As Intensity Increases, Try and Keep the Peace 

For the week of July 29-August 4, 2009.

This week is the first in a series of weeks — nearly seven to be exact — of incessant increasing intensity, both personal and collective. I don't want to be an alarmist. And the news is never all bad or all good. But as the current celestial pattern unfolds, we are likely to experience escalating tension that culminates with the third Saturn/Uranus opposition on September 15, 2009. Saturn/Uranus contacts signify challenges to the status quo, particularly stagnant social structures, and thus far, this series has manifested as the dissolution of previously tried-and-true financial systems. And while some of us are clear that we are still in the midst of a paradigm shift that's likely to include further financial upheaval, many of us may be thinking we are out of the woods. Not according to the stars. We are only at the midpoint of this five-part series of oppositions, which means there are still lots of plot points waiting to be revealed. What makes the third opposition on September 15 problematic is what transpires leading up to it. As Saturn and Uranus tighten their positions over the next several weeks, Mars moves from one pernicious interaction to another, and as Mars irritates, nervous systems chafe from stress, making meltdowns probable. The antidote is simple: Refuse to engage in any mean-spirited, harsh, or brutal behavior. Period. But applying this remedy will take a deep commitment to conscious living.

By August 1, Mars will begin to square Saturn; the square is exact on August 10 and stays operative until August 20. Mars is the principle of physical energy. Saturn symbolizes structure. Squares indicate friction. And as these two titans clash, their sparks become our tests of strength. Expect areas already disturbed to experience more disruption, political, economic, and spiritual. Also anticipate brawls or quarrels at home and in the workplace. Lots of us are gonna not just want to, but have to, spend the excess energy somewhere, which means as the petty or not-so-petty strife of the day amps up, taking or making a stand will feel justified, whether it is or not. Don't kick the dog or anyone else in frustration.

But the true test of strength will be found in how skillfully the discord can be avoided. Mars/Saturn contacts can also signify concentrated energy, but in order to successfully harness that power, the determination to succeed has to be combined with a clear intention to do no harm. And that also means watching your words. Mars is in Gemini, the Sign of language, a position that will feed a tendency to say things in the heat of the moment you might latter regret.

If ever there were a time to "make nice," these next few weeks would be it. Lots of us are going to be more than a little testy, so when possible, keep the peace. It won't be easy, but in the end, it will be the wiser choice.

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

ARIES Because Mars is your Ruler, these next weeks will be an extraordinary challenge, especially when it comes to holding your tongue. Rather than spew your opinion, get to work and channel your intensity into specific projects.

TAURUS The conflict may show itself as financial difficulty, but at a second, deeper glance, it is all about self-esteem. Money is important, I understand, but it's not as valuable as authentic self-confidence.

GEMINI Yes, you are the leader, but your example will inspire more followers than strong commands or demands. Walk your talk, and you'll have no trouble finding all the help you need.

CANCER If you indulge negative thoughts, you'll put yourself at risk for an invasion of the Brainworm, that famous mental parasite that steals all your energy and keeps you in a bad mood. Accentuate the positive and you'll stay protected.

LEO Be direct about what you need and want from friends, but also be clear about what you can deliver, especially when it comes to financial promises you may not be able to keep. I'm not suggesting parsimony. I'm simply advising moderation.

VIRGO If you let every little glitch get under your skin, you'll need steroids to soothe the pain. So instead of reacting, badly, start breathing, deeply. If you can keep your cool through this time, you'll emerge victorious.

LIBRA You can call it a "crisis of faith" or you can call it a matter of discipline. Either way, it's all about figuring out how to keep yourself in a positive mindset that will sustain a healthy attitude.

SCORPIO Yes, it is about making money, but not necessarily at any cost, and especially not if it means working yourself into exhaustion. Balance work with relaxation and you'll maintain a wholesome pace.

SAGITTARIUS It's a relationship intensive, and the focus is on getting your needs met without surrendering yourself or asking others to surrender to you. It's a delicate balance that will take consistent effort to maintain.

CAPRICORN While you may not agree with certain decisions, the secret to your success lies in figuring out how to avoid power struggles with authority figures. So rather than resist, scale down your reactions.

AQUARIUS Your capacity for creative output is staggering, but it's hard to identify what to concentrate on. What's needed is a discerning voice, not a critical one, to accurately assess your creative output.

PISCES Try not to let interactions with significant others, personal or professional, turn bitter as a result of unrealized or unrealistic expectations. Accepting the situation might be easier than struggling to change it.

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