Archive for category Current Events

Cisco Systems Update: Uranus in Aries

Hello everyone.

Some time ago I wrote an article in this blog about Cisco Systems.  I thought Cisco had a really interesting business model and also was an excellent example of a management structure that reflected Uranus in Pisces.  Here’s the link in case you want to revisit the article: Uranus in Pisces – Cisco Systems.  I also wrote that we would watch Cisco Systems as Uranus headed into Aries and see how they would weather that transition.

Today I read on Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s excellent Harvard Business Review blog that Cisco has restructured its operations due in part to two consecutive quarters of disappointing results.  The bureaucracy inherent in their former management structure had rendered them unable to take advantage of some opportunities, causing them to lose ground to competitors.

During the last decade, Cisco Systems instituted an operating structure truly in line with Uranus in Pisces. In order to stimulate innovation they developed an intricate system of councils and boards, some of which functioned without a formal leader.  As I mentioned in my former piece, while this strategy actually rescued their business by capturing cross-functional ideas and insights, there have also been drawbacks.  Fully a fifth of Cisco’s senior executives have left the company, unable to thrive in this kind of flat and complex management structure.

Uranus in Aries is a very different energy than Uranus in Pisces.  The committee/matrix structure that was effective with Uranus in Pisces will no longer work with Uranus in Aries.  Under this transit, business innovation will come through the efforts of the lone-wolf, the entrepreneurial-minded contributor, rather than the holistic, cross-functional team.

Trajan's Column (Roman Soldiers Building a Fortress) (Source:Wikipedia)

One of the commenters on Moss Kantor’s blog perceptively states that maybe we shouldn’t see Cisco’s reorganization in terms of failure, but rather simply change and evolution.  He lauds Cisco for recognizing the need to change and evolve and I agree.  Whenever there is such a massive planetary movement as Uranus passing from the very last sign of the zodiac, the sign of complete immersion in complexity, to the very first sign in the zodiac, the sign of simplicity and individual action, there is going to have to be a reworking of structures throughout society.  As Cisco’s chief executive, John Chambers, said, “It’s time to simplify the way we execute our strategy.”   It has nothing to do with failure; it has to do with natural processes –as natural as the earth transitioning from winter to spring.

This is simply where we are now.  As leaders and managers we should take advantage of this new energy and reform our operations.  We should give more credibility to individual contributors, agitators, spirited, independent-minded employees, people whose self-sufficiency sometimes makes it look like they’re not team players.  These are the people that ingenuity will flow through with Uranus in Aries.

No matter how collaboratively we’re inclined to run our business operations, we have to allow room for individual contributors at this time.  Some people thrive in environments of intense cooperation; others thrive in competition.  Some love to be immersed in a borderless environment while others do their best work when they’re left alone to pursue their own creative ideas.  Watch for this now.  It’s much more likely now that the rebel is the one who is truly inventive, channeling defiant Uranus in Aries and bringing real progress to our businesses.

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To read more about Uranus in Aries, see

Uranus Flashes through 2011

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

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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The Summer Ahead: Action!

Hello everyone.

The following is an excerpt from a Straight to the Point Response I prepared for a client last week.  As I spoke about the general influences coming up this summer, I realized that the advice is applicable to all of us so I thought I’d share it on this blog.  It addresses the Uranus/Pluto square in place over the next two years and how we might experience this aspect in our businesses.  The client is beginning a new community service this summer but my remarks apply to any new project you may be starting.  I’ve taken out all of the personal references stemming from the individual situation to maintain the client’s anonymity. This is a transcript of an audio recording, pretty much word for word, so you may want to read it as if listening to a talk rather than reading a document.

Phoenix depicted in the book of mythological creatures by F.J. Bertuch (1747-1822). (Source:Wikipedia)

I wanted to talk about the coming summer in general and how your project fits in with what the whole world is going through this summer.  I’m sure you’re aware of the major aspect in the sky right now, which is Uranus newly in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn.   This is an influence that permeates the whole world and we can certainly see it in some of the political situations that are happening right now.  I wanted to talk about it because if we were to make a chart of the endeavor you’re starting, it would have this major Uranus/Pluto aspect in the natal chart of its birth.  Anything that is birthed now will have this aspect.  It’s the undergirding of what we’re all doing in our day to day lives right now and anything that is born now will reflect the energy of this major square.  The aspect is not exact until next summer but it gets very, very close to exact; it’s certainly close enough to be a major factor influencing whatever is born at this time.

It’s a great time for building something that serves the community; Uranus is a force concerned with bringing community together.  Uranus rules community and groups of all kinds.  But this summer Uranus is in conflict with Pluto.  Pluto is the planet of breaking things down and transforming things, of releasing the energy that is trapped in things.  I think your endeavor can do this also, but not without stresses and tension in trying to accomplish what you’re hoping to accomplish regarding the community.  You can see this Uranus/Pluto square now in many places around the world.  Pluto in Capricorn is a very solid, almost stuck energy and it’s very stable.  This is not to say it’s stable in establishing what is good or righteous and Uranus is trying to break through or break down or free things that have gotten very stuck.  Pluto’s a pretty powerful planet but so is Uranus.  It’s like two titans in the sky, both in an intractable frame of mind.

But the square is in cardinal signs, Aries and Capricorn, and how we are meant to respond to this kind of impasse is to take action.  This is not the time to be passive or to feel that the powers that be are more powerful than we are.  Especially with Uranus in Aries we’re all meant to take action and to believe that we can have an impact.  As challenging and intractable as this impasse is, we can actually make a difference using these same energies, which will affect our lives, the lives of our communities, and the life of the world.  You can see this same energy fomenting the revolutions in the Mideast because people are feeling that as individuals we have power to make a difference and that what we do individually actually has an impact on the world around us.

Intractable Square (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

With a square the energy is so powerful and hard to deal with that sometimes we project one part or the other.  But the point is that both the Pluto and Uranus archetypes are in play, in each of us and throughout our world.  Sometimes it becomes so difficult to reconcile two energies when they are in a challenging angle to each other that we project one side or the other, or if there are two of us involved in a project, one person may play one role and the other may play another role.  The person playing Uranus in Aries might be seen as the innovator, the risk-taker, the one who wants to break free of the past, to begin something new, something creative and inventive.  Another party, either your community in general or one of the two of you, might play the person more in the power seat, more connected to the structures already in place or more content with what has been traditionally acceptable in the past.  For example, your project could be an upstart and there is another established group you may be in conflict with.  Or you guys may be part of the established structure that honors the traditions of your community and someone else may be coming in and trying to foment a revolution, be the upstart, the new kid on the block.

Both of these energies are in play and both are part of your endeavor.  So if you run into one of the two corners of this energy, either the upstart innovator or the tradition-bound system, just remember that both of these are part of the birth of your endeavor.  They will both stamp your endeavor, and they both have a lot to give your endeavor because there is a great deal of energy generated as we try to manage this conflict throughout the world and in our lives.

Capricorn Glyph (Source:Wikipedia)

One of the symbolic representations of Pluto is the phoenix, the mythical bird that immolates itself and then rises from the ashes of its former self.  This energy is very much in our environment these days also.  As I thought about this for your project, I wanted to say that this symbol is one you should take advantage of now.  Just like the phoenix is resurrected from the ashes of its former self, our role right now is to dig in the ashes of our former selves, the ashes of the past, and recognize those things that were valid; talents you developed, strengths you cultivated, and innovations you made can be carried into this new endeavor.  You shouldn’t assume that everything from the past should be scrapped.   There are good solid innovations from the past that can be brought into the present.  There are valuable resources in what you are bringing to this new project.  Even if the past is no more, there are still valid ideas and valid creative expressions that can be brought into the current endeavor.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t let things go; you should.  That’s what Pluto in Capricorn is all about, systems and structures that have been in place for a long time that have become tradition-bound and need to fall, to topple and to be reborn.  But look for the baby to keep, so to speak, as you empty the bathwater.

Uranus in Aries begins a new 84-year cycle.  There’s a lot of energy right now for new beginnings.  It actually harmonizes in a way with Pluto in Capricorn because Pluto in Capricorn is about breaking down old structures, any that have become dead, decayed, and in need of rebirth.  And then Uranus in Aries comes along and says, this is the way I’m going to do it:  revolution, power to the people, power to the community, something new, something that we haven’t tried before.  These two together spell a time of change and the establishment of new unique ideas.  It’s a great time to think in completely unique and creative ways, to try things you’ve never tried before, or have never been attempted by anyone before.  It’s a time to really let your creative imagination be free, and not just because we’re each individually channeling this energy of revolution and change.  But our customers, the people who partake of our creative endeavors and products, will also be ready for something different, something unique, something new – we’re all ready to let the past be the past and to step into a new paradigm.

Aries Glyph (Source: Wikipedia)

Uranus in Aries is very entrepreneurial and individualistic, so the innovations and changes are coming through the individual.  Uranus operates through groups very well but each person in the group is going to want to express himself or herself individually.  It might be more difficult than usual to have people work as an ensemble, to get everyone to sing the same note, metaphorically speaking.  You may have to build this understanding into your operations because each person feels they have something to give that is unique and individual and is willing to stand alone to offer it.  You’ll have to account for the lone wolf who wants their own unique voice to be heard and if you do, that wolf will join you in the pack.

And lastly I wanted to say to expect the unexpected.  With Uranus in Aries we’ll all be surprised that what we think we’re doing, well, the future is anybody’s guess as to where it’s going to go. So hold to your plan loosely.  I think your idea is great and the endeavor will be successful but hold it loosely so that as time unfolds it can change.  I think change is going to be a big feature of the coming couple of years: change is a keyword of both Uranus and Pluto.   Change will be part of any endeavor being born at this time.  So hold your enterprise in a way that you can allow it to change, maybe even often and maybe dramatically.

For a specific time of unpredictability, the whole first half of the month of August is a very volatile time.  There are very close aspects with Mars, Uranus, and Pluto which bring lots of energy and lots of instability.  There are likely to be major decisions you need to take or challenges you need to deal with at that time and you’ll need to actively guide the ship through some rough waters.  Remember to take the wheel and steer.

At this point I addressed their situation in a more personal manner, looking at their natal charts, current transiting planets affecting their charts, and suggesting some dates for incorporation.  But the above is guidance for all of us to keep in mind as this time of change begins.

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For more on Uranus and Pluto during 2011, see:

Uranus Flashes through 2011

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

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

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

To read more about the business descriptions of the planets mentioned today, see

Uranus

Pluto

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Astro4Business Weekly Highlights – Uranus in Aries

Hello, everyone.

This week is one we’ve been anticipating for almost a year now as it hosts the transition of Uranus from the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, to the first, Aries.  Accompanied by a Mercury transit, this milestone should be apparent as our conversations, communications, and interactions with others bring Uranus right into our business lives.  In Roman times, Mercury was seen as the Messenger of the Gods and the god of commerce.  Look for a message this week about how you can take advantage of Uranus’ ingress into Aries.

Dutch, 1610. I love his expression; he seems to be contemplating the next era to bring to the world. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Uranus begins a new cycle

The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are far distant from the Sun.  Their orbits range from 84 years for Uranus to 248 years for Pluto.  These planets represent the long cycles of societal evolution, the discoveries and mass movements in consciousness which form the backdrop to our lives.  When one of these planets changes signs it is marked by breakthroughs in thought and invention that catapult us into the next era.

The transition of Uranus into Aries is an even bigger event than its usual 7-year movement from sign to sign.  Since Pisces is the last sign in the natural zodiac, and Aries is the first, we are looking at a seismic shift, the beginning of a new 84-year cycle.  Uranus has not been in the first sign of the zodiac since 1928.  The whole period from 1928 to 2011 has been one long cycle of creative innovation which is now giving birth to a whole new cycle.

Uranus in Aries

Many astrologers have predicted dire consequences for the next seven years as Uranus wends its way through Aries.  It’s hard to say at the very beginning of a cycle what will eventually unfold but we can look at symbolism and history to form our assumptions.  And we’ve seen some hints ever since the planet Jupiter entered Aries in January.

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

You can get a sense of Aries if you think about the force inherent in the Spring Equinox.  This powerful time contains the uprushing fever of life, the spark of fire powerful enough to force nature out of dormancy.  We’ve seen this fever across the Middle East and northern Africa lately; I’m sure we’ll continue to see it all over the world as Uranus follows Jupiter into Aries.  We’ll see it too in business inventiveness and scientific advances we can only imagine now.  Uranus itself embodies the principle of change, especially the kind of transitions that occur because of sudden breakthroughs and technological innovations.  Uranus bursts through the barriers of the outworn and traditional and ushers in the new.

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

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

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

We won’t be working in concert with others as 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.

Uranus in Aries for Business

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

This week, with Mercury instant-messaging between us and Uranus, we will sense the fragrance of change coming in the wind.  Don’t ignore this foreshadowing.  It will allow you to catch the energy right at the beginning of this long cycle.

Let’s all watch for signs and signal of Uranus in Aries and let me know in the comments what you detect.

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

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

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

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

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

For an overview of Mercury and Uranus, see

Mercury

Uranus

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – Water and Fire

Hello, everyone.

This week is a wild one!  It holds the Jupiter/Pluto square we’ve seen exploding across the world against the backdrop of the Sun, Mercury, and Mars moving into watery Pisces.  This week is like when you’re barbequing and the flames flare up.  You need to quickly spray those flames with water before they char your food.  But be careful.  Pisces also rules oils, and we know what happens when you spray oil on a flame!

Closer to home we see the waning Moon bring the finishing touches to our recent endeavors and the time to either set them aside or hand them off to someone else.

Jupiter/Pluto Square on the global stage

Jupiter began its current cycle with Pluto in December 2007, in the sign of Sagittarius.  Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and this conjunction signaled the beginning of a dozen years or so of turmoil regarding issues of morality, justice, law, treaties, leagues, and religion.  Since that starting point Pluto has moved into Capricorn and faster-moving Jupiter has travelled through Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces to arrive in the sign Aries.  This is the first square, the waxing square, between these two planets in this thirteen year synodic cycle.

Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, 1st century AD. (Source:Wikipedia)

I understand the waxing square as an approach/approach conflict.  Two directions are vying for our consent and the choice is inherently stressful.  We assume that if we choose one we will have to give up the other and we chafe against this requirement.  Actually the square is one of the best times to find a way to achieve both of our goals.  The key is to act, to seize the moment, to take a stand.

The recent conflicts in the Mid-East and northern Africa are perfect examples of this Jupiter/Pluto aspect.  Pluto in Capricorn brings the energy of revolution to everything Capricorn rules:  business, the economy, government, the military – all of the massive, often unseen, structures which undergird our lives.  As world leaders become more and more determined to hold their power structures together, the annihilating energy of Pluto is toppling regimes and clearing the way for new structures.

Enter Jupiter in Aries.  Jupiter, despite his reputation as the giver of boons and the planet that brings blessings and opportunity, can be aggressive and warlike, especially in Aries.  Jupiter incites us to seek our version of “truth” at any cost and won’t be held back by traditional, entrenched Capricorn.  Jupiter has big ideas in Aries, ideas like overcoming limitations, taking over territory, and establishing a new social order.  When these two giants are at a stand-off, as they are now, it gets hot!

Jupiter/Pluto square at work

This energy is playing out in our business lives, too.  We are poised to expand, to grow, to design and develop new products and services.  The Aries energy pushes us to take risks, to establish our own “new social order.”  Yet, with Pluto in Capricorn, we’re all too aware of the economic and financial turmoil which could engulf us any moment.  Credit is still tight, customers are still cautious.  The Capricorn influence wants us to hold on to what is working.  We are likely to experience a “tight in the stomach” risk aversion.  We want small, incremental change, not big new endeavors.

The problem with holding on to what is working, which is typical Capricornian behavior, is that – it’s no longer working!  Since Pluto entered Capricorn we’ve either already recognized cavernous sinkholes in our “reliable” structures, or we can sense that they are there.  So as we try to rely on what’s familiar, we recognize it’s not the safety net it used to be.  But when we go for risk and opportunity we know we’re out on shaky ground there too.

Sinkhole (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

OK.  How do we make the most of this volatile time?  Just as Pluto’s symbol is the phoenix, the mythical bird that arises from the ashes of its former self, as structures disintegrate there are opportunities to implement new ones.   As Jupiter in Aries looks for new adventures, look close to home.  Dig into the ashes of what worked in the past to find embers that still glow.  Expand into new territory using the knowledge you’ve gained from experience.

In the past two or three years we’ve all learned a lot about finance, banking, the economy, debt, credit and risk.  Bring everything you’ve learned into the new endeavor.    We’re all maturing in this challenging environment.  Jupiter gives wisdom and Pluto gives riches.  With these two we can foment our own revolution and begin again.

Pisces and Leadership

In the midst of all this we have the passage of the Sun, Mercury, and Mars from Aquarius into Pisces this week.  Pisces is a very different energy than the prior sign, Aquarius.  Aquarius is a mental, pioneering sign interested in innovation and change.  Pisces is the sign least concerned with the mundane world and its crises.  The energy of Pisces is emotional, idealistic, and compassionate, given to aesthetic and spiritual concerns.

Your leadership style under this Pisces influence may be dramatically different than the last few weeks.  You may decide to withdraw from conflict.  You may want to avoid difficult decisions and just let matters unfold.  You may feel that your efforts are futile.  You may yearn for some peace and quiet, some time to let your imagination wander.

This is easier said than done this week, in light of the Jupiter/Pluto square.  Someone has to steer the boat and your second-in-command, represented by Mars, is feeling the same way you are.  We all need time to refresh our energies and to turn our attention to our source of inspiration.  But next week is not the time.  The dose of compassionate water energy is just what this Jupiter/Pluto conflagration needs.  And the intuition of Pisces is necessary to recognize the opportunities for growth that can be sifted from the ashes when the flames die down.

I’d love to hear how your week plays out.  Your comments are always insightful.

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

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

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

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

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

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

The Sun

The Moon

Mercury

Mars

Jupiter

Pluto

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Saturn Retrograde – 10 Tips for Success

Hello, everyone.

As Earth (blue) passes a superior planet, such as Saturn (red), the superior planet will temporarily appear to reverse its motion across the sky.(Source: Wikipedia)

Tonight Saturn begins a 4 ½ month period of retrograde motion.  This period of retrograde motion occurs every year as it is a product of the angle between the Sun, the earth, and the retrograde planet.  Whenever the Sun approaches the opposite sign as the planet, the planet appears to move backwards against the backdrop of the stars.  Fully 1/3 of the year is spent with Saturn in retrograde motion.

The Face of Saturn

Saturn represents the intensity of one’s ambition, the inner pressure to become or accomplish something.  Saturn also indicates the Achilles heel, the mind-set in which doubt and fear or an overly conservative attitude works against success.  When Saturn is strong in a businessperson’s chart, they run a tight ship with an authoritarian management style and excellent administrative abilities.

In business, Saturn describes systems and procedures, controls and policies.  It can also indicate outside rules and regulations such as tax and housing codes and the general level of difficulty the business will experience with outside authorities.  It rules audits and reporting, bureaucracy and bylaws.  It also shows the area where good hard work and persistence will pay off and where inner and outer limitations can spark real growth and accomplishment.

Saturn Retrograde

When Saturn is retrograde we have the opportunity to examine whether our standard modes of operation truly spring from our own values, or have been imposed upon us by authority figures or societal norms.  It’s a time when our regular structures of support and stability may be withdrawn and we have to rely upon our own creativity and self-discipline to achieve our goals.

Saturn becomes less direct and overt when in retrograde motion which can relieve stress and struggle.  Yet as business managers we may see that our authority becomes undermined as others break free from outer rules and regulations too.

10 Tips for 4 ½ Months

Here are 10 tips to get the most out of Saturn retrograde:

  1. If you run into difficulties with authority figures, examine your actions from another point of view.  Have you given your power over to another authority?  Are you blaming something or someone external when you need to bring a more mature attitude to the situation?
  2. This is a great time to examine historical practices to see if they still add value.  Undertake a study of some aspect of your processes and procedures to bring new efficiency to a stale operation.
  3. Your normal sense of lock-in weakens during Saturn retrograde.  Often we are so habituated to the way we think about a problem that potential solutions are not even considered.  Explore options you would normally consider too risky.
  4. Saturn retrograde is a great time to undertake a major restructuring effort.  Resistance to change is lowered during this time.
  5. You may be thwarted in your role as an authority figure in your business during Saturn retrograde.  If so, share authority, be willing to listen, and promote those who act with good judgment and teamwork.  Expose others to the reality of your business situation and demand that they step up into more responsibility.
  6. Play with improvisation.  You might even bring in an expert to lead your management team through an improvisation workshop to practice creativity, collaboration and innovation.  Be willing to entertain “business as not-usual.”
  7. With Saturn in the back seat, your timing may falter if you adhere to too rigid schedules.  Provide room in your meetings and to-do lists for the unexpected.
  8. List your major responsibilities, both in your business and in your personal life, and examine if they are in balance.  This is a great time to bring a sense of proportion back to your activities.
  9. Your normal support staff or mentors may falter.  You may need to support others more or rely upon your own creativity and self-discipline to get the job done.  This is a great opportunity to develop support for your supporters.

10.  If there is a shift in a business alliance, ask yourself, “How can I exploit this change as an opportunity for my organization?”  More profitable alliances are most likely waiting in the wings.

And a Reminder

Remember, Saturn rules common sense and this quality may be lacking while Saturn is retrograde.  Be more vigilant than usual as you weigh your options and potential projects.  Your practical wisdom is there; you just need to take more time to access it.  Have fun, but no off-the-cuff decisions, please!

To explore more about Saturn and its current passage through Libra, see these posts:

Welcome to Saturn in Libra

Saturn in Libra – the Letter of the Law

Welcome (Again) to Saturn in Libra

Collaboration

To read more about retrograde motion, see these links:

Elegant Stillness

Retracing Your Steps – Retrograde Motion

What did you miss?

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

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

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

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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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.  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?

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

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

For 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

Jupiter

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

Jupiter

Uranus

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Moon in Pisces – Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Good Day!

With the Moon and Jupiter in psychedelic Pisces joining the Sun in the caverns of Scorpio – it’s just not a day to write!  Too much water, not that I mind a break from all this rationality I usually live in.

So here’s my offering for today, on my mind when I woke up this morning.

Enjoy!

Do you have a question about your business 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 – November 15 – 21

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

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

The Sun

The Moon

Jupiter

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A4B Today – November 10 Saturn in Libra – the letter of the law

Source:Wikimedia Commons


Good Day!

Today, the waxing Moon in Capricorn encounters Saturn in Libra and we could run into an obstacle or restriction, someone standing in our path and demanding accountability.  Saturn in Libra comes in the form of rules and regulations, forcing us to toe the line.  Our task is to maintain our enthusiasm for our new project, even while making sure we please the powers that be.

One of my clients is a successful PhD, working for a government agency.  Just a couple of months ago he was tapped to replace his boss when his boss retires next year.  Enter Saturn in Libra – the letter of the law.  In my client’s discipline he has to publish two papers each year of original research.  In the past this requirement has been fairly lax; it was fine to publish three papers one year and then one the next, or one extensive paper instead of two.

Now the environment has changed, true to form for Saturn in Libra.  Saturn represents the rules and regulations put upon us by society, government, and authority figures.  When Saturn entered Libra last July it brought with it a penchant for the letter of the law.  If the rules say two papers, then that’s two, not three and definitely not one.

My poor client, who has been working long hours on a piece of breakthrough research, has to stop his important work and publish something.  Never mind that the research is not complete; never mind that the findings are half-tested; never mind that truly innovative work is put on hold.  The law says publish two, and so he must or face consequences that could include losing the chance for the promotion.

Of course you can see where this is going.  In the future, instead of one intensively analyzed piece of research, he and his peers will be tempted to break the topic into pieces in order to meet the publishing requirement.  Instead of a timely breakthrough that can further everyone else’s work, people will hold back to be sure they have something to fulfill next year’s quota.  Instead of undertaking a significant venture, they will be sure to take on lesser projects so they can write them up on time.

Unlike my client working for the government, as business owners it’s up to us what rules and policies we enforce.  Yet with Saturn in Libra we may be more inclined these days to demand accountability strictly to meet some predetermined target.  It’s worthwhile to stop and examine whether the requirements we are placing on ourselves and our employees will actually further our success or whether we just demand them because we think business should be run that way.

I know for myself I have to continually guard against falling into habits and routines that I impose on myself just because they are “best practices” or because another business person I respect uses them.  I can become quite rigid with my schedule:  so many hours on this, so many days on that.  I’m much happier with a bit more flexibility but like most successful business owners, I have a fair share of Saturn energy.

Good old Saturn:  it brings discipline, focus, and persistence, but can become rule-bound if I don’t keep my eye on it.  How about you?

Do you have a question about your business 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 – November 8 – 14

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

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

The Moon

Saturn

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