by Heather Roan Robbins
On a winter’s day—a quote from “A Summer’s day,” by Mary Oliver
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
Into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
How to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
Which is what I’ve been doing all day long.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
We’re almost halfway through the winter. Groundhog’s day is a traditional day to take animal auspices, notice what the animals are doing (not just groundhogs) to listen into the natural world and take advice, then make plans for the rest of the winter. And that’s a good thing to do this week as we turn an astrological corner, finish up a tough six-week cycle and clear the decks to move forward in the weeks ahead. By the end of this week we start to straighten out and come back to the present, catch up with ourselves and feel more adequate to our life.
From mid-December through this weekend thoughtful Mercury has conjunct Pluto and squared Uranus (retrograding back and forth, bunny hopping through these tough transits), a pattern synchronous with release, loss, obsession, research, difficulty with mobility, with bullying communication forms, and an unsettled look back. Our minds were jogged to memories of personal loss through a series of high profile deaths in the news which asked us what we want to do with our life. Those planets stirred some deep power brokerage, but also woke up self-doubts, worries, tapped on our obsessive places or where we felt alone. Or where we just didn’t feel like thinking.
Over the next few days we revisit the feelings some problems of the last few months and get a chance to straighten them out. We may get frustrated because we have to work together or coordinate with other people when were not yet quite in sync. We juggle our schedules as we integrate different timetables, and may have to adjust to situations that may be imperfect, but are good enough for now. Next week a fresh sense of clarity and good judgment may cause us to look back on promises or plans we made over the last six weeks and adjust.
The weekend begins with a sociable, politically strategic Aquarius Moon. Notice a relatively good-natured jostling for power amongst candidates and coworkers. That jostling intensifies on Sunday and early in the week under a Scorpio Moon, conjunct Mars, Square the Sun. Now, and through this week, we can lose our sense of humor about being asked to sacrifice something important to us for what others call the common good as Pluto squares the asteroid Vesta. We may be stretched by uncomfortable dealings deal with other teams and groups, ones that we don’t quite understand because they’re so closely knit, whether it’s a corporate or sociological culture that’s foreign to us, another clique at school, or another family’s dynamics. If so, let’s honor the process without feeling trapped, have the patience to listen carefully, and realize we’re growing.
Midweek the mood lifts and we’ll find it easier to look forward and see farther ahead. The groundhogs and a Sagittarius Moon herald in a fresh astrological chapter, whatever their shadow says about the weather ahead.
Now that Mercury begins to pull away from Pluto, Venus approaches a conjunction to Pluto at the end of next week, an aspect that can bring our healing down to the heart and stretches in acts of compassion. But it also asks women, and the feminine in us all, to engage our power within. Venus conjunct Pluto opens our heart. But it also can bring up the politics of gender dynamics, though mostly on an unconscious level. Women in positions of power, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, mothers- and those of all genders speaking for the heart, art, and all Venusian things– need to hold their power in a strong and clean way this week, because they may be tested or pushed. We also may see an increase in domestic violence or activism about just such crimes. Unconscious sexism can creep back in and needs to be dealt with in a karmically-clean, mutually empowering way.
So, as we contemplate what we are to do with our one wild and precious life in the year ahead, let us stand our ground in a healthy way and revere and protect the Venusian archetype in the world around us.
Friday, January 29: Go gently today, on the surface the mood is sociable and friendly, with a little jostling for control. After morning pleasantries, a need to communicate, feel understood or convince others can make our conversation intense and strident as Mercury conjuncts Pluto exactly. And underneath the pleasantries our old stuff is roiling. We may get more news of loss or need to process news we’ve already heard. A twitchy frustration can create temporary delays late afternoon as Mars semi-sextiles Saturn, but let’s not take it out on one another. Problems come to a head, and can now be dealt with. Tonight, either deal with the intensities or hold hands and make life worth living.
Moon trine Sun 1:54 AM, Moon sextile Saturn 12:12 PM, Moon square Mercury 4:11 PM, Moon square Pluto 4:26 PM, Mars semi-sextile Saturn 4:55 PM, Moon opposed Uranus 6:34 PM, Mercury conjunct Pluto 10:58 PM.
