Low-Down Archives for January 2012

New Moon Capricorn, Full Moon Cancer, Planetary Transits

New Moon in Capricorn
Chart of New Moon in Capricorn

Dec.24 – NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (02:34 of Capricorn)

NEW MOON in CAPRICORN

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.24, 2011, 1:06 PM EDT

London, UK:

Dec.24, 2011, 6:06 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Dec.25, 2011, 5:06 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

The New Moon in Capricorn is so close to the December Solstice (Dec.22) that we could almost call it a Solstice Moon!

This is the season of giving, so I'm bringing you a treat – a guest writer, Kim Rogers-Gallagher, who has written a hilarious Solstice take-off on the traditional poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. She has graciously allowed me to share it with all of you, my readers.

Yes, I know it's technically past the Solstice, but there's so much in Kim's poem that's also in effect at the Capricorn New Moon that I thought it would be perfect for it!

There's really only one major difference between the Solstice and the New Moon charts. The Moon was in Scorpio at the Solstice, whereas at the New Moon it is, of course, in Capricorn. So the Solstice (setting the tone for the quarter-year from December to March) evokes a deeper, more passionate and emotional state. The Capricorn side of the New Moon is more practical, disciplined, patient and objective, although its conjunction with Pluto stirs in a Scorpionic flavour as well, so maybe it's not all that different.

The December Solstice marks the shortest day and the greatest amount of darkness here in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere it has the greatest amount of daylight and the shortest night. The meaning of Capricorn is deeply coloured by the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere.

However, this is a time when we seek to rebuild and restructure our lives, regardless of which hemisphere we're in. It is also a time when we take stock of the things that need to be torn down and let go in order to free up space and energy for other things to emerge. This is essentially what restructuring is all about.

Like the Sun at the Solstice, the New Moon is conjunct Pluto and square Uranus. The New Moon therefore taps into the Uranus-Pluto square energy. If this is a time of rebuilding and restructuring, then the Uranus-Pluto energy is likely to amplify this to point toward the far-reaching implications down the road in your personal life, as well as in the world around you.

So, if this is a time of rebuilding, what would the end result look like? Capricorn is also about planning and mapping out how you're going to get from "here" to "there." But with Uranus and Pluto involved, as well as a trine to Jupiter which is currently stationary, turning direct—think BIG! Think major transformation and what it will take to do a major make-over of yourself, your life and your world.

However, with Jupiter being stationary (and therefore unusually potent), and especially in Taurus, be alert for time when "your eyes are bigger than your stomach." In other words, don't take on more than you can realistically process and deal with. Some moderation would be wise, especially with substances and pleasures that could lead to problems with overindulgence – food, alcohol, spending, gambling, etc.

This is traditionally a time of gift giving. So give yourself the gift of confidence in your own dreams, healing and abilities. Capricorn is nothing if not practical. Its brand of confidence often involves acknowledging and accepting your limitations, so that you can stop fighting yourself and get out of your own way. This can free up a lot of energy that we waste trying to do something that not all of ourselves wants to do.

If you really feel passionate about something, then by all means get practical about mapping out your path to make that happen. However, don't let obsession, stubbornness or trying to live up to some arbitrary standard block you from exploring and embracing other parts of you that might want something different.

For example, maybe one part of you really wants to go for that promotion but you're having trouble making progress. Try on the idea that maybe there's a part of you that would rather take the time and energy you would use in the new job and use it for something else—maybe a new hobby that will feed and satisfy other parts of you, or perhaps you need to pay better attention to your close relationships to deal with problems that are brewing there, or even the idea that you can't stand the person you'd be working for and you're resisting your own ambition.

There are many possibilities. The important thing is to listen to all of you, not just the parts you have been focusing on. Give yourself the gift of empathy to hear what your heart is saying. Give yourself the gift of confidence that you are more than what you are doing or planning or the roles that you play in your life (e.g. spouse/partner, parent, son/daughter, boss, employee, etc). And give yourself the gift of trust that you can get through whatever lies ahead and come out stronger for it.

I wish the very best of the season to every one of my readers! Kahlil Gibran one wrote, "To the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving." I am so grateful and delighted that my writing brings meaning, support, hope and enjoyment to you. You all give me the gift of appreciation and acknowledgement, and I thank you. I wish for you the gift of manifesting whatever will bring joy to your heart and fulfilment to your soul. Blessings of the season!

And now, here's the fun festive poem by Kim Rogers-Gallagher that only we astrologers will understand! Enjoy!

'Twas the Night of the Solstice

(December 22, 2011, 12:31 AM, ET)

By Kim Rogers-Gallagher

'Twas the Night of the Solstice, and up on The Mount (See "Olympus")
All the planets were waiting for Sun to dismount. (See "leave Sagg")
His pin-stripes were ironed by Mars with great care, (See "Virgo")
No more wrinkles for Sun, not once he got there! (See "Capricorn")

Well, most of the planets were in Saturn's office,
(They were there for a party, but it felt like a caucus.)
See, that striped suit was Saturn's, so he had to be sure
That Sun wasn't stumbling through Sagg anymore.

All that dripping and spilling, all that falling down,
And jumping in puddles, like some type of clown. (see "Sagg" again)
It makes Saturn nervous, he just doesn't get it.
(And besides, he had charged those pin-stripes to his credit!)

Well, the gang wanted food, and were tired of his worry
And were just getting ready to leave (in a hurry)
When suddenly, Moon said "Let's have a big feast!"
And she led them all into the kitchen, tout de suite!

Then she pulled on her apron (her very best black), (See "Scorpio")
And went into the pantry to fetch them a snack,
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
They ran out of there to see what was the matter.

Saturn followed, and muttered, "It just can't be Sun!
He's in Capricorn now, there's no more time for fun!"
Well, Venus just laughed when she saw who was there.
(Even though they were technically no longer square.)

It was Jupiter, smack in the midst of his station.
(Who'd obviously had 'way too much celebration.)
Well, they pulled and they pushed, and they tried to revive him,
And they even called Chiron, who said "He'll survive. Him?

He's always excessive, he falls down on the floor
At least once a cycle, what's just one time more?"
But Jupiter stirred, then. He woke up, and he grinned,
And said "Whash all the fush?" Had some fun! Ain't no sin!"

Then he grabbed up his napsack, and fumbled inside,
And he pulled out a couple of Moon's home-baked pies!
But before Mars could cut them, Merc straightened up tall
And said "Listen! Sun's coming! He's out in the hall!"

Well, they turned out the lights and they stood by the door.
And they all waited there. Saturn pacing the floor,
Neptune patting his back, saying "It'll be fine,"
(Making everyone wish that they, too, were in trine!)

Then the doorknob, it turned, and Sun just stood there,
First he blinked, then he gasped, then he said, "Don't you dare!'
But Uranus jumped out from behind a big chair,
Yelling "Hey, Sun, remember? Surprise! We're in square!"

Well, Saturn was startled, he just hadn't noticed
That the angles were cardinal, and this square was focused
Right on them, in fact, right at 0 degrees,
And the shock of it all made him weak in the knees!

But it didn't explain why the Sun looked so rumpled
And what Saturn saw next made him *truly* disgruntled.
See, those pinstripes were tarnished with ashes and soot
And right on Sun's back was a print, like a foot!

Then Jupiter chuckled, and he winked up at Sun.
"Oh, so what? It'll wash, and we sure had some fun!"
And then it hit Saturn, that those two were aligned!
And the worst of it all? They were even in trine!

(See, a Jupiter aspect of any old sort
Can tempt even a serious guy to cavort.)
And trines are much harder to resist or ignore.
But Sun cast his eyes down, ashamed, toward the floor.

He promised old Saturn he'd dry-clean that suit,
Or he'd go out and buy him a new substitute.
See, Sun felt just awful for letting him down.
(And besides, even gods don't like Saturn to frown!)

Well, Saturn forgave him, for some unknown reason.
(It was maybe the sextile, more likely the season.)
And they all went inside, and they did eat those pies,
But somebody else had planned one last surprise...

And a few hours later, as the party wound down,
(After Venus had modeled her new glo-lite gown), (See "Aquarius")
Sun went to the door that said "Downstairs! Keep Out!"
And he opened it up, and then Pluto came out!

He, too, was in pin-stripes, and he seemed to be merry,
(Which, given his reputation, was quite scary.)
(See, Pluto is known for his fondness of night
And they were, after all, celebrating the light.)

He said, "I know, I'm late, but I'm still not quite single" (see "Spring")
Persephone's here, and she hates when I mingle."
So I sent her Upstairs, overnight, to her Mum
And I'm sorry I said that I just couldn't come."

"Well, now that you're here," Venus said, with a smile,
"Put your feet up, relax, and hang out for a while!
We're about to call Whatzername up there, online (See "Me")
And give her a message that she'll like just fine."

Well, they called and they said, "On this 'way special day,
We want to share something, So here's what to say..."
And they sent out this blessing to all Mortals Mere:
"Happy Solstice to all, Have a wonderful year!"

Kim Rogers-Gallagher is a professional astrologer, lecturer and writer. She is available to write a "planet personation" for you, based on your chart. You can find her on Facebook.

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Dec.25 – Jupiter stationary direct (00:21 of Taurus)  (Dec.26 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets. )

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a surge of idealism, inspiration and confidence. A quest for knowledge, truth, optimism and faith could become a beacon of energy in your life. On the other hand Jupiter could also bring an increase of judgement, blame and elitism. Jupiter has been retrograde for about 4 months. It is now changing direction again and resuming its normal direct motion.

You may have been exploring and developing the deeper qualities of spirituality, beliefs, confidence, knowledge, faith and/or optimism during that time. Or you might have found ways to expand your horizons—directly through travel or indirectly through the study of other cultures and languages. For the next 3 months (as Jupiter retraces its steps through the Shadow), you can start to apply and integrate what you've learned over the past 4 months. For example, if you have been taking a course or exploring your religious beliefs, this might be a time when you are able to put your discoveries into practice or place them into your worldview.

This turning point may be uplifting, overwhelming, inspiring and/or illuminating. You could discover new meaning in areas of life that had become stale or worn out, or you might realise that your old ways of understanding don't work for you anymore and need to be let go. Whatever you've learned or gained over the last 4 months, it is now available to be expressed and used more openly and directly in your life.

Dec.29 – Sun conjunct Pluto (07:13 of Capricorn)

Your sense of purpose is potentially very strong right now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so great in situations requiring delicacy, subtlety or diplomacy. You have increased ability to see below the surface of things, although it may not be as easy to articulate it in a way that is received comfortably by others. What you pick up from others can also become mixed up with your own personal issues, making it hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Paranoia and suspicion can be strong. It is possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'), but it is important to be prudent in how you respond to this awareness. You have the ability to wound as well as heal right now, so probe into the depths (yours and others') as you would into an egg shell that you don't want to break – gently, mindfully and respectfully.

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Jan.01 – Mercury square Mars (13:58 of Sagittarius/Virgo)  (Dec.31 in PST)

Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging – or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.

Jan.07 – Mercury sextile Saturn (28:39 of Sagittarius/Libra)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Jan.07 – Mercury sextile Neptune (29:04 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)  (Jan.08 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.08 – Mercury enters Capricorn (until Jan.27)  (Jan.07 in PST)

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.08 – Mercury trine Jupiter (00:41 of Capricorn/Taurus)  (Jan.09 in AU)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities.

Jan.08 – Mercury square Uranus (01:01 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.09 in 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.

Full Moon in Cancer Chart of the Full Moon in Cancer

Jan.09 – FULL MOON in CANCER (18:25 of Cancer)

FULL MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.09, 2011, 2:30 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jan.09, 2011, 7:30 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jan.09, 2011, 6:30 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Cancer symbolThere are two sides to Cancer. Despite its mirror-like symbol, it is not usually considered one of the dualistic signs (like Gemini, Libra and Pisces, among others). So what's up with two sides to Cancer?

On one hand, Cancer is all about nurturing, safety, protection and trust. It's our home base, childhood, family and support system. Cancer is our own needs for security, comfort, nurturing, connection and belonging – in particular, how these things affect us at a feeling or emotional level.

Put another way, Cancer is about the emotional implications of having or not having enough of these qualities in our lives. It's how our Inner Child feels as a result. When we're feeling vulnerable or safe, needy or trusting, bruised or healed, we're in the Cancer part of us.

On the other hand, Cancer is also our ability to give those qualities to others. It is the Nurturing Parent within us that instinctively empathizes with another's suffering or joy. It's the part of us that understands the needs of others, usually based on our own experience of those needs.

For example, if we have often felt alone and isolated, we're often more likely to understand someone else who is feeling that way. In addition, we may have a strong sense of what we can do to help that person feel better—more connected and welcomed.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Hmm... Not necessarily.

Every sign is part of an axis – two signs that oppose and often polarize to each other, but that also complement and balance each other. For Cancer, that is Capricorn. Capricorn is not typically vulnerable, tender or needy, but more likely to be strong like a rock, patient and disciplined.

Cancer is a Water sign, which is the domain of emotions and feelings. Water as a substance requires a container of some kind to pour itself into, in order to give it shape and definition. Without that, it tends to spill all over the place and become diffused or dispersed.

An emotionally based person also needs a strong sense of structure in order to maintain a sense of self. Without it, their capacity for empathy and connection may be used to identify with others around them. While their Water may be nourishing to others, giving them a sense of comfort and well-being, it could also become unhealthy if it's unclear where one person ends and the other begins.

Capricorn is an Earth sign, which is the territory of reality, structure and form. Earth as a substance is used to form tools and components (like bricks and mortar, hammer and nails) that can be used to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is productive and always looking toward what can be developed out of what is in the Now.

Earth provides containment—not in the sense of hiding something away or suppressing it, but in the same way that a bowl provides containment for water: as a foundation that structures and sustains. At its best Earth is supportive, patient and encouraging. At its worst it can be demanding, harsh and suffocating. Structure becomes rigidity, support becomes restrictive, and development of potential becomes a set of rules that one dare not fail to live up to.

The Earth-based person tends to be practical, down to earth, methodical and results oriented. However, without the "milk of human kindness" it can be tempting to perfect oneself into being an efficient machine to the point where you lose touch with your human side, becoming rigid, demanding and cold hearted. Earth people can also objectify others, ostensibly in an effort to lift themselves out of drowning in emotional soup, but too much objectification leads to indifference and disconnection from others.

Archetypally, Capricorn can provide the support and containment that Cancer needs, and Cancer can provide the Watery tenderness and warm heart that Capricorn needs. At best they can complement and balance each other; at worst they can alienate each other by being too much of a good thing.

The Full Moon in Cancer is, by definition, an alignment of the Sun and Moon across the Cancer/Capricorn axis. Since the Moon rules Cancer, it is very strongly placed while in its own sign. And since a Full Moon opens us up emotionally to full aperture, it is likely to bring out both the best and the worst of Cancer qualities.

If you have a well developed Capricorn side, it will be easier for you to provide your own support, objectivity, reassurance and endurance. If your Capricorn side is still finding its legs, you might need the connection of a Capricorn-esque person outside of yourself to provide that for you. Either way, Capricorn is a big part of the antidote to an excess of Cancer that has become a problem. In addition, Capricorn can also provide the containment that the best qualities of Cancer need to nourish you and keep from leaking away.

At the Full Moon, there is a Stellium in Capricorn: Mercury, Pluto and the Sun. ("What's a Stellium?") The chart has a Capricorn signature (most of the planets are in Earth and Cardinal signs). This gives the Capricorn Sun side of the Full Moon axis extra weight and responsibility. If your Cancer side brings up an abundance of creative imagination or caring empathy, Capricorn's structure and goal orientation can help you make the most of it by spending your Watery wealth effectively. If your Cancer side is making you feel soggy and bloated, Capricorn can help to stabilize the mood swings and strengthen that feeling of being too porous until your water table comes back down to a more manageable level.

Wedge aspect pattern

Mars also plays an important role, forming a Wedge aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon. The "voice" of Mars is also becoming rather loud as it slows down to turn retrograde in just 2 weeks. There's no such thing as anything that's all/only good or all/only bad. So, Mars in sextile (60°) to the Moon and trine (120°) to the Sun, and being in service-oriented Virgo, is only too happy to be the "hired gun" to do their bidding—for better or worse.

For example, if Cancer wants to reach out in empathy to help someone, Mars will help by focusing Cancer's nurturing intentions and strengthening Capricorn's foundation of endurance and patience. By the same token, if your Cancer side is feeling a bit needy and dependent, and Capricorn is being a bit austere and unapproachable, the two are likely to get locked into a "go-away-come-closer" tug of war. In this case, Mars may respond by spraying Cancer's emotions more forcefully and by hardening Capricorn. After all, Mars knows it's only a matter of applying enough force to get what you want, right? (Not necessarily!)

Whatever kind of marching orders Mars gets from the Capricorn Sun and the Cancer Moon, they will set something in motion that will take you up to the start of the next lunar cycle and beyond. That's the New Moon in Aquarius, which occurs on the same day as the Mars station! In other words, how you use your Mars energy now will point it in a certain direction that will likely continue to colour both the Mars retrograde cycle and the next lunar cycle. Best use your Mars wisely, based on the caring support and responsible empathy of the Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon.

So, what are your needs right now? Where are you feeling alone and lonely, afraid or insecure, disconnected, out of touch and in need of human connection? What can you do to give yourself some of the support you need in the next day or two, the next couple of weeks, the next few months? How will you know you're feeling more trusting, at home or connected? Would you do things differently, think different thoughts, prioritize your life differently?

Conversely, where are you being so strong and stoic that you've hardened yourself against life? What led you to create such a stern wall around you? Are the same circumstances still in your life, or has something changed since then? Do you still need it as much as you once did? Have your priorities changed since then? Has your strength brought you the security you needed? What step can you take that will move you forward toward balance again?

As always, there are no right or wrong answers. Everyone's path is different. This is about the path you're on and what you need to move along that path. So... what is your next step?

Jan.09 – Mercury sextile Chiron (02:20 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.10 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 – Sun trine Mars (22:23 of Capricorn/Virgo)  (Jan.13 in UK, AU)

Your energy, purpose, vitality and health are likely to be strong and clear during this transit. Your sense of purpose is supported by your ability to assert yourself and take a stand for what you want and what you believe in. In general, this transit is a great time to take action, especially if you have prepared the way and have all your ducks in a row. If you've been waiting for a spurt of self-confidence or motivation, this transit could give you the push you need to move forward in your plans or goals. Strive to be spontaneous rather than impulsive, and confident rather than arrogant.

Jan.13 – Venus trine Saturn (28:57 of Aquarius/Libra)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the 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 interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, 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.

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Jan.13 – Mercury conjunct Pluto (07:46 of Capricorn)  (Jan.14 in AU)

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.13 – Venus conjunct Neptune (29:15 of Aquarius)  (Jan.13 in AU)

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).

Jan.14 – Venus enters Pisces (until Feb.08)

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.

Jan.14 – Venus sextile Jupiter (01:03 of Pisces/Taurus)  (Jan.15 in UK, AU)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.

Jan.16 – Venus conjunct Chiron (02:42 of Pisces)

Unresolved problems and old wounds in relationships and finances may be in the foreground now, with potential for a new beginning and healing. However, in order to heal something, it is first necessary to become more aware of what is out of balance, which can make a situation seem to get worse before it gets better. You have the ability to wound those close to you, as well as to bring healing, as you explore what is and isn't working in your relationships. It is also a time when your approach to finances and resources may require that you face some hard realities that may not be easily or quickly resolved, but dealing with any problems will give you the chance to achieve a new balance. This is especially true when it comes to the ways that you see your physical resources as a reflection of your self-worth, and the relationships in your life as a reflection of your lovability. These issues may become aggravated under this transit, but ultimately this is meant to increase your awareness of these issues so that you can start to heal them in new ways.

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Jan.19 – Sun square Saturn (29:12 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Jan.20 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.20 – Sun enters Aquarius (until Feb.19)  (Jan.21 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 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.20 – Venus sextile Pluto (08:01 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Jan.21 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.21 – Sun sextile Uranus (01:24 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Jan.22 in UK, 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.22 – Sun square Jupiter (01:37 of Aquarius/Taurus)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself).

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© 2011 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Capricorn by Nicolaus Pruknerus, Guido Bonatti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Cancer by Nicolaus Pruknerus, Guido Bonatti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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