Tag Archives: Pluto

Weekly Forecast October 25: Mars Enters Sagittarius

Mount Shuksan. © Pat Paquette, 2010.

Last week’s action continues to mount this week as Mars enters Sagittarius and brings out your inner daredevil.

As you can see, we’ve been plenty busy here at RealAstrologers, although in typical Mars-in-Scorpio fashion, all the action has been behind the scenes. You’ve just seen the results, without having to stay up until 3:30 a.m. to tweak some code for the gazillionth time.

Although the Mars-Jupiter trine is separating, its influence will continue and perhaps even magnify as Mars enters Jupiter’s home sign of Sagittarius on Thursday. The Big Guy himself is still slumbering in retrograde, but he returns direct in three weeks, and meanwhile Mars is acting as his advance man. You should get lots of hints of where the action is going to be, so when Jupiter finally does wake up, you shouldn’t have any doubts about how your life is going to charge ahead.

Monday promises to be an interesting day, with Mercury conjunct Venus retrograde in Scorpio. We’re still trying to figure out what she’s up to and how she’s plotting to screw up our love lives. Or how we’re afraid she will, or how we’re screwing things up ourselves by worrying … oh, forget it. It seems so complicated and tangled up in knots, but as I’ve told my clients, just wait a few weeks before making any long-range decisions regarding your closest relationships. Talking about underlying issues would be good, though, and if you persist, you can get to the bottom of what’s preventing you from taking things to the next level.

On Tuesday, the Sun sextiles Pluto in what could be the real surprise moment of the week. Normally, a Sun-Pluto sextile favors moving forward by claiming your power. So much the better if you know where the bodies are buried, although the conventional interpretation is that you have to use this knowledge for the collective good and not just for your personal gain.

However, this year has been anything but conventional, with Pluto at the apex of a cardinal T-square. All that power has been building up, with not a lot of opportunity to vent. Trines and sextiles provide a pathway for the energy to flow easily, and with the Sun in Pluto’s home sign, we should be prepared for a major power surge. The Sun symbolizes the essence of who we are at our core and our power to create. If you’ve been paying attention in class and doing your homework, you’re now ready to recreate your life the way you want it. Like my new website, there may be glitches and the need for fine-tuning, but that just goes with the territory.

Losing our fear is an important part of growing. I loved Alison Chester-Lambert’s remark in her new book about how Pluto’s demotion takes away some of his scariness. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, what’s veiled in secrecy and hiding in the dark. Often our imagination creates monsters that don’t exist, and what we fear is just an illusion. Just because it’s hidden, doesn’t mean there’s some evil lurking there. That’s the real meaning of the word “occult,” which somewhere along the line got equated with devil-worship. In fact, occult simply means “hidden.”

What’s hiding in the dark could as easily be a vast treasure. It’s no coincidence that the Romans viewed Pluto as the god of gemstones, which come from underground.

Mars enters Sagittarius on Thursday. Take care not to step on the gas too hard, literally and figuratively! And do watch out for road rage, an unfortunate side effect of this planet-sign combination.

Also on Thursday, Venus sextiles Ceres and the Sun conjoins Venus, then the Sun sextiles Ceres on Friday. Watch for news headlines about powerful women. Next Tuesday (November 2) is Election Day in the United States, with several closely watched races involving women candidates. Whether a candidate is a man or woman truly doesn’t seem to matter anymore, and we’ve finally accepted that just because a candidate is female, she’s not automatically going to be an advocate for traditional “women’s issues.” It’s encouraging to see that voters finally are focusing on issues and not on gender.

Halloween is on Sunday, but most parties likely will take place on Saturday night. The Leo Moon should make for a festive time, so put on your costume and act the part!

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

Recommended Reading: The Future in the Stars

It’s getting really old to see “2012” in the title of every new astrology book … as though the marketing people think that’s the only way to sell astrology these days.

Take the latest addition to the bookshelf, The Future in the Stars: The Astrological Message for 2012 and Beyond. The title elicited a big ho-hum from me, and I’d never heard of the author, Alison Chester-Lambert. It is with the utmost humility that I retract the yawn and recommend that you read this book! It is enlightening, smart, funny, and nothing short of amazing … and it really doesn’t have that much to do with 2012.

