Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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2006--A Challenging Year

by Maya del Mar

[Ed. note: We are rerunning Maya's last annual forecast as this month's feature story—an opportunity to review the special challenges and surprises of 2006 in the light of Maya's special wisdom.]

Sometimes, during 2006, we might hear ourselves and others say something like, “Why is this happening to me?” or “What’s going on?”

You can realize that it is not just you and me. We are all in the same boat, and we are all challenged to navigate choppy waters during 2006.

In the first place, 2006 is an “8” universal year, and “8” is a year of karma, consequences, realism, and practicality. Many of us have been spending much time in fantasyland, and now we come down to earth.

In the second place, for the entire year we are working with square aspects in the sky, and creating with squares requires much effort. Think about this literally: it’s much easier to mold a ball of clay than to make a clay square. However, earth-centered squares rather than spirit-centered balls are appropriate for an “8” year.

What is a square?

Squares are when two planets in the heavens, moving in their orbits, are making a 90-degree angle to each other. Weather researchers have shown that planetary squares are associated with weather changes. I have noticed that often the weather changes with the moon quarters, which are squares between Sun and Moon. In other words, squares are activating. They catalyze movement.

When we are confronted with a square, we may feel irritated, frustrated, or blocked. We may feel some condition is threatening us, or demanding something of us which we are loathe to give. The square problem may come to us in the form of a crisis in our lives, and we have to get busy and solve it.

Squares teach through experience.

Squares give us lessons, which we must struggle through. They are tests. We can use them to motivate our creativity, and find a way to resolve disparate forces. Or we can cry, or blame others, or we can butt our heads against these challenges, and hurt ourselves—and maybe others. Test: which answer to choose—a, b, c, d, or all of the above? We often go through all of the above before we face the reality of the problem, and our responsibility to persevere and to resolve it in some fashion.

2006 features a T-square.

During 2006, we have two planets in opposition, and a third planet squaring them both. This is called a T-square, or T-cross. It puts more pressure on us than does just one square. These formations are in constant flux, as, during the year, the planets move ahead when direct, and backwards when retrograde. Different parts of the T-square are thus in sharper focus at different times. We’re not always feeling the full brunt of the obstacle course. Occasionally one of the faster planets will come into orb of the 4th corner of the square, and then we have a grand square, and the pressure is intensified. Again, think literally. It takes some effort and some bumps to move a block along, as compared with a ball. And there are times when other planets help us, and we can roll right along.

Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune are featured now.

The three planets which are the core of our current T-square are Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune. They occupy three of the four fixed signs—Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Occasionally a faster planet travels through the fourth fixed sign, Taurus, to create the grand square. Mars in Taurus does that job in December and January.

Stable, fixed signs lend power to the squares.

Fixed signs are the power signs. They stay put, and gather power. Thus the pressure of the square, which asks us to move and change, is multiplied many times over when that square occupies fixed signs, because all parties greatly resist change. The immovable object meets the irresistible force.

All the pressures of the square are intensified by fixity, for which another term is stubbornness. The problem is bigger, solutions to resolution more difficult and often unpleasant, and we can become discouraged more easily. But on the other hand, when we do find a solution, it is more meaningful and lasting. We have made a permanent change in a power position.

Right now, for instance, most of us have problems which seem not to be easily resolvable. That’s an accurate perception. We need work, discipline, persistence, and surrender to resolve them. They are connected with the current squares in the heavens. What is our reward for coming to terms with these seemingly irreconcilable forces? Spiritual growth, of course. And with the fixed signs, the creation of a new entity.

This means that all planets in fixed signs are caught in this squeeze, and for anyone who has their sun sign in a fixed sign, this means that their very identity is in question.

What are the areas of focus?

The above is all very general. But the thing is—we will all be facing difficulties. In what areas? Well, for one thing, fixed sign problems don’t just come out of the blue. They have been building up for some time. So for each of us, and for groups and nations, for the environment, and for social and governmental situations, past unresolved situations will now hit us in the face, where we must do something about them. The chickens are coming home to roost. And the fact is that we do know what the problems are, whether we’ve wanted to know or not.

They will not just go away. We may have been able to sidestep or rationalize or deny those problems for years. But now they plant themselves squarely in front of us, and we must do something. Squares demand action.

Money is a basic theme.

Underlying many of these situations is money. We are apt to have unexpected expenses, or our usual income may be disrupted. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is an example of a situation which can test us in many ways, both in regard to social institutions and personal lives, and money is central there. Another example might be that the financial rug is pulled out from under the U.S., where stability is dependent on cooperative foreign banks, especially China, our biggest creditor.

Jupiter, expansion, squares Saturn, contraction.

This year’s central square, in social importance, is Jupiter square Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn run society, and when they are square, which means at odds with each other, things do not run well. Jupiter makes expansive moves, and Saturn puts on the brakes, and they are not in sync. This means that we run hot and cold, and life can be unpredictable. The best and worst show up.

This square is the first quarter turning point in the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 23 Taurus in May of 2000. This is the conjunction, in the money sign of Taurus, which thrust Bush into the Presidency. It is the last of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in earth signs for the next 600 years. These earth conjunctions have, without fail, every 20 years accompanied the accession of a U.S. President who subsequently dies in office. There has been much speculation about GW, as he fits into this tradition, established, it is said, by a curse placed on the Presidency by the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh in 1840 (read more about Tecumseh's Curse in Alex Miller-Mignone's article in the May 2004 Daykeeper).

At any rate, the Bush Administration is squarely in the sights of this difficult Jupiter-Saturn square. Dick Cheney is loaded with planets which will receive direct stress. His health, among other things, will suffer.

Neptune clouds the picture.

Neptune really is a kicker in this T-square. Because Neptune has difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality, and truth from lies, the necessary self-awareness and facing of problems can be hindered. We can be confused or deceived about what’s going on. Furthermore, with Saturn involved as well, inner shame, guilt, and low self-esteem can be exacerbated. We can feel uncertain about our identities and our rights. We can feel depressed about our capacities. And we can displace much of our anxiety into psychosomatic illnesses.

On the other hand, we can use Neptune’s idealism positively, i.e., to aim for a better world and loving relationships. If we stay centered on our positive ideals, we can use the challenges, the hard work, the denial, and the self-sacrifice of the square to actually move towards that better world. In the meantime, our compassion can grow by leaps and bounds.

In summary, 2006 is a year of many challenges.

Meeting those challenges will enhance our creativity, on the one hand, and help us begin to build important new power bases in our lives, on the other hand. Gains made with squares are real and lasting.

It’s important for us to go ahead with our projects, and to have the faith and determination to follow through no matter what the obstacles. The rewards of truly working with fixed sign squares can be awesome.

And often, an easy aspect from a passing planet can give us a helping hand.

May your hard work be productive, and may the coming year bring you many blessings.