Monday, June 1, 2020: daily Moon Sign/Phase + monthly Sun, Planets, Lunar Nodes and Asteroids’ Signs’ Ingress and Retro Periods

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After a too long absence, due to illness and other matters, I am back updating my site. If you are still following me: ‘Thank You’.

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Sun SymbolGemini ImageThe SUN enters the Mutable Ar Sign of GEMINI on Wednesday, May 20, at 11.49 pm, and will transit GEMINI until Sunday, June 21, 7.43 am, with the ingress into CANCER.
The CANCER ingress will mark the Winter Solstice in our southern hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. On the same day of the Solstice there will be a New Moon, at 4.41 pm, also a SOLAR ECLIPSE, at 0°21′ CANCER.
Click Here to see the Rainbow Horoscope of the GEMINI ingress.

 

For a Reading of the Major Transits active in April-May 2020 please click this link
(an astrological view on the current world covid19 crisis)

For a Reading of the Major Transits active in February-March 2020 please click this link

For a Reading of the Major Transits active in December 2019 and January 2020 please click this link

To view a full interpretation of the Moon Sign and Phase please click the images.

07 Libra Moon Cool Semi-FertileGibbous to Full Moon PhaseThe WAXING MOON TRANSITS LIBRA from Monday, June 1, 0.37 am,  to Wednesday,June 3, 2.05 am, entering then the Sign of SCORPIO.

The LIBRA GIBBOUS MOON PHASE begins on Tuesday, June 2, 9.50 pm, and ends on  Saturday, June 6, 5.12 am, with the SAGITTARIUS FULL MOON PHASE, also an APPULSE LUNAR ECLIPSE on SAGITTARIUS 15°34′.

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JUNE 2020 LINKS

Click this link to view/print a LIST OF ALL TRANSITS ACTIVE in JUNE 2020
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Click HERE to navigate to my Monthly Updated Ephemeris Page
Click HERE to navigate to my Monthly Updated Astro-Calendars Page*
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The JUNE 2020 Moon Ingresses, Phases and Planets Transits are calculated for
Australian Eastern Standard Time (10 hours East of Greenwich),
which was reinstated on April 5 2020.
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JUNE 2020 Moon Ingress into Signs***

The JUNE 2020 Moon Phases are calculated for Australian Eastern Standard Time (10 hours East of Greenwich), which was reinstated on April 5 2020.
Click images to view meaning
Moon in Libra

Wax Moon in Libra on Mon, Jun 1, 0.37 am

Moon in Scorpio

Wax Moon in Scorpio, Wed, Jun 3, 2.05 am

Moon in Sagittarius

Wax/Wan Moon in Sag. on Fri, Jun 5, 3.16 am

Moon in Capricorn

Wan Moon Cap Sun, Jun 7, 5.44 am

Moon in Aquarius

Wan Moon Aquarius Tue, Jun 9, 10.53 am

Moon in Pisces

Wan Moon Pisces on Thu, Jun 11, 7.31 pm

Moon in Aries

Wan Moon in Aries Sun, Jun 14, 7.02 am

Moon in Taurus

Wan Moon in Taurus Tue, Jun 16, 7.35 pm

Moon in Gemini

Wan Moon in Gemini Fri, Jun 19, 6.59 am

Moon in Cancer

Wan/Wax Moon in Cancer on Sun, Jun 21, 4.01 pm

Moon in Leo

Wax Moon in Leo Tue, Jun 23, 10.33 pm

Moon in Virgo

Wax. Moon in Virgo, Fri, Jun 26, 3.04 am

Moon in Libra

Wax Moon in Libra on Sun, Jun 28, 6.16 am

Moon in Scorpio

Wax Moon in Scorpio, Tue, Jun 30, 8.47 am

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June 2020 All Moon Phases

Click images to view meaning
Gibbous to Full Moon animation

Libra Gibbous Moon, 27°24′, Tue, Jun 2, 9.50 pm

Full to Disseminating Moon

Sagittar. Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse, 15°34′, Sat Jun 6, 5.12 am

Disseminating Moon Phase

Aquarius Disseminating Moon, 03°57′, Tue, Jun 9, 6.09 pm

Last Quarter to Balsamic Moon Phase

Pisces Last Quarter. 22°42′, Sat, Jun 13, 4.23 pm

New to Crescent Moon Phase

Taurus Balsamic Moon, 11’37, Wed, Jun 17, 6.50 pm

1 New Moon Crescent fast

Cancer New Moon, Total Solar Eclipse 00°21′, Sun, Jun 21, 4.41 pm

Crescent Moon Animation

Leo Crescent Moon, 18°48′, Thu, Jun 25, 7.41 am

First Quarter Moon Phase Animation

Libra First Quarter Moon, 07°05′, Sun, Jun 28, 6.15 pm

June 2020: Signs Ingress and Retro Periods of All Planets,
Lunar Nodes, Major Asteroids and Black Moon Lilith

MERCURY has been transiting CANCER since Friday, May 29, 4.09 am. MERCURY will turn RETROGRADE between June 18 and July 12, from 14°45′ CANCER to 05°29′ CANCER. MERCURY will enter LEO only on Wednesday, August 5.

For a general post on the Retrogradation of Mercury’s effects, please navigate to my Page here.

VENUS has been transiting GEMINI  since Saturday, April 4, 3.10 am. Because of Retrogradation, slowing her speed, VENUS will be in GEMINI until Saturday, August 8, 1.21 am.
VENUS will be RETROGRADE between Thursday, May 14 and Friday, June 26, covering the degrees from 12°50′ to 05°20′ of GEMINI.

MARS entered PISCES on Wednesday, May 13, 2.17 pm, and will transit PISCES until Sunday, June 28, 11.45 am, then entering ARIES.

Jupiter GlyphJUPITER have been transiting CAPRICORN since Tuesday, December 3, at 4.20 am. JUPITER will transit CAPRICORN until Sunday, December 20, 2020, 0.07 am, with the ingress into AQUARIUS.

SATURN has been transiting AQUARIUS since Sunday, March 22, 2020.

  • SATURN became Retrograde on Tuesday, May 12, on 01°57′ AQUARIUS and will re-enter CAPRICORN, in retro motion, on Thursday, July 2.
  • Becoming Direct on Wednesday, September 30, on 25°20′ CAPRICORN, SATURN will re-enter AQUARIUS, for good, on Thursday, December 17.
  • SATURN will form a conjunction with JUPITER on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, one of the first conjunctions in AIR SIGNS since 1802. This particular alignment in December 2020 will be setting the trend for the next 200 years or so, because their twenty yearly conjunctions will occur mainly in AIR SIGNS until 2140. Astrologers throughout the ages have considered these conjunctions extremely influential in shaping world’s history, with its prevalent ideologies and sociopolitical leanings.

Chiron GlyphCHIRON entered ARIES on February 18 2019, at 8.07 pm, and will transit ARIES until June 20, 2026.
For a short post on the ingress of Chiron in Aries please navigate to my 2018 post here.

Uranus GlyphURANUS entered TAURUS on Wednesday, March 6, at 7.26 pm. URANUS will transit TAURUS until April 26, 2026.
This was indeed the great event of the year 2019.
If interested please navigate to my 2018 post on URANUS in TAURUS here.

NEPTUNE has been transiting PISCES since February 4, 2012, and will remain in PISCES until March 30, 2025, when it will enter ARIES.

PLUTO has been transiting CAPRICORN since November 27, 2008. PLUTO will transit CAPRICORN until March 23, 2023, then entering AQUARIUS.
In April PLUTO turned Retrograde on Monday, April 27, on 24°59′, and will be STATIONARY DIRECT on Wednesday, October 7 2020, on 2229′ of CAPRICORN.

The NORTH and SOUTH LUNAR NODES have been transiting CANCER and CAPRICORN respectively since November 6, 2018. The MOON NODES transited these Cardinal Signs until May 6, 2020, entering then the Mutable Signs of SAGITTARIUS and GEMINI.
In the month of June 2020 they will cover the degrees between 29°13’and 29°05’of GEMINI and SAGITTARIUS respectively, mostly in Retro Motion, as usual.

Asteroid CeresCERES has been transiting PISCES  since Friday, April 24, 2020. Due to Retrogadation CERES will return to AQUARIUS on Sunday, September 27, 2020, and leave AQUARIUS for good only on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

PALLAS entered AQUARIUS on Thursday, April 30. PALLAS will however return to CAPRICORN, due to Retrogradation, between June 3 and December 7, 2020.

Juno GlyphJUNO entered LIBRA on November 4 2019, and will transit LIBRA until Sunday, September 20, 2020.

VESTA have been transiting GEMINI since March 21 2020. VESTA will enter CANCER on Thursday, June 4, 2020, and transit CANCER until Tuesday, August 11, 2020 .

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Black Moon Lilith GlyphJUNE 2020 BLACK MOON LILITH EPHEMERISLast but not least, here are the June 2020 Ephemeris just for the elusive
BLACK MOON LILITH.

To help you understand what this occult point represents I’ve chosen two websites:

Astrodienst on the Black Moon Lilith
Serennu.com on the Black Moon Lilith

Click this link for the current Month Astro Calendar (including the Moon’s Voids of Course)
and all monthly Astro Calendars since January 2011

Click this link for the current Month Ephemeris (including the Four Major Asteroids and Black Moon Lilith)
and all monthly Ephemeris since April 2010

rainbow waveGet your GIFT COPY of my colourful 48 pages ASTROLOGY E-BOOK for a gold coin donation (or whatever you wish to give). No other payment necessary, no email signups, no spam or other trickery. Click HERE for details and previews.

rainbow wave

Metal Rat 2020

2020
CHINESE NEW YEAR of the METAL RAT
January 25, 2020 ~ February 12, 2021

According to an ancient legend, the Rat was the first of the Chinese ‘Animals’ to reach the Jade Emperor’s party to which all Twelve Animals had been invited. The Emperor had decreed that the first one to arrive will forever begin the cycle of the year. The smart Rat managed to arrive first by a bit of trickery. He rode on the back of the mighty Ox, in order to swim the river and jump to the other side before everyone else.

Since then the Rat always begins a new cycle of the Twelve Years Chinese Zodiac. 2020 though is an even more important new beginning because, after sixty years during which the Twelve Animals belonged to the Earth Element (there are Five Elements in Chinese Cosmology), from this year onward the focus will shift to the Metal Element and will continue to do so for the next sixty years.

From the above it is obvious that the Rats of this world (people born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020) are clever, taking advantage of all opportunities that appear on their horizon, their instincts very alert. They are also charming, vivacious, energetic, witty and mentally flexible. They are full of initiative and optimism too, but cautious and practical as well, a great combination to succeed in all manner of enterprise. Despite their abundance of vitality Rats also enjoy the quiet life, after gaining the comfort they crave.

The Metal Element in Chinese Cosmology adds tenacity and will power to each one of the Twelve Animals, with the risk of becoming too rigid and inflexible at times. On the positive side this Element enhances self-confidence and also instills a natural respect for others.

In the Year of the Rat we can all be a bit more alert to new opportunities and clever in managing our resources. Like the Rat did to come first in the race we may have more chances to succeed by thinking out of the box, thus finding solutions to our problems we could not envision before; and especially by remaining optimistic in the face of difficulties and setbacks.

