sagittarius 2008

CONGRATULATIONS, or close to it: you have nearly survived 12 years of Pluto in your sign. Congratulations to the world: it, too, has very nearly survived more than a decade of this journey, but we all know how mysterious the end to any story can be; as of today, it is unwritten. Movies in our current era always have a double or triple ending, which is the thing you need to watch out for as Pluto takes most of 2008 and transits from your sign to Capricorn.

It does not merely disappear; Pluto's movement from your sign to the next will in many ways represent the manifestation of the Sagittarius era: in an earthy sign, where the vision takes root. For you, the movement is from your 1st solar house (identity) to your 2nd (your resources, your values and how you feel about yourself).

This change arrives amidst many others. In the years that Pluto was in Sagittarius (approximately 1995 through the present), many discoveries of new planets were made, and currently they are clustered in your sign. One of the most potent is currently in the early degrees, called Pholus. The key phrase that sums up Pholus in a fortune cookie is "small cause, big effect."

The energy of Pholus wants to release like a hot bottle of champagne. It's as if all this growth you've been up to all these years finally wants to come busting out, if only out of curiosity for what it would be like. There is only so far we can go with theory and internalized process. At a certain point, you need to pull the cork and let it all out.

You must suspect, however, that it's not all sweetness and starlight in there. Pluto has taught you as much. There are few planets capable of fostering such a profound inner confrontation as Pluto, and this has in a sense become second nature to you. You have had to identify yourself with all kinds of things generally regarded as base or common that are entirely contrary to your view of yourself as having already transcended these things. In so doing, you have reclaimed vast inner territory, and have come further than ever before seeing and experiencing yourself as a whole person, rather than just an expression of your idea of what a person is.

Another factor, Ixion, directly cautions you that any potential you may have is matched by some form of shadow (and that every shadow is matched by some form of potential). In other words, one who has the power to create also has the power to destroy, and there are many forms of that. This notion may not be conscious for you; you would be wise to make it so. You would also be wise not to identify too closely with, or be too enamored of, the destroyer aspect, and stick to monitoring the ways that your idle curiosity can indeed run wrangle if you don't keep your focus.

You can be grateful, then, for the influence of Saturn. We are in the morning hours of the Saturn in Virgo phase, which began in the late summer of 2007 and will last about two more years. This places Saturn in an angular house -- your 10th solar house, of career and achievement.

Saturn is a familiar influence to the world, but less so for you: Saturn tends to contain (most people say restrict) potential, and give it focus. You like to unleash potential, and trust that focus will come as a kind of natural consequence. Currently, this focus is on your professional life, which is providing some stability in the form of a high level of responsibility and perhaps obligation to your duties. It's also offering some ambition of a slightly different stripe than you're accustomed to; generally you are content to leave the details to everyone else. At the moment, you seem to be keeping them all to yourself.

Apart from the fact that you're not accustomed to this, I would encourage you to recognize your limitations. There is a lot you don't understand, even though you understand it in principle. For what you are doing, the principle is not enough. You need to apply Saturn to your process of self-mastery rather than that of mastering the world or others around you. Though you have been acquainted with Pluto for well over a decade, and felt its ultra-focused energy radiating within you and from you, Saturn is still here to get your attention. There are few episodes more challenging in astrology than when someone attempts to apply Saturn over others before applying it to oneself.

This we might sum up very simply. Your worldly aspirations need to emanate from your most deeply held personal values. For that to be effective, you need to know your values. And here, the sign change of Pluto is highly significant, because it's going to take you on a long, even endless tour of your inner feelings about yourself. You will have the perfect opportunity to let out some of the deeper values that tend to get trapped in your fear and your odd tendency to get stuck in the past even as you push yourself to explore the future.

Hello Love, You Are From Earth

YOU ARE A HANDFUL but you don't have to be. Please, never confuse the feeling of being from somewhere else, or the idea of being something other than an Earthling, with the actual facts. You are not from somewhere else; you were born here and you live here. You are not some other species, mentally or physically, even though many human ideas are extremely strange. You are one among us. In the Esoteric Astrology tradition, Sagittarius is ruled by planet Earth. In traditional astrology, it is the sign of the world itself, the world you inhabit, and the world where you may (if you wish) seek to love and be loved.

If anything, the ancient masters who gave Sagittarius the Centaur as its image were making the point that you need not only have two feet on the ground, but rather four of them. Not only are you human, you are distinctly connected to your animal nature -- or you must make a conscious effort to do so. The part of you that needs, the part of you that craves contact, the part of you that just wants to fuck, is as much the animal as it is the human.

What people run into is that you are indeed difficult to understand, and you may not see your own complexity. That would be well enough, if it did not have the often convenient experience of alienating people from you. This is a constantly present escape hatch from your relationships. You can always declare that you feel so different, it's not even worth trying to connect.

You do make good use of this relative independence. There is something about you that embodies the inherently human spirit of adventure and wandering for its own sake. Yet there is also part of you that clings to tradition as if it were the last thing that exists. Indeed, for how out-there you are perceived as being, and for as strange as you convey to others that you are, the foundation of your psyche is a values system that does not, in reality, appreciate fast change, and tends to be shy of innovation. It would not be fair to call you stuck, but you have an odd way of running out your tether when you least expect it.

Consider the contradictions this presents for people who want to be close to you. On the one hand, you are the harbinger of the future, or perhaps more aptly, a kind of barbarian in the midst of time, blazing through the unexplored wilderlands of consciousness. Then, in another moment, you could be relying on Emily Post's etiquette manuals for advice about how to set the table, decorate your house or organize a proper wedding. Beneath your abundant futurism are doubts about the future, and beneath your radical independence is a need to work within established, traditional forms of existence that appear to be the dominant values system.

I bring this up in the discussion of relationships because relationships will either be about values, or they will be about clashes in values. It may be cute that the archconservative marries the commie pinko liberal, but if they get along it's because their politics are superficial. When people actually get along, live well together and succeed at something meaningful, that is about their values being in harmony, including a value on respecting differences.

However, it appears that your values system is in the process of a major renovation, and I am sure you will agree, it is about time. You don't need a longer leash, or a leash; you need none at all, particularly from your old ideas about life. Much of the ideas you have inherited have come through your parents and other relatives, and they are verging on useless.

Once you reach that level of self-understanding, it may remind you of the days when people wore a suit to the beach -- not a bathing suit, but an actual suit with shoes and a tie. There is an image of counting pennies when there is plenty in the bank and good food in the refrigerator. Mixed in is a question of how generous you will allow yourself to be with yourself, particularly in the feeling of allowing yourself to be secure. That is a gift you give yourself, not (at this stage of your life) something that is given to you, or that just "comes along." Indeed, you may decide it's time to start smashing those old ideas about life with a sledgehammer.

As you change, your relationships will change. If you notice people treating you differently, check in with these themes. You need to keep the conversation going, however. You do need to explain yourself, your changes, your questions and your needs. Don't expect people to read your mind and remember, what is so obvious to you is less obvious to everyone else -- no matter how intense they feel on the inside.

Money and Resources

On one level, the question comes down to, how much is too much? Then there is the related question of, how much is enough? I speak of both structure and of substance, which in your chart are closely related. How much is too little? By what scale are you measuring? Are you using a slide rule, or good sense? This first stage is about Jupiter, the biggest planet (1300 times the size of our Earth) arriving in Capricorn. Capricorn tends to be connected with all things frugal. Jupiter is connected with abundance and excess. This can add up to the truly strange combination of the feeling of too much and not enough.

This is a lot of stress, and it may lead to plenty of confusion. The likely result will be a collapse of your old values, which fall under their own weight -- setting you freeĀ from a mental prison. This is happening at a convenient time -- your affinity for structuring your finances is showing some excellent results right now.

While this might not be enticing you to make major changes, it will provide you the space and flexibility to do so. You need to take that space, and begin to shift your energy. You have about a year to experiment with something new, but you need to use that time consciously. The theme is about making structural level changes. Structural means not superficial.

From the ground up, you need to reassess how you perceive of your resources. Remember that all wealth comes from the Earth, so none of it is really yours. You might want to consider the Earth in your financial plan -- the impact of your activities on the Earth, and where and how you spend your money such that it is directed at places that respect our small planet.

I also suggest you think for the future, and ensure that you are establishing yourself as someone more financially independent. Pluto through one's 2nd house can create an obsession here, and that will be good to work with for a while. Certainly, the natural contours of life will carry you in that direction.

When it comes to shared resources, remember that the whole purpose of sharing money is to make sure that everyone has enough. This is basic economics. No one person can survive on their own, unless you know how to eat bugs. The entire economy, what we call "the marketplace," actually exists so that we can all survive. Forgetting for a moment that many people merely participate to capitalize and make a profit, you are coming from another place.

What is so interesting about your solar chart is that your striving for independence seems to be born of a profound sense that you depend entirely on others for anything that you need. I get the sense that, because Gemini and Cancer (two signs ruled by rapidly cycling planets, Mercury and the Moon) are involved in your associations with others, you get the feeling that people are simply not consistent and may betray you at any time.

While others rarely observe your fear of depending on others unless they are skilled at perceiving human nature, you tend to feel like your needs are out there blowing in the breeze for all to see; and in response to this feeling, you tend to retreat any time you notice someone has an actual need for you or, more often, when you notice you truly need them.

There are two things that can happen in the process of Pluto leaving your sign. One is that you push this feeling of independence to an extreme, making the point to the world that you are entirely self-sufficient and don't really need anyone. The other is that you honestly admit your need for contact and a deeper need for authentic vulnerability, and admit how little of these things you actually have. That would give you a chance to express your needs in plain talk and clear feelings, an opportunity that will be worth taking.

Doing so would raise a question: What do you actually have to offer? That seems to be the deepest issue of all. Pluto burning into Capricorn reminds me a little bit of digging deep into a mine, to find some precious element at the bottom. This is going to go on for years; more than a decade, so on one level there is no rush. But on another level, you need to live fully, now, and you're not going to live forever. More to the point, you truly need to be free now, and that means free from the tendency to retreat from what you need, rather than going toward it.

And in case you're wondering what money is for, remember that it is a means to an end, not the ultimate goal. If you suspect you have money issues, or if they surface in the course of this Pluto transit, remember that and you will undoubtedly feel better.

Career and Creativity

On one level, you were born to create and explore, but on another, you were born to serve. This is more a question of figure-ground contrast rather than being one of either/or. The mutable cross of the zodiac is your home -- as a Sagittarius, you have close relationships to Gemini, Virgo and Pisces. All four of these signs are involved with serving humanity, each in its own way.

Saturn moving over the 10th house angle of your chart, that is, through Virgo, is emphasizing this point profoundly. No sign is more dedicated to service than is Virgo, and Saturn is the one planet that most effectively dictates necessities. Hence your professional life is now under the influence of a need to serve.

However, this is easily confused with a need to succeed. There is a big difference between service and success. In fact, service is success, in this equation. What else follows (recognition, status, and so on) is an add-on and it can be a serious distraction from what you are doing. I think that in a world where greed is held up as a virtue, we need to question any impulse to serve as originating in something potentially less altruistic.

In any event, if you focus on your commitments and remember that because you are so powerful, it is reasonable to put others first, you will indeed find your success. But this is all a very worldly discussion.

If we look in Aries, your 5th solar house and the one that is most closely associated with the daring drive to create for its own sake, we find the true gem. All creative activity is an experiment in identity. I would go so far as to say that something is art if it changes the artist. There is nothing wrong with doing craftwork and I am sure that you will find someone who thinks that building a ship in a bottle changes him in some profound way.

However, you can do a lot better. You are under the influence of aspects that are pushing you to not only change and grow, but to dare to be someone different. That is a visualizing process, and artistic expression of any kind is like a laboratory for that experiment. I suggest you dare to explore those inner places, ideas and most of all the drive for expression that actually changes you in ways that you could not have predicted. That involves taking a risk -- and it's precisely the risk that will fuel all of your growth and your quest for freedom from the past; the freedom to live your life now. This will have effects that ripple out into your world, but for the moment, this is the one thing you truly take personally.


Part of the challenge of this time in your life is thinking clearly. This will require a combination of ordinary cognition (assessing the facts and seeing what they add up to), conducting studies in cause and effect (if I do this, it will set these effects into motion; my past actions have set these effects into motion); and entering a space of no-mind and coming back with the right answer to any problem or creative puzzle you face. You may just as soon go back to doubting yourself, but I will offer you one significant clue from the astrology.

Anything that might qualify as a right answer or a solution to any issue you face will take your neighbors into account. Pluto in Sagittarius may have given you the idea that the world is about you, and it has at least made you the primary focus of your life. That is true, precisely halfway. It just happens that you were born into a dimension of karma where you must learn to think in terms of the community, and on behalf of the community, in a time when (for our culture) this whole concept has rarely been weaker. You are an idealistic person, and you know this is a service to the world. But now is the time to merge your ideas with the concrete expression of your values, in a way that positively impacts the groups of people you are involved with -- potentially, on the largest scale you can imagine, but most surely on the smallest.

Whether this means serving on the school board, not spraying your lawn with anything that might harm your neighbor's dog, or doing the kinds of highly technical, detailed work that you rarely feel qualified for, the challenge of these years in your life is applying what you believe. This must be in specific, documentable and methodical ways. You were born into this life with a broad brush in your hand. Now you are taking up the fine-point pen; the ordinary hammer and nails; the human hands that touch.