Lightning Strikes the Vatican

Lightning strikes the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica for the second time Monday after Pope Benedict’s resignation. This photo was taken by Rome-based photographer Alessandro di Meo, who set up his camera outside the Vatican certain that lightning would not strike a second time — but he was ready.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Monday, we learned that Joseph Ratzinger, known as Pope Benedict XVI, would be the first pontiff to resign from office since 1415, nearly three centuries before Benjamin Franklin was born. This is something that’s never happened in the modern era, and its being unprecedented — and the astrology that goes with the event, along with an asteroid flyby and a meteorite strike — seems designed to get our attention.

The last pope who resigned (technically known as abdicating, since he is a form of royalty), Gregory XII, quit as part of a plan to resolve a three-way split in the church, so he did not exactly step down voluntarily. Prior to that there was an allegedly voluntary papal resignation in 1294, and before that, we had one in 1045. This is not part of the usual three-day news cycle. In fact it’s so weird, there are no specific instructions in canon law for how a pope should actually quit if he wants to.

ope Benedict XVI reads statement that he will be resigning effective Feb. 28. Photo distributed by AP.

Ratzinger resigned one day after the New Moon in Aquarius conjunct the centaur Nessus, a minor planet which can act like a karmic boomerang, and has the key phrase, ‘the buck stops here’. Nessus is also associated with potentially inappropriate sexual contact, and situations where the ‘buck stops’ and responsibility (or in this case, the fall) is taken.

At the time he resigned, the church was starting to be viewed by many as little more than a massive criminal syndicate, with specialties in human trafficking and financial fraud. This, from a religion that preaches sexual purity, even chastity for the unmarried, whose priests all take vows of celibacy and who allegedly live in humble poverty.

Sunday’s New Moon (which began the Chinese Year of the Snake) was also square the lunar nodes, to the exact degree. Last week I described this lunation as an eclipse-like point of no return. Two days later Mars was conjunct Chiron, an aspect we can explore to understand attributes of deeply wounded maleness and male sexuality — and the struggle with sexual desire in general.

Centaur transits can bring out the shadow side of human nature, and they’ve been stirring things up the past few weeks. Notably, the Sun-Nessus conjunction was exact Thursday.

And on Thursday, as if prompted by the astrology, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague open an inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network, accusing the pope of crimes against humanity. Their complaint said that the global Catholic Church has maintained a “long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence” despite promises to swiftly oust predators, the UK-based Telegraph newspaper reported.

Main building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Photo: Wikimedia.

“Lawyers for the victims say rape, sexual violence and torture are considered a crime against humanity as described in the international treaty that spells out the court’s mandate,” The Telegraphsaid. “The complaint also accuses Vatican officials of creating policies that perpetuated the damage, constituting an attack against a civilian population.”

The Vatican is not a member nation in the International Criminal Court, meaning that the court does not have automatic jurisdiction over its officials.

Meanwhile there have been 9,000 independent proposals to the ICC for inquiries into this issue since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, The Telegraph reported, speculating that an ICC investigation is unlikely. This just underscores how the Vatican is accustomed to being above reproach. For millennia it’s gotten away with anything and everything. We might count as the humble first steps of progress the first resignation of a pope in six centuries.

The Pope and The Tower

Ratzinger, long an influential figure in the Vatican, was elevated to pope in 2005 after the death of John Paul II, one of the longest-serving pontiffs in church history. Ratzinger served for less than eight years. News reports have stuck to the story that 85-year-old Ratzinger quit because he was too old and frail to do his job, though advanced age hasn’t seemed to matter much in church history.

La Maison Dieu or The Tower from the Jodorowsky Tarot.

The question people are asking is: what is this about? Nobody just gives up being head of state, a private bank and a massive religion (with the servants and altar boys, private jets, limitless funds and full diplomatic status) just so they can retire to a convent and write a book.

It’s true that the pope was being described as exhausted and that talk of his potential resignation goes back a year or so. Yet we all know that the church has been besieged with scandals in recent decades. The question going around is, was his resignation about the child rape scandal (over which Ratzinger is reputed to have presided during his predecessor’s reign) or was it really about the Vatican bank scandal?

Sex abuse litigation has cost the church more than $3 billion in payouts to victims in the U.S. alone, and has caused many archdioceses to file bankruptcy in recent years. Yet more than being financially costly, this scandal has repeatedly exposed the morbid, perverse goings-on inside the church. And incredibly, people still show up to Sunday mass.

The Vatican bank scandal involves money laundering, mafia involvement in the organization, anonymous accounts and what are politely described as shady transactions (likely to include things like financing anti-communist death squads). If we ever find out what this bank really does, it will be sickening (and from looking at the Vatican bank’s chart, we just might find out).

Let’s go back to when Ratzinger was elected in the spring of 2005. I was living in Paris at the time and was an astrology news reporter for London-based, and covered this in some detail.

At the time, I wrote of Ratzinger’s election:

If stability is what we are seeking, it’s unlikely to happen now. Much discussion has gone into Ratzinger’s choice of names (popes traditionally name themselves). The last Benedict was the Peace Pope during World War I.

But I would like to briefly mention the number: XVI, or 16, which is the number of the tarot card The Tower. This is the one where lightning hits a tower and the two people fall out. It’s also called La Maison Dieu, or House of God. It’s the number of a shakeup. Or liberation. Or release. Certainly some kind of big change. We are in for some surprises.

It is strange and unsettling that this election was concluded so close to an eclipse of the Moon, particularly in Scorpio, the sign where power is often wheeled and dealed. This is yet another sign that says some great change is imminent.

Based on what is perhaps the most traditional method of prediction (solar arc direction), there will be some big change either to the church or with this papacy within four months from now, when that late Aries Sun becomes a Taurus Sun. That would be in August.

Somebody please remember I said that.

Well, I didn’t remember until I re-read the article. Then I checked the Wikipedia timeline of the church sex abuse scandal. In August 2005, Ratzinger was personally accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas by Juan Carlos Patino-Arango in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Ratzinger sought and obtained immunity from prosecution as a head of state. The Department of State agreed to “recognize and allow the immunity of Pope Benedict XVI from this suit,” something that would not have happened without the consent of then-President Bush.

Monday, the day of the pope’s resignation, lightning struck the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica not once but twice, symbolism that could not be lost on even the most literal-minded person.

The Resignation Chart

The Vatican on its website listed the time of the resignation announcement as “just before noon” on Monday, Feb. 11. Most astrologers cast the chart as noon. I requested assistance from my readers and was sent by Maura Bright a photo of Ratzinger making his statement, with an aide sitting beside him. The aide’s wristwatch is visible, showing a time of just before 11:45 am; I have gone with 11:42 am. I know this section gets into technical astrology but I’ve done my best to make it easy to follow. Give it a try. Here is a glyph key if you need it.

Chart for the announcement that the pope would be resigning. This chart is focused on the 1st and 10th houses.

Here is the chart, which we could informally title, “OMFG.” Generally the houses with the most impact are the 1st and the 10th. The 1st is to the left side of the chart (also called the ascendant) and the 10th is on top, to the left side of the dark line. Notice the concentrations of planets in both.

The 10th is particularly telling; it’s the house of high office (all the way to the top) and executive power, suggesting that there is some movement here on the global level. Remember that in the scheme of things, the pope is a relatively minor player, someone with more privileges than actual power. But many people place their loyalty in him, in effect enabling all of his crimes with their complicity and direct donation of spiritual commitment.

There are many people above his head; many forces to which he is answerable, and we see them show up in the 10th house. At the top of the chart is the Sun-Nessus conjunction (the yellow circle and the light blue N). This tells us that we really do have a Nessus event on our hands, one in many ways like any other (most of which involve rape and molestation, who holds responsibility and how we heal from these things). The 10th tells us that this is a chart about power.

In addition to Sun-Nessus, two details really stand out. One is that there is a (verging on unbelievable) quadruple conjunction at the moment of the announcement: Mars, Moon, Chiron and Mercury, all clustered in Pisces. Look how close those four planets are (please see detail for a closer look). Neptune is right there — but try as it may, it cannot fog this one over.

I’ve already described the Mars-Chiron conjunction, exact to a fraction of a degree in this chart, as about wounded male sexuality; the Moon, a kind of pointer, is located exactly between those two planets, saying this is the thing to focus on now.

In this chart, you can see the Sun (in gold) conjunct Nessus (in light blue). You can also see the Moon, the gray crescent, in the narrow space between Mars (in red) and Chiron (orange key). It’s also close to Mercury in green. On the far rugt is Venus, who seems to represent the pope.

The Moon then moves on to make a conjunction to Mercury — which rules the chart’s ascendant and therefore the question itself. We don’t need to look far to see that this is about sexual impropriety and in truth profound sickness, reaching up to the highest levels of power. It shows up all over the chart — but particularly right in the 10th house of executive authority.

The other detail is that Venus is lurking just inside the 9th house, as if hiding from public view (you can see it just to the right of the dark line). This to me looks like the pope himself avoiding personal culpability. Venus is square Saturn; this is the end of the line for him, but he manages to escape, mainly because he is the pope. This helps explain why he was made pope — he had to be, as a strategic move so that he could take the fall.

Looking at the ascendant of this chart, we see Jupiter rising — all those planets in Pisces are square Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces. This chart describes a state of siege and even terror so palpably that the Vatican must be in a total shambles right now.

The asteroid Vesta is also rising — indicating that the overriding theme is that of a sacrifice. In a sense, the pope was offered as sacrifice in hope that the reputation of the church itself might survive. However, it’s reasonable to expect that there will be additional revelations that come as part of this shakeup.

Let’s take a look at one other chart (well, two, since they go together). The first is Ratzinger’s natal chart. I’ve included a section since we really don’t need the whole thing.

Detail of Ratzinger’s natal chart showing Pholus in the 10th house in the last degree of Sagittarius. It’s green, with the number 29 next to it.

He has the centaur Pholus as his most elevated planet, right on the 10th house. This is an odd position for a CEO but not for this particular pope, because Pholus is about the runaway reaction (or the small cause with a big effect). This kind of placement is seen in the charts of mass shootings. The indication is that he is involved in the uncontrolled abuse of power.

He may even be a perpetrator himself, or at least seems to have some kind of sexual self-control issue, or doubts about his own ambiguity; his natal Mars in Gemini is exactly opposite that Pholus.

Pholus is in the last degree of Sagittarius, way out on the edge of that sign, where it’s even less stable than it might ordinarily be. It’s a central driving force in his psyche, fueled or aggravated by that opposition from Mars. It represents a central force operating within his psyche.

On Nov. 16, a film premiered in the United States called Mea Maxima Culpa. The film, which I have not yet seen (it runs Friday night on HBO East, when I plan to watch it), is about the sexual abuse of hundreds of deaf children by a Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee.

In an article about the film, The Guardian reported this week, “Despite taking their claims all the way to the Vatican in their quest for justice, they were consistently rebuffed. Benedict XVI, in his earlier capacity as Cardinal Ratzinger, was responsible for ordering all reports of sex abuse to be channelled through his office at the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, which he ran from 2001 to 2005.”

On the very day that this film premiered, Mars was in the last degree of Sagittarius. It hit Ratzinger’s natal Pholus llike an explosive concussion. Once Pholus is activated, things can go out of control quickly (as we saw in the chart for Rupert Murdoch). This seems to have been the point where he could not sustain any more pressure, and had to be moved out of the way to deflect the attention and prevent more wide-scale damage.

Chart section for the opening of Mea Maxima Culpa. Here you can see Mars in the last degree of Sagittarius (in red, next to the crescent Moon). On that day it aligned directly with Pholus in Ratzinger’s chart.

My sense is that he was not just involved in the coverup of the child rape scandal; he was its engineer.

Now, when you start to read about the Vatican bank scandal, it’s a pretty compelling factor. The matter is huge, and it’s ugly. We have another example of 100 pounds of shit stuffed into a 10-pound bag. The chart for his resignation includes the possibility that this whole thing is about money. If you’re an astrologer or astrology student, study the rulers of the 2nd and 8th houses of the resignation chart and you will see that a lot of money is at stake.

As Der Spiegel reported last July when an Italian investigation into the bank deepened, “In the past, every time Italian prosecutors have stepped in and confidential documents have found their way to light, the secretive ways of the Vatican bank have always ended up damaging the Church’s prestige. For more than 40 years,the [Vatican Bank], founded in 1942, has been regularly embroiled in scandals, including bribery money for political parties, mafia money-laundering and, repeatedly, anonymous accounts.”

While it’s tempting to some to consider the bank scandal the real issue, mainly because so much in church assets are involved, there is a direct relationship between the church’s sexual hypocrisy and the fortune that it has.

From Darkness to Light: A Choice

The Roman Catholic church built its fortunes on sexual repression, which evolved into sexual abuse. In the eyes of the Catholics, pleasure is the only real sin, which generates the guilt that is the selling point to come to church and get absolution.

For many people, the hornier they are, the more they need the church to “save” them from the sin of pleasure. This was a clever move — we are all created by sex, and our bodies and emotions naturally radiate with sexual feelings. The Catholics co-opted this basic fact of existence and made the very experience that creates humans the allegedly most sinful thing there is.

Religion always plays a divide and conquer game between ‘divine’ experience and human experience. That ultimately means nature and one’s body, which are considered the seat of sin and evil, as opposed to ‘god’, who has no body and is therefore pure.

This position, along with the church’s misogyny, has its origins in Judaism (you don’t need to read far into the Book of Genesis to find out that Adam and Eve are embarrassed about sex and don fig leaves to hide their private parts from God). But the Catholics made it their whole business, and it then slipped into all other post-Reformation Christian faiths.

In Planet Waves FM this week, I said that the Church makes its money from child trafficking and pedophile sex rings. This is not as shocking as it seems. The pedophile sex rings exist — that’s what the “sex abuse scandal” is about.

Then, the same people who are perpetrators, co-conspirators and enablers preach the doctrine of sin, and people come to church and pay for absolution. The Catholic dogma — described by Martin Luther and many others — is that you throw your money in the basket and you are absolved of your alleged sins.

Then the perps, co-conspirators and enablers go back to preaching the gospel of purity, sin and redemption, and collect money from those who show up feeling guilty for being alive. Then these “ministers” perpetrate, conspire and enable.

The whole operation is funded by their sexual hypocrisy. You could say they get away with it by vast sums of money, diplomatic immunity, lawyers, etc. — but they really get away with it by preying on people’s fear of going to hell.

This is sexual abuse on the metaphysical level: it deals with the nature and origin of existence, shaming the feeling of life itself. This is an attack that goes beyond any one Christian sect or denomination and spreads into the whole population. Now that we can (once again) see this hypocrisy for what it is, we have a question — how and where do we begin the healing process?

Thanks to religion, many people spend their lives obsessed with sin and their lost innocence. Image from Post Secret.

I asked one of my teachers, Elisa Novick, for her take on what was happening. Her work often involves helping people set themselves free from traumas and other issues inflicted by religion.

She had already received a message from the Mystical Traveler, one you might call a close relative of the Cosmic Christ, whose role is to assist with soul evolution. I will quote the message here, in part.

