One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them

  One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

  In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie” 

Inscription on the ring of power in  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


“ I wish it need not have happened in my time” said Frodo. “

   So do I said Gandalf, and so do all who   

   live to see such times. All we have to decide is

   what to do with the time that is given us.”

From  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.


 “ Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” 

The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien


The month begins in the shadow of Mercury’s retrograde, which officially starts January 5th at the very first degree of Aquarius, the sign of human fellowship. The retrograde then continues back through the middle degrees of Capricorn till January 25th when it stations direct.

During the retrograde, we are called to a deep reflection on all things Capricorn, the sign of mountains, career achievement, government, currency, corporations, law enforcement, infrastructure, banking, the prison system, long term goals, and responsibilities. Capricorn rules all that binds us whether by choice or by force, including chains, cages, duty, commitment and rings.

Since 2008 when Pluto, the planet of power and destruction entered Capricorn and the world economy crashed, JRR Tolkien’s fantasy classic, The Lord of the Rings has become a most resonant story for the cultural mythology unfolding on the world stage. We have entered into a time of unprecedented and unchecked unified corporate power that seeks only to further its reach with no regard for the increasing environmental and human devastation left in its terrible wake. The Ring of Power and its maker seem an apt metaphor for this phenomenon. But positive Capricorn also portrayed in the famous trilogy represents the solution.

Tolkien’s classic illustrates both aspects of Capricorn beautifully. On the one hand we have the rise of the Dark Lord, his dark riders, and an army of orcs which parallel the rise of multinationals, the four bankers of the apocalypse(1) and the military industrial complex. On the other we have Gandalf, the elves, dwarves, various nations and most importantly Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring. These parallel the maverick techno wizards who gave us the internet, clean energy and technology, the many light workers and spiritual practitioners working behind the scenes, and new activist alliances forged between old enemies like the Cowboy Indian Alliance that was at the forefront of the activist efforts that put a stop to the Keystone Pipeline.

Most interestingly we have the hobbits, those simple creatures who are immune to the Ring of Power, and Frodo who is willing to carry the heavy burden of the ring up to the top of Mount Doom, the legendary mountain in the Tolkien classic, where the ring of power was forged. Frodo must carry the ring to the Crack of Mount Doom and cast it into the fire. He represents the selfless activists who work tirelessly for the greater good, including true civil servants, who are working hard to check corporate Mordor and get money out of politics.

Frodo, the ring bearer represents the highest aspect of Capricorn, the World Savior, who carries the burden for others and for the greater good, at his own peril. (In a strange aside, while writing this column I stumbled across a quote by Carl Rove who recently likened Vermont Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to Bilbo Baggins, the first incorruptible ring bearer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was meant as an insult, but seems an oddly apt but unintended compliment.)

Frodo represents the most positive qualities of Capricorn that we can meditate on during Mercury’s retrograde through the sign of the mountain goat. What burden are we willing to carry for the greater good? What in time, money and commitment are we willing to sacrifice for our planet and for others? As our world faces unprecedented environmental threat, what time and energy can we devote to its protection?

Mercury’s retrograde begins at the first degree of Aquarius, the sign of humanitarian fellowship reminding us to gather with others who share the same goal. Frodo needed a lot of back up and support. He could not have succeeded alone. This month we contemplate who we feel compelled to join with who can oppose the power of corporate Mordor. This by the way is an issue that unifies both political parties in the country. In a recent  Associated Press poll 85% of Democrats and 81% of Republicans want corporate money out of politics. This month consider joining or supporting anyone who is working at state, local or national levels to achieve this goal.

I had intended to write about personal goals and career intentions for the New Year in this column, which of course still apply. But after reading that a corporate disaster resulting in a gas spewing fissure much like Tolkien’s Crack of Doom has appeared in Los Angeles and is leaking unprecedented levels of methane into the atmosphere, forcing officials to set up a no fly zone over LA, I decided that in a month presided over by Saturn, the planet of responsibility, it would be remiss to not address the planet killing level of madness playing out before us.

When contemplating the magnitude of destructive power unleashed all over the world at this moment, it is easy to become discouraged and paralyzed, but that is not the Capricorn way. When the going gets tough, Capricorn shoulders the burden and starts climbing. This month we are asked to do the same.

Capricorn, the sign of responsibility reminds us to respond. We don’t have to save the world single handedly, though there are heroic souls among us who have climbed and are climbing impossible mountains of duty and sacrifice. But this month we are reminded that there is something we can each do to help our world at this perilous moment.

