Winter 2013-2014

This winter 2013-2014 emphasizes the idea of ‘out with the old.’ In so doing, eliminations may feel like the rug being pulled out from under us.

Alchemical processes of ‘letting go, letting god’ are not always comfortable. They demand trust in the natural unfolding, even when that natural unfolding feels more like bruises and scrapes than an easy blossoming and blooming.

The end of 2013 can go out with a bang — or an explosive blast. It will be essential that we restrain ourselves from impulsive reactions to whatever is going on. If we can see the intense energies at the end of December as part of a necessary process, then we can refrain from getting swept up in the intensity and wait for the dust to settle before we make our judgments, determine our next steps.

By taking a step back and drawing upon both our intuitive sense and a dispassionate observation of what seems to be occurring, we can begin to understand the deeper purpose and the mechanics of the process to the transformations that seem evident in our personal worlds and in the world at large.

The winter begins on the 21st at the time of the Winter Solstice, as the Sun exits Sagittarius and enters Capricorn. In the northern hemisphere, this day is the day of the shortest daylight. From here, the light is born and grows into full radiance at the day of longest daylight in the northern hemisphere at the Summer Solstice. Christians acknowledge a similar quality around this time with the celebration of the birth of Jesus, who would be-come the Christ, as the birth of the ‘light of the world’.

The imprint of this winter season begins with the Winter Solstice, and this winter has the imprint of a Cardinal Sign Grand Cross, a Capricorn Stellium and a Water Sign Grand Trine. We start the season with six planets in Cardinal Signs and the Grand Cross by Sign made up of the Capricorn Stellium of three planets in the Cardinal Earth Sign [the Sun, Venus and Pluto], Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Libra. The Water Grand Trine by Sign, which has gone on since this past June when Jupiter entered Cancer and continues into next July when Jupiter exits Cancer and enters Leo, has Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.

Our emotions are heightened and our moods can swing wildly between irrational exuberance and mindless despair. The key to maintain balance during these metronome swings is detachment, the ability to step away from the fury of these times and adopt a wait and see attitude. Impulsive reactions can only aggravate situations.

While a Grand Cross can be quite the ‘cross to bear’, the Cardinal Grand Cross speaks to initiations, beginnings, start-ups. The Cardinal Grand Cross takes on a far more proactive approach than a Fixed Sign Grand Cross that can be far more reactive. While we might all be champing at the bit to get on with things, due diligence in regard to what we are getting on with is essential. Otherwise, we might forcefully start situations without fully considering the implications, the consequences and the destiny of our intended actions.

The latter part of December into early January can be vexing at best. We may feel misunderstood, have a sense of what is right all the while that evidence points to the contrary.

A mystical time of year when we can go internally and find that safe place within ourselves and heed the whisperings of our inner voice, the winter solstice to the 1st of the new year could have us feeling more connected to our spiritual side even though mundane reality seems an accentuated hurly-burly of shopping, drinking and celebrating even just for the sake of traditional celebrations.

The Sun’s entrance into Capricorn on the 21st of December is followed by Mercury moving into Capricorn on the 24th. The Sun sextiles Neptune on the 24th, followed by Mercury sextile Neptune on the 26th. We can blueprint our plans for our goals and desires, and we could have a sense of our personal destiny — that our life purpose can in deed be realized, that life is good and that our living can be self-fulfilling.

Meanwhile, the world and the world around us could seem to be erupting. Things could seem quite intense, especially with the Uranus Pluto square triggered by Mars, the Sun and Mercury. On the 25th of December, Christmas Day, Mars begins the assault as Mars opposes Uranus. There could be accidents and mishaps, largely a result of impetuous actions and trying too hard without considering the conditions. A tug of war between personal interests and other people’s concerns could have us in a push pull with no perceptible winners, only losers.

On the 29th, both Mercury and the Sun square Uranus. Whether in our personal lives or in the world at large, this end of December can be replete with unexpected situations, and a liability towards significant problems with traditional institutions and conventional structures. This time could also see an upswell in protests as people increasingly question the role of government with its overweening power-tripping of privacy intrusions, snooping and tightened control over individual autonomy. It would not be surprising for the release of further documents or allegations by Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, David Icke and others of their ilk.

The 30th begins the trigger to Pluto as Mars squares Pluto on the 30th, Mercury conjuncts Pluto on the 31st and the Sun conjuncts Pluto on the 1st of January, also the day of the Capricorn New Moon.

This end of December and beginning of the New Year can prove explosive. People may be on edge, on overwhelm and liable to acting out. Even nature itself may seem volatile with intense storm systems and geophysical phenomena. And the prophets of ‘doom and gloom’ may make us more aware of the fallout from Fukushima [please see my side article in my e-letter, which if you don’t receive you can sign up for on my website:].

As with every year ending and new year beginning, and this one accentuated even more so, this end of December and early January is a time for us to bring closure to issues of the past, leave behind old baggage we would prefer not to bring into the new year, and focus on the truly meaningful and essential in our lives. As the saying goes: “A new broom sweeps clean.”

Our new year resolutions for this year of 2014 may be more heart-felt and with greater commitment on our part. Whether it is the world at large or in our own personal lives, we may realize that old ways no longer work and that new ways are called for under the changing parameters and in the paradigm shift.

The New Year of 2014 begins on the 1st of January with the Capricorn New Moon and accentuates the Cardinal Sign Grand Cross with five planets in Capricorn square Uranus in Aries, square Mars in Libra and opposed Jupiter in Cancer. This is quite a signature to imprint upon 2014 and calls to mind the Fats Waller classic lyrics:

“The joint is jumpin’
It’s really jumpin’”

This fortnight and this year seem destined for a great deal of activity, wild swings of highs and lows, with various unexpected twists and turns. Every thing seems ratcheted up during this 2014.

There can be consolidations of power, greater concentration of wealth and extremes in the polarization apparent in our society. During the first half of January, we may witness power grabs but also some significant individual[s] stepping off the world stage.

Irritations can turn into annoyances that can allow for extreme actions. As though participating in the X games, we might find that everyone is stretching the limits, pushing the envelope.

While the energy can be highly volatile, we can also use the intensity as a dynamic to engage radical changes and accelerate our own transformations. Things can turn in a nanosecond. If we avoid the pitfalls of seeking control over the circumstances and instead work with the energies as they unfold, we could accomplish a great deal during this early January period. We just have to watch for overdoing and forgetting braking action. Now and again, it will be important for us to slow things down, even jump off the track, reflect and contemplate on what is going on, consider the essence of our being and give thought to what is truly meaningful to us, before jumping back on the fast track.

We have already experienced acceleration in the process of our living. This new year seems to increase the pace. We need to be aware of the rhythm and be mindful of our dance. Some people will have great difficulty keeping up with the changes occurring in our lives. The battle of old and new may well be engaged and with it the struggle between the individual and the collective. Through the whipsaws of ordered control and anarchical self-expressions, a balance will eventually be struck.

Advances in technology will dwarf outmoded structures and systems. Life can become far more streamlined, even as the powers-that-be fall all over themselves to try and keep control over the populace. Icons will be seen with their feet of clay and the credibility of authority figures will be seen as people of the lie.

As M. Scott Peck wrote in his book People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil:

“Erich Fromm [German psychoanalyst and sociologist]… broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line.”

No matter how much the traditional power-brokers attempt to intimidate, foster dependency and control people, technological advances and evolving consciousness will set the individual free. And like pebbles in a pond, individuals freeing themselves and creatively expressing themselves will have ripple effects and eventually elevate the society as well.

Already we have seen how advances in technology have fostered creativity and provided forums for self-expression. Digital cameras, computer technology, audio files, blogging, websites and more have provided the individual the necessary tools to create and express. There have even been attempts at a new currency, a digital currency, stepping away from the fiat currencies of nation states as people chose to engage bitcoins.

The old nation state powers have weakened as emerging countries and revitalized nations have gained ascendancy. The joining of nations into collective, whether it be the United Nations, the European Union or other nation states bound together, has been seen as an advantage to some, a stark disadvantage to others.

This January of 2014 can see even more extremes occurring, the polarity increasing between the haves and the have-nots, between those who assume absolute power and those who have the tools to chip away at what Lord Acton warned back in the 19th century: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

While the early part of January can seem tsunami-like, with intense waves of energy washing over us, we do have to be wary of assumptions based upon wish fulfillment or wanting things to be a certain way. After the square of Uranus Pluto is triggered, the Capricorn transiting planets will oppose Jupiter, first Mercury on the 3rd, then the Sun on the 5th, followed by Mars square Jupiter on the 8th. We may feel as though we have dodged a bullet, that whatever the end of December and beginning of January might have brought, we have been able to meet the challenge and now can expand our activities with little interference, nothing to fear.

Even if the currents diminish and the rapids are quelled, let’s keep in mind that this fortnight between the New Moon on January 1st and the Full Moon on the 15th-16th and this year of 2014 itself is under a most intense and active signature.

The Capricorn transiting planets in early January sextile Saturn. Mercury sextiles Saturn on the 6th, and both the Sun and Venus sextile Saturn on the 11th. With the push for new beginnings at this beginning of the new year, we can advance our goals and move forward our projects utilizing a best practices approach, being resourceful and diligent in dealing with specifics and covering all the necessary details. We do need braking action to take the time to review and even rework some of our plans, decisions and actions.

Mercury exits Capricorn and enters Aquarius on the 11th of January. While much of our focus to begin the year may have been getting our footing, navigating the waves and focusing on our personal ambitions, our thoughts may increasingly turn to our friends and connections. We may give greater thought to our plans for the future. We might even accept the evidence of the paradigm shift and come to realize that we no longer have to make things happen. We need to be open to the magic and miracles of these times, those serendipitous encounters and flashes of insight that are so more commonplace now than ever before. Mercury sextiles Uranus on the 16th – 17th of January and we may receive surprising information that provides us new opportunities and offers new directions for us to explore.

The Sun exits Capricorn and enters Aquarius on the 19th with the Sun sextile Uranus on the 29th, a day before the Aquarius New Moon on the 30th of January. This New Moon accentuates our desire for autonomy, independence and freedom of movement. We are looking to explore and investigate new areas for our involvement, for we are becoming increasingly aware of a new sense of ourselves.

We may feel that life is like a smorgasbord, with a vast array of delightful plates to satisfy our palate. And in deed, life is. We do need to be wary of irrational exuberance, getting too self-absorbed and assuming that what we want we can have just by willing it so. Magic is in the air, but we must remain the stewards in our choices of how we deal with the many mini-miracles occurring in our lives.

The potential for indulgence, excess and going overboard cannot be discounted during this end of January, early February. And therein lies the rub. Too much can be just too much and could create a tipping point where our advantages turn into our greatest liabilities. At the time of the January 30th New Moon and on the 31st itself, Jupiter opposes Pluto, Mercury exits Aquarius to enter Pisces and Venus turns direct. These energies could easily seduce us into believing that our hopes and wishes, our goals and our desires are like greased wheels, rolling swiftly and easily to the realization of our dreams.

We might see, once again, the extreme volatility of these times, times of deep despair, other times of unbridled confidence. Our optimism and exuberance may know no bounds in early February. We might determine to go on a spending spree, lavishing ourselves with all the things we want and can convince ourselves we need. Like the roaring ‘20’s, we could easily engage in party after party, neglecting the signs of a liable bear trap waiting to be sprung. This period of winter would be a time when it would be wise for us to budget our resources — our time, our monies, our energy — and not get seduced by the presentations, the impressions, the images to convince us that ‘happy days are here again’.

The illusions, and delusions, of Mercury in Pisces, a Sign of its Detriment where Mercury is not at all comfortable, can be reinforced with Mercury turning retrograde on the 6th of February. Due diligence may have gone out the window in favor of wish fulfillment, but certainly our clarity of thought and attentive concentration might be clouded by our emotions, our hopes and our wishes.

On the 11th of February, the Aquarius-transiting Sun squares Saturn. Suddenly, we might feel as though the wind has been knocked out from us. Some of our intended projects may seem to hit impediments and we might question whether we have the capability to accomplish our greatest dreams. Elements of the past, like phantoms traumatizing us, could arise that demand our attention or remind us of times when we might have stubbed our toes or scraped our knees. At this time, we may experience the metronome swing, now swinging from limitless enthusiasm to discouragement and despair. We need not go to extreme, but can use any sense of being brought up short as a braking action, giving us the opportunity to reflect and reconsider what we have been doing, where we are going and whether we have overdone our recent involvements.

The 12th of February has Mercury retrograding out of Pisces and back into Aquarius. We can draw upon other people as sounding boards. The stars in our eyes that could have glimmered over the past two weeks can burn out, and instead of being blinded by the light, we might see things more clearly once more. Even if we feel that we have been knocked back two squares or more, we can think more clearly with a little help from our friends and strategize how we could move forward expeditiously in a streamlined manner and with greater mindfulness. While things nowadays can occur in the most serendipitous of ways, we still need to be aware and mindful of the energies unfolding and work in concert with them.

The Full Moon on the 14th of February could prove dicey. We may feel as though we have come up against all sorts of obstacles standing in the way of what we want to do, what we can do. Instead of going into an emotional funk, wringing our hands and bemoaning our circumstances, we can use this time to regroup, reconsider, rework and focus on how resourceful we can be. No matter what occurs around this time, we might want to keep in mind the idea that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

While there can be impediments to our forward progress, any delays and frustrations can also sharpen our determination to get things done — and done in a streamlined manner with the least expenditure of energy. Like tai chi moves, we can reflect on the energies operating, determine to work with the energies and move in accord with a best practices approach no matter what might stand in our way.

On the 18th of February, the Sun exits Aquarius to enter Pisces, the last Sign of the Zodiac before we come to the astrological New Year at the time of the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun next month exits Pisces to enter Aries. The Sun entering Pisces along with Mercury square Saturn on the 18th – 19th could find us feeling victim to the vagaries of the world. We might fall back into a far more reactive mode, buying into a belief that we can only respond to the events occurring to us rather than taking a proactive approach. We might have the sense of the metronome again, where there are times when we are gung-ho and willing to roll the boulder up the mountain, other times when we feel that the rocks are all falling down upon us. Neither mastery of our conditions nor victim to our circumstances is appropriate. On the contrary, we are being asked to find the balance, to let go of a belief in total control over our personal world and to surrender any sense of victimization. Similar to the tai chi moves, we are being asked to work with the energies, to be a co-creator and active participant with the natural unfolding, and unfoldings that are no longer sequential progressions of beginning, middle and end, but rather the asequential reality of this paradigm shift where process is continuous and develops in its own unique patterns.

On the 23rd of February, the Sun conjuncts Neptune, heightening the Piscean energy of spirituality, cosmic connection or escapism into fantasy worlds. This would be a good time for us to meditate, contemplate and touch base with our spiritual selves. Getting down by the water, listening to uplifting music, reading inspired thoughts can nurture our soul and nourish our spirit.

The 24th has Venus sextile Saturn, followed by Jupiter square Uranus on the 26th. People from our past could step forward, and whether we engage in a reconnection now or make plans for reunions in the future, we may enjoy the contacts made. We just have to be wary that we do not commit ourselves without realizing that in today’s world plans made are tentative based upon the interceding circumstances that might occur in the interim.

The 28th of February – 1st of March has the Pisces New Moon with the Sun Moon conjunction trine Jupiter and sextile Pluto. At this same time, Mercury ends its three-week retrograde cycle to turn direct and Mars turns retrograde, followed by Saturn turning retrograde on the 2nd of March. With all this shift and change going on, the imprint for the next two weeks is one when we can restructure our plans, reconsider our activities and give thought to the ending of winter and the advent of the forthcoming Spring.

Our mental energy may be a great deal stronger than our physical energy. We are likely to feel optimistic about our future but feel mightier in concept and in the abstract than in physically realizing and manifesting our dreams. With these various changes in direction going on in the heavens, we may wonder whether we are coming or going, or just spinning our wheels. It would be wise for us to keep in mind that intention, that mental seed thought, is the first step in concrete realization. Let’s take advantage of these New Moon energies to plan and strategize and devise the solid foundations upon which we can build in the days ahead.

This latter part of winter sees further changes in direction and movement. After over four months of transiting Capricorn, Venus exits the Cardinal Earth Sign to enter Aquarius on the 5th of March, followed by Jupiter ending its four-month retrograde cycle and turning direct on the 6th of March.

Although we might feel as though we are doing the Texas two-step, or taking one step forward, two steps back or two steps forward, one step back, let’s keep aware that our lives now are like creating a suspension bridge slat by slat to get from where we have been to where we wish to go, all the while having to go back into our past to dredge up outstanding matters and unresolved issues that we do not want to bring with us once we get to the other side.

While we may go back and forth between what could be and what has been, all the while wondering where we are with what is, there is movement afoot and we are in process, moving from becoming to be-ing.

The end of the winter has the Virgo Full Moon with the Sun Moon opposition connected to Saturn with the Moon sextile Saturn and the Sun trine Saturn. We can bring closure to the winter knowing that we have established the format, the structure and the foundation for where we wish to go next.

On to Spring!

Winter 2013-2014… finding harmony within the cacophony…