This feature was originally published in Nature and Health Annual in January 2008. Michele has been writing their annual health and wellbeing forecasts since 2003. Keep an eye out for the 2009 edition.
The coming year is an auspicious one. The most significant astrological event in 2008 is Pluto’s crossing into the earth sign, Capricorn, where it will stay until 2024.
The cardinal points are the most potent degrees of the zodiac. Pluto and Capricorn are archetypes of epic magnitude so we are entering a truly significant time in human history.
Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed or powerless in the face of world events, but Capricorn is also associated with personal responsibility and self discipline, which reminds us we can each make a difference.
By facing up to our individual responsibilities and with a little effort, we can change our own lives and at the same time influence events in a wider context, which leads to a feeling of empowerment.
In 2008 Jupiter will also be located in Capricorn, suggesting we need to focus on conservation, rather than unbridled growth, while Saturn, the planet that rules Capricorn, will be in another earth sign, Virgo. In Chinese Astrology, 2008 is the year of the Earth Rat, adding yet more earth energy.
So the emphasis is on reconnecting with the earth and working in harmony with the natural environment. The challenge is to come up with practical and workable solutions. At a global level this cycle brings us an opportunity to overhaul our systems and infrastructure.
Over the coming two and a half years, Saturn in Virgo will help us focus on the fine print and implement new systems.
On a more personal level, we will each manage this extra helping of earth energy in different ways.
Fire signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius may have some difficulty in the year ahead as they are usually not skilled at managing earth energy. If you are very fiery, you may have a sharp learning curve ahead, perhaps compounded by a feeling of frustration, but by working through these issues, you can sharpen your organisational skills and implement your visions like never before. You can develop some of the skills you lack, such as patience and persistence.
Earth signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn will probably notice a big increase in their workload and responsibilities, but this will most likely be in keeping with their desires. If you are born under an earth sign, for the most part you will be attending to tasks you are familiar with and will feel you are in control. This is an important year for you, as you will literally be “in your element”. You have the potential to bring about lasting achievements.
Air signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, might find they have to put things on hold, or help a family member who is having trouble managing on their own. If you are an air sign, you might feel held back by circumstances, or find you have to work through things alone. This will build more resilience and inner strength.
For water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, there will be opportunities for personal growth and learning. If you are a water sign you will be able to use this earth energy to great effect, for it will help you become more organised. You can really firm up your plans and take big strides towards reaching long term goals.
"Although major changes will be felt in political circles and large scale global events are on the cards, it’s important not to lose sight of our personal goals. Hard work and self discipline can make a huge difference, leading to worthwhile achievements, both personally and within the wider community,” says Michele.
Read on to find out what 2008 has in store for your Sun sign.
This healing guide includes suggestions as to possible causes of stress and a variety of healing alternatives, but it not intended to replace a consultation by an experienced health professional. You should always consult a qualified practitioner before embarking on any course of treatment.
This year you will put your nose to the grindstone. Hard work will pay dividends, but it could also take its toll on your physical health if you are not careful. It is essential therefore to take time out from your busy schedule to relax.
You may have to take on extra responsibilities and attend to matters you would rather not have to think about. The upside is that you will be learning to be more patient and calm.
This is a good year to change jobs or careers, but be aware that you could leap from the frying pan into the fire. Don’t take anything for granted. Check the details before rushing ahead. Be thorough.
You could move into a position of authority, but with this role may come a whole new set of responsibilities, some of which you may not have bargained for. With the right attitude, you will find the new challenges incredibly empowering.
Since you are a fire sign, the excess of earth energy can be potentially quite stressful. Health wise, any problems that crop up are most likely work related. You should watch for signs of work stress and overwork.
Physical symptoms to watch for include joint and muscle stiffness, back problems, indigestion and constipation.
Endeavour to get plenty of rest and don’t push yourself beyond your physical limits. Try to eat regular meals and cut back on spicy food and alcohol. If you feel unwell, don’t soldier on, visit your GP.
Finally, don’t let money worries overwhelm you. If you need to restructure your life, do so. Reassess your direction and long term goals and make changes accordingly.
With so much earth energy this year, 2008 is set to be an exceptional year. Your workload will probably increase, but on the whole this will be enjoyable. Try to remember to have fun too. Try new things; go on a long holiday, or tap into your creative side.
Sometimes you can be a bit of a stick in the mud, but this year luck is on your side so why not take a gamble? Make a New Year’s resolution to take more risks, for doing so will bring good fortune. Go beyond your comfort zone.
Quite a few Taureans may decide to start a family this year, or children may otherwise feature in your key experiences. Saturn moving through your fifth solar house symbolises the additional responsibilities children can bring. This is a good time to begin a family for you are likely to have a lot of energy, and your overall health will most likely be good.
Of course stress and illness can come at any time, but on the whole your physical energy levels will be excellent and there won’t be too much stress.
Health problems such as joint stiffness or back problems are more likely if you sit still for long periods, so make a commitment to exercise regularly, or take up a new sport.
So get moving! Enrol in an exercise class, join a sports club; get out and about. Do something creative like learning mosaics, singing, or painting. Enjoy life to the full.
Vitamin and mineral supplements may help to keep your energy level up, as this is sure to be an active and busy year, full of new adventures.
Activities requiring endurance that burn energy at a constant rate.
Gardening, golf, Pilates, yoga, dance, walking.
Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto will be making their presence felt in your home and family life, in the deepest reaches of your inner psychological experiences, as well as in your personal relationships.
You may experience some stress this year in the form of emotional upsets, either because of difficult exchanges with family members, or having to deal with family problems. It’s also possible you may experience a feeling of grief or loss.
Some of these problems might seem more stressful than they really are. This is because Geminis on the whole are not always comfortable when dealing with emotions and feelings.
Domestic changes may also be in store. You might be renovating, or moving house. This is an excellent time to attend to your domestic feng shui so that Chi flows more smoothly in your home and your life. Make a note to get rid of excess baggage and clutter, literally and psychologically.
Metaphysically speaking, this is a useful time to heal your body too, eliminate bad habits, cleanse your liver, or undertake psychotherapy.
Once you have got rid of everything that is past its use by date, you can then set about laying a new foundation.
In many ways 2008 is time to start fresh. As one door closes, another opens, so the saying goes. Attend to those tasks that have been in your too hard basket. Make a plan and get stuck into it.
This is a watershed year, so make the most of this opportunity for a fresh beginning.
Exercise options for Gemini
Team sports providing social interaction.
Tennis, squash, badminton, volleyball, netball, cricket.
2008 is likely to be a busy year when you will take great strides towards your long term goals.
In particular, relationships will be in focus, plus there will be opportunities to widen your knowledge base. You may have commenced studying recently, or maybe you are considering undertaking a new course of learning. This is an excellent time to do so. You will be able to apply your mind to whatever is at hand.
There is potentially some stress this year in your personal relationships. Perhaps a long term relationship may come to an end, or you may decide to make a firmer commitment. Whatever happens, there may be some compromises to be worked out. Some people may make life difficult. You could experience a feeling of being manipulated. Someone may be trying to get you to do something you are not sure about.
This cycle is all about the long-term, so keep in mind the big picture for this will help you make the right decisions. As always, rely on your intuition to guide you.
Pluto is commencing a 16-year transit of your relationship house, so an important new relationship may also come your way at this time.
Communication is a key feature of this year. It is important to speak up and discuss problems and clear the air if it becomes necessary, this will free up your energy.
You will probably look back on 2008 as a truly significant year when you set off towards your ultimate destiny. Keeping a journal may help you put things into perspective as well as provide you with a creative outlet.
Exercise Options for Cancer
Water sports and solo activities where you can also meditate.
Swimming, water polo, water aerobics, surfing, yoga, Pilates.
As a rule, fire signs don’t handle earth energy very well. Like Aries and Sagittarius, you may find 2008 quite challenging. In your case, matters related to money, income and work may be where you need to focus your attention. Meeting these challenges will lead you towards significant achievements.
On 1 August, 2008 there’s a Total Solar Eclipse in your sign, making this a dramatic year when you have a strong creative impulse and are full of new ideas. At the same time you will have to manage practical realities and daily chores. It is one thing to have a grand plan, but quite another to make it happen.
Be aware that details can potentially trip you up. You are not naturally inclined to focus on the fine print, but this year you may have to. To ensure your plans move ahead smoothly, don’t leave things to chance.
Work stress and money issues may press you to find a work/life balance. You may decide to change jobs or careers, or choose to start your own business. If so, ensure you have a workable business plan and follow it to the letter. Financial success is assured if you attend to details and work hard.
If you are considering making a large financial investment, it’s important to think long term. Don’t assume you will make a huge return on your investment straight away. It may take longer than you assume.
It’s important to manage your extra workload and any additional responsibilities. Money worries or pressure at work may cause you to overlook your health and diet, so make an extra effort here too.
Eat well, get plenty of rest and make time for some light-hearted diversions. Schedule time for regular exercise and above all listen to what your physical body is telling you.
Exercise Options for Leo
Intense workouts that focus on specific areas.
Running, weight training, dance, aerobics, gym.
Saturn has recently crossed into Virgo, so your work load has probably become heavier. You are no slouch, in fact you are probably the most organised and efficient sign of the zodiac. You take your responsibilities seriously. This extra dose of earth energy will enable you to take great strides towards your goals through continued diligence and persistence.
The important thing to remember is to take a break now and then. Make time for relaxation and fun.
Physically, stress may show up as back or knee problems, arthritis, or similar conditions affecting the joints, or your mobility. Keep moving, but don’t overdo it. Part of this learning curve is to recognise you have physical limitations.
On 21 February there’s a lunar eclipse in Virgo, which is set to be a pivotal time for your personal and professional relationships.
Special connections are a feature of 2008, while some people may leave your circle, others will take their place, for you are heading into new territory. Any new relationship which begins with this cycle is likely to be intense and serious. And if a relationship ends it will probably be an amicable settlement, for you are likely to see that your lives are heading in different directions.
Health wise, the most important thing this year is to get plenty of rest and to make time for fun. Committing yourself to a regular exercise program or yoga class will help you focus your mind as well as relax your body.
Great achievements are possible this year, but ensure you don’t burden yourself with too many responsibilities. Enjoy the process.
Exercise Options for Virgo
Activities requiring mental concentration, coordination and movement.
Squash, tennis, badminton, dance, walking, golf, yoga, Pilates
Your family and home life will be a feature this year. Normally you cope well when there are lots of people around, for you are an outgoing person who enjoys teamwork and social interaction. This year however you might need to withdraw from people more than usual. You may not be able to count on the same level of support from loved ones as usual.
Family demands and emotional issues may potentially drain your energy reserves at times, so it’s important to get away from these stresses when you can. Meditation is an excellent option for you this year for it can help to still your mind and switch off from any negative external influences. It can also help you sleep more soundly.
With Saturn moving through your 12th house over the next couple of years, you are entering a phase where inward reflection is more important than before.
Though you may find you are potentially more isolated than usual, the positive thing is that you are getting to know yourself more deeply. There’s untapped potential in your unconscious. Make time to go on a retreat.
Domestic changes such as moving to a new home or additional family responsibilities may require your attention. It is also possible you may feel a sense of loss because you have to let go of something or someone dear to you.
Librans have a tendency to put on a brave face. This year though, you are being given a chance to connect with your emotions and feelings, which might be scary territory for you.
Nevertheless, it will bring a newfound sense of depth and inner wellbeing as you acknowledge and express your feelings, which will eventually enable you to connect with others more deeply than ever before.
Exercise Options for Libra
Team sports and activities providing a social outlet.
Basketball, Hockey, Netball, Beach Volleyball, Ballroom Dancing.
The year ahead brings positive change. Now is a good time to release the past and take a leap of faith. Communication plays an important role in your life this year. Discussing your innermost feelings will prove healing and cleansing, enabling you to move forward with a sense of lightness.
This is a great year for learning, study and travel. Perhaps you are considering a course in a particular healing modality, or study in a communication field. You will likely enjoy the challenge and do well.
You are turning a corner and making great strides towards your long term goals.
On the whole you will probably be feeling positive and upbeat. If you do encounter stress this year, it may be that you have some residual fear about advancing into uncharted territory. But there’s no need to worry. Have faith in yourself. Although there are substantial changes coming your way, you are truly ready to embrace the future wholeheartedly.
Communication holds the key to your success. Open up and take the advice of those you trust.
This is a good time to boost your immune system and increase your energy reserves, for it will be a busy year.
The structure of your life is undergoing a seismic shift, but the jolt is gentle; just enough to bring about growth and lay a new foundation upon which you can start building right away, so get your blueprint ready.
Exercise Options for Scorpio
Intense workouts and fitness training needing concentration.
Martial arts, long distance swimming, weight-training, triathlon, squash.
2008 is an important year for you as Saturn will be moving through your 10th solar house of achievement, signifying sustained effort and success. The key thing is self-discipline. Sagittarians can be somewhat lacking in this character ingredient, but this year you will have an opportunity to really develop some staying power. It’s all up to you.
Financially, you can do really well this year too, but again it comes down to your own efforts. If you think you can achieve success by relying on your usual good luck and enthusiasm, you may be in for a rude shock. Not that you won’t have luck on your side, it’s just that self-discipline, hard work and patience are required now, and these are not your strengths. The lesson this year is learning to deal with frustrations and limitations for this will help you manage the material world more effectively.
Details, money, hard work and possessions are the nuts and bolts of earth energy, and these are the areas where you will need to focus your attention. For this reason you might find 2008 to be a little more stressful than you are used to. You may have to take on more responsibility than normal. You might have to make some career choices, maybe change jobs, or perhaps you are thinking about starting your own business. Ensure you apply yourself wholeheartedly and success is assured.
