Arts & Culture » Aquarium Age

Reality in Question

For the week of August 3-9, 2011.

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For the next several weeks a planetary time warp blurs the past, present, and future into an intense mosaic of cause and effect. This suspension of chronological time turns the veils of consciousness even more transparent, and the ability to see behind as well as beyond ordinary reality has the power to either distort or clarify perception. Do your best to avoid assumptions about what's real. Instead, put on your multidimensional beanies, attach the wide-frequency antennae, and stay open to a variety of sources. Listen carefully to what's said and then listen just as carefully to the silence. The messages being broadcast are packed with information, and while some of the data is instantly recognizable and has an immediate effect, other threads are programmed to release their information sometime in the future, as needed.

The source of this time twist isn't completely attributable to Mercury Retrograde, which began August 2 and continues through August 26. Mercury rules all things related to communication and travel, and when it seemingly retraces its path across the night sky, we retrace our recent past — a review that often reveals what needs more attention. Mercury Retrograde is always about snafus, delays, detours, and time distortions, but this Mercury Retrograde phase isn't the sole contributor to the current time warp.

Mars is the linchpin, as it moves into Cancer on August 3, and forms a T-Square with the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square. Mars squares Uranus, in Aries, and opposes Pluto, in Capricorn. The square between Uranus and Pluto symbolizes confrontations between the individual, represented by Uranus, and the collective, represented by Pluto. This challenge plays out along a wide spectrum of issues from health care to education to unemployment benefits. Mars amps up the intensity of this square (as if that is possible), and as it does, certain choices (again, personal and collective) made in the heat of the moment will yield lasting results.

Mars signifies the presence, power, and fire of the individual to take a stand; it's the warrior who fights for might or right. Cancer is an emotional Sign that tends to focus on issues of safety and security. Mars isn't all that happy in Cancer — its fire doesn't mix that well with Cancer's need to feel. Mars wants to move; Cancer wants to sit. Mars wants action, and so does Cancer, but before Cancer moves into action, it needs to brood over what was, what is, and what will be.

A Mars/Pluto opposition generates the potential for ruthless attitudes anxious to achieve personal security by any means possible. Refuse to profit at another's expense. Mars/Uranus square feeds the need to break free from whatever enslaves. Also refuse to hold another captive by any means — material, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. This entire bundle is likely to manifest as angry action based on the need to mask deep-seated anxiety. Under this influence, toddlers have tantrums, teenagers rebel, and far too many adults behave like children.

As the next several weeks unfold, commit to being a peacemaker. When possible, try to make kindness your first response.

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

ARIES The security you're searching for can only be found through an internal process. So rather than spend energy on external or material accessories, turn your attention within, strengthen your foundation, and know that you are enough.

TAURUS Life lessons continue to focus on the power of communication. Choose your words wisely, not only because you want to deliver the proper message, but also because you want to plant seeds that will blossom.

GEMINI Allow yourself to feel a deep, authentic ambition to succeed in all your endeavors, and you'll simultaneously find healthy and wholesome ways to overcome any obstacles inhibiting your progress.

CANCER Step into the leadership position, assume your authority, and even if it's challenging to your partners, own your power. Of course there will be resistance, but you can handle it with style and grace.

LEO If you dwell on what went wrong, you're at risk of brooding away your energy. Rather than stewing or chewing on past mistakes, digest and metabolize the lessons, and simply move on.

VIRGO The challenge is figuring out how to take care of others while you simultaneously take care of yourself. Here's a hint: Reverse your inclination to put other's needs before your own.

LIBRA Career concerns create challenges on several levels, causing you to turn just a little cranky from the stress. The key to your relaxation is prioritizing what's most important and then sticking to that evaluation.

SCORPIO Consider it a crisis of faith, and then use your doubts to strengthen your investigation. That's right — face all the disturbing places and then let your questions help you to refine what's really true for you.

SAGITTARIUS While it's easy for you to be the peacemaker, it's also easy for you to ignore certain behavior until it's too late for anything but a fight. Think about healthy ways to shift that pattern.

CAPRICORN Try not to let confrontations with significant others turn into full-blown polarization. Yes, you are entitled to disagree, but you are not necessarily always entitled to be "right."

AQUARIUS All work and no play won't work in the long run, so be sure to include enough time to relax and enjoy yourself. Sure, being responsible is important, but it is not more important than a happy heart.

PISCES Don't be surprised if you're singing endless choruses of "I gotta be me. I gotta be free." Yes, you do need to be yourself, but you don't need the permission of others to embrace your personal freedom.

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