Your January 2020 Horoscopes Bring Growth — But Will Require Grappling

What the stars have in store for you this month

Happy 2020 dear readers,

May these horoscopes find you recharged from a span of days off that consisted mostly of eating leftover food rich in carbohydrates and butter. Or, conversely, may the January 2020 horoscopes find you laid out and near obliterated from reckless pleasure, holding onto your last string of sense as one might hold onto a balloon: with affectionate lightness. Speaking of lightness, it is known that the astrology of 2020 is not light as all things that spring from Capricorn are not light. But, neither is it dark or necessarily burdensome. Pleasure finds a way, I am told, through darkness just as well.

January, a month divided by the labors of the body (Capricorn) and the machinations of the mind (Aquarius), arrives to find us grappling with whatever the solar eclipse in Capricorn brought forth in late December. This grappling can and should be treated with compassion. By January 10th, we are offered a lunar eclipse in Cancer to marry our thought to our emotional realities. Here, there is the opportunity to observe our feelings and give them great space to occur. To show our feelings emotional respect.

January offers us numerous powerful aspects, most of them in Capricorn, conjunctions between Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, and Mercury that challenge our relationship to our work, the efficacy of our communication, and the scope of our ambitions. Another conjunction between Venus and Neptune evokes new ways to experience beauty and see ourselves reflected in that beauty. An opposition between Jupiter and the North Node in Cancer and as, ever, a new moon… the time in Aquarius.

Read on the find out how January's astrology impacts your sun/rising sign. May the force, however disposed, be with you.

It's one thing to know that you exist as part of a collective whole and another thing entirely to believe in it. Knowledge is, after all, a door that shows us just how much we have yet to understand. And, if you know, at a very basic level, that the human experience is wider and more complex than our individual lives, then you have within you the ability to recognize just how impossible it is to perceive that complexity wholly. Still, we do our best with what we have at our disposal. The story changes depending on the angle. Your position shifts to reflect what you can take on — what you have eyes to see and hands to hold.

Let's say, for the sake of generosity, that you are an Aries or Aries rising that has come to know your purpose in the collective whole. Or, at least your purpose at this current moment. Let's say you can, with a certain amount of clarity, recognize the invaluable contributions you are making to the world in which you participate. Are you ready to shift positions? To transform your assignment and opportunities into your chosen course?

What would it look like, dear Aries, if you channeled your energy away from gaining recognition and into receiving information? Would your achievements sit differently with you if they ushered you toward a deeper relationship to your own work? I am here to tell you that recognition is already on its way, with or without your current efforts, and what will ultimately serve you is learning how to work with that recognition and use it to further your spiritual practice. Spiritual practice, in this case, is the daily devotion of the self to the present moment. Beyond the benefit of a mindfulness routine, a spiritual practice holds keys for you. Keys to knowing why you're here. Keys to any door you want to open.

When enough cultures, enough countries, tell us that the Gregorian calendar marks the beginning of a new year, it makes sense to go along with them. Despite your stubborn individualism, you're sensitive to the inheritance of ritual and the maintenance of old customs — never one to arrive empty-handed as a guest or pour the tea for yourself first.

So, go ahead, make lists of your accomplishments, of what you plan to leave behind in 2019, of your ambitions for the decade ahead. Taurus, you are known for your resolute nature, so a handful of endeavoring resolutions are really no big deal.

"Endeavoring" is the operative word here as your expectations for yourself might very well surprise you. For all your self-sacrifice, self-searching, self-denial, you can't quite get away from a deeper sense that something inside you hungers to be prioritized.

Prioritized, not so much in a one-on-one relationship sense, or how we are (often) encouraged to attend to our emotional needs through the attentions of others. Rather, January has you thinking about relationships by way of human experience and inter-connection. It asks you to rise out of your self-enforced solitude and toward understanding. In writing about the 9th mansion (house), Dane Rudhyar wrote of understanding, "In understanding, relationship proves its worth — just as in knowledge, selfhood demonstrates its power." As Jupiter hits your 9th house of Understanding, attend to the relationship you have forged with your changing self. In what ways can cultivating an understanding for your present (ever-shifting) self create space for richer connections with others? In what ways will you prioritize your own growth?

Years ago, in therapy, I was introduced to the idea of a Buddhist principle that describes two arrows — the first arrow is the event itself, and the second arrow is our reaction to that event. (From this principle comes the oft-quoted, and never clearly attributed, phrase, "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.") Except, when my therapist brought the two arrows to me, he spoke of the first arrow as an original wound and the second arrow as moments throughout one's life that re-open or trouble that wound. Apparently, between these two interpretations of the Buddhist teaching, there exists a self that either reacts or remembers. A self that, inside pain, loses sight of the present (alive) moment and swings erratically between the past (gone) and the future (imagined).

If suffering is optional and most of us would not choose suffering, then why do we suffer? It could be that we are too removed from our breath, our life force, to stay in the present moment. Or, it could stand to reason that pain has within it great wisdom, and, in endeavoring to access it, we often slip into suffering where doors to ecstasy exist.

This horoscope isn't about pain, Gemini. It isn't an ominous prediction regarding your various opportunities to suffer (which all humans have in spades). Rather, it is an invitation. An invitation to regard each day, with its abundant arrows, as an opportunity for two kinds of selves. The self that observes and the self that experiences. To choose the self that observes is to stay still as a tree stands still (when stillness is not death but grace). To choose the self that experiences is to open a hallway where many doors hum — doors to suffering and doors to ecstasy. Each path holds initiates wisdom, Gemini, neither one more sacred than the other.

It's not uncommon to conceive of oneself as an amalgamation of one's origins. To think that what you are is who you've been, where and who you've come from. There is, of course, truth to this. Our perception, how we classify and code our reality, is very much dependent on our upbringing and experiences. Still, there is another truth, many truths in fact. There is the possibility, for instance, that we are also becoming. And, that becoming is something new entirely — forged every day by our willingness or unwillingness to create new pathways of relation.

As a sign that regards the feelings and realities of others, Cancer and Cancer risings have a great power to recognize the capacity for change in others. It is much more trying, much more soul-straining, to recognize your own capacity to change.

And, when I write Change, I mean Change with the big C. Not the endless certifications for new skills, not the mental pivot from one philosophy to the other, not the wardrobe re-imagined (although these do grant the big C Change a razzle-dazzle factor). I mean a wholly new relationship with your concept of selfhood: what makes you who you are, how you express who you are, and what you need to nurture that self and help it grow. In the cut where many truths cleave, who we were and who we are becoming, there exists another origin story: how we stand in our own way and what, if anything, other people have to do with it.

You have felt change coming for a long while, and you have put it off as best you could, ignoring the earth that needed turning for the small plots of land you deemed approachable and easy to manage. You made do with small acts of creation, quick pleasures, and hasty work-arounds. You wanted the ground to be nurtured all by itself and then have you notified of the development. Not because you resisted hard work, not because you were lazy, or without noble intent. Rather, Leo, you feared the charge and responsibility posed by the work itself; what it might teach you about who you've been up until now and how you yearn to improve.

What we produce in the world has a great deal of impact on our conception of self. And, often, our conception of self can get in the way of what we are meant to produce. In relation to your creative self, your daily self, the value you place on your spirit, your energy, and well-being determines the way you spend your time and with whom.

If you devote your time and attention to activities that leave you disheartened, dysregulated, and generally down, then it's possible you either: (a) have felt too disintegrated to register that what you do affects how you feel (b) are subject to systemic forces that feel outside your control or (c) are holding on to an old (possibly useful, once, when you were a child) concept of yourself that is harmful. This month would a powerful time to investigate and experiment with the order of things. Like, what if you feel into it before you do it? What if it's possible that what you do shifts (even if slightly) the systems you work inside of? What if, instead of waiting for some great big proof that you are capable of improvement, you conceive of yourself as only ever-improving and then act in service to that self?

Did you fall for it, Virgo? Did you, despite all your various forms of accrued knowledge, really believe that all you had to do was situate yourself well and the rest would follow suit? If the satisfactory work and the supportive partnerships and the prospective projects are only adding up to a nagging suspicion that something just isn't right, I have good news for you, it's probably not. Why is this good news? Well, for one, it's good to know you aren't simply making up problems, which a hypercritical Virgo or Virgo rising is very likely to do. For another, accepting that something isn't working is a great entry point to figuring out what that something is and working on your alignment.

Virgo, if there's one thing you know how to do, it's make things better! Often through careful observation and a well-researched targeted approach. Why shouldn't you approach whatever nebulous dissatisfaction you feel in your spirit in the same way you might approach a door hinge that needs oiling or a creaky floorboard?

This month, pay close attention to the emotions that rise in you. Treat them as if you are a studious scientist. Write it down, note the physiological responses, the ingredients of evocation, the context, and the resulting psychological state. When you wish for detachment, offer yourself awareness and awe. Awe that such strong responses live in you — a part of your life force. Awe at what you contain and how often it lies dormant waiting for release. Your aim is to study these emotions so well that they register in your body as clear and direct information. There are instructions here, there is a code you're ready to crack.

Your mind is a very powerful thing, Libra, you know that. You have, more than once, shifted your entire reality with its help. When in service to your own betterment, your mind offered you intuition: the right medicine, the right meditation, the right way to mediate an emotionally charged situation. When activated with fear, your mind shuttered to protect you or, conversely, it spun into over-drive, attempting as best it could to approximate safety through logic, through a sense of control. The triumph of the former gave credence to the latter. And, you were not wrong to grant your fear-mind, your instinct mind, it's wisdom. It had, after all, kept you alive thus far.

This month, your intuitive mind and your instinctive mind (and all the other unnamed facets), are due for some choreographed integration. Each dancer offers gravitas to the dance, each dancer is a part of it.

Still, the cues for one should not be mistaken as cues for the other. Intuition, after all, has earned its solo just as well as instinct, despite instinct's longer tenure in your mind. To recognize the call, to respond appropriately, listen. Listen to the music of each situation. Is it coming from inside you or around you? Is your mind moving in time or faster, maybe even too fast? Is instinct, its experience, regarded with respect and attention? Is intuition given room to show what it can do? Remember that listening, attention, is the opposite of compulsion.

The first agreement, and what he states is the hardest agreement, in Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements is: be impeccable with your word. In his book, Ruiz defines "impeccable" as "without sin," and maintains that the nature of a sin is going against yourself. Therefore, to be impeccable with your word is to not use your word against yourself. In another well known-book, a young girl named Alice speaks clumsily and is rebuked by the March Hare who instructs her to say what she means. "I do," she maintains, "at least — at least I mean what I say — that's the same thing, you know." To which the Mad Hatter replies, "Not the same thing a bit!"

You might disagree, Scorpio, with the logic of fairy tales, but you are not unfamiliar with the power that words carry. You recognize that if your word is magic, then saying what you mean is a kind of spell.

Saying what you mean is one way to practice being impeccable with your word. It is an intention you set with your energy. To speak truthfully, to speak in a way that conveys your desires and concerns, to create a direct line. It gets harder when your thoughts are negative and that is the truth of your experience. It's your work to recognize when speaking up is an act of courage and when you are speaking out of turn. This month, you will be called, in various ways, to sit with the root and impact of your speech, not only in your communications but in your self-talk. Do your best to note the patterns, the breakdowns, and the moment of ease. How do you use language as a bridge, and how do you use it as an arrow? Try describing yourself or your work in a way that honors you rather than feeds into old self-doubt.

Those of us who believe that the new year, or a kind of new year, begins on January 1st are not immune to the feelings that arise with new beginnings. These feelings include, but are not limited to: optimism, anticipation, expectation, anxiety, doubt, contempt, detachment, disappointment, grief. I hope you enjoy the orderly spectrum of these feelings as you're likely to be falling anywhere along the line in January, and it might do you some good to name the emotion whenever you can, good or bad, so that the emotion doesn't wind up feeling you.

With Mars in Sagittarius, your impulses stand to benefit from a little emotional grounding, recognition that sometimes, despite your best and most over-intellectualized efforts, your feelings get the best of you.

While January will stimulate an intense amount of forward growth for us all, Sagittarians might find themselves knee-deep in the past and unsure which direction is which. This kind of interrogation will most likely be internal, the remembrance of kid fears and waves of memories yet to be properly incorporated into consciousness. However, there is a chance that outer events will act as catalysts: conversations that demand to be had, old friends with new truths, a fluctuation in your resources. Have faith in the emotional tools you've worked so hard to cultivate, Sagittarius. And, remember, sometimes truly moving forward requires looking back. To integrate, the past self weaves its paws with the present self and they float like two otters — linked — on the river of time.

As always, as is your lot, you've got work to do. The difference is, this month, if you are doing the work you ought to be doing, then the doing will come so naturally, so fluidly, it will move through you rather than from you. Not so much effortless as it is natural, a kind of active breathing. For Capricorns and Capricorn risings whose corporal experience is complicated by illness, chronic pain, and strong physical boundaries (and, honestly, for all Capricorns everywhere), it is important to remember that despite Capitalism's best attempts to convince us that hyper-productivity is an indication of success, one need not over-produce to produce something of great value.

In fact, if your value system is aligned with what you find sacred — and this can run the gamut from large spiritual beliefs to a reverence for small hand-made creations — then you will find it easier and easier to see your efforts reflected in your work and find pride in what comes through you.

How, then, does one align? How to value yourself, your psychic energy and personal boundaries, in a world that works to undermine your sacred singular value at every turn and suck you into the hell of ill-advised comparisons and ethical compromises? One option, should you choose to accept it, is re-imagining the world. Imagine the world, as is known to you in this life, wants the very best for you. And, she is exhausted of all her efforts to remind you time and time again that despite the messaging of a chaos god (or whatever brought forth the ancient demons of white supremacy and misogyny), you carry within you a great power to heal and be healed through what you put forth. Give the world a load off this month, Capricorn, and act as if you never need to be reminded.

If you are very open, if you are ready to receive because your arms are unburdened, then sweetness awaits you this month, dear Aquarius. Unexpected and unorthodox sweetness found in kinship, familiar sweetness found in old stomping grounds, or in the red-berried mouth of a winter bird. If not in gifts, then in reminders: that drudgery is not all, that magic dotes on you despite your daily distractions and disassociations. Sweetness, it should be noted, is never far and often right up against bitterness, such that it might be tasted in life as it is on the tongue.

And if you are not open? If you feel, down to your very bone, constricted? If your life's ceaseless demands have burdened you and you find your clock wound to the beat of someone else's heart, then, Aquarius, January is the month you cover up the clocks and let yourself lose track.

Your time does not depend on the time of others. And, relation necessitates separation like sweetness and bitterness need each other. Let go if you can for as long as you can, and do it often. Work when you must work, but do not let that work define your sense of self. Your relationship to your body, your relationship to spirit, and your relationship to the lengthening of days, these are ever-developing aspects of your journey, and the walk is a long one. And, while the walk is full of pleasures, it is not without loss. Saying yes to yourself will necessitate a great deal and difficult nos. You will find, Aquarius, that the more space you grant yourself, the more you'll feel yourself a creator of time, a time-traveler and a magician of hours.

Alright, get ready for a big shocker. Turns out, you are very likely to receive some powerful messaging through your dreams. I mean, is it even a Pisces horoscope if dreams are not only mentioned but heavily involved? Well, clichés are cliché for a reason — they pervade of consciousness because they point to an old truth or an abiding reality. January is not all sleep epiphanies, alas. The beginning of the month will most likely find you in a location that is unfamiliar but with familiar people. This can be taken literally or you can apply it to any number of scenarios such as a new creative opportunity with old teachers or a re-imagining of your position in a collaborative effort.

There will be, whether it feels good or not, a great focus on your contributions this month — not so much on the level of production but, rather, on an energetic output level. The events that arise have everything to do with how much you value your own efforts and how you show others the way you wish to be valued.

For this reason, you will have to figure out for yourself (no one else can do this for you!) what role you play in your collective/community so that, when positioned to do so, you can have a firm sense of that role's capacity. There is indication that while these lessons arise in the realm of collaborations and peers, they are not outside the parameter of your sexual relationships. Where once you traded in visions, now you are called to trade in what is realized: the outcomes as they are known and what, if anything, they mean for future endeavors. Which, of course, doesn't mean you won't be getting visions. Your dreams will grow in power by the close of January. Use what you know of the waking world to guide you through the early weeks.