Tag Archives: Yod

Weekly Forecast December 3: Lunar Aspects, A Brief Respite

Just how big is the Big Guy? A thousand times bigger than Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

The first thing I do when I sit down to write the weekly forecast is to mark up all the week’s planetary aspects in my Llewellyn’s Daily Planetary Guide. Well, I could barely believe my eyes when I saw that there are no major planetary aspects this week!

That certainly makes up for last week, when I pretty much had to write a book, on top of a video explaining the lunar eclipse. The manifestations of the eclipse and the significant aspects surrounding it are still unfolding this week and will continue to do so for another week, possibly even a month, until the next Full Moon, which falls on December 28.

In the meantime, all we have this week are lunar aspects, unless you count events like the Sun quindecile Admetos or Venus inconjunct Eris – which I don’t. The Moon is in Leo on Monday and moves through four signs, as it does in the course of a week, making aspects with the Sun and eight planets along the way. Astrologers who write daily horoscopes often use these aspects, but I tend to ignore them, because they are fleeting, and there’s simply no way to write anything meaningful about them that you can use. You’re more likely to feel the effects of the Moon aligning with a personal planet or chart angle – and even then, only briefly – and that’s not anything I can address in a weekly column. The best I can do is to reiterate the importance of being familiar with your own chart and knowing how to get information about your transits on any given day.

Mercury is picking up speed following his return direct last Monday. I’ve had several stops and starts over the past week, but in general, the frustration is easing up. One of the predictions I made about Mercury’s return direct in Scorpio was that we’d get a flood of details about things hidden, at least since Election Day and possibly longer. Yesterday while browsing the headlines of HuffPo, I came across a long and very detailed article by Julian Assange highlighting stories that have emerged in the two years since WikiLeaks published a vast archive of U.S. diplomatic cables. Although these details aren’t new, the retroactive look at government secrets is very much in keeping with Mercury’s return direct in secretive Scorpio.

On Thursday, Mercury conjoins the lunar North Node, the third pass in his retrograde cycle. If we regard the North Node as a symbol of purpose, destiny, or some other special significance, then Mercury’s back-and-forth crossing of this point should be interpreted as a message containing necessary information about these themes. The biggest event that happened in this period, of course, was the re-election of President Obama. My whole approach to the election wasn’t to support the candidate with the “right” ideology (i.e., the one you agree with) but to accept the right candidate for the extraordinary times we’re in. Although, as an astrologer, I have my view of what the next four years are going to be like, I also know that unexpected events can happen that radically alter the world as we know it, and there’s no way I can predict these events.

In looking at some charts for this week, the only other thing that stands out is a Yod that reflects the lunar eclipse chart and that will continue into next year, with Saturn and Pluto at the base and Jupiter at the apex. This is as good a time as any to discuss Yods. I’ve been changing my mind about them, based on research. When I first heard about them several years ago, I’d had no experience with them and so took it on faith from other astrologers who did have experience that there was something very important about them. I recently came across an old article by Chris Brennan that reminded me of what happens when information circulates the Internet and becomes “fact” by virtue of appearing in so many different places. When and where did this view of Yods come from? It’s not in any of the ancient texts and in fact is a modern invention. In my mind, that makes it untested. In researching how other astrologers come up with their interpretations, I’ve read many good arguments, but there is a lot of disagreement about what Yods mean, if anything. That’s to be expected with a new idea. The same thing is happening regarding the asteroids, which is why I also approach them with caution. Right now, all we have are a lot of theories. Before you can prove anything, you need a theory, so theories are great – provided you keep in mind that they are just that and don’t take them as goddess-honest truth.

Yods are said to be rare, and according to some interpretations, they represent unusually difficult challenges. Who doesn’t have difficult challenges? According to others, they indicate a special purpose or destiny. I haven’t seen any kind of systematic study showing that Yods are any rarer than, say, a T-square or a grand cross. And certainly, those configurations carry much greater weight, as they involve major aspects. A quincunx (sometimes called an inconjunct) is a minor aspect – not to be entirely ignored, but also not to be elevated above major aspects. It’s tempting, as one advances one’s astrological knowledge, to find lesser-known aspects, planets, asteroids, fictitious points in space – whatever – and to hone in on them, simply because it’s something new and carries the aura of advanced knowledge. These new ideas are all very interesting and can add richness and complexity to chart interpretation, but they shouldn’t be regarded as substitutes for the basic building blocks of astrology. The conjunction is still the most powerful aspect, and aspects to personal planets are more significant than outer planetary aspects. Pluto conjunct your Moon? You bet you’re going to feel it. Pluto in a Yod with Neptune and Vesta? Not so much.

