Weekly Forecast September 3: Mars Sextile Pluto, Venus enters Leo

Angels with a vengeance. Double-teaming goddesses Themis and Nemesis work to keep the world free of scumbags. Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, 1806.

In many ways, this week continues themes of last Friday’s Full Moon in Pisces. So even though the normal period of influence for the Full Moon is plus or minus three days, events continue to unfold through the last quarter Moon on September 8.

Due to his recent retrograde, Mercury is following the Sun until the two conjoin next week. In the meantime, the Messenger is revisiting the aspects in the Full Moon chart between the Sun, Uranus, and Pluto. Whereas the Sun’s aspects may have been related to new developments in your life, the same aspects with Mercury correspond to working out the details. Put another way, a deal isn’t done until the contract is signed and the check is in hand. Mars aspects the same set of planets on Monday, and then Mercury and Mars from a sextile on Wednesday.

I don’t think you’d find it useful for me to break these aspects down individually, since they all tie in together and act in synergy. And while it’s hard to say precisely how a multiple-planet configuration such as this will manifest, I do see some major themes.

Underlying the entire set of aspects is the Uranus-Pluto square. Uranus represents revolution, while Pluto represents evolution. Put them together, and you have chaos preceding a new order. Mars in Scorpio adds activating energy into the mix, while Mercury represents insight into the process and the emergence of new information and ideas, as if out of thin air.

We are indeed asking the “big questions” right now, as Pip noted in her second comment to last week’s forecast. How much is “fate,” and how much control do we have over the direction of our lives individually and as the collective human species on earth? These are questions that philosophers have been asking for millennia.

A couple of days ago, I decided to look at the lesser asteroids in my chart. I knew I had Hygeia at a critical point and that there was likely some significance to this placement, especially since I wrote about the mythological Hygeia in my long article on Ophiuchus that appeared in the December/January issue of The Mountain Astrologer. My astrology software has a listing of nearly 50 additional asteroids, few of which I’ve heard of and none of which I’ve ever worked with in a chart. In addition to Hygeia, I discovered that I have Nemesis within a degree of my lunar North Node, which itself is very close to the Ascendant.

Most people know the word “nemesis” and consider it to be a very bad thing. The few astrological references to Nemesis indeed consider it to be a bad omen of sorts. I don’t buy it. First, we haven’t had even remotely enough experience with any of these minor asteroids to start making proclamations of their significance in a chart. Second, the use of minor asteroids isn’t itself a technique that has been put to the test and validated. From what I’ve seen, most of the astrological work has been intuitive free-associating, and not with any standard interpretation of what these bodies represent. That alone is grounds for caution. That said, having one of the “scary” asteroids on the North Node was a bit disconcerting, so I set out to learn more about Nemesis.

Nemesis is commonly called the goddess of retribution or revenge. According to some of the Greek philosophers, she stepped in to check excessive pride, undeserved happiness, and unearned good fortune. Clearly, this was an attempt by the ancients to explain fate. Put in modern terms, why do bad things happen to good people, and vice versa?

Digging a little deeper, we find that Nemesis actually was the remnant of a much older goddess – older than Zeus and the Olympians – who dates back into prehistoric times (remember, history began when writing was invented around 3,000 B.C.), when people first began asking the big questions. One of the biggest mysteries concerned fate. What was it? How did it work? Could you escape it? The concept of fate was assigned to a goddess, who was neither good nor bad. She just apportioned lots.

When I did a search for Nemesis, I discovered that she often was paired with Themis, a goddess representing divine law – the natural order of things. When someone disturbed the natural order, thereby creating an imbalance, Nemesis restored the equilibrium. I suppose that if you were on the receiving end of such an action, you might consider it negative (ask Bernie Madoff). And to anyone else, it would have appeared as divine retribution for arrogance.

Themis and Nemesis were two sides of divine justice, and the Greeks also saw Themis as an oracle who could predict the future. According to some myths, Themis was Zeus’s wife before Hera. It’s not hard to understand how this story came about; it gave legitimacy to the Father God (that is what “Zeus” means). Zeus, ever the philanderer, also was said to have raped Nemesis. The child of the union was Helen of Troy. Talk about revenge!

I’m fascinated by how human thought over the millennia shaped and distorted fundamental truths. Once writing was invented, the distortions literally became “written in stone,” to the point that humanity has lost touch with natural law. Understanding natural law is a prerequisite to any meaningful discussion of fate and free will.

Now, here comes the really interesting part. After looking up the asteroids in my own chart, I did an asteroid chart for Friday’s Full Moon in Pisces. Asteroid Nemesis was at 12 degrees Sagittarius (conjunct my natal Saturn), directly opposite asteroid Themis at 11 degrees Gemini! Jupiter was at 14 Gemini. It’s hard not to jump to a conclusion that the minor asteroids just might have some significance in astrological analysis. It’s certainly something I’ll be looking at from now on.

Back to this week, the configuration of Mercury, Mars, and the outer planets also includes Chiron, who currently is sitting at about 7 degrees Pisces, putting him in a close sextile with Pluto. My take on this is that the breakdowns and breakthroughs occurring under the Uranus-Pluto square also have a healing element to them. Healing in and of itself can trigger major changes in one’s life. As you heal old wounds, your energy changes, which in turn may attract different kinds of people and experiences in to your life.

Also this week, Venus squares Saturn on Monday and then enters Leo on Thursday. On Friday, the Sun squares Jupiter, followed by a Mercury-Jupiter square on Saturday.

The most recent contact between Venus and Saturn was barely a month ago, when they formed a trine on July 31. In general, trines are easier than squares. The conventional interpretation of a Venus-Saturn square is a lack of connection, feelings of loneliness and isolation, or difficult commitments. Some or all of that could be true this week, but with Saturn still in Venus-ruled Libra, “difficult” may be relative, and it’s not “impossible.” If you run up against an inability to get through to someone or to make the connection you’re looking for, try not to be dismayed. This really is transitory.

Venus in Leo is the party girl with golden hair and loads of bling. She needs to be seen, and she thrives on compliments and positive strokes. Her first order of business is a quincunx on Friday with Neptune, her Higher Self. Friday dates may go awry when selfish desires get in the way of compassion and understanding. You’ll fare best if you can fight the urge for instant gratification.

The Sun-Jupiter square, with Mercury and Jupiter in a square the next day, could turn out to be quite helpful, as these energies can work well together even in a square, which we normally consider as conflict. This is a strong aspect for getting a lot of work done – indeed, for moving mountains. The pitfalls are biting off more than you can chew and getting bogged down in details. Here is one instance where free will definitely can come into play. Do your best to stay on task, and resist getting in a pissing contest. Arguing over details is a risk, especially if you’re negotiating a contract. It will help if you know in advance what you’re willing to compromise on and what’s non-negotiable.

I’ll be working this week on the StarGuide Fall 2012 forecasts and will post a notice when they’re available. I also owe some of you reports and follow-up e-mails. Rest assured that I haven’t forgotten you.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat