New Year's Chart 2016: the year ahead

(1 January 2016)  January 1st marks the beginning of a new year.  The celebrations and sense of renewal are a kind of collective rebirth for humanity as we forge ahead into the future.  This rebirth implies a fresh starting point which can be analyzed according to the principles of astrology.   From this first moment, we can cast a horoscope -- a map of the planets -- so that we may peer forward in time and look into the future.  Although the midnight chart is not based on any astronomical measurements, I have found it nonetheless can often be useful for getting a general sense of trends for the year ahead.

In last year's annual horoscope analysis, I suggested that the dominant Moon-Mars-Jupiter alignment might represent an acceptable or honorable use of military force.  This may well have reflected the growing global effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria that occurred in the second half of 2015.  The horrific actions of this terrorist organization have united most nations against it including past rivals such as Putin's Russia, Obama's America, as well as Muslim countries such as Turkey and the Gulf states.  The Mars-Jupiter oppositions suggested that Mars (military) was more likely to be used through a prism of righteousness and higher principles (Jupiter).  Jupiter is the planet most associated with the notion of the "just war".

The Mars-Jupiter opposition, however, may have created some difficulties for Jupiter-ruled matters such as high finance and justice.  I thought that this Jupiter affliction might indicate a major financial bailout of Greece and this indeed came to pass in July.  We might also speculate if the ongoing criticism of US law and justice by racial minorities is another facet of this Mars-Jupiter opposition, especially since the Moon (The People) is also involved in this very focused alignment.  The Mars-Moon square can activate emotions so they are more likely to come to manifest as protest.  The "Black Lives Matter" movement continues to be a factor on the US political scene, especially with the approach of the elections due in November 2016. The group is demanding an overhaul of American justice (Jupiter), from the procedures of the high courts (e.g. the Grand Jury system) all the way down to everyday police behavior.

The 2016 Chart

The New Year's chart for 2016 suggests a potentially difficult year in the areas of the economy and communication.  Again the culprit seems to be Mars (4 Libra) as it closely squares Mercury (5 Capricorn), the planet of commerce and communication.  The square aspect can be particularly stressful so we should expect some unwanted outcomes in these Mercury-related areas.  I would think this will be a negative influence on most global stock markets so we could well see a down year.    Moreover, since Mars is placed in the 2nd house (wealth) and its ruler, Venus, is conjunct Saturn there is additional evidence to suggest more economic turbulence in 2016, probably more than was felt in 2015.

Mars isn't always negative, of course.  It can also indicate deterimination and courage rather than conflict and violence.  So it is possible that some of these positive attributes may manifest as individuals coming together to solve problems with firm resolution instead of enmity.  However, the aspect here is likely to produce some unfavourable events that could aggravate greater problems in these areas.

Communications are also targeted by this Mars-Mercury affliction and the presence of Saturn in the 3rd house of communication is also unhelpful.  Worse still, Rahu makes a close aspect to Mercury.  This could manifest in the form of major cyber disputes and hacking, even involving national governments.  Rahu's influence may also be indicative of undercover criminal activity, especially involving high tech. 

Jupiter's two-degree conjunction with Rahu (across Leo-Virgo) could represent bold new actions in banking, justice and other high status institutions.  From a negative perspective, Rahu connotes disruption and distortion and yet Rahu also has a better side.  When well placed, Rahu can indicate research, discovery and innovation. This Rahu influence could mean that global financiers reach deeper into their magician's hat to pull out a new trick to deal with the perpetually worrisome world economy. 

Perhaps some new form of stimulus will be tried in Europe or the US, such as direct payment to citizens or government to boost demand or a stronger application of the controversial notion of negative interest rates, where banks charge customers a fee for holding deposits. Judicial reform may also grab headlines at some point in 2016, perhaps the US Supreme will make a major change to its membership or it will bring down a surprising ruling with significant implications.

The presence of the Moon and Rahu in the 1st house in Virgo is a good indication that it will be a year that focuses on change.  Of course, accelerating technological and social change has become a fact of life over the past 20 years since the introduction of the internet and other computer-based technologies.  But this pairing focuses on the disruptive psychological effects of these changes to a point where there could be a growing sense of frustration or alienation with our current direction.  

Rapid economic changes have also undermined social stability for many people so we are more likely to see more social and political dissatisfaction from the uncertainty generated from the process of globalization.  Migrants and "outsiders" will likely stay in the forefront of events as Moon-Rahu aspects bring our attention to people who are different in some way from the majority, including ethnicity, race, or religion.  With Mars (conflict) partially in this planetary equation, I would expect the issue to continue to be a source of debate and disagreement in places like Europe and the US. 

Whatever the future may bring, I want to wish my readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!