Jan. 30, 2020 | Link to original
Dear Friend and Reader:
Greetings from Zaporizhzhia, in southeastern Ukraine. This is the former USSR — the real thing. We are not in Kyiv anymore. Anatoly and I got here via an eight-hour overnight train ride, my souvenir of which is the February monthly horoscope below.
Though things have come a long way in 30 years, reminders of the past are everywhere. This is an industrial city, a little like Detroit at its peak, though with a feeling of crumbling around the edges. It’s surrounded by metal plants and chemical factories, is home to a hydroelectric facility along the Dnieper River, and is neighbor to the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.
There are odd places like you cannot quite imagine. Visiting a music store yesterday, we passed through a stairway and corridor so dark and dreary I felt like I was walking around a scene from Eraserhead.
A massive Lenin statue near the waterfront came down a few years ago; people finally got sick of looking at it. There is still a monument featuring a World War II fighter plane. Apartment blocks are named after former dictators whose regimes built them: Khruschevka with five floors or Brezhnevka with up to nine floors. There are a few Stalinka around which are three to five floors.
This is also the heart of Cossack country. Those are your stereotypical old-time Ukrainian marauders, who remind me of samurai. They are famous for their independence, their military strategy, their horsemanship, and their drinking skills, among other things. Their few remaining holdouts were most recently known for telling the Bolsheviks (Communist revolutionaries) in Moscow to fuck off, we will govern ourselves.
Yesterday we took a trip to Khortytsia, an island along the Dneiper, which was their home base. We visited some graves that date back to 3000 BCE, long before the Cossacks. I had the feeling of being in a place where a lot has happened. It is worn and tired land that needs to be left alone for a few centuries. That is probably not happening anytime soon.
The kinds of instability Ukraine has endured the past century are outside the ability of most Americans to conceive. Yet based on its astrology, the United States is at a breaking point where the way of life we have known noticeably changes. This is not about any infiltration from the outside. It’s about our state of mind. We simply must grow up, or be put in a series of increasingly compromised positions. It’s time to embrace the idea that things can get a lot worse, even if met by our best efforts to make them better.
Pluto Transits: The Point of Enforced Growth
The current astrological backdrop still involves Capricorn. Through February, Saturn remains in Capricorn; its first ingress into Aquarius will be March 21.
The immediate Saturn-Pluto conjunction that we’re experiencing is part of something much larger, which is the U.S. Pluto return. Pluto has a 248-year orbit, and transiting Pluto (the actual planet) is in the process of returning to its natal position at the time of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and Articles of Confederation (1777), our first constitution.
We have all been through Pluto transits. For most adults this includes Pluto square Pluto (in our era, this occurs in our mid-30s; in our great-grandparents’ time, it happened around age 60). It’s a crux point — for us, the funnel we’re pushed into a bit after the Saturn return at age 29.
If things are going well, if one has graduated from the Saturn return and has fired one’s parents as overlords and likes going to work every day, the Pluto square is a point of leverage. If one has not taken on the role of their own inner Saturn, the Pluto square can be a kind of rolling disaster.
Most people don’t make it to their Pluto oppositions; if you live a very long time, you might. (Ram Dass was close.) Very few institutions of any kind make it to their Pluto return, but the United States is unusual in that we have maintained a continuous government for nearly one Pluto cycle. For comparison, France is currently in its Fifth Republic since its 1789 revolution; the UK reconstituted itself in 1801.
I’ve traced a few past U.S. Pluto transits in this article. They are always turning points, but the return is the return. They always present challenges and in the minds of the early practitioners of astrology, were not especially friendly. (All planetary returns were described as evil by 2nd century master Vettius Valens.)
Having Pluto in Capricorn as a natal placement makes sense for the United States. Though we have a lot of legitimate complaints about our federal system, its abuses and its genocides, electing a leader was a radical notion in that era. The framers seemed intent on avoiding a monarchy and hereditary entitlement to office. They understood the concept and reality of a tyrant, who in effect was the law, and owned the government as private property.
