Astro Journal

The Astrological Year Ahead: 2018

The coming year will feel very different to the craziness of 2017. Things are going to come down to earth and get serious – and about time too! We move out of the bluster and chaos of fire into the slower vibrations of earth and water. Change and transformation will continue to unfold, but it’ll feel slower. Sometimes it might even feel like things are stuck and going nowhere, but that’s just Saturn digging in and making sure you change right down to your roots.

Here’s a list of the main events in 2018:

In 2018 everything comes down to earth and you won’t have any choice but to walk your talk. With both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, it’s a good year to be disciplined and focused on achieving specific and realistic goals. If you need to make big changes to your life, this is the year to begin. Read the full post on Saturn in Capricorn here.

Alignments in 2018

There are no major stressful alignments between the slow moving planets during 2018. But that doesn’t mean nothing is going on. We’re right on the cusp of a huge shift in the collective consciousness, so what you choose to do now really counts. This year is preparation for the trials and triumphs to come. These are the alignments for 2018:

  • Uranus semi-square Neptune
  • Saturn trine Uranus
  • Jupiter trine Neptune
  • Jupiter sextile Pluto
Uranus semi-square Neptune

This isn’t a major stressful transit but it’s been in play since 2016 and runs until 2020. Here are the exact dates:

  • 11 August 2017
  • 7 October 2017
  • 16 June 2018
  • 15 December 2018
  • 2 May 2019

This alignment combines the technological innovation of Uranus with the boundary dissolution of Neptune. It follows the conjunction between these two planets in Capricorn in the 1990s when we saw the birth of the internet, amongst other things, and indicates a testing of the technological changes and disruptions that happened then. (more on this in a full post later)

Saturn trine Uranus

An harmonious alignment that started in 2016 and runs until the end of 2018. Here are the exact dates:

  • 25 December 2016
  • 19 May 2017
  • 11 November 2017
  • 27 August 2018 (almost exact)

Saturn stabilises and strengthens structures but Uranus disrupts and shakes things up, so this transit demands a flexible approach and a willingness to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. The structures and plans you make during this time need to be resilient but not too rigid so you can remain open to change and new possibilities.

Last year the alignment between these planets happened in fire signs, but now both Saturn and Uranus have moved into earth. This will help to ground the ideas and plans you’ve been making and give them a solid structure. Bare in mind that the square between these planets builds from January 2020, and that anything you build now will be tested then. Have a look at the Saturn transits to Uranus post here for more on how these planets work together.

Jupiter trine Neptune

An harmonious alignment that started in 2017 and runs through the rest of 2018. Here are the exact dates:

  • 2 December 2017
  • 25 May 2018
  • 19 August 2018

This transit combines the optimism and faith of Jupiter with the transcendence and spirituality of Neptune. It spiritualises and raises the vibration of the year, boosting faith and bringing powerful intuitions and dreams. But you may also have a tendency to escape into an unrealistic dream world, which might be especially tempting with all the heavy Saturn stuff going on.

Be careful of being too positive and try to reality test your beliefs as much as possible. This transit might take the edge off Saturn in Capricorn, but you might end up believing in impossible dreams and Saturn won’t let you get away with that for long. Have a look at the Jupiter transits to Neptune post here for more on how these planets work together.

Jupiter sextile Pluto

An harmonious alignment that runs all year but you must act to make the most of it. Here are the exact dates:

  • 15 January 2018
  • 14 April 2018
  • 12 September 2018

This transit combines the optimism and expansion of Jupiter with the power and evolutionary necessity of Pluto. It provides an opportunity to make positive changes and transform your approach to life and what you believe in. If you seize the moment, it could be a time of spiritual rebirth when feelings of faith and optimism for the future increase. You may feel inspired to make deep changes to your life that bring about positive reform. Have a look at the Jupiter transits to Pluto post here for more on how these planets work together.

Remember: these transits are active all year but will feel most potent around the time of the exact alignments within an orb of about a month or so, and especially if they impact your chart directly.

Retrogrades in 2018

The key to getting stuff done in 2018 is to get whatever projects you have planned underway early in the year. That’s because things are likely to get sluggish halfway through – like wading through treacle or slow-setting concrete. The whole feel of the year may be slower than you’ve been used to lately, but over the summer there are times when multiple planets are retrograde simultaneously and that might throw a few spanners in the works.

This is especially the case from the end of June through into August. But don’t panic! The outer planets spend a lot of their time retrograde so it’s not a big deal. You’ll probably only notice if one or more of them are transiting your natal chart, especially the personal planets or angles. Check your horoscope and plan ahead. You can use this time to assess how your plans are working out and whether you need to make any more changes.

Mars retrograde

Mars turns retrograde every two years and these are times to re-evaluate goals and how you take action in your life. The retrograde starts in Aquarius and moves back into Capricorn. Here are the specifics:

  • 12 May: enters retrograde zone (28° Capricorn)
  • 26 June: turns retrograde at 9° Aquarius
  • 27 August: turns direct at 28° Capricorn
  • 8 October: leaves retrograde zone (9° Aquarius)

This is an opportunity to assess how you’re getting on with various projects and initiatives. When Mars turns retrograde your energy levels may go down as it turns inwards and away from being invested in worldly goals. You might begin to doubt yourself or feel unclear about what you want or how to achieve your desires.

