Happiness Project (11) Aquarius New Moon: Form Your Own Mastermind Group

(photo: qthomasbower @ flickr)
Aquarius New Moon occurs on February 2nd, 2011 at 9:31PM EST (US)

The strength of Capricorn archetype is that it doesn’t mind working alone to get things done.  Taken to the extreme, however, this could create a loner who is too self-reliant and misses out on the opportunity to benefit from others’ support.

Aquarius archetype comes after Capricorn, in order to open up the psyche to the transformative potential of group synergy.   Where our own efforts may not be enough, a truly great accomplishment or advancement is possible through the formation of a supportive group, working toward shared goals.  Such group is usually called a Mastermind group.

The Mastermind Group: Its Definition and Purpose

The concept of a Mastermind group was introduced by Napoleon Hill, who wrote the self-help classic Think and Grow Rich.  Hill defined the Mastermind group as a “coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

If you have a significant goal you’re working toward, then most likely you’ll benefit from the support of a Mastermind group.  Here are some examples of the purpose of a Mastermind group:

  • To become more successful: small business entrepreneurs could form a Mastermind group in order to support each other in building and developing their businesses.  Another common example is that of an investment club.
  • To become more healthy: people form a Mastermind group in order to lose weight, or to support each other in combating a certain illness or working through other health condition.
  • To become happier: there are groups that work on Happiness Project and other uplifting programs in order to increase their enjoyment of life.
  • To increase knowledge & skill: Toastmasters, a book club, a writer’s club, etc. 

There are many benefits to forming an alliance with a like-minded, supportive group of people:

  • You could pool your knowledge and resources together, ending up with much more than you could gather on your own. 
  • You can keep each other accountable through regular meetings.
  • You can support and inspire each other through tough times.

Your Horoscope and the Mastermind Group

Astrologically speaking, such group synergy is invaluable in that other people’s energy and perspective will tend to offset the imbalance you have in your natal chart.

For instance, my horoscope lacks an opposition aspect.  As opposition aspect frequently is needed to establish a full perspective on any issue (as in “looking at things from both sides”), this means I have a tendency to lose sight of wider perspective without wise counsel and feedback from others. 

I have a lot of conjunctions in my chart, which suggests that I have a strong drive and an ability to concentrate my effort.  Combined with the lack of an opposition aspect, this means I could drive very fast toward a wrong direction, unless given proper feedback from others.  So for someone like me, a Mastermind group support is essential in professional or personal growth.

Another example is a lack of certain element or a modality in a horoscope: If your horoscope lacks emphasis in the Fire element (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), for instance, you may need the help of others in order to find the necessary inspiration. 

If your horoscope does not have a Fixed emphasis (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), you may need the Mastermind group to help keep you accountable, so that you can finish the projects you start on time.

This Month’s Challenge: Form Your Own Mastermind Group
Are you serious about the goals you wrote down during the Capricorn New Moon?  Do you feel that a support of a Mastermind group could help you accomplish your goals faster, and in a better way?  If so, I challenge you to form your own Mastermind group during this New Moon.
It does not have to be a huge endeavor.  Your Mastermind group could be composed of just two people – it will still have a powerful effect, so long as you both remain committed to your own goals, and in supporting each other.  
In my case, my life coach is definitely a part of my Mastermind group.  I could also use some more support in the area of astrological writing and consulting practice – so God willing, I’ll be able to form another Mastermind group composed of people that share these goals.
Do you already have a Mastermind group, or are you motivated to find or create one?  What is the Mastermind group about?  Feel free to share via emails or comments!

Lunar Eclipse Solstice – What It Means In Your Horoscope

Many late-nighters got to see the total eclipse of the Moon on December 21st.  I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t one of them (3 am is a bit much), but I keep having this strong feeling that something significant has happened, so I’ll write about it here.

Why This Lunar Eclipse was Significant

Astronomically, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and the Moon are exactly aligned with Earth in the middle, so that Earth blocks the Sun’s rays from reaching the Moon.  This eclipse was rare in that the total lunar eclipse has coincided with Winter Solstice, for the first time in 456 years. 

Lunar eclipses always occur during the Full Moon.  This time, it occurred during a Full Moon in Gemini. Sun was at the 29th degree of Sagittarius, about to enter Capricorn; Moon was at 29 Gemini, about to enter 0 Cancer.  (For beginners, Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun enters 0 Capricorn.)

In astrology, the degree in which an eclipse occurs is considered significant, especially if it coincides with a planet or an Angle in your natal chart.  This time the event seems doubly significant, because the eclipse occurred on an Aries Point (i.e. 0 degree of Cardinal signs.)

In a natal horoscope, Aries Point is the point of public projection: you have a potential to become known to the world through the quality of the natal planet (or the midpoint) on an Aries Point.  In mundane astrology, transits to Aries Point often coincides with significant events.

