Science Non-Fiction 

For the week of December 1-7, 2010.

Tweets go a-twitter this week, as does every other form of communication technology — and it's not a software problem. It isn't even a hardware problem, unless you're tempted to throw your cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device against the wall in a fit of frustration. We are in the midst of an astral static storm: Uranus goes Direct on December 5, and Mercury goes Retrograde on December 10. As Uranus accelerates and Mercury decelerates, the choreography of daily life is certain to grow increasingly complex. It might just make you crazy. For the next two weeks at least, you'll want to take as many moments and deep breaths as possible. You have complete permission put your hands on your head and make the Edvard Munch "Scream" face. It is a techno-nightmare. But don't get lost in unnecessary anxiety; we been through much more difficult planetary patterns (all of 2010) and lived to tell about it. Remembering the spirit of the season is the best way to handle the various breakdowns, animate or inanimate. Do your best to be of good cheer, and your good attitude will have a positive influence.

Uranus Direct tends to have a dramatic effect. People often complain about not being able to sleep, or that vivid dreams make it impossible to really rest. Either way, you wake up tired. Several days prior to the "turn around," as well as several days after its forward motion commences, Uranus will "pivot" on the same degree. That rotation has a peculiar signature, which manifests as an uncertain or uneven rhythm. Regular routines unfold at an erratic pace: One moment the world seems as if it is whirring by, and the next the seconds feel as if they are trapped in slow motion.

Just as Uranus Direct gains momentum, Mercury Retrograde kicks into gear. And while they do not collide, attempts to mesh the Uranian "full speed ahead, Lt. Sulu" with the Mercurial "slo-mo rewind" could result in psychic whiplash. Mercury Retrograde doesn't begin until the morning of December 10, but we will start to feel its effects by Monday or Tuesday. For those of you new to Mercury Retrograde (or who scoff at the idea of such a thing), here's the skinny: Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication and travel, which means that when Mercury appears to be moving "backwards" (which we know is impossible), many things related to communication and travel seem to go backward with it (which we know from experience is completely probable). So back up your hard drive, now, while the "backing" is good. Pay your parking tickets. Buy your holiday electronics early. And expect the normal year-end review to be even more detailed than it normally is.

Both Mercury and Uranus have dominion over the technological cosmos, and when their "normal" patterns are disturbed, so are their subjects. But don't throw that printer out just yet. Give the universe of ones and zeros a chance to find its stride before you dispose of something you might need later. I could end this week's column with "be kind to your machines," but you might think I was taking that compassion thing just a little too far. Isaac Asimov wouldn't.

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

ARIES All indications point toward your career, so try not to be distracted by unnecessary drama that could interfere with your plans. Stick to your agenda, but also be willing to be flexible when appropriate.

TAURUS Instead of worrying about being swept away by your appetites, indulge them, if just for a moment. Enjoy the pleasures of life — eat, drink, be merry, and acknowledge your innately sensual temperament.

GEMINI Silence is a necessary component of mental health. And while you probably won't find the external quiet you are craving, you could create an internal calm that would be just as restorative.

CANCER Rather than take on the challenge of a new project, devote yourself to tying up loose ends. Finishing and resolving what's already in motion will provide a keen sense of accomplishment.

LEO There is no need to apologize for your ambition and determination to succeed. But there is also no need to employ ruthless methods. Be generous of heart and that generosity will be returned.

VIRGO Persistent relationship issues will begin to resolve, but only if you acknowledge and confront your needs directly. Be honest with yourself, and you'll find a wholesome solution.

LIBRA The solution is simple, but actualizing it requires discipline and a sincere desire to change: Show up. Stay in the moment. Speak your truth. Stay unattached to the outcome.

SCORPIO Continue to lead with your innate creativity, and that attitude will help you in a multitude of ways. Whether it's love-, money-, or consciousness-raising, grace is guiding your way.

SAGITTARIUS Pay attention to the financial details, but don't let them distract you from the big picture. Putting your finances in order will free up lots of creative energy.

CAPRICORN You are thinking, and thinking long and hard, about several key themes and issues. Don't be afraid to go deep — the more you delve, the richer the process.

AQUARIUS The most important piece of the next several weeks is to trust your intuition. Not every hunch will pay off; that's not the point. Learning to listen will build internal strength.

PISCES Find a comfortable rhythm and let it determine your external pace. Not every situation will unfold as you wish, but that doesn't matter. What's important is your ability to cope with strength and grace.

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