Starfire by Mary O'Gara, Ph.D., D.D.

What They Say

“There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.”
- Brian Aldiss

Mary O'Gara

Mary O’Gara is a financial astrologer and certified life/creativity coach who work with writers, artists and small business owners. Location and relocation questions are an important part of her work with small businesses. She lives in Albuquerque, NM, and consults internationally by phone and teleconference.




Starfire - Januray 2017
by Dr. Mary O'Gara, a writer and spiritual life coach from New Mexico.picture








Illustration © 2007 A.M. Scott



star chart

January 2017 - 2017: New Year with Old Baggage
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2017: New Year with Old Baggage

The ball will drop quickly in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but the real start to the New Year may be slow and virtually invisible during the first months of the year.

Nine of the ten planets are below the horizon on New Year’s Day, indicating a lot of internal growth for all of us. Four of the planets, or about 40% of our personal energy, is in the quadrant of renewal and growth. Five more, a full half of our personal and collective energies, are dedicated to finding ways to use our new insights and understandings; the five are in the second quadrant, often called the creative quadrant. Fully ninety percent of our energy–9 planets–are thus in the areas of hidden growth, like seeds planting and sprouting below the ground. There’s a lot going on, but it’s hidden and private growth.

The lone visible planet is Uranus, placed in the 7th house of the public and partnerships. Nothing happens as a result of all that inner growth and work unless it happens through teams and partnerships. You may or may not have a personal bond with the “partner”; your “team member” might be a scientist writing a paper about a subject related to your latest painting concept, for instance. But the existence of the partnership is going to be a central theme all year. (And personal, romantic partnerships will also be emphasized this year.)

The planets are arranged in the shape of a bowl, with Jupiter in the first house as the cutting or initiating planets on one “lip” of the bowl and Uranus opposing Jupiter from the seventh house as the trailing “lip” of the bowl.

In individual charts, a bowl patterns reveals a person who is self-contained, usually focused on a mission or purpose in life. In the mundane chart for the year, I expect questions about purposes and causes to be central themes. Mercury retrograde suggests some of those themes and causes, which may vary from person to person, will be left over from the 2016 election campaign or from social problems that weren’t resolved during the last nine-year cycle. With three planets in the house of neighborhood schools and early education, we can expect education issues to arise–but some people the causes will be chart schools, for others more flexible adult education and for others early childhood programs.

The sign of Cancer on the midheaven suggests our focus will be more on domestic affairs than on international relations. This year’s causes will be personal, not abstract.

Bowls are often quiet, though. We’ll have less chatter than in 2016, but more real thought, analysis and understanding. There’s T-square pattern hidden in the bowl (Pluto squaring both Jupiter and Uranus), so there’s no doubt we’ll have plenty of action this year even though it’s delayed. Our T-Square involves three planets in cardinal signs, so the tension will be released with action

The action may include marches and demonstrations, but it’s less likely to be violent action than in previous years. Jupiter is expansion and is usually benevolent (although it can expand negative things) and Uranus is primarily mental. Pluto, opposing both Jupiter and Uranus, is in the sign Capricorn (a sign of tangible action, not just ideas) and is capable of total transformation. Pluto in the 16th degree of Capricorn means something involving solid matter. So we’re looking at something physical and tangible relating to homes, families or property that will make changes in our sense of balance and our ideas for personal and group initiative. 

Not just Twitter. Not just chatter. There will be plenty of both, mostly superficial as real insights and understandings grow quietly out of the limelight. And then things will change. It could be a terrorist attack, but probably isn’t (because Mars is tucked away nicely in the 5th house of creativity where it’s rarely about bombs and non-domestic violence).

The part of fortune is always a place to look for good news. This year, it’s in the 11th house, promising good news in the areas of our hopes, wishes, dreams and fellowship with like-minded people. The north node in the same house says we’ll have to stretch and make some effort to get those good results. But the potential is there. Even the asteroid Vesta in the 10th house suggests the home fires will burn steadily for all of us this year.

Our greatest fears will probably not happen in 2017. We’ll make progress toward our collective higher vision, but not without some bumps and rocky challenges along the way. America’s divisions and rages were highly visible in 2016. Perhaps in 2017 we’ll find the common ground all negotiators need in order to begin finding solutions.

Sometimes that common ground is abstract. Jupiter and Uranus can deal with abstractions. Pluto is likely to reveal the immediate problem, the necessary transformation. The tension of the T-Square in the New Year 2017 chart is released by Saturn, principles and focus on specific actions. The New Year promises both deep thinking and feeling and focused attention on specific changes. If the changes are fair and clearly understood, they may actually bring about new understandings and hope for lasting solutions. And that would make 2017 a very good year whether it’s easy or not.


Mary O’Gara, Ph.D., D.D.