Tag Archives: Pluto retrograde

Weekly Forecast April 15: Sun, Venus and Mars Enter Taurus

Early signs of spring. © James A. Weythman.

Early signs of spring. © James A. Weythman.

We’re now officially heading into “eclipse season,” with Uranus and Pluto moving closer to an exact square. Breakdowns are occurring more frequently, clearing the way for breakthroughs.

The breakdown energy is manifesting for me personally, so I am totally with you on this and know firsthand how confusing, upsetting, and scary the process can be. Trying to stay grounded is almost impossible and in fact may defeat the purpose. Losing one’s mind is not necessarily a bad thing. Ancient rituals were designed precisely for that purpose. The thing is, they had certain procedures and safeguards – that’s the whole idea of a ritual – whereas we’re flying by the seat of our pants, often alone, without a strong support network of people who have been through it themselves and know how to provide a safety net.

Fortunately, we’ll get some good grounding energy this week when Venus, the Sun, and Mars move into solid-as-a-rock Taurus. Venus rules Taurus, so she’ll be “at home” in her own sign starting on Monday. She has been in her detriment in Aries and closely conjunct Mars – in other words, she has been in his territory, under his control. The tables turn on Saturday, when Mars enters Taurus. Now it’s her turn to set the tone and make the rules. The Sun enters Taurus on Friday. If nothing else the hectic pace should slow down so that we get a little space to breathe and reflect as we undergo a collective metamorphosis. Venus in Taurus likes to take her time, smell the flowers, appreciate art and beauty, and enjoy a gourmet meal with a glass of good wine.

Before all that happens, though, we have a conjunction of the Sun and Mars in late Aries on Wednesday, so for most of this week, we’ll continue to feel the immediate, impulsive, spontaneous energy of Aries. Remember, too, that Uranus in Aries takes his cue from Mars. I have a feeling that all the saber-rattling in North Korea will subside while Mars is in peace-loving Taurus. After that, who knows?

The two bigger trends, as I mentioned, are the upcoming eclipses and the first of two exact squares of Uranus and Pluto in 2013. In a normal year, there are four eclipses, but occasionally there are five or six. In 2013, we have five eclipses, three of which will occur in April and May. The first is the Full Moon lunar eclipse in Scorpio on April 25, followed by the New Moon solar eclipse in Taurus on May 9 and then the Full Moon lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on May 25. Typically, eclipses occur in pairs, and we have a two-week period between them that feels unsettled and chaotic, with the ground shifting beneath our feet. Since we have three eclipses in a row, we’ll get a whole month of that, although I’d say we’re already in it and will feel it until the end of May.

It’s also interesting to note that Wesak 2013 will fall on an eclipse – either on April 25 or May 25/26, depending on whether you use tropical or sidereal astrology. The Eastern countries, where Wesak is celebrated as the Buddha’s birthday (as well as his enlightenment and death), tend to use sidereal astrology. It’s a bit complicated to explain, but essentially Western tropical astrology is a sign ahead, so on April 25, the Full Moon is in Scorpio according to tropical calculations but still in Libra according to sidereal calculations. I say there’s no reason we can’t celebrate Wesak twice.

Last year, Wesak was on May 5 according to both branches of astrology. I did my usual ritual of putting a bowl of water outside and letting it “absorb” the rays of the Full Moon, then drank it later and went into a deep meditation. I was jolted out of it by a shocking past-life memory that burst into my vision so forcefully that I started crying and cried for three days. The information changed my whole outlook on a difficult relationship I’d been in. I’d suspected, given our charts, that there were strong karmic connections, but I didn’t know exactly what they were until that memory surfaced.

Scorpio and its modern ruler, Pluto, are associated with the ability to see into other dimensions of reality, what some call “past lives” but which I prefer to call “other lives” in recognition that the human concept of time is an illusion. Pluto went retrograde last week, and suddenly we’re tapping into those other lifetimes again, especially in terms of karmic relationships. I think we’re going to experience more of this in the next six weeks, and there’s a good chance that difficult karmic connections finally will get “resolved,” to the extent possible. Major breakthroughs could occur as we get closer to the Uranus-Pluto square, which is exact on May 20, right before the eclipse on May 25. Incidentally, that eclipse is the last in a series in Gemini and Sagittarius (according to tropical astrology), which began on the solstice on December 21, 2010. As such, it represents the closing of a chapter and final resolution.

