December’s 2009 – The Astrological Weather

It’s windy and cold here on the East Coast of the U.S. and the astrological weather will prove to be the same no matter where you live.

Changing winds bring energetic reversals as three planets stop and shift direction – Mars goes retrograde in Leo on 12/20, Uranus went direct in Pisces in early December (strongly affecting Aquarians; those born in late Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Gemini; as well as anyone with strong Uranus), and that old trickster, Mercury retrogrades in Capricorn on the North Node of the Moon on the 27th.

The Mars retrograde period means the warrior planet is in Leo from October 17, 2009 to June 7, 2010 — almost 8 months!  Seven of those months either in retrograde or in the shadow of the retrograde. Mars, a normally externally oriented planet, goes internal. The glorious lion with the beautiful roar has a bad case of bronchitis until mid-March and doesn’t experience a full recovery until early June.

Such a difficult task for Mars in Leo who desperately wants to be the one who comes in to save the day! You’ll find that pushing ahead creates opposition and frustration but on the other hand, internalizing your aggression might be worse — harming your health or sabotaging your relationships or work life. It’s a tough place to be in. If you have planets in Leo, be aware of these tendencies and find ways to channel the aggressive energy. Being sneaky or indirect will not do the trick! Martial arts, boxing, and vigorous exercise can all help channel your energy. And if you are considering any kind of surgery, see if you can postpone it until after Mars turns direct (at least after March 12, 2010) or better yet, the end of the retrograde shadow (June 7, 2010).  Watch the world stage to see how this plays out in Afghanistan and other hot spots.

While Jupiter rules the first part of the month, bringing festivities, celebrations, and a devil-may-care attitude, first fast-moving Mercury, then the Sun and Venus activate Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Libra, bringing our attention to the inevitable – the reality principle.  Which is what these days?   There’s not much we can count on right now.  The ground is shifting beneath our feet as we all struggle to find our way in what seems to be a new, but indefinable paradigm.

The period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve brings this home, with the culmination at a partial lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve. It’s a chilly time. Economic conditions and pressures in personal relationships will be felt more intensely by all, but especially those born from the 20th to the end of December, March, June, and September and those with planets in early cardinal signs — particularly those with Saturn in Libra, Capricorn, Aries, or Cancer as well as the generation born with Pluto in early Libra (late 1971 – 1974).  See the November weather below for more details on this.

In a recent consultation with the I Ching about my personal financial life, I found the reading I received relevant to the current planetary situation.  Hexagram #47, known as Oppression or Exhaustion (Lake over Water) changing to Hexagram #1 (Heaven over Heaven) – The Creative or Initiating.  A very fortunate reading actually, but not at first glance.   The picture is of difficulty and hardship, a situation where one is tired and exhausted. It is difficult to move forward or to go back. All the yin lines describe the gloom of exhaustion and its antidote – the gaining of enlightenment.  The only choice is to return home to one’s true nature by sincere self-examination.  All the lake’s water has drained leaving it bone dry.

Hexagram #1

Fortunately, all these yin lines change to yang and if one truly is sincere in self-inquiry,  the bankrupt situation by necessity, transforms itself into the creativity necessary to handle current conditions. Heaven is over Heaven.  Often translated as “The Creative”, the first hexagram of the I Ching expresses  perfect yang energy — pure, healthy, firm. The Chinese ideogram is of the rising sun radiating and nourishing chi to the entire world. An expression of health and vitality. Whew! What a relief….

On the 16th, the challenging square of Uranus to the New Moon in Sagittarius is fortunately mitigated by a benefic relationship to the triple conjunction of Jupiter (optimistic expansion), Chiron (healing), and Neptune (spirituality) in Aquarius (friends and community) that’s been blessing us off and on since last May.  This is the hope, healing, and sense of belonging that we all crave at this season when the movement of the sun descends to its nadir in the northern hemisphere and peaks in the southern half of the globe.

