Low-Down Archives for Jan-Feb 2013

New Moon in Capricorn, Full Moon in Leo

Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn

Jan.11 – NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (21:45 of Capricorn)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.11, 2013, 2:43 PM EST

London, UK:

Jan.11, 2013, 7:43 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.12, 2013, 6:43 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience CAPRICORN energy in your life.

Disorder is inherent in stability. Civilized man doesn't understand stability. He's confused it with rigidity. Our political and economic and social leaders drool about stability constantly. It's their favorite word, next to "power."
~ Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

The Board of Directors is meeting in Capricorn! Attending will be Venus, Pluto, Mercury, the Sun and Moon. Voting by proxy will be Saturn, currently on a business trip in Scorpio.

It's a very full, no-nonsense agenda. Get the budget under control. The CEO will review the corporate power structures to see what, if any, changes are necessary. Think about how to communicate a positive corporate image. And map out a business plan for the coming year.

The budget is the territory of Venus, the corporate Treasurer. Approaching a square to Uranus (Jan.12), she foresees a lot of possible upheaval and radical changes that could make it difficult to keep the finances steady. She's also coming to a conjunction with Pluto (Jan.16), so she is crafting a strategy that will ensure financial stability for the coming year. At best, this can minimize the ups and downs, but at worst it could stifle growth in the attempt to control instability.

Pluto, the corporate CEO, is in charge of the power structures. He oversees the long-term vision of the company and orchestrates the placement and connectivity of the right people who are capable of manifesting that vision.

Pluto has been getting a lot of resistance, confrontation and argument from Uranus lately. Uranus, a visionary corporate raider, sees great potential for exciting new possibilities�but only if the company can undergo dramatic changes. In particular, Uranus wants to change the corporate structure from a hierarchical model into a steering committee that is open to new ideas from all employees, as well as the public. Of course, with Pluto determined to keep things stable and in control, the only way for Uranus to achieve his vision is through a hostile takeover.

Mercury, the Chief Information Officer, arrives with a brimming briefcase full of papers. He wants to clear up some misconceptions about the precedents set by past executive orders. Having already met with Pluto (Jan.06), they devised a plan of action to sway the Board in Pluto's direction. However, Mercury is concerned that Pluto might be grabbing more power than he is entitled to, and plans to give an objective presentation to the Board so that they can decide which way they want to go.

The Sun, Chairman of the Board, is expecting this to be a tense meeting. He's concerned about the negative publicity and public image that all this argument may be generating. He's especially wary that all this discord could make the company look weak, vulnerable, unfocused and divided � just the perfect target that Uranus would see as an invitation to go for the jugular.

The Moon, Chief Human Resources Officer (since she's so good with people), is there to offer suggestions about how to reassure the employees that the company is still strong, intact and capable of fending off hostile takeovers. However, having recently listed outside Pluto's door just before the meeting, she is concerned about the company becoming a battleground between Uranus' revolutionary ambitions and Pluto's determination to put a stranglehold on corporate operations.

Saturn, in the meantime, is on a business trip and laying low, waiting to see which way the power currents will flow. He has given his proxy vote to Pluto (being in mutual reception and sextile, they understand each other pretty well), but he wants to keep his options open.

Truth [is] often sacrificed for
the sake of stability and peace.�
~ Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

This little drama is currently unfolding at multiple levels � personal, social, societal and archetypal. On a personal level, these characters represent different parts of yourself that are struggling to decide which direction to take your life in. This includes outside forces threatening to derail your best laid plans. It also includes a part of you that wants to just lay down the law and be done with the nonsense, and will barricade yourself from any and all change if that's what it takes.

Mini-Trine aspect pattern - Saturn, Pluto, Chiron

While this energy may seem unruly and tumultuous, there is actually a configuration forming that will provide some much-needed resources and creative problem-solving throughout most of this year. This is (what I call) a Mini-Trine aspect pattern: Saturn trine Chiron, with both sextile to Pluto. During mid-year, Neptune steps in and splashes a little magic to the potion that's being brewed. Overall, this Mini-Trine contributes a lot of resourcefulness, healing and ability to ride out the chaotic intensity that's in the air these days (and while Uranus and Pluto are duelling, isn't likely to go away quickly).

Since Pluto (in Capricorn) and Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn) are involved in this Mini-Trine, it has special implications for the New Moon in Capricorn. It is possible to initiate a long-term plan for development and manifestation that unfolds throughout this year, with this plan emerging as the Moon waxes between the New and Full Moons (Jan.11 to Jan.26).

Keep in mind the dynamics of the planetary drama (above). This isn't likely to happen in a straight line. It may sometimes seem like either total control or total liberation is the easiest option, and that might be true�it could be the easiest option, but probably not the one that will get you where you really want to go months down the road.

The trouble with extremes, ultimatums and having things all one way is that it only invites a challenge from the other extreme. And while you're busy trying to fend off the forces that threaten to destroy the extreme end that you've chosen, your original plan gets lost in the turmoil. In the end, you might win the battle but you've lost the war.

Mini-Trine aspect pattern - Sunh, Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter

There's another Mini-Trine building as well, but is only in orb for a few days in late January. The Sun and Mercury (conjunct) trine Jupiter, with Uranus in sextile to them all. This is a visionary and inspiring combination! New ideas, flashes of greater understanding and stimulating conversation are distinct possibilities. In fact, these might come and go so naturally that you're only aware of a time of uplifted spirit, lots of laughter and some extra excitement.

This Mini-Trine is a blessing that can help to balance out the "I must resist outside influence" attitude. It can bring a realization that the supposed barbarians at the gate may actually have some wonderful merchandise, artistry and knowledge to trade, which you're depriving yourself of by rejecting them out of hand.

You can't be neutral on a moving train.
~ Howard Zinn

Capricorn is about commitment. You're at a crossroads � which direction are you going to choose. Even staying where you are, refusing to choose, is a choice; a commitment. The New Moon in Capricorn challenges you to consider committing yourself to something�but don't fall into the trap of expecting this will make the journey easier. It will simply begin the journey.

The coming months will not be easy ones, but they are full of potential, resources and healing if you are strong enough. Strength isn't about making yourself so rigid that nothing can move you. Strength is about allowing yourself to be influence by what's around you, and then return to your centre to discover what meaning your experience has for you. What has it taught you? What has it revealed? What doors does it open? What doors does it close?

This isn't going to be a straight line. Stay in the struggle. Don't jump to conclusions just yet. Stay open to new possibilities, new ideas, new revelations. Right now, under the Dark of the Moon, the journey is just beginning.

Jan.12 – Venus square Uranus (05:00 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.13 in UK, AU)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Jan.14 – Venus sextile Chiron (06:40 of Capricorn/Pisces)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Jan.15 – Jupiter square Chiron (06:43 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jan.13 in MST, PST)

Your sense of wisdom, understanding and spiritual truth may have to face a difficult test under this transit. That test is to look at and acknowledge the ways in which your wisdom is limited or inadequate�not because there's something wrong with it, but because there is only so much in life that can be conquered by optimism, faith and hope. There are some things in life that must be experienced and cannot simply be eradicated. When we're in the thick of this, it can feel like our knowledge and understanding are defective or worthless, even though this is not the case. By embracing those experiences (rather than beating ourselves up for not being omnipotent, or overcompensating with arrogance), it is eventually possible to transcend them. Your wisdom can be expanded and transformed now by a situation that brings you into contact with this truth. It may be an uncomfortable, even painful experience, but this brings the potential to grow spiritually in ways that are not otherwise possible. To get the most out of this transit, strive to find a way to accept that we are all in a state of becoming, and that our imperfections do not subtract from our sacred nature, but merely make it more divinely complex.

Jan.16 – Venus conjunct Pluto (09:53 of Capricorn)  (Jan.17 in UK, AU)

Intensity in love and close relationships can occur under this transit, as well as a compelling need to get more control over your finances and assets. This could manifest as power dynamics emerging in your interactions with others, in which you engage in a negotiation for a better balance of power that is more in your favour. Or, you might become somewhat obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure and beauty, possibly trying to compensate for a low sense of self-worth. Or, there can be a valuable opportunity to develop a deeper connection with those close to you. You might find it necessary to negotiate with others for financial support. You may have to dig deeper than usual to extract needed resources from hidden places (or to deposit them there, out of reach from others who want a piece of your hoard). Keep your integrity high and dry by being honest with yourself about the ethics of your actions.

