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In February and March two major planetary actors will be moving to new Signs: on March 8 Saturn will enter Pisces, after nearly three years in Aquarius, and, on March 23, Pluto will enter Aquarius, after sixteen years in Capricorn.
February then will be an interlude, perhaps a mix of hopeful expectations and off-putting apprehensions. While Saturn will not return to Aquarius for another thirty years, Pluto will make a brief foray back into Capricorn from June 12 this year to January 22 next year. In this article I am mainly focussing on Saturn’s passage through Pisces.
Saturn in Pisces (March2023-May2025): a series of unfortunate events or order into chaos?
One thing is certain: Saturn is not in an ideal environment in the Water Sign of Pisces. This planet’s function is in fact to build strong and durable foundations upon which, individually and collectively, we create a measure of practical know-how and psychological maturity to deal with life’s many demands.
In Pisces Saturn will have to erect those foundations in an often shifty, murky environment, where, to make headways, this planet’s rigid nature will have to acquire greater flexibility. It would be like building a solid, safe bridge over a fast and deep river, full of hidden currents and even dangerous maelstroms! Certainly not impossible, but not easy either.
Pisces is all about the un-spoken and inchoate world of emotions, psychic awareness, dreams, ideals, often at odds with our experience of reality. How are we going to reconcile Saturn need for order and structure in this fluid, ever changing setting? Adaptability is one key word and another could be ‘planning’. Without these qualities we could fail to make the best of this opportunity. And there is a lot of positive that we could derive from this transit.
We could manage, during these three years, to get our act together, tackling the issues that have surfaced in the last thirty years but remain unresolved. It is true that Pisces, last of all Signs, represents a time for reaping the fruit of previous actions, paying the price for our errors etc. Acceptance of our collective responsibility about the state of the world and our own personal lives will be a necessary if painful first step toward realistic solutions. It is time to face the music, take stock of things realistically and find viable rather than fanciful solutions to problems. For example we could benefit from Pisces’ fertile imagination to perceive practical solutions that linear thinking could not possibly offer.
At the same time we may be able to better scrutinize, in the light of reason and realism, the wild beliefs and theories that, as a global psychological pandemic, have infected the world in recent years, especially via social media.
Saturn tends to throw a realistic light onto the weak aspects of any Sign it transits. In Pisces its scrutinizing lenses will focus on beliefs and make believe, on fanciful notions and shoddy thinking which are Pisces’ weak points.
Saturn could be the raft we build to navigate the world’s troubled waters as well as our own inner currents that risk to bring us astray from our spiritual destination, the peace and contentment we all aspire to. Let’s remember that in Pisces is distilled the whole wisdom of the zodiac and no cycle ends where it began.
More pandemic pandemonium?
A number of astrologers feel that the passage of Saturn into Pisces is an indication that the Covid conundrum will worsen in the coming years, and new pandemics could even emerge. What is the origin of this belief? Saturn is known as the Lord of Fate, whose role is to test humanity thorough all sort of difficulties and limitations; and Pisces is the Sign associated, among other things, with fatalism, passivity, and extreme susceptibility to external influences, even literally to infections. While there is a certain logic to this thinking, I would like to explain here the difference between this upcoming transit and those that foreshadowed the 2020/21 Covid crisis.
In its orbit around the Sun Saturn returns to the same Sign every 29 and half year. Does the world experience an exceptional pandemic every time Saturn is in Pisces? If this was the case such a crisis would be a regular, cyclical experience. What happened in 2020/21, on the other hand, was a series of rare cosmic events, namely the alignment by conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and the then current Capricorn-Cancer Eclipses, adding the Sun, Moon and Mercury to the mix! For years previous to those alignments astrologers pondered on their possible long term significance for the world.
No transit as intense as those are on the card this year. Because of this I am not inclined to predict a doom and gloom scenario of a world gripped by pandemics while Saturn transits Pisces. However, due to the fact that Covid variants of various severity are still emerging and vaccines haven’t been the solutions we hoped for, while many are still living with the challenging aftermath of this illness, a semi-square angle (difficult) between Saturn and Chiron (a planet associated with medicine, illness and healing), occurring in February, August and November this year, and another semi-square between Saturn and Pluto next year could yet prolong the effects of this virus, three, four long years after its inception. These possibilities, if they are meant to manifest, are remnants however of that 2020 historical alignment rather than simply the product of the passage of Saturn through Pisces.
Saturn in Pisces and You
The Signs more directly impacted by this Saturn’s transit will be the Mutable Signs Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius, and, to a lesser degree, the other two Water Signs, Cancer and Scorpio. This transit’s difficulties and opportunities could apply to you more than other people.
Also people born in 1935/37, 1964/67, 1994/96 (for greater accuracy check your date of birth with Saturn’s position in your Birth Chart) will be experiencing, between March this year and May 2025, their Saturn Return, a time of consolidation, ending a thirty years cycle and beginning a brand new phase of experience.
An outline of some encouraging long term effects of Pluto in Aquarius
Just two days past the Aries Equinox, traditional start of the new astrological year, Pluto will enter Aquarius, for the first time since 1778, 245 years ago. Next time this shift will happen will be in 2270, 247 years from now! In 2023 though Pluto will be transiting this Sign only until June 12, moving back into Capricorn for a brief seven months spell. Its permanent ingress into Aquarius will happen in fact only from January 22 2024.
Here are few random concepts that could describe the potential positive significance of this historical passage: power to advance humanity; new eco-industrial revolution; profound and far reaching transformation of science and technologies; humanity working together toward ultimate regeneration to allow a rebirth of ideas and communities, shedding old national identities and political ideologies; new revolutions; people power.
May the Force be with us, to make the best of this amazing passage into a Brave New Age …
This month is not just the close of another year but also the completion of the difficult 90 degree angle between Aquarius Saturn and Taurus Uranus, active since 2021. The November 8 Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, aligned by conjunction to Uranus and by square to Saturn, has intensified and prolonged the effect. The whole configuration has in fact generated extreme tension between the urge to progress and embrace evolutionary changes and the need to maintain a sense of permanency and the safe foundations we have relied upon for a long time, in our personal lives as well as our collective experience.
For many this transit has signified having to move away from their comfort zone, further away perhaps that they may have envisioned possible. For others the change may have come as bewildering but otherwise positive developments, causing rapid psychological advancements, even epiphanies, brought about perhaps by unusual circumstances or encounters. The end results of this long lasting influence will become more obvious early next year, in ways that perhaps we didn’t see coming.
December and January will also be the forerunners not only of a new year but of imminent cosmic shifts destined to affect all our lives in 2023 and beyond.
Until Mars continues its backward appearance (until January 13) the progressive effect of other transits (in particular the expansive effect of Jupiter returning to Aries) may seem to stall, forcing us to go over again old terrains we thought we have covered. Forward action may be held in check for a while, but there are visible openings, especially when the next Mercury’s retro period in Capricorn will also end (December29-January19). The Mutable Signs will be the most obviously affected by this transit (Gemini/Sagittarius-Pisces/Virgo). Not only this retrogradation will keep Mars in Gemini for nearly five months (from October 30, 2022), but Mars will also be out of bounds’ (exceeding the Sun’s north declination), operating like a maverick, in unpredictable ways. A recurring square angle from Mars to Neptune in Pisces calls for extra caution too, to avoid falling into make believe traps that could bog you down for a while (last pass on March 15, 2023).
JUPITER RETURN TO ARIES
Just in time for Christmas, school and work holidays, on December 21, Jupiter will enter Aries and transit there until May 16 2023. This transit represents a four and half months window of opportunity to embrace a more optimistic, confident, forward looking mind set, encouraging energetic, enterprising, even militant perspectives, particularly in the Fire/Air Signs (Aries-Leo-Sagittarius-Libra-Aquarius-Gemini) and the other Cardinal Signs (Libra-Capricorn/Cancer).
The time will be right to take decisive initiative and to make bold choices, putting into actions matters we had to keep on the back burner for a long time. Driven by faith and vision in better things to come we can sweep aside difficulties that might have seem insurmountable earlier. For many it could mean also to take a courageous stand to fight for what they believe in.
Mercury will retrograde in Capricorn (24°-08°) from December 29 to January 19. It could be advisable to postpone serious New Year’s resolutions until after the retro effect has passed. People more directly affected will be the Cardinal Signs (Capricorn-Cancer-Libra-Aries), having to revisit practical matters and commitments that may not be as solid as they thought they were. These are only temporary glitches however and, positively, they will urge you to be more conscientious and methodical when dealing with important practical matters next time.
SATURN INGRESS INTO PISCES
Now direct and gaining speed Saturn will cover five degrees of Aquarius during December and January (20°-26°). The ringed planets is in fact preparing to leave Aquarius (February 7, 2023) to begin its nearly three years transit through the Water Sign of Pisces. The whole transit will last until May 24, 2025; then return between September 2025 and mid-February 2026, the cycle ending with the historical conjunction to Neptune on the threshold of Aries (February/March 2026), another game changer, like the alignments of 2020 have been (Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto).
Saturn is the most solid of all the planets, intent at growing roots, establishing rules and limits, helping us to deal successfully with the practical demands of life. Saturn will find itself in a strange environment in the inconstant, emotionally receptive waters of Pisces, the least firmly anchored Sign of the whole Zodiac! How the world is going to deal with it this time around?
Saturn’s transit through the last zodiacal Sign marks, I feel, the end of an era on so many fronts, from down to earth experiences of the world to our collective spiritual path. Would we put our ability to build and make secure on less materialistic foundations? Or would we be swamped by escapism and make believe, becoming victims of our own blundering?
Aquarius and Pisces, last two Signs in the cycle, in a world-based astrology, represent our evolutionary struggles as a collective, entire cultures, Eco-systems etc, toward progressive thinking (Aquarius) and spiritual realization/redemption (Pisces). All the way to the end of 2025 the opportunity is here to take responsibilities and work for the benefit of a wider world than our own private, egocentric domain. Could we as a collective meet the challenge of chaos and misinformation with disciplined minds and facts-based perspectives? I hope we will.
In my view, to all of us Saturn in Pisces will not be a care free period. Pisces, as the last Sign, encapsulates in fact collective and individual karma accumulated in the last thirty years, now materializing in our lives, mostly past our ability to control.
PLUTO FIRST ENTRY INTO AQUARIUS, 2023-2024
2023 will be the testing ground for this twenty years long transit, lasting until 2044. After sixteen years in Capricorn Pluto will take its time to leave, at first transiting Aquarius between March 23 and June 12, to enter this sign for good only on January 22 2024.
To get an idea of the type of influence we are looking at, the last time this transit occurred was during the ground-breaking end of the 18th century (1778-1798), period epitomized by the French, American and industrial revolutions, marking the beginning of our modern version of the world, a powerful upgrade that changed everyone’s lives and also the natural world in very radical ways.
Changes of immense magnitude seem to be on the cards for our planet then; not just because Pluto is changing Signs but because Uranus and Neptune, the other two giant at the edge of the solar system, will also shift Signs by 2025, respectively in Gemini and Aries. We are in for a mighty turn of the screw; hopefully we will not crack under such pressure.
During the weeks of unending rain, I mused about the astrological dimension of the extreme weather event that was unfolding. I knew that some challenging transits had become active from late February, remaining in force at least until the first week in March. They started with the most difficult and far reaching: the Jupiter semi-square Pluto on February 24, coinciding to the day with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, threatening security in Europe and the world. This has been in fact the first instance in a great numbers of years when a world first power leader has used the threat of nuclear weapons as a deterrent against its opponents’ intervention in aid of Ukraine. The same transit also marked the onset of major flooding in South East Queensland. More difficult transits continued, in close sequence, in early March, especially around the March 3 Pisces New Moon, and soon after.
The Pisces New Moon phase has been, in my view, central to the whole event. It has been significant, in regard to the floods, because of its watery nature, of course, but also for its alignment to Jupiter, the cosmic amplifier, and Neptune, the water and tempest planet, also in Pisces. The disaster, while bringing great sorrow and loss to many and much destruction to the environment, has also strengthened our sense of community and human compassion. Friends, family and complete strangers have come to each other help and comfort (the Neptune’s effect). These now all too frequent climate calamities hopefully will force us to develop a radically different vision for the future and a new environmental philosophy, to guide our policies and actions, individually and collectively (the Jupiter’s effect).
Other transits, becoming active close to the March Pisces New Moon, also added their own flavour to the flood’s story. Many hard conjunctions happened in fact on the same day or during the same week.
On New Moon day, March 3: Mercury became conjunct Saturn in Aquarius. This is an alignment often described by astrologers as marking a time for serious, practical and focused thinking, and, because it happened in Aquarius, indicating also an occasion for becoming more aware of the needs of our global village, lending a hand to our fellow people, while keeping mental cool and detachment.
Negatively this conjunction is also said to manifest as limitations in our ability to communicate with others, frustration originating from these restrictions or inhibitions; with possible sense of isolation and feelings of alienation and depression. One of the unusual consequences of the floods has been the near complete and prolonged breakdown of communication by phone or internet for a great number of people (Aquarius ruling science and technology, in particular the internet). This inability to connect, as we are all so used to do, compounded the isolation caused by overflowing rivers and creeks and by the numerous mudslides blocking access roads for weeks. The conjunction Mercury-Saturn may have had a hand in this!
Here is a list of the other transits that became exact on New Moon day and for few days afterward. They are worth noting because of the numerous interactions between the destiny makers slow moving planets and the fast moving ‘personal’ planets: powerful experiences fostering evolutionary changes.
March 3: Sun-Moon semi-square Venus and Pluto; Mars conjunct Pluto; Moon semi-square Mars; Moon conjunct Jupiter and Neptune.
March 4: Sun semi-square Mars; Venus conjunct Pluto; Moon semi-square Uranus and sextile Pluto, Venus and Mars; Moon semi-square Mercury and Saturn (conjunct since March 3).
March 6:Venus and Mars, after aligning to Pluto in Capricorn one day apart, on March 3 and 4, having been on/off conjunct in Capricorn since the first week in February, became conjunct each other again on the very threshold of Aquarius, on March 6.
This is one transit, among others, that show the possibility of friendship and tolerance to emerge from the collective difficulties we are facing, and not just in Australia. The naught degree of Aquarius is the very same in fact where Jupiter and Saturn had their rendezvous at the end of 2020. That historical alignment promised that the world’s mind will be evolving in the right direction in the next twenty years. Venus and Mars may hopefully be catalysts to this promise in the shorter term.
The proof in the pudding of astrological meteorology
Of course the same phase and accompanying transits were also active all over the world, even in places where they are experiencing a drought or where the weather is just fine!
A clue to the different effect of the same transits in different places, meteorologically and otherwise, is the planets’ orientation to the local horizon, changing from place to place, more markedly the farther the places are from each other.
In astrological meteorology New Moon, Quarter Moons and Full Moons are important indicators of weather trends for the weeks and months ahead. In this instance, at the time of the Pisces New Moon the unpredictable planet Uranus was found very closely aligned to the nadir of many localities on the Australian eastern seaboard, particularly close to it between Gympie and Sydney. Meanwhile the other difficult alignments, exact during the same period, could be found grouped around the local Ascendant (Rising Sign’ degree) in the same localities where Uranus was aligned to the nadir.
When attempting to predict the weather via Astrology the four cardinal points of the horoscope are those to observe for signs of good or bad outcome, from mild to extreme weather etc. In particular the nadir degree and the rising degree are traditionally considered the most important for weather forecast.
In this case Uranus’ placement right on the nadir in the localities worst affected by the floods showed a potential for upheavals of great magnitude.
The nadir’s degree moreover fell in Taurus, Sign traditionally ‘ruled’ by Venus, at the time of the New Moon embroiled in an intensely difficult conjunction to both Mars and Pluto in Capricorn (death, anguish, drama, loss, destruction)! This and the conjunction of Mercury to Saturn (communication breakdowns), another transit that contributed to the sad and trying nature of the event, were all grouped around the Aquarius Ascendant (Rising Sign’s degree). The Capricorn conjunction was in the Twelfth House of unavoidable, fated events, and the Mercury-Saturn’s conjunction in the very active, prominent First House. Both Capricorn and Aquarius are traditionally ruled by Saturn, while Aquarius is also co-ruled by Uranus. All the above set of circumstances certainly highlighted a time of rather uneasy planetary fellowship.
And finally the Pisces New Moon itself, with its alignment to Jupiter and Neptune, fell, in all the horoscopes under consideration in the Second House of security and finance, showing the enormous and ongoing economic impact of the floods, as well as the community and government financial and overall help provided to the victims. Pisces and Neptune in particular signify charitable institutions and acts of compassion, while Jupiter indicates general good will and support coming from high places.
Horoscopes of the Pisces New Moon in nine different localities
Here are the horoscopes I’ve cast for the March 3 2022 Pisces New Moon, in nine different locations, to provide a visual for the above statements. They are nine places, from North to South: Cairns, Rockhampton, Gympie, Brisbane, Murwillumbah, Lismore and Ballina, Orange, Sydney and Melbourne.
In all the Charts I have highlighted Uranus’ distance from the nadir and also the other relevant transits, the latter grouped around the Rising Sign of each Chart: Venus-Mars-Pluto’s conjunction in Capricorn + Mercury-Saturn’s conjunction in Aquarius + Moon and Sun, on the same degree at New Moon, and conjunct Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces.
What it’s very telling is that Uranus, the extreme weather planet par excellence, shifted away from the nadir in places north of Gympie, south of Sydney, or further west from the coast!
