Low-Down Archives for January 2011

New Moon & Full Moon Astrology, Planetary Transits

 January 2011

For the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Capricorn:
January 4 to 19, 2011

And the Full Moon in Cancer:
January 19 to February 3, 2011

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Jan.04 – SOLAR ECLIPSE - NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (13:38 of Capricorn)

SOLAR ECLIPSE
NEW MOON in CAPRICORN

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.04, 2011, 4:02 AM EST

London, UK:

Jan.04, 2011, 9:02 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.04, 2011, 8:02 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.

This Solar Eclipse will be visible over most of Europe, north Africa, the Middle East and western Asia. DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT A SOLAR ECLIPSE without proper eye protection.

"Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
– Chief Seattle

Structure is essential to life as we know it. It forms, shapes, defines, supports and sustains. Without structure everything falls apart. Without bones, our bodies would collapse in a lump of flesh. Without skin, our innards would ooze out all over the place. Without the structure of our DNA, our cells wouldn't know how to organize themselves to form blood, organs, bones and muscles, nor how to function together as a gestalt. Without the complex structure of your brain, you could not read this or understand it.

Capricorn is the zodiacal ambassador of structure, along with its planetary ruler, Saturn. In the Capricorn/Saturn archetype, the fabric of our experience is woven together, one patient strand at a time. The structure of any situation, event, relationship, ambition, plan, manifestation or interaction is the "glue" that holds the thing together.

Capricorn and Saturn govern the constructs of our experience, from the skin and bones of our bodies to the building blocks of our individual and collective lives. These form the skeletal configuration that supports, and the sheath that surrounds, everything that occurs in the world that we know. This applies not only to the physical world but also to our experiential existence. Take relationships, for example: that structure is about the roles we play, the expectations we have, the commitments we make to each other and the social cues through which we interact.

The function of any kind of structure is that it facilitates the creation of something greater than the sum of its parts. In that sense, it is the alchemical medium where magic comes to life! Capricorn is the configuration of the building blocks of physical reality that enables life as we know it to exist.

And you thought Capricorn was stodgy and boring. ;-)

Weaving the Structure

Developing any kind of structure takes patience, intention, vision and collaborative teamwork. One strand cannot weave a fabric by itself. Many strands are blended together in order to make the cloth. Even if the fabric is created out of one long thread, it must still work cooperatively with itself in order to create something greater than itself.

Structure relies on consistency for its strength, and consistency requires a methodology of some kind. Too much spontaneity or impulsive action distracts from consistency and will ultimately weaken the structure of the whole. As a result, it is essential to have a plan.

Many people who have a creative or spontaneous nature lament that Saturn and Capricorn are too rigid, serious and mundane because of this need for consistency. But it is in the planning that Saturn can be creative. The implementation of the plan might not be as exciting because it's important to follow the recipe and do what is expected if you want the results, but the planning stage is where Capricorn creativity comes alive.

Archetypally, Capricorn starts with the vision of possibilities that radiates from Sagittarius and Jupiter. Then you must choose which of those possibilities to focus on. You can't do them all at once. You live in the time-space continuum—Saturn's territory—which means there's only so much multi-tasking you can do, and even that requires a carefully coordinated strategy to make it work. So in Capricorn, you must choose and commit to that choice. And that means some possibilities must be sacrificed and let go, at least for now.

Building that structure is more than just hammering the nails and aligning the boards correctly. By creating something greater than the sum of its parts, that magical alchemical process becomes present even in the generation of that structure. Just as each part contributes to the creation of the whole, the whole also acts on and influences its parts. The microcosm and the macrocosm are indelibly connected and continually interacting with each other.

Like the quote at the start of this article says, what you do at the microcosmic level vibrates at the macrocosmic level, and vice versa. For instance, if you want to build a business but spend too much time socializing on Facebook, your business will not grow as quickly, solidly or effectively (not that I would know anything about that, of course... *cough*). On the other hand, if you're using Facebook as a way to share information and network with more people, then this not only contributes to the whole but it can also strengthen your business.

Mars, Pluto and Saturn

Building any structure requires energy and effort (Mars), as well as the willingness to allow the structure to fundamentally alter and change the current reality—including you (Pluto). As fate would have it, both Mars and Pluto are also in Capricorn, along with the Sun and Moon. At this New Moon, we do indeed have our resources gathered together!

Since this is a New Moon in Capricorn, it is a time to plan, revise, tear down and/or build the structures in our lives. With Mars and Pluto there too, it emphasizes the focus on determination, application of effort, transformation and the alchemical exchange of energy between yourself and the world around you.

However, the New Moon is square (90°) to Saturn, its planetary ruler. I'm always intrigued by planets that are in stressful aspect to their dispositor (the ruler of the sign the planet is in). It's like there's an internal struggle because the planet is at odds with its own energy and expression. There is difficulty for that planet to express the sign's energy, so there is a need for extra effort, or perhaps a more creative effort, in order for that planet to function well. In a sense, it needs to get out of its own way in order to get in sync with its sign energy. In this case, it is the Sun, Moon and Mars that are at odds with their Capricorn energy, since they are all in square aspect to Saturn.

Mars and Saturn are natural "enemies." Mars is impulsive, enthusiastic, does something for its own sake in the moment, and wants to strike out on its own path. Saturn is cautious, serious, insists on being prepared in whatever it does, and does things for the end result which often doesn't come right away. The square tends to reinforce this animosity, putting them at odds with each other.

Surprisingly, Mars is exalted in Capricorn. Although you might think Mars would be allergic to Capricorn, it actually harnesses the Mars energy and turns the wild stallion into a powerful and productive workhorse. But square it off against Saturn, its zodiacal benefactor, and it can make the yoke around Mars' neck a bit too heavy and the task at hand feel rather arduous. This can ultimately make Mars stronger, but before this happens it can also slow down that development, prolonging a reaction of hesitation and caution or amplifying its rebellion and resentment. On a personal level, it takes some extra patience, cooperation, give-and-take and good will between our impulsive Inner Child and our practical Adult to make this awkward alliance work effectively.

The New Moon is also a Solar Eclipse, which adds yet another transformative element to the mix. For this eclipse to be square to Saturn means we are engaging in a struggle to build a new structure—or a new kind of structure—in our lives. An eclipse often breaks something down first in order to create space and release raw energy to rebuild. Think of it like baking bread – you have to keep punching down the raw dough and kneading it again to create the consistency you want, so that it will bake just right. With the eclipse also conjunct Pluto, this quality of deconstruction leading to reconstruction is even more present.

Saturn's role in the eclipse might be to block what you want to do, in order to steer you into closer alignment with what you've been trying to do. Saturn could insist that you overhaul the structure of what you're aiming to achieve in order to make the structure stronger or more effective. It might take you on a detour away from your current direction, which can give you resources, skills, experience or connections that are necessary or beneficial to the end result you're working toward. Or, if you're headed in a direction that's not in your best interest, or too out of sync with the reality around you, it could put obstacles in your way to guide you toward a different path. And if you're just plain stuck in some situation, Saturn could squeeze the situation to make it intolerable not to make a change.

Midpoints – Connecting the Dots

There is an intriguing pattern in the solar eclipse chart that has important implications for the structural development taking place under its authority. There is an unusual amount of connectivity happening through midpoints. A midpoint is the point exactly in the middle between two planets. If there is a third planet there, it provides a conduit of connectivity between the other two planets, even if there is no aspect joining them. And if there is an aspect, then the midpoint planet reinforces that relationship and makes it more dynamic. The midpoint planet also colours the way these planets interact.

For starters, the Sun-Moon conjunction is at the midpoint between Mars and Pluto. Although Mars and Pluto are too far apart to be conjunct on their own, this midpoint bridge strongly reinforces the Stellium energy with all four of them being in Capricorn together—the dynamic destruction of worn out structures and the reconstruction of new ones. It also strengthens the somewhat wide Rolling Conjunction between them.

The Sun and Moon are also on another midpoint, between Venus and Chiron-Neptune. Venus is in a very tight square to Neptune and Chiron, who are themselves still very closely conjunct. The eclipse therefore amplifies that square aspect, which warns about the risks of under- or over-estimating what you're realistically able to contribute, attract into your life, or cooperate with. In other words, be careful not to let what you hope can happen get in the way of what is actually happening.

Pluto also lands on a number of midpoints, starting with Mercury and Mars. How you react to what's happening—either in your attitude, words or actions—could come across as much "louder" and more forceful than you intended. If you're harbouring any resentment, discontent or frustration in a situation that calls for you to be optimistic, open-minded and magnanimous, watch out for unconscious mixed messages.

Pluto is also at the midpoint between Saturn and Jupiter-Uranus. These four planets created the infamous Cardinal Cross in 2010. Although they are not close enough right now to form a T-square aspect pattern, the fact that they are connected by midpoints suggests that the Cardinal Cross energy will be buzzing in the background of this solar eclipse! Again, it underscores the transformative and reconstructive qualities in this eclipse.

Venus is on the midpoint between Saturn and Pluto, which also could summon the ghost of the previous square aspect between those two planets. The Saturn-Pluto struggle for power, control and command of the changes happening now could be played out in relationships, finances, agreements or creativity. Your passion, resolve and desire to create the results you want could also become a driving force in how you approach or experience those issues of power and control (Venus in Scorpio).

There are other midpoints too, but the point is that there is a lot of indirect energy lurking behind the scenes right now. You might notice instances of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence between seemingly unrelated events or situations) that make intuitive sense but are unexpected or not easily explained in a logical way. You might find events, connections or opportunities falling into place more easily than you expected, or you could also encounter one of those "uh-oh" moments when you wish everything had stayed disconnected.

Since all this is happening under the roof of a Capricorn New Moon and solar eclipse, it is probably best to rely on your own practical actions while enjoying any fortuitous opportunities that come your way but don't depend on them happening in order to manifest what you want. By the same token, it's wise to operate with as much integrity, honesty, responsibility and reliability as possible, so that if unexpected and unwanted connections do happen, you'll have less crow to eat. ;-)

Venus trine Jupiter and Uranus

On the plus side, there's a lovely and exciting convergence happening between Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. Jupiter and Uranus make their final conjunction just hours after the solar eclipse, bringing a release of creative, liberating and visionary energy that has been forged under the pressure of the Cardinal Cross. This alone suggests that all that Capricorn energy is unlikely to become overly oppressive, serious or boring.

Venus also trines (120°) Jupiter and Uranus, which opens the door for this liberating energy to be expressed in relationships, finances and creative endeavours. Watch out for impulse spending on pretty, glittery luxury items! What's especially remarkable about this alignment is that all three planets converge precisely at 27:02 of their respective signs within a window of less than half an hour. This all happens on Jan.04, about 4 hours after the eclipse is exact. That's a lot of energy being released within a very small timeframe!

Jupiter, Uranus and Venus can bring considerable flow, innovation, pleasure and excitement to an otherwise very solid and structured eclipse framework. At best, this can provide a satisfying balance of energy; at worst, it can destabilize and disrupt that structure building with distracting desires, impulses and reactions.

Awareness is your best ally, so that you can steer the energy in a way that enhances and supports your intentions. A personal reading is the best way to clarify and work constructively with the issues that are being activated in your life right now. And right now you can get a super discount on your reading if you order by January 4th. Contact me for more information.

Jan.04 – Jupiter conjunct Uranus (27:02 of Pisces)

These planets form an extremely powerful combination of energies that merge wisdom, intuition, brilliance and immense potential! Both planets are about seeing the big picture, seeing things from a broader perspective, and the spreading of information and knowledge. This can be a time when brilliant ideas abound, new inventions could be born and information may be combined in totally unique ways. Both planets are about potential—in other words, seed energy that can blossom into something greater than itself.

This transit can herald a time when you break free of old restraints based on new information, knowledge or understanding about your confining situation. In a situation where you've been struggling to find an answer to a problem, it can lead to a breakthrough – what is called an "ah-ha!" moment. The answer that comes to you might surprise you, even shock you. It might not be what you were expecting, and therefore you might be tempted to dismiss it, reject it or rationalize around it if it's not what you were hoping for.

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The answer might encourage you to cast off old attachments, especially involving old beliefs or conclusions that no longer serve you well. The answer might require that you let go of everything you thought you knew or believed, to clear away your point of view so that you can take in a whole new perspective. On the other hand, that answer might indicate that you must clear away old assumptions so that you can face the truth about something, in which case it's not so much that you need to see something new but rather to accept something that you've avoided dealing with.

The idea is to allow your natural intuition to speak to you with clarity, so that your preconceived notions of what to expect don't get in the way. Depending on your spiritual orientation, this might feel a bit like God or your Higher Self or the Universe or just your creative wisdom sending you a message.

This is a rare transit that only occurs about every 13-14 years. Were you, or was someone you know, born under this transit? 1900 (Sagittarius), 1914 (Aquarius), 1927-28 (Aries), 1941 (Taurus), 1954-55 (Cancer), 1968 (Libra), 1983 (Sagittarius), 1997 (Aquarius), 2010-11 (Pisces/Aries), and then not again until 2024 (Taurus).

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Jun.08.2010, Sep.18.2010 and Jan.04.2011. This conjunction has been part of the Cardinal Cross configuration, although at this final pass the planets in question (Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter-Uranus) are not aligned in a T-square aspect figure. Whereas those previous passes had to wrestle with the opposition to Saturn (rules, responsibility and caution) and the square to Pluto (struggle for empowerment, imbalance of power, etc.), this time Jupiter and Uranus get to revel in their joy of release, liberation, freedom and inspiration. This is emphasized by the exact trine to Venus during this last pass. It's possible this last conjunction could have a "slingshot" effect, where a lot of pent-up creativity (perhaps collected under the Cardinal Cross earlier this year) could be released in a great burst of energy! What is also possible is that bottled up intense feelings could also come spurting out, especially as Mercury slowly comes up to square them on Jan.10-12. So if that is the case, be sure you are aware of what is lurking under your surface that could come exploding out. It's a good time to say things that need to be said, but make sure you don't burn any bridges you might need later—or reveal private thoughts and feelings that you'll wish later you'd kept private!

Jan.04 – Venus trine Uranus (27:02 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Jan.05 in AU)

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life.

Jan.04 – Venus trine Jupiter (27:02 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Jan.05 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Jan.05 – Venus square Chiron (27:51 of Scorpio/Aquarius)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

Jan.07 – Venus enters Sagittarius (until Feb.04)

Venus focuses her passion on truth-seeking, philosophical exploration, a lust for knowledge, spiritual intimacy, music in foreign languages and multicultural social discourse. It is a time to explore the meaning that your close relationships bring to your life, and the value that you bring to the Significant Others in your life. It is also a time when you might seek to increase your income (or your spending – careful!) and expand your potential for material wealth and self-worth. You will likely find that negotiations, interactions and transactions work best when you apply spiritual values to them and keep the big picture in mind. You may also find yourself involved with people and transactions that involve other countries, cultures, languages and travel. There could be a teaching-learning element in your dealings with people, so aim for the highest good of all concerned.

Jan.07 – Sun square Saturn (16:54 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Jan.08 in AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Jan.10 – Mercury sextile Neptune (27:01 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)  (Jan.11 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit, with a little applied effort and focus. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) The possible disadvantage is that you might want so much to reach a state of inspired intuition, magical outlook and effortless communication, that you are willing to be deceived rather than fall short of what you are hoping for. Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Jan.10 – Mercury square Uranus (27:13 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Jan.11 in UK, AU)

Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.

Jan.11 – Mercury square Jupiter (28:08 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Jan.12 in AU)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

Jan.11 – Mercury sextile Chiron (28:13 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)  (Jan.12 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.

Jan.12 – Mars sextile Uranus (27:15 of Capricorn/Pisces)

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.13 – Mercury enters Capricorn (until Feb.03)

Cheerful, adaptable Mercury travels through conventional, structured Capricorn, bringing out his analytical, focused side. This is a good time to plan your projects and map out a game plan to reach your goals. It is probably best to choose discipline over distraction. Communication, ideas and awareness may become serious, structured, grounded and manifest now. Just don’t let them become suppressed or censored. This is a great time to do some serious planning and organizing for future projects and goals. It is also a good time for analyzing and evaluating what you have been involved with during the past year or so. What have you learned? What information has come to you that has led you into new directions? What goals have you achieved, and what goals do you want to pursue now? What plan of action is required to get you from here to there? It may be a time when you can face some hard reality and tough decisions better than you normally do. Because Mercury in Capricorn tends to be serious and factual, it may also be a time when you are more prone to depression or discouragement. It will help to schedule regular breaks in your routine to get away and plug your head into a different perspective for a while.

Jan.13 – Mars sextile Jupiter (28:29 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.14 in UK, AU)

There is potential for optimism, cheerfulness and increased energy during this transit. You will probably have to go after it (rather than it just falling into your lap), but you can probably increase your mood and energy level by applying a bit of effort. Your self-confidence and general attitude can improve, although be careful you don't become so caught up in feeling good that you ignore common sense, caution or realism. This is a good time to consider the moral, philosophical or greater implications of your actions, and then make adjustments to bring your behaviour into alignment with your beliefs, aspirations and ideals.

Jan.15 – Mars enters Aquarius (until Feb.22)  (Jan.16 in AU)

This is a freedom quest! The assertive, forceful energy of Mars can be at its most rebellious, defiant and eccentric while in Aquarius. We may feel especially independent. Or perhaps more accurately, "counter-dependent" – whatever is perceived to be dependent or restrictive may trigger an automatic reaction in the opposite direction. On the other hand, you may be inclined to jump to liberate someone else who is in a dependent position – perhaps an "underdog" or a noble cause. Taking a leadership role to champion an unconventional cause may make you a lot more noticeable...which may or may not be to your advantage (depends whether you want to continue in that role). It can be a good time to invest your energy in activities involving groups, friends, community or Humanity as a whole. Motives, behaviour and energy can be a mixed bag of unstable, spontaneous, unpredictable, liberating, obstinate and/or humanitarian. Have fun with it, but it may be wise to keep a lifeline to something realistic and grounding.

Jan.17 – Sun sextile Uranus (27:26 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.18 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.

Jan.18 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (05:53 of Capricorn) ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Jan.18 – Mercury conjunct Pluto (05:56 of Capricorn)

Deep insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. This can be a new beginning in understanding the deeper motives and dynamics of what is happening in your life, although this could happen with great intensity or obsession. The light can finally start to go on in the darker corners that have eluded you. Although what you see there might be both illuminating and disturbing, it is ultimately something you can grow from, which can transform your mental outlook into something more meaningful and resilient. This is a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Jan.19 – FULL MOON in CANCER (29:27 of Cancer)

FULL MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.19, 2011, 4:21 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jan.19, 2011, 9:21 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jan.20, 2011, 8:21 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Need versus Want

What's the difference between need and want? And what's the best way to deal with each of them? These are the key questions for this Full Moon.

A need is something that's required in order to function at a certain level. A want, on the other hand, is something that is desired but not considered essential. One is a prerequisite, the other is a wish. One makes life possible, the other makes it more enjoyable.

For example, you need food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe and warmth (not too hot, not too cold) to sustain your physical existence. Without any one of these things, sooner or later your body will cease to live. This is different from wanting that chocolate ice cream, despite the desire being so acute you're sure you'll die without it.

Psychologically, you need to feel okay about yourself, to have a sense of connection to the world, to feel worthy and capable, to some degree, in order to function in the world. On the other hand, wanting to be so perfect that no one will ever doubt you isn't a prerequisite to being a good person.

Have the Zodiac Signs Changed??

Get the truth about this recent media sensation! Read my 2 latest articles:

Is Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? (or Why Astronomers Shouldn't Try to Do Astrology)

and

The Astrology of the Zodiac Sign Change Uproar

It's easy to distinguish need from want when looking at extremes, but as we approach the more realistic shades of grey in between, it gets much more complicated. There are feelings, circumstances, expectations and standards that muddy the clarity. For instance, if you struggle under the weight of intensely negative self-esteem, it's going to be almost impossible to believe you are a good, worthy person in the times when you fall short of perfection.

And yet those times are inevitable because perfection doesn't exist. Being human means we will make mistakes. And no one can ever be perfect in all situations and to all people. So, although perfection is not essential to one's value as a person, to the individual who feels disgraced by imperfection it's going to be pretty difficult to fulfil their human need to feel okay about themselves in order to function in their lives.

Wanting something is often seen as a bad thing because it is seen in terms of luxury, excess, greed or egotism. By definition it involves things that are not essential to life and therefore may be seen as unimportant or frivolous. Yet, if need is the soup that sustains life, then want is the flavour and spices that make the soup more enjoyable. What we want is usually something that makes life feel worth living. Want says it is not enough to simply enable life to continue; there must also be a quality of life that gives us a joy for living.

So both are important and worthy pursuits, yet both can be done to excess. If you get stuck in need, you live in a constant state of dependency on that which fulfils the need. If you get stuck in want, you might become too enamoured with luxury and unable to appreciate the simple miracle that is life itself.

Cancer versus Leo

The Full Moon is in Cancer, the sign associated with needs as well as feelings, security, safety, family and bonding. It is the 4th in a series of 5 consecutive 29° Full Moons, which began with the Full Moon in Aries on Oct.22.2010 and continues until the Full Moon in Leo on Feb.18.2011. These 29° Moons are about making a transition from the old to the new, from one sign to the other and from one state of being into another. This particular Full Moon is about the transition from Cancer into Leo. Cancer is the archetype associated with needs, and in a way Leo is an archetype about wants.

Both signs are about the Self: Cancer is the self as it develops within the nest of the family and as it continues to grow within the nurturing of your support systems. Leo is about the self that emerges from the egg of the Cancer nest and continues to develop as an independent entity, separate from its roots.

Both signs are about what "feeds" the self: In Cancer, the self needs safety, security, nurturing, bonding and belonging. In Leo, the self needs to shine, express itself and receive appreciation and esteem in return.

Both signs reflect what that self has to give: In Cancer, we give nurturing, caring, empathy and intimate connection. In Leo, we share the warmth of well-being and the light of spirit that we too feel inside.

And both signs show our human urge for attention: Cancer longs to be surrounded by the support, care and comfort of the family—either one's actual family or one's chosen family of significant others where we feel we belong. Leo wants to be surrounded by its audience that can provide feedback and appreciation for one's value, importance, appeal and merit.

Both energies place the individual at the centre of their world in some way. However, the Cancer archetype leans toward dependency and inter-dependence, whereas Leo is more about independence and individuality. Cancer seeks to belong within the whole, whereas Leo strives to individuate from the whole. Cancer's instinct is to fulfil its own human needs and to serve and provide for others'. On the other hand, Leo is driven by a desire to see what lies beyond the borders of the whole from which it emerges, and to discover itself and its potential beyond the limits of that whole.

It might be said that, archetypally, Cancer is about need whereas Leo is about want. Need is what is essential to our survival, functionality and well being. Want is what drives us to grow and become more than we are and to develop our potential. Every Full Moon consists of the Sun and Moon in opposition. With the Moon as ruler of Cancer, and the Sun as ruler of Leo, it could be said that every Full Moon brings a tension between, and challenge to resolve, our needs versus our wants.

Echoes of the Solar Eclipse of July 2009

At this particular Full Moon, Mars is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. Mars is also associated with want and desire, so there is considerable struggle between seeking fulfilment of what we need versus going after what we want, as well as figuring out which is which and why each is important (or not).

The Sun and Mars are also in different signs (called a dissociate conjunction). The Sun in Capricorn seeks autonomy and the structure to create an ordered, predictable future, whereas Mars in Aquarius strives for the freedom to be unpredictable and pursue any future possibilities that strike its fancy.

This Full Moon happens to be exactly conjunct the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009 (a mere 1 minute of orb apart!). That eclipse occurred during the long Saturn-Uranus opposition of 2008-2010, which pitted the drive for radical future change against the urge to conserve the stability of what had been established in the past. Saturn and Uranus are the planetary rulers of Capricorn and Aquarius, where the Sun and Mars are currently conjunct.

As a result, this Full Moon is very likely to reignite the energies set in motion at the time of that solar eclipse in 2009, as well as the tensions of the Saturn-Uranus opposition of that time. The fact that this Full Moon is also the lunation from another solar eclipse (Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, Jan.04.2011) seems to resonate even more with the past eclipse energy.

So, what got stirred up in your life in 2009? What began, ended, became disrupted or emerged as an issue in your life around that time? This could have been connected to family, or working through issues of the past. You might have been exploring your need for intimate bonding with others, or looking at your need for belonging and the ways that this was or wasn't working very well for you. Perhaps you were learning how to be a better parent to your child or to yourself, and you wanted to increase your ability to meet others' needs or to get your needs met. Were you reaching out to create different kinds of connection with your family, or perhaps starting to choose a closer level of bonding with a "chosen family" in your adult life?

Now you are revisiting these same or similar themes in your life. Maybe you are now discovering that there is a difference between demanding that loved ones be there for you versus allowing that connection to provide what nurturing it can, and perhaps seeking out whatever remains unmet from other areas of your life? Both then and now, the issues that were being activated were and are about transitioning from bonding with others to individual separateness. Perhaps you have been moving from being dependent on others to provide what you need to learning how to be more self-reliant and self-confident. Or, you might have been finding the courage to go from the security of a warm "nest" (family, home, secure situation) to the adventurous journey that lies beyond what has been familiar and "safe."

As you come full circle now, at this Full Moon, you may be challenged to examine whether you are pursuing needs or wants. Are you chasing after something that feels necessary to your functional existence, or are you pursuing a desire that isn't as essential as you thought it was? Or, maybe you're discovering that you have been living too austere an existence by trying to avoid the temptation of wants, but are now realizing that the objects of your desires might add to your enjoyment of life and therefore help you function better in your life?

On the other hand, needs versus wants are often defined by what we're trying to achieve. That chocolate ice cream might be merely a delicious desire when it comes to biological survival, but if you are trying to build a business making and selling ice cream then it becomes a need in order to allow your business to function and thrive. It's all relative to what your priorities are, so maybe this is a good time to take another look at how you're defining what is essential versus what is a luxury.

What do you really need? What do you really want?

Mars in Aquarius conjunct the Sun challenges you to reach beyond your comfort zone and dare to move into the future, but not do be so reckless that you disrupt your established foundation and stability unnecessarily. The challenge is to wrestle with and bridge the gap between the part of you that wants to play it safe by staying with the familiar and the part that's inspired to risk becoming a unique, free, individual You.

This could involve being willing to swap the comfort of a secure support system (family, friends, loved ones and other supportive people in your life) for a more remote and distant audience that can still provide encouragement, feedback and appreciation. You may need to stand on your own a bit more than you have been, take more risks and take the chance that your audience might not be as receptive to your self-expression as you'd hoped. You'll need a foundation of self-worth that can flower into self-confidence.

Since Mars is in Aquarius, the sign associated with groups and associates, it may also be important to stay connected to community and peer support systems, since they could provide some of that new level of encouragement and networking that you'll need for where you're going.

Jupiter forms an exact Wedge aspect figure with the Sun and Moon, all 3 points at 29°. Jupiter is making its final transition from Pisces into Aries in just 3 days. Its job is to gather faith in the future that the leap across that transitional chasm will result in a successful landing on the other side. Jupiter moving into Aries, and aspecting the Sun and Moon, is like a freedom call that sings out the promise of possibilities. Moving into the individuality of Aries, Jupiter is dreaming of the rapid expansion of intention into raw energy. But remember that Jupiter is also in Pisces, the sign of addiction and illusion, so watch out for a "too-good-to-be-true" vision that makes what you merely wish for look like something you can't live without.

A reality check could be worth its weight in gold if you're considering an important change in your life or if you're just feeling in desperate need of a change but aren't sure what or how. I'm available for private readings to provide some clarity, understanding and support. Please contact me for more information and prices.

Jan.19 – Sun sextile Jupiter (29:30 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.20 in AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

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

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 fulfil 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.22 – Jupiter enters Aries (until Jun.04)  (Jan.23 in AU)

Have you ever seen one of those time-lapse videos of a rose blooming? Instead of taking hours or days, the sequence takes seconds for the rose to go from a bud into a full bloom. The effect is magnificent, even startling, as you see the blossom explode into fullness. That's kind of what Jupiter in Aries can be like! All things Jupiter suddenly burst into fullness, which can include your self-confidence, knowledge, understanding and sense of spiritual connection to something greater than yourself. Since Aries is about the projection of the self into the world, this transit can also boost your sense of self and give you a stronger experience about being right and having "the answer." The trick is that it can strengthen not just the beneficial side of self-connection and understanding, it can also expand arrogance and a domineering, opinionated attitude. Being "full of oneself" is a danger under this transit, and it can help to do a reality check to see if your amplified sense of self-esteem might be coming at the expense of seeing everyone else as wrong, misinformed or "beneath you." The ability to instantly assess a situation can quickly teeter into making "snap judgments" and jumping to conclusions that may not be correct, sensitive, compassionate or in context with the bigger picture. Jupiter in Aries is like a big wild horse that needs a strong bridle to keep it from galloping over the top, and when you ride it (instead of it riding you) it can be a powerful, potent, charismatic force of nature that can inspire and instil confidence and wisdom all around you. Use it wisely.

Jupiter makes now makes its final entry into Aries. However, it zips through this sign and into Taurus in a mere 4+ months! Aries enjoys speed and is quite happy with this, although you'll want to grab this Jupiter-Aries energy while you still can. So grab your books to read, your pen to write and your lectern from which to teach, preach or otherwise share your knowledge and wisdom. By the time Jupiter scoots into Taurus, the energy will start to stabilize and slow down again, so take advantage of Jupiter in Aries now. It won't come around again for another 12 years.

Jan.23 – Venus sextile Saturn (17:13 of Sagittarius/Libra)  (Jan.24 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Jan.26 – Saturn stationary Retrograde (17:13 of Libra) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets. )

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.

Jan.26 – Mercury square Saturn (17:13 of Capricorn/Libra)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.

Happy Astrology Day!

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This is a powerful transit! Although Mercury squares Saturn at least a couple of times a year, this one stands out because Saturn is stationary at exactly the same degree and the same day as Mercury squares it! This is likely to intensify the Mercury-Saturn combined energy quite a bit.

If you experience this as hesitation, caution and apprehension about making decisions, speaking your mind or seeing beyond the immediate situation, you may find your life in the affected areas grinding to a virtual halt for a few days. It might help to think of this as being like having to wait at a stoplight to allow other things to clear out of the way before you can proceed. Or, there might be an advantage is going over your homework one more time before moving ahead, to make sure there isn't something you missed the first time around. Patience is definitely a prized virtue under this kind of energy, so slow down, wait until the light turns green and resist the urge to pound your head against the dashboard in frustration.

Alternatively, this could also be a time when you have your nose pressed firmly to the grindstone, working hard to map out the structure of new developments that will be built over the next several months. We often hear that saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" (which I always find extremely annoying but that doesn't make it any less true). This is precisely the kind of energy to carve out your plans—and not just planning what to do, but creating the basic outline from which the detailed plan will evolve. Again, patience, diligence and taking things one step at a time will make this time much more productive, bearable and satisfying in the end.

Feb.02 – Venus sextile Neptune (27:48 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a façade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!

Feb.02 – Venus square Uranus (27:03 of Sagittarius/Pisces)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Feb.02 – Mercury sextile Uranus (28:03 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Feb.03 in AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in AQUARIUS - February 3, 2011.

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© 2011 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Photo of solar eclipse from PD Photo. Photo of bas relief from Trajans Column by Alejandro on MorgueFile.org.


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