by Jeff Jawer
Brilliant ideas get 2011 off to a fast start when visionary Jupiter joins inventive Uranus on January 4. Optimism about fresh opportunities grows when Jupiter enters pioneering Aries on January 22. Impatience can be expected with this irrepressible transit, yet serious Saturn's retrograde turn on January 26 signals the need to tie up loose ends and to work carefully to build a solid foundation before launching major new projects. Still, there's no need to exaggerate doubts or fears, which is possible when Jupiter forms a stressful 90-degree square with skeptical Pluto on February 25 and a challenging opposition to nay-saying Saturn on March 28.
Fortunately, spirits are boosted with the Sun's entry into Aries, the first sign of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, on March 20. Faith is growing, as well, with loving Venus' entry into spiritual Pisces, followed by Neptune's shift into this magical sign on April 4. We are lifted by dreams of love, pleasure and profit. Yet, once again, if we act impulsively, problems are likely to arise that are bound to slow progress. Mercury, the planet of information, communication, technology and systems, is retrograde from March 30 until April 23, which tends to complicate these key areas of life. Double-checking details and reviewing agreements can save much time and energy.
A realistic and down-to-earth trend emerges as planets move into simple and stable Taurus. The Sun starts the parade on April 20, followed there by Mars on May 11, Venus and Mercury on May 15 and finally Jupiter on June 4. This uncommon gathering of planets is a reminder to stick to the basics. Recognizing fundamental needs on a personal level clears emotional clutter, and concentrating on key elements in professional matters ensures long-term reliability. Saturn's forward turn on June 12 should hasten visible progress, while Jupiter's harmonious trine with potent Pluto on July 7 unearths hidden resources.
Idealistic Neptune backs into Aquarius on August 4 for a last visit to this intellectually stimulating sign until February 3, 2012. This provides another chance to stretch our minds and discover alternative ways to look at reality. The fall is a time of efficiency, with planets plunging into no nonsense Scorpio on October 9, 13 and 23 before enterprising Jupiter forms another creative trine with transformational Pluto on October 28. Although there may be some wandering off course during Mercury's November 24 - December 13 retrograde period, 2011 ends with a stronger sense of purpose and direction than when it began.