Tag Archives: Saturn retrograde

Weekly Forecast February 18: Sun Enters Pisces, Mercury Retrograde

PiscesThe Sun enters Pisces this week, bringing to four the number of planets in the sign of the Fishes – five, if you count Chiron.

Although I’m an Aquarius, Pisces and Neptune are so strong in my chart that often I get confused and think I’m a Pisces. I certainly know what it feels like to be one.

Being a Pisces can be really difficult. If you recall your symbolism, Pisces isn’t just a sweet pair of gold fish who’ve found their soul mate and live happily ever after. No, these fishes are tied to each other with a permanent knot – which would be fine, if they were both swimming in the same direction. But they aren’t, and they can’t. For Pisces, nothing is ever certain. Seeing the big picture and the totality of everything means that every argument has a counter-argument, and every choice has an alternative. The choice then is to be paralyzed with indecision or to leap into whichever option seems best at the moment, with nothing concrete to go on except faith that all will turn out well.

It’s no accident that people with strong Pisces energy in their charts often turn to escapism, whether through drugs, alcohol, religion, or some other means of avoiding reality. The flip side – we’re talking Pisces here, so there has to be one – is that Pisces is one of the most imaginative and visionary of all the signs. The list of famous Fishes includes Michelangelo, George Washington, Frederic Chopin, Albert Einstein, Ansel Adams, and Steve Jobs. Then, it also includes Mitt Romney, L. Ron Hubbard, Sirhan Sirhan, and Osama Bin Laden … we think. We’re not really sure.

In a way, the dilemma of Pisces is the most urgent problem confronting humanity. And why not? The Age of Pisces isn’t over yet, as much as we might wish it. We’re still grappling with all of the dualities represented in the symbolism of Pisces, and it’s not overly dramatic to say that failure to solve the puzzle of Pisces could result in the extinction of our species. Conversely, moving beyond the seemingly implacable divisions into a new sense of interconnectedness could be our salvation. If you haven’t read it already, check out this old article by Ray Grasse about the transition we’re making from Pisces to Aquarius.

In any case, we’re all going to feel the energy of Pisces in the next few weeks, and some of you may have an increase in inter-dimensional experiences. As I’ve noted in the past, these intrusions, for lack of a better word, can be moderately to severely disorienting. It doesn’t help that they aren’t clear. They don’t come with instruction manuals in seven languages to help you decipher the message. My usual advice to clients is to observe carefully what’s going on in your life when these visions, dreams, and memories appear, and look for patterns in how they mirror events and relationships in this lifetime. For me, at least, there’s some kind of repetition. Also stay alert for synchronicities.

The Sun enters Pisces on Monday and begins his approach to conjunction with Neptune on Thursday. This is the imaginative, creative side of Pisces, so use the beginning of the week for work that requires inspiration and intuition. Keep a journal with you and write down any unusual events, sudden thoughts that seem to come from “somewhere else,” psychic flashes, or images in dreams that either are particularly vivid or that elicit a strong emotional response. Sometimes I forget my dreams, but then an image I see in the course of my day reminds me, and it all comes back. Those are times when you want a notebook handy.

Also on Monday, Saturn turns retrograde, and he remains at a standstill until Wednesday and then will slowly begin to creep backwards (what it looks like from down here, anyway). For many of you, old structures have been breaking down for some time now, and new ones are forming already, especially since Jupiter’s return direct. Some of you indeed had very happy news to report last week. For others, the breakdown phase will last longer. Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception, along with the Uranus-Pluto square, represent an uncontrollable tide. Depending on where these three planets are transiting your chart, it may be better to go along with the current than to expend all your energy fighting it. As an astrologer, I’m not immune to this process, and I totally understand how scary it can be.

Dreams and visions pick up toward the end of the week, as Mercury stations to turn retrograde on Saturday. Unfortunately, there’s an “ick” factor, too, as Mercury and Mars approach conjunction at the Full Moon on February 25. I’ve advised some of my clients to take vacations, if possible, and get out of the line of fire. Tempers are going to flare, with a strong risk of arguments that either blow entirely out of proportion or end up with people not speaking to each other, possibly for days or weeks. It goes without saying that you need to think carefully before opening your mouth. There are some words that cause irreparable damage to relationships and, once spoken, can never be taken back.

