January 2024

snail on concrete

Time is uncharacteristically on our side as 2024 begins.

A careful, slow, steady vibe pervades life for most of the month. There’s no need to jump into anything. Chew over goals (and resolutions if you like). Allow yourself to ponder and plan, then act in incremental steps.

Saturn is our friend, for sure. The planet of time, order and adulting is a major and steadying player even after life heats up toward the end of the month.

Slowness and stillness pervade the first day of the year, which feels like we’re all suspended in time – not a disagreeable end to the holiday season. The sensation comes from two planets stationing direct: expansive Jupiter in here-and-now Taurus, which went direct December 30 but has not yet moved forward, and communication overseer Mercury in adventuresome Sagittarius, chomping at the bit to get going.

The cosmic slow-down makes it impossible to ignore the challenge to take relationships and finances seriously. Venus squares Saturn on New Year’s Day and demands structure, order, commitment…and adulting.

Remnants of holiday sparkle turn into work ethic as the first week progresses. A veritable project management impulse takes over when Mars enters Capricorn January 4, encouraging practical action in deliberate stages, with a measure-twice-cut-once approach.

Confusion and fuzzy-headedness bring mini-simulations of Mercury retrograde (it’s not) when the communication planet squares Neptune January 8. On the plus side, the impact could infuse painstaking thinking with inspiration, a best of both worlds outcome.

Then it’s back to work. Making goals into reality is the mission January 9 – 12. Opportunities to work smarter open when Mars sextiles Saturn January 9, then mushroom when the cosmic first responder trines Jupiter January 12. The two contacts bracket the Capricorn New Moon January 11, which distills efforts into long-range probabilities.

And yet, there are miles to go before we sleep. Minds, messages and information channels get on board with the program when Mercury enters Capricorn January 13. Watch for chances to lock down ideas and firm up agreements when he sextiles Saturn January 18.

Sound boring? Unlikely it will be, after the tumult of recent years, and recent months. Look at this stretch as getting your environment – and launch pad – in order, before the excitement hits that’s coming later this year.

Some of that is in the air as early as January 20. Your inner load lightens and major, era-ending baggage-shedding culminates that day, when the Sun joins evolutionary change agent Pluto in Capricorn for the last time in our lives.

Both then enter Aquarius, and the atmosphere changes immediately. Communities, power structures and our very cells tingle with possibilities that differ from almost all our previous experience.

We got an inkling of this shift’s potential when Pluto hovered at the doorway to Aquarius from late March to early June 2023. This year, the agent of unavoidable change barely steps through the door, till the beginning of September. And for now, he’s basically parked in the doorway and adding to the general atmosphere of suspension in time/space.

The metamorphosis, both personal and collective, will be gradual. Pluto will eventually spend 20 years in this sign, and we will only begin to see the ramifications this year. Still, do pay attention to what’s on your radar now.

And note especially what feels slightly uncomfortable or out of sync. While he’s barely in the doorway, Pluto makes a vaguely difficult link to his earthly co-ruler of money and desire, Venus. An attraction or relationship may not be part of the new regime. Whether you’re ready to deal with that is another matter.

Relationship and financial issues enter the realm of pragmatism January 23. Venus moves into Capricorn (and out of season “Santa Baby” mode) and puts a calculating eye to interactions and endeavors. Lasting value and durability take precedence over excitement and fun.

The Leo Full Moon may inspire dealing with some of that recent discomfort, when it brings issues of validation and appreciation to a head January 25. Nudges follow to act responsibly, especially toward yourself, as the Sun semisextiles Saturn January 26.

Action begins to mount, finally, and the pace begins to ramp up. Mind and motivation fuse with the Mercury/Mars conjunction January 27. Uranus stations direct that day, too, and after that it’s all systems go for two months, with nothing retrograde until the beginning of April.

Before you run off, take the time to check your footing and ground. Use the sextile from the Sun to stabilizing Saturn January 28 to put your environment and physical condition in order.

Procrastinate and you may miss the opportunity. After that, all bets are off. The slow-and-steady boringness of the year’s start blasts into history as Mercury and Mars trine quick change artist Uranus January 28 and 29.

The atmosphere is everything the beginning of the year was not. New ideas and information are erupting. Plot twists are everywhere. Plans and tactics are changing in an instant. Caution and deliberation are in short supply.

The New Year has arrived at last. The time has come to get going.

Get a head start on the year and join my annual overview with Donna Woodwell. Live Thursday, January 4 from 3-5 PM ET and yes, you get a recording.