26 December 2016 The Past As Pattern

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Pink and Poppy Wallpaper by William Morris 1881 {{PD}}

Pink and Poppy Wallpaper by William Morris 1881 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Are we acting based on what we still carry from the past, from accumulated knowledge, or are we acting reactive to the past, in which case we’re unthinkingly playing out an old response or pattern? In either case, our reasoning lacks clarity, whether from a too-imaginative approach (which can lead to unreal expectations) or from a deluded one that fights not only the social norms but our own instincts, too, in the hope of proving an illusion is actually real. Power (which is not a dirty word–it’s just the ability to affect the environment, and to exercise dominion over yourself) is found within the values–and that means we must stop ignoring instinctive responses (normalizing the abnormal) and we must work hard to separate inspired thinking from wishful–and we do this best in two ways: acknowledging the legitimacy of everything in our world (not just the parts we like) and by keeping our eye on the consequences of our choices. If we do, we’ll deal with disparities before they become issues, and we’ll make choices that take us in the direction we want to go (provided we actually understand what our aim will bring us!) (Mars conjoins the SN, semi-sq Uranus, and sesq Jupiter, Venus sxt Ceres, Mercury sxt Neptune, sesq Sedna, contra-parallel Vesta, and semi-sq Black Moon Lilith, Sun trine NN)

Aberdaron Fisherman Evan Williams, who predicted a fine summer, and was proved right. Photo by Geoff Charles -     CC0view terms     File:Aberdaron Fisherman, Evan Williams, who predicted a fine summer and was proved right. CC0

Aberdaron Fisherman Evan Williams, who predicted a fine summer, and was proved right. Photo by Geoff Charles – CC0

Today’s word image is a man, standing on the corner, shouting, “The world will never end”. Isn’t that the opposite of the old stereotype of the ragged prophet proclaiming the end of the world to all passersby? Things are upside down, right now–it’s a chance to let go not just of stereotypes, but of old patterns of thinking, assuming, and being. It’s humbling to know things are not as you thought they were–and that realization is an invitation to join the world as it is, and in doing so, make yourself relevant to it.

For those born with the Sun at 5 Capricorn: You are very much in danger of falling into old patterns, of re-enacting the past, or of assuming that having done things a certain way before means those methods will still hold today–not so. Your task this Solar year, through to your next birthday, is to tune in to the direction you want your life to take–you think you already know, but you need to examine the correlation between your actual actions and your goals–and then take full responsibility for getting yourself there. Don’t wait for others to supply the missing pieces–you may have to go out and round them up yourself. The good news is that you are more than equal to the task, with energy and a keen Self-focus that will serve you well (though it might anger those used to having you at their disposal–if it does, reconsider their place in your life, and their command of your energy). Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

25 December 2016 Like a Rose

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'The Roses of Heliogabalus' - Lawrence Alma-Tadema {{PD}}

‘The Roses of Heliogabalus’ – Lawrence Alma-Tadema {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Here’s an odd configuration: Jupiter and Uranus are in opposition (and playing off the Nodes), Sedna and Black Moon Lilith are in opposition, with Uranus semi-square Sedna and sesquiquadrate Black Moon Lilith, while Jupiter is semi-square BML and sesquiquadrate Sedna. It’s like a skinny Mystic Rectangle, with all the fun pressed out. Why so much stress? For many, it’s Christmas, a time equally fraught with joy and pressure; but for everyone, it seems the tension between complete freedom in the form of total license contrasts directly in some way with the call for social conformity, or possibly contradicts the impulse toward freedom by demanding the individual stick to ‘the facts’, or draws in chaos and the unanticipated with each attempt at expansion. This occurs simultaneous to a tug-of-war between our instincts and ‘deep knowing’, and all those matters we’ve ignored, denied, or that enrage us–and each of the oppositions interact under unpleasant conditions. This suggests each individual will be under enormous internal tension and has a good chance of responding in undisciplined fashion to externals if the pressure remains unconscious; it may feel as if one’s fate is at stake, when it really isn’t. With conscious awareness this kind of overblown, reactive thinking comes the option of refusing the radical response in favor of the less rigid, less judgmental one, which is wise, considering how easily this can escalate into a lose/ lose situation.

