Out With the Old! Forecast for Dec. 26 – Jan. 2

The end of the year already?!? Yes, you can believe it? That’ll be the topic of conversation for days. While you engage in the usual round of pre-New-Year’s chatter (where has the time gone?), watch for the telling undercurrent: the ending vibe that’s with us now. We’re ending more than an artificial unit on the calendar. A lot more.

A long-awaited, long-simmering process is kicking in. We’re no longer merely gearing up for take-off; we’re lifting off.
Pushing the pedal to the metal and moving forward. Putting one foot in front of the other and starting the long-distance sprint. Whatever movement metaphor works for you, it is morphing from concept to reality, with one little twist.

The journey we’re beginning is not a diversion, or temporary, or a round trip. We have a short window for going back to pick up something we forget, or make sure we turned the stove off. By April, though, the passageway will close in time/space and there will be no more turning around.

The lords of our festivities this week are Jupiter and Pluto. Together they spell: Big Endings. Well, whaddya know. You sense that, don’t you? We’ve all been acknowledging that. (Just look at your holiday preparations — haven’t you been starkly aware that this holiday is a departure from the past?) The End of Some Part of Life As We Have Known It is part of the vibe of last Saturday’s new moon, and that’s coloring this week as well as the entire winter season, all the way through to the spring equinox.

The teamwork of Jupiter and Pluto encourages action that is both slow, deliberate and practical and penetrating, fearless and permanent. We’re not merely carting wrapping paper and ribbons to the curb all week. An epidemic of cleaning and clearing out is on the way. You’ll be shelving this year’s latest acquisitions when your eye will fall on objects to which you have lost all energetic connection — and then the purging begins. What doesn’t hit the trash bin is bound for giveaways, because who has the patience or time for eBay these days? (If you don’t know about Freecycle, check it out!)

The slow, deliberate and practical part of that planetary equation comes from Jupiter, now hovering direct at the first degree of the first earth sign, Taurus. He’s gently renewing optimism, inflating a second wind, erasing exhaustion and feelings of futility, and rekindling belief in the validity and plausibility of your material goals. Whatever else has been going on — and some of us have been grappling with truly stark and sobering developments — Jupiter lights up the bright spots and silver linings. He is providing reassurance that all is really for the best, showing the value of what remains and promising a payoff in the spring.

Jupiter’s also giving the go ahead. He’s linking with Uranus at the first and fieriest degree of the zodiac, who ignited our inner engines when he went direct on the 10th. We’ve been idling our engines since then. Yes, you can go now, Jupiter is saying; just don’t jump ahead. Step by step. Still. (He won’t move off the first degree of Taurus till mid January.) But steps forward, for a change.

As subtle as Jupiter is, Pluto is the opposite. We can’t miss seeing the effects of his hand, and particularly his scythe. His impact continues to be stark, streamlining and purifying, ushering out situations that have expired and exposing others that could be threats if not addressed.

He has meetings this week with Venus and the Sun, as well as important contacts with the Moon. The effect of this is to make the meaning of last Saturday’s New Moon personal and internal, very quickly.

Monday’s growth aspect to Venus brings a simplicity to our hearts, with a scaling back in our desires leading to a more intense connection to the ones that remain. Maybe we’re around fewer people this holiday, but the ones who are there are truly, madly, deeply present. I’m thinking of several situations in my circle involving recent and scary health dramas and can see the family members viewing each other with rededicated appreciation and gratitude.

Thursday the Sun has his annual meeting with Pluto, opening us to the rawest and most profound awareness of our personal truths. Outmoded parts of our identify are going on the chopping block, or out to the curb in the ethers as well. The potential is great for healthy personal empowerment, facilitated that same day by cooperation between the Moon and Pluto.

Then comes the demand for action, the imperative for inner transformation, the cosmic alarm clocking going off and summoning the butterfly from the cocoon. That’s the impact of the final major aspect of the year, a square from the Moon to Pluto. 2011 is not going out easily or quietly, and it is not going to let anyone carry excess baggage willy nilly into 2012. Not no one, not no how. Everyone must drop something, even at the end of the line.

Toss out the glass that is half empty. Pick up the one that’s half full — then pour it to overflowing. Toast the departed. Toast what and who remains. Open your heart to the growth and adventure that are coming.

One caveat about celebrating New Year’s: Late-night driving is potentially problematic-to-nasty thanks to a Mercury/Mars square around 1 AM EST (midnight CST, 11 PM PST). Road rage, arguments, brushes with the law — you don’t want any of them. Take care.

More in my day-by-day forecasts and my six-minute podcast for the week.

The Merry (?) Christmas Capricorn New Moon

December 24, 2011
10:07 AM PDT /1:07 PM EDT / 6:07 PM GMT
2 Capricorn 34

This year’s Capricorn New Moon is a stark, ground-breaking and ground-laying event. It’s got a cold and calculated air, in strange juxtaposition to Christmas Eve, the day on which it falls. Yet the connection is solid and profoundly meaningful. Even with its atmosphere of less (which in some cases is also loss), this New Moon does promise rebirth and growth, completely in keeping with the underlying, often obscured purpose behind this holiday.

The energies around this New Moon bring to mind preparing a garden for winter: fiercely pruning and trimming some plants and ripping others out, with the goal of maximizing growth to come. Next year’s garden won’t be the same as this year’s or even as planned up to this point, due to an element that inspires impulsively repurposing a portion of the garden as well. Still, the point of the exercise remains preparing for and supporting future flourishing. Hold tight to that. It’s the silver lining in everything that happens, shifts, rearranges or goes away now.

The Sun and the Moon are meeting in the sign that naturally encourages an eye to the future, long-term planning and determined, unemotional effort. This year, their conference has the destabilizing participation of the two cosmic change agents, Pluto and Uranus. Pluto is interjecting his imperative to transform — to streamline, to cut away, to release — fundamental goals, structures and situations. (This can also extend to seizing power and control; watch for government, military and police action in the news.) Uranus is demanding a radical break from the old ways, and particularly from thoughts or structures that limited our ability to flourish as individuals. (Don’t think that the Occupy movement is going away anytime soon.)

Meanwhile, Jupiter is in an easy flow with the New Moon, trining it from the first degree of the first earth sign, Taurus, in the final hours before he stations direct tomorrow. This contact is a slow-acting blessing that prolongs the playing out of the New Moon’s energies while anchoring them firmly to our worldly existence. Because Jupiter is also in contact with Pluto and Uranus (in a trine and adjustment aspect, respectively), his presence also escalates the depth of the cuts, the abruptness of the change, the starkness of the course corrections being required now. All have tangible, practical, mundane effects. We are actually, deeply how we experience and relate to the physical world.

The most dramatic evidence of this will not blossom until spring — the end of this season — when Jupiter makes major headway through the sign of Taurus. And, no coincidence, the revolutionary/evolutionary alchemy of this New Moon lasts that long. It colors the entire winter, because it occurs so close on the heels of the solstice.

Some of the cuts you’ll experience from this New Moon will not be of your conscious choosing. Focus on the ones you do choose, and on what practical responses are available to you for the ones you don’t. Be mindful of and embrace the actions and decisions you are making as you put your garden to bed for the winter. Choose for your long-term health, support and flourishing.

What you require may be, and likely is, far different from what you previously thought — less, in some ways, but deeper, stronger and more meaningful, in others. Look at this New Moon as decluttering the garden. You’re removing competitors for nutrients and space, which could otherwise crowd out or malform the plants you require. No explanations or apologies needed.

© Kathy Biehl 2011. All Rights Reserved. You may forward this article as long as the copyright notice is intact. No part may be used or reprinted without my prior written permission. Karma, ya know.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Forecast for Dec. 19-25, 2011

Please visit my Holiday Shop for gifts of insight (and a fun online game)!

And we’re off! Well, almost. By the end of the weekend we’ll be off. In the meantime, there’s plenty to do, prepare and learn before the skies blast us forward. Not to mention all these holidays to celebrate.

Although … “celebrate” feels like a stretch, doesn’t it? “Honor” or “acknowledge” are more fitting for what most of us are doing. This week’s holidays aren’t so much festive as they are focused.

The sky is encouraging a back-to-basics, stripped-down experience. A significant lack of money, health or other resources is pushing some people into this approach. Others are simply responding to a vibe in the air. (How many people have you heard mention that they’re having trouble getting into the holiday spirit?)

Whatever we may consciously think is the reason, there’s little room for nostalgia, extravagance or excess (except in holiday light displays, which are more widespread and lavish than usual in my state — which I’ve historically observed to be a pushback against bleakness). With Venus and Saturn in each other’s signs, the atmosphere is calculated and emotionally restrained, even cold, with abundant awareness of cost and a desire to invest time or money only in lasting value or meaning.

That’s why you’re cutting back your gift list. Spending less on the people who remain, or passing up trinkets (who needs more clutter, anyway?) for items that are practical or personally meaningful. Going to fewer parties. Not watching holiday movies you’ve seen dozens of times to the end. And being naturally, unapologetically selective about who you choose to spend time with, especially on the actual day of whichever holiday(s) you observe.

Notice the makeup and playing out of holiday gatherings this week. The plans we’ve been making already show an astrological streamlining influence, and that’s only going to strengthen as the week progresses. We’re no longer inclined to go along with something just because we always have or someone expects it. With rebellious Uranus direct at the impulsive, combustive first degree of the zodiac, we’re drawing lines, punching out walls and breaking free.

Guest and gift lists are feeling this imperative, too. They’re in for down-to-the-wire changes because of the massive rearranging going on in connections, as we assimilate and implement the revelations and realizations that have been popping since the lunar eclipse of the 10th. We’ve recently revised or replaced some core beliefs about life and especially about our selves. This change-out is triggering abrupt breaks in relationships that can not see or can not live with our new guidelines. When we encounter a person or situation that invalidates us or treats us consistently with an old way of thinking, the reaction is instantaneous and permanent — as if a switch has flipped and broken off in such a way that it can’t be repaired.

So odds are high you haven’t been (and will continue not to be) arguing with yourself, as you might have in the past, when you’re come up against an invitation or suggestion or expectation that doesn’t match your desires. Odds are you’ve been neatly and cleanly following your wishes. If, however, you do happen to feel pressure or obligation to do something you really don’t want to, know that the skies are inviting and encouraging you to say no. You don’t have to give an explanation, either. Really. You don’t owe that to anyone, and besides, no one really has time to spare to listen to one, anyway.

All this lays the groundwork for the lovely, rewarding and meaningful experiences the week promises. When you’re consciously choosing actions, gatherings and companions based on what you want or value, unpleasant undercurrents tend not to come along (resentment, frustration, baggage). You have every possibility of actually enjoying what you’ve chosen. I saw a tableaux in a play last week that encapsulates this: the Cratchit family sitting at table, holding hands and delighting in each other’s presence. That scene is so often maudlin. This one was not. It conveyed honest and blazing love, the only source of warmth, solace and nourishment in the stripped-downed, minimalist staging of The New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. Look for your personal version of this on Sunday and beyond. The outside world may be cold and dark, but inside, you have raw and heart-felt warmth in your corner.

Before then, a welcome emotional detachment comes into the picture when Venus moves into Aquarius on Tuesday (yes! you can unhook from family dramas!) and gives us all a dose of the friendship-as-religion that sign perpetuates. Reach out to your chosen family, and don’t be surprised if you find time in your schedule for them as the year rolls out.

Thursday is the winter solstice, when the Sun moves into Capricorn and we experience the shortest day of the year. We may be feeling the absence of the light more and longer than usual, since the Sun is gliding into a New Moon that’ll be watched over by Pluto. The New Moon falls on Christmas Eve, which is likely to be streamlined and scaled back like never before. Personal, long-term security is at the forefront of everyone’s thinking. We’re getting another dose of clarity about our personal bottom line and stripping our priorities to the bone once again — making our list and trimming it twice, as it were. (Read more in my moon forecast, which will be posted by Friday.)

On Sunday, Christmas Day, the light begins to build noticeably, within and without. Jupiter goes direct, at the first degree of the first earth sign. That simple shift lifts the sensation of futility and kindles hope, optimism and joy. We can feel the progress that will build incrementally into the spring equinox. For now, the holding pattern is over. The rocket ship is taking off. For the next four weeks, not a single planet will be retrograde. Everything is direct. It’s all systems go.

Read my day by day forecasts in the extended version of this week’s forecast.

For another take on this week’s events, listen to my six-minute podcast. If you like it, please give it five stars on iTunes! (Don’t want to use iTunes? Visit the Podcast/Video page at my site, EmpowermentUnlimited.net.)

Breathe! Forecast for Dec. 12-18, 2011

Please visit my Holiday Shop for gifts of insight (and a fun online game)!

Catch your breath! The roller coaster is evening out. The next DVD in the series is about to slide into the player. Your engine has started. No matter which of these metaphors resonates, the impact is the same: Moving forward feels possible, even likely, at last.

This week is much, much, much less astrologically active than last. (Return to my opening sentence, rinse and repeat.) The energies that peaked on Saturday continue to spool out, of course, but at least we’re out of the intensity of their build-up.

Information is still rolling in about the power of words and beliefs, one of the dominant themes of Saturday’s lunar eclipse, which was a full moon in Gemini. (Read my full discussion of that event here.) Revelations are still part of the picture, too. A few more are in the pipeline, though likely not as huge as what has surfaced since the beginning of the month. More data is coming, too, on the ones that have already surfaced.

Some of the disclosures this eclipse is knocking loose are downright game-changing, and that will continue to the case as the eclipse plays out. For some of us, these have the effect akin to shining a light on the monster under the bed, or catching sight of a tiny gremlin that’s been lurking beneath the front seat of our car and grabbing the steering wheel with long, spindly arms. For others of us, messages have kicked over the game board we envisioned as the future and rearranged the playing pieces into startling and exciting possibilities.

Actually, everyone’s warming up to startling and exciting possibilities now that Uranus the awakener has turned direct. It’s as if a key has turned and freed us from an internal prison, and/or an unseen hand has turned up the gas jet and sent our inner flame from a flicker to a roaring fire. A raw and potent life force is blazing within us — one that makes it impossible to tolerate the intolerable any longer (c’mon, admit it; you’ve been doing that) and fuels the gumption and bravado to strike out for territory that is new, and true, to you. Each of us knows that a certain way of life — of approaching life — is on the way out. We’re just beginning to dabble in what is taking it’s place.

No rush. We will be grappling with the ramifications of all of this for some time. The planet of communication is offering help with the process. For three weeks, Mercury has been assisting in ways that haven’t been entirely welcome — throwing people and information from the past at us, snarling travel (which gave us time to ponder, if we took it instead of fuming) and stressing out flawed technology and vehicles to the point that we’ve had to repair or replace them (which ensured that we have reliable tools for the next stage). All were byproducts of his retrograde cycle, which is ending now.

The week begins with Mercury stationed (not moving). He turns direct on Tuesday — at the very degree of the Sagittarius New Moon from Thanksgiving weekend, which was a solar eclipse. Comfort and flow in communication and travel will be a few days in coming. By the weekend, we’ll be openly and actively processing and assimilating the revelations, realizations and liberations of the latest eclipse gauntlet. Our thoughts and conversations are moving to the future and what we are going to do with and about everything we’ve been hearing, witnessing and realizing lately. A distance of time and space and a clarity of perception are coming that will make sense out of much that happened during the window between November’s solar eclipse and last week’s lunar.

The big push forward doesn’t come until after Christmas, and a fuller picture of where we’re heading may not arrive till the next round of eclipses in May and June. We’re clearly and consciously preparing for take-off now, though. Think of yourself as a pilot in the cockpit with the engine warming up while you run down your pre-flight checklist.

For the day-to-day forecasts, please visit EmpowermentUnlimited.net.

For another take on this week’s events, listen to my five-minute podcast. If you like it, please give it five stars on iTunes! (Don’t want to use iTunes? Use the Podcast/Video page at EmpowermentUnlimited.)

If you would like help getting that gremlin out from under your front seat (aka shedding ancient thought forms that have steered your life), here are some books and techniques I’ve found to be effective.

Talk About Looney! The Gemini Full Moon Total Eclipse of Dec. 10

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Really? I beg to differ. Words have a phenomenal, stealth and lasting power to not only touch us, but also spawn beliefs that mold and guide our lives. That’s part of what’s up for reexamination under this month’s Full Moon in Gemini, which is a total lunar eclipse at the south node of destiny.

The past few weeks have been escalating the intensity that always comes with a lunar eclipse. (Think of it as a super-sized full moon.) Not only do we have the heightened emotions that flow from any full moon, but we’ve got them being whipped up by the revelations that are always part of the build-up, too. If you have doubted that form follows thought (what we think => what we experience), think about the revelations that have been erupting in your life and environment lately.

You might think that a lunar eclipse involving the signs that govern communication (Gemini and Sagittarius) wouldn’t have much room for emotional drama, but that has not been the case this time around. People have been showing their hands, their motivations and their true colors in the most astonishing ways. Matters have been coming to a head not just about thought forms and beliefs, but also involving the reliability of our technology and modes of transportation, (how much have you had to replace lately?), higher education, the legal system, the media, information delivery systems (the postal system going broke and FedEx being shut down by snow multiple times), religion and foreign lands, peoples and languages. Information has been especially abundantly coming to light about embezzlement, misappropriations, scams and financial loss, not to mention the epidemic of college coach sexual assault charges (which combine the academic and law aspects of Sagittarius in one issue).

All of this has been handing over puzzle pieces that explain vast chunks of the past, going back weeks, going back years and, in some instances, going back to our earliest days. This extra-long tail comes from the Moon being at a point that represents the past, our habitual responses and what we are moving away from. That’s why so much ancient information and beliefs are in the spotlight.

The usual chapter-ending characteristic of a lunar eclipse has a much bigger potential scope this time around. We could be overturning thinking that has governed our lives. This is occurring for each of us individually; because of the collective experience that the nodes represent, it is also happening to us as a group. No coincidence that it is during the build-up to this eclipse that the U.S. Senate passed a military appropriations bill that permits military arrests and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without trial or right to counsel — in violation of the Constitution and the protection of habeas corpus that is one of the founding tenets of this country. (Read more in this long discussion of the bill’s language, background, effect and opponents.)

Don’t like that? Harness the communication imperative of Gemini and express yourself. There’s still time to speak up and, if you are so inclined, get involved. Another 18 months have yet to play out in this eclipse cycle. We’re at only the midpoint of the evolution in thought and systems that this cycle will bring.

This eclipse is a turning point, though. It carries wild-card, high-voltage energy. As the Sun and the Moon face off, long-simmering passions are reigniting. A revolutionary spirit is getting a second wind. Whether you call it courage, gumption or motivation, a raw life force is bursting forth within each of us. Something is being unlocked. It’s time again to leap without looking, to take risks, to go it alone, as each of us did in June 2010 and the spring of this year.

All these shifts are triggered by Uranus, the cosmic change agent, stationing direct at the first degree of Aries, on the same day as the Full Moon. This spot is the very beginning of the zodiac, so it contains the vitality and power of a shoot bursting from a seed. The spot is also on what is called the World Axis, which means that public events will be expressing these impulses for all to see.

The lunar eclipse and Uranus are working in tandem. The eclipse is bringing awareness. Uranus is giving the firepower to act on and with that awareness. And the celestial line-up is making sure our inner drive has no choice but to kick in. The Full Moon is making the movement-demanding aspect of a square to Mars, ruler of our drive (and of Uranus, while he’s in Aries), in the practical, improvement-oriented earth sign of Virgo.

That’s a counter-balance to the impulses that will be sparking in us. Mars may be gung-ho, but Virgo insists on going over the fine print and measuring twice before cutting. As much as we want blast-off, we’ll be attending to all manner of details before that happens. Which is not to say that some people won’t attempt blasting off, consciously or, more likely, not. So some of the demands on Mars in Virgo may involve repair work to fix whatever havoc those loose cannons cause.

More reasons for a slow take-off: The Moon’s ruler, Mercury, is retrograde and goes direct on the 13th. We will still be going over old mental territory for a few days after this Full Moon, and exploring new turf won’t come easily until about a week later, after Mercury has moved out of its direct station. The Sun’s ruler, Jupiter, is retrograde as well. We won’t have full range of motion until he goes direct on Christmas Day. After that, the skies are treating us to an entire month without any retrograde planets. The progress we’ll make will be breathtaking.

All in all, this Full Moon is an important bundle of energy and influences. We’re changing our thinking, resetting our beliefs, drawing lines and proclaiming, “No more!” We’re reigniting our engines and then taking painstaking steps to move forward. Just remember: you are what you think. So change your thinking; change your life.

For more on the Gemini/Sagittarius eclipses, treat yourself to my two mp3 talk on their potential.

And be sure to visit my Holiday Shop complete with an online game for your enjoyment!

The Magic of the Season

Today is the anniversary of my answering a knock and finding St. Niklaus at my family’s door when we were living in Germany, more years ago than I’m going to admit. The visitation was magically disorienting. We lived in a building that required buzzing guests in through both a locked gate and the front door, and yet somehow a bishop in full regalia had found his way to our hallway. Not only that: he spoke English and had our names in his book.

The oranges and nuts he delivered quickly disappeared, but the wonder survived. Learning how this happened actually enhanced the specialness of that moment in time. He was a university student hired by the neighborhood, and our landlady had made a point to include my siblings and me in his rounds. Her considerateness is as unforgettable to me as the brain-addling sight of the fabled saint in the flesh.

Possibly this memory was stirring when I got the urge today to set up my first ever holiday shop. It’s got pictures of my assistant and my usual holiday decorations, and I’ve included one of my favorite games (Adventure Elf!), which you can play on the page.

May a reason for wonder descend upon you this season.