The Sun entered Sagittarius Wednesday, Nov. 21, commencing the last month before the winter solstice of 2012. To be clear, there is no Mayan prophesy — or any credible prophesy — calling this the end of the world, or anything other than the end of the 13th baktun, a span of time (13 baktuns of 394 years each) that has lasted 5,125 years, or about 1.89 million days. Nor, so far as I can reckon, is enlightenment about to seize the population, in one radical moment. We can agree that day 184.108.40.206.0 of the Mayan calendar arrives on the southern solstice on Dec. 21.
Would it serve any purpose to hype this event up any more than it already has been? In many respects, 2012 has been a year like many others, though perhaps with a few extra positive turns in the story. Yet the year is ending with many record climate events (for example, the hottest year on record, with one of the biggest storms ever witnessed), another war in the Middle East, another sex scandal in the top echelons of government and a trip to the edge of the fiscal cliff.
If this is the ascension, I would rather go play in Amsterdam. So, let’s consider the astrology of the Sun’s trek through Sagittarius. Note that there are plenty of events still unfolding in Scorpio, including the current Mercury retrograde that began on Nov. 6 — Election Day in the United States.
Mercury was retrograde in Scorpio until Monday, Nov. 26. The same day, Venus and Saturn formed a conjunction in Scorpio. And the next day, Mars and Pluto — the ancient and modern rulers of Scorpio — formed a conjunction in Capricorn. These three events work together, revealing some deep shifts in our emotional orientation toward sex, and a depth of truth coming out. Scorpio represents not only our visceral, emotional desires, but also all of the values that surround what we want, and our perceptions of the opinions that others might have about them.
One common factor is the idea of power exchange associated with sex, whether conscious or not. Mars-Pluto aspects and Venus-Saturn aspects both describe this, and now we have simultaneous conjunctions. Done unconsciously, the result could be a struggle for domination. Done consciously, the result could be the intentional exploration of authority, domination and submission, whether in fantasy or reality, for the purpose of pleasure and sharing. These dynamics could spill over into any area of life where human interaction is part of the story.Coupled with Mercury stationing direct (‘the truth comes out’), these aspects may manifest as a personal discovery that surprises you, or embracing something about yourself that you’ve known for a long time. Contained within this grouping of aspects is the image of having options — something that we don’t usually consider too often, particularly where sex and relationships are concerned.
One suggestion is to consider the role that you give to structure (illustrated variously by placements in Capricorn, and the presence of Saturn in the equation).
Options are also described by the fact that Mars and Pluto are occupying a sign that is ruled by Saturn; at the same time, Saturn is occupying a sign co-ruled by Mars and (in modern astrology) by Pluto. When you see this kind of setup, it’s a suggestion to consider the ways in which you feel trapped in a situation, and the options offered to you by that same scenario. If you look closely I think you’ll see that either may be true, yet that exploring an option you would not usually consider can offer you an innovative way forward.
Meanwhile, Venus and Mars are not in the same place getting it on — rather, each is conjunct another planet. Venus is conjunct Saturn and Mars is conjunct Pluto. This is another illustration of options or of unconventional ways to express yourself.
When the Sun is in Sagittarius, it means that when we see the night sky, we are looking out into intergalactic space. During the summer, the night sky faces into our Milky Way galaxy, a familiar, reassuring sight. This time of year, the sky we see at night points toward deep space, meaning that the Sun aligns with two points that have emerged as significant to astrology — the Great Attractor (with which the Sun aligns on Dec. 5) and the Galactic Core (with which the Sun aligns on Dec. 18). Both of these are concentrations of dark matter and massive gravity.
When the Earth and Sun align with these points, the result can be overwhelming influences, which can feel like getting flooded with cosmic rays, as the Sun gathers and condenses their energy. I think these conjunctions are partly responsible for the sense of time compression that we experience in these weeks of the Sun’s trek through Sagittarius. It’s true that in the Northern Hemisphere, we have short days and long, cold nights.
