Winter 2010-2011

This Winter can see some extreme swings between wild euphoria and anxious despair. So what else is new?, one might ask. Although there is an old saying that states: ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’; this Winter could prove the lie to this statement.

Change is in the air and the changes are not minor shifts but rather dramatic transitions during a significant transformational phase. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift and with it come various endings, eliminations and releases that carry within them the seeds of the future that can grow into the new sprouts, the new format, and the new ways of the future.

The Winter begins on the 21st of December with the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the birthing of the light which grows to its maximum daylight at the time of the Summer Solstice in late June. The Winter Solstice has the Sun moving into the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn and follows fast on the heels of a total Lunar Eclipse on the same day. Situations far distant could seem to have an impact on our individual lives.

Whatever is occurring on the collective level, the grand scale of the world at large, its influence could either be like a tsunami threatening to slam onshore and wash away many of the existing structures or like a pebble in a pond with its ripple effects gently spreading out subtly impacting life as we know it. Either way, we may sense that things going on in the world affairs are having an effect on our lives. The questions are how we choose to view any such situations and then how best to work with them so that we can successfully navigate the currents and move towards our long-range goals.

Winter begins with one planet in a Fire Sign, three planets in an Earth Sign, two planets in Air Signs and four planets in Water Signs. Five planets are in Cardinal Signs, two planets are in Fixed Signs and three planets are in Mutable Signs. Three planets are in Positive Signs, and seven planets are in Receptive Signs.

Winter starts with a Stellium of three or more planets in the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn with the Sun, Mars and Pluto transiting. There is a T-Square by Sign in the Cardinal Signs with the three planets in Capricorn opposed the Moon in Cancer and both square Saturn in Libra. There is a Grand Trine by Sign in the Water Element with the Moon in Cancer, Venus in Scorpio and Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces. Mercury continues its retrograde cycle.

Winter is a natural time when we turn inward, when we take an introspective look and consider whether the fundamentals of our lives are truly working and how we can best structure and format our lives so that we can withstand any waves or impacts that could shake us to the core. As this is a time when we look at the structure of our lives, it is also a time in which we might be more aware of aches and pains in our skeletal structure, in our back and in our joints. Focusing on our health regimen, with a concentration on being malleable and flexible, would allow us to create the necessary rhythm to be adaptable to changing circumstance. As the Taoists would remind us: ‘Bend like a reed, or break like an oak’.

The early part of the Winter brings closure to the year 2010. We might choose to tie up loose ends of this year, complete various outstanding matters and consider how we can best accomplish matters that we would prefer not to bring into the new year of 2011.

With such a great deal of Capricorn to begin the Winter period, we might also experience abnormally cold temperatures. Records may be set and we might find that weather conditions are adversely impacting our movement with possible flight delays, traffic problems and travel inconveniences along the way.

We may feel as though we are between a rock and a hard place early in the Winter season, wanting to move ahead but feeling blocked and hampered by the conditions around us.

Let’s keep in mind that the times they are a’changing. Not only are the formats of society shifting and changing, but much of our sense of selves is also going through some deep and dramatic internal shifts. Before we end the year, we might feel that we have to contemplate who we are, what activities truly speak to us and how we want to live our lives with greater integrity and resonance to our fundamental sense of self.

The transiting Sun conjuncts Pluto on the 26th. This could be a time when an important person exits, or people exit, the stage. This is also a time when we might reflect on whether we are following our true path. If we have taken divergent steps and been distracted in our journey, we may feel sharp discontent. Let’s avoid any eruptions or explosions triggered by our frustrations to the restrictions in our lives. We can look at our lives and see how we can best restructure our lives during the year ahead. ‘Out with the old, in with the new’ may be our mantram as we come towards the end of the year.

On December 28th, Mars squares Saturn. The sense of blockages and limitations could be strong at this time. We might feel that other people are limiting our advances and blocking our progress. Relationships could be a little tense at this time and there could be a feeling that no one is on the same page. We have to be careful that we don’t force issues or push the envelope at this time. We might also hear of governmental regulations proposed that could impose further constraints but possibly justified by the promise of increased security.

The 30th has Mercury turning direct, ending its three-week retrograde cycle. Although our thoughts can be clearer, we also have to be wary that we are not considering possibilities that are only pragmatic in our thoughts rather than in the actual implementation. We may feel expansive and exuberant, but we might not be taking into account the various parameters that can temper our intentions and dampen our desires. Whenever Mercury turns direction, traffic problems can increase, there can be more communication issues with misunderstandings and travel can be delayed by unforeseen conditions.

