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The Astrology Of 2022

The Astrology Of 2022

As I sit and write this, we’re only a few days out from Jupiter returning to Pisces, and I’m scared to believe things are going to get substantially better next year. I’m not saying that because I don’t think they could, necessarily. There’s actually a lot about 2022 that excites me. I’m saying that because this is probably just what happens when you’ve been living through a long, Saturnian winter. This is probably the way life wears you down once it’s given you that glance a few too many times, the one that says, “Oh, you sweet, summer child.”

When I say long, Saturnian winter, I’m referring to the fact that Saturn has been in its domicile since 2017, and Jupiter has been captive on Saturn’s turf throughout 2020 and 2021. When so much in the sky is answering to Saturn, things feel colder, more brutal, more inexorable, more punishing. Things take time, things sometimes take forever, things remind you that there are consequences sometimes when you don’t do your due diligence.

I want to laugh/cry a little when I look back on the (relative) optimism I entered 2020, and even 2021, with. To be clear, my 2020 forecast was far from sunny — I even had someone complain to me in my DMs about how much they hate doom and gloom astrology. But I also saw an upside in the Saturn/Pluto conjunction culminating right on January 12, which I wrote would mean we’d “have the rest of the year to decompress from all the changes and tap into the hidden opportunities left in their wake” instead of seeing the exact hit for what it was, a seeding of a new process that would very much still be hanging around while the two planets were still close together. January 12 was not the peak of the pandemic — it was literally just the beginning. I bring this up for the LOLs, for a bit of accountability, and to embrace the fact that I’ve been wrong about certain things in the past.

In theory, Jupiter escaping Saturn’s clutches (for real, this time) should be mostly a good thing. In theory, it feels kind of nice to say that 2022 is actually the last year of Saturn in domicile for quite some time. In theory, the fact that Jupiter will move all the way through Pisces this year (instead of giving us just a teaser and then taking it back, like it did in 2021) should also deliver more of what was promised early last summer. However, we also saw the darker potential of what happens when unfettered optimism and a sense of being buffered from the harsh realities of the world takes over — especially when those harsh realities are still ongoing.

Internally, I’m feeling a little gun-shy about choosing optimism, a little too traumatized from the last couple of years to believe things could actually improve soon, and keep improving without backsliding. Will this Jupiter transit help us turn a corner, or will it just give us a much-needed vacation from having to think about how much everything sucks all the time?

Jove knows we all deserve a break, and some relief is certainly on its way. This upcoming year, we get a continuation of a lot of last year’s instability, but we also get Act II and Act III of Jupiter in Pisces, a healing, restorative balm if there ever was one. If 2021 gave us an initial taste of freedom, 2022 brings the banquet of the growth experience, followed by an extra helping of the good stuff after we had enough time to digest and not feel so full. If you’re not ready to put your faith in “things in the world” improving, you’ll probably get a lot more out of noticing the ways your own world is starting to open up, to breathe a little, to benefit from the gentle rains you deeply desired in the dry season. If anything, perhaps Jupiter leaving Saturn-land will be more about choosing to make faith and joy and levity a self-sustaining thing that doesn’t depend on the systems that have routinely failed us.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to the astrology of 2022, but as we arrive at its threshold, I think many of us are feeling so hollowed out by Saturn’s endurance slog that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to actually have hope, to believe, to hold space for lightness and whimsy. Maybe we can learn again. Maybe we can do this without losing our common sense. As I wrote last year, “the water is nice for swimming, but you should still take reasonable precautions not to drown.”

Things are not settling down too much next year, but 2022 does seem to be a year of learning to dance and sing more skillfully upon the shifting sands of a world in transition. Here are a few of the major themes ahead.

 

+ The persisting shadow of 2021’s Saturn/Uranus squares

The defining feature of 2021 was Saturn squaring Uranus: a clash of the titans that created pressurized containers of disruption, an unsettling impetus for change defined by an ordering principle struggling to contain a wild revolutionary urge. In some cases, it was actually Saturn saying “no” to something that sent everything else into a spiral of creative Uranian chaos. Supply chain disruptions, labor strikes, uprisings, and people quitting their jobs was a feature, not a bug. Climate and financial chaos highlighted the weaknesses inherent in our crumbling infrastructure. The fabric of society tore a bit under all the strain.

Anecdotally, I get the sense that a lot of us felt this most acutely in our own lives as a sense of being in transition, of not yet knowing where the ground is sturdy enough to hold a more permanent foundation. It’s been a hard time for people who like to have a plan precisely because so much is still up in the air. We’re living in the era of maybe having to postpone your wedding or your big life plans or your trip to see your loved ones once, twice, maybe three times. With the tectonic plates heaving beneath us, stability looks like remaining flexible and making peace with the fact that you don’t necessarily know what’s going to happen two months from now.

Though we won’t have any more exact aspects between Saturn and Uranus in 2022, this square will remain in play as a backdrop for everything else that’s going on. Saturn and Uranus do get a little bit of breathing space from each other during spring and summer in the northern hemisphere, but as we get into August, September, and especially October, it’ll feel like a moment of “Oh, and another thing” as they come back to being within a degree of an exact square again.

Though this will, at last, represent a final parting shot between Saturn and Uranus, their dynamic is being emphasized throughout the year via other planets lining up to add drama to this tension between the Taurus and Aquarius chunk of the sky (or, tbh, between all of the fixed signs).

For instance, Mercury is stationing retrograde in Aquarius on January 14 in an exact square with Uranus as it’s stationing direct. Mercury also later stations direct in Taurus on June 3, almost exactly square Saturn as it’s stationing retrograde. This feels like an isometric stretch taking place between these two areas in our charts as Mercury reconfigures our mental programs to keep up with all the changes.

Additionally, Saturn and Uranus will be very *involved* in the eclipses next year, given that they’ve now officially moved into fixed signs. Last year’s revelations around what’s sustainable or not sustainable become the seat of a great deal of flux in 2022. Eclipses often speed up the inevitable, or bring long-brewing tension to a head. Whatever’s still in a stubborn holding pattern might get the jolt required for a proper catharsis or release.

The real showstopper occurs right around July 31/August 1, though. There’ll be a rare triple conjunction of Uranus, Mars, and the North Node at 18 degrees of Taurus, all of which will be squaring Saturn in Aquarius and Mercury in Leo. 18 degrees of Taurus also happens to be the degree where Uranus stations retrograde on August 24.

The Uranus/North Node copresence that begins in 2022 looks like accelerated innovation, higher demand for the accelerated innovation to keep going, and even greater levels of flux and unpredictability as a result. Whatever liberation efforts we’re engaged in, whether individually or as part of a movement, will both increase in urgency and move at an unusual speed. Leading-edge technology at the frontier of Taurean things — think food, beauty, luxury, the environment, stuff like cryptocurrency and NFTs — are increasingly “of the moment” and poised for some sort of breakthrough. And if there’s a time for a breakthrough to occur, it’s probably going to be with the help of Mars (to break things) and Saturn (to provide some friction). This will be a stressful and volatile moment, but it could produce something interesting or spectacular, too.

 

+ The thirsty season of Venus and Mars
January 24: Mars enters Capricorn
January 29: Venus stations direct in Capricorn
February 16: Venus conjunct Mars in Capricorn
March 6: Venus and Mars enter Aquarius, immediately make another exact conjunction
April 5: Venus enters Pisces
April 14: Mars enters Pisces

A very unusual feature of 2022 is that it’s exceptionally horny! Basically, thanks to the irregular speed of Venus as it stations direct in January and gradually returns to its usual clip, Venus and Mars will travel together in an agonizingly long conjunction that pretty much lasts from late January through the end of March, with two exact hits during that time. In April, they get a little distance from each other, but they’ll still be (mostly) copresent in the same sign until May. More freakishly, they will be within 1 degree of each other for an entire month — between February 12 and March 12.

There’s something about emerging from this especially underworld-y Venus Retrograde that looks especially “brought back to life and raging to go.” Resurrecting a dormant desire, a revitalized passion, means we might have to be prepared for that desire to persist, to leave us hot and bothered, until we create the thing that’s trying to emerge through us. The appetites that stir within us now will demand a sort of rapt attention from us, a willingness to remain in that level of peak sensation.

To be clear, not every part of this process looks pleasant, necessarily — or at least pleasant in a conventional sense. Though Venus and Mars form a lusty signature that’s also invigorating for creative endeavors, Venus will be trapped between Mars and Saturn for most of its time in Aquarius — from March 6 to 29, to be exact. This could be a form of literal or metaphorical horny jail, of feeling somewhat frustrated or repressed, that dovetails into a glorious moment of release, relaxation, and celebration when Venus enters Pisces in April. Sticking it out through a less satisfying March leads to enjoying a small slice of that promised land in April.

