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An almond tree, blooming beneath a covering of snow. Photo By Àngela Llop - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25355619

An almond tree, blooming beneath a covering of snow. Photo By Àngela Llop – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25355619

The AstroEssence: Years ago my father owned a small almond ranch in the California desert, in a place you’d never guess would make for good farming–and yet the remarkable thing was that, just below the alkaline crust of earth ran a small but powerfully rushing river. Influences today are subtle but, if you tap into them, potent, like that surging water below bare soil; it provided more than enough water, but only when accessed with a pump–otherwise nature didn’t find it easy to puncture that brittle clay crust, and little grew. We may find a strong undercurrent in the reality picture that somehow contradicts our own values–it may feel as if we’re hopelessly old-fashioned, out of step, or naive, unable to tap in to the rush of feeling below the surface–and this may mess with our sense of values, giving us the feeling that it would be smart to review what we dedicate our energies to–and it would. We need to punch through, to access what flows below the surface, to be sure that what we’re committed to indeed matches our priorities and values. What we’re likely to find is that our minds have been on what mattered all along–and once we’ve reviewed things, we can renew our dedication with confidence (Vesta qnx Pallas, Saturn contra-parallel Vesta, Merc sxt Venus)

'Job Lot Cheap' by William Michael Harnett 1878 {{PD}}

‘Job Lot Cheap’ by William Michael Harnett 1878 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a tall stack of newly acquired, ‘to read’ books. According to the website Open Culture, this is “Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく.” The Japanese word as it applies to books is a play on the concept of letting anything pile up–as if all piling up in the world were voluntary! Though some treat it as a thing we shouldn’t do, equating it to hoarding, acquiring books to be read in time gives me a great deal of pleasure, and the joy of being able to go choose from that pile when it’s time for a new book is something I celebrate and look forward to. The matter then seems to be: are we sure that what we’ve allowed to accumulate actually has a reason for being, that it serves a purpose? Would we be better off without it, or does its very existence enhance our lives?

For those born with the Sun at 13 Capricorn: You’re heading toward big commitment, and big change–are you ready? You appear primed to act on your feelings this year, but need to be aware that at least some of those emotions are based more in fantasy or idealization of someone or something than they should be. You need to find that balance between impulse and belief, between hurt/ retreat and the real world as it is, and between the urge to go it alone and the need to find a place within the group. If you can sort those topics out during the upcoming Solar year, through to your next birthday, you may find yourself transformed, and with it what surrounds you. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

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