Posts Tagged Uranus in Pisces

A4B Today – Uranus Back in Pisces

Source:Wikimedia Commons

Good Day!

Today Uranus in retrograde motion moves back into the sign Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. In case you missed it, this is what I wrote about Uranus in the monthly forecast for August:

In July Uranus entered its annual cycle of retrograde motion. During the entire month of July it slowly traveled back through the very first degree of Aries, and now in August it will move back into Pisces where it will remain until next March.

Since May 27, when Uranus entered Aries, we’ve been getting to know a new face of Uranus. Aries is the spark of entrepreneurial spirit, the initiating drive toward independence and individuality. You may have noticed new ideas incubating and a spirit of bold entrepreneurship in and around your business. But when Uranus moved into retrograde motion, there was probably a disruption in this full-speed-ahead current. You may now feel ambivalent or dissatisfied with your new ideas and initiatives.

And when Uranus moves back into Pisces there’s another major shift. Yes, this is familiar territory; Uranus was in Pisces for most of the last seven years, since March 2003. But it may feel bizarre to be stepping back in time. From our new entrepreneurial spirit we again enter the realm of collective ideas. From our recent forays into a new style of leadership, we fall back into flattened hierarchies and committee decision-making. From enhanced independence we’re back to collaboration and alliances.

Our whole society will seem to be taking steps backwards. Must be something more to learn!

Employee Engagement

In honor of Uranus retrograde and since Pisces is a sign concerned with the emotional connections between us, let’s re-look at the concept of employee engagement. An engaged employee is defined in Wikipedia as:

…one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests …Engagement is distinctively different from satisfaction, motivation, culture, climate and opinion and very difficult to measure.

Yes, it may be hard to measure but we know it when we see it, don’t we? And we know it in ourselves, too. It’s worth our while to pay attention to employee engagement since some studies have found that engaged employees are up to 43% more productive and that there is an almost 52% gap in operating incomes between companies with highly engaged employees and companies whose employees have low-engagement scores. (Source:Wikipedia)

In case you don’t know what you can do to specifically foster engagement, here are some questions adapted from Workforce Management. Ask yourself these questions about your employees and then have a second go and ask them about yourself:

  • Do your employees know what is expected of them at work?
  • Do your employees have the materials and equipment they need to do their work?
  • At work, do your employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day?
  • In the last seven days, have you given your employees recognition or praise for doing good work?
  • Do you really care about each employee as a person?
  • Do you encourage your employees’ development?
  • At work, do your employees’ opinions count?
  • Does the mission/purpose of your company make your employees feel their job is important?
  • In the last six months, have you talked to each employee about their progress?
  • In the last year, has each employee had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

How did you do? Let’s take advantage of Uranus back in Pisces to shore up our relationships with our employees, our colleagues, and all our business contacts. Pisces is the sign of cohesive unity and as I said above, we must still have more to learn about it. Let’s take a step back to examine the points above and address any weaknesses we find. Then next March, when Uranus moves into Aries again, we’ll have the fully unified force of our collaborators behind us to push ahead into new territory.

Have a great weekend!

To read more about Uranus in Pisces, see the category to the right.

For an overview of the week, see the Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – Aug 9 – 15

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

For more info on the business descriptions of Uranus, see Uranus

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Astro4Business Forecast – May 20 Special Report

Source:Wikimedia Commons

Good Day!

The waxing Moon reaches its first quarter and then enters Virgo while the Sun transitions from Taurus into Gemini today.  But just before the Sun leaves Taurus, it makes its last harmonious aspect with Uranus in Pisces.

This is the final time the Taurus Sun will make this particular aspect because Uranus will move out of Pisces and into Aries on May 28.  So this is the last time in 84 years we’ll experience this supremely beneficial aspect with the Sun in Taurus and Uranus in Pisces.

The aspect is called a sextile, and it occurs when two planets are 60 degrees from each other.  This angle forms a flow of exchange between two planets that is supportive and reinforcing in the very best way.  Uranus, which has been in the water sign Pisces for the last seven years, finds a true partner with the Sun in the earth sign, Taurus.  Water signs give content; earth signs give form.

Over the last seven years Uranus has given us innovation and invention in business in a particularly Piscean fashion.  Pisces is the sign of immersion in the collective; of recognizing that the needs of the whole are more important than our personal needs.  While Uranus has been in Pisces we’ve seen flattening of management hierarchies, a marked increase in global transactions and interactions, and moving parts which come together for specific purposes and then split apart again to form new groups.  We’ve learned the importance of the “culture” of our business and its mysterious impact on our profits.  We’ve learned “emotional intelligence”, a Uranus in Pisces phrase if there ever was one!

In our businesses we’ve had to rely on diversification and collaboration to keep afloat.  We’ve seen the ascendance of social media and the internet and many of us have been dragged into it to give us the reach we needed to survive.  And sustainability for our businesses and our world has come to the forefront of our attention and our decisions.

Today is a great day for one last dip into this ocean of connectivity because the Taurus Sun will keep our goals realistic.  When Uranus enters Aries our style of innovation will markedly change.  But let’s take advantage of this last sextile of the Sun and Uranus in Pisces.  Here are some ideas to make the most of the day:

  • Gather your team and review all of the progress you’ve made in the last seven years.  Cite every breakthrough you’ve accomplished along the way.  Acknowledge how far you’ve come.
  • Put on the table all of the ideas that you’ve played with but were unable to materialize.  Do any of them still have traction?  Today would be the best day to make a plan for implementation.
  • Acknowledge all of the connections you’ve made, especially those garnered through the use of social media.  Contact these colleagues and customers in an appropriate way to let them know you appreciate working with them and hope to continue the relationship in the future.
  • Trade places with one of your employees or colleagues, even for a couple of hours.  You could each come up with realistic solutions for the other today.  Or let a junior member of your staff sit in your seat for the day.  Excellent ideas with practical applications can be born.
  • Hold a session where your staff tells each other how they joined your company and what concrete steps they’d like to take to see their career grow.  You may be surprised that the talent you’re looking for is right in the room with you.

These are some ideas; I’m sure you can come up with others.  The theme is “connection leads to practical innovation” today:  our last nod to Uranus in Pisces grounded by the Sun in Taurus.

Have a great day!

For an overview of the week, see the Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – May 17 – 23

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

For more info on the planets influencing today, see

The Sun

The Moon


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

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Flaws and Perfection – Handling the Saturn/Uranus Opposition

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:

Astro4Business Basics – Saturn
Uranus – An Introduction

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

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Signs of our Times: Energyville

Wind PowerHello, everyone.

Today I’m starting a new feature in Astro4Business Intersections.  I haven’t found the perfect name for it yet, but something like, Signs of our Times.  I frequently hear or see things that are perfect examples of some current astrological configuration.  If there is a compelling and long-term transit in the sky we should see it reflected in every part of society, and we do.  In advertising, theater, music, politics, education and every other aspect of life there are numerous examples that express the present time.  Rather than rely on wisdom from Chaldean or Medieval times, we can learn from current astrological examples.

I think this will have important business applications, too.  If we can recognize and really understand the times we live in, we can take advantage of this knowledge to gear our products and services toward these times.  It will also be interesting to begin to sight a major change in the sky in advance through the changes we observe in society around us.  I hope you enjoy this feature and that it helps you think about the current times and how we can best interact with them.

Energyville, from Chevron

Have you seen the ad on “Energyville, from Chevron?”  Billed as “An energy game developed by The Economist Group”, Energyville is an online game that stimulates and educates about how to meet the energy demands of a hypothetical city.  I usually cast a pretty cynical eye at advertising; I especially notice which heartstrings the company is attempting to pull.  But this advertisement and online game is an interesting example of the current Uranus transit through Pisces.

A tagline in the ad is “put your ideas to work”.  This is the realm of Uranus, the realm of ideas, innovation, and inventiveness.  This ad is full of text with no supporting photos of humans, animals, or other emotional content.  This is Uranus, too, the cold, rational process that searches for Truth rather than emotional connection.

Pisces is also apparent.  First of all, Pisces rules liquids such as oil and it generally rules the common needs of society as a whole, such as the need for a source of energy.  Pisces also rules the mature and transitional stage of the business life cycle, which is the stage all of the established energy companies are experiencing now.  In the mature stage of the business life cycle, the peak has passed and the company or industry has two choices:  innovate or terminate.

Uranus in Pisces Innovation

In a prior post we reviewed how Cisco Systems was using Uranus in Pisces type innovation through diversification, committee leadership, global connection, and terminating their internal hierarchies.  Now we’ve got Chevron using another type of Uranus in Pisces type innovation:  inviting all of us to help solve the energy problem through an online game.  In other words, they are attempting to make their mature stage business problem into our problem.  Of course, energy is our problem so I think it’s a brilliant marketing strategy that they are at least attempting to look like they are involving all of us in the solution.

And fundamentally, the approach is valid.  If everyone’s involved, if everyone’s thinking, who knows where the most brilliant solution will come from.  Uranus works in the group mind, often building a spectacular breakthrough simultaneously through many minds at once.  And perhaps making a game of it helps to bring the freshness and spontaneity that provides the ground for true breakthrough in a way that fear of scarcity and guilt about overuse do not.

Rational Uranus.  We’re all in this global village together Pisces.  If you go to the site you can play the game yourself.  There is a feature at the top of the game that shows how many barrels of oil are being consumed in the time you are playing the game.  Now that’s something that does pull at the heartstrings.

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Astro4Business Month Ahead – November 2009


AUDIO VERSION: Month Ahead November

Hello, everyone.

Let’s take a look at the month ahead, November, and see what the planetary influences are and how we can work with them.  We’ll start with the most long-range and overarching influences, the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which you will notice do not change from month to month but stay in the same sector of the sky for many years.  Then we will look at the mid-range influences, Jupiter and Saturn, which stay in the same sign for 1 – 2.5 years.  Last we’ll look at the personal planets, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun which stay in each sign for much shorter periods and primarily influence our day-to-day lives.  We don’t include the Moon in the monthly forecast because it changes signs every 2.5 days, travelling the breadth of the zodiac each and every month.

Pluto in Capricorn

We’ve spoken at length about Pluto in Capricorn (see category at right), where it will remain until 2024.  In a nutshell, this long transit will bring fundamental change to many of the structures we have come to rely upon:  government, banks, industries, transport systems.  It carries the energy of revolution and evolution and can be dramatic and at times overwhelming.  Pluto in Capricorn exposes what is hidden, for better or for worse, and usually now, at the beginning of the cycle, we become more aware of the worse rather than the better.

Pluto hastens and intensifies the processes of endings and new beginnings, so it will bring about the ending of our business pursuits that are no longer suited to our growth and personal evolution.  Whatever has been slowly leaking vitality will go ahead and die, including old business models, practices, and products.  These are formidable energies, and your best strategy is to tune in and work with it.  Resistance is futile!

 Neptune in Aquarius

With Neptune in Aquarius (see category at right) from 1998 to 2011, we’ve been experiencing a forceful, heartfelt global consensus regarding the equality of the common man, shared responsibility to the group, ascendancy of people and nations based on the power of knowledge, the right of all nations to progress technologically, and the right of each person to contribute to and further the base of common knowledge.  

The best way to work with this energy is to allow the realm of the rational mind to open to waves of inspiration from the collective whole, from your community to the global community.  Expect to be inspired by your neighbors and friends. 

Uranus in Pisces

The Uranus in Pisces (see category at right) transit from 2003 – 2010 is bringing innovation and invention to the toppling of hierarchies.  It is loosening all types of boundaries and enhancing global transactions and interactions.  We are all experiencing many variables in play simultaneously, and working with moving parts which connect and disconnect frequently, including projects, alliances, and workforces. 

How do we work with Uranus in Pisces?  Product diversification, committee leadership, and collaboration, as well as global connection, and dissolution of hierarchical structures – any one of these is a good place to start.

Saturn in Libra

Saturn has entered the sign of Libra, where it is exalted.  When a planet is exalted in a sign, it has a special affinity to the sign and if you’re willing to do the work, there is a promised payoff.  I’ll write a longer post on this important planet in the coming days.  But in a nutshell:  what is the work of Saturn in Libra?  To develop patience, persistence, responsibility, and humility in relationships.  What is the payoff?  Cooperation and mutual support. 

Jupiter in Aquarius

Jupiter is in Aquarius from January 2009 until January 2010.  This transit brings benefits through large projects and social reform.  We see the propagation of revolutionary ideas, such as liberty, democracy, anarchy, and socialism that can topple traditional institutions.  Learning and advancement comes through deliberation about the nature of one’s responsibility and contribution to the group.   

Mars in Leo

When Mars is in Leo our assertion of will power becomes focused and controlled.  Mars in Leo (see category at right) loves to lead and gives faithfully and generously to those who follow.  When Mars is in Leo our tendency is to be honest, direct, and fully dependable.  The sign Leo is also creative and artistic, so at this time we may love performance and display. 

The best use of these next eight months? Make your light shine with dignity and strength.  Lead with steadiness and authority.  Throw yourself into creative activities.  Secure and enjoy the limelight. 

Venus in Libra/Scorpio

Venus is in Libra until November 7 and then spends the rest of the month in Scorpio.  When Venus is in Libra, we experience a time when our social instincts are fair-minded and our business relationships intellectual and rational.  This is a good time for hashing out contracts with everyone’s best interests in mind.

Venus in Scorpio is a very different energy.  Scorpio is secretive and emotional, passionate and aggressive.   The people around you (and you, too) may feel self-protective and insecure.  Long-lasting contractual or financial agreements can be gained at this time but may contain an element of intrigue and the possibility of betrayal.  Review everything carefully and if there are unspoken emotional undertones, make sure you get them out on the table before you commit.

Mercury in Scorpio/Sagittarius

On October 29, Mercury entered Scorpio where it will stay until it enters Sagittarius on November 15.  Mercury in Scorpio brings a “fierce acuteness of mind”, according to famed astrologer Isabel Hickey.  At this time we are farsighted, clear-sighted, and great at research and detective work. 

When Mercury enters Sagittarius, we may find our minds becoming more scattered, especially compared to the previous focus of Mercury in Scorpio.  It’s a time we may miss the details of the present because our minds are captivated by the future.  Try to count to three before making any snap judgments.  On the plus side, communications will tend to be sincere and honest.

Sun in Scorpio/Sagittarius

With the Sun in Scorpio, we can exhibit great creativity and resourcefulness, and our strength comes from service, compassion, and humility.  This is a good time to be clear about your financial strengths and weaknesses and to make a plan to address any shortfalls.

The Sun moves into Sagittarius on November 21.  This is a friendly, outgoing, optimistic time, the beginning of the holiday season.  In fact, we may tend toward over-exuberance as we know we are sliding into the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere.  Increased sales are favored under Sagittarius and a generosity of spirit with employees and coworkers is a great use of this energy.

Monthly Recap

Against the backdrop of massive global changes to the structures in our lives, we are inspired by and engaged with the global community as never before.  With Jupiter and Saturn both in air signs, we find our footing in the realm of social ideas, such as responsibility to each other and to the wider public.  We want to toot our own horn but may feel held back this month by feelings of self-protection and insecurity in our relationships with others.  Our minds move from clarity of focus to “spread too thin”, as we begin the holiday season and approach the Solstice.


Let me know how your month plays out!

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Seven Classic Skills for Innovation

A personification of innovation as represented by a statue in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot.(Source:Wikipedia)

A personification of innovation as represented by a statue in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot.(Source:Wikipedia)

Hi, everyone.

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on innovation.  I’ve been interested in this because Uranus, the planet that represents innovation, is moving from Pisces into Aries next year.  I’ve often found if I can thoroughly understand the present, I can usually predict the future. So I’m committed to understanding what has unfolded in business innovation in the last seven years so I can advise my clients about what to expect when Uranus moves into Aries.

One of the books I’ve been studying is Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s SuperCorps:  How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good.  Moss Kanter outlines seven classic skills for innovation and I thought I’d restate them in astrological terms.  See if you resonate more with one or another.

1.     Tune into the broader context:  see needs and opportunities through firsthand experience with the wider world

What’s wrong in our world?  What needs fixing?  Some of the best ideas come from firsthand experience, situational awareness, of the world beyond the borders of our businesses.  To increase this awareness, some companies send their employees into actual customer situations.   Proctor and Gamble sent a high-ranking manager to live with a low-income family with two babies for a week to get a feel for the real lives of their Brazilian customers. 

In astrology, a strong Jupiter influence indicates a leader who wants to explore alternate ways of being, thinking, living, and learning – someone who can recognize need and opportunity.

2.     “Kaleidoscope thinking”:  turn conventional wisdom on its head and find creative approaches that let a new pattern form

I love this image, “kaleidoscope thinking”, don’t you?  Where you take all of the factors and everything you think you know about them and then splinter them into new pieces to let a new pattern emerge.  Sounds like taking the wisdom of the known (Saturn) and putting it through the looking glass of innovation (Uranus) and creativity (Neptune).

3.     Articulate a compelling vision:  formulate an idea people can believe in and sell it effectively

Sometimes a compelling vision comes from deep in the leader’s creative heart (Neptune) and sometimes from the ground up, from the people around us (Uranus).  Formulating it into an idea (Mercury) that engages people at their core (Neptune), we then need to communicate well and effectively (Mercury).

4.     Build a coalition of committed backers and supporters:  engage stakeholders whose support is necessary to move forward

This point is about keeping everyone with an interest in the project up to date and informed at every step of the way.  Dropping that email to a colleague, reporting on progress to a potential client, building a relationship with a blogger who can let their contacts know what’s coming.   And often you don’t know which supporter will be important at some step in the future, so the impetus must come from a genuine sense of inclusion.  Stakeholders, backers, supporters, these are all represented by the Moon and all that communication takes a strong and active Mercury.

5.    Develop and support the working team:  motivate people to work hard for a common goal 

Where does the common goal come from?  It may come from the leader (the Sun) but these days it is more and more a product of the working team, through their deep understanding of the needs of the end user, the customer.  And how do you develop and motivate the team?  Development comes from training and exposure (Jupiter) and motivation is a process of understanding and meeting people’s needs (Moon) and aspirations (Mars).    

As Moss Kanter says, “A vanguard company is only as good as its leaders’ ability to attract, motivate, and retain skilled people and enable them to self-organize and collaborate.” 

6.     Persist and persevere through the difficult middle stages when innovation is still fragile

Many innovative ideas are hatched in a piecemeal fashion and it’s not until they are implemented that fundamental challenges are uncovered.  When persistence and perseverance (Saturn and Mars) are working together there is willingness to keep on keeping on until all of the underlying issues are exposed (Pluto) and resolved.

7.     Celebrate success by making everyone a hero

This is where the leader steps aside and celebrates everyone in the organization.  And that means everyone.  Celebration of each milestone is extremely important to everyone in the company and fosters a spirit of ongoing innovation and enterprise.  Celebrating (Jupiter and Venus) all of the workers (Moon) leads to creative innovation.  You never know where the next inspiration will come from! 

Did any of these classic skills resonate more with you than others?  It may be you have more of that planet’s influence in your chart.  Keeping all of them in mind and working on developing one or two will keep innovation fresh in us and in those around us.

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Uranus in Pisces – Cisco Systems


AUDIO VERSION:  Uranus in Pisces – Cisco Systems Audio File

Cisco Systems is a name we all know, but few of us know exactly what they do.   During the dotcom boom Cisco was the supplier of most of the gear that guides data through the internet, like switches and routers.  In March 2000 it was considered the most valuable company in the world. Then during the dotcom bust in 2001 much of its stock market value was lost.  In the last seven years, it has responded not only by diversifying its businesses but also reworking its organizational model to meet the new realities of today.

Branching out

A company in the Mature Stage of the business life cycle,  by 2001 Cisco’s core business had already peaked and would never again reach the annual average growth rates it once had.  So the company has developed a strategy to move quickly into new businesses, businesses that can capture the higher rates of growth that are expected at an earlier point in the business life cycle.  This branching out has become institutionalized in the company culture in the last seven years.

The company calls new areas of growth “market adjacencies”.  The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, gives an interesting clue for this kind of diversification.  Of the thirty or more market adjacencies the company is exploring and investing in, he says he hopes that at least half will be successful.  (Clue #1 for small businesses:  don’t expect everything you try to pay off.)

Cisco’s biggest current bet is on video communication, which it believes will increase tenfold by 2013.  (I believe so too, with Neptune moving into Pisces in 2011, but that’s a different post.)  And Cisco’s not waiting passively by for someone else to develop the technology.  It is planning to push its own video communication tool, TelePresence, into homes, and give “match-day experience” in people’s living rooms. 

Cisco’s TelePresence utilizes high-definition screens, spatially sensitive microphones, custom video-processing technology and networking equipment.  Cisco already uses the TelePresence technology at an impressive rate in its own business, turning videoconferences into approximate face-to-face meetings, 5,500 times a week.  These updated, upgraded videoconferences offer the nuances of body language and tone of voice, allowing coordination and cultivation of relationships among employees across the globe.

“Welcome to the human network”

In addition to and really more fundamentally innovative than diversification into adjacent business lines is Cisco’s restructure of its management process.  Cisco has continually restructured internally, first operating in divisions according to lines of business, then changing to a functional structure.  (The company has a Sun/Uranus conjunction in its chart which indicates its leaders, symbolized by the Sun, are engaged constantly with change, Uranus.) 

Now Cisco has developed an elaborate system of cross-functional committees to bring new products to new markets.  Some of these committees function without a formal leader although there is documented “replicable processes” for how groups are set up and how decisions are made.  Jay Galbraith, a noted management consultant, calls Cisco’s system a “culture of collaboration”. 

There have been drawbacks to this though.  Some people can flourish in a structure like this; lone wolves, as talented as they may be, cannot thrive, and loss of talent ensues.  A fifth of Cisco’s leadership has left the company. 

But Uranus in Aries is coming!

So what do we see here, from an astrological point of view?  This is an excellent example of a company using innovation (Uranus) during the mature and transitional stage of the business cycle (Pisces).  Natural Pisces attributes abound in the story:  diversification to deal with new market forces, committee leadership, and collaboration, as well as global connection, dissolution of structures, termination of hierarchies.

And the risks to this strategy?  If I were their astrologer I would tell them, good job!  You used the Uranus in Pisces time well, taking the last seven years to restructure your business innovatively, both in products and internal culture.  But Uranus in Aries is coming!  The innovation during the next seven years will come through the start-up phase, of the business cycle, from the efforts of the entrepreneur, the lone wolf that you just forced out.  The committee/matrix structure will not lead to ongoing innovation.  And the diversification strategy which worked so well with Uranus in Pisces will need to find a single overriding focus as Uranus moves into Aries during the next year.

Over the next two years, we’ll watch Cisco as we go through the transition between Uranus in Pisces to Uranus in Aries.  My hunch is that the current management will not be able to be weather the shift in focus under the weight of all those committees.  They will be forced to segment the company into smaller units to retain innovation and competitive edge.

We’ll wait and see…

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Uranus – An Introduction

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2 (Source:Wikipedia)

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2 (Source:Wikipedia)

There are three planets in astrology that indicate long-term trends that affect the entire global community.  They are Pluto with an orbit of 248 years, Neptune with an orbit of 168 years, and Uranus with an orbit of 84 years.  In the past couple of months we’ve examined in depth the current position of Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, and Neptune in the sign of Aquarius (see sidebar under Categories), with an eye to how these energies may be affecting our business lives, and what we can do now to take advantage of these trends.

The last of these long-term influences to study is Uranus in Pisces.  Uranus entered the sign of Pisces in 2003 and will permanently enter the next sign, Aries, in 2011.  We’ve only got a few more months to take advantage of this trend and prepare for the next.  We will definitely want to include in our 2010 business plan some strategies to assimilate the Uranus in Pisces time and transition to the Uranus in Aries time.


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

I’ll never forget the first time I became aware of Uranus in my own mind.  I was meditating and a thought flashed across my mind, something so fast that when I repeated it with my normal thinking “voice” it seemed like I had taken an old record and played it on the slowest speed possible.  These kinds of flashes come quickly and unexpectedly.  They are subtle, usually original, and occasionally profound.  The key being original – they are usually insights or phrases that are completely new.  Where the Mercury kind of mental activity is a rehashing and possibly creative associating of information learned in the past, Uranus brings completely original content in phrases that lead to profound insight.  This can bring fundamental, revolutionary change to our lives as these insights broaden our perceptions.  Uranus has been called Universal Mind, the mind that always exists behind conscious awareness, which can spark knowledge completely unknown to us until then.

But one interesting thing about the Uranian energy is that the same insight can come through many different people at the same time.  Time and again scientific and artistic breakthroughs occur in different parts of the world through different people and situations, but the breakthrough is the same.  This propensity of Uranus to come through not just one but many minds at the same time gives Uranus its relationship to group life and the urges in society to rebel and revolt.  Mass changes in consciousness occur through this whispering into one mind and the next until a movement is ready to be born.  Uranus governs change, disruption, reversals, brilliance, acceleration, eccentricity, the unique individual and the wider community. The eminent astrologer Alan Oken describes Uranus in this way:

             [Uranus] serves to shake up the status quo and creates new social archetypes and paradigms. 

The planet’s meaning in astrology reflects its behavior in the solar system.  Uranus is known as the revolutionary planet because of its tilting, erratic orbital plane. Uranus’s axis of rotation lies on its side with respect to the plane of the Solar System. This gives it seasonal changes completely unlike those of the other major planets. Other planets can be visualized to rotate like tilted spinning tops relative to the plane of the solar system, while Uranus rotates more like a tilted rolling ball.  (Cite:Wikipedia)  It also spins in a direction that is the reverse of that of the other planets in our solar system.

In the next post we’ll continue looking at this fascinating planet and its role in our business lives.

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