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The AstroEssence: I’m sure conventional wisdom says we should all be focused on the Mars-Pluto conjunction–and that makes sense, though it’s a bit like a house on fire, and you’re standing and staring at the flames. That fire’s eating the oxygen in the room, igniting everything inflammable, burning down some Capricornian structure related to the House where the conflagration conjunction, occurs, it may spread havoc to the Houses ruled by Mars-Pluto, but, let’s be clear, nobody’s missing that fire. So what do we need advice about this for? Isn’t the only applicable advice: put out the fire?

True, some may succumb to ego and try to pull the whole charred structure down (think of the human dumpster fire that is Donald Trump with that lickety-flame hair–like all the most toxic people, if he can’t win he’ll claim it’s rigged and trash the whole thing, whether it’s a card game or a national election–and of course today is the final debate–brace yourselves for some Molotov-cocktail throwing on both sides that could spark a firestorm); for the rest of us, choices may carry a ‘do (Mars) or die (Pluto)’ cast.

I firmly believe we’ll all see the fire–what we won’t be quite so aware of (which may allow it to have a much greater impact than we realize) are these influences: Vesta moves into Leo, prompting us to honor priorities, the mate, and the home (a potential burning structure) for our own sake–that offers excellent Self-care; the Sun is sesquiquadrate the South Node point, perhaps drawing our attention back repeatedly to what didn’t work in the past–a distraction we don’t need; and Mercury is busy busy busy, novile and contra-parallel the North Node, parallel Zeus, and quincunx Chiron, which means thinking is aligned with ambitions and desires but is resistant to moving into the future, and reasoning springs at least somewhat from the injured portion of the psyche–and that implies the mind may carry a bias we aren’t even conscious of.

It’s that Vesta move into Leo that saves the day; it urges us to clear out the static, the conflicting messages, and the obscuring smoke, and measure things by what we care about most, and this time we’re smart enough to throw our own welfare into the mix–so it’s likely that, as long as something else doesn’t overwhelm (by other transits to the natal picture), whatever moves we make will be in our own best interests, and serve to protect what we honor and commit our energy to.

'Chinese tea and pine nut cookies' Photo by Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

‘Chinese tea and pine nut cookies’ Photo by Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Today’s word image is a red tin of your favorite cookies. A small indulgence can be disproportionately comforting today, so find your pleasures where you may.

For those born with the Sun at 27 Libra: You are headed toward something I can only describe as a unification of the Self with Nature, or becoming a Negotiator, and/ or attaining immense personal authority. How can you tell which it will be, you ask? You already know if you’re slated for power over others, or to take on an extraordinarily influential role within some natural construct, shaping and, in a sense, ‘authorizing’ its effect. Don’t be shy–admit that’s what’s coming, at least to yourself, and get busy preparing; though some people look down their noses at the idea of studying up, you’ll make a much more serious and effective impact if you get ready ahead of time. Good luck, Libra, and Happy Birthday!

There’s a new page up: Mercury, Venus, and Mars Retrogrades for 2017