by Eric Francis
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Saturn’s return to your birth sign describes a sense of completeness you have not felt for a very long time, if ever. Take a moment to collect yourself: a week or two of reflecting on your goals and preparing your mind; and get ready to face the challenges you’ve been avoiding. You now have the perspective and the strength to step up to your life as a full participant. To this task, you will bring all of your resources. You can no longer hide or camouflage yourself. It’s no longer viable to live in a state of limbo, or suspended animation around your commitments—and it never really was. You can no longer disappear, from your own life or anyone else’s. Practicality must take precedence over ideology. What is right is what works for you and for the people you associate with. Perhaps your most daunting challenge is taking responsibility for communication. You are the person who must guide that process, and strive for clarity on behalf of everyone. You can no longer blame people for what you don’t understand, particularly if you have questions you haven’t asked or sought answers to, or if you’ve ignored available information. Commitment means commitment to yourself; and if you’re able to do that, you’ll notice that you come through for others because you want to live up to your own potential.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The concept of an inner life is elusive to most people. By inner life, I mean the world that you contain, your conscious growth process, and your relationship to your past. How this could elude anyone, I don’t know; but it seems to, in the same way people’s dreams deliver them messages that seem cryptic or incomprehensible and, therefore, not even worth thinking much about. The combination of Venus, the Sun and Saturn entering your adjoining sign Capricorn is about you awakening to who you are inside. Here’s the thing. Doing this involves encountering what psychologists describe as shadow material. That might include your fears, your regrets, and emotions on the embarrassment-guilt-shame spectrum. One’s inner life also includes one’s deepest desires, especially including what the Vedic astrologers call “the pleasures of the bed”—one’s secret fantasies and most profound needs, which are both erotic and emotional. The supposed reward for avoiding awareness of your inner life is the convenience of not having to address any of these things. The actual reward for entering and fully embracing your inner life is being a whole person. Your capacity for intimacy will deepen. Through understanding yourself and your motives, you will be more curious about the inner lives of those you care about. Yet this will also have a way of filtering out superficial relationships. You just won’t be interested.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The time has arrived to reap the rewards of your success. You’ve done much to establish yourself in recent years, and have risen to the occasion of many challenges. It’s now time to collect. That doesn’t mean resting on your laurels, but rather focusing less on aspiration and more on connecting your efforts to direct benefits. From the look of your solar chart, those might come in many different forms, financial gain being one of them. Some rewards might arrive in the form of increased social and professional standing, which grant you privileges you’ve never had before. You’re due for a time dividend, which means the benefit of time that is your own, like profits delivered after all taxes have been paid. The key to this will be designing your life structure, and then honoring it. It’ll be easier than during many recent seasons, when the emphasis has been on success-at-all-costs Saturn in Sagittarius. The posture to assume at this stage of your life, described by Saturn in Capricorn, is a calm confidence: somewhat reserved, but standing firmly in your self-assurance. People will notice how much experience you have, and will likely be somewhat daunted by it. You can humanize this by being willing to help as you can, whenever someone needs you. Demonstrate going from vision to action with no need to check in with any authority higher than yourself.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Freedom and discipline go hand in hand. That will be a happy discovery for you as you embark upon a momentous phase of your vocation in the coming seasons. Note that I did not say career or profession. A vocation can become those things, though it starts someplace else: with a calling. It’s a calling so deep it could be considered spiritual, or one’s true dharma; and the fulfillment of the purpose is more important than success. This will take everything you’ve got, and you’re ready to offer that up. You will need to address any authority issues you have, whether they involve being responsive to others in power or wielding your own. This will be an ongoing process that will largely entail internalizing your sense of responsibility. You will need to work with time, which means pacing yourself; neither being in a big hurry nor willing to wait forever. You’ll need to have faith in yourself, and to persevere—in times when you’re doubting your mission or when things don’t seem to be going well. At the heart of your life plan must be some concept of home. That’s the most dependable way to provide grounding not just for your success but also a place where you can rest and connect with others. Just remember, all true collaboration depends on intimacy, and is fed by passion.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Integrity is the very essence of your nature, and you possess a keen awareness of right and wrong. You’ve also figured out by now that you must bring your flexibility into every situation. Nothing is carved in stone or set in concrete, especially where your personal ethics are concerned. You can afford to evaluate every situation on its own merits. You’ve learned many times that this is better than having inflexible rules, though you might say that strict adherence to the law is a kind of temptation for you. However, you can now look at the world with fresh eyes, which also includes taking a more benevolent view of your own past. You don’t need to judge yourself or anyone, nor does whether you agree with something or not need to be your standard of reality. You are bigger than nearly all that you perceive. You’re bigger than your parents, your family, and anyone who has held authority over you. If you keep an open mind, and set orthodoxy aside, these next few years of your life will provide you with some beautiful and original opportunities to learn about yourself and the world. Regarding the question of scale, what you may figure out is that you’re bigger than all you survey. This is a temporary state of affairs; it’s a useful perspective to take, for the time being.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You’ve just been through one of the most—what’s the word? Ridiculous? Exciting? Challenging?—phases of your life, and whatever that was, whatever you’ve been through, is over. Time has given rise to something else, as if you’ve been transported to another dimension of your own existence. I don’t think this will be subtle, though it’s possible to live in the past. If you’re living in the present, you will see that the nature of your commitments has evolved into something more tangible, even solid. This will facilitate the building of relationships and associations of all kinds, whether their purpose is making home, making money or making love. It’s likely that you’ve been so enamored of your need for freedom that you missed the privileges that come with having a stable structure around you. However, when you feel commitment coming from inside you, rather than something you feel is imposed on you, you’ll appreciate its beauty. It will be helpful if you’re less enamored of an abstract concept of your freedom and refine that into something you can actually express. You may need to be specific; for example, decide consciously whether you want a relationship to be live-in or not; monogamous or not; financially intertwined or not. Determine the role you want to play in any business partnership, and know the places where you’re flexible or open to compromise.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Saturn has entered your solar 7th house of relationships, the sign Capricorn. The most recent time this occurred was 29 years ago, perhaps before you were born. It’s entered Capricorn along with an impressive collection of other planets. The upshot is that where you may have felt like you were living on the frontier, you will now be joined by settlers, who might become colonists. Remember, though, that the spirit of a pioneer is different from that of someone who wants to build a town. You would benefit from those possessing both qualities: those who are undaunted by new territory, and who also want to build something familiar. Saturn’s three-year run through your relationship house will help you clear unnecessary or outmoded relationships, and it will help you develop something entirely new. For many long years, you’ve been deconstructing the rules and traditions that have not served your sensitive and original nature. This has not been easy. Remember that you still have some ground to cover there; and meanwhile, it would be helpful to remove some of the debris that’s been left behind from your various demolition projects. Beware of old ideas, ungrounded expectations, the fear of abandonment and jealousy. The more you give language to these feelings, the easier they will be to work through in a conscious and loving way: the way of the lover.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
It’s essential that you balance work and well-being. You’re one of the hardest-working people you know, and one of the most willing to sacrifice your personal needs and your health for the sake of getting the job done. However, it’s time to live under less Spartan conditions. You still have plenty to accomplish, yet taking care of your body and your mind must come first. One way you can maintain a balance is by learning something that I’ve seen is rather difficult for those born under your sign: how to delegate work. In doing this, you might follow a simple rule. Only assign tasks to those who do them better than you do. This might take a little time to find, though you need to have total trust when you let go of a task. And that would be worth seeking over time and, if need be, waiting for. In any event, collaboration is an art form. This skill will be worth developing. How you structure your time is also vitally important. You must see time as your ally, and use well the time you have. Think in terms of efficiency, making actual decisions about what is and is not necessary, and how much energy certain projects or goals deserve. Yet the first of these must be structuring a life in such a way that you can take care of yourself.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You simply must keep a positive attitude, because you have so much to live for. What’s changing the most rapidly is your approach to your work. You’ve made great strides on this self-improvement project, and now you’re ready for another step: doing everything you do with the passion of an artist. There are those people who would do their work for free (and many who do) only because they love its purpose so much. Whatever job you may have, this is not a thing of the future. Before you get to the “do what you love” phase, you must go through the “love what you do” phase, whatever that thing is. This will cultivate the state of mind that emphasizes both quality, and your recognition that you exist in a network of people who are, ideally, all working toward the same end. Part of your work is the task itself; yet equally important is your influence on your coworkers, colleagues, clients, and people in leadership. Whatever you may do, your primary purpose is dharma: acting as if to hold the world together. The “as if” part is important because it takes pressure off of you. You’re not actually responsible for holding the world together; you just have to make every decision on that basis. One last hint: the past weighs on you far less than you may think.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Many factors in your chart point to grounding: in your home, in your feelings, in your body, and in your local community. This follows a phase of being somewhat all over the place, both mentally and physically. You’re now able to focus your mind, as if you’ve just woken up from many days of feverish dreams and could suddenly speak and think clearly. For the foreseeable future, your primary task is to strengthen your foundations. This could pertain equally to home, family, and the most personal aspects of your career. Take tangible steps every day to organize your physical space, and your emotional space will follow. Saturn moving through your 4th solar house is about clearing out the clutter, such that you can see the walls and floors of the basement and make any necessary repairs. When cleaning a closet, empty it out entirely first. You will find, through this process, that you need far less than you think; and, further, that you will place a greater value on what you choose to keep. Finally, there’s the matter of your relationship to your family. You’ve reached a point where you must handle this consciously, and not allow anyone to make assumptions or presumptions about you. If you want more space to yourself, and you feel guilty about that, count this as proof that your desires are correct.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You have the perfect blend of drive and discipline going for you now. Take advantage of this and get your year started off right. Just be aware of one thing: you cannot content yourself with being little. You are past being willing, or able, to make yourself small for the sake of others. Your role is not to bow to their insecurities, nor to worry about how they’re supposed to handle someone who wants to live fully, and strives to do so. As you do this, you may notice the extent to which people seem determined to shrink themselves, to diminish their goals and talents, or to thrive on boredom (which is really a mask over anger). You may feel pressure from peers to conform to this odd way of living. Don’t waste your time wondering whether you can, or whether this is the right thing. And while you may feel the lure of analyzing why people choose to live this way, you would be better served to ask yourself why you ever did. There’s a fear running loose that when we connect with our desire, passion, love, or sex drive, that we’re going to go out of control. After all, society could possibly not handle everyone being in contact with their power, living honestly. But here’s the question. How would anyone even know?
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Taking care of your finances will get you a long way in life. The time has arrived: whatever you may want to accomplish, being grounded, realistic, and resourceful will be your vehicle for doing it. Money flows toward structure, and you need to build that gently around yourself. Start with full awareness of your income, your expenses, your debts, and your needs for future growth. Then, use your skills or get help to build a model you can live in. One way to work is to make long- and medium-range plans for development projects. It’s vitally important, in our current version of the world, that you phase out obsolete equipment and phase in the fully serviceable gear you need to get your work done. This is a matter of planning. Keep all your options open for how to do this. And remember, the world is awash with gear that nobody is using. Take leadership, learn how to pool resources, and get that process going. Remember that your most valuable asset is your talent: what you can do and, in particular, what you alone can do. Set a higher price on that than you ever have; at the same time, you must be bold about demonstrating and even proving your abilities before expecting people to pay. You have the abilities and the discipline to make this happen. And it’ll be worth it, too.
monthly horoscopes graciously contributed by:
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton