The beginning of 2013 offers significant promise:  an immense capacity for communication, ideas and ingenuity effectively tied to raw collective strength.  Wow.  Aim your words right, written or verbal, and you will do well.  It is a particularly auspicious time for the arts and sciences.  If that weren’t enough, the workhorse-powerhouse combination of Saturn and Pluto supports our every effort.  This is an exceptionally good time for signing documents, initiating new projects, relationships, ventures of any variety.  What more could we ask for?

Well, we are human.  And ask for plenty more we do, without fully understanding how we are already helped and steered for our highest and best well-being.

In short order, between January 4 and 9, we won’t have much choice when messenger planet Mercury aligns with powerbroker Pluto in practical Capricorn.  This is the sign of big business and government.  This planetary pairing comes to deliver strong medicine:  time to wear our big boy/girl pants.  Act like grownups.  There is no more time for pretending.

This is underscored by Mars’ challenge to Saturn in the deeply rooted signs of Aquarius and Scorpio.  No less at stake is the health of the collective good.  Demands for power and control greet us at every turn.  Super stubborn roadblocks persist only because of our ego.  Take Congressional egos playing politics with the Disaster Aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy.  All because New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie had the audacity to embrace and thank President Obama for the help he offered in the wake of the storm.  Financial support has evaded Christie’s constituents while the Governor is shunned and punished by his own party for simply expressing well-placed gratitude.

Like our “do nothing” Congress, to dig our heels in, bury our heads in the sand and refuse to budge (grow), only turns up the heat.  In the case of the US government, increase our national debt and have more innocent civilians killed by guns.  On an individual level, refusing to change our habits, lifestyle, relationships, work situations, etc, only punts opportunities for growth that much farther down the road.  Eventually, the bill comes due.

The great news is that there continues to be significant healing energy if we can get out of our own way and allow ourselves to tap into it.  Giving ourselves permission does not involve Herculean tasks:  climbing Mt. Everest or bungie jumping into a gorge.  Although for some of us, simply allowing will feel akin to these excercises.  For it means surrendering our ego.  For some, this is a lot to ask, too tall an order.  But for those willing to try something every child does automatically, it will feel radically new:  opening up.  This involves the heart, not the mind.  The Revolution of the Heart  is the hallmark of the New Era.  For the collective (government and business especially), opening the heart center simply means trying.  A willingness to engage.

Just try meeting with the opposition:  sit across the table from them and look them in the eye, see that they are, like you, human; hear their words, listen to what they have to say.  On a personal level, the “opposition” can be the negative voice in our head that says we can’t or shouldn’t.  Scares us into submission.  This year, try something new:  be dared instead of scared.  Acknowledge that negative voice.  Suppressing it only makes it stronger, louder.  Address it directly, “I hear you.”  Then move on with your day.

Striking a balance between our hearts and mind is supported at mid-month by Messenger Mercury’s alliance with the Sun, our will.  This collaboration supplies us with a highly practical approach to problem solving and navigating the new order, a landscape that surely feels strange to many of us.  As native Capricorns can tell you, they despise losing face more than most.  So when Venus conjoins Pluto in Capricorn challenging Radical Uranus, many will feel that they’ve fallen flat on the ground.  Prepare for upheaval.  Expect the unexpected:  catalytic shake-ups in established, taken-for-granted relationships while highly unusual alliances will be formed.  This will range from business firms to families.  Strange bedfellows will find each other this year, in Congress and elsewhere.  And don’t look now, but those stable, married-forever-neighbors down the street might just file for divorce.

One thing is for sure, mid January will catch all of us blindsided in some regard.  Surprise!  With Mars squaring the lunar nodes (our directional compass) we’ll feel as though we’re spinning our wheels, unless we harness the impetus to change and how many of us really want to do that?  The lunar true north node remains in Scorpio still for a good long while yet, calling us toward those deep dark places we’ve denied, hidden away and shunned for our whole lives.  So spinning our psychological wheels will actually propel our encounter with these deeply embedded blocks, obstacles (ie, belief systems) we are loathe to part with.

“Why do I have to change?” the patient asks the therapist.  It is an age-old question heard time and again by healers the world over.

“Because,” says the therapist, “the (fill in the blank:  person, object, situation, etc.,) is not going to change.  So if you want a different result, the only way to achieve it is for you to change.”

The week of January 20th a shift does occur.  Both Abundant Jupiter and Radical Uranus make helpful angles to Messenger Mercury and the Sun.  If we can Let Go and Let God, communication breakthroughs are a sure thing during the last ten days of January.  Remember:  the whole is greater than the sum of individual parts.  When we embrace all of our being:  heart, mind, body and soul, we function at maximum strength.  As goes the individual, so goes the collective.