Holiday Hustle 

For the week of November 16-22, 2011.

Daily life moves at an almost feverish pace for yet another week. As regular routines continue to reflect powerful planetary interactions, life on planet Earth turns even more mind-bogglingly hectic. This quickening is attributable to two factors. First, we are still under the influence of a Grand Trine that continues to provide the steady, solid, grounded energy needed to reap the rewards of hard work. Second, Mercury is about to begin its final retrograde phase of the year, which means most of us will be scurrying around trying to attend to a myriad of details before the retro-rewind commences.

Expect to be exhausted by your own hustle and bustle, so exhausted that by this time next week, even vegetarians and vegans will be so grateful for a day off they won't mind a holiday symbolized by a turkey. The best way to navigate this astral intensity is to find a comfortable personal pace that allows you to breathe deeply enough to feel sustained as well as grounded. Most importantly, if you can leave all expectations about matching the cosmic pace behind you, you'll have a much easier time being pleased with what you actually accomplish.

The ongoing Mars/Jupiter/Pluto trine continues to generate enormous reservoirs of energy, strength, and stamina. All three planets are in Earth Signs: Mars is in Virgo, Jupiter is in Taurus, and Pluto is in Capricorn. It's simply an extraordinary combination of grounded power that can be applied to all sorts of enterprises. Use it to organize what might otherwise be unwieldy projects and plans. Or use it to organize wardrobes, closets, and bookshelves. Just use it. This planetary bundle doesn't happen all that often.

And now for the retrograde. Mercury goes retrograde from November 24 through December 13, just in time for Thanksgiving travel plans to go awry. For those new to Mercury Retrograde, here the drill: It's always about travel and communication delays and detours. If you haven't made your travel plans for the holidays, don't wait until Wednesday. Make them by Monday. There is a strange three-day rule about Mercury Retrograde that seems to hold water: The three days before and after the actual retrograde are just as difficult as the retrograde itself. If you need to make Christmas travel plans, make those now or be prepared to wait until after December 16. Also back up your hard drive, immediately. Mercury Retrograde wreaks havoc with computers, even new computers with all sorts of "fail-safe" magic apps and innovations.

As the week unfolds, participate in physical activities that will allow you to spend any excess energy in a positive way. It won't be easy maintaining equanimity in the midst of this maddening pace, but it can be done — especially if you stay aware of what you need to feel supported throughout the process.

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

ARIES Call it a paradigm shift, a change of heart, or a personal transformation. Just know that no matter what name you use to delineate the process of change that's occurring, the process itself is ultimately positive and rewarding.

TAURUS Even as you are experiencing increased opportunities for success, you're concerned with how to harness these prospects into tangible, actual gains. Keep that practical focus and you'll eventually cobble together a strategy that works.

GEMINI There's no need to let emotional outbursts, yours or others, disturb your concentration. Stay attentive to what you require to feel supported, and then create a network that will feed and nurture those needs.

CANCER The devil isn't really in the details, unless you're unwilling to deal with all the tiny threads that weave the fabric of your plan into a coherent whole. Embrace what seems insignificant; the big picture will take care of itself.

LEO You have the heart to do whatever is necessary to heal your current situation. Use all the available support to break new ground, and don't worry about the outcome. Your efforts will be rewarded.

VIRGO Despite your new situation, you're still fretting over whether or not you will have enough. There is every indication that you will, but rather than brood over it, take a detailed inventory and let the facts speak for themselves.

LIBRA Spend as much time as possible consciously acknowledging just how much your world has shifted, particularly when it comes to relationships. And before you dwell on how much still needs work, assess just how much you've grown.

SCORPIO Matching the busy pace isn't really the problem, but figuring out how to get the rest you need is. Rather than working yourself to the bone, create a wholesome schedule that will allow you to replenish your reserves.

SAGITTARIUS Refuse to be fascinated by negativity, and instead make a commitment to invigorate your innate enthusiasm. This might sound like simple advice, but you'll realize its complexity as you try to apply it.

CAPRICORN It's not easy being keenly aware of life's imperfections, and developing a positive attitude to handle that awareness takes time. Here's a mantra to help you: Dwell on the flaws and you will miss the beauty.

AQUARIUS The goal is creating a strategy that will allow you to handle the stress with a modicum of ease, all the while paying attention to the smallest of details. Not an easy task, but you're up to the challenge.

PISCES Career issues persist, but that doesn't mean you have to feel persecuted. Yes, figuring out how to maintain clear communication with all your relations isn't easy, but if you listen closely, you'll find the right words.

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