I apologize for the tardy post, as we’re already one week into the month, but I’ve been reeling in shock over the untimely death of the mother of a dear friend from early childhood. Actually, the death energy ties into an astrological energetic current I’ll be highlighting in my planetary activity overview for the month. Let’s jump right into it.
The first half of April will still feel like a Piscean hangover from March.
My apologies at posting this a couple of days into the month, but I’ve had a lot of outer-directed energies to focus on in my life during the past week. As of this posting, Venus has ended Her transit in Earthy Capricorn and entered the freedom-loving, unconventional Fixed Air of Aquarius on March 1, where She will remain until the 26th when She enters Pisces, a sign where She is exalted. In many ways, this is a dynamic, action-oriented month—we have major planets changing signs, like Uranus reentering the Fixed Earth of Taurus, where He will transit for the next 7 years—happening amidst a background of frenetic activity, especially around the Pisces New Moon (March 6) and the Spring Equinox Libra Full Moon (March 20), but we also have to wade our way through the sluggish, dreamy, lazy and indolent, and potentially confusing oceanic currents of Pisces, currents amplified by the first Mercury Retrograde of the year, which is happening this month (March 5-28) and solely in the Mutable Water sign of Pisces. Do we fight our way in the world, or do we sit in silent meditation? Write up a business plan, or write sonnets honoring Lunar Deities? Join in partnership with others, or go solo? Do, or dream? The balancing act will be a precarious one but all will go well if you honor the rhythmic currents without and within. Let’s dive right into this month’s planetary transits and aspects!
Note: All times mentioned reflect my own time zone of Central Standard/Daylight Time, so please adjust for your global time zones accordingly. Daylight Savings Time occurs on March 10, when those of us above the equator “spring forward” our measuring of time by an hour.
Happy New Year, gentle reader! January is one of the best/most positively powerful months of 2019. Its firepower, evident from a powerful stellium of five planets in Capricorn at the time of the Capricorn New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse the night of January 5th, builds the framework for the triple super conjunction of Saturn-Jupiter-Pluto in Capricorn that will occur in January of 2020. Capricorn’s ruling planet, stable and serious Saturn, tests the mettle of our projects and goals to determine their worth for implementation (should we even bother?) and chances of long-term viability (to reap major rewards for work well done over the long haul). New Year’s Day, the Capricorn New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse on January 5, and the conjunction between the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn on January 11 are what I’m calling the three most crucial Power Days of the Month, whose energies you would be well advised to capitalize upon to execute your goals.
We will all be feeling motivated to push forward and excel, thanks to the drive of fiery Mars rejoicing at having entered His home sign of Aries on New Year’s Eve, 2018. And once electrifying Uranus stations Direct in the last degree of Aries on the afternoon of January 6, ALL OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM’S PLANETS WILL BE MOVING DIRECT UNTIL THE FIRST WEEK OF MARCH. THIS IS THE MOST AUSPICIOUS WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR: BE LIKE THE CAPRICORN GOAT AND SCALE NEW HEIGHTS!
December highlights Elemental opposition between Fire and Water, and that translates, astrologically, into a severe square between between Sagittarian Fire planets (at the time of this writing, I’m referring to the Sun and Jupiter) and Piscean Water (Mars, Neptune—Pisces’ ruler—and Retrograde Chiron) that will serve as the dominant energetic pattern for most of the month. We also have the cosmic paradox of fiery, ego-identified and assertive Mars, the ruler of Aries, unhappily slogging His way through the Neptune-ruled Piscean star-soup every day this month until the night of New Year’s Eve, when fireworks truly begin to ring in the New Year with a bang as Mars will be entering His home sign of Aries. But for the first 30 days of the month, alas, Mars is skewered by Neptune’s trident, floundering in confusion, low energy levels (possibly even low libido), and even physical sickness. (I’m actually combatting pneumonia as I type these words; I was diagnosed with it on Thursday and am now in Major Arcana Hermit mode at home.) Mars in Pisces loses impulse and direction.
Adding to the Watery Elemental force is the fact that the month begins with Retrograde Mercury having backed into Scorpio’s harsh currents on December 1, and on December 2, the first night of Hanukkah, beguiling Venus also dips back into the familiar waters of Scorpio. So much of the energy will feel exactly like it did during Venus’ protracted Retrograde period in Scorpio (October 5-November 16), and now with Mercury’s analytical focus shining a spotlight on these dark waters, we’re going to be given remedial lessons on power dynamics in relationships, the abuse of power, sexual abuse and trauma, obsessiveness and jealousy/possessiveness, and what it means to assert one’s (sexual) autonomy. This is Underworld terrain, and its concerns very much go against the grain of the commercially enforced cheerfulness marketed to us this time of year for the holidays.
