The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette

Wheel of Light

Astrology by Rio Olesky

by Rio Olesky

Every year there are times when certain planetary alignments bring challenges. Whether we respond to those challenges as opportunities for personal growth or groan and plead victim is an expression of our free will. This month one such challenge will occur, primarily in the second week, although the entire first half of December could bring difficulty. This is due to two planets, Mars and Uranus, being in opposition to each other and both squaring Pluto. This aspect is called a T-square and it’s one of the most challenging, and potentially growth producing of any alignments. 

The opposition brings interactive tension. We could feel as if someone or something external to ourselves is confronting us in some way. We could also get feedback from someone that we are cause of their stress. The square is usually a time when we are confronting ourselves. We become aware that there are two parts of who we are that aren’t supportive to or comfortable with each other.

The combination of Mars, Uranus and Pluto could generate volatility, possibly even violent outbursts. This could manifest individually based on the houses (areas of life experience) that are being activated or triggered in one’s natal chart by this transit. It could also manifest collectively, as political, economic or military entities colliding in a show of force. Similarly, however, this combination of influences is so potentially powerful that incredible breakthroughs could also take place. If so, not only would they relieve major tension build-ups but also bring us to new levels of awareness, consciousness and interaction.

The Mars-Uranus opposition is in the signs Libra and Aries. It can represent a level of comfort with taking risks to be more expressive of our sense of uniqueness and authenticity. Mars, the ruling planet of Aries, is by nature assertive and likes things to be direct. This can especially be true in the expression of one’s desires. Libra, however, tends to be thoughtful and diplomatic. Sometimes it can be so focused on creating social harmony that it overlooks one’s own drives or desires. The combination of Mars in Libra can generate tendencies to be pushy in trying to establish a harmonious situation, somewhat of a contradiction in terms. The combination of Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries can create a push-pull behavior in which someone trying to establish a bond based on mutual consideration is met by someone else who is going to maintain their own path at any cost. It’s like demanding that someone who is stridently independent pay attention to the welfare of someone else. 

Into this combination comes Pluto in Capricorn. The square between Pluto and Uranus has been ongoing since 2010. This aspect has been challenging individuals as well as collective systems such as governments and economic systems to be honest, real and authentic. Anything or anybody that has not been in alignment with it’s true nature has either repeatedly been challenged or fallen apart altogether. I will be discussing this square further in my annual Perspectives talk which will be held at The Wells Fargo Center on January 12, 2016 at 7 PM. This month, with the addition of Mars a renewed wave of difficulty could ensue.

Mars represents physicality in any form. It also represents courage and the drive to define and express the self. By nature it can be impatient and impulsive, hence its potential to act as a trigger. On the personal level, it could lead to destroying or at least letting go of parts of ourselves or our lives that are no longer expressive of who we know ourselves to be. It could enable each of us to be bold enough to implement new behaviors, activities or relationships that are in keeping with the sense we have of our true self. This could be shocking to others even as it is revelatory to ourselves, but authentic nonetheless. Collectively, in relationship to the chart of the United States, houses four (home, family, real estate), ten (status, public image) and two (financial resources) are being activated. This suggests that anything from diplomatic alliances or conflicts with other nations could affect our international standing or the stability of our economy. It could also simply serve as a wake up call that we are not moving in the right direction politically or economically within our own country. Such issues as income inequality as well as housing affordability could reach an even higher level of awareness and dissonance than they already have.

Growth through this period can come from taking stock of ourselves, the way we project ourselves and how we relate to others. If we note a lack of honesty, with ourselves or others, this is a perfect opportunity to make some significant changes. We could also feel impelled to call out others who we find to be less than honest. The results of these changes could bring greater personal fulfillment as well as social intimacy into our lives.


Aries: This transiting T-square might have you right in its crosshairs. You could be accused of being too self-centered. You could also be abrupt in challenging others in their authenticity. Growth for you comes from striving to see other’s points of view and then being diplomatic in defining yours to them. Taurus: This is a time to be open about expressing deep feelings to those you trust. The vulnerability that you feel could also open up the other person as well as new areas that the two of you can pursue. A time of personal and relational transformation.

Gemini: A tale of two patterns for you this month. Early month brings curiosity, open mindedness and inspirational communication. Later you could feel overwhelmed with too much information or be too caustic in sharing it with others. Growth can come from deepening your awareness of new information and then being selective about whom to share it with.
Cancer: The full Moon in Cancer on the 25th can make Christmas day highly emotional for everybody, especially you. Spend the day with those with whom you feel close and safe. If that isn’t your reality, practice detachment and expressing unconditional love regardless of the social context. Could be a tough challenge, but much growth can accrue as a result. Leo: Early month could put you in party mood. Feelings of generosity and love could also be tempered with feelings of caution and practicality. Later month could bring calm and temperate planning concrete goals for the New Year. Virgo: This year the Holiday Season could bring powerful feelings of spiritual renewal. Whatever you do to feel connected to the Divine, make sure you take as much time to do so as you can. The rewards could be feelings of rebonding with certain family members and/or deepening feelings of devotion and unconditional love with your partner.
Libra: Mars in Libra is a challenge for you. It can help you overcome any tendencies toward co-dependency by helping you be more assertive and self-aware. However, it could also lead you into projecting feelings of frustration or anger on others, blaming them for your discomfort. Growth comes from being honest with yourself before sharing the real self with others. Scorpio: With the co-rulers of Scorpio, Mars and Pluto squaring each other this month, your intensity and passion could boil over. Growth comes from tuning in to Venus, which will transit through Scorpio most of the month. This suggests the energy of harmony and diplomacy are as available to you as is the volatility. Sagittarius: This is a good time to step back focusing on practical things and prioritizing the spiritual qualities available this month. Putting emphasis on activities that are useful for learning and growth can enable you to maximize the potential for personal development in preparation for a year of grounded development.
Capricorn: While the practical and goal oriented part of your nature may tend to receive the priority of time and energy, there is also a deeply spiritual or mystical side to you. This is a time to tune inward, feeling the spiritual connection, and feeling internally affirmed in the more grounded parts of your life. If you don’t feel that affirmation, it may be time to make another plan.

Aquarius: This is a good time to move slowly into new activities that you have been contemplating for several months. Being too impulsive can disrupt plans or undermine potential long range achievement. Growth comes from being patient even as you maintain a positive attitude about eventual success. Pisces: Planning wisely for the future is a good way to take advantage of the energy this month. Spending time working with your dreams or engaged in creative art can help unlock a clear sense of direction for the New Year.

Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976. He is the author of A Manual for the Modern Mystic and Astrology and Consciousness. He offers both private readings as well as classes for both beginning and intermediate students. Rio is offering a class in intermediate astrology through the Community Education Program at Santa Rosa Junior College this summer. Call Rio at 707-887-1820 and check out his website: