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Forecasting Your Dream Vacation

by Juanita Benedicto

With the holidays quickly approaching, some of us might be planning a special getaway. For years, my special getaway was Guanajuato City and San Miguel. I was a single mom and working as an academic reference librarian at the University of Oregon. My daughters would visit their dad during the summer and at Christmas, giving me the opportunity to travel. I returned again and again to a convent in Guanajuato where I worked as a volunteer, establishing a learning lab and library for the foster girls who lived there. I also administered massage to some of the nuns and began a program called "Compassionate Touch Therapy", working with women who had escaped abusive relationships and had sought refuge at the convent. Compassionate Touch enabled these brave women to release trauma their armored bodies had stored for years. It's funny how some places call to us, as though we have a memory of them deep within our bones. When my girls left home, I decided to make Guanajuato my home for awhile.

As we move through life, we often trade one passion in for another. For me, I hung up my running shoes when I discovered salsa. Then, two years ago, I left the librarian's reference desk to focus on the stars. This meant moving from San Diego to San Miguel. Today, I work as a full time astrologer and tarot reader with clients all around the world. Technology enables many of us follow our passion while we live in a place that resonates with our heart. It's with the idea of resonance in mind that I offer the following insights on where to visit based on your Sun or Rising sign.

ARIES—March 21st to April 19th
Fiery Aries appreciates a bold adventure. As the first sign in the Zodiac, Aries likes to initiate and be the first one in his circle to do something that impresses the socks off the rest of us. Pioneering Aries appreciates a challenge of magnificent proportions. This trailblazing sign is great at starting things and wants an itinerary that packs a lot of variety.

Suggested Adventure: Dust off that passport and buy a Eurail pass. Aries, you're on a mission to run four 10Ks in four different countries of your choice. This will give your warrior self not only a chance to test your mettle but the opportunity to collect race medals in four international cities while keeping your body in top condition. First stop? Spain! For the Valencia Marathon & 10K.

TAURUS—April 20th to May 21st
Ruled by sensual Venus, Taurus is at her best when given the opportunity to indulge the senses, preferably in a natural setting. Taurus shows the rest of us what it means to truly inhabit the body. This Earthy sign finds her inspiration in beauty and delights in corporeal luxury. Never rush a Taurus, especially on vacation. Intelligent itinerary planning requires a lot of free time to appreciate unexpected discoveries and delight in pleasurable wandering.

Suggested Indulgence: Yosemite, Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, or a hidden away cabin hemmed by stream song lull you, Taurus. These are the places where your Bull's heart expands and mind softens. The nature lover in you will truly feel at home while your senses feast on the beauty that surrounds you. Make sure there's access to exquisite food, candles, comfy robes and massage.

GEMINI—May 22nd to June 21st
Intellectual and curious Gemini is motivated by learning experiences. This multi-tasking Air sign constantly soaks up information only to offer it later in scintillating conversation. Witty Gemini shines when given the opportunity to flex his mental muscles which means he's always at the cerebral gym, asking questions and expanding his mind.

Suggested EdVenture: Have you ever thought of traveling to Cusco Peru to learn about Incan agriculture, Gemini? How about visiting a coffee farm in Costa Rica to witness the growing stages from planting, harvesting, and packaging? Or picking and pressing olives with the locals in Tuscany, Italy? Not only will you pick up something new, brilliant Gemini, you'll be able to talk about it when you return!

CANCER—June 22nd to July 22nd
Deeply sentimental Cancer appreciates understanding her family history. This nurturing and nostalgic water sign often keeps all the family scrapbooks and photo albums going back generations deep. The rest of us count on Cancer to keep family traditions alive. Fortunately for us, Cancer is happy protecting ancestral memory and bringing Great Grandmother's Secret Recipes to family reunions.

Suggested Nostalgiama: Take a trip back in time, sweet Cancer, to the land your great grandparents came from. Was it a farm in Argentina? The flower fields of Taiwan? Perhaps the Tennessee mountains? Let yourself be swept away with sentimental reverence as you move through the same spaces they did. Connecting to your roots makes you feel more alive.

LEO—July 23rd to August 22nd
Warm hearted Leo gravitates towards five-star experiences. As the royalty of the Zodiac, Leo likes to travel in style. Luxury and opulence is Leo's middle name. Sure, the courageous Lion can rough it, but rest assured he'll be using the highest quality equipment if he does. Ruled by the Sun, Leo inclines toward creative choices with an iconic edge.

Suggested 5-star Getaway: Dear Leo, your romantic nature and joie de vivre are a natural match for the most glamorous destinations: The Trevi Fountain in Rome, the winding waterways in Venice Italy and the casinos of Monte Carlo. Splurge on fine dining and lavish accommodations because you're worth it. Besides, aren't you always reminding us You only live once?

VIRGO—August 23rd to September 22nd
Hard working Virgo often recharges by giving back. This humble earth sign truly understands heart centered service. Virgo is a natural optimizer and improves anything she gets her practical hands on. Hand her a mess and she'll efficiently return it to you straightened up and shining like a new dime. How does this relate to vacation? Virgo decompresses by putting her many skills to use on behalf of helping others.

Suggested Enterprise: Clear your mind and purify your body, Virgo, at a 10 day Vipassana Retreat. You can work on stillness while simultaneously supporting a good cause: the end of suffering. Meditation will increase your focus while the pristine surrounding will soothe your soul thereby fixing two bugs with one line of code (I know you truly dislike the two birds one stone saying). Your clear presence and joyful vitality will lift everyone upon your return.

LIBRA—September 23rd to October 22nd
Diplomatic and charming Libra excels in both style and charismatic conversation. Libra impresses with refined tact and exquisite taste. Ruled by Venus, Libra exudes a regal finesse while still enjoying rugged authenticity. Under the polished veneer, Libra concerns himself with deeper themes of justice, equality, and activism. Social in nature, Libra prefers to travel with someone or have the opportunity to meet traveling buddies en route.

Suggested Getaway: Libra, above all, you require tranquility, especially on vacation. Restore your equilibrium in a peaceful environment like the resplendent fjords of Norway or the secluded vineyards and narrow country roads of Provence, France. Let the natural beauty and the friendly conversations of friends old and new recalibrate your exquisite core.

SCORPIO—October 23rd to November 22nd
Mysterious Scorpio plunges us into the underworld. There's a penetrating depth and raw intensity to Scorpio. As a child, Scorpio loved haunted houses and ghost stories. Now grown, she is drawn to cemeteries, palm readers, truth sayers, and meditative labyrinths. Scorpio blows in like a wind where the rest of us fear to go. She lives in the deep end, forever exploring life's great mysteries.

Suggested Initiation: The supernatural calls you, Scorpio. Ghost tours in New Orleans, the ancient pyramids of Egypt, and Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands have all been Scorpio vetted and approved. If you're traveling in November, celebrate your ancestors during Day of the Dead in colorful towns throughout Mexico. Be sure to stop by the Frida Kahlo Museum outside of Mexico City before flying home.

SAGITTARIUS—November 23rd to December 21st
The Sagittarius creed? Not All Who Wander Are Lost. Larger than life Sagittarius believes that he who collects the most stories wins. With wanderlust in his bones, sunny Sag commits to living life as a quest. Ruled by expansive Jupiter, this fire sign is on a mission to explore the meaning of life, journeying deep and wide to absorb different cultures and philosophies, thereby broadening his perspective.

Suggested Quest: Whether it's trekking solo across Mongolia on horseback or sitting in ceremony in the heart of the Amazon, Sagittarius, your calling is to travel to the farthest place you'll ever go: the universe inside of you. Through plant medicine or a meditation of movement, wrap your understanding around the quantum playing field that is life itself. Throw your head back in laughter as you realize that God is hilarious and you're finally getting the joke.

CAPRICORN—December 22nd to January 20th
Ambitious Capricorn constantly sets the bar higher for herself, like a reverse limbo dance. She evolves through challenges, pushing herself to earn not only respect from others, but to be someone who she is truly proud of. She maintains the highest standards. When she sets a goal, she'll move heaven and earth to attain it. For this reason, she needs to completely recalibrate during vacation or accomplish a mighty feat.

Suggested Limbo: Capricorn, pack your bathing suit. You're going to need it for that float tank in Sedona where you completely let go into utter relaxation. This serves your conflicting needs for rest and for surmounting a challenge. Once you get past the hard work of surrender, you'll calm your nervous system and tap into your body's radiant healing center. Alternative: train to climb K2 or Matterhorn.

AQUARIUS—January 21st to February 18th
Independent Aquarius is half rebel, half genius with a splash of eccentricity. Inherently innovative, this air sign always takes the road less traveled if only to see where it ends. Aquarius is wired with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to explore the world of ideas. This drive runs alongside his appreciation for total authenticity. Destinations that captivate Aquarius are the weird, extraordinary, and revolutionary.

Suggested Road Less Traveled: A trip to the Moon. Or Mars. Until then, Aquarius, find your inspiration in a surrealist sculpture park constructed by an eccentric British poet and artist in the middle of a Mexican rainforest near the small village of Xilitla, Las Pozas. Another option is the capital of Kazakhstan: Astana which has been dubbed the "world's weirdest capital city."

PISCES—February 19th to March 20th
Imaginative Pisces, the dreamer of the Zodiac. Pisces meets the world with a magical sense of compassion and poetry. Given her mutability, she shape shifts to the environment and people surrounding her, giving this water sign an adaptability to go with the flow. As the final sign of the zodiac, transcendent Pisces views this life as a pilgrimage, spending much time exploring her own consciousness and spiritual grounding.

Suggested Journey: Pisces, your ethereal nature dances with the archetypes. For this reason, you travel to Plato's cave in your sleep. For a waking dream, journey to the land of the Brothers Grimm: The Black Forest of southwest Germany. You'll be spellbound by the dark and deep evergreen forests while simultaneous captivated by the picturesque villages and quaint inhabitants. Upon your return, you'll write your own fairy tale.

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Juanita Benedicto is a consulting astrologer and tarot reader. She lives in San Miguel de Allende where she enjoys listening to the sounds of church bells, roosters, and wind. When she's not pouring over natal charts, she's wandering the hills with her rescue pup, a Red Heeler named Yara. For consultations or a spirited game of dominoes she can be reached at:

www.twelfthhousereadings.com

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