Winter 2008

Energies: This Winter begins with the Winter Solstice and the Sun’s entrance into the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn on December 21st. At the time of the Winter Solstice, one planet is in a Fire Sign, five planets are in Earth Signs, three planets are in Air Signs and one planet is in a Water Sign. There are five planets in Cardinal Signs, two planets in a Fixed Sign and three planets in Mutable Signs. There are four planets in Positive Signs and six planets in Negative Signs. By Sign, there is a T-Square in the Mutable Signs. The season begins with a Stellium of three or more planets in one Sign with four planets in Capricorn with the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto in the Cardinal Earth Sign. The Sun is conjunct Pluto. Eight of the planets are in the Universal quadrant covering Sagittarius through Pisces.

This Winter is a time of significant transformation. Like the mythological bird phoenix on its funereal pyre to rise from its ashes, like Christianity’s Jesus the Christ crucified to resurrect and ascend; we as individuals, as a society and as a global community are likely to go through significant transformations. Old structures, old patterns, old ways of being may be sorely tested. Those that are found wanting and no longer functional may fall by the wayside. Those that have a fundamental core to them may be restructured, renovated and resurrected. These times tell us to ‘adapt or die’ but in the deathing we die to the old in order to be born into the new. We are moving away from the old concepts of beginning, middle and end, the sense of resolution and final terminations. We are moving towards the new reality of acceptance of process whereby things continually shift, change, morph and shapeshift with no real beginnings, middles or ends but rather the continuity of infolding and unfolding.

With this Winter beginning with such a strong emphasis on Capricorn and with Saturn ruling Capricorn, the sense of contraction, constriction and compression may seem the paramount quality of these times. We may have to go back over past situations, past circumstances and past memories in order to expiate the karma of our past and move ahead without the encumbrances of old baggage. With the Saturn influence, we have the opportunity of learning to do more with less. We are asked to build solidly, building upon rock and not upon sand, which can be readily swept away. We are forced to be accountable, to take responsibility for our actions. And each of us might feel that we are at the effect of what John Lennon referred to in one of his songs: Instant Karma.

These are serious times. The mindlessness of easy living may give way to a far more thoughtful, conservation-minded and intently focused period. If we are willing to do the work, then like the phoenix, like the Christ, we too can rise from the crucifixion or the ashes, and rise and ascend into better times.

Certainly, a sense of idealism will be strong during this period. As we see the wear and tear of past decisions and old institutions, we no longer have to be limited by the old playbook. On the contrary, we can be far more open to true options and real alternatives for ourselves, both as a society and as individuals.

Old elements will drop away. We might grieve and mourn the passing, and it would be right for us to do so. For in reflecting upon our past, we can also release its hold on us so that we can enter the dawning of a new time, ever approaching the paradigm shift when we move from sequential, linear reality of direct progression into the asequential, nonlinear reality of synchronicity, the magic and miracles of the universe unfolding, with us as the co-creators and no longer feeling the need to master our world. We are moving into a liberating phase, but in so doing much may have to be eliminated, gotten rid of and released. Scary perhaps but scary only if we lose faith in the rhythm of the universe, the divine design.

This winter allows us to gather the foundation stones of our future. Initially, we may be made aware of more fallings away. Pluto may shake us to the core, the core of our individual selves, the core of the earth systems with geophysical phenomena of earthquakes and volcanoes and with atmospheric conditions of intense storm systems and aberrant weather patterns. Pluto may wreak further economic dislocations with the excesses of the past stripped away and the indulgences once engaged now having to be paid for. Even though more crash and burn scenarios are likely to occur, like a wildfire that has scorched the landscape new growth will start to be seen and will develop.

As we move into January, we begin to feel a greater Aquarian influence. Jupiter, the planet of expansion, will enter Aquarius on the 5th of January. Over this past year, Jupiter’s expansion phase has been through Capricorn, contributing to the extreme contraction we have experienced with various bubbles bursting and the economic dislocations we have all been witness to and experienced. Although we are in a phase of rebuilding and cutting away the excesses of the past, the Jupiter in Aquarius also calls us to the future. We may find that we are more focused on our friendships, our group associations and the community of humankind. We might also experience a whole new technological revolution, as Jupiter brings expansion to the innovative and the technological. Not only can we see a great leap forward in regard to Information Technology — communications, networking, databases. We might also see serious research and development of alternatives, including alternative energy sources that include wind, solar, geothermal, wave, et al.

