It’s the question everybody’s asking–when will the recession end and hope and prosperity be restored?  There are not one but several very difficult planetary combinations happening in the sky this year and they are contributing to a blanket of gloom.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the worst of these combinations is ending this month.

What’s happening is that 4 planets are forming a giant T in the sky.  They are Pluto (death & rebirth), Saturn (responsibility & duty), Uranus (paradigm shift) and Jupiter (the magnifier).  So Pluto is demanding that we die, so that we may be reborn, which is heavy enough without Saturn simultaneously demanding that we act like a grownup while our life is melting down.  Add to this the Uranian tendency towards restlessness and sudden insights that upend our whole world view and then throw in Jupiter, whose effect is to magnify everything else, increasing the sense of oppression and restlessness.  Really huge changes are afoot for many people.  Chances are excellent that you are one of these highly stressed-out people or that you know one.

There were two peaks in the activity of this massive event in July:
Jupiter squared Pluto on July 24: Going To Extremes
Saturn opposed Uranus on July 26: Saturn and Uranus Finish the Fight

And there will be three more in August:
Jupiter and Pluto meet again and Go On A Binge (Look for this article on Aug 3)
Jupiter opposes Saturn: Optimism vs. Pessimism (Look for this article on Aug 16)
Saturn squares Pluto: Contents Under Pressure (Look for this article on Aug 21)

But the really good news is that the second-heaviest part—Saturn opposed Uranus—ended in July and the heaviest part—Saturn square Pluto—completes its final pass in August.  OVER and done!  Whew!

This is all ushering us into the square of Uranus and Pluto, a revolutionary period which we haven’t seen the likes of since the 1960’s.  That begins in June of 2012 and lasts until March of 2015.  This will be a really big deal and it’s likely to bring massive, sweeping change.  If some of us are feeling it creeping up even now, that’s no surprise–after all, the last time these two met in the sky it defined a decade.  Social changers, your day is coming, and soon.

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Solutions for Water-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If You’re Drowning In Water
Water is arguably the hardest element to get right, because in the modern world our capacity to feel is misunderstood, derided and ignored.  Many of us grow up with a poor understanding of our emotions.  Your Water has gone wrong when:

  • People around you call you a “drama queen.”
  • Your sensitivity has you attempting to control everyone around you so you can feel better.
  • You overreact to events around you and cannot separate what actually happened from how you felt about it.
  • You absorb other people’s feelings so easily that you lose yourself.  This may make you prefer to avoid people which is a shame because your powers of empathy are enormous.
  • You are filled with bitterness, resentment and other feelings that have long gone unexpressed.  You habitually repress them because you don’t know how to let go of them.

Solution One:  Balance Water With The Other 3 Elements
If your Water is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  Fire’s self-assertion is a wonderful foil for Water’s tendency toward self-sacrifice.  When you’re lost in Watery feelings and can’t get out, try cutting straight through the bullshit.  Fire says, “Things are really not as complicated as they seem.”

You can count on Air to bring in logic, rationality and a factual approach.  Air helps you get out of the feelings and become more dispassionate—which can be very helpful when you realize you’ve become over-involved with somebody who is taking advantage of you.

Earth’s practical concerns form a helpful check-and-balance to Water’s subjectivity.  Earth reminds Water that overwhelming feelings must be balanced by the need to feed, clothe and shelter oneself and one’s family.  Water says, “I care about myself and others,” while Earth adds “. . . and I prove it by making myself useful.”

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Water
Expressing Water in a healthy way can allow negative expressions of Water to fall away naturally, with ease and grace.  You might call this “Water-Fu.”  Here are some ways to try it. . .

  • Notice your intuitions.  Validate them.  Use them.
  • Your feelings are there to connect you with other people.  Get good at noticing what others feel and what you feel.  Develop healthy emotional boundaries and enjoy deep relationships with those you feel sympathy or empathy towards.
  • Find or create places in your life where you can afford to feel fully, to express your feelings and to be as sensitive as you really are.  Hang around people you can be your true self with.
  • Practice healthy self-care, which is not the same as being emotionally armored nor emotionally over-exposed.  When you take care of yourself, others do not seem like a drain.
  • If you are preoccupied with negative feelings, learn to let go of them.  Focus on the positive, uplifting things in your life.  Nurse joy instead of anger.