Eclipse is often considered as a foreshadowing event, suggesting an important development to come through the natal planet or point it touched (usually through conjunction, square or opposition.)  Considering that this eclipse aspected everyone’s Aries Point, there could be noticeable change that could be felt by many.

Interpreting the Lunar Eclipse in Your Own Horoscope

There is a Pluto-like quality to the symbolism of lunar eclipse, as the light of the Sun is temporary blocked, and a deep abyss opens into one’s emotional self.   For some, this could signify an emotional breakthrough of some sort, as a result of seeing deeper into themselves.  For others, surprisingly powerful emotions could be felt from within, empowering the psyche.

On the other hand, the lunar eclipse could coincide or foreshadow an emotionally stressful event, which may result in grief, or even despair.  If you’re prone to negative thinking, it’s important not to draw far reaching conclusions from challenging events that may be going on at this time. 

If you have a planet or an Angle within 2 degrees of the Aries Point, then pay special attention to it for the next 6 months or so, and see how your life develops in terms of the symbolism.  Some examples follow:

  • Saturn on the Aries Point in 5th house will highlight your business, serious hobby, your father, or your child.  The eclipse could suggest the beginning of a transformation in the way you work, or how you relate with your father or your child.
  • Venus on the Aries Point in the 7th house will highlight your popularity with the public, as well as your marriage/relationship.  The eclipse could bring up uncomfortable issues, but may also strengthen the emotional bond you have with people.
  • Neptune on the Aries Point in the 3rd house will highlight your creative imagination and inspiration expressed to others, or perhaps your confusion and escapist tendencies.  The eclipse could intensify both positive and negative potentials of Neptune archetype.

If you have a midpoint on an Aries Point, then consider its symbolism in terms of the planets involved, and see how they may be highlighted for potential development and expression in the near future.

Conclusion and Further Discussions

Have you felt differently during or after this lunar eclipse? If you feel subtle or intense emotional shift at this time, it may be helpful to pay attention to how your horoscope has been touched by this rare celestial event. 

In your natal chart, do you have a planet or a midpoint on the Aries Point?  If so, what developments could they signify to you?  Feel free to discuss your thoughts and experience through emails or comments…(note to use tight orb, 2 degrees from 0 Cardinal.)

(photo courtesy of Vic Acid in flickr)

5 Tips for Pluto in Capricorn Era

Pluto Transits in Capricorn Between Feb. 2008 – Jan. 2024

Capricorn represents tradition and old age. During the 16 year transit of Pluto in Capricorn, our culture will be forced to rethink some of the traditions that are taken for granted today, as well as how we deal with aging and retirement.

Already we saw the first African American President in US; the cracks in the foundations of our banking industry; the warning signs pertaining to our culture’s insistent craving for oil (US consumes almost 20% of world’s entire daily oil usage volume – more than China, Japan, Russia and India put together.)

5 Tips for Pluto in Capricorn Era

Some of the social structures we’re familiar with today might cease to exist by 2020. On an individual level, what can we do to thrive in this era of change? Consider the following ideas:

1) Be Skeptical of Tradition: “The way it has always been” might not last, whether in business or finances (e.g. a strength of a certain business sector; US dominance in economy; male dominance in politics, etc.)

2) Take Charge of Your Finances: The observable trend toward the breakdown of social security and corporate pension plans are heralding an era of individual financial management and entrepreneurship.

3) Take Charge of Your Health: Government might be able to improve the health care system – but not your health. The increasing trend toward obesity in US is alarming, to mention only 1 issue.

4) Strengthen Your Family Ties: Realize that you’ll most likely live long after retirement – maintaining emotional connections with your loved ones will help you stay healthy. The current trend toward family separation will create a lot of unhappy elderly people if not consciously changed.

5) Find Ways to Contribute: If you’re growing old, how can you benefit the younger generations? If you’re young, how can you make life better for the elderly? Both represent an opportunity for a fulfilling life and a career.

Have any other ideas about this era? Feel free to share via emails or comments!

Happiness Project (2): Taurus New Moon

Taurus New Moon occurs tonight (May 13, 2010.) Continuing with the happiness project from last month, this is a good time to sow more goals & intentions for the month.

Building on Past Month’s New Intentions
Taurus is a sign of the builder, which stabilizes and maintains the new projects pioneered by Aries. If you started with several new intentions during the last new moon, this is a good time to recommit.

Last month my intentions were to: a) Be More Physical, and b) Bite My Tongue.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been quite active physically just about everyday, with a much better walking habit. As a result, I have a lot more energy.

I’ve also been mindful of keeping my mouth shut even when I don’t feel like it. Remembering this intention actually helped me be less offended on the inside as well.

So part of my intention this month will be to maintain these newly acquired good habits.

Developing Security & Stability
Taurus represents security and stability. This means both the Buddha-like internal calm, as well as having financial security (one could hardly argue with the notion that having enough money in the bank contributes significantly to our inner peace.) So this would be a good time to work on developing both.

Bearing this in mind, I have two new intentions for the month:

1) Be Less Touchy
Though I’m pretty easygoing and laid back, I’m still too sensitive in some areas, and others’ comments could hit my nerve unexpectedly. By having this intention to be less touchy at least for one month, I’ll be reminded not to take things personally even if someone criticizes me, or seems angry with me.

2) Worry Less & Be More Grateful About Abundance
Another thing I want to let go is my tendency to worry about things going wrong, be it business or relationships. Instead of worrying and destroying my inner peace, I could increase my sense of stability by being more grateful about all the abundance in my life. I live a truly blessed life, and need to appreciate it more rather than waste it with worry.

Conclusion: Money, Arts & Other Possibilities
Any project or intention that will move you toward increased security & stability will be suitable for a Taurus new moon.

You may also want to consider Venus’ placement in your natal chart to come up with more intentions. My Venus in Sagittarius is located in 9th house, widely conjunct Neptune (a bit of over-sensitivity.) This particular placement could easily tie in with foreign language, educational pursuits, as well as enjoyment from music and art.

More Taurean ideas include learning to spend more/less money depending on which extreme you tend to lean toward. If you tend to overspend, maybe coming up with a monthly saving/investment plan would be in order.

If you tend to underspend, maybe you need to have the intention to go out and buy what you need, whether it’s new clothes or office equipment you’ve been procrastinating on getting.

How did you do with the happiness project from last month (if you played)? As usual, feel free to join in and share your own intentions for the month…

International Astrology Day: A Huge Blog Event

Every Spring Equinox is an international astrology day (it’s the day Sun moves into 0 degree Aries, and hence is considered to be the beginning of astrological new year.)

This year a few astrologers coordinated a HUGE collection of good blog articles related to Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in order to discuss the upcoming cardinal T-square between these heavyweights. My article on Saturn also is in the collection.

The main event page is here.

You can also directly visit the coordinators’ page: Mandi Lockley, Donna Cunningham or the Auntie Moon blog. Enjoy reading!

Working With Lunar Cycles

New Moon Meditation
The light of the Moon is hidden once a month during the new moon – suggesting the end of the previous cycle, as well as signaling the imminent birth of a new cycle. The darkness of the new moon is pregnant with new possibility – and if we choose to, we can become a conscious participant in the next growth cycle.

Sowing New Seeds With The New Moon

Just like farmers sowing a new seed during the new moon, we could contemplate sowing a new intention for our life during the new moon, as well as starting a new project.

Normal lunar cycle takes an average of 29 1/2 days to complete (this can be measured by calculating the time between two full moons.) In astrology there are longer lunar cycles (such as the secondary progressed lunar cycle) that take longer to complete, and thus reflect longer range projects, goals and phases of life. First we’ll look at the regular monthly cycle:

Simple Ways to Work With the Monthly Lunar Cycle
1) We can begin by paying attention to the dates of new moons (many calendars provide this.) If you have a choice at all, try to start a new project or new meeting around that day. Just as the farmers get good results from sowing and transplanting around the time of a new moon, a new beginning marked by new moon tends to feel empowering and in harmony with the universe.

2) In the absence of a concrete project to work on, try sowing some intentions for the month during the new moon. You could meditate on the symbolism of the sign where new moon occurs in, to see if you feel any deficiency in the area of life suggested by the sign that you’d like to improve.

For instance, the recent New Moon in Pisces could lead someone to set an intention to cultivate faith rather than worry, or go with the flow rather than overanalyze (Pisces being the opposite of Virgo.) Another possibility is that we set an intention to open ourselves to abundant inspiration and creativity everyday, so that our receptivity in this area improves over the course of the next month.

Here is the list of new moons occurring in 2010:

2010 New Moon Calendar

Jan. 15, 2010 New Moon in 25° Capricorn
Feb. 14, 2010 New Moon in 25° Aquarius
Mar. 15, 2010
New Moon in 25° Pisces
April 14, 2010
New Moon in 24° Aries
May 14, 2010
New Moon in 23° Taurus
June 12, 2010 New Moon in 21° Gemini
July 11, 2010 New Moon in 19° Cancer
Aug. 10, 2010
New Moon in 17° Leo
Sep. 8, 2010
New Moon in 16° Virgo
Oct. 7, 2010
New Moon in 14° Libra
Nov. 6, 2010 New Moon in 14° Scorpio
Dec. 5, 2010
New Moon in 13° Sagittarius

Now let’s briefly discuss the longer cycle:

Secondary Progression: Working With Longer Cycles
Secondary progressed (SP) lunar cycle is probably the most common longer cycle used by astrologers – it takes 29 1/2 years (instead of days) to complete, and thus corresponds to the beginning (new moon), development (1st quarter moon), fulfillment/awareness (full moon) and ending (3rd quarter to next new moon) of major life commitments and goals. Here you may need a software or an astrologer to help you see where in the cycle you are.

