How to Remember Who You Are

Doors of the Ambassador’s Garden by Lanvi Nguyen.

INTELLIGENCE for Aries by Eric Francis

Introduction: Of Aries and Aquarius

The vantage point from which to view our lives from the future is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius. Reading the charts from the viewpoint of Aries (rising or Sun), Aquarius is the 11th house: the house of hopes and dreams, of community, of our shared social environment. It is the house associated with the rewards of your professional efforts.

The conjunction takes place on Dec. 21, 2020, one of those momentous-sounding days, about eight hours past the winter solstice. Jupiter conjunct Saturn is a 20-year event — a rare and noteworthy one — though for reasons I’ll soon describe, this one is a call to action by those who believe that peace, sanity and a real social measure of justice are possible. Yet one underlying principle here is that there must be equanimity. True peace and peace of mind do not come at the expense of another.

Notably, the conjunction takes place right in the zone where Mars was retrograde in the summer of 2018, which I view not as an event in the past but as a potentially continuous source of information and transformation (I cover this in more detail in your audio file). Mars is your ruling planet, and its involvement in a truly rare retrograde in Aquarius (nothing like it had happened in 47 years), was about you clearing space to be yourself, amidst your peers and your community. You went through some process where you had to open space, refresh the air, and potentially confront some social norms and sources of peer pressure that were confining you, and in effect, blocking your growth.

The question to ask yourself, and the place to invest your vision, is what role do you see yourself playing in society? This is likely to be an informal leadership role, though one connected to your professional development, possibly as an outgrowth of it — such as a corporate president being a leader in his or her profession, or being in a position to serve as a philanthropist as a result of some other success. There will be times when you must take on official responsibility. Yet in the end, your true power and influence come from your social cachet, by which I mean respect, and not from your official position.

With the journey of Saturn and Pluto through Capricorn in the next two years, and a conjunction centered in January 2020, you will be increasingly busy — in a truly rare spell of professional focus and achievement, unlike anything you’ve attempted or accomplished in the past. You know what you want; you must remember. You know who you are; you will remember.

In these years, there is an unusual relationship between Aries and Aquarius, and this serves as a resource for you. They have some crucial things in common that I’ve never seen described in an astrology book, or heard spoken of by an astrologer. Yet they are easy to spot, if you know the background. The most significant is found in the essence of Aquarius, which is the relationship between the individual and the group. Things ruled by Aquarius have a way of reverting to a cult mentality; this is not about the sign, or people born under it, but about humanity’s misuse of an opportunity: that of distinguishing oneself as an individual. The group power of Aquarius tends to dominate the individual. This is a dangerous territory, and you can see it operating at every layer of society, from the company cafeteria to the White House.

Aquarius contains this deep tension between self, the pressure to conform, and individual self-expression. And in many ways, the same thing is also true of Aries. While Aries is very much the sign of individuality, sometimes at all costs, it’s also the home of the Aries Point (the first degree of the zodiac), which is a direct connection to the collective. The sign of individual will connects to everyone, via some unusual property it possesses as not just the first sign of the zodiac but also the reckoning point of our zodiac and the sidereal (Vedic) zodiac.

So in a sense, Aries is Aquarius in reverse: the sign of the individual that magnifies and multiplies into the collective.

They have one other thing in common, which is telling the story of our time in history: both are connected to the prevailing technology of our era. Nobody would ever say that Aries is the sign of technology, but it works out to be the scene of the most profound changes in modern history, connected to broadcast media and the digital revolution. I’ve written about this copiously, and this reading is not the appropriate space to tell the whole story, so far as I know it (we have placed a number of articles on the resources page under Aries, Eris and Technology).

However, to sum up, studying with the McLuhan family the past four years (the descendants of 20th-century philosopher Marshall McLuhan), I’ve figured out that a particular, very long cycle that happens in Aries, and which has been peaking in recent years, is basically turning people into robots. These robot-people like to form tribes; and neither tribes nor robots favor human individuality, or personal expression, or sincerity, or self-awareness. By robots, I mean all the scripts and AI algorithms that are driving society right now, and which are making us become like them.

What they favor is the suppression of individual human will and desire — and that’s not going to work for you. It never has and it never will. Yet not only have you been personally impacted by these developments, you live in a world where they are prevalent, and becoming the dominant way of thinking and of being.

