Planets in space

Discover your cosmic currents for 2016

Yes, the world is changing — and fast. It’s been a reinforcing reminder that the only constant in the universe is change. Yet it is the quality of such change that helps you understand and assimilate it productively into your life. Astrologically, quality is categorised in three different ways via the modalities of cardinal, fixed and mutable.

The last few years have supported a pioneering and accelerated “take charge” style of energy.

Since 2010, you have been part of a world experiencing what has been termed the “cardinal crisis”. That’s when the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto squared off in Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, the cardinal signs. Cardinal signs are movers and shakers. The last few years have supported a pioneering and accelerated “take charge” style of energy.

Now the planetary gas giants of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, and the lunar nodes, are moving into mutable signs. This will modify their expression on the collective and individual level. Collectively, we are moving away from the seismic shifts of the cardinal crisis towards the more flexible feel of mutable movements. This article explores the positive potential of such a change, and how to best utilise these energies.

While the cardinal quality originates from the starting points of the four seasons, and the equinox and solstice dates, the mutable quality arises from months where the seasons end and blend into each other. The mutable quality calls for a softer, more discretionary and unifying approach. It is time to adopt the philosophy of “bending like bamboo” — being strong but supple — to best negotiate 2016. This greatly aids the process of naturally and easily letting go and moving on.

Embrace gratitude and acceptance of your inevitabilities. Adopt the attitude that life’s navigations are determined by how to best swim with the tides, rather than forever going against them. This isn’t about the enforced bravado of cardinality or the stubborn rigidity and resistance of the fixed signs. Mutability asks you to let life in and work with it, rather than try to overly control or resist it.

Three planets will act as your specific guides: Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. Using historical examples and the people who’ve created that history, here’s how you can best manifest mutability into your own life.

Jupiter in Virgo: practical vision

Jupiter is the largest planet of the solar system. You can fit every other planet inside this behemoth, with room left over for more. Astrologically, Jupiter is the king of largesse. In everyday life, Jupiter delivers growth opportunities and plentiful prospects to live life on a bigger and better level. These “opportunities” may appear as sudden good fortune, but they are a test to trust your higher self.

Until September 9, 2016, Jupiter will move through the exacting sign of Virgo. If your sun sign is Virgo, Capricorn or Taurus, this is the year to act on opportunity. Although classed as a mutable sign, Virgo is also of the earth element, which gives it more solidarity. The bonding agent of earth is the most concentrated of the four elements. Virgo’s penchant for precision and rationale may make it the least flexible, but also the most practical, of the mutable signs.

Jupiter cannot help but be a futuristic visionary. Yet Virgo will insist on analysis and rightness, something that Jupiter’s progressive zeal often prefers to overlook. Therefore Jupiter is considered to be in debility here. When planets are in debility, it’s essential to work with them in a different way. Growth opportunities may also entail more work, as Virgo is service orientated. Your keywords should be practical vision — dreams that are realistic and achievable.

Jupiter, mythologically a philanderer, now married to the virtuous virgin, will tend to rein in extremes. Yet some extremes can still emerge through an expansion of Virgo’s critical nature manifesting as too much self-righteousness. Sticklers for the rules, like Captain William Bligh, were born with this pedantic placement. But life isn’t meant to be a Mutiny on the Bounty. The positive use of this combination consists of finding your success through a stronger work ethic and conscientious attention to detail.

Focus on dreams that are realistic and achievable.

Jupiter’s justice, distilled through Virgo’s purity, can also lead to improved food and farming standards or legislation related to improving the production and preservation of food. Television programs, such as the reality ratings winner My Kitchen Rules, are apt examples of the service and food side of Virgo combined with Jupiter’s royalty. On a personal level, it encourages you to use the bountiful knowledge of Jupiter to improve your own health through better nutrition and dietary practices.

Saturn in Sagittarius: grounded beliefs

Saturn seeks stability and structure. As the giant ringmaster of the solar system, Saturn governs areas of personal responsibility. This is where the buck stops. Saturn’s transits are a signal to attain a new level of maturity. On average, Saturn spends two-and-a-half years in each sign. On September 18, 2015, Saturn re-entered Sagittarius (following a brief earlier entry in December 2014) for a more permanent stay. Saturn remains in Sagittarius until close to Christmas 2017.

In the days of empire, Sagittarius, half man and half horse, symbolised the Roman-mounted military. Until the 20th century, the horse was still the preferred means of transport. The archer symbol dates back to early Mesopotamian astrology. This restless and adventurous sign requires a definite target to aim for. Its futuristic mindset enjoys exploring new concepts, especially when connected to Travel and the expansion of cultural and religious understanding.

Saturn in Sagittarius introduces new controls into the parts of your life associated with travel, religion and belief systems. It is not unusual that there would be concern over international boundaries and differing belief systems as restrictive Saturn moves through multinational Sagittarius. Religious wars simply substitute modern weaponry for the Sagittarian bow. Globally, and on the individual level, it’s time to work towards eliminating religious and racial intolerance and embracing the Saturn solidarity of inclusiveness.

