Archive for category Long-term Planning

Looking Ahead to Jupiter in Aries

Hello everyone.

Jupiter, the planet of enthusiasm, expansion, treaties, politics, and law, will end its long sojourn in Pisces on Saturday and enter the sign Aries.  Let’s take a look at Jupiter in Aries and discover how best to use the next five months to capitalize on the opportunities it will surely bring.

As I was listening to NPR this morning I heard a story about how American Airlines is withdrawing from its participation in sites such as Orbitz and Expedia.  Since Jupiter rules the airline industry and all things related to travel my ears perked up.

American Airlines and Jupiter in Aries

Zeus (Jupiter) battling the Typhon. 1811 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The story strikes me as a perfect example of Jupiter moving from Pisces into Aries.  Pisces is a sign that favors unification and lack of differentiation; Aries is a sign that singles out the aggressive, warrior spirit.  American Airlines specifically cited that their reason to differentiate their product was to show the public what is unique about their company.  They no longer want to be viewed as one more flying bus, but as a boutique service that grants their customers access to various exclusive options. These unique options are not apparent when customers use middleman sites like Orbitz.

American Airlines said they want to connect directly to the customer rather than through another entity.  This move is expected to foreshadow a much more fragmented industry, with each player eventually withdrawing from the consolidated sites and approaching customers more directly.

Does this sound like Jupiter in Aries?  You bet.  This short story demonstrates some of the key features of Jupiter in Aries for business:

  • Consolidated efforts characterized Jupiter in Pisces.  In Aries, opportunities will be one-on-one; may the best person win!
  • There will be increasing product differentiation.  Businesses with unique or instant qualities will garner opportunities.  Stressing similarities was oh, so, Pisces.
  • Customers will expect individual contact rather than being treated as a herd.
  • Direct customer contact will become more important than relying on middlemen.
  • Industries will fragment, each vying to communicate the unique value of their product.

The Square and more Jupiter in Aries

Another story caught my ear as a foreshadow to Jupiter in Aries.  This story featured the “Square”, which allows micro-businesses to accept credit card transactions through a mobile phone, then you can also seamlessly operate two separate WhatsApp accounts on one phone, look no further than to see how that’s done. This handy resource not only provides virtual numbers, but also shares a detailed guide on how to effortlessly set up and manage both numbers..  On the spot credit card payments allow small business owners to forego the usual expenses of billing and collecting, allows the customer to pay immediately, and the fee for the service is less than most common credit card processing charges.  The two men featured in the story were construction workers who had lost their jobs and were running a lawn maintenance business.

What are the marks of Jupiter in Aries in this story?

  • Micro-businesses and small businesses will increase in number as large conglomerates begin to break into smaller companies and people continue to build businesses in lieu of employment.  (This is also a feature of the coming Uranus in Aries transit.)
  • As the number of micro and small businesses increases, there will be an increased demand for products and services to help them run their businesses.
  • On the spot, cut to the chase transactions will become common as the desire to do more, quickly, emerges as a response to the continued weakness in the economy.
  • Back offices will become dismantled as devices become available which allow overhead to be reduced.

Aries, the “first” sign

These two simple stories tell so much.  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.  Aries is challenged and excited by a little risk, and the Jupiter in us loves an adventure.  These two together bring to mind “frontier leadership,” a term I use to describe the spirit of bold expedition into unknown lines of business.  And these two don’t mind “ramming” things through either; they’re certain a good bump in the right direction is just what someone may need to see the light.

Competition will feature strongly over the next five months, and this competition could be 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.  There is a feeling of wanting it all and wanting no one to stand in the way.  And this independent spirit has led to amazing inventions and innovations in the past:  Jupiter in Aries witnessed the first electrical telegram, the first diplomatic agreement between China and the U.S., the First Baptist Church, and the first solo, non-stop, transatlantic flight.  In these examples you can see Jupiter acting through the sign of new beginnings.

In fact “first” is a good word to contemplate.  Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and Jupiter’s ingress on Saturday marks the beginning of a new twelve year Jupiter cycle.  Jupiter likes to think big!  Can you think about the next twelve years and being “first” in some aspect of your industry?  Over the next five months, as Jupiter wanders through Aries, it’s time to take a new plunge.  Can you look at the bulleted points above and find something that resonates for your business?


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 – January 2011

For more info on the business descriptions of the planets mentioned this week, see


Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Exploring the Sun/Mercury Cycle – Both Sides Now

Apollo, the Sun. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Good Day!

Today the Sun and Mercury meet, one of the two times they meet during one complete cycle.  I’d like to examine the whole Sun/Mercury cycle, first to make sure we understand where we are in the cycle and second, to see how we can optimize these repeated cycles in our immediate business lives.

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 memos 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 never gets too far from 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 the same number of days in each phase of the cycle.  Our present cycle began in June 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 June 28 at 6 degrees of Cancer.
  2. Mercury zoomed ahead of the Sun, all the way to 19 degrees of Virgo.  The Sun was 21 degrees behind Mercury at 28 degrees of Leo.
  3. Mercury turned retrograde and started moving back while the Sun was still moving forward.  This happened on August 20.
  4. Mercury and the Sun again meet at the exact same point in the zodiac, the Sun having moved forward to 10 degrees of Virgo and Mercury in retrograde motion having moved back to 10 degrees of Virgo.  This is where we are in the cycle today.
  5. The Sun will continue to move forward and Mercury will continue to move back for about 10 days, making them even farther apart.
  6. Mercury will turn direct, this time on September 12 at 5 degrees of Virgo.  The Sun will be at 20 degrees of Virgo.
  7. Now both the Sun and Mercury will be in forward motion, but the Sun will be quite a way in front of Mercury.  Mercury will finally catch up with the Sun on October 16 at 23 degrees of Libra.  This is the same stage of the cycle as step 1 above, but now the Sun and Mercury will have both moved forward in the zodiac to Libra rather than Cancer.  And then the whole cycle will begin again.

The Meaning

Mercury (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

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?

  • 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.
  • 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’s actually seen it from two different points of view.

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.  This is the time for reconnection and to re-familiarize 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.

(An aside:  I mapped this whole Sun/Mercury cycle out in my yard today and walked it again and again from the point of view of the Sun and Mercury.  When I met the Sun in retrograde motion, I imagined myself telling him that I’ve seen both sides now, which of course reminded me of the song, Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell.  On a hunch I came inside and looked up her chart.  Sure enough, she has the Sun and Mercury almost exactly conjunct in her natal chart.)

  • 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 gets 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 September 12.  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 dates for the next cycle of Mercury, starting with today’s Sun/Mercury conjunction:

September 3 – Sun meets Mercury in retrograde motion.  Action: Meet with your people, collect assignments, listen, and disseminate information.

September 4 – 12 – 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.

September 12 – October 16 – Mercury in direct motion, Sun ahead of Mercury.  Leader implements new plans, moves forward; everyone involved in current projects.

October 16 – Sun meets Mercury in direct motion.  Meeting of the minds.  Spell out your vision, hand out new project assignments, and create exploratory teams for future innovation.

October 16 – December 10 – Mercury in direct motion moves ahead of Sun.  Teams work on innovation, exploration, future possibilities. Leader manages, coordinates, and provides resources.

December 10 – Mercury turns retrograde, still ahead of Sun.  Teams finish assignments, begin to report in.  Leader reviews.

December 19 – Sun meets Mercury in retrograde motion.  Action:  Meet with your people, collect assignments, listen, and disseminate information.

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?

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 week, see the Weekly Forecast – August 30 – September 5

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – September 2010

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

10 Best Practices for Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde – 10 Ways to Engage

For more info on the business descriptions of the planets mentioned today, see

The Sun


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Mercury in Virgo and We Launch a New Service

Mercury by 17th-century Flemish sculptor Artus Quellinus, identified by his hat, drawstring purse, caduceus, winged sandals, cock (rooster), and goat (Source:Wikipedia)

Hello everyone.

Gotta love that Mercury in Virgo, always thinking about commerce.  Spurred on by practical Mercury, today we launch a new service, the Straight to the Point Response.  Below is the text of the email I sent.  If you’d like to be added to our mailing list, let me know at

Dear Friend,

Astro4Business is the premier astrological site combining business expertise and astrological knowledge.  Ellen Longo, CPA, CFP has over thirty years experience in business ownership and executive level leadership and she brings this unique perspective to every astrological consultation.

Many readers of the Astro4Business Intersections blog have requested consultations with Ellen.  We are offering a new service for busy business owners and leaders:  the Straight to the Point Response (SPR for those who like acronyms.)

This is how the SPR works:

  • Email your specific question to  I will also need your astrological information if you are a new client.  The charge for each response is $40 and will consist of a two page answer or a recording specifically related to you and your question.
  • I will send a PayPal invoice for you to pay online.
  • Within one week of the date we receive your payment, I will send your Straight to the Point Response.
  • After you have read or listened to your report, you are welcome to send up to three clarifying questions at no additional charge.   (A clarifying question is a question you ask to make sure you’ve understood my response correctly.)

What kinds of questions are common?

Here are some examples of common questions.  Of course, there are as many questions as there are specific situations; this is just to get you started.  And remember, a general question will elicit a general answer; a more specific question will elicit a more specific answer; and the more background you can give me, the more the answer will meet your needs.

  • I am considering taking on a partner or investor.  Is this a good time to make this move?
  • Is this a good time to open a branch office?
  • Everything seems challenging in my business right now.  What’s the best approach?
  • What can I do to make sure my boss notices the work I’m doing?
  • A senior staff member and I keep clashing.  Is there anything I can do to smooth things out?
  • I’m developing short-term career goals.  Any advice, based on my chart?
  • I have to decide between two opportunities.  Which has the most promise?
  • I feel stuck.  Is there something else I should be doing?
  • I’m considering going back to school.  What do you think?
  • My job requires public speaking, which I hate.  Any tips on how to overcome this fear?

I hope you will find this new service a useful source of knowledge and support.

Best always,


For an overview of the week, see the Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – July 26-Aug 1

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – July 2010

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Saturn Cycles (Redux)

Dear Readers – this is a reprint of an earlier article published on this site. As I’m travelling this week, and in keeping with Mercury Retrograde, I’ll be posting articles of interest from the archives each day this week.

Saturn (Source: NOAA)

Saturn (Source: NOAA)

Let’s talk a little more about cycles. What exactly do we mean by a cycle, especially in the context of astrology and business? Let’s define a cycle as a rhythmic pattern through time that has a beginning phase, a phase of building toward a vision or goal, a culminating phase where the fruit of the prior effort is evident, a waning phase when the accomplishment starts to wither or lose its glow, and an ending phase when the achievement disintegrates and creates the conditions for the next cycle.

Cycles like this are obvious; we’ve all experienced them. The seasons are an example of course but there are many more experiences that can go this way: love affairs, interests, exercise regimes, economics, political ideas, empires.

I was thinking about cycles because a client called the other day hoping astrology could shed light on a difficult period she is having in her career. Bethany is in her mid-fifties. She built a successful career in business for herself. With a background in marketing, she spent many years freelancing, developing marketing plans for small and mid-size businesses. She was successful financially and she liked the work a lot. She eventually went to work for a large organization running their marketing department. After several years she cut back to half-time; her heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

After spending a couple of years gardening, cooking, and generally laying low, Bethany hit upon an idea she thinks could make a splash on the internet. She’s been working diligently for about a year now and the project just isn’t coming together like she wishes it would. She asks, “Is it just not the right idea?” She beginning to feel filled with self-doubt and a sense of wasted time. Her outlook is bleak.

