Low-Down Archives January 2009

January 2009

For the New Moon Cycle in Capricorn :
December 27, 2008 to January 26, 2009

Dec.27 – NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (06:07 of Capricorn)

NEW MOON in CAPRICORN

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.27, 7:22 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.27, 12:22 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.27, 11:22 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience CAPRICORN energy in your life.

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Today is Saturn's day, in more ways than one! The New Moon lands on a Saturday, the name of which is derived from "Saturn's day" back when the days of the week were named after the 7 visible planets. However, there are many other reasons why Saturn is today's most important planet.

The New Moon takes place in Capricorn today. Capricorn is the sign ruled by Saturn, so the energy of the New Moon takes on a very Saturnian energy. Capricorn is about structure, reality, rules, responsibility and consequences—all those wonderful Saturn qualities we love to hate. But Capricorn and Saturn are actually trying very hard to be friends with you.

Capricorn (and therefore Saturn) is like the parent who holds their child back so that s/he doesn't run out into the street into the path of an oncoming car. Capricorn is the stern teacher who doesn't let you off the hook because otherwise you won't really learn the lesson, and the lesson is too important to miss. And Capricorn is sometimes the parent who lets you try to walk and then fall on your face, because s/he knows that mistakes and failures can be the most effective ways to learn how to succeed. And knowing what doesn't work can be just as valuable as knowing what does.

In Capricorn we face challenges that require commitment, resolve, discipline and a grasp of the bigger picture to understand what must be done next and why. Like the goat side of Capricorn, this sign urges us to become more agile, to plan our route ahead, to be prepared for changes in the weather of circumstances, and to keep moving toward our goal at the top of the mountain.

So Saturn and Capricorn tend to get a bad rap, but they're not all bad. They're not exactly fluffy cuddly toys, but they're not prickly porcupines either.

Stellia in Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn is chart handle.

At the New Moon, there is a giant Stellium in Capricorn (green planets in diagram at left). With 6 planets in that sign, that's a lot of Capricorn density! Mars, Mercury, Sun and Moon are huddled together, all conjunct each other. Mercury and Jupiter are also conjunct in Capricorn, but not close enough to the others to all be in conjunction. Mercury and Jupiter together contribute a sensible mindset and the ability to see the wisdom in common sense and inspiration in the practical. However, there is also a danger in trying to grasp and integrate so much information at once that you overload yourself (commonly known as "too much information!").

Have Mars and Pluto in close conjunction in Capricorn has a number of layers of meaning. There is intensity, density and depth in this combination. At its best, they can bring passionate resolve, commitment, discipline and sharp focus to whatever you are doing. If you are embarking on a new project, it is likely to be launched with a bang! The danger is in becoming so obsessed and buried in what you're doing that you lose sight of other priorities. There is also a risk of that intensity getting twisted around and being vented in the form of hostility, aggression, revenge or domination. If you find yourself getting overly intense about something, do the Capricorn thing—get grounded, decide what's really important to you in the long run, and re-channel your energies into a more productive direction. Easier said that done, perhaps, but we can always try.

A Mars and Pluto conjunction at the end of 2008 is also very significant because they spent a long time opposite each other at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, while Mars was retrograde. That Mars-Pluto cycle started at the last conjunction, on Jan.13.2007, reached culmination with 3 oppositions on Sep.21.2007, Jan.02.2008 and Mar.07.2008. (Read more about Mars Retrograde.)

Think back to the time of Aug.2007 to April.2008. What struggles were you going through? What ambitions were burning inside you? Were there confrontations or power struggles or conflicts with others? Did you have to become determined and persistent in order to get through some difficult situation? What did you feel passionate about? Was there something happening then that started around the beginning of 2007? These kinds of issues and the situations where you encountered them have come to closure now. The issues themselves may not go away entirely, but you have passed through a process and you have changed in how you are dealing with, working with or relating to those issues.

Now a new cycle begins. This time the conjunction takes place in Pluto's new sign: Capricorn. In fact, the Mars-Pluto conjunction takes place within the first degree of Capricorn—a powerful degree. It is a degree of gathering together power, ability, structure and authority, which you need in order to achieve some kind of goal. This is a kind of vision that is perhaps less about uplifting inspiration and more about gut instinct and raw determination. What you begin now will unfold over the next 2 years. Interestingly, the culmination point (when they will again oppose each other) also takes place when Pluto is in the first degree of Capricorn (on Aug.26.2009). This Mars-Pluto cycle is indeed about setting your priorities, gathering all the resources and support people you need, and aligning your gut instincts with your ambition and intentions.

At the New Moon, there is also a 3-planet Stellium in Aquarius: Chiron, Venus and Neptune (planets in yellow in diagram above). In fact, the Venus-Neptune conjunction reaches exact a mere 6 minutes after the New Moon is exact. Venus and Neptune in Aquarius combine to form unconventional romance, idealistic visions of the future, and flashes of creativity that take you in unexplored directions. Chiron is basking in this electric glow and channeling it into healing energy. Chiron also contributes a reality check of sorts by reminding you that we need idealized visions in order to counter-balance and deal with our struggles, pain and obstacles.

Back to Saturn. Saturn rules both of these jam packed signs. It rules Capricorn, and traditionally, it also rules Aquarius. That makes Saturn the star of the show! But there's another reason why Saturn is important right now: it is the "handle" of the New Moon chart. In other words, Saturn is off on its own, with all the other planets on the other side of the zodiac (red planet in diagram above). That means Saturn controls the flow of energy right now. Make Saturn happy and the rest of the chart will be happier for it. That means planning ahead, being responsible, clearly defining your goals and doing whatever is necessary to achieve them. Saturn in Virgo can be a taskmaster, but its agenda is not to be mean but to improve, strengthen and support you in attaining those goals.

The houses in your natal chart where these Stellia land, as well as the house where Saturn is transiting, will become focal points for attention, energy and challenges to be met. Also, if you have personal planets in Capricorn or Aquarius, this New Moon is likely to affect you more than many others. A personal reading can help you understand the challenges that lie ahead and how to capitalize on your strengths, resources and potential to build your best future. 

Dec.27 – Venus conjunct Neptune (22:18 of Aquarius)

This can be a time of romance and dreamy desire on one hand, or deceptive manipulation and self-serving negotiation on the other hand. At its best, this transit can inspire enormous creativity and healing faith in love and abundance. We can be extremely open to the loftiest possibilities of our close relationships and our ability to attract what and who we desire. However, it may not be as easy to assess these areas in light of the realities that must be dealt with in order to realise that potential. We may find it easier to have faith in the power of negotiation — that the Universe will ensure our desired outcome — but it is also easy to slide into wishful thinking that loses touch with the reality of the situation. If you are considering a major change involving income, investment, spending or resources, it is probably a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor. If you are starting a new relationship or negotiating changes to an existing one, it might be wise to take a long-term view to wait and see if your dreams really will come true or if your hopes are colouring your thinking a bit too much. A reality check with a trusted friend might also help with this. This transit begins a new cycle that brings these issues into our lives to explore and gradually unfolds over the next 12 months (approximately).

Dec.28 – Mars conjunct Pluto (01:08 of Capricorn) (Dec.29 in AU)

This transit is a volatile and powerful combination of energies, with enormous potential for both creative healing and destructive damage. At its best, this transit can spark a creative force for transformative change that rises from a deep, underlying truth and unconditional acceptance of ourselves, warts and all. At its worst, this energy can be cruel, violent or relentlessly obsessive, aiming to impose power and control over others. How you experience this will largely depend on how you deal with your wants and desires. Are you so attached to the outcome that you are focused only on the external effects and results? Or can you also focus on strengthening your empowerment from within, so that desired change begins with yourself? The urge to express sexual, passionate and intimate feelings may also run high now. Have fun with it, but remember to use good judgment too. Your powers of persuasion can be ardent and strong now...but since this transit applies to everyone, so can other people's. This could lead to zealous competition (think "Battle of the Titans") or to a powerful blend of passionate creativity (think "alchemical transformation"). Which will you choose?

(Note: See description of the New Moon in Capricorn (above) for more about the Mars-Pluto conjunction.)

Dec.31 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (28:48 of Capricorn)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

Dec.31 – Saturn Stationary Retrograde (21:46 of Virgo) (Jan.01 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about Stations.  Read article about Retrogrades.)

For up to a week before and after this date, your physical and emotional energy may feel a bit heavy, stuck, serious or sad. You might feel held back by circumstances or pressured by people or situations involving structure, rules, authority figures, expectations and responsibilities. For about the next four months, your ambitions and goals can benefit from planning and development at a deeper level. It is a time to rework and refine your goals to figure out how you are going to achieve them. You may also need to examine your motives for wanting to achieve these goals, as well as how feasible they are. You may therefore look at how your goals, or your method of achieving them, ought to be changed. This can also be a time of improving how you deal with authority, expectations, obligations or discipline. Toward that end, today's station could trigger these issues through events, conflicts, challenges or additional "homework." If you've been having problems or are uncomfortable with these areas, especially during the last 3 months, this retrograde period can allow you to gradually build a new way of dealing with them or problem-solving the difficulties. After Saturn turns Direct in 4 months, you will be in a better position to apply what you've learned and developed more fully. A personal reading can give you a clearer understanding of how to work productively and successfully with Saturn energy.

NOTE: For Saturn to be stationing at the turn of the year is very significant and has implications for the coming year. It suggests a rather intense year to come, full of hard work, sacrifices, limitations and having to be very specific about remedies to problems in order to succeed. At best, it indicates a year where success can be won through attention to detail, through a healing attitude (not merely aiming for results) and through being willing to help others while you're helping yourself. 2009 could be a year of feeling like you're being chipped away, but like a flint arrowhead, this will hone you into a sharper edge that can more easily cut through the jungle in front of you. 

Jan.01 – Happy New Year 2009!

Jan.01 – Mercury enters Aquarius (until Jan.21)

Mercury in Aquarius brings objectivity, detached mental focus, and communication that strives for unprecedented breadth and height -- even to the point of adopting an “ivory tower” mentality. This is a good transit for anything requiring a scientific or analytical approach, as well as anything that calls for you to "think outside of the box." This can be a time when you start to see old familiar situations in new ways, giving you a fresh perspective on things. This planetary energy is not likely to be supportive if you need to take a gentle or sensitive approach to personal interaction, however, since you may be more tempted to just say what needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Your mental outlook may be focused on upcoming possibilities, and it can be a good time to map out future plans and try on new ideas, since you are likely to be more open-minded to things you had previously dismissed as unrealistic or too "out there." This can be a time when you suffer from "cabin fever" and need to get out of the house more, especially if you've been cooped up for a long time due to bad weather, hard work or just lack of motivation to do something different. Breaking free of old routines can be a good thing -- just remember you have to live with whatever mess you make in the process.

Note: Mercury will go retrograde in Aquarius on Jan.11/12. 

Jan.03 – Venus enters Pisces (until Feb.02/03)

Creativity, harmony and compassion permeate our experiences while Venus waltzes through Pisces. If you are an artist, musician, writer or other imaginative artisan, this can be a time of great creative inspiration. Even if you're not, this can still be a time when your appreciation of the arts is heightened and your sensual enjoyment of life increases. Relationships can be influenced by this placement, by encouraging more openness to love and romance. While this can make interaction smoother and more magical, it might also make you more vulnerable to deception or disappointment. Be receptive don't misplace your better judgment. This can also be a time when you are prone to feeling a Universal Oneness with humanity. You may find you have increased capacity for compassion, caring and connection with others. This, too, can be a mixed blessing -- it can bring out your most loving side, but could also make you more easily taken advantage of. You might feel inspired to make a selfless sacrifice, or to donate money or resources as a form of service. It is all done in the name of Universal beauty, truth and compassion. Celebrate this transit by going to a concert of beautiful music, or stroll through an art gallery, or indulge in dreamy sensuality, or let yourself feel a loving connection with all that is around you. 

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Jan.04 – Venus sextile Pluto (01:23 of Pisces/Capricorn) (Jan.05 in AU)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money. 

Jan.05 – Jupiter enters Aquarius (until Jan.17.2010) (Jan.06 in AU)

Envision the future! It's time to imagine your best potential and open your heart to something new. This is a very inspiring energy that can bring hope, excitement and fellowship. Friends can become important, with new people possibly coming into your life. Old friends might fall away if you have grown in different directions. Your involvement with groups and organisations could increase or change. You might feel drawn to humanitarian causes, whether that is through a religious or spiritual focus or a more secular one. This is a time when the greater Collective of society—indeed, of the world—can become a greater concern to its members. Both globally and individually, new ideas for change could be born which bequeath to future generations the best of our current wisdom and the most honest acknowledgement of our shortcomings.

The down side is that it's also easier to react in self-righteous fervour about things that would benefit better from a more cautious, measured response. "Group-think" could mushroom, whereby groups of people become caught up in the excitement of what look like positive ideals—except they might not be so positive for the people who are on the other end. Jupiter can be very judgmental and blaming in its quest for truth, power and certainty. Combined with rebellious Aquarius, this can manifest in something like a protest march against injustice—but it could just as easily produce a mob looking for a scapegoat to blame for their problems. And in the idealized worlds of Jupiter and Aquarius, it might not always be easy to tell which is which.

Much will depend on the wisdom and perspective of both Jupiter and Aquarius. The trick is to find detachment that doesn't lose connection to human compassion, and to find a common ground with others that doesn't require everyone to share the same beliefs, cultural traditions or even the same physical land. Look to a higher level of humanity to discover a more universal commonality. 

Jan.09 – Sun sextile Uranus (19:30 of Capricorn/Aquarius) (Jan.10 in AU)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers. 

Cancer 22: A young woman awaiting a sailboat.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Cancer

Cancer 22

A young woman awaiting a sailboat.

A sailboat is a vessel that travels on the surface of the water. Cancer is a Water sign, yet the wind that's required to make a sailboat move suggests Air is required to make this Sabian Symbol "go." ("What's a Sabian Symbol?")

Air is about thoughts, logic, rational ideas and the cerebral side of existence. The head and the heart don't always talk easily to each other. They speak different languages. The heart speaks in feelings, intuition, subjectivity and beauty. The head speaks in concepts, logic, objectivity and reason. Yet, when combined, they can move us in ways that are both emotionally and intellectually exciting.

In the image, a young woman awaits the sailboat. She's "waiting for her ship to come in," as the saying goes. What are you waiting for in your life? What do you hope will come into your life and either bring the answer to your problems or take you away from it all? It doesn't have to be an escapist fantasy; it might just be an opportunity that can set something new in motion that you've been preparing for.

Air and Water combine to form a vivid imagination to paint a fantasy—or it can bring worry that focuses on pessimistic possibilities. Do you imagine that your sailboat brings philanthropists or pirates? Treasures or tax collectors? Long lost family returning home or relatives you wish would get lost? Whatever it is, being aware of how your creative imagination works within your consciousness is the first step in being able to use it in a positive, productive and fruitful way.

 

Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

Jan.10 – FULL MOON in CANCER (21:02)

FULL MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.10, 10:27 PM EST

London, UK:

Jan.11, 3:27 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.11, 2:37 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience CANCER energy in your life.

Share |

Welcome to 2009! We're off to a great start. Jupiter just changed signs, Mercury is going retrograde and we're close to our first set of eclipses coming up at the end of the month (more about that in the next update). But I'm getting ahead of myself. The more immediate event is the Full Moon in Cancer.

Cancer is about feelings, nurturing, and our need for safety and belonging. Everyone has the primal need to belong somewhere or to someone. If this is withheld, disrupted or unattainable, the resulting isolation and loneliness can affect us very deeply. When that need is fulfilled, it nourishes the soul and gives us a feeling of inner security and well-being.

Safety and security go hand-in-hand with stability, predictability and sustainability: Cancer and Capricorn. Cancer (where the Moon is right now) is a Water sign. As such, it has no form of its own. In order for water to maintain take on a shape and remain whole, it must be placed within a strong container in a stable environment. Cancer is ruled by the Moon which has no light of its own but reflects the light of the Sun. The Cancer part of us relies on connection and interaction with others in order to shine and to sustain our individual "shape."

The opposite sign Capricorn (where the Sun is right now) is an Earth sign – just the substance needed to provide the containment and stability that Cancer needs. "Containment" can be interpreted in different ways. It can be supportive, like putting water into a bowl where it is given form, a place to "belong," yet it can still breathe and be accessible when you want to use it. Or, it can be suppressive, like sealing it in a bottle to hide it away, which means it can't be accessed and it stagnates.

There are therefore pros and cons to the Cancer/Capricorn axis. If we don't have a life that provides a strong enough or stable enough container, we can become ultra sensitive, needy and overly emotional. It's a bit like carrying water in a shallow bowl and our movement makes it slosh over the sides – that's how sensitive we can be to the ups and downs of life, when we don't have enough support in our lives.

It's often tempting to go to the other extreme. In order to protect ourselves when we're feeling that vulnerable, we can shut down emotionally—the equivalent of pouring ourselves into a bottle and sealing it with a cork. This might seem to be the perfect solution, except that (a) we don't have access to our feelings when we need them, and (b) our effervescent spirit can build up a lot of pressure after it's been jostled enough times by life inside a sealed container. Then something relatively small happens and we suddenly blow our cork!

This kind of dynamic is alive at the Full Moon in Cancer. What especially shakes things up is that the Sun and Moon are in aspect to the Saturn-Uranus opposition. Saturn (planetary ruler of Capricorn) has the goal to provide the stability that Cancer needs. Saturn in Virgo is likely to focus on what is pragmatic, healthy and helpful to others, but it can also be demanding and critical which feels harsh to sensitive Cancer.

On the other hand, Uranus has a different agenda aimed toward freedom, spontaneity, and leaving options open for future opportunities. In reasonable amounts, this can be exciting even to our safety-seeking Moon, and it can balance out its emotionality with a bit of detachment and perspective. However, all that excitement could also become chaotic, overwhelming or too impersonal. Uranus can handle this, but it's not usually the Moon's idea of fun.

Mystic Rectangle aspect figure

The Sun-Moon opposition (which is what a Full Moon is), combined with the Saturn-Uranus opposition, forms an aspect configuration called a Mystic Rectangle. ("What's a Mystic Rectangle?") The whole effect can create stress, tension and pressure on the inside, while being cooperative, upbeat and composed on the surface. At its best, it can give you the fuel for creativity to be used for anything from artistry to innovative problem-solving. At its worst, it could make you feel like a pressure cooker if you don't find a constructive or creative outlet for that inner tension. When faced with stability and chaos, pressure and freedom, it may be necessary to determine what your needs really are right now and to prioritize them.

To add to this "interesting" mix of energies, Mercury is very Stationary Retrograde in Aquarius (officially changing directions a mere 25 hours after the Full Moon reaches exact). This could lend a very unusual, innovative and surprising element to the creative mix, but it could also amplify any confusion, over-reaction or impersonal detachment. This is a time to begin a retrospective or introspective exploration of the feelings, creativity, intuition and yearnings that come up for you at the Full Moon.

On the positive side, Jupiter has just gone into Aquarius. (Yay!!) Jupiter has a hard time in Capricorn (the sign it just left), being forced to fit all those wondrous possibilities into the narrow boxes of Capricorn's realistic plans. If you felt last year like you were struggling to hold onto hope or imagine new possibilities in your life, you may find it easier this year to envision a better, brighter future and find new meaning in life. With Jupiter now in progressive Aquarius, ideas and solutions that venture outside conventional boundaries are likely to hold more promise than following the same-old-same-old formulae. It's not a magic pill, but at the very least Jupiter in Aquarius can help you keep your spirits up. Let it inspire you!

Yod aspect figure

And finally, there is a Yod aspect configuration involving the Moon sextile Saturn, pointing at Neptune with Chiron huddled close behind. The Full Moon asks us to get a handle on our emotional needs, figure out what we need to provide a healthy container for our tender insides and what's really important to us. However, the Yod to Chiron-Neptune warns not to be so overly optimistic, visionary or idealistic that you lose touch with either your ordinary personal existence or your grip on plain old reality.

Watch for signs that you might be secretly or unconsciously harbouring the wish for some magical person to sweep into your life and solve all your problems. More to the point, look even deeper to see if you might be leaning a bit too far into the land of magical thinking (and in danger of falling face first into the muck). On the other hand, is it possible you are focusing so firmly on the personal or practical level of your life that you're missing or dismissing an opportunity to open your mind to new or greater possibilities? These realms—the personal, the practical and the spiritual—need to stay flexible to balance each other out for best results.

A personal astrology reading is a powerful way to explore and discover new possibilities that could improve your life. Your chart can shed light on how you're being hard on yourself and ways to forgive and nurture yourself. Contact me to find out more about a personal reading.

 

Jan.11 – Mercury stationary Retrograde (07:45 of Aquarius; until Feb.01) (Jan.12 in AU) ("What's a Station?"  Read article about Stations.  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped during the station. During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is best to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct. In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible; for example, it's common to have to reschedule appointments. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius, which can bring up thoughts and ideas that are way off the beaten track! With Mercury's usual conscious thought patterns turned inside out under the retrograde, you might get anything from very weird dreams to brilliant new ideas to thoughts that are scattered and fragmented. Your attention span might be a little short and you could easily feel bored with anything that seems ordinary, monotonous or too limiting. You might also feel frustrated and overwhelmed because you feel a need to stretch your thoughts and perceptions beyond your usual horizons, yet feel trapped by the demands of day-to-day life. On the other hand, you might find you are able to spontaneously reach beyond your usual limits and view life from a totally different angle. Ideas may explode suddenly in your mind and words could burst out of your mouth. You might be tempted to say things for shock value or to break down a wall of resistance that you perceive is in your way. Write down your best ideas to process and develop later. 

Jan.11 – Sun Trine Saturn (21:39 of Capricorn/Virgo) (Jan.12 in AU)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps. 

Jan.18 – Mercury Retrograde conjunct Jupiter (03:04 of Aquarius)  ;(Jan.19 in AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now. 

Jan.19 – Sun enters Aquarius (until Feb.18) (Jan.20 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Aquarians! While the Sun travels through Aquarius, we all have a chance to explore our rebellious, individualistic and futuristic Aquarian nature. This heralds a time to explore beyond the status quo and conventional reality, beckoning you to reach out to the lost threads of who you are. You may become more aware of your individual uniqueness and your part in the Great Collective -- both your surrounding community and the Collective Unconscious. In order to fulfill the unique fingerprint of your life's purpose, it is sometimes necessary to be rebellious, spontaneous, and to be open to the unexpected. You might become aware of the need for these qualities under this transit. There is always a constant tension between the need to conform to society's formula of what works best versus the need to step off the main path to explore new experiences, and both are equally necessary to the health of both the individual and the greater community. Archetypally, it is in Aquarius that we encounter our personal experience of the battle between "the needs of the many" versus "the needs of the few." During the Sun's adventure through Aquarius, be open to the ways that this dynamic operates in your life. What can trigger or inspire you into rebellion or going against the conventional flow of the world around you? What will motivate you into being a team player, when you apply your energies to support or defend "the needs of the many?" What visions of the future do you see when you are in either mode of being? This is a time when you may have the opportunity to observe and learn about both sides of yourself -- the part that feels like it's "me against the world" and the part that feels like a part of that world. 

Jan.20 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (00:44 of Aquarius) (Jan.21 in AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognizable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface. 

