Archive for category Saturn in Virgo

Saturn in Virgo – Managing by the Details (Redux)

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

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

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

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

There are three categories of planets when looking at trends.

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

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

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

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

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

Data becomes Information becomes Knowledge becomes Future Strategy

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

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

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

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

For more on business planning, see this article:

Saturn in Virgo – to Plan or Not?

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What is zanaflex

Hello, everyone. 

An Harvard Business Review Management Tip got me thinking about flaws and handicaps in our businesses. 

Now that Saturn has returned to Virgo through its retrograde motion, we may become more aware of what isn’t working in our businesses.  Virgo can take an exacting, unemotional look at situations and circumstances and Saturn’s tendency is to see the glass half empty:  what isn’t working rather than what is. 

Imperfections and aspirations 

We’d all like to be perfect.  We’d all like to have only strengths and not weaknesses, if for no other reason than to contribute the very best to society.  Especially now, with the approaching opposition between Uranus and Saturn we are probably painfully aware of our imperfections (Saturn in Virgo) and our aspiration for perfection (Uranus in Pisces).  Another way of saying this is we may feel torn between working the way we have in the past with all our imperfections (Saturn in Virgo) or breaking into a new pattern that we think will insure a more perfect future (Uranus in Pisces). 

The HBR management tip was along the lines of “turn your flaws into your unique distinguishing feature.”  It cited a hotel in India without AC or room service, plus mosquitoes in the bargain, which they successfully marketed as an “eco-hotel.”  Now there was a lot of flak in the comments of the original article about dishonestly covering up your weaknesses and passing them off as strengths.  This is not what I’m asking you to look at. 

Is it really a flaw? 

I’m saying, if there are flaws, handicaps, shortages you just can’t get around, look for ways these can become a unique feature about you and your business.   Or at least ask the question:  are these really flaws?   One person’s too narrow focus may be another person’s ability to delve deeply into a topic.  One person’s scattered attention could be another’s ability to see all sides of an issue.  And some customers may want to pay for the boutique or deluxe experience; others may prefer a simple, low-cost alternative. 

During an opposition of any two planets, we stand right in the middle of two energies pulling us in opposite directions.  But this middle point is the still point, the point of balance.  Now is the time to look to Saturn in Virgo to tell you what needs improvement, and to Uranus in Pisces to tell you how that liability can be an asset. 

The point of balance 

I’ll tell you a personal example.  I’m writing this from outside of London where I’m nannying my grandson for three weeks.  This suits Saturn in Virgo completely.  Part of me is perfectly happy serving my son and daughter-in-law and caring for a toddler, with his scheduled waking, eating, sleeping, and outdoor play. And more than these is the feeling of the continuity of service from my son to my grandson, a wonderfully affirming sense of grandmothering my grandson in the same way I mothered my son.  

And yet these activities, as much as I love them, take time from writing this blog on astrology for business.  With my mind so focused on family life, it’s hard for me to settle into a business frame of reference.  This little family is my connection with my past; my writing is my stepping stone to my future. 

But if I reach for the still point my perception changes.  I can see that this little family is my future too, and that authentic writing is built on every experience of the past, whether there is a direct connection to business or not.  I have the sense that I am standing at the point of intersection between the past and the future, the exact balance of Saturn and Uranus.  I guess you would call it the present.  

Do you perceive a flaw, a shortfall, a handicap, a shortage?  Can you change your perception so you see it as part of your business future?  Use these last couple of months of Saturn in Virgo to root out your feelings of imperfection and let Uranus in Pisces show you a potential that includes the past, the present and the future, the whole you. 

For posts related to this topic, see the categories on the right – “Saturn in Virgo” and “Uranus in Pisces”. For the basics see these:

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

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Uranus – Change Agent

Unpredictable.  Erratic.  Unforeseeable.  Disruptive.

When you read these words, how do you feel?

How about these?

Innovative.  Original.  Ground-breaking.  Unconventional.

