Winter 2014

This Winter continues with more changes to our personal lives and to the backdrop of the world at large. That old saying ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ may be seen as an archaic reminder of a different time on a different playing field.

Our recent experiences may have been that change is in the air and even when we try and hold on to the security of the past, such stability is just slip, sliding away. Change is a happening, and dramatic changes in our lives at that.

The Winter Season begins with the Winter Solstice on December 21st as the Sun exits Sagittarius to enter the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn. In the Northern Hemisphere, this day also signifies the darkest day of the year. From this point to the Summer Solstice in June, the daylight increases. As we are told in various philosophical tomes, the light is born in the darkness. And so it is in nature, and so it is for each of us. It’s the natural pattern of a natural cycle.

The imprint of this Winter Season highlights the Uranus Pluto square with which we have had to contend for the past two and a half years. Change, dramatic change, is afoot. Like a volcanic eruption, the changes in our lives and in the world can either be subtle and gradual although highly dramatic, similar to the effusive flow of a volcanic eruption such as Kilauea, or the changes can be sudden and explosive leveling all affected by its impact, reminiscent of the immediate and long-term impacts of a volcanic explosion such as Krakatoa.

Uranus turns direct twenty minutes prior to the Winter Solstice, with the Uranus Pluto square having been exact prior to the Winter Solstice on the 15th of December and exact again towards the end of the Winter Season on March 16th.

This Winter allows us to sweep away outmoded structures and outdated formats that no longer serve us. And we can do so either by our choice and conscious decision or by the universe stepping in and eliminating those areas of our lives that no longer work for us in the present, much less for our future.

The Winter Solstice chart also gives indication of the Fire Grand Trine that this Winter and Spring will be influenced by. Initially, with the Winter season beginning with the Moon in the final two degrees of Sagittarius, we shall have a Fire Grand Trine by Sign to begin Winter as the Moon in Sagittarius completes the Fire Element with Jupiter in Leo and Uranus in Aries.

This Fire Grand Trine becomes far more significant on the 23rd of December as Saturn moves into Sagittarius for its two and a half year transit through the Fire Mutable Sign [with the exception of the Summer of 2015 when Saturn retrogrades back into Scorpio before turning direct and reentering Sagittarius].

With a Fire Grand Trine putting fire into our bellies and a drive towards self-realization, this Winter is a time when we can solidify and manifest some of our greatest ambitions, express our finest talents and develop interests that allow us greater autonomy and enhanced freedom of movement.

While the Pluto Capricorn transit has increased the consolidation of power by governments and their multinational corporate brokers, the Uranus in Aries has provided the technological advances that have given the power of creative self-expression back in the hands of the individual.

Technology has allowed for revolutions in communications through the Internet and its spawned social media of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and the like. Individual authors can self publish through print on demand formats. Musicians can record and distribute their compositions on such outlets as youtube and vimeo, with some musicians like Justin Bieber achieving worldwide celebrity through their initial video postings. No longer dependent upon major record labels to record, produce and distribute their work, musicians can do so through technology and pursuing funding through an Internet site such as PledgeMusic and distribution through CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes, among other music distribution websites.

Although business ventures and creative expressions once needed major financing by the traditional means of bank loans and investors, creative productions can be done at a lower cost thanks to the technological advances with necessary financing achieved by such new financing vehicles as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, PledgeMusic and Lending Club.

Even news has become instantaneous and government revolutions ignited, all through social media and the technological tools recently developed. There is more to come.

During these times we see the conflict between Pluto and Uranus. On the one hand, we see the Pluto in Capricorn impact with the overreach attempts by the powers-that-be with the extremes of constant surveillance and the lack of individual privacy. On the other hand, the Uranus in Aries influence provides the tools and technologies by which the individual can become more empowered and able to fully expressive their creative talents with worldwide distribution.

These Uranus Pluto energies have allowed and will continue to allow us to reflect on what is truly essential to our lives — our true meaning and our life purpose in this earthly journey.

The Grand Trine in the Fire Element operating during this Winter will allow us to make more palpable some of our dreams, secure some of our new interests, and establish the key aspects of our future projects.

In the process, it would be wise for us to write our plans and our strategies in pencil with a large eraser, allowing the unanticipated variables and unexpected vagaries that are likely to occur under the influence of the shifting sands of these times.

We also start the Winter Season with a Stellium of three or more planets in Capricorn as the Sun joins Mercury, Venus and Pluto all in the Cardinal Earth Sign. We may feel that we are getting far more serious with our ambitions and our intentions.

We might choose to see what we want to bring into the new year of 2015 and what we wish to leave behind. We may be focused on our goals but also looking at concentrating on our personal best rather than besting someone else in a win – lose situation. If we could create a win-win scenario, we would recognize that we do not have to master situations as much as working with the energies and the unexpected opportunities that are likely to arise during these dynamic and ever changing times.

A major change does occur on the 23rd of December as Saturn exits Scorpio to enter Sagittarius. On a collective level, we might find that society pays greater attention to the legal system, law enforcement, higher education and foreign affairs. Already, we have seen issues in these areas with the realization that the affirmation of ‘equal before the eyes of the law’ is a nice sentiment but not one that jibes with reality where the wealthy can afford top-notch legal representation and can make better plea bargain deals than the indigent who are dependent upon a public defender. We have seen matters with law enforcement come under scrutiny to the point that law enforcement officials are cast in the role of villains rather than monitors of public safety. Higher education, college, may come under further questions in regard to college costs, return on investment, and the safety of its students. And in the realm of foreign affairs, we have seen the US initiate a cold war and the liability towards a third world war that might be fought less on military means than economic warfare. With Saturn moving into Sagittarius, there is a shift of areas that need to be addressed and considered. While Saturn has been in Scorpio [and retrograding back into Scorpio in the Summer of 2015], issues regarding financial matters with the extremes of stock market highs, easy money of increased fiat currency printing, and increased governmental debt per gross domestic product have been forefront in the news.

With the emphasis on Capricorn early in the Winter season, the Uranus Pluto square will be repeatedly triggered, first with Mercury square Uranus on the 24th and Mercury conjunct Pluto on the 25th of December. The holiday travel over the US Thanksgiving in November was a nightmare for some due to inclement weather, and this Christmas holiday could serve a repeat of travel difficulties. Getting to grandma’s house through the snow may necessitate a strong dose of patience and possibly four-wheel drive. This Christmas period can also be a time when communications could become rather strident and expectations unrealized. It would be wise to keep things pleasant with a recognition that a curveball could be thrown our way.

The 26th of December has the Sun sextile Neptune. Even if we became caught up with the frenzy of holiday activities, after the fact we might be able to regroup and appreciate the true spirit of this time of year — the birth of light in the heart of darkness. We can use this time to plan where we want to go, what we want to do and formulate our new year [new beginnings] resolutions.

The New Year of 2015 is numerologically an eight year, the most powerful of the nine year cycles. And 2015 begins on January 1st with Mars opposed Jupiter. The potential for going for the gold, silver, platinum, bronze and copper can be strong. We might want it all and then some. We could start this new year fast out of the gate, confident, determined and knowing what we want. The how we get it may not have much concern for us, and there lies the problem. Our appetites may be whetted, our intentions clear but the ways by which to realize our plans might not figure into the equation.

The Uranus Pluto square is triggered on the 3rd of January as the Sun squares Uranus and the Sun conjuncts Pluto. This is also the day when Venus exits Capricorn to enter Aquarius. Our plans can shift and change, especially if we run into obstacles blocking our way. We might find ourselves drawn to some interesting characters that suggest options and alternatives we might not have even considered. We do have to be wary of other people, and even ourselves, being adamant in their projections and in their actions.

While a ‘go slow’ attitude might be suggested, it’s likely to go unheeded. For this period of early January also has the Cancer Full Moon on the 4th, the same day that Mercury exits Capricorn to enter Aquarius. The Capricorn Stellium ends and the Mercury entry into Aquarius creates a Stellium in the Fixed Air Sign as Mercury joins Venus and Mars in Aquarius. Our focus increasingly shifts from the ‘proper’ ways of doing things to seeking new outlets, new adventures.

Venus sextiles Saturn on the 4th, and we might find some of our new interests are developed, supported or honed by someone we can rely upon, a trusted sounding board. While we might be considering new venues for us to engage, we are unlikely to do so without giving serious thought to strategic planning, drawing upon the objective perspective of a trusted someone and devising a best practices approach.

The Venus sextile Saturn on the 4th, followed by the Mercury sextile Saturn on the 5th, allow us to blueprint, plan and draw upon the critique of someone other than ourselves to fashion the optimum means to accomplish our ends.

After a brief flurry of activity to begin the new year, the energy settles until the mid-January period when the energy picks up again.

On January 12th, Mars exits Aquarius to enter Pisces, a transit that will have Mars square Saturn on the 15th and Mars conjunct Neptune on the 19th. The liability in this mid-January period is towards forging ahead without checking the conditions or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This period could also see increased precipitation with local storm fronts generating flash floods. We might also witness nautical problems with both rough seas and difficulties on the seas.

The 13th – 14th of January has Uranus triggered in sextile, first by Venus sextile Uranus on the 13th, then by Mercury sextile Uranus on the 14th. A sense of serendipity could be strong, as unexpected encounters and unanticipated opportunities come our way. This time would be a time for us to have our antennae up, work with peripheral vision, and be open to receive some interesting surprises. Things may be flying fast and furious, and we are likely to be entertaining a wide variety of people and prospects that speak to our creative talents.

In the volatility of these times, the metronome swings can be wide from exhilaration and greased wheels to misdeeds and delayed efforts. The 15th of January has Mars square Saturn, followed on the 19th with Mars conjunct Neptune. We may be champing at the bit wanting to get on with things but possibly feeling as though we are running in place. And such delays and frustrated efforts might not be such a bad thing if they prevent us from going off half-cocked and in the wrong direction with an incorrect itinerary.

The 20th of January has the Sun exiting Capricorn to enter Aquarius and the Aquarius New Moon. Mercury turns retrograde on the 21st for its three-week retrograde cycle. New projects we might have begun in this new year might have to be recalibrated and reevaluated. There can be a tendency towards mental arrogance and a sense that many of society’s problems have been fixed by innovative solutions. Unfortunately, during this late January – early February we might witness that the so-called ‘solutions’ proved only to make certain problems worse.

During this period, it would be wise to take a most conservative approach to matters, not bet the ranch on any one particular situation, and to keep our eyes and ears wide open for any liability of heightened anxiety to the point of panic.

The 23rd of January with the Sun sextile Saturn would allow us to move ahead with our interests in a step-by-step approach, not rushing the river, but stepping gingerly forward with mindfulness and full awareness. We can more appropriately assess our situations in a sober manner and from a more realistic perspective.

On the 27th, Venus exits Aquarius to enter Pisces and to create a Stellium of three or more planets in the Mutable Water Sign as Venus joins Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Our compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves can be enhanced, and we could go out of our way for people, even to the point of not merely helping them lift their burden but carrying their burden for them [sometimes referred to as taking on another person’s karma].

Mercury sextiles Uranus on the 28th, and we could be privy to interesting communications that come about in a most unexpected way. If we have been perplexed by problems, we might find ourselves falling into the answers and solutions to our challenging issues. This is a time for us to be open to the ah-has that come out of the blue, those moments of insight and clarity that reveal a greater understanding of situations.

The 30th of January has Venus square Saturn, Mars sextile Pluto and the Sun conjunct Mercury. We might have the will, determination and persistence to virtually move mountains, and to do so easily without stress or strain. We do have to be wary as to where we place our energy, for we could easily allow our emotions to commit us to distractions, diversions and a waste of good momentum. This is a time for us not to be hampered by the past or outworn obligations, but rather to focus on achieving our goals and advancing our plans quickly and effectively.

A most mystical time envelops us as we enter February. On the 1st, Venus conjuncts Neptune and our spiritual nature can be highly enhanced. The question of spirit into action also calls for us to be discerning and selective with whom we choose to dance. Either we can involve ourselves with a soulmate or we might get entangled with a trickster. While the former would be preferable, we might want to keep in mind what happened to the character Pete when seduced by the sirens in the Coen Brothers’ movie O Brother, Where Art Thou. While Delmar thought Pete had been turned into a toad, Pete had actually been turned in to the authorities by the sirens to collect the bounty on his head.

