Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon New Year

That's right, my Western Civvers: it's New Year's Eve (even though it's still morning in my neck of the woods) and it's happening on a Blue Moon, which means the second Full Moon of the month. The last time we had a Blue Moon was May 31, 2007, so you can see the expression "once in a blue moon" in literal action. This Blue Moon is even rarer, though, since it's also a Lunar Eclipse.

I realize this New Year's Eve recommendation may not make me popular among my not-impressively-vast readership, especially since none of you specifically asked for my advice, but this is not the New Year's Eve to party to excess, unless it is a dinner party that culminates in a food fight. Yes, there's a lot of Full Moon energy out there, and it's a Lunar Eclipse, and you may feel as if you are being magnetically pulled out of your home or your comfort zone. This is because of the opposition and possible conflict between the Sun in publicly-oriented Capricorn and the Moon in home-oriented Cancer. You may have the opportunity to attend a party that will increase your public standing or your influence--but only if you don't mess it up by getting plastered and generally loony. You may have the opportunity to spend New Year's Eve with family, which could be quite comforting as long as your family is unmarked by dysfunction in any way.

Still with me?

It takes guts to gently decline getting together with people, many of whom you may barely tolerate, and say no to spending money you do not have on the most loaded night of the year (in the sense of having expectations of tons o' fun, not indulging in your favorite poison--though that naturally goes with the territory). This night is doubly loaded because of the media spotlight on bidding adieu to the naughty aughties, the less than zeroes, or the Decade of Decline; never mind that the next decade doesn't actually begin till January 1, 2011. Yet not only is the Moon in the most home-oriented of signs tonight, Mercury and Mars are both Retrograde. You may be having second thoughts about whatever commitments you made for tonight (Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn), and you may also be confused about what you really want in order to express your joie de vivre (Mars Retrograde in Leo). Collectively, we are entering 2010 as a breech birth: looking backward, pulling inward. A Caesarian section is indicated.

If you can manage a quiet night in with your nearest and dearest, I don't think you'll regret it. If you have no nearests and dearests, it might still be better for you to be a party of one instead of with pseudo friends or desperate strangers.

As for me, who just so happens to be born under the sign of Cancer, I will most likely put my socializing off until tomorrow morning. There's an interesting sounding after-party going on not too far from me, and on a Moon/Uranus trine (exact at 10:43 a.m. EST) it might be worth it to get to sleep reasonably early tonight, wake early tomorrow, and head over there. If that actually happens, I'll be the freshest daisy in that crowd.

Stay tuned for 2010 predictions.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sun/Saturn Square: Astrologese for Sucky

This does not apply to you if you had an unbelievably fantabulous Christmas, whether you celebrate that holiday, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, some combination of the above, or none of the above. For all I know, you found the Sun/Saturn square a comfort instead of a straitjacket. And Mercury turning Retrograde on the 26th (at 9:38 a.m. EST) did not necessarily mean that you had to return gifts, if you were lucky enough to receive them at all, because the pants didn't fit right, the choker was choking you, the throw blanket wasn't your style, you already owned the Beatles box set or Season 2 of Mad Men, or it was No. No way could you keep whatever it was on your person or in your dwelling, not even hidden away in your closet, not even kept to re-gift to some unsuspecting soul next year. For all I know, if you live in the New York area, you liked the cold rain that fell nonstop for over 24 hours, because it made you appreciate yesterday's 50-degree sunshine all the more.

On a personal level Christmas was a hangover, both literally and figuratively speaking. The former I didn't mind so much, as it meant I'd had fun the night before, at a dinner-and-way-beyond party that took away any lingering bitterness I felt over not being invited to an annual party I'd gone to for the past 5 years. The metaphorical come-down I did mind; it wasn't pleasant to see the wrong movie with a close friend after I took the trouble to purchase the Sherlock Holmes tickets online and pick them up a few hours before the movie so we wouldn't have to stand on a long line and wind up getting bad seats (there's only one window at the box office, which is outside the theater). We even met 40 minutes before the movie was scheduled to start in case everyone else had also decided to pick up tickets in advance. I was that paranoid about the Sun/Saturn square, since it was exact at 6:58 p.m., 2 minutes before the movie was supposed to begin. The usher told my friend and I to go to the theater upstairs, but we were too busy catching up on our respective Christmas Eves to notice that the small sign about 20 feet above our heads read Avatar and that it was the other stairs we should've been taking to the other upstairs theater. We also didn't notice anyone holding 3-D glasses. We shut off our cell phones, so did not notice when 7 came and went and they were still showing trailers. Finally, there was an announcement to put on your "Real-D" glasses. Huh?! My friend ran and got them from the lobby while I tried to figure out why I didn't realize Sherlock was a 3-D movie. And when my friend returned, she told me it was already 7:15. There was no way we'd be able to get good seats, or even seats together, at the movie we were supposed to be viewing, which had started 15 minutes ago.

The less said about Avatar, the better. The fact that almost everyone loves this movie, including the critics, is proof that the viewing public's standards have been lowered even more than I ever dreamed possible. It came as no surprise 2.5 hours (that felt like as many eons) later that the usher refused to comp us so we could return to see Sherlock. That was when I finally noticed the sign. I usually love this small, non-corporate movie house, but right then it felt like the equivalent of a highway in New Jersey.

And this personal indignity was small potatoes in the face of what truly made the Sun/Saturn square sucky on a grand scale: that attempted terrorist attack that will now make flying even more of a miserable experience for the 99 percent of us whose main crime when traveling by air is to forget about that dangerous 4 oz. tube of toothpaste or the equally dangerous tweezers stashed away in our toiletries case. I remember when the prospect of flying somewhere got me giddy in a good way. Everything was so laid-back you could even (gasp) smoke on planes, as well as get served a full meal (even if it was kind of gross), plus not have to take your shoes off, get The Wand Treatment, or pay to check luggage. Now I am almost thankful that I don't have the means to fly to Venice or Paris. I feel so sorry for people flying home from family gatherings this week since they'll have to check all those holiday gifts received instead of carrying them aboard the plane in a second bag, and of course pay the airlines more money for the privilege. I can only imagine how humiliating it will be to lose control of one's bladder or bowels because no one is allowed to use the bathroom during the last hour of the flight, and also cannot read a book, access medication, or soothe an anxious child with a stuffed animal because Mr. Teddy might contain explosives. I can only imagine the lawsuits--but then again, perhaps there won't be any, because doing so could land you on a no-fly list. The Sun/Saturn square serves as a grim reminder that the terrorists are winning the War on Terror. Are airlines really any safer because of these arbitrary restrictions? I certainly don't feel any safer knowing that no one can attempt to detonate a commerical plane while standing up or using the lavatory during the final hour of flight. Since Saturn symbolizes limitations as well as structure, I predict that by the time of the next Saturn/Pluto square, those who have no choice but to fly on a plane that they do not own will be locked (Saturn) into their seats and can choose to purchase (credit cards only, please) potties (Pluto) and toilet paper from the airline attendants.

I am not entirely joking about this unfunny scenario.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Spirit: Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction

There has been much astrologizing going on in my life, but unfortunately none of it has taken the form of updating this blog. I hope to begin to make up for lost time as the year comes to a close (more likely, given the aspects, on a bang than a whimper).

A perfect planetary symbol of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays is Jupiter--even though by December 25 we have entered the Capricorn period, the traditional excesses of food, drink, festivities, and shopping for presents mostly occur during the Sagittarius period, which may well be a reaction against the naughtier pleasures of Scorpio (which climaxes, so to speak, on Halloween). Tomorrow not only marks the Winter Solstice, but the exact Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Aquarius, a significant aspect that has been building for weeks. If Jupiter is an apt representation of the holidays, Neptune represents spirit--and presto, we have holiday spirit.

Yet the message of this particular Jupiter/Neptune conjunction is far from simple or placid. It is filtered through the lens of Aquarius, the most complex of the air signs: group-oriented, reform-minded, revolutionary, brilliant, stubborn. During a time that some are calling "Great Depression II," perhaps the most rewarding holiday spirit is to be found among friends, the family you make for yourself. Air is not material; friendship is a present you cannot put in a box and wrap. Compassionate or creative visions (Neptune) may very well hatch between friends or in larger groups of likeminded people uniting toward a common goal.

The health-care reform bill has been a topic of great controversy among people of all political (or apolitical) stripes, and although it now appears that the Democrats have their sixtieth vote in the Senate, the controversy is far from over. Many are also upset about the upshot of the climate talks. It will indeed be interesting to see if there are any mass protests or marches on Washington, especially as inner planets move into Aquarius. However, since this is also such a technologically oriented sign, protests may well have a greater presence online--in blogs, chat forums, petitions, and so on.

The Venus/Uranus square (exact yesterday at 8:52 p.m. EST) was marked by the Northeast's first blizzard of the season, but I read this square as less about the weather than about blowing hot and cold in matters of the heart...possibly not being able to decide whether a situation is platonic or more than a friendly hug goodnight. The far more harmonious Venus/Jupiter and Venus/Neptune sextiles, which are nearly exact at the time of this writing, should hopefully smooth out any lingering rough edges. It is also of interest that the Moon transiting Aquarius will create a pleasant emotional reverberation of the above sextiles early tomorrow morning (for Eastern Standard Timers). The Winter Solstice of 2009 will most definitely not be a boring one.