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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the weeks 12/18/11 & 12/25/11

Planet Weather for Weeks 1/1 & 1/8/12

NewsBits: 2012: Whatzup Part1? The energetic (Mars) thrust of the first six months of 2012 is Virgo. Yes, once every 22 months or so, it’s time for Mars Retrograde, which begins on 1/23/12 (see below). Mars does not leave Virgo until 7/3/12! Mercury rules Virgo, and when Mars combines with Mercury we have aggressive, active language and communication. The mind is racing from one thought to another, or in the case of earthy Virgo – from one task to another. Virgo is a mutable earth sign, meaning that distractions are more likely to move us from the path of our goals if we are not attentive or focused. The devil’s in the details is appropriate here. Then again Virgo is perfectionistic but with too many tasks to attend to, good enough may sometimes have to do. Choose your goals carefully so that you can apply the craftsmanship that Virgo also bestows to the important tasks. Deep within its core Virgo knows there is no such thing as absolute perfection but it strives to polish and perfect as much as it can. Knowing what is truly essential at any given time must be your guide to achieve mastery in this first part of a very hard-working year. The downside of hard-working Virgo is stress. Only you can manage your stress levels. Retreat and rest when tasks become overwhelming and you will conquer even the most difficult with a fresh and practical eye. You know when you have done your best; no-one needs to tell you this. If the goal is worthy enough you will do what is necessary and leave the rest.

Virgo has the simplicity of an earth sign in dealing with common-sense, with what is, and the complexity of Mercury, which renders too much information at times, clouding the issues and creating detours. The task is to sift and sort and to balance the forest with the trees (metaphor.) When one detail dogs you, step back and take the long view. Remember what you’re aiming for.

The time when Mercury is retrograde is particularly interesting, since Mars travels in Mercury’s sign. These three or so weeks will have more potency for good or ill in relation to your goals. Mercury is retrograde (Rx) between 3/12/12 and 4/4/12. But…we had a Merc Rx 11/24-12/13/11, which was relevant because Mars has been in Virgo since 11/10/11. However the Merc Rx cycle in 2012 is doubly intense because both Mercury and Mars will be retrograde at the same time!

Information overload is assured but be sure to check the facts and the source of your information for slant and bias – well-informed is well-armed. Soldier on to win your battles. Virgo is the sign of the worker, the craftsman, as well as the soldier.

PS Iowa Caucus: Mitt Romney will most likely with the Iowa Caucus and his party's nomination for President.

SkyWatch for the weeks of 1/1/12 and 1/8/12

Moon Phase for the Week of 1/1/12: 1/1 -- The Moon enters Her First Quarter phase at 1:15 AM EST, at 10 degrees of Aries. Skywatching events of the week: 1/2 -- The Waxing Moon makes a close pass by Jupiter. Their point of closest approach occurs a couple of hours after sunset (oh, all right, 6:14 PM EST to be precise) as viewed from the US East Coast. Both should be readily visible as they proceed down the western sky.

Moon phase for the week of 1/8: 1/9 -- The Moon reaches perfect Fullness at 2:30 AM EST, at 18 degrees of Cancer, Her "home" sign. This Full Moon is known in folk tradition as the Brass Monkey Moon, because the season can freeze the ears off said proverbial monkey (at least now it Hears No Evil!) Heh. Only kidding. This Full Moon is the first of 2012, the first Full Moon after the Winter Solstice Full Moon, and known most vividly in Native American traditions as the Wolf Moon (seriously), presumably from that species' increased tendency to howl in Her direction this time of year -- understandably given the average temperature of their typical habitats, especially at night. Skywatching events of the week: 1/13 -- The Waning Full Moon makes a close pass by Mars. Their point of closest approach happens at 7:36 PM EST, when both will be well above the eastern horizon in their rising and well placed for viewing.

Space News and Weather: Dawn over Vesta! NASA's Dawn space probe continues to orbit the asteroid Vesta, moving ever closer to the classically named body to return spectacular photographs of her surface while mapping nearly all of it. Vesta is now the largest asteroid in the Solar System at roughly 500 kilometers in diameter, give or take. (As Vesta has a somewhat irregular shape there is a lot of give or take.) Ceres used to be the largest asteroid but was promoted to "dwarf planet" at the same time that Pluto was demoted to that status. At any rate, when Dawn is finished with Vesta, it's on to Ceres. (Added note -- Vesta and Ceres are two of the four major asteroids/dwarf planets used in astrology, the other two being Juno and Athena. These were also the first four asteroids to be discovered by nineteenth century astronomers because of their size....)

