Looking Back on 2010 - Looking Ahead 2011

by Maurice Fernandez

Maurice Fernandez2010 is almost over leaving most of us marked quite deeply by its tempestuous passage. Astrologically speaking, it was no surprise as it seems that whoever is behind the organization of planetary positions ensured that the blend of intensity would hurl everything into the mix including the kitchen sink and in high doses. Some of us managed to harness the strong forces at play in order to crack open patterns and access completely new ground while others were essentially ravaged by the elements; the majority of us ended up somewhere in the middle, having fluctuated  between breakthroughs and breakdowns.

Looking back, 2010 was a year that propelled people forward whether by choice or by circumstance…the urge to “take the plunge” was compelling…some made the leap consciously, while others felt pushed into it. And yet, with this strong calling for change, many felt they were simultaneously held back and not able to go forward all the way; the future was calling, but the past—often unyielding and asking for its dues—left many in the twilight zone, sometimes trapped in frustration.

The series of events that manifested under the 2010 planetary cycle was surely shocking, and at times truly bizarre: perhaps symbolically, European airports, especially Heathrow, in England, reflected the bewilderment when repeatedly pounded by strikes, extreme weather conditions, or volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that stalled all activities. On other shores, the series of Haitian plagues have almost become casual news, and the trauma of the Gulf spill remains deeply marked in our consciousness—along with new and controversial figures like Assange—a public outcry was fostered against the misuse of power by those in authority.

This intensity continues until the very last days of 2010 since a dramatic and tight lunar eclipse conjuncts December’s solstice point, generating a new wave of intensity throughout the month. When I wrote an article last year about the then coming year of 2010, I predicted that by the end of it, one’s life would not be the same; this seems to have held true: all around me I see the entire planet earth in transition, with the past left behind and not yet fully integrated into the future.

We step into 2011 in that state of transition, excited, bewildered, overwhelmed, and some of us completely renewed. Like previous articles of this kind, I will attempt to explain the planetary cycles ahead while keeping the language accessible to non-astrologers; basic terms will be utilized.

From a planetary standpoint, I would say that 2011 actually begins around January 20th when the planet Jupiter moves into the sign of Aries. Jupiter will rush through the sign of Aries, remaining only 5 months in that sign until early June (unlike other Jupiter passages that typically last about a year in a sign). This accelerated motion seems to capture the character of the times ahead. The pace will be sped up, particularly during the first half of the year. We may envision the energy of Jupiter in Aries much like an uncompromising force: raw in its expression, and highly charged emotionally.  There is a peak excitement, a surge of adrenaline, and a powerful eruption of creative energy; it is a birthing process, catapulting us into newness and action. A new phase of your life is now actively in the making!

This particular cycle receives considerable support from a series of other planets joining Jupiter in Aries, creating a climax when by the April 2nd new Moon, 7 planets (Eris included) will be aligned in this sign! It is not possible to remain still or indifferent under such a concentration of energy and the answer is to take action! People will be highly inspired to act, change, and follow their truth. This is not a time to succumb to anxiety or insecurities—it is about risk and action. The need for autonomy and breaking away from any form of external control will be tremendous…almost unstoppable.

Those who have a background in astrology will find it significant to pinpoint where the sign of Aries is located in their charts to identify the area of focus where this burst of change and creativity will be most active.

Along with the fiery energy of Aries, the nodal axis moves from Cancer/Capricorn into Gemini/Sagittarius by March—the good news about it is that compared to 2010, this shift is bound to infuse more lightness into the year as it fosters motion to help energy circulate more fluidly.

If (as I mentioned earlier) during 2010, people were caught between the future and the unyielding past, by the first quarter of 2011 the shackles will be severed and the motion focused primarily forward. This powerfully expressive and uncompromising energy awakens the primal self in people: the warrior, the creator, and the dissident. It is time for the instincts to lead rather than the mind, potentially bringing interesting developments: more protest and activism, new projects being launched, and leadership redefinition. It may get really loud… At its worst, this form of release will unleash aggression, as repressed emotions may erupt destructively. The compelling need for independence may foster ruptures. At its best, it is a call for freedom—a myriad of seeds will be planted to eventually remodel all forms and structures of our lives. Along with the emergence of new life, the past will claim that debts be paid and require us to relinquish something. This may manifest as a difficult rupture and/or sacrifice for some.

Along with this fire raging in our soul and lighting up the skies, an equally unique manifestation occurs in early April: the planet Neptunemoves temporarily into its own sign of Pisces, for the duration of 4 months only (April-August). Neptune will move decisively into Pisces by February 2012 for approximately 14 years.

Neptune in PiscesIn simple terms Neptune represents all that we cannot control—that which came before civilization and human intervention. Thus, as it travels through the sign of Pisces, humans will be in the hands of the greater elements, nature, and the infinite cosmos. With Neptune in Pisces, the limit is beyond what the mind conceives, higher than the sky, way past the horizon…but be warned: without inner centeredness and integrity as guiding principles, this vastness is a maze that may blur our senses, potentially generating false perceptions, and thus, disorientation and debilitation. Natural events of extreme nature are bound to continue affecting our existence. With Neptune in Pisces, nature has a stronger hand over civilization.

The deeper message is that the influence of Neptune through Pisces provides a larger context, a profound and more distant calling, or a more “religious” inspiration to the previously described influence of planets in Aries responsible for the surge of creativity. The sum of it all represents a wide open field where chaos and creation collide—a space for higher inspiration, adventure, risk, unexpected results, unrestrained expression, wildness, instability, magic, and self-dedication;the spirit wants not only to be freed, but to answer a deeper callingWhile security in material realms will be fleeting, one may find clarity and strength in higher dedication.

(For a full article written by Maurice Fernandez on Neptune in Pisces, read the forthcoming issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine — July/August 2011 issue).

From July onward, the climate shifts and the concentrated planetary influences are more diluted. The new seeds planted during the first part of the year will pass through a “test of time,” and of all the new initiatives, only a few will manage to truly take root—credibility will be tested. Indeed, the second part of 2011 is mostly about grounding the energy and nourishing it. From a career standpoint, it will be time to assess what brings adequate remuneration out of the new projects. From a spiritual point of view, it is about integrating the vastness of higher inspiration and vision within the confines of time and space…while the spirit demands its freedom, it still needs to demonstrate substantial promise “down here!” Thus, excesses, far-fetched ideals, or visions too far ahead of their time will falter.

In simple terms, I strongly encourage you to utilize the energy of the first months of 2011, particularly from the end of January until the end of June, to step out of your comfort zone and advance your life. Despite economic strain and collective insecurities, it is a time to step out and conquer life. If you want to promote a new project, embark on a journey, or break free from unfulfilling life conditions, this will be a time to dismantle the shackles—this is your time! Do risk and be prepared for an acceleration of processes. Along with inspiration and highs, expect crashes too because this energy is volatile, and like riding an untamed horse, it will try to shake you off balance at times. However, with all the risks involved, this time is unique: truly, a portal to a new dimension of yourself.

You will be inspired to follow your truth in all autonomy and without compromise—this call for freedom can at times compromise cooperation. To avoid whimsical or merely reactive behavior, I emphasize again that actions must serve a greater context, not solely immediate personal needs.

Importantly, this energy can at times make you feel invincible and thus neglectful about self care. Lack of sleep, overstimulation of adrenals and energy crashes, or migraines are possible repercussions. It is best avoid caffeine during these months because you will be stimulated enough from stardust. Physical exercise will be tremendously helpful to provide an outlet for the internal buildup…the body will need to sweat and motion will bring inspiration, helping to circulate the flow.


  • January 20: Jupiter moves into Aries until June 4, 2011 – The freedom of spirit.
  • March 3: The Nodes move into Gemini/Sagittarius until August 2012 – Circulation and exchange.
  • March 12: Uranus moves into Aries until 2018 – Intelligent action to create a new future.
  • April 2 and 3: New Moon in Aries aligning 7 planets in the sign – Breaking away from the past.
  • March 4: Neptune moves into Pisces until August 6 2011 (and then from February 2012-2025) – Aligning our core with needs greater than our own.
  • June 6: Jupiter moves into Taurus – Integrating spirit into matter.

May we all have the courage to bring forth the best of ourselves:  to heal, inspire, and create, while guided by heart. Allow the internal hero to emerge and do not wait to be rescued by another. Importantly, save yourselves from being self-righteousness …whatever truth you wish to bring forth, allow that truth to speak for itself with grace.

May love guide your way,

Happy holidays

Maurice Fernandez