pisces 2008

IT HAS BEEN nearly four years that Uranus has been in your birth sign, and it's likely you've built your identity around this transit. Uranus is the character from astrology that most closely resembles Prometheus: the forward-thinking, inventive and daring character from Greek mythology; the friend and advocate of mankind; the one who felt that humanity and the gods deserved at least some of the same power.

Pisces is the Omega point of the zodiac, the end of the cycle. Uranus is striving to take everything you have learned from all your other journeys and help you apply it to your life, and to the world, in these years.

Remember that story, where Prometheus steals fire from Mount Olympus and brings it to people? Well, you have taken on some of those properties, some of that passion for setting yourself free and consequently, for spreading the energy of liberation. Other qualities associated with Uranus include a restless drive for innovation, an inventive quality and the ability to make a personal sacrifice for what one perceives as right.

You must have noticed that something has been driving you forward these years, with a relentless sense that you need to try one more time to get it right, whatever you are doing. If you look back at what you have accomplished, remembering where you were at four years ago today, I think you'll be impressed.

Definitely notice what you've done, and what you are doing; but temper your pride in your achievements -- it will only get in the way of your ability to vision your future. But let's start with noticing. Perhaps make a list. Find some way to refer to where you were at between late 2003 and early 2004, and get a sense of what you were thinking at the time. Consider both what you have done, and what you planned to do that you did not get done. I think that the first list will be a lot longer than the second one.

Compare your creative or professional work from then to what you are doing now. Most important, compare your psychological state. An interesting shift has occurred. If Pisces has a sleepy quality, Uranus brings the energy of awakening, awareness and radical perception -- the ability to see down to the roots of things, and this has kept you awake and wanting to know more. Curiosity is a potent quality of Uranus.

More than this has been an impulse to do anything, it's really been about you reinventing yourself. This, you have done so fast (and so well and so many times) that it's a small wonder anyone could keep up with you. Well, a few people could keep up, but a couple of others are finally starting to catch up. I don't think you're slowing down; it's just that no other planet processes information and experience quite as fast as Uranus. And there are few planetary energies as good at 1) attracting people and 2) repelling them.

Most people don't know that they need both abilities. If you look at who you have drawn to you and who you have scared off like a bunny, you may surmise you had the right idea all along. It all comes down to this. The only people you can really tolerate under a potent Uranus transit are those who are devoted to their own freedom, creativity, passion and living directly in the moment. Everyone else will feel boring or like a sham.

You don't want to walk around judging the world, and you don't have to. You can merely quietly assess, being honest about your responses to people and to what they do to one another. As the year begins, you are also being visited by the goddess Pallas Athene, the second ever minor planet (discovered in 1802). She is named for the goddess Athena, who grants wisdom, protection and negotiating skills. She will help you present your most radical ideas in the most appropriate ways. Count on her. Count on yourself. Be aware in those moments when you are doing something you once perceived as impossible, as if they were easy.

This is not an accident. Your progress at this time in your life is based on years of visioning, faith and worldly effort at creating what you are so determined to create. You have only begun to make your way in the world. The ingress of Pluto into Capricorn speaks of the impact you will have on the people and organizations around you, but this is based on one salient fact, which is your commitment to honesty with yourself.

Close Encounter of the First Kind

ANYONE WHO has ever worked a bathtub is familiar with the nature of water. If you run the tub too cold, you have to put what seems like a lot of hot water in to bring the temperature up a little. It always takes longer than you think. You can keep running the water and it seems to not change temperature at all. Then suddenly it reaches a threshold and then, to perception, the temperature jumps and what was cool a moment ago is hot right now.

People around you have recently noticed this sudden jump in temperature, or they soon will. You experienced it gradually, so you probably did not notice. But all at once, your life is different, and you are being treated differently. You have slipped into your own presence like a hand into a glove; like a soul that fits into a body. That has actually made it easier for you to connect with others and for them to connect with you. The great lesson of these years is that the more in harmony with yourself you are, the easier it is to be in harmony with your environment.

