The 2017 Aries Ingress set for Washington, D.C., reflects the exciting times we are living in. The Aries Ingress is the horoscope for the moment the Sun enters the first minute of the first degree of the first sign. This is the astrological new year and the beginning of Spring. This year, the Aries Ingress falls on March 20, 6:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time. The Aries Ingress is set for Washington, D.C., to determine what trends are shaping up for the following twelve months. The Aries Ingress governs the entire year, but each quarterly cardinal ingress will have something to add about its respective season. Yet, the Aries Ingress is the most important of the ingresses. As medieval astrologer Abu Ma’shar says: “Now, the alighting of the Sun onto the first minute of Aries is stronger and more lofty than all of his other alighting in the beginnings of the movable signs…” (Astrology of the World II, Abu Ma’shar’s Flowers, p. 325, trans. Benjamin Dykes)

The Lord of the Year of the Aries Ingress

The Lord of the Year in an ingress represents the overall focus of the year and the condition of the people of the region or country where the Aries Ingress is set. The astrological authorities do not exactly speak with one voice regarding identifying the Lord of the Year, but they do all agree that this planet is tremendously important to the Aries Ingress analysis.

Abu Ma’shar in his Flowers of Astrology says that the planets in the Ascendant are best positioned to be Lord of the Year, and of those, that which has dignity in the Ascendant. This year, we have three visible planets in the Ascendant; the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in Aries. The planet with the greatest dignity in the ascending degree (10 Pisces) is Venus. Unfortunately, she is extremely afflicted in this Aries Ingress, in her sign of detriment, retrograde, and just about to become combust. Venus is the natural ruler of women and marriages; when Venus is afflicted, the old authorities said that the year would not be particularly good for women or engagements in general. Venus also signifies Muslims.

Al-Rijal says that a weak Venus as ruler of the year means “people will be disturbed in their pleasures, and disturbed in their livelihoods.” (Astrology of the World, Part II, The Book of the Skilled, p 393, trans. Benjamin Dykes) Perhaps this speaks badly for Venusian industries, such as entertainment or the arts.

As a house ruler, Venus rules the third house of communications, transportation, and the media. This house also has the malefic star Algol on the cusp, suggesting these sectors will be negatively affected in 2017. Since Venus is combust, the negative effects will be harmful, even explosive. Venus also governs the eighth house of death and debt, which has Spica on the cusp. One hopes that we will be spared unusually high mortality this year. With Jupiter retrograde on the eighth house cusp, one does wonder about financial overextension and debt levels reaching new highs this year.

The media has been promising a financial crash for some time now. Is this the year? Possibly, though perhaps the show will go on a little while longer. The Part of Fortune is sextile her own dispositor, Mercury, Jupiter trines the Part of Fortune, and Venus sextiles the Part of Fortune as well. These are generally auspicious indications for the overall financial health of the country. On the other hand, we had Venus retrograde in Aries on the Ascendant in the 2009 Aries Ingress, as well. Mars in the second house in Taurus suggests heavy expenses to the nation. Perhaps the economy will bend in 2017 but will not break.

If we use Jean-Baptiste Morin’s technique for determining the Lord of the Year, we end up with Mercury, as he rules the angle that follows the Sun (the IC). Al-Rijal’s technique in The Book of the Skilled, attributed to Hermes, also ends up with Mercury as the Lord of the Year, as he is the only planet in the Ascendant who is also the day or hour ruler.

Mercury governs business and businesspeople, financiers, intellectuals, scholars, students, young people, lawyers, and more – modern society is quite Mercury-heavy! Mercury is under the Sun’s beams, which is not especially favorable, but better than being combust, and at least he is in his own term. Mercury’s minor dignity suggests that his people and sectors will do reasonably well, as they will not be as afflicted as the Venus-ruled groups above.

The Tenth House

This year, the tenth house deserves special attention. It rules the government and people in authority. This year, the house contains the Moon conjunct Saturn, suggesting that substantial cuts to the government are on the way. The Moon and Saturn are near each other every three years in the Aries Ingress, though not necessarily in the same sign, and usually not as close as this year. Angularity is important; this conjunction is present across the globe, but it will be angular only in a few locations. William Ramesey writes that Saturn in the tenth house brings higher taxes in the coming year. It’s hard to generalize this across the entire diverse U.S. taxpayer base, but costs will go up for ordinary people (the Moon). The Moon conjunct Saturn also carries a somber, even tragic sense of finality that will dominate the year, though its exact source is difficult to pinpoint.