The Sagittarian connection to philosophy and belief systems extends to law. Although Libra is normally associated with balance and the scales of justice, Sagittarius represents the spirit of the law. Pragmatic Saturn in this sign, ruled by judicial Jupiter, helps society restructure lasting laws to better reflect today’s realities. It encourages you to examine your personal beliefs and have the courage to follow them.

There are historical examples inspiring the “power of one”. In 1517, with Saturn passed through Sagittarius, a lone individual nailed 95 theses onto a Wittenberg church door. Martin Luther would create a religious reformation that would spread like wildfire through Europe and forever change Christianity. Many years later, on January 15, 1929, a young black child was born with Saturn in Sagittarius and christened Martin Luther King. His dreams of equality would transform the lives of many African Americans.

Being true to yourself and standing behind your core beliefs can be the Saturn in Sagittarius reality. If you’re born in the trilogy of fire signs — Aries, Leo or Sagittarius — use the next two years to solidify your life. Be willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term security.

Saturn square Neptune: spirit changes form

Saturn will form a challenging square to imaginative and spiritual Neptune twice during 2016. The square is at its most powerful between June and September, with the aspect becoming exact on June 18 and September 10. The test here is to merge your inspiration with reality and to hold fast to your <a href=”” title=”Deals”>Deals</a>. Under this influence you may be disenchanted, perhaps thinking you are a romantic visionary fighting a quixotic battle against the odds. Rather than sacrifice your Neptune dream to the establishment, adjust it to craft a creative compromise.

The movement of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune through mutable signs is a game changer in many areas of Australian life.

Working with material Saturn and spiritual Neptune is akin to the potter’s vision applied to changing earth into art or the exacting sculptor perfecting their masterpiece. Understand that the important things take time. Saturn was also in Sagittarius and in a departing square to Neptune when sculpting of the famous US presidential faces of Mt Rushmore began. Chip away with patience on your desired changes. The hard work you put in now, while these two planets are in an exacting aspect, will pay off by 2019, when they enter an easier and more rewarding alignment.

The Saturn-Neptune mix intermingles spirit and form. In his thought-provoking bestseller, The Hidden Messages in Water, Masaru Emoto reveals how your thoughts, impacting on molecules of water, can change your health. Your brain and heart are 73 per cent water. Emoto writes, “There is a large connection between Saturn and lead. Metals resonate the emotions and moods of people and so the next logical deduction is that Saturn is closely related to anger.” The challenge is to release or dissolve your anger through Neptunian — or spiritual — pursuits.

How you think affects your functioning and your functioning affects your anatomy. The blend of Saturn’s physicality with the “spirit sense” of Neptune is ideal for exploring the benefits of mind-body work. Therapeutic techniques that involve the release of body armouring, via the methods of William Reich, Feldenkrais work or the Alexander Technique may appeal. Regularly practising yoga, tai chi or qi gong mixes Neptune’s mindful meditation with Saturn’s disciplines.

Neptune in Pisces: surrender to spirit

Pisces represents mutability through the water element. Water is the last of the four elements. It logically follows the creative spark of fire, the form and solidity of earth and the awareness and connectivity of air. Water is the element of emotion and empathy. It takes the shape of the container it occupies. Its emotional response seeps into every part of your life. Feeling and gut instinct are often the final factors in your decision-making process. You make the big calls when it “feels” right.

Pisces, as the final sign of the zodiac, possesses the experiential potential of all the preceding signs. Whenever you tap into the Pisces subliminal psychic matrix, you access a hidden source of guidance and power. Pisces’ non-judgemental acceptance is at the core of human connectivity. Neptune, the mythical king of the seas, has an obvious affinity with Pisces and travels through this sign until March 2023.

Pisces’ oceanic expanse is Neptune’s natural domain. All life — as scientifically defined — evolved from the sea. Neptune in Pisces invites you to reconnect with the ecology of your primeval environment that nurtured the many life forms currently sharing planet earth. It also challenges you to connect with your feelings, develop empathy and identify what makes you feel part of the whole.


Neptune in Pisces encourages the Buddhist philosophy of non-attachment. It challenges you to understand that the one truth is that there is no truth. Each individual experiences the world through his or her unique personal filters. Yet we are also infinitely connected on the macro level. You share in planet Earth, where something as basic as clean water is essential for sustaining existence. The power of collective ecological empathy can move mountains — as water often does. Japan’s 2011 tsunami moved an entire island eight feet.

How you think affects your functioning and your functioning affects your anatomy.

Pisces’ Sun signs, with Neptune also in the sign of the fish, exemplify the essence of this energy. Rudolf Steiner’s life work embodied the synthesis of science with spirituality. Steiner believed anyone could evoke the potential of “higher self”, undergo personal transformation and even modify their karma through adopting ethical disciplines and practising meditation.

Steiner took this approach into the world of education, holistic medicine and organic farming. He pioneered healing therapies that tapped into the individual’s unconscious through artwork and biography and established one of the first institutions practising what he termed “ethical banking”.

