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Weekly Forecast May 13: Mercury Enters Gemini

Apalachicola Bridge. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2013.

Apalachicola Bridge. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2013.

It has been a tough week here. I started coming down with something about a week ago, and it flattened me. Surely it was no coincidence that last week’s eclipse was in my sixth house, with Mars in conjunction. It’s not uncommon for sixth-house Mars transits to correspond to colds, flu, and viral infections.

It appears that I’ll live this time, but I’ve been drowsy and mentally very slow. Or was that just Mercury in Taurus? We’ll find out this Wednesday, when the Messenger enters his own speedy sign of Gemini. Isn’t it just grand being a guinea pig in the great cosmic lab?

I’ll get to Mercury in a bit, but the bigger news this week is the approach of the Uranus-Pluto square on Monday, May 20. As I write, the square is half a degree from exact – as they say, “close enough for government work.” Actually, we’ve been feeling this influence for months already, as events associated with outer planetary transits happen over time, and they often are part of unfolding trends. If we look back to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the mid-60s, we find that events continued to unfold for two or three years following the last exact alignment in July 1966. Indeed, the year from that era we most remember for changing civilization as we knew it was 1968.

So, this is both good news and bad news. The good news is that we don’t have to fear that the world is going to blow up in the next couple of weeks due to the exact square of Uranus and Pluto. The bad news is that some idiot could blow it up independent of Uranus and Pluto. OK, just kidding. The bad news is that we’ve still got two more years of exact alignments of the square, followed by another couple of years of aftershocks. In other words, the turbulence we’re going through now is going to remain a major trend for a long time. Of course, that doesn’t mean that life is going to suck for each and every one of us. Many will find new opportunities and prosper. And many will face challenges that are reflected in their individual charts and that have nothing to do with the Uranus-Pluto square.

There are two messages from this square that I try to keep in mind at all times. First, recent events are reminding us that we are all connected, not just with each other in this incarnation, but with the collective unconscious throughout all time. When a garment factory goes up in flames in Bangladesh, we’re connected to those workers, whether or not we just bought a bargain T-shirt at H&M that was made in Bangladesh. When I lived in France, I was constantly impressed by how well the family I lived with knew where everything on their table came from. I used to joke with them that they knew the name of the goat that gave the milk for the cheese they were eating.

And that brings me to the second message. We’re not going to be able to fight “big bad government” the way it was done in the 60s – not that they had much success, either, but we’re definitely at a point where protesting is deadly. Some causes are worth fighting and dying for, but many are not, and getting together for an afternoon to smoke a joint, carry a sign, march topless, or dress as a vagina isn’t going to do much except get your photo in the news, which should not be mistaken for “doing something” about the problem. Saturn in Scorpio in mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn favors big government, corporate domination, and wannabe tyrants, but it also favors coming up with practical solutions to build a more sustainable future. The thing is, each of us needs to decide whether we’re going to continue buying into the current paradigm, or whether we’re going to opt out. If we choose the latter, what does that look like?

We can’t wait for our leaders (sic) to do the work for us. They’ve screwed up the economy beyond recognition, so what makes us think they have the ability or the will to fix it – or, at least, to fix it in a way that benefits anyone but themselves? We’re going to have to make up our own economy, based primarily on used goods and local services. To do that, we need to shift our value system. What’s more important, having the latest fashion (dictated by someone else) for your friend’s birthday party, or looking fabulous in a dress you’ve worn several times and received many compliments on already? I know, that’s kind of a trivial example, and perhaps not anything I need to preach to readers of RealAstrologers, highly aware bunch that you are. But you get my point. I minored in economics in college and have been thinking about this a lot lately.

Of course, where we get our news is a big consideration, too. Joe and I have had an ongoing e-mail exchange about news sources. The corporate media in the United States have devolved into little but mouthpieces for government and can’t be relied upon to do any serious independent investigation. The alternative media typically have an agenda and are biased. And you have to be very careful about some of the so-called “news” sites on the Internet. Anyone can call himself a journalist. Believe it or not, being a good reporter really does require training and experience. I recently read a terrific article on the nature of journalism in America by Ron Unz. Ironically, he’s the publisher of a conservative journal co-founded by Pat Buchanan. Go figure. But he hit the nail right on the head. It just goes to show that neither political party has a monopoly on the truth.

And what better segue to get us back to astrology than news, which falls within the domain of Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Gemini likes a little information on a lot of subjects, and it wants it fast! When I think Mercury in Gemini, I think of The Huffington Post, which crams everything from breaking news to the latest congressional hypocrisy and celebrity cleavage onto one page. It puts me in overwhelm mode to the point of nausea. But my Mercury is in Capricorn, so there you go. Gemini people no doubt eat it up like popcorn.

