Monday, December 19, 2016

"2016 Sucks": North Node in Virgo versus Neptune in Pisces

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.


  1. Thank you for this article - it all makes more sense to me now. :)

    When I started reading, I immediately thought about 2016 being a number 9 year. I'm a number 9 myself, and I also got my north node in Virgo conjunct Saturn in my 12th house.
    Add transiting Pluto in my 4th house opposite my Sun and Venus, and some other exhausting aspects of transiting Uranus in my 7th house, the whole year fells like the irresistable force meets the unmovable object.

    It's also the first time I found it necessary to take antidepressants to improve energy and motivation, because all I WANT to do is to flee from the nitty-gritty and responsibilties of the real world and just spend my days reading, sleeping and playing RPGs. *eyeroll

    Just glad I got a strongly aspected, versatile Jupiter in Leo in my 11th house (can't wait for your post on that placement!), so I got that going for me. :)

    1. Hey, nice to hear from you again! And I will make sure to do Jupiter in the 11th shortly! Jupiter rules my 11th, so it's a placement I can relate to quite a bit.=

      I'm not a 9 in numerology but this is a 9 year for me because I turned 27. So, maybe that's why I was more able to roll with the punches on a personal level. I have gone through a lot of changes in 2016, for sure. Come to think of it, it must be pretty symbolic to have your age always be the same as the numerology year. Those of us born in 1989 are just in tune. :)

    2. Hey! Even though Jupiter in Leo is not quite the same as Jupiter in the 5th house, I related quite a bit to it, too. However, the 11th remains more of of mystery to me than the 12th house, so I'm sure looking forward to your post about it.

      I've been checking your blog each day for new posts since I found it in April 2015, but I didn't think you'd remember me, busy as you are. Well, there WAS that mess with the email... :P Come to think of it, because of my experiences I actually started to expect to be remembered, one way or another. After all, most of my planets are in the 4th quadrant. My Moon in the 5th house is a notable exception, but then again, what can you expect from a Moon in Aquarius? *eyeroll

      And yeah, I know, you're a 7. :) The energy of wisdom and truth. Quite fitting for an astrologer, isn't it? I slightly envy you being numerologically in tune with the years' numbers - I'm always one year ahead. Haven't thought about it much, yet, but this might explain why this has been such an uncomfortably contrasting year for me. Having a personal number 1 year when everything's so Niney made me quite impatient for 2016 to end.

      Btw, even though I prefer astrology to numerology (planets seem to have more personality... it's like chemistry vs physics), I find it intriguing how the number 9 reflects my birth chart, including all of those seemingly paradoxical placements. Not to mention the connection between 9 being the number of change among other things and having a very dominant Pluto and Uranus.

      Brace yourself, I WILL get another Birth Chart reading from you as soon as I can afford it. Might take a while though, don't worry. :)

  2. What you are doing is helping. Over the past year, you and other astrologers have contributed to my creation of a worldview that has helped me weather very trying times. Your work can help foster the positivity called for by saturn in sagittarius.

    Saturn has been transiting my 12th house this past year, transiting my chart ruler (Jupiter), squaring natal mars in pisces while it was squaring neptune, and now about to cross my ascendent the day after Christmas. The virgo north node has been transiting my 9th house. Upon reflection, all of these archetypes played out in the year through feelings and circumstances of pain, seclusion, service, empathy, and finally a form of positivity and gratitude I had never before felt.

    My family and I had a difficult beginning to this year. Both my parents ended up in the hospital--my mom for 6 months, and I was trying to deal with things more or less alone (at least in terms of boots on the ground--there were just mine). As I waited for news after my mom's second serious surgery, the thought crossed my mind that "anything could happen." My life could change completely by the outcome. This is always the case, but the veil had been lifted. Over the course of the year, this thought permeated society.