Go out! Look up!

Knowing when VOC Moons occur is key to planning your successful week!

The Void-of-course (VOC) Moon is a kind of limbo. As it reaches the end of a sign, the Moon makes no major aspect to another planet before it enters the next sign. VOC is best for less outcome-oriented activity, since VOC often means detours, distractions, drifting, or delays. If you want specific outcomes, or if timeliness is critical, don’t use a VOC Moon time. VOC is best for processing, imagining, creating, and open-ended activities, like parties, research, or cleaning your desk/closet for instance! It is said that when a new action is initiated during VOC, “nothing will come of it,” or energies go in unplanned directions, which may not necessarily be negative.


Week of 1/1/12 – Sunday (New Year’s Day), Monday and Saturday are the most active days energetically – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement with others, projects, and stimulation for producing results, or demands/challenges on your energy. On 1/2/12, the Moon is VOC/Aries from 3:07PM to 5:16PM EST – On 1/5/12, the Moon is VOC/Taurus from 3:47AM to 5:44AM EST – On 1/7/12, the Moon is VOC/Gemini from 2:52PM to 4:05PM EST.

Week of 1/8/12 – Sunday (Mercury enters Capricorn), Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Venus enters Pisces) are the most active days energetically – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement with other or projects, and stimulation for producing results, or demands/challenges on your energy. On 1/9/12, the Moon is VOC/Cancer from 9:25PM until 11:35PM EST – On 1/12/12, the Moon is VOC/Leo from 3:24AM to 4:44AM EST – On 1/13/12, the Moon is VOC/Virgo from 8:58PM to 8:28AM EST (next day!)

Quote of Note: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." - Mark Twain

Summary: These first two weeks of 2012 may begin more or less quietly – that is, no major situations in general, but a flurry of small irritations, underlying stressors, and a sense of needing to make corrections and take better care of one’s everyday realities.

Planet Patterns and Cosmic Headlines (Detail):

Mercury enters cardinal, earth Capricorn on 1/8/12 until 1/27/12. With Mercury’s sign change we have fully left the last Mercury retrograde which took place in the previous sign Sagittarius. Mercury in Cap is serious and a serious planner, which is actually apropos for January when the Sun is also in Capricorn. What better time to look ahead and contemplate what you want to achieve. Capricorn is goal-oriented and works hard but is often self-critical. This Mercury will remind us of our responsibilities for sure but we also need to question what we should or should not be responsible for.

Venus enters mutable, water Pisces on 1/14/12 until 2/8/12. Venus is said to be exalted in this sign – meaning that its intrinsic nature is enhanced. Venus includes our values, affections and ways in which we relate to others. This is an idealistic, compassionate and often romantic placement and therefore prone to disappointment and disillusionment. The negatives can be too much giving, feeling victimized, seeking sympathy from playing the victim, and problems handling appropriate boundaries which can lead to dissipation, neglect and avoidance behaviors. Spending time with the arts or music can bring needed inspiration and transcendence from the travails of the mundane or the melancholy this position often brings due to its hyper-sensitivity.

**Mars Retrograde Alert! Mars turns Retrograde in Virgo on 1/23/12 until 4/13/12. Mars entered mutable, earth Virgo on 11/10/11, and remains in Virgo (including its retrograde time) until 7/3/12! Yes, you read that right – this is a long time we will be spending working and reworking loose ends and generally cleaning up mess after mess without end, not to mention editing, renewing, repairing, and renovating. Little things are likely to trip you up. Perfection is a huge job and never ends, so you’ll have to give it a rest lest you stress yourself out. A Mars retrograde can generate anger, as the planet of action and assertiveness is harnessed and pulled back to re-do what it thought it had already completed. Mars chafes under this kind of restriction. The thing is, you have to face the music – or at least reality – and go with what’s there and what you can’t budge. You may however, maneuver around it if you’ve let go of ego enough and are savvy enough to be flexible. Who knows what you will find as you take some cosmically dictated detours. Bring a snack!

Currently Active Paradigm-Shift Patterns -- Back Stories: Repeats and elaboration of the major configurations affecting all of us currently.

Jupiter Stationary Direct @ 0Taurus on 12/25/11, Christmas Day! Whatever good was held back or delayed will now move toward you, that is – if it was already heading in your direction to begin with! Ask your astrologer to map this out for you. A planet changing direction is always a big event and with Jupiter, the biggest planet in our Solar system, expect some magnification of events – maybe even exaggeration, and also some surprises. Jupiter/Taurus is generous with whatever resources it has and is patient and enduring. Jupiter entered fixed, earth Taurus on 6/4/11 and stays until 6/12/12. Jupiter stays in Taurus without moving back into the previous sign, even when it turns retrograde on 8/30/11(it remains in Taurus), which only happens about every three Jupiter cycles (3 years)! Most of the time when Jupiter turns retrograde in any sign, it moves back into the sign before and then its retrograde cycle spans the two signs. We might speculate that this can grant us greater relaxation and stability from the fast and furious and sudden changes that we’ve all witnessed since the beginning of this year, at least, while Jupiter was in fiery Aries. Stable and practical with a certain amount of sweetness, abundance, or favor is the message of this giving Jupiter in a Venus-ruled sign. There are possibilities, if we are willing to look for them and allow them.

Neptune turned Stationary Direct on 11/9/11 until 6/5/12! The scandals leaked out – Herman Cain’s sexual harassment skeletons and child rape abuses at Penn State University. With this surge forward again, Neptune soon leaves the sign Aquarius not to return for another 164 years! Neptune is now moving steadily toward Pisces, where it Stationed @ 0deg. on 6/3/11 and sat at 0 degrees between 4/4-8/5/11. On 2/3/12, Neptune returns to 0 deg. Pisces and will then continue its journey through Pisces for the next 14 years, until 3/31/25. We can only imagine what changes in the culture and our sensibilities this will bring. There is a grand focus on the environment and greater sensitivity within the web-like network that binds us closer together than ever before. New visionaries will emerge, as well as new ways to believe and questions of what to believe. The way in which each one of us is connected to and responsible for every other living being on this planet will become increasingly and utterly apparent.

We’ve only had a taste of Neptune’s dissolving energies and the power of the water! Anyone with planets near 0deg. of any sign has been especially imprinted with Neptunian themes such as paranormal experiences, illumination about some life themes or experiences, and secrets leaking out, or even some funky illness. Neptune energies can also manifest as melancholy as we review dreams that may not have materialized, make necessary adjustments, all the while maintaining our faith in life, spirit and the meaning of it all.

With Neptune’s foray into Pisces, we have the third outer planet making a sign change since January 2008, setting in motion a series of conditions and events that have global long-term effects. Neptune is entering the modern rulership of its own sign Pisces and expresses itself quite naturally here according to its intrinsic nature. We can expect the need for greater sensitivity and environmental protections, as the harm we have done to the planet becomes more obvious. [And Gaia thinks seriously about giving us an eviction notice. Ed.] We may witness the formation of new religious groups and a reformation of existing religion as we know it. Secrets may be exposed and more leaks of information that some people may not wish to be revealed. On the positive side, new artistic accomplishments will flower in all fields, especially music, but all across the artistic spectrum. In essence it is a cultural call for greater refinement and attunement to what we often take for granted or fail to notice.

Neptune was discovered in 1846, and entered Pisces on 4/26/1847 through 1861. Oddly enough, Uranus was also in Aries (although farther along in the sign) when Neptune entered Pisces for the first time (since its discovery). This is only the second time, after Neptune came into our consciousness awareness, that Neptune is transiting Pisces! Both Neptune and Pisces are tricky. They operate on a completely different level. Pisces is known for its hyper-sensitivity, compassion, diffusiveness, spirituality, dream-like imagination, second-sight, idealism, patronage of the arts, and the ability to dissolve barriers of all kinds for greater unity. Negative manifestation includes: dissipation, neglect, addictions, deception, drugs, theft, scandals, and secrets. A few highlights of Neptune’s last transit through Pisces include: new social movements, such as Marxism, emancipation of slaves, the start of the US Civil War, the California Gold Rush, the Romantic movement in music, and transcendentalism.

We’ve only had four months of Neptune in Pisces so far in 2011, which we have not experienced for 166 years! As we begin to integrate with this complex novel energy infusion, you may notice a greater sensitivity or subtlety. Neptune dissolves barriers and that is one of the reasons a positive Neptunian response often allows greater compassion for human error and human frailty. Neptune deals with the unseen and the unnoticed and often accounts for spiritual breakthroughs and even paranormal experiences. I believe that this transit of Neptune through Pisces will loosen the boundaries between the material realm and the spiritual or energetic realms. Many of us will experience more than can be easily explained through the measurable functions of science. This can be a time of high magic but also the stripping away of illusions and deceptions and unless one has a strong inner core, the disillusionment we find may destabilize us. Practice faith in the joy of being alive and the true mysticism of that fact alone, no matter what your religious beliefs may be. Neptune is magical and a component of magic is addiction, as we seek to recreate the transcendence of blissful states that allow us to escape the harsher realities of everyday life.

Pluto turned Stationary Direct @ 4 Capricorn on 9/16/11 until 4/11/12. Anytime an outer planet slows down, stops, and reverses direction, its characteristic energy is amplified. Pluto is our slowest moving planet [Yes] and for several years now it has been processing the growing discontent with systems that have failed us and failed to provide the kind of security society expected. We’ve experienced various breakdowns collectively and personally yielding quite a bit of instability and insecurity. This station could very well deal with financial issues and the pragmatic concerns of unemployment, but more directly where the money is, who is holding it, and why lending isn’t forthcoming. It is quite possible that a bottleneck will open and more money will flow to fuel jobs and fund business. At least these seem to be the issues surrounding this Pluto Station. (The gold bubble and Germany’s bailout in the Euro crisis with defaulting Greece.)

Uranus re-entered Aries on 3/11/11, and remains there until May 2018. This is the biggest news of March and beyond, and heralds a new upward spiral in social and cultural evolution. Last summer, Uranus teased us by parking itself and remaining only at 0deg. Aries (the powerful degree of the Spring Equinox) from 5/27-8/13/10. Now it really means business – it has engaged into its full cycle. Any planet in the first sign of the Zodiac wants to start a fire, begin something new, innovate, and create or reinvent something in its own image. This combination can certainly be aggressive, bold, courageous, willful, and because of the influence of Uranus, unexpected and explosive. Most of the previous text was written well before the popular uprisings (conflagrations) in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and other parts of the Middle East. We are seeing the effects of individuals asserting themselves in their striving for personal freedoms that they believe are their birthright. Repressive regimes will no longer be tolerated. Aries represents the new and renewal – as it emerges from the dreams of the previous sign, Pisces. It burns with the fire of justice and courage to be free at any cost.

Saturn entered cardinal, air Libra on 10/29/09. The full cycle lasts until 10/6/12. Let’s speak to the greater implications of this 2.5-year Saturn-sign cycle. Saturn is exalted in Libra. This so-called “essential dignity” means there’s more of a commitment to promote cooperation and harmony among equals. Or, we can say, that is the primary striving in this combination. The collective will be more focused on what is fair and equitable and what is not. Generally, the message is to find the imbalances and rebalance as needed. Where are you giving your commitment and attention? Are the returns you receive what you really want? If not, then adjust those commitments and relationships for greater equality and fairness. Saturn in Libra also asks – what matters and what is valuable? When there is real value, it is easier to make a commitment for a longer time and with greater attention and intention. All major relationships and, in particular, those with Libra/Aries Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, will be put to a greater test. Saturn in a cardinal sign is more proactive than in other signs, and you may find that you seek order from recent chaos and productivity from prior stress and mess.

Saturn in Libra addresses the questions of balance, fairness, relationships, negotiations, and compromise. With Saturn there is always some kind of evaluation, some testing of standards met or not, and have we achieved what we set out to do in the various areas of our life? If we feel we are out of balance, then we will want to rebalance, or renegotiate the contracts we’ve made. Saturn will be backtracking now, to refine those imbalances and to test the rebalancing that you’ve begun. What is it exactly that makes for harmony and contentment in your life? All Libras, Aries, Cancers and Capricorns are feeling this testing the most.

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MINDWORKS services include: Timing and Electional work (dates for surgery, weddings, business openings etc.), Composite/Davison Relationship and Couples analysis, Children's Profiles and private tutoring. Meta-Coaching sessions involve eliciting the astrological and sacred dynamics of your chart to empower realization of your goals and find satisfaction in self-expression. An active writer for national magazines and online sites, collections of Dorothy's articles are available upon request. Dorothy writes a weekly ezine, Planet Weather, published for the past 15 years for enthusiastic subscribers, which includes social, cultural and political commentary. She has frequently appeared as a guest on TV, hosted her own radio shows and has been interviewed in the print media. In October 2000, Dorothy published her text, Compatibility & Conflict for Romantic Relationships, as a computer interpretive report, followed by Compatibility & Conflict for Friendship and Business in October 2002. Her first book, Planetary Resonance was released in May 2012. Dorothy currently serves the community as Chair of the ISAR Ethics Committee including Ethics Awareness Training.