Each polarity and element is measured by the number of planets transiting at any one time, which changes throughout the year. If many planets reside in positive signs when they eventually move into a negative sign, there is a release of energy much like static electricity. The same goes for negative to positive planetary shifts. Over time, the charge between positive and negative energy builds up and is released.
Often, planets are more comfortable in one element than another, and whether it is a move for good or not depends on the individual planet and the new sign it enters. The day a planet enters a sign is potent and the effect can last a week or two or longer, depending on the planet.
Personal Planet Retrogrades
Mercury's retrograde periods occur in the three Fire signs. This brings triple hot spots to the year during March/April, July/August and November/December as the Fire element is emphasized. Venus also retrogrades from the Water sign of Scorpio to an Air sign and draws in some much needed Libran balance again in November. Mars retrogrades from a light Air sign back into an Earth sign, which happens around the end of June for the whole of July and into early August.
This year starts with an emphasis on the negative polarity, or the female energy expression. Most of the planets are going to be in female signs. These signs are more reflective and absorptive. The passive or feminine signs are of either Earth or Water elements. The passive signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces. Passive sign dominance is only broken early in the year by Uranus in Fire until May when it too steps into an Earth sign.
The three Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Mid-year, these three signs take are occupied by Uranus in Taurus, and Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter and Neptune are both in the water signs of Scorpio and Pisces, respectively. This brings in the other feminine element. In early November, Jupiter leaves water and slips into its home Fire sign Sagittarius. It is at this time that the Earth/Water element grip eases somewhat and fiery inspiration will again take place.
There are no outer planets in Air this year at all. The dominance for the passive signs shows a shift toward responding or reacting to situations rather than being dynamic and active. Elemental shifts are slow and over the years, they change the tone of the days and weeks of the year.
There are soft aspects, such as Jupiter sextile Pluto, and Jupiter trine Neptune, as well as Saturn trine Uranus. All the major aspects between the superior planets are in passive signs. We see no hard aspects from Jupiter, which again reinforces the passive nature of the background energy. To create some drive this year, you need to wait for the Sun, Moon, and inner planets to pass through Air or Fire signs.
Overall, 2018 will be a year that promotes the female over the male and the passive over the active. This is a twelve-month period for absorbing what transpired on a cosmic level in previous years and reflecting on choices made last year. The mood will be to be more inclusive and accepting than ever before.
Financial markets will be slow and growth will mainly be in the collective. Big business will not see expansion, but independent contractors and freelancers will take over more of the market this period. As the smart phone establishes itself as the tool of the age, more older people (over sixty) will drive commerce as they get online in larger numbers than ever before.
Multi-tasking will start to decline as the rise of the specialist will begins to dominate. Specialization requires focus and empathy. To be an expert, you need to stay in your lane and stick to what you know. This year you need to own your niche because to be a Jack-of-all-trades will not work this year.
If you do have more that one string to your bow, then establish each of your skills or talents independently to maintain the expert tone for your brand. For example, if you bake cakes and want to sell you baked goods to a store or start an online business you have to tighten your specialization. Don't just bake everything: bake only cakes. Don't just bake cakes: bake lemon cakes. Be the ultimate resource for lemon cakes. Take control and own lemon cakes so tightly that you are lemon cakes. When someone thinks lemon cake, they think of you. Of course you can use this analogy to anything you do, be it manufacturing widgets or providing services. Know who you are and be that person.
Saturn as Taskmaster
Daily rituals and chores will dominate the big picture. Be aware of details and timing. The planetary timekeeper, Saturn is in its own sign of Capricorn and is the final dispositor for much of the year. This means that Saturn will have the ultimate say through its attributes. The ringed planet is big on discipline, fair pay for fair work, and taking responsibility for one's self and mastering skills. Achievements will come for those who deserve them. You have to pay your dues to benefit in a year when Saturn dominates the chart for most of the months of the year.
Saturn also rules clocks, watches, and time. Take your time and pick your moment this year. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to reap and a time to sow. Saturn rules old people as they have experienced their second Saturn return. Hopefully, they can be looked to as role models for learning to be more patient and for learning to bide one's time.
This year will be quieter, but there is more going on under the surface. People will be living privately and doing wonderful things in their own homes. Those on the fringes of society will have a better chance to grip their footing and build themselves a better life. Immigration will become an issue to be properly addressed, as countries find new ways to home thousands of people seeking an improved existence elsewhere.
The feminine will be prominent. Love will be a strong theme and acceptance a given. Food, clean water, and being nurtured will improve for everyone as the desirability for care and consideration for others becomes the norm. Broad cultural changes will be brought about by this year's planetary placements.