Venus also is in Gemini this week, tracking slightly ahead of Mercury. They both square Neptune – she on Monday and he on Saturday. Normally, we think of Venus-Neptune squares as ripe for delusions about love and attraction, and that may well be true. However, there may not be much discernible difference between Venus in Gemini squaring Neptune and Mercury in Gemini squaring Neptune this week. In both cases, illusions or delusions – be they about love, picking winning lottery numbers, or selling your screenplay to Spielberg – will come and go so fast you may not remember them long enough to do yourself any real damage. News headlines may be confusing, and “facts” could change from one minute to the next. As Lou Reed sings in “Last Great American Whale,” Don’t believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.

Also on Saturday, Venus sextiles Uranus. This is also a fairly fast and fleeting aspect, but it’s definitely more cheerful. Have a latte or a drink with a friend. This is a good shopping aspect, too, so do something different (Uranus) and visit a local consignment or thrift shop. One of my former classmates in film school got her entire wardrobe at Value Village. I’m not sure what I’d call her style, but it definitely was all her own.

Since I’ve made so much of the Uranus-Pluto square and all the seriousness it entails, I’d also like to remind you that we’ve have a rare and special grand trine coming up in July that will provide some temporary relief from all this depressing stuff. I mentioned it in my 2013 video, but I’ll have more about it in future columns. In the meantime, Ray Merriman had some interesting comments in his weekly forecast about how it might correlate to developments in U.S. politics and finance.

In case anyone missed the Thursday Q&A, I was too out of it to write this past week (I also am behind on reports and e-mails, so if you haven’t heard back from me, please be patient). I’ll have a new Q&A post this week … well, unless some idiot channeling Uranus and Pluto blows up the world.

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

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Weekly Forecast July 9: Uranus and Mercury Retrograde

Illustration of a decaying Higgs-Boson. Can you spot the muons? Photo courtesy CERN.

After all the astrological tumult of the past two months, a “simple” Mercury retrograde seems like rather ho-hum news.

Mercury goes retrograde this Saturday at 12°33′ Leo, and he’ll return to 1°26′ before returning direct on August 8. Among other things, Leo is the sign of entertainment and fun. Mercury in Leo loves a practical joke, but when he’s retrograde, the intended effect could backfire. Standup comedians take note.

For the rest of us, all the usual caveats apply. You know the drill by now. Back up your computer, get big purchases out of the way, sign the contract to sell your house now (actually, it’s a bit late for that already), and wrap up as much as you can on projects under way. On the positive side – and this definitely applies to me – this Mercury retrograde period will be beneficial for editing, rewriting, revising, repair, and revisiting old issues in general. If you’d like to know more about how Mercury retrograde could play out in your life, check out the StarGuide Summer 2012 forecast. Although we’re already well into the season, there’s a ton of useful information in this report, and for anyone who orders now, I’ll extend the transit section until the end of September.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of unique and interesting things happening with this retrograde period. First, at the moment Mercury stations – when he appears to stop moving in the sky from one day to the next – he is in a near-exact sextile with Venus in Gemini. Venus herself recently went retrograde, and on her reverse path crossed the face of the Sun. The astrological implications of the Venus transit aren’t entirely known yet, but intuitively, I think it has something to do with reconnecting opposites on all levels. For many people, communications and connections with a person or situation had to be severed in order to reboot relationships, including our relationship with the various aspects of ourselves. Outwardly, you may have re-established contact with someone, perhaps a romantic partner, but not necessarily. At the highest level, we have been able reconnect with our energetic bodies, what some call the “higher self.” Although you can’t see or measure this connection, it is a very big deal.

With Mercury stationing at a close, positive angle with Venus in the sign he rules, there is another wide open door for meaningful communications to take place within relationships, especially those renewed after a period of distance. Communications are fundamental to strong relationships. I once read a book written for men about how to have better sex, and the first half was all about communicating. Amen to that.

The second interesting factor about this Mercury retrograde, and by far the more volatile one, lies in the simultaneous retrograde of Uranus on Friday. On a collective scale, this reverse is more significant than Mercury’s phase shift, especially since Uranus and Pluto are still within a degree of an exact square. Unless transiting Uranus is sitting on a personal planet or sensitive point in your chart, you’re not likely to feel this one personally. But combined with Mercury’s retrograde on the following day, the reversal of Uranus could manifest as major mischief … as though there hasn’t been plenty already.

We know about the fires, power outages (Uranus rules electricity), and other Uranus-related trends, including financial surprises. In his column this week, Ray Merriman writes about Uranus-Pluto and the Barclay’s Bank scandal. But there was another big event in the news last week that I believe could be the sleeper hit of the Uranus-Pluto cycle.

Last Wednesday, while fireworks were going off in most of the United States, scientists from around the world gathered at CERN in Geneva for a big announcement that they’d found the Higgs-Boson – the so-called “God particle.” Well, at least, they found something like it. It’s unclear at this point exactly what they discovered, but scientists were all jubilant and teary eyed over the possibility that after decades of searching and billions of public money spent, they’d finally found a critical piece of the Standard Model of Physics – the current theory about how the material universe forms.

Astrologers are plenty interested in this development, because part of our job is predicting possible ways that energy patterns in a horoscope might manifest into material reality. Long before I was aware of the Higgs-Boson or any scientific evidence of energy manifesting as physical matter, I knew intuitively that it does, and that astrology is a tool for predicting how and when material results might show up, either in an individual’s life or as global trends.

There were so many ironies in last week’s announcement, starting with the fact that researchers aren’t claiming to have found the Higgs-Boson, but may have accidentally stumbled on something else. That “something else” may be key to understanding the 96 percent of the universe that currently is invisible. That alone boggles the mind. Take a good look around you, and then try to wrap your head around the idea that you’re seeing only 4 percent of what’s actually there (if you’re exceptionally psychic, you may see more).

Another irony is that the announcement and the media attention it generated, including trending on the social media, was very similar to the “news” in January 2011 about the alleged 13th sign of the zodiac. The media got a lot of details wrong, and the public got all excited about something that didn’t happen. Still, scientists were surprised to have something as geeky as the Higgs-Boson trending on the Internet – just as astrologers were shocked that a bizarrely named and little-known constellation got so much attention amid the latest rock videos, celebrity breakups, and political scandals.

The biggest irony, though, lies in the public perception of what this announcement could mean. Faster computers? Smarter cell phones? Zero-gravity trains? In other words, all most people can see in a discovery of this magnitude is that it will somehow translate into new inventions – something material, like, say, space-based weapons or Cheez-It. Because so few people grasp the concept of energy manifesting into matter, the implications are beyond the imagination of most people – scientists included.

Just as scientific discoveries of the past took years to translate to applications in the mainstream, and just as the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the sixties continued to manifest for many years afterward, this new discovery of how matter is formed likely will take years to produce any noticeable effects. One thing is sure, though: how we see ourselves in the universe and how we interact with the world and each other is going to go through a massive overhaul. Meanwhile, if you need any further convincing that the Higgs-Boson is related to the Uranus-Pluto square, check out the CERN article titled, “The Higgs-Boson: Evolution or Revolution? ” Anyone familiar with astrology knows that “evolution” and “revolution” are keywords for Pluto and Uranus.

There is one other aspect this week worth mentioning, and that’s the Sun’s square to Saturn on Sunday (late Saturday in Western time zones). Difficult Sun-Saturn aspects typically manifest as power struggles, especially those involving ego and social structures. The structures could be within your family, ethnic group, company, or government. Fortunately, it’s a short influence that doesn’t last more than a few days, but it could have longer-range implications for you if the Sun and Saturn are transiting a sensitive point in your natal chart.

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

Weekly Forecast April 8: Pluto Retrograde, Mars Direct

I wrote this post yesterday. Then, early this morning, my website went offline due to an accounting error by my hosting service. How’s that for astrological correlation? Apologies to everyone who tried to access the site, and especially if you got a security alert. As of 15:45 PDT, everything appears to be back to normal, although now I’m behind in my reports.

The MV Klahowya, newly returned from retrograde repairs. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

Last week’s Full Moon with Mercury stationed direct marked a turning point, but this week is when the shift hits the fan, so to speak.

Mars, retrograde since January 23, finally returns direct this week, unleashing the new growth and furious activity that should have come along with the New Moon in Aries on March 22. Some of you may have experienced those fresh starts, but from what I hear, that New Moon was a non-starter for most people. As I mentioned early on, the combined energies of Mars retrograde in Virgo and Mercury retrograde in Aries was great for revisions and repairs.

The Washington State Ferries perfectly illustrates my point. The agency is a Gemini and typically experiences more glitches than usual while Mercury is retrograde. However, WSF also has Aries Rising and so was particularly attuned to this combined Mercury-Mars retrograde. To cite just one example, one of the three boats dedicated to Vashon went to the yard for scheduled maintenance in January and spent more than an extra month there while engineers tore out worn drive-motors. It just came back into service as Mercury returned direct. However, the crew has been instructed to run the boat at a reduced speed from now on to prevent further damage. The order extends to other boats in the same class. Engines are ruled by Mars, and mechanical engineering falls within the purview of Virgo. I just love it when astrology works this neatly!

If you intentionally used this retrograde period to repair, revise, retrofit, restore, or any other “re” verb, you should fare pretty well this week. It might take you a little time to get back up to speed, but it will happen, especially once Mercury re-enters Aries next week. I also should mention that you may find yourself at a near standstill late this week and into the weekend, as Mars stations on Friday. With Mercury in dreamy Pisces, it might be difficult just to haul your sorry ass out of bed in the morning. If you absolutely must be somewhere by a certain time, you might want to set two alarms. It wouldn’t hurt to set them a little early.