The New Year begins on the 1st. 2011 offers further potential for significant transformations. In numerology, 2011 represents a year of transformation as 2011 breaks down into 13, the number of transformation that offers the potential of the realized individual. If we bring the 13 down to its lowest common denominator, then the magical transformative number comes down to a 4, a work number where we have blinders on, put one foot in front of the other, and are more focused on the micro rather than the macro. In the 21st Century, and the 2000s, we have the opportunity of finding the complement to ourselves. We no longer have to do our lives alone and feeling somewhat incomplete. On the contrary, we can find the missing link to our individual selves, blend the different components of our being and come up with a completed whole. The 11 is a Master Number, indicative of the visionary, the individual who can see beyond the mundane reality and see the potentials of what could be. Putting all these components together, 2011 can be a powerful year whereby we transcend the narrow vision of daily, ordinary existence. We can embrace the greater perspective, cross the threshold of the paradigm shift and enter a whole new world but a world far different than that with which we are familiar.

The key to this new year is in the ‘letting go, let god’ concept of releasing our sense of control over circumstance and working with the energies to co-create a new framework and a far more engaging lifestyle for ourselves.

On January 4th, we have the first New Moon of the new year, and this Capricorn Lunation is a Solar Eclipse. The likelihood of magic and miracles cannot be underestimated but, instead of the possibilities, some people might see further eliminations of old patterns and traditional structures falling away. This Capricorn Lunation can increase the sense of cold, even restrictive measures, but it comes at a time when Venus squares Neptune, Venus trines both Uranus and Jupiter and Jupiter conjuncts Uranus. This signature of the fortnight gives greater strength and belief of the changing of the guard. While there can be enthusiasm, and even irrational exuberance, what is most important for us during this time is to take off our blinders and be open to the magic and the miracles. A major factor of the paradigm shift we are all going through is the letting go of control over situations and accepting with humility and with awe and wonder the natural unfolding, whereby we can work with the energies, be very much involved in the process but without our expectations of how things should go with us getting in the way. These times speak to the concept that ‘life is too mysterious, not to take it serious’.

The more we can embrace the process of living, the serendipities and the synchronicity of these times, the more productive, happy and healthy our lives are likely to be.

But old ways and old patterns are hard to let go. They become habits that are almost automatic and familiar ways we tend to revert to when we are in a quandary wondering how to act or how to proceed.

Such a quandary can occur around the 7th of January when the Sun squares Saturn, also the day that Venus moves into Sagittarius. We may want to jump ahead with optimism and confidence into new ventures, but if we are still carrying the old baggage and looking to re-create old patterns, we could find that we are hampering ourselves and limiting the true potential of stepping into the unknown.

This conundrum of the familiar and the expected versus the unfamiliar and suspending our anticipations can be part of the push-pulls of this early Winter period. We have to be wary of both relying on the past as a security during these times and looking to leap ahead without considering the circumstances and conditions, some of which we might not be fully aware until we are actually on the road.

And the 10th – 13th of January provide a significant challenge in regard to the idea of unanticipated variables affecting our vision and our hopes and dreams. The 10th has Mercury sextile Neptune and Mercury square Uranus. The 11th has Mercury square Jupiter, and the 12th has Mars sextile Uranus, followed by Mars sextile Jupiter on the 13th, the day that Mercury enters Capricorn to reinforce the Capricorn Stellium of the Sun, Pluto, Mars and now Mercury transiting the Cardinal Earth Sign.

During this time, we have to be careful not to be overly optimistic and assume that we are fully prepared for whatever challenges come our way. Our confidence could know no bounds. We might assume that we are on our manifest destiny, like a streamlined autobahn able to move quickly ahead. We may feel like legends in our own mind. And such beliefs would play to the tricks of the egocentric personality, the tendency towards narcissisim, whereby we feel entitled and that life revolves solely around us. If we take that disposition, then we might find ourselves like wrong way Corrigan, heading off in the wrong direction but with little regard to countervailing indications. We might force issues, forge ahead with intensity and determination but also without the necessary evaluation and re-evaluating along the way. And such a move could postpone some of the collateral damage on the short term but only mitigate issues briefly as we kick the problems further down the road. Eventually, we shall have to address our intentions, our ways of doing things and our audacity of arrogance in place of mindful humility that could keep us abreast of the subtle and dramatic shifts and changes as we move along.

