So many energies are swirling around us in 2016. We’re in a year of “stop/start” – letting go of the old and embracing the new. These are more intense “old/new” issues than we’re used to. The first level of consciousness shift of one 2,000-year-long Age into another has come to a plateau, giving us all a chance to catch up.

The intensity of this year’s path is led by Fire Monkey who instigates change we can’t avoid with a maniacal sense of humor. We also have assistance from the many retrograde planets that make us look within. Yet when our personal world is changed because of outside forces, in this case the rebirth/awakening of the Earth and all life on her, it feels like we’re being forced into adapting to it. And no one likes being forced into anything.

Please remember, though, we all chose to be here! This is a time of experiencing the evolution of humankind on an accelerated day-to-day basis. While that is very exciting for our soul-selves as it promotes healing of past-life arcs, completing karmic contracts, and sets us up for next year’s unlimited options, it makes for a hard life when we face it every day.

Some of us are handling it better than others. As I’ve said before, the male population is having the harder time of it. Coming off their “power-over” lessons of the last 2,000 years, it’s very difficult for them to ease into the new “power-within” without kicking and screaming at everyone around them. That sends out fear and negativity in a ripple effect so we all feel it, even if we’re not personally standing in fear and negativity in our lives.

Many are checking out. Some are either exhausted by all the energy shifts that started in the 1960s with the “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius”, or have already accomplished what they came here to do (whether or not they’re consciously aware of it), or have reached a point where they can’t take anymore. A client recently told me she has had sixteen people in her immediate sphere die since the beginning of the year. Other clients and friends have reported many deaths around them, too. Some deaths conclude years of illness, some are sudden. None reported to me are suicides, but that is also happening.

This wave includes, as we have seen, celebrities like David Bowie and Prince. Their creative work helped shift consciousness for generations to prepare for all the changes that are on us now and have yet to come. Music is one of the best ways to instigate consciousness shifting in a subtle yet powerful way. They’ve given it their all. So in releasing from this life, they are moving on to recharge and reinvent themselves, as both did in their careers.

So what are we supposed to do with this energy since we can’t avoid it?

Take one day at a time. That sounds so simplistic and unhelpful but our society and everything we learn from birth on is about having a plan. These days, newborns get a Social Security number immediately and then need to get on a waiting list for the right pre-school years before they’re old enough to attend. That’s a lot of pressure. And it’s control based on fear that will continue to get worse until we shift it. Which is what we’re doing this year.

We’ve become a society of planners while the energy is trying to get us to live in the moment.

We’ve lost our ability to be an agile. Sure, we adapt quickly in an emergency, like we did on 9/11. But without such an emergency, we follow a plan. And we plan, as I mentioned, because of fear – the main control mechanism of the Piscean Age. Fear that if we don’t plan, we won’t get what we want or do the best we can. Meanwhile the Aquarian Age sensibilities are trying to get us to become more agile and see that we’re fine as we are, even in fearful or negative situations (because negative lessons teach us much more effectively than positive ones do).

So be careful about planning anything long term. It’s fine to have an idea, but try to be fluid with it. Nothing is going to go as expected this year. If we know that, frustration, resentment, anger, or fear will not be our reaction. Go with the flow, even in big situations that seem life-changing. There’s a lot of life-changing going on now, but none that we can control day-to-day so don’t try to.

In response to seemingly having no control of our world, be aware a normal reaction is to try to exert control over what we can, such as changing jobs or moving locations. Most of those “plans” won’t come to fruition because they’re not easy to do at a moment’s notice, but having the idea of making a change can sometimes help us get through the difficulties because it makes us feel more in charge.

The “stop/start” energy of this year also brings us into awareness of how much we have adapted to what is not part of our personal rhythm, i.e., years of physical, mental, and spiritual self-neglect – to care for others (whether out of generosity or necessity), to get along in a job/relationship filled with oppression, or to survive in any situation. Many reasons for self-neglect have come and gone but they leave us with a pattern.

