For the next two weeks, we’re in the twilight zone between eclipses, reinforced by this week’s Jupiter-Neptune opposition and Mercury retrograde.
All of this week’s major aspects occur within a 24-hour period on Thursday (Jupiter’s Day) and late Wednesday night in Western time zones. First, Jupiter opposes Neptune. Then Mercury turns retrograde in Libra, the sign of relationships and diplomacy. Several hours later, Saturn enters Sagittarius, where he will remain until December 2017. Over the next year, Saturn will square Neptune three times, pushing us out of the comfort zone of our beliefs and into the rugged terrain of truth.
If you could pick one planet-sign pair to best represent the twilight zone, it would be Neptune in Pisces. It’s where we communicate telepathically, pick up on thoughts and feelings of others, connect with the collective unconscious, and sense other dimensions of reality, including what we call “past lives” (I prefer “over lives). It’s also where we connect with other kinds of beings, which we usually call “higher,” even though not all of them are. Some simply are disembodied energies. I suppose we assume that all other beings are more evolved that we are, because humans have made such a mess of our environment. Even dogs and cats have enough sense not to poop where they eat and sleep. Fortunately, a growing number of people seem to be getting a clue.
Before Neptune was discovered in 1846, Jupiter was considered the ruler of Pisces. Some astrologers consider them as co-rulers, and both planets are strongly placed in Pisces. When planets are in signs opposite the ones they rule, they are said to be in detriment. So Neptune is strongly placed in Pisces, but Jupiter is debilitated in Virgo. I mentioned in last week’s forecast that one of the possible manifestations of Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces would be digestive ailments, possibly a stomach virus. Well, I’ve had an intestinal issue of some kind for the past few days, accompanied by a headache. I get headaches all the time, but rarely have digestive problems, so I suspect that I picked up something while out shopping on Wednesday. Multiplying bacteria certainly would fall within Jupiter’s “expansive” qualities, and Neptune rules epidemics.
Normally, we would expect a Jupiter-Neptune opposition to bring pie-in-the-sky schemes, unrestrained idealism, and a risk of poor judgment. Spiritual work can be enhanced, but it also can be misleading. The flip side of Neptune’s mind-altering nature is the propensity for deception and delusion. What we see and sense in the twilight zone can be true, or it can be a figment of our imagination. The latter is more likely if we have strong mental filters that shut out what we’ve determined as impossible and also, ironically, if we have no mental filters at all. As the old saying goes, we need to have an open mind but not so open that our brains fall out.
Because Virgo is discerning and analytical, we should be able to engage in critical thinking about any visions, dreams, and information received through channeling in the next two to three weeks. Also, although Jupiter opposes Neptune before Saturn enters Sagittarius, the two events are close enough that Jupiter will “receive” some of Saturn’s restraint. This will be true for the duration of Saturn’s tour through the sign of the Archer.
Mercury retrograde periods typically are a time to slow down and think matters through and to rethink some of our decisions. Between Mercury in Libra and Saturn in Sagittarius, our notions of fairness and justice may be tested. Many on the liberal end of the political spectrum believe that they have the moral high ground, and that human evolution will progress once the conservative side “catches up.” Given what we’re up against in the next decade, there is no place for sacred cows or self-righteousness on either side. Libra is the sign of cooperation and compromise. We all need to rethink who or what is the “enemy” and how we’re going to work together to overcome the dire challenges facing humanity.
Libra is ruled by Venus, who recently returned direct after an extremely challenging retrograde period. With Mercury retrograde in Libra, it’s time to bring up old, unresolved issues in relationships. Sometimes we drop issues that are important to us or overlook behaviors that bother us, because we don’t want to cause conflict. We especially don’t want to push if the other person is resisting and it seems that we aren’t going to get anywhere. And that can be used against us. Stonewalling is a tactic to avoid discussion, especially when it involves admitting to a mistake or giving up control.
You can call out that behavior, but if the other person persists, you have to consider your options. Can you be in a relationship with someone who refuses to communicate? And what does their failure to communicate mean? Do they not value you enough to make the effort? Do they simply not want to share power? What are you going to do about it? That is often the underlying reason that we don’t push. By pushing, we might find out a truth we don’t want to accept.
Conversely, we might not push, because we know that we are at fault, too, and the other person is going to call us out on behavior we don’t want to admit; in other words, you might be the one who’s stonewalling. Sometimes people have an unspoken agreement: You don’t push and call me out on my shit, and I won’t push you. Relationships can last for years based on this arrangement, until something goes wrong, and then suddenly you realize that you’ve been on shaky ground – not that different from building a home in an area prone to floods or wildfires. With Venus in Leo, the problems may have to do with who’s in charge. Infidelity also may be an issue.
Relationship issues and other events related to Mercury’s “reverse” phase are likely to be more pronounced than usual during this retrograde, given that Mercury the Sun, Venus, and Mars all will “deposit” to Mercury. In other words, they feed their various energies into the Messenger. The Sun and Mars are both raw energies and also about ego and self-interest. Even Venus is expressing individualism and a need to be the center of attention, as she remains in the self-oriented sign of Leo right up until the day before Mercury returns direct on October 9.
By far the biggest news of the week is Saturn’s entry – or re-entry – into Sagittarius. The planet of discipline, structure, and limits entered Sagittarius right before Christmas but barely dipped a toe into the Archer’s territory before turning retrograde in mid-March and returning to Scorpio on June 14. This was a big deal, because as long as Saturn was in Scorpio, there was an intense connection between Saturn and Pluto that was associated with the breakdown of socio-economic structures, as well as the militarization of police forces and violent crackdowns on protests around the world. Once Saturn changes signs, there will be a significant shift.
Although Sagittarius is associated with religious fervor, it also is the sign philosophy and higher truth. Rather than seeing a surge in religious fanaticism, it’s possible that we’ll discover that what we’ve been led to believe by the mainstream media is so far from the truth that it will difficult to accept and assimilate what emerges.
Here’s what I wrote last December:
Saturn is indeed a “civilizing” influence in that it’s about structure. With Saturn in Scorpio, reinforced by Pluto in Capricorn, the structure has favored the “one percent,” with police powers to protect. Under this influence, the crackdown on protests worldwide has been ruthless. “Structure” under Sagittarius is going to look very different. For one thing, it will be more egalitarian. It will favor exposing corruption, which in turn will lead to a greater demand to restore civil rights and stop the widening gap between rich and poor.
Religion also falls under Sagittarius, which can be extremist. However, Saturn limits and defines, so it’s likely that we’ll actually see a contraction in religious extremism. Based on my observations, an increasing number of people are realizing that the policymakers have an interest in pitting groups against one another, whether by political party, religion, ethnicity, or other divisions. Sagittarius is multicultural, all-inclusive.
I went on to explore some of the events that occurred during previous visits of Saturn in Sagittarius.
Last week, I mentioned the Saturn-Neptune square and the dramatic conjunction in 2026. The day after I posted the forecast, I picked up the latest journal of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) and read an article by Daniel M.H. Gordon, an astrologer in Portland, Ore. Gordon researched past cycles of Saturn and Neptune and found similarities between the coming conjunction and a conjunction in Aries in the 6th century, and then he did a historical survey of events at that time, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean. This was the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Although Gordon doesn’t use the term, it was the beginning of the Dark Ages in Europe. He also found a pattern of major civil wars erupting with Neptune’s entry in Aries. I’ll investigate this more in the future. In the meantime, I just wanted to mention it in case anyone thinks I’m being overly negative due to being depressed. I’m not the only one connecting the dots.
There is one other astrological event of note this week, which is Ceres returning direct after being retrograde since June 2. She had reached 9 degrees Aquarius and returned to 25 degrees Capricorn, where she stations direct on Monday, September 14. Among other things, Ceres pertains to the environment in particular and cycles in general. As she returns direct, an article has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that snowpack in the Sierra Nevada last winter was its lowest in 500 years, which helps explain this summer’s drought. Researchers say the low snowfall likely was connected to global warming.
Wishing you all much love and courage,