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Tough Love & Life Lessons: Mars & Saturn Meet

December 29, 2010

Don’t you love Saturn? What a beautiful planet in this neon Saturn infrared photo from APOD (more details below).

I’ve been mulling over the skies this month more than usual. There was the amazing astronomical sights with the Geminids meteor shower which was somewhat clouded over and then, two weeks later, the full moon winter solstice complete with a lunar eclipse–which we couldn’t see because of the super cloudy skies. Two astronomical events I was looking forward to for a year came and went.

These are minor really. More major? My friend taking his life on solstice and having to share difficult news with another, not to mention conflicts with my siblings over my mother’s estate. Communication this month has been seriously difficult: I just couldn’t seem to find my voice or express myself. Finally, the subject of grades. I love my job as a college teacher, but I hate assigning grades. I thought I had turned in most of my grades but there they were, more than I’d care to admit, students who had turned in work late or offered other challenges, that I had to deal with today. I hate having to compress and conflate all that was and wasn’t accomplished into one simple letter. I much prefer 26.

According to, the stars can explain all this as “the Universe’s version of tough love.” The article continues:

Mars is the planet of war, and it wants to toughen you up, while sensible Saturn wants you to learn discipline. It might help to think of your approach to problems as a muscle in your body. The more time you spend stretching and training and building your muscle, the more useful and functional it will be. How you deal with problems requires the same sort of training. The more challenges you successfully tackle, the easier they become.

I should qualify for Ms Universe after this year!

This month has helped you develop an internal resilience, and the test that Mars and Saturn present you will help hammer home the life skills the Universe has planned for you right now.

This month was just the ice on the cake for me…

More specifically, you can expect delays, setbacks and possibly accidents. The accidents, if they happen, will result from frustrations that distract you, and this lack of focus could result in accidents. As with the earlier transits of the month, the best way to deal with these energies is to hone all of your attention – at least to the extent possible – on one particular project. Show discipline and initiative with respect to this project, and you’ll increase your odds of skating through this planetary alignment with as few unwanted side effects as possible.

On a more pleasant note, Mercury will go direct again on December 30th, which means all those communication, electronic and travel issues should ease off. Just in time for a pleasant and happy New Year!

Makes you want to just climb into bed and put the covers over your head, doesn’t it? At least until New Year’s Eve…

Honestly, Uni-verse, I think I’ve learned my lessons, and I intend to spend some time in the coming days reflecting on what I’ve accomplished in 2010, what I didn’t, and what I want to do in 2011.

And this is what the sun in Capricorn since solstice wants us to do: make plans. The eclipse in Gemini set off a war between our head and our heart (big sigh for my friends), which needs to be balanced, in harmony, and which prompts a big change which will make your life more fullfilling for the next six months.

So what do you plan to do in 2011?

Myself, I am not teaching in the spring. My head says beg the dean for classes for financial security, my heart says no, trust yourself, give yourself some time to heal from 2010 and pursue your dreams. In 2011, I think I can find the balance and the harmony: I plan to  coach other writers on their own projects  and social media, getting my own writing out there, and pursuing a career in the wine industry.

Explanation of the photo above from APOD:

The Dancing Auroras of Saturn
Credit: VIMS Team, U. Arizona, U. Leicester, JPL, ASI, NASA

Explanation: What drives auroras on Saturn? To help find out, scientists have sorted through hundreds of infrared images of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft for other purposes, trying to find enough aurora images to correlate changes and make movies. Once made, some movies clearly show that Saturnian auroras can change not only with the angle of the Sun, but also as the planet rotates. Furthermore, some auroral changes appear related to waves in Saturn’s magnetosphere likely caused by Saturn’s moons. Pictured above, a false-colored image taken in 2007 shows Saturn in three bands of infrared light. The rings reflect relatively blue sunlight, while the planet itself glows in comparatively low energy red. A band of southern aurora in visible in green. Inspection of many more Saturnian images may well lead to an even better understanding of both Saturn’s and Earth’s auroras.

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