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2015 - A Round-up of Planetary Movements This Year
Written: December 2014
Published: 2nd January 2015

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 2015. There's an element of individual judgement 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. As I go along I will add some brief thoughts and comments on the possible meanings of these transiting movements, but it's important to remember that they are written off-the-cuff and for the purpose of illustration; an in-depth analysis they are not!

We begin with Sign changes, followed by major aspects, 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 Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo. At the end of the year the three outermost planets will still be in those Signs, whereas Jupiter will be in Virgo. During the year Saturn will shift back into Scorpio for a while before returning to Sagittarius until the end of the year:

Outer planets in the Zodiac Signs during 2015

Outer Planets'
Sign Changes in 2015
Date Time Planet Into Sign
15th June 12:36am Saturn Scorpio (retrograde)
11th August 11:11am Jupiter Virgo
18th September2:49amSaturnSagittarius

NB All dates & times are GMT

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

Pluto in 2015
Position at start of year Position at end of year
13 degrees 10 minutes Capricorn 15 degrees 03 minutes Capricorn

As set out above,
Pluto spends the whole year close to the middle of Capricorn, between 13 and 15 degrees. Now that the middle of the Sign has been reached, the themes of Pluto in Capricorn are fully occupying the attention of everyone the world over. The 'horn of plenty' (Capricorn) has, as a result of the financial crisis which began in 2007, made a lot of already mega-rich people even richer, whilst the rest have had inflicted upon them the harsh and bitter economic policies which they did not earn for themselves ('austere' is from the Greek 'austeros' meaning 'harsh, bitter'). The association of Pluto with extremes can be seen here in terms of Capricorn's horn of plenty; this Sign placement is exemplified by the re-commitment of the powerful to keep going with this heavily lopsided and arguably corrupt system.

On this and other matters Pluto's reputation for ruthlessness has combined with Capricorn's reputation for cold authority, the result being a great deal of callous people in power pursuing policies which, literally, kill the poor, the weak and the ill. Naturally, such powerful people disclaim all Capricornian responsibility for their use of power, and equally naturally, all such power must be absolute and, preferably (for them), unable to be unchallenged in the law courts. As I write, the UK government is attempting to limit the power of the people to seek a Judicial Review of government policies/decisions, since in recent years this course of action has proved to have a bit of success in placing limits on power (another Pluto-in-Capricorn theme). This comes at the same time as the outcome of a Freedom of Information Act request which shows that the government is investigating 60 cases of people who were in receipt of State 'benefits' [sic] payments for illness and/or disability, who had those 'benefits' stopped, and who subsequently died.

You would think this would lead to a pricking of the Capricornian conscience - alas not. Political parties (for it was at least two of them - first Labour, then the Conservatives) which spent years methodically designing and implementing a system which they knew would target the weakest citizens, harm many of them, and kill some of them, ought to have no mandate and ought to be covered in Capricornian shame. 'Plausible deniability' does not apply, since for many years now the citizens have been alerting the politicians and 'civil servants' 
of the effects of their policies. Another example of the damaging nexus of State and corporations represented by Pluto's placement in Capricorn of the effects of their policies has been the diminishment in the civil service - much of its work has been outsourced to private companies.

Of course this is far from the first period in history which has seen a government attacking its people, however the return to this corrupt relationship in a supposedly civilised democracy is illustrative, in part, of the movement of Pluto through Capricorn. These and other UK examples - fracking land-grabs, HS2 countryside carve-ups, repeating constitutional crises over Scotland, yet more failed banking stress tests, and so on - are part of the global picture, and serve here as local examples for the purpose of demonstrating the Pluto-in-Capricorn themes in play all over the world at this time. As always, there is so much more that could be said, but this will suffice, and sit alongside the other articles on this website about this Sign placement of Pluto.

And so to Neptune.

Neptune in 2015
Position at start of year Position at end of year
5 degrees 23 minutes Pisces 7 degrees 33 minutes Pisces

This year, like last year, Neptune will remain in the first part of Pisces, still in the stage of laying the foundations for the later further unfolding of its themes. Because of this, much of what I wrote last year and the year before still stands and is worth quoting:

"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."

On reflecting upon the possible relevance of this Sign placement of Neptune in 2015, I realised that I have already said it as well as I possibly can in previous years, and so the above quotations will have to stand alone for the time being. By the time Neptune is half-way into Pisces these themes will be much more clearly established in the public's consciousness, as contrasted with the nascent awareness that we have at the moment. Unfortunately the slowness of the process means that by the time we awaken to the potential pitfalls involved, those who profit from these changes will have long been lobbying for facilitative legislation and cultural softening up, and as we know all too well, the public usually finds it very difficult to undo such laws even when the majority has a wish to do so. It won't be until 2018 that Neptune reaches mid-Pisces so we can expect this slow-dawning awareness to continue grow until then.

