“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”
~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)
I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events.
After a long/semi-permanent hiatus from social media — for the purpose of spending more time outside in nature and less time at my computer — I had an inspiration to write the attached article. I hope you like it. Please let me know. My learning and practice of astrology hasn’t stopped even though I am not posting much online. Much love...
When the planets in the sky interact with our birth charts, especially the longer term transits from the heavy hitters like Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, each transit can last from several months to a few years, and these transits usually correlate with the most growth-inducing times in our lives.
For anyone who is paying attention to these transits and anticipating which ones are imminent, it’s helpful to have a way to hold this knowledge without a sense of fear and dread. Otherwise it’s easy to get caught up in negative anticipation as these heavy transits keep unfolding over the years. We certainly get times of respite, but sometimes it can be one challenging transit after another.
So, I have been contemplating how to make friends with these planets. I take inspiration from the Indian/Vedic tradition of literally worshipping the planets in the hopes of gaining their mercy or graces. And I have great respect for those who feel called to do ceremonies or rituals in honor of the planets. For me, however, creating a relationship with each planetary archetype and finding a way to honor that archetype in myself and in my life is what feels more natural and is what I am focusing on in this article. So I thought I would share some of my ideas for how to do this with regard to each of these heavy hitters/great lords in the sky. Tuning into their presence in our lives, through the seemingly magical synchronicity that is astrology, offers one way to get an inkling of the perfection of Divine Intelligence.
Everyone seems to know about the Saturn Return these days, when Saturn in the sky returns to the same position it was in at the time of your birth, at the age of 29 or so. And in Indian astrology there is the Sade Sati, or the 7½ year period when transiting Saturn goes through three consecutive signs: the sign before your Moon sign, the sign of your Moon, and the sign after your Moon sign. These are usually life-changing years in our lives. How can we propitiate Saturn and flow more harmoniously with these transits? I believe it is by actively incorporating, welcoming, and expressing Saturn principles as much as possible during these periods. Here are a few general ideas for how to do so:
Be responsible, reliable, hard-working, and disciplined.
Say no to frivolous things that don’t serve your long-term goals.
Spend time in solitude/Be a hermit for awhile/Overcome the fear of being alone (“Seclusion is the price of greatness.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda)
Be frugal and get serious about planning for the future.
Contemplate and prepare for the inevitability of your own death and the deaths of your loved ones.
Allow deep or chronic sorrow to rise to the surface. It is emerging now because the time is right for revisiting it, reparenting yourself, and moving further along on your healing journey.
Accept and take pleasure in the tedious, monotonous, and mundane chores of life.
Think structure: Get structured about your time, create structures in your life that you can count on, and let structured support help you cope.
Embrace humbling and ego-annihilating moments and events. Trust these moments are serving you even though it might feel like torture.
Enjoy, respect, and learn from the elders in your life.
Behold the wisdom and backbone that develops in you as a gift from Lord Saturn.
Uranus is the god of radical or shocking change, revolution, freedom, new technology, eccentricity, and electricity. Everyone has a Uranus opposition in their early 40s, which can be understood as part of the so called mid-life crisis, where the typical challenge is to express a more authentic self. But one can have a major Uranus transit at any time depending on one’s chart. Now, as Uranus recently entered Taurus, those of us with more planets or angles in the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius are currently having or will soon have some serious Uranus energy to contend with over the next 6 years, depending on the degree of those placements. Here are a few ideas for how to play with Uranus:
Be open to the possibility of making a seemingly wild or crazy change — one that fulfills a longing that you have been craving for awhile. It may require a significant upheaval in your life (usually it will be in the area related to where Uranus is transiting in your chart or what it is triggering). At the same time, consider any changes made during a Uranus transit as experimental. If possible try to avoid making any permanent decisions just yet as you may end up changing your mind again before Uranus is done with you, or after the transit is complete. And then you might have terrible regret to live with if you threw the baby out with the bathwater as you were creating your more authentic life.
Alternatively, go with creative ways to incorporate more freedom, space, and newness into the current structures of your life. This way the major upheaval is circumvented, yet the need for change and freedom is still honored.
Be willing to let go of structures you built under Lord Saturn’s rule. The changes that happen may come to you from the outside, from unexpected events or initiated by others. These changes may appear to be against your wishes, yet Uranus deems change and disruption is needed to free you from attachments, stagnancy, or old concepts that are holding you back.
