Sunday, November 20, 2011

Astrological Energies November 21 to 27, 2011

Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Last January's partial Solar Eclipse, as seen from Dinslaken, Germany (photo by Dan Hopper)

THIS IS A VERY FULL WEEK astrologically, highlighted by the partial Solar Eclipse/New Moon in Sagittarius. I wrote last week that we've already been working with the influence of our upcoming eclipse pair for a week or more -- have you been feeling it?

Yes, the energies have been building, and will continue to strengthen this week, peaking at the time of the eclipse -- which is either late Thursday or early Friday, depending on your location's time zone.

I asked in meditation this morning what this upcoming Solar Eclipse is about -- and I received an image off to my right-hand side that looked like a capital letter "Y". And, just in case that wasn't clear enough, then on the top of the stem of the "Y" was placed a fork (as in the eating utensil). So it looks like this week's eclipse represents a fork in the road, and that we will have a choice of (at least) two options as to how we go forward from here.

NOW THAT I REVIEW the planetary aspects for Thursday, I can clearly see the aspect that the "Y" was referring to. Jupiter is quincunx the Sun on Thursday morning, which means that the chart for the eclipse contains this aspect (and a quincunx between Jupiter and the Moon as well, since the Sun and Moon are aligned for the Solar Eclipse).

A quincunx (sometimes called an "inconjunct") occurs when planets are 150 degrees apart. The symbol for the quincunx aspect is a straight horizontal line on top with an upside-down "V" directly underneath:

This symbol gives a clear visual image of the how energies of the quincunx work. When planets are 150 degrees apart, they are in signs that are incompatible according to their element and basic motivations. Those incompatible energies are represented by the two legs of the upside-down "V".

When the two planets involved in the quincunx meet, they come to a stalemate, represented by the horizontal line in the symbol. To go forward when working with the energy of a quincunx, we can't just choose one side or the other. Both are "right," and yet they are so different from each other, our brains have a hard time figuring out how to allow both to exist simultaneously. Somehow, we have to utilize both of these incompatible energies, and create a new road from the paradox we have encountered.

JUPITER IS IN TAURUS right now, and Taurus is a fixed earth sign -- grounded, practical, stable, and persistent (some might say stubborn!) with a strong need for security, familiarity, and comfort. On the other side of the quincunx on Thursday will be the Sun and the Moon in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, known for being active, outgoing, adventure-loving, and openminded (some might say changeable).

It's easy to see the differences between these two signs. So, how do we find a new way to go forward from this place of impasse, which is emphasized by the fact that it occurs as an important ingredient in this week's Solar Eclipse?

THE BOOK Dynamics of Aspect Analysis is my favorite resource when I'm looking for a more indepth understanding of the different astrological aspects. The author, Bil Tierney, writes this about a quincunx:

"Its basic role is that of breaking down and removing those non-effectual attitudes that interfere with our ongoing growth... It compels us to probe deeply within ourselves [and to] transmute our awareness to even higher levels of consciousness. Self-mastery (turning power inward) must now be sought out... Once we learn to inwardly alter whatever is no longer of value for our inner growth, we find ourselves more capable of undergoing a rebirth. Life will force us to inspect those personal attitudes that are best outgrown rather than retained."

If we're looking for what "non-effectual attitudes" this quincunx and Solar Eclipse are asking us to "break down and remove," we can review the lower-vibrational traits of both Taurus and Sagittarius for clues. Not all of us will have all of these qualities that we need to work on, but no doubt most us will have one or two that sound uncomfortably familiar!

And please note: All signs have both higher-vibrational and lower-vibrational traits, so this list does not, in any way, completely define these two signs.

AS WE WORK WITH the energies of the Solar Eclipse this week, the "non-effectual attitudes" we may want to consider letting go of this week include attachment to comfort and sameness (traditions), possessiveness, stubbornness, resistance to change and the input of others, and always doing things the same way, even if another way might be better. That's the Taurus side of the equation.

We may also want to see if we might benefit from releasing these attitudes: self-righteousness and needing to be "right," keeping our distance, not really listening to what others are saying, prejudging the present based on the past, resisting ideas that are in some way foreign, and taking ourselves too seriously. That's the Sagittarius side of things.

In letting go of these lower-vibrational attitudes and tendencies, the quincunx is telling us that there is a way to go forward that incorporates the positive (higher-vibrational) qualities of both Taurus and Sagittarius. We can be both grounded (earth) and inspired (fire), reliable (fixed) and flexible (mutable). We can be both human and spirit, living with conscious awareness of both the physical plane and the spiritual plane.

Sounds like this eclipse is marking another major step in our "ascension" process, eh?

AS IF AN ECLIPSE weren't enough, we have a lot of other planetary events going on this week as well. One of these events is Mercury's station on Wednesday, the beginning of its three-week retrograde (reverse motion) phase. Typically, Mercury retrograde is our opportunity to review instead of initiate plans and projects. It's the "down time" for our internal computers, and sometimes our external computers, too.

Venus is also very engaged in aspects this week, which means relationships, values, and finances will be very present in our awareness -- very appropriate for a holiday (in the U.S.) where most of us gather with family. These are occasions when we often come into greater clarity about what we really value and where we want to invest our time and energy.

AS WE WALK through the energies of the coming week, we can keep in mind that a Solar Eclipse is a New Moon, and therefore the beginning of a lunar cycle. Over the two weeks that follow, we are likely to become more fully conscious of how to work with the issues that are raised now, as we move forward into the energies of the Total Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon on December 10.

We also have new opportunities with this Solar Eclipse, a new source of support for making changes and breakthroughs that we may not have been able to access before. While lunations and eclipses normally repeat their zodiac location every 19 years, this week's Solar Eclipse is a "new" eclipse -- which means it was a New Moon but NOT an eclipse 19 years ago, 38 years ago, 57 years ago, etc..

Eclipses provide opportunities to break through karmic patterns and release karmic agreements. Since this is a "new" eclipse, each of us is empowered at this time to move forward more lightly, having let go of some of the karmic baggage we've been carrying until now.

Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings,


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MY HEARTY "THANK YOU" to everyone who attended my teleclass last Thursday! It was great to have so many people sign up -- I hope you each found the information and insights helpful, and that your experience of 2012 will be enhanced through knowing what's going on astrologically.

If you were not able to attend the class, you can still purchase access to the audio replay and the PowerPoint slides (in pdf format). Just send your request to, and we'll take it from there.

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