libra 2008

PLUTO ENTERING CAPRICORN touches the home and security angle of your solar chart, the highly sensitive 4th house cusp or nadir. This is your roots, your connection to your family and the past, your sense of security and your sense of place. Though astrologers can never seem to decide whether the 4th or the 10th house is about the father or the mother, I've seen distinct associations to father, and his land or property, connected with this house. The 4th is a house that really is a house; the roof over our heads, particularly for you -- it's in Capricorn, the sign of structure.

Pluto arriving here begins a distinct phase of your life, one where your emotional independence is the keynote. Pluto wants to set you free from unhealthy emotional dependencies. And Pluto at the same time wants to teach you to feel, as apart from your early conditioning. You may find yourself shifting or severing ties to family, setting boundaries with the people around you, and making decisions that once seemed daunting or difficult. In general, you are about to take big strides toward being your own person, in your own way -- and most of all, in your own place or space.

Gaining control over your physical environment is critical with this transit; you will not be in the mood to bargain or negotiate about the "room of one's own" that is perhaps the most familiar phrase in all of feminist literature. Of course, this room is a physical four walls, and it's also an interior space, a space of feelings and sensitivity.

You prefer to live in an organized emotional world, where everything has its place. Though the air signs are often accused of this kind of mentality (particularly your cousins over in Aquarius), you are better than most at keeping your feelings compartmentalized. You're also someone who treasures the past, who has an unusual relationship to the past, and who in some ways may be intractably stuck to the past. All of that is about to change. The movement of Pluto into your 4th solar house starts to open up those areas of congestion, gets the different parts of you talking to the other different parts of you, and begins to draw you into the present like few astrological developments of your lifetime.

Other factors suggest that you are dealing with certain individuals who are themselves doing an excellent job at being stuck in the past and perhaps everywhere else, but I'm describing two different phenomena. There is a difference between having a connection to your history, and being stubborn and disrespectful. You may feel you need someone else to get their act together and make some changes, but what your own astrology is doing is encouraging you to find your own freedom. In particular, you can and must find your freedom from your emotional patterns and from your sense that "this is the way things are done."

I am suggesting that you do nothing less than wage a revolution from the past. In even entertaining this thought, you may get the idea that you're being reckless or irresponsible, defying tradition or worse, defying the authority of your family. That may be how it feels to you, who are so committed to doing things right. But the question is, right for whom?

The reality is you could make good use out of opportunities to do things wrong. By wrong, I mean having the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them -- or to let yourself off the hook for having made mistakes and not learning from them.

Your attitude toward guilt plays a major role in your astrology this year, and it's high time you saw the impact that it has on your life and the lives of those around you.

Guilt is one of those traditions that would benefit from being put onto the fireplace like a pile of old letters. It is closely related to control, in your case, self-control and also the control that others exerted on you as a child. Emotions were a matter of authority. Once we experience something as a child, particularly on the emotional level, it's difficult to let go of. Many factors have been conspiring to do just that, and I will get into them in a bit -- but as Pluto works its way across your nadir this year, you have the most useful factor of them all. It will give you the chance, at once, to be independent and also to discover your own strength.

You may have to pull up some old roots, but you will be putting down deeper, stronger ones. You may find yourself somewhere new and strange, but you have the power to connect to others emotionally from that space.

There is one potentially negative manifestation that you need to be on the lookout for, and it really only applies if you are resisting change, clinging to the past or insisting that you are "right" about how you feel rather than responding to how you feel. Under such circumstances, you may experience emotional power struggles, particularly in your household. If this occurs, you must ask yourself if it's worth the fight. You need to check and see if there is a pattern of any kind that goes back to your family of origin. If you can become conscious of these patterns, you can take away the power they seem to hold over you -- and as a result the power that others seem to hold over you.

Though this process may take a long time (Pluto is in Capricorn well into 2023), what you need to do now is learn methods to work with the energy and the emotional subject matter that arises. One advantage you have is because the creative aspects of your chart are so currently strong (see that section below), you have many outlets for the energy that you liberate -- and you would be wise to use them. Above all else, you are craving experience and a means of expressing yourself. Be grateful that you have something to express and, though it may be challenging at times, a way of expressing it. Though the most obvious emphasis is, at the moment, an emotional one focused on your most private life, everything is pointing you toward creative mastery, erotic breakthrough and creating some unusual contact with the wider culture in the process.

Visioning Your Relationships

YOU NEED TO go beyond the stereotypes of what attracts you to people, and reach for the essence of what does. To do this you will need to see your own prejudices in action, which is not easy -- but it's possible. Your prejudices are likely to function as protective shields that actually protect you from nothing; they are the equivalent of holding your hands in front of your face in a movie.

You will know that you have stepped past your prejudices and their main expression -- projections -- when you stand back and witness the unpredictable process of change that the people close to you are going through. You'll know you're there when you accept that you don't really have an influence in the process, only the choice of whether to hold space for someone, or not.

It may help if I explain the concept of "holding space," since it's not too popular yet. Holding space is making a conscious choice to allow someone to be who they are, and holding open your own emotional space for them to be that way without judgment. It can also mean providing some physical space for them to be who they are, and space in the form of time for them to work out their stuff while you basically compensate by factoring delays, or getting what you need elsewhere. Holding space is another way of seeing the story from their side, but for a time doing so without responding.

This may seem a lot to ask. I would never suggest that you merely let another person's emotional or sexual needs take precedence over your own, unless that is what you really want. I am suggesting that you have a specific need, which is to express yourself in the emotional and in particular, the erotic realms as one who holds space for others. This is a rare gift, you have it profoundly at the moment, and you are one of its beneficiaries.

It includes the ability to allow and embrace the reality of what you are not, as an erotic or emotional experience. To do this, you would be cultivating a kind of radical self-acceptance in addition to the acceptance of the other.

This process is in truth about holding space for yourself -- in particular your creative passions. I will get to that in the next section on creativity and career. Yet there is a connection, in that when you are making space for others, you allow yourself to be who you are, independently of them. You also become sensitive to the often-elusive 'third space' in a relationship, that shared space that two people create with their intentions, love and creative will.

Saturn in the 12th House

However, the most profound and vital space you will be opening up, entering and maintaining is your own private psychic space. Working the background to all your other transits for 2008 is Saturn in your 12th solar house. When slow-moving planets enter the 12th house, the result is a long, necessary and not entirely unpleasant confrontation with oneself.

Saturn through the 12th house has a reputation for being isolating. But I don't think that's the primary intention of the transit. Rather, the 12th can function like a closet we need to clean, and most people would rather not have company for that process, nor do we need it. It's best to take a weekend to yourself and pick which shoes you want to keep and which you want to give to charity.

In terms of the transits that reach into your relationships, two stand out, the first being Saturn. The feeling of Saturn in the 12th is like living on an island. There may be other people on the island, but you're far from the mainland, and the people may not exactly be your type of crowd. So you keep to yourself, mostly. You can leave the island, and people can come to you, but it's far from the land so there is a crossing involved. But when people show up, the contact can be very deep. Yet on some level, human contact that you expect will give you the feeling of completion does always leaves you wanting something a little more, or maybe it's a little different. You can actually stabilize on this sense of change, and grow into yourself as you do.
But you can leave, and people can come to you; it's just not easy, and like a lot of things 12th house, you may look back and notice that you've got yourself into a pattern that you need to notice and adjust.

The 12th often contains many deep and shadowy feelings. This is sometimes called the subconsious mind. It includes the genealogical information inherited through our family tree, and deep patterns ingrained in our history.

Saturn has a way of squeezing them out. It contains what we deny. This house contains the stuff that is typically secluded from awareness. When you wake up from a dream and it's absolutely real and you are soaked in the feeling, you've been in the 12th house. As you go through the day in normal ego waking consciousness, the dream feels like it's contained in some distant place and time yet oddly it feels like it's right next to us. But we can't quite reach it and it doesn't quite seem real. That is a 12th house experience.

For you, with Virgo in your solar 12th house, there are deep psychological patterns, including a kind of all-pervading self-criticism. Saturn is going to purge this, if you cooperate. What you may notice first is that your self-critical tendencies increase, but this is so that you can see what you are thinking and feeling typically below the surface of awareness, or in intangible ways. Saturn is giving substance to these feelings, and also the pathway to action.

We also reach the 12th when we enter a heightened erotic state. There are things that we would never even think of doing until we get into an expanded sexually aroused state, and our ego's defenses are far less effective at filtering out our real feelings and real desires. As you heat up and your mind goes to those places you can't quite speak of, you're entering the 12th house. It's the place where nothing is taboo and there is no such thing as inappropriate. All the normal boundaries of society are suspended, in a way similar to when one is dreaming. Activities conducted in this state are usually kept pretty quiet, precisely because they tend to violate social norms.

Finally, the 12th is the house of prisons and very large institutions. It is the house of anything overwhelming in scope, too large to comprehend. Sex, dreams and the collective unconscious qualify for most people. The place where the prison theme and the other themes correspond is that most people feel sufficiently guilty about their secret sexual desires that they think they will end up in prison if they try them. So in addition to bliss, dreams and transgressing ego boundaries, we have guilt and its various forms of confinement being associated with this house.

And now you have Saturn coming through for a little cleaning up. This is going to shape your relationships, for sure. To the extent you crave contact with others, it may be for exploration or affirmation of your interior 12th house state. In other words, you may encounter things in there that seem absolutely odd: fears, urgent needs, missing pieces, wide-open spaces.

To go with this, you are experiencing something genuinely interesting in your relationship house, the 7th: an extremely rare conjunction of 1992 QB1 and Eris. When I say extremely rare, I mean that using the best technology we have access to, which is pretty good, there is not one of these going back 500 years or ahead about 1,000 years. And what does this conjunction look like?

It looks like a holographic image of a lover that keeps morphing into whatever you perceive it to be. Whether you have one lover or many, or whether your erotic life exists mostly in fantasy (and no matter what your relationship status, your erotic imagination will be one of the dominant forms of sexual expression). The energy of this conjunction is so subtle you might miss it, but it feels like this. One possibility is there is someone in your life who is able to morph into whatever form you need. Their sexual orientation may be entirely fluid; they may have so many facets of personality that you never know who you are going to meet. Whoever you are that day, they will approach you in a new way, and lead you beyond an old idea of yourself.

Another possibility is that it doesn't represent one person, but rather is a modality of relationship. In that mode, you are fundamentally alone, but then you come out of that every now and then and find the right person for your particular need that particular day. Remember that what you are looking for is yourself -- not another person.

In the backs of our minds (12th house theme) we 'know' this, but then if we get to thinking it seems narcissistic. It's time to stop thinking and start exploring. You have plenty to explore, and the idea is that it needs to be from inside yourself, reaching outward. Some of your most erotic moments will be alone, but then if you can take some of that energy out into the public, or into your friendships, you will find that you can share a self-centered sexuality in a generous way. The result will be that you will gently be led beyond your old sense of identity, into a truly unfamiliar state of self-awareness.

In this process, everyone you encounter will be a teacher: the ones who are turned off by you, or who are disinterested; the ones who are compassionate; the ones who are curious about you. Just remember that when we perceive, most of what we perceive is ourselves.

There is one last transit that is, in a sense, competing with your 12th house Saturn experience, and that is the collection of hot, tumultuous energy in your 5th house. These include Chiron, which in the 5th house pushes the yearning for erotic, artistic, creative or any form of daring experience to the max; and Neptune, which can make the imagination soar and can also feel isolating.

