Tag Archives: Pluto

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

In the flow, by Gretchen Friedrich

In the flow, © Gretchen Friedrich, 2014.

There’s stress, and there’s stress.

As much as we might wish it weren’t so, some amount of stress pushes us to accomplish more and better, often beyond what we thought ourselves capable of. It forces us to go places we might otherwise avoid out of fear or complacency.

With too much stress, the opposite can happen. We can shut down entirely and become physically and mentally ill. Extreme stress can result in post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. We usually think of PTSD as Continue reading

Weekly Forecast February 3: Mercury Retrograde, Ceres Enters Scorpio

Artist's conception of Ceres. Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab.

Artist’s conception of Ceres. Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab.

Anyone feeling a little fuzzy headed? I’m having trouble writing a coherent sentence, and I’m definitely slow.

As the week begins, Mercury is slowing down to station retrograde on Thursday, just a degree shy of Neptune in Pisces. Traffic moves slowly, whether it’s cars on the road, bytes on the Internet, or electrical impulses in your brain.

Then, slowing down can be a good thing.

In astrology, Neptune is the planet of sleep and dreams, and Mercury is the planet of communications, including communications between the conscious and the unconscious. One of the times when we can be aware of that connection is between wakefulness and sleep and vice versa – the hypnagoic and hypnopompic states of consciousness. Often, we get ideas, visions, and solutions to problems in that fleeting space between worlds. It’s not hard to understand how mythological Mercury (Greek Hermes) was the only god who could come and go freely in and out of the underworld – and swiftly, by virtue of his winged sandals.

We don’t always remember our dreams, but when we do, it’s often in that in-between place. That’s why it’s important to record dreams as soon as you wake up. Dreams can contain important symbols that help us understand what our unconscious is processing, and that knowledge can be powerful. When we’re awake, the conscious mind takes over, and most of us lose access to that power. With Mercury stationed so close to Neptune in his own sign of Pisces, the “signal” is stronger. The flip side is that it might be hard to stay awake during the day, and concentrating could be a real challenge. However, if you start to doze, you’re in that in-between state and have even more opportunities for creative ideas and visions to surface into your conscious mind. I’ve also experienced long-distance contact with friends in that space.

Mercury will be retrograde until February 28, the last day of the month, meaning that most of February will be slow going. It’s a good time for reviewing, revising, rewriting – anything that requires going back over something. Although he returns to Aquarius, Mercury stations direct the day before the New Moon in Pisces, so we might get messages similar to the kind that come up this week. The Messenger returns to Pisces on March 17 and conjoins Neptune on March 22.

On Monday, Ceres enters Scorpio, and she’ll be in a trine with Mercury on February 12 and a conjunction with the lunar North Node on February 11. She won’t quite reach a trine with Neptune before turning retrograde on February 27, and she’ll return to Libra in late March. In the meantime, it’s worth looking at what this could mean. I’m still observing the role of Ceres in mundane astrology, as I don’t think we’re sure yet what her influence might be. She has been prominent in charts for environmental disasters and events relating to the food supply, which is what we might expect, give the role of Ceres in classical mythology as a Mother Earth figure associated with crops and vegetation in general. As you may recall, Demeter, the Greek equivalent of Roman Ceres, lost her daughter Persephone to Hades/Pluto, who kept her in the underworld for several months out of the year. During that time, Demeter was so depressed that nothing grew.

In modern astrology, Pluto rules Scorpio, sign of death and regeneration. However, the goddess Ceres also was associated with cycles of death and rebirth, and so we might look for evidence that dwarf planet Ceres has something to do with cycles of nature and other cyclical occurrences, such as the birth, rise, and fall of civilizations. Although Ceres couldn’t go into the underworld to get her daughter – only Mercury could do that – she was the only deity who could negotiate with Pluto (essentially her son-in-law) to get what she wanted. That gives Ceres a special relationship with Scorpio. During the negotiation period, she was mad as hell. It’s typical for people coming out of depression and grief to get angry before they can heal. Anger, by the way, is the function of Mars, ancient ruler of Scorpio and co-ruler with Pluto in modern astrology. Educated people laugh at how our ancient ancestors thought disasters were the work of angry gods, but I contend that it wasn’t entirely superstition; they were just personifying invisible energies that otherwise defied description. Astrology is a way to “see” and measure these energies.

As for depression, it’s growing worldwide at an alarming rate. When you’re depressed, you can barely do what needs to be done in a day, with no time or energy left over to protest abuse of government power and other societal injustices. I believe this is one of the reasons that more people aren’t out in the streets protesting the never-ending giveaways to the rich and cuts for the poor and middle class – a repeating cycle, incidentally. I don’t know what it will take for people to start getting angry enough to take back their government. Shortages of food and water and sometimes cited as the trigger. Because we don’t know enough about how Ceres functions in mundane astrology, it’s hard to predict if and when this might happen. However, we’ll want to monitor her position in the charts.

Ceres will return to Scorpio in August and will remain there until October. However, it will be interesting to observe world events in February and March to look for correlations. This can be tricky, because there are so many planetary energies in play at any given time that it’s difficult to distinguish which might be the main signatures for an event. I’ll be watching for possible correlations to her conjunction with the lunar North Node on February 11, plus or minus a few days.

A couple of other interesting facts about dwarf planet Ceres: Recently she was discovered to have water. Scientists were caught off guard, as they didn’t expect the bodies in the asteroid belt to contain water. What they think they’ve found is what they would have expected of a comet. There also is some speculation that Ceres might have had different origins than the other asteroids and that she and Pluto might be more related than anyone thought.

Those are the only major astrological events this week, but we’re still within the influence period of a strong cardinal T-square as Jupiter moves toward an exact square with Uranus later this month. With Mercury’s turn retrograde, we might expect to see headlines that refer back to events and situations last August. One event that comes immediately to mind is the chemical attack in Syria on August 21. Supposed proof that the attack was launched by the troops of President Bashar al-Assad is now acknowledged to be less certain, and yet conservatives are still calling for a military strike. Talk about déjà vu.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast April 22: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

© Snizhanna, Dreamstime.com

© Snizhanna, Dreamstime.com

At this week’s Full Moon, we have the first of three eclipses in a row and potentially the most difficult. As I write this post, we’re already within the pull of its dark energy.

Eclipses can provide windows on the past and future, and that’s especially true of a lunar eclipse in Scorpio. Pluto, ruler of Scorpio in modern tropical astrology, was named for the Roman god of the underworld, which morphed into the Christian concept of hell. But for some cultures – notably, the ancient Celts – there wasn’t so much an “underworld” as an “otherworld,” not underground but behind a veil. Julius Caesar remarked in his famous commentaries that the bravery of Celtic warriors stemmed from their belief that death on the battlefield meant only a brief detour to the otherworld.

Death and destruction are on our minds a lot lately, with deadly events three days in a row last week. Monday was the horrific explosion at the Boston Marathon. On Wednesday, a fertilizer plant exploded in Waco, Texas, killing 14 people and leveling the surrounding area. There was also a major earthquake on Tuesday near the border of Iran and Pakistan. Although the Boston explosion had the fewest casualties of the three, it’s the one that has dominated the news and unleashed the largest torrent of hate, fear, and ignorance. After all, one can’t hate the earth for moving or chemicals for reacting. Never mind that the factory owners previously had been fined for safety violations … or, for that matter, that the FBI had previous contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers suspected in the Boston bombing.

I predicted that facts would surface as Mercury approached a square to Pluto, but it seems that the Neptunian fog in the bombing chart is just getting thicker. The FBI claims it dropped its investigation of Tamerlan in 2011 because it didn’t have the right to keep an open file on a legal immigrant. Since when did that ever stop the feds? It’s also interesting that they mentioned the connection only after the suspect’s mother spilled the beans. Were they really going to try to get away with that? My sensitive Pisces nose smells rotten fish.

As I sifted through the news articles, one of the things that struck me most was the degree to which we are all under surveillance in a growing police state. This is Pluto in Capricorn, aided and abetted by Saturn in Scorpio. Some say it’s a good thing, that surveillance cameras helped quickly identify the suspects and provided irrefutable evidence of their guilt. Predictably, a lynch mob was ready to kill them on the spot, with no investigation or trial, and the citizens of Boston readily agreed to stay inside, turn off their cell phones, and close their businesses. As a drill for future uprisings and rebellions, the Boston lockdown was a resounding success. Homeland Security (sic) must have been pleased indeed.

While I was contemplating this trend and the possible scenarios under the Uranus-Pluto square, I came across a curious comment by veteran Washington journalist Howard Fineman in an editorial for The Huffington Post. “As if we needed any further proof, this week in Boston proves that there is no ‘over there.’ Ours is not a planet in which distance matters; nor does the passage of time. It may be that centuries-old grievances are erupting worldwide like volcanic lava,” he writes.

In other words, we’re all connected, not only in this time and place, but across all dimensions of time and space. And the veil between these dimensions is thinning, about to get thinner still with the eclipses. It’s a safe bet that Fineman isn’t a fan of astrology, but he sure was onto more than he thought when he wrote that apocalyptic sentence. I mentioned in last week’s post that I suspected the eclipses would open up a window on time, and I’ve also written a lot about the true meaning of the word “apocalypse,” which literally means “unveiling” – the lifting of the veil. What veil are we talking about if not the boundary that keeps us separated from other dimensions of time and space?

Boston Marathon Bombing

Click on image to enlarge

Fineman begins his article with the eerie connection between 26-year-old Tamerlan and the historical Tamerlane, a 14th century warlord born in what is now Uzbekistan. Often called a successor to Genghis Khan, Tamerlane was born on April 9, 1336. (My source for this information is Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World, by Justin Marozzi.) Tamerlane is the English corruption of his given name, “Timur,” which means “iron.” Yes, as in Mars. Tamerlan Tsarnaev most certainly knew about his namesake. Hang onto your seat, because it gets creepier.


Click on image to enlarge

Converted to the modern calendar, Tamerlane’s date of birth is April 17. That puts his Sun at 27 Aries, less than two degrees from the Sun-Mars conjunction in the Boston bombing chart. Tamerlane’s Saturn was retrograde at 6 degrees Scorpio, just 3 degrees from retrograde Saturn in the Boston chart. His North Node was at 2 degrees Aries – precisely the degree of Mercury in the Boston chart – and he had Pluto at 3 degree Aries. Pluto on the North Node strongly suggests someone with a powerful mission to transform. Of course, he also left unfathomable death and destruction in his path, another signature of Pluto. Asteroid Pallas in the Boston chart is conjunct Tamerlane’s Mars by exact degree. Pallas is named for the Greek goddess Athena, whose attributes included military strategy. In his own time, astrologers would have noted Tamerlane’s Mars-Jupiter conjunction as the sign of a great military leader.

Waco Explosion

Click on image to enlarge

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Sun is at 27 degrees Libra, the sign opposite Aries. As it so happens, that’s the exact degree of the Ascendant in the chart for the Waco explosion, as well as for a similar explosion that took place in Toulouse, France, in September 2001. I don’t know yet what to make to make of this synchronicity. In ancient times, Libra was considered the sign of generals, but there’s no obvious connection to an explosion at a fertilizer plant, and as far as we know, Tamerlan wasn’t commanding an army in any sense of the word.

In one last bit of trivia, you might remember Tamerlane as the title of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The collection in which it appeared was published in Boston in 1827, not under Poe’s name but by “A Bostonian.”

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

Click on image to enlarge

Returning to our era, let’s have a look at Thursday’s lunar eclipse, which promises to be intense. The Full Moon is at 5°46′ Scorpio, opposite the Sun at 5°46′ Taurus. Mars is still in conjunction with the Sun by less than 2 degrees, while the Moon is conjunct Saturn by three degrees. Put another way, we have a Mars-Saturn opposition superimposed on a lunar eclipse. Although modern astrologers don’t look at Mars and Saturn with the same fearful eye as our medieval predecessors, we nonetheless can’t ignore the challenges implied in an opposition between these two bad boys. Mars in Taurus is less aggressive than Mars in Aries, and perhaps the worst tension will be due to stubborn resistance and stonewalling. In general, there’s a feeling of sorrow – not that we don’t already have enough losses to grieve, and that brings up the point that much of what has happened in the past week could correlate to the eclipse. Nothing says eclipse-related events can’t happen before the eclipse date. In some cases, they can occur months in advance. So, although it’s not a bad idea to stay alert, I don’t think we need to hide under the bed.

There are two strong energy outlets in this chart, which is some cause for hope that we can spin challenges into opportunities. First, the Sun and Moon make a harmonious sextile/trine to Neptune. On the positive side, this is a reminder of how connected we really are, and not just to those we sympathize with or agree with. Neptune and Pisces, the sign it rules, are associated with deep compassion and empathy. It is through Neptune’s idealism that we can strive for a better world, while Saturn injects practical considerations and Mars represents action. The downside of Neptune is the tendency toward escapism, whether through drugs and alcohol, compulsive shopping, too much television, or any number of other addictions. Sure, we need to give our minds a rest from all the dismal news, and I certainly understand the urge to drown our sorrows. Just don’t stay there for too long.

The second outlet is a trine from Venus in Taurus to Pluto in Capricorn. This is a lusty, passionate combination that typically is interpreted as good for your sex life. And it might be. But Venus and Pluto also are about wealth and finances, and Pluto is, above all, about personal power and transformation, while Venus is the planet of love. There is strong energy here for transformation through love. For clues about how you can best use this energy, look at where Venus and Pluto fall in your chart. If you don’t know where that is, you can find out by ordering your StarGuide Spring forecast, which is now on sale for 25 percent off. It includes interpretations of all three eclipses, plus the New Moon in Gemini on June 8. The monthly report for May also is ready.

As I mentioned last week, the festival of Wesak falls at the Full Moon in Scorpio. In Eastern countries that go by the sidereal zodiac, Wesak will be celebrated at the next Full Moon, which is on May 25 and also happens to coincide with an eclipse. Since Wesak is essentially an Eastern festival, I feel that it’s more appropriate to celebrate it according to the sidereal zodiac. I’ll explain more about the differences in the zodiacs in Thursday’s Q&A. In the meantime, I’ll be making preparations to make full use of the energies of this powerful Full Moon in Scorpio. I don’t say that lightly, as my experience last year shook me to the core.

But isn’t that the point?

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

Pluto, Mars and the Inner Journey of Scorpio, Part II

Detail from Hercules, by John Singer Sargent, 1921.

In Part I, we discussed how material desires, fear, cruelty and other destructive emotions are distractions that keep us from fulfilling our life’s purpose.

We can see how such obsessions keep us from our spiritual path, and how evident they are as dominating factors in our current world age. It is a misuse of our divine energy. While we are lost in the pursuit of these activities, we remain unaware of our spiritual nature.

In The Labours of Hercules, by Alice Bailey, the ninth labor, in which Hercules enters a stagnant swamp to battle a nine-headed Hydra, is symbolic of this battle in Scorpio. Whenever Hercules cut off one of the heads of the Hydra, another would grow in its place. The only way Hercules triumphed was by lifting the Hydra above ground, into the light, whereupon it withered and died. This symbolizes our struggle with the desires of the personality which have control over us for as long as they remain in the dark, unseen.

The relentless activity of Mars magnifies these desires to the degree we can no longer ignore them, and then the activity of Pluto brings them into the light of our awareness. We cannot change what we cannot see. Once we see and fully understand the nature of desire, and the source of the struggle, it is transformed. The struggle itself lies in our trying to hold onto something which needs to change.

This is similar to the symbolism of the lotus. A lotus usually grows in a filthy, stagnant swamp. The symbology is that, just like the battle of Hercules with the hydra, our own spiritual essence blossoms as a result of our inner struggles. Interestingly, in addition to being known as the lord of the underworld, the mythological figure of Pluto was also known in some traditions as a lord of abundance, riches, or wealth. The symbolism here is the spiritual wealth that arises when we emerge victorious from our struggle with our own underworld (our lower nature).

Soft conquers hard,

weak conquers strong.

The flexible is always superior to the immovable.

This is the principle of controlling things

By bringing oneself into tune with them,

The principle of mastery through harmony.

~ Lao Tzu

Once Pluto and Mars have done their work at personality level, by revealing this darkness to not be our true nature but a result of the misdirection of our mind and energy, we are now receptive to a higher octave of Mars which transforms passion into spiritual energy through awareness, thus revealing our true divine nature. When Mars has conditioned the passions at personality level and Pluto has brought illumination, Mars at soul level reveals knowledge through awareness.

At soul level, Mars brings the higher consciousness that is pure awareness beyond the five senses. From this perspective, it becomes clear that all our darkness is the result of our misinterpretation of energetic influences as perceived by our five senses and misinterpreted through our ignorant, fearful and confused lower mind. With the illumination of Pluto, we are then able to use this higher wisdom of Mars to perceive through our senses our own divine energy and that of others. Once this happens, we naturally correct any excesses and misapplications of our energy, and use the power of our mind to direct our energy to the highest good.

The sage avoids excesses, extremes, and complacency.

~ Lao Tzu

In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan refers to Scorpio as a sign of discipleship. The word disciple and discipline come from the same root, which means learning or knowledge. With the knowledge gained through these tests in Scorpio, we acquire deep wisdom and understanding of our role as a spiritual being. We are ready to renounce worldly pursuits, those activities that misuse our spiritual energy, and dedicate our lives to our spiritual path and purpose. As the soul develops through the 12 zodiac signs, the first four signs are signs of preparation, the middle four are signs of crisis and challenge (for the purpose of growth and learning), and the final four signs are the signs of service to humanity. Scorpio is the last of the signs of challenge.

The self-indulgence which was initiated in Taurus gives way in Scorpio to the selfless attitude of the disciple; ambition gives place to the executive quality of the soul, whilst attachment to personality desires, likes and dislikes is transmuted into the tenacity of soul purpose. The hidden powers of the soul nature – misused because misunderstood and misapplied and, therefore, misdirected – are superseded by … the practical understanding of the energies.

~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

Due to the revelatory action of Mars and Pluto, we will all sooner or later undergo these trials and tribulations in Scorpio, as we continue our soul’s journey. The soul’s purpose in Scorpio is to transform darkness into light. The activity of Mars and Pluto elevates and illuminates, lifting our collective “Hydra” to the light so we can see that we are not our darkness, and that we truly are an emanation of divine love and light.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Pluto, Mars and the Inner Journey of Scorpio, Part I

Detail from Hercules, by John Singer Sargent, 1921.

Scorpio season is upon us once again, bringing with it another opportunity to look more deeply into our own psyche than we have ever done before. The enigmatic sign of Scorpio is associated with such intense themes as sex, death, cruelty, rebirth, power, regeneration, money, and the deepest darkest depths of our own minds. Jolly good fun!

Scorpio goes where angels fear to tread and for this reason is also the sign of priests and psychologists. All seven so-called “deadly sins” can be explored in Scorpio, with a couple more thrown in for good measure.

So what is it all about? It is time to take courage, dive deeply, and understand the spiritual significance of this vitally important sign and the deepest mysteries of existence. The following information applies to everyone, not just people with planets in Scorpio. This is an important stage in the evolution of humanity, and it concerns every one of us.

Following the journey of the soul through the 12 signs of the zodiac, after the point of balance between body and soul has been reached in Libra, the final struggle takes place in Scorpio. This is a kind of birthing and, just like the contractions in physical childbirth, this spiritual rebirth happens in waves. As the personality gradually comes under the command of the soul, there are waves of depression where the personality feels as though it is being squashed, followed by waves of rebellion where it fights back. The personality doesn’t give up easily without a fight! The personality isn’t being squashed, however; it is being gradually assimilated, as more spiritual energy is able to enter into the being. The end result of this struggle is total fusion of soul and personality, body and soul. The personality is the interface, the meeting place between the body, with all its animal urges and instinctive impulses, and the finer energies and ethereal vibrations of the soul.

Three planetary rulers, or space-holders, are the guardians of this birthing process, which is vital for the evolution of humanity from an animalistic being into a fully awakened soul-centered being. Both Mars and Pluto are guardians of this process at personality level, while Mars is the guardian at soul level. In Esoteric Astrology, Mars is considered a great beneficent planet, not malefic as is thought in some astrological systems. It is through the activity of Mars that this final struggle between personality and soul is fought and won, with the fully integrated (fused) soul emerging victorious. Triumph and victory are keywords with Scorpio, and it is important to remember this especially when the going gets tough. Mercury is the planetary ruler at hierarchical level, which we won’t explore here except to notice that this again hints at the vital importance of Scorpio for the spiritual evolution of humanity.

It is in Scorpio that the preponderance of the spiritual energy is
imposed upon the lower personal forces

~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology.

The combined effect of Mars and Pluto at personality level serve to bring awareness to the potency of desire working through the form nature and that, although we experience desire, it is not fundamental to our nature and can be brought under control through illumination. At this level Mars governs life-force energy: stirs the blood, agitates and activates our animal instinct, and arouses the passions. It is the fuel that feeds the fire of desire.

Pluto, at personality level, brings somatic awareness, the instinctual felt-sense in the body. Otherwise known as the great revealer, Pluto is able to hold our animal urges up to the light for healing and understanding. While in the dark they have control and power over us. Once they are brought to light, the soul has victory. It is this dual effect of Mars and Pluto that brings about both the tests and the triumph in Scorpio.

The tests in Scorpio and the activity of Mars are potent to arouse the entire lower nature and bring about its final rebellion and the last stand, so to speak, of the personality against the soul.
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

The tests in Scorpio are the temptations of desire that keep our attention trapped in the cycles of materialistic existence. In Esoteric Astrology they are listed as nine, in three groups. The first test is appetite which relates to sex, physical comfort and money; the second is desire and relates to fear, hatred and ambition; and the third test is of the lower mind and relates to pride, separativeness and cruelty.

When explored deeply with the light of awareness, these tests – which Christian theologians called the seven deadly sins and in Buddhism are known as the destructive emotions, or kleshas – can clearly be seen to be faults of attention, or discipline, and are not inherent in our nature. They are distractions which sway us from our path. We can see that it is not the activities themselves that cause problems, but the tendency within our own psyche to become attached, obsessed and addicted to them. Then we make the mistake of identifying with them and not recognizing our true spiritual nature.

In Part II, we’ll explore the roles of Mars and Pluto in bringing awareness to the unconscious tendencies that divert us from the spiritual path.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast December 26: Sun Conjunct Pluto, Moon in Aries

© Pat Paquette, 2011.

As the Sun stands still, life has slowed down and is starting to return to some semblance of balance. At the same time, a shift is occurring, and that means constantly shifting our response to stay in balance – kind of like walking on a tight rope.

The New Moon on Christmas Eve was a milestone for many, especially for those of you with emphasis in your natal chart on the early cardinal signs. The degrees from 0 to 4 Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn were activated for most of 2010 and 2011, thanks to the cardinal T-square that reached its height in July and August of 2010. Although that configuration has long since broken up, Uranus is still at 0 Aries, indicating that the changes that began happening back then continue to unfold.

For some, the unfolding happened at breakneck speed, disrupting your entire life. For others, the changes have been painfully slow, causing you to wonder whether you’re ever going to reach your new destination. Well, take heart, because the next four weeks look especially promising for some of the goodies to show up on your doorstep. With Jupiter’s return direct today (December 25), all ten planets now are moving forward. That’s right, no one is retrograde, not until Mars shifts into reverse on January 23! This is a magical time, when we can cover a lot of ground and accomplish much.

This week, the Sun aligns with Pluto, who’s now at 7 degrees Capricorn. If you have Sun, Moon, or Ascendant at 5-9 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, this week may be pivotal. Even for those who don’t have planets or key chart points in these degrees, you probably know what natal house Pluto is transiting and where your life is being transformed.

In describing Pluto’s cycle, I like to tell the story of the dead raccoon on the side of the road I used to walk along when I first came to Vashon in December of 2004. Our winters are mild here, but the weather is chilly and wet – perfect for rotting. I walked by that raccoon for weeks and was amazed that he remained intact – or so I thought. After seeing no outward change all that time, one day I walked by, and his entire structure had collapsed. Within a couple of days, there was nothing but a dark, soupy blob to indicate that he’d ever been there.

That is how Pluto works. You may not see the changes on the outside, but one day you wake up to find the entire structure of something in your life – a relationship, a job, a cause – disintegrated. It’s depressing at first, because you feel powerless. I encourage my clients to think of it as the rotting and composting cycle. The energy that is released through the death of someone or something is now free to manifest into something new, to be reborn. In the cycle of nature, that typically happens in the spring, at the Aries point. And, as it so happens, that’s where Uranus, the Awakener, currently is positioned.

The Sun crosses Pluto on Thursday. On Saturday, the Moon enters Aries, immediately conjoins Uranus, and then moves through the degrees of the cardinal T-square until she, too, makes contact with Pluto. In doing so, she carries forward the energy of Uranus to Pluto. In 2012, there will be two exact squares between these outer planets, one of which symbolizes change through slow transformation and the other of which represents sudden change through revolution. The global rebellion that already has begun to occur in reflection of this powerful aspect will become even stronger, as a new order seeks to displace the old, corrupt (rotten) system.

How are old, worn-out structures in your life rotting away so that fresh, new ways of thinking and being can emerge? And what can you do to put that compost where it will do the most good? Where can you use it to fertilize new ideas, new directions?

The only other major aspect this week is a square from Mercury to Mars next Sunday (late Saturday on the West Coast of the United States). This aspect also occurred on December 4 and is repeating, due to Mercury’s retrograde cycle. That it’s occurring again on New Year’s Eve is significant, in that Mercury and Mars will be retrograde in mutual reception in March. In other words, whatever you’re arguing about now likely will remain a contentious issue through the middle of April. Ironically, my Llewellyn’s 2011 Planetary Guide contains a typo, putting Mercury in Aries on New Year’s Eve, even though he’s correctly placed in Sagittarius the day before. It’s almost as if the universe is sending a message to be prepared to keep fighting for the truth, and don’t let anyone try to confuse you by overwhelming you with details.

Hoist your sails, mates, and take advantage of this cosmic fair wind!

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

Weekly Forecast October 24: New Moon in Scorpio, Jupiter Trine Pluto

I took this photo during my early morning commute two weeks ago. Crossing the water by the Full Moon seems like a good metaphor for a transformation in consciousness. © Pat Paquette, 2011.

As the iconic talk show host Ed Sullivan used to say, we’ve got a “really big show” this week.

Not only is there a powerful New Moon in Scorpio, but we reach the alternative end-date for the Mayan Calendar. No need to toss and turn waiting for December 21, 2012 – at least, not if you believe Carl Johan Calleman. Most other Mayan Calendar experts use the 2012 date, which is no doubt more dramatic and plays better with the public, most of whom aren’t even aware of the alternative date.

Calleman and his nemesis, John Major Jenkins, have been going at it for years about who’s right. It’s silly, really, to be arguing about such a thing and to me is a perfect example of the most basic weakness of humans: the ego. Sure, we can’t do without it (Ruth wrote a great post on this topic), but we need to keep it in its proper role. Failure to do so creates a distortion in our perception of reality – which is precisely the point when we talk about expanding human consciousness.

In fact, the expansion has been happening gradually for many people over the past several years and began accelerating during last summer’s cardinal T-square. If you’ve felt like you’re hurtling forward through space at a head-spinning pace, it’s not just your imagination.

Regardless of whether Calleman or Jenkins has the bigger ego, we’re about to find out which of them is right … well, maybe. “Expanding consciousness” isn’t exactly going to be the biblical Rapture, where everyone gets taken up to heaven. It’s hard to define, let alone measure. But I think you’ll know it when you feel it.

As many long-time readers of RealAstrologers and its predecessor, The Pisces Chronicles, may recall, I’ve written about this moment, also referred to as the Apocalypse. Again, it’s been happening over time, so you may detect the big change only by thinking back to a year or two ago and comparing your life and perception of reality now to what it was back then.

One of the ways you can recognize the shift is by observing how fast your thoughts manifest into reality. This happens most efficiently if you’ve found your life’s purpose and are working on how best to share your unique gift with the world. The mere fact that more people are asking about their true purpose is a big sign that a shift in consciousness is taking place. Astrology happens to be one of the best tools for discovering this critical bit of self-knowledge, so it’s also no coincidence that more and more people are turning toward this ancient discipline.

This week’s New Moon in Scorpio is brilliant for manifestation work, as it falls within two days of a trine between Jupiter and Pluto in earth signs. The earth signs, remember, represent the tangible and material – what we can see and touch on the material plane. This includes relationships. Where this New Moon falls in your chart tells you where you can best use this energy to draw a new situation or relationship into your life that serves your higher purpose.

Rather than taking the week chronologically, I’m going to devote the remainder of this post to the New Moon chart, which contains all of this week’s astrological themes.

Chart for New Moon in Scorpio

Click on image to enlarge

Scorpio is the sign of death, rebirth, and transformation, with heavy emphasis on transformation. Isn’t that what we’re talking about when we discuss expanding consciousness, the end date of the Mayan Calendar, and even the Rapture?

The first thing you note in this chart is that the New Moon is opposite Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter is retrograde until Christmas – is that symbolic, or what? So some of what we set into action at this New Moon may not be completely visible for another two months. This is especially true for those with Jupiter currently transiting the six or twelfth house. The next thing you see is the strong blue line from Jupiter to Pluto. That’s the trine, which represents an easy path for energy to flow. Pluto is the modern ruler of Scorpio and shares many traits with that sign, including all the underworld and transformation symbolism. The trine is exact on Friday, as is the Sun’s opposition to Jupiter and sextile with Pluto.

Pluto currently is in Capricorn, which is about structure, among other things. Transforming the basic structure of our lives, of society, of government, and of our basic material reality is all contained in this symbolic planet-sign combination.

The New Moon also makes a wide, out-of-sign trine with Neptune in late Aquarius, which represents collective spirituality and the intuitive sense that we’re all connected. This phrase is thrown around like some New Age buzzword, but do stop to think about what this really means. Chiron at 0 degrees Pisces is just a few degrees from Neptune and adds an element of healing to the mix. “Heal” and “whole” come from the same root. Connected with others, we are greater than the sum of our parts.

You’ll also note the inconjunct (dotted green line) from the New Moon to Uranus in Aries. Radical change doesn’t happen without upset and discord. How can you fly through time and space without feeling disoriented? On a mundane level, humanity can’t experience wholesale change without massive upheaval, and that’s exactly what’s occurring.

The second set of aspects in the New Moon chart is the square from Venus to Mars and sextile from Mars to Saturn. There’s almost no better expression of “ego” than Mars in Leo, while Venus in Scorpio hints at the need for power and control through sex. Obviously, this is not an easygoing pair, and resulting conflict is represented by the square (90-degree angle) between them. As I’ve often pointed out, conflict is not inherently “bad.” It’s how we grow and how we eventually come together in union. Conflict simply means that one person wants one thing and the other wants something else. You don’t need to take it personally. It helps to be clear about what you want and why. If it’s because you need to have control or to be the center of attention, you could get a rude wallop on the side of the head this week. But that wallop could be quite transformational, if you pay attention to the lesson – “lesson,” of course, being the function of Saturn. Because Saturn is in Libra, relationship lessons are especially fruitful.

Lastly, I’d like to mention Comet Elenin, which recently passed its closest point to Earth. The dire predictions associated with this comet were among the silliest I’ve ever seen. But I don’t discount the widespread feeling that “something” is about to happen, and maybe that’s why so many people got sucked into the Internet rumor mill.

Something is about to happen. In the words of Dave in the sequel to 2001, it could be “something wonderful.”

See you on the other side next week. In the meantime, wishing you all a universe of love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast October 17: Sun Enters Scorpio

© Carlos Fonseca for Dreamstime.com

The nights are noticeably longer than the days as the Sun heads into Scorpio, (in the Northern Hemisphere; apologies to my friends Down Under). The dark season looms, and the veil between the worlds becomes thinner.

Many of you have written to me about experiences with past-life memories. I don’t know if this phenomenon is increasing or whether more people feel comfortable talking about it. It does seem to me, though, that our perception of time is expanding as human consciousness makes an evolutionary leap.

I recently went to a special 70-mm showing of my all-time favorite film, Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke. The theme involves the evolution of consciousness and, like other Kubrick films, explores the dual nature of man as a highly intelligent species with vestiges of its primal, animal origins.

In astrology, those deeply buried animal urges are associated with Scorpio and its modern ruler, Pluto, Roman god of the underworld. When we journey to our own underworld, we have to confront our animal nature, which we often refer to as “dark.” Most of us are uncomfortable with the idea that we have these urges, including the need for domination, control, and aggression. Repressing these tendencies may seem like a good idea if we want to get along with our neighbors, but they come out in other ways. Only by directly confronting and understanding our basic underlying nature can we make an uneasy peace with it and make a conscious choice not only to act on our highest power but to attend to our spiritual development.

There are only three major planetary aspects this week, all of which touch on spiritual growth and awareness in some way.

On Monday, Mercury in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus. Mercury usually represents our conscious thought process, but in Scorpio, links the conscious and subconscious for deep insight. Jupiter, meanwhile, is about spiritual growth and the higher mind. As it so happens, both Mercury and Jupiter are at a favorable angle to Pluto. This is a perfect configuration for exploring themes of consciousness, super-consciousness, and the expansion of the brain’s capacity to see into other dimensions of time and space. This may sound abstract, but it’s terribly personal. It forms a bridge between our immediate experience in the “material” world and our existence on other planes.

Incidentally, in 2001, humans are helped along on the evolutionary path by an alien species. This is entirely plausible, especially if you get rid of the notion that aliens are cute little ETs with big heads and bulging eyes. If you regard them as energetic beings, your notion of what’s possible changes dramatically.

On Friday, the Sun in late Libra trines Neptune in Aquarius, attuning us to what lies beyond the material realm, especially as it regards the collective conscious. This aspects lends itself to psychic flashes as it is, but with the Sun about to shift into Scorpio, the potential is increased for seeing into the spiritual realms. If you’re sensitive to this sort of thing, you may start picking up vibes as early as Tuesday.

On Sunday, the Sun enters Scorpio, and down into the dark we go. The best way to find out what’s hidden in these forbidding places is to shine a light in the cracks and corners. Be fearless, and remember that you are not the only person who feels like this. It is inherent in everyone.

Lest this all sound dark and forbidding, I also want to remind you that in mythology, underworld demons often were there to protect priceless treasures. Pluto himself was the guardian of gemstones. The coming New Moon and Full Moon, in positive alignment with Jupiter and Pluto, are going to be much different than the previous cycle. Several clients wrote to me in a panic early this past week, right around the Full Moon. For some, doors closed, and this was distressing. In the next cycle, it looks like more doors will open, so keep the faith!

Wishing you much love and infinite courage,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast September 12: Full Moon in Pisces, Pluto Direct

© Pat Paquette 2011

It seems like just yesterday that we were in “eclipse month,” with three eclipses in a row from June 1 to July 1. This week’s Full Moon marks the halfway point between those eclipses and the next pair, in November and December.

What direction are you heading in? What progress have you made since last December, when the new series of eclipses in Sagittarius and Gemini began? What challenges are still before you? Are you limiting your potential for success by clinging to erroneous beliefs?

These questions may have some very interesting answers this week, which is about deep insights – the kind that can change your beliefs and thus your whole world. Even if you don’t go looking for evidence of the “spiritual,” it may come looking for you.

We start the week with Mercury in a trine with Pluto. In classical mythology, Mercury (Greek Hermes) was the only god who could come and go in the underworld at will – the underworld being Pluto’s domain. Mercury, with his winged sandals, is a symbol of intellect and thought, while Pluto represents our unconscious, primal instincts and urges. These subconscious tendencies show up in mythological stories as demons and scary monsters. When the hero descends to the underworld, he usually finds some precious treasure, but not before killing a hideous beast or two and fighting his way back out.

Pluto is at a dead stop, preparing to return direct on Friday, so this is an incredibly powerful moment to peer into those dark corners. A smooth-flowing trine from Mercury allows us to get a glimpse beneath the surface – not just of ourselves, but of the material world – without feeling as though we’ve been to hell and back.

The peak of the Mercury-Pluto trine occurs just four hours before the Full Moon in Pisces, which also represents the subconscious. However, Pisces is more about deeply buried memories, be they from childhood, our spiritual past, or the collective unconscious. This is where “everything’s connected.”

As human consciousness expands, more people are meeting soul mates from “past lives,” remembering past-life experiences, and encountering disincarnate beings. I put quotation marks around “past lives” because these contacts and experiences are just outside time as perceived by the human brain. Indeed, what appears to be happening is that we’re seeing the true nature of time. Those who have experienced this phenomenon have found it disorienting. Whether mildly or extremely depends on the nature of the experience. Some question their sanity, which certainly is a logical response!

The tricky thing here is discerning whether what you’re seeing and feeling is real or an illusion. Pisces has an active imagination, and Neptune is known for fog and confusion. We have an advantage this is week in that Mercury and the Sun are both in Virgo, sign of discernment. As I’m so fond of telling clients, just because you “channeled” something doesn’t mean it’s true. You need to run it through the Virgo fact-checker. If it still holds up, then you’re onto something.

Mercury trines Jupiter on Wednesday, Jupiter being about growth and expansion. Here is yet another opportunity for expanding your mind and breaking out of self-limiting beliefs.

Also on Wednesday, Venus glides into her own sign of Libra. In general, relationships should be more balanced and free of demoralizing nitpicking. However, her first order of business is to oppose Uranus on Saturday, a wildly unpredictable aspect that could result in a breakthrough or a total meltdown. To get an idea which it might be, check to see where these two are in your chart.

Speaking of which, I want to give you another gentle reminder that the StarGuide Fall 2011 Forecast is ready. Fall is less than two weeks away! I’ll be going back to school on the 26th, so if you think you’d like a report or consultation, I encourage you to order soon! Once classes start, there will be a longer turnaround time for reports and limited availability for consultations overall.

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

New Moon in Scorpio, November 6, 2010

© Dan Collier for Dreamstime.com

Scorpio is the sign of transformation. Never was this a more timely theme than now.

Throughout the summer, the cardinal T-square heralded new directions for just about everyone I know. For some of you, the handwriting had been on the wall for many months, even a year. But it was like the difference between planning a long trip and actually setting off on the adventure.

As of last month’s New Moon in Libra, we began to see signs that our new way of living and being were coming into manifest reality. The message was clear. With the New Moon on November 6 (November 5 in Western time zones), the transformation takes place allowing your inner world to align with your external reality and vice versa. It’s a constant dance.

As with last month’s New Moon, the Sun and Moon make no close aspects with other planets, and all of the planets are contained within the confines of the T-square – that is, between Saturn at 12 degrees Libra and Uranus at 27 degrees Pisces. Although the intensity of the T-square has dropped, we continue to feel its effects unfold, like the blossoming of a flower.

The connection between the New Moon and the cardinal T-square may not be readily apparent, but we need look no further than Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler. Pluto was at the apex of the T-square throughout the summer, bearing all the pressure of the conflict. Consistent with the symbolism of Pluto, the tension that many of us felt in the past few months required us to transform in some way, to expand our awareness, broaden our perspective, and consider changes that never would have occurred to us before.

Not only does Pluto rule this New Moon, but he’s very close to the lunar North Node, which we often use in astrology for clues about our destiny. Ceres, also connected with cycles of death and transformation, is in a separating conjunction with Pluto. Our transformation as a species is fated. As an individual, your personal transformation includes accepting your “assignment” in this incarnation. If you’re still wondering what that might be, be alert for signs around this New Moon.

As conscious awareness evolves, we begin to see glimmers of what some call “past lives.” I call them “other lives,” as I don’t believe they are all in the past. Time as we know it is an illusion of the human brain, probably an evolutionary step to help us function. We may come to realize that we are everywhere at once, but we’ll need some way of dealing with this, or we’ll go insane.

Being able to see into the Otherworld is a very Scorpio thing. I believe that’s why there are so many traditions at this time of year that involve communicating with the dead.

As it so happens, Neptune is stationed this week in preparation to return direct on Sunday. Just as Saturn represents time and the limitations that allow us to function on this plane, Neptune represents the dissolution of time and the vast nothingness of the unmanifest. I have a feeling that many of you are going to have dreams and visions of other lives. Or, you may suddenly find yourself in telepathic link with others.

Speaking of communications, Mercury in Scorpio is in a tight trine with Uranus in Pisces at the New Moon, and Neptune and Uranus are in a sympathetic link (mutual reception). This makes it even more likely that we could receive messages from “somewhere else” or that we’ll suddenly pick up on signals from others around us. Or perhaps others who aren’t on this plane.

Jupiter is still tracking fairly closely with Uranus and also is slowing down as we approach his return direct. He’ll resume forward motion on November 18, the same day that Venus turns direct. She’s in the first degree of Scorpio at the New Moon and then returns to her own sign of Libra the next day. If you’ve been having second thoughts about a relationship, I continue to advise you to wait until Venus is back in Libra and returns direct before making any long-range decisions. You might find that your second thoughts disappear into thin air. But at the very least, you’ll gain some clarity.

The Sabian Symbol** for the Sun and Moon at 13°40′ Scorpio is telephone linemen at work, with the keyword ATTACHMENT. Everything is connected. We’re all connected to each other, in this life and in every other life across time and space. “Implicit in the symbolism is a responsibility on the part of all higher life for all lower, and a faithfulness of all lesser things to the requirements of the greater,” writes Marc Edmond Jones, who channeled the symbols.

I’ve observed over time that Scorpios and people with strong Scorpio in their charts seem to be plugged into a cosmic energy source. At this New Moon, we may all be Scorpios.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. Don’t forget to write your abundance check!

** From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmond Jones. The author, an astrologer, channeled this work in 1925 with the help of Elsie Wheeler, a gifted psychic. There’s one symbol one for each degree of the zodiac, and we can use them to gain insight into charts.