June 12, 2013
Separating the wheat from the chaff won’t be easy this week. Planetary crosscurrents pull in different directions simultaneously, and daily life reflects that astral hodgepodge with too many situations, individual and collective, in need of attention. Expect to feel stretched, especially if you have more than one iron in the fire, more than one child to take care of, or more than one friend who is wrestling with dire circumstances. The good news is that positive occurrences are also a part of the mix. The not so good news is that nervous systems could easily become overloaded from the intensity, making tantrums, yours or others’, a possibility. The task of the week is being able to distinguish what needs to be released from what or who will flourish from your awareness and care.
Here’s the skinny: A Mars/Uranus sextile is at the core of this week’s nervous agitation. Mars and Uranus both represent movement. Mars symbolizes physical energy. Uranus signifies the pulse. And when these two planets interact, nervous systems often feel the strain of too much activity. On one hand, this combination provides prodigious amounts of strength—enough to accomplish any task. On the other, it generates the potential to push too hard, take on too much, and grow impatient with the results—or lack of them. Mars/Uranus also insists on personal freedom, at almost any cost. So don’t be surprised if a musical brain worm keeps singing, “I gotta be me. I gotta be free.” This sextile is exact on June 17 and lasts until June 25. Notice where you are longing for liberation, and what the cost of freedom will actually be.
Jupiter is in the final moments of its transit through Gemini, a journey that began on June 11, 2012, and ends on June 25, 2013. As Jupiter moves through the last degrees of Gemini, the Sign of information, what already seems like an endless download of data, personal and collective, could turn into a deluge. Anticipate conversations to be laden with facts and figures, but also be prepared for advice from just about everyone on just about every subject. Jupiter is traveling in tandem with the Sun, and that positive combination encourages an optimistic, confident attitude that’s more than willing to share opinions about a wide range of subjects. Just be aware, some of what’s said could be more rumor and hearsay than anything else.
Mercury and Venus are also traveling in tandem through the Sign of Cancer. Last week, they both formed a trine to Saturn and Neptune; as they pulled out of that positive interaction, they simultaneously completed a T-Square to the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square, prolonging the persistent impetus for change embodied by that powerful and sometimes pernicious configuration.
The Sun and Jupiter, as well Mercury and Venus continue to travel together for the next two weeks. The Sun/Jupiter conjunction symbolizes joy. The Mercury/Venus conjunction symbolizes a deep desire for beauty. While those two signatures may feel antithetical to the nightly news, the more we align with their positive potential, the more we strengthen the intention to make love and beauty the first choice.
June 5, 2013
The planets begin to align in new formations this week, and the goings-on of terrestrial life reflect the celestial shifts. Mood swings--lots of them, yours and others’—are probable, so don’t be surprised if you’re motivated one minute and completely without ambition the next or enthusiastic about the day when you wake up, and by the time you finish coffee, totally flummoxed about how to spend your time. The planets are moving from Gemini, the Sign of information, into Cancer, the Sign of intuition, and as the astral emphasis shifts, you’re likely need a moment to get your bearings. And even when you have them, expect to feel pulled by strong and often inexplicable emotional currents. Cancer embodies the longing to belong, and over the coming weeks, that yearning, so deep in so many, could arouse a surprisingly visceral need to feel connected to those you love. You might even find yourself caught by a poignant nostalgia for connections that might have been if circumstances had played out differently—even those surrounded by family and friends could feel waves of melancholy. As the planets stir these yearnings, issues of safety and security are also sure to surface. Rather than reject or resist these emotional currents, dive into them and allow yourself to feel the deeper subtext of your daily interactions. Remember, on this planet you gotta feel to heal.
Several sources contribute to the moody emotional environment. Here’s the list: (1) Mercury and Venus are already in Cancer; (2) On June 21, the Sun also enters Cancer. (3) On June 25, Jupiter begins its yearlong transit through Cancer. And if all that isn’t enough, (4) from June 26-July 20, Mercury is retrograde in Cancer. Yes, I realize I am jumping ahead, but we are, after all, talking about Water Signs, which means boundaries are likely to be blurry, and tidal rhythms—at least human ones—act and react according to individual needs. The full effect won’t be felt until Jupiter leaves Gemini, but this week, as Venus occupies the early degrees of Cancer, we get a preview of what’s to come.
It’s the presence of Saturn and Neptune that turn the next several weeks into an opportunity for emotional connection and reflection. Saturn, in Scorpio, goes direct on July 8, and for the next several weeks, in preparation for that “course correction” Saturn seemingly slows to a crawl and lingers in a trine to Neptune, in Pisces, which also goes retrograde this week, on June 7. When Saturn and Neptune unite in a positive relationship, foresight and insight are probable, as is a healthy understanding of sacrifices made for the benefit of the greater good. When you add Mercury and Venus to the mix, as we do this week, Mercury amplifies the possibility of heightened intuition, as Venus contributes an inclination toward artistic inspiration. There’s nothing reckless about this configuration; if anything, it errs on the side of caution. But it does support a spiritual perspective aimed at integrating ideals--something we continue to need in ever increasing applications.
On a different note, Mars is transiting Gemini, a journey that is likely to stir a need to talk, a lot, about everything. Engage in conversation, but understand that you won’t be able to limit those dialogues to facts and figures. Hearts are going to play a huge role in what gets discussed—and that’s likely to be a good thing.
May 29, 2013
Versatility is the keyword for the week, as the line-up of planets in Gemini, the Sign of information, continues to inspire a non-stop gab fest that runs the gamut from the ridiculous and unnecessary to the sublime and essential—and all the many dimensions in between. Expect vivacious interactions with just about everyone, from family and friends to that stranger sitting next to you on the plane, train, or bus. And don’t be surprised if the normally taciturn are holding forth on several soapboxes simultaneously. And just like last week, the celestial emphasis on conversation is so strong that even those who with absolutely no interest in chitchat could find themselves listening eagerly to the “useless” details of the most mundane activities. But don’t let a tendency toward the superficial fool you into thinking that the intensity is behind us. We are still in the aftermath of the third Uranus/Pluto square, and although the majority of us may not be experiencing physical hardship, far too many of our fellow travelers are suffering from emotional, mental, and spiritual crises.
The Sun, in Gemini, stirs a certain restlessness for information that has the power to clarify cloudy circumstances. Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury are also all conjunct in Gemini—at least until May 31, when Mercury moves into Cancer, and June 2, when Venus follows suit. This entire bundle combines provides the potential for multifaceted discussions about aesthetics—what we find beautiful and why. It’s a fundamentally good-natured configuration that wants to revel in love and beauty—or at least talk about it a lot. On May 31, Mars enters Gemini, and given that Martian tendency to spar just for the sake of stirring it up, some discussions could turn heated, particularly if you or others mistake speculation for certitude and get stuck defending opinions and positions that aren’t even that important.
In esoteric astrology, Gemini, and its ruling planet, Mercury, symbolize the vast and mighty potency of the mind and its ability to gather information and awareness. Gemini signifies the earliest formation of communication skills, especially patterns with siblings and other family members, patterns that mature into how we share information in our adult relationships. Mercury, who in Greek mythology is known as Hermes, is the god of travel and commerce. Mercury is also the personification of language and communication. Most significantly, Mercury was the psychopomp of the Olympian gods – the only one of them that could travel between Mount Olympus and Hades. From an astrological perspective, Mercury embodies the facile ability of thought to travel between heaven and earth in barely a blink of the mind’s eye.
As the week unfolds, and almost everyone has an opinion about almost every little thing, notice what sets your mind on a journey of extremes. And then, rather than polarizing either in heaven or in hell, do your best to be flexible, adaptable, and versatile—if only because very few situations are completely black and white, and the ability to find the middle ground in the midst of so many points of view will help to ease the stress and tension of daily life here on Planet Earth.
May 22, 2013
It’s a perfect week for data and details, so make sure the apps on your Smartphone are ready to handle the constant streaming and massive downloads of facts and figures. Four planets—the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter—are aggregating in Gemini, the Sign of communication, and that astral assembly has the potential to turn the days and nights of the week into a watershed of information. Pay attention to what’s said as well as to what you choose to say, because we’re also in the final eclipse of the season—on May 25, there’s a lunar eclipse—and much of what emerges is likely to be previously withheld feelings or only hinted-at opinions. But that’s not all. Because this lunar eclipse takes place in Sagittarius, a Sign that thrives on conversation, most of us will be talking to anyone who will listen about every little thing. There’s so much to say that even the naturally reticent are likely to start spilling the beans—you could even start muttering to yourself. And much of what’s said could be quite startling.
Last week, I mentioned that we are in a three-year cycle of seven Uranus/Pluto squares. In keeping with this week’s informative deluge, here’s a list of when those squares occur:
June 24, 2012
September 19, 2012
May 20, 2013
November 1, 2013
April 21, 2014
December 15, 2014
March 17, 2015
Uranus is in Aries and Pluto is in Capricorn, and all seven contacts occur between the 6 and 16 degrees of both Signs. Those born in the first half of all the Cardinal Signs—Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn—are most deeply affected by this cycle. (To figure out if that’s you, just start at the beginning of your Sign and count approximately 16 days in.) But no one is exempt. Some may have the Moon or any number of planets located in the first half of one of these Cardinal Signs, which means the effect of the squares is already being keenly felt—or will be.
While we know that that Uranus/Pluto contacts signify revolution, there’s no way of predicting just how many revolutions, individual and collective, will be necessary to accomplish an authentic transformation. The most we can do is pay attention to our immediate environment to see what needs to change and how best to facilitate that particular shift. This could mean a complete change of heart, moving from hatred to love. Or it could be as simple as taking care of your elderly neighbor by making sure that he or she has food and is eating it; this might lead to volunteering for an organization that delivers food, or getting involved with a farm that makes sure the food is fresh and nutritious. What’s important is following the threads of what need to change.
This week, rather than worrying about what will happen next do your best to stay in the moment. Compassionate, conscious choices in the present have the power to eventually nullify the negative effects of the past as they simultaneously create a more positive future.
May 15, 2013
Monday, May 20, marks the next exact Uranus/Pluto square—the third in a series of seven squares occurring between June 2012 and March 2015. From an astrological perspective, Uranus/Pluto contacts always signal periods of great change; they symbolize cycles of political and social upheaval and upset, revolutionary cycles that seem to activate both an individual as well as a collective desire for transformation. We've been in the matrix of this current cycle since spring 2012. Again, from an astrological point of view, squares symbolize action, and because there is barely a break in contact between Uranus and Pluto during this three-year cycle, many of us are already weary and exhausted from living through seemingly endless days and nights of upheaval—psychic, political, personal, and physical. But although the turmoil grows increasingly disruptive, it is also clarifying; each new turn offers opportunities to identify or to adjust priorities, especially for those evolutionaries who continue to ask where their efforts are best spent. For those with vision, the pace may seem glacial. For those who are wrestling down old paradigms, the pace may actually feel accelerated. Such is the struggle in samsara when you put your soul power to the karmic wheel and try to weave a new pattern from ancient karmic red threads. The question is not whether to change. The question is how to facilitate so many much-needed shifts out of outdated, moldy, sticky, unconscious habituations and perspectives that continue to keep us mired in ignorance and violence.
The current cycle of squares has its origins in the Uranus/Pluto conjunctions that occurred between 1965 and 1967. Those years are easily seen as an emblem of personal and planetary transformation. Both Uranus and Pluto were in the Sign of Virgo, the Sign where we recognize the interconnectedness of life—the unity of being in its differentiated particulars. And from that phase, the ecology movement gained momentum, and although there continues to be resistance to the idea that we are all participants in a vast linked system known as planet Earth, for the most part, ecological awareness is now a part of how we live.
The generation born during the last conjunction—and for that calculation, I would expand the parameters from 1964-1968—this current cycle of squares has a familiar resonance, and many may feel it as a call to action. That generation grew up in the midst of enormous social turmoil, and even though many rebelled against their parents’ rebellion, revolution is still a part of that astrological DNA. The problems we face today are the same problems we faced then, and while some will argue that these are the conditions of humanity, it can just as easily be argued that humanity has a responsibility to face these problems and to push past revolution to evolution.
We don’t need the stars to tell us that we live in “interesting” times. What astrology can offer is a way of contextualizing the tumult as part of some greater narrative, and pondering the synchronicity between celestial and terrestrial cycles has the potential to open a richer and deeper conversation about creative solutions. For most of us, change is a painful process—old systems tend to die hard, and many won’t give up without a fight. And even the best intentions to release destructive patterns often meet with ferocious resistance. As the Uranus/Pluto squares continue to unfold, notice where you are resistant to change, and then be determined to put your best evolutionary foot forward.
May 8, 2013
For the next several weeks, the best transformational tools for conscious living are the willingness and the flexibility to embrace a kaleidoscope of perspectives. We’re in the thrall of several intense astral patterns, all of which require dexterity – emotional, physical and spiritual – to shift from one point of view to another with minimal effort. Mental agility is also crucial during this phase, for as the days and nights unfold, handling certain circumstances will require moving between the many dimensions of the mind, from the practical to the ideal and back again to the pragmatic, all in the blink of the mind’s eye. Not all that occurs in this concentrated wave of intensity is negative – for some, this is a period of dynamic creative expansion. But that doesn’t mean the rigors of conscious living won’t be exhausting – actually, even for those of us who aren’t facing an immediate difficult situation, simply being there for those who are will require stamina and strength. So whether you are in crisis, as far too many of us are, or a first responder to crisis, physical or psychic, do whatever it is you do to ground yourself in your deepest truth. There are no quick fixes or easy solutions to be had; there is only the determination to keep evolving, one issue and one theme at a time.
We are between three eclipses. The first was a lunar eclipse on April 25; the second is a solar eclipse on May 9; the third is another lunar eclipse on May 25. From an astrological perspective, eclipses disrupt the “normal” order of things – regimes, regimens, routines, and roles turn topsy-turvy. A solar eclipse symbolizes the power of the unconscious to overshadow conscious concerns; a lunar eclipse highlights conscious concerns above all others. And just to make it more confusing, the eclipse effect – solar or lunar – is felt before or after the actual event; time feels distorted and exacerbates a sense of dislocation, again, experienced on many levels. Be patient with yourself and others, especially those already hypersensitive. Also be kind to children; they often channel the intensity around them without any awareness that they are simply conduits.
We are also in the tightening grip of the third Uranus/Pluto square, which will be exact and separating on May 20. Uranus symbolizes the revolutionary, every ready to catalyze stagnant systems, personal and collective, in desperate need of change. Pluto represents the process of death and rebirth, and tends to only be satisfied with change that occurs at the core. From an astrological perspective, interactions between these two planets symbolize periods of profound upheaval, particularly evident through the various movements for social justice. From a personal point of view, this square has the potential to trigger themes you may not have thought were a part of your fabric. Or, that you may have already thought were well worked out. From a collective perspective, all those areas of unresolved conflict – and they are everywhere – are sure to erupt with new fervor.
Often we resist what most needs to shift, so pay attention to ideas, behavior, and relationships you’re holding onto, and question whether your grip is motivated by fear or habit. The ability to discern what’s authentic and wholesome will help you to let go of attitudes and perspectives that no longer serve.
