A Portal to Change 

For the week of January 11-17, 2012.

So many predictions have been made about 2012, and so many of those prognostications seem so dire, I've been avoiding adding to the load. I often scan the news to see what's bubbled to the surface during the transition from one year to the next, and it's clear from recent headlines that we don't need astrologers to tell us that we're entering a pivotal year: 2012 is an election year in the United States, and many, if not most, of our elected officials still seem to be more interested in the power of the sound byte than the actual concerns of their constituents, a condition that tends to translate into false accusations and misinformation blaring so loudly and so constantly it's easy to mistake the noise of media manipulation for reality. It's also a condition that we have brought into being by our collective acceptance that sound bytes and staccato bits of information are the way to go — Twitter, anyone?

We also don't need astrologers to tell us that we are still in the financial soup. The economy may show signs of health, but no one is talking about the credit card debt that still leaves many people gasping for air, the commercial real estate situation, the plight of students, the foreclosure miasma that is still given lip service and has devastated so many lives, or the unemployment disaster that continues to destroy so many lives. Health care is not only still a problem, but has never been so clearly the emblem of a much bigger issue: Many of us have forgotten to care about each other, and the common sense that would allow that concern has fallen out of fashion. Where is the reality TV show that demonstrates the benefits of kindness and makes altruism glamorous? Whenever I see a commercial for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, I wonder what was it that tipped the scale of value to such an extreme that the perfection of form has so completely supplanted the significance of substance.

From an astrological perspective, there's no telling what's going to transpire this year because 2012 is a portal into several years of dynamic change, with Uranus, the planet of surprising plot twists, leading the way, and Pluto, the symbol of change at the core, following just a hair's breadth behind. When these two planetary archetypes unite in any arrangement, we experience profound upheaval. Time may have chosen the protester as the 2011 person of the year, but last year's turmoil was merely the tip of the iceberg. Yet as history evidences, the upheaval Uranus and Pluto symbolize is not necessarily negative; their interactions signify multidimensional revolutions that focus on issues of personal freedom as well as social justice.

So here are my predictions for 2012: "Social conscience" is its mantra. And while not everyone will be interested in chanting those words, one of this year's red threads is recognizing where and when personal interests and collective concerns meet. Be aware: This mantra is a call to evolution, and while it's not a new call, some of us will be feeling its necessity for the first time. Even experienced revolutionaries will need to take an inventory. There's no longer room for polarization and exclusion. The success of humanity's next dimensional leap depends on our ability to include the needs of all sentient beings. The only lasting revolution is evolution.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Continue to put your best foot forward, and you will eventually arrive at your goals. Sounds simple, I know, but staying focused will require effort.

TAURUS Allow your enthusiasm to gather momentum, and you'll inspire a supportive following. I'm not suggesting you start a cult, but I am advising you to enjoy the limelight.

GEMINI Rather than resist the longing to belong, surrender to it. Pull up the covers, cook your favorite comfort food, and acknowledge your need for a genuine connection with those you love.

CANCER Conversations with significant others — spouses, friends, or colleagues — stimulate a fresh perspective on an old, persistent dilemma. Listen closely, and you'll hear the necessary information.

LEO Opportunities for financial success continue, and so does your capacity for hard work. Just be careful not to push yourself so hard you end up overextended.

VIRGO While it may not be easy to find the time to hear yourself think, if you make quiet time a priority, you'll be able to create a practical strategy for what's next.

LIBRA It's not that you can't make a decision: You're suffering from "monkey mind," and while you may feel it's hopeless to even try to tame your thoughts, meditation or mindfulness could provide a solution.

SCORPIO Discussions with friends or professional associates have the potential to deliver insightful feedback that can be put to immediate use — but only if you're willing to put pride aside and listen objectively.

SAGITTARIUS Opportunities for career building continue to abound, so there is no need to hurry through a decision-making process. Take your time and consider all your options.

CAPRICORN You are unusually loquacious because you have a lot to say. And while others might be unprepared for this shift in temperament, if you stay on subject, they will listen closely.

AQUARIUS Focus on the process rather than the product, and you'll stay aligned with your creative integrity. Remember: As the past creates the present, the present creates the future.

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