The Winter Whirl: Planets on the Move

From mid-December through mid-January are some of the most whirlwind months of astrology in recent memory, and that is saying a lot. The nice part is that we who honor astrology can actually use it as a tool to make our lives a little easier.

We are approaching simultaneous Mercury and Mars retrogrades, a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse, two Jupiter conjunctions and finally a sign change of Jupiter. Uranus is now on a clear course for Aries, turning over one of the most significant cycles in all of astrology.

Moving through the next six weeks will require skill, awareness and the maturity to slow down and make conscious choices. In those moment when you find yourself acting like a robot, pull the plug and resume being human. You’re always just one thought away.

In all of this astrology, there is a huge cosmic and psychological push to make, rather than delay, progress. Only you know what you’re avoiding. Only you know what you really want. As I have said many times, the planetary momentum only builds from here, though presently we are at a decision point; an entry ramp into the momentum.

This article is designed as a planning tool. All of these events fall in different solar houses for the 12 signs, and shake out a different way based on your real natal chart. The Sun sign astrology is one of the key themes of Cosmic Confidential, the 2010 annual edition, and I cover it thoroughly in there as a theme for the entire year and into 2011.

I can say this for everyone, regardless of your astrological tribe: Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is about getting our business affairs in order. This is accelerated and emphasized by a solar eclipse in that sign, on the North Node. There is something here about taking all things Capricorn not as something ‘out there’ but rather as something interior, for which we are personally responsible.

Mars retrograde in Leo is about defining ourselves as individuals, in the aspect of breaking our habit of pride-based conformity. Mars in Leo will take us deep into ourselves, and if we are willing to accept the mission, we can stand apart from the crowd, with integrity. It’s an invitation to live in such a way that offers us some freedom from what we think people think about us, and worse, the pride that makes us care at all.

Mars retrograde in Leo is associated with a Chiron-like planet called Hylonome, which says: be careful about self-inflicted injuries. Watch your psychological patterns and beware of what you do to yourself.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Big Astrology Background: The Cardinal T-Square

All of the current astrology is set before the background of the cardinal sign T-square: Saturn in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn, which will soon be joined by Jupiter and Uranus in Aries (which in June make a conjunction right on the Aries Point). Major forces are both combining and colliding. Navigating all of this consciously requires our full attention, and the heart-level willingness to participate consciously in the process of change. That process is never limited to one person alone. Much of the message is about awakening to yourself, and then collaborating with others.

We are seeing big picture astrology that closely resembles the Sixties, which was made of a Saturn-Uranus-Pluto dynamic: upheavals, long-delayed changes, and a rapid acceleration of both old-system breakdown and new-system creation. When Uranus and Pluto get together, there is a surge of progress in every field, and we need to keep the focus on things that are directly humanitarian. These kinds of events build for decades. We are usually involved in their momentum long before we’re aware of this fact, and before astrologers say anything. This is because the time orbs involved are generally way underestimated.

For example, what we are calling 2012, which in Western astrology consists mainly of the Uranus-Pluto square, is exact for the first of seven times in June of that year, and stretches through 2016. Yet we are well under its influence now, and there were clear signs going back to the summer of 2008. This is society going through contractions of change so deep that they represent a total change in our reality framework, also known as a paradigm.

We are seeing a metaphor of this with the dismantling of the financial system, and the whole thing seeming to be creeping toward the brink of disaster. Yet we don’t know what will replace it; most of us have not yet tapped the inventive and inventive energy of this transit. We’re not exactly tapped into the revolutionary spirit — not yet, anyway.

Part of how you can do that is to shed the skin of fear, that is, of your identity rooted in fear, and begin to allow the creative heat at the core of your being to express itself as a sense of movement, exploration and freedom. It’s time to ask real questions about what you want and need to be doing with your life. It’s time to listen to what your inner guidance has been telling you for years.

Photo by Eric Francis.

The Subtle and the Sublime: Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune

Closer to the foreground is the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune alignment in Aquarius. This has been shaping our reality for the past year or so, and now it is coming to its full peak.

Chiron was also a big factor in the Sixties: in my view, it was the cosmic, spiritual piece; the part that spoke up for love and grounded the mystical and psychedelic consciousness of the era. Chiron in Aquarius is equally significant today — but playing a different role. Today, Chiron is a catalyst for social consciousness, provoking us to embrace our individuality in a way that allows us to connect with others as individuals. Yet making contact with both planets associated with Pisces — Jupiter and Neptune — Chiron is once again grounding a message of peace and reminding us of the power of social movements. In Aquarius, you can be sure that the Internet is one of the most crucial reality fields we can be working with. This to me is about no longer being a victim of technology, but embracing the technosphere as a living reality wherein we can learn, grow and feed ourselves with the Living Information. Most important, it is a place where we can connect with one another.

Jupiter and Chiron make their one and only exact alignment on Monday, and then Jupiter goes on to make its conjunction to Neptune on the solstice. This is a subtle series of events that is more obvious as an internal shift than as an external one. I would describe it as a rapid acceleration or focusing of spiritual growth; of awareness of and contact with the unseen world, and with subtle energies; and a gift of both healing and evolution that feels like an alignment with sanity. This focus on Aquarius tells us that people who can work, grow and love together are finding one another. And we’re being reminded that it is time to reach out.

Remember that Chiron has the property of being tangible and responsive to documentation. It is not an ‘etheric’ energy, but a highly pragmatic one. Chiron is a tool, like your Maglite or Leatherman.

There is an apparent paradox in these developments. The world is going through some wild gyrations, many people are in pain, and yet certain individuals have never felt clearer or safer, though recognizing the fragile edge we live on. For those caught in the old framework of a fear-based reality and identity, these Chiron aspects may not even register in their awareness, or they may turn up as crisis. For others, everything simply seems hopeless or out of control. For those going through an evolutionary progression, there may be some sense of mystery about those who grasp onto a dense level of awareness; who try to hold onto the past, or to live past patterns in a much lighter-density present moment.

Open up to the Living Information that is coming through you, and your options and sense of potential will open up. Jupiter conjunct Chiron is about applying a sense of alchemy to your perceptions, which you could say is equivalent to informing yourself with a deeper, inner truth than anything you can see in the world. Imagine the focusing power of Chiron grounding the wisdom potential of Jupiter. Or imagine the light of Chiron illuminating the beauty and potential of Jupiter with a whole new kind of radiance. This is about actual experience — not a theory or a concept.

The conjunction of Chiron and Jupiter is in full effect right now, as you read. Yes, the world and many people who live here are struggling. There seem to be many challenging inevitabilities on the horizon, but these change with the shifting perspective of how we look at them; and that perspective starts within us: specifically with how we see ourselves. I recognize that the world ‘exists objectively’ and is not merely an internal phenomenon. I am talking about something different here, which is what we do with our precious minds when we accept that we have the choice for how we see and conceive of ourselves and our experiences.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Here is a listing of key events between now and early summer.

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Jupiter conjunct Chiron (at 21+ Aquarius)

Wednesday, Dec. 16: Sagittarius New Moon (at 24+ Sagittarius)

Sunday, Dec. 20: Mars stations retrograde (at 19+ Leo)

Monday, Dec. 21: Sun ingresses into Capricorn (solstice)
Jupiter conjunct Neptune (at 24+ Aquarius)

Sunday, Dec. 26: Mercury stations retrograde (at 21+ Capricorn)

Thursday, Dec. 31: Partial Lunar Eclipse and Cancer Full Moon (at 10+ Cancer)

Wednesday, Jan. 13: Saturn stations retrograde (at 4+ Libra)

Friday, Jan. 15: Mercury stations direct (at 5+ Capricorn)
Solar Eclipse and New Moon (at 25+ Capricorn)

Monday, Jan. 18: Jupiter ingresses Pisces, and does not retrograde till it reaches Aries in June

Wednesday, Jan. 20
: Sun ingresses Aquarius

Wednesday, March 10: Mars stations Direct

Thursday, May 27: Uranus enters Aries

Sunday, June 6: Jupiter enters Aries

Thursday, June 10: Jupiter conjunct Uranus on the Aries Point




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 4, 2009, #795 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Dear Friend and Reader:

Astrology often seems to happen all at once, and if you’ve been wondering why this was such a strange, exciting or nerve-wracking week, we are in a pretty significant cluster.

