Weekly Forecast August 16: Venus Conjunct Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Escape. © Pat Paquette, 2010

The sand under our feet continues to shift this week, with the cardinal T-square still at peak power and Mercury turning retrograde. There’s also a lovely conjunction of Venus and Mars.

Actually, I consider it all as good news. After this week, the T-square will wind down for the rest of the year, with the exception of a brief period around the Full Moon in Aries on September 23. Venus and Mars conjoin in her home sign, which I see as a step toward restoring the balance between masculine and feminine energies on the planet.

Even Mercury retrograde could have benefits. Life has been moving so fast that a slow-down would be most welcome, with time for revisions, repairs, and catching up on tasks we’ve been putting off for weeks, if not months. It’s also a great time to take a vacation or a short break to escape from the pressure.

Taking the week chronologically, Jupiter opposes Saturn on Monday, the second of three passes and one of the most important components of the T-square. This opposition, along with Uranus in Aries, has been responsible for that feeling of driving with the brakes on. Many of us seem to be on the verge of a breakthrough, but something is holding us back. And maybe there’s some kind of logic in that, as moving forward before we’re ready usually costs us in the long run. Saturn says we have to pass all of our exams before we can graduate.

At the exact moment that Jupiter and Saturn are in opposition, Pluto is on the Ascendant in Washington, D.C. Pluto, remember, is at the apex of the T-square and thus represents a point of extreme pressure. Jupiter represents the nation’s banks and wealth, while Saturn represents government structure and bureaucracy, and Pluto represents big business, as well as overall financial and political power. The position of the United States as the world’s only superpower is being challenged, and that makes the country’s economic decisions critical not just to the national economy, but to its standing in the world. Watch the headlines out of Washington this week for new developments in an ongoing story.

On Thursday, the Moon enters Capricorn and amplifies the cardinal T-square by aspecting Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all within a few hours. The Moon’s influence is fleeting, but it can help us become more aware of what we want and how our current circumstances may be helping or hindering those goals.

On Friday, the Moon squares Venus and Mars, just as the cosmic lovers are conjoining in Libra, the sign of balance and harmony. I know that many of you are trying to find balance in your love relationships and committed partnerships and that you’re having difficulties. It’s not surprising, given all the tension and conflict in the sky right now. This week, look for breakthroughs, and rejoice even in the small victories.

Later in the day, Mercury turns retrograde at 19 degrees Virgo. He’ll return to 5 degrees Virgo before returning direct on September 12. Wherever he’s retrograde in your natal chart is where you can expect to experience the most delays and frustration, but it’s also where you’ll find the best opportunities for slowing down and revising your flight plan. It’s also where you may experience déjà vu moments.

On Saturday, Saturn squares Pluto, the third and last pass of this vital component of the T-square. In our individual lives, this difficult aspect represents where we’re experiencing a battle of conflicting authorities, be they our internal drivers or external people and circumstances. Whether the source of this conflict is internal or external, it’s holding us back from making the changes we’d like. This is the aspect most closely linked to the painful transformations many of us have been experiencing.

In the world at large, it’s a marker for economic difficulties as well as conflict between government regulators and big business.

The Sun enters Virgo on Sunday. It’s time to clean up after the party and to get serious about our diets, fitness, housekeeping, and studies. This is especially true with Mercury retrograde in Virgo.

I’m reminded of the old maxim, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” No matter how you cut it, we’re chopping and carrying. Practicing mindfulness while we’re engaged in seemingly mindless activities is an excellent way to expand your consciousness.

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

Caption: Escape. © Pat Paquette, 2010.