Mercury Stirs the Pot 

For the week of September 29-October 5, 2010.

The planets continue to generate powerful emotional tides this week, and the ebb and flow of daily life continues to mimic that persistent intensity. We are still under the influence of the Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus/Pluto combination, which means we are still working our way through the aftermath of a slew of shift — the actual contact has ended, but the consequences linger on and on and on. The main reason for this prolonged after-effect is that while the planets challenged the status quo and dissolved fundamental societal structures, we have yet to figure out how to make the necessary adjustments and replace what has fallen apart.

We are in the midst of a profound polarization, and angry voices can be heard on both sides of the spectrum. And that's also a problem, because the rhetoric of the extremes seems to block out the genuine concern of those of us in the middle to find innovative, creative solutions to our very pressing problems. Sometimes it feels as if the crazy people are taking over, and at other times it seems as if apathy has supplanted activism as a remedy for what ails. What seems to be lacking is a clear vision of how we can work together to find solutions that will benefit us all. Each of us needs a home, food that nurtures, an education, and a healthy body, mind, and heart if we are to survive.

Individual situations aren't that much different from the collective picture. Emotional bodies of every denomination are struggling to make sense of what has changed and what hasn't. In some cases, where change has stalled, frustration fuels a desire to make dramatic decisions — but those gestures, while satisfying in the moment, could lead to extremes you might later regret. The best way through is to breathe before you take any action, and then breathe again just to make sure you're willing to live with the consequences.

Mercury stirs the pot this week, as it reactivates all the significant degrees Saturn activated last week, by opposing the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, squaring Pluto, and (by the end of next week) forming a conjunction with Saturn. Because Mercury symbolizes communication, conversations as well as negotiations may seem slightly edgy, especially if they relate to recent history. Again, breathe before you speak.

As you move through the week, align with Mercury and use your mind — first to recognize the difference between fact and fiction, and second to contemplate how your personal choices can make a positive contribution. Remember, the past creates the present as the present creates the future, which is why conscious choices have the power to effect true transformation.

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

ARIES Even though it seems that there is simply too much to do, you are definitely capable of making it happen, especially if you make "moderation" your mantra. Pace yourself wisely, and you'll have the strength and stamina to succeed.

TAURUS Make objectivity your ally, especially when it comes to conversations with significant others. Listen carefully and try to hear what's really being said, rather than what you want to hear; what emerges could inspire a powerful transformation.

GEMINI There is no specific action to take other than realizing just how wide the gulf is between your values and the values of others. The best way to solve this dilemma is to make every effort to respect diverse opinions, even when those perspectives differ from your own.

CANCER The process of improving your relationships is unavoidable, so rather than indulging your desire to get into bed and pull the covers over your head, contemplate how you can positively enhance all your relations, including your partnership with yourself.

LEO Somewhere between false pride and false humility lies the authentic ground of your gifts and talents. Stay centered in a realistic assessment of what you can do, and your innate potential to actualize your goals will astound even you.

VIRGO While the circumstances continue to appear to be financial, the core of the conflict continues to be about values. Make every effort to find the middle ground of compassionate compromise and you'll create positive solutions.

LIBRA The next step in this ongoing relationship intensive is acknowledging your needs. While that might sound like an invitation to selfishness, the goal of this process is to help you find an authentic balance. Rather than being overly idealistic, simply be clear about what you want and need.

SCORPIO Emotional extremes will only interfere with your ability to make informed decisions. Instead of indulging in reactive behavior, contemplate balanced responses. I'm not suggesting denial; I'm simply advising self-awareness coupled with discipline.

SAGITTARIUS The only thing you are required to do is show up, speak your truth, and stay unattached to the outcome. Allowing the situation to unfold is not the same as surrendering your position. You do not have to provide answers; you are simply gathering information.

CAPRICORN Think "synthesis" and you'll find a way to remedy entrenched positions inhibiting your freedom. Don't worry, this isn't about abandoning your principles; it's about opening up a closed system to create insight.

AQUARIUS Don't worry about losing your highs and lows. You are in the midst of a balancing process that requires finding your middle ground and maintaining your equilibrium. Once that territory is established, all sorts of dynamic interactions are possible.

PISCES Your innate capacity for empathy could allow you to take on more than you can comfortably handle, especially when it comes to the emotional needs of others. Be kind and compassionate, but also take good care of yourself.

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