Tag Archives: Venus in Libra

Weekly Forecast October 13: Venus Sextile Jupiter, Sun Conjunct Mercury

Before the Storm. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Before the Storm. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

There was a discussion recently in an astrology forum on Facebook, initiated by an old-time astrologer who ridiculed his colleagues for giving any credence to events related to Mercury retrograde.

I was all the more surprised when several others chimed in to agree with him. It’s not the first time I’ve read other astrologers pooh-poohing Mercury retrograde.

Granted, it’s tricky assigning a particular event to an astrological signature, especially since there’s often more than one working together. It’s also true that mix-ups we normally associate with Mercury retrograde happen when he’s moving forward. In some of those cases, though – at least in my personal experience Continue reading

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Weekly Forecast October 6: Full Moon Eclipse in Aries, Mars Trine Jupiter

Lunar Eclipse in 2000, image courtesy Fred Espinak. More at www.Mr.Eclipse.com.

© Fred Espenak, 2000.

It often happens that we’re surprised by events, when, looking back, the signs were there all along.

I could say that that’s one of the major themes of my life. There have been many instances, especially in my younger years, when simply paying attention could have saved me a lot of grief. But then, it’s not always that simple, is it?

There is so much noise from outside that it can drown out our intuition, which in any case is ridiculed as inferior to rational thinking. We are taught not to trust what’s in our hearts. Well, as I’ve said before, the heart is the seat of the mind; the brain is just a tool. Continue reading

Weekly Forecast September 2: New Moon in Virgo

Woman gleaning in the Alawite territory of Syria, 1938. From the John D. Whiting papers, Library of Congress.

Woman gleaning in the Alawite territory of Syria, 1938. From the John D. Whiting papers, Library of Congress.

Something extraordinary appears to have happened. People are waking up.

There was a point last week that I almost started throwing up thinking about the news that the Obama administration was going to go guns blazing into Syria, on questionable evidence of unspeakable weapons used by a loathsome dictator who butchers his own people. It worked once, right? Why shouldn’t it work again?

Well, it seems that a miracle has happened. People on all side of the political spectrum see through the lies, smoke, and mirrors. I spent hours poring through comments on CNN, HuffPo, The Guardian, Fox News, and several others. The opinion was overwhelmingly against further U.S. involvement in Syria, and a good number of people knew it was “further.” We’re paying attention. We know that the United States has been arming rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some of them far more frightening than the totalitarian regime they seek to topple. And we know our government has been telling blatant lies in an attempt to hide its covert operations in a proxy war. The epiphany hasn’t been confined to the United States.

For a few days, it seemed that public opinion wasn’t going to deter the White House. The idea that the government would ignore the will of the people was even more depressing. As I write, news from Washington is that President Obama will consult Congress before going ahead with plans for military action. The cynic in me doesn’t think his reversal has much to do with the polls, but is more likely the result of hardball back-room negotiating. There is no doubt in my mind that some serious horse-trading took place. As a reporter in Washington, I saw how these guys work. One can only imagine what House Speaker John Boehner may have promised Obama in return for delivering a vote in favor of bombing Syria.

In any case, with Venus in Libra, action was delayed long enough to allow additional facts to surface. And as long as Mercury is in fact-obsessed Virgo, it’s likelier that people will stay grounded in reason and not let themselves be persuaded by a clever new PR blitz. I imagine the spin-doctors were shocked when horrific images of dying children failed to whip up public support to bomb the evil-doer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Democracy depends on a well-informed public. While it’s true that 24/7 news coverage has made it more possible than ever to saturate the Internet with the official version of the truth, the Internet also has provided a vehicle for the real truth to surface. The danger, of course, is that one needs to be very prudent in discerning the reliability of a source. But it does appear that vast numbers of people are doing just that – again, judging by the comments on the various news sites.

So, three cheers for Venus in Libra and Mercury in Virgo.

In the coming week, the dominant astrological aspects are the New Moon in Virgo on Thursday and the sextile from the Sun to Jupiter on Saturday (September 7). Virgo is incisive, analytical, and practical. Indeed, despite the rhetoric coming from the White House and 10 Downing, practicality won in the end, and cooler heads prevailed. It’s reasonable to expect that this mood will continue at least through Thursday and perhaps for the following three days. However, toward the end of the week, Mars edges closer to an exact square with Saturn, and the drums of war will get louder.

New Moon in Virgo

Click on image to enlarge

In the chart cast for Washington (as always, with apologies to readers outside the United States), we find Virgo on the Ascendant, with Mercury conjunct by exact degree. There is a national discussion going on, and people are having a rational, informed debate. Granted, there may be a few too many details and not enough emphasis on the big picture, but at least the discussion is taking place.

