~ ~ ~ ~~ SEPTEMBER: THE CURRENT BIG PICTURE ~ ~ ~ ~
These Astrology Tips usually cover specific happenings in the solar system. But every once in a while, it's a good idea to step back and view the whole forest, rather than concentrating on individual trees. So this time we'll take a look at the Big Picture.
It's the outer planets that set the stage. They move slowly, so their influence is felt over long periods of time. Their doings usually don't pinpoint the timing of events so much as they provide background, themes, atmosphere, context.
Currently we're undergoing major paradigm shifts as Pluto moves through Sagittarius (1995-2008). Pluto brings upheaval and deep transformation wherever it goes. When it travels through Sagittarius (every 250 years or so), it's time to overhaul our entire conceptual framework. Our whole way of thinking has ceased to work for us. Naturally, being human, we are resisting change with all our might, hence religious wars, political polarization, etc. Where is the conflict between progress and resistance playing out in you? Where are you changing your mind about things, rooting out your own dogmas and prejudices? If you keep a journal now, you might find it a good read later on.
Meanwhile, Uranus has moved into a rare (last time was 1836-1843) mutual reception with Neptune. On the surface, these two don't sound 100% compatible: Uranus wants you to separate yourself from the herd and go off in your own individual direction; Neptune is all about wholeness and oneness. But their current configuration emphasizes their common ground. A mutual reception consists of two planets traveling through each other's home sign -- in this case, Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces. The two planets are "mutually receptive" to each other's energy right now. The proponents of unity and those of diversity are beginning to see how they need each other. After all, real unity doesn't happen without respect for differences. Paradoxically, seeing each other bring our uniqueness out of the closet is drawing us together more than ever. That makes this moment in our lifetimes the best ever to work toward peace, and to collaborate in inventing (Uranus) wonderful, mystical things (Neptune). The mutual reception began when Uranus moved into Pisces last year, and will continue until 2011 when both planets change signs again. Whose differences are calling for respect in your life right now? What mysteries are being illuminated by a "bolt from the blue"?
Naturally, wherever there's progress, there's always reaction. And Saturn, in fall in Cancer from June 2003 until July '05, can exacerbate that reaction. Saturn is not at its strongest and happiest in Cancer; it tends to expose all of our tenderest places, the spots within us that need care and nurturing and aren't getting it. Saturn is always looking for you to be the grown-up, for yourself as well as those around you. As with all planetary placements, you have a choice: you can manifest the insecure, crybaby, hide-under-the-bed-till-it's-all-over side of Saturn in Cancer if you prefer. Or you can roll up your sleeves and learn to nurture and support yourself and others. Father Flanagan, founder of Boys Town (now Girls and Boys Town), was born under a Cancer Saturn, and he opened the original Boys' Home following his Saturn Return.
Meanwhile, Jupiter has been in detriment in meticulous, detail-oriented Virgo, where the giant planet hasn't had the scope it needs for its work of promoting thinking outside ever-larger boxes. In detriment, a planet is in the sign opposite its home sign -- not exactly its power spot. Moving into Libra, as Jupiter will next month, will be like walking from a tiny room into a narrow corridor. You aren't as cramped, but you still only have a choice of two directions. Libra is the polarity sign. Its aim is harmony between opposites. Libra energy fosters dialogue, which (here's that choice again) can be conducted in a civil manner with both sides aiming at reconciliation, or can degenerate into selfish squabbling and fighting. Since it's Jupiter, the challenge is finding balance between conflicting ideologies. Recent events in the US have brought the polarization of our culture blatantly out into the open, so people interested in making peace in the world would do well to begin at home. You can start it in your own life: can you make peace with yourself? That will take you a long way toward resolving your conflicts with others, which are often a projection of your own inner conflicts. And from there, peace continues to spread outward into the world.
How and where does this all manifest in your life, and what can you do about it? Well, as with all transits, the focus depends on which houses in your natal chart are affected and what contacts the transiting planet is making with your natal planets. If you've read this far, your intuition has already given you part of the story -- see your astrologer for the rest!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ MAY: VENUS RETROGRADE AND OCCULTING THE SUN ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Venus turns retrograde this Monday, May 17th. This occurs every 18 months or so and lasts about 6 weeks. At this time, situations affecting balance and harmony in your life come up for review. For many, this shows up most clearly in relationships: all kinds, romantic and family and work and friendship and whatever else. Issues that we've been sweeping under the rug are starting to form ugly lumps in there. The time has come to dig out all the junk and smooth things out for real. In the words of the wise man: "We can work it out and get it straight or say goodnight!" During a retrograde period, reflection is more constructive than action. As another wise man said, it ain't over 'til it's over, so don't commit to getting together OR splitting up until Venus turns around again on June 29th.
This year's Venus retro period is slated to be a particularly intense one. There's always a Venus-Sun conjunction in the middle of a retrograde period. This time the conjunction is an occultation, a rare phenomenon in which Venus gets between us and the Sun in two dimensions, blocking our view. (When this happens with the Sun and Moon, we call it an "eclipse". Astronomers call it a "transit". Same deal.) The symbolism of this is intriguing: our need for harmony obscuring our inner flame? Love coming between us and our ego?
The key here is balance. Your needs and the other guy's both demand due consideration. This is why your kindergarten teacher tried to get you to share. It's not easy to hold that center, but your reward is stronger, truer connections with others and with yourself. Isn't that well worth the effort?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ FEBRUARY: SPRING EQUINOX ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Spring Equinox is a moment of energy shift, when the Earth is perfectly poised between dark and light. After this time, the balance is tipped in light's favor as the Sun's rays grow stronger and the days grow longer. The Equinox provides an annual window of opportunity to allow new energies to emerge in your own life. So start your spring cleaning now, both physical and psychic, to make space for good things to happen to you!
For physical cleansing... well... you know what to do. If you need a little help cleaning house (as many of us do), call me for a referral. I am lucky enough to know first-class cleaners, organizers, and space-clearing experts in both Eastern and Western Massachusetts.
For psychic cleansing, here are a few suggestions:
- I like to do this meditation periodically. Relax, close your eyes and "go to" your inner sacred place. (You know where this is, even if you've never visited consciously.) "Look" around this space and notice any places where psychic debris has accumulated. Visualize yourself taking a broom and sweeping the trash out the door and into the dumpster. Then return to your newly cleared space and bask in the magical possibilities of emptiness.
- If you need to let go of toxic emotions, try this journaling exercise. Take paper and pen and simply write it all out. Don't think, don't edit, just get it all down on paper. Keep writing until you feel complete with it. Then put the paper in the fire and watch your emotional flames turn to ash. (If writing doesn't work for you, try drawing.)
- There's always the psychic cleansing bath. You can put lavender or rosemary bath salts in your bath, or simply lie down and let toxic energies soak out through your pores into the warm bath water. Then watch them go down the drain. You'll want to scrub the tub after this one!
This year's Equinox occurs on March 20th at 1:49am EST. Equinoctial energies are effective for a week or so before and after that time.
© 2003-5 Miriam Klamkin. All rights reserved.
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Last updated: 02/06/2005