Today sees the second phase of the Pluto-Saturn square, which occurs in the evening in the U.K. In your own life, you may be part of a group which is trying to resolve a long-standing dispute (Saturn in Libra), and today may see the group resting on its laurels, having recently made grand overtures from one side to another. You may not even be aware of the group, or the dispute, as it may be something subtly played out on psychological levels over a wide area, such as within an extended family, the executives and non-executives within a corporation, or on a societal level such as the rich-poor divide. There may be a sense of “It’s nothing to do with me” what the other side get up to or even the fact of their existence. Two examples on the world stage are the overture from Karzai in Afghanistan towards the Taliban (while the world has a sharp intake of breath and tries to assess if it is a good thing, or not) and the current negotiations in Ireland on the subject of devolution. So we are in the midst of delicate and complicated negotiations and bargaining, and these things cannot be rushed. A Saturn-Pluto process is a long one, and a serious matter, involving deep psychologies. One of the delicate balances in the art of Astrology is to give the proper weighting to astrological events, taking into account such things as the strength of the planets involved and the rarity of the planetary interactions. At the beginning of this week we may see that recent overtures and efforts have taken a step forward, but things may still look bleak. But at the end of the week, there may be more of a sense of triumph and progress, and this may be linked with the difficult enterprise of the early stage of the week. A certain amount of letting go needs to be taking place at least until the middle of the week, e.g. mourning over compromises you might have made (for the greater good?) or wondering if you have shared too much (information must be shared if the human race is to evolve!). But consequently around mid week you need to turn your mind around and work with the positive forces and hopefulness of the upcoming Jupiter-Pluto sextile at the end of the week; the turning of a bleak attitude into one of hope and looking forward to the future. Do all you can today, and then rest on your laurels, or even take a step back and breathe. Allow the mental processes to settle until mid-week. Tuesday (2nd February) brings a conjunction of Mercury with the North Node. This will allow you to coolly and mentally assess the karmic implications of any of the wider efforts in a partnerhip, group or organization. I will be looking back on my 40 years as a student of Astrology. It will be 40 years to the day since I picked up an Astrology text book in this lifetime, and realized that I already had this knowledge. It was therefore also the beginning of my understanding and recognition of past-lives, my work in this sphere, and seeing its links and interaction with Astrology. It will be a serious evaluation, as Mercury/North Node will be conjunct my Midheaven (Careerpoint) and trine my Saturn, but I hope to have some cake, too. My birthday dinner party was cancelled because of the snow! Wednesday and Thursday are suitable for acknowledging the difficulties in life but seeing that there is always a positive route to travel towards (in this case Jupiter’s sextile with Pluto at the end of the week, which is an attempt at rebalancing an intractable situation). After you have faced the facts, you may for instance feel that you have a case for demanding a recount from your accountant or bank manager. The Chilcott enquiry into the Iraq war will welcome Clare Short this week to give evidence, and she appeared on the Andrew Marr show hosted by Sophie Raworth this morning. Clare gave a taster of her evidence, in the form of vignettes of coffees supped with Gordon Brown at the time, and the extent to which he was not involved in the war decisions. Clare is a no-nonsense Aquarian, and quit the cabinet at the time of the war, followed by Robin Cook. I was fascinated at the time how they were born within a fortnight of each other in the same year, and both quit within a short space of time, as Saturn was transiting their North Nodes (their consciences not allowing them to continue to support the war). Robin Cook sadly cannot give his story, as he died in 2005. But his spirit may be one of those presiding! By Saturday 6 February hopefully you will be actively able to do something to shift your personal affairs or to assist the unlocking of a greater deadlock. Another more minor aspect steps up to lend assistance to Jupiter’s endeavours with Pluto: Mercury sextiles Uranus on the morning of Saturday 6th. If you set your mental alarm to problem-solving in the second half of the week, the alarm may go off with a joyous ring and a brilliant idea for the way forward, which will assist and pave the way for the bright new plan of Jupiter sextile Pluto. Jupiter sextile Pluto brings a breakthrough, not a cure-all, for Saturn square Pluto is a long slog. But nevertheless Jupiter puts the wind beneath our wings for at least a few days, and we may have something to show for our response to it.