Today’s photo: Auroras over Harstad, Troms, Norway on September 24, 2013 (photo by Rune Engebø, posted on SpaceWeather.com) WE HAVE an action-packed week — and month — ahead of us. As I ponder the list of highlighted planetary aspects for the coming week, I find it hard to know exactly where to start, or which aspects to focus most attention on … a sure indicator that the energies on the horizon are both varied and complex. Finding a physical analogy often helps me find a bit of order and understanding amidst chaos. If we look at this week’s array of planetary influences as dishes at a meal, we can start to define things a bit more clearly. THE MAIN COURSE is usually the focal point of the meal. In our case, the main course is the Pluto-Uranus square. And yes, we’ve seen that item on the menu for over a year now. Sometimes it’s the featured dish, and sometimes it plays a less prominent role, but it will continue to be on the menu through early 2015. This week is one in which the Pluto-Uranus dish is highlighted on our cosmic menu. In fact, we will be working with the energies of a Cardinal Grand Cross that involves Pluto, Uranus, the Sun and Moon, and Jupiter. A GRAND CROSS pulls our attention in four different directions, creating conflict and requiring us to make decisions. We are often literally at a crossroads in our lives as we work with this type of configuration. Internally, we may be aware of a heightened desire for autonomy and independence (Uranus in Aries), a strong instinctual reaction to anything that appears to challenge our authority (Pluto in Capricorn), exaggerated feelings of emotional vulnerability and protectiveness (Jupiter in Cancer), and an enhanced awareness of the need for greater harmony and fairness (New Moon in Libra). No doubt this is why the incoming energies feel a bit chaotic! It’s a lot to juggle all at once — but we have the capacity to handle it, and our successful navigation of these energies is vital to our advancement. TO HELP US in that regard, I quote one of my favorite astrological authors, Bil Tierney, in his bookDynamics of Aspect Analysis:”Although feeling frustrated by obstacles that block direct action, we can learn to apply our enterprising, headstrong temperament with greater persistence toward tackling one major objective at a time. Important lessons denoted by the Cardinal Grand Cross are developing patience, inner composure, endurance, steadfastness, and learning to better organize time and energy. If we act too prematurely or with an unnecessary sense of urgency, our actions fail to bear satisfying results.”In other words, if we remember that “slow and steady wins the race,” what at first appears chaotic energy may actually exactly what we need to make the progress we’ve been longing for. ALL NEW MOONS mark the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and therefore hold important information about the cosmic intentions of the next two weeks. Our New Moon this Friday is especially important, since it leads to a Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon on October 18. The Sabian symbol for the New Moon tells us that we would benefit from coming to a deeper understanding of our own motivations and inner strengths now. This theme is echoed by the alignment between Saturn, Mercury, and the North Node in Scorpio at the time of the lunation:”Miners are surfacing from a deep coal mine: The need to carry on at ever deeper levels the quest for knowledge which keeps burning the fires of the collective mind of a society.”GREAT POWER lies within us — power that may lay hidden, unnoticed, or undiscovered, perhaps obscured by fear or a lack of self-confidence. It is the job of any planets as they transit Scorpio to help us become more self-aware, so that we can tap into the power of “negative” emotions and convert them into positive, useful expression in our lives. It takes courage to go deeply into our own psyches, to explore those realms that resonate with intense emotions such as fear, resentment, jealousy and suspicion. But, just like the miners, who seek a fuel source in the darkness of the coal mine, our willingness to face and transform our fears can yield rewards, and can provide us with the energy we need to go forward.