Dear Friend and Reader:
Remember the controversy two weeks ago involving how the zodiac is allegedly wrong?
While on the one hand it’s a complex technical issue describing how the Eastern and Western zodiacs align, the solution to the riddle that astronomers put out has a simple attribute — the zodiac we use here is based on the changing of the seasons. This is a dependable time-measuring tool, and it also tells the story of our lives. This works both as an ‘astrological’ factor (the cycle measurement part) and as a series of physical events that we remember. If you happen to live, or have ever lived, in a climate where there are four distinct seasons, you know the experience of moving through them is poignant.
The equinoxes and the solstices mark the changes of seasons every 13 weeks or so. Each time the seasons change, the Sun enters a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, called the Quarter Days). At the midpoints of the seasons there are what you might think of as energy peaks or hot spots. These happen when the Sun reaches mid-Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio (called the Cross Quarter days). These are equally potent and are considered among the sabbats (or Sabbath days) of the Celtic year. These two sets of days divide the year into eight manageable pieces of about six to seven weeks each.
Not only are we close to one of the Cross Quarters now — when the Sun is in mid-Aquarius, called Imbolc — we are about to experience a spectacular Aquarius New Moon on Feb. 2. Imbolc is the Midwinter holiday here in the Northeast. It translates to ‘in the milk’ or ‘in the belly’, meaning that we’re held in the belly of the stars, in the deeps of winter (if you’re in San Diego, Key West, Maui or the Southern Hemisphere, please use your imagination!)
Whatever the weather may be, this is a turning point, and it points to many others this month. For example, earlier this week, Jupiter entered Aries. Chiron is about to enter Pisces to stay for eight years, and in March Uranus will enter Aries to stay for seven years. These events usher in a new mini-age of astrological history — what we think of as the 2012 era.
The past three years (longer, really) have been dominated by Saturn making challenging aspects to outer planets. This, we experienced as many wrenching events of history that began to morph into signs of progress that you can see if you’re truly perceptive. The astrological mark of the 2012 era is Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn. This is a cycle that evokes the optimism and revolutionary spirit of the 1960s, only we’re getting it in a time when the world situation is a lot more critical.
Fortunately, one factor is working in our favor: literally hundreds of thousands of us are spiritually trained. The holistic movement has been going strong since the 1950s, invisibly at times, quietly at other times, boldly at some moments. But I have every faith that the grounding and self-awareness that a great many people have cultivated has the power to carry us through anything, and to make the positive developments more meaningful.
Uranus square Pluto is part of a well-documented revolutionary cycle of events that shows up with breakthroughs in the sciences, literature, music, art and personal growth. They are always times of rapid, fast-forward change (for historians or those who remember, consider the unbelievable story arc from 1964 to 1969). We are now in the midst of something like that, only more profound.
What some call the ‘quickening’ of consciousness is happening. This is true despite the concerted attempts to resist change that come from some quarters; the goo will always give way to the solvent. What the people who have trained their minds in anything from philosophical subjects to the martial arts to spiritual technologies can do — indeed the most important thing you can do — is help to neutralize fear.
Then, the next step is to embody the creative changes that you know are imminent. We are here not to fix the world but to create the world we want, a world we can live in, learn in and where we can celebrate life.
As ever, I write about this regularly on Planet Waves.
