Aquarium Age 

For the week of January 21-27, 2009.

It's the day after President Obama's inauguration and here we are: Hopeful, but still reeling with anxiety about the future. A new positive, thoughtful world leader is promising to lead us through the dire darkness of our personal and collective situations to safety. But some of us can't quite help but feel as if we are in an extended episode of Lost, where backstory and future-story are merged in a powerful miasma of uncertainty. On Lost, they're trying to find the island. On Earth, we're trying to find the bottom. It's a curious cultural conundrum: We want to be saved from ourselves — from our fear, our financial dysfunction, and our personal and collective lack of positive vision for the future. But we're operating (at least most of us are) from the assumption of a guaranteed entitlement to certainty, as if life once was and is always supposed to be predictable, reliable, and good. Not that I want to paint a purely negative picture. I'm actually a lot less gloomy about what lies ahead than many of my fellow astrologers. I just think that clinging to a rigid picture of what reality should be doesn't leave a lot of room for addressing and transforming what is.

This week, personal and collective ruminations are guided by several equally intense astral patterns. (1) We're still in the first Mercury Retrograde phase of 2009; it lasts until February 1. When Mercury retraces its path, we get a chance not only to comb through the details of whatever is already in motion, and but also to reconsider and perhaps readjust our attitudes and approaches. This particular retrograde also permits a recalibration of expectations, personal and collective (2) There's a solar eclipse on January 26, an event that tends to warp time, so don't be surprised if you're feeling out of sync, either minutes ahead or hours behind. During a solar eclipse, the Moon overshadows the Sun, an event that symbolizes unconscious desires dominating conscious ones. Often information previously hidden by the bright light of day is suddenly revealed, so be prepared for several surprises.

But that's not all. (3) On February 5, the second opposition between Saturn and Uranus will be exact and separating. This is a similar signature to the first exact opposition on Election Day, and it is likely to translate into more manic market fluctuations. Please do not confuse the Dow with the Tao. Financial markets are never a measure of ultimate worth. And as Lao-tzu advises in Tao Te Ching, "Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench."

Oppositions signify tension and tension pulls as well as pushes. So as the intensity of daily life increases, take the time to notice what draws you in and what repels. If you do, you'll find a way into understanding how this opposition is affecting you. Also try to keep in mind, while these are tough times, they are also potent times, bristling with creativity and opportunities for transformation.

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

ARIES March 21-April 19

Your personal and professional dynamics are one and the same, as you continue to work toward greater success. There's no reason to doubt your intentions, so double your efforts and pursue your wildest dreams.

TAURUS April 20-May 20

Allow humor to be your constant companion, and you'll find a way to not only manage the tension, but also a way to ease it. If you can find a way to laugh, you create win-win solutions for all concerned participants.

GEMINI May 21-June 21

Unselfconscious creativity is the key to your personal stress management, so get out the finger paints, kazoo, or Play-Doh. Just for now, your mental health is about being silly and having fun.

CANCER June 22-July 22

Sometimes we can search the whole world for the perfect place, only to find that home is truly where the heart is. Notice your internal comfort zone and you'll make a discovery about your external situation.

LEO July 23-August 22

Surprising career opportunities could generate lots of attention from significant others, but also from the public at large. While I'm not promising an Oprah endorsement, you could be a legend in your living room.

VIRGO August 23-September 22

Whenever you have a charge on someone else's behavior, that's exactly what you need to examine in yourself. Rather than blaming others, contemplate how you can take responsibility for your role — and change it.

LIBRA September 23-October 22

Startling plot twists could shift your work situation, and while the idea of change may initially make you cranky, most of what develops could be beneficial. Before you rush to judgment, allow the situation to unfold.

SCORPIO October 23-November 21

Rather than sit on the intensity of your feelings, express yourself authentically. If you speak from your heart, your eloquence and power are likely to surprise everyone — even you.

SAGITTARIUS November 22-December 21

Despite the tension, career progress is possible, especially if you trust your intuition and allow it to guide your decisions. Not every choice will be golden, but those that are will truly sparkle with clarity.

CAPRICORN December 22-January 19

Certain conversations capture your imagination, and while you think the catalyst is the person you're talking with, think again. It's your fantasy, and if you allow yourself to dive in, it will nourish heart and soul.

AQUARIUS January 20-February 18

If you listen carefully to what's being said, you may discover your adversaries are not as oppositional as you once thought. This is not about compromising your principles; it's about learning how to be inclusive.

PISCES February 19-March 20

Combine authenticity with empathy, and you'll find the perfect position for handling any tension between you and your significant others. Kindness will make it easier than you can imagine.

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