I’ve also started noticing early manifestations of retrograde Mercury, as I’m sure many of you have, too. My cell phone died on Friday, and getting through to customer service at T-Mobile was a nightmare. Meanwhile, my laptop was infected with not one, not two, but five viruses. Fortunately, I got an alert from my security software yesterday and was able to clean them all up before they got out of control. If you haven’t run a complete scan on your computer, don’t waste another second. Do it now!

My way of staying out of trouble and avoiding reality will be to lie on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. If nothing else, it’s a delightful lesson in what happens when people completely misunderstand each other’s motives.

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

P.S. I’m about to put StarGuide 2013 on sale, so this will be a good time to get your yearly transits at a discount.

Weekly Forecast May 21: Mercury Enters Gemini

Mercury Appearing to Aeneas, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1757. In Virgil's Aeneid, Jupiter sends Mercury to Trojan warrior Aeneas, who must choose between his destiny to found the city of Rome and his love for Queen Dido. The story recounts the mythological events of a changing era and the dawn of a new empire.

Whew, I definitely felt that eclipse. What about you? It was overcast and foggy here, so I didn’t get to see anything, but around 3:30, I essentially passed out and was in a deep sleep for two hours.

It was a good thing I got some extra rest, because this week promises to be insanely busy. We’ll be in the wake of the eclipse through Tuesday, while Mercury straps on his winged sandals and gets ready to fly into his home sign of Gemini on Thursday. Fortunately, our brains will be quick enough to keep up when life shifts into high gear.

Indeed, this week is all about Mercury. As of Friday, all the planets will deposit to him until June 7, except Neptune and, for a few days, the Moon. This means that all areas of life ruled by Mercury will command our attention and take on additional urgency – the most important among them being all forms of communication. With Venus retrograde in Gemini, we may notice an upswing in contact from people we haven’t heard from in some time. I’ve already had one of those experiences and am waiting for the second, as they typically come in pairs. Gemini is, after all, the Twins.

Mercury himself is not just the speedy messenger, associated with rational thinking and a quick wit. Remember, in mythology, he was the only one of the gods who could move freely between the world of the living and the world of the dead. That’s why, when Ceres demanded that Pluto return her kidnapped daughter or else, she had to send Mercury as the intermediary.

The phenomenon symbolized by Mercury is at work when thoughts bubble up from our subconscious, or when images flash into our mind in the space between sleeping and waking. If you’re a creative-minded person, you may get many of your ideas in that space. If so, then you’ve experienced the essence of Mercury. If effect, you’ve received a “message from the gods” via the Messenger.

The reason I bring this up is that we normally think of Mercury as the planet of communications and quick thinking, and while this is true, there’s more to the Little Guy. And we’re going to experience his dual role this week as he aspects Jupiter (the Big Guy) on Tuesday, Neptune on Friday, and the Sun and Uranus on Sunday. Keep a notebook handy and write down your ideas. They may come and go so fast that if you don’t record them, you’ll forget … which would be a shame, because truly, we’re receiving major “downloads” right now, some of them as fleeting ideas and others as major revelations. The synchronicities continue, as well.

One of the things that always has fascinated me as I contemplate Gemini is the concept of communications between the two hemispheres of the brain. Where do these intuitive thoughts come from, how do they enter our conscious awareness, and how do we process them? As a writer, I depend on this process for inspiration. Once I come up with an idea – and who knows, really, where it comes from – I make a note of it and then wait for my subconscious to do the “research.” Invariably, ideas pop to the surface as I’m waking up or while I’m commuting on the ferry, staring at the water and thinking about nothing in particular. Sometimes, something will happen during the day that literally brings the information I need to my fingertips.

Some people are disturbed by these strange ideas out of “nowhere” and quickly suppress them. This is all the more likely to happen to those who are entrenched in belief systems that would collapse with the insurgence of one radical truth. I suspect there’s going to be a lot of that going on in the next few weeks, individually and collectively.

Communicating within relationships is going to be very important this week, too. Venus is now retrograde but moving very slowly, while Saturn also is retrograde. While they never form an exact trine, they’ve been tracking within a degree of each other and will remain within a couple of degrees of a trine all week. Saturn is in Venus-ruled Libra, the sign of relationships, reminding us that commitment comes with responsibilities. The first responsibility is to communicate. In romantic relationships, honesty is paramount. We often tell little lies, thinking that we’re sparing the other person’s feelings, when the real motivation may be elsewhere. If you’re not being truthful with your partner, you might want to have a little discussion with yourself and try to figure out why not. What’s at stake? What is served by hiding the truth? You may have legitimate reasons, but more often than not, information is withheld as a means of control.

On Saturday, Mercury also conjoins the lunar South Node. I’ve been hearing a lot from friends and clients about past-life memories, often triggered by meeting someone from another lifetime. I expect we’re going to get a lot more of this in the next few weeks, too. The Sun crosses the South Node the day before, which also may trigger some synchronicities or events that feel “destined.”

However, it’s Mercury I’m watching this week. Whether the communications come from within or without, they’re likely to come fast and to be worth our attention. Keep those antennae up! And for those of you who are getting slammed, this is just another admonition to keep your eye on the goal and don’t lose your nerve. When you’re surfing a giant wave and driving on a high-speed freeway, you can’t afford to allow your attention to lapse for even a second.

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

P.S. For photos of the eclipse as well as good information about solar activity, check out Space Weather.

Weekly Forecast February 6: Saturn Retrograde, Full Moon in Leo

Studying with Mercury in Aquarius. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

There was a lot of weirdness going on last week, and then the energy suddenly shifted on Friday. Did you notice? I attribute the shift to Neptune’s entry into Pisces and hope that life will return to some semblance of sanity, despite the craziness of Mars retrograde.

Neptune’s shift occurred at 2:03 p.m. EST on Friday. The final two days of Neptune in Aquarius were totally out of control – at least for me. My computer crashed again, and then my backup machine failed. I was without a computer for two critical days in my class work and am now nearly three weeks behind in my assignments. I had to post a notice on my order page that I’m not accepting new report orders or consultations until I’m caught up at school. From an astrologer’s point of view, all of these events are a perfect manifestation of Mars retrograde in Virgo in the tenth house: computer failure, work overload, behind in deadlines, etc.

It also seemed that people were bumping into each other more than usual, and there certainly was a spike on the anger/frustration scale. That said, I got a good reminder on Friday about the beneficial side of Mars anger. When you vent your anger properly, it’s like having a good cry. The explosion clears a lot of blockages and gets your energy flowing again – yet another great manifestation of Mars retrograde in Virgo.

By Saturday, the energy had totally changed. My take on this is that outer planets in the last degree of a sign, poised to enter a new one, send out an intense vibe that contains all the lessons of that planet/sign pair. And since Neptune was in Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus, and Uranus is in Aries, which is ruled by Mars, the intensity of Neptune in the last degree of Aquarius was channeled through Mars, the planet of anger, action, and conflict.

What was even more interesting, though, is that once Neptune moved into Pisces, the release of anger and frustration cleared the way for a tremendous creative flow. Real magic can happen in rare moments like these. On Saturday, I had an 18-hour film shoot. First of all, I was surprised that I was able to work from 6 a.m. to midnight with few breaks. Secondly, I was amazed by how smoothly the project went. Disagreements were easily managed, and the discussions that arose over artistic differences improved the project. That is Mars energy at its best! Of course, Neptune rules film, so we might also have gotten the first sip of “pure” Neptune in Pisces.

So now let’s turn to this week, which has the potential to be quite dramatic. Tuesday is weighty, with the Full Moon in Leo just as Saturn turns retrograde in the last degree of Libra and Venus moves through the final degree of Pisces. Relationships definitely are a key theme this week, and what transpires may shock and surprise.

Saturn has been in the final degree of Libra since the middle of January, and he’ll remain there until the first week of March. With Saturn in Libra, we’ve been learning lessons about love and commitment, about how to relate to each other fairly and to make compromises that everyone can live with. As Saturn approached the end of Libra, we began closing the books and preparing for finals. What more do we have to learn?

Apparently, a lot …

It’s one thing to learn lessons, but quite another to apply them. And you may find that you end up testing out what you’ve learned with someone other than who you’ve been with up to this point. That’s especially true if you learned your lessons the hard way, through a relationship that was painful but that helped you grow and evolve. Still, I don’t discount the possibility that you will go back for another lesson with the same person.

I can’t help but wonder if one of the big lessons will have to do with anger. I say this, because Venus is about to enter Aries, with Mars retrograde. It is not uncommon for couples to grow apart due to unresolved conflict. There are lots of reasons people prefer to “go along to get along” instead of hashing out the real issues. This strategy may work in a professional environment, but in an intimate relationship, stifled anger not only can destroy the relationship, but it can make the partners physically sick.

On Thursday, Venus conjoins Uranus in Aries, a pair favoring surprises in love and finances. I expect there will be a lot of impulsiveness, which could backfire – either that, or you may have to wait several weeks to see the results of an “instant” attraction. One thing is for sure, though: whatever occurs will be unusual and possibly groundbreaking.

I have more I’d like to write, but I’m depleted from too much work and not enough sleep, and I’m coming down with a cold, so I’ll stop here and hope it’s enough food for thought for you until next week.

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

Weekly Forecast January 24: Saturn Retrograde

Magnolia. No time for sitting when there's so much going on in the background. © Pat Paquette 2011

Cardinal energies dominate this week as Saturn turns retrograde in Libra, setting the stage for the 2011 cardinal T-square.

The cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn – are active and initiate change. Even when Saturn slows down and turns around (what it looks like from down here, anyway), we have opportunities to state intentions and make changes.

Wherever Saturn is transiting your chart, you’ll have opportunities to balance your inner world and your outer reality through actively making changes to support your goals. In terms of the collective, we’ll have to take another look at the fairness of certain laws and policies. If they need correction and revision, doing so while Saturn is retrograde will be very effective.

In the United States, the newly elected Congress will work to revise laws passed in the previous session. How successful they’ll be remains to be seen. With Saturn retrograde in Libra, I’m hoping that any revisions will be fair and equitable, and that they won’t pander to a small number of corporate interests and neglect to take the real needs of the broader public into consideration.

Saturn turns retrograde on Wednesday at 17°13′ Libra (late Tuesday night in Western time zones). That’s just a few hours before Mercury in Saturn-ruled Capricorn forms an exact square to Saturn. My take on this is that the initial recognition that something needs to change will be irritating and uncomfortable, and we may not want to face it. Mercury in Capricorn is very good at thinking in practical terms, however, and so a little discomfort is a small price to pay for correcting major deficiencies, especially if they’ve been holding us back.

If you’ve got business negotiations scheduled for Wednesday, they will be tough, but ultimately they should be very productive. Normally I wouldn’t interpret a Mercury-Saturn square this way, but with Mercury in Saturn’s sign and Saturn in the sign of his exaltation, I do believe that challenges will be a good thing. I’ve often written on this site that all confrontation isn’t bad. How else would people debate polarized issues and find middle ground?

Saturn will be retrograde until June 12 and will turn direct at the peak of this year’s cardinal activity. By then, he’ll be back at 10 degrees Libra and in closer aspect to other planets in the T-square. For clues of how this might shake out, keep an eye on events in your life this Monday, when the Moon in Libra squares Pluto and conjoins Saturn, and also on Friday, when the Moon in Capricorn squares Jupiter in Aries and conjoins Pluto. Since we’re only talking about lunar aspects, the clues will be small, so you may miss them if you blink.

Otherwise, there are no major planetary aspects this week. Jupiter is moving swiftly along in Aries, though, so it doesn’t look like there will be any rest for the weary.

I did get a chance to watch a movie Saturday night and thought it was pretty funny that the two female stars were cardinal signs, and both of them even had cardinal references in their names. The movie was the original Pink Panther, now out on Blu-ray, with Peter Sellers as clumsy Inspector Clouseau. One of his female co-stars was a 60s model and actress known as Capucine, which is French for nasturtium. Her nickname was “Cap” or “Cappy,” and in fact she was a Capricorn. She looked every bit like one, too – coldly beautiful and dressed very expensively. The other female co-star was Claudia Cardinale, an Aries.

How’s that for synchronicity?

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

P.S. The movie is dated but still very funny and entertaining. If nothing else, watch it for the 60s fashions.

Amazon.com Widgets

Weekly Forecast January 11: Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, Mercury Direct

Bust of Janus, Vatican Museum

Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings for whom our first month of January is named. We're not only in a new year, but a new decade and a new energy pattern. Expect lots of endings and beginnings now.

This is a landmark week, with enough activity in the sky for a Hollywood thriller.

Not only do we have a solar eclipse, but Saturn turns retrograde, Mercury returns direct, and Jupiter enters Pisces. Whew! Each of these events is significant in itself, but together, they make for some powerful new beginnings with a willingness to experiment.

Taking events in order, Monday the Sun conjoins Venus. Normally this happy combination would translate to fun-filled social gatherings and easy expressions of love and affection. However, both Sun and Venus are still at an irritating inconjunct with Mars, so don’t be surprised if your date or lunch with a friend is marred by a misunderstanding or some other kind of disruption. If that happens, my advice is to try to let it go for now, or you’ll only get yourself deeper in the hole.

Saturn turns retrograde on Wednesday. Many of us noticed a decided change in atmosphere when Saturn entered Libra in late October. Relationships came more in focus, with an emphasis on fairness and equity rather than the perfection demanded by Saturn in Virgo. Alas, we return to that fastidiousness briefly when Saturn returns to Virgo from April 7 to July 21.

In the meantime, we can use Saturn’s retrograde energy to identify relationship issues that may need work over time. And some problems do require constant work and vigilance.

Friday is the eclipse (Thursday on the West Coast of the United States), the second in a pair of New Year eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer. This series began six months ago and feeds heavily into the shift to cardinal energy. Diane wrote a very fine post on New Year’s Day on this trend and will have a full report on Tuesday on the upcoming eclipse, so check back.

In short, the shift to cardinal energy means more action, and that means change. Whereas the fixed signs take their time in deliberating — often to the point of inertia — cardinal signs are quick to react, but this also can mean change just for the sake of change that isn’t well thought-out and doesn’t take the needs of the collective into account. Although we all think we want change, I do caution you to take care what you wish for. There is no doubt that we are in for some big changes, but I don’t see them as entirely positive.

In the short-term, though, Friday’s eclipse should produce some positive changes, some of which might be surprisingly so, as this eclipse not only is conjunct Venus but positively angled to Uranus. Even though it rules a fixed sign, Uranus is associated with innovation and change.

The big wild card in this eclipse is Saturn retrograde. Because Saturn rules this eclipse and turned retrograde just a day before, it could act as a giant braking system. In my fixed-sign mind, that would be a good thing!

Shortly after the eclipse, Mercury returns direct. Keep in mind that when Mercury stations, communications, traffic, and other Mercury ruled activities tend to come to a complete standstill. It would be best to wait a couple more days to sign contracts or make major purchases. That includes exchanging big-ticket holiday gifts. Make Sunday your day to go shopping. By then, the January sales will be in full swing, so you’ll probably get a better deal, too!

Sunday also is the day when Jupiter enters Pisces. With the Moon also entering the sign of the Fishes, we’ll have a lovely Moon-Jupiter conjunction to start off the week —or, if you’re on the West Coast of the United States, to end it. Let’s hope that the seed of this highly spiritual combination will be planted in the collective mind so that all may experience the oneness of all being, even if it’s only in our dreams.

Wishing you all much love and courage in these changing times,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat


Weekly Forecast January 4: Sun, Mercury, and Venus Conjunct in Capricorn

As Above, So BelowThis week we’re in the tumultuous zone between eclipses. It’s a fitting way to start a new year of radical shifts leading into a decade of upheaval.

If you feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall to communicate with someone, you’ve got lots of company. Difficult communications are among the major themes this week, and at times it could be heartbreaking. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get through. What the heck is up with that?

In terms of specific planetary aspects, there’s not a whole lot going on this week, other than a close conjunction of the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Capricorn. But that isn’t unusual, as these three are never far apart from each other.

More importantly, Mars is tightly inconjunct all three. The inconjunct (more accurately called a quincunx) between Mercury and Mars was exact on New Year’s Eve, but it remains active throughout this week. The Sun forms this irritating aspect with Mars on Thursday, with Venus following on Friday. The friction is especially bad in romantic relationships.

Saturn’s impending station adds to the frustration. We’re really going to feel next week’s retrograde, as Saturn is a powerful influence in the sky right now. Not only is he in the sign of his exaltation, but he’s receiving energy from four planets in Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules. The lunar North Node also is in Capricorn.

Since Saturn entered Libra, I’ve seen a greater awareness of equal partnerships and compromising within relationships. However, wherever Saturn exerts an influence, we often find fear and insecurity. Issues that we may have ignored before as trivial and not worth making a fuss over are now a source of major disagreement. Dissecting every conversation and action gets tiring, and yet we find ourselves doing it over and over.

Of course, this effect is aggravated by Mercury retrograde, to the point that it’s crazy making.

The Moon enters Libra on Tuesday and conjoins Saturn on Wednesday, which may help reduce the noise level long enough for us to hear what the other is saying. Then, what you hear might be depressing. Try to keep the faith. As serious as this all feels, it really is going to pass.

On Thursday, the Moon reaches the halfway point between the lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve and the upcoming solar eclipse on January 14. We’re sailing through rough seas emotionally.

My advice is to take extra time to try to understand why you feel as you do. If you’re upset with someone, did he or she really do anything to merit your anger, and was it intentional? Difficult as it is to talk things through this week, it’s all we can do.

Once we’ve come through these turbulent aspects, you may find that your relationships not only survived but became stronger. If you’re not in a relationship but struggling with issues of fairness and balance in your own life, you may discover that serious imbalances get your attention to the point that you make a commitment to positive change.

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

Image: Sunset on the lagoon. A friend took this photo recently on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It’s a perfect reflection of the dictum, “As above, so below,” which is good to remember in these tumultuous times. Photo by James A. Weythman, all rights reserved.

Weekly Forecast December 29: Saturn Retrograde, Venus Enters Pisces

Ancient Sentinels, by Ellen HillDespite the revelries to welcome in the New Year, this week could feel unusually somber, with Saturn’s turn retrograde on Wednesday.

As I wrote in last week’s forecast, the opposition of Saturn and Uranus has been unequal so far, as the stabilizing energies of Saturn have been reinforced by Jupiter in Capricorn, the sign that Saturn rules, and the chaotic, unpredictable nature of Uranus has been kept in check. Saturn’s turn retrograde will weaken this stabilizing force, just as Jupiter is about to enter Aquarius, the sign ruled by Uranus. Once that happens, we are in for some turbulent astro-weather.

I am not writing this to frighten you, but just to give you a heads up that you may have unexpected circumstances to deal with. Actually, if you’ve been paying attention, events probably won’t surprise you too much, as you’ve seen the handwriting on the wall. If you weren’t paying attention or intentionally ignored the signs, then you could be thrown for a loop. How this will manifest in your life depends on where the Saturn-Uranus opposition is positioned in your natal chart.

The Moon in Pisces on Friday conjoins Uranus and opposes Saturn, so you may feel a blip in this ongoing situation, whatever it may be. The Moon goes through Pisces once a month and Virgo once a month, so these little reminders may continue to happen every couple of weeks.

On the plus side this week, Mercury enters Aquarius on Thursday and Venus enters Pisces on Saturday. Both planets will be in the sign of their exaltation, and this should bode well for communications between friends, siblings, and romantic partners. Even if a key relationship in your life is breaking up or going through some other kind of disorienting or disruptive change, you should be able to talk about it and view each other with compassion. Forgiveness, both of yourself and others, is possible, and a little goes a long way.

Wishing you much love and courage in the new year…

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Image: Ancient Sentinels, by Ellen Hill, whom many of you know as Tseka. To see more of Ellen’s phenomenal work, including her new line of talisman jewelry, visit her site, Tseka – One Dance.