Yours & truly,
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for February 2011
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Do you suddenly have the feeling that you’re living two lifetimes in one? This sensation may have come out of a psychic closet of sorts; it’s been in the background for a while. The sense of ‘two lives’ may involve a relationship experience on the one side, and your experience of your inner world on the other. It could involve two seemingly opposite sets of tendencies that you’re noticing in yourself, such as being bold in certain aspects of your life and cautious in other aspects. Or perhaps you’re operating with two different sets of goals, each of which seems to have its roots in different circumstances. Now, add to this the potential that you’re likely to be embarking on a search for yourself through some social or group enterprise. The setup has the feeling of, ‘if only I could find the right group or the right friends, I would know who I am’. I don’t suggest you take this route. Rather, I suggest you explore the seeming contradiction within yourself. This may be challenging because so many of the factors seem to be external. The thing is, they’re really not; your situation is all about spontaneously discovering who you are in a truly new way. On the inner level, the action piece would include being bold and honest about who you are. On the outer level, it’s about actively being who you are regardless of what you imagine that any social group or relationship partner might think.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — This may be one of the most unusual months in your career for many moons. It’s not merely that so much is happening; it’s that one especially longterm struggle is making an exit from your life. Or it is if you want it to. It is, if you are willing to let it happen. It’s easy for you to get caught in the traumas and dramas of the past, not quite recognizing when they’re over. Now is an excellent occasion to develop that skill. You have the option to boldly recognize that something you don’t need and don’t want is over; that something involves a lack of confidence in yourself. You don’t merely ‘lose your lack of confidence’; the next step is living with the direct experience of the confidence that was previously lacking. This feeling, experienced from the inside out, is not going to solve all your riddles; that involves choosing from among the many options this world presents. But you would be wise to choose on the basis of who you are, not what you thought you were. The way forward is to make decisions based on the present. In the present you will see specific ways that the world has an opening for just the person you are, with just the gifts you have to offer. In offering them, you will reaffirm that you have them; you will get to participate in a whole new kind of direct exchange. This is not about I can; it’s about I am.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You have a deeper tendency than you like to admit to believe what the people around you believe. This has suddenly become unusually difficult, and you know you’re in a position where you have to make up your own mind about something. So, do what you must, in order to do that. Embark on a fact-finding mission. Allow different people to convince you of their point of view, giving them the benefit of the doubt. Then move on and get another perspective. You will be surprised at all the viewpoints out there. Indeed, you may start to doubt whether there is any such thing as the truth (a condition that is epidemic in our times). Much like the tale of the blind men and the elephant, everyone is wrong, and yet everyone is right. It will be up to you to see the elephant in the room. And that’s precisely what it is — the obvious thing that nobody wants to admit is there. The question then becomes, what do you do with the information you get? You certainly have the option to ignore it. That would be very modern. But what you’re getting is crucial information. And in actual fact, you’re responsible for what you know. The people who only want to see part of the elephant have one thing in common; they have a motive for their point of view. Ask yourself whether you have that agenda, or some other.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You seem to be in line for an inheritance or payout of some kind — and at the very least you have significant business opportunities available that could work out very well for you. Obviously you cannot take up every opportunity that is presented to you. And not all of them are what they seem. Therefore, focus on what you’re the most passionate about. You can trust that. It might be something about which you have subtle misgivings, that challenges you or that leads you to feel vulnerable. The greatest reward, on many levels, might come from the experience with the deepest emotional risk. You may know the one I’m talking about. Focus carefully and you’re likely to notice how your perspective, not only on these opportunities but also on your whole life, changes through the course of the month. There is something profound that connects you to your source on a fundamental level, and may indeed summon you to many new adventures. Faced with so many possibilities, I suggest that you choose the one or two things that take you deep. By that, I mean that provide the greatest inner rewards, creative satisfaction or contact in a relationship. This is a connection that you may be tempted to think about intellectually, but the true basis for discernment is what you feel in your heart. Feel for a while and you will get the message, perhaps not loudly, but certainly clearly.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — This is going to be the month you learn to filter your environment and choose selectively where to focus your attention. There is indeed quite a lot to focus on — many people are focused on you, seeking your involvement. Indeed, it would seem that you’re simultaneously having every kind of relationship that you can have. You need an organizing principle to sort all of this out — and Chiron entering Pisces suggests that principle is exchange. A ‘relationship’ is one thing; what passes between the people involved — the content of the relationship — is another matter entirely. Therefore, choose on the basis of content. By that I mean what you give and what you receive; who you feel benefits the most, and who is the most inclined to be present when you need them. The few people with whom you have mutual energy are going to stand out. You’re not going to have to think about this very hard. Everyone else can wait. That said, there will be people who will strictly be your benefactors. Have no suspicion about this — they are here to provide resources and affirmation. This may be just one person; he or she is asking nothing in return and part of the spiritual exercise for you is to have no sense of obligation. Life is at least long enough that we have the chance to return any sincere favors without worrying about when that might happen.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Recently astronomers pulled a hoax claiming that the 12 zodiac signs have the wrong dates, and that there is a ‘thirteenth sign’. I responded with a satire claiming that astronomers had discovered a ‘thirteenth animal’ in the Chinese zodiac — the Mouse, and I compared it to the sign Virgo. I love Mouse because he’s organized and he thinks for the future. He has enough of what he needs. Though we make references to inventions compared to mouse traps, Mouse himself is an inventor. My shamanic teacher, the late Arthur Joseph Kushner, credited Mouse with inventing agriculture — the silo (what we call a hoard). You are in the midst of a powerful surge of energy through your 6th house of your solar chart — the house of applied knowledge. You have abundant information on your hands. You have excellent theories. Now, put these things to use. You also have boundless energy available to do what that might require, and the wits to do it in a fun, inventive way. Remember, as one of my Virgo healer colleagues reminded me at an opportune moment: work smart rather than work hard. I would add that you need to take care of your health on the level of your nervous system. Meditate, take baths and get outside no matter how chilly it may be. Exercise will be twice as good for your mind as it is for your body. Relax and you will be brilliant.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There’s really only one way to process this much energy, and that is rock and roll. Define this concept as you will: art, music, social activism, passionate sex — anything expressive. That is the opposite of depressive. This is the kind of energy you want to let flow, but there’s so much of the stuff that it’s calling for guidance in truly constructive, creative directions. I only say this because there are other possibilities for how it might manifest, particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed. And the way to avoid that is to have something better, which is the movement of vital force. This is an excellent time to figure out that you have two basic positions — flow and blockage. It’s the time to figure out from experience, not merely from theory, that energy is energy, and that it is we who turn it dark or light. It happens that, at the moment, plenty depends on your ability to make this recognition real — in that you could easily be overwhelmed by the intensity of the flow; and that you could find yourself with some of the most magnificent creative opportunities on your hands. With this power surge, flowing through the sign Aquarius, you may be inclined to take risks you would not ordinarily take; if you make sure those risks are in a spirit of love and conscious experimentation, you will be safe. Saturn is in your sign, suggesting that you can apply the concept of boundaries in a useful and workable way.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Emotional discipline does not necessarily come easily to a Scorpio, but at the moment your peace of mind and much else depends upon it. You may be inclined toward dark thoughts about yourself, at the same time rapidly developing situations in your household or family demand that you be fully present. Clearly, this is a time to leave your suspicions in the past and remember that you’re not the center of the universe. You are, however, capable of being the center of your own life; but only if you’re centered. And that is the position from which you can be most useful to yourself and to the people who are depending on you for love, guidance and a vision of what life is about. I suggest you focus on the positive, and see the opportunity in everything. You may feel that’s not possible, but I challenge you to question how serious what you perceive is wrong actually is. If in the event that you are feeling some form of grief or disturbance, communicate that directly in a way that is not intended to cause additional disturbance. This would only come back to you. The solution you seek starts with you, and that, in turn, starts with being honest about how you feel — and discerning why you feel that way. If you look through polarizing filters, it will seem like a matter of right or wrong. If you look through the lens of psychology, you will see opportunities for healing past hurts and mistrust.