Hello, everyone.

Happy New Year and welcome to the Astro4Business Monthly Forecast for January, 2011.  What are the planetary influences this month and how can we work with them?

  • We’ll start with the most long-range and overarching influences, the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which you will notice do not travel far from month to month but stay in the same sector of the sky for many years.  These form the backdrop to our personal lives, affecting matters on a global stage.
  • Then we will look at the mid-range influences, Jupiter and Saturn, which stay in the same sign for 1 – 2.5 years.  These planets represent our interactions with our societal environment, its rules, regulations, belief systems, and benefits.
  • We’ll look at the personal planets, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun which stay in their respective signs for much shorter periods and primarily influence our day-to-day lives.
  • And last we’ll look at the sign and dates for the New and Full Moon, as these mark the waxing and waning cycles in our daily lives.

Pluto in Capricorn

We’ve spoken at length about Pluto in Capricorn (see category at right), where it will remain until 2024.  In a nutshell, this long transit will bring upheaval and transformation to many of the structures we have come to rely upon:  government, religion, the economy, industry, and the military, to name a few.  This transit carries the energy of revolution and evolution and can be dramatic and at times overwhelming.  Pluto exposes what is hidden, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Pluto hastens and intensifies the processes of endings and new beginnings, and in Capricorn will bring about the ending of our business pursuits that are no longer suited to our growth and personal evolution.  Whatever has been slowly leaking vitality will depart, including old business models, practices, and products.

This is formidable energy, and your best strategy is to tune in and work with it.  Find an area in your business life in need of renewal and begin the process before Pluto reaches planets in your chart and forces the issue.

Everyone with planets within the first three to nine degrees of any sign is actively dealing with this energy.  You’ve probably noticed a deeper and deeper probing and cleansing all year long, related to the issues mentioned above.  Try to open a large space within yourself for a whole new perspective; be willing to become new and to irrevocably let go of something that has become outmoded.  Pluto transits can be difficult, but when the work is done they are the most rewarding because we are permanently freed from a long-standing, but hidden, issue.

Neptune in Aquarius

With Neptune in Aquarius (see category at right) from 1998 to 2011, we’ve seen a growing global consensus regarding the equal value of all beings, shared responsibility for our planet, the distribution of technology to all corners of the world, and the right of each person to contribute to and further the base of common knowledge.

The best way to work with this energy is to allow yourself to open to waves of inspiration from the collective whole, from your local community to the global community.  Expect to be inspired by your neighbors and friends, both near and far.

If you have planets between 26 and 29 degrees of any sign expect to experience a subtle but powerful dissatisfaction with certain areas of your life and a yearning for a more meaningful connection to others.  Pay attention to non-intellectual sources of knowledge such as dreams and art.  Feel what is happening, listen for underlying currents rather than what is apparent on the surface.  This disconcerting influence can dissolve the forms in our life which have no real content for us anymore.  This can be disorienting and confusing while it is happening but once deeper connections are made, the benefits are rewarding and long-lasting.

Uranus in Pisces

Did you feel the energy shift last month when Uranus regained direct motion?  You may have noticed a turnaround in all business matters influenced by the planet:  industry structures; innovation; new technology; invention; community impact; creative destruction; and rapid response, to name a few.

Uranus continues through the last degrees of Pisces for the next few months.  With the resumption of direct motion you may be experiencing a rush of pent-up desire for change.  And yet, until it passes into Aries in March, we are finishing up old business in an old style.

If you have planets between 26 and 2 degrees of the next sign it’s time to let yourself be excited by something new; branch out, experiment, try new things.  Support a cause you believe in and invest your time in societal change.  This will positively channel the excess nervous and intellectual energy Uranus can bring.

Saturn in Libra

Last July, Saturn entered Libra where it will stay until October 2012.  Saturn is exalted in Libra which means it has a special affinity to the sign and if you’re willing to do the work, there is a promised payoff.  See the category to the right on this important transit, but in a nutshell:  what is the work of Saturn in Libra?  To develop patience, persistence, responsibility, and humility in relationships.  What is the payoff?  Cooperation and mutual support.

Saturn enters its annual period of retrograde motion on January 25th.  In retrograde motion for 4 ½ months each year, this phase provides the opportunity to examine whether our standard modes of operation truly spring from our own values, or have been imposed upon us by authority figures or societal norms.  It’s a time when our regular structures of support and stability may be withdrawn and we have to rely upon our own creativity and self-discipline to achieve our goals.

Saturn becomes less direct and overt when in retrograde motion which can relieve stress and struggle.  Yet as business managers we may see that our authority becomes undermined as others break free from outer rules and regulations too.  Be ready to improvise; think jazz rather than classical for the next few months.

Jupiter in Pisces

Last June, Jupiter, the planet of opportunity and expansion, entered Aries.  Aries is an initiatory sign and Jupiter thinks big.  Your former goals may have felt too limiting and you may have experienced a passion for growth, expansion, competition, and claiming new territories

Then Jupiter began retrograde motion in July and slipped back into Pisces.  You may have found your enthusiasm flagging for your new products and plans.  The forward momentum you’d been enjoying may have reversed, and you felt more restrained.  This has been an important phase for realistically assessing how much we can get done, to curtail overdoing and over-committing, and to take the time to slowly grow a project to completion.

In November Jupiter resumed direct motion and this month re-enters Aries.  Back to big plans and big risks, the next five months will be a time of expansion, new projects, and bold moves.  The beginning of a twelve-year cycle, this is an excellent time to begin a whole new endeavor.

Mars in Capricorn/Aquarius

In December, Mars, the planet that represents our drive, energy, and will, entered Capricorn.  Capricorn is a fantastic position for Mars.  Mars in Capricorn is focused, patient, and unrelenting in the pursuit of goals, especially business and career goals.  Mechanics and engineering are supported when Mars is in this sign as Capricorn gives entrepreneurial Mars the patience to devise and revise until a product is perfected.

On January 15 Mars enters Aquarius.  This is an excellent time for scientific advances, increased competition in the social networking sphere, and progress in humanitarian issues.  Not as focused and patient as Mars in Capricorn, Mars in Aquarius revs up our mental activities and incites our interest in matters outside our local sphere. Look for techno-conflicts to increase until Mars leaves Aquarius in late February.

Venus in Scorpio/Sagittarius

Venus spends the first few days of January in Scorpio before moving into Sagittarius on the 7th.   Venus represents pleasure and in Scorpio, happiness is found in emotional and material security.  You may have been more focused than usual on the balance in your cash accounts and on stabilizing your finances.

When Venus enters Sagittarius people seek pleasure from interacting with others, and the more distant the contacts, the better.  It is an excellent time to branch out your marketing efforts to new territories and it particularly favors international contacts.

Closer to home, be sure to provide opportunities for your staff to associate both on and off the job.  Venus in Sagittarius can have a roaming eye, so if you’re serious about retaining a key employee find ways to keep them enthused about your company. A staff tournament of some kind would help the group bond and take advantage of Venus in the sign of competitive fun.

Mercury in Sagittarius/Capricorn

Mercury finishes its sojourn through Sagittarius on January 13 and moves into Capricorn.  When Mercury is in Sagittarius we may miss the details of the present because our minds are captivated by the future.  Try to count to three before making any snap decisions.

Mercury in Capricorn is ideal for planning and strategy, so if you still have your 2011 business plan in front of you, set time aside to work on it this month.  From the free-wheeling Sagittarius energy we find ourselves in a much more serious frame of mind.  You’ll notice a heightened ability to concentrate and deliver on promises.  But watch out for a tendency to lose your sense of humor just when you need it most!

Sun in Capricorn/Aquarius

The Sun begins the month in Capricorn.  This is a time of resolutions and annual planning, taking advantage of the Capricorn qualities of patience, persistence, efficiency, and practicality.

When the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20th, we can begin to implement our plans.  Endeavors involving groups and teams are particularly favored with the Sun in Aquarius, as well as technology or science-related projects.

Phases of the Moon

The New Moon is in Capricorn on January 4, waxing to full in Cancer on January 19.  The New Moon is also a partial solar eclipse, one of the two solar eclipses each year.

Monthly Recap

This month may feel unsettled as the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter change signs, Saturn changes direction, and the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon.   The global environment will be fairly stable but your personal and business lives will require one adjustment after another.   This is a time to be “nimble and quick” in order to take advantage of changing situations.  It’s a month of wide-ranging activities so don’t be afraid to get out and beyond your normal boundaries – that’s where you’ll find opportunity.

In case you are wondering how to get the most out of this monthly forecast, check out this link.  Some time ago a reader asked about it and you’ll see my instructions when you follow the link.

Have a great month and let me know how it all plays out!

Key Dates for the Month

January 4         New Moon in Capricorn; Partial Solar Eclipse

January 7         Venus enters Sagittarius

January 13       Mercury enters Capricorn

January 15       Mars enters Aquarius

January 19       Full Moon in Cancer

January 20       Sun enters Aquarius

January 22       Jupiter enters Aries

January 25       Saturn assumes Retrograde Motion

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For more info on the business descriptions of the planets mentioned this week, see

The Sun

The Moon









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