Taoists believe that the days before, during, and after every solstice and equinox are portals through which one can walk through the gates of heaven.  They are like the earth’s sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight — important moments in the movement of chi through its perpetual dance of yin and yang.  Take some time to meditate and contemplate your place in this amazing universe, feeling gratitude for all there is.

Wishing you, your loved ones, and your community,  all the best in this holiday season.


Hexagrams for a Recession- Hexagram 15 changes to 39

Hexagram 15 changes to Hexagram 39
Recession Advice?

A few weeks ago, our I Ching group asked the Sage how to respond to what’s going on “right now”.  We received Hexagram #15 – Modesty (also known as Humility, Moderation, Integrity, Authenticity, Humbleness, and Humbling) with the 5th line changing, creating Hexagram #39 – Obstruction (other names for it include Limping, Difficulties, Impasses, Obstacles, and Hindrance).


Sometimes we link the 2 hexagrams in a kind of haiku. You can play around with these but here are some possibilities.

If  Modesty, then Obstruction.
If you are not Humble, then Hardship.
Modesty then Hindrance.
Integrity but Obstacles.
Humility while Limping. (I like this one…)
Humbleness becomes Obstruction.

Digging deeper….

Hexagram 15 – “Modesty creates success.  The superior man carries things through. “ – Wilhelm.

Al Huang’s translation says, “The superior person decreases what is excessive and increases what is scarce.

He weighs things and makes them balance”

In Hexagram 15, Earth sits above the Mountain.  The receptive, soft, and quiet power of Earth (maximum yin) is on top of the mountain. Or you could say that the strength of the Mountain is inside the Earth, the ultimate yin, yielding force. Modesty is considered one of the highest and most valued virtues in Chinese culture.

According to Stephen Karcher’s Total I Ching, Myths for Change, “Humbling” has a connection to a mythical dream animal, ”the grey one – a rat-headed hamster”. Our grey friend is a real animal – a solitary creature, untamable, living in a system of burrows and tunnels where he protects his storehouse of food.  Prone to sudden attacks, he can appear without warning.  Our group always has a good laugh as we imagine encountering an unattractive 2-foot tall rodent standing on its hind legs, the contradiction between his animal nature and his human stance puzzling. What a strange being! According to Karcher, The Grey One is an immediate mythological link to the moment when a need is filled through some unconscious power moving in an underworld way. This is the moment of “Humbling”.

Other texts advise us that being humble brings out a great harvest.

The translations and interpretations of the changing line # 5 can be confusing. Here are a few possibilities.

From Al Huang:  “Not being wealthy
Together with his neighbors
Favorable to engage in subjugation
Nothing is unfavorable.”

The Sage seems to be asking us to humble ourselves and work with others to attack our problems aggressively in order to solve them.

From Wilhelm:  “No boasting of wealth before one’s neighbor.
It is favorable to attack with force.
Nothing that would not further.”

Don’t confuse weak good nature with modesty.  If necessary, act boldly but without inflation.

Sounds like sane advice. Now here comes the tricky part. The changing 5th line gives us #39 – Obstruction (aka Hardship, Limping, Hindrance) as the relating figure.  Modesty changes to Obstruction????  Doesn’t sound so wonderful.


“The southwest furthers.  The northeast does not further.  It furthers one to see the great man.  Perseverance brings good fortune.” – Wilhelm

Hexagram #39 is The Pit (Water) over Mountain.  Danger over Limitation. A time of difficulty and slow, painstaking movement.  The Sage advises us to hook up with others.  Find friends and helpers in this difficult time. The northeast is said to relate to the past and lonely striving (the enemy attacks from this direction); the southwest means common effort and future good.

Mythologically this hexagram is connected to the hero, Yu, the Great, the limping god. He was known to confront all difficulties with unceasing toil and great adaptability. His movement is a dance, a shuffling step, backwards and forwards.

Karcher says,
“Bad influence going, exorcise it! Seeds of good are coming”.

Does this apply to you? What do you think?