As Neptune travels through Pisces, you may embrace more morally responsible ideals. Only by setting personal examples, on the individual level, will the collective ever evolve. Examine how you use your energy and how it benefits the collective. Sometimes the smallest act of kindness and inclusiveness can change a life.

Another Sun and Neptune in Pisces example was Emile Coue, the famous self-proclaimed French psychotherapist. Coue was a student of hypnosis who authored the bestseller Self Mastery Through Autosuggestion. Neptune in Pisces will enhance your learning and growth through subliminal reconditioning and tapping into your unconscious potential.

For your sign, here’s the top area of life in which to embrace these Neptune ideals in 2016:

  • Aries: Unveiling psychological understanding
  • Taurus: Enhancing team involvement
  • Gemini: Motivating career objectives
  • Cancer: Expanding higher knowledge
  • Leo: Opening psychic development
  • Virgo: Reinforcing relationship empathy
  • Libra: Aiding mind-body work
  • Scorpio: Invoking creative imagination
  • Sagittarius: Styling the eco-home
  • Capricorn: Aiding communicative skills
  • Aquarius: Supporting spiritual values
  • Pisces: Personal spiritual unfoldment

The mutable momentum of the coming year should highlight that it’s time to make your seasonal change. Your transformation will be easier if you adopt the attitude of supple bamboo. Flexibility and sensitivity will serve you well for this is the magic of mutability.

Around the globe in 2016

The outer planets in mutable signs were a feature of the late 1890s, when the dream of Australian Federation began. On the day of Federation, January 1, 1901, seven of the eight planets were in mutable signs. The movement of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune through mutable signs is a game changer in many areas of Australian life.

Saturn’s movement into Sagittarius takes the planet of restructuring into the area of the Federation horoscope concerned with government debt. This will call for greater controls on expenditure. The last time Saturn was here, treasurer Paul Keating famously called Australia a “banana republic” and ominously predicted the “recession we had to have”.

Keating warned of a country living beyond its means that could end up a third-rate world economy. The same arguments have returned. The upside is that the necessary measures adopted should have the desired effect on balancing the national budget. However, there will be an increasing need for Australians to tighten their belts. The property market will feel the repercussions of this fiscal contraction.

Saturn’s movement through Sagittarius also calls for a review of the laws surrounding foreign investment. As housing affordability becomes increasingly difficult, there will be calls to place limits on selling national assets to overseas interests. During the last Saturn in Sagittarius sojourn, property prices peaked, only to fall as the planet exited the sign.

The current Saturn Neptune cycle began at the end of the 1980s, when home prices had reached their peak and were about to stagnate. The times to watch the changing trends will be June and September 2016, which should reveal the market direction of the property bubble.

Concerns with possible pollution of water (including subterranean supplies) will challenge the long-term feasibility of some mining operations. Saturn relates to the earth, agriculture and mining. Neptune is associated with water. The Olympic Dam, the world’s largest uranium deposit and Australian underground mine, opened under the last Saturn in Sagittarius transit. Mining and balancing ecology and economy will become an increasingly important issue for Australians.

The USA is a country that has not reacted well to the outer planets concentrating in mutable signs. Past examples include the country’s first economic meltdown of 1819 and the US Civil War, beginning in 1861. At the turn of the 20th century and in the early-to-mid ‘60s, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Asian wars (Philippines in 1900 and Vietnam in 1965) added to the social turbulence. One reason may be that the mutable axis activates the instability of Uranus in the USA’s July 4, 1776, birth chart, along with its military-minded Mars and Neptune square.

The latter part of 2016 shows an increasing likelihood of the USA being drawn into further overseas conflict zones, and of the president suffering great difficulties at home. Conservative Saturn is also moving across the USA Sagittarian Ascendant, which may further widen the gap between the White House and Congress. This domestic division undermines the country’s ability to show leadership to the rest of the world. The middle of the year may be critical concerning challenges to the leadership.

In recent years, China has slowed its internal financial growth to its slowest in 25 years to avoid economic overheating. However, the Chinese are diversifying their overseas investments and building new diplomatic alliances in developing countries. China is also the major player in the new BRICS banking group, an alternative to the USA-centric IMF and World Bank.

China’s growth will continue in 2016, however it faces military challenges from the USA, which is determined to maintain superiority in the Pacific region. The rivalry between the superpowers will grow as China modernises its own armed forces, adds to its naval fleet and ventures further into satellite surveillance. China’s horoscope indicates that 2016 will be extremely important for space technology.

It may come as a great surprise that a country like Saudi Arabia, with a population no larger than Australia, has a military budget bigger than that of Russia, the United Kingdom or France. It gives an indication of just how difficult it is to ensure a nuclear-free Middle East, for example, with Israel the obvious elephant in the room. This whole area continues to be a tinderbox in 2016 regarding the ongoing battle over energy resources.

Unfortunately, when it comes to war and peace, the index reads higher for a major conflagration in 2016, with March through July especially susceptible. These hotspots, along with Russia and the Ukraine, continue to be volatile and it may take many years for that situation to change.

Ed Tamplin

Ed Tamplin

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