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Mercury & Uranus Turn Direct, the Demands of Sun/Pluto & Venus/Saturn, & Aquarius New Moon

The Astrology Blog 16 January 2023

All times in GMT


You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it

How we gonna learn your song?
So come on, come on
Come on, come on.”

Emeli Sandé – Read All About It


If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.”


Kahlil Gibran – on Death, from The Prophet




These weekly blogs track the unfolding astrology of the moment, with commentary on how this is showing out in the world and also in the lives of individuals, usually those in the news. It’s important to remember that in terms of understanding meaning that my commentary is a “take”, that interpretations are often what an aspect or particular feature can or might mean, not what it will definitely mean.

This is how astrology works, and the tarot too. Like dreams, another symbolic language, the imagery has to be interpreted within the context of an individual’s life and situation. This is why “cookbook” astrology or dream books don’t work. One size doesn’t fit all. But when you’re familiar with the symbolism belonging to each planet their messages become clear, in your own life and in the lives of others. Just as when you interpret your dreams, you might mull over some ideas first, but when you arrive at the right “take” it’s unmistakable and smacks you between the eyes.

This framework is even more important to remember when we have a difficult week to get through, like the one coming up.


Every week at some point I say something will be especially significant for you “if it falls at or very close to your natal planets or Angles”. To clarify for non astrologers, your natal planets are simply the degree and sign of each planet as found in your horoscope, the map of the heavens as seen at the time of your birth, and the Angles are the main axis of the circular chart that locks it into place.

It helps to see the wheel of the horoscope as a 24-hour clock. The sign and the degree on these four compass points in any given horoscope are determined purely by the time of birth, which is why the time is so important to an astrologer. Without a birth time you wouldn’t know if you were looking at the chart the right way up, upside down or somewhere in between, it’s like a clock with no hands. Once the Angles are established the journey through a horoscope can begin, and they’re super sensitive to any planetary activity.

If you’re studying astrology it’s well worth sticking only to horoscopes that have an exact time of birth.

  • THE ASCENDANT – 6 am – sunrise (WEST)

Arguably the most important part of the horoscope, the Ascendant – or rising sign – is the sign rising over the eastern horizon at the time of birth. It therefore marks the beginning of the 1st house, the self and the physical body, and is the front door into any horoscope.

·       THE DESCENDANT – 6 pm  – sunset (EAST)

This Angle marks the beginning of the 7th house and is always exactly opposite the Ascendant. If the Ascendant is “I” then the Descendant is “you”. This is where we locate any significant other in terms of partnership, personal or professional.

  • THE MIDHEAVEN – or M.C. – midday (NORTH)

MC stands for Medium Coeli, which is the Latin phrase for the middle of the sky. This Angle marks the beginning of the 10th house. In some horoscopes you will find this angle drawn as an arrow, pointing up towards the heavens. So the Midheaven points to what is above us, where we are going, symbolizing our vocation, status and aspirations in life. It also rules those in authority over us and one of the parents.

·       THE I.C. – midnight (SOUTH)

IC stands for Imum Coeli, which is the Latin phrase for “bottom of the sky”, the sky below us. This Angle is always exactly opposite the MC and it marks the beginning of the 4th house, where we locate home, property and the other parent. It also symbolizes our origins, where we have come from.



Here’s your “at a glance” picture for this week, and it’s a mixed bag. We have two tough combinations of Sun – Pluto and then Venus – Saturn (annual events), but we also have Mercury turning direct, a breath of fresh air in the New Moon and Uranus also turning around at the very end of the week –

Tuesday 17 January                                              

  • Venus 18 Aquarius semi-square Jupiter 3 Aries 23.06

Wednesday 18 January

  • Mercury turns direct at 8 Capricorn 13.13
  • Sun conjunct Pluto 28 Capricorn 14.42

Friday 20 January

  • Sun ingress Aquarius 08.31
  • Moon conjunct Mercury 8 Capricorn 08.32

Saturday 21 January

  • New Moon 1 Aquarius 20.54

Sunday 22 January

  • Venus conjunct Saturn 24 Aquarius 22.14
  • Uranus turns direct at 14.56 Taurus 22.59



Venus (love, sex, money, luxuries, pleasures) is powering forwards, starting our week with a minor aspect to Jupiter. The semi-square is exactly how it sounds, half a square, and is therefore formed when two planets are 45 degrees apart. Half a square, half as difficult, but it’s still the two Benefics in alignment so I think it’s worth noting.

It’s like the chance to deal with difficult things in a good way, to step up for those who need you or vice versa, to do what you can, to find best possible solutions, to make the best of an opportunity and so on – all of which is strongly underlined by the fact that the mind planet Mercury turns direct in the middle of this week.