Next, Uranus.

Uranus in 2015
Position at start of year Position at end of year
12 degrees 37 minutes Aries 16 degrees 34 minutes Aries

This year Uranus will move through the middle of Aries, showing that the themes it symbolises are now well-established in global awareness. People are, by now, very familiar with the spirit of rebellion, the flare-ups of conflict, the desire for independence and the need for new starts.

What has also been happening is that the presumption - held most fervently by politicians and leaders of global/international businesses - that 'globalisation' (such as it is) and grouping into ever-larger blocs was an ever-forwards linear progression, the logic of which was accepted by everyone, everywhere, has been challenged with increasing vigour, urgency and even violence. Still, the powers that be plough on in true Capricornian manner, as the Arien uprisings insist that their voices be heard rather than ignored, that their wishes be taken into account, their grievances be addressed satisfactorily, and that the plans be adapted to them rather than they be forced into adapting to a plan they never chose. Aries is not a compliant Sign. The idea that politicians can govern by coercing populaces into compliance should have been discarded long ago. The fact that an adversarial (square aspect - Uranus is square Pluto) approach has been taken by the authorities has meant that the necessary changes have not been welcomed.

On the other hand, Aries at its worst can be infantile, petulant, obstreperous, uncaringly self-centred, immaturely rebellious and irrational in its demands. Resolving the societal and global tensions symbolised by this square aspect requires all of those involved to be the best of Capricorn and Aries, and to be resolute in their refusal to behave in the worst ways of those Signs.

And on to Saturn.

Saturn in 2015
Position at start of year Position at end of year
00 degrees 52 minutes Sagittarius 11 degrees 09 minutes Sagittarius

Right at the end of 2014 Saturn entered Sagittarius, thus 2015 begins with Saturn in that Sign. By mid-year Saturn retrogrades back into Scorpio for a brief revisiting of Scorpionic themes, before returning to Sagittarius in September and spending the rest of the year there:

Saturn's Sign Changes
Date Saturn goes into Moving
23rd December 2014 Sagittarius Forwards
15th June 2015* Scorpio* Backwards*
18th September 2015 Sagittarius Forwards
20th December 2017 Capricorn Forwards
22nd March 2020AquariusForwards

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

Last year I looked ahead to this movement of Saturn into Sagittarius, and wrote the following:

"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 2015
Position at start of year Position at end of year
21 degrees 46 minutes Leo 23 degrees 09 minutes Virgo

Jupiter changes Signs every year as it is a fairly quick mover through the Zodiac. This year Jupiter will leave Leo and move into Virgo. 

Jupiter's Sign Changes
Date Jupiter goes into Moving
26th June 2013 Cancer Forwards
16th July 2014 Leo Forwards
11th August 2015 Virgo Forwards
9th September 2016LibraForwards
10th October 2017ScorpioForwards

In Virgo Jupiter finds that it can't ignore the details, and must systematicaly include them in its overall picture. The challenge evoked by this placement is the one expressed in the saying 'you can't see the wood for the trees'. The skill with this placement lies in not getting lost in the detail and thereby losing sight of the big picture, and on the other hand, not trying to cram so much detail into the big picture that the big picture itself ends up becoming bloated. Fortunately, this placement usually symbolises good organisational skills, finely-tuned understanding and the ability to bring order and efficiency to situations, places and activities. 

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

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

By far the most important aspect being made this year is the final square in the current series of seven Uranus-Pluto square aspects:

Uranus square Pluto in 2015
Date Time Uranus is at Pluto is at
17th March 2:54am 15 Aries 18 15 Capricorn 18

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 exact square which will form in March:

Uranus square Pluto chart wheel - 17th March 2015
Uranus square Pluto
17th March 2015, 2:54am GMT
(House cusps are for London)

For this final square of the series both Uranus and Pluto are moving forwards ('direct') and are placed right in the middle of the Signs. This is surely very significant, perhaps in terms of bringing things to a head and slotting things into place, including perhaps setting certain institutions and/or their machinations into an open/revealed and established footing. There is something about this that suggests to me 'consolidation' and 'openness', things coming above ground after previously being conducted out of sight.

Another outer planet aspect taking place this year is the waning square of Saturn and Neptune. Their current cycle began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the supposed supremacy of 'capitalism', and ends in the year 2026. The half-way point in the cycle was reached in 2006-2007, and an article about it was published on this website at the time (see below for the link) which covers its themes. We are now at a turning point in the closing half of this cycle, which will resonate with the previous turning points - the opposition, the waxing square and the conjunction.

Saturn-Neptune - current cycle

Saturn square Neptune - chart wheel
Saturn square Neptune
26th November 2015, 12:15pm GMT
(House cusps are for London)

Now let's look at what the swifter planets are doing during 2015.

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

Two out of these three planets will be retrograde in 2015 - Mercury and Venus - with the third, Mars, remaining forwards-moving throughout the year. 

Mars in 2015

Mars Stations in 2015 - none
Date Time Changing To Position
n/a n/a n/a n/a

NB All dates & times are GMT

Not much to say here - Mars doesn't station during the year at all so there is no retrograde phase to take into account.
Mandala: Mars in 2015
Mars in 2015: Forwards-moving all year - this diagram
is based on Mars's orbital motion - the absence of an inward loop shows that Mars has no retrograde phase this year

Venus in 2015

Venus will be retrograde again, and will straddle two Signs in its hindwards phase:
Chart wheel: Venus's retrograde Sign & degrees in 2015
Venus Stations in 2015
Date Time Changing To Position
25th July 9:28am Retrograde 0 Virgo 46
6th September8:29amDirect14 Leo 23

NB All dates & times are GMT

As the wheel and table show, Venus will station and turn retrograde on the 25th of July at 0 degrees 46 minutes of Virgo, and tread back into Leo until the 6th of September when it will have its second station, and turn direct. Mid-way will be reached on the 15th of August when Venus and the Sun are conjunct at 22 degrees 39 minutes of Leo.

If you have a planet or important house cusp (particularly the Ascendant, Descendant, MC or IC) in this span of the Zodiac, you will experience Venus transiting across it, and its retrogradation will be relevant to you on some level.

Mandala: Venus in 2015

Venus in 2015: Retrograde from an Earth Sign to a Fire Sign - 
this diagram is based on Venus's orbital motion - the inward loop contains Venus's retrograde period

Based on the Signs involved, we can speculate that perhaps the theme of this Virgo-Leo retrograde phase will be authenticity versus performance. A ritualised, performed relationship or affected vanity is not a substitute for love given to and from the authentic Self. Are we appreciated for or rejected because of the usefulness of the roles we perform for each other and the ego-fulfilments we offer one another, or are we feeling genuine regard for one another? Are our values and negotiations based on ego, or a more deeply-rooted sense of self? Are we in love with performance or with skill? Do we value what is real or merely what is a projected part of ourselves? Are we adults or children in our relationships? Do we negotiate from principles or ego demands? Are we demanding, self-centred, in love with ourselves, or are we in servitude, being used, putting insufficient value on ourselves?

In politics this could result in diplomatic issues based on vanity crashing down to earth with a bump, or humility being exploited. Master and slave dynamics could come to the fore. Pumped-up egos could cause problems, and a good dose of humility and pragmatism could solve them, and conversely, an abdication of dignity could cause problems until self-worth - based on authenticity and accurate self-knowledge, not ego - is restored.

Mercury in 2015

This year Mercury will retrograde in the Air Signs, first in Aquarius, then in Gemini and lastly in Libra:
Chart wheel: Mercury's retrograde Signs & degrees in 2015
Mercury Stations in 2015
Date Time Changing To Position
21st January 3:54pm Retrograde 17 Aquarius 05
11th February 2:57pm Direct 1 Aquarius 18
19th May 1:49am Retrograde 13 Gemini 09
11th June 10:33am Direct 4 Gemini 34
17th September 6:09pm Retrograde 15 Libra 55
9th October 2:58pm Direct 0 Libra 54

NB All dates & times are GMT

The Air Signs are to do with how we make connections between us as human beings, and between facts and data to build into knowledge. Aquarius has a more social/collective focus, whilst Gemini is more personal and closer to home, and Libra is more interpersonal. How we communicate to one another, how we share information, how we connect and disconnect, how we perceive the world and think about our lives, are all up for review during these retrograde phases.

Mandala: Mercury in 2015
Mercury in 2015: Retrograding in Air Signs - this diagram is based on Mercury's orbital motion - the inward loops contain
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 at all the trees.

Related links:

Uranus-Pluto series of squares - article
[read article]

Uranus-Pluto series of squares in 2015 - 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]

Saturn-Neptune opposition in 2006-2007
[read article]

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

Astrology for the 21st Century - Bringing the sky down to Earth

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