Separation of Powers
The defining spirit of our government is not so much “democracy” but rather separation of powers. The most cursory study of the United States Constitution (Articles 1, 2 and 3) delineates the three branches of government, which are co-equal, which have oversight power over one another, and create a system of checks and balances. That alone is our insulation against tyranny; against any one branch deciding that it is the law. Political parties can to a real degree subvert this separation, which is what we are seeing currently. The Republican-controlled Senate is trying a Republican president before a Republican chief justice. (And everything is the fault of the Democrats!)
Now, at the Pluto return, this structure, this notion of equal branches, is getting a stress test. We are seeing just how eroded it has become. We are paying the price for having neglected important separation of power provisions — such as forgetting that Congress alone has the authority to wage war, and relegating this to the Executive.
For those who understand that the American system is not perfect and has led to much exploitation, mayhem, murder and genocide, you might be especially concerned now that the few actual safeguards against this are being smashed.
The defense is arguing, essentially, that the president can do whatever he wants, because he is the president and it’s automatically right. Does this now “trickle down” to your state government, your city and county government, or the school board? Might makes right is not the rule of law. Far to the contrary.
Here in the States, we have a love affair with the cops. We are just smitten; there is a new series created every 15 minutes. Between Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, 48 Hours, The FBI Files, Miami Vice, The X-Files, Car 54, Twin Peaks, The Mod Squad, Adam-12, Dragnet, Cops, Charlie’s Angels, Hill Street Blues, Reno 911!, and various permutations of CSI and Law & Order, you would think that the American public might take interest in the law.
As in, the actual law, not some fictionalized concept. The law has a purpose, which is to present us with a set of boundaries and agreements for us to live by — and to keep powerful people from going out of control.
We understand that it’s one thing to get a speeding ticket, and we also understand that you don’t offer to bribe the cop by the side of the road. We understand that you can go to court and, if you know what you’re doing, you can get the ticket reduced or dismissed. And if you’re sick of getting tickets, you slow down.
This is not a fine point of our society. It is the essence. The law is not supposed to be made up on the spot. There are procedures, and we usually have access to them, enhanced by knowing what they are and being motivated. Often this takes money, which is a serious flaw; and there are lawyers who take cases pro bono, there are organizations, and we have the press to bring attention to issues, which sometimes works. In any event, the main requirement is not being ignorant. And that, it turns out, is a lot of work.
I understand, from decades of covering criminal, civil and administrative law in-depth, how serious the problems are. And yet they would be worse without the protections that our system makes possible.
More than a decade of Pluto in Capricorn has made a bad (but often workable) situation worse. And now we are seeing the results of that.
We Must Do Our Part
The law is not something that ultimately exists outside of us. It has to be internal, and mature people understand something of natural law. One does not refrain from stealing because it is illegal; one refrains because it’s wrong, and we understand that.
Every action of every person cannot be enforced on penalty or at the point of a gun. So the law, honoring the law, enforcing the law, and personal responsibility all play a part.
However, we have a little problem where crimes by very powerful players are concerned. What we call “white collar crime” — essentially, criminal acts by rich people or government officials — often goes unpunished and even more often, unrecognized.
We have a clue that a problem exists, though who exactly was punished for the grand rip-off described in The Big Short? That is, the economic meltdown of 2008 from which many profited wildly, and continue to do so?
On one level, it’s unsurprising that for so many people, the conduct of the president and his administration does not map as wrong. Oh, strong-arming a client state into doing what the president wants? That’s normal, right? Not as a matter of American foreign policy but to benefit his political prospects personally. It is amazing any taxpayer tolerates this. We all know it is wrong, whatever smooth talking, soft peddling and utterly boring lawyers may claim.
Then there is this idea that “he’s the president and he can do anything.” Then there is the cult of personality level. With Trump, more than most presidents, you “love” him or you hate him. But what, exactly, is the love about?
The United States has a love affair with the cops, but is this really about the law, or the exercise of authority? Because we have an even bigger lust for authority itself. This is ironic given how we claim to be a free people and to love freedom and we sing about “the free and the brave” at every sports event, from the Superbowl to Little League.
That’s the thing — freedom requires bravery. That line from a song is about something. Freedom also demands something more important — a sense of responsibility, both for yourself and for something greater. It is not enough to partake in the American Dream merely by making money (which for most these days, in reality, means surviving).
Americans Let Their Leaders Get Away With a Lot
What we are seeing today did not emerge from a vacuum. We are experiencing decades of abuses, and the gutting of basic American foundational traditions. Even if we go back to the Reagan administration, which began a project of smashing the social safety net of presidents Roosevelt and Johnson, we can learn a lot.
In that one Saturn-Pluto cycle, nearly everything has been privatized. Nearly everything is by design a capitalist enterprise, existing not for its own sake but for profit. The sales pitch here is always, “Vote for me, and you too can be rich.” The reality is more like, we will sell the Post Office / parking meters / turnpike to the highest bidder.
Over and over again. Vote for me and you can and will be rich! Vote with your wallet! And then we get endless rolling tax cuts for the extremely wealthy — which is a major factor in what we are witnessing. Most of the Senate personally benefitted from the Trump tax cuts, and for that to have happened, one had to be extremely wealthy. But still, we believe it, and it seems we support these measures both because they are deceptive and because we believe that someday we too might be that rich.
This is pure hypnosis. Notions of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” are part of the long American sleepwalk into the current moment.
The Other Love Affair
Our other love affair seems to be with being lied to. If a sucker is born every minute, we also have a passion for hucksters — with the whole breed of Professors Harold Hill and profferers of snake oil that have roamed the land through our history. Yes, con artists have been around forever, but it seems only in the United States do we elevate them to the level of cultural icons and kick them $200 from our debit card at 4 am to cure heart disease.
The thing that disturbs you about Donald Trump, if anything does, is that he’s a con man. This is plainly obvious to everyone who is looking and who can see. Most New Yorkers knew this by 1990. But a lot of things get in the way of looking, or seeing, or remembering. Most of them are family issues, which are infused with the refusal to grow up.
In my observation, Americans can sure take a lot of abuse — in particular, the abuse of being lied to, over and over, no matter how much we lose, no matter how much pain this causes, no matter who gets killed. Sure! Saddam Hussein knocked down the World Trade Center! Whatever, it sounds good. He looked just like Hitler on the cover of Time.
There is a great extent to which you get what you want from life. To get something better, we have to be honest about what that is, and make some choices about what else it could be. And that is difficult to do when people have not only been beaten down, but long ago decided that something better was not possible.
And then there are all those who are “content” with what they have, or afraid of any change at all. This is a common situation that has vexed mankind for eons. Every now and then, someone fights back, and it’s a big story.
Anyway, the con artist is on trial. All of his lies are exposed. Consistent with his 30 Leo ascendant, described by the image “An Unsealed Letter,” we know it all. We know the conduct, and we have had the crime explained to us — ongoing.
Now, all we need to do is care. I mean actually care, enough to get angry and to push back and take action. That is asking a lot, when so many people are pleasantly hypnotized, or who think there will be some great reward for their complicity. But not nearly as much as we would be giving up. There is no great reward for anyone at the end of this.
The U.S. Pluto return is about taking responsibility or paying the price for not doing so. A lot is at stake. I am curious who really cares. Write to me if you do.
With love from Zaporizhzhia,
Perspective on Coronavirus by Paul Herscu
Here is a detailed discussion of nCoV from a naturopath who is also an MPH with much experience working on epidemics. When it comes down to it, the best prevention involves avoiding exposure by staying away from infected individuals, keeping your hands clean and taking care of yourself. That includes eating well — actual food, not chemical food “substitutes.”
This virus in its current form has a very high pass-along rate of about 2 to 2.5. Immune stress from other factors seems integral to the outcome of an nCoV exposure. The body’s immune response to the virus does more damage than the virus itself, Herscu writes.
We are in a global immune crisis that is masked over by reports of these individual diseases. This must be addressed, and it can be — starting first with individuals. That is another discussion. Practitioners who would like to participate may help facilitate the conversation at Planet Waves. Please get in touch.
