As the summer of 2009 winds down into the autumn and coming winter seasons ahead, it is important for those looking down the road to prepare for the emotional effects of world transits as sunlight is reduced in the northern hemisphere.
On November 1, 2009, the United States returns to standard time. This means that darkness arrives in the late afternoons until the return to daylight savings time in early March 2010.
Looking at the transits of September and October 2009, the majority of both months will be affected by the Mercury retrograde of Sept. 6-29. October's transits are slow until the New Moon of October 18 - which shows most people playing catch up after the delays and slowdowns of September and the first half of October.
By the time this occurs during the new moon week of Oct. 18-26 and first quarter moon week of Oct. 26-Nov. 2 - standard time will have taken hold on November 1st, and the nights will continue to get longer with daylight shortened until March 2010.
The economic crisis, and resulting high unemployment will see many people losing their unemployment benefits in late 2009. Because of the stresses on state and city budgets, the unavailability of benefits into the autumn and winter months will cause poverty to rise, with additional increases in mental health cases.
During the months of November, December, January and February, we will see a number of transits that will influence a rise in depression. In mid-September 2009, we see another exact opposition between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces. This continues the conflicts between the "old" ways and "new" ways - best expressed in the current debate over health care reform in the United States.
On October 29 - days before the return to standard daylight time - transiting Saturn will enter tropical Libra, and by mid-November, will square transiting Pluto in Capricorn. The effect of this square is challenging for the business cycle with power plays within companies, and government, while public services continue to be cut, or reduced in hours further stressing populations who require more assistance as the shorter days and colder climate returns to the northern hemisphere.
Saturn will be rising in most geographic locations and by November 15 will perform an exact square to Pluto at 1-degree Libra and Capricorn. Under this influence, there can be cold, unsympathetic emotions to and from others while people are left alone to deal with situations that often are negative, criminal and downright evil - mainly through economic and business plots around money as well as corporate power plays as insiders struggle to gain advantage over their competitors.
Due to the strength of this Saturn/Pluto square - those with planetary positions at the end of mutable signs of Virgo, Pisces, and Sagittarius as well as those with placements in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn will feel this Saturn/Pluto square intensely in autumn 2009 and through the winter of 2010.
The force of the Saturn/Pluto square combined with the conjunction of Jupiter/Neptune in Aquarius will continue the caution felt by people who are concerned about the future. Moreover, the pressures of the coming holiday seasons in late November and December will increase concerns over finances.
The month of November has "fixed" transits while the Saturn/Pluto square applies, and then is exact by the middle of that month. In early December, transiting Uranus goes direct in Pisces, and the Full Moon Week of Dec. 2-9 is emotionally powerful. This continues into the New Moon Week of Dec. 16-24 and the First Quarter Week of Dec. 24-31 with emotions strong during the Full Moon Week of Dec. 31-Jan. 7.
All in all, the transits of autumn and early winter 2010 show that many people may succumb to depression because of the lack of economic health, and high unemployment rates. The pressures of the coming holiday season will undoubtedly cause some people to react badly while others show early signs of mental illness from the increasing stress of the times.
Signs of the effects of decreased sunlight are difficulty waking up in the morning, a tendency to sleep much later than usual, to over-eat foods that are packed with carbohydrates causing gains in body weight. Symptoms also will include decreased energy levels making it hard to concentrate. Others may withdraw from their family and friends and avoid social contact.
Transits along with the lack of daylight can lead to feelings of pessimism, and lack of optimism and then depression that sets in with the longer hours of darkness and shorter hours of sunlight.
There are those who are strongly affected by what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) show a variety of symptoms that include:
- Mood Swings
- Increased appetites
- Weight gain
The effects of SAD is associated with the lack of sunlight. As the days shorten in the northern hemisphere due to the Earth's orbit and tilt towards the Sun, the lack of light can lead people to respond negatively, often leading to depression.
People often compound the problem of depression by not understanding that they should expose themselves to increased artificial light indoors, while also learning to increase their exposure to light in the winter weather.
Many homes and work places lack the proper light spectrum indoors, and those who avoid the cold weather by remaining indoors at work often feel they have lost a day because when they emerged from sleep it is still dark outside.
Studies have found that women seem to be more susceptible to depression during the winter months than men.
How To Combat Depression This Fall & Winter
The transits of November 2009 through February 2010 indicate that the lack of daylight associated with the stresses people have felt since the onset of the global economic crisis will combine to make the coming fall and winter months miserable for those who are unprepared.
It is best to prepare early - in the months of September & October by making adjustments to light spectrum levels indoors, and gradually changing your diet before the return to standard daylight time on November 1, 2009.
Buy and install good light fixtures before November 1. This is simple, but often people do not notice how weak their indoors lights are. White spectrum lights are better than yellow light indoors.
Change your lights throughout the house, and office with Light Boxes. This works in using a person's natural response to sunrise/sunset to better synchronize the human sleeping and waking patterns. The Light Box comes on every morning timed to how the sun rises so your body can respond to the increased levels of light - allowing you to wake up rested and refreshed.
One of the most important things to do leading up to the mid-to-late autumn and early winter months is to change how you eat. During the long dark months of winter avoid stimulants like caffeinated drinks, coffee and tea. These drinks take a toll on human adrenal glands that help in combating stress. Increase water intake and consume non-caffeinated drinks to stay hydrated during the winter.
The best foods to eat during late autumn and winter will be food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like fish, which is high in Vitamin D - a very important nutrient to increase during winter. Vitamin D levels drop dramatically with the loss of sunlight on human skin. Those people who do not eat meat or fish should consume Linseeds.
Oats also help. A bowl of oatmeal every morning will do wonders to combat anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.
Foods that increase the brain's need for Serotonin to feel optimistic are:
- Wheat Germ
- Whole Pasta
- Brown Rice
Many people who are affected by SAD can be loved ones, friends, associates. It is important to note changes in attitude early on, say, by the month of December, and especially in January and February, when most of the effects of SAD take place in the northern hemisphere.
Preparing earlier rather than later in making adjustments to compensate for the lack of sunlight will do much to get through the transits of 2009 and 2010.