2016 is almost over and most people can’t wait. I can’t remember the last time I heard people talk so much about how much a year sucked, whether that’s in regards to what’s happening on a global scale or personal things they’ve been through. On a personal level, 2016 has actually been really great but on a transpersonal level, in terms of what’s going on in the world, I have also felt like this year has been much worse than usual. So, what is driving this, astrologically?
All throughout 2016, we have had the North Node in Virgo. It is interesting to note how the transiting North Node affects us all. The North Node, in and of itself, represents what you need to strive for; your primary challenge. That is felt individually in terms of the North Node sign in a person’s birth chart. In terms of a transit, we will all be striving, in some way or another, for what the North Node sign represents and we will be constantly slipping or making mistakes to get there. Virgo represents order, clarity, and efficiency; the organization in the midst of the chaos.
This is not such a big deal until you realize the fact that the Virgo North Node spent all year opposing either the transiting Chiron in Pisces or the transiting Neptune in Pisces (which it is now opposite). Ordinarily, during the Virgo North Node transit, we all are reaching for some kind of order, clarity, and efficiency, depending on how the North Node is affecting our natal chart. But, throughout 2016, we were not only reaching for these things but drowning in chaos and confusion along the way. Chiron in Pisces represents the deep-seated pain of a victim. During the first few months of 2016, the transiting South Node was conjunct Chiron. Anything less than our clear idea of perfection could have been enough to make us feel like we were overwhelmed with sadness or disillusionment. The pain of Chiron can be quite haunting and hard to shake.
Meanwhile, near the end of May 2016, the North Node began opposing Neptune. I think this is things got really intense, as the Pisces South Node pretty much was doubled. Virgo is already opposing those Neptunian qualities and asking for a balance of them. But, with the transiting conjunction to Neptune, there was more of an imbalance. That Pisces energy became very heavy and very hard for us to suck ourselves out of, almost like quicksand. But, it’s like quicksand that we didn’t know we wandered into or that we were utterly confused in terms of how it happened. The two major political events of the year – the Brexit vote and the US Election – represented this mass response of confusion, of “how did we get here?”, of “that will never happen” and then it absolutely happened. Did that really happen?! Many illusions were being shattered, left and right, and then we were left wondering just how things would ever get put back in order (Virgo) again.
Also, there was a disturbing trend of us losing really beloved artists this year, most notably David Bowie, Prince and Alan Rickman. Pisces is the sign of the artist and represents the magic a singer or an actor can make other people feel when they transport them to another world. These people were renowned for doing just that, for having that transcendental touch, and then they were gone. Chiron and then Neptune conjunct the Pisces South Node made us yearn for this magic intensely in a world that felt increasingly outside the locus of our control. So, when we lost these special artists, it hurt even more. Pisces is also the last sign, so it is, along with Scorpio, the sign of death. There were, generally, a lot of famous people dying throughout this year; too many to count. Within the past week, we lost Florence Henderson, the mom from Brady Bunch, and Alan Thicke, the dad from Family Ties. The intense Pisces energy in the air is reminding us how everything ends.
It sounds depressing to some and many people just don’t like being confronted with inevitable mortality. But, it doesn’t have to be that depressing if you believe in a life beyond that, which the uber-spiritual Pisces wants you to. We also saw a lot of news of everyday people and their senseless deaths that really horrified people. The shooting at the LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando that claimed 49 lives and then the back-to-back deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castle, in police-related incidents, happened within just a couple of weeks of each other. And now we are dealing with the news of the events in Aleppo, which exacerbates the Syria crisis which has been occurring for a long time.
Basically, collectively, we have been through it this year! Pisces is also the sign of the collective unconscious. Neptune being in its home sign has made that experience of the collective unconscious really intense and created a gradual spiritual awakening in many people. 2012 was the year that Neptune entered Pisces and instead of it creating the apocalypse, like many people thought, what it did was signal a tremendous shift in energy. Although people do complain about others being too “thin-skinned” nowadays, fueling the outrage machine and getting offended easily over things, I do think that this form of consciousness has emerged in the past few years because of the compassion of Pisces. Sensitivity is actually on the rise, if you believe it or not, because many, many people’s connection to the collective unconscious has become more powerful. So, we can feel what someone who isn’t us would feel much more acutely. Anything that disturbs the peace of loving one another and being empathetic toward someone else is being highlighted much more frequently.
But, that’s why 2016 has been so draining. With Neptune’s conjunction to the Pisces South Node, we have been overloaded with the pain, the tragedy, the suffering of other people. At the same time, the North Node in Virgo is compelling us to do something about it. But, what? What do we do? We can make all the practical, effective, organized strides in the world. Yet, sometimes, it may seem like we’re not doing enough. The North Node may feel like it eludes us or vice versa. And then we can backslide into despair or resignation, which feels more comfortable but isn’t the answer. I talked about this in my post on the election. I still believe that I need to keep putting the work in. But, I’d be lying if there weren’t times lately (today, in fact) that I didn’t just want to grab my white wine and say “screw it” because it all seems like such a mess and is what I do really helping?
Basically, we should expect to keep feeling this way for a while. But, we should also expect to keep feeling that pull of the Virgo North Node toward more constructive means. It’s going to keep happening for a couple more months, as the North Node in Virgo transit reaches its last hurray early next year. It will leave Virgo and enter Leo in May. Just before then, the opposition to Neptune in Pisces will end. So, we will all still have a hangover from 2016. And I just talked about everything that happened on a global scale. I didn’t even mention the personal effects of this. Essentially, that feeling of drowning in chaos could have permeated your life in numerous ways, as well as the yearning to get your act together and straighten things out again. It will be a constant push-pull that will define the rest of this transit. So, 2017 will not be such a clean break just yet.
However, it’s important to know that we do still have free will and things are always what we make them, even when it comes to the stars. So, keep trying to channel that Virgo efficiency, even when you don’t get it right and even when you feel like everything’s a mess. Because the way the North Node works is that if you keep at it, you will eventually fall into the groove.
And this isn’t a numerology blog but if it was, I would tell you that 2016 was a 9 year and 9 is the number of change; the preparation for a new cycle. So, that could explain the intensity of this year’s events, as well. Also, bear in mind that the Saturn square Neptune transit was occurring through a lot of the year and the exact square happened twice, in June and in November. So, as if things with Neptune in Pisces weren’t intense enough! We were also seeing a lot of tension occurring because Saturn in Sagittarius – which represents finding purpose through freedom – wanted to free us from our mess of sadness and from all of this chaos if we could strengthen ourselves through positivity. If we couldn’t, we would end up shooting ourselves in the foot and staying stuck in the quicksand. So, maybe, a lot of this “2016 sucks” stuff was tragically self-fulfilling.
Either way, let’s just get ready for the next year.