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A shorter version of this article was published, in late March, on the Uki Village News
A shorter version of this article was published, in late March, on the Uki Village News
Just as it began, this fateful year ends with two eclipses, major planetary shifts and a historical conjunction. As different planetary patterns take hold things around the world should start to improve.
In December 2019 and January 2020 the focus was on eclipses and conjunctions in Capricorn-Cancer, while all the major alignments involved Pluto. This planet in astrology is symbol of all ultimate experiences, death, loss, as well as profound personal/collective transformations. Pluto, in Capricorn until 2023, still remains active in the short term though, especially from late December 2020 to end of January 2021. Dates to watch are those when fast moving bodies will form challenging transits to the slow moving ones, in particular to all mighty Pluto. Here are some:
December 24: Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn – December 30: Venus in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces – January 7: Mars enters Taurus – January 9: Venus enters Capricorn – January 13: Mars in Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius – January 18: Jupiter in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus – January 21: Mars conjunct Uranus in Taurus – January 23: Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Aquarius – January 29: Venus conjunct Pluto in Capricorn.
Despite all of that now that Jupiter and Saturn have separated from Pluto its power for destruction is definitely reduced. Regeneration comes after destruction; hope after despair, and resilience too, allowing us to tap onto those inner resources we all need to thrive in a difficult world, the very positive aftermath of all Pluto’s transits.
Jupiter-Saturn momentous conjunction in Aquarius
As they quickly move away from Pluto Jupiter and Saturn are getting closer to a right angle to Uranus. But, first of all, they have a date to keep: December 22 (few hours past the Capricorn Solstice) when they will finally become conjunct on the threshold of Aquarius, marking the beginning of a brand new twenty years cycle. These recurring conjunctions are important because they show the direction the world is going in the areas of government, law, religion, ethical issues etc, for the whole of two decades. The current twenty years event is particularly special because it begins an even greater cycle. This will last roughly two hundred years, during which Jupiter and Saturn will become conjunct mainly in Air Signs. Astrological researchers have found that the transits of Jupiter-Saturn in Air Signs (also known as the ‘humane Signs’) tend to move the world’s political needle toward progressive trends, strengthening a collective spirit of reform and innovation. Aquarius in particular is the Sign of individualism and friendly cooperation.
With Aquarius and Uranus thus strongly highlighted progress seems certain, if slow and fraught with difficulties. In the coming year, for instance, Saturn will undoubtedly attempt to slow down the process of reform and innovation (square Uranus), manifesting the karmic consequences of the Covid19 crisis that has widened rather than reduced the gap between the ‘have’ and ‘have not’ of this world. 2021 critical dates for the difficult Saturn’s square Uranus will be: February 18, June 15 and December 24.
Witness the conjunction with your own eyes
Even visually this conjunction is an event we could do well not to miss, the two planets appearing closer to each other than they have been in 800 years! Look west in the early evening, on December 21 and 22. Jupiter, the brightest, and Saturn will be so close to appear as a double star. We will need not only a clear night though, but also a clear view of the westerly sky. The two planets will be in fact near the horizon and quickly sink out of sight.
Uranus in Taurus, a come back
With all the attention given in 2020 to the fateful Capricorn alignments, no much thought has been given to the transit of Uranus in Taurus, one of the most significant in recent years. It was easy enough to predict that, during the seven long year of Uranus’ passage through Taurus we could see changes of great magnitude happening in the financial and business world; as well as major challenges to our sense of security and wellbeing. Uranus in Taurus is coming to the fore again in 2021.
Jupiter will be the first to reach the right angle to Uranus, one and only time on January 18, a transit that could bring significant breakthrough in the area of collective cooperation, to do with the global availability of Covid19 vaccines and therapies for example, also inspiring greater confidence in the eventual improvement in the economic and security future of the world, and encouraging more risk taking in the areas of alternative technologies and more sustainable ways to do business. We could even experience an excess of enthusiasm for a while, driving us to make changes before we are truly ready for them. The same transit could bring also some unusually extreme weather globally and worsen the autocracy/democracy conflicts proliferating around the world; change will not come without formidable global grassroots movements. Negative outcomes possible, especially while other challenges are active from Mars and Venus to the end of January and afterward when the Saturn square Uranus will become active (first pass exact on February 18).
Saturn in fact will significantly make three passes of the square to Uranus, the most significant planetary theme of 2021. Uranus always suggests the need to do things differently, to find new untried ways, to re-invent ourselves if necessary. Saturn in 2021 will severely limit our collective drive toward real deep reforms, a new economic model, or enacting sufficient countermeasures to climate change and social injustice. In a period when the drive for change is so compelling this slowing down will be a frustrating trend, but it could prove necessary to obtain more ground braking results in the long run. Personal responsibility and greater grassroots involvement in social issues will be a must.
Gemini-Sagittarius Eclipse Season: Lunar at the Gemini Full Moon, on November 30, 7.29 pm; and Solar at the Sagittarius New Moon on December 15, 2.16 am.
The Eclipses in Mutable Signs end the year showing the need for greater adaptability and a more optimistic and open minded approach to problems. If, in your Birth Chart, the Sun, Moon, any Planet or Chart Angle happen to fall around the 8th degree (Lunar Eclipse) or 23rd degree (Solar Eclipse) of the Mutable Signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, Pisces) these cosmic events may affect you in more personal and tangible ways.
The Lunar Eclipse could manifest as a significant emotional climax in the area of experience indicated by the sector of your Birth Chart where it will take place (the Houses of the Horoscope). For some will be relationships, for others work, career, health, study, family etc. And not just for now but possibly for many months to come, depending how close the alignment is.
The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse will be a very special New Moon if closely aligned to sensitive points in your Birth Chart. It could mark the beginning of a brand new phase of your life, extending far into the future. The area of your Chart where the eclipse falls will determine the experiences and opportunities driving you toward the goals you seek.
Capricorn Solstice 2020, December 21, 8.02 pm
The seasonal Capricorn Solstice is this year simultaneous to the double ingress of Jupiter-Saturn into Aquarius and their rare conjunction. This synchronicity indicates that the Aquarian effect will strongly persist over the whole three months of the new season, summer in the southern hemisphere, winter in the northern. This is indeed a real opportunity to choose the collective good above more ego-centered tendencies, striving toward humane reforms against stale conservatism.
August 2020 timeline of major astrological aspects:
On July 21, the Cancer New Moon began the August lunar cycle in opposition to the Capricorn game-changer planets, showing that the power of their historic alignment is hardly spent yet.
August 1: Mercury in Cancer opposition Pluto in Capricorn.
August 2: Sun in Leo square Uranus in Taurus.
August 4: The Aquarius Full Moon and the Leo Sun will be at right angle to Uranus in Taurus. + Mars in Aries square Jupiter in Capricorn, first pass. + Mercury in Cancer opposition Saturn in Capricorn.
August 5: Mercury enters Leo.
August 6: Venus conjunct South Lunar Node in Gemini.
August 8: Venus enters Cancer.
August 10: Mercury in Leo square Uranus in Taurus.
August 13: Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn, first pass.
August 16: Uranus Retrograde, on 10°41’ of Taurus.
August 17: Venus in Cancer square Chiron in Aries.
August 19: at the Leo New Moon the Moon, Sun and Mercury are all at a very special distance from Saturn (150°). Saturn rules!
August 20: Mercury enters Virgo.
August 25: Mars in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn, first pass.
August 30: Venus in Cancer opposition Pluto in Capricorn.
August 31: Mercury in Virgo opposition Neptune in Pisces.
September 2020 timeline of major astrological aspects:
September 2: The Pisces Full Moon and the Virgo Sun are in aspect to Pluto in Capricorn by somewhat difficult angles, echoing the theme of the early months of this year.
+ Venus opposition Saturn.
September 4: Venus in Cancer square Mars in Aries.
September 6: Mercury enters Libra; Venus enters Leo.
September 10: Mars Retrograde, from Aries 28° to 15° (November 14).
September 11: Mercury in Libra opposition Chiron in Aries.
September 12: Sun in Virgo opposition Neptune in Pisces.
September 13: Jupiter turns Direct (17°24’ of Capricorn).
September 15: Sun in Virgo trine Pluto in Capricorn.
September 16: Venus in Leo square Uranus in Taurus.
September 17: At the Virgo New Moon Sun and Moon trine Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn in Capricorn while opposed to Neptune in Pisces.
+ Mercury square Jupiter.
September 21: Mercury in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn.
September 22: The Sun enters Libra. Libra Spring Equinox, with a Waxing Crescent Sagittarius Moon, 11.30 pm local time.
September 23: Mercury in Libra square Saturn in Capricorn.
September 24: Mercury in Libra in opposition to Mars in Aries.
September 27: Mercury enters Scorpio.
September 29: Saturn turns Direct (25°20’ of Capricorn).
September 30: Mars in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn, second pass.
+ Sun in Libra opposition Chiron in Aries.
All serious practitioners could tell you that predicting anything via astrology is an enterprise fraught with difficulties and pitfalls. In fact, at any given time, many factors play upon the cosmic stage, creating a medley of often discordant voices. There are special times however, like the present, when it is relatively easy to match the planetary chorus with the exceptional events we are experiencing. The astrology has tellingly shown us the peaks and valleys we have gone through as the transits of the major actors, in the Sign of Capricorn, reached their climatic alignment, slowly separated, only to gain strength again. The peak times, so far, have been March/April and June/July.
August and September may seem less eventful as the slow moving planets Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto separate from their fateful alignment and the eclipse season is behind us, even if not quite spent. The next major peak, with the third and last Jupiter-Pluto’s conjunction should not happen before mid November. That is, if it were not for Mars’ prolonged transit in Aries; more of Mars later.
A beautiful Jupiter-Neptune’s transit (second pass of a 60° angle, exact on July 28) shines a bright light on an otherwise difficult period ahead. This particular influence, whose first pass was one of very few positive aspects last February, will remain active this time well into August and then return, for the third and last time, on October 12. The energies of those two Planets, when in harmony like now, promise a reawakening of spirituality and goodwill, and an evolving philosophy of compassion and acceptance that could help us greatly to deal with the challenging trend still in the cards for the next few months. Considering the power Mars is gaining from now to the end of the year, through a long period of retrogradation and difficult transits, this harmonious alignment could help to develop the qualities that are now more than ever needed to avoid all out conflicts, in our personal and social lives.
Mars entered Aries on June 28 and, due to Retrogradation (Sep10-Nov14), it will transit Aries all the way to January 7 2021. This is very important because some of the Red Planet’s difficult transits, becoming exact at first in August and September, will re-occur from October to December, even spilling over into 2021. These transits will be triggering again the planets at the centre of the present crisis. A transit of Mars lasts, on average, from a few days to a week. In this instance however Mars’ motion will slow down considerably, fact that will cause its transits not only to last longer but also to be more intense and problematic.
The astrological Mars controls our physical drive, spontaneous reactions and the desire to act upon our impulses, to be direct and assertive or, negatively, manifests as our uncompromising, confrontational, aggressive, me-first tendencies.
Mars square Jupiter: August 4 – October 19 2020 + January 23 2021
The Mars in Aries’ transits will begin on August 4, with a right angle to Jupiter in Capricorn. The same will be repeated on the 19thdegree of same Signs on October 19 (and, from Taurus to Aquarius, on January 23 2021!). This is a transit for risk taking and the irrepressible urge for freedom of action and expression. A sense of self-righteousness may prevail in the collective, as well as an exaggerated sense of entitlement, lack of caution and forethought. While it could be a positive thing to fight with courage for our rights, personally and collectively, it could also lead to more severe confrontations and divisions. An exhalation of emotions and passions is likely around these times.
Mars square Pluto: August 13 – October 9 – December 24 2020
Next will be the right angle Mars-Pluto, on August 13. This transit will repeat on October 9 and December 24, on the 23rd degree of these Signs, the same sensitive degree where the Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurred in early January, the aspect at the center of the whole Covid saga and its aftermath. During this transit our drive for self determination will encounter obstacles that may seem at time insurmountable. We could find ourselves in a situation we cannot control, particularly resenting its negative impact on our lives. A similar transit became active in March at the heights of the restrictions most governments had to put in place to deal with the worsening pandemic.
Mars Square Saturn: August 25 – September 30 2020 + January 13 2021.
This must be the exemplary transit of frustration and angry discontent. The desire to act out our desire is strong with Mars in Aries. It is now finding though powerful obstacles stopping us in our tracks. It could be anything, from bad luck to lack of opportunities, even other people standing in our way, making duties, obligations and commitments harder to bear than usual.
This is the yearly time to celebrate or sanctify the emerging of a new season, Spring in the Southern Lands and Autumn in the Northern, the Libra Equinox.
The Horoscope of this special event shows a near perfect opposition of Mercury in Libra and Mars in Aries, a difficult balance between the drive for direct action (Aries Mars) and the need for careful deliberation before taking action (Libra Mercury). Both Mercury and Mars are at right angle to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn (t-square), stressing the potential for conflict and power struggles, and also again highlighting that the end of this global crisis is still in the future. Because the planetary configuration at this crucial time could mean a bumpy start to the new season, its celebrations could include some symbolical reminder of the need to create harmony and accord out of disharmony and discord, a balanced mind (Mercury) over unruly impulses (Mars).
The big picture
A highly unusual astrological narrative began unfolding in early December with the ingress of Jupiter in Capricorn, joining Saturn-Pluto as they approached their historical conjunction.
During the coming months of June-July we will see a continuation of the same, with a new Eclipse season, and Jupiter’ second pass alignment to Pluto.
In astrology Jupiter has the function of expanding our understanding but also of magnifying events, for better or worse. Capricorn is known as the Sign of Jupiter’s ‘fall’, a term indicating a uniquely challenging environment for this planet.
The long anticipated Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction in Capricorn was of concern to many astrological seekers because both planets portend difficult and even traumatic transitions in our personal and collective lives. Joining together they foretold hard times ahead. We know now that they brought even greater disruption and upheaval than anyone anticipated, marking a truly ‘karmic’ time for the whole planet.
Fortunately Saturn moved ahead of Pluto rapidly, leaving Capricorn by March 22. It will return to Capricorn between July 2 and December 17, but without reaching the degree of Pluto again, something we can all be grateful for. It could have been even worse!
The alignment of Jupiter to the Boxing Day 2019 Solar Eclipse, very close to the Capricorn Solstice, the start of a new season, was further confirmation of the powerful role Jupiter will play in shaping the major events of the coming year. Furthermore the January Cancer Lunar Eclipse was also aligned (opposition) to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, another sign of the far reaching consequences of their encounter.
The narrative has not ended though because it has been and continues to be the role of Jupiter, and also of Mars, to trigger the darker energy of Pluto, until at least the end of this fateful year. A highly activated Pluto can manifest as grievous losses and serious control issues, as shown by the draconian measures governments had to put in place and the resentment some of these have fueled in many people.
Pluto also has increased the need for honest appraisal of any situation, no by embellishment or false hopes, but by dealing with the starkly sad realities life is presenting to us at this moment. We can choose to be empowered or be crushed by it. If radical changes are not implemented now, in the way we govern ourselves, the hard lessons will have to be repeated and things may actually get worse rather than better in the future.
While Pluto forces us to confront our deepest fears, Jupiter transiting Capricorn and aligning with Pluto three times (April 4, June 30, November13) is making the impact of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction more profound and far reaching, it is also offering a new vision for the future though, a new philosophical outlook on life that will stretch well beyond the present crisis. This is obvious observing how many of us are heeding the call for change to the way we live, accepting personal sacrifices to stop the abuse of the natural environment, the exploitation of resources and of people less fortunate than ourselves. The unprecedented emergency is showing that things could be different, that our future doesn’t have to be a repetition of the past. There is certainly hope, but the outcome is, to a great extent, up to us. The old maxim that ‘the stars incline, they do not compel‘ is forever true. We can make the best or the worst of any difficult transit; as we can enjoy or spoil the positive ones.
The June Eclipses, Lunar (June 6 Sagittarius Full Moon) and Solar (June 21 Cancer New Moon) are showcasing a difficult Sun-Moon angle to Mars-Neptune, the latter becoming conjunct in Pisces on June 14, also aligning then to the Last Quarter Moon, a critical time in every Moon cycle. This whole configuration could aggravate the collective tendency toward flights of fancy and unrealistic thinking, challenging our ability to see through the fog of misinformation. It could also make us more impressionable and thus prone to errors of judgement, as well as aggravating our collective susceptibility to negative energies, psychological as well as physical. A healthy grip on common sense will be a must, in this confusing and anxiety riddled period. I fear that many could relax their guard too soon against the still clear and present danger of the pandemic (see the end of June second alignment of Jupiter-Pluto), or become easy prey to the numerous extravagant narratives that have been widely circulating since the start of the emergency.
The last Eclipse, a Lunar at the July 5 Capricorn Full Moon, concurs with the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (already exact on June 30), the Moon aligning with them early on July 6. This particular event speaks loudly of the still present impact of all that went on previously, demanding a cautious and realistic approach to the crisis in order to master the unruly emotions and passions that could lead us astray.
The role of Mars
Let’s not forget that fiery Mars, who played such an important role in the escalation of the crisis in March, when transiting Capricorn and aligning to Pluto-Jupiter-Saturn, will enter Aries on June 28. Due to Retrogradation (September 10 to November 14) Mars will transit Aries until January 7 2021, again interacting by difficult 90 degrees angles with Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto, between August and October, December and January. So, in my view, it is not over until is over.
The good news is that Capricorn, the central character of this entire saga, is a highly productive and realistic Sign, so that, if we manage to navigate these troubled waters with patience and a down to earth attitude, we will find plenty of strength and amazing resilience to cope with anything life may throw at us. And, last but not least, the amazing conjunction of Jupiter to Saturn on the threshold of Aquarius, on December 22, is a beacon of hope for a better future if we embrace a spirit of reform and cooperation.
A shorter version of this article has been recently published in the Uki Village News
April/May Astrology: unprecedented challenges and opportunities
Welcome. The January Saturn-Pluto’s alignment, whose previous climax in 2001 fell so close to 9/11, is delivering a more powerful punch than was expected. It is a truly global, profound and unprecedented experience, at least for the modern world.
Right now, we found ourselves in the eye of the storm; and the prevalent feelings, depending on temperament, age and experience, are either of anguish and panic, or a sense imminent danger, or great uncertainty, or even incredulity. In this atmosphere it is much better to concentrate on the fact that this, like everything, is a transitory reality.
The cosmic events that we are witnessing are part of a much greater cycle of becoming. So, no matter how dramatic and potentially dangerous the transits may seem, they too will pass. They may last longer than we wish for though, and also leave behind an extended period of difficult re-adjustments.
At the time of writing (late March 2020) it is difficult to be too optimistic. Too many real everyday problems are affecting us in the wake of the emergency to allow flights of fancy. We are asked, not just by the government, but by our common sense to be self disciplined and practical, accepting necessary limitations for the good of all (Saturn). The older among us are the worst impacted (Saturn rules old age and Pluto all endings).
We may be pulled down the dark abyss of loneliness and depression, a common Saturn effect too; while Pluto is forcing us to look into our deepest fear, the unknown. If mismanaged, personally and collectively, this calamity could affect not only our physical health and well-being. As importantly it could impact our mental health and relationships. We could experience the tightening grip of authoritarianism, bigoted nationalism and xenophobia too.
It seems to me though that there is here also an opportunity to begin ending the sort of globalization that is polluting the natural world; escalating climate change and making us into shopaholic, globally wired robots. We have a chance to embrace the globalization of good will and cooperation instead, for a greener, cooler more peaceful planet (the passage of Saturn into Aquarius, temporarily from the end of March to early July, definitely from mid December). Aquarius, presently and even more in the near is the light that could guide us out of this dark tunnel.
The famous phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ fits this era very well. It will be great if you could learn to self resource again, to make things, to learn practical skills, as individuals and individual countries. We could be brought down to our knees by this, in particular by the severe economic downturn that seems now unavoidable, but we could also learn to live more simply, growing our food, mending our socks, cooking our meals (exaggerating a bit here for good effect). We could discover that we can feel richer and more fulfilled rather than deprived. It is a big task but not an impossible one. Apart from nasty viruses, more sustainable, less wasteful lifestyles will also protect us from climate change and the wanton destruction of the natural world. It can be tough because we are so used to a ready made, button pushing way of living. So it could be time to toughen up while staying optimistic, there is no other way. If a crisis of this proportion cannot do it than nothing can.
The cosmic patterns
Here is a summary of the cosmic events involved in this global crisis, as they began to unfold in early December 2019. To unravel the mystery we need to observe different planetary cycles, involving slow and fast planets, as well as seasonal eclipses as they magically interconnect and overlap, creating the intense results we are all experiencing.
If an arbitrary beginning could be found it would be, for me, the ingress of Jupiter in Capricorn, on December 3 2019. Why? This was the first sign that emerging issues pertaining to Capricorn were going to be magnified during the year long Jupiter’s Transit.
Capricorn has a lot to do with the orderly working of government and business, our collective planning and practical concerns, already gravely challenged by the then imminent historical alignment of Saturn to Pluto. This occurred on January 13 2020, in the midst of a powerful Eclipse season, involving also Capricorn and its opposite complementary Sign of Cancer.
Let’s step back again. The Sun made its yearly ingress into Capricorn, on December 22. By Boxing Day the Sun was very close to Jupiter, nearly conjunct. This was the day of the Capricorn New Moon and a Solar Eclipse, the last of 2019 and the closest to the Capricorn Solstice, start of a new season. Jupiter right on the Solar Eclipse indicated that it was also going to magnify any effect, positive and negative, the Eclipse might have. The whole event was in turn aligned to the Moon’s Descending Node, what Vedic astrologers call the Dragon’s Tail, pointing to what of our collective past has not been yet integrated in our consciousness and need redressing. On January 9 2020 Jupiter and the Descending Node became conjunct.
Eclipses nearly always come in pair, so a Lunar Eclipse at the next Full Moon in Cancer occurred on January 11. The Moon did not just oppose the Sun, as at every full phase, but also Mercury, the collective mind, and the largest of our closest asteroids, Ceres, symbol of Mother Earth herself, not in her nurturing but rather in her vengeful mode! To top this up the eclipsed Cancer Moon was also opposing the Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, which became exact on January 13. This alignment as I described many times in earlier posts, is considered a make or break transit of great significance, the very same astrologers were waiting for with some trepidation.
We come to mid February, when things got even more interesting and complicated, with the ingress of trouble making Mars into Capricorn too, February 16 (transit due to last until March 31). And, like if the above wasn’t enough, Mercury of the collective mind began his retro period on February 17 in the Sign of Pisces, the most receptive and dangerously exposed to outside influences.
On March 8 the Sun, symbol of our collective consciousness aligned with Neptune in Pisces, setting the scene for a period of confusion, misinformation, anxieties, extreme sensitivity, but also compassion, sacrifice, redemption. Neptune is indeed a very spiritual energy when in its high vibration. We all have felt the universal sorrows the news were spilling everywhere and began praying, meditating, going within.
Mars in Capricorn has also been a leading character in March. It acted clearly as a catalyst of the energy packed into the slow moving planets, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. It became conjunct Jupiter on March 20, day of the Aries Equinox, marking the start of a new season with a big bang. Then Mars aligned with Pluto on March 23, extremely intense, unleashing hidden resentments and rage, mounting fatalities and suffering, a crude and cruel wake-up call.
Capricorn Mars also triggered the still energized degrees of the December-January Solar and Lunar Eclipses. Mars has definitely inflamed and worsened an already difficult situation. We must be glad to see him moving out of Capricorn on March 31st. The crisis will continue, I believe, with Jupiter soon to conjunct Pluto, as early as April 5; more of that later. To finish with Mars for the immediate future he will align with Saturn on April First, thus ending for now its direct link with the Capricorn big picture planets. On April 9 a right angle between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus could add to the surprises of this amazing times, most possibly in an unsettling way but perhaps also in a positive way, with some exciting breakthrough.