And, one more prominent note on the Fire-Water opposition, this month will bring us a Fiery New Moon (in Sagittarius, early in the morning on December 7) and a Watery Full Moon (on December 22 in Cancer, the Sign ruled by the Moon). So much of this push-pull dynamic and the Sagittarian desire for real-world expansion and adventure contrasted with the Piscean pull towards cultivating a rich inner life translates into moving. Very. Slowly. It’s deliberate. The Cosmos is asking us to sit quietly with what we perceive to be setbacks in the “real world.” For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere getting ready to welcome the official start of Winter at the Winter Solstice on the 21st, our task, as much as we may not like it, is to follow the pattern of Nature and take a cosmic Time Out. Slow down. Reflect. Dream. Build your emotional foundation. Hibernate. Act slowly and steadily. Set your intentions/do your goal-setting at the time of the Sagittarius New Moon, but allow your intentions to germinate in the garden of your soul. Don’t put plans into action until the very last day of the month, when Mars breaks free from His Piscean prison and announces it’s all systems GO as He bursts headlong into the Cardinal Fire of Aries and is home again. It will be an amazing way to welcome 2019!
This month we have no less than 7 planetary bodies dramatically changing signs and affecting the energy patterns of the Collective Consciousness, and as of the time of this writing, November 6 (mid-term Election Day in the United States: fellow Americans, I hope you voted!), two of them will be set in motion by day’s end with effects to be felt for the next 12-18 months. Let’s just jump right into it.
Please note all times given for planetary transits reflect Central Standard Time in the U.S. Please adjust for your time zones accordingly!
Energetically speaking, astrological events this year have really forced us into a “review and release” mode as we evaluate our lives. This past summer was an extremely challenging period for many people (myself included), dominated as it was by the Mars Retrograde and the major shake-ups brought by the eclipses. Whether we were ready for it or not, we were tasked with major, even karmic, releases. Now the shift focuses on reviewing and reevaluating our lives, including how we attract or repel the forces of abundance, as the planet Venus gets ready to station Retrograde on October 5, plunging us into the archetypal experience I liken unto the Goddess Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld.
The first three weeks of this month continue to carry over July’s eclipse- and Mars Retrograde-laden unpleasant, unstable, and erratic energies. With five planets in Retrograde as the month opens (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), soon to be joined by Uranus stationing Retrograde at 2° of Taurus on August 7, we are called to align ourselves with the cosmic sense of energetic ebb instead of flow during this time. It’s best if we try not to push our agendas too hard and that instead we find ways to relax, meditate, ground and heal ourselves in Nature, and lay the groundwork for the plans that will be much more cosmically amenable to executing starting in the final week of the month and throughout September.
It’s fitting, I suppose, that such a monthly AstroCast post of mine falls on the holiday of the 4th of July here in the United States, a day whose theme of liberation from tyranny resounds strongly in the country’s current political climate. That theme is also echoed in the heavy Uranian cosmic footprint this month, which I’ll explore with you in a moment, adding combustion to the already-dramatic events of the ongoing Mars Retrograde in Aquarius and the two eclipses that will be happening this month. We’re talking major detonation events in the collective and in our personal lives, and clashes of belief systems and individual antagonistic wills shall serve as the ordinance. Are you ready? Take a deep breath from your diaphragm, hold it to a count of four, and exhale slowly before reading on. Here come July’s fireworks. (Photos below taken last night from my Chicago balcony of a neighborhood 4th of July fireworks display.)
All of the amazing concurrently running astrology workshops and classes comprising the 9th United Astrology Conference, recently held here in Chicago from May 23 to May 30 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel on Michigan Avenue, definitely made it hard for me to choose which world-class teacher’s talk I would attend at any of the time slots for each day. At times I wanted a truly trans-historical, “big picture” perspective on the Cosmic Intelligences at work in all of our lives, while at other times my Virgo Sun Sign made me want to take a more granular view of planetary energies, focusing on present or imminent planetary transits. And while so many of my fellow Americans were planning on celebrating the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 28, through the time-honored tradition of outdoor grilling and family barbeques, the fires I wanted to zero in on instead were those of “Mars Transits and the Mars Cycle,” my first class of the day, which was taught by astrologer Donna Van Toen.