A special note: The massacre at Las Vegas occurred after I’d finished this week’s column. I’ve been writing about this type of tragedy since Columbine and I just can’t write about the violence again—at least not today. It’s simply too much. So many people have truly eloquent words of solace to share. Jimmy Kimmel says it best for me and I am so thankful for his honesty and heart: Jimmy Kimmel on Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
I decided to prep for this week’s column by listening to music that would inspire a thoughtful attitude toward our current collective mess. Interestingly—actually, synchronistically—the Sunday New York Times had a piece on music that included a live performance of West Side Story by the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra from Venezuela conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, recorded at the BBC Proms in 2007.
There could not be a more timely piece of music to capture the pathos of the moment. Just the story itself, an allegory based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet about the devastating consequences of bigotry and hate, as well as the truth of love and its power to heal, would have been enough to inspire. But it was also completely appropriate because those very same issues and their effects, not just in Venezuela but also throughout the rest of the world, signify the potent damaging attitudes affecting all of us, especially children. It also demonstrates the efficacy of music and art to express as well as heal the wounds of the soul. The irony was not lost on me (though I was unaware of it when I began listening) that the lyrics of America still sing and sting with a particularly relevant poignancy.
The planets also play poignant melodies this week. Jupiter is in the last days of its journey through Libra—it enters Scorpio on Tuesday, October 10—and as it transits the final degrees of Libra, it distills the essence of a journey that began on September 9, 2016. Libra is the Sign of relating and relationship. Jupiter signifies, among other things, the search for truth. And certainly, this last year we’ve all been searching for the truth—indeed, never has truth felt so imperiled. As part of that search, we’ve also been exploring—the relationship between fact and fiction as well as the relationship between opinion and reality. Truth in the Trump years is a universe all its own, and as it continues to parallel our own universe, we’re continually confronted with the need to refine and master our capacity for clear discernment.
When Jupiter entered Libra last year, I wrote that its transit through Libra, the Sign symbolized by the scales, would make balance an ongoing theme, and as part of that process we would be exploring extremes, from an individual perspective as well as a collective one. For the next six days, as Jupiter distills the essence of that year-long exploration, it might be valuable to contemplate what and where your life has shifted from one side of the scale to the other, and if during that process you’ve found a new sense of balance. But a word of caution: During this review, try not to think that Jupiter caused the shifts occur. The planets are not causal; they are archetypal indicators of universal rhythms and cycles, and it’s how we respond to those cycles that determines what occurs. It may be that as planets move through the Signs we become more aware of their qualities and characteristics—and their presence becomes more palpable, making it easy to ascribe agency. But to do so would be to miss the point. Something far greater than the planets informs all things great and small.
That being said, it’s quite easy to see a year’s worth of extremes from a collective perspective, especially given the Jupiter/Uranus opposition that exacerbated almost every polarized position—political, racial, religious, financial—you name it. Those Libra scales swung wildly from one point of view to another, making most of us a little crazy trying to keep up with the shifts. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that Jupiter’s move into Scorpio will calm things down. Scorpio is an intensely private Sign, but it’s also the Sign of death and rebirth, and as Jupiter spends the next year searching for the truth of transformation, we are likely to see one revelation after another regarding our ability to sustain life on this planet. Yes…I can hear you wondering how could there be more revelations, but of course, this is one of life’s mysteries—there are always more. Also keep in mind that Scorpio is a Water Sign and its emotional waters run as deep as Earth’s oceans.
I’d like to be able to predict that things will settle down during the coming weeks, but I’m not sure that would be an accurate assessment of what lies ahead—too much is in motion to think that the waves of change will stop crashing against the shores of daily life. And too many of our fellow travelers need help coping with the consequences of those waves. So rather than say we are out of the water, I would say we are learning to swim in waters with stronger currents than we’ve ever imagined. Let consciousness guide your choices and when possible make it a raft in the midst of a sea of change. And as always, reach out to your fellow travelers through a consistent practice of compassion. Kindness never sinks a ship—it just makes you a more sea-worthy vessel.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
For the last year, Jupiter focused on relationships, stimulating intense interactions with significant others, sometimes dissolving superficial relationships as it simultaneously supported forging deeper, more meaningful partnerships. On either side of the scale, it’s been an exercise in finding and maintaining your balance. Take note of what has changed, but also be aware of what has endured the intensity.
