Dear Friend and Reader:
There are three things to keep in mind about Egypt at this juncture, while its destiny is now being slugged out on the streets of Cairo with clubs and Molotov cocktails. One is how old the place is. I believe the oldest relics of human creation on Earth can be found there. Archeologists are starting to figure out that their estimates of the age of the Sphinx, for example, were a little on the low side. The thing was being repaired during the Old Kingdom, so it may have been there before what we think of as Egypt showed up.
Sarite Sanders has been photographing Egyptian antiquities since the 1970s. She said that while Egypt has gone through numerous difficult periods, “There was an overseeing principle that the pharaoh represented that spread throughout the religious cultural orders. There was an understanding. The king was the embodiment of a divine principle of justice and truth. He was the intermediary between the people and the principal god, Ra. We look to the king archetype to uphold the highest good and to sacrifice himself for that good. We don’t see that in Mubarak,” she said of the American-backed dictator who by refusing to leave office has pushed the country to the brink of revolution.
The second is how significant it is that the people are now standing up to more than three decades of dictatorship, ready to risk everything. For many years the country has been kept in a state of tyranny by a secret police force that has oppressed a population so poor many people don’t have clean water. The uprising is a sign that the disparities between the rich and the poor grew so absurd that anti-government protesters had nothing to lose. As the gap grows to the size of a canyon many places throughout the world, these events are sending chills down the spines of world leaders who know you cannot suppress all of the people all of the time.
The third is that the Suez Canal runs through Egypt (which is in northern Africa), connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal makes it possible to get from the East to the West without going around the southern tip of Africa. This one little artery is the supply line for food and oil for much of the world. Egypt has one of the most strategic locations on the planet, and under the current treaty, the canal may be used in times of war or peace, by any ship that can pay the toll to get through. Notably, that includes a lot of oil tankers.
Last week, protests erupted across the country, with people pouring into the streets demanding the ouster of Pres. Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled since Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Under his reign and long before, Egypt has been a client state of the United States, providing stability in the Middle East’s most populous country at the cost of people who have little to eat and to whom pennies handed to them by tourists are actually meaningful.
As the pressure built, Mubarak responded to the biggest protests in the country’s history Monday night by promising that he would not seek re-election when his term is up in September. He then told the protesters to go home. When they refused to leave, the official goon squads started working overtime, and mobs of pro-government thugs were unleashed, with horses, camels, clubs and firebombs. After provoking this violence, Mubarak then claimed the anti-government protests had turned violent and had to be suppressed — which is about where the situation stands as we go to press Friday morning. So far the Egyptian army has not opened fire on protesters, but many fear that if the situation becomes increasingly violent, they will do so.
[Friday morning, The New York Times was reporting that 100,000 Egyptians had packed Cairo’s central Tahir Square waging a “largely peaceful” campaign for the removal of Mubarak. Meanwhile, the government waged a broad, violent crackdown on journalists and human rights activists. For excellent television coverage of these events, including analysis of why Mubarak has ordered attacks on journalists, I recommend watching Thursday’s Rachel Maddow Show. Also of note, Politico Playbook reported Friday morning that, President Obama “has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations. We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people…It’s simply wrong to report that there’s a single U.S. plan that’s being negotiated with the Egyptians.”]
Some are tracing the Egyptian revolts to an incident Dec. 17 wherein a young Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolated, setting off protests in his country that led to the ouster of its longtime dictator. Bouazizi was protesting poverty — specifically, the confiscation of his wares and the humiliation that was inflicted on him by a female municipal official. That chart has Pholus on the midheaven (the government angle) — just like the chart for when Jared Loughner opened fire on the crowd in Tucson, AZ, a month ago. Both events represented a release of pressure that could not be put back into containment. The Tunisian chart led to an actual revolution, pushing its dictator out of office and emboldening Egyptians to stand up to Mubarak.
In the weeks following Bouazizi’s suicide, several Egyptians lit themselves on fire and protests there began to gather momentum. Since then, they have also rippled into Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and Algeria. CNN reported Thursday that opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests against the rule of its president, Bashar al-Assad. So we suddenly have the entire region in turmoil and sweeping transition.