This fits the picture in a beautiful way; learning the contours of your imagination will be high on your agenda over these coming seasons. But Chiron is saying remember, there are those times you need physical experience. Be truthful with yourself about them.

Creativity and Career: Quest for Experience

Two of the houses I've covered so far are the misty, watery kind. The 5th is about experience, and that house is currently lit brightly -- Aquarius. Four different planets are joining forces there, and the result is a powerful craving of experience. Typically the 5th is considered the house of risk-taking, art and other forms of creative passion. The assembly of planets you have there is, and has been, making this the focus of your life, but in truth this is really in the early stages. You know you have a long way to go as an artist, but what you may not recognize is that you are on your way.

Two planets stand out. The first, a long-term influence, is Chiron. Chiron will focus everything to the point of a critical turn of events. It will raise the issues, find the weakness in the system, see the flaws, and set out to address them all in a clear, direct way.

Chiron in the 5th is associated with powerful sexual cravings, the kind you cannot ignore. With Aquarius in this house in your solar chart, there is the issue of how you fit into society with these cravings of yours -- the issue of appropriateness. Other factors support this as well, and you would certainly experience plenty of doubt about the appropriateness of what you want at the same time you would experience the desire to have it happen.

Remember, the question is not the answer. Remember too that to do art or sex or take any actual personal risk, you do indeed have to take that chance. More than navigate your way through a maze, you need to assert yourself. The energy of concealing onself is deeply debilitating, and you need to catch yourself every time you do it. I mean in the subtle ways and the obvious ones. This could include using a different name for something you create, limiting what you say because you're afraid someone will find out (parents, ex-husband, boss); it could mean censoring what you say so that you don't offend your circle of friends.

If you are at the point where you are described as, or feel like, you are too much, inapppropriate, disruptive, or like you may get arrested for something you think, say or create -- mazeltov, you are in the right place. This is precisely the envelope you need to push. This goes for any aspect of what you create, call it professional or call it creative. The key is, open up and let the power and ideas flow through you.

In terms of professional work -- it's true that what you perceive as a calling often involves the need to take care of others. I suggest you keep an eye on this. While you need to hold space for others, you don't need to be their mom (unless you are their mom, in which case you just need a bit of balance). Don't fall for the trap that your image as a nurturing person would be tarnished by being a daring, creative or erotically charged person. Again -- beware of hiding yourself. This is an old emotional pattern of the kind that your entire chart is saying it's time to let go of.

Your Resources

I am pretty sure you're going a little wiggy on the resources issue. That is, you may be facing shortages at the moment, or the sense that others will not cooperate with you on your financial goals. I suggest you let this work out. Mars retrograde is messing with your money supply. This is temporary, but the key to success as the retrograde works out through the first parts of the year will be thus: one, think long-term and long-distance. Two, focus on your real goals. You have a tendency to hide those, or make excuses for not being able to attain them. Other people get in the way, particularly when you get into caretaker mode.

Your chart is about as well set up for money as anyone can be, and this is a kind of birthright. You are resourceful and also have access to the resources of others. What you need to do is pluck up some confidence, build on your successes and work the territory. You need to understand, and live the truth, that all resources are shared resources. I know it may not seem this way, but the ultra rich get their money from somewhere and the poor give their money to someone. In between, the economy is a process of exchange. And along the way, all that money comes from trees, oil, paper, air and natural elements. And of course it comes from ideas, which are a natural resource that you currently have in abundance.

What you need are some boundaries between what is temporarily yours and what is temporarily everyone else's. This way you know what you need from them and what you have to offer them. If you view the game as a conscious process of trading, you will fare a lot better at it. Part of the problem is that you tend to confuse what belongs to you and what belongs to others; and others have the same tendency with you. That is the thing to look out for.


Here it is in a nutshell. The astrology of the coming four seasons all points to creating an independent security base for yourself. And it all points to being willing to take some chances. Most of those chances involve daring to be yourself despite what you think others may think.