by Eric Francis
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You don’t need a conspiracy theory to understand your life. It’s a fact that the elements of your existence have come together by design, most of which was based on your own intentions, choices and actions. All you need to do is understand that plan, and if you want a different kind of life, you need to make a different plan, followed by different choices. With eclipses now happening along your axis of the zodiac (lunar eclipse in Leo on January 31, solar eclipse in Aquarius on February 15), you have opportunities to make a number of significant changes. First, review what you’ve been saying you want to do for a long time. What have you resolved to begin, accomplish or change at least five times? That’s probably an inventory of two or three goals, which are the ones to prioritize. You may have been involved in a similar process six months ago—check back to this past August for additional details, and remember what you were striving to do. Notice how much progress you’ve made (probably more than you think). Spot a few things you no longer want to do, and consciously take those off your agenda, to save energy. One especially bold factor in your astrology is spending more time with other people, in person. That will make you happy.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are made up of all of who you are. To be yourself, you must be completely you, and draw on all of your experiences and all of your feelings, and count every need and desire as valid. Be aware of when you try to cast away or disown certain elements of your being. What you may really need to do is integrate those feelings and impulses rather than rid yourself of them. You might think of this as communicating with yourself rather than excommunicating yourself. This extends to the world around you: community is now more important than ever, both for you personally and for the world you inhabit. You can take a strong role in helping create this. What you’re likely to discover along the way is that your sincerity and willingness to be vulnerable will work in your favor. This applies to business and social scenarios, which for the foreseeable future are intimately linked. Do what you can to bring warmth and understanding to your place of work, and use community events and gatherings as opportunities to engage your dharma. We are living through a time in history where life must be lived with purpose. You will know you’re doing that when you connect with an underlying principle that starts to get results. This includes saying and doing things that people relate to.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You’re working yourself to the edge of your comfort zone, which is exactly the place you will benefit from being. While you’re there, you can question a whole diversity of social expectations, starting with jealousy and competition in relationships, especially friendships. Navigating the social aspects of life is directly connected to your work-related aspirations, though it’s worth understanding that there are two different spheres of influence with two sets of rules. Those of the social world are usually informal and not structured on an organizational chart. Influence is gained though affinity and charm. In the professional sphere, influence is (in theory, anyway) structured and orderly. However, in our current time, this is reversed: formal structures are crumbling and losing their effectiveness, while informal influence, tribal organization and affinity are gaining momentum (part of a very long trend). If you remember the properties of both spheres, you’ll be able to work deftly within them—just know where you are and what rules you’re playing under at all times. Remember that custom usually trumps law, and the informal social guidelines typically win out over formal power structure. Among your friends, you can take the risk of opening communication; especially if you want to make a change. You have the gift of being an initiator, and you’re persuasive enough to make a difference.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Suddenly it may seem that everyone is figuring out what you already know. Get over any disappointment that it took them so long, and step into your leadership role, the same one you’ve been cultivating for a while. As part of this process, you’ve got some unlearning to do, which mostly involves unraveling thought patterns and seeing beyond the rules of society that people take for granted. Cultivate a keen sense of what works and what does not; of who works for what purpose, and who works well together with specific other people toward a concrete goal. You may be getting the message that the more flexible your thought patterns, the easier all this is. Relax your social expectations of what is proper and what is not, and give people space to experiment with their ideas. See if you can notice the feelings that exist underneath them, and address the feelings first. Then gently apply reason and logic, first to your own thought process as a kind of demonstration. Another dimension of leadership involves the back-room deal. This is not as sinister as it may seem, at least in your situation. It’s about a small group of committed people deciding that something is necessary, and taking the steps to make it happen; then consulting others and building support. Revise your plans where necessary.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
It’s time to ease yourself out of survival mode. This can seem like a far-fetched notion when so many people are feeling so pushed to the edge. You can take not just solace but encouragement from the degree to which you’ve managed to get by (or do pretty well for yourself) all this time. While we hear reports of the glowing, growing economy and the stock market that knows no limits, fear, despair, and a sense of injustice are soaked into nearly everything. To relax, you’ll be going against the prevailing feeling of our society, which calls for strength and faith. Your solar chart describes this as faith in humanity, though that can inform your greater trust in something more transcendent. You can tune into the “greater purpose” of all that you see going on, which will help you see beyond the struggle. Survival mode is a state of mind. It’s time to up your game. You need a definition of what it means to thrive. You don’t face the same kinds of threats or hardships that you adapted to when you were younger. It’s challenging, for whatever reason, to look at yourself and the world around you and to see both as they are today. Notice your friends. Notice your resources. Notice all the important work that needs to be done.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
At the moment, many factors are working collaboratively to shift your orientation on relationships. Certain influences are of the slow-but-steady variety; others are going increase the speed and reactivity of your environment. Certain things that took a long time in the past might happen quickly now. Other factors that previously moved fast will cool off and slow down. Two items are involved. One is the recent arrival of Saturn in your opposite sign, which describes a quest for stability. Don’t be content with the near miss or the close encounter. You want contact. This is not usually possible to create at will, though you can create conditions that will predispose it to happen. Work with structures, such as your time, your physical space, and where you choose to commit yourself. Saturn will help you thoughtfully make changes, and help you clear old baggage and inappropriate situations out of the way. The other factor is Pholus, a small, meaningful (and relatively new) discovery, from 1992, which is an accelerant. Under the influence of Pholus, seemingly small elements can have unusually potent effects. You can use this as a tool, and you must also guard against it. Be careful not to dismiss anyone or anything as meaningless. Take a moment and size that up consciously. Subtle factors can be profound. Watch and listen carefully.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Two eclipses are on the horizon that influence your sign, and will do so for many months. These relate back to the astrology of last summer, and all the events that it precipitated. The first is a lunar eclipse in your sign on January 31. The second is a partial solar eclipse in your opposite sign Aquarius on February 15. Combined, these two events are a balancing process that will help you reorient your existence after an unusually eventful, even tumultuous six months since midsummer. You will probably experience another rapid series of events, after which you’ll get a chance to settle down. The emphasis, initially, is on your relationships. You’re making a transition from primarily one-on-one encounters to circumstances where the group or family is the more significant level of reality. This is especially true where both work- and health-related matters are concerned. You’ll be happier and healthier if you organize support around you, and accept that support without making much of a fuss. For the foreseeable future, the theme of your chart is taking better care of yourself. You are a taskmaster; and, in that, efficiency and collaboration are now essential. The other prevailing message from your chart is food. There are things you should be eating, and other things that you should not be eating. Figure out the difference.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Expressing your need for emotional independence could get some unexpected results. Don’t let that stop you from taking the space you need, whether in your household, from your family, or in an intimate relationship. The only way to understand or even document the existence of restrictions, boundaries, and unspoken agreements is to test them, and to push their limits. Part of this experiment will involve understanding people’s motives and agendas, which you can try to suss out. Yet you’ll only be able to judge from assessing their words, their actions, and the emotional impact they have on you and others around you. Someone intimate with you may have a problem they are reluctant to discuss, which could include experiencing the effects of a situation in the distant past. This must be handled consciously, if the effects are going to be mitigated and the problem resolved. Left untended, it will get worse; if addressed in an alert and responsive way, the problem will become a gift and an important life lesson. One way to understand the situation is to consider everyone’s definition of commitment. What assumptions are being made? Who has what expectations, and what are they grounded in? The overriding lesson of this situation is that all agreements must be conscious and out in the open if they are to be valid and meaningful.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Something related to your personal healing process has reached the point where you must address it, and you’ll be happy you did. Once you get into the issues, you’ll discover that they’re more tangible than you thought they were. The structure of the issue is “how one thing has led to another.” Events developed in a circular pattern, and one thing to be aware of is where you were at the point of origin. You may think you did something to someone, when it’s more likely someone did something to you. You’ll need to be gentle with that, and orient yourself on accounting for ascribing responsibility rather than placing blame. The difference may seem subtle at first, though it’s nothing of the kind. The emotion driving blame bears no resemblance to what is behind that of understanding responsibility. The first foggy gray area to penetrate is about whether everyone involved acted voluntarily. That may boil down to who knew what, and when. Then, figure out who had a plan, and who did not. Let’s call that the “agenda issue.” What were the different goals involved? If any question this month relates to a health matter, the emotional connection is essential to understand. One remedy here is for you to learn how to say, “This is how I feel,” and state the facts calmly.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
When art and sexuality go deeper than typical everyday consciousness, one of the first things encountered is the ambiguous, shadowy aspect of existence. If you find yourself curious about what’s lurking in the reeds and coves by the remote shores of your mind, you can explore those places. You may also discover that a partner is ready to go to a new depth; and, if so, you must be gentle about this. It’s essential to proceed with caution where feelings, desires, and ideas exist in low-contrast rather than in bold and vivid colors. Move ahead with the idea that it’s not only OK but helpful to advance with curiosity and pleasure where taboo experiences are involved. Engaging with emotional contradictions consciously will take away the power they seem to hold over you, and will reveal the pleasure aspects and release the spiritual gifts they contain. This is territory you’re usually well suited for, though you’ll have to make a conscious choice to hold space for anyone you’re intimate with. You don’t need to go all the way into anyone’s emotional body. Being present for whatever someone else is feeling would make an excellent start, and will remind them that there’s a stable and safe place to have their experience. Think of yourself as a kind of “trip guide,” and remember that you’re looking into a mirror.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Your relationships may follow some unusual patterns this month. If you’re wondering about what is happening and why, ask yourself what you want. That’s the driving force behind everything you experience, and everyone’s response to you. The challenge you face is being emotionally honest with yourself. One way to do that is to notice where you actually devote your time and energy. You will reveal your commitment by what you do, rather than what you think you want. That said, this is an excellent time to throw yourself into the work that you want and need to do. This may seem to distract you from your intimate relationships, though in reality you will do exactly what you want to do; and the chances are, what you do is what you wanted. Make sure you spend enough time with close partners to have real conversations. That will take less time than you think. Show up and participate, mainly by listening. In particular, tune in and see if you can get a sense of their idea of commitment. Then, consider the extent to which it matches your own. There’s a way to cross any distance between the two viewpoints, and events will proceed at their own pace. You don’t need to push anything or anyone. There’s plenty of momentum that will carry you along.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
As the old saying goes, your chart is all new players in a whole new ballgame. Yet so many factors describing your family constellation are active in your chart, you may not notice the difference. It will be excellent if you do. One way to verify things is to push sexual boundaries. You’ll notice by how people respond whether they’re part of “the family in your head,” or if you’ve expanded into new territory. Where your full-spectrum sexuality is not welcome, you probably don’t want to hang out. I don’t mean to suggest that you should show up to your job on the stock exchange in drag. I mean more in intimate, household and family environments. Everyone who is in some way queer understands the process of coming out as a means of claiming your identity. However, this applies to those whose sexuality is also on the straight side of the spectrum. You may be aware how much energy goes into cloaking your reality, once you discover you’re doing it. If you’re worried that you’re going to make others insecure, drop that load. Their alleged security is not your responsibility. You are, however, responsible for being true to your own values; and you’re not really the social conservative you sometimes portray yourself as being. Deep down, you’re rather saucy, and take some thrill in being inappropriate.
monthly horoscopes graciously contributed by:
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton