Tag Archives: eclipses

Weekly Forecast October 13: Venus Sextile Jupiter, Sun Conjunct Mercury

Before the Storm. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Before the Storm. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

There was a discussion recently in an astrology forum on Facebook, initiated by an old-time astrologer who ridiculed his colleagues for giving any credence to events related to Mercury retrograde.

I was all the more surprised when several others chimed in to agree with him. It’s not the first time I’ve read other astrologers pooh-poohing Mercury retrograde.

Granted, it’s tricky assigning a particular event to an astrological signature, especially since there’s often more than one working together. It’s also true that mix-ups we normally associate with Mercury retrograde happen when he’s moving forward. In some of those cases, though – at least in my personal experience Continue reading

Weekly Forecast April 7: Mercury Enters Aries, Sun Opposite Mars

March on Washington 1963

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963. In 2014, this march wouldn’t be allowed.

If last week was an indication of what’s to come later this month, we’re in for a wild ride indeed.

I wrote in my previous forecast that the Sun’s connections with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto mid-week might provide us with some hints about what to expect when those three planets form exact angles to one another starting on April 20, followed by close contact from retrograde Mars April 22-23.

Among last week’s major events were the mega-earthquake in Chile and the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. A third event, which didn’t get much coverage, was an explosion at a gas plant on the border between Washington and Oregon. Continue reading

Weekly Forecast October 28: Uranus Square Pluto, Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Deep woods. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

Deep woods. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

Ghosts, goblins, and witches are everywhere this week. Skeletons pop out of graves (and probably some closets, too).

In any given year, the last week of October is dominated by themes related to death, which is the dark domain of Scorpio and its modern ruler, Pluto. For thousands of years, people have felt something mysterious about this time of year, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and we can peer into other dimensions of time and space. The dead “reappear,” and we may even get glimpses of our own past lives.

However, this is not just any year, astrologically speaking. The coming week is arguably the most intense of 2013, with an exact square between Uranus and Pluto, a total eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio, and Mercury retrograde in the sign of death and transformation. This is Pluto on steroids.

There’s no question that we’re in scary times. The world seems to be disintegrating; civilization as we know it is falling apart. An image comes to mind from when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest. We don’t get much snow here, but winters are cold and wet. One day, walking into town, I noticed a dead raccoon in the ditch. Normally, animal removal crews would have cleaned it up, but it remained there. Weeks went by. It struck me as very strange that it wasn’t decomposing. Then, literally overnight, the outer shell collapsed, revealing a maggot-ridden mass rotting from the inside out. Within a week, all that was left was a layer of melted fur clinging to the grass.

There have been times in history when civilizations were destroyed by outside forces such as invading armies or natural disasters. But many slowly collapsed from within, usually due to corruption. Rot and corruption are synonymous. I often think of the raccoon when I observe how forces of corruption are rotting our system, feeding on the structure until, one day, the whole thing will collapse.

Saturn, ruler of Capricorn and the planet most often associated with structure, has been in Scorpio for just over a year. That means we’ve have Saturn in the sign of Pluto and Pluto in the sign of Saturn, a relationship called “mutual reception.” Under this rare configuration, corruption becomes more rampant, acting like force of voracious maggots.

At the same time, Uranus is squaring Pluto in a cycle that averages nearly 130 years from conjunction to conjunction. Uranus in a square with Pluto represents rebellion against authority or a sudden event that shakes up the power structure. A corrupt system won’t be able to withstand the challenge.

So, here we have a rare convergence of a Uranus-Pluto square and mutual reception from Saturn to Pluto. Add to that a solar eclipse and Mercury retrograde, both in Scorpio, and you’ve got the astrological equivalent of a Pacific Northwest winter. Oh, and did I mention an approaching comet?

The current Uranus-Pluto square began in June 2012, and it extends to March 2015, with seven exact alignments during that time. The exact square this Friday is the fourth of seven, so we’re exactly halfway through. As it also happens, we’re halfway through Mercury’s retrograde phase on Thursday. Although each retrograde seems to have its own rhythm, I’ve observed during some cycles that nothing much happens in the first half of the retrograde period, and then all hell breaks loose at the midway point. Likewise, Ray Merriman writes that the halfway mark for the Uranus-Pluto square tends to be the crisis period.

We’re certainly poised for such a crisis. Although the United States narrowly avoided default in a congressional deal that included restarting the government after a two-week shutdown, it’s not the end of the story. There are many possible breaking points, but one that comes immediately to mind is further cuts in entitlement programs such as food stamps and Social Security, both of which provide safety nets for the poor and elderly. Combined with the low minimum wage and high rate of unemployment, we’ve got a ticking time bomb in this country. We can be fairly sure that the plutocrats know this. So far, they’ve been able to count on infighting among the citizenry over who gets the bones with the most scraps of meat. But their thugs are ready, just in case people should unite and try to storm the Bastille.

Scorpio also is concerned with the nation’s wealth. In Greek mythology, Hades was lord of the underworld, but he also was called Plouton, meaning “giver of wealth.” The meaning could be quite literal, in that gems and minerals, a source of great wealth, came from underground. Incidentally, that’s how we get the words “plutocrat” and “plutocracy,” which means rulership by a small number of people who control all the wealth – a corrupt system by definition.

New Moon Eclipse in Scorpio

Click on image to enlarge

The above themes are amplified by the solar eclipse on November 3, which falls in close conjunction with Saturn and sextile Pluto. Mars, the ruler of Scorpio before Pluto was discovered in 1930, also makes a sextile with the Sun and Moon by exact degree. The trine from Mars to Pluto is exact on Thursday. Sextiles and trines are supportive aspects and provide paths to release pent-up energies. Mars in Virgo supports practical measures for necessary reforms. As it so happens, Virgo is associated with healthcare as well as computer programming, so hopefully we’ll get some good news about the Affordable Health Care website. Mercury retrograde periods are great for re-doing work and finding the glitches. That said, it remains to be seen how the program is received once people are actually using it.

As I already mentioned, Mercury is halfway through his retrograde cycle on Thursday. Two days earlier, he conjoins Saturn – more reinforcement for themes of breakdown and collapse, especially in financial systems. In the New Moon chart, Mercury is conjunct the North Node by exact degree. Astrologers use the North Node as a pointer to destiny, both in individual and mundane charts. What’s happening now in international economics is going to have long-lasting implications. Decades from now, when geopolitical alignments have shifted, people will look back at this period as critical.

There are several individual aspects over the weekend, but I’ve pretty much covered them above. The only other one I’d like to mention is Monday’s sextile from Pluto to Chiron in Pisces. This is an aspect for deep healing, especially psychological wounds that are so deep we might not even realize they exist. Pisces is associated with the collective unconscious and past-life memories. It’s also the sign of mental health. Due to the retrograde cycles of both planets, Pluto and Chiron are sextile by exact degree from the first week of October through the last week in November. The “conversation” they’re having is quiet but powerful. The New Moon eclipse falls in a trine with Chiron. This is yet another indication that, while intense, this week’s aspects hold a huge potential for bringing us toward wholeness, within ourselves as well as in how we connect within our communities and to the planet.

The thing about deep healing, of course, is that it requires going into the dark places we’d rather not venture. That’s the basic premise of the mythological underworld journey. The monsters we find there can be every bit as scary as the Medusa or the Minotaur, and the treasures we find can be worth their weight in gold.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast May 27: Mercury and Venus Conjunct Jupiter

After the Rain. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Raindrops in the Sun. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

The astrological waters are still a little choppy, but we’ve pulled through the eclipse season, and this week we have some important shifts, along with a fortunate conjunction of Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter.

Venus and Jupiter are the “luckiest” planets in astrology, and while they conjoin every year, a triple conjunction with Mercury is rare. The conjunction occurs in Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury, so the areas that receive the most benefit are likely to be in the realms of finance, business, ideas, knowledge, and communications. Indeed, you might get too much of a good thing.

Mercury conjoins Jupiter on Monday, which is Memorial Day in the United States. Most business will be closed, and if you have to work, you’ll likely have a quiet day. Tuesday could more than make up for it, though, when Venus takes her turn with the Big Guy. The aftereffects will last into Wednesday and perhaps even Thursday.

With Venus in the picture, I think most of the news will be favorable. However, the eclipses could take a month or more to play out, and we’re still well within the hit zone of the Uranus-Pluto square. I truly hope that the Venus-Jupiter conjunction will bring a ray of hope to places in the world that have been ravaged with disasters, both natural and manmade.

Speaking of which, the bridge that collapsed was north of Seattle, so of course I’ve been following that story. Our Department of Transportation is notorious for passing the buck on just about everything, and it appears they’re trying to worm their way out of responsibility by declaring the accident a fluke and blaming it on the driver. The department is on the record as saying the bridge was safe, despite its rating as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete – a rating shared by more than 11 percent of bridges in the United States. Incidentally, the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007 also was rated structurally deficient. No cause for concern whatsoever. According to the Federal Highway Administration, it would take until 2028 to repair aging U.S. bridges, at a cost of more than $20 billion annually. We’re not spending anything close to that, and while there’s been some talk that the Skagit River bridge collapse might generate a necessary discussion, I’m not holding my breath. Catastrophes are happening at such a frightening rate these days that we quickly forget the last one and move on to the next.

In January 2008, when Pluto moved into Capricorn, I wrote about the implications for the nation’s infrastructure (you can read in my archive). Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, is about structure, and one of Pluto’s functions is to destroy the rotten and outdated. With Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorpio, we’ve got a double dose of destruction – all with the purpose of transforming, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Uranus, meanwhile, is a volatile, explosive energy, and he also rules wind storms.

With Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries, it’s important to keep track of Mars. As it so happens, the planet of action and aggression enters Gemini this Friday. Gemini is an air sign, so I think high winds will continue to make headlines. On Saturday, the Sun in Gemini forms a lively sextile with Uranus, which should be mostly positive. This is a signature for still more bright ideas, flashes of inspiration, spontaneous self-expression, and random acts of creativity.

After Mercury and Venus conjoin Jupiter, they both enter Cancer – Mercury on Friday and Venus on Sunday. Cancer is far more touchy-feely than Gemini, which often confuses talking about feelings with the feelings themselves. Mercury in Cancer has the advantage of talking very effectively about feelings, and with Venus in Cancer, too, authentic feelings will surface. This is a nice combination for caring and kind words. You can never have too much of that. As they progress through the early degrees of Cancer, Mercury and Venus will form a grand trine with Saturn and Neptune (exact next week). The big trine comes in mid-July, when Jupiter forms a grand trine with Saturn and Neptune by exact degree, but in the meantime, we’ll get a mini version, and perhaps we’ll even get a taste of things to come. My take is that we’re about to have a wide window of opportunity to turn our big ideas into reality and maybe even make some dreams come true. All this breaking down has to clear the way for something new, right? It wouldn’t be a bad idea to start thinking about what you want in place of what you don’t want. I have been. It’s a discussion that should be taking place now.

In general, this week’s transition might feel something like my day. This morning, I awoke to the sound of rain hitting the leaves outside my window. It remained dreary until a little after noon, when the sun emerged from behind the clouds. Suddenly, it was if it had rained diamonds. And I’ve never heard such hysterically happy birds. I wish I could record them for you. I’m still in a dark place, moving slowly, with a mind that feels like it’s got a few loose wires. But it’s impossible not to respond to raindrops sparkling in the sunlight, birdsong, and the depth of the green after a storm. It’s not for nothing that Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City. The sunshine didn’t last long (we call these quick appearances “sun breaks”), but it was just long enough for me to snap a photo. Raindrops in sunshine, such an incongruous image. But that may be the way it is for a while.

I leave you with this NASA video of the triple conjunction. If the sky is clear where you are, step outside at sunset and enjoy the show.

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

Ask Real Astrologers: How Do the Eclipses Affect Us?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Gretchen in Arkansas:

Are we affected personally by every eclipse in a series?

Gretchen, this is a terrific question and, of course, a timely one, since we’re in the middle of a string of three eclipses in a row.

For those not familiar with the eclipse cycle, there usually are four eclipses in a year. They arrive in pairs, with a full moon and new moon (in either order), followed about six months later by another new moon/full moon pair. In rare cases, there are five or six eclipses in a year. In 2013, we have five of them, with three in a row this spring. A lunar eclipse always occurs at the full moon, while a solar eclipse always occurs at the new moon.

When eclipses occur is determined by the lunar nodes – yes, the same lunar nodes that astrologers use as indicators of “past lives,” destiny, life purpose, and karmic connections between people. The nodes are points in space where the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic, which is the path the Sun appears to take around the Earth. Ecliptic, eclipse. Get it? The lunar nodes fall in a sign pair and move backwards through the zodiac at the rate of about one sign pair every year and a half, although there is overlap in the signs of the eclipses. So, for example, the nodes currently are at about 16 degrees Scorpio (North Node) and Taurus (South Node). The lunar eclipse on April 25 was in Scorpio, according to Western tropical astrology. The solar eclipse on May 9 falls in Taurus, followed by a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on May 25, the last in the Sagittarius/Gemini sign pair. In October, the eclipses begin to migrate into the Libra/Aries sign pair.

Graphic created by Tom Ruen.

Graphic created by Tom Ruen.

Just as transits of the outer planets can be tracked through your natal chart, with corresponding life events that tend to manifest with these transits, we can track the eclipses through the houses in your chart. Usually, the eclipses spend a year or two in opposite houses, depending on the width of the individual houses (in the system I use, they are unequal). I have found consistently over time that where the eclipses fall in a client’s chart correlates strongly with the areas of life that are most urgent for them. Eclipse pairs in the first and seventh houses and the fourth and tenth houses tend to bring the most change. These are the ones that often are accompanied by traumatic breakups in relationships, life-changing injuries, career breakthroughs, family issues, and other challenges that can completely upend our lives. Eclipses in the others houses tend to be less dramatic, or at least, they aren’t as broad in scope. Eclipses in the twelfth house might go completely unnoticed, or you may experience them internally, through a significant dream, past-life memory, or personal revelation.

For you, Gretchen, the eclipses have been in the second and eighth houses, the two key financial areas of the chart. While the eclipses are in these areas, your finances may go through an overhaul, or the finances of a domestic or business partner may change, which affects you as well. Changes can come in quick bursts over a year or 18 months and may be distressing, but often the changes we experience near eclipses push us toward a goal faster than we’d get there on our own volition. And all eclipse-related events aren’t upsetting. Stunning breakthroughs can happen around eclipses, especially if the Sun and Moon make positive aspects to natal planets. The eighth house also is associated with sex, personal power, and transformation, so there are other possible outcomes that don’t have to do with finances.

Will you see developments at each eclipse in the series? Not necessarily, and there’s no straightforward answer or even a rule of thumb, as eclipses-related events don’t always happen with a few days of the eclipse itself. When an eclipse is powerfully aspected in your chart, you might even feel the changes six months in advance. Of course, this makes it hard to attribute these events to the eclipse, but we do have clues. This certainly is true in world affairs. In February 2010, there was an earthquake in Chile that I linked to an eclipse several months later.

My StarGuide seasonal and annual forecasts tell you where the eclipses currently fall in your chart (sometimes they cover four houses, which gets complicated). Both reports are on sale for 25 percent off. Unfortunately, I can’t drop the price further, because I have to spend the same amount of time creating the report for you. However, if you order the Spring 2013 forecast now, I’ll give you transits through the end of July.

So, Gretchen, I guess the easy answer to your question is “no.” :-)

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please check out my affordable written reports, or contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Will the Eclipses Bring Career News?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Brandy in Phoenix:

I’ve been watching the sky, specifically the November 28th Full Moon lunar eclipse and recent New Moon with a vague sense that my career path will reveal itself. Stuff is hitting my tenth house big time! Still confused though – perhaps because of my Pisces Midheaven? All I want to do is help peeps, don’t care about money. Always a HUGE fan of the weekly forecasts, thank you for all the help over the years. :)

Brandy, it’s true that the New Moon in Pisces on March 11 fell in your tenth house of career, with Mercury, Venus, and Mars all in the same sector. Normally, we’d expect to see major developments in your professional life with this much planetary power. However, as you may recall, Mercury was retrograde at the time, which had the effect of a big wet blanket. Sometimes when a New Moon falls during a Mercury retrograde period, we get “results” at the following New Moon (remembering, of course, that the planets don’t “cause” events on earth) or when Mercury returns direct. The New Moon in Aries was on April 10, and we’re still in the period of influence, right up to the Full Moon on April 25, which is the first of three eclipses in a row. I’ll discuss more about that in a minute, but first let’s have a look at Jupiter and Neptune.

In ancient times, astrologers assigned Jupiter as the ruler of Pisces. After Neptune was discovered in 1846, some astrologers gave him rulership of the Fishes or at least considered him as co-ruler. That makes sense, because Neptune was the Roman god of the sea. Still, it’s a good idea to look at both planets. Pisces is the sign of compassion, and people with strong Pisces in their charts do want to help others, often with no immediate reward for themselves.

Although this is a noble goal, living in the material world requires things like food, shelter, transportation, and vet care for your cat. So it might be a good idea to seek a job in which you can make a living wage helping others. Fortunately, there’s a strong need right now in fields such as mental healthcare, drug and alcohol counseling, work with the homeless, and many other service fields. These jobs tend not to pay a lot – especially if you’re working for a nonprofit – but you can at least keep body and soul together. With Pisces on your Midheaven, it’s natural that you’d want a career helping the less fortunate – a desire strongly reinforced by your twelfth-house Moon, which acts a bit like Moon in Pisces. Your natal Saturn, the “career planet,” also is in the twelfth house, which traditionally is associated with Pisces, and your natal Neptune is in the sixth house of workplace and service to humanity.

Transiting Neptune currently is hovering near your Midheaven and was within three degrees at the New Moon on March 11. However, he won’t quite get there before turning retrograde in June. This alone might account for your feeling of being “close but not quite there” in terms of your career, as well as the confusion. Jupiter, meanwhile, is transiting your twelfth house and has been crossing back and forth over your Moon. Jupiter’s transit through the twelfth house typically correlates to spiritual growth, an inner sense of optimism, and the ability to visualize what you want, but not so much with external manifestations. Given the positions of transiting Neptune and Jupiter, it’s not surprising that your natural inclination to help people is being activated, but that you’re not seeing concrete developments. Hang onto those positive thoughts, because I think you can manifest them into reality before long.

It’s interesting that you mention the lunar eclipse of November 28. That one was in your twelfth house, very close to your Moon, and it was the culmination of the New Moon on November 13, which was a solar eclipse in your sixth house. The sixth house is also related to your work – not necessarily your career, but it could be. They go hand in hand. The sixth house can represent a day job for someone whose real passion is an activity that doesn’t pay, or at least not until after years of honing skills. Or, it can represent the workplace, as opposed to career advancement. If you did experience some job developments in November or December, you could get additional news around late May, when we have another eclipse in your sixth house. Better still, Jupiter is about to cross your Ascendant. It’s very important that you visualize what you want now, because once Jupiter enters your first house, you’ve got “luck” on your side to start making things happen.

The reason I chose your question to answer this week is that it’s a good reminder to everyone to think back to what was going on for you in late November and early December. These issues are likely to come around again in May, especially with the eclipses of May 9 and May 25. If you don’t know where the eclipses fall in your chart, you can find out in the seasonal edition of StarGuide, which I just put on sale for 25 percent off, or you can order a StarGuide monthly forecast for May.

Best of luck to you, Brandy. I hope you get what you’re looking for, as it sounds like you’re ready to provide real service to the people who need it most.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please check out my affordable written reports, or contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Weekly Forecast April 8: New Moon in Aries, Pluto Retrograde

Budding. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Budding. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Back in the mid-90s, a friend of mine was becoming an aunt for the second time at the birth of her brother’s baby. An image is ingrained in my memory of the baby lying on the countertop in my friend’s kitchen.

It’s a strange image. On one hand, I cringe when I think about the baby lying so open and vulnerable, not wrapped in a blanket, not being held, more or less “on display” for the entertainment of others. On the other hand, it was eerily fascinating to watch the baby’s slow movements, to be in an empathic link with a being suddenly transported from one environment to a completely different one, like an alien suddenly forced to breathe air instead of water and to feel physical sensations so confusing that its little heart might race in fear and panic and give out before it had scarcely drawn its first breath.

There is a certain violence in being born, and once it’s over, it takes a while to recuperate and adjust to the new reality. Many of us have been going through a slow and painful transformation, not unlike physical birth. It’s painful, violent, scary and, at times, confusing. I sometimes wonder whether lack of immediate conscious awareness is a built-in survival mechanism in human babies.