Take your time. Slow things down. Rome, as the saying goes was not built in a day. Health wise, you may need to cut back on your intake of sweets, fats and alcohol. You are learning to limit yourself in more ways than one. Knowing when to stop is part of this learning curve.
Exercise Options for Sagittarius
Outdoor activities where you can get back to nature.
Archery, orienteering, cycling, horse-riding, bushwalking, running.
Pluto is entering your sign for the first time in over two hundred years, so this is quite an amazing time for Capricorns.
Right from your birthday you probably sense there is change afoot. You might move overseas, or make other important decisions. The whole structure of your life is undergoing a process of overhaul and renewal.
This is the beginning of a 16-year cycle. You are very much in touch with your inner self and your unconscious at this time, so it is important you listen to what your instinct and intuition is telling you.
You are known to be the most practical and pragmatic sign of the zodiac. You don’t often let others see what is going on within you, but now the time is right to focus on your inner life and allow your feelings to guide you.
Try psychotherapy, or working with your dreams. You will find tremendous insight deep within your unconscious. Reconnect to nature and pay attention to the natural rhythms and cycles of your body.
Jupiter will allow you to open up to others and make an honest assessment of your life and where you are heading.
Keep an open mind. New ideas will generate a philosophical and attitude shift and bring a fresh perspective concerning your purpose and goals.
Now is the time to focus on the big picture and long term and make changes as you see fit. When you look back on 2008 you will realise how important this year was, for you have an opportunity to alter course and set sail for new horizons.
Exercise Options for Capricorn
Exercises requiring sustained effort over time.
Golf, gardening, rock climbing, bushwalking, swimming.
Perhaps you have been thinking about changing direction for a while, and maybe you have been unsure exactly which way to go, until now. The February Solar Eclipse gives you the inner strength to usher in major changes.
Decisions, choices, endings and new beginnings characterise the year ahead. Anything you have been unwilling to release from your life can now be safely jettisoned.
In particular, financial issues are up for review. If you are suffering mortgage stress, or excess levels of debt, now is a good time opt for a lifestyle, sea change, or tree change.
On some level it is important to get away from it all, but this doesn’t mean escaping your responsibilities completely. You still have to live in the real world. Be practical. There are ample choices available; you just need to think outside the square.
Blend common sense with inspiration. Take the plunge. Start fresh if you want to. Why not?
Around August there will be an opportunity to make new friends and connect with people who can guide you and offer emotional support.
In order to attain the desired result this year, you may have to acknowledge your vulnerability and open up your feeling side, which is often a difficult place for Aquarians to go. Many Aquarians feel nervous about expressing their feelings, but at this time your greatest steps forward may require you to open your heart and discuss how you truly feel. Once you do so, you will feel lighter and freer, and realise there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Exercise Options for Aquarius
Variety is the main thing. Keep it interesting. Try different activities.
Cycling, gym work, basketball, netball, hockey, swimming.
Saturn has recently moved into your 7th solar house so the focus is squarely on your relationships. There is a serious mood around commitments. Many single Pisceans may take the plunge in 2008, and for some, important relationships may end.
The key to navigating this cycle is effective communication. In all your dealings, personal, professional, with friends and colleagues, it is important you are straightforward and upfront. Pitfalls can be avoided by being open and clear. Discuss your differences. If you sense there is a problem, you would be wise to raise the issue and talk it over.
The Lunar Eclipse in February is a critical intersection, where workable compromises can be reached, but if not, it might be time to let go.
Even if there is no way to settle your differences, in the long run it is better to agree to disagree. Counselling may be helpful, or maybe it’s time to move on. Listen to your intuition.
Potential exists for conflict with someone who may not support you choice of a partner, though they may not exactly come right out and say so. Again, opening up channels of communication will prevent any unconscious undermining or sabotage.
There are many positives in this cycle. One way or another you will know where you stand. You are ready to accept the responsibilities that come with a permanent union, or to face life without the people you have relied on.
Your circle of friends may change too. This is a great time to join new groups and get involved in a humanitarian cause. Make the most of this opportunity to truly connect with like-minded people whose values you share.
Exercise Options for Pisces
Water sports and activities where you can get back to nature.
Water aerobics, swimming, water polo, surfing, bushwalking, horse riding.
About the zodiac designs...
Shortly before his death in 1987 at the age of 92, my grandfather George Finey created these zodiac designs as a gift to me, with the exception of Libra, which he did not complete. Most were rough drafts which I have modified for use here. Original artwork by George Finey and Michele Finey.