Jupiter will be in Aquarius from January 5th throughout the entire year and into the early part of 2010. The extreme contraction, repression and depression that many felt during this year of 2008 while Jupiter transited Capricorn may be lifted and replaced with an inquisitiveness, a curiosity and a sense of forward looking into the future instead of being hampered or tied down by the past.

While we are likely to feel a second wind during this coming Winter and a sense that our future is something we can determine without being limited by our past, it is important to remember that there is no magic wand, that things which seem so easy in the concepts of our mind take far longer in practical manifestation on the earth plane.

This Winter has two stumbling blocks with which we have to contend. The first is Saturn turning retrograde on December 31st. Saturn retrograde tends to create delays. It occurs once a year, during the Wintertime, and is reminiscent of the hibernation of Winter. More occurs internally than externally. We can make our plans, develop our strategies, but we might also find that things take longer to accomplish during a Saturn retrograde and those things initiated under a Saturn retrograde may need to be reworked once Saturn turns direct. The Saturn retrograde cycle this Winter runs from December 31st into the Spring, turning direct on May 16th.

The second stumbling block this Winter is the first of this year’s three Mercury retrograde cycles. A cycle of three weeks long, this Winter’s Mercury retrograde begins on January 11th and ends on February 1st. During this three-week period, communications can be off, travel can be delayed and the liability to computer issues is strong. It is wise to put off significant decisions or significant purchases until after Mercury has finished its retrograde cycle.

Although we have these two stumbling blocks during this Winter of Saturn retrograde and of Mercury retrograde, the Winter itself does not have a great deal of nasty energies operating. On the contrary, the three New Moons of this Winter — on December 27th, January 26th, and February 24th — all have some very pleasant energies to imprint the fortnight that follows.

We shall continue our dance with the Saturn Uranus opposition which was first exact back on November 4th, is exact again on February 5th and impacts us through this entire period and extends into July of 2010. Old and new will be the push pull of these times. We may be doing the two-step of one step forward, two steps back; two steps forward, one step back. But let’s remember that we are at one of the most significant epochs in humankind’s history — a time of threshold crossing, a major paradigm shift when we leave the old ways behind and enter a magical, mysterious journey. Whenever we make significant changes, the old ways and patterns and people of the past come forward to test us to see if we are really ready to leave the past behind and enter the uncharted waters of a totally different future.

This Winter and these forthcoming days are of that ilk, a phase when old and new pushes us, pulls us to see whether we will revert and try to hold on to the old program or if we are willing to let go and let life unfold with us no longer assuming control but rather involved, responsible and accountable for the co-creation of our journey.

Days to watch for during this Winter period will be right around the Solstice on the 21st and 22nd of December. With the strong emphasis upon Capricorn and the Sun Pluto conjunction we could see important people leaving the stage, institutions wavering and shaking, a sense of transformation akin to a Dutch steam kettle, needing some means by which to vent. Without an outlet to release the tension and frustration, there could be explosive situations whereby like a volcanic eruption things boil over and break out disrupting any semblance of balance and equanimity.

The 31st of December has Saturn turning retrograde. It is important that we allow plans to be flexible. We also need to watch our physical well-being, bump up our immune system with the recognition of possible liability towards aches and pains, colds and flu.

January 2nd has the Moon triggering the Saturn Uranus opposition. It would be wise to note the areas in our life where old issues and new alternatives come up, since these could be the areas highlighted for us through the mid part of 2010. While Saturn and Uranus often seem contrary energies, the former emphasizing the old, traditional ways and the latter focusing on revolutionary, innovative techniques; these two energies can be harnessed and like a suspension bridge can lead us from the past into the future. The key is to utilize the best practices of our experience and be receptive to situations that may have seemed impossible even just a short while ago. Blending old and new creates a natural unfolding without the paroxysms of forced elimination or the frenzy of jumping at any alternative.

The 5th of January has Jupiter exiting Capricorn and coming into Aquarius. The dawning of a new day seems to be upon us. To assume that we can only build upon the old or rework the old to be functional for the present is to loose the opportunity of exploring options and alternatives for ourselves. Focusing on our own unique talents, drawing upon a curiosity to investigate possibilities, all the while that we are appreciating and respecting the individual characteristics and quirks of other people opens up a whole new world to us. While we may still see old situations cropping up, we may no longer feel victim to circumstance. On the contrary we may recognize the differences between our past and our intended future and make our choices based upon experience and/or adventure or more appropriately the blending of the two.

The 11th of January begins the three-week Mercury retrograde cycle. Akin to Murphy’s Law whereby ‘whatever can go wrong will’, Mercury retrograde demands patience and a constant evaluation and reevaluation of our actions. With Mercury retrograding through Aquarius before sliding back into Capricorn on the 21st, we have to be careful about our future plans and make sure that anything we have initiated is flexible enough to adapt to any changing conditions that might occur. We may have outstanding matters to deal with. But certainly with Mercury in Aquarius retrograde there is likely to be problems associated with air travel, technological developments and computer issues. Mercury retrograde is a time to be certain that we have dotted our is and crossed our ts and it would be wiser to put off any significant decisions or major purchases until after Mercury turns direct on the 1st of February.

The mid to latter part of January seems pleasant, albeit under the influence of the Mercury retrograde. The 20th is the date of the inauguration of the new US Presidential Administration. As mandated by the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution, the President is inaugurated in Washington, DC at 12 Noon on January 20th. While there is great hope that the incoming Administration might be a vast improvement over the last Administration, there are some problems with the Administration Chart. We have Mercury retrograde, Saturn retrograde, the Moon is Void-of-Course and the new Administration chart presents a bucket pattern of a chart with Saturn being the handle to the bucket. While there is a Stellium of three or more planets with four planets in Aquarius with an emphasis upon hope and promise, the Saturn handle could constrict the possibilities and limit the Administration to dealing with matters that have long been percolating and demand attention. Idealism and attitude can go a long way to impelling us to deal with matters at hand but the sense of initiation and dramatic change can be muted by the circumstances already in place.

Mercury turns direct on the 1st of February. Whenever Mercury is at station, either moving from direct to retrograde or from retrograde to direct, the dysfunctional and discombobulated energies can be turned up severalfold. We need a heads-up for additional care and caution around the 11th of January and again around the 1st of February. Adding on time regarding travel times, making a check list of items to be discussed and covered in conversations, backing up computer files and prepared for Internet glitches; these are all ways that we can successfully handle the Mercury retrograde and especially around the 11th of January and the 1st of February.

Another day to watch out for is the 5th of February, the day when Saturn again exactly opposes Uranus with an added influence of Venus squaring Pluto. During this time, we may want to emphasize our own personal needs and our desire to be free and break away from restrictions. We need to be careful that we don’t leap ahead into new adventures without looking before we launch forward. We may want change, any change, but we could also be shooting ourselves in the foot if we are not careful regarding what and how we change. On the 5th, the Moon in Gemini contributes to a frenetic energy by creating a Mutable Sign T-Square and reinforcing the Saturn Uranus opposition by the Moon’s square to both of them. Whatever we do, however we express ourselves, it will be important that we maintain a sense of diplomacy and try to see things from the perspective of other people. Relationships could be strained, even to a breaking point. Any problems around this time could largely be caused by our getting caught up in the energy, thereby acting precipitously without considering possible consequences, and being too self-absorbed without taking into account other people’s opinions.

As we come into March, a problematic time could be around the 8th when Mars conjuncts Neptune and the Sun opposes Saturn. Our clarity may be minimal and we might feel forced to deal with old issues we thought had been resolved. Our energy could be low at this time and we have to be cautious regarding our health. Not only is our vitality now fairly low. We could find our immune system under increasing stress both by the vagaries of the weather systems and the confusing circumstance of the world.

All in all, this Winter is a time when we might feel a sense of relief, as though the worst is behind us. If nothing else, these recent times should make us aware that things can change on a dime, that the karmic process of reaping what one has sown is a universal truth that we cannot escape from.

This Winter allows us to consider our future plans. We can consider how best to deal with our obligations. The more we can streamline our operations, all the while that we are evaluating and re-evaluating, the better we can handle responsibilities and test the waters of new interests. This Winter is a time for us to feel a burden lifted from our shoulders. No longer do we have to feel victim to the vagaries of these volatile times with their bizarre twists and turns. We can focus on our own individual interests and pursuits, emphasizing our uniqueness and taking machete in hand to walk the uncharted pathway of our lives.

There will be times when we have to look back, times when we mourn what used to be [always far better in memory than in experience], and emotional whipsaws as we enter a new world.

Healthy skepticism is important during these times. Now is a time when there should be no rush to judgment, no blind faith in any particular program or scripture, but rather a willingness to maintain awe and wonder in the magic of living and a recognition that increasingly we are moving like the phoenix from our funereal pyre to rise from the ashes and soar ever higher. We shall not be who we were nor can life ever be the way it was. We are moving into a new epoch for humankind, a period when life is no longer mastered and the outcome largely determined by our will but instead a phase of living when synchronicity is far more evident, where those so-called miraculous happenings occur regularly and frequently.

Winter 2008… gatherings for the future…