Tag Archives: Mars retrograde

Full Moon in Libra, April 6

The "Spirit of Progress" balances atop a building in downtown Chicago. This photo was taken in September 2009, but it's a perfect expression for the Full Moon in Libra with Venus in Gemini. Image credit: Paul Beaty for The Associated Press.

People have been so grumpy in the past couple of days. I attribute it to the effects of waking up out of a Mercury-in-Pisces slumber – like bears coming out of hibernation.

Friday’s Full Moon isn’t helping. Research has shown that the Full Moon affects our behavior, and usually not kindly. We might expect the Moon in Libra to be an exception, Libra being the sign of peace and harmony. However, the chart for this Full Moon is fraught with conflict.

The dominant feature of the chart is a tight T-square with Venus, Mars, and Neptune in the early degrees of the mutable signs. We’re adjusting to recent changes, and it’s not a smooth process. Change by definition is disruptive, and even positive changes can take some getting used to. If changes happened outside your control, then adapting will be even more unnerving. At the same time, the growing square between Uranus and Pluto threatens major shakeups in the collective that will have a ripple effect on our individual lives. (If you ordered the <a title="StarGuide " href="https://realastrologers.com/forecasts/starguide-monthly-and-seasonal-forecasts&quot;StarGuide Spring forecast, you’ve already got my take on how this planetary arrangement could play out for you.)

A couple of different things can happen at the Full Moon. A project or relationship that began at the New Moon can reach a critical stage, or an issue can crop up that is related to the house in your natal chart where the Full Moon falls. I’m betting that for most of us, it will be the first scenario. The reason I say this is that Mercury has just gone direct. The New Moon in Aries on March 22 was a real sparkler – or, rather, it would have been, if both Mercury and Mars hadn’t been retrograde. With Mercury now direct, developments that normally would have taken place around the New Moon may occur now. Or – sorry to say this – you may have to wait until the next New Moon, on April 21. By then, Mars will be direct again, too.

Since Libra is the sign of relationships, I expect that many of you will experience major developments in a close partnership. Again, these changes aren’t likely to be entirely comfortable, and in fact you may have to move through some conflict in order to restore the balance between you and your partner. Rehashing details is going to be a real temptation, but it will be hard to recall exactly who said what and when. What comes out of your partner’s mouth may be so inconsistent with what you remember that you wonder what they’ve been smoking. As important as details may be to your circumstances, they’re going to be difficult, if not impossible, to pin down, so you might just want to forget about them for now and move forward. Generally, I don’t think this is a good idea, as people tend to set things aside to avoid having to be honest and vulnerable. This time, however, it may be the only way to make any progress at all.

Chart for Full Moon in Libra

Click on image to enlarge

The only positive angle in this chart is between Venus and Uranus, which are in a sextile – not the most powerful aspect, but it can create some sparks, depending on where these planets are in your chart. The conventional interpretation of favorable Venus-Uranus combinations is an unexpected development in love or money. This could well be the case for many people, and I’d go so far as to say that “past-life” connections could be a major factor. I write “past-life” for convenience, since that’s how most people think of it. I actually prefer the term “other lives,” because it more accurately describes what I think is behind these connections. In any case, keep your antennae up.

The Sun and Moon also are in close alignment with Vesta, which I think is quite interesting, given that NASA’s Dawn spacecraft currently is flying by Vesta and sending back phenomenal images of the asteroid’s pockmarked surface. There’s no consensus among astrologers about the meaning of Vesta in the chart – or, indeed, any of the asteroids. I believe the attention we’re giving Vesta and Ceres through the Dawn mission will lead to clarification about their roles in astrology, both in the charts of individuals and in mundane astrology.

Since I’m discussing asteroids, it’s also worth mentioning that Juno is conjunct the North Node in Sagittarius – which means she’s opposite Venus at the apex of the mutable T-square. It’s often helpful to look at what’s opposite the apex to find the “out” in difficult situations correlating to a T-square. Named for the wife of Jupiter in classical mythology, asteroid Juno naturally is associated with marriage and partnership in astrology. Although I have the same reserve in assigning any particular role to asteroids until we have more empirical data, it’s probably safe to assume she has something to do with committed partnership. Moreover, it might turn out to be about soul mates and the concept of “sacred marriage.” Juno on the North Node opposite Venus on the South Node would seem to suggest that the way out of obsession and raging hormones is to understand the truth of how we’re connected with a soul mate across the boundaries of space and time.

When I come up with a plausible theory, you’ll be the first to know.

Weekly Forecast April 1: Venus Enters Gemini, Mercury Direct

I was going to write this week’s forecast as an April Fool’s spoof, but every joke I could come up with had too much truth in it. Life is stranger than fiction. As I’m so fond of saying, God is a comedian.

In astrology, the trickster is Mercury, who speaks so eloquently that he can fool anyone into doing anything. That’s why he’s so useful in business negotiations, not to mention political speeches – activities that can go very badly when Mercury is retrograde. Just ask Rick Santorum.

I hope you’ll pardon me while I go off on another one my tangents for a moment. I’ve been thinking about the race to find the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” – the Holy Grail of physics. Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) say they think that 2012 will be the year they find it. Never mind that physicists have been searching for this puppy for 40 years, and after billions of dollars spent on particle accelerators taking up enormous tracks of underground real estate near Chicago and Geneva, they have only “hints” that the Higgs boson exists – evidence they concede could be flukes in their data.

The punch line of my April Fool’s spoof was going to be that physicists looking for the Higgs boson have discovered that it exists only in their imagination, literally turning the Standard Model of physics on its head. But that may turn out to be no joke. CERN itself explains the stakes with crystal clarity: “If it turns out that we cannot find [the Higgs boson], this will leave the field wide open for physicists to develop a completely new theory to explain the origin of particle mass.”

Well, there you have it. The currently accepted scientific theory of how the material universe exists rests on one subatomic particle that mathematical calculations say should exist, but that no one has ever seen. Ponder that for a minute. Maybe it’s not so much the Holy Grail but the Big Foot of physics. And these people dismiss astrology as a superstitious pseudo-science!

The second beat of my punch line was going to be about how astrologers come to the rescue of the Higgs hunters, but that’s not a joke, either. Imagine how our society would be different today if half of one percent of the money spent on searching for the elusive Higgs boson had been spent on researching the correlation between outer planetary cycles and human civilization. And here’s the kicker, and a question for physicists: Once you establish that such a correlation exists, then you have to search for the mechanics of how it works. And that puts us right back to the question of what bridges energy and matter – the same conundrum confronting physicists in their search for the Higgs boson.

Wouldn’t it be a fine joke, too, if it turned out that the Higgs boson existed but couldn’t be isolated under laboratory conditions? The entire methodology of Western science would be smashed faster than a proton in the Large Hadron Collider. Indeed, this is the main reason why astrology can’t be scientifically “proven.” The problem isn’t with astrology, but with the method of proof.

So, why am I bringing up all of this now? Believe it or not, there is a method to my madness. I’m only half joking about the Higgs boson being in scientists’ imagination. Somewhere along this line of scientific inquiry, we’re going to find out that thoughts are life-forms that may even have mass. And perhaps that will lead to the mystery of what binds not only matter, but the belief matrix, both individual and collective. Why are people’s beliefs so entrenched that they will ignore the truth, despite evidence to the contrary? My guess is that it has to do with brain chemistry – what makes people feel good. And that puts us solidly back in the territory of Mercury, the trickster. I wrote about this connection two years ago, as we approached the cardinal T-square.

Mercury currently is retrograde in Pisces, where he’ll return direct on Wednesday. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, which symbolizes the dissolution of boundaries. This is the realm of the imagination, and that’s why it’s so tricky. We don’t know whether what we see, feel, or believe is real. This is the place where we get creative inspiration, but nothing will come of it until we apply the critical analysis of Virgo. Luckily, we’ve got both right up until Mercury re-enters Aries on April 16. By that time, Mars in Virgo will be direct, too. In the meantime, we’re in primetime for research and revision. That applies not only to work projects, but to your entire belief system.

Two other major astrological events take place this week. First, Venus enters Gemini on Tuesday. This is a very big deal, because we’re in the final countdown toward the 2012 Venus transit, which will occur on June 5, the day after a lunar eclipse. My read on this event is that new information will be downloaded into the collective conscious. As I was researching past Venus transits, I noted that the transit in 1639 coincided with the beginning the so-called Age of Enlightenment. Some astrologers may consider it the Age of Endarkenment, seeing as how discoveries in science, especially astronomy, created a rift that relegated astrology to the scrap heap of superstition. That particular Venus transit was in Sagittarius, sign of organized religion. While the new philosophies that emerged were detrimental to astrology, the big breakthrough was that the stranglehold of the Church on people’s minds was broken, leaving humanity free to explore new ideas and independent paths to spirituality.

I’ll write more about the Venus transit in Gemini as the alignment approaches, but for now, I just want to point out that it could indeed herald a breakthrough in our understanding of how matter is formed out of energy. It just may not be what we think. And, for that matter, we may come to understand how what we think makes all the difference in the world.

Venus also is the star of this week’s Full Moon in Libra. I’ve been incorporating the lunar reports in my weekly forecasts due to time limits, but I’ll make an exception this week and write a separate post. I’ll also have Part II of Ruth’s new series on the planetary rulers in Soul Astrology. I thought I’d scheduled it for this past Wednesday and just realized this morning that I didn’t hit the right command. Happy Mercury retrograde.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast March 26: Sun Square Pluto

A pair of trilliums. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

This week is dominated by jarring squares and inconjuncts, with Mars and Mercury still retrograde – the latter back in Pisces, the keyword of which is “I believe.” What beliefs are being upset and turned on their heads?

We start right out Monday with inconjuncts from the Sun to Mars and Mercury to Saturn. Make sure you’re hearing what the other person really said and vice versa. There’s huge potential here for mixed and messed-up messages. When we get angry and frustrated, chemicals are released in our bodies that unfortunately don’t disappear on the spot when we find out 20 minutes later that what we believed we saw or heard isn’t true.

In my documentary class last quarter, we watched an episode of This American Life in which an Iraqi filmmaker living in the United States tries to understand American beliefs about the war. The piece ends with his observation:

Everybody hears what is easier for them to believe.

Pisces, you’ll recall, isn’t the Fish but the Fishes. There are two of them, and they swim in different directions. “Belief” is a double-edged sword. Used positively, with intent, it can create miracles. Used in ignorance, it produces something like you see in this mini-documentary.

It so happened that I watched another documentary this weekend that featured a lesson about beliefs, also involving war. The lesson was from the unlikeliest of sources, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who was scorned by many for escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The film offers not only a very different perspective, but the reflections of a man at the end of his life looking back on decisions that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings.

“Belief and seeing, they’re both often wrong,” McNamara says. Specifically, he refers to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which he says the Johnson administration misread. “We were wrong. But we had in our minds a mindset that led to that action. And it carried such heavy costs.”