Chiron in Aries

The focus of your astrology, now and for the foreseeable future, is Chiron. Many other significant events are present in the big picture, though Chiron for you will have the deepest influence and signifies the theme of your life now, which is self-actualization. Chiron raises awareness wherever it goes, and beginning on Feb. 18, it’s coming to you, to stay for the foreseeable future.

Let’s get a quick definition of self-actualization going, and then build on it. Someone named Kurt Goldstein defined it as “the tendency [of a person] to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive.” Carl Rogers described it as “the curative force in psychotherapy — man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities … to express and activate all the capacities of the organism.” The part I like about this the best is that he describes self-actualization as a kind of tropism or driving force toward wellness in the therapy process. It already exists within all of us. We merely need to tap into it. You can read more here. However, I suggest you do some real reading on the topic, focusing on books at least 40 years old.

It is significant that Chiron spends more time in Aries than in any other sign — about nine years in total. This is because Chiron reaches what is called aphelion, the furthest distance from the Sun, while in Aries. In total, Chiron’s journey into and through your sign spans from April 17, 2018, (first ingress into Aries) through April 14, 2027, (last ingress into Taurus).

By contrast, Chiron spends just 18 months in Libra, when it comes closest to the Sun, called the perihelion (that happened last in 1996-1997).

Though it was discovered in Taurus, Chiron has a strong affinity for Aries, and its passage through Aries seems well timed to address many issues involving self, self-concept and the notion of identity (something that is critical at this time in our individual lives, and the life of our culture). At the moment, our whole society is obsessed with identity, which is self-concept.

Identity is not self, and much of this effort is, in my view, insincere and misdirected. For the most part, it’s about labeling and tribal identity — not self-actualization.

Your quest, and your healing mission, is to find your true self; your most personally valid state of being and of expression. This is easily said, and not so easily (or so often) done. The reason is that in order to be who you are, it’s necessary to set aside or cast off anything and everything that you are not. Most people you meet are heavily invested in not-self. To the extent that you struggle with being yourself and with making choices that work for you, you are likely to be invested in not-self. If you knowingly do things that don’t work for you, and associate with people who do not support you, those are signs of investment in not-self.

Let’s use a metaphor: honesty. People like to talk about being honest, and sometimes strive to be so. Yet in order to be honest, one must confront all the things one was dishonest about in the past. Honesty requires reckoning with the current state of one’s relationships, and would likely require shaking all of them up. This is seen as dangerous, and potentially painful. Were you to suddenly become transparent and honest about everything in your life, you would be taking a big risk, or so it would seem. People might get upset. They might not want to be associated with you. That is the risk of actually expressing yourself.

Yet Chiron in Aries is going to demand no less. This will begin with being honest with yourself, aware of yourself, aware of your interactions with others down to the most detailed level. To do this, you will be taken on a tour of all the ways that your awareness has been suppressed, that you’ve allowed yourself to be held down, and all the ways you’ve compromised and held yourself back. This can lead to a crisis.

Most people would rather not go through this. I say most, not all. You are being invited to be one of the intrepid few who enters the process boldly, willingly and with full participation.

We all have our laundry list of things we wish we could resolve in our lives. You will need to set that aside for a while, and embark on this next stage of your healing journey without any agenda other than to be aware of what is so; other than to fully awaken yourself.

Awareness of what is so can feel like a real confrontation. There is no compromise possible. The condition of “I am living this way, people think I’m living this other way, and I really want to live this entirely different way” must be engaged and seen for what it is, and once that engagement happens, then the need to make changes becomes not only obvious but inevitable.

Chiron and all that it represents is a compelling force. In a sense there is no escaping, only establishing a relationship with the impetus to change, and your deep personal need to heal. This means the need to grow, and that entails an entirely new basis for making decisions. Different people will respond to it in different ways. Some will choose to go deeper than others. Some will respond by grafting onto the identity politics and self-concept level, which is already pervasive. You must be able to discern the difference.

Chiron never allows us to dump the past, like tearing down an old shopping mall to build a new one; rather, there must be a careful reckoning with everything we have experienced, and what it means to us. The underlying ground must be examined and understood.

However, the prevailing conditions of society right now are not supportive of this. In fact, digital technology, artificial intelligence and the tribal mentality these things are propagating are driving just about everything in the opposite direction. Here, we have a picture of the confrontation that you’ll likely be engaging on some level with your peers, your family and with society. To express yourself as a distinct individual with your own views, your own intentions and your own desires is dangerous business right now, but it goes deeper.

To be yourself means transcending even these more or less rudimentary human needs, and engaging in a process of the most profound transformation. Doing so challenges people; it pushes their buttons; it triggers them. Yet it’s no fun to go kicking and screaming. That is not real awareness; it’s more like resistance for its own sake. What do you have to lose? Well, all that is not true. And this can stir up other people.

Someone going through a real growth process does not present a “safe space” for others; it challenges them. By changing, you will be challenging the people around you, not because you want to, but because that is what’s bound to happen when you fully engage your process of becoming true to yourself. In fact it might happen when you take your first steps (such as by questioning an intimate relationship). By your process of awakening you will provoke others into confronting the lies they are telling themselves and that they are trying to believe. So the process of self-actualization has a social impact. At times, it can feel anti-social. Yet it’s essential that you not worry about everyone else. Keep your focus on yourself, your own necessities of growth, your own inner awareness.

The Human Potential Ethos

The last time Chiron entered Aries, about 50 years ago, there was an ethos in society much more supportive of people doing their thing, pushing personal limits and daring to enter the territory of change; of their personal unknown, come what may. Today, these things are all but unthinkable. True, there was plenty of cultish bullshit afoot at that time, though there was, at least, the space to experiment and to grow in a bold way. There were some talented and daring therapists teaching and in practice, and useful forms of group process being developed. Many authors were writing with the intention of helping people awaken.

Today, we have psychiatric medication, a near-total lack of qualified (by which I mean competent and daring) therapy, and just about every influence being related to consumerism. We have a prevailing ethic of “your awareness threatens my lack of awareness, and therefore you are bad.” This takes about a thousand different forms.

There was one other crucial difference. In the late 1960s, there was a cultural ethos that allowed for sexual experimentation. I don’t mean claiming an identity and going to a march. I mean being and doing and exploring with one’s mind and feelings and body. Not everyone was into it. We could speculate about who was and was not sincere (though that would be guessing). Yet at the time there was the potential to find places in society, and to find many people, who were challenging the status quo of the day. Today, nearly every factor strives to interfere with just this, and there are potentially serious consequences if there is some kind of a mishap, or someone broadcasts their personal agenda into the interwoven world of the internet.

Today, what is permitted is self-concept and tribal identity, which are being driven by robotics. We might say that these qualities are set within an environment of robotics and artificial thought, though the effect is the same.

Whatever we might say about the social milieu of our age, one thing we cannot deny is that every social interaction, including the full amorous and erotic spectrum of experience, is run through the robot. This has many effects, including absolutely no privacy whatsoever. This, in turn, has decimated the inner space needed to grow (it has been supplanted, badly, by the notion of “safe space,” meaning a room in your university, but this can never replace inner space; it’s a mockery).

It seems that for many people, the internet is the only way to meet people, which may be convenient but it bypasses all of the pheromone and hormone levels of interaction, and all other non-visual and non-verbal cues, and the body language that so often attracts us to others — and replaces it with something else.

It’s not merely that our senses are being filtered and reorganized. It’s that humans tend to become like our environment; like the tools that we use. I might not dwell on this so much had the now-waning but still very much alive Uranus-Eris conjunction not occurred in Aries — however, it did. Uranus-Eris is the very sigil of the broadcast age and the digital age in one cycle. You will need to assess the influence of this on your existence, your experience of your body, your experience of your intellect and how you relate to others — individually and in groups.

This calls for real self-awareness. Yet you don’t need to go far to get started. Remember yourself 20 years ago: what you did, what you felt, what you thought was possible, what you thought was appropriate, who you related to and how — and compare that to yourself now. That will give you a clue the trajectory involved.

You can use another metric: what is the state of your curiosity today? How boldly do you explore yourself and the world — having nothing whatsoever to do with social media platforms, or the internet? We have a distorted idea of what brave and dangerous mean today. One is considered brave if they meet someone for coffee; anything not delivered by automated feed is considered potentially dangerous (and we all know what AOL’s admonition to “surf safely” means).

Now, Chiron is about to enter Aries for eight years, after having made a brief visit last year. This has personal implications for you, and for your experience of the world. It is also the demarcation of a new era of your life, which in fact began last spring.