I would note that with the situation in Egypt emerging, we have seen another example of the war being taken to the Internet. Egyptian authorities ordered ISPs and cellular phone carriers to cut off services so that protesters could not use them to organize. This is the second incident in as many months where the Net has become a battleground — the prior was when WikiLeaks had its domain and servers taken away by the U.S. government. The respective governments didn’t stop the Egyptian people from revolting and they didn’t stop WikiLeaks.
There’s one last little thing about Egypt — it’s a kind of cosmic amplifier, a vortex that broadcasts vibrations to the rest of the world. Perhaps it’s the ley lines, perhaps it’s some feature associated with the Great Pyramid, but anyone who’s been there can tell you — there’s just something about Egypt.
Astrological Context: Epochs of Revolution
We’ve known for a long time that big changes are brewing in the world. Numerous ongoing transits that would have massive and sweeping effects in any event are now concentrated around the cardinal points (early Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, also known as the Aries Point), which is magnifying the effect. The lunar nodes are backing toward the first degrees of Cancer and Capricorn; we just had an eclipse right there, and numerous slow-moving planets have been dancing around on the early cardinal cross since Pluto showed up in 2008. All of this adds up to what we’re seeing now — except that the momentum is just picking up.
It’s easy to recognize the revolutionary spirit vibrating across the Middle East as characteristc of the Uranus-Pluto cycle that’s about to reach the first peak since the mid-1960s: that is the Uranus-Pluto square, which will be exact for the first time in June 2012.
This cycle began with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that was exact in 1965-66 and which spread out for about five years in either direction. The energy of our current moment is in the same spirit — with one exception. The conjunction in the Sixties was in the relatively mellow, intellectual, service-oriented sign Virgo. The square aspect that we’re now experiencing involves Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn — fast-action cardinal signs, with the Aries Point directly involved. At the moment, we also have Jupiter sitting right there, magnifying things and — notably — exactly square the lunar nodes, additional hints as to the scale of events and how many people are involved, or will be involved as this turning point develops.
As astro-historian Richard Tarnas has noted, the conjunction, square and opposition aspects of Uranus and Pluto have a wide orb of influence, and then events intensify and come into focus as the aspect reaches its exact contact. Events then continue to develop long after the aspect has begun to separate (which won’t begin to happen until 2015).
Tarnas describes times in history when, at peak moments in the Uranus-Pluto cycle, revolution spread faster than the mail could travel. While it’s probably not possible for news to move quicker than Twitter, we now have a similar experience of uprisings rippling out across a wide region of the world, notably, one that has long been oppressed.
In his 2006 book Cosmos and Psyche, Tarnas describes the cycle of Uranus and Pluto, which leads to “epochs of revolution,” giving many examples. One was the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1850, “coincident with the wave of revolutionary upheavals that took place in almost every capital of Europe in 1848-49: Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Dresden, Baden, Prague, Rome, Milan. Again one sees the sudden eruption of a collective revolutionary impulse affecting an entire continent with mass insurrections, the emergence of radical political and social movements, revolts for nationalist independence, and the abrupt overthrow of governments throughout Europe.”
Intellectual developments were on fire at the same time: “Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto, Henry David Thoreau wrote On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman led anti-slavery efforts in the United States, and the women’s rights movement began with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.”
Strikingly similar phases took place during the French revolutionary era and at the turn of the 20th century, all of them marked by Uranus-Pluto aspects. The Sixties of course were described as a time when there was “music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.” Protest movements sprang up across the United States and Europe, and there were breakthroughs in science, law, music, the arts and social movements as well. There was plenty of push-back against the forces of progress, with the assassinations of Medgar Evers, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy — and later, John Lennon and civil rights activist Allard K. Lowenstein.
Tarnas notes, “These alignments did not mark years in which the characteristic historical events and cultural trends suddenly turned on and then off, when the alignment was over, like bivalent light switches.
“Rather, the periods in question seemed to represent times when continuing, usually long-developing trends came to a boil, as it were; when a certain heightened stimulus or concrete fruition brought specific categories of cultural phenomena to conspicuous expression, causing those tendencies to emerge more explicitly and dramatically into the collective consciousness. From that more decisive point of inception or climax, those cultural tendencies then continued to unfold in diverse ways in subsequent years and decades after the alignment was over.”
