Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

January is the Cruelest Month?


March 3, 2006


Hello Eric,


A recent article in the local paper titled 'January: Cruel Month for Couples', cites January as a time when couples break up and dating services see a spike in new clients. Citing a Yahoo survey conducted in the UK which found that 'twice as many breakups happen in January than in any other month of the year', the article proposes a number of factors which may contribute to the trend: People seek temporary holiday dates and/or wait until afterward to split up; bad partner behavior and/or conflicts with in-laws during holiday festivities; college relationships don't withstand the break; New Year's resolutions inspire people to take a fresh approach; people balk at Valentine's Day pressures. Is there any astrological indicator at that time of year for relationship dissolution (or dis-illusion)? Thanks for providing a great service and forum for topics. I admire your insight, and Planet Waves only keeps improving.


Kudos and appreciation,





Dear Michelle:


This is an interesting trend you're bringing to our attention, and I would say that the Yahoo! article's ideas seem pretty valid. However, doubling the statistics for breakups in any one month may seem like a big increase, but for all those factors, it's still not that many more people by head count. If someone said that half of all breakups occur in January, that would be a bit more shocking.


On a similar note, I have heard that in some places right before Pride Week, a lot of gay couples go through a similar trend of breakups; a big party is coming and they want to be available meet somebody new.


Without going into too big a tirade on the nature of monogamous relationships in Western culture, commitment in this context is often a pretext for other subject matter, such as convenience, personal interest or security. I think we have a long way to go before we can say that, in general, we're really relating to one another because we want to, or to meet needs that are openly acknowledged, rather than to fulfill a hidden agenda.


However, since you asked, yes, I could point to a few astrological factors that distinguish January from other months. First, the Sun is in Capricorn from about Dec. 21 through Jan. 21. We all know this is an intense time of year, and I don't think it's just holiday obligations and year-end commitments. Personally, I think it has something to do with the Sun being aligned with the Galactic Core, which pushes a lot of energy through our plane of reality and shakes everyone up.


The holidays are an incredibly stressful time that pushes everyone to their limits, and over the year I've grown to feel strongly that it involves the Galactic Core.


Second, the Sun in Capricorn is a phase where the notion of obligation is emphasized greatly, which seems in part to be due to the nature of that sign's energy, at least as we interpret it now. (Sun in Capricorn used to be when the feast of Saturnalia was held, the most debauched party of them all.) Today, on the most basic levels, there is an extreme overemphasis on structure and stability. And materialism. This may create a feeling of suffocation; or, looking a little deeper, more people may get the idea that there really is such a thing as dedication and authentic commitment, and they want to try to find these qualities.


Then we have the Sun's change to Aquarius to consider. This is a sign traditionally associated with freedom, movement, and groups of people. And as that shift approaches, it could be that more individuals want to make themselves available for greater social contact which (according to the conventional rules of monogamy) can be rather limited in the context of one-on-one partnerships.


Last idea, part astrological and part basic observation, spring is coming, and the sap rises in all living things. Most people have still not figured out how to make monogamy sexually interesting (there is a method, and it's called bold honesty with your partner), and so by January it's getting on time for a change, which seems natural enough, anyway.


Thanks for an interesting question. If anybody has other thoughts, I'd love to hear them.