Conclusion: Personal Examples
My personal example of the secondary progressed lunar cycle is pretty clear cut: in mid 2003 I experienced SP new moon, and this is when I decided to become a professional astrologer. Soon afterward I began the certification course with Noel Tyl, and completed it after 3 years.

Now 7 years later, I’m going through SP 1st quarter moon (since the SP cycle is 29.5 years long, you can think of it as roughly a 7 year cycle) and it seems like my practice is growing and I’m going into a new level. I made some commitments to ensure that I keep growing (such as the biweekly coaching sessions or the tai chi practice) so that I can be more helpful to people that I serve. Next 7 years look very promising and exciting.

How do you work with lunar cycles? If you have experiences with monthly or secondary progressed lunar cycles corresponding to significant decisions or events in your life, please feel free to share through email or comment.

Consideration of Level

In a vocational consultation, the Level of life expression frequently becomes a concern: on a scale of 1 to 10, where are you in terms of how much you’re able to exercise your talent and ability through your daily work?

Let’s say a vocational analysis of your horoscope brings the focus onto the 3rd house (sales, communication.) This person needs to ‘sell’ an idea or things, as well as be informative and communicative. But astrology doesn’t say where the person’s Level is (i.e. she could be a retail clerk, a teacher, or a sales executive for IBM.)

The higher up we go in the archetypal elevator, our rewards tend to increase – often both economically and socially, as well as in terms of personal satisfaction. So astrologer’s work often involves a) identifying optimal channel of vocational outlet, and b) opening up possibilities for a higher level expression, through the mixture of vision and practicality.

Life brings us opportunities to move up a Level from time to time, through changing jobs or asking for increased responsibility within the existing work. Astrology often corroborates such change through the involvement of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Pluto (Neptune tends to be significant for people in entertainment industry, but not so much for others.)

Going Up a Level Often Means Letting Go
Often what the key transits or Solar arcs suggest is not so much an increase of income, but of letting go of the old patterns that kept us stuck at the current level. To go through briefly:

  • Jupiter conjunction to the Sun happens once every 12 years, signifying a time of opportunity for increased Level of personal/career expression. In other words, this is a good time to let go of limiting beliefs that kept us small, in fact, too small for our potential.
  • Saturn transit to Midheaven or Ascendant axes often suggests a time of growth and maturity, where a specific path is chosen in exchange for unlimited potential. In other words, you make a commitment to grow within the path you’ve chosen.
  • Uranus transit to MC or ASC axes implies a time of greater individuation. Here we’re learning to let go of the need for other people’s approvals, and give ourselves the freedom to be who we are*.
  • Pluto transit to the Angle suggests a metaphorical (sometimes literal) death, which will be followed by the beginning of a new life. Here we have an opportunity for profound regeneration through a deep change of perspective.

Conclusion: Assessing the Level in All Areas
The consideration of Level actually applies to all areas of life. Sometimes it’s useful to ask ourselves: At what Level am I functioning in my current career or relationships? Am I content to remain here, or is there more that I want to be doing?

How does astrology help to show you where you can do better in terms of Level? Do you have an experience of moving to a different Level during an important transit? What did you have to let go, if any? Feel free to share via comments or email.

*An interesting, albeit painful, example is that of Tiger Woods’ fall from grace, which coincided with transiting Uranus conjunct his Descendant between November 2009 – January 2010. While this was indeed catastrophic, we need to consider what it might mean for him to be finally free from the impossible-to-live-up-to public image that had a life of its own since he was 2 year old. Here the concern of Level exists in a deeply personal realm of emotional intimacy.

Newark Seminar 2010 with Noel Tyl

Just a quick note to say I’m flying to Newark now for the annual Newark seminar with Noel Tyl. It’s going to be 3 full days of astrological learning for the pros, in which we go through many horoscopes and consultation tapes.

I plan to document and blog some pieces of it this weekend and later.

Holiday Gratitude and Good Wishes

Gratitude: I’m grateful for all the blessings I continue to receive, especially from the good people in my life who give me love and their presence, along with their unique perspective.

Good Wishes: I hope you will receive all you need this holiday season, and have 2010 be the best year yet in what matters most to you – family, relationships, career, spirituality…I look forward to continuing the journey with you next year.

Astrologically, we have Mercury retrograde beginning on Saturday Dec 26th, lasting through Jan 15th next year, which may be a good period for R&R if you’re able to take time off…For me I’ll be attending a 4-day meditation retreat starting tomorrow.

All the best to you and yours,
Hiroki Niizato