, Mars and the Moon.  Breaking this down into its constituent parts, we can see that the Mars-Jupiter opposition is very close -- less than one degree.   The Mars-Jupiter pairing is usually a good indication that money matters will occupy a more central role this year.  Mars (energy, action) is closely associated with Jupiter, which is the planetary significator for wealth.  Mars sits just one degree shy of its highest degree of exaltation at 27 Capricorn so that can mean that the actions are more likely to be in accordance with higher principles and honorable intent.  Mars' association with the military may also indicate that the armed forces may be more in focus in 2015, and these are more likely to be seen in positive terms. 

Jupiter's situation may be more uncertain, however, as the Mars opposition aspect can sometimes indicate excessive or desperate actions that are associated with wealth.  Mars-Jupiter aspects are often associated with excessive or profligate spending.  One possible manifestation might be the necessity of some coordinated actions in the financial world in order to prevent some further damage.  To be sure, this sort of emergency management of the world economy has been occurring at different times since the 2008 meltdown.  The presence of this Mars-Jupiter aspect in this year's chart means that some kind of bailout or backstopping of a failing economy (Greece?) could happen again this year.

The Moon (29 Aries) is the other part of this alignment with Mars and Jupiter.   The key influence comes from Mars, unfortunately, which casts its full-strength square aspect to the Moon within just two degrees.  The Moon typically represents the people as a whole.  Mars-Moon afflictions give energy to the population and can manifest as protest, especially violent protests since Mars is a more aggressive energy.  It can also indicate situations of sudden upset that cause suffering.  The Moon 's placement in the 8th house is unhelpful in this respect as it increases the probability that the Mars energy will have difficult outcomes.  Protests and popular actions may be less likely to succeed in their goals and are more likely to cause harm and disruption.  This tendency for social chaos is increased through the trine aspect from Rahu to Mars.  We may see a lot more protests and reform movements in 2015 due to this Mars and Rahu influence.

The theme of economic dislocation may also be more prominent this year due to Saturn's third house/sextile aspect to Mercury and Venus in early Capricorn.  The Saturn-Venus aspect is quite close -- just three degrees -- and can mean that economic activity is more likely to diminish during 2015.  Venus is associated with value and worth and is therefore a key indicator of economic vitality alongside Jupiter.  Saturn's often depressing effects should be seen as a sign of possible austerity or retrenchment in the face of troubling circumstances.  The New Year's chart of the year of the meltdown in 2008 featured a square aspect from Saturn to Venus as well as a Mars opposition aspect to Jupiter.  Thus both planets associated with finances (Venus and Jupiter) where associated with malefics.  We will have a similar situation this year.  I'm not convinced there is enough affliction here to suggest another full-scale financial collapse, but it seems unlikely that the global economy will simply continue to be its current modest recovery phase.  This year looks like there could be a significant step backwards in that respect so we could see several parts of the world fall back into recession.

We can also see that Neptune remains in the 6th house as it will for several years to come.  This is problematic for health issues and the square alignment with Saturn does not help matters.  Just as the Rahu-Neptune combination may have reflected the emergence of Ebola in 2014, we could see some major health and disease-related headlines in 2015 as fallout from the Saturn-Neptune square. 

I will be interested to see how this year unfolds, especially in light of that very exalted Mars in Capricorn.  Will this mean a surplus of courage and righteous determination in the defense of the common good, or could it instead manifest as situations that demand an aggressive reaction without regard for consequences or ethical value?  Both are conceivable given the weaknesses in this chart.  The Jupiter influence ought to win out in so far as at least providing a sense that whatever collective challenges we face, the actions taken are appropriate and necessary ones.  The Jupiter influence here on Mars will therefore at least provide hope for the future, even if there will likely be some major difficulties along the way.