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Winslow Homer 'The Bridle Path, White Mountains' 1868 {{PD}}

Winslow Homer ‘The Bridle Path, White Mountains’ 1868 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Our attention goes to the practical–always a bit of a downer before these holidays, as it happens every year when the Sun enters Capricorn–but it also starts to prep us for the New Year, giving us a sense of optimism about what we can accomplish–optimism, that is, if we don’t get distracted or discouraged by the hard work that we know will be involved. Don’t wait until the New Year for any needed reformation or closet-cleaning–you’ll feel much better if you do it now.

And as to questions concerning why I’m not talking about Mercury-Pluto, it’s because the aspect didn’t perfect–Merc turned around before they conjoined–and in my experience that usually results in just a taste of the aspect, if anything at all. An uncompleted conjunction in which one of the bodies begins retrograde movement before perfection of the aspect typically brings a brief and confusing, out-of-left-field experience of the combination that quickly dissipates–and so signifies nothing so much as how this combination might come forward later for the individual, when the aspect actually occurs. So, odd or disturbing or devastating thoughts or communications, the fleeting consideration of a different way of thinking, or the brief idea that something’s got to go, may be the only manifestation of the future meeting of Mercury and Pluto we get for now. If you can grasp it, it’s a little peek into the future, one that holds hints about what or how things may change, rather than offering a literal picture of what the conjunction, when it perfects, will actually bring (Sun enters Capricorn, Mars semi-sq Pluto)

Bronze bit and bridle in the British Museum. Tag on exhibit reads: "Bronze horse-bit and other ornaments from a bridle. Etruscan, 700-650 BC. Perhaps made at Betulonia. The cheek pieces are cast in the form of horses, a motif perhaps derived from the Near East. Other ornaments show influence from central Europe." Castellani Collection GR 1873.9-20.246 (Bronze 357)" Photo by Ealdgyth CC BY-SA 3.0

Bronze bit and bridle in the British Museum. Etruscan, 700-650 BC. Perhaps made at Betulonia. The cheek pieces are cast in the form of horses. Castellani Collection GR 1873.9-20.246 (Bronze 357)” Photo by Ealdgyth CC BY-SA 3.0

Today’s word image is a bridle. We can think of this as an instrument for guiding, restraining, and controlling something much larger and more wild than we are–our animal nature. The image may suggest we look closely at just what we’re using (methods, thinking, practices) to keep those instinctive and impulsive inclinations in check. It’s a good exercise for the retrograde period, because Mercury’s status will allow us to see things in a different way–and that may allow us to realize where we’re holding back too much, where we need a tad more restraint, and where we need to loosen our grip.

For those born with the Sun at 0 Capricorn: You’ve got a busy year ahead, one where you’ll work to make your dreams a reality–but will you achieve your goals? Yes, if you follow a few simple rules: expect cooperation, but don’t expect others to give you the whole story, or take you into their confidence–you’ll need to respect that they want to hold something back at this point; keep the past in the rear view mirror, operationally speaking–there’ll come a point late in the Solar year when you may be tempted to reenact or model current efforts on the past–don’t; and, whatever you do, ‘do it like a boss’–that demeanor works for you better than any other, this year. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!