Archive for category Astro4Business Basics

Goldmining

Dear Friend,

Jason bringing Pelias the Golden Fleece; a winged victory prepares to crown him with a wreath. 340 BC–330 BC. (Source:Wikipedia)

In May, I began studying for a Master’s Degree in Archetypal Cosmology and Conscious Evolution.  Although I’m a newbie, so far I understand it to be a study of our psyches as a reflection and expression of archetypes, particularly the archetypes that are revealed in the astrological signs and planets.  This study then leads to the ability to work consciously with these archetypes to further personal evolution and the evolution of humanity as a whole.  It’s an exciting and challenging course already and I’m sure I will understand it much more as I get deeper into it.

As I focus my attention on this new branch of astrological knowledge, I find I have less time to devote to this column.  I am loathe to let it go, but I feel the need to go deeper and deeper until I get to the bottom of something I’ve been exploring for a long time, and in order to take that journey I need to curtail some of my other activities.

So I’ve decided to take a pause, not a break, for a while.  I have many plans for this blog in the future and will undoubtedly continue to post from time to time.  For those who have been with me since the beginning or have joined more recently, I hope to pick up with you again on a more regular basis in the future, when I’ll be able to bring a whole new layer of understanding and meaning to astrology for business.  The intersection of these two environments, astrology and business, is still my interest and there is still so much to explore.

The best bet is to subscribe using the RSS feed, so you’ll know when I post, or when I get back to more frequent blogging.  And don’t forget, there are still over 400 articles here that you can search and use for your research and learning.

I feel like a miner entering a deep cavern, looking for gold.  I’ll let you know when I find it!

All my love,

Ellen

P.S.  As I wrote this, the Neil Young song, Heart of Gold, came to mind.  As I listened to it, I looked at his chart, which contains a Moon/Pluto opposition and a 13 degree Scorpio Ascendant.  In one of those astrological synchronicities, this very moment I’m writing also contains a Moon/Pluto opposition with a 13 degree Scorpio Ascendant!  This combination speaks about digging down into the deepest emotional depths and finding our true home.  Sounds about right to me.

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Taurus Leadership – The Builder

Hello, everyone.

The Sun is in Taurus and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the authentic leadership qualities we naturally possess and allow them to come forward in our business lives. It’s also to better understand others we meet and work with in business.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

What the experts tell us about Taurus

Many of the Taurus traits below were gathered from Bil Tierney’s excellent All Around the Zodiac:  Exploring Astrology’s Twelve Signs.

  • Taurus, as fixed earth energy, pulls together and organizes resources.
  • Contained energy.

    Taurus deals best with practical tangible issues in the here and now.

  • Taurus is methodical, taking time to build structures that ensure durability.  Taurus is known for achieving superior results over a sustained period of time
  • When change is afoot, Taurus needs to ease in at a relaxed pace and consider all of the issues carefully.
  • Taurus leaders have a steady and confident presence. They do not show up as one person one day and another person the next.
  • Taurus is smart about conserving strength and doesn’t waste vitality on inconsequential issues.
  • Unlike Aries, Taurus is a patient planner who can wait for the tide to roll in before taking action.
  • Taurus recognizes and develops others’ raw talents.
  • Taurus understands that to motivate and inspire people a leader needs to satisfy basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals.
  • Taurus brings a stabilizing influence to an organization, carefully building, brick by brick, frameworks of lasting durability.
  • Taurus has stamina and focus, and will not quit a project until it is satisfactorily completed.
  • Beauty in form.

    Taurus hates pressure or doing things it really doesn’t enjoy.

  • Taurus wants to be self-directed and rejects other people’s interference.
  • Taurus is a hard worker and wants to be paid well for that work.

The Bull

Can you feel the essential energy of this sign of the Bull?  Look at the photos and the Taurus glyph:  the strong, contained energy of the bull represents the creative essence of Taurus well.

Before we get into specific examples of Taurus leadership, think about the list above and the images.  What would you say is authentic leadership for a Taurus?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you a Taurus?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Are you steady, dependable, and self-directed?  Are you patient and practical?  How do you handle pressure?

Remember to leave your comments as we begin our discussion of Taurus Leadership.

The Gentle Face of Taurus

For previous posts in this series, see

Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

Aries Leadership – Nancy Pelosi

Aries Leadership – Maya Angelou

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin
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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Welcome Back Mercury – April 23

Mercury (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello all.

At the end of the week on April 23 Mercury resumes direct motion.  Mercury represents our conscious mind and rational thinking processes and includes all forms of communication.  In ancient times Mercury was the god of commerce and is usually represented holding a purse to signify his involvement in business.  He is the god of interchange, whether monetary interchange as in business transactions or purely mental interchange as in the realm of communications.

On the day that Mercury turns direct there is often a tangible outward manifestation of his power.  Watch for that on Saturday (MDT).  You can look for a business communication that resolves a matter from the past and allows it to move forward again.  Or perhaps clarity on an idea that was born about 10 days ago and gets the go ahead today.  Or you may finally get that meeting with the client that you’ve been working on.  Let’s all watch for Mercury to make himself known and share it with everyone in the comments if you notice his presence today.

Don’t be surprised if you feel a little groggy though.  The few days around Mercury direct are like to the few minutes after you come out of a particularly deep sleep.  It takes some time for our brain wave activity to return to its normal state of functioning.  Just like coming out of sleep, it’s good to come out of Mercury retrograde slowly, and not require the top level of mental clarity from yourself or your employees for a couple of days.

Enjoy the transition to Mercury direct!

For an overview of the Mercury cycle for business, see Mercury Retrograde – What’s It All About?

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For an overview of the year, check out these posts:

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Mercury Retrograde – What’s it all about?

Corriere della Sera, The Evening Courier, by Adolfo Hohenstein, 1898. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello everyone.

Mercury assumes retrograde motion today so I thought we should review where we are in the dance between Mercury and the Sun.  The cycle of Mercury retrograde is a tri-annual event and learning to use it well should be in the tool bag of every business person.

First, a review

First, let’s review what the Sun and Mercury symbolize.  In astrological thought, the Sun is the essential Self, the individual spark of life that provides energy, purpose and meaning to all of our endeavors.  In business, the Sun represents you, the leader, in your role as the one who sets the goals and standards, the values of the company, the direction and flavor.  The Sun is the center around which all other facets of the business revolve, including the employees, the customers, the systems, the controls, the profits, and the outcomes.

Mercury represents the mind, speech and communication faculties; all of the conversations, messages, and information it takes to keep things moving.  This faculty of the rational, reasoning mind is inseparable from the essential Self, just as in the Solar System the planet Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.  The Sun has a creative impulse and, in a sense, hands it off to Mercury to bring into manifestation through speech, planning, and enlisting others.

Mercury has two faces.  One we experience 80% of the time, the outward facing mental processes which apply attention toward the tasks at hand.  This is the busy Mercury, the mind that is constantly transmitting, processing, and analyzing information and making literal, reasoned responses.

Mercury’s other face is its retrograde motion, periodic times of looking inward toward inner sources of wisdom. At these times the mind is not so reactive to outer directives, but delves deep into stores of experience and unconscious knowledge to bring back a perspective that only those realms can give.  This is an extremely valuable aspect to Mercury, as important to our mental health and acuity as sleeping is to waking.

Both sides of Mercury are important to expressing our essential selves:  the directly relational Mercury and the inner-tuned awareness of Mercury retrograde.

The Cycle

The Sun/Mercury cycle is always the same, with approximately the same number of days in each phase of the cycle.  Our present cycle began in February and looks like this:

  1. Mercury and the Sun were both moving forward and met at the exact same point in the zodiac.    This was on February 25 at 6 degrees Pisces.
  2. Mercury zoomed ahead of the Sun, all the way to its position today, 24 degrees Aries.  The Sun is 15 degrees behind Mercury at 9 degrees Aries.
  3. Mercury turns retrograde today and begins moving back through the zodiac while the Sun is still moving forward.
  4. Mercury and the Sun will meet again, the Sun having moved forward to 19 degrees of Aries and Mercury in retrograde motion having moved back to 19 degrees of Aries.  This will happen in ten days, on April 9.
  5. The Sun will continue to move forward and Mercury will continue to move back until April 23, widening the distance between them.
  6. Mercury will turn direct on April 23 at 12 degrees Aries. The Sun will be ahead of Mercury at 2 degrees of Taurus.
  7. Now both the Sun and Mercury will be in forward motion again, but the Sun will begin 20 degrees in front of Mercury.  Mercury will finally catch up with the Sun on June 12 at 21 degrees of Gemini.  This is the same stage as step 1 above, but now it’s four months later and the Sun and Mercury will both have moved forward in the zodiac to Gemini rather than Pisces.  And then the whole cycle will begin again.

Mercury, from The Seven Planets with the Signs of the Zodiac, (Hans) Sebald Beham, 1539.(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

The Meaning

So if the Sun is our essential Self and its purposes and Mercury represents our thinking, speaking, and communicating faculties, what does this cycle tell us about the interaction of these parts of ourselves, and how can we use these cycles in our businesses?   (To skip the detail, go to “In a Nutshell” below.)

  • In step 1 above, the Sun and Mercury briefly join together on the exact same degree of the zodiac.  This is the best time for a meeting of the minds, an excellent day for communication and planning.  It’s like our purpose and our ability to represent that purpose in speech and interaction are hand in hand.  It is also a good day to hand out assignments, sending people on fact-finding missions, exploring future possibilities, with a requirement to report back in on what they find.
  • In step 2 above, Mercury zooms ahead of the Sun, moving into the Sun’s future.  In other words it travels farther into the zodiac than the Sun.  It is ahead of the Sun, like a sentinel or a trail-blazer, getting the first look at the lay of the land.  This is the time when your team may be able to see the world more clearly than you, as they fulfill the assignments you gave them hands-on.  It is important to listen carefully during this time and continue to support them as they discover new territory.
  • Today In step 3, Mercury reaches its farthest point ahead of the Sun, stops, and proceeds into retrograde motion.  An interesting thing happens when Mercury starts retrogressing.  It actually covers the same ground it has just been over, in effect, getting a second look but from a different direction.  So it not only has new information for its next meeting with the Sun, but it has actually seen it from two different points of view, once going forth, and once coming back.

    This is the time to pull in those reports, to begin to examine the findings, and to course- correct based on the new information.  It is also a time to gather the troops back into the fold if they’ve been out on their own too long.  Spend this time reconnecting and refamiliarizing yourself with your people and their stories.

  • In step 4, Mercury meets the Sun again, this time in retrograde motion.  It has information for the Sun about the future, it has seen the path the Sun is about to walk.  Another great day for a formal meeting, but this time Mercury, in retrograde motion, is still in listening mode, looking for synchronicities and making connections that aren’t apparent on the surface.  This meeting may need to account for this.  It may be that your best lieutenant has something very important to share but may have a hard time putting it in words.   Or you may have an inspiration that will express itself easily through non-linear means, such as color, or music, or movement, rather than the usual white boards, power point, or outlined memos.
  • Step 5 is a really interesting part of the cycle.  The Sun and Mercury have met and exchanged energy and information, but Mercury keeps moving back in retrograde motion for about 10 more days, while the Sun moves forward.  This is the point in the cycle when the Sun moves ahead of Mercury.  It’s almost like the Sun says, good work, I’ll take it from here for a while, you get some rest.And maybe this is a hint we should take for ourselves and our staff.  Maybe these ten days should be about rest, with the leader taking on the mantle directly for bringing the business forward.  The scouts and emissaries have earned a few days of lowered expectations, and it’s always good for the leader to interact directly with the business environment.
  • In step 6, Mercury resumes direct motion.  During our present cycle this will happen on April 23.  Whenever Mercury changes direction it slows down for a few days, so this is probably not the time to expect everybody to be 100% back on course.  Give it a few days before you start expecting people to be fully back into the rational, linear mode.
  • In step 7, both Mercury and the Sun are moving forward, yet Mercury is quite a bit behind the Sun.  This is the time when the Leader is in their full power, has stepped into their role completely, setting expectations and demanding accountability.  It’s also the time when you can start handing off projects to people; you’re in front, you see the future, you know your ultimate direction.  This is a time of maximum clarity and your troops are awake and alert – even if your only troops are your own faculties.
  • And back to step 1.

