Tag Archives: Saturn square Pluto

Weekly Forecast October 4: New Moon in Libra, Venus Retrograde

October sun reflected in the Wenatchee River on Stevens Pass. © Pat Paquette, 2010.

In our fast-paced world, time is the one thing we don’t seem to have enough of. So when we have to go back and rethink our plans or re-do something, we often think of it as wasting time.

Likewise, we tend to think that going back means we’re losing ground and not moving forward.

This week’s aspects will dispel those notions and may even help us perceive a different concept of time itself.

The New Moon in Libra just as its ruler, Venus, is going retrograde seems like a mixed message. On one hand, we begin a new cycle, while on the other, we have to go back for something we missed. I don’t see these two paths as contradictory at all. Retracing our steps is part of the process of growth and moving forward – if we view the process as a whole, as part of a cycle. As we progress along this time-space continuum, alternative routes open to us.

Moving through the summer’s cardinal T-square – or trying to, anyway – many of us were able to see where we needed to go, but we just couldn’t get there. Rather than stopping and waiting for the opening to appear, we kept moving, but without a vital piece of information or a critical event that needed to happen before everything else could fall into place.

Before I take the week chronologically, let’s have a look at the interplay between Venus, Pluto, and Saturn, who are in a powerful three-way reception. Venus, planet of love and desire, is in the sign ruled by Pluto, planet of transformation. Pluto, meanwhile, is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, lord of time. Saturn is in Libra, ruled by Venus. And so we have the “circular path” that is the Sabian symbol for Thursday’s New Moon.

Saturn and Pluto are both karma planets. Pluto represents the “underworld,” or what I prefer to call the “otherworld.” This is where the underpinnings of our physical universe live, and it’s where we can work to transform. As lord of time, Saturn represents manifestation on the physical plane. Once we transform our energy underpinnings, what manifests in our physical world changes, too. With Venus in Scorpio, we need to be especially mindful of what we’re attempting to manifest. If we try to control the results for gratification of our immediate physical desires, we remain stuck in fear and attachment.

Venus retrograde in Scorpio is asking us to release ourselves from those attachments. You know you’re attached when you’re obsessing about someone or something.

So, that’s a rather long introduction, but it’s important to keep these concepts in mind this week as we take advantage of this exceptional New Moon to put all the pieces together and move into the new territory we’ve been exploring for most of this year.

On Tuesday (late Monday in far western time zones), Mercury squares Pluto, which may bring those obsessive thoughts to the surface. If this happens, don’t fight it. Those thoughts that keep spinning ’round and ’round in your head are trying to get your attention. Work on figuring out the message, which will contain invaluable information about what you need to work on to achieve your goals.

The Moon enters Libra on Wednesday and begins its monthly journey over the degrees of the cardinal T-square. On Thursday, she conjoins Mercury and Saturn and then carries that energy forward to the New Moon, which occurs at 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States.

Venus turns retrograde on Friday morning, but you’ll likely start feeling the effects early in the week, if you haven’t already. With Mercury in Venus-ruled Libra, you might even be experiencing some low-level effects of Mercury retrograde.

Mercury conjoins Saturn on Friday as well, which can help us get a grip on reality. Reality can be depressing sometimes, but it’s a lot easier if you work toward aligning your goals with your true purpose in life. If you don’t know what that is, I strongly recommend an astrology reading or some other method, such as Tarot.

Also on Friday, Ceres re-enters Capricorn. She was part of the cardinal T-square back in April when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, and then she went retrograde and returned to Sagittarius for four months. As I noted in my New Moon post on Saturday, Ceres is now moving toward conjunction with Pluto (exact on October 19). This reinforces the theme of venturing into your deep psyche to reclaim something you need in order to advance. Be attentive for the next few weeks to fleeting memories of your past. In some cases, they may not be so brief but could be right in your face.

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

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Ask Real Astrologers: Is It Time to Address Soul-Less Sex?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Osk in Loveland, Colorado:

I’m a Libra, with Libra Rising and Mercury in Libra, too, and I’m loving having Saturn traveling through Libra. I feel now it’s my time to tell people to stop being irresponsible about their soul-less sexual behavior.

Being born in a time of sexual exploration, I am wondering if people are ready to hear, not from a religious point of view, but from an energetic point of view, what really is going on. I just feel like the whole Western world is in bottomless, hellish pit regarding sex. Now, when people are starting to see their dysfunctional money behavior, how about sex? Both are eighth house issues, right? I want to make a website about this.

P.S. I’m a girl. :-)

Osk, I about fell off my chair when I read your question. I love it! And you’re so right on! My short answer to you is a resounding “yes, absolutely!” Create that website and let’s get this show on the road.

I totally agree with you about the abuse of sex in our society. It goes hand-in-hand with the lingering inequality between men and women, which ultimately has its roots in the imbalance between masculine and feminine energies on the planet. This imbalance has persisted for millennia and has had many other pernicious side effects. So many of our Western myths and legends revolve around this separation, including the stories of the Holy Grail.

I believe we are in a period of correcting that imbalance, so your idea for a website on the topic is timely indeed.

I also believe there’s a connection between material greed and sex. This theme is repeated throughout the Grail legends. As you’ll recall, only the knight with the pure heart was able to find the sacred vessel. For centuries, men regarded women as possessions. This did start to change in the 1960s, when we had an incredible stellium of planets in Aquarius, followed a few years later by a conjunction between Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, and Pluto, modern ruler of Scorpio. It’s no coincidence that the subject is coming up again, with Uranus in a tight square with Pluto for the next few years. Saturn in Libra also has been square Pluto, so perhaps the balance we’re seeking is temporarily in conflict with pervasive lust and greed.

We’ve still got a lot of correcting to do, so a website devoted to the topic would be a true service to humanity. A quick look at your chart tells me that you are ideally suited to take on this important task. By the way, among your credentials, you forgot to list Venus in Scorpio.

You just had a lovely New Moon in your tenth house of career and public life, which normally would be a great time for a new project like this. However, Mercury is about to go retrograde and will be in retreat until September 12. You wouldn’t want to launch any Mercury ruled activity during this period. It would be great time to write some sample posts, research your topic, experiment with site design, and so forth. Then you can prepare to launch after Mercury turns direct. If you wanted to wait a bit longer, there will be a New Moon in Libra exactly conjunct your Ascendant on October 7. That date gets my vote! How wonderfully symbolic it would be.

Send us a note when you’re up and running so that we can check out your new venture.

Wishing you much love, courage, and the best of luck, Osk! And thanks again for sending this great question.

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 Extra! Saturn Enters Libra, T-Square Powers Up

© Canadafirst/Dreamstime

Next Wednesday, July 21, Saturn enters Libra — or, more precisely, re-enters. Once this happens, we’ll be in the final ascent toward the peak of the 2010 cardinal T-square.

The Lord of Karma briefly stepped onto the Scales from October 29 to April 7. Since then, he’s been finishing up his business in Virgo, where he taught us practical lessons like taking our Omega-3, paying attention to the environment, and doing our duty to help others. He also served as an anchor to keep the volatile energies of the cardinal T-square in check.

Once he enters Libra, it’s going to be a whole new game. Cardinal energies favor swift, targeted action. Libra is an air sign, so we might expect some violent wind storms and probably a big shift in political and financial winds, too. Saturn in Libra will enforce balance. If we’re out of alignment in any way, we’ll have to adjust accordingly.

There’s a lot more I could write about Saturn in Libra, but the most compelling issue is that the cardinal T-square is now fully activated and powering up toward peak output in late July and early August. In the first degree of Libra, Saturn will be tightly opposed to Uranus at 0 degrees Aries and Jupiter at 3 degrees Aries, and he’ll square Pluto at 3 degrees Capricorn. Jupiter is stationed, two days from turning retrograde on July 23. That’s a whole lot of shifting going on.

The biggest bang may be heard in Washington, D.C., where Saturn will be dead on the Ascendant at the moment he enters Libra. Saturn rules the government, while Jupiter rules the banks and the justice system, and Uranus is associated with explosions, political protest, and unexpected events. All three planets will be in a tight square to Pluto, which rules subversive elements, espionage, and the very wealthy and powerful.

There are way too many variables in there to make a reliable prediction, but I’ll be watching the news headlines. Whatever happens, it looks as though President Obama will play a major role.

Saturn is said to be “exalted” in Libra, where he demands peace, social justice, diplomacy, equality, and fairness. Although Saturn is very challenged in this T-square arrangement, he’s the strongest of the outer planets, since he’s direct and in the sign of his exaltation. All of the other planets are retrograde or stationing. That said, he’s getting slammed from all sides, and Mars is approaching conjunction with him as well. All in all, it looks like we’re in for some dramatic developments.

From July 31 to August 20, Venus and Mars both will be conjunct Saturn, and that could have implications for male-female relationships everywhere, perhaps even for the balance of masculine and feminine energy on the planet as a whole. I’ve written a lot about this imbalance, which appears to be slowly correcting.

I’ll have more about these aspects in my upcoming weekly forecasts. Be sure to check back often!

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Ask Real Astrologers: Terrified by the Cardinal T-Square, Help!

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Alison in London, England:

I’ve had my chart done by an astrologer for this summer and I’m now terrified. The exact words were, “Imagine the worst and then more!” So, as you can imagine, I’m really concerned and am wondering if it’s just me this is all going to affect and if there is anything I can do to avoid it. I am a real optimist normally and love change and action, but somehow this is all giving me a real sinking feeling. Help!

Alison, first let me say that I’m sorry you had this experience with astrology. The point of having your chart done shouldn’t be to scare the s%!# out of you. When we see difficult transits coming up — and you do have them — we need to stop, take a deep breath, and ask how we can prepare.

Before I comment on that, though, I’d like to reassure you that the events of this summer are affecting the entire world, not just you. The cardinal T-square, which at times will be a grand cross, is something we haven’t witnessed on this planet since history began. It’s big, and already it’s translating into sweeping events such as the BP oil spew, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, and global financial crises, to name a few. And we’re just getting started…

As for avoiding the effects, that won’t be possible or even desirable. I believe that many of the challenges and conflicts we’ll find ourselves in this summer will help us grow and evolve. We’re on the threshold of bumping up to the next level of human consciousness. The stresses on the planet and on humanity demand that we stop doing business as usual and find new ways of thinking and being. This is our challenge collectively and as individuals.

As for your personal chart, I’m guessing the reason your astrologer made such a dire prediction is that you have a Sun-Mars conjunction in the early degrees of Capricorn, with Mercury and Venus not far away. Pluto currently is moving through the early degrees of Capricorn, and when the planets shift into position this summer, he’ll be at the apex of the cardinal T-square, with Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn in a square. In early August, Venus and Mars will join this powerful alignment.

Simply put, you’re in the thick of the action. However, this isn’t really news. You’ve had Pluto transiting your natal Mars for more than a year already, and we’ve even had two rounds of the Saturn-Pluto square, which occurred in mid-November 2009 and early February of this year. So you’ve already taken a few hits and survived.

Now, there is no doubt that this summer’s aspects are going to be even more intense, and there could be bigger challenges in your life, possibly related to your health or job. However, it’s not a given that something “bad” is going to happen. It may simply be a case of your being forced to make some very big changes in your life, and change by definition can cause us distress, as humans tend to fear the unknown.

Keep in mind that Pluto transits are the worst when we attempt to hang onto people and situations that no longer serve our best interests. Things can really backfire if you try to control others to do your bidding when they would rather not.

I wish you lots of courage, Alison. Please stay in touch and let us know how it goes, OK?

Before I go, I’d like to note once again that I’m getting many questions these days, no doubt because you all are worried about how astrological events this summer will play out for you. It is a difficult time for everyone. I can answer some of your questions here, but if you’re in need of immediate guidance and detailed advice, please contact me for a private consultation. I do individual forecasts as well as relationship counseling. If you’re outside the United States and would like a live reading, I have Skype and Gmail video chat.

Hang in there, everyone!

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. Be sure to fill out all the fields, and please spell out the month of your birthday. If you don’t know your time of birth, indicate “time unknown.” You can also use the drop-down menu above under “About Us” to get to the question form. THANKS!

Saturday Extra: The Cardinal T-Square and Immigration Law

Riot police at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. Photo by Ross D. Franklin for The Associated Press.

Arizona’s new illegal-immigration law and the protests it unleashed stand out as an early indicator of how events will unfold during the cardinal T-square of 2010 and 2011.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law on April 23, just as Saturn and Uranus were approaching exact opposition in Virgo and Pisces, the fourth contact since November 2008. It is scheduled to go into effect in late July or early August, right around the fifth and last opposition of Saturn and Uranus on July 26.

By that time, both planets will be in early cardinal signs, in a tight square with Pluto. We can expect more protests, possibly more violent, and the federal government likely will intervene as well.

Of course, Mercury also was retrograde at the signing, and that makes it more likely that there will be changes, if the law isn’t repealed altogether. But even if it is, powerful forces have been set in motion that will continue to play out until 2012 and beyond.

The new law makes it a punishable crime to be in the United States illegally and gives police in Arizona the power to stop and question people they suspect of being illegal immigrants. The backlash was swift and severe. According to news reports, protestors stormed the state capitol and drew comparisons with Nazi Germany.

Gov. Brewer, a Republican in a historically conservative state, said the law was needed because the federal government wasn’t doing enough to fight illegal immigration and lawlessness along the border with Mexico. Other states are considering similar measures.

The Obama administration reportedly is considering a legal challenge. Many civil rights groups also are threatening to sue, saying that the law will lead to racial profiling and harassment of Hispanics and anyone who looks like one. From there, it’s only one step to legal authority to stop anyone, for any reason or no reason at all. If it seems like we’re on a slippery slope toward a police state (many people argue that we’re already there), it’s not just paranoia.

Once Saturn and Uranus move into action-oriented cardinal signs this summer and form a close square with Pluto, the playing field will expand. It’s likely that the federal government will intervene at that time. In a T-square, the planet at the apex takes the “heat.” Pluto will be squared not just by Saturn and Uranus, but simultaneously by Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. Immigration and legal issues fall under the provenance of Jupiter, which was approaching conjunction with Uranus when the law was signed.

But what does Pluto in Capricorn represent? The “conventional” interpretation is that it’s about Big Government and Big Business. If so, the situation in Arizona — as well as other protests breaking out around the world — may be an early test of this power.

That said, we must take care in connecting the various astrological players in this unfolding celestial drama to earthly counterparts. For example, it’s tempting to assign Uranus to the Democrats and Saturn to the Republicans, but that would be an error in our thinking. The planets in signs represent forces of nature, which express themselves through humans and through the Earth herself.

Here’s something else to think about: As long as Pluto is checked by Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries, we may be under surveillance but not under totalitarian control. That could well change in 2012, when Saturn enters Scorpio and begins to “cooperate” with Pluto, through both a friendly sextile and mutual reception.

At that point, the people may be on their own to battle the combined forces of business and government, and our definitions of “conservative” and “liberal” may become totally meaningless.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

The Cardinal T-Square of 2010 and 2011, Part II

A peaceful day at the foot of Mount Rainier, an active volcano on the Pacific Rim of Fire. © Pat Paquette.

With the coming astrological shift into the cardinal signs, we can expect dramatic developments in the world. But what, exactly, is going to happen? Is there any way to know in advance or at least to make some educated guesses?

In Part I of this article, I explained what a cardinal T-square is and gave some examples of world events in years when cardinal energy was activated. In this post, we’ll explore the cardinal alignment in 2011 and how it differs from this year’s configuration.

This summer, the action takes place primarily in the earliest degrees of the cardinal signs, which are the most volatile, and we’ll be in the midst of an eclipse pair in cardinal signs Capricorn and Cancer. This is the highest-risk period for extreme disruption, be it natural or manmade.

By summer of 2011, Jupiter will have advanced to Taurus, Saturn will be out of range of a square with Pluto, and the eclipses will start shifting into Sagittarius and Gemini. The last eclipse of the Capricorn-Cancer series is a partial solar eclipse at 9 degrees Cancer on July 1, 2011. With Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto in a T-square, the addition of the eclipse forms a grand cross. This configuration is more like a dog chasing its own tail — a lot of activity, but it may tire itself out before any real damage is done.

After that eclipse, Saturn moves past the mid degrees of Libra. While technically still in a cardinal sign, he’s at too wide an angle from Uranus and Pluto to bring heated conflict.

However, Pluto will remain in a tight square with Uranus in Aries, and this is where we’ll see continued upheaval. The square between Uranus and Pluto won’t be exact until 2012, but it will be close enough next year for us to feel its effects.

The last time Pluto and Uranus met was a conjunction at 16-17 degrees Virgo in 1965 and 1966. In September 1965, toward the Full Moon with the Sun, Pluto, and Uranus in a tight conjunction opposite Saturn in Pisces, Hurricane Betsy made landfall twice on the southern coast of the United States and was the first tropical storm to cause more than a billion dollars in damage.

Other developments around that time were the racially motivated Watts riots in Los Angeles, the eruption of the Taal volcano near Manila, a sweeping regime change in Indonesia, and the escalation of demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan were at war, with China stepping in on the side of Pakistan.

As I wrote in my last article, past events linked to the cardinal T-square and to Uranus-Pluto aspects are so broad that it’s hard to know whether the coming alignment signifies natural catastrophes, war, social upheaval, environmental disasters, or other crises. Further, whenever Uranus is involved in an aspect, the outcome is wildly unpredictable. Still, I think it’s a safe bet that “all of the above” will happen again in the next two years.

One of the biggest threats, in my opinion, is war between India and China as they compete for resources to fuel their rapid growth and development. The entire region is already destabilized, a powder keg just waiting for a cosmic spark to ignite a third world war. The Pacific Rim of Fire also appears to be vulnerable. If history is any indication, hot spots will intensify during these astrologically volatile periods.

I’ll keep you informed in my weekly forecasts and other posts along the way. Meanwhile, if you see news stories that indicate which way the cosmic wind is blowing, please leave a comment with a URL.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Saturday Extra! The Cardinal T-Square of 2010 and 2011

Mayan temple at night

© George Bailey/Dreamstime.com

For years, astrologers have been predicting sweeping global change in 2010 and 2011, based on a shift in planetary alignment into the cardinal signs.

The signs of the zodiac are divided into three qualities, or “quadrulplicites.” The cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — are dynamic and initiate action. The fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — are persistent and, just as the name suggests, solid and unmoving. The mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces — are adaptable, flexible, and open to change.

A T-square occurs when planets occupy three signs within one quality. Put another way, it is comprised of two squares (90 degrees) and an opposition (180 degrees), which denotes extreme tension and conflict. The planet or planets at the point, or apex, take on great significance. If all four signs are occupied, then it’s called a grand cross, which is comprised of four squares and two oppositions.

Such alignments are rare, and when they happen, dramatic events take place on the world stage. That will be all the more true in 2010, because the eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer are part of the picture. Eclipses are often enough on their own to herald life-changing events.

The shift into cardinal influences began slowly, with Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in early 2008. He slipped back into Sagittarius on his retrograde path over the summer and then re-entered Capricorn in December that year. When Saturn entered Libra last October, he formed a conflicting square with Pluto. The resulting tension is similar to pressure that builds up at the juncture of two tectonic plates. When the pressure releases, we get an earthquake.

It starts getting a little complicated here, because Saturn currently is retrograde and back in the final degrees of Virgo for a few months. That means he’s no longer part of the cardinal T-square, although he is going to form an opposition to Uranus at the end of this month, and we’ll briefly experience a mutable T-square. I’ll have more on that in my weekly forecast.

The big news comes in late May and early June, when Uranus and Jupiter enter Aries, followed by a pair of eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn on June 26 and July 11. On July 21, Saturn returns to Libra, where he’ll stay until October 2012. From late July to mid-August of 2010, there will be a tight T-square involving Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. We’ll have a few days in there when the Moon in Cancer transforms the configuration into a grand cross.

The last time we had this kind of powerful buildup in the cardinal signs was in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell when Uranus, Venus, Saturn, and Neptune were all closely aligned in Capricorn, opposite Jupiter in Cancer (Ceres and Chiron were close by, too). At the moment the announcement was made, the alignment was on the Ascendant and Descendant. This was one of the defining moments of the 20th century, and the T-square we’re about to experience is in many ways an extension of that event.

Other startling events happened in 1989, including the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the protests in Tiananmen Square.

The most extreme example of a cardinal T-square I’ve been able to find is the chart for the Tunguska explosion in 1908. It’s a mindblower, with all but two planets aligned in Cancer, Capricorn, and Aries. The blast felled trees and knocked residents several miles away off their feet. Researchers still don’t know what caused it, but the prevailing opinion is that a meteor exploded several miles above the earth’s surface.

Other events that year, while not outstanding in and of themselves, fueled tensions leading up to World War I.

Unfortunately, there is no clearly identifiable pattern to provide us clues for what could happen in the next couple of years. Natural disasters, environmental crises, and political upheaval are all possible — and, I would add, likely. But some of the changes, while disruptive, may ultimately be beneficial. After all, the fall of the Berlin Wall was an amazing breakthrough.

Jupiter and Uranus slip back into Pisces this fall, and then we’ll have another reprieve until late spring of 2011. We’ll explore these developments in depth in Part II of this article.

Related post: T-Squares Past and Present

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast April 5: Saturn Goes Back into Virgo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Forecast March 22: Sun Square Pluto

Sunrise on the Sound

March sunrise over West Seattle. I took this photo on an early morning trip across Puget Sound last week. Photo by Pat Paquette.

For the past year, astrologers have been writing about the potential for upheaval as the planetary focus shifts to the cardinal signs. This week, we get major clues as to how these energies might play out.

On Monday, Mars in early Leo sextiles Saturn in early Libra. Mars is slowly beginning to creep forward again after being retrograde for more than three months, while Saturn continues moving in “reverse” and will make a return visit to Virgo in a couple of weeks. This will remove him from the cardinal buildup. In the meantime, this week’s Mars-Saturn sextile helps restrain the egocentric nature of Mars in Leo and helps us get our work done.

Saturn continues to form a square with Pluto, indicating standoffs between competing powers. I’m not sure who I’d root for here but probably would place bets discreetly on both sides, kind of like a multinational corporation contributing to both political parties in a close race.

The rubber meets the road on Tuesday, when the Moon enters Cancer. The cardinal T-square formed by the Sun newly in Aries, plus Pluto and Saturn, becomes a grand cross, even if just for a day. Activity will be fast and furious, and if you aren’t careful, you could cancel out your initiatives by acting on too many fronts at once. Likewise, groups of people may cancel out positive change through competing interests. Emotions are going to run high, too. For some, they may be totally out of control.

Ironically, the release valve and key to getting tangible results is Mars in Leo. For once, looking out for yourself first may be the answer. “Ego” is not always a bad word. If we didn’t have one, we’d be doormats subject to getting walked all over by everyone. A healthy ego that knows how to balance its own needs with the needs of others will get you through. If you want to know where to assert your ego, look at where 1 degree Leo falls in your chart.

Whatever happens this week will reverberate into early August, when we’ll experience another cardinal grand cross with Saturn in Libra.

After Tuesday, it’s back to the cardinal T-square, with an “arm” left empty after the Moon moves past early Cancer. If you have personal planets or chart angles in early Cancer, the area of your life represented by that point could come under intense pressure. That will be true off and on into the summer, so make sure you pay extra attention to developments this week, as they will be ongoing themes for you. The United States chart (Sibly) has 1 degree Libra on the Midheaven, with early Cancer in the seventh house. Expect more news of open enemies and conflicts with allies.

Thursday is a potentially difficult day for everyone, when the Sun squares Pluto. Notwithstanding what I just wrote about your ego, do exercise good judgment in how you stand up for yourself. Before you put yourself in a compromising position, be sure you’re right and that the reward is worth the potential consequences. Spraying graffiti all over the county courthouse and defending it as your right to free speech would not be a good idea right now.

The weekend is fairly quiet and best spent getting things done around the home and office. Tidy up as much as you can before next Monday’s Full Moon. As usual, Diane will have a full report later this week on what else you can do to prepare.

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

New Moon in Pisces, March 15, 2010

The New Moon at 25°10′ Pisces on March 15 is a critical moment to focus on doing what is necessary to bring old ways of thinking and being to closure before stepping forward onto a new path.

The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus are all in the last sign of the zodiac. Neptune, ruler of Pisces, is closely semi-sextile Mercury and Uranus, adding its subtle and compassionate influence. The period between this New Moon and the New Moon in Aries on April 14 is an excellent time to get serious about our internal and external housecleaning.

The Sabian symbol for this lunation dovetails in an amazing way, because it includes the image of a New Moon: “Watching the very thin moon crescent appearing at sunset, different people realize that the time has come to go ahead with their different projects; a keen appreciation of the value of individualized responses to any challenge of life.”

This symbol obviously underscores and amplifies the usual New Moon timing for launching new projects in a significant way. However, it would appear we also need to recognize the possibility that we may need to strike out on our own or with new partners.

The Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Pisces is the ultimate tool for helping us come up with a new way of looking at the baggage most of us are still lugging around, holding us back from achieving our full potential as human beings with open hearts and souls. Pisces is naturally inclined to view life in an inclusive manner, and we desperately need help to do this in today’s polarized atmosphere. I am a firm believer in always looking for solutions that benefit the greatest number of people rather than those that pit “us” against “them.”

Saturn is still in Libra, but it is also moving closer to returning to Virgo and the next opposition to Uranus in Pisces, which will be exact on April 26. Between this strengthening opposition and the ongoing square to Pluto in Capricorn – and the fact Saturn is still in Libra – it is likely to be our one-on-one relationships feeling the most pressure. If there are already stress fractures and it is time to let go of the relationship, you may find the courage to move on at this time.

Mars is finally direct in Leo — a day some of us Mars-ruled types thought would never get here! Aided by the sextile to Saturn in Libra, Mars can get cracking on the backlog of projects put on hold last December. Saturn’s influence will help him steer a steady course forward, step by step. Impatient people will be frustrated by the pace, but please hang in there, as Mars will eventually get back up to speed.

Jupiter’s conjunction with Venus is Pisces on the New Moon in Aquarius has now become a far less exciting semi-sextile between Jupiter in Pisces and Venus in Aries. The bloom is off those red-hot romances of a month ago, but things still are not looking all that bad. It is important to respect each other’s need for space and keep expectations in check when Venus is in impatient Aries, because she knows where the door is and will use it if pushed.

Please remember the lessons we can learn and apply from compassionate, caring Pisces. We don’t have to agree on every point to treat others with respect and kindness each and every day. It is never a waste of time to seek out commonalities over our differences. Be well, and live each moment fully.

Libra always seeks balanceposted by Diane . . .

Of course, today is the day to write your New Moon abundance checks! Here’s how.

Image: This photo seems to imply possibilities emerging from the mist on the water. Perfect for a New Moon in watery Pisces.