Aquarium Age by Ralfee Finn
Transformational Astrology

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Weekly Frequency 1999

The Archives are organized by month, with the most recent columns first

December | November | October | September
August | July | June | May
April | March | February | January

All columns © Ralfee Finn

December 24, 1999
If you’re feeling numb instead of jolly, don’t despair. The aliens from Planet Bah Hum Bug haven’t abducted you. This year, Millennium Madness overshadows the spirit of Christmas. Dissonance fills the air. Jangled nerves replace jingle bells and images of computer crashes displace visions of sugarplums. It’s hard to celebrate when fear permeates the atmosphere. But it’s not impossible. Fortunately, the Stars provide plenty of positive astro aid to clear the mind and buoy the spirit. So take heart. It may not be a Pollyanna Christmas. But there’s definite hope for the future.

Jupiter, the Philosopher King, steadies our course into the New Year. Ending its trine with the Sun, Jupiter moves immediately into a trine with Mercury. Mercury rules the mind. Jupiter rules the Higher Mind. Together, they create a multidimensional perspective, inspiring a treasure chest of ideas. But this mind meld is not just an intellectual exercise--we’re talkin’ street smarts, here. Practical and pragmatic, a Jupiter Mercury trine spells common sense and lots of it. If you get stuck on the potential problems of Y2K, use Jupiter and Mercury to create positive solutions. Get grounded and stay that way.

What’s more, Jupiter and Mercury both sextile Mars. Mars likes action and when its movements are mentored by Jupiter and Mercury, what we “do” is guided by a good, organized plan. Behold! Thought and deed align successfully all at the same time. Walkin’ your talk feels effortless. New Year resolutions made under this influence don’t get broken easily. And get ready to talk. Mercury is in Sagittarius, the Sign of gregarious conversation. Anticipate animated discussions about everything. Share your ideas. Listen to the dreams of others. Delight in the gift of language.

Think. All weeklong. Flex your mind muscle. Put the Planets to work. The combined juice of Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury creates the perfect antidote to fears about the future. It’s not that concerns about Y2K aren’t real. But survival isn’t unique to any Millennium. Survival is a part of the human condition. Always has been. Always will be. These days, most of us toil in offices, laboring with telephones and machines. But our travails to make a buck are no different than the efforts of our ancestors who hunted, fished and constantly collected food to make it through their winter.

The gift of the holiday season has always been the promise of hope. There’s no need to abandon that tradition, now. Instead of velcroing to collective anxiety, choose to spend the last days of this long year actively planning a positive future. Meet the challenge of faith. Look forward to a new tomorrow.

December 17, 1999
The good news is there’s no bad news. The Three Astro Kings of conflict, Uranus, Saturn, and Mars, are separating. And as their power recedes, we bid “bye-bye” to angst. The best news is great news. Jupiter moves into the spotlight. And as this jovial giant radiates good cheer, we embrace celebration.

Jupiter bestows three necessary tools for successfully navigating life’s uncertainties: humor, enthusiasm, and optimism. Indeed, Jupiter, itself, spans a broad spectrum of seemingly contradictory arenas. Governing the noblest of human pursuits--philosophy, spirituality and classical traditions of all kinds, Jupiter quests for truth. Jupiter also rules the bacchanalian excesses of life. It loves to party--a lot.

All week long, Jupiter trines the Sun and they keep each other laughin.’ So lighten up. Feed your spirit. And get silly. What’s more, Jupiter goes Direct on the 20th. From that moment until the end of the month, Jupiter sextiles Mars. Mars moves. Jupiter expands. And the ethers buzz with activity. Expect to be busy. Very busy. Together, Jupiter and Mars lust for life. Use their power to fire your creative urges and build hope for the future.

This positive energy couldn’t come at a better time. It’s count down to the millennium. Armaggedonist, y2ker’s, and other doom and gloomers will be industriously predicting “the end.” Even if you don’t believe it’s “the end,” avoiding this survivalist frenzy won’t be easy. Use Jupiter’s expansive perspective to deflect panic. Rather than constrict in fear, open in hope.

Fortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t need computer chips to tell time. Her internal clock knows when to start a new cycle of life. On December 22, the Solstice signals the return of the light. No matter what festival of light you celebrate--Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza--rejoice in this renewal. Align with the Earth. Just keep in mind, this new start is not the rebirth of spring, when the Earth buds with creativity and displays her potential. December’s renewal happens beneath the surface of the Earth where the roots of life collect energy and gather strength. Go internal. Spend the next few days in quiet contemplation.

Dedicate your festival of light to compassion. But before you open your heart wide to others, first, be compassionate with yourself. Make a resolution never to call yourself stupid or ugly again. Forgive your blunders. Release the need for perfection. Love yourself, as you are, in the moment, warts and all.

Then, feel that compassion expand to embrace loved ones. And for a long moment, feel your roots deep below the surface of daily life, gathering energy for a new beginning. Notice all the other roots doing exactly the same thing. Allow this common bond to reveal the biggest picture possible. Become conscious of the interconnected nature of existence. Hold that awareness like a precious gem, every facet glimmering with love. And just like Jupiter, radiate peace on Earth and good will toward all sentient beings.

December 10, 1999
Crying? Pouting? All naughty? No nice? You’re under the spell of the Anti-Claus. Being patient won’t be easy. Everyone is in a hurry. And every time you turn around there’s something else to deal with. Staying flexible will be equally arduous. Resistance permeates the atmosphere. Emotional outbursts punctuate daily life. It’s not exactly what you’d call a festive climate. But the situation isn’t hopeless. And it is possible to find the energetic high ground. You just have to be willing to stop punishing anyone--including yourself. Polarizing in self-righteousness won’t work. Neither will a spiritual bypass. This is not about denying the difficulties or shying away from the challenge of telling your truth. Find a way of being honest without having to make the other person bad. Blame will only exacerbate an already mean-spirited environment. Make every effort to be kind and you’ll expand your capacity for compassion.

The cause of the Anti-Claus is two-fold. The first contributor is a Mars Uranus conjunction. Mars rules the ego. Uranus rules rebellion. When these two planets share the same space the pulse of activity quickens. Nerves get tested. Haste becomes commonplace. Brutal frankness seems normal and conversations are peppered with bitter candor. What’s more, a Mars Uranus conjunction generates energy and that energy wants to move--just for movement’s sake. Stress and tension translate into premature action. Harnessed positively, a Mars Uranus conjunction is the ultimate revolutionary, fighting to break free from the ties that bind. Expect unilateral stands for independence all week long. Just keep in mind, not everyone shares the same rhythm. Forcing your timetable on another could cause unnecessary harm.

The second contributor to the Anti-Claus is Saturn squaring both Mars and Uranus. Here’s where nervous energy could devolve into violence and injury. Be willing to modulate the need to have everything your way and you’ll sidestep the obstacle course of harsh recrimination or the need to destroy what you cannot have. While it’s also possible to harness the energy of this astro complexity, you’ll need to keep your goals simple. This volatile bundle easily boomerangs.

Fortunately, by the middle of the week, Astro Aid arrives in the form of Jupiter trine the Sun. Whew! Relief!  While Jupiter can get deep as it searches for truth and meaning, Jupiter also knows how to laugh. And the sound of laughter instantly warms the heart and cheers the spirit. Allow this optimistic, humorous energy to soften the severe edges of the week. Jupiter is quite capable of sending the Anti Claus packin.’ You just have to not take anything--including yourself--so seriously you forget to laugh.

December 3, 1999
‘Tis the season of review. But not in that Mercury Retrograde way. We’re not stuck in molasses or frustrated by details. Quite the opposite. We’re on the fast track to the end of the year. And the emotional terrain is all too familiar. For the next two weeks we’re revisiting the most difficult energies of 1999. Yes, this is a test. And it won’t be easy. Anticipate a highly charged atmosphere, as repressed, suppressed and unexpressed feelings suddenly surface. Expect confrontations to accompany these eruptions. Feelings long buried in denial are seeking closure. So rather than squander your energy insisting the season be jolly, hunker down and do one last bit of inner work.
Here’s the line up: The week begins with Mars, Master of Individuation, conjunct Neptune, Ruler of the Mystic Urge to Merge. Mars suffers under Neptune’s thumb, and this Martian discontent creates an irritated climate. Expect hurt feelings--lots of them. Also anticipate an increase in addictive appetites. A Mars Neptune conjunction encourages the use of mood altering substances as a way of coping with stress. Just keep in mind, while numbing-out does provide temporary relief, addiction never offers a lasting remedy.
By the middle of the week, Mars leaves Neptune behind and approaches a conjunction with Uranus. Pay attention: Mars rules energy. Uranus rules atomic energy. Expect explosive behavior, personal and collective, as moods shift away from hypersensitivity to hypervolitility. But that’s not all. Saturn squares that very same conjunction. A Mars Saturn square is infamous for broken bones. And Mars and Uranus are equally notorious for accidents. As these two configurations collide, avoid extreme activities of any kind. Reckless acts of false bravado could have devastating consequences.
And there’s more: Mars, Saturn, and Uranus were all players in the Crisis Eclipse of August 11. Two major themes of that eclipse were (1) the needs of the individual versus the needs of the community. And (2) the breakdown of calcified belief systems in desperate need of new paradigms. Notice where you still cling to attitudes that keep you enslaved. Is your suffering worth your self-righteousness? Or, is it time to muster the courage to find a new point of view?
One more bit of astro intensity: The Sun and Pluto are conjunct in Sagittarius and both are in a sextile to Mars and Uranus.  This astro alliance feeds the need to lead, making everyone shout, “I’m the King of the World.” As others vie for power, stay above board. The shadows of a Sun Pluto conjunction are control and coercion--two energetic icebergs capable of sinking any ship. 
This week and next week are tough. As the emotional climate intensifies, stay humble before what you cannot control and courageous in the face of what you can accomplish.

November 26, 1999
On your mark. Get set. Go! It’s the Holiday Marathon! For the next five weeks we’re crammin’ in as much celebrating as possible. Don’t be surprised if you notice a manic overtone--emotional charge is part of the landscape. But this holiday season pings with intensity, as the usual festivities collide with Millennium Madness. Guaranteed, there’s a lot to handle--inside and out. So pace yourself, now. There’s no need to overdo. If there’s any goal at all, it’s finishing the year with greater compassion and a happier heart.
Thanksgiving always seems an appropriate start to the season of celebrations. Honoring the abundance of life is a good way to get centered and grounded. I know most of us tend to measure abundance in money. But abundance is much more than a financial state. Abundance is an attitude--a state of being. A lust for life has nothing to do with your wallet. It’s quite possible to be poor and still feel rich. There are plenty of millionaires with a negative heart balance. I also know we need money to survive in the material world. (And we’re gonna hear plenty about survival over the next several weeks--as the y2k’ers provide lists of vital necessities.) But money can’t buy you love.
The first rule of magic tells us whatever we focus our attention on becomes our reality. Continually suffering over what you lack only locks you into greater lack. Focus your consciousness on your gifts and treasures and you create more. It sounds simple because it is. Assume a positive attitude and you automatically expand your joy. Joy begets laughter. Laughter strengthens the heart. And a happy heart opens wide to the simple pleasures of life. When we rejoice in life, life meets us with equal intent.
Over the next several weeks, build a big, happy heart by dwelling on the gift of life. Remember, this is the time of year we celebrate the return of the light. No matter what your festival of choice--Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza--the deeper spiritual context is renewal. Find your reasons to rejoice in a new beginning and you’ll transform this seasonal marathon into a deep, personal experience of gratitude and grace.

November 19, 1999
Confused? Dazed? Confounded? Trying to get a clear hit on what’s goin’ on?  Forget about it. Mercury Retrograde is still playin’ those mind games and will continue to muck up the mental realms for the next six days. But take heart--the end is in sight. Mercury goes Direct on November 24. Until then, we’re still ruminating on the past. Unfortunately, the rest of the Planets are playing hurry-up in the present. Time travel is exhausting, especially when you’re jumping between several zones simultaneously. Mental mania takes its toll. And tired minds crave clarity. Rather than stress, rest.

For those of you new to Mercury Retrograde, here’s the lowdown: Mercury Retrograde has a bad reputation because when Mercury seemingly moves in reverse, delays and hassles increase, as details, previously overlooked or unconsidered, become important.

Mercury is first and foremost the Master of Mind. Mercury thinks.
Mercury is also the supreme multidimensional traveler. Able to leap into the past, present, or future in a single bound, Mercury easily navigates a holographic universe. No need for fancy physics, here. The mind is a boundless instrument. Thought its perfect vehicle. Linear thinkers, still believing the mind is flat, warn us not to sail too close to the horizon. “You could fall off the edge,” they admonish. And no doubt some bold and courageous mental pioneers have lost their way. But that’s no reason to shun the mind’s majesty. The mental terrain of Mercury is a vast frontier. You need skill to handle its surprises. Training. And the guidance and experience of seasoned travelers is a must. But gather the tools and strength to track Mercury’s musings, and life opens wide with possibility and potential. Mercury transforms the unknown into the known.

Use these final days of Mercury Retrograde multidimensionally and the current climate of confusion will begin to clear. As you look behind, be determined to gather insight rather than regret. And don’t be anxious about looking at what is or what will be. This is the time to gather self-knowledge. Witness. Observe. Let Mercury help you to know thyself.

November 12, 1999
Memories light the corners of your mind and remembrances of springs past light up message machines, emails, faxes, doorbells and every other means of reaching out to touch someone. Mercury, the only astro action hero capable of traveling between heaven and hell in the blink of your mind’s eye, is retrograde until the 24. This is Mercury’s last retrograde phase of the year--not to mention the millennium. And as Mercury reminisces over the days of yesteryear, we, too, will muse on the past. Expect communication from long forgotten classmates, neighbors, lovers, and cousins you’ve never actually met but always meant to contact. So deep is this nostalgia, even the dearly departed are likely to show up--but only in your dreams. Also anticipate your own irrepressible urges to reconnect. This constant energetic reference to what was could pull you out of what is, making it harder to focus on the chores of daily life. Ponder the past, but try to avoid getting lost in it.

Amplifying this sentimental mood, Neptune, Planet of Illusion, trines Venus, the Goddess of Love. A positive Neptune Venus alliance heightens sensitivity, making some of those memories seem visceral. But be aware, the romantic influence of Neptune trine Venus could put a dreamy gloss of denial on some of those recollections. All history is revisionist, which is why the passage of time always rewrites a love story.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relishing in past pleasures. But on Sunday and Monday, it’s particularly important to stay in present time. Sunday, the on-going Uranus Saturn square is exact. Monday, Uranus and Saturn start to separate. Expect sudden emotional eruptions and energetic heart attacks. Uranus square Saturn has been with us since June, demanding we relinquish systems and ideologies that no longer serve. Now, as the tension between Uranus and Saturn starts to release, the calcified systems start to collapse.

Normally, the Mercury Retrograde chant is “Details. Aggravation. Delay.” But this Mercury Retrograde mantra is “Remember. Recall. Reflect.” Take your time as you sort through the loose ends of your life. Discover. Recover. Notice what you left behind. And if it’s appropriate, mend the ties that bind.

November 5, 1999
Strap on those multidimensional gravity boots. We’re straddling parallel universes. And you’ll want to stay grounded in all of them. Indeed, this week is a good week to prioritize your intentions and organize your efforts. Be discriminating as you sort through what’s important and what isn’t. You don’t want to squander your energy or waste time getting bogged down in the unnecessary.

Parallel Universe No. 1. Mercury, Ruler of the Mental Realms, is Retrograde from November 4-24. (I can hear that groan, as those of you already familiar with Mercury Retrograde instantly envision a hell-zone of hassles.) For those of you unfamiliar with Mercury Retrograde, here’s the skinny: Mercury rules everything and anything related to communication and travel. When Mercury retrogrades and seemingly moves backwards, everything in Mercury’s domain seems to go in reverse as well. Contracts, negotiations, term papers, email, computers, telephones and rush hour traffic experience one glitch after another. Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to start new projects. But Mercury Retrograde is a great time to review what has already been set in motion. As Mercury retraces its steps and revisits previously covered ground, we are invited to make a similar journey. Comb through the details of your life. Review. Reflect. Reconsider.

Parallel Universe No. 2. On the 7th, the Sun and Moon are in Scorpio exactly conjunct Mars’ position during the Crisis Eclipse, setting in motion another cycle of the Eclipse Effect. What’s more, because this Scorpio Moon is a New Moon, this entire lunar cycle is focused on issues of transformation. Individually, you can anticipate emotional catharsis as deep feelings surface. Collectively, expect confrontation.

Parallel Universe No. 3.  Here’s where alternate realities collide. As the Sun and Moon shed light on self-actualization, Uranus and Saturn continue their on-going square, as Uranus squares the Sun and Saturn opposes the Sun. (Yes, once again, this is as complex as it sounds.) In a nutshell, we’re in for Eclipse Effect aftershocks. Anticipate surprising and sudden revelations, as hidden information emerges. Keep in mind, Uranus square Saturn is all about letting go of calcified, out-dated systems, personal and collective. But there’s still more. Parallel Universe No. 4: Mars sextiles the Sun and trines Saturn. While this positive Mars alliance sounds good and does support indefatigable effort, you could easily work too hard and over-extend. Don’t push the river.

Just because the Planets are pulling in different directions, there’s no need to feel pulled apart. Yes, the combined impact of these cosmic forces feels overwhelming. Make “moderation” your mantra and stick to the middle path. If you do, you’ll have an easier time navigating the week’s intensities.

October 29, 1999
We’re beyond busy this week. Planetary activity jams the ethers, keeping daily life busy--maybe a little too busy. Anticipate overwhelm.  And expect confusion as the Planets pull in a plethora of directions. What’s more, beneath this buzz, lurks an entirely different energetic force. Mighty Mercury, Master of Mind, is preparing for its final retrograde phase of the year. By the end of the week, Mercury turns life into a slo-mo skid. Handle this energy as you would any patch of black ice. Don’t resist. Steer into it. Stay calm. Keep your eyes on where you want to go.

Here’s the line-up: Uranus, King of Shift, is blasting ahead, happy to be Direct and equally excited to be an active agent of change. This week, Uranus squares the Sun. A Uranus Sun square is the heartbeat of a free spirit. So deep is this urge for liberty, you might be tempted to rename Halloween “Independence Day.” Expect eccentric abandon and a fast-forward, non-stop determination to shift.

Unfortunately, Saturn, Lord of the 3-D, opposes the Sun and continues its square to Uranus. Saturn becomes the Fun Police, insisting on practical reality. This entire Uranus, Saturn and Sun bundle creates stress--lots of it. Handling the tension won’t be easy. Anticipate testy tempers and brooding mood swings as efforts to express are curtailed by inhibition or criticism. A note of caution: A Saturn Sun opposition insists on getting down to the bone--literally and figuratively. Be careful rollerblading, skate boarding, or participating in any other activity that could be physically dangerous.

But wait--there’s more. And here’s where the astro action gets too complex. Mars, Master of Energy, sextiles the Sun and trines Saturn. A Mars Sun sextile provides energy, vitality, and the drive to get “it” done. A Mars Sun trine spells actual progress in achieving goals. There’s just one glitch: Mercury’s readiness to shift into reverse impinges on Mars’ need to move forward. Frustration is probable. Take your time and you’ll be able to diffuse any uneasiness or anxiety produced by these conflicting agendas.

Mercury is Retrograde from November 4-24. But we’ll start to feel life slow down by Monday. Next week, in keeping with the energy of Mercury Retrograde, I’ll review the Mercury Retrograde scoop, delineating both the drawbacks and benefits.

This week, dealing with the diverse energies requires concentration, determination, and focus. Stay as present as possible. And don’t take on more than you can comfortably handle. If life starts to spin out of control, remember to breathe. Then, breathe again. No matter how busy you are make time to stay grounded and centered.

October 22, 1999
This week, the frequency shifts from AC to DC and you won’t have to strain to hear the cosmic crackle. Uranus, Master of the Electric, Eclectic, and Eccentric, goes Direct tomorrow and its sonic boom resonates through the ethers. Anticipate disruption, as abrupt decisions cause startling turn arounds. But keep in mind, these Uranian disturbances aren’t necessarily negative. Uranus simply makes shift happen.

Mythologically, Uranus is known as the Sky God. He is both the son of Gaia (Mother Earth) and her lover. When Gaia and Uranus mated, they engendered lots of unusual children--the Titans and the Cyclopses to name but a few. But Uranus is disappointed in his monstrous progeny and tries to push them back into Gaia’s womb. Of course, Gaia isn’t too happy about this. She enlists the aid of her son, Saturn, and asks Saturn to kill Uranus. Saturn successfully completes his mission and kills his father. But so deep is the creative energy of Uranus that even in his death, Uranus gives birth to more children--the Furies and Venus.

This week, as we experience the gravitational pull of Uranus, the air tingles with creative juice. On one side of the Uranian spectrum, you may find yourself no longer willing to tolerate the “imperfections” in your life. Don’t be surprised if you’re finally fed up with what doesn’t work--a job, a relationship, even yourself. Forget about denying your frustration--even containing it will be challenging. But be careful not to aim your frustration at yourself or others. Instead, apply your efforts to finding healthy ways of transforming your disappointment. Yeah, I know, this sounds easier said than done. But just for a moment be willing to assess your situation from a 180-degree shift in attitude. Consider the possibility that you are in the right place at the right time--even if you’re uncomfortable and dissatisfied. Take responsibility for your situation. Then, use your frustration as a catalyzing agent. Let it strengthen your determination to make more authentic choices--not from a place of fury, but from a place of reform.

On the other side of the Uranian spectrum, you may experience Uranus’ creative force as increased enthusiasm for where and who you are. If so, roll up your sleeves and embrace life. Uranus ably assists in manifestation, supporting new plans, as it simultaneously supplies the energy to bring those dreams to fruition. 

This week, surrender your need to control the outcome.  Instead, love the process. Embrace the totality of your experience rather than just fixating on a goal. If you do, you’ll handle the week’s Uranian upsets with greater skill.

October 15, 1999
The Planets are playing “hurry up,” but keeping up ain’t easy. Daily life hums with activity. And this week, the pace quickens. Uranus is getting ready to blast us into hyperspace. On October 23, Uranus goes Direct. This week--all week--the energy accelerates. There’s no avoiding the tractor beam of this Uranian shift. The week buzzes with anticipation. To avoid being swept away, find the time to get centered. Do whatever is necessary to stay focused and grounded.

Here’s the line-up: Uranus, the Che Guevara of the astro world, is champing at the bit, anxious to forge ahead and stir things up. Remember, Uranus is the supreme astro provocateur. Unfortunately, Uranus still squares Saturn, and Saturn isn’t eager to go anywhere. Indeed, Saturn steps into the role of the Fun Police, discouraging impulsive behavior of any kind. What’s more, Mercury, a.k.a. Mental Man, squares Uranus and opposes Saturn. Yes, it’s as complex as it sounds. A Uranus Mercury square increases astute intuition--the air sparkles with outrageous ideas. But Saturn wants all ideas to be reality based and practical. No room for imagination, here. Saturn sits on Mercury and that makes Mercury nervous. The stress produced by this combination of Uranus, Saturn and Mercury scatters energy and increases irritability.

Adding to this agitated atmosphere, (1) Jupiter opposes the Sun. (2) Mars trines Jupiter. And by the end of the week, (3) Mars sextiles the Sun. You thought you were busy before? Look out--here comes that freight train of "things that needed to be done yesterday.”  Mars trine Jupiter means energy--lots of it. Mars sextile the Sun spells even more energy. But a Jupiter Sun opposition creates excess, over-extension and exhaustion. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Get comfortable saying “no.”

But that’s not all--Pluto squares Venus, and falling in love becomes contagious. This is a sexy alliance. Just be careful not to wallow in compulsive or obsessive attractions. Pluto square Venus is not a smooth romantic ride. This week, even finding time for a tryst could be a problem.

One last Astro Byte: Neptune went Direct on the 13. Of course, since Neptune is the King of Subtle, you probably didn’t notice. But from the 19 until the end of the month Neptune squares the Sun. A Neptune Sun square produces a tendency toward negativity and disappointment. Neptune square the Sun also creates constant cravings for self-medicating substances as a way of easing soul pain. Rather than numb out, transform this climate of hypersensitivity into increased compassion. Be sympathetic. Be empathetic. Keep good boundaries.

The week is a lot to handle. So make sure you find healthy ways of dealing with the stress. Try not to lose your sense of humor. Laughter will help your heart to hold steady and manage the pace.

October 8, 1999
Ever since the Crisis Eclipse there’s been a peculiar “something” in the air--an energetic undertow I can’t name, but I can feel. Yes, I know some people think the August 11 Eclipse was much ado about nothing. The folks in Turkey would probably disagree, as would the people of Salt Lake City. And while it’s true most of us didn’t experience the eclipse as a physical event, we all had equal psychic exposure. Now, the air starts to clear. Don’t be surprised if it takes awhile to adjust your vision. Life doesn’t look like it used to.

Uranus trine the Sun is at the core of this new perspective. Uranus, that Mother of Invention, in positive alliance with the Sun, stirs deep creative waters. But the combined creative force of Uranus and the Sun is not limited to an art or craft. Uranus trine the Sun gives birth to a creative attitude--a way of looking at life that conceives of possibilities rather than limitations. Fueling spontaneity, invention, and innovation, Uranus trine the Sun produces the urge to break free and be.

Embrace this creative attitude and anything is possible. No such thing as stuck. You can use this energy to recreate yourself. Experiment. Get to know your soul. Imagine your life as a painting, a poem, an aboriginal creation myth, a hymn. Sing out your heart’s desire. Take advantage of this cosmic invitation to be all that you are and more than you dreamed possible. Believe in your power. Choose a new name. A new hair color. A new breakfast cereal. Even if you’re feeling trapped, just for a moment, suspend your suffering. Consider there might be a deeper purpose hidden in your confinement. Meditate on that possibility. Contact your spirit. Ask what it’s trying to learn. Trust your intuition and let that insight set you free.
This week, be willing to look at life from a new perspective and you’ll expand your joy exponentially. If you’re having trouble believing in the possibilities, contemplate the archetype of The Fool. The Fool believes. The Fool is happy. The Fool groks the big picture, connects the dots, and doesn’t have to tell anyone about it. Sure, some people think the Fool is stupid. But the Fool doesn’t care what others think. The Fool lives in the creative moment, trusting in the fundamental goodness of life.

October 1, 1999
Can you smell it? October carries the scent of change--lots of it. This week, and the next several weeks, the stars spark the skies with activity. As above, so below. We’re busy, busy, busy--inside and out. But we’re not just dealing with current events. We’re also reviewing and previewing. Every October crystallizes a year’s worth of experiences as it simultaneously previews the year ahead. This October is no different. This week, and again, for the next several weeks, we’re sampling the energy of the year 2000. Unfortunately, the buzz of millennium madness could make us all a little nuts. Ignore the doom and gloomers. While 1999 is a really big finale, the year 2000 is an equally big beginning. This week, sniff the wind and you’ll sense the shift. Each day, the pace of life accelerates. But there’s no need to match the stride of the stars. Take your time and find a comfortable personal rhythm. Then, stay steady. 

Uranus and Pluto, those Astro Agents of Change, instigate this week’s quickening. Uranus, in Aquarius, trines the Sun, in Libra, as Pluto, in Sagittarius, sextiles the Sun--behold the spirit of rebellion. Everyone will feel the need to stretch out and stage his or her own personal revolution. Even the meekest among us could suddenly turn militant, as the “idea” of freedom turns into unilateral acts of defiance aimed at turning dreams into reality. Uranus trine the Sun makes shift happen. Listen closely and you’ll hear the cosmic click--that moment a decision is made energetically, on every level at once, and there’s no turning back. Plans put off are postponed no more. If you’ve wanted to move, change jobs, stop smoking, end a bad relationship, or join a gym, now is the time.

Pluto sextile the Sun provides the physical stamina and the creative juice to implement and carry out these reforms. Just be careful you don’t bulldoze over others in your determination to change. While we love Pluto’s devotion to authenticity and truth, Pluto’s shadow side strives for power and control. Keep in mind, everyone wants to rule the own world. Respect the boundaries of others. And expect the same in return.

The week has a slightly nervous edge, as everyone adjusts to the new frequency. Expect sudden turns of events, surprising revelations, and abrupt changes in destiny. While some of these developments may appear startling at first, they are not altogether random. Pluto, Uranus, and the Sun provide permission to act on the deepest urges of the self. Trust your internal guidance system. Pay attention to your intuition. Remember to reform yourself before you rehab others. Most importantly, be patient with your fellow humans. Not everyone integrates change at the same rate.

