Skip to the content

Astrology Highlights for Jan. 15-21, 2024: Purifying the Commons

 Splashing Around

The Sun in Capricorn is the executive who delineates the path to achievement for everybody. But Capricorn can sometimes be a little harsh, a little too committed to the bottom line, and impatient when we don’t live up to its standards.

As the Sun in Capricorn sextiles Neptune in Pisces (Jan. 15, 2024, 4:38 pm PST), it’s guided a bit by softer considerations. How can our structures and forms and plans work to make the world a better place? How can they help others in need and to make us better people as well?

The Sun is at 25º21’ Capricorn on the Sabian symbol, 26 Capricorn, A water sprite. This delightful symbol shows a playful side of Capricorn, displaying its capacity to be in and loving the physical world. It defies our usual conception of the sign, but it suits this sextile with Neptune, which offers an opportunity shed our Capricorn business suits and splash around in the waters of inspiration and intuition.

Stubborn Shoots

The Moon in Aries is a pioneer at heart. And this particular Aries First Quarter Moon (Jan. 17, 2024, 7:52 pm PST) is a pioneer set out on an unforgiving western landscape – not out of a love of adventure, but because it’s burned its bridges in the lush, verdant hills of its birth. Or perhaps, because its home had become a dustbowl with no economic opportunities, and the only solution was to seek opportunities elsewhere.

I got on a roll awhile back, watching a number of modern westerns (News of the World, the Power of the Dog, Godless) depicting a lawless 19th century American west that was no place at all for the gentle, kind, or weak. I see echoes of these stories in the Aries First Quarter Moon, square the pitiless combination of the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn. We’re entering rugged terrain, the first critical chapter in the lunar phase story that began at the last Aries New Moon (April 19, 2023), a dramatic Solar Eclipse square Pluto.

It’s a tough combination, Aries and Capricorn; Mars, the brutal warrior planet, is the ruler of one and exalted in the other, and that pretty much tells us what we need to know about its temperament.

But it’s a courageous and determined combination as well. Whenever we find ourselves on a hard road, beset by danger, these two signs serve us well. Neither will give up, give in, or be denied their objective. So, what was the quest you set your wagon to back in April? Maybe you don’t remember, or maybe it wasn’t even a conscious decision; New Moons are dark times, after all. Sometimes we don’t realize what we planted at the New Moon until the First Quarter shines a light on the first tiny, stubborn shoots emerging on the dusty plain.


In order to pursue happiness, we have to create a life that supports that pursuit. This means saying no to things that don’t support our goals, in favor of building systems that reinforce our desired outcome. And it means making promises to ourselves that we refuse to break.

If what we want is a life that offers options, flexibility, and freedom, we need look no further than this week’s Mercury sextile to Saturn (Jan. 18, 2024, 00:49 am PST) and trine to Jupiter (Jan. 19, 2024, 1:31 am PST). Our promises to ourselves, our hard work, and our skills are opening doors to the right kind of future, and this week we may attract the notice of the very people who can help us walk through those doors.

Kind Untruths and Flat-Out Deception

Esteemed astrologer Steven Forrest once said that, “we get married, and then set to work teaching each other how to lie.” That’s keenly observed, and it has the sting of truth. But it’s difficult to deal with unvarnished candor on a 24-hour basis, and in a long-term relationship, untruths are sometimes kind. A little gentleness lets affection endure.

But there are kind untruths (“No, that dress doesn’t make you look fat”) and then there is flat-out deception. And as Venus squares Neptune (Jan 19, 2024, 7:49 am PST), we can get a good look at what is really going on – in relationships, with money, in the way we value ourselves – and where we go from here.

Purifying the Commons

This week brings a profound confluence of the Sun’s conjunction with Pluto on the very last minute of the last degree of Pluto, followed by the Sun and Pluto entering Aquarius – all on the same day.

The Sun’s conjunction with Pluto (Jan. 20, 2024, 5:46 am PST) is like an exclamation mark at the end of Pluto’s most recent time in Capricorn, which began on June 11 2023. It’s a hard planet in a stern, serious sign, and has ferreted out the more corrupt and toxic sides of our Capricorn institutions. Appropriately, this conjunction takes place on Capricorn’s final degree, on the Sabian symbol A secret business conference.

On the same day, the Sun (at 6:07 am PST) and Pluto (at 4:56 pm PST) hold hands and leap into Aquarius. The sign opposite Leo, associated with individual creativity, Aquarius represents the things we create in concert with others – and so the Sun’s Aquarius season is a month of exploring social connections and conceiving a path forward into the future. Aquarius begins on the Sabian symbol, An old adobe mission. It’s a symbol that has its troublesome side; here in California, the missions are beautiful and beloved, but also symbols of cultural and religious colonialism. As Pluto gets its footing in this sign, we have to beware of Aquarius’ fixed air sign tendency to impose our strong beliefs onto others.

Along with Pluto, the Sun will be joined in this sign by Mercury (Feb. 4), Mars (Feb. 12), and Venus (Feb. 16). The period between Feb. 16-18, 2024 will see a stellium of five planets in Aquarius, and community and planning for the future will be top of mind.

Pluto will back into Capricorn briefly one more time, between Sep. 1 and Nov. 19, 2024, and then it’s in Aquarius for good through March 2043. As it moves more deeply into Aquarius, Pluto will emphasize the profound importance of creating a world, a society, together. But Pluto is NOT a sign of creation; rather, its job is to highlight and eliminate whatever stands in the way of realizing the higher potential of its sign. Expect to see the shadow sides of social media, artificial intelligence, privacy issues, and so on, as Pluto does its job of purifying the communal sign of Aquarius.

Writing and images © 2017-24 by April Elliott Kent

For more on this week’s planetary news, listen to my podcast!

Helpful things…

1 comment to " Astrology Highlights for Jan. 15-21, 2024: Purifying the Commons "

  • Ugh that Aries first quarter moon did me in. It challenged me to confront the injustice of corporate nomenclature and face stepping up to the plate to open the doors back to my color therapy work. I literally can’t fathom doing anything else and if Pluto is doing things for the next couple of decades well I rather just not take the corporate nomenclature too seriously and choose to hold it gingerly. A job title does not define your worth as a human being. This week has been a lesson in insubordination and the boundaries we impose on ourselves and others. Good stuff. Even though it was rather a fluster of Aries heat.

Leave a Comment