Jan.21 – Mercury Retrograde enters Capricorn (until Feb.14)

Mercury is retrograde in Capricorn, which can create a very serious mindset. It might be a bit of a struggle to maintain your optimism, especially if you keep trying to escape that seriousness by pretending it doesn't exist. If you have a tendency toward depression, this transit might bring that up to some extent, so it might be a good idea to be prepared for this with a list of coping strategies (things you can do that make you feel better about yourself). This can be a good time to slow down and lower your expectations a little -- not because you don't deserve better or because you're giving up, but because you're willing to be gentle with yourself and simplify your life a little. On the other hand, this can be a great time to apply yourself to some productive work on a project or goal you have. If you're facing a situation in your life that requires you to "get real" and get results, this transit can be a resource for that. 

Jan.22 – Mars sextile Uranus (20:01 of Capricorn/Pisces) (Jan.23 in AU)

You have an opportunity to move forward through inspired action. This can bring creative problem solving to any conflicts or challenges that are currently in your life. Now is the time to think outside the box and experiment with trying out new responses, actions and directions. It may be easier to be spontaneous and even to act "out of character." If this is something you easily go overboard with, you might want to find ways to channel this constructively. The idea is to be refreshingly spontaneous, not recklessly impulsive. On the other hand, if you have trouble kicking up your heels and being free and unfettered, this transit can be used to get you moving a bit better. If you don't use this energy constructively or consciously, you might wind up feeling somewhat erratic or restless. Find something exciting, inspiring or unusual to spend your energy on. 

Jan.22 – Venus conjunct Uranus (20:01 of Pisces) (Jan.23 in UK, AU)

The warm receptivity of Venus can become somewhat cool, detached and unpredictable when combined with Uranus. This is a good combination for carrying out a dispassionate strategy, or for networking with acquaintances and associates. It can also be a time when you might liberate yourself from old connections  --  for example, choosing to end a relationship, stepping away from an outworn friendship, or being open to experimenting with new kinds of connections with people. It can also be a time of impulse spending, or wanting to use your resources and finances for a humanitarian purpose. Finances may become a bit unpredictable or unstable -- either bringing income when you didn't expect it, or spending it when you may or may not have. Whether you want to liberate your own life or someone else's, this is a time when freedom and independence become the focus of pleasure. Experimentation is also tempting, and while this can be invigorating, it might also leave you with consequences you hadn't anticipated. Embrace your spontaneity, but don't divorce your judgment. 

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Jan.24 – Sun conjunct Jupiter (04:22 of Aquarius)

Confidence, optimism, leadership, vision and well being characterize this transit. Your self-esteem and self-awareness can be wide open now. Your sense of being part of something greater than yourself may be vivid and bright. And you may have increased ability to identify and act on opportunities around you, which can bring you "lucky" prospects. On the other hand, if you have difficulty embracing a positive sense of self, or if you shy away from believing you are a treasured Child of the Universe, then this transit might stir up those difficult feelings to the surface. You could wind up trying to compensate with over-confidence, arrogance, blind faith, or gambling on what are realistically poor prospects. The trick is to tap into the spirit of who you are. Let go of blame and instead apply some honest yet compassionate assessment. Let your spirit shine brightly out to the world, but not so brightly that you blind yourself or others by your own light. Consult a trusted friend for feedback or advice if in doubt. This is a great time to expand your horizons, whether that is through travel, by learning something new, by sharing your knowledge with others, or by exploring the Meaning of Life. 

Jan.24 – Mars trine Saturn (21:16 of Capricorn/Virgo)

This is a great time for disciplined action that can produce grounded, specific and stable results. If you have a project that needs to push ahead to the next step, you may find this is a good time to do that. If you want to make progress with your ambitions, goals and plans, this can be a good time to make plans or to take action. You are likely to feel "together," capable and strong, giving you a serious, calm and realistic confidence. It's usually easier to control or restrain your more volatile emotions, and present yourself as someone who is stable and on top of things. This transit can bring sustained physical energy that doesn't burn itself out quickly and can pace itself for lasting endurance. Remember that the effects of this transit typically last only about a week or two, so make the most of it! 

Jan.24 – Venus opposite Saturn (21:16 of Pisces/Virgo)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments -- literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you -- is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side. 

Jan.24 – Venus sextile Mars (21:18 of Pisces/Capricorn)

It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now. 

Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE - NEW MOON in AQUARIUS - January 26, 2009. Available by Jan.26.

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