Of note, you have also just been through seven years of Uranus in your sign. This has come along with the jolts and surprises for which Uranus is famous. It’s also been a scattering influence. The relief of Chiron will be its ability to focus, and its property of grounding. You can afford to slow down a little, too. Indeed, you must.

Environment and Liminality

The environment — its features and qualities — tends to hang out below the level of liminality: the threshold of awareness. The environment gets our attention when something goes wrong, or changes precipitously (the electricity goes out, the interent stops working, there’s a wildfire, a hurricane or some such thing). Then, the environment temporarily bobs above the threshold of liminality, and quite often we’re suddenly inundated by it. This sense of, or fear of, inundation is the incentive to not pay attention; and it is tempting, particularly with so much pain and chaos available to perceive. Chiron’s presence is an experiment in liminality: in paying attention to what you missed before, particularly in your own responses to events.

Imagine you woke up one morning able to perceive all that you had never perceived before, or only caught glimpses of. That is one probable effect of Chiron. This is not a one-time event but rather a journey, in consciousness and through the world. Chiron transits have their ups and downs, though they’re always meaningful; and usually, our lives are much better for attending to the business that Chiron demands.

The first full year of this transit, and whatever may have unfolded last year related to Chiron or to Mars retrograde, are worth taking under close advisement. Early in its run through Aries, Chiron is making aspects to two slow-moving outer planets that in many ways represent defining concepts of our time in history. They are Pholus and Salacia.

Pholus in Capricorn; Salacia in Aries

Pholus is now very early in its run through Capricorn, and Salacia is early in its run through Aries. The two will basically travel in a perpetual square through their respective signs, and then change signs together in 2043. So this will be a power source, or source of chaos, operating behind everything for decades. It would make sense now to set some parameters, and some intentions, and to have a vision for how to use this rather unusual aspect pattern.

By the way, in all my studies, I have never seen a transiting square that lasts for decades. In astrology, events gain influence by their rarity and, often, their duration. In effect, Pholus and Salacia are now united as one factor, one element. What these planets represent is worth a bit of reflection.

Pholus is a centaur planet, the second discovered after Chiron. Unlike its immediate predecessor, whose action is usually slow and meticulous, Pholus is reactive, and events tend to develop fairly quickly under its influence. One action of Pholus is to uncork the pressure.

Whatever develops can be precipitated by something that is subtle, seemingly insignificant, or catalytic. It’s the small cause with the big effect, as Robert von Heeren and Dieter Koch put it in their 1995 book, Pholus, Wandler zwischen Saturn und Neptun. (If you know someone who reads German, perhaps buddy up and have them translate some of it for you — it’s interesting.)

Salacia, mythological forebear to the word salacious, seems packed with lust and longing and immaturity. Salacia could be great fun, where people are informed and have some grounding in their sexuality. What you identify as is not the operative factor; what you do and how you feel is. However, we live in frantic, ignorant times, where many young people are still inflicted with abstinence indoctrination (as were many people expected to function as adults today).

We live in times of vast pent-up sexual energy. If you can feel it, whether within you or around you, you know what I mean. This is an energetic state, and socially, there are strictures (restrictions, rules, panic attacks) coming from all directions. There is the influence of robotics, from Tinder to porn feeds. And there is an easily understandable general phobia around vulnerability, particularly with anyone new; a kind of sly terror around really letting down one’s guard. Can you blame anyone? Combined with the prevailing disembodied state of the planet, that rarely ever seems like a good idea. Yet this aspect is holding the power of a bomb. The tension is going to need to go somewhere.

Now, consider that Chiron will be passing through this setup over the next year (beginning immediately in February), bringing matters into awareness, perhaps to crisis level. Since we’re talking about Chiron, this is fairly easy to decipher: there is a healing need, and a healing process, and it extends through your whole being: who you are, and what you do.

Individually, for you, this is describing the nature of your awakening: what its constituents are, and how much energy is contained in it. As was well understood by the bolder and more sincere therapy methods of one Chiron cycle ago, growth is directly linked to one’s sexual evolution and maturity. There is no way to be a mature and functioning adult without being able to relate in a level way with other mature, functioning adults, and this is impossible without a mature approach to sexuality.

This whole scenario represents a significant part of Chiron in Aries for you, a kind of initiation at the beginning of the transit where you go through some kind of test — and gain confidence as a result.

