Extended Spring Forecasts

Happy Birthday, Aries!

I have suggested that you are heading into a rare, strange four seasons, something that exceeds your experiences and expectations. How is the trip so far? Pretty interesting, right? This is, however, a good time to raise a particular spiritual matter, which we could call the matter of the soul. The soul is an inward manifestation, compared to everything we see and experience in the world — except that once that energy is contacted, it begins to express itself very nicely.

When people ‘search for themselves’, this soul-essence, and its purpose, are what they are looking for. When the soul is made contact with, our sense of identity changes. The approximate corollary for soul is ego. Hugh Prather once remarked that, “It takes ego to see ego.” So if I may: ego is the level of awareness or existence that is essentially automatic, fearful, possessive and consumed with its own identity.

Soul is transparent; you can see right through it. Listening to its voice results in living a spontaneous way. If there is a plan, it’s revealed as the steps become necessary or appropriate. Soul will always guide your life toward healing and completion, and, given time, toward the deeper pleasures you need. The most interesting quality of soul is how it feels ‘so much like you’ when you kind of stumble into the feeling. We may well ask just what everything that ‘did not feel like you’ was, but it doesn’t take long to figure that out.

There are a number of vibrant factors in your astrology for this year which suggest your true journey is an inner one — not, as you so often experience it, a quest in the world or the world of people. It’s clear enough that everything you decide and feel will have some effect on your outer life, and that your interactions with others are going well. But beneath those layers, you are reaching into yourself in a way that’s highly unusual for both you and anyone you’ve ever known. So unusual, in fact, that few would be willing to admit that your process is real, or that the changes you feel happening are meaningful in the ‘real world’. So I suggest that for now, you keep this between you and yourself, and share your experiences only with people you feel on a deep intuitive level will understand.

In truth the process you’re going through is more mysterious than anyone can say, and the outcome is far from predictable but by no means uncertain. You are headed for a destination: a state of existence, personal development and self-understanding that you will, I assure you, love, and wonder how you ever lived without it. No use wondering; just live and accept the gift.

Aries (March 20-April 19) & Aries rising
Aries turns the ignition of the horoscope. It is the point of origin of consciousness and desire. It’s the ultimate sign of individuality, and a point of reference for the whole human family to connect in ways we all understand. Yet what it tends to struggle for is to see itself as an internally oriented being; someone whose reality proceeds from the inside out. This may be because Aries is so capable of creating its reality that the whole process is transparent. Mercury retrograde in your sign is taking you on a long and deep inward journey, but not the kind that disconnects you from the world. The more you delve into yourself, get to know yourself or feel the simple fact that you exist, the more likely you are to feel connected to people, connected to the world, and able to see yourself as someone whose presence is genuinely appreciated. But to express the mysterious process you’re now going through in such terms is to understate the point. Each event, each encounter, each new thing you learn, is an element in a process of total transformation that is occurring during the next few weeks and which will continue through the year. By this time in 2006 you will be rightly stunned at what you have achieved, how far you have come, who you have become, and what you no longer needed that you finally left behind.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) & Taurus rising
There are unlikely to be accurate words or even pictures to describe what’s happening in your life, and ongoing developments may be so large as to defy being easily noticed. Things seem normal…but not normal at all. This is a rare moment to take a look at all of the most far-reaching factors; the things about yourself and your life that are ‘ too big to understand’; and the strange way you have, in the past, struggled to be able to know what you mean when you say, ‘I am’.  You deserve to know; you can sense the value and importance of your life in the purposes you serve, in the people you bring together, in your ideas and in the way that you act as the one who preserves the collective memory of the tribe. Leave that all aside for a moment and focus on your sense of who you are as an individual. It is true that your personality has an odd way of getting lost in the light of your soul. But there is something ordinary, beautiful, attractive and nourishing about you, and as you live through the next few weeks and the season ahead, that something may come into focus out of the thin mists. Keep that focus; it will come to good use as certain key decisions present themselves — decisions which are not really choices between alternate options, but are in truth choices based on who you are.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) & Gemini rising
You seem to be doing a fine job of resolving a major issue of faith on the most cosmic scale. Your understanding of the world, and your purpose in the world, have recently come through a set of filters, and what were once nagging, troubling doubts have been replaced by the beginnings of a calm certainty. Follow this feeling; it will not lead you wrong. What we often fail to realize is that most of our decisions about what kind of place the world is have their roots in how we feel emotionally. Anyone who got up each day feeling good would have little reason for fear that things were going to go wrong. Anyone who lived with a natural trust in their fellow human beings would have no basis to think them less than honest or loving. In other words, your feelings set your expectations and thus your likely experiences. Therefore, if you work with your feelings first, your experiences will not only be more pleasant, but improvements will be easier to make. There are certain extraordinarily exciting developments summoning you to a more fulfilling and more creative life. You have a moment soon to arrive with a clear invitation to take charge of your destiny. This is not just a dramatic chance to make up your mind about something; in truth it is a cosmic gateway.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) & Cancer rising
Saturn in your birth (or 1st house) sign for the past two years has been compelling you to clear away countless old ideas about yourself. You’ve learned to toughen up at the same time you’ve developed a state of compassion for your own existence. And if my reading of the charts is correct, you have taken on a level of authority that both suits you well and is entirely necessary, given certain facts of your life and the responsibilities you hold. Now an entirely new dimension opens up, and you will be invited to fill some of the space that you’ve cleared with specific new ideas, plans and responsibilities in the larger world. This is a genuinely stunning time of advancement in your career, particularly if you are open-minded enough to use all the changes in the world to your best advantage. Just remember that you are a pioneer in this area of your life; you are not one who follows or drives comfortably along paved roads to established tourist spots. Your career is not a vacation; it is more like a campaign for freedom. Anyone in your role had best learn the skills of negotiation, making concrete requests, and knowing exactly how to manage what you perceive as your limits. In truth, it is more common that greatness beckons than it is that people respond. But now that you no longer have use for petty fears, you have a lot more freedom.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) & Leo rising
Many of the best astrological aspects we’ve seen in many seasons are going off like fireworks in your fellow fire sign Aries. This should be reminding you quite nicely how easy it is for you to boldly live your connection with your highest intentions, your deepest integrity and your more-than-abundant authentic wisdom. At the same time, Chiron has moved into your opposite sign, Aquarius, and is at the moment in a conjunction to Mars. I would offer this interpretation. Loved ones, partners and close friends in your life are offering you far more than even you imagined. You may have your doubts, and you of all people know that everyone has their less-than-perfect side. But you have recently come through an opening that allows you to see just what awesome gifts you have in the human realm. Yet something may be troubling you, and I have an idea what it is: Saturn is soon to enter your sign, and that means you have a lot of growing up on your agenda. But I’m here to tell you this. There is exceedingly little relationship between your current anxieties and your agenda for the next two or three years. For the most part, your fears are entirely imaginary — but your agenda in life, your loved ones, and the purpose you serve in your community are as solid as gold.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) & Virgo rising
How, exactly, do you maintain a sense of your power in your relationships? Have you ever considered your situation in that way? I suggest you do; I suggest you investigate clearly the terms of your relationships, and how you fail or succeed at being aware of your influence over your destiny where your life intersects with others. You can so easily find yourself; you can so easily lose everything. It goes without saying that you find it necessary to seek your identity in others. We all do, but at times you take this quest to its limits. Presently, you’re likely to be getting clear about your need to review your commitments and see where you are over-extended; where you have invested yourself in inappropriate ways; and where you meet others on terms that are truly beneficial to both of you. I suggest that this third qualification be your most important touchstone in assessing whether relationships are healthy: do they work for both people? You need to be unusually honest before you answer that, and not assume that because you are the helpful, dedicated person that you are, that your presence automatically benefits everyone. It may do so very well, but then there are questions of appropriateness and degree — and for you, the greater pleasure, healing and safety in life will come in those situations where there is a clear and conscious agreement to which everyone says yes. That is the word.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) & Libra rising
Aries is the sign of your cosmic mirror. And that mirror has been giving you a truly strange, interesting and intriguing show lately. But is it real? Are you really the person you see being projected onto that thin silver screen? Well, maybe. All movies are interpretations, and mirrors each tell their own story; no two give the same opinion of what you look like. But you are certainly getting many opportunities to see yourself in new ways, and to actually consider possibilities you never would have dreamed of. Yet you haven’t seen anything yet. What you’re witnessing in the world around you is like a shadow of the potential you have inside you. But you won’t see it if fear is dominating your experience. I can’t say for sure that it is, but with an eclipse conjunct Venus approaching, I could imagine feeling a little nervous. Eclipses are moments of darkness when something else becomes visible. They represent breaks in continuity, moments of decision, points of no return and times to play our cards at the gambling table joined by fates. Look and feel for that moment when the lights go a little dim; when the quality of energy in the world and in your heart changes. This is the opening; the actual point of departure. Stay awake; look with your eyes open even if you’re standing in total darkness. You are not, but you must look to see.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) & Scorpio rising
No astrology book will have the words ‘work’, ‘health’, or ‘service’ associated with the sign Scorpio. These are prejudices often given to Virgo, Aquarius or Pisces. Yet these three ideas offer you life-giving information, and many opportunities to do something that’s exceedingly rare on Earth — have a true sense of who you are and what to do every day. It may seem you get caught in the mundane quite easily, and that other people get to have all the really imaginative fun. Yet I propose that you never for a moment doubt the true and rare gift that you have in being able to ground yourself in life’s most basic purposes. You really can afford to relax and appreciate the way you’ve been called to live; you can afford to see the evidence that your presence is necessary, and truly appreciated. This life we are all living is more like a wilderness camping trip than it is a luxury cruise. You are a survivor, and uniquely suited to be the most practical kind of guide, leader and innovator. To me, this means that your basic needs will always be taken care of. Now, you can afford to let some of the people seemingly less disciplined than yourself show you a few things about how to light your fires and get a good feast cooking.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) & Sagittarius rising
It’s a good thing you know how to take everything philosophically, because this means your life will never be at a loss for meaning. But the meaning of certain events and people is evident without theory, observation or even thought to back it up. Someone in your life is dedicated to helping you be more emotionally free. This may serve them, but you are the ultimate beneficiary. You have been striving for a long time to be more truly creative, and to do more of what you want. You have an excellent mind, and that mind wants to grow and expand in ways that are not commonly known, seen or experienced. You are correct in that some kind of daring creative activity is the way to go about this. I suggest you follow some combination of risk and curiosity as your golden threads to your true destination. I also suggest you remember that spiritual is a meaningless concept if we live with love, compassion and authenticity. Right and wrong are not so much arbitrary as they are unnecessary concepts in a world where freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. Anyway, someone close to you understands this better than you, and is not merely an ally but rather a true friend in helping you get from life what you need, and more to the point, what you want.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) & Capricorn rising
This is a time of various pressures and necessities adjusting themselves. I don’t think you’re the one pulling the levers and making the changes; rather, I see a lot of activity in the world around you, including in your home environment, your family and your emotional life. You seem to be settling on your new foundations — foundations you have built with much work, sacrifice and psychological effort in recent years. The strange revelation may be just how comfortable you feel now that most of this work is done. And in a strange way, the remaining inner projects have the reassuring quality of an agenda. You can, however, ease off on that particular way of life — of planning and effort. I suggest you allow the energy around you to shift, move, and finally settle into a pattern that you can live with. Feel your bones shift gently into place; feel yourself grow gradually more comfortable with who you are. That sense of comfort is exactly what will lead you to the next stage of your life, so I suggest cultivating your sense that you’re truly okay and that you belong in the world. Of course it’s impossible to have that feeling if you’re in an emotional uproar, or facing any kind of security threat. The thing is, you are not. You really are safe, you just need to feel that way, which is another way of saying it’s okay to be alive.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) & Aquarius rising
You are often driven by mysterious forces, and at the moment there is no shortage of these in the neighborhood. One particular wavelength you’ve tuned into is enabling you to stay awake in a most unusual way; you’re suddenly in tune with what you want and what you need. Now, don’t let anyone distract you, because it’s only when you have your own basic situation sorted out that you can be of any real use or companionship to others. Keep your inner focus and don’t be afraid to do what you do best, which is work everything out mentally and then see how the solution set fits the real world. You are, in fact, in possession of a highly unusual gift. It’s natural for you to want to develop, offer and give that gift to the people around you, and to establish your relationships. At the same time, I would not be the least bit surprised, at certain moments, if you looked into yourself and faced some enormous sense that you don’t really belong, or are somehow not able to fit into the world. I suggest you welcome that experience, if it shows up. Think of it as a question; translate it into one, if necessary. Look right at it and ask whether it’s true. A great many people walk around on this planet convinced they don’t really belong, but scarcely conscious of this fact. You are in the position to open the lid on the vault containing your worst insecurities, and actually address them.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) & Pisces rising
From what I have seen in myself and in my Pisces brothers and sisters, we fish have a really, really strange relationship with self-esteem. Since most people don’t actually hold themselves in ‘high esteem’, I have suggested before that we replace this term with ideas that are easier to grasp: self-respect, confidence, and the sense that you are actually free to make decisions. Aries is a truly vital sign in your life because it rules all these qualities. Yet what you would do well to remember is that Aries is the kind of energy that goes out and gets things, rather than sits around waiting for them to show up. So while you may have a nature that relies more on attraction than on aggression, and sees opportunities rather than creates them, you may want to take a more assertive attitude now. Start by making a true inventory of who you are and what you have to offer. Look at the way you treat people from moment to moment. Pause and consider your motives in every situation. The chances are you will see yourself being influenced by motives you truly appreciate. We may well ask where your dark ideas about yourself come from, but I don’t suggest you do this before you’ve determined that they are simply not true. If you want real self-confidence, and I know you do, eliminating the factors that undermine your opinion of yourself is a really great place to start. Then who you really are will stand beyond question.

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