On March 23 Saturn entered Aquarius, one of the silver linings of this emergency, Aquarius being the Sign of universal cooperation and mate-ship. For now this transit will last only until July 2, when he will re- enter Capricorn until December 17, with the definite ingress into Aquarius and soon after, on December 22, a very promising alignment with Jupiter by then also in Aquarius.
Now to Jupiter who, on April 5, will align with Pluto. This transit is one of the reasons why I feel that the emergency could escalate for another while, not necessarily for Australia but generally speaking. This transit cannot be underestimated in its potency because it will return two more times, on June 30 and November 13, more Eclipse Seasons. Jupiter seems to want to expand the situation, to its limits. This is a challenge to embrace a truer philosophy of life, to transform our beliefs in full blooded knowledge, to give up on what seemed so essential before and now may have to be discarded, surviving the whole things wiser and stronger. The other strong reason in my eyes for this situation to linger is the retrogradation of Mars in Aries from September 10 to November 14, again interacting by square with Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, three times into January 2021. And finally also the Solar Eclipse on the Cancer Solstice, on June 21, sort of eclipsing another season.
I cannot see how this crisis could really end until, at least, the end of this year. With this I don’t mean that we will all be in lock down the whole time, but that there will be peaks and lows, the crisis abating in one place and surfacing in another. I am saying this especially thinking of the retrogradation of Jupiter and Mars.
To view a full interpretation of the Moon Sign and Phase please click the images below.
The WANING/WAXING MOON TRANSITS TAURUS from Thursday, April 23, at 5.35 am, to Saturday, April 25, at 5.19 pm, entering then the Sign of GEMINI.
The TAURUS NEW MOON PHASE begins on Thursday, April 23, at 12.25 pm, and will end on Monday, April 27, at 12.45 pm, with the GEMINI CRESCENT MOON PHASE.
Click any of the Little Helpers for more information
Taurus Moon in the garden
In the garden Earthy Taurus is considered a fairly productive Sign, especially suitable for Root Crops, like potatoes and carrots, helping to strengthen the root system and to make plants sturdier. It is also a great Sign for `Flowering Bubs and other ornamental plants.
Great time to be lazy in the garden too, lull in a hammock and watch the grass grow.
Edible Plants: Mushrooms, many fruit of a red colour, like Cherries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Plums, Apples. Also Almond.
Healing Herbs: Some of the medicinal herbs associated with Taurus are suitable to treat kidney ailments, like Elderberry, Sassafras, Black Currants etc. Or to soothe a sore throat, like Liquorice, Peppermint, Black Currants, Golden Seal, Burdock, Willow. Also Taurus herbs are Lovage, Vervain, Fenugreek, Slippery Elm, Lavender, Catnip, Strawberries Leaves, Mother of Thyme.
This Moon Phase in the garden
The New Moon Phase is traditionally a time to begin sowing and planting because the increasing Moon light will help plants to emerge and flourish. Moisture becomes more and more available as the light of the Moon intensifies, up to the Full Moon. Traditionally however no sowing or planting are recommended within twelve hours of the phase itself.
Everything can go in now, but in particular leafy vegetables and all plants that we grow for their above the ground parts, but only when the Moon is transiting through the very fertile Water Signs or the productive Signs Taurus, Libra and Capricorn.
With this particular Taurus New Moon occurring at 12.45 pm local time on Thursday, April 23, it would be better to start the recommended garden activities on Friday, April 24, continuing on Saturday, April 25, until 5.19 pm, when the Moon will enter Non Fertile Gemini.
TROPICAL or SEASONAL ZODIAC
SIDEREAL or STARS ZODIAC
THE PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES
A difficulty the beginner encounters (and a weapon in the hands of Astrology’s critics) is the fact that in Astrology not only we use the ancient Earth centered world view but, on top of that, we use a yearly Zodiac (the twelve Signs) that doesn’t much anymore the stars patters known by the same names.
So we say, for instance, that the Sign Aries heralds the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere and the Autumn Equinox in the southern hemisphere. We should know though (and we do!) that the Aries constellation (group of stars) is not anymore found with the Sun at the Spring/Autumn Equinox the 20th/21st of March every year.
Once upon a time (about 2000 years ago) the constellation of Aries did indeed rise and set with the Sun around the 21st of March every year. At present instead it is the constellation of Aquarius which rises and sets with the Sun at this time.
This discrepancy is due to the so called Precession of the Equinoxes (discovered by the Greek astronomer/astrologer Hipparchus of Nicea – 190/120 BC).
What Hipparchus discovered is that the constellations are not fixed, as the astronomers before him believed, but that they slowly shift in a backward motion (when compared with our own orbital motion) at the rate of one degree every 72 years. The slowness of this motion is the reason why it escaped the attention of numerous observers for many centuries.
The motion itself is now scientifically explained by modern astronomers as due to a wobble of our planet. The Earth isn’t a perfect sphere but it has rather the shape of a mandarin, flat at the top and bottom (polar regions) and bulgy at the Equator. The combined forces of Moon and Sun’s gravity make the Earth gyrate like a spinning top, so that, to keep its relative position in space, the Earth has to make a wobbling motion. This wobble causes the planet to regress 50 seconds of arc (less than a minute of arc) every year. Therefore, after completing its orbit around the Sun every year, the Earth doesn’t return to the same relative position in space, but 50 seconds of Celestial Longitude earlier. 50 seconds added up make a whole degree in about 72 years.
The total period of Precession (a complete round of 360 degrees) lasts 26.000 years. During this time the South and North Poles both describe a complete circle in space.
So, while now, for instance, we look upon the star Polaris (in the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear) as the northernmost star, the closest to the North Pole, in 3.000 BC the star Alpha Draconis (in the constellation of Draco, the Dragon) would have been the closest to the North Pole. In 7.500 AD the star Alpha Cephei (in the constellation of Cetus, the Whale) would be our choice; in 14.000 AD the star Vega (in the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer). Only in 28.000 AD the star Polaris will be our choice again.
So how modern astrologers justify their saying that the Signs Aries and Libra herald the Equinoxes, the Signs Cancer and Capricorn the Solstices, and the other Signs the seasonal changes which they used to forerun thousands of years ago but they do no longer?
The answer to this question is simple: what in western Astrology we call the Signs of the Zodiac are not ever to be confused with the Constellations which bear their same names. But why? The Signs of the Zodiac represent simply different portions of the seasonal year. They indicate the ever changing, yet ever the same, relationship formed by the Earth and the Sun, due to the Earth’s Orbital Revolution around the Sun in one year, every year.
The 12 Constellations, which bear the same names as the astrological Signs, are only some of the 48 the astronomer/astrologer Ptolemy classified in the second century of our Christian era, while more Constellations have been added to the traditional ones by modern scientists. The 12 Constellations, chosen to bear the same names as the Signs, are those that lie, more or less, in a sort of circular belt (spanning all together 47 degrees of the sky in width and 360 degrees in length), along the Ecliptic, the apparent yearly path of the Sun around the Earth.
Once upon a time these 12 Constellations were used, it’s true, as signposts for the different seasons and portions of seasons, but they had to be abandoned in this respect when it was discovered that they didn’t correspond anymore with the actual seasons.
The Signs didn’t take their names and meanings from the Constellations, but the other way around: the Constellations took their names from the names of the seasonal months of the year.
So, for instance, Aries, the Ram, is the name of the Sign (month) which begins the astrological/astronomical year (the Sign corresponding to the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere), simply because this creature was considered a fitting symbol for this period of the year, being the leader of the flock, always first. This particular name, as the names of all the other Signs, wasn’t chosen because the ancient people of Sumeria or Mesopotamia identified a group of stars (which seemed to look like a ram), rising and setting with the Sun at the time of the Spring Equinox! But they rather fitted the image of their ‘month of the ram’ with the particular groups of stars that was closer to the Sun at that time.
The Constellations have moved from ancient times and now no more correspond with the seasons (the signposts have been slowly shifted and so they cannot anymore perform their function), but the seasons and portions of seasons (months) are the same now as they were at the time of Christ or much earlier. The seasons, as we know them, haven’t in fact changed at all from the time we started recording history and probably from long before that. Only a powerful cosmic event, capable of shifting considerably the Earth’s axis, could change the cycle of the seasons. There is no proof that such a shift ever occurred during man’s life on this planet. And, if it did, it preceded the development of Astrology as we know it.
There are more reasons why the Constellations cannot be used in the same way we use the Signs.
Astrology is concerned with ‘real’, observable changes and ‘real’ cycles happening on Earth. When we talk Astrology we aren’t discussing the influence of far away stars which do not belong to our Solar System or even our Galaxy. We are rather interested in observable phenomena, such as seasons, day/night, Moon’s phases, planetary phases etc.
Those stars which the ancient grouped into Constellations are not even close to one another, but they only appear to be close because of our very distorted viewpoint (the greater the distance of an object, the greater the distortion). Furthermore the 12 Constellations which bear the Signs’ names and lie North and South of the Ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun in one year) are not all of the same length or width. Some Constellations, like Scorpio for instance, are huge, occupying a large portion of the night sky when visible, while other Constellations are so small and their stars so inconspicuous, like Cancer for instance, that one finds it very difficult to even find them in the night sky. Instead our Signs of the Zodiac are all of the same length, each spanning 30 degrees of Celestial Longitude along the Ecliptic.
A last reason which should convince us not to use the Constellations in reference to Natal Astrology is the fact that even the experts disagree on the choice of stars to begin and end each Constellation, some deciding that a certain star belongs to a certain Constellation, others that the same star belongs to another Constellation.
The Signs, as we employ them in western Astrology, form the so called Tropical Zodiac (from the Greek word ‘trope’: turning), while the Constellations are parts of the Sidereal Zodiac (from the Latin word Sidus: star). The two Zodiacs are different and are ‘used’ for different purposes.
Very few astrologers in the west use the Sidereal Zodiac in place of the Tropical Zodiac in reference to Natal Astrology (birth horoscopes). These astrologers are called Siderealists. Also the Sidereal Zodiac is used by most Indian astrologers who practice the ancient art of Vedic Astrology.
Western astrologers also use the Zodiac of the Constellations, but mainly to study stellar influences on the whole of humanity. For this reason we talk about the astrological Ages, the slow shift of the Poles bringing a new Constellation on the Horizon at the Spring/Autumn Equinox every 2.160 years. That’s why we call the present period the Age of Aquarius, because this Constellation is now heralding the Spring/Autumn Equinox. The fact that different people have different ideas about which star belong to which Constellation, or which star begins a particular Constellation, is the reason why even the Siderealists do not agree on a precise date for the beginning of the New Age.
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
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?
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.
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
A shorter version of this article has been recently published in the Uki Village News, issue 109.
We are now at the end of an eventful year and the beginning of a decade that will be remembered in the annals of the world as a watershed of immense consequence. Where we are going from here will very much depend on the action or lack of action the world nations will take in the area of natural resources exploitation, climate crisis, the planet endangered ecology, social justice, ongoing conflicts, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction etc. To anyone who is keeping abreast of the national and international events it might seem that I am just stating the obvious here. The fact is that the global astrology for the upcoming period shows also very clearly an escalation, not an easing of the present crisis, social, political and ecological. At the personal level some individuals could be impacted more deeply, but we are all in it, one way or another. We have to remind ourselves though that the extreme and volatile events we are witnessing here and around the world, as well as the intense transits I’m discussing all have a bright silver lining, providing the momentum, power and resources for addressing the unprecedented problems the planet is facing.
To start from the beginning, on December 3, Jupiter has moved Sign (a yearly event) to enter Capricorn (a twelve years cycle), indicating that the collective mindset should become more realistic in the coming year, ditching grandiose schemes for a more practical hands on approach. Capricorn is very much a matter of fact Sign (Earth Element), as well as an active and motivated one (Cardinal Mode), so that the philosophy that Jupiter’s symbol embodies will be embracing viable alternatives rather than impossible to achieve ideals and difficult to maintain standards. Of interest to astrological students is the fact that the ingress of Jupiter into Capricorn corresponded, to a day, to the beginning of the UN Madrid Conference on Climate Change (December 2 to 13, 2019) !
What is especially significant here is that Pluto and Saturn, since 2008 and December 2017 respectively, have been also transiting Capricorn, the most important planetary indicators of the make or break nature of this historical period. Pluto will remain in Capricorn until 2023/24, while Saturn will hover on the first two degrees of Aquarius between March 22 (around the Aries Equinox) and July 2 2020, when it will re-enter Capricorn, transiting this Sign again until December 17 2020, day of its proper ingress into Aquarius. After that Saturn will remain in Aquarius until March 8 2023.
Jupiter then is the last of the history making planets to enter Capricorn. Being faster than the other two it will act as a catalyst for their energies, hopefully having a positive impact.
All these transits in Capricorn are becoming more critically significant due to the already active Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, becoming exact on January 13 2020; undoubtedly the most important transit for the whole of 2020 and beyond. Among other factors this conjunction will also be the first, since 2009, to mark a waxing cycle of Saturn, a sign of active changes in the political and ideological leadership around the world.
The Sun, Mercury and largest asteroid Ceres (Earth Mother symbol) will also be in Capricorn, becoming aligned to Saturn-Pluto the day before and after their conjunction, strengthening the impact of the alignment. Furthermore, on January 11, Uranus will turn Direct, potentially accelerating the pace and increasing the scope of the alignment.
The frequency of such planetary configurations varies because Pluto has a very elliptical orbit, spending different lengths of time in each Sign, so that Saturn would take more or less time to catch up with it. There were three such alignments last century: the first in 1915, at the onset of the Great War, in the Sign of Cancer; the second in 1947, in Leo, when post war upheavals changed the face of Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, historical events of enormous consequence for the whole world. The cycle that will end in January 2020 began in November 1982, with a conjunction in Libra, reaching its mid-point, a sort of climax, in August- November 2001, around the events now known as 9/11. That cycle is closing now and this could be good news! A new cycle always representing an opportunity to make a fresh start.
A factor that could make this conjunction more intense and relevant for future developments is that two Eclipses are in the cards for December 2019 and January 2020. A Solar Eclipse on the fourth degree of Capricorn will occur at New Moon on Boxing Day and a Lunar Eclipse on the 20thdegree of Cancer will follow on January 11, when the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Pluto and Ceres will all oppose the Cancer Full Moon and align with the Sun in Capricorn! Big stuff. Eclipses often mark eventful times, individually and collectively, crises encouraging significant changes of perspective.
Before we can find in history the same conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, in the same Sign of Capricorn, we need to go much further back in time, to January 1518. This was the beginning time of the Protestant Revolution of Martin Luther. These events and their aftermath changed European culture in a big way, in particular helping to separate the religious authority from the secular. That revolution introduced new philosophical concepts centered on human rather than divine law and justice. It is odd that the 1518 historical alignment occurred around the same time of the year, on January 3 of the Julian calendar which is eleven days behind the Gregorian calendar we use now, introduced only in 1582. This means that the Sun was around the same degree of Capricorn as it will be on January 13 in 2020. Furthermore Uranus had also just entered the Sign of Taurus, as it is the case now!
Comparing the historical changes that occurred then could provide us with some inklings of upheavals this conjunction may bring, with due consideration for the obvious differences between then and now. The Protestant revolution, with all it failings and horrors, was basically a rebellion against the Catholic Church’s autocratic rule and its authoritarian high jacking of both worldly and spiritual laws. Capricorn represents in fact the power that is established by tradition and the passing of time. Pluto‘s function is to shake Capricorn’s established order from its roots, eliminating those aspects that do not align anymore with the growing global consciousness and the current needs of the planet. It is also in the nature of Pluto to create power struggles that can destroy our collective sense of belonging. Pluto is not a gentle energy but a rather forceful one, when issues are faced squarely and often ruthlessly. It is the planet of necessity rather than choice, when things have to happen, no matter what. A plutonian transformation is like birth or rebirth, never an easy process. Saturn, on the other hand, aligning with Pluto, can provide practical ways to address the challenges those radical adjustments present, realistic guidelines that could bring the collective to some very positive outcome, if we don’t put up too much resistance, leaning hopelessly toward the status quo, the devil we know. Saturn could add the resilience and efficiency needed to address the challenges the Pluto’s radical adjustments demand. Ultimately their conjunction indicates a strong drive toward major re-distributions of power around the world.
One person who may do well to watch out for these complex cosmic event is USA President Trump because the zodiacal degrees involved are in near perfect opposition to a conjunction of Venus to Saturn in Cancer in his Birth Chart. Also Neptune transiting Pisces will soon reach a difficult ninety degrees angle to his Birth Gemini Sun and Sagittarius Moon, his very own personal Full Moon! No wonder he is already feeling he cannot trust anyone and cannot see his future from the fog. We could prepare for even more irrational and misleading performances from this controversial man.
If you like to celebrate the Capricorn Solstice, the ancient pre-Christian winter festival, the date and time this year will be: December 22, 3.19 pm local time. Read the rest of this entry »
People who are born while Venus transits Capricorn are not usually too romantic or idealistic in love, unless some other influence prevails. They tend to have a rather matter of fact personality, not easily led by first impressions or infatuations.
Like all Venus in Earth Signs this placement gives a healthy sensuality, more satisfied by steady and committed relationships than fleeting liaisons and sudden passions. Capricorn in fact confers a certain seriousness and sense of responsibility to all planetary energies.
Showing what we appreciate more in life and give value to, Venus in Capricorn bestows conservative values, with central importance given to family, home life, security, emotional and financial, career, tradition and social responsibility. These are indeed socially conscious individuals, ready to contribute in practical ways to the greater family of society.
It is only when the cooperative and loving ray of this Venus is severely thwarted in infancy or childhood that we begin to see the negative side of Venus in Capricorn, manifesting as selfishness, coldness of feeling, a calculating attitude, in emotional as well as financial matters (trait that when rightly used can make them into excellent business people), also strong sensuality without real ability to express love and warmth.
Capricorn Venus individuals need to build trust in other people (as all the Venus in Earth Signs), also toning down their desire to lead every situation, leaving others more scope for independent decisions.
After disappointing experiences in love and generally relating with the world the Venus in Capricorn individuals may become cynical and pessimistic, too rigid in their opinions and value system. They need to let go sometimes of their strong emotional bulwark, a defense system they often feel they cannot do without. At the base of this is the hurt of having felt lonely and unloved in their early years (for real or because of their extra sensitivity). Going down that path some Venus in Capricorn people begin to equate love with security, emotional fulfillment with financial well being, ending up creating for themselves the loneliness and lack of loving support of which they were so afraid in the first place.
The more fulfilling relationships for a Venus in Capricorn person are those made stronger by time and solid commitment, but that can also fulfill their sensual need for closeness, warmth and trust.
This is not an easy Venus to be born with, Capricorn being a Sign of Saturn, the Old man of the Zodiac, burdened by the past and responsible for the future. The wisdom and experience of the ages lay heavy on the shoulder of our beautiful Goddess, with the risk of becoming emotionally ‘old’ before her time, with all the disillusions that a long life can bring to our ideals of love.
Positively this is truly a ‘no nonsense’ Venus that will value concrete support in loving relationships, a fair give and take, with friends, partners and lovers. A positively expressed Venus in Capricorn is always ready to lend a hand and show their love in action, not just through words or empty promises.
Venus will be transiting Capricorn between November 25 and December 20.
Just before entering this solid Earth Sign, on November 25, Venus appeared in all her evening glory aligned to mighty Jupiter. The two planets were competing in brilliance, on the cusp between Sagittarius and Capricorn, for the last week, a beautiful conjunction to witness. And still up there together in the early evening despite the Venus’ Sign change. Jupiter in fact will follow Venus into Capricorn soon, entering this Sign on December 3.
The most important Capricorn Venus’ alignments this time around will be the conjunction to Saturn and Pluto, on December 11 and 14 respectively, alighting the seriousness and intensity of this period for our relationships and creative life too. Let’s keep in mind though that the aspects of Venus never lasts more than three to four days, starting to have effect a day or two before exactness and remaining active only for a day or two after.
In general the transit through Capricorn is a serious time for Venus and therefore for our relationships, our social life, creativity, ability to attract wealth and comfort and enjoy what life has to offer, the areas and functions Venus presides over. The Signs more likely to feel more the effect of this yearly transit are: Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra, Taurus and Virgo.
Capricorn is not only a Earthy, practical, no nonsense Sign, it is also a Sign of Saturn, the cosmic task master who helps us grow up, accepting responsibilities for our life, the successes as well as the failures. When Venus transits this Sign then we are given the task of looking realistically at our relationships, without the common embellishment of wishful thinking and starry eyed hopes or illusions. This is often an ideal time to make lasting commitments (like engagement and marriage) or to take on extra responsibilities in our career or business.
Family matters will come to the fore under this influence, because family is the foundation of all relationships for Capricorn. This Sign takes its duties toward parents, children, siblings and the general welfare of the tribe very seriously, sometimes too seriously in fact, thus risking to lose track of its own dreams and aspirations in the process of caring and providing security for others.
If you are involved with community projects or local politics this is also a positive period to give it all you have, because you may find yourself better organized and efficient than usual, also more able to put across your ideas in a way that will demand the respect and appreciation of other people.
It could be a positive period to be more realistic in all area of our lives, embracing those values that can help us to get back on track financially, in our work, studies or career. Suitable period also to make lasting commitments, signing important contracts, buying or selling real estates etc.
Venus square Chiron in Aries, exact on November 27
A day to become aware of what is ailing us emotionally, accept things that cannot be changed. The scars from painful past experiences can make us wiser, if we gain perspective over them, otherwise we may tend toward self pity and pessimism for a little while.
Venus and the Moon, conjunct in Capricorn, trine Uranus in Taurus, exact on November 29
An out of the blue event could make a delicious or upsetting impact on us. New exciting feelings may either fascinate or alarm us. Time to be more adventurous and welcome the positive impact of people who are a bit different, because their ideas and ways can add to our emotional wealth and help boost our creativity.
Venus conjunct Descending Lunar Node, exact on December 3
Relationships at this time may bring back a whiff from the past. We may meet people we have not seen for a long time or hear from them or of them. These events could bring up feelings and memories that we may have suppressed. It would be beneficial to search the deeper meaning of these experiences in order to move on from the past and open the door to new possibilities.
Venus sextile Mars in Scorpio, exact on December 4, and sextile Neptune in Pisces, exact on December 9, compounded by a trine between Mars and Neptune, exact late on December 13.
Between this date and the 13/14 of December Venus, Mars and Neptune will form a positive configuration (made up of two sextiles and one trine) between earthy Capricorn and watery Scorpio/ Pisces. Ideal time for romantic or artistic escapades, nature holidays, time out to watch the clouds and smell the flowers. Our feelings are heightened and also refined, providing the right atmosphere for closeness, fascination, sensuality and imaginative, idealistic pursuits.
Venus conjunct Saturn, exact on December 11
The beneficial transits still active will help to make this powerful contact Venus-Saturn less difficult and the feelings of isolation that often accompanies such a transit less overwhelming. We may feel awkward and shy in matters of the heart though, experiencing some difficulties in reaching out.
We will need to look at the emotional barriers we are putting in place or the ones we love seem to be erecting against us. It is time to accept the limitations and drawbacks that every relationships soon or later encounter. We may feel lonely, unloved or unlovable for a little while. This too will pass, soon. Capricorn can be a rigid, unbending Sign, often unable to express emotions for fear of being rejected or to appear foolish or vulnerable. It has however also the quality of steadfastness and the ability for long lasting commitments.
You must know that Melancholy is the Muse of poets and artists. Let’s put this melancholic Venus to good use. Try to express your feelings of isolation and vulnerability in words or paint strokes or musical notes, planting flowers, musing over life and loss, whatever suits your temperament best. Venus-Pluto encounter is coming, so better be prepared for some intense focus on the way we really feel, not just about relationships but everything that we value in our lives.
Venus conjunct Pluto, exact on December 14
The Venus-Pluto’s close encounter, on December 14, is the most significant transit during the passage of Venus in Capricorn. Conjunctions have always a more marked effect than any other type of transits. Pluto intensifies the effect of every planet he comes in contact with. In this case deepening our feelings, showing us the more hidden and perhaps difficult side of our relationships, shedding light on the unconscious motives and emotional underpinning that have such an important and often unrecognized role to play in the way we relate to others. This is an intensely subjective aspect, so we could be warned of not taking things too personally, attitude that is likely to breed resentment and the desire for retaliation, never a good thing.