Can astrology help? Yes! Just listening to her, I could sense a Saturn cycle in play and checking her chart, it was true. Saturn’s cycle around the sun is twenty-nine years and it’s one of the best indicators for the progress of business and career development. Saturn’s influence has a natural affinity with business, especially with the disciplined effort it takes to really make a business take off. There’s a fascinating progression of Saturn through a person’s or business’s natal chart that outlines

  • the beginning point of a business endeavor when the idea is just a kernel taking shape,
  • the building phase when nothing but hard work is apparent,
  • the culmination phase when the endeavor receives public acclaim and financial rewards,
  • the waning phase when it’s still happening but the thrill of success is starting to fade,
  • the ending phase when the person sells or otherwise ends the business and begins looking for something new.

In this almost thirty year cycle, Bethany is in the first couple of years of something new. She is old enough to have been through it once before and she wonders why her previous success can’t be replicated. It will be; it is just too soon. Bethany is in the phase where she can build her business brick by brick: slowly build a client base, test and codify her ideas, get some education if she needs to. She has planted the seed, it has germinated, but it will be some years before it looks as dazzling as her previous success. It’s not that there won’t be small victories along the way. With Bethany’s talents there are certain to be, but Saturn’s message is patience, keep at it, build a strong foundation.

As we spoke about this cycle and discussed the last time she’d been through it, she remembered clearly those early lean years, the times she only had one or two steady clients, when she was working out of her home because she couldn’t afford an office yet. She was able to connect the dots from that time to her very profitable years later in the cycle, and she remembered why she had lost interest in the prior work. Her new work expresses the businesswoman she has become and takes advantage of today’s trends.

With the help of astrology, she could clearly see the cycle she was part of, and she left determined to continue the effort and keep laying the groundwork for her future.

For another example of this cycle, see this post on Julia Child:

Julia Child and Saturn

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Saturn in Virgo – Managing by the Details (Redux)

Dear Readers – this is a reprint of an earlier article published on this site. As I’m travelling this week, and in keeping with Mercury Retrograde, I’ll be posting articles of interest from the archives each day this week.

Luca Pacioli, the creator of double-entry bookkeeping. (Source:Wikipedia)

Luca Pacioli, the creator of double-entry bookkeeping. (Source:Wikipedia)

I’d like to start talking about medium term trends so you can take advantage of the current energies.

There are three categories of planets when looking at trends.

  1. The inner, personal planets and luminaries are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. These are planets that move so quickly around the zodiac that they influence our day to day lives but do not deliver a lasting impact.
  2. We’ve covered some of the very long term transits of the outer planets, Pluto in Capricorn, and Neptune in Aquarius. Uranus is also a planet with a very long orbit and I’ll cover him in upcoming posts. These three planets are called the impersonal planets because they have such long orbits that they tend to affect long periods of time and whole generations of people.
  3. There are two transpersonal planets, Jupiter and Saturn, which have orbits somewhere in between, twelve years for Jupiter, 29 years for Saturn. These planets are not entirely personal as they stay in one sign so long that large groups of people are born under the same sign. But they’re not entirely impersonal either, as they indicate trends that play out over a manageable group of years and we have some power to take advantage of their influence. They are seen as a bridge between the purely personal planets and the purely impersonal planets.

We’re going to skip to Saturn in Virgo, because there are only a few more months of this influence. Saturn entered the sign of Virgo in September 2007 and will leave the sign in late October 2009. It will briefly revisit Virgo from April to July 2010, but then it doesn’t return for 29 years. We want to make sure we’ve made the most of it before it leaves!

We’ve spoken about Saturn and how its qualities are beneficially associated with business ownership. Saturn understands conservatism, budgeting, and the needs for controls, policies, and rules. Saturn contracts the energy of ideas and inspiration into the material plane. It sees the goal at the top of the mountain and can patiently follow a prescribed plan to get there. Saturn does rule boundaries and limitations, yes, but willingly accepts these as a fact of life on this physical earth and knows how to put these things to use to accomplish success.

We haven’t talked about the sign Virgo yet. Virgo also has a natural alignment with business, especially the parts of business management having to do with planning, documnetation, auditing, accounting, and finance. Virgo has a facility with all kinds of information, especially the collecting and categorizing of information that then can be turned into knowledge.

I once attended a seminar in a business conference that spelled out the following flow:

Data becomes Information becomes Knowledge becomes Future Strategy

Virgo rules the first step in this process, where data is categorized into information. Virgo understands the practical need for documentation and systems of testing and analysis so that all the pieces of data can be turned into useful information. Virgo records the details, in black and white, that must be preserved for future decision-making. In addition to accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing, it also rules engineering and scientific research. It is practical and down to earth, cares more for application than theory. Virgo is fond of precise and detailed rituals, daily routines which performed day after day add up to a storehouse of practical wisdom.

Saturn in the sign of Virgo brings conservatism and material outcomes to business planning, auditing, and analysis. Remember, you only have a few more weeks to have the support of this energy. What are some of the items Saturn in Virgo is looking for?

  • Do you and your company have a clearly defined mission with a written mission statement?
  • Do you have a written sales plan?
  • Have you developed an annual budget?
  • Do you have a written pricing policy?
  • Is your inventory adequately controlled?
  • Do you have an adequate bookkeeping system?
  • Are you aware of tax laws and their implications when making decisions?
  • Do you perform cash flow projections regularly?
  • Do you prepare daily, weekly, and monthly financial reports?
  • How do you insure quality control?

This is what Saturn in Virgo loves. Note we did not mention what you do with all of this information. Saturn in Virgo is concerned with having the process and systems in place to provide it. It takes other planets and signs to interpret and form strategies from it. But without the above, there is no information at all.

For more on business planning, see this article:

Saturn in Virgo – to Plan or Not?

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What to do about Pluto in Capricorn (Redux)

Dear Readers – this is a reprint of an earlier article published on this site.  As I’m travelling this week, and in keeping with Mercury Retrograde, I’ll be posting articles of interest from the archives each day this week. 

You may be thinking, OK, very interesting theories, but what should I do about this trend of Pluto in Capricorn?  That depends on how this trend is affecting you; where you and your business stand in relation to the cycle.

To a certain extent, your individual horoscope will determine the timing of the impact of Pluto in Capricorn on your business life.  And for a more personalized and specific answer to this question you can visit an astrologer that you trust and discuss the cycle as it relates to your chart.  (Or you can contact me for a consultation.)  But there are a few general comments that apply to all of us, because whether or not this cycle is affecting us personally yet, it may be affecting our customers, colleagues, and employees.  And our turn will come soon enough, so we may as well prepare now.

Since Pluto hastens and intensifies the processes of endings and new beginnings, it 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 at this time, including old business models, practices, and products.  (Note:  the U.S. auto industry)  But an interesting clue regarding Pluto comes from its link with the mythological phoenix, the bird that periodically goes up in flames and then is reborn from its own ashes. 

If you’re undergoing the very dramatic death of a cherished business idea or idea of yourself as a successful businessperson, start digging through the ashes for your next incarnation.  Remember, the phoenix is resurrected from the ashes of its former self.  (One of my clients had been a very successful plumbing and heating contractor who, through no fault of his own, found himself in a bankruptcy situation because of a client’s bankruptcy.  He renamed his business Phoenix Mechanical and built an even bigger and more successful business that was on much more solid footing because of the lessons he had learned.)

So dig in those ashes.  What was valid from the past?  What were the strengths you and your key employees brought to the process?  What innovations did you make that really worked?  Don’t assume that everything about the endeavor should be scrapped.  There are valuable resources in that scrapheap.  While the next new idea will not look exactly like the old one, it may bear more similarities than you expect.

Even if nothing so dramatic is happening now, it’s a great time to work with these energies to remove dead wood.  Believe it or not, old ideas and structures that you may have abandoned but not gotten rid of can absorb a great deal of psychic energy and seep decay into the environment.  Clean out those closets!  Rearrange files.  Close bank accounts that are inactive.  Sell those vehicles you no longer use.  Preempt the Pluto in Capricorn lesson.

On the positive side, write a long-term business plan.  Have a succession plan in place.  Save money!  Work toward a business structure that will outlast your own involvement.  Improve your management skills.  Empower and promote the deserving.  Invest your time and energy in a fair work environment that offers advancement for your best people.  All these things take advantage of the times and let the universe know that you intend to glide with the current, rather than try to swim against it.

Let me know what you’re going to do in the comments section below.

For another article on Pluto in Capricorn, see the link below.  This was written when Saturn was in Libra, which it will return to after retrograde motion on July 24.

Are you Irrationally Pessimistic?


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Neptune in Aquarius – Let’s Get Connected (Redux)

Dear Readers – this is a reprint of an earlier article published on this site.  As I’m travelling this week, and in keeping with Mercury Retrograde, I’ll be posting articles of interest from the archives.  This was the first in a series of articles on Neptune in Aquarius.  There are links to the others below.

I found a great quote by Mikal Gilmore in the Rolling Stone Commemorative Issue on Michael Jackson.  Although he wasn’t describing Neptune, these words are particularly descriptive of Neptune’s energy:

In my mind, Michael Jackson, [Elvis] Presley and the Beatles all shared one virtue:  they bound together millions of dissimilar people in not just a quirk of shared taste, but also a forceful, heartfelt consensus that spoke to common dreams and values.”

This is a perfect quote for the activity of Neptune:  a forceful, heartfelt consensus that speaks to common dreams and values.  (To see my post on Neptune, use this link Neptune/) Neptune has been transiting the sign of Aquarius (Aquarius/) since 1998.  What are the common dreams and values that are inspiring us with Neptune in Aquarius? 

The Aquarius common dreams and values are

  • the equality of the common man;
  • responsibility to the group;
  • the ascendancy of man based on knowledge, rather than other types of power;
  • the right of humans to progress technologically;
  • the right of each person to contribute to the base of knowledge. 

Neptune in Aquarius – connecting, binding together through the dissemination of knowledge and information.  Aquarius is an air sign, so it’s through the realm of thinking and ideas that the Neptunian urge to merge takes root in the world. 

What does this search for connection look like?  Think of internet dating.  This hugely popular and successful way to connect to other people is done entirely through databases of attributes – bits of knowledge about other people matched electronically with bits of knowledge about you.  Mind to mind connection.  The bits of knowledge may be about your likes and dislikes, your beliefs, what makes you smile, how you feel, all little pieces of information that you choose to key into the screen – effectively turning your need for connection into bits of information.  No physical contact, no physical environment for meeting and yet thousands of successful matches. 

How else do we search for connection these days?  Facebook has become a phenomenon during Neptune’s transit of Aquarius, becoming more and more ubiquitous every day.  It has become unnecessary for any physical contact to keep up with friends and family and in fact this electronic connection has allowed more contact with a wider group than ever before.  No need even for telephones to transmit our personalities, we can just reach out and touch each other virtually.  And it really does feel like connection, more connection than ever.

Blogging is also a very Neptune in Aquarius activity.  The right of the common person to contribute to a base of shared knowledge across countries and cultures is a trend that has never been seen on this scale.  And twittering, blogging in fewer than 140 characters, is changing and some would say redefining our communication skills to match the lighting pace of our world.  The right to change centuries of grammar and punctuation rules with the abbreviations and short bursts required for text messaging is a purely Aquarian liberty.  Revolutionize!  Break the rules!

I’m interested in hearing from you.  How are you including these trends in your business plans?  In the comments section below, let’s begin sharing ideas about aligning with Neptune in Aquarius, a very Neptune in Aquarius thing to do!

See the rest of the series in these posts:

Neptune in Aquarius – mind to mind connecting

Neptune in Aquarius – Inspired Minds

Neptune in Aquarius – Free

Neptune in Aquarius – Free, the Radical Price

Neptune in Aquarius – How to Compete with Free

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Jumping into Uranus in Aries

Hi, everyone.

Floor mosaic, ca. 200–250 CE. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Are you ready for change?  This post initiates our deep exploration into Uranus in Aries.  This transit signals the beginning of a long season of change for several reasons.

First, Uranus itself embodies the principle of change, especially the kind of transitions that occur in our businesses and our lives 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.

The second reason Uranus is so “front-and-center,” a military expression, is its coming ingress into Aries on May  28th.  This transition is noteworthy enough because there is always a shift when Uranus changes signs.  Innovation is seeded from different areas and when Uranus was in Pisces it was seeded in collaboration and cooperation.  When Uranus moves into Aries, there will be a shift.  What is that shift?  We will be examining that in this series of posts.

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 ending and beginning of an 84-year cycle.  Uranus has not been at this beginning point in the zodiac since 1928.  The whole period from 1928 to 2010 has been one long cycle of creative innovation which is now giving birth to a whole new cycle.

And then the third reason to focus on Uranus is with its ingress into Aries, it completes the Cardinal T-square formation.  We’ve been adjusting to the energy of Saturn squaring Pluto since last fall; Uranus is the new kid on the block with his own point of view to bring to the conflict.

Let’s Jump In

So we’ll be exploring all of these issues.  To begin my research, I visited all of the articles on Uranus that were written for last weekend’s International Astrology Blog Carnival.  I found several that lay down a good foundation, even though not strictly written for business entrepreneurs.  Here is a list to get you started with a short explanation.  Read the ones that interest you and we’ll continue this conversation over the next few weeks.

Ellen says – This is a great explanation of the interplay of the energies and suggestions for how to cope.  Not business, but good.

Ellen says – A great astrologer, Steven Forrest looks at Uranus in each of the houses of the natal chart.  Not business oriented but that doesn’t stop us from making the correlations.  Remember, if you don’t know where Uranus is transiting in your chart, see the sidebar.  I’ll send you your chart and let you know where Uranus is.

Ellen says – Molly Hall explains Uranus in Aries to teens or to anyone who’s ever been a teen.  A great read based on The Fool card of the Tarot, she gives a series of tips about how to walk into the coming trend.

Ellen says – CJ Wright gives us insight into Uranus by sharing her reader’s stories of their Uranus transits.  The first-hand stories really give you a sense of how Uranus operates.  In the comments she responds to a reader saying she thinks Uranus in Aries may be a catalyst for entrepreneurs, and I agree.

Ellen says – This one’s really great, especially if you’re interested in Second Life, as I am.  I never thought of SL as connected to Uranus before, and I wonder how it will change when Uranus moves into Aries.  It’s a great read.

Ellen says – This article, by revered astrological writer Donna Cunningham, examines the stress of relocating, which has become common and will continue.  She recommends various Flower Essences that can help calm the spirit when under this kind of challenge.

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What flavor your crisis?

Hello, everyone.

My work lately has brought me into contact with many people undergoing crises in their business lives.  It’s no surprise, really, with the Saturn/Pluto square in place most of 2010, plus the approaching Uranus entry into the confrontation beginning in May.  These are intense times and problems are bubbling to the surface and boiling over. 

In the past, I have designed business processes to help identify the root of a business problem and how to address correcting it.  It’s interesting that often a business owner will think there is one obstacle when actually it is another causing the problem.

What kind of crisis is it?

VolcanoI’ve begun looking at the transits of the five outer planets in terms of business crises and how to resolve each type of situation.  When I refer to crises I’m referring to those turning points when a business owner needs to fully understand a situation and make a crucial decision.  The particular crisis a business is experiencing has a different root and a different solution depending on the planet that is affecting the chart at a certain point in time.

A brief look at the outer planets one by one will give you a sense of what I’m saying.  In a nutshell:

Pluto – a Pluto transit indicates a business crisis in which old forms of the business are being destroyed, probably very dramatically.  There may be firings of key management, criminal activity, cover-ups, and almost certainly difficulties with finances, banking, and other owners.  Lack of trust and betrayal is probably at the root of the problem.

Neptune – a Neptune transit indicates a business crisis in which trends in the marketplace have swept over the business and caused it to lose its footing.  The owners are probably confused as to how to react because they can’t clearly define what is happening.  There may be deception, uncertainty, unhealthy dependency, and inefficiency.

Uranus – a Uranus transit indicates a business crisis caused by sudden technological breakthroughs rendering the business out-of-date or the product line obsolete.  The traditional ways of dealing with challenge have broken down and there is no centralized structure in place to address the problem.

Great Mississippi Flood of 1927Saturn – a Saturn transit indicates a business crisis based on scarcity of resources such as money, employees, or talent.  There may be quality issues or rigid systems of control.  The management structure is unyielding or overly bureaucratic.

Jupiter – a Jupiter transit indicates a business crisis caused by too many opportunities.  Risk-taking could be leading to overexpansion.  The focus has become too scattered and lack of follow-through causes projects to be invested in and then dropped before completion.  There can be lack of judgment on the part of the owners and extravagance and dissipation of resources.

The problem and the solution

When addressing each kind of business crisis, it’s important to remember that the same energies are at play in the problem and the solution.  Resolving a Uranus type crisis by implementing a strict hierarchical structure is fighting the energy rather than aligning with it.  For a Uranus crisis, the solution would need to be from the bottom-up, with lots of participation from employees and customers. 

It’s also often the case that more than one type of energy is in play at the same time.  For instance, if a business is experiencing a Pluto-type crisis now, they are also experiencing a Saturn crisis since Pluto and Saturn are so related in the skies right now.  That’s why this coming period is so tough.  If any one of the planets Pluto, Saturn, or Uranus is affecting your business, then they all are:  old forms toppling, scarcity, and obsolescence all at once.

Is your business life in crisis?

We’ll discuss this at further length in later posts, especially the process of working with the energy to resolve the crisis, but can you identify with one or more of the situations above?  If your business life is in crisis, try to identify which kind from the thumbnail sketches above.  Then check your own chart or the chart of your business to see if what you picked corresponds to the current transits of these five outer planets.

If you don’t have a chart, see the sidebar to contact me to send your chart.  I’ll also take a quick look and let you know which energy is affecting you most.  Then you can follow along as we look at solutions.

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Begin Anew Today





Hello, everyone.

Today is Gudhi Padwa, regarded by Hindus as one of the 3 ½ most auspicious days of the year to begin something new.  In fact, it is said that every single moment of this day is auspicious for new beginnings. 

This holiday is primarily celebrated in the India States of Maharashtra and Kerala.  It marks the first day of the Marathi calendar, and the first day of Spring.  According to Hindu electional astrology, any work begun today will bring success.

In Hindu mythology, this is the day the great God, Brahma, created the world.  It marks the instant that time began.  I’d say time and space are pretty successful endeavors, wouldn’t you?  

The Gudhi (decorated flag) is hoisted outside a doorway or window, and bright rangolis made from colored ground stone are created in front of doorsteps.  It is a day of spring cleaning, new clothes, and traditional sweets.

If you are beginning a new endeavor, today would be a great day to start.  This day supports taking even a small action toward the new project.  Design your own ritual, maybe even sitting down with a cup of coffee, and write your intention for the endeavor.  Put your heart into it and offer your wish to the universe.

Have a wonderful, auspicious, awe-inspiring day!