The Sun sextiles Uranus on the 2nd, prior to the Leo Full Moon on the 3rd. This can be a time of innovations — technological advances, creative pursuits and radical departures from the previous norm. The new ‘normal’ may be an inquisitive nature, a willingness to push the envelope and stretch beyond the boundaries of limitations. Streamlining operations allows for increased productivity and greater effectiveness with less exertion of energy.

While many of our new projects can be successfully grounded in practical reality, we do have to be wary of overexpansion. Mercury sextiles Saturn on the 5th, followed by the Sun opposed Jupiter on the 6th. We may devise the right approach but we have to be wary of overconfidence or more recent personality traits of entitlement. Although we might be optimistic about our plans, determining the right methods by which to accomplish our goals is a necessary ingredient.

February 8th has Venus sextile Pluto, and we might discover our intuitive foresight blends nicely with the basic fundamentals. We can draw upon our experience and expertise with a certain inner knowing to accomplish a great deal during this early February period. We just have to maintain awareness that the Mercury retrograde engages Murphy’s Law of ‘whatever can go wrong could go wrong’.

With such positive energies around us, nothing can be taken for granted, everything done with due diligence and enthusiastic persistence.

Mercury turns direct on the 11th of February. Some of the missteps of the past three weeks can be rectified and misunderstandings with other people corrected.

February 18th has the Aquarius New Moon in the last minute of Aquarius, just before the Sun exits Aquarius to enter Pisces. This New Moon in China is on February 19th and ushers in the Chinese New Year of the Green Wooden Sheep [Goat / Ram]. According to interpretation for the Green Wooden Sheep, this year can be a highly prosperous year resulting from due diligence and hard work. Similar to the western interpretation of planetary placements for 2015, the Green Wooden Sheep year promises the opportunity to establish order and structure out of the creative chaos that has gone on before.

The 19th also has Mars exiting Pisces to enter its own Sign of Aries, followed on the 20th by Venus exiting Pisces to enter Aries, creating a Stellium in the Cardinal Fire Sign as Venus joins Mars and Uranus in Aries. The Grand Trine in Fire with the Aries powerpack is complemented by Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Sagittarius.

The moody, emotional temperaments of the past three weeks when we may have found ourselves sighing and our energy impacted by anything and everything operating around us, much like a dry sponge taking to water, is past. We could now experience a fire in our belly and certainly an impetuous attitude to get things moving, to get ourselves going.

Venus conjuncts Mars on the 22nd of February, followed by Venus trine Saturn on the 24th, then Mars trine Saturn on the 25th. The Pisces Sun squares Saturn on the 23rd. While past mistakes or previous miscalculations could halt us in our tracks momentarily, the energy at this end of February is for us to launch ahead, move forward with new beginnings and new initiations. This is a time for us to recall in mantram-mode the childhood classic refrain from The Little Engine That Could: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

This counterpoint between the Pisces energy and the Aries energy is strong at the end of February with the Venus conjunct Mars in Aries and both trine Saturn, while the Sun in Pisces squares Saturn and the Sun conjuncts Neptune on the 25th.

Even if delays stand in our way, or we doubt our abilities, this would be a time for us to have faith in the universe, forge ahead, all with the recognition of that wise and true saying that ‘the universe has far greater plans for us than we could have ever imagined for ourselves.’

Similar to the beginning of the new year in January, March comes in with a burst of energy and a most expansive energy at that. We shall need to keep our wits about us, for we might experience our progress being tripped up by unexpected monkey wrenches thrown into the spokes of our wheels and actions by the powers-that-be impeding our forward movement.

March is a month when the energy can ratchet up severalfold and consequently so too with the extremes of volatility during these times. The idiom that starts ‘March comes in like a lion…’ could be never more true than this March.

March comes in on the 1st with Mercury sextile Uranus and Mercury opposed Jupiter. Sudden insights can impel us into new directions with unbounded confidence and an assumption that once the door has opened serendipitously we can cross the transom with no fear and no bad mojo getting in our way. Nice concept but such a belief may not play in our reality this March.

On the contrary, March demands that we rein in our unbridled optimism and engage tai chi moves whereby we are fully aware of the energies operating and make our moves in accord with the energy, working with the energy instead of being headstrong and just trying to plow straight ahead. Let’s keep in mind that when we approach obstacles, we do not have to always adamantly try to push through but rather can step over the obstacles, go around the obstacles or proceed under the obstacles. Force is not always necessary, finesse even better.

With the Aries transiting planets, both the Grand Trine in Fire and the Square of Uranus Pluto are engaged.

The 3rd of March has Jupiter trine Uranus exact. Not only can our creative juices be flowing, but this could also be a time when we learn of new technological advances, the streamlining of operations and increased productivity through the implementation of robotics, developed technological tools and other innovative approaches in practical application.

On the 4th, Venus trines Jupiter, Venus conjuncts Uranus and Venus squares Pluto. There can be some serendipitous encounters that trigger marvelous ideas of brighter ways for better days ahead for us. We do have to avoid traditionalists who may be naysayers to our enthusiasm, and also prevent ourselves from overstepping the bounds of legitimate statutes or the appropriate methods of doing things.

The Virgo Full Moon on the 5th of March can crescendo a most productive time. Not only does this Full Moon combine both the big picture and the specific details of our ventures, all the while drawing upon an intuitive understanding of how the abstract concept can be turned into a physical manifestation. Such a disposition is given even greater emphasis by the Sun sextile Pluto.

While the first week of March has Venus triggering both the Fire Grand Trine and the Uranus Pluto square, Mars does the same the second week of March. On the 10th, Mars trines Jupiter, and on the 11th Mars conjuncts Uranus and Mars squares Pluto.

Grace, diplomacy and charm with the Venus influence may have been the ways of achieving our goals in the first week of March. But the second week with the Mars impact can have us like a bull in a china shop, forging ahead with little consideration, pushing our interests forward and in the interim liable to step on toes. The 11th can be an explosive time, and we have to be wary of people popping off and acting out. There can be bomb blasts, intense tornado storm systems and even geophysical eruptions of volcanic and earthquake activity.

This second week of March and through the rest of the Winter season is a time for us to be cautious, mindful, vigilant and fully aware. The energies spike and could easily get away from us if we are not extremely careful.

On March 12th, Mercury exits Aquarius to enter Pisces, a Sign of Mercury‘s Detriment, where clarity of thought can be lost to a vivid imagination but often one that fantasizes either the best or the worst of a situation. Our intuitive sense may be heightened under this influence of Mercury in Pisces, but so too might our liability towards delusion and deception be increased.

Saturn turns retrograde on the 14th of March, and we could find that things are taking longer than we might like, with various delays and frustrations impeding our forward progress. The Saturn retrograde continues until August 2nd with Saturn retrograding out of Sagittarius and transiting back into Scorpio through the Summer of 2015. We may have to go back over some of our projects, checking, re-checking and evaluating the structure and format upon which we are building our goals and establishing our dreams.

The 16th has the final exact aspect of the Uranus Pluto square that has daunted us since the Summer of 2012. Whether subtle or explosive, we have all experienced dramatic changes in our lives, both personally in our individual worlds and collectively in the world-at-large. This end of Winter can close with quite a crescendo.

Not only do we have the Uranus Pluto square, but the 16th also has Mercury square Saturn with Mercury conjunct Neptune on the 18th. We could easily misread situations now or find ourselves banging up against obstacles to our intentions. We might not have taken into account various factors, some unanticipated, nor considered the consequences of our actions, much less the unintended consequences. We may feel stymied, but it would be wise for us to go slow in our rectifications, not make any knee-jerk reactions and preferably let the dust settle before responding to unfolding scenarios.

Venus exits Aries, a Sign of its Detriment, on the 17th to enter Taurus, a Sign that Venus rules. Despite the craziness of these last two weeks of winter, we may be looking for peace and tranquility and to put on a happy face.

Just before Winter ends and thirteen hours before the Vernal Equinox, the Pisces New Moon occurs on the 20th, a Solar Eclipse. A most apt configuration heralding as it does ends to the old before the new is born.

Winter 2014… when it’s good, it’s very, very good… when it’s bad, it’s horrid…