“The papacy was established in order to give the result wanted, handing the control through any and all means to the established few and their overlords (handlers if you will). He [Ratzinger] was most out there and took the fall for many, but he wins in the end by still being revered, putting a lock hold on those who hold him in high esteem despite the reports.

“They are programmed to feel he is something special and they are something worse, lowlier, the lowliest, and that gives over their wills and their hearts and their reproductive systems to birth in the ugly things from out of the ‘steaming pits’ of the hell worlds. This gives rise to a coarse and unthoughtful world in which there is no will power to stand up, stand out, for all is proscribed.”

The message continues, with regard to Ratzinger’s resignation:

“Is it getting better because of this injury to their pride?

“It may break through some of the slumber, but it will take a long time, of swindling and worse stories, more interest, more kickback from the conservative forces. All planned to keep us in darkness, yet doomed to fail with the weight of their own dark/heaviness.

“In this world all who go toward the Light will come to avoid such influences and those desiring to fail will gravitate toward these dying institutions like weevils to rotting straw. You are blessed to know that there is a world beyond this and that the Light exists. Give it a place, a conduit to come into this world and lighten the darkness.”


Hello Pisces! The Sun is about to enter your sign, which will add a source of heat, light and energy to what is already a once-in-a-lifetime scene in your chart. Well, once if you were born after the 1960s; this may be the second time if you were born in or before the ’60s, though in any event this is a rare and spectacular moment of potential for you.

The message is one of confidence and trust. Have faith in your talent, your drive and your creativity. Mostly, have faith in yourself. You may hear many different opinions; you may have doubts from time to time. Yet if there was ever a moment when you could set your fears aside and proceed forward in the way you know you’re called to do, now is the time.

This year will bring many points of contact with others, their ideas and their enterprises. You have your options open, though I suggest that you keep your main focus on what you know to be your primary mission. You won’t have to think long to remember what this is, but I will remind you of one thing.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 #938 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may feel like the world is alive with experience and intrigue, but it’s all going on in some secret room that you don’t have access to. The thing is, you do have access, though it’s unlikely to be through the front entrance or the box office. This is more like being given a backstage pass and let in through the side door. Anyway, the real theater is in your mind, and you will access it by going to those places you cannot go with ordinary consciousness. The action is focused in Pisces, which almost always represents the inner reality (as opposed to Aries, which usually represents the outer reality). Therefore, use those paths which are likely to take you inside: creative exploration (rather than social contact) in nearly any form will do that, such as music, painting, photography or writing. The idea is to do a lot of something that draws you into yourself rather than out of yourself (a distinction not described often enough). Spend time alone. Get past the restless feeling to the sensation of entering an inner space. Notice where you are and how you feel.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You seem to be in a lean moment, described more accurately by fulfilling your responsibilities than by pleasure seeking, though that’s likely to shift as the Sun ingresses Pisces Monday. The responsibility piece is still there; you’re in a kind of leadership training program now. Whether we’re talking business or pleasure, you need a social emphasis on what you’re doing — working with groups, finding social experiences that are driven by a purpose in which you can participate, and other spontaneous forms of collaboration. The thing to remember is that whatever you’re doing, you’re not doing it alone. You will have strength in the power of groups, as long as you remember who you are. You don’t need to rebel or assert yourself in any unusual way, just remember who you are (and what you want) as you take part in experiences with others. This is not always easy and for some people that remembering is persistently difficult. What you’re experiencing now is part of the learning process — that is, learning about yourself.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury is moving into position to be retrograde, in an angle of your chart that addresses your career. There are also other planets gathering here, putting your personal emphasis on your sense of mission. Your task now is to sort out fantasy from reality. Living in a fantasy is different than having a vision and taking incremental steps to get there. Your chart shows both potentials at the moment, so I suggest that step one is to distinguish fantasy from vision. Yes, they are related, through the imagination. Many architectural masterpieces have started as sketches on napkins. You might say that it’s the sketch that turns something from a fantasy to a vision — the distillation, the act of making an idea tangible, and taking actual steps toward materializing it. There are two currents in your astrology that seem to be pulling you in opposite directions: reconsidering what you’ve thought of in the past, and wanting to push ahead and do something interesting and vital right now. You will need to proceed patiently for the next six weeks, though I would propose one thing — the review and the new vision are closely related and will enhance rather than invalidate one another.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your solar chart is likely to be calling you far and wide right now — to distant places, bigger plans and better ideas. There’s also a deep impulse to learn, about yourself and about the world. You may have the sense that there’s no limit to what you can accomplish, or where you can travel or who you can meet. And finally, the truly extraordinary activity now unfolding in Pisces is summoning you deep into your sense of yourself and your presence not just in the world, but within yourself. I think that all of the seemingly big stuff, such as ideas for travel, and all that you want to create, will flow more easily if you focus on your sense of presence. I mean this in the physical and emotional sense of you actually being here, on the planet, right now. That sensation ought to be pretty accessible at the moment, the feeling that your mind and soul are seated in a body, and that your body occupies actual space and time. You can get anywhere from here — as long as you start right where you are, and that’s what I’m suggesting that you do.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — From the look of your solar chart, this is one of the most interesting sexual moments you’ve experienced in a long time. And, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, erotic feelings and experiences lead to intimacy. You now have the opportunity to go deep, and to have a real exchange with someone (or ones) who mean a lot to you. Yet there’s an aspect of this to be aware of, which is the odd way that love brings up anything unlike itself. If I were to design a class in sex education, which is really about preparation for relationships, I might even start with this theme. The basic message would be: when you go deep, you will find the things that are buried deeply within you. Whoever you are with is likely to have some similar experience. We need to be aware that this will happen, and be prepared for it. Deep, passionate experiences change us irrevocably, and we need to be prepared for that change within ourselves, as well as with the people we share with. The relationship agreements we make need to accommodate that fact, and they can, if we create them consciously.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re in one of the most interesting times for relationships that you’ve been in for a long time, though I have a suggestion: make sure you drop the capital R from that word, and maybe leave the ‘ship’ behind. Your life is now about relating, a verb, an action, which means making contact with others, and exploring that contact. I know that many, many people are on the hunt for the soulmate and/or the life partner and/or the perfect match as a thing or an endpoint. I suggest you let that go, if it describes you in any way — and relate to everyone more or less the same way, as you. I know this is not easy for anyone, like the guy who once stood up at a workshop given by one of my teachers who said, “I tried being myself, but it was too hard, so I went back to the old way.” But that was a while ago; we have all evolved, and I would add one point. It’s going to be easier for you to be yourself than anything else. It’s more fun. And there is no going back to the old way.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — I suggest you not obsess over your health. This is also not the time to be ‘in balance’. It is the time to immerse yourself in whatever you’re passionate about and to bring passion into whatever you’re doing. The distinction between creativity, work and play no longer exists, at least not at the moment. There are no ‘special’ activities — your whole existence is being infused with an unusual, truly brilliant vitality and sense of potential. You can pour love, energy and creativity into everything you touch, everything you do, and this potency is enhanced by being applied to everything. That said, if you have some preference for what you want, something you’ve been trying to create for a long time, you have the opportunity to do that now. The key is to follow your curiosity and then invest yourself in what you’re doing. If you work a day job, then make sure you can explore in some open-ended span of time, such as when you’re free to stay up all night, take a nap and keep going. Anyway, work is more of a variable than you may think right now.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Scorpio is the sign with the reputation for sex, though as I’ve probably written before, one of the ways you get there is because Pisces is so strong in your chart. And Pisces is really, really hot right now — with the potential result for your imagination to run wild, and allowing yourself to openly crave the kinds of experiences that you want. Remember, all sex isn’t equal. One lover is not like another. I see your current energy state as suggesting that you focus on creating what you want. This may take some planning in our less-than-spontaneous world — creating experiences requires intimacy and trust. Remember to give any new experience more than one try — make up your mind if you like something after three experiences. And there’s one other thing: It’ll help a lot if you open up to the magnificent diversity of what makes you and other people feel good. There are many, many more possibilities than you’ve considered, and you now possess a kind of psychic and empathic mobility to help you explore these possibilities with an open heart and an open mind.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Waves of energy coming through Pisces, about to be joined by the Sun, are giving you the opportunity to see many things about yourself that are usually invisible. It’s as if some deep inner container is being opened and you’re experiencing the full spectrum of your emotions, including the ones that may frighten you; your craving for vulnerability, which also may be a little scary; your need for contact in a secure environment (which I am here to validate for you). Now as for getting these needs/desires met — they will involve taking a risk. You may feel that risk is like jumping off of a cliff. It’s actually more like slipping into a hot tub that’s just a little too warm for your comfort — at first. The heat will call you into the presence of your physical body, which is where you’re safest in the midst of a profound emotional healing/awakening of the kind you’re having now. To facilitate this, I suggest you design times and spaces where you know you’ll be free from interruption — by phones, kids, critters and anyone not part of your particular experience.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You need to focus. Your emotions may be overwhelming you, so the first thing I suggest you do is go for some high ground. That could be as simple as an idea or a song — anything to help you focus your mind. If you’re so inclined, this is the time to write, and by that I mean THE time to use writing as a process to help get clear what you’re thinking and feeling. If you’re familiar with a process called morning pages, I would recommend doing that — writing three pages every morning, freestyle writing, without reading them for a few months. Just write for the sake of moving your thoughts along, and giving them some tangible form on paper. As you write, notice what you hear yourself saying. Make a note of your dreams, and how you feel upon awakening. This will help you step out of that ‘too much happening’ feeling, and help you restore some clarity. Right behind any confusion you may be feeling is a wealth of passion and commitment, and I think you’ll be very happy to tap some of that for yourself.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This may be one of the most intense times in your life. And yet you may feel curiously like you’re left out. That’s just a feeling — you are most certainly the central figure in what is happening, and the sense of being left out is really about many areas of your psyche opening up and becoming available — and you have not quite claimed those spaces as yourself. Said another way, your interior mindspace is expanding, and you’re realizing how much of who you are is unexplored territory, much of it long left vacant or uninhabited: hence, the sensation that you’re ‘not there.’ Walking into these spaces is not like walking into a hotel room; it’s more like an empty, unfinished loft space, which will seem empty at first. Go in, and claim a corner of the space. Hang out long enough to get some sense of where you are, and ask yourself not just why you’re there, but what you want to do with the space. You don’t have to invite anyone in — you cannot, really, at this stage. As you tune into your surroundings, you’ll get over the awkward feeling — and you’ll likely discover that the space is anything but empty.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Planets are collecting in Pisces — as of this writing, Neptune, Chiron, Mars and Mercury, plus some lesser-known ones such as the beautifully Piscean Borasisi (a planet about the power of belief, located a bit beyond Pluto). Now the Sun is about to arrive, and this will feel like the lights suddenly coming on, both in your mind and on the stage where you’re standing. The simplest way to describe this is: this is your moment. This is one of the most magnificent opportunities you’ve ever had to create your life. Therefore: know what you want, and act on it now. Meanwhile, do your best to let go of commitments that are not working for you, drop anything and anyone that wastes your time, and focus your emotional resources on what you want to create. Over the next few days, you may find yourself in circumstances and situations where you are making contact with people. I would point out that due to the presence of Mars, you can afford to be soft-spoken and understated. But you must be clear, direct and honest — and let love guide you: love for yourself, for what you do, for the world, for humanity. Then, with persistence and efficiency, put your plan into action.

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