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The week before the Christmas holiday is typically fairly quiet, but with this week’s dynamic astrological aspects, we’re going to see more than a few springs start to pop.
Most of the action takes place on Tuesday, when Uranus in impulsive Aries comes out of retrograde a few hours after the Full Moon in hyperactive Gemini. Uranus has been moving away from the heavily charged square with Pluto, but as of Tuesday, he’ll begin moving back toward Mr. Intensity until they form the next exact square on April 21.
Uranus and Pluto both like to break their toys – Uranus by throwing them at the wall or, better still, blowing them up; and Pluto by pulling off the moving parts slowly over time and stepping on them, dropping them off the roof, setting them on fire, crushing them in the trash compactor, flushing them down the toilet, etc. It can take a while, but making others suffer is part of the fun. When you put this pair together, you get double the destruction in half the time. Uranus waking up could reduce the time to seconds.
Possible events related to this shift include explosions, violent wind storms (not that we haven’t had plenty of those already), and other weather-related developments – all of which may increase as Mars approaches opposition to Uranus on Christmas Day. The week between Christmas and New Year’s could be difficult in many ways (more about that next week).
At the very least, it’s fair to say that we can expect to see some surprises or sudden changes, or both. This applies to individuals as well as the collective. You likely know by now where the Uranus-Pluto square has been transiting your chart, and you probably have some idea of how it’s manifesting in your life. The absolutely maddening thing about Uranus is that it’s useless to speculate about what kind of surprise you might get, because whatever it might be isn’t yet in your sphere of awareness.
In the meantime, all I can say is to cherish the ones you love, connect with your people, and resist the urge to spend. Rather than going overboard with holiday buying, be as conservative as possible. Hold something back for a rainy (or snowy) day. I do a lot of baking at the holidays, and I can tell you that a plate of homemade cookies is more appreciated than anything I could buy. I’ve been amazed by the reactions, but I finally got it last week after seeing a television commercial with a woman decorating “homemade” Christmas cookies that she baked with a packaged mix. Now that I don’t get.
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In the chart for the Full Moon in Gemini, you can see the T-square with Mars, Uranus, and Pluto just beginning to form. Those of us who are sensitive may start feeling jumpy again and probably exhausted, too. We had a break for a few weeks, and now we’re heading back into the turbulence. The good news is that if you’ve stuck, the extra jolt may push you out of a rut.
With Mars in Libra, relationships are especially subject to some shifting – all the more so with Venus about to turn retrograde. In romantic partnerships and close friendships, we often don’t talk about what bothers us, thinking that it doesn’t matter or that we should be able to “get over it” and move on. Love isn’t supposed to be petty, jealous, selfish, unkind, and all that. Very few of us, though, can truly let go of these things. Eventually, resentment builds up and can turn to anger, and we can explode at the smallest trigger. By then, it’s difficult to talk it out, because there are so many buried feelings that it’s virtually impossible to go back to the source of the problem.
Venus retrograde, Mars in Libra, and Mars retrograde in Libra in March, April, and May could help us get to the root. I just need to warn you that the process is work, it demands a lot of you, and it’s exhausting. But if you value your relationship, it’s worth the effort. You might get clues this week or maybe just a vague feeling or the seed of a new approach, and then events will unfold between now and next summer.
Diplomatic ties also are relationships, and all of what I wrote above applies to countries, too. The budding relationship between the United States and Iran will continue to unfold under these planetary influences, and relations with other countries in the Middle East also will require adjusting.
Saturday is Solstice Day, which many people celebrate as an alternative to the Christian holiday. For astrologers, it’s an important day in the year, when the Sun crosses one of the four cardinal points that mark the beginning of each new season (actually, I consider them to be the middle or height of the season, but that’s a story for another time). Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year, which of course means that the light steadily begins to return at this time.
In the Capricorn ingress chart for the United States (set for 12:11:10 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; chart not shown), the Sun is close to the Midheaven, in a close square with the Ascendant at 2 degrees Aries. Chart ruler Mars is in Libra in the seventh house, which strongly suggests that foreign relations will be a dominant concern throughout the winter. Current relations, especially those on shaky ground, might break down altogether when Mars turns retrograde, but there will be a chance to rebuild them into connections that are more sustainable, just, and equal. Meanwhile, at home, there will be growing unrest. If and when it erupts, it will be promptly put down by the Powers That Be, not unlike what just happened in Kiev. It’s also possible that there will be nationwide mourning of some kind, possibly for a beloved leader.
