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.

As the week begins, the planet Neptune is turns direct and moves in a forward motion on Wednesday November 18 at 7° Pisces 01′. If you’ve started that budget or implemented cost cutting in this last week, you are ahead of the game as Neptune will, in 8 days, push a very hard square to Saturn at Sagittarius. This can be disappointing for stocks that include oil or plastics or even wines, but it may also be disappointing in terms of credit availability — which appears, at this writing at least, less available than during the spring of 2015.

The Neptune direct chart for Washington, D.C., suggests that visions or ideas that have been percolating since spring 2015 now have legs in which to start. It would behoove you to review any savings, portfolios, loans that you have out, and talk with your tax professional to sort out a new plan that may be, in fact, more conservative, but will in the end lend itself to a more balanced — both physically and emotionally — life style as you move forward working on your new visions of business or direction. The upcoming Saturn square Neptune mentioned above makes you work hard for your dream and if you apply a regular and concerted effort is a winning combination. Put in the time and don’t whine. Let others know what you expect and be the example of what you want.

Mars is the planet of motivation, trading, ambition, reaction and direction this week it seems to be floating around looking for a direction until late Thursday November 12 when it enters the action sign of Libra at 4:41 PM Eastern Time (1:41 PM Pacific). Usually when a planet is in its last days and not aspecting anything else, it is considered to be somewhat ‘void’, which means that any decisions to be made might do better by waiting for week’s end for the rest of the information and planet’s ingress. Though Mars in Libra is in a more debilitated position, it still is what we consider a cardinal sign and the direction to take is more fluid and includes working on or planning beautiful environments, negotiating and pounding out the details of a contract that requires back and forth consideration, as well as working on one’s own self-improvement such as cleaning out closets, putting together old things in a new way, or just going to get a plain old makeover!

On the 11th, a US holiday called Veterans Day, we have a New Moon (new starts) at 19° Scorpio 01′. The New Moon is always a good time to implement plans for the coming month, and, might, since it is end of year, include planning a new budget or spending or expense report for 2016. This might be easier than usual since that New Moon is working well with Pluto which is willing to let go of or release things that take up too much time or money or old thinking which you’ve totally outgrown. Taking effective action resulting from some major decisions at the end of the week. Share your ideas with others, but provide a visual type ‘show and tell’ so your thought process is clear.

We start out the week with Mars and Venus conjunct. This is a once a year event where the mythological lovers come together. A conjunction is always the starting point for the dancing cycles of two planets until they come together again in some future date two or so years from now. In other words, it is special, because it is where the vitality of Mars and its risk-taking qualities align with the receptive and value-based planet, Venus. Combined these two unify the idea that risky choices that change the course of life aligned with collaborative energies, is the ideal union that creates something new. This falls in line with the fact the next day, November 3, transit Jupiter is opposite transit Chiron, which has much to do with healing or correcting something by creating a teaching moment which becomes the impetus for change. This is the push that is needed and sets the stage for the weekend’s activity of inspiration coming from incubation.

On Saturday November 6, transit Mercury first complements Neptune in Pisces and then on Saturday it complements the Moon in Cancer. All three water signs are engaged in a very fortunate aspect of opportunity –being in the right place at the right time — only if we are willing to do the work after that moment of inspiration. Are you?

I looked at the dates for this week and got a little sentimental. Each year in the Greek Orthodox faith October 26 is designated as the feast day of St. Demetrius (James in English). For a little history on Greek tradition, the names days are often celebrated even more than birthdays by elder Greeks, since many of them really don’t have birth dates because many of the records were burned during the invasion of Germany into Greece. And it is very interesting to see how the given names often line up with qualities of their namesakes’ histories. St. Demetrius, was like all saints, a martyr, but also a young and well-trained warrior and, interestingly enough, a myrrh-bearer. He is often pictured as stomping on a Scorpion as St. George is depicted as piercing a dragon.

Myrrh is a very sweet and elegant fragrance that was often presented as a valued gift that healed, acted as a balm and also masked the smell of corpses. In other words, it was very commonly used as part of the ritual of release at funerals. It was said that the relics of myrrh bearers often exuded a sweet and fragrant scent. Lest I divert, the sentimentality mentioned at the beginning of this week was associated with the reference to St. Demetrius, or, James, which was my brother’s name. He died, quite suddenly, in March 1998 (right after a Pisces/Virgo eclipse — similar to the cycle we are in right now, which is perhaps why it seems more timely than usual). He was only 47. And he was fierce and big-hearted and a risk taker and also much tormented. He was someone who when he believed in something took it to the mats, whether it was the right approach or not and that intensity as well as fixity that got him through things also often got him into trouble. This is an innate quality of the Greek make-up or culture.

The above thoughts are a prelude to the date of October 28, which falls on a Wednesday this year. It is called “Oxi” day in Greece and derives from the following story (a full article was written about this in the Galactic Trader Journal by me in June 2015). On October 28, 1940, Prime Minister Metaxas of Greece at that time was presented with an ultimatum on that date. Early in the morning hours of October 28, Benito Mussolini handed a document to Metaxas demanding that Greece lay down their arms and surrender to the Fascists and, ultimately, to Hitler’s Germany. Metaxas knew full well that his small country and the limited population would be compromised considerably with surrender and would suffer tremendous losses and death and destruction if he did not give in.

However, he also knew his people and their tenacity, stubbornness, and ferocity and without blinking an eye, his immediate response was one word, “Oxi”, which means “No” in Greek. What followed over the course of the next several years were brutal losses to the Greek people, but they fought so hard that their strength in defending their country delayed Hitler’s eventual march into Russia — forcing a march into Russia in the dead of winter, which ended Hitler’s Third Reich and was the beginning of the end of World War II. This is a time then and now when decisions often are decided upon whether or not someone wishes to be destroyed by another’s hand or take the responsibility for their own fight and possible destruction.

The point of this story is two pronged: We are in the month of Scorpio, the sign of birth and death, of give me liberty or death, the either/or sign of the zodiac. In addition, the Sun and Neptune, both in water signs, are in alignment with each other and then join up with the Moon in Cancer on October 31 and November 1. Hard decisions are spurred by inspirational and insightful moments encouraging risks even though the risk is high. In addition, the 27th of October gives us a Full Moon in Scorpio and Taurus at the 3rd degree. The earlier degrees of signs are purer manifestations of the sign, and this degree suggests the very same ferocity of purpose, which may be one of the big issues this month and next, requiring major sacrifices for the greater good (see earlier stories this week) and for those we love. (Remember: You get one more as we start Daylight Savings Time at 2 am on Saturday October 31!)

The pressure is on for making decisions in our personal and professional lives. The emotional intensity that starts the week is part of this push. The end of the week offers a clearer time to make a final decision on some impending item. Since the week begins with the Moon in Capricorn in stressful aspects to many planets, in particular Uranus, which by nature is chaotic and a non-conformist and Pluto, which, again, is the planet that pushes us to make decision and choices, take a deep breath and decide tomorrow. The second quarter Moon on Tuesday January 20 offers an opening on Wednesday for a better perspective, affording each of us the opportunity to see the blind spots that were difficult to maneuver.

Wait on your decision or negotiations until later on Thursday January 22 because Mercury, the planet of thinking and analyzing is in hard aspect to Pluto. This provides a clear and true perspective. It may be time to be less tactful and a bit more frank about what is bothering you. Taking a risk and telling the truth about what you are experiencing is an important step to self-empowerment. If you do exactly this, then as Friday arrives and Venus and Pluto work together, a new direction for either personal or professional planning, relationships sets forth.

Friday October 23 the Sun enters the more intense sign of Scorpio either late morning on the West Coast or early afternoon on the East Coast. Scorpio is a very different sign than Libra, because it is a water sign which is a deep and introspective as well as emotional sign. The only difference between the Sun in Scorpio and the other two water signs, Cancer and Pisces, is that Scorpio is a fixed water sign, or, as Jim Sher used to say years ago, ‘the ice cube’. It takes a while for it to think about things, to process things, to feel comfortable and until that time comes where it needs to express what works for them, it may appear as though it is frozen and unresponsive. At the weekend, the Scorpio Sun and the Pisces Moon come together along with the Venus Jupiter alignment on Sunday, and this suggests that taking the time to decompress may be a next move in preparation for some of the challenges facing you in November. It is always good to take a break from the world before you change the things in your life. Incubation is always the prelude to Inspiration.

This is the week of the New Moon (new beginnings) at 19° Libra and throughout the month, Mercury, the planet of communications, commerce and business run on either side of this degree. In the news, issues of fairness and equality are all over the news. Exposes of unfair and non-equitable situations are anger inducing. Emotions are high as this is the 3 months after the chaos of mid-July when the big news was the Iran treaty. Is it possible that with Saturn now in Sagittarius, our government might be less willing to give away the store in this obviously unfair agreement? The question is will this treaty even be realized? Many of the candidates running for the US Presidential races are ‘promising’ that when they become president, the first thing they do will be to eliminate or change this agreement. However, if this is, indeed, an international treaty and signed and not a domestic treaty, international law states that ‘it’ cannot be changed once signed even if leadership changes. At least that is the understanding of this author.

It is quite likely that the markets are up and down and express a see saw type of movement this month. It is pushing its boundaries, or, so it seems. With the ongoing Saturn square Jupiter prices may become depressed or home sales may slow down because a new realism about prices is in the air. With Saturn currently going through Sagittarius, and Sagittarius being a sign that includes international, educational and legal affairs, that Saturn being the ‘hold on for a minute’ planet, that the US may not be as open hearted or open minded as it had been when the Iran Treaty negotiations began when Jupiter was in Leo earlier this year. The US is definitely in a “hold on for a minute’ position over the course of this next year as several outer planets begin to challenge each other with hard angles that are either 90° or 180° angles. A more conservative view and approach is in line with these upcoming markers.

Venus re-enters Virgo on Thursday October 8, the day before Mercury stations to go direct at 00° Libra. The re-entry of Venus into Virgo is exactly the same spot at which it decided to go retrograde on July 25. This means that as far as some of the relationship or value issues which we faced in late July and August finally reach some sort of resolution with regard to relationships, partnerships, group projects and other types of collaborations that hit some pot holes during the summer.

There is support with this as Venus enters Virgo the day before Mercury stations direct and when Mercury is direct clarity often ensues. Mercury is the planet of thinking, analyzing and planning and it has been retrograde in the indecisive sign of Libra for a few weeks now. It still has miles to go as it re-travels through Libra through November 1. This powerful combination offers intelligence and the ability to negotiate and connect with the right people to do the right job and work in the right partnership. With Mercury moving through Libra for another month, the path is laid for fair and equitable solutions with contracts or agreements or projects whose basis is that of being service to others (Virgo).

The Sun/Mercury conjunction on September 30 can offer new commerce, new ideas, and new contracts. In fact, they can come in all at one time. However, this is still Mercury retrograde until October 9 so caution is encouraged during negotiations as you read between the lines on an existing contract or agreement. October 9 is when Mercury goes direct, but it doesn’t return to its original position where it went retrograde until October 24. This usually means that something in that written material might be skipped or missed. So, again, check the materials you are presented or presenting . Either way your collaborators will appreciate your precision in the long run.

As we enter October, we still feel some of the fallout of last week’s Total lunar eclipse. If you are working in collaboration with others (a good Libra thing to do), then it is important to be honest about what you think is being done and what is not being addressed. Defining tasks, boundaries, and sorting out whose responsibilities are whose responsibilities are all part of this time. Keep the discussions going until the end of the month when Mercury returns back to its pre-retrograde position on October 24. Things are much clearer at that time and feel more orderly at the end of October.

Another reason is shortly we enter the time when the traveling North Node moves back to Virgo on November 13. Nodes move in a backwards motion rather than forward. It has been in Libra for 1 ½ years and now begins a 1 ½ year cycle in Virgo and South Node in Pisces. Since Jupiter is running with the North Node, it is possible that a fresh new approach to organization, medical services, systems, time management, software that offers more efficiency in cataloging information and new types of employee ideas, working environments, tools and services are part of this new cycle. The ability to sort through things more easily is heightened with this strong Virgo influence and the color White or Beige may be the ‘new’ color for 2016 as Virgo favors the lighter tones. Virgo has the supreme ability to sort through things separating what is useful from what is non-useful. And this, my friends, is the universal theme for this next year. Look to the detailed presentations of candidates running in the election of 2016 to see how concrete their plans are for sorting through the US challenges. Ideas are good, but specific detailed plans are best.

We head into another week of big changes. First, on Thursday September 24, Pluto goes direct at almost 13° Capricorn. Again, like the current Mercury Retrograde in Libra, Pluto is direct and stressing the US Sun in Cancer and its Saturn (government). When Pluto goes direct, many people find themselves making choices and they aren’t just any choices, but choices that have been put off for quite some time and now must be made. Many choices made are life-changing choices — the big ones — that require fortitude and courage, because those choices could change one’s life. Many times we see endings — literally the news strewn with such things as abandonment of children, death, and the end of one or other major institution (i.e. bankruptcy) or the reverse response which is choose to evolve, transform, and overcome those most difficult of obstacles. Pluto is choice — either bad or good. Pluto direct is not always a bad thing — it is about decisions one makes to change their life and move in a very positive direction, but requires the payment of giving something up that you believe you cannot live without. It could be as simple as leaving a solid job to start your own business, or, letting go of savings to do something for which you’ve always dreamed.

With the Total Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) on the heels of Pluto direct and taking place on Sunday September 27 at 4° Aries 37′ and Libra, the eclipse pushes you out of your comfort zone. This eclipse is one of the two leftover eclipses of the old eclipse cycle that ended earlier this year. Usually these ‘leftovers’ push us harder for change by crossing our paths with a sudden change in our circumstances. So do things differently, look at things from a different perspective, take on a different attitude, clear out the rubble in your head and your life. Lighten up. Your sleep state may be filled with lots of dreams as Jupiter opposes Neptune two days prior to the eclipse on September 25 at 8° Virgo and 8° Pisces. Keep a pad of paper next to the bed or a small microphone to make sure you record the messages if you can remember them.

The Jupiter opposition to Neptune may also trigger the much discussed rise in interest rates by the Feds. This can increase one’s spending using credit or credit cards. Keep those in check, because that Saturn in Sagittarius won’t be very tolerant over the long haul.