Archive for category Introduction to Astrology for Business

Astro4Business Week – April 12

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Hello, everyone.

Writing from just outside London, with pretty English gardens full of daffodils out the window.  This week features the New Moon, a social vibration, and Mercury turning to retrograde motion.  And of course, for the U.S., April 15, tax day.  Whew, glad that’s over!

Wednesday

Wednesday morning, EDT, hosts the New Moon in the sign of Aries.  This New Moon marks the week as one of the best of the year for new beginnings, new ideas, and new hires.  But a word of caution:  with Mercury turning retrograde on Sunday, it has already begun to slow its motion in preparation for its U-turn.  Communications may already lack clarity and agreements are open to reversal.

Thursday

This is the U.S. personal income tax return due date.  I think it’s interesting how it falls into the month of Aries.  This gives us enough spark and energy to get the job done, and also lets us put the last year to rest while we are in the upswing of the renewal of Spring.  Out with the old; in with the new!

Saturday

This is a very pleasant and pleasurable day with Venus in Taurus in harmony with Jupiter in Pisces.  This spells generosity and practical creativity.  Financial stability is on our minds and we have the intuition to make progress toward our goals.  This is a day of opportunity.

Sunday

Today the planet Mercury begins retrograde motion for the next three weeks.  Retrograde Mercury is a great time to review, repeat, reenlist, renegotiate – all those “re” words. 

Also on Sunday the Sun receives input from Neptune.  This puts you “in tune.”  Sunday is a day of inspiration, a perfect time to blend leadership with compassion and a desire to serve.  How about a barbecue with your staff?  Or an outdoor music concert, all invited? You may be surprised how much you gain.

To read more about the business aspects of the planets featured this week, check out these links:

The Sun
The Moon
Mercury
Venus
Jupiter
Neptune

To read about the whole month of April, revisit the Monthly Forecast.

Let me know how everything goes.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Signs of the Times – the for-profit nonprofit

Hello, everyone. 

Have you heard about the new “low-profit limited liability company?”  This new form of organization, enacted in Vermont, blends elements of for-profit and nonprofit corporations. 

Ben and Jerry’s 

The plight of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is an example of why this is needed.  When a small business gets to the point where additional investors are needed for expansion, one way of raising capital is to become a public corporation.  However, once a public corporation, the key goal of the business becomes maximizing shareholder value.  In other words, anything that can be done to increase the value of the stock, must be done. 

When a European corporation, Unilever, stepped in with an unsolicited bid to buy Ben and Jerry’s for far more than the current value of their stock, the Board was forced to sell or face a potential lawsuit from the shareholders. 

This case highlighted several issues.  Ben and Jerry’s, as well as many other small businesses, had a philanthropic purpose as well as a financial purpose.  However, once a business takes on outside capital, the shareholders can decide whether or not the philanthropic goals can be pursued.  Yes, Unilever agreed to continue to give 7.5% of Ben and Jerry’s profits and to fund the Ben and Jerry Foundation with an upfront $5MM as part of the deal.  But what happened to the other social principles, like BHT-free milk and fair trade practices with Mexican and Brazilian farmers? 

Vermont steps in 

Vermont, the home state of Ben and Jerry’s, recognized the need for a form of organization that would meet the current social enterprise trend in the business world: philanthro-capitalism, venture philanthropy, green technology, and fair-trade practices, to name a few examples of this trend.  This hybrid model, the L3C, applies to companies formed for charitable or educational purposes, but it can generate profits for the owners as long as those profits are not “a significant purpose” of the company.  

However, there is no sanction against profits, even significant profits.  And since it is based on the Limited Liability Company model rather than corporate law, there are no stringent laws pertaining to the buy/sell decisions of the owners. 

It remains to be seen how this initial statute will morph as other states take it up and as the public begins to use it.  There is also the issue of the IRS and how they will regard the entity.  But I think it is an interesting example of the times: 

  1. With Pluto in Capricorn, traditional forms of business that no longer serve are breaking down, and new forms are emerging.
  2. With Neptune in Aquarius, the rights of people to transact business as they wish without interference from government or shareholders, has gained strength.  Connections between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are being formed and distinctions between the entities are blurring and merging.  And entrepreneurs are recognizing more and more their individual responsibility to the whole.
  3. With Uranus in Pisces, we see innovation to overcome the mature stage in the business life cycle where shareholders and the public have more power than the original owners.  We see a movement toward collaboration with other forms of business, such as foundations and non-profit entities.
  4. With Saturn in Libra, we see the support of the law to implement structures of partnership, fairness, and balance.  Saturn in Libra bridges two independent entities, making a stronger prototype through a hybrid entity. 