Jan.17 – Venus sextile Saturn (10:38 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.18 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Jan.18 – Sun conjunct Mercury (28:26 of Capricorn)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

Jan.12 – Mini-Trine aspect pattern ~ Pluto-Chiron-Saturn (until May.10)

Mini-Trine aspect pattern - Saturn, Pluto, Chiron

For about 4 months, there is what I call a Mini-Trine aspect pattern hovering overhead � two planets in trine (120�), with a third planet sextile (60�) to both. In this case, we have Saturn trine Chiron, each sextile Pluto. These planets work cooperatively and creatively together. Saturn's love of structure and formula combines with Pluto's empowering strength and Chiron's healing spirit. At best, these energies can be a stable and productive backdrop to projects and plans you develop during these four months. The thing about trines and sextiles, though, is that they can sometimes make it all too easy for the more difficult or intense side of these planets to come through, as well. Keep re-centering and grounding yourself, especially if anxious or energy gets the better of you.

Jan.19 – Mercury enters Aquarius (until Feb.05)  (Jan.18 in PST)

Mercury in Aquarius brings objectivity, detached mental focus, and communication that strives for unprecedented breadth and height – even to the point of adopting an "ivory tower" mentality. This is a good transit for anything requiring a scientific or analytical approach, as well as anything that calls for you to "think outside of the box." This can be a time when you start to see old familiar situations in new ways, giving you a fresh perspective on things. This planetary energy is not likely to be supportive if you need to take a gentle or sensitive approach to personal interaction, however, since you may be more tempted to just say what needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Your mental outlook may be focused on upcoming possibilities, and it can be a good time to map out future plans and try on new ideas, since you are likely to be more open-minded to things you had previously dismissed as unrealistic or too "out there." This can be a time when you suffer from "cabin fever" and need to get out of the house more, especially if you've been cooped up for a long time due to bad weather, hard work or just lack of motivation to do something different. Breaking free of old routines can be a good thing – just remember you have to live with whatever mess you make in the process.

Jan.19 – Sun enters Aquarius (until Feb.18)  (Jan.20 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Aquarians! While the Sun travels through Aquarius, we all have a chance to explore our rebellious, individualistic and futuristic Aquarian nature. This heralds a time to explore beyond the status quo and conventional reality, beckoning you to reach out to the lost threads of who you are. You may become more aware of your individual uniqueness and your part in the Great Collective – both your surrounding community and the Collective Unconscious. In order to fulfil the unique fingerprint of your life's purpose, it is sometimes necessary to be rebellious, spontaneous, and to be open to the unexpected. You might become aware of the need for these qualities under this transit. There is always a constant tension between the need to conform to society's formula of what works best versus the need to step off the main path to explore new experiences, and both are equally necessary to the health of both the individual and the greater community. Archetypally, it is in Aquarius that we encounter our personal experience of the battle between "the needs of the many" versus "the needs of the few." During the Sun's adventure through Aquarius, be open to the ways that this dynamic operates in your life. What can trigger or inspire you into rebellion or going against the conventional flow of the world around you? What will motivate you into being a team player, when you apply your energies to support or defend "the needs of the many?" What visions of the future do you see when you are in either mode of being? This is a time when you may have the opportunity to observe and learn about both sides of yourself – the part that feels like it's "me against the world" and the part that feels like a part of that world.

Jan.19-30 – Mini-Trine aspect pattern ~ Uranus-Jupiter-Mercury-Sun

Mini-Trine aspect pattern - Sun, Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter

For a short while, you might feel a bit lighter than usual. Your surroundings might be a bit more joyful, jovial, inspiring, idealistic and intellectually or spiritually stimulating. Revelations could come to you, or you might find you enjoy trading perspectives with others around you. This energy could help you stay open to new ideas, and resist the urge to stick to the same-old-same-old ways of doing things and perceiving things around you. If these effects come at you a little too quickly, making you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed, take some time out but don't stay out indefinitely. This energy is a blessing not to be dismissed.

Jan.22 – Mercury sextile Uranus (05:17 of Aquarius/Aries)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Jan.22 – Mercury trine Jupiter (06:25 of Aquarius/Gemini)  (Jan.23 in AU)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities.

Jan.24 – Mars square North Lunar Node (23:28 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  (Jan.25 in AU)

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

Jan.24 – Sun sextile Uranus (05:22 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Jan.25 in AST, UK, AU)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers.

Jan.25 – Mercury square Saturn (11:01 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  (Jan.26 in AU)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.

Jan.25 – Sun trine Jupiter (06:21 of Aquarius/Gemini)  (Jan.23 in NST, UK, AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!

Chart for the Full Moon in Leo
Chart for the Full Moon in Leo

Jan.26 – FULL MOON in LEO (07:24 of Leo)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan.26, 2013, 11:38 PM EST

Atlantic region, Canada:

Jan.27, 2013, 12:38 AM AST

London, UK:

Jan.27, 2013, 4:38 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan.27, 2013, 3:38 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience LEO energy in your life.

Non nobis solum nati sumus.
(Not for ourselves alone
are we born.)
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Full Moon in Leo is always a challenge, even at the best of times.

Leo is about your identity, your sense of self, your sense of purpose. It's where, how and why you can/could/do shine in your life. What kind of energy do you radiate? And it's the shadows you cast, blissfully unaware of whatever lurks in the twilight of their darkness. Leo is about celebrating what's in the light.

There's a struggle that arises when the Moon is Full in Leo. The Sun is in Aquarius at that time (since the Sun is always opposite the Full Moon). However, the Sun is in Detriment when in Aquarius. That means it has difficulty expressing its true nature in that sign.

Aquarius is about the collective � groups, associations, peers and friends. The Sun, on the other hand, is about the self, the individual. Not the easiest alignment.

Although any group is made up of individuals, the group's primary agenda is to maintain itself as a whole. The individual needs of its members could distract or interfere with the group's survival instincts, so individuals are expected to conform to some extent to the commonality that unites the group.

This is the Saturn side of Aquarius � the force of determination to maintain group cohesion. Without that glue of commonality, the group would fall apart. And commonality among a lot of individuals often means connection with others through the lowest common denominator � the most basic qualities that they share. Not very lofty, when you think about it. Aquarius starts out idealistic, but often ends up more regimented and controlling.

But we're talking about Leo here, not Aquarius. (That comes with the next update for the New Moon in Aquarius on Feb.10.) How does Leo feel when dealing with the Aquarian agenda?

The answer loops around on itself. The Sun in Aquarius emphasizes the tension and conflict of interests between Leo and Aquarius, since the Sun is the ruler of Leo trying to express itself through Aquarius. A Full Moon in Leo essentially brings out the same energies, except that the Moon is involved. That brings a whole new element into the mix.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.
~ Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

The Moon is your most personal internal sense of self. It's the vulnerable Inner Child that needs safety and reassurance. It's your personal needs, feelings and your connection with those closest to you. You could think of the Moon as the inner side of your personality and sense of self, while the Sun is the outer expression of who you are.

So the Moon in Leo involves a heartfelt need to be acknowledged and accepted for who you really are. It's the instinct to belong within a greater whole, but also to stand out and shine because of who you are. To the Moon, the collective initially means family. It's the surrounding social environment of adults and siblings while you were growing up.

And as an adult, it's your "chosen family" � those people you're so close to that if you hadn't seen each other in 10 years and you ran into each other, the connection would be regenerated instantly. (Of course, this is for better or worse � who doesn't have mixed feelings about their family!) So, either you trust your "family" to know you and accept you at an intimate level (to some degree), or you long for it and feel a deep inner loneliness if it's missing.

If you have struggled in your life with the absence of that most basic acceptance, belonging and connection, the Full Moon in Leo could bring out an aching longing for what you missed. On the other hand, if you have enjoyed a lot of acceptance, belonging and connection in your life, you might find yourself reminiscing with memories that are sweet...or bitter-sweet.

How can we give them something fresh and new
That's serious, but entertaining too?
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Leo Moon participates in several aspect patterns that challenge that part of you to face and embrace whatever feelings you have about connection and belonging.

T-square aspect pattern - Sun, Moon, Saturn

Let's start with the T-square aspect pattern that the Sun-Moon opposition makes with Saturn. Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and as we saw above, his agenda is to make sure the group or collective endures and functions as well as possible. Sometimes that means sacrificing a bit of your individuality and "specialness" in order to ensure the functioning of the whole will be smoother and less turbulent. At worst, this T-square could feel like someone or something is shutting you down, blocking you...or maybe tying you up in sexy handcuffs and then torturing you by ignoring you.

On the other hand, Saturn could be challenging you (okay, maybe more like coercing you � he is, after all, in Scorpio) to make your close connections and self-expression more stable and enduring, so that your life runs smoother and more effectively. At best, this could be an opportunity to make some progress with something that requires strict discipline, firm structure and determined planning. Be prepared to put your passion and commitment into the effort. Initially Saturn might show you what problems, issues and obstacles need to be addressed � you'll probably experience it initially as conflict, complication or obligation.

Yod Kite aspect pattern

Another aspect pattern is a Yod Kite pointing at the Moon from a Pluto-Chiron sextile. The Kite part is formed by the Moon's opposition to the Sun. That poor widdle Leo Moon feels put on the spot to put on a convincing performance as a healing clown, trying to entertain and lighten up the heavies in the room (Pluto and Chiron).

However, Pluto and Chiron make an awkward audience, since they are more interested in manifesting opportunities for healing than in simply being entertained. While this healing can often be inspired through dramatic performance, humour and caricatures, this expression needs to be the means to something more, not simply an end in itself.

So, if you feel like you're failing to make a meaningful connection with a person, situation or vision, check to see if you're selling your potential and purpose short. Perhaps you're focusing too much on the surface of what your intention could look like, and not enough at what it's really made of. Instead, try embracing the deeper spirit of what you're trying to achieve, and trust it to emerge in its own way.

Well, God give them wisdom that have it;
and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
~ William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

There's also a Cradle aspect configuration that starts with the Sun-Moon opposition. Uranus and Jupiter form trines and sextiles to each side of that opposition, while in sextile to each other. This aspect pattern has enormous potential for everything from creative expression to problem solving to stress relief. The trick is you need to deal with the tension of the opposition (described above) in order to unlock the ingenuity and vision of Jupiter and Uranus.

Cradle aspect pattern

It's significant that the Cradle involves the modern co-ruler of Aquarius: Uranus. It's important to really get a grip on the Leo-Aquarius issues: "My needs versus the group's needs." "Who I am by my own self-definition versus who I am as shaped by the collective." And "Do I really need to be the primary centre of attention, or could I be satisfied to shine my light into the collective for the greater good?"

When you are engaging these kinds of questions and soul searching, you will find you have access to a greater understanding of who you are beyond the walls of your self-defined identity. Most importantly, you will find that beyond the very human need to validate your Inner Child lies an enduring divine spark of uniqueness�and it matters not whether you're on centre stage or part of the audience. That's where the potential of Leo meets the promise of Aquarius.

There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be...
~ John Lennon

Mercury in Aquarius is also conjunct the Sun at the Full Moon. He's growing a bit wide and separating from the Sun, but Mercury is still capable of throwing a whisper out to the opposing Leo Moon. Whatever you're experiencing around the issues, dynamics and challenges described above, find a way to talk about it, express it, think about it, reflect on it and view it through a broader perspective to see the full context that lends greater meaning about it. Better yet, explore and experiment with new ways of looking at the issues. Step outside yourself and see your life from a whole different angle. You might be surprised by what you see!

Mars, also in Aquarius, is square to the North and South Lunar Nodes. What could activate these experiences of "me versus the group" is conflict or confrontation that seems to yank you away from your intended direction. For instance, you might get tangled up in argument, discord or hostility with others around you who push your buttons and drive you nuts, making you feel stuck in someone else's nightmare. Ask yourself this: is it really important enough to get pulled out of your centre? Pick your battles and be clear (and realistic) about what you want as a result of them. Whether you get that result or not, it can help you refocus and move beyond the obstacle.

Mars square the Lunar Nodes

Another example: a situation or person might seem to interfere with something you're trying to achieve, making you feel like you're wasting your time and energy. However, if you look deeper you may find that there's an advantage or benefit from breaking with your current direction. Take a detour and explore what the distraction is really about. Perhaps the Universe is trying to get your attention about something?

Treat the interruption like one of those dreams where you get stuck in a conflict with someone who won't leave you alone. In the dream, if you turn and face them and ask what they want, instead of fighting them or running away, the conflict will often resolve itself and can often bring some "ah-ha!" insight. Your archenemy might even turn out to be an ally in disguise, if you can get past your defensiveness or aversion.

Another connection to the Nodes (and therefore the Eclipses) is that Jupiter is exactly conjunct the point of the last Lunar Eclipse: 6 degrees of Gemini. In addition, Jupiter stations on this point, officially making the turn on Jan.30. The Jupiter station is energizing the Lunar Eclipse energy for a good week before and after Jan.30.

You may have an opportunity to gather more information and reach a greater understanding about events and experiences that were happening around and after the Lunar Eclipse of Nov.28. On the other hand, if things were stressful at that time and you are still carrying that tension around with you, Jupiter's station could bring out an urge to pass judgment and cast blame on whomever or whatever you see as being responsible for that stress (which might include yourself).

You might have to re-face a situation that felt frightening, difficult or overwhelming at that time. Just remember that you're not in the same place now as you were then, and to some degree you're also not the same person as you were then. So use what you've learned to get you through a re-encounter or a re-assessment of that situation.

But, instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover,
life gives us something that we could hardly imagine.
~ Marcel Proust

Overall, this Leo Full Moon (and for the next couple of weeks) gives you a chance to take a basic human need for attention, gratification, applause and praise, and reach beyond it to a greater need to connect with something greater than yourself. You might call this spiritual, you might call it global consciousness, you might call it society, or you might call it simply expanding your awareness to think outside your usual comfort zone.

Whatever you call it, it may well arrive at your door looking like something totally different than you're expecting. Like Luke Skywalker with Yoda, you might be tempted to dismiss it out of hand. However, the first step to unlocking the door to connection that leads to enlightenment is to see beyond what you think is there, beyond what you hope is there and beyond what you fear is there. Be open to what is that lies beyond your personal needs, feelings and impulses.

Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.
~ Ron Hall

Jan.30 – Jupiter stationary Direct (06:19 of Gemini)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a surge of idealism, inspiration and confidence. A quest for knowledge, truth, optimism and faith could become a beacon of energy in your life. On the other hand Jupiter could also bring an increase of judgement, blame and elitism. Jupiter has been retrograde for about 4 months. It is now changing direction again and resuming its normal direct motion.

You may have been exploring and developing the deeper qualities of spirituality, beliefs, confidence, knowledge, faith and/or optimism during that time. Or you might have found ways to expand your horizons�directly through travel or indirectly through the study of other cultures and languages. For the next 3 months (as Jupiter retraces its steps through the Shadow), you can start to apply and integrate what you've learned over the past 4 months. For example, if you have been taking a course or exploring your religious beliefs, this might be a time when you are able to put your discoveries into practice or place them into your worldview.

This turning point may be uplifting, overwhelming, inspiring and/or illuminating. You could discover new meaning in areas of life that had become stale or worn out, or you might realise that your old ways of understanding don't work for you anymore and need to be let go. Whatever you've learned or gained over the last 4 months, it is now available to be expressed and used more openly and directly in your life.

This Jupiter station is special because it happens exactly conjunct the Lunar Eclipse point from last Nov.28. What was happening to you around that date and in the few weeks following it? Jupiter might come along and shine a new light of opportunity on that situation, or perhaps just the theme underlying the events of that time. You might gain new insights and understanding about how to turn the situation to your advantage. At worst, it might bring up old unresolved injustice that either began or was stirred up at that time. Watch out for getting caught up in a blame game, or pointing fingers at others without also looking at what you contributed to the situation.

Jan.30 – Sun square Saturn (11:13 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  (Jan.31 in AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Feb.01 – Mars enters Pisces (until Mar.12)  (Feb.02 in UK, AU)

Mars in Pisces can feel like you're boxing with a cloud. Your motives and actions may seem to be led in some direction, rather than you consciously choosing what to do. Expressing anger or taking an assertive stand may easily lose its impact. Emotions and motives that are normally focused can become blurred in a fog of indecision and ambiguity. However, you may also be able to connect more easily to spiritual, intuitive, artistic and creative energy. Listen to your body and observe your spontaneous actions – what would they mean if you were having a dream? These things can give you clues about unconscious motives, feelings and perceptions (about yourself or others). In a way, you are more connected to the twilight spaces between worlds, which can make it hard to feel powerful or effective in the "real" world. It can therefore be tempting to slip into a kind of "victim mentality." Or, you might feel despondent, apathetic or kind of "spacey." It can help to do things that feed your spirit without needing to pump yourself up artificially.

