It’s time to say, “fare-the-well” (and for some, “good riddance!”) to 2021. Winter has ‘officially’ arrived with the sun in the sign of Capricorn.
We now are charged with focusing on grounding, producing and finishing up loose ends as the year comes to an end. This Earth sign is driven by success and the upholder of tradition. This is the time of year we not only focus on completion but how we desire to design the architecture of our lives in the New Year ahead.
Venus really has something to say over the next few weeks. The planet of love, beauty and the senses started its retrograde on Dec. 19, (ending on Jan. 29), so the L-word is in the air, albeit possibly intense and a bit confusing. Each of us may face old relationship issues we thought we had dealt with or old flames may even suddenly reappear and then disappear equally as fast. Be open to something real but don’t bet the farm this month in a Vegas-style whirlwind matchup. Just be ready for the lessons it brings.
(*Note: When reading your monthly horoscope, it is always good to read not only your "SunSign" but also your "Ascendant"— referred to as your "Rising Sign.")
Capricorn: Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Capricorns, you are the bridge for the outgoing and the incoming. By the end of the month of the sea-goat, your inner and outer personal relationships should clarify and improve your personal nature overall. Here is your dilemma for the next 30 days: you need to step up your game with a partner (or the pursuit of one) and at the same time take a more observing role with work and output, at least until the 17th, then start upshifting your gears again with career goals. You are a randy one and a steadfast initiator but remember to be gentle with those around you, especially in matters of the heart. Be playful.
Aquarius: Jan. 20-Feb. 18
Forward-looking Aquarians, “May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor,” this one's for you. You should be able to take any old lemons that you have been dealing with and turn them into lemon-flavored mixed drinks with a lot of panaché for all your friends. But don’t get too punchy and over-inflated by the luck you may be awarded this month; ‘keep it real’. Be sure not to let things wane with an existing stable partner unless of course your freedom and self-liberty are at stake. Just as Capricorn ends and Aquarius begins on the 21st, you may need to cut loose on an unplanned outing, trip or even a little bit of a wild adventure.
Pisces: Feb. 19-March 20
If you hear a voice that tells you to check social media for some unloved object in the digital marketplace, pursue the homeless animal shelters for the next family pet or to sign-up for a dating app (if single… or maybe not); stop what you are doing, right then and there and do it. Trust your gut instincts now, especially if you are coming off of an even extra-confusing year. Remember, your connection to the unknown is your ‘superhero superpower’! You may not take home that new heirloom piece, the long-term pet, or even the next mate-to-be but there is something for you to assimilate in this process. Remember, you were born to swim!
Aries: March 21-April 19
This year, may have a repeating and common theme for you, that you may take too many initiatives and too much for granted. Where others may be out on romantic adventures, you may need to slow your roll and find some patience, which is not a usual Arian virtue. Not that you will listen to this advice because you probably think that you and you alone know what’s best for you. There may be extra tension brewing around you, particularly until mid-January. You might even want to take an extra-long holiday. Whatever you choose to do, do so with compassion for the ‘other self’ in the equation.
Taurus: April 20-May 20
My bullish friends, do you feel it? It’s either unusually exciting or extremely uneasy for you right now. Do something around the home off-beat. Paint a wall hyper-orange or buy a plasma ball for the bedroom. Make it the old Taurean you, yet in a new way! With this Venus energy, analyze some new investment strategies, diligence will deliver in your favor in the long-term. If someone tries to feed you a load of bull crap now, let it bounce off of you and toss a load of your truth in their direction. You do you.
Gemini: May 21-June 20
You are actually very good at managing contradictions so you should be pretty good at managing the month ahead. Does the proverbial ‘cat got your tongue’ resonate? Not likely, even when it should! You may not be at a loss for words but you may find your words and thoughts quantumly entangled more than usual. Take a triple booster shot of Zen to get clear and set a slower pace. As you enter the third week of January, take off your mask and get oral. Obsessions in love behind the scenes may mean more to them than to you. Ask questions and be sure to check-in.
Cancer: June 21-July 22
Crabs, did you know that ‘crab’ and ‘crib’ are related etymologically? Yes, we can get crabby and cry like babies. We can be cynical and sentimental at the same time. We are all about ‘the nostalgia’ and personal history but sometimes you just gotta cut some old baggage loose. You may need a social confidence booster right now but you don’t want to leave the house; so throw a dazzling post-holiday party at home. People will still be craving connection. Freedom from the past will actually bring you more calm than you may realize. You will be feeling the Cancer full moon on the 17th but don’t get too wild; tattooed names of party partners are hard to get rid of.
Leo: July 23-Aug. 22
With much adieu, fanfare and accolades, enter Leos. Been waiting patiently for some stage time?! Well, now is a great moment to take back any limelight you may have lent out to others, loving Lions! But purring loudly gets the best attention; not the pouncing on people with your claws out and scratching up the furniture, no matter how playful you think you can be. Toward the end of the month, you should be ready to go back out and roar with more authority. Shine on Leos, shine on!
Virgo: Aug. 23-Sept. 21
Earthy Virgos, have you been busier than usual, making your lists and checking them twice and even thrice? If they haven’t been nice, weeks ahead are generally good for you as the Sun is shining and supporting the more grounded traits of your sign. Rather than the more usual, “Why-oh-why?” you should be more about, “Why-the-hell-not?” You Virgos do know how to wear Venus energy well. If you are a more conservative native of Virgo, do something on impulse. If you are a more liberal member of the sign take it up a notch to, dare I say, ‘radical’. When you do, there may even be a doorway that opens to something totally unexpected in the larger scheme at the Aquarian Sun shift.
Libra: Sept. 22-Oct. 23
Decisions, decisions the bane of the Libran existence. Oh, why must you have to decide anything? You may feel that your social life is too legit, to have to commit—to anyone or anything. Remember, if you have asked for too many extensions or the cause of delays, the bill still always comes due at some point; this applies even to love. You will have to start paying off some of the interest now. Use the rest of December to draw up a real plan, with real goals and real deadlines. Luckily you are a child of Air, and you can change things swiftly when pressed to do so. Make a few resolutions, and with some balanced willpower, you will be able to keep them.
Scorpio: Oct. 24-Nov. 21
You may be a bit less notoriously Scorpionic and a bit more ironic over the next few weeks. Like a cat meowing at the screen door; do you want inside or outside? Since you probably already have someone holding the door open for you, either way things will line up for you nicely in some attractive ways. At the New Year party, you might want to make it a 3-4 day event. Toward the changing of the signs into Aquarius and the end of the month, you may want to find some extra fun private reasons to play the indoor cat. Remember to shut the door behind you. In your special case, a ‘good bedfellow’ might make an easy business partner as well.
Sagittarius: Nov. 22-Dec. 21
Your noble quest, dear Sagittarians, is simple, don’t get distracted! The watchword right now for you is ‘opportunity’; of which you should have many. If your mind has been on fire lately (and it probably has), January just after the holiday celebrations have waned is a good time to ground that mind-fire in something substantive. Get creative! Communicate, disseminate, educate, illustrate, cultivate don’t hesitate. You may feel extra generous but it’s not a good time to spend unwisely. There is really no need for luxuries, even though you may feel some inclination to excess, nature provides its beauties in abundance. Move your equine legs; run, work and as always—dance!
Shannon Gill is a local Evolutionary Astrologer, Jungian Counselor, and the co-founder of 'The Shift Foundation' at Samadhi Retreat Center. To learn more about her work, or to schedule a personal session, you may contact her at shannonleigill.com.
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Austin is one of the top metro areas where homebuyer income saw the greatest surge during the pandemic and it came at a cost to locals.
A new analysis by real estate services firm Redfin reports that affluent out-of-towers have contributed to surging home prices in metros like Austin. Due to this trend, Redfin notes, many local buyers with lower incomes have been priced out.
“For white-collar workers earning high salaries, remote work is a huge financial boon,” said Sheharyar Bokhari, Redfin senior economist. Jobs with that flexibility, Bokhari says, enable them to move from a tech hub like San Francisco to a more affordable part of the country where they can get more home for their money and even put some toward a rainy day fund.
“It can have the opposite effect on locals in those destinations–especially renters–who are watching from the sidelines as home prices skyrocket while their income stays mostly the same,” Bokhari said.
In Austin, the median homebuyer income surged 19% from 2019 to 2021, ultimately reaching $137,000. In that time, the median home price growth was 48%, just behind Boise, Idaho which was more than 50%.
But the housing market is starting to slow. Redfin says high mortgage rates and unsustainable price growth have driven demand down. In fact, Austin is among the 20 housing markets that have cooled the fastest in the first half of this year.
“People are still moving in from California and they still have enough money to buy nice homes in desirable neighborhoods, sometimes with all cash,” said Austin Redfin agent Gabriel Recio. “But the days of homes selling for 25% over asking price with multiple offers are over. Buyers are no longer as eager now that mortgage rates are up and there’s buzz in the air about the slowing housing market.”
As a result, Recio says, local and out-of-town buyers have an opportunity to buy a home at the asking price or even under.
Redfin carried out its analysis using data from the home mortgage disclosure act to review median household incomes for homebuyers who took out a mortgage, though it doesn’t include buyers who paid using all cash.
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School is back in session—do you know the latest TikTok trends?
With Austin ISD resuming session on Monday, school officials are keeping tabs on the newest TikTok trends that could pose classroom disruptions and property damage.
TikTok trends swept through Austin-area schools last year with the “Devious Lick” challenge, which encouraged students to steal from school property and reportedly caused $15,000 in damages at Round Round ISD; and the “slap a staff member” challenge.
On the distraction end, a substitute teacher was dismissed from Bowie High School in December after bringing in a karaoke machine to class and singing Britney Spears’ “Toxic” for the class on TikTok.
Officials told KXAN they are staying aware of the trends as they change during the 2022-2023 school year and the district will investigate perceived threats. Since TikTok trends vary in severity, they will also evaluate to see which trends could cause harm or not.
Finally, the school district said it does not tolerate violence or bullying and will focus its efforts on protecting students both physically and digitally.