 

These are all Uranian words, and all attributes of change.  It’s been said many times that the one certain thing in this world is change.  Change is possibly the most fundamental attribute of our lives. 

How does a business person respond to the inevitability of change and the fact that some changes are utterly unforeseeable?  What does “built to last” really mean?  Does it mean that we build a structure, an unchanging edifice for our businesses, and depend on it to always remain? 

Since denying, resisting, or avoiding change is ultimately futile, how then do we plan for, even welcome, the unpredictability of Uranian energy in our business strategies?

Business Management 101

In Business Management 101, we learn that our business success depends on anticipating and responding to change effectively.  The forces of change can be external or internal.  Some examples of external forces we are currently experiencing are recession, unemployment, the dominance of the internet, technological advances, government regulation, high cost of fuel oil, the global economy, and the proliferation of mega-stores, from Wal-Mart to the Starbucks opening down the street from your café.

Internal changes can include changes in employee attitudes and behavior, the loss of a key employee, training and education, your changing personal situation, temporary or permanent lack of motivation and drive, and many other factors.

“Force-field” Theory

HST image of Uranus showing cloud bands, rings, and moons. (Source:Wikipedia)

HST image of Uranus showing cloud bands, rings, and moons. (Source:Wikipedia)

What is the most effective way to work with change in our business?  An interesting theory to explore according to astrological theory is the “force-field” theory of Kurt Lewin.  It says that there is a constant interchange of driving forces and restraining forces.    Driving forces may be new technologies, new materials, new competitors, while restraining forces may be group performance norms, fear of change, and complacency.  An interesting thing about this theory is that an increase in driving forces causes a corresponding increase in restraining forces.

In astrological symbolism, Hydrochlorothiazide weight loss is the restraining force.  As the furthest planet visible to the naked eye, for millions of years it represented for humanity the outer boundary of the known, the controllable, the foreseeable.  It symbolizes the wall we erect between our current status and the outer forces of change.  It serves to protect and preserve that which we have so carefully created.  Generic avodart, on the other hand, was the first planet to be discovered after the telescope was developed and represents societal forces for innovation and progress. 

Saturn as seen on Cassini Mission (Source:Wikipedia)

Saturn as seen on Cassini Mission (Source:Wikipedia)

But what happens when these two titans are pitted against each other?  According to the Lewin theory above, as one gets stronger the other will get stronger too.  So the stronger the pressure to change, the stronger the resistance will be.

In astrological theory, the outer planets, societal forces for change, will always eventually overwhelm the inner planets, our personal goals, desires, and resistances.  The power of the outer planets is impersonal and has to do with the evolution of life on earth as a whole.  People will change, technologies will change, global distribution systems will change, industrial methods will change, and the market will demand different products.

The Lewin theory suggests that since driving forces activate their own restraining forces, the most effective way to handle change is to work to decrease restraining forces. But in astrological terms we never want to diminish the Saturn force of protection and preservation too much – it is the edifice we build to contain and actualize change.  We must find the way to consciously open to the power of Uranus by easing, not diminishing, the power of Saturn.   

Strategies to work with Uranus

So how do we decrease the resistance to change in ourselves and our employees?  Here is a list of strategies that allow us to open to Uranus but work with Saturn too:

  • First of all, by understanding the inevitability of change. 
  • Secondly, welcoming, setting a place at the table for innovation.  Building creative innovation into our business plans. 
  • Actively projecting the probable future during the business planning process. 
  • Staying aware of the trends and issues facing society and actively engaging with them.
  • Making the unfamiliar, familiar through training. 
  • Appointing a change agent in our business, either our self or another, who takes the leadership role in anticipating and managing change.   
  • Actively seeking the counsel of our employees, especially younger and newer employees.  Taking on a mentor from a younger generation. 
  • Adopting and maximizing new technologies.

 

How do you stay open to the forces of change?  What techniques do you use to welcome innovation?  How have you successfully decreased your resistance to the new?  Please share your tips in the comments below.

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Saturn in Virgo – To Plan or Not?

Cheshire Cat
Alice asked, “Cheshire-Puss…would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

 

Last week we started looking at Saturn’s transit through the sign of Virgo, where it’s been since September 2007 and will leave in October 2009, returning for a few months during 2010.  To best take advantage of this energy, we’re going to begin looking at business planning, aided, of course, by astrology’s ability to forecast coming trends. 

We spoke last week about Saturn in Virgo’s love of classifying data into information to make it useful for decision-making.  Every business owner knows the importance of accounting and controlling, even if for no other purpose than preparing your taxes!

Upsides to Planning

I advise my clients to prepare detailed business plans each year.  I have found the most beneficial aspect of this is the planning process itself.  The combination of letting your imagination soar and then putting your ideas to the test on a spreadsheet is an invaluable learning tool. 

Most management consultants say that a drawback of business plans is that people tend to leave the plan on the shelf until next year when it’s time to make a new plan.  I disagree.  I know many people who go through the process – the process itself clarifies their priorities – then put the plan on a shelf, never look at it, and then when the next planning cycle comes and they take down last year’s plan, they find they have accomplished every  goal.  The process clarifies their intentions, and their intentions bring about the results.

I advise business planning because in the process you quantify your assumptions and test their validity.  There is nothing like cash flow projection worksheets to show you whether you’re in the realm of the reasonable or not.  Business planning is a time to test, analyze, and assimilate new ideas – activities Saturn in Virgo loves.  In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had Saturn in Virgo,  “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Downsides to Planning

But I want to warn you before we begin about some of the downsides of Saturn in Virgo and how to avoid them.  For some people, the Virgo energy is tedious and time-consuming, and when added to Saturn, downright irritating.  Saturn can manifest emotionally as fear, worry, and a tendency to perceive a half-empty glass.  In Virgo, this can become worry over inconsequentials and becoming lost in data and details. 

The test with Saturn in Virgo is whether you have the discrimination to assess what is important and what is not.  And this discrimination comes with the business planning process itself. 

I know some business owners who don’t plan at all because they can’t keep their hope alive if they start to miss their metrics.  Or they feel they cannot control the outcomes, so why plan at all?  Or they sense the humorlessness that can be part of the process, the over-seriousness that can become so rigid there is no room for spontaneity and taking advantage of opportunities.  Other people make a business plan, but it is too vague, too unrealistic, or too future oriented.

What to do?

How do you walk the line between specific enough but not overwhelmed by details?  How can you let your optimism soar to the skies yet keep your feet on the earth as you plan the implementation?  By following a short step-by-step process that allows for creativity and practicality.

Over the next two weeks I’ll lay out a process for you, guided by astrology.  You can follow it day by day, as I will, and share how it’s going in the comments section below.  Or you can pick a couple of days between now and the end of October, clear as much of daily operations off of your desk as you can, sit down, have some dream time, and write your business plan for 2010.  Your business will thank you, your wallet will thank you, and you will thank yourself.

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Saturn in Virgo – Managing by the Details

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

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

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

There are three categories of planets when looking at trends. 

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

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

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

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

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

Data     becomes        Information   becomes       Knowledge     becomes    Future Strategy

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

Saturn in the sign of Virgo brings conservatism and material outcomes to business planning, auditing, and analysis.  And since we’re firmly in the second half of the year, why wait to write your 2010 business plan?  Remember, you only have until the end of October to have the support of this energy.  What are some of the items Saturn in Virgo is looking for?

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

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

So over the next couple of week, we’re going to celebrate Saturn in Virgo by talking about business planning for 2010.  And not just any planning, but a process informed by the astrology of the coming year and how you can take advantage of the trends.  We’ll begin next week by looking at some of the pitfalls of Saturn in Virgo, and business planning in general, and how to avoid them.

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