Referring back to Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aquarius, this conjunction specifically describes a rare development of social confidence. There is the question of the social acceptability of individuating. This is where you must not falter or yield. You are in the vanguard. You will be getting the first and most potent infusion of Chiron, and you are already under the influence of Salacia. This is guidance to be your real self, rather than to “identify” as something.

Said another way, conformity is not an option. You certainly may find bona fide community, and you’re a lot likelier to find it when you stay strong in your process of self-becoming. And part of the key to the lock will be gaining a deeper understanding of, and trust of, your sexuality. This is elemental to your life and your relationships, like the blood coursing through your veins. In our time, we may pretend not to understand the connections, though they are intuitive; the awareness dawns when you’re ready and willing to receive it.

Where Chiron is concerned, it’s essential to have guidance and modeling. Old material comes up, and new territory must be explored. We need teachers who have been through the process, and have emerged successfully. We don’t have many models for this in our society, though they exist. What you are looking for are people who are loving and open-minded, and who do not live their lives driven by dogma. One necessary element of a valid teacher is courage.

Seen one way, Chiron passing through the Pholus-Salacia square is calling on you to express your passion. This is true even if it’s been a while, and even if the world is in a social big chill (under the menace of global warming) and the disembodied chaos of the digital-AI era. You are alive, you have your purpose, you have your desires, and you still seek your freedom.

The One Thing to Remember About Chiron

Chiron’s action is always gentle at first. You will get clear messages that present you with options to make changes. Those changes need to be engaged with action rather than merely in principle. This is not the time to do something eventually, it’s the time to do something now, and to stick with it.

Under a Chiron transit, you may first go through a phase where you’re catching up with everything else you put off in the past; you will reckon with all the unfinished business of the past — and this is the process that will get the gentle tap on the shoulder first. Ethics is a topic of prime importance where Chiron is concerned, and needs to be a correspondingly urgent place to focus your awareness and action.

Should you evade this call to action, the second call will be more intense, most likely something that you cannot evade because it’s right in front of you, demanding attention: a kind of crisis. Should you evade that, then the next step is typically a kind of breakdown of a system in your life: a support system, financial system, your health, a relationship, a business.

If you respond appropriately, you will have a chance of not only preserving the important aspects of what you’ve created, but also of growing them. But that’s not what this is really about: it’s about you and how you respond to existence.

Chiron is about responding as an adult, to life’s challenges and to adult necessities. Be assured that nearly every element of our cultural milieu will give you at least some resistance, including people you consider your friends. Your choice to grow and mature will threaten all those who do not choose to do so. None of this can stop you. It must not. Summon your wisdom, and get ready to get real.

Additional Transits to Your 10th House

Our planned destination on this journey is the alignment of late 2020: the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the first degree of Aquarius. The chart presents a picture of you having found your place in the world, in your community and in your profession. This is a place of responsibility and of creative action, in that order.

Yet to get there, you will need to go through an initiation in the 10th house, described by the movement of Saturn and Pluto, which form a conjunction in early 2020 (on Jan. 12) — a year that begins with one conjunction and ends with another. Yet the year leading to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction — our current year — will bring many important challenges that will guide you in the direction of the true calling described by Jupiter-Saturn. The journey itself is through Capricorn, the sign related to the structures of society, and in the microcosmic sense of that, to family.

On Dec. 2, 2019, Jupiter arrives in Capricorn, and this will give you a boost. If you do the work of Pluto and Saturn, you are likely to experience an opportunity presented by Chiron.

The essence of the 10th is responsibility, a topic that is distinctly unpopular in our time in history. Responsibility always starts with your ability to be responsive to your environment and your situation. It expands from there. Very few people seem interested, and that doesn’t make it any more appealing; anyone who takes responsibility has to deal with a lot of people who are not going to do so, so they will be carrying considerable weight. Yet at this stage, you don’t really have much in the way of options: you gotta do what you gotta do.

This is not about doing for the sake of impressing anyone, or doing for the sake of others; your task is to take on the challenges of your own life — for a purpose that you may not understand today, but which you will understand when you arrive there — and by there, I mean Aquarius, the 11th house.

The beauty of Saturn in the 11th is that it’s about your distinct place in the world. But you get there via the 10th — by being responsive and responsible. This is something you will earn, not something that will be handed to you. The earning process comes through Capricorn and the 10th — what’s sometimes called the 10th-house work of building your structure, your method and your reputation.

One theme of the 10th is direction. In theory, it’s about fame and notoriety (you will read this in nearly any old astrology book), but I’ve cast the charts of countless famous people with nothing special going on in the 10th. So, I’ve begun to explore other themes associated with this house. In our world, direction is one of them.

The issue with direction here on planet Peter Pan is that one must give up other directions to go the one that’s necessary, and that can be frightening. The alternative is to go in circles, or to go “forward in all directions,” though your planets are demanding focus and focused action. This is not a career development project; Chiron in Aries prevails. You are in a personal development project.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the 10th house helps people orient on existence, or it can — and cultivating a sense of responsibility is the great benefit here. While this is indeed about reputation, we could say that responsibility exceeds reputation. The problem with responsibility is that it usually describes something people don’t want to do, or that seems like a burden. I am talking about the tasks and goals you have come here to do, specifically to develop yourself and to contribute to the world — both, at once.

I’ve noticed that a new phrase has come into common use lately: executive function. That means the ability to administrate your life, make decisions and be accountable to yourself. The 10th house would be the one that covers this.

You’ve had Pluto moving through your 10th solar house, Capricorn, for the past decade (beginning in 2008). This has had several modes of action. One has been to disrupt your status quo over and over again, compelling you to put it back together. There’s a chance you’ve taken the brunt of economic and corporate upheavals of the past decade, and this has made you a survivor — and it’s driven your evolution, compelling you to be a stronger, more resourceful person than ever.

Then there is the focusing quality of Pluto. If you have a sense of mission, Pluto is your best friend — and if you need a sense of mission, Pluto can be a fantastic teacher. In our modern context, we give Pluto props for being a spiritualizing influence in astrology, what you might think of as the reclamation of shadow material. There is room at the top — particularly for people who want to take charge of their lives and do things well, in a time of global upheaval. In a funny way, though, your chart looks like an image of the Secretary of Agriculture ascending to the presidency through some strange set of circumstances.

A Note About Transits in Pisces

Pisces is the 12th place or 12th house from Aries — the realm of what is deep within you, and what some call the “unconscious.” After Chiron enters your sign, there will be two major influences remaining in Pisces: Neptune and Nessus. The 12th, Pisces, Neptune and Nessus all have a way of operating invisibly and below the level of awareness. Under this astrology, it’s essential that you refine your intuition, and that you be able to distinguish intuition from fear. This takes practice.

The other caution of this house is that you not get lost in fantasies. The mind’s capacity to imagine serves a vital purpose — a kind of test of what might be — though that is different from living in a dream world, particularly where art and sex are concerned. There is a difference between fantasizing and physical experience: the difference being that one leads to growth, and the other is a kind of cul-de-sac that can easily lead nowhere.

You have not had an experience until you have actually done something, experimented, explored and engaged the potential to fail or make a mistake. It’s always true that lived reality is different from the imagined version of something, and reckoning that difference over time, through many experiments, is essential to gaining maturity. As for experimenting, anything worth trying once is worth trying two or three times, to see how you actually feel about it. Most of the time, once is not enough.

Uranus in Taurus: Revolutionary Values

We live in the age of the Social Justice Warrior — the latest huckster claiming they will make the world a better place. You have Uranus moving through Taurus, your 2nd house, which represents a values revolution that will influence you personally, and which to some extent the world will experience as well.

Let’s conclude our reading with a discussion of this transit, which began briefly last year, and takes hold in 2019, for a total of seven years of action. Uranus in Taurus would seem to be the meeting of two opposites — Taurus values stability, tradition and a warm lunch, while Uranus upends these things for lunch. Uranus says expect the unexpected, and is a reminder that reality forever changes.

I would sketch out three basic levels to this transit, within slightly different contexts. The first is practical. Your 2nd house influences your available cash. There can be wild financial swings under this kind of Uranus transit, and you must be mindful of them. Save cash; keep your investments solid. Buy only what you need. Be particularly careful of investments involving technology, whether that means what you put in your home and office, or financial instruments such as stocks. This transit is likely to have a destabilizing effect on the world economy and you must hedge your bets. That said, make sure you have what you actually need. If your business involves the use of a computer, get a good one. If you depend on a vehicle, invest in a safe and dependable one.

