Since Friday, Mercury has been in the “shadow” period before his next retrograde begins on June 7. Sometimes we experience the manifestations of the retrograde during the run-up. Many of you have noted that in the past. I think that will be all the more true this time, with Mars just coming out of retrograde and moving back toward a T-square with Uranus and Pluto. Both Mercury and Mars are moving very slowly (what it looks like from here on Earth), with corresponding events such as delays in transportation, missed and confused communications, errors in telephone and online orders, and so forth. Continue reading
You’ll recall from last week’s forecast that Saturn was conjunct Wednesday’s Full Moon in Scorpio, which also was the festival of Wesak, an Eastern tradition in honor of the birth, death, and enlightenment of the Buddha. Normally I don’t schedule any activities on Wesak so that I can meditate in solitude. This year, I accepted a last-minute invitation to go for coffee and run some errands with a friend. I explained to her about Wesak and said we’d need to stop whatever we were doing at precisely 12:16 for a moment of silence.
As much as we might wish it weren’t so, some amount of stress pushes us to accomplish more and better, often beyond what we thought ourselves capable of. It forces us to go places we might otherwise avoid out of fear or complacency.
With too much stress, the opposite can happen. We can shut down entirely and become physically and mentally ill. Extreme stress can result in post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. We usually think of PTSD as Continue reading
Although we’re still facing the same ongoing challenges and will be for some time to come, the pressure of the past month and especially the past two weeks has subsided.
It’s not anything like a restoration of order or return to “normal,” whatever that is or was. Circumstances that may go back three or four years haven’t reached their logical outcome just yet. We still have more growing and stretching to do. However, we’ve just come through the worst of it and can stop to get our bearings.
To me, it feels like having just sailed Continue reading
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
Then yesterday I realized that astrological events are pretty overwhelming, too. “As above, so below.”
I’ve been reading news reports on the violent protests in Kiev, trying to figure out the truth of what’s going on and, even more confusing, who all the players are. But I am clear on the astrological signatures underlying these historical events.
On Wednesday, we experience the second of three exact squares between Jupiter and Uranus, both in conflicting aspect with Pluto. The first one occurred on August 21, Continue reading
The only major planetary aspects this week are a trine from Mercury to Mars on Friday and a square from Mercury to Saturn on Saturday. The Mercury-Mars trine is perfect for discussing relationship issues in a detached manner with a good amount of give-and-take. I suggest you do this now, because Mercury enters into the shadow period mid-week ahead of his station retrograde on February 6.
Many of us avoid talking about things that bother us, because we want to give the impression that we’re cool, we can let the little things roll off our backs, and we can allow others their quirks. If you truly can do that, go for it. But more often than not, the little things start adding up, and then you’ve got one complicated mess that’s hard to untangle. It’s usually better to talk about the small things and air your concerns while you can still be cool about it. Also, the risk of misunderstandings increases after Mercury turns retrograde.
That said, you may meet with some resistance this week, causing one or both of you to “back off” without resolution. Although you can’t force anyone to talk, look for an opening, even though it might take some work. If you do end up in an argument, do your best to find a compromise – and remember, “compromise” typically means that you don’t get everything you want. If you can’t live with it, you’ll need to spend some time alone to reflect.
Saturday’s Mercury-Saturn square is good for solitude and gaining insight into sticky problems. The downside is that it can be depressing, all the more so with the Moon conjunct Saturn less than two hours later. You’ll need to be mindful not to automatically grab onto the worst-case scenario. Relationships go through rough patches, especially when one person is working to change and grow. Try to focus on the overall balance in the relationship. If you’re not getting what you need, is it because your relationship is a one-way street, or is it just going through a natural fluctuation? Some people are able to maintain a constant state of give and take, but others maintain the balance over time, with periods in which one or the other needs more support.
The Mercury-Saturn square also favors mental work, especially regarding finances. The weekend is a great time to round up your tax documents to give to your accountant. If you do your own taxes, get working on it now. The reward could be an early refund. If it turns out that you owe, at least you’ll know so that you can budget ahead for April. Essentially, any task requiring concentration and focus will be easier under this influence.
The most difficult day of the week is Wednesday, when the Moon in Libra revisits the challenges of the New Moon on January 1 and the Full Moon on January 15. The charts for both of those astrological events contain intense cardinal energy (the cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), which represents breakdowns, loss, and sudden and fast change. There could be some repeats of recent situations and possibly some new developments.
