Weekly Forecast January 27: New Moon in Aquarius, Venus Direct

Chinese New Year Poetry, by Peter Morgan.

Chinese New Year Poetry, by Peter Morgan.

Right on cue, the news headlines are increasingly dramatic as we head into another cardinal T-square this week.

Retrograde Jupiter has been approaching opposition with Pluto, and he’ll also form an exact square with Uranus in late February. That means we’re under the influence of this volatile configuration yet again, and for the entire month. Mercury turns retrograde on February 6, adding to the disruption in the weeks ahead.

I suppose the good news is that we’ve been in such disarray that we’re used to its being the rule rather than the exception. Besides that, many of us have been in need of positive change for a long time now, and there are indications that we can realize some of what we’ve been hoping for while planetary energies are in such a state of flux. Although a little stability would be comforting right about now, it’s not compatible with the major shakeups that need to happen for us to get where we want to go. Likewise, the changes we want to see in the world can’t happen without turbulence.

Thursday’s New Moon in Aquarius is a perfect setup for positive developments to emerge from disorder. Not only is Aquarius the sign of innovation and unconventional ideas, but the New Moon makes a dynamic sextile with Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius. In other words, the New Moon provides an outlet for the combative energies of the T-square. You can see it easily in the chart; look for the blue line emanating from the apex of the triangle.

New Moon in Aquarius

Click on image to enlarge

The other two blue lines in the chart connect Jupiter and Pluto to Chiron. I’ve been writing for some time about the Pluto-Chiron sextile, which has been in effect since early 2012 and represents transformation and healing of deep wounds, in individuals and humanity as a whole. The trine from Jupiter to Chiron provides an additional boost. I know it doesn’t seem like humans have learned much in 5,000 years and that we’re an inherently violent species, but statistics show otherwise. On the whole, we’re getting smarter and more peaceful. Then, you’d never know it reading news headlines written to maximize advertising revenue. Even though we’re smarter overall, “Suicide Bomb Kills 30″ still gets more readers than “Man Saves Baby in Bombing Attack” (he might get a mention in the 18th paragraph).

This New Moon also holds the potential for rewards missed at the difficult New Moon in Capricorn on January 1. Usually, the New Moon begins a new cycle, with a culmination, resolution, or landmark event at the Full Moon. However, that New Moon was all about endings, and the Full Moon in Cancer on January 15 was more about clearing space for something new to develop. This New Moon is much more promising, and new doors should start opening. What those doors lead you to depends on where the New Moon falls in your natal chart.

Also, Venus has been retrograde since December 21, which corresponds to some delays, especially regarding finances and relationship matters. Venus turns direct on Friday. Whatever might have been stalled will be freed up to move forward. Venus stations direct in close conjunction with Pluto, so she’s also part of the cardinal T-square. This pair signifies intense desire, especially for money or sex. However, Capricorn is frugal, practical, and patient, with the ability to control primal urges. If you’ve had to let go of something or if you’ve been enduring excruciating delays, the shift after Venus begins moving forward could be startling.
Earlier on Friday, the opposition from Jupiter to Pluto is exact. A few hours later, Mercury enters Pisces, although he’ll only dip his foot in the water before turning retrograde on February 6 and returning to Aquarius on February 12. I’ll have more about that next week.

Chinese New Year 2014 3Considering how challenging the New Moon on January 1 was, this week’s New Moon could feel more like New Year’s. As it so happens, it’s the Chinese New Year, marking the beginning of the Year of the Wood Horse. The last Wood Horse year was 1954; it takes 60 years to cycle through the twelve Chinese animal signs and five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood). The Western astrological sign that corresponds to the Horse is fast-paced Gemini. I have no idea what that means in terms of forecasting 2014, except that Gemini is an Internet wiz, so we can Google it and find a forecast from a real Chinese astrologer.

May all your wishes be fulfilled,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast January 20: Mercury Trines Mars, Enters Pre-Retrograde Shadow

Facing power. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Facing power. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Astrologically, there’s not much going on this week, so we should have some breathing space to adjust to developments over the past month and make room for what’s to come.

The only major planetary aspects this week are a trine from Mercury to Mars on Friday and a square from Mercury to Saturn on Saturday. The Mercury-Mars trine is perfect for discussing relationship issues in a detached manner with a good amount of give-and-take. I suggest you do this now, because Mercury enters into the shadow period mid-week ahead of his station retrograde on February 6.

Many of us avoid talking about things that bother us, because we want to give the impression that we’re cool, we can let the little things roll off our backs, and we can allow others their quirks. If you truly can do that, go for it. But more often than not, the little things start adding up, and then you’ve got one complicated mess that’s hard to untangle. It’s usually better to talk about the small things and air your concerns while you can still be cool about it. Also, the risk of misunderstandings increases after Mercury turns retrograde.

That said, you may meet with some resistance this week, causing one or both of you to “back off” without resolution. Although you can’t force anyone to talk, look for an opening, even though it might take some work. If you do end up in an argument, do your best to find a compromise – and remember, “compromise” typically means that you don’t get everything you want. If you can’t live with it, you’ll need to spend some time alone to reflect.

Saturday’s Mercury-Saturn square is good for solitude and gaining insight into sticky problems. The downside is that it can be depressing, all the more so with the Moon conjunct Saturn less than two hours later. You’ll need to be mindful not to automatically grab onto the worst-case scenario. Relationships go through rough patches, especially when one person is working to change and grow. Try to focus on the overall balance in the relationship. If you’re not getting what you need, is it because your relationship is a one-way street, or is it just going through a natural fluctuation? Some people are able to maintain a constant state of give and take, but others maintain the balance over time, with periods in which one or the other needs more support.

The Mercury-Saturn square also favors mental work, especially regarding finances. The weekend is a great time to round up your tax documents to give to your accountant. If you do your own taxes, get working on it now. The reward could be an early refund. If it turns out that you owe, at least you’ll know so that you can budget ahead for April. Essentially, any task requiring concentration and focus will be easier under this influence.

