Winter 2009 Starspeak

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln, a Sun sign Pisces (February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865)

Across New England winter wears many faces. Pristine snows weigh heavy on deep forests where nuthatches and black-capped chickadees trill cheerful songs. Along the coastlines hardy fishermen and lobstermen brave the dangerous icy waters of the North Atlantic to haul in their precious catch, hungry gulls circling overhead. Scholars and suited business people flick on lights, turn up thermostats and carry on. Children and the young at heart brave the elements and take to the hills for skiing, snowboarding and sledding. More fragile snowbirds head south to escape the harsh weather.

For many of us the rhythm of life slows. Gathering by the fireplace remains a time-tested New England tradition, as does sipping hot mulled cider and talking about the latest Red Sox trade rumors. During these few months farmers rest easy while planning next year’s harvest. Some wild creatures, perhaps more sensible than their two-legged cousins, hibernate beneath snowy blankets. And of course, there’s always waiting for spring!

In the sky above, dutiful Saturn, known as the Lord of Karma, squares obsessive Pluto. This cosmic standoff persists into next summer and is cause for much soul searching. By late February the aspect is made more compelling when rebellious Uranus again opposes Saturn and also squares Pluto. These powerfully chaotic forces could be viewed as the birth pangs of the yet emerging New Age.

The need for cooperation and regeneration has never been greater. Humility and flexibility must be built into every negotiation. Cold-hearted, calculated abuses of power will be very much in evidence, but noble and inspiring sacrifices will also make news. Stay open-minded, receptive to advice from friends and informed sources.

During the coming year the planetary alignments are as challenging as any I have witnessed during the past forty. I expect the events of 2010 will be far more significant than those accompanying the dreaded December 21, 2012 dateline set forth by interpreters of the Mayan calendar.

December 2009

The month gets off to a rip-roaring start. Uranus, the Great Awakener, resumes forward motion on the 1st, completing a retrograde that began July 1st. Uranus is considered by many astrologers to be the planet of the Aquarian Age. There are stargazers who believe the New Age started at the time of Uranus’s discovery in 1781. In any case, the change of direction heralds a stepped up pace for reformers around the world. Because Uranus is in Pisces, a sign connected with health care, this could be the time a reform package finally gets through Congress. The Gemini full Moon, exact on Wednesday the 2nd at 2:33am, also raises excitement levels and pushes already elevated expectations even higher. Less fortunately, earth changes are more probable this week.

As the Moon shifts gears and begins to wane the comforts of home and familiar places beckon. With the holidays fast approaching, the first weekend of the month may be the last good opportunity to rest up and take life slowly. That said, Saturday night, the 5th, is a fine one for seasonal socializing.

Mental Mercury aligns with Pluto and squares Saturn on Monday the 7th. The Moon, void-of-course in Leo until mid-afternoon, can give rise to inattention. Be careful. A slip of the tongue or mental error may damage a partnership or deplete one’s wallet. Authority figures feel especially pressured. By evening the Moon, now in Virgo, slips into a helpful angle, calming anxieties. Quiet attention to detail is advised over the next forty-eight hours, especially Tuesday evening when the last quarter stage creates a discordant, "either fly away or stick around and be diligent" scenario.

The journey is easier after mid-week. On Thursday the 10th the Sun trines Mars and spirits soar. This is a garrulous day, with lots of back slapping humor and congratulatory messages. Upbeat trends persist through most of the weekend. Tensions rise on Sunday the 13th. A friendly disagreement needs to be handled with care. The Sun squares Uranus Monday morning. Some folks’ egos will be flagrantly out of control. The afternoon brings dramatic improvement in moods and the social climate reflects this positive change. The pleasant atmosphere lingers until the early morning hours of Wednesday the 16th and the new Moon in Sagittarius.

Before heading off to work or school take some time Wednesday morning to contemplate what the holidays mean to you. This is the moment to identify and pursue fondest wishes. Clarity and intention are intimately linked and, as the Moon joins with Pluto Wednesday night, powerful forces work to manifest dreams. Romantic partnerships also flourish at this time. Venus and Mars are in a complimentary trine aspect.

By Saturday the 19th Venus is testing Uranus. Some friendships may be on the skids. Give partners space. Let bygones be bygones. Mars begins a lengthy retrograde Sunday morning, just as loving Venus engages Jupiter and Neptune in heart-warming sextiles. The winter solstice can be an occasion of healing and reconciliation for many couples and partnerships.

The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21st and winter officially begins at 12:47pm EST. The Sun is closely conjunct Pluto and square Saturn. These solar aspects are exact later this week, the conjunction on Thursday the 24th and the square on Christmas Day. Holiday stress levels are seriously high.

The I Ching or Chinese Book of Changes contains a hexagram known as Fu, the Return or Turning Point. This hexagram pertains to the winter solstice and the victory of light. The Wilhelm/Baynes translation explains: "The idea of Return is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time."

Relax. Remember the deeper meaning of these holy days. Take comfort knowing the daylight hours will now increase. In similar fashion we may rest assured that despite current economic adversity, brighter days lie ahead.

Mental Mercury retrogrades the morning of Saturday the 26th. Hold off on shopping. The-void-of-course Aries Moon adds to the sense of disorientation during the day but after sunset more felicitous influences take hold. The dinner hour is notably happy as the earthy Taurus Moon trines Venus and Pluto. Loving feelings intensify over the weekend but be aware of subtle as well as not so hidden motives. The Goddess of Love conjoins Pluto Monday night and relationships are sure to be tested. Those who have been reckless with their spending now feel the pinch.

2009 ends with a celestial splash! The full Moon in watery Cancer is eclipsed by the Sun at 2:13pm EST. The horoscope for the full Moon is noteworthy for its degree of difficulty. The Moon opposes the Sun, Pluto, Venus and retrograde Mercury. Retrograde Mars stands in opposition to Jupiter and Neptune. Inventive Uranus and optimistic Jupiter offer creative outlets for the juggernaut of challenging angles. Onward and upward! Despite the tiresome chorus of dire warnings we really have no other choice but to commit to our own evolving future.

January 2010

Happy New Year!!! Full Moon fallout mingles with confetti and hangovers as 2010 dawns. The Cancer Moon is void-of-course much of New Year’s Day, presenting a golden opportunity to catch up on sleep or spend a mellow day with friends and family. A playful Leo Moon dominates the first weekend of the year. If you’re traveling on Sunday the 3rd be alert to treacherous driving conditions and other weather related delays.

The industrious Capricorn Sun passes by retrograde Mercury on Monday and many people will be genuinely happy to return to class or work. The Virgo Moon bolsters the Sun’s urge to do a good job and get ahead in life. Early on the 5th Venus overtakes backsliding Mercury, a reminder that an occupation is a source of emotional as well as financial support. Things are fairly quiet this week.

During the night of Saturday the 9th a gathering of select friends can be extremely pleasant. Deals may be struck. Seek the support of a higher up on the 11th. The Capricorn Sun is conjunct Venus, a good omen for ambitious men and women. Interesting alliances are made public around the 13th as the Sun and Venus align harmoniously with Uranus and Saturn turns retrograde.

Following the Capricorn new Moon/solar eclipse by just a few hours, Mercury turns direct the morning of the 15th. Revelations are sure to follow. Mercury’s proximity to Pluto, and the two planet’s squares with Saturn, suggests that power brokers will be scurrying to consummate secret deals. The eclipse says it is just a matter of time before these back room manipulations are leaked. Change is again in the air.

Jupiter enters Pisces the night of Sunday the 17th. Venus arrives in Aquarius the next day and the Sun follows Venus into the sign of the waterbearer the night of Tuesday the 19th. Jupiter is now harmonizing with Pluto, Venus and the Sun with Saturn. These hopeful aspects open hearts and minds to new possibilities. The time for hesitation is over. The Jupiter/Pluto aspect is especially helpful for cultivating faith, willpower and spiritual insights. As we honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, replays of his "I Have A Dream" speech are extraordinarily evocative this year. Social progress feels real, meaningful and is something to be proud of.

Take a pro-active approach the afternoon of the 20th. Acknowledge parents and those you admire from Thursday the 21st through the 24th. The past is a valuable teacher during this window of time. Monday the 25th is a lighthearted but busy day. Work is fully engaging and the after work hours are also enjoyable. A testing angle between Venus and retrograde Mars warns of potential confrontations with partners around mid-week. The Moon is nearly full and the Sun’s Friday afternoon opposition to the god of war hints of more problems. Don’t throw your weight around unnecessarily. Watch your temper!

The highly energized Leo full Moon is exact at 1:17am on Saturday the 30th. The Sun/Moon opposition includes the Aquarius Sun, joined with loving Venus and mother Moon conjunct macho Mars. This creates a fine, multi-layered balance between male and female polarities. Love is in the air! Saturn’s second in a series of squares to Pluto is exact the evening of the 31st. Many couples will find this full Moon dominated weekend to their liking, seizing the chance to revisit and reorganize the balance of power in their relationship. This in turn can lead to greater intimacy and a more fulfilling union. International affairs are also in flux, with active engagement and pragmatism the winning formula.

February 2010

February, winter’s final month, begins quietly. The Virgo Moon’s trine with Mercury is the first aspect of the month. This is a steadying "take care of business" aspect. Hunker down and tend to workplace chores. There’s time to cut loose Monday night. On the 2nd it is obvious where loyalties lay. The Libra Moon activates the tricky square between Saturn and Pluto. Follow the middle road and avoid taking sides, if possible. The midweek brings easier going with the evening of the 4th excellent for attending a lecture or meeting.

Friday the 5th, with its last quarter Scorpio Moon, is far less tranquil but things take a turn for the better as Jupiter sextiles Pluto during Saturday’s noon hour. The motivation to serve and support worthy causes is quite strong. Let Spirit guide you. What you learn or experience may be profound and life changing. The weekend of the 6th and 7th unfolds under a magical Venus/Neptune conjunction. These planets represent love in both its personal and more spiritual, unconditional forms. Feelings are tender. Be warned. Saintly Neptune has been known to turn a blind eye to obvious faults. Love wisely.

The 8th brings glad hearts and good intentions. Midday delays on Tuesday the 9th prove only temporary. A late afternoon surge turns the tide. Changes follow as the lunar cycle ebbs and energy levels slump. Mental Mercury arrives in visionary Aquarius before dawn on the 10th and loving Venus enters Pisces the morning of Thursday the 11th. Do what you can to sustain progress and maintain order on the 11th and 12th. Desist from starting anything new on these days. Mercury is forming an opposition to retrograde Mars, making impatient behavior an irritating nuisance.

In mystical fashion, due to the influence of nearby Neptune, the Aquarius new Moon ushers in a fresh activity cycle late Saturday night, the 13th. Fantasies, films and other flights from reality are hard to resist. The enchantment lasts right through the weekend and into the new week. For lovers, this Valentine’s Day is super!

Fine aspects on Monday the 15th and Tuesday the 16th include a Mars/Saturn sextile and Venus’ conjunction with Jupiter. The former is a breadwinner’s delight, the latter one of the most fortunate of them all. Count your blessings, and then share them!

The Sun reaches watery Pisces the afternoon of Thursday the 18th. Being accustomed to looking ahead, I always search out telltale signs of spring, however subtle. The changing angle of the sun, lengthening daylight hours, warmer temperatures, swelling tree buds and the return of migrating birds quicken my senses. This week the presence of the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces stirs imaginations, dreams and expectations of happier times.

Night owls find Friday the 19th into Saturday very much to their liking. During Sunday evening jittery nerves benefit from straight talk. Tell it like it is! A solar sextile to Pluto dominates the early part of the week. Cooperation is key to getting ahead. The waxing Moon speeds us through the second half of the week. Wednesday the 24th and Thursday feel remarkably exuberant and fruitful.

Mercury overtakes Neptune the morning of the 27th as the Leo Moon forms an opposition. Finding just the right way to express feelings can be challenging but making the effort could produce surprisingly good results. Folks are listening, many with open hearts and minds. Saturday night events take place under an inspiring scenario. Take in the grandeur of the moonlit sky and have fun!

The full Moon in Virgo is exact at 11:38am on Sunday. Just as this forecast began, we end with a Full Moon. This time the Moon is exactly opposite the exquisite conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter in visionary Pisces. Everything seems magnified. Hopes are sky high, many with good reason. A supportive angle from Pluto suggests that our late winter dreams will indeed come true. Let’s hope so.

Eric Linter offers a complete range of astrological services, including his "On Top of the Stars Monthly Guide" for making inspired career and personal decisions. Consultations are available in person, by phone or on audiocassette. Contact Eric at 508-541-4115 or email at Visit and read Eric’s daily astrology reading.