This year, what’s “not really us” is catching up with us, requiring us to shift our unnatural pattern and how we look at our place in the world. Try recognizing how much of our actions and beliefs are based on having adapted to outside influences. By being consciously aware of what has influenced us, we can then slowly let it go, piece by piece, and stand more in who we really are.

Sometimes this can be perceived as if we’re reassessing our life paths, making us feel as if we’re lost and everything we’ve done in our lives doesn’t matter. These days, it’s easy to lose perspective. But we’re not really lost, we’re just changing in ways we never did before and that help us know ourselves better.

So keep on keeping on. Take one step at a time. Avoid thinking long term, but focus on getting through today and let tomorrow take care of itself. That’s not the way we have come to think in our world, but the “power of now” concept is the answer and it’s not going away.

To help us get it, we have a nice abundance of planets in retrograde. The energy of any retrograde is to help us go inward to reassess and reexamine and to tell us what to avoid. However, many times we can’t stop or change our lives based on astrology when society doesn’t recognize its importance (although we’d be better if we did). People have important pre-scheduled events happening and decisions to make while, currently, Mercury and Mars are retrograde. That makes for some difficult choices.

Imagine telling everyone involved in a real estate deal that papers can’t be signed because the closing comes during a Mercury retrograde? Even in New Age California, that isn’t well accepted. Business is business, schedules are schedules. So we carry on even when we know there could be repercussions.

Many years ago a friend had a life-changing but not time-sensitive surgery scheduled during retrogrades and was advised by an astrologer to put it off, even by a few weeks. But it had taken a lot to organize the best doctor at the best hospital so the surgery took place as scheduled. Unfortunately, she has had medical issues originating from that surgery throughout her life. So know it’s important to recognize and honor retrograde energy.

That being said, when we can’t always stop or change our lives based on astrology, we can at least take precautions. If papers have to be signed, go over them three or four times. If a job or negotiation is scheduled to start, know there will be difficulties and go with the flow until better decisions can be made. Do the best we can in any situation and use the retrograde energy to clarify what’s going on within rather than without.

In 2016, it’s normal to feel defeated, to feel exhausted on every level (over and above the Mars retrograde depletion), to have no energy, to feel lost and to think “what’s the point?” But know that even when we consciously feel that everything is wrong, that’s just a symptom of the profound changes we’re making within. Even if all the work is being doing by our subconscious, we’re still getting it done.

Meanwhile to help get through it all, be aware of our own energy vs. when we’re reacting to the intensity around us. This can be hard because it sneaks up on us. The best mirrors we have to show us when we’re so affected that our energy is leaking off onto others without our knowing it are our children and pets. They don’t have the filters or the stamina that adults/humans have developed. They feel this energy much more acutely, especially if it’s given off by someone close to them who is acting out of their own usual rhythm. So if either our children or pets suddenly behave in a more outrageous way, know it’s a sign to look at self, not at them. They’re just reflecting what we give them.

Also be aware of personal “explosions”. Sometimes in a situation or with someone who is very annoying – a friend constantly obsessed with the current love, a relentless child WANTING SOMETHING – we take it and take it and take it until sometimes we lose our cool, explode, and then regret the loss of ourselves afterward. That can happen very easily right now. We’re taking and taking and taking all this change energy but the trick is to not lose our cool. Try to remember that this energy is finite. And we will get through it.

If we do the best we can each day, it helps us stay sane and survive. We’re not imagining it: this is a very difficult year. But by being aware of that, avoiding the self-judgmental “shoulds” (“this SHOULD be easier”, “I SHOULD do better”), and accepting the energy is here to help us, we can get through this and come out the other side in more balance, self-awareness and contentment.

By the way, I’m not writing this to scare or depress anyone but to share information that can help us be prepared and deal with what’s happening in our world. I hope this helps.

I offer this with love and gratitude…

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