With Pluto is always ‘honesty’ time. Loving or unloving feelings cannot be concealed easily under this influence, thus often matters come to a head when we confront the truth both within ourselves and in others.
After reading few reports on today Gordon Sondland’s deposition at Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, I became curious about this individual astrological connection to Trump. More than any other witnesses so far his deposition has in fact drawn a direct line between Trump and the unusual request of publicizing an investigation on Trump’s most feared political rival, Joe Biden, to up Trump’s chances to beat Biden at the 2020 presidential elections.
When I juxtaposed the two men Natal Charts I saw at a glance that indeed this guy could prove to be Trump’s nemesis. Below is, first, Gordon Sondland’s Birth Chart and, under it, the same Chart around Trump Birth Chart. Note that Sondland’s Chart, lacking a birth time, has been calculated for the local sunrise of his day of birth.
Apart from the significant hard aspects I’ll describe the two men also share a number of positive ones, in particular those involving Venus and Jupiter, signifying a relationship that could prove advantageous to both parties in the area of business and mentor-ship. Sondland’s Venus is in sextile (positive aspect) to Trump’ Uranus and Jupiter (which are in positive aspect to each other in Trump’s Birth Chart), while his Jupiter is in sextile to Trump’s Venus, so that Venus and Jupiter are connected twice in the two Charts. Sondland’s Sun is also in sextile to Trump’s Mid-Heaven, angle that has to do with career. So far so good, the relationship could have been a fortunate one, benefiting both parties. The rest of the mutual aspects though show another side of the picture, one that could easily sour the relationship.
In this respect the first thing that would jump at any astrologer’s attention is the close alignment of Sondland’s Pluto in late Leo to Trump Ascendant in late Leo. This aspect is very close, only one degree apart, and touches not just Trump’s Ascendant but also Regulus, the alpha star of Leo constellation which was rising at the time of the President’s birth. For an explanation of Regulus possible influence on Trump’s destiny, please navigate to my post on the subject HERE. Furthermore Sondland’s Pluto opposes exactly Trump’s Part of Fortune, a point in the Horoscope which has to do with the individual potential for well-being and happiness.
As students of Astrology must know Pluto’s mutual aspects can have an intensely negative effect on relationships, creating power struggles and enmity, often associated with karmic stuff, addressing of wrong doing and retribution.
Furthermore Sondland’s Mars (in Leo like Trump’s Mars) happens also to be widely aligned to Trump’s Pluto, a difficult combination to say the least, fostering fierce competitiveness and all sorts of extremes. There is even a possibility of danger with aggressive enactment (Mars) of long held but hidden resentments (Pluto) between the individuals involved; a possibly explosive combination. To add to the above Sondland’s Mercury and Uranus (conjunct in Leo in his Birth Chart) are also widely conjunct Trump’s Pluto, making the plutonian connection even stronger and more problematic.
To add to the Pluto’s possible pitfalls Sondland’s Sun degree in Cancer is the same as Trump’s Saturn and not far from his Venus’ degree. When two individuals share a Saturn-Sun-Venus connection (in this instance an extremely strong one) there is a life lesson to be learnt, restrictions and limitations to be endured. It is Sondland here that view and experience Trump as an authority figure, the one who makes the rules. And, apart from any positive or negative connotations, the alignment of Sun, Venus and Saturn makes the relationship more serious and important, one that will have enduring repercussions and hopefully also help to further the psychological maturity of both parties.
What I find of even greater interest here is the fact that the degree of the Sondland-Trump Sun-Saturn-Venus alignment in Cancer is very close to the degree of the long awaited Saturn-Pluto conjunction in the opposite Sign of Capricorn. This will become exact on January 12/13 2020. The same degrees were also highlighted by the Lunar Eclipse on July 16 this year, around the time Trump decided to freeze the military aid to Ukraine and not far from the now notorious Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian President, starting the whole impeachment conundrum. Knowing the lasting and far-reaching effects of Eclipses, when aligned to important points in the Birth Chart, it is not surprising to see the effects of that cosmic event spilling all over the news at this time. If interested in this topic, Trump and the recent eclipses, please navigate to my post HERE.
Before I publish this post I want to remark that, as the juxtaposed Charts clearly show, many of the alignments between Sondland and Trump’s planets happen in the latter Twelfth House, the area that has to do with unavoidable karma, as well as thoughts and actions that can undo the individual conscious will, veering his/her life toward the inevitable rather than one’s desires and wishes.
It may be interesting to students of Astrology to know that Trump’s Birth Ascendant on the last degree of Leo was very closely aligned to Regulus, alpha Star in the constellation of Leo, and was also conjunct his Leo Mars, in the Twelfth House of self-undoing.
The name Regulus means in Latin ‘Little King’. This Star is also known as ‘The Heart of the Lion’. Regulus was one of the four pillars of the ancient sky-universe. With Antares of Scorpio, Aldebaran of Taurus and Fomalhaut of Pisces Regulus guarded one of the four corners of the universe, the Northern.
Just today, while editing this post, I came across a Washington Post’s headline reading ‘Trump is looking a lot like King Lear — but this tragedy is far from over‘, one of the weird synchronicity that occurs when one happens to be in a focused state of mind, for whatever reason. It is an interesting article and very much, if unknowingly, attuned to the nature of the Star that is at the helm of Trump’s destiny, right on the degree of his Ascendant !
This Star was traditionally considered mainly fortunate, bringing ‘success, high and lofty ideals and strength of spirit, making its natives magnanimous, grandly liberal, generous, ambitious, fond of power, desirous of command, high-spirited and independent.’
Bernardette Brady, one of the most serious contemporary authority on Sidereal Astrology, reads a strong potential for downfall in this Star power too, especially if the individual embraces revenge as a way of redressing true or imagined wrongs. This Star’s influence sometimes shows hubris, the ego arrogance that was considered a sin against the Gods and brought within the seed of self-destruction (does this sound familiar while discussing Trump?). So this Star can bring one to very high ranking positions but also to dramatic reversals if its power is abused.
Regulus had certainly its negative side according to more traditional sources also. It is supposed for instance to instigate violence, to be often destructive, offering military honors of short duration, because benefits tend not to last, with ultimate failure and even imprisonment possible.
The ancient scholar-astrologer Ptolemy (second century ad) talked about the Leo constellation and its alpha star Regulus in his treatise Almagest, describing its effect on human personality and destiny as a combination of Mars and Jupiter influence, mainly fortunate but also given to extremes, especially if ill aspected at birth. In a Birth Chart an alignment of Mars to Jupiter will provide the personality with great drive, optimism and stamina, with the risk of grandiosity though, making the individual prone to self-inflation and given to excessive risk taking. Like if Trump, born on a Sagittarius Full Moon and with Mars rising in Leo, needed more self-inflating encouragement !
Guido Bonatti, a 13th century Italian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, advisor of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, wrote that this Star, when acting in a negative way, signifies that ‘the Native shall die an unhappy death; or at least that all his honors, greatness and power shall at last suffer an eclipse and set in a cloud‘. A very poetical description.
These are not my words, but the words of ancient astrologers, long dead. Time will tell.
Here it is:
December 19, 2009
It seems now certain that Pope Benedict XVI will announce the historical beatification of Mary MacKillop tonight, 10 pm Australian Eastern Summer Time.
This intelligent teacher and nun, coming from a poor family of Scottish immigrants, will be the first person born on Australia soil to be recognized as a Saint and miracle maker, an important archetypal event, significant for all Australians, not just Australian Catholics.
There are many sites on the net that talk about Mary, giving detailed information about the most salient events in her life. Here are some:
Mary MacKillop’s was born on the 15th of January 1842 in Fitzroy, state of Victoria, Australia. Her time of birth is unknown, that’s why I have chosen to use the sunrise time for the day and place of her birth. It is very interesting to cast a chart of sunrise even when the time of birth of an individual is known because sunrise contains, in germ form, the destiny of every individual born on that day.