May 1, 2013
A dance around the Maypole to honor the midpoint between summer and spring isn’t likely this week. So don’t worry if you don’t feel like celebrating the start of the lusty month of May. Saturn continues to dominate the astral weather, and while some of us who chronicle the stars are committed to redefining Saturn’s traditional role as the Great Inhibitor, that redefinition won’t turn the significator of discipline into a sensualist anytime soon. And because Saturn always sets a somber tone, we’re in for another week of earnest introspection and serious interactions. The good news: By this time next week, Saturn and all the planets it is opposing – Mars, Mercury, and the Sun – will have moved out of their tight oppositional formation, and we will all breathe a sigh of relief. The not so good news: That sigh will be brief – very brief. We’re in the full throttle tractor beam of the third exact Uranus/Pluto square that occurs on May 20, and the stress of that dynamic relationship is generating a far deeper psychic tension than Saturn. Anticipate being impatient with all the areas of life that are currently stuck. Also expect to project much of your frustration onto others. Remember, one of the cardinal rules of personal growth is “You spot it. You got it.” So be very careful whom you blame for what.
Saturn’s critical eye is still examining anything it can hold in its gaze, which means lots of areas of daily life are going to feel scrutinized, but ego and ambition are Saturn’s particular favorites this week. Mars symbolizes how we move in the world – it’s action, even if action manifests as meditation. On May 1, the Mars/Saturn opposition is exact and separating. Negative Mars/Saturn contacts tend toward harsh, bitter attitudes that can only find the flaw; its most common expression is the unrelenting finger of blame. The current opposition began on April 24. For the next several days, as the opposition ends and its tension releases, we’re likely to feel the emotional brunt of the last several weeks. Even if the person you love the most is doing “it” – whatever that is – all wrong, make every effort to be a peacemaker. Contemplate what’s right about an opposing point of view rather than simply dismissing it. There’s already enough wrong in the world; there’s no need to add to it.
From a collective perspective, as this week and the coming weeks unfold, all the places on our planet that are already overwhelmed by aggression are sure to see an escalation in hostility. We are only at the midpoint of the Uranus/Pluto cycle of change, a cycle that is historically characterized by revolution. What we know for sure is that the current “order” comprised of a multitude of systems – political, financial, spiritual, and ecological – is in a process of breaking down and daily life seems to be dissolving into chaos. What we haven’t quite yet figured out is how to unite our disparate evolutionary efforts so that we can achieve the necessary critical mass to turn our seemingly hopeless situation around.
April 24, 2013
The next two weeks unfold under the keen eye of Saturn, and as the planetary keeper of discernment and discipline culls through the details of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary affairs of daily life many of us are likely to feel as if we’re under the influence of a stern Mercury Retrograde. Expect little to flow lightly. Also anticipate delving intensely into dialogues or diatribes about action and its consequence with yourself and anyone else who will listen. Saturn is often referred to as the “Lord of Karma.” But it is also called the “Voice of Reality” because of its unstinting devotion to the distillation of wisdom from experience. It won’t be easy maneuvering through any process under Saturn’s scrutiny. And while Saturn’s examination is not quite the equivalent of being probed by Sauron, Saturn’s critical eye does tend to dwell on what needs to be learned. The best way to handle this Saturnian intensive is to assume a beginner’s mind and simply be willing to grow.
All the planets, with the exception of Mercury, previously transiting Aries – Venus, Mars, and the Sun – are now transiting the early degrees of Taurus, which means they are all opposite Saturn, in Scorpio, and it is this concentration of oppositions that inclines the psychic air toward introspection, examination, and in many cases, absorption in finding the flaw. For many of us that focus on what’s wrong is sure to turn into a finger-pointing, faulting-finding, blame-assigning attitude that’s quick to judge others or ourselves. Just be aware, those judgments are part of a process: We are mourning a multitude of losses, actual and ideal, and grieving for what is gone is going to take a long, long time.
The most pernicious of these oppositions occurs between Mars and Saturn. The tension of this particular interaction often manifests through violence aimed at the self or toward others. Mars is the principle of movement. Saturn represents discipline. And when they oppose each other, we often experience a hard bitterness that wants to push past restraints. This opposition begins April 24, is exact and separating on May 1, and lasts until May 7. Pay close attention to children during this time; most of them have a tendency to channel the undercurrents of their immediate emotional environment.
A lunar eclipse on Thursday, April 25, amplifies an already charged emotional atmosphere. During a lunar eclipse, conscious concerns overshadow emotional issues, but this eclipse carries a deeply complex emotional signature: The Moon opposes the Sun, as it simultaneously conjuncts Saturn, in Scorpio. That conjunction opposes the ongoing Sun/Mars conjunction, in Taurus. We tend to feel an eclipse effect several weeks prior to or after the actual event, and while some may want to attribute last week’s events to the eclipse, it is important to remember that we are in the eclipse season. There is a solar eclipse on May 9 and another lunar eclipse on May 25, and we’ve yet to see or feel the combined eclipse effect. What’s more, Mercury will transit the eclipse sensitive point on May 4, and that could also ramp up the intensity.
As the week unfolds, try to keep in mind that Saturn’s critical eye, while stern, also provides the opportunities to grow – for all of us, young or old, naïve or cynical, discouraged or hopeful.
April 17, 2013
The planets are moving from the tempestuous and impulsive heat of Aries into the grounded creativity of Taurus this week, and as they shift their emphasis from Fire to Earth, we experience the potential to settle down and settle into different daily rhythms. Just don’t expect this transition to be instantaneous. Also don’t assume that the seemingly never-ending personal and collective intensity of life is going to suddenly evaporate – no chance. It’s simply going to display itself through a different lens of behavioral patterns. Anticipate strong emotional reactions as many of us attempt to adjust to the patterns. Transitions are seldom smooth, and this one could be more than a little bumpy. So when possible, be patient and kind with yourself and your fellow travelers. We’re all in this together, and we all have varying levels of skill when it comes to handling change.
Here’s the lineup: Venus moved into Taurus on Monday, April 15. The Sun enters Taurus on Friday, April 19, and Mars follows suit, on Saturday, April 20. Taurus represents the power and force of the physical world, whether that power is seen through the capacity of the earth to give birth to an infinite multitude of concrete, tangible life forms, or seen as the sheer strength of the physical world to endure. Ruled by Venus, Taurus is a sensual Sign that delights in the power of physical body, a power that includes the capacity to experience and often indulge in the pure pleasure of the material world. And it’s not that Taurus lacks a spiritual dimension – far from it. At its deepest, Taurus is the Sign where we experience the privilege of the physical body, as well as realize the power of spirit to animate form. This week, as the Sun and Mars join Venus, in Taurus, make it a point to appreciate the power of your body. Indulge in earthly delights, and expand your appetite for life and all its sensual pleasures.
But the astral heat of recent weeks isn’t completely extinguished and won't be for quite some time. A Mercury/Uranus conjunction, in Aries, continues to provide a facile mindset that tends toward innovative thinking. Mercury favors quick mental processes and when it combines with the volatility of Uranus, the keeper of invention, flashes of genius are possible. What’s more, although the Sun and Mars are in Taurus, they are traveling in tandem, and because Mars resonates with Aries’ fire, their conjunction is certain to skew the normal Taurus reticence into decisive action.
Most importantly, Uranus, in Aries, is tightening its square to Pluto, in Capricorn. This square is exact on May 20, and it is the third exact square in a series of seven occurring between June 2012 and March 2015. Frankly, I think it is impossible to predict how this next square will manifest – so much is changing, and the contrast between the shifting paradigms is so stark, that there’s just no telling what the next phase of transformation will be. But one thing is sure, as we build toward this next shift marker, many of us are likely to feel increasingly agitated and restless. Use this energy to make progress toward what you would most like to change. Start simple – start with a change of heart that includes other points of view, even if those opinions clash with your own.
April 10, 2013
The tight formation of planets in Aries persists for yet another week, and the routines of terrestrial life continue to reflect the celestial intensity. Many of us are growing weary of this militant signature. Aries is, after all, the archetype of the warrior, and for the last several weeks, the aggregation of planets in this often combative Sign has provided the potential to turn each and every day into a psychic or physical battlefield. And while it’s true that Aries’ aggressive attitude has the necessary power to rouse the complacent into taking a stand, eventually enthusiasm even for righteous causes starts to wane, especially if there’s never a break in the “weather.” Don’t be surprised if you or those you love are extraordinarily cranky from overload and overwhelm. And because most of us regress to five-year olds when we are tired and stressed, it would also be wise to anticipate that tantrums, yours or others,’ are likely to be the preferred method of releasing stress. Try to remember that even if picking a fight offers a momentary release, it won’t transform the tension. Find healthy and creative ways to discharge anxiety, frustration, or that feeling of “there’s not one more thing I can do or I will explode.” And when possible, help your fellow travelers to do the same. Aries may be the Sign of the individual, but even the most reclusive among us are often required to rely on the interconnectedness of community.
Uranus, the Sun, Mars, and Venus, continue to transit Aries, this week. On Monday, April 8, the Moon also entered Aries, and its presence sparks emotional bodies and ignites intense reactions. As that Aries Moon becomes a New Moon on Wednesday, April 10, those already aroused emotional bodies are sure to flare with the desire to forge ahead into previously uncharted waters by saying all sorts of things that wouldn’t be said under normal conditions. Think before you leap into language you might later regret, and try to be compassionate toward others who are struggling with the same need to release emotional heat.
Over the coming ten days, the planets will eventually complete their transit through Aries. On Monday, April 15, Venus will move into Taurus, her Home Sign. On April 19, the Sun will follow suit, and on April 20, Mars will leave Aries, its Home Sign, and move into Taurus as well. As the planets shift elements, we shift attitudes, moving from the passion of Fire to the pragmatism of Earth. For those of us in need of a break, it’s on the way.
But before that change, Mercury moves into Aries on Saturday, April 13, quickly forming a conjunction with Uranus and a square to Pluto. A Mercury/Uranus conjunction has the capacity illuminate a multitude of ideas, and when that capacity to conceptualize unites with Pluto, some of us might feel transformed into a “genius bar,” able to answer all manner of questions. I hope that will be the case, because there are so many pressing problems, personal and collective, in need of creative, bold, and brave solutions.
April 3, 2013
Here’s the good news: Astral heat continues to insinuate itself into all the activities of daily life, but the pernicious undertones and overtones that dominated recent weeks are fading away – at least for now – and all that’s left to deal with is the unbridled enthusiasm and exuberance of Aries. Some of you are sure to be rolling your eyes, thinking, “That’s all? Just Aries unchained?” Yes…for the next two weeks, we are under the influence of an uninhibited concentration of spring’s fire, the Sign of Aries, and the time of year in the northern hemisphere when hibernation ends and emergence from the cave begins. Expect almost everyone to be excited, eager, and earnest about something. This undiluted astral heat has to power to ignite ambitions and spark all manner of plans and ambitions. And while inspiration and motivation are definitely what’s needed to clear away the blahs of winter, impatience is also probable, especially if those goals aren’t progressing quickly. Take a breath, pace yourself, and try not to let your personal fire burn out. This Aries signature persists for a couple of weeks, which means there is plenty of time to set your ambitions in motion.
The Sun, Venus, Mars, and Uranus are all still transiting the Sign of Aries. For the last several weeks, the Sun, Venus, and Mars were all conjunct Uranus and square Pluto. Those multiple combinations were the source of individual and collective agitation and irritation, as well as the astrological signatures motivating the impulsive acts that many of us thought would be the solutions to the tension. Now, free from the potentially destructive force of Uranus, the Sun, Venus, and Mars are all still traveling in tandem. Mars is well past the reach of Pluto, as well, and by the weekend the Sun and Venus will also be beyond Pluto’s transformative reach. Which means we will find ourselves right in the middle of a full-blown Aries love-fest. When the Sun and Venus share the same space, love, beauty, and creativity ride the surface of daily routines. Add Mars to this mix, and you’ll find yourself flirting with everyone. For those of you in the mood for love, this is the planetary fire that fans the power of attraction, and spurs the urge to mate. For those of you who prefer to spend your intensity on creative endeavors, this aggregation of Aries planets can move you into new territory and inspire or re-inspire your idealism.
From an esoteric perspective, Aries is the soul fire that wills us into being and impels us into individual experience. Without it, we would lack the courage to initiate adventures. Unfortunately, Aries’ vital force isn’t always the most mature impulse, which is why patience is the secret to handling this spring’s fever.
March 27, 2013
I always like to compare the fiery, tempestuous, dynamic energy of Aries to the excitable, impetuous, dramatic personality of Captain James T. Kirk, Starship Enterprise, who only set his course on adventure, boldly going where none had gone before, and upon arrival, suddenly realizing he had taken far too big a leap into the unknown and desperately needed support from his more circumspect cohort of Spock, Bones, and Scottie. It’s the “Oh…I can handle anything” attitude of Aries that tends to not even consider the consequences until they can’t be ignored. From a fictional perspective, this Aries bravado always eventually succeeds. From a real life point of view…well…ask any Aries about the actual results.
Because we are in the midst of an enormous process of change, signified by the ongoing seven Uranus/Pluto squares occurring between June 2012 and March 2015, I’ve taken to considering Aragorn, one of Tolkien’s heroes, a better choice for the Aries archetype: He is a fearless warrior who is always in process, morphing from Strider, the wandering king without a kingdom, who must bide his time (something Aries struggles with) until he can reveal his true identity. Upon accepting his mission, Strider becomes Aragorn, trusted guide and only one of two humans who has absolutely no interest in the ring of power; he is only interested in his true power, and because of that is willing to protect his fellow travelers at any cost. He is a might for right warrior, and when right finally triumphs, he transforms once again into Elessar, King of Gondor, his long and arduous hero’s journey at last complete.
Finding a way through the intensity of the ongoing Uranus/Pluto squares is also a long and arduous transformational journey that is personal as well as planetary, individual as well as collective, and, some might argue, no less dramatic than the story of the ring.
On May 20, 2013, the third Uranus/Pluto square is exact. Uranus signifies the instability and inevitability of change. Pluto represents death and rebirth. When these two planets interact, they stimulate revolution, and a look at history reveals that the movements for social justice flourish under this signature.
This week, the Sun, Venus, Uranus, and Mars, are all conjunct in Aries, and they all form a square to Pluto. Consider this intense concentration a preview of things to come. Squares produce friction. Aries likes a fight. And all these planets are warriors in their own right, even Venus, who was once known as Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of war. The probable manifestation of this Aries aggregation is an escalation in turmoil wherever it is already tumultuous and turbulent, whether that strife is occurring on foreign shores or within your own heart. Pay close attention to children during this intense time; they will be unusually antsy, and because of that meltdowns are probable. Please be as gentle as possible, even if the child having a tantrum is 40.
Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., each had difficult Mars signatures in their birth charts. Both became warriors, but their battle for transformation transcended the normal dimensions of war. As you make your way through the current changes, contemplate what warrior archetype best expresses your ideal response to change.
March 20, 2013
The planets are rambunctious this week, and because there’s no “time out” for the sky, daily life reflects this unsettled astral activity through unruly moods and attitudes. Mature adults melt down like five-year olds and normally cautious individuals leap into all sorts of uncertain situations. Expect to be overwhelmed mostly by overstimulation, and also anticipate high levels of emotional sensitivity, yours or others’, as the risk for impetuous behavior combines with nearly undeniable urges. It’s spring, and we’re sprung – at least in the northern hemisphere. Some of us emerge from winter’s hibernation hungry for everything, and those ravenous appetites motivate a multitude of impulsive decisions. Others stubbornly refuse to leave their caves. Most of us simply need a moment to adjust to the new air, and while patience for that adjustment process is sure to feel like an impossible dream, it would be wise to make every effort to take your time.
Mars and Aries, as well as Mars, in Aries, are the source of this week’s physical and psychic turbulence. Mars needs to move, especially when it’s in its Home Sign of Aries. Mars also needs to compete, to win, and to conquer, which is why it’s the archetype of the athlete, the warrior and the explorer. Mars signifies the need to push physical boundaries by doing battle, whether that battle is physical, ideological, spiritual, or imaginal. All of the descriptions of Mars are also true for Aries, the Sign that needs to forge ahead, lead the team, and boldly go anywhere at any time. And when Mars transits Aries all those Martian qualities are squared – no, make that cubed.
Currently, Mars is conjunct Uranus, in Aries. This is a highly volatile combination because Uranus, already unstable, amplifies that Martian need to move and that excites nervous systems beyond reasonable limits. Sleep is disturbed. Tempers are testy. And the need to relieve the tension can turn a minor brouhaha into a major brawl. Pay attention: This conjunction is exact and separating on March 22, and as many of you know by now, we don’t feel the full effect of these pernicious interactions until they start pull apart. The problem with this particular separation is Pluto: As Mars disengages from Uranus it forms a square to Pluto that amplifies the potential for violence. This square is exact and separating on March 26.
Yes, it is as bad as it sounds, and the only way to handle the intensity is to make a commitment to peace. Put pride aside, along with the strong and almost irresistible inclination to vanquish your opponent. There is no winning under this configuration, because even if you emerge victorious, the stress is certain to cost you a vital piece of your heart.
As the week unfolds, try to think before you speak. And when you speak, choose kind words that have the power to soothe and calm a weary soul.
March 13, 2013
Several planets move from the quiet poetry of Pisces to the dynamic command of Aries this week, and as they shift positions, so do we. For some, it feels like a welcome change of air. For others, the shift is jarring, especially as daily life begins to unfold to a percussive, militant rhythm. For most of us, the altered skyscape catalyzes previously tamped-down situations, which in turn ignite sudden and intense mood swings. These planetary shifts also punctuate the seasonal transition, and because the change from one season to another can often be uncomfortable, there’s a huge potential to turn cranky-pants with everyone over every little thing. And it makes no difference whether you’re waking from hibernation or preparing to go dormant – regular routines could feel like an obstacle course of opposing agendas. We’re in for a challenging couple of weeks, and won’t be easy keeping your discomfort to yourself or your displeasure hidden, and while I am not promoting denial, I am suggesting making a concerted effort to respect your fellow travelers.
On Tuesday, March 12, Mars moved into Aries, its Home Sign, a move that’s sure to have fooled lots of us into thinking Mercury Retrograde was over – but it wasn't. Mercury doesn’t go direct until Sunday, March 17. What you’re feeling as an irresistible urge to get started on all those plans and projects you’ve been putting off until the retrograde coast was clear, is the impetus of Mars, chanting its mantra: “Ready. Set. Go.” Mars is, after all, the principle of motion, and when it transits Aries, movement is a must.
By Friday, March 15 – the infamous Ides of March – Mars moves into a conjunction with Uranus. Pay attention: When Mars and Uranus share the same space, we experience their volatility as the destabilization of previously held positions. In its least pernicious manifestation, this is the reason we are cranky and impatient with any perceived or actual delays or interference. In its most extreme iteration, violence of every variety, from domestic to political, personal or collective, escalates. Avoid needless confrontations. If you want to be heard, save your disclosures for a less encumbered emotional moment that will allow for a discussion. In the midst of so much flack, your words may sound more like a diatribe than an opportunity for dialogue.
Even though it might be impossible to resist the urge to hurry, make it a point this week to take your time. Be deliberate. Aries tends to be impulsive and impetuous, and while that passion has the power to charm us out of tired routines that no longer work, it can also motivate us to leap without looking. And even a seasoned Aries will confess that blind enthusiasm isn’t always the best way to begin a new venture.
And, of course, make a special effort to be nice to your cranky fellow travelers – very few of us actually want to be miserable.
March 6, 2013
Mercury – messenger, communicator, negotiator, traveler, and trickster, extraordinaire – continues to dominate the routines of daily life this week. We’re at the midpoint of the first Mercury Retrograde phase of 2013, which began on February 23 and ends on March 17. While Mercury Retrograde always spells “trouble” with a capital “T” in all areas related to travel and communication, this retrograde hasn’t been nearly as devilish as previous phases. What’s more, this week and next, you might come to love (okay…a slight exaggeration) the precision of this retrograde, given Mercury’s positive relationship to both Saturn and Pluto, a planetary combination that tethers this otherwise irascible retrograde signature to practical matters, as it simultaneously encourages a detailed exploration of the deep. Expect to be pulled along by undercurrents you never knew existed in waters equally unexplored. But also anticipate a fruitful journey.
Most of us know the Mercury Retrograde “you must go over the details more than thrice” ancient astrological command, especially those of us who’ve previously ignored the warning and lost a hard drive, printer, transmission, camera, passport or any other artifact related to travel and communication. Mercury Retrograde is notorious for snafus, because as it seemingly retraces its path, here on Earth, moving forward often feels thwarted by a constant series of interruptions – the battery dies, the fax fritzes (Do we still use faxes?), and all sorts of other obstacles inhibit an easy flow. And even though Mercury Retrograde is an invitation to slow down and take stock of what’s already in motion, few of us actually enjoy the benefits of this mandatory retrospective, probably because we’re too busy complaining about what’s going wrong. But this retrograde has a decidedly different feel.
Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, the Sign of imagination, and as mentioned in last week’s column, home to the vast waters of the unconscious, personal and collective. Mercury represents all intellectual activities, and when it’s transiting Pisces, fantasy easily overrides reality. This capacity to envision is not so much about “be careful what you wish for” as it is about recognizing the power of the mind – you can’t create what you can’t envision (second rule of practical magic). And the pieces of the sky puzzle with the potential to transform Mercury’s flights of fancy are due to the presence of Saturn and Pluto.
Saturn, currently retrograde in Scorpio until July 8, trines Mercury for the next several weeks, and that positive relationship has the power to not only ground Mercury’s imaginative Piscean journey but also to turn some of its dreams into reality through applied discipline. Pluto, currently in Capricorn, sextiles Mercury, not only deepening Mercury’s intuitive capacity, but also sharpening the ability to think critically about those mercurial musings. As an extra component, Jupiter squares Mercury, inflating some of those visions, but Saturn and Pluto easily contain those exaggerations.
On March 12, Mars moves into Aries, its Home Sign, where its fiery disposition burns brightly, and that heat is likely to cause some of the fluid fantasies of Mercury Retrograde, in Pisces, to evaporate. Consider that Martian fire an organizing tool that can help to identify what dreams to make real.
February 27, 2013
It’s such a truly, madly, and deeply emotional week that even the most cynical curmudgeon is likely to feel the tug of all sorts of heartstrings. From the tenderness and passion of romantic love to the care and concern for family to the comfort of spiritual devotion to the fondness of friendship to the love of knowledge or even the thrill of adventure, these sensitive celestial threads have the power to turn even the simplest of daily routines into a sentimental journey. It’s simply feelings, nothing more than feelings, and only the practiced or the professional are likely to maintain good boundaries, so don’t be dismayed if you find yourself or others spilling over. Poignant encounters are probable, and while some of those interactions are certain to be uncomfortable, that won’t diminish their value, and in some cases, the discomfort might deepen intimacy in an otherwise superficial relationship.
A planetary concentration in Pisces – five planets to be precise – provides this emotional atmosphere: Here’s the line-up: Venus, Neptune, and the Sun (also Chiron) are all conjunct in the early degrees of Pisces. Mercury and Mars are also in Pisces, at slightly later degrees. By Friday, Mars pulls away from the pack, but also on Friday, the Sun moves into a conjunction with Mercury. And so the concentration continues, at least until March 12, when Mars enters Aries – but that’s next week’s news.
Pisces represents the rich waters of psyche, where unconscious forces, personal and collective, reside and coalesce, often coming into consciousness through dreams and visions, but also rising to the surface of life as psychological patterns that manifest through negative and positive behavior. But Pisces’ range is not limited to the purely psychological. It’s also the Sign of the poet, and as this week’s concentration of astral forces inhabits that vast region of symbol and metaphor, so do we, especially through the Venus/Neptune/Sun conjunction, which supports romantic imagination and the longing for love. Valentine’s Day is not quite behind us.
Jupiter, once the Ruler of Pisces, is currently in Gemini, forming a square to that Venus/Neptune/Sun conjunction. Squares indicate friction, but Jupiter is a benign stellar influence, and its presence amplifies these already tender waters. At worst, this manifests as exaggeration. But do your best to be good-natured about it. Some of us embellish simply as a way of bolstering a sense of inadequacy and not because we want to cause harm.
Saturn, in Scorpio, continues to trine the Sun, and later in the week, Mercury. Even though this trine occurs in Water Signs, which are by definition fluid, Saturn’s positive presence provides a stabilizing force that will help to establish strong boundaries where boundaries are needed.
While the Mercury/Mars conjunction could foster a feisty mindset, for the most part, it’s a week of gentle sensibilities. Debate, but don’t let an exchange of ideas devolve into a full-blown dispute. Instead, use the spiritual waters of Pisces to enhance our common ground. Most important of all, as the week unfolds, anchor yourself in compassion, and when possible, extend kindness and care to your fellow travelers.
The past becomes the present this week and as a result, daily life is likely to turn into a time warp. Wednesday feels like Monday. Friday feels like last year. And tomorrow feels like yesterday. Try not to let this temporal dislocation throw you into a tizzy. Deadlines are still within reach, particularly if you accommodate the need for greater latitude and leeway on what’s due when. Staying agile – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – is essential in handling the erratic one-step-forward-two-steps-back rhythm of this time warp.
Two retrogrades form the core of the distortion. Saturn began a retrograde phase on Monday, February 18; Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year on Friday, February 23. As these two planets “retrace” their recent paths, we review ours, with an eye toward refining plans, projects, decisions, and declarations recently set in motion. Saturn Retrograde continues until July 8, and during that time we will be reviewing events set in motion as far back as November 15, 2012. This was approximately six weeks after Saturn began its journey through Scorpio, a journey that lasts until December 2014. I find it difficult writing about Saturn’s transit through Scorpio, because the Sign of Scorpio tends toward the secretive; its still waters are the deepest of the astrological system, and understanding that depth requires patience. In Scorpio, we face the challenge of control – this is where we ultimately encounter forces far greater than individual will or ego or even physical prowess, forces that do the work of destiny and fate. Scorpio teaches us that we are not in control, not one bit, and thus, Scorpio is also the Sign where we decide our response to that truth: Will we pretend and posture or surrender and transform? We all have Scorpio somewhere in our birth chart; we all make this choice somewhere in our lives.
Saturn symbolizes discernment, structure, and the capacity to grow from our experiences – it is the critic and the judge, as well as the student and the teacher. As it moves through the uncontrollable currents of Scorpio’s deep waters, it will help us to delineate where we stand, individually and collectively, in relation to forces out of our control – political, cultural, financial, sexual, and environmental. With any luck, we will find the humility, again, individual as well as collective, to face those super powers with an intention to grow.
This first Mercury Retrograde phase lasts until March 17. Most of you know the drill by now, but for the very few who don’t: Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to initiate new projects. It is an excellent time to refine, reflect, and reconsider. As I often point out, retrogrades are not the work of the devil; they are simply a facet of the ongoing planetary tableau, and occasionally can be viewed as a boon, especially when we find ourselves in the midst of a multitude of details that need to be sorted out and reorganized, often through the lens of practical experience.
February 13, 2013
Each time I sit down to write this column I always ask myself, “What stories are the stars telling this week?” And because the sky often tells more than one story at a time, the task of translating planetary patterns into a coherent picture requires holding a strong enough eye and ear to sift and sort through major and minor interactions in the hope of identifying the key themes. Because my eyes and ears tend toward emotional and spiritual stories and because I’m more concerned with causes and consequences than I am with quick fixes, I lean away from the mundane. Or as a friend once put it: “You don’t encourage dinner with a gorgeous stranger unless the dinner conversation will benefit all sentient beings.” So true...but that doesn’t mean I don’t think romance isn’t important. I just believe love stories encompass a wide range of affections, from the boldly passionate and hot-blooded to quietly and abidingly heartfelt and enduring. You don’t have to be “married” to another human being to feel the power of love’s commitment. A true companion can have four legs and purr or four legs and bark. We can also be wedded to work, friends, creativity, a cause, or a practice -- there are as many ways for hearts to engage, as there are stars in the sky.
This week, the planets continue to tell a story of subtle sensitivity. Mars and Mercury are still traveling in tandem through the Sign of Pisces, and on Monday, when the Sun moves into Pisces, it forms an immediate conjunction to Neptune, the planetary ruler of Pisces. Pisces signifies imagination and receptivity. Its domain is as vast as the sea, and its worlds are built on feeling, which is why the problem Pisces always faces is establishing strong shorelines and sturdy boundaries. All Water Signs face this issue, but Cancer can hide beneath its shell and Scorpio can simply withdraw into the deep. But the Piscean call to empathy doesn’t allow a complete withdrawal. The Mercury/Mars conjunction stimulates a need for action, but be wary of acting on assumptions – get the facts first, especially because the Sun/Neptune conjunction feeds a hypersusceptibility to suggestion, which could exacerbate that tendency to assume. This entire Pisces bundle is likely to make it difficult to discern the difference between wishful thinking and intuition. And unfortunately, Jupiter squares the Sun, amplifying the inclination to exaggerate the situation. If you start to feel overloaded or overwhelmed by this Pisces concentration, spend your excess energy dancing. Pisces rules the feet, and dancing is its best remedy.
We’re always telling stories – even when we think we aren’t. And because Pisces and Neptune are the poet’s planets, imaginations are apt to tell sensitive stories this week. Make it a point to listen to all that’s being told. Listen to your body, and notice what you hear deep beneath what’s being said. And pay attention to your dreams – sleep’s stories are often the way hearts reveal treasures that might otherwise lie just out of reach.
February 6, 2013
Astral patterns once again dance between extremes, but this week, the celestial choreography expresses the stark contrast between being vague and being precise, and as a result, attitudes and aspirations span the vast chasm between mushy/gooey and crystal clear. Don’t be surprised if moods, yours or others’, also swing between these poles causing daily life to unfold with two-steps-forward-one-step-back routines. From a positive perspective, this vacillation offers the potential to examine different intellectual and/or emotional positions you may find confusing, again, your own or others’. And as often happens when we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, the difference in perspective has the power to transform a once tried and true opinion. I know…a new perspective isn’t guaranteed…and sometimes it takes tragedy to facilitate the kind of role reversal that loosens rigid bonds. But if you look closely, for example, at the gun control issue, it’s possible to discern incremental shifts in attitude, even if the pace of change is glacial. The planets are also providing opportunities for intuition to flourish, a condition that turns up the volume on what’s felt but often left unsaid, allowing for a deeper, more authentic conversation.
A Mercury/Mars/Neptune conjunction, in Pisces, provides the key to understanding the flux of the week. Mercury symbolizes the intellect. Mars represents action. Neptune signifies the principle of receptivity. When these three forces combine in Pisces, the Sign of imagination, we experience the potential for an active mind that tends to spend its energy in fantasy. Jupiter squares this entire bundle, and because Jupiter always amplifies and expands, many of us are at risk for wild, even unrealistic dreams to prevail.
The good news is that while some of those fantasies can be easily dismissed as delusional, the Mercury/Mars/Neptune conjunction can also stimulate penetrating insight, especially by the weekend, as both Mercury and Mars pull away from Neptune’s fog and into a trine with Saturn, in Scorpio. Saturn, always pragmatic, grounds the nervous energy of Mercury/Mars, by providing the power of discipline and concentration.
Saturn simultaneously squares Venus, in Aquarius. This square inclines toward emotional inhibition that expresses itself as a hard-hearted attitude. Be wary of the loneliness that stems from this potential for harsh judgment. Rather than attaching to a hypercritical edge, soften, and allow for idiosyncratic behavior, yours or others’. Just don’t expect the softening process to be quick or slick. Saturn moves very slowly for the next two weeks in preparation for its retrograde that begins on February 18. And while we are on the subject of retrogrades: Mercury goes retrograde on February 23. Start those back up engines, now.
The best news of the week is a Venus/Jupiter trine that lasts until Monday. This warm-hearted interaction supports love in all its many manifestations, from friendship to family – and everything in between. Let it help you to remain generous and kind despite Saturn’s critical eye. Most importantly, allow it to feed a joyous perspective, even if life isn’t exactly as you would like it to be.
January 30, 2013
The planets are busy this week and daily life mimics the celestial action. Expect a spring in your step, as well as a sparkle in your eye, and also anticipate a strong sense that this week is the true start of 2013. Sure, we are a month into the calendar New Year and the Chinese New Year doesn’t begin until February 10. But this week provides such strong potential for an optimistic attitude adjustment you’ll feel inspired to reboot and refine your resolutions to align with the new air.
The source of this optimism is Jupiter Direct. Jupiter, retrograde, in Gemini, since October 4, 2012, “turns around” on January 30, and as it gains forward momentum, so do we. Jupiter signifies the principle of good fortune, an expansive global perspective, and, as part of its broad domain, it also symbolizes the quest for truth; Jupiter is the planet of the philosopher. Gemini represents communication and language; it’s the Sign that gathers and disseminates information. Jupiter’s transit through Gemini continues until June 25, and during that time, we are likely to experience an increase, and in some cases, an excess of data. Expect report upon report to offer up valuable facts and figures about past, present, and future plans and projects. For some, Jupiter Direct removes stagnation – the stuckedness of certain situations evaporates in the light of new details, making a fresh perspective possible. For others, Jupiter’s forward motion stimulates an attitude adjustment that allows compromise and negotiation to become viable options. For even more, Jupiter Direct simply generates enthusiasm that can be applied almost everywhere.
Unfortunately, some of that enthusiasm is dampened by a Sun/Saturn square. Saturn represents the principle of discernment. The Sun signifies life, itself. And when these two dynamic forces clash through the harsh edge of a square, the tendency to judge – and to judge harshly – inhibits spontaneity. If you’re holding on to the need for perfection, let it go, and allow for life’s flaws – imperfections are often far more interesting, if only because they tell a deeper, more complex story.
A Mars/Neptune conjunction that began January 29, amplifies the urge to merge, especially by the weekend, when this configuration is exact and separating. Mars symbolizes the process of individuation. Neptune symbolizes the dissolution of the self. This conjunction occurs in Pisces, the Sign that Neptune rules and is therefore strongest in, but it’s also the Sign Mars likes least because Pisces often poses boundary issues, and Mars struggles when personal territory is not clearly defined. This conjunction could feed the tendency to dissolve into the “other” and whether that’s a good or bad experience depends on whether you call that merging codependence or empathy.
Venus moves into Aquarius on February 1 and almost immediately forms a trine to Jupiter. This is a warm-hearted interaction that’s certain to dull the edge of the Sun/Saturn square, as it simultaneously intensifies the Mars/Neptune urge to merge. And while Venus/Jupiter could cause further confusion, it does have the power to deepen a commitment to love as an answer to much of what ails. Allow it to increase a spirit of generosity toward your fellow travelers.
January 23, 2013
The shift continues, and this week, the ongoing process and struggle of transformation can be easily identified through contrasting attitudes and approaches. On one hand, planetary patterns push for innovation, but those visions of the future meet with a grinding resistance that clings to the days of yesteryear. Yet on the other hand, an expansive, and dare I say, optimistic celestial current with the power to replace fear with fact, sweeps aside conservative reserve. But even that mighty voltage encounters a recalcitrant refusal to consider contemporary conditions and creative solutions. As Uranus and Pluto are squaring off, and this week Saturn and the Sun, so are we, and the constant clash of viewpoints and opinions, personal and collective, keeps pressing each of us to determine where we stand and what we stand for. It’s an arduous journey, and whether it’s gun control, abortion rights, gender equality, health care, social services for the poor and others in need, education, immigration, disaster relief, and/or any other issue, there are very few healthy ways to escape participation. Each of us is a thread in the collective fabric and all of our combined choices determine the quality of our cloth.
Innovation comes in through a combination of several patterns. Jupiter, in Gemini, trines the Sun/Mercury conjunction, in Aquarius, while Uranus, in Aries, sextiles all three, and we love this. Mercury symbolizes intellectual processes, and even though it’s close to the Sun, which often indicates a subjective perspective, the Aquarian filter supports the pursuit of radical points of view on persistent problems. Jupiter also tends toward an expansive perspective, and its journey through Gemini is all about gathering and sharing the latest information on a variety of subjects. Positive Mercury/Jupiter contacts provide the possibility of intelligent conversations and an articulate exchange of ideas. We can only hope this potential is used to dispel stagnant systems, personal as well as collective.
Also, be aware that Jupiter goes Direct on January 30, and all week long as it prepares to “turn around” certain areas of life are sure to feel stalled. But don’t despair – the delay is only momentary, and Jupiter’s forward motion will accelerate certain plans and projects, which is sure to bolster spirits.
But Saturn, in Scorpio, dampens the possibility for pure optimism. And this is where we meet the resistance of the week. Saturn squares the Sun/Mercury conjunction, turning attitudes serious in most instances, and downright dour, in others. Be careful not to let an overly critical mind or attitude focus solely on the flaws – sometimes mistakes can lead us to even more interesting creations. On the positive end of the Saturn spectrum, this square emphasizes caution and sobriety, and if you can avoid using its critical eye as a weapon, Saturn’s capacity for discernment might prove to be a beneficial ally.
Hold fast to Jupiter this week, if only because it represents humor, and during times of turmoil and tumult, laughter is one of the best remedies for what ails.
January 16, 2013
The sky sings a slightly different song this week, but not all of its melodies are harmonious, and the discord strains already stressed nervous systems. So don’t be surprised if you or someone close to you calls “time out” more than once, over more than one issue. Especially by the weekend, when obstinate attitudes collide with powerful feelings, creating a perfect emotional storm that’s sure to make many of us dig into already entrenched positions – if only for a sense of stability in what feels like a free-floating universe that’s a little too free for comfort. The good news is no overtly pernicious winds fuel the unrest. Yet to the sensitive among us, there seems to be a mounting tension that underlies activities and interactions.
The major source of disharmony is Mars. Currently in Aquarius (not the source of trouble), Mars is on its own, disconnected to any other planet except the Moon; its lunar liaisons occur on Friday as a sextile, and Sunday, as a square; both of these interactions contribute to the emotional signature of the week. And while many might not think of a lack of Martian interaction as a source of tension, Mars needs to be engaged in order to satisfy its need for movement and action. When that need isn’t met, Mars easily becomes restless, a tendency that might manifest as an inability to concentrate or settle into a regular, productive routine. Children of all ages (including adults who haven’t quite “matured”) are likely to be particularly susceptible to this current, so please be patient and tolerant if their “normal” darting around intensifies.
Another source of discord is the separating Venus/Pluto conjunction. This passionate union stirs compulsive behavior and fanatic love, and as its influence starts to wane, attractions based on infatuation begin to diminish in intensity. Even as the flame dies down, remember to be kind and compassionate toward the once irresistible object of your affection.
The harmony of the week can be found, first, in Saturn’s sextile to the waning Venus/Pluto conjunction. This sextile supports the self-discipline to remedy obsessive fixations. Use Saturn to extricate yourself from unhealthy relationships or to help someone else disengage from a negative interaction. Harmony can also be found in a Mercury/Sun conjunction, and while this partnership tends toward opinions based on personal preference rather than fact-based information, it’s still a stimulating presence, and a light that shines until January 24, when Mercury finally pulls away and they stop traveling in tandem.
There’s an uncertainty to the week that isn’t easy to characterize, especially as the subjective perspective of the Mercury/Sun conjunction coalesces with the Martian “attachment disorder.” Yes… Saturn can provide a modicum of terra firma, but it won’t deliver the entire story and that could be a problem, specifically for those of us who make up stories in order to satisfy a need for control. Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves are accurate representations of the various psychological and spiritual forces at play. Other times, they are simply projections of our internal process – negative or positive. So as the week unfolds, pay attention to the stories you tell yourself and others – those narratives are certain to deliver valuable information about your deepest concerns.
January 9, 2013
A wiry planetary intensity underscores the first full week of 2013, and as its tinny hum works its way through the routines of daily life, nervous systems are apt to feel strained or unsettled. And because most of the astrology of the week tilts toward excess, many of us are likely to find ourselves making radical or extreme choices. For some, that tendency could reveal itself as a peculiar fascination with and/or participation in eccentric, even dangerous liaisons that override caution. For others, those fixations could produce strong emotional surges, and whether it’s fear or joy that drives the action, power struggles over strong attachments are certain. As you work your way through this astro-drama, remember to keep breathing, deeply, and as you do, be sure to keep one foot in front of the other. A step-by-step approach will be the best way to stay steady.
Several sources play key roles:
(1) Four planets – Venus, Pluto, Mercury, and the Sun – are conjunct in Capricorn, the down-to-earth Sign of the pragmatist. Conjunctions concentrate the qualities of the Sign they occupy, and Capricorn is well known for its no-nonsense approach to all varieties of concerns. So don’t be surprised if most of us seem to have a “just get to the point” attitude.
(2) Venus entered Capricorn on January 8, forming an immediate square to Uranus, which will be exact on January 12, and waning in its effect through January 16. Venus/Uranus contacts are infamous for sudden and unconventional attractions. Just be aware, irresistible magnetism can just as easily turn into repulsion when the Uranian intoxication wears off.
(3) As Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, separates from Uranus, she conjuncts Pluto. That intimate union is exact on January 16. Venus/Pluto unions stir compulsive yearnings that often morph into obsessive fantasies. Unfortunately, all too often those fixations have more to do with power plays than actual mutual attraction. Don’t be surprised if you or someone you love or someone you would like to love or someone who would like to love you feels the call of attraction. Just as the Venus/Uranus square promotes creativity, so does the Venus/Pluto conjunction. And if you’re not inclined toward extreme passions, the Venus/Uranus/Pluto configuration can also be channeled into creative endeavors that require unique and penetrating artistic aesthetics.
(4) Mercury is also in Capricorn, conjunct the Sun, an alliance that leans toward a subjective personal perspective and a mindset that identifies with its ideas and opinions, thinking there are no others.
(5) But that’s not all. The Moon enters Capricorn on January 10 and for the next two days excites the entire Capricorn concentration. A Capricorn Moon tends toward a solitary path, but this week isolation isn’t an option, and as the Moon illuminates the depth of the Venus/Uranus/Pluto interaction, deep emotions are sure to surface a desire for contact.
Because Uranus is really at the heart of this week’s wiry pulse, sleep patterns are likely to be disturbed. For those who thought nocturnal peace had returned, get ready to toss and turn. For those trying to manage daily routines, just try to take the week one day at a time.
January 2, 2013
2013 begins with a ten-day whine, and whether you’re a child who’d rather not go to back to school, or an adult who’s dreading a return to the grind, or anyone, really, between the ages of one and one hundred who’d rather stay in the lull of the holiday limbo, cranky is the mood of the moment. But don’t despair – the New Year isn’t solely driven by irritation, and the “crankitude” won’t last all year long. Yes, it’s a year of agitation – there are two more exact Uranus/Pluto squares – and that unrest is sure to manifest as continued dramatic upheaval. But 2013 also holds plenty of opportunities for kinder, gentler approaches to the pressing problems of the planet, and for those willing to assume a conscious stance on a variety of issues, healing efforts, personal and collective, will yield positive results.
The true start of the New Year was on the winter solstice, and on that day, we were under the influence of a dynamic, passionate Moon/Mercury trine. The Moon symbolizes the emotional, intuitive dimension of being human and represents the longing to belong. Mercury symbolizes the mental dimension of being human and represents the vastness of the mind. When the Moon and Mercury combine in a harmonious interaction, we experience the power of thoughtful dialogue to create heartfelt solutions. When the heart and mind work together, they create the potential for empathy and understanding to inform our choices. This is the true power of the feminine: It includes rather than excludes; it moves from separation into unity.
The official start of the New Year was on January 1, and at the stroke of midnight in Greenwich, England, a Moon/Venus trine also signaled the potential for tenderness and grace during the coming year. Venus symbolizes the capacity for love, and represents the creative dimension of human nature. When she unites with the Moon, that union sparks a desire to express love in all its various iterations, from the romantic to the platonic to the transpersonal. Allow yourself to be inspired by this union, and don’t be shy about wearing your heart on your sleeve – the world needs more people who aren’t afraid to care about each other, again, in every variety of ways.
The chart for official New Year also contains a Mars/Saturn square, and this is where we find the cranky. It’s a wide square, that’s exact on January 10, and after that, separating for the next several days. Saturn symbolizes discernment, and Mars, the capacity for self-assertion. When they clash, human interactions become prickly with criticism, inhibition, and resentment. Try not to act out your anger. Belligerence is only likely to make matters worse. Unfortunately, because a Mars/Uranus sextile also informed the first moment of 2013, holding back won’t be easy. This sextile indicates another year of action. Uranus symbolizes revolution, and when it unites in a positive alliance with Mars, freedom fighters feel the fire to break free from whatever enslaves, whether that slavery is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
As the first days and weeks of 2013 unfold, contemplate where your energy will be best spent during the coming year. And as you do, consider how your efforts can produce positive, creative transformation in your personal life as well as in the life of the planet.