A step in the right direction, I’d say.  What do you think? 

For further reading on this subject, check out the Neptune in Aquarius, Saturn in Libra, and Uranus in Pisces categories at the right.  Here are some other related posts:

Business life cycle – mature stage

The Globalization of Ben and Jerry’s

Vermont Secretary State – L3C

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Letter to Mars – Welcome Back

Dear Mars, 

I sat down 10 minutes ago to write you this letter and was interrupted once again!  I’ve been trying to write this post all morning.   You are turning direct in exactly three minutes, and I’m waiting, counting down the seconds. 

Fireworks 4Everything is on hold!  I can’t even write my blog post welcoming you back because there is no activity:  no brain wave activity, no ideas, no momentum.  This isn’t like me.  I miss your razzmatazz.  Are you sleeping, like my friend who said they slept all night last night and then continued to sleep all day today? 

I wanted to let people know you are moving into direct motion a couple of hours before you turned so they could be prepared.  I wanted to help them be ready.  And although I awoke this morning with a great idea about comparing the moment to just before a race flag is lowered, it fizzled out when I couldn’t find any good photos to go with the post. 

I thought it was a good analogy:  engines revved, the flag comes down, the initiating force of acceleration and gear-shifting, the gathering of momentum until we reach full speed in the next few weeks.  Good, right?  Then full-stop.  There I was, wheels spinning, rubber burning, but no traction. 

Fireworks 2So I thought, I’ll check the Harvard Business Review Management Tips and find one related to Mars to clarify this moment with a good case study.  But there were no Mars related entries, only “Retaining Talent” and “Enduring the Trials of Entrepreneurship”.  Good for a Venus day, or maybe a Saturn day, but not for you, Mars. 

I successfully ran a project meeting this morning, your province, but that’s not to say things are moving along in the project.  Yes, it was a lovely meeting, but outcomes? 

And it’s not only me.  My clients have reported stalled real estate deals, job offers going nowhere, tax information blocked, project plans averted, publishers dragging their feet, and general feelings of overwhelm and overload, with no energy to make any progress.  We need you back! 

Okay, it’s 12:20 PM EST.  You resumed direct motion 11 minutes ago.  Welcome back.  These fireworks are for you.  I’ll try to be patient while you come up to speed, but sooner rather than later would work for me.  I’ve got a lot to get done! 

Yours always,

Ellen

For other posts on the current Mars in Leo cycle, see these links:

Mars in Leo

Let Your Light Shine

The Creativity of Business

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Your Questions – Investing in Real Estate

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello, everyone.

After reading the Astro4Business Monthly Forecast for March, a reader asked:

How ’bout buying and selling real estate? Does that work this month?

This question addresses so many levels of business and astrology that I could write about it for an entire week!   I’ll try to do the questioner some justice in this post, but it may need further clarification over time.

The Macro Level

Let’s start at the macro level.  We’re all aware that a slow recovery has begun in the real estate markets.  At least that’s the opinion of most economic experts.  The speculation bubble coincident with Pluto in Sagittarius burst completely when Pluto entered Capricorn. 

Capricorn is an earth sign and rules the structural components of our society, including real estate.  Pluto rules shared resources, debt, and the crises that are sometimes necessary to bring us back into alignment with our fundamental values and principles.  These crises are not over yet; Pluto will remain in Capricorn until 2024, although I do believe that during the first few years of the cycle there are more major upheavals than in the later years.  In the later years, people are more used to the energy and the surprise element is gone  We respond more rationally, make better decisions, and learn to take advantage of the situation.

You could say we may be at the point where the major quakes in the market have already happened, but the aftershocks will be with us for some time.

Add to this the stressful square aspect that Pluto is making to Saturn, and soon unpredictable Uranus will join the fray.  At least during 2010, I expect a lot of volatility throughout the economic system and the different markets that comprise the system.

Back to Basics

All of this brings me back to the fundamentals:  the answer depends on what is the motive for purchasing real estate at this time.  Real Estate has advantages and disadvantages, just like all investment vehicles.  Home ownership, particularly, has potential tax advantages and the fact that the investment is tangible has distinct psychological advantages.  Historically real estate has been an excellent hedge against inflation, and you can leverage its value as security for loans.

The major disadvantage to real estate investment is the illiquidity of the investment.  Because there is no organized market like there is for stocks and commodities, it is difficult to convert it to cash quickly if you need it.  It takes a relatively large initial investment and there are extra costs related to the purchase or sale.  It is immobile, obviously, and as we have all learned, its future value can be completely unpredictable.

I know my reader was not asking me the question as a financial planner; the question related to the astrological advisability.  But since I am a professional CPA and CFP I can’t help but list some of the pros and cons.

Suggestions

Now to the astrology.  Like I noted in a previous post, life doesn’t just stand still.  There are always many different energies converging on any single moment or month.  The best use of astrology is to recognize these influences and then come up with a strategy that incorporates the best and mitigates the most challenging of these energies.

I would say, in direct answer to the question of whether real estate buying and selling works this month, the best strategies include:

  1. Check, double-check, and recheck again all of the paperwork and deals.  With the major squares and oppositions this month, expect to be at cross-purposes with everyone you transact business with.  This is not to say you can’t make a great deal.  It’s just to be extra-vigilant about the heightened competition and aggression of this time.
  2. Be sure you have all the legal advice you need.  With Saturn in Libra, a wise legal advisor is your best ally.  Talk over the deal and have them review any paperwork.  Money spent at this stage will pay off in the end.
  3. Continuing with Saturn in Libra, a good solid partnership will give you an edge, especially if each of you balances the excesses of the other.  And be sure the partnership paperwork protects each of you in case the other can no longer participate.  That legal advisor in #2 comes into this aspect as well.
  4. Wait until after Mars turns direct on March 10, and also until after the New Moon on March 15, to complete the deal.  Research and negotiations are fine now, but if you want your investment to grow, it should begin between the New and Full Moon.
  5. Keep in mind that in this economy and astrological environment, your investment should be seen as long-term.  The market is too volatile this year to invest in real estate for short-term gains.
  6. Be patient.  With Saturn retrograde until the end of May, bureaucratic snafus may hold up the transaction.

Do any readers have anything to add?  Let us know in the Comments.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Astro4Business Week – March 8

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Hello, everyone.

This week is active, hot, and combustible until the weekend when things calm down.  Venus gets involved in the Saturn/Pluto square and she can be a fierce fighter herself.  Adding Venus to the mix of these two battling titans, plus Mars turning direct, will make for a volatile few days.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, the stand-off begins as Venus opposes Saturn.  We’re used to thinking of feminine Venus as a mediator and negotiator, but when she’s in Aries, she can put her dukes up with the best of them.  Saturn counsels restraint and caution but Venus is ready to act.  Don’t be too heavy handed, especially with your creative staff, or you might get a rebellion you didn’t bargain for. 

By Andrea Mantegna, 1502

By Andrea Mantegna, 1502

 

Wednesday

This is the day we’ve all been waiting for, when Mars returns to direct motion.  It may take a few days to really get going, but projects will begin to move forward again.  Your energy will return and your competitive nature will flare.

Thursday

As if it wasn’t enough for Venus to take on Saturn, today she engages Pluto with the same fighter instinct.  The foe may be more intractable this time though, as Pluto represents the powers that be:  government, banks, the economy, and taxes.   It may feel like everyone has their hand in your pocket and they may.  You’re fighting against the odds, but you may as well go for it.  Think “Athena, Goddess of War” and unsheathe your sword.

Sunday

Sunday is a softer, more lenient day and is focused on communication, with the Sun and Mercury joining in Pisces.  You can let off a little steam from the pressure of the week and relax.  A short trip would be great, perhaps to water, or enter a fantasy world with movies and entertainment.  Enjoy the day – you deserve it!

Let me know how your week unfolds.

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

For more information on Mars turning direct and how to use it for your business, see:

Mars in Leo

Let Your Light Shine

The Creativity of Business

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started! 

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It’s Time to Find the Jewel

Hello, everyone.