This isn’t the only perfecting influence today. We’ll just be entering Dark of the Moon territory late in the day Pacific time, and that means the impetus and energy could drain away from both positive and negative endeavors. We also see a very busy Venus that offers ideal conditions, dreams come true, spiritual fulfillment, and gives the resources, especially spiritual and emotional ones, to reach out to others, to take offered opportunities, and to support permanent change or the building of a new foundation. That is, if you want to act better, want to respond more kindly and more accurately to others, today is the day to make that reform a reality. We may also see a lot of fortuitous opportunity and lucky spontaneous synchronicities that may, oddly enough, bolster confidence in the caring nature of the Universe, and this allows us to purge our thinking of destructive or negative tendencies. We come out the other side of this smelling like roses, while never losing our awareness of those things we haven’t yet handled, but will need to (Venus at the midpoint of Saturn-Uranus sxt both and trine Jupiter, Merc parallel Pluto and nov Venus, Sun nov Black Moon Lilith)

'Still life: Tea Service' Albert Anker {{PD}}

‘Still life: Tea Service’ Albert Anker {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a cup of tea, where the leaves settle in the bottom of the cup and take the shape of a leaping dolphin. Reading tea leaves is, of course, a form of prognostication; it’s literally the dregs of what made the beverage in the first place, ‘speaking’ to you! Living is a lot like sipping tea: we take it in a bit at a time, it scalds if it’s too hot or becomes unappealing if it’s too cold, and if we’ll bother to look at the aftermath of our interactions, we’ll find a clear though likely symbolic message about our choices and our future.

For those born with the Sun at 4 Capricorn: The first half or so of your Solar year, through to your next birthday, may be quiet, at least on the inside, as you ponder some serious and even dark matters, especially as they pertain to who you are–but by the second half of the year, you are ready to launch: a business, a new venture, a marriage, an assault, a missile–the list is virtually endless, but it all has the objective of allowing you to make your mark on the world–it’s time. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

24 December 2016 What Is And What Could Be

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The AstroEssence for the 24th: Anybody for a revolution? Probably not, though freedom is certainly on our minds. That urge to upheaval works itself out, though, and what is and what could be find a perfect balance today, allowing us to make effective, proportional progress as we are able to keep current conditions, the unexpected, and what’s coming all in mind. Surprises are offset by the capacity for original response and chaos is easily contained. Actions somehow all end up conforming to what we cherish most, to the needs of mate or home, and to our own need to honor what we care about. We reach the end of the day feeling we’ve expressed something true to our essence, and to our Soul’s mission–on a day like today, we’d have to work very hard to avoid it (Saturn trine Uranus, Finger of God with base of Sun-Mars, apex Vesta)

By Qurren - Qurren's file, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1221749

By Qurren – Qurren’s file, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1221749

Today’s word image is a garden trowel. You know, that little shovel for digging. It’s important to pick the right tool for the job; with a trowel, you have something ideal for lifting plants from pots, for harvesting root vegetables, and for transplanting small plants–but if you have a big job, planting a tree or digging a foundation, for instance, a trowel will never do. If you’ve been working away at something, now you may need to consider that a larger implement (that is, a more sweeping or more suitable one) may be needed–it’s about recognizing you can’t move things any further without the aid of something bigger.

For those born with the Sun at 3 Capricorn: Your Solar year, through to your next birthday, is all about mobilizing yourself and your talents to serve those things to which you’re committed–that’s any combination of home, mate, family, or larger causes. Hints to maximize your progress: allow the past to inform the present; it can offer you priceless information that will make your path that much easier, and don’t allow emotional drama to run the show–also avoid anyone who tries to tell you to take a more modest path, or who suggests you should settle for less than you aim for. You have the support of some fabulous energies this year–make the most of them. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

23 December 2016 In the Balance

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Well I'd be safe--and you? "De Heksenwaag (Witches' scales) at Oudewater, Netherlands. In medieval times, women suspected of witchcraft were weighed on the scale. Should they weigh more than a specified amount, they were deemed unable to fly and therefore not witches. At that time, a certificate from Oudewater saved many women who were at danger of stoning or being burnt at the stake after a rigged trial. Today such certificates are a tourists attraction." Martinvl - Own work CC BY-SA 4.0

Well I’d be safe–and you? “De Heksenwaag (Witches’ scales) at Oudewater, Netherlands. In medieval times, women suspected of witchcraft were weighed on the scale. Should they weigh more than a specified amount, they were deemed unable to fly and therefore not witches. At that time, a certificate from Oudewater saved many women who were at danger of stoning or being burnt at the stake after a rigged trial. Today such certificates are a tourists attraction.” Martinvl – Own work CC BY-SA 4.0

The AstroEssence: Our attention is on health, our own and that of systems and organizations with which we are involved. That balance among the ins and outs, consumption and elimination of what’s not needed, utilization of energy and resources, a re-thinking of restrictions and constraints, is underway. We must face realities; some of those deal with endings, others with exploitation (in a positive way) of our talents and assets, and we look at ‘what is’ with an eye to reform–that’s a very good way to spend the day, sussing out just what needs to change, and how we can achieve a reasonable balance among elements. See the forecast for those born with the Sun at 2 Capricorn, below, for info on the current Finger of God (Hygeia sq the Nodes, Venus trine Zeus, Mercury parallel Saturn, Sun parallel Hygeia)

Library Walk New York City Photo by Lesekreis CC0

Library Walk New York City Photo by Lesekreis CC0

Today’s word image is a pencil. What’s the big advantage of using a pencil? It’s easily erased. Figuratively speaking, don’t write anything in ink at this time–things will change too much in the near future for us to anticipate successfully where we’ll be and what we’ll want later.

For those born with the Sun at 2 Capricorn: There’s a lot of fight and energy in you this year, for good reason: your Solar Return features a Finger of God with base of Sun-Mars and apex of Vesta. This describes the entire year, ‘Big Picture’ style: through the course of the year, through to your next birthday, you will learn and then fine-tune what you must do to honor what’s important to you, including your mate, your home circumstances, and those causes to which you want to dedicate your life, taking all those interactions and commitments to the next level. This is the preliminary step in living your values in an unprecedented (not unpresidented!) way, and so attracting into being your next dream. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

 

22 December 2016 New Perspectives

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'Althea' JW Alexander 1894 {{PD}}

‘Althea’ JW Alexander 1894 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Now in retro, Merc makes the same minor aspect to Pallas he did on the 11th of December; this suggests a re-visiting of something we judged to be either practical or wise, with the turnaround freeing us from our usual way of thinking. New perspectives are the result. On other fronts, rebellious urges fight what we know to be good for us. If you feel like being wild, consider that the urge is really about something else, something you may be afraid to reject directly. Self-sabotage is never a good substitute for dealing with issues–and consider too that if your fear of addressing this springs from anticipation of how someone else will react, they may be controlling you, if you’re responding to a previous, unspoken threat  (Uranus sesq Hygeia, Mercury semi-sq Pallas)

By © Benoît Prieur / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19376011

By © Benoît Prieur / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19376011

Today’s word image is a minor traffic accident, where those involved thoughtlessly block the road, then drive away leaving parts of their cars in the middle of the street! This may be a reminder for Self-awareness and the impact we can have, literal or otherwise, on others.

For those born with the Sun at 1 Capricorn: Change, reformation, transformation are in your blood this Solar year, through to your next birthday, but you’ll have to proceed with care–it’s possible others may use emotional pressure that pushes you in a destructive direction. They may not mean for that to be the result, but it’s your most likely response to any sort of manipulation, even when it has a harmless or positive intent behind it. Try to draw distinctions between your emotional perceptions and those of others, and proceed with care–you ‘own’ an intense amount of energy and power this year, and you may not realize it at the start–make it your mission to become completely aware of your true strength. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

21 December 2016 Practical and Optimistic

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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!

20 December 2016 Take the Reins

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'Conductrices de chariots a l'Hypodrome' James Tissot c1884 {{PD}}

‘Conductrices de chariots a l’Hypodrome’ James Tissot c1884 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: On our minds: a healthy balanced mentality, as we try to get ‘more’–is it even possible to enjoy mental equilibrium when we are striving to ‘get’? Today it is, if we take the reins and do it like a goddess: confidently, with the aim of making the absolute best we can of things, of driving in the direction we want to go. And when presented with a choice, do what’s smart and/ or positive, because in the end, it all will become known by others (Jupiter semi-sq and Mercury nov Hygeia, Venus sxt Juno)

Today’s word image is the side by side placement of colors black and white. We think of them as opposites and in a sense they are, if we’re seeing one as all colors, and one as the absence of color–but we also use this combination to indicate not just stark contrasts, but inescapable conditions, facts or agreements or limitations set out in direct terms. Is there something you’re seeing in black and white terms that may be more subtle, that you may be misjudging as an ‘either/ or’ choice or condition, when it’s really several shades of gray (but not 50!)? Or is it a need to get down to basics, to ‘the contract’ and its stipulations, and go forward either accepting or implementing what it spells out? This may be a minor reality check for perceptual (especially mental) acuity to complement freshly-retro Mercury, especially as our awareness applies to our (usually unwritten) agreements..

For those born with the Sun at 29 Sagittarius: Action is ‘where it’s at’ for you this Solar year, through to your next birthday, but choices may be made on the fly, under circumstances that feel as if you’re required to hop from a moving car and hit the pavement running. A couple of things you may need to consider as your year unfolds: do you need to exit the speeding conveyance (read, whatever’s currently moving you forward) at all? If you jump out and start running, will you fall behind on your true goals? Could you possibly roll out (make the impact of change less dramatic)? And if you choose to leap from the car and immediately begin running, you’d better be brave enough to look around and make sure you’re running in the right direction. Good luck, Sagittarius, and Happy Birthday!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

19 December 2016 Necessary Incubation

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'Hatchlings' By Victor Stabin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18404598

‘Hatchlings’ By Victor Stabin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18404598

The AstroEssence: Do our choices and actions become more unsure, confused, as Mars enters Pisces? Maybe, but they may also reflect our highest inspirations, and we are more likely to actively pursue and defend our dreams and goals. The thing is, though, Mercury turns retrograde in semi-square to Mars, so that our thinking becomes fuzzy, or we become unsure of our own reasoning–and so pre-disposes us to the less productive side of Mars, at least initially. Don’t worry–that can mean indulging in daydreams, a marathon of reading or watching movies, indulging in escape of one kind or another, or some other period of necessary incubation, in preparation for taking action, choosing a direction, or asserting one’s choice. As long as we honor those methods, expressions, and modes that support our health, and keep our values supporting the highest good for ourselves and others in mind, we are unlikely to misstep at this point. Special note for the situation of US electors as they vote today: there may be some surprising changes of mind, as the need to mobilize ideals comes forward (I make no guesses as to whom and in what direction these changes of mind may occur!) The biggest surprise for me would be if everyone votes as they’ve already declared they will (Mercury retrograde, Vesta trine Hygeia, Mars enters Pisces, Merc semi-sq Mars)

There's a sharp dresser for you. And the 'do! Pietro Benvenuti - 'Apollo, Winner of the Serpent Python', 1813 {{PD}}

There’s a sharp dresser for you. And the ‘do! Pietro Benvenuti – ‘Apollo, Winner of the Serpent Python’, 1813 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a python. Is there something in your world that’s slowly squeezing the life out of you, that you really need to rid yourself of? You may have mixed feelings about letting this thing go, especially if it’s something (or someone!) you love–but your job is to take care of you, and now is the time.

For those born with the Sun at 28 Sagittarius: You have wisdom and practicality on your side–and now it feels like you’re stepping off, into the abyss. For you this may indeed be uncharted territory, but unless you’re landing on another planet this Solar year, through to your next birthday, you will certainly find someone who’s gone before you. Listen to what they have to say, even, or maybe especially, if they are someone who’s nothing like you. Good luck, Sagittarius, and Happy Birthday!

Have a thrilling but safe, luminous start to your week! Follow Julie Demboski’s Astrology on Facebook, get my books here, and review them at GoodReads. Thank you!

18 December 2016 Choose

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Henriette Browne  - 'A Girl Writing; The Pet Goldfinch' c1870 {{PD}}

Henriette Browne – ‘A Girl Writing; The Pet Goldfinch’ c1870 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: We are empowered by doing, by choosing, and our choices are wise ones, as our attention is on the practical, on our current skills, and on what’s smart–who can quibble with that? One caveat: put health first–and that may require modifying ambitions and denying desires that could hold the seeds of destruction–be willing to pull back, investing energy in what works, what makes sense, and what you can build on (Hygeia semi-sq Zeus, Mars parallel Juno, Mercury parallel Hygeia, Sun sxt Pallas)

Today’s word image is a bird, confused, that keeps fluttering up against a window, trying to get up into the rafters. A bird makes me think of the part of each of us that is truly free–and if that part of us is confused, it keeps trying to express our freedom, to behave in an unfettered and spontaneous way, in an inappropriate place. Are you trying to express yourself in the wrong place? If there’s some arena where you’re showing who you are, and yet not succeeding in the way you expect to, consider that it’s not your efforts that are inappropriate, it’s the venue where you’re trying to present them.

For those born with the Sun at 27 Sagittarius: Wisdom is yours–whether you want it or not–and this will have real-world consequences that may make for a deep emotional impact. You’d think being wise would be great, right? The problem is, as human beings, sometimes we don’t want to be wise; sometimes that generates heartbreak, makes us abandon a dream, or makes us be far more practical than our creative Soul might wish. Try not to see such clarity as a burden–if you’re brave, you can take yourself far this Solar year by listening to that voice of wisdom you carry inside. Good luck, Sagittarius, and Happy Birthday!

17 December 2016 Add Feeling

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"Moon Night" (1906) Sascha Schneider {{PD}}

“Moon Night” (1906) Sascha Schneider {{PD}}

The AstroEssence for the 17th: Why is it that everywhere we look today, we seem to see circumstances within our reality that contradict our highest values, that challenge those causes to which we’re dedicated, and that point out the flaws in our mate or partner? This seems to be so, even when these conditions are things we’ve chosen, the result of our energy expenditures, which we assume should mean they’d be much more to our liking. What’s gone wrong? Well nothing, really, it’s just that the current focus is on ‘the facts’ and how restrictive, punitive, judgmental, or harsh they seem, and that doesn’t leave any room for how these things make us feel. Add that component to your perceptions, and suddenly things will take on dimension, depth, and be a whole lot more user-friendly. Take note of the Sun-Merc parallel, as this is the lens through which we’re viewing the world today; it shines a light on the tension within the mentality, as Mercury slows to retrograde in Capricorn, with the turnaround bringing a period for considering our material assets and for really digging into what’s holding us back (Saturn sesq Vesta, Sun parallel Mercury)

They say time waits for no man, but clearly here he's sittin' it out. Chronos, Photo By Twice25 e Rinina25 - Twice25 e Rinina25, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1022388

They say time waits for no man, but clearly here he’s sittin’ it out. Chronos, Photo By Twice25 e Rinina25 – Twice25 e Rinina25, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1022388

Today’s word image is a concept, ‘procrastination’. I’m always dismayed when people seem to treat procrastination as if it’s a disease they’ve caught, one over which they have no control. They smile and shrug sheepishly and blame the mysterious power of procrastination for keeping them from doing, being, or changing. I think this comes, at least in part, from a serious misunderstanding of what procrastination is–we seem to see it as a trait, or perhaps an affliction–but it’s a choice. And it’s not a choice made because our goal is to procrastinate; we procrastinate because of whatever else we don’t want to face, do, discover, admit, or engage with, and that’s the important point: procrastination isn’t a thing, it’s just a multi-syllabic name for a pig-headed refusal to acknowledge and deal with a difficult situation. Using the word ‘procrastinate’ gives us distance from something that’s actually very immediate; maybe from now on instead we should say, ‘I refuse to deal with x’, and bring the focus and the responsibility back to ourselves.

For those born with the Sun at 26 Sagittarius: You are on the verge of making some very smart choices and moves–in fact, things may already be in motion now–but for success you’ll need to take the ‘right’ intellectual stance, that is, to place what you want to do in the mental context that will support it and facilitate your efforts. That may sound vague, until you realize that viewpoint is everything; someone who doesn’t believe they can climb a mountain in the first place will never begin the journey, much less seek out the gear and find a path forward. If you have any natal placements at 24-29 of Cancer these can provide an answer to how to proceed–otherwise, watch transiting energies, including the Moon–when they hit this degree area during the coming Solar year, they can play a vital part in energizing your intents and drawing them to the next step. Good luck, Sagittarius, and Happy Birthday!

'Worship of the Shepherds' by Bronzino {{PD}}

‘Worship of the Shepherds’ by Bronzino {{PD}}

No matter what your beliefs, get together with friends and celebrate the solstice point of change and renewal. In the Northern Hemisphere, we mark how dark it’s been, and how this is the turning point–from here on out, the light grows. This year the Solstice occurs at 2:44 AM Pacific time on the 21st; as always, this marks the Sun’s entry into Capricorn, and this year it happens just after the Moon in Libra has squared the Solar orb (suggesting the climate has been emotionally harsh, especially in relationships), and as the Sun makes a sextile to Mars and semi-square to Venus, suggesting the tone for the season may be one of choosing, doing, and doing so perhaps aggressively; and what do we remember from the Sun-Venus making the same contact on the 14th? That things get better from here–and this time, the change sticks.