In general: Speak your truth, live out loud, and no more people pleasing if it isn’t coming from an authentic place. In the end, everyone will benefit from any healthy changes you make (even if they resist the changes at first).
Receive glimpses from Uranus. Inspiration can strike you. Be open to tiny sparkling glints that reveal an alternate way of seeing things, especially with regard to old beliefs that were once keeping you alive but are now no longer needed.
At times, change for the sake of change can be a good thing in that it shakes you out of self-imposed or confining patterns, and it introduces more flexibility into your being.
Behold your limiting walls crumbling when Lord Uranus gazes upon you.
Neptune is the god of oceanic oneness and unity, dreams, visions, and mysticism, but also illusions, addictions, delusions, and escapism. What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been is an apt title for a Neptune transit. Here are a few ideas for how to merge with Neptune constructively:
Focus on your spiritual path, whatever that means to you.
Immerse yourself in activities or environments that help you tune into and feel connected with that which is greater than yourself, your greater self, and the greater whole, the cosmos, God, or whatever it is for you… Things like meditation, prayer, being in nature, being in or near large bodies of water, and engaging in creative or movement practices that get you in the zone.
Even though certain things may usually seem black and white, it could be beneficial to contemplate the grey areas at this time. Something transcendent might emerge from the edge of that grey.
Try to hear and discern the quiet voice of intuition within.
We all have imaginative scenarios that come up from the unconscious, almost unnoticed. Catching one of those is like catching a fish, a little treasure from the deep. To assimilate that content can contribute to a significant internal realization.
Be aware that information you receive from others may be lacking in clarity or reality. Conversely, do some self-inquiry about whether you yourself are painting a picture that is somewhat misrepresentative.
Be especially mindful about pharmaceutical drugs and other chemical exposures, which you may become more sensitive to during a Neptune transit.
Behold! Out of the vagueness of the oceanic currents Lord Neptune confers your divine destined wholeness.
Pluto is in Capricorn from 2008 to 2024. Where you have Capricorn in your chart — that area of your life is currently going through a slow, sometimes imperceptible, but utterly thorough and complete makeover. It may not be clear now, but in retrospect it will be awe-inspiring to see the fullness of the transformation. When Pluto connects with a specific planet or angle in your chart the transformation process peaks for a couple of years. Here are a few ideas for how to be on friendly terms with the god of the Underworld:
Have the willingness and courage to face parts of yourself you may have disowned, denied, or never encountered before. These previously unconscious parts may initially become known to you through external forces in the form of other people or events, yet in the largest sense, it is all in you. Forces that initially threaten to overpower you impel you to undergo shifts that result in self-empowerment.
Contemplate forgiveness of self and others. I mention forgiveness because sometimes Pluto transits correlate with events that stir up an abyss of pain, resentment, or guilt. If you can begin the process of seeing these events as instrumental for your growth and regeneration, a glimpse of being able to forgive may knock on the door of your heart. (For clarification, I see forgiveness as being able to have understanding, insight, and empathy around something that was harmful or hurtful, but it is not the same as condoning that thing.)
Engage in some type of therapy to begin to process all that gets stirred up. Pluto requires us to see and touch the very depths of our being that we don’t normally contact. We may not have conscious cognizance of all that is being worked out within the psyche as this is happening, yet the transmutation that occurs will be seen more fully at a later time.
Allow yourself to experience a symbolic or psychological death — such as the death of a cherished ideal, self-image, or life plan — that you were attached to but that needs to be let go of now. Though this ending can be painful, scary, or simply revelatory, a rebirth is on the other side of this experience.
Behold the phoenix that rises from the ashes of the old you after lord Pluto pays you a visit.
I hope these ideas for how to connect with these divine archetypes are helpful. For those of you who have any of these planets prominently placed in your birth chart, the ideas above may apply for that particular archetype in a longer term way or in a more global manner for you. The lists above are not exhaustive by any means. I would love to hear your ideas or experiences with how you survived and thrived during transits from these game-changing planets.
See my older post on Astrological Rites of Passage for more about the timing of the Saturn return, Pluto square, Neptune square, and Uranus opposition, etc: /blog/3675
We are currently experiencing an exciting and electrifying Grand Trine (a harmonious, flowing aspect pattern) amongst planets in the three fire signs. The Sun, Mercury, and Venus are in Sagittarius, Jupiter is in Leo, and Uranus is in Aries — with trines happening between Nov 26 and Dec 14, 2014 (see exact dates below). In a few words, the Sun is a symbol of the core self, identify and vitality. Mercury is a symbol of the mind and how we express ourselves. Venus is a symbol of love, beauty, pleasure, and wealth. While these inner archetypes connect harmoniously with Jupiter, there is a sense of optimism, opportunity, and grace. While they connect harmoniously with Uranus, there is the potential for flashes of knowing, radical change, and freedom from limitations that have constrained us in the past. A Grand Trine can bring forth rewards for work already completed. Read more...