Uranus adds an element of unpredictability into the picture, and while it’s nearly impossible to foresee events when Uranus is involved in an aspect, we might get some hints this Saturday and Sunday when Mercury squares Uranus and Pluto. Mercury is the Messenger and often “brings” advance news. Moreover, with Mercury square Pluto, we can get deep insight into situations that normally wouldn’t be available to us.

The only other aspect this week is an easy sextile between Venus and Neptune. Venus in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces are a beautiful combination of physical, sensual pleasure and higher love. This is soul mate material. Normally I wouldn’t give it much significance on its own, but given other aspects, it could provide an additional piece of information if you think you’ve found The One.

Before I go, I’d like to announce that I’m bringing back the Q&A. I’m aiming to launch it on Thursday, depending on my schedule. If you have a quick question, please send it using this form. I won’t be able to answer all questions and will select which ones to answer based on whether other readers would be interested. I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to answer questions like, “My whole sucks, what do I do?”

Second, the StarGuide Spring forecast is now on sale for 25 percent off, and there’s still plenty of spring left – including three eclipses!

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

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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

Weekly Forecast April 5: Saturn Goes Back into Virgo

Saturn and Pluto, symbols of wealth, power, and authority. Image by Joy Prescott for Dreamstime.com.This week is for finishing up old business, taking another look at unresolved problems, and reflecting deeply on what we really want.

With Pluto turning retrograde, Saturn going back to Virgo, and Mercury in pre-retrograde shadow, it’s not time yet to make a push forward. That will come soon enough.

We’re also in the aftermath of a Full Moon, and she’s traversing the last three signs of the zodiac, indicating that one major cycle is winding down in preparation for what’s next.

On Monday, Mercury in Taurus squares Mars in Leo — a testy, stubborn pair. Expect an increase in arguments, standoffs, traffic jams, and other conflicts. Taurus isn’t the most vocal sign, so watch for body language and other nonverbal cues that someone is having a bad day, and don’t get on their case. It will help if you can distinguish between who someone is and what they have.

Mercury trines Pluto on Tuesday, just as the planet of hidden motives and animal urges turns retrograde. If nothing else, Mercury in Taurus is very matter-of-fact and can calmly deal with unspeakable things. Is there something that causes you panic and anxiety? Or something you desire deeply and are ashamed of? Repression gives power to these dark impulses, and extreme repression can lead to obsession and worse. Sometimes admitting the truth is liberating, and there is no better time to do it, since you are more consciously aware of what’s going on in your deep psyche. Do make sure you can trust the person you’re sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with.

Less than 24 hours after Pluto shfits gears, retrograde Saturn returns to Virgo and begins to move away from a close square with Pluto. This will take some of the intensity out of the cardinal T-square for now and allow change to take place at a slower, more manageable rate for the next few months.

However, Saturn will return to an opposition with Uranus in Pisces, exact on April 26, and this is where we’re going to see a lot of revisiting controversial issues. The fight over healthcare in the United States will continue. Just because the legislation passed Congress, doesn’t mean that’s the end of it. Regulations implementing the law have to be written, and that’s a long, laborious process that can be held up at any step of the way.

Other political and financial situations that developed during peak Saturn-Uranus opposition periods also may come back for another round. The opposition was exact on Nov. 4, 2008 (Election day in the United States), Feb. 5, 2009, and Sept. 15, 2009. There will be one more exact opposition, on July 26, with Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries. I’ll have more on that as the date approaches.

In our individual lives, this opposition is having an unnerving effect, like flooring the gas pedal with one foot and slamming on the brakes with the other. So, for example, you might be going through radical personal changes while trying to stay committed to a long-term relationship. Or, you may have an opportunity to relocate for a great new job, but family obligations are keeping you tied down. It depends on where these two are transiting your natal chart.

The rest of this week is fairly uneventful. Mars makes a third and last inconjunct with Pluto on Saturday, which we may feel not as any specific event but a vague sense of heaviness or a “disturbance in the Force.” If possible, observe your impulses, but refrain from acting on them until you know more about what they signify.

Next week is the New Moon in Aries, and our lives get busier once again, so rest while you can. Also, wrap up all your paperwork this week. Absolutely do not wait until next week to file your tax returns! The lines the post office will be interminably long, and filing online could be filled with glitches. I’ll have more on the New Moon later in the week, so check back.

Until then, wishing you much love and courage —
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Saturday Archives: Pluto’s Retrograde

Pluto entered Capricorn in January but went retrograde on April 2 and has been back in Sagittarius for the past month. Here’s a post I wrote for The Pisces Chronicles, still relevant and worth revisiting.

 The Tower, from the Haindl deck
When Pluto entered Capricorn in late January, we began seeing some effects in world affairs. …

Individually, the effects have been more subtle. Those who have planets or chart angles at 1 degree Capricorn or any of the other cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, and Libra) have felt this transit the most, especially when Mars directly opposed Pluto on March 7. But all of us felt a rumble during the previous Full Moon, which squared Pluto and Mars. I had a couple of meltdowns myself, and Pluto and Mars aren’t in particularly difficult locations in my chart. Ultimately, those incidents created openings for better connections with others, but the going was turbulent there for awhile.

The dust is settling, and most of us have felt a shift. There are lots of potential reasons, astrologically, for this shift, but it feels to me like we assimilated some new energy. This is a transformational process, and anytime transformation happens, you can bet that Pluto is involved.

In the year leading up to his entry into Capricorn, Pluto conjoined the Galactic Core. During that time, many of us went through a deconstruction phase, and we also felt disoriented in space/time. Sagittarius is associated with religion, spiritual beliefs, and, ultimately, spiritual growth. The Archer aims for the truth, but an extreme manifestation of this sign is a mistaken believe that one has found Truth with a capital “T.” That’s where some of us seem to be stuck.

If nothing else, Pluto in Capricorn is sending us a clear message that beliefs have a serious impact on one’s external circumstances. In other words, there are practical implications. While changing your beliefs doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want, clinging to outdated beliefs is a pretty surefire way to stay stuck in what isn’t working for you.

As Pluto turns retrograde and revisits Sagittarius from June 13 to November 26, we’ll get a chance to examine this whole process. I would especially encourage you to question where you may be operating on mistaken assumptions, as assumptions are the foundation of our belief system. You might call them the infrastructure of our personal thought matrix.

As an astrologer, I continually question the underlying assumptions of the craft, but I also try to root them out in my personal life – not an easy task, because our beliefs often are programmed into us at such an early age that we aren’t even aware that we have them. And we often continue to operate on these wrong assumptions even when presented with evidence that they’re invalid. Our mental filters are very powerful. That’s why it takes something like a heavy dose of Plutonian energy to blast them wide open.

One of the things I’ve worked on over the past several months is the belief that God, Source, Spirit, (fill in the blank) provides for us, whether through the Law of Attraction or some other mysterious mechanism, and that if we aren’t getting what we want, then we either aren’t “evolved” enough, don’t believe enough (because, after all, all you need to do is believe firmly enough), or somehow are failing to perform the rituals properly, haven’t purified enough, haven’t purged anger, hatred, jealousy, etcetera ad nauseam.

The wrong assumptions here are that failure is punishment, that a period of bad luck must be due to bad karma, consequences of past actions, choices we’ve made, and so forth. Although there does seem to be a widespread inability to accept the consequences of our actions and move on, there also seems to be an erroneous belief that we cause all of the bad things that happen to us, if not in this lifetime, then in previous incarnations.

What this erroneous belief does is to discourage failure and to make those who fail outcasts. However, failure is a means – perhaps the only means – to make new discoveries, change your life, and maybe even change the course of human history. Most scientists know this, as do entrepreneurs. Nine times out of ten, failure provides more insight and information than success, which can be so hit-or-miss that we often have no idea how it happened.

So how does one fail “successfully?” By being secure enough not to fear failure and knowing that failures, even successive ones, do not make you a failure. By understanding the role of failure in discovery and innovation. But most importantly, by being willing to give up your beliefs when they repeatedly fail to get the desired results all or at least most of the time. Too often, we take a success here and there as “proof” that our beliefs are valid, and we ignore the many incidences of their failure, which we prefer to see as anomalies.

I would love to hear from all of you about what beliefs, if any, you are questioning, and how this has impacted your life.

Love and blessings,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Image: The Tower, from the Haindl deck. This image represents upheaval, including the disruption created by the forced change of erroneous beliefs.