In late summer 2007, Saturn ingressed your opposite sign Virgo. That is your solar 7th house, your house of relationships and other key partnerships. Saturn in this house has several effects that are typical, and some of them occur simultaneously. Change is the keynote; with Saturn, that usually implies a lot of progress. One quality is that it clears unstable relationship situations out of the way. Saturn is deeply concerned with the purpose of things, and whether we are aligned with that purpose. In this sense, the transit represents a test of your relationships on the level of their meaning, and it's really one from which there is no turning back.

Saturn on any angle (the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th house cusp) represents a distinct break from the past, potentially including places and dwelling spaces; notice what happened. Saturn transits are some of the most distinct turning points in most lifetimes. It is a waste of energy to fight these changes, which you've probably been courting for a long time. It makes much more sense to use the awesome energy of Saturn to clear out the old energy and circumstances, resolve them as best you can, and move on. It is also possible that a pre-existing long-term situation will find a new role for itself, a new mission.

The second typical manifestation of 7th house Saturn is that a new relationship or key partnership appears on the horizon. Saturn always represents someone or something of substance, and this would qualify as a way to describe what is developing. It's just that it may not be in a form you quite recognize yet. Saturn, to you, can represent someone who is mainly a friend, and it can also represent an expression of a side of yourself that is deeply hidden in your psyche. You may not quite be finding the warm, wet and squishy quality of encounter that Pisces prefers, but rather the world is meeting you on serious terms, with serious intentions. Keep your sense of humor and remember that it's a barometer of how you really feel.

Because Saturn often represents a boundary, you may find yourself in a situation where the contact seems to not be close enough, where there is some kind of delay involved or where there is a difference of age, temperament or apparent purpose in life. But the relationship is there. Something new and perhaps unusual is available, and it's up to you to make the most of it. The best way to do this is a little bit, every single day.

That is a devotion. Saturn has a lot to say about this topic. There is a building process with Saturn involved, there is a structuring process and at times a layering(or unlayering) process. There is that sense of building respect in the long term; everything about Saturn has a long-term quality and you will benefit from this.

Given the fact that the planet you're personally identifying with is Uranus (revolt and innovation), and the one that is showing up as your relationship indicator is Saturn (dependability, stability, boundaries), there is a significant contrast that you need to acknowledge and be aware of. Saturn moves slowly. Uranus moves in quantum leaps. Saturn is about consistency and honoring tradition; Uranus is about innovation and overthrowing the ways of the past. You may feel like there's some impossible quality about this situation, something that might never work out. Let's call that a healthy respect for the unknown.

You may not see how these odd pieces fit together. You may not see how something that seems intractable will release itself. You may not quite understand what is motivating you on the deepest level; and in all of these things you need to have faith.

Not passive hope, but active faith that you are growing toward your destination while you do your utmost to live every day to the best of your ability. That means loving the people in your life with all their limits, their gifts and their opportunities for change. Spend no time waiting; spend every moment living consciously. Give yourself the freedom you need to be who you are, and make sure you consciously give everyone the space to deal with it themselves.

Let your energy signature bear no trace of hypocrisy; of jealousy; of self-righteousness -- keep yourself grounded, be honest, strive for total awareness if not impeccability.

Uranus and Saturn have at least one thing in common: they honor necessity, and you can be sure that people need you. They have at least one other thing in common; they will be meeting in an exact opposition toward the end of 2008. This is the real turning point, the meeting point or the point of departure. Remembering that there are likely to be several situations developing or resolving themselves, this opposition (which develops well into 2009) is likely to represent some of both. They have one last thing in common, which is that they are associated with the sign Aquarius. And here, we move into an intense story involving the small worlds. We will now investigate an aspect of your life that is somewhat beyond your ability to perceive it, but astrology will help us shine a light and focus a lens on what is so.

An Introspective Vision: Chiron in Your 12th House

Pisces is the Omega point of the zodiac: the last sign. It is more often said that the unfinished business of the past collects in the sign of the Fishes than it is said that all the underutilized wisdom of the past makes its home here. But one cannot be true without the other. Everything ends up in the sea -- everything. But the sea has a way of purifying itself, of regenerating, and of nourishing all life in the process.

Furthermore, karma -- all that stuff from lifetimes of history -- has a good use. Trees do not usually grow in the desert. They more often grow in soil that has been enriched by centuries of life composting over and over in an endless cycle.

Aquarius is for you the 12th house, the personal Omega point of your life and the spawning ground for the life that you will lead in the future. Currently there is enormous energy coming through Aquarius, and if you feel off to the side and behind usual consciousness, you can feel it.

For nearly a decade, one of your ruling planets (Neptune) has been in this house. The 12th has many themes, and one of them is fear. The 12th also has a quality of negation or denial. At times it may feel like you don't exist; like you're invisible; like you are in a continuous, slippery misunderstanding with yourself. Living with this takes discipline, and part of that discipline is gathering the benefits of your experiences and your perceptions.

In recent years, however, Neptune has been joined by a conjunction of two Centaur planets, Chiron and Nessus, and this gives you some traction. A truly amazing long-term story is developing now (this culminates in 2010, and while that may seem a long way off, it is in truth right around the corner -- in part because the astrology is accessible right now; the future is now). In any event, Chiron and Nessus are putting a microscope to your fears, your desires, your extremely rich fantasy life, your creativity and your sense of connection to the cosmos. Every sign has its distinctions. For Pisces one of those distinctions is the way in which you actually have a relationship to all of creation, all potential, and the hopes, dreams and nightmares of the entire human race.

These two distinct planets (described carefully in the minor planet encyclopedia) are plunging you into the depths of your inner psyche. Nessus is taking you on a tour of the dark side -- all the grim possibilities you are aware of; all of your unrealized or supposedly unrealizable potential; your sense of isolation; the inevitability of your own death. Nessus is telling you that what you have set in motion will have consequences. But to understand those, be honest with yourself what you have indeed set in motion.

You may be able to perceive, through Nessus, just how vulnerable you are. That is ever a good thing to be aware of on our planet. Remember that the 12th contains things that are more akin to the substance of dreams than of reality -- but they are extremely realistic ones, and you have a way of weaving those dreams into something real.

Chiron, also in Aquarius and your 12th house, is pointing you to the light, but it can be painful, too bright, glary, daunting. If Chiron shows you how deep is your need to connect with God, with nature or with your own nature, it often does so by showing us our weaknesses and making us come to terms with them. But Chiron does much more, teaching us how to heal; cracking open the sky and allowing the great rays of creation to shine brighter than the Sun. You might doubt these; but please, acknowledge them when you see them.

The problem with the 12th house is that we don't often believe that what it contains is actually relevant, or real, or possible to share with others. The 12th is full of doubts about reality, and yet possesses a strange sense of being deeply immersed in a reality far greater than yourself. In truth, the 12th can mimic any house or sign, if we can adapt to its highly fluid and unpredictable energy -- and if we know how to manage fear and our sense of cosmic injury.

And that is pretty much the bottom line. We all to some degree possess a sense of not belonging, of being wrong, of being too strange for this strange planet. Even if you're one of those "absolutely normal" [I typed 'moral'!] people from out in Buffalo, NY, you will sooner or later come to a point in your life when you feel like you have your feet straddled between two irreconcilable realities. Sooner or later, a human mind questions existence or it's fair to say that it is not aware of its own existence.

Chiron is revving up this dual sense of cosmic wound/cosmic connection. In the process, you have one of the most powerful inner periscopes that has ever existed. The fact that you are capable of so much doubt is an excellent sign -- it's evidence of a conscious relationship to the cosmos, to existence, to life, to death and what exists beyond the teacup ride we're all on.

And if you can reduce this to one feeling, one essential idea and bring that into your relationships -- a brave move, I know -- you will give yourself and your loved ones a gift that they will treasure for eternity. You can be sure, at the same time, that as you explore your access to so much that is beyond this world, your relationships will keep you grounded and clear on the physical and emotional planes of reality.

I will end this section with a quote from the shorter edition of the annual horoscope (the January monthly), which may make a lot more sense now. Here it is:

"If you tell yourself the truth, you can do just about anything else you want. That is the price you will have to pay in order to go to the next level or stage of your life; the price of freedom. This is a small tariff for some people, and the highest there is for others. Which is it for you? While you're sizing that up, you can also size up the price of any other way of living, and there are several options, to be sure. Of course, the real price of the truth is that which is not true. For some people that is no price at all; for others, it would represent the collapse of their entire existence, at least psychologically. Now, as a Pisces, you need your fantasies, and you need your dreams. But you need them in moderation, like any drug or substance (including art and music) that provides a pathway beyond the rational world."