If we can use early Winter through mid January as a time to tie up loose ends, restructure our lives and devise practical strategies for developing our future prospects, then we are less likely to go off on a tear and could avoid creating heaps of trouble for ourselves and all concerned. This is a time for us to consider the foundation stones of our future but all with a recognition that foundations stones may have to be shifted or replaced as we build from the basics.

The latter part of January allows us to focus on our future prospects. Like a flare shot into the air, we might have signals regarding possibilities and potentials for new involvements and activities that allow us greater autonomy and fuller creative self-expression.

These times are interesting times, akin to the Chinese proverb, some would call a curse: ‘May you live in interesting times’.

There is a paradox of opposing forces during these times. On the one hand, we have greater consolidation by the powers-that-be. Whether seen in corporate entities or government institutions, there is a contractive, restrictive and consolidating phase going on. The big are getting bigger. On the other hand, these times speak to the power of the person. The illusion of the 1960’s and 1970’s, when the phrase ‘power to the people’ assumed institutional power being handed over to the people, has been shattered. Even under the guise of ‘hope and change’, people have come to realize the truth to the old saying: ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’

The beauty of these tumultuous times lies in the realization that the dynamics and technological advances of these times give greater force to the concept ‘power to the person’.

As individuals we have the tools by which to more fully express our creative talents. We have also come to a recognition that the powers-that-be, no matter their slogans or their sleight-of-hand maneuvers, are more interested in the old paradigm of power, control and authority. As individuals we may need to fall back upon our own resources, our own talents and our own creative abilities. But we have been given the tools and given the awareness by which to be not only self-sustaining and surviving the tumult, but more importantly to thrive and to come fully into our own and to develop our own individual journey.

Power to the Person!

This sense can be accentuated during the latter part of January on into February of 2011. New ways, some of which come about in the most unexpected manner, seem to open us up ever more to the opportunities of these times. And we are ready.

On the 15th of January, Mars moves into Aquarius. We are giving greater determination to our desire for autonomy and self-animation. This desire for greater individual freedom gains traction through this next week as the Sun sextiles Uranus on the 17th, Mercury conjuncts Pluto on the 18th, the Sun sextiles Jupiter on the 19th at the time of the Cancer Full Moon and the Sun moves into Aquarius on the 20th, thereby ending the Stellium of three or more planets in Capricorn and creating a Stellium of three or more planets in Aquarius as the Sun joins Mars and Neptune in the Fixed Air Sign.

We may seek out the new, the different, the iconoclastic; all in the exploration of self-discovery and greater autonomy.

Another significant shift occurs on the 22nd of January as Jupiter enters Aries, emphasizing the self-assertiveness or self-affirmation of each one of us. Jupiter briefly went into Aries over this past Summer and each of us might have felt a certain lifting, a certain re-invigoration and a sense that we, as individuals, can move in our own direction, emphasize our own self-determination, no matter the constraints or constrictions imposed upon the populace by the consolidating forces of the old ways and traditional institutions.

On the 25th of January, Saturn turns retrograde. Things slow down and moving things forward may take longer than we like. But similar to Winter in the northern climes, there can be much percolating below the surface, the sense of new life welling up, growing in strength and in determination.

Mercury squares Saturn on the 26th, and while this could be slightly depressive to our thoughts and to our plans, we might realize that some of the issues of our past we thought resolved still need to be attended. We may question whether the people in our lives are supportive of our new interests and our new sense of being or if they are holding us back by clinging to their definitions based upon past experiences and their desires for us to be responsive to their needs rather than our own new sense of self-affirmation.

As we come into February, we may feel as though the restrictions of the past are having less influence on our movement and our push into new terrain. The Aquarius New Moon on the 2nd of February reinforces the sense of breaking out from old patterns, focusing on our own uniqueness and accentuating our individuality. On the 2nd, Venus sextiles Neptune and Venus squares Uranus while Mercury sextiles Uranus. Increasingly, we may become aware that we don’t have to make things happen, that we don’t have to do it all but that instead the universe offers us some wondrous surprises. We do have to be discerning regarding some of the surprises since even the most tempting of surprises might be more of a challenge than an opportunity. Again, we are being asked to be aware, mindful and discerning regarding where we place our energies and with whom we engage.

Mercury moves into Aquarius on the 3rd, followed by Venus exiting Sagittarius to enter Capricorn on the 4th. Not only do we have Sign shifts of the planetary energies to begin February. The energy is turned up severalfold, beginning with the New Moon on the 2nd and augmented by the Sun conjunct Mars on the 4th, Mercury sextile Jupiter on the 5th, and on the 6th the Sun trine Saturn, Mars trine Saturn and Venus square Jupiter.