The next level is an experiment in self-esteem. This transit will be guiding you to think of yourself in different ways — in unexpected ways — and will encourage you to violate some of your most deeply held personal traditions. Make sure you remember what is truly important to you, even as you continue to discover what is. Yet on this level, the essence is self-esteem.

I have tried to describe this quality many times in Planet Waves articles, and I always feel like I fall short of making it accessible; I think it’s an elusive concept, because the reflexive state of holding yourself in esteem is easy to misinterpret. However, perhaps this is more easily understood as something earned with yourself than as something merely claimed, and part of how you earn it is by making gradual progress. That said, Uranus can represent revolutionary changes, and you may find yourself thinking very differently about who you are, and how you represent yourself in the world around you.

Where Uranus is concerned, it’s essential that you stay away from looking to acceptance by groups as a metric of your respect for yourself. This is dangerous, because first it can have no bearing in lived reality, and second, if you find yourself no longer accepted, your self-respect can tank. So make sure you own your evaluations of yourself, be fair, and look for signs of progress.

Thinking in New Dimensions

As you know, you’re experiencing major transits in your sign and in Capricorn, your 10th solar house — your professional affairs, your responsibilities, and your standing in the world. Both demand leadership by example. Both demand that you be adaptive and that you take ownership of your life.

Saturn in your 10th is a rare and potentially very helpful transit, because it indicates a period of achievement. It’s also associated with doing things the right way in some classical sense of that: not skipping steps, not seeking to get rich quick, sharing credit where credit is due, and approaching your most important and visible roles with an aura of humility and emphasis on service. You are, potentially, in one of the great periods of achievement in your life, or you are entering it now.

While you’re doing this, Uranus in Taurus is going to give you many ideas for thinking in new dimensions. Those ideas are yours to use and explore. Write them down. Develop them. Let yourself go new, interesting, and weird places. You don’t have to do everything you think of; what you want is for your intellect and imagination to be able to run free. Then you must master the gift of harnessing the creative power of your mind, which is largely about discernment.

While this is happening, your 10th house transits are giving you the opportunity to achieve, and Chiron in Aries is driving you to become. In this sense, Uranus in Taurus is a resource. It will encourage you and in a way liberate you to think differently and to think in interesting, quirky ways. Look up the “thinking outside the box” metaphor — it’s a good one. It’s not what you think — it’s about breaking rules and going to a different level of thought.

There’s really just one thing to remember while you’re doing all of this growing, thinking and achieving: you must have a bottom-line code that you live by. This needs to be something like a “straight shooter, straight talk” code, where you vow to yourself to be honest with yourself and with others, and to correct your errors.

Then, if you stay awake, all of creation is your art studio. Step in, and remember who you are.

The Self-Acceptance Paradox

Within the milieu of personal growth and self-actualization, there is something I’ve identified, which I call the self-acceptance paradox. I want to call it to your attention. We know that in order to be happy, it’s necessary to accept ourselves as we are. But the whole notion of growth would seem to imply becoming different, which in some way implies not accepting something about yourself.

I think this trips up more people than we might imagine, and it can be poignant with Chiron in Aries, for you or for anyone. As one of the noteworthy teachers of the 1970s said, we are addicted to paradoxes. So we might let that part go: any attachment to the seeming contradiction, or its resulting frustration.

It’s reasonable to choose an area of your being or existence where you want to grow, and focus your efforts there — but without judging yourself. I think the real problem is judgment. The notion that you might want to be a better guitar player does not need to come with judging yourself for not playing the way you want to. Rather, you choose to improve, and you can — if you want — take the steps to do so. That in itself might require maturity (being disciplined enough to practice; finding a teacher you can work with, and whom you respect). Of course, the material may be far more personal or painful than wanting to play a musical instrument.

In any event, I have seen that the essential factor is not judging yourself unworthy or bad. This alone is vital learning, for which the seeming issue is a kind of ruse. You are not choosing to grow because you are bad, or unworthy; you would be choosing to grow, and to become, because that’s the thing to do. And it is.

Remember that what we call growth and becoming are more often about bringing out something within you that is already there. As you move through your process, remind yourself of that often. There are no shortcuts; there is only a journey to yourself — what A Course in Miracles describes as a journey without distance to a destination that has never changed.

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