The message won’t be new for readers of RealAstrologers and my old blog, The Pisces Chronicles. In fact, I launched PiChron specifically to discuss the coming shift in consciousness and to nudge things along in any way I could, using the ancient tool of astrology. That’s pretty much what Future in the Stars is about, and more.

In a short volume (208 pages) that you can read in one sitting, Alison Chester-Lambert covers most of the topics I’ve been writing about for the past five years, plus lots of additional material, primarily on the discovery and naming of the dwarf planets, which the International Astronomical Union placed in a special class in August 2006.

I’ve written a lot about Ceres, and you’ll also find a couple of articles on Eris in my archives. However, I haven’t addressed Sedna, Makemake, Haumea, or Charon, each of which has its own chapter in the book, with deep insights into their mythology and examples of how they’ve played out in the mundane sphere.

I particularly like her take on Ceres, which she connects not just with cycles within life but the death and rebirth of the soul – in other words, past lives. This is something to think about, especially as transiting Ceres conjoins Pluto for the first time since the IAU’s decision, which paved the way for Ceres to gain the same level of astrological significance as Pluto.

She also presents an interesting twist to the “demotion” of Pluto.

“If our perceptions of Pluto the planet are undergoing revelation and change, then so will the human race undergo metamorphosis and a different way of being,” she writes. “…[W]e will gain knowledge, and we will come to be less fearful. We will fear death less, we will fear the Underworld less, we will fear magic and miracles less, we fill fear the secret power of the unconscious less, we will fear sub-atomic and nuclear power less, we will fear change less.”

Just as Eric Francis became known for his pioneering work with the centaurs, I foresee that Alison Chester-Lambert will become the “dwarf planet astrologer.” The connections she makes between the discovery and naming of these bodies with events on earth is right on and will resonate powerfully with followers of my work.

Some of the material in the book can be found on the website for the Midlands School of Astrology, which Alison founded in the Midlands region of England. Nevertheless, it’s well worth buying the book.

Overall, Alison is an astrologer after my own heart, combining art and intuition with science, logic, and serious research to produce a compelling case for the connection between astrological phenomena and events on the earth plane.

In short, if you like my blog, you’ll love this book.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

The Future in the Stars: The Astrological Message for 2012 and Beyond
By Alison Chester-Lambert
208 pages
July 2010/Findhorn Press
ISBN: 978-1844095056
US $16.95

Related articles on RealAstrologers:

Goodbye Pluto, Hello Ceres
Should Virgo Get a New Ruler?
Eris Tells It Like It Is
Why We Need Eris

Full Moon in Pisces, August 24

© Paul Moore/Dreamstime

The Full Moon in Pisces on August 24 offers another portal or “way out” of obstacles we’ve been facing during the cardinal T-square.

The Full Moon typically indicates endings, and in the last sign of the zodiac, this lunation helps us clear out what is no longer working in order to make room for dramatic changes to come. The action may be stalled for a few weeks, no thanks to retrograde Mercury, but we nonetheless can explore the opportunities and prepare to let go of situations and relationships that are holding us back.

The limitations and challenges many of us are confronting are related to the
cardinal T-square, and they are tough indeed. Many seem to have no resolution. Words my clients use to describe their situations include stuck, overwhelmed, at a crossroad, caught in the crossfire. Even those who are having a positive experience have a sense of events unfolding too quickly.

At the apex of the T-square, Pluto is taking all the heat. Pluto symbolizes death, rebirth, and transformation, but this cycle has been blocked by the opposed energies of Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter, all of which are still in tight aspect at the Full Moon.

I’ve mentioned a few times that one way out of a stuck situation is to look at the space in your chart opposite transiting Pluto. That will remain true for the duration of the T-square. However, this Full Moon offers a powerful out via a lovely earth trine from Pluto to the Sun in practical Virgo and a sextile from Pluto to the Moon in otherworldly Pisces.

As we get nearer to the Full Moon, you suddenly may see the source of an obstacle, allowing you to more effectively free yourself of whatever or whoever has been holding you back. Or, those limiting circumstances simply may dissolve, leaving you free to transform or transcend. In some cases, the urgent need to let go of these things may stem from a new approach you began at the New Moon in Leo two weeks ago.

Neptune, ruler of this Full Moon, is at 27 degrees Aquarius, placing him in a moderately close, out-of-sign conjunction with the Moon at 1°26′ Pisces. He’s also closely conjunct Chiron at 28 degrees Aquarius. I’ve written a lot over the past several years about the collective healing effects of the Chiron-Neptune conjunction, especially where old wounds from our past are concerned. This alignment sends a powerful message of clearing “old stuff” in order to evolve under the pressure of the T-square.

Mercury retrograde in Virgo, the sign opposite Pisces, actually may be beneficial in this regard. Combined with the Full Moon in Pisces, it’s a great time to access your higher consciousness via daily chores, service to others, exercise and meditation, all with mindfulness. When we quiet our minds, a space opens up to receive answers. Likewise, a window opens for the images we hold of what we’d like to attract or create in our lives.

Mars and Venus are still in fairly close conjunction, which was exact on August 20, an hour before Mercury went retrograde. This suggests that issues of balance and cooperation in relationships will remain throughout Mercury’s retrograde phase and will need to be revisited. The conjunction took place in Libra, ruled by Venus, so it is the feminine energy that was strengthened.

In the Full Moon chart, Venus is approaching a sextile with Ceres, ruler of the cyclical nature of life. Some of us may need to “go under” temporarily in order to rebalance and heal. Ceres herself is approaching a third and final conjunction with Pluto at the apex of the T-square, an alignment deeply symbolic of transformation through delving inside ourselves and confronting all the scary things that lurk there.

The Sabian Symbol** for the Moon at 1°26′ Pisces is a squirrel hiding from hunters, with the keyword CAUTION. This is about self-preservation, but we’re not talking about the ego self. Your first duty is to your higher purpose, whatever that may be, and that requires acting in your own best interests.

For the Sun at 1°26′ Virgo, the Sabian Symbol is a large white cross upraised, with the keyword GLORIFICATION. At its best, this symbol represents offering your unique gift in service of humanity. You can’t do that if you allow yourself to be bound by what others want and expect of you.

Freeing yourself will not be without some risk, and it may entail some pain and sorrow, too. But it is part of our growth collectively and as individuals.

Love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

** From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmond Jones. The author, an astrologer, channeled this work in the early 1920s. There’s one symbol one for each degree of the zodiac, and we can use them to gain insight into charts.

Ask Real Astrologers: How Will the T-Square Affect My Sign?

Looking for AnswersAs the cardinal T-square approaches its peak, I’m receiving many questions from readers wanting to know how it’s going to affect them personally.

How will the grand cross, August 6th timeframe, affect my astrological sign and therefore me? ~ Stephanie, Manhattan, Kansas.

Can you give your insight about what the current planetary transits mean to me? I also know a little about astrology. I am a Cancer with Mercury in Cancer as well. I have three planets in Libra and, not to mention, I am an Aries Rising. My life is in total mess right now. I lost my job, and my relationship with my parents and family is in chaos. I am in huge debt. Even my love life is in total huge question.
~ Ann, United Arab Emirates

Stephanie, you are a Virgo, but you didn’t supply a birth time, so we don’t know what sign is on your Ascendant. This makes it impossible to know what houses in your natal chart are being affected by the cardinal T-square, which briefly will become a grand cross on August 6, when the Moon is in Cancer.

Still, I thought your question was worth taking, because it allows me to explain a few things about Sun sign astrology and why knowing your birth time can change chart interpretations considerably.

First, there is no way to say that “all Virgos” will be affected the same way by the T-square/grand cross. Although many popular horoscopes make predictions by Sun sign, the degree of your Sun is very important. Early Virgos will not be affected in the same way as late Virgos.

In your case, you have the Sun in the early degrees of Virgo, so on Aug. 6, the Moon-Pluto opposition actually will be quite nicely positioned relative to your Virgo Sun, and this could turn out to be advantageous for you. It’s a great time to make positive changes in your life, and if you are facing serious challenges, you should be able to summon the strength, motivation, and resources to push through them.

With a birth time, we not only would have the house positions of the planets, but we would know what other planets and key chart points were being activated by the T-square. Then it would be possible to determine which areas of your life are most affected and where you could apply your efforts to make the best use of this cosmic wind to your back.

Ann, you have six planets and all four chart angles in cardinal signs, so one might think you would be getting slammed on all sides by this planetary configuration.

However, as I pointed out to Stephanie, degree counts. As it turns out, your chart angles are in the later degrees of the cardinal signs and so will not be activated by this T-square, and the only planet you have in the early degrees of the cardinals signs, where the T-square is taking place, is Mercury at 0 degrees Cancer.

That’s plenty difficult enough, though. It means that all of the T-square planets are in conflict with your natal Mercury, which rules communications and some social interactions. When Pluto is opposite Mercury, we can get into situations in which we try to subtly or not-so-subtly pressure others into thinking as we do. Naturally, this meets with resistance, and it can be severe enough that relationships break down entirely.

As with most Pluto transits, it is necessary to learn detachment and to relinquish control over others. In some cases, the tables are turned, and we feel constantly pressured to think like someone else. If this is what you’re facing, then you have no choice but to stand up for yourself and not give in, but it sure can wear you down.

Saturn square Mercury is in some ways even more troublesome, as you tend not to be able to communicate very well, and then you end up feeling lonely, isolated, and unloved. It’s probably not true, but that’s how you feel, and for Cancer, feeling is believing.

Aside from the T-square, it’s important to note that you are approaching your first Saturn return, which everyone experiences around 28 or 29 years old. If you have been moving in the right direction in life, this milestone transit can be validating. If you’re off course or on the wrong track entirely, everything in your life can break down at this time, and you might meet severe hardship and locked doors everywhere you turn. It’s all important information to tell you that you need to follow another path toward fulfillment of your life’s purpose.

My first Saturn return was hell; I experienced all of the issues you list and then some. But it made me realize that I had to make significant changes in my life. Once I did that, many doors opened for me. I truly hope this will be the case for you, too.

Thank you both for writing. Wishing you much love and courage.
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Saturday Archives: Sex, Lies and Biology from a Scorpio Perspective

Scorpio It must be the t-square with Pluto in Capricorn, Mars in Cancer and Mercury in Libra that drew me to this particular article from my Archives. Enjoy!

To be blunt – we’ve been had. Humanity as a whole is born hard-wired to reproduce and once we hit puberty, we’re at the mercy of changes in blood and brain chemistry unless we learn to pay attention to what the heck is going on. And you better believe that this has not escaped the notice of the Powers That Be all through out history.

One way or another, often in the guise of religious rules and regulations or greedy folk making a buck off sex through the sale of pornography and/or prostitution, humanity in general has a history of being lead by their gonads. Not pretty, people, not pretty!

With my Mars-Mercury in Scorpio plus a strong Pluto influence in my chart, I have observed how this has played out all my life. That being said, it wasn’t until I was close to forty that I started putting some of the pieces together and it was the advent of the crone phase in my life when the picture became even clearer. Some of the research done in this area really opened my eyes. For instance, studies have found there are biological aspects to what draws us to certain people. Here is a link to an article “The Biology of Attraction” from the Psychology Today website.

Many cultures, especially those with strong religious views, encourage early marriages with an eye to controlling through the distraction of sex. We’ve had a big dose of abstinence promoted in this country the last several years for instance. What better way to muddle the thinking of young, healthy people in this sex drenched culture. What’s the best way to make someone focus on something? Deny them access to it!

There are two periods in a woman’s life when the drive to reproduce is almost overwhelming – the first 5-10 years after menarche and the last 5 years before perimenopause. If we are allowed to acknowledge this driving force represented by Pluto and the eighth House, then we can gain some perspective and objectivity – tactics familiar to anyone who is working with Pluto. Men reading this can draw on their own experiences when it comes to the drive to procreate.

There is another facet to this puzzle that’s tied into brain chemistry. Dr. Helen Fisher has a quote that I really feel is true: “Don’t copulate with people you don’t want to fall in love with because indeed you may do just that.” This is the other side of how we are hard-wired to stay together long enough to reproduce. Read this article from McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Website on “The Brain in Love and Lust” and draw your own conclusions.

For those of us with the Plutonian signatures in our charts – lots of Scorpio, loaded 8th House and natal aspects involving personal planets and Pluto – paying attention to this kind of information can save us a lot of heartache because we tend to take the bonds we form with other humans very seriously. We just don’t do casual very well and I see this as a good thing. I have another post in the back of my mind about the pitfalls of so-called “casual” sex but that’s for another day.

Libra with Scorpioposted by Neith . . .

Weekly Forecast March 23: New Moon in Aries

Spring in London (see image credit below).It would seem that with so much focus on Aries this week, we should feel an energy shift. However, I’m not banking on it.

Despite appearances, we’re still solidly in the Aquarius-Pisces field, and those of you who have been reporting jitters probably won’t feel a whole lot different this week. Some circumstances may change, and there likely will be some interesting new developments at the New Moon. But overall, I believe we’re heading in the same direction we’ve been going for quite some time, and we’ll continue on this route for the foreseeable future.

Why do I say this, when we’ve got a New Moon, plus Mercury and Venus all in Aries this week? Aries is ruled by Mars, and Mars is still in Pisces, where he’ll remain until April 22. Venus is heading back into Pisces, too, where she’ll spend nearly two weeks at the fateful 29th degree as she ends her retrograde phase and returns direct.

For all of this week, the dominant energy is the mutual reception of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius. These two normally have very different agendas, but when they’re in each other’s signs, they’re forced to get to know each other and work together. This influence is at work in world affairs all the way down to our private lives. It’s perhaps easiest to detect in the news headlines, but if you look, you’ll find its imprint in your personal affairs as well.

Generally speaking, we’re struggling to maintain our individual presence and need to express what’s in our hearts while merging into a collective that may need something different from us than what we’d like to contribute. Think of it as a giant potluck. If everyone is asked to bring their best dish and they all are terrific bakers, we’d get nothing but dessert. That might sound fun, but a steady diet of sweets would make us all fat and sick. Some among the bakers are going to have to stretch and expand their repertoire.

Typically this is what happens in tough economic times. To stay employed, you may need to get a job doing something you don’t particularly like but that’s in demand. If you have a creative talent that you absolutely have to express, you may have to do it on the side until times are better. Although this might sound depressing, fitting into the collective in a different way could have lots of benefits for us personally that are hard to imagine right now.

Short-term aspects this week include a Sun-Pluto square on Monday. We’ll feel this edgy influence throughout the work week and possibly into the weekend. It’s normal to want to be left alone to do as we please, but this aspect demands that you account for your behavior and maybe your beliefs. Whatever you can’t justify, you will need to change. There won’t be any point in blaming anyone. This is a way to get you to make necessary changes. If you’re on the right track and doing the work, then this aspect shouldn’t register as much more than a blip on your radar screen.

On Wednesday, Mercury enters Aries, which should get us out of the fog zone, thank goddess. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a devil of a time staying focused. Turning thoughts into action should be easier now.

Thursday is the New Moon, in tight conjunction with retrograde Venus and a wide conjunction with Mercury. Neith will have more late tomorrow or early Tuesday, so watch this space for her full report.

The Sun conjoins Venus on Friday, and then Mercury crosses paths with the wayward planet of love on Saturday. President Obama is getting ready for a big diplomatic tour of Europe — hardly surprising, given that Venus was exactly on the Ascendant in Washington at the Aries ingress (Sun’s entrance into Aries). Let’s hope the talks don’t break down … although I can’t say I’m feeling terribly positive about this.

In our personal lives, we’ll have a chance to renew and strengthen old ties, but we’ll have to be ready for heavy doses of understanding and compromise. It won’t do any good to revive neglected relationships if you don’t plan on doing anything differently this time around.

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

Image: Power of association — daffodils, the quintessential sign of spring, in front of Big Ben, the quintessential symbol of London. Photo by Shaun Curry for Agence France-Presse.

Ask Real Astrologers: Does First-House Pluto Draw Death?

This week’s question comes from Joe in Minneapolis, MN:

Would having natal Pluto in the first house make someone prone to have an extraordinary number of “ghosts” of family, friends, lovers and acquaintances that have gone on? They weigh heavily on my S.O., especially in January which is an anniversary month for almost all of these people’s deaths. Now another friend is preparing to go from liver cancer, and he is wondering why it seems like everyone he knows is dropping dead. I know everyone starts feeling like this at a certain age, but I just wondered if the feeling is more acute, having the Lord of Death in the house of the self.

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Joe, as I see it there are two different parts to your question. First, why is January his “anniversary” month and second, what does having Pluto in the first house mean?

In your SO’s chart, Chiron in Aquarius falls in his sixth house and squares his Moon in Taurus. This past January, the solar eclipse in Aquarius conjoined his Chiron and likely brought many feelings about his losses to the surface. Even though he is past his Chiron return, planets passing over this sensitive point will trigger all aspects to it. Fortunately his natal Sun-Mercury conjunction is trine Chiron, providing the means to process his feelings through dialogue with others.

I believe having Pluto in the first house, Scorpio Rising, planets in the eighth house, or Sun in Scorpio, all help give one the ability to see and accept death and dying as part of the larger cycle of death and rebirth. In the case of your SO, you are correct about his age bringing more of this into his life but he is also a person with a strong Venus influence in his chart (Venus on the Ascendant, Venus ruling both Sun and Moon). This suggests a preference for using charm and tact with an appreciation of beauty. Coming to terms with the Lord of Death is not easy for him.

Pluto in Capricorn started squaring his Sun a year ago and will finish up later this year. Perhaps this uncompromising transit will help him come to understand and find some beauty in Pluto’s realm.

Good topic, Joe! We have only touched the surface!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Well, Joe, as you know, when our resident Pluto expert gets on a roll, there’s not a whole lot I can add!

I agree with Neith that having strong Pluto or Scorpio in the chart can predispose the native toward a focus on death. In extreme cases, it can indicate more contact with death and dying than most of us experience in the normal course of life.

Remember that before Pluto was discovered in 1930, Mars was considered the ruler of Scorpio and was associated with the eighth house. Your S.O. has Mars in the eighth house, in Pisces, which like Scorpio is a water sign and tends to be psychic. In fact, dreams and “supernatural” phenomena such as ghosts fall more within the realm of Pisces, the twelfth house, and Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. Before Neptune was discovered, Jupiter was the ruler of Pisces, and your S.O. has Mars in a very tight opposition with Jupiter. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that he is tuned into the “beyond.”

I also have Pluto at 29 degrees Leo, but in the seventh house, and my North Node is conjunct the Midheaven in late Scorpio. While I don’t have Pluto in the first house, I do have a first-house Moon in Pisces, so I, too, pick up these subtle energies. I would not say, though, that they weigh on me the way your S.O. describes.

I agree with Neith about the January timeframe. With Chiron in early Aquarius, your S.O. is always reminded of these unhappy events when the Sun and Mercury are in proximity to his natal Chiron, and that means they also are square his Moon, triggering a strong emotional response. This alone can be troubling for Moon in Taurus.

That may seem like a bit of a convoluted answer, but as is often the case in astrology, there is no simple answer that explains everything. The natal chart is a complex energy imprint, which makes sense, as most human beings have a complex psychology not easily summed up in a neat paragraph.

Thanks for this intriguing question!

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Ask Real Astrologers: A Second Look at Pluto on Venus

Last week, Tarja from Finland posed a question about Pluto approaching her natal Venus, and we answered based on a chart with Libra Rising. Well, we used the wrong chart, so we’re going to take her question again this week, using the right chart. Happy Mercury retrograde!

Here is Tarja’s original question. Our revised answers are below:

I have been reading a lot about meeting someone and that when it usually happens both have the same sort of planet situation. So if my Pluto is conjunct Venus will his be as well, or what does it mean? And can one see that in one’s own chart?Also everywhere the Pluto on Venus is said to be very strong (like a big bang, unavoidable) but usually nothing happens to me, so how sure it is that anything will happen at all?Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

First I would like to apologize, Tarja, for not getting your chart right before . . . classic example of Mercury Rx overload. You do indeed have Scorpio Rising and Libra on the Midheaven, making Mars your chart ruler along with Pluto. Your natal Mars is in Pisces and with Neptune conjunct the Ascendant in Scorpio, learning to effectively assert yourself is very important, because Neptune’s influence can create confusion and a lack of clarity about how you take action.

I have been thinking about the effects of Pluto’s transit to your Venus, too. It is easy to lose sight of the fact Pluto provides a much needed service – that of clearing away the dead and dying parts of ourselves to make way for positive change. A Pluto-Venus transit can teach us to value ourselves, increasing our self-esteem and the capacity to love both ourselves and others. That Pluto is currently transiting your second house just underlines the need to reconsider what is truly of value to you.

Your Sun and Moon are both in the detached, air sign of Aquarius – very different from your intense water sign Scorpio Rising. If you wish people to see who you feel you truly are, you will need to make an extra effort to present your authentic self to the world. Find someone you feel comfortable with and trust to help you learn how others see you and how to modify your outward behavior to reflect your true self.

Take advantage of Jupiter in Aquarius transiting your Aquarius planets to initiate positive change in your life and how you see yourself. In fact, you have Jupiter and the North Node conjunct your Sun in your Solar Return chart for this coming year, a perfect combination for realizing your gifts and talents. Best of luck and many blessings to you, Tarja! [Note: Neith and Pat both do Solar Return charts.]

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Hi again, Tarja!

The general information I gave you last week about astrological markers for first meetings remains true, as does what I told you about the Pluto-Venus transits and the timing of it for you.

That you are a Rising Scorpio and not a Rising Libra does change things somewhat, though. As a Rising Libra, you have Venus as your chart ruler, whereas Rising Scorpio gives you more intensity, and this definitely is at odds with your Aquarius Sun and Moon, which are much cooler-headed and prefer to stay more detached. This also may explain why you don’t feel the full effects of certain transits.

When two major components of a natal chart are so opposed, we often have difficulty integrating these two sides of ourselves. I can say this from personal experience, as I have an Aquarius Sun and Ascendant, with a Pisces Moon. It took me many years to own that poor Pisces Moon, and when I finally did, it took roughly three years to figure out what to do with her! Perhaps you are experiencing something similar with your competing Aquarius and Scorpio energies. If so, a Pluto-Venus transit that helped you claim your sexuality would greatly contribute to your personal growth, and I think this would be more important than meeting a particular someone.

That said, we typically learn these lessons through relationships, so you may well meet someone who will trigger an intense and obsessive reaction in you, and this may cause a secondary reaction of guilt and shame. It’s’ easier said than done, but try not to judge yourself. Rather, use the experience to understand yourself better, and you will be very surprised by the results.

Thanks again for your great question. Your solar return is coming right up here, too, so happy birthday!

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Ask Real Astrologers: Will Pluto on Venus Improve My Love Life?

Our question this week comes from Tarja in Finland:

I have been reading a lot about meeting someone and that when it usually happens both have the same sort of planet situation. So if my Pluto is conjunct Venus will his be as well, or what does it mean? And can one see that in one’s own chart?Also everywhere the Pluto on Venus is said to be very strong (like a big bang, unavoidable) but usually nothing happens to me, so how sure it is that anything will happen at all?

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Tarja, with Libra rising in your chart, gentle Venus plays a larger role than she usually does. You have Venus in Capricorn natally square to Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, inclining you to be cautious and somewhat conventional about love. At the same time, your Venus forms an out-of-sign square with very unconventional Uranus creating the potential for an inner conflict between desiring a committed relationship and needing your freedom of movement.

Pluto-Venus synastry aspects do create the potential for a deep, powerful connection, but with your Sun and Moon in Aquarius and Libra rising, an all-consuming love affair may not be for you. Moon in Aquarius in particular is often detached and quirky when it comes to love. Yes, Libra rising does incline a person to enjoy having a partner, but here again, the sharing is less about emotions and more intellectual in nature.

Pluto will be conjoining your Venus by transit starting the first week of March, lasting all of April and into the second week of May, so you will have plenty of time to get acquainted with the effects. If you meet someone during this time, you could end up obsessing about them endlessly! Another effect is learning what has lasting value to you and a willingness to discard what does not. This may be a case of being careful what you wish for!

Best of luck to you and remember to always be as honest with yourself as possible!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

This is a great question, Tarja!

There are almost always astrological markers for the first meeting between two people who eventually become involved in a meaningful relationship, whether that union lasts for one night or a whole lifetime. These markers have a wide range and generally indicate the type of relationship as well. For example, a Venus-Uranus transit in one person’s chart might indicate a head-over-heels reaction that burns out just as quickly. The indicators are not always present in both people’s charts. Powerful indicators in one chart alone are enough to trigger a meeting. That said, it often happens that the meeting takes place or the two people “click” when a transiting planet crosses a shared degree in their charts, either a key planet or a chart point, including the Vertex.

Pluto-Venus transits are usually about sex. If a relationship does come into your life at this time, physical love likely will be the focus, and as Neith writes above, it likely will have an obsessive quality to it. Intense passion can be extremely uncomfortable for many people, and I agree with Neith that it may throw you initially. It likely will be a learning experience for you more than anything else.

Note, however, that Pluto will not be in exact conjunction with your natal Venus until next year. He gets very close this March but then turns retrograde and backs off. In 2010, you’ll have three passes of Pluto on your natal Venus between January and November. Perhaps events in your love life this spring will reflect this “almost,” and that could be a learning experience, too. I couldn’t agree more with Neith that looking into your heart and being honest about what you really want and need would be enormously helpful to you at this time.

Many blessings to you on your search for love, and thanks again for writing!

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Ask Real Astrologers: How Can I Use This Heavy Pluto Transit?

This week’s question comes from Crystal:

Early in 2009, Pluto in the 8th house will oppose my Sun in the 2nd and square my Moon in the 11th. What areas of my life will be affected? And, how what is the best way to use this period positively?

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Crystal, if you gave us the correct birth information, then Pluto already is in your eighth house and opposite your Sun, and you should know at this point how things are playing out. Remember, Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008 and remained there for a few months until he went retrograde and slipped back into Sagittarius. He re-entered Capricorn on November 27. So you are in the midst of this powerful transit.

A Sun-Moon square often indicates internal conflicts, and with your Cancer Sun and Aries Moon, my guess is that you run into trouble trying to take care of others as a way of getting what you want and need, and then perhaps become resentful when that doesn’t work. You do not need to apologize for your needs or to try to keep them hidden. Being direct is good, and then you need to let others decide how to respond, whether to give you what you want or not. If they don’t, attempting to manipulate them will only backfire and make you feel worse. I’m not saying that you do this; it’s just a tendency I see with this configuration in your chart.

Pluto is “at home” in the eighth house, since this is the area of the chart he rules. I suspect that you already are going through a personal transformation and will continue to do so as Pluto transits your natal Sun and Moon. The square to your Moon may be especially difficult, as emotionally challenging circumstances may arise in order to help you grow and evolve consciousness. Also remember, with Pluto transits, the point is to learn to relinquish control. So I’m not sure there is really a way you can use this transit; just be aware of its effects.

If it’s any consolation, a lot of us are going through trying emotional times right now as humanity moves toward a higher state of consciousness awareness. You are not alone.

Much love and courage to you.

Libra ponders . . . Neith’s response:

Crystal, there is no doubt this is an important transit for you and will teach you more than you want to know about how you really feel about your friends and family over the next few years.

As Pat noted Pluto entered Capricorn for the first time from mid-January to mid-June this year and you may have gotten hints as to what to expect. With your Sun on the cusp of your second house and Pluto transiting the cusp of your eighth house, your values and personal finances will be highlighted and if you have a 401k or other investments those will be up for review. The square to your eleventh house Moon could find the nature of your friendships and relationships with women in particular undergoing deep changes.

Pluto generally plays nice in your natal chart with an exact sextile to your Mercury giving you a willingness to dig a little deeper than most into the “why’s” of life. Having Pluto conjunct the cusp of your fourth house does suggest powerful family bonds or an occasionally contentious relationship with your family, a theme continued by your natal Sun-Moon square. Pluto’s transit will stir all these issues up too and allow you to deal with them for one and for all. Keep in mind Pluto transits last quite awhile and create lasting changes.

If there is one lesson Pluto teaches us by transit, Crystal, it is about learning to detach one’s self from a specific outcome. In fact the more energy we invest in events unfolding according to our wishes, the less likelihood of that happening. Pluto in Capricorn is beginning the process of teaching everyone about how to do more with less and you may be getting a jump start on finding out what that means to you personally.

Best of luck!

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