The New Year emphasis is on creating better habits, making resolutions for an improved lifestyle or using our time more beneficially. Now we get a chance to feel our efforts are appreciated, at least the ones which are designed to benefit others will be! When the Moon opposes the Sun, Full Moon, this month it does it from the Sign of Leo whilst the Sun is in Aquarius. This contrasts the need for our personal and individual creative expression with the principles of teamwork, co-operation and group projects. This gives us a supportive environment for working towards goals that benefit our friends, social group or community (local and global). At the same time our individual genius and creative efforts are recognised and supported by the community around us. To further this theme, Venus, the planet of appreciation and personal values, moves into practical Capricorn on the 24th. With this influence we are likely to feel that things of lasting value and which take time to achieve are certainly worth striving for. The mood may be less romantic or glamorous and our focus is on self-improvement instead of self-indulgence. This entry into Capricorn is followed by Pluto on the 26th signifying the start of a 15 year cycle. During this phase we will see a restructuring of major institutions and a change in the balance of world power. On a personal level the changes will be through a process of breaking down those inner barriers which have prevented us from accessing the ability to take responsibility for our role in society. On the 28th Mercury turns (as observed from earth) to travel backwards until mid February. This happens in Aquarius which suggests we could experience technical hitches and delays in telecommunications. Whilst mercury is in this phase we should take the time to review our relationship to the society we live in and ask if our contribution is equal to what we expect back. On the 30th, Mars, the planet of action finally begins moving forward after back pedalling since November 15th. Projects that have been on hold may at last slowly begin to unfold. Yet whilst Mercury’s is retrograde, it may take another three weeks before the wheels are really rolling along smoothly and we get back up to speed.