Taurus April 20-May 20
It’s been a busy year of taking care—of you and your health, as well as taking care of others in a variety of ways. As this phase comes to a close, assess what you’ve learned about what it is that you need to feel taken care of. Then contemplate the work you’ve done with others and see if there’s still more to do. I’m not suggesting you haven’t done enough—I’m simply advising you assess the balance and make any necessary refinements.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Jupiter’s journey through your Solar House of creativity should have stirred a deep yearning to express yourself—something that isn’t normally a problem for you unless, of course, you’ve fallen into the bad habit of judging yourself before you even take a chance. And that might have been the case, especially with Saturn’s oppositional force in Sagittarius. Nevertheless, there’s still time to gather your courage and leap without hesitation into your creative talents.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Jupiter did present several intense challenges, especially when it came to issues of safety and security. The challenge was recognizing and then holding onto the recognition that a true sense of safety must be anchored deep within. Even though home is where the heart is, it’s important to remember that the heart dwells within, making home an internal location rather than an external one. As you reflect on Jupiter’s journey, be sure to include that awareness.
Leo July 23-August 22
It’s been a long year of learning about communication—what to say, how to say it and how to value silence as its own language. Sounds deep, I know, but you have engaged in a wide variety of conversations, dialogues, diatribes, monologues, and endless hours trying to be clear about what you want to communicate and why. Use these last days to see if this process has facilitated a maturation process—and if it hasn’t, talk to yourself about it.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Jupiter’s journey through your Solar House of value put the emphasis on money, but at a deeper level, this phase was about recognizing your ultimate value as a spirit living in the material world. Contemplate what you’ve learned about your gifts and talents and how you can use your superpowers for the greater good. You don’t have to perform superhuman feats; this is about acknowledging your personal power and making the most of it.
Libra September 23-October 22
As you already know too well, the secret to life is relating, and because you know that, Jupiter presented the challenge of improving all your interactions with significant (as well as insignificant) others. Knowing the value of relationship is a rare and precious gift that requires not just your appreciation and awareness but also a commitment to finding and maintaining your equilibrium in the midst of emotional storms—keep going…you’re doing fine.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Jupiter is ending a year-long deeply internal journey and before it moves into your Sign and puts you front and center in nearly all the situations in your life, you would do well to contemplate what you’ve learned during this past year about the depth and breadth of your mind. Yes…that is a tall order but your innate gift of introspection can handle the task, if only because you already know you’ll need that information to handle the next phase skillfully.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
You’re oddly sentimental about Jupiter’s transit through your Solar House of community and you may not know why. On some levels, it’s been a disturbing phase—certainly the world has changed more than you could have imagined. And at another level, you may be frustrated that you aren’t making as much of a difference in that changing world as you would like. Do not despair—this process isn’t over; you’re still digesting and metabolizing your choices.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
The flux of Jupiter’s journey through Libra created career challenges, and the ups and downs were often difficult to endure. Yet if you take a moment to reflect on those extremes, you just might find they have yielded positive results. Yes…certain situations have been uncomfortable, if not downright difficult to endure, yet even though the particulars could not be avoided, you learned that the right attitude can turn around even the worst circumstances.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Jupiter’s journey facilitated a year-long process of questioning and examining your belief systems, all with an eye toward expanding your worldview. Whew—what a journey it has been. But while you’ve had to confront lots of places inside where you were closed to alternative points of view, you still answered the call of personal growth. Use these last few days to appreciate the grace of the Goddess of growth and just how much she has helped you.
Pisces February 19-March 20
I realize this might sound odd, given that Jupiter spent a year in your Solar House of transformation, but I can’t help but feel that this journey is more about love than it is about letting go. Unless, of course, you learned through Jupiter that letting go is an essential attribute of love—the release of any need for loved ones to be anything more than who they are. Loving someone as is—even and especially yourself—enables tremendous healing to happen.
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