FROM THE ARIES EQUINOX TO THE CANCER SOLSTICE
The wheel of life keeps turning: the Sun, from 0° declination on the Equator will soon be moving north again. The following reading covers the first three months of this northward journey, between the Aries Equinox, March 20, and Cancer Solstice 2009 (June 21).
Some of the transits which define this astrological period will be happening in Aquarius, where both Jupiter and Chiron will conjunct Neptune (between the beginning of April and mid May, remaining active, on and off, until the end of the year).
The Chiron-Neptune’s conjunction has been long in coming and will be with us until the end of 2010. Swifter Jupiter is this year highlighting this area of the seasonal Zodiac. There may be a marked general feeling of hope and the strong belief that things are improving.
These transits could be more relevant to Aquarius (Feb.13/16), Libra (Oct.17/20), Gemini (Jun.15/18), Leo (Aug.17/20), Taurus (May15/18), Scorpio (Nov.16/19).
There is a catch though: Aquarius, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio in particular need to take care that wishful thinking is not clouding their judgement.
On the other hand, not acknowledging the beauty of the dream, the universal understanding, compassion and healing that the union of those planets portends, would be to miss a unique opportunity to rise to new heights, not just for the above birthday people, but for all of us.
Jupiter (called Guru in Vedic Astrology) represents the human urge to search for meaning and to envision a better future; while Neptune is the planet of the Third Eye, opening channels for us between conscious and unconscious dimensions. And Chiron is the Wounded Healer, a powerful symbol of the fact that true healing can come only from a personal and profound experience of suffering.
The energies of these three Planets acting in unison will be filtered through the substance of Aquarius, the Sign of democratic reform, human cooperation, science and technology. Astrologers cannot help feeling that this is a good sign to improve human cooperation and create strong links of friendship amongst people of different race, belief or culture.
Jupiter, the swiftest amongst the three planets involved, will act as a catalyst for the release of the Neptunian and Chironian energies. Through Jupiter in fact we envision the potential of every situation and make little of the difficulties, the best recipe for success.
Another major transit (active since November 2008) is the opposition Saturn – Uranus. It will have consummated itself only by October 2009. During the season March to June though, due to retrograde motion, the two planets are separating from the exact opposition, thus allowing a period of adjustment between the most recent exact pass (February 5) and the next one (September 9).
The urge for change (embodied by Uranus) is still challenged by many fears and reservations (Saturn), while the first results of the changes implemented in the recent past can now be weighted up, helping to mark out the direction the next exact opposition might take us, during its last pass in September.
Pisces (born 13/17 March), Virgo (born 15/19 September), Gemini (born 14/18 June), Sagittarius (born 14/18 December) will experience the strong pull of Uranus, stimulating them to take a new direction in many areas and to feel more independent all round. During the period around April 15 Mars will add its spark to the Sun-Uranus mix, with the risk of making it more explosive.
On the other hand Pisces (born 5/9 March), Virgo (born 7/11 September), Gemini (born 5/9 June), Sagittarius (born 7/11 December) are more likely to experience the limitations and need for self discipline of the Saturn’s end of the stick. This could be felt particularly around April 5, when Mars will oppose Saturn, acting as a catalyst for the release of the Saturnine energy. Hard work, frustration and need of self control and patience can all come under this Mars-Saturn banner.
On May 17 Saturn is turning direct, after four months retrograde period. This ponderous Planet is now half way through Virgo and will begin to speed considerably in June, to enter Libra on October 30 (the Old Man Planet’s next incarnation).
After entering Capricorn in November 2008, Pluto has been advancing very fast (for Pluto) during the first three months of 2009 (three degrees!). Pluto’s motion however will slow down considerably from March. The Retrograde period will begin on April 5 and end on September 7. The following reading will be more relevant to people born on the given birthdays, while others whose Moon, Ascendant or personal Planet are in these Signs and degrees could experience very similar effects (this is true for all transits discussed in these columns).
The Birthdays are: Capricorn (Dec.22/26), Cancer (Jun.21/25), Aries (Mar.21/25), Libra (Sep.23/27) and, to a lesser measure, also Taurus (Apr.20/24) and Virgo (Aug.23/27).
One way or another you will be confronting your own as well as other people’s demons. This is the perfect time to actually look into those issues that you normally find too confronting; time to get involved deeply with someone, to really look into someone’ eyes and ‘know’ them. Your intense emotional reactions may scare the faint hearted but will appeal to those who seek more depth in relationship and love a bit of drama.
Your mood cannot be described as light and cheerful, but doesn’t need to be sombre either, unless there are important unresolved issues in your life and you are trying to deal with them to find a real solution, not a bandaid one.
This is not time for half measure; whatever you get involved with now you will feel profoundly committed to. Some find plutonian periods and crisis very productive and creative times. There may be a high level of energy which could implode if is not somehow released.
Some relationships may seem to reach breaking point, some may deepen considerably, and certainly some might not survive the impact of Pluto, with its naked truths and strong power/sex/destruction overtones.
You may be tempted to test your power on other people. There is a risk of emotional manipulation and struggle for supremacy. It all depends on how honest you can really be with yourself and others.
Accepting as a fact your desire to have more control and personal power in your life doesn’t necessarily mean controlling or manoeuvring others. It means rather discovering resources within you and outside of you that you can tap into, discarding all that doesn’t sit anymore comfortably with you.
Your friends, family and colleagues may notice a ruthless side of your character they did not know before, mainly because you kept it well hidden from everyone, perhaps even yourself. Notwithstanding some criticism during this transit you could be well advised to stick to your guns. It is the only way you can overcome difficulties that have marred your life for too long.
The depth of vision (gift of Pluto) will help you to uncover ‘til now unchartered regions of the psyche, not just your own but also others’.
Those who have not learnt to deal with their own psychological shadow are likely to project their dark side upon other people who are then made to carry it. The tendency to demonize others is in fact one of the greatest risks under such a ‘once in a lifetime’ transit.
When the shadow seems to swallow the light, remember that you will feel differently when this transit is over. Pluto may destroy some of your most cherished illusions about yourself, your life, your loved ones, but the heaviness caused by the transit will eventually lift and will probably never be experienced as intensely in the future.
Present thoughts, dreams, feelings may reveal some of the resentments, anger, jealousies you have tried to repress in the past. They seem to be coming back to haunt you. In the end however they will prove to be ‘good ghosts’, because you need to integrate together every facets of your being to become a whole person.
Some however will be compelled into major changes (life style, relationships, residence, job) against their will or better judgement by circumstances out of their conscious control. The serious adjustments that you have to make now will prove however beneficial in the long run, helping you to move on from stuck and unhealthy situations.
The alchemical phase that can be ascribed to Pluto has to do with the burning of the dross to reveal a new shiny self, one better prepared for the unavoidable trials of life.
During this period Mars will visit the Signs of Pisces (Mar.15/Apr.22), Aries (Apr.22/Jun.1) and Taurus (Jun.1/Jul.12). Mars ‘lasts’ about two months in each Sign, returning to the same place every two years or so.
The transits of Mars, when in your Sign, will help you to feel energetic and more assertive than usual. A lot can be then accomplished in a short time, if the energy is not squandered in impulsive, thoughtless actions or arguments.
Sexual libido may also go up a notch, because Mars gives us the desire to be more physical and instinctual. Great opportunity to get into rigorous physical activities, regaining the fitness you might have lost during more relaxed times.
Mercury will be making its cosmic loop between May 7 and 31. Soon after entering Gemini it will look as it was moving backward, leaving Gemini again and re-entering Taurus. This retrograde motion will affect in particular some Gemini (May21/23) and Taurus people (May12/21).
For many this will manifest in a general slowing down of activities (the retreat from swift moving Gemini), but also the opportunity to consider more carefully the practical implications of all endeavours (Taurus). The slow plodding of Mercury through Taurus suggests an ideal time for contemplating, in natural surrounding and congenial company. Trying to get mentally busy could be a mistake now and a source of frustration because things don’t seem to go your way, doesn’t matter how hard you try.
It is, after all, only a short three weeks period. So take it easy and soon you will notice the pulse of life accelerating again, especially after Mercury’s return to Gemini (June 14).
Another important loop is the one performed by Venus between March 8 and April 17. This is one in every eighteen months event. This time the self reflective qualities of Venus retrograde are more likely to be experienced by Aries (Mar.21/Apr.5) and Pisces (Mar.19/20).
Re-entering Pisces Venus will meet her lover Mars. Between April and June (last conjunction exact on June 22) the two will travel together, a romantic duo observable in the pre-dawn sky. The slow dance of the archetypal lovers will stir passion into life, also joining the creative impulse (Venus) with the courage to act it out (Mars). Ideal time for artists, lovers and the conception of babies…
During the retrograde Venus’ periods we all become more aware of our contribution to the happiness or unhappiness of our close relationships. We can take inner stock of the situation, seriously considering the impact of past experiences on our present way of dealing with emotional issues.
Venus in transit always brings the desire to cooperate, love and cherish. She also gives a sense of the beautiful, in art and love, and the desire for pleasure and comfort. When moving backward however her effect is transformed and made more introspective. Sometimes this manifests as relationships problems for the people whose Sun, Moon or Ascendant Signs are involved.
Why then the mythical goddess of love should cause trouble amongst lovers? The relationships which are more likely to suffer during a retrograde period of Venus are the superficial ones, unable to withstand the test of self knowledge this Venus could put them through.
Venus will re-enter Aries in direct motion on April 24 and then Taurus on June 6, highlighting the softer and more pleasurable side of life for these Signs.
One of the most significant transits of 2009 will be undoubtedly the challenging 90° angle Saturn will form with Pluto (November 15), soon after entering Libra (October 30). But that story belongs to another issue; until then, happy transits, everyone.