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2014 - A Round-up of Planetary Movements This Year
Written: December 2013
Published: 31st December 2013

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 2014. 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

There are only two outer-planet Sign changes this year.
The year begins with Pluto in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces, Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Scorpio and Jupiter in Cancer. At the end of the year the three outermost planets will still be in those Signs, whereas Jupiter and Saturn will have shifted into the next Signs, as shown in the table below.

Outer planets in the Zodiac Signs during 2014

Outer Planets' Sign Changes in 2014
Date Time Planet Into Sign
16th July 10:30am Jupiter Leo
23rd December 4:34pm Saturn Sagittarius

NB All dates & times are GMT

Taking each of these in turn, starting with the slowest-moving, which is Pluto.

Pluto in 2014
Position at start of year Position at end of year
11 degrees 15 minutes Capricorn 13 degrees 10 minutes Capricorn

As set out above,
Pluto spends the whole year close to the middle of Capricorn, between 11 and 13 degrees. A year ago I wrote this about fracking:

"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."

The past year has seen the fracking controversy regularly in the headlines, with significant protests here in the UK. It remains an important issue for the year to come, as does the other issue I mentioned last year:

"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."

I'm not sure what to add to these two themes because they seem central to our times: generating energy in a way that doesn't harm and is renewable, and generating societal structures that do not harm and are renewable.

And so to Neptune.

Neptune in 2014
Position at start of year Position at end of year
3 degrees 14 minutes Pisces 5 degrees 23 minutes Pisces

Neptune remains in the early part of Pisces throughout the year, in the stage of laying the foundations for the later further unfolding of its themes. Last year I wrote about its relevance to oil and gas and their products, as well as things like so-called 'augmented reality' and suchlike. We have since seen society-changing technologies such as Google glass(es) come to the fore. This type of technology - which has a massive social and interpersonal impact - is something I expect to become more prominent as Neptune treads further into Pisces in the next few years, and people become more and more aware of how society is being altered by the visions of technical experts. I am sure there is much more to learn about the current transit of Neptune through Pisces, however a quotation from last year's round-up which I would like to repeat here is this:

"There is a marked need to use imagination not to divorce from or overlay onto 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."

Next, Uranus.

Uranus in 2014
Position at start of year Position at end of year
8 degrees 41 minutes Aries 12 degrees 37 minutes Aries

This year Uranus will move from the first third of the Aries into the middle third, showing a slight shift of depth in the workings-out of its themes. Last year I touched on two aspects of this transit: new technologies and new energy. Because Uranus continues to be in square to Pluto in Capricorn, their theme of energy-out-of-the-earth is still highlighted. The same goes for new technologies and their influence on us and our environment in terms of destructiveness and regenerativeness.

The uprising energy of this placement is still with us in various countries, with people still having to fight for basic human rights and democratic institutions, even in countries like the UK where these things are supposedly already well established. In certain respects those wielding State power have realised and seized the revolutionary spirit of the moment, particularly in the UK where the country has been and is continuing to be comprehensively remodelled in ways which do not have the explicit and informed consent of voters. Meanwhile the British public seem to be awaiting the May 2015 General Election, however by then the moment for radical change instigated by the citizens will have gone. Clearly the people living in Scotland will have a chance at their historic, revolutionary moment in the referendum on independence due to be held in September 2014, however the other constituent countries of the Union are being left languishing with few constructive, responsive outlets for this energy. The election for the EU Parliament on the 22nd of May 2014 is one of the few.

And on to Saturn.

Saturn in 2014
Position at start of year Position at end of year
20 degrees 21 minutes Scorpio 00 degrees 52 minutes Sagittarius

So, right at the end of 2014 Saturn will just scrape into Sagittarius, after spending two-and-a-half years in Scorpio, which it went into in October 2012. Once Saturn's gone into Sagittarius it will stay there for a few months before heading back into Scorpio for a little while, before returning to Sagittarius for just over two years:

Saturn's Sign Changes
Date Saturn goes into Moving
5th October 2012 Scorpio Forwards
23rd December 2014 Sagittarius Forwards
15th June 2015* Scorpio* Backwards*
18th September 2015 Sagittarius Forwards
20th December 2017 Capricorn Forwards

* Saturn is treading backwards ('retrograde') through the Zodiac at this time and thus briefly re-enters the Sign it had previously left

Earlier this year, a former Prime Minister of the UK died - Margaret Thatcher. This prompted a review of her legacy, her qualities, her approach to governing and her role abroad. As is typical for Scorpio, there was love and hate but not much inbetween. Inevitably the current Conservative party tended towards the 'love' side of the equation, bolstering themselves by holding her up as their role model, seeming to forget the extreme divisiveness she presided over and the hatred she was viewed with. Nevertheless, it was a fascinating example of the themes of Saturn in Scorpio and how people relate to them. This is what I wrote last year about Saturn's transit through this Sign:

"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."

