January is often a serious month due to the Sun's presence in responsible Capricorn when it begins. A strong sense of purpose is often required to fulfill our ambitions and to manage the obstacles that we meet in the new year. That pattern is especially true as 2014 opens with the Capricorn New Moon on January 1. This meeting of the Sun and Moon initiates a monthly cycle that usually puts fresh wind in our sails. However, the first order of business this month may be more about dealing with crises and cleaning up messes than planning a climb to the top of the mountain. Persistent, pressure-packed Pluto is conjunct this New Moon to add intensity to the agenda. Assertive Mars, supposedly pacified in loving Libra, and impulsive Uranus in Aries form tense squares to the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Pluto, while expansive Jupiter opposes this planetary quartet. This alignment, called a Grand Square, suggests that the world is due for dramatic events in the coming 12 months.
As for the present, this Grand Square is a signal to purge people, projects, and activities that are less than urgent to focus attention on making radical changes. Taking calculated risks is one of Capricorn's strengths as it is both cautious and ambitious. Don't be afraid of considering bold actions that might seem extreme but are probably safer than settling for standing still. Reality is shifting in powerful ways and being part of the change can lead to revolutionary breakthroughs. Big thinking and careful planning are an ideal combination for making this a transformational month.
Personal and professional relationships require reassessment as the values planet Venus is retrograde when January begins. Her reversal in otherwise orderly Capricorn may cause delays in making connections, completing deals and getting cash or approval. Venus shifts into forward gear on January 31, which should slowly start to put alliances back on track in the following weeks. Some clarity about self-worth and partnerships, though, is offered on January 11 when Venus backs over the Sun while both planets align favorably with Capricorn's responsible ruler Saturn. Trusting in yourself and others is earned by hard work and sticking to commitments.
Feelings run strong during the sensitive Cancer Full Moon on January 15. The tendency for emotional excess at this time is tempered by stabilizing Saturn's harmonious trine to the Moon and sextile to the Sun. This means that we can go to some edgy places without falling into the abyss. Discussing delicate and deeply personal issues may be unavoidable yet can produce positive results when the goal is to repair problems as opposed to blaming others for them.
Bright ideas come more easily when brainy Mercury shifts into airy Aquarius on the January 11. Then, on January 19, the Sun enters Aquarius where fresh concepts broaden perspectives. Instead of struggling alone this community-oriented sign encourages us to connect with friends, colleagues and groups for greater pleasure and productivity. However, even with two planets in this futuristic sign, there may be another round of reviewing plans when visionary Jupiter opposes Pluto on January 31. Going to extremes in beliefs, both positive and negative, intensifies opinions and resists alternative points of view. This opposition returns on April 20, offering one last chance to recognize which aspirations and ideas are truly useful and which are getting in the way of personal growth and our collective wellbeing.