Venus and Mercury enter Taurus on May 16, transiting Taurus until June, soon to align with Mars

Woman at her Toilet by Henri Fantin-Latour

Henri Fantin Latour (1836-1904), the artist who painted the picture I have chosen for this post, became famous, I learnt, for his flowers and women portraits.  This seems to me a great association for the fertile Sign of Taurus, natural abode of Venus, representing Nature in her bountiful, peaceful and healing aspect, the apotheosis of the feminine principle of love over conflict, and pleasure over hardship.

Venus and Mercury enter Taurus on May 16, Mercury ending this transit on June 3 and Venus on June 10. Mars will be in Taurus until June 21, while Jupiter will also make his entrance in this Sign on June 4 and remain there for a whole year.

Venus and Mercury are again conjunct on May 17, Full Moon day, then Mercury will speed ahead to meet Mars on May 21, and Venus will also meet Mars on May 23. When we talk about Venus in Taurus this year, then, we should not forget that Mercury and Mars, and soon Jupiter, are very much part of her story too.

The Sign of Taurus is buzzing with a lot of different energies playing upon it; Mercury providing intellectual curiosity and stimulation, Venus pleasure and cheerfulness, Mars determination, vitality and the fighting spirit, and soon also Jupiter imparting wisdom, confidence and vision.

There is not going to be a better time, in the near future, comparable with this, for the number of opportunities becoming available to Taurus, a usually lay back and content Sign. Making the most of this alignment will make Taurus’ life more fulfilling, happy and active.

Scorpio, like Taurus, will feel the power of these configurations more keenly than the other Signs. Venus and Mars are intensifying Scorpio’s feeling responses, exposing it to sudden attractions and the lure of love and romance. At the same time Mercury makes Scorpio feel more communicative and social, a plus for this rather reserved Sign. Because the Taurus planets are opposing Scorpio the risk is there of experiencing the more challenging side of these transits, especially in the area of love or business partnerships, by causing jealousy, resentment and negative psychological projections.

These transits are significant for people born with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or a number of ‘personal’ planets in the Fixed Signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, Aquarius, and the Earth Signs Virgo and Capricorn. To a lesser degree also the Water Signs Cancer and Pisces, because Venus, Mercury and Mars will form harmonious angles with them (trines and sextiles).

The Taurus’ cluster will have however also a general effect on everybody, beginning  a period of greater emotional and financial stability. The pace of life may slow down a little for all of us, hopefully leaving us time to smell the flowers, as the iconic Ferdinand the Bull of Disney’s fame, content with simple pleasures and adverse to fighting.

Mercury in Taurus can help us to concentrate better and reach great depths, and Venus to savor loving feelings and sensual pleasures. While Mars will encourage deliberate actions, dictated by practicality, making us more doggedly determined to stay on the job until it is finished.

During her stay in Taurus Venus will enjoy a period of special power, because Mars, Mercury in Taurus, and soon Jupiter, as well as Saturn in Libra are all transiting Signs that are traditionally considered Venus’ domains, so that they all have to pay homage to her and do her bidding.

We can now learn how to save energy and relax, while still being productive. This is a blessing really, considering the hectic times ahead, when the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars will all be in restless and speedy Gemini between the months of June and July, another unpredictable Eclipse season, with three Eclipses on the radar.

For an astrological discussion about the June-July Eclipses please navigate from HERE to my June to September Forecast article.

Negatively the emphasis on Taurus, as with all Fixed Signs, could increase, however, our chances to get bogged down in projects, relationships and thinking patterns, slowing considerably our progress. Knowing the risks we have to find a balance between the need to take it easy and the need to get things done, or to move from situations that have become stale or toxic.

Gardening by the lore of the Moon we learn that sowing and planting when the Moon is in Taurus encourages root growth, also helping to establish perennials, those plants that need to survive more than one growing season, going deep into the soil to get their nourishment from our Earth Mother. This is a great symbol for Taurus’ power and gift of productivity, constancy, firmness, solidity and enduring strength, qualities now more available to all of us.

There is also, of course, a spiritual side to this Earthy Sign, that, by the way, is not usually more materialistic than any other Sign. Some  Taurean have a marked interest in everything occult and in old traditions and sacred scriptures. Practices of devotion and beautiful heart-felt rituals, as well as contemplation and transcendental meditation are well suited to this relaxed and unhurried Sign.

Click to enlarge

Weekly Astrological Highlights, April 18 to 24

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THIS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS

Many highlights this week, with Mars in Aries opposing Saturn in Libra, on Tuesday April 19, the Sun entering Taurus and Retro Mercury conjunct Mars on Wednesday April 20, and Venus entering Aries on Thursday April 21. All this after a fully charged Full Moon in Libra, on Monday, April 18, heavily involved with the active planetary transits in Cardinal Signs, since last Saturday.

THIS WEEK MOON

The Moon is Full in Libra, on Monday, April 18, entering then her 14 days waning period.

This is the yearly Paschal Full Moon. The word Paschal is the Greek translation of the original Hebrew word Pesach, meaning Passover. This religious festivity commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from their Egyptian slavery, after God sent ten deadly plagues to the land. When Egypt’s Pharaoh decreed that all the first born in the land be killed,  the Israelite people, warned by God, marked their doors with the blood of sacrificial lambs, a sign for the Angel of the Lord to pass over those doors, so that their children will be spared. This parable is connected in deep ways to the parable of Jesus, saved from  the massacre of the innocents, to later become himself the lamb of sacrifice through his crucifixion, remembered on Good Friday. and his resurrection celebrated on Easter Sunday.

The day of Easter is decided, every year, by the placement of this Full Moon, the first after the Aries Equinox; Easter being the first Sunday after this particular phase.

Since Saturday, April 16, the Moon in Libra has been opposing Uranus in Aries on Saturday 16; squaring Pluto in Capricorn, opposing Mars and Mercury in Aries and becoming conjunct Saturn in Libra on Sunday 17; and finally opposing Jupiter in Aries, few hours before the Full phase (Moon-Sun’s opposition) on Monday April 18. A busy time for the Moon and for all of us, dealing with many different emotional demands, not easy to reconcile. I am personally recovering from a rather intense time that has left me functioning not quite 100%, physically and psychically. I have to put on hold projects I have been working on for a while, having run out of steam, so to speak.

The second major phase of the Waning Moon will occur on Thursday, April 21, with the Sagittarius Disseminating Phase, when we may begin to make sense of all these intense vibes, perceiving the big picture beyond the emotional roller coaster. The Sagittarius Disseminating Moon suggests in fact the opportunity to widen our understanding and to gain a more philosophical outlook on life.

APRIL 19, TUESDAY: Mars in Aries opposes Saturn in Libra today, while Retro Mercury becomes part of this configuration too, because it will be exactly conjunct Mars on April 20. These could be potentially frustrating two to three days for many, in particular those Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn people who happen to be directly aligned with this difficult transits. They are Aries born around April 1 to 4, Libra born October 5 to 8, Cancer born July 3 to 6, Capricorn born January 2 to 5, or anyone with Moon, Chart’s Angles and /or planet between the 11thh and 14th degree of the same Signs.

It easy easy to understand why such a transit could cause frustration if we remember that Mars is eminently a planet of action, while Saturn tends to delay action in order to be better prepared; Mars is spontaneous and instinctual, while Saturn is all about planning and playing it safe! During their contact, in particular the opposition that in itself represents a duality and tension of sort, our desire for prompt action becomes often frustrated and a lot of patience will be needed to avoid anger and disappointment to build up, eventually causing us explode.

Like the conjunction to Mercury-Jupiter last week the conjunction tomorrow of Mercury to Mars will be the second of three passes of the same transit. The first occurred on February 21, when Mercury was still Direct, and the third, after Mercury will turn Direct again, will be exact on May 21, thus covering a much longer period than an average Mercury’s transit. Mercury will also get very close to another opposition to Saturn, avoiding it only by turning Direct on Saturday, April 23.

Both the Mars-Saturn opposition and the Mercury-Mars-conjunction don’t seem helpful transits if we want to resolve conflicts because they rather tends to stress tensions and divisions. They are configurations useful when we want to make a stand and we are ready to defend our position in an assertive and confident way though.

Used wisely this combination of opposing energies could help us to achieve more, the action driven Mars finding practical and viable channels of expression via the Saturn’s contact. The job may be slowed down, but it will be a better accomplished one in the end.

APRIL 20, WEDNESDAY: we are turning another leaf in our book of seasons, with the Sun entering the Earth Fixed Sign of Taurus today, 8.17 pm, Eastern Australia Standard Time.

Here is the Chart for this ingress.

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The conjunction Mercury-Mars in Aries and their combined oppositions to Saturn in Libra, plus the coming conjunction of Venus to Uranus, and the 120 degrees harmonious angle between the Moon in Sagittarius and Uranus are all happening around the time of the Taurus ingress. This is preparing to be a time for rapid, even abrupt changes in relationships, pervaded by a rebellious and freedom seeking collective feeling (Venus, Uranus, Moon configuration), but also a period for serious reality checks and potential frustration for a lot of people (Mars, Saturn, Mercury).

The Sun, on the naught degree of Taurus, will be in harmonious aspect to Neptune on the naught degree of Pisces, showing the way to better integrating all the various transits through an attitude of acceptance and the willingness to adapt, not usually great Taurean traits. People born with the Sun, Moon, Chart’s Angles and/or planets in Taurus are beginning a 14 years journey during which they will have to give up the more willful side of this Earth Sign and embrace an all together more tolerant and inclusive philosophy of  life.

APRIL 21, THURSDAY: Venus enters Aries today.  A post about the transit of Venus in this Fire Sign is at present cooking in my oven, and hopefully will be ready soon.

Briefly here Venus is now entering the realm of Mars, her rival-lover. Aries is in fact a highly masculine, energetic and assertive Sign, not the most natural place for Venus, embodiment of the feminine principle of attraction and harmony. Aries is a combative Sign, ready for a fight if anything seems to impede its progress, so Venus in this Sign loses some of her natural ability to mediate differences and to seek friendly resolution of conflict. During this period we may actually enjoy having to sort out our differences with people, less inhibited to express ourselves with honesty in relationships, and also eager for a more active and exciting social life.

This Venus in Aries period will end on May16. On the same day Mercury will also move from Aries into Taurus, an important short term cosmic shift, from Fire impulse to Earth stability.

The people more likely to respond to Venus in Aries’ influence will be Aries, of course, but also Libra (by opposition), Cancer and Capricorn (by square aspect) and the other two Fire Signs, Leo and Sagittarius (by trine aspects).

APRIL 23, SATURDAY: Mercury is finally turning Stationary Direct today, after a three weeks retro period (since the end of March). Business or activities that had to be put on hold for a while can be tackled again, with renewed energy and some guarantee of success.  Mercury will be still transiting Aries, until May 16, a morning star, rising before the Sun until late May. For the moment it is too close to the Sun’s glare to be spotted. The first glimpse of Mercury will be possible toward the middle of May, time of maximum distance from the Sun.

Click here for my most recent post on the June to September Major Transits

Click HERE for my recent post about  the Aries Equinox conjunct Uranus

If interested, please click HERE to navigate to my recent Venus in Pisces post .

Click here to navigate to my most recent post on the transit of Uranus in Aries, and other major transits.

For more information about the ingress of Neptune in Pisces, please check two of my posts on the subject HERE and HERE.

A post on  Jupiter transiting Aries can be found HERE.

For a list of all Transits this week and for the rest of the month please CLICK HERE to the Monthly Transits Page

or HERE to navigate to the Astro-Calendar Page.

Mars in Aries, the knight in shiny armour, from April 2 to May 11 2011

Troubadour (Minstrel) by Giorgio de Chirico  Click to enlarge

Entering Aries at this particular time Mars was sure to make an impression on the collective psyche and world events. This transit will be active between April 2 and May 11.

In traditional Astrology the planet Mars and the Sign of Aries are linked together, because Mars is said to ‘rule’ this Fire Cardinal Sign, the one that more than any other provides Mars with the type of energy he needs to accomplish his conquering tasks unheeded.

The boldness and courage of Aries will receive a boost from Mars too, affording everyone an opportunity to tackle life issues with confidence, in particular Aries individuals and the other Fire Signs, Leo and Sagittarius. It could also be a stimulating transit for Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, the other Cardinal Signs, not without some difficulties and confrontations though. Also for anyone with Moon, Ascendant, Mid-Heaven, Descendant, Lower Heaven, and/or planets in the above Signs.

Because of the association between Mars and Aries, all the other celestial bodies, at present transiting through this Sign (the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, and, from April 21, also Venus) have to pay alliance to Mars, give him his due.

It is easy to see then how important Mars can be in these circumstances. Even the New Moon, on April 4, fell in Aries, so the starting point of the present lunar cycle (the one that has just culminated in the Libra Full Moon on April 18) was also closely allied with Mars.

Both Mars and Aries tend to accelerate the pace of life and events. More happens during a Martial period, and more often. There is a general tendency to get the job done, irrespective of possible consequences and present obstacles.

We want to burn down the obstacles life is placing in front of us; we wish they weren’t there. We may not see much usefulness in biting our time or in being overly patient. We want things done yesterday, a sense of urgency presses us ahead. We are very driven and focused. But we may also overstretch our mark, displaying excessive confidence and not enough planning.

In haste we are more likely to make mistakes and have to retrace our steps. This period could be particularly so due to the retro motion of Mercury in Aries too. Things may not proceed as quickly and smoothly as you have envisioned and felt pretty sure about. Frustration is a real possibility if you are not prepared to slow down your pace, accepting necessary setbacks and even tolerating many irritating difficulties and delays, especially in the area of communication and travel, especially before April 23.

Because Aries is one of the Cardinal Signs we need to remember that no aspect formed by Mars during this transit can be isolated from the context within which it takes place, the other mutual aspects happening at the same time and the overall planetary scene. In a general sense the transits of Mars always help to activate the other major planetary alignments, bringing them to our attention in a vivid way. This time is no exception; it is in fact a strong example of this, considering the number and gravity of open conflicts exploding all over the world.  We cannot just blame Mars for them, but rather the difficult configurations this planet has been forming with big trouble-makers like Uranus (conjunct Mars at the April 4, Aries New Moon day), Pluto, that Mars squared on April 12, and Saturn that Mars opposed on April 19. To make the Mars effect more obvious retro Mercury is also conjunct Mars on April 19 and Mars will reach the conjunction to Jupiter on April 30. Perhaps a bit too much excitement for one month.

The significance of the Mercury Retrograde period

 MERCURY RETROGRADE BETWEEN CAPRICORN AND SAGITTARIUS

It is that time of the year again, Mercury has begun his Retro Station on December 10, an event occurring cyclically every four months or so.

Our little neighbor will move back into Sagittarius on December 19, turn Direct on December 30, and finally re-enter Capricorn on January 13.

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, mis-communications etc. These effects are often obvious, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven or Lower Heaven) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury (19° Sagittarius to 6° Capricorn, this time), or in those areas in major aspect to it.

As far as the Sun Signs are concerned the individuals more directly affected by Mercury’s retrogradation, this time, will be: Capricorn, born December 22/29 ~ Cancer, born June 22/29 ~ Libra, born September 23/30 ~ Aries, born March 21/28. ~ Sagittarius, born December 10/21~ Gemini, born June 10/21 ~ Virgo, born September 11/22 ~ Pisces, born March 9/20.

There is a lot more however to the retrogradation of Mercury. First of all, Mercury might retrograde within one Zodiacal Sign, or pass, in retro motion, from one Sign to the one that precedes it, like it’s happening in this case. The Sign emphasis is in fact also important.

In a Birth Chart, for instance, Mercury in Capricorn encourages the mind to think methodically, to plan ahead, to restrain from flights of fancy keeping it on the narrow and straight path, so to speak. This Earthy Mercury is ideal for business dealings, for any constructive or practical enterprise, also for leadership because the individual’s way of expressing him/herself demands respect and trust from others. Mercury in Capricorn is in fact efficient, ambitious and thorough, with a mind which sticks to facts and figures, and delivers.

Collectively these same qualities will influence everyone, at some level, depending on where Capricorn is in your Birth Chart.

The Retrogradation however will soon move the Mercurial focus from Capricorn’s Earth plane to the intuitive plane of Sagittarius, a Fire Sign.

When Mercury is found in Sagittarius in someone’s Birth Chart it indicates an individual whose mind is unfettered by conditioning and rules of thinking. Sagittarius Mercury is the free thinker par excellence, ready to speculate about everything and easily going on far fetched tangents in his thinking and words.

For all of us this period should afford an opportunity to think out of the box, freeing ourselves from the shackles of conventional ideas and unadventurous communication.  This is symbolically a going back to our source of inspiration before we proceed again to do business as usual.

Mercury in Sagittarius is getting extra calendar time, due to the planet’s slowness when retrograde, inspiring us to look for meaning,  and generally expanding our understanding of life.

The transits a Mercury Retrograde forms during this special time are also important. Due to the extremely reflective nature of this planet, absorbing readily the colour and energy of other planets he comes in contact with, especially via conjunction.

Contrary to the usual Mercury’s transits that last only for very short periods of time, indicating passing moods and ideas, the retro transits of this planet last a relatively long time, impressing their peculiar mark on our personal and collective psyche. All aspects in fact that become exact just before the retro period of a planet are repeated three times: the first pass in direct motion, the second in retro motion and the third in direct motion again. If you happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets, Angles or Nodes around the degree of such transits or in aspect to them, then the effect of a retro Mercury’s transit could be as significant as the transit of a slow moving body.

These Transits will tend to have more of an effect on people who happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles around the degrees listed.

Mercury conjunct Mars, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, while retrograde, finally in Aquarius again, in direct motion. It is exact on November 21 (on 17° of Sagittarius) , December 14 (on 04° of Capricorn), and February21 (on 28° of Aquarius).

This transit will coincide also with the conjunction Mercury-Pluto and Mars-Pluto, energizing the mind, and also intensifying the desire to know things, lifting the curtain of face value impressions. It is an important transit, helping to penetrate through walls of silence and to express things usually left unspoken. It is however also a dangerous connection, bringing up from the depth mental contents, memories, obsessions, traumas that have been repressed for a long time. Those could get out of hand and cause some major havoc in the lives of those who have a direct connection with the degree occupied each time by the transit.

Mercury square Jupiter and Uranus, while transiting Sagittarius. These transits are exact on November 26/28 (on 23° and 26° of Sagittarius), December 21/22 (on 25° and 26° of Sagittarius), and January 11/12 (on the same degrees as the December pass).

This transit may test our capacity to broaden our world view and to think out of the box. It could prove very creative and exciting for some, but perhaps also somewhat hypo and wasteful for others, increasing mental curiosity but also nervous restlessness.

THE PHASES OF MERCURY

Even after considering all these factors we would still fall short of penetrating the meaning of Mercury’s retro period if we weren’t considering it in the context of Mercury’s entire cycle in relation to the Earth and Sun. The Phases of Mercury are in fact as fundamental to this all important planetary energy as its Sign position, that represents the quality of its energy, or  Mercury’s House placement and the House ruled by Mercury via traditional Sign rulership, indicating the areas of experience where its planetary energy will more likely find expression.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment, when the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. It is not just the Moon who waxes to the Full phase and wanes toward the New Moon. All planets do, when we observe their relationships with the Sun and the Earth. The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

If interested please check my next post on planetary phases (Mercury’s in particular), to be published soon.