Ceres Equinox

THE COMBINED Mercury station direct, soon to move beyond echo phase (when Mercury finally enters new territory), the solar eclipse last Sunday and the vernal equinox earlier this week, have combined to push many people and things through turning points, some of them difficult. Even though this is an equinox, which is about balance, we are on the Aries side, with the flavor of Mars, fire, initiative and confrontation. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are on the waxing side of the seasons as the Sun crosses the equator and moves northward toward the solstice in 12 weeks, when the days are longest.

Both Ceres, the nearest dwarf planet, and the Sun moved into Aries at about the same time this week. Ceres has a deep, poignant and at times sad quality. There is a three-fold focus of energy here: everything involving mother, including Earth mother; nourishment in any form, but particularly food and where emotional reality intersects with nutritional reality; and the processing of grief. Ceres is as deep as Pluto, but closer to what we would experience as normal reality than Pluto, which can seem distant, abstract, impersonal and cold, no matter how personally it may arrive in our lives. Ceres is immediate, palpable and distinctly feminine in nature, though currently being expressed in a long conjunction to the Sun, a visitation to the Aries Point that has an urgent quality, and a trip through Aries that will last well into the season.

Concentrated events like this can be rough on relationships, revealing weaknesses, compelling changes and hopefully getting us to take care of what matters in both the shared space and within our personal spheres. When the energy rises, feeling is increased and so we feel more. If we don’t feel and process our feelings consciously, they can wreak havoc. The thing about healthy relationships is that communication allows feelings to rise to the surface; and they are able to change, and to endure changes. Because everyone grows and develops at a different pace, and responds to human and celestial influences differently, it’s a wonder we are able to stay synchronized at all. We do live in a time when it’s extremely challenging to maintain relationships; when our ideals are rarely lived up to; and when personal needs often conflict with the needs we share, demand attention for, and attempt to fulfill for one another.

The emphasis of Ceres, the Sun and Aries has a strong quality of individuality, particularly as regards one’s emotions and sense of responsibility for others, such as children. Other aspects, including the recent eclipse, the involvement of the Aries Point and a lot of Sagittarius, Aquarius and Pisces, emphasize the wider world and an individual’s sometimes scary place in that world.

Both eclipses and seasonal changes emphasize the intersection of one’s personal territory with community or collective territory. In one sense, the part of us that engages in relationships is space that’s not exclusively one’s own. It’s a little like sharing a house. Some of the spaces are private, some are used by more than one person. Private spaces are sometimes where we host guests; shared spaces are often treated as private ones. The difference is that we have both kinds of spaces within our seemingly private sphere, and the space that we share with another person is an inner territory, and personal energy, that we make available. In my notebook, I’m beginning to describe these as relationship resources.

We can make more or less of these resources available; some people feel they have nothing to offer, some feel they have everything to offer. Relationship resources can be utilized in many kinds of situations, including professional and personal. They can be used by psychic partners as well as by ones we contact in person; they can be devoted to people no longer in our lives, or not yet in our lives. They can be devoted to work, to creativity or to service. Relationship resources can be squandered on conflict and malice.

Mars and the Saturn-Neptune Opposition

We get another image of the individual meeting the collective as Mars moves through the Saturn-Neptune opposition. As I’ve covered before, two of the largest planets are involved in a long opposition, one that very reliably shapes the course of both history and personal history. We have seen Saturn-Neptune at work in everything from the Asian tsunami to Hurricane Katrina to the vast litany of scandals affecting the government (and the resulting skepticism, doubt and cynicism).

Now for the first time, Mars is moving directly through the opposition. At the moment, Mars in Aquarius is exactly opposite Saturn in Leo, an aspect describing friction, tension, and movement. As we can see from the news, there are many excellent conflicts coming to the surface in the public sphere. With these planets and signs, we have a mix of the elements Earth (Saturn), Air (Aquarius) and Fire (Leo and Mars), which can indeed create heat and flame, and this can be more or less easy to control.

Given what we’ve just been through with the Mercury-Eclipse-Equinox arrangement, we need to be particularly careful because I think many people are still a bit shell-shocked from all the astrology. Mars opposing Saturn is not exactly gentle, but we need to handle it gently.

Then this Sunday, March 25, Mars makes a conjunction to Neptune, which is like adding flammable gas to the mix. There are many sides to Mars-Neptune aspects, and the conjunction is about the most intense there is. Looked at one way, we have a surge of imagination, fantasy, creativity, passion in all shades, and a propensity toward danger and taking risks we may not understand. But imagine how these can express themselves in unwholesome ways if we falter in awareness: as deception, addiction, rage, and deliberately pushing things out of control. Things that are already out of control can get a lot worse. The conjunction may be an opportunity to size things up and put that awareness to work.

With Mars-Neptune in a conjunction, we have more creative energy than most people can handle. Typically what happens when creative overload comes on is that people shut down or go into conflict mode. This is not necessary. There are many other options. However, because of the Aquarius connection and the involvement of an outer planet (Neptune), most of those options involve getting together with others for consciously productive and creative purposes; or working in subject matter that touches on collective themes. However, you could have a pretty good time at a wild party with all the accoutrements under this astrology. Just make sure at least one person stays clear-headed enough to handle the cops.

To sum up: Mars-Neptune-Aquarius comes with feelings that translate loosely into the following words: bold imaginative ideas; hot intellectual discussion that pushes limits and boundaries; creation of new ideas; solving social problems; collective use of entheogens, such as among close friends; expressing and reconsidering your ideas about desire; rethinking the intellectual constructions that block us into a fixed set of ethical rules; and pushing or testing boundaries of all kinds, particularly inner ones. Photography, broadcast media, video, computers, the Internet and lighting effects are all potential ways to contain or express the energy — among many others.

Uranus on the North Node

One of the more unusual events we have now is that the North Node and Uranus are making a conjunction at the exact midpoint of Pisces. Or said another way, just as Uranus reaches the midpoint of its journey across Pisces, it’s attended by the North Node and eclipses, which is enhancing the energy and is one of those factors that is pushing things past their limits.

Uranus is forward-thinking, bold, a bit shocking and liberating; Pisces is imaginative, the source of dreams, and a sign where we go deeply into mystical experience. Uranus on the North Node is like a beacon to enter Pisces deeply, and at the moment, we are on a second tour of this sign, as Mercury will be traversing it for the next few weeks, following in the wake of the Sun’s recent visit.

Uranus-North Node is the push to express yourself in new ways, innovatively, and striving for freedom, no matter how challenging that may be. It is saying that we need new ideas if we want to hold the world together. We need to take up the Promethean fire of God and express it on Earth.

Vesta Bicentennial and the Great Attractor

VESTA is fast approaching the Great Attractor in Sagittarius, which will push this energy into prominence as she reaches the 200th anniversary of her modern discovery. Vesta is an asteroid, the brightest asteroid, and the Great Attractor is an intergalactic point so massive that it’s pulling a million or more galaxies toward it at an extremely brisk pace. The GA is both a magnifier, spreading the effects of things far beyond where we can see them; and a polarizer, which tends to divide opinions, feelings, push us into taking sides and generally raise awareness of dualism. It has shades of extreme Sagittarius and supersized Gemini.

Since I began writing about Vesta in the Scorpio chapter of the Spiral Door, I’ve been having a series of close encounters with Vestal energy. The most unusual one has involved the clients I’ve worked with in New York City and upstate. Astonishingly, nearly every single one has had a prominent Vesta placement in their chart, and many have had themes of this asteroid come up in their lives.

Vesta is a goddess represented by a burning pot of oil, a chevron with flame. But she is not the goddess of fire; rather, she is Goddess expressing herself as fire. Vesta is not a character in mythology — her servants are. Rather, she is an elemental force that must be tended, within and without, and tending that flame becomes one of the closest things to an organic religion in existence.

The Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome were the keepers of the sacred hearth of the temple, as well as the public hearths of the cities of the empire. They served from about the age of seven (or at least before puberty), for about 30 years, during which they were supposedly sworn to celibacy. Notably, this is a term of service of about one Saturn cycle. Vesta’s primary energy is devotion. As with all astrological factors, this can be for good or ill; it can serve the greater good or not. She has, however, strong leanings toward service, and a true steadfast quality. She is the one willing to work around the clock for years. Generally, any difficult or long-term task will benefit from Vesta.

What you will read in most astrology texts is that Vesta is about the sublimation of creative or sexual energy into work, and work as a substitute for relationship. But this delineation, while often true, is what I would call off-center. It’s not the core of the matter. The core of the matter is the core flame, the hot coals of the goddess burning within us that need constant tending. We do, however, have a cultural issue: in many cultures, work is the most appropriate expression of Vesta energy because nearly every other channel has been closed off, deemed inappropriate or is fraught with complexity.

Anya from the Book of Blue series of photos in
the spirit of Vesta. These are published in the
Eros area of Planet Waves.

Because homes used to be organized around the hearth (and are still often arranged around its modern equivalent, the kitchen), Vesta has the theme of defining space, and the use of space. This works on the level of a house, but also of inner space. Vesta is about how we allocate our personal resources, including relationship resources, which among them include sexual resources.

Vesta is about doing this consciously, as part of the tending of the flame. Part of tending the flame is what we do with the fire. The core fire is creative, and at the heart of creativity is the creation of life itself, which we do through sex. But we do a lot more with sex: we communicate, we grow, we heal, we discover ourselves, and we discover one another. We can use it to enslave others; we can offer our sexual energy as an act of devotion, of love, of trust.

Shadow expressions of Vesta include using another person for sexual pleasure in a way that hurts them, or sexually abusing someone. Often the multiple lifetime energy pattern of Vesta or the 8th house gives others the idea that this person is available, even if they are entirely inappropriate, immature, or are not in a position to say no, or for that matter, to say yes. So where Vesta is alive, the spirit of consent and mutual agreement is essential.

There is something impersonal about Vesta’s energy. She is about tending a flame as part of a collective responsibility, so it’s an unusual meeting place of the personal and the collective on the sexual or creative level — the creative fire. We could say that our sexual and creative energy is not really our own private property, but rather, something that we bring through us, more or less consciously.

In one meaningful expression, she is the sacred prostitute, sometimes called the temple priestess. Sacred prostitution means offering oneself sexually in the service of creation, or the service of Goddess, as you wish, but often a person is the direct beneficiary. This is the kind of erotic sharing that is neither romantic nor casual. It is part of what I call the Third Way. Many people have touched upon this energy, but in my experience relatively few experience it consciously or consistently. Typically, we lack the language and the support systems that make it feasible, and we tend to take everything — and everyone — much too personally.

The Third Way is the conscious expression of sexual energy in the service of another person; as an act of healing, or of growth, or of devotion to something larger. There is “another purpose” involved, one that is transmitted directly through the experience. Perhaps the most commonly seen form of Vestal energy is allowing oneself to be used as a childbearing vessel for another person. It is not the energy of “let’s have children” but rather of “I will give you a child.” It may be expressed by a man as the gift of his seed to a woman who has no other appropriate source, as an act of service.

Vestal energy can also take the form of the intentional gift of pleasure, often for the purpose of healing. There may or may not be a fee involved; the issue is the intention. Is the intention to make the fee? That is not Vesta. Is the intention to share oneself, for the good of another? That is Vesta. This quality can manifest in both close personal relationships, where we have just about all felt it at one time or another; or in less personal relationships, where we are able to share ourselves, and do. Often this falls outside a specifically “romantic” context; the reason being that Vesta is not particularly concerned with herself, but rather with the person whom she is serving, and the greater service to the Goddess.

Rachel, from the Book of Blue series of photos
in the spirit of Vesta, part of the Eros area of Planet Waves.

Another Vestal experience we may be familiar with is any time someone consciously initiates another person sexually, as a gift or as an intentional act. The deflowering scene in the film Almost Famous, where several sexually advanced young women initiate the young William Miller (alter ego of Cameron Crowe), is a beautiful example of Vestal energy.

They are initiating him not because they love him (they do) but because they have decided he is ready. The love they are feeling is less about personal love and more about the love of his becoming a man. All conscious rituals of transition into adulthood would be part of Vestal experience, particularly if they are sexual initiations — and these are rare enough to find, but fortunately, easy enough to create. Another familiar example can include when one person offers herself or himself to a same-sex partner specifically for the purpose of initiation into same-sex experiences.

Experiences of sharing or witnessing masturbation are Vesta experiences to the extent they are done in the spirit of holding space for another person’s inner journey. The quality of holding space is essential to the feeling of Vesta. This is most effective if the feeling is slightly detached, a little impersonal, but not casual. The Third Way specifically goes between what we think of as casual and what we think of as personal or romantic. It is another dimension of sexuality entirely.

Any form of sexual ritual has the feeling of Vesta, in part because ritual involves holding space. Ritual is an odd mix of intentional, creative, planned and spontaneous, and the main thing that it requires are participants and a space that is physically, psychically and emotionally open. The openness is rarely an accident; it is held by one who is initiated into the mysteries and has sufficient self-mastery to keep it that way for a while. Sex within a romantic partnership can take on overtones of Vesta when the space is set up consciously, the time is defined consciously, or where there is an element of ritual to the erotic exchange — and then something spontaneous happens within that intentionally established space.

Ritual can also include sexual teaching of any kind, such as a Tantric sex workshop, any form of sex education including sexual health education, and many forms of healing where sexual subject matter or erotic experience may arise. For example, massage therapists who also serve as sexual healers are doing Vesta’s work. Sex workers whose intentions involve raising awareness and the conscious movement of energy (rather than just making money) are serving Vesta as well.

Now, it’s clear that Vestal energy takes many forms, that they all have something in common, and that most of them are rarely spoken of openly. Indeed, the whole matter of Vesta is often hidden from view, be it out of fear, a sense of protection, issues of legality or going against the culture, or because we cannot say these things to another person.

Many people have made contact with this energy at different times in their lives — or have fantasies of doing so. I cannot think of anyone I’ve discussed sacred prostitution with who has not been genuinely interested and felt some personal connection, though this has usually been in a protected space apropos of the subject.

In “real life” Vesta and her related themes are difficult to speak about, and are for the most part not publicly acknowledged (though Madonna has done a good job of it, at various times). Indeed, Vesta goes against the grain of all our outer relationship conditioning and points us to an entirely different sexual and relational dimension. Vesta may be the most controversial form the Goddess takes, though the most practical, and the least spoken of. What we experience more than anything in our culture are the shadow sides of Vesta, which include the accumulation of toxic shame, sexual rage and frustration, and their results — sexual abuse, people using one another for sex without direct consent, unintended pregnancies, and their often very difficult results: particularly abortion and the circumstances that typically surround adoption.

The fact that so many people are denied sexual pleasure and release due to cultural circumstances would seem to be an expression of shadow Vesta. But one is fortunate to know of a temple, to know of priests or priestesses who practice the way of Vesta — they do exist, and resources are available to help warm up the subject matter. I also offer my own resources, including many articles and photos that relate to Vesta without specifically saying her name, available in the Eros section of Planet Waves.

There is one last point on Vesta, one that is not minor. Vesta is about defining and holding space, typically a temple of some kind, and in its most immediate sense, that space is the body. Vesta is about treating the body as a temple. I say this in the holistic sense, as well as in the specifically sexual sense. Maintaining the body’s readiness for life, and for sex, is a vital part of this energy. Keeping the body healthy, clean, and maintaining awareness that it will be shared with others is a basic Vestal ritual. Your reservations about your body, how it looks, sounds, feels and smells, are things to enter into a conscious relationship with. This includes from hygienic and aesthetic perspectives, as well as sexual health: in particular being mindful of reproductive health, and sexually transmitted diseases without using them as an excuse to validate genital anxiety. This takes some practice, and often, some training.

For women, it means being intimately involved in your own reproductive cycle, knowing when you’re fertile, and maintaining a conscious relationship with your own fertility, because you become the one who bears a pregnancy. For men, it means being considerate of your partners, particularly as regards bringing intention to the experience of creating a pregnancy. I recognize how rare this is, and how often the whole thing is left to chance, but carelessness about reproduction is a subject far away from the region of Vesta. In her temple, what happens happens with awareness and intention. This includes maintaining awareness of fear, and understanding its sources.

Here is an illustration of what you might call the paradox of Vesta. She is a planet visible to the naked eye — the only asteroid to be visible any time that skies are clear and the alignment is correct. Though she has fainter light than a major planet, she is visible. And what’s interesting is that there appears to be no record of her in the ancient astronomical or astrological texts. Though the ancients spent a lot of time looking at the sky, and skies were darker and thus fainter objects were more visible, she appears to have been overlooked — though it would seem impossible for the ancient lore-masters and astronomers to have done so.

In another piece of writing, I will be speculating that she was known to the initiates of the Vestal temples, and that her position was cast into the horoscopes of the Virgins, priests and others who were involved in her rituals.

Vesta was “discovered” March 29, 1807 — exactly two hundred years ago next week. We all have the benefit of seeing and exploring this position in our charts. As Vesta crosses the Great Attractor on the bicentennial of her discovery, we can, as well, observe ourselves and the world for the experiences of her energy. They will be there, if we look, and if we are willing to see and feel them within ourselves.

George W. Bush being briefed by White House attorney Harriet Miers on Aug. 6, 2001. He is being informed of intentions of bin Laden to attack targets in the United States. The warnings were ignored, though they establish that the CIA, Bush and Miers had (at the very least) some advanced knowledge of the events of Sept. 11. Miers is now at the center of the scandal involving the dismissal of eight US attorneys by the Bush administration and may have to testify before congress under oath. AP photograph courtesy of truthout.org.

Aries Solar Returns, Part One

By Priya Kale with Eric Francis

FOR THE PAST few seasons the Saturn-Neptune opposition taking place on the 5th house – 11th house axis of your solar chart has made you question how you interact with and experience your  community and circle of friends. There has been a sense of cloudiness to say the least and there have been times when, it has been hard to determine who is worthy of your trust.

Now I’m not saying that your friends are are ‘bad’ people; in fact some of them may even be ones you admire, such as idealists, artists and poets — at heart if not by profession. This is not about them, this has been about you. You are changing and what you need from your relationships is changing. You are going through a process right now which curbs you from diving in and letting go. This is a good thing as you are building the foundation for something that will last, long after the party is over.

What party? Yes, Saturn in your 5th solar house has not exactly been a party, but it’s compelled you to focus on your creative process. To the extent it’s been difficult on your relationships, it’s likely that those relationships don’t support your creative growth and your true, inner sense of aliveness.

This astrology is about growing up, moving to a bigger playground with a new set of rules, not anyone else’s but rather your own, based on your values, your reality and your truth. Emotionally you need to belong, to feel nurtured, and most important, to have a sense of home. So seek partners who share the same values, instead of trying to change the attitudes of another. Invite into your world those who are willing to share freely based on truth and not games, for a greater cause rather than personal gain.

Recently, as Mars conjoined Chiron in your 11th solar house, you had a some amazing revelations and a burning desire to question that which does not live up to your ideals. The 11th addresses not only your friends, but also your role in the world, and your rewards for fulfilling it in a bold way. This is about coming to terms where you have been inclined to turn a blind eye to what you know in your heart simply does not belong. With Mars now conjunct Neptune, it is time now to make the changes necessary in your life to make room for relationships that aren’t highly idealized but instead ideal in the practical sense of the word.

Saturn opposing this conjunction in your 5th house, suggests that in order to achieve the social position you desire, there is a need to develop your personal power, to learn to express your creativity wisely and to be involved in mature relationships where both partners are independent and willing to take responsibility for themselves.

At times this journey can seem like a being on a ship on a raging sea, because true adults are few and far between. One of the most effective things you can do, though, is attend to your own maturity.

You may also be in a balancing act as you try to juggle that which you want with that which you need, and that which you certainly don’t need or want. There is an incredible amount of support on offer to you right now, though it may not come from the ordinary people in your life, the ones you are so inclined to take for granted. Instead, it will come from those who seem to stand out, who seem odd, who seem to not fit into the world: in summary, those who have the characteristics of Chiron. A recent encounter with one, symbolized by the Mars-Chiron conjunction, seems to have shaped your attitude, perspective and perhaps the course of your life, in a substantial way.

Unusual planetary alignments around the equinox (see related articles above) may have you feel like you are emerging from a long winter with fresh lease on life and be assured you have all the resources necessary to fulfill your ambitions. The feeling that you’re on the verge of a professional breakthrough has been following you around for a while, and the shifts in energy are at this point undeniable. Remember, though, that the astrology involved with this — Pluto entering Capricorn — is a long-term process that is just getting warmed up now, and proceeds well into 2008.

You though are aware that aside from your worldly wisdom, you are being guided by forces deep within your core, making you aware that you are a part of a greater ocean of consciousness, and that ocean has a life of its own. It speaks in quiet voices. Follow these voices if they seem to be intuitive, as they are putting you in touch with your real mission. You are truly in a position to make difference in your life and in the lives of those around you, by your words, your leadership and unique vision, though again, the results of this may take time to manifest. But when you look back on this time in your life, you will see that they were very much in motion no matter how subtle they may seem to you right now.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 23, 2007, #655 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You may have no idea the impression you’re making on others, but if you encounter any resistance to your plans this week, let it be an affirmation that you’re growing, changing and making a difference in the world. What you need, and what most people lack, is a sharpening stone, and that may come in the form of an encounter with someone you may perceive as an authority figure, perhaps overly self-centered and opinionated. Try to remember this is a microdrama on life’s stage, keep your sense of humor, and come up with an original way to figure out that you’re the making the decisions in this scenario, but that you have a good bit to learn in the process. We take creative control of our lives in increments — for you, this is a real one.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Venus in Taurus, currently a factor in your solar chart, is sometimes said to be promiscuous. The deeper truth is that she never gives her true affections easily, and until then remains the master of all her sensuality and need for contact, free to share what belongs to her. Gradually the moment arrives when there is a need or opportunity for something deeper, and all those layers of self-awareness gained from actual human experience contribute to a sense of what matters more and what matters less; what is real and what is not; and what risk is worth taking consciously, and what risk matters not at all.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
How would your mother be experiencing your life right now, were she dropped into the middle of it, looking just like you? Few people would want to experiment with this, but I suggest you give it a go. You’ll bring to consciousness a diversity of emotional responses that are deeply enmeshed in your character. You will, in essence, be able to sort out your reactions from hers; to distinguish your fears from her own. The value of knowing whose is whose and what is what can’t be exaggerated: it’s about claiming your power, letting go of the past, and affirming your own perceptions as the right ones to live by.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Imagine that everything in your life is based on an arrangement, an agreement, a negotiated deal or a contract. The more conscious those agreements, the better. Awareness itself may stir up some turbulence, but that’s a necessary part of the process, one for which a little courage ought to ease the way. The reason that negotiations are often so difficult is because both parties perceive their own weakness in a situation, at the same time they are reluctant to admit the strength of the other party. Try it this way: feel your own strength, and affirm that it is more or less meaningless without the strength of those close to you. That will make the solution to your current puzzle clear.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The simplest facts of life may vibrate with the most cosmic overtones now. One of those is the recognition of how much you have to offer the world, and how capable you are of rising to its demands on you. You have long known that your stability and central location in the scheme of your relationships offers you much protection from the rising and falling fortunes of the world. You’ve long suspected that you have a gift to express that goes beyond all the petty rules that have been established to make great achievements that much more difficult. The greatest among them is having faith in yourself, which is your true gift to the world.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Recent events may have focused your awareness on your health, and may be rekindling some prior situation or healing process. The situation seems more complicated than it is. Samuel Hahnemann, the inventor of homeopathy, offered some simple advice, applicable to you now: if something aggravates the situation, remove it. That something may be a someone, it may be a non-human environmental factor such as a chemical, and you may want to guard against overdosing on anything electronic. The chances are something in your environment, or a mental attitude, are the first and most productive places to make your adjustments.

Central Park, New York City. Photo by Priya Kale.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
The Sun has entered your opposite sign, Aries, accompanied by Ceres, goddess of the Earth and guardian of mothers. This transit is likely to be coming with deep feelings and a profound need to re-evaluate your commitments and your relationship to the children you have, or those you want. You may be wondering about the true nature of the season of your existence: is it autumn for you, or is it spring? Perhaps the depth and urgency of the situation is making itself known; perhaps a sense of loss and longing that is covering over the power of the life you bear within you. Anyway, this is a time of movement, so be moved.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Feeling safe is a decision that we make. Whether it’s about feeling safe in your home, in your community, in your country or in your own skin, I have seen that ultimately this is based more on throwing away the evidence than on accepting it; more about throwing away the past than about worshipping it or sitting around expecting it to repeat itself. You are in new emotional and psychological territory. You’re likely to discover you’re in new territory in many aspects of your life, which is another way of saying that an old story about how threatened you are is giving way to a new story about how safe you are, and how bold.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The Sun’s ingress into Aries is always one of those glorious moments for you, when you’re suddenly freed from your abundant ideas about life and met with opportunities to just simply live. But the adventure of these weeks and this year is not your usual Sagittarian freedom trip. You seem to be carrying something with you, a feeling, an awareness, a deep recognition of some kind, around in the world. Normally you take each step into the future as a step away from the past. Now, you are walking in the present, holding the past and embracing the future in a strange, new kind of consciousness that reflects a deep and unusual change in your character.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Capricorn has qualities of a watery sign and an earthy sign, as is suggested by that odd fish’s tail on the goat that symbolizes you. This is fortunate for you, because so much of your time these past seasons has been spent navigating the tides and rivers of life. You now have a moment on dry land, which is revealing your fiery nature (impulsive rather than stable), your passionate side (rather than your emotional side), and your drive to achieve rather than your impulse to preserve the achievements of the past. Notably, you could make enough money this month to pay for the rest of the year.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
What you may believe or know about yourself takes its potency from action and choice rather than from self-possession. You know who you are; that is compelling you to do something about it. If you arrive at that point in life where you have to risk failure, you can be certain that’s the moment when and where you get to be real. There is authentic freedom in risking failure because even if you fail, you are suddenly liberated and free to move on. And if in some way you succeed, whether expected or not, you get to share your success in ways that are both tangible and invisible.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are born under a water sign, but I assure you that the true nature of Pisces is about fire. Your sensitivity may mask your underlying impetuous nature; your willingness to come last for long periods of time conceals your knowledge that you will someday be able to take leadership. The lesson for Pisces more than all the other signs is about learning to take care of yourself so you can take care of the world — in that order. This would be a mere concept for anyone less concerned about the world, but now is the time to experiment, if you even vaguely suspect it’s true.

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