Tag Archives: Mars retrograde

Weekly Forecast May 19: Mars Direct, Sun Enters Gemini

Beneath the Surface. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2014.

Beneath the Surface. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2014.

I’ve been double-teamed by Saturn and Buddha.

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.
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Weekly Forecast May 12: Full Moon in Scorpio, Venus Conjunct Uranus

In the flow, by Gretchen Friedrich

In the flow, © Gretchen Friedrich, 2014.

There’s stress, and there’s stress.

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

Weekly Forecast April 21: Uranus Square Pluto, Venus Trine Saturn

Frontispiece from William Blake's Song of Los, 1795.

Frontispiece from William Blake’s Song of Los, 1795.

As we’ve approached this week’s powerful planetary alignment, pressure has been mounting – in our personal lives, in society at large, and in world affairs. This week, it reaches peak intensity.

We’ve been feeling the buildup in stages, starting with new developments in 2010 that reached a crisis point last summer. The tension intensified in late 2013, and by the end of March, it was at near-breaking point. After this week, the four-way alignment in the change-oriented cardinal signs begins to break up, and the pressure will begin to subside.

You likely know by now what area or areas of your life are under duress. You even might have had a breakthrough recently. If not, you should get Continue reading

Weekly Forecast April 14: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Libra, Pluto Retrograde

Lunar Eclipse in 2000, image courtesy Fred Espinak.

© Fred Espenak, 2000. More at http://www.Mr.Eclipse.com.

Many years ago, I had a dream that I was hanging on to tree roots on the bank of a raging river. I was afraid to let go, but my shoulders were being pulled out of their sockets, and I was getting so exhausted that I couldn’t hang on any longer.

Once I let go, I was carried along by the current, which while dangerously fast, buoyed me up and allowed me to keep my head above water. I overcame my fear by trusting that I would land in the “right” place.

There are times when we need to fasten our seatbelts, hold on, and ride out the turbulence. Then there are times when being restrained is dangerous, and staying in one place subjects us to a terrible battering by 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 March 31: Sun Opposite Uranus, Sun Square Jupiter and Pluto

Fool Marseille deckTuesday is April Fool’s Day, and while this week is anything but funny, the role of the iconic fool is curiously appropriate for the epic planetary alignment of our time and the concurrent madness here on Earth.

In a Tarot reading a few days ago, I drew The Fool. The usual interpretation of The Fool involves having faith that if you’re on the right path, the universe will support you. Knowing that gives one the courage to take risks and move forward despite uncertainty.

That’s not a bad image for this week’s tumultuous aspects. The winds are picking up as we head straight into the storm, and playing it safe isn’t an option. We’re being forced into new territory where few have gone before. The world is changing – socially, culturally, technologically, and politically – and we’re all explorers and pioneers.
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Weekly Forecast March 3: Venus Enters Aquarius, Jupiter Direct

© Benis Arapovic for Dreamstime.com

© Benis Arapovic for Dreamstime.com

The big question on everyone’s mind this week is whether the crisis in Ukraine is going to blow up into a major global conflict.

I’m not ready to predict one way or the other, but I can tell you that astrologically, we are in an extremely dangerous period, and it is going to get steadily worse into April and May, with the last two weeks of April being the most volatile period.

I’ve written so much about the Uranus-Pluto square that most of you know by now that it has been an unmistakable signature for the revolutions we’ve seen since 2010 and the violent response by police and military. The Uranus-Pluto square extends into 2015, but will have a “ripple effect” for several years afterward.
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Weekly Forecast February 24: Jupiter Square Uranus, New Moon in Pisces

Anti-government protests in Kiev

Anti-government protests in Kiev. © Mykhaylo Palinchak/Dreamstime.com.

In preparation for writing my weekly forecast, I try to make sure that I have a good grasp of current events. This week, the task has been overwhelming.

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

Weekly Forecast December 2: New Moon in Sagittarius, Mars Enters Libra

© Dmitry Kosterev for Dreamstime.com

© Dmitry Kosterev for Dreamstime.com

The last couple of weeks have been fairly quiet – at least, compared to the tumultuous summer and early fall. The activity picks up this week, but the mood should be positive and upbeat.

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.

New Moon in Sagittarius

Click on image to enlarge

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,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast April 8: Pluto Retrograde, Mars Direct

I wrote this post yesterday. Then, early this morning, my website went offline due to an accounting error by my hosting service. How’s that for astrological correlation? Apologies to everyone who tried to access the site, and especially if you got a security alert. As of 15:45 PDT, everything appears to be back to normal, although now I’m behind in my reports.

The MV Klahowya, newly returned from retrograde repairs. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

Last week’s Full Moon with Mercury stationed direct marked a turning point, but this week is when the shift hits the fan, so to speak.

Mars, retrograde since January 23, finally returns direct this week, unleashing the new growth and furious activity that should have come along with the New Moon in Aries on March 22. Some of you may have experienced those fresh starts, but from what I hear, that New Moon was a non-starter for most people. As I mentioned early on, the combined energies of Mars retrograde in Virgo and Mercury retrograde in Aries was great for revisions and repairs.

The Washington State Ferries perfectly illustrates my point. The agency is a Gemini and typically experiences more glitches than usual while Mercury is retrograde. However, WSF also has Aries Rising and so was particularly attuned to this combined Mercury-Mars retrograde. To cite just one example, one of the three boats dedicated to Vashon went to the yard for scheduled maintenance in January and spent more than an extra month there while engineers tore out worn drive-motors. It just came back into service as Mercury returned direct. However, the crew has been instructed to run the boat at a reduced speed from now on to prevent further damage. The order extends to other boats in the same class. Engines are ruled by Mars, and mechanical engineering falls within the purview of Virgo. I just love it when astrology works this neatly!

If you intentionally used this retrograde period to repair, revise, retrofit, restore, or any other “re” verb, you should fare pretty well this week. It might take you a little time to get back up to speed, but it will happen, especially once Mercury re-enters Aries next week. I also should mention that you may find yourself at a near standstill late this week and into the weekend, as Mars stations on Friday. With Mercury in dreamy Pisces, it might be difficult just to haul your sorry ass out of bed in the morning. If you absolutely must be somewhere by a certain time, you might want to set two alarms. It wouldn’t hurt to set them a little early.

In the meantime, Pluto turns retrograde on Tuesday. Part of me can’t get too excited about this. Pluto spends almost half of every year retrograde, so in some ways it’s not a big deal. However, around the dates when he shifts motion, you may notice some strange correlations, depending on where he’s currently transiting your chart.

The conventional interpretation is that retrograde Pluto is about turning inward and confronting the shadow. Feelings of jealousy, obsession, and the desire to overpower another may surface. Needless to say, these emotions can make us squirm, as we’d rather not admit we’re capable of such uncivil behavior. Well, we all are. It’s much better to acknowledge it and make peace to the extent possible – much easier for some people than for others. If your job or social position requires you to use power, then this is a good opportunity to examine your attitude toward power and to be more aware of how you use it – or, as the case may be, how you fail to use it.

Speaking of power, you may want to maintain your vigilance over the weekend, when the Sun opposes Saturn. The aspect is exact on Sunday, but you could feel it a day on either side. With Saturn retrograde in Libra, we’re going back over old relationship territory to learn lessons that we haven’t quite assimilated. The Sun in Aries, meanwhile, suggests confidence in who we are, what we’re here to do, and what we need. At his best, Aries is a strong leader and knows the difference between selfishness and enlightened self-interest. You can’t carry out your life’s work if you’re stuck in a relationship that is sucking the life out of you. Pluto retrograde in Saturn’s sign suggests an underlying power struggle that you may need to get to the bottom of in order to be on more equal footing with your partner. The back-and-forth could get mighty uncomfortable, but if you can go into those places fearlessly, you’ll come out with incomparable rewards.

Rather than taking this week chronologically, I’ve covered the dominant transits first. So now let’s go back to the beginning of the week and look at a couple of interesting aspects with Venus on Monday. First, she forms a sextile with Uranus. I touched on this briefly in my Full Moon post and added that past-life connections could play a significant role in any romantic surprises you encounter. As I mentioned in that post, Venus in nearing the lunar South Node, while Juno, an asteroid often associated with marriage and commitment, is on the North Node. On Monday, the Moon conjoins the North Node and Juno, amplifying this energy and possibly correlating to developments in your love life.

My story on this theme is a bizarre series of synchronicities over the past week that called my attention to the mythology of the Egyptian gods Nut and Geb. What’s curious about this pair is that the god symbolizes the earth, while the goddess is the sky. This is backwards from convention, where the sky is “male” and the earth “female.” I’ve given a lot of thought to what it means, why this image was so in my face, and why now. I still don’t have the answers and perhaps won’t find them anytime soon, but it appears to have something to do with the relationship between matter and energy (remember that Higgs boson from last week?).

Nut represents the unmanifest and the energetic universe, while Geb represents the manifest and material universe. In the myth, they are twin brother and sister and want to have sex constantly. Their father, Shu, decides to separate them by holding Nut up high over his head. He explains that this is necessary to create the space for the Sun and Moon to exist, and that if he allowed the lovers to merge into union, the world would be engulfed in chaos.

As much as we might like to know about “past lives” and to delve into the unconscious realms, most of us wouldn’t be able to function if we had total access. There’s a good reason that our brains have a protective mechanism to keep the conscious and unconscious apart. Nevertheless, we have a nagging sense that there’s something behind the veil. Many of us have seen glimpses of it, and more and more people are meeting others they recognize from other lifetimes. When that happens, we may feel a sense of separation.

Keep your antennae up this week, but try to stay grounded. It’s easy to become destabilized when you’re stepping into unfamiliar psychic territory. If you drink or use drugs, be very careful and monitor your response. A little goes a long way right now.

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

P.S. I haven’t forgotten Part II of Ruth’s post. It will be up soon…