Being able to sleep temporarily while we transform certainly is a merciful gift. Otherwise, the pain can be unbearable. The “sleep” part happened in February and March with the build-up of planets in Pisces. That’s over now, and it’s time to wake up. Even with the current planetary lineup in action-oriented Aries, you may need additional time to stretch and adjust – not easy, because events do seem to be happening at an accelerated pace, and not all of them are positive. At the same time, you may still be feeling raw, open, vulnerable, and not very fast on your feet. Of course, it depends on the quality of your experience, and how events are manifesting for you depends on where the planets are transiting your natal chart.*

This week’s New Moon in Aries is almost like the “real” equinox. The first day of spring (apologies to my readers south of the equator) is a powerful symbol of rebirth, but then right away, we had a Full Moon in Libra, which is more about endings. At this week’s New Moon, we have the Sun, Moon, and three planets in Aries. Mercury is still finishing up his tour through sleepy Pisces, but he enters Aries this Saturday. If you’ve experienced difficulty focusing, you should get some relief soon.

New Moon in Aries

Click on image to enlarge

The New Moon is on Wednesday, in close conjunction with Mars and fairly close to Venus. The so-called “love planets” conjoined early this morning (Sunday) and remain in alignment throughout this week. The Sun and Moon, Mars and Venus all so close to each other is a signature for soul mates. If you’ve just met someone or are in a budding relationship, pay very close attention to what happens this week. Likewise, if you’re in a relationship that you know isn’t right for you, do your best to suspend judgment and just observe. Watch for synchronicities, and listen to your intuition.

The big undercurrent to this New Moon is the approaching square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. The aspect isn’t exact until May 25, but it is making itself felt, especially in world events, which may take an even darker turn with Pluto’s station retrograde on Friday. Planets are especially powerful when they are stationed. Pluto is named for the Roman god of the underworld, a shadowy figure that reminds us all of our shadow side.

Pluto and Saturn remain in a fairly close sextile and in mutual reception, a marker for fast destruction of what isn’t working. At the New Moon, Uranus is in a near-exact inconjunct (technically called a quincunx) with Saturn, so this puts Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn all in an edgy relationship that suggests rebellion and counter-rebellion, ineffectual efforts to bring necessary change by conventional means, and general chaos. There is no way to preserve the system we have, and that probably applies to your personal life as well. Hanging onto the familiar and comfortable is getting more and more impossible.

After this New Moon, we’ll be heading into a long eclipse period, starting with a Full Moon lunar eclipse on April 25 and ending with another lunar eclipse on May 25. Between the two, on May 9, is a solar eclipse in Taurus. You may not feel “ready” to head into more turbulence – I know I don’t – but we’re going to have to do the best we can. Aries has a reputation for being independent and somewhat selfish, but the Ram is also fearless. We’re not going to have the luxury of long, careful thought in order to avoid mistakes, but will have to jump into the unknown and “just do it.”

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

* It’s not to late to order your StarGuide Spring forecast. If you order right away, I should be able to get it to you before Wednesday. In each report, I give you some ideas about how the New and Full Moon might manifest for you personally.

Weekly Forecast July 18: Sun Enters Leo, Mars Conjunct South Node

Grand finale. The Strawberry Festival parade ends with performers from dance and drumming classes taught by Rhythm Joy of Vashon. © Pat Paquette, 2011.

We should all get a breather this week, with the Sun moving into light-hearted Leo and, more importantly, no heavy outer planet transits to deal with. But that “other shoe about to drop” feeling just won’t go away.

Actually, I’d say there are quite a few shoes dangling in the power lines overhead, and a good wind could blow one of them down at any moment. Action planet Mars likely will supply the gust, so I jotted down a few dates to watch.

The Mars force often is the trigger to activate degrees that have been sensitized by a recent eclipse or major aspect. If you’ve already experienced a big change or significant event tied to these aspects, then it’s not likely you’ll get a sudden surprise when Mars crosses these degrees. The Mars trigger is more important for those who haven’t yet had the closure or “grand finale” of the Capricorn-Cancer eclipse series.

In Gemini, Mars is cruising through the territory of the new series of eclipses that began on the solstice in December 2010. The eclipses on June 1 and June 15 were in this series, which is marking a departure for many people, a new path to follow. Mars activated the June 1 eclipse a couple of weeks ago and crosses the lunar eclipse point on July 26.

This week, he conjoins the lunar South Node, which will be direct at the time of conjunction. The lunar nodes normally move retrograde. The periods when they are direct seem to provide access to dimensions beyond the human perception of time. For some, this can manifest as glimpses of the future or distant past, or meetings with people from other incarnations.

The bigger impact will occur August 2-3, when Mercury turns retrograde and Mars enters Cancer. The first three weeks of August are potentially explosive, individually and collectively. That’s why I suggest resting and having fun now, while things “up there” are processing in the background. The Sun enters Leo on Friday, just in time for an enjoyable weekend.

Even before he enters Cancer, Mars will start activating last summer’s T-square and at the same time form a grand cross with Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn. Although Saturn is in a fairly wide square at this point, Mars will “carry forward” the energies of the other planets, and in the famous words of baseball great Yogi Berra, it will be “déjà vu all over again.”

I do know some people who have completed a cycle and are starting a new one. For me, the new path is that I’m now officially registered to go back to school this fall for film and video production. It’s a rigorous two-year program, so I won’t have as much time and energy to devote to RealAstrologers or individual consultations. If you’ve been thinking about a reading, I strongly encourage you to schedule it in the next two months. Once classes start, I’ll keep you updated about my availability.

However, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, many of us (myself included) have faced multiple issues over the past two years, and not all of them are wrapped up. This is partly due to the nature of the T-square and grand cross; they affect several houses in your chart. Moreover, others you’re involved with have their own transits, and what’s happening between you may be part of their big picture rather than yours. If they haven’t completed the cycle, then it’s not complete for you, either. Mars crosses the degree of the July 1 eclipse – the last in the Capricorn-Cancer series – on August 17, which is another potential “wrap-up” date.

Appropriately, Berra also is credited with the saying, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Wishing you all the love and courage of Leo,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast July 11: Full Moon in Capricorn

After the desert monsoon. © Ellen Hill, 2011

The eclipses are behind us, but there are issues left to resolve.

It almost feels like a Hollywood film script with an ending that is dragged out deliberately in order to keep the suspension going as long as possible, but irritates instead. I can hear all the muttering in the audience: “Could we please just get on with it?

For some of us, the credits are about to roll. For others, it will take a bit longer, and there may be a sequel. As usual, it depends on where all of this is happening in your chart.

Those of you who ordered your StarGuide forecast* are aware that the Full Moon this Friday is a potentially a big date for wrapping up. Although it’s not an eclipse, it is near the degree of a total eclipse of the Sun in January 2010. You likely know by now what your main challenge has been over the past two years. If you don’t, it’s probably because you’ve been hit on several sides at once or because your life and the lives of loved ones with different sets of circumstances were comingled. For a clue about what might come full circle at this Full Moon, think back to January 2010, and you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

If the “big finish” doesn’t happen in the next week to 10 days, there are a couple more dates coming up, with Mars passing over the eclipse degrees. Last Wednesday, he crossed the degree of the June 1 eclipse. That one, as you may recall, was about new beginnings. He’ll reach the degree of the July 1 eclipse in Cancer on August 17. Yes, I hear the muttering. . .

So overall, I don’t see anything new emerging at Friday’s Full Moon. Like me, you’ll probably consider this to be good news.

As for the rest of the week, we start out on Monday at a fast pace, with the Moon in Sagittarius and an energetic sextile from Mercury in Leo to Mars in Gemini. Communications can be swift and direct. Keep your contacts light and entertaining. Even heavy subjects are best approached with humor.

On Wednesday, Venus and Saturn form a square. Normally this is a difficult aspect, but I don’t think we’ll feel the usual “nobody loves me” effect, as Saturn is in Libra, the sign Venus rules. A good friend of mine reminded me yesterday about how hard relationships are. Keeping true love alive takes constant vigilance and requires that we continually examine our own feelings, motives, and internal programming. But both people have to be committed, or it won’t matter how hard you work. Saturn in Libra represents an equal and balanced commitment.

After Friday’s Full Moon, we’ll get a break for a week or so. It will be a welcome relief.

Wishing you all hearts full of love and courage,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

* The StarGuide Summer 2011 Forecast is now on sale at 20 percent off!

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius, June 15

Rare eclipse of the midnight Sun, photographed in Tana, Norway. © Renate Westlien, 2011. See end of article for link to more spectacular images.

The second of three eclipses in barely a month, the lunar eclipse at the Full Moon on June 15 is primarily about coming to an understanding of what area of your life will go through a series of adjustments in the next two years.

You may know the answer to this question already, as we’re well into the new eclipse pair of Sagittarius and Gemini, which began dramatically at the solstice in December 2010. That does seem to be the case for me, although I’m holding my breath to see what transpires in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, the Full Moon also represents endings, and lunar eclipses can be read as a supercharged Full Moon. But the way I see it, the ending we’re about to experience is tied to the solar eclipse on July 1, which is the last in the outgoing series in Capricorn and Cancer and a sign that old business finally is wrapping up.

This Full Moon is more of a confirmation of the new path we’re on. One could argue that confirmation is an ending or conclusion, as you’ve now eliminated all other options. I’m reminded of the Eight of Swords in the Tarot. I used fear this card, until one day I realized that it represents the cutting away of all options but one. Making a decision indeed can be scary and can produce a nagging feeling that we made the wrong choice.

Making a choice and thereby eliminating all other options is a very Saturnine theme. Saturn gets a bad rap for being the planet of limitation and constraint, and it’s not wholly undeserved. However, we might view this function as one of Saturn’s gifts. Our material world is manifested from unseen energies in the cosmos. At the point when those energies coalesce into something, they are no longer available for anything else. Likewise, we don’t manifest anything in our lives by scattering our energy to the four winds. Attaining our desires requires focusing our energy – which often means cutting out activities, relationships, or situations that drain us.

In the chart for the New Moon eclipse on June 1, Saturn was at a favorable angle to the Sun and Moon, just as he was stationed and ready to return direct between the New and Full Moon. This tells me that whatever we’ve been pouring our energy into has a good chance of manifesting in the next three months and possibly in the next two weeks.

There’s a lot going on in the chart for this Full Moon eclipse – as you might expect with the Sun in Gemini. The first thing that jumps out at us is the continuing cardinal T-square, with Saturn and Uranus widely opposed and Pluto at the apex. As I’m always so fond of pointing out, the conflict represented by the T-square has an “out” in one of two ways, either through whatever is opposite the planet at the apex, or via trines and sextiles, which provide an open path for energy to flow.

Chart for Eclipse

Click on image to enlarge

There are two nice trines providing a means to channel the conflicting energies of the T-square into something positive. The first is between Saturn and Venus, indicating that fair, equitable relationships are attainable. I’ve communicated with many people who recently let go of relationships that no doubt involved strong karmic ties but that were painful, largely because they were one-sided.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that there are so many stories in the news about powerful men being called out on their behavior with women. We’re experiencing a planetary shift toward a unification of the divine feminine and masculine, whereby both command equal respect and reverence. The last Full Moon was conjunct Algol, the fixed star representing Medusa. I commented back then that perhaps a wave of divine feminine power would ride in on the Buddha’s love and enlightenment. At this Full Moon, Mars is conjunct Algol, triggering another round of the Divine Mother’s rage.

The other “out” is an applying trine between Jupiter and Pluto that peaks on July 7. With both power planets in earth signs, energy is available to us to make positive changes in our material circumstances.

The second striking thing about this chart is the strong trine from Mercury, ruler of this eclipse, and Neptune, which recently turned retrograde. In classical mythology, Mercury was the only god who could travel at will between the world of the living and the underworld, symbolic of the conscious and unconscious. Neptune, especially when retrograde, represents other dimensions of time and space and what some call past lives (I prefer “other lives”). I urge you to continue monitoring your dreams and also to keep notes during the day for flashes of insight. Just remember that Mercury is the trickster, and among Neptune’s attributes are illusion and deception. Not everything that comes to you will be true, but it will be the starting-off point for investigation of higher Truth.

The last important thing I see in this chart is the mutable T-square formed by the Sun and Moon with Ceres at the apex. While Mercury was the only god who could travel at will between worlds, Ceres was the only deity to force Pluto to make an exception of his no-return policy for her daughter, Proserpina (Greek Persephone). As we work toward a cherished goal, we often meet with “gatekeepers” in the form of tests, challenges, and obstacles. Many people must go through a “dark night of the soul,” which may feel like going to hell and back. In going through this process, we come into our true power, and only then are we able to fulfill our destiny.

I leave you with a link to some incredible images of the June 1 solar eclipse, which could be seen at midnight in northern Europe. Imagine an eclipse of the midnight sun …

Eclipse gallery on SpaceWeather.com

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat