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A Handful of Opportunity

For the week of August 31-September 6, 2011.

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The planets support a back-to-school attitude over this and the next several weeks, so don't be surprised if you find yourself eager to roll up your sleeves and get to work getting organized. Also anticipate a strong desire to simply get it done — whatever "it" might be. From finances to feelings to freedom, the summer of 2011 was a summer of upheaval, and whether you were uprooted, upset, or upended, you might still be shaking from the shifts. Just keep in mind that it won't be possible to rewrite history — what's done is done, and what's said is said. This means part of the week's planetary organization process involves learning to live with the consequences of action.

Fortunately, several positive (yes ... I'm using the "p" word) interactions provide solid support for getting grounded and staying that way. (1) Mercury Direct makes forward-movement downright probable, and all those new plans and projects you've had on hold finally have a chance to take root and grow. But that's not all: Mercury Direct also makes it possible to implement all the revisions the retrograde highlighted.

(2) A Sun/Venus conjunction, in Virgo, underscores the aesthetic pleasure of creating order. Clean those closets, purge wherever necessary, and arrange and assemble systems that help you to stay uncluttered.

(3) It won't be possible to go completely Zen (although you can try if that's your style) because Jupiter trines that Sun/Venus conjunction. Jupiter symbolizes more, not less, and when it forms a positive angle to the Sun, their combined generosity of spirit encourages optimism and creativity. And because creativity is seldom tidy, your neatly organized desk could become a field of colors and collages.

(4) On August 30, Jupiter began a retrograde that lasts until December 25. Jupiter Retrograde is not pernicious and nothing to stress over, and as Jupiter retraces its entry into Taurus, we will be revisiting and reviewing decisions made since June — especially decisions related to resources.

(5) A Sun/Mars sextile supplies the "get it done" mantra. Both the Sun and Mars signify physical energy, and when they work together, we tend to experience increased vitality. Expect to feel ambitious as well as determined to achieve your goals. Be aware that those goals don't have to be professional or career-related. This positive interaction supports all sorts of efforts — even the resolve to go to the gym. The Sun/Mars sextile lasts until mid-October, giving us plenty of time to make good use of its vim and vigor.

As you make your way through the next several weeks, do your best to create internal as well as external order. Organize, arrange, and tidy up those closets, shelves, garages, attics, and desks, but also align thought, word, and deed. Upheaval can produce valuable results if we make it a practice to be mindful of our reactions. Reactions under stress tend to be habitual, and while useful in the moment, they often no longer serve who we are in the present time. They can be transformed into positive, thoughtful responses if we are willing to stay conscious and aware. Not an easy task, but certainly worth the effort.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES You're under a positive work umbrella that has the potential to provide solid career gains, especially tangible financial gain. But taking advantage of these opportunities means being clear about your priorities.

TAURUS Give yourself permission to reflect on the last few months and you just might be surprised at how much you've grown. And if there's one or two areas that won't seem to budge, don't worry — that's the new threshold of personal work.

GEMINI Use this time to hunker down at home and take care of all the projects you've put on hold or haven't had a chance to take care of because life has simply been too busy.

CANCER Continue to engage in conversations of the heart, only this week make an extra effort to talk things through with significant others — husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, pets, and plants.

LEO Read Aries and add this: If you're willing to do all the necessary work — even the grunt work — to stabilize your finances, you are sure to reap sweet rewards.

VIRGO It's a cosmic invitation to actualize your potential by being all that you are and maybe even a little more. Don't worry about what others will think; they'll be content to bask in your glow.

LIBRA Wear your heart on your sleeve, but know that beneath those deeply disturbing feelings are profound opportunities to transform persistent, long-standing patterns into genuinely new perspectives.

SCORPIO Be clear about how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend it with, and then be determined to say "no" to any situation that doesn't align with that clarity.

SAGITTARIUS Read Aries as well as Leo and add this: You have a chance to draw tangible career opportunities to you, particularly if you are honest with yourself about what you can handle well.

CAPRICORN The focus is still on living creatively. And while you may think that means learning a specific art or craft, what it really means is knowing that every moment of life is an opportunity to transform.

AQUARIUS Whether you're strengthening an existing spiritual foundation or beginning to build one, make sure it's deep and wide enough to hold a variety of viewpoints.

PISCES Enjoy a gabfest with friends and lovers, and give yourself permission to be completely honest about what brings you joy and makes your heart sing with hope.

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