Uncertainty Is the New Certainty 

For the week of March 23-29, 2011.

Don't be dismayed if you can't relax this week. The planets continue to align in unsettling combinations, and life on Earth continues to unfold in an equally erratic rhythm. Patience is key to handling this tumult, particularly patience with those less able to cope with anxiety about what's going to happen next. I often think that spiritual health means learning to live comfortably in a state of uncertainty. It's hard to live that way all the time, but this week, as Uranus' entry into Aries continues to stir surprising developments, staying open and flexible is the best way to manage the intensity of change.

There are only two important astral news items this week: (1) Mercury goes retrograde on March 30, and (2) Uranus continues its entry into Aries. We all know the drill on Mercury Retrograde, but just in case a new convert is tuning in, here are the basics. Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication and travel, and when it seemingly turns around and retraces its path, all those areas of life appear to work in reverse. The best way to handle Mercury Retrograde is to back up your computer, now — as in today. Also, if you are making travel plans, try to have all your arrangements fixed by March 27. The three days before a retrograde can be a little sticky, and so can the three days after. Mercury goes Direct on April 23. The most important advice for Mercury Retrograde is to not initiate new plans and projects during this phase. Mercury Retrograde is best spent reviewing what's already in motion and refining those plans.

Uranus' entry into Aries is a far more complex subject than Mercury Retrograde. While we know that Uranus is volatile and unstable, very few of us would have predicted the 8.9 earthquake in Japan or a nuclear meltdown as symbols of its explosive intensity. Uranian events do challenge nervous systems to stay steady in the midst of change, but the magnitude of this change is hard to bear. We are no longer a planet of isolated countries, cut off from events that happen thousands of miles away and to someone else. We are a global system, an ecological web of interconnected systems that register cause and effect almost instantaneously. This means, among many other things, that we can feel each other's crises as they happen, and the emotional toll is palpable. It shows itself in small things — in minor anxiety attacks about seemingly insignificant details. Many of us don't need to experience a tsunami to feel the fear, grief, and loss set in motion by that disastrous wave. Don't misunderstand: Those of us not directly affected are not experiencing the same degree of loss. But for many, the sheer idea that life could change so violently in an instant — and the realization that we are not in control of our planet — can have a tremendous emotional effect.

This week, as you attempt to cope with your relationship to Uranian uncertainty, be as gentle with others as you can. All acts of kindness have a beneficial effect.

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

ARIES Do whatever it is you do to get grounded, and once you feel yourself rooted, figure out a way to stay open to whatever needs to change. Reconciling opposites is never easy, but it's also not impossible.

TAURUS Your internal world continues to be activated, and while handling the constant mental activity takes skill, great gains can be made, especially if you are willing to use this agitation for positive personal growth.

GEMINI Unusual encounters with members of your community could engender anxiety, but they could just as easily give birth to creative innovation. Listen to what others have to say, and you'll see the potential benefits.

CANCER There's no need to feel torn apart by a conflict between work and home. So rather than worry about how you will get it all done, make the time to prioritize your goals, then simply stick to the plan.

LEO Continue to explore new avenues of self-awareness, but avoid getting sidetracked by self-consciousness. You don't have to know everything; you just have to know enough to keep growing.

VIRGO Stay realistic and practical about what you can accomplish, and no matter how tempted you are to deviate from the plan, stay focused. Yes, this sounds like simplistic advice, but it will work.

LIBRA Your relationship intensive continues, and this week, it is all about finding out what will make you happy. This is not about a superficial cure; it's about honing in on what really matters — to you.

SCORPIO Be patient, and make every effort to stay concentrated on what's already in motion. Once that field is secure, you can move into new and more exciting territory.

SAGITTARIUS You have an opportunity to ride a wild creative wave, so rather than being concerned with the outcome, simply allow yourself to flow. You won't be disappointed.

CAPRICORN There's no need to feel shaky about what will happen next. You are in new territory, but as I pointed out last week, you have the strength and resilience to handle almost anything.

AQUARIUS Stimulating conversations continue to provoke new ideas, especially if you're willing to be flexible and involved. Be ready to discard what doesn't work and you will benefit from this process.

PISCES As unexpected financial opportunities present themselves, try to stay aware of the long-term consequences. Immediate gratification may be exciting, but will the thrill last? That is the question.

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