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Eclipses in Capricorn:
The Buck Stops Here
by April Elliott Kent
I took a short vacation over the holidays that included a
near-total news blackout. My only source of information was
through my friends' Facebook postings, which is how I learned
about the failed pants-bombing
attempt on Christmas Day. When I tuned into NPR a full
ten days later, this was still the top headline and comprised
the majority of the news coverage. Between rolling my eyes
(get back to me when you've got something new to report on
the situation, media!) and dialing to the local jazz station,
I overheard President Obama's invocation of Harry S. Truman's
famous declaration of presidential responsibility: "The
buck stops here!", itself a riff on the concept of passing
the buck (passing blame onto others).
Because I'm an astrologer born just one day after Obama,
I'm intimately familiar with his chart and know at any given
time exactly what planetary activity he's up against. And
because I'm an astrologer who is especially interested in
eclipses, my ears pricked up at that particular quotation
- because in it, I heard the upcoming Solar Eclipse in
Capricorn (January 15, 2010) preparing to fall precisely
on Obama's natal Saturn.
The buck stops here! This cycle often leaves you
feeling pushed up against a very solid wall, blocked and
frustrated at every turn, and feeling victimized. With eclipses
in aspect to natal Saturn, the key is to determine where
your responsibility truly lies in a given situation,
and then accept it - but don't accept a scintilla more or
less of the praise or blame than you deserve.
Saturn describes the universal rule that says you create
your own reality. If you refuse to accept your responsibility
for authoring your current situation, someone else will
likely come along and make you do it, blaming you for a
lot of stuff that really isn't your fault; nothing gets
you clearer about what really is your responsibility!
That bit about responsibility sticks in some people's craws.
But I don't mean to suggest that the awful things that happen
to you are a function of your nasty karma or your failure
to think positively enough. Rather, I consider Saturn's message
empowering, not punitive. The very word "responsible"
implies that you are able to respond. Nowhere in that
word will you find the concept of "blame." Responsibility
is not about assigning blame, either to yourself or others;
rather, it's about finding the most useful way to frame a
given situation, and to accurately assess the ways in which
you are able to respond to its challenges and opportunities.
This year, with two eclipses falling in worldly Capricorn
(Solar Eclipse January 15, Lunar Eclipse June 26), ruled
by Saturn, I suppose all of us are, to some extent, grappling
with the question, "Are you living the life you want
to live?" And whether the answer is yes or no, the
buck ultimately stops with you.
Let's put on our magical time-travel beanie for a moment
and check in with yourself at age six. Ask this kid, "What
do you want to be when you grow up?" and see what
kind of reply you receive. You probably didn't have a precise
idea of where you would end up - most likely, your answer
was drawn from the relatively shallow pool of possibilities
that you saw around you - but from those choices you probably
selected the one that seemed most interesting and involving.
Regardless of your life circumstances at that age, it's likely
that it was the most secure you will ever feel in your life.
Assuming the norm - that a kid's food and shelter are supplied
by someone else - your only job was to perform well in school,
do your chores, and prepare for the future. The possibilities
you could imagine were limited, but your freedom to choose
from them was vast. As you got older and farther along
the path, and your responsibilities grew, did your direction
in life grow clearer, or become clouded by fear, obligation,
It's not necessarily a bad thing if you didn't realize your
childhood dream of becoming a rock star, an astronaut, or
a doctor. Maybe you found other dreams that have filled you
with joy - dreams that had nothing at all to do with a career,
and everything to do with building a home, family, and sense
of belonging to your community.
Wherever you ended up, it's natural to occasionally experience
doubts and insecurity about the choices you've made. Often,
the ability to experience these feelings is the first step
to making new, more satisfying choices.
Eclipses falling in Capricorn mark a critical juncture at
which you realize what you want to become is in direct
conflict with the support structure you've built for your
life. Basically, it's time for a renovation. Imagine your
life as a modest bungalow. It has everything you need - but
let's face it, a little extra closet space would be nice.
Perhaps you'd like to build a second story with a master suite
and walk-in closet - but in order to do this, you'll first
need to reinforce the foundation.
Similarly, your challenge this year lies in finding where
you are able to respond - identifying ways to reinforce
the structure of your life so that it will support you in
achieving your new goals, without destroying the foundation
on which your dreams are built.