Next week, on March 10, Mars resumes direct motion.  Let’s review where we are so we can take full advantage of these last few days of retrograde motion.  Many people feel they are standing still right now, and it’s true.  When a planet is coming close to changing direction it does move very, very slowly through the zodiac in the days just before its reversal.

Was that gold?

Gold on Quartz “The Dragon” (Wikimedia Commons)

Gold on Quartz “The Dragon” (Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve conceptualized retrograde motion as a hiker who has covered a certain portion of a trail, but then stops, turns around, and walks back to a certain point.  Then she stops again, turns around, and moves forward again.  Why did she stop and turn around in the first place?  What was it she missed the first time that made her want to retrace her steps? 

Perhaps she saw something shiny and intriguing but then dismissed the thought:  oh, it was probably just some Fool’s Gold.  But as she walks on it starts to bother her.  What if it was real gold, or a diamond shining in the soil? So she goes back for a closer inspection.

Right now, a few days before Mars turns direct, is like our hiker just reaching the point she headed back to.  She is slowing down because she is nearing her destination.  She’s looking for that shiny object.  Can she find it again?  If she does, what will she discover?

A Second Chance

In the days before a planet turns direct, it’s important to ask these questions.  Mars has returned to the very beginning of the sign of Leo.  It’s like we’re being given a second chance, a chance to start over on some creative project we had in mind last October.  This project may have been stalled since December, but soon the energy will move.  Have we learned what we needed to learn?  Have we uncovered the missing clue?  Have we gained wisdom?  Are we more ready to face the challenges of self-expression that are the mission of Mars in Leo?

In these last few days of stillness, look around, listen, observe your instinctual responses and what is drawing your interest naturally.  These few days are loaded with opportunities for insight.  They are packed with possibilities if we can uncover them.  Whether you notice something bright and shiny or something more subtle, we have come back here to this point for a reason.  Now is the time of discovery.  Now is the fertile opening, the pause filled with potential.

When Mars resumes direct motion, our business lives will gradually become more and more busy and we will forget the stillness of this time.  So in these last few days, let’s find the jewel, the gift of this waiting period so it’s in our backpack when we move forward again.

Here are some earlier posts about Mars in Leo.  Reading them may reveal what you are looking for, or where you should be looking.  As you find the gems, share them in the comments with all of us.

Mars in Leo

Let Your Light Shine

The Creativity of Business

4 Ways to Benefit from Mars Retrograde

Life doesn’t stand still – how to work with Retrograde Mars

Retracing Your Steps – Retrograde Motion

Are You Stalled?

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Astro4Business Month Ahead – March

 Solar_systemHello, everyone.

Let’s look at March 2010 to see what the planetary influences are and how we can 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 change from month to month but stay in the same sector of the sky for many years.  Then we will look at the mid-range influences, Jupiter and Saturn, which stay in the same sign for 1 – 2.5 years.  Last 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. 

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 fundamental change to many of the structures we have come to rely upon:  government, religion, the economy, industry, and transport systems, to name a few.  The transit carries the energy of revolution and evolution and can be dramatic and at times overwhelming.  Pluto exposes what is hidden, for better or for worse and usually now, at the beginning of the cycle, we become more aware of the worse rather than the better.

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 go ahead and die, 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 in the first seven degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are already dealing with this energy.

 Neptune in Aquarius

With Neptune in Aquarius (see category at right) from 1998 to 2011, there has been a global consensus regarding the equality of the common man, shared responsibility to the group, ascendancy of people and nations based on the power of knowledge, the right of all nations to progress technologically, 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 your rational mind to open to waves of inspiration from the collective whole, from your community to the global community.  Expect to be inspired by your neighbors and friends. 

Uranus in Pisces

The Uranus in Pisces (see category at right) transit from 2003 – May, 2010 engendered innovation and invention in business.  It flattened hierarchies and enhanced global transactions and interactions.  With many variables in play simultaneously, we’ve been working with moving parts which connected and disconnected frequently, including projects, alliances, and workforces. 

How can we continue to work with Uranus in Pisces?  Product diversification, committee leadership, and collaboration, as well as global connection, and dissolution of hierarchical structures – any of these is good for the end of the cycle.

Saturn in Libra

Saturn is transiting the sign of Libra, where it is exalted.  When a planet is exalted in a sign, it has a special affinity to the sign and if you’re willing to do the work, there is a promised payoff.  See the category to the right on this important transit, but in a nutshell:  what is the work of Saturn in Libra?  To develop patience, persistence, responsibility, and humility in relationships.  What is the payoff?  Cooperation and mutual support.

Until October 2010, Saturn is in square aspect to Pluto in Capricorn (see above).  The stress of this square aspect will bring the end to structures that are no longer working in our businesses (and in our world) as the Saturn energy attempts to install the Libra values of equity, parity, diplomacy, collaboration, and cooperation.

Saturn made its station and turned retrograde on January 14.  Retrograde motion in the five outer planets is not felt as immediately as in the inner planets.  You may notice outside regulators backtracking or bureaucratic snafus that affect your business.  Or one of your trusted advisors may resign.  Remember those business plans you wrote last quarter?  Just proceed according to plan, and course correct if necessary.

Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter entered Pisces, a water sign, in January.  Pisces is concerned with the emotional connections that bind people together.  This can express itself as devotion to an ideal, often mystical or artistic, and the desire to lose oneself in the shared feeling of the group.

Jupiter, the planet of opportunity and expansion, is the ancient ruler of Pisces.  This brings a very positive influence to all endeavors that attempt to unite people based on a shared intention for the future.  How should you work with this energy?  Work on connection.  Set up links between people and organizations.  Make venues available for your employees to express their ideas creatively.  Be willing to lead with your intuition and feelings; show your employees, customers, and business associates your heart.  These activities will bring business expansion and profits.

Mars in Leo

When Mars is in Leo our will power becomes focused and controlled.  Mars in Leo loves to lead and gives faithfully and generously to those who follow.  When Mars is in Leo we are honest, direct, and fully dependable.  The sign Leo is also creative and artistic, so at this time we love performance and display. 

The best use of Mars in Leo?  Make your light shine with dignity and strength.  Lead with steadiness and authority.  Throw yourself into creative activities.  Secure and enjoy the limelight. 

Mars resumes direct motion on March 10.  During its retrograde motion since December 20, Mars retraced its steps all the way back to the very beginning of Leo.  We have a chance to start over now on all of the creative projects we envisioned since October, but with a lot more information this time!  Take advantage of this period of heightened creativity and expect high performance from your employees too. 

(This is a good time to reread the Mars in Leo category to the right.)

Venus in Pisces/Aries

The first few days of the month Venus is in Pisces, where she is exalted.  Catch your best creative ideas of the year before she enters Aries on March 7.  Be sure to 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. 

When Venus enters Aries on March 7 and Mars turns direct on March 10 expect fireworks of display and creativity.  These two planets in fire signs will ignite sales, interactions, motivation, and competition.  Are you ready?  The time has come to ACT!

Mercury in Pisces/Aries

Mercury begins the month in the sign of the fish, the sea, Pisces.  The sharp focused intellect of Mercury in Aquarius gives way to a softer approach.  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.

On March 17, Mercury enters Aries, joining the bonfire with Venus and Mars.  By this point there may be 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?  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; go for it!

Phases of the Moon

The new Moon is in Pisces on March 15, waxing to full in Libra on March 29.

Monthly Recap

Against the backdrop of massive global changes to the structures in our lives, we are inspired by and engaged with the global community as never before.  With Saturn in Libra, we find our footing in committed, responsible relationships. Jupiter enhances our emotional connection to one another, which we’ll need this month since Venus, Mars, Mercury, and the Sun are all in fire signs by the end of the month.  Passion, inspiration, motivation, and healthy competition will ignite a new beginning with the new season.

 Let me know how your month plays out!

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Your questions – cycles within cycles

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello everyone.

The following question comes from a reader with a good understanding of astrology.  Please don’t get discouraged by the technical terms – her question posts an issue that applies to all of us and allows me the chance to spell out some fundamental astrological principles.

She writes:

How does a personal astrology chart interact with the bigger astrological influences?  I’ve wondered this often, and my current situation brings it up again.  In my chart I have transiting Jupiter conjunct natal Saturn in my 10th house.  My understanding of that, is this is a great time to make things real in the material world – particularly as it relates to my career.  And since I own my own business, for my company.  Jupiter is within 1 degree of my natal Saturn tomorrow.  But, Mars is in retrograde and there will be a void Moon tomorrow afternoon.

