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The sky provides another busy backdrop to the hustle and bustle of terrestrial affairs this week, as planetary patters continue to unfold along a wide range of diverse indications. Mercury Retrograde is finally over, and as it shifts out of rewind and gains forward momentum, many of us are likely to feel as if daily life is moving at the speed of light. But beneath warp speed, another, subtler change in the astral air turns attitudes increasingly earnest and moods much more serious. Some of us will respond to this shift with a sense of increased vulnerability, and despite the lack of retrograde snafus, could feel the need to withdraw. But at the other end of the spectrum, others irritated by the change might assume a preemptive belligerence as a stand against the potential for conflict and confrontation. Most of us are likely to simply feel defensive, hypersensitive to criticism, or just plain cranky, with little or no patience for neediness of any kind—our own or others'.
This week's somber signature is a complex configuration between the Sun, Mars, and Saturn. All month long we're under the influence of Sun/Mars sextile, a positive alliance that supports enterprise and endeavor. The Sun signifies spirit. Mars represents ambition. When they work together, we experience the enthusiasm to embrace life fully. The inherent passion of this sextile is amplified by the Sun's placement in Leo, the fiery sign of creativity, and Mars' position in Libra, the sign of relating. Expect much of the inherent exuberance of this sextile to express itself as dynamic interactions with significant others, personal and professional. A Sun/Saturn sextile strengthens the serious side of the Sun/Mars sextile. Saturn is always interested in discerning what's true and enduring. For those not interested in sorting out relationship issues, this entire bundle supports and sustains the discipline to focus on the smallest details necessary to see any job through to completion.
But there's a problem: We're also in the grip of a Mars/Saturn conjunction, a combination with the capacity to turn interactions slightly more serious than they need to be. Saturn symbolizes the critical eye that tends to find flaws, a gaze that inhibits the free-spirited, willful force of Mars that only wants to pursue its ambitions and satisfy its physical curiosity. The result of Saturn's stern hand often manifests as resentment or resistance to any perceived judgment. From a positive perspective, this conjunction provides the capacity to focus on a particular project with indefatigable concentration. Precision flourishes under its influence, but so can a harsh or bitter attitude toward others. So try to remember that a desire for excellence is never a valid rationale for cruelty.
As the week unfolds, and the snafus, delays, delays, detours, and interference of Mercury Retrograde recede, take a moment to gather your thoughts about what you've learned and how you want to apply that knowledge. Up until now, 2012 has been a series of retrogrades, all offering the possibility of genuine reflection on patterns and attitudes that no longer serve, all with an eye toward identifying what's essential moving forward.
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