“We see what we want to believe,” filmmaker Errol Morris interjects.

More than 20 hours of interviews went into the making of The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, which won an Oscar for best documentary in 2003. Part of what makes the film so riveting is the haunting music of Philip Glass. Morris and Glass, both Aquarians, worked in close collaboration.

In an interview with Senses of Cinema, Morris discusses the ambiguity that his film brings to McNamara’s character. The public may not want to see their leaders this way, but they should, he says. “They should see the world in complex terms. I prefer the word ‘complex’ to ‘ambiguous.'”

Therein lies the dichotomy of Pisces thinking. There is faith, and there is blind faith. Many people, when confronted with ambiguities and complexities, rely on faith. But when taken to the extreme, it’s blind faith.

With Mercury retrograde in Pisces, it’s time to examine and question our beliefs. You might even want to question your belief in astrology … starting with the belief that it’s a belief. I would love to do a man-on-the-street interview and ask people whether they believe in astronomy. Or psychology.

Speaking of Pisces and former defense secretaries, Dick Cheney is in the news this morning following a heart transplant. Yeah, I know, I can just hear the jokes: “Cheney finally gets a heart,” etc. This man has been a real puzzle to me and to astrologers in general. Somewhere I read one astrologer’s theory that there are two kinds of Aquarius – those ruled by Saturn, the traditional ruler, and those ruled by Uranus, the modern ruler. According to this astrologer, Cheney falls in the first group. Sorry, but that’s not a satisfactory explanation. And anyway, the bigger puzzle is Cheney’s Pisces Moon. I’m an Aquarius with a Pisces Moon. It’s almost enough to make you stop believing in astrology … except that there really are some good explanations.

Cheney is a Rising Virgo. That gives him a sixth-house Sun, which in some ways functions as a Virgo. Aquarius and Virgo are inconjunct signs – they have nothing in common. So right away you have a conflicted personality. Add to that the Pisces Moon, and you’ve got an individual of exceptional complexity and ambiguity.

My theory about Cheney is that his Pisces Moon is way too sensitive for the time and place in which he was born. Men in our culture have a particularly tough time integrating a Pisces Moon, so they tend to overcompensate to protect their soft underbelly. Apparently he started drinking at an early age; escapism through drugs and alcohol is a weakness associated with Pisces. His heart troubles also began when he was relatively young, which isn’t surprising to an astrologer. Planets in the natal sixth house often indicate inherent physical weaknesses. The Sun rules the heart, and Cheney’s Sun is afflicted by a tight square to Saturn in Taurus.

So here you have hypersensitive Moon in Pisces, forced to live side by side with a Sun-Saturn square that points not only to a weak heart but to unresolved father issues and sweeping material insecurity. It’s interesting that Cheney’s ancestors were French Huguenots – a sect persecuted by the Church in the 16th and 17th centuries. Pisces Moon often indicates past-life connections, and this is the karmic baggage Cheney is carrying. It’s enough to make a Cold Warrior drink and drug himself into oblivion.

Of course, being an astrologer, I immediately ran to look at the chart for his transplant. It’s astounding! For starters, last Thursday’s New Moon conjunct Uranus and Mercury was in his eighth house of death and regeneration. The eighth house also is associated with surgery. On Saturday, when the transplant was performed, the conjunction of Uranus and the Sun (ruler of the heart) was exact. Cheney’s lunar South Node is at 2 degrees Aries, the degree of the New Moon, which also was trine his natal Pluto.

Of course, Mercury and Mars (ruler of surgery) were retrograde – Mars is in his first house, within a few degrees of his Ascendant. Is that going to work to his advantage? According to press reports, he’s been waiting nearly two years for a heart – in other words, since the cardinal T-square in 2010. At the height of that configuration, Cheney was in the hospital being fitted with an artificial blood-pumping device.

Heart transplants must be performed when the organ is available, so the timing wasn’t within his control. Ironically, Dick Cheney is now one of the biggest guinea pigs ever in our cosmic astrology lab! We’re going to learn a lot by the success of this operation, his rate of recovery, and any changes in beliefs that result from his near-death experience. Maybe he’ll even end up believing in astrology.

Back to this week’s aspects, the Sun squares Pluto on Thursday, providing a preview of what we might expect when the Uranus-Pluto square is exact starting this summer. Revolution and crackdown are becoming a way of life. Depending on where this square falls in your chart, you may experience your own version of rebellion and harsh response by an authority figure. Don’t push your luck with your boss or parents.

On Saturday, we have another pair of inconjuncts, this time from Mars to Uranus and Venus to Saturn. There’s an explosion waiting to happen, but for some reason, the fuse won’t light. Stifled arguments may come out in passive-aggressive ways. Venus and Saturn are more about feelings of isolation and loneliness, but this should be fairly easy to handle with a nice hot bath or a walk in the park. If there’s no one to buy you flowers, get your own. And remember, chocolate is the goddess’s gift to mankind.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. StarGuide Spring forecasts are now ready! I’ve still got a backlog of a few days, but I’ve caught up enough to reactivate the PayPal button on the report order page. Many thanks to everyone who has been waiting so patiently.

Weekly Forecast March 19: Spring Equinox, New Moon in Aries

Aries. From the Empowered Feminine Zodiac series by Karen MacKenzie. © 2012.

Strap yourself in and prepare for lift-off! The Sun enters Aries this week, closely followed by the New Moon and a dynamite conjunction with Uranus.

According to astrological convention, we’d predict stunning new beginnings, doors flying open with explosive force, and unexpected new developments of all kinds. That may indeed happen, but we need to keep in mind first and foremost that Mars, planetary ruler of Aries, is retrograde. Moreover, he’s in Virgo, and Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, is in Aries and also retrograde.

We might read that as an indication that any new developments will be delayed until mid-April, when Mercury and Mars both will have returned direct. I have no doubt that many of you will experience the New Moon this way. But I’d like to offer you an additional, alternative interpretation.

I believe it’s possible that the new beginnings and unexpected events will involve starting over with a project, relationship, or situation that began many years ago, but that you weren’t able to complete for one reason or another. Maybe you were missing a key piece of information. Or, you may have lacked the skills to make it work. Perhaps you just weren’t mature enough to deal with the situation.

I don’t mean to suggest that you should drop everything and contact the man or woman who broke your heart five years ago. In fact, I wouldn’t advise it. However, if that person contacts you, take it as a sign that you are being given a chance to do something differently this time in order to succeed. The same advice applies if you’re contacted by a former employer or someone else from your past.

Whatever transpires this week, it’s key to moving forward on your life’s path. Not only is the New Moon near the 0 Aries point, but it’s at a degree that factored heavily in the cardinal T-square in the summer of 2010. Most of us remember that as a turbulent, frustrating period. So much has happened since then that it seems like a different eon. And maybe it was …

The Aries ingress occurs on Tuesday. Since 1993, the vernal equinox has been celebrated as International Astrology Day. In celebration of this special day, I’m publishing the first of a series of images by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie, who is working on an inspired and inspiring series of paintings incorporating astrological symbols with goddesses from different cultures. Please take a moment to check out her website (her prints are very reasonably priced and make great gifts). She’s currently working on Leo, perfectly represented by Egyptian goddess Sekhmet.

On Wednesday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Mercury, with the Moon void-of-course all day. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t felt much of a difference since Mercury changed motion a week ago. Maybe that’s because it has felt like one long Mercury retrograde period ever since Mars went into reverse in Virgo in late January. However, I do think we’ll notice the retrograde effect starting on Tuesday, and we may feel it even more when Mercury goes back into Pisces on Friday.

Chart for New Moon in Aries

Click on image to enlarge

The Moon enters Aries early Thursday in the United States, conjoins Mercury, and then a few hours later conjoins the Sun – otherwise known as the New Moon. The Moon aligns with Uranus a few hours later. Although the Sun-Uranus conjunction won’t be exact until Friday, you might start experiencing corresponding events immediately. How will you know if it’s a “New Moon-Uranus event?” Well, if it’s shocking, out of the blue, explosive, or otherwise totally disrupts your life, then it’s related to Uranus.

Remember, even positive changes can throw you for a loop. And I do believe that many of the changes that occur this week will be wonderfully positive. I say this because the grand trine involving Pluto, Jupiter, and Mars in earth signs is still active, and the Moon in Taurus will amplify the trine over the weekend. This is a great time to visualize what you want … and make sure you act on your intentions. A friend reminded me last week that when you take one step forward on your destined path, the universe will take five steps to meet you.

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

P.S. To everyone who has written and asked about the StarGuide Spring Forecast, I’m working on it now and will post a notice when it’s ready to order, in a day or two.

Weekly Forecast March 12: Mercury Retrograde, Venus Conjunct Jupiter

In the past week, I made a couple of stunning new friends. But first, I had to make friends with retrograde Mars.

I’m fond of saying that Mars doesn’t stir up trouble where it doesn’t already exist, but you can bet that if there’s a bomb that’s been waiting to go off, a Mars transit will light the fuse. That’s especially true for Mars retrograde.

The conflict I’ve been engaged in since Mars shifted motion on January 23 really was an outgrowth of existing situations that I’d set aside with the intention of “moving forward.” This past week, I finally got it. I understood the role of this particular conflict, and that allowed me to detach. I moved forward, all right – but not in the way that was expected or advised. For once, I followed my own advice. I “made peace with conflict.” Like an expertly trained Doberman, Mars not only was my best friend, but a highly efficient bodyguard.

I’m hopeful that Mercury will serve a similar purpose when he turns retrograde tomorrow (March 12). Already, I’ve got an urge to clean up and organize everything, from classroom binders to my bathroom supply closet. I’m also going through old material that has been in my computer for years. For the next three weeks, I’ll be in massive research and planning mode for a new project in the works. The timing couldn’t be better.

Breaking down an untenable situation was necessary in order to build a new, more sustainable structure. Fortunately, I knew that – a perfect example of what we can do when we understand astrological patterns and work with them. It doesn’t make the breakdown any less painful, but knowing that it’s for a purpose does make it easier to accept. Once I did that, doors began flying open with astonishing speed.

Even more astounding have been the synchronicities. They’ve been coming in multiples, some faster than the neurons could fire in my brain. That’s how I met two extraordinary women – on International Women’s Day, no less. One of them is an accomplished artist with an interest in astrology, whose work I’ll start featuring next week.

As the synchronicities piled up one on top of another, somehow I ended up on the website for the 2006 film adaptation of James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy. I read the book when it first came out in the early 90s and wasn’t a huge fan. Still, I got shivers yesterday when I re-read the “insights,” several of which mention the increase in frequency of synchronicities. I’ve observed a growing phenomenon over the past year in my life and the lives of my clients, but incidents have been off the chart this past week.

The really good news this week is the annual conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. It’s a sight to behold, too! They’re so bright you can see them even with city lights – but all the better if you’re in a more rural location. This year, the conjunction occurs in Taurus, the sign Venus rules and the “earthiest” of all the earth signs, and it also is one “leg” of a earth trine with Mars and Pluto. Trines are the luckiest configurations in astrology, and earth trines are the most favorable for manifesting tangible, material results. Now, this isn’t about the “secret” to acquiring every toy your ego lusts for, so forget the diamond choker in the window at Tiffany’s. We’re talking about having everything you need in this particular place in space and time so that you can do what you came here to do. It’s also about making connections with like-minded individuals to collaborate with as a team.

We’ll be feeling this positive vibe for most of the week, despite Mercury’s station. Indeed, some of the connections you make are likely to be re-connections. What’s more, Mercury has been closely conjunct Uranus and will make another exact pass on Saturday, so some of the contacts you make will surprise and perhaps even shock you.

Lastly, remember that we are nearing the end of the astrological year. With Mercury, Mars, and Saturn retrograde, this is a good time to review your progress since the solstice on December 22, especially in terms of relationships, commitment, and why you’re here. Next week’s Equinox and powerful New Moon in Aries mark another milestone as we head in a new direction. We’ve got a short time to sit, breathe, look back at where we’ve been, and set new goals.

Wishing you limitless love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast March 5: Mercury Conjunct Uranus, Full Moon in Virgo

Fish fighting for food. © Renars Jurkovskis for Dreamstime.com

As we head into even more conflict this week, it’s a good time to discuss the general idea of conflict.

Simply put, we need conflict. Rather than trying to make it go away, we might do better to understand its role in our growth and evolution. We need to learn to make peace with conflict, as it were.

How many people think conflict is bad by definition and to be avoided? In fact, there is no avoiding conflict. We don’t all want the same things, and that, in a nutshell, is the source of conflict. There seems to be a movement these days toward trying to get everyone to want and need the same thing. We’re all supposed to hold hands, sing Kumbaya, acknowledge that we’re all part of the human family, etcetera ad nauseam. The first tactic is to try to persuade everyone to agree on what’s desirable. When that doesn’t happen (and it never will), group leaders resort to underhanded, manipulative tactics to try to coerce others to accept their worldview – the whole point being to avoid conflict. It’s comical, when you think about it. The result, however, is no laughing matter.

One of the most insidious manipulation techniques I’ve had to grapple with over the past couple of weeks is the use of pop psychology terms applied backwards. I’m reminded of a situation I encountered as a teenager babysitting two small children for the couple next door. Jody, 5, had discovered an ingenious means of getting what she wanted. She’d walk up to her 3-year-old brother, Danny, and grab his toy, often by force. When he put up the predictable protest (which typically involved hitting and pushing), she’d go to her mother and complain in her best victim voice, “Danny won’t share” or “Danny hit me.” I witnessed poor Danny getting spanked more than once. Finally, I said something to their mother, who immediately called Jody into the room and asked whether it was true that she took Danny’s toys. Of course, Jody lied, and her mother accepted her word over mine. I tried to help Danny by giving him extra special attention and care. But then Jody started making a fuss whenever I babysat. I don’t need to tell you how that turned out.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about how this story applies to many relationships today, be they political, social, personal, or romantic. For my part, I’ve had intimate contact with the aggressive side of Mars over the past few weeks, and I’ve finally realized with crystal clarity that it serves a productive purpose – even as it destroys. The old and unworkable needs to be eliminated in order to clear the way for the new and sustainable. The destroyer is serving a high and noble cause, but invariably, he is labeled “bad” and “negative.” It does tend to make him a bit feisty and irritable. Hopefully, under Mercury and Mars retrograde, some light will be shed on how situations and relationships devolved into irreconcilable conflict and how we can move past these obstacles to reach our goals.

Saturn retrograde in Libra with Mars retrograde is helping us to understand the role of conflict in finding balance. Balance doesn’t happen by forcing everyone into agreement – if that were even possible. We need multiple points of view. Without them, what we have is the tyranny of the majority our forefathers warned against. Have you ever noticed that when disagreements arise, people tend to try to convince others of their position and then form a group of people who think the same way? Truth isn’t determined by numbers.

As of last Friday, Mercury is in Aries, so now he and Mars are in mutual reception. As I predicted, the noise level went up immediately, and it will go up another several decibels when Mercury turns retrograde on March 12. In addition, computer problems are escalating from the merely frustrating to the absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been editing a spot for the film and video program that should have taken a week. Due to computer breakdowns, I’m now in my fourth week and counting. If any of you tried to access RealAstrolgers yesterday, you may have noticed a page of error messages. The fix took more than three hours, although I can’t fault my web host, InMotion Hosting. They were extra busy yesterday – big surprise there – and did the job as fast as they could. And they were so darn polite – a real feat, given the astrological climate. On Thursday, I received an e-mail from a client about a computer nightmare at her workplace that could turn into total chaos when her company switches over to a new system on March 12. Monday’s conjunction of Mercury and Uranus is the spark that ignites the electrical fire – literally and figuratively. I can’t say it enough: back up your computer data!

Chart for Full Moon in Virgo

Click on image to enlarge

Thursday’s Full Moon in Virgo likely will bring a lot of conflict to a head, so be prepared. As the volume increases, seek to maintain your integrity and responsibility – two key ideas for Saturn in Libra. Know what you want, why you want it, and what you have to do to get it. Know the difference between selfishness and enlightened self-interest. This distinction will become increasingly important as Uranus approaches an exact square with Pluto. Conflicts that emerge now actually can help you clarify your goals and purpose.

