‘Tis not quite a jolly season, so don’t be surprised if celebrating seems slightly out of sync with the zeitgeist—festivities could feel forced or even manic in their need to be joyous, and the mistletoe is certain to be missing from office merriment. One of the things we’ve learned this last year is that madness does indeed take its toll, and for the next several weeks, as the intensity of an already too intense year intensifies, the regular routines of daily life reflect the stress of a year’s worth of chaos, individual and collective. Lots of our fellow travelers simply need relief—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—as they continue to deal with the consequences of fire and flood, unimagined loss and disappointment and other forms of tangible suffering. And those safe from physical harm need relief from the psychic uncertainty of whether the world will ever be sane again. Of course, it will. It’s just not clear when. The best way to navigate the current travails—yours or others’—is to set your internal compass to the highest conscious ground you can. The Earth is in a cathartic process and one of the ways to not get swallowed is to hold fast to the knowledge that before this process settles down, there are certain to be many more moments of reckoning.
Here’s the skinny for the week:
Mercury continues its retrograde motion for another ten days, which translates into continuing traffic snarls and traveling snafus—it’s always good to expect delays and detours during a retrograde because if they happen you are prepared, and if not, you’re still good to go. Also anticipate increased techno interference and interruptions with all your devices, old and new. Patience is always the key to handling retrograde trials and tribulations. The good news is that lots of people are aware of Mercury Retrograde, and that knowledge translates into increased tolerance when files go missing, voicemail keeps repeating, or that blast from the past email or text shows up in your inbox.
Saturn is seven days away from its entry into Capricorn, its Home Sign. Pay attention. The next week is an intense distillation process. Saturn is concentrating its force on the essence of its journey through Sagittarius, the Sign where we search for truth and meaning—a journey that’s been going on since September 2015, and a journey that won’t happen again until 2044. Saturn’s focus on belief systems has been a contributor to the current prevailing chaos. So much has happened in these last two years that have challenged the belief systems of so many. And not just in the United States, but all around the world. Brexit, anyone? Or Myanmar? Syria? Spain?
We’re also under the influence of an ongoing Jupiter/Neptune trine, which on the surface appears as a positive configuration—and you will read much about its spiritual attributes. This trine heightens the urge to merge and sends psychic sensitivities off the charts. But increased sensitivity is only one of the possible manifestations. Yes, this trine encourages experiences of spiritual unity—something most of us would welcome, especially during the holidays. But because Jupiter symbolizes excess, and because Neptune represents all sorts of mood-altering substances, and because seasonal festivities encourage larger than normal appetites for drugs and alcohol, this trine could also provoke an over-the-top attitude that’s willing to risk everything because you only live once. If you or your family or loved ones suffer from addiction, this Jupiter/Neptune trine could amplify anxiety and increase the desire to self-medicate. (And just as an aside, you don’t have to be an addict to be susceptible to the need to self-medicate. Handling the current intensity may require fortification.)
On December 9, Mars enters Scorpio, its Home Sign, a position that is sure to ramp up sexual desire, but also a desire for power—and some of us will be hard put to know the difference. It joins the Jupiter/Neptune trine just as Mercury Direct begins. Be aware, Mars has the power to turn the abstract into reality, which could make some of those appetites impossible to quell.
We’re seven days away from the winter solstice on December 21 at 5:27 GMT. In the northern hemisphere, the days are darkest just before the Sun’s “standstill”, which signals the return of the light. These darkest days are always best spent in quiet contemplation—stillness is the key, stillness that allows us to listen to both the head and the heart. Winter is the season when the life force of the Earth goes deep down into the roots of things, gathering strength and fortifying itself for the vernal equinox, when spring expresses life’s irrepressible resilience.
All the ancient winter festivals are festivals of light. The solstice marks the end of the darkening days and the return of the light, and we might do well to consciously attune to that cycle. For although many feel caught in dark days that feel as if they will never end, the light will eventually return. Use the current moment to go within, right down to the roots of things, and gather your strength and resilience in preparation for what lies ahead. And while you’re at it, contemplate the power of kindness and how it helps us grow. Kindness will eventually lighten the days, and we need to be ready for that turning point when it occurs.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Don’t be surprised if you’re wrestling with doubts of all kinds, even those you thought were well behind you. Certain cycles are like that, and every time we move forward on the Wheel of Life, we pass the same cardinal points on our personal compass—the red threads of important karmic themes that need attention. So rather than be afraid to ask questions, be willing to admit that there’s always something more to learn.