Be wary of starting any new projects at this time and watch out for mechanical failures or breakdowns. Pay special attention during the lunar eclipse on 27 July because it’s conjunct retrograde Mars at 4° Aquarius. This can indicate sudden changes that could be incredibly disruptive. (more on this in a full post here)

Venus retrograde

Venus turns retrograde every 18 months or so and it happens this year in Scorpio and Libra, starting in October. You’ll feel it for about a month before and after, so the whole thing will run from September 2018 to January 2019. Here are the specifics:

  • 2 September: enters retrograde zone (25° Libra)
  • 5 October: turns retrograde at 10° Scorpio
  • 16 November: turns direct at 25° Libra
  • 17 December: leaves retrograde zone (10° Scorpio)

This is an opportunity to evaluate your relationships, business partnerships, finances, creative projects, and feelings of inner value and self-worth. Don’t take anything for granted because your feelings may change once Venus moves direct. So it’s unwise to invest or spend large sums of money on anything now, or get married or start a new relationship.

Be particularly careful around 31 October because retrograde Venus opposes Uranus just before she dips back into Libra. Venus in Scorpio wants commitment and intense meaningful encounters with others, but Uranus wants freedom. So this could indicate breakups or sudden reversals of fortune. The transit happens again on 1 December once Venus is going direct again. (more on this in a full post here)

Mercury retrograde cycles

Mercury turns retrograde three times a year and these can be times when you experience some disruption and problems with things like communications going awry and technology breaking down. But it’s a good time to turn inwards and go over old plans and ideas, check and change things as necessary. The dates to watch this year:

  • 8 March: enters retrograde zone (4° Aries)
  • 22 March: turns retrograde at 16° Aries
  • 15 April: turns direct at 4° Aries
  • 3 May: leaves retrograde zone (16° Aries)


  • 7 July: enters retrograde zone (11° Leo)
  • 26 July: turns retrograde at 23° Leo
  • 19 August: turns direct at 11° Leo
  • 2 September: leaves retrograde zone (23° Leo)


  • 28 October: enters retrograde zone (27° Scorpio)
  • 16 November: turns retrograde at 13° Sagittarius
  • 6 December: turns direct at 27° Scorpio
  • 24 December: leaves retrograde zone (13° Sagittarius)

Mercury is often retrograde during the holiday season at the end of each year and this is why Christmas mail and travel invariably gets screwed up! Plan accordingly. (more on this here)

Uranus in Taurus

This transit represents a big change in the collective consciousness that lasts until April 2026. Uranus spends about 7 years in each sign and this year he begins to transition into Taurus in May but then dips back into Aries for a final goodbye. Here are the details:

  • 15 May 2018: enters Taurus
  • 7 November 2018: re-enters Aries
  • 6 March 2019: enters Taurus

Uranus will bring revolutionary changes and disruption to all things Taurean: values, money, possessions, and the earth’s resources. Ideas and possibilities that have only been imagined, could be brought down to earth and given tangible form. It’s a time of real practical change that will make a difference to everyone. This transit, along with Saturn in Capricorn, encourages you to build something real and solid in your life that aligns with your true values. (more on this here)

Moon Nodes in Cancer/Capricorn

The Moon’s nodal axis changes signs every 18 months or so, and this year it moves out of Leo/Aquarius into Cancer/Capricorn. The transit starts on 6 November 2018 and runs until 5 May 2020. Check your horoscope to see if these nodes activate your chart because this can be a major turning point in your life. Remember that the nodes transit in retrograde so it begins with the North Node moving to 29° Cancer in November.

The Leo/Aquarius axis focuses on leadership and sovereignty and encourages you to take full responsibility for the choices you make. While this transit plays itself out through the bulk of the year, it reinforces Saturn’s need to walk your talk and take responsibility for who you are.

When the north node transits into Cancer the focus shifts to your feelings and need for nurturing, family and roots. This is a welcome balance to the Capricorn emphasis on hard work and responsibility. By the end of the year you might be ready to take a break from the grindstone to spend more time with loved ones and focus on your home life for a change. It also emphasises the need to remember why you’re working so hard to create meaningful structures in your life.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

The year ends with Jupiter entering its own sign of Sagittarius on 8 November. This represents a return of high-minded ideals and hot air and bluster, but within a very different environment. Jupiter in Sagittarius is idealistic and optimistic, but it’s balanced by the heaviness of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. This transit gives the end of the year a little lift – a light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps, and I’ll cover what it means in a full post later.

As always, you’ll need to look at your personal horoscope to see how these various transits impact your life. For more on what to expect in 2018, I recommend this interview with Austin Coppock on the excellent Rune Soup podcastWinter is here!

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