Astrology is a system that tries to explain how our existence is influenced by the whole cosmos, especially by the planets in our solar system. Each planet represents several key symbols or actions: the Sun represents our general characteristics, Venus represents relationships, Mars our energy, Jupiter our sense of expansion, and so on. There are several branches of astrology, most known being natal astrology, karmic astrology and previsional astrology. Wether you believe or not in the astrology is not the point of this. Wether it is working or not for you, is a matter of how much do you actually believe in it. If you don’t, it probably doesn’t mean a thing. If you do, then chances are that your experience and vision are much broader now. If you want a quick grasp of how you can use astrology for personal development, you can start here.
Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a methodology created by David Allen which, by applying some sort of actions to our day to day activities, helps us to enjoy life more. The traditional viewpoint about GTD is that is a technique for enhancing productivity, and, at its basics, it can be considered like this. But the real outcome of GTD is that it helps you to enjoy life more, wether you are a manager or not, wether you want to enhance your productivity or not. There are several key concepts in GTD, like: emptying the RAM, daily and weekly review, processing actions and so on. GTD is very popular among computer oriented people.
What can be the connection between such different approaches? The first one is that both are trying to enhance our general life meaning. Both are free to try by everyone. Both have a rather coach-centric approach: they are better taught, understand and applied if there is a much experienced tutor, or coach, around you to guide.
But if you are a practitioner of both, like me, there are many more connections between those techniques. I will try to outline some of the few tips that I learned by applying some astrological approaches to the GTD methodology.
- When you are doing your weekly review, try to always follow a simple rule: are we in a rising or falling Moon phase? It’s very easy to do that and it will help you understand some energy-related attitudes. On a rising Moon, we do have more energy for beginning stuff, we do start things easier. On a falling Moon, our energies are focused more on finishing rather than starting. We are better at closing some stuff on a falling Moon. So, when you block yourself from the world, with your 3-4 hours of solitude, try to see if your projects are more likely to be started or continued. It’s not difficult, you don’t have to be an astrologer for that, and you will see the results pretty fast. Remember: your projects can start easily on a rising phase, but they must ending on a falling phase.
- When you are doing your daily review, or you are just processing information with the tool of your choice, being a moleskine, a hipster PDA, or a software application, try to see if you’re not on VOC interval. VOC stand for Void Of Course, or the movement of the Moon without direction. This is something that happens more often than you think and the astrological tradition tells that “nothing good comes out of it” in those periods. VOC can last from several minutes a day, to several hour a day, or several days in a row (but that is pretty rare). I’m sure that you all experienced a state of fatality, a feeling of “whatever I’ll do, I’ll not succeed with that, I’ll just not succeed”. Well, there are big chances that you’ve been struggling with that something on a Moon VOC period. You can find out the current Moon phase for your location here.
- If you are doing GTD, you do have a tickler file, right? You probably postpone some stuff in it and chose dates somehow randomly, knowing that you will find them when they will popup form the file anyway. So, instead of putting those things that you don’t care about they precise day in a chaotic tickler file, try to organize it following the same Moon phasee tehcnique described above. If that entry is about starting a project, then chose your tickler file date by quickly locating on the net a rising phase of the Moon. If it’s about closing something, try to locate on the calendar some falling pahse of the Moon, and put it there. You’ll notice after a while a very subtle change in the perception of your tickler file, it will be much easier and friendly to work with. You’re just channeling the energies correctly.
- On your weekly review also, try to find out retrograde planets in the next week. A retrograde planet is moving “backwards” in a specific period, or at least it is perceived from Earth to be moving backwards. During backwards movements of a specific planet, the symbols represented by that planet are modified and their influence is a little diifcult to bear. For instance, on a Venus retrograde period, your social relationships will tend to suffer. Either you’ll be late to meetings, either the persons you are meeting are not in a good mood, either something come up and you’ll never have meetings at all. Knowing that a retrograde planet can influence several areas of your life proved to be valuable for me. I started to be more carefull with my planning, and, shortly after, my actions efficency improved visibly. There are more in-depth resources about each planet symbols and areas, but here’s a very quick description for the busy GTD-er:
- Mars accounts for energy and aggresivity, when retrograde you can feel drained of energy
- Venus stands for relationships and socializing, including personal relationships, like friends or life partner; when retrograde you have difficulties getting correctly in touch with your relationships
- Mercury is the patron of commercial activities, form joint ventures to personal errands, and all sort of mass communication; when retrograde the chances for a business to finalize are close to zero. Also, when Mercury is retrograde, your public words may be misinterpreted.
- Jupiter: protection from larger groups, justice, expansion; when retrograde you must pay close attention to your relations with authorities, your personal wealth values and be very careful of the persons that offer to help you, it may be just a trick.
- Saturn: hard tests, unsolved things that are coming out. When retrograde, you may feel an enormous pressure to finish stuff, or can be put in front of situations that you haven’t deal with in a long period of time. The Saturn retrograde periods are extremely difficult, but the action of Saturn, even if it’s very hard, it’s always for our own good.
- Neptune, Uranus and Pluto, having a larger cycle, accounts mainly for organization definitions, and they are working better with larger groups like enterprises, nations or whole generations of people.
Now you may have a closer idea about what you will do first, what you will postpone and what you will put on a Someday/Maybe list, knowing that the chances for that actions are limited.
- And finally, keep in mind that astrology, like any other form of univers explanation, will not do the things for you, nor be accountable if you are not doing them. If you’ll be using it like an enhancement to your personal choices and actions, it will be very helpful, and, eventually, it will give you a consistent and honest advantage over your competitors. The same thing goes for GTD, remember that you must actually do your daily and weekly reviews, process your actions and contexts, with or without astrology. If you do it taking in account those simple astrological advices, it might be even more helpful, but you must do it anyway.
At the first look, melting together things like Astrology and Getting Things Done may seem a little strange. Well, maybe it isn’t. If it doesn’t work for you, just don’t use it. But if you are giving it a try, chances are that your all arsenal of attitudes, actions and energies will be much broader and empowering.
And remember, Astrology is not the key to the Universe. Nor GTD.
[tags]astrology, gtd, productivity[/tags]