The Four Elements are an incredibly rich vein of astrological knowledge of which this article series only scratches the surface.  Using the elements alone, even a novice can gain tremendous insight into herself and other people.  I hope it inspires you to learn more about the elements, about astrology and about yourself.

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This has been part 5 of a 5-part series on the 4 elements.  The other parts can be found here:
Personality Flaws of the 4 Elements
Is Fire Burning You Up?
Has Earth Grounded You—Permanently?
Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?
Are You Drowning In Water?

Solutions for Air-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If Air Has You Lost In A Cloud

Air is the intellectual element and we all know that a mind is a terrible thing to waste—yet it is also possible to use your mind too much, for example in times when your heart or body would serve better.  Your Air has gone wrong when:

  • You retreat to your head so much and get so abstracted that people around you wonder where you’ve gone and call you an “absent-minded professor.”
  • Physical reality annoys you.  You are frustrated at how hard it is to turn a theory into a reality—why can’t things just be the way you think they should?  And so you criticize things and people that don’t live up to your ideals.
  • Your need to appear smart has overreached your ability to actually converse with others, share ideas and be genuinely curious about perspectives that differ from your own.  This alienates you from people, which is a shame because stimulating conversation is exciting to you.
  • Your school success didn’t translate into the world beyond academics and you are still wondering why intelligence and problem-solving abilities aren’t enough to bring recognition and career advancement.
  • People call you cold or unapproachable (even though you have a sparkling wit) because you have little warmth.

Solution One:  Balance Air With The Other 3 Elements
If your Air is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  The natural antidote for the coolness and excessive objectivity of Air is the warmth and emotional approachability of Water.  When your Airy side causes you to distance yourself from events around you, draw on your Watery side and involve yourself emotionally in what you are experiencing (even though your Airy side may find this uncomfortable).

Earth helps Air move from the theoretical to the practical.  Earth demands that Air’s ideas be implemented in ways that are useful and pragmatic.  Earth physicalizes Air’s theories, tests them and proves their effectiveness.

Fire brings to Air a much-needed enthusiasm.  There comes a time when thought necessarily leads to action and while Air could sit around the planning table endlessly batting ideas about, Fire will leap in and begin a thing.  This may lead to failure the first or even the hundredth time, but Fire knows the importance of taking action.

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Air
If you emphasize healthy Air and fill your life with ways your Air is positively expressed, there will be no room for unhealthy Air.  This elegant solution gently allows negative Air traits to fall away as a side-effect of your emphasis on positive Air.  You might call this solution “Air -Fu.”  Here are some examples:

  • Be endlessly curious.  Become a reservoir, a roundhouse for information.  Regard all data as potentially useful.
  • Air may not be very warm and fuzzy, but it is very social.  Make friends—lots of them—and bond with them around mutually interesting concepts and theories.
  • Share ideas with absolutely everyone, regardless of how “smart” they are or how well-researched their information is.  Treasure each new nugget you learn.
  • Use your capacity for distancing yourself to help you connect with others, not push them away.  Because intimacy includes appropriate space, you can find the right distance to make you comfortable with intimacy.
  • Meditate.  It gives the brain a much-needed break.

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Coming up next:  Are You Drowning In Water?

This month, Saturn and Uranus finish their epic battle, which has been going on since November of 2008.  They have spent most of this time with Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces but now Uranus has moved into Aries while Saturn has moved into Libra.  Their tussle reaches a fever pitch in these more volatile signs.

