by Pam Younghans
THE LAST WEEK of January is already here. It's incredible how quickly time is moving.
Challenges and changes initiated during our recent eclipse cycle continue to reverberate through our lives. At times, it feels like the only thing we can do is to hold onto the sides of the kayak as we go through the waves, trusting that we will indeed emerge on the other side and not just disappear into the swirling emotional waters.
IN COMPARISON to the past several weeks, the planetary energies this week are much less dramatic -- but no less impactful. The primary influence comes from Saturn, who is standing still now, ready to start his retrograde (backward) phase on Tuesday.
A planet's influence increases when it is stationary, which means that this week may bring a reality check for many of us. I appreciate what astrologer Steven Forrest says about Saturn -- that the planet's gift is to help us "see reality clearly and to respond to it effectively and decisively."
Forrest also explains that Saturn requires us to grow in specific ways when it is making a transit to one of our natal planets, or whenever its influence is strengthened, as it is this week. In describing the challenge that Saturn presents, Forrest writes:
"Can you push aside wishful or fearful thinking and respond to concrete issues with self-discipline, patience, and practical strategies -- and, if necessary, can you do it alone?"
SATURN REQUIRES that we take practical action based on our inner knowing, and that we follow through with personal integrity and authority. Because Saturn is currently in Libra, the issues we may be dealing with in particular this week are quintessentially Libran -- relationships, partnerships, harmony, balance, fairness, justice, and interdependence vs. dependence or co-dependence.
It may be the time to make a decision, and we may or may not have the full support of significant others in our actions. After all, Saturn is about building self-respect, discipline and inner authority, qualities that all grow from taking concrete, responsible, independent action in the direction of our goals -- and in alignment with our true values.
A SIDE NOTE: I just took a quick break from writing -- the girls (dogs) were whining to go outside, so I went with them to get a breath of fresh air.
The crows in a tall fir a little ways off were making a racket, as crows do when they are protecting their territory. In between their calls, I could hear a different bird sound, but couldn't see where it came from.
I started walking down the driveway, keeping my eyes on the fir where the exchange was occurring. A few moments later, a bald eagle flew out of the tree and directly over my head, winging for more peaceful surroundings.
I SHARE THIS experience for a couple of reasons. I think we get signs at the times they are most needed, with Nature and Animals being primary avenues through which messages are conveyed. Eagles represent our connection to the Divine and our ability to see an overview of life -- making this particular sign very important for me right now, as well as offering a reminder to all of us in these changing times.
Plus, Eagle came to me right in the middle of writing today's Journal, as something of an exclamation point after my description of Saturn's influence. I believe Eagle's message is meant for everyone who reads this issue, especially those who are working closely with the Saturn energies right now.
With that in mind, I will share an excerpt from Jamie Samm's Medicine Cards about the meaning of Eagle:
Eagle is reminding you to take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life. The power of recognizing this opportunity may come in the form of a spiritual test...
Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible. In learning to fiercely attack your personal fear of the unknown, the wings of your soul will be supported by the everpresent breezes which are the breath of the Great Spirit...
Eagle medicine is the gift we give ourselves to remind us of the freedom of the skies. Eagle asks you to give yourself permission to legalize freedom and to follow the joy your heart desires.
So, we not only see Saturn in Eagle's message (a spiritual test that requires us to face our fear of the unknown) -- we also see the energy of Uranus and Jupiter, now moving into Aries and helping us have the courage to take risks in alignment with our spiritual directives.
I WAS GOING to write a bit more about Saturn in Libra before signing off for today, although after seeing Eagle, anything else feels a bit anticlimactic.
But, it did occur to me as I was strolling my yard that we may have some particular lessons around Libra issues of people-pleasing this week. The planets are always trying to get us to move into the positive polarity of whatever signs are involved in their work. With Libra, the positive expression has to do with maintaining balance and fairness in relationships. The shadow side of Libra is willing to sacrifice one's own truth and values for the sake of harmony -- the "peace at any price" model.
And, because Libra is so able to see both sides of every question, another shadow aspect of the sign has to do with indecisiveness. When we come to a fork in the road and we can see the positives and negatives of both options, how do we decide which road to take?
As Saturn journeys through Libra (July 2010 through October 2012), the ringed planet is helping us gain clarity and objectivity so that we can move beyond indecision and the maintenance of appearances. This week, as Saturn's influence is heightened, many of us may find the courage to make the difficult choice, one that will start us moving down the road toward new life goals.
2011 TELECLASS RECORDING: If you would like to purchase the recording from my class on the Astrological Influences of 2011, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "2011 TELECLASS."
I will reply with instructions for purchasing the recording. You can either view/hear the class online, or download the MP3 file to your computer. I will also send you a PDF of the slides of the monthly aspects, lunations, etc.
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: Please check out my blog for updates at http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/ -- I look forward to your comments!
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