The current alignment is not only not over — it’s just getting warmed up. The first exact meeting of the square in June 2012 is coincident with the Venus transit of the Sun, and six months later we have the turnover of the Mayan calendar.
The Chart of Egypt
Back in the 1980s, one of my very favorite cartoonists, Tom Toles (then at the Buffalo News) drew a map of the “Muddle East.” It had countries like Irant and Irave. Toles must have been looking at the astrological chart for Egypt when he gave it the name Edgy.
Countries have many charts, but the one for the latest incarnation of government is usually dependable. This would be the Arab Republic of Egypt, founded in 1953. This event followed the overthrow of King Fouad II the same year.
Edgy is the perfect description for this chart, with the very last degree of Aries rising, and two centaur planets in the house of government. Chiron in particular is pressed right against the 10th house cusp, the house that represents the president himself — in Capricorn, the sign of both government and antiquity. I can hardly imagine a more fitting image for the modern government of a country that can rightly trace its roots back more than 5,000 years.
Chiron retrograde on the 10th house looks like a claim to the past, or something from the past coming back to visit in the present. No doubt everyone who has ever ruled Egypt has compared himself to the pharaohs. Chiron in that position is a placement that’s constantly being confronted by tests, pointing to an injury to executive power. Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated in 1981, stands as a haunting presence inside that Chiron. When Sadat was killed and Mubarak took power, the Sun, Saturn and Jupiter in Libra were all square that Chiron in Capricorn. Now, Saturn is back there squaring Chiron from Libra, and Jupiter will soon square Chiron from Aries.
Pholus (the second centaur) in Aquarius is close by, directly on the North Node. This has the feeling of compelling, volatile, wild populism that was bound to burst out sooner or later — we are seeing it now. Pholus represents the uncontainable force, and in Aquarius that’s about the people of the country. Remember, too that it comes with the idea ‘small cause, big effect’, and it seems to keep showing up lately.
Aquarius often makes a commentary on technology. It’s more than interesting that when the government tried to cut off the power to the citizens, it went for cellular phones and the Internet first — but that Pholus only came out with more force, making people more determined to do what they knew was necessary.
Next, look at the Sun at 27+ Gemini. First, a little synchronicity: the Sun of modern Egypt is conjunct the Moon of the Sept. 11, 2001 chart. There seems to be a connection. Maybe that’s reminding us that Mohammed Atta, the alleged leader of the plot and the guy who supposedly crashed Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, had an Egyptian passport. With friends like these, who needs conspiracy theories? And remember that 15 of the other supposed hijackers had passports of our other great allies in the Arabian theater, the Saudis. When an act of war is staged on friendly territory, for some reason I mutter false flag under my breath a few times.
Anyway, back to astrology. In a national chart, the Sun is a representative of the leader of a nation (there will be several such symbols in the chart for a country) though for Egypt the Sun is particularly poignant — it’s a country where the Sun gods are beloved. It’s now being squared by Uranus making its last pass through late Pisces. Uranus square the Sun is the same aspect that took down Richard Nixon. The Sun in this chart is being trined by Chiron and Neptune, suggesting that there’s a way to healing if people are interested in finding it. There always is, but the interest level is the variable. It’s easy to make noise and it’s difficult to run a country. That trine also represents the venting of pent-up pressure.
As for the role of the military: that is a 6th house matter, and Virgo is on the 6th cusp. The Moon is right there, conjunct its own osculating apogee (Black Moon Lilith, the little crescent with a cross). The Moon’s presence speaks of the reputed closeness between the Egyptian army and the people (often represented by the Moon in a public chart) though there is a dark side. The relationship is not stable and it’s subject to corruption. There is something two-faced going on here. Virgo’s ruler is Mercury, and this we find in Cancer (again, a reference to the people) and square Neptune and Saturn. Mercury is making a lot of aspects, and notably it is in mutual reception to the Moon — they occupy one another’s signs, and are in aspect. It’s almost as if the military plays any role that is convenient at the moment.
For now the situation is entirely up for grabs. The standoff has continued through the high-pressure Aquarius New Moon conjunct Ceres and Mars — and the tension is continuing to build.
Something About That Canal
After Rachel Maddow gave a brief presentation on the Suez Canal the other night, I got curious and tracked down the date that it opened. There are no references to time that I could find on the Internet, but the day will serve for this discussion. That was Nov. 16, 1869.
Notably this was not the first canal through the Suez isthmus. Napoleon found the remnants of an old one, and Herodotus wrote that one early effort to dig between the two seas led to the deaths of “twelve myriads” of Egyptians — that is, 120,000 people.
The chart for the canal openingpresents an interesting picture. For example, it has Mars/Saturn trine Moon/Neptune as a nice image of having to dig and blast through solid matter (that’s Mars/Saturn), connecting two large regions of the world (Sagittarius style) through which water and tides will flow (Moon/Neptune). Moon and Neptune are in Aries; the canal is handy in time of world war, as well as for getting figs and silk to Canada.
In the Egyptian spirit of edgy, Chiron is retrograde in the very last degree of the zodiac. This project took a lot of vision to get done, and you can be sure that everyone since King Tut’s grampappy wanted to make it happen. Jupiter is conjunct Pluto — that vision verged on religious zeal. The project took 10 years.
But the chart for the canal that rang all the bells popped up when I did the progressions. I’ve written thousands of editions of Planet Waves and I’ve somehow managed to avoid any real discussion of the progressed horoscope.
Progressions are different from transits, which are real planets buzzing around the Sun. Progressions are when you start with a natal chart of some kind and then advance the planets one day per year, up to the present time. It’s a scale model of time. (There are several scales you can work with — day per year is the most commonly used, and the method I use advances the ascendant one degree per day.) If you start with a chart from 1869 and advance it to 2011, you would be adding about 142 days to the original chart to represent the 142 years that the canal has been open.
I started with a noon chart, so there is potentially some loss of precision — having an exact time is, under the rules of progression, helpful. But sometimes you get a really interesting chart seemingly out of the blue, and the current progressed chart for the Suez Canal certainly qualifies. Have a look. It’s one of those charts you don’t even need to be an astrologer to read; it’s so obviously about a concentration of power.
Where this roulette wheel stopped, the four angles came up on the cardinal points — the Aries Point. Maybe I’m just an Aries Point magnet or something but then look at all those planets and points in Aries, in the 7th house: the Vertex, Chiron, Mercury, Mars, Juno, the Sun, Neptune and the Black Moon Lilith.
The 7th is the house of both partners and of open enemies, and the sign involved is Aries, home to the god of war. Even if nobody is saying this on the nightly news, whatever is brewing behind the scenes is all about that canal.
To be continued.
Yours & truly,
Happy Chinese New Year
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year: the Year of the Rabbit or Hare. Or, in the Vietnamese system, the Cat.
If you’re wondering how the Rabbit and Cat got paired up, it comes down to phonetics. According to Wikipedia, “In the related Vietnamese cat takes the place of the rabbit. The Chinese character 卯 for the Rabbit sounds like (mão, mẫu, méo, mẹo, mẻo); the word “mèo” is cat in Vietnamese. Therefore, cat was translated from Chinese to Vietnamese as fourth zodiac sign instead of Rabbit.”
In both cases, people born under the animal in question tend to be described as calm, hospitable, kind, and often graciously diplomatic or empathetic. Both cats and rabbits land on their feet when they fall.
General predictions for 2011 run along the lines of a calm, peaceful year — a time to rest after the tumultuous Year of the Tiger — but so far, the world news does not seem to be bearing this out. Of course, while we are a whole month into 2011, we are only one day into the Year of the Rabbit-Cat. So there is certainly time for the pace to slow a bit.
That said, chiff.com does indicate a bit of contradiction between the Year of the Rabbit on a personal level as opposed to what we see on the world stage:
“The year of the Rabbit is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace. Therefore, 2011 is very likely to be a relatively calmer one than 2010 both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level.
“Conversely, nations will also become more insular and increasingly lock down their borders to protect against the “other”. However, 2011 will also see new art movements projecting a distinct national identity taking the world by storm. Shrewd and creative new business partnerships will also form to the benefit of all.”
This combination of “new art movements… taking the world by storm” and nations locking down does seem to echo the revolutionary spirit getting fired up by the Uranus-Pluto square — and the reactions of the ‘powers that be’. The writer at chiff.com continues:
“Rabbits who thrive on delicate business dealings are best suited to navigating the year ahead. Others will suffer, by degree, depending on how flexible they are to the world mood. Those who have cultivated careful negotiation skills (or, perhaps more importantly, can sniff-out and swiftly dodge dangerous situations!), may attain similar good luck enjoyed by rabbits and those compatible with them in 2011.”
At theholidayspot.com however, we find that this year will be, “A congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.”
We will, will we? Perhaps somebody should forward the article to President Mubarak STAT. After all, this is the year in which “Law and order will be lax; rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities. They are busy enjoying themselves, entertaining others or simply taking it easy.” There may a few other world leaders out there who need to see the memo, too.
And if you were born in any of the years 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, or 1999 but suddenly feel a bit panicky as to whether you feel more like a Rabbit or a Cat (I know it may be a bit much to handle after recently being told that your western zodiac sign is wrong), take heart. You can always make like this clever critter and claim both.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, February 4, 2011, #848 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19) — This is a rare moment to break free and be yourself. True, astrology textbooks say you don’t have this problem — after all you’re an Aries. I don’t believe in astrology that much. We are all human and most of us were raised on television, thinking the Nike swoosh is cool. Closer to the point, most people actually believe that if they speak up, they will be rejected by their friends and cause trouble amongst their coworkers. I don’t mean speaking up about being a Red Sox fan in New York. I mean about things that really matter. You may be inclined to do this, and if you do, you’re in for a surprise, which is that when you make your real feelings and ideas known, you’re likely to discover that people respect you more, not less. I would note that the important thing is that you put your self-respect first.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — We usually think of opportunity in quaint terms as one’s ship coming in, or getting the big break. I suggest you begin with considering what you’re doing now, this very moment, as the vortex of the potent energy of opportunity that is pulsing through your existence. This astrology is not something in the future; it’s about right now. If you have ideas for what you want to be doing, what are they and what can you do about the most meaningful ones right now? The sensation you have doing this may have a hint of ‘feeling like you’re someone else’. You may indeed be in a process of learning by example, though Venus in Capricorn suggests that though you may indeed be collaborating or learning from someone else, you’re in the perfect spot to be practical, resourceful and soulful about whatever you try out.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would that be? Would you drop in on Cairo with a camcorder and satellite phone? Would you be working for the hacker group Anonymous, spreading revolutionary information? Would you be working for a big high-tech firm like Google, plotting the next stage of the Internet? Would you be working on some visionary, humanitarian project that allowed you to express your spiritual values in direct ways? Would you get involved in your community, putting to use the idea, ‘think globally, act locally’? I suggest you pause and consider your highest ideals and whether you’re ready to act on them. While you’re doing that, pause and look around at the world and notice what you want to do the most. Far less is in your way than you think.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This is the time to renegotiate the terms of your existence. You seem to want a new way to think about your commitments, and those of the people you’re involved with. The concepts of relationship that you grew up with are falling apart, and not just for you. For one thing they are not based on any notion of equality or even equanimity. They are way too structured and depend on formality more than authenticity. Yet in the midst of all those issues, there is something worth preserving; something old-fashioned that still has use today. You can think of this as the living spirit inside a tradition rather than the tradition itself. This thing, whatever it is, predates the relics of marriage as a business arrangement and ongoing attempts to possess another person that permeate so many cultures. How about this: the enduring nature of love.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Focus is the key to not being overwhelmed. Focus on what you want, and on the people who are present and willing to help you have that, without throwing up any static or noise. While you’re busy engaging with so much that is in your environment, I suggest you tune into one long-term change that may be in the background of your life that you have lost track of, or set aside for the future. It’s time is about to arrive, and it’s going to change very nearly everything in your life. By change, I mean deepen, rearrange and take to a new level. The living essence of all of these changes is cooperation. Yet what is different is that this is a form of cooperation that will take you to the edges of where you feel safe, verging into an authentic vulnerability that you may go out of your way to avoid. This is one among many emotional tendencies that you’re about to leave behind.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — By the time you convince yourself that it’s okay to really get involved in a rapidly developing situation, the action may have subsided. I understand that your commitment is a precious thing, though this preciousness also provides a cover story for a kind of annoying reticence that you’ve long had to contend with. What you’re really committing to is having an opinion or idea that you’re willing to state openly rather than merely contemplate. You may be concerned that if you say anything directly, you won’t be allowed to change your mind. That’s not true, but you’ll just need to say that’s what you’re doing. Closer to home is why you wonder so much what people might think about what you think. Once you call back the projection, you’ll see that this is nothing other than self-doubt. And the only thing you can do about that is take a chance on your own intelligence.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Sex is an aesthetic and emotional experience, though it has an intellectual aspect that is strong in your chart any day, and it’s particularly strong now. What you have is an opportunity to break free from your own ideology and recognize the beauty of what desire is, and what it can do for you. If you look around you’ll notice the extent to which people are in a kind of war with desire, and play an approach-avoid game with what they want the most. I wasn’t around when some monks were making up Buddhism, but I know about the damage that guilt can do, and how good it feels to let guilt go. What we all need to contemplate, and what I suggest you consider, is the perceived value of guilt. Besides being a convenient way to punish ourselves for what was done to us in the past, guilt seems to be a hedge against the perceived anarchy that would ensue if we decided to take a good deep breath and let it out.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You can now get to the bottom of your feelings, your fears, your insecurities — enough to let go of the control you impose on yourself. I suggest that be your goal; to live without so many attempts to quantify, influence and manipulate what you feel. This includes all attempts to adapt to what others feel, rather than admitting how you’re responding to that and doing something about it on your own terms. To the extent you do this, you’re merely living out the control dramas of your family of origin. That’s why it feels like such a struggle to break free: part of your emotional body is still trapped back in the space and time when everyone else has all the power. I have news for you: they don’t. But that’s different than you admitting you have any influence at all, or the ability to make a decision based exclusively on your own needs. If you’re still fighting your parents, that will feel like defiance. If you’re living your life, it will feel like something creative.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — We could sum up the Aries Point as ‘the personal is political’, though a more relevant way to say the same thing is that action is the fruit of knowledge. You now know something; you have no doubts at all. You don’t need any other supporting evidence or information and you don’t need all these people around you expressing their various opinions. You don’t need any predictions or additional analysis. You need to decide what, exactly, you’re going to do with the information you have. Now, you may well have decided, and if that is true I suggest you either tune out the noise, or appoint someone you care about to be the scribe and present you with the data in refined form, without anyone’s emotional charge stuck to it. Your life is calling you, and you’re answering. Don’t let anything or anyone slow you down.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Money has been an issue for you, and this goes back years. How much of what you’re going through actually involves money and how much involves your ideas about it? How much is about resources and how much is about whether you feel you’re worthy of success. Yet what exactly is success? It’s closely related to your sense of belonging on the planet. What I will call the ‘crisis stage’ of your financial life is rapidly waning away. Even as it does, I suggest you claim your space and claim your value — to yourself. That will shift your energy out of crisis mode and into take-charge mode faster than anything. Remember that you’re not making up a story when you do this. You are affirming what is so. (Most of the old stuff was a story about wounded self-esteem that you’re finally ready to let go of.)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may be discovering how not-so-subtle the changes you’re going through are. Very nearly forever, you were busy getting ready, unhitching the connection points to the past, considering what is important to you and so forth. You spent a good bit of time waiting around. Now the scenario of the past year is making a lot more sense — and you know that the next step is up to you. The delusions that were flying around under your hat and inside your dress are still near you, but they have no power whatsoever when you recognize that the course of your life is something that you and you alone decide. Don’t get lost in theory on this one. Look at your options and choose from among them — and if you don’t like any of them, make up a few others. The feeling tone you’re going for is nourishing.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is an edgy time for you — as I write, there are about a dozen planets and points gathered in your 12th house, and a New Moon conjunct Mars brewing. That would be enough to make the Dalai Lama paranoid. Recognize that you’re under some unusual pressure, which you may not have noticed building and which will begin to dissipate soon enough. In fact it already has, but the tension will really break when Chiron enters your sign in a few days. The truth is, you’ve been under a lot of pressure for a long time, and just like one ascends from scuba diving gradually so as not to get the bends, I suggest you let the psychic pressure you’ve been under release itself gradually. Meanwhile, don’t let it distract you from what an amazing moment this is for you, in so many ways.