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In a time where most men, let alone women, couldn’t read, much less write, it’s not only the content of mystic, composer, reformer and healer Hildegard of Bingen’s work that inspires, it’s the mere fact that as a woman in the medieval period she managed to produce anything at all that will move you.

Twelfth century life in modern day Germany was pretty dismal for most people. It was a time of political trouble, with conflict between the religious orders and the powerful empire, as well as the first crusades through Europe. In this climate, Hildegard left her family at just eight years of age to join a convent. Her life was devoted to faith, first as a nun then as an abbess.

Compelled by a particularly potent vision at “forty two years and seven months old” to finally admit the “secret and wonderful visions I have sensed in myself since childhood – that is, since I was five years old…” it was at midlife, after seeking and receiving permission at three levels of the Church hierarchy, that Hildegard finally began to document her experiences. This body of work, ‘Scivias’ – meaning “know the ways”, was the first of many that would combine to ensure Hildegard’s second half of life was her most productive.

Not only did Hildegard immerse herself in the life of a twelfth century Benedictine nun, she managed to take charge of the experience, setting up her own convent – for the safety of her nuns – along the way. The nature of Hildegard’s life and work speaks to the power of being successful within your circumstances, regardless of how limited they might seem to an outsider.

A Feminist Prototype

Hildegard’s legacy consists of lasting bodies of work in key areas, including her musical scores, her writings on health and medicine and her Christian spiritual work. While denied sainthood on more than one occasion, a feast day in her honour is celebrated on September 17, the date of her death.

Hildegard’s spiritual legacy is overtly connected to the formal faith to which she devoted her life. Hildegard attributes her spiritual and mystical visions and experiences to the work of God, and ultimately decides to share them to honour God and his work in the world.

Peter Bronke’s description of Hildegard as “daunting and eccentric; stupendous in her powers of thought and expression; lovable in her warmth and never-wearying freshness in everything she tackled” perhaps paints a warmer picture than those who describe her as being “accused of megalomania for manipulating her nuns and other fellow clergy”.

Lisa Miller, writing for The Daily Beast, says (in an article from October 9, 2010) “Hildegard was creative, passionate, fierce, dogged, manipulative, holy, learned, loyal – and obedient to her ideal of faith”. Such qualities are no surprise given the great strides Hildegard took to promote her work and causes throughout her life, in a period when women had little authority or power.

Hildegard has been embraced by feminists within and outside of the Christian faith, both for her refusal to let her plans be ignored – her prolific letter writing to powerful men of clergy is widely documented – and for her work in encouraging education and independence for women in an era where it was accepted women would have little need for either.

Hildegard was a pioneer in the fields of medicine and science, as well as a devoutly spiritual Christian. Her herbal theories, mystical writing and musical compositions – created as one more way to serve God and express her devotion to him – have generated a legacy that endures hundreds of years after her life.

Areas of Expertise

Today Hildegard is widely known across three fields – mysticism, music and medicine. Her modern revival began in the 1970’s. With the first popular recordings of her compositions appearing in the early 1980’s, perhaps based on the translations and academic commentary of her work that appeared in the 1970’s, her popularity began to spread. Interest in Hildegard and her work and philosophies has now grown to the extent that in 2009, a film was made of her life.

‘Vision’, which was written and directed by Margarethe von Trotta, depicts many of Hildegard’s accomplishments – her composition of music, including Gregorian chants, her work as a playwright, scholar and writer, as well as her work with herbal and holistic medicine. A New York Times review of the movie describes Hildegard as a “multitasking nun”, and comments on her political savvy, which helped her manoeuvrer favourable outcomes for her personal projects from the clergy who held power in her time.

Life Overview

Hildegard was born in 1098, in Bermersheim, near Alzey on the bank of the Rhine, the tenth and last child of a wealthy noble couple. As was the customary for the tenth child, Hildegard was bequeathed to the Church, joining the anchoress Jutta at the Benedictine Monastery in Disibodenberg in 1106, at the age of eight. Jutta was Hildegard’s first teacher, showing her how to read, write and recite basic prayers.

Hildegard is described as a sickly child, who suffered regular illnesses. Nonetheless, by age 14, she’d formalised her commitment to the convent, by becoming an anchorite/anchoress herself. From the Greek, meaning ‘to withdraw’, this meant that Hildegard withdrew from convent life, for a period of time, to live in a small, locked room next to the Church. This allowed ample time for her to pray and be close to God.

Ill health affected her well into adulthood, with Hildegard said to have suffered an extended illness between 1158 – 1162, through her late 50’s and early 60’s, including what’s thought to be powerful migraines.

After Jutta’s death in 1136, Hildegard became head of the convent at Disibodenberg. Volmar of Disibodenberg become her primary teacher and secretary, himself a monk.

The second half of Hildegard’s life was busier than her first 40 years. The vast majority of her writing and composing was completed after she turned 50, inadvertently making Hildegard an inspiration for success later in life, especially for women. Hildegard began conducting preaching tours in her late 50’s, and continued until her early 70’s.

Hildegard’s name, Hildegard of Bingen, comes from the two convents she founded. The first, in 1150, when Hildegard was 52, was in Rupertsberg, on the Rhine near Bingen. This was in fact a revival of a monastery founded by Bertha, Rupert’s mother, which “was sacked by the Normans in the ninth century”. The second, in 1165, when Hildegard was 67, was in Ebingen, across the Rhine from Bingen. Hildegard continued to supervise this community until her death in 1179 at 81 years of age.

As a Benedictine nun, Hildegard took vows of celibacy, however there is speculation the love she wrote of holding for a fellow nun, Richardis, one of her assistants and many years her junior, was more than the divine kind.

What is a Mystic?

All major religions and faiths have their share of mystics – those who, through their own spiritual practice and devotion, “map out new experiences of the divine”. Elizabeth Alvida Petroff, writing in ‘Body and Soul: Essays on Medieval Women and Mysticism’, says “Mysticism is not just on event, but a succession of insights and revelations about God that gradually transforms the recipient.” She continues with, “Mystical experiences may be primarily visual or auditory” and that “Since mysticism is a natural human capacity, mystical experiences can occur spontaneously, unexpectedly at any time of day or place.” Mysticism is commonly agreed to be a “Special gift not under the control of the recipient.”

Still one of the most widely read authors on mysticism, Evelyn Underhill offers this definition in ‘Practical Mysticism’, written in 1914, “Mysticism is the art of the union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or lesser degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.” Underhill continues with discussion around the meaning of reality, which, while you must come to a personal definition of such, can be fairly easily substituted with God, divine being or an ultimate spiritual entity.

A mystic then is one who experiences these mystical events in ways that while possible for us all, are the direct experience of just a few. Hildegard of Bingen is one such mystic, who, like other spiritual women of her time, broke glass ceiling after glass ceiling to do what she felt was her duty to God – to share the visions and mystical experiences she’d had since a young age.

“Mysticism is an experience, not an idea”, and the lives of great mystics hold inspiration for how to prepare yourself as best as possible to experience a personal encounter with the divine.

The Mystic Hildegard

Hildegard began having visions at a young age, which, according to her religious beliefs, she believed to be spiritual or God given gifts. While her faith was strong – and traditional – Hildegard’s writings are now appreciated by people from all religious and non-traditional backgrounds. Some appreciate her writings for the direct connection to divinity they reveal is possible; others are drawn by the specific content itself.

Much of Hildegard’s writings consist of descriptions of her visions, and the interpretations provided by the “voice from heaven”. Hildegard’s books, ‘Scivias’ (meaning “know the ways”), ‘Book of Life’s Merits’ and ‘The Book of Divine Works’ all follow this common pattern. In these books, much of the writing explores the Christian faith, including religious themes like penance, confession, the Last Judgement and the fall of Lucifer and Adam.

In ‘The Book of Divine Works’, described by Sabina Flanagan in ‘Secrets of God’ as “Hildegard’s most mature consideration of cosmology, salvation history and eschatology”, Hildegard discusses the supreme importance of humanity in the world:

“The figure of a human person appears in the middle of this wheel, the top of whose head and the soles of whose feet touch that circle above and below, which is like tough white and shining air. From the right side the fingertips of the right hand and on the left the fingertips of the left hand were extended to the circle here and here, defining its roundness, as the figure stretched out its arms.

This signifies that in the structure of the world humanity is at the centre, since it is more powerful than the rest of Creation living there. Though small in stature, humankind is great in strength of soul, that is to say, in moving the head above and the feet below to the elements both higher and lower, and also in penetrating them by means of the actions to right and left that are performed with the hands, as the power to do this comes from the inner strength of the person.

For as a person’s body exceeds the heart in size, so even the strength of the soul exceeds the might of the body. And as the heart is hidden in the body, so the body is surrounded by the powers of the soul, which extended throughout the entire world.”

The italics describe the vision Hildegard had, and the explanation that follows is the description Hildegard received from God. I’ve added bold to emphasise especially poetic parts of the writing.

This passage describes the vast influence you have as a human – the supreme creature in creation. It’s almost inspiring to read the passage referring to the way the “strength of the soul exceeds the might of the body”. When actions emerge from your deepest self, they can ripple out far beyond your direct actions. This may reflect a widely accepted modern spiritual concept, but it was a fresh perspective on a changing faith in Hildegard’s time.

This passage also alludes to the power of spirit or life force, and its dominant impact over the physical world. While to Hildegard, this was the Holy Spirit, given her Christian faith, it’s not hard for esoteric enthusiasts to embrace this approach, simply substituting the Holy Spirit for your Higher or Soul Self.

Music

Mysticism is often linked to creativity, and Hildegard is no exception, writing songs and melodies that still enchant – and some claim heal – listeners today, even though she had no musical training of any kind.

Hildegard wrote more than seventy pieces of music, often referred to as “divine praise”, under the heading of ‘Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations’, most of which are available in modern recordings.

In the process of researching this piece, I downloaded some of Hildegard’s music from ITunes. ‘Canticles of Ecstasy’, recorded by Sequentia, a modern Paris based group who specialise in recordings of medieval music written before 1300, is often recommended as an introduction to Hildegard’s musical work. Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice highlighted this CD in its May 1995 edition, discussing Hildegard’s “exceptional creative gifts” and describing her music as “an ever-flowing, rapturous outpouring of melody.”

Hildegard’s music is complex, containing “very real technical difficulties”, but uplifting, similar to Gregorian style chant. The Sequentia recording, released in 1994 by BMG Classics, is said to have sold more than half a million copies, winning a Disque d’Or and a nomination for a 1993 Grammy.

Music was considered “the highest form of human activity” and thus Hildegard’s dedication to her musical pursuits was just an extension of her desire to express her devotion to God. Much of Hildegard’s music was written for her own abbey, as an adjunct to the typical Gregorian chants sung throughout the liturgies.

One of the first modern recordings of Hildegard’s pieces, A Feather on the Breath of God by Gothic Voices (1981), is listed in the 2008 book ‘1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die’ by Tom Moon. This piece is widely attributed to the revival in Hildegard’s music, and preceded the 1990’s resurgence of interest in Gregorian chant by a decade. This recording is described as painting a “calm, centred beauty”.

As a whole, Hildegard’s music reflects her bold and individual nature, with her compositions described by Lorraine Limburn, in an 2001 article for The Lancet, as “interesting because they are much more expressive than we are used to hearing from medieval religious music”.

Medicine

In ‘Desk Reference To Nature’s Medicine’ Steven Foster and Rebecca Johnson describe Hildegard as “The mother of German botany and the first woman to write an herbal”. Hildegard wrote two books related to medicine and the natural world, ‘The Natural History’ which is also known as the ‘Book of Simple Medicine’ and ‘Causes and Cures’, which is also known as the ‘Book of Compound Medicine’.

Hildegard practiced a form of humor based medicine, which focuses on balancing the qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry in the body for maximum wellbeing. Humor based medicine stipulates that disease comes from imbalance in one or more of these qualities.

While Hildegard is often described as the first naturopath or herbalist, it might be more fair to call her one of the pioneers in the field known today as herbal medicine. Hildegard’s approach to healing emphasised nutrition, detoxification and the application of herbal, animal or mineral remedies, similar to that of an alternative health practitioner today.

In ‘Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age’, Fiona Maddocks writes of how Hildegard “celebrates the soothing and healing properties, still recognised today, of calendula, chamomile and aloe.”

Hildegard focussed on individual temperament, and often suggested cures based on a person’s own physicality as much as by the disease from which they were thought to suffer. As a naturalist – Hildegard lived her life on the banks of the Rhine – it was her knowledge of herbs and plants that supported her medicine. Some of her healings were thought to be miracles of God.

‘The Natural History’ catalogues a multitude of plants and animals, as well as discusses Hildegard’s take on their uses in humoral medicine. This work comprises nine parts, which explore many aspects of the natural world and their use in healing. It’s in this work that Hildegard professes her favouritism for the grain spelt, stating, “Spelt is the best of grains. It is hot, rich and full of goodness. It is wetter than other grains. Eating it promotes sound flesh and healthy blood as well as a happy mind and joyful outlook.”

In ‘Causes and Cures’ Hildegard discusses both cosmology and physiology, exploring how the elements combine to create the world, as well as describing “more than two hundred diseases and conditions that affect mankind.” In this work Hildegard elaborates on her theories of health and healing, discussing the elements as thus, “When the elements are properly at work in the body they preserve it and confer health; but when they are at odds in it they weaken and kill it. For the humors, coagulated from heat, moisture, blood and flesh in the human body, when they penetrate and remain in it and work there peacefully and in due proportion, are healthy. If, on the other hand, they reach it all at once, rushing upon it too copiously, they will weaken and destroy it.”

Hildegard was widely respected for her knowledge on conception and pregnancy, though her views on the reasons behind conception of a male or female child have since been disproved by medical advancements. Hildegard also employed a system of ‘lunaria’, using Moon phase influences at the time of conception to help determine temperament.

Like St Bernard of Clairvoux, a key church figure in the 12th century, Hildegard probably operated under the belief that while the Church may have had varying but generally conservative views on medicine through this time, herbs and plants were created by God and therefore available for man’s use.

Hildegard Today
In ‘Women Mystics in Medieval Europe’, Emilie Zum Brunn and Georgette Epiney-Burgard write, “Hildegard offers us the finest example of what a woman could achieve in the 12th century, as regards active life, as well as spiritual and artistic life. She is outstanding for the quality of her natural gifts, her prophetic charisma, and her dynamic reforming attitude.”

If this cloistered nun, living in a time when life was a struggle and women one step behind men, could achieve such a lasting legacy, how much could you do with your life in this time of opportunity, if you were to hold as firmly to your faith and sense of soul as Hildegard did hers?

References:
Secrets of God: Writings of Hildegard of Bingen by Sabina Flanagan (excerpts of Hildegard’s writing are taken from this)

http://www.natural-healing-guide.com/Self-Healing-Techniques/Hildegard-Medicine.htm

http://www.sequentia.org/projects/hildegard.html

http://www.1000recordings.com/music/feather-on-breath-god-sequences-hymns-abbess-hildegard-bingen/

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The annual Full Moon in Scorpio is always an emotionally intense time.

In 2019, the Full Moon in Scorpio is on May 18 or May 19 if you’re in Australia. That’s right in the middle of the weekend, as the Full Moon is on a Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

This feels like an emotional and insightful weekend, where hidden secrets and buried feelings might surface.

The Full Moon in Scorpio can also trigger emotional drama and outbursts, so expect a few honest and direct conversations.

Scorpio is introspective and deep and prefers to keep things private. The Full Moon brings light, insight and helps illuminate the corners of the cosmos under its watchful eye.

So, the Full Moon in Scorpio will bring light into darkness and can help you see things that have been hidden or locked away.

What’s buried deep still has an impact, even when you try to pretend those feelings don’t exist or aren’t there. This weekend, and in the days before the Full Moon itself, notice those stirrings in your soul.

When you ‘have seen the light’ it usually means you have come to understand something you previously didn’t, or that you have become aware of the fullness and many layers of a situation. That’s what this weekend can bring – that awareness from getting it, and understanding that comes from a deeper place.

Mars in Cancer: Sensitivity and Protection

The Full Moon in Scorpio is ruled by Mars, and at the time of the Full Moon, Mars is in Cancer (May 15 – July 2). This adds an extra layer of emotion and highlights the need for protection too.

Mars in Cancer has a moody quality, where mood affects motivation, and where you might be as likely to go on the defensive. Mars in Cancer wants to protect who or what it loves.

There’s also a churning quality as Mars in Cancer can be a little fearful about what comes next. Long term security will be highlighted, and you may experience tension between what you want now vs what will provide you long lasting comfort. In this case, aiming for the long term outcome will be ideal.

But since Mars is in a water sign, impulse control might be a theme – if you indulge now what problem do you create for the future? If you hold steady now, what gift will you offer your future self? Can you contain how you feel to stay focused on where you want to go?

Venus conjunct Uranus in Taurus

And while a Full Moon in Scorpio is more than enough astrology action for one weekend, the weekend of May 18/19 is the busiest and most dramatic weekend in May.

On May 18 (May 19 if you’re in Australia), for the first time, Venus will conjunct Uranus in Taurus.

This potent pairing can bring a preview of what the longer trend of Uranus in Taurus might mean for you. Venus rules Taurus and has an important role to play to shaping the next seven years, through providing guidance and influence to Uranus as he tours Taurus.

This is a pattern breaking pairing that can help you shift away from old tendencies, and experiment with new ways of being and relating.

Venus conjunct Uranus can bring an unexpected development or exciting plot twist in the story of your life. Look to the house in your chart that holds Taurus (or has Taurus on the cusp) to find out some of the specific areas of life that will be activated for you.

For me, Taurus is the third house, to do with writing, communication, siblings and self-expression, while Scorpio is the ninth house, to do with travel, teaching, wisdom, learning, and connecting with world. Since Taurus is opposite Scorpio in the Zodiac, this weekend highlights a pair of signs that rule opposing houses in your chart. Each pair of houses shares some common themes and needs.

One super simple manifestation of this Full Moon in Scorpio + Venus conjunct Uranus in Taurus combination for me is that I will be travelling to teach a full day workshop on astrology.

Collectively, a breakthrough to do with a women’s issue, or around freedom and innovation will be possible. Venus is responsible for relationships and in Taurus, for providing enough financial stability that there’s room for some of life’s little luxuries. Uranus can bring excitement and chaos about relationships, and insight around the way you provide comfort for yourself and your loved ones.

What you crave for pleasure may shift, so get curious about what you really enjoy, and ditch any habits based on old desires that no longer satisfy you.

This weekend has a ground breaking, ‘shaken, not stirred’ kind of quality. New freedom and profound awareness lie on the other side, for anyone willing to dive deep, open up and get honest about what they really crave.

For more weekly and month ahead astrology insights, especially if you like your astrology on video, join my monthly membership!

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I recently joined Melissa LaFara for a discussion on Venus on her astrology podcast Energetic Principles.

We discuss Venus in Aries vs Venus in Taurus, and discuss what Venus really does when she is in a Mars ruled sign, aka when Venus in detriment.

We also talk about aspects like Venus square Saturn and Venus square Pluto, as well as Venus trine Saturn and Venus trine Pluto. And of course, the most important Venus aspect in May, Venus conjunct Uranus in Taurus.

You get the gist – it’s a show all about Venus!

My chat starts about 29 mins in.

Week of May 6th 2019 with special guest Kelly Surtees - Mingling With Venus - SoundCloud
(6114 secs long, 540 plays)Play in SoundCloud

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Kelly's Astrology by Kelly Surtees - 2w ago

The secrets of your star sign also provide clues as to why you’ll find people born under certain signs generally challenging in relationships. Don’t make the mistake of internally interpreting ‘challenges’ as ‘bad’ – astrology highlights what is, but rarely makes such sweeping statements as labelling people or relationships as essentially good or bad. The relationships described below come with a little more friction and tension than usual, but for some people, that’s the fire starter to a passionate love dance.

Of theoretically challenging love matches, astrologer Hedy Damari comments, “The key to making more challenging couplings work is to accept and embrace your respective differences – annoying, mystifying or absurd as they may seem. Acceptance allows you to understand your partner’s machinations and enrich your relationship and life experience by integrating both of your diverse qualities.” This process of acceptance, so powerful in creating harmony in love, is one of the greatest gifts astrology offers as you seek to better understand those around you.

Modalities

Each Zodiac sign is divided into groups according to modes or modalities. There are three modalities – Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable, each describing a different mode of operation. Within each modality group there is one sign from each element.

Cardinal signs reflect the start of a new season in the natural world. They are the signs of the equinoxes and solstices. Cardinal signs are the initiators of the Zodiac, keen to moved forward in a set direction. The Cardinal Signs are Aries (Fire), Cancer (Water), Libra (Air) and Capricorn (Earth). In relationships, the challenge two cardinal signs together have is around managing a shared desire to be the leader.

Fixed signs symbolise the middle of each season, and reflect the steadiness and constancy in the natural world at those times. Fixed signs dislike change and are solidly reliable. The Fixed signs are Taurus (Earth), Leo (Fire), Scorpio (Water) and Aquarius (Air). In relationships, the challenge with two fixed signs together is managing stubbornness, which, when met with stubbornness, can create an eternal stand off.

Mutable signs symbolise the end of each season, when the world knows change is a certainty. By nature, Mutable signs are flexible, easily adapting to changing circumstances. Mutable signs are Gemini (Air), Virgo (Earth), Sagittarius (Fire) and Pisces (Water). In relationships, the challenge with two mutable signs together is managing two easily distracted natures, which can lead to aimlessness rather than progress.

Relationships that pair partners of the same modality are interspersed with  periods of friction and adjustment as each partner attempts to accommodate the differences of the other (often highlighted by contrasting elements) in supportive ways. They can be more heated than other pairings. It’s easier to keep the love alive if you can find healthy, conscious ways to express and process frustration within your partnership.

Elements
Zodiac signs are also divided into groups according to elements. The four elements are Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Elements show motivation or the reasons ‘why’ you do something. Your modality shows the way you go about doing something – the ‘how’.

Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Fire and Air signs are yang, and generally more extroverted, social and active. Earth and Water signs are yin, and have introverted, reflective, laid back qualities. Generally you’ll get along better with signs that are of the same yin or yang polarity. Pairing up with a mate who’s sign is the opposite to your yin or yang adds tension and conflict.

The following element combinations are usually more challenging, because of inherent differences in both the why and how of motivation and desire.

Fire (yang) / Water (yin)

Fire (yang) / Earth (yin)
Air (yang) / Water (yin)

Air (yang) / Earth (yin)

Two of the Same

While opposites attract, pairing two people of the same sign often creates a case of too much of a good thing. Together you can overdo the best – and the worst – of your sign. However, each sign is multi faceted and full of layers, and if you’re each able to express different qualities within your sign, you’ll find it easier to create balance.