As the Sun nears Capricorn, we approach the famous solstice of December 2012, day 220.127.116.11.0. That is the x-factor, the thing that is in truth still up for grabs.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Being weird is not enough. Having no fear of being perceived as weird is essential. This will help insulate you from any misguided impulse to sacrifice your individuality or conform to what some authority figure wants you to be, and I assure you that the temptation will be there. Yet experiencing the tension between ‘rebellious’ and ‘conformist’ is not enough to guide you, on its own. You must do something subtler, which is trust that your self-guidance is more effective than anything any ‘leader’ could provide. Worship of authority is one of the most common forms of the mommy/daddy drama that adults, by definition, have resolved and put behind them. Getting clear about these things will allow you to step into the bold place of being an actual creative person, rather than an iconoclast. Or course, one persistent icon does need to be taken off of the altar, and that is your self-image. Remember that actual self is stronger, more influential and more beautiful than any mockery of it could be. Therefore, avoid glamor, fashionable trends of belief or doing anything for the sake of appearances. If you can do this, you will guide yourself deeper into the confidence that you are the only leadership you need. To many this will seem like a dangerous place, and it just may be. I suggest you equip yourself with a few more tools. The most important one is honesty, by which I mean the willingness to know yourself, and call something what it is.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It’s easy to turn relationships into a religion. It’s also easy to group with others based on a structured belief system. Having the two in the same place is a hazard to your growth. Intimate relationships do not need to be grounded in materialized form, in ideology or in commitments that extend far into the unforeseeable future. If humanity is to proceed in a way that could vaguely be called progressive, enlightened or honoring of human potential, relationships need to be a flexible meeting of individuals who support one another in getting to understand themselves. Please don’t underestimate the extent to which relationships as we’re taught to think of them are designed to undermine that very process. The problem you may face is that stepping into actual individuality is so daunting. The reasons for this go back as far as the first person who declared himself king, and demand the loyalty of others; they extend into the present day, when most people fully expect to be punished for authenticity. I don’t think that either of these are the real issue. For you, it’s about diving into the unknown, and by that, I mean consciously entering the space within yourself where you actually don’t know who you are, and where nothing can substitute. If you can embrace what you don’t know about yourself, you may catch a glimpse of how much you have to discover, and what beauty the mere willingness to meet yourself would release into the world.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Actively cultivate your vision, both for your own life and for the world. Then hold that vision gently, and take a conscious step every day in the direction of expressing it. To do this, it will be necessary to look beyond what you think of as the potential in your current relationships. Whether you think of that potential as limited or extraordinary, whether your relationships are inspiring or distracting, there is something more that you have access to. At times this thing I’m calling a vision feels so subtle you can barely bring yourself to admit that it exists, much less to accept that you can manifest it. Other times you may engage directly in the controversy and sense of difference that seizes the world. And at yet other times you can feel the actual power contained in your vision, including the subtlety and the controversy. They are all part of the same thing. What I am saying, though, is that to bring this in fully, you need to look beyond the parameters of your current relationship involvements, whether personal or professional, friendly or hostile. Those relationships may, at some point, factor into what you do, and they may provide you with suggestions about what you want or don’t want. To attain your potential, you must be willing to take leadership, and for a while, that may mean accepting being misunderstood, or perceived as a threat to the security that others usually enjoy in your presence.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The world is your mirror. It is therefore the place to extend any compassion or appreciation that you have discovered on your journey to wholeness. Selflove emerges from your center, though if it’s to be meaningful — indeed, if it exists at all — it will extend beyond you into the gentle embrace of the people around you. One indication that you’re doing this is that you find yourself treating people on equal terms. The usual hierarchies and pecking orders of life give way to the understanding that we are all on the same journey, that we all contribute to one another’s lives, that we all reflect one another. While I am not suggesting that there is absolute equality among all of your relationships, they are a lot less different from one another than you may imagine. And the one thing they all have in common is you. In this way, the compassion that you offer to yourself extends out to others the moment that you feel it — unless you feel threatened and choose to hold back. I suggest you notice if you’re doing that, because when you hold onto defensiveness, attachment, fear or guilt in ‘someone else’, you’re really holding onto it within yourself. They want to be free from their pain, and want to be close to others, just as much as you do. For anyone to feel secure in this world is as meaningful as your own needs to. If you think you take risks, consider that others may take even greater risks. If you want the privilege of vulnerability, extend your hand. Take off your glove first.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Nobody in this world should be excluded from healing, and in the end, nobody is. Yet you may need to balance your desire to include everyone with the understanding that some resist, some go kicking and screaming, and others have another agenda entirely. The most significant theme to focus on is your own healing agenda; if you’ve ever wondered when the perfect time would come to do this, you’re standing right in it, right now. Here are some themes as I see them: How do you handle your need to belong to the world around you? (Some options are: conforming, collaborating, communicating or coveting.) How do you relate to the past? (Some options are: destroy it, reinterpret it, regret it or learn from it.) How do you handle your obsessions? (Some options are: self-control, hyper-focus on your immediate environment, or eating your brain alive with anxiety.) How do you handle your violent tendencies? (Some options are: take them out on yourself, collect weapons, play sports, argue with everyone.) Most significantly, what is your concept of relationship? Does it include or exclude others? Are you basing your conduct on a commitment to freedom, or retreating into jealousy? The implication of your chart is that relationships are the most significant focus of your healing process right now, which will, sooner or later, include providing both an example and a safe space for others. In this regard you are far more influential than you may suspect.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
If you are hesitating, make sure that it’s not to avoid provoking the insecurities of someone else. There are many reasons to pause, reflect and to use your power judiciously, though one of them is not acting out a childhood fear that someone more powerful than you will be scared by your potential. I have a suggestion. Try on the world from two points of view. In the first, imagine that everyone around you is threatened by your existence. Make no exceptions — imagine that every response or reaction is the result of a threat that someone else feels, and it’s all about you. In the second, imagine that nobody is threatened, that everyone embraces you, and that anyone’s seeming response or reaction to you is all about who they are and has nothing to do with you. Practice this for a little while and the difference will start to become stark. I suggest you develop sensitivity to when you’re trying to compensate for what you think are someone else’s potential reactions to you. Notice when you cut yourself off and therefore don’t give yourself a chance to get anywhere near full expression. Notice when this whole dynamic is influencing your decisions. There is another way to be — though it calls for a mix of self-awareness and bravery. If at any time you feel yourself compromised, add one or better yet both of these ingredients, and see how this shifts things. Note, there is an efficient way to access both in one gesture: curiosity.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Are you feeling confidence, or afraid that the ground is going to drop out beneath you? Is it time to embrace the people in your life, or are you making more excuses to keep them at arm’s length? What you’re going through is certainly deep, and it’s stirring up some old questions, some fear and many of your old reasons to keep people at a distance. That said, I don’t think there is a time when we’re actually ‘ready’ to be close to others. Rather, I would say there may be a time when we understand that everyone is a work in progress. Part of that progress is the willingness to accept your insecurities, not as a permanent part of who you are but rather something you experience. To accept your insecurities implies revealing them in intimate situations, which in turn implies giving people power over you. Here’s the problem with this point of view: If you see your life as a power dynamic, you’re living in the world of politics rather than human emotions. Part of your Libra karma is to understand what one professor at my university called ‘the politics of love’, which includes the politics of your early-childhood environment. That may have been a rigid world, based more on expectations than on compassion. You have the awareness and determination to see the implications of the past on your life today, and to work them out. I would ask: what’s that inside your velvet glove? Is it an iron fist, or a warm, loving hand?
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The time has arrived to distinguish you from your ideas about yourself. You may not be the first kid on the block to succeed at this, so don’t expect a keg party in your honor. Yet what is likely to happen is that by experiencing yourself differently, you will see the world differently. This is most of the issue, right? The willingness to see, to envision and to experience the world as different (particularly, as different from the one that our parents imposed on us)? Yet to embark on this requires consciously embracing instability, uncertainty and the unknown — not the flavors of the month these days. Both your ‘ideas about yourself’ and ‘yourself’ are powerful concepts, though they are different kinds of concepts and need to be distinguished from one another. For some, this is about sorting out the appearance of something from the underlying reality — the press release from the contentious meeting where it was written, and where much else was said. For others, this is about distinguishing where you are now from where you want to be in the future. And for others, this is a question about how the past weighs on you, and may drag you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All of this would be much easier, were you willing to take the risk of rejection. That implies having little to no influence on what people think of you. Then, you could be honest with yourself, and proceed on that basis alone.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
If there is nothing holding you back, then what is holding you back? At this point, it’s likely to be the feeling that you’re not on solid or stable ground with yourself. So I would ask, can you get accustomed to the fact that the Earth is moving? Can you accept that as a fundamental truth of existence? (The Earth really is moving beneath you, literally and metaphorically.) Many factors in your astrology suggest that there is no certainty, and that nobody can hand it to you. Yet this also means that you are standing in a rare, and beautiful, opportunity to embrace the potential contained in an actual review of what you think, what you feel and what you value the most. In other words, questions are more valuable than answers, in part because they lead you to an open-ended place. If your phase of questioning is to end before you embark on your experiment, that’s a little like buying a set of paints, putting them in the closet and waiting for them to dry out before you make a painting. The uncertainty you feel is an experience of your potential — as is any self-doubt, or anger at yourself, at your past, or for that matter anger at your parents. You seem to be pulled between the desire for total, radical independence at the same time you’re aware that every aspect of your life contains subtle or overt interdependencies with the rest of existence. This is less of a paradox than it seems.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
“Become the change you want to see in the world” may be getting old as a slogan, but not as the thing to do. The 2012 phenomenon — day 18.104.22.168.0 of the Mayan calendar (marking the completion of a 5,125-year cycle of time) — happens when the Sun ingresses your birth sign in December. What is the message, to you personally? It’s a resounding cry for social justice, which can only be answered in the embodiment of leadership by example. It’s the only kind that works, whether intentional or not, and whether the example is of corruption, truth or love. Therefore, be conscious of the example you provide. Be conscious of the alignment of your words and of your actions. What you say, what you do and who you are has an impact on the world. You may not feel that way, yet. One thing that will help you notice your influence is to pause in trying to live up to what you think others would have you be. You do not need to be anything but who you are. In our particular world, the fact that this may not be acceptable to some people is evidence that you’re doing what is right, and popularity may be a sign that you’re wasting your time. Express your passion for justice by being just. Include people rather than exclude them. Make nobody conform to your point of view. Offer your empathy and consciously, vocally refrain from trying to control anyone — especially yourself.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
I would suggest you take a less somber and more celebratory approach to life, to sex and to work. Remember — you’re not in this alone. that would be your worst fear, and thankfully it’s not vaguely possible. Yet something equally daunting is. In order to work with, bond with and grow with others, you must be willing to do these things with yourself. At first, deep self-embrace can feel like reaching for someone’s hand in the darkness. Yet imagine this hand in the darkness is grasping for you, though you cannot see where it is, or be sure that it’s there. It’s far easier to reach for someone else, but less meaningful until you’ve embraced your fear not of being alone but rather that you might not show up for yourself. The nice thing is that unlike in an interpersonal relationship, you get to decide what you’re going to do; you have all the influence and you make all of the decisions. When you get to the place where you’re entirely certain that you’re going to meet yourself, and know that you will never abandon yourself, that gives you a lot more freedom in everything you do, particularly in your relationships with others. The world has this one backwards, as the usual logic runs, “I will show up for myself when someone shows up for me.” By now you’ve seen the futility of this — and you’ve tasted the essence of nourishing yourself, which is your prerogative every moment of this life and beyond.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You have come a long way to get where you are. It’s taken you a long time and impeccable patience, and for years you’ve sorted through your mind with the approximate feeling of sifting through a box of pottery shards. You are finally starting to get a sense of your wholeness — and the strength that this offers you. One gift of wholeness is the benefit of being able to see the world from many points of view. Your psychic mobility is your best asset, and it’s in full bloom right now. Don’t worry if those who lodge themselves in one point of view find this disorienting. In this moment of history, nobody can really afford to be rigid, or convinced of their rightness. And you cannot afford to have the idea that there is no truth, or that the truth can never be known. As you shift from viewpoint to viewpoint, observe the world and notice what changes, and what the different perspectives have in common. After a while, I think you will start to see the obvious, and then you will be able to express it in a way that entices others to embark on their own healing process as a matter of free will. Any fool can spot differences; it takes a perceptive person to notice common ground. You may wonder, however, why others don’t see it. The answer is because they have not looked. In truth there is so little we don’t know — about our problems, or about our solutions.