Our determination to develop new interests can be ratcheted up severalfold. If we will keep in mind the idea of testing the waters rather than making long-term commitments to new activities, then we shall have the opportunity of drawing upon a broader palette and consider what things might be momentary enjoyments or those interests that lead to further and more involved projects a little later on. We may feel energized, feeling as if a new day were dawning and can sense the wind to our back as we move rapidly ahead, all the while realizing that old matters could come up at any moment to slow us down or divert our attention.

Whenever we go through major changes, it seems as though past matters, whether situations or people of our past, crop up to challenge our new ways and our new directions.

On the 9th of February, Venus conjuncts Pluto. Our relationships can become a lot deeper and far more meaningful, but some relationships might be jettisoned as no longer holding much purpose for us in the present, much less the future.

Mid-February can be quite pleasant although possibly slightly delusional.

Mercury trines Saturn on Valentine’s Day on the 14th. We may look to connect with friends and loved ones, staying in touch, making them aware of our plans and reconnecting with them as if to maintain contact but without entanglement.

On the 17th, the Sun conjuncts Neptune just prior to the Leo Full Moon on the 18th, which reinforces the impact of Neptune and has Venus square Saturn.

A somewhat confusing time, especially in light of the fact that we are moving from the strong Aquarius influence into a heavy Piscean influence.

The Sun moves into Neptune-ruled Pisces on the 18th and Neptune is highlighted again on the 20th with Mercury conjunct Mars and both conjunct Neptune, before Mercury moves into Pisces on the 21st, followed by Mars moving into Pisces on the 22nd, thereby creating a Stellium of three or more planets in the Mutable Water Sign as Mars and Mercury join the Sun and Uranus in Pisces.

The sense of endings could be ever more pronounced towards the end of February and early March. Storm systems could be extreme with heavy amounts of precipitation. Anxieties might be ratcheted up as we feel the impact of karma acting out. We may become more aware of the process of consequences of earlier actions. We could feel more reactive to situations rather than the ability to take a proactive stance. We might even believe that life is happening to us and at us rather than our being co-creators of our life’s journey. Emotions can be strong with wild mood swings, especially if natural disasters grab the headlines and force us to wonder what we have done to ourselves.

On the 25th of February, the energies are quite impressive with nothing done in half measure but possibly more an ‘all or nothing at all’ attitude. The Sun conjuncts Mercury, both the Sun and Mercury sextile Pluto and Jupiter squares Pluto. This heavy Pluto influence may give indications of the transformations of these times with evident endings and eliminations. It would be wise for us to be watchful and vigilant to the indications at these times and not feel merely victims to circumstance. The more aware we can be to the signs along the way, the more successful we shall be in what may seem ever more like a scavenger hunt with clues along the way suggesting the appropriate turns and shifts in our life’s direction.

Early March does seem to roar in like a lion in Winter. Venus sextiles Uranus on the 1st and Mars sextiles Pluto on the 3rd. Chance meetings and unexpected opportunities can grease the wheels of fast forwarding our movement and the implementing of our plans. Venus goes into Aquarius on the 1st and the Pisces New Moon on the 4th finds seven of the ten planets in the two Universal Signs of Aquarius and Pisces with five planets in Pisces. Although we are moving towards the end of Winter, our compassion and our intentions are engaged. We are looking to put our imprint and mark on those situations that have a larger impact than just our individual worlds. We may feel like leaders, pioneers in a new world order, and so we can be, if we don’t lose sight of our humility.

The second week of March has greater movement into the Spring Sign of Aries. We are betwixt and between the old and the new. The 9th has Mercury conjunct Uranus, just before Mercury enters Aries on the 9th, and Uranus enters Aries on the 11th, creating a Stellium of three or more planets in the Cardinal Fire Sign as Mercury and Uranus join Jupiter in Aries. We shall be emphasizing our personal interests but have engaged the Cardinal Climax of the Aries planets opposing Saturn in Libra and both the Aries planets and Saturn squaring Pluto in Capricorn. This engagement, entanglement and dramatic impulsion will gain greater force as we enter the Spring.

This Winter is a time to tie up loose ends, see our intentions with the backdrop of world changes, test the waters of new interests, all the while riding the rogue waves of unexpected circumstances and adamant in doing our individual life journey, no matter the conditions, no matter the attempted restraints.

Winter 2010-2011… a time to plan, to test and to devise…