Archive for category The Planets

Uranus flashes through 2011

(Source: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone.

This is our third and final post in the series examining the travels of the three outermost planets during 2011.  We’ve covered Pluto and Neptune; check out the links if you missed them.  Today we’ll take a look at Uranus.  You’ll want to have your chart handy so you can determine whether Uranus will figure prominently for you this year.   If so, follow the advice at the end about pitfalls to watch for and ways to align yourself with the energy.  (If you need a copy of your chart, see the sidebar to request a free natal chart.)


Astrology segments the planets and luminaries into three groups:  the personal planets including the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars; the societal planets Jupiter and Saturn; and the impersonal planets, the planets of the collective, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  From the Sun all the way out to Saturn, we are familiar with these energies.  They form a part of our everyday experience of life and their patterns are developed in terms we understand.  We may not agree with the limitations imposed by Saturn, but they make sense to us and we’re generally willing to go along.  An example is the speed limit:  we may not like it for ourselves but we can recognize the beneficial restriction on our fellows.

All of the planets out to the orbit of Saturn were known and tracked for thousands of years.  Then we come to Uranus.  Uranus is the planet of the paradigm shift.  Can you imagine what it must have been like when it was discovered?  Not only was there this incredible invention, the telescope, but another body in the sky, the sky we had thought we had known so well for so long.

That’s the impact of Uranus in society and in our lives.  It serves to breakup conventions; it ushers in brand new information.  It propels us into unexpected ways of thinking and perceiving reality.  In business, its name is “innovation.”  Uranus governs change, disruption, reversals, brilliance, acceleration, eccentricity, the unique individual and the wider community.

Uranus represents an incredibly powerful mental dimension which, when brought into our conscious awareness, can yield startling and useful insights.  In the personal mind, it appears as sudden flashes of insight and intuition that often lead to upheavals in our consciousness and are reflected in our outer lives.

Uranus in Aries

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In early March Uranus ends its 7 year stay in Pisces and enters Aries.  In business, Uranus in Pisces brought diversification to deal with new market forces, committee leadership, and collaboration, as well as global connection, dissolution of structures, and termination of hierarchies.  As it moves into Aries this year, the source of business innovation will transition to a more independent and aggressive impulse.  The innovation during the next seven years will come more from the efforts of the entrepreneur than collaborative efforts with peers.

We’ll see the shift in society too, and politics.  For many years people have felt powerless to address the challenges of our world, especially those caused by government, big business, and the other powers that be.  But there is a new movement afoot – one in which we are all coming to the understanding that we are individually powerful and that each act we perform has the power to change our world.

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

Perhaps 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.  This is the upside of Uranus in Aries.

Uranus in the heavens this year

Uranus begins the year at 26 degrees Pisces and enters Aries on March 11.  From there it continues to 4 degrees of Aries when it begins its annual period of retrograde motion.  Moving all the way back to 00 degrees Aries, it turns direct on December 10th and finishes the year still at 00 degrees Aries.

If you have chart points from 26 to 30 degrees of any sign, but especially Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius, Uranus will bring its signature change and disruption over the next couple of months.  But it also brings startling clarity of mind and a desire to experiment and break through.  If you have chart points from 00 to 5 degrees of any sign, but especially Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn this is your year for independence and reinvention.

If Uranus is visiting you this year, the way to work with the energy is to let yourself be excited by something new; branch out, experiment, try new things.  Allow yourself to be struck by lightning, to be shaken up, to be surprised.  Let in new ideas, new philosophies, and allow yourself to be influenced by others.  Join a cause; work on the change you want to see.  It’s a time for intellectual fervor and for thinking way outside of the box.

Some complications

You may have noticed that Uranus is roughly covering the same degrees that Neptune will be covering, but in different signs.  If you have chart points at 26, 27, 28, 29, or 00 degrees you will be visited by both planets between now and the end of March.  And depending on which signs your chart points are in, you will be favored by one and challenged by the other.  For instance, say you have a 00 degree Sagittarius Sun.  Neptune will square your Sun from Pisces, which is challenging, and Uranus will trine your Sun from Aries, which brings opportunity.  So you’ll have two different, distinct, and powerful influences pushing and pulling you in different ways.  Don’t be surprised if you feel bewildered, or when one moment’s absolute clarity disintegrates into the next moment’s complete confusion.  Your heart and your mind may be taking you in different directions, or two support groups may be urging two different courses of action.