I know that a lot of people will disagree with me and might say they have personal experience to prove their point. My response is that it’s extremely difficult to “prove” which astrological aspect correlates to an event or personality trait. It is all too easy to see connections that either aren’t there or that are weak and to miss others that are more compelling. This is one of the biggest dilemmas facing astrologers, and the more planets, asteroids, and chart patterns such as the Yod we throw into the toolbox, the more difficult it is to find the right tool to hit the nail. Sometimes you really just need the hammer, and that’s that.

One thing that’s certain is that we have an exact Sun-Jupiter opposition this evening (December 2, 8:45 p.m. EST), with the Earth in between and Jupiter the closest he’ll be to us until 2021. There’s a terrific article on the astronomy of this event at EarthSky. Financial astrologer Ray Merriman considers this aspect one the key signatures in market reversals. Keeping in mind that Jupiter is in the sign of his detriment and retrograde, it’s nevertheless an annual event worth noting. You’ll notice this aspect most if you have personal planets or chart angles at 9-13 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces).

Before I go, I want to announce that the StarGuide Winter 2013 Forecast is now available. Turnaround time is three-to-five days, so keep that in mind as you plan your holiday shopping.

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

Ask Real Astrologers: How Do I Interpret Multiple Transits?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Beth in Victoria, B.C.:

When you look at my chart with current transits, you will see something absolutely amazing. All my bells are being rung. Pluto conjunct my Saturn, which forms the final aspect to the Yod in my chart, looks important. Plus the recent and upcoming eclipses affect transiting Pluto conjunct Saturn at the arm of the Yod. I also have a double Grand Cross and a Grand Trine, which are lit up by major transits.

Where can I find an astrologer who can address transits affecting major aspects such as this? Simply discussing one planet’s transit at a time is not going to consider these major aspects.

Beth, you certainly do have quite a bit going on in your chart! Because of the complex interactions between your natal planets, you probably won’t ever be able to get an accurate forecast with a computer-generated report. But, as you note, that’s especially true now, with the cardinal T-square activating several key planets and points in your chart at the same time. No computer report could possibly synthesize all of this information for a reliable forecast.

This is true for just about everyone right now, whether or not you’ve got a chart as complex as Beth’s. As an example, suppose you have Venus in the first few degrees of Capricorn, and you ordered a computer-generated forecast at the peak of the cardinal T-square last August. Your Venus would have been conjoined by Pluto, and squared by Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus. That’s six different interpretations you’d have to read, and some would be contradictory.

Only an experienced professional astrologer can sort through these complexities, and even then, it’s a challenge. Beth, I’m willing to bet that ten astrologers looking at your transit chart would give you ten different interpretations, although there likely would be general areas of agreement.

Another thing to keep in mind is that forecasting becomes much harder when so many aspects are occurring simultaneously, and it’s a challenge even for the most experienced astrologers on the planet. Further, the cardinal T-square of 2010 and, to some degree, this year’s repeat, are unprecedented in our lifetime. That means no living astrologer has witnessed such a planetary configuration. The best we can do is to look to history for clues. You can bet that we’re all taking a lot of notes. This is a living laboratory, to be sure – and we’re all cosmic guinea pigs!

I cautioned my clients last year that, due to the complexity of the T-square, my forecasts were tentative. Nonetheless, clear trends do emerge, even in complex charts like yours.

For example, your natal Sun and Chiron are on the Descendant, a key chart angle, and transiting Neptune and Chiron are sitting right on it. The Descendant is the cusp of the seventh house, which rules close relationships. Neptune and Uranus are in mutual reception, and Uranus and Jupiter are conjunct your natal Venus, the planet of love and relationships. So you can see that relationships are an important theme in your life right now, with extremes and an inability to see your way clearly.

My advice is to look for someone you feel comfortable with and, in New Age parlance, “resonate with.” Even if the astrologer you chose didn’t examine every detail, you could probably count on the synchronicity of the universe to deliver the message you need to hear at this time. It’s funny how that works, and given your Sun-Chiron conjunction, I have a feeling that you always manage to meet up with the right people to carry you further on your path.