Saturday, January 30: Sleep in if possible; no one is good to be highly efficient this morning. The mood may be part sweet healing nurturance as Venus sextiles Neptune, one part caught in limbo, wandering because we just need to rest and catch up with ourselves, and one part traumatic or traumatic edge as the Moon heads into Scorpio tonight. Work on all levels at once, and rest between times. Watch emotional projections, let’s not assume we know what our nearest and dearest want; we can keep the lines of communication open, but stay centered in our own process.
Venus sextile Neptune 10:44 AM, Moon semi-square Saturn 6:54 PM, Moon enters Scorpio 8:50 PM.
Sunday, January 31: The mood is deep, thoughtful, with much unspoken presence. Don’t take it personally if others keep to themselves. When friendly, we’ll tend to stay friendly. When we argue, we’ll stay at odds as Mercury squares off with unexpected Uranus and the Moon squares off with the Sun. Silence may be the best response to provocative comments, though a good debate can be recreational, though more so tonight than today. Deal kindly around food issues, food compulsions or hungers as Pluto semi-squares Ceres. Consider a moment alone to re-center and contemplate. Electrical difficulties and crossed wires of all type are possible later on. Move with grace and intention tonight to avoid accidents as Mercury squares Uranus and the Moon conjuncts Mars.
Pluto semi-square series 7:14 AM, Moon trine Neptune 1:57 PM, Moon sextile Venus 5:07 PM, Moon square Sun 8:27 PM, Mercury square Uranus8:41 PM,
Monday, February 1: Schedule time to just catch up, check in with one another, and deal with problems that arose over the weekend or loose ends that need tying up. We start a new chapter today, Mercury is clear of Pluto and Uranus for a while, and our plans are less likely to need changing or be upstaged by small emergencies. Start planning now. Significant work can be accomplished today.
Moon conjunct Mars 3:28 AM, Pluto square Vesta 4:08 AM, Moon sextile Pluto 5:20 AM, Moon sextile Mercury 8:01 AM, Moon sextile Jupiter 5:35 PM.
Tuesday, February 2: The Moon enters more outgoing and nature-centered Sagittarius just in time to listen to the groundhogs and other animals, and think about the next few months ahead. People are restless, so instead of asking them to hold still and keep their nose to the grindstone, brainstorm possibilities and make travel plans. Take a field trip. Watch a tendency to drop everything and run away, as it may or may not be useful to take this approach.
Moon enters Sagittarius 8:49 AM, Moon semi-square Pluto 11:05 AM.
Wednesday, February 3: Now we’re getting somewhere as the Sun sextiles the Moon/Saturn conjunction while energizing Mars sextiles Pluto; little successes build towards big ones. With this green light, nothing pushes us to succeed, but the wind may be in our sails and obstacles overcome if we choose to be industrious. Like a herd dog working field of sheep, let’s move all of our thoughts in a good direction rather than just wander the grassy hillsides. We have access to sound judgment now, and that may call us to reconsider decisions we’ve made over the past month.
Moon square Neptune 1:24 AM, Mars sextile Pluto 3:53 AM, Venus sextile Juno 4:36 AM, Mercury sextile Chiron 5:36 AM, Sun sextile Saturn 11:17 AM, Moon conjunct Saturn 12:30 PM, Moon sextile Sun 12:36 PM, Moon trine Uranus 5:58 PM.
Thursday, February 4: Although we’re more easily distracted, today can still be productive, especially later in the day as the Moon enters industrious Capricorn. Feel a push of will that can both help us accomplish when we’re on track, but bring to meetings and politics strategic wrestling strategy. Don’t be pushed off track without good reason.
Moon square in Jupiter 3:03 AM, Venus semi-sextile Saturn 6:15 AM, Mars semi-square Hygeia 6:33 AM, Uranus conjunct Vesta 6:24 PM, Moon enters Capricorn 5:43 PM.
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