Reprinted from Wikipedia) On a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor girl tries to sell matches in the street. She is freezing badly, but she is afraid to go home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. She takes shelter in a nook and lights the matches to warm herself. In their glow, she sees several lovely visions including a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. The girl looks skyward, sees a shooting star, and remembers her deceased grandmother saying that such a falling star means someone died and is going into Heaven. As she lights her next match, she sees a vision of her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. She strikes one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother nearby for as long as she can. The child dies and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. The next morning, passers-by find the dead child in the nook.
If there was ever a cautionary tale about the excesses of wishful thinking, Danish author Hans Christian Anderson masterfully articulated them in his timeless “The Little Match Girl.” Does this mean that there is no place for hope in a bleak world nor any room for optimism amongst challenging circumstances? Hardly. What the sagacious story teller keenly understood is that hope alone is not enough, and escapism can be deadly. As the Sun transits the boundless fire sign of the Centaur in 2010, Mercury and Mars will venture into sober Capricorn where they join regenerative Pluto, and Venus, newly direct, will work her way through truthful and transformational Scorpio. Unorthodox Uranus will emerge from its retrograde slumber, and to make sure that we don’t overlook important details, Mercury will begin another retrograde. In short, this Sagittarius cycle will point the way forward while teaching us how to balance our aspirations with work, integrity and reality.
Some forms of oppression, like the beatings given to the matchstick girl by her father, are obvious. Most however work on much subtler levels. It is often said that it is easy to know what we are against, but the greater challenge lies in knowing what we are for. Upon that tiny axis lies an entire paradigm shift. When we begin to change our focus from what is wrong to what we want, that old Sag magic begins working. Affable, philosophical and kind, Sagittarius’s ultimate aim is freedom, ours. Upon its archer’s arrow our consciousness soars into the heavens, expanding our field of awareness and showing us what possibilities lie on the horizon. From this exalted view we begin to see the opportunities gleaming before us.
When the 2010 Sagittarius Sun cycle begins on November 22nd, Mercury and Mars will already be basking in the effervescent, expansive energies of this enthusiastic sign. Buoyed by recent forward motion from Venus and Jupiter, our spirits should be on the upswing. However, on November 30th Mercury will head into hardworking and practical Capricorn, followed by Mars on December 7th. Mercury helps us think and communicate clearly and Mars represents how we pursue what we want. With both in the conservative earth sign of Capricorn, those Sagittarius dreams and visions will not be immune the laws of gravity. An especially potent dose of the goat’s milk is available on December 13th when Mercury and Mars meet up with the planet of ultimate truth and power, Pluto. That triple conjunction is an excellent occasion for seeding long range goals.
To prevent any Capricorn pessimism or drudgery from spoiling Sagittarius’s party however, erratic, rule-breaking Uranus turns direct on December 6th. With increasing velocity, Uranus will do what it does best, shake things up. Though it is traveling through peaceful Pisces, its rebellious influence will charge the air with excitement. Between it and a Sun still shining brightly in lively Sagittarius, optimism, all be it the cautious kind, will prevail. To further keep the ideas fresh and our momentum strong, Mercury will slip out of serious Capricorn on December 18th for a dip back into adventurous Sagittarius. Its retrograde will be in effect from December 10th through 30th. So as the Sun’s journey through Sagittarius exposes new frontiers, Mercury’s dance between industrious Capricorn and exuberant Sagittarius will help us distinguish between fact and fantasy.
Since early October the personal planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Sun) have been traversing the dark, truthful waters of Scorpio, and Venus will continue her detective work in Scorpio until January 7th. The truths about our lives churned up during these transits are typically the unpleasant variety. For example the report from the Presidential commission on the magnitude of the U.S. budget deficit and the hard choices ahead to fix it recently emerged. So as this Sagittarius cycle dawns, we find ourselves not so unlike our newly elected Congressmen and women. Largely put into office to oust the government, they now awake to find that they are the government. So it is true for us. The reins of responsibility and power rest firmly in our hands. This Sagittarius cycle, with its shot of Capricorn pragmatism, can still reinvigorate our spirits, encourage us to blaze new trails and light our way to liberty. Aim high!