The most difficult day of the week is Wednesday, when the Moon in Libra revisits the challenges of the New Moon on January 1 and the Full Moon on January 15. The charts for both of those astrological events contain intense cardinal energy (the cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), which represents breakdowns, loss, and sudden and fast change. There could be some repeats of recent situations and possibly some new developments.

As we’re swept along with the tide, it’s hard to see where we are or where we’re headed, let alone the purpose to it all. Change by nature is disruptive, and change on a planetary scale is accompanied by widespread tension, fear, and anxiety. Even those like me who have a lot of fixed energy in their charts and are normally able to remain grounded are experiencing a lot of anxiety, much of it due to the inevitable changes (we fixed signs have a hard time with change) and the gross uncertainty about what lies ahead. I know, that’s ironic coming from an astrologer. All I can say is that it’s like meteorologists predicting tornadoes. They can see the big storm coming, and they know that conditions are right, but they don’t know how many tornadoes will touch down, where, or how much damage they’ll cause.

Notwithstanding, I think that aspects mid-week will help us recognize the path we’ve been on and to see it as a continuum. And that recognition may be precisely what helps us adjust and regain some balance. The next lunar cycle contains the same turbulent energies, but also holds the potential for some good news, innovative solutions, and long-overdue rewards. And remember, Pluto remains in positive aspect to Chiron, so the undercurrent of healing energies is ever-present. The healing process can be painful, but it eventually leads to regeneration.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast January 13: Full Moon in Cancer, Sun Enters Aquarius

Sun break. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Sun break. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Although we continue to feel the tension of the cardinal configurations in the sky, this week’s Full Moon and planetary aspects are a signature for productive change – if we’re willing to endure some discomfort.

OK, maybe a lot of discomfort.

Some of the changes may feel out of our control, and they might entail giving up something first in order to clear the way for something better. Even changes that are within our control will require almost superhuman discipline. Fortunately, we will have some cosmic help, with three planets in Capricorn all sending energy to Saturn, ruler of Capricorn and master of commitment and discipline. Moreover, Saturn in Scorpio has no time for whining and procrastinating, especially where finances are concerned. This applies not only to individuals, but to nations.

Still, it’s not going to be easy to stick to your guns, and there’s a risk of playing mind games to stay in your comfort zone. We’ll be in the pull of the Full Moon in Cancer for most of the week. Cancer needs its creature comforts and fears the unknown. Jupiter also is in Cancer, retrograde, and he’s closing in on a cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto. He’s also square Mars and opposite Venus. If what you’re trying to eliminate involves separating from a partner or spending less time with an inconsiderate friend, the urge to go back on your commitment could be hard to resist. Likewise, if the change you’re trying to make involves sticking to a tight budget, you could find it hard to keep your resolve.

The Moon reaches peak fullness just short of midnight East Coast time on Wednesday (it will be Thursday in the Eastern Hemisphere). Typically, something begins at the New Moon – a project, a relationship, a new opportunity – and it culminates at the Full Moon, plus or minus a few days. However, the New Moon also can represent an ending, and the New Moon in Capricorn on New Year’s Day had endings written all over it. Think about what might have ended for you two weeks ago or maybe a little before. Or perhaps you knew at the New Moon that you needed to let go of something in your life that was holding you back, but you weren’t quite ready to give it up. In that case, this Full Moon could bring confirmation that eliminating what isn’t working for you is in your best interest. The evidence might come through a specific incident, or perhaps a eureka moment accompanied by a strong feeling that you’re on the right track. The process of clearing away and cleaning out will create a space for something new and better to come into your life at the New Moon in Aquarius on January 30.

Likewise, if a door closed for you at the New Moon, a new door may not open until the end of the month. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll have an opportunity to slow down and get back in tune with your feelings. You might find that you feel differently about a change than you did two weeks ago. If you didn’t react back then, or if you had to keep your emotions under wraps due to circumstances, now you’ll get a chance to release pent-up emotional energy. It’s not always a comfortable place to be, but emotional release is necessary. Give yourself permission to give in without judgment. There are no “negative” feelings. Even anger has its place, and it’s one of the feelings we most often suppress. It’s just hard to find an appropriate way to release it without hurting someone, including yourself – like the time in my late 20s when I kicked a wall, forgetting that I was wearing sandals. A vigorous workout is the best way to blow off steam. Housecleaning is good, too.

Full Moon in Cancer

Click on image to enlarge

Now, it is entirely possible that something did begin for you at the New Moon, in which case you should start seeing results in the coming week. Depending on where the New Moon fell in your chart, that “something” might have been tangible, maybe a new job or relationship. Or it could have been less visible, like a change in a belief that’s been tripping you up, perhaps a shift toward more positive self-esteem. Even when something good happens, we can feel an overflow of emotions. For example, someone who finds a new job after a long period of unemployment might be so overwhelmed with relief that they need a good cry.

Cancer represents family and the comforts of home, while Capricorn is usually associated with career and ambition. But we tend to forget that Capricorn is a feminine sign. Half goat, half fish, the mythical sea goat can scale the highest mountains and dive to the depths of the ocean. In some ancient cultures, mountains were associated with powerful goddesses. The sea, from which life on earth sprang, is associated with Cancer, the sign of mother, the womb, and birth. We think of Saturn-ruled Capricorn as father to Cancer’s mother, but it’s also the family matriarch, the grandmother who has seen and done it all and provides wise guidance to successive generations.

The cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn – represent initiating energy, and all four will be active for several months. That’s why astrologers are predicting so much change. And yet, this Full Moon has an enduring quality to it, telling me that the changes we’re seeing may be new and even a little scary, but they are part of a larger cycle. Dwarf planet Ceres is in Libra and square the Full Moon by less than half a degree. I’m still observing how Ceres functions in individual and mundane charts, but her mythology suggests something to do with cycles, like the changing seasons and life cycles of plants and animals. With our technology oriented lifestyle, we often lose touch with these natural cycles and, as a result, feel separated from nature.

