Have you noticed that you are inclined to launch major projects at the same time, year after year? Or that you have met the most significant loves or great friends in the same month, though years apart? What if there was a predictable window in your year that could almost guarantee a successful outcome to any venture initiated during that time? What if there was a time when progress would only occur if you collaborated with others, a time when pruning back your efforts in all matters would ensure sturdier and more authentic growth for the rest of the year? We feel new hopefulness and joie de vivre in spring, and we slow down with the inward turn of the wintry months. The power points of the equinoxes and solstices are pivotal turns in the cycle of a year and affect our energy and attitude. These shifts remind us that we are part of some greater story, that we too are creatures of this planet, affected and informed by mysterious rhythms beyond our smaller desires, intentions, and understanding.
How to Calculate Your Personal Powerpoints
There is another cycle attuned to our own birth season and birth sign that further elaborates upon and refines our interactions and efforts in the world. Astrology, as a high sophisticated study of cycles, reveals a unique pattern to each person's yearly experience that is based upon the month of birth. What appears random and out of our control can actually be predicted and used to make our lives easier and more gracious.
There are months best suited for those born in a specific sign for all manner of things: launching new ventures, putting work on public display, resting and recharging your energy. Think of this as wise ecology, your personal contribution to the energy crisis. If you are in sync with your own rhythms, you experience less resistance, you use less energy, and you stay healthier and happier.
Each Sun sign has four key power months around which the rest of the year pivots. These powerpoints act together like a compass, allowing you to make incremental steps in a course of action, to pace yourself, and to map your progress. These are months for focused intent—the most important times to check your course.
The other months of the year organize around what happens in these four. It's helpful to remember that you do not need to be pushing hard all the time. A healthy cycle must contain both ebb and flow, action and effort that is nourished and informed by moments of stillness.
There will be a time later that is better suited to modifying or clarifying, but for now, new things are being born of you. Life is an act of faith and you do not know where you are going. New life is spilling out of you; let your impulses propel you forward. Take inspiration from the image of the Fool in the tarot cards. The Fool instinctively steps forward, even though the circumstances and the nature of the journey ahead are yet unknown.
It is important to trust that you have already been preparing for this Awakening time, that your instincts have put you in just the right alignment to respond perfectly to this moment. In the last few months, if you think back, you will understand how you have been setting up the perfect circumstances for this time. Whether consciously or unconsciously, you have been thinking about new projects and new interests you wanted to develop. Through dreams or in contacts with inspiring people, exciting possibilities, and fresh goals have appeared on your horizon.
Don't concern yourself with the details of how you will accomplish anything; this will naturally emerge in the months to come. Trust that life is living through you; that you are a perfect conduit just as you are.
Notice the things, interests, projects, or people that used to be important, but no longer spark your enthusiasm, passion, or curiosity. Notice what has recently dropped down in the list of your priorities for the year ahead, perhaps dissolved, disappeared, been lost, or taken away. Notice where you have been saying no, even if this has brought you grief. All of these things and events have prepared you for this moment of Awakening. Appreciate how all of this has helped you make space for something new to emerge in your life.
This making of space is most important, a necessary emptying. Stress and overwhelm come from hanging onto everything, from continually adding more to your schedule, for never letting the old life go. We have forgotten this important truth in our busy lives as we double book our calendars and fill our days with impossible lists, as we forever push and hunger for more.
We have truly forgotten the rich abundance and sweet simplicity of down time. We have forgotten that the lush green growth of the old year naturally decays to provide good nourishing compost for the new year's seedlings.
Grounding and Gathering
This is a month best suited for feeling your way into what is emerging, for making it your own, for reconsidering and reviewing, pruning and marking your efforts with a personal touch.
Allow yourself to rest and to dream. Directions will then be able to well up from deep in your subconscious. Eat slowly, stare out the window, cancel unnecessary meetings, fritter away time just doing nothing. Trust that this is important to the larger scheme of things. Trust that this stillness will ultimately make all efforts, projects, and intentions much richer and more truly reflective of your own inner being. There is a regenerative quality in stillness. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that stillness grows strong bones (in this culture we believe bones can be strengthened by plenty of aerobic weight bearing exercise. Hmm).
You'll be happiest in familiar surroundings and feel less inclined to push yourself or your agendas out to the world. This is the time to reconnect with your family, to review your history and acknowledge your roots. In doing so, you will become more aware of motivations that direct (or even sabotage) your efforts. Psychological self-evaluation or even the support of a wise friend or professional counselor in this month can help you identify behavior patterns from your past that are no longer appropriate.
You have been preparing for this time. If you look back at the last couple of months, you will see that you have found ways to support your awakenings, you've shared your dreams with others and made connections that will help things happen. You've found your voice and had important conversations about what you are doing and caring about. You've gathered information, made contacts, and explored possibilities. Now, in your Gathering and Grounding month, it is time to check whether you like the feel of what is emerging.
We override our feelings and instincts all the time. We don't rest. This is a month when it will seem that attempts to quiet down and go inward will be particularly fruitless. Young children, still in touch with their instincts, tend to get ill in the mouth around their power points. A pause in their schedule, due to sniffles and fever, allows for integration and reorganization, and is usually followed by some significant developmental leap in the next few months.
In the next few months, this strategic withdrawal during the Grounding and Gathering month will demonstrate its worth over and over. Rooted in yourself, your intuitive knowing of right and wrong strengthens. During the next couple of months, devote yourself to listening to your heart's desires, and to allowing your heart to reveal new ways of living your life. Follow your heart. Remember the children's game, where someone yelled "warmer, warmer" if you were closer your goal and "colder, colder" if you were going in the wrong direction? Listen to your own inner kid when you get close to something or someone, and make sure your heart sings when you are there. Having fun and making sure your personal life is well tended are most important now and in the next couple of months. Doing so will provide energy and effervescence and improve the quality of the whole year!
Spend less time trying to know yourself and more time discovering and knowing the people around you. You need the fresh perspectives of outside sources to let go of doubts about yourself. People will feel inclined to be generous with you and they will feel as though they are getting as much out of the contact as you do.
Connecting doesn't just refer to lovers. People you meet during this month are more likely to continue being your good friends, important allies, or even professional partners in the year ahead, and perhaps beyond. Obviously, you are less able to benefit from the Connecting window if you stay at home, so get out there and mingle. Connecting time is excellent for seeking consultations on projects and personal issues, from finances to legal issues, to health and home repair. Mentors for your spiritual growth may also appear at this time.
Look for ways to expand your interactions, from the elevator to the grocery line. Get out and walk around your neighborhood. Hang out in a local gathering place, such as a coffee shop, the library, or the post office. Smile and say hello to people; your evolution is particularly dependent upon contact at this time. Be willing, as well, to scrutinize the one-to-one relationships you are part of, and be willing to release the ones that no longer spark, support, or inspire you. Review your expectations and the understandings you have with those who really matter in your life, and recommit to them. Find the courage to speak out loud your promises. Review and rewrite job descriptions.
Notice the ways in which each important relationship supports the wishes for your year. As a culture we tend to feel that we are wasting time hanging out with people, that we could be more productive. Actually, your personal connections, or "social capital,"will serve you better in hard times than any amount of money in the bank.
I like to describe this month as similar to being at the top of a Ferris wheel; the time when you come up over the crest and from that vantage point you can see everything in perspective. This time doesn't last, though; you will drop back into the cycle, so take the time to appreciate this glimpse. It's very important for you to see the whole year, the full cycle, in context.
Celebrate your accomplishments! Instead of constantly wishing and longing for more, take this time to see whether you have made full use of what you already have. Acknowledge the good here, in the present time of your life. Celebrate the richness of the world around you, revel in your senses, and take in the abundance. This will make it easier to accept the abundance within yourself, which is the richest gift of the Celebration period.
Throw yourself a party! Give yourself credit for what you've been and what you've done. Share your abundance with others; let it flow out of you. Be aware of what you can give easily at this time. In the northwest Native American tradition, a truly powerful member of the tribe can give away everything. The underlying intention of the Potlatch ceremony, in which someone will give away most of their wealth and belongings, is to model that true strength comes from an inner spiritual abundance. Throw a party, have a show of your work, pass on what you have discovered or created, take on an apprentice, get your book out.
Review your efforts. The failures as well as the successes give you information upon which you will set your next year's intentions. Ask yourself who you have become and what you've really been trying to do during this year past. Be sensitive regarding authenticity and integrity. This is the month when who you are and what you do with your gifts will be most on stage. This time can amplify the shortcuts or incongruities just as readily as the radiance.
From the clarity and perspective of this month, you will very soon be choosing the seeds of your next annual cycle. There may be things you would like to do better, and you will choose to once again commit to their progress. Others will clearly have been taken as far as you are able or willing, and it is time to pass them on or let them go.
In the month following your Celebration month, be especially vigilant of your dreams. They will be particularly inspiring, pointing you toward the future, introducing possibilities through metaphor or through images. Write down your dreams; they are full of information. Consult the tarot, visit an astrologer, read your tea leaves, consider the lines on your palm. Be a dreamer in your waking hours, let yourself dream those impossible dreams—they are the seeds of the future. You do not need to know, at this time, how they will come into being. Just dream.
Be prepared to let things go, especially in the month just before your Awakening month. This may require supreme trust, faith, and surrender. You are likely to doubt yourself, and the abundance of life. Let go anyway. Prayer is most fruitful now.
Honing and Fine-Tuning
Life is generous and there are other potent windows that occur during your four power months. Another day to watch for is when the Moon is in the same sign as your Sun. For example, Librans would use the Moon in Libra (two-plus days) every month. These alone give you three days a month for focusing your intention and efforts. And perhaps this is all you can do, and it will be enough.
Remember also how important it is to be still, not to push but to gather energy. We tend to forget this in these pushing, striving, and driving times, and our lives are full to overwhelmed as a result. Sometimes the best way to attune to the magic of a new Moon is just to sit still.
Surrender to Chaos and to Order
Once you begin to organize yourself around these potent months, your life will begin to flow more smoothly. Conscious of these rhythms, you can settle into your place in the mysterious wholeness and inter-connectedness of life.
Seeing each year as a series of steps, with its significant pivotal moments, makes life more manageable. Being as present as you can in the moments help. Applying hindsight and foresight that puts everything in perspective helps.
Give yourself reasonable goals, get to know your strengths, and be gentle with your weaknesses. The more you know about your own annual cycles, the more present you become to all the possibilities and richness of the moment, and the simpler it all becomes. You don't need to invent yourself over and over; you don't need to do everything alone, nor do you need to figure it all out by yourself. Conserve energy: tap into your own personal source of power during your power months.
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2009 Sun Sign Book. Click here for current-year calendars and almanacs.