— Thanks to Cindy Ragusa for the link
Ceres in Aquarius, and a Vesta Quarter Moon
By Amanda Painter
Tomorrow (Friday), Ceres becomes the next planet to leave the Capricorn stellium. It enters Aquarius at 2:59 am EST (7:58:45 UTC), and immediately bumps into the surprises offered by Uranus in Taurus.
What does Ceres in Aquarius describe? Ceres is the planet of literal food (specifically grain) and feeding, as well as metaphorical forms of nourishment. Aquarius is the sign of groups.
Automatically, we get an image of the social facet of eating: all forms of breaking bread with others, perhaps especially potluck dinners. Things like volunteering at soup kitchens and food banks bring in the humanitarian facet of Aquarius.
Less literally, we can see the theme of socialness itself being nourishing.
Our friendships feed our hearts and souls, and at times offer the kind of nurturing that families of origin were not able to provide. Being accepted by a group can feel nourishing (though its shadow side includes peer pressure, social hierarchies and tribalism).
We can perhaps see Saturn’s rulership of Aquarius in the ‘social services’ facet of Ceres in Aquarius: the idea of setting up systems by which to make sure people in need get fed. It’s a form of shared collective responsibility. Additionally, putting ourselves in service to a cause feeds our spirits.
Yet Aquarius also has a strong affinity with Uranus (some call it this sign’s modern ruler). So Ceres here comes with the recognition of uniqueness as being nourishing. Odd things can feed a Ceres-in-Aquarius imagination. Yet this is not an emotional, warm-and-fuzzy type of nurturing. It’s friendly and engaging, but generally not intimate.
By Amanda Painter
Aquarius is symbolized by a figure pouring an urn of water — making it easy to forget that it is an air sign, not a water sign, and that it has a ‘fixed’ quality. ‘Fixed air’ seems like an oxymoron, until you think about how easily ideas can become ideologies: the new, inventive, disruptive thought becomes repeated and codified into a pattern.
Air is invisible. We have to look to other substances moved by it, or moving within it, to see any visual effects — let alone patterns. Clouds come to mind as a prime example.
To capture patterns that form and resolve too quickly for our eyes to perceive, we must turn to technology (another Aquarian topic). Spanish photographer Xavi Bou has done just that in his Ornitographies project.
By extracting individual frames from video footage of flying birds and then layering them into one image, he’s able to compose a unique fingerprint of flight. Bou writes on his website, “My intention is to capture the beauty of the bird’s flight in a single moment, making the invisible visible. Ornitographies moves away from the purely scientific practice of chronophotography that 19th century photographers Eadward Muybridge and Étienne Julies Marey developed.”
According to a write-up at Environmental News Source, “He finds the process similar to developing film: he can’t tell in advance what the final result will be, but there’s one magical second, he says, when the image — chimerical and surreal — begins to emerge.”
In other words, there’s one magical moment when the pattern crystallizes. In daily life, we’re often oblivious to that moment when a pattern sets; it’s when they’re shattered that we notice the formations holding us in flight. Aquarius, quirky as it is, can do both.
Planet Waves FM: A Call to Conscience
Dear Friend and Listener:
In the new Planet Waves FM, which I’m posting for the New Moon in Aquarius, I make a call to conscience on the presidential impeachment. In the second segment, I talk about methods for ascertaining the truth of a news-related matter, framing it as a spiritual quest of a certain kind.
Then I cover the astrology of the next few days, and finally, in Tantra Studio, I check in from a place where flirting and eye contact are welcome.
Planet Waves FM is a project of Chiron Return, and an affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network. We are a nonprofit organization supported by your generous contributions, large and small. If you come back to me every week, please consider getting on board — and in any event, please spread the word about what we’re doing here.
Thanks for tuning in.
A Note About 2020 and Personal Astrology
Dear Friend and Reader:
It’s been a few short weeks since I finished RESPECT, part two of your 2020 reading. I felt the astrology of this year was so significant I needed to cover it twice.
We are living through unusual times — an understatement, I know — and many people are being pressured to catch up with themselves. That means making long-overdue decisions, fixing problems that have been lingering around, and finally getting on with those elements of your actual purpose.
I have worked as a personal consultant to thousands of people at just this kind of stage of their lives: the point where you figure out your choices matter. The place where you feel vulnerable. Where you understand that change must come.
Whether you’re making your decisions preemptively or at the last minute, I have a pair of readings that can help you.
Part one is called INTELLIGENCE, a chapter-length essay for each sign and rising sign. These are my most comprehensive written readings ever.
Part two is called RESPECT, a consultation-length audio reading for each sign and rising sign. As my customers know, I am gifted with the ability to do a full-strength reading using transits and the solar chart. I read not a single sign but the whole chart, so the result is that you get a whole reading.
Astrology is not therapy, but my readings are designed to be therapeutic several different ways. First, I create a calm, introspective space to do the work. I remind you of your inner being; that is who I’m speaking to. The real you who it’s easy to forget. (My audio readings come with gentle, alive, original music.)
My whole purpose as an astrologer is to remind you of your power of decision, and to help you see your options. And as an astrologer, I have a sacred duty to help you use time well. We are accustomed to seeing time as a kind of enemy; I am here to introduce you to time as your friend.
Particularly within the grind and madness of the current world, my readings are oxygen and sunshine and water.
The other day, I got an email from a customer about my recent Capricorn Studio reading, the first project I did after finishing RESPECT. She wrote:
Eric I wanted to compliment you on the excellent articulation you did in a straight forth, informative manner, in the Capricorn Astrology Studio reading. I am a Capricorn Sun and ascendant with my Moon in Aquarius, so this was like a personal reading for me. So I extend my deep heart felt gratitude for this gift. I also love the way you include prior times when we may have experienced the astrology, for it gives me a further historical insight into the mastery of who I am and why I am here. Thus validating my own intuitive process that values my uniqueness and allows more awareness and clarity towards freedom of choice. All the very best to you. Kindest regards, Janet
Best of all, my readings are designed to be affordable — a tiny fraction of a personal astrology reading, a fraction of the cost of a single therapy session, and yet providing you with thoughtful mental and emotional nutrition that will feed you for years. Even my very old readings speak to the moment.
They are designed for both Sun and rising sign. You may share them with close friends and loved ones.
We are offering a new option — combined RESPECT and INTELLIGENCE by individual sign.
You may also get all 12 signs of both RESPECT and INTELLIGENCE. Why would you want that? It’s excellent, interesting reading, and every sign is relevant. Listening to one sign’s recording a week will help you expand and refresh your worldview.
If you would like some other option, please write to us, or call (845) 481-5616. You may also find more options here.
Thank you for your business, and for trusting me as your astrologer.
PS — We love when you call and purchase by phone. We want to hear from you.
PPS — You can also check on the status of your membership, and we offer a discount for early renewal. Just call (845) 481-5616. If you have to leave a message, we will get right back to you.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscope for February is published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscope for January on Friday, Dec. 27. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
You were right about the stars. Each one is a setting sun.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — As preparation for your new life ahead, start working with language. Listen to how you speak, and study how you write. This includes what you say, though how you say it is the more significant factor. Both matter and both are essential. You need to do this like you’re going to an unfamiliar country where you know you’ll need to speak the language as a matter of necessity. You know that the language will open up possibilities that would not otherwise be there, because you would not hear about them or understand them if you did. However, at the moment, you don’t know what country that is going to be, or how things are necessarily said. So what you want to work on, therefore, is your ability to put your ideas and feelings into words. Work on this process deeply enough to reach the point where you have a shift in your ideas as you refine their expression. This aligns with how the writing process is often a thinking process; but when you have a tangible thought, it has a way of writing itself. Work both sides of this equation, and make sure this happens in actual writing. The closer you get to pen and paper the better. Begin as if you’re sketching something you cannot see but know exists. This is intuitively educated guess work that you can practice and practice until you slip your hand into the feeling and know the glove fits. Keep at this, somewhat relentlessly, and trust that it will all make sense soon enough — but not too soon to get real preparation.