We are also approaching a Full Moon on Dec 6, which is the climactic phase of the lunar cycle, and we are building up towards the next Uranus/Pluto square on Dec 15th. This will be the sixth of seven exact hits of this life-changing and transformative square (an aspect representing a turning point) from 2012-2015. All of this together can be a little overstimulating, but that is the small price we pay for exquisite and welcome changes, breakthroughs, and opportunities that may present themselves during this period.
Nov 26th — Venus trine Uranus Dec 4th — Venus trine Jupiter Dec 4th — Sun trine Uranus Dec 5th — Mercury trine Uranus Dec 6th — Full Moon in Gemini Dec 12th — Mercury trine Jupiter Dec 14th — Sun trine Jupiter Dec 15th — Uranus square Pluto
Things are heating up as Mars is getting ready to set off the long-term and life-changing Uranus/Pluto square (active from 2012-2015). When there is a trigger from a faster moving planet such as Mars, it can mark a pivotal point within the larger transformational process that is happening. The current waxing Moon in Aries is giving a preview of the flammable energies that are building. On Nov 10th, Mars will conjoin Pluto and on Nov 12th, Mars will square Uranus. When Mars is making hard connections such as these with Pluto and Uranus, there is a potential for aggression, power struggles, shocks, or accidents, etc. However, these aspects can be utilized consciously and productively… Pluto forces us, for the purpose of deeper healing and awareness, to unearth buried wounds or parts of ourselves that may be manifesting unconsciously in the form of external circumstances or unhealthy behaviors and relationships… Uranus brings change — wanted and unwanted — to push us towards living more in alignment with our inner truths and greater potentials. The trigger from Mars to Pluto and Uranus will provide plenty of energy, motivation, and opportunity to go after our own healing and spiritual development and to confront internal or external conditions that are impinging on desired freedoms. Read more...
During the last week of September and the first week or so of October 2014, there is an inspiring and dynamic configuration of harmony and flow amongst Jupiter in Leo, Uranus in Aries, and Mars in Sagittarius. The trine aspect amongst all three planets suggests they are on very friendly terms with one another, automatically “get” one another, and naturally support each other in their individual efforts and goals. Whichever houses Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius are in, in your chart represent the areas of life where these three planetary archetypes are playing out their roles and happily connecting in a spirited and enthusiastic (fiery) way. Jupiter brings opportunity and expansion, Uranus brings radical shifts and breakthroughs, and Mars brings the energy and drive to bring it all on. When operating in the fire signs these planets suggest a lot of excitement, the propensity for taking bold risks, and the desire for both freedom and passion. If you have planets or points near 15º of any of the fire signs, you will be feeling this grand trine more powerfully. Read more...
Jupiter entered Leo on July 16th for a stay of approximately one year. Every sign gets its turn and now it’s Leo’s turn to host larger than life Jupiter, who confers a touch of his divinity, buoyancy, and confidence wherever he goes. This is a welcome shift for Leo people everywhere! The Sun will enter Leo on Jul 22nd and there will be a New Moon in Leo on Jul 26th, ushering in the radiant, playful, noble, and fiery Leo vibe in a tangible and personal way. By the time Mercury and Venus reach Leo on Jul 31st and Aug 12th respectively, they will mark the final welcome celebrations of Jupiter into the sign of Leo. Leo is all about honor, dignity, and regalia, but also fun. Most importantly it is critical for the Leo archetype to have an appreciative audience to applaud Leo’s unique and shiny self-expression. Whatever house in your birth chart in which Leo resides will be the area of life to experience Jupiter’s expansive and beneficial influence over the next year. Read more...
(As an aside, I am especially thinking about my Leo rising friends who had Jupiter going through their 12th house for the last year, expanding their “troubles” [Jupiter tends to increase everything, not just the positive]. In actuality the 12th house is only “trouble” for the ego. In the 12th house we are forced to face karmic debts, look at repressed hurts and undeveloped parts of the self, and transcend personal desires and attachments. Focusing on spiritual pursuits and tuning into the Oneness is one of the purposes of the 12th house. Another is to offer a span for the completion of life lessons. Wonderful in theory but it’s usually a relief to have respite from 12th house work, which often goes unseen and unappreciated, and can even be hidden from oneself. Now, Leo rising people will have Jupiter in their 1st house over the next year, offering a new beginning and expanding their sense of self, so that will feel quite different from the 12th house transit.)