I can’t tell you how often this is the case.  One part of the astrology says “go”; another part says “no”.  Life is like that, isn’t it?  It’s a complex undertaking, not often reducible to black or white.

Our World of Cycles

When we are born, we enter a world in the midst of cycles.  The moon may be waxing or waning, the sun may be heading into the northern or southern hemisphere, some planets may be retrograding, others are in the signs they rule so are very strong, others may be weakened by aspect, etc, etc, etc.  And we step in to all this motion, stamped indelibly by these first impressions, or if you prefer, aligned perfectly with the needs of our soul’s journey. 

These cycles don’t stop.  Within a few moments after your birth, planetary positions have shifted and the degree on the horizon which indicates your rising sign has changed.  The cycles zoom ahead – all of the way to the present moment.

The moon completes a full cycle every month, the Sun every year.  Each planet has its cycle, with the outer planets taking so long they don’t complete a full cycle in our lifetime.  Some cycles repeat themselves over and over in our lives and some don’t have time to repeat at all.

Now it gets complicated

The position a planet occupied at the moment of your birth is always sensitized in your life.  The planet moves on from that point, but that point in the zodiac continues to hold meaning for you.  When another planet in its orbit passes that sensitized point or forms a mathematical angle to it, there is an opportunity to work with the issues described by the two planets, the original one and the one passing through.  Sometimes this is a purely inner experience, an awakening of some kind.  Sometimes the inner experience is reflected in the outer world and we learn more about ourselves in relation to others during the transit.

Now all of this can get very complicated, very quickly.  Just think of all your experiences and relationships even in the current point in time, all the roles you play, your interests, your feelings, your yearnings, what has gone before and your hopes for the future.  Every single facet of life is reflected in the cycles of astrology, so you can imagine how complex each moment is, astrologically speaking.

One thing is certain:  the experiences you came for, you will get.  My spiritual teacher once said that we came to this earth with something to learn and something to offer. You will have the opportunity to both learn and offer within the cycles shown in your astrological chart.

In this way, the unfolding of our personal astrology chart is part of and contained within the bigger astrological influences.  So if you are having an influence that lasts a few weeks, like the reader’s Jupiter transit of her natal Saturn, but Mars is retrograde at the time, the retrograde Mars is part of the unfolding of the Jupiter/Saturn transit.  That Jupiter/Saturn transit was always going to unfold that way, with Mars retrograde.  If you’re looking at transits ahead of time, they must always be considered in concert with the other cycles happening at the time.

Keep it simple

Like I said, all of this can get very complex.  So I appreciate the advice of my current astrology teachers, Darrelyn Gunzberg and Bernadette Brady.  They use the K.I.S.S. principle, which they say means, Keep It Simple, Student.  They advise us to pick two or three of the most important cycles unfolding in relation to our birth charts and interpret all of the lesser cycles in terms of these major ones.  In other words, if you are experiencing a major Pluto transit now, the theme of transformation through destruction and irrevocable change will be playing itself out in some part of your life.  The monthly lunar cycles, or Mars retrograde, or even a Jupiter transit to your natal chart must be interpreted within the meaning of regeneration shown by the Pluto transit. Everything will contribute to and become part of this overarching development. 

So, specifically in answer to the reader’s question, if Jupiter is bringing opportunities for expansion of responsibility and structure (Saturn) to her business (10th house), then retrograde Mars indicates that these opportunities will be found by looking back at ground previously covered, rather than initiating something brand new. In this way, the Mars retrograde becomes a helpful clue to discover the source of the Jupiterian opportunity.

Each moment is auspicious

There is more to be said regarding how to choose which cycles are the overarching themes, and the timing of the unfolding of experiences as they are revealed in the chart, but I think this is enough to digest for now.  I’ll just leave you with one other thought, something I have learned from my spiritual studies:  each moment is auspicious.  Each birth is auspicious because your Soul, the great Soul, has decided to enact a certain play in these cycles of space and time.  Your chart is a translation of the infinite light of the truth into everyday life in this world.

Enjoy!

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Your Questions – Big Client Meeting Coming Up

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello, everyone.

A regular reader sent this question:

I have an interview/meeting for a new big and exciting project on Wednesday, it should go well…I think.  Anything I should do or avoid? 

As I wrote in the weekly forecast, this is a week of oppositions topped off by the second contact of the Saturn/Pluto square.  Although oppositions often bring us face to face with others, they can feel like push/pull, or advance/retreat, especially since this one involves the Mars retrograde influence which has been with us since mid-December and will continue until early March.

The advice in the weekly forecast applies to this question.  I’m not surprised there is an important meeting on Wednesday.  Venus represents meetings and alliances, and I agree with the reader, “it should go well,” if you are able to maintain your balance that day.  You may have a sparkling presentation that may wow your prospective client, but with Mars retrograde they may not be ready to act.

As we’ve been working together and I have access to your natal chart, I thought I’d take a look to see what more may be revealed about this.  When I saw your chart, it was one of those times when astrology just astounds me with its ability to forecast timing and to reveal other aspects of a situation.

The clue to success

Your natal Mars is in Taurus, forming an exact square to this week’s Venus/Mars opposition, Sun/Mars opposition, and the Full Moon.  Your natal position of Mars is the clue to success with this meeting.  Mars in Taurus is steady and patient; once motivated it is willing to work long and hard to amass material security.  With Mars in Taurus you understand that actual physical resources are vitally important and this knowledge extends not only to your personal affairs but to your client’s business too.

Make sure the client understands this about you:  that you are committed to their material success and that you are there for the long term.  And remember to make your client’s resources the focus of the meeting, not your own.  It’s not so much a matter of what you can provide, although this should be clear and well presented.  The focus should be on your client’s assets and how you can help them exploit these assets to insure their own success.

In other words the meeting should be all about them.

Patience

And then if you sense hesitation on their part, don’t take it personally.  My sense is they are making a second attempt at securing the services they need (Mars retrograde) and may have run into difficulties in their last attempt.  They may be slower to act this time no matter how prepared you are.  So don’t expect a commitment from them right away.  It may take more time than usual for them to come to a decision or gain the approvals they need.  Patience is one of the qualities of your natal Mars in Taurus, so rely on that patience.  This is an exciting meeting and I’m confident it will go well.  Let us all know how it turns out!

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Got a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Astro4Business Week – January 25

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Phases of the Moon, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere will see a mirror image of this phase. (Source:Wikipedia)

Hello, everyone.

This is a week to strive for balance, with three oppositions leading up to a major square between Saturn and Pluto.  This is a recipe for tension as our tendency will be to blame others if things don’t go as we wish, and their tendency will be to blame us.  For additional guidance, review the posts in the Saturn/Pluto Square category to the right. Here is the day by day forecast, but these influences are so strong you may feel them all week.

Wednesday

On Wednesday Venus in Aquarius opposes Mars in Leo.  Venus in Aquarius wants to play the social card, with meetings leading to unconventional alliances, leading to profits.  But Mars is retrograde, so one of your lieutenants won’t hold up their end, or you may just not have the energy to shine.  The best advice is to take it in small bites:  appease Venus and go out and meet people, but be sure to leave time to retreat and examine what’s going on behind the scenes.

Friday

On Friday it’s more of the same with the Sun in Aquarius opposing Mars in Leo.  The Sun represents you as the leader and/or owner of your business, the one setting direction and empowering your team to act.  You may have a dozen good ideas, but if your team is lagging behind, productivity will lag too.  Again the key is balance and small bites:  set very realistic, small goals that your team can accomplish one at a time.

And remember, if you’re a one-person team, these oppositions can manifest as two sides of yourself pulling in different directions, with the Mars side pulling you toward rest and retreat.  Give a little to both to make the most of your week.

Saturday

Early Saturday morning is the Full Moon, with the Moon in the fixed sign Leo opposing the Sun in the fixed sign Aquarius.  You may want to act but feel stuck, and others around you may seem stubborn and intractable.  Not an easy time.  Refresh yourself with some recreation today and allow yourself to blow off some steam.

Sunday

Sunday brings us to the second contact of the Saturn/Pluto square, the dominant aspect of this year.  In this contact Saturn is retrograde, returning again to challenge whatever inequity it finds in Pluto in Capricorn.  Don’t be surprised if a trusted advisor seems to turn against you, accusing you of insensitivity or of dominating others.  If so, try to stay open to hear others’ complaints and make a serious effort to change.  You’ll gain from it in the end.

Let me know how this dynamic week goes for you.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Got a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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