Two fire signs means high energy and high passion, but can create challenges around who’s in charge. Discussion is the key to harmony.

Two earth signs shows practicality and sensuality, but often creates challenges around whose success matters most. Sharing what’s really going on for each of you helps reveal natural priorities.

Two air signs together creates plenty of conversation, but often there’s a disconnect to emotions and the body. Channelling ideas into action creates progress and excitement.

Two water signs together can be full of feelings, but sometimes overwhelmingly so. Connecting with the body and the natural world helps you get grounded together.

Sometimes knowing exactly where someone is coming from helps foster deeper understanding and other times, it’s simply double trouble.

Compatibility

Keep in mind your compatibility according to astrology is fully described by comparing not just your star sign, but your Moon, Venus or Mars signs as well. While your star signs might not theoretically make the most compatible match, digging deeper into the astrology of your relationship may show a great connection between your Moon, Venus or Mars – which goes a long way to overcoming any challenges signified by the connections between your star signs. Astrologer Hedy Damari says, “I know several Virgo/Sagittarius couples – traditionally an ill-suited pair – who have solid, long-standing relationships. Sagittarius helps Virgo worry less while encouraging them to be more spontaneous. In return, Virgo provides the stability and pragmatism Sagittarius need.” Astrologer and author Jessica Shepherd agrees, describing these theoretically incompatible but practically happy pairings as ‘ruler breaker relationships’.

No one has all the answers to the mysteries of love, but astrology can offer a fresh perspective to help you better understand yourself and those around you, making the game of love easier to play.

Difficult Matches by Element

Fire/Water

Aries/Cancer – This is an intense pairing, as both are cardinal signs and can be pushy. Cancer’s sensitivity and sporadic moodiness can frustrate Aries who wants to stick to decisions. Aries must learn to accommodate the ebb and flow of another’s motivation. As fire, Aries dominates, leaving Cancer wondering if they’ll ever get a say. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities helps this work.

Aries/Scorpio – Scorpio/Aries must channel their energy into shared rather than separate passions. Sharing the same patron planet, Mars, means they can connect through sharing goals and desires. Aries ‘act now think later’ approach puzzles Scorpio who considers all alternatives before doing anything. Mixing fire and water can create sexy sizzle though.

Aries/Pisces – Pisces daydreaming irritates Aries who wants to get on with it. Aries can inspire Pisces, but being water, Pisces lacks the energy to connect with Aries in meaningful ways. An ‘each to their own’ approach helps foster acceptance between these two.

Cancer/Leo – while energetically disconnected (Cancer is cardinal water, while Leo is fixed fire) they share a love of and pride in family. Creative development can feature as Leo helps Cancer express what’s inside them. Their rulers, the Sun and Moon, are cosmic mates and when they each give each other a place to shine, Cancer and Leo can be content. Cancer can be a dampener for Leo.

Cancer/Sagittarius – Cancer wants to create a home and develop emotional ties – which usually means spending extending periods in one place, while Sagittarius longs for adventure and constantly changing scenery. Energy wise these two have little in common and significant compromises are required to build a relationship that meets both their needs.

Leo/Scorpio – both fixed signs, these two love passionately and deeply, but never forget being hurt or let down. Learning to forgive helps prevent them getting stuck in a stubborn rut. Leo likes to indulge, Scorpio prefers to control their resources and working out spending and lifestyle habits is a must before bliss is possible.

Leo/Pisces – potentially creative, Pisces helps Leo channel their desire for attention into something that serves others. Happiness depends on Leo’s willingness to share the spotlight. Energetically different, Pisces helps Leo go with the flow and relax a little. Leo can be rigid and at times Pisces finds constantly adapting tiring, but at others, Pisces welcomes the stability Leo offers.

Scorpio/Sagittarius – these two primarily operate on different wavelengths. Sagittarius’ desire for movement and change is in stark contrast to the Scorpio need for stability and continuity. They both enjoy adventure, but need to learn to honour each other’s differing needs around how to pursue it.

Sagittarius/Pisces – these two share similar big picture perspectives via their common planetary ruler Jupiter. A love of discovery connects them, even as their preferences create separation – Pisces seeks connection with others through spiritual forms, while Sagittarius seeks a partner to explore the wonders of the natural world.

Fire/Earth

Aries/Taurus – A mismatch of pace between Aries, (fast) and Taurus, (slow), can create tension. Aries can tire Taurus out, though if they allow each other to be themselves, fixed Taurus helps Aries relax and enjoy life, while cardinal Aries can inspire productivity and assertiveness in Taurus. Allowing each other to move at their own pace is a must.

Aries/Virgo – These two share a shadow connection that can help them use the best of their individual skills to plan (Virgo) and act (Aries). For Virgo, Aries impulsiveness may by too unpredictable for them to ever really get comfortable. Virgo’s attention to detail may frustrate Aries who prefers an impulsive approach. They need to avoid nitpicking each other.

Aries/Capricorn – Both cardinal signs, Capricorns love of future planning can be irritating for Aries, who prefers to live in the moment. Dividing responsibilities into short and long term tasks can help. They are equally determined, but have different priorities. Aries impatience can frustrate Capricorn.

Taurus/Leo – Both being of the fixed mode makes each sign a demanding partner, and shows the growth of their relationship can periodically stall if neither is prepared to give in. Leo can help Taurus channel their awareness of the physical world into artistic avenues, if Taurus stops resisting input. A shared love of quality and luxury can break the budget, so learning to enjoy life within limits helps preserve their future together.

Taurus/Sagittarius – A Taurus/Sagittarius link is one of those connections astrologer and author Jessica Shepherd refers to as a ‘rule breaker relationship’ – in theory, fixed Taurus’ need for stability clashes with mutable Sagittarius’ desire for adventure, but sometimes the opposites attract principle helps these two discover a fascination for each other that helps them overcome their differences.

Leo/Virgo – Virgos’ detailed approach can be interpreted as criticism by sensitive Leo. Leo loves positive feedback from others and Virgo offers truth and practicality, which Leo doesn’t always want. Fixed Leo can dig their heels in, leaving Virgo to adjust around them. Virgo needs to learn to stick to their guns with things that really matter.

Leo/Capricorn – Capricorn helps Leo get grounded to achieve, and together they can be a dynamic and powerful duo. Capricorn doesn’t mind working hard, but won’t always want to take a back seat to Leo, who loves the spotlight. Capricorn has a frugal way of living that differs from Leo’s love of the good life.

Virgo/Sagittarius – Sagittarius’ thirst for excitement can leave Virgo feeling left behind or as though their efforts to plan and organise don’t matter. Virgos earthy love of routine and order can bore Sagittarius, (fire), who prefers to try new things and experiment. Both being mutable means they can accommodate each others desires fairly easily.

Sagittarius/Capricorn – these two share a different value system. Capricorn seeks achievement and worldly success, while Sagittarius wants freedom and to enjoy life. As cardinal, Capricorn is focussed, while mutable Sagittarius is spontaneous. Sagittarius shows Capricorn how to lighten up and fly by the seat of their pants. Capricorn can show Sagittarius commitment has it’s upsides.

Earth/Air

Taurus/Libra – they share a connection through their common ruler Venus, and this can be a loving, affectionate partnership, especially when each has their own creative passions to pursue. Taurus is slow and likes to experience things physically while Libra likes to keep moving and stay talking.

Taurus/Aquarius – they make an unusual combination. Aquarius is more social and worldly than Taurus. Accepting each other’s different viewpoints is a must for this to work. As both are stubborn, stand offs can ensure when neither wants to concede.

Gemini/ Taurus –  Mutable Gemini prefers movement and new experiences while fixed Taurus like to revisit the same places – which Gemini can find boring. This match has a sibling like quality to it, and if Taurus is ok with constant company these two can find a path to romantic bliss.

Gemini/ Capricorn – Capricorn’s ambition can seem like hard work for fun loving Gemini, but Gemini offers Capricorn a supportive network outside work. Gemini’s social, flirty nature can be uncomfortable for Capricorn who’s shy with their feelings with friends and lovers. Keeping some topics for each other’s ears only helps build trust.

Gemini/Virgo – These signs connect through shared rulership of their patron planet Mercury, as well as both being mutable, showing that communication is the key to love bliss here. Gemini’s flighty ways can be problematic for Virgo who looks for steadiness and reliability in a partner. A love of details and networking can bring these two into harmony.

Virgo/Libra – Libra’s diplomatic way can be hard for Virgo to understand. Virgo can be blunt and precise, while Libra never wavers from creating harmony. Learning to negotiate challenges/differences of opinions is a must. Virgo’s focus on perfection can be hard for Libra to take. A love of order and beauty can provide common ground.

Virgo/Aquarius – this combination is quite heady, and can be disconnected emotionally. Aquarius’ rigid approach to ideas and communication can be difficult for Virgo, who likes to adapt and make improvements as new information and products become available. A shared love of analysing and gadgets helps them bond.

Capricorn/Libra – both cardinal signs, they are focussed on success but for different reasons. Libra puts relationships first, while Capricorn focuses on professional advancement. Finding time for both can be hard as these type A personalities do not like to concede in their preferred areas.

Capricorn/Aquarius – like most signs that fall side by side in the Zodiac, these two have little in common. Both are sophisticated and share a love of worldly life. Aquarius must understand Capricorn’s hardworking ways; Capricorn needs to learn to focus on creating success for others, not just themselves.

Air/Water

Gemini/Cancer – Water sign Cancer has a moody side that Gemini has trouble understanding. Cancer loves home, Gemini loves to socialise. Hosting friends can be a way to connect. Gemini needs to talk and Cancer has trouble verbalising which can make it hard to understand each other.

Gemini/Scorpio – This is a case of opposites attract as intense, steady Scorpio is many things flighty, curious Gemini isn’t.  Scorpio gives nothing away, while Gemini needs to discuss everything. Agreeing on what to talk about and what not too helps them create relationship bliss. Working together they know more than most couples.

Gemini/Pisces – Pisces is spiritual and Gemini is verbal. Finding a common language is their biggest barrier, but once they do, they’ll enjoy togetherness. Entering each other’s environment shows they care, even if what they find isn’t for them. Both mutable, they can drift through life without a clear direction.

Cancer/Libra – Being ruled by the Moon and Venus respectively means these two, while being deeply affectionate, have trouble being direct about what they want, which can create misunderstandings. Both cardinal, they share a love of progress. They connect through love of family and relationships, and focussing on these areas of life helps them bond.

Cancer/Aquarius – A blend of cardinal water (Cancer) and fixed air (Aquarius) means these signs have no common energy. Cancer is constantly pulled out of their comfort zone and into new settings by quirky Aquarius. Being unpredictable by nature makes Aquarius a partner who makes Cancer feel nervous. Cancers loving ways can see clingy to independent Aquarius. Acceptance of differences is a must for love to grow.

Libra/Scorpio – Scorpio is private and prefers to keep feelings close to their chest, leaving Libra feel left out in the cold. Scorpio loves to be in control and Libra likes to keep others happy. While this sounds workable, it’s rarely sustainable long term. Scorpio must give Libra room to chose for themselves otherwise any dependence that arises can create an imbalance of power.

Libra/Pisces – these two are connected by a shadow link that helps them understand each other unconsciously. Trying to communicate consciously can be challenging as Pisces expresses through creative means, while Libra likes to verbalise. Attempting to avoid hurting each other can mean nothing happens, but when they find the right balance, it’s pure romance.

Scorpio/Aquarius – as two fixed signs, together they take their time, especially with major decisions. Aquarius considers learning and social potential priorities, while Scorpio is interested in persevering and intensifying the status quo. A clash between emotion (Scorpio) and intellectual life (Aquarius) requires effort to balance.

Aquarius/Pisces – their connection to the world around them proves a great connector, but Pisces sensitivity can be hard for detached Aquarius to take. Finding acceptance of how different they both are means this relationship can fill unspoken needs they each have.

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Many of the planets are on the move this May. Venus and Mars both change signs, creating a mid-month mood shift.

On May 15, Venus moves into Taurus and Mars will move into Cancer. Since Taurus and Cancer are cooler than signs than Aries and Gemini, where Venus and Mars have been, this can help you adopt a more considered rather than reactive attitude.

Mercury is moving especially fast and will touch three different Zodiac signs in May. Mercury will wrap up his visit to Aries, fly through Taurus from May 6 – 20 and finally Mercury will move into Gemini on May 21.

This means there will be lots of smaller aspects forming throughout the month.

Astrology is built on the principle ‘As above, so below’, so as the planets get moving, you can expect faster progress in your life.

Rather than going deep and purging, which was a huge theme in April, Mays asks you to focus on moving forward, making decisions and connecting with other people.

Of the many aspects happening each week in May, there are three special aspects that caught my eye.

Venus in Aries sextile Mars in Gemini, May 14
Together Venus and Mars create a playful, lighter quality that encourages having fun. Sparks might fly which can bring spice and progress into a dating or relationship situation, and generally add a little more energy into life. New togetherness, as well as connecting over a shared passion or interest will also be possible. This pairing promises warmth and can help you make a decision about someone or something special. Heartfelt actions and genuine expressions of affection are likely. Confidence and expressiveness blend making it easier for you to open up and ask for what you want.

Full Moon in Scorpio on May 18
This weekend is my pick for the most dramatic weekend in May. The Full Moon in Scorpio may unearth a hidden secret or lead to an emotional revelation. The Full Moon in our most intense and private sign can spotlight deep feelings. I always think the Full Moon in Scorpio is like shining a light into the darkness, which can bring insight about anything that has felt mysterious or murky. Buried hurts from the past may be reworked or even released thanks to the ruler of the Full Moon, Mars, being in Cancer. One way to connect with how the energy of Scorpio in your chart might manifest is to note which house Scorpio rules for you. For me, it’s the 9th house of travel and teaching and I will be travelling to teach a workshop on the day of the Full Moon. Sometimes astrology can be that literal.

Venus in Taurus trine Saturn in Capricorn on May 31
This is my favorite aspect of May. It’s an earthy pairing that combines two strong planets – both Venus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn are in one of their home signs, which gives them vitality, talents and strength. The supportive trine angle suggests helpful collaborations, and events coming together with ease. Sharing the load may be possible, or you may finalize a long-term plan with a loved one. Commitment in relationships of all kinds is blessed, as Saturn in Capricorn will help you come up with a practical plan while Venus in Taurus supports togetherness. Both Venus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn want longevity, so this is a wonderful aspect for making promises that will last.

For more on the astrology of the week and month ahead, join my monthly astrology subscription.

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Virgo 2019 Year Ahead Horoscope

With Mars in two of the most active sectors in your chart, the 1st and 10th houses, you are ready for action and may be impatient for progress. You might be ready for  a new challenge, or want to commit to a creative passion.

Wealth

You may take charge of improving your finances, or find the confidence to discuss a raise, promotion or new perks at work with your boss when Mars tours Libra from October 4 – November 19. You’ll want to feel in control of your money, and you might review your budget, or start a new savings plan. Mars gifts you with courage and drive to put a financial strategy into place. This cycle comes but once every two years, and will be perfect for doing something about any money goals that have been on your mind lately.

You may need to focus on debt or dealing with a financial obligation from the past when Mars squares off with Saturn and Pluto on October 28 and November 5. Set healthy limits with money. It’ll also be a good time to overcome any fears you have about finances. A trusted mentor may provide wise advice, and it’ll be a great time to do deal with a money matter you have been avoiding. You might reclaim your power with money, or create a lasting financial transformation.

A lucky break or a lucrative offer might arrive mid November, when Jupiter and Mars join forces on November 13. You may receive a windfall or consider an opportunity increase your income. If you have your own business, this will be a great time to boost sales, and to launch a new service or product.

Home Life

Exciting growth or large scale progress will be possible in your home life and within family relationships, thanks to the longer trend of Jupiter in Sagittarius, from November 8, 2019 – December 3, 2019. Jupiter brings growth and the desire for expansion so you might want a larger or better home, or you might be ready to share your home with more people – or pets. You might have relatives come stay for an extended visit, decide to expand your family or take in a furry friend. Family looks to be a bigger focus, as Jupiter helps you develop important foundation relationships. Whether that’s your family of origin or the family you create with close confidants, you’ll want to spend more time nesting or getting to know people that really matter to you. On the home front, you might move into a place that really helps you grow, or splurge on a luxury addition to your current home. You might step up from renting to owning, or conversely you might decide to live out a domestic dream by living overseas for a season. With Jupiter on side you have celestial support to make a domestic dream come true, especially on January 22 and November 24, when Venus joins Jupiter in Sagittarius.

Negotiation within a close partnership may be the first step to making your home goals a reality as Jupiter tangles with Neptune in January, June and September. You may need to navigate a difference of opinions or a clash of dreams then. You reality may seem at odds with someone else’s fantasy. If you live with a partner, you might need to explore how the needs of each of you can be addressed in the one home. Partner or not, it’s likely this square pattern, which highlights adjustment, may bring to light some tension within your family dynamics. It’s a square aspect full of potential, and you’ll find your way forward by staying connected on the big picture, and not getting bogged down in the details.

Relationships

Communication will be your secret to success in relationships in 2019, thanks to an extended tour of Mercury through Pisces, from February 10 – April 17, 2019. You’ll reflect on what you say and how you say it, and see how holding back can block connection. You may be especially curious about others. Whether you’re single or attached, this will be a wonderful time to have more open and soulful conversations. Mercury can create connection through shared ideas and dreams, and talking will be the way to enhance affection.

Mercury will spend part of this cycle retrograde, or moving in reverse, from March 4 – 27. Take time to reflect on the past and revisit any major decisions. During Mercury retrograde new information and insight can come to light and you may review or even redo a recent choice. Crossed wires in a partnership – at work or in your personal life – are likely; if a misunderstanding occurs, use it as a chance to go deeper and revisit a recent topic.

Important conversations and encounters may take place when Mercury connects with Neptune, Saturn and Pluto on these dates: February 19, 20 and 24, March 16, 21 and 25 and April 2, 7 and 11. The April dates look favourable, especially for making lasting commitments, deepening an existing connection and finding new points of attraction.

Career and Life Direction

You may be motivated to power forward in your career when Mars visits Gemini and your 10th house of success, fame and honours from March 31 – May 16. This active influence only happens every two years and will bless you with extra courage and drive to take action at work. You may seize the moment and strike out in a new direction, or look for a new challenge in an existing role. Leadership skills may emerge, or you may surprise colleagues and your boss by launching a new project. If you have become bored with your career, this will be a golden time to explore your options.

You may deal with a disappointment at work when Mars gets mixed up with Neptune on April 27. Confirm details and plans so you don’t set unrealistic expectations. Early May can bring growth in a number of areas, which might mean you need to choose between priorities, especially around May 6, when Mars faces off with Jupiter. Good things abound then, but you only have time to say yes to some opportunities. Opt for those experiences that broaden your life as a whole. You may be reminded of a personal life dream. If so, let that dream guide any choices you make at work.

Happiness and Children

Your commitment to enjoying the good life may be top priority, thanks to the longer trend of Saturn in Capricorn. You may be ready to get serious about fun, and might develop a personal talent, or spend more time at galleries, museums and concerts this year.

2019 also brings three eclipses in Capricorn and your 5th house. These eclipse dates – January 6, July 17, and December 26 – may bring turning points and breakthroughs, especially in your love life and regarding children. New insight as to what really brings you joy may arrive during these eclipses, and you may find it easier to let go of baggage from the past. Romance may blossom under the January 6 and December 26 solar eclipses, when new beginnings in your personal life will be possible. The lunar or full moon eclipse on July 17 can bring profound transformation, new depth and honesty in your personal life. Revelations and strong emotions will be likely.

As the planets link to Saturn in your 5th house, you may receive happy news about children, spark new affection in your love life or plan a fun event out to enjoy all you have worked so hard for. Opt to celebrate happiness and good times when possible on this dates: February 20, March 9 and 21, April 7 and 13, October 14 and 20, November 9, 14 and 30 and December 19.

Adventure and Discovery

A new era begins as Uranus enters Taurus on March 6. This energises your 9th house of travel, adventure, learning and purpose, showing the next eight years will bring new adventures, and experiences that help you shift your perspective. You’re ready to connect with a more authentic sense of purpose. You might move around the world more, through travel and overseas or exotic adventures. Or, you might dive into a learning, study, teaching, writing or publishing endeavour where you grow through expanding your mind. You may be drawn to places in the world that are different from where you have wanted to go before; you may want to explore topics that are not the topics you thought you would. Embracing a curious attitude can help you open up to a world that might inspire you, even if it surprises you.

Your beliefs and spiritual perspective may get a necessary shake up. Uranus in Taurus can help you open up and consider alternative concepts or a faith that is beyond anything you have experienced before. As you open to the fullness of all that is, you can begin to see possibilities that you never thought were available to you. December 2019, when Jupiter works with Uranus, can bring an unexpected but welcome opportunity that can propel you out into the world in new and exciting ways. Dare yourself to step outside your comfort zone on March 28, May 9, 19 and 23, June 8 and 28, August 26 and 28 and November 28. You might plan a last minute trip or splurge on a learning experience.

Friends, Networks and Groups

Fresh energy around friendships is likely with Mars in Cancer and your 11th house from May 16 – July 2, and near the solar eclipse in Cancer on July 3. If you have outgrown one social network, take action to mingle and meet new people during these periods. With Mars onside you have added confidence to help you break the ice with someone new, in real life or online, especially near May 23 when Mars and Uranus work together. You might take charge with friends, and organise a group event, or get involved with a charity or volunteer project close to your heart. Your desire to make a difference for others can make a big impact. Your compassion for others may peak around June 15, when Mars and Neptune connect. You might spoil a friend who has been struggling, or look to support your partner in their own growth. Your desire to help, heal and serve may help you connect with likeminded individuals in June, and an opportunity to join an organisation that serves the goals you’re passionate about will be worth exploring.

Powerful transitions in your social circles are likely under the total solar eclipse in Cancer on July 3. You will be ready to grow and will want your friends to move forward with you. Some will be ready and some won’t be. Letting others choose the pace that’s right for them will be important. You might nurture a friend who needs extra TLC, or plan a weekend away to celebrate a friend you’ve known for years.

Personal Growth and Self Development

You may want to put a personal project first, or make extra time for self-development, when energetic Mars visits Virgo for the first time in two years, from August 18 – October 4. Mars brings action, confidence and the desire to put a plan into action. You might get better at saying no when that’s what you really mean, or reconnect with a fitness or wellbeing plan. With Mars on side it’s ok to be a little selfish, especially if you have been neglecting your own needs.

A last minute opportunity to travel, study, teach or connect with a mentor will be worth exploring when Mars and Uranus work together on August 28. A spur of the moment decision can lead to new inspiration, and help you connect with a more uplifting perspective. Stability in your personal life may give you confidence, or remind you of the fun side of life, when Mars links to Saturn and then Pluto on September 9 and 20. Commitments to a loved one may make you genuinely feel good.

Time Out and Spirituality

Try to arrange time alone, or away from your regular routines and responsibilities, near the lunar eclipse on January 21 and during July and the first half of August. With an eclipse (January 21), Mercury retrograde (July 6 – 31) and Mars (July 2 – August 18) stirring Leo and your 12th house of rest and retreat you’ll want to step back from daily life to reflect on past events. Reflect on the last two years, and make peace with any unfinished business. It’ll also be an ideal time in which to set intentions and goals for your next two year action cycle, which begins when Mars moves into Virgo on August 18. A retreat or quiet getaway would be ideal, and you may opt for a slower schedule during these times. If you do have a project to power through, working alone or in private can help improve productivity, especially with Mars in Virgo in July and the first half of August. You might question your commitments or your spirituality during the Mercury retrograde in July. If so, explore alternatives and look for extra information to help you better understand what you believe and why it’s important to you.

Birthdays and Planets

If your birthdate is listed below – not all will be – you have a special planet influencing you in 2019. Here’s what’s ahead and how to harness the planet power for your own growth.

If you are born September 10 – 22 lucky Jupiter in Sagittarius will square your Sun. Growth, expansion and opportunities are within reach. A little effort will take you a long way, so take action to manifest your big picture life dreams, especially about your home and family.

If you are born September 7 – 11 soulful Neptune in Pisces will oppose your Sun. Your personal journey this year centres on letting go and surrendering. Life may feel insubstantial as the dream-like qualities of Neptune override rational clarity. Take time out from professional and family plans to explore your spiritual and creative side.

If you are born September 13 – 16 intense Pluto in Capricorn will trine your Sun. It’s time to turn your attention inwards and explore the depths of your being. A purge and purify process helps you release the past and create space, physically and energetically, for the future. Power and control themes may feature, but you’ll mange them easily as you start to express your most empowered self. Harnessing your own creative power is essential to your personal evolution this year.

This 2019 horoscope column was published in the 2019 WellBeing Astrology Guide

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Taurus 2019 Year Ahead Horoscope

Life might be full of welcome surprises, thanks to Uranus in Taurus. This longer eight year trend begins on March 6. You may crave extra freedom, or want to live life on your terms. An intensive personal growth and self development cycle begins so take time to reconnect with your hobbies, interests and personal priorities. You might get back on track with a fitness program, or schedule time for a fun activity just because you can. Life may be exciting, especially in December 2019 when Jupiter in Capricorn works with Uranus in Taurus.

Wealth

Your partner (if you have one) may experience a financial boost this year, thanks to lucky Jupiter in Sagittarius. A partnership, at work or in your personal life, may lead to a lucrative undertaking, or you may find out that an asset you own has grown in value. Abundance is a yearlong theme as Jupiter tours Sagittarius, which lasts until December 3, 2019. You might make a larger investment; resolve a tax matter or top up your portfolio for retirement. The once in 12 years cycle of Jupiter in Sagittarius is a great time to improve your overall financial position, and it may be easier to get a loan or refresh your budget.

Some caution with finances is advised too, as Jupiter will square Neptune in January, June and September 2019. In these months you might feel like money is vanishing, or slipping away. That’s the confusing energy of Neptune showing up, and while this can generally help reduce fear around money, especially if you tend to be really frugal, it’s mostly an aspect that suggests caution. Delay any major money decisions in these months as it’ll be easier to understand a situation clearly – and make wise choices – when Neptune isn’t around.

Personal cash flow and income are highlighted by Mars in Gemini from March 31 – May 16. You might be proactive about budgeting, or take the lead to discuss a raise or bonus with your boss. Mars gifts you with courage and confidence to help you take action about a money goal. If you have your own business, this can be a great time to increase your prices or run a special promotional offer. Take care you don’t over spend or misread the fine print when Mars gets tangled up with Neptune on April 27; it’s possible that a great deal may not be as good as you first thought then.

Home Life

Dreams about your home life and family situation may capture your heart under the last of the Leo eclipses, which is a Full Moon eclipse on January 21. In late January you might reflect on just how much has changed in your domestic life in the past two years; how you’ve grown, how your home has become more luxurious or comfortable and how you’ve started to share your life with people who have become your family. This eclipse might bring the ending of one chapter and the start of a new cycle.

Later in the year, you might make a decision about a move, renovation or major decorating project as Mars tours Leo from July 2 – August 18. Mars in Leo can motivate you to take action to make those necessary changes and improvements to your living situation or home so that it better fits your needs. Since your domestic sector is ruled by high quality Leo, it’ll be worth ensuring you plan for improvements or added luxury, like opting for the best you can afford, especially if you’re replacing furniture. July 25 looks especially positive, as Mars and Jupiter work together then. You might hear happy news about your home, or find out a family member has reason to celebrate.

Be patient with any delays from July 7 – 19 as Mercury will retrograde, or move backwards, through Leo and your domestic sector. A misunderstanding may lead to a little extra work around the house, or you might want to redo something you recently did. Going back over old territory, even if that means revisiting a recent conversation, can help you get deeper into what you really need.

Relationships

Communication will be your secret to successful relationships in 2019, thanks to an extended tour of Mercury through Scorpio and your 7th house of partnerships. Mercury tours Scorpio from October 3 – December 9 which is an unusually long visit. You’ll get the chance to think more deeply on what you want from a partner, and practice the best ways to express this. October 31 looks especially romantic, as Mercury and Venus join together in Scorpio. In turn, this can help you find new closeness and connection with someone special.

Mercury will take a backwards spin, or retrograde, through your relationship sector from October 30 – November 19, encouraging reflection. It’ll pay to double check details, especially about important events or dates then to make sure you and a significant other are on the same page. Crossed wires might lead to a delay; if so, second chances can arrive in late November or early December for any missed dating or relationship opportunities from then.

You also have spicy Mars in Scorpio from November 19, 2019 – January 3, 2020 to add heat and passion into your closest relationships. If you want something from someone special, ask for it, as action and initiative can lead to progress and new satisfaction in relationships during this cycle. An unexpected surprise may help you think differently about a relationship or significant other on November 25, which may also bring an out of the blue connection if you are looking to meet someone new. Romance may sweep you off your feet on December 13 when Mars and Neptune join forces. Commitments and stability in a close partnership, at work or in your personal life, are possible when Saturn lends support to Mars on December 19. New depth, honesty and intimacy can be created around December 23 when Mars and Pluto work together.

Career and Life Direction

If you hope to attract attention in your career, or want to look for a new role, time your efforts to tap into the power of the Sun in Aquarius from January 20 – February 19 and the Full Moon in Aquarius on August 15. You can more easily be seen under these influences, making it easier to promote your talents and set yourself up for success. Positive press or a rave review may also arrive, especially if you’re proud of your work.

If you hope to update your brand and professional image, capitalise on the magnetic qualities of Venus in Aquarius from March 2 – 27. This is a wonderful influence to update your business cards, brand or logo, or refresh your work wardrobe. You can make a sweet and memorable impact in your career. Networking and building professional partnerships is also a great way to channel the supportive energies of Venus. March 21, when Venus joins forces with Jupiter, may bring a lucky breakthrough in your career, or help you connect with a mentor or well-connected industry insider.

Happiness and Children

Expect happy times and relaxing experiences from August 18 – October 4 when Mars, the Sun, Mercury and Venus all tour Virgo and your 5th house of fun and pleasure. A number of aspects and opportunities arrive then, especially August 26 – September 9. Romance and new togetherness in love will be possible, and welcome developments around children are likely.

Unexpected but welcome news may arrive on August 26, 28 and September 1, when these Virgo planets all touch exciting Uranus. You may remember a talent you had, or discover a new hobby or interest. Life might be moving faster than you like but when it’s for happy developments you might find it easier to go with the flow.

Commitments that provide welcome stability and security are possible September 1, 5 and 9, as Saturn works with Venus, Mercury and Mars. You might finalise plans for an adventure or holiday, or sign up for a course or general interest study program.

Taking time to play and live life to the full may bring a positive transformation or welcome shift in thinking when Pluto gets involved on September 7, 9 and 20. Choices you make then, especially about feeling good, time with children or a developing special romance, can help you clarify your future direction and true priorities.

Let go of old dreams, or wishes you’ve outgrown, when Neptune is triggered on September 4, 7 and 14. Don’t let past disappointments keep you from experiencing the joy that’s available to you right now.

Enjoying the good life might cost more than you expected on September 3, 6 and 12, but extra costs may be more than worth it, especially if they create the right space for togetherness, relaxation and bonding with loved ones.

Adventure and Discovery

Life is increasingly about adventure this year thanks to a total of three eclipses in Capricorn and your 9th house. In addition, Saturn and Pluto also emphasise this space, helping sound the call to stretch beyond your boundaries; inspiring you to move further into the world and to perhaps learn or see things that will change your perspective and potentially your life.

Eclipse dates for your travel and learning diaries include January 6, July 17 and December 26. The week before and after each of these dates can bring a shift in thinking that helps you reach for a special or once in a lifetime experience. You may be restless with routines and crave the stimulation a change of scenery brings. This sector is about travel of kinds, and it’s also about learning, studying, teaching, writing and publishing. Goals along the more academic side of life are also pushed forward for your attention this year.

You might dive into a brand new adventure – either booking tickets for a trip or getting involved in a training program – when Saturn and Neptune work together in February, June and November. You may be less resistant to change or new experiences, which will help you open up to a totally different way of living.

If you’re hoping to plan a weekend away or short break, with friends or a romance partner, consider these dates, when Venus works with Saturn and Pluto: February 18 and 23 and December 11 and 14.

Friends, Networks and Groups

Your curiosity about others can help you deepen close friendships, or make new ones, as chatty Mercury takes and extended tour of your social sector from February 10 – April 17. Your desire to support a friend in need, or get to know what really makes the people around you tick, can make you a wonderful confidant during this time.

Details about social plans may be hazy when Mercury joins with Neptune on February 19, March 25 and April 2, so if making plans then double check details to avoid a mix up. You might need to clarify the facts about any news you hear then as details may get lost in translation. On the other hand, these dates will be lovely times for a long lunch, a relaxing weekend escape or quality time with your closest friends.

Late March may bring new friends or a new network (social or professional) into your life as Venus in Pisces works with Uranus. An online community might also be worth connecting with.

Keeping promises or showing up when you say you will maybe important in mid April, as commitment with friends will be highlighted. You might also be invited to join a prestigious professional organisation.

Personal Growth and Self Development

Celebrate your successes and set new challenges for yourself when Mars returns to Taurus after a two year absence. You might be fired up or full of energy from February 14 – March 31, which will be a wonderful time to take on a new fitness challenge or carve out time to pursue a passion project. Personal priorities get to come first when Mars tours Taurus, so don’t hesitate to be a little selfish then.

Friends or a fun event out may be top priority as Mars and Neptune join forces on March 11. A group outing will be worth attending, or you might be ready to mingle and meet new people, either in person or online.

A trip you want to take just for yourself may become a reality mid – late March as Mars, Saturn and Pluto combine energies then. You might want time to pursue your own adventure, or reconnect with a study or writing dream.

You’ll also be adjusting to the new influences of Uranus in Taurus, which will help you radically reshape your life, your body and your identity in the coming eight years. As Uranus is activated by the other planets in 2019 you’ll want to get curious about what you’re interested in now and let go of dated habits and hobbies that you’ve outgrown. Be open to anything new, different or innovative on March 13, April 23 and May 9 and 19.

Time Out and Spirituality

Plan a quieter schedule with more down time when Mars tours Aries at the start of the year. Even though the calendar has ticked over to January 1, it’s the same day Mars moves into the hidden 12th house in your solar chart and you might instead be busy working behind the scenes, or realise you need a break after a hectic end to the year. The first six weeks of 2019, until February 14, highlight rest and the chance to recharge. You might be less involved in social and family matters, or want to escape your regular routines for a restful holiday somewhere quiet. By mid-February you’ll be ready to leap into a new two year cycle as Mars will enter Taurus on February 14; until then though take every opportunity to lay low, catch up on sleep and move at a slower pace.

Your spiritual interests may be triggered on January 21 and 26. If so, consider a thorny question about life, the world, your place in it and what it all really means. You may benefit from a chance to step back and reflect, or even question what you believe. A spiritual experience or strong intuition during the end of January may help you trust in forces that are larger than what you know with the five senses.

Birthdays and Planets

If your birthdate is listed below – not all will be – you have a special planet influencing you in 2019. Here’s what’s ahead and how to harness the planet power for your own growth.

If you are born April 20 – 27 unconventional Uranus passes over your Sun. Freedom, rebellion and independence become strong motivating factors. You’ll realise where you need to break away to breakthrough. Like breaking out of jail, your spirit seeks release. You’re drawn to unusual experiences as you seek an increasingly authentic way of life. Let your inner rebel out.

If you are born May 4 – 8 soulful Neptune in Pisces will sextile your Sun. This aspect nudges your consciousness, making you curious about all things spiritual and creative. Exploring your softer side is hard to ignore as music and the esoteric grab your interest. You may need to let go or surrender old parts of your personality or life to allow you to fully experience your imaginative and artistic qualities.

If you are born May 11 – 14 transformative Pluto trines your Sun. 2019 is ripe with opportunities for you to transform from the caterpillar to the butterfly, via a cocoon like experience.  You’ll willingly enter into a period of simplicity as you seek to transform bad habits into great ones. Harnessing your own creative power will be essential to your personal evolution this year.

This 2019 horoscope column was published in the 2019 WellBeing Astrology Guide

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Scorpio 2019 Year Ahead Horoscope

Communication and self-development are highlighted in 2019, and you may make your own growth and evolution an important priority.

Wealth

This may be a golden year to improve your income as you have abundant Jupiter in Sagittarius activating your 2nd house of cash flow and income. This rare cycle is active from November 8, 2018 – December 3, 2019 and may bring more than one opportunity for a raise or promotion. You might improve conditions at work, or discover the confidence and self-belief to grow a side business into something profitable. One secret to wealth is knowing you have value: believing you’re a capable person who has a lot to offer. No matter what your talents or skills are, Jupiter in Sagittarius can help you develop your abilities, and connect with a deep sense of self-worth.

Your beliefs and dreams about money may be in question when Jupiter and Neptune square off in January, June and September. January may bring a disappointment, or the realisation that a financial dream you were holding onto may have been more fantasy than reality. It’ll be important to stay grounded and keep focussed on practicalities with money in these months. Extra costs relating to children, or just wanting to have fun and enjoy life, are likely. Rather than a rigid, overly structured approach, you might want to be flexible, especially about timelines. This year you may be able to overcome some of your fears around money, and by September, you can have a new and improved outlook. You might even feel optimistic about your financial position. If you have any uncertainty about a contract or agreement, take the time to clarify the details or review the fine print to make sure that things are exactly what you expected.

On another note, Jupiter in Sagittarius can bring a larger than usual bonus or other windfall. Lovely dates where you have supportive energy around money include January 22 and 26, March 21, July 25, September 25 and 29 and November 13 and 24.

Home Life

You might redecorate, or look to host family and friends in your freshly updated home when Venus visits Aquarius from March 2 – 27 and in the last 11 days of December 2019. You might splurge on soft furnishings, paint or art work, or update your garden and outdoor space with fresh flowers. Touches of beauty and comfort are lovely to add to your home when Venus visits your domestic sector. These periods will also be wonderful for spending quality time with family, especially March 21, when Venus and Jupiter work together. New togetherness or connection with a relative may be possible then.

Relationships

You might explore a fresh approach to dating, love and relationships in general once Uranus settles into Taurus on March 6.This rare, longer trend, which lasts for eight years, can shake up the way you relate to others, and help you create a partnership that feels more authentic and genuine. Depth with others is always a priority for you, and you may find new ways to create intimacy, trust and connection. Uranus encourages freedom and independence, so you may be less interested in spending time with people who don’t understand you, or find you’re ready to end a partnership – at work or in your personal life – that has become stale. It might seem strange, but a long term relationship may be refreshed as you spend extra time on your own, or doings separately from your partner. Space helps you grow so don’t be shy about asking for time to yourself when you need it. In December 2019 Jupiter enters Capricorn and works with Uranus. Your ability to express your thoughts and feelings may grow, which can pave the way for a deeper sense of connection, trust or love with a significant other. December 2019 will be a wonderful month to meet someone new, or plan for the future with your partner.

In 2019 you also have energetic Mars in Taurus, from February 14 – March 31 to provide energy, drive and confidence in relationships. You might be more outspoken with others, or find the courage to take the lead in a dating or relationship situation. March 11 looks especially romantic, as Mars and Neptune work together. You might overcome a fear that has been holding you back, or connect with someone special through music, poetry or around water. When Mars works with Saturn and Pluto from March 14 – 20 you might make a commitment that lasts, or finalise a major plan for the future with a significant other.

A romantic holiday may be on the cars when Mars and Uranus connect near May 23. Or, if single, you might meet someone while travelling, or connect with someone from a foreign country. Venus works with Uranus on August 26 and November 28 which can bring unexpected but welcome romance. You might spontaneously show your affection. Love may take you by surprise but it will be exciting.

Career and Life Direction

Your professional achievements may be in the spotlight under the lunar eclipse in Leo on January 21. This dramatic event influences your 10th house of career, fame and honours, and you may consider a wild but totally right for you career change. Your gut instinct about the right path forward will be worth listening to, so follow your feelings. You may be considered for a promotion or prestigious project. If so, take a moment to decide whether it’s the right opportunity at the right time. It’s ok to say no if it’s not the right fit for you.

You also have dynamic Mars in Leo from July 2 – August 18 to help you power forward at work, or make an overdue decision about your life direction. Mars loves action and since he only visits your professional sector once every two years, this is a golden time to put a professional plan into motion, and get moving on a major life dream. Whether it’s to do with your career, or just the way you live life in general, make sure your priorities – rather than the expectations of others – guide you forward. Golden angles, between Mars and Jupiter, on January 26 and July 25, and between the Sun and Jupiter on April 14 and August 7, may bring a lucrative offer, irresistible invitation or the chance to work on your dream project.

Some delays or indecision may occur at work when communication planet Mercury retrogrades, or moves backwards, in Leo from July 6 – 19. This small annoyance highlights the need to double check documents and review terms and conditions before finalising an agreement. Any misunderstandings or delay then can be resolved in the second half of August, when second chances and new clarity for the future will be possible.

Happiness and Children

You might be in two minds about a matter relating to a child, or uncertain about your own interests, when Mercury moves backwards through Pisces from March 4 – 27. If so, delay any major choices. Instead sit with your feelings and gather more information.  As Mercury gets back on track in April, you gain insight into what really brings you joy. Second chances for an event that was missed or postponed in March may arrive in April.

You may want to spend time doing things you love, or crave quality time with loved ones, including children, when Venus joins Neptune in Pisces from March 27 – April 21. Plan a special night out, book tickets to a live music event or take the chance to develop a creative interest, as inspiration runs high. Your compassion towards someone who is suffering may know no limits when Venus and Neptune connect on April 10. You may also give a child a second chance, or hear news about a loved one that makes you proud. Romance is highlighted mid April. You might meet someone inspiring or plan a romantic date night.

Adventure and Discovery

Eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn activate your learning, discovery and travel axis on January 6, July 3 and 17 and December 26. You may be propelled outside your comfort zone for all the right reasons, or find you can’t refuse an international opportunity. You may plan a dream trip, whether that’s overseas, interstate or a few hours up the highway. Changing your scenery can radically shift your perspective. Take a gamble and chase a dream, especially near the July 3 eclipse. You may be more comfortable stepping outside your comfort zone than you expect, and doing so can help light up your life in a variety of inspirational ways. You might also hear welcome progress about a teaching, writing, study or research project, or finally sign up for that big life experience.

Mars in Cancer enhances your adventurous side, from May 16 – July 2. Accept a new challenge or take on a new side project as you’ll be ready to show the world what you’re really capable of. This will also be a wonderful time for an outdoor getaway, like a trekking trip, or to step into a leadership role in a training setting.

Friends, Networks and Groups

With Saturn in Capricorn you’re called to develop greater clarity with communication, and may crave more stability in your friendships. As you take steps to speak up more, you may notice your role in a group or organisation shifts. Others respect your wisdom and maturity, so don’t be shy about sharing your experiences.

Your 11th house of friends, groups and networks is most active from August 18 – October 4. You may make a splash in a group setting, or be elevated to the role or leader or organiser. Quality time with your friends will be especially important, as you look for opportunities to create a regular ritual around catching up with people on your wavelength. Special dates when new friendships can be made, and existing friendships can strengthen include: August 26 and 28, September 1, 7, 9 and 20. If you feel a friend or associate has been taking advantage of you, limit your generosity, especially on September 3 and 12.

Personal Growth and Self Development

Thinking planet Mercury spends an extra-long time in Scorpio, from October 3 – December 9, 2019. You may want more time to reflect, think and ponder, as deep questions about who you are and what you stand for may arise. This is an intensely personal process, where you may pull back and go within to explore your inner landscape. Self-discovery work of all kinds – healing treatments, creative processes and time away from your usual relationships and routines – can have a profound impact. Feed your intense curiosity with books, information, podcasts or a training program. You may be interested in psychology, human behaviour and motivation. You want to know what makes you tick and are ready to ask yourself some probing questions to find out.

Mercury will spend part of this period retrograde, or moving backwards, further highlighting the need to go back over old territory. You might revisit an issue you thought was already dealt with, or uncover new information that prompts a change of heart. Mercury moves in reverse through Scorpio from October 30 – November 19, 2019.

You’ll be clear headed and fired up to move forward in late November 2019 as Mars enters Scorpio right when the Mercury retrograde ends. Mars’ tour through Scorpio, from November 19, 2019 –January 3, 2020, can boost physical energy and vitality, and help you take action about a pet project. You may be fired up about what you want, or discover the courage to push ahead with a personal dream. You’re allowed to be a little selfish – with awareness – so put what you want ahead of the needs of others. A creative, musical or spiritual project may unfold when Mars and Neptune work together on December 13. You might take on a writing, teaching or study commitment from December 19 – 23, as Mars joins forces with Saturn and Pluto. You might also be able to overcome an old insecurity or fear around not being good enough then.

Time Out and Spirituality

Energy levels might be low, or you may be focussed on an all-consuming project, when Mars visits Libra and your 12th house of rest and retreat from October 4 – November 19. If you do have a project or pressing deadline, you’ll be most productive when working alone or in a secluded setting. You may be less interested in social, professional and family plans, and instead may crave solitude or a break from your regular routines and responsibilities. This will be an ideal period in which to rest, go on retreat or take a relaxing holiday. You may be more thoughtful, or find yourself questioning things you had previously believed to be true.

A spiritual interest may blossom, or you may search for meaning away from the real world. Time spent developing your intuition, or connecting with a spiritual mentor or teacher can help calm your mind and make it easier to trust your own thoughts and choices. November 13 may bring welcome progress or a breakthrough in your spiritual evolution, as you find confidence to trust your intuition. You might struggle to explain your interests and priorities when Mars squares off to Saturn and Pluto from October 28 – November 5. Someone else doesn’t have to agree with your preferences, but taking the time to explain your point of view will be worth it in the long run.

Birthdays and Planets

If your birthdate is listed below – not all will be – you have a special planet influencing you in 2019. Here’s what’s ahead and how to harness the planet power for your own growth.

If you are born November 4 – 14 mature Saturn in Capricorn will sextile your Sun. Saturn brings responsibility, a new appreciation for time and new understandings about the importance of boundaries. You are called to draw those proverbial lines in the sand, making it clear to those around you, especially friends and associates, what you can and can’t do.

If you are born November 7 – 11 soulful Neptune trines your Sun. This aspect arouses your curiosity about all things spiritual and creative. Exploring your softer side is hard to ignore as music and the esoteric grab your interest. You may need to let go or surrender old parts of your personality or life to allow you to fully experience your emerging imaginative and artistic qualities. Get creative, show your feelings and spend time with any children in your life.

If you are born November 13 – 16 intense Pluto will sextile your Sun. This transit of transformation highlights 2019 as a year of mostly positive or profound change. Life’s situations encourage you to draw on your plentiful strength, and to initiate those transformations for which you know you’re ready. You are more powerful than you realise, and by year’s end will have seen the results your focused determination can bring. Purify yourself of past attachments – your future awaits.

This 2019 horoscope column was published in the 2019 WellBeing Astrology Guide

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Sagittarius 2019 Year Ahead Horoscope

You may have a golden year, or feel divinely supported in your pursuit of a special dream, thanks to the sparkling cycle of Jupiter through Sagittarius, which happens just once every 12 years. You may be blessed with an exciting opportunity or enjoy extra time with loved ones. Make developing your talents and skills top priority.

Wealth

Four eclipses activate your financial axis, on January 6, July 3 and 17 and December 26, providing celestial support for transformation with money, income and investments.

Eclipses in Capricorn, on January 6, July 17 and December 26, can help you overcome an old fear or pattern with money. You might be ready to drop one source of income, like a job or investment, so that you can refocus on an undertaking that is more aligned with your beliefs. These eclipses connect with the south node, which can shift your perspective and goals away from purely financial outcomes. You might instead want to balance money priorities with having the time to live your life well. What you truly value may be in question; if so, take the time to explore what’s really important. These eclipse dates can also be great for paying off debt, or de-cluttering your space of stuff you have outgrown or no longer need.

The eclipse in Cancer, on July 3, highlights investments and long term savings, like for retirement, along with how you handle money with a partner, like at work or in your personal life. You might discuss a new way to manage a shared financial obligation, or realise you want to fast track your savings. Debt of all kinds is also highlighted and you may reassess the kind of debt you want to carry, or identify a loan you can pay off.

You also have the longer trend of Saturn in Capricorn (2018 – 2020) to guide you in making conservative or manageable choices with money. You might scale back a large expense to make it more realistic, or delay a big outlay until you have more in savings. Saturn in Capricorn highlights the value of preparation and protection where money is concerned, so you might update your insurance, top up your savings or ‘rainy day’ account, or take longer to plan for big costs. Support from Mars on March 14 – 20 and September 9 – 12 can bring new stability and clarity around limits and priorities with money. Avoid making a rash decision on January 21, February 2, June 15 – 20, October 28 and November 5. Playing it safe with your cash then will pay off in the long term.

Home Life

You might feel you have outgrown your current living situation, or dream about trading in the life you have for something slower paced or more meaningful. A dynamic angle of inspiration, between Jupiter and Neptune, stirs your soul in January, June and September. You may become aware of the ways in which your current domestic situation nourishes you, and get clear on the way your home life, or a family relationship, drains you. A change in your financial position or plan in February, June or November, may mean opportunities you can’t yet imagine about your home will become available. In those months you might find a sustainable solution to a decorating, storage or other conundrum at home.

If you feel confused about a domestic matter, or puzzled by the behaviour of someone in your family from March 4 – 27, take time before your respond. Mercury will be retrograde, or moving backwards, in your domestic sector and some delays or crossed wires are likely. Dig for more information and give yourself time to explore your feelings before you make a choice.

Compassion towards family is an ongoing theme thanks to the longer trend of Neptune in Pisces. This will be especially highlighted when Venus visits Pisces from March 27 – April 21. You might find new togetherness with a family member, host a fun meal for friends or extended relatives, or spruce up your home with new art, paint or décor. Refreshing your space under the touch of Venus can help create a feeling of calm and serenity.

Relationships

Energetic Mars helps spice up your love life from March 31 – May 16 as he tours Gemini and your 7th house of relationships. You might take the lead in love, or with dating. Being direct can help create clarity about what you want – and help you get it. May 1 and May 14 look fun and flirty, as Mercury and Venus link to Mars. Togetherness will be possible, or you may discover affection with someone new. You might miss an opportunity for romance, or deal with a difference of opinions, on April 27 or May 6, when Mars makes two tricky aspects. Negotiation and discussion can help you move forward, even if you find yourself on opposite sides of an issue with a significant other. A disappointment may occur due to a misunderstanding. If so, take time in the days following to clarify events and the feelings of all involved.

The Sun and Venus visit Gemini from May 21 and July 4, bringing sweetness. You may be more charming than usual, or find others are drawn to you. This will also be a lovely time in which to spoil your partner, or express your thanks to people you work closely with in business.

Career and Life Direction

Your regular schedule may be turned upside or go through an upheaval once Uranus settles into Taurus on March 6. As Uranus tours Taurus it activates your 6th house, which is one of the support sectors for work. Your schedule may be more flexible or changeable, or you might go through a period where you work in a contract, freelance or part time way, rather than in a regular or structured role. Uranus can trigger dreams about freedom at work, or help you take steps to become location independent. If you have lots of responsibility in your job, or find the hours and obligations restrictive, you might start your own business, or choose to work part time, freelance or on a contract. In December 2019, when Jupiter enters Capricorn and works with Uranus in Taurus, you may put an innovative or cutting edge work plan into motion.

Helping you push forward with a new initiative in your career this year is Mars, who will visit Virgo and your 10th house of career, fame and success from August 18 – October 4. This once in two year cycle can give you the courage to take on a leadership role, or strike out in a new direction. Independence at work may be highlighted, especially when Mars and Uranus work together on August 28 and you may take action to move forward in your career. The Sun joins Mars in Virgo from August 23 – September 23, and you may be singled out for an award or public acknowledgement of your success. This will be a golden time to rebrand, or refresh your work wardrobe, business cards and online profiles. If you have your own business, you may launch a new project.

Happiness and Children

You may start 2019 with a bang and decide to really enjoy yourself, thanks to Mars in Aries from January 1 – February 14. With Mars in Aries and activating your 5th house of play, creativity, joy and children you may let your inner child out, or find it easier to prioritise having a good time. You may organise a fun event for your friends or family, or spend more time with the children in your life. Happy news about a child may arrive when Mars works with Jupiter on January 26, which is also a golden date for romance and developing a creative talent.

With Mars in such a playful sector at the start of the year, you’re almost invited to extend your end of year break and make more time for fun and relaxation. Mars in Aries can gift you with the courage you need to try out a new hobby or craft skill. Spoil yourself with tickets to a show, gallery or exhibition – enjoying the creative output of others can be inspirational. It doesn’t matter whether you’re good at art or being creative, it’s just uplifting for you to spend time in the act of creation now.

Adventure and Discovery

You might crave excitement, or want life to include more adventures, during the Leo Lunar eclipse on January 21, and while Mars tours Leo from July 2 – August 18. The second half of January may remind you of a big life dream you had forgotten. Your gypsy spirit may be aroused and you might plan your next adventure, or commit to a study, teaching or writing opportunity. An invitation to study, teach or work overseas may be hard to refuse.

Your desire for action and need for discovery in July and the first half of August may encourage you to be adventurous in all areas of life. With Mars on side in Leo, you may plan a day trip or two, or organise a weekend away. You may be restless with routines; if so, change your commute to work or check out a new bar, café or restaurant for a regular get together. A change of scenery can help open your mind to how interesting life can be. You may feel like you are on a search for meaning. If so, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone to create the best setting for growth. Dare yourself to take on a new challenge, just for the experience, especially near July 25, when Mars and Jupiter work together providing you with an extra shot of courage. You’ll be able to blast past limits then.

Friends, Networks and Groups

You might be especially social, or have more events and special experiences when a series of planets tour Libra and your social sector from September 14 – November 19. Your desire to mingle and meet new people may be strong. If so, start a conversation with someone new, in person or online. September 25, 29 and November 13 look especially bubbly, and you might seem more popular, or find you have more invitations and offers than you can say yes too. Quality time with your closest friends will be important, and you might be invited to participate in a professional or community project. You have a little extra luck onside in general, and if you hope to make a difference about a cause close to your heart, this period may be when your efforts can have the maximum impact. Tension with a friend, or around exactly how much you’re giving to others, might peak when Mars, Saturn and Pluto square off on October 28 and November 5. You might need to be clear about your limits and boundaries, or have a necessary but hard conversation. If so, clearing the air will create new stability moving forward.

Personal Growth and Self Development

You may be ready to blossom, and become a more authentic, true version of yourself. You have golden Jupiter in Sagittarius from November 8, 2018 – December 3, 2019 to help you grow and develop. Personal priorities may come first, or you may take more time for yourself. This might mean starting or changing your fitness or wellness program, finally going for that study goal or giving yourself space to develop a creative, artsy or craft outlet. You get to choose what matters most, and you may find you get more support from others than you expect. You’re ready to flourish and your adventurous spirit can lead you into many new experiences. The joy of being alive may mean more to you than material or professional achievements. If so, pull back in other areas of life so you can put a major life dream first. You may need to negotiate time away from family or reducing your responsibilities at home, but since Jupiter only visits Sagittarius once every twelve years, it’ll be worth doing so.

You may be ready to let go of old dreams you’ve outgrown, especially in January, June and September, when Jupiter and Neptune square off. You may achieve a goal only to realise the reality wasn’t quite what you expected. If so, set your sights on a new project. Personal growth is your number one priority this year and a variety of different settings and experiences can help support your evolution, which may seem fast paced in 2019.

Time Out and Spirituality

You may crave a slower schedule, or dream of heading off on sabbatical, when Mars tours Scorpio and your 12th house of rest and retreat from November 19, 2019 – January 3, 2020. You might be less interested in work or family goals, and find you want a break from the responsibilities of being a grown up. You don’t have to become unreliable, but scaling back your obligations would be ideal. That way, you’ll have more time and energy to just be. This may not be your busiest time, but you may find surprising insights emerge as you slow down and step back. Your intuition may flourish, and you may question your beliefs. This will be especially likely during Mercury’s extended tour of Scorpio and your hidden sector, from October 3 – December 9. Your understanding of life, the world and your place in it is shifting. You may face an old fear or challenge the things you worry about. Release the old so you can reclaim energy for new beginnings.

Birthdays and Planets

If your birthdate is listed below – not all will be – you have a special planet influencing you in 2019. Here’s what’s ahead and how to harness the planet power for your own growth.

If you are born December 3 – 22 lucky Jupiter will pass over your Sun. Jupiter helps you stretch beyond your comfort zone and try new things. Travel and study are Jupiter’s realms, so take advantage of any and all opportunities to expand, and to explore new life experiences. This can be an especially lucky year for you, when even the smallest of efforts can lead to big results. Personal growth and self-development may be top priority.

If you are born December 7 – 11, dreamy Neptune in Pisces squares your Sun. Neptune offers inspiration and the ability to connect with your spiritual and creative side. First he asks that you make sacrifices and let go of anything which doesn’t support your emerging intuitive side. The balance between reality and fantasy can seem skewed, as the lines between what is and what you imagine blur. Seek answers within rather than from external sources.

If you are born December 21 – 22, innovative Uranus in Aries trines your Sun. This offers you a taste of freedom and the desire for more independence. Emerging philosophies about individuality help you explore authenticity in life rather than sticking with the conventional path others follow.

This 2019 horoscope column was published in the 2019 WellBeing Astrology Guide

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Pisces 2019 Year Ahead Horoscope

Career and major life plans may be your top priority, thanks to the golden cycle of Jupiter through Sagittarius. Friendships, and your involvement with a group, may undergo a restructure, or you may limit the time you spend accommodating the needs of others. This will give you more time to focus on personal priorities.

Wealth

You may put a new financial plan into motion, or find you’re more focussed on money goals, when Mars tours Aries and your 2nd house of cash flow and income from January 1 – February 14. This once in two years cycle can boost your confidence to ask for a raise or bonus, or inspire you to increase your rates if you own a business. You’ll be fired up and more assertive when dealing with money, so you might negotiate a price when making a large purchase, or want to splurge on an experience just for you. Mars can bring courage and drive to help you take action with finances, and to implement a budget that actually suits your circumstances.

You may need to respect your limits, especially if you hope to fast track debt repayment or want to accelerate your savings, when Mars squares off with Saturn on January 21. A clash of wills around money means you might learn more about who – or what – really drives your financial choices, when Mars and Pluto clash on February 2. While this may highlight the need to make a tough call about a money matter, it can be transformative as you learn something about your money habits and history that you weren’t previously aware of. A golden money angle forms when Mars and Jupiter work together on January 26. You may receive a lucrative offer, or discover an asset your own is worth more than you expected.

Home Life

You may be ready to make a bold or dramatic choice about your home life, or want to take steps to improve relations with a family member, when Mars visits Gemini and your 4th house of home and family, from March 31 – May 16. You might be impatient to complete a DIY, decorating or renovation project, or want to start a new one. A feeling of restlessness might see you looking around at other places to live. If your current home no longer meets your needs, Mars can help you make a fast, but totally right for you, change. An amazing deal may not be everything it first seemed near April 27, as Mars and Neptune square off. A family member may let you down, or you may deal with some emotion about a domestic dream not coming together as you’d hoped. If so, let it go and instead focus on your next chapter.

Happy events are likely at home when the Sun, Mercury and Venus visit Gemini from May 21 – July 4. You might host a fun night for friends or family or update your décor for the new season. It’s a lovely time to refresh your home with a coat of paint or new artwork, and to repair a relationship with a relative. New togetherness and contentment in your family life will be possible.

Relationships

You may explore new ways to communicate and express yourself as Uranus settles into Taurus on March 6 for an extended, eight year stay. Your desire to be as open as you can, especially about topics or ideas that maybe counter cultural or different from the norm, may grow, and you may seek likeminded people to share them with. Your relationships with other people, at work and in your personal life, may change form and shape, as Uranus encourages an open, curious attitude. Rather than stick with tried and true routines, you may be interested in shaking up your dating and relationship rituals, or trying a new way to communicate. Communication may be the secret to connection with Uranus in Taurus, so learn as much possible about how to speak your truth, as your satisfaction in relationships can go up and down based on how open, honest and vulnerable you’re prepared to be.

You also have passionate Mars in Virgo, from August 18 – October 4 to add excitement into your relationships. This cycle can bring fast paced progress in your love life, so you may move forward quickly with someone special, especially near August 28, when Mars and Uranus work together. New stability in a close relationship will be possible when Mars and Saturn join forces on September 9. You may make plans for the future, or connect with someone substantial worth getting to know then. An intense relationship experience may bring new togetherness, trust and intimacy when Mars and Pluto speak on September 20. Other exciting dates for dating, love and romance include August 27 and 30 and September 2.

Career and Life Direction

Your career may be golden, or you may field multiple opportunities at work, thanks to the presence of larger than life Jupiter in Sagittarius and your 10th house career, fame and success. This rare cycle – it only happens once every 12 years – promises glory and excitement in your career, and can bring the chance to make a major life dream come true. Jupiter in Sagittarius, November 8, 2018 – December 3, 2019, may bring you many blessings, so this will be your year to dream big and take a leap of faith.

Jupiter’s links to others planet highlight special dates when growth and progress at work will be likely. These include January 26, April 14, May 3 and 10, July 25 and August 7, 9 and 21. You might work on a prestigious project, receive an industry award recognising an outstanding achievement or find the right opportunity to push ahead with plans in your business.

Some caution will be advised, especially in January, June and September. Jupiter will square Neptune in Pisces then, and you may question your passion for what you do, or realise things have become so busy you are over worked. Setting limits in your career, including how many hours you might work, will be important so you don’t get overwhelmed. A flood of opportunities is amazing, but can be confusing if you’re not clear on what direction you want to head. You may let go of an old career or life dream, or gain new understanding about how to fit work in with the rest of your life, rather than be all about work all the time. Adjustments to your schedule, commitments and boundaries in these months can help you stay inspired in your career, and happy in life in general.

Happiness and Children

A breakthrough in your journey to explore what really makes you happy may arrive near the solar eclipse in Cancer on July 3. This eclipse lights up your 5th house, which shows joy, creativity, children, happiness and pleasure. You may learn something new about what really makes your heart sing. You might develop or discover a talent, or hear happy news about a child. This nourishing New Moon eclipse on the north node points to the future, and can help you break way from old fear or pain. Quality time with loved ones will be important, and a fresh start will be possible in your love life too. This eclipse highlights the importance of rest and relaxation. The first half of July is less about ambition and getting ahead and more about enjoying everything you have worked hard to create.

In the lead up to the eclipse, you have Mars in Cancer, from May 16 – July 2, to help prep you for more fun and relaxing experiences. You might take the lead to organise a get together, or make more time to be with your children or grandchildren. This will be a wonderful time to take a creative or art class, or to get crafty.

Adventure and Discovery

The longer trend of Uranus in Taurus, which starts on March 6 and lasts for eight years, may help shift your travel style, and inspire you to consider an exotic or unconventional trip. Uranus in Taurus can bring a series of short trips, or make your daily commute more exciting – or unpredictable. There’s a ‘here, there and everywhere’ vibe as Uranus in Taurus stirs your 3rd house and you may be restless for life to be more exciting.

Mars’ tour of Scorpio from November 19, 2019 – January 3, 2020 further highlights your travel axis, and this may be a lovely time for an overseas trip or going on an adventure further afield.  All kinds of mental adventures are also highlighted, and study, teaching, writing, publishing or a research project may be a priority. Offers to speak, teach, mentor or present your work may arrive, and you may connect with more people than usual, or find success on an international stage. Wisdom and knowledge can be uncovered as you tap into the archetype of the priestess.

Friends, Networks and Groups

Your social networks and friendships are undergoing a critical renovation thanks to the longer trends of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. 2018 – 2020 is a unique time socially, where you start to realise your own strength. You’ll gravitate towards friends who share this strength and quality of character. You may see the true colours of others. If so, adjust your social networks so you focus on developing connections with people who you respect.

Saturn in Capricorn is like a quality control cycle that helps you clarify the friends you want to spend more time with and those you don’t. A supportive sextile from Saturn to Neptune in Pisces, in February, June and November may bring new inspiration around a group or community project. You might be inspired to support a cause close to your heart. Friendships may soften to incorporate a more broad spectrum of emotional experiences. Quality time with your inner circle can lift your soul, and you may start showing others your mystical gifts.

Your 11th house of friendship is also stirred by three eclipses, on January 6, July 17 and December 26. Each eclipse brings a punctuation point in your social life, helping you draw closer to those kindred spirits who see your soul and genuinely support your growth. As the eclipses in Capricorn in 2019 align with the karmic south node, each of these eclipse dates highlights the need to let go of people, groups or even a friendship that you have outgrown. Your perspective on life, togetherness and friends is becoming increasingly spiritual, and you may walk further towards those people who truly understand your energetic and mystical perspective.

Personal Growth and Self Development

You’re cosmically supported to put yourself, your needs and your dreams first from March 27 – April 21, when Venus visits Pisces. This inspiring time can help you reconnect with a personal dream, or create space to develop your spiritual, intuitive or creative skills. You may spend time making yourself or your space more beautiful, or focussing on a more positive outlook. Venus adds a charming, magnetic quality that can help you attract support, sweet opportunities and little luxuries. Enjoy being pampered and focus on receiving the loving energy that comes your way now.

Your curiosity about what makes you tick, and why you think or feel the way you do, can prompt an accelerated period of self-development when Mercury takes an extended tour through Pisces from February 10 – April 17. Like a sponge, you soak in awareness and knowledge, and conversations or training designed to explore motivation and behaviour can prove especially insightful. You may also reflect on your past or learn the real reasons behind some of your tendencies.

You may go through a period of questioning, or experience some uncertainty as you grapple with larger themes around identity and purpose, when Mercury moves backwards or retrograde through Pisces from March 4 – 27. Reflective practices, like meditation, journal writing and spending time alone in nature can provide the space you need to go deep and get honest with yourself. Clarity and the mindset to make choices for the future may arrive from March 27 – April 17, when Mercury is back on track and powering forward in Pisces. Special dates to prioritise personal growth include February 17 and 19, March 7 and 25, April 2 and 10 and May 9, 16 and 31.

Time Out and Spirituality

An ideal period for rest, and to retreat from the demands of daily life, will be from January 20 – February 19, when the Sun and Mercury tour Aquarius, and from March 2 – 27, when Venus visits Aquarius. During these periods your 12th house of hidden experiences and spirituality is highlighted, and you may prefer a lower profile, or have less energy for family, social or career projects. Instead, step back, slow down and take a break. You’ll have plenty of chances to power forward and reach for the stars in 2019, but during these cycles extra quiet time can help ensure you’re recharged for future opportunities.

Birthdays and Planets

If your birthdate is listed below – not all will be – you have a special planet influencing you in 2019. Here’s what’s ahead and how to harness the planet power for your own growth.

If you are born February 18 – 25 unconventional Uranus in Taurus will sextile your Sun. This offers you a taste of freedom and the desire for more independence. You may gain the confidence to be yourself, or find the courage to speak you truth. Choose the unconventional option to add excitement and bring new freedom into your life.

If you are born March 5 – 9, soulful Neptune in Pisces will pass over your Sun. Your journey now centres on letting go and surrendering. Life may feel insubstantial or surreal as the dream-like qualities of Neptune override rational clarity. Take time out from professional and family plans to explore your spiritual and creative side.

If you are born March 9 – 12, transformative Pluto in Capricorn will sextile your Sun. This year is ripe with opportunities to transform from the caterpillar to the butterfly, via a cocoon like experience. You’ll willingly enter into a period of simplicity as you seek to become who you have the potential to be. Harnessing your creative power is the key to your personal evolution.

This 2019 horoscope column was published in the 2019 WellBeing Astrology Guide

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