Tame Your Cosmophobia 

For the week of October 21-27, 2009.

A powerful planetary undertow continues to pull daily life into a strong current of change. Don't be surprised if you find yourself headed in a different direction than you intended. Also anticipate more than a little anxiety as this intense celestial flow churns issues hidden in the deep. Saturn is in the last degree of Virgo, ending a journey that began in September 2007. The final degree of any Sign distills and concentrates the qualities of that Sign. This week that astro idea translates into an intensification of Saturn's lessons. And because all of us have Saturn as well as Virgo somewhere in our birth charts, all of us have the potential to be feeling this Saturnian intensification somewhere in our lives. Expect certain themes to take precedence over others, even if you think you've already worked through those issues.

As Saturn moves into Libra it forms a square to Pluto, a difficult interaction that's exact on November 15. Because there is no way to deny the potential for negativity inherent in this square, I'm not going to try. Saturn represents rules and regulations. Pluto symbolizes power and control. Squares signify a dynamic process of confrontation. The entire bundle coalesces into clashes among zealots, unwilling in most cases to consider an opposing position, as well as willing in many cases to stand staunchly, even if that stand is self-destructive. Try to avoid the seduction of being self-righteous, and instead, be willing to consider opposing points of view.

You're going to read a lot about the significance of this Saturn/Pluto square, some of it in this column over the next several weeks. And much of what will be written will sound dire because some of it is. Of course, we all know by now that you don't need an astrologer to know we're in the midst of a major transformation, personal and collective evidence is everywhere. You also don't need an astrologer to calibrate levels of personal and collective anxiety, even anxiety about the sky. Apparently, sky anxiety is so pervasive, a NASA scientist, David Morrison, has coined the term "cosmophobia" to describe sky anxiety as a new emotional and psychological disorder. Cosmophobia is the fear of the cosmos, particularly the terror that the world will end by means of some astronomical occurrence. Think 2012, for it seems the previews for the movie are causing quite a psychic ruckus, much more than a minor tremor in the force. So much more that NASA has a web site to field questions about the impending doomsday. (Score one for the woo-woos, whose speculations are now mainstreamed.) According to an article at SpaceRef.com, "there is a widespread internet belief" that the world will end on December 21, 2012, as the Mayan calendar predicts. The problem is the Mayans don't actually predict that the world will end on December 21, 2012, just the long count of their calendar. As one of the modern Mayan Indian elders said, doomsday theories are "western not Mayan ideas."

So as planetary activity intensifies, try to keep in mind, these interactions are opportunities for transformation, not messages about the end of the world. And then let that awareness be your antidote to cosmophobia.

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

ARIES There's no need to fear the future. What lies ahead is more about love than anything else, especially if you can attune to a "wideband" definition and that's not just limited to romance.

TAURUS Moderation is the key to handling the transition into the next phase. So rather than hurrying the process, take your time; a steady pace will yield lasting results.

GEMINI Being true to you is the best way to achieve victory. I'm not suggesting you indulge every whim. I'm advising you to put your best foot forward by showing up and being present for each situation.

CANCER You're about to plunge into a deep internal process, but that doesn't mean your finances have to suffer. Pay close attention to the details, and do what's necessary to create greater stability.

LEO Your regular routines are about to shift into an entirely different gear. Before you make choices about the way things "should" be, give this phase a chance to unfold.

VIRGO It will take time to adjust to new developments. So whether it's work, home, love, or money, be patient with yourself and those you love. Remember, nothing lasts that is built in a day.

LIBRA Just keep taking each day at a time and you'll find the necessary skill to handle any disruptions that may occur. The goal is staying steady — a process you are quite familiar with.

SCORPIO It's a magical time, despite the displacement that usually accompanies transitions into something new. Make the most of this time by being clear and precise about your goals.

SAGITTARIUS While you may not like the idea of "joining" any community, playing well with the group is important. Make an effort to appreciate the gifts of others, and yours will be acknowledged, too.

CAPRICORN The secret of your success lies in your ability to focus on positive trends. Concentrate on what's right and you'll be surprised how much good grows in your life.

AQUARIUS It's hard to acknowledge just how much others are able to learn from your example. But that's no reason to be self-conscious about your influence. It's simply an acknowledgement of your power.

PISCES Be prepared to be transformed, and you'll be ready for the next wave of changes. There's nothing to be afraid of and every reason to enthusiastically embrace this phase.

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