The Year Ahead, 2017

I begin writing my year ahead each autumn, and this year, as I jotted down my thoughts for 2017, through my study window I could see squirrels scurrying about gathering nuts for the long winter ahead. And it struck me that this was something of a metaphor for the coming year.

2017 is the year before a long winter sets in. As Saturn moves into Capricorn on the 20th December, 2017 that winter will have officially begun.

So, what do I mean by winter. The years from 2018 to the mid-2020’s will be a struggle for most of us. This does not imply we won’t experience happy events, enjoy our lives and continue to do what humanity has always done – fall in love, marry and bring babies into the world; it doesn’t mean there won’t be any great scientific breakthroughs, thrilling sports events or wonderful movies; but it does mean such things will be happening against a background of increasing global turmoil, whether in economic, political or geophysical terms.

Saturn’s passage through Capricorn – its natural sign – is not in isolation: Pluto is in Capricorn too, and their combination breeds hard times. We may think we’ve done austerity but wait until 2020 and austerity will be taken to a whole new level. Which is why, if I have one piece of advice to offer us all in 2017 it is to stockpile our resources and be very careful in whom we place our trust and our finances.

The elections and referendums of 2016 made it impossible to ignore the rise of the hard right, particularly in Europe, although in truth it was the rise of popularism. And while the inspiration for this surge is the desire for people to get back their countries and their values, it’s not going to end happily. 

Since World War II the political tide has been resolutely towards democracy but with this current swing away from the establishment we are reversing almost seventy years of egalitarianism. And if we want to see how this is likely to pan out, because we have the perfect astrological climate for it, we need only look to the 1930’s.

For the past five years we have been living under a Uranus-Pluto canopy. This planetary duo has presided over unprecedented change: old orders have ended and new ones struggled to be born: it has been an era which began with the Arab Spring and is set to end in a global winter.

But before you start hurling brickbats at me there is an upside to all this upheaval. The world is not the place it was seventy years ago, and with Planet Earth itself in crisis, in large part due to human folly, radical change is mandatory. We’re in a tough spot and require leaders who can make tough decisions for all our benefits. And out of this next decade of trial by fire, so to speak, a new dawn will break. It has to.

In 2017 we can look to Jupiter’s passage through Libra and its opposition to Uranus to bring us our most exciting discoveries and amazing developments. (Pop early March and late September in your diaries.) This astrological combo has its signature on virtual reality, so we can expect some truly mind-expanding developments in this field. And the same goes for the aero-space industry, flight and voyages of discovery. We may even witness a test-run of a rocket-powered plane that would mean a day-return trip from Sydney to Los Angeles is no longer just a dream!

The Jupiter-Pluto pairing may preside over some huge advances in technology and medicine. Pluto is synonymous with the unseen and the all-powerful, so breakthroughs in subatomic medicine could transform the treatment of many diseases. The unseen and all-powerful has its less laudable aspect too, and we can also anticipate controversy in the oil and energy business, particularly the nuclear industry, and increasing concerns over the development and usage of nuclear weapons. Late March/early April and early August are periods when tensions between certain nations could be at their greatest for many years, with the threat of a nuclear attack ramping up hostilities.

The solar eclipse of 26 February could be another period to watch closely for events of a volatile nature.

2017 is also the year of marriage. More people than ever will be walking down the aisle, and there should be many extravagant celebrity weddings to brighten our days and the pages of our magazines. There may even be a royal engagement or wedding to spur us on to our own nuptials or the remaking of our marriage vows.

One last point. Jupiter’s journey through Libra which will take until early October places justice at the top of 2017’s agenda. The desire to set wrongs to rights and to ensure the spirit of the law is as important as the rule of law will be much in evidence, and we may well see more than one leader facing criminal charges or forced to resign in the face of overwhelming evidence of corruption. When Jupiter is in Libra what goes around finally comes around.

Penny Thornton

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