Take a breath; point your compass

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s can feel rather like limbo, as you reflect on the year that has been, and look ahead to the year to come. Mercury in Capricorn square Mars in Libra might be provoking irritability or tension; Venus ingressing Sagittarius returns some lightness to the scene.

For many people, this week between Christmas and New Year’s can feel rather like limbo: it’s a vacation week for most schools in the western world, taking both kids and adults out of their usual routines. Plus, our cultural tendencies include both looking backward to review the year that’s ending, and looking ahead to set intentions for the year to come.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Christmas morning by the old Mill Pond. Photo by Amanda Painter.

As a result, potential exists for celebration and optimism as well as for tension or melancholy. The early-week astrology reflects both ends of the spectrum.

First up is a square between Mercury in Capricorn and Mars in Libra, exact Dec. 29 at 9:52 am EST (14:52 UTC). I’ve checked my astrology books looking for constructive ways to take this aspect, and what I’ve come up with is that Mercury-Mars squares tend to produce an active, energetic mind. If you have to apply your thought processes to concrete tasks that you can take the lead on (Libra and Capricorn are both cardinal signs, indicating initiative), this could be useful energy.

This square comes with a warning, however: you may find communications from certain people to be especially irritating, as though everything is a challenge. Don’t be surprised if your thoughts are drawn toward imagining scenarios of conflict and anger, especially if you think you’ll be pitted against established rules and authority with whom you have no real recourse or power.

Vision Quest, Planet Waves' 2016 annual edition, is fast approaching publication. Pre-order all 12 signs at a great value or choose your individual signs.

Vision Quest, Planet Waves’ 2016 annual edition, is fast approaching publication. Pre-order all 12 signs at a great value or choose your individual signs.


Just today, I was driving and envisioning such a scenario with a Christmas gift I received and need to return to a store with seven-day return policy. I imagined how far I might have to go, enlisting the owners I know of other local businesses to put some pressure put on the woman who owns the boutique — a woman, I might add, whom I have never met.

Chances are, since this is a small, independent business, the owner is perfectly capable of bending her own store’s rules. After all, the person who bought the gift for me enlisted her help to pick it out, and the item was clearly intended for Christmas — which, at the time, was 23 days away.

I offer my aggressive, angst-y daydream to demonstrate two points. One, it’s a reminder that Mars in Libra tends not to be as direct with what it wants as Mars in other signs. That can breed resentment, and resentment often breeds passive-aggressive behavior.

Two, the antidote to such behavior (in real life, since our fantasies often go the way they go seemingly of their own accord) could be some actual diplomacy. As in: patience; listening well to understand others’ points of view; remembering that one’s judgment is not infallible (you might not have all the facts, especially as Mercury is in its pre-retrograde shadow phase). In other words, curbing ambition and your ego will help.

If you do find yourself caught up in resentments, take extra care with driving and other physical actions where you have to be in control. This is when impulsiveness can lead to accidents, so count to ten and center your breathing if you get worked up.

Finally, a note about Venus, which leaves Scorpio and ingresses Sagittarius Wednesday at 2:16 am EST (7:16 UTC). If you’re staying in celebration/vacation mode all week, Venus in Sadge will be your best sidekick: extravagant, easygoing, ready for an adventure. And if you’re in introspective mode this week — reflecting on 2015 and setting your course for 2016 — Venus will be your philosophical, intuitive guide.

Whichever way your compass is pointing, may the force be with you.

7 thoughts on “Take a breath; point your compass

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Martha — I have not had a chance to try yet. Just beginning my workday! I need to check the store’s hours to see if I can get in there after work. I’ll try to remember to keep you posted!
      :)

        1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

          Martha and Mary — the return was successful (they’ve bent their policy for all Christmas gifts returned by Jan 9). Alas, the couple things I liked there were not in my size. So I’ll have to check back periodically to see what they have, since the store only gives store credit. The saga continues…

          But at least the sales girl was very nice.
          :)

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