The week has a bunch of energy, which we all need as the Christmas season is upon us. Monday has Mars motivation working with Pluto (which pushes through to get things done). Anybody for a late-night tree lighting? Venus returns to the degree where she went retrograde on October 5, getting back on track. For the last couple of months, she has been traveling through the natural zodiac’s eighth house, which concerns itself with the deeper issues of life, birth, death, transformation and release. The eighth house is also associated with resources we share with our closest partners, our frozen assets, and by working with others how we make our income. These last few months have offered an exploration of whether this is working for us or not. With Venus finally returning to its retrograde position of 10º Scorpio, we can now solve, or resolve, financial issues that must be sorted through to move forward emotionally and financially in the next year. If you have been debating about selling a home or finding a new home, this is a prime window that may help you find that special place. The frustrations of the last few months now lift as we end 2018 and approach the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice, on Friday December 21, along with the Full Moon at 00º Cancer and 00º Capricorn, on Saturday December 22. Lots of news in the following week regarding the new politics in America and the reality of financial industries, often washed over or ignored, during this last year.

A big Happy Holiday wish from myself, Starcycles, and all of us who work together to provide you with information that you can use or help with understanding.

Positive things are happening. We had a New Moon with good luck Jupiter on Friday, December 7, in Sagittarius, and then on Saturday, December 8, Chiron finally went direct at 27º Pisces. For those of you who follow these forecasts, you may recall that last spring Chiron had left Pisces. When planets travel through the tail end of Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, sorrow is reviewed, released, and hopefully healed. Chiron briefly entered Aries for a few months and then, in late September, Chiron retrograded back to Pisces one last time to finish its ten-year transit, which lasts until February 18, 2019. This provides an opportunity to clear out and clean up the sorrow. Address those things that hold your psyche hostage, seek help through a good counselor and clear out those ideas, or ideals, that you have outgrown. It is the beginning of moving forward into new thoughts, ideas and directions, particularly as Chiron re-enters Aries in February.

Practically speaking, Saturn returns to the position at which it went retrograde earlier this year. Saturn back on course adds to our sense of direction and purpose. Mercury, is leaving Scorpio, where it is an emotional thinker, and enters Sagittarius late on Wednesday, December 12. In Sagittarius, Mercury adds a bit more of an adventurous curiosity to our thinking. You may wish to review potential classes, workshops, or books you would like to read. You may want to plan a last-minute holiday trip to see those you have not seen for a while, or at least to reach out and call them. You may also wish to send those last-minute holiday blessings and gifts.

Hanukkah begins today. This is one of the many celebrations in honor of the return of the light. Many cultural celebrations occur throughout the month of December, which in the Northern Hemisphere is when the daylight hours get shorter until the solstice, when the light returns and the days will slowly have more hours of sunlight. I am in Australia where this is completely reversed. For the Southern Hemisphere, after December 21, the days are slowly becoming shorter.

Light is defined as the absence of darkness. When there is light, we see things. That is the physical ‘light’. But another ‘light’ is insight, awareness, consciousness. Here, we sense things coming (intuitively) and the light of insight tells us be ready, aware or prepared. This season of the return of the light is about coming closer to our own pure light. The light is associated with the Sun. The Sun rules the Sign of Leo (where 2 of the summer eclipses occurred), which in the natural zodiac is the fifth house. The fifth house is the house of playfulness, creativity, the creations of our bodies-our children, or the creations of our minds-creative babies. The bottom line is about expression, creating something in the world, being happy and taking a chance, a risk, or gamble on something.

I am off to one of my all-time favorite countries in a few days. I will be traveling to Australia through mid-December and wanted to get these last thoughts and forecasts out to you before I am traveling. The Sun in Sagittarius is lined up with Jupiter on the first day of this week. This starts the week off on an optimistic note and is probably resulting from some of the more positive events of last week. On Tuesday, the Sun meets up with Mercury, shedding light on an idea recently discussed, or in your purview for the last few weeks. When the Sun and Mercury come together, this starts a new cycle of insight and ideas and how to get those ideas to materialize. This combo can affect the markets, too. If they are up, then this can reverse them. If they are down, this combo reverses that, temporarily at least. Always remember, as an investor you have to have your ‘list’ next to you, the list that has your research on it and one you feel confident about. When markets shift, this is the time to buy.

This week is the Last Quarter Moon phase, which means it is time to clean off your desk and get some extra rest. It can mean that you are confident about whether to keep an idea going or let it go, making room for something better to enter your life. If you are weighing whether to work on a relationship or not, that decision should wait until Venus gets back to where she went retrograde, which happens on December 18. Venus is in Libra and here she has a hard time deciding. If you are going back and forth with trying to decide on a job, a house, or some event that is possibly stressing you, get out of your rational mind. Do something physical, like taking a hike or cleaning out the garage. This allows your subconscious to process what you need to do without —while your body is at work.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this United States holiday. This week’s full moon falls late on Thanksgiving Day and is in the sign of early Gemini. The Sun, our daily light, just entered Sagittarius early on Thanksgiving Day. Remember full moons are when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, which is one of the reasons some may feel stretched.

It is likely that this long holiday weekend will be full of parties, travel, and over the top behavior. Jupiter (the planet of grand plans and expansive ideals) just entered Sagittarius. When Jupiter is lined up with the Moon, it lends its ‘big’ nature, which can also be over exaggeration or over reaction to a situation. Jupiter in Sagittarius is one of the luckier places for Jupiter. It enters Sagittarius every twelve years, and this year it started its ingress into Sagittarius on the November 8, just a couple of days after the mid-term elections. It remains in Sagittarius until December 2, 2019.

Jupiter in Sagittarius has the reputation of being somewhat inflated. The last time it was in Sagittarius was at the end of 2007, when it lined up with Pluto, and the mortgage-backed securities were about to open Pandora’s box. This was a time when people would soon realize that the value of whatever they had purchased was inflated. Now, I am not saying this to frighten you. In different industries, this can be a perk, as well as a turning point. For example, if properties have become so inflated in one region, people are often willing to move away in order to purchase property that is far more affordable. This means that people move to different regions (Sagittarius is about traveling long distances) to attain their goals. There is a shift that takes place-a need to become free of something-and not be as encumbered as they might have felt while Jupiter was in the sign of Scorpio, a fixed sign that holds on for dear life.

My question to you is, now that Venus is direct and Neptune is going direct, on Saturday, November 24, what is your vision? Try not to judge your vision, that just gets in the way. Think about how you see yourself living, working, and living your daily life? Look down the road and think about what feels good about this vision? What feels heavy and needs to be discarded? These are the questions to ask as planets go direct.

These are also questions to ask as Mercury, the way we process information, remains retrograde until December 6. Do the research, ask the questions, write the inquiries, make the phone calls. If something you want is not available, be persistent. See it and believe it.

I do not know about you, but I am looking forward to Mars leaving Aquarius, where it has been since May 2018. On Thursday, November 15, Mars enters the gentle sign of Pisces. It is time for a gentler motivation than the extremes that we have seen since Mars first entered Aquarius in last spring. Normally, Mars takes eight weeks to move through a sign, but this has been a long transit because Mars went retrograde, then direct, and had to catch up with itself, which usually takes 90 days. In Aquarius, the sign of extremes, we see, and saw, extreme movements, emotions, actions, revolution, startling reminders of a world in turmoil skewed by aberrant ideas and ideals. With Mars entering Pisces, over the course of the next eight weeks, we may find ourselves tired and not as pushed to get things done-perhaps we just must recover, but also because it is time to go inside and find out what really matters spiritually and creatively.

Mars in Pisces often has a bad reputation in the cookbook world of astrology. Mars is the planet of action and motivation and since Pisces is not ‘outwardly’ motivated, the thought is it is not very directed. However, the thing we do not often read about Mars in Pisces, or any water sign for that matter, is that inspiration motivates. When one is inspired, one acts on their vision. With Mars in a good aspect to Saturn (stability) and Pluto (transformation) over the course of the next few weeks, a lot can be done. Maybe it is time to make a holiday card instead of ordering it, maybe it is time to catch up on all that reading that is piling up, which might provide an insight or an idea to regarding your direction. Perhaps it is time to get some friends together and make a vision board for the coming year. I know it seems like a long way off, but it is not. And, it is never too early to envision something fresh and new while letting go of outworn emotions, items and thoughts that keep you from moving forward.

This is a very important time in the U.S.A, Election Day is on Tuesday November 6. I have always voted even when frustrated regarding the ‘political menu’. In the early 1960s, I lived in another country for a few months. I was very young but I saw what it was like to not have the amenities and the options we have in America. Whether we like what is going on politically or not, we really do have to vote. If we do not, our Democracy–more like our freedom of choice-is compromised and chiseled away at, piece-by-piece and bit by bit, until the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. I am not pointing to any particular party or politician but I am saying that if we do what we always have done, then we will keep getting what we have always gotten politically. For many of these politicians, it is time to leave, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent. For many of the politicians running the U.S. government-435 in the House of Representatives, and 100 Senators-they keep doing the same old, same old.

This Democratic process is taking place as Venus is retrograde. There is also the New Moon in Scorpio, at 15º and exactly 90-days after the last eclipse of August 18, 2018. I find it very interesting that one planet that is hanging around these last two 90-day periods is the planet Uranus, which is the planet of awakening. It is the planet that allows us to think outside of the box, bringing sudden pieces of information to light that can wake us up and encourage action.

As I close this week’s series of thoughts I ask that you think about this, when the USA government was formed, and the constitution signed, the population of the United States was 4,000,000. If you do the math, dividing 4,000,000 by 535, that comes out to a representative for every 7,476 persons! Now, with the population at 327 million people, that representation for the entire United States comes out to a representative to every 611,215 people!! Think about that…. Each one of those numbers, if of age, has a voice. Do not give up your voice. And, as always, it is your choice.

I am in Chicago this week attending the amazing National Hellenic Museum’s annual Kouzina event. I am on the board of the National Hellenic Museum whose mission is to preserve the history and culture of the Hellenes, the Greeks. Kouzina, in Greek, means kitchens. This event has Greek foods, chefs from all over the Chicago area, and a coming together in celebration at this amazing museum in the middle of Greek Town — near the University of Illinois Circle campus. I find this interesting in that on Tuesday and Wednesday the Moon enters Cancer, the sign of kitchens, food, and families. Thursday the Moon enters the fun and playful sign of Leo. Mercury, the planet of communication, just entered the relating sign of Libra on Wednesday. This could be a week of get-togethers, celebrations and visiting those we have not seen for a while.

Since the Total Eclipse on July 27 was in early degrees of Leo and Aquarius, those born in the first five to six days of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio are definitely making some changes. A decision may be happening this week regarding very important areas-where you live, work, and relationships. Venus enters Libra at the end of the week and this certainly helps to focus on all of these very important aspects of our lives.

On Tuesday, the Sun moves into tropical Scorpio for a few weeks. Its passage usually signifies the transition between the autumn and winter because it is the mid-point of these two seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. (It is the transition time from spring to summer in the southern hemisphere-something I have never been able to wrap my head around. Since earliest roots of Western astrology began in the Northern Hemisphere, I suspect that explains this perspective.)

The big Full Moon on Wednesday, October 24 is the 90-day segment after the Total Lunar Eclipse of late July 2018. This is an important week of ‘ah ha’ moments, insights and decisions. That full moon was lined up with Uranus, the planet of in-the-moment changes. There are moments in all our lives where we really do get it. Where we really do understand that we need to make a choice regarding which direction we will take now that winter is approaching. Scorpio is, after all, about choice.

The Sun will transit over retrograding Venus on Friday, October 26. Light may be shed on an existing relationship that has remained confusing.

This week it is a second quarter moon phase and we can get a lot more done than last week. If you are working with a tangible project and need tools, help, or anything that makes that project easier, carefully research prior to purchasing. Venus is still retrograde, suggesting a low return on investment. It may be time to start looking into replacements for anything that has long needed to be replaced, but do the research and purchase after Venus moves in a direct motion in mid-November.

We are in the middle of several peaking cycles so we may see some odd fluctuations in the markets this week. Any impatience that comes from things feeling as they are moving too slowly suggests that we be mindful of that energy, particularly close to the end of the week. Mars, the planet of action and also impatience, lines up with the Moon (emotions) and Mercury (ideas and problem solving). This is a restless energy, which is best served by moving away from the desk and getting outside to enjoy some sunshine and some fresh air. I find that if I put a timer on at my workstation, to remind me to pause and refresh, it helps.

The full moon coming next week is the second 90-day period after the big eclipse of late July. More on that next week. Meantime, balance is important. Step away from the technology and engage with your fellow humans.

Uranus, the planet of unexpected surprises, went into retrograde on August 7, 2018, at 2° 33′ Taurus, it will go direct on January 6, 2019, at 28° 36′ Aries. Uranus retraces its steps from its May 2018 entrance into Taurus. In the Zodiac, Taurus is the second house and reflects issues around what we value. Uranus revisiting this entry offers everyone an opportunity to solidly put into place the issue of awakening (or reawakening) to those values. When Uranus goes direct, we are ready to act on changing our lives to align more fully with those values.

We are entering the ‘Twilight Zone’ of the year, the place where what seems real may only be an illusion. This week’s New Moon (always indicating New Beginnings) is on Monday, October 8, and is the FIRST of three 90-day periods after the eclipses of July 12, July 27 and August 11. These 90-day periods are when things come to light, or so it seems, regarding the darkness that befell us during the summer eclipses. These 90-day periods bring clarity regarding what needs to be done concerning our closest relationships. Pluto went direct just a few days ago and is entangled in this current configuration, adding to the Twilight Zone, suggesting the need for consciousness regarding all parties involved, particularly in contentious relationships. Remember, it takes two to tango. As I write this, I am watching the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings in Congress. This is a remarkable illustration of this configuration that we experience this week. By the time you read this, we should know more of what ‘that’ was all about.

On a greater and larger level, this configuration occurs along with the beginning of Venus’ retrograde cycle in Scorpio. Venus retrogrades every two years and has an eight-year recurring pattern (i.e. in the same sign). Even though Venus goes retrograde every two years, she comes back to the ‘same sign’ every eight years. The last few times Venus went retrograde in Scorpio were:

October 1986, October 1994, October 2002, October 2010 and currently, between October 5 and November 16, 2018.

Venus is known for representing relationships, but she goes deeper than that. She represents that to which we are attracted, those things we want and desire. The retrograde offers the opportunity to pause and think before taking action. Scorpio is an intense water sign, which makes it deeply emotional. Closely held feelings are brought to the surface with Venus retrograde in Scorpio. All parties in the transaction of a relationship must have courage to look at the part they play in relationship challenges.

Monday, October 1 – So, you made big choices last week! Some may have been out of your hands. It was not easy either because any time Pluto goes direct we are called forth to sacrifice something that we believe we cannot live without in order to grow and transform. If any of those choices involved any sort of financial decision making, this is the week to start reviewing your spending, your budget and separating wants from needs. There is a difference. Always do the needs first, then make a little room for a want or two. This is Venus’ message when she is about to station retrograde (yes another big retrograde).

Friday October 5 – Venus retrogrades at 10º Scorpio 50′. Venus, ruler of our desires and values, retrogrades every two years. Therefore, it is suggested that while Venus retrogrades, and until she goes direct on November 16, 2018 at 25º Libra 14′, an assessment of possessions (necessary or unnecessary) and relationships, especially those that involve joint finances, are thought out carefully. At least begin the discussion and ask yourself is the value I receive the value I give. If considering purchasing items of which you are not certain, particularly big-ticket items, this is not the time in which to do it. If you are considering something more personal, like cosmetic surgery, this is also discouraged during a Venus retrograde. Value is associated with Venus, so ponder whether or not the amount of resource spent equals the value received. It is a good time to sort through items that you have outgrown or no longer need and donate them. Since we are closing in on the end of the year, many organizations would welcome both cash and in-kind donations. Moreover, this puts a little cosmic karma into your cosmic goody bag for the future. Venus is the goddess of love, so if old flames return wanting to revisit what you shared, a word of caution: wait until Venus goes direct in mid-November. Even better, wait until it gets back on track in mid-December.