Chief among the planetary aspects this year is a Saturn to Uranus opposition. From late 2008 throughout the coming year these planets will be on opposite sides of the Earth. This is a once in 45-year event.
There comes a time when each generation reaches the zenith of its power and influence, often around midlife. At some point they must confront the old established order, particularly if it stands in the way of the future. Collectively, we must now decide which aspects of our current system need to be overhauled and set to that task.
Uranus and Saturn last opposed each other in the mid 1960s; this heralds a powerful shift in consciousness, a major awakening which brings social change in its wake.
Although in the 1960s there were additional revolutionary influences from Pluto, we are still likely to witness dramatic change in the coming twelve months, and beyond.
The urgent need to address climate change and restructure established systems is part of this process.
On one side is Saturn, representing the old established order. Saturn is the planet of authority, big business and government rules and regulations. Saturn is conservative, measured, structured, practical and cautious and respects tradition.
On the other side is Uranus who is rebellious, innovative and unpredictable and represents individuality, freedom, new technology, humanity as a whole, and the future.
Both Saturn and Uranus represent important and necessary processes, but they are very different in their approach and style, and the opposition between them will polarise them still further, at least initially.
While this is likely to be a challenging and potentially stressful time, it’s also exactly what is needed, for we do need to implement new practical solutions for the future.
To a greater or lesser extent, similar themes will play out for each of us personally as well. It’s worth noting that Saturn and Uranus are reversed from their locations in 1965/6, so if you were born in the mid 1960s, 2009 is likely to be a particularly eventful time.
For many people, the year ahead will involve making some tough decisions, which may prove stressful.
Stress can impact on our health, so it’s vital we look after ourselves and support our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as we choose the road we wish to travel.
In this we will have some help from Neptune, for in April the planet of universal understanding and spiritual harmony will be returning to the position it occupied when it was first discovered in 1846.
This heralds an important shift in spiritual understanding across the globe, for we are becoming more conscious of the fact that we are all connected by a common bond, the bond of living on planet Earth which we share with a host of other wonderful creatures.
Neptune and Jupiter will unite in Aquarius, helping bring about a feeling of cooperation, harmony and goodwill, which is conducive to spiritual growth.
Amid the stress of our busy lives there is a growing desire to reconnect to our spirit and live in harmony with the Earth. This in turn will help us find creative solutions to some of our most pressing problems, both personal and collective, and implement the changes we urgently need to make.
"Collectively, we are at a critical intersection. Now is the time to look to what kind of future we want, for ourselves personally, for the generations to come and for the planet as a whole, and to set about making it happen,” says Michele.
History has a habit of repeating itself and yet times change. Our present is determined by the past, just as our future is cast in the present. The symbolic language of astrology enhances our understanding of the meaning and purpose of life’s experiences, both personally and in a wider context.
Having an understanding of astrological symbolism and the cycles of the planets puts us in touch with the cosmos and allows us to feel a sense of connection to a universal whole.
It has probably never been more urgent that we develop more awareness of our connectedness with the universe and with the Earth, our home planet, for in thinking we are separate, above or disconnected from the natural world, we have arrived at the brink of ecological disaster.
The word ‘disaster’ actually means apart or away (dis) from the stars (aster).
If we have no sense of being part of the universe, no feeling of a connection with the Earth, then we can easily bring disaster upon ourselves.
The cycles of the outer planets reflect eras, epochs and global trends, long-term cycles and the overall development of humankind and civilisations.
As Pluto continues its journey through Earth sign Capricorn over the next 16 years, we have an opportunity to reconnect with the Earth.
We are at the threshold of a new era in human consciousness and evolution. Though there are some tough challenges ahead, in meeting these tests we develop a new self awareness and of our place within the universe.
Last year Saturn moved into your sixth solar house, so demands on your time, especially at work have probably been fairly unrelenting. Now you have an opportunity to reflect on whether you want to continue with the status-quo or whether it’s time for a change. It might be time to reassess your direction and align yourself more closely with your dreams and ideals.
Tension may build before you reach a decision and this could affect your health, so try to schedule time for regular relaxation and look after yourself. Spend time relaxing and enjoying the company of friends, or make new friends, or perhaps join a group where the focus is on creative self-expression, which will make life more enjoyable. Like-minded people who share your interests and vision for the future will be supportive.
Opportunities can be found through word-of-mouth and the good advice of friends. Becoming involved in community organisations or group activities that are committed to your personal philosophies and ideals will prove highly rewarding.
Work stress and any associated health problems are a signal that some changes are required. As solutions present themselves they will help you decide whether to stick with your current situation and make changes within it, or whether to change jobs, change careers, or even opt for a complete lifestyle change. Whatever you decide, it’s important for you find a way to freely express yourself.
Meanwhile, try to minimise stress and recognise that in the midst of these changes, something wonderful is being born.
You are probably feeling like you should stick with your current plans, for slowly but surely you are getting closer to achieving your goals. But there is another part of you that might want to break free. While you may be telling yourself to persevere, you may also find you are become increasingly restless.
Moral and ethical dilemmas may pull you in two directions, and no doubt you are doing your best, but it may be time to reassess your priorities and make some changes so your personal standards are aligned with your professional role and inner values as well. Keep an open mind as to your options.
New guidelines may be introduced at work, or your job may change significantly; so much so, that you are forced to look for an alternative career, or perhaps you can make an important contribution where you are, but in a new role. Though this will be initially unsettling, you are actually well placed to take advantage of these new developments and opportunities.
Your children may help you resolve this dilemma. Does your current lifestyle actually support their long term future? Are you involved in an occupation which has a detrimental impact on the planet as a whole? Maybe they are seeing images on television of the effects of pollution on the planet and are asking you some tough questions.
As an earth sign, you truly appreciate the beauty of the natural world and this can help restore your equilibrium during times of stress. By spending time away from the city now and then, you can really relax and this will help you find your feet.
Choices involving home and family, your professional commitments and your long term goals are where you will most likely experience this restlessness.
Perhaps you need to move closer to your work, or work closer to home, this will give you more time that would otherwise be spent travelling, and help you have a good long think about where you are heading long term and how to get there.
You are full or common sense, but this is one time when you can be more easily guided by your intuition. You can gain tremendous insight into your options through meditation, working with your dreams and other subtle signals, so try to get plenty of rest, and slow down the pace a little so you can listen to your inner voice.
How long is it since you had a holiday? This is a great year for an extended vacation. Make a note to go on a spiritual or healing retreat, or visit a completely different culture. Take time out from the usual routine.
New experiences and the change in scenery will uplift your spirit and awaken you to a fresh approach. You will soon see things in a fresh light.
Coping with study assignments, new information and technology put you on a steep learning curve, but there is only so much you can do at once.
You might discover you are having trouble managing it all. Signs of stress to watch for include respiratory conditions; colds, flu and the like, mental confusion and over eating or drinking, which are symptoms of being frazzled and rushing about, skipping meals and so on.
The problem is that you may be trying to cram in too much. You need to prioritise and should consider eliminating non-essentials. Some decisions may be called for.
It can be difficult for Cancerians to let go, but that may be what you need to do. The solar eclipse in July asks you to consider what you care about most, what are you most passionate about? Focus on these priorities and let go of anything that has no place in your long-term future.
Although this process of letting go may be stressful in itself, ultimately you will be simplifying your life and reducing stress.
As part of this process of clearing out what is no longer necessary, you may have to disentangle yourself from some financial commitments. This will give you more funds that may be required to restructure your life. By the end of the year, you will feel a deep sense of personal reward for having arrived exactly where you want to be.
Additional or unexpected expenditure may put a strain on your budget leading you to assess your priorities. You might be forced to make some changes that you would rather not have to make, but if you try to avoid making a decision, in the long run you are probably only creating more stress for yourself.
In this climate of financial uncertainty it’s probably a good idea to minimise the accumulation of debt. You may have to take stock of your assets and reassess financial commitments you share with others.
People will generally be helpful this year; in fact a new special relationship is possible for some. If you do embark on a new committed relationship, financial restructuring will probably be involved.
Equally, some Leos may opt to end a relationship, also resulting in a change in finances. These are just some of the many possible scenarios. February and August are pivotal months.
Starting fresh is never easy, but feeling stuck is worse, so while you sort out your where your loyalties lie, it’s important to keep a sense of perspective.
One way to do this is by volunteering to help others, for this can help you see that things are not as difficult as you might assume. When you see there are others less fortunate, and realise you can help make a difference, you will regain your confidence and at the same time perform a useful community service.
Saturn’s transit of your sign continues and its opposition to Uranus will be felt strongly by Virgos, primarily in your personal relationships and your working life.
It’s important to note the potential toll the continuing heavy workload may be taking on your health, particularly if you fail to heed the signals. Try to set some limits. Learn to say no, and mean it, and make time for fun and relaxation. Realise that you don’t have to do everything yourself, learn to delegate and cut back where you need to.
Neptune and Jupiter will be traversing your sixth house, bringing new work and travel opportunities, and you will meet new people, some of whom will play a significant role in your life, both personally and professionally.
Work wise, it’s likely that people will be throwing curve balls your way throughout 2009 and you will have to decide which ones to throw back, which ones to hold on to, and how to keep them all spinning in the air at the same time.
Personal relationships are also a key feature of this year. Whether single or attached, a significant new person may enter your life and your loyalties may change, and you could even have more than one new relationship encounter, again leading you to ask yourself which to of these to hang on to, which to throw back? There’s an unpredictable quality to relationships now, so expect the unexpected.
While you value your independence too, you may have to make some adjustments to accommodate others over the coming twelve months. Both work and living arrangements may change.
Meanwhile, try to find time for a holiday, you deserve it.
Dealing with workplace restructuring or a new job will be one of your challenges this year. Ask yourself if you want to stay in your current job, for it may be time to move on, though you might also discover fresh opportunities within your current workplace or organisation.
You are skilled at finding a middle ground and always seem able to work out an effective solution by keeping everything in balance. Harmony and peace are important to you, but trying to reach agreements with others may prove particularly challenging this year. Negotiating contracts and deciding where your loyalties and responsibilities lie may prove challenging.
You might be torn by several options or alternatives that seem to be mutually exclusive, so everything takes on an added significance. Realise you are not alone in having to make changes now; this is part of a global pattern.
While decisions are never easy and you find it helpful to consult with others before making a firm commitment, it’s more important now to listen to your own heart and mind as you weigh up the pros and cons. By all means talk things over with loved ones, but ultimately listen to your own heart.
Jupiter and Neptune will help you do this. Meditation and time spent on your own will help you focus. Solace can be found in quiet solitude and in artistic expression. In this way you can get in touch with your spirit, and remain calm and centred, which will also boost your confidence.
The road forward will soon become crystal clear.
Your life may take an unexpected turn that will be both exhilarating and to some extent stressful, since it was not planned.
These unexpected developments may come in all shapes and sizes. For example, you might suddenly fall in love. This of course is a wonderful feeling, but it could take you way out of your comfort zone, particularly if you are already involved with someone else, or live a long way away from your loved one.
It’s equally possible that members of your immediate family may undergo a seismic shift in their world, for example an opportunity may come up for one family member that has a domino effect.
You may have to move house, relocate to a new area, or spend more time away from home than usual, but whatever form these changes take, they will likely affect you emotionally.
Another possible scenario is that you may suddenly feel a deep seated restlessness that you cannot account for. This may signal a surge of creative energy bubbling to the surface, and this too could take your life in a whole new direction.
At this time you are deeply attuned to the unconscious. Meaningful coincidences such as being in the right place at the right time will point the way forward, so listen carefully to your dreams and other unconscious signals.
If you keep your focus on creating the future you want, you will more easily be able to manage these disruptions smoothly. This is a profoundly spiritual and creative time for you. Endings and beginnings are part of this process and you will forge new connections to people who share your spiritual awareness and vision.
Saturn has been increasing your workload and making other demands on your time, such as extra family responsibilities, while at the same time Uranus is starting to shift the ground beneath your feet. Changes on the home front, or professionally, or both will probably happen, whether you are ready or not, but you will find these changes exhilarating, for a whole new life awaits you.
