This is a great week with a great New Moon at 19° Aquarius 16′ and it begins the Year of the Monkey. I remember from my friend, Robert Daley, that the Monkey is very good with his hands, creative, clever and with the lunar cycle beginning in Aquarius, the sign of innovation, perhaps this is the year in which to find ‘that need and fill it’! Of course, hover boards may need a little work :), but other than that, I think this is the year for repurposing success. For example, rather than buying new clothes, go in that closet and see what you can repurpose. I have a wonderful full length red coat from Evan Picone left over from the 80s (yes, folks, the 80s), but the shoulder pads look like football pads and are too extreme. However, the color is rich and the wool is extraordinary. Everyone is wearing long vests, so my thought is to take it to my favorite dressmaker, remove the pads and sleeves and then have a fully functional and very current beautiful (and warm) wool vest. I found this coat at a local thrift store for $20 years ago, the price for a full length designer vest these days — $300 to $500! Go figure!

Obviously, this isn’t the only way to repurpose. Have a piece of furniture you love, has great lines, but has seen better days, contact someone who knows how to reshape or repaint furniture making it more current. There are lots of ideas flying around this week coming from different directions — often the curse of too many planets in Aquarius (also the great gift). There are many wonderful aspects with Jupiter this week as well, encouraging learning and teaching. Jupiter is still in Virgo, until late summer 2016 and Virgo is the ultimate repurposing sign. Jupiter only returns to Virgo once every twelve years so taking advantage of its transit is encouraged.

If you can’t use something, then pass it on to someone else who can, the other side of the great aspects to Jupiter because Jupiter is often referred to as the ‘cosmic Santa Claus’. As Mercury returns to its original position before it went retrograde (1º Aquarius) on Valentine’s day, getting back on track feels great. If you have ideas for changing things in your work place, don’t be afraid to bring them to your boss or colleagues, because it is most likely that they will jump at the chance to implement that change. This week is filled with optimism and is, coincidentally, Mardi Gras — so how convenient is that?

This is the last week before the New Moon on Monday February 8, which also begins Chinese New Year. This means that this is the last week of the Year of the Goat and next week begins the Year of the Monkey. Monkey years bring forth clever and enthusiastic energy. Until then, however, we are in the last week of the lunar cycle, so this is a good time to sort through papers and files, particularly since the 1099s have been distributed and it is time for figuring out what we owe old Uncle Sam if living in the USA.

The most interesting thing about this week is that on Thursday the 4th, transiting Uranus is conjunct Vesta (an asteroid). Uranus is often an unpredictable sort and can brings things suddenly in or suddenly out. Aligned with Vesta the goddess of devotion and dedication and also part of the word, “investment”, it might present sudden investment opportunities not seen before. If you’ve been envisioning something, you can most likely be in the right place at the right time for manifesting that dream. The assistance needed is there helping you nail down the idea and starting the project. Since this combo is in Aries, it means taking a chance on a pioneering idea, a new approach, a groundbreaking idea. Since it is in Aries, it is also important to have a plan A or B in place, which is strategic and the more mature manifestation of Aries energy.

Note: For those interested, I am presenting an online workshop for OPA members entitled, “The Importance of Phases” on Sunday, February 7 at 10 AM Pacific Time. Go to the OPA website to register if you are a member.

Venus entered the sign of Capricorn last Saturday, the same day as the Full Moon. Venus in Capricorn is far more serious than Venus in Sagittarius. It has Saturnian overtones, which means that things slow down tremendously as one takes a cautious step by step approach to new ideas. This isn’t a lot of fun, but it is a necessary step, because Venus in Capricorn is also about following the resources, the monies, and/or the availability of the monies in order to accomplish those goals we’ve been talking about. Venus in Capricorn is very pragmatic and doesn’t move too far to the left or right without first considering the financial risks and obligations. This is both good and bad.

It suggests that the timing is perfect to successfully negotiate agreements and contracts, whose fees or conditions are too high for the part of the cycle in which we find ourselves right now. This is something to which I alluded earlier in the month. It also suggests that now that we find ourselves past the full moon of last Saturday at 3° Leo 29′, we’re now entering the waning part of the monthly lunar cycle, which is the winding down cycle. Winding down cycles are where we disseminate information while letting go of those aspects of current activities that clearly are not going to work at this juncture. In other words, with Venus in Capricorn, Mercury having gone direct on Monday aligned with Pluto, this is the time to draw final lines in the sand and say, “This is my dance space and this is yours”. What is your bottom line? Clearly state the most basic conditions which you need to make a project work, then move forward, ultimately creating a win-win for all.

Georgia is taking a winter hiatus from podcasting, but look for the return of her monthly podcasts in the spring.

On Wednesday of this week, the Sun leaves tropical Capricorn and enters tropical Aquarius. I always like this time much better, because Aquarius offers more mental space and an objectivity that comes from the air element. When the Sun enters tropical Aquarius, the focus for this next month is about reconnecting with community, friends, and discussing some of the goals and ideas set forth earlier in the month. We aren’t talking about New Year’s resolutions here, because those often go by the wayside. But, instead, about the ideas for your career or life path in the new year whose discussion with trusted allies is paramount.

Sometimes when we hit a wall, the tendency is to withdraw until we find a solution. With the Sun in Aquarius and Mercury soon entering Aquarius again, the reverse is true. Don’t withdraw from people but, instead, sit down and talk with them. Share concerns. Ask for help. What is the network that you know or with which you’d like to be involved that fills acts as a perfect adjunct to your next steps? This new group or team of people can be just the ticket for bringing out that which is percolating inside of you.

At the end of the week, the Moon enters Gemini, which is the perfect moon for problem solving (Gemini is known for its problem solving abilities). With the Moon in Gemini from Tuesday through early Thursday, this is a perfect time in which to brainstorm with others.

We just had a New Moon on January 9, which starts the action cycle for each month. It is the time to ‘plant’ seeds for the next 30 days with regard to your position in community or in your career. This is the starting point in finding that new direction in your career for which you’ve been searching. Getting involved with a different type of group or organization at month’s end may be just the ticket for shifting into a new direction yet unexplored. This is the time to start. If you have a dream of something you’ve been wishing to do while Mercury is retrograde (until January 25), start writing down some ideas (while holding back self-judgment as to whether this is a realistic stance or not). It is important to hold back judgment, because the voice of judgment is the #1 problem that keeps one from manifesting.

The Voice of Judgment, called the VOJ, in Dr. Michael Ray’s book, Creativity in Business, is the one thing that keeps us from becoming what who we really are. The VOJ comes at us in many forms and from many directions. Dr. Ray’s suggestions for getting rid of it are three-fold:

#1, When it starts harping on you, just tell it to go away; #2, When it still is there, then seriously yell at it to leave; and, finally #3, Physically do something that pushes it away — even beating on a body bag helps tremendously. Self-judgment keeps you away from your true self. Of course, it’s there for our survival, but extreme self-judgment can derail us. Retrograde Mercury is about discovering the holes in our desires, our plans, finding out about the holes and then finding answers, which fill those holes when it goes direct.

The week begins with a slowing down of everything technical. Mercury, which rules such things as travel, communications, sales, negotiating, and anything that requires clarity and thought starts its retrograde movement on January 5 at 1º Aquarius. The year begins with challenging aspects to the U.S. government’s Saturn and Sun and a slowing down of the economy is possible. The planets involved are Uranus, which just went direct on December 25, Pluto which forces one to look at what one doesn’t wish to address, but must and as Mercury retrogrades back close to these same degrees, there is opportunity for change resulting from revisiting old plans, budgets and thinking patterns. Planning is a good activity right now as all indicators suggest that 2016, though filled with wonderful opportunities to serve, become more efficient, pare down spending and streamline systems, may be volatile. The roller coaster ride is far more manageable if we take a serious look at what we don’t need and start from that position. In other words, streamline and prosper.

Mercury goes direct January 25 and since it goes direct in middle degrees of Capricorn thus aligning itself with Pluto at that time, this adds an incentive, during the month of January for sorting out business goals. Reviewing and exploring outdated technology and pruning redundant systems that are in place are also on the agenda. And, of course, backing up information from your computers and phones, while attempting to streamline, goes without saying. This not always the best time to buy a technical device, since we often see problems emerge after Mercury changes direction. However, it is an excellent time to negotiate and again revisit any pending contracts through the 25th as people may soften their response to your offer. In fact, the contract you thought you lost may return after the 25th of January or after February 14.

In personal relationships, Mercury retrogrades often try to convey something but isn’t always heard by the opposite party. Advice? It is best to wait before responding in anger or saying anything that may be construed differently. Think it through, because when Mercury goes direct at month’s end, it lines up with Pluto, which means other parts of the story or the conversations or contracts become clearer. It is a great time to ask the questions that people usually don’t ask in business dealings, and to get right to the point. But when it has to do with a more personal conversation, think before speaking.

On Monday, December 28, transit Venus is at the end of Scorpio and enters the more optimistic sign of Sagittarius on either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on where you live. There is often an urge to travel, go for a drive and experience a new adventure with Venus in Sagittarius. Perhaps you can incorporate that desire for a new experience with your current interests be they hobby or profession. Venus in Sagittarius aligns with Saturn around January 9 or 10, 2016 and this often suggests that duty or pleasure is the rule of the day since Saturn is the slower of the two planets. It may also be the perfect time to incorporate your fortunate ability to prosper with a practical application of systems or methods since Jupiter remains in Virgo.

As the week ends and the Moon enters Libra on New Year’s Eve at 10:41 PM on the West Coast and at 1:41 am in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day on the East Coast, it is a perfect time to gather with friends in a social situation and make a treasure or mind map of the thing you most desire in 2016. I do this with friends most years and the one thing I always tell people is to write across the top of your treasure map the following: “Under the light of God (or Spirit) and for the good of all!” Happy New Year and blessings to your families and friends.

The week begins with Winter Solstice at 11:48 PM Eastern time on Monday December 21, 2015. This is referred to in ancient times as the Festival of the Return of the Light and is the time of year for all the ‘light’ holidays –Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Yule, you name it. In the northern hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year. In Pueblo, Zuni and Hopi traditions, they celebrate the Soyal Solstice ceremony for 16 days which is a celebration to encourage the various Kachinas to bring back the Sun. One of the most famous is Kokopelli, the flute dancer. Regardless, it is important to take time during the transition of the Solstice to meditate, or, think about what you see for yourself at the time of Spring Equinox in late March of 2016. The solstice has long been known as the ‘conception’ point of the zodiac. Therefore, it is imperative that your state of mind move in a more positive direction rather than the reverse for a more fruitful birth of a new idea in spring.

With Uranus direct on Christmas day at 16° Aries 33′ and opposing the US Saturn and squaring the US Sun and Pluto opposition, there should be some surprise news coming out of Washington. This could also signal the beginning of the arrival of the El Nino on the West Coast since it is also 90 days after that 4° Aries/4° Libra Total Lunar eclipse of September 27. If you have anything in early Capricorn, Cancer, Libra or Aries in your chart, this is a super turning point for your life basics- physical body, partnerships, home and career.

At the end of this week on December 18 we have a First Quarter moon in 26° Pisces 22′. These are very good for putting things in order and figuring out a management plan. The insights may come very fast, so make sure you write them down, as Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the three days the Sun travels the last degrees of Sagittarius, which is the Galactic Center mentioned in the previous week. In addition, Mercury, planet of communication and commerce, aspects Pluto on the 19th, which could be when you make that ‘reasonable’ or ‘unreasonable’ request to save yourself a little money or time!

Earlier in this year I presented a workshop for OPA on Financial Viability (which is available soon at our website) and one of the prime things I spoke about is how people make money or resources by making regular reasonable or unreasonable requests, something I learned from two very close clients of mine years ago. A reasonable request is as simple as “this can is dented, can you give me a discount” and an unreasonable request is for something bigger that benefits both the receiving party as well as you, the requester. It is something like, ” I am planning on using your workshop facility four times this year — if I contract for them all at the same time and pay for them all at the same time, can you give me a 25% discount on the entire package?” Some people may say this is cheap, but it really isn’t. It is just a request. The person being asked can always say no and if they do there is no arguing, but more often than not, they listen and agree. Anyway, this is not a bad practice as we head into 2016 and from the looks of things, people may be very open to your requests.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, transit Mercury is between 27° and 29° of Sagittarius before it enters cardinal Capricorn on Wednesday, December 9 at 9:34 PM Eastern time and 6:34 pm Pacific time. The last few degrees of Sagittarius are the Galactic Center where when planets travel through these degrees, things happen very fast. Like the speed of light, lots of changes can happen in a very short time and since Mercury is involved, the ideas fly as do the emotions and words. At the end of the month as we get closer to Winter Solstice or 00° Capricorn, the few days before that the Sun travels through the same 27° to 29° Sagittarius and we often see lots of changes (or heightened emotions) during this time every year.

Those changes may include sudden holiday surprises as Mars opposes Uranus –watch your driving as well as others’ driving– during this time as the excitement of change can often be distracting in our day to day functions. With Venus in a beautiful trine to Neptune late Thursday and Friday, take time to visit with people you’ve not seen in a while and whose presence offers a balm to your spirit during this fast changing end of year period. Since this week is a Last Quarter moon and the New Moon is on Friday, December 11 at 19° Sagittarius 03′, this is also a great week to clear things out of your house and office and desks and congested spaces or storage units. It is the giving time of the year — what can someone use more than you at this time?

This week is highlighted by many different aspects to Mercury which is currently in Sagittarius. A week filled with Mercury aspects, usually means lots of communications, sorting through files, networking, figuring out software and machines that use that software as well as getting familiar with new technologies. In other words, it can get very busy and keep us in our heads. As a result, the body often is ignored and so it is suggested that one takes stock of those daily health habits that may have fallen by the wayside in the last weeks. On Friday, December 4, Venus enters intense Scorpio where it remains until December 31, so it hangs out with us through the holidays.

Since Jupiter (opportunity) is currently in the earth sign, Virgo, it works very well with Venus in Scorpio. In fact, this combination can be very productive as it researches to find out the best way in which to do something. The Jupiter in Virgo is excellent for implementing systems that take that information and sort through it so it is most efficient and there is not waste. This combination is a sextile (in the natural sixth and eighth houses) which is an indication that this is a good time to get people who specialize in these various skills. We can’t do everything and in order to proceed, delegating is the key to success if one can let go of the control.

At the end of the week on Sunday the 6th of December, the Sun in Sagittarius is a sextile to Mars in Libra, another really positive combination pushes the Mars square Pluto. Decide to do it and then go do it. It is possible that at this particular time, someone may show up from out of the blue that is exactly the person required for the next step in these projects which you’ve been developing for the last year.

Several events surround us this week as we head into the USA Thanksgiving holidays. As the week begins Venus and Chiron are at odds with each other — this could simply be the edginess that comes when families get together for the holidays as Venus has to do with relationships. Perhaps looking at your part in any potential conflict and keeping it at bay is not a bad idea with this opposition. You have support for that later in that same day as Mars and Saturn are sextile and in a very good stabilizing aspect. Ask to do some tasks, get them done and get them done on time — this will work great and encourages family cooperation.

The Full Moon on Wednesday at 3° Gemini 20′ is great for a chatty, lively assortment of people gathering to put together a wonderful holiday party. Since Saturn is on the Sun sign side of this full moon, remember to include, if not at your table, but in your actions those older that are unable to call, attend, or participate. The holidays are often difficult for people, but for those left alone, they are worse. Since Saturn is square Neptune on Thanksgiving day at 4:15 AM Eastern Time, the entire day could take on a tone of serious introspection, or, it could be a perfect opportunity to get into deeper and more meaningful discussions at your table.

Figuring out ‘how’ to do this or that and getting things in working order for that vision/idea mentioned last week is there as Chiron goes direct on Friday at 1:43 AM at 16° Pisces 56′. This is a great time, rather than going out and shopping, to sort out your holiday giving schedule –whether it is gifts, donations, or time. Regardless of how you approach the holidays, it is our wish at Starcycles to wish you a joyful Thanksgiving and subsequent holiday season. Please keep checking in at our website for online classes in 2016 as well as free podcasts and weekly forecasts. I am very thankful for this work and for your support.