Doing What You Must: Participating With Purpose

Dear Friend and Reader:

Although the particulars will vary between individuals and among communities (both in-the-flesh and online), we seem to be in a moment of rich awareness and potential for participating with purpose. Issues like the standoff at Standing Rock and post-election developments are commingling with people’s usual end-of-year charitable giving habits and, of course, both religious and secular ideas about the spirit of compassion inherent in Christmas. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, if you’re in the U.S. (among other countries), you’re surrounded by its themes.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

The astrology as we head into the weekend looks custom-made for this environment, and for getting involved.

First of all, the Sun is always in Sagittarius this time of year, which highlights many themes around philosophy, religion, how we perceive and respond to humanity, and even the heightened urge to socialize despite the shortening days.

Between Friday and Saturday, the Sagittarius Sun makes a pair of aspects (really one event) to two major planets, Jupiter and Saturn. A handful of other planets within range add some extra flavor.

First, the Sun will make a sextile to Jupiter in Libra (exact at 4:39 pm EST / 21:39 UTC Friday). Sextiles are harmonious aspects that offer their full benefit when we actively work the energy. According to astrologer Isabel Hickey, Sun-Jupiter sextiles provide a useful boost for almost any activity. Astrologer Robert Hand notes that this aspect can particularly strengthen the desire to participate in something larger than yourself.

While that could apply to any group activity, consider the signs involved and the actual cultural environment you’re in. With both Libra and Sagittarius attuned to issues of justice, consider whether that thing “larger than yourself” might have to do with an organized effort to right a wrong, to help marginalized voices get heard or simply to provide some assistance to those who are struggling.

What about Saturn in this picture? The Sun will conjoin Saturn in Sagittarius at 6:51 am EST Saturday (11:51 UTC). Saturn has a reputation for being ‘the heavy’: for representing internal or external restrictions, including an authority figure that may seem to ‘limit’ you. Yet Saturn also represents structure and foundations. As such, it can signal strength and persistence (think about how your skeleton, associated with Saturn, holds you up).

Simplified chart for Sun sextile Jupiter. Clockwise, from left: Eris, Ceres, the Moon and Uranus in Aries; Chiron in Pisces; Pholus, Saturn and the Sun in Sagittarius; Jupiter in Libra.

Saturn and Jupiter are often seen as opposite, conflicting impulses: restriction and expansion. Yet Sun-Saturn conjunctions, according to Hand, are ideal for turning your attention to your outstanding priorities and duties. It’s a great time for organizing and planning.

Yes, Saturn can sometimes feel isolating or low-energy, but generally the antidote to that is to focus on what you must do and get working.

So what is it you feel that you ‘must’ do at this time? It could be as mundane as getting your house cleaned for guests or getting your holiday shopping done.

It could be that, given the influence of Sagittarius, you feel drawn to explore and apply your personal philosophical or religious beliefs. Or perhaps the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are pointing you clearly in the direction of some matter of social justice and civic participation.

Note that this astrology is not about a guilt-trip. Although you may have obligations to others that you need to fulfill, Jupiter’s presence looks like it could mitigate any potential sense of dread around that. If you can, focus on where you are most deeply drawn to help out, or on the people from whom you would like to learn. In anything you need to follow through on, tie up or accomplish, consider how good it will feel to have it off your plate.

Throughout Friday, the Moon will be traveling through mid-to-late Aries. Not only does that mean some inspired, fiery harmony with the Sun, it also may tune you into the ongoing ways that many of this year’s most surprising events are developing. The Moon will pass through the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, the ‘sign of our times’, which the Sun (and Saturn) are in a loose aspect to. A couple of the things I mentioned in the opening paragraph fit this description; I suspect you can think of others that get you fired up.

Finally, the Sun and Saturn are roughly square Chiron in Pisces. However you choose to use this energy — whatever cause you get involved in, whatever responsibilities you fulfill — there’s the potential for a new level of awareness. That emotional or spiritual awareness might not be entirely comfortable, but it could very well help you to heal something along the way that you’ve been grappling with. Like I said, this moment is rich.

Yours & truly,

Short Monthly Horoscope for December 2016, #1129 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Given the high-voltage planets in your sign, you may have wondered if you’re too intense for a normal social life. You would be wise to err on the side of asserting who you are rather than trying to hide or tone down. Jupiter is now boldly working its way through your relationship sign, Libra. That’s a way of saying that people will not only accept who you are, they will benefit and thrive on your energy and your wild streak. The coming year will be one of great meetings. Be real, look people in the eye and welcome them into your life.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You possess your own connection to the cosmos and to spiritual wisdom. You don’t need anyone to tell you what’s true, what’s right or what is holy. Rather, all you need to do is listen to your internal voice and respect what you hear. This is a revolutionary act because it’s so rarely done, and because you may get information that contradicts conventional wisdom or your usual values. Yet there’s nothing conventional about who you are right now, and your role in life is not about meeting the expectations of others. If you need an authority figure, consider yourself it.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — State your expectations clearly, whether you’re speaking to relationship partners, business partners or the representative from your cellular provider. You are the one who must set the tone of all of your communications, and not for a moment allow yourself to be intimidated. When in doubt, stick to the facts and figures. This is your most important hedge against being swayed by the emotions, power or charisma of others. Keep your language simple and make sure that people understand what you mean, and that you understand what they say. The result of every discussion must be a clear agreement.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your relationship life has been heating up lately, and the pace of events has been increasing along with it. You would be wise to take things slowly for the next few weeks, and take a wait-and-see approach to decisions. Planetary conditions insist that you seek genuine mutual understanding, which might be a challenge if people seem to keep changing their minds in ways that influence you. However, if you read between the lines you will have a good idea of where people are coming from, and you can respond accordingly. Your long-practiced independence will be a useful tool.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — This will be a phenomenally productive month at work for you, if you know when to back off and let things work themselves out. You might encounter a diversity of traps that could lure you into wasting your time. The moment you feel like you’re not being productive, ask yourself whether the thing you’re doing actually needs to happen. Review your schedule daily. Be decisive about revising and simplifying your plans, and adjusting your goals. The world goes into a frenzy trying to get stuff done before the end of the year. Set clear priorities and stay off the proverbial treadmill.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re likely to be feeling more confident about money now that Jupiter has entered your house of wealth and resources. However, you would be wise to avoid firming up business plans or major commitments until the New Year. There’s too much shifting to have a clear sense of where people stand. You need time to read the fine print and have a handle on what is expected of you before making any promises, or decisions that you cannot reverse. Get the specifics and make sure people demonstrate that they can keep a promise before making any promises to them.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — What some call luck is on your side now, though use it wisely. Your main advantage is how much you know, though that only has a genuine worth if you put it to conscious use. Another edge you have is stability. This comes in handy when you’re among the brilliant but erratic types. You might try on the feeling of being a tad larger than everyone and everything around you. Adjust your sense of scale and imagine you’re a foot taller than you are. That doesn’t make you better, it just enhances your perspective and levels out the game.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Even if you don’t keep a diary, you might want to this month. Repeatedly, this year, you’ve been put in a position to review your past and to understand why things happened the way they did. You’ll see this is less a matter of opinion and more about analysis of known facts. What is more significant is why you respond the way that you do, something you seem committed to changing. It’s about time you had a handle on where you’re coming from and where you’re going. Committing your thoughts to paper, and reading them back, will make that a lot easier to track.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — People cannot read your mind; even a clairvoyant would have a hard time figuring out what you’re thinking. Therefore, come in a little closer to the people around you and tell them what’s percolating. Slow down and explain your viewpoint step by step, including how you got there. This is not on the usual Sagittarius menu of options, though your relationships will go more smoothly, and you will feel more confident, if you trust that people understand you. Listen long enough to get their opinion as well. There will be a few crucial moments you’ll be very glad you took the time to do this.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may need to assemble the truth in small bits rather than getting it as a fully assembled picture. This might require comparing information from different sources over a period of time, perhaps five or six weeks. As you do this, be as methodical and objective as you can be. Then you will have that moment when reality comes into focus. Tempted though you may be, don’t rush to conclusions. Your ultimate determination might be entirely different from what your initial response or reaction was. What you call intuition must be backed up by concrete and provable data.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s time to start thinking about your longer-term future. It’s as if you’ve had a lens in your mind replaced and can now see ahead more clearly. Yet this involves what you consider possible as much as anything else. Therefore, start from the position that nothing is impossible, and that anything gains potential as you visualize it. This is not about magic; visualizing is how discoveries are made, movies are created and bridges are built. You might be considering a long-distance move, or entering a whole new line of work. Let yourself dream. Love or a partnership may factor into this equation.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have excellent ideas and others have the means to make them real. This could result in a brilliant collaboration, and cultivating this will be worth your time and thought. Refine your presentation to something clear, beautiful and a bit idealistic. Show that you’re capable of managing your affairs, and that you make wise use of your resources. Treat everyone as a potential business partner, without saying a word about it to them at first. There are people who are more excited about your talent than you are. Pay careful attention and you’ll know them when you see them.

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