To Know Others, Know Yourself: 2014 Astrology by Eric Francis | Omega

Every New Year offers a new beginning, another opportunity to look at our lives, communities, world, and ourselves in completely new ways. Astrologer Eric Francis suggests you examine your interconnectedness and your relationships—starting with your relationship with yourself—and take a deep look at how your beliefs and actions impact you, others, and the planet. For a look at this month's horoscopes, see January 2014 Horoscopes.

The spiritual path is sometimes described as a quest for one's true identity, one's true self. Some consider this an inner meeting with what Quakers call "inner light"—the connection to one's god-source that doesn't depend on external circumstances or personal history. It's a kind of birthright that we all possess, connecting to a source that speaks as loudly as you're willing to listen.

Yet, along the way to finding that light or tangible connection, most people must move through, explore, and seek to understand a lot of inner material: the remnants of personal and collective history, damage that has been done, incomplete situations, and relationships we don't understand. I think that most discover along the way to their spiritual destination that it's necessary to explore what it means to be human. That's what we get through much of 2014, in a rather dramatic way.

A series of astrology events distinct to 2014 describe how that translates to exploring and rearranging your relationship to your gender role and identity, how you think about relationships to other individuals, and perhaps most of all, how you relate to your family and corporate institutions.

First, it's worth stating that what happens in 2014 is unprecedented, at least going back 50 years or so. We are in the midst of experiencing astrology reminiscent of the mid-1960s, which is now about to reach its peak. As far as anything in recent memory, I would say that what we're about to experience is as influential as the 1999 to 2002 phase, only condensed within one calendar year.

The long-standing Uranus-Pluto square spans from Aries to Capricorn. Uranus is in Aries, making a square to Pluto in Capricorn. I've been calling this the 2012-era aspect. The exact contacts began in mid-2012 and go through early 2015. This aspect has the world feeling like a less stable place than usual, closer to the edge, and many people are feeling the shockwaves.

In 2014, this slow-moving aspect pattern reaches a peak. Part of what's spurring this along are the respective retrogrades of Venus and Mars.

Venus is currently retrograde in Capricorn. This began the same day as the Capricorn solstice and ends on January 31. Venus is retrograde least of all the planets, just over 7% of the time. This is a deeply personal transit, set within a sign that, among other topics, covers family structure, government, and corporations.

Venus retrograde is one of those conditions that tends to evoke the past—as does the sign Capricorn. Old lovers and friends can reappear from the mists of time, or you might find yourself visiting old places or remembering things that you have not thought about since you experienced them. In Capricorn, this can feel nostalgic, or like family karma is being stirred up (and it may be, especially with Pluto in the neighborhood).

Yet there is also a search for the inner feminine with this retrograde. What does it mean to be a woman, and to be female? What were you told you had to feel, or be, by your family? What were you told a woman is, and what roles were you told women should be assigned? If you find yourself questioning conventional wisdom, you have some astrological guidance. 

Mars will also be retrograde, starting in March and ending in May—though the process is already well begun, because Mars has entered the degree range where the retrograde will take place. This will be happening in Libra. To me it looks like Mars retrograde will stir the pot on personal relationships. The message is: Come out of the role you play, and be the person you are. In this way, your relationships can become a forum for self-knowledge.

Mars retrograde will confront many people with the syndrome of a relationship being a way to hide from the world. All the usual balances will need to be rearranged; Mars will leave little that can be taken for granted. Those who emerge from the shell of a security-based relationship are likely to find themselves in a wild world, wanting some genuine adventure.

On the way to that point, you may find yourself figuring out what you mean when you say the word "secure," and you may notice that the world around you is far more uncertain than you imagined. That uncertainty is your friend and ally on the way to self-knowledge. You cannot learn about yourself while you're too certain of anything. A space of not knowing has to open up so that there is a space for the new knowledge to go.

In this regard, you might say that the prerequisite of gaining knowledge is not knowing. The prerequisite of feeling safe and grounded is feeling insecure. And sometimes, what comes before love is recognizing what love is not.


Read Eric Francis daily at

Discover More