As Above, So Below: January Edition

Astrological cultural commentary by your favorite actresses, Ruby McCollister & Mercedes Kilmer

Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer
No Cap

Astrology is an ancient cosmological tool. Previously revered as an esoteric “gentleman’s art,” over the past century it has been bottled and sold based on its most basic promise — to get your attention by talking, however abstractly, all about YOU. Yet past the boring individualism of horoscopes, astrology is a technology that reflects the rhythm of our collective culture. Transits of the planets correlate to fashion trends, government policies, the opening and closing of mediocre New York restaurants, or even your forthcoming divorce — it's all there, in man’s interpretation of the stars. To understand the stars is to take power in your hands, gaze at it, and dare to ask it: are JNCO jeans really being advantageously worn by Gen Z?

Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer, both actresses raised in Los Angeles, have studied astrology their whole lives, through books and real-life experience. (Acting and astrology go swimmingly hand in hand as they’re both tools of interpretation.) Each month, Ruby and Mercedes will offer you a charismatic read analyzing cultural patterns and personal reflections as told through the stars. After all, as any guy who has read a bunch of chaos magick books will tell you: As Above, So Below.


This month the sun splits its time between Capricorn and Aquarius.

Aquarius, of all the Zodiac signs, is the most difficult to comprehend as it deals with that which is far out, out of reach, abstract and aloof. It is the only sign that is represented by a concept rather than a thing: The Water-Bearer, that which gives water (and thus life) to the world.

Aquarius is ruled by the planet Saturn. Of the seven traditional planets (the ones known to the ancient world before the discoveries of Neptune, Pluto and Uranus), Saturn is the furthest from Earth, and therefore the coldest. He is the gatekeeper, the architect of boundaries between what is known to us as the unfathomable beyond. His domain is of time, limitations, constraints, infrastructures, barriers. He brings discipline, patience, gravity, abstinence, deprivation and reservation. Of Earth, Saturn rules Capricorn; of Air, Saturn rules Aquarius. Capricorn is the area of material structures, and Aquarius the area of intellectual structures. Since water represents consciousness, the Water Bearer represents the infrastructure of consciousness. Certainly the primary example of social infrastructure was the person who carried the water. Because Saturn is cold, rigid and disciplinarian, it is only fitting that he rules the winter signs. In Capricorn, reverence for material craftsmanship becomes a matter of survival. You need to have a well made jacket and a sturdy house; you need to prepare for the worst and listen to your dad! That’s the beginning of winter. But when the latter half of winter rolls around and the days get sunnier and the long nights get shorter, we become concerned with the architecture of possibility.

Aquarius is when we make New Year’s resolutions and lay down the ideological frameworks of who and how we want to be in the new year. You might have heard associations of Aquarius with hippies or otherwise eccentric people. There is a forward thinking and comparatively optimistic quality of Aquarius, compared to the dour traditionalism of Capricorn. When the sun moves through Aquarius, as it will on January 20 to February 18, the light of the collective creative intelligence shines in this area.

In astrology, we have twelve signs and twelve houses. Signs are areas of the psyche, and houses are areas of life. Signs are internal, archetypal, abstract. Houses are external and literal.

Look wherever Aquarius is transiting through your chart. Whatever house it is in, it will fundamentally demand you, in Saturnian fashion, to uplift this area of life during the later part of January, when the sun moves into Aquarius. We move from the survivalist (Capricorn) to the visionary (Aquarius). Time to stop being so deprivational!


I just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time. The film deals with the torment of fear and deprivation. Heath Ledger’s character, Ennis, can’t imagine a bigger world than the one he occupies, and he is hell-bent on survival, stripped bare to the essentials and the most base-level rational thinking. He therefore occupies some of the more limiting qualities of Capricorn’s Saturnian attributes, while Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) envisions a new world in which he and Ennis can be gay ranchers in peace. Jack is inevitably sacrificed to Ennis’s survivalist thinking. This month asks you to lean into Jack’s future vision instead!

This year comes on the heels of laying to rest the exotic journey that was 2021. In 2021 we caught too many infections, lost too much, and may have hit rock bottom. Nevertheless, our girl was stylish through all of the hard knocks. And now, in 2022, she eases into a place of not only healing, but emotional luck.

The year starts with the Sun in Capricorn in a trine (the union of three planets) to Uranus in Taurus, the planet of rebellion. Uranus has rocketed through Taurus all of 2021, causing massive upheaval as it has been squaring (a form of conflict and tension in a chart) Saturn, the father of the sky, the traditionalist and karmic discipliner. Hence the massive labor strikes throughout the world and all industries. We're all feeling an impassioned demand for eccentric potential futures.

The beginning of transition promises a lovely moment in which we can recommit and we know that the change we are all bound to make is in fact the correct choice. Think back to this time last year: what did you commit to? Now is the time to just do it, with faith — get away from the Ennis thinking!

As Venus in Capricorn continues to retrograde, we continue our “beauty” journeys. This also pertains to money. Whatever you have to do, DO IT.

Culture may be in a lull through January due to this retrograde, in which questions and revolutions become internalized. Retrogrades can also signify blasts from various pasts. The Pete Davidson/ Miley Cyrus New years, anyone? That event more than anything signifies culture’s repose.

Film festivals may be postponed. Events, certainly delayed. Either way, the question you should be asking yourself is: Am I ready to be photographed? If you have HATED photographs of this past year, NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE IT. I'm not saying “change it” in a weird, body dysmorphia way. But Venus in Capricorn realistically separates our ego from our delusion, and right now is the time where we can all soberly see what needs to change.

Throughout January, the sun and Venus sextile (a friendly meeting in which signs are sixty degrees apart from one another) Neptune in Pisces — the planet of the unconscious, dreams and poetry. This could produce psychic effects of future visions, glimpses into the past and the future. However, often this conjunction produces illusionary expansion — spurts of messiness that Venus in Capricorn throughout the month will then ask us to proceed to clean up. It’s no wonder that we as a nation are witnessing Carrie Bradshaw, sans Patricia Field, struggle with a hip surgery. We all may be feeling a little older than we’d like to, trading in our beloved heels for flashy flats while in personal recovery. The messy party girl of 2021 becomes glamorously responsible in 2022.

On January 18 the North Nodes change from Sagittarius to Taurus. This sets the tone of the year — as the North Node asks us to evaluate our material world, our abundance, our beauty and our finances, meeting with Uranus under the Taurus zodiac sign. Expect massive global changes in how physical money is dealt with. Expect a continued conversation about crypto and national debt. I smell the student loan revolution like a powerful tuberose perfume!

This astrological influence may prove, hopefully, that the heavens may be stronger than Biden’s geriatric stubbornness… Let us pray!

January Transits

Venus Retrograde through January 29th

January 1: Sun trine Uranus, Jupiter in Pisces

January 4: Venus (still retrograde) sextiles Neptune through jan 7th

January 8: Sun conjunct Venus

January 10: Sun extile Neptune

January 11: Mars in Sagittarius Square Neptune

January 12: Mercury in Aquarius Square Uranus

January 18: The North Node shifts to Taurus

Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer are both actresses raised in Los Angeles.