Thanks for an excellent and timely question, Beth. I wish you all the best in moving along this year’s fast-moving currents.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Am I Doomed To Be Alone Forever?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Nala in Melbourne, Australia:

I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again in relationships. Am I somehow astrologically engineered to do so? I met the man of my dreams, and after a short but very intensive relationship, we have broken up. I just feel as though I will never find anyone. Am I doomed to be alone for the rest of my life?

Nala, no one is ever “doomed” to be alone. We humans do seem to have a bad habit of repeating mistakes, though, and astrology can help identify those patterns.

Unfortunately, you didn’t provide me with a birth time, and that means we don’t have an exact degree for your Moon in Leo, and we don’t know what houses any of your planets are in. This is a handicap. If you know your birth time, I would suggest getting a full reading by a professional astrologer. Of course, I always suggest that, as this column isn’t a substitute for a thorough reading.

That said, a couple of things jump out at me right away. First, you have a tight Yod with Pluto and Neptune at the base and Venus and Mars conjunct at the apex. The planets at the base of a Yod work well with each other but are totally out of synch with the planet or planets at the apex. Venus and Mars are the love planets, and they are taking a lot of heat in your chart.

The inconjunct from Neptune to Mars and Venus tells me that you may not always be realistic in your choice of partners. It may be hard for you to take off the rose-colored glasses and see your partner for what he really is. With Pluto in this configuration, you get smacked hard when you overlook those vital signs and clues. And to top it off, you may feel a heavy burden of guilt, like you did something wrong to deserve it.

Second, your Venus and Mars are opposite Uranus in Scorpio, all square Saturn in Leo. Your Moon may be in this configuration, too, but without a birth time, there’s no way to know. This does suggest some difficulty in breaking out of habits that don’t serve you, but all that means is that you have to work a little harder. The fact that you’re asking questions is a good start.

The lunar North Node in a birth chart can tell us what will make us the most happy and give us fulfillment. In your case, the North Node is in Libra, sign of relationships. So it’s clear that you want and need to be in a partnership. However, the Universe is asking you to do a lot of work to make this happen. This is no accident, and it even may be your life’s purpose.

Put another way, relationships aren’t supposed to be easy for you, and that’s the point. The most important lessons you’ll learn in this life will be those you master through your romantic partnerships. Once you key into this, you will experience personal transformation and a powerful awakening of consciousness.

By the way, Mars has been in Leo since last October, and he was retrograde for several months. This no doubt complicated your relationship, as Mars transits tend to stir up trouble. Looking at your charts, I wouldn’t say it was the cause of the breakup, but it likely provided the trigger or “last straw.”

All worthwhile endeavors require a lot of trial and error before we get it right. Love is no different. Try to remain positive and keep an open heart, despite the pain of loss when things don’t turn out the way you think you want them to.

I hope that helps Nala.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. Be sure to fill out all the fields, and please spell out the month of your birthday. If you don’t know your time of birth, indicate “time unknown.” You can also use the drop-down menu above under “About Us” to get to the question form. THANKS!

Weekly Forecast March 1: Venus Trine Mars

Sunset in Pisces

Sunset in Pisces. A rare sunny day in February ends on the Washington Coast. Photo by James A. Weythman, all rights reserved.

This week is all about Venus … well, mostly about Venus. And that means love, desire, and what makes us happy will be major themes.

As the week begins, we’re still in the wake of Sunday’s Full Moon at 9 degrees Virgo, and the Moon has advanced into late Virgo, opposite Venus and Uranus in Pisces. Moon transits tend to be fleeting, and many of us may not notice them at all. Monday’s lunar transits may be an exception, however, thanks to the impending Venus-Uranus conjunction on Wednesday. Take note of developments in your love and social life on Monday, as you may get some advance news of what will happen when the love planet pairs up with the planet of surprises and sudden change.

Also on Monday, Mercury enters Pisces — great for creative work and leaps of the imagination, not so good for clear thinking and concise communications. On Monday and Tuesday, Mercury is at the apex of a Yod with Mars and Saturn, a position recently held by Venus, Jupiter, and the Sun. The difference this time is that Mars is stationing to return direct on March 10, and that makes him a more powerful influence. If your thinking is confused, if you don’t know where you’re headed or how to get there, you’re not alone. You may be forced this week to think out of the box in order to resolve a dispute or to find the solution to a problem that seems not to have one. Sometimes, all it takes is asking the right question.

Speaking of Mars, I’d like to point out that he is out of bounds until March 15. Planets are out of bounds when they travel north or south of the celestial latitude of the Sun at the solstices, and they tend to “misbehave,” just as the term suggests. The last time Mars was retrograde and out-of-bounds, a tiger leapt out of her cage at the San Francisco Zoo and mauled a young visitor to death before being shot and killed by zoo officials.

Obviously, conditions are different this time, but an out-of-bounds, stationing Mars should be handled with extreme care, especially in the sign of the Lion! Avoid provoking anyone, and stay out of harm’s way to the extent possible. Err on the side of caution and consideration.

On Wednesday, Venus meets up with Uranus, which for the most part should bring pleasant surprises. Any unpleasant fallout may be from our own failure to stay in touch with reality. Should a bit of luck come your way, jump on the opportunity, but spend the next week or so doing the math. Admittedly, this will be harder with Mercury in Pisces and Mars slowing down to a halt. Fortunately, we’ve got calculators.

On Sunday, Venus enters Aries, and it’s a whole different game. No longer warm, fuzzy, voluptuous, and chocolate-loving, the love goddess is demanding, hard-bodied, and very active. Right away, she forms a trine with Mars, just as he’s waking up out of a sound sleep. It’s kind of a reverse Sleeping Beauty story. Instead of the prince gently kissing the princess awake, the sleepy guy gets a whack on the head and an order to get his sorry ass out of bed.

I’m hoping this energy will propel couples everywhere to wake up and smell the coffee. Love doesn’t just “happen” all by itself. You have to work at it, and it takes two. Apologies and promises go only so far. At some point, words have to lead to action.

Speaking of all words and no action, Mercury conjoins Jupiter later in the day. If ever there was an aspect for solving all the world’s problems over a bottle of wine, this is it! If you do come up with some great ideas, write them down and come back to them later, after the glitter has settled. In the meantime, just enjoy the feeling.

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

Weekly Forecast February 8: New Moon in Aquarius, Venus Enters Pisces

Happy Valentine's Day

All of the ingredients for a romantic Valentine's Day. Photo by Pat Paquette.

It’s Valentine’s Day next Sunday, and what a show the cosmos has in store for us. This week could be positively transformational.

However, it’s clear that we’re going to have to work for it, and there will be challenges and tests. Romantic partnerships in particular will be affected, and if you’ve been waiting to move up to the next level or to heal deep-seated issues between you and your partner, this promises to be a memorable week for love.

The week begins with a romantic conjunction of Venus and Neptune. Astrologers usually describe this as the “rose-colored glasses” aspect, and there is some risk of idealizing your partner. Well, why not? We delude ourselves about so many things when it comes to our loved ones, what’s wrong with a brief fantasy of perfection? Still, the point here is to love your partner, human failings and all. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

On Wednesday, Mercury enters Aquarius, the sign of his exaltation. If you’ve felt like life is moving too fast, hang onto your seat, because it’s going to get even faster now. Inspiration and new ideas come streaming in at the speed of light.

Also on Wednesday, Mars forms an inconjunct with Jupiter, activating a Yod with Mars and Saturn at the base and Venus and Jupiter at the apex. This is an extremely rare formation and very interesting, because Mars and Saturn are the malefics — the bad guys in astrology — while Venus and Jupiter are considered the benefics. Moreover, both Mars and Saturn are retrograde, the only two planets currently in reverse.

The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter is said to be the luckiest combination in astrology, and this is even more true in Pisces, as Venus is exalted in the sign of the Fishes, and Jupiter is its co-ruler. This is our call to higher love and opening our hearts to receive wealth and abundance. However, the Yod formation suggests a block of some kind, a “hump” to get over before all those good things flow to us.

Mars sextile Saturn is good for setting immediate ego gratification aside to accomplish difficult tasks. Since both planets are retrograde, we can’t expect to move mountains, but to make steady progress, a little at a time, until the job is done. It’s also likely that projects we undertake at this time have something to do with the past — clearing accumulated clutter, eliminating toxins from our bodies, and confronting tasks we’ve put off for months, if not years.

