Neil Giles is a storyteller, astrologer and historian. He is a novelist and journalist and has written for theatre, radio and television, as well as many articles for Astrology on the Web.
His passion for mythology and the ancient traditions has led him on a journey through Astrology, Tarot, the Runes and the Celtic Ogham Script as a seeker and personal reader.
He is the author of a number of works on Celtic and Teutonic spirituality, including Odin's Runes and The Oracle of the Trees.
For Neil, the storyteller's path reminds us that while the wisdom of the past still lives, we can take wise action now and in the future. Always a traveller, Neil is at the moment living in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
The New Year starts with a bang for the Rams, as mighty Mars in sensitive Pisces and your solar twelfth house clashes with Pluto the transformer in adventurous Sagittarius and your solar ninth house. The twelfth house rules both spiritual and creative matters, institutions such as hospitals, universities, government departments, big companies, self-undoing and hidden enemies or influences.
The ninth house is the house of law, philosophy, religion, the higher mind, cultural pursuits (such as publishing), foreign travel, faraway places and relations with foreign cultures. Take care with regard to safety and travel matters around the close of the old year, especially if you’re abroad. In the coming year, you need to embrace the tenets of faith or spiritual practice to find your way. To do this, you may have to give up something that has been important in the past, or you may find that efforts down a particular path show no reward and will have to end.
You may be asked to put energy into secret or all encompassing concerns that do not yield much in the way of outward success or results at first. Give time and effort where you feel a real devotion.
As old matters finish, new beginnings for creative or spiritual ideas will be kept under wraps or may take time to develop. These will pay dividends later on. Spend time near the water, but don’t take risks with it or on it.
Love and Money
Shining Venus begins the year in sober Capricorn and your solar tenth house, preparing to conjoin with the Sun. Matters of work and love will be strongly linked this year. Strong demands or responsibilities to be met will limit the time and energy you can give to relationships. Or, relationships will be demanding, creating a strong sense of necessary effort or obligation.
Work at your interactions with people in the business arena, especially those who carry the stamp of authority or success. This is a year of self-proof that can bring solid advancement, as long as you’re prepared to put in the effort and curb that natural impatience.
October and November bring a time of review as Venus turns retrograde in sexy Scorpio and your solar eighth house of joint finance, deep desire, death and regeneration. As Venus is in a tricky aspect to giant Jupiter at this time, be careful of overspending or overextending from August onwards otherwise you’ll pay the price of excesses in October.
This is not a period for financial expansion, but rather one of review. Relationships or partnerships involving joint monies could be under pressure and will need to be examined. Re-evaluate your situation. This could lead to endings, new beginnings and perhaps even the regeneration of old arrangements or agreements. Early December will see how fruitful this time has been. Early December is a good time for Rams who know what they want.
Relationships: the Journey to the Heart
Some Rams will marry a stranger from afar, perhaps a cultured, artistic, religious or academic type. Romantic attractions will flood in from August on. For those already partnered, there will be gains through your spouse's relatives. Your partner will be inclined to travel to foreign lands. Control any tendency to contend with religious or scientific people. Work and love will be linked.
Career and Finances: Stake Your Claim
This year should see you doing well through journeys and creative communications. Business trips and secret missions pay off; investigate the potential for government contracts. Use your contacts, especially close relatives and neighbours. Your partner's relatives too may prove beneficial. Overseas trade, travel and cultural pursuits bring gain, but take care with inheritances, legacies, or insurance claims. Keep your taxes up to date. Speculations improve after July.
Health: Balancing Your Energies
Career stress should be avoided. Preserve your integrity; you can be the cause of your own undoing. There may be secret unhappiness or enmity, so keep on the right side of the authorities. Parental activities affect your health. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Spiritual or occult methods bring success.
Home and Away: Family and Children
Moving house or renovating is on the agenda for many Ariens. This year marks the beginning of a new, more fortunate phase, though there may be some sorrow or separation from parents. Unexpected events occur concerning other people's children, perhaps involving deception or delusion. There will be much local action and communication. Education issues may be restricted. Later in the year will be more productive with children's interests coming forward.
Periods of confusion affect
Jan/Feb: friends, associates, hopes and wishes, career income, professional standing
Home and Family
Giant Jupiter, monarch of the Heavens, continues his sojourn in your solar fourth house of home, family and emotions as the year begins. Developments, expansion, singular events or a strong emotional climate may continue to dominate proceedings and connections. Overseas family connections and people of academic or professional standing and may be involved with your home and emotional life. If you’re looking at upgrading your home, expanding domestic arrangements, relocating up market or even overseas, this year is the right time to proceed, especially between March and July while Jupiter is moving forwards.
Work and Health
This will not be an especially testing year in health matters for the Rams, though there are two provisos that come with this statement. With a square between Mars and Pluto to usher in the year, you need to be cautious about accident risk, especially with regard to overseas travel and contact with other lands and cultures. Take extra care if you have to visit any hotspots. Travel involving water and air could be risky at key times. Inattention or hidden circumstances could play a part in any problems. Be cautious in early May and the third week of September.
Overwork might also be a problem, especially if you’re trying to prove yourself or trying to establish a sense of your self-worth through high achievement. Be determined but maintain a balanced effort. Let yourself withdraw at key times. A little solitude will go a long way this year.
Party On Jupiter
By contrast though with these themes of balance and solitude, giant Jupiter moves into Leo and your solar fifth house of pleasure, creativity and recreation in early August. Romance, gambling and entertainment could loom large in your life. There could be fun and games and good social times, but don’t indulge and don’t party too hard otherwise you’ll pay a cost. New creative projects could figure in your life from this month onwards. Whatever you do, do it on a grand scale after devising the right structures and making the necessary plans. The second week of September is not a good time to overstate your case or overestimate your ability or potential.
With Chiron the wounded healer now in Capricorn and your solar tenth house, you can overcome blocks or restrictions from childhood that have held you back from what you’re capable of achieving. Discouragement from parents or authority figures could be at the root of this. However, with Mars, your ruler, beginning the year in Pisces and your solar twelfth house, you’ll have to put in effort that will pass unnoticed or go unrecognized. You may encounter obstacles or opposition from hidden enemies or concealed circumstances. Don’t just aim for acclaim. Make sure you do the right thing for the right reason. Spiritual commitment should underpin your efforts. This will bring inner rewards as well as real accomplishment and a stable position. Without a spiritual basis for your efforts, you may simply burn out or shut others out because of a driving self-interest.
Saturn the taskmaster continues his journey through Gemini and your solar third house of communication and travel as the year begins, keeping up last year’s emphasis on structured development in the way you speak, listen and write. Keep learning new skills (and refining them) in these areas and put them to work. You may not express yourself with your customary exuberance and you may find there are difficulties with freedom of movement and expression. You may have important discussions or dealings with older people or people in authority who may be advisers and confidantes.
This year, make plans with regard to what you need to know or learn and carry them through. Don’t just focus on the skills and ideas that interest you. Learn the necessary ones. Saturn moves forward from the second week of February till the second week of October so this will be the best period to advance your plans and create new developments in these areas. The month of May where Saturn conjoins with the Lunar North Node and opposes Pluto the transformer could bring some kind of crisis or transforming change to matters of communications, business and travel, especially if there are links overseas or matters of religious or political principle involved. You may hit blocks or impediments in the form of highly placed people, authorities or difficult circumstances and thus have to struggle against challenging obstacles. Negotiate but don’t give in. This could be a time of duress.
Mercury swings into retrograde (reverse motion through the zodiac) three times a year for about three weeks each time. This phase heralds a time of confusion and misunderstandings that can affect arrangements, travel, transport, appliances, machinery and communications. The breakdowns that occur are a function of neglect, inattention, simple misunderstandings or component failure. They will often bring to the fore the very contingency we should have planned for and didn’t. When the retrograde phase occurs, watch out for such possibilities as well as putting off major decision-making or the signing of crucial documents and agreements. We tend to miss things while Mercury is in reverse motion and then have to come back and do them again. A process of review in the retrograde phase can efficiently show where problems might lie and help us with damage control or the mending of things. Double check arrangements at these times! What you think you’ve said and what others have understood will often prove to be two different things.
The messenger’s first retrograde phase for the year comes in the third week of January in the sign of Aquarius and your solar eleventh house of friends, hopes and wishes. You may have to re-evaluate important goals and your place in the community at this time. Because the messenger slides right back into Capricorn, you may also need to look at work matters and your standing with regard to profession or employment. Be flexible. Talk things over with associates. The second week of February sees matters start to move forward again.
Mercury turns retrograde for the second time in Gemini and your solar 3rd house in mid May. Watch communications and travel at this time. This is not the safest of months so be careful and don’t opt for the risky or rash undertaking. Minor misunderstandings could become major problems if you let them. The air begins to clear as the second week of June comes to an end. Put your communications skills under the microscope.
The messenger turns retrograde for the third and last time for the year in Libra and your solar seventh house, moving back to Virgo and your solar sixth house in time. Matters of partnership and work methods or routines may undergo some kind of re-evaluation or change at this time. Communicate clearly with partners and close associates. You may have to start doing things a different way to clear up difficulties.
There is an important New Moon in Aries on April 12th. She heralds a new start of a personal nature with regard to contacts and associations, especially where young people and overseas or cross-cultural connections are involved. Exciting new ideas are abroad but there may be conflict or excessive excitability. Money and friends may not mix well at this point. Don’t trust something or someone just because you’re accustomed to doing so.
Your Full Moon comes on October 21st. Take stock of personal partnership and discuss any difficult matters until opposing points of view are sorted. Long desired goals may come into view. Be careful of secret dealings or liaisons. Don’t get involved no matter how enticing it may seem.
Eclipses of both the Sun and the Moon often indicate the end of a cycle or a significant change in the direction or pattern of the affairs governed by the house in which the eclipse falls. Eclipses of the Sun may affect work, direction and relations with people in authority. Eclipses of the Moon may affect matters of home, family and emotions as well as relations with women and children. Both may affect your health.
On May 26th, there is a lunar eclipse of the Full Moon that falls on the axis of your solar ninth and third houses. Communications, travel, movement and learning or ideas may be under pressure. Something will have to give or go. Watch travel safety.
A solar eclipse comes with the New Moon in Gemini and your solar third house on June 11th. Business connections, travel and transport matters, relationships with siblings and education may be affected. As the New Moon conjoins with Saturn, think long term, accept necessary restrictions and end failed lines of development.
June 24th sees a lunar eclipse with the Full Moon in Capricorn. The balance of work and home life may be affected and a reshuffle of some sort will be needed. A personal goal or matter may have to be dropped but a new one will come and friends will support you. Someone of some status may go from your life.
A lunar eclipse comes with the Full Moon in Taurus and your solar second house on November 20th. There could be problems with money and resources. Joint financial matters will have to be rearranged or made anew. Be careful and insightful in handling money, but don’t hold back from a real opportunity.
December 4th brings a solar eclipse at the New Moon in Sagittarius that may bring new or important creative or spiritual ideas, new friends or associates and advancement for an important goal as blockage falls away. However, don’t take a wrong turning here based entirely on how things might seem. Look deep into any choices you have to make.
Footnotes to the Year
The second week of May sees macho Mars wrestling with Pluto the transformer, so make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew and don’t take on impossible odds. Search out the answers in depth rather than just asking the questions. Be careful of accident and conflict, especially where beliefs or opposing ideas are involved.
Mighty Mars in Virgo and your solar sixth house squares Pluto the transformer in Sagittarius and your solar ninth house in the third week of September. Watch health (from overdoing it) and work-related travel. Don’t foster conflict over methods or practices, as it may get out of hand.