Thirteen years ago, a distant friend of mine had a vision about a bookstore with wooden shelves and music playing in the background. In his vision there was a girl in the front of the store and a woman in the back doing Astrological Consultations. The space was long and narrow. This information was written down on a card and was given to me, I put it on my altar and started to contemplate, visualize and work on the opening of the store with my knowledge of astrology. I realized that my deep interest in spirituality at an early age, my knowledge of astrology, my Spiritual Teacher, my inner voice, and by business degree from Sweden helped me as I processed this message.
I opened the store on November 15, 1985, and you came. The first customer that entered the store said, "Finally a store like this in Hartford!" There were no alternative New Age stores in our area at the time nor any bookstore with interest in healing, crystals, shamanism, astrology or any unusual topic. More customers came and kept coming. We saw growth and success within the first year.
Very soon the store had to be moved to a larger space. I grabbed a crystal and again visualized and timed the move. We stayed for eight years at that location. And you still kept coming! During this time of change, I hired Linda Epstein as Store Manager. She became a strong and dedicated support for the store. Around the same time, Annette Mehldau joined us as well and she also became a wonderful asset to our staff. A few years later, Linda Christensen merged with the store. All three continued to work there for many, many years, each having a special interest and knowledge adding to the continuing success of the store.
After a difficult decision, being that the area in the West End of Hartford where the store existed chanted or didn't change, but we did, we moved further up the street into West Hartford Center. Again, I pulled out the charts and the move was amazingly easy with a New Moon helping us along the way.
As the next two years progressed, we found ourselves in a new home. New energy emerged into our space. We saw new friends as well as old friends and our success continued. At this point, the store approached its twelfth year in business and I started to have a new vision in my meditations. I still loved the store, but my commitment to my own inner creativity, namely writing, teaching and lecturing, and my commitment to astrology and my inner voice became more obvious to me. My urge for my Creative Self became stronger and stronger. In my silence I found that I was still connected to the store, but if someone wanted to continue the Vision, may that be so.
What to do? Pull out the chart again! There are times in our lives that astrology will assist in transitional periods in a most intricate way. We know from our inner voice that something is about to change. What is our purpose for change? What road is the best to take? Will there be an end of the questions arising in our mind? We have all been there and we define it as a crossroad in our lives. I was at one and now I had to prove to myself that I could make the right decision. I am an astrologer after all.
At the crossroads of our lives, Astrology will show us a time frame of probabilities. You might miss an opportunity (or the boat), but if you catch up in time, your uncertainty will vanish and your imagination and fantasy will become your new reality.
The Moon, the Stars, and the Earth are all interwoven with patterns of timing and cycles in extremely exquisite, yet simple phenomena. As bodies of substance from our own original vibration of God, the Goddess, the Creator, the Force or the One Spirit, we are interwoven with our subtle body with these cycles and patterns of time. When our own Individual Consciousness is open to opportunities, we manifest our goals and work on our inner Selves according to these patterns of Universal Mass Consciousness. That is to say, we are Conscious in our daily life and we can participate with these energies of God within us in a practical way.
My sense of someone buying the store and continuing to carry the Vision became stronger and stronger. I inquired about this change with intuitive readers. They could see the possibility. In late July, Linda Epstein, unfortunately, had a brain aneurysm, which she survived beautifully. At the same time, Linda Christensen, who had tried to sell her house for a long time, finally sold it and was ready to move on. These transitions made a strong impact on my mind, which was already in a churning state. The holiday season of 1997 was coming closer and closer. I had observed an eclipse pattern in my chart, which indicated that from February of 1997 until September of 1997, my life would show me a new direction.
One afternoon Linda Epstein and I were talking about the timing of astrology. My comment was, "I should know soon either within one day, one week or one month." The very next day, early in the morning, Jacqueline Bordonero stood in the store and said, "I want the store. I want to carry the Vision." I was taken aback; the reality hit me that she was serious. I suggested that she could at least make an appointment with me and we smiled. Madeline Bombetto, whom just a week before had asked to come and join our staff, became business partners with Jacqueline.
At a five a.m. Full Moon meditation, when Madeline, Jacqueline and I had met in the store, the Spirit still protecting the store came through me with a masculine energy, protecting us with an ever so gentle presence. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and it's cycle of twelve years allowed me to move on. Yet, I am still here, because I will always be in the store -- perhaps just on a different level.
In a business cycle it is know that within the first year many small business will fail or have an extremely difficult time with cash flow. It is also known that any type of retail store, consulting business, healing or counseling practitioner and therapists will have two to three years to establish a solid clientele base. Mars, the planet of force, irritability and impatience shows its first energy during the first two years. It is important to be constructive rather than destructive for the first one to two years following opening the doors. Patience is the word!
After surviving the first two to three years, Jupiter is the next planetary energy we have to observe. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is a planet that is great when he is great, and bad when he is bad. It is better to wait for three years to do any expansion, and to do that with caution. A loan at this time can be advisable if you feel that you are on the right track. This will allow your entrepreneurial endeavors to survive the next "hit." Jupiter will be felt again when the business is about six years old and that again is a sign of caution. Save your money, stack it up, hide it under the mattress, but don't make any big moves at this point. Meeting Jupiter half way is the answer. Think of creative new ways to reach the media, go out to the public, educate yourself more in your field, re-write or freshen up your flyer and business card ̱ expand, but don't over-spend the money you have accumulated.
The above caution is also advisable because the next cycle Saturn in its first seven-year-itch̨ is kicking in next. With Saturn there are signs of restrictions, downsizing, reconstruction and laying low. The first cycle of Saturn is after seven years in business, the second is at fourteen, the third at twenty-one and then Saturn returns to its original position after twenty-eight years. These four times will each have some type of hardship, but we all can survive. Let's look at some how-to-hints!
Saturn is the best planet for breaking down wall that hinder your growth for the other cycles to come. Since you have the money you didn't spend with the Jupiter cycle, you can now safely say that you made it! After you survive this cycle of crystallizing your business, seeing the results, being honest with yourself ̱ you can survive the rest. This year can be a year of difficulties and can be trying, but being 'forewarned is forearmed!' Look closely at the figures, listen to advise from your accountant, take care of matters that have been overlooked the past years, and look at patterns that have to be changed. If the foundation of your business is not solid at this point, take an honest look at yourself and your motivations for staying in the business you've created. If the answers are honest and have a ground that can withstand another round of planetary cycles-- you've made it! Congratulations!
How about Venus and Mercury? Some of you might ask. Venus moves around your chart approximately once every year and will be subtler in the influence of your business. In the planet Venus, we might find what we appreciate, how we show our personal taste and touch as well as our inner way of expressing our self. Within the first year in business, change your image, pay attention to what you represent and how you present yourself. You might want to Feng-Shui your space to make sure the Chi is flowing in the right direction. Buy a new plant. Change pictures or clean the corners that you haven't paid attention to. Once a year, when Venus returns to its natal̨ position, clean again!
Mercury, good old Mercury! Mercury is the planet of communication, interaction with others, phones, planning and talk, talk. Plain and simple, the Mind, he gives us many messengers, - if and when we listen to our inner voice. So many individuals who know the basics of astrology have heard about Mercury retrograded and are often confused or not informed properly about its effect. They claim, don't make any decisions when Mercury is retrograded. Mercury is retrograded three or four times during one years and stays in this motion̨ for approximately 45 days. It takes Mercury one year to move around the Zodiac circle. During the retrograded period it is very good to change things within your structure, be it a business, your office or your self. It is also a very beneficial period to write thoughts down and let your creativity flow. If there is some confusion with partners or co-workers, this is a good time to clear the air- allowing the conversation/confrontation to be processed. It is a good time to go within. But don't sign the papers to start the business during a retrograded period.
It is important to assess any business endeavor by noting the time of signing important papers, signing contracts or getting a bank loan. This time becomes the birth of the business. You may also chose an astrologer to determine the best time to start a business relating to your own personal birth chart. This chart is called an election chart. The situation varies since you might have money and don't need to go to a bank, or you have a low start up cost. A grand opening can be used for the birth of the business. You will know in your heart when the birth actually takes place.
The above planets with their cycles are repeated with the intricative patterns of the Universe, which affect our daily lives. By observing these patterns, the planets are repeated over and over again and our business becomes a map or our endeavors. It is as natural for any business to have cycles̨ as it is natural to follow the cycles of the planetary energies reflecting our vibration on Earth.
I am still in the store and supporting the new owners. It is an important aspect of my life and I will always support a small business versus a billion dollar owned store. Small business owned stores, counselors, massage therapists, healers and local artists are individuals committed to their way of living and that which they believe in. Many listen to their Inner Voice and have to follow what they hear. It takes many hours to become successful, years without a safe weekly paycheck, but the pay-off is worth every second of it. Perhaps it is written in the stars.
I now have an office in the same building as the store where I focus on astrology consultations. I offer more classes, and I am allowing my creative Self to move in new directions. Jupiter, in the chart of Agneta's Books & Things came back to its natal position after twelve years. Twelve years, a Jupiter cycle indicates a time for a move or expansion. I am freeing myself from a commitment that came from a Vision, but somehow I am still part of that vision,. Thank you for the wonderful years. Oh, yes, by the way, you are still part of the Vision!
Recently, I was able to finally make a Pilgrimage to India, but that is another story for another time!