    If I had not begun to develop an understanding of spirituality and a sense of cosmic connectedness over the past few years, I might not have been able to deal with this crisis. By reading astrology blogs like yours, practicing tarot, and scouring articles on saturn transiting the 12th house, I was able to fortify myself mentally and physically, learning to be kind to myself and trying to hope for the best in the situation instead of reflexively bracing for the worst as a self-protective mechanism. My parents both gradually recovered to a point better than I could have hoped for in January, and I felt I had developed a sort of strength through realistic positivity (anything can happen, all kinds of things will happen, and we just have to try to meet them while striving first of all to care kindly and respect ourselves).

    Many, many thanks to you and your fellow astrology bloggers for helping me so much this year.

    1. I'm sorry that you've gone through so much stress throughout this year but I'm glad that things are getting better for you! :) I live with Saturn in the 12th every day, as it's my natal placement, and Saturn will be returning to my 12th in a little over a year. It definitely is about maintaining faith in the divine plan as well as dealing with most of (sometimes all of) your problems alone. But, hopefully, you are finding a secret strength through all of this! Saturn in the 12th can be draining but it does really make you stronger. And, in the end, the "aloneness" of the 12th is not that lonely when you have faith in a Higher Plan and when you realize that so many people do feel or have felt the same way.

  3. Thanks for this. Yes, the year has sucked, and unexpectedly worse in November when we were hoping for relief at last. I am just finishing my second Saturn return, thankfully a fast-moving one (19 Sag Saturn square my 18 Virgo Sun). Uneventful other than way too much work. But speaking from Virgo (I have 3 other planets in Virgo), or Virgo Sun square Saturn, sometimes you just have to put your head down and do one little bit after the other. Especially when the big picture is overwhelming and scary. I know we get lost in the weeds, but sometimes each detail is easier to tackle and moves you forward. A little escapism now and then (that glass of wine) isn't a bad thing sometimes either (Virgos don't relax much) to refresh the spirit so long as you don't get stuck there. Anyway, thanks again for this validating post, and best wishes to you and yours for (sigh) 2017!

    1. Looks like your Saturn Return was just exact a few days ago! Good luck with it. I'm sure that has intensified things this year for you.

      And yeah, November was probably the climax of it all because that's when the opposition between the North Node and Neptune was exact, making Neptune exactly conjunct the South Node. November was just insane and surreal! The orb is getting wider as time goes on (now it's about 4 degrees) but there's still that effect going on.

  4. "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."

    omg I totally felt this. i thought it was b/c of my Saturn transiting my 12H but i felt extremely alone and down on myself, which never happens to me.

  5. Great post, I've felt this 9 energy strongly this tear as well, I'm born on the 12th so the energy of 3 and 6 are also in play here of course.

    In 2016 my relationship started to go down a bad road already early February where the illusions clashed with reality. Fast forward 3 months and my now ex BF said he didn't want to be together in a fit of rage. Apparently, Chiron was transitting his Venus...

    We huddled through during summer. My uncle died and I had a literal feeling of saying goodbye to the foreign town I lived in. Then at the exact date of Saturn/Neptune square my BF broke up. Already atound the Virgo SE 1st September we had been on really shaky grounds.

    Two weeks after the break up I moved back home to my old city some hundred miles away. It felt good, but most of all it felt RIGHT. Like this had to end, and my mother's doctor had told her she only had 10 years or so left with her parkinsons desease.

    I have really put Saturn in Sag to work (or tried to). He passes through my 10/11th houses these years, but the positivity vibe is really the key to get to work with this energy. Stop whining, suck it up and learn how to make lemonade. Refuse to feel sorry for yourself and try to find a new hobby, a new passion and a new outlook on life! It's out there! Go find it with likeminds :-)

  6. Great reading as always. :) Happy holidays!

  7. 2017 was a worse year for me. Well, for now, it is.

  8. I had a fun dream this am. The other me form in the mirror was a princess. The me me was in a chair and feeling so heavy it was hard to get out of it. A tall man said there would be no more princess. So I take heart reading your take on the heavy quicksand effect of Neptune 2016/17 and 18? I am Taurus and Uranus is on my part of death in Aries but hey only 2 1/2 mths til its in my sign and awakening begins in earnest. I have three planets there. Mercury, venus, sun and there are a few other Taurus s in the family. I agree that all the sites giving us info helps bear it. and thank you.