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Aquarium Age

For the week of July 30-August 5, 2008.

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Forget about the lazy, hazy dog days of August. The planets are shakin' it up, which means this week and the next several weeks (okay, all of August) life here on Earth is punctuated by unexpected shifts in action, attitude, and perspective. And while a large portion of what takes place absolutely interferes with regular routines, not all of what transpires is negative. Actually, despite the general discomfort of any transition, this planetary phase offers many creative opportunities for individual and collective transformation. Be prepared for some of what takes place to rattle the deep, surfacing both surprising and familiar issues and reactions. But don't be fooled into thinking certain situations can be handled by rote. The planets aren't phoning it in, and neither are we.

A Solar Eclipse on Friday, August 1 at 6:21 AM EDT strikes the first unsettling chord. During a Solar Eclipse, the Moon overshadows the Sun, Dreamtime obscures Real Time, which, from an astrological perspective, translates into unconscious drives overshadowing conscious concerns. In ancient times, even though eclipses were known to occur with seeming regularity, they still disturbed the domination of the brightest lights of heaven, and were believed to deliver powerful omens about the future, particularly concerning the King and his realm. And although we now understand the mechanics of an eclipse, that doesn't necessarily mean eclipses are powerless. Quite the contrary; they still seem to disrupt or dislocate daily life. What's more, because eclipses are thought to distort time, their effect is said to have a three-month time range on either side of the actual event. The election of the next president of the United States occurs almost exactly three months from the date of this eclipse. And interestingly (and yes, I mean that exactly as it sounds), Mars occupies the same degree in the eclipse chart that Saturn will occupy in its opposition to Uranus on November 4. (But more about that opposition in columns to come.)

Back in present time, a Mars/Uranus opposition makes it almost impossible to distinguish the difference between the eclipse effect and the "normal" turmoil of any Mars/Uranus interaction. This opposition begins July 30 and lasts until August 13; it is exact on August 6. Mars represents the Warrior. Uranus symbolizes Revolution. And when they face off, we experience extreme tension that seeks its release through a nonstop need for freedom. This interaction can be brutal, intolerant, and harsh, so please do your best to avoid mean-spirited confrontations you might later regret.

Recently I attended a lecture by the Dalai Lama. Someone in the audience asked what was the quickest most effective way to end suffering. He thought for a moment and replied, "Smile." As we all work our ways through the coming days of upset and turmoil, something as simple and generous as a smile could help many of us to handle the intensity with greater skill.

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

Aries March 21-April l9

This eclipse insists that you find and maintain a balance between security concerns and the need to express yourself with complete abandon. So rather than constrict with anxiety, allow creativity to expand your perspective.

Taurus April 20-May 20

The eclipse may reveal an even deeper need for recuperation and rest then you realized was necessary. Continue to give yourself permission to "make like a slug" and adopt a slower pace than you dreamed possible.

Gemini May 21-June 21

The eclipse highlights the contrast between the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of your life. As you work to find your equilibrium, keep in mind that only living in the exceptional will eventually deplete your nervous system.

Cancer June 22-July 22

This eclipse takes place in your solar house of resources, which means money is likely to be an issue, but remember, this sector also includes self-esteem. Build your abundance through authentic self-confidence.

Leo July 23-August 22

The eclipse concentrates on issues of identity, especially how to distinguish yourself from others. See it as an invitation to break away from the pack, and you'll clarify what makes you unique.

Virgo August 23-September 22

This eclipses surfaces previously hidden and deeply intense feelings. As you attempt to cope with a wide range of emotions, remember to be kind to yourself. Be patient with your sensitivity, and remember to take life one day at a time.

Libra September 23-October 22

The eclipse underlines the question of how to share your gifts with the world. Don't be surprised if the desire to make a difference in the world moves you into volunteering in your community.

Scorpio October 23-November 21

This eclipse reveals previously hidden undercurrents in your professional life, and while some of the information may be startling, it doesn't have to throw you off track. Stay focused on your goals, and you'll stay steady.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21

The eclipse catalyzes a crisis of faith, which may translate into confusion about what you believe in and why. While this process may be uncomfortable, if you keep refining your questions, you'll eventually find greater clarity.

Capricorn December 22-January 19

The eclipse stresses money matters, but that isn't necessarily negative. Be clear about the role money plays in your life, and you'll gain valuable information about how to create greater prosperity.

Aquarius January 20-February 18

The eclipse focuses on partnerships of every persuasion, including your relationship with yourself. Pay attention to your reactions and allow them to teach you about how you relate to significant others.

Pisces February 19-March 20

The eclipse concentrates its force on service, so don't be surprised if you're lending more than two helping hands. Allow this intensity to refine your skill in a crisis and you'll emerge victorious.

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