One Decision at a Time

By Eric Francis

Sign art by Liz Webb.

Sign art by Liz Webb.

For a long time, you’ve been working behind the scenes — both on yourself and on the project to which you’re devoted. This has been a time of cleaning closets, resolving the past, and doing your best to focus on what matters. That has been challenging, due to a lack of planets (with the exception of Saturn) on the fixed cross — the one where Leo is located. This story develops for a few more months, then there is a sudden shift as planets and events draw your focus to more visible forms of achievement, participation and relating to others.

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Leo Part One

Leo Part Two

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We live in times of monumental change. Generational planetary aspects are reshaping the world we live in, which is to say, shaping the consciousness of many individuals. Even through the noise and chaos of the news and the technological world, and the instability that so many people are experiencing, it’s possible to discern that we live in historic times.

Yet for you, this may feel like it’s 1967 and you’re working in the back office for The Rolling Stones. All that excitement and the promise of change is happening, but it’s a bit removed from where you are now. It’s not exactly a rock concert. Your charts suggest you can hear the excitement through the wall, but have not yet stepped up to your full level of participation. As far as I can tell, that’s about to change.

Image by RAEchel Running.

Image by RAEchel Running.

You become more visible at the same time you take on greater responsibility in an increasingly efficient way. This is not about being burdened but rather about stepping into your authority over yourself and your environment. While this is a lifelong process, there are moments of progress and even transcendence, and you’re about to step into one of them, no matter how slowly you may feel you’re making progress right now.

Yet in many ways this mix of slow progress and sense of detachment has served you, because you’ve had so much inner work to do, and inner movement happening. Indeed over the past 12 months or so, you may have totally reorganized your life, your living space and your emotional space. To some extent that will continue as the next few months unfold, and phase out gradually even as you are summoned to new adventures or a new role in your present assignment.

It’s necessary that you keep your momentum on resolving the past, clearing space, and taking advantage of the fact that you are freeing up energy. As you do, you may experience some residual effects of the past, potentially as blips on the health radar screen. There is a direct relationship between how you feel physically and what you experience mentally and emotionally. This probably makes perfect sense to you. The key will be making changes that also make sense and that get results.

Mars and the Cardinal Grand Cross

Presently, the biggest astrological movements are along what’s called the cardinal cross — the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Note that your sign is not one of them. The way this particular cross is positioned in your chart, it’s in what are called the cadent houses — the ones that move the most slowly, that are considered less influential and that are often tucked out of plain view. [Please note, in the audio I incorrectly state the type of house as succedent, then I correct myself.]

Cadent houses work behind the scenes. Far from being ‘less influential’, they are like a causal level of reality, a place where ideas, plans and images brew, mix and take form; a space where we process our experiences; and also where it’s possible to get lost in one’s head.

The cardinal cross (which describes a type of high-energy astrological sign, rather than a type of house) is the scene of a grand cross — all four signs will be covered by planets, which will come into exact focus on April 23, followed by a solar eclipse on April 29 (that is the first of several operative moments for you).

Let’s go through the legs of the cross and the planets involved. The first slow-moving planet to arrive was Pluto in Capricorn, phasing in between 2008 and 2009. This is your 6th solar house if you have Leo Sun, 6th by whole sign houses if you have Leo rising — work and well-being; service and healing; your health and how you spend your days.

Pluto starts to shake up all kinds of changes to your routine around that time; it may have started a little earlier. This began a time of major restructuring of your life patterns, but also of your thought patterns. Pluto transits can be stressful, and Pluto burrowing through Capricorn is about as predictable as building a tunnel across a river for the first time (i.e., not so predictable; you don’t really know what is down there).

Yet with Capricorn on this house, we get an image of both how and why you are so devoted to the work that you do and the people that you serve. It describes why you are such a meticulous and tireless worker. Then add Pluto and we get some extra obsession with getting things done. Yet Pluto is also an agent of change; in this house it serves as an evolutionary drive to make changes to your work patterns, and to strive for real progress in many of the most basic ‘everyday’ areas of your life.

Pluto adds energy and drive and can also take a toll. There is an exchange involved; many elements of the past (such as past routines) can be stripped away, to make room for the new patterns. To establish those new patterns, sometimes you have to stir up some chaos, which can consume energy until you sort yourself out and bring some equilibrium and efficiency into your system.

The resulting process, however, was not the stability that you usually depend upon, and appreciate so much. In many ways it’s been quite the opposite. This, however, has been the story of your life for a while — that you want stability but get movement and change. What you may be learning is that for anything to be relatively stable, it must change on a regular basis.

While you’re keeping yourself busy, the most important message of Pluto in Capricorn in the 6th house is to take care of yourself. That means pacing yourself, getting enough rest, and noticing the connections between how you feel and how you feel — that is, your emotions and your physical body.

The good part about this is that you have influence over the whole process. You may not be able to control how you feel, but you can set the scene for feeling better, and you can identify and remove unnecessary stress, which will have a positive influence on your life. At the moment, this point is emphasized by Venus retrograde in Capricorn. That is an invitation to get to the roots of how you feel and why you feel that way.

The next slow-moving planet to arrive on this cross was Uranus in Aries, which transitioned in between 2010 and 2011. Aries is your 9th house, another one of those cadent houses — the one that speaks to your long-term vision. What’s interesting about this placement is that wherever we have Aries we will seek our personal identity, and combining this with your 9th house says that you take the long-term view on personal, spiritual and creative growth.

Uranus arriving here represented a revision, a shakeup or a revolution of some kind. It has a bit of the feeling of stealing the fire of the gods, looking far into the future, or wanting to radically alter who you are and who you are becoming. But again the result was anything but stability or slow, steady progress. Indeed this may have added to any confusion about who you are and what you want, though this transit could also be visionary, giving you a nonstop series of ideas about what is possible.

Spiritually it represents some kind of radical awakening to your true nature. That’s not always compatible with work-a-day life or the family scene. Many people go to church looking for a little spirituality. This is more like getting struck by lightning, on a regular basis. This can also take a toll physically and emotionally — another reason to keep yourself in balance as a conscious act.

Next to arrive on the cardinal cross was Jupiter in Cancer, your 12th house. That happened in mid-2013. This granted a sense of emotional presence and provided some grounding for you. Jupiter in the 12th, particularly in Cancer, can come as a relief, and offer a sense of protection. Jupiter has one last hurrah on the cardinal cross — it’s a major player in events during the last week of April, then within a couple of months it ingresses your birth sign.

Last to arrive on the cardinal cross was Mars in Libra, your 3rd house. Mars arrived in early December 2013 and will ingress Scorpio in late July 2014. Mars can clear one sign of the zodiac in one to two months; it will be spending eight months in Libra due to the retrograde.

The combination of Libra and your 3rd house suggests that you are a slow and deliberative decision-maker. You have had to learn how to commit even to the version of events, or to the opinion, that seems to be the most valid. Mars in this area is stirring up this aspect of who you are, and is putting you under pressure to be more decisive.

Yet at the same time, that might include reversing decisions with which you no longer agree. You might want to hold off on making major decisions until Mars has gone direct and indeed has left Libra altogether. Many factors are moving that don’t take effect until midyear to late summer, and before you make any commitments you will want the information that will come with those developments.

Still, Mars is encouraging you to take up the power of decision. Making choices is the steering mechanism of consciousness and of our trip across the physical plane. It’s essential that you do this consciously and gain confidence in your ability to decide what is right for you. This extends down to the seemingly smallest decisions you make. To do this, it helps immensely if you have a basis for deciding. You do, but it tends to be too detail-oriented rather than following what you know intuitively is true.

However, the Mars retrograde process, and in particular the grand cross of April, are likely to put you in the position to make some big decisions. To do this, you will have to trust yourself. That will take two things: practice and considering several points of view without getting confused.

Decisions and Leadership

One of the prevailing ideas from your astrology this year is that your thoughts have power. They have power because they influence the decisions you make; they have power because they influence how you feel; and those both have direct influence over your physical sensation of being alive and your environment.

As you study these interrelationships, it will be easier to map them out and see how they work. You can start with the assumption that they do, and then figure out the ways that is effective. This will work for the seemingly pettiest decisions as well as the ones you consider life-changing.

As the year develops, your leadership is going to be depended on with greater emphasis. Leadership mostly involves making decisions, and that, in part, requires the consultation of others.

While the major developments I’ve described above were taking place, two other outer planets made moves, and that has placed emphasis on the shared resources / shared values angle of your chart — Pisces, or your 8th house (8th solar house for Leo Sun, 8th by whole sign houses for Leo rising). The 8th handles both business relationships and intimate ones; it can be a place where those boundaries get blurred, especially for you, who has Pisces there.

It’s therefore essential that you get consulting others down to a science. You need to take the opinions of others on board without being totally swayed by them. You also need to discern people of integrity from people who lack integrity and act accordingly. In joint financial matters or business dealings, it’s possible to have things go quite badly with Neptune in the 8th house, though with Chiron there you have the resources you need to see through the clouds.

Yet Chiron is a tool that you have to use consciously, which means learning how to use it and remembering that it’s there when you need it. The main thing that Chiron will provide is perceptual power as well as the ability to document events and use documentation. That is to say, keep written records of promises you make and those that are made to you. Memorialize agreements in writing. This can be as simple as an email thread; it does not need to involve contracts written by lawyers, though sometimes that will be necessary.

On the topic of honesty, I would suggest that you take action the first time someone lies to you. Rather than doubt yourself, verify the truth. Then put that information to use in your self-guidance and decision-making. I will say this again. Nobody should have more than one opportunity to lie to you. Once you identify someone as one with the potential to deceive you, you must protect yourself immediately or you are inviting the scenario to repeat itself, only worse.

The 10th House Factor

The 10th house is the spotlight of astrology; it’s where the Sun is at noontime, at the zenith of the sky. Anything that crosses that angle therefore comes under the symbolic influence of this illumination. For you this is Taurus. It’s on the fixed cross, and so it can have incredible stability, or at times, it can seem stuck.

Two factors take shape in this house this year; one is subtle, and the other is rather overt. The first factor is that a minor planet called 1992 QB1 crosses into your 10th house. QB1 is minor in name only; it was one of the most valuable planetary discoveries of the 20th century, as it was the first planet found orbiting our Sun beyond Pluto.

QB1 is about service. It is service on the highest level — what we think of as saint-like behavior, but it’s more practical than that. It’s not about any special action you take but rather indicates a reorientation on your purpose. This has been warming up for a long time.

One of the themes involved is acting for reasons other than your parents did. QB1 is about contacting your own inner motive to succeed. I believe it also describes letting go of guilt about success, as well as the fear of failure and, given that Taurus is involved, fear of striking the wrong appearance.

It is necessary to use your reputation and reputation-building process differently when QB1 is around. It’s neither about showing everyone how well you fit in nor how willing you are to be a rebel. Yet you must be willing to go against social conventions when that is necessary. I suggest you gain an understanding of any conventions that surround you, or that you’ve internalized, enough to be able to observe where and how what you are doing digresses from them.

Even if you’re a potter, and that’s not so weird, know that it’s unusual for people to want handmade cups and bowls in a society where we can get them for next to nothing at Walmart. There is a bigger difference than just the price of a $1 ceramic dish made in China and the $25 hand-thrown dish made in a studio. In this case there would be a value on the aesthetic quality. For example this could be an underlying respect for humanity.

There is the profound difference between possessing something made by a machine and something that a living human considers their best-quality work. There is respect for tradition and for uniqueness. All these things run counter to the prevailing values of society.

So when you present what you do, it helps to have that understanding, even if you don’t state it out loud. Going beyond that involves opening up a space beyond approval or disapproval; the quality of something that stands on its own merits, even if few people understand it.

Yet part of the merits involved are what you express and radiate as a person, not a person on a mission of any kind.

Your personhood will come through your comfort level with what you are doing; in particular, your ability to speak about it confidently. That requires practice. Getting practice could be deterred by any inhibition you might feel, so you have to figure your own way out of that puzzle. Mainly I suggest you take risks, sufficient to gain practice and confidence.

You will need this experience. When opportunities arise, they are likely to do so quickly and unexpectedly. You will want to be prepared in every way you can think of (and a few that you cannot think of, so I suggest you hold discussions with mentors you trust or seek out someone, or two or three people, who are open minded, including those older and younger than yourself).

The Taurus solar eclipse of April 29 in your 10th house removes a kind of glass ceiling, opening up your sense of your own potential, or looked at another way, it accelerates the process that has proceeded in a rather gradual way for quite some time.

I would remind you of one last thing. Part of what you’re doing as someone involved in success of the type that helps heal the world is cultivating an environment of cooperation rather than of competition. That alone is a transgression from normal conduct in business and personal affairs. Your example is your strongest teaching, and you are being called upon to be an exemplary person.

Therefore, do what you can to weave your world, to foster cooperation and to bring people together toward common goals. That alone subverts many seeming differences, whether they be partisan, tribal, by age or by some other identity factor. When people remember the ground they share, where they might have been in the past matters much less than where they are now — something you seem determined to learn, and you will succeed.

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Leo chart.

Leo chart.

Leo sketch.

Leo sketch.

One Response to One Decision at a Time

  1. Hi there. I’m Leo Sun/Virgo Rising. I have reviewed both Leo and Virgo (might do Gemini, my moon later but in no hurry). I got the message loud and clear that the here and now and the next few years are about values. My values, what I think about them, and I tell myself and other people those values are. My inner values and getting them defined has been what I’ve been all about for about 5 years and I feel it finally coming to a head. I feel in a really good place since 5OCT2012 especially with respect to living my values. The thing that startled me a little bit is you talked about the Mars retrograde possibly being a time of revisions. I feel pretty confident that for the first time I know precisely who I am and what I want to be. The idea some of this might be a little less solid than I thought is a little bit troubling.

    Can you elaborate a little on what it is that is subject to revision? If life plans to revise things I have come to hold as precious, I’d like a little warning and armament to step on and squish those things that are unacceptable.


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