There’s a little Frodo in everyone and we are all part of the Fellowship. This month remember that small acts sometimes have mighty consequences. Reflect on your sense of responsibility and what is most important to you. The greatest lesson of the Lord of the Rings is don’t underestimate yourself and the impact your life has on the world. As Mr. Tolkien reminds us:

“ Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

May the Light be with you guiding your path in the New Year….



1, Footnote The four bankers of the apocalypse referenced from column The Caucus by Mark Leibovich


The Sun entered Capricorn, the sign of sacrifice and responsibility or ruthless climbing on December 21st, the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and will remain in Capricorn time January 22nd when it enters progressive Egalitarian Aquarius.


The month begins, in the shadow of the upcoming retrograde which will begin at the 1st degree of Aquarius and work its way back through the 14th degree of Capricorn. The winged messenger is asking us to reflect upon our social network and who we would most like to collaborate with in the coming year. Mercury begins its reflective glide backwards in the sign of Fellowship, inspiring us to reflect on our friendships, social network and human community. We are asked to reflect on business and government models that put people first. This month the journey through Capricorn is one of deep reflection. What is your Holy Work? What is your true calling? What is your true responsibility? How do you want to run your business? Do you have a business plan? Who do you want to work with? Give thought to your long term goals. Write a 5 or ten year plan. Imagine what your idea of optimal success would look and feel like.


MERCURY’S retrograde begins on the January 5th till January 25th when it stations direct. We will remain in its shadow till Feb 4th.  During this time reflect on your social connections, career and long term goals. Mercury is advising us to look backward before looking forward. What in our long term goals needs adjustment, repair or reversal. On the world stage it could be argued that our entire approach to government, corporate power and finance needs a complete overhaul.


VENUS begins the month in adventurous Sagittarius ready to saddle up and join the quest for wisdom and international loving collaborative solutions to the increasingly dire consequences of our rule by corporate lunacy. On January 24th, the day before Mercury stations direct, she enters corporate Capricorn and is ready to implement the wisdom garnered on her journey and deploy it to practical, loving and solutions business and government models. It’s a great month for cross cultural exploration and cooperation. Explore new international alliances that support diplomatic and business initiatives.


MARS begins the first few days of the year in peace loving Libra, but by late on January third the planet of desire and war plunges into Scorpio’s depths as both conflict and desire heat up. Mars will remain in Scorpio a big chunk of the year inspiring us to go beneath the surface and explore what is hidden and subterranean.  During this time we practice alchemy and turn inner lead to gold. We can expect our shadows to emerge for healing. Go deep and transmute all that is dark within you to light. Mars remains in Scorpio through early March and will retrograde back into Scorpio from May till the first 2 days of August. Our energy is called to the unconscious as we investigate and heal at the deepest levels.


JUPITER continues through Virgo expanding the environmental movement and presenting earth based solutions and opportunities to heal our bodies, food supply and planet. This year Abundance and great strides are achieved by devotion to the small things…take care of the little things and prosper. Be of service and thrive.


SATURN the ringed planet continues on through Sagittarius, inspiring us to join international and tribal circles of affinity. Find the philosophy you love and connect with others who share your view. It is an especially good year for writing, performing and presenting. Explore international professional connections.


URANUS in Aries, continues to square PLUTO in Capricorn: We are each called to awaken from past conditioning and unmake the structures in our lives that oppress the authentic self that we came here to be. Explore egalitarian business models that are humane to people and the environment. Be the change you want to see in the world.


NEPTUNE in visionary Pisces is broadcasting the unified field of bliss and compassion on her beautiful high frequency wave length. To gain reception to this ever-present reality, get quiet, be still and feel your blissful unbreakable Unity with all life, then broadcast through your own altered higher consciousness. Meditation, film, chanting, dance, yoga, music, poetry and surfing are some wonderful ways to catch the Neptunian wave of peace and bliss.


SATURN squaring NEPTUNE invites us to become responsible dreamers. Put a foundation under your vision. Dream up a compassionate, harmonious world based on cooperation rather than competition. See all nations and faiths joining hands….This is already happening in so many places. Take your place in the sacred Hoop.



ARIES: The Sun is cruising through your career sector, but Mercury is about to retrograde through this house inspiring you to begin the year in a deep reflection of both your social network and your career. The retrograde begins at the first degree of your social sector asking you to reflect on your social life and professional network. During the retrograde reflect on how to build your client base, audience, and professional network. Review all business practices, for both effectiveness and compassion. Mars, your ruling planet will plunge into Scorpio and your transformational sector on the third where it will spend the next 2 months. This is a time to truly transform. You are being called to transform old resentments and outmoded ways of being, as you become a new creature. Explore with honesty, your capacity to share yourself and your resources with others. This is a great year to work on collaborative business deals, including inheritance issues. Lovely Venus is in your higher learning sector much of the month. Love may find you as you travel philosophically or actually. Explore beautiful philosophies that elevate your life.


TAURUS: You are ready for a philosophical overhaul, especially when it comes to your career. Mercury begins his reflective journey at the first degree of your career sector, inspiring you to take a good backward look at your professional associates. Then the winged messenger flies backwards through your philosophical sector in corporate Capricorn, inspiring you to reconsider the way you do business as well as your professional message. Does your walk match your talk? Is there something new you have to say on the professional front or someone new you want to collaborate with? All of this is fruitful contemplation through the 25th while Mercury is retrograde. It’s a great month for rewrites and revisions as you explore your professional mission statement. Mars, the planet of desire will be spending several months in your partnership sector this year. Avoid fighting with business and personal partners, instead enjoy the fuel of desire for deep and real connection. Use your energy to create fair equal partnerships in which give and take feels balanced. Lovely Venus, your ruling planet, is in adventurous Sagittarius most of the month inspiring you to saddle up and seek out wisdom, love, and the beauty of deep sharing. Explore how First Nations and other cultures approached sharing on all levels.


GEMINI: The Month begins with Mercury, your ruling planet already in the shadow of the retrograde through your house of joint finance and intimacy that will begin on the 5th and last till the 25th of January. Enlist the help of friends as you bounce your concerns about your fiscal and partnership life with them. Explore the nuts and bolts of any financial arrangements you are about to enter in to, This is a time to revise, rethink and recalibrate your approach to how finances are shared. Reflect on business contracts. Reflect on your love life. Do you feel respected and secure in your present relationship? Are you interested in deepening or pulling up stakes? January’s meditation will lead to responsible action in February. Venus, the planet of love is moving through your partnership sector inspiring loving philosophical and diplomatic mediation as arrangements are recalibrated.  Mars, will be moving into your health and daily work sector on the 3rd giving you plenty of fuel to bring to your work and health life. Step up meditation this month. Practice restraint of tongue and pen.


CANCER: This month inspires a deep reflection on partnerships in your life. Mercury begins his retrograde in your house of shared resources but quickly moves into your partnership sector, inspiring you to think about your approach to  both business and personal partnerships. If you are in a partnership explore what might require restructuring. If you are not, reflect on your last partnerships and what unresolved issues they may have left you with. In business, reflect on past present and future collaborations. By the 25th you should have some clarity. By the first week of February you should be interested in moving forward. Venus has moved into your work sector bringing harmony to work relationships. On the 24th she enters Capricorn joining the Pluto in your partnership sector. inspiring new, restructured and loving alliances. Mars moves into Scorpio and your creative sector for the next 2 months fueling you with powerful creative energy. This is also the sector of romance, so keep your eyes open for love and delight.


LEO: This is a great month to seriously Feng Shui your life Leo. Mercury’s retrograde is preparing you for new business and personal partnerships, but you are being called to prepare for them. Get your business clean, clear and organized. Update and upgrade your business systems, including files, equipment, bookkeeping, communications and advertising. Ready your home and your bedroom for partnership. Clean out closets, get rid of all that feels stagnant and ties to old relationships. Do a cleanse. Heal you body mind and spirit as you release old energy patterns from previous relationships. Venus moves into your art, romance and creativity sector, making this a great month to make art and go on dates. Mars dives into your home sector marshaling your inner army to get your home clean, organized and sparkling with clear energy. Avoid family fights while the planet of war is in your home sector through the first days of March. Instead harness his power to create the home and family life you want. You can do a lot of deep healing around ancestral issues now.


VIRGO: The month begins with a reflection on your work and your creativity. Mercury, your ruling planet,  glides backwards through you artistic leisure sector, inspiring you to explore your relationship to your creativity. Is there a creative project you put down a while back that you would like to resurrect? Reflect on your inner or outer children and their contentment. Do you need to set boundaries with the children in your life or have more fun with them. Explore your sense of responsibility to you deepest sense of joy and well being. Mars will be moving into your communication sector on January 3rd giving you plenty of mental energy. Avoid sharp and aggressive communication. Instead use your deep insight and laser vision to peer beneath the surface and transform your thinking. This is a great month to practice mental alchemy. Transmute dark destructive thoughts with empathy forgiveness and compassion. You can get a lot of metal work, like writing, teaching and problem solving done this month. Venus joins Saturn in your home sector, inspiring harmony and boundaries on the home front. Mighty Jupiter continues to expand your life and bring new opportunity.


LIBRA: The month begins with a deep reflective focus on the home front. You are reflecting and reconsidering your arrangements at home. Pluto has been shifting your foundations for quite some time, but this month is a weighty reflection on finances and how and where you want to be living in the long term. This month your roots are calling. Give weighty consideration to issues of home, family, ancestry and your responsibility to them. The reflection begins in your house of fun, creativity and children. All that you are considering may well involve your children, creativity and making a home that allows for more fun, pleasure or time with your children. Mars will be entering your fiscal house on January third, inspiring you to accelerate your drive to generate income and prosperity. Venus, your ruling planet is in your communication sector all month inspiring big, beautiful cross cultural ideas, solutions and collaborations. Contemplate your deepest sense of responsibility this month and make sure you include yourself, your well being and your home life in that equation.


SCORPIO: Mercury, the planet of thought and communication will be moving retrograde in your communication sector from January 5th till the 25th. You will be feeling its shadow both before and after the event. You are in a reflection about work, career, communication and your studies. You may be changing your mind on a deep level this month. Contemplate your message and your overall thinking. It’s a great month to practice silence, restraint and meditation. Reflect on your business plan. If you are writer, this is a great month for rewrites. Contemplate your career and your long term plans. Mars, your ruling planet will be entering your sign on the 3rd, fueling you with extra energy and desire for the next 2 months. This month get clear about your true goals so you can deploy your Mars energy to get them. Avoid fighting and aggression while Mars is in your sign, instead channel your energy toward fitness and your long term goals. Lovely Venus is in your fiscal sector bringing beautiful fiscal opportunity.


SAGITTARIUS: This month the focus is on finances. As Mercury retrogrades through your fiscal sector is a great time to refinance and recover financially. Fiscal deals that disappeared may resurface at this time. How you make your money or career projects are up for review. This is a great month to get really clear about your finances. Put a business plan together, Explore income generating actions and ideas. Get clear about fiscal responsibilities and your long term fiscal goals. Jupiter in your career sector till September makes this a great time for career opportunity This month explore what needs to change or be restructured for you to have great success. Mars is moving into your spiritual sector for the next 2 months and will be back in the spring. This is an important year to deploy your energy toward your spiritual life. Practice meditation. Give prayer a try. Lovely Venus, is in your sign shedding extra beauty and grace on you most of the month. The Muse is with you. Make art, pursue love, or the reverse.


CAPRICORN: Happy Birthday Capricorn! Your birthday month begins in a reflection on your sense of self as Mercury begins to retrograde through your sign beginning on the 5th. Actually the retrograde begins in your house of finance and values inspiring a reflection on finances and the relationships that mean the most to you. Reflect on business alliances. It’s a great month for a retreat or a vacation. Allow yourself some gentle down time to really think about yourself and your long term goals. What is it that you really want to create, achieve and be? Meditate on your sense of responsibility to yourself. You are changing, allow yourself to consider and embody your new transformation and empowerment. Lovely Venus is in your spiritual sector in cross cultural Sagittarius, inspiring you to take an inner or actual pilgrimage with your beloved or in search of love. Mars will enter your networking sector on the 3rd in powerful scorpio, inspiring you to move into powerful networking actions for the next two months.


AQUARIUS: This month the Sun and Mercury retrograde are moving through your spiritual sector, in ambitious executive Capricorn. The retrograde begins in your sign asking you to reflect on your true sense of self. The retrograde then moves back into your spiritual sector. It is as though part of you is retreating to your inner mountain top for a vision quest involving your career and your life calling. Take some time for spiritual guidance as you reflect on the career goals and public life that best express your authentic self. Doing an actual vision quest or making a vision map would not be a bad idea for you this month. Mars has just moved into your career sector for the next 2 months giving you professional jet fuel to accomplish your goals, but Mercury wants you to get clear and aligned with your Holy Work and True Vision before you proceed. Think of this time as the wind up before the pitch. You may reconnect with a business associate or resurrect a project during this time. Venus and Saturn in your social sector inspire a serious yet beautiful networking focus. Connect far and wide.


PISCES: This month Mercury has you reflecting on your social life and the like-minded  people that you want to build a network with. The retrograde begins in your spiritual sector and moves back through your social sector inspiring you to consider how to build a spiritually like minded social network, audience or client base. You will be reflecting on friendships and professional networks and how to build them. Give thought to soulful creative professional collaborations at this time. Reconnect with friends and associates you loved working with. Venus joins Saturn in your career sector, giving you extra beauty and professional Grace this month. Enjoy professional partnerships. Delight in professional collaborations. Work diligently on administrative duties as you stay focused on long term goals. Mars, the planet of action, moves into your publishing, speaking sector, giving you extra energy to get your message written, spoken and heard. You have the power and energy to deliver a transformational message or presentation. Reflect on your message and your audience.