Venus turned retrograde in Aries yesterday. With Venus in the sign that is most opposite to her own intrinsic essence, this may stir up some discomfort. But it is an important and necessary phase of processing Venus-related things (partnerships, financial matters & comforts, beauty & aesthetics, etc) — that should prove to be clarifying and freeing.
Venus, known for her relationship-oriented, other-focused, ready-to-understand, ready-to-accommodate way of being is in the sign that is all about “me,” “my” own needs, what “I” want, and being true to “self.” The context of these opposites is an opportunity to find more inner wholeness.
Further, the nature of a retrograde cycle activates things from the past — under the surface resentments or unresolved issues — for the purpose of rousing out those undetected but simmering impediments to a clear and clean interrelationship, and making changes that need to be made. Depending on where you have Aries in your chart will reveal the area of life most affected by this retrograde process. With Mars also in Aries (Jan 28-Mar 9) there is a an extra quality of feistiness, self-interest, or conflict in that same area of your life.
Venus will back up into Pisces on Apr 2, which will have a different flavor for that part of the retrograde cycle. Venus in Pisces has more of a sense of unity and unconditional love, which would be a nice result of the resolution of old resentments. Then when Venus makes her final pass through Aries (Apr 28-Jun 6) moving in direct motion, things will be in a different place. Not stuck, but ready to go forth, which Aries likes to do!
Venus squared Neptune earlier today (Nov 20), the Sun squares Neptune on Nov 26, and Mercury squares Neptune on Nov 30. It could be challenging to stay grounded during these times. Fantasies, daydreams, idealism, mental distractions, and atmospheric disturbances may abound with these aspects. Yet intuitive, non-rational, inspirational, and mystical revelations of truth are also more available with these connections to Neptune. The challenge is to have discernment and discrimination. What is real? What is my psyche vs. someone else’s psyche? Boundaries are more blurred, which can be challenging but also a wonderful opportunity to access other dimensions and surrender to Divine intelligence. In the middle of these aspects, Mercury also conjuncts Saturn on Nov 25. This will encourage the capacity to focus the mind and take steps to manifest into tangible reality the perceptions that sift down during the squares to Neptune.
Mercury retrograde in Libra, Lunar eclipse in Aries
We’re past the halfway point of this Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9), and so I have a few observations (The deepest learning of astrology comes through observation). Like all Mercury retrograde cycles this one is providing opportunities to revisit and reconnect with projects and relationships from the past, review misunderstandings or mistakes, and move towards resolving old issues. Since this Mercury retrograde takes place fully in the sign of Libra, the revisits may revolve around Libran values, such as interpersonal relating, empathy, and understanding the feelings and needs of both sides of any difference or conflict. Depending on the house of your birth chart where you have Libra will determine more specifically the types of things you may be reworking during this Mercury retrograde period.
Meanwhile the Lunar eclipse on Sep 27th was an interesting counterbalance occurring in the opposite sign of Aries. A Full Moon is always the peak, climax, or crisis point of the lunar month, but the addition of an eclipse takes it to a more intense level. Even though the deeper significations of an eclipse take place over a period of months (before and after the exact date of the eclipse), the day of the eclipse itself can certainly be telling too. I knew of three people who had this eclipse tightly conjunct one of their Aries planets, and they were all sick during the few days around the eclipse. Since this was an eclipse occurring near the South node of the Moon, it suggests a time of letting go. For those who were sick, I’m interpreting this as a detoxification process. But more generally this eclipse could be seen as a detoxification process for all of us in whatever part of our natal chart where we have Aries. I have Aries in my 7th house of one-to-one relationships, and right around the time of the eclipse, I had fleeting but important differences to attend to with a few people I connect with in a one-to-one way. Each one involved letting go of old thought forms or patterns. The fact that it was a Full Moon, an eclipse, and being in the fiery, impulsive, assertive sign of Aries added a higher degree of emotionality than might otherwise be present.
How did this eclipse play out for you? It’s always fruitful to note these things, in the same way it is fruitful to remember and explore the meanings of one’s dreams. These practices help us along the path towards greater self-knowledge and self-mastery.
During Mercury’s apparent travel backwards, at the midpoint of the retrograde phase, is a special moment when Mercury meets up with the Sun. This occurred on Sep 30th. It can be thought of as Mercury’s New Moon so to speak, the beginning point of a new Mercury cycle. Things are sown, either consciously or unconsciously, at this conjunction, so you can note what occurred on that day — ideas, discussions, events, or flashes or urges for a new and different way. It is an inception point, though it may not be clear just how those things will grow up and expand until after Mercury goes direct.
In honor of Neptune stationing direct early Sunday morning, here is a short excerpt from a description of a near death experience. Neptune is the planet of Merging with the Love, Light, and Oneness of all that is. When a planet is stationary, the archetypal energies it symbolizes have a stronger influence on us. Read more...
“I came to understand that most of us have lived much, MUCH longer than we could even fathom. That our lives that feel so very long are infinitesimal when placed in the Whole picture… which for that matter, cannot even be framed. I was shown how every single individual through their own free will chooses paths that MATHEMATICALLY take them to the circumstances of their next existence or life. That NOTHING at all sits in accident or chaos. That every single aspect of our lives are ruled by NATURAL Laws that we placed ourSELVES in! That in a sense, we create our own worlds. I was shown how one can never assume either, that if someone lives a life of suffering that this is because of ‘evil’ deeds. Many may CHOOSE a life of suffering because of what it Awakens in them.. or to help another, etc.. We can NEVER EVER assume that we can be accurate in guessing why each Being lives the life they live. I cannot describe the relief... the refreshing, peaceful balm this Knowledge was for me. To finally gather this Truth that Id yearned for all of my life… That all IS Good! That there IS sense and beauty all around. That no one is just ‘free-falling’ as it had seemed before…
I have been trying to bring back what I remember as the Perfect Love I experienced on the Other Side and become One with it.” ~Amy C
(The following is not comprehensive — just some observations. And it is important to recognize that no one is a pure archetype. The Sun sign holds a central place in the personality but other important factors in the birth chart — especially the rising sign, the Moon sign, and strongly placed planets — combine to make us each unique and complex.)
Aries ♈: to be held back from acting on an impulse, to be suppressed, to be prevented from expressing contentious and/or passionate energies, to be slowed down.
Taurus ♉: to be rushed, lack of financial or emotional security, to be deprived of touch, to be deprived of beautiful sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures.
Gemini ♊: boredom, lack of information, being “out of the loop” or cut off from communication, pressure to commit to one thing, having to stay still.
Cancer ♋: no one to nurture and protect, no one to be nurtured and protected by, thwarted from cultivating one’s “baby,” not having a safe and comfortable home.
Leo ♌: no loving audience, not being seen, not being appreciated, not being adored, not enough attention, cold-heartedness.
Virgo ♍: lack of attention to detail, skipped steps, orderless chaos, not adhering to thorough technique and “proper” procedure, lack of refinement, lack of purity.
Libra ♎: having to go it alone with no one to bounce off of, having to make a quick decision without being able to weigh the pros and cons, that which is unjust or unfair, insensitivity, lack of empathy, inconsideration, ugliness.
Scorpio ♏: superficiality, inauthenticity, feeling powerless, revealing vulnerability, failing to do one’s deep inner work, lack of emotional intimacy, lack of meaningful bonding.
Sagittarius ♐: the everyday routine with nothing exotic mixed in, lack of freedom, lack of access to philosophical perspectives, lack of ethics, narrow-mindedness, a life with no adventure.
Capricorn ♑: that which is unrealistic, inefficient, wasteful, impractical, or theoretical only; losing status, losing authority, lack of mastery, lack of having a respectful place in the world.
Aquarius ♒: conformity, exclusive hierarchical systems, social inequity, being confronted with ignorance, self-centeredness, or drama queens/kings.
Pisces ♓: the mundane details of life, no way to escape ordinary reality, lack of inspiration, lack of vision, lack of art, lack of feeling connected with the divine.
The recent eclipses, the transit of Venus, and more...
Eclipses shift things dramatically, bring change, and remove stagnation — all to clear space for the new. Two weeks ago on 5/20 we had a Solar eclipse, which is like a super charged New Moon. The New Moon signifies a new cycle beginning, but because it was conjunct the South node, it was a time to release a negative pattern from the past… This morning on 6/4 we had a Lunar eclipse, which is like a super charged Full Moon. The Full Moon is the climax and culmination of the lunar cycle, bringing clarity and vision. But because it is conjunct the North node, it suggests moving towards one’s growth edge and imbibing something new, even if it is unfamiliar or uncomfortable… Read more...
Also today, Neptune is turning retrograde, adding some inspiration into the mix, or maybe confusion and delusion. Who can know with Neptune(?). All one can do is listen within to the voice of intuition, with trust but also discernment…
Then tomorrow on 6/5, there is a very rare astronomical event: the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. This won’t occur again for about 105 years. During Venus retrograde, her conjunction with the Sun (which happens around every 19 months), is itself a significant moment. It is an invisible conception of a new beginning and new potentials in Venus realms (love and relationships, values and money) within each of us… So this rare transit is powerfully emphasizing the new inner birth of Venus, and the action of the eclipses both — catapulting one (even if only on a subtle internal level) in a life-changing direction…
Early on Dec 10, Uranus ♅, the planet of lightning bolt change, revolution, and freedom, turns direct after five months of being retrograde. Generally, when an outer planet is retrograde, its influence is experienced more on the internal level. When it stations (the time period when it slows down and appears to change direction), its influence is intensified and dramatic. Once it turns direct, outward manifestation becomes more apparent. Uranus is turning direct at the very beginning of Aries ♈, the part of the zodiac that epitomizes abundant raw energy and fresh new beginnings. This is a potent shift.
On Feb 3rd, after going back and forth over the cusp in 2011, Neptune entered Pisces ♓ to stay for approximately 14 years (Neptune hasn’t been in Pisces since 1848-1862). Neptune and Pisces, sometimes referred to as “the 12th principle” in astrology, (i.e., Pisces is the 12th sign) share many of the same archetypal significances: numinous dreams, mysticism, unconditional love, and the melting away of boundaries between self, other, and the Divine into an oceanic Oneness. This is a beautiful, cosmic experience. Yet Neptune and Pisces both also correspond with challenges such as confusion, unending nebulousness, delusion, deception, addiction, and difficulty separating fact from fiction. With Neptune and Pisces together like this, I imagine this archetype will be strengthened and emphasized in a quantum way. It will be interesting to watch how the felt experience of it will unfold over time, individually and collectively.
As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones: Read more...
Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29:
This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.
Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.
Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:
This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life.
Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:
This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.
Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:
Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.
Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:
The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them.
Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:
These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.
I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
I will be on a spiritual retreat, away from this blog and astro consultations for a little while (through 10/17 at least)… As far as planetary transits go, here are some highlights, which I will be observing over the coming days:
I am hoping Mercury (transportation) conjunct Saturn (Father Time) on 10/6 does not delay my travel plans! On 10/7 I am looking forward to experiencing the mystical sweetness of Venus (love) trine Neptune (spirituality). The Moon is Void-of-Course for much of this weekend, favoring chill/incubation time over productivity and initiating new things… Then next week Venus and Mercury shift out of fair and diplomatic Libra, taking communicating and relating of all kinds into the deep waters of Scorpio for intensified intimacy and self-transcendence through relationship… On 10/11 there is an exciting Aries Full Moon. Emotions tend to run high anyway when the Moon is full, but in Aries they could be extra fiery. This Full Moon is the perfect time to step into and embody the full courage of your spirit, since Aries is the inner pioneer and warrior... On 10/12 Mercury trines Neptune, bringing an opportunity to absorb collective Higher knowledge into one’s own personal thought waves… On 10/13 the Sun is conjunct serious and disciplined Saturn, but then on 10/14 Venus opposes Jupiter — the two benefics in a polarized position could be just the antidote, expanding love to great heights… October is certainly rich with a diversity of planetary energies in the air...