That said, the Sun and Moon are in the twelfth house, suggesting that a significant high-level discussion is going on outside of the public view. This is the opposite of transparency. Harmonious connections to Jupiter and Pluto suggest that the White House is heavily negotiating with Republican leaders and large financial institutions – not that we didn’t already know that. Mercury “receives” from the New Moon, reinforcing the likelihood of an aggressive PR campaign, probably based on select facts. Just like statistics, facts can be manipulated to make any point one wishes.

The G20 leaders’ summit in Saint Petersburg starts on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if Obama relents and agrees to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama canceled the meeting in a huff over Russia’s offer of political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two leaders also are at loggerheads over Syria – Obama blaming the chemical weapons attack on Assad and Putin implying it was a false flag operation. Putin has suggested the summit would be a good forum for an international discussion about the crisis in Syria. Astrologically, it’s a terrific time to do just that.

Other aspects in the New Moon chart include the Sun’s opposition to Chiron (exact on Tuesday) and a Ceres-Neptune opposition, which is exact within an hour of the New Moon. Sun in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces suggests a collective healing crisis. If you have personal planets from 10 to 14 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces, you could feel an extra twinge of emotional pain, possibly from past memories, whether in this life or other incarnations.

Ceres is in Virgo, which I believe she should co-rule with Mercury, so she’s essentially in her own sign and thus strong. If you remember Mythology 101, Demeter, the Greek counterpart of the Roman Ceres, was the only deity who could challenge Zeus (Jupiter) and Hades (Pluto). In the New Moon chart, Ceres isn’t in close aspect with Jupiter and Pluto but will make contact later this month. Her trine with Pluto on September 17 will be especially powerful. Astrologers are still studying the implications of Ceres in mundane charts, and it could be years before we get enough data to form reliable opinions. In the meantime, we can only speculate. Ceres has been prominent in environmental disaster charts (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon explosion), which makes sense, given her mythology. However, she also was conjunct Jupiter on the Ascendant of the chart for the fall of the Berlin Wall, so there’s something about speaking truth to power, which also is part of her mythology. Neptune rules chemicals, including nerve agents like those used in Syria, as well as oil production. We’ll need to watch the headlines to see how this influence plays out.

In Greek mythology, the identity of Virgo is sometimes given as Demeter or her maiden daughter, Persephone, or as Astraea, the virgin goddess of justice. So the story goes, Astraea lived on Earth during the Golden Age of humanity, but when men became violent and corrupt, she left in disgust, leaving them to fight among themselves.

And Virgo indeed is an antidote. Virgo is the sign of service to humanity. In the Tarot, it’s represented by The Hermit. As I was doing research for this post and reading about Islamic practices of prayer, fasting, alms, and pilgrimage, I immediately thought of The Hermit. Substitute “meditation” for prayer, and helping the less fortunate for “alms,” and you have an age-old, cross-cultural formula for spiritual growth. How often do we talk about “purifying” the spirit? This “virgin” spirit has nothing to do with the religious concept of female virginity, but is about daily renewal through disciplined spiritual practice. Ceres is about the cycles of nature, including the cycle of growth, death, and rebirth. As we move through these turbulent times, I find comfort in the idea that everything is cyclical.

Mercury leaves Virgo on September 9, which happens to be the day Congress returns from summer recess and Mars forms an exact square with Saturn. Boehner said the House likely would take up the debate on Syria that week, just when the war drums will be beating the loudest. I think we also need to entertain the possibility of a staged event designed to swing public opinion through fear and panic, hallmarks of Mars. That’s why it’s all the more urgent that we do what we can this week to search for the truth and spread it around. I’ve been doing my part by painstakingly researching news articles and bookmarking those I deem to be based on credible sources and sound reporting. Here are a couple of links from my growing collection. Some of them are old news but noteworthy for their accurate foresight. Please feel free to share your own.

Witnesses of Gas Attacks Say Saudis Supplied Rebels with Chemical Weapons
U.S. Offers Syrian Rebels Military Support, Alleges Assad Used Chemical Weapons (June 14, 2013)
Syria: An Energy-Based Proxy War in the Making?

Before I end this long piece (thus the late posting), I’d like to thank everyone who sent supportive comments and personal e-mails regarding my copyright issue. I’ve weighed the input and decided to keep my feed truncated for the time being. I hope no one minds the extra click to keep reading.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast August 26: Venus Opposes Uranus, Mars Enters Leo

Rocky Path. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

Rocky Path. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

As I was researching the news headlines to write this post, I was reminded of the tagline for the television series, The X-Files: “Trust No One.”

It used to be that you could always trust The New York Times to deliver the facts, but those days came to an abrupt halt after it came out that its reports about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were completely untrue. Based on unnamed government sources, the articles bolstered the case for the Bush administration to invade Iraq.