Your Resources and Your Money

The great Lois Rodden, perhaps the most practical astrologer of the late 20th century (there were not so many), once said that most astrologers think Mercury is the money planet, and they are wrong: it is really Mars. Her reasoning was, you need energy to create wealth. You need to focus your will. Mars, and Mars again. This works well for you, because you have Aries on your money house, the 2nd, and Aries is the sign that's home to Mars (Mars is sometimes called Ares in mythology, so they are nearly one and the same).

To have money, you have to envision it. You need to see, feel and experience yourself with that money, and you must connect with the fact that money is an energetic substance that flows through you specifically because you open up, and focus your intent, rather than comes to you because you want it or need it.

You need to devote yourself specifically to the task, and that can be dangerous. It can be dangerous because it's easy to identify with money rather than with your more unique, original or organic resources, and then the idea of resources for their own sake can take over. That being said, devotion is essential, which means applying energy and will power; and that, you can surely muster if you want to.

Yet the real trick is identifying with being someone resourceful. There is an element of trust involved. Most of nature operates on a sustenance basis, but all living things have the ability to store up energy. In this scheme, humans either exceed the rest of nature and accumulate way more than they need; or they seem to barely survive. What you need is a balance, which starts with awareness.

At the core of the process is seeing yourself, envisioning yourself, and stretching into experiencing yourself as someone who possesses wealth and uses it effectively. Above all else, this idea of identifying with wealth, with abundance and moreover with being resourceful, is the key to your financial success right now. You must create the identity of a person who is properly cared for, has adequate supplies and has enough left over to experience some sense of having extra to save or invest.

You will learn a lot from listening to the things people say about money, particularly the ones who have what in common parlance we call money issues. I think this will prove my point, and we can move onto our last subject for the moment. If you listen, you will hear that most people, rather than saying they don't have enough money, make a case for why that is, which is in turn based on who they think they are.

They specifically identify with their condition, as if it were them. And it works great! They usually stay just like they are! It works the other way too -- if you identify with abundance, you will begin to live the benefits of that choice.

Small Causes, Big Effects: Career & Creativity

Mars has been dancing around your 4th-5th house cusp -- where the need to be secure meets the need to take a risk. At the moment, Mars is retrograding right on that line, and about to re-enter your 4th solar house. You are experimenting with passion, with creative drive, and with an inner quest to dismantle your insecurities.

Through this process, it's becoming clear that you're the most creative at home. If I were to design a house for a Pisces, one room would be dedicated to music with about 100 different instruments, another to painting, and another to high-tech. One room would be devoted to opium and sex, and the kitchen would be decked out. And we cannot forget the Jacuzzi room. Notice -- a room for every creative state you can explore.

I can see from where Mars retrograde is situated that you are not only attempting to make such changes in your home space, you are succeeding. Take control of your space; let go of your fear, and put your space to work for you. Make it carry its weight so that you can pull yours. But we both know that one solid reason for this is to kick your professional life into overdrive. That it seems to be doing, or it will be, before you even know it, but your help is instrumental now.

I say this because Pholus is in your 10th house, that of your career. Have you ever played with a CO2 fire extinguisher, the kind that spews out that thick white gas with a roar? You give the thing a little squeeze, it roars and there's white, smoky thunder. That is Pholus. And Pholus is crossing your 10th house, ready to roar, ready to set things into motion that you cannot imagine.

The thing about Pholus is that small causes lead to big effects. Big, far and wide, highly unusual -- it's all in the cards. So much so that your foundations must be very strong for the journey you are now embarking on. That's why I suggest you stick to designing your home as the perfect creative space, and then from there, aim for the universe. Don't skimp on what you need, but make sure that you really do need what you think you need, and do the job right the first time.

In any event, Pholus speaks of something you absolutely must do, and of which you cannot predict the results. Oh don't worry, you're going to get results. But to make sure they are close to some form of results you want, you must stay close to your creative core. There is no room for bullshit, for throwaway products, for ideas you don't value or work you don't love. If you get rid of everything that does not belong there, your life will have plenty of room for the one thing that does -- you.