Saturn goes into Sagittarius in 2014

When Saturn crosses the Sign boundary into Sagittarius the collective mood will shift as expansion and contraction meet and have to find some accommodation for a while. Hot air is no longer enough - there has to be substance. Optimism has to be realistic, and realism has to have hope. Hard slog cannot have no light at the end of the tunnel, and inspiring visions of what may be or what meaning life may have cannot be divorced from life as it is lived in the real world. This may be a time of increased difficulty for religion, of university closures, of education becoming more narrowed or a harder resource to gain access to. On a collective psychological level it could be a period of challenges to hopefulness and of enthusiasm being hard to muster. The doctrine of the 'work ethic' could become even more dogmatic and severely punishing, robbing more people of leading satisfying lives full of deep joy, genuine happiness and worked-for meaning. Dogmatism in general - not just amongst people who hold religious beliefs or subscribe to political ideologies - could arise more often than usual. On the other hand, this is a favourable time for scholarly pursuits and for philosophical explorations to deepen and bear fruit, for happiness to be found in the ordinary, and for the mundane and the divine to be contemplated as mutually expressing one another.

Now we turn to Jupiter.

Jupiter in 2014
Position at start of year Position at end of year
16 degrees 07 minutes Cancer 21 degrees 46 minutes Leo

Jupiter changes Signs every year as despite being an outer planet it is a fairly quick mover through the Zodiac. This year Jupiter will leave the Sign of its exaltation and move into Leo. As soon as it does so it will reach the place of Jupiter in the charts of the United Kingdom and its current Prime Minister, David Cameron. In other words, the UK and its political leader will have a Jupiter Return. Since we are talking about Jupiter in Leo, and a convergence of person and nation, a cautionary note about pride, overconfidence and self-aggrandisement applies - much more so than usual. On the other hand, it is this kind of energy that can use power to solve people's problems, unselfishly and for the good of all, if there is a genuine desire to do so.

Jupiter's Sign Changes
Date Jupiter goes into Moving
11 June 2012 Gemini Forwards
26 June 2013 Cancer Forwards
16 July 2014 Leo Forwards
11 Aug 2015 Virgo Forwards

Jupiter goes into Leo in 2014

I am not sure how much of my comment last year applies:

"Globally this might be a time when behaving in caring, careful, and supportive ways can be more successfully brought to the fore."

I do know, however, that one way in which this has manifested in the UK is in the consciousness of the massive increase in the need for food banks and the proliferation of them across the country. This is a disturbing trend, and represents a political failure to express the highest meaning of the transit. Instead, the politicians have left others to do the work of motherly beneficence and prevention of harm which Jupiter in Cancer represents.

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

The most important aspect being made this year is the square of Uranus and Pluto. The two which will occur this year are the latest in a series of seven. In November 2013 we reached the halfway point in this series of squares and we are now in the latter stages of the overall process.

Uranus square Pluto in 2014
Date Time Uranus is at Pluto is at
21st April 7:21pm 13 Aries 34 13 Capricorn 34
15th December 5:14am 12 Aries 35 12 Capricorn 35

NB All dates & times are GMT

The aspect and its themes have been written about in-depth in dedicated articles on this website and so won't be repeated here. This is the chart-wheel for the first exact square of the year:
Uranus square Pluto chart wheel - 21st April 2014
Uranus square Pluto
21st April 2014, 8:21pm BST (7:21pm GMT)

Note the Grand Cross formation in this one. It's between Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. We'll come back to this in a moment.

And this is the chart-wheel for the second exact aspect of the year:
Uranus square Pluto chart wheel - 15th December 2014
Uranus square Pluto
15th December 2014, 5:14am GMT

Whilst the Uranus-Pluto squares are being formed other planets will move in and out of formation with them. The planets we need to pay most attention to in this are Saturn and Jupiter. Saturn forms a sesquiquadrate aspect with Uranus and a semisquare aspect with Pluto in November 2014, however Jupiter being the faster mover has several times in the year when it is aligned with the Uranus-Pluto square in a stand-out way.

The first is in January and February when Jupiter becomes the third planet in a T-square as it squares Uranus and opposes Pluto. It does this again in April. In fact, the entire first half of the year is coloured by 'hard aspect' formations involving the Uranus-Pluto square and various other planets: the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Carried over from the end of 2013 is a configuration of the Sun, Mercury and Mars with Uranus and Pluto, which continues through January 2014 and then morphs into the T-square of Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto, which in turn becomes a Grand Cross by May, with Venus and then Mercury moving in and out of the configuration successively. This is a complex series of aspect formations, but suffice to say that they are mostly stressful, tension-filled and inclined towards disputation and confrontation. The Jupiter-Saturn trine during May will hopefully represent the adding of some sensible stability and wisdom to the mix.

