Happy New Year! While many of us set New Years Resolutions, it has just never been something I can stick to. And while I've written an article on how to set goals with astrology, I think it'd be nice to approach the topic in a different way. The purpose of goals is to change, but what if we are approaching change in the wrong way?

Many of us think of all the things we need to lose. Weight. Clothes. That endless stack of books piling up that we should probably resell. But we try not to think of all we could gain by way of change. Muscle. Style. Knowledge. Perhaps it's a greedy point of view (more Taurean than Scorpionic), but when we think of all we have to gain by changing, it makes us all the more likely to actually want it.

So perhaps we should approach the New Year with things we actually want. Goals don't have to be hard, but instead can be fun. What do we want? Why do we really want it? This is why I think the approach to New Years Resolutions often fail by the end of January, we aren't doing things we actually want, but things we think we should be doing. Which is why I think the checklist approach to the New Year can be rather helpful. It focuses not on what we should give up, or what somebody else, wants, but purely on benefit. And you get to check off a snazzy list as you go along. Mine looks like:

  • Visit a planetarium.
    • The Why: I've never been!
  • Do some yoga.
    • The Why: I want to actually have a workout routine and be more flexible. Who says working out can't be relaxing?
      • Added bonus: Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to touch my toes at the end of the year.
        • Extra added bonus: Maybe my back will stop hurting.
  • Visit nearby state parks.
    • The Why: I would like to go on more short distance trips and break in my hiking shoes.
      • Added bonus: I get to go outside more, see some nature, and get a little fit.
  • Actually finish two books this year instead of stopping halfway.
    • The Why: I should really complete what I start.
      • Added Bonus: I get off my phone and back into what I love doing.

By setting these goals I'm actually accomplishing some underlying ones I've had for a while. Those are things like getting off my phone, exercising and healing my body, and getting outside my house for a bit and not being a little recluse. So perhaps my chart ruler in the fifth house is showing by trying to make everything fun, but as with every goal, we need to focus on our motivators. Mine is by making things fun. A good way to do this is by channeling your Mars. Look into what motivates you. Is it a little reward at the end of the day? Maybe the goal is the reward. Is it a deadline you need to complete it? Or is it the satisfaction of completing it and knowing how far you've come? Learning your motivators is a great way to understand how to approach change.

And as with every goal, even with motivators, there are still obstacles to overcome. There is a reason why the eighth house of transformation and change is square the eleventh house of hopes and dreams. And that's because approaching our dreams is inherently scary. Sometimes we get too in our head about it, or we make the dream (or the obstacles to it) bigger than they actually are. We don't see our dreams as something inherently reachable or attainable. We instead see them as a romantic mystified thing that is far in the future. But the square between these houses teaches us that through hard work, discipline, and a little grit, we can accomplish our goals. It just takes some time and motivation. As I said, channel your Mars. Understand your Saturn. Lean into your Neptune. Your goals are waiting for you, and so is a new you.

The reason the eighth house is trine the twelfth house is because sometimes there is a hidden power to change. Sometimes we need to dig deep in order to acknowledge that things in our lives even need to change. That takes strength and bravery. It takes guts to approach our lives with a change and growth mindset, and to acknowledge that we have the power to direct and steer our lives. Taking back your choice, your power to enact change in yourself, your life, and the world - that's difficult. It's hard to try to change yourself, and your life, in that way. But by digging deep, and acknowledging that we do have the power to overcome, we can make strides to change in our life.

Then we get into the hard stuff: the eighth house in solar returns and eighth house profection years. I'll tackle the former first. A solar return is a good time to set goals and intentions, and falls every year on around your birthday. Let's look at what a solar return eighth house can look like in practice.

My solar return chart or 2021 with a stellium in the eighth house of transformation.
This is my solar return chart for 2021. It has Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto in the eighth house, with Saturn tightly square Uranus.
My birth chart with my solar return chart on the outside as the outer wheel.
This is my natal chart with my solar return chart for 2021 on the outside.

Let's look at the solar return chart first, as it has four planets in the eighth house. Two of those planets, Saturn and Mercury, are tightly square Uranus in the eleventh. Mars is trine Pluto with a one degree orb and is quintile the Midheaven.The nodes are trine Jupiter. And Venus is opposite the Moon, which are at 1 and 0 degrees respectively. That's a lot to soak in. But what do you think actually happened this year?

Well, I didn't die. I was actually very worried about that at the time. But I'm not dead yet!

What I did end up doing was quite a few things - one of them being starting No Fear Astrology. I got to be of service to others by starting this business (with the eighth house planets, indicating business, and the solar return north node in the twelfth house, denoting acts of service.) I learned a little bit of Mandarin, a long time dream, and aced my class in it. I tried to reconcile my past self with my present self, and see what was worth hanging on to and what parts of myself were worth letting go of. I learned that I'm not who I was several years ago, and that by treating myself like I hadn't grown, I was keeping myself stuck and locked in a state of discontent. I'm really thankful I had this year. Because without it, I wouldn't be where I am today. We shape ourselves, molded together with our experiences.

Speaking of experiences, a profection year is different from a solar return, and represents a theme for the year instead of a deep dive. So an eighth house profection year would come around at the ages of 7, 19, 31, 43, 55, 67, and 79. The ages for eighth house profection years come right at or just after major transits. For example, the age of 7 is right at the first Saturn square Saturn transit. The age of 19 is right around the time of the first nodal return. 31 is right after the first Saturn return. 43 is right around the time of the Pluto square, Neptune square, Saturn opposition, and Uranus opposition. 55 is the nodal return and progressed lunar return, as well as the Neptune and Pluto trine. The eighth house profection years happen right at or after times in which we are called to change. It's to really solidify the transits and progressions happening to us, and to remind us of all the changes in our lives, as well as how to take power in it. If we cannot choose the change, such as with unforeseen circumstances, we can still choose how we see that change, as well as how we respond to it.

In Runa's post about approaching the New Year like the tarot card The Chariot and it's tie to the zodiac sign Cancer, we are reminded that change requires us to step outside of that Cancerian comfort zone. Movement and change requires real risk and moving outside of our boundaries.

Now, keep being brave and see all the change you can bring (and have already brought) into the world. Happy New Year.

Some other helpful articles:


Astrology in Midlife

The Eighth House by Dana Gerhardt

The Eighth House, Grief, and Love

P.S. Updates this month will be sporadic as we prepare for my mother's upcoming surgery and to take care of her. Thanks for all the love. <3 Abby