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — In the midst of many other truly positive developments and activities this month, certain factors may provoke your deepest insecurities, your fear of abandonment or difficulty with endings. You may be inclined to stuff this feeling back where it came from; initially that will be easy enough, because you will have so much else to distract you. I don’t, however, suggest that you succumb to that particular temptation. Tapping into your deepest emotions, no matter how shadowy, will go a long way toward releasing pent-up emotions and give you energy and strength to pursue your most vital dreams. I propose that you view this as an emotional healing process, which has the goal not merely of removing something toxic but also creating something beautiful for yourself. You are tapping into some deep waters that reach back into your ancestral past — quite literally processing the delusions and negative emotions of previous generations. If you can get clear about this, you will see that purging yourself of their fears will allow you greater access to your own dreams, desires and the subtlety of your surroundings. On this note, now is an excellent time to remove aggravating factors from your environment, be they emotional or physical. This gesture would be more than symbolic: these ancestral ghosts I’m talking about take the form of toxins and disruptions that you would in truth be a lot happier without. And you will develop a skill that will come in handy — moving on from what does not serve you.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your emphasis for many months has been on guiding yourself to a better place in the world, though this has involved mustering up discipline and warding off pervasive anxiety associated with change and responsibility. What these all have in common is that they address seemingly external factors. The missing element is reaching for your interior reality; that is where you will get perspective. There is only a limited degree to which addressing externals, be they goals, responsibilities, issues or the concerns of others, can help you feel better. Ultimately you need to understand yourself, and not allow what you think of as ‘your life’ to get in the way of that. The challenges you’ve had living from the inside out are dissolving, however. For one thing, the benefits of bringing your focus inward are now more obvious than ever. Yet as these weeks and months progress, something else is likely to take over: a passionate curiosity about yourself. This looks like a deep and unsettling restlessness, which is on the one hand a desire for knowledge, and on the other, a quest to reinvent yourself. While this will clearly reach into the work you do and how you interact with the people around you, the sensation that’s driving you is the desire to break out of any familiar self-concept. Indeed, I would say your real quest is to go beyond any concept of self and straight to the real thing.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Before you can stop making a mistake you have to notice what you’re doing. Of course this also works for making choices — you must see your options. Your perception of a mistake, a pattern of them, or for that matter any creative choices you have, depends on your state of mind. Beware of a tendency to believe that some past action is going to come back to you. The false logic goes, ‘I’ve been a bad person, therefore I deserve to be feeling all this fear’. If you’re experiencing any permutation of this idea, figure out where, or from whom, it came. I don’t think it’s your original thought; it’s a psychic pathogen that was passed onto you down the generations, or that you picked up in your environment. In these times, we must keep an eye on such factors, as a primary fact of both healing and happiness. Our society is struggling with boundary issues, and right now most of them are psychic. Your planets are calling on you to do two things: recognize the toxicity of guilt, and let it go. The other is to walk a straight and narrow path that calls for keeping your priorities in balance. This directly means assessing everything on the basis of what hurts or helps you. If you can do that, you will also be acting in the best interests of the people around you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Experiment with the notion that none of your worst fears are true, and that your boldest visions can come true. This may be challenging, given how much is going on inside that mind of yours, and how many inner voices may be suggesting that you have something to worry about. You may feel as if something is ‘about to emerge’, and this has you nervous. Any negative pre-judgments are wedded to one thing only — your level of fear. This in turn is related to any internal pressure you may feel. Whatever may be the passing astrological weather, you’re at the beginning of a new cycle of experience. This is true on many fronts, but the most telling are that Jupiter, the planet that traditionally rules your sign, has entered Aries, the first sign of the zodiac; and that Chiron is about to enter your sign. Your edgy sensation is about embarking on a whole new phase of your life. This fact will present you with decisions, so do your best to have a clear head when you make them. Know which of your beliefs doesn’t support who you are or what you want. Know that you have a choice in the matter and — as someone once wrote, ‘A belief is a thought you keep thinking’. The solution is not to unthink, but rather to think about what you want, what you value and who you love. Keep your focus. This will be easier than you think.