Posts Tagged Scorpio

Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – October 25 – 31

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

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

Hello, everyone!

I’m back from a very successful trip back East, where I picked up several new clients in both of my vocations:  astrology and accounting/taxes.  As someone highly influenced by Gemini, the sign of the twins, I always have two businesses that I run at the same time, and each, I’m happy to report, is flourishing.

During the last three weeks I’ve posted the Astro4Business weekly forecasts but not the daily updates.  I can tell from my Google Analytics visits stats, which fell about 50%, that my readers appreciate the daily updates so I will continue them.  It would be interesting to see how the stats would do with only the daily posts and not the weekly forecasts.  I’ll have a chance for that experiment in December when I go to London for 2 ½ weeks.  In the meantime, let me know: which do you enjoy more, daily or weekly, or do you regularly read them both?

This week we are firmly in the waning Moon part of the lunar cycle, the time to make adjustments, get our new products into circulation, and get ready to hand off our most recent projects.  We may not have accomplished everything we wanted to; we may need to adjust to the realities of what actually did get done.  This is a time when the ‘real world’ intersects with our own hopes and dreams and we may have to let go of some of our ambitions.

But as soon as we bring our expectations down to size, we will see how we can work constructively with others.  All is not lost and the results from sharing our efforts and our successes may be even more satisfying than trying to go it alone.  Let others in this week and let your project morph from your own creative expression to a joint endeavor.  Then when it’s time to hand it off next week, you’ll have ready hands available to take it to the next level.

There’s a whole lot of Scorpio energy in the air this week as well which is similar to this lunar phase.  Scorpio is a point of crisis at which we have to decide whether we will take other people’s values and desires into consideration or continue to set our own course based on our own skills and resources.  This is a crisis point because as much as other people’s resources can support and even bankroll our businesses, there are real consequences to this kind of interdependence.   So take every step carefully this week.  Think through the long-term ramifications of investing time and energy into more committed partnerships or alliances.  They may be favorable or not:  I’m just saying to go in with your eyes open and all cards on the table.

Be sure to check in each day this week as we explore these subjects more deeply, including that Venus Retrograde post I promised you a couple of weeks ago.

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 – October 2010

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Astro4Business Week – October 26

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

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


Hello, everyone.

This week Mercury and Saturn change signs and the Moon continues to wax toward Full.  The first two days are fairly quiet and then the action begins on Wednesday.


On Wednesday Mercury, the planet of communications, enters the sign of Scorpio where it will remain until November 15.  The mind deepens and is interested in what lies beneath the surface.  Use this time for research and analysis as well as deep heartfelt conversations that lead to agreements regarding sharing resources, including money.

On the same day, Venus trines Jupiter, bringing an optimistic outlook.  This is a great day to make financial decisions, because generosity and hopefulness rule the day.  This is a good day for big productions or gatherings so plan to bring out your sales force or initiate a new marketing campaign.  This aspect uplifts all markets, including the stock market, because when people feel good, they act with confidence. 

Mercury and Pluto also shake hands amicably today.  Look for penetrating conversations that leave no stone unturned.  Your speech is powerful today so use your words well.


On Thursday, with the Sun square Mars, there is an intense output of energy that can lead to stress and even accidents.  Take it easy!  You may have head-to-heads with your second in command as they challenge your authority.  If you can find a way to let them shine their own light, their productivity could soar today.  Just keep your hands on the reins because the tendency today is toward impulsive action.

Also on Thursday, after two years in Virgo, Saturn is moving into Libra.  More on this later in the week, but a teaser is…we should see a return to more reasonable unemployment levels which is good for everyone, our businesses included!


Happy Halloween, a very Scorpio-like celebration!Halloween-witch_svg


Be careful today.  Similar to Thursday’s Sun/Mars square, today’s Mercury/Mars square can cause arguments and conflicts to erupt.  Since Mercury rules information systems, we could see an overload of energy causing mechanical breakdowns and then blame going back and forth between your IT team and your operations team.  Someone needs to make sure all your data is backed up before the weekend, and that someone is you.  The people around you are acting first and thinking second, a good recipe for problems.


Let me know how the week plays out.

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Predator or Prey?

Today, the Sun enters the zodiac sign Scorpio.  When I think of Scorpio, I think of deep, intense, financially intertwined relationships.  These are not the mind-to-mind intellectual partnerships of the previous sign, Libra.  These are the “’til death do us part” kind, where the commitment is made deeply and emotionally.   This is the palm-to-palm blood tie that so mixes the energy of the two entities that they are irrevocably changed forever.  These are relationships that demand and require utterly trustworthy behavior and that can brook no betrayal.

Scorpius as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. (Source:Wikipedia)

Scorpius as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. (Source:Wikipedia)

These relationships show up in business too.  In fact, business is built on these kinds of committed and interdependent financial connections.  We may not ceremoniously mark them (and maybe we should) but they exist just the same. 

I was thinking about the Sun entering Scorpio when I came across a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) about opportunities for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in a downturn.  For those of us in small business, what they call M&A, we call buying a business or selling one. 

In honor of the Sun moving into Scorpio I thought I’d share some insights from the article with you as some of the points are relevant to small business owners, too. 

Predator or Prey?

M&A language makes use of the words “predators” and “prey” to convey the sense of the buyer looking for an advantage and the seller looking for their own advantage.  Instead of something dark and dangerous, a predator is someone with the financial and operational strength to purchase a business.  And prey is a self-identified state meaning a business that recognizes that it is ready and actually anxious to be sold, rather than liquidated.

Do these two words, predator and prey, make you uncomfortable?  They did me, especially as I was searching for an image for this post.  All of the Wikipedia images for “predator” were gory nature scenes of some larger or fiercer animal devouring a dying, helpless smaller one.  But let’s agree for our purposes that there is a mutual choice involved and a positive outcome for both parties.

Many, many companies have become prey as a result of the current reshaping of the global economy.  As the authors note, “The last two years have seen the biggest jolt to the global economy since the crash of 1929, which ushered in the Great Depression of the 1930s.”  Prey are businesses that have been hard-hit by the credit crunch – they are companies with immediate financing needs that cannot borrow the funds they need or can do so only by incurring unacceptably high costs.

Are you in this situation?  Has it occurred to you that instead of liquidating assets and laying off staff, you may offer your business to a predator for sale?  And that doing it now rather than waiting may be most advantageous? 

The BCG article delineates a difference between a prey and a liquidator.  A prey is a company with financial difficulties but it does not have operating problems.  This is a business that is not meeting its debt payments but is still profitable.  A liquidator is a business with financial problems and negative earnings.  A prey is a good target for a predator; a liquidator is on their own to sell off their separate assets.

The value of a business is based upon its capacity to generate earnings in the future.  The prey has much more value than the liquidator because it is still a profitable enterprise.  This is why it’s important to recognize your own situation before drastic measures to meet debt payments cause you to undercut your profitability, and therefore your value.

And what puts you into the position of predator?  Even in these times, many companies are still financially sound with strong balance sheets, high profitability, and sufficient cash to purchase another business.  The article notes that during the Great Depression, companies such as IBM and Procter & Gamble used acquisitions to place them in better competitive positions in later years.  If your situation is financially sound, this is an excellent time to purchase a distressed business.  According to the authors’ extensive research, “M&A is more likely to create value [for the buyer] in a downturn than in an upturn.”

But how do you identify the right deal?  The first success factor is to be financially and operationally healthy yourself and to choose a target that is still operating efficiently and profitably.  Another interesting success factor is to choose a business outside of your own core competency.  Why?  Because if you are overconfident in your own industry, you will be more likely to overpay for the acquisition!  You also may be able to see opportunities in another industry that insiders cannot spot.

Due Diligence

Of course, it’s highly critical that you take the time to do proper analysis of a potential purchase.  You must thoroughly and rigorously examine the company you are considering so that you’re not left with undisclosed problems after the deal is completed.

But it’s a perfect environment to take a realistic risk.  And whether you are predator or prey, you can create a win/win situation for each party.  If you sell your business as a whole, you are much more likely to receive a value greater than the sum of the assets sold.  And if you are a buyer at this time, you may be able to pick up a better bargain now than at any time in the future, in addition to helping a struggling business person cope with the undeserved fallout from these economic times.

Have you considered buying or selling?  Have you bought or sold a business in the past?  Share your insights with all of us in the comments section.

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Astro4Business Week – October 19

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

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


Hello, everyone.

Overall a quietly uplifting week with an endweek influence of Scorpio, as the Sun moves into that sign and then makes an aspect to Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio.  Days to watch include:


Tuesday is a great day for meetings, especially with your team of advisors, with a positive aspect between Mercury and Jupiter.  Your communications will be constructive and optimistic about the future.  Isn’t this what fuels success?  You may also get some good news that leads to new sales opportunities.  Stay alert, and then act!


On Friday, the Sun enters the sign of Scorpio.  More on this later in the week, but in short, this begins a month when the impetus is toward setting up long-lasting financial commitments with others and closing the deal.  See if you can feel the energy shift on Friday from light-hearted interest to a more passionate focus on shared opportunities.


Today the Sun is in harmony with Pluto, echoing Friday’s transit into Scorpio.  Pluto in Capricorn emphasizes breaking down and rebuilding financial structures.  Today will clear the way for a determined focus on using other people’s financial resources to mutual advantage.


On Sunday the energy of Neptune in Aquarius engulfs your thinking (Mercury).   Your imagination will soar into ways to connect with and attune to your customers.  Check out a new technology today, one you’ve been tempted to try.  A whole world will open to you.


Enjoy the week!

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The Zodiac and the Business Life Cycle – Expansion

Business Life Cycle

Business Life Cycle

We’ve been reviewing the business life cycle and correlating its phases to the signs of the zodiac.  We’ve examined the start-up phase and its correlation to the qualities of Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, and the growth phase, with its correlation to the signs Cancer, Leo, and Virgo.  Now the business is ready for the expansion phase.


Libra marks the beginning of a phase when the business will either continue to expand through entering new markets, enlarging the company through mergers and acquisitions, or taking the company public, or it will maintain the status quo, rest on its laurels, and coast toward its ultimate termination.  A business that does not move forward with the times and respond to social forces with innovation will eventually reach its termination.

At the Libra point the business begins to establish partnerships to aid in its expansion and deals with responsibilities to investors.  There will be a focus on networking to expand the customer/client base as well as a further shift in management to a more broad-based model.  As the employee base expands as well, effort goes into recruiting the right people and dealing with human resources complexities.

Leadership in this phase will bring in outside consultants and new board members to engage the skills necessary for expansion.  Legal issues may become more serious now, with outside threats to product brands and legal challenges as the company becomes more known in the market.

This phase is characterized by a period of growth into new markets and distribution channels.  This effort makes this phase similar to the Aries time, with an emphasis on entrepreneurial pioneering spirit and research and development of ideas that complement the existing business and capabilities.  The Libra qualities of diplomacy, equilibrium, and objectivity shepherd the business through this phase.


The Scorpio phase brings a dramatic point of crisis.  The power of the original owner has been usurped by the structure of the business they have created.  Banking relationships and investor dynamics have made the company reliant on outside resources, with corresponding requirements for compliance and control.  Advisors, lawyers, and tax agencies seem to conspire to wrest the business from the owner. The original entrepreneur must decide whether to leave the company altogether or transform him/herself into a cog in a machine much bigger than he/she is.  A seasoned, possibly international, management team must function in order to take the business forward into new markets.  

There is no way even a very great leader can handle the business single-handedly at this stage.  The business will be transformed during this stage, whether that means regression to a prior state, expansion, or failure.  The business that survives will have its operating structures in place, its financing secured, and a strong management team ready for expansion.  The Scorpio traits of discernment, integrity, and willingness to dig deeply to find the truth are important during this difficult phase.


At this stage the business has weathered the Scorpio crisis and is preparing to be an institution.  The hard-won lessons have turned into capability to operate, communicate, and lead. 

In this phase there is expansion into new territories and products or services.  There is a natural rise in risk tolerance because of the stable financing established in the prior phase.  The new leadership team has weathered the storm and acts with confidence; this is the top of their game.  The focus is the forward thrust, the move into the future to gain a larger market share and find new revenue and profit channels. 

This is also when the business participates in philanthropic causes, whether born of a sincere desire to support the public or as a ploy to gain customers.  The risk at this stage is that lack of organizational discipline, born of a company moving into too many new ventures at one time, will take its toll on planning and profits.  The Sagittarian traits of optimism, risk-taking, judgment, and looking for opportunities near and far are characteristic of this phase.

In the next post, we’ll look at the mature phase of a business, and the transition into the next cycle.

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