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Weekly Forecast April 29:
Mars Opposite Saturn, Trine Pluto

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Then the Awful Fight Began, illustration of Ragnarök by George Wright, 1908.

Then the Awful Fight Began, illustration of Ragnarök by George Wright, 1908.

As we begin this week, we’re well into the destabilized zone between eclipses, with Uranus moving toward an exact square with Pluto in May. Many of us are feeling unsettled, shaken, irritated, and anxious, with that “other shoe about to drop” feeling.

We can’t help but feel unsettled in a rapidly changing world – or, perhaps to be more precise, a rapidly disintegrating world. This is an important part of the rebirth process, and unfortunately, it doesn’t happen fast enough to suit the expectation of instant gratification that’s ingrained in industrialized societies. It takes place over time – many years, in fact – and if we hold our breath waiting for the other shoe, we’ll turn blue and faint. Which, come to think of it, might not be such a bad idea. A little consciousness can be dangerous, as one is tempted to think he knows what’s best for the world.

From where I sit, it looks as though events are unfolding in perfect harmony with planetary movements, which themselves are in perfect harmony with the rhythm of the Universe. We just happen to be in a turbulent, breakdown phase that feels anything but harmonious. Could we just get this over with and get on with rebirth? In a word … no. Just as individuals go through periodic breakdown and rebirth (some more than others), society as a whole goes through these cycles as well. It takes as long as it takes, and that can feel very threatening, especially when our survival is at stake.

In astrology, upheaval is most closely associated with Uranus, while Pluto is the planet of death, transformation, and rebirth. (For more on the approaching Uranus-Pluto square, I highly recommend the latest article by Barbara Hand Clow.) The Full Moon eclipse in Scorpio brought these difficult themes to the fore. Personally, I’ve had to confront serious issues in the past week that could change my course. I’ll share them with you in a moment, but first let’s look at this week’s aspects.

Throughout the week, the Sun and Mars remain in conjunction in Taurus by less than 5 degrees, and both oppose Saturn and trine Pluto. Saturn and Pluto are in sextile and also in a special relationship called mutual reception. Before Saturn entered Scorpio last October, these two hadn’t been in mutual reception since the American Revolution. With Uranus and Pluto also in aspect, the energy for radical change and upheaval is multiplied by orders of magnitude. By the time this is over two years from now, political boundaries likely will have changed, and the world will look different. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Sun and Mars both represent the individual – our personal identities, desires, ego boundaries, and self-expression. The most materialist of all the signs, Taurus tends to be placid and non-confrontational but also has a well-deserved reputation for stubborn resistance. Taurus doesn’t win by outright aggression but by outlasting everyone else in the fight. Long after others throw their hands up in frustration, Taurus is still plodding along, holding out, holed up, and prepared to hang in there until the very end. However, Saturn in Scorpio takes no prisoners and smokes out the resistance, and Saturn and Pluto are working in tandem, so there’s no refuge. If you’re still living for material goals and judge success – your own and others’ – by how much stuff you’ve got, you may be forced to rethink your position. As an example, there seems to be a feeling of entitlement (in this country, at least) to more stuff for less money. For some people, it’s their main goal, which is how we got Wal-Mart – a bargain with the devil, if ever there was one.

But there is a way out, and that’s through Neptune and the collective unconscious. Neptune dissolves ego boundaries. We spend so much time trying to figure out who we are and what makes us special that we tend to forget we’re supposed to be working together. The point of finding your true purpose in life isn’t to make you more competitive and marketable, but to give your special gift to the world and thus make the world a better place for everyone, yourself included. There’s a difference between selfishness and enlightened self-interest. At 12 degrees Pisces, Chiron also is in the mix, reinforcing the idea that healing will come through compassion, empathy, and seeing beyond material reality. Even those who are waking up to the energetic underpinnings of physical reality (my definition of “spiritual”) tend to think of the material world as more important and “real,” and the spiritual world as an afterthought. In fact, the reverse is true.

Mars opposes Saturn and the Sun trines Pluto on Wednesday. On the same day, Mercury enters Taurus, which may slow us down and help us focus on practical matters. Mercury sextiles Neptune on Saturday and opposes Saturn on Sunday, and he’ll trine Pluto next week. So the foregoing themes are going to remain in play right up until the New Moon solar eclipse on May 9.

As for my own eclipse experience, I’m being forced to confront two harsh realities. The first is my own mortality. Shortly after my birthday in February, my older sister died. We were estranged, so I’d already done the bulk of my grieving years before, and I bore her no ill will, not even for her fundamentalist viewpoint that I was practicing witchcraft. A few days before she died, I sent her a heart-felt note wishing her love, deep peace, and serenity. What hit me hardest was that all of my older siblings were gone, and of seven children, I’m now the oldest living. In other words, “I’m next.” Given the ages of mortality of my immediate family, I have another six or seven years – maybe ten, if I clean up my diet and start a sound fitness routine. Then, maybe not. My father’s doctor recommended that he walk more. He had a heart attack on an evening walk to the corner store and was dead before he hit the ground. I’m not afraid to die – provided, of course, that it’s quick and efficient. Dropping dead on my daily walk would be OK, second to going peacefully in my sleep. A protracted illness is quite another matter, especially since I have no health coverage.

The second harsh reality is more immediate (unless, of course, I drop dead on my daily walk this afternoon). As much as I value spiritual concerns, one does need to pay for food, shelter, Internet, eye care, and an occasional visit to the dentist. When I first began RealAstrologers, I had a five-year plan to create something resembling what Christopher Witecki has done with SoulGarden. Going to film school was part of my strategy. In the meantime, I’d hoped to grow the business with my unique “hybrid” reports, plus telephone consultations. I live very simply, and yet I’ve not been able to make it work. A few years back, I tried getting a day job to help support the site, but as many of you know, I suffered a serious back injury that makes it impossible for me to go that route again. And because of my age and the economy, it’s not likely I’d even find some menial office work.

This reality was hit home in a post on Willow’s Web (thanks to the reader who sent me the link) in which she responded to a reader’s comment that her blog wasn’t worth a donation equivalent to $2.50 a month. I’m sorry to have to say this, but most people come to my site for the free content and leave, perhaps to go to other free sites. As Willow wrote, if you continually come here and take what I offer without giving anything back, you are acting as an energy drain. Until now, that has been my choice, but I have a hard decision to make, and it will depend on your response. If you’ve recently ordered a report or sent a donation, please ignore what I’m about to say. For those who have not, I ask you to please use the donation button in the sidebar or click here. If you are blessed with relative plenty right now, please leave a little extra, because there are readers who truly cannot afford to pay (and not because they just remodeled the kitchen).

I know from the e-mails I receive that many of you love what I do and rely on my forecasts to help you make sense of these turbulent, unsettling times. But if there aren’t enough of you – or not enough who are willing and able to help me sustain the site – then I’m going to be forced to stop blogging. Sharing what I know is important to me, not because I have some deep-seated desire for followers or groupies but because it feels like a calling. However, if I see that not that many people value my work enough to pay for it, then I’ll have to face the harsh truth. Better to know now, while I’ve still got a few years left to do something else.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

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