Feb.01 – Venus enters Aquarius (until Feb.25)  (Feb.02 in UK, AU)

Relationships, material abundance and values take a step back to gain perspective, detachment and room to breathe in freedom. You may find that you want to use your finances and resources to benefit those who are disadvantaged or to support the greater good of society in some way. It can be a good time to experiment or try new things, to network with groups of people, and to take an objective view about intimacy and interaction. Relationships can take on an idealistic edge, seeking a state of equality and rebelling against imbalances that give one person advantage over the other. Having a strong element of friendship in your intimate relationships may become very important during this time, and friendships themselves could take a central place in your life. Detachment without disconnection is the ideal here. You may not be in a position to foresee future possibilities and translate desires into wishes and new hope.

Feb.01-10 – Mini-Trine Aspect Pattern ~ Venus-Jupiter-Uranus

Mini-Trine aspect pattern - Venus, Jupiter, Uranus

Venus in Aquarius now forms a Mini-Trine aspect configuration with Jupiter (Gemini) and Uranus (Aries). Mercury and the Sun did this with Jupiter and Uranus on Jan.19-30. That planetary combination was about new ideas leading to fresh insights and revelations. With Venus involved this time, it's about new perspectives about your values and what is important to you�not in a practical, prioritizing way, but in terms of the ideals you embrace and the vision you have of your life and the world. This is also likely to influence how you relate to others. Romance and love can benefit from platonic friendship, and friendships can flourish when there is breathing room through a little detachment (notice I didn't say disconnection). As Kahlil Gibran wrote, "Let the winds of the heavens dance between you." This Mini-Trine is closest on Feb.05-06, when all three planets are at 5-6 degrees in their respective signs.

Feb.04 – Mars conjunct Neptune (01:12 of Pisces)  (Feb.05 in AU)

This can be a strange time of lethargic confusion or uplifting inspiration or both! On one hand, you might feel very motivated by creative and spiritual inspiration, as new possibilities seem to appear magically in your imagination. On the other hand, you may feel a bit like you've lost your "edge," where your focused energy feels blunted or blurred. Direct action may not be possible, easy or effective, and as a result it could be easy to lapse into feeling a bit powerless, lethargic or discouraged. You may have to act on faith instead of fact; and whether this is a "good" or "bad" experience will largely depend on how comfortable you are with ambiguity. This transit initiates a new cycle of working with these themes that lasts about 2 years. The events and issues that come up now likely have more to them than you see on the surface, and the deeper levels will unfold and develop throughout the coming cycle.

Feb.05 – Mercury enters Pisces (until Apr.13)  (Feb.06 in AU)

Imagination, dreams, creativity and intuition are more easily accessible while Mercury floats through Pisces. You may be more impressionable, appreciative and open to ideas that previously had seemed improbable, unrealistic or silly. This is a good transit for any creative work – writing, music, artistic projects, or just putting ideas together in new ways. Problem solving could benefit now, because it may be easier to think beyond the limiting boundaries of the situation. On the other hand, it might also be easier to become caught in confusion, ambiguity or ambivalence, since the sharp edges of definition may be easily blurred or distorted. This is a time when the "Right Brain" – the intuitive, creative and non-rational side of the mind – can be more active. As a result, meditation, dreams and daydreams may be more accessible. Unfortunately, illusion and deception might also be more convincing and enticing, since critical and objective thinking could be a bit harder to maintain. You might also experience some mental lethargy and need to give your mind a rest. Try going to a movie, or read an entertaining novel, or spend some quality "alone time" with yourself. Or, take a long walk in a park or by a body of water, where you can enjoy the luxury of just appreciating nature and "being" instead of "doing." Some harmless or entertaining escapism can be a great way to give yourself a mental vacation – just don�t get stuck there. Explorations of spiritual experience and thought can also bring new insights and inspiration under this transit.

Mercury is in Pisces a very long time because it will go retrograde in that sign from Feb.23 until Mar.17/18. This can create opportunities and supportive energy for creative projects, intuition and psychic experiences. However, it's wise to be cautious � Pisces can involve situations that aren't what they seem to be. A good solid reality check should be used before making any important decisions.

Feb.06 – Venus sextile Uranus (05:51 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Feb.07 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

Feb.06 – Mercury conjunct Neptune (02:17 of Pisces)  (Feb.07 in AU)

The imagination soars under this transit! Possibilities seem richer, insights appear more magical and creativity flows like liquid honey. Your intuition is likely to be more fluid, and you may even have psychic experiences. Dreams may be more vivid and active, including daydreams. You may feel a need for quiet meditation or just being alone with your own thoughts. Your mental focus may seem a bit blurred, although in the outer edges you may catch a glimpse of ideas and possibilities that you don't ordinarily notice. It can be an inspiring time if you are involved in creative activities, like artwork, music, writing and other creative forms of communication and self-expression. This is a time when your "Right Brain" (intuitive, creative, non-rational) may be very active. In fact, it might be a bit difficult to bring a sharp focus to your "Left Brain" (logical, rational, realistic). Your judgment and ability to be objective may be off, and you could be more prone to wishful thinking and flights of fantasy. If you're making an important decision now, it may be wise to do a reality check with a trusted friend before you commit yourself.

This is the only exact pass of this transit, although when Mercury comes back and stations direct on Mar.17, it will be within less than 2 degrees of conjoining Neptune again. However, with Mercury going through a retrograde cycle in Pisces over the next 2+ months, it could feel like an extension of Mercury conjunct Neptune.

Feb.07 – Venus trine Jupiter (06:25 of Aquarius/Gemini)  (Feb.06 in CT, MT, PT)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Feb.08 – Mercury Direct conjunct Mars (05:16 of Pisces)  (Feb.09 in AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Feb.08, Feb.26 and May.07.

Feb.08 – Mercury enters Retrograde Shadow (05:37 of Pisces)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" � the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2� weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

Mercury will go retrograde from Feb.23 until Mar.17, and then remain in the Shadow until Apri.06. Mercury makes a number of repeating aspects during this retrograde cycle. Mercury conjoins Mars on Feb.08, Feb.26 and May07. Mercury squares Jupiter on Feb.09, Mar.09 and Mar.29. It also conjoins Chiron on Feb.10, Mar.08 and Mar.29. It sextiles Pluto on Feb.12, Mar.07 and Mar.29. And Mercury trines Saturn on Feb.12, Mar.07 and Mar.28. It looks like the end of March is going to be a busy time! Mercury adds awareness, communication and intuitive thinking to the final pass of Jupiter square Chiron (beliefs, faith and vision struggling with woundedness, healing and the need to balance your enduring spirit with your changeable sense of self). Mercury also brings to awareness the Saturn-Pluto sextile (manifesting deep change creatively), as well as the Saturn-Neptune trine (cooperative and creative collaboration between the rational and non-rational).

Feb.09 – Mercury Direct square Jupiter (06:31 of Pisces/Gemini)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Feb.09, Mar.09 and Mar.29.

Feb.09 – Sun square North Lunar Node (21:27 of Aquarius/Scorpio)

When the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, your sense of purpose and identity appear to be in conflict with the lessons you need to learn in life. It may feel like you're forced to take a detour around your direct route to your destination (whatever that might be). This may only be true on the surface � if you look deeper at the situation (or possibly in retrospect), you'll probably find that your sense of self is actually helped by the benefits that you are able to get on that detour, which would have missed if you hadn't been diverted from your original path.

Alternatively, you might be confronted by a conflict or stressful dilemma that you usually resist or flail against. This may be an opportunity to explore a deeper level of your experience and feelings. Perhaps there is fear or resentment or defiance behind your reaction. This is a chance to try on a different perspective and respond in a different way that can help you move through the situation instead of just being blocked by it.

When the Sun squares the Nodes it is sometimes called "Moon Wobbles," which is a bit of a misnomer. The Moon itself doesn't wobble or even necessarily interact directly with either the Nodes or the Sun. Rather, the Moon part of us (the inner, feeling, intuitive, sensitive part of us) may feel a bit "wobbly" or unsteady when the Sun squares the Nodes. The "Moon Wobble" effects are said to build and dissipate for up to 10-15 days before and after the Sun-Node square is exact.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in AQUARIUS, available by February 10, 2013.

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