In terms of the more important major aspects we’re just moving way from Venus square Uranus which was exact over the weekend. I forgot to include in last week’s blog that the two planets are currently in Mutual Reception – ie they’re in each other’s signs –

  • Venus is in Aquarius (Uranus’ sign) until 27 Jan
  • Uranus is in Taurus (Venus’ feminine sign)

When two planets “receive” each other look out for themes of change that involve some kind of swapping over, anything from changing one job for another, one plan for another, leaving a relationship for another, finding someone who can do a job much better than you can or the jobs you can’t do at all, or making any kind of arrangements that are mutually beneficial.

Also look out for “receivership”. Ask Andrew Tate, who thought he could operate safely in Romania but his empire built on the sexual exploitation of young women is toppling. Police raided his luxury compound in Bucharest over the weekend and pictures included the sight of his fleet of luxury cars being towed away. I couldn’t be happier.

The Venus – Uranus aspect is being heavily underlined by the fact that Uranus the rug puller is stationing (after being retrograde for 5 months) so anything built on shaky ground is revealing the true state of its foundations. This is showing literally in California as unprecedented floods bring the danger of horrendous mudslides.

One resident who has lived in the area for half a century and in his cliff top home for 27 years said, “We’re looking at earth that has never moved … this has never moved. It’s never been a problem before.” The State Governor says: “California needs to reimagine the way it manages water, because the infrastructure here was built for a time which no longer exists.”

Macrocosm, microcosm – or as above, so below – these things exist as physical realities out in the world but also at a symbolic level in the lives of individuals. What in your own life is outdated, where might you need to move more with the times, how are old ideas no longer working for you, and so on? You get the picture.


Regular followers of astrology will know that the big square between the two giants Uranus and Saturn dominated the skies throughout 2021. They’re both still in the same signs – Taurus and Aquarius respectively – but the gap between them is much wider. However Venus takes only a week to cover that space, so will catch up with Saturn this coming Sunday.

When the personal planets meet up with the outer planets these are annual events (unless the personal planet is in a retrograde cycle and looping back again). Both the Sun – Pluto and the Venus – Saturn won’t happen again until next year, last year they were 10 weeks apart with the Sun – Pluto on 16 January and the Venus – Saturn on 28 March. This year they’re only 4 days apart, which is why this looks like a heavy going week.

All of the Venusian subjects, as already listed above, can run into trouble when Saturn steps in. The tough side to Saturn makes for rather depressing reading – endings, delays, setbacks, denial, restrictions, having to put duty or responsibilities ahead of personal plans or wishes, having to accept the reality of any situation that is hard going or which can’t be changed.

Serious health issues are in the mix and also how we think about death, still one of our greatest taboos. In the last two weeks alone I’ve heard about terminal conditions for four people in my own circle. Today the royal families of Europe and the general public gather in Athens for the farewell to the former King of Greece Constantine II, who has been denied a state funeral.

But the Venus – Saturn combination does also have a more constructive side. Putting a true value on this gift of life, now is the time to deal with health issues, especially anything Saturn related (bones, teeth, the thing you’ve been ignoring). And note that as a natal placing the Venus – Saturn doesn’t deny success (eg Bill Gates) but rewards time and effort if you’re ready to devote yourself to a work project or any ambition. The Saturn price tag though can be giving up free time to do other things! Decide on your priorities.

In relationships Venus – Saturn doesn’t signal that everything will fall apart or be a disappointment. It can bring us up against our limitations, or our partner’s, but is also good for looking at how to spend more quality time together, for commitment, “the real deal”, for overcoming an age difference or for tackling the things that stand between you. Or it can simply be about being there for your other half during a difficult time.

The ongoing link between Uranus and Saturn is suggested in the fact that Venus meets up with Saturn just 45 minutes before Uranus turns direct, something that happens only once a year, so in other words that’s what you call intriguing timing. I think for many there’s going to be a link between events this last weekend and events that play out during this next one.


So Venus activity starts and ends the week, and along the way we have the Sun – Pluto conjunction, which this year coincides almost exactly with Mercury turning direct –

Wednesday 18 January

  • Mercury turns direct at 8 Capricorn 13.13
  • Sun conjunct Pluto 28 Capricorn 14.42

Pay very close attention to what surfaces for you, especially on Wednesday itself but also at any time during this week, especially if you have planets or Angles at or very close to 8 or 28 Capricorn, or the opposite sign of Cancer.

