I am coming back from South Africa later this week. I have been on an adventure. How about you?? Let’s talk about adventure — the definition of adventure from my perspective is the ability one has to make a new thing out of something that seems old and outworn, or, going someplace that is challenging and foreign. This doesn’t necessarily mean foreign countries, but could be as simple as studying something completely outside of your realm of expertise. It can also mean going to the same restaurant and not ordering the same thing!

This ability to try new things without a guarantee of how they turn out — requires a certain level of healthy detachment as well as a certain level of courage — whether it is a large or small adventure. Changing our patterns is what the present cycle is about — what needs dissolving, or, dissolution, or, re-organization that is within your immediate realm. As the Sun moves into Pisces this week, it aligns with Neptune — and Neptune, the god of the sea, definitely dissolves, or, at best changes the structure of what it washes over.

As Mars enters the sign of Aries, the warrior or hero or heroine of the zodiac, the courage is there to start anew. As they say, “let the Force be with you”.

In the USA we celebrate Presidents Day on Monday February 16 this year. I have always found it quite interesting that many of our more notable presidents were born in the first three months of our calendar year. Of course, we have George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. However, many other great thinkers, radicals, revolutionaries and inventors — known for their courage and enlightened minds were born in the first three months of the year — like Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, Angela Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Margaret Sanger, and Jane Goodall to name a very few.

Whether you agreed with their ideas or politics is irrelevant. The point is that each of them thought outside the box of the existing reality of their time. They were unabashedly willing to put their lives and reputations on the line to make their arguments or bring home their point.

With the New Moon (new beginnings) in the last degree of Aquarius on Wednesday, the next month heralds a month in which we prepare for radical changes coming for all of us at the end of March. As we approach a Total Eclipse of the Sun on March 20 at 29° Pisces — the last degree of the zodiac, it is a benchmark indicating a time to finish things and now. Inclusively, we approach the last of the seven Uranus square Pluto configurations on March 16, and then move into Spring Equinox just a few hours after the above named eclipse. The horse is heading for the barn with lightning speed and bringing vast changes in consciousness.

Before Mars leaves Pisces on Thursday February 19 and enters reactive Aries later that day please start some sort of spiritual practice — either meditating, doing yoga, or simply committing to a daily walk or swim without a telephone to sort through your thoughts and ideas. This keeps you in the saddle during that wild ride. It is exciting indeed, but as humans we only run on one circuit rather than several at the same time. What circuits feel like they are shorting out in your life? Whatever they are, do you really need those extra power surges??

This week I am starting my travels to South Africa a long awaited journey and for you my readers, you could find yourselves traveling another expedition that engages your highly intelligent problem solving skills. This practice puts you on a new and clear direction and path leading you to your next exciting journey. This is particularly strong over the course of the next few days as Mercury stations to go direct at 1° Aquarius 28′ and Saturn gets close to the 4th degree of Sagittarius.

Since late December, Saturn entered Sagittarius where it last traveled between 1985 and 1986. However, whenever a slower planet like Saturn puts its toe into a new sign, it takes about 3° to get its mojo going so that we all clearly see what our next steps of organizational planning might be.

Saturn rules disciplines, but Sagittarius wants to be free and have a long leash. This is the challenge of the next 2 ½ years. These next few weeks show us a picture of how to have vision but also shows us a picture of what we need to do (not always a lot of fun) in order to make that vision a reality. Double checking what you say, or, what you’ve done, rather than saying — oh that is good enough — is part of the learning curve we face.

Since Saturn will be stationing to go retrograde (appear to go backwards) at the 4th degree around mid-March, the plot is laid. This early preview at the Saturn in Sagittarius movies is just a preview. Previews are ticklers — they either titillate you or horrify you. Either way, they are designed to mirror back to you the ‘issues’. These ‘issues’ are, of course, ‘issues’ of others or other organizations. For example, the 3rd and 4th degrees of Sagittarius are the degrees of flight. Could the airlines find themselves on the hot seat as more mechanical problems result in tragic accidents, or, if the price of oil is still down, answering, honestly, while travel is becoming increasingly expensive?

The other issues to which I refer are our issues. What aren’t we willing to look at because it is just too uncomfortable or we are having too good a time, or, whatever? Don’t worry because it is just a preview. The real story starts in September 2015. But it is best to start correcting the behaviors that keep me or you or us from attaining our goals. Progress and advancement and specialization require time — not just a ‘good enough’ attitude. Dave Grant was a motivational speaker about two decades ago and I remember his comment, “If you have a choice between pleasure and pain, do the pain first, then pleasure is a true reward!” How much do you want IT?

Good news for more fun as the Full Moon appears on Tuesday at 14° Leo 48′. This is just a day after Uranus (innovative thinking) aligns with the Sun in Aquarius. Your brain is lit up with ideas, or, finding yourself in the right place at the right time, socializing, and feeling a general sense of happiness and joy as the Moon moves towards an alignment with good luck Jupiter on Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday. This is a perfect set up for the end of the week, when Mercury, the thinking planet begins stationing to go direct the following week and lines up with clear thinking and organized Saturn on Thursday, February 5. This along with a good stiff Moon in organized Virgo all the way through Saturday is particularly supportive of getting ‘it’ done — whatever ‘it’ is.

The weekend brings a very social Libra Moon having great conversations with whomever you happen to run into on the runway of life. Those ‘moments’ are key in opening some new doorways to new possibilities that hold true potential. Sunday supports closing the deal and presenting your ideas as Venus and Pluto support each other offering key teaching and coaching moments for many.

Georgia Stathis presents her monthly Starcycles astrology podcast.

The Sun has been traveling through Aquarius since last week. This is a much lighter energy than the previous passage of Sun in Capricorn as it aligned with Pluto. Aquarius is an air sign and therefore has more of an ability to objectively view what choices are the better choices and those that are far less so. The Second Quarter Moon on Monday at 6° Taurus 55′ lends itself to a more solid and practical scenario of picking and choosing our battles. The sensitivity needed during hardball negotiations is also supported by transit Venus entering its exalted position of Pisces on Tuesday morning. For the next couple of weeks it runs with transit Mars in Pisces as well, which often portends the possibility of romantic encounters that bring some nurturing to a starving soul.

However, it is always a good idea to wait until both Venus and Mars leave Pisces in the coming weeks to make a decision as to whether this is the right relationship or not — because many times when planets are in Pisces, the issue of creating healthy boundaries is challenged. No worries, though, Mercury, thinking and analyzing, though still retrograde, is in a very strong holding pattern in the sign of Aquarius which lends a practical dialogue to the situation or circumstance.

Monday is Martin Luther King’s birthday and it is timely in light of all the violence we’ve witnessed during the course of the last few months. Where is a Martin Luther King when we need him? This is the question on a lot of peoples’ minds as we move into a week where Mercury, the planet of rhetoric and communications begins to retrograde at 17° Aquarius 03′ on Wednesday, January 21. This promises about three weeks of re-thinking our larger goals or how we can contribute to our immediate community surrounding us? What time can we give, even for a few hours a week, to a team, a group or an organization with which we have simpatico? With whom can we meet that shares the same values and through a community organization can help change laws, practices or systems?? Mercury continues to be retrograde until February 11, 2014. This time period supports the questions of not only what do we want for future goals, but with whom do we wish to focus on those goals?

There are friends and acquaintances that come and go throughout life. This three week period is about assessing those same friends and acquaintances. Is there something more we need to explore with specific people? Or is it the time to cut loose from those ‘psychic vampires’ who take up more energy than we have available to give. Being selective about whom or with which groups to align is paramount during this time. This is part of the insight available to us as the New Moon beckons us on Tuesday at 00° Aquarius 09′. It may take until middle to late February to really get it together.

The Last Quarter Moon begins on Tuesday, January 13. Last Quarters are about breaking down the events of the last three weeks and putting them in perspective. Cleaning out quarters, desks, offices, spaces, and closets is a good way to approach a Last Quarter Moon. In addition, Mars the planet of motivation enters spiritual and creative Pisces on Monday. It remains in Pisces until about February 20th. As it continues on its journey it connects with Saturn on Wednesday, which really helps us focus more clearly on the matters at hand — which is always good when you have Pisces involved. A little strict or disciplined Saturn energy never hurt anyone.

This is particularly true since early next week Mars aligns with dreamy and sometimes spacy Neptune. In addition, we are getting ready for Mercury retrograde next week, so anything you can do to put your affairs in order this week is imperative. Anything hanging around that needs to be cleared, cleaned, fact checked, researched, or implemented is a good thing to put on your list for this week. Don’t ‘dilly dally’ as my beloved but very strict mother used to say when Saturdays came and it was housework day. Of course, as a little Pisces, a little dilly-dallying was necessary and as adults won’t hurt since Mars in Pisces is about looking at your artistic or creative options this week. Or, for that matter, your daily spiritual practice. Maybe it is time to start something like that! With Saturn supporting the discipline needed for this, you can’t lose.

Georgia’s informative astrology podcast is going monthly!

Starting now, Georgia Stathis will be doing a longer, monthly Starcycles Podcast instead of the short weekly bites from the previous years. Click on the player below to give the new format a listen.

We’ve just finished the sixth of seven hard challenges between Uranus (the planet of revolution, anarchy, awakening to another way of thinking, and change) and the planet Pluto (the planet embodying those things that we refuse to see, to recognize, and, then, of course, the flip side, which is planet of choice and power). A lot of individuals are saying that we are near the finish line but my view is we are just beginning. The changes we’ve pondered for a very long time (at least two years) are now upon us. Once unwilling to shift consciousness, awarenesses or even the way we live, everyone is closer to this reality as the New Year begins and as we race to the last alignment in mid-March 2015.

The bottom line is that everyone — not just those others that we often judge or criticize — but everyone is in a state of flux of rapid evolution that seems faster than our human systems can process. Life is no longer slow. It is fast and requiring the release of the encumbrances to which we are too attached. The slow release of attachments is slow. As humans, we still need to process things in an order that makes sense to each individual. Whatever pace you choose, it works as you move to the next phase of your life. This alignment–in play for almost three years — is about shedding. Shedding is not only about the shedding of things, but also judgments, criticisms, and calloused views. We can shed things, ideas, acquaintances that we’ve outgrown or whose values are now different than our own, and we can shed ideals, careers, locations. The list is endless. This year is about finding the path that works for each of us — and taking that path without doubt or remorse.

The question is — what is it that is filling up the space and keeping you from your next step?

For those of you who don’t know this, we don’t have a calendar anymore, but we do have a little astrological ‘cheat sheet’ that I’ve put together for the last two years. It contains a colorful page — graphic and color coded — showing the planetary movements for 2015 as well as a mini 2015 forecast(in general) and also a mini forecast for each sign of the zodiac. If you know your rising sign (or ascendant), you can read that, too. It is available at our website for $6.95 and you can directly download it into your computer.

This last weekend was a Full Moon and a pretty intense one at that, because it pierced the veil of the previous writing’s comments. It was a Full Moon in middle degrees of Cancer opposite the Sun in Capricorn. That is what Full Moons are, when the earth is in the middle (meaning ‘we the people’ are in the middle) of the pull between the Sun and the Moon. This particular phase was stressed by Uranus and continues to stress us throughout the week, so it is important to mark (in your heads) the changes you need to make that are crystal clear as a result of this action (you will know it when you see it), but do not react in an angry, cruel or explosive way. That is not the way.

One might feel like doing that because Pluto was also stressing the position of the Full Moon. Pluto takes no prisoners and exhibits a pretty dark response to stressful conditions if one doesn’t back off for a bit to review. Being angry or vindictive is not the path to take. Remember, though Pluto is the planet of the ‘shadow’ or the parts of ourselves that we refuse to look at, it is vindicated and empowered in each of our charts when we look at what part we honestly play in the dance of our relationships. It is also the planet of choice and choice equals power and power equals choice. So what other choices face you at the beginning of 2015 supported by the light of and gift of awareness this Full Moon brought to you? Pluto can be very strategic if we just give it some time to think. After all, what he really asks is that you remain conscious.

And, honestly, really, truly how many people are really conscious? No need to answer — just think about it!

Even though it is New Year’s and New Year’s Eve week, it could present additional challenges putting some of us over the top in terms of consumption and outlandish behaviors and indulgences. Though a quiet time in the markets, with Mars opposing Jupiter on Thursday and continuing through the weekend, it may not be a quiet time on the roads. Make sure to designate those drivers or have a backup plan just in case the ‘over the top’ types need a little help. :)

Some unexpected surprises — some somewhat challenging, and many good – show up on Saturday as the Sun and Uranus clash with each other, signifying the possibility of volatile exchanges between oneself and authority figures. As Saturday continues, the Sun aligns with Pluto. Push comes to shove and power plays may be at hand, but what’s the point? If everyone is holding the same position, nothing changes and there is no compromise. The Full Moon on Sunday the 5th of January puts a few nails into the coffin of disagreement. So think twice before you decide to oust those with whom you can’t come to some sort of understanding with. Give it a few days and allow for a better opportunity to discuss differences when things cool down.

And by the way — Happy New Year — here is to a fresh start for all of us!

This week on Tuesday December 23, Saturn leaves Scorpio for about six months, and enters the sign of Sagittarius. The last time Saturn was in Sagittarius was about thirty years ago and it began on November 16, 1985. It lasts for 2.5 years. Saturn in Sagittarius is a reality check for our belief systems, as well as our political leanings. Saturn is about pulling in the belt, moving towards a more conservative thinking mode. Sagittarius thinks big, but Saturn holds it back. This also suggests a more reserved thinking pattern for the general pattern over the course of the next few years as Saturn moves through Sagittarius.

I do like it though, because in many ways it is a combination of Saturn and Jupiter working at their best. Saturn is the form in which we pour the vision of Jupiter. This is probably the most major of the week’s events, along with a very perceptive combination: Mercury with Pluto and Chiron suggesting research, uncovering the truth and getting to the bottom of what issues are really creating blockages.