Astrologically, 2018 is a year of restructuring and we are now mid-way through the process. Old structures are breaking down, paving the way for the ‘new’ which will emerge in early 2019.

Different events around the world this year, particularly from March to early May, challenged us to look deep within and set new foundations which are solid and secure. The planets are calling us to deal with the twists and turns in our own lives head-on and, in many cases, to face our deepest fears.

Mars, the fiery planet and ruler of war and strength, together with Saturn, who teaches us the most important life lessons for our growth, were in the sign of Sagittarius (Sagittarius is owned by Jupiter who brings justice) from early March to May 2nd. Saturn’s themes of safety and security, together with Mars’ themes of violence and conflict, and Jupiter’s themes of Justice and balance, have been at play at the level of our collective consciousness. This powerful combination of energy has inspired us to look within for answers, bringing about deep inner reflection about key fundamentals in our lives and challenging and inspiring us to make sense of life on our terms and forge new directions – all of which is necessary to help us let go of what is no longer serving us and make way for the new.

Mars will be with Ketu in Mars’ exaltation sigh of Capricorn from May to November this year. Two fiery planets together can lead to high passions and impetuous decisions that cost us in the long run. Mars will want to get things sorted quickly. However, building on the theme of restructuring, it is more of a time for creating strong foundations for the longer term than getting quick results. Plan well. Avoid over-reaction and extreme behaviour. Self-care is important. Work on finding balance and have healthy boundaries. Spend time meeting people and building new associations with like-minded and like-hearted people. Do not expect quick harvests from your efforts.

The closeness of Saturn, Mars and Ketu for many months this summer also puts an emphasis on differences between people, countries and cultures. Their closeness also brings about delays and sudden changes which serve to teach us patience and challenge expectations.

Retrograde planets may amplify delays and differences between people and open old wounds from time to time over the summer. Knowing this means you don’t have to be drawn into fruitless discussions.

The two partial solar and one total lunar eclipse in July / August will be a further time of change. The themes of change and difference are strong around the world – ultimately allowing for deep and positive inward reflection and subsequent outward change; a transformation and then later, a coming together.

There are very good times ahead with some challenges before we get into the new rhythm. The most important thing for each of us is to look within so that we benefit from the deep and powerful teachings and potential for transformation which the planets are giving us.

Sitting honestly with yourself will pay great dividends. The planets are getting us all ready for better things. Get ready for a brighter future by being true to you.