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
I received this question from someone, and I think it’s such an interesting topic that I decided to post about it.
Question (paraphrased): My boyfriend’s Moon and Venus fall into my 7th house, but my planets do not fall into his 7th house. Will I be the only one stimulated by this? Will he feel the familiarity too? Does it go both ways?
My answer: I have observed and thought about this many times. In the context of a significant relationship, when a person’s planets, especially their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, fall or overlay into your 7th house (the part of the chart representing partnership), yes it does mean that they embody in a big way whatever it is that you need in a partner, so you may feel strongly drawn to them. They balance you and complete you in a sense. This can apply to a romantic, friendship, business, or any other significant partnership.
So how does this affect the person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house? In my experience, it is not the same dynamic, but the connection and attraction is still mutual. The person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house feels called and inspired to be your partner. It feels natural to them to be what you want and need in a partner. This happens on a relatively subliminal level. Some authors say the attraction is stronger for the person whose 7th house is being over-layed by the partner’s planets, as opposed to the partner, but I have not found that to be the case. Your 7th house (i.e. the partnership) provides for them an area and a context for vital expression of part of themselves.
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...
Saturn is often considered a challenging planet associated with obstacles and hardships. However, especially in connection to a synastry analysis (how two birth charts interact together) and particularly between a parent and child, I have been noticing an interesting theme with regard to Saturn. It is one that contrasts with the common Saturnian stereotype of difficulties, obstacles, and hardships. Saturn aspects between a parent and child often turn up in harmonious relationships. In these cases the parent is indeed in an archetypal parental role, taking responsible and reliable care of the child, and being ultra motherly or fatherly. As well, the parent is experienced by the child as the authority. And that initial dynamic between them often continues, even after the child is fully an adult. In relationships like this I have repeatedly seen the parent’s Saturn tightly conjunct a significant point in the child’s chart, especially the child’s Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. This is not surprising, as Saturn is known as “the wise old elder.” And it is commonly said that Saturn is almost always notably placed in the synastry of any long-term relationship (such as family).
In non-parent/child relationships, even in the case of hard aspects, such as an opposition, for instance, from one spouse’s Saturn to the other spouse’s personal planet such as the Moon or Venus, the Saturn person may simply take on a responsible, mature, and perhaps a directive role in the relationship. Depending on the other person’s internal relationship with these Saturnian qualities, the person receiving the Saturn energy may be harmonious with this dynamic or not. In any case, a Saturn configuration between two people in a committed relationship is commonly present and is indicative of a tone of accountability, reliability, and practicality within the structure of the relationship.
In my experience, the deepest and most meaningful learning about astrology comes from experiential observation and involvement. Book learning is essential of course, but for instance, to truly understand the intensity of a transit from a slow moving planet to your birth chart, living through it or watching someone close to you live through it, is entirely different than reading about it. The theory you studied suddenly becomes tangible and is clearly manifesting before your eyes, and yet at the same time it is infinitely more complex and varied in its expression than you could have imagined. The same goes for truly understanding another human being, let alone yourself. It is a lifetime study. As an astrological counselor, I can study a natal chart for hours and hours, days, and weeks, but it would still take time to truly and comprehensively know the native (the owner of the chart). I may be able to quickly speculate about trends in character, predispositions, challenges, gifts, themes of the past and future, and various timelines of various archetypal influences affecting the individual, etc. And all of this can be immensely helpful for people in terms of inspiring self-understanding, self-permission to be who one is, as well as to give encouragement, patience, and strength with one’s life situation. Read more...
However, to really know a person, in a deep sense, and what it means to have a combination of particular planets in particular signs and houses with particular aspects, it takes time and keen observation. That is why I like working with people for a series of sessions over a period of time. We can go so much deeper into personality, life, or relationship dynamics, all of which the chart will illustrate in perfect fashion. Yet it takes time to unravel those mysteries written in a symbolic language. Like any relationship, it takes time and participation with someone to get to know them beyond the surface appearances or presentation. The same is true in a relationship between a counselor and a client and between an astrologer and a chart.
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...
Compassionate communication and Mars retrograde in Libra
Today I am beginning an 8 week course in Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication). This is something I’ve wanted to pursue a serious study of for awhile after reading books and trying to practice on my own (which proved difficult!). Everything lined up for me with this endeavor now while Mars is retrograde in Libra. How perfect! Why is the period when Mars is retrograde in Libra perfect for focusing on compassionate/non-violent communication? Firstly, because Libra rules the art of listening and speaking skillfully, diplomatically, and most importantly empathically — balancing awareness and sensitivity between self and other. This is challenging, to say the least, especially when strong emotions are triggered. Secondly, Mars rules self-assertion, leadership, and frankness, but also aggression and violence on the shadow side (every archetype has a shadow side). Mars retrograde on the other hand, supports holding aggression back, turning it within, contemplating it, and transmuting it. We all feel anger and aggression sometimes, which is often a surface layer over suppressed hurt or fear. To be able to express those deeper feelings and in a way that inspires giving and receiving from the heart, as opposed to creating more hurt feelings, anger, defensiveness, and chronic unmet needs in our relationships, is a great way to utilize the energy of Mars retrograde in Libra. I am happy for this opportunity.
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.
When interpreting relationships, natal indications prevail over compatibility indications
Exploration of compatibility for partnership or marriage between two individual’s natal charts is one of my favorite uses of astrology. In analyzing compatibility, however, it is important to remember that no matter how many significant connections or marriage indicators there are between two people, one must first acknowledge the predispositions regarding partnership within each natal chart. If the natal chart shows stressful aspects or placements to planets in the 7th (partnership) house, and most importantly to the ruler of the 7th house, as well as the condition of Venus, who presides over love and relationships, for instance, then no matter how strong a connection is or how compatible the charts looks with another person’s chart, the experience in partnership is going to be geared towards major growth (i.e. full of challenges) for that person. And likewise, if a natal chart suggests more harmonious aspects and placements regarding partnership for the individual, then less compatibility with someone else’s chart may still correlate with a relationship experience that is mostly enjoyable for the individual with more harmonious natal placements.