The Year Ahead: 2011

Do you want the good news or the bad? OK, the good. 2011 represents the bottom of the recessionary cycle: the only way on from here is up. And the bad: strikes, job shortages, further restrictions on borrowing, increased costs on everything. Now the reasons, and the reason for hope.

Since 2009 there has been a configuration in play which, in terms of weather, can be likened to a trough of low pressure. Not a trace of blue in the sky, mist and murk, rain, and winds blowing in from the Arctic. But, by the end of 2011 this configuration will be on the wane. The plus point about such planetary influences is that they get rid of a lot of stuff we simply don’t need; they teach us what matters, and how to be more in a climate of less. And when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Right?

As above; so below is one of astrology’s founding principles. When you look out on the world’s stage and see every country grappling with debt, experiencing radical shifts in political power and coping with nature’s destructive force, you see why your life also is full of unwanted challenges. The answer does not lie in solutions that have worked in the past but by overcoming prejudice and self-interest and trying something completely different. It’s all about a positive, purposeful attitude.

Uranus, the planet of revolution, enters Aries – the most pioneering sign of the zodiac – on March 12. So, you can put this date in your diaries as the beginning of a wave of great change and innovation. Previous eras during which Uranus transited Aries have produced the industrial revolution, television - oh dear, and Fascism - so we can expect to see some truly exciting developments in the world of science and technology. (Let’s not talk about dictators and police states.)

On 4 April, Neptune, the planet of dreams and deception, enters its own sign of Pisces, which on the upside will encourage us all to work from our higher selves, and, on the downside, could generate a climate of pessimism and chaos. Pisces and Neptune have much to do with health and social security, oil and water and gas, and I suspect some of the biggest upsets and advances of the next few years are going to involve these matters. (Now’s the time to buy shares in natural resources, by the way.)

Saturn continues its journey through Libra, which is a plus in the sense that there is a drive and desire for peace, fairness and justice but a minus in that greater powers will be given to the forces of law and order. I also believe Saturn in this Venus-ruled air sign is raising the status of women, a trend we can see epitomized by Australia electing Julia Gillard as its Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher came to power the last time Saturn was in Libra. Bucking the trend was Hillary Clinton’s failure to secure the Democrat leadership, but then there’s always next year...

Pluto’s transit of Capricorn is now in its third year. This so-called celestial dwarf – still a planet in my book – has been the main signatory on the global economic collapse, and while the struggle to gain control of the world’s economies continues, out of it will come far better financial systems. But it’s going to take time... I wonder too that certain countries currently behaving badly will take us to the brink now that Pluto is gaining ground in their horoscopes.

Jupiter’s passage through Aries (January – June) favours entrepreneurial ventures and champions pioneers in every field. We’re going to see some world records broken and some of the biggest prices ever paid for sports figures. But watch for the collapse of some famous names involved in the travel, finance and leisure industries. Jupiter’s move into Taurus (June onwards) could see house prices turning the corner so 2011 is an excellent year to buy - here in Norway that is. Problems with the euro continue so investing in property and business in Europe, with the exception of Scandinavia, is risky.

Last but not least, what will we be wearing? Fashion seems to have reached a point where almost anything goes. As long as you have the right attitude you can wear a bin-liner with a chainmail belt or you can put on a pair of palazzo pants, a cashmere sweater and ballet pumps and still be on trend. But since we’re in the Age of Austerity I suggest you throw out your frills and get the lean, mean look.

And that pretty well sums up 2011: lean and mean.

Penny Thornton

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