See the end of the blog for the full checklist of the kinds of things to expect when ever Mercury turns direct, but in addition look out for the hallmarks of Pluto –

Main principle is endings/beginnings, often starting with significant loss, death of the old and the birth of the new. Plutonic issues include obsessions, addictions, starting from scratch, those who are physically or emotionally absent, transformative processes that take months (not transformation in the waving of magic wands sense), deep healing, surgery, resourcefulness, secrets, taboos, empowerment, control, power, abuse of control/power, finality, wealth of the individual (plutocracy or plutarchy being a society ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income)

Typical Plutonic types are primarily powerful. Andrew Tate is a Plutonic type gone wrong (Venus conjunct Pluto in his chart) and his fate is in the balance this week. But in evolved types there is often the gift of insight and many god of the underworld types are natural psychologists, sleuths or healers, working closely with life and death issues.

Pluto is at his most powerful for those individuals who have a Plutonic/Scorpionic theme to their horoscopes. In the spirit of Pluto’s invisibility all of these people were born before Pluto was actually discovered in 1930:

  • Sigmund Freud born in 1856. His horoscope heralds Pluto’s therapeutic message with a Scorpio Ascendant, and the Sun – Pluto flanking the Descendant, the Angle of “the significant other”, in this case his patients.
  • Scorpio Marie Curie born 1867 with a Sun/Pluto aspect, husband killed age 46 in a road accident and she died from exposure to (invisible) radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work.
  • Scorpio Indira Ghandi (assassinated) born 1917 with a Mars/Pluto aspect. Both she and Marie Curie carried Pluto’s masculine power and broke into male orientated worlds, transforming the way ahead for women of the future.

In terms of the kind of news to break we’ll be looking at people in positions of power (eg Scorpio Joe Biden and the top secret documents hoo-ha). This is the stuff of impeachments, resignations or coups.


The Sun arrives in Aquarius on Friday morning, and I’ve noted the Moon – Mercury conjunction (once a month) as this happens literally at the same time and is the first activity to involve Mercury after turning direct. The New Moon is that moment each month when the Sun and Moon are exactly conjunct each other, which happens the following day –

Friday 20 January

  • Sun ingress Aquarius 08.31
  • Moon conjunct Mercury 8 Capricorn 08.32

Saturday 21 January

  • New Moon 1 Aquarius 20.54

This is a powerful picture for fresh starts and new cycles. Again, listen out for breaking news, both out in the world (Aquarius links to the collective) and also amongst your own friends and family. Positive Aquarius hallmarks are the benefits of groups, friendships, linking up through technology, working online, involvement in your community and anything that boosts your social life or puts you in touch with a wider circle of people.

Next week is looking a lot easier, hurray! We’ll start with a Sun – Jupiter alliance, Venus will enter Pisces, her best sign, and Mercury will be picking up speed in the right direction. Until then I’ll leave you with the kind of things to look out for now that Mercury is on the move,

Until next week, with love from Greece



What to Expect – out of our control
  • Decisions dropped on us, tipping points and turnarounds, usually for the better. Even if it doesn’t seem that way it becomes clearer at a later date that we were being steered onto the right path
  • Events that started around three weeks ago reveal their full significance or consequences. Matters that have been stuck now start to pick up speed OR are no longer important
  • Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
  • Information comes to light, the truth outs, secrets are revealed or feelings are declared – we have the chance to see things as they really are
  • Your own or other people’s changes of heart/mind either way – ie from no to yes or vice versa
  • Light bulb flashes of the “I get it now” type insights
  • People get back to you or you get back to them – deals get done and papers get signed
  • The right person appears to deal with the frustrating problem beyond our own expertise
  • The reappearance of someone or something that was first important three to four weeks ago
  • Finding what you’ve been looking for – whether it’s lost objects, spiritual needs or the right partner
What to Do – within our control                                   
  • Engage fully with who or what enters your life or springs back to life, especially with who or what is motivational for you
  • Say yes to a date, or do the asking yourself – this person could be a whole new journey of discovery
  • Initiate conversations – you’ll be amazed at what they reveal and where they lead
  • Have you been over thinking it? Resolve to stop talking about something and just DO IT!
  • Turn negatives into positives, say yes to yourself, take head out of sand, muster your courage and determination – there’s at least one thing that, with some renewed energy and a fresh approach, can now come good
  • Stop people pleasing, pretending or avoiding. This includes letting go of resentments or anything you’ve been stewing over – be true to you
  • Tackle the things you’ve been putting off and make those decisions, especially when changing anything that’s suited others but which isn’t that great for you
  • Make job applications or chase up one already made – insist on an interview, it could be the best thing you ever did
  • Update and upgrade your phone, tablet or desktop, and get your head around using new technology of any kind that could be useful to you
  • Start arranging things to look forward to, long term but also in the immediate future – schedule in at least one thing that you absolutely love doing, alone or with company 🙂

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