It's the second week of the New Year, but many of us are still reeling from the extremes of the holidays. Whether it was the weather, the economy, the Middle East, or emotional eruptions that challenged the volcanic power of Kilauea, the intensity has seemed unrelenting. Fortunately, from an astrological perspective, there's a break in the onslaught of violence, as this week, the planets arrange themselves in a quieter, and somewhat gentler, picture of reality. The good news is that as daily life takes on a slightly less frenetic pace there will be ample opportunity to reflect on what was revealed.
The source of this change of pace (as many of you may have already guessed) is the first Mercury Retrograde phase of 2009. From January 11 through February 1, Mercury seemingly retraces its path, and all things related to its vast realm seem to move in reverse as well. From cell phones to Bluetooth networks to junk mail, communication devices of every kind are vulnerable to frustrating and often unexplainable glitches. Also, negotiations, contracts, court papers, and other written documents suffer from innumerable changes and revisions. And as if all that isn't enough, travel and traffic detours and delays are probable.
When the mechanics of the world go awry, the best thing to do is to settle in, get comfortable, and take a closer look at the details of what's already in motion.
The best news of the week and of the retrograde is that as Mercury retraces its path, it maintains a close relationship with Jupiter (at least for most of its retrograde phase) and that combination supplies a steady stream of ideas as well as the ability to express opinions and insights eloquently. (Looking ahead, the inaugural speech should be exceptional.) A Mercury/Jupiter conjunction also signifies good old fashion common sense that can be applied liberally to almost any and every situation.
Jupiter just entered Aquarius on January 5, where it will stay until January 2010. I always like to say Jupiter symbolizes great good fortune, and while that is true, Jupiter also is a symbol a big, fat, happy planet with a broadband frequency that ranges from philosophy to religion to harmony to humor to the quest for existential truth. Aquarius is the Sign of an egalitarian perspective that is simultaneously concerned with social justice, humanitarianism, and a desire to live in the big picture, as that picture relates to communities, local and global. Jupiter's transit through Aquarius will be a powerful anchor for keeping our priorities clear about the necessity to help each other through the next waves of personal and planetary shifts.
If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
ARIES March 21-April l9
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Community, or what I like to call "the place where we share our gifts with the world," so don't be surprised if you find yourself branching out into new territory. Embrace this beneficial phase, and you'll make many positive connections.
TAURUS April 20-May 20
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Career, expanding your professional potential and possibilities. Use this time wisely but be clear about what it is you want to accomplish, and you'll derive great benefit from this cycle.
GEMINI May 21-June 21
Jupiter is perfectly at home in your Solar House of Expansion, because this is its "natural" placement. Which means you're more than comfortable with its focus on spirituality, higher education, as well as Bacchanalian excesses of all varieties.
CANCER June 22-July 22
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Transformation, signaling a year of changes, with a particular emphasis on questions of value. As you work your way through this process, remember money, while necessary, is never a true gauge of ultimate worth.
LEO July 23-August 22
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Relationships, and while this is a fundamentally positive placement, don't be surprised if unhealthy relationships are replaced with positive ones. Be willing to release dysfunctional patterns, and Jupiter will deliver the goods.
VIRGO August 23-September 22
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Service, encouraging you to lend a hand wherever you might be needed. Just avoid going overboard and doing more than you want to. Authentic service isn't an obligation; it's the gift of a willing and generous heart.
LIBRA September 23-October 22
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Creativity, urging you to explore as many avenues of self-expression as possible. Paint, pot, draw, build, dance, sing, or write — just make sure you give Jupiter something to work with, and you'll be thrilled with the process.
SCORPIO October 23-November 21
Jupiter is in your Solar House of the Home, so be prepared for a wide range of "home" improvements. Be aware, this House also includes your inner home, so internal upgrades are also possible.
SAGITTARIUS November 22-December 21
So just in case you didn't think you talked enough ... Jupiter is in your Solar House of Communication, which means you are talking — a lot. Don't hold back, but as you hold forth, make an effort to listen with equal enthusiasm.
CAPRICORN December 22-January 19
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Finance (always a good position), indicating the start of a new financial cycle. Make the most of this phase by using its expansive perspective to scope out the long-range picture.
AQUARIUS January 20-February 18
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Identity, triggering a positive crisis by creating a new persona. Contemplate how you want to be seen, and then use this phase to implement your vision.
PISCES February 19-March 20
Jupiter is in your Solar House of Dreams, stimulating both conscious and unconscious processes. Use its presence wisely by paying attention to psychological or spiritual areas you would like to deepen or enhance.
Culture Spy - January 18, 10:25 AM
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What the Fork - January 3, 2:06 PM
What the Fork - December 22, 12:12 PM