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Virgo 

For January 2012

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This month, Mars stations retrograde in your birth sign. This is another way of saying Mars will spend a total of eight months in Virgo, about 10 weeks of which it will seem to be traveling backward. Mars is the most assertive planet, so this backtracking is often considered challenging—but it serves a crucial purpose, for you and for us all. The planets seem determined to teach you how to use this mysterious, elusive thing known as your will. Everything you experience must be filtered through one question—what do you want? You will develop the skill of discernment; for example, sorting out everything in your life on the basis of whether it helps you or hurts you. You can learn new ways to correct what is not working about your life, and what you don’t like about yourself. Mars is a hot, sharp object, and it has no morals of its own. You therefore need to be the intelligence behind the changes, and cultivating that awareness is the whole point. Proceed with surgical precision, getting clear on the mental level, then checking with the deeper emotional level and, finally, making your actual adjustments meticulously and carefully. Take the whole duration of the retrograde (January 23 to April 13) to identify and correct the patterns you don’t like, and to cultivate the ones that you know you want and need. Take nothing for granted. There’s no such thing as too careful—unless you spend your days in hesitation.

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