Taurus April 20-May 20
It’s a choice: Succumb to negative thinking and let anxious thoughts disturb your peace of mind, or align with a positive attitude that will help you assess what still needs tweaking. Sounds like a no-brainer, but choosing to be open to growth requires refining how you take care of yourself. I’m not suggesting selfishness as a solution. I’m suggesting that you nurture the facets of your life where care is most needed.
Gemini May 21-June 21
You’ve been trying to figure out how to structure your relationships—which are the most important personal partnerships—spouses, children and friends. And you’re also trying to prioritize professional alliances—partners, clients and co-workers. Rather than concentrating on where you’ve failed others or others have been disappointing, focus on heartfelt connections with fellow travelers who share a similar sensibility and then allow those relationships to flourish.
Cancer June 22-July 22
I know you can already feel a big shift in the air, but before you move into the next phase, take a moment to marshal your forces—especially your sensitivities to others. The next cycle is all about partnerships, and while that may stimulate your idealism about connecting with others, your first and primary relationship is with yourself. Focus first on what you need to feel whole and centered from the inside out, and that self-knowledge will make relating to others much easier.
Leo July 23-August 22
You’re facing two challenges: (1) Being aware of just how much you’ve learned about your personal creative process during the last two years. (2) Recognizing that despite any external conflict, there’s a real potential for feeling at home with yourself. As you continue to face these challenges, release the need to blame yourself or others for your current circumstances. Take responsibility for where you are in life and you’ll be prepared for what happens next.
Virgo August 23-September 22
There’s still more to say and it’s important for you to speak from the heart, especially with significant others, personal and professional. This is not about airing dirty laundry or taking someone’s inventory. The focus is on heartfelt communication that’s motivated by a sincere desire to shift the way everyone’s needs are met—not just your own. Stay focused and clear on what you most want to share and your intention will be met with mutual respect.
Libra September 23-October 22
Continue to be conscientious in all your interactions and choose your words with care, not because you need to be cautious but because everyone will benefit if you are precise about what you feel and why. Yes, there are issues that still need to be resolved, but some of the other people involved may still need time to process their changes. Rather than push, simply allow. Hold fast to the possibility of healing and those you love will eventually respond in kind.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
I know you are trying to figure out quite a few situations, some of which are sticky and stuck in old reactive patterns, and you can’t seem to find a new view. If I were you, I would surrender the old ways of thinking about these areas by turning them upside down—at least while you contemplate what do to. I’m not necessarily advising radical action. I’m simply suggesting that the best way through the stagnation might be a radical release of previous assumptions.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Your attempts at alchemy are working, but what’s needed now is a clearer vision of what you want to create next. Some of this requires being specific about the people you want to draw in, so don’t hesitate to be precise about who you want to work with. It’s also important to have a strong intention about what it is you’re building. While it’s necessary to allow the universe to respond to your vision, it’s also essential to know what you want.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
It would be wise to be the Fool—and if you aren’t familiar with this symbol, you might want to research the Tarot, where you’re sure to find many images of this powerful archetype. The Fool embodies the energy of innocence and trust, but there is nothing foolish nor foolhardy about this approach. Its actions are based on the confidence that at all times we are supported by spirit—and that confidence will be a valuable asset moving forward.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
You’re about to enter a phase of deep contemplation, so it would be completely appropriate if you’re feeling the need to hermitize and withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the external world. Of course, you also like to celebrate, so that could create a little conflict, especially this time of year. But really, it’s an obvious choice: Honor the need for quiet. You have decisions to make and a quiet mind will help you hear your intuition clearly.
Pisces February 19-March 20
You might feel as if the world is your oyster—and it is in some areas because you are extremely charismatic at this moment in time and people are drawn to your light. Make the most of this attracting energy, but be clear about what you want to accomplish. Yes, the attention feels good, but attention for its own sake has elusive benefits. Attention that’s channeled into specific plans and projects will ultimately yield positive results.
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