This Winter begins with the Winter Solstice and the Sun’s entrance into the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn on December 21st – 22nd. Just as Winter in nature in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of going inward and life being expressed more internally than externally, this winter for us can raise various issues that ask for contemplation and focused intent. We could call this our winter of discontent. But discontent talks about a sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo, a feeling that may permeate our disposition and even our actions.
At the time of the Winter Solstice, there is one planet in a Fire Sign, four planets in Earth Signs, two planets in Air Signs and three planets in Water Signs. There are four planets in Cardinal Signs, two planets in Fixed Signs and four planets in Mutable Signs. There are three planets in Positive Signs and seven planets in Negative Signs.
While there is not much Fire to begin the Winter season, we may be more involved in the structuring and restructuring of our plans and projects rather than a passionate display of our creative expression. Our focus may be to spirit in action and practical application rather than philosophical musings about how we would want our lives to be. Now is the time for us to take a hands-on approach to deal with reality as it is and not as we would wish to perceive it to be. The veil of Maya may be stripped away and the Wizard of Oz screen punctured in order to see what is truly going on. This winter is not likely to be an easy sleigh ride, but it does allow us to see conditions as they are and deal with them in a pragmatic manner.
We start the Winter with a Stellium of three or more planets in one Sign in the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn with the Sun, Jupiter and Mercury posited there at the time of the Solstice. Pluto is less than two degrees away from leaving Sagittarius and on the cusp of Capricorn which Pluto will enter during the Winter on January 25th and will briefly transit Capricorn until the 13th of June when Pluto retrogrades back into Sagittarius until finally entering Capricorn to begin in earnest its multi-year transit of the Cardinal Earth Sign on November 26th.
The Stellium in Capricorn with which we start Winter allows us the opportunity to blueprint, strategize and structure our activities and concentrate on our personal ambitions. This Stellium opposes retrograding Mars in Cancer. Our personal ambitions may conflict with our home and family maters. Our conditioning might set up obstacles to an ‘as needed’ response. While we might all do a walk down Memory Lane, remember the ‘Good Old Days’ that are always better in remembrance than the experience; it would be wise to keep in mind the thoughts of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who indicated that things could never be the same due to continually differing space – time coordinates. Harkening back to the past for solutions for the present or the future may merely prove to be powerless cries into the darkness.
One area where this opposition between the Capricorn Stellium and the Mars in Cancer may be seen will be in the ‘solutions’ proposed for the housing crisis. Band-aids rather than true solutions may be offered as the census politicians seek an easy way out of a crisis made bad by their previous actions / inactions and the inability to take into account cycles.
This Winter also starts with a Grand Trine by Sign in the Water Element with Mars in Cancer, Venus in Scorpio and Uranus in Pisces. Our emotions may be strong, and we could find ourselves avoiding true reality by creating fantastic images for ourselves. Like magicians, people may come forward and pronounce the dawning of a new day. Such a call can fully resonate as once again we are seduced by the promises of an illusory future that take us away from the reality of the present. This tendency can be seen both on a macro level, the collective society, and on a micro level, in our personal lives. Venus trines Uranus but Venus also squares Neptune to begin the Winter season. We may be infatuated by change, the new and the unfamiliar. But in our desire for something different in our lives, we have to be careful not to be deluded or to assume that the image matches the substance. The dance of illusion can begin and we will need to guard our emotions and not get snookered by what we want to believe rather than considering all the factors, dissecting all the aspects and coming to a conclusion from a reasoned judgment. Options and alternatives may seem to be many. The grass may seem greener other than where we are. Our challenge is to be certain that our choices are made from reasoned judgment and careful consideration and not merely by what seems to be most appealing to us at the moment.
This Winter begins with a Grand Cross in the Mutable Signs with the Moon in Gemini, Saturn in Virgo, Pluto in Sagittarius and Uranus in Pisces. We could be all over the place. We do have to watch for a high level of nervous energy whereby we can trifle from one thing to another without giving serious thought as to what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. This Mutable Sign T-Square also engages a dance between old and new with the Saturn in Virgo opposed Uranus in Pisces. We may find our reliance on the past to be in sharp contrast with our desire for change. If we can blend the two, then we could use a visionary approach to bring about change in a methodical, well thought out plan of action. To get to such a blending, however, we could find ourselves like a metronome going back and forth between the old and the new. This configuration also asks us to draw our plans in pencil rather than carving them in stone. Not only might we discover that our itinerary shifts and changes as we proceed on our journey. But we might also discover that unanticipated variables arise that we could never even have imagined, much less considered, earlier in our process. Curveballs may come out of the blue demanding that we be nimble and quick and adaptable to changing conditions. This opposition is engaged for this entire coming year of 2008 and becomes exact on November 4th, election day in the US.
As we make changes in our lives, it would be wise for us to reflect and consider what we are leaving behind and also to reconfigure our plans for the future. Life is a dynamic whereby everything is continually changing, shifting and reworking itself. Back to Heraclitus.
For much of this Winter, it will be important for us to realize that situations beyond our control may alter our scheduled plans. Weather conditions can be extreme at times with intense precipitation and high winds. Our health situation may be challenged with intestinal flus and a general malaise. Any malaise will be the feeling of being unable to cope with circumstances that we don’t totally understand. The more we can be open to the vagaries of change and be willing to adapt to the changing conditions, the better able we shall be at navigating the currents of these times, working with the energies and moving towards our intended goals, all with a recognition and an appreciation that we can change course and move in a different direction at any time.
On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, Mars retrogrades out of Cancer and back into Gemini. On the 2nd of January, Mars opposes Pluto. The energy to begin the year can be quite intense. Extremes may be evident, for nothing at this time is likely to be done in half measure. On the contrary, we may find that actions taken engage an ‘all or nothing at all’ approach.
As we come into the New Year of 2008, we are entering a whole new cycle in numerology. Whereas we are moving out of 2007 which is a universal year of 9, 2008 is a universal year of 1. In 2007 we completed a nine year cycle. It would have been wise for us to have brought to completion those situations that we did not want to bring into the new nine year cycle. Coming into 2008, we enter a year of new beginnings and in deed we are likely to see new beginnings especially with the transiting Pluto changing Signs. The less baggage from the past we bring into 2008, the better. The Pluto energy is a laser-like cutting to the core, in order to transform, get to the essence and then move forward from a fundamental base. The Pluto energy is given witness in mythology by the mythical bird the Phoenix on its funereal pyre, rising from its ashes to soar ever higher. This Plutonian process is seen in Christianity with the crucifixion of Jesus followed by the resurrection and ascension. Pluto may strip us down to the bare bones, but then allows us to rise from our essence, soul and spirit, into a new life. The universal year of 1 and the Pluto transitions speak to 2008 as a dynamic year of journeying into new frontiers. During this process, there may be times when we, as individuals and/or as a collective society, might feel like a camel squeezing through the eye of a needle. The process may not always be comfortable, but let’s keep in mind that any discomfort is truly the growing pains of new birth, a new life, and living that demands we get real with ourselves and our interaction in the world.
The Capricorn New Moon on the 8th of January may offer a means of streamlining our operations in order for us to work smarter rather than harder. Innovative solutions might be presented whereby we harness technological advances and are able to expedite outstanding matters. We could also encounter people from our past or people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. The more we can think outside the box during this time, the more likely we can come up with ways to accomplish our goals and expand our interests.
Pluto moves into Capricorn on the 25th of January. From the molding of our desires for quality in our living developed over the past thirteen years, we can now put our principles into action. The primary focus of Pluto in Capricorn is the question as to whether we have built upon rock or built upon sand. We are moving into a period when things, virtually every thing, is likely to be tested as to whether it is fundamentally sound or is but a shell of its essence. Institutions are likely to be challenged to see if they serve a true purpose for the future. Even the Earth may go through shake-ups with increased frequency and magnitudes of geophysical phenomena of earthquakes and volcanoes. Yes, we may feel the earth move under our feet. All the old structures in which we have placed our faith may be up for review, open to question. In our own lives, we shall need to look at whether our goals and ambitions have true meaning for us or are merely the material aspirations of a society geared to increased consumerism. We may feel as though life is being contracted, forcing us to do more with less, all the while that those things to which we have not attended demand our attention. Infrastructures may seem increasingly shaky as we combat the consequences of our willingness to accept the adage: ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. We may find that many different things in our lives and in our society are in need of fixing. We shall get a hint of the next sixteen years during this initial and brief prelude of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn during this coming year from January 25th through June 12th. It would be wise for us to note the areas highlighted regarding the built upon sand or built upon rock concept. For these are the areas we may have to address during the longer transit of Capricorn from November 26th of 2008 into 2024.
On January 28th, we begin the first of the year’s three Mercury retrogrades. We’re all aware of Mercury retrograde and its influence. The impact can be similar to Murphy’s Law whereby ‘whatever can go wrong will’. Last Winter’s Mercury retrograde had two major incidents typical of Mercury retrograde problems with travel and communications. One was the Jet Blue passengers stuck in their plane on the tarmac at New York’s JFK Airport for ten hours. The other incident was the twenty-four hour wait of motorists stuck on the Pennsylvania Interstate highway, a situation that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell blamed on miscommunications between state agencies.
Whenever we have Mercury retrograde, and this one goes from January 28th into February 18th, it is wise to avoid making important decisions or significant commitments. Often when we act under Mercury retrograde, we leave out important details or are not fully clear about the specifics. During this time, people are likely to leave phone messages without leaving their number. Important information is not given or is misunderstood. This Mercury retrograde occurs in Aquarius and can especially impact air travel, telecommunications and computer glitches. It would be wise to back up information on our computers and to be clear and comprehensive before initiating our communications. The 2nd of February, when retrograding Mercury conjuncts Neptune, could be especially confusing and problematic.
On the 30th of January, Mars turns direct, leaves Gemini to re-enter Cancer on March 4th and opposes Pluto in Capricorn on the 7th, at the time of the Pisces New Moon. This New Moon conjuncts Uranus. With the New Moon’s influence running through the end of Winter, this period of March can see various changes, some of our making, others coming out of the blue. A sense of synchronicity can be strong, the asequential reality whereby things occur not so much of our making but by our keeping our eyes and ears wide open and taking advantage of unexpected opportunities as they arise. In deed, we may find that we’re creating a suspension bridge between the old paradigm and the new paradigm, between old patterns of ways of being and new avenues of self-exploration. Increasingly, we are moving towards the magical mystery tour of life where we no longer try to ‘master’ our universe but rather work in synch with the energies, be adaptable to unanticipated variables and be willing to change our course and direction on a moment’s notice. The key to all our actions in the future goes back to the question of whether we are going to build upon sand or upon rock. If we build upon rock, drawing upon our essence, our spirit and our soul, then no matter what the changing variables may be, we shall maintain a solidity and able to cope with the shifting sands. If we merely look at immediate gain and gratification without considering the consequences of our actions, we could find that we have built upon sand and with the shifting tides our projects and plans can be washed away.
With the Mars Pluto opposition, the energies are ratcheted up severalfold. During this time, we might experience further problems with the housing market and the collateral damage caused by actions taken back during times of easy credit.
March can be especially dynamic regarding the earth’s dynamics. Local areas could experience stalled storm systems with intense precipitation. The earth’s movement of geophysical phenomena could be ratcheted up severalfold. And the ability of institutional agencies to effectively deal with any dramatic events might be questionable at best. For ourselves, this period may force us to take an inventory of our lives. We might have to look at whether we are living our lives with purpose and meaning or if we are merely skating through our life’s journey.
With two Stelliums (three or more planets in one Sign) at the time of the Pisces New Moon one in Pisces and the other in Aquarius, our focus may turn not only to a questioning of our life’s purpose but can allow us to reflect on how we can develop and nurture the life we truly wish to live. Many of us may have a spiritual epiphany whereby we come to recognize areas that are calling to us. We may feel less at the whims of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” as Shakespeare wrote. We may feel more connected to the universal cycles and understand that our life’s journey has a purpose and an evolving pattern all in accord with divine design.
While the institutions we might once have relied upon for answers could seem shaky, vulnerable and even falling apart; we could discover that the answer lies within ourselves. Our intuitive sense and our willingness to transform can trigger those ‘Eureka’ moments of sudden revelation, insight and total understanding.
This Winter can prove an especially exciting time, a time when we reflect on our past, even take a walk down Memory Lane, but in so doing we bring closure to elements of our lives that no longer serve us or relate to us. This Winter can be a time of exploration and self-discovery regarding the path we might choose to take ahead. Despite the craziness in the world, the possible sense of contraction through ill-conceived plans of the past, through changing cycles and through dramatic events; we can choose to blueprint our future and begin the steps necessary to realize our goals. Every journey begins with a first step.
This Winter allows us to ready ourselves for the journey and to take the first step. In so doing, it is essential to keep in mind the fact that we are on the threshold of a paradigm shift, a change in epochs whereby humankind can no longer try to master the universe but rather realizes the opportunity to be co-creator with the unfolding forces of nature. The key question comes back to whether we choose to build our lives based upon our integrity and that which truly speaks to us as a dynamic individual evolving being or if we will continue to be seduced by the accepted projections of the collective consciousness and our society. Our choice. Always our choice.
Winter 2007… build upon rock or build upon sand…