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2013 - A Round-up of Planetary Movements This Year
Written: December 2012
Published: 31st December 2012

The purpose of this article is to review what I consider to be the most important and interesting of the planetary movements and configurations during 2013. There's an element of deeming to this, in that other astrologers surveying the year ahead might pick out other features of the astrological landscape to highlight, based on their own reasoning of what's most likely to colour human experience during the next twelve months. And of course, nothing is exhaustive or complete: this is an overview, and won't drill down into detail, because the purpose is to provide an understanding of a year-long expanse, so that as the details unfold day by day and week by week, you are continually in the position of being able to retain your bearings in the bigger picture.

In line with that, this article is in three sections, ranging from the broadest changes to the shorter-term/faster-moving.

We begin with Sign changes, followed by major aspects and aspect configurations, and end with the three innermost planets of the solar system, Mars, Venus and Mercury.

NB All dates and times are GMT.

Slower planets' Sign changes
Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter

The year begins with Pluto in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces, Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Scorpio and Jupiter in Gemini. At the end of the year the only one of these planets to have changed Signs is Jupiter, which by then will have moved into Cancer.

Taking each of these in turn, we start with Pluto.

Pluto spends the year moving between 9 and 11.5 degrees Capricorn. Pluto is now quite deeply into Capricorn, so its themes are well- established in mainstream awareness. In last year's round-up I wrote that
"The resources which Capricorn and Pluto represent need to be dredged up from the depths, without plundering the Earth in a way that pollutes, degrades and rapes it." In light of this, the UK government's wish to go full steam ahead on fracking seems particularly disturbing to me. Other countries' governments' intentions to pursue fracking also concern me, however the UK's size and population density make this country a particularly unsuitable place for such activities. Another theme being highlighted whilst Pluto is in Capricorn is that of the oppression of revolts and the manipulation of supposedly democratic populations, both of which continue with unseemly enthusiasm, showing that control, rather than service, is still the overriding wish of governments everywhere.

Neptune travels back and forth between 1 and 5 degrees Pisces this year, so it's still within the early part of the Sign. This means that Neptune is still in the process of weaving its themes - hope, saviours, illusions and delusions, the sway of collective fantasies and escapism, materialism, cruelty, and the place of compassion and altruism in society - into our collective awareness. On a physical level it's likely to constellate issues around oil and gas, their derivative products and their similars. Of course, at this stage in our using of these resources and the state of many of our nation's economies, the yearning for a saving grace is part and parcel of the material situation and not just a psychological component of it. There is a marked need to use imagination not to divorce from or overlay on reality, but to see reality exactly as it is. Similarly, we must train ourselves to find, value, maintain and re-generate beauty that is real and tangible rather than chemically- or electronically-enhanced, created, overlaid, or stimulated. If we create a living hell out of nature or society, we will only want to escape from it. The desire to ameliorate our reality needs to find outlets which strengthen and integrate our bodies, our minds, and the planet itself,
rather than disintegrate and weaken them.

Uranus moves between 5 and 12.5 degrees Aries, so it's coming to the end of its beginning in the Sign, and is on its way deeper into it. We've already seen how its themes of uprising, overthrowing and the re-assertion of autocracy have been playing out around the world. This continues to be something we will still need to get to grips with in the coming year. I also think that this Sign placement has something to do with new forms of energy and new technologies (the new implications of the ubiquity of phones - i.e. mobile phones - and their associated networks has so far been thrust to the fore, as well as the power of governments to switch them off and intercept them as a way of re-asserting control). We will need to be careful in what we do, since neither Uranus nor Aries is the most considerate, deliberative, or sensitive of the astrological symbols.

Saturn covers the range of degrees between 5 and 20 Scorpio this year, moving from the early part of the Sign into its depths. We have an ongoing theme of addiction to controlling other people, a choking of the flow of interchange, and the use of manipulation to achieve outcomes at the expense of other human beings and their legitimate needs. A case in point is Margaret Thatcher, who was born with Saturn in Scorpio and is now reaching her third Saturn Return. Her ability to transform the United Kingdom, both at home and on the international stage, is now beyond debate, but her manner of working and her ruthlessness have left a legacy which cannot be dismissed as a mere misunderstanding of her good intentions. The release of her Cabinet's documents from the National Archive under the '30-year rule' (itself a Saturnian time period) have temporarily reignited debate about her handling of the Falklands crisis, and in that debate it generally is the themes and qualities of Saturn in Scorpio which receive the most attention.

Jupiter travels across a Sign boundary this year, and as said above it is the only one of these slower-moving planets to change Signs in 2013. During the year Jupiter will move from 6 Gemini to 20.5 Cancer, moving out of Gemini and into Cancer on the 26th of June in the early hours of the morning (GMT). In Gemini Jupiter is placed in the Sign opposite from its own, but in Cancer it moves into the Sign where it is uplifted (often referred to as 'exalted' or its 'exaltation').  Globally this might be a time when behaving in caring, careful, and supportive ways can be more successfully brought to the fore.

Next we turn to the major aspects and configurations which the outer planets will form during the year.

Slower planets' major aspects
Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter

First things first, the Uranus-Pluto square returns for another two exact passes, one on the 20th of May and the other on the 1st of November. What's more, in August Jupiter joins in and makes it a T-square. Here's the chart:

T-square in 2013 involving Jupiter, Uranus & Pluto

In August 2013 a Cardinal T-square will form between
Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn

In the last 2000 years there has been just one other time when there was a Uranus-Pluto square between Aries and Capricorn with Jupiter involved, but on that occasion Jupiter was conjunct Uranus and square Pluto. In other words it was a 'reinforced square', not a T-square. Here's the chart:

Square of 1762 involving Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Pluto
Early in 1762 a Cardinal square between Uranus in Aries
and Pluto in Capricorn was joined by Jupiter and Saturn in Aries

In 2013 there's also a Grand Trine between Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. It takes place in July, and here is the chart:

Grand Trine in 2013 involving Jupiter, Saturn & Neptune

In July 2013 a Grand Trine in the Water Element will be made by
Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces

So what we have this year is first a Grand Trine, then a T-square, with Jupiter bridging the two. Some astrologers would see them as one configuration - a Kite. In any case, these aspect patterns span almost all of July and August, and as you can see from the charts above, the inner planets join in the configuration too.

Swifter planets' movements & retrograde phases
Mars, Venus & Mercury

Mars does not turn retrograde this year, however Mercury does its usual thrice-a-year routine, and Venus turns retrograde right at the end of the year.

Mars moves forwards throughout the year, covering two-thirds of the Zodiac circle from 5 degrees Aquarius to 11 degrees Libra.

Venus moves forwards for almost all of the year, covering the entire Zodiac, and turning retrograde on the 21st of December at 29 degrees Capricorn. It travels backwards until the 31st of January 2014, when it turns forwards at 14 degrees Capricorn.

Venus retrograde in 2013/4 - degrees & Sign
Venus in 2013: Retrograde in Capricorn

too covers the entire Zodiac each year as normal, and also as normal it does its forwards-and-back movement three times. This year all its backward motion takes place in the Water element: Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio (in that order).
Mercury retrograde in 2013 - degrees and Signs

Mercury in 2013: Retrograde in the Water Signs

Mercury retrograde in 2013 - dates

Mercury in 2013: Retrograde in Water Signs - this diagram
is based on Mercury's orbital motion - the inward loops are
Mercury's retrograde periods

Mercury Stations in 2013
DateTimeChanging ToPosition
23rd February9:41amRetrograde19 Pisces 53
17th March     8:03pmDirect5 Pisces 38
26th June    1:08pmRetrograde23 Cancer 07
20th July    6:22pmDirect13 Cancer 22
21st October     10:29amRetrograde18 Scorpio 24
10th November     9:12pmDirect2 Scorpio 30

NB All dates & times are GMT

The relevance of these backward-moving phases depends on how they link with your own chart, and the charts of the people around you at home, at work, and so on, as well as the charts of the country you live in. First check the houses they'll first stop in before turning back, and then check if, while going backwards, they'll move past any natal planet or natal house cusp. You might also want to check if they'll oppose or square anything, but be careful not to get bogged down in too much detail - it's easy to find yourself losing sight of the wood once you start looking into all the trees.

Related links:

Uranus-Pluto series of squares - article & video
[read article]
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

Pluto transit to the UK's national chart
[read article]

Venus in 2013 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

Mercury in 2013 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

Applying astrology to political lifeNick Clegg, David Cameron,
Ed Miliband, 
MP Expenses,
EU, USA, France, Australia,
& more

Applying astrology to business life Euro Currency, NHS, BBC,
USA economy, Ofcom, Concorde,
W Edwards Deming, European Central Bank, stock markets, & more

Applying astrology to people's lives Health, emotional intelligence, Zodiac elements, understanding change, Russell Brand, James Bond, Angelina Jolie, Desmond Tutu, & more

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