In the meantime, Pluto turns retrograde on Tuesday. Part of me can’t get too excited about this. Pluto spends almost half of every year retrograde, so in some ways it’s not a big deal. However, around the dates when he shifts motion, you may notice some strange correlations, depending on where he’s currently transiting your chart.

The conventional interpretation is that retrograde Pluto is about turning inward and confronting the shadow. Feelings of jealousy, obsession, and the desire to overpower another may surface. Needless to say, these emotions can make us squirm, as we’d rather not admit we’re capable of such uncivil behavior. Well, we all are. It’s much better to acknowledge it and make peace to the extent possible – much easier for some people than for others. If your job or social position requires you to use power, then this is a good opportunity to examine your attitude toward power and to be more aware of how you use it – or, as the case may be, how you fail to use it.

Speaking of power, you may want to maintain your vigilance over the weekend, when the Sun opposes Saturn. The aspect is exact on Sunday, but you could feel it a day on either side. With Saturn retrograde in Libra, we’re going back over old relationship territory to learn lessons that we haven’t quite assimilated. The Sun in Aries, meanwhile, suggests confidence in who we are, what we’re here to do, and what we need. At his best, Aries is a strong leader and knows the difference between selfishness and enlightened self-interest. You can’t carry out your life’s work if you’re stuck in a relationship that is sucking the life out of you. Pluto retrograde in Saturn’s sign suggests an underlying power struggle that you may need to get to the bottom of in order to be on more equal footing with your partner. The back-and-forth could get mighty uncomfortable, but if you can go into those places fearlessly, you’ll come out with incomparable rewards.

Rather than taking this week chronologically, I’ve covered the dominant transits first. So now let’s go back to the beginning of the week and look at a couple of interesting aspects with Venus on Monday. First, she forms a sextile with Uranus. I touched on this briefly in my Full Moon post and added that past-life connections could play a significant role in any romantic surprises you encounter. As I mentioned in that post, Venus in nearing the lunar South Node, while Juno, an asteroid often associated with marriage and commitment, is on the North Node. On Monday, the Moon conjoins the North Node and Juno, amplifying this energy and possibly correlating to developments in your love life.

My story on this theme is a bizarre series of synchronicities over the past week that called my attention to the mythology of the Egyptian gods Nut and Geb. What’s curious about this pair is that the god symbolizes the earth, while the goddess is the sky. This is backwards from convention, where the sky is “male” and the earth “female.” I’ve given a lot of thought to what it means, why this image was so in my face, and why now. I still don’t have the answers and perhaps won’t find them anytime soon, but it appears to have something to do with the relationship between matter and energy (remember that Higgs boson from last week?).

Nut represents the unmanifest and the energetic universe, while Geb represents the manifest and material universe. In the myth, they are twin brother and sister and want to have sex constantly. Their father, Shu, decides to separate them by holding Nut up high over his head. He explains that this is necessary to create the space for the Sun and Moon to exist, and that if he allowed the lovers to merge into union, the world would be engulfed in chaos.

As much as we might like to know about “past lives” and to delve into the unconscious realms, most of us wouldn’t be able to function if we had total access. There’s a good reason that our brains have a protective mechanism to keep the conscious and unconscious apart. Nevertheless, we have a nagging sense that there’s something behind the veil. Many of us have seen glimpses of it, and more and more people are meeting others they recognize from other lifetimes. When that happens, we may feel a sense of separation.

Keep your antennae up this week, but try to stay grounded. It’s easy to become destabilized when you’re stepping into unfamiliar psychic territory. If you drink or use drugs, be very careful and monitor your response. A little goes a long way right now.

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

P.S. I haven’t forgotten Part II of Ruth’s post. It will be up soon…

Full Moon in Libra, April 6

The "Spirit of Progress" balances atop a building in downtown Chicago. This photo was taken in September 2009, but it's a perfect expression for the Full Moon in Libra with Venus in Gemini. Image credit: Paul Beaty for The Associated Press.

People have been so grumpy in the past couple of days. I attribute it to the effects of waking up out of a Mercury-in-Pisces slumber – like bears coming out of hibernation.

Friday’s Full Moon isn’t helping. Research has shown that the Full Moon affects our behavior, and usually not kindly. We might expect the Moon in Libra to be an exception, Libra being the sign of peace and harmony. However, the chart for this Full Moon is fraught with conflict.

The dominant feature of the chart is a tight T-square with Venus, Mars, and Neptune in the early degrees of the mutable signs. We’re adjusting to recent changes, and it’s not a smooth process. Change by definition is disruptive, and even positive changes can take some getting used to. If changes happened outside your control, then adapting will be even more unnerving. At the same time, the growing square between Uranus and Pluto threatens major shakeups in the collective that will have a ripple effect on our individual lives. (If you ordered the <a title="StarGuide " href="https://realastrologers.com/forecasts/starguide-monthly-and-seasonal-forecasts&quot;StarGuide Spring forecast, you’ve already got my take on how this planetary arrangement could play out for you.)

A couple of different things can happen at the Full Moon. A project or relationship that began at the New Moon can reach a critical stage, or an issue can crop up that is related to the house in your natal chart where the Full Moon falls. I’m betting that for most of us, it will be the first scenario. The reason I say this is that Mercury has just gone direct. The New Moon in Aries on March 22 was a real sparkler – or, rather, it would have been, if both Mercury and Mars hadn’t been retrograde. With Mercury now direct, developments that normally would have taken place around the New Moon may occur now. Or – sorry to say this – you may have to wait until the next New Moon, on April 21. By then, Mars will be direct again, too.

Since Libra is the sign of relationships, I expect that many of you will experience major developments in a close partnership. Again, these changes aren’t likely to be entirely comfortable, and in fact you may have to move through some conflict in order to restore the balance between you and your partner. Rehashing details is going to be a real temptation, but it will be hard to recall exactly who said what and when. What comes out of your partner’s mouth may be so inconsistent with what you remember that you wonder what they’ve been smoking. As important as details may be to your circumstances, they’re going to be difficult, if not impossible, to pin down, so you might just want to forget about them for now and move forward. Generally, I don’t think this is a good idea, as people tend to set things aside to avoid having to be honest and vulnerable. This time, however, it may be the only way to make any progress at all.

Chart for Full Moon in Libra

Click on image to enlarge

The only positive angle in this chart is between Venus and Uranus, which are in a sextile – not the most powerful aspect, but it can create some sparks, depending on where these planets are in your chart. The conventional interpretation of favorable Venus-Uranus combinations is an unexpected development in love or money. This could well be the case for many people, and I’d go so far as to say that “past-life” connections could be a major factor. I write “past-life” for convenience, since that’s how most people think of it. I actually prefer the term “other lives,” because it more accurately describes what I think is behind these connections. In any case, keep your antennae up.

The Sun and Moon also are in close alignment with Vesta, which I think is quite interesting, given that NASA’s Dawn spacecraft currently is flying by Vesta and sending back phenomenal images of the asteroid’s pockmarked surface. There’s no consensus among astrologers about the meaning of Vesta in the chart – or, indeed, any of the asteroids. I believe the attention we’re giving Vesta and Ceres through the Dawn mission will lead to clarification about their roles in astrology, both in the charts of individuals and in mundane astrology.

Since I’m discussing asteroids, it’s also worth mentioning that Juno is conjunct the North Node in Sagittarius – which means she’s opposite Venus at the apex of the mutable T-square. It’s often helpful to look at what’s opposite the apex to find the “out” in difficult situations correlating to a T-square. Named for the wife of Jupiter in classical mythology, asteroid Juno naturally is associated with marriage and partnership in astrology. Although I have the same reserve in assigning any particular role to asteroids until we have more empirical data, it’s probably safe to assume she has something to do with committed partnership. Moreover, it might turn out to be about soul mates and the concept of “sacred marriage.” Juno on the North Node opposite Venus on the South Node would seem to suggest that the way out of obsession and raging hormones is to understand the truth of how we’re connected with a soul mate across the boundaries of space and time.

When I come up with a plausible theory, you’ll be the first to know.

Weekly Forecast April 1: Venus Enters Gemini, Mercury Direct

I was going to write this week’s forecast as an April Fool’s spoof, but every joke I could come up with had too much truth in it. Life is stranger than fiction. As I’m so fond of saying, God is a comedian.

In astrology, the trickster is Mercury, who speaks so eloquently that he can fool anyone into doing anything. That’s why he’s so useful in business negotiations, not to mention political speeches – activities that can go very badly when Mercury is retrograde. Just ask Rick Santorum.

I hope you’ll pardon me while I go off on another one my tangents for a moment. I’ve been thinking about the race to find the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” – the Holy Grail of physics. Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) say they think that 2012 will be the year they find it. Never mind that physicists have been searching for this puppy for 40 years, and after billions of dollars spent on particle accelerators taking up enormous tracks of underground real estate near Chicago and Geneva, they have only “hints” that the Higgs boson exists – evidence they concede could be flukes in their data.

The punch line of my April Fool’s spoof was going to be that physicists looking for the Higgs boson have discovered that it exists only in their imagination, literally turning the Standard Model of physics on its head. But that may turn out to be no joke. CERN itself explains the stakes with crystal clarity: “If it turns out that we cannot find [the Higgs boson], this will leave the field wide open for physicists to develop a completely new theory to explain the origin of particle mass.”

Well, there you have it. The currently accepted scientific theory of how the material universe exists rests on one subatomic particle that mathematical calculations say should exist, but that no one has ever seen. Ponder that for a minute. Maybe it’s not so much the Holy Grail but the Big Foot of physics. And these people dismiss astrology as a superstitious pseudo-science!

