x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

The year ahead - it's written in the stars

Feature From international conflict to personal expectations, Bill Meridian looks to the skies to see what the year ahead holds and how best to handle it.


From international conflict to personal expectations, Bill Meridian looks to the skies to see what the year ahead holds and how best to handle it. Action in the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn denote a difficult year ahead. The cardinal signs are very powerful, and many leading nations and major organisations have important planetary groupings here. As a result, we can expect a continuation of the upheavals of the past year. This is especially true of the world points, which are at zero degrees of the cardinal signs. Any activity at these degrees translates directly into events upon the Earth. Outer planet combinations at these degrees will have a very noticeable effect in 2010, most likely in the summer.

These changes include: rising food prices caused by unfavourable weather conditions; popular resistance to increases in government power, leading to unrest; a change in global currencies; and a shift in leadership in Russia. One of the cycles traces back to the period in the 1300s and the 1600s. In 1307, a banking crisis began and excessively wet weather caused agricultural shortfalls. Public order disintegrated as people struggled to satisfy their most basic needs. A host of crises led to high taxation and depreciation of the currencies of Europe. The current climate is unlikely to be as severe, but any hints of water shortages or agricultural difficulties should be taken seriously, so that timely measures can be taken. Higher levels of taxation and inflation will lead to stronger protests from the public. The dollar crisis is likely to lead to a new currency realignment by the autumn. The solar eclipse of July 11 falls into the same series as those that occurred in 1991 (Soviet coup) and 1953 (death of Stalin). Thus, we can look for a change in the Kremlin.

President Obama's horoscope is hit hard by the eclipse in January, so he is in for a test. We are held to a higher standard of effort and responsibility as the workload increases. Normally, one can make small errors without significant consequences. But Saturn does not permit this, making us pay dearly for irresponsibility, lack of discipline or any negative traits that are under Saturn's domain. Obama will have to perform well under the stress of a national crisis - quite a task.

This will be a less favourable year for the stock markets, with a possible high in March followed by a decline. By the end of the year, returns will be below those of 2009. And while economic activity will probably stop falling in the first quarter, the rebound is likely to be nothing more than a flat recovery. There are several countries that have planets in the cardinal signs, so they will be energised in 2010. Although there appears to be little chance of a major world conflict, there will be some hot spots. In Pakistan, military efforts on the Afghan border will continue, with mixed success. Afghanistan will continue to be lawless and out of control, as the United States and its allies pursue military operations. The choice of General Stanley McChrystal was a wise one because he is likely to be successful by 2011.

The January solar eclipse is on Saudi Arabia's Sun and Jupiter. Thus, current developments in the Middle East are welcome in Riyadh. Any changes will work out well for the kingdom. The transiting malefic planets will move through Indonesia, so internal strife is likely to intensify there. For the next three to four years, the leadership will be in danger of sudden attacks. ARIES (March 20-April 18) You can be directly affected by the major planetary configuration if you were born in the days around March 20. There will be sudden opportunities for travel and advancement in the summer. Be quick to take advantage because the situation may change. There can be some delay or conditions attached.

TAURUS (April 19-May 19) You are in the eye of the planetary hurricane this year. You are more likely to steer the same course in life despite the changes going on around you. GEMINI (May 20-June 19) Life will be a bit easier as the planets cease making tough angles to Gemini. Whereas before you were baffled by sudden upsets and delays, you now have plain sailing. Projects and your life will move in the desired direction.

CANCER (June 20-July 21) You are right in the line of planetary activity. If you were born near the 20th, the summer configuration will shift the course of your life. You may have to alter your ambitions to suit the shifting sands of the times. LEO (July 22-Aug 21) The direction of your life has been a bit foggy. Things will be increasingly clear as 2010 moves on. You had to use your personal radar to navigate life but the path ahead will be more obvious now. Some of your expectations may have been unrealistic.

VIRGO (Aug 22-Sept 21) Saturn left your sign in the autumn, so there are fewer burdens and restrictions. You may feel unprepared for expansion, but the shift in trend is for real. You have paved the way with preparation over the past three years, but simply may not realise it. LIBRA (Sept 22-Oct 22) Saturn entered your sign for a two-and-a-half-year stay in the autumn. This will increase responsibilities and your chances for professional advancement, but hard work lies ahead. You may need additional training, and there will be less time for personal pursuits. But the nature of Saturn is to pay dues now and reap rewards later.

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 20) You are somewhat out of the way of the planetary storm. You can make real progress during these uncertain times. You have talents, resources, friends and contacts who can be of benefit to you. SAGITTARIUS (Nov 21-Dec 22) Life for you will be less intense as the difficult planets move on. You have experienced sudden breaks and upsets for a few years, but these sudden personal earthquakes are abating. Your path will be smoother.

CAPRICORN (Dec 23-Jan 19) Intensity is the new keyword for you. The eclipses are in your sign and that of your opposite, Cancer. You will have much more energy as the pace of your life quickens. If you were born around the 23rd, this summer will bring very sudden changes. AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18) You have enjoyed the transit of Jupiter through your sign, but it has now sailed on into Pisces. You have been able to make little mistakes, but the penalties were light. That's how it is when Jupiter is on your side. Exercise greater care and discipline.

PISCES (Feb 19-March 19) You are in luck. After several years of tough transits, Jupiter is now in Pisces. This will bring you opportunities. After a difficult year, 2010 will be a welcome relief. You may have difficulty believing that you are on the upswing, but the beneficial change is real.