New Year’s Eve was no big deal to me because I knew there was a solar eclipse coming. It's a partial one, only visible in northern Japan, with the new moon on top of the sun in Capricorn. Calendars are arbitrary when you know a new moon means new beginnings, especially an eclipse. Resolutions? On New Year’s? Under the Scorpio moon? Please.
Astrology has gone mainstream, but what you just read was mystifying if you don't have an on-call astrologer. I’m a double Pisces who spent too much of college buried in New Age textbooks, and I might be the Indiana Daily Student's first resident astrologist.
Each column will cover one topic in astrology, followed by a brief forecast for the week. I’ll write about astro-stalking your crush and cosmic events like the upcoming lunar eclipse. They come in pairs! We’re learning together, starting with common questions and misconceptions.
You can’t know that much from just my sign.
You’re right! You’re thinking of your sun sign. When a horoscope says Leos are born from July 23 to Aug. 22, it refers to our Earth-centric perception of the sun moving through the sky.
But the sun is only a fraction of your birth chart, which is a map of the solar system at the moment you were born. Astrologers divide the sky into 12 parts according to constellations of the Western zodiac, so birth charts, also called natal charts, can look like 12 spoke wheels.
The sun, moon and planets are thought to reveal different information about your personality and life cycle. Since astrologers track them through 360 degrees of the natal wheel, your chart is unique to the coordinates and minute of your birth. Think of it as a cosmic fingerprint.
Where do I get my birth chart?
You need to know your time, date and city of birth. In a future column I’ll interpret a sample chart to show how astrologers use this data. Does anyone know Herman B Wells’ birth time?
Do you really believe in this stuff?
I dig science, free will and a cautionary tale about divination called “Oedipus Rex,” so I don’t see astrology as fortune telling. It’s a language for how we experience energy that doesn’t have to work for everyone. Plus, I'm a Pisces. Some call us the most psychic sign in the zodiac — or the most gullible.
Forecasts for Jan. 6-12
Sun conjunct moon (partial solar eclipse): We end winter break with an eclipse the weekend of Jan. 5-6. The sun is outward-oriented; the moon is our subconscious. Action and emotion harmonize powerfully in an eclipse. This weekend is optimal for sorting through personal relationships and feelings you haven’t had space to process. The eclipse brings us into the semester with heightened emotional clarity, so if you didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions, this is the time!
Mercury square to Mars: From Jan. 5-17, Mercury will be in hard aspect to Mars — meaning their energies will conflict with each other. This can mean an energetic start to the new year. Mars rules our drive, whether that’s ambition, aggression or lust. Mercury rules our intellect and expression. But when they conflict with eac other, Mars can lead Mercury into arguments and impulse decisions. This aspect is at its strongest from Monday through Thursday. We’ll feel it weaken until Jan. 17. But Mars remains in native Aries until Valentine’s Day, so this fiery energy isn’t going away.