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — In a very general sense, here is the shape of your life. For a good long time, you struggled to rethink, transcend or escape from ideas that guided you for a while, though at a certain point they clearly no longer served you. Part of doing that was figuring out how, specifically and in fact, they were useless. Then all of a sudden a jolt ran through your being, and you knew you had to shake it all loose. I mean really loose, like diving into the water naked for the first time. Wow, what a transformation. Now, Saturn is about to take up residency in your life in a new way. You are likely to feel the instinct to contain, constrain and shape your reality. You may give that a little taste, just to see how it feels in the context of your new fiery restlessness. However, before you get too cozy, I am here to tell you that you’ve still got some shaking and some loosening to do. And if that is going well, it’s definitely too soon to determine what form it, meaning your daily life and central mission, will take. Here is some news for you: forget the form, for now. Stick to the content, your ideas, your exploration and even your confusion, and let it do its thing, without the notion of what to do with or about it. Losing or loosening your tendency to pull focus will be helpful, because ultimately you will be dropping a self-limiting tendency. That is the thing you’ve been after, though it’s been a little like the trap where the monkey gets his hand caught only because he won’t let go of something.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — It’s time to rethink the career question, on the basis of what you would do if your commitments to others were not hemming you in. You’ve invested yourself in several different relationship situations that have proven difficult to get a handle on. The question, “Where did my power go?” might be easier to answer if you understood where it came from in the first place. Ultimately it is your ability to change and adapt, though in some situations, this has had the effect of wedging you into a corner. One of the walls that constrained you is about to move, and reveal an exit. At the same time, possibilities for what you might do with your power (meaning your creativity, and your ability to make decisions about how to use it) are opening up. You may notice some option or possibility and ask yourself boldly: do I want to do that, or be there? If you feel your reality expand with just the question, don’t be too surprised. You might even wonder if you’ve been caught in a conceptual trap all this time, which you could have shifted with your thoughts. Well, you could have, but you would not have experienced the feeling of being pushed so hard in directions you might never have gone. Having liberty is never so obvious as when you have some prior constraints fresh in your memory. And you encountered a certain kind of closeness that you might never have experienced otherwise. You can still have something akin to that, though without the pins, the barbs and the emphasis on power. Remember, there are some things you should never have to negotiate for. And at least you know.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — For a person who appreciates stability as much as you do, it’s been difficult to go through so many years of living on shifting ground. Yet one of your approaches to handling this has been to cling to grounding in small ways that may not work for you anymore. Be aware of what those are. Your opposite sign Capricorn is involved, so this could relate to anything in your environment or the universe of your relationships. It could relate to how you perceive the world. It could relate to where you are physically located. There may be some nexus where all of the above meet, and this, in turn, will invariably affect your professional calling. Speaking of, the bold sigil in your chart is Chiron in Aries, and it’s not possible to say too much about that. This placement is a compelling calling and an urgent inner need. It is your drive to be yourself in all that you do, and to be your own guide. You have taken authority from the usual set of responsibilities and self-imposed limitations to something much better: you must be your own best example. The thing you can no longer seek from outside yourself is how to be who you are. Exemplars have gotten you so far. You have learned some important methods, and taken in some key ideas that all got you where you are. Now you must aspire to be who you are inside, in truth and in the future: the actual, real you that you know you must become. Much has shifted and is shifting that will move you there.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — A particular struggle has persisted for some years, and you are now gradually coming out of it. This will happen in degrees rather than all at once. There is plenty of talk in the world about setting boundaries and limits, though rarely do we apply this idea to difficulty or effort. Rarely does it apply to wasted time. Maybe you’ve experienced something like this before. You have a lot of little problems that have persisted for a long time, and a couple of big ones. Then you face a new challenge that you embrace wholeheartedly. In the process, you transcend all those problems and suddenly they no longer exist. It’s almost as if they never did, and you wonder where they went. This is the power of engaging yourself with a greater purpose. Your charts describe a similar scenario over the next season. You’re about to enter a test phase of what is really a new paradigm. That is a framework, both conceptual and physical. One bad example of this from history is how the automobile solved the rapidly growing problem of horse manure in cities. Yet as time went on, it caused a whole new assortment of even bigger problems. You must choose the options that resolve issues rather than create them. During Saturn’s initial three-month visit to Aquarius, study the law of unintended consequences. Note the solutions that cause other problems, and the ones that do not. There will be obvious distinctions between the two, if you slow down and notice them. You must be observant, and organize your observations. Work with them ongoing.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Being creative and having lots of ideas is one thing. Yet you’re rapidly approaching the time when you must put your own brilliance to work for a whole new purpose. This is likely to involve transposing your personal and creative breakthroughs into a collective or group situation of some kind. This has always been a calling for you, though you had some territory to cross before you could actually do it, and you’ve reached a borderland. That is the one between individual creativity and creative leadership. You have been through one heck of an initiation the past few years. You have been pushed, pulled or dragged into learning how to open up, take a chance and express something bold. You may have done so reluctantly, or resisted with everything you had, though you probably shifted your attitude at a certain point and decided that the risk was worth it. You may not have full faith in your ideas, or confidence in your abilities, though you might review where you were at three or four years ago for some contrast. You are now starting to get the message that people don’t accomplish that much working alone. However, it takes special talent to coordinate individuals with their own tendencies and approaches into a synergistic effect. That’s the thing we all know about how the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is easier said than done, due to various ego issues, struggles with authority, and a general state of immaturity that pervades so much of human existence. You are on the wave front of progress.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your personal history is starting to loosen its grip on you. Or maybe you are loosening your grip on it. As you do that, here is something to consider. To what extent do you make decisions with a need to please others, before you are true to yourself? If so, and this could be subtle, the question is whom are you attempting to make happy? Way in the back of your mind, or in the crevices of your emotions? Ask yourself and observe what comes back in reply. Whatever that may be, you are ready to let it go. You have been attempting this for a while; maybe for months, maybe for years, maybe in some cycle you’ve noticed and then forgotten about. One result of whatever this may be is an indirect approach to relationships and also to your whole existence. That in turn is the result of your attempts to form a compromise between your purpose and what you perceive to be some other purpose, as if you are trying to serve two masters. Every now and then, a confrontation with a different reality gets your attention. Someone might throw you into crisis. A spiritual teacher, mentor or exemplar may enter your life, from whom you know you want to learn. Then it becomes especially difficult to stretch yourself across the contradiction. What if you worked with the idea that it’s impossible to be in two worlds at once? What if you dared to involve yourself with something that, for you, represents a new reality? That will feel like moving in one direction without being pulled in another. That would be your direction rather than that of someone else.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — It is time to carefully re-evaluate your emotional attachments to your family. Matters such as your sense of belonging among them, and by extension, any other group you are associated with, are front and center. This comes down to the squishy issue of whether you feel secure without them. Keep your finger on the pulse of how much approval you need from outside yourself. There are those people who always have to go somewhere with someone (whether it is out to dinner, or getting on an airplane). Others are portrayed standing next to someone in every photo. Where do you fall along those spectrums? One of the themes of your forthcoming extended phase of your life will be greater emotional independence. This does not mean facing existence entirely on your own, but rather the growing desire to liberate yourself from habits that bind you to others in limiting ways. This includes your family, to the extent that you have one. It includes your rituals and traditions associated with the past, whether we are talking about putting up Christmas decorations, where you live and why, or why certain people are your friends. Where do you stand, when you set yourself apart from all of this? What do you do specifically to feel secure? Dredge all of this up to full awareness. Make a map of your comfort zones. Shift or outright bust your routines and your persistent habits, just to see what happens when you do. One major reassessment is soon to involve your work. Is what you do actually representative of you? Were your life to end tomorrow, would you be satisfied with what you have accomplished?
