Low-Down Archives for Jan 2014

New Moon Capricorn ~ Full Moon Cancer

Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Jan.01 – NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (10:57 of Capricorn)

NEW MOON in CAPRICORN

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.01, 2014, 6:14 AM EST

London, UK:

Jan.01, 2014, 11:14 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.01, 2014, 9:14 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.

We are now giving birth to a bouncing baby New Year. And we all know what that means.

Labour.

And a lot of $#!+ to come. ;-)

In Capricorn there is labour. Work. Effort. Expenditure of energy.

This New Moon in Capricorn is all about labour: labour pains, screaming and yelling, and push, push, push!

There is also a lot of, um, fertilizer. And that stinks. But it's essential if you are going to grow something, which is essential if you are going to build something.

And what's the point of labour if you haven't created or built something new by the end of it? Thankfully, Capricorn also brings the rewards that come from that labour.

The only thing standing between you and your goal
is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself
as to why you can't achieve it.
~ Jordan Belfort

Let's start by gathering our planetary tools together and getting things organized. That's the Capricorn way – don't even think about blinking until you're absolutely sure you're ready. Then plan it all out before finally setting it in motion.

For starters, there's a Stellium in Capricorn ("What's a Stellium?") that can help you lay the plans for a more effective and satisfying career path. Sun and Moon conjunct Pluto, conjunct Mercury; and then there's Venus off on the sidelines observing it all.

That's a lot of weight in Capricorn. If you were hoping to ring in the New Year and have it magically fall into place, then Capricorn has news for you – in order to get the end result, you must be an active, conscious, dedicated participant in the process. This is no Neptunian magic carpet ride BUT if you do the work, don't cut corners and give yourself over to what must be done, then you will be rewarded. And you just might see a little magic happening in the process.

Whatever is on your plate, think gradual growth and long-term implications. No shortcuts, no quick-and-dirty tricks, no half measures. This will require commitment, and you may have to draw on and contribute everything you are in order to make this happen. The climb will be steep and the work will sometimes be exhausting and possibly discouraging, but the rewards stand to be substantial and lasting.

So: let's get started.

You can't get a suit of armour and a rubber chicken just like that. You have to plan ahead.
~ Michael Palin

The New Moon is tightly conjunct Pluto (deep seated change and empowerment) and Mercury (awareness, focused concentration). It is also square to Mars (courage, assertiveness, taking action) and Uranus (uniqueness, detachment, insight), and opposite Jupiter (wisdom, perspective, knowledge).

Grand Cardinal Cross aspect pattern

In fact, the whole chart is dominated by these planets which form a Grand Cross aspect pattern – the latest version of the Cardinal Cross. ("What is the Cardinal Cross?") This Grand Cross is one to watch. It is in effect from Jan.01-14, and then circles back again in April-May of this year, when Mars goes retrograde. (See a detailed write-up about this Grand Cross below.)

What makes this version of the Grand Cross important is that it's conjunct the New Moon which is also kick-starting 2014. Judging just from that, this is not likely to be a light and fluffy year! It can, however, be a very productive year with some substantial rewards if you are willing to walk the Capricorn walk for a while.

There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Pluto glyph

Pluto dominates this New Moon, being so close to the Sun and Moon that it misses being cazimi by a skinny eyelash width. ("What is cazimi?") I have a feeling stealthy Pluto will find his way into the inner sanctum anyway, where the Cosmic Steering Committee is presiding over this Capricorn New Moon.

Pluto is all about embracing, retaining and utilizing power. On a good day this means you are developing or employing your personal power – you show up, you believe in yourself, you take control of what is yours to control, and you avoid trying to exert one-sided control over events, circumstances, dynamics and experiences that lie within the realm of others. In other words, you take care of what is yours and you either lay off what is others' or else you work cooperatively together to co-create a shared reality. That's on a good day.

On a bad day, you might become obsessed with trying to make sure everything around you happens to your advantage or goes the way you think it "should" go. The trap is that it's easy to tell yourself that you have everyone's best interests at heart—and maybe you do, but keeping a vice grip on the reins of control isn't usually in anyone's best interests in the long run. So it's best to avoid this temptation except in a clear emergency.

I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours.
But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule,
then I may be the worst of idlers.
~ Nikola Tesla, My Inventions

Mercury glyph

Mercury is also tightly conjunct this New Moon, bringing awareness, communication and conscious thought into the mix. Being in Capricorn, Mercury is long on logic, reasoning and methodical thinking, and rather short on whimsical, magical or freeform thought. It's not that it can't be creative or intuitive – on the contrary – but it will work best when it has a concrete, clear goal or focus in mind.

This Mercury is an excellent tool for helping you plan out what you want to accomplish this year, as well as identifying circumstances and situations you can take advantage of and use to your advantage, especially being conjunct Pluto. Mercury, the Trickster, as CEO of your life plan could make the year very lively and fun, but watch out for the tricky business if he gets fed up trying to follow the rules when results are urgently needed.

In the meantime, Merc is more likely to go overboard insisting that everything must be done by the book. In fact, at its worst, it might be difficult sometimes to see anything that's worth making the effort for. That's when you need to break the project down into smaller tasks that are more manageable, and then break those smaller tasks down into baby steps if you have to. Avoid the temptation to throw it all away impulsively (Mercury is square to both Mars and Uranus), but do allow that impulse to give you some courage, conviction and motivation to get un-stuck.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for,
it is a thing to be achieved.
~ William Jennings Bryan

Mars glyph

Mars is tightly square (90°) to the Capricorn brigade, opposite (180°) Uranus and square to Jupiter. He's currently making his way through the Grand Cross, casing the joint to return in April and May for the big Cardinal Conference, er, Cross. Being in Libra, Mars brings the ability to strategize and compromise in order to make things happen, but don't mistake Mars for easy-going Venus in that regard, despite being in her sign. Mars will want to proactively enforce whatever agreements and plans are made.

Since Mars is opposite radical, explosive Uranus, square to inspirational Jupiter, and square to do-or-die Pluto and figure-it-out Mercury, you might find your reactions are a bit "over the edge" – over-extended, over-reactive and over-whelmed.

If you start to feel like you're losing the battle to keep ahead of an increasingly complicated and urgent game, use the Libra side of Mars to slow down and find your inner balance before you start moving again. The time this takes will be well worth it, despite that nagging feeling that you "should" be doing something more productive.

I have not failed. I've just found
10,000 ways that won't work.
~ Thomas A. Edison

Jupiter glyph

Jupiter is part of this whirlwind too, being opposite the Capricorn Steering Committee and square to both Mars and Uranus. Jupey is having a retrograde déjà vu moment, with visions of last July, August and September when he formed a T-square with the same cast of characters. At that time, Mars was conjunct Jupiter; now they're in square aspect. So if you're having a déjà vu moment, remembering events, aspirations and inspirations that crossed your path back then, now you know why.

In fact, this can be used to your advantage. What was going on in your life back in July thru September? What problems, issues or obstacles were you doing battle with at that time? You may or may not see a return of those battles, but you could be called upon to use and apply whatever you learned from your experiences. It might also be a good time to delve a little deeper into those issues so that you can conquer them more effectively.

Expanding your knowledge about the situation can help. Take a course, read a book, write in your journal, commune with nature, talk to the Universe, learn a new language. Do something that can turn on the light to find a new bit of insight, perspective or meaning in your life.

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.
~ Maya Angelou

Capricorn glyph

And last, but far from least: this is a good time to learn the wisdom of Capricorn. That sign might be focused on material manifestation, structure and organization, but it all adds up to magic in the end! The magic is how you can create something new out of the old. You take raw materials and formulate something new. Or you use your tools, skills and know-how to reshape something. Or you take something that has outlived its lifespan and you dismantle it and repurpose the parts for something new. It might be practical and ordered, but ultimately it's creative in a way that is no less magical than any other sign.

So, first and foremost, you have to be crystal clear about what your destination is. What are you trying to do? What do you want to wind up with? Where do you want to go with it? What are you trying to accomplish? What will that look like? How will you feel when you have reached your destination? These things are of paramount importance. After all, if you don't know where you're going or how to recognize it when you get there, how will you know if you're there yet?

The question becomes: what do you want to build in 2014? What do you want to achieve in your life this year? What is important enough that are you're willing to commit your energy to making it happen over the coming months? What burning priorities, ambitions and passions are demanding your attention? What is the hard thing you've been putting off because you couldn't find the conviction, commitment, confidence or courage to accomplish?

