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Doing What You Must: Participating With Purpose

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Photo by Amanda Painter
  • Photo by Amanda Painter

Dear Chronogram Reader:

Although the particulars will vary between individuals and among communities (both in-the-flesh and online), we seem to be in a moment of rich awareness and potential for participating with purpose. Issues like the standoff at Standing Rock and post-election developments are comingling with people’s usual end-of-year charitable giving habits and, of course, both religious and secular ideas about the spirit of compassion inherent in Christmas. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, if you’re in the US, you’re surrounded by its themes.

The astrology as we head into the weekend looks custom-made for this environment, and for getting involved. The Sun is always in Sagittarius this time of year, which highlights many themes around philosophy, religion, how we perceive and respond to humanity, and even the heightened urge to socialize despite the shortening days.

Between Friday and Saturday, the Sagittarius Sun makes a pair of aspects (really one event) to two major planets, Jupiter and Saturn. A handful of other planets within range add some extra flavor.

First, the Sun will make a sextile to Jupiter in Libra (exact at 4:39 pm EST Friday). Sextiles are harmonious aspects that offer their full benefit when we actively work the energy. According to astrologer Isabel Hickey, Sun-Jupiter sextiles provide a useful boost for almost any activity. Astrologer Robert Hand notes that this aspect can particularly strengthen the desire to participate in something larger than yourself.

While that could apply to any group activity, consider the signs involved and the actual cultural environment you’re in. With both Libra and Sagittarius attuned to issues of justice, consider whether that thing “larger than yourself” might have to do with an organized effort to right a wrong, to help marginalized voices get heard or simply to provide some assistance to those who are struggling.

What about Saturn in this picture? The Sun will conjoin Saturn in Sagittarius at 6:51 am EST Saturday. Saturn has a reputation for being ‘the heavy’: for representing internal or external restrictions, including an authority figure that may seem to ‘limit’ you. Yet Saturn also represents structure and foundations. As such, it can signal strength and persistence (think about how your skeleton, associated with Saturn, holds you up).

Saturn and Jupiter are often seen as opposite, conflicting impulses: restriction and expansion. Yet Sun-Saturn conjunctions, according to Hand, are ideal for turning your attention to your outstanding priorities and duties. It’s a great time for organizing and planning. Yes, Saturn can sometimes feel isolating or low-energy, but generally the antidote to that is to focus on what you must do and get working.

So what is it you feel that you ‘must’ do at this time? It could be as mundane as getting your house cleaned for guests or getting your holiday shopping done. It could be that, given the influence of Sagittarius, you feel drawn to explore and apply your personal philosophical or religious beliefs. Or perhaps the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are pointing you clearly in the direction of some matter of social justice and civic participation.

Note that this astrology is not about a guilt-trip. Although you may have obligations to others that you need to fulfill, Jupiter’s presence looks like it could mitigate any potential sense of dread around that. If you can, focus on where you are most deeply drawn to help out, or on the people from whom you would like to learn. In anything you need to follow through on, tie up or accomplish, consider how good it will feel to have it off your plate.

Throughout Friday, the Moon will be traveling through mid-to-late Aries. Not only does that mean some inspired, fiery harmony with the Sun, it also may tune you into the ongoing ways that many of this year’s most surprising events are developing. The Moon will pass through the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, the ‘sign of our times’, which the Sun (and Saturn) are in a loose aspect to. A couple of the things I mentioned in the opening paragraph fit this description; I suspect you can think of others that get you fired up.

Finally, the Sun and Saturn are roughly square Chiron in Pisces. However you choose to use this energy—whatever cause you get involved in, whatever responsibilities you fulfill—there’s the potential for a new level of awareness. That emotional or spiritual awareness might not be entirely comfortable, but it could very well help you to heal something along the way that you’ve been grappling with. Like I said, this moment is rich.

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