I have often derived much insight from the study of these sunrise horoscopes. To me they stand for those aspects of the individual’s life that connect it to the collective design of the Spirit; each degree of the Sun’s passage through the Ecliptic representing a ray of consciousness that will manifest, with different measure of brightness, in all individuals who begin their life journey on a particular day.
This is then Mary MacKillop’s Sunrise Chart, local time 4.59 am:
In this chart the Sun is in Capricorn and the Moon in Aquarius. It is however important to notice here that at 8.51 am the Moon entered the Sign of Pisces that day. Both Signs, Aquarius and Pisces can manifest in a personality given to feel for other people and naturally inclined to help. The fame of her compassion and claim to saintliness may suggest a Pisces Moon, compassionate, self-defacing and self-sacrificing; her chronic ill-health and love of animals could imply the same. While the fact that she contributed to the education of a great number of disadvantaged children by founding many schools in Australia rural communities and other countries would fit well the democratic vision and love of knowledge of an Aquarius Moon. Also her unconventional outlook and somewhat rebellious spirit that gained her the disapproval of the Catholic hierarchy of her time (she was excommunicated for a number of months in 1871) fits well the rebelliousness and independence of an Aquarius Moon.
I am quite happy then, without going to the trouble of rectifying her chart, to consider hers a cusp Aquarius-Pisces Moon.
The first obvious thing in this horoscope is the stellium (group of planets) in Capricorn, enhancing the practicality and hard-working tendencies of this remarkable woman, who displayed certainly strong leadership and organizing abilities, despite her humbleness.
All Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) tend to display those qualities, each in its own special way; when it comes to Capricorn it is their ability to perform hard work and their ambitious goals that gain them respect and following. Capricorn and Cancer in particular often make excellent role models. The fact that so many planets, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, plus the Sun and North Node of the Moon, are all found in Capricorn shows a tremendous ability to focus, concentrating the practical and goal oriented qualities of Capricorn in a very effective, even extreme way.
This tendency toward extremism, even fanaticism, is indicated by the challenging right angle of some her Capricorn planets to Pluto, that, in the Sunrise horoscope resides in the ancestral sector, inclining her to break radically from the past. On the positive side this aspect indicated the deep wealth of resourcefulness she displayed and the strong will and determination that helped her to achieve some very ambitious goals, for a woman in that period in history, and a socially and economically disadvantaged one to boot. To confirm this Uranus was also in positive aspect to her Sun and Mercury, another proof of her unconventional outlook and strong individuality.
In the Sunrise Chart this rich conjunction is found in the Twelfth House, an appropriate position for a woman who decided very early in life to renounce the mundane world and to dedicate herself to God’s work. The twelfth sector of any horoscope in fact represents the area of experience through which, willing or not, we realize the futility of our ego desire and the impermanence of things, experiences that sometimes drive us to seek refuge in the spiritual dimension or in some form of escapism.
Another very interesting configuration in this Chart is the close conjunction of Jupiter to Saturn, often found in the horoscopes of people who succeed to make their dreams and aspirations (Jupiter) into living realities (Saturn), because they are driven by a vision and compelled to actualize it.
This conjunction may also point out Mary’s love and respect for her father (the one who took care of her education and religious instruction when she was growing up and supposedly inspired her to take up teaching) and perhaps to an excessive idealization of the man, and of older men in general. From her biography we learn how one reason why she decided to embrace the life of the cloister and her mission with the poor was her encounter with another father figure, Reverend Julian Tenison Woods, who became her instructor and mentor in the formative years before her Saturn’s return, at the age of thirty (around the time she was excommunicated by a Catholic bishop, for alleged insubordination).
Another interesting placement is that of the planet Neptune in Aquarius and in the Second House, the sector that has to do with our value system and also the way we are likely to derive an income. Neptune, planet of spirituality and renunciation, sits just on the cusp (the most sensitive point of every House) of Mary’s Values’ sector. This shows that the things she valued weren’t material possessions but belonged to the world of the Spirit. The best expression of this position of Neptune is a person born to give and ready to transmute the ego desires into selfless giving. The worst expression of the same is the tendency to be unrealistic and unpractical when it comes to money and possessions or even to rely on others for one’s own sustenance. By embracing the life of a nun Mary has manifested this aspect in an ideal way, by taking a vow of poverty and using her resources to help others in need, in particular the underdogs of the society she lived in.
To end this brief analysis of Mary MacKillop’s planetary positions I cannot overlook the role of Chiron in late Cancer, the only planet on the opposite hemisphere to the multiple conjunction in Capricorn. Chiron is in fact in opposition to her Sun and Mercury and perfectly conjunct the South Node of the Moon. This peculiar position helps this little planet acquire a greater importance in the interpretation of this Horoscope that it would otherwise have.
Looking at this Chart like one looks at a painting Chiron is like a splash of contrasting colour or a feature in an art work that continually shifts our visual attention from the main theme on the other side of the canvas.
Chiron in Cancer often shows a degree of frustration and a need for resignation in the area of nurturing. I found it sometimes in the Birth Charts of individuals, in particular women, who have suffered greatly through the inability of producing children or of properly nurturing or enjoying them. Like with all other Chiron’s position this is really an opportunity to utilize the apparent difficulty in order to gain greater awareness. Certainly Mary was able to sublimate her frustrated maternal instincts and inability to have children, due to her religious vow of chastity, in working all her life with children and for children. The conjunction Chiron-South Node of the Moon further exemplifies that her experience of chronic illness was a physical, perhaps hysterical expression of this inner conflict. The South Node always points out something that we need to relinquish, an experience or dimension of life that is part of the past, helping, at the unconscious level, to build the future (North Node), while, at the same time, in need to be forsaken in this life-time.
In the Sunrise Chart Chiron and the South Node are also found in the Relationship sector Seventh House), showing that close, one to one relationships have somehow to be renounced for the greater good, her work and the driven, all devouring ambition symbolized by the multiple conjunction in ambitious and workaholic Capricorn.
Finally the Chiron’s effect seems even more significant in the light of the miraculous cures that have been attributed to the intercession of Mary MacKillop, in life as well after her death, and that are the basis of her beatification. We cannot forget that Chiron is the wounded healer of archetypal legends, able to heal others while unable to offer a cure to himself, because the experience of suffering was central to his character and destiny.
Vega, the alpha star of Lyra, the Harp constellation, is conjunct Mary’s Venus, while Altair, the alpha star of Aquila, the Eagle, is conjunct her Mercury. Vega is traditionally said to add a strong charisma to the personality and conjunct Venus, the planet of femininity, gave Mary the power to attract that made her bossy temperament more fascinating and subtle. This is the instrument of Orpheus, the enchanter who was able to bridge the gap between the realms of life and death through the magic of his music. People influenced by Vega can be very persuasive and attract following.
Altair, on the other hand, is also a fortunate star, indicating the strength and courage to pursue one’s goals in life, and certainly Mary had plenty of that too. Because it is Mercury that is in contact with this powerful star the Eagle’s qualities would have influenced in particular her intellect and communication skills. According to Bernadette Brady through this star we are able to act quickly and decisively, seizing the moment, while its darker side can be aggression and forcefulness. With the Moon conjunct Mars, even from the delicate and non aggressive Sign of Pisces, Mary was a born militant, ready to fight for what she believed was right and God’s will. Mars in Pisces embodies remarkably well her power to act and be assertive when motivated by compassion and concern for human welfare and spirituality.
The Capricorn New Moon just prior to her birth (on January 12) coincided with a Solar Eclipse. During this eclipse the multiple conjunction in Capricorn had its heyday, enhancing the destiny making qualities of this rare configuration.
A look at this Eclipse will make this more clear.
As you can see the Solar Fire program, used to generate this Chart, makes the glyph of the celestial bodies forming the mighty Capricorn conjunction to overlap one another, in order to fit them all in such a limited area of the Zodiac.
Even if some will doubt the veracity of her miracles no one would deny that this humble and socially disadvantaged woman was an amazing miracle worker and accomplished incredible feats of compassion that still live in her name today.
I have a lot more to say about Mary MacKillop’s Chart and the Transits and Progressions that constellated the major events in her life, and those that are still activating her horoscope today.