Astrology for February-March 2020 and beyond, by Paola Emma

‘Morning On The Seine In The Rain’ by Claude Monet

‘Morning On The Seine In The Rain’ by Claude Monet

A shorter version of this article was published in issue 110 of the Uki Village News

The big picture

No doubt the January 11 Full Moon Eclipse in Cancer brought a major shift of energies to our region, with rain finally falling on our parched land. With the Eclipse’s extraordinary alignment to one of the major astrological occurrences in recent year, the Capricorn Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, the weather change was only one of the many events that this powerful transit brought in its wake.  This regional experience reflects the fact that the long awaited and by many dreaded alignment is now technically behind us, even if still powerfully close. The numerous thunderstorms we are experiencing are just another sign that a massive pent-up energy is being released. Many of us feel lighter and more optimistic; also awed by nature’s uncanny power to surprise us.

We are certainly not out of the wood though. The failure of the December 2019 UN Madrid Climate Conference to achieve significant commitments from participating countries clearly demonstrates that we are still hovering at the edge of a chasm, separating us not only from viable solutions to the pressing climate crisis, but also from a unifying vision for the future: first world countries versus developing ones; aging politicians and plutocrats versus angry activist teenagers; science versus conspiracy theory etc.

Pluto in Capricorn is destined to bring profound changes that could be lethal if we do not take responsible charge of the situation. Allowing Pluto, ancient God of the Underworld, to do his own thing could mean unprecedented ecological disasters, massive extinctions and consequently social upheavals the world has not seen in a long time. Positively the slow passage of Pluto through Capricorn (2008-2023) could instead provide us with the moral courage and resourcefulness to tackle this crisis and indeed survive it, if not completely avoiding the dangers we are facing, as the Australian fires have sadly demonstrated.

Saturn, known as the Lord of Karma among other titles, is not missing this opportunity to deal out some heavy penalties for our past transgressions and callous indifference. For this reason it is considered by most astrologers an ominous companion for Pluto. To me Saturn represents also a hopeful side of this difficult equation though:  the down to earth, responsible attitude that is absolutely crucial to the success of any human intervention. Like knowing, for instance, the limits of what can be realistically achieved, finding viable local and global solutions, rather than aiming for the stars only to fail miserably.

Apart from all that, there is indeed a light at the end of this tunnel because Saturn will soon be leaving Capricorn (March 22) to enter Aquarius. This transit, due to retrogradation, will last only until July 2. When Saturn will re-enter Aquarius for good, on December 17, it will also, few days later, become conjunct to Jupiter, on December 22. This alignment could indeed bring some welcome opening to unity and humanitarian reforms, all sentiments that seem unattainable under the ominous shadow of the current conjunction to Pluto.  Furthermore the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius is not just one of their regular twenty year meetings. It represents in fact the momentous shift of these alignments from the Earth Signs (where most of these conjunctions have occurred since 1802) to the Air Sign (where most will occur until 2140!). Astrologers throughout the ages have considered the alignments of Jupiter and Saturn extremely influential in shaping world’s history, its prevalent ideologies and socio-political leanings. While collectively the Earth Signs are driven by the need for material security and a pragmatic view of life, the Air Signs are driven by ideals and a reforming, sometimes even revolutionary spirit.

However 2020, with Jupiter in Capricorn also activating Pluto in early April, at the end of June and again in mid November, will see most probably an exhalation of similar issues to the ones we have experienced in 2019. Only at the very end of the year Jupiter’s ingress into Aquarius, with Saturn, could mark a positive shift. The next UN Climate Conference will be held in Glasgow, England, on November 19 2020, just a month before the Aquarius alignment. There is hope that the Aquarian spirit of mutual understanding and friendship may prevail over our differences and that more visionary, idealistic goals could drive the discussions toward the more radical approach needed in this grave emergency. Pluto, in Capricorn until 2023, can in fact provide enough down to earth focus to manifest ideals into practical forms.

In the short term

The Sun

It is that time of the year again, on March 8, when the Sun will align to mystical Neptune in Pisces, encouraging us to become more conscious of our innate intuition, imagination and compassion. It will be easier to forgive and forget, washing past resentments into the unifying water of this oceanic Sign. With Mercury, returning in Pisces, after retrogradation, from March 16 to April 11, the gentle, artistic, dreamy influence of this Sign will remain with us, softening the harsh realities of the intense Capricorn experience.

The Retrogradation of Mercury between Pisces and Aquarius
February 17 to March 10

Mercury is ready for its regular loop, reminding us that it is time to review our thinking and the way we communicate our thoughts, to achieve the best possible outcome personally and in our social life. People who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Mutable Sign of Pisces-Virgo-Sagittarius-Gemini or the last two degrees of the Fixed Signs of Aquarius-Leo-Taurus-Scorpio will be more directly affected by this retrogradation.

To avoid feeling severely ‘muddled headed’ (a common side effect of Mercury in Pisces, even when not retrograde), we could all try to take it easier at this time; not attempting to deal with too many matters or to stick too strictly to plans and routines. The best would be to stay mentally pliable, in order to adapt to shifting circumstances. It could also be wise to be tolerant of confusing or mixed messages we may receive from other people. Whom can we expect to trust when we cannot even trust ourselves?

Venus

From February 8 to March 5 Venus will transit fiery Aries, where she takes on the role of Warrior Goddess, fighting against injustice and inequality. During this transit she will cross swords with all the Capricorn planets: first with Jupiter, on February 24, then with Pluto, on February 29, and finally with Saturn on March 4. This could mean heightened chance for disputes and open conflicts, when ‘winning’ is the whole point. On the positive side, things that need facing, directly and courageously, can be faced at these times. All will be well if we manage to move on afterward. No time for regrets and looking back when Venus is in Aries.

Venus will transit Taurus from March 5 to April 4, a more relaxed and affectionate place for Venus, when art and pleasure could inspire creativity and also ability to focus more intensely on whatever we do. Said that, just as the Sun separates from Neptune (March 8) Venus becomes conjunct Uranus (March 9), bringing two powerful outer planets to play on the daily stage of life and relationships. Despite the loyal and steady nature usually attributed to Venus in Taurus the alignment to Uranus will bring up the more rebellious side of the Goddess, if for a few days.  New and exciting relationships could spring up as from nowhere, and perhaps opportunities for adventure or to just prove our independence.

Mars

From February 16 to March 31 Mars will be transiting Capricorn, joining the planetary group already there, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. This will be therefore an important transit because Mars’ role is to bring things out into the open, also activating into action the slower moving celestial bodies. Mars will first meet Jupiter on March 20, then Pluto, on March 23, and finally Saturn but not before both entering the Sign of Aquarius, between March 31 and April 1. As with Venus activating the same planets earlier, this Mars will increase the chance of open conflicts at these times; the sort of confrontations when we test our strength against another, trying to establish ‘who is the boss’. Moderation is recommended, remembering that Mars can cut bridges permanently if let loose.

The final alignment to Saturn, on April 1, could manifest as a strong drive to action but also great frustration as we face delays and limitations that could severely try our patience. No time to expect immediate gratifications.

Positively the whole period of Mars in Capricorn could prove particularly constructive, helping us to get things done, putting in the extra effort and discipline necessary for success, making a ‘real’ difference: a test of our self confidence and leadership abilities.

The Aries Equinox

If you would like to celebrate the advent of autumn, the Aries Equinox will occur this year on March 20, at 2.49 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The map of this cosmic event, the traditional beginning of the astrological year, the Ram leading the flock, shows, in a nutshell, the transits that will be relevant in the next six to twelve months. As it has been the case in recent months the accent is on the Earth Sign of Capricorn where many planets are still congregating at the time of the Equinox, namely Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn, the latter though on the verge of entering the next Sign of Aquarius.  The fact that, just around this crucial time, Saturn finds itself at the threshold of a new Sign (together with Mars!) seems to me indicative that during the next few months the world will be at an important crossroad, the growing aspirations for meaningful changes (Aquarius) still held back by the powerful pull of the past and the way things have been done until now (highlight on conservative Capricorn).

For more insightful Astrology please visit my site: livingmoonastrology.com

Cosmic February and March 2019: keeping it ‘real’

Earth Mandala Living Moon Astrology
A shorter version of this article has been already published in the Uki Village News in early February 2019.

The Earth Signs

A shift toward the Earth Signs will characterize the astrological months of February/March 2019. Venus will be transiting Capricorn from February 4 to March 2 (marrying creativity with business sense), and Mars Taurus from February 14 to March 31 (a dogged, often hard working position for Mars). The historical ingress of Uranus in Earthy Taurus will take place on March 6, this transit continuing to 2025/26. Of course Saturn, the Lunar South Node and Pluto are also still in Earthy Capricorn, to 2020 and 2023/24 respectively.
To add to the above the Chinese Lunar New Year has welcomed the smart PIG, this time associated with the EARTH ELEMENT, the last Earth Element Animal before the switch to the next Element, Metal, from 2020. Each Element lasts in fact for twelve years and is in turn associated with each of the Twelve Animals.
So, for the long term as well as the short term, planning, discipline, dedication and hard work are top prerequisites for success.

Jupiter and Neptune

On the other hand, the 90 degrees angle between Jupiter in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces represents, this year, the biggest challenge to the Earth Signs’ need for realism and practicality (January14-June 17-September22). Jupiter is in fact the planet of expansion as well as exaggeration, and Neptune the planet of spirituality but also of confusion and passivity, together encouraging divorce from reality and from what is truly possible in the circumstances. And this is, after all, the most powerful transit of 2019!

We will all have to struggle somehow between these opposing Earthy and Psychic forces, their high contrast making our collective approach to problem solving fraught with contradictions and some paralysing moments. We will need to find ways to reconcile them and make their union fruitful.

In the short term the prevailing energy is encouraging us to work through difficulties rather than sweep them aside or avoid them. The Earth Signs will make sure that things eventually catch up with us and we will have to face the music. Prevention is definitely better than cure for the Earth Signs.  Getting too emotional will not serve our purpose either. Clear, practical, viable solutions will be available but we will need to put some real effort in, downsizing our expectations and waiting patiently for results. Immediate gratification of desires or easy windfalls will not be in the cards for most of us at this time.

Venus in Aquarius

From March 2 to 27 Venus will move to Aquarius, a lighter, more socially minded position for Venus, marking an ideal time for group works, friendships and love matches founded on mutual respect, learning, traveling, mixing with different people, networking of ideas, emotional independence etc.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces

In Pisces since February 10 Mercury will turn retrograde on Pisces’ very last degree on March 6 (same day Uranus enters Taurus). This period will last until March 29. People who were born with Sun, Moon, any Planet or one of the Four Angles (Ascendant – Descendant – MidHeaven – LowerHeaven) in Pisces or in any of the Mutable Signs (Virgo-Gemini-Sagittarius) will experience more personally the effects of this retrogradation: delays, communication breakdowns, misunderstanding, mechanical problems, tech issues, as well as striking insights, flights of intuition and creative  imagination.

Uranus in Taurus

On March 6 Uranus will enter Taurus, for good this time, until 2025/26. This extremely significant shift will gain even greater momentum in 2020, when the Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction in Capricorn will contribute to a quickening of planetary, political, social, economic and cultural transformations, with make/break situations for individuals and the planet to face squarely.

For in depth analysis of the transits of Uranus in Taurus and Chiron in Aries please navigate HERE to my April 2018 article.

Chiron in Aries

Worth of mention is also the unobtrusive final ingress of Chiron in Aries, on February 18 (until 2027), marking a whole new cycle for the planet of Healing! Looking back at the most recent times Chiron transited Aries (1918/1926-27;1968/1977), we see much struggle to realize historical social reforms: women suffrage, gender equality, sexual revolution, peace versus war. Aries, symbol of unbridled and often toxic masculinity, is going through a face of healing and higher learning from which it will emerge transformed.

 

 

Mercury Retro Period in Aries: March 22 to April 16 2018

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

Apology:  earlier posted the wrong dates for the Mercury Retro Period April for March and May for April ! A sure Mercury Retrograde effect !

What happens when Mercury goes Retrograde?

On March 22, the day after the Aries Equinox, Mercury began his slow backward motion through the Sign of Aries (between the 17th and 4th degrees). Mercury’s Retrogradation will end on April 16.

Mercury becomes Retrograde about three times each years, for a periods of approximately three weeks. This Retrogradation brings some disruption in communication/travel, while, on the bright side, can also helps us to deepen our understanding, increasing introspection and intuition, with the ability to communicate out thoughts and ideas in a more meaningful way.

In fact each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way. There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life.

The retro period of any planet is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

About mid-way through its retro period,  on April 2, Mercury will become conjunct to the Sun, as close to planet Earth as it can be, beginning to orbit between us and the Sun disk. This event we call the Inferior Conjunction, when Mercury first becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, to re-emerge before sunrise few weeks later. After the conjunction Mercury becomes a Morning Star, rising just before sunrise. The month of May will be the most suited to observe Mercury in the early hours of the morning, as he distances himself from the Sun.

This Morning Star Phase will end on June 5 2018, with the so called  Superior Conjunction, when Mercury will begin to orbit behind the Sun, from Earth viewpoint, and disappear again in the Sun’s glare.  After that event Mercury will be an Evening Star for a while, setting just after sunset.

In the upcoming Morning Star phase, especially after the end of Retrogradation on April 16, Mercury will tend to facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world.

Mercury Retrograde and You

The Mercury’s Retrogradation will be experienced at some level by everybody, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the degrees between ARIES 3 and 18 and the same degrees of the other CARDINAL SIGNS, LIBRA, CANCER and CAPRICORN. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved, and also on the sector (House) in your Birth Chart where the Retrogradation takes place. Generally speaking though the delays and misunderstanding which are often linked to this type of transit should be more obvious in your life than in the life of other people.

These irritating events do not happen however for no reason, just to disrupt your routine and plans . Perhaps it is time now to look at those plans, routines, ways of communicating more closely, to reflect on the possibility of changing them or simply trying consciously not to depend psychologically on them as much as you usually do. Introspection is the key word here. If plans do not work as expected, if that important appointment get cancelled or indefinitely postponed, if what you say or do is misinterpreted by others, this should be the right time to consider a change of attitude in the areas affected by the transit. Because fiery and impulsive Aries is highlighted here perhaps it could help, at this special time, to scrutinize those impulses, making a conscious effort to consider other people points of views in the same way you consider your own; or curbing your natural impatience to accept changing circumstances and people’s idiosyncrasies with equanimity.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking and to become more flexible. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

An important note for students:

when finally Mercury will leave Aries to enter Taurus, late on May 13, he will also conjunct Uranus on the cusp of Aries-Taurus.  There will be other intense cosmic events at this time too: two days later on the 15th of May the New Moon in Taurus will be aligned to Algol (= Medusa Head) in the constellation of Perseus, a powerful and potentially dangerous star. And on the 16th of May Uranus will enter Taurus, a one in 84 years transit of the greatest import ! On the same day Mars will be entering Aquarius so squaring (challenging) both Mercury and Uranus conjunct on the cusp Aries-Taurus. Even more remarkable is the fact that Mars will remain in orb of the square angle (90 degrees) from Uranus until well into September, due to his own Retrogradation.

Lunar and Solar Eclipses, Mars in Leo, Trump’s Astrology, Jupiter aligned to Pluto-Uranus and Mercury Retrograde, a lot to process in August and September

Donald Trump + August Solar Eclipse

a picture is worth a thousand words

This article was published, in a shorter form, in the Uki Village News, at the beginning of August 2017

Mars in Leo aligned to the August Eclipses. Whoopee!

An intense Eclipse Season is again upon us, this time aligned to the axis Leo-Aquarius (and indirectly to Taurus-Scorpio) and made livelier by being associated with Mars. The Eclipses are: a Lunar at the Full Moon in Aquarius (opposite Sun-Mars conjunct in Leo) on August 8, and a Solar at the Leo New Moon, on August 22, aligned this time to Uranus in Aries, the traditional Sign of Mars, while Mars itself will be by then conjunct the Moon’s North Node, an interception point on the Earth orbit which is connected to Eclipses.

The Mars theme is obviously strong at this time, enhancing the possibility of confrontations, conflicts and escalation of issues that may have been dormant for a while. In a positive sense this means a clearing of the air and a healthy moving away from stale situations, especially after the second Eclipse. The August 8 Lunar Eclipse represents in fact a climax of some kind, when things are revealed or realized, while the Solar Eclipse, on August 22, signifies a cutting off from the past and a radical new start.

Mars in Leo

Mars, the main catalyst of all these cosmic energies, will be transiting Leo between July 20 and September 5.

When Mars moves Sign, every two months or so, a shift occurs in the way we act out our desires, assert ourselves and defend ourselves from real or imagined dangers. Naturally people with different planetary placements in their Birth Charts will respond to Mars’ changing energy in their own individual way.

Mars in Leo provides the type of energy that can be spontaneously channeled into creative activities. The energy should be high and focused. Brightness and warmth accompany this placement when found in a Birth Chart. Collectively also this Mars’ position can provide added warmth, brilliance and passion to everyone’s life.

Mars will remain in Leo until September 6. Leo is considered a positive placement for Mars, providing the fiery passion the Red Planet feeds on, but also containing that passion and controlling it, enabling us to utilize the positive energy for creative and enterprising feats.

Donald Trump’s Astrology

A case in point:  the transits to the Birth Horoscope of USA President Trump. Around the time of the Lunar Eclipse, on August 8, transiting Mars will be aligned to Trump’s Birth Pluto (one explosive conjunction, like putting a live match in a keg of dynamite); while, during the second event, Mars will be close to his Birth Mars and the Solar Eclipse degree will be in near perfect alignment to his Birth Ascendant (born in NY on June 14 1946, official time 10.54 am). Both Mars and Jupiter are soon due to return to his Birth Horoscope’s positions, marking endings and new beginnings. At the same time Saturn is forming the last alignment to his Moon (conjunction) and Sun (opposition) in August and September, the same transit active since his presidential inauguration, making the job itself feel very hardous to Trump, the routines tiresome, the responsibilities heavy. All these combined factors further stress the significance of this period in his life.

Two New Moons in Leo, one on July 23, the other on August 22

The first New Moon in Leo occurred on July 23 2017, at 7.45 pm. The New Moon fell on the same day the Sun entered Leo (1.15 am), and just about an hour after the ingress of the Moon in Leo (6.33 pm). Because that New Moon was at the very beginning of the Sign there will be another Leo New Moon on August 22, on the 28th degree of Leo, just before the Sun‘s ingress into Virgo. This latter New Moon will be the Solar Eclipse spoken of before.

Jupiter alignment to Pluto and Uranus

Collectively, to add to the intensity of all the above, Libran Jupiter will be forming its last major alignments to Uranus and Pluto (before entering Scorpio on October 10): a right angle to Pluto in Capricorn on August 5 (close to the Lunar Eclipse) and an opposition to Uranus in Aries on September 28. In this case the Cardinal Signs are highlighted, also showing that accelerated changes, even upheavals, are now possible and the start of brand new phases in the life of the collective as well as many individuals. The role of Jupiter is to help us strive toward greater understanding of our place in the world, lifting us up and out of a too personal outlook on life. Its alignments to two of the most powerful ‘astrological transformers’, Pluto and Uranus, is now matching Jupiter’s widening of perspective with greater willingness to embrace radical changes, even if it means cutting the roots of deep attachments and lifelong habits.

Mercury Retrograde, a reminder…

Finally to make the period even more ‘interesting’ Mercury will turn Retrograde between August 12 and September 6, from Virgo back into Leo. To read more about Mercury’s Retro period  please navigate to my July post HERE.

Happy transits everyone.

Mercury Retrograde from August 12 to September 6 2017 -Virgo 11° to Leo 28°

Hermes statue @ the National Roman Museum

Hermes statue @ the National Roman Museum

Timeline of Mercury’s Retro Period

Mercury will enter Virgo in late July when it will also reach its maximum elongation (visual distance from the Sun), a period of greater mental clarity when the planet appears as an Evening Star for about an hour after sunset, until mid-August.

The Retro motion will begin on August 12 with Mercury becoming Stationary on the eleventh degree of Virgo. Our Little Brother will eventually retrace his steps into Leo on September 1; only for ten days though, and only along the distance of two degrees, re-entering Virgo for good on September 10.

The possible effects of this Mercury’s Retro Period

The apparent backward motion of Mercury is not just an optical illusion but actually marks the time when the planet is at its closest to us, circling the Sun within the Earth’s own orbit. The astrological Mercury is said to rule, among other things, over the collective and individual mind, the way we process and share ideas and thoughts. When in the Fire Sign of Leo Mercury promotes creativity and passion, when in Virgo discrimination and practicality. During a retro period we are made to re-think our thinking, often having to go over-drive with the particular character of the Sign involved.

The transits of Mercury while Retrograde through Virgo (August 12 to end of August)

Mercury’s Retrogradation through Virgo, between August 12 and 30, could particularly affect people with the first twelve degrees of the Mutable Signs highlighted in their Natal Charts: Virgo, Pisces, Gemini and Sagittarius. The quality of discrimination and practicality usually indicated by Mercury in Virgo could end up driving us crazy as we get lost in minute details while missing on the big picture, a waste of time at least or, at worst, a never good enough attitude of mind that can become really paralyzing.

Of course this will not be just in the mind, but circumstances, interruptions, weird tangents, other people interference, unexpected complications may all arise at this time to try our patience.

At the time of its Retro Station on August 12, 13 (when the planet will seem stationary around the eleventh degree of Virgo, just before starting to move backward), Mercury will be very close but not yet exactly opposed to Neptune in Pisces. I feel that this opposition will compound the tendency of this Mercury Retrograde period to create confusing or even chaotic circumstances, especially in the areas of communication. Neptune in fact is more than any other planets an archetype of the often foggy and dream-like astral universe of our individual and collective psyche; the opposition between Mercury and Neptune signifying the conflict between our left brain reasoning/rational and our right brain creative/intuitive faculties. The opposition usually implies the idea of reconciling these two different attitudes, blending them into a more holistic way of thinking and communicating.

On August 27 Mercury will align with the Sun in Virgo, marking the shift between its Evening and Morning appearances. Mercury will be more easily observable as a Morning Star between September 6 and 20, when back in Virgo in direct motion.

The transits of Mercury while Retrograde through Leo (September 1 to 6)

On September 3, by then back into Leo, Mercury will align to Mars, a very active planet during this Eclipse Season (and the reason for its potential intensity), at the same time forming a positive aspect to Uranus in Aries (trine), both transits helping to flare up our imagination. Great ideas may pop up into our mind at this time. They may be more experimental than immediately viable but could eventually form a fertile ground for future accomplishments. These transits could also make us more assertive and controversial in speech and writing, with a risk of becoming somewhat forceful and autocratic, but also with great potential for inventiveness and originality.

How to make the most of this strange period during the Virgo transit?

Tuning in somehow will help to gain the insights a Mercury Retro period is ideally meant to bring.  The Virgo’s aptitude of paying great attention to details, for instance, can be creative and liberating too if part of a integrated spiritual system. A good example would be the art of Feng Shui through which the precise arrangements of objects and features in our homes and work spaces  can be a source of greater harmony in our lives. Learning skills that in the past seemed too demanding and complicated could also fill this period with meaningful activities: learning a new language for example, grammar and all, crafts of all kind: pottery, crocheting, knitting, typing, wood working, stained glass making, beading, ikebana, calligraphy, macrame’, embroidering etc. By putting some painstaking effort on doing something small, we may realize that the reward of mastering a skill is the skill itself, rather than the finished product.

How to make the most of this strange period during the Leo transit?

The first ten days in September Retro Mercury transiting the last two degrees of Leo could prove particularly trying for people with the last three to four degrees of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio highlighted in their Natal Charts. Usually creative even flamboyant Mercury in Leo when Retrograde may add a touch of obsession to our creative endeavors, helping us to go deeper in whatever we are doing but also running the risk of becoming dangerously one minded and self-centered for a while. Letting go of the usual control we try to exert on things and, in particular, on our creative efforts could make light of the many possible disruptions of a Leo Retro period. Let’s try to enjoy a little chaos, who knows what marvel of imagination, inspiration and originality it could bring?

 

Venus on the eventful cusp Pisces/Aries, the end and the beginning, the old and the new

'Mastering the art of waiting'

‘Mastering the art of waiting’

Note: a shorter version of this post was published in issue 93 of the Uki Village News, April/May 2017

Venus on the eventful cusp Pisces/Aries, the end and the beginning, the old and the new

Venus is spending a long time in Aries this year, from February 4 to June 6 (excluding most of April, when she re-entered Pisces in retro motion); three whole months, triple the time she usually spends in one Sign.

The long stay of Venus in the fieriest of the Fire Signs can be either exciting or troublesome, depending how we handle it and our personal circumstances. It can be a real struggle for Venus to play the role of the Love/Harmony Planet in the combative, competitive Sign of Mars. We risk losing sight of the softer, loving side of Venus. The inner journey of retrogradation (March 3 to April 16) and the brief return into Pisces (April 2 to 29) should have created greater awareness of this risk.

Let’s consider the timeline/ highlights of this transit and others, from February to early June:

  • In February Venus was in Aries with Mars, ideal time to initiate new things, to be bolder and more independent in all areas, particularly in personal relationships. The prominence of this Fire Sign provided us with the vision and courage to pursue new goals with energy and embrace changes with confidence. Wanting our own way we might have ignored or disregarded other people feelings, in an attitude of confrontation rather than cooperation. We may have succeeded to eliminate stuff/people/circumstances from our lives that seemed to impede our progress, but our feeling of success may have proven premature.
  • Within the first ten days of March Venus turned retrograde (March 3 to April 15), while Mars entered Taurus (March 10 to April 21), this Earth Sign tending to slow down rather than stir up Mars’ fiery energy. These events ushered a period when our recent initiatives/actions and assertive/self-centred Aries moods have been put to the test. The retrogradation suggests in fact a time for returning over issues we have already explored in the recent past, a frustrating thing if you remain determined to push ahead with earlier plans and decisions, without making any changes.
  • On March 25 Venus aligned with the Sun thus turning from Evening to Morning Star for the rest of the year, the bolder and more forceful aspect of Venus; this aspect becoming more active however only at the end of April.
  • Between April 2 and 29 Venus return to Pisces, compounding the softening effect of retrogradation with the passive tendencies of Pisces. This suggests the need for a more pliable, compassionate and sensitive approach, even in the midst of changes and even while trying to be more honest and assertive in the way we relate to others. A challenging transit Venus-Saturn, also active throughout April, will accentuate the need for a more practical outlook on our relationships, general values and the way we go about satisfying our desires. This is a sobering, limiting transit.
  • To add more spice to this complex picture Mercury became Stationary Retrograde, on the 4th degree of Taurus, on April 10. Our Little Brother re-enters Aries on April 21 (same day Mars enters Gemini), and will turn Stationary Direct on May 4, on the 24th of Aries. Mercury will re-enter Taurus for good only on May 16.
    So we will not be out of the wood with the slowing and often confusing, if not downright bewildering effect of retrogradation, particularly tangible when the Inner Planets move backward (Mercury and Venus). The retrogradation of Mercury’s effects can range from missed appointments, delayed phone calls or travel arrangements, wrongly deleted emails etc., to more serious misunderstandings in the areas of communication and learning, but hopefully also with a more penetrating insight into the same matters.
  • The landscape will change again in late April and throughout May. On April 21 Mars enters Gemini, a mentally/physically active Sign, while, by April 29 (until June 6) Venus will be again in Aries and moving in direct motion. This change will return to us the level of energy and drive we experienced earlier this year and hopefully the wisdom a Retro Venus can bring in the areas of experience indicated by her relative position in our Birth Charts. On May 20 an opposition Venus-Jupiter could bring opportunities for romance, travel, special celebrations, enthusiasm and creativity. A challenging angle Venus-Pluto, on May 26, could be intense, even dramatic. A conjunction Venus-Uranus in Aries, on June 3, just before Venus’ change of Sign, could prove very exciting, but also highly unpredictable: a joy ride of emotions which may involve taking unusual risk A Mars opposition Saturn, active around the same time, could make it harder to obtain our heart desires as speedily as we wish.

All the best with all these Transits; cheers

Sharing Donna Cunningham’s wisdom on the subject of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury - in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Bust of Hermes – Mercury – in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow

***

I couldn’t agree more with top astrologer Donna Cunningham about the myths surrounding the Mercury retrograde periods that visit us two or three times a year.

Such a period is approaching at the end of August, lasting until the middle of September 2016.

Because of retrogradation Mercury will transits Virgo from the end of July all the way to October 7.

Worth sharing here her down to Earth take on this subject; perhaps not enough cosmic for some…

Donna Cunningham’s Mercury Retrograde post on Sky Writer

October 12, 2015: Latest Astrological News

Maya Animation 10 pictures c♦ On October 9 check out the alignment of the waning Moon to Venus in the early morning easterly sky, both these feminine celestial bodies entering Virgo on the same day. This will not be just any round of the mill conjunction but an occultation, meaning that the Moon will appear to swallow bright Venus. Hopefully the clouds will clear in our region before this special event! Visit the October Star over Wollumbin page for more details.

♦ Transiting Venus is joining Jupiter and Mars in Virgo on October 9, at 4.29 am (Eastern Australia Summer Time). There is a hope that the gentler touch of Venus may curb some of the hard edges of current Mars’ Transits. Mars has in fact made the international situation even more challenging, introducing risk elements that weren’t present before, manifesting in more man-made and natural disasters. If interested please visit may post on the transits of Mars in Virgo HERE. We should not forget however that Venus is in her Morning Phase, more inclined toward confrontations than to embrace peace and dialogue. For the effect of Venus Morning please navigate to my recent post ‘ Welcome Venus Morning Star’, HERE.

I repeat here the dates of Mars and Venus’ major transits while in Virgo:

September 26 = Mars square Saturn

October 7 = Mars in opposition Neptune (Putin’s birthday)

October 16 =Mars trine Pluto

October 18 =Mars conjunct Jupiter

October 23 =Mars in opposition to Chiron

November 13 =Mars conjunct Lunar North Node

Venus follows suit with the same transits on different dates:

October 11 = Venus square Saturn

October 17 = Venus in opposition to Neptune

October 23 = Venus trine Pluto

October 26 = Venus conjunct Jupiter

October 28 = Venus in opposition to Chiron

November 3 = Venus conjunct Mars

 

♦ A ‘Super-Moon’ Total Lunar Eclipse in the Sign of Aries took place on September 28, at 12.50  pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), but unfortunately it wasn’t visible from anywhere in Australia or Eastern Asia, not even as a partial view.

The United States, Canada and South America had the  front rows for this event, roughly from moon-rise (at sunset) to midnight. Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia viewed the eclipse in the early hours of the morning instead, before sunrise.

This is a special eclipse because the Moon is at Perigee (closest to Earth for the whole year) and the event is the fourth and last of a series of Lunar Total Eclipses, called a Tetrad, that occurred in autumn and spring between 2014 and 2015. Here are the Signs occupied by the totally eclipsed Moons, with their dates:

♥ April 15 2014, Libra Moon

♥ October 8 2014, Aries Moon

♥ April 4 2015, Libra Moon

♥ September 28 2015, Aries Moon

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this latest Eclipse, whose effects could last well into the next eclipse season, in March-April 2016, and beyond.

Mars in Virgo. Mars entered Earthy Virgo on September 25, and will be transiting Virgo until November 13 when he will move into Airy Libra.
People with Virgo highlighted in their Birth Chart will be feeling more restless and impatient, ready for action but also prone to make mistakes if they rush into things without planning.  Much could be accomplished during this period, with the potential to finally tackle jobs or projects that have been left in the drawer for a while. By all means take advantage of this transit’s abundant energy, but try not to overdue it or your health and peace of mind may be adversely affected. Your keen critical sense may become even sharper, so take care not to become more disparaging and nit-picking that you normally are. Pluck your courage to assert yourself and you could see quick return for your efforts.

Libra Equinox 2015Libra Equinox 2015. Libra Equinox on September 23, 5.20 pm. Here is the Chart for the ingress.

← click to view larger image

♦ On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle back to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky. Click here for my post on the September-October Retrogradation of Mercury. And here for a recent post on the meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

♦ The September New Moon was also a Partial Solar Eclipse on the 20th degree of Virgo. The Solar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Lunar Eclipse at the next Aries Full Moon (04° 40′), on September 28 2015. If interested please read my recent post on this Virgo Solar Eclipse here. And two tutorials on Eclipses that I’ve also re-posted recently: Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 1 and Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 2.

♦ The Sun entered Libra on September 23, 6.20 pm. This is the Spring Equinox in our southern parts and Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

♦ Jupiter entered the Earth Sign of Virgo on August 11 at 9.11 pm local time. Jupiter will transit Virgo until September 9 2016, when he will enter Libra.

Jupiter also reached the opposition to Neptune in Pisces on September 17.

Saturn turned Stationary Direct on August 2, on the 28th degree of Scorpio. Saturn has re-entered Sagittarius, in direct motion, on September 18 2015.

Venus turned Stationary Retrograde on July 24, on the first degree of Virgo. Venus re-entered Leo, in retro motion, on August 1 and was retrograde until September 7, re-entering Virgo, in direct motion, only on October 9, a very lengthy Venus in Leo Transit.

In the pipeline is a post on Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, their coming and going square aspect punctuating the next nine months, with the risk of a global economic downturn very present, recession continuing in some countries and even food shortages worsening in less developed countries. A lesson in humility and make do, living within our means in the developed countries so to restore some balance to our lop-sided world. Stay tuned.

What a difference an eclipse makes….the change in Australian leadership and a peek at future cosmic trends, in particular the Jupiter-Saturn’s mutual relationship

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull

The recent change in our political leadership didn’t come as a great surprise, but its timing did. Astrology can explain that better than many political analysts or the gossip columns, I think.

This eventful month of September coincides with the last eclipse season for 2015. The ballot to decide the fate of our former PM, held on September 14, 9.15 pm, happened just a day from the Virgo Solar Eclipse on September 13, 4.41 pm (Eastern Standard Time).

An Eclipse of the Sun is, first of all, a New Moon, a time for new beginnings. When this is also an eclipse, the new beginning often represents a major shift, with long lasting repercussions.

Tony Abbott’s was born in London on November 4 1957, 4 am. Here is a link to a post about Abbott when opposition leader and his Sunrise Horoscope, before his time of birth, 4 am, was confirmed. See below for his proper Natal Chart. The degree of the solar eclipse fell in the astrological sector of his Natal Horoscope described as the House of self-undoing, manifesting as the sort of events that are out of the individual’s control (12th House). The next Total Moon Eclipse, on September 28, will align nearly perfectly instead with his Aries Moon. The areas where Sun and Moon are located during this eclipse show Abbott’s present need for sacrifice, humility and discrimination (6th and 12th Houses). I also believe he will probably fight on, in some ways, the Lunar Eclipse spurring into action the fiery spirit of his Aries Moon.