Capricorn's trick is in the methodology. If you can't leap tall buildings in a single bound, then try the elevator. If that's too much, try the stairs. If that's too much, concentrate on just getting inside the door. The question is: what is the next step in the journey? Don't think about what is required 10 steps down the line – what is the one next thing you need to do? It doesn't matter how small it is – the important thing is to get unstuck and start moving. Baby steps, if need be. Take it one step at a time. Or one task at a time. Or one day at a time. Or one hour at a time. Whatever works. Just one step.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

So: what kind of goal, destination or purpose is calling your name? This might be a dream you want to manifest. Or maybe it's something you've been putting off and now it's become an urgent necessity. Your priority could be focused on the external, like getting a (better) job, getting married or divorced or having a child. You might want to make a contribution to your community or to the world by getting involved in an organization or volunteering or starting a blog to inspire others. Or your goal might be something more personal: transformation, wisdom, courage, independence or learning to believe in yourself more.

You might feel called to change the world in some way, or maybe just your little corner of it. Goodness knows we are collectively going through a time of compelling upheaval right now. We have many issues and problems that are approaching critical turning points soon, where concrete change must be made or the survival of our planet could well be at stake. It's easy to get stuck, not knowing what to do or how, but if you feel called to contribute to the changing times then pick something. Anything.

In Capricorn, the first step is to show up. Be part of whatever it is. Do what you can or do what you must, but do something. Ring a bell. Volunteer. Write a poem. Talk with a like-minded person. Or talk to someone who sees the world very differently and discover what life looks like through their eyes. Open your eyes, your mind and your heart. Listen to your energy, your inspiration, your curiosity, your desire, your body and your feelings. They're telling you something – do you know what it is yet? Are you sure? Maybe it's something else.

The Capricorn New Moon recommends you choose something that will have a concrete or practical effect. Volunteer at your local food bank. Or write letters with Amnesty International. Or help build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Or get more ideas from the Inspiration Links page on my website.

A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
~ Anthony Trollope

Next, you have to figure out how to get from here to there. Plan out each step. What resources, tools, skills and assistance will you need? Do you have access to these now? If not then acquiring them may become a separate sub-project that must be completed first before you begin your main goal. Also: how will your goal affect other areas of your life? Are there other priorities, systems, responsibilities or goals that should be taken into consideration when making your plans?

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Not sure how to get from here to there? Ah, then there's your next step. Consult Mr. or Ms. Google, or buy a book, or talk to an expert about it. Who do you know who has been down this road already? They could be persuaded to share some of their secrets and help shine some light on your path.

You could also find someone else who is on a similar path and the two of you can brainstorm wild and crazy ideas. Just collect ideas for now – the decision of which ones are worth developing will come later. Remember that the planning stage is about playing with building blocks to discover the most efficient, effective way to build what you want and discovering what else you still need in order to do that. Laying the bricks and mortar is the last thing you do—after you've decided what kind of house to build, where to build it and have drawn up the blueprint.

One step at a time. Practical steps. Break it down into tasks, shorter steps, baby steps or whatever you can manage.

And celebrate your victories! No matter how small, insignificant or inconsequential it might seem – every step is a victory. However much you can manage, you can do this!

Happy New Year 2014!

Sometimes you don't need a goal in life, you don't need to know the big picture.
You just need to know what you're going to do next!
~ Sophie Kinsella, The Undomestic Goddess

Jan.01-14 – Grand Cross aspect pattern (21:14 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

This is the latest instalment of the Cardinal Cross, which revolves (and evolves) around the Uranus-Pluto square that is haunting our skies from about 2007-2019. This is a loooong-term transition through multifaceted change, and we're about half-way through it now. One only has to look at all the upheaval going on globally to see how this is playing out: politically, geographically, philosophically, socially, economically, ecologically, and probably a few other levels I can't think of off-hand.

Grand Cardinal Cross aspect pattern

This particular phase of it includes Jupiter (opposite Pluto and square Uranus and Mars) and Mars (opposite Uranus and square Pluto and Jupiter). This is the first of two times when these four planets come together: currently from Jan.01-14, and then later in the year from early April to mid-May (all within 1° from Apr.20-24).

This version of the Cardinal Cross challenges us to find our courage and wisdom amid the mayhem. With the whole world around each of us spinning like a top and shattering so much of the familiar, it's impossible for your perspective on life not to change. Perhaps you have become very passionate and even combative about certain issues that you feel are crucial. On the other hand, the shift in you might be heading the other way into depression and despair, if you are feeling increasingly powerless and discouraged.

Finding your courage and knowing how you want to respond to it all requires you to know what you think about it all and what it all means. Each of us will have a slightly—or radically—different take on it. Do you see things happening in the world that make you feel more encouraged or discouraged about human nature, for example? What are our chances for global survival, and what do you imagine that would look like down the road? What will it take to bring out the best in humanity, and what qualities would emerge?

On a more personal level: how are events in your life bringing out the best in you, and what do you see in yourself that tells you this? What about things that bring out the worst in you? How do you acknowledge and reinforce these qualities in yourself – positive or negative? What might you do differently to change for the better? The best way to do that, by the way, is often in little ways, even though the experiences that inspire or trigger them may be big and demanding.

What do you believe, or believe in, now that you didn't before – positive or negative? And what did you used to believe (in) that you don't anymore – positive or negative? If believing in something (or someone) that gives you hope, faith, encouragement or trust in the Universe feels too big to manage, maybe you need to adjust your expectations a bit. Or perhaps there is a different way to see and understand what's happening through a different perspective.

Sometimes despair and disappointment is only reinforced when we try to "keep the faith." Sometimes, although it seems like exactly the wrong thing to do, the most positive response might be to "give up hope." As ironic and counterproductive as this sounds, it can sometimes allow us to let go of something that is holding us back, making room for something more workable, realistic or transformative to take its place. That's not to say you should allow yourself to sink into serious depression, addiction or destructive behaviour. If you are prone to these, don't try to do this alone – enlist the support of a trusted person (therapist, spiritual advisor, best friend, etc) who knows your issues and can help if you get stuck.

And most important: make a point of celebrating the victories, triumphs, insights, observations and little moments when you see yourself making progress! Even just being able to identify a negative pattern is a victory deserving celebration because it is the first step to creating change and growth.

For more about this Grand Cross, see the article for the New Moon in Capricorn, above.

Jan.01 – Sun conjunct Pluto (11:17 of Capricorn)  (Jan.02 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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.

Jan.02 – Sun square Mars (12:31 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Jan.03 in UK, AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Assertiveness, aggression and intense energy burst out under this transit. This can be a time of being pushed into taking action...or it can erupt in anger, irritation and hostility (in yourself or others). It may seem like everything pushes your buttons and rubs you the wrong way, creating conflict and putting you on edge. You may feel the impulse to burn off this excess energy through sexual activity. If you look beneath the irritation you may see a frustrated part of you that wants change, yet you have held back for some reason. Being pro-active and initiating steps for voluntary change is preferable, since you will have far more control over the process than if you get pushed into a corner and forced to act. The more preplanning you've done for this moment, the more successful you're likely to be. But if you get caught in a whirlwind of change, connect yourself to the part of you that wants change and let that ground and guide you.

Jan.03 – Mercury opposite Jupiter (15:48 of Capricorn/Cancer)  (Jan.02 in HAST, AKT, PST)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Your thoughts and words can become amplified under this transit, which could bring a sense of adventure, a surge of ideas, and/or imbalance due to exaggeration. You may find it's hard to stop talking (or writing), your head is filled with so many possibilities. However, your judgment about the validity of your ideas may be a bit off, or you might feel the urge to overstate your position to keep from being misunderstood. Blame and judgment could creep into your perceptions of others or the other way around. This might spring from a need to find a greater meaning or truth in the facts, having difficulty bridging the gap between the raw information and the big picture. The trick is to keep a balance between simplicity and elaborate complexity. The challenge is to find ways to express, think about and understand the vast range of possibilities and meaning within the perceptions of everyday life. Not all of it will survive the translation, but enormous spiritual creativity can be generated in the trying.

Jan.05 – Sun opposite Jupiter (15:27 of Capricorn/Cancer)  (Jan.06 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Your confidence and ambitions may become amplified, possibly to the point of becoming a problem under this transit. It may be difficult to judge how much is too much versus just enough, and it could just be easier want more and more..."just in case." You may feel the urge to travel or do something that could expand your horizons (literally or figuratively). However, satisfaction may seem just out of reach under this transit, so there is a risk of pushing too hard and lacking perspective or good judgment. You could find that tolerance, compassion and understanding are hard to find, either in you toward others or in others toward you (or both). You are seeing things through a mental magnifying lens, which may be distorting your perceptions or reactions. On the other hand, this can be a good time to take an honest look at how closely you are living by your integrity and values. Feedback might come from others who could be seeing something more clearly than you can see it in yourself. Or, you might find that a minor irritation about someone or something outside of yourself suddenly becomes a major problem. This is probably because you're seeing it more clearly (although not necessarily more accurately). The lesson of this transit is that everything gets amplified together – the positive and the negative, and at a certain point the difference between them may become meaningless. Reaching a balanced understanding of all that lies within that expanded view is the key to gaining wisdom from the experience.

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Jan.06 – Mercury sextile Saturn (20:49 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.05 in HAST, AKT)

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 conjunct Venus Retrograde (23:22 of Capricorn)  (Jan.08 in AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now – so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

Jan.08 – Mars Direct square Jupiter (15:02 of Libra/Cancer)  (Jan.09 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Jan.08, Apr.22, Aug.01.

Jan.11 – Venus Retrograde sextile Saturn (21:14 of Capricorn/Scorpio)

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.11 – Sun conjunct Venus Retrograde (21:11 of Capricorn)

When the Sun conjuncts Venus retrograde, it initiates a new beginning in all things related to Venus. That includes self-image, beauty, love, relationships, interaction, finances, resources, pleasure and sensuality. However, this new beginning is small and largely hidden, like a seed beneath the earth that is about to sprout. You are the co-gardener of your soul now, in partnership with the Universe. Therefore, be gentle, consistent and supportive of yourself, as you would a sprouting seed. You may not be clear on what the new beginning is until well after Venus goes direct, so be patient. Now is a good time to gather intuitive thoughts and impressions of what kind of changes you would like in Venus areas. Would you like to improve your self-image so that you are more loving and accepting of yourself? Perhaps you would like to stabilise your material security and help it grow gradually? Or maybe you want to bring more pleasure and harmony to your relationships and interactions with others? Start by connecting to the loving and blessed person inside yourself first.

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Jan.11 – Sun sextile Saturn (21:15 of Capricorn/Scorpio)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!

Jan.11 – Mercury Direct enters Aquarius (until Jan.31)  (Jan.12 in AU)

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

Mercury will return to Aquarius from Feb.12 to Mar.17 during its upcoming retrograde cycle.

Jan.14 – Mercury square North Lunar Node (04:18 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Under this transit, you might find you need to, or are compelled to, change your mind about where you are heading in your life. You could be confronted with facts or information that contradicts what you thought was real or true about your sense of life purpose, or it might seem like someone is getting in your way. You may be tempted to dismiss this, deny it, avoid it or rationalize your way around it. However, there is probably valuable information coming to you that is important to take into consideration. It doesn't necessarily mean your life destination should be abandoned; rather, you are challenged to see it more clearly. You might also need to communicate information or a point of view that could be unwelcome or unpopular, or difficult to get your point across. In that case, try not to go overboard in standing your ground and focus primarily on what needs to be said and the best way to say it.

Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer
Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer

When we are children we seldom think of the future.
This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves
as few adults can. The day we fret about the future
is the day we leave our childhood behind.
~ Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Jan.15 – FULL MOON in CANCER (25:58 of Cancer)

FULL MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.15, 2014, 11:52 PM EST

Halifax, Canada:

Jan.16, 2014, 12:52 AM EST

London, UK:

Jan.16, 2014, 4:52 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.16, 2014, 2:52 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Sometimes conflict or trauma is a good thing.

Stress is one of the best motivators we have. When you're going through something uncomfortable, you're a lot more motivated to make it stop.

That's what square and opposition aspects do – they show stress that provides motivation. These are 90° and 180°, respectively, as well as the (not so) "minor" related aspects, the semi-square (45°) and sesqui-quadrate (135°).

These aspects are what get you up off the couch to do something about the problem. Without them, all the vision, talent and ability in the world will still have trouble making your dreams happen.

It's like having all bones and no muscle – it's your muscles that make your legs and arms actually move, and without them your bones only provide structure but no movement. Stressful aspects make it necessary to strengthen your muscles (literally or figuratively) so you can actually do something.

When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

At the New Moon in Capricorn (which gave birth to the lunar cycle now culminating in the Full Moon in Cancer) there were a LOT of stressful aspects. The Cardinal Grand Cross, to be specific: Mars opposite Uranus, both squaring Jupiter opposite Pluto.

The Grand Cross is breaking apart now. Mars is quickly moving out of orb, leaving only the Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus T-square which continues into early June. Mars is the only personal planet in the bunch, meaning it's easier to access his energy – it's more conscious and easier to identify with than Jupiter, Uranus or Pluto.

Mars is muscle. And for the last 2 weeks, compliments of Mars and the Grand Cross, we have enjoyed a stressful and demanding, yet motivating and dynamic energy. Mars has made it easier to grab hold of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto to give them a push in the direction where you want to achieve your dreams, ambitions, growth and progress.

If you have managed to make use of that energy to find a clear direction over the next year, then congratulations! You have some exciting times ahead. The job now is to figure out how to make it all evolving as smoothly and effectively as possible.

If you feel you've been spinning your wheels or being indecisive about which direction to choose, that's okay too. Some dreams and ambitions are more complex to get moving than others, and it's enough just to have roused the parts of you that are now thinking about what you want and how to make it all happen.

The important thing is always to just figure out what the next step is and to go about taking that step. Don't compare your progress to others, or to your mental image of what you think your progress "should" be. Just focus on what comes next. If you feel stuck, break it down into smaller steps. Do what you can, even if that means taking a detour.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
~ Frank Zappa

The next important thing to remember is that muscle and bone are not the only things required to get and keep you moving.

That's where the Full Moon in Cancer comes in.

Cancer is about nurturing, bonding and connection. It's the most personal part of who you are—even more than the Sun's sense of self and identity. The Sun shows where and how you shine, the essence of your potential and the spirit of who you are.

But the Moon is where you really live deep inside. It's your feelings and needs, your fears and hopes, and your ability to trust and feel safe. Without those parts of you functioning well, all the shining potential in the world could remain little more than an unrealized vision.

The Sun may be the centre of the solar system—and the centre of who you are—but the Moon is the closest celestial object to us here on Earth. By reflecting the Sun's light, the Moon part of you shows how you receive and respond to your sense of self and potential. Are you feeling bright and full of energy? Or perhaps you're feelings are shadowy and subtle? Maybe your mental outlook or circumstances are clouding your vision and blocking your ability to connect with your deeper feelings?

It’s a very American illness, the idea of giving yourself away entirely to the idea of working in order to achieve some sort of brass ring that usually involves people feeling some way about you – I mean, people wonder why we walk around feeling alienated and lonely and stressed out.
~ David Foster Wallace

The Cancer Moon is here to remind you that there's a lot more to building a dream than just mapping out a game plan and putting one foot in front of the other. You're not a machine, you're a person. And people are organic, malleable, impressionable, responsive and dynamic entities. You're much more complex than something that just follows a set of instructions about how to get from here to there. Therefore, you need to take this into account when navigating the terrain as you move from here to there.

So: are you allowing yourself time and space to be human? Or have you been driving yourself like a mule and treating the goal as being more important than the person achieving it? Are you viewing the destination as the priority and the journey as incidental?

When you starve your subjective, human side in favour of feeding the objective, productive side, you can wind up sick – physically ill from being overly stressed, or just sick at heart from losing your sense of connection to life.

Hard Wedge aspect pattern

Chiron forms a Hard Wedge aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon. Chiron is sesqui-quadrate (135°) the Moon and semi-square (45°) the Sun. This energy, being formed of aspects from the square family, is about stress, conflict, struggle and difficulty, and the creative productivity that can be generated from it. Think of it as similar to the T-square (2 squares and an opposition) but more prickly and nagging.

If you're feeling run down or getting sick, this could be Chiron's way of reminding you to nurture your human side a bit more and your ambitious side a little less. If you're feeling disheartened, discouraged, vulnerable or moody, it might be Chiron telling you that your Inner Child is feeling neglected and unable to respond to your Sun's shining sense of purpose.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, this is also the time of year when the hours of darkness by far exceed the hours of daylight, which can result in the "winter blues." Many people even experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), whose symptoms include low physical, emotional and mental energy. This Hard Wedge to Chiron could aggravate these conditions, so do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than
remaining in a situation which is not nurturing to the whole woman.
~ Maya Angelou

Child playing in the snow

Allowing room to be human must be part of the equation. That applies both to you and others around you. Yes, it's slower that way in the short run, when you have to take time out of your productivity to tend to your human needs. However, when you treat yourself like a machine, you inevitably run out of gas and grind to a halt in the long run.

The extra time it takes to allow yourself to rest and just be is essential to keep you going physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's not wasted time, no matter how much the Saturn-Capricorn side of you applies pressure to keep pushing yourself.

Thankfully, Saturn forms a couple of warm, fuzzy and cooperative aspects to the Sun (sextile: 60°) and Moon (trine: 120°) in the Full Moon chart. Saturn is task oriented – it's aiming for results. It wants the destination, and the journey is mostly a means to that end.

So, nurturing your human side can be treated as a task that's required in order to accomplish the result you're aiming for. Saturn won't mind – he "gets it" that this is a necessary part of the care and maintenance of the human being, and therefore he's "on board."

Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.
~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

However, the Moon in Cancer is about more than human nurturing being a necessary evil when trying to achieve a goal. The goal itself is also best treated as an organic entity that requires nurturing, care, protection and safety.

Whatever you want to accomplish this year is in many ways like a growing child—and sometimes just as temperamental, changeable and difficult to manage! You need to tend to it and feed it regularly. Take some time every day or every week or every month—whatever works best for you—and focus on what you want to accomplish. Schedule the time to do this just like you would to do laundry or housecleaning or take out the recycling.

Not sure what to do? That's where your plan comes in – you know, the one you were supposed to have done in the last 2 weeks under the New Moon in Capricorn. ;-) Didn't do one? Well, there's no time like the present!

It's best to write it down, so you can refer back to it, but if you can't bring yourself to do that, find another way to make a note of the stepping stones that will take you from here to there. Cancer is a creative sign, so find creative ways to bring your goal into focus. Draw pictures or cut images out of magazines and create a story board. Write a poem or find a quote that points you in the right direction. Develop a quick and simple ritual that will remind you where you're going: say or write an affirmation, ring a bell, light a candle – whatever can stir that desire for positive change inside and get you back on track.

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something,
and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.
~ Paulo Coelho

Mother and daughter

Think of your goal as a child that you need to nurture in order to help it grow and develop. This is a lesson in learning to be a nurturing parent to the "child" that is your creation. You need to feed it and pay attention to it. You need to keep an eye on it and monitor it. If you see it wandering out in traffic where it could come to harm, be ready to pull it back to where it will be safe. To do that, you'll need to have some clear boundaries.

For example, if you want to become more healthy and fit, you might use your weight as a boundary – if your weight starts to rise then you know your goal has wandered out into traffic and needs to be brought back into line within certain guidelines. Where did it escape from the path of your carefully constructed plan?

Maybe you're finding it harder than you thought to let go of the cookies and pie and instead embrace more salads and veggies. Or perhaps an exercise routine doesn't fit easily into your busy schedule. You may need to revise your plan a bit to make it work better. For instance, make sure you have lots of veggies on hand and avoid the cookie aisle at the store. Or get one of those walking pedometers to keep track of your physical activity.

Love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep on watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.”
~ John Lennon

Children also need love, connection and bonding. When was the last time you spent some time just thinking about your goal or dream? What do you imagine your destination will look like, feel like, sound like or even smell like? Let your imagination remind you what you're aiming for. Have you allowed yourself to appreciate or celebrate the steps you have taken so far on your journey? Honouring the steps you've made so far will nurture your human connection to what you're trying to achieve.

What about reminiscing about good memories from past adventures, projects and goals? Remembering what success feels like can be very motivating and energizing, and you might think of something that worked in the past that could also help you in the present.

Children need to play, too. They learn that way, and the fun in play teaches them how to find joy in life. And if you're not going to find some kind of joy in whatever you're aiming for, why are you doing it? So once in a while, take some time to just have fun with whatever you're trying to manifest. Play is often something where there isn't any particular end result in mind, so let yourself be adventurous and spontaneous, and explore what you're trying to achieve. Just have fun with it. The structured plan will still be there later, and you might even discover something new that can help you get there faster or better. Chiron is trine Jupiter, so being adventurous and playful can have a very healing effect.

In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts
and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
~ Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers

Last but not least, children need to be heard. They have feelings, ideas, observations, needs and desires that need to be expressed and communicated, whether that's in words or some other way. So "listen" to how your plan is proceeding. Listen to how you feel about it – if something isn't working well, your Inner Child will let you know.

Children playing with autumn leaves

When you feel irritable, sad, depressed, lethargic, lonely or bored, that can be a signal that something is missing. Maybe you've been working too hard and you need to take a break. Or your expectations are too high and you need to cut yourself some slack so that you don't feel like nothing but a work horse. Perhaps you need to connect with other people who share the same goal, passion or vision, so that you won't have to do it all by yourself. Or you might need to take a detour to either take a break or to get a new resource, skill or tool that will help you move forward.

You might also feel disappointed or frustrated if things aren't moving fast enough. It might be tempting to be hard on yourself for not succeeding more than you have, but instead of beating yourself up about it, listen to what's at the heart of what you're feeling. Maybe you're wary of success for some reason, so it's easy to become distracted and therefore you're sabotaging your efforts.

You might also be disappointed that it's not what you had expected. The journey never looks the same as what you see on the map. The experience is different from anything you can imagine from your plan, but that doesn't mean it's not working. You have to allow room for the experience to be what it is, good or bad. You can't anticipate everything, so allow the experience to show you the scenery. You might see or feel something wonderful or valuable that you hadn't expected. Even if it doesn't feel good, you can learn something from it.

O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults,
but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple,
whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.”
~ Leo Rosten

Children know how to be in the moment, as long as they feel safe. If you're feeling unsafe, or worried about whether you might be in danger of something you don't want to happen, it's time for your Adult self to fine-tune your strategy. See where you might avoid difficulty down the road with a detour or alternate route. What's your Plan B? What about a Plan C?

We still have 3 planets in Capricorn (Sun, Venus and Pluto), and the Sun and Moon apply to a wide square aspect to the Nodal Axis (the North and South Lunar Nodes). This suggests that being pulled off-course might be inevitable. However, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get stuck; and even if you do get stuck for a little while, there's probably something there that you need to learn from.

We're often told that feelings get in the way of progress, and the best way to succeed is to stick with the plan. But your Inner Child is one of your most valuable resources when you're trying to achieve a goal. The Full Moon in Cancer is all about bringing your Inner Child into your Inner Boardroom and letting him or her participate in the process. So bring in some crayons along with the pens and lined pads. Don't be afraid to push the boardroom table off to the side or to play hide and seek underneath it. And some comfort food next to the coffee and tea probably wouldn't hurt either.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked.
"Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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Jan.16 – Venus Retrograde square Mars (18:06 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Jan.17 in AU)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

Jan.17 – Mercury sextile Uranus (08:59 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Jan.16 in HAST, AKT, PST, MST)

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.

Jan.19 – Sun enters Aquarius (until Feb.18)  (Jan.20 in NST, UK, 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.22 – Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (18:09 of Aquarius)  (Jan.23 in AU)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" – the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2½ weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences—ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods.

The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes—or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

If you know your way around a chart a bit, there are two books I highly recommend on retrogrades in general. One is Erin Sullivan's Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape which is detailed, comprehensive and very in-depth – everything you ever wanted to know about retrograde cycles and planets! Erin's book is also available in a Kindle edition.

Another excellent retrograde book is Joanne Wickenberg's republished and updated Your Hidden Powers: Intercepted Signs and Retrograde Planets, which also includes information about intercepted planets. It too is very comprehensive and detailed about retrograde cycles, including progressions, natal retrograde planets and transiting retrogrades.

Jan.22 – Sun square North Lunar Node (02:50 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  (Jan.23 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

When the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, your sense of purpose and identity appear to be in conflict with the lessons you need to learn in life. It may feel like you're forced to take a detour around your direct route to your destination (whatever that might be). This may only be true on the surface – if you look deeper at the situation (or possibly in retrospect), you'll probably find that your sense of self is actually helped by the benefits that you are able to get on that detour, which would have missed if you hadn't been diverted from your original path.

Alternatively, you might be confronted by a conflict or stressful dilemma that you usually resist or flail against. This may be an opportunity to explore a deeper level of your experience and feelings. Perhaps there is fear or resentment or defiance behind your reaction. This is a chance to try on a different perspective and respond in a different way that can help you move through the situation instead of just being blocked by it.

When the Sun squares the Nodes it is sometimes called "Moon Wobbles" which is a bit of a misnomer. The Moon itself doesn't wobble or even necessarily interact directly with either the Nodes or the Sun. Rather, the Moon part of us (the inner, feeling, intuitive, sensitive part of us) may feel a bit "wobbly" or unsteady when the Sun squares the Nodes. The "Moon Wobble" effects are said to build and dissipate for up to 10 days before and after the Sun-Node square is exact.

Jan.24 – Mercury Direct trine Mars (20:53 of Aquarius/Libra)  (Jan.25 in AU)

It may be easy to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said under this transit. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Your communication is likely to be direct, concise and right on the mark, even if it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps not as good for a situation requiring a more delicate, sensitive touch. It is a time when you could potentially find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). Overall, this is a wonderful transit for anything involving direct communication (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating), as well as mental agility (e.g., generating ideas, finding solutions, making decisions).

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Jan.24, Feb.16, Mar.14.

Jan.25 – Mercury Direct square Saturn (22:12 of Aquarius/Scorpio)

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.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Jan.25, Feb.16, Mar.14.

Jan.29 – Sun sextile Uranus (09:21 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Jan.30 in HAST, AKT)

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.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in AQUARIUS, available by January 30, 2014.

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© 2014 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Graphics of Capricorn and Cancer by the artist "Stokkete" via CanStockPhoto.com. Photo of pheasants by Richard Crossley (The Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Photos of child playing in snow, children playing in autumn leaves by "Click" and photo of mother and daughter by "HotBlack," via MorgueFile.com.


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