That sounds all well and good, but when we concentrate too much on work, what needs to be done, and “reality,” we shut the magic out of our lives. This isn’t intentional; indeed, I’d say it’s a negative side effect of modern industrialized societies. In order to go to work day after day and to live in crowded cities, we have to shut our sensitive, intuitive side down. After years of doing so, many people become desensitized, and it’s as though their minds have gone to sleep. Higher love can’t exist in such conditions.

There’s another inconjunct this week, between Mars in Leo and Pluto in Capricorn. This is a heavy handed combination that subjects the ego’s need for creative expression to oppressive authority. This suggests censorship to me and may be at the root of Google’s problem in China. The aspect peaks on Friday, and there will be a third and final round of it on April 10. Also on Friday, Mercury trines Saturn, a great aspect for finding a practical use for all those outlandish Aquarian ideas.

Mercury opposes Mars the following day, fueling arguments and creating breakdowns in communications. This seems like a small thing, but we need to be very careful with this one, given everything else that’s going on. Events this weekend could be overwhelming, and it won’t take much to get irritated with others. If you do get in an argument, hopefully it will be short-lived, as the New Moon is just a few hours later, and it holds much healing power.

At 25 degrees Aquarius, the New Moon will be tightly conjunct Neptune and Chiron. This is our cue to start anew by embracing our wounds. Earlier in the week, with Venus conjunct Neptune, we’re called upon to accept others, as they are. Now, we’re being called to accept and love ourselves. That’s more than just 80s Me-Decade psychobabble. Opening our hearts to love depends on it, and what better time is there to walk through the portal of love and healing than on Valentine’s Day?

Sunday’s aspect list is long, and I’ve covered most of it already. The one wildcard is Pluto. I just wrote of his inconjunct with Mars, but that means he’ll be sextile Venus and Jupiter, and that suggests an “out” of some kind. Maybe it’s about our true power as human beings, not just the illusion of power we get by sitting in the executive’s chair.

Wishing you nothing but true love,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Ask Real Astrologers: Yods

This week’s question comes from Coco.

Please explain about Yods (also called the Finger of God) and how that relates to an astrological chart. Is it common for someone to have three Yods? I have three in my chart, I have been told, but I don’t know how to utilize them. Ideas?

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s Answer:

A Yod is comprised of two inconjuncts (150° aspect) with a sextile as the base as you may know. The planet sitting on the point or apex of a Yod is the obvious focus of the energy.  Yods are not a particularly common pattern in charts and only occur when during periods when the planets are spread across many signs.

The inconjuncts are the key to Yods, in my opinion, and create a state of tension with erratic release. In very simple terms, the planet at the apex of a Yod is often like a sore thumb sticking out and whenever it’s conjuncted by transits you feel it. In fact, you may learn more about how your Yods function by tracking the times when the Moon conjuncts the apex planets.

Good luck!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s Answer:

Although astrologers refer to the Yod as the “Finger of God,” the letter Yod in the Hebrew alphabet is a symbol for “hand” or “consciousness” (according to some texts, it’s the male organ, which could lead to an interesting interpretation). But we’re pretty much in agreement that it is a pointer, and that the thing being pointed to is the planet and house at the apex of the Yod, as Neith suggested. The two planets in sextile, rather than interacting only with one another, are manifesting their energy through that third point, which can be interpreted as a destiny point in the chart. You might think of it as the “hand of God.”

In calculating Yods, I look at only the eight planets (including Pluto), Sun, and Moon. Depending on the chart, I might include Chiron, but only if there’s a compelling reason to do so. Chart points, lunar nodes, asteroids, Arabic parts, and so forth, can’t form a Yod.

To determine the meaning of a Yod in the chart, it is essential to get a reading from a real astrologer and not a computer-generated report. I don’t know of any computerized reports that include Yods anyway, but even if there were, it wouldn’t give you the holistic interpretation that a Yod requires. This is all the more true if you’ve got more than one Yod. I don’t do traditional birth chart readings, but any of our exclusive forecasts would examine a natal Yod and transits that could propel its energy into play in your life. 

I join Neith is wishing you the best of luck!

Got a question for Neith and Pat? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers.