Predictions for 2017 – The Year of the Yin Fire Bird

e99b84e9b8a1e58da0e6989fe6a087e5bf97-77190153The Yin Fire Rooster (known to philosophical types as the “Red Phoenix” or “Fire Bird”) confidently crows his welcome into our lives on February 3, 2017, overtaking the anarchistic, trickster Red Fire Monkey who with gleeful mischief has bombarded us with more surprises than we could imagine during 2016 (Chinese New Year is actually celebrated on the New Moon in Aquarius – January 27, 2017).

We are in the middle of a 3-year Metal period (Monkey, Rooster, & Dog). Both 2016 and 2017 carry strong Fire element energies. In traditional thinking about the relationship between the elements, Fire controls Metal. Consequently, many of the problems of the Monkey year will continue in 2017 with just as many opportunities to come up with solutions. Fire and Metal types will feel this acutely. But there are differences.

Fire of course, heats things up and makes people happier and optimistic. Passion, excitement, impulsive action, creativity, and enthusiasm will be evident everywhere. As opposed to last year’s Yang Fire Monkey though, this Fire Bird is Yin, more like a flickering, unstable candle flame than a full-out blaze. Hence, we can be subject to states of creativity and emotional sentimentality and sensitivity that flare up and subside, unlike the quick temper of Yang Fire. This energy is more tense and nervous. Tempers can accumulate and explode, making serious situations potentially more dangerous.

The Rooster is Yin Metal, related to gold, precious gems and jewelry, implying wealth and luxury. This Fire Bird drives us to preen our feathers, flex our muscles and strut our stuff whether we’re in the barnyard, the schoolyard, or the courtyard. To Rooster, appearance is of the utmost importance. Personal grooming and our wardrobes will definitely demand more of our attention. Wanting to make a good impression extends itself into the workplace, not to mention the love and romance arena. Those who find validation in either place (and the lucky ones who find it in both!) are promised long-lasting happiness. This could be a great year for the arts, entertainment, and fashion.

A dedicated timekeeper who thrives by clockwork, precision, and order, the Rooster’s territory is circumscribed. As the only ruler of the roost, he often creates alarm with his wake-up calls, especially concerning our livelihoods. This is a year when money will not come to us without effort. Keep a schedule at work, make wise investments and cultivate your savings instead of fantasizing about get-rich-quick schemes and other speculative ventures.

In Chinese medicine, Metal energy is related to the lungs, large intestine, and skin; Fire rules the heart and the small intestine. Spiritually, the heart is our Commander-in-Chief. It’s all about the blood vessels and capillaries, inflammation, our capacity to savor and enjoy, as well as our speech (Fire rules the tongue). Words, thoughts, and the feelings behind them have power.This is a year where it is of utmost importance to speak truthfully, straight from your heart.

The combination of Fire and Metal can cause flu, potential breathing problems, skin and digestive problems, internal and external inflammation, and heart palpitations. Be aware that imbalance in these organ systems can manifest in difficult negative emotions. Associated with the Lungs are depression, grief, and sadness. Giddiness, impatience, hatred, and cruelty reside in the heart. If we cultivate our courage and healthy self-esteem as well as loving compassion, respect and patience, our health will definitely benefit.

In particular, Yin Metal is connected to fog or stagnant air that is retained and not exhaled. This year, breathing and the lungs’ function of exchanging qi with the universe can become compromised due to atmospheric pollution (literal and emotional!). This is a year when getting into clean, fresh air is extremely important. Practice Qigong in the woods, in the mountains, by the sea, or a fresh lake or river. Do pranayama regularly to clear your air passages. Clear your aura with meditation and mantra.

Make conscious efforts to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down by cultivating more awareness about what you eat as well as your stress levels. Nourish your Heart and Lungs by feeding your Liver and Spleen. Use cooling supplements like turmeric, aloe vera juice, and medicinal mushrooms (see an excellent brand here), and eat a low-fat, anti-inflammatory diet.

As symbolic of jewelry, Yin Metal is charming and beautiful on the outside, but internally, it has a very cold and hard metal quality. Yin Metal is like a dagger, not a sword. It attacks Yin Wood that is related to small bones in the body. Particularly for Rabbits (who are Yin Wood), it is also necessary to beware of accidents causing injury to back bones, limbs, fingers, and toes.

