Weekly Forecast March 9: Mars Conjunct Uranus, Saturn Retrograde

Saturn V rocket, Apollo 11 liftoff, July 1969.

Saturn V rocket, Apollo 11 liftoff, July 1969.

This is a potentially explosive week. Whether that’s good or bad news depends on where you are.

If you’re in your space capsule, buckled in and waiting for ignition and liftoff, the explosion beneath you is a good thing. Not so good if life with a partner or family member has felt like a bomb waiting to go off. Even controlled demolition gets out of control under this week’s highly explosive astrological aspects.

We’re just a week away from the seventh and final pass of the 2012-2015 Uranus-Pluto square. Outer-planetary aspects such as this take place over time, so the day of the exact aspect often passes without incident. Related events can occur weeks before and after, with new developments at any time during the cycle. But sometimes they do occur in close proximity, especially if there are other major aspects occurring simultaneously. We saw that with the chemical weapons attack in Syria on Aug. 21, 2013, the day Jupiter formed an exact square with Uranus. The Uranus-Pluto square was within three degrees.

On Wednesday, with the Uranus-Pluto square close to exact, Mars conjoins Uranus and squares Pluto within a few hours. Mars is the planet of bold action, but he’s also the planet of war, and he’s in his own sign of fiery Aries. Uranus in Aries is impulsive and incendiary, and he boosts the force of Mars. Pluto, meanwhile, is the demolition specialist. I’m concerned about the meaning in these aspects, as they support escalation in conflicts around the world, especially with rockets. That includes long-range artillery, as well as surface-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles. As I type, I’m immediately reminded of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over a war zone in Ukraine. There have been theories about whether it was shot down with a surface-to-air missile or whether the shots came from a fighter jet. It’s a pretty safe bet that if and when the truth comes out, it will cause an explosion of international protest, regardless of who was responsible.

Meanwhile, the negotiated cease-fire in Ukraine has been holding, but should either side break it this week, the result could be an all-out war. Likewise, Russian police have arrested several suspects in the assassination on February 27 of Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin. It appears that the brutal attack was carried out by Chechen terrorists, but they likely were hired guns. Again, if and when the truth is revealed, the repercussions could lead to violence, likely related to events that have been unfolding since the Uranus-Pluto square became active in late 2010. Those events include the Arab Spring uprisings and subsequent overthrow of corrupt leaders, leading to internal chaos. The pattern spread to several Asian countries and to Ukraine in February 2014. None of these conflicts have been resolved, and it’s possible that there is a common geopolitical thread, namely the competition between global powers for control of the world’s wealth and resources. This competition is going to get more intense in the years ahead and won’t reach equilibrium until the Uranus-Pluto opposition in the late 2040s. In the meantime, international borders will be heavily redrawn, and there may be a world war. History tells us that it doesn’t take much to light a fuse when there are years of built-up tensions.

Do I think that will happen this week? No, but astrologically, conditions are right for a major outbreak of violence. Explosions also could be literal, whether due to nature or human activity.

Jupiter also is a factor in this week’s astrological configuration, but not in the same way as August 2013. Back then, he was in a tense square, whereas this time, he’s in a harmonious trine with Mars and Uranus but an irreconcilable inconjunct with Pluto. That means the easier path of pressure relief is from Uranus to Jupiter, who’s currently retrograde in Leo. Unfortunately, “easy” doesn’t always mean positive in the case of mundane astrology. The metaphor I like to use is a hurricane over an open, warm ocean. The clear path is good for the hurricane, not so good for anyone in its path. In mundane astrology, Jupiter represents the banks and wealth – in other words, the global economic system. Some economists say that we’re heading for a collapse worse than in 2008.

In general, there is a huge potential for movement, especially when Mars trines Jupiter on Tuesday. Like explosions, movement can be good or bad, depending on where you’re sitting.

In our personal lives, the Uranus-Pluto square has been a more subtle and long-range factor. How hard you’ve been hit also depends on whether they are aspecting planets in your natal chart. For example, if your birthday is the first week of April, Uranus is currently conjunct your Sun, with Pluto in a square. You may be experiencing abrupt and disruptive changes, some totally out of the blue. These changes may be forcing you to dig deep within yourself for your sense of personal identity and power, and you may be forced to confront destructive behavioral patterns. Ultimately, you’ll end up in a place that feels more true to who you are, and that in turn will change your perception of the world for the better.

Even if Uranus and Pluto aren’t in contact with planets in your chart, you might be feeling an overall sense of pressure, dread, and possibly fear, whether conscious or repressed. This has been an exhausting period. We often like to say that we’re all connected, that everything is connected. Neptune in Pisces corresponds to an increased awareness of our spiritual and emotional connectivity. The Internet, which is associated with Uranus, has made those connections even more real. Being connected means that we’re not just holding hands singing “We Are the World.” We’re connected to a lot of turmoil, confusion, grief, and fear. It’s not possible to push these feelings aside and “focus on the positive.” Compassion, a keyword for Pisces and its ruler, Neptune, literally means “to suffer with.”

We are learning compassion, which is a perquisite to healing, “heal” meaning to be whole. Being whole means acknowledging the light and the shadow, in the outside world and within ourselves, and not hating the shadow. There are many levels of symbolism in myths such as the abduction of Proserpina by Pluto. Ceres (Greek Demeter), her mother, searched high and low for her and ultimately had to accept a compromise in which her daughter would spend half the year in the underworld. In a very different take on the underworld myth, Sumerian Inanna was called to the “Great Below” to visit her sister, the bitchy, unkempt, and spiteful Ereshkigal, who hated Inanna because she was all beauty and light. Who did she think she was to scorn her sister, when she maintained her radiance only because Ereshkigal bore her shadow and lived permanently hidden away in this miserable hellhole? In revenge, Ereshkigal hung Inanna upside-down on a meat hook and left her to die. She was rescued by her faithful servant, who won her release by validating Ereshkigal and showing compassion for her chronic aches and pains.

Mercury, the planet of communications, re-enters Pisces on Thursday. If, like me, you’ve been having strange dreams, they could become even more so, and also more vivid. Whether or not you are normally psychic, you may pick up on the thoughts of others or have premonitions. For me, it’s a series of flash forwards, often by mere seconds. It can take the form of “hearing” what someone says in my head right before they say it, or I’ll know that the phone is about to ring or that I’ve got an e-mail from someone in particular. I notice this phenomenon more when there are several planets in Pisces or when there are strong aspects involving Pisces.

In a week filled with powerful astrological currents, we have yet one more major shift. On Saturday – “Saturn’s day” – Saturn turns retrograde. Saturn entered Sagittarius on December 23 and stations at just under 5 degrees. He’ll remain at 4 degrees for about a month, and as he gains speed (an optical illusion from our vantage point on Earth), he’ll return to Scorpio on June 14 and will remain there until September 17. We have three months to review changes that have occurred since Christmas, both in world affairs and our in our personal lives. So far, it seems that religious beliefs and modest successes in the quest for social change have been the major themes to emerge from Saturn’s shift from Scorpio to Sagittarius. This was a fairly big shift, because while he was in Scorpio, he was in a mutually supportive relationship with Pluto in Capricorn, the latter representing financial austerity and militarized police response to demonstrations, sometimes with escalating violence resulting in fatalities.

Earthrise. Photo by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission, 1968.

Earthrise. Photo by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission, 1968.

In honor of Saturn’s turn retrograde and in keeping with the theme of explosions, this week’s image is the Saturn V rocket lifting off with the Apollo 11 spacecraft in July 1969. It was the flight that landed the first humans on the moon. The space program was one of the technical innovations associated with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-66, which continued to unfold into the late 60s. The iconic “Earthrise” photo was taken in December 1968 during the Apollo 8 spaceflight, the first manned flight to orbit the moon. It has been called one of the most influential photos ever taken, showing our home planet so beautiful, lonely, and fragile. The environmental movement, another product of the sixties, used the image to awaken society to the dangers of unchecked industrial pollution – an issue even more urgent today as we face the challenges of global climate change, massive oil spills from offshore drilling, and radiation from Fukushima, the full extent of which is still unknown – or, at least, not made public. The point I wanted to make, though, is that we need to remember, as we endure the stress and exhaustion of constant shifting, that these are also times of amazing discoveries that will change the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe.

Saturn in Sagittarius also is about what we believe. Saturn’s square with Neptune, exact later this year, will bring increased focus on whether what we believe squares with the facts and on how we put those facts together to arrive at the truth.

Speaking of which, I wrote in a comment on last week’s forecast that I would provide a list of the sites where I get my news. It’s turning out to be tougher than I thought, because some of the sites on my short list provide information not found anywhere else but that I feel I need to verify with independent research. Once I do that, I have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on. Unfortunately, it’s just not as simple as opening the morning paper. Whether or not a global military conflict erupts, the information war is already in full swing. The only way to survive it is to know how to tell good information from bad. Perpetrators of propaganda on all sides are quickly learning new tricks to make it harder and harder to tell. I’ve actually been thinking about starting a news blog. But I am still so far behind in reports, exhausted, worn down, and not in a space to take on a big new project. I hope that will change once we’ve shot out the other side of this last Uranus-Pluto square and after the eclipses in March and April.

Wishing you all an extra dose of love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.

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