Saturn:  Hey Uranus, since you moved into Aries you’ve become a lot more pushy.  Why can’t you be reasonable?
Uranus:  Because you ask too much.  You want life to always be fair and it just isn’t.  Sometimes it makes me so mad!
Saturn:  You’ve got to control that anger—it could destroy everything.
Uranus:  I wasn’t made to be reasonable.  Not in Aries.  I’d like to blow it all to smithereens!
Saturn:  If you’re willing to negotiate calmly, we could accomplish something here.
Uranus:  Who needs negotiation?  I’ll just push till I get what I want.
Saturn:  Then I’ll have to continue fighting you because I’m not going to allow myself to get run over.
Uranus:  Why do you bother with me?
Saturn:  Because I earnestly believe that we can both have what we want if we live into our best qualities.  Let’s get some outside help.
Levelheaded Saturn-in-Libra scans the Earth and points out a Human Being.
Saturn:  Look, there’s someone who may be able to integrate us.
Uranus:  Huh.  Ok.
Uranus waves his hand and the Human Being is magically transported to Mount Olympus and into the presence of the gods.
Human Being:  Woah.  Are you . . . actual deities?
Saturn:  Yep.  And we need your help.
Human Being (kowtowing):  I’m not worthy!
Uranus:  Then you’d better get worthy because we need you.
Human Being:  Yikes!  Ok.  Sitting up straight now.  Paying attention.  What can I do for you?
They quickly download into his brain their whole mighty struggle of the last year and a half.  He sits down while absorbing it.
Human Being:  Hmm, pretty touchy struggle.  Saturn, I think you’re going to have to make room for Uranus to be more fiery.  Your insistence on niceness is like a wet blanket for him.  Do you think you can do that?
Saturn:  I’m not excited about it, but since I’m in Libra I value appropriate compromise.
Human Being:  Well you’re not the only one who’s going to have to change.  Uranus?
Uranus:  Hmpph?
Human Being:  You can’t blow everything to smithereens.
Uranus looks downcast.
Human Being:  I know you want a fresh start and you want progress and it looks like a massive flattening of the way things used to be done is what’s necessary.  But it’s not.  You two are going to have to work together.  The world needs you both.  The world needs Uranian progress and Saturnine consistency.  We need the old guard and the new ways.  We need tradition and progress.  Quite frankly, we can’t live without both of you.  Find ways to create change that don’t destroy the old ways.  Find ways to honor and hold tradition without stifling youthful enthusiasm.  This is your job.  It is a sacred duty.
Saturn and Uranus are looking serious.  Human Being puts their hands together and they shake on it.
Saturn:  I’m rather impressed with you Human Beings.  You have a way of taking the principle behind what we offer and putting it to good use.
Uranus:  Yeah, I have to agree.  Human Beings are a really great vehicle for the sort of inspired ideas I like to download.
Human Being:  Have fun, you guys.  And try not to kill each other.
Human Being fades away, feeling pretty pleased with self.

See my previous posts on Saturn’s opposition to Uranus:
Saturn vs. Uranus—Match of the Decade
Should I Build or Break? Answer: Both!
Saturn and Uranus: Self-Governance vs. Progressive Change
Governmental Reform

“Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It’s all or nothing at all
Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes” *

That’s Billy Joel talking (see link below).  He may not know why he goes to extremes but I know—it’s because he’s got Pluto square his Sun in his chart.  That combination tends to make a person intense and attracted to edgy experiences.  He’s also got Jupiter in trine to his Moon, making him a large personality, generally benevolent and adventuresome, but also likely to have a bigger emotional reaction than events around him call for.  I mention it because these lyrics are a great illustration of what happens when Jupiter and Pluto hang out together.

This year Pluto and Jupiter will meet in the sky three times, beginning in July and finishing in February.  During this period, their conversation might go something like this:

Jupiter and Pluto have met on the top of Mount Olympus.  Pluto is dressed for scuba diving and carries a large bottle of vodka.  Jupiter is dressed for skydiving and gear is hanging off him in a haphazard way.
Jupiter:  Why are you wearing scuba gear on a mountaintop?
Pluto:  I figure if I start all the way up here, it will be longer before I hit bottom.
Pluto takes a swig of vodka.
Jupiter:  You do realize that you’re not supposed to drop from very high above sea level to very far below sea level, right?  Decompression sickness can kill you.
Pluto:  That rule’s just for people.  I’m an immortal, everlasting deity.  Nothing kills me!
Jupiter:  You’re also not supposed to drink and dive.
Pluto:  I can’t believe you’re telling me this.  I may be bleary, but even I can tell your safety gear is not in place.  Now why would that be?
Jupiter:  Well I’m a god too, obviously.  If I hit the ground it hurts—for a little while.  Then I just get up again, completely good to go.
Pluto:  Exactly.  And you know what I’ve noticed. . .
He leans toward Jupiter conspiratorially.
Pluto:  . . . even the pain part is kind of nice.  Sometimes I get so hardened that it’s hard to shock me.  I like feeling intense things every once in awhile.
Jupiter:  Hey, let me have one of those fins.  Maybe we could share air as we go down.
Pluto:  If you tie me into your parachute.  No doubt we’ll still plummet pretty fast, with two of us on one chute.
Jupiter:  This is hella fun, why didn’t we think of this before?
Pluto:  Not your usual suicide pact, but I’m Lord of the Underworld so death is not new to me.
They proceed to make all the adjustments, then grab each other, run to the edge and jump.
Jupiter & Pluto:  WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
This is followed by a huge crash.  Somewhere on Earth there is an earthquake, a tsunami and a volcano also erupts.
Jupiter & Pluto:  Ugh.  Umph.  Urgh.
They peel themselves off the ground.
Jupiter (eyes gleaming):  Let’s do that again!
Pluto:  You betcha!

This insane combo may have us feeling like a little risk-taking is in order, because Pluto’s tendency to extremes is only made bigger by the presence of Jupiter.  Watch yourself over the upcoming period, through Feburary of 2011, because nobody’s making these two follow safety rules.

* Here’s Billy Joel singing “I Go To Extremes” on youtube.

Part 1 of this post-thread: Jupiter and Pluto Go To Extremes
Part 2 of this post-thread: Jupiter And Pluto Go On A Binge
Part 3 of this post-thread: Seeking Light In The Darkness

Curious about how this transit affects you?
A reading can help you find out—and find out what to do about it too!
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“Wake up!” says Jupiter.  “Recently I initiated you into a big-time growth experience.   Now I’m telling you again:  it’s time to expand.”

Today Is A Pivotal Day
When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings.  Today, that planet is Jupiter.  It’s as if Jupiter is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding this change forever.  Today I’m delivering a wake-up call.”  If Jupiter is touching your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what part of your chart it touches.  That part is being asked to grow and expand.  Today is the peak of Jupiter’s wake-up call, but it could happen anytime within 5 days surrounding today.

Initiation Leading To An Inner Journey
Sometime between now and last October Jupiter showed us an area of life in which we are due for a change.  What he delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about the profound expansion to come.  That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown a place in our life that we need to approach with a spirit of adventure and a willingness to become bigger than we’ve been before.  It’s very like a fantasy adventure movie in which a young hero is sent on an important quest.  During a Jupiter transit, you become a Seeker.

The clue was delivered, but did we notice?  It’s human to go into denial.  During the winter we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this.  Maybe it was just a one-time thing.  Maybe I can just move on.  Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.”

Or maybe not.  Today Jupiter turns up the volume and gives us a reminder.  “That growth period you’re going through?” he says, “You’d better get with the program.”  Today, Jupiter’s retrograde journey begins and with it begins our inner quest to discover what part of us is ready to expand beyond our comfort zone and how to proceed with that expansion.  The upcoming few months of Jupiter retrograde will demand that we approach life philosophically and get ourselves into an open-minded, exploring mode.  Jupiter’s retrograde journey lasts until the day it turns direct, which is November 18, 2010.

Where Must We Grow, Explore, Expand?
The sign Jupiter is in tells us how it will affect us.  This year Jupiter is traveling through late Pisces and early Aries.  While in Aries, Jupiter brings opportunities for fresh beginnings and adventuresome expeditions.  Jupiter in Aries loves a pioneering spirit.  While in Pisces, Jupiter brings opportunities of a more internal, even spiritual nature.  Less easily seen by others, these opportunities enrich one’s inner life, bringing a profound sense of peace and contentment.