Lots of interesting developments happened in the most recent Yin Fire Rooster years, 1957 and 1897. The Vietnam War escalated in 1957 with serious insurgencies by the Viet Cong against Ngo Dinh Diem’s government. In 1897, Qing Dynasty China was ruled by the Empress Dowager and was declining with aggressive invasion by Russia and other western countries. In this Yin Fire Rooster year, keep an eye on the relationships between China, Russia, and the U.S. There were remarkable scientific milestones. In 1957, the first satellite (Sputnik 1) was launched by the Soviet Union in October. In 1897, the word “computer” first appeared and aspirin was invented.

There were more than the usual numbers of explosions and fire disasters in 1957 – a coalmine gas explosion in Virginia, a 42,000 pound hydrogen bomb accidentally fell from a bomber near Albuquerque, a nuclear disaster occurred at the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant in Russia, and a fire happened at the Windscale nuclear reactor in England.

Industries that will perform well in the year of the Fire Rooster will be those related to Fire and Water elements. In the 5 Element theory, Metal is money for Fire as well as the mother of Water. Fire industries are energy, the stock market, finance, and entertainment. Water industries are transport, shipping, and communication. Earth produces Metal so real estate, construction, and mining will be active. Metal industries like banking, engineering, computers, and cars will be active but too much competition will not create much money. Wood industries like textiles, paper, and environmental technology are active because Wood creates Fire but the money for Wood industry is Earth and unfortunately, it is absent. Consequently, Wood industries (particularly traditional publishing) will not do so well either.

The Yin Fire Rooster is also a rare year as it contains both “Nobleman” and “Academic Stars”. Every baby born from 2/3/17 to 2/16/18 will automatically possess these good stars. Nobleman will give a person life support from others, and Academic Star is a symbol of intelligence and a strong appetite for knowledge and study.  They appear together only twice in the 60 year cycle – Yin Fire Rooster year and Yin Water Rabbit year (2023).

Despite all of the conflicts between Metal and Fire, The Yin Fire Rooster is a symbol of optimism and innovation, particularly during the spring and summer months of 2017 when Fire becomes more prominent. There is sure to be conflict and disharmony in global relationships but people are confident and creative in bringing solutions to the obstacles that arise.

Natural and environmental disasters will give people an opportunity to step up and transform themselves into more caring, human beings. On our best days, we will rise to the occasion and see that we are all living in the same “barnyard”- Planet Earth and (among the cosmically enlightened) our beautiful galaxy.

If you feel the restrictions of your own personal chicken coop, cultivate a cheerful attitude and disposition. Strengthen your resolve to be the best human being you can be and you will transform the somewhat mundane Rooster into a beautiful Fire Bird.

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Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2016 – Year of the Yang Fire Monkey

The first day of the Yang Fire Monkey year is February 4, 2016. But Chinese New Year is actually celebrated on the New Moon in Aquarius – February 8, 2016.

monkeySmart, shrewd, and ready for fun, this year’s Fire Monkey can’t be more different from last year’s Yin Wood Sheep. Anything can happen. The Trickster archetype is now in charge and Monkey business rules. If you don’t have a sense of humor about yourself or occasionally veer toward the naughty, you’re going to be very uncomfortable with all the crazy things going on.

But it doesn’t stop there. Perhaps because monkeys so uncannily reflect our human world, from Hanuman to the Monkey King they occupy a special place in Eastern mythology. Many of the stories glory in portraying Monkey as an impulsive, foolish, vain troublemaker. As in most traditional “Hero” tales, after getting his comeuppance through various trials and tribulations, a transformation occurs and eventually, Monkey redeems himself. So the Monkey archetype in these traditions symbolizes repentance, devotion, courage to hold on to a vision, and the promise of liberation.

Baby Monkey

                       Wudang Mountain, China ©Sharon Smith 2011

And then there’s the “monkey mind” – spiritual lingo for the ADHD that seems to be endemic these days. As clever as Monkey is, he has one main difficulty – taming the restless mind. A short attention span, jumping from branch to branch, grabbing whatever fruit is appealing, and making judgments based on appearances will prove to be delusional fulfillments at best. On the other hand, things can turn on a dime so we have to be willing to let go of our ego attachments and change course if something’s not working.

2016 is the first year of three consecutive Metal animals (the others are Rooster and Dog). In traditional thinking about the relationship between the elements, Fire controls Metal and the flavor of the year is Fire. Metal symbolizes a destructive weapon like a sword. So this year, the damaging aspect of the Metal element is kept in check somewhat by Fire.

