Aquarium Age 

For the week of December 17-23, 2008.

Dramatic confrontations are still a distinct possibility this week — the warriors among us are not only not likely to be worn out from recent battles, they may actually feel empowered to flex even more muscle, a condition that's certain to make the days as well as the nights anything but silent, let alone holy. As the intensity continues, the brouhaha is sure to become mesmerizingly irresistible, and like a moth to a flame, you could find yourself singed by the heat of the moment. The problem is doing battle, while momentarily gratifying, won't be satisfying in the long run. Not only are we in the midst of a collective anxiety attack and meltdown over m-o-n-e-y, we're also in the midst of holiday affective disorder when emotional expectations reach a fevered pitch and disappointment nestles under the mistletoe. Put simply — it's an emotional mess. Fortunately, 'tis also the season of the Winter Solstice, the time of year best suited to quiet contemplation (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere). So rather than forge ahead and run the risk of getting swept away, withdraw, and use the next several days — maybe even two or three weeks — to honor the rhythm of Planet Earth.

The source of intensity makes a quantum shift this week, as Pluto joins the ongoing Mars/Sun conjunction. When the Sun and Mars unite, we experience the thrill of pure physical power, energy that can be put to positive use, even though it also has a tendency to turn attitudes prickly. Mars/Sun contacts are also famous for inspiring a competitive spirit. When Pluto joins the team, that ambition easily turns into a need to win at any cost. Be careful how you rationalize your choices, especially if those choices put others at risk. Remember, from a transformational perspective, the means don't justify the ends — they are the ends. This entire bundle has a tendency toward violence and cruelty; so don't kick the dog or anyone else 'cause you can. If you feel the urge to be a bully, go get the help of a therapist. And if you are allowing someone to bully you as an alternative to taking a stand for yourself, also seek the help of a therapist. Sun/Mars/Pluto is a difficult bundle to handle at any time, let alone the most emotional time of the year.

These days before and after the Winter Solstice on December 21, are actually the shortest and darkest days of the year, days our ancestors in a variety of civilizations celebrated with elaborate sacred sites, all calibrated to the position of the Sun. To the ancients, the Sun was the sacred source of life, and its every move was meaningful, every day. But this time of year, when the Sun seems to stand still, and that's what "solstice" means — the standstill of the Sun — seemed to have a special spiritual significance. And while we understand the astronomical basis of the solstice relative to the earth's tilt and its orbit around the Sun, I can't help but wonder what the Anasazi or any of the other ancient cultures knew. I'm willing to assume the Solstice signified a new sacred cycle of life — all life, not just individual lives. So as you move through another intense week, celebrate the Solstice knowing that the sacred source of life shines equally on all of us, even our enemies. And with that in mind, channel the Sun and let your light be a ray of compassion during these darkest days.

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

ARIES March 21-April l9

You're right, you are in new territory, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are completely alone. So find and keep company of like mind until you adjust to the new terrain.

TAURUS April 20-May 20

Stay in control, but don't be afraid of taking risks. While this sounds like a contradiction, it will actually create the balance you're seeking.

GEMINI May 21-June 21

It is simply a matter of one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Boring? Yes. But a consistent, well-executed plan will lead to steady, tangible progress.

CANCER June 22-July 22

Partners, personal and professional, may have specific, individual, or special needs, and while I'm not suggesting co-dependence, I am advising you to honor those needs as best you can.

LEO July 23-August 22

Don't be afraid to take a stand, just be aware of the consequences of your righteousness. Remember, we inspire the loyalty and support of others by our example.

VIRGO August 23-September 22

It is time for a fresh perspective, which means it is also time to let go of old systems that no longer serve. Be willing to change and the change will occur with greater ease.

LIBRA September 23-October 22

You're in a deep transformational cycle, which makes it important for you to spend as much time as possible thinking about what needs to change in your life, and why.

SCORPIO October 23-November 21

Show up, be honest and direct, practice non-attachment to the outcome, and work toward a just resolution for everyone, including yourself.

SAGITTARIUS November 22-December 21

Yes, you are on display, but you are up to the scrutiny, especially if you can maintain your confidence. This isn't so much about being judged as it is about being seen.

CAPRICORN December 22-January 19

Do not compromise your principles or abandon yourself. Yes, you're in a difficult process, but that doesn't mean you can't make progress.

AQUARIUS January 20-February 18

Rather than allow yourself an emotional meltdown, seek the help of a trusted friend, advisor, or counselor who will give you positive support, as well as candid insight.

PISCES February 19-March 20

Keep your expectations realistic and you won't be disappointed. Sounds like simple advice, but keeping it real will require discipline and consciousness.

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