A few hours after the Sun enters Capricorn, Venus turns retrograde in the sign of the Seagoat. Financial concerns come into play now in a big way. Now that Congress has reached a budget deal, issues that stalled due to partisan infighting can get a second chance. One of the items on the president’s agenda is appropriating funds to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – a fitting agenda item for Capricorn. Back in 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn, I wrote about this national priority.
As I mentioned above, many relationships also will go through some scrutiny while Venus is retrograde. Capricorn is a sign of duty and responsibility, so committed partnerships are likeliest to need an investment of time and effort. And while Venus retrograde periods are absolutely not recommended for weddings, it is a good time to explore whether you’re ready to make a commitment and to face your fears.
I’ll have more on Venus and Mars in future forecasts. I want to spend to the rest of this one discussing comet ISON.
ISON has been pronounced dead. Nothing is left from its encounter with the sun but a cloud of dust. It’s all but certain that this visitor came but once, only to die on its journey. In searching for what its “message” might be, we can look at major contacts it made before breaking up.
First, it made a tight conjunction with Mars and Regulus in mid-October. As I wrote back then, astrologers have observed Regulus since ancient times to predict the future of the monarch. Regulus means “prince” or “little king” in Latin. This bright star, which is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia (also called the Four Guardians of Heaven), also is called Qalb al-Asad in Arabic or Cor Leonis in Latin, meaning “heart of the lion,” referring to its position in the constellation Leo. “Courage” and “encouragement” are from the same Latin root. We all can be more courageous by living from the heart, the true seat of the mind. Still, I believe this conjunction refers to a prominent political or military leader – Mars being the planet of war.
ISON also conjoined Mercury and Saturn, although not as tightly as his contact with Mars and Regulus. Planet Mercury is named for the mythological messenger of the gods and in astrology rules communications. Saturn, meanwhile, is the Lord of Time. Before Pluto was discovered in 1930, astrologers considered Saturn as the planet of death. So there is something symbolic in ISON’s conjunction with Saturn just four days before its fateful encounter with the sun. Saturn also is the Lord of Karma and karmic lessons.
The thing is, ISON wasn’t visible with the naked eye, so if there was a message, it likely wasn’t for the general population. That might discount obvious messages such as, “Wake up people, before you destroy the environment and blow up the planet.” A possible message might have to do with equality and justice, but I think it’s even deeper than that.
The third and last contact ISON made before fragmenting was with the stars in the head of Scorpio, not far from where Scorpio and Ophiuchus meet. Master astrologer Melanie Reinhart wrote an intriguing analysis for The Mountain Astrologer‘s blog, with stunning graphics (thanks to Osk for sending the link). She wrote the piece before ISON broke up, though, so her interpretation needs some updating. What’s left of the comet is following its predicted path, but there must be some additional symbolism in its passage through Ophiuchus and Serpens Cauda – the head of the snake being held by the snake handler/healer – as a ghost.
One last thought concerns the concept of cazimi in horary astrology. I don’t know if it applies here, but it’s interesting to contemplate the theory. Horary astrology is the art of prediction by casting a chart for the moment a question is asked or problem clarified. The rules for cazimi vary slightly, but the basic idea is that a planet is cazimi when it is in exact or very close conjunction with the Sun.
In an article in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer, horary doyenne Deborah Houlding discusses the concept of cazimi and notes that while some astrologers in past centuries considered a planet to be strong in cazimi, others noted that it is similar to the human body undergoing detox – much weakened, but in a state that will lead to better health. At perihelion, ISON was conjunct the Sun and therefore could be said to be cazimi. Yet it emerged not in better health, but dead.
My initial thoughts are that it may take death to heal some of the deepest wounds, especially those with which we came into this incarnation. Death, after all, is just a passage from one state to another. All of the healing work we’re doing now, individually and in groups, may not have its greatest effect in this lifetime but in future incarnations. I, for one, would be elated if I came in next time around without all the accumulated karmic baggage I brought with me on this trip.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.