On the positive side – and there is one, thank goddess – Venus enters Taurus on Monday. Jupiter also is in Taurus, and these two are quite a lucky pair. They’ll form an exact conjunction next week, but they’re close enough at the Full Moon to create a positive vibe for manifesting real, concrete results, despite the tension and conflict – or perhaps because of it. Venus and Jupiter will form one leg of an earth trine with Pluto in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo. This creative configuration reinforces the notion that the destructive force of Mars is breaking down structures that are no longer serving us, clearing space for a fresh start. We’ve been traveling that road since summer of 2010 (some of us earlier), and this is a major milestone.

Again, it’s helpful to keep our sights on our long-term goals and our life’s purpose as we navigate through the rough seas of the next few weeks. Look for new developments that will blossom with the spring flowers, after Mercury and Mars return direct in the first half of April. Speaking of spring flowers, Venus sextiles Neptune on Tuesday, giving us an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature as an antidote to all the BS.

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

Weekly Forecast February 27: Mercury Enters Aries, Sun Opposite Mars

Swimming with sharks. © Pavel Erofeev for Dreamstime.com

I don’t know if I’m going to survive this Mars retrograde. To be more precise, life as I know it may not survive this Mars retrograde.

I’m so far behind on my academic work, I’m not sure if I’ll get it all done before the end of the quarter. (For those of you waiting for reports, I’m trying to program in a few hours a week to catch up, so hopefully I’ll be able to respond to you soon.) Beyond that, I’m not sure whether the program in which I’m enrolled will survive the state’s budget cuts. Infighting among classmates and faculty isn’t helping. Everyone is demoralized and depressed.

The good news is that the energy of retrograde Mars in Virgo destroys what isn’t working, clearing the way for new, healthier and more supportive structures to take root. It may turn out that what you fear losing isn’t worth keeping, and if you let go and allow a breakdown to happen, the outcome will be circumstances more conducive to fulfilling your divine mission in life.

Speaking of which, I posted Ruth’s article on Pisces this morning (late, of course; it was supposed to be up yesterday). All of Ruth’s posts are special, but this one is particularly brilliant and resonated with me. With my Pisces Moon, I consider myself an “honorary Pisces.” Even if you don’t have a lot of Pisces energy in your chart, her article is well worth reading.

So, on that note, let’s talk about the most significant planetary aspects this week. First, Mercury enters Aries on Friday, which means that Mercury and Mars officially will be in mutual reception (when each of two planets are in the sign ruled by the other). Mars retrograde in Virgo has felt an awful lot like Mercury retrograde, so I suspect that when these two are linked in this special relationship, the effect is going to be amplified. That means even more error messages, dead batteries, crashed servers, equipment failures, infections, and other frustrating computer glitches.

Mercury also is approaching his own retrograde, starting March 12. I’m always hesitant to say things are going to get worse, but it’s hard to imagine that Mercury in Aries is going to help any. I won’t be surprised if people go from mere yelling to throwing objects across the room at each other, from nitpicking to outright scorn. Start looking now for ways to duck and cover. If you can’t stay out of the line of fire, think up a good flak jacket. Virgo demands precision and accuracy, so one way you’ll be able to deflect criticism is by having your facts straight, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

On Saturday, the noise level goes up another few decibels with the Sun opposing Mars. If you don’t have to work with others, you can get a lot done under this aspect. However, if your work involves collaboration, or if your main area of contention these days is in a personal relationship, be prepared for a hot-and-heavy argument. This is tough, because the nature of this sign-pair combination suggests that someone is at risk of being dumped on. If you find yourself in such a predicament, you might have to shout out your differences.

In some cases, such a release can lead to a peaceful solution. However, it’s more likely that if you have an argument this weekend, you may have to spend time in that uncomfortable state of feeling that no one is on your side and nothing you do is ever good enough. Venus and Saturn are opposed on Sunday, suggesting feelings of isolation and alienation, at least for a few hours. If you feel down, tell yourself it won’t last – and it won’t. These influences won’t last more than a day, as Venus and the Sun move relatively quickly.

On the positive side this week, we have a harmonious sextile from the Sun to Pluto on Tuesday. Use the first two days of this week to clean up messes, whether literal – like the dishes stacked in the sink or the trash blocking the back door – or emotional. You can do a lot to preempt the Sun-Mars opposition later in the week by addressing “messy” personal situations now.

As I mentioned above, I’m trying to carve out some time to fulfill report orders, giving priority to pre-ordered March StarGuide reports. A few of you also are waiting for consultation follow-ups. I just want you to know that I haven’t forgotten about you.

So, as we head into another tough week, just know that you’re truly not alone, that others are facing similar obstacles. We all just need to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

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

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please check out the article in Forbes on financial astrology, quoting Ray Merriman. Good astrologers are priceless in our effort to get more respect for our craft.

Weekly Forecast January 30: Neptune Enters Pisces

Jonah, from Michelangelo's painting on the Sistine Chapel.

In a recent class, we discussed the symbolism of being in the belly of the whale – one of many metaphors to help us understand this week’s shift of Neptune into Pisces.

The most famous example, of course, is the biblical story of Jonah, who tried to escape his destiny by sailing in the opposite direction. He literally was forced to turn around when a huge storm threatened his boat and he was thrown overboard. He was swallowed by a whale, where he spent three days and three nights in meditation before being vomited out unharmed but wholly transformed. The experience set him straight, and thereafter he followed his destiny as a prophet.

Joseph Campbell lists the belly of the whale as a stage in the hero’s journey in which the hero undergoes a symbolic death in order to be spiritually reborn. This stage typically happens near the beginning of the story, as the hero finally accepts that he must leave his familiar, comfortable world to fulfill his higher calling. In some versions of the ancient myth, the whale is a sea monster, sea serpent, or kraken. However, they all contain the common symbol of an underwater terror the hero must face before he can move forward on his spiritual journey. The deep water represents the unconscious – Neptune’s territory.

Many astrologers (myself included) have spoken of a coming leap in human consciousness. With Neptune in Pisces, there is the possibility of a collective descent into the belly of the whale – a scary place, to be sure. An example Campbell sometimes uses to illustrate his point is the scene in the original Star Wars film in which the heroes are trapped in a giant trash compactor. Lurking under the filthy water is a sea monster with tentacles.

As astrologers like to point out, Neptune has two sides. On one hand, it represents a fertile, unlimited imagination the source of which is divine inspiration. On the other, it is illusion and delusion, and on a grand scale. There can even be an overlap of the two – for example, when your imagination runs away with you to the point that you start worrying about huge, scary situations that don’t exist. It’s not hard to see how Neptune in Pisces might bring both sides of Neptune into physical manifestation.

When you think about it, it’s ironic that nowadays we have an entirely different view of whales, which we see as highly evolved beings who may be trying to communicate a message to us. That in itself represents a leap in consciousness. A few months ago, I was talking to a woman here on Vashon who founded a group called Whale Communicators, which is trying to spread the gospel of Granny, a wise old whale with a message for mankind. (Find out more at whalecommunicators.com).

Neptune enters Pisces on Friday and will remain in the sign of the Fishes for 13 years.

Venus, meanwhile, continues her journey through Pisces and opposes Mars on Wednesday. In Pisces, Venus represents higher love and compassion. There’s not enough of either in the world, and certainly not in our daily lives. Make this week count by taking every opportunity to put yourself in others’ shoes. That won’t be easy, with Mars retrograde in nitpicky Virgo. Before you judge, criticize, or condemn, consider what the other person is going through and give him a break. You might even find that you can turn a previously untenable situation around and get a better outcome.

That said, computers everywhere are continuing to act up. I got mine back from the shop late this week, but I had to spend hours reconfiguring my settings for printer, internet connections, and other functions, when I could least afford the extra time. School has been on fast-forward, the past month one big blur – a Neptunian fog, you might say. (To those who have been patiently waiting for reports, my apologies. I’m starting to work through the backlog and ask for your understanding for a bit longer.)

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

Weekly Forecast January 23: New Moon in Aquarius, Mars Retrograde

New Moon in Aquarius

© Dan Collier for Dreamstime.com

Pip said it all in her comment on last week’s post. Just about everyone I know started having major computer problems a couple of days ago — myself included.

The Internet connectivity on my computer stopped working at 1 a.m. Saturday. After nearly six hours on the phone with tech support reps in various parts of the world, I took it into a local repair shop, where it remains in a long queue. Why was I not surprised upon hearing that several other people had brought their computers in earlier on the same day? Fortunately, I have a backup, but it’s a poor old lemon that is tortured by the increasing demands for speed and memory of Internet use. I’m trying to be as nice to it as I can so that it will live until I get my regular machine back.

So there you have the essence of Mars stationing to go retrograde in Virgo. Circumstances should improve somewhat once he gets moving again, even in reverse. It beats being stopped entirely.

That said, there are several unknowns in this scenario. Uranus, which also is associated with electronics, Internet, and so forth, is currently in Aries, the sign ruled by Mars. In our lifetime, we haven’t experienced this pairing, and so we don’t know how they behave. Theoretically, they are two bad boys out to see what kind of mischief they can make. They’ll get a third gang member when Mercury enters Aquarius on Friday and contacts Uranus by sextile on Saturday. Uranus is said to be a higher octave of Mercury, so these two have a natural affinity, and together with Mars, they will make up an energy triangle. For those into the mechanics: Mercury in Aquarius deposits to Uranus, ruler of Aquarius; Uranus in Aries deposits to Mars, ruler of Arie; and Mars in Virgo deposits to Mercury, ruler of Virgo.

That’s the bad news. There’s also plenty of good news this week, so let’s turn to that now.

Chart for New Moon in Aquarius

Click on image to enlarge

Monday starts right off with the New Moon in forward-looking Aquarius, in a close sextile with Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius. Of course, he’s in Mars, and we just discussed the possible implications. Still, I’m optimistic. Although unexpected events are likely, I think they will be mostly positive, given that the sextile is a positive angle and quite dynamic.

The New Moon also makes a close contact with Jupiter, and while the angle is a square, normally indicating conflict, the Moon and Jupiter are compatible energies. “Conflict” is relative, and in this case it could simply mean a moral dilemma between your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and the double fudge caramel sundae staring at you from the special dessert menu. Or, you may find yourself feeling overly generous and making a promise you can’t keep. Mercury squares Jupiter on Saturday, which also can be a positive. The downside is that you may overlook important details, especially with Mars retrograde. If you have an important project on Saturday, plan ahead carefully, and have someone you trust go over your work. Also, make a mental note to be open to the ideas of others. Aquarius and Taurus are both fixed signs, given to stubbornness.

Two additional reasons for optimism are that this New Moon chart has a couple of hidden fairies. Ceres may function here as a sort of fairy godmother, in that Ceres and Uranus are in perfect conjunction. At his worst, Uranus stirs the pot and conjures up chaos, but there’s usually a reason for it, and that reason has to with changing what’s broken and not working. At his best, Uranus is the Magician and Awakener. Ceres, meanwhile, is the wise earth mother, dedicated to the health and well-being of life on the planet. It will be interesting to watch the news headlines for environmental developments this week.

Ceres also has a natural association with Virgo, so in a way, she may be a temporary “chaperone” for Uranus and company. That said, they might also do her service by shaking up humanity’s planetary life-support system. You might say that the human race has a dysfunctional relationship with its mother, and something needs to change radically to restore the balance.

The second fairy is Venus, who in Pisces is the Fairy Queen. Although Uranus and Mars are the tough guys in the leading roles, they are inextricably linked to the planet of love and desire, in the sign of compassion and the collective unconscious. Venus is said to be exalted in Pisces, where her love and desire nature are at their highest. It is a state of grace.

The final word is that whatever happens this week, no matter how strange, unexpected, or upsetting, try to understand how it fits into an intricate whole. How do these new and surprising developments carry you forward toward fulfilling your life’s highest purpose?

Much love and courage to all!
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast January 16: Sun Enters Aquarius

January snow. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

The Sun is the star of this week’s astrology show, entering a new sign and making several significant planetary aspects from Thursday onward.

This also is the last week of the entire year during which all of the planets are direct! As the old saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. Truly, this is a rare window of opportunity.

Personally, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon over the past few weeks. Thoughts are manifesting very fast. I have an image in my mind, and before I know it, it’s reality. These are not things I’ve intentionally imagined – in other words, I’m not imagining sitting in a bathtub full of hundred-dollar bills, and suddenly there I am. The one consistent factor is that the thoughts that manifested had considerable concentration and emotion behind them. For example …

On Wednesday I was in my morning acting class, when I suddenly noticed that the instructor was wearing a ring that looked like the one I lost four months ago. The ring was one of a kind, handmade with a turquoise stone set in silver. I’d found it in a junk shop and was very attached to it. During my first week of classes, I lost it – likely after taking it off to wash my hands. I checked the lost-and-found departments in every location where I might have left it. Nothing.

The day after Thanksgiving, I was in a friend’s gift shop and found a new ring, silver with an odd-shaped green tourmaline stone. What happened while I was buying it is another whole story of a miraculous manifestation, but I’ll leave that for another time.

I was wearing the tourmaline ring in class on Wednesday when I noticed the turquoise ring on the instructor’s hand. I thought perhaps she’d found it, turned it in, and when no one claimed it, was allowed to keep it. For the rest of the class, I couldn’t concentrate on our exercises, because I was obsessed with trying to get a better look at her ring. She kept putting her hands in her pockets and otherwise covering it up. I never did manage to see it up close and figured I was crazy to think it was the one I’d lost.

We had a lunch break of about an hour, then an afternoon writing class. I made a quick run to the restroom, and when I went to wash my hands, realized my tourmaline ring was gone! Since losing the first ring, I’ve been so mindful. Obviously, I’d had a lapse in that mindfulness. I asked the instructor if I could run over to the other building to check the restroom. The ring wasn’t there. I almost started crying. There was open office upstairs, so I asked the receptionist where I could find the lost-and-found department. She asked if I was looking for a ring. I was elated! But it had been taken to another room. When I got there, it was locked. I knocked loudly. The security guard who answered was crabby but she had my ring and couldn’t help smiling when she saw how sincerely grateful I was.

Some would say that the obvious lesson in this experience is that I should keep my ring on while washing my hands. However, I got quite a different message – especially given other similar events in the past few weeks. During class, I was intently focused on a lost ring. In less than an hour, that’s exactly what I had! Fortunately, it came back to me right away.

The second message I got right away was that if our thoughts are manifesting this quickly and perfectly right now, it might be a good idea during this all-planets-direct period to focus on what we really want and not waste a single second worrying about disasters that may or may not happen. Of course, you could say that this is reasonable statement in general, and you might be right. But that’s missing the point, which is that we have one more week to perform “magic.”

Several years ago, in an article about the Calendar of Coligny, I read a theory that the druids made special notations during periods when all the planets were direct. It’s not hard to imagine why they may have wanted this information.

Back to this week …

The Sun moves through the final degrees of Capricorn and squares Saturn on Thursday. Typically, this is an uncomfortable combination, and some of us are bound to have some run-ins with authority or clashes over who controls what. Nevertheless, with all planets direct, Saturn exalted in Libra, and the Sun in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, what gets enforced could be fairness and balance. We may not like the rules, but can we honestly say that if there weren’t any, we’d always do right by others? Our own biases often prevent us from seeing that other people have the right to pursue goals that directly conflict with our own.

On Friday, the Sun enters Aquarius, the sign that bucks convention and thumbs its nose at the rules. On Saturday, the Sun forms a dynamic sextile with Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius. This is an exciting combination, filled with promise of something new and different, out of the blue. If nothing else, be prepared for your Saturday night plans to change on a whim. On Sunday morning (late Saturday on the West Coast of the United States), the Sun squares Jupiter. Squares typically are troublesome, and the problem with this particular combination is that it denotes a certain amount of stubbornness and self-righteousness. However, there are some positives in this square – namely, that you can get a lot accomplished. I happen to like it for manifestation work.

Meanwhile, Venus and Pluto have a hot date on Friday. Your date could be hot, too, so if that’s not what you want, make sure you have an escape route planned. Otherwise, surrender to the moment.

Next week starts right out with the New Moon in Aquarius and Mars turning retrograde. Again, I can’t urge you enough to focus this week on the most difficult tasks on your plate. Taking care of business now will save you a lot of heartache later.

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