A continuing “outlet” for tense cardinal energies to flow is the easy sextile from Pluto to Chiron in Pisces, which represents deep healing in our individual and collective psyches. The root for “healing” is the same as for “whole.” To be whole, we have to feel a connection with the oneness of the universe.

A second outlet at this Full Moon is the sextile from Mercury in Aquarius to Uranus in Aries on Friday (late Thursday in western time zones). Mercury and Uranus both represent the intellectual workings of the mind, and Mercury in Aquarius has some of the same spark of genius associated with Uranus, ruler of Aquarius in modern astrology. The sextile is dynamic and conducive to the firing of neurons. Pay attention to sudden flashes of brilliance. There’s a possibility of coming up with innovate and unconventional solutions to perennial problems.

Lastly, there is a positive sextile/trine from Sun and Moon to Saturn. The Sun-Saturn sextile was exact on Saturday, but it’s still active as of the Full Moon. This is the pathway along which stress transforms to productivity. I know that stress is damaging to health, and we wish we didn’t have so much of it. Yet, studies show that a certain amount of stress is good for you. The old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” might well be adapted to our era as, “The necessity to reduce stress is the mother of invention.”

Late Sunday (in the United States), the Sun leaves staid Capricorn and enters quirky Aquarius. The eleventh sign of the zodiac is future-oriented, scientifically pioneering, unconventional, and humanistic – although it’s also a fixed sign and can stubbornly resist change, especially in its thinking. Just one of its quirky inconsistencies. Still, I think it’s a good combination with the cardinal energies, as it represents higher ideals at a time when there’s so much momentum worldwide for change. What do we want to become? What kind of future do we see for ourselves as a group, a nation, a species?

Next week we get another short breather, so if this week gets too emotional, relief will be on the way.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Capricorn Rising: The Capricorn Soul

Maori earth goddess Papatuanuku as Capricorn. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

Maori goddess Papatuanuku as Capricorn. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

As we continue our journey exploring the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of the twelve zodiac signs, we arrive at the deeply mysterious sign of Capricorn.

Capricorn is associated with achievement, practical application, method, ambition, material resources, finances, government, initiation, and discipleship. Esoterically it is said that the spiritual “goal” is identified in Sagittarius, and then in Capricorn we choose to walk the path. The highest soul purpose of Capricorn is “to create heaven on Earth,” and it is no accident that we celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Christ during Capricorn season.

The words “discipline” and “disciple” both have their origin in the Latin verb discere, which simply means “to learn.” So if Sagittarius has identified the spiritual goal, Capricorn’s job is learning how to get there. The whole idea of discipleship implies that there is a practical methodology to achieve a tangible result. Through our soul’s experience in Capricorn, we learn to build a very real “stairway to heaven.” So what would this “heaven” look like? Rather than thinking of it as a physical location, it can be thought of as the blissful state of nirvana or samhadi that comes after many years of applied discipline in a yogic or monastic tradition.

Capricorn is the sign of mindfulness, method, and skill cultivated through patient application and practice. The power that was gained in Sagittarius must now be applied in practice. The essence of Capricorn lies in the most appropriate use of resources, in particular spiritual resources, to achieve success. This is the key to understanding both the fear based reactions and love-based responses of Capricorn. Esoterically, Capricorn is said to be the most mysterious sign of all, and we will only fully come to understand the true meaning of Capricorn when humanity has made a great leap in consciousness.
[quote cite="~ The Tibetan"]The basis of the astrological sciences is the emanation, transmission, and reception of energies and their transmutation into forces by the receiving entity. … It is all a question of developed reception and sensitivity.[/quote]
Of all twelve signs, Capricorn is most associated with both the best and the worst of human character. To understand this, we need higher consciousness and an understanding of energy. Capricorn is said to rule governments, politics and banking. The current sorry state of the world’s banks, greed, avarice, corrupt politicians greedy for power, global inequalities in wealth, health and resources, has been attributed to the “negative” or fear-based expressions of Capricorn. Yet esoterically this is the sign of the initiate and the disciple! How can this be?

The soul in Capricorn is learning “right use of resources,” including our inner resources: our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. We cannot learn the power of our own energies and become skilled in their use from books. We can do so only through experience, practical application, and diligent practice – all Capricorn qualities. Through this, we develop the consciousness that results from deep self-observation where we become skilled at watching our own energies play out. Eventually, we then begin to see energetic patterns, connections, and deepen our understanding of the nature of energy and the laws of cause and effect.

In spiritual traditions where deep self-observation is part of the practice, students are encouraged to examine their own motivation. This means deeply observing the energies in you that motivate your thoughts, words, and actions, so that you come to know and understand your own driving forces. In this way, practitioners eventually begin to see important connections between seemingly different energies.

For example it is said that anger and love are the same energy and that anger is a lower fear-based expression of love. Likewise, greed and avarice are lower fear-based expressions of compassion. With consciousness, greed transmutes into compassion. If this is so, then it makes perfect sense that the most avaricious of signs has the potential to also be the most compassionate. We can only come to know this for ourselves through diligent application, experience, and awareness.[quote cite="~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche"]Our anger obscures our capacity to love, our sadness obscures our joy, our prejudice obscures our equanimity, and our greed obscures our compassion.[/quote]
The current state of affairs in the world is a catalyst for human compassion to flower on a scale the likes of which have never before been known, and this is the lesson and the gift of Capricorn. In order to fully understand this, we need experience of how these energy dynamics work in our own energy field, which is why Capricorn is also the sign for skillful method, initiation, and discipleship.

The word “initiate” means to begin something or to be introduced to something. Without an introduction from skilled and experienced teachers, we are unlikely to see these energy dynamics for ourselves. Even Christ and the Buddha had teachers in their youth to point out the path. Next comes the discipleship, or discipline of applied practice. This means keeping our attention on the path. If we follow the energy of our greed, it takes us outside of ourselves, pursuing the object(s) of our desire and trying to fill a bottomless pit inside. It is this fear-based expression of Capricorn that leads to Capricorn’s worst reputation.

If we really observe ourselves deeply when we are experiencing greed, we can see that underneath it there is anxiety, fear, and maybe even terror. When we experience fear and terror, we naturally want to get as much as we can to take care of ourselves and our families. When our Capricorn friends succumb to fear, they may mistakenly chase after more worldly wealth and power, naturally trying to acquire and ring-fence resources for their own use, which gives them a false sense of security and short-lived peace of mind. Once they become well-versed and skilled in the art of energy dynamics, we will see that our Capricorn friends are transformed into the most generous and compassionate people on the planet! The Capricorn soul realizes that greed and compassion are but two expressions of the same energy and has the skill to transmute greed, avarice, and the base emotions of desire into compassion, love, and the highest qualities of humanity.

If you have Capricorn Rising, you can consider yourself to be a Capricorn soul. Your true skill and power lie in your innate focus, intelligence, and diligent method, which give you the ability to trace the energy of your emotions and desires back to their source. Rather than following the outward acquisitive direction of greed, by turning your attention inwards, observing your energy and tracing it back to its inner root, you will see it transform into compassion – first for yourself and then for others. From this connection to your innate compassion comes a deep and lasting sense of achievement, fulfilment, and spiritual nourishment. You then have an endless resource from which to practically and realistically build heaven on earth.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

KarenMacK smKaren MacKenzie is working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art.

Weekly Forecast January 6: Mars Square Jupiter, Sun Sextile Saturn

Snowstorm in southern Minnesota in March 1881.

Snowstorm in southern Minnesota in March 1881.

The challenges and tension of the past couple of weeks continue into this week, with the possibility of intensifying. But there is also some good news, especially in the second half of the week.

The cardinal grand cross that dominated the astrological charts on New Year’s Day remains close all the way into the weekend. Planets don’t “cause” events on earth, but earthly events do correlate to planetary movements. We can observe this happening around us every day. Throughout last week, drivers on the road were speeding and rude. You could almost see the waves of stress and anger in the air. A friend who normally is unflappable had personnel problems at work, exacerbated when a colleague called him a name with an expletive in front of the rest of the team. I experienced similar situations, nearly all to do with inappropriate or aggressive behavior.

Anger and aggression are, of course, the domain of Mars, who is heavily involved in the cardinal configurations in the sky. The warrior planet is in peace-loving Libra, which really pisses him off. There doesn’t seem to be anyone to complain to or to help find resolution. Adding insult to injury, he’s going to be stuck is this mode until the freakin’ end of July. There’s not much of an outlet other than passive-aggressive behaviors such as speeding around and cutting off another driver or talking negatively about people behind their backs. I’m sure you can add dozens of examples. It’s not all that productive, but Mars doesn’t care. He just needs to vent, or the pent-up frustration will cause him to explode – all the more likely given his opposition to Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries.

The moral of that story is that we can act out our frustrations with others in a passive-aggressive manner, or we can stop ourselves and seek out creative solutions. There may not be many options, and they likely will be hard to find. You may have to accept a compromise, a hallmark of Libra. As an intellectual air sign, Libra also represents a cool and rational approach – not exactly the way Mars would handle a conflict if he had a choice, so you might have to work to find a healthy balance between aggressive action and rational response.

Difficult aspects involving Uranus also can correlate to violent, unpredictable, or unusual weather. That certainly is happening in the United States. Much of the nation is being affected by a so-called “polar vortex,” with a forecast of temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below normal. Jupiter, who also is moving closer into the planetary configuration, signifies expansion and enlargement, so it’s no surprise that whatever happens will be big or exceptional in some way. Mars forms an exact square with Jupiter on Wednesday, but Mars transits typically are felt a week on either side. In other words, we’re already feeling it.

That’s it for the bad news this week. The good news is that there are several positive aspects, including a helpful sextile between Saturn in Scorpio and the Mercury, Venus, and the Sun in Capricorn. At the very least, we should have an easier time finding ways to cope with challenges. At best, there are possibilities for elegant solutions to problems we’ve been grappling with for the past three years. The configuration starts out right away on Monday with Mercury and Saturn in aspect and continues all the way through the weekend with the Sun sextiling Saturn on Saturday (Saturn’s Day).

Saturn in Scorpio ruthlessly throws away what no longer serves you. Sometimes we feel stuck in situations over which we have no control, and that certainly is true for many of us now, especially regarding employment and finances. In some cases, enduring hardship may be a necessity, and fortunately Saturn and Capricorn represent exactly those qualities. Capricorn is ambitious and steadily works toward meeting goals. There’s no instant gratification here. But in trudging along, we sometimes forget to keep looking beyond the familiar for resources we may not have known existed. For example, I recently read that millions of Americans who qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (commonly called food stamps)never apply. One explanation is the stigma of being on public assistance. In such a case, resourceful thinking might be changing one’s attitude to understand that Congress enacted this program precisely to provide a safety net during hard economic times.

On Saturday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Venus, and both form a sextile with Saturn. Relationships and finances can be improved, with renewed commitment and taking responsibility, a sign of maturity. If you haven’t been getting what you want and need for longer than you can remember, it’s time to speak up. In some cases, that might mean coming to a conclusion that something has to end. That will be easier to cope with if you have positive self-esteem. Under Saturday’s Sun-Venus transit, we can more easily explore issues of self-esteem and be more objective. Have you been allowing others to take advantage of you because you don’t think you deserve more? On the flip side, there does seem to be a thing as “too much” self-esteem. You know the type. They think they’re so wonderful that they should be first in line and get the best of everything. However, I suspect that underlying this sort of narcissism is a deeply insecure person who needs their self-esteem artificially propped up by others. For those who might need some help improving their self image, this is a good time to seek counseling. Scorpio is the sign of deep psychology, and under Saturn in Scorpio, we can do the hard work to dig in places we’d often rather not go.

There’s also an astronomical and mythological facet to the Sun-Venus conjunction. If you’re in a location without too much light pollution, you may have noticed Venus shining brilliantly after sunset. As she approaches conjunction with the Sun, she disappears. When she reemerges later this month, she’ll be visible in the morning before sunrise. This change always occurs during her retrograde cycle. In ancient Sumer, Venus was associated with the goddess Inanna. One of the oldest stories written down by humans is about Inanna’s descent into the underworld. There’s a theory that this myth is linked to the disappearance of Venus from the night sky and her reemergence as the morning star.

Later on Saturday, Mercury enters Aquarius, one of his favorite signs. Mercury in Capricorn takes a conservative approach and likes the tried-and-true. Mercury in Aquarius thinks out of the box (and hates clichés). Creative solutions are even more accessible. Keep your notebook handy for flashes of sudden insight and inspiration.

One other thing to keep in mind is that Pluto remains in a sextile with Chiron in Pisces, so there is an ongoing “outlet” for the energy of the Uranus-Pluto square, cardinal T-square, and grand cross. As I wrote my previous forecast:

Chiron represents healing, and Pisces concerns the collective unconscious. Whether it’s apparent or not, healing is taking place, individually and collectively. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a wise centaur who overcame his traumatic upbringing and became teacher of gods and heroes. Everyone has a core wound, a separation of self from self that needs to be reconnected and made whole. Breaking down the barriers to healing can be painful, and sometimes we are scared to go there at all. … The greatest potential for deep healing can be found by looking at where Chiron is transiting your chart.

Overall, this is a good week for healing issues related to self-esteem, values, and financial well-being. Identifying the source of a problem is the first step toward finding solutions.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

New Moon in Capricorn, January 1, 2014

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, by Henry Fuseli, c. 1795

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, by Henry Fuseli, c. 1795

Over the past few days, I’ve read several comments online to the effect of, “Good riddance, 2013.”

Not so fast.

An intense planetary configuration on New Year’s Day with after-effects lingering into July might make you long for the old year. Then again, challenging aspects such as these can come with changes that are long overdue.

The image that immediately comes to mind is the passage in The Odyssey in which Odysseus must sail through the dangerous strait between Scylla, the six-headed monster, and Charybdis, the deadly whirlpool. The phrase “caught between a rock and hard place” has its roots in this story. Odysseus, as you may recall from Mythology 101, fought in the Continue reading

Merry Christmas

Christmas lights in Leavenworth, Washington. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Christmas lights in Leavenworth, Washington. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Merry Christmas!

As you know from my forecast on Sunday, Mars opposes Uranus today (Wednesday). The Moon, representing home and family, amplifies the noise when she opposes Uranus and conjoins Mars later in the day. It’s a jungle out there, let me tell you. Since last Friday, I’ve been hearing about general craziness, and while some of it is typical last-minute running around before Christmas Day, we’ve got a difficult planetary alignment that will continue into the new year. Some of you will have more challenges than others, but we’ll all feel it one way or another, if only through those around us who are having a rough go of it.

It’s too bad that Christmas causes so much anxiety for so many people. Try to be extra patient, help out where you can, and resist being judgmental. One never knows what another might be struggling with inside, even though they may not show it on the outside. Yesterday I had a line of traffic behind me while trying to make a left turn into the supermarket, and I was stuck because a handicapped senior was hobbling across the entrance to the parking lot. After he safely crossed, oncoming traffic was so backed up I still couldn’t turn, until one driver stopped and waved for me to pass in front of him. It was a nice reminder that people can be kind, even when everyone is stressed out and in a hurry. Small gestures can and do make a difference.

Wishing you all a happy holiday,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast December 23: Mars Opposite Uranus, Sun Square Uranus

Leavenworth in December. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Leavenworth in December. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

One thing many of us wish for at this time of year is peace on earth.

Jesus was heralded as a prince of peace, and his birth (which most likely did not occur in December) inspired hope for humanity. The wise men – who were, of course, astrologers – followed a star or maybe the stars to find the humble shelter where he was delivered.

Had he lived another thousand years or so, maybe Jesus could have brought peace to a warring planet. Instead, his message got twisted and perverted over the centuries, to the point that eventually his name was invoked as a cause for war and killing “infidels” for the glory of God. It’s sad that many of our fellow humans haven’t evolved beyond 11th century thinking and that “Peace on Earth” has devolved to a tired phrase in greeting cards and seasonal advertisements.

As an astrologer, I find extra meaning in the Hermetic maxim, As above, so below. I’m sorry to have to report that this week’s “above” is anything but peaceful. As I write, we’re heading straight into a period of breaking down and enforced change. Some of us may have to let go of situations and relationships that no longer are in our best interest. In world affairs, diplomacy is possible, but it will not come easily.

The dominant signature behind the turmoil is a cardinal T-square involving Mars, Uranus, and Pluto. As you know if you’ve been reading my blog, Uranus and Pluto have been in a square – a 90-degree angle signifying crises and conflict. We first began seeing correlating events on earth in late 2010, even though there wasn’t an exact square until 2012. There will be seven exact contacts in all, the final one occurring in March 2015. After that, we’ll experience a few years of ripple effect, like sailing in the wake of an aircraft carrier. This week, Mars opposes Uranus, transforming the square into a T-square. At the same time, the Sun and Mercury square Uranus as they approach conjunction with Pluto on New Year’s Day. That’s an intense lineup.

Mercury enters Capricorn on Tuesday. Obligations and commitments become more important, and with Jupiter in family oriented Cancer, get-togethers with relatives may be overwhelming. Then, some people love big family reunions. If that’s you, go for it! Capricorn also is a career-oriented sign, and Mercury rules business negotiations. Many business offices are closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so we may not experience this influence until after January 1.

The Mars-Uranus opposition is exact on Christmas Day. This pair literally can be explosive – all the more so with Uranus just a week out of retrograde. Challenging Mars-Uranus aspects often correspond to explosions or violent weather, whereas difficult aspects between Mars and Pluto can manifest as power struggles, including military conflict. The saving grace is that Mars is in Libra, the sign of diplomacy, so peace might have a chance. But it could just as likely be shattered by more-powerful forces hell-bent on war and destruction. For those who have never known anything but war and hatred, peace and love are threatening.

Mercury and the Sun conjoin on Sunday, and both square Uranus within 24 hours. The entire following week will be dominated entirely by the T-square, which is intensely activated at the New Moon on New Year’s Day. The downside of this configuration is abrupt endings, breakdowns, and losses. On the positive side, we’ll experience abrupt endings, breakdowns, and losses. I hate the overused phrase, “All endings contain a new beginning,” because it glosses over the seriousness of loss. If important endings do occur in your life, honor your grief. That said, there may be situations or circumstances in your life that desperately need changing, and for one reason or another, you haven’t been able to make it happen. Change could come quickly and unexpectedly under this Mars-driven cardinal T-square. It may be too abrupt. It may be disruptive. But sometimes you need to be pushed off the train speeding in the wrong direction, because you’re too scared to jump.

In world affairs, we’re getting more and more revelations about the extent of spying by the National Security Agency. Back in June, when Edward Snowden first made sensational news headlines for blowing the whistle on his former employer, there was a brief T-square with Mercury in Cancer squaring Uranus and opposing Pluto. This is exactly the kind of thing we’d expect from Mercury in aspect with Pluto or Neptune, which are associated with spying, secrecy, and deceit. In the coming week, we might expect more secrecy to “break down” as attempts are made to correct the injustice and abuse of power.

There are a couple of positive aspects this week that should be fairly easy to negotiate. The Sun and Mercury both sextile Neptune in Pisces – the Sun on Tuesday and Mercury on Thursday. Despite the chaos, we’ll have a wonderful opportunity to have meaningful discussions for most of the week. This is a perfect setup for those who prefer to spend evenings at parties having a deep conversation in the corner with one or two people. You won’t even need to be in an altered state to have a magical exchange. Mercury-Neptune aspects also can manifest as vivid dreams. Keep your dream journal handy.

Since I’ve been writing about the astrological significance of comet ISON, I thought it worth mentioning that there was a new blog post last week by Karl Battams, an astrophysicist and designated expert on ISON. Although it’s clear ISON is dead, astronomers continue to track the remnants in hopes of learning more about the outer edges of our solar system. Battams estimates that ISON was about 4.5 billion years old at its death.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas with much love, joy, and PEACE,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Sagittarius Rising: The Sagittarius Soul

Deepest apologies for not posting this earlier. With everything going on, it slipped through the cracks. Yet, there is some synchronicity in the delay. Ruth discusses how one finds deeper satisfaction in life – a timely message as we make a last-minute mad dash to pile presents under the tree. Even though Christmas falls within the period of Capricorn, the true meaning of the holiday is contained in this beautiful thought piece on truth-seeking Sagittarius. ~pq


The Hindu goddess Saraswati as Sagittarius. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

The Hindu goddess Saraswati as Sagittarius. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

As we continue our journey looking at the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of the twelve zodiac signs, we arrive at Sagittarius, the sign of the seeker.

Sagittarius is associated with seeking, searching, teaching, learning, travel, philosophy, wisdom, religion, idealism, optimism, purpose, freedom, goals and truth. These all seem like worthy higher pursuits, yet when viewed through the lens of the fear-based ego can become badly distorted. Higher truth, freedom and spiritual goals can become fear-based dogma, opinions, freedom for selfish pursuits, and ego-driven materialistic goals. The lessons that begin in one sign are carried forward by the next, so like his predecessor Scorpio, Sagittarius is also learning the balance of power.

In Esoteric Astrology, we are told that the fire signs bring three gifts. In Aries we have the gift of existence; in Leo we have the gift of opportunity through individuality; and in Sagittarius we have the gift of power – but this is a higher power of which we speak, not power over others, which would be the egoic idea of power, but rather the power of self-mastery. The self-realization attained in Leo that became self-reliance in Scorpio is now set, in Sagittarius, to become self-mastery.

[quote cite="~ Alan Leo"]We may define Esoteric Astrology as that side of the subject which views all stellar phenomena from the standpoint of unity; whilst Exoteric Astrology begins its study from the side of diversity and separateness. The Esoteric Astrologer looks upon the whole expression of life as proceeding from one central and primal source, and therefore seeks to understand the subject from the point of view of the One flowing forth into the many.[/quote]

Fear comes from the illusion of separation. Understanding this is key to understanding the higher wisdom of Sagittarius, because the highest wisdom comes from oneness. From unity consciousness. The awareness that all really is one. As long as our Sagittarian friend is caught in illusion and duality, his power will be directed toward self-advancement. There is a key distinction for Sagittarius to understand: whether the freedom he seeks is truly freedom from the illusion of ego, or whether he is simply seeking freedom for his ego!

The freedom to be oneself is one of the highest values in our Western culture, yet for the most part what we really mean is the freedom to do as we please. Yet doing as we please can keep us firmly stuck in our own conditioned behaviors and fear-based ego responses. When we really get everything we desire, we can become truly miserable and realize that none of it had the power to bring us deeper satisfaction and fulfillment. That can only come from within.

[quote cite="~ George Bernard Shaw"]There are two great disappointments in life. Not getting what you want and getting it.[/quote]

Driven by innate curiosity and a thirst for knowledge about life, the universe, and everything, our Sagittarian friend is on a lifelong quest for truth. Yet Sagittarius is not called the sign of the philosopher for nothing. Philosophy is all about taking ideas and applying them to life in meaningful ways – in other words taking an idea and turning it into a rule or guide by which we “should” live. On the surface this might seem like a good thing. Having idealistic standards to strive for and moral codes to live by can only improve our lives, right? Yet that has been the story of human history from the onset. Each generation seeks to impose its set of rules, codes and standards on the society for the purpose of “improving” it. Mental concepts taken to extremes become dogma, and there is a fine line between philosophy and dogma.

[quote cite="~ Osho"]A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming.[/quote]

When our Sagittarian friend becomes fearful, he clings to his mental concepts, has difficulty distinguishing personal opinion from truth, and may cling to dogma from a false sense of security. The highest wisdom that Sagittarius truly seeks is beyond words, language, and mental concepts. The universe has the power to create mountains, move oceans, grow rainforests, and fill them with a myriad of living beings, while simultaneously keeping the solar system orbiting around the Sun and maintaining the delicate inner workings of a human body, from digesting your food to making sure the oxygen levels in your cells are in perfect balance – all in silence and all without a single philosophy, moral code, or standard about how things ought to be done. Do you ever wonder how it coped before humans arrived on the scene to think about the “best way” to do life? Amazing!

The real power of Sagittarius comes when he realizes self-mastery, which begins with mastering his own thoughts and actions. When the Archer turns his arrow inward, he focuses on the correct goal, the journey to seek his true nature. Our true nature as human beings lies well beyond our capacity for thought and is discovered through direct perception. It is the difference between experiencing ice cream and thinking about ice cream!

[quote cite="~ Ramana Maharshi"]There are no levels of Reality; only levels of experience for the individual.[/quote]

Through deeper meditative or spiritual practices Sagittarius begins to realize his deep connection with life itself. Feeling the pulse of life force energy surging through his veins, and when his busy mind becomes quiet, our Sagittarius friend wakes up to the realization that he is one with the very life force that is moving planets and creating universes. Through direct perception, he realizes that these universal forces are running through him and that he and the universe are one and the same. Through his own expanded perception and awareness, he arrives at the ultimate goal.

[quote cite="~ Chögyal Namkhai Norbu"]Realization is not knowledge about the universe, but the living experience of the nature of the universe.[/quote]

The Tibetan Buddhist tradition speaks of “clear-light” wisdom, a higher wisdom beyond conceptual thinking that we can access when we have become stable enough in meditation to experience the true nature of mind, which is said to be clear light. Through meditative practices, the everyday mind is transcended, and the true nature of our clear light mind can be accessed. It is said that all wisdom can be known at this point, but it is not what we would normally think of as knowledge. It is not information. It doesn’t come in the form of words or thinking. It is through direct perception and resting in clear awareness that such wisdom is known.

Once there has even been a glimpse of recognition of the clear-light wisdom that lies beyond the chatter of our everyday mind, we have identified the true goal. This is the highest wisdom and deeper spiritual truth that our Sagittarian friends really seek. Through deeper contemplative practices, it is possible to abide continuously in this awareness, and by doing so, ever-deeper insights into the true nature of the universe will arise. We may realize that our awareness and the awareness of the universe are one and the same, and that the nature of the universe is awareness itself. In Tibetan Buddhism, this is said to be the ultimate wisdom.

[quote cite="~ Osho"]Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created.[/quote]

If you have Sagittarius Rising, you may consider yourself to be a Sagittarian Soul, and your soul’s purpose is to uplift humanity through the revelation of truth and wisdom. To attain this highest of goals, you first need to transcend your own fear-based reactions, which may cause you to cling to opinions and manmade dogma as though they were spiritual truth. When you are free of such manmade concepts and self-imposed dogma, you are truly liberated. This is achieved by going deeper within on your own journey of self-exploration, where you realize your true power, recognize your true nature as oneness with all that is, and have access to the ultimate wisdom of the universe!



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

KarenMacK smKaren MacKenzie is working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art.

Weekly Forecast December 16: Full Moon in Gemini, Sun Enters Capricorn

© Dzain for Dreamstime.com

© Dzain for Dreamstime.com

The week before the Christmas holiday is typically fairly quiet, but with this week’s dynamic astrological aspects, we’re going to see more than a few springs start to pop.

Most of the action takes place on Tuesday, when Uranus in impulsive Aries comes out of retrograde a few hours after the Full Moon in hyperactive Gemini. Uranus has been moving away from the heavily charged square with Pluto, but as of Tuesday, he’ll begin moving back toward Mr. Intensity until they form the next exact square on April 21.

Uranus and Pluto both like to break their toys – Uranus by throwing them at the wall or, better still, blowing them up; and Pluto by pulling off the moving parts slowly over time and stepping on them, dropping them off the roof, setting them on fire, crushing them in the trash compactor, flushing them down the toilet, etc. It can take a while, but making others suffer is part of the fun. When you put this pair together, you get double the destruction in half the time. Uranus waking up could reduce the time to seconds.

Possible events related to this shift include explosions, violent wind storms (not that we haven’t had plenty of those already), and other weather-related developments – all of which may increase as Mars approaches opposition to Uranus on Christmas Day. The week between Christmas and New Year’s could be difficult in many ways (more about that next week).

At the very least, it’s fair to say that we can expect to see some surprises or sudden changes, or both. This applies to individuals as well as the collective. You likely know by now where the Uranus-Pluto square has been transiting your chart, and you probably have some idea of how it’s manifesting in your life. The absolutely maddening thing about Uranus is that it’s useless to speculate about what kind of surprise you might get, because whatever it might be isn’t yet in your sphere of awareness.

In the meantime, all I can say is to cherish the ones you love, connect with your people, and resist the urge to spend. Rather than going overboard with holiday buying, be as conservative as possible. Hold something back for a rainy (or snowy) day. I do a lot of baking at the holidays, and I can tell you that a plate of homemade cookies is more appreciated than anything I could buy. I’ve been amazed by the reactions, but I finally got it last week after seeing a television commercial with a woman decorating “homemade” Christmas cookies that she baked with a packaged mix. Now that I don’t get.

Full Moon in Gemini

Click on image to enlarge

In the chart for the Full Moon in Gemini, you can see the T-square with Mars, Uranus, and Pluto just beginning to form. Those of us who are sensitive may start feeling jumpy again and probably exhausted, too. We had a break for a few weeks, and now we’re heading back into the turbulence. The good news is that if you’ve stuck, the extra jolt may push you out of a rut.

