The world continues to wobble this week. The planets are still "in process" and as they adjust to their new positions, so do we. Expect life to be wonky, and also anticipate feeling more than a little frazzled, as nervous systems, already stretched, are forced to stretch just a little more. The days unfold with an episodic structure, each chapter a story unto its own. Some of what transpires bristles with excitement, but what's needed to handle the thrill is the ability to breathe, deeply, and there's barely time to breathe at all. But it's not just excitement that constricts the breath; we will all be struggling to integrate the reality of loss and grief from the devastation in Haiti.
The best news this week is Mercury Direct, and as Mercury's forward motion gathers momentum, most of the regular routines of daily life start to stabilize. But don't expect complete stabilization. Mars is still retrograde in Leo, and until next week still disconnected from intimate interactions with all other planets, except the Moon. This Martian "attachment disorder" ends this week, when Mars opposes the Sun/Venus conjunction, in Aquarius. Be prepared for sparks to fly, as more than a month of congested retrograde frustration finally has something to shout about. Mars is, after all, in Leo, a position that feeds a need for drama — so don't be surprised if previously postponed meltdowns can no longer be denied. We have nearly seven more weeks of Mars Retrograde, which could translate into seven more weeks of feeling thwarted or discouraged, or into seven more weeks of reflecting on where your ambitions might be best realized through individual creative endeavor.
Unfortunately, we are also in the grip of a Saturn/Pluto square. (Yes, I did forget to mention this square in last week's column.) This abrasive interaction fuels a fervent, obsessive devotion to principals, ideologies, and perspectives, so don't expect yourself or those you love to be inclined toward compromise any time soon. The next exact contact between Saturn and Pluto is January 31, and as they tighten their grip, we could experience the "tightening" of political and religious rhetoric. As the hyperbole ramps up, so will the urge to take a stand. (Personally, I think we should agree to a moratorium on political and religious commentary until we can hold a position of respect for differences of opinion. But I realize I'm a dreamer.) The good news is that a Sun/Venus conjunction in Aquarius trines Saturn, soothing some of the strident edges of this square. Try to think about the effect of your criticism before you start pointing or wagging a finger. What we need more of in the world is compassion, not hard ideological stances that only exacerbate already polarized positions.
When Jupiter entered Pisces on January 17, it moved into a sextile with Pluto. Jupiter/Pluto contacts are fundamentally about power. Sextiles are positive interactions. Jupiter in Pisces is about expansive empathy, which means this sextile has the potential to generate genuine compassion.
As the week unfolds, you may find yourself wishing you had an oxygen tank attached to your cell phone, but I don't think there is an app for that — yet. So keep breathing your way through the day, and at every opportunity offer a helping hand to those in need.
If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon sign, read that, too.
ARIES Jupiter stirs your imagination, and you'll be tempted to take on more than you can handle. While I'm not suggesting you resist what's irresistible, you will need to set and maintain a steady personal pace.
TAURUS Jupiter has the potential to infuse all of your interactions with optimism. Use this current to accentuate the positive and you'll create and maintain a joyous attitude.
GEMINI Jupiter initiates a new career cycle, expanding your vision of what's possible. As you move into this new phase, also be aware that you'll need discipline to actualize your dreams.
CANCER Jupiter turns your attention to spiritual matters, and as part of that process you are exploring new belief systems. Try out different points of view, keeping in mind that each offers the gift of a new perspective.
LEO Jupiter offers the promise of financial expansion, but don't let that potential turn into a materialistic attitude. Everything in moderation leads to a life of healthy balance.
VIRGO Jupiter generates a gregarious attitude, encouraging new relationships and partnerships. Not every new person will necessarily become a lasting friend, but those that do will broaden your horizons.
LIBRA Jupiter increases your workload as it simultaneously increases your capacity to handle the "extras." So rather than resist, embrace this new phase — you won't be disappointed by the results.
SCORPIO Jupiter inspires a desire to have fun and catalyzes your "pleasure principle." Remember, all work and no play makes life dull, and that's no longer an acceptable state of being.
SAGITTARIUS Jupiter, your ruling planet, stirs a deep longing to belong and an equally strong desire to experience a sense of well being from the inside out. This will require effort, but you can actualize this desire.
CAPRICORN Jupiter enhances your communication skills as well as your ability to make and maintain connections. Use this opportunity and you'll expand your frame of reference.
AQUARIUS Jupiter bestows the blessing of abundance, and not just financial prosperity. This phase is also about an expansion of your self-esteem and self-confidence.
PISCES Jupiter, in your Sign, stimulates an honest and direct approach, as well as a desire to lead by magnanimous example. Have fun with this new phase and you'll emerge transformed.