In a Nutshell

So here are the key dates for this next cycle of Mercury, starting with today’s retrograde motion (for more detail, see above):

March 30 – Mercury turns retrograde, ahead of Sun.  Action: Teams finish assignments, begin to report in.  Leader reviews.

April 9 – Sun meets Mercury in retrograde motion.  Action:  Meet with your people, collect assignments, listen, and disseminate information.

April 9 – April 23 – Mercury in retrograde motion; Sun moves ahead of Mercury.  Action:  Let your people rest, take the lead, plan your next steps based on new information.

April 23 to June 12 – Mercury in direct motion, Sun ahead of Mercury.  Action:  Leader implements new plans, moves forward; everyone involved in current projects.

June 12 – Sun meets Mercury in direct motion.  Action:  Meeting of the minds.  Spell out your vision, hand out new project assignments, and create exploratory teams for future innovation.

June 12 – August 2 – Mercury in direct motion moves ahead of Sun.  Action:  Teams work on innovation, exploration, future possibilities. Leader manages, coordinates, and provides resources.

And here we’re back to step 1 in the cycle.  Can you see the natural rhythm that comes with the Sun/Mercury cycle?  Shall we give it a try?

For more tips on how to use Mercury Retrograde to your advantage, see

10 Best Practices for Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde – 10 Ways to Engage

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Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For more information on the Sun and Mercury in business, see:

The Sun

Mercury

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

Hello, everyone.

Aries, by Jacob Jordaens ca. 1640. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

The Sun has moved into Aries and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the authentic leadership qualities we naturally possess and allow them to come forward in our business lives. It’s also to better understand others we meet and work with in business.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

What the experts tell us about Aries

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase that captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Aries is “I am.”    In the developmental cycle of the zodiac, Aries follows Pisces, the most undifferentiated sign.  The most important task for an Aries is to recognize that they have a separate, independent existence from the whole.  From the unity awareness of Pisces, Aries re-establishes the spark of the individual self.
  • Every sign is comprised of an element, earth, air, fire, or water and a mode, cardinal, fixed, or mutable.  Aries is the cardinal fire sign.  From Donna Cunningham at SkyWriter we learn that all of the fire signs are likely to be lively, outgoing, action-oriented, and warm.  (Are You a Fire Type? Here’s the Score!)
  • Fire signs can have a genius for enrolling others in their enthusiasms, being an inspiring leader who knows how to make things happen.  (Ibid.)
  • When challenged, [fire signs] can be hot tempered and determined to win you over to their point of view.  (Ibid.)
  • Cardinality brings additional traits to Aries.  Per Donna Cunningham, cardinal signs posses an ability to set specific goals and to go after them with all the strength at their command.   (How Cardinal are You? Here’s the Score!)
  • Aries is perhaps the most cardinal of all the cardinal signs in its strong, vital energy.  (Ibid.)
  • Aries, by Giovanni Maria Falconetto, 1515-1520. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

  • Gunzberg and Brady at Astrologos tell us that Aries is the warrior/hunter archetype:  fundamentally aggressive, courageous, and risk-taking.  (The Zodiac – Urban Tribes, Astrologos Studyshop)
  • Aries are strongly focused, highly motivated, and quick tempered.  They seek constant challenges, big and small. (Ibid.)
  • Aries needs to win and becomes insecure if dealing with a string of failures.  (Ibid.)
  • Debra Silverman describes Aries as the high-energy, high-impact movers and shakers of this world.  (A Fun Look at Aries Zodiac Sign in Action )
  • Debra says Aries people want to get things started and to keep things moving, and this sometimes gets them into trouble with others, as they can come across as demanding and pushy. (Ibid.)
  • Aries people are so outspoken that they’ll speak out for everyone, especially the underdog. If something’s wrong or someone’s being hurt, Aries is the first one to stand up and put their foot down. (Ibid.)

These excerpts really give us a sense of this hot, generating Aries energy, don’t they?

Before we get into specific examples of Aries leadership, think about the list above and look at the images.  What would you say is authentic leadership for an Aries?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you an Aries?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Are you action-oriented and warm?  Are you hot-tempered and determined to win?  How do you handle failure?  Are you a mover and a shaker?

Remember to leave your comments as we begin our discussion of Aries Leadership.

For previous posts in this series, see

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see Astro4Business Month Ahead – March 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Hello everyone.

I hope you’ll enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  It’s a continuation of our Leadership through the Signs series featuring Piscean Albert Einstein.  From our past posts we’ve gleaned some essential qualities of the Piscean temperament which I’ve listed below.  For each of these Piscean qualities I’ve included a quote by or about Albert Einstein which elucidates the keywords.

Albert Einstein in 1931. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Most of the Einstein quotes I found in Wikiquotes and are sourced there.  There are a couple of other sources I’ve cited as well.  Have fun with this look at this fascinating Piscean.

1.  Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.

I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of sudden a thought occurred to me: If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.

2.  Pisceans find freedom through spiritual orientation.

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

3.  Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac, emotional and introspective.

I was particularly won over by his sweet disposition, by his general kindness, by his simplicity, and by his friendliness. Occasionally, gaiety would gain the upper hand and he would strike a more personal note and even disclose some detail of his day-to-day life. Then again, reverting to his characteristic mood of reflection and meditation, he would launch into a profound and original discussion of a variety of scientific and other problems. I shall always remember the enchantment of all those meetings, from which I carried away an indelible impression of Einstein’s great human qualities. Louis de Broglie, New Perspectives in Physics.

Einstein in 1921. (Source:Wikipedia)

4.  Pisceans need to retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.

Bear in mind that those who are finer and nobler are always alone — and necessarily so — and that because of this they can enjoy the purity of their own atmosphere.

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.

Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

… apartness became a practical  necessity to him, in order to  protect his cherished privacy  from a world hungry for legend  and charisma. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

5.  Like all mutable signs, Pisceans display a desire to find knowledge and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it.

I want to know how God created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.

6.  Pisces can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things.

The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.

7.  In their highest state, Pisceans operate without limitations, distinctions, or judgments.

I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others.

Special Relativity. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

8.  The glyph for Pisces signifies the world of duality and the Piscean constant intention to find unity.

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.

I have found no better expression than “religious” for confidence in the rational nature of reality, insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Whenever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism.

His analysis of [the] fluctuations in blackbody radiation led him to become the first to state, in 1909, long before the discovery of  quantum mechanics, that the theory of the future ought to be  based on a dual description in  terms of particles and waves. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

9.  With their ability to look in two directions, Pisceans build bridges from the past to the future.

…nearly a decade before the discovery of modern quantum mechanics, he had been the first to understand that the nineteenth century ideal of causality was about to become a grave issue in quantum physics. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

10.  Pisces are consistently humble and sometimes self-deprecating.

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.

Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

11.  Pisceans understand that power is not personal, and it comes from the seat given by the public.

Einstein’s company was comfortable and comforting to those who knew him. Of course, he well knew that he was a legendary figure in the eyes of the world. He accepted this as a fact of life. There was nothing in his personality to promote his mythical stature; nor did he relish it. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

Einstein in 1904. (Source:Wikipedia)

12.  Pisces has a reputation as the dreamer, the artist, someone who hears distant chimes from the ethereal world.

I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.

When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.

The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

13.  Pisces, the synthesizer:   In the words of Piscean Steve Jobs, “Creativity is just connecting things.”

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.

14.  Many Pisceans exhibit an intoxicating charisma.

Genius.  Absent-minded professor.  The father of relativity.  The mythical figure of Albert Einstein – hair flaming in the wind, sockless, wearing an oversized sweatshirt, puffing on his pipe, oblivious to his surroundings – is etched indelibly on our minds. Michio Kaku, Einstein’s Cosmos, How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time.

15.  Pisceans have a natural aversion to hierarchies.

Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. …Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment — an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections.

However, in his personal and scientific conduct, he was not a rebel, one who resists authority, nor … a revolutionary, one who aims to overthrow authority. Rather, he was so free that any form of authority but the one of reason seemed irresistibly funny to him. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

16.  Pisceans have the gift of recognizing the simplicity which undergirds the apparent complexity in the world.  They can often see right into the heart of a matter.

It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.

17.  Pisceans have faith in human ingenuity.

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Beautiful, right?  He exemplifies these Piscean qualities so well.  And that last quote puts into words the reason for this series – finding the authentic qualities of each sign so each of us can bring our best to leadership.

So now it’s your turn.  What would you tell a Pisces just stepping into a position of leadership?  And remember, leadership can be from the team captain on the softball field to the CEO.  What do you think is the one essential point a Pisces needs to remember to be true to their most authentic leadership style?

If you missed the prior posts for Pisces leadership, here are the links:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see Astro4Business Month Ahead – March 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Hello, everyone.

Steve Jobs with iPhone, 2010. (Source:Wikipedia)

Part savvy businessman, part artist, Steve Jobs is an excellent example of the Pisces attributes in a leadership role.  An iconic figure, we’ll look at his leadership style in our evolving study of the zodiac signs for leadership.

In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’re exploring the essential leadership qualities for that sign.  We’re doing this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’re testing the principles of textbook astrology and adding a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.

This month we’re exploring Pisces.  If you missed the earlier entries on Pisces Leadership, view them here: Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water;   Pisces Leadership – George Washington. These posts outline the essential qualities of Pisces and what we’ve learned so far.  And don’t miss the comments.  Readers have made astute observations of the Pisces style at work.

There are so many signs and signals of Pisces in Steve Jobs’ career, it’s hard to narrow them down to just a few.  We’ll focus on these:

  1. Pisces, the artisan
  2. Pisces, the synthesizer
  3. Pisces, the collaborator
  4. Pisces, from complexity to simplicity

Note:  Many of the points in this piece I have gleaned from the excellent Inside Steve’s Brain, by Leander Kahney.  Other sources will be noted at the end.

Pisces, the artisan

Pisces has a reputation as the dreamer, the artist, someone who hears distant chimes from the ethereal world.  Jobs, born “in San Francisco, California, USA, planet Earth, February 24, 1955” (1) puts his artistic qualities to work with an obsessive love for design, keen attention to advertising, and an unparalleled focus on the customer experience.  Yet obviously, his deep artistic nature is balanced by his ability to capitalize on his creative inspiration.

He brings his artistic touch to each product Apple produces.  He is minutely involved in every aspect of the product, paying attention to all of the details such as the color, the feel, and the function. (2)

And yet it is not the product which is the primary focus, it is the user’s experience of the product.  Jobs is uncannily perceptive about the needs of the customer.  He doesn’t sell a product; he sells a fantasy lifestyle, augmented by a cool technological gadget.  He even involves himself with the design of the packaging materials, believing that the feeling a customer has as he opens the box to set up the new machine is a vital part of the overall experience.

The Piscean love for theater and drama show up in Jobs product introductions:  savvy, much awaited theatrical events, full of fever, anticipation, and Jobs’ stage presence which easily eclipses any of his competitors’ product introductions.

Pisces: two fish swimming in opposite directions. (Source: Wikipedia)

Pisces, the Synthesizer

Along with the other mutable signs, Pisces has the reputation for being scattered and far-flung, lacking focus, accountability, and direction.  Jobs’ leadership style demonstrates the advantages which come from this variety of experience.

“Creativity is just connecting things,” Jobs told Wired magazine. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. . . . Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” (3)

Like the Pisces symbol of two fish forever connected, Jobs thinks technological creativity and artistic creativity are two sides of the same coin.  When asked by Time magazine about the difference between art and technology, Jobs said, “I’ve never believed that they’re separate.  Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great scientist.  Michelangelo knew a tremendous amount about how to cut stone at the quarry. The finest dozen computer scientists I know are all musicians.” (4)

Pisces the Collaborator

Jobs’ business processes are highly collaborative.  At Pixar, which Jobs bought from George Lucas in 1986 and served as CEO until 2006 when it was sold to Disney, there are no cubicles or offices.  The studio is a large open space with communal design areas.  Adverse to hierarchies, if a script isn’t working, the whole team works together to fix it.  In fact, the Latin inscription of the crest of Pixar University says, Alienus Non Diutius, Alone No Longer.  Could there be a better statement to reflect the unity awareness so common with Pisces?

One of Jobs’ most outstanding traits as a leader is his ability to pick the best people to work with him. The dean of Pixar University says, “[With Jobs leadership] we’ve made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business.  Instead of developing ideas, we develop people.  Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people.”  Jobs has an uncanny ability to recognize who are the primary contributors in an organization, no matter what their place is on the hierarchical ladder.

His legendary charisma has allowed him to collaborate with Disney, the record labels, and AT&T to push inventive solutions out to the public domain.  John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple Computer, says Jobs is capable of persuading people to do almost anything.  Jobs sounds like Pisces’ ruling planet, Neptune, when people say that he emits a “reality distortion field,” a ring of charisma so strong it bends reality for anyone under its influence.

Steve Jobs holding a MacBook Air, 2008. (Source:Wikipedia)

Pisces, from Complexity to Simplicity

The interests and abilities of a Pisces spread far and wide but in the best case scenario Pisceans have the gift of recognizing the simplicity which undergirds the apparent complexity in the world.  They can often see right into the heart of a matter.  Jobs begins each new product exploration with many, many brainstorming sessions, gathering reams of ideas and inspiration.  Then the winnowing process begins, basically reaching a more and more simplified state as an idea evolves.  He pares the products down to the essential so they are as simple and easy to use as possible.  They are designed to please the customer rather than to impress with technology, bells, or whistles.

Jobs is not an engineer or a programmer himself, nor does he have a business degree or any college degree.  His talent is to truly understand and think like an average customer.  He guides the company to create products which are instantly usable by anyone, which he achieves by meticulous attention to design.

When Jobs was a child he would take complex pieces of machinery, like televisions, and break them down into their simplest components.  He says, “These things were not mysteries anymore.  It became much more clear that they were the results of human creation, not these magical things.” (1)  Jobs has the knack for turning mysteries and magic into beautiful, simple, and overwhelmingly popular products.

What do you see?

As I said, this is a brief overview of the Piscean qualities Steve Jobs brings to the business world.  I think he’s an excellent example to anyone who thinks that the Pisces emotional and spiritual nature precludes business accomplishment.  Like each sign, authentic leadership seems to spring from adhering to the essence of the Sun sign:  to imbibe the qualities more and more rather than reach for those which are more natural to other signs.

Have you seen these qualities in Pisces leaders around your workplace?  If you’re a Pisces, do you identify with these traits of Steve Jobs?  Share your experiences and comments with all of us in the comments section.  You’ll help us gather a complete profile of the Pisces style of leadership.

To see the other posts in this series, see:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

Sources:

(1)Smithsonian Institution Oral and Video Histories:  “Steve Jobs,” by David Morrow.

(2) Inside Steve’s Brain, by Leander Kahney.

(3) “The Wired Interview:  Steve Jobs,” by Gary Wolf, Wired Magazine.

(4) “Steve Jobs at 44,” by Michael Krantz, Time Magazine.

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

To get an overview of the year, check out these posts:

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Neptune

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Astro4Business Month Ahead – March 2011

Solar_system
Hello, everyone.

Welcome to the Astro4Business Monthly Forecast for March, 2011.  What are the planetary influences this month and how can we work with them?

  • We’ll start with the most long-range and overarching influences, the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which you will notice do not travel far from month to month but stay in the same sector of the sky for many years.  These form the backdrop to our personal lives, affecting matters on a global stage.
  • Then we will look at the mid-range influences, Jupiter and Saturn, which stay in the same sign for 1 – 2.5 years.  These planets represent our interactions with our societal environment, its rules, regulations, belief systems, and benefits.
  • We’ll look at the personal planets, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun which stay in their respective signs for much shorter periods and primarily influence our day-to-day lives.
  • And last we’ll look at the sign and dates for the New and Full Moon, as these mark the waxing and waning cycles in our daily lives.

Pluto in Capricorn

We’ve spoken at length about Pluto in Capricorn (see category at right), where it will remain until 2024.  In a nutshell, this long transit will bring upheaval and transformation to many of the structures we have come to rely upon:  government, organized religion, the economy, industry, and the military, to name a few.  This transit carries the energy of revolution and evolution and can be dramatic and at times overwhelming.  Pluto exposes what is hidden, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Pluto hastens and intensifies the processes of endings and new beginnings, and in Capricorn will bring about the ending of our business pursuits that are no longer suited to our growth and personal evolution.  Whatever has been slowly leaking vitality will depart, including old business models, practices, and products.

This is formidable energy, and your best strategy is to tune in and work with it.  Find an area in your business life in need of renewal and begin the process before Pluto reaches planets in your chart and forces the issue.

Everyone with planets within five to nine degrees of any sign is actively dealing with this energy but especially if those planets are in Capricorn, Aries, Cancer, or Libra.  You will probably notice a deeper and deeper probing and cleansing all year long, related to the issues mentioned above.  Try to open a large space within yourself for a whole new perspective; be willing to irrevocably let go of something that has become outmoded.  Pluto transits can be difficult, but when the work is done they are the most rewarding because we are permanently freed from a long-standing, but hidden, issue.

Neptune in Aquarius

With Neptune in Aquarius (see category at right) from 1998 to 2011-2012, we’ve seen a growing global consensus regarding the equal value of all beings, shared responsibility for our planet, the distribution of technology to all corners of the world, and the right of each person to contribute to and further the base of common knowledge.

The best way to work with this energy is to allow yourself to open to waves of inspiration from the collective whole, from your local community to the global community.  Expect to be inspired by your neighbors and friends, both near and far.

If you have planets between 26 and 29 degrees of any sign expect to experience a subtle but powerful dissatisfaction with certain areas of your life this year and a yearning for a more meaningful connection to others.  Pay attention to non-intellectual sources of knowledge such as dreams and art.  Feel what is happening, listen for underlying currents rather than what is apparent on the surface.  This disconcerting influence can dissolve the forms in our life which have no real content for us anymore.  This can be disorienting and confusing while it is happening but once deeper connections are made, the benefits are rewarding and long-lasting.

Uranus in Pisces/Aries

Uranus finally leaves the sign Pisces and enters Aries on March 11.  This transition is noteworthy because there is always a shift when Uranus changes signs.  But the transition into Aries is even bigger than the usual 7-year movement from sign to sign.  Since Pisces is the last sign in the natural zodiac, and Aries is the first, we are looking at a seismic shift, the beginning of a new 84-year cycle.  Uranus has not been at this beginning point in the zodiac since 1928.  The whole period from 1928 to 2011 has been one long cycle of creative innovation which is now giving birth to a whole new cycle.

Uranus began its ingress into Aries last May but due to retrograde motion it slid back into Pisces until this month.  Many astrologers have predicted pretty dire consequences for Uranus in Aries and we’ve seen the warm-up acts ever since the planet Jupiter entered Aries in January.

Aries is the sign ruled by Mars, the Roman god of war.  This hot-headed god tended to act first and think later (if at all).  The Mars energy can be selfish, or at least self-referential, and full of desire.  Mars sees what it wants and takes it.  So it is concerning that Uranus, which brings change, rebellion, and technological advancement is in cahoots with this god of war.

But there are positive sides to this new chapter.  Uranus itself embodies the principle of change, especially the kind of transitions that occur because of sudden breakthroughs and technological innovations.  Society is constantly moving forward and when the time comes when the traditional is just too safe and stale, the energy of Uranus bursts through the barriers and ushers in the new.

For so many years people have felt powerless to address the challenges of our world, especially those caused by entrenched positions in government, big business, and the military.  But now there is a new movement afoot – one in which we are all coming to understand that we are individually powerful and that each act we perform has the power to change our world.

This is the positive face of Uranus in Aries:  the one willing to take responsibility for the whole even if that means standing alone to do so; the lone hunter who provides for the entire tribe; the individual with the courage to speak out on behalf of others; the inspired entrepreneur who through her efforts improves other people’s lives.

We won’t be working in concert with others so much as we did when Uranus was in Pisces.  But in breaking free of the crowd we can break free of groupthink, too.  What do we think when we stand outside of the cluster we have identified with?  What is the truth for us alone?  With the courage of Aries, we can act from our own truth.

What does this mean for us in business?  We will probably feel compelled to take risks we would not even have considered in the past.  We may feel confined by the people around us or the structures we’ve implemented and surprise ourselves and others by heading into a brand new direction.  We may seek opportunities for travel and study, or to bring scientific or technical discoveries into our products and services.  We may approach everyday challenges as battles to be fought and won.  We want out of our shell, even if we created it.

If you have planets between 28 and 4 degrees of the next sign it’s time to let yourself be excited by something new; branch out, experiment, try new things.  Support a cause you believe in and invest your time in societal change.  This will positively channel the excess nervous and intellectual energy Uranus can bring.

Saturn in Libra

Saturn in Libra is the antithesis of Uranus in Aries.  It counsels patience, persistence, responsibility, and humility in relationships, leading to cooperation and mutual support.  This planet of structure and discipline provides some much-needed grounding and circumspection to hot and erratic Uranus in Aries.

You may feel torn between the tried and true (Saturn) and the desire for breakthrough (Uranus).  Strive for balance bringing the best of the old along with you into new territory.

Saturn is still in its annual period of retrograde motion.  Moving retrograde for 4 ½ months each year, this phase provides the opportunity to examine whether our standard modes of operation truly spring from our own values, or have been imposed upon us by authority figures or societal norms.  It’s a time when our regular structures of support and stability may be withdrawn and we have to rely upon our own creativity and self-discipline to achieve our goals.

Saturn becomes less direct and overt when in retrograde motion which can relieve stress and struggle.  Yet as business managers we may see that our authority becomes undermined as others break free from outer rules and regulations too.  Be ready to improvise; think jazz rather than classical for the next few months.

Jupiter in Aries

In January Jupiter entered Aries, the first sign of the zodiac.  As noted above, Aries is a fundamentally aggressive mind-set, whether in the form of the lone-wolf entrepreneur or the established global company.  It brings a desire to take on the competition, expand into new territory, and develop new markets.

Competition will feature strongly over the next few months, whether this competition is directed against others or against the limits you’ve reached in the past.  There’s a lack of restraint to Jupiter in Aries, some may say a foolishness, which endeavors against all odds to win.

Jupiter’s ingress into Aries marks the beginning of a new twelve year Jupiter cycle.  This is an excellent time to begin a whole new endeavor.  Aries is the first sign of the zodiac.  Can you think about the next twelve years and being “first” in some aspect of your industry?  Jupiter likes to think big!  It’s time to take a new plunge:  big plans, big risks, the next five months will be a time of expansion, new projects, and bold moves.

Mars in Pisces

Mars entered Pisces last month changing the tenor of our energy and output.  Our focus may become scattered as we respond to subtle currents around us.  With Mars in Pisces we tend to see all sides of issues and may become over-emotional.  We can scatter our energy in helping others rather than adhering to our own schedule and progress.

Unless, that is, you are in a creative field.  In that case, this placement of Mars brings inspiration and the will to respond to it with concrete output.  Think Michelangelo and Vincent van Gogh – both with Mars in Pisces.

Venus in Aquarius/Pisces

Venus travels into Aquarius on the first of March and, moving quickly through that sign, enters Pisces on March 26.

Venus in Aquarius brings out our intellectual side.  Our social instincts rise; we become concerned with what is right and fair.  We can improve our professional relationships by joining associations or contributing with others to a just cause.  A group endeavor enhances our creativity.

Venus is exalted in the sign Pisces.  This is the time when you can catch your best creative ideas of the year.  Carry a recording device with you at all times because, while truly inspired, Venus’ gifts are subtle and can be elusive when she’s in Pisces.

Time spent on marketing and public relations will pay off during Venus in Pisces and you can expect your employees to be imaginative and happy.

Mercury in Pisces/Aries

Mercury begins the month in Pisces, moves into Aries on the 9th, and then turns retrograde in Aries on March 30.

Images communicate better than words when Mercury is in Pisces; be sure your writing and speaking include symbols and color.  Your thoughts flow more easily and your best ideas come from dreaming, day-dreaming, and fantasy, so include time for all of these.

Mercury in Aries revs our mental engines.  Our thinking becomes inventive and our communications persuasive.  Watch for aggressiveness; give others a chance to speak too.

You may have so many ideas and so much enthusiasm you’ll need extra help just to keep track of it all.  Watch for overload; headaches will be a sign to relax, cool your jets, and pace yourself.

Sun in Pisces/Aries

The Sun in Pisces is a transitional time of year, a time of completion and preparation for the new start indicated at the end of Pisces, the time of the Equinox.  Use the heightened intuition of the Pisces Sun to sense how your direction will adjust to the coming season.

On March 20 is the Equinox; vernal for us northerners; autumnal for you southerners.  (That’s north and south of the equator.)  Half way between the longest and shortest day of the year, it’s time to take stock.  How far have you come since the Solstice?  Have you accomplished your goals so far this year?  Is there a course correction you need to make?

The Sun in Aries is a time of heightened energy and new beginnings.  Take advantage of this fire to get yourself on track.  You are ready; act!

Phases of the Moon

The New Moon is in Pisces on March 4, waxing to full in Virgo on March 19.  Look for a new start in whichever house contains 13 degrees Pisces.  For me, that’s career and business!  (If you need a copy of your chart, see the box in the sidebar to request one free.)

Monthly Recap

With Mercury, Uranus, and Jupiter in Aries by March 11, and the Sun joining by March 20 this month will feature a fighting spirit and the will to conquer new territory and introduce radical new ideas.  Fortunately, Venus in Aquarius will bring in collaboration and Saturn in Libra will remind us of our interdependence with others.  The winning spirit of Aries is great for business but remember:  you’ll still need relationships once the gains have been won.

In case you are wondering how to get the most out of this monthly forecast, check out this link.  Some time ago a reader asked about it and you’ll see my instructions when you follow the link.

Have a great month and let me know how it all plays out!

Key Dates for the Month

March 1          Venus enters Aquarius

March 4          New Moon in Pisces

March 9          Mercury enters Aries

March 11        Uranus enters Aries

March 19        Full Moon in Virgo

March 20        Sun enters Aries

March 26        Venus enters Pisces

March 30        Mercury turns retrograde

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For an overview of the year ahead, check out these posts:

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Hello, everyone.

We’re continuing our series on Leadership through the Signs with Piscean George Washington.

According to Wikipedia, George Washington:

This 1772 painting by Peale of Washington as colonel of the Virginia Regiment, is the earliest known portrait. (Source: Wikipedia)

… was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775–1783, and he presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States (1789–1797), he developed the forms and rituals of government that have been used ever since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address. As President, he built a strong, well-financed national government that avoided war, suppressed rebellion and won acceptance among Americans of all types, and Washington is now known as the “Father of his country”.

Pisces Attributes

George Washington is a fascinating study in Piscean leadership.  This is a list of the textbook attributes of Pisces we are using as our springboard for our learning and discovery.

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Pisces is “I believe.”    At the highest level, Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.
  • “The only true freedom for Pisces comes through spiritual orientation.  When they are true to their real nature Pisceans have a high and holy destiny and are the true saviors and servants of mankind.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
  • “Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac and emotions are strong and deep in this sign.  They are moody and introspective and hard to understand.” (Ibid.)
  • “Pisceans need to be alone and …retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.” (Ibid.)
  • “[Pisceans] never feel that they do enough so they often overwork, putting stress and strain on the physical body.” (Ibid.)
  • “The mutable signs (Pisces is the mutable water sign) express themselves as a desire to find knowledge; and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it. They bring new ideas, new facts and new ways of seeing things into the world view of the tribe.” (Bernadette Brady, The Zodiac:  Urban Tribes)
  • “Pisces is a water sign, thus [they are] empathic, [they feel] the emotions of others or of patterns. They can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things. To them the world and its events are a feast of omens and signs.” (Ibid.)
  • Mutable water indicates the quality of…nourishment – flowing everywhere, without limitations, distinctions, or judgments. (Eric Meyers, Elements and Evolution)

(The sources cited in this post are listed at the bottom of this article.)

Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief. (Source: Wikipedia)

“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country”

The first two points on our list above were certainly true for Washington.  Washington’s life was devoted to service, much of it in opposition to his personal desire for the life of a planter and farmer.   He believed that, “There is a destiny which controls our actions, not to be resisted.”  (1)  He forever characterizes the Pisces willingness to subordinate narrow, personal interests to a larger cause.

He also expected the same of his countrymen.   In his Farewell Address announcing he would not seek a third term of presidency, he pled for a politics of consensus and warned against single-issue political movements and against the separation of America into racial, ethnic, or gender-based constituencies. (2)

“I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation”

Washington also had his share of the third point, the point about being moody, introspective, and hard to understand.  He was a sensitive, complex figure, full of pent-up passion. (3) He was also consistently self-deprecating.  When he accepted formal command of the Army in 1775, he said, “I beg it may be remembered … that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.” (1)  In his final two years after retiring from the presidency he lived with the fear that his vision for the country for which he had sacrificed his life would be undone by sectional interests and the union would fail. (2)

He was known for his rare, but unassailable, temper and for depression during command of the army. (4)  You can hear his weariness as well as a measure of self-pity while addressing his officers, “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.” (1)

Biographer Joseph J. Ellis says that Washington was “an inherently stiff and formal man who cultivated aloofness and possessed distancing mechanism second to none.” (2)  And Biographer Ron Chernow adds, “From boyhood, Washington had struggled to master and conceal his deep emotions. When the wife of the Brit­ish ambassador later told him that his face showed pleasure at his forthcoming departure from the presidency, Washington grew indignant: ‘You are wrong. My countenance never yet betrayed my feelings!’” (3) This is a common face of the Pisces character:  the ultra-sensitivity masked by aloofness and practicality.

“To quit a peaceful abode”

The fourth point about the need to retire periodically was a very strong feature of Washington’s life.  He retired to his farm several times after accomplishing a duty for his country’s cause, and he regularly swore not to return to public life.  His fellow countrymen constantly drafted him back to service.  He finally retired only two years before his death.

Portrait by Gilbert Stuart. (Source: Wikipedia)

As he was about to assume the office of President for the first time, he commented to General Henry Knox, “My movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution: so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an Ocean of difficulties.” (1)

“To compare the opinions of those in whom I confide”

The last three bullet points above are illustrated by Washington’s reliance on collaboration.  From his earliest days in the Army he developed a methodology of gathering contributions from his advisers as a means to decision-making.  The Cabinet still used today in the U.S. Presidency was established by Washington to pursue his familiar method of information gathering and decision-making.  He said, “I am anxious, always, to compare the opinions of those in whom I confide with one another and these again with my own, that I may extract all the good I can.” (2)

And this reliance on collaboration formed the bedrock of his belief in the ability of thirteen separate states to operate as a union.  He wanted Americans to think of themselves as a collective unit with a common destiny.  In Piscean fashion, he could see that the nation’s “essential interests are the same…its diversities arising from climate and from soil will naturally form a mutual relation of parts” and serve as the formulation for “an affectionate and permanent Union.” (2)

“The external trappings of elevated office”

Now we’ll start to develop some other attributes which are clear from Washington’s leadership style and test them against the subsequent Piscean leaders we will study.

One of the most interesting aspects about Washington was his deep understanding of himself as a symbol for the country.  In his day, he was the most popular and familiar face in the country.  His image was everywhere, in paintings, prints, lockets; on coins, silverware, and plates. (2)  He “clothed the revolutionary rhapsodies in flesh and blood, American’s one and only indispensable character,” and he knew it.  He drove around Philadelphia in an ornate carriage drawn by six cream-colored horses. (1)

He completely understood though that his power belonged to the office the people had given him and not to him personally.  Because of his periodic retirement from public life, he was a “leader who could be trusted with power because he was so ready to give it up.” (2)  In his own words he demonstrates his understanding that his life is a symbol for the collective consciousness of the people when he says, “All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the luster which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.” (1)

He did not use the power of the office to seize personal power as he could have.  As Scott Simon of NPR says, “George Washington could have been a king. He decided to be a citizen. No crowds massed. No bands played.” (5)

Thank you, George

A life like George Washington’s cannot be summed up in a few bullet points.  But I think we can begin to see Piscean leadership in action:  spiritual orientation becomes the willingness to operate within an institution to serve the whole; sensitivity and need for retreat becomes the need to harness emotions and retire often to places of refuge; the flexibility inherent in all of the mutable signs becomes collaboration; the ability to blend with everyone and everything becomes the ability to carry a position of authority without personal interest.

Please leave your comments, questions, and further points on Pisces leadership.  I’d especially love to hear from Pisces people as to whether you resonate with the qualities above.

Readers made excellent points in the introductory piece of this series.  If you missed them, be sure to check them out.  Here’s the link to that post.  Piscean Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Sources:

(1)   Wikipedia, “George Washington”

(2)   Founding Brothers, The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

(3)   Washington, A Life, by Ron Chernow

(4)   “’Washington: A Life’: The Person, Not The Persona” by Glenn C. Altschuler, NPR

(5)   “George Washington:  Strong Man, but No Strongman” by Scott Simon, NPR

To see the other posts in this series, see these links:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Hello, everyone.

Pisces: two fish swimming in opposite directions. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Sun has moved into Pisces and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business life.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

This month:  Pisces

I had an interesting experience searching for leaders born under the sign of the fish, Pisces.  Don’t worry; I found plenty.  But it wasn’t easy.  First I looked in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list.  Out of all the birthdays I could find, only one was a Pisces, Michael Dell.  Then I checked The New York Times website for their Corner Office series, in which they interview CEOs and other business leaders each week.  Out of all the interviews there, I found 25 birthdates.  Not one was a Pisces.  I searched my astrology program, Solar Fire, for famous people with Piscean birthdays.  I found lots of politicians, very few business people.

What is this saying?  Stereotypically, Pisces are supposed to be more interested in the realm of spirit and vision than mundane achievement and business.  But I’m sure there are many, many people in leadership positions born under the sign, Pisces.  Perhaps they don’t aspire to the upper echelons of power that would position them for a New York Times or Time Magazine article.  Or perhaps their leadership style doesn’t make them good candidates for interviews.  I’m not sure.

But there are still plenty of examples to work with.  Here are a few Pisces leaders:  Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Edward Kennedy, Andrew Jackson, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Alexander Graham Bell.  I’m sure we can mine some gold from this cast.  I’m sorry they are all white males so far, but I will keep looking.  If you know of anyone who would be a good candidate, let me know.

We’ll start with George Washington, the first president of the United States.   But first, let’s list some primary traits of the Pisces nature.  (*See the excerpt at the bottom of this post for more discussion of the sign Pisces.)

What the experts tell us

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Pisces is “I believe.”    At the highest level, Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.
  • (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

  • “The only true freedom for Pisces comes through spiritual orientation.  When they are true to their real nature Pisceans have a high and holy destiny and are the true saviors and servants of mankind.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
  • “Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac and emotions are strong and deep in this sign.  They are moody and introspective and hard to understand.” (Ibid.)
  • “Pisceans need to be alone and …retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.” (Ibid.)
  • “[Pisceans] never feel that they do enough so they often overwork, putting stress and strain on the physical body.” (Ibid.)
  • “The mutable signs (Pisces is the mutable water sign) express themselves as a desire to find knowledge; and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it. They bring new ideas, new facts and new ways of seeing things into the world view of the tribe.” (Bernadette Brady, The Zodiac:  Urban Tribes)
  • “Pisces is a water sign, thus [they are] empathic, [they feel] the emotions of others or of patterns. They can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things. To them the world and its events are a feast of omens and signs.” (Ibid.)
  • Mutable water indicates the quality of…nourishment – flowing everywhere, without limitations, distinctions, or judgments. (Eric Meyers, Elements and Evolution)

Before we get into specific examples of Piscean leadership, think about the list above and look at the symbols.  What would you say is authentic leadership for a Pisces?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you a Pisces?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Do you overwork?  Are you sensitive to patterns around you?  Do you bring new ways of looking at the world to your team?

This will be a really interesting sign to explore for business, don’t you think?  Remember to leave your comments as we start our discussion of Pisces Leadership.

For the posts on Aquarius Leadership see:

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

*******************************************************
For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

*More on Pisces

Pisces is a water sign, concerned with emotional connection. The glyph for Pisces is two fish swimming in opposite directions but tied together, signifying the dual worlds we all inhabit: our interior reality and our external experience.

Pisces is the stage of development in which we have become completely immersed in and identified with others. Our individual spark of ego has become swallowed by the collective whole. In the life cycle of a business, this is a key transition phase when the business either declines or finds a way to begin a new cycle of innovation. The business may retreat from the public eye to retrench, restructure, or terminate.

Pisces is constantly trying to unify; to merge the inner with the outer world. Pisces oversees mysticism and art, as well as humanitarian pursuits. Retreat experiences, such as a cruise or spiritual retreat, are favored by Pisces as well as hospitals, prisons, and other institutions in which individuals withdraw from daily life.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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