As we’re swept along with the tide, it’s hard to see where we are or where we’re headed, let alone the purpose to it all. Change by nature is disruptive, and change on a planetary scale is accompanied by widespread tension, fear, and anxiety. Even those like me who have a lot of fixed energy in their charts and are normally able to remain grounded are experiencing a lot of anxiety, much of it due to the inevitable changes (we fixed signs have a hard time with change) and the gross uncertainty about what lies ahead. I know, that’s ironic coming from an astrologer. All I can say is that it’s like meteorologists predicting tornadoes. They can see the big storm coming, and they know that conditions are right, but they don’t know how many tornadoes will touch down, where, or how much damage they’ll cause.
Notwithstanding, I think that aspects mid-week will help us recognize the path we’ve been on and to see it as a continuum. And that recognition may be precisely what helps us adjust and regain some balance. The next lunar cycle contains the same turbulent energies, but also holds the potential for some good news, innovative solutions, and long-overdue rewards. And remember, Pluto remains in positive aspect to Chiron, so the undercurrent of healing energies is ever-present. The healing process can be painful, but it eventually leads to regeneration.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.
The cardinal grand cross that dominated the astrological charts on New Year’s Day remains close all the way into the weekend. Planets don’t “cause” events on earth, but earthly events do correlate to planetary movements. We can observe this happening around us every day. Throughout last week, drivers on the road were speeding and rude. You could almost see the waves of stress and anger in the air. A friend who normally is unflappable had personnel problems at work, exacerbated when a colleague called him a name with an expletive in front of the rest of the team. I experienced similar situations, nearly all to do with inappropriate or aggressive behavior.
Anger and aggression are, of course, the domain of Mars, who is heavily involved in the cardinal configurations in the sky. The warrior planet is in peace-loving Libra, which really pisses him off. There doesn’t seem to be anyone to complain to or to help find resolution. Adding insult to injury, he’s going to be stuck is this mode until the freakin’ end of July. There’s not much of an outlet other than passive-aggressive behaviors such as speeding around and cutting off another driver or talking negatively about people behind their backs. I’m sure you can add dozens of examples. It’s not all that productive, but Mars doesn’t care. He just needs to vent, or the pent-up frustration will cause him to explode – all the more likely given his opposition to Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries.
The moral of that story is that we can act out our frustrations with others in a passive-aggressive manner, or we can stop ourselves and seek out creative solutions. There may not be many options, and they likely will be hard to find. You may have to accept a compromise, a hallmark of Libra. As an intellectual air sign, Libra also represents a cool and rational approach – not exactly the way Mars would handle a conflict if he had a choice, so you might have to work to find a healthy balance between aggressive action and rational response.
Difficult aspects involving Uranus also can correlate to violent, unpredictable, or unusual weather. That certainly is happening in the United States. Much of the nation is being affected by a so-called “polar vortex,” with a forecast of temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below normal. Jupiter, who also is moving closer into the planetary configuration, signifies expansion and enlargement, so it’s no surprise that whatever happens will be big or exceptional in some way. Mars forms an exact square with Jupiter on Wednesday, but Mars transits typically are felt a week on either side. In other words, we’re already feeling it.
That’s it for the bad news this week. The good news is that there are several positive aspects, including a helpful sextile between Saturn in Scorpio and the Mercury, Venus, and the Sun in Capricorn. At the very least, we should have an easier time finding ways to cope with challenges. At best, there are possibilities for elegant solutions to problems we’ve been grappling with for the past three years. The configuration starts out right away on Monday with Mercury and Saturn in aspect and continues all the way through the weekend with the Sun sextiling Saturn on Saturday (Saturn’s Day).
Saturn in Scorpio ruthlessly throws away what no longer serves you. Sometimes we feel stuck in situations over which we have no control, and that certainly is true for many of us now, especially regarding employment and finances. In some cases, enduring hardship may be a necessity, and fortunately Saturn and Capricorn represent exactly those qualities. Capricorn is ambitious and steadily works toward meeting goals. There’s no instant gratification here. But in trudging along, we sometimes forget to keep looking beyond the familiar for resources we may not have known existed. For example, I recently read that millions of Americans who qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (commonly called food stamps)never apply. One explanation is the stigma of being on public assistance. In such a case, resourceful thinking might be changing one’s attitude to understand that Congress enacted this program precisely to provide a safety net during hard economic times.
On Saturday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Venus, and both form a sextile with Saturn. Relationships and finances can be improved, with renewed commitment and taking responsibility, a sign of maturity. If you haven’t been getting what you want and need for longer than you can remember, it’s time to speak up. In some cases, that might mean coming to a conclusion that something has to end. That will be easier to cope with if you have positive self-esteem. Under Saturday’s Sun-Venus transit, we can more easily explore issues of self-esteem and be more objective. Have you been allowing others to take advantage of you because you don’t think you deserve more? On the flip side, there does seem to be a thing as “too much” self-esteem. You know the type. They think they’re so wonderful that they should be first in line and get the best of everything. However, I suspect that underlying this sort of narcissism is a deeply insecure person who needs their self-esteem artificially propped up by others. For those who might need some help improving their self image, this is a good time to seek counseling. Scorpio is the sign of deep psychology, and under Saturn in Scorpio, we can do the hard work to dig in places we’d often rather not go.
There’s also an astronomical and mythological facet to the Sun-Venus conjunction. If you’re in a location without too much light pollution, you may have noticed Venus shining brilliantly after sunset. As she approaches conjunction with the Sun, she disappears. When she reemerges later this month, she’ll be visible in the morning before sunrise. This change always occurs during her retrograde cycle. In ancient Sumer, Venus was associated with the goddess Inanna. One of the oldest stories written down by humans is about Inanna’s descent into the underworld. There’s a theory that this myth is linked to the disappearance of Venus from the night sky and her reemergence as the morning star.
Later on Saturday, Mercury enters Aquarius, one of his favorite signs. Mercury in Capricorn takes a conservative approach and likes the tried-and-true. Mercury in Aquarius thinks out of the box (and hates clichés). Creative solutions are even more accessible. Keep your notebook handy for flashes of sudden insight and inspiration.
One other thing to keep in mind is that Pluto remains in a sextile with Chiron in Pisces, so there is an ongoing “outlet” for the energy of the Uranus-Pluto square, cardinal T-square, and grand cross. As I wrote my previous forecast:
Chiron represents healing, and Pisces concerns the collective unconscious. Whether it’s apparent or not, healing is taking place, individually and collectively. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a wise centaur who overcame his traumatic upbringing and became teacher of gods and heroes. Everyone has a core wound, a separation of self from self that needs to be reconnected and made whole. Breaking down the barriers to healing can be painful, and sometimes we are scared to go there at all. … The greatest potential for deep healing can be found by looking at where Chiron is transiting your chart.
Overall, this is a good week for healing issues related to self-esteem, values, and financial well-being. Identifying the source of a problem is the first step toward finding solutions.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.
The biggest disappointment last week was the mob out shopping on Thanksgiving evening – no big surprise, given the over-the-top indulgence of Thursday’s Venus-Jupiter opposition. I was hoping, as were several of my friends, that there would be a huge public backlash against retailers that moved Black Friday sales back a day. Alas, compulsive shopping won out, with unruly crowds, fights, and damaged merchandise. What’s next? Three-day sales starting on Wednesday? Marathon shopping week with a quick break for a McTurkey meal and deep-fried pumpkin pie in a cardboard tube?
Speaking of pie, my gluten-free, nondairy pumpkin pie turned out quite good, although it took a few failed experiments to get the ingredients right. A couple of dinner guests said they liked the crust better than regular pie dough. No one even noticed the milk substitute. Several of you have written to me suggesting that a gluten-free diet might improve my health. The New Moon is always a good time to start new ventures, so perhaps it’s time to make that switch.
The chart for Monday’s New Moon in Sagittarius is friendly overall. The Venus-Jupiter opposition remains active, but it’s waning and relatively benign. The Uranus-Pluto square is still lurking in the undercurrent, but the tension has a release valve via a trine flowing between Uranus near 9 degrees Aries and the New Moon just shy of 11 degrees Sagittarius. The Archer aims for the truth, and sometimes that means thinking beyond our belief system. Some people aren’t even aware of what they believe, because it’s so ingrained in us from an early age. Aries is the pioneer who fearlessly ventures into new territory. By questioning our beliefs, widening our perspective, and being willing to try something new, we can find creative, innovative ways to tackle problems that have defied solutions. Remedies could be surprising, and they could come totally out of left field.
Jupiter, the ruler of this New Moon, is retrograde, but he’s in Cancer, the sign of his exaltation. Moreover, Jupiter and the Moon are in mutual reception, so they work together and strengthen each other. This is a perfect time to examine how culture and national identity form our belief system. For example, many Americans believe that the United States is the most democratic country in the world and that anyone who questions our system of government is unpatriotic. I know that readers of RealAstrologers are beyond that simplistic worldview, but you get my drift.
Cancer also is associated with family, which plays a powerful role in establishing our beliefs. You probably don’t need to think too hard to come up with beliefs your family programmed into you that you later discovered weren’t entirely true. For a clue about what beliefs you might be ready to examine, look at where Jupiter is transiting your natal chart, by house and also in aspect to natal planets. For example, if Jupiter is transiting your fifth house, you might want to examine your beliefs about the proper way to raise children. With Jupiter in your second or eighth houses, beliefs about money could be an area to focus on.
Saturn and Jupiter also are in a trine (exact on December 12) – yet another aspect reinforcing productivity and practicality. Jupiter’s exuberance and tendency to do overdo everything is already somewhat tempered by his retrograde motion. With Saturn and Jupiter in a friendly trine, optimism remains, but with realistic expectations and the ability to do what it takes to meet commitments and obligations. Big ideas with a realistic strategy and discipline are much more likely to succeed.Mercury and Mars are both about to change signs, but in the New Moon chart, they form a sextile in Scorpio and Virgo (exact on Tuesday). This practical, productive pair reinforces problem-solving abilities by combining deep insight with no-nonsense action. I’ve often said that we can’t find lasting solutions to any problem unless we identify the source. This can be difficult, especially for those who prefer not to go beyond surface appearances. Sometimes, avoidance is out of fear that the remedy may be too difficult or uncomfortable. Mars in Virgo won’t waste time sugar-coating whatever Mercury in Scorpio dredges up and doesn’t much care whether the medicine tastes bad.
On Wednesday, Mercury enters Sagittarius, the sign of his detriment. I’ve never quite understood why Mercury isn’t happy in truth-seeking Sagittarius. It would seem like a good match. However, Mercury’s home sign of Gemini (opposite Sagittarius) is associated with minute details and knowing a little about many subjects, whereas Sagittarius is the big-picture sign, concerned with broader patterns and inherent meaning. Put another way, the truth is more than a collection of details and facts. With Mercury in Sagittarius, there’s also an element of blurting out the truth without thinking about how it might affect others. When a woman asks her husband, “Honey, do I look fat in these jeans?” … well, you know.
Mercury squares Neptune on Friday. Neptune recently turned direct and is still moving slowly (from our perspective). Take care in making agreements, as there is some risk of a lack of clarity or even intentional misleading. We may experience something like a mini Mercury retrograde, with misunderstandings, lost e-mails, and so forth. I also need to mention the usual caution about using alcohol or mind-altering drugs, as you might experience something other than your normal reaction. Mercury-Neptune contacts are good for dreams, even if they aren’t entirely comfortable. I’m a big fan of dream work, and when I have dreams that are disturbing in some way, I make special note, because there often is a “message” that’s trying to get through. Think of it as a note from yourself to yourself.
On Saturday, Mars enters Libra, the sign of his detriment. On one hand, this is a signature for the warrior for justice, especially for women and girls. On the other, negotiations could go nowhere, despite a lot of back-and-forth. Mars knows what he wants, and “compromise” is not in his vocabulary. Perhaps he can be forced to do so, but he’ll seethe quietly until he’s in a better position to get his way. In deliberative bodies such as the U.S. Congress, agreements may be more elusive than ever, and this could be the state of affairs for many months. Mars is going to be in Libra until – are you ready for this? – late July, due to his retrograde cycle.
In personal relationships, you’ll need to be mindful of who wants what. Sometimes we go along with the other person even though it’s not what we want, whether to avoid a flap or because we want to “be big about it.” However, if this happens too often, resentment can build up, and eventually it comes out in one form or another. Some people just get fed up and walk away. In relationships that really matter to you, have a talk this week and explain the potential minefield ahead. Perhaps you can make a pact to be direct and honest, even in matters that don’t seem like a big deal at the time, and agree that you won’t accuse each other of being petty or trivial when such things come up. If you’ve got a demanding partner who always insists on getting his or her way, it’s possible that you could right the balance in the next six months.
That said, be prepared for some conflict – and remember, conflict is not always bad. Just the other day, I was talking to a woman who lamented that she’d had a fight with her boyfriend over the weekend. Eventually, she added that they aired several grievances, and the relationship was strong than ever. I thought it was interesting that, when asked whether she’d had a good weekend, she focused on the fight and added the strengthening of her partnership almost as an afterthought. I concede that it does take a lot of courage to bring up contentious subjects, especially if you think it will damage the relationship. If you value the relationship, being direct and honest is the highest form of respect, both for yourself and for your partner. I know you know this, but practicing it is another matter entirely. Heavy discussions are just plain hard, and we’re heading into the party season, when we’d rather eat, drink, and be merry. Goddess knows we’ve earned it.
Before I go, I’d just like to mention Comet ISON again. It looked for a while there like it didn’t survive its close encounter with the sun, but something did survive. As I type, the latest word from astronomers is that they’re waiting until ISON gets far enough away from the sun to determine what’s left of it. I’ve been asked whether I attach any astrological significance to this event. There is definitely something symbolic about it. I have a few ideas forming but will wait until we get a better idea of its condition.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.
As the week begins, we’re still under the influence of Sunday’s Full Moon in Aquarius, which should have helped us find creative ways to surmount the obstacles in our path. With the outer planets at conflicting angles for most of the past year, many of us have felt stuck between a rock and a hard place, with fewer and fewer options for breaking free and moving into new territory.
For most of us, forward movement not only is possible, but likely. Sunday’s Full Moon was a lovely gift in this regard, and I truly hope you all are able to use it to get out of the difficult circumstances you’ve been writing to me about. There’s a further promise of movement this week when Mars joins Jupiter, Uranus, and Saturn in the cardinal T-square, which will dominate the sky for the next several weeks.
Taking the week chronologically, on Monday Saturn opposes Uranus for the fifth and final time in this 45-year cycle. The first opposition was on Nov. 4, 2008 — Election Day in the United States. What will happen to bring this opposition full circle? I’ll be looking for major news from the White House, something totally unexpected (or bigger than expected). Individually, we should be able to resolve a confounding situation that began around November 2008 or, at least, to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
On Tuesday, Mercury enters Virgo, one of the two signs he rules. Virgo is helpful, practical, and down-to-earth, but there also can be a neurotic perfectionism that turns interactions with others into a running critique. This is a good time to reflect on your motivation and to make sure your own house is in order before criticizing others. Note that Mercury will turn retrograde in Virgo in mid-August and as of next week will be in pre-retrograde shadow. To the extent possible, sign contracts and make major purchases now. Otherwise, you may have to wait until the middle of September.
On Thursday, Mars enters Libra, the sign of his detriment. Hopefully, this is going to work to our advantage, as the aggressive side of Mars is tempered in peace-loving Libra. This transit could correspond to diplomatic solutions over more saber-rattling in hot spots of the world. Still, there is cause for concern, as Mars will oppose Uranus on Friday and conjoin Saturn on Saturday. Mars and Uranus make an explosive pair, while a Mars-Saturn conjunction favors military action.
Of all the planets in the T-square, Saturn has the most power right now. He’s in the sign of his exaltation, so he’s extra-receptive to the energy of Mars in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, which Saturn rules. By contrast, Mars is debilitated, and Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto are all retrograde.
In our daily lives, relationships take precedence, and we’re working through issues such as who does what, how the load is shared, and whether we have balanced, equal partnerships. Achieving balance in relationships starts with our own inner balance. If one partner is “off,” the other needs to compensate. This is fine when both parties agree to it. But usually they don’t, and that’s where we get in trouble. Confronting imbalances without being confrontational is our task this week.
There’s no doubt that Friday is going to be tough all around. The Moon in early Aries is liable to fuel emotional knee-jerk reactions and lots of screaming, “It’s all about me!” If ever there was an aspect for a collective emotional meltdown, this is it.
Fortunately, Saturn in Libra is associated with fairness, justice, equality, and the legal muscle to back it up. With some energetic input from Mars, we can work through thorny issues and step up to challenges with less fear of failure. If we’ve had difficulties making changes, the Mars force can help us blast through the obstacles. Indeed, events in the next two weeks may force us to stretch beyond our limitations, whether self-imposed or external.
Do try to confront difficult issues this week, because next week it will be even harder to get past the power struggles. The work may be hard, but putting it off and making excuses will make it even harder down the road.
If you’d like to take a look in the sky to see this historic alignment, here’s a sky map for Friday, July 30, courtesy of spaceweather.com.
Wishing you infinite love and courage,