Winter 2022: Navigating The Gap.

That feeling that your skills can’t keep pace with your ambition? We’re all feeling it. Presently a hard angle in the sky between Saturn in Aquarius (precise mental discipline) and Uranus in Taurus (practical perfection) is forcing each of us to confront the following truth: Without putting skin in the game you can’t expect traction for your dream.

IOW the cosmos is telling us, rather bluntly: "You get what you pay for."

How does this winter transit show up for you personally? Well, it could be the awareness that you’re stuck in a pattern that’s offering consistently diminishing returns.

Astrologically, the planet Saturn equates with repetition compulsion. While at the periphery of our awareness, Uranus flashes us glimpses of our potential. And our future. And right there is the rub between these two Titans.

What’s certain and dependable for Saturn is boorish and outdated for Uranus.

And yet these two impulses need to harmonize to express what’s essential about their functions. The happy ending goes like this: With deliberate effort even the most fantastic vision will materialize in the end. But it’s gonna take some work.

Patriarchal Pushbacks

Considered culturally, the ongoing Uranus transit through Taurus is reworking and radicalizing everyone’s ideas about money, sex, and power (core Taurus themes). We’re all aware of how our most entrenched notions of sex and gender are being remade and reconsidered—if not altered entirely.

But also undergoing a makeover are the values that dominate the old patriarchal power games. We’re reevaluating the judges, gatekeepers, and so-called ‘experts’ who tell us what is beautiful, valuable, and worthy of our attention and effort. The pushback questions right now are: "Really? Who says?"

On the economic level, a radical (Uranus) remaking of the work ethic (Saturn) is underway as well. We’re witnessing this globally as it relates to COVID fallout. People no longer want to work for shit wages while locked in cubicles in windowless office buildings. Or work within the ‘sharing economy’ without the benefits of health care and other so-called ‘entitlements.’ Saturn says: “The traditional 40-hour workweek is best.” And Uranus says, “Fuck that!”

Tracing The Gap

Lately, the time I spend with my clients focuses on understanding the disparity between their ambition and their innate skill sets. Years of being influenced by social media—becoming famous on YouTube or as an Instagram influencer—has spurred people’s impatience for success.

But like the California Gold Rush of the 1850s, what’s left out of the equation is how rare it was for someone to strike gold back then. The tech revolution (Uranus) has distanced us from the nuts and bolts reality of hard work (Saturn).

As I suggest to my clients: "Keep your eye on ‘the gap’. That space between what’s imagined and what is realistically doable to achieve your vision. And then, finally, get down to work.

As the writer and radio personality Ira Glass explains in this awesome video it’s an artist’s aesthetic (what Glass calls their taste) that pulls any of us into whatever creative outlet we feel drawn to.

But it is also our taste that goads us onward when we see that our output and our ambition don’t match up. And so it’s back to the drawing board. The only solution is to apply consistent effort (Saturn) to reach the hotspot of one’s vision (Uranus). There’s no way to cheat the process.

Everyone is a Creator

The ongoing Saturn Uranus square has consequences for all kinds of artists—be that writers, gardeners, designers, actors, architects, chefs, accountants, Uber drivers—you name it. I mean, when you stop and think about it, we’re each gifted with our own unique talents. And for each talent, there is a creative process involved with its application.

What the astrology of the moment places in high detail right now is the frustration that triggers our declaration to stop whining (or aimlessly wishing and hoping). And get down to work. As Glass concludes: In the end, “your work will be as good as your ambitions. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Your winter horoscope might offer you some crucial pointers:

ARIES: Consider this line from the author John Simone: “The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.” This is the season to take instructions from the nocturnal world of dreams. Every image or symbol, big or small, offers a clue. Keep a pen and notebook on your bedside table. Take notes. Once you’ve settled on the three most important questions in your life the answers will magnetize like magic. Trust in the unseen forces that gather and assemble energy. You are simply a conduit to the binding process.

TAURUS: My friend in Maui who works in an orchard told me how she deals with trees that become sluggish. She gives the trunk a swift whack with an axe and within weeks the tree is back in business. Shake your own tree right now if only to affirm your independence and define your creative sovereignty. There’s a reason sloth is considered a misguided passion; it robs us of the dedication to create and touch the world with beauty. The plans you incubated throughout the year are ready to hatch in the new year—let them pop free.

GEMINI: If you feel neglected, consider Whistler’s Father. How different his life would have been if his portrait had been painted too. Don’t let this happen to you. Promote and shine. Winter is the season when you can move forward by playing off your ambidextrous cleverness. You’re a peculiar mix of insouciance married to a fierce love of acquiring wisdom. So offer this combination to the sort of environment that will value it. And remember: Once you’re outside of the box, discard the container. Don’t look back.

CANCER: Money is freedom. Better yet, having money means you don’t have to think about money. The caveat? Don’t equate being penniless with freedom. Also: It’s time to reconsider your circle of friends and then network and recruit the people necessary to assist you in the secret project you launched earlier this year. Become a doer, not a complainer. On the flip: Crabs are the natural mothers of the Zodiac. And a few of your peers need your maternal guidance in the coming months. Your gentle compassion can inspire those less fortunate to take heart and push onward.

LEO: Let the cat out of the bag. You’ve been working in secret on a creative venture for months now (maybe even longer?) Stop trying to perfect your message. Speak your truth. Show don’t tell. Release your project into the wild where it can be appreciated—and of course, judged (that’s always the rub. But who cares?) Come March you’ll want to commit to an activity that promotes healing and rejuvenation (even if it's just taking regular walks around your neighborhood). The new year is about perseverance and remaining optimistic amidst perplexing times.

VIRGO: You’ve monitored closely what’s annoyed or held you back this year. You know all the details—the omissions and commissions. There’s no more data to gather, tweak or study. You’re filled to bursting with excuses. All that’s missing now is your resolve. An important key is in this secret message from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Listen: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” You’ll be surprised how quickly a new opportunity comes your way.

LIBRA: Speaking of Emerson (see Virgo’s horoscope). He also said: “Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.” He meant this for you dear Libra, lover of beauty, harmony, and endless reconsideration. Sometimes being bold and pushy (picture it!) is the way to go. No one can sit as long on a fence as you. It’s part of your charm. And the tendency to frustrate those who prize action over analysis. This is the season to define what you want. And then claim it. Folks will step aside once they see you’ve locked your eye on the prize.

SCORPIO: T.S. Eliot wrote: “For us, there is only the trying, the rest is none of our business.” That notion might be a little unnerving for control-oriented Scorpions. But do make the effort to practice this philosophy in the new year. Allow nature to provide the necessary clues you require to progress on your path. A side observation: Your reputation for over-empathizing with others might be put to the test this winter. Remember that boundaries are in place to maintain the integrity of a relationship. And you like integrity.

SAGITTARIUS: The enchantment of childhood is something you’ve never outgrown. Your contribution to humanity is your beguiling magnetism. With Jupiter—the solar system’s biggest and brightest planet—as your sign’s ruler, you can teach us all a thing or two about radiance. The innate optimism that sustains all of life. If you’ve drifted away from what inspires you most, think back to what captivated your heart as a child. Vital clues regarding the year ahead can be mined from those memories. Enthusiasm like yours is timeless.

CAPRICORN: Pluto, the planet of atomic rearrangement, continues its slow glide through your sign. Translated: your inner life is evolving in ways you can’t consciously track, but you’re intuiting nonetheless. When obstacles appear see if you can flip them into stepping-stones. An opportunity really does exist in each hardship or puzzle, but you’ve got to be willing to endure a little uncertainty. The going might be slow right now, but still, it’s a dance. And in the end, goats are incredibly nimble!

AQUARIUS: Here’s an old New Age bromide that still packs a lot of truth when you think about it: “Fall in love with what you do, then what you sell is love.” This is a crucial consideration for Aquarians. I mean, it’s not enough for you to express whatever enthuses your ego. Your real gift is finding ways to express yourself and benefit the culture at large—to uplift the plight of those less fortunate. What are you selling nowadays? Is it up to your standards? If not, recalibrate your aim this winter.

PISCES: Your friends will stand back amazed as you launch into one of the most dynamic cycles of your life in the new year. Your ruling planet is ready for a nice slow glide through your sign, and this imparts much in the optimism department. It’s not so much about what you’ll do as it is about who’ll you’ll be. And that counts for a lot when you consider how magnetism and charm can lead the way to success. Your first assignment, after the holidays, is to take stock of the ways you might be hiding your light. This won’t do. It’s time to radiate and attract!

Frederick Woodruff’s weekly musings on pop culture, astrology, and fate appear regularly in his WOODRUFF Substack. You can subscribe for free here.

His new book All Across the Universe: The Astrological Beatles arrives in the spring of 2022.

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