Fire of course, heats things up. Passion, excitement, impulsive action, creativity, and enthusiasm will be evident everywhere. But Metal also represents the West direction and connects with the weakening sun (the Monkey rules from 3-5 PM). So even though Fire increases Monkey’s tendency toward hotheaded Yang behavior, it’s not so strong since the sun is setting.

Conflicts created by the relationship between Fire and Metal can be resolved since the heat dissipates as the sun goes down. On the positive side, a sword symbolizes cutting through illusion to find the truth, a noble Monkey endeavor! In the Year of the Fire Monkey it’s good to keep in mind that even though easily excited, people are openhearted, sincere, and if given a chance, calm down quickly.

Nonetheless, it will be difficult to escape conflict and disharmony in international relations. Conflicts will flare up rapidly and then subside. The last Yang Fire Monkey year was 1956 when there was a crisis with the Suez Canal that led to the bombing of Egypt by the U.K. and France. Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula in October 1956 and there were also rebellions against the Soviet Union’s control in Hungary and Poland that were both brutally suppressed by Soviet forces. Although 2016 may not be a peaceful year, people will bring the Monkey’s optimism creativity, and innovation to solve global problems.

Fire rules the Heart and the Small Intestine in Chinese medicine. It’s all about the blood vessels and capillaries, inflammation, our capacity to savor and enjoy, and our speech (Fire rules the tongue). Spiritually, it’s our Commander-in-Chief. Metal represents the Lung and Large Intestine and relates to the nose and breathing mechanisms as well as the skin.

The combination of Fire and Metal can cause flu, potential breathing problems, heart palpitations, internal and external inflammation, skin and digestive problems. Be aware that the negative emotions associated with these organ systems are depression, grief, sadness (Lungs); and giddiness, impatience, hatred, and cruelty (Heart). Words, thoughts, and the feelings behind them have power. Speak truthfully, straight from your heart. If we cultivate our courage and healthy self-esteem as well as loving compassion, respect and patience, our health will definitely benefit.

Make conscious efforts to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down by cultivating more awareness about what you eat and your stress levels. Nourish your Heart and Lungs by feeding your Liver and Spleen. Get into the fresh air as much as possible. Practice Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, and Yoga to stay grounded. Use cooling supplements like turmeric, aloe vera juice, and medicinal mushrooms (see an excellent brand here), and eat a low-fat, anti-inflammatory diet.

Conventionally, Metal has to do with coins (money). Industries that will perform well in the year of the Monkey will be those related to Fire and Water elements. In the 5 Element theory, Metal is money for Fire as well as the mother of Water. Fire industries are energy, the stock market, finance, and entertainment. Water industries are transport, shipping, and communication. Earth industries (real estate, construction, mining) will be active and productive (Fire creates Earth) but the money element for Earth is Water which is not in and of itself, strong this year and definitely not obvious. Wood industries (particularly traditional publishing) will not do so well either.

The Monkey is a “Nobleman” (protective angel who comes to help us & smooth our way) for those born in years of Yin Wood or Yin Earth. This means any birth year ending in 5 or 9 (1955, 1959, 1965, 1969, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1989, and 1995, 1999, etc.). Tigers will have trouble but Monkey’s best friends (Dragon, Snake, and Rat) will shine.

Can you hang on for the wild ride? If so, you’ll come out without a scratch. On the other hand, those who can’t handle the stress might come undone! Thrive by taking a page out of the Monkey’s playbook. Be playful. Be creative. Be strategic. Be willing to travel to further your interests. Call on Hanuman and the Monkey King for assistance. Most of all, cultivate your sense of humor.

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

 

Predictions for 2014 – Year of the Green Wood Horse

An ancient Chinese proverb says, “A horse brings victory”, and indeed the Horse is considered one of the most fortunate animals in the Chinese zodiac.  Horse symbolizes movement, traveling and quick success.  Able to outrun, out-jump, just about out-anything all the other creatures in the Chinese pantheon, there is perhaps no other animal that humans value and admire more.  Their strength, beauty, and daring inspire us to show what we’re made of, move forward in life, take a chance, and dare to be beautiful all at once!   Horses, carefree by nature, need open space. If they find themselves constrained by rules and regulation, a proud Horse naturally rebels, refusing to be tamed or penned in.

A fascinating beast for sure…

HorseThe first day of the Green Wood Horse year is February 4, 2014.  Wood introduces a new principle — the process of emergence, growth and upward moving chi. The Horse is at the gate and ready to move. Subterranean reality is now ready to be birthed. All the life that’s been gathering in the decay and decomposition that has taken place since 2008 (2 years of Earth- Rat and Ox, followed by 2 years of Metal – Tiger & Rabbit) has been saturated with 2 years of Water (Dragon and Snake). Now it’s ready to break through the crust of the earth and SPROUT! For some water-logged folks, this is a tremendous relief.

Last year’s Water Snake is the first of the 2 Fire animals, but Snake’s Fire is Yin, more like the early morning sun. The Fire of Horse is Yang, more like the sun at mid-day.  This energetic quality is much more powerful and volatile. And because this is a Wood Year, possibly more impulsive and dangerous since Fire has more Wood to burn. You have to wonder whether there is too much!  Certainly, there will be a lot of strong activity and movement this year.

Wood represents Liver Chi in Chinese medicine and relates to the liver, gall bladder, eyes, tendons and ligaments, joints, and nerves. Anger, frustration, and resentment are the negative emotions associated with this organ complex and the virtues of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness are present when Wood is balanced.  Chinese medicine often refers to the Liver as the “General” because its main function is to direct the inner body processes and to coordinate them into a functioning whole.

In Taoist meditation, the Liver is referred to as the “second in command” after the Heart.  Make sure you have enough Wood to burn.  Take care of this aspect of your energy by watching your diet, eliminating fatty foods, eating more greens, and cleansing your liver with daily doses of citrus, particularly lemon juice.

It’s important to balance your Fire energy also since it can easily go haywire with so much Wood feeding it.  Balanced Fire energy is neither a Fire raging out of control, nor a weak Fire flickering and struggling to stay lit, but something more like a warm, evenly burning candle flame.  Remember that Fire is represented in the body by the heart so be prepared to hear more about heart health, inflammation, blood pressure, and blood disease. For those who have tendencies in this direction, it’s important to reduce stress by meditation and stress management techniques.  Tai Chi, Qigong, and Yoga, will help enormously, smoothing out Horse’s rough edges. Supplement your diet with Omega 3s, vitamins C & E to reduce cholesterol, and ubiquinol or COQ -10.

Yang Wood is a strong tree – unbending, a bit stubborn, headstrong, and uncompromising. Combined with the amount of Fire represented by Horse, this year can produce some difficult situations both personally and on the world stage. Previous Wood Horse Years occurred in 1954 when the French were defeated in Vietnam & the CIA sponsored a military coup in Guatemala leading to 35 years of civil war; and in 1894, which was the beginning of the Sino Japanese war.

Remember that Fire represents the aggressive aspect of Wood. So beware of letting your tendencies to stick to your principles tip over into ego-driven, inflexible stubbornness. Do your best to refrain from acting impulsively and creating conflict.  Work to compromise and find solutions.

Fire generally is optimistic and will continue to drive the economy and heat up the stock market. In the last Yang Wood Horse year (1954), the stock market reached its highest peak since the Wall Street crash of 1929.  Fire businesses – energy, air travel, sports, exercise & health, fashion, beauty, advertising, the media, entertainment of all kinds, and restaurants will do well this year. Some good money luck this year goes also to Wood people. Earth element is “money” to Wood people so anything to do with real estate, property, home improvement, and earth related activities bring profit.

There is the possibility of natural disasters as well. Fire controls Metal in the 5 Element Theory and Metal is Lung energy, skin, breath, and the air around us. We probably haven’t heard the last about Fukushima (Radiation/Fire in the Ocean, a perfect manifestation of last year’s Water Snake).  The Wood energy is dry with Yang Fire burning under it.  So more possibility of forest fires as well.

flying horseAnd love? Definitely.  Chinese astrology considers Horse “The Flower of Romance” or “The Peach Blossom” and Horse will keep your social life buzzing if you are at all interested in making a new heart connection or solidifying a present one.

So get ready…This Horse Year gives us an amazing and refreshing change of pace.  Change happens quickly, victories are sweet, adventures prove memorable, and romance is in the air.  What could be better?

Don’t miss out! No matter your animal sign, get on your trusty steed and trust your instincts to take you on the ride of your life!

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2012 – The Year of the Yang Water Dragon

 Chengdu, China                                                     ©Photograph by Sharon Smith
All rights reserved

The Yang Water Dragon arrives officially on February 4, 2012. The only legendary animal in the Chinese astrological pantheon, the Dragon is a mythical creature symbolizing power, creativity, and what the I Ching calls the “Superior Man”. Dragon initiates the big things that can happen only from taking the big risks. Ambitious, grand, and self-sufficient, mystical and untouchable, Dragons deliver the best fortune of all the animal signs with drama, beauty, and unpredictable flair and creativity.

Surviving on the ground, swimming in the water as well as flying in the air, Dragon is the Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Heaven and related to the power found in the springtime “Wood” energy  — the creative force of upward moving chi.

Known as Wind and Thunder, this is the energy that makes things happen.  In ancient times, Dragon energy brought much-needed spring rains. After a winter of hibernation, the Dragon leaves its lair in the swampy earth and ascends to Heaven, flying through the clouds and bringing on the spring rains. The mechanism and timing of this mysterious event was completely unpredictable.

A clear understanding of the nature of Dragon power can be found in Hexagram #1 of the I Ching.  Observe the powerful Purple Dragons who represent the supreme creative force of Heaven.

Hexagram #1

Line 1 – Hidden Dragon.  Do not act. Power is concealed in the deep; action is unwise. Wait for an auspicious time when your Dragon nature is ripe and ready to emerge. Your power is in hibernation.  This is like the Emperor-in-Waiting.  Martial artists are very familiar with this condition.  Remember the great film, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”?

Line 2 – Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man! The storm clouds are gathering. Time to start moving on your intention.

Line 3 – All day, all night, active. Start to pursue your goal.

Line 4 – The flight across the abyss is not sure.  He who is resolute suffers no reproach.  Dragon starts to fly but with no conviction. One needs to be sure. Either retreat or go forward but in all cases, be sure.

Line 5 – Flying Dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man! Ah! Now we’re cooking; nature is supporting the dragon’s flight and the place of power is clear. All is well.

Line 6 –The Dragon flies too high.  Arrogant Dragon will have cause to repent. If arrogant, you will certainly fall.  Don’t push!

The last 2 years were Metal sitting on Wood (Metal Tiger & Metal Rabbit), signifying great conflict and danger. This year, the energy changes and we have Yang Water (very strong water) sitting on Earth, sometimes known as “water dam” – storing water.  This is still a relationship of conflict as Earth controls Water (Dragon contains Earth, Water, & Wood elements), but with less hostility and indication of war.

The combination, however, does indicate the possibility of more natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.  Since the moving energy and vitality of the land is actually called “Dragon” in a metaphysical sense, this is nothing to sneeze at!  In addition, many Chinese people believe Dragons rule moving bodies of water.

Note that the most serious earthquakes on record happened in the years of Dragon – in 1952 (Water Dragon) in Kamchatka USSR (8.25 magnitude) and California (7.5 magnitude).  In 1964 (a Wood Dragon year), there was a magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Alaska and a 7.6 magnitude quake in Japan.  The Fire Dragon year of 1976 saw a 7.8 earthquake in Tangshan, China and 1988 saw smaller quakes in Nepal and Russia. The Metal Dragon year (2000) manifested a 7.0 quake in Azerbaijan & a 7.9 quake in Sumatra.

And since the Dragon (along with the Dog) is one of the guardians of Heaven, it is related to a kind of “no-man’s land” — a strange place, a twilight zone if you will, where a “Nobleman” (helpful deity) refuses to visit. Helpful deities act like rescue angels, saving people from tragedy and sudden death. But in Dragon and Dog years, this doesn’t happen.  There are some examples of serious disasters that occurred in hours of Dragon, such as the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami that occurred in the hour of Dragon at 8.30 AM on 12/26.  The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 also took place at 8.40 AM in Dragon hour.  The Dragon hour (7-9 AM) is a very powerful time in a Dragon year. Use it to meditate and focus your attention.

In general, water is associated with wisdom, communication, energy, and skill.  The Chinese character for Yang Water is the ocean.  Acting like a wave of powerful transformative energy, we will see great progress in social movements and passion around political change as people strive to act from their intuitive wisdom. This will not be without struggle since Water is sitting on Earth, the element that controls it.

It’s worth noting that the average adult human being is 50-65% water with men topping women at 60 -65%. Water represents the Kidney chi in Chinese medicine and has to do with the blood, urinary system, bones, bone marrow, ears, and sexual energy. Expect more information about these aspects of human and planetary health to be present in the news media.

But Water and Earth together are the definition of a swamp.  Watch out for viral outbreaks and don’t eat any food that is suspect.  Food poisoning, malaria, and more proof of toxicity related to environmental pollution could become common.  In addition, there is absence of Fire.  Take care of your heart and make sure to supplement with CO-Q10 or ubiquinol and extra anti-oxidants.  Add the color red to your wardrobe and use it as an accent in your home.  Use lights and candles to brighten up your living space and make sure your workspace is well lit.

Dragons are known for their sexual power but in this respect, they are similar to the western astrology sign of Scorpio.  Although sex is important, it’s deep, true love they’re really after.  Having said that, watch for the baby boom coming.  Many Asian people who are thinking of starting a family, bet on the Dragon to take care of them later in life.  After all, with all of that ambition, power, creativity, what kind of son would be better? Unfortunately, they still don’t see Dragon ladies as such a valuable asset.  You can be sure that obstetricians and fertility clinics will be busy in January, February, and March of 2012.

And although the Dragon year is a powerful one, the Earth/Water combination makes people a bit more cautious since Water is related to fear and is being contained by Earth (worry). With the absence of Fire, people will be looking for more stability and more likely to play it safe with their investments. With so much water, there will be expansion and prosperity in wood industries – publishing, forestry, textiles, fashion, paper, media, food, etc.  Earth will also do well – real estate, mining, environmental cleanup. Ironically, Water industries (shipping, alcohol, transportation, and communication) not so well, since Fire is “money” to Water and Fire is absent. Financial markets, energy, air travel, and entertainment are all Fire industries and also are not favored since Water tends to suppress optimism.  Metal industries (banking, machinery, engineering, computer, and high tech industries) will be active since Water is produced by Metal but they will not be so profitable.

Keep in mind that the Water Dragon is the mellowest of all Dragons. After the simple pleasures of the Rabbit year, it will provide you with the energy and drive you need to accomplish your goals and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. The Water Dragon is chock-full of powerful potential.  Courage and generosity are on the rise.  Bold progress can be made if fear and pessimism can be overcome. Hard work will yield genuine success. But this Dragon will not abide trickery or monkey business! Connect yourself with the good of all as you face your personal destiny.  If we can all do this for the sake of others as well as the health of the planet, you may find the entire world transformed for the better.

 

If you ignore the dragon, it will eat you.

If you try to confront the dragon, it will overpower you.

But if you ride the dragon, you will take advantage of its might and power.

                                    Chinese proverb

For predictions by animal year, click here.

The Astrological Weather – December 2011

As we wait for the calendar to turn to  the now-mythic year of 2012, the astrological clock continues to tick.

On December 10, a lunar eclipse at 18 Gemini occurs on the same day that Uranus goes direct.  Watch out for rogue Aquarians!

No, seriously, the days leading up to this eclipse are important days for all signs, particularly, Aquarians as well as those born in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn as well as those Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius folks born between the 8-13 of March,  June, September, and December.  Those whose Ascendants occupy these signs are also affected. The rest of us will also feel the effects more or less depending on the aspects this eclipse makes to our personal horoscopes.

A lunar eclipse by definition occurs when the Moon (representing the emotions) which normally reflects the light of the sun (the ego)  at the time of the Full Moon is blocked by the Earth (the body). Occurring in 19 year cycles, lunar eclipses signify a major culmination of an energetic cycle.  Since the light is blocked, we are called on to trust that terrifying experience of being in the dark, of not knowing what the next step is, and to trust that we will evolve. This as a great opportunity for healing.

Mars in Virgo squares this South Node eclipse of a Gemini Moon, and there’s more than the usual amount of nervous tension.  Virgo and Gemini are the signs ruling the nervous system so if you’re feeling overly sensitive, high strung, and stressed out, you’re not alone.  Details, details, and more details. The forest and the trees seem to be at odds. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and people in your immediate environment know exactly how to push your buttons and might be a source of disappointment or frustration.   Try to stay balanced through so much unpredictability.  Remember Mercury is still retrograde until 12/13 so don’t be in a hurry to sign on the dotted line.

Pay attention to the symbolic meanings of seemingly minor digestive upsets, sore throats, and coughing fits. These manifestations of your physical body reveal the state of your energy in more ways than the obvious. As much as you might feel your body is just a vehicle at this time,  be aware of your needs for rest, physical and emotional nourishment, and downtime.  Medieval astrologers would have advised you to make a point of eating more root vegetables (they develop in the dark) as well as nourishing broths.  Sleep?  Much harder to manage with your nervous system on overload. As much as you want to stay in touch, try turning off all electronics after 9 PM if you want to have a chance at some decent rest

The rest of the month sets the stage for the intensity of 2012 which will be defined by the Uranus/Pluto square.  The Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement are just the beginning of a wild ride.

Blessings to you all!

Buddha, Tibet, 2011                                               ©Sharon Smith                 All rights reserved

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December’s Important Dates (EST)
12/10–A Red Letter Day!  Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini;  Uranus direct at 0 Aries

12/13 –   Mercury direct at 3 Sagittarius

12/18 –   Venus in Capricorn squares Saturn in Libra

12/20 – Venus enters Aquarius

12/22 – Winter Solstice – Sun enters Capricorn at 12:30 AM

12/24 – New Moon at 3 Capricorn

12/25 – Jupiter direct at 0 Taurus

12/29- Sun conjunct Pluto at 7 Capricorn

Hexagram 63 -Already Crossing – Uranus in Aries

Hexagram 63 – Already Crossing, After Completion, Water over Fire

 

Already Crossing.  The Small Fox.

Make an offering and you will succeed. Advantageous Trial.  Harvesting.

Wise Words! Initiating things opens the Way. Completing them brings disorder.

 

All of us know that a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM.

But you might not be aware  that this event coincided with the very last degree of Uranus in Pisces, the mutable water sign. In this sign, Uranus has a symbolic affinity with earthquakes and tsunamis (it was also active in the chart of the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster). On this day, Uranus completed its 7-year stay in Pisces, waved good-bye and approximately 15 hours after the devastating quake and subsequent tsunami, entered Aries for the next 7 years starting a new 84-year cycle.The destruction and subsequent suffering in Japan is beyond our imagination, and the threat of a pervasive nuclear accident still (as of this writing) a dreadful possibility with implications for our entire planet. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan.

Uranus’ movement from the medium of water, creativity, emotional reality, and spirituality to the medium of fire and idealism is a major shift.  The first degree of the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn is known as the “World Axis” and 0° Aries in particular is important as the spring equinox and beginning of the entire zodiac.

As you may have read elsewhere on this blog (see  Not Yet Crossing) Uranus is the planet of liberation that is often described as “The Awakener”.  Its job is to liberate us from our conventional ideas and behavior, shake us out of our complacency, and show us another reality. Out of the blue (a true Uranian color!), totally unpredictable in its manifestation, it teaches us through upheaval about freedom and humanitarianism. It rules technology and innovation and works through electrical impulses.

When Uranus arrives at the end of a sign,  there is a sense of urgency, a quickening.  In one seemingly fated moment, everything can change utterly. As we cross this boundary from Pisces into Aries, we move into a new cycle of personal liberation and action.  The consequences of the earthquake and tsunami are a clarion call for us to take the action needed to heal our planet’s fragile ecology.  If nothing else, this disaster reiterates one of the major lessons of Uranus in Pisces — that we’re all part of the ocean of humanity and every wave affects us.

Aries represents raw energy, youthful enthusiasm and taking action to achieve one’s goals. It’s about being a warrior, going off to fight for a righteous cause, and coming back a winner.  Ruled by Mars, Aries is about all things traditionally male  – testosterone, survival, war, metal, knives, iron, self-assertion, winning, physicality, the aggressive side of sexual energy, the color red, and in-your-face idealism among other yang qualities. With Uranus here, all of us (but especially men) will be challenged to find out what it means to be a warrior in the 21st century and evolve the male archetype.  What is worth fighting for and what is the best way to fight for it?

Be aware that you might notice more energy, a restlessness, an uncontrollable impulsiveness, or perhaps a new connection to your sexuality.  If you were born at the beginning of the cardinals (March 21 – 25, June 21-25, September 21-25, December 21-25) or have early cardinal degrees rising or planets in those degrees, this will affect you strongly.

March –  Important Dates (EST) :

3/1 –Venus enters Aquarius

3/4 –   New Moon at 13 Pisces

3/9  –   Mercury enters Aries

3/11 – Red Alert! Uranus enters Aries – 7:52 PM EST

3/19 – Full Moon 28 Virgo – 2:10 PM EST

3/20 – Spring Equinox- Sun enters Aries – 7:21 PM EST

3/21 – Sun conjunct Uranus in Aries

3/26 – Venus conjunct Neptune in Aquarius

3/27 – Venus enters Pisces

3/28 – Jupiter opposes Saturn

3/30 – Mercury retrogrades at 24 Aries

December 2010- The Astrological Weather

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period…..”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
1859

The optimism, hope, and expectation of the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 5 combines with a strong planetary emphasis in Capricorn to make this holiday season even more complex than usual.

The beginning of the month starts out with a bang as Uranus, planet of revolutionary change, goes direct to finish out its time in Pisces on the day of the New Moon.  This is the end of a major cycle (see Not Yet Crossing), and most of us are weary of the old and chomping at the bit to be released from whatever version of suffering we have been experiencing. We are excited about all kinds of possibilities.

We would like to believe (oh, how we want to believe!) that better times are around the corner and we are itching to welcome them in. All of our dreams and hopes are on the line here, and energy is available for us to aim high and reach for the stars.  Take a risk.  Spread your wings.  Direct your energy with laser-like precision to reach your target.  Release the arrow from its quiver and enjoy watching it fly directly to your target.  Don’t be afraid to send a message in a bottle.  You never know who might pick it up.

But what about those nagging fears?  What if it’s all pie in the sky?

Fortunately, during this long transit of Pluto in Capricorn, we have learned that magical thinking is delusional.   Idealism and strong belief needs to be backed up by pragmatic action, and Mercury’s conjunction with Pluto on the same day provides us with the depth we need to ground our vision.

With Mars energizing this same pattern on 12/13,  these planets are screaming loud and clear, “Show me the money!” This is also a critical day for travel so be careful as you move through your day.  Particularly if your ascendant or your sun sign is in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn.

Mercury goes retrograde on 12/10. Use your time well before then to plant your seeds, back up your hard drive, make sure your car’s in tip-top shape, and check the details and paperwork for your travel plans.  If you find yourself in a jam despite all your efforts, realize that it’s just the universe asking you to slow down.  There’s a good chance that things might not go smoothly since Mercury backs up into Sagittarius on 12/18 and can’t be bothered with all the small details.

All of this is the prelude to the main event on 12/21 — the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in the last degree of Sagittarius/Gemini immediately followed by the entrance of the Sun into Capricorn.   A lunar eclipse is by definition, a time when the moon’s light is blocked and some major cycle is over. The Moon represents the feeling sense,  intuition, our emotional disposition, and sense of security and stability.  During an eclipse,  we are called on to trust the state of being in the dark. If your Ascendant or Sun sign is in the last degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius, or the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, reflect on the past 19 years and be willing to let go of whatever no longer works in your understanding of your life path.  Pay close attention to your body’s needs for rest, nourishment, and downtime.  Make a point of eating more root vegetables and nourishing broths and getting as much sleep  as you need.Taoists believe that the solstice and equinox points are energetic gateways to heaven. Times of transition like sunrise, sunset, noon, and midnight, they signify different moments in the transformation of “chi”.  Approximately three days before and 3 days after the winter solstice is the time of maximum Yin energy.  A womb-like experience, it signifies a time of gestation before birth where you have a very strong energetic connection to the forces of nature, particularly the earth force. Don’t be afraid to go to this dark, extreme Yin state. The seed of yang is there. Make like a bear in winter.  Stay quiet and soft, and when you’re ready to be roused, go toward the light, toward love and happiness.


Blessings and Happy Holidays!

December’s Important Dates (EST) :

12/5 –A Red Letter Day!  New Moon in Sagittarius; Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn; Uranus Direct at 26 Pisces

12/7 –   Mars enters Capricorn

12/10 –   Mercury retrograde at 5 Capricorn

12/13 – Another Red Letter Day! Mercury conjunct Pluto again; Mercury conjunct Mars; Mars conjunct Pluto

12/18 – Mercury backs up into Sagittarius

12/21 – Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini followed by the Winter Solstice

12/26 – Sun conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

12/30 – Mercury goes direct at 19 Sagittarius