Both influences have something to bring, and they will each bring their impact into your business.  The big, wider world wants to take a hand in your life.  Since these aren’t energies we can regulate, I’d say embrace both.  By the end of March you’ll be on firm footing again or at least only dealing with one or the other!

And more complications

Similar to Uranus and Neptune, Uranus and Pluto will also be in close contact this year.  They don’t actually form an exact aspect until 2012 but they come within a degree or so.  Next summer may bring intensity and breakthrough for you if you have chart points from 3 to 6 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn.  But that’s another topic:  we’ll cover it closer to its due date.

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

For more information on Uranus, see these posts:

Uranus – an Introduction

Uranus in Pisces – Cisco Systems

Astro4Business Today – May 27, Full Moon, Uranus enters Aries!

Astro4Business Breakthrough!

Astro4Business – May 26

Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – Welcome Uranus in Aries!

Jumping into Uranus in Aries

Uranus and the Cycle of Innovation

Seven Classic Skills for Innovation

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Neptune Swimming through 2011

Hello, everyone.

This is the second in our January series about the transits of the outer planets during 2011.  We began last week with Pluto, the outermost planet.  Today we’ll consider Neptune, also far-distant from the earth, exerting a subtle and profound influence.  You’ll want to have your chart handy so you can determine whether Neptune will figure prominently for you this year.   If so, follow the advice at the end about pitfalls to watch for and ways to align yourself with the energy.  (If you need a copy of your chart, see the sidebar to request a free natal chart.)

"A Mermaid" by John William Waterhouse, 1905. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Neptune in Aquarius; Make That Pisces; Oops, Back Into Aquarius

Neptune’s been in Aquarius since 1998.  This era has ushered in Aquarian values such as the equality of all beings, shared responsibility for the 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.

Neptune is not a personal planet.  It’s not an energy that we own, or can bid to do our will.  And yet every person is touched by Neptune and every business must constantly respond to its influence.  It has a profound impact on advertising, marketing, and branding.  Neptune is the part of everyone which seeks to become like others, to identify with a group, to share common beliefs.  It is the part of us which wants to align rather than separate, to seek common ground.

With Neptune in Aquarius we’ve been finding common ground through ideas, technology, and invention.  As Neptune proceeds into Pisces for a few months this year we will all begin to shift to a different point of alignment.  Borders will come down; our tribe will morph into those who feel the way we do, who understand and accept the same values, and who can imagine the same future that we do.   We will connect to our employees and customers based on feelings and creative imagination rather than the more mental connection we’ve been forming through social media.  Think scent, color, taste, and certainly, multi-dimensional media; 3-D is only the bare beginning!

Neptune begins the year in Aquarius and moves into Pisces in early April.  It will remain in Pisces until August when, through retrograde motion, it moves back into Aquarius where it will finish the year.  This is a year of transition for all of us and we will get glimmers of the sea-change that is coming in 2012 when Neptune moves permanently into Pisces.  (Not really permanently, but it will feel that way.)

Mermaid Calls

I’ve dubbed Neptune visits “mermaid calls.”  Neptune transits appear as a subtle dissatisfaction; a desire to leave the world of rules and boundaries behind; a desire for “floaty” days when you can glide without purpose from one thing to another.  Obviously this can be tough for someone managing a business, unless the line of business is particularly attuned to this kind of creative drifting.

On the other hand, Neptune has been known to be very active in the charts of people with massive wealth; it’s like a small wave turns into a tsunami of riches, according to Christeen Skinner, an expert business astrologer.

So is 2011 your turn for a visit?  Anyone with chart points which are at the very end of a sign or the very beginning of the next sign will be affected.  From 26 to 30 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio will certainly feel the waves, as well as anyone with chart points from zero to 2 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius.

Whenever Neptune makes a strong appearance, it is time for a change.  Not a sudden change brought on by technological progress (Uranus) or crisis (Pluto) but more from a lingering sense of disillusion or dissatisfaction.  Neptune requires us to sacrifice some part of ourselves, something we may think defines us, in order to grow in our understanding of our purpose within the larger coursing life.

Neptune’s effect on business can bring on a business challenge in which trends in the marketplace have swept over the business and caused it to lose its footing.  And yet it may be hard to react skillfully because the owners may not be able to clearly define exactly what the issue is.  If Neptune is strong for you this year, be sure to watch for deception, confusion, unhealthy dependence, and negligence.

How do we make the most of a Neptune transit?  We keep it simple.  We allow time for our own and our employees’ creativity.  We develop a receptive state of mind.  At work each day, we do what’s in front of us.  We explore the opportunities that come our way without investing too much.  We recognize we are adjusting our intuition to a new beam; we don’t trust too easily or too soon.  And we surely use our lawyer and accountant to review the paperwork.  Once that’s done, we go with the flow!

To read more about Neptune, check out these links:

Mermaid Calls

Neptune in Aquarius – let’s get connected!

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

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Let’s get an overview of the coming year.  In the next several posts we’ll look at the long-range and overarching influences of each planet one by one.  You’ll want to have your chart handy so you can determine whether the planet will figure prominently for you this year.   If so, follow the advice at the end about pitfalls to watch for and ways to align yourself with the energy.  (If you need a copy of your chart, see the sidebar to request a free natal chart.)

Hades, labeled as "Plouton", "The Rich One", bears a cornucopia on an Attic red-figure amphora, ca 470 BC. (Source:Wikipedia)

Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto begins the year at 5 degrees Capricorn, reaches about 7 ½ degrees before turning retrograde in April, regresses to just shy of 5 degrees in September, and then turns direct to end the year at 7 degrees  Capricorn.  Two degrees in one year!

Pluto represents massive and global change which springs from the evolutionary urge of life as a whole.  It is an energy way beyond our conscious control and generally shows itself as upheaval, destruction, and reconstruction.  Its symbol is the phoenix, rising from the ashes of what has been destroyed.  In Capricorn until 2024, Pluto will particularly bring its regenerative energy to large societal structures such as government, religion, the economy, industry and the military.

Unlike 2010, when Pluto was involved in extremely stressful aspects with several other planets, its path is relatively unimpeded this year.  In late February it forms the only challenging aspect of the year with Jupiter.   This aspect can bring turmoil on the global stage, particularly in Jupiter-ruled areas such as publishing, the media, foreign relations, and with Jupiter in Aries, conflict and warfare.  But with Jupiter, we can look for opportunities, blessings in disguise, which we can capitalize on if we act ethically and responsibly in the face of this turmoil.

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.  But its movement is so slow and its action can be subtle.  You may sense the change to the foundational structures around you but don’t yet understand how they will impact your business.

Has Pluto come to visit you?

Unless, that is, you have chart points in the first 4 degrees of any sign, but especially Capricorn, Aries, Cancer, or Libra.  If so, you are more than aware of the impact of this energy; the last two years have been full of upheaval for you!  You can rest more easily now.  Pluto has done its work and it’s now up to you to pick up the pieces.  Whatever has survived has real value for you.  Since Pluto imbues us with power, I’m sure your strength has returned and reconstruction has begun.

And for those of you with planets from 5 degrees to about 9 degrees of any sign, but especially those mentioned above, this is your year!  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.  The key is to dig down deep and open a large space within for a whole new perspective.   Be willing to become new, to become redefined, to irrevocably let go of a perception that has become outmoded, worn down, and worn out.  It’s time to shed an old skin and let a new young fresh skin grow in its place.

In your business this can play out as a crisis in which old forms of the business are being destroyed, possibly very dramatically.  With Pluto on the scene, there could be firings of key management, criminal activity, cover-ups, and almost certainly difficulties with finances, banking, and other owners.  Lack of trust and betrayal are probably at the root of the problem.  Keep your eyes and ears open and tread as carefully as you can.  Pluto can uncover some demons but it also reveals deep reserves of strength, power, and wealth.  This is your year to excavate the gold.

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

To explore Pluto in Capricorn, check out these posts:

Rhythms and Cycles

These Changing Times

Happy Anniversary, Pluto!

Birthing a Revolution – Pluto in Capricorn

What to do about Pluto in Capricorn (Redux)

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Jupiter/Uranus Conjunction – Innovation is born!

Hello, everyone.

Today is the day of the final Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, an aspect which begins a new fourteen year cycle of originality, technological advances, and innovations in products, processes, and services.   We experienced the first contact of this series in June in the sign of Aries, then again in retrograde motion in Pisces in September, and now in direct motion again in Pisces.  Soon both planets will continue into Aries.

Jupiter is the planet of expansion and opportunities, growth and optimism.  Uranus is the planet of innovation, unexpected breakthroughs, and societal transformation.  These two together are a powerhouse for business!

Samuel Morse Telegraph, created during 1844-45 Jupiter/Uranus conjunction. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

At the first contact back in June I wrote:

…what’s fun about this series of contacts is that Uranus expresses its energy in our lives in completely unpredictable ways.  This coupled with Jupiter’s love of sport means the coming six months may feel like a merry-go-round spinning at top speed:  you know the ditty, round and round and round we go and where we stop, nobody knows!  Yes, that’s Jupiter/Uranus.

This is a time of big risks, big opportunities, massive creative juice, and the potential for just as big mistakes and failures.  Especially early in the cycle, we are likely to begin one thing and another, throwing balls into the air to see where they land.  Where will we end up next January, after the last of the conjunctions?  In a new place for sure, but with Uranus, the planet of the unexpected, we won’t know until we get there.  Are you ready for the ride?

So how was it for you?  What balls did you throw in the air and where did they land?

And then at the retrograde contact in September I wrote:

Deep in the recesses of your mind, there is a new idea being born.  Yes, it may bear a resemblance to something you thought was left behind for good.  And while both planets are in retrograde motion, it may be hard to clearly distinguish the next step for your business innovation and that’s OK – it’s not time for a fully baked idea yet.  But if you listen carefully, you may hear the stirrings of your next big move, even if it sounds familiar.

By now the boundaries have given way; we’ve experimented, we’ve tested, we’ve taken risks, we’ve tried things that worked and others that failed.  The idea is ready and we’re right on track!

Looking back over the last six months, could you have foreseen what your plans are today?  I know when I think back to last June I thought I would be writing a series on Leadership for each astrological sign.  Now I intend to pursue my Master’s Degree in Archetypal Cosmology and Conscious Evolution and write an additional blog on the daily journey through astrology!  Talk about completely unpredictable, I didn’t even have a glimmer of this last June.

How about you?  What ideas and insights are ready for implementation?  It’s time to trust your intuition now.  If it’s not immediately apparent, scan your heart and mind.  The seed has been planted for your business innovation, your trek into the next fourteen years.  Now is the time to recognize what has begun.  Can you identify it?

Please share in the comments your breakthrough if you can.  It will be inspiring to hear what these two planets have brought to light.

For more discussion of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, see these links:

June 7-13, Uranus/Jupiter Conjunction

June 9, Anticipation and Mountain Laurel

September 17, One-Two Punch

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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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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Neptune transits – Mermaid Calls

Hello, everyone.

I received a letter today from a reader who has become a client.  We’ve been working together lately as she goes through some business uncertainty and transitions.  Of course these transitions are reflected in the transits of planets affecting her natal chart.

"A Mermaid" by John William Waterhouse, 1905. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

When a person is facing a major issue in their life, reflected by a transit of the outer planets to one or more of the inner planets, it will affect several areas of their life at the same time.  And even if not specifically transiting an area of the chart related to business, a major reconfiguration of your personal life is bound to affect how you conduct your business during the transit.

The Set-up

As it turns out this client’s current transit couldn’t be more impactful on her business life.  Natally, she has Saturn in the 10th house and it is squaring her Ascendant.  Remember, Saturn is the principle of contraction, of bringing visions and inspiration into the material realm, of making it real.  The 10th house is the house of your most public self, which for most people is their career and reputation.  Saturn is very comfortable in the 10th house and generally speaking a person with Saturn in the 10th is focused on making a name for themselves through their own hard work.  They invest time and energy into building their reputation step by step.

When this dedication to career and business success shown by Saturn is natally squaring the Ascendant, as this person’s is, this march toward success in the outer realm is part and parcel of the person’s self-image.  It is completely inseparable from how they feel about themselves and how other people perceive them.  And yet with the square the fit is not a comfortable one.  With Saturn squaring the Ascendant, it’s almost like they have a military general inside calling their marching orders and that officer will brook no opposition from the contented or fanciful.

So this is a tough set-up and one that my client has grappled with and made the most of.  She runs a small creative business with about 10 employees and is used to the cycle of work hard and win; work harder and win more; work harder still and win still more.

The Mermaid calls

And along comes Neptune.  Neptune is crossing that Saturn point in her chart in the 10th house.  Whenever Neptune makes a strong appearance in a chart, it is time for a change.  Not a sudden change brought on by technological progress (Uranus) or crisis (Pluto) but more from a lingering sense of disillusion or confusion. 

Neptune transiting Saturn is like our military general has been assigned a mentor by the powers that be and the mentor turns out to be a hippie artist mermaid who whispers to him to take off his uniform and join her in the warm sea.  Do you think he just says, OK, let’s go?  No.  The seductress’ song is the enemy of everything he has built to this point, every structure and accomplishment that has made his life respectable, safe, and stable. 

But the forces of the outer planets are strong, and since they are ultimately about the evolution of humanity as a whole rather than upholding our idea of personal success, they eventually engulf us.  There are really only two choices: to consciously invite Neptune’s long visit or to resist and be overwhelmed by seemingly external forces that dissolve the structures of our life.

Sacrificing Doing for Being

Neptune requires us to sacrifice some part of ourselves, something we think defines us, in order to grow in our understanding of our place within the larger coursing life.  Saturn is about doing; Neptune is about being.  If we are normally the type who sets one goal after another, always reaching to improve and perfect, then taking our hands off the wheel and letting life drive feels completely foreign.  Adrift within confusion, lack of clarity, and doubt about future direction, we grab at one “solution” after another, only to have it melt away in our hands.  Neptune’s transits are long and it takes a while to recognize that our old methods don’t serve anymore.  Each time we think we’ve found our direction, the destination becomes unavailable or we realize it’s illusory.

So what do we do during a Neptune transit?  We keep it simple.  We journal or paint or pray.  We develop a receptive state of mind.  In our business, we do what’s in front of us.  We explore the opportunities that come our way without investing too much.  We take notice of our community.  We look for ways to serve others.  We recognize we are adjusting our intuition to a new beam; we don’t trust too easily or too soon.  We use our lawyer and accountant to review the paperwork.

And we listen for the muse.  Remember that general?  You know that once he enters that mermaid’s warm embrace he’ll be most happy he did.

Are you feeling dazed and confused in your business?  Are you having a Neptune transit?  Share your experiences in the comments.  And if you’re not sure, see the box at right to send me an email and I’ll let you know if Neptune is visiting you.

For the basics of Saturn and Neptune, see these posts:



Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at 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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Blending without Drowning: How Saturn saved a Neptune Type

Hello everyone.

This post is not about business, although I’m sure there are points for business in it.  If you are strongly influenced by Neptune you will relate to it; if not, why not come along for the ride anyway?  (If you don’t know how strongly you are influenced by Neptune, check out “How Strong is Your Neptune?  Here’s the Score!”)

First, some context 

Last week on Donna Cunningham’s blog a discussion developed among people with a strong Neptune influence in their chart.  Many people were sharing that they are so sensitive to other people’s energy that they find it hard to be in groups of people and many generally prefer to be alone. 

I made a comment on Donna’s blog and when she read it she asked me to say more about how I learned to blend my energies with other people.  This post is my reply to Donna and the whole group.  My comment was:

I used to hate being in groups but now I’ve learned to blend my energy with others when I want to and actually love being around compatible people. Even events like ball games are fun now, because I can “become” the people around me and have a blast.

And some background

As a child I was raised with very strict, in fact, military, discipline.  In astrological terms you would say with a very strong Saturn influence.  The atmosphere in my home produced three results, all related to Neptune: 

  1. I tended to withdraw into spiritual and romantic fantasies because it was the only place I had any power;
  2. I had no sense of personal boundaries as they were infringed upon daily by an overbearing authority figure;
  3. I didn’t develop a sense of self-discipline because there was so much external discipline imposed upon me.

I entered young adulthood drifting from place to place and person to person with very little sense of or appetite for “real life.”  I was very open to the underlying currents of situations but had only a minimal sense of self-protection.  I was uncomfortable in almost all social situations, from the smallest dinner party to the largest stadium event.  I wanted nothing to do with rules or structure of any kind.  My Neptune energy was very active but my Saturn energy was completely undeveloped.

So how did all this change?  After thinking about this for a few days, I have to say it has to do with boundaries.  In astrological terms you would say I developed my inner Saturn. 

A Line in the Sand

My awareness of my own Saturn began with a situation when the current authority figure in my life asked me to do something I just couldn’t do, to cross a line I just couldn’t cross.  It was the first time I stood up and said NO to someone; to put what I felt and cared about in front of my fear of losing someone I loved.

This situation brought my first sense of my own authority; before that I was unaware that I had any.  And it felt so good to protect myself and be willing to risk everything for it.  I did lose everything from that decision, but that loss turned into self-reliance, education, my own business, building a house, and raising a child.  Of course, the unfolding of this inner authority took many years, but little by little I learned about a rock solid place inside myself that was my safe haven, and I learned to honor it.

A Tiny Incident, A Major Shift

In some people, once they find the self-protective instinct of Saturn it becomes an enclosure that they can’t find their way out of.  Other more Neptunian types are so prone to giving their power to others that they can never stand up for themselves.  Neither of these lasted long for me and for this I credit my spiritual teacher.  It’s funny how a tiny incident can lead to a major life change. 

One day I was in a large room with my teacher and several hundred other people.  A woman came up to the teacher and the teacher noticed that the woman was wearing a locket around her neck in the shape of a heart, and the locket was open.  She said to the woman, “Your locket is open.”  And the woman looked down and said, “That’s because my heart is always open.”  And the teacher said, “Ah, but you have to learn to open it and to close it.”

This incident sparked a whole new understanding of boundaries for me.  Until that time I thought a “spiritual” person had to have their heart constantly splayed out in order to be truly open.  I learned that my boundaries are my own and they are malleable according to my discrimination and my will.  My circle can expand to encompass the whole of the universe; or I can contract that circle to the smallest sphere so that only my family is invited inside.  That’s the key:  I’ve learned that I am the gatekeeper.  What I invite inside is welcome inside.  What I don’t invite doesn’t come in.

Now for the fun part

This has completely freed my life.  Now I can go to the most raucous ballgame and whole-heartedly join the crowd and have a blast.  Nothing is more fun than to lose myself in the glee of a shared victory.  But when I leave the stadium and step into the streets of New York I draw my shield of self-protection close around me.

I can go to a park and meld into nature, but then I sit at my desk and focus on accounting or tax work.  I expand or contract as the situation requires.  I can close my heart and move right through a dangerous minefield of negativity and then open it again to relax into the vibrations of a loving friend.

So my story comes down to learning self-authority, boundaries, and discrimination, all Saturn qualities.  Once I learned to internalize the authoritarian face of Saturn, it turned into self-protection.  And once I learned self-protection, I learned I can blend as much or as little as I will – it’s my choice.

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Need inspiration? Enlist your Saturn!

Hello, everyone.

Uranus is the topic these days, as it’s ending its seven year sojourn through Pisces and is about to enter a new sign, Aries, in May.  As I was thinking about Uranus this morning I ended up thinking about Saturn.  Saturn is the furthest planet that can be seen with our naked eye and Uranus is the next one out, the first planet discovered with a telescope.  In order to meet Uranus you have to pass the gatekeeper, Saturn.

Saturn needs Uranus


Since Saturn has been known since ancient times as it travelled through the skies, astrologers usually talk about Saturn forming a boundary between what is known and what is unknown, between the traditional and the new, between the personal and the collective.  If Saturn is very strong in your chart or the chart of your business then it brings a disciplined focus and relentless pursuit of your goals.  It also brings patience and the understanding that some things take time in order to manifest. 

But in order to succeed we also need access to the flow of innovation and inspiration, the creative new ideas that spring from our deeper self and form our next business strategies.  Saturn can be an ally in both directions, with one face guarding our personal lives from being overwhelmed by unconscious eruptions and one face guarding our more enlightened selves from constantly being buried in mundane life.

And Uranus needs Saturn

To explain let’s return to Uranus.  Uranus brings lightning fast flashes of insight.  It represents the part of your mind that works light years faster than your normal thinking processes.  But if your mind is undisciplined, endlessly chattering, and cannot become still, then you can’t catch these flashes of insight, flashes that can change your life and take your business in startling new directions.

What is all this chatter?  If you think about it, the constant activity in your mind is generated by all of the personal factors in your life, symbolized by the personal planets:  your feelings, ambitions, desires, activities, body aches, to-do lists, obligations, things you need to remember, etc., etc., etc.  These currents can easily drown out the subtleties communicated from our more transcendent selves. 

