the astrology of 2017:

by Juliana McCarthy

January 1, 2016 — According to the planets, 2017 will be another year of shock and unpredictability, but also revelation. Deception is continuing to fall away while truth reveals itself. If we are able to breathe deeply and find our center, we could experience jolts of inspiration and understanding, which strike us with sudden force. With the North Node entering Leo, we will also begin owning and offering our talents to the world with renewed inspiration as we enter a phase of original art and creative self-expression that could help to further social transformation. 

With the slower moving planets in fire and air signs, this year will be fast-paced and frenetic. Air fuels fire, and we are burning away the old—clearing away clutter to begin anew. Now is the time to break free from limiting personal and social circumstances so we can help to create enlightened society. With Pluto as the central player of 2017, the cycle of destruction and regeneration is emphasized, and our major work is to remember who we are—to flash on big mind so we can help each other through this sometimes-frightening period of waking up, which pushes against our boundaries of security and comfort. The time for complacency is over. We have no choice but to face hard truths and leap into action. 

There is absolutely no way to stay stuck in 2017. Whether we like it or not, the lightning of authenticity is striking, doing away with illusion and apathy. We may as well batten the hatches, open our hearts, and prepare to ride some massive yet vital waves of collective change.



Before entering the electrical currents of 2017, we have January to slow down. The Sun is in stable Capricorn, reminding us to build our foundations and plant ourselves in careful planning. At the same time, Mercury is in retrograde, encouraging reflection. Meditation, retreat, and alone time are all good uses of this energy.

However, these first few months will feel challenging, calling us to make important decisions around our feelings and hearts that could involve painful letting go—of people, relationships, or conditions. Insecurity and fear could bubble to the surface as we clarify what we want and what we believe in.

With Mars in Pisces conjunct the South Node, we might feel powerless or hopeless, with anger around old patterns igniting. If we can touch into our courage and find clarity around why we are here, we have the opportunity to leap onto our true paths and to begin fulfilling our deepest purpose. Here lies the biggest gift of 2017. It is mobilizing us to awaken and to help others do the same. We are looking to the future as we dismantle and rebuild old paradigms—this time from a ground of sanity, awareness, and compassion.



T-Square—Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto

For most of 2017, we will be meandering in and out of a powerful T-Square, which includes Uranus, Jupiter, and Pluto. The planet of revolution, sudden change, and grassroots organizations is opposing Jupiter, planet of exaggeration and expansion. This is pushing us to find our tribes and to become more autonomous, blazing our own trails into the future. While the energy of surprise could hit us with unexpected force, this is also a time when everyday people will become empowered, joining together to create a revolution.

Jupiter is in Libra, so the emphasis now is also on relationships, partnership, and harmony. The way we relate to love is shifting drastically as relationships fall apart that do not align with our true purpose—spiritually, emotionally, or vocationally. Just as abruptly, we are discovering partners and friends who do align with our authenticity.

Like with any T-Square, wherever it points is the focus of the energy. In this case it is Pluto, planet of destruction, death, and rebirth. And with Pluto falling in the sign of Capricorn, which rules commitments, government, and society, we are renegotiating our commitments, family structures, and the world itself. This significant T-Square is lending itself to large-scale change, and the only certainty is that we will all experience extreme unpredictability.


The Changing of Nodes—Virgo to Leo

For the past year and a half, the Moon’s nodes have been falling in Virgo and Pisces, bringing about a long journey of purification, encouraging us to work hard to improve ourselves and connect with pure intention. We are reaching the conclusion of this energy in February, as we experience the final two eclipses in Virgo and Pisces. If we haven’t already released our addictions and destructive patterns, this will be the final push.

On May 7, the nodes move into Leo and Aquarius, bringing about far more optimism and joy. We are shifting away from a period of worrying, nitpicking, and overanalyzing into a Leo journey of self-expression, creativity, celebration, and love. With the South Node in Aquarius, we will begin to focus on bringing our talents to the world. Together with Jupiter in Libra, sign of beauty, this could be a year of incredible creativity and fresh self-expression that could help shape our future society.


Grand Trine—North Node, Uranus, Saturn

For most of the summer, we will experience a beautiful, stabilizing Grand Trine involving the North Node, Uranus, and Saturn. Over the past few years, we have been expanding our consciousness and facing unpleasant truths. Now is the time to make these revelations tangible, producing social change by building new businesses, structures, and ways of relating that could positively alter our culture. For those of us who have worked to face ourselves honestly with open hearts, we must now show up for the world to help pave the way for collective awakening. We are offering our gifts in order to forge a new paradigm that is built on authenticity (Uranus), purposefulness (North Node), and stability (Saturn).


A Heavy Ending

We end the year on a heavy note. We are entering a new three-year period, in which themes of the previous few years—purification, transmutation, and releasing old habits—begin to play out on a much bigger scale of social change. Jupiter is moving into intense Scorpio, Saturn into dutiful Capricorn, and Uranus into slow and earthy Taurus. This will be the start of a markedly challenging period when we orient toward duty and obligation as we attempt to build a new society from the ground up. Persistence and somberness rule, and there could be an air of gravity and even financial upset that takes over at the end of 2017. This sets the tone for a major shift in 2020, when Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto conjunct, which will usher in the new paradigm.



In order to create real change, old structures and patterns must be destroyed. However, as Pluto teaches, Phoenix rises from the ashes. Even embers hold the spark of new life. The more we relax and find ground, the more we can open to the revelation and spiritual awakening available to us this year. When we welcome change, allowing ourselves to face the little deaths of daily life, we can glean much wisdom and understanding. From the position of big mind, we will see that the cycle of life has always operated this way. We might remember this as the fires begin to envelop us, burning away ignorance and confusion until all that remains is our indestructible essence—truth, love, and diamond-like wakefulness. 

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