 

+ The big April Pisces pileup/magical mystery tour/bacchanal
April 5: Venus enters Pisces
April 12: Jupiter conjunct Neptune
April 14: Mars enters Pisces
April 25-27: Moon in Pisces and Venus conjunct Neptune, aka peak fever dream

Some of the year’s best, or at least most fun, astrology takes place in April. We’ll have a stellium of planets in Pisces that will include both benefics (Venus and Jupiter) in a sign that they both do really well in. With Jupiter in its home sign and Venus exalted, the vibe is basically rainbows, heart eye emojis, and cuddle piles where everyone is welcome. When Mars joins the party, we’ll get some of that lusty edge back that’s been trailing us around — a dash of “fever” added to the dream that’s unfolding.

The most eventful part of this is the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction, which is exact on April 12 but is a defining feature of at least the first half of 2022. This can be both an opportunity to transcend the limits of our current experience and potentially lose touch with reality for a bit. This can be a gorgeous moment of healing, integration, and swimming in an ocean of divinity, and it can potentially be a moment to get lost in the sauce, to overdo the alcohol and drugs, or to join a cult without realizing you’re joining a cult.

There are blessings, generosity, and perhaps opportunities to restore our faith in humanity to be found here. The musical and cinematic experiences produced during this time are probably going to be incredible. Spiritual and devotional pursuits will also get a big boost from this alignment, but as I mentioned, it’s going to be important to practice discernment around who you choose to follow and whose guidance you internalize as your own. Many of us are yearning to take a trust fall or be given some direction, and that can be a gorgeous experience if: a) you retain your own agency and b) you’re doing it in a space with strong ethics and integrity.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that there’s some very difficult astrology happening at the same time as this very gorgeous astrology. On April 4, Mars conjoins Saturn in Aquarius, which is a callback to the same alignment that occurred in March of 2020. This is both the end of the cycle around restriction that began then, as well as the seeding of a new one that’s similar in quality.

The coincidence of Mars/Saturn happening at the same time as Jupiter/Neptune ​​is a paradox of harshness and sublime euphoria happening together, but on separate planes of existence. This makes me think of a hot tub in the winter. You have bitter, freezing air on one level that the nice, warm water below is nullifying a little, or making more tolerable. I’m wondering if this will be about completely checking out from what’s going on around us, finding ways to nourish and fortify our spirits against it, or both.

 

+ Saturn square the nodes
April 11

As Saturn traverses the later degrees of Aquarius, and as the nodes move into fixed signs, 2022 will be when Saturn squares the nodal axis. There’s only one exact hit of this, on April 11, but this will be largely in effect from March through October, when Saturn stations direct and begins to separate more completely from the nodes.

As the Taurus/Scorpio eclipses (more below) shake up stagnant, and perhaps stubborn areas of our lives, Saturn is wedged into this process like a speed bump, or maybe like one of those dog bowls that’s shaped in a special way to force over-eager eaters to chomp a little slower. Eclipses — especially the kind that occur when the North Node is conjunct Uranus — are predisposed to make change happen all at once or not at all. The containers we’ve been forging throughout Saturn’s time in Aquarius are likely to reach a critical bend in the road around this time, but so, too, will our eagerness for change be met with an imperative to slow down and make space for correct posture, for sound reasoning, for sustainable results.

 

+ Eclipses in Taurus/Scorpio
April 30: Solar eclipse at 10 degrees Taurus
May 16: Lunar eclipse at 25 degrees Scorpio
October 25: Solar eclipse at 2 degrees Scorpio
November 8: Lunar eclipse at 16 degrees Taurus

Our first eclipse in this series technically occurred in November 2021, but by January, the nodes themselves will be firmly in Taurus/Scorpio, and we’ll be delving fully into this process of developing and unraveling.

With the North Node moving from Gemini to Taurus, it seems as though the Zoom-heavy era of connecting online will fully acknowledge its resulting digital burnout and move into its “touch grass” era. The North Node in Taurus will show us where we’re starved for real, tangible sensations, for embodiment, for pleasure, and for indulgence. Fair warning, we might be back to sourdough starters, or at least channeling our energy into baking, slow-cooked meals, and gardening. The hygge trend of a couple years back might return with a fury. Basically, the drives we’re awakening to right now are all about recognizing where we can soften our existence with a greater level of comfort and enjoyment, and perhaps overcompensating for the ways in which we’ve been deprived of these things.

We might also be processing grief (South Node in Scorpio) through modalities that engage our physical bodies (North Node in Taurus). The South Node in Scorpio is a release valve for all the calcified rage, fear, and sadness that hasn’t been properly attended to. It’s a sinkhole we can unburden our grudges, vendettas, and resentments into, a toilet for flushing away something that we no longer need to keep processing, a call to perhaps forget about the forever war you’ve been waging in your mind: a) because you’re tired, and b) because you’d rather do something that makes you feel good than win at all costs.

Of these eclipses, the April 30 one in Taurus looks really exceptional, as its ruler, Venus, will be exactly conjoined Jupiter at Venus’ degree of exaltation. Eclipses can create quantum leaps that land us in new places, and this one looks set to deliver a shockingly nice surprise.

However, it’s important to balance that with the knowledge that eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio embody a deeper range of pleasant to unpleasant, given that the moon exalts in Taurus and experiences its fall in Scorpio. Given this, the surrounding context for the other eclipses, and the condition of their ruling planets, the other eclipses definitely look more challenging, or at least less rosy, than the first one, for reasons I already mentioned regarding the Saturn/Uranus squares. To be fair, though, it’s pretty rare for an eclipse to look “nice,” so the fact that we get even one is still something to look forward to.

 

+ Jupiter in Aries
May 10 – October 28, December 20 – May 16, 2023

What happens during those other parts of the year, when Jupiter isn’t in Pisces, you ask? We get to meet Jupiter in Aries, a decidedly less blissed out and loosey-goosey version of Jupiter that’s amped up to get shit started.

The last time Jupiter was in Aries was in the summer of 2010 and the first half of 2011. During this exuberant phase of Jupiter’s cycle, we are more brave around trying new things with no guarantee of success, more inclined to want to gain wisdom from that particular mode of experience, and more optimistic around taking risks. Jupiter in Aries shows us how to turn life into a dare, how to uncomplicate things for ourselves, how to embrace our inner himbo. Jupiter is in its triplicity in fire signs, so even if it’s no longer on its home turf, it enjoys a certain amount of support, or approval, for whatever it’s doing.

The initial ingress of Jupiter into Aries is also met with a conjunction to Mars, so expect late May into early June to have a quality of sudden lift-off or accelerating hard toward a new frontier. We’ll all have a different story to tell, but whatever it is, it looks like we’re choosing to go skydiving on our first date with Jupiter in Aries.

 

+ Mars Retrograde in Gemini
August 20 – March 25, 2023: Mars in Gemini
October 30 – January 13, 2023: Mars Retrograde in Gemini

Mars is going to be in one sign for a very long time, something it does roughly every two years when it goes retrograde. This year, Mars is getting ready for an extra long entroublement in Gemini, a deeper exploration around what we mean when we say the pen is mightier than the sword, a questioning of our motives to want to scatter ourselves in every direction, an extended period of fucking around and finding out (and I don’t even necessarily mean that in a bad way).

Jupiter comes back to the late degrees of Pisces just in time to send a superior square to Mars stationing retrograde in Gemini in late October. This looks like “trying to do too much” in a different way, but perhaps we’ll need Jupiter’s healing balm to keep us tapped into the spiritual dimensions of what we’re trying to achieve before we burn out too quickly from attempting to go off on too many side quests.

Mars will also be squaring Neptune throughout this retrograde, which makes me think that online trolls, anxiety, and/or the elusive battles we conduct purely in our minds could become part of the plotline as well (thinking here about the association of Mars in Gemini with the 9 of Swords). To a greater extent, this will also involve recalibrating our sense of direction in this area of our lives once, twice, maybe three times before we start to fire on all cylinders again.

I’m reminded of the Mars in Gemini transit of March and April 2021, a time of great forward momentum that broke an especially long spell of Mars squaring Saturn. With Mars retrograde this time, there’s a prankster jamming a stick into that previously well-oiled machinery, and we’ll have to tinker with it to get it operating back at full speed again. Ultimately, we’ll get back to that sense of productive Mars trine Saturn cooperation. And if there’s anything to fall back on with this one, at least it’s nowhere near as brutal as the Mars Retrograde of 2020.