Free will, and freedom in general, is among the greatest challenges that most people ever face. One common response is to panic at the notion of potential and the opportunity to choose. Another is to run away with power and see how much abuse one can foist on the world. But the most common response is to go to sleep and pretend that there is no freedom. As it works out, none of these are viable for you; rather, you’re finally in a position where you must take on both potential and the responsibility of freedom, as well as the power and the sense of danger that comes with it. These are all acting simultaneously on your chart, and therefore your psyche. You have the right to be nervous, but I would not call that a privilege, and I don’t suggest you indulge it any more than is necessary. Simmering down more aspects than I could write about in a good-length article, we get one bold theme: you’re ready to step into an expanded vision of yourself. This means being fully present for your own life and showing up for your relationships in a new way. If there’s a sacrifice involved, it’s a kind of habitual insecurity that you ignite on the altar of progress. This comes in the form of one decision that is imminent now that affects both your most intimate private life and your most assertive professional life.
TAURUS (April 19-May 20)
One thing you get to figure out this month is the extent to which your emotions and your thoughts influence one another. I guess a male chauvinist would call this “thinking like a woman,” but plenty of men are famous for it. Our whole society, supposedly so male dominated, seems to be based on an exaggerated form of emoting that passes for reason. To the extent you feel trapped inside something, it may be this very phenomenon. Part of where you get lost is believing that the opposite of sensitivity is brutal rationality: the kind found in law books. Therefore, the obvious place to retreat is into the soft world of sentimentality. By the way, such a trip may be an exaggerated version of your parental drama, wherein you are caught in the middle. Both sides in this supposed struggle for reality are cartoons. There is an emotional basis for intelligence, and all learning is a process of listening, reasoning, and synthesis. You’re an intuitive thinker, and you may indeed know things before you know them. If you find yourself demanding proof, the wise thing to do would be to pause for a little while and wait for confirmation. You’re probably not building skyscrapers, chemical plants, or nuclear bombs; you’re navigating your way through the uncertainties and creative opportunities of life. A lower standard of proof is appropriate. There’s such a thing as true enough, as long as you leave your mind open to learn more.
GEMINI (May 20-June 21)
You may be afraid that you’re going to lose your focus, so recently discovered after so much effort. But what good is focus if you can’t keep it? It’s a little like being fully committed part of the time. What would happen if you were fully committed all of the time? I know the C-word has implications something you cannot get out of. Yet if you’re unable to do what’s important to you, that also has a feeling of something you cannot get out of. Here’s my theory: You usually don’t know what you want, or you don’t let yourself admit it. When you do know, or when you do admit it, you’re perfectly capable of sticking to a goal. When your awareness slips, so, too, does your power to achieve. The only thing that’s really changed during the past couple of months is that you’ve been aware of what you want, in specific terms. Perhaps you’ve refined “wanting to be a writer” to “wanting to write screenplays.” Somehow you forgot the part about how doing the thing you want allegedly prevents you from doing everything else. Now all you need is to remember that one thing, without the reminders or accidental opportunities you’ve been lucky enough to have. You really can do this on your own. You have the strength to focus, and you’re finally a good enough sailor to move with the tides of your emotions without drowning.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You’re getting a rare glimpse into how others experience you in your relationships. This is another way of saying you have an opportunity to feel how much you influence the people in your life—and how much they influence you. This is an important topic of study for you now because your relationships have the feeling of being under some unusual pressure (and I speak here for both Cancer Sun and ascendant). This involves the longterm placement of Pluto in your 7th house of partners. It would be an understatement to say that the metabolism of your relationships is increasing, and that you’re rethinking entirely your role as a partner, lover or spouse. It would also be an understatement to suggest that most people have little sense of how “their” concept of what it means to be in a relationship is an antique that’s been passed down through the generations, and is treated by each new generation like it’s some kind of precious heirloom or brilliant new innovation, when really it’s nothing of the kind. Pluto moving through this house is unearthing many previously concealed dysfunctional old values, at the same time bringing new life into your desire to connect with individuals, with humanity, and with your environment. An unusually potent total eclipse of the Sun in your own sign on July 11 emphasizes the point that one must be one’s own partner first, and anyone else’s partner second.
LEO (July 22-August 23)
As far as I can tell, most of what we do in relationships involves compensating for some sense of our “self” being missing or incomplete. That’s why after a while we notice that we “don’t quite feel ourselves” in the relationship, or that we’re not who we want to be; then we get restless and leave the relationship in order to “be” that self. In many ways your whole life has been a quest to go beyond this: to not just define but to actually experience yourself as a whole person, capable of relating to another whole person. What you may not have factored in is that generations of conditioning have led what you’ve been overcoming. In this conditioning, so common to the human experience, we’re taught to be self-sacrificing before we have the experience of self-actualizing. Events this month will shine some light on your distant past, and that of your family, so that you can see the origins of your tendencies. You may make discoveries about what happened to ancestors, about the folklore through the line of women that has shaped your experience of life, and certain facts about your gestation that formed you into who you are and what you are now outgrowing. Note that all of these discoveries will come with a factor of “plausible deniability.” The truth will be easy to evade, and equally possible to embrace, if you are willing. By now, you are surely able.
VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
You may sense or fear that an impact is coming, and you’re tired of living like a shock absorber. With any luck, those days are behind you, though you have one little project left: learning how to stabilize your feelings about yourself. Much of the impact you take comes from various judgments you inflict on yourself. Most of these, in turn, come from not having the same opinion of yourself from day to day; and you might want to address this point. You could, for example do a study and determine who you are, and establish what kind of a person you are, and test that out and see if it’s true. What I’m wondering, though, is why you’re so obsessed with your opinion of yourself, no matter what that turns out to be. Perhaps you’re doing the job of someone whose judgments of you were dire and negative. One possibility is that the whole exercise proves you exist. This became a burden you took on, feeling like if you did all the judging, they would never get the chance. There is now someone in your life presenting a different influence entirely, whose example teaching you how to let go of your self-conscious quality. This person’s influence is saying: your concept of “self” is a trap, and if you can let go of that, you can find the way to freedom. And that, by the way, is the “impact” you sense arriving.
LIBRA (September 22-October 23)
Saturn enters your sign this month. After a brief visit earlier in the year, it retreated to Virgo and will now spend the next 24 months right with you. This journey starts off with some thunder and lightning: the 5th and final opposition of Saturn and Uranus, capping off a sequence of events that began on Election Day 2008. The prior four oppositions took place in late Virgo and Pisces, veiled from your direct view. July’s event is the one and only opposition across the Aries-Libra axis, which makes it especially personal. Saturn’s role is to help you tie up the loose ends in your life, and there seem to be many. I suggest you overemphasize matters of commitment, consistency, and follow-through. There will be times you’re called upon to make firm, clear decisions, which may contrast with the style of wait and see you inherited from your child-self. Remember that you’re only and always deciding one thing, which is who you are. Many external forces are influencing you to change and grow. Yet something deeper and more substantial is at work, which is a return to the deepest core of your self-awareness and a fundamental coming-to-terms with both your true nature and your true potential. This is about taking action, and one thing you can be confident of is that when you do that, the world will rise to the occasion and meet you full on.
SCORPIO (October 23-November 22)
You’re been in pursuit of your core creative fire, and so far this has been an interesting jaunt. Plenty else is going on around you. But most of has been developing in the next room over, speaking in the psychic sense of that: You’ve known it affects you. You can now shift your focus to this other objective: actively removing the emotional impediments to action. Let’s call these two things Project One and Project Two. Project One has called on you to give up attachment to your goals as a way of accessing something deeper in yourself, what we could call a pure essence and a devotion to service. Project Two is about attaining your goals, while keeping that pure essence fully in your awareness. You are now embarking on a new path of achievement without compromising your integrity. This tells you something about the order of operations: integrity check first, then actions taken in accord with that, and then a return to the level of integrity to verify that you’re focused the way you need to be. As you do this, you’ll have a new sense of accomplishment: a bit like riding a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. You will know that you’re the one maintaining your focus and devotion, and cultivating your faith as an act of will. The next few weeks contain potent astrology that establishes patterns and magnifies intentions. What you do now will help you for many months.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 22)
You are an optimist. You know that if you expect things to go wrong, they are much likelier to; and you’ve proven to yourself many times that if you envision things going well, that’s a kind of implicit choice. The question we all face is how to handle obstacles, and the optimist’s method is to turn them into opportunities. It seems “the world” has some catching up to do with how much you’ve accomplished, with how creative you are and with how passionate you are about what you do. You might ask: Why does “the world” make it so difficult for someone to succeed? The answer can be found in psychology. Let’s say someone pretends to be something that they’re not, and then they meet someone who is that actual thing. How is the pretender going to respond? A bit of jealousy, perhaps? A bit of anger and insecurity? And how might they compensate? Which brings me to a story around your father that’s appearing in bold colors. Imagine you had a parent who had these very characteristics. Perhaps they concealed then through some haze of denial, ambiguity, “nice guy,” alcoholic, or “gone missing.” As a kid, you made up a story to compensate for those deficiencies; then one day you realized your story was not true. This means one thing, at least: You don’t have to live up to his supposed expectations, because most likely you conjured them up yourself.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 20)
You may feel like you’re being pushed beyond your limits, but they’re precisely the limits you don’t want. You may be coming up to the age-old question: Am I changing, is my partner changing, or is a relationship changing? The answer is all three. You may wonder whether you’re willing to take on all the responsibility (and for some, authority) that is being handed to you, and the answer is: Why would you be getting it if you were not ready? Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt more confident and safer on the planet? If so, I suggest look closely at what was influencing you, though I’m inclined to think that this moment is the time when you’re working with the most solid foundation you’ve ever had. The reason is because you finally feel safe embracing change. You know that security comes not from false confidence in who you are, but rather from embracing a measure of uncertainty and appreciating the value of mystery. You’ve probably figured out that the things that most people think make them safe don’t actually do so, and that most attempts at being certain of who one is involve clinging to what their parents taught them. You seem more determined than ever to break free from these false notions of security, and the best step you can take now is to encourage the people around you to do the same. This will be the true test of your confidence.
AQUARIUS (January 20-February 19)
This month, the two rulers of your sign—traditional planet Saturn and modern planet Uranus—face off for the fifth time in 19 months. The opposition moves toward a conjunction that takes place in 2032, so let’s say this is an important aspect, aided by many other factors. For example, the signs involved are Aries and Libra rather than Virgo and Pisces. The net effect is that things you’ve been thinking about, perhaps obsessively, are about to translate into a rapid sequence of decisions, movement, and action. Your planets say you’re done being reactive; you’re done being defensive; the time when you make the second move has drawn to a close. You might notice your tendency to need something to push back against, or to define yourself by what you are not. Part of what the Saturn-Uranus opposition offers is healthy contrast. You’re learning to see things in more vivid shades than you have in the past, which is a form of commitment. I suggest that you think back to November 2008, when this process began. What can you see clearly now that was not so easy to observe then? Count the ways in which you’re obviously different than certain people you come into contact with on a regular basis. You seem to have noticed this before, though you were less likely to think that the distinctions were meaningful or worth acting on. What is your opinion today?
PISCES (February 19-March 20)
Your astrology this month is all about stepping into a more visible role as a contributor to culture. It’s as if a veil gets pulled back, revealing who you are. From the outside it looks like you have some kind of creative role, and like you take the chances to bring that quality into your experience. Obviously, you’ve taken some chances, though you may at times wonder what good that did. I assure you, it did as much good as anything can, which is to both cultivate and preserve your passionate approach to existence. Take away any one of those daring endeavors and you wouldn’t be the same person, nor would you be in the same place you are now. Yet behind that veil is something else: the ability to have not just impact but also actual influence. You’re part of a changing world, and you’re part of that process of change. This is what becomes undeniable. Yet to get there, you must shed some baby fat and a few other childhood tendencies. In order to take on your new role, something about your old role must transform entirely. In your new incarnation you’ll take with you all the talent, commitment and sensitivity you started with, and leave behind your insecurity, feelings of abandonment, and tendency to struggle. Looked at one way, you are about to grow up fast. Looked at another, you’ve reached an inevitable threshold of development that you’ve been eagerly awaiting your entire life.