Is This Story Your Story?
If this resonates for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit.  Jupiter may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you.  This year Jupiter is covering the space between 23 degrees of Pisces and 3 degrees of Aries.  If there is anything in your chart in 23 to 29 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius, you will feel this.  You will also feel it if you have anything in 0, 1, 2 or 3 degrees of Aries, Capricorn, Cancer, or Libra.  That’s 44 degrees out of the total 360 of a circle that is being affected by Jupiter this year—that’s 12% of the whole circle, a massive span and more than any other planet in our skies (because Jupiter likes all things big).  Knowing whether this affects you can help a lot because a Jupiter transit can lead to a fortunate outcome—if you take advantage of it while it’s happening.  Make hay while the sun shines!

What Area Of Your Life Is Being Affected?
Good question.  It will have to do with which planet in your chart is being triggered by Jupiter.  If it’s your Sun, you may feel your very identity growing beyond its old limits.  You’ll feel yourself filled up with confidence—you might even need to rein yourself in at times.  If it’s your Moon, you could experience an expansion in your family, either a new feeling of confidence around your relatives or perhaps even a new addition to the family (ahem!).  If it’s Venus or Juno, you might attract a freewheeling, rambling, adventuresome love affair or a welcome shared journey with your beloved mate and if it’s Saturn, you might find your career expanding and opportunity knocking at your door.  These are good things to know before they happen, because Jupiter brings opportunity, but you have to grab it and make use of it when it pops up.

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Leo types are experts at discovering and unleashing human creativity—in themselves and in others.  Here’s how they do it, along with advice about how anyone (even those with only a smidgen of Leo in their charts) can do it too:

Be playful and childlike.  Have fun. Get so absorbed in what you are doing that you forget how others see you.  Engage others in the fun you are having.  Taking a playful approach to just about anything opens up creative channels and allows for relaxed, right-brain thinking.

Be a role-model. Be a leader.  Stand up, be seen, be visible.  Chief obstacles to this include embarrassment and fear of looking silly.  But don’t let them stop you!  If people don’t have other people to look to, how can they learn to live?  If there’s something you’ve figured out about how to live an excellent life, model that, be that, show that to the world.  I’ll betcha someone around you needed to see it in action.

Be self-centered–appropriately. This is a delicate balance.  Love yourself without arrogance as a flawed-but-beautiful human being: one of many, all of equal importance, holding yourself as your own special charge.  You are the shepherd of your own self, the guide of this body, this mind, this heart, this soul, this being.  Cherish this person you were given to be.

Shine on everyone. Leo knows a very special secret: that attention is the most valuable commodity in the world.  Everybody wants some and almost everybody wants more than they are getting or a different quality of attention than they’re getting.  When your Leo side is badly-behaved, it will pull you to grab attention—any attention at all.  When your Leo side is healthy, you give attention as the Sun gives sunshine—naturally, because you cannot help it and because you simply love to share.

Never underestimate the importance of your unique, authentic creativity. Leo exists to remind us that the individual point of view is important.  Modern physics tells us that the center is everywhere—and nowhere.  This means the center of the universe resides in you just as powerfully as in anyone.  Your point of view matters, and the creative flow that can come forth only from you and you alone is absolutely crucial to the workings of the whole.

You gotta give Leo credit.  It’s not easy to be your truest, most authentic self in front of God and everybody.  That’s scary stuff.  Occupy your whole social footprint—no more, no less, and the Leo in you will be happy.

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This is a repost of an article I wrote for the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal.  You can read the original here.

The planet Saturn is about to change signs.  This momentous event happens only every 2 and a half years.  You’ve probably read about Saturn on my blog before.  You probably already know that he represents the archetypal Father principle. Saturn rules the following things (and more):

•    Father
•    Career
•    Authority
•    Hierarchy
•    Discipline & structure
•    Order
•    Ambition
•    Goal-setting and achievement

Saturn can be a very harsh taskmaster.  Sometimes his lessons come through exacting, demanding, limiting experiences where we feel there is no exit.  Saturn demands maturity and self-governance in whatever area he is passing through.

Today, Saturn enters Libra, the domain of relationship.  Libra covers:

•    One-on-one relationship
•    Partnerships of all kinds
•    Fairness and equality
•    Balance and symmetry

Saturn in Libra represents fair jurisprudence, rigorous negotiation and balanced judgment.  In the next 2 and a half years, Saturn will demand that we take all our relationships more seriously.  He will press us to set those relationships in order and he’ll push us to work at it.

Libra is the very finest sign for Saturn to be in:  Libra brings out the best in Saturn, while diminishing the worse qualities of this sometimes-harsh archetype.  The harsh judge becomes the tough-but-fair judge when Saturn is in Libra.  While in Libra, he’ll also demand that we take all our partnerships of all kinds more seriously and work to improve them.  Saturn is a very simple principle:  when you feel his pressure to perform, just stop complaining and resisting and simply do the work.  Saturn hates a procrastinator and he  promises reward for those who put in effort.  His directive is:  “In the next 2 and a half years, take on your relationships with relish—I promise that if you do, there’s a toy surprise inside.”

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I want to take a moment to bid a fond farewell to Saturn in Virgo.  I don’t usually say a valediction to a planet departing a sign, because I’m usually too busy heralding its entry into the next sign at exactly the time when you, dear Reader, need to know about it.  But this one’s personal.

I wish I had been born with Saturn in Virgo.  I honestly do.  What I have is Pluto and Uranus in Virgo, so I get compulsive about habits, and my habits tend toward the eccentric, instead of simply having a set of habits that make my life run like a well-oiled machine.  But when Saturn transits through Virgo, as it has been doing for the last 2 and a half years, we all get a taste of anti-entropic goodness.

Here is a list of 5 things I’ve accomplished while Saturn was in Virgo:

1. Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done—twice.

2. Bought and implemented OmniFocus, personal organization software that has helped me deal with the overwhelming amount of details life presents.  Used it to implement David Allen’s processes.  Sat back and watched the paper piles diminish.

3. Kicked sugar out of my diet—several times.  It’s very hard to do it permanently, but at least I caught a glimpse of a whole new world—my life without sugar.  In it I am always full of energy and in a good mood.

4. Cleaned my basement, reorganized things, put them in clearly-labeled boxes and donated things I don’t want.  I did this twice, with the help of my extremely energetic Aries sister (go her!).

5. And a whole host of other tiny-but-adding-up-to-a-mountain of small changes to my processes and procedures that have made every area of life go smoother.  They include ways of systematizing my business that have led to greater productivity for me and better support for my clients.

Now that Saturn’s moving out of Virgo, it’s time to bid farewell to the extended cleaning and organizing frenzy and to turn our serious Saturnine attention to all things Libran.  During the next two-and-a-half years, it’s a great time to take more responsibility in our relationships, to embrace fairness and good judgment, to create balance in all areas of our lives, especially wherever Saturn is transiting.  This is Saturn’s favorite sign, so may he have mercy on us.

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This is a profoundly domestic New Moon.  This Moon asks, “Exactly how do you want your home to be?  Do you feel safe at home?  Do you feel supported?  What can you do to make it a better nest for you?”  Mars, traveling through Virgo forms a helpful sextile to the Moon, offering loads of industrious energy to tidy, fix and refurbish.  This is a great time for house projects.  And because this New Moon is also a Solar Eclipse, we are also likely to see our shadows during it.

Details About This Eclipse

Date: July 11, 2010
Time of eclipse: 12:40 PM PST
Type: total (strong in intensity)
Visible in: People in New Zealand, Patagonia, the South Pacific, and parts of Chile and Argentina will see this eclipse.
At: 19 degrees Cancer
Shadow Agent: Mars in Virgo

Does It Affect You Personally?

If your birthday is on any of the following dates, you most likely experienced this eclipse:
January 3-13
April 3-13
July 5-15
October 6-16

Remember, not every eclipse touches everyone, but when it does, it’s usually noticeable.  A solar eclipse is likely to be marked by an external, real-world event (unlike a lunar eclipse, which is mostly experienced internally).  The following script is just one possible way it could go.

You hear a knock at the door.  You answer it.  Mars is there.  Before you can even speak, he’s rushed past you and is bringing things inside: a vacuum cleaner, a toolbox, a bucket containing cleaning supplies and several kinds of brooms, mops and brushes.  Outside you can see his van, groaning with construction supplies: jars of nails and screws, aluminum siding, wood flooring, copper pipes, roofing shingles and other sundry building materials.  After a few minutes of lightning-swift activity, he stops in front of you and gives you a military salute.

Mars:  Domestic Industry Team, reporting for duty.
You:  Team?  But there’s only one of you.
Mars:  I’m so efficient, you only need one.
You:  Oh.
Mars:  So what needs doing?
You:  Um, I have no idea.
Mars:  (pushing past you into the house) Ok, so the foundation needs fixing, the drain-pipes need adjusting before the next rainy season, and you could really use a drainage ditch.  A couple of rooms need updated wiring, and you’d really like a second story and some solar panels.  Is that all?  That can’t be all.
You:  Um, I think that’s it.
Mars:  What about your sense of safety here at home?  Do you feel loved?  Are you comfortable?
You:  What?
Mars:  How about some fixes not only to your home, but also to your sense of home?  Does your relationship need fixing?  How about your family?
He starts rummaging through his toolkit.
You:  Uh, sure.  Lots of things like that need fixing too.  Can you really do that?
Mars:  I can at least kick your butt and get you started.
You:  Wow.  You mean I could get a whole new sense of home out of this eclipse?
Mars:  You betcha.  But you gotta be willing to take action.  Just figure out what your real needs are and ask for them.  You need to take the first step.  Help is near, but you’ve got to ask.
He winks and goes back to the truck for more supplies.  You sink onto your sofa.
You:  Nothing like getting the problem and the solution at the same time!

Solutions for Earth-Gone-Wrong

EarthIn my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If Earth Is Grounding You
When your life is carefully measured from achievement to achievement (or failure), it’s easy to forget how to have fun.  Earth is the poster child for “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Your Earth has gone wrong when:

  • You’re such a critical perfectionist that your partner calls you a nag.
  • You’re a cynic, only interested in the bottom line and closed to any ideas that don’t have already proven value.
  • You’ve been called “cold” or “calculating.”
  • You’re prone to overindulging in physical pleasures to compensate for how hard you work or how boring your job is.
  • You’ve learned to defer gratification in favor of long-term goals—learned it so well that you can’t let yourself off the hook during a vacation and you despair of enjoying retirement.

Solution One:  Balance Earth With The Other 3 Elements
If your Earth is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  When your routines and systems are so effective that even you are bored, it’s time to break up the Earth with a little Fire.  Be spontaneous, take risks, look dopey.  Fling yourself into something, instead of calculating all its details first.

Earth gets dull and blockish without the lightness of Air.  Air encourages brainstorming sessions and crazy ideas—some may sound just like empty theories, but others will, with the time and testing Earth provides, prove useful in the end.  But you have to open your ears and listen first.

Water fertilizes Earth in a wonderful way, bringing warmth, emotion, compassion and sensitivity Earth does not naturally possess.  Too many late nights at the office?  Balance them with cozy family time.  Gotten too controlled or controlling?  Nothing like a nice emotional outburst to break down the walls.  Oh, and don’t forget to be vulnerable.

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Earth
Healthy Earth practices can eliminate the need for compensatory, negative Earth behaviors.  Here are some examples of “Earth-Fu:”

  • Pay close attention to your bodily needs and engage in rigorous physical self-care.
  • Feed yourself delicious, homemade, organic, healthy food on a regular basis.  It tastes best when you cooked it yourself.
  • Organize your home, your office and your projects in ways that allow you to streamline, be effective and stop worrying.  Work smarter, not harder.
  • Fall in love with this physical world:  get out in nature more, breathe clean air and surround yourself with trees.

Set achievable goals and be consistent about rewarding yourself (even if it’s just a mental pat on the back) when you succeed.  When you become preoccupied with your failures, wrench your attention away from them and instead put it on what you’ve done right.

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Coming up next:  Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?

“Wake up!” says Uranus.  “Are you facing chaos? Lately I’ve turned your life upside down.  This year I’m making you an amazing offer:  to not only restore the order you used to experience, but to shift your life in a global way so that the problems you used to experience—the ones that led to this chaos—are not even relevant anymore.”

Today Is A Pivotal Day
When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings.  Today, that planet is Uranus.  It’s as if Uranus is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding this change forever.  Today I’m delivering a wake-up call.”  If Uranus is touching a planet in your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what planet that is.  That planet, and the part of you it represents, is in a massive uproar.  It’s time for a shift to a whole new level.  Today is the peak of Uranus’s wake-up call, but it could happen anytime within 5 days surrounding today.

Initiation Leading To An Inner Journey
Sometime between March and now, Uranus showed us an area of life in which we are due for a change.  What he delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about paradigm shift to come.  That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown an area of life in which something new and startling is possible.

The clue was delivered, but did we notice?  It’s human to go into denial.  As spring proceeded, we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this.  Maybe it was just a one-time thing.  Maybe I can just move on.  Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.”

Or maybe not.  Today Uranus turns up the volume and gives us a reminder.  “That big change you’re due for?” he says, “It’s crucial.  And I’m putting it right in your face until you do something about it.”  Today, Uranus’ retrograde journey begins and with it begins a period of soul-searching during which we must reflect upon and seek to understand the massive shift we feel coming.  Uranus will continue moving retrograde (i.e. backwards) until the day it turns direct, which is December 5, 2010.

Every Breakthrough Begins With A Breakdown
Uranus teaches us a fundamental truth:  a fresh, more inclusive order only comes after a chaotic mess.  A transit of Uranus is accompanied by a restlessness that causes you to want to dash it all to pieces.  You don’t actually have to destroy everything you’ve built in order to shift to the next level, but you may have to tolerate some uncomfortable mess as you search for the new frame to put it all into.

Uranus brings the “Eureka!” or the “Aha.”  From Uranus comes that moment of insight, that lightning-bolt-from-the-blue that disrupts your normal everyday assumptions and introduces an idea so new, so crazy, so startling that it just might work.  The best response to a Uranian insight is to open your mind up and engage in a search for a new frame, a new context, a new order in which all the old pieces make sense, and the new ones also fit.  Uranus turns your head around—that’s what he’s for.

Is This Story Your Story?
If this feels true for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit.  Uranus may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you.  This year Uranus is covering the space between 26 degrees of Pisces and 0 degrees of Aries.  If there is anything in your chart in 26, 27, 28 or 29 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius, or additionally in 0 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, you will feel this.  And knowing it can help a lot if you’ve been feeling surrounded by chaos and you don’t know why.  If Uranus has touched you this year, this could be the year when you finally liberate yourself from old, self-entrapping ways and instead bust out into a whole new way of being.

What Area Of Your Life Is Being Affected?
Good question.  It will have to do with the planet in your chart that’s being triggered by Uranus.  If Uranus is affecting your Venus, you may find yourself feeling restless and wanting more in your relationships.  You don’t have to destroy all your relationships to satisfy that restlessness, but you do need to shift them to a whole new level now.   If Uranus is affecting your Mercury, you’re getting more crazy, paradigm-shifting new ideas these days than you usually do—use this time of genius for your long-term benefit.  And if you are between 39 and 42 right now, this could be a year that calls forth your genius and the tremendous restlessness that goes with that, demanding that you live into your potential once and for all.

Uranus’ Gift
The promise of Uranian chaos is that it leads to a new order.  Uranus doesn’t really want to leave you in a chaotic mess for the rest of your life—and if he ever has, you’ve not responded to the situation with your true power.  The mess Uranus causes is only a temporary state—although a necessary one—on the way to something much bigger and better.  Sure the ride is messy, but what does that matter?  Isn’t being the most amazing you possible worth a little chaos?

Want to know more about how this Uranus transit affects you?
Contact Jamie at pandora@pandoraastrology.com
to schedule a reading.

Astrology blogger since 2007

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