Democracy is based on an informed citizenry, but where are we to get reliable information? I barely believe a word I read anymore. The corporate media can’t be trusted. Media watchers blame the failure to investigate and report government wrongdoing on post-9/11 hysteria, but that was 12 years ago. As I see it, Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in 2008 is the bigger indicator – even more so since Saturn entered Scorpio last October, putting Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception (each in the sign ruled by the other). This is Big Brother on steroids. It’s no surprise that as governments become increasingly authoritarian, they set all scruples aside and spare no expense in going after the whistleblowers. Add Uranus into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for deadly suppression of rebellion. And then along comes Jupiter and inflames situations even more.

Several events in the past week can be traced back to late 2010 and early 2011, when Uranus was moving toward the square with Pluto, and Jupiter in Aries conjoined Uranus and then “carried forward” his energy to a square with Pluto. In February and March 2011, with the square between Jupiter and Pluto close to exact, Mubarak resigned in Egypt, protests broke out in Syria, and a powerful earthquake caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. As Jupiter approached opposition to Pluto earlier this month, Egypt experienced the worst political violence in recent history. A massive underground reservoir of radioactive water began leaking from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean. In Syria, chemical weapons killed at least 350 and injured thousands more. It appears that the government is responsible, but it has officially denied it and blames the attack on anti-government rebel “terrorists.” As I type, the United States is moving an additional Navy destroyer to within target range of Syria, and the Obama administration is considering its “options.” There’s hardly a mention anywhere of the Israeli government, even though it defies credulity to think they aren’t involved big-time.

In addition to those breaking stories, Bradley Manning, who has asked to be called Chelsea from now on, received a 35-year sentence for blowing the whistle on military abuses in Iraq. The British police – apparently with the approval of the Obama administration – detained the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and confiscated his laptop and other electronic devices. A few days later, sensitive intelligence information was mysteriously leaked to another British paper, which quoted an unnamed source and said the material was contained in the files copied by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It looks an awful lot like a government plant.

There’s so much lying going on that we don’t know what to believe. So most people believe what makes the most sense to them, given their experience, political beliefs, mental filters, and other biases. You have to wonder whether Homo sapiens has devolved into Homo dementis.

I do think we may get some clarity this week, and I also think it’s possible that political crises can be defused, at least temporarily.

Through the middle of the week, Venus transforms the cardinal T-square of Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto into a cardinal grand cross. Although this sounds kind of scary, it could turn out to be beneficial. Venus in Libra is the diplomat of the zodiac, and while a square to Pluto suggests power struggles, diplomacy may win out … this time. That won’t always be the case. Reason and clarity prevail with Mercury in his home sign of Virgo. The Sun also is in Virgo, which may help tone down some of the rhetoric and posturing. Virgo is analytical and wants “just the facts.”

Both the Sun and Mercury sextile Saturn and Jupiter this week, and they also trine Pluto – Mercury on Wednesday and the Sun on Sunday (September 1). The trine is a favorable aspect, and when it connects to a planet in a tense formation like a square or opposition – in this case, Pluto – it provides a pressure valve to release pent-up energy. Mercury is the communications planet, so I’m hopeful that the release will be in the form of the factual news and information we’ve been waiting for. Maybe there still is a news organization on the planet with the integrity to report the real news. For that matter, The New York Times might even redeem itself by working with the Guardian on the NSA story. That’s not to say it’s all going to be good news, but at this point, we just want to know what’s really going on. People are tired of the secrets and lies.

Now, before that happens, we have an opposition from the Sun and Mercury to Neptune. It will be over by Tuesday, clearing the way for the truth to come out. Matters could be somewhat obscured on Sunday and Monday, though. Or, perhaps some facts will be revealed that are so seriously disturbing that many people will prefer to remain in denial – more than usual, anyway. This is all the more likely with Venus opposing Uranus on Monday. The truth could be downright shocking.

I also need to mention that Mars enters Leo on Tuesday. Mars hasn’t been a happy camper in Cancer, and when he changes to a compatible fire sign, his entry could be dramatic. There’s also the possibility of some saber-rattling here, although, taken together, all the other aspects this week suggest that the pissing contests will be toned down for now. Next week, different story.

What I’ve written above also can apply to our personal lives. Perhaps a frank discussion about a relationship will result in information that helps you make an objective, rational decision. Or you could defuse a tense situation at work through an honest dialog that sticks to the facts. A level playing field can be restored upon the revelation of secrets intentionally kept in order to tip the balance of power. Depending on where they fall in your chart, Venus and Uranus could signal love at first sight, a sudden financial opportunity, or an unexpected social invitation.

Before I go, I want to tell you about a disturbing experience I had earlier this week and to ask for suggestions. I was doing a Google search and came across some text that looked an awful lot like my writing. Imagine my shock when I clicked on the link and found a blog displaying all of my posts since last October, in their entirety, without any attribution, and with only one faint, unidentified link back to RealAstrologers. There were posts by a couple of other astrologers as well, and the site was plastered with obnoxious Google ads. After spending more than an hour trying to find out who owned the blog and how to contact him, I wrote a terse e-mail giving him 48 hours to remove all of my content from his site. He replied that it was “completely legal” to repost RSS feeds! He did, however, comply with my request.

It is most certainly not legal to post someone else’s work and make it look like original content. However, as I investigated my options, I discovered that web scraping, as this is called, is not uncommon, and the only way to prevent it is to truncate my RSS feed.

When the Creative Commons license first came out, I supported it and attached it to all my work. The idea behind it is that sharing information enriches everyone and creates a more informed community. I also believe that the way to cope with the enormous stress we’re all facing is to band together. But when I come across people like this who feel entitled to take whatever they want, I’m not inclined to want to share freely. Moreover, Creative Commons licenses just encourage stealing. The whole thing was all the more infuriating in that I spent more than two days researching the applicable law rather than catching up my work.

Truncating my RSS feed means that all of you who have been receiving my forecasts via e-mail would get only a short paragraph and would have to visit my blog for the rest of the article. That would be my best protection, but it would be an inconvenience for my subscribers. A Facebook reader suggested adding a copyright notice to each article, so I thought I’d try that for a while and see how it goes. Meanwhile, if anyone has any other suggestions, please contact me or leave a comment. And if you come across any violations, please let me know right away.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013. All rights reserved.

Weekly Forecast August 19: Full Moon in Aquarius, Jupiter Squares Uranus

Monarch on Thistle. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

Monarch on Thistle. © Osk Ingad Alden, 2013.

Whatever little break we may have gotten last week, it’s over. Aspects are so tense that even astrologers are fighting with each other.

A professional astrology forum I participate in has become an online brawl. I swear, if these people were in the same room, they’d be smashing furniture over each other’s heads. The topic causing such a firestorm is Sun sign horoscopes. I can’t believe that people who are supposed to be enlightened (at least that’s my theory) are resorting to personal insults. It’s quite distressing.

Of course, that’s nothing compared to what’s going on in Egypt. Events there escalated right on cue, with the cardinal T-square formed by Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto peaking on August 7 and August 21 – this Wednesday. This is a symbolic battle, as the so-called Arab Spring was one of the earliest manifestations of the cardinal T-square in 2010 in the first degrees of cardinal signs Aries, Libra and Capricorn. Uranus, the planet of revolutions, was in the final degrees of Pisces at the time, but Jupiter was in Aries.

A reader e-mailed me recently with comments about the current administration in the United States, which has, among other things, voiced continued support for invasive government spying and unmanned drone attacks, even in countries with which we’re not at war. I agreed that a lot of campaign promises had not only been ignored but shockingly reversed, and yet, what might happen if we took to the streets as the Egyptian people did? Calling for the removal of an objectionable government acting in the interests of only a privileged few could have grave consequences in a Pluto-in-Capricorn world. I saw this coming and have written about it a lot in this blog. The Uranus-Pluto square was ripe for rebellion, but I knew that the response by authorities would be deadly.

Still, I do think there is some hope that the situation in Egypt and elsewhere can resolve. The current T-square is the first in a three-part aspect. The next critical periods extend from February to May of 2014, with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto in a square by exact degree in mid-April, with a lunar eclipse. What we’re seeing in this time period is setup for events to come. The crisis has been declared, and now it must intensify and then resolve. That’s the pattern of three-part outer planetary transits. That said, Uranus and Pluto remain in a square until 2015, and then there will be a ripple effect of two to three years. April 2014 will be an especially critical time in the United States, as the T-square falls at the same degree as the U.S. Sun and 1 degree from the U.S. Saturn. Venus crosses over the U.S. Saturn later this month, so we may get an idea then of what’s coming down the pike.

Full Moon in Aquarius

Click on image to enlarge

We also have the Full Moon this week, the second in a row in Aquarius. In modern astrology, Aquarius is ruled by Uranus. Anyone who knows an Aquarian is familiar with their innate rebelliousness against authority (unless they are the authority, and then it’s a different story). As you can see in the chart, this is potentially a difficult Full Moon. Not only is Jupiter in a near-exact square with Uranus, but Venus is about to form a grand cross. Now, this could in fact be a temporary stabilizing influence, as Venus in Libra strongly represents diplomacy, and a grand cross is more stable than a T-square. Still, we’re in a period of heightened global tension that is getting on everyone’s nerves. Even if you avoid news headlines in an attempt to protect yourself, you can’t avoid the tense vibration in the collective. The more psychically sensitive you are, the more you’ll feel it. The most you can do is to be kind to yourself, find moments of peace and beauty where you can (thus the image of the butterfly above), and do your best to give loved ones the benefit of the doubt. We’re all under enormous stress.

The Full Moon peaks late Tuesday (Wednesday in Europe and eastern time zones). It’s interesting to note that in the Full Moon chart, Uranus is conjunct the Ascendant by less than three degrees, with Pluto on the Midheaven and Jupiter on the IC. These are extremely sensitive points in a chart, and I can’t help but feel that Washington is in store for a big shock of some kind. In mundane astrology, Jupiter represents the federal justice system and the banks. Look for dramatic headlines (more than usual) involving the Federal Reserve, the country’s largest banks, and the Justice Department. Uranus represents uprisings and riots, and he’s also the planet of severe thunderstorms. If nothing else, the Eastern Seaboard may see some serious weather.

On Thursday, the Sun enters Virgo, with Mercury following on Friday. Reasoned analysis becomes a bigger part of the discussion, both in the collective and in our private lives. Fortunately, with Venus in diplomatic Libra, we can catch ourselves before saying something insensitive or cruel – and remember, the threshold is low right now, given the amount of stress we’re under. If you have been indulging a bit too much to cope with everything coming at you (guilty here), then it’s time to start watching your diet and getting a little more exercise. The Moon is in Aries on Friday, offering a bit of “just do it.” The Sun and Mercury conjoin on Saturday. If you’ve got children, this is your day to shop for back-to-school supplies. Function trumps style.

On Sunday (August 25), Mercury opposes Neptune in Pisces. Keep a notebook by your bed and record your dreams. When life is moving fast and we’re doing all we can just to keep up, we sometimes have to ignore or stuff down feelings and desires, to the point that we may lose touch with ourselves. Here’s an opportunity to find it.

I’m going to try to post the weekly forecasts on Saturday from now on to give everyone a longer heads up. Astrology can’t make stressful events go away, but it can help us understand the forces over which we don’t have any control, and it can show us where we do have opportunities to make some important choices.

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

Weekly Forecast August 12: Venus Enters Libra

Dew on Cattails. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2013.

Dew on Cattails. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2013.

In terms of astrological aspects, this week is fairly calm. But we remain in the period of a tumultuous T-square with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto.

The only two major aspects this week are a harmonious trine from Mercury to Uranus and the entrance of Venus into her home sign of harmony loving Libra. Saner minds may prevail, however fleetingly.

Mercury in Leo trines Uranus in Aries on Wednesday (Thursday in Europe and points east). Mercury and Uranus have a natural affinity, as both rule air signs. Leo and Aries are fire signs, which are more visceral and act on gut instincts. This combination of Mercury and Uranus is conducive to intuitive thinking, maybe even a spark of genius, that can withstand rational analysis. The good news here is that Mercury provides a temporary “out” from the tension of the T-square. The pressure of the T-square has been bearing down on all of us, and those of you who are particularly sensitive have felt it even if there’s no noticeable manifestation in your lives. For you, there may be some small bit of relief this week.

In world events, the U.S. government continues to launch drone strikes on “suspected terrorists” in Yemen. In last week’s forecast, I commented that the astrological charts indeed showed some trouble, possibly radiating from the Middle East, and that it was connected somehow with the United States. When no terrorist attack materialized, I questioned my analysis … until I realized that what I was seeing was right; I just had the roles switched.

If I’m right about the astrological underpinnings of this trend, it’s not going to end anytime soon, and there may be an increase in the violence next week, when Jupiter squares Uranus. That said, this is a long-term astrological trend that continues on and off through next May. Outer planetary aspects can manifest at any time during their period of influence. I know I’m not the only person deeply disturbed by the notion that someone can be targeted and killed on suspicion of an unspecified crime that government authorities say might happen. I cringe when I read comments on news articles by people who support this measure as a way to prevent deadly terrorist attacks. Fortunately, there seem to be as many people who believe in the principle of innocence until proven guilty. What we’ll do about it is another question. Uranus in Aries can take to the streets in mass protest, but it’s not a good combination for follow-through. Complicating matters, it’s entirely possible (and some say likely) that drone strikes are increasing the possibility of retaliation against the United States. The T-square hasn’t had its final say yet.

On Friday (Venus day), Venus enters Libra, the sign of balance and harmony, which is under her rulership. Libra is the sign of diplomacy, and I do think there’s hope that diplomacy can cool off some of the hot spots in the world. Venus in Libra also is going to transform the T-square between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto into a grand cross starting at the end of next week and lasting until the end of the month. Now, this might sound ominous on the face of it, but T-squares are inherently unstable, and a fourth planet to “close” the loop can be grounding. The point opposite the apex can be a “out” for tense energies. In this case, I can’t think of a better out than diplomacy. We may have a situation in which the antagonists are unable to move forward but, temporarily at least, unable to do further damage. This could apply to weather, as well. NSA surveillance also comes to mind. President Obama said on Friday that he would order a review of government intelligence gathering. This week, he’ll have a chance to show whether he really means it.

Personally, the Mercury-Uranus trine may not show up in your life unless they are making close aspects to personal planets in your chart. In that case, you may see a short increase in communications, especially e-mail, and ideas may come to you in rapid succession. Write them down, because they may be so fleeting that you forget them.

It’s more likely we’ll feel Venus in Libra, and probably as a balancing, stabilizing influence, especially in close relationships. Conflict isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes you need it to clear the air and get out of a rut. But there are times for conflict and times for compromise. Venus in Libra favors the latter. Agree to put differences aside for now and just enjoy being together. Find ways to support one another. Create some happy memories to balance out the sad ones. If you’re single, make a point of noticing beauty in the people and places around you, or seek it out elsewhere. Focus on it, burn it into your memory.

Speaking of burning beauty, don’t forget that this week is the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. It has been too overcast the past two nights in the Seattle area (big surprise there), but I sat on my deck on Thursday night and saw a couple of spectacular fireballs. In between, I got to sit quietly under the stars and just listen.

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

Weekly Forecast August 16: Venus Conjunct Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Escape. © Pat Paquette, 2010

The sand under our feet continues to shift this week, with the cardinal T-square still at peak power and Mercury turning retrograde. There’s also a lovely conjunction of Venus and Mars.

Actually, I consider it all as good news. After this week, the T-square will wind down for the rest of the year, with the exception of a brief period around the Full Moon in Aries on September 23. Venus and Mars conjoin in her home sign, which I see as a step toward restoring the balance between masculine and feminine energies on the planet.

Even Mercury retrograde could have benefits. Life has been moving so fast that a slow-down would be most welcome, with time for revisions, repairs, and catching up on tasks we’ve been putting off for weeks, if not months. It’s also a great time to take a vacation or a short break to escape from the pressure.

Taking the week chronologically, Jupiter opposes Saturn on Monday, the second of three passes and one of the most important components of the T-square. This opposition, along with Uranus in Aries, has been responsible for that feeling of driving with the brakes on. Many of us seem to be on the verge of a breakthrough, but something is holding us back. And maybe there’s some kind of logic in that, as moving forward before we’re ready usually costs us in the long run. Saturn says we have to pass all of our exams before we can graduate.

At the exact moment that Jupiter and Saturn are in opposition, Pluto is on the Ascendant in Washington, D.C. Pluto, remember, is at the apex of the T-square and thus represents a point of extreme pressure. Jupiter represents the nation’s banks and wealth, while Saturn represents government structure and bureaucracy, and Pluto represents big business, as well as overall financial and political power. The position of the United States as the world’s only superpower is being challenged, and that makes the country’s economic decisions critical not just to the national economy, but to its standing in the world. Watch the headlines out of Washington this week for new developments in an ongoing story.

On Thursday, the Moon enters Capricorn and amplifies the cardinal T-square by aspecting Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all within a few hours. The Moon’s influence is fleeting, but it can help us become more aware of what we want and how our current circumstances may be helping or hindering those goals.

On Friday, the Moon squares Venus and Mars, just as the cosmic lovers are conjoining in Libra, the sign of balance and harmony. I know that many of you are trying to find balance in your love relationships and committed partnerships and that you’re having difficulties. It’s not surprising, given all the tension and conflict in the sky right now. This week, look for breakthroughs, and rejoice even in the small victories.

Later in the day, Mercury turns retrograde at 19 degrees Virgo. He’ll return to 5 degrees Virgo before returning direct on September 12. Wherever he’s retrograde in your natal chart is where you can expect to experience the most delays and frustration, but it’s also where you’ll find the best opportunities for slowing down and revising your flight plan. It’s also where you may experience déjà vu moments.

On Saturday, Saturn squares Pluto, the third and last pass of this vital component of the T-square. In our individual lives, this difficult aspect represents where we’re experiencing a battle of conflicting authorities, be they our internal drivers or external people and circumstances. Whether the source of this conflict is internal or external, it’s holding us back from making the changes we’d like. This is the aspect most closely linked to the painful transformations many of us have been experiencing.

In the world at large, it’s a marker for economic difficulties as well as conflict between government regulators and big business.

The Sun enters Virgo on Sunday. It’s time to clean up after the party and to get serious about our diets, fitness, housekeeping, and studies. This is especially true with Mercury retrograde in Virgo.

I’m reminded of the old maxim, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” No matter how you cut it, we’re chopping and carrying. Practicing mindfulness while we’re engaged in seemingly mindless activities is an excellent way to expand your consciousness.

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

Caption: Escape. © Pat Paquette, 2010.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Resourceful

Scarlett O'Hara's curtain dress. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas is seeking donations to restore this costume and four others worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind.

I’ve been scouring the news headlines daily for evidence of the cardinal T-square manifesting in real life. Goddess knows, there’s plenty to be found: floods in Pakistan, mudslides in China, a broken glacier in Greenland, and record heat and fires in Russia, compounded by the threat of radioactive smoke.

As if that’s not enough, Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses are on the brink of ruin. In tatters. So worn and fragile that they’re not fit to be seen in public. The Harry Ransom Center, owner of the collection, is trying to raise $30,000 to restore the dresses in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind in 2014.

There you have it, folks. It’s what happens when Venus (feminine beauty) conjoins Saturn (durability) opposite Jupiter (tradition, opulence, and the biggest anything), square Pluto (regeneration). We’d like to restore these dresses, but gee, where are we going to get the money? Uranus and Jupiter retrograde in Pisces ought to come in very handy for that, Pisces being the sign of the past and the collective unconscious.

Sarcasm aside, there’s some wonderful symbolism in this story. First, let’s take the character of Scarlett O’Hara, one of the most despicable heroines ever to come out of Hollywood. She is selfish, self-serving, spoiled, and vain. She steals other women’s husbands. And yet, we root for her. Despite her many flaws, we admire her iron will to survive when the world is collapsing around her and others lack the strength to carry on.

The curtain dress perfectly symbolizes Scarlett’s dual resourcefulness and deviousness. Faced with losing the family plantation unless she can come up with the cash to pay an enormous property tax, she resorts to her feminine wiles to land a man with money. Alas, she has nothing to wear!  Without a shred of sentiment, she tears down her dear, departed mother’s curtains and orders Mammy, her slave nursemaid from birth, to make her a dress. Her plot works, and her property is saved, at least for the time being.

Scarlett O’Hara and her curtain dress may turn out to be our inspiration as the global economy continues to languish under the T-square and society as we know it changes forever. Those of us with Scarlett’s pragmatism and resourcefulness will have a leg up. Those who don’t know they have it may discover it.

Unbearable stress can push us to grow in ways we never anticipated.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P. S. Just for the heck of it, I looked up the birth data for Vivien Leigh, the actress who played Scarlett. Ironically, she has a cardinal T-square in her natal chart with Venus in Libra at the apex. Noted for her exceptional beauty, she considered it an impediment to being taken seriously in her profession.

New Moon in Leo, August 9

© Eyewave/Dreamstime.com

The New Moon in Leo on August 9 (August 10 in the Eastern Hemisphere) is unusually rich with symbolism for making creative changes in our lives.

It falls on Monday, the beginning of a new week, named in honor of the Moon. It’s in a lovely trine to Ceres, a symbol of the cyclical nature of life. And its relationship to the cardinal T-square – or, more precisely, its lack of relationship – suggests that we can get out of an endless feedback loop and into an entirely different way of being and doing.

The Sun, symbol of the heart and who we are at the core, is in his own sign of Leo, where he shines the brightest. The Moon in conjunction with the Sun reflects your heart back at you, allowing you to see your unique gift to the world and to appreciate your creative mind. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, you create through your mind. This is an awesome, wonderful thing – the best trait of the human species. The true heart of the lion is not selfish and greedy, but radiates love and abundance for the well-being of everyone around him.

The T-square, meanwhile, is raging around us full force, with Jupiter and Uranus in tight opposition to Saturn, Mars, and Venus, all square Pluto in Capricorn. We’re facing the same old challenges, spinning our wheels and feeling exhausted by seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

This New Moon offers us an opportunity to set all of that aside and focus on something else. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to go play and leave all your cares behind for a few hours. Or you’ll suddenly hear the joy and laughter of children, and it will bring you to that place, if only for a moment. If you have a creative outlet, put your whole heart into it and be amazed.

If there is any relationship at all between the T-square and the New Moon, it can be found in the space opposite the Pluto at the apex. That space is in Cancer, and Cancer is ruled by the Moon. Why not let something new into that space? What we focus on is what we attract. So, however temporarily, allow yourself to focus on something entirely different at this New Moon. Then watch to see what pings back.

The trine from the Sun and Moon to Ceres in Sagittarius suggests renewal through seeing the bigger picture. Although each of us is a complete individual with unique talents and gifts, we are conduits for the “mind of God.”

If relationships are your hardest challenge, you’ll have some additional support from Venus and Saturn, who are the strongest players in the T-square right now. Mars is in his detriment in Libra, and all of the outer planets except Saturn are retrograde. Saturn is not only direct but exalted in Libra, and Venus is in her own sign and also “receiving” from Saturn. This tells me that romantic commitment is possible, as is redressing imbalances in relationships.

Mercury, meanwhile, is in his own sign of Virgo, although as many of you know, I’m a proponent of making Ceres the modern ruler (or at least a co-ruler) of Virgo. He’s slowing down, in preparation to turn retrograde on August 20, and the only aspect he makes in the New Moon chart is a wide square to Ceres. I’d say this is a reminder to pay attention to details but not to get lost in them. Otherwise, you risk missing out on all the fun.

The Sabian Symbol** for the Sun and Moon at 17°24′ Leo is a teacher of chemistry, with the keyword INSTRUCTION. One of the objectives of astrology is to help us use the invisible energies of the cosmos to our benefit, but first we must understand how they work. We’re learning now, as we watch events unfold from one of the most dramatic astrological configurations of a lifetime.

As a good friend of mine is so fond of saying, “It’s all a learning experience.”

Wishing you all the courage of the lion,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. This is definitely the time to write your abundance check!

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

Weekly Forecast August 2: Jupiter and Mars Square Pluto

Sometimes the way out is up. © Judy Ben Joud/Dreamstime

This is it, kids. It’s peak week for the cardinal T-square — the astrological “week from hell” we’ve been anticipating — with a one-day grand cross thrown in for an additional increase in blood pressure.

I’ve written a lot over the past few months about possible manifestations of the T-square, based on events associated with similar configurations in history, notably in 1989 and, even more prominently, in the early 1930s. The events in 1989 for the most part were well-defined, one-time occurrences, even though some had far-reaching consequences that are still in play.

Conversely, in the early 30s, developments unfolded over several years. In many ways, it was the worst of the two. It almost makes me wish the economy would collapse with an eardrum-shattering sonic boom so we could get it over with, rather than being dragged deeper and deeper into economic depression and worldwide totalitarianism.

If you had a choice, which would you choose? What about in your personal life? Would you rather bite the bullet, suffer acute pain, be done with it, and move on into new territory? Or would you rather suffer low-level background pain continuously over several years, perhaps with an option to numb it until things turned around?

Not that I think we have much choice right now. Under the cardinal T-square, our options are limited. We’re pretty much being forced down a certain path, the only one that’s not blocked. Still, I’m a big believer that there’s always another way out that we just don’t see. When you’ve got four walls closing in on you, sometimes you forget to look up for the escape hatch.

Hopefully you took my advice last week and began confronting the major issues that are standing in the way of your growth and progress. Sometimes all it takes is a new awareness, especially regarding the source of the blockage. Until we identify the source of a problem, we can only treat symptoms and not the root cause.

Getting to the source is this week’s theme, thanks to a high-tension square between Mars and Pluto. Be forewarned that you may have to sit with some discomfort, but if you can stick with it, your chances of getting out of a rut and moving forward are much better.

We’re already hot in the middle of the action as the week begins, with Mars still in close conjunction with Saturn in Libra. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll have a tight T-square with Mars opposed to Jupiter and both square Pluto. If I had to pick the most difficult day during the 2010 T-square, this would be it … although this past weekend was a close second.

The truth can be uncomfortable, which is why many people choose to wear rose-colored glasses or keep their heads buried in the sand. Put another way, waking up can be a painful experience. In my observation, most people wake up to pain first, and then they experience joy and happiness. It’s seldom the other way around.

On Friday, the Moon enters Cancer and closes the open end of the T-square, so that it becomes a grand cross. Emotions could be so intense that some of us might think we’re losing our minds. Some may experience a continuous feedback loop of thoughts going ’round and ’round in their heads. If this happens to you, try to wait out the storm. It will last for several hours, and then it will be gone. Speaking of storms, this also is a prime period for high winds and tropical cyclones.

Later on Friday (Saturday in the Eastern Hemisphere), Venus enters Libra and adds her voice to the cardinal T-square. Venus rules Libra, so she is a very strong voice for beauty, peace, and harmony. We’re in need of these gifts now more than ever, not just in our personal partnerships, but also in the collective and in international relations.

Alas, we may have to fight for them, as the first aspect Venus makes is a testy opposition with “got to be me” Uranus in Aries. You can stand up all you want for your freedom, but you may want to ask yourself, “freedom from what?” The Marlboro man is free as a bird … and alone.

That message will become abundantly clear on Sunday, when Venus conjoins Saturn. For a committed partnership to work, there has to be bona fide give and take. That said, there are imbalances in most relationships I’m observing these days, with one person carrying more than their share of the load. This may be necessary, as we can only carry according to our ability.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are glad to let others carry their load for them, and they always seem to find those who believe it’s their duty. Hopefully Venus and Saturn in Libra will put a stop to that. The willing pack animals among you may need to drop your load in order for your lazy loved ones to step up to the plate. Trust me, you’ll be doing them a favor.

I leave you with this quote by R. Buckminster Fuller, author, inventor of the geodesic dome:

Don’t fight forces, use them.

That’s our mission this week, if we choose to accept it.

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