By Amy Elliott
Two of the most famous psychological studies showed the power of pressure from others on human behavior. In one, the pressure came from an authority figure; in the other, from apparent peers (really, actors). Both showed that the longing to be accepted and acceptable is a considerable force in human nature. Fitting in is safe. Expressing yourself honestly, no matter what the potential reaction of others, requires courage. Fortunately, nearly everyone has at least one subject or one artistic area in which it’s difficult not to stand out or speak with authority. If you need somewhere to begin being bold, start with your passion.
Everything has its cycle, and every long-term project includes phases when you have to retrace a certain number of steps — or at least pause — and check that your work is solid and that you’re still heading in the right direction. There are also moments when you can rebuild your inspiration by recollecting what spurred you on to get underway. It’s possible you even had influences that you didn’t understand at the time, but which are coming out now. You might consider the next few weeks something like an archaeological dig. It could well be an interesting adventure.
Mercury is pushing you to focus on your communication, a facet of life that’s usually bread-and-butter to your sign, and to look at it from a different perspective. That could mean, for example, trying out new methods: perhaps calling more people on the phone if you’re the type who prefers text and email, or working on your listening skills, or taking additional time over what you say if you’re the type who usually goes for improvisation. This is a matter of experimenting and noting how you feel, rather than seeking a specific result. Engage your curiosity.
Life isn’t so much like a box of chocolates as like having a bunch of raw ingredients in front of you, and an infinite number of recipes. It’s up to you what you study, and what you decide to make, and how far you’re willing to add your own unique twist. You may recognize that mastering any discipline requires application: it’s not easy to make a good souffle when you don’t know how many eggs you need. That said, if you wish to do something about that, there is nothing stopping you. You have no need, for example, to ask anyone’s permission.
The recent lunar eclipse in your opposite sign will be followed in a week and a half by its solar counterpart; this will also be the last of this cycle with the North Node in your sign. What have you learned in the past year or so about your path through life, and in what ways have you progressed along it? This may also in some ways feel like the culmination of a longer journey beginning in the summer of 1999. Reflecting on all the changes through these years may well be of use in helping you determine what’s next in the cards. You have a lot of options: give yourself the freedom to consider them all.
Dealing with confidence issues can sometimes feel like looking into the belly of the beast: there’s often a need to dig into old material that you’d rather leave well alone. Particularly if you’re the type who tends to put others’ needs before your own, you’re likely wondering how it could possibly be helpful to tread over so much ground you may have thought was in the past and forgotten. Think of it as a way of unlocking even more of your energies, which you can then use as you please: whether as a gift to the universe, to yourself, or to the people you love — or all three at once.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when one’s obligation to family, however unpleasant it might be to associate with certain members, was cast in stone. These days the rules are a good deal more flexible, and we now have the “family of choice” — that is, people who are brought together by shared values and mutual appreciation rather than by blood. Right now you’re being drawn to consider who forms part of your personal collective, and why. Are there any changes you’d like to make? Do you need to widen or refine your perspective?
There are certain novels that contain so much layered information, packed together so well, that you can discover something new in them on the hundredth read. Likewise, performing a similar set of tasks can, if there is even slight room for maneuver, produce entirely different outcomes. If you’re finding that now is not the time to pursue your grander ambitions, spend a little time in the world of the small. Take an interest in the people around you; observe all the variations that you see. Slow down and chill for a while. You’ll be on the move again soon enough.
The “small cause, big effect” concept behind the centaur Pholus could be considered a synonym for ritual magic and Hermetic theory; so too the idea from A Course in Miracles that if you bring the small willingness, God (or the universe) will supply the unlimited power you need to grow. Consider your mind as a miniature of everything that surrounds you, all the way out into the vast dimensions of space. That’s basically a fancy way of saying: if you want to accomplish something, however much time and effort might be needed to get there, start with intention.
Most of us keep secrets from ourselves. That is, we refuse to admit certain truths, push them aside and/or bury them under a pile of cat videos. Part of that is about wanting to convince ourselves and others that we’re appropriately alive to all the ‘right’ social issues, or fully paid up members of the church, or whatever. The fact is, we all have flaws. Accepting that is one of the hallmarks of psychological maturity. Your idea of who you are is undergoing something of a refining process: all that’s obscured from view is slowly opening to the light. Go with it, and take complete honesty as your motto.
Your perspective on relationships is changing fundamentally. Recent events have helped open up new (or possibly restore old) ideas about what you want from a partner, who can best support you, and what sort of interactions to avoid. Eventually you will reach the point where your understanding of your desires and needs is clearer than perhaps it’s ever been. We tend to get in the way of ourselves here, by settling for less. You don’t need to bother with that, and in any case you’re getting past the point where you can cope with it. Consider that a good thing.
What’s the best possible scenario in terms of your daily routine? What would your perfect day job look like? True, you have to feed yourself; and you probably have other commitments too. But still, visualize that optimal situation. Write it down. Edit it as new thoughts make themselves known, so long as you’re not trying to curb yourself in favor of realism. Once you have a clear picture in your mind and on paper, let it brew. You may notice a plan starting to form. See, that phrase “nothing is impossible” is actually true. It also makes a damn good mantra.