In the first half of October there will be a Grand Trine of Mars, Jupiter and Uranus, with the Sun moving into sync with it momentarily. In itself this is a very fiery combination but it also takes place in the Fire Signs. Creative and scientific breakthroughs, the passion for fresh starts, striking out in new directions, motivational visions, social betterment and leadership challenges could all come to the fore at this time. Hopefully the trine will add some stability to an otherwise highly combustible and impetuous combination of planets.

In late August there will be a 'Finger of God' formation involving Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Uranus. This could symbolise an issue of leaders and administrators/civil servants both having an incapacity to properly engage with the need to take a detached view and work for constructive change. Control of communications, or disruption to networks of one sort or another, could come to the fore.

Now let's look at what the swifter planets are doing during 2014.

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

All three of these planets will be retrograde in 2014 but Venus will only be so for a smidgen of time. We'll take them one by one, starting with the slowest-moving of this trio - Mars.

Mars in 2014
Chart wheel: Mars's retrograde Sign & degrees in 2014
Mars Stations in 2014
Date Time Changing To Position
1st March 4:23pm Retrograde 27 Libra 32
20th May 1:31am Direct 9 Libra 01

NB All dates & times are GMT

As you can see above, Mars will tread backwards through the degrees of Libra. Collectively we will need to examine the strategies we have been using over the past couple of years to achieve our goals and pursue our will, and how we have weighed the interaction between our own wishes, rights and actions and those of other people.

The middle of the retrograde period is when the Sun and Mars reach opposition, which is on the 8th of April. Mars will be at 18 degrees 57 minutes Libra.

Mandala: Mars in 2014
Mars in 2014: Retrograde in an Air Sign - this diagram
is based on Mars's orbital motion - the inward loop is
Mars's retrograde period

Venus in 2014

Chart wheel: Venus's retrograde Sign & degrees in 2013-2014
Venus Stations in 2014
Date Time Changing To Position
31st Jan 8:48pm Direct 13 Capricorn 34

NB All dates & times are GMT

Venus stopped and turned to move backwards through the Zodiac on the 21st of December 2013, so it is part-way through its retrograde period as 2014 begins. On the 11th of January 2014 the middle of the retrograde phase is reached as the Sun and Venus conjoin at 21 degrees 12 minutes Capricorn.

This is a time of reconsidering the structures of our relationships, and the organisation of the practical aspects of our lives as expressions of what we value.
Mandala: Venus in 2014
Venus in 2014: Retrograde in an Earth Sign - this diagram
is based on Venus's orbital motion - the inward curve (a partial loop) is
the part of Venus's retrograde period that takes place in 2014 - the rest of the loop would be shown if 2013 was included in the diagram

Mercury in 2014
Chart wheel: Mercury's retrograde Signs & degrees in 2014

Mercury Stations in 2014
Date Time Changing To Position
6th February 9:43pm Retrograde 3 Pisces 20
28th February     2:00pm Direct 18 Aquarius 10
7th June     11:56am Retrograde 3 Cancer 10
1st July     12:50pm Direct 24 Gemini 23
4th October     5:02pm Retrograde 2 Scorpio 18
25th October     7:16pm Direct 16 Libra 45

NB All dates & times are GMT

Mercury is the last in our trio of swiftly-moving planets.
As usual, Mercury will be retrograde three times over the next twelve months. The planet will be backstepping from Water Signs into Air Signs, representing a need for us to review how our feelings interact with our rational thinking, our impressions translate into data, and our emotional needs move us into different types of relationships with other people.
Mandala: Mercury in 2014
Mercury in 2014: Retrograding from Water Signs into Air Signs - this diagram is based on Mercury's orbital motion - the inward loops are
Mercury's retrograde periods

The relevance to you personally - as opposed to all of us collectively - 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. There is also the matter of the charts of the country you live in and how they link with the retrograding planets' motion. First check the houses in your birthchart to see where the planets will stop before they turn back, and then check if, while going backwards, they will move past any natal planet or natal house cusp. You might also want to check if they will 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
[read article]

Uranus-Pluto series of squares in 2014 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

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

Uranus & Pluto to the UK's national chart - an unprecedented year
[read article]

Mars in 2014 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

Venus in 2014 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

Mercury in 2014 - video
[watch video on Vimeo]
[watch video on YouTube]

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