With Mars in Libra, relationships are especially subject to some shifting – all the more so with Venus about to turn retrograde. In romantic partnerships and close friendships, we often don’t talk about what bothers us, thinking that it doesn’t matter or that we should be able to “get over it” and move on. Love isn’t supposed to be petty, jealous, selfish, unkind, and all that. Very few of us, though, can truly let go of these things. Eventually, resentment builds up and can turn to anger, and we can explode at the smallest trigger. By then, it’s difficult to talk it out, because there are so many buried feelings that it’s virtually impossible to go back to the source of the problem.

Venus retrograde, Mars in Libra, and Mars retrograde in Libra in March, April, and May could help us get to the root. I just need to warn you that the process is work, it demands a lot of you, and it’s exhausting. But if you value your relationship, it’s worth the effort. You might get clues this week or maybe just a vague feeling or the seed of a new approach, and then events will unfold between now and next summer.

Diplomatic ties also are relationships, and all of what I wrote above applies to countries, too. The budding relationship between the United States and Iran will continue to unfold under these planetary influences, and relations with other countries in the Middle East also will require adjusting.

Saturday is Solstice Day, which many people celebrate as an alternative to the Christian holiday. For astrologers, it’s an important day in the year, when the Sun crosses one of the four cardinal points that mark the beginning of each new season (actually, I consider them to be the middle or height of the season, but that’s a story for another time). Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year, which of course means that the light steadily begins to return at this time.

In the Capricorn ingress chart for the United States (set for 12:11:10 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; chart not shown), the Sun is close to the Midheaven, in a close square with the Ascendant at 2 degrees Aries. Chart ruler Mars is in Libra in the seventh house, which strongly suggests that foreign relations will be a dominant concern throughout the winter. Current relations, especially those on shaky ground, might break down altogether when Mars turns retrograde, but there will be a chance to rebuild them into connections that are more sustainable, just, and equal. Meanwhile, at home, there will be growing unrest. If and when it erupts, it will be promptly put down by the Powers That Be, not unlike what just happened in Kiev. It’s also possible that there will be nationwide mourning of some kind, possibly for a beloved leader.

A few hours after the Sun enters Capricorn, Venus turns retrograde in the sign of the Seagoat. Financial concerns come into play now in a big way. Now that Congress has reached a budget deal, issues that stalled due to partisan infighting can get a second chance. One of the items on the president’s agenda is appropriating funds to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – a fitting agenda item for Capricorn. Back in 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn, I wrote about this national priority.

As I mentioned above, many relationships also will go through some scrutiny while Venus is retrograde. Capricorn is a sign of duty and responsibility, so committed partnerships are likeliest to need an investment of time and effort. And while Venus retrograde periods are absolutely not recommended for weddings, it is a good time to explore whether you’re ready to make a commitment and to face your fears.

I’ll have more on Venus and Mars in future forecasts. I want to spend to the rest of this one discussing comet ISON.

ISON has been pronounced dead. Nothing is left from its encounter with the sun but a cloud of dust. It’s all but certain that this visitor came but once, only to die on its journey. In searching for what its “message” might be, we can look at major contacts it made before breaking up.

First, it made a tight conjunction with Mars and Regulus in mid-October. As I wrote back then, astrologers have observed Regulus since ancient times to predict the future of the monarch. Regulus means “prince” or “little king” in Latin. This bright star, which is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia (also called the Four Guardians of Heaven), also is called Qalb al-Asad in Arabic or Cor Leonis in Latin, meaning “heart of the lion,” referring to its position in the constellation Leo. “Courage” and “encouragement” are from the same Latin root. We all can be more courageous by living from the heart, the true seat of the mind. Still, I believe this conjunction refers to a prominent political or military leader – Mars being the planet of war.

ISON also conjoined Mercury and Saturn, although not as tightly as his contact with Mars and Regulus. Planet Mercury is named for the mythological messenger of the gods and in astrology rules communications. Saturn, meanwhile, is the Lord of Time. Before Pluto was discovered in 1930, astrologers considered Saturn as the planet of death. So there is something symbolic in ISON’s conjunction with Saturn just four days before its fateful encounter with the sun. Saturn also is the Lord of Karma and karmic lessons.

The thing is, ISON wasn’t visible with the naked eye, so if there was a message, it likely wasn’t for the general population. That might discount obvious messages such as, “Wake up people, before you destroy the environment and blow up the planet.” A possible message might have to do with equality and justice, but I think it’s even deeper than that.

The third and last contact ISON made before fragmenting was with the stars in the head of Scorpio, not far from where Scorpio and Ophiuchus meet. Master astrologer Melanie Reinhart wrote an intriguing analysis for The Mountain Astrologer‘s blog, with stunning graphics (thanks to Osk for sending the link). She wrote the piece before ISON broke up, though, so her interpretation needs some updating. What’s left of the comet is following its predicted path, but there must be some additional symbolism in its passage through Ophiuchus and Serpens Cauda – the head of the snake being held by the snake handler/healer – as a ghost.

One last thought concerns the concept of cazimi in horary astrology. I don’t know if it applies here, but it’s interesting to contemplate the theory. Horary astrology is the art of prediction by casting a chart for the moment a question is asked or problem clarified. The rules for cazimi vary slightly, but the basic idea is that a planet is cazimi when it is in exact or very close conjunction with the Sun.

In an article in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer, horary doyenne Deborah Houlding discusses the concept of cazimi and notes that while some astrologers in past centuries considered a planet to be strong in cazimi, others noted that it is similar to the human body undergoing detox – much weakened, but in a state that will lead to better health. At perihelion, ISON was conjunct the Sun and therefore could be said to be cazimi. Yet it emerged not in better health, but dead.

My initial thoughts are that it may take death to heal some of the deepest wounds, especially those with which we came into this incarnation. Death, after all, is just a passage from one state to another. All of the healing work we’re doing now, individually and in groups, may not have its greatest effect in this lifetime but in future incarnations. I, for one, would be elated if I came in next time around without all the accumulated karmic baggage I brought with me on this trip.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.