Happy New Year, and with a different way to read this column: This week, I rank 2012 from the sign that has the most challenges to the one that has the least. Check for your DOD (Degree of Difficulty), from 1 to 10. The lower the number, the less challenging 2012 will be. Please note that we are all transforming, and how we respond to that which is out of our control remains to be seen.
Capricorn/Capricorn Rising* (Dec 21-Jan 19): Like the Republicans looking for the 'anti-Romney,' it is no surprise that you have the most struggle to life's mountaintop. Soul searching and potential developing Pluto is in your sign. Although demoted to dwarf status for the last six years, powerful things come in small packages. He has been in your sign since 2008, wreaking havoc with your ego and its need to control everything. This year, 2012, is no different. You have major soul work rebuilding going on. Like St. Peter, your world needs to be built on a solid foundation. (I suppose I'm being more biblical 'cause the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 ... end-of-days talk, scheeh. Personally, I think not. They simply stopped counting.) You have to get to the mountaintop while traveling down into your own psychological underworld, aka your subconscious. Huh? Ask yourself this: Why do you want to be in control? It's the motivation behind your use of power that matters. Until early October, Saturn will be clocking your basic common sense and integrity. Go off path, and Mr. Necessity will bring you to your knees in front of everyone. However, stay focused on where you'd like to evolve for yourself and the larger picture, then success will be yours beyond what you can barely imagine. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 9.1
Libra/Libra Rising* (Sep 23-Oct 22): After Capricorn (who can thrive on struggle), you place a close runner-up to Most Challenging Sign (MCS). Unlike the earthy goat, you are more idealistic, given to dreams of peace and world unity. You like more ease and luxury. Your sign is more likely to eat dessert first, salad later (play, then work, too). Until October 5, 2012, Saturn is making you grow up, and Pluto moves you to look inside to assess where your family has conditioned you in ways that interfere with your realizing your real potential. Sure, there may be some deep and chronic emotional wounds, but you have an additional resource base you've scarcely begun to tap. It is your innate belief in the goodness of human nature (and that includes a healthy self-love and acceptance). Through these traits, you can secure our support in your higher vision of what we can truly be to each. May and June will have you re-evaluating all your connections, no overreacting to the small stuff or perceived flaws. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 9.0
Cancer/Cancer Rising* (Jun 21-July 21): It's been said that it's not what you say, but it's how you say it. Perception of how things are being said to you reigns in as a supreme need of yours. The deeper need to understand those closest to you has rarely been so important. Mars (self-assertion or aggression) spends the first six months in Virgo, making it very necessary to add compassion to your communication style. Lay off any zealous demands that we follow only your moral dictates; it's unattractive. Snapping at close relatives, neighbors or those you see as you run your daily errands won't endear you to anyone. In fact, you could find yourself at the receiving end of another's animosity that doesn't arrive directly (passive-aggressive urges, anyone?). Use the lessons of maturity that you've been getting since Atlas-emulating Saturn has camped out in your fourth house of home, privacy and emotional needs. Atlas held up the world; maybe it's time to shrug off some untenable responsibilities. If you do not feel you are in an equally yoked relationship, transform it into one or end it, aka shrugging. This fall brings an increased focus on bringing confident self-expression out into the open to make life more joyous. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 9.0
Aries/Aries Rising* (Mar 21-Apr 19): Yours ranks as the fourth MCS (Most Challenging Sign) for 2012. You sense the tenuous relationship between outer persona and work responsibilities versus your need to be authentically you. With your ruler (Mars) in retrograde (moving so slowly, it looks like it's moving backward from Earth's perch), these 10 weeks (January 23-April 13, 2012) can bring uncertainty in your equilibrium and confidence in the ways you're used to handling your life's path. Not one to want to retrace steps or feel regret, you have little chance to avoid reflecting on your past in order to move forward with increased precision. All you'll need to do is behave from a humble motivation, not one of attention seeking or proving yourself to anyone (and that includes yourself). Your happiness moves into blissful contentment in direct proportion to your awareness of others and how they may desire to live differently from you. Although you're the infant of the zodiac, your soul can be wizened with age, accepting the complexity of human interaction with grace and aplomb. Continued in Scorpio. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 9.0
Virgo/Virgo Rising* (Aug 22-Sept 22): 2012 begins with you in a holding pattern. Until you are sure (after incessant analysis, until April 13, this is advised), learn to love the limbo. Too often our Western egos think progress and forward momentum outweigh the virtues of contemplation and introspection. For you, Aries and Scorpio, it is important to be precisely passionate regarding how to correct situations that bring conflict. It may be a need to retreat, but not silently. Saturn finishes his tests by October 5. Mr. Pragmatic has been making you check your balance sheet more than once. You have been learning the difference between conservation of resources and being cheap since the fall of 2009. Hopefully, you have an improved credit score. If not, you have 10 months left. Realize your credit score can be a symbol in your interpersonal relationships. Have you been giving without thought of return? Yes? Then proceed to lose the need for planning and live on the purpose of adventure and learning from past errors or excesses. May and June will be especially challenging if you do not communicate how you are different from your family in such taboo areas of polite discussion as religion, politics, money and marriage equality. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 8.8
Scorpio/Scorpio Rising* (Oct 23-Nov 21): Read Aries, your sibling sign, also Mars-ruled. For the first four months of 2012, you'll be going on a review of your independent purpose for the planet, community or professional associations. It sounds lofty because it is lofty. No longer can you stand back in observation mode, unless it is to spot a future trend for your next act or creative project built on delegation and teamwork. These interesting times, ala a wry Chinese curse, require personal responsible action. Since 1998, your emotional foundations have shifted as if you've been living in a haunted house. It is the subtle movements of invisible energies that make your intuition come alive with the possibilities of what life has to offer apart from what you have been taught. Wishing helps you learn to have innate trust in your spirituality. Ego distracts that which it cannot control. True intimacy flourishes in privacy and time. Use the time until February 3 to deconstruct any illusions you hold regarding your family's history. This personal research is a private matter that demands the full strength of your analytical thinking. You can make the world a better place. Simply start with being honest with yourself about what you do not want to hear from those closest to you. It's about criticism being constructive only. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 8.6
Leo/Leo Rising* (July 22-Aug 22): January 23 begins the Chinese year of the Water Dragon, an excellent year for you to understand your place within your career, expand your professional reputation and join like-minded others for larger-scale projects to benefit the planet. Increase your willingness to take on more shared responsibility. You cannot and will not reach the pinnacle of success trying to do it all on your own out of a motivation that you do not want to owe anyone. As it's been said, "Owe nothing but love." You are the only concentrated fire sign, which means you must embody the individual spirit of love and compassion. The first seven months of this year require that you put energy into what or whom you value. It'd be better to stand up and be counted than to fall down and be stepped on (or worse, ignored). With Pluto moving through your sixth house of excellence, precise service and psyche/soma integration of health, realize that you are beyond good. Mix the bitter with the sweet, as it were. Take no one full authority to heart but your own. Take the long view or perish in a mire of pettiness and backstabbing. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 8.5
Aquarius/Aquarius Rising*(Jan 20-Feb 19): First half of the year brings an expansion in your home base, forgiving intractable relatives and accepting your inner needs as valid. The second half of 2012 has you getting beyond consistently seeing the worst-case scenarios and beginning to see more heartfelt joy in life and love. Release your actively cynical mind and learn to trust that the universe is benign. Through this one choice, you can attract opportunities that increase your transcendent self, the part of you that lives beyond petty or mundane concerns. Whether the world ends on December 21 isn't the question; it is what you do until then. How is your name like expensive oil? What is your reputation like really? Have you been doing goodwill works behind the scenes? All that you do, feel or think cannot be openly expressed, particularly not in the first six months of 2012. Let connections (no matter how you instantaneously sense them) build slowly. Time gives your relationships their value and depth. Your motto this year is, "Will this be a new beginning of increased awareness and communal connection or are we at the end of life as we have come to know it?" Truly, I say to you, are these choices mutually exclusive? Life, as we have come to know it, has already transformed. Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 7.9
Taurus/Taurus Rising* (Apr 20-May 21): Until June 11, 2012, you have protective and spirit-of-the-law Jupiter in your sign. Whatever catastrophes come your way, a guardian angel ameliorates the worst of them. Other than the very real dangers of an expanding waistline or muffin tops, Jupiter absorbs and assimilates, turning those lemons into lemonade. Saturn for the first nine months of 2012 actively keeps you responsible and fit moving through Libra, the area of self-discipline, daily routine and health. If anything is wrong with you physically, you know what it is, and it has probably been out of balance for the past two years. Your biggest bugaboo comes in the form of Venus going retrograde from May 15 through June 27. These six weeks will have you questioning what or who is valuable. A bit unsettling of universal energies that comes around every 18-19 months. The last Venus backward motion was October/November 2010. Expect your normally unflappable self to be flapped. Flaws in our relationships call upon increasing our depths of compassion. Degree of Difficulty is 7.2 for your introspective Taurus folks; 8.8 for those who coast and who live in the shallow end of the collective pool.
Pisces/Pisces Rising (Feb 18-Mar 20): Just like dreaming, as in, do you have a dream? Your ruler comes home to roost on February 3, 2012. Neptune, the god of the seas, opens up multiple dimensions and realities for the next 14 years. You have a challenging mission that will become untenable if you look outside yourself for too many of life's answers. I suggest that you read the text of Dr. MLK Jr.'s August 28, 1963, "I have a dream" speech. Imagine that your ego is going on a march to Washington, D.C., your psychic capital of your nation. 2012 can bankrupt you through refusing to acknowledge how much you possess. With expansive Jupiter in Taurus (your third state of creating your existence through the use of words), being optimistic is your rallying cry through June 11. After that, watch your home base grow, and your legacy from your family heal in ways you can barely imagine now. Forgive those who have trespassed against you since 1998. A new and (mostly) blank slate awaits! Degree of Difficulty (DOD): 6.5
Gemini/Gemini Rising* (May 21-Jun 20): Are you aware that climate change is estimated in killing coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, South Seas, as well as the 18-million-year-old reefs near Australia? Your DOD (Degree of Difficulty) depends on your meditating on the not-so fun facts to imagine a better world where we pay attention to choice in lieu of fatalism. Until your birthday (June 11 is the exact date), you have an immense ability to surrender into a larger vision of compassion, support and universal love. These rarefied feelings exist to move you into your next level of growth into a more expansive and goodwill-expressing being to follow by midyear. Venus spends four months in your sign (April 3-August 7). The Goddess of Love and Pleasure will be spreading her own brand of universal honey and goodness. So much so, you could have old flames showing up unannounced (this life and others past). Your DOD demands upon your tackling those early memories that still trigger irrational outbursts. Whether we display your rancor is not the issue. For such a cerebral sign, it is the thoughts you think that matter in whether the coral reefs within your mind are destroyed or not. One twin DOD is a cool 6.3; the other that awakens you between the hours of 3-5a is a mean-spirited 8.9.
Sagittarius/Sagittarius Rising* (Nov 22-Dec 19): Ego shocks sometimes show themselves through an inexplicably strong attraction to those who are not your physical type. Our souls control when and how often our ego will be shocked, awakened from its sleep. What you're being taught is how to get beyond surface appearances. You cannot forever wonder what or who is trending. Your spirit is moving you beyond what you've been conditioned to believe or accept as attractive. You could even start to fight for more money and status showing your more ambitious side. Whatever or whoever happens, you're evolving. You have a mission that you have to get on with; otherwise, you're likely to bankrupt yourself (literal interpretation is possible, but more from a character perspective). If you go along with what others offer as acceptable behavior, giving way to peer pressure, you will miss an opportunity to have more electric connections that spark a new and wholly vital you. 2012 will boil down to your being a conscious steward of your resources (body, mind, spirit and soul). In other words, you must take care of what's yours, act as a true conservative (and I'm not speaking from a political perspective). DOD (Degree of Difficulty) is 6.2. However, if your good fortune is arrogantly applied, DOD shoots up to around 8.0.
*The Rising Sign a.k.a. Ascendant represents your approach to life and the mask you wear. Read that sign as well to get additional information on whats in store this week.
Text or call Quan at 816-931-0010 or check out his website at beliefisnotrequired.com.