September 24, 1999
The week is a split screen. On one side, dreams unfold through mystic lenses. Empathy and sympathy increase. Impressions feel visceral. On the other side, action plays out with vivid intensity. Excitement and energy escalate. The urge to act is impossible to resist. Juggling internal and external reality won’t be easy, but it can be done. Align vision, insight and intention, with thought, word and deed. If you do, you’ll harvest great rewards.
On the dreamy side of the screen, Neptune trine the Sun creates a climate of sensitivity, giving birth to active imagination. Neptune trine the Suns opens wide the invisible realms, increasing receptivity and inspiration. Pay attention to your dreams—especially those daydreams. Psyche speaks through a Neptune Sun trine.  Because Neptune trine the Sun also amplifies susceptibility to suggestion, you’ll want to maintain a strong internal center and keep good personal boundaries. Being too open to this week’s astral pulses could easily pull you out of your energy field and into another’s. Particularly, because the Sun is in Libra, the Sign of Relationship. Neptune, the Master of Merge, easily persuades the Sun in Libra to blend with another. There’s nothing wrong with blissful union. But losing yourself could cause some problems. Try not to confuse romantic idealism with the soul’s longing for cosmic unity. Giving yourself away with the expectation that another human being will meet your spiritual needs is a set up for disappointment. Instead, use Neptune trine the Sun to strengthen your connection with your spirit—the perfect place for ideal merging. Meditate. Contemplate. Meld with the god of your own heart, first. Then, from that place of deep internal connection, reach out to others.
On the other side of the screen, Mars, a/k/a “Just Do It,” stars in this week’s action feature. Mars sextiles both Uranus and Mercury. These Three Astro Amigos make haste, and their excitement is apt to make us all a little nervous. Mars wants to move. So does Uranus. And Mercury is also no slouch in the swift department. Mercury, Ruler of All Things Mental, moves quicker than any other astro action hero. Expect sudden realizations, astute perception, and lightening quick cognition. Also anticipate the immediate need to act on every idea and impulse. Zealous pursuit of action is the energetic signature of this dynamic astro alliance. Try to look before you leap.
It’s a good week for creative visualization. Use Neptune and the Sun to access your heart’s desire. Let that passion fire your efforts to envision what you most want to create. Then, employ the power of Uranus, Mars, and Mercury to get it done. Be generous of spirit—include a prayer for peace and a wish for happiness for all of us.

September 17, 1999
On the surface, life bristles with activity. The days move quickly. There’s more than enough energy to meet the demand for movement. But below the bustle of survival, lethargy lurks like a flatline. It’s been a strenuous year. Listen closely, and you’ll hear the groans and moans of soul fatigue. Weariness, individual and collective, is palpable. So is wariness, as we wrestle with our choices. There’s nothing quick about this internal passage. We’re not just processing a year’s worth of intensities. We’re seeking closure on a vast cycle of human endeavor. Corrupt systems and addictive patterns, easily ignored in the past, are, now, impossible to deny. Yet new behavior still feels just out of reach. Inside, we’re in limbo. Outside, life threatens to pass us by if we take the time to get deep.

As always, the stars provide a way of understanding the simultaneity of these contrasting forces. Mars is still conjunct Pluto, stoking the fire of ambition. By the end of the week, Mars will also sextile Uranus, amplifying determination and drive. Extraordinary accomplishments are possible under either of these astro alliances. But matching the accelerated pace set by these Planets demands a hard, personal rhythm—one that could easily strain the heart. Action guided solely by the need for personal gain or ambition purely motivated by greed can cause soul injury. Particularly, if you ruthlessly negate the humanity of others or disown your integrity. At this pivotal point in Earth’s evolution, consciously causing harm to yourself or others could boomerang in something akin to a spiritual heart attack. Shockwaves of recognition and regret echo through the halls of spirit long after the expedient need of the moment.

The best use of this season is exploring your spirituality. Again, the stars support this endeavor. This week, Neptune trines Mercury, creating the meditative mind. And Neptune continues to square Jupiter, spotlighting the issue of faith. A belief in something greater than ourselves—no matter what we call it—holds hope steady. Faith allows us to breathe. It also accesses a bigger picture. An expanded point of view notices the interconnectedness of life. Consciousness of the energetic fascia uniting us directs individual effort toward the greatest possible good for all sentient beings. Ambition can include both the hunger for personal success and a sincere wish for the success and happiness of others.

Don’t be fooled by the machinations of the material world. No one takes his or her pension plan to the afterlife. What we take beyond this lifetime is our capacity to give and receive love. As the next weeks and months unfold, old friends or lovers will reappear, eager for resolution. Old grudges will cry out for compassion. Old beliefs will thirst for new knowledge. Don’t let these opportunities to make conscious closure pass you by. No matter what daily life demands, make the time to turn the Wheel of Karma in a new direction.

September 10, 1999
Listening to your heart won’t be easy. Static jams the frequencies, inside and out. Internally, the Eclipse Effect stirs the waters of what mattes most. Externally, there’s powerful urge for expedient action. Beneath the cosmic clash, there are plenty of opportunities to strengthen your wholeness. Just release the need for immediate gratification. Stick to the truth. And take your time.

Venus, Goddess of True Value, triggers the Eclipse Effect. Venus, in Leo, goes Direct today. Venus makes her course correction exactly on the sensitive point of the August 11 Solar Eclipse. The eclipse sensitive point is the exact degree at which an eclipse takes place. Any Planets hitting that point reactivate the energy of the eclipse. The event, itself, may be over, but the impact isn’t.  Venus focuses this wave of the Eclipse Effect on mining the gold of personal experience. Expect questions of value and integrity. What priorities have shifted over the last several weeks? Are you expressing yourself differently? Do you care more about the welfare of others? Are you determined to take better care of yourself? Allow Venus to help you sift through the sands of circumstance—even the painful moments. Not every discovery will be easy, but with patience you’ll uncover golden nuggets of wisdom and insight. 

Unfortunately, this introspective energy clashes with an almost fanatical need to be an extrovert. Mars, Master of Will, conjuncts Pluto, the Goddess of Power. Pluto likes having her own way and so does Mars. Together, Mars and Pluto nullify the need to examine motives. Ruthless brutality, violence, and manipulation are several of their offspring. This conjunction is exact on the 15. As Mars conjunct Pluto moves through you, notice your response. Are you fanatically forcing your agenda on others, thrilled by the power of domination? Or, are others demanding you participate in their plans, despite your efforts to resist their coercive tactics? The positive end of the Pluto Mars spectrum holds the potential for actualizing ambition. Hard work becomes easy and extraordinary exertion effortless. Just be careful you don’t exhaust yourself.

It’s a tough week. Second quessing, consternation, and self-doubt are likely. So is frustration, as the search for authentic motivation polarizes with the need to have “it” your way. Be aware of your intentions. Avoid unnecessary action. Strengthen your spiritual center, and you’ll avoid getting swept away by conflict.

September 3, 1999
This week, the Planets reveal their multiple personalities. Expect confusion as the stars push and pull. Prepare for conflict as they stop and start. Anticipate contrast as they expand and contract. Mars moves forward. The Retrograde Intensive continues. Mercury stirs the profound. Saturn square Venus makes even the air feel shy. Don’t be alarmed if you feel split, inside and out. There’s no easy way to handle these fractures. So stay centered, take your time, and breathe—a lot.

Mars moved into Sagittarius yesterday. Enthusiasm and friendly competition abound, as Mars revels in Sagittarius’ fiery spirit. Mars also appreciates Sagittarius’ heartfelt honesty. Anticipate candid conversations and lots of contests for who can tell the tallest tale. A note of caution: By Tuesday, Mars conjuncts Pluto. A Mars Pluto conjunction heats up the ethers, increasing an appetite for power and a thirst for control. Avoid forcing your agenda on anyone. Be equally wary of the coercive tactics of others. This volatile astro duo easily births bullies. Used positively, a Mars Pluto conjunction produces almost unlimited energy. Spend this force wisely, and you’ll avoid burning out from the strain and stress of doing too much.

Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus are all still Retrograde. This Retrograde Intensive insists we revisit previously covered ground. As this retro force collides with the Mars/Pluto urge to forge ahead, frustration is likely. Unfortunately, there’s no denying this retro process. So don’t even try. Rather than resent this invitation to review and reconsider, use it to integrate recent experiences.

Mercury trine Jupiter offers a bit of astro aid. A Mercury Jupiter trine feeds curiosity, creating a highly philosophic climate. What’s more, Pluto squares Mercury, opening a portal to deep mind space. Pluto Mercury anything creates the potential for penetrating intellectual exploration. Ask big questions under this influence and while you may not find the answers you’re looking for, you’re likely to discover new knowledge.

The on-going Saturn Venus square sparks the air with emotional dissatisfaction and inhibition. Jealously is another side effect of Saturn square Venus. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself pouting or pulling away.

Handling these energetic fractures requires clarity. But there’s so much going on it’ll be hard to stay clear and calm. You could find yourself crying one moment and laughing the next. If you feel like hibernating, go right ahead. If you can’t hermitize, make every effort to just keep it simple.

August 27, 1999
This week, it’s back to school. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a remedial class or repeating certain courses. Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Venus are all Retrograde. What’s more, on the 29, Saturn also joins the retro team. We’re in astro review land, reconsidering, revising, and re-evaluating. This Retrograde Intensive begins the energetic harvest of 1999, revealing fears, failures, and heartbreaks, as well as gifts, talents, and accomplishments. Use this review to create greater clarity, precision, and perspective. 

As Saturn changes direction, it still squares Uranus. This difficult astro relationship causes tension and strain. A Uranus Saturn square also encourages separation, especially if you’ve either been denying a need for personal freedom or enslaving others. The pot of gold at the positive end of the Uranus Saturn square is potential for great personal growth. You just have to find the courage to face and overcome obstacles, inside and out. Accessing the benefits of Uranus square Saturn requires perseverance and determination, as well as the skill to honestly confront your limitations. If you feel imprisoned by old paradigms, but just can’t seem to break free, make every effort to examine core beliefs. Uranus square Saturn is with us until the end of the year, so there’s plenty of time to put this energy to good use. Become a “personal system detective” and ferret out the ties that bind you to old dysfunctional patterns. Then, put this dynamic force to work rebuilding on the basis of deeper truth.

On a completely different note, Mars adds a slightly impatient tone to the week. Mars, ending its square to the Sun, continues to square Mercury and Venus, both conjunct in Leo. Quite frankly, we’ve endured so much Martian intensity over the course of the last several weeks, as Mars interacted with the astro-heavies of the Eclipse, you might not even notice this tension.

Our pal, Jupiter, continues to trine the Sun, despite its retrograde movement, creating an optimistic and philosophical attitude. Use Jupiter’s love of philosophy to expand the potential of the Retrograde Intensive. Focus on finding the positive fruits of your labors. If you do, you’ll uncover hidden treasures, access inner resources, and build greater self-love.

August 20, 1999
This week, the stars spell relief, providing plenty of astro aid for soothing the weary soul. It’s not that the Eclipse Effect is over. It isn’t. And aftershocks of surprising events will continue. But despite these jolts, the atmosphere is perfect for a positive perspective. Stay open. Don’t take anything, including yourself, too seriously. And get ready for a few good laughs.

The source of this optimistic and humorous outlook is our friend, Jupiter. Jupiter trines the Sun. Ruling both the quest for truth and comedy, Jupiter loves life--in all its myriad manifestations. And we love Jupiter. Jupiter’s appetites span a vast spectrum, ranging from food to philosophy. Jupiter revels and Jupiter reflects. In a positive alliance with the Sun, the zest for life renews itself. Use this expansive energy to restore your health, on every level—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Adding a quirky feel, and supplying an ironic flavor, is Uranus, King of the Eccentric. Uranus opposes Mercury, Master of Mind. Together, Uranus and Mercury provoke new ideas. This is the mind of invention.
Allow this dynamic duo to ignite your intuition, intellect and ideals. If you’re longing for a new view, got a problem you can’t solve, or hunger for an astute perspective, Uranus and Mercury provide mental flexibility. Dare to change your mind, and you’ll be surprised at the influx of new information.

Pluto, the Goddess of Deep, trines that very same Mercury. We love this, too. Pluto trine Mercury encourages curiosity and transformation. Pluto Mercury also supplies an unrelenting, indefatigable desire to get to the bottom of things and figure “it” out. Harness this energy to sharpen mental skill and hone the power of observation. Pluto trine Mercury makes the mind turn in. Mercury opposes Uranus makes the mind reach out. As both influences coalesces with Jupiter trine the Sun, the ethers burn with the energy of thought.

One more note: Pluto went Direct on the 19. And while you might not feel the immediate impact of Pluto’s course correction, she’ll cause a tremor in the force, nevertheless. Anticipate an increase in intensity, as Pluto gains momentum. As we approach the end of the year, Pluto forms one more wide sextile with Uranus, creating a few more lessons in transformational revolution.

But this week, have fun. Let Jupiter fuel your appetite for the sweetness of life.  Give yourself a break. Enjoy the pleasure of being in a body. Above all, laugh. A lot. And love, even more.

August 13, 1999
This week, Mars, Master of Energy, breaks free from the Eclipse Fixed Grand Square, and hungers for action. Anticipate an antsy need to do. But be cautious. While the actual event of the Crisis Eclipse is behind us, the repercussions aren’t. Handling the urge to assert won’t be easy. Haste could make you careless. And this week’s impatient pulse could get you tangled in a web of karmic themes. Remember, the creative juice of the Eclipse Effect surfaces old systems in search of new attitudes. Stay mindful, and you’ll avoid the minefield of repetitive reaction.

Mars actualizes personality and allows individuation. It’s the arms and legs of the ego. This week, as Mars moves forward, the emphasis is on individual response. The Eclipse Effect de-constructs entrenched belief systems. But these patterns don’t let go easily. These rigid postures are survival structures that form the foundation of identity. They live in the emotional body, outside the reach of intellect. Survival structures are created when we’re infants, as attempts to cope with the wounding of our early experiences. Unfortunately, we create these beliefs through a child’s point of view, before we have language to articulate our feelings. Not that there’s anything wrong with a child’s ability to survive. Quite the opposite—survival is a kid’s only gig. But infants aren’t capable of recognizing or analyzing their parents’ dysfunction. Infants feel everything happens because of them. From the get go, early emotional responses are an effort to stay alive and cope with what we cannot intellectually comprehend, but nevertheless, experience emotionally, physically, and psychically. But here’s the rub: As we grow, these survival structures stay buried deep within, yet remain intrinsic to who we are as adults. Survival structures keep us responding habitually long after we mature intellectually, and have developed the capacity to make new choices.

Mars’ appetite for assertion demands choice. Choices are gateways. We can choose what’s old, comfortable and imprisoning. Or, we can choose what’s new, uncertain and demands we show up as conscious beings. This is no small feat—at any time. But this week, as we continue to be impacted by the Eclipse Effect, this task is particularly challenging. Saturn continues to oppose Mars, making many chafe under the collar of discipline and boundaries. Uranus still squares Mars, egging on reckless and rash activity. And Mars squares the Sun, creating a competitive climate. One more thing: Uranus square Saturn continues to instigate the breakdown of old structures. Passing through this Uranus Saturn gateway means moving through the hardened places of the heart.

If you give Mars free rein, you’re apt to react, rather than respond. So, set your own pace. Melting the frozen patterns of the emotional body takes time. And there’s no quick fix. Trust is key to handling this process—trust in yourself, and trust in your Higher Power—whatever you choose to name it.

August 6, 1999
The Eclipse Corridor: Part Four
It’s here. The event we’ve been waiting for all year--the August 11 Solar Eclipse of the Sun, made glorious by its astro moniker: The Crisis Eclipse of 1999. It’s big. It’s not Armageddon. But it could be a day of discontent. The Crisis Eclipse is a celestial convergence aimed at exposing deep-seated beliefs, that no matter how hard we try to shake, continuously keep us stuck in old roles and identities. These karmic red threads glow in the dark as the Moon obscures the Sun, and unconscious forces emerge. The Crisis Eclipse catalyzes internal revolution. Seize the moment, and release the illusions tethering you to ignorance and habituation. Simply be willing to let go, and grow.

A recap: On August 11, the Moon eclipses the Sun in Leo. Simultaneously, Uranus in Aquarius, Saturn in Taurus, and Mars in Scorpio, all impact the Sun and Moon, forming a Fixed Grand Square. All the members of this team are first string—and each wants to be MVP. What’s more, because all the players are positioned in Fixed Signs, compromise ain’t likely. These planets don’t bend. But that doesn’t mean we can’t. Flexibility, on every level, is a must.

Despite their infamous rigidity, the Fixed Signs are all about creative manifestation. Taurus embodies the fertile potential of life, itself. Leo allows the self to express. Scorpio engenders regeneration. Aquarius gives birth to new paradigms. Align with the creative potential of this eclipse, and you can turn the Wheel of life in a new direction. Just keep in mind, a spiritual by-pass won’t work. Uranus, Master of the Unexpected, assumes the role of Wild Card. No one is exempt and everyone is apt to be astonished by something. What’s more, surprises aren’t only negative. Surrender ancient grudges, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly old wounds heal under this influence.

No matter what manifests in the 3-D, the Crisis Eclipse is primarily an internal event. Use Uranus square Saturn to observe any rigid postures keeping you imprisoned in old value systems. Let Uranus opposing both the Sun and Moon inspire you to break free from the slavery of dogma. Allow Saturn square the Sun and Moon to illuminate the wisdom of boundaries. The only true trouble spots are (1) Saturn oppose Mars, and (2) Uranus square Mars. Saturn oppose Mars is hostile. If you feel attacked, instead of retaliating, breathe. Then, ask yourself if the momentary satisfaction of harming another is worth getting mired deeper in a karmic rut. Uranus square Mars is all about accidents—it’s a physical danger zone. Avoid extreme challenges and reckless acts of false bravado. This week, the true test of strength is inside, not out.

The Crisis Eclipse is a vehicle for multidimensional awareness. Let the impact of its converging gravitational fields deepen your awareness of interdependent nature of life. Transform this eclipse into a personal astro mandala, with each planet signifying a gateway of consciousness existing in all of us—even our enemies. Stand in the center and open your heart to the great mystery. Honor all your relations. Allow humility to deepen your compassion. Remember, compassion never constricts in the face of adversity. Compassion includes, and includes, and includes.

July 30, 1999
The Eclipse Corridor: Part Three
All week long, the planets tighten their grip, strengthening their positions in preparation for the Crisis Eclipse of August 11, l999. Just as a “healing crisis” returns to the origin of an illness, this celestial event surfaces old soul wounds. And just as a “healing crisis” leads us through a litany of symptoms in order to achieve lasting recovery, the Crisis Eclipse offers opportunities for remedy and resolution, personal and collective. Expect catharsis as part of this process. But avoid getting lost in the drama.

Eclipses trigger primordial instincts. The Moon overshadows the Sun, day becomes night, and the dreamtime comes alive. Eclipses suspend time. The Eclipse Effect can be felt prior to the actual event. Or, long afterward, as one or more planets hit the eclipse “sensitive point”—or the degree at which an eclipse takes place.

What amplifies the power, portent and potential of the August 11 Eclipse, and designates it as a “crisis, “ are the players. All the participants are in the Fixed Signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Notorious for stubborn self-righteousness, Fixed Signs dig in and entrench. Trust me, there are no featherweights on this team. Uranus, the Master of Surprise, Saturn, the Lord of Karma, and Mars, the God of War, all form difficult relationships with each other. And each of them dramatically impacts the Sun and Moon. The entire bundle is called a Fixed Grand Square. Tension is likely. Polarization, probable. And this week, as Mars opposes Saturn, for the third time this year, tempers flare and anger escalates. Notice where you’re adamantly clinging to a specific point of view. Chances are whatever you’re holding on to is precisely what you need to surrender.

The astro hope of these powerful forces is found in Leo. Yes, Leo. Forget every trash cliché you’ve heard about the Mighty Lion.  Leo rules the heart. Esoterically, Leo is the sign where we complete the formation of a self and develop the courage to be. Being authentic is the hardest human task. But being true to one’s self is also the most powerful medicine for heartache and soul stress. When we are genuine, and comfortable being ourselves, we not only respect the truth of others, we encourage it. This is the pure essence of Leo. And during this eclipse, the healing power of the Sun and Moon.

Authenticity connects us to the inherent creativity of the universe, allowing spontaneity. This is the ultimate goal of Uranus. Authenticity sets healthy boundaries. This is the wisdom of Saturn. What’s more, authenticity spells a strong ego, that doesn’t have to wage war to get its needs met. Mars actually enjoys the company of equals.

This week, find your Leo fire. Open your heart. First, to yourself. Then, let self-love make you generous of spirit. You’ll not only discover hidden resources of strength. You’ll also access the creative juice to transform the Crisis Eclipse into your own personal pole shift.

July 23, 1999
The Eclipse Corridor: Part Two
Parallel universes collide. Unconscious urges dominate. Instinct overpowers reason. And we’re humbled before what we don’t understand and cannot control. Sounds like a good time for a vacation. But unfortunately, there’s no escaping this astro stress anywhere on Planet Earth.  We’re caught in the grip of the Eclipse Effect.  On July 28, there’s a Lunar Eclipse, and before we can catch a breath, fourteen days later, on August 11, there’s a Solar Eclipse. Eclipses wobble the world and generate time warps. So expect to be disoriented. If you have a hard time staying present, find one thing, each day, that brings you joy and makes you smile.

Neptune, Mars, and Mercury Retrograde set the tone for the July 28 Eclipse. Joined in a dysfunctional relationship, these three amigos distort reality. Neptune is the Grand Deceiver. If you’ve been lying, the Eclipse Effect reveals your duplicity. If you’ve been denying your intuition about being deceived, the truth surfaces. Mars, the Astro Action Hero, continues to separate out of its tight opposition with Jupiter. (Moving full steam ahead into an opposition with Saturn by the end of the week!) As Mars leaves Jupiter in the dust, the true colors of recent over-extension are exposed. Mercury Retrograde doesn’t help matters. Indeed, this Retrograde is the astro equivalent of getting nowhere—fast. If you feel like you’re slogging through molasses, you right. Unfortunately, all of these forces coalesce to breed paralysis, impatience, and frustration. Anticipate interruptions and expect to repeat yourself—a lot.

Don’t be shocked if you find yourself crying. It makes no difference whether you weep tears of rage, tears of grief, or tears of gratitude. Just let your feelings flow. Bodies know best how to handle emotional stress. Allow your body to express what you may not be able to articulate with words.

It’s not a good week to push the river.  But it is an excellent time to find a quiet spot and watch the river flow by. I’m not suggesting apathy or withdrawal. I’m advising mindfulness, as a way of maintaining clarity. This week, and the next several weeks, are a tough energetic ride. Assume the role of observer, and you’ll get to witness what you’ve set in motion, without getting lost in the tumult. Watch carefully, and notice how words, deeds, thoughts, attitudes and efforts, tossed out into a potent creative universe, return as events or opportunities. This is the Law of Karma. Cause and Effect. Remember, karma is a function, not a punishment. And not all karma is bad karma.

July 16, 1999
The Eclipse Corridor: Part One.
This week, we enter the Eclipse Corridor. On July 28, there’s a Lunar Eclipse. On August 11 a Solar Eclipse. Both eclipses pack a powerful cosmic punch. Both eclipses constellate in complex configurations. As this astro drama unfolds, you’ll be bombarded by forecasts about how these energies will play out. But not here. For the next several weeks, the emphasis is on deciphering the planetary code, rather than pinpointing specific events. Eclipses interrupt the “normal” flow of life and reveal what was previously hidden. So it’s impossible to predict how these energies will manifest in the 3-D.  Fretting about what might happen will make you nuts. Instead of worrying, witness.

An Eclipse Effect is felt several weeks prior to or after the actual event. So this week, the focus is on the Lunar Eclipse of July 28. (1) This Lunar Eclipse is a Fixed Grand Square. Yes, for those of you paying attention, the Solar Eclipse of August 11 is also a Fixed Grand Square. This dynamic configuration is about the reconciliation of opposing forces. Expect tension, strain, and stress, as you struggle with the righteousness of your position. Stay flexible, and a Fixed Grand Square also offers the possibility of redemption and amends. You just have to be willing to bend. (2) The July 28 Eclipse is the culmination the Jupiter Mars opposition. This opposition is the reason for the recent mania to do, do, do. Now, Mars separates from Jupiter, collapsing exaggerated plans. Disappointment is likely. Particularly, because (3) Neptune, as it squares both Jupiter and Mars, has been busy feeding fantasy and bloating egos. Avoid blaming yourself or others. Instead, take responsibility. Learn from your failures, and move on.

Here’s where it gets tricky: (4) As part of this Grand Square, (a) Mercury Retrograde conjuncts the Sun in Leo. (b) The Moon conjuncts Neptune, in Aquarius. (c) The Neptune Moon conjunction opposes the Sun Mercury conjunction. And (5) Jupiter, in Taurus, and Mars, in Scorpio square all of the above. It’s as exhausting as it sounds ... trust me. And if you feel like going to bed for the next couple of weeks, go right ahead. Just don’t go into a stupor. Neptune carries the weight of this July 28 Lunar Eclipse, and could easily seduce you into substance abuse as a remedy for stress. Rather than attune to Neptune’s proclivity for drugs and alcohol, align with Neptune’s cosmic mission: recognizing and merging with the divine. This Lunar Eclipse also encourages profound states of spiritual harmony.

The best antidote for eclipse anxiety is consciousness and curiosity. Yes, there will be surprises. That’s the point. But there’s no need to be afraid. Indeed, much can be gained from these “interesting” times.

July 16, 1999
I don’t know about you, but all the predictions about the Crisis Eclipse are making me crazy. So nuts, in fact, that every time I read another forecast, I feel like I’m watching the astro equivalent of those television commercials advertising medical breakthroughs: Five seconds of naming the product and its benefits, and 25 seconds of warnings that scare the shit out of you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not recanting my position on the importance of this event.

On August 11, the Moon will eclipse the Sun, in Leo, as Uranus, in Aquarius opposes both of them. Saturn, in Taurus, opposes Mars, in Scorpio. Both Saturn and Mars square the Sun and Moon. And both Saturn and Mars are squared by Uranus. This configuration is called a Fixed Grand Square or Cosmic Cross. Yes, it’s complex, and the tension produced by this constellation is palpable. But predicting how this cosmic stress will play out in the 3-D is impossible. Impossible because Uranus, the King of Surprise, assumes the starring role in this astro drama, and Uranus is a wild card, plain and simple. So forget about second-guessing an outcome.

Second, and perhaps most important, it’s impossible to augur the effect of the Eclipse because when the Moon overshadows the Sun, the unconscious takes the helm. If this event was about conscious energy we wouldn’t be wondering what was gonna happen. Unfortunately, because most of us don’t view our unconscious as user friendly, the idea of the “irrational” taking over becomes a huge projection screen for anxiety. Yes, the unconscious is eruptive. And disruption is part of how it functions. But the unconscious doesn’t have to be an enemy. Indeed, it can be a very handy ally. It all depends on your perspective.

What’s more, this event happens for each of us individually. It’s not just about collective forces. Focus inside, and you can use this tension to create your own personal pole shift. The Sun is eclipsed in Leo, the sign where we complete the formation of a self. Leo is where we learn to be brave and take risks in the world. It’s the sign of creative self-expression. Leo encourages being in the moment. And when we’re busy being, we have no concept of or concern about the outcome. We’re simply alive.

If you start to feel overwhelmed by prophesy, attune to the individual challenge of the Crisis Eclipse. Use the cosmic tension to transform old, stuck linear positions into new, fluid, multidimensional solutions. The gift of this process is redemption. So rather than constrict, open. Get comfortable with uncertainty. Love not knowing. Pretend you’re a Buddhist--embrace the transitory nature of existence. Non-attachment isn’t only about death. It’s also about life.

A Fixed Grand Cross repeats itself on August 11. The Moon will over shadow the Sun, in Leo, and as it does, the unconscious will dominate the rational self. The defining feature on that Eclipse, and the reason everyone is in a tizzy, are the planetary players. Uranus, Saturn, and Mars are the stars of this astro drama, and they all pack a powerful punch.

July 9, 1999
Put simply, this week is a jazz riff. And it’s gonna be hard to hum the melody. First, Mercury goes Retrograde, slowing the pace of life. Second, Pluto trines that Mercury, adding a punctuating precision. Next, Neptune, Jupiter, and Mars, continue improvising reality. What’s more, Uranus and Saturn are banging out a rebellious backbeat. Awareness is the key instrument in synthesizing these diverse energies.

Mercury goes Retrograde, in Leo, on July 12 and stays retrograde until August 5. As most of us know by now, Mercury Retrograde slows the pace of life, insisting we pay attention to the details. As a result, Mercury Retrograde tends to create hassles, delays, and snafus with everything and anything related to communication--contracts, negotiations, telephone, computers--you name it. Unfortunately, this Mercury Retrograde collides with the on going Neptune, Jupiter, Mars T-square. This particular combination of Neptune, Jupiter and Mars confuses and distorts reality. Neptune doesn’t care a lick for details, and when Neptune’s lax attitude combines with the excess of Jupiter and Mars, the fine print is easy to ignore.

But—and this is a big but—Pluto trines Mercury. We like this. A Pluto Mercury trine amplifies acute powers of observation. It’s mega mental. Indeed, Pluto trine Mercury adds an almost obsessive quality to this Retrograde phase. As you review the expanded terrain of the last two months, use Pluto Mercury to isolate important information. Dig deep into the details, and assess possible ramifications and consequences you may have missed.