A new creative idea may come to you in a flash, but for this to happen, you have to pay attention to your insights and intuition and your intuition is usually pretty good, but perhaps you have been so busy you have neglected to pay attention. Listen up, for it has something important to say to you now.
While taking on more work is probably not what you had in mind, it is really a matter of priorities. You may have to cut back in some areas in order to grow in new ways. This is a great time to learn new skills or return to full time study, or wherever your heart leads you. You may have to throw everything up in the air and see where it lands. Be spontaneous.
Rest assured that whatever happens now, regardless of the demands other people make on your time, there are tremendous opportunities making the most of your talents.
Times might be tough, and being the responsible and hard working soul you are, you may feel that everything is being left up to you, not realising that you are in a position to follow your heart’s true desire.
It may slowly dawn on you that you have a bigger mission or purpose in the wider scheme of things, and as a result you may start to feel unusually restless and even tempted to take some radical action.
More than ever before you are awakening to new possibilities and starting thinking outside the square. You may even start doing things which seem to others to be completely out of character. People might wonder what on earth has gotten into you! But the truth is that you have probably been thinking about making these changes for quite some time, it’s just now you are more aware of what is involved and the time is right to act. Perhaps you are thinking about your own business venture.
Despite any negative comments from others, or from that little voice in your head that urges you to be cautious, your confidence will receive a boost and so will your finances, so taking calculated risks will likely pay off, but the greatest reward is making it happen yourself.
This year you may move overseas, return to study, or begin a whole new career path. A whole new world is opening up to you. It’s time to think long term and make any adjustments you deem necessary in order to make it happen.
This is a time of awakening for Aquarians. Saturn and Uranus, your two ruling planets will be opposing each other, so you will undergo a major shift in consciousness.
Initially, you may be torn between the tried and true where you have more experience, versus the new and uncertain which is more risky, but as time passes you will realise you are ready to take a leap of faith.
Meanwhile, Neptune and Jupiter will be moving through your sign, which makes this a time of insight and inspiration and heightened creativity. You will develop the confidence you need to take advantage of the opportunities that are sure to come you way. Act on your instincts.
Financially, however, things may be a bit more challenging, but even if money is a cause for concern, this situation may be the very catalyst you need to implement the changes you need to make. Make a plan and begin to implement it.
There’s something unexpected in the air around money this year. A sudden windfall or legacy could even materialise for some Aquarians.
On the one hand you are a practical and rational soul, but you’re also capable of flashes of insight and this year you will find that creative ideas will inspire you like never before. You are shedding your old skin and developing new self-awareness.
To make room for your new future, you may have to scale back in some areas, but right from the outset, there is something new stirring within you.
In January there’s a solar eclipse involving Jupiter which heralds this fresh awakening. Positive change is a key theme for the year ahead, so what are you waiting for?
This is a highly creative and inspiring time for many Pisceans, but other people may not be very co-operative. The main struggle this year is to find a way to honour yourself and your commitments to other people. Relationships are a key feature of the year ahead. Be guided by your intuition in assessing the merits of what others say and do.
While you have a tendency to put other people’s needs ahead of your own, this is one time when you should stand up for yourself. Your needs, desires and creative projects have value and merit and you should stand up for them.
Other people will make demands on your time, and you may find it hard to say no, but the lesson here is to establish some ground rules. At this time it’s vital you have the space and freedom to express yourself.
If people interfere or make unreasonable demands, you might decide it’s time to sever ties. Equally, if you are not conscious of the need to give voice to your own individuality, people may suddenly up and leave without warning, leaving you to manage on your own, and although this might be scary at first, you will soon realise how free and wonderful it feels and you won’t look back.
Whatever transpires, the important thing is to find a way to be yourself and express your unique talents.
An important relationship could also begin this year, but again ensure that this person allows you the freedom to be yourself.
A major shift in consciousness is taking place across the globe and you will probably be one of the first to experience its wonder and magic.
This healing guide includes suggestions as to possible causes of stress and a variety of healing options, but is 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.