Overnight Tuesday to Wednesday was the Full Moon in most time zones within our readership, and this event has had a significant ripple effect. The same day, Uranus stationed direct after a long retrograde.

Due to a conjunction between the Sun and a Chiron-like planet called Pholus, certain factors in your life (and indeed, in the world) may seem to be quickly running out of control. You may not be able to “get control” but you can do your best to see the situation for what it is, and create a vision for what you want, or what you need.

We are taught to worry about trivial things, and to run from the important ones. Part of what we now need to do is prioritize. We’re also taught to over-emphasize the value of fear, and to think that love is scary. If you find love scary, you might benefit from placing the emphasis in your life on trust, and letting that fill in for what you used to think of as love. Trust is partly intuitive, and it’s partly based on a track record with someone that is built over time.

In challenging moments, it’s important to remember who you trust, and go to them. But it’s more important to trust yourself; to remember who you are, and why you are on the planet, and focus on that. If you don’t think you know, trust that you’ve merely forgotten and need to remember rather than learn something new. This remembering is another way of saying have faith in yourself. This is a skill, and one that is learned over time. But the first step is often the most challenging, and the most rewarding.

Most of the pain we experience in life, we inflict on ourselves. Many current aspects suggest that we need to be careful about this. We can help ourselves by being more introspective; by spending more time with our thoughts and feelings, rather than merely reacting to them.

Something else to keep in mind when we’re in challenging times is to be conscious of how we describe our problems. Notice that there are two ways to do this. One is to state the issue in a way that it seems impossible to solve. The other is to state the problem in a way that it is possible to solve. In this, you have a choice.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Should you take that risk and go the distance? Or is discretion the better part of valor? These days, the latter expression rings true. You are being reminded to do things for their own sake, rather than for appearances or for the sense of glory. You are being reminded that the deepest risks are the ones you take with your ideas about who you are, rather than what you want to impress others with. For a Westerner, this kind of adjustment can be a shock. I dread to think how many people think someone is a ‘better person’ because they have a more expensive car. Yet these illusions are falling apart fast, and you want to be ahead of the curve. Make sure you stick to reality, in your relationship to yourself, and your relationship to everyone else.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Your emotional orientation to another person is shifting. It has been for a while, with the combined satisfaction of getting closer and some added tribulations about being vulnerable. There can be a delicate walk involved. What you may not be seeing yet is the extent to which the past plays a role in the situation. During childhood, you had a powerful need to be the center of attention, and you were often rewarded this way. As an adult, it’s difficult to find people who need us in a way parallel to the way our parents focused on us; and difficult to find anyone who loves us with the intensity with which we loved and needed them. This is the point: it’s time to liberate your current relationships of parental drama, and relate in realtime, adult to adult.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Mercury is about to change signs into Capricorn, and this says it’s time to go over your banking-related issues. Take some time this weekend and look at your credit card statements. Check your current interest rates. Make sure that everything that is on your statement belongs there. Make decisions about joint finances that focus on what is actually important, and on decisions that make things simpler. The key is mental focus, and dealing with the corporate authorities in your life on terms they understand. If you are in a situation where something seems unfair, or where you feel victimized, take steps to get out of that position. One of those steps involves knowing your rights. If you are doing this in concert with a partner, make sure you both agree on the strategy before proceeding — but time is of the essence.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Remember: the past is over. Your past is over, and the generations of people who came through the planet before you have done their bit. Yet in a curious and often disturbing way, we tend to drag around their history. And at the same time, we live our own lives like it was the past and not the present. We spend so much time obsessing over the past, you would think that our lives are speeding in that direction, and more often than not, that is what happens. To this end, you can make a project of determining what used to be important to you, what is important to you now, and what you’re growing towards. If this is working, you will be asking yourself why you previously considered certain things so important. Some still are; some are not.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Most people are so busy this time of year there is no time to live from the center of their being. If you are caught on the treadmill and don’t feel you have time to really be yourself and explore your favorite things in life, you’re missing out on what for you is one of the richest phases of astrology for many months. We tend to think we lack time; much of what we really lack is awareness and availability. Paying attention is so cheap, it actually doesn’t cost anything, which will appeal to your thrifty nature. But these days it has a high return value, and you’re likely to get results fast. Problems are better solved by ideas than by labor. Erotic exploration is more natural when we’re spontaneous and responsive. Creativity is like a cat. If we feed her, she keeps coming back.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Your psyche is calling on you to be honest with yourself about something, and it probably would fall under the general heading ‘sex’. You may be feeling this as guilt, or as pressure to say something to someone; in either case you will feel a lot better if you articulate your feelings, needs and desires to yourself. What you need is a state of mind that allows total self-admission, which you could rephrase as letting yourself in. Then rather than judging your desires, you need to create experiences. This may take some planning, and some negotiation with what the best way to approach the question is — but the idea is to work with your desire while you’re being real with yourself. This has come up quite a few times before, and what you need is to go underneath the surface chatter and into a place where you can untangle — and enjoy — your deeper sense of self.

Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
You have had your insecure moments the past year, many of them surrounding your home life. Yet you may not have been able to focus on what is bothering you, or why it matters so much. I would propose that you’re attempting to process a fear that belongs to one of your parents, or perhaps your grandparents. I’m surprised this issue is not talked about more, you know, on Oprah or on Dr. Phil. We treat everything like it was our original, brand-new problem that showed up last week, but then there is a general taboo on honestly addressing what our parents and grandparents did to us. The history in this situation involves declaring that ‘you can’t trust anyone’. Most of us are told that, but it actually looks like someone in your family believed it, and this is making your life unnecessarily complicated now.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
The progress you make on articulating your professional goals during the next six months can establish a foundation that lasts you a decade. For this to work, you need to do something unusual for a human, which is to determine with absolute authenticity what role in the world works for you and what does not. You will learn a lot from a review of the past 10 years, including a thorough revision and assessment of your work history. Each line on your CV or resume needs to be assessed for what you learned in that position, what you liked and disliked, and whether you thought you were actually effective. The other part of the process involves embarking on an experiment: trying something absolutely new for at least a couple of months, with no expectation of success.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
Often we hold back on being real because once you start, where does it end? Well, it may not; it could become a way of life. Another concern: in choosing authenticity, there can be that uncomfortable recognition that one was not so real in the past. Now something is seducing you to bring your deepest self to the forefront of your existence. That something might range from it feels good to you’re curious to see what might happen. Something will indeed happen; your choices will influence your environment, touch the people around you and most of all, affect your perception of yourself. You may discover something profoundly important to you that you had not noticed in the past. Yet it’s only fair of me to remind you that once you move forward, there is no turning back.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
You may suddenly be in a tight spot. Or you’re being reminded of what’s been true for quite a while, and of your commitment to change that has bubbled to the surface of your mind again and again. You might say that awareness is very nearly everything. How you orient your mind will determine how you think of the different situations in your life. If you look at the situation one way, it looks like one thing, and you have a notion of how to resolve it. Look from another angle and you have a different concept of the issue and a different concept of how to resolve it. Yet how can they have so little in common? Clue: the two perspectives have more in common than you think, but you have to look just the right way.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Personal change is often a miracle. It’s the everyday kind of miracle that we look back on and realize it’s happened, but didn’t notice at the time. By the grace of astrology, I can tell you that you are in just such a moment. Indeed, an extended moment, but which reaches a peak over the next four weeks. As part of this, you may need to suspend or at least significantly reduce the emphasis on some of your ‘normal’ interactions with others: elements of partnership, sexual exchanges, even seemingly ordinary things like going to the gym. Play with your autonomy, in every sense of that concept. This is a word that means naming yourself. This is not just about the word you answer to when called; it is about defining your existence consciously, following a trend you have been working with for a while.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Keep your eyes and your soul on the invisible. I know the energy has been popping in every direction, but you have rather incredible focusing power right now due to the conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune — that conjunction is now back to full strength, and this lasts all month. For you this conjunction represents a natural evolution of learning, growth and developments which have been difficult to see in action, but which will become quite obvious once Jupiter soon arrives in your birth sign for the first time in 12 years. Until then, certain things will be less obvious, but don’t let that stop you from paying close attention. The world may yet again seem to be spinning off its axis, but at the moment your charts contain nothing but potential: that would be you.

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