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Mars in your birth sign has been provoking your desire nature. Yet rather than certainty about what you want, an experiment is called for, ongoing. Your chart poses a question that is easy to state and more difficult to answer. To what extent do your desires and impulses align with your principles? Or said another way, do your actions align with your intentions as you state them? I suggest you consider that for a while, and perhaps score yourself on your past activities as well as your current efforts. The experience of time wasted, of goals not met, or of making decisions that ultimately serve to work against your interest represent one set of criteria. The feeling and actual experience of evolution into who you are inside is another. Your quotient of frustration versus a sense of accomplishment counts for a lot. Statements such as, “I’m doing this, but I really wish I could be doing that,” are worth keeping track of, for both their content and their frequency. Relationships are calling for a similar set of tests. Are you in any relationship just because you are, are you growing and learning and having fun, or are you feeling the itch to do something else? You may not have ready answers to these questions. They may bring up some uncertainty and anxiety, because certain responses to any one of them could lead you to recognize the need to make big changes that you don’t feel ready for. The placement of the eminently Sagittarian planet Chiron in Aries is saying that none of these matters are theoretical. The experiment is testing them through direct contact, and noting carefully the results.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You are in the last few weeks before Saturn leaves your birth sign for a test run into Aquarius. Let’s contemplate the Saturn principle. Were someone to know only one thing from all of astrology, this would be the one. The idea is that you take responsibility for yourself, such that nobody has to tell you what to do, or why to do it. This involves being aware of your environment and its boundaries and regulations, and adapting yours to work with them. You understand your commitments, and you keep them without being told to. You become your own parents, your own boss, and your own police department, so that you don’t need things nagging you from the outside. Drive safely and you won’t get pulled over. Pay your parking tickets and you won’t get booted. Pay your taxes and the revenue department won’t come after you. Honor your responsibilities and they become privileges and opportunities. Those who do not do these things are the ones whose lives either become a rolling disaster, or who never seem to reach their potential due to seemingly external factors. There is always some obstacle. What most well-seasoned therapists would tell you is that this is a game: refusing to internalize your authority structure is the perfect way to block yourself, and not embrace the responsibilities that would lead to the greater possibilities. Given the state of society and of so many people’s lives today, this leads us to a question: are you done with that? If you want to be, the timing is perfect.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Saturn entering your birth sign or rising sign is an event to prepare for. The date of arrival is March 21, just past the forthcoming equinox. So you have a little time, which I would suggest you use consciously. One question you might ask yourself is the nature of the internal struggle you’ve been through during the past few years of Saturn in your 12th house (which began in late 2017). What, exactly, have you been working through? Were you even aware of the depth of the material you were processing, or did you plod along attempting to maintain your life as usual? Some deep questions have been nagging, and at times, dragging you into situations you may not understand. Superficial explanations will be of no help, despite their immense popularity. You need to be honest with yourself about the ways the past has held you down, and the role of denial in this scenario. You may have some completions to do with people from your past, or who are in your life now. The central question is what it means to be honest with yourself, and how you know whether and when you are doing it. Then there is the matter of connecting with your actual creativity, and your desire to do something that is more fun. When you have tried that previously, what has held you back? That is something to get real about, and upon which to focus your intelligence and your desire for healing. Said another way, you must have no secrets from yourself.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You are establishing yourself in new social and professional territory, in a process that will take some surprising directions this spring. Those, in turn, will emerge from deeply personal discoveries that you are making currently. For now, you want to resolve the past rather than do anything that will bind you to it. Most people know very little about resolving anything, and tend to drag their personal history behind them in ways that are not useful. This prevents them from making any actual progress, which is another typical condition on the planet. I suggest you establish a relationship with your future and with your potential, and take your mission seriously. This will require you to do something beyond what most of your peers are up to, and to have a different approach and attitude. Devotion to your purpose sets you apart. It makes you visible, and just that will carry an aura of success. You must maintain your public relations position in a sincere way, and at the same time attend to the details of your friendships and your work. Relationships matter a lot now, which means honor your commitments, and pay attention to who does and does not honor theirs. People you do not know are observing you, so assume that, potentially, any of your actions are visible. This can and must work for you. For several long and possibly difficult years, you have been establishing yourself and making a place for yourself. Now it’s time to move in on your own territory. As Sir Paul said, when you got a job to do, you gotta do it well.