All this noise has to somehow be contained, at least temporarily, in order to “hear” the whisperings of our own brilliance.  Saturn can function as this container.  Just as Saturn sometimes blocks input from the your more spiritually attuned side, this energy can also help to block the clutter from your daily life from pouring into and filling up the empty space, the space necessary for inspiration.

De-cluttering your mind

Saturn, with its propensity for systems and processes, functions as the gatekeeper in both directions.  If we are constantly overwhelmed by daily life, how can we step into the stream of consciousness where our best and most original ideas are born?  Some might say meditation is the cure, but meditation becomes possible only when we’ve learned to drop our fascination with our personal activities.  Since the gifts of clarity, invention, and innovation are fundamental to business success, let’s explore how we all stay open.  How do you de-clutter your mind? 

One system I’ve learned is from Julia Cameron’s work called Morning Pages.  Morning Pages are three pages of freehand and free-mind writing each morning, a totally uncensored download, just keeping the hand moving over the paper.  This writing provides a sort of meeting place where daily concerns get aired which opens space for insight.  It frees my mind from stickiness, and also often lures original business ideas onto the page.

What do you do?  Do you have a system that creates a space empty enough to receive inspiration?  How do you do it?  Let us all know in the comments section.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at 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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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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Too much of a good thing?

Hello, everyone.

I’ve often noticed that as I begin exploring a subject I start running into information that helps me to continue my learning.  Call it synchronicity or simply noticing what I would have missed before for lack of attention, but this has happened time and time again.  And it just happened again.

I’ve begun exploring in these pages my theory that when a business owner finds him/herself in crisis, we can explore the transits of the five outer planets to both define the crisis and to design the solution out of the crisis.  In my post “What flavor your Crisis?” I began to outline the types of crises you are likely to experience when under the influence of each planetary energy.

The Trap

This morning an article came through from Harvard Business Review called “The Acceleration Trap.”  This article insightfully describes a situation when a business takes on more than it can handle.  Often sparked by an exceptional burst of opportunities, the company increases activities and exceeds prior performance but doesn’t know when to stop.  If the activity level turns into chronic overloading, employees’ motivation will flag and the company’s focus will be scattered in various directions.  This can confuse customers, threaten your brand, and lead to burn-out, exhaustion, and resignation (maybe even yours.)

Sounds like a Jupiter crisis!  In my previous post, I described a Jupiter crisis this way:  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 HBR article adds to my research by describing three patterns that can emerge from this situation:

  1. Employees are overloaded with too many activities.  This is when workers don’t have the time or the resources required to do their jobs.
  2. Companies ask employees to do too many kinds of activities, what the authors call “multiloading.”  This leads to workers being unfocused and activities misaligned.
  3. Companies get into the habit of constant change, or perpetual loading.  This deprives workers of any hope of recharging their energy. 

Of course in a micro-business with only the owner, or the owner with one or two employees, these patterns can certainly emerge too.

The Solution

How does a company break out of the acceleration trap? 

Another part of my theory is that you have to fight fire with fire.  If, due to the natal chart of the company or the owner, there have been and continue to be a string of Jupiter transits, then the energy that led to the situation must be called upon for the solution.

Here are some suggestions, culled from the HBR article, and modified according to what we know about Jupiter:

  1. Ask your employees for ideas about what to stop.  As employees bring their wisdom to the situation and enjoy the trust you place in them to resolve the crisis, it brings the best of Jupiter to bear.
  2. Make sure you have defined a long-term strategy, that everyone in the organization knows what it is, and that every project supports that strategy.  Jupiter is the king of looking ahead and planning for the future.
  3. Have a way to make hard choices.  Ask each manager (or yourself), what is the single project you want to complete above all others?  Setting one supreme goal brings out the Jupiter spirit in people.
  4. Call an end to ceaseless turmoil.  Declare it over.  Jupiter understands the power of words and proclamations to shape the present moment and the future.
  5. Create a ceremony to acknowledge what is stopping.  The HBR article highlighted the need for a “burying” culture.  People have invested time and energy into projects you may be halting.  Gather people together to formally acknowledge the end of a project so that everyone can grieve and let it go. 
  6. Work to change the company culture.  Slow down.  Relax.  Indulge.  Institute regular time-outs and be sure to stick to them.  No one likes fun more than Jupiter.


To read the initial article in this series see:

What Flavor your Crisis?

For more articles on Jupiter see:

Astro4Business Basics – Jupiter

Ready for Opportunity?  Jupiter Direct

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at 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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