My 'running start into 2011' lasted for exactly one day of super-productivity
at which point I was then struck down by a brutal cold, and spent one long precious week on the couch, coughing and sniffling and anxiously spinning on how much I had to get done but which wasn't going to get done because I flatly lacked the capacity to function.
The timing couldn't have been worse, naturally, since January is typically one of my busiest work periods of the year. Not only do many clients seek counsel during this time for their 'year-ahead' chart-consults, but it's also when I must attend to gobs of year-end financial and management tasks (W-2s! 1099s! Inventory!) for my other business, The Sacred Well. Plus, I prepare for my annual early-February trip to Tucson, which hosts what's hailed as the world's largest gem and mineral show, where I buy delicious stones and crystals for The Sacred Well. Obviously, this was no moment for mucus-related inactivity.
I imagine I would've been more successful at battling this cold had I not filled my final weeks of 2010 with overconsumption of um, let's say, holiday cheer. But my dear friend was visiting from Japan, one yummy meal followed the next (with accompanying beverages, naturally) and hadn't I, like so many of us, weathered enough of a demanding year to warrant a couple weeks' respite from 'having it together'? I figured I could pick it all back up come the first week of January. [Cough, cough, sniffle, sniffle.]
Stuck on the sickbed, I had ample contemplation time. When I wasn't repeating the panicky catalog of all the responsibilities I was shirking (and how screwed I'd be as a result), I did pause to reconsider the astrological potency of those few weeks flanking the transition from '10 to '11. For starters, eclipse periods are always more intense, as their energy emphatically flips the narrative of our life-stories from one chapter to the next. (Flashback: An ultra-powerful total lunar eclipse of Dec 21 10 was followed up with a solar eclipse on Jan 4 11.) But in retrospect, I also wonder if I didn't perhaps underestimate the deep cathartic effects of December's Mars-Pluto conjunction, which were only exacerbated by its tangling-up with a Mercury retrograde, and during eclipse time.
As I wrote then, each act of long-term initiative-setting associated with that Mars/Pluto mood carried impact. Maybe the illness that swept my body so soon after such soul-stirring astrology, in conjunction with my first acupuncture session in over five years, was my physical form's preparatory exercise a clearing-out of whatever accumulated crap would be 'in the way' as I set out to accomplish the transformational plans I have in store for 2011 and beyond.
After all, Mars and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn, a sign sometimes described as carrying a 'late-onset' quality to it. Capricorn types often spend their childhood behaving as 'little adults', already holding themselves to stereotypically high standards before they really even understand why. And a Capricorn influence in one's relationship or career sector of their astro-chart, for instance, can suggest an individual won't meet their best love-match or attain their crowning achievement until later in life. Why wouldn't it take a few weeks for Mars/Pluto-in-Capricorn's subterranean roots to begin shooting its germinated sprouts up into visibility?
On further thought, the presence of the Moon's North Node alongside both Mars and Pluto only added to the uncanny sense that, in order to move forward, we probably had to expel whatever might be holding us back. The North Node always conveys a mysterious pull toward something novel, unfamiliar or unknown, which, if we can only break through the inertia that usually sucks us back onto the path of least resistance to merely repeat what we've already done a million times before, assists us in our evolution. But its energy must be balanced, in an active dialogue, with the South Node the point associated with that all-too-familiar 'path of least resistance'.
In conceiving of my sickness as a late-onset detox from both the heaviness of 2010 and my holiday-time (over)compensations for it (i.e., South Node in Cancer = defaulting to comfort food), I visualized a rubber-band being stretched back, far into tautness, an unpleasant tension to generate the momentum necessary for thrusting itself far ahead into space. And in the process of readying one's rubber-band of self-assertion for release into tangibility, sometimes it prematurely snaps back and stings you on the hand a warning so that, next time, you're better prepared to get out of your own way and let it fly. [End obtuse Robitussin-inspired metaphor.]
My physical unwellness was only compounded by an emotional malaise, courtesy of nonstop sickbed news-watching and web-surfing in the midst of the tragic Tucson shootings and the unprecedented flooding in Australia two events that struck me with a particularly personal poignancy. Perhaps you recall my mentioning earlier in this article that I'm soon heading out to Tucson? It's a town I've come to adore through my annual visits. I was even sadder because it happened there. Then, on to Queensland, photo after photo of entire underwater neighborhoods had me crying in soul-solidarity with the Aussies, my home-away-from-home mates. It hit a reporting crescendo when it hit Brisbane, a city I've long wanted to travel to, ever since I learned they call it 'Bris-Vegas'. The cold mixed with stress heightened my sensitivities, leaving me a weepy snotty mess.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the intended target of Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, was born under a tight Mars-Uranus square and it had been triggered by this same Mars-Pluto-North Node conjunction in Capricorn, which opposed her natal Mars and squared natal Uranus. There's no question that a combination of Mars, Uranus and Pluto energy sometimes points to a violent outcome. This astrological signature, coupled with the fragments of news we're continuing to receive about Loughner's pre-shooting behavior, leads me to conjecture that the seeds of this event had already been firmly planted a few weeks earlier. (More on the Tucson shooting and its impact on America from The Mountain Astrologer here.)
The agreed-upon chart for Australia (based on its Jan 1 1901 federation) was also sharply aspected by this Mars/Pluto/North Node punch, which landed on the country's natal Sun-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. While the flooding had already begun to spread throughout Queensland and elsewhere by mid-December, it seemed to reach a crescendo of worldwide attention by last week, once the impact arrived in the population-center of greater Brisbane. These floods forefront the innate challenges Australia faces (natal Sun-Saturn) as a wild inhospitable land geographically isolated from much of the rest of the world, likely to only become mor 'wild' as climate change progresses and, at the same time, the rebuilding efforts required in the aftermath will be part of the country's Pluto-conjunct-Sun/Saturn necessary rebirth, which will ultimately make it better prepared for a transformed role in the post-2012 world. (More on the Brisbane floods from Darkstar Astrology here.)
As dramatically as my cold/anxiety/malaise cocktail came on, that's how much dramatically better I feel, now that I've given myself a good chance to heal (on multiple levels) and now that Mars is in Aquarius (from this past Saturday Jan 15, lasting through Feb 22). Selfishly speaking, for a guy like me with four planets in Aquarius, this provides just the energy boost I need, to help me make up for all that lost time.
Mars in Aquarius stirs our social consciousness, driving us to extend our energies outward in intellectually innovative and/or eccentric directions to affirm our human connections, behaving with awareness of how our unique approach works with (or, just as likely, distinguishes itself from) what everybody else is doing and to test out our strange progressive notions, to determine whether their brilliance in theory actually pans out, here in routine reality, in practice. (The inimitable Mystic Medusa asks: 'Are You In or Off The Aqua-Mars Team?') Thankfully, this airy Mars should work rather well with both Saturn in Libra and the soon-to-be-in-Aries Jupiter.
Me? I'm just happy to be off the couch and able to have written all of this. Now I'm finally ready for 2011 (right?)