An End and a Beginning 

For the week of October 26 through November 2, 2011.

The planets provide perspective this week, and despite some predictions that October 28 is the true end of the Mayan Long Count, this wide-lens, astral long-view provides profound opportunities for optimism about the future — something we could all use a lot more of. The intensity of current personal and collective situations is producing huge waves of anxiety about the future. For some of us the situation is so bad that the end of the Mayan calendar and the possibility of a doomsday looks like relief. But resignation or capitulation to negativity is not the answer. This is why it's important to make the most of the week's astrological opportunity to take an expansive, multidimensional look at the present moment. Take your time examining how you got here, and then see if you can map how the past has created the present and how this moment holds the potential for the future.

The Jupiter/Pluto trine is at the heart of this week's broad perspective. This week, the Sun opposes Jupiter as it simultaneously sextiles Pluto, all of which skews this positive interaction toward issues of personal power. Jupiter is in Taurus, the Sign of personal value, and the Sun is in Scorpio, the Sign of the values of others. Finding a balance along that axis can be problematic: lean too much on either side and a clash of priorities could occur. On one side lurks crippling codependence and on the other is unbridled narcissism. Among many solutions, finding the balance between those two extremes means examining the power of influence, yours or others'.

If you're focused on the end of the Mayan Long Count (or what I like to call the New Age equivalent of the Rapture), you might find it difficult to align with the inherent optimism of this Jupiter/Pluto trine. Jupiter is the symbol for good fortune, Pluto represents intensity, and when they work together, there seem to be infinite possibilities for hope. And while hope is something we all need, I'm starting to think that young people need a little extra. It's got to be really hard for them to be optimistic about the future. Most preschoolers, children, tweens, and teens are exposed to an overwhelming barrage of negative forecasts. Almost everywhere — in TV and movies, on the Internet, in school, and around the dinner table — there's a lot of talk about the end days. Water is running out, oil isn't far behind, the bees and trees are dying, Nemo is caught in a net of plastic debris, and polar bears are on the brink of extinction. Last week, there was even an announcement that due to global warming we would run out of coffee and chocolate in ten or twenty years. It's a dire picture of a wounded world and it must have a devastating effect on a child's psyche. It's hard enough dealing with the harsh reality of no Santa. What's it like to wonder at age five or ten or fifteen whether you'll survive a nuclear winter?

No one is immune from the news, and most of the adults I know are hurting from overexposure to negativity. Just like the younger generation, they're struggling to imagine their future. Use this moment to shift out of a negative view. Mayan time may end, but the time before anyone began counting will endure.

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

ARIES Rather than succumb to feelings of hopelessness, bolster your attitude by being creative. If you accentuate the positive, you'll find a balanced perspective.

TAURUS It's great to be the leader of the pack, especially if you can inspire others by your example. Remember, actions speak much louder than words.

GEMINI Assess how you can make a greater contribution to your community. Just remember that service should only be done with a happy heart, which is why you want to put personal joy at the top of your list.

CANCER Concentrate on your need for personal expression and imagine what it would look like if you had all the time in the world to meet that need. Then figure out how to satisfy your desire.

LEO You're in a deeply internal phase, so rather than squandering this energy on unimportant social activity, choose your companions wisely and save your words for what matters.

VIRGO While letting go of old systems that no longer serve may be uncomfortable at first, eventually you will find yourself riding the wind of profound freedom and great joy.

LIBRA You may think it is a financial matter, but it's really a matter of value: How well do you value your gifts and ability to make a positive contribution to those you love?

SCORPIO You can see it as a clash of power, or you can allow yourself to participate in a process of synthesis. Sounds simple, but letting go isn't always easy.

SAGITTARIUS Your opportunities for success continue, and just like last week, the only obstacle that might impede forward motion is a complete change of direction.

CAPRICORN Friends play a larger role than anticipated, and while that might throw you off, it won't be hard to make the necessary adjustments — especially if you remember to be kind.

AQUARIUS Focus your attention on career matters, and the rest of what you need to take care of will find its appropriate level of priority. This isn't permission for procrastination; it's just a realistic assessment of your capacity.

PISCES If you're feeling like you don't have the answers, don't worry. Simply find someone who will help you to identify the right questions, and you'll get yourself back on track.

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