“What about this year? It has been a struggle so far. Any ideas?”
I recently received this question on Facebook. At first I laughed because it is such a broad and big question, and I am far from having any answers. But if together we take a look at your chart and your life, we may see how the current planets and aspects are reflecting your experience, and that can be so helpful for finding the answers within…
I can offer a brief sketch of some general astrological themes for this year: The revolutionary energies of radical change and wrenching transformation that began a few years ago during the epic Uranus/Pluto square are getting triggered off this year by Jupiter in Libra. Additionally there is an emphasis on FIRE, and air feeding fire this year (with Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, the Nodes of the Moon preparing to enter Leo and Aquarius, with our first Leo eclipse tomorrow on Feb 10, and Venus and Mars both in Aries right now as well). So it makes sense that collectively we are seeing and feeling instantaneous flare-ups of high-spirited passion and energy, manifesting in all kinds of different ways.
I have a lot of fire and air in my natal chart so I am used to intense energies within myself zooming to the surface for expression. For balance I look to and learn from my more earth and water friends. They are not instantaneous in their reactions. When I am able to slow down my responses, and try to really listen, and pause before speaking — it is miraculous. Taking it a step further is listening for the feelings and needs underneath whatever we are hearing or seeing, that might seem irritating, disturbing, frightening, or enraging… When we can bring mindfulness, inquiry, empathy, understanding, compassion, and presence to whatever is arising within or around us — it is a nourishing tonic for this fiery year, with the potential to offer deep and healing solace. I am needing to review my Non-Violent Communication books and I am loving listening to Tara Brach’s podcasts. She continually reminds people to ask, “What is it like to be you?” When we ask this we automatically become an ally, especially to marginalized and vulnerable others (“What is it like to be you?”), or especially to people with whom we vehemently disagree (“What is it like to be you?”), and often most importantly to ourselves (“What is it like to be me, in this moment?”).
Saturn takes about two and a half years to travel through each sign of the zodiac. Since October of 2012 Saturn has been in Scorpio, but tomorrow morning (Dec 23) Saturn will enter Sagittarius. Wherever Scorpio is in your chart is the area in which you had the opportunity to transcend yourself and your typical patterns for the last 2+ years, through the process of facing obstacles and restrictions presented by Saturn’s demands. Where Saturn is traveling represents the realm of life where you may currently need to restructure things, pay your dues, be disciplined, be patient, and be ultra responsible, etc. Saturn can be a stern taskmaster but if we listen and do as he urges, it will create positive results and changes over time. Over time is the key phrase here. The work we put in for Saturn takes time to develop and come to fruition. Integrity, achievement, and mastery are the rewards for obeying Saturn’s long-term plans and principles. Read more...
Saturn in Scorpio was about facing reality regarding intimacy, shared resources, and the depths of one’s own psyche. Saturn in Scorpio did not permit living in a fantasy world in any of these areas of life without some dire consequences. It may be useful to review the last couple of years to understand how this was true for you personally and in relation to the house of your chart where Scorpio resides… Now the hard work/discipline/reality check theme begins to shift to a new part of the self and life (as represented by the next house in your chart where Sagittarius resides) as Saturn shifts from Scorpio to Sagittarius. In Sagittarius Saturn will ask us to get real about our belief systems and ambitions. Anything that isn’t grounded in personal experience could be tested and required to come down to earth to become a more embodied wisdom, rather than simply a philosophical concept. Also, Sagittarius, being ruled by Jupiter, is known for being expansive, ambitious, and buoyant — the opposite qualities of contractive and pragmatic Saturn, so that will be an interesting counterbalance to sustain over the next few years.
Saturn in Scorpio: Oct 6, 2012 — Dec 23, 2014 & Jun 14, 2014 — Sep 17, 2015 Saturn in Sagittarius: Dec 23, 2014 — Jun 14, 2015 & Sep 17, 2015 — Dec 21, 2017
The news about the historic first time ever flyby of Pluto is a few days old now but still interesting to me, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. At the very moment of the flyby of Pluto by NASA’s fast moving spacecraft, New Horizons, which took almost ten years to get to Pluto — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars were all opposing Pluto. The opposition is an aspect of awareness of the Other. It is like looking across a round table at someone sitting exactly opposite you. Although they are furthest away from you, you are in a position to have the most clear, straight-on view of them compared to all the other seats around the table. So with the faster moving planets in this opposite position we got a much better look at Pluto, who is known to us in astrology as the hidden, mysterious, and powerful symbolic god of the underworld. On the day of the flyby the Sun and Moon were unified in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn, representing a sort of spotlight bringing our undivided attention to Pluto. Additionally Mercury’s opposition represents communication with and about Pluto, and Mars represents decisive and probing action regarding Pluto. Wherever Pluto is currently transiting in your birth chart will give an idea of the area of life that is undergoing a slow but profound death and rebirth process (what we associate with Pluto). During the last couple of weeks with this four pointed opposition to Pluto — we had an opportunity for more awareness of what is being disintegrated and transformed within ourselves or our lives.
These faster moving planets were acting as triggers, going over the degrees of the longer-term transit of Uranus square Pluto, which is correlated with a groundbreaking turning point for us individually and collectively, as well as now literally with new astronomical information about Pluto. Even though Pluto is small in size (though New Horizons found it to be larger than anticipated) and even though scientists are finding many other dwarf planets out there in space, I trust there is a reason why Pluto is unique and has been part of our consciousness for a long time. I am struck by the heart-shaped landmass shown in the new photos of Pluto and widely circulated and discussed in the media. Pluto is associated with doing the heavy and sometimes frightening psychological work of confronting one’s unconscious shadow parts. But this new mass awareness of Pluto’s heart, suggests that on a psycho-spiritual level, once we actually have the capacity to get a closer view of our own deeply hidden feelings and motives, for instance, as symbolized by this distant and invisible (to the naked eye) body in our solar system, we may also discover a more welcoming and loving part of ourselves that we never knew before.
Today the Sun entered Sagittarius and there was a New Moon at 0º Sagittarius this morning. Wherever Sagittarius is in your birth chart represents the area of life where a new beginning is now opening up. It’s time for a fresh start, clean slate, or the beginning of a new endeavor in that area of life. Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. Exuberant, spirited, and free – the Sagittarius archetype is about seeking the meaning of life through experience, exploration, and adventure. Through these encounters personal knowledge is gained, sorted, and distilled to make up one’s own belief systems and guidelines by which to live. Sagittarius is also characterized by a resolute striving, as imaged by the archer shooting arrow after arrow upward to a higher level. Along with the Sun and Moon, Venus entered Sagittarius on Nov 16 and Mercury will enter Sagittarius on Nov 27, so for the next month Sagittarius energy predominates and is highly accessible to all of us.
We had a Solar Eclipse New Moon on Mar 20th and there is a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon tomorrow morning (Apr 4th). This Lunar Eclipse (at 14º Libra) is tightly connected with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square, which though ebbing is still very active. So this Eclipse may correlate with moving in the direction of closure regarding the transformative process of internal and external restructuring that took place over the last three years.
The time around eclipses, and especially between a set of eclipses, can be highly charged for many (depending on how it is interacting with your birth chart), because eclipses have a way of bringing things up to the surface, which were previously only brewing in the unconscious. Once in plain view often something must be done or at least seen and accepted as a reality. In this way eclipses necessitate actions and attitudes that usher in needed change. But even positive change can be tumultuous or scary.
As always a Full Moon brings awareness or clarity (though often not until a day or two after the exact Full Moon) as it sheds light where there was darkness (the unknown) before. Also, Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses embody a polarization of some sort as the Sun and Moon are in direct opposition to one another. This opposition between two poles may be felt as an internal tension or experienced with an external person or situation. This eclipse is near the North node, so wherever Libra is in your birth chart, is where something new will be learned, assimilated, integrated, or received.
(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.
On Friday (3/20) there will be a Solar Eclipse New Moon, and it is the Spring Equinox marking the astrological new year. Along with the Sun transitioning to Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, the Moon will also enter Aries on Friday. Together this may feel like an extra powerful new beginning in the air. However shortly before this transition, the eclipse and the New Moon will be at the very last degree of Pisces, suggesting the experience of significant endings along with the bounding new beginnings. Additionally this eclipse is aligned with the South Node, which suggests we are letting go of something... Eclipses are associated with big shifts and transitions if they are closely aspecting one’s chart, and they are often felt ahead of time. I like the description of eclipses as a doorway or portal opening up, allowing us to step into a new experience. Along with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square on Monday (3/16) at 15º Aries and Capricorn, this is a moment of culmination — and a time of large scale transformation and change (which could potentially feel like both a crisis and a breakthrough) for many people.
Dec 21-22 is the Winter Solstice, as the Sun shifts from buoyant, arrows flying Sagittarius ♐, to grounded, efficient Capricorn ♑. The Sagittarius archetype persistently aims for high goals. This persistence develops into the Capricorn archetype, where one brings the process down to earth and climbs the mountain one step at a time.“While each sign seems to be an antidote to its immediate predecessor in the zodiac, each one also comes equipped with the capability to take the gift of the preceding sign to the next level” (Kimberly Maxwell & Jim Schultz). Capricorn “gives stability and substance to the metaphysical, religious or social enthusiasm of Sagittarius… Capricorn puts to practical use what Sagittarius has released” (Dane Rudhyar). Read more...
Most people are ultra busy this time of year, but during the next few days until the New Moon on Christmas Eve, deep rest may be needed (both the longest night of the year and the end of the moon cycle are quiet, hibernation-like times).
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
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius ♐ (Nov 24-Dec 13)
Sagittarius is sometimes known as the archetype that likes to share thoughts, beliefs, and wisdom in an enthusiastic and outspoken manner. Jupiter, the large planet that rules Sagittarius, expands everything connected to it. When Mercury is in Sagittarius — we may like to express ourselves — a lot. However when Mercury is retrograde, our minds may not be as clear, we may not have all the facts yet, we may misunderstand what we hear, or we may say too much (but we may also be more intuitive, imaginative, and free thinking during Merc retro)! Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius can be a potent combination — challenging us to be more reflective, mindful, and sensitive about what we say, how we say it, and when we share…