Uranus square Saturn continues to generate powerful tension. This square is all about unrest, inside and out. Expect unexpected and sudden provocation. Uranus square Saturn struggles against limitation, and as it strains for freedom, produces a tendency toward violence. Irritability and emotional rebellion are its energetic signatures. You can put this powerful force to good use building lasting internal endurance and the skill to cope with almost any situation. But to do so, you must focus your intention and aim your efforts at specific themes.

It might take you a while to find your groove. But if you think celestial funk, you’ll have an easier time tuning into the planetary rhythms. Be willing to leave your comfort zone. Detach from rigid roles. Embrace a multi-dimensional viewpoint. Keep in mind, everyone is dealing with the same dissonance. Be kind. Be patient. Be agile.

July 2, 1999
This week, discerning the “real” from the “unreal” takes extra effort. Neptune, Master of Illusion, has us in its spell. On the negative end of this Neptunian spectrum, you’ll find a House of Mirrors, with distorted reflections extending infinitely. On the positive end, Neptune breathes life into spiritual connection and profound meditative states. Keeping your feet planted firmly in the 3-D is a must. So keep it simple. And stick to the truth. Neptune makes it easy to confuse fact and fiction.

Here’s the line-up: Neptune, in Aquarius, opposes Mercury, in Leo. And Neptune simultaneously squares Jupiter, in Taurus, and Mars, which enters Scorpio on the 4. Lets start with (1) Neptune’s opposition to Mercury. Any Neptune Mercury relationship always creates the potential for confusion. Keeping a clear head, staying focused, and being organized, requires concentration, determination, and mental elbow grease.  This Neptunian fog often gives birth to deceit, as Neptune easily cajoles Mercury into assuming one of Mercury’s favorite roles—Cosmic Coyote. Mercury loves to play the Trickster, so be wary. Avoid lying—to yourself or anyone else.

(2) Neptune squaring Jupiter and Mars. As you already know, the on-going Jupiter Mars opposition gives birth to hyperactivity. Now, Neptune exacerbates this over-the-top atmosphere. Neptune never pays attention to boundaries. So when Neptune joins with Jupiter, the King of Big, Jupiter responds with fantastic grandiosity. Neptune increases Jupiter’s appetites, making it difficult to set healthy limits. These exaggerated ambitions can easily end in disappointment or depression. Continue to stay real about what you can or can’t accomplish. What’s more, Neptune squares Mars, Master of Ego, Will, and Energy, amplifying the messy boundaries theme. The mesmerizing effect of a Neptune Mars’s square can easily get you enmeshed in the dreams of others. Or, conversely, motivate you to impose your will upon someone else.

(3) The combined energies of Neptune, Jupiter, and Mars stir the Addiction Monster. Get lost under this influence and binges of all kinds are likely. Keep in mind, a numbed out miasma won’t solve anything. Indeed, the ethers are already so confused you’ll want to stay sober.

As you walk through the week’s illusions, try putting this Neptune Effect to good use merging heart and soul with positive purpose. Write poetry. Play jazz. Paint watercolors. Increase your spiritual connection. Expand your capacity for compassion. Just keep good boundaries. And don’t surrender to anyone or anything other than your Higher Power.

June 25, 1999
Feeling spacey? Dazed? Confused?  Neptune, Master of Alternate Realities, has us in its thrall. On the 3-D, it’ll be hard to pin down anyone to anything. Famous for being vague, Neptune makes the “real” world run amuck. Concentration, focus, and clarity are difficult to maintain. Since staying buttoned down requires enormous effort, try opening up, instead. Neptune is mighty effective at making spiritual and mystical contact. Go on a shamanic journey. Astral travel. Get lost in a big, fat book. Make friends with extraterrestrials. Read poetry. Listen to music. Become a remote viewer. Do that thing that Neptune does so well: imagine and intuit.

Neptune joins the on-going Jupiter, Mars, Mercury T-square, as it squares Jupiter and opposes Mercury. (By the end of the week, Neptune will square Mars, too.) This is a slippery alliance. As you already know, Jupiter and Mars create mania. Now, Neptune, Blurrer of Boundaries, encourages and amplifies the already existing environment of exaggeration. Both Neptune and Jupiter enjoy expanded states of awareness. They also both search for truth and unity. The downside of this square is the enormity of Jupiter’s appetites and Neptune’s penchant for mind and mood altering substances. Fall under the negative influence of a Neptune Jupiter square and you could find yourself on a binge. Put to good use, Neptune square Jupiter encourages deep and profound states of meditation and mystical ecstasy.

It’s the Neptune Mercury opposition that makes this configuration sticky. Mercury is the only Astro God capable of traveling between heaven and hell in the blink of your mind’s eye. When Neptune beams its cosmic urge to merge in Mercury’s direction, boundaries disintegrate. Details seem superfluous. Embellishment, normal. It is possible to get lost in a Neptunian miasma, where nothing is real. But we’re not in Strawberry Fields. We’re on Planet Earth where it is important to stay grounded. Because projection is probable under any Neptune influence, you’ll need to discern the truth from wishful thinking or misplaced assumption. A Neptune Mercury opposition can be used positively to increase intuitive skill, enhance creative gifts, and augment spiritual vision.

At the core, Neptune, Jupiter and Mercury are offering an invitation to expand your mind and soul. Their subtle energies enable exploration of parallel universes. As you reach out to embrace other realities, stay grounded. Make sure you have a steady internal compass to help you find your way back home.

June 18, 1999
It’s beyond hectic. Mars hit the fast forward button when it went direct on June 4, and we shifted into overdrive. Situations previously moldy with inertia now have momentum. Projects lingering for months are suddenly vital. Vigor pulses through the ethers. Matching this breakneck pace is strenuous and stressful. So catch your breath. Find a comfortable stride. And get ready for the next lap.

The driving force behind this mania is a Mars Jupiter opposition. Jupiter is the King of Expansion. Mars, the Master of Energy. Together, they dream big. Plans mushroom. Activity flourishes. But this dynamic force easily spins out of control. What’s more, by Monday, Mighty Mercury joins the team, moving into square both Jupiter and Mars. Mercury, Ruler of the Mental Realms, often takes on the guise of the Trickster. Be wary of pie in the sky schemes. Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury have more than their fair share of the blarney. Anticipate lively debate. Mars square Mercury creates a restless mind. Jupiter square Mercury, while inclined toward humor, lacks tact. Keep your feet on the ground. Don’t take on more than you can handle. You can put this energy to good use organizing and executing your goals. Just resist the urge to exaggerate your own importance. And remember to honor the ideas of others.

Adding another texture of activity, our gal, Venus, reveals her flair for drama. Venus, in Leo, is opposed by Uranus, squared by Saturn, and trined by Pluto. Yes, this is as complex as it sounds. A Uranus Venus opposition fuels the need for emotional, sexual, and artistic freedom. Venus and Uranus love flirtation and romance, particularly if daring is part of the package. Impulsive, eccentric, and eclectic tastes emerge. Unfortunately, a Saturn Venus square functions as the fun police, dampening passion and encouraging separation, jealousy, inhibition, and a sense of duty. But as Pluto trines Venus, Venus resists Saturn’s efforts to squelch her desires. The only problem is Pluto’s tendency toward compulsive, fanatical obsession. If you fall “madly” in love, you’ll know you’re under the influence of Pluto. One more thing: Uranus Venus liaisons erupt spontaneously, but end just as quickly.

It’s hard to maintain your equilibrium in a whirlwind of activity. Stay sensible. Avoid extremes. Focus your intention. Consciously directed, these planetary forces will yield positive results.

June 11, 1999
I wish I had good news to report. But I don’t. In answer to the question, “When is it going to lighten up?” Not for a while. The gig is figuring out how to ride the wave. We’re caught in a planetary undertow, building toward a crescendo with the Crisis Eclipse on August 11. But the coming Eclipse isn’t only about external events. Fundamentally, the current and coming astro alignments are aimed at stirring deep, internal, personal waters. So rather than despair over the state of the world, continue to focus on personal transformation. Every effort to create personal peace helps create planetary peace.

This week, Uranus, in Aquarius, and Saturn, in Taurus, tighten their square. The last time Saturn visited Taurus was May 1969 through June 1971, with a brief retrograde period in January and February of 1972.  Saturn in Taurus gets down to the bone of what matters most. Saturn’s last Taurus cycle brought huge shifts in values, personal and collective. We’re in a similar frequency. Only now, Uranus, Ruler of Utopian Communities, is hassling Saturn, insisting Saturn reach for a more altruistic expression. But Saturn isn’t easily influenced and won’t give up its position without a fight. Because Uranus is leading this existential interrogation, one of the questions being asked is how much do we really care about the welfare of others. There are no simple answers. Indeed, thanks to Uranus, your personal response may be surprising. If you’ve been excessively helpful and caring for others, you may find yourself holding back and being selfish. If you’ve been parsimonious, living in the fear you will never have enough, you could find yourself in the grip of generosity, determined to share.

What’s more, as Uranus continues its retrograde movement, we’re revisiting choices made over the last several months. Be willing to review and reconsider. Notice where you’re uncomfortable with the consequences of your actions. Are you resistant to acknowledging their effect? Or, would you like to recant, but won’t, because stubborn pride blinds your vision. While it may feel gratifying to hold fast to your position, be careful you don’t turn to stone.

Embrace that old cliché, “No matter how much you think you know, there’s always more to learn.” Stay open. Be flexible. And take heart. Never before on Planet Earth have we had as much access to as much information. Roll up your sleeves, dig down deep, and put this knowledge to use sorting through your difficulties. Explore. Investigate. And humble yourself before the Great Mystery. Humility is a mighty tool for transforming a crisis into an opportunity.

June 4, 1999
Say, “bye-bye” to inertia and “hello” to mania. Mars goes Direct, today, blasting us into action and movement. Expect an immediate increase in determination, drive, and the desire to win. Also anticipate getting down to the bones of activity. No frills, here. And no hesitation about making decisions. Mars will cut loose from anything or anyone draining its life force or blocking its way. This Mars Direct is decisive and resolute. Alignment is key to handling this power surge. Don’t let the need to act just for action’s sake move you into reckless behavior. No matter how big the jolt, make sure you act from a place of purpose and meaning.

As Mars’ changes its course, it continues to oppose Jupiter. This astro relationship has been with us since the middle of May and will continue until the end of July. Because a Jupiter Mars opposition is famous for exaggeration, as Mars gathers momentum, it will be easy to ignore caution. Rules and regulations seem superfluous. Premature action feels necessary. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself rebelling against the constraints of moderation. Do try to find a middle path. Practice balance, and you can put this unwieldy energy to good use organizing and executing plans and projects. Fall prey to extremes, and you’ll end up exhausted.

By the end of the week, a disquieting undertone starts to hum through the ethers, as Uranus squares Saturn. This square is a primary color of the Crisis Eclipse of August 11. Quite frankly, there’s no good news to report. Saturn is serious. Representing the principle of structure, Saturn governs boundaries, limits, rules, authorities, and governments. Uranus is eccentric. Representing the principle of revolution, Uranus rules innovation, invention, spontaneity, and reform. Saturn likes the status quo. Uranus hates it. As Uranus and Saturn butt heads, their clashing agendas spark irritation. Uranus insists on change. Saturn refuses to budge. Provocation fills the air. Living under this influence could cause you to kick and scream with resistance, as new consciousness struggles to break down old barriers and boundaries. This Uranus Saturn square is the astro equivalent of a blocked heart: Feelings want to surface and express, but old habits keep them suppressed and frozen. The frustration produced by this conflict tastes bitter, particularly as friendships and alliances end suddenly because there’s no room to tolerate the stress of differences. The antidote to this cosmic stress is also moderation.

This week, let integrity be your anchor, and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining your equilibrium. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Know when to say “no” and when to say “yes.”

May 28, 1999
I wish I could say, “This week all our troubles disappear. Laughter sweetens the air. And the storm clouds of intensity vanish from the horizon.” But I can’t.  ‘Cause it just ain’t so. It’s another heavy week here, on Planet Earth. You’ll need to keep body, mind, heart, and soul grounded in what matters most, to avoid getting swept away by the gravitational pull of several difficult forces.

Part of the problem is Mars, the Master of Movement and Energy. Retrograde since March 18, Mars goes direct on June 4.  And it can’t wait. Mars hates retrogrades. Yes, all retrogrades allow us to review. But Mars doesn’t like retracing its steps or refining its plans. Mars wants to boldly go—any where, any time, any place. Months of pent up energy are ready to explode into activity. But not this week. As Mars champs at the bit, so do we. Expect frustration—lots of it. Even though containing impatience can be exhausting, try to bide your time. When Mars finally moves forward, everything will shift with it. Keeping up with the new pace will be equally exhausting. .

Complicating this Martian emphasis is an on-going Jupiter Mars opposition. This week, it’s exact. Jupiter loves excess. And when it teams up with Mars (no matter what their astro relationship) plans balloon, goals exaggerate, and moderation gives way to extreme. While this energy is fantastic for big vision and broad scope, it easily lends itself to over-extension and exhaustion. Dream big, but be realistic. Jupiter oppose Mars is a seesaw of enthusiasm and exertion. Be mindful where you spend your energy. Are you dreaming of results? Or, doing the necessary hard work to create them? Squander this vitality, and you’re apt to wind up disappointed and depressed. Stay steady and true to your original vision, and you’ll meet with great success. Take baby steps, even if you feel stupid. Eventually, you’ll see the wisdom in moderation.

But that’s not all. Adding a tough undertone, Pluto opposes the Sun and Mercury, both conjunct in Gemini. A Pluto Sun opposition creates a craving for power and a fanatical need for control. Unfortunately, because Mars has us in a patience meltdown, the ruthless edge of this Pluto Sun opposition encourages arrogance and the need to dominate. Mercury adds a nervous restlessness to the entire bundle, giving conversations a hard edge. If you can’t pin down a commitment, wait. There’s no need to push the river. Trust me, next week the dam will break.

This week, staying steady, calm and focused is essential. Just put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. And remember to breathe.

May 21, 1999
Forget about focus. A thousand interruptions, big and small, punctuate the air. You can also forget about finding a comfort zone. Even the ethers are rattled. Uranus, Master of Upheaval, goes Retrograde--today. And as it does, a disorienting and disconcerting wind ripples across the collective pond. As you know by now, no matter what direction Uranus takes, it always disrupts the “normal” flow of life. But because life has been anything but “normal” for so long, this Retrograde feels extra edgy. Just the idea of one more surprise is too much to take in. If you start to feel overwhelmed, remember to breathe. Get back in your body. And simply handle what you can.

All retrogrades review previously covered territory, offering us opportunities to reconsider, reevaluate, and revise our plans. This Uranus Retrograde is no different. But Uranus does love to startle. So be prepared for bumps, personal and collective. What’s more, Uranus is the King of Kinky. Some of these twist and turns take us into territory previously considered taboo. Because Uranus is determined to disrupt the status quo, you can also anticipate sudden and startling role reversals. Previously unheard of alliances become common place. Inconceivable reconciliation becomes conceivable. Fortunes reverse in the blink of an eye.

Unfortunately, because Uranus is both the Mother of Invention and the Father of Anarchy, it doesn’t play by the rules. Uranus will do anything to shake things up. In the past, Uranus has never had a problem weighing in on the side of the ends justify the means. But now, with so much at stake for so many, an evolution in revolution is a must. It’s time to acknowledge the lessons of history: the means create the ends.

Uranus will be Retrograde until October. And while this cycle feels nervous, there’s nothing to fear. Uranus is simply carrying out its cosmic mission—instigate a revolution in consciousness, personal and planetary.

This week, ask yourself where you need to revolutionize your consciousness. Role reverse with your enemy. See the world through their eyes. No matter how much you disagree with your adversary’s perspective, at least acknowledge your shared humanity. Then, from that aware perspective, try to include, rather than reject. Make an effort to comprehend the incomprehensible, and you’ll be right in tune with Uranus. 

May 14, 1999
Mixed messages and separate astro agendas create an unsettled week. First, stubborn resistance fills the air, generating friction and frustration. Second, there’s so much—almost too much—to do, resulting in overwhelm and confusion. Third, we’re in for another big gearshift, as Uranus prepares to go Retrograde. Handling these oscillating frequencies is hard work. Pace yourself. And if you need time out, take it.
Mixed Message No. 1: Four planets in Taurus—the Sun, Moon, Saturn, and Mercury—create this week’s recalcitrant undertow. Taurus is infamous for its bullheadedness. Push, prod, or provoke this Astro Bull, and you awaken an unrelenting determination to endure. Taurus is Fixed Earth, which means this beast doesn’t budge unless it wants to. Yet that very same resolve also feeds Taurus’ best qualities, making Taurus equally famous for its creative potential and fertile powers of manifestation. Taurus is the best time to plant the seeds of the future. Contemplate what you want to harvest in the fall. Then, use the concentrated force of Taurus to sow your energetic garden. What’s more, this week, Uranus squares that Mercury in Taurus. Uranus Mercury anything sparks lively debate, ignites the mind, and grants permission to break the rules. We love this alliance. It’s the astro equivalent of ZooDoo for consciousness. Spread this inventive energy, and watch your plans grow.

Mixed Message No. 2: Creating the potential for overwhelm, Jupiter opposes Mars. Pay attention: this relationship will last well into July. Jupiter is the King of Excess. Mars, the Master of Energy. A Jupiter Mars opposition creates over-extension, haste, and exaggeration. Think of this Jupiter Mars combo as the astro heart muscle, pumping vitality through body, mind, and spirit. But before you attempt any kind of marathon, build your stamina. Hyper-vigor can be exhausting. Put to good use, a Jupiter Mars opposition fuels the urge to live life fully, madly, and deeply. 

Mixed Message No. 3: Uranus slows down this week, in preparation for a course correction. As with all retrogrades, as Uranus covers previously covered ground, so will we. Specifically, this Uranus Retrograde focuses on the last 5 months of upheaval, in preparation for the coming August Eclipse. While it is impossible to imagine, expect even more unexpected developments.

This week, try to be a witness. Observe. Stay objective. Be fair. If you start to assume a rigid stance, as a means of protecting yourself, breathe your heart open. Make your mantra, “I’m as flexible as Gumby,” and you’ll have a much easier time bending with the psychic breezes.

May 7, 1999
This week, you’ll need your multidimensional goggles to safely navigate the shifting sands of daily reality. Linear, dualistic thinking simply won’t work. But a holographic framework will. Unexpected events continue, as forces, conscious and unconscious, converge. If you want to stay afloat, a holistic viewpoint is a must. Anticipate lots of abrupt, and even erratic, course corrections.

Uranus, that Rebel with or without a cause, is stirring the waters and upsetting the status quo, as it continues to square the Sun. Always unpredictable and anxious for action, Uranus provokes a sense of urgency. And this Uranus Sun square sets a fast pace. Expect unilateral stands for freedom, personal and collective. Also be prepared for a harsh emotional environment, as people struggle to keep up. Unfortunately, this revolutionary energy is bound to engender resistance—lots of it. Pay attention: While resistance can be beneficial, it is also the handmaiden of fear. What’s more, as Uranus instigates the need for sweeping reform and innovation, old entrenched power paradigms fight to protect their positions. Too much is shifting too fast to make easy adjustments. Many will fixate on a need to return to the days of “yester year,” in an effort to maintain a grip.

On the positive side of the spectrum, a Uranus Sun contact feeds originality, freedom, spontaneity and a love of the unique. The possibilities for innovative thinking and altruistic activities aimed at helping others are great. But handling this energy of invention requires skill and sensitivity, particularly in the current climate of psychic trauma. Be aware too many sudden shifts could trigger panic. Find your own pace. And honor the pace of others.

This week, find your center, and then do whatever is necessary to hold on to it. Make time for reflection and introspection, even as the action swirls around you. Focus on getting comfortable with uncertainty. Continue to ask big questions. Where do you need sweeping reform in your life? Where are you resisting or denying change? What beliefs must you surrender to take the next step in your personal evolution?

April 30, 1999
As I write this, the shock waves of Littleton echo through my heart and mind. Like a creature of the forest, for the last few months, I’ve sat hyper-vigilant, listening with feral senses, waiting for the next tremor. I still sit in that stance, knowing there’s more to come. Call me a catastrophe addict. Accuse me of negative thinking. But the Earth is trembling. And her children tremble with her. There’s just too much to handle. So while I’m shocked and saddened by the recent violence, I’m not surprised. The poison of war spreads quickly and knows no boundaries. 

The children of Colorado and the children of Kosovo share the glaze of trauma. Ruined lives. Broken hearts. Shattered psyches. In Kosovo, we rationalize a child’s suffering as the unavoidable consequence of a necessary offensive. Here, we gather facts, trying to connect the dots of unnecessary savagery. But war of any kind never makes “sense.” Neither does hate. To understand the crime in Colorado, we must be willing to look beyond easy answers. Sure, we can find plenty of people and things to blame—the parents, the guns, the Internet. But blaming only keeps us trapped in the same system that gives birth to these “senseless” acts. You can’t organize crimes of despair. The cultural earthquake at Columbine speaks to something deeper than blame. To understand what motivates innocents to explode in violence means exposing the entire system, and ferreting out the fundamental flaws. In America, power is more important than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We’ve always perpetrated violence on others to get our own way. Power always needs a slave to bolster its superior position. The boys who attacked their High School were scapegoats, made to feel less, so someone else could feel more. Shamed and ostracized by their peers, they found a way to become powerful, like their hero, Hitler. It’s not a new choice.

Humans choose war over and over and over again. The war in Kosovo hasn’t just been going on since the beginning of this century—it’s been going on since the beginning of this millennium. For the children of Kosovo and the children of Colorado, the war will go on for the rest of their lives. What will they learn? Hopefully, not the same old rule, born out of a putrid system that perpetuates violence generation after generation after generation: An eye for an eye.

Our psyches, individual and collective, can no longer contain the poison of war. War is insane. Insanity is infectious. And now the virus of hatred can spread instantly through the click of a mouse or the flicker of a television screen. For too long, our collective inability to heal hatred has leaked through our children as an epidemic of violence—an epidemic easy to ignore when it only spread through the ghettos. Economic concentration camps can be denied. But when the virus of violence infects the “heartland,” you pay attention.

Astrologically, Littleton and Kosovo are manifestations of deeply rooted polarized energies in desperate need of compassionate reconciliation. The day of the Littleton tragedy, the Saturn Mars opposition was exact, and separating. While astrology provides an energetic explanation, we must supply the solution. No matter how painful, contemplate where the poison of hate, too, infects you. Where possible, apply compassion, keeping in mind, compassion neither blames, denies, nor condones harmful behavior. Compassion includes, rather than isolates. Compassion allows the heart to embrace even what the mind cannot comprehend. 

April 23, 1999
It's funky out there. On one hand, too much is happening too fast. On the other, stagnant patterns won't budge. In this environment of extremes, daily life feels like a seesaw. Finding and maintaining balance is key to handling the ups and downs--on every level. The trick is knowing when to push and when not to.

The on-going Saturn Mars opposition continues, creating a harsh atmosphere. Mean-spirited faultfinding peppers casual conversation, often leaving a bitter after taste. This week, the Sun conjuncts Saturn and opposes Mars, increasing sensitivity around the issue of self-definition. Stubborn defensiveness makes even the thought of compromise resemble complete capitulation. The skin bristles at the thought of giving an inch. And because everyone is cranky, nothing feels settled. Although it's possible to harness the power of this Astro Troika, and transform it into exceptional endurance and unflinching effort, I wouldn't try. The pernicious influence of this Sun, Saturn, Mars configuration could easily backfire as injury to yourself or others. Efforts to overcome obstacles, internal or external, could turn ambition into ruthless insistence on success at any cost. 

What's more, Neptune continues to square both Saturn and Mars. And this week, Neptune also squares the Sun. Questions of impotence arise under this Astro Combo. Try not to let feelings of inadequacy Morph into victim consciousness or self-torment. There's no need to be a martyr.

Our Astro Hope is still Jupiter sextile Uranus. This dynamic duo is stirring the waters of change. Be open to sudden shifts in attitude. See the world through the eyes of your enemy. Stage a revolution in your personal philosophy. 

This week, pretend you're a Taoist. Contemplate the nature of yin and yang. Study the wisdom of water. Learn to flow around difficulty. Take no unnecessary action. True strength knows when not to fight. Treat yourself and others with kindness and humor. One thing is certain--everything changes.

April 16, 1999
It's a scene from the Wizard of Oz: Dorothy and her pals can finally see Emerald City. But instead of forging ahead, they take a nap. Why this sudden need for sleep? Our heroes are caught in a trap set by the Wicked Witch: they are standing in a field of poppies. Fortunately, Glenda the Good Witch, who watches over and protects Dorothy, is pro-active. Glenda makes it snow. The opium flowers freeze, and so does their numbing power. Dorothy and her Gang of Three snap out of their stupor, and get back on the Yellow Brick Road and finish their journey.

This week, certain planets weave a similar lethargic spell. Saturn continues to oppose Mars, creating mean-spirited disputes and separations. Inhibition, exhaustion, and depression are likely, as we struggle to handle these hostilities. But that's not all. Enter the Astro Wicked Witch: Neptune squares both Saturn and Mars. Neptune, Ruler of All Altered States, loves to blur boundaries and create illusion. As Neptune squares Mars, border disputes, personal and collective, get fuzzy. Vitality weakens. Confusion and moodiness replace resolve. The desire for self-definition dissipates. Because Neptune also rules addiction of every flavor, obsessive appetites start craving. What's more, the combined effect of Neptune, Mars, and Saturn, creates a sense of futility. It's the astro equivalent of the paralysis we experience in a dream state: we want to run, but we just can't get our legs to move.

Fortunately, just like Dorothy, we have our own version of Glenda the Good: Jupiter sextile Uranus. This power-packed duo is the perfect antidote for the poison of sloth. Jupiter loves fun. Uranus loves change. Jupiter searches for truth. Uranus acts on it. When Jupiter, the Kindly Philosopher King, unites with Uranus, the Mother of Invention, anything is possible. Jupiter and Uranus spark the desire for knowledge, the quest for truth, and a determination to see the biggest possible picture from every imaginable point of view.

If you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel of your own life, let Jupiter and Uranus create a psychic intervention. Create a blizzard of curiosity.  Be nosy about beliefs other than your own. Embrace outrageous perspectives. Be open to sudden changes in destiny. Let the hunger for knowledge become the antidote for soul fatigue. Use your mind to keep an open heart.

April 9, 1999
Crisis Eclipse: Part 3
A recap: On August 11, 1999 there's a unique Solar Eclipse, made special by the complexity of its components. The entire configuration is called a Fixed Grand Square or Cosmic Cross. This astro dynamic creates tension and friction, as polarized positions seek reconciliation. This week's installment focuses on the individual players. Keep your scorecard handy. You'll need it to track the action. 

Players 1 and 2: During a solar eclipse, the Moon, symbolizing the unconscious or "irrational" self, overshadows the Sun which represents the conscious or "rational" self. When the Moon dominates, unconscious forces emerge. Both the Sun and the Moon are in Leo, the Sign of the Individual, emphasizing personal expression and the daring to be you.

Player 3: Directly opposite the Sun and Moon, is Uranus, the Great Revolutionary, in Aquarius, the Sign of the Collective. Uranus loves upheaval and is always happy disrupting the status quo. Tension between the Sun, Moon, and Uranus fuels rebellion. On a personal level, surprise divorces or reconciliations are likely. For the collective, this excitement is the mother's milk of anarchy, feeding the need to break free and reform.

Player 4: Saturn, Maker of Rules, is in Taurus, the Sign of Values. Saturn personifies authority and rules boundaries and governments. Saturn, in Taurus, insists we contemplate what matters most. Here's where it starts to get complicated. Uranus squares Saturn, as Saturn squares the Sun and Moon. A Uranus Saturn square breaks down structure. Because Saturn doesn't like revolution, it holds on tight. What's more, as Saturn squares the Sun and Moon, depression, isolation, and inhibition cloud the atmosphere. On a personal level, withdrawal feels like the best solution. Collectively, old structures entrench and resist renovation.

But that's not all.
Player 5:
Mars, the God of War, is in Scorpio, the Sign of Power. Saturn opposes Mars, as Uranus squares Mars, as Mars squares the Sun and Moon. Pay attention:  This week, we're in the second pass of Saturn opposing Mars. The first time, was the entire month of January. So, if you feel like life is repeating itself, you're right. A Saturn Mars opposition hardens the heart, as it creates tests of wills. Tempers flare, personal and collective. Frustration deepens. Anger escalates.

Contemplate where you're ready to go to war over old, calcified ideologies. Are you still carrying a grudge about an incident you barely remember? Do you truly care about how others are being treated? Are you willing to take a stand for what you believe in? Is it possible to find an alternative to violence? This week, have both the courage to ask really big questions, and the determination to search for even bigger answers.

April 2, 1999
Crisis Eclipse: Part 2
An astro disclaimer:  It's impossible to predict how the Crisis Eclipse of August 11, 1999 will manifest in the 3-D. Eclipses, as you already know, reveal what was previously hidden. What's more, Uranus, the Master of Surprise, plays a leading role in this coming event. But most important, destiny, individual or collective, is never a done deal. We create fate by our choices, big and small, everyday. The past gives birth to the present, just as the present produces the future. This is the gift of life on Planet Earth: we get to make it up as we go along. As this year continues to unfold, we continue to grow and gather information. The more we know, the more conscious our choices.

The Crisis Eclipse is focused through a "fixed" lens. All the planetary players are positioned in the Fixed Signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Fixed Signs are famous for dogged determination. They stubbornly resist change. Adamantly cling to personal interests. And easily assume rigid points of view. One of the soul tasks for every Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius is learning to let go of calcified postures. Fixed Signs need to bend. When they do, their creative juices flow. Every Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius has the power to bring something new into being. They just have to learn to let go, and allow.

The Fixed undertow of the Crisis Eclipse surfaces deep-seated issues. Inflexible points of view are challenged. Polarized energies, long frozen in denial, melt, as compressed and suppressed feelings emerge. Resistance is likely. Frustration, probable. Compromise, burdensome. The shadow of this rigidity could manifest as the cruel, despotic need to subjugate and control at any cost in order to protect a personal agenda.

Yet the positive take offers hope. This fixed focus provides opportunities to drop petrified convictions, and relinquish selfish interests, in favor of a greater good. But accessing this holistic view requires two transformational tools. (1) Dropping the fear of the future: Even though this event is scheduled for August 11, we're feeling its effect, now. We're already actively participating in creating the outcome. (2) Seeing the Crisis Eclipse as a multidimensional Astro Mandala or Medicine Wheel: Stand in the center, and you'll feel the wholeness of the circle. Notice how it contains all points of view. Then, be determined to synthesize, rather than separate. Channel that "fixed" resolve into seeing the biggest possible picture, and you'll actualize greater compassion.

March 26, 1999
The Crisis Eclipse: Part I
In keeping with the energy of Mercury Retrograde (only one more week to go), it's time to pay attention to an important astro detail: The Crisis Eclipse of August 11, 1999.  Just hearing the word "crisis" puts some people in a panic. We're so over-stimulated by disasters and the possibility of even more catastrophes, we forget that a crisis is a turning point. Indeed, every crisis contains an opportunity for healing. And this is particularly true of the coming eclipse. This week, I'll tackle the physical explanation. Next week, the metaphysical.

Here's the visual: Draw a circle. Then, divide that circle into four equal parts. At the 12 o'clock position, place Saturn. At the 9 o'clock position, place both the Sun and Moon. At the 3 o'clock spot, put Uranus. And at the 6 o'clock position, place Mars. Next, in each piece of the pie, draw a straight line, at an angle, connecting each of these points. In your circle, you should see a square; in that square, you should see four triangles, all meeting in the middle at perfect right angles.

Comprised of two oppositions and four squares, this configuration is called a Grand Square or Cosmic Cross. Some people see it literally as a cross to bear, offering the possibilities of redemption. Others view this complexity as polarized energies in search of synthesis. While oppositions spell stress, these same opposing forces can also be seen as contrasting ends of the same spectrum. Beneath the surface strife, every opposition holds the longing for cooperation. Squares create action--lots of it--literally sparking the air as they butt heads and resist each other. While resistance is frustrating, resistance is also catalyzing. Taking a stand can often be an act of self-definition.  

Since the beginning of 1999, we've been experiencing the separate components of this Grand Square. You might say, we're in training. Take a moment to notice where you've been squaring off in your life, or entrenching in rigid, polarized postures. Then, consider the possibility of reversing your position--if just for a moment. Be willing to consider contrary points of view. Try standing in the middle of the circle, acknowledging the truth of others, without abandoning your own.  

March 19, 1999
There's no escaping the ebb of Mercury, Mars, and Pluto Retrograde. So rather than resist this retro-pull, relax into it. As the Planets retrace their paths, we have an opportunity to assess and analyze ours. Let your mind mull, as you reexamine events, particularly the experiences of the last 12 weeks. This retrospective is a necessary pause in the on-going astro intensity. Use it, and you'll gain greater clarity.

There's even a bit of Astro Aid aimed at helping us gain perspective. The Sun moves into Aries on the 21, signaling the start of the Astro New Year. As the Sun ushers in spring, it conjuncts Jupiter. Together, the Sun and Jupiter build vitality, strength, and a glad heart. We love this dynamic duo because the Sun and Jupiter love laughter. Humor is always a miracle cure for any kind of overwhelm--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Nothing soothes a heavy heart better than a hearty laugh. 

What's more, both the Sun and Jupiter are trine Pluto. Jupiter, always eager to quest for truth, easily aligns with Pluto, the Queen of Transformation, producing the potential for spiritual regeneration. This renewing energy is a breath of fresh air for the soul. The shadow of a Sun, Jupiter, Pluto configuration could pull you into a fanatical desire to lead. But at the core, this energy is all about attuning to your internal leader. Commune with the god of your own heart. Let it guide you and help you set an intention for good fortune and authentic, heartfelt action.

One additional astro byte:  Venus, the Goddess of True Value, just entered Taurus, her Home Sign. Venus loves the rich, fertile energy of Taurus. Unfortunately, upon entering Taurus, Venus joins the on-going Saturn Neptune square, forcing her--and us--to curb our lusty appetites.

Since the beginning of the year, we've all been wrestling with the theme of self-actualization. While this is not a new theme here, on Planet Earth, many of us feel a new urgency to find resolution. Stress of any kind is exhausting. Use this retro-energy to catch your breath. Rest. And then, from a calm place, digest and integrate. Tune into the gift of spring. Allow old grudges to thaw. Let new shoots of consciousness emerge to greet the Sun. Feel life's eternal lust to renew itself.

March 12, 1999
Get ready to shift gears, as three Retrograde Planets--Mercury, Pluto, and Mars--slam on the breaks, and abruptly change the pace of daily life. On the surface, we slide into slo-mo. Expect tension, as an already frustrated climate intensifies. But from a multi-dimensional perspective, this astro speed bump signals the first retrospective of 1999. As the Planets revisit previously covered ground, so do we. Use this time to regroup, reconsider, and refine. 

Mercury Retrograde always means delays, difficulties and hassles with all things related to communication and travel. This is not a good time to install phone lines, buy a new computer, get brochures printed, negotiate contracts, or expect traffic to move smoothly. Mercury Retrograde is, however, an excellent time to go over the details and get organized. If you're writing, use this time to edit. If you're researching, double check your facts and sources. Clean your closets, inside and out. Have a garage sale. Be willing to let go of old treasures that no longer have meaning. It's a great time to get rid of the junk--physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.  

Pluto goes Retrograde on the 13th. And as she does, Pluto forms a very sexy astro relationship to Mars called an inconjunct. Remember, Pluto insists on the truth--at any cost. As Pluto joins the already volatile Uranus Mars square, we are drawn deeper into the theme of self-assertion. If you've always felt inhibited about taking a stand for yourself, don't be surprised if you switch into militant self-interest. Compromise may no longer appeal. On the other hand, if you've been actively working toward greater self-definition, you could experience this Pluto Mars energy as a holding pattern, aimed at testing your patience.

Mars goes Retrograde on the 18th. And here's were the energy gets complex: As Mars changes direction, it triggers the sensitive point of the January 31 Lunar Eclipse. Remember, the Eclipse Effect is with us all year long. This Mars Retrograde reexamines old issues, and simultaneously reveals new information. Old conflicts, still festering, will surface in search of resolution. As you rehash the past, expect an angry atmosphere. Everyone is more than a little cranky.

This 1999 Retrospective is a much-needed opportunity to catch our breath, slow down, and take stock. If you try to push this cosmic river, you'll drown in molasses. So, instead of insisting or resisting, allow. Become a Taoist. Acknowledge the shift in rhythm. Attune to the flow. 

March 5, 1999
Forget about a quick fix. There's no Band Aid on Planet Earth big enough to contain the intensity. We're in the grip of Uranus square Mars until April 3rd. What's more, this same Uranus Mars square returns as part of the Crisis Eclipse of August 11th. If you think it's tough now, just wait. I'm not trying to scare you. But I'd be guilty of Astro Sin if I left out that piece of the puzzle. Consider these next weeks a dress rehearsal with plenty of time to refine your role. Of course, you know what I'm gonna say next: It's a great time to grow, grow, grow! But to make the most of these opportunities, you must love the truth.  

Uranus square Mars provokes yet another variation of this year's on-going theme of creating communities strong enough to embrace the needs of their individual members. Uranus and Mars are restless spirits, in search of action. Neither values patience, and each insists on being the boss. As Uranus and Mars butt heads, they breed aggression. At the core, we are being asked to learn how to handle conflict.

Mars builds the self. And when Mars efforts to individuate are thwarted, it often uses anger to establish personal boundaries. While anger is always a healthy response against the injustice of having a self denied, very few of us know what appropriate anger looks like. We lack experienced role models, skilled at demonstrating positive conflict resolution. As children, most of us are taught to either shy away from anger, or charge headlong into battle. It takes a lot of energy to suppress anger, which is why some of us end up collapsed in depression. Others of us, afraid to take a direct stand, become passive aggressive in order to get our needs met. Still others attune to the other end of the spectrum, becoming rage-aholics, tantrum throwers, or bullies. None of these extremes expresses the true nature of Mars. Mars wants a vital, capable self, able to actualize its destiny, without misplaced hostility. A healthy Mars never needs to injure anyone--including itself. 

Uranus loves to rattle the status quo. As Uranus squares Mars, it's inviting us to drop false postures. If you've been sweet as pie your whole life, kindly deferring to others, you may suddenly find yourself hungry to be first. Or, if you've carried a chip on your shoulder, along with the readiness to fight, you may suddenly choose a path of non-violence.

Remember, a Spiritual Warrior's first battleground is the self. Before you lash out at others, or assume a self-righteous stand, be willing to ask yourself the tough questions, first. What's driving your anger? Are unresolved issues from the past bleeding over into the present? Are you projecting the face of an old enemy onto a new situation?  Explore your unconscious intentions. Use this energy to build greater self-awareness.

February 26, 1999
A restless wind continues to ripple across the collective pond. Expect emotional squalls, inside and out, as everyone feels anxious about getting their needs met. Also anticipate tension. No one is in the mood to compromise. What's more, this breeze stirs action--much too much of it. To avoid being buffeted and blown off course, set your internal compass on steady.

Uranus square Mars is the core of this restive force. These two Major Domos of Energy generate a fighting spirit, encouraging the urge for personal freedom. Silly squabbles turn into major meltdowns. Even die-hard pacifists could find themselves arguing for argument's sake. To avoid being caught in a tornado of misplaced self-interest, keep your eye on the big picture. Question whether the stand you're taking will be worth it in the long run. If it is, have at it. If not, have the heart to step down. It is possible to use the combined force of Uranus and Mars to exert extraordinary effort to accomplishing your goals. You just have to resist squandering your energy on petty quarrels.  

Amplifying the need for self-satisfaction, Venus conjuncts Jupiter in Aries. Venus embodies the pleasure principle. Jupiter loves excess. Aries, ruled by Mars, is the Sign of Action. Deep desires surface. As do passionate displays. But this expansive fervor has a compulsive edge: Jupiter and Venus both trine Pluto, the Diva of Intensity, adding a fanatical insistence on satisfying appetites. Control becomes an issue, particularly as this coercive force collides with the Uranus Mars square. Because everyone is focused on getting his or her needs met, frustration is likely. Instead of wasting this heat on potentially explosive external relationships, channel it into creative projects. 

On the 2nd, Mercury also enters Aries and conjuncts Jupiter. Through an Aries lens, Mercury and Jupiter fuel a pioneering mind-set. Normally, they would fire common sense. But due to the week's self-righteous undertow, this Mercury Jupiter conjunction is apt to manifest as exaggerated oratory. Don't be surprised if everyone feels the need to embellish the truth. 

On a completely different Astro Note, Saturn is back in Taurus, demanding a financial reality check. If you're a credit card junkie, pay attention. Saturn is serious when it says "The buck stops here."  Don't spend more than you have. And don't pretend a miracle will save you. Find a workable budget and stick to it.

Be objective. Before you charge into a full-scale attack, breathe. Question your motivation. Contemplate the consequences. Remember, everyone is feeling the stress of these challenging times. Be open to the notion that it's possible to disagree with someone's behavior without condemning his or her spirit.

February 19, 1999
If you can't settle down, don't worry. Even the air feels antsy, as Mars, the Master of Energy, dominates the psychic frequencies. Get used to this agitated atmosphere. We're in a Mars intensive. You'll feel the urge to do. And the need to move. But proceed with caution: This Mars attack has an impulsive and slightly dangerous edge. Harnessing its power requires containing inappropriate anger and misplaced frustration. You'll need patience--and plenty of it--to cope with the tension.

Mars square Uranus is creating all the fuss. Pay attention: This astro relationship lasts until April. Mars, the Mighty Warrior, is in Scorpio, the Sign of Power. Uranus, the Astro Instigator, is in Aquarius, the Sign of Independence. Mars rules the ego, in all its manifestations. Uranus demands action--all the time. As these two Titans butt heads, they irritate the ethers, sparking intolerance. We all want our own way. And no one has a problem taking a stubborn stand. Indeed, Mars square Uranus is famous for its fighting spirit. Yielding to any outside agenda, feels like personal capitulation. Before you balk, breathe. Choose your causes carefully. Aimless aggression is a pain in the ass. Requests for compromise may not be as unreasonable as they first appear. What's more, a Mars square Uranus breeds haste. Watch out for accidents. Take no unnecessary risks. This is not a good time to go bungee jumping.

On the positive side of the spectrum, Mars trines the Sun and Mercury, both in Pisces. A Mars Sun trine equals vitality. A Mars Mercury trine fuels an active mind. Pisces is best known for its yielding, sympathetic demeanor. But as Mars ups the energy ante, even the sweetest Pisces could turn into a strident soldier.

Amplifying a military feel, on the 21, Venus marches into Aries, Mars' Home Sign. Venus joins Jupiter, already in Aries, kindling passions.  Venus conjunct Jupiter, in Aries, is a drama queen's dream vacation, replete with exaggerated hopes and wishes. The rest of us can expect frank declarations of personal truth--our own and others'. Adding even more fuel to this Aries fire, Saturn is in the final, concentrated degree of its journey through Aries, giving us all an Astro Pop-Quiz on what we've learned about being individuals over the course of the last three years.

Mars rules ambition, assertion, and anger. As you wrestle with these complex themes, try to stay in present time. You'll know you're in a time warp, dealing with old denied feelings, if your anger suddenly turns into rage. Or, if your frustration morphs into a despotic display of personal power. Testy tempers easily spark impulsive decisions and immediate regrets. Find healthy ways of expressing and channeling this intensity. Remember, everyone is being put to the test. Everyone. 

February 12, 1999
We're in deep shift this week, as the effect of a Solar Eclipse ripples across the collective pond. The Moon overshadows the Sun, removing the masks of the "real" world, to reveal the workings of the unconscious. Secrets are shared--some startling, some sad. The best preparation for this new perspective is a strong center, capable of witnessing without judgment.  

The Solar Eclipse takes place on February l5, at 10:40 PM PST/February 16, at 1:40 AM EST. The Sun is eclipsed in Aquarius, the Sign of the Global Village. Attitudes about communities, associations, neighborhoods, governments, and friends are all impacted by this celestial event. Groups--personal and collective--serve as mirrors, reflecting patterns in need of examination and consciousness. Not every reflection is negative. Nor is every likeness accurate. What you see depends entirely on your attitude. If you feel trapped in a House of Mirrors, don't panic. Breathe. Put your feet on the ground. Let the dizziness dissipate. Then, re-focus your internal and external vision.

The shadow of this Solar Eclipse falls in the Sign of Leo. Leo rules all risks, particularly the gamble of being you. While this sounds elementary, self-expression without hesitation isn't always easy. It takes courage, trust, and the skill to handle the group response. When collective reaction is positive, self-confidence flowers. But when the group reaction is negative, self-doubt festers. Either reaction cuts to the core of the need to be included. Acceptance allows spontaneity to flourish. Rejection feeds collapse, or the slippery counterpart, grandiosity. Let the shadow of this Eclipse illuminate where self-consciousness inhibits your ability to simply be.

Resonating with the Leonine Shadow of this Eclipse, Jupiter enters Aries on the l3th. Jupiter, in Aries, stokes the fires of self-actualization.  Repressed feelings, long frozen in denial, melt from this planetary heat, creating the need for your own personal pole shift. You'll feel the urge to move, on every level, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The time for debate is over. Action is key.

Remember, we've already sampled the magnitude of this energy. Last August's Solar Eclipse took place at nearly the same degree as this week's Solar Eclipse. For the politically curious, both Eclipses happen on President Clinton's Sun. While it's completely impossible to imagine, we're probably in for more presidential surprises.

This week, make your mantra, "Change 'R' Me." Align with the Eclipse's catalyzing energy, and you'll handle the shifting tides of daily life with ease.

February 5, 1999
As I write this column, I'm in the midst of my own personal astro catharsis, facing old familiar themes. I've been here before. In fact, so many times, I'm feeling a lot like Phil Connors, the protagonist in Groundhog Day--my favorite Buddhist movie. Phil gets stuck reliving the same day, over, and over, and over. His tomorrow never comes. Stranded in this same ceaseless day, Phil is forced to face his shadows, living out his anger, greed, fear, despair, and loneliness. At first nothing changes. But eventually, Phil exhausts his reactive state, and starts to shift. And as he does, his eternal day starts to vary. As Phil's consciousness expands, he transforms his life and the lives of those around him. As Rita, his producer, so wisely reminds Phil, maybe being stuck in eternity isn't a curse. It just depends on how you look at it.

Eclipses feel primordial. They stand outside conscious awareness, parting the veils of ignorance that obscure a multidimensional view of everyday life. The Lunar Eclipse of January 31, and the Solar Eclipse to follow on February 16, are a huge windows to a clear blue sky. But to effectively gaze at the heavens, we must be willing to look deep within, and know our own hearts. These Eclipses are highly focused on specific unresolved issues. They also have a dangerous edge: Uranus, the Astro Revolutionary, plays the leading role in this Drama. As the King of the Unexpected, Uranus is potent, restless, and eager to act for action's sake. Take note: Uranus isn't always altruistic. Often, Uranus is only looking to satisfy its selfish side. Learning to ride an impatient, nervous tide, takes a lot of skill, particularly when you're stuck in a Hell Zone of frustration, personal or collective. As Phil points out during his angry incarnations, you make your choices and you live with them.

Like the Groundhog, we're emerging from the cave of a very long winter. But unlike the Groundhog, we can choose to acknowledge our shadows. And instead of returning to the darkness and safety of terror and ignorance, opt for awareness and growth.

As we face this pivotal point on the Wheel of Karma, it's important to open our hearts, more. Hunger for knowledge, more. Surrender to what we cannot control. Phil learns to value his life, care about his endless day, and pay attention to all the beings that people his personal eternity. As his compassion grows, he blossoms. Learning to love unselfishly, allows him to receive love. This is an important transformational lesson for all of us: When we truly love our life, we make today tomorrow.

January 29, 1999
Past, present, and future merge, as once again, we're in the shadows of an Eclipse Effect. Eclipses interrupt the "normal" flow, allowing access to vast realms of psyche, making what was previously unconscious, conscious. But this Eclipse Effect has a familiar feel. We're revisiting the issues of last August, in preparation for the coming August. 

Our multi-dimensional trek begins on January 31, when we fall under the influence of a Full Blue and Eclipsed Moon. Pay attention: February has no Full Moon of its own to light the way. And amplifying this lack of light, on February 16, there's a Solar Eclipse.

The degree at which an Eclipse happens is called its "sensitive point." This sensitive point makes both the Lunar Eclipse of January 31 and the Solar Eclipse of February 16 tremendously significant: Both of these current eclipses take place at almost exactly the same degrees as last August's Lunar and Solar Eclipse. But hold on, there's more! These very same degrees will be revisited during the Crisis Eclipse of August 11, l999. If you're keeping score, that's five eclipses, six months apart, on the same sensitive points. It's the Astro Equivalent of "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

All these eclipses take place between Aquarius, the Sign of the Global Village, and Leo, the Sign of Self-Expression, placing the cosmic emphasis on creating community capable of meeting the needs of its individual members. An all too familiar theme here on Planet Earth with few true solutions in sight. As the Eclipse Effect highlights the needs of the many versus the needs of the one, try not to let the complexity of what must change and how to change it paralyze your efforts to transform. Anxiety is rampant. But rather than collapse in fear, use your discomfort to catalyze positive participation.  

And don't be fooled by the doom and gloomers. Time isn't running out. Indeed, Millennium Madness is an out-picturing of our frustration with the world as it is, as well as our fear of what the world will be if we can't come up with the answers. Disasters and catastrophes feel imminent, because they reflect our inner terror. Prophecies and predictions have a profound energetic charge because they relieve us of personal responsibility, allowing us the delusion that the future is out of our hands. In the current climate of uncertainty, even the non-believers have a reason to panic: From the lens of apocalyptic vision, Y2K is the atheists' Armageddon.

The Eclipse Effect is an energetic portal. And there's just no telling where we will wind up. Keep your psychic antennae tuned to the Highest Frequency. The next few weeks will also provide ample opportunities to see a Higher Power at work. Adjust your inner vision. External light may be dim. But internal beacons can still shine brilliantly. Rare Astro Occasions provide rare human opportunities to make profound evolutionary leaps.

January 22, 1999
That energetic siren you hear screaming through the ethers is the cosmic defense alarm, announcing a psychic readiness drill. The cause for concern is the on-going Saturn Mars opposition. Pay attention: This opposition is the first of three Saturn Mars oppositions during 1999. The second one takes place in April. The third, during the Crisis Eclipse of August 11. The Signs change, but the Saturn Mars themes remain the same: tension, anxiety, hyper-criticism, and thwarted efforts to assert. This week, we're in the separation stage of Opposition One. When hard aspects end, we see their effect. As Saturn Mars release, so will we. The entire week is a test of strength, integrity, and faith.  

There's no denying the harsh edge of this intense Saturn Mars dynamic. Oppositions spell tension. Saturn polarizes as the stern, authority figure, insisting on perfect structures and exact boundaries. In the demanding glare of Saturn, Mars becomes an adamant Warrior, defending its right to move, explore, and answer to no one. Neither Saturn nor Mars is inclined to compromise. Externally, the negative effects of Saturn Mars often manifest as ruthless, cruel ambition. Or, imploded internally, frustration, depression, and seething rage. Fear fortifies. Passions get stifled. Inhibition, bitterness, and isolation increase. Be prepared for either hurt feelings or abrupt acts. Put simply, a Saturn Mars opposition sucks.

From a transformational point of view, Saturn is the Discerning Eye, helping us to distill wisdom from experience. Mars is the principle of Energy. Functioning as the arms and legs of a healthy ego, Mars helps us actualize our individuality. Harmoniously aligned, Saturn and Mars create endurance and stamina. Harnessing and using this power constructively is the Herculean task of the week, as well as one of the labors of the entire year.

As you move through this week's cosmic examination, keep in mind, fear constricts. When we contract in brutal, myopic self-interest, hearts get tight, and we lose sight of the bigger picture. A Saturn Mars opposition easily encourages the victim/victimizer dynamic. But just because Saturn and Mars have assumed rigid postures, doesn't mean you have to mimic their attitude. Rather than staunchly maintaining a repetitive role, search for an alternative reality. Strengthen your faith in a Higher Power. Ask for help. Be creative. Be flexible. Find positive solutions to seemingly impossible circumstances.

January 15, 1999
Think tight rope. Then, think tight rope with everyone (yes, all of us) trying to cross at the same time. From opposite directions. Hands full. And balancing all sorts of props on our heads and shoulders. Balance is definitely the issue of the week. And unless you're a member of Cirque de Soleil, maintaining equanimity is impossible. So, align with what matters most, and use those values as a strong spiritual net.

The taut wire is a Saturn Mars opposition. An opposition is just what it sounds like: dynamic, polarized tension. Saturn is the essence of structure and discipline. One of its wrathful masks is the stern critic. Externally, this harsh energy manifests as the unrelenting taskmaster, picking away at every imperfection. Internally, Saturn's severity is a constant faultfinder, whose judgmental litanies spoil all the fun. The essence of Mars is movement. Mars, the Astro Athlete, loves competition, and its determination to win often overrides any consideration of the consequences. As the divergent agendas of Saturn and Mars polarize, frustration ferments. Acting out is also a major theme, because both Mars and Saturn square the Sun, igniting hasty, restless energy. Expect quarrels. Because everyone will want their own way, you can also anticipate stubborn tantrums and frequent emotional meltdowns. 

What's more, Saturn squares Neptune, and by the middle of the week, Mars squares Neptune, too. Vitality dissipates. Irritability increases. And a sense of sorrow prevails. Don't be surprised if you find yourself railing at God about the injustices of life on Earth.

There is a smidgen of Astro Aid: Jupiter, the King of Comedy, sextiles the Sun, encouraging humor. Find the cosmic joke.  When we recognize the absurdity of the truth, we start shifting out of suffering. If it helps you to cope, go on a smart, insightful rant. Just don't use humor as a sword aimed at others. Motivated by an intent to harm, sarcasm only deepens a bitter heart. Or, take an entirely different tack. Get stupid. Be silly. Step into the role of jester, and you'll turn a probable descent off this week's high wire into a pratfall. Remember, everyone will be caught in a climate of confrontation. Stay fair. Let laughter transform the tension.

January 8, 1999
We're in the first leg of the Climb of '99. It's an arduous ascent. You'll need sturdy gear, inside and out, to navigate this difficult trek. You might even need to cut a new trail. So, put on your galactic hiking boots. Make sure you have an energetic Geiger counter. And don't forget your internal compass. Keep in mind, it's a strenuous journey for everyone. Be kind to your fellow travelers. Lend a helping hand when you can.

This week, there are several tricky Astro Obstacles along the trail. First, we're in the terrain of a Saturn Mars opposition. Pay attention. This opposition lasts the entire month. Saturn, the Voice of Reality, creates boundaries, limitations, and structure. Mars, the Master of Will, stimulates the urge for movement. As Mars struggles to assert under Saturn's stern discipline, tension builds. Anticipate frustration. Lots of it. This vexing and potent polarity produces the tendency toward violence and cruelty, directed externally or internally. Even if you feel paralyzed by overwhelming resistance, avoid blame. Take responsibility, instead. The positive use of this Saturn Mars intensity is concentrated effort and hard work. Just don't push the river. You could easily expire from over-exertion.

The second Astro Obstacle is slippery. Our gal, Venus, is conjunct Neptune and Uranus. This Astro Ménage a Trois creates hypersensitivity and peculiar states of consciousness. It also engenders unilateral stands for independence based on nervous unrest. Stay grounded. Avoid action for the sake of it. Anxious activity of any kind could land you in psychic quicksand where continued attempts to break free have the opposite result: You keep sinking deeper into the mire.

The third Astro Influence is an amplifier, not an obstacle. Chiron, the Wounded Healer, just entered Sagittarius. Chiron is the mythological Centaur, symbolizing the seeming schism between our animal appetites and our spiritual aspirations. Sagittarius is the Sign where we strive to reconcile this existential split. Pluto, the Goddess of Transformation, is also in Sagittarius. Now, as Chiron joins Pluto, we are being asked to deepen the search for authentic systems aimed at closing the gaps between our behavior and our ideals.

This week, avoid squandering your vitality on misplaced efforts. The Climb of '99 isn't a race. Make patience and clarity your guides, and you'll find an appropriate pace.

January 1, 1999
Living like an ostrich is out. Active participation in life is in. 1999 is the Year of Living Consciously. Persistent denial of any kind will
boomerang as Instant Karma. Issues we've managed to avoid, personally or collectively, will be in our face--all year long. As the caldron of change boils over, the climate of crises will continue. But there's no need to constrict in fear or drown in a flood of uncertainty. The challenges we face this year are invitations to step out of apathy and into action. The transformational task of 1999 is turning breakdowns into breakthroughs.

Conscious living is hard work. But clinging to attitudes, beliefs, and
ideologies that no longer serve take a lot more energy. Refuse to break free from the ties that bind you to ignorance and suffering, and the intensities of 1999 will prove overwhelming. So, spend the first week of this New Year, contemplating what shackles you to unconscious behavior. If you're caught in emotionally repetitive roles, do something about it. Go to therapy. Read. Learn how to heal your addictions. If you suffer from a pervasive sense of alienation or isolation, commit to creating positive, healthy contact in your community. If you're bitter about life's challenges, or a sense of hopelessness or helplessness drains your personal power, expand your mind with self-discovery and knowledge.

Your life matters. Not just to you. But to all of us. Every choice each of us makes contributes to the destiny of every sentient being on Planet Earth. While the Astro Influences are facilitating upheaval, they are also supporting dynamic, positive change. Indeed, each of us is being asked to make a true hero's journey.

As you greet this Year of Living Consciously, commit to greater compassion. A loving life is the most powerful transformational tool possible. Just the willingness to keep an open heart turns the Karmic Wheel in a positive direction. When we live consciously, there's no need to fear the future.

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