Tag Archives: Mercury direct

Weekly Forecast June 8: Mercury Direct, Neptune Retrograde

King Neptune. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2015.

King Neptune. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2015.

Neptume is to blane. That’s may story and I’m sticking to it.

Seriously, Neptune in Pisces hasn’t been all roses and strawberry fields forever. There’s a debilitating side to it, not the least of which is fatigue, sleepiness, mental confusion, and inability to concentrate. There’s going to be a lot of that going around this week, with Neptune turning retrograde.

There’s also an escapist side to Neptune, which is what many astrologers predicted would happen when Neptune entered Pisces in January 2012. I don’t have statistics about substance abuse, addictions to computer games and pornography, or numbers of mishaps due to failure to look up from a cell phone while driving or Continue reading


Weekly Forecast October 20: Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, Mercury Direct

Brilliance of the Waning Light. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2014.

Brilliance of the Waning Light. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2014.

There have been many times in my life when I needed a big change but was afraid to take that leap until a replacement came along. But for me, at least, it never seemed to work out that way. I had to have the courage to jump without a safety net.

I’m sure it has been the same for many of you.

I have to confess that I very rarely jumped off the moving train on my own. More often, something (or someone) kicked me from behind. The fall can be that much worse when you’re taken by surprise and don’t have time to figure out the best way to land. Then again, even with forethought, you don’t know what’s ahead. Depending on how fast the train is moving, Continue reading

Weekly Forecast June 30: Mercury Direct, Sun Opposite Pluto

Butting heads with authority. Following the announcement of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, protesters in New York City pulled down the statue of King George III. Painting by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, c. 1859.

Butting heads with authority. Following the announcement of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, protesters in New York City pulled down the statue of King George III. Painting by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, c. 1859.

No one will be happier than I when Mercury turns direct this week. Tuesday. At precisely 5:49:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

I have no idea why this Mercury retrograde period hit me so hard, and not even in the way it “should” have, according to where it is transiting my birth chart. Then, with Mercury in his own sign of Gemini, all things related to communications, including blogs, are subject to disruption. Posting this forecast has been a nightmare.

I just read Ray Merriman’s weekly column and saw that he is scratching his head over this one, too. I feel a little better knowing that one of the world’s most experienced and respected astrologers couldn’t make any more sense of it than I could. Ray also comments that predictions in the political Continue reading

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 November 18: Chiron Direct, Sun Enters Sagittarius

Nymphs and Satyr,  by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873. OK, so this guy knows how to party, but you will never convince me that Sagittarius looks like this.

Nymphs and Satyr, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873. OK, so this guy knows how to party, but you will never convince me that Sagittarius looks like this.

For the first week in nearly a month, we don’t have eclipses, retrogrades or serious squares to contend with. We’re still dealing with the aftermath, though.

The Full Moon in Taurus on November 17, which I covered in last week’s forecast, is the culmination of the astrologically charged solar eclipse on November 3. If nothing out of the ordinary happened in your life around that time or near the lunar eclipse on October 18, you may get the “message” this week. As usual, it depends on where these significant events fell in your natal chart.

Mercury gains speed this week, another indication that phone calls, e-mails, checks, and other matters on hold since mid-October could come through, possibly all at once, with the Moon in Mercury ruled Gemini on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Chiron returns direct at 9 degrees Pisces. As you’ll recall, Chiron was discovered in 1977 and was the first of a new class of minor planets called centaurs, because their behavior is a sort of cross between that of asteroids and comets, just as the mythological centaurs were half-man, half-horse. For the most part, the centaurs were a wild bunch that partied hard, drank to excess, got in brawls, and made off with the village women. Chiron, however, had a different upbringing and became a wise healer and mentor to gods and heroes.

A big part of Chiron’s mythology revolves around a wound that wouldn’t heal. Emotionally, he was wounded by the rejection of his parents. Later, he was shot with a poison arrow and would have been doomed to eternal pain had he not asked to become mortal so he could die. According to ancient authors, he was placed in the sky as the constellation Centaurus, although some sources associate him with Sagittarius. In any case, astrologers began using minor planet Chiron as an indicator of our most fundamental wounds and where we have the greatest capacity to heal.