The Sun opposed Pluto on Jul 4th and squared Uranus on Jul 8th, once again triggering the life-changing Uranus/Pluto Square that started in 2012 and won’t complete until 2015 (I have written a lot about this in other posts, so I’m not going to focus on it here).Then the Sun squared Mars on Jul 19th. For the preceding week while this aspect was building, and for a few days after, irritability and impatience could be high, especially for Cancer and Libra people, yet this same aspect also lends the energy, enthusiasm, and readiness to plunge into action as needed.
Saturn in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries are quincunx for the whole month of July, but this aspect peaks on Jul 20th & 21st. Saturn and Uranus are very different energies — Saturn, being the old man father archetype who demands hard work, discipline, tradition, structure, precaution, practicality, and doing things by the book. Uranus, on the other hand is the wild card of the gods — associated with unpredictable, sudden, lightning bolt change, with a quick and brilliant spirit. Uranus seeks freedom at all costs no matter how shocking to the system and the old framework... The quincunx is an aspect that represents a relationship that is not in harmony, yet not in conflict either. Rather it is one in which there is no grounds for connection at all. The quincunx is where we must learn to make colossal adjustments so that we expand beyond the perspective that we are identified with and the modus operandi we are accustomed to. In this case, the quincunx is between the signs of Scorpio and Aries. A mitigating factor is that both signs are ruled by Mars, which gives the two archetypes some common ground. Yet their ways of expressing the warrior energy is what contributes to the disparateness between them. Aries represents Mar’s diurnal face — a direct and visible approach. Whereas Scorpio represents Mar’s nocturnal face — an undercover, concealed approach. The archetypes of Saturn and Uranus already correlate with two very different agendas and motivations within us, and now a quincunx is also in the mix. So right now it might feel especially difficult to reconcile the different functions of Saturn and Uranus (and Scorpio and Aries). Nevertheless by recognizing the value of both, we support the unfoldment of the the long-term process of reconciliation.
Saturn turns direct on Jul 20th while Uranus turns retrograde on Jul 21st. When a planet is retrograde, its qualities are more subtle, less apparent, and more turned inward instead of manifesting outwardly. This suggests that when Saturn was retrograde (since the beginning of March) and Uranus was direct, the need for freedom had the upper hand, whereas the need for security was more subdued. But now that Saturn will be direct, and Uranus will be retrograde (for the next 5 months), the need for security and stability could gain the upper hand, whereas the urge for freedom could be more subordinated.
On Jul 22nd Mercury opposes Pluto, and on Jul 24th Mercury squares Uranus (two pretty stressful aspects), but then trines Saturn (a flowing aspect). There is a potential for severe mental agitation, dark thoughts, and sudden outbursts over these days, along with huge opportunities for positive transformation and breakthroughs. As they say in Psychosynthesis, the more we can tolerate becoming aware of the lower unconscious (suffering, conflict, turmoil, etc.), the more easily we can access the higher unconscious (healing, beauty. bliss, etc.). These aspects are very motivating to practice self-empathy by getting in touch with underlying feelings and needs, and self-empowerment by setting and sticking to good boundaries and healthy limits. It’s hard work but the more we can do this for ourselves the more we can experience peace and practice compassion in our relationships with others.
There are other notable transits in July, such as Mars entering Scorpio on July 25th, after being in Libra for an inordinate amount of time (since Dec 2013), but this is enough for one blog!! Thanks for reading. :-)
There are two particularly tense times in June that echo the dramatic changes, upheavals, and long-term effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross that peaked in April. On June 14th Mars squared Pluto again, and on June 25th Mars will oppose Uranus again. Squares and oppositions are known to be stressful or hard aspects, but they serve the purpose of pressuring us to turn corners, make choices, and overcome obstacles or problems that require attention, by calling upon our ingenuity, strength, and determination. Mars contributes plenty of vigor and energy to confront these challenges but can spur us into overdrive and add volatility or impatience to the mix. Uranus brings revolutionary thinking outside of the box, but this can also mean being suddenly outside of one’s comfort zone. Pluto tends to dig up buried parts of the self that have been suppressed, revealing hidden wounds, as well as potential treasures. If these Grand Cross aspects are not affecting your chart significantly, all of this may only be experienced as a subtle feeling or in the background of the collective. But many people were and still are being directly and concretely affected by the Grand Cross and these eruptive aftershocks. The Grand Cross can be seen as a Crossroads and with the planets in the Cardinal signs there is a lot of energy for initiating new directions. Read more...
While Mercury is retrograde (June 7-30) it is a fitting time to review, reflect, and fill in additional necessary learning in connection with the complex internal processes and/or life-changing events and developments that have occurred, and which may still be stirring up conflict or confusion especially as new possibilities emerge. Mercury is having us go back and forth over the territory helping us to make sense of and integrate our experiences, as well as giving us an enticing glimpse into a richer existence more aligned with our larger self.
Another thing to note while Mercury is retrograde is that it is common to either not have all the information about matters or to not have good mental clarity about matters, and the pieces may not fall into place or all come together until after Mercury turns direct (July 1st). However, June 19th is a good day to pay attention and listen, as the Sun and Mercury will meet, planting relevant clues in the mind related to the vision of ourselves or our lives of which at this point we can only get an obscure sense.
These are high intensity days within a long-term process of change
Sep 18th-20th are high intensity days. Conflicts, crises, resolutions, and shifts that occur now are part of a long-term and deeply transformative process of change, which is happening on both the individual and collective level. On Sep 18th, Pluto stationed direct, right before the second of seven exact Uranus/Pluto squares on Sep 19th, giving this generational-changing/revolution-bringing aspect extra momentum. Then on Sep 20th, fast moving Mercury triggers the Uranus/Pluto square, which has the potential to stir unconscious or core issues up and into our thoughts, words, and day-to-day interactions. We may not be able to fully appreciate or understand the full impact of what is now in process, as there are still five more exact Uranus/Pluto squares to come through 2015. The seven squares in total indicate that it will be a profound series of changes and upheaval, unfolding over time, urging us to let go of outdated and restrictive structures within our psyches and within our societies. This process can feel challenging or scary, as a part of us has to die to the old way, but ultimately it correlates with a strong push forward and a rebirth that is aligned with liberation from internal and external limitations that are no longer serving.
Mars opposite Uranus ♂☍♅ (exact last night at 10:56pm EDT, but lasting for a few days on either side) is an exciting energy for the nervous system. This will affect different people differently. For those who are sensitive to it depending on how it is aligning with the birth chart, it can be exhilarating and awakening, or anywhere from a little too overstimulating to even dangerous.
Today Mars triggers the long-term aspect of Uranus square Pluto, which could put some volatility in the air. Uranus square Pluto is happening over the next 3 years. We had the exact square on June 24th and will have 6 more passes of it through 2015. This aspect marks the first significant turning point since the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto back in the 1960’s, which was associated with ubiquitous cultural revolution. Dane Rudhyar calls the first waxing square a “crisis in action.” Tensions have been building… Big changes and all-embracing transformations in the collective as well as the personal sphere are called for during this period.
A week of internal new beginnings and “seed moments”
We have a New Moon each month as the Moon conjoins the Sun. This moment marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. When the Sun meets up in this way with any planet, it marks a new cycle, a sort of new birth, for that planet. So in addition to a New Moon we could have a “New Venus” or a “New Jupiter”. The conjunction with the Sun is said to be a “seed moment” for the planet. This week has been full of new beginnings and seed moments: Read more...
The Spring Equinox on 3/20 — when the Sun enters 0º Aries, it is the astrological New Year, an opportunity for overall revitalization.
The seed moment of Mercury on 3/21 — A New Mercury is an opportunity to grasp a new perspective and create new mental patterns and thought-ways.
The seed moment of the Moon on 3/22 — A New Moon marks an opportunity to discover and honor where one’s heart is in the now.
The seed moment of Uranus 3/24 — A New Uranus signifies an opportunity to embrace change, which will support underlying soul longings for freedom from bondage.
Yet these new beginnings are happening mostly on a deeply internal level for now, as Mercury is retrograde (Mar 7-Apr 4) and Mars is also retrograde (Jan 23-Apr 13). Although the excitement of change and newness is brewing, I am reminding myself that there may be little decision-making, external proof, or action that needs to take place just yet. These transitions are all still occupying the inner realm of intention and will unfold with more clarity and drive after Mercury and Mars go direct.