Dear Friend and Reader:
If you are reading this, you survived some of the must tumultuous, shocking astrology in nearly a decade. Yet the truth is, what we lived through in December and January was like the weekend-long training ride that American Youth Hostels required for everyone taking the summer-long, coast-to-coast bicycle trip. I suggest that you put the events of the past two months to a thorough review and make an inventory of everything you learned, or wish you learned.
February brings in a whole new dimension of astrology: I dare say easier, but in truth, with a new agenda and a new sense of adventure. There are, of course, always two sides to the story. For example, the Chiron-Neptune conjunction finally peaks early in the month. That is about seeing clearly and embracing the truth of the world. But to do that, you might have to survey quite a bit of damage and pain and make room in your spiritual philosophy to give that some context, without just turning the other way.
Phase two of the Saturn-Pluto square that is shaking up so much, so deeply, is also in full force right now. Change is possible, but to have that change happen, we need to be willing to risk losing the benefits we reap from not changing. We need to meet the forces that exist to perpetuate fear and hold back progress, most of which come from within our own minds. It’s easy to be brave in a yoga studio; it’s more challenging when you find yourself needing to make a decision that is about acting on your values for the first time. It’s easy to have an opinion. It’s more challenging getting involved in the kind of movements for social justice that your father told you a hundred times were too ‘dangerous’ to bother with. [Dangerous to whom?] This is another way of saying: guilt can be a thing of the past. You can have a whole bunch of fun and contribute to progress as long as you’re not scared of your own shadow [material]. And as long as you’re not scared of progress itself.
Jupiter is now in Pisces, which is great — as long as you know how to use sensuality, wine and erotic play as vehicles for transformation, and as long as comfort does not make you complacent. Jupiter in Pisces is about depositing moralism into the nearest toxic waste dump, which is another way of saying, it’s about figuring out that guilt is quite literally a thing of the past. Pluto in Capricorn is helping us with this one, and Mars retrograde is helping us figure out what we really want.
As you sit here reading these words, the world is heading for one of the most stunning awakenings of both individual and group consciousness that we have seen in four decades, or longer. Yet to embrace this means taking full responsibility for your own awareness; and for the decisions you make. Once we start at the center of our own choices, it will be easier to see that we also choose collectively. Yet it starts with us, as individuals, deciding. To be individuals we need to slough off the toxic conformity that has characterized the past 30 years of American history, and embrace the adventure of existence as the bold and honest people we’ve been claiming to be for so long. Cousins: the time has come.
Yours & truly,
Your charts suggest strongly that you are making some decision involving marriage. You might be thinking of creating a marriage or of ending one; or you are formulating your thoughts on the subject. Here is what I see: You have a concept that marriage simplifies things. This is consistent with the old expression ‘tying the knot’. There’s nothing so simple going on, however. In truth, your charts present a complex situation regarding not just a relationship, but also your whole idea of what a relationship is. What I suggest is that you shift the entire thought process from ‘relationship’ to yourself. The most important relationship is the one you have with you. When we confuse our inner relationship with the one we have with others, that is called projection. It may not be literally true that whatever you are saying about, or appreciate about, or dislike, in others is true of you; but you would be wise to look for the connection points. In this project, you will learn something from photos. Photos are interesting because they are historical documents and projection screens. Photographs of you, of loved ones, family photos and in particular wedding photos will tell you a lot right now, in the sense of providing useful information. At the moment, certain pictures will paint a thousand words.
Nearly every Taurus I know is struggling with their career. This seems to be a life-theme of your sign. Let’s pretend that has something to do with all the activity in Aquarius, your career house. Going back quite a long way — five years, 10 years, even 15 years, depending on how you count — there’s been constant change, movement and an odd sense of insecurity about what you want to do, or what you ‘should be doing’. You’ve had plenty of ideas along the way, some of them excellent, but less in the way of traction or stability. Perhaps you know what you want, not how to make it work for you. Remember that most of our experiences train us to compromise passion and curiosity, or to expect certainty and incontrovertible correctness of the plan. Sure, that happens. More often, we find ourselves involved with events, uncertain where they will lead. Through many such experiments, we can arrive in an interesting place. What you have going on is subtler than either of those usual paths. At the moment, you have a rare perspective (think of it as visual, from a high place) that you didn’t have before. Use it to observe the ways you have been conditioned to not know what you want; to want what others want for you; and to doubt your own ideals, for the sake of others. What would your life be like, if you moved all that out of the way?
Last month’s Mercury retrograde was pretty impressive, and its affects are still working out. For you, it was all about agreements. You tend to live your life trying to figure out what others expect from you, rather than determining what you want. In the tangle of opinions, obligations and pushing and pulling and sorting out the details, I trust you’ve learned to make this distinction. It’s not only okay to want; whatever the Buddhists may say, desire is your organizing principle. It’s the value by which you decide what to decide: including what to do and who to associate with. Jupiter in Pisces, which just crossed the potent midheaven angle of your solar chart, is offering you a wildcard of desire. This may be arriving as an idea or a vision; or it may be an opportunity you’re not sure is solid. I promise you one thing: this qualifies as something different. It may take you a few weeks to catch on, but now that you have a clue, I suggest you look carefully and make a decision while you’re still excited. One of the distinctions between this and the kind of opportunity you’re accustomed to involves going beyond your usual sense of scale, to something much wider: so wide, indeed, that you may not recognize it for what it is, or selling yourself short because this seems too good to be true.
Life would be easier, were the playing field level. Usually it’s not; and it’s slippery, and some people cheat. The deeper issue, though, is what game you are playing, and the rules that you apply. Deeper still is making sure you take full authority over your own life. Two games show up on the radar as being particularly dangerous to your peace of mind. One is retribution; the other is teasing. It’s possible to tease yourself, and it’s possible to get revenge on yourself: if humans are good at two things, it is luring themselves with what is unavailable, and self-loathing (in its many subtle forms). Remember that guilt is not an indicator that you are wrong. Rather, it suggests you have an issue to work out, potentially that you don’t believe your life is your life. It’s altogether better if we get those around us on board with the process of mutually freeing ourselves from guilt. But you don’t need anyone’s permission; that’s part of the game. When we feel guilty the tendency is to blame ourselves or seek forgiveness; a better approach is to offer forgiveness for what you think has been done to you. It may indeed be unclear who is responsible for what, or who is perpetuating any dysfunction; account for the ways you are perpetuating anything distasteful to you, and change your act on the spot.
There has hardly been a more magnificent time to get clear on the intentions of your relationships. Indeed, it is happening without your deliberate intervention; you seem to be coming into alignment both with yourself and with the people around you. In an odd way, this quality is morphing from your sense of individuality to your sense of mutual purpose in one-to-one experiences; and this is shifting your group encounters. By alignment, I mean sense of purpose and mutual understanding of one another’s most important values. One of your gifts to the world is to love people despite their seeming flaws, and to hold yourself out with dignity as a whole person, understanding perfectly well that you’re not perfect. You now have an opportunity to see how those seeming imperfections provide sources of strength and awareness. This really is the key to enlightenment, in these days when one of the most pressing psychological issues is self-loathing, and when the lack of self-understanding seems to verge on total. It’s deep in your nature to use mistakes, misunderstandings and paradoxes as footholds for learning and awareness; it’s good times when the people around you get into that same mode, and that is approximately what you have going on now. In simple terms, everything is an opportunity to raise awareness. Every seeming fact implies a question. How you see yourself directly influences how you see others.
You may not have counted the rewards of so much restless instability in your relationships, going back so many years. The planetary setup has not lent itself to your romantic ideals; you probably canceled your subscription to Modern Bride in 2004. Yet one benefit of what you’ve been through has been to take nothing, and nobody, for granted. There has been no prefabricated scenario that was supposed to come true; you developed a knack for liking and loving people despite their wild oddities, despite what your parents would think; despite what you thought you would think. People have pushed you and challenged your beliefs and made sure you couldn’t hide in your mental box for long. In moments when spontaneous changes happened, you learned to move on. You leaned to envision the future rather than obsess over the past. But something has been missing: a degree of comfort, a space of authentic respite, an actual sense of benefit. Over the past year, you have gained an unusual new depth of clarity and focus, and I imagine you determined that was an omen of positive developments to come. Let that clarity give you the discernment to know healthy, loving influences when they manifest for you. You have been through enough, over enough time, for this to be truly possible. Lay down that restlessness for a while and open the door to love.
You are not really caught in a situation you cannot get out of — but someone else may really be certain they are. You cannot convince them of the reality of their situation; but you can figure out for yourself that you have options. Having options is another way of saying that you are at a turning point. I suggest you make peace with the possibility that someone you care about may not quite see themselves at that place where a decision is necessary; to the contrary, they may be at a point of maximum chaos and confusion. Even on a good day, you have little choice but to negotiate with the world on your own terms. You are, at least, aware of your situation, and that provides the closest thing to a guarantee that you are going to work it out sooner rather than later. The risk you run is getting drawn into someone else’s drama, their romantic ideals, or their sense of fragmentation. Keep an eye on that third one. It’s the one most likely to drive you nuts, because when people are feeling fragmented those around them tend to respond in fragments. Note, the issue that is troubling them is likely to be a past idea of what a relationship should be, and the way that gets tangled up in the simple reality of life. Give the situation till mid-March to work out; I think it will.
You may be questioning your treatment of someone important to you. You have become deeply sensitive to how someone feels in the environment of your emotions. In any form of emotional healing, step one is getting beyond the guilt that is so deeply entrenched in our relationships. The usual way to do that is by ‘not caring’, and obviously that’s not the answer: you would not be here unless you cared. One way to process guilt is to forgive yourself so that you can forgive everyone else. Most guilt, indeed, nearly all of what we think others think, is projection. Projection is something that is happening internally that we are then perceiving or ascribing to some experience or event ‘outside ourselves’. Just like you cannot write on a movie screen and change the plot, you cannot write on the world or on your relationships and change the underlying feelings. That is why you have to start with you. One thing that is clear is the extent to which you are subject to group dynamics. Much of what you’re dramatizing in your relationships right now involves what happened to you as a child; and that, in turn, created a situation where you don’t feel safe being yourself. So, let’s short-circuit this whole psychological process and summarize it as one question: what would you do if you felt absolutely safe being exactly who you are?
I’ve noticed something about some Sagittarians I know, which is that they don’t seem to mind living in half-renovated places. I guess when you feel like you came from a different galaxy, living on Earth like it’s a camping trip isn’t so bad; so you don’t mind if your house is wrapped in Tyvek or your bedroom floor is made of plywood as long as it keeps out the rain. Or do you? Jupiter has arrived in Pisces, which is the place we look for information about the home environment of Sagittarius. I suggest you take a series of swift steps to transform your home into someplace you’re actually comfortable. Finish work in progress; make a list of anything that’s broken or out of place and repair or remove it. Get someone who knows Feng Shui to come and help you arrange things to maximize the efficiency of energy flow. Clean, clean, clean — with Dr. Bronner’s soap and water, not chemicals. If you don’t like where you are, now is the time to make an easy move to someplace better. All of this will have useful material effects, and the sense of closure that you get from fixing that which was long broken will help you feel more settled, like you’re here on the planet to stay for a while; and your home is a place where others who love you feel welcome.
Do you know those email things designed to prevent you from writing to people if you’re drunk? The one with a series of arithmetic questions to make sure you’re clear enough to handle yourself? I suggest installing one of those on your entire life this month. Be careful what you do under the influence of any substance; ‘do’ includes say and do; it includes what you don’t do; and most of all, this includes how you respond to what you feel and what you think. You’re under a mix of influences that could lead you to act uncharacteristically: impulsively, or ‘not really coming from you’. Your emotional confusion is calling on you to take conscious, careful steps with the people you love, particularly with yourself. This month’s planetary setup won’t prevent you from feeling clearly who you are, unless of course you let it do so. Yet you must be especially careful with substances, which will emphasize some emotions over others, sometimes contradictory. In itself this is not a bad thing: every emotion is valuable for what it teaches you. It’s just that you don’t want to act on certain darker sentiments; better to acknowledge and make peace with them. To give another example, if you want to have sex with someone on a few glasses of wine, first make sure they’re still interesting when all you’ve had is a coffee — preferably not the next day.
Why are you the way you are? You seem to have lost contact with your motives — which you’re finally figuring out, now that you’re back in the groove of listening to them again. In the journey of awakening, you’re in that delicate space of playing snooze tag with yourself, only it’s not a single day you’re preparing to embark on; it’s the rest of your life. Denial is a peculiar state, unique to human consciousness: the ability, in essence, to pretend we’re not aware of something that we are actually aware of. Denial presumes that there is something to deny; and that we have a motive to keep it from awareness. If you notice that you’re struggling to admit something to yourself, break it down into what that something is, and why you might not want to acknowledge it. While you’re pondering that, here is another question: is this whole thing a dance around how you were treated as a child? Are you covering up for someone else’s psychological stance toward you? Once that pattern is established, it can establish a pattern that the mind copies, which then propagates and takes root in many other relationships. See if you can get to the original motive; the original transaction that led you to learn any mode of response that involved pretending or denying that something obviously true was not. Get clear about that and much else will come into focus.
For a long time, longer than you may care to admit, you’ve grown accustomed to a certain kind of progress in your life: behind the scenes, or in theory, or in principle. Fortunately, you have a rich inner life, and this enables you to stay interested in existence even in times when movement is slow or invisible, or when fulfillment seems unlikely. Yet this has caused you to live in two worlds: one being a world where so much is happening, and where you can envision what is possible; and another where the people around you seem oblivious to their own potential and where potential, in general, seems frozen. Get ready for something different. Jupiter arriving in your sign is going to do a lot in a short time, all of it in visible, tangible ways. If you write plays, you may find them suddenly being produced on the live stage. If you write books, you are likely to discover people interested in publishing you. If you drum alone, you will surely find other drummers. What was solitary can now become social; what you were sure was worthless to the world now suddenly may have a high value. Yet to manifest this potential, you must do what is perhaps the most challenging thing for a Pisces: think in a forward direction; exist outside your previous states of confinement; leave behind your prior role of victim of existence for your new role as benefactor.