Part of astrology's power and perhaps the reason it seems to survive the tides of cultural change is its ability to contextualize life events. Astrology delineates cycles and that can be a comfort, especially if we are in a bad patch and desperately in need of reassurance that patch will not last forever. But more importantly, astrology speaks to the soulâ€”it tells the personal story as part of a much larger universal story, and that expanded vision has the power to both soothe and inspire. Telling an individual story through a larger archetypal or mythological framework offers the possibility of connection, direction, and purpose.
"Confusion" is the keyword for the week. So don't be too hard on yourself if you're feeling like the Mad Hatter. There is so much contradictory astral activity that even the best multitasking efforts are likely to resemble a smattering and scattering of energy, intentions, goals, and objectives. Last Friday, Mercury went direct, freeing us from its retrograde snafus. But before any of us had a chance to calculate and apply personal course corrections, we were immediately immersed in the doldrums of Mars Retrograde, on March 1, a condition that only worsened when Saturn went retrograde on March 2. Yet these are not the only start-stop contributors to the disorder, disarray, and disruption of daily life.
Odd, polarized rhythms turn the pulse of daily life erratic, and the world wobbles from the stress of extremes. One minute the routines of daily life slow to a crawl, and the next, a rapid, staccato pace jars nervous systems into hyper activity. The lack of a consistent identifiable backbeat makes confusion probable, especially when certain situations, which don't appear to be significant, surge forward, and others, which actually seem to matter, fall apart. This flux is part of a powerful astral turbulence generated by a collision between Mercury Direct on Friday, February 28 and Mars Retrograde on Saturday, March 1. This clash is likely to override all efforts to move almost anything anywhere with ease. Pay attention: The best way through the psychic debris is to wait until at least March 4 before setting anything new in motion.
We're in the final stretch of the first Mercury Retrograde of 2014â€”it ends on February 28. But, unfortunately, relief isn't really in sight. While there is only one more week of communication and travel delays, detours, and disasters, routines aren't going to revert to "regular" any time soon. We're only in the third lap of a five-retrograde relay that defines the first six months of 2014.
Weâ€™re stuck in the staccato rhythm of Mercury Retrograde for the next couple of weeks, and as daily life unfolds to this stop-start-stop-and-start again pattern, nervous systems struggle to maintain a steady grip. Life is unsettledâ€”something we donâ€™t need the stars to tell usâ€”and in the sharp and often confusing pulse of this retrograde, moods are sure to turn edgy, irritable, and intolerant, making it difficult to whistle while you work.
From time to time I write a long letter at the beginning of the year that attempts to set the tone for the months that lie ahead. This year, that letter is longâ€”very, very long. And part of the reason for its length is that I am taking off the month of January. Iâ€™ll see you back here on February 5, 2014.
I want to thank you all for your support this past year. Your kind words about the column are deeply appreciatedâ€”and I am still answering the many emails you sent sharing your feelings. I am deeply grateful that my words are so well received.
Deep currents of emotional intensity drive these final days of an already too intense year. You, someone you love, a person you just met, or strangers on the train, bus, or plane are certain to have moments when the littlest thing suddenly turns into a gigantic brouhaha, replete with finger-pointing blame, bruised egos, and vows never to love and/or trust again. Even those with barnacle encrusted emotional bodies, whose hearts are under lock and key are bound to have strong responses to something they would normally be oblivious to.
The stars and planets are as busy as Santa's elves this week, and the hustle and bustle of daily life here on Earth mirrors the hubbub in the sky. For those that thrive on being busy, rejoice! Your moment is now, as schedules, appointments, meetings, and deadlines drive intensityâ€”just be prepared for plenty of changes in plans and projects. Also be aware: A deeply emotional component underlies all the action, and on certain days, feelings effortlessly override reason and/or common sense, which could result in melodramasâ€”and these meltdowns aren't limited to over-stimulated or disappointed children.
It's on. It's off. It's on. It's off. Again. And so it goes for this week and next, as Uranus prepares to go direct on December 17...AND...Venus gets ready to go retrograde on December 21. (Yes, I left that bit out last week.) Expect the stop-and-start effect of this forward/backward planetary pattern to disrupt individual as well as collective equilibriums. And because Mars, currently in Libra, also begins its opposition to Uranus this week, anticipate that more than a few of those disruptions will be in the realm of personal relationships.
"Fasten your seatbelts" just isn't a strong enough warning for the volatility of the next several weeksâ€”"Strap in" might be a better choice. But even if you batten down the hatches, it's not certain the hatches will hold. I don't want to scare you, but 'tis not the season to be jolly, and holding on to a festive attitude will take a mighty effort, especially when it comes to kindness toward your fellow travelers. The planets align in a series of difficult patterns, and those alignments set a strident tone for the end of this year as well as the start of 2014.
Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving, and as I reflected on what to write for the week, I remembered a previous column that said best what still seems relevant about this holiday. A day set aside for gratitude is not unique to the United States of America. A festival or ritual designed to give thanks for the harvest of the year is universal, a fundamental element of the human experience. Despite our political and religious differences, the United Peoples of Planet Earth share the same concerns, hopes, and dreams.
It's an industrial strength astral week, and as a strong "get it done" planetary signature energizes the atmosphere, you're likely to feel an equally strong desire to move mountains. Have at itâ€”there's enough of whatever it is that's neededâ€”physical, mental, emotional and spiritual staminaâ€”to work as hard as necessary to actualize ambitions, whether they are career goals or celebration preparations. For those not inclined toward external enterprise, the same powerful potential can be put to good use reflecting on what's felt like an extremely long year.
The planets align in positive patterns this week, and as they do, a thousand threads of intention, motivation, and consequence have a chance to find beneficial expression. I can feel that smile from here, because, yes, this is good news, so good, you probably won't even notice the emotional tumult that also ripples across personal and political interactions. Daily routines seem regular for the first time in a while, and that mundane, yet much-welcomed stability, has the potential to boost an optimistic outlook. Of course there are still areas of desperate struggle, individual and collective, that require conscious effort to remedy.
We're in the wake of several powerful astral waves this week. And as your small, medium, or large craft of regular routines hits the hard waters of these shifts, you could find yourself wishing to stay suspended in midair, rather than deal with the uncertainty of where you are and/or how to land safely after you get your bearings. For some of us, the solar eclipse of November 3 revealed a mother lode of previously hidden and difficult to digest information. Even if you suspected "all along" that something was "wrong," being confronted with a harsh or unsavory secret reality can shock the soul and rattle its foundationâ€”and recovering solid psychic ground could take a long time.