Here are three Transits Charts imposed upon Tony Abbott’s Natal Chart, at the time of the two Eclipses and the ballot.

Tony Abbott and Solar Eclipsse September 13 2015

Tony Abbot and the Solar Eclipse of September 13 2015. Click to view larger image

Tony Abbott and Lunar Eclipse September 28 2015

Tony Abbott and Lunar Eclipse September 28 2015. Click to view larger image

Tony Abbott Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Note the Moon in Libra opposing his Natal Moon in Aries...

Tony Abbott Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Note the Moon in Libra opposing his Natal Moon in Aries…Click to view larger image

Eclipses tend to have a long lasting effect on individuals and the collective, these last ones spreading their vibes all the way to the next eclipse season in March 2016 and beyond.

A lucky star is shining on Malcolm Turnbull at present (born Sydney, Oct-24-1954, time undisclosed. See his Sunrise Chart below). He was chosen to become our new PM just as the transiting Saturn became aligned to his Birth Venus on the cusp Scorpio-Sagittarius. This conjunction can occur only once in 29 and half years. The odds of that happening as he became PM would be very high indeed! To all students of Astrology this clearly shows how positive a Saturn’s transit can be, despite this planet’s reputation for hard work and little pay/joy. Saturn also helps to consolidate and make factual, in this case Turnbull’s long held wish to become PM (Venus on a cusp of power).

Here is the Transits Chart of the time of the ballot imposed upon Turnbull’s Sunrise Chart (time of birth undisclosed).

Malcolm Turnbull Transits at ballot September 14 2015

Malcolm Turnbull Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Click to view larger image

A positive sign for this change of leadership is the fact that it happened when Mercury was still transiting in direct motion, while the day his cabinet was revealed, September 20, Mercury had turned retrograde. It sounds good for the PM, perhaps not so good for his cabinet.

A topic of concern is the Jupiter opposition to Neptune that occurred on September 17, very close to the date of the ballot, an aspect that could inflate collective expectations of what is to come. This aspect could erode people’s trust in this new leadership if matters of importance aren’t disclosed and discussed openly. There is also a risk that someone may decide to undermine the new cabinet’s credibility from within.

The Jupiter-Saturn cycle and global economic downturns

Many internet ‘prophets’, happy to spook as many people as possible, are reporting that the Lunar Eclipse on September 28 is a ‘Blood Moon’, portending all sorts of catastrophes and even the end of the world! In fact ‘Blood Moons’ are not that rare, the Moon taking on that red-coppery hue because it is at its closest to planet Earth as our planet’s shadow falls on its disk during the eclipse. On all account it has been a bloodily ghastly Moon for many of our prominent politicians.

To compound the effects of these eclipses a lasting planetary shift occurred between August and September 2015: Jupiter moved into earthy Virgo on August 11 and Saturn into fiery Sagittarius on September 18.

Jupiter will remain in Virgo for one year (to September 9 2016), while Saturn will transit Sagittarius until the end of 2017, with few interruptions. Jupiter and Saturn are the giant of our solar system, their mutual dance in the sky has been considered of the greatest significance for world affairs since antiquity. They were known as the ‘Chronocrators’ or ‘Time Markers’ in classical Greece. Now they are both transiting Mutable Signs, symbol of the ending of something, learning from past experiences and preparation for a big change ahead, namely Saturn entering his own Sign of Capricorn in 2017.

2015 and ‘16 are important years for the Jupiter-Saturn mutual relationship: they have reached a distance of 90 degrees from each other. This coming and going aspect will punctuate the next nine months, with the risk of a general economic downturn very present; recession continuing in some countries and food shortages worsening in less developed ones. This should be a lesson in humility and ‘make do’, getting used to live within our means in the developed countries, to restore some balance to our lop-sided world.

A real global recession may be less likely because it is more often associated with the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn rather than their right angle (historical examples of opposition periods and global downturns: 1890-1931-1951/52-1969/70-1989/90-2010).

The planet of abundance and opportunities is now in the Sign of hard work, humility, even poverty; while Saturn, the cosmic energy that limits and grounds everything, is now in Sagittarius, the Sign of freedom, philosophy, hope, aspirations. We could seek more concrete ways to tackle our global problems. Jupiter in an Earth Sign and Saturn ‘earthing’ a Fire Sign promise a big reality check for the world.

Jupiter and Saturn are also in turn aligned to Neptune in Pisces making their interaction more complex by introducing a spiritual element, the theme of the global environment, the dream of a united, at peace humanity, the gift of compassion and inclusion (Germany opened its door to thousands of refugees in September, around the time Jupiter opposed Neptune, September 17). Pisces is the Sign of the great Ocean Mother to which everything and everyone return in the end. The issue of rising sea levels could also be big in the news during the active period of these planetary configurations.

The Jupiter opposition Neptune effect is now passing, but the square Saturn-Neptune has still to become active, in November 2015 and again in June and September 2016. This transit describes a powerful tension between our best humanitarian aspirations and the realistic limits of implementing them.

The downside of the Neptune connection could be that, whatever useful reality check we are experiencing, we could still feel unclear about our global goals and the road to peace, Neptune in Pisces possibly fogging these issues or making our collective efforts less effective.

On the bright side, contrary to what many astrologers predict (for instance an increase in religious fanaticism and division brought about by Saturn in the often self-righteous Sign of religion) I feel and hope that the open minded, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural outlook of Sagittarius could help seeing the issues in a less personalized, biased or BW way, as it happened when Saturn was transiting Scorpio (2013/15), a highly polarizing and judgmental Sign.

Let’s not forget also that the dangerous right angle between destructive Uranus and Pluto is now at an end, the last pass exact in March 2015. This to me seems to indicate that things may actually somehow improve. A more radical shift, with an end of the present severe crisis, will not occur however until 2020, when Saturn in Capricorn will catch up with Pluto, ending their mutual cycle that culminated in 2001 with their opposition (9/11).

More posts in the oven about the transits of Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius. Stay tuned.

The Astrology of Mercury retrograde, September-October 2015

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

In view of the present retrogradation of Mercury in Libra (September 17 to October 9 2015) I’m re-posting here an edited version of a post I published in 2011, on the general subject of retrogradation. stressing in particular the significance of Mercury when retrograde.

Click here for my recent post on the September 2015 Mercury retrograde period.

The retrogradation of Mercury is a mystery and you are the only one who can unravel it!

In fact each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way. There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life.

Lately I have reflected upon and researched a lot the phenomenon of retrogradation, this optical illusion that, at regular interval, makes the planets appear to stop in their tracks, and then move for a while in the opposite direction of the one they normally travel on.

In real terms the planets of course never moves backward. From a sun centered (heliocentric) viewpoint they all travel at their appointed speed, always in the same direction, identical to planet Earth’s.

The phenomenon appears instead very ‘real’ from our Earth’s plane. With long exposure photography we are now able to actually see the shiny loop the planet’s course makes when retrograde.

Too often Retrogradation is accepted as part of the astrological tradition, and not given much thought or meaning.

This cyclical phenomenon appeared instead positively magical to the ancient sky-watchers, who eagerly awaited it, calculated its timing and duration and attributed to it great significance, in forecasting future events, in accordance with the nature of the planet involved.

Modern astrologers don’t need any more to search the sky for signs, to wait to see a star or planet rising before the Sun. Cyber-planetariums and astrological software are all we need to practice our Art.

Thanks to technology we have the tools now to cast many horoscopes in record time, using the most sophisticated techniques ever, but we have also lost the ‘real’ magic of the night sky and twilight hours, the eternally returning cycles of the wandering planets, a vital dimension of the ancient wisdom tradition.

Understanding better what happens during a planet’s retrograde period and putting that particular period within the context of the planet’s whole cycle can help us to recapture some of its true meaning.

Every cycle in nature and therefore in the psyche of man can be conceived as having two halves or hemicycles, one of involution and one of evolution, a Yin and a Yang phase. The place where Yin and Yang meet is the matrix of each cycle, while the place of their maximum separation is the climax of each cycle. So we have a Waxing Phase, from matrix to climax, and a Waning Phase, from climax to matrix, in an eternal round. This specific rhythm permeates everything, all living beings, all experiences. The planets are no different. They too obey the inner order of things, and therefore follow a clear path of Ascent and Descent when viewed from the Earth’s plane.

The Moon is not the only celestial body to show phases, all planets do, each in its own peculiar way. Retrogradation has a lot to do with those phases.

I’m using Mercury here as an example of what retrogradation entails. Mercury is the planet that goes retrograded more often than any other, three or four times a year.

Each Planet is different in fundamental ways from all others, even with regard to their retro periods, but the underlying Waxing/Waning tempo is basically the same for all.

Mercury, from Evening to Morning Star

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, etc. These effects are often obvious indeed, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or their Birth Chart’s Angles (Ascendant, etc.) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury.

When we attempt to interpret Mercury in a Birth Chart we tend to take its position (and that of all other celestial bodies) as fixed, a point in a linear, perhaps circular universe, in which Sun, Moon and Planets interact by angular relationship with each other, as in a neat example of cosmic geometry. We tend however to exclude from our interpretation the actual experience of Mercury as it manifests on our Earth plane.

We may learn from text books that Mercury’s orbit around the Sun in just less than three months (88 days), but the experience we have of the twinkling star that is Mercury to our unaided eyes is indeed very different. The visual cycle of Mercury lasts in fact 116 days (a bit less than four months), during which time this Planet, from our view point, appears to wax and wane.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment. During this special time the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. This is not only a miracle to the beholder, seeing Mercury disappearing behind the Sun and then re-appearing on the other side, but a real shift of our awareness of the planet’s energy.

The retro period of any planet, like the dark three days of the New Moon, is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

Ten to fifteen days after the beginning of its retro motion Mercury becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, which has, in the mean time, caught up with it, due to its slowness. It is of course the Earth that is actually accelerating on Mercury, amounting to the same visual effect. The date of this all important conjunction for the upcoming cycle is October 1, 2015. At first will be a tentative beginning, when the new impulse is guided by yet unclear urges, stemming from the past while longing for the future.

Mid-way through its retro period, Mercury is as close to planet Earth than it will ever be, orbiting directly between us and the Sun disk. This conjunction of Mercury to the Sun is known as the Inferior Conjunction, to distinguish it from the Superior Conjunction when Mercury is as far from Earth as it can possibly be and also disappear in the glare of the Sun, being visually just behind the Sun from our observation point on Earth. The Superior conjunction is really an opposition Mercury-Earth in a heliocentric view. The next Superior Conjunction will occur on November 17, and will represent the culmination of the cycle that starts in October.

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.

In this new light the Retrogradation of Mercury stands for a sort of preparatory period during which the lesson of the last mercurial cycle is appreciated and we look back in order to understand and re-value, before a new cycle can begin in a conscious way, when Mercury turns direct on October 1.

I hope that, if you didn’t know these facts already, you may feel better equipped now to answer your skeptic friends when they tell you that retrogradation is just an optical illusion and non existent. Something really happens to the relationship between the Earth and the planet when this appears to move in a backward fashion.

The astrological meaning of the Retrogradation of  Mercury

All planets’ retro periods represent a revaluation of sort, but what we need to reflect upon differs in accordance with the nature of the planet. So, for instance, during the retrogradation of Mars we need to re-value and re-consider the way we assert ourselves and go out to get what we want from life. This need of self-reflection could make this an ineffectual and tentative period, when for a time we may lose confidence, becoming less able to interact constructively with our environment. At the end we will have gained however a deeper understanding of what need changing in our attitude in order to achieve a less confrontational and more effective method of proceeding.

During the retrogradation of Venus the same thing happens to our feelings. We are inclined to reflect on the way we usually relate to others, especially in a one to one situation. For a time this could mean that we become more tentative when we relate to others, less outgoing, more introspective, not the best social time. But at the end of this tunnel too we may have discovered things about ourselves and our loved ones that can help immensely in healing rifts or deciding the fate of shaky or unsatisfactory relationships.

It is the same with Mercury. Its Evening Star incarnation (spanning in the second half of 2015 from July 23 = Superior Conjunction to the Sun, to October 1 = Inferior Conjunction to the Sun), represents a time for giving due consideration to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others, the way we tackle intellectual challenges, like writing, reading, studying, teaching. In particular the retro motion of Mercury (September 17 to October 9) corresponds to a period of mental introspection, at the end of which we can start again to project our minds onto the world, with renewed inventiveness and adaptability to different circumstances and people.

In the Morning Star phase Mercury’s direct energy does in fact facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world. This period will end with the Superior Conjunction on November 17, when our mental tendencies will have reached their more concrete and objective state. From then Mercury will begin to wane again, arriving at its next retro Station in Aquarius on January 5 2016.

To discover which phase Mercury was going through at the time of your birth all you need to do is look for its position relative to the Sun. When Mercury is behind the Sun in longitude it appears as the Morning Star, displaying an outgoing type of energy, eager for self expression. When Mercury instead is found to be ahead of the Sun in longitude it appears as the Evening Star, directing its mental energy inward, aiding insight and introspection.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra, September-October 2015

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

To represent this event I’ve chosen a Tarot image from Alistair Crowley’s deck representing the ‘Magician’ or ‘Magus’, first of the Major Arcana. To my eyes it depicts well the cosmic side of our little brother, his connection to the spiritual realm, his ability to ‘magically’ interconnect the physical, the psychic and the metaphysical. Mercury, and his Greek counterpart Hermes were the only gods permitted to travel between the three worlds, the earthly, the heavenly and the underworld, signifying the human mind’s potential to function at the rational level (earth realm), the spiritual (the heavenly realm) and the psychic level (the underworld) and to be thus the go-between these different level of awareness.

Mercury Retrograde

On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky.

This special Transit will be felt by everyone, at some level, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Sign of Libra (0 to 17 degrees); and also people with natal placements in the other Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking, to become more flexible so to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

Stay tuned to your inner feelings, listen to your intuition and don’t try to rationalize too much. Creativity, dreaming, imagination can all gain from a retro period of Mercury, especially in the artistic and aesthetically minded Sign of Libra.

Mercury/Hermes represents our inquisitive spirit and intellectual curiosity. He was he who ‘invented’ the spoken and written languages we use to share ideas and thoughts. Despite this, during a Mercury’s retro phase, non verbal communication are naturally facilitated over verbal, because we all can more easily tap into our innate abilities to ‘read’ other people’s feelings and thoughts.

October 1 will be the turning point of this period, with Mercury conjunct the Sun, when those inner experiences may be at their strongest. At this point in fact Mercury will be passing directly between the Earth and the Sun, the closest he can ever be to our planet.

Apart from the conjunction to the Sun, the major alignment of Mercury during his retrogradation will be the 90 degrees angle to Pluto in Capricorn, repeating three times (earlier, in direct motion, on September 10; again, in retro motion, on September 25; and lastly, in direct motion, on October 23). This type of connection indicates generally a time not suitable for small talk or superficial conversation and reading, but rather a time when we can all penetrate a bit deeper and explore more courageously subjects that we may usually consider taboo or just too hard to discuss, demanding a level of intimacy and trust that is difficult to achieve in normal circumstances.

It could be an ideal time to embrace some form of ‘inner’ therapy, meditation, visualization etc. and also confront deeply buried issues festering in our unconscious: fears, feeling of inadequacy, dislike, resentment, jealousy, even undisclosed stuff we suspect others are hiding from us, or those lies we like to tell ourselves when too scared to look into what’s really going on. Sharing secrets and, by doing so, building trust with the people who matter to us could be scary now as always, but it could also prove incredibly rewarding during this suitable cosmic time.

Considering that most of the Mercury’s retro period will fall between two Eclipses (Solar on September 13 and Lunar on September 28) a period that some astrologers defines as a sort of twilight zone, there is even a greater chance for this Mercury’s phase to stir up our longing for a better knowledge of ourselves and others, transcending our habitual way of thinking and sharing ideas. Even in his more mischievous aspect of disrupting our routines and muddling our plans, Mercury retrograde offers an opportunity to think out of the box, to stop and consider things in greater depth, to understand what it’s really important and what instead we can do without or do in a different, less ‘straight’, more creative way.

Libra is a Venus’ Sign. This Mercury’s Retrogradation in Libra coming up just after the end of a difficult Venus’ Retrogradation (July 24 to September 7) will impact particularly on love relationships, heightening difficulties while offering opportunity for more real closeness and honesty.

If interested click here for a recent post on the general mechanics and meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

An aside: Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, the time Keepers’ recent Signs change

Contemporary with the beginning of the Retro Station of Mercury is the ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius, where ponderous Saturn will reside until 2017. Hopefully this is not such a negative event, as some astrologers have been predicting, but rather a lift from Scorpio’s emotional quagmire to Sagittarius’ more open and philosophical outlook. Because Sagittarius is known to presides over religious dogma and matters of faith, many believe that Saturn transiting this Sign could spell more religious divisions and prejudices. I am more optimistic about this (wishful thinking, fear that the international situation could get even worse than what it is?). I sincerely hope but also see the real potential for this Transit to help to lighten the situation, offering a more enlightened, less personal approach to everything. Moving into Sagittarius Saturn has also finished his mutual dangerous dance with Pluto in Capricorn, each transiting the Sign traditionally ruled by the other during the time Saturn was in Scorpio (Mutual Reception 1).

1 Section on Mutual Reception from my Tutorial on the astrological Aspects. Click here to see the whole Aspect Page.
Mutual Reception is one of those astrological terms that often baffle the beginner. It may be at first a bit difficult to understand, having to do with the Planets’ connection to the Signs rather than with actual distances or angles between Planets. To ‘notice’ these types of Aspects in a Natal Chart one needs to know the Planets’ rulership over the Signs by heart. This Aspect joins the Planets in a mysterious, subtle but very real way. Such mingling of energies can be very creative.
Definition: two Planets are in Mutual Reception to each other when one is positioned in the Sign ruled by the other and vice versa.
A few examples should make this more clear:
Venus in Gemini (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Taurus (Sign ruled by Venus).
The Moon in Capricorn (Sign ruled by Saturn) is in Mutual Reception to Saturn in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
Jupiter in Virgo (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Sagittarius (Sign ruled by Jupiter).
The Moon in Aquarius (Sign co-ruled by Uranus) is in Mutual Reception to Uranus in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
The Sun in Aries (Sign ruled by Mars) is in Mutual Reception to Mars in Leo (Sign ruled by the Sun).

The Virgo Solar Eclipse: Sunday, September 13 2015.

Solar Eclipse Antarctica 2014

Solar Eclipse Antarctica 2014

A brief outline of the September 13 Partial Solar Eclipse, with individual people in mind

At the Virgo New Moon on September 13 the Moon will eclipse the Sun, a partial eclipse visible only in the very far south regions of the world, like Antarctica, the southern Indian Ocean and some western parts of South Africa, up to 15° Latitude South. Not a visible event in Australia or New Zealand.

A Total Lunar Eclipse will follow at the next Aries Full Moon on September 28. Here I am concerned only with the solar event.

This Solar Eclipse could have personal repercussions, via events and mental/emotional states, in particular for those individuals who happen to have the 19th, 20th and 21st degrees of Virgo highlighted in their Birth Chart (aligned to Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven or Lower-Heaven); to a less extent also those with the same degrees in the other Mutable Signs, Pisces, Gemini and Sagittarius.

The Eclipsed Sun and the Eclipsing Moon, on the 20th degree of Virgo, will be just separating from an in-conjunct aspect (150° distance) to Uranus in Aries and from an opposition to Chiron in Pisces (180°).

If your Birth Chart is somehow aligned with this Eclipse I would say that, during this time, your very basic unconscious impulses (Moon) as well as your conscious drive and will (Sun) will need to find truly original and upbeat ways of expression, through acts of brave decisiveness, even at the risk of causing disagreements and becoming isolated/alienated from others (in-conjunct to Uranus in Aries). In fact you could find your present spirit of initiative and displays of fierce individualism somewhat contrary to your usually passive and modest Virgo temperament.  The polarity with Chiron in Pisces (in opposition Sun-Moon) adds the element of fluidity and compassion, with the urge to heal emotional rifts and egotism while staying true to your ideals and core of independence (Chiron is semi-sextile, 30° distance, from Uranus in Aries).

Because both Virgo and Pisces are Signs of purification and elimination (Virgo concentrating on the physical aspect and Pisces on the psychic) this could be a very suitable time to tackle negative habits and addictions, to begin a healthier lifestyle, change diet, join a yoga class or a gym, engage a personal trainer to re-gain fitness or lose weight, or to deal with a chronic condition by embracing some form of natural therapy.

The effect of the Solar Eclipse could last from three months to a year, and could have been already active for some months before the Eclipse itself. The nature of the celestial body/bodies or Angle/s involved could describe more accurately the possible effect for each individual person.

With the world in mind

In the planetary picture weaved by this Eclipse I see a symbol of the collective drive, now gaining very rapid momentum, to be of practical service to others less fortunate than ourselves. The presence of Chiron, the archetypal ‘Wounded Healer’, on the opposite-complementary Sign of Pisces (in opposition to Sun-Moon), shows that the helpmate also aspires to become a savior of sorts, our desire to humbly serve others in their most pressing needs, like food and shelter (Virgo), merging with the longing for spiritual union and the awareness that ultimately all is one, and the suffering of others is our suffering (Pisces’ universal sympathy).

The in-conjunct aspect of Uranus in Aries gives raise to the combative spirit, the irrepressible drive to take different measures, trying to find out of the box ways to address the collective issues that have been gripping the world with amazing force since the start of the millennium.

Virgo is the archetypal symbol for Purity, tirelessly endeavoring to keep at bay anything, in the form of substance, food, thought that can harm our bodies as well as the Earth Mother’s. Virgos are born environmentalists and natural healers. It was certainly this Virgo archetype which, since the beginning, inspired and instructed scores of farmers, gatherers, healers, doctors, nurses, help professional, social workers, light workers etc. to pursue their search for the universal elixir to heal all ills and restore purity in ourselves and the world we live in. This elixir ultimately resides in the eternal flux of life, surpassing while including our individual lives and consciousness. And this is astrologically symbolized by Pisces, Virgo’s opposite-complementary Sign. Practical Virgo is forever calculating what can be done within the limits of the possible, while Pisces tends to blur these limits and thus make what seemed impossible possible, via acts of good will and trust in providence. These two opposite Signs seem fit symbols for the situation people who want to help the refugees fleeing conflicts and mayhem in their own countries are finding themselves: how to reconcile the need to be practical and realize the limits of what can be realistically achieved, within reason (Virgo) and the desire to uphold the ideal of compassion and open the gate indiscriminately to all those in need of support (Pisces). Virgo would see the need for helping as a moral obligation while Pisces would consider it more like a spiritual responsibility.

Since early August Jupiter has also entered Virgo and will be transiting this Earth Sign until September 9 2016. This transit of course also reinforces the collective drive to help each other in practical ways and could even inspire some to find contentment in a simpler, more humble and down to earth life style, while many may be forced into it by financial crisis and unemployment. The August 90° between Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio, a classic aspect of economic and social downturn, will repeat itself in March and May 2016, between Virgo and Sagittarius, clearly indicating that the near future will not be a time for wild spending and borrowing but rather for hard work and a cautious approach to financial matters, avoiding debts and get rich quick schemes. We could embrace our reduced circumstances as opportunities to find more lasting values in our daily life and work (Jupiter). I am preparing a post about the transit of Jupiter in Virgo and the all important Jupiter-Saturn’s cycle. I should be able to publish it here shortly.

The connection of the Solar Eclipse with Uranus could favor the more aggressive, militant approach to the humanitarian and environmental crisis the world is experiencing. We could all become more pro-active in seeking a resolution to those crisis, more defiant of authority and the status-quo, with the clear goal in mind of restoring the human dignity of dispossed and traumatized people and the health of a polluted environment (Chiron in Pisces). This uncompromising spirit seems also enhanced by the aspects of the transiting Mercury in Libra at the time of the Eclipse, separating from a Square to Pluto in Capricorn and coming onto an opposition to Uranus in Aries. We can add to all the above the present position of transiting Saturn on the very last degree of Scorpio, ready to enter Sagittarius, a rebellious and freedom loving Sign, on September 18; this time for good (previous ingresses were at the end of December 2014 and in middle June 2015).

This Eclipse then should also generate greater awareness of the need of environmental healing, especially in view of the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change (November 30 to December 11 2015). Just few days before this Solar Eclipse all UN nations, including Australia, have submitted their Climate Action Plans ahead of the Paris conference.

Following this post I have re-posted an edited version of a two parts tutorials/articles on eclipses  that I published in June 2011.

These tutorials seem again relevant  during the present Eclipse Season of September 2015. These are the links:

Eclipses as Doors of Perception – Part 1

Eclipses as Doors of Perception – Part 2

Venus in Taurus, in the light of the general transits active in March 2012

Venus will transit her own Sign of Taurus from March 5 to April 4 2012. This is good news, in the area of relationships, finance and general well being, for people whose Natal Charts have emphasis on Taurus, especially, and also the other two Earth Signs, Virgo and Capricorn, by harmonious trine aspect. This Venus could as well bring some positive developments to Pisces and Cancer (by sextile aspect). Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius will be touched by the hand of the Goddess too, but her contact will prove somewhat more problematic and intense for them (opposition and square aspects). You will feel the Venus’ effect sometimes this month if your Sun, Moon, Ascendant, any planet, or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven, Lower-Heaven) were in any of the above Signs in your Birth Chart.

Since antiquity Taurus has been considered the ideal mansion for the earthly form of Venus, providing the fertile medium through which the Goddess can grant her gifts of love, pleasure, abundance and creativity.

We tend to take life more easy when Venus transits Taurus. We may want to make time to enjoy our surroundings and to become more keenly aware of our physical responses. If your natural sensuality and calm have been stifled or neglected lately this transit could be a great opportunity to make contact again with your own body and those simple pleasures that can make you feel happier with your lot. Such are the Taurus’ gifts of calm and contentment.

The lure of love and romance could be intensely felt by some, while there is a danger of becoming too attached to the object of your desires, or emotionally too entangled for your own good (especially possible for Taurus, Scorpio and Leo). On a more positive note relationships that begin now could be lasting and reliable ones, also sensually fulfilling, Taurus being a Fixed, loyal and affectionate Sign. There is a serious side to this Venus, in her capacity to make love a profound and committed experience.

To others it could bring back their love for nature, and of activities like gardening, landscaping, creating beautiful tactile objects of art and craftsmanship; relaxing in tranquil surrounding, eating nice food, listening to your favorite music, taking it easy.

Many ways to propitiate the Goddess

There are many ways to propitiate this Goddess, who in her Taurus incarnation every year is prompting us to become more aware of the deep roots that connect us to the planet and the physical plane, and also to our common humanity.

Taurus thrives on tradition. If you are cooking, for instance, chose some traditional dish or one that has been prepared in your family for generations. If you are an artist, try a traditional technique or style, a Raphael rather than a Jackson Pollock. If pottering in the garden put in some heirloom vegetable seeds or plant some old fashion roses or bulbs.

If you want to do a ritual at this time, in honor of the Goddess, make sure that your surroundings give justice to the natural environment, with offerings of fruits and flowers, and earthy, sensual scents.

As I remarked in a previous post on Venus’ transit through Taurus: “Relaxation, meditation, spiritual devotion and rituals, all forms of hands-on therapy and natural healing techniques are activities that will go well with this Venus energy … Taurus is well known as a Sign with natural healing powers...”

A possible negative outcome of this transits is to produce a too lay back and lazy attitude, with a tendency to overdo the pleasures, over-eating and drinking, over-partying or over-sleeping! Not to enjoy some of the bounties of Venus in Taurus would be a pity though. If you can take some time off and just enjoy being, loving and celebrating life, do it while the transit lasts.

The bigger astrological picture for March 2012

So far I have looked at the Taurus’ transit of Venus in isolation. But, while Venus placidly glides through this Earth Sign, the Sun, Moon and Planets continue their complex dance, not always in tune with Taurus’ content and contemplative spirit.

The transit of Venus in Taurus is in fact a timely event, hopefully helping us to remain steady and stay grounded during a period that could otherwise be open to conflicts, presenting a rather charged planetary environment, especially early and late in the month of March.

Early March

Sun opposition to Mars

We should remember that on March 3 the Sun formed his yearly opposition to Mars, aspect that always enhances the power of the red Planet, for good or ill, more often than not making conflicts come out into the open, disagreements to become more polarized and difficult to reconcile.

Physically this means that the planet Mars has reached now his greatest distance from the Sun, 180 degrees, and also its greatest brilliance, being now one of the best celestial bodies to observe in the night sky. Look out for a clearly red glowing star already well above the eastern horizon after sunset and climbing the sky for the rest of the night.

Mercury in Aries

The ingress of Mercury into Aries, Mars’ own Sign, a day early, on March 2, will keep us mentally more belligerent too, ready to get into an argument for the sake of winning it, until March 24, when Mercury will return to Pisces in Retrogradation (Mercury will begin his retro motion through Aries on March 12). Watch out for angry and hurtful words coming out of your mouth and the mouths of others, of course.

Venus’ soothing transits and the Virgo Full Moon

Venus’ steady Taurus glow will help via a beautiful sextile to Neptune in Pisces, on March 6, enhancing the urge for forgiveness and compassion, and also for imagination and creativity. And, on March 11, Venus will form the same harmonious aspect with Chiron in Pisces, a strong healing energy to help us accepting what we cannot change and smiling rather than frowning at our fate.

In between the contacts just described the Goddess will reach a distance of 45 degrees from the Sun, one/eighth of the whole Zodiacal Circle, on March 8, day of the Virgo Full Moon. This means that Venus will also form a sesqui-square aspect with the Moon, making relationships an ideal medium to reveal unconscious feelings to our conscious self, but not without some difficulties (semi-square and sesqui-square aspects). Avoiding excessive criticism and nit picking (Virgo Moon), remaining relaxed and cooperative (Taurus Venus) will help all of us to manifest the more compassionate and loving traits of Pisces (Sun). 

Venus is steadily separating from the Sun. She will reach maximum elongation and maximum brilliance on March 27.

The middle of the month is preparing to be one of exceptional planetary configurations, all happening between March 12 and 16, and active few days before and after these dates. Venus is involved in some of these cosmic events too.

The middle of March, Mercury Retrograde

Mercury begins moving retrograde on March 12, marking a time of greater introspection, during which we will be called to reflect on our visions and the ideas we are always prepared to fiercely defend from external attack; an opportunity to mentally slow down, and to be patient. This could be either frustrating or refreshing, depending very much on how you take it. Computers, cars, printers, photocopiers, gadgets of all sorts break down or mysteriously stop working during a Mercury Retrograde period because we need then to observe our restlessness and slow the pace of life and thought.

Jupiter trine Pluto

On March 14 a big event: the last pass of Jupiter’s trine Pluto (Taurus/Capricorn), the aspect that, in my mind, has helped more than any other, so far, to counteract the negative effects of the transit of Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter is still helping to drive Pluto’s intense energy into creative and inspired channels, giving meaning to our experiences of change, even those that challenge our desire for security.

Venus and Mars will act as catalysts to this major transit, at this time, with Venus forming a conjunction to Jupiter and trines to Pluto and Mars, and Mars a trine to Jupiter, all exact on March 14. We may find ourselves more resourceful and energetic than usual, combining effort and pleasure in clearing the way for new and exciting development in our life, in particular our relationships.

This mid-March period will end with square aspects from Retro Mars to the two Lunar Nodes in Sagittarius and Gemini, showing that it is destined to be a period when we will need confrontations and strife to get where we want to go.

The visual conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on March 15

A close encounter between Venus and Jupiter in Taurus will take place on March 15, one of the most spectacular sky displays for the whole year. The two brightest planets of the Solar System are in fact already visually close in the western sky, after sunset, and will remain so until the end of the month, with Venus slowly separating from Jupiter after the conjunction, the latter plunging westward toward the setting Sun (Sun-Jupiter’s conjunction will occur in June in the Sign of Gemini). It should be easy to distinguish one from the other because Venus is visibly brighter.

This yearly encounter will bring some rather exciting and lucky turns of events especially for those Pisceans who celebrate their birthday between the 14 and 16 of March. To all of us this transit could encourage more optimistic feelings, a renewal of confidence in self and life; also the desire to have a break from work and routine, to travel or in some way explore a novel world of places and relationships,

The end of March Transits

The end of the month is again enlivened by some exciting but also potentially unsettling transits: Mercury Retrograde in early Aries will conjunct Uranus on March 19, and the Sun, in Aries from March 20, will also conjunct Uranus on March 25 and then square Pluto on March 30. The Inferior Conjunction of the Sun to Mercury will occur on March 22, on the first degree of Aries and will be very close to Uranus and to the square to Pluto too, indicating the possibility of sudden turns of events in the political, social and physical world. The desire for peace, beauty and relaxation of Venus in Taurus will then be again challenged by many contrary forces, helping us to stay grounded and focus on the essential amongst all the unsettling changes.

Future astrological transits March-June 2012

The following is a reading of the major transits active during the 2012 Aries Equinox season, the Sun’s journey through Aries, Taurus and Gemini, March to June 2012. The June 21 Cancer Solstice will mark the end of this astrological period.

The image on the right is Pandora by Odilon Redon (1840-1916). I have chosen it, for the Art of Healing, thinking of the Retrogradation of Venus and also of her magical rare conjunction with the Sun on June 5/6, 2012 (read more under the Venus’ heading).

Highlight on the Mutable and Cardinal Signs

The Mutable Signs are coming to the fore this season, Gemini in particular: Mars will be transiting Virgo until early July; Venus will be retrograde in Gemini for six weeks, transiting this Sign between April and August; two Eclipses will fall in Gemini and Sagittarius (Solar of May 21 and Lunar of June 4); Mercury will conjunct the Sun in Gemini at the end of May; and mighty Jupiter himself will step into Gemini on June 12.

Of course the Cardinal Signs are still highlighted too (Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn) and will remain so for a long while. The combination Cardinal/Mutable gives a sense of restlessness, those Signs being very much in flux, Cardinals beginning things, Mutables finishing things off. The sense we get is one of not much stability or certainty, but rather of movement, with the need to be very adaptable and mentally resourceful in order to handle the pace and the changes.

At the bottom of the page you’ll find a bi-wheel with two Horoscopes: the Aries Equinox Chart in the inner wheel and the Cancer Solstice Chart in the outer wheel, to show the motion of the Sun and Planets between March 20 and June 21 2012.

Many Retrogradations

Mercury, Venus and Mars are just leaving or just entering their respective retrograde periods. This adds depth and complexity to the season’s picture. More: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn are also retrograde between mid-April and mid-July. Though not a rare occurrence, many Planets retrograding mark a period when old issues will need to be revisited and the consequences of previous actions and thoughts will have to be addressed in order to move forward once the planets turn direct again.

So, for instance, during a retro period Mercury’s linear and rational thinking function becomes infected and enriched with intuitive feelings. This could well be the hidden cause, I believe, of some of the disruptions in communication we experience during such periods. On average three times a year, for three weeks at the time, creativity and intuition challenge   our ‘normal’ way of thinking. Used wisely these experiences can open whole new ways of perceiving reality and expressing it in words. Because this backward motion is happening through the dreamy and non-linearly thinking Pisces (Mercury will be in Pisces from March 24 to April 17), the inversion or introversion effect could be even more marked this time, especially for people who have Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius emphasized in their Birth Charts.

Mercury will be retrograde between March 12 and April 4, re-entering Aries on April 17. Afterwards Little Brother will be rising in the East before sunrise, allowing for more direct and effective communication, greater ease with the spoken and written words, enhanced logical understanding and mental stamina. Business transactions could benefit from this position too.

After his Superior Conjunction to the Sun on May 28, Mercury will appear instead as the Evening Star, a mature, inward looking God, leading us to deeper layers of thought and communication.

A historical Venus’ Transit

In Gemini since April 4, Venus will be retrograde from May 16 to June 28. This will especially affect people with Gemini-Sagittarius-Virgo-Pisces highlighted in their Birth Charts, and also the Air/Fire Signs Libra-Aquarius-Aries-Leo.

In this phase of her journey around the Sun from Earth’s perspective Venus is edging now closer and closer to the Sun visually, passing in fact between the Earth and the Sun, the closest she can ever be to us and the planet we inhabit. Now that’s something! And that’s retrogradation for you, not just a visual illusion fancifully imbued with meaning! The actual Inferior Planet (either Mercury or Venus, I mean) disappears in the glare of the Sun, but it is actually closer than ever, and therefore somewhat more influential, or better, more penetrating. Venus is no exception.

Venus in Gemini is usually described as light and flirty, seeking independence and variety in relationship, rather than heavy emotional ties and dependency. Retrogradation adds a deeper dimension to this placement. It is time perhaps to trim from our lives those friendships that are superficial and do not satisfy our real needs and longing. During the retro phase of her journey around the Sun Venus is as close to our planet as she can ever be. Thus we are given a chance to penetrate better the nature of love and relationship.

A special event is also connected with this particular retrogradation: Venus’ conjunction to the Sun on June 5/6, depending where you are in the world. This will be the second of a pair of conjunctions, separated by eight years, when the tiny disk of Venus will be visibly moving over the Sun. The first of these conjunctions occurred in June 2004. Try not to miss this event (wearing sun protective glasses, of course) because another one like it will not take place until December 2117!

At the time of a ‘normal’ conjunction Venus is too far North or South of the Sun to be visible. During a conjunction like the June’s one instead Venus is aligned to the Sun. These special conjunctions are sometimes compared to Eclipses, because Venus’ dark body becomes visible on the face of the Sun as the Moon does more dramatically during a Solar Eclipse.

This is conjunction is also the beginning of the 585 days Venus-Sun-Earth cycle, and the end of Venus’ inward journey as the Evening Star. After the conjunction Venus rapidly separates from the Sun and for 260 days will be Lucifer, Light Bringer, rising in the East before the Sun. This is a bolder and even forceful aspect of the Goddess, not at all passive. This Venus is adventurous and impulsive, ready to take risks in relationships but a bit naive and not so aware of emotional undercurrents.

The ancient astrologers from Babylon and the Mayas looked upon the morning appearance of Venus as a perilous phase for the world, portending wars and natural disasters. This is because Venus’ usually Yin energy becomes more Yang, upsetting the balance between feminine and masculine, with an excess of Yang energy. Adding to this, Venus and Mars will square each other twice, on April 8 and again on June 5. Around these periods we can expect some fireworks in our emotional lives, exciting or disruptive. While aspiring to achieve greater clarity in our communications and efficiency in our daily tasks (Gemini-Virgo), we run the risk of becoming overly critical and/or to be subjected to negative criticism.

End of Mars’ Retrograde period

Retrograde in Virgo since November 2011, Mars will finally turn Direct on April 14, on the third degree of Virgo, avoiding by a hair the opposition to Neptune in early Pisces. During retrogradation Mars shows a degree of introspection and caution usually not associated with the Red Planet, fact that could have hindered some of our activities. The retrogradation would have been more keenly felt by the Mutable Signs, Virgo-Sagittarius-Pisces-Gemini, and also by the Earth Signs Taurus and Capricorn.

For my interpretation of the Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo please navigate to one of my previous articles HERE.

From mid-April we are all been given permission to resume our normal pace of activities and hopefully start getting the sort of results we expect from our efforts. Mars is still in Virgo though, meaning that we still need to be humble and prepared to work hard and consistently. The Virgo-Mars’ period can work like a strong stimulant to take care of all those things that too often we tend to put off, while busy with supposedly more important things. But are often the little things that can wreck our health, that can clutter our life, and also create a sense of guilt from the awareness of a job not too well done.

If in business, work on your books, tax returns, loose ends, here and there. Dust the corner cupboard. Clean the computer, inside and out. Empty your wardrobe of all clothes you have not worn in the past two years (or more if you are like me). Look after your body, do that liver cleansing you always wanted to do, That colonic irrigation. Or simply book a visit to a good naturopath, or iridologist, chiropractor, Reiki healer, etc. Have a general health check with your doctor. Or that pap/prostrate test, that breast screening, that colonoscopy?

Even more important than all the above, give up unhealthy habits of all sorts, including, of course, psychological bad habits. Who doesn’t have some? Even eating too much carbohydrates is an addiction. Be discriminative and selective in your choice of food, drinks, work habits etc. Mars will help big time while transiting in Direct motion in Virgo.

Jupiter enters Gemini

Jupiter is moving Signs on June 12, from Earthy Taurus to Airy Gemini.

Until the end of June 2013 Jupiter will provide a time of opportunities and risk taking for people with a Gemini emphasis in their Birth Charts; also for those with Planets and/or Angles in any of the other Mutable Signs (Virgo-Sagittarius-Pisces). The other Fire/Air Signs (Aries-Leo-Libra-Aquarius) will be much stimulated by this transit too.

It was about twelve years ago that Jupiter transited Gemini the last time, 2000/2001. Looking back at those times, or even a further 12, 24 or 36 years earlier, we could all gain a better understanding of the way this placement of Jupiter is likely to manifest in our life.

Suitable choices to express Jupiter’s energy positively would be to study, travel, expand your business, take action aiming at bettering your circumstances, or embark on a metaphysical search of some kind. Jupiter will help you to get more out of life, giving meaning to your personal experiences, improving your general mood, inspiring you with confidence.  In fact the negative side of this transit could be to become too optimistic and overly confident. If this is the case whatever enterprise you may begin this year could prove more difficult to realize than you imagined or hoped for. It would be wise to make a conscious effort to stay grounded to handle the Giant Planet’s exuberance. On the other hand, if you habitually lack confidence, not to waste Jupiter’s blessing, it will be important to curb any old fears that prevented you from achieving your goals in the past. Trust Jupiter to help you do just that.

If Jupiter was in Gemini in your Birth Chart you will experience a Jupiter‘s Return between June 2012 and June 2013. This is an astrological way of saying that you are turning 12/24/36/48/60/72/84/96 years old (born in 2000/01, 1988/89, 1976/77, 1964/65, 1953/54, 1941/42, 1929/30, 1917/18; consult an Ephemeris for exact dates). Greater confidence in your intellectual abilities and a keener desire to learn and know could help you this year with exams and tests; also to put pen to paper if you are so inclined. New interests may also introduce you to new people with whom to share them.

I remember a special Jupiter Return year for me, when I turned 36. With my Return in the IX House accompanied by other exciting transits, I made a leap of faith that year, choosing to leave a ‘normal’ job that provided a modest but secure income, to embark more professionally into Astrology, an interest and hobby of mine for a number of years. The sense of excitement, the renewed confidence I needed for my brave move and also the high hopes that I then held for my career (many later quashed by some hard realities) are all clear Jupiter’s signatures. Despite the fact that the reality of things didn’t quite match Jupiter’s promises I would not go back on my choice at that time, because it has transformed my world in very meaningful ways.

Master astrologer Steven Arroyo says of the Jupiter Return that it ‘liberates vast new energies for self-improvement …for it is a time of committing oneself to a new vision of the future’.

A great amongst contemporary astrologers, if you haven’t read Arroyo yet, please do so.

Communications of all kinds are highlighted by the passage of Jupiter through Gemini. I wouldn’t be surprised if some unusual networking will take place, perhaps involving the disclosure of information of value to many people. A novel way of networking might emerge, allowing even greater connectivity. More and more people, from all countries, cultures and socio/economic backgrounds, will join the world wide web, to share ideas and learn from each other. This could be the year of self-publishing and free-lancing on a grand scale.

Jupiter’s transit through Gemini also highlights the risk that a lot of what circulates and is shared in our brave new cyber world will be crap, gossip, or useless, repetitive, unoriginal information.  To hopefully counteract this tendency in the months of June and July Jupiter will form a positive aspect to Uranus in Aries and a challenging aspect to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, contacts that will permit a more exciting, visionary, innovative and inspired use of this placement.

Uranus square Pluto

Future events also are beginning to take shape in this Equinox season: the effects of the long awaited, with trepidation, Uranus square Pluto (first pass June 24), are likely to begin manifesting in May. This will be a test, one of the most difficult in recent years, not to give in to the temptation of solving the world’s issues via conflict and war. Unless a majority of people remain vigilant and committed to peace, this transit warns that the global situation could deteriorate in the near future. Not a pretty picture, considering that right now more than thirty large scale and localized conflicts are already raging around the world.

I’m leaving the proper analysis of this aspect to another time. I have already discussed the square Uranus-Pluto in many of my previous articles: in the 2010-2011 Astrological Forecast Page HERE, and the 2012 Astrological Forecast Page HERE)

The Eclipse Season

A Solar Eclipse on the very first degree of Gemini will take place on May 21, more evidence to the fact that Gemini is really the main character in this season’s astrological tale. The Eclipse will be an important event for some early Gemini (May-20/22), Sagittarius (November-21/23), Virgo (August-22/24) and Pisces (February-18/20).

Solar Eclipses are special New Moons, indicating not just the start of a new lunar month but of a whole new life phase. So, wait for exciting changes that will urge you to move, embracing a course of studies, moving house or even country, travelling, socializing, meeting new people, and all together having a busier and more stimulating time.

A Lunar Eclipse is expected on June 4, making the first week in June an eventful time astrologically, for all of us, but especially for some Gemini (June-2/8), Sagittarius (December-3/9), Virgo (September-4/10), and Pisces (March-2/8), or anyone with Moon, Planets and/or Angles around the middle of the same Signs. The Gemini Sun, conjunct Venus, and the Sagittarius Moon will be in aspect to Mars in Virgo, making this Eclipse a somewhat stressful or overly exciting climax for you. Something is coming to a head, positively or negatively, a big realization or a big disappointment, all providing valuable insight.

Love your transits, everyone.

Here is the bi-wheel: the Aries Equinox Chart in the inner wheel and the Cancer Solstice Chart in the outer wheel, to show the motion of the Sun and Planets between March 20 and June 21 2012.