The second beat of my punch line was going to be about how astrologers come to the rescue of the Higgs hunters, but that’s not a joke, either. Imagine how our society would be different today if half of one percent of the money spent on searching for the elusive Higgs boson had been spent on researching the correlation between outer planetary cycles and human civilization. And here’s the kicker, and a question for physicists: Once you establish that such a correlation exists, then you have to search for the mechanics of how it works. And that puts us right back to the question of what bridges energy and matter – the same conundrum confronting physicists in their search for the Higgs boson.

Wouldn’t it be a fine joke, too, if it turned out that the Higgs boson existed but couldn’t be isolated under laboratory conditions? The entire methodology of Western science would be smashed faster than a proton in the Large Hadron Collider. Indeed, this is the main reason why astrology can’t be scientifically “proven.” The problem isn’t with astrology, but with the method of proof.

So, why am I bringing up all of this now? Believe it or not, there is a method to my madness. I’m only half joking about the Higgs boson being in scientists’ imagination. Somewhere along this line of scientific inquiry, we’re going to find out that thoughts are life-forms that may even have mass. And perhaps that will lead to the mystery of what binds not only matter, but the belief matrix, both individual and collective. Why are people’s beliefs so entrenched that they will ignore the truth, despite evidence to the contrary? My guess is that it has to do with brain chemistry – what makes people feel good. And that puts us solidly back in the territory of Mercury, the trickster. I wrote about this connection two years ago, as we approached the cardinal T-square.

Mercury currently is retrograde in Pisces, where he’ll return direct on Wednesday. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, which symbolizes the dissolution of boundaries. This is the realm of the imagination, and that’s why it’s so tricky. We don’t know whether what we see, feel, or believe is real. This is the place where we get creative inspiration, but nothing will come of it until we apply the critical analysis of Virgo. Luckily, we’ve got both right up until Mercury re-enters Aries on April 16. By that time, Mars in Virgo will be direct, too. In the meantime, we’re in primetime for research and revision. That applies not only to work projects, but to your entire belief system.

Two other major astrological events take place this week. First, Venus enters Gemini on Tuesday. This is a very big deal, because we’re in the final countdown toward the 2012 Venus transit, which will occur on June 5, the day after a lunar eclipse. My read on this event is that new information will be downloaded into the collective conscious. As I was researching past Venus transits, I noted that the transit in 1639 coincided with the beginning the so-called Age of Enlightenment. Some astrologers may consider it the Age of Endarkenment, seeing as how discoveries in science, especially astronomy, created a rift that relegated astrology to the scrap heap of superstition. That particular Venus transit was in Sagittarius, sign of organized religion. While the new philosophies that emerged were detrimental to astrology, the big breakthrough was that the stranglehold of the Church on people’s minds was broken, leaving humanity free to explore new ideas and independent paths to spirituality.

I’ll write more about the Venus transit in Gemini as the alignment approaches, but for now, I just want to point out that it could indeed herald a breakthrough in our understanding of how matter is formed out of energy. It just may not be what we think. And, for that matter, we may come to understand how what we think makes all the difference in the world.

Venus also is the star of this week’s Full Moon in Libra. I’ve been incorporating the lunar reports in my weekly forecasts due to time limits, but I’ll make an exception this week and write a separate post. I’ll also have Part II of Ruth’s new series on the planetary rulers in Soul Astrology. I thought I’d scheduled it for this past Wednesday and just realized this morning that I didn’t hit the right command. Happy Mercury retrograde.

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

Weekly Forecast April 19: Sun Enters Taurus, Venus Enters Gemini

Bull from the Sea by Brian Fisher, 2009

The Bull from the Sea. Monotype by Vashon artist Brian Fisher, 2009. Images of bulls were prevalent during the Age of Taurus, which was roughly 4525-1875 B.C.

The Saturn-Uranus opposition isn’t exact until next week, but its effects are strong enough now that they’re overpowering everything else.

First, let’s have a look at this week’s lineup …

We start out on Monday with Mercury newly retrograde in Taurus. Traffic and communications will be all snarled up, so do whatever you must to maintain your blood pressure. The Messenger squares Mars in Leo on Sunday (April 25), but the mood could be icky all week, with a higher-than-average risk of arguments. With both planets in fixed signs, neither side will want to back down. Mercury in Taurus will win by saying as little as possible to avoid fueling the temper of Mars in feisty Leo.

On Tuesday (Monday on the West Coast of the United States), the Sun enters Taurus. Do I hear a collective sigh of relief? Taurus may have a reputation as stubborn, but the Bull also is placid and steady. We’ll welcome this new energy after the nonstop activity of Sun in Aries.

In honor of the Sun in Taurus, I’ve chosen this beautiful image by Brian Fisher, one of Vashon Island’s best-loved artists. Brian’s inspiration was the famous fresco of the bull leapers from the Palace of Knossos on Crete. He has a fascinating history of artwork from this era on his blog. Check out his online gallery, too. After all, art appreciation is a very Taurus thing to do!

Also on Tuesday, Chiron enters Pisces, where he’ll stay until August. We’re not likely to notice any immediate effects of this transit, so I’ll deal with it in a future post.

Thursday could be especially difficult, when the Moon in Leo conjoins Mars and squares Mercury. Despite what I wrote about saying as little as possible, you may not be able to contain yourself. There will be meltdowns and temper tantrums everywhere. Try to maintain your decorum.

On Friday and Saturday, Venus squares Neptune, sextiles Uranus, and trines Saturn within a 12-hour period. If you lose grip on reality, especially in romantic situations, you’ll come back to your senses before doing any real damage. You might even find that reality isn’t so bad, after all. It could end up including a very nice surprise — one that doesn’t disappear when you wake up out of a dream.

On Sunday, the planet of love skips into chatty Gemini, and then she’s in mutual reception with Mercury. The danger here is that communications will come fast and furious, but the risk of misunderstandings is high. Be prepared to set records in the number of volleys of phone tag before you finally make your connection.

Also on Sunday, the Sun trines Pluto. Normally, trines are pleasant and easy, but Pluto has been in the hot seat lately at the apex of a T-square, and he needs somewhere to vent his pent-up energy. It’s always a dicey prospect to predict earthquakes, but I won’t be surprised if there’s another big one this weekend.

The cardinal T-square is still several weeks away, but Saturn and Uranus have been going through an opposition in the mutable signs of Virgo and Pisces since late 2008. When outer planets are in aspect, we don’t need to wait until the exact date to feel the effects, but begin to notice developments a few weeks and sometimes months in advance. This opposition is all the more powerful given that Saturn is “receiving” from Pluto in Capricorn, the sign that Saturn rules.

On April 14, a volcano erupted under Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. The plume sent ash over northern Europe and delayed air travel on six continents. I stumbled on an article in The Guardian by Greg Neale, who noted that a similar event in 1783 disrupted weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to crop failures and famine. Many historians believe this was a major factor in the French Revolution, he wrote.

Uranus was discovered between the American and French revolutions, which is how he became associated with rebellion. As it so happens, when the Laki volcano erupted in June 1783, Saturn and Uranus were in opposition in Capricorn and Cancer, both square Neptune in Libra — in other words, a cardinal T-square.

These are perfect examples of how astrological energies manifest into reality. It’s safe to predict that we’re going to get lots more reality between now and the end of the summer. In the meantime, watch the news headlines now for signs of change bumping up against the status quo.

Next week is the Full Moon in Scorpio. I’ll have more later this week, so check back.

Much love and courage to all,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

All Talk, No Action

Neptune, by Walter Crane

Mercury doesn’t go retrograde for another week, but you’d never know it. Many of you are reporting that it feels like the Messenger is in reverse already.

Sure feels like it to me. On Saturday, my bus into the city was late because the one before it had broken down. That meant twice as many riders, standing room only.

I’m expecting this week to be even worse as both Mercury and Neptune station in preparation to turn retrograde within less than half an hour of each other on May 26. What’s with these two, anyway? Back in January, Mercury turned retrograde tightly conjunct Neptune, and now here they are traveling backwards together. Should we suspect an astrological conspiracy? Or maybe they’re having a secret affair?

Whatever it is, it’s corresponding to a lot of confusion for many of us. And I’m dreading having to rely on the ferries this week.

The week begins with a powerful Full Moon in the last degree of Scorpio, which you already know if you read Neith’s superb analysis in the previous post. She wrote about letting go of what isn’t working for you – a painful process. With Venus squaring Neptune later on Monday, some of us will be hit over the head with the sudden recognition that we’ve been deluded by a romantic situation or perhaps by a material desire. Healing requires confronting the reality directly.

The Sun enters Gemini on Tuesday, which normally would create a buzz and signal an increase in communications. Mercury’s station is going to slow things down, though, so you may have the feeling of driving with the brakes on. Or, you might notice a lot of talk but no follow-through. You’ll fare best if you adjust your expectations accordingly.

On Wednesday, Jupiter sextiles Uranus, the second of a three-part aspect. Both planets will be at 22 degrees, the number of the master builder. I wrote about this in a post on Jupiter’s station retrograde. Spend some quiet time on Wednesday contemplating what isn’t working for you, and send out a mental request for solutions. Then write and tell us about how you got the answers!

Venus enters Gemini on Saturday, which will increase our desire to talk about relationships . . . or just to talk. I predict that online dating will soar, and boy, will it turn into a mess when Mercury goes retrograde! Mercury loves a good romantic comedy, so try to keep your sense of humor.

The Moon opposes Mars on Sunday, which normally wouldn’t be worth mentioning. However, with both Mercury and Neptune at a virtual standstill, there’s a high risk that small disagreements will escalate into major conflict due to misunderstandings. Resist the temptation to resort to the silent treatment or other passive-aggressive forms of communication that will only make matters worse. If you need to talk, wait a few days. By then, you’ll probably have forgotten what you were arguing about.

Welcome to Mercury retrograde!

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

What your Venus says about the contents of your underwear drawer

 Lilith by Rossetti  
With the Sun and Venus in Taurus now, this Libra person is thinking about all things related to love, beauty, and desire. And what does Venus like more than pretty undergarments? So I’m going to have a little fun with this . . .

Because Venus travels close to the Sun, she is usually in the same sign or one of the two neighboring signs. She represents our sense of aesthetics, our idea of fun and pleasure and is all about our personal style. Of course, aspects from other planets will affect her expression but that’s for another post!

Venus in Aries is not a patient shopper. If she can find a brand that fits and is easy to come by, she’ll stick with it. This Venus is my candidate for having a fire-engine red bra stuck in the back of her drawer that really looked hot in the store but didn’t fit well after she got home. She also goes for active sportswear undergarments. Even those with Pisces and Taurus Suns will be more adventurous with Venus in the sign of the Ram.

Not surprisingly, Venus in Taurus loves silk lingerie – smooth, soft, and sensual. If you want to make your Taurus sweetie very happy, buy her silk to wear against her skin. She is more concerned with the tactile than the visual, although she’ll love muted, earth tones. Earthy Venus in Taurus helps Aries and Gemini Suns tune into their sensual side.

Venus in Gemini, an air sign, is more experimental and willing to at least try on the latest and greatest fad. She will shop just about anywhere and pick up items because they are fun and catch her eye. Gemini has no problem with bright colors and synthetic fabrics as long as it’s new and different. Taurus and Cancer Sun folks will be far more willing to try something new with this Venus in their charts.

Venus in Cancer prefers comfort to fashion. If the climate is on the cool side, this one will go for flannel nightwear. Cancer likes to stay with tried-and-true designs, nothing fancy. She is likely to be the most comfortable with the idea of appearing matronly. A Gemini or Leo Sun will liven up Venus in Cancer considerably.

Venus in Leo . . . think Madonna’s bustier outfits and visible bras in bright colors. This Venus likes her undergarments to be noticed and appreciated and will go for drama and flair to draw more attention to herself. Having Venus in Leo will give both Cancer and Virgo Suns more pizzazz.

Venus in Virgo is more likely to get excited about having undies made using bamboo fibers. Bamboo is eco-friendly, very soft, and naturally deters bacteria – all of which appeal to Virgo sensibilities. Virgo is less likely to be concerned about style and color than Libra, for instance, but it darn well better fit. Venus in Virgo tones down a Leo Sun and has Libra Sun paying more attention to natural fibers over synthetics

Rose by Waterhouse

Venus in Libra is most likely to go for feminine frills with lots of lace on her sleepwear, but it has to be good quality and soft to the touch – Venus rules Libra, too. She certainly won’t turn down pretty silk lingerie or fine cotton lawn nightwear but will prefer softer colors – no fire engine red for this one. Venus is well placed in Libra, and she’ll give both Virgo and Scorpio Suns more feminine sensibilities.

Venus in Scorpio will pick up that daring garter belt to wear with thigh-high black stockings. She’ll also be inclined to wear silk undergarments under a ratty sweatshirt and jeans to titillate her lover’s imagination – or wear nothing at all. Ha! A Libra or Sagittarius Sun will qualify for HOT if her Venus is in Scorpio.

Venus in Sagittarius will opt for functional, if given a choice, because she just wants to put it on and head out the door. Keep the frills to a minimum please and forget the lace – it scratches. Pure organic cotton is on the top of this one’s list. Both Scorpio and Capricorn Sun folks will be willing to lighten up and fuss less for Venus in Sagittarius.

Ms. Venus in Capricorn not only prefers high quality silky lingerie, she also loves the idea of wearing sexy items under her conservative business suit. It’s a good idea to shop for high-end brands if you want to impress this choosy person, because she will look. If she is shopping for herself, Venus in Capricorn will wait for her favorites to go on sale, demonstrating Saturnine frugality. Sagittarius and Aquarius Suns both benefit from Venus in Capricorn’s sense of class and timeless styling.

For Venus in Aquarius, paying attention to what she wears depends on her mood and her lover. For the most part, undergarments are almost an afterthought, with comfort and good fit much higher on the scale than appearance. Like Virgo, she also will go for eco-conscious fibers like organic cotton and bamboo. This Venus will give Capricorn and Pisces Suns an eccentric edgier taste . . . electric blue lingerie anyone?

Venus in Pisces is the sweetheart of them all. Imagination is everything, and she prefers sheer fabrics in luminous colors that create an atmosphere of romance. Venus in Pisces is another who likes softness against her skin and the hidden beauty of lovely under-things that only she knows she’s wearing. This romantic Venus tones down and softens Aquarius and Aries Suns.

Venus rules Libra too posted by Neith . . .