Pluto returned direct just shy of 9 degrees Capricorn in late September. When outer planets shift motion, they remain at the same degree for several weeks. For most of October and November, Chiron is in a sextile with Pluto by exact degree, and the two will remain at a close angle until Pluto turns retrograde again in April. Pluto is associated with death, regeneration, and rebirth. It’s not hard to see how the two working together can lead to a breakdown, followed by healing and rebirth or transformation. The sextile is considered a friendly aspect, but that doesn’t make the breakdown process any easier.

Plutonic forces are ruthlessly effective at destroying what is old, decaying, and corrupt. I’ve written a lot about this in terms of governments and civilization itself, primarily in the context of the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto. The square was exact on November 1 but remains close through the end of December. Although we can notice transits of outer planets to planets in our individual natal charts (anyone who’s ever experienced an intense Pluto transit can attest to that), aspects between outer planets such as the Uranus-Pluto square tend to manifest as events that affect large groups of people and global affairs.

The favorable angle between Pluto and Chiron suggests that the breakdowns that have been occurring over the past several weeks – for example, the shutdown of the U.S. government and breakdown in President Obama’s signature healthcare program – could contain the seeds for deep healing. One can always hope.

On Wednesday (Mercury Day), Mercury forms a positive trine to Chiron and sextiles Pluto. At the very least, we should get some good news about the Affordable Care Act. The programmers working on the broken website may get a boost, too. The way also seems to be clear to resume negotiations in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program. France threw a monkey wrench into the deal at the last minute just as Mercury was stationed to return direct on November 10. Mercury, as you know, rules negotiations. Uranus is associated with electricity and advanced technology, while Pluto heads the nuke department.

On Thursday, the Sun wraps up its journey through the dark sign of Scorpio and enters Sagittarius, the party sign. I rather like the idea that Sagittarius represents Chiron, since it borders Ophiuchus. The snake handler is said to be Asclepius, the first doctor, who received his medical training from Chiron. However, Chiron wasn’t the partying kind of centaur. Moreover, according to some ancient accounts, Sagittarius isn’t a centaur at all, but the satyr Crotus. Rather than being half-man, half-horse, a satyr is a man from the waist up and a goat from the waist down. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever get the image out of my head of Sagittarius as a centaur with the bow and arrow. Crotus did hunt, and he cavorted with the muses on Mount Helicon. Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, also had the reputation of being a great partier and womanizer.

Speaking of Jupiter, on Tuesday (Mars Day), there is a sextile from Mars in Virgo to Jupiter in Cancer. This is a day for getting a lot of work done and being productive in general. If you’re signing a real estate deal, this is a good day for understanding the fine print and renegotiating any terms you don’t like.

We have yet another sextile on Saturday (Saturn Day), this time between Venus and Saturn. It’s true that Saturn gets a bad rap, and it’s not entirely undeserved. He rains on parades, poops on parties, and delivers depressing reality checks. But Venus brings out his positive side, especially when she’s in his home sign of Capricorn. At his best, Saturn provides much needed structure, discipline, and commitment. It takes work to maintain relationships, the domain of Venus. Under this influence, you can do the work more easily. That applies to finances as well, which also come under the purview of Venus. If you need to sit down and make a budget or do any kind of financial planning, this is a perfect time to do so.

Sunday is a day for sleep, when the Sun makes a square with Neptune. If you partied too hard under the Sagittarius Sun and went home under the influence of Neptune-ruled substances like drugs and alcohol, you might want to have your favorite remedy handy. Or you can just sleep it off.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast November 11: Neptune Direct, Full Moon in Taurus

Small treasures. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Small treasures. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

I don’t recall ever trying to write a forecast while Mercury was exactly stationed. Coaxing out the words is a bear … maybe like a bear coming out of hibernation.

It doesn’t help that I’m exhausted after an emergency situation that called me away from home unexpectedly the week before last. That’s why this forecast is late and there was none at all last week. I was able to post a quick note on Facebook, so readers who are following RealAstrologers on FB at least got notice. If you’re on FB and haven’t yet “liked” RealAstrologers, please take a moment to do so, as I post short notes there from time to time and also occasionally share meaningful posts from my FB connections. I promise not to clog up your feed with bumper-sticker slogans and cat videos.

Delays and obstructions tend to be more persistent for a couple of days on either side of Mercury’s station, so you may need a lot of patience as the week begins. Give yourself extra time to commute, get to the airport, or make connections. If you’re in the United States, there should be less traffic on Monday, since federal offices are closed in observance of Veteran’s Day. The downside is that many cities reduce public transportation services on holidays, so if you do have to work, it could take you longer to get to your shop or office. It’s also a bank holiday, which can cause delays in receiving electronic transfers and payments by check.

Mercury trines Neptune on Monday, with Neptune stationed to return direct on Wednesday. We’re already feeling that shift. I get extremely sleepy around Neptune stations and have a hard time focusing. We’re all exhausted from the relentless stress of the past year and especially the past two weeks. If you can get some extra sleep, do try to make that a priority. Keep your dream journal handy, too, because you might get in touch with some long-buried memories, whether from this incarnation or others. The Moon is in Neptune-ruled Pisces on Monday and Tuesday, amplifying the sleepy, dreamy atmosphere.

Neptune and Pisces are also about escapism. If you need to “get away from it all,” try to do so in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of alcohol or mind-altering substances. “Under the influence” takes on a whole new dimension under the astrological influence of Neptune and Pisces. If you’re a highly sensitive type, you’ll probably want to avoid the stuff altogether.

On Tuesday, the Sun in Scorpio trines Jupiter in Cancer, with the Moon in Pisces making a trine to both. Jupiter went retrograde last week and is moving slowly, too (from our perspective here on Earth). Nevertheless, a Sun-Jupiter trine is just what we need after the hair-raising couple of weeks we’ve just traversed. Think back to mid-July. What was going well in your life? Did you start a new project or come across a new opportunity? If so, you may get some related news on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Thursday and Friday, Venus squares Uranus and conjoins Pluto. Even in staid Capricorn, Venus is a beneficial influence. Not everyone is feeling the Uranus-Pluto square personally, but if you are, you’re probably going through some kind of a crisis that is forcing change at a fundamental level. It may be so deep within you that you haven’t been able to identify or name it. Venus helps connect the dots. That’s not to say that what comes up will be easy, and indeed it might be intense, but you might find that something suddenly “clicks” or makes sense and that you can confront issues that have been too difficult to acknowledge or deal with.

With the Full Moon approaching, you also might experience events related to the lunar eclipse on October 18 and the solar eclipse on November 3. If you didn’t notice anything unusual around either of those dates, it’s possible that eclipse-related events were stalled, since Mercury was retrograde. Besides that, we often don’t get the full picture that eclipses represent until 30 or 60 days later.

Full Moon in Taurus

Click on image to enlarge

Venus rules Sunday’s Full Moon in Taurus, which reminds us about our material needs and desires, including the need to feel safe and secure. So many people are in precarious economic circumstances and fear for their survival. The Sun, Saturn, and Mercury are in Scorpio, which, among other things, represents the primal will to survive. Many years ago, when I lived in the redwoods in California, I encountered a scorpion in a wood pile. I’ll tell you, that tiny creature put the fear of God in me. The image is burned in my memory of how it stood its ground, tail curled, ready to strike if I stepped an inch closer. I could have smacked it with a log or shovel, but I backed off and let it be, and I made damn sure after that to wear gloves when I went out for firewood.

Taurus is more concerned about living well. The economy still being in the toilet, many people have had to revise their definition of what it means to live well. Now, that’s not entirely a bad thing, especially in the United States, where consumption has been totally over the top for far too long. It’s possible to live simply and well. Ironically, it’s the folks at the bottom of the financial food chain who are being forced to learn that lesson and not the wealthiest few who are consuming far more than their share of the national wealth. This imbalance is eventually going to have to correct itself, but if history is any indication, a correction of this nature usually involves violence. That scenario is all the more likely during the Uranus-Pluto square, which continues into 2015.

I’ve been too out of the loop for the past week to connect planetary cycles to world events, but many of you are quite adept at mundane astrology and can see the correlations. Hopefully by next week, I’ll be back up to speed.

In the meantime, hang in there, and get some extra sleep this week if you can.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast July 22: Sun Enters Leo, Full Moon in Aquarius

Creatures of the Sun. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

Creations of the Sun. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

In contemplating what to write this week, I’m at a loss to come up with anything new.

The news gets more and more depressing. The Obama administration has given itself a free pass to keep spying on the world, U.S. citizens included, while Edward Snowden is trapped at the Moscow airport, and Bradley Manning faces life in prison. Did you see the photos of him leaving the courtroom at Fort Meade? Why does such a little guy need to be surrounded by beefy, gun-toting guards? Obviously, he scares the bejeesus out of some powerful people.

News headlines get multiplied by orders of magnitude on the social media. I have to tell you, I’m burned out on the constant stream of posts screaming, “Oh my god, have you heard what they’ve done now?” I get it! Everyone with a brain connected to a heart gets it. Those without that connection aren’t going to get it, no matter how many times the message is repeated on Facebook or how loud it’s shouted. Really, it’s not much different than trying to convert someone to your religion.

OK, so we know it’s bad. The police state is so far advanced that it’s too late to fight without risking life and limb. Even more frightening, many of the 99 percent defend it. Yet, every now and then, between the predictable comments on news articles, an intelligent voice in the wilderness asks, “OK, but what can we do about it? Venting in comments and on the social media does nothing.”

So here we are, looking over a deep chasm, the bridge collapsed and rusting, and no way across. Which brings me back to where I started. I’ve been saying all of this for so long that I feel like a broken record, and I don’t have any new answers. All I can do is look at planetary movements and form some kind of an educated guess about how long the current situation will last. Unfortunately, the news isn’t good. We’re in for several more years of turmoil, and things are going to get worse before they get better. You don’t need to be an astrologer to know that. In the meantime, we need to get our priorities straight, examine our values, revise our goals, and work within our communities – not necessarily in that order.

Of all those strategies, finding your community is the hardest, especially if you’re a free thinker. The trick is to maintain your individual voice while working for the common good. Humans are social animals, and most of us do care about our fellows. I’d venture that a good majority are even willing to give more than they get back – provided, of course, that they feel they’re giving to a worthy endeavor. But we don’t like being just another cog in the wheel, especially when that wheel powers a destructive machine.

This is precisely the message of Aquarius, sign of Monday’s Full Moon. Aquarians (of which I am one) tend to be freethinking individuals who don’t go along with the groupthink, and yet this is the sign of humanitarian causes, community action, and our human “family.” Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. I’ll talk more about the Full Moon, but first let’s have a look at the general lay of the land.

This week we’re in the in-between zone of last week’s dreamy grand trine and a tense cardinal T-square. In both configurations, Jupiter and Mars play a key role, and we start right out on Monday with an exact conjunction of this dynamic pair. Indeed, Monday is the biggest day of the week. Right after the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter, Venus enters Virgo, then the Sun enters Leo, and just over two hours later, we have our first Full Moon in Aquarius of the summer. Yes, there will be another on August 20.

Mars and Jupiter are conjunct not only by latitude but also in declination. In other words, they will be extremely close to each other in the sky, which isn’t always true of conjunctions. This makes the aspect all the more powerful. In earlier times, this combination in the birth chart of a prince was considered a good sign that he would be a strong king, bringing the country wealth and military might. I’m not a big fan of European royalty, but I can’t help notice that Queen Elizabeth has a close conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aquarius. If Baby Cambridge is born in the next few days, she (I’m hoping) also will have this signature. Incidentally, if Kate has the baby right before the Full Moon, it could still be a Cancer. That was my bet, but we’ll see. (Tomorrow’s Full Moon was my third choice.)

Chart for Full Moon in Aquarius

Click on image to enlarge

Mars and Jupiter conjoin at 6 degrees Cancer, which is still quite close to trining Saturn at 5 degrees Scorpio and Neptune at 4 degrees Pisces. The trine continues through the first week in August, so there’s still time to work with these flowing energies to find solutions to tough problems before the window starts to close. Indeed, the Full Moon might add some urgency. The chart to the right is kind of messy, but if you look closely, you can see a faint red triangle from the Sun and Moon to Saturn. That’s a square, and while we’d normally consider a Full Moon squaring Saturn to indicate trouble, any crisis that might arrive could come with a brilliant solution, perhaps not short of a miracle. Remember, Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius (before Uranus was discovered in 1781), and he represents structure. Now, with Saturn in Scorpio and in mutual reception with Pluto, any structures we build these days are subject to immediate collapse. However, a sound, workable plan initiated since late June could put a strong foundation under your project.

The closer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it appears to move in the sky. While Jupiter is pulling away from the grand trine slowly, Mars is quickly heading for his next connection, which is a cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto. Mercury currently is closest to the third leg of the T-square, so we’re getting a glimpse of what’s ahead. Later this week, Mars opposes Pluto, and we descend into the belly of the beast. Mars squares Uranus next week, and then Jupiter comes along in early August. This is one of the stormiest astrological periods of the year, second only to early November. The one consolation I can provide is that you probably already know how the Uranus-Pluto square is manifesting for you personally – if it is, which isn’t a given – so whatever comes at you, while it may seem out of the blue, likely will be part of a ongoing crisis and not an entirely new situation.

Right before the Full Moon on Monday, the Sun enters Leo, sign of individualism and will. Leo has a reputation, not undeserved, as “self-oriented,” but the Full Moon in Aquarius reminds us that individuals form communities, and successful groups value the creativity and individuality of all their members. When the group itself becomes more important than the individuals in it, it’s a slippery slope to forced allegiance and tyranny. It’s interesting that we get a Full Moon both at the first degree of Aquarius and again near the last. That’s nearly a month to contemplate the concept of communities made up of empowered individuals.

© Pat Paquette, 2013.

© Pat Paquette, 2013.

Turning to Venus, she’s not at her best in Virgo, and on Friday, she opposes Neptune. The conventional interpretation of Venus opposite Neptune is delusions in love (on a date night, no less). Again, however, we’ve got a mitigating circumstance via a sextile to Saturn that makes it possible to see clearly and make sound decisions. That could be anything from recognizing a one-night stand for what it is and enjoying it while it lasts, to realizing that the guy or gal of your dreams has been sitting under your nose all along, and you were too scared, proud, or downright stupid to notice. On Sunday, Venus sextiles Jupiter, another fine day for settling into a realistic partnership. Positive Venus-Jupiter combinations also can be terrific for your finances, depending on where they’re transiting your chart.

To sum up, we’ve got our work cut out for us for the next few weeks, but we’re not without the resources to get it done.

I leave you with a stunning video that could change how you think of Saturn forever. And this is just the trailer:

In Saturn’s Rings

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

Weekly Forecast August 13: Mars Conjunct Saturn, New Moon in Leo

Summer on the coast. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

With Mercury direct and gathering speed, life is returning to some semblance of normalcy – whatever normal is. Insofar as the “new normal” is fast, unpredictable, and crazy, we’re now back in the groove.

My astrology software is working again, after the fourth reinstall. According to the conventional interpretation of Mercury retrograde, anything you have to re-do is supposed to go faster and better while the communications planet is moving in reverse (what it looks like from down here).

This most definitely was not the case for re-installing my astrology software – which, you have to admit, is a very fine joke by the Trickster. Too bad I’m not laughing. In fact, I was close to tears when the program kept crashing every time I tried to reinstall my customization files. Maybe the order mattered. Whatever the mystery was, it was solved after Mercury returned direct. Some of my customization work was lost for good, but the most time-consuming modifications have all been restored and I can begin fulfilling the backlog of reports.

As I mentioned in last week’s forecast, I also succeeded in reconstructing my astrology documentary pitch. The work itself actually did move along fairly quickly, but Mercury had to have his due, and he got it in spades through all the accompanying tasks, such as downloading software from Apple. The company advertises that you can get apps with one click of the mouse. It took me three days and hundreds of clicks – not to mention hours on the phone with tech support – to get a 20-minute download. The whole experience was interesting in that it reaffirmed the conventional wisdom that if you absolutely can’t wait and have to do something not advised during Mercury retrograde, you can get it done. It just will take a lot longer and deduct a few years from your life.

We also now have a complete Republican presidential ticket, with the announcement Saturday morning of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s VP. I had to wonder whether they timed the announcement with the help of an astrologer (after all, Ronald Reagan had one). The Romney team created a phone app especially for the announcement. The move obviously was intended to draw in younger voters, but it’s also interesting to note that it was an appropriate way to announce the pick of Ryan, an Aquarius.

The announcement was made at 7:08 a.m. on Saturday, with the Moon at 7°22′ Gemini. They might have been thinking that Saturday is typically a slow news day and the announcement would be sure to make headlines. But if they’d revealed the information the previous Saturday, it could have been disastrous, with Mercury retrograde. The Moon in the sign of communications not only was a good choice for a news announcement, but later in the day, the Moon conjoined Jupiter in Gemini, which currently is in Romney’s first house. Moreover, the Moon makes a grand trine to planets in both politicians’ natal charts. It’s hard to believe this was an accident, unless you view it as a cosmic message. I’ll leave it to you to determine what that might be, as I vowed to leave politics alone after getting flamed for writing that the 2009 Inauguration Day chart suggested McCain and Palin might win.

Incidentally, the birth time being used for Ryan was first reported by The Political Astrology Blog in mid-June. The post says only that the time was found on an uncertified copy of Ryan’s birth certificate, without saying who saw it and under what circumstances. The reporter in me needs to know sources, so I have to issue a word of caution that this birth time is unconfirmed. If anyone has additional information, it would be helpful for the astrology community.

Looking at this week, there are three standouts: the Mars-Saturn conjunction on Wednesday, the cardinal T-square with Venus on Wednesday and Thursday, and the New Moon in Leo on Friday.

Mars and Saturn in ancient times were considered the malefics, and this combination for sure doesn’t inspire images of rainbows and unicorns. But have a look at the New Moon chart, and you’ll see that the Sun and Moon make quite a nice trine with both Saturn and Mars, and it’s nearly exact. Although I don’t advise running with scissors, I do think you can get a lot of work done, be it relocating your office or making headway in a key relationship. Rather than trying to hash out details over the phone or even over a glass of wine, you may have much better success by doing something fun together, like mountain biking or taking the kids on a trip. The challenge here is to resist sitting on repressed anger, which can come out in hurtful ways.

Chart for New Moon in Leo

Click on image to enlarge

Another possibility that I see in this configuration is addressing wounded male energy. For the past couple of decades, we’ve focused a lot of attention on the return of the goddess and healing our wounded feminine side. That has applied to men and women both, and it’s clear that the balance must be restored between the sacred masculine and feminine. However, we also need to acknowledge that the divine masculine is wounded and needs healing. With a flowing trine from Mars and Saturn in the sign of balance to the Sun and Moon in the sign of the heart, there’s a unique opportunity here to open our hearts to a deeper truth.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Venus in Cancer forms an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn and a square with Uranus in Aries. In the midst of nothing less than a breakdown of society as we know it, staying in our comfort zone is next to impossible. That’s the bad news and the good news. Breaking through to new ground by definition means stretching beyond what’s familiar and easy. The quincunx from Mercury to Pluto further suggests discomfort when we discover facts and insights that make it impossible to stay in a state of denial.

The “out” in all of this is Mercury in Leo, representing humor and play. It’s hard, when so much seems to be at stake, to not take ourselves so seriously.

As for me, I’ve got a hair appointment scheduled for Friday. Only a miracle could transform my baby fine hair into a Leo mane, but I expect to come out of the salon looking gorgeous.

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

Weekly Forecast April 25: Venus Opposite Saturn, Mars Conjunct Jupiter

Stargazer lily. © Pat Paquette 2011

What a week it has been! Everyone I know was going through some kind of crisis, many of them relationship-oriented. Here’s an excerpt of an e-mail I received from a client on Friday:

“My plan for Easter brunch has turned into HELL!! SOS! My sister and her partner have been fighting like rabid dogs. She’s been saying for months that she’s leaving him but is STILL living there! She hurt his feelings by not inviting him to service on Friday or Sunday brunch … he’s never even been interested in church or God, he’s simply grasping at straws, at this point. I told them, that given the situation, I was uncomfortable with him coming down for Easter … that I wouldn’t sacrifice my family for his ‘hurt’ feelings. Harsh, but necessary. It looks like my husband and I will just take his mother out to brunch.”

The expensive ham she bought for the occasion is sitting in the refrigerator. I reassured her that things are going to calm down this week, and she can throw a party next weekend.

Amazon and Sony had a rough week, too. Both corporate giants had computer network crashes that affected millions of customers worldwide. Sony said its PlayStation Network was attacked by hackers. Mercury’s station certainly didn’t help. As I’ve noted many times in these pages, some of the worst problems happen when Mercury is at a standstill. I was at an information session on Wednesday that got a late start because the instructor’s assistant hadn’t shown up and there was no one to staff his office. Turns out she had a flat tire on her way to work. And on and on …

Violence in the Middle East is on the rise. What initially seemed like a sweeping revolution has turned into a bloody suppression. In an excellent article on CounterPunch, award-winning journalist Patrick Cockburn writes, “From Libya to Bahrain and Syria to Yemen, leaders are clinging on to power despite intense pressure from pro-democracy protesters.”

The increase in violence is hardly surprising, with Mars dominating the sky. The bigger trend is the approaching square of Uranus to Pluto. Many astrologers, myself included, have predicted rebellion and authoritarian crackdowns. The situation in the Mideast is just the beginning.

Before I get into this week’s forecast, I’d like to note that two greats left us last week, both as a result of multiple organ failure. Internationally renowned guru Sai Baba, whose followers include many celebrities, was 85. The man who invented CDs, former Sony president Norio Ohga, died at 81.

Overall, this week will be less frustrating, and relationships should fare a little better, too. The Sun in placid Taurus will help decrease the noise level, and Mercury’s return direct will go a long way toward repairing misunderstandings. That said, some relationships that ended in the past two weeks are over for good. If this is your situation, you likely are better off, even if it’s too soon to recognize it.

There’s not much going on in the sky on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, Venus squares Pluto. The usual warning with these two in hard aspect is that power struggles can erupt in relationships, especially regarding sex. Using sex as a means of control over another person is a no-no, and it likely will backfire. What goes around comes around. Depending on where Venus and Pluto are transiting your chart, you also may have to be mindful not to get dragged into jealousy and possessiveness.

Working with this aspect should be a little easier, thanks to an easy trine later in the day between the Sun and Pluto. You can express yourself directly and tell the other person what you want and need, rather than resorting to underhanded tactics. The challenge, of course, is that first you have to be honest with yourself. If you’re willing to do that, you’ll have cosmic support.

The only aspect on Friday is a conjunction between the Moon and Uranus in Aries, which might generate some emotional fireworks, but in general lunar transits are mild and fleeting. Good thing, because this is the day that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be married. Even if you’re not into all the hoopla, do check out Helene’s series on the royal couple. I found it surprisingly refreshing.

Another relationship will be in the spotlight on Friday. Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman who was shot in the head in Arizona in January, plans to attend the launch of the space shuttle in Florida. Her husband, Mark Kelly, is one of six astronauts who will be on the flight. The presence of Giffords surely will eclipse the event itself, although it’s doubtful she’ll appear in public.

On Saturday, Venus opposes Saturn. Usually this isn’t a happy aspect for love relationships, but it is stabilizing, especially with Saturn in Venus-ruled Libra. Of course, both also are square Pluto, and while the angle is fairly wide, it nevertheless counts as a potent cardinal T-square. You may need to insist on your boundaries, as my client had to do with her sister’s partner. Although it will be difficult, try to do it with love and kindness.

Sunday is exuberant, with a three-way conjunction between the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter. Get out and play! Throw a party. Take a long walk or bike ride in a beautiful natural setting. Taurus is the sign of beauty, including the beauty of nature.

Speaking of the beauty of nature, I leave you with this amazing video by Norwegian photographer Terje Sorgjerd. To me, there is nothing more breathtaking than the night sky. (For a larger version, click on the link below the image.)

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

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Weekly Forecast September 13: Pluto Direct, Mars Enters Scorpio

Gearing up for movement. © Christian Lagereek Fahraeus for Dreamstime.com

Mercury is direct, and we’re ready to roll!

I thought things would stay fairly quiet last week with both Mercury and Pluto sitting still. However, I underestimated the effects of Jupiter’s return to Pisces. Right on cue, there was an explosion in San Bruno, Calif., which apparently had been waiting for just such a trigger. I’ll discuss this more below. First, let’s have a look at this week’s aspects.

I emphatically don’t expect this week to be quiet, although Monday and Tuesday could be slow and frustrating. Often, the worst traffic jams, Internet delays, and communications snafus occur when Mercury is shifting phase. When the Messenger is stopped (that’s what it looks like from our perspective), everything he rules stops, too. You can plan ahead by leaving a few minutes early for your Monday morning commute and not expecting meetings to go as planned.

Pluto returns direct in early Capricorn on Tuesday, with Mars entering Scorpio later in the day. These two events could deliver a one-two punch. In modern astrology, Pluto rules Scorpio, and so the powerful thrust of Mars will add to Pluto’s return direct. Pluto, remember, has been at the apex of the cardinal T-square all summer, and he has been under plenty of pressure. When that kind of power is blocked and suddenly gets released, who knows what might happen? Powerful earth events would not be a big surprise.

Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, so he’ll be in his own sign after languishing in Libra. Mars doesn’t really like to play nice, and when he’s forced to do so, he tends to take out his frustration in passive-aggressive ways. Enough of that! Mars in Scorpio has tremendous power, and he’s not afraid to show it. Wherever you have early Scorpio in your chart is where you will feel this transit the most.

Mars and Venus are together in Scorpio now, and they’ll meet for the second time this year in early October, right before Venus goes retrograde. When they met in Libra on August 20, many people I know began demanding more give and take in their relationships. That balance may tip again as the desire nature takes over rational considerations. This could be good or bad, but I strongly caution against making compromises that shouldn’t be made. In all things you do, maintain your integrity.

As the week progresses, situations that have been blocked or seemingly insurmountable over the past few weeks may move forward with a sudden start that could leave your head spinning. If you’ve been holding off on signing contracts or starting a new venture, now is your time to make a bold move!

On Wednesday, the Moon in Capricorn conjoins Pluto and then traces the degrees of the cardinal T-square. Even though its influence has temporarily subsided, Pluto stationed with the Moon in conjunction could unleash powerful emotions, at the very least, as we lurch forward.

Mars and Pluto formally align in a sextile on Saturday, so this is another day when we may experience a strong energy surge. As long as we’ve been waiting for a breakthrough, the force of this one may be intense. Unfortunately, that’s how it goes sometimes, so we’ll just have to ride out the turbulence. As I type these words, I’m reminded of the runaway train scene in The Fugitive, the 1993 thriller starring Harrison Ford.

Also on Saturday, Jupiter and Uranus conjoin in Pisces, the second pass of a three-part alignment. The first pass occurred on June 8 at 0 degrees Aries, forming a volatile end of the T-square. Then both planets went retrograde. They’ll meet this weekend at 28 degrees Pisces. This is a heavily charged degree, as it was where Saturn and Uranus opposed one another on April 26. You’ll recall that springs were popping all over the place back then. Among other things, that was about the time that BP’s oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

With Jupiter and Uranus back in Pisces, any explosions that happen – literally or figuratively – will be bigger and noisier. Uranus also is back in mutual reception with Neptune in Aquarius, reinforcing themes of collective awakening and wild weather involving air and water.

Jennifer in Austin, Texas, left a comment yesterday asking me about Tropical Storm Hermine. It’s interesting to note that this weather system caused relatively few problems when it made landfall on Monday. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the flooding began to take a toll. Aside from Wednesday’s New Moon, Saturn crossed the degree of the June 26 lunar eclipse in Capricorn. And, of course, Jupiter was just hours from moving back into Pisces.

That said, it’s a tricky business associating earthly events with astrological alignments – especially these days, when the planets are in such a complicated configuration. It’s like saying that one gear causes the machine to move more than the others. And it makes predictions all the more difficult. At this point, we’re all making educated guesses. Some turn out to be amazingly right on, while others are just plain wrong.

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