Since the start of this year all celestial bodies, excluding the Moon during half of its cycles, have been transiting within a narrow span of five Signs, in a 150 degrees arc. This lopsided configuration will last until June/July. The same tight pattern happened during the first half of both 2020 and 202, a great visual reminder of the worsening lack of harmony in our world, in personal and political relationships. We feel we have no choice but to take one side or the other; compromise appearing now more difficult than ever. At the time of all Full Moon phases, for example, the Moon will again transit alone in the opposite hemisphere to all other bodies, heightening the emotional struggle to reconcile many opposites. And to put this trend in even greater relevance the Lunar Nodes, representing the world axis of destiny, connected to the current eclipses and at right angle to karmic Saturn, are the points closing the half hemisphere’s grouping!
Paradoxically though, while many astrological indicators are showing the potential of widening the already deep fractures in the collective psyche, triggering personal confrontations and even full blown wars, other significant transits seem to tell a very different story. Like the flood’s tragedy bringing the best out of people, even helping many to resolve differences that have divided us during the Covid outbreak, the positive transits of Jupiter, in particular its conjunction to Neptune (already active in March, exact on April 13 and in force for a few weeks after that) offer us hope that things could get better; that good will could prevail in the long term, if we give peace a chance.
Important Dates in April
April 12: the Lunar Nodes in Taurus/Scorpio at right angle to Saturn in Aquarius. Only a day shy of this year’s most important transit, the Jupiter-Neptune’s conjunction, this difficult angle is here to remind us that excessive optimism is not warranted at this time and that the world is as yet due to pay some karmic debts before we can move forward and in a new direction.
April 13: Jupiter will conjunct Neptune on the 23/24 degree of Pisces. Due to the ‘aquatic’ nature of this alignment there is a potential for more heavy rains in the next few weeks, but also for more sharing, loving, forgiveness and mutual understanding, a great plus at a time when antagonism is rife.
Between the two, Jupiter is the fastest moving body, so it represents the energy that activates and expands the role of Neptune. Astrology credits Water for more than just rain and floods. First and foremost this Element represents emotions, empathy, the sensitivity needed to feel someone else pain, with the desire to alleviate their distress. Water helps us to merge with one another, to erode away the barriers that stifle our connection with each other and with nature.
In a better world this combination would be indeed very positive, fostering peace rather than war, enhancing our more humane and spiritual side. Some even hope it could mean a cease fire in Ukraine and other hot spots around the world. It could, of course, especially considering that the conflict has now reached a stalemate, no side winning/losing outright. With all else going on, this remains only a wish though. Realistically, lasting peace on the planet seems to be yet remote to a born pessimist like myself.
There is a darker side to all planetary alignments, and the Jupiter-Neptune’s conjunction is no exception. One of the most obvious at present is the continuing spread of misinformation, principally generating from social media outlets, the focus shifting from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine and other topics. Everything is out for grab, apparently; documentary evidence is worth nothing; trust of serious, fact based reporting is dwindling, while boundaries of what is actually believable are breaking down. The fluid energy of Pisces, so powerful in the last few years, is showing its irrationally dangerous side, when trust in democratic principles is threatened by propaganda that services only despots and others with not so concealed interests in spreading lies.
Important Dates in May
Eclipses in May could bring profound experiences and realizations, even the foundation or culmination of important life cycles, especially for some whose birth Sun, Moon, Planets and Angles fall within a couple of degrees from the Eclipses’ degrees.
May 1: the Taurus 10°28’ Partial Solar Eclipse fosters new beginning in the areas of creative imagination and relationships because, on the same day, a perfect conjunction is taking place between Venus and Jupiter, both very well placed in Pisces. At the same time Uranus is extremely active too, positively promoting originality, a spirit of adventure and risk taking. Coupled with Venus-Jupiter’s exuberance the Uranus’ effect could make many feel too restricted by committed relationships and all forms of set routines and creative work that seems to have lost its spark. Negatively Uranus’ radical, uncompromising stance could even produce estrangements, emotional isolation and wild goose chases bringing us nowhere in particular. Positively taking risks in relationships and creative work at this time could open new and exciting prospects.
From May 10 to June 4 Mercury will perform its magic loop (from Gemini 04°49’ to Taurus 26°05’). This is a shift between the abstract thinking and swift mental adjustments of Gemini to Taurus’ solid, factual thinking. It shows the need to concentrate our brain power, stay focused and realistic in our personal communication, work and study projects. Slowing down could be frustrating but necessary at this time.
May 11: the big shift! Jupiter will enter fiery Aries today. Our giant neighbour will remain in this combative Sign until October 28, making then a brief sortie back into Pisces until December 20. The Aries transit will end on May 16 2023.
Jupiter’s yearly Sign change always shows us a different way to tackle social, political and ethical issues. While during the Jupiter in Pisces period our views have been basically motivated by emotional responses, ideals and beliefs, during the Aries period we will seek to manifest our principles and standards through right action, unplanned intervention, moving quickly and boldly in order to bring on the desired changes. We will need to beware of aggressive confrontational stances to prove a point, one of Aries’ less desirable traits, endeavouring to remain sensitive to other peoples’ viewpoints and rights. Positively this could prove a helpful transit to tackle all range of social problems with greater urgency and courage.
Just after stepping into Aries Jupiter will form the first of three instances of a difficult angle to Uranus, a semi-square. This transit will return on September 29 and December 24.
Looking back at the events that unfolded at the one and only pass of the Jupiter-Pluto’s semi-square (Feb24), we cannot underestimate Jupiter’s role in adding momentum to the power of the planets it meets in transit. Pluto in fact confirmed its more destructive and ruthless side when amplified by Jupiter, in particular via the Ukraine invasion.
Uranus, orbiting with Neptune and Pluto beyond the ‘safe’ boundaries of Saturn, becomes activated when necessary but unsettling changes have to happen. Uranus is the key symbol of rebellions, of all calls for freedom and self-determination. This year and into early next year the transits of Jupiter are again bringing into sharp focus the same theme of authority versus individualism that the world experienced in 2021 via the long lasting square Saturn/Uranus. This is because, in July, September this year and up to March next year, Jupiter will also semi-square Saturn, thus becoming the amplifying go-between Saturn-Uranus’ conflicting powers.
The combination Jupiter/Uranus is also known for causing freak and intense weather events and earth tremors, the locations potentially affected depending on local factors difficult to determine beforehand, as I explained earlier.
May 16: the Scorpio 25°17’ Total Lunar Eclipse will be rather a time of realizations and harvesting the fruit of previous actions and thoughts. Sun and Moon will be at 90° angle to Saturn, all in Fixed Signs, indicating constraints caused by external circumstances as well as inner insecurities and fears. To overcome the impasse it will help working through these with dogged perseverance and awareness of all that’s involved.
Australia has recently entered a new phase in the pandemic saga. The reopening of businesses and states borders has in fact coincided with the much more rapid spread of the new Sars 2 Omicron variant. As a result the number of infections, hospitalizations, fatalities and general pressure on the health system has never been as severe in Oz as now. Can Astrology help us to throw some light on the possible outcome of this new phase? Let’s see what we can gather from the transits trend in February and March 2022.
For the whole of this year Jupiter, transiting between Pisces and Aries, appears to be the main actor in the cosmic play. This is good news, our giant neighbour usually bringing opportunities for improvement all round, including in people’s mood and expectations.
Despite the climbing number of casualties from this insidious virus we all feel a return of hope and a degree of optimism that the situation seems hardly to warrant! This is the Jupiter effect, always projecting the psyche toward the future and to problem solving rather than pessimism grounded on past negative experience. Through Jupiter energy we perceive the evolution of situations and feel definitely less stuck and powerless. Jupiter in fact may even have the effect of exaggerating positive expectations, anticipating too early a happy end to the crisis. The transits of Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars in February and March are in fact still difficult and seem to suggest that, despite improving trends, with the end of lock-down and borders closures and a milder variant of the virus, we may better remain cautious and patient in our response to the situation.
The most significant transits will be:
February 1: the 12 degree Aquarius New Moon will be conjunct Saturn and at right angle to Uranus in Taurus, thus becoming a powerful trigger for the square Saturn-Uranus whose last exact pass occurred at the very end of 2021. Possible outcome: more issues regarding people versus government mandates and regulations. The New Moon setting the tone for the whole monthly lunar cycle.
February 5: the conjunction of Aquarius Sun to Saturn, a yearly reality test, demanding a practical and responsible approach; no flight of fancy.
Between February 6 and 12: Aquarius Mars and Sun square the Taurus-Scorpio Lunar Nodes, a temporary block of collective energy, cause and effect in stark display for all to see.
February 17: the Leo Full Moon (27 degree) usually indicates a creative/social time of the year, enhanced this time by the Venus-Mars’ conjunction in Capricorn, happening on the same day. The combination of a Full Moon with Venus-Mars alignment could be conducive to new romance and friendships, stimulating creative impulses, intense and somewhat unexpected (Aquarius Sun, Leo Moon), but not ephemeral (Venus-Mars in Capricorn).
February 18: Pisces Jupiter sextile Uranus in Taurus, the most positive transit of the period will be exact today, active for a week or so, before and after. Sextiles in Astrology (60 degrees angles) are considered positive, stimulating creative way of expressing the energy of the planets involved. Here we have expansive and forward looking Jupiter working in harmony with Uranus, the planet of breakthroughs and lateral thinking. A novel approach to problem solving and eureka moments all around.
February 24: Pisces Jupiter semi-square Capricorn Pluto. This is undoubtedly the most difficult angle for the period under review. Jupiter in fact tends to exaggerate the effect of any planet it forms significant angles with. The semi-square is a difficult angle, not as powerful as the square but still challenging. And Pluto is a symbol of hardships, always testing our strength and resilience in adversity.
March 2 to 5: a cluster of potentially difficult transits could mark an another knotty period for the world, calling for all the resilience and positive thinking the overall power of Jupiter can provide us. These transits are: March 2: Aries Chiron semi-square the Lunar Node. On March 3 and 4: Aquarius Mercury conjunct Saturn; Capricorn Mars conjunct Pluto; Pisces Sun semi-square Pluto and Mars; Capricorn Venus also conjunct Pluto. And, to top it up, the Pisces New Moon, on March 3, may cause the above transits to stretch their influence for the whole lunar month ahead.
There will be many shifts from March 6 onward, with the fast moving celestial bodies entering new Signs, Venus and Mars Aquarius on the 6th, and Mercury Pisces on the 10th, and Aries on the 27th. Between the 6th and the 13th the Sun will also form its yearly conjunctions to Jupiter and Neptune, enhancing optimism and greater receptivity to spiritual influences. These alignments are also precursors of the much anticipated conjunction of Jupiter to Neptune, exact on April 12/13. Jupiter-Neptune’s conjunction is the one transit this year most astrologers believe to promise greater understanding and tolerance between people and a general improvement in the collective psyche. Notable is also the fact that, after the first week of March, all the fast moving bodies will be out of Aquarius and Capricorn, the Signs occupied by Saturn and Pluto, the planets at the center of the still current crisis. These two slow moving trouble makers need in fact the fast bodies to be stimulated into action. To see however the end of this dark period we will have to look more toward 2023 when they too will move Signs, Saturn entering Pisces and Pluto Aquarius.
March 18: the Virgo Full Moon will not just oppose the Pisces Sun, but Neptune also. A Neptunian Full Moon could positively be full of mysteries, romance, aesthetic pleasures, even out of this world experiences, but negatively could foster instead confusion, mistrust and a vague sense of unease we cannot quite put our finger on.
A shorter version of this article has been published in the Uki Village News issue 121, December 2021 – January 2022.
Last eclipse season for 2021 and last pass of the Saturn-Uranus’ to farewell another difficult year
The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse (December 4, 6.42 pm, dls), connected to Uranus, planet of revolutions and upheaval, will be a rather special New Moon, setting the tone not just for the month ahead but for the next six months or more. The adventurous Sagittarius New Moon, occurring around this time every year, marks usually a time when we are eager to turn a page on the past, feeling ready to embrace the future with renewed optimism and vision; time for aspiring New Year resolutions, seldom destined to withstand the test of time. This time the Moon is eclipsed while, due to the collective experiences of the past two years, we feel more impatient than usual to move ahead. The Sun and Moon, during the Solar Eclipse, will also connect directly with Uranus, planet of revolutions and upheaval (extremely close 150 degrees or inconjunct aspects). Again, finding ways to moderate extremes of feelings and passions will be a must in the coming months, to maintain a modicum of peace and harmony in our lives. Because the third/last pass of the Saturn-Uranus square is still approaching (Christmas Eve) our impatience will be yet tested by limiting circumstances (Saturn’s effect) but also fired up by a spirit of rebellion (Uranus’ effect). This significant transit, that permeated the whole of 2021, remains influential, especially because it occurs around the Capricorn Solstice, heralding the New Year. Must this still be a recipe for frustration and antagonism? Or an opportunity to find a healthy medium between social responsibilities and our innate desire for self-determination? For sure, next year the challenging right angle between Saturn and Uranus will be over, getting closer again in September-October but not becoming exact again. Jupiter though, transiting Pisces on and off in the coming year, will form difficult if minor angles with both Saturn and Uranus (semi-squares). It could then, in 2022 and early 2023, become an agent for those two sworn enemies’ ongoing feud. Hopefully Jupiter in adaptable Pisces could also play the role of a deal-breaker, by providing greater tolerance of differences, with the ability to forgive and move on.
The Retrogradation of Venus in Capricorn
This loop takes place every eighteen months or so and represents an opportunity for self reflection in the area of relationships. One of the major consequences of this transit will be to greatly intensify and extend in time the effect of a Venus-Pluto conjunction. The Retrogradation will last from December 19 2021 to January 29 2022, while Venus transits backward between 26th/11th degrees of Capricorn. Usually a yearly transit that remains active for just a few days, this time the conjunction will repeat three times: on December 12-25, and again on March 4 2022.
These events could shape our attitude on relationships and love (Venus), presenting to us in a revealing light some recurrent negative patterns we experience, while also providing us with the psychological tools to tackle them. In particular matters of shared assets and/or finances could come to the fore, as well as issues of control, jealousy, repressed resentments, perhaps feelings and thoughts that have remained hidden for a while or that, for peace sake, we have evaded so far (Pluto). What are we seeking from those who are close to us? What are they looking for in us? This is not time to be content with superficial answers. Not only there is a need to be more realistic (Capricorn), but to be also ruthlessly honest, first of all with ourselves (Pluto).
2022 Jupiter’s journey between worlds: from Pisces to Aries and back again
Just as the year ends, on December 29, Jupiter will be moving into Pisces and transit this last Zodiacal Sign until May 11, when it will enter Aries, first in the sequence. Due to Retrogradation it will re-enter Pisces again, just for a few days, between October 28 and December 21. Jupiter is well placed in Pisces, having been associated with this Sign since antiquity. In Pisces the philosophical function that Jupiter represents merges with our collective longing for spirituality, unity and compassion. It could be especially so in 2022, because Neptune, the metaphysical function within our collective psyche, is also still transiting Pisces (until 2025) and Jupiter will become conjunct Neptune on April 13. Regrettably there will be only one pass of this beautiful transit, enough hopefully to inspire the collective to embrace non judgemental, non divisive ways to deal with each other and our ailing blue planet. It has been this year that pharmaceutical companies began to make public some of the positive results of new anti-viral drugs, while some of those have already become available to help in the fight against covid19. Jupiter has already entered Pisces earlier this year (May 14 to July 28). This synchronicity could be a sign that Jupiter’s return into Pisces at the end of December will bring some improvement and progress in these areas too, Pisces being the Sign of drugs and medications and Jupiter the planet of expansion and optimism. The transits of Jupiter through Pisces could also encourage the grassroots involvement of people from all walks of life in the fight against environmental crimes and neglect. Many will respond more readily to the calls for help the natural environment and its creatures have been sending us for a very long time. When in Aries (May 11 2022 to October 28 2023) Jupiter will be likely to inspire us to embrace a more militant mindset, eager to change the world. Actions will speak louder than words, our collective mind expanding by being more courageous and driven.
Pluto in Capricorn square Eris in Aries
Another positive change happening now is the near end of Pluto’s square to Eris, a very difficult transit, active since 2019/20. This aspect has been a powerful ingredient of the extreme experiences we have had during the last couple of years.
Eris (at first known as Xena) is a dwarf planet, only discovered in 2005, orbiting the outer reaches of the solar system, at three times the distance of Pluto from our Earth. Eris is part of the so called Kuiper Belt of which Pluto is also a member. Its orbit around the Sun is a very slow 558 years! Due to its extremely elliptical orbit Eris spends different lengths of time in each Sign. Eris is not just a generational planet but rather a multi-generational planet. For instance Eris is now transiting Aries, having entered this Sign in 1926. It will be 2048 before she leaves Aries to enter Taurus. Its influence then has more to do with slow historical trends, developing over centuries, rather than specific events within a number of months or years.
Who is Eris astrologically? She was the Greek Goddess of strife and discord, wicked sister of sweet Harmonia, Goddess of peace and harmony, and of ferocious war mongering Ares (Mars).
After the discovery of Eris and other dwarf planets (within the space that is now known as the Kuiper belt) astronomers decided to demote Pluto from its status as planet to dwarf planet. The first effect of her introduction in the planetary pantheon was thus to disrupt the status quo, creating controversies that are still raging today. Many astrologers have found fault particularly in the demotion of Pluto, fact that seems to somehow belittle its amply proven impact on our lives.
Curiously the same name of Eris was also given to another, not so unpleasant Goddess, who presided over good works, in particular cultivation of the land. She exerted her power by stirring people into action when they compared themselves to more successful and ambitious neighbours! Both forms of Eris were known for causing some form of strife, but while one was mainly negative, encouraging violence for violence sake and pitiless if righteous revenge, the other Eris had a more constructive role.
Of course there is a very positive and evolutionary role for the first Eris to play too, in particular regarding the emancipation of women and their still fierce battle against misogyny and inequality. While transiting Aries this Goddess has taken a more militant form, pro-active and courageous rather than just vengeful. Seeking revenge can be viewed in fact as a form of passive aggression, when direct opposition is not an option.
After the profound crisis caused by the First World War, during which many women took on more masculine roles, in the absence of husbands, fathers and brothers figures, the 20s ushered a time of greater freedom for women, continuing unabated to the present day. A good example, now part of the history books, was the massive and global Women Marches of January 2017 (estimated five million worldwide), when revolutionary Uranus became conjunct to Eris (transit active from June 2016 to March 2017).
In 2020 and 2021 the difficult angle between Pluto (ultimate experiences, power abuses, trauma) and blood-thirsty Eris contributed, together with other cosmic clashes, to the discord and violence that spread all over the globe, not just in response to the pandemic measures, but also via proliferation of conflicts in countries fighting for basic democratic rights and social justice, as well as governments’ fierce resistance to relinquish their grip on power.
Furthermore, due to the dramatic tension between Pluto and Eris, much corruption and dirty secrets have been revealed, with major beneficial results. The same transit though has also fomented much paranoia and misguided mistrust among people and people/governments/main stream/social media, wrecking more havoc that has added to the pandemic many challenges.
Pluto is still close to the square aspect but it will not return to it in 2022 or for the foreseeable future. 2022 and beyond
2022 seems to be a transition year for the world, hopefully less eventful and unsettling; said that, many astrologers, including myself, have been prematurely optimist before. We really need to wait and see how long and how severe the global crisis will still be.
For a while now some extraordinary planetary dynamics have been pointing out at spectacular shifts impending on the world, on many levels. These cannot be summed up just by few dramatic events, but they will be rather part of a long drawn and difficult process of transformation and rebirth.
In my view the existential treat of the climate crisis, with an ever more populated world scrambling for resources, is at the root of our collective angst. This pandemic and possible future ones are just symptoms of the general malaise the world is suffering from: the lack of the spiritual values needed to turn things around and speed up our human evolution.
All we can say is that the effects of the dramatic 2020/21 transits are still lingering, but no major alignments will be activated in 2022.
Amazing cosmic shifts loom in the future though: Saturn will enter Pisces in 2023; Pluto Aquarius, in 2023/24; Neptune Aries and Uranus Gemini, in 2025; and Chiron Taurus in 2026. Pluto’s exit from Capricorn many astrologers consider to be particularly significant when looking for an end to the pandemic crisis, with all its dark connotations.
The world could indeed look like a different place when all of the above have come to pass.
The dragon has been the symbol of the two aspects of the Lunar Nodes since great antiquity, in both eastern and western cosmologies. Their zodiacal positions are indicators of the current Solar and Lunar Eclipses.
Welcome to my take on the main astrological events of June-July 2021
Note: where I mention specific degrees in the following readings I mean for these degrees to be highlighted by the Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles in a Birth Chart, a necessary distinction to avoid generalizations.
June 1: the Gemini Sun aligns with the Moon’s North Node, announcing the imminent New Moon Solar Eclipse, on June 10: a time, right now, for setting new long term goals guided by our inner light rather than external pressures. This eclipse could prove a transformative experience for the degrees 10 to 12 of the Mutable Signs (Gem/Sag/Vir/Pis).
June 2 to 27: Venus’ yearly transit through Watery Cancer should help us feel more keenly the sacredness of our close relationships, family, lovers and close friends.
June 6: Mars in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. The trouble maker in chief is now again setting off Pluto, at 24th Capricorn, the very same degree activated by the Jupiter-Pluto’s conjunction in 2020, with such dire consequences for the planet. With Pluto Stationary on this degree all the way to October 7 the current Mars’ transit could again provide an outlet for Pluto’s dark energy, globally bringing once more into sharp focus the still raging pandemic. On a more personal level feelings of Jealousy and resentment could surface from unfathomable depths in relationship, with the risk of hurtful confrontations and even break ups, especially for degrees 23 to 25 of the Cardinal Signs (Can/Cap/Ari/Lib).
June 6 and 14: Mercury has been retracing its steps in Gemini since May 30; its retrogradation will end on June 23. The highlight of this phase has to be the 90° angle with-Neptune, its second pass occurring today (it was exact also on May 23 and will be again on July 6). The Sun and Mercury will become conjunct on June 10; and, on June 14, the Sun will also form a square to Neptune, expanding the influence of this transit. When both Sun and Mercury transit Mutable Gemini the accent is on mental adaptability and restlessness. Our heads may be filled with ideas, or plagued by mind changes or too easily distracted. This time the Sun-Mercury’s square to dreamy Neptune in dreamy Pisces, around the latter’s ultra sensitive Retro Station degree, carries the added risk of our minds being swamped by a flood of psychic content from within ourselves and/or our surroundings. Neptune’s energy can be uplifting, intuitional, inspiring, even mystical, but also confusing at the best of times and downright delusional, occasionally. More affected by these transits could be degrees 22/23/24 of the Mutable Signs (Gem/Sag/Vir/Pis).
June 10: New Moon Solar Eclipse, 19 degrees 47 minutes of Gemini. See June 1 reading.
June 11 to July 30: Mars transits Fiery Leo, marking an active, creative, enthusiastic and adventurous period especially for the Fire/Air Signs. You could develop a strong passion for a project or a relationship. You might accomplish much in intense bursts of energy, wherever you focus your attention. The danger could be physical and emotional burnouts if you keep on going even after running out of puff. This time though Mars will also emphasize the difficult angle Saturn-Uranus (June 14), by opposing Saturn on July 1 and squaring Uranus on July 4. These transits could be problematic, heightening the risk of serious conflict worldwide and even causing personal unexpected upheavals, especially for degrees 11 to 15 of the Fixed Signs (Leo/Aqu/Tau/Sco).
June 15: retro Saturn in Aquarius forms the second pass of its square to Uranus in Taurus, the most important transit of 2021. Since its first inception on February 16 this transit has contributed to the escalation of conflicts, in the form of actual wars, civil unrest and even civil wars in many regions of the world. This transit in Fixed Signs, typically resisting changes, is guarantee that this year that the regressive forces in this world (Saturn) will be severely pitted against the progressive (Uranus), creating huge obstacles to the drive for change signified by the Jupiter-Saturn’s Aquarius December 2020 conjunction. The second instance of this transit today has already proven difficult, with Saturn’s slow retro motion extending its period of influence, before and after the actual hit. Obvious examples of this are the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ongoing civil unrest, military repression, blatant war on democracy all over the globe. The list is very long. The third and last pass of the same difficult angle will be on December 24; by then its effect should begin to wane.
June 21: we celebrate the advent of winter at 1.32 pm local time, Cancer Solstice 2021. Today also Jupiter begins its Pisces’ Retro Station, eventually returning to Aquarius on July 28, until December 29.
June 23: Mercury turns Stationary Direct at 16°07’ Gemini, time to move ahead with our plans and projects, with a clearer sense of direction.
June 27 to July 22: Fiery Leo’s great vitality and power will now shine through Venus, making the world feel warmer and more welcoming, enhancing our social lives, passions and creativity.
July 5: Sun in Cancer square Chiron (Chiron’s Retrograde Station on 13° Aries), another problematic transit, fortunately of short duration. Degrees 12 to 14 of the Cardinal Signs (Ari/Lib/Can/Cap) may be faced with some painful soul searching, to acknowledge how hurtful past experiences have become stumbling blocks in life’s progress, hindering true fulfillment.
July 13: Venus and Mars conjunct in Leo: a time for romance, art, fun and laughter.
July 18: Sun in Cancer opposition Pluto in Capricorn, another difficult angle actively focussing on Pluto’s dark side for a few days.
July 22 to August 16: Venus transits Earthy Virgo, helping us to transform daily routines into soulful rituals and to consider others’ emotional and practical needs above our own.
July 23 to August 23: the Sun in Fiery Leo: Happy Birthday to all warm, brilliant and proud Leo. The world would be a darker place without You!
A shorter version of this article was published, in late March, on the Uki Village News
Astrology and the Australian Floods
In ancient times the art of predicting the weather was one of astrology’s most valuable uses. In the absence of scientific instruments astrological weather forecast was naturally of the greatest importance for early agricultural people who relied on it to decide the best times for sowing and harvesting.
Meteorological astrology is an art in itself, with very complex sets of laws of its own. I am not an expert in this specialized topic, but I can very much appreciate the cosmic synchronicity that I observed at play during the recent Australian floods.
Astrology is an amazing mirror of both ‘reality’ and ‘psyche’. In its cosmic mirror the two merge: the outer life of events and experiences and the inner life of thoughts and feelings. Becoming aware of this underlying nexus is at the heart of our art, opening up a fascinating view of the world and ourselves. That is why for me it’s not farfetched to hear the sound of rain in the Water Signs; to feel warmth, dry weather in the Fire Signs; temperate, moist weather in the Earth Signs; cooler, windy weather in the Air Signs; as well as identify possible extreme events in some intense planetary configurations.
The lunar cycle, during which the peak of the floods has occurred, began at the Pisces Water New Moon, on March 13, with increase in rain activity in many parts of the country. During that phase the Moon and Sun weren’t just transiting a Water Sign but were also in close conjunction to Venus and Neptune in Pisces too. At the time I began writing, March 20, day of the Aries Equinox (yearly ingress of the Sun in Aries, a crucial time in the cosmic calendar), Venus was still in Pisces and again conjunct the Sun! Early on March 22 the First Quarter Moon, another crucial phase of the lunar cycle, fell in Water Cancer, at a significant distance of 120 degrees (trine) from Pisces Mercury. All the above suggests water events and also translates as a highly emotional period, when compassionate and loving feelings prevail (Water), within families (Cancer) and communities (Pisces).
During the first two to three weeks in April the focus will be on the Fire and Air Signs: Venus transiting Aries from April 1 to 15; Mercury will be in Aries also, April 4 to 19; Mars, in Gemini since March 4, will be in this Air Sign until April 23; Jupiter will remain in Aquarius until May 14; Saturn will be in Aquarius all the way to early 2023; Chiron in Aries until 2026. Only the trans-Saturn planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are found in Earth and Water Signs.
The Fire and Air Elements cause a planet to express its particular power in an outgoing and sometimes even forceful manner, showing more oomph, but also less sensitivity. This will be a great time then to walk the talk, putting into action our ideas with confidence and optimism. Aries Mercury and Gemini Mars are in fact bouncing off each other by occupying each other Signs for a while, what is known in Astrology as ‘mutual reception’.
Venus in Aries encourages us to be more assertive in our relationships, if less emotional and diplomatic.
Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius remain a great stimulus for everyone to participate more in the life of the community, getting involved in collective projects, making new friends and trying new and exciting things, including social dissent. Independence and self-motivated actions are the keys to make the best of this period.
By far the most important transit, exact on April 7, will be the 45°angle (semi-square) between Aquarius Jupiter and Aries Chiron. This difficult transit between the planet of expansion and the planet of illness and healing, peaking again in mid August and mid November, seems significant, with the world still in the grip of a pandemic and the southern hemisphere entering the year’s colder months that have proven so difficult for many during the North American and European winter.
On April 19 Mercury and on April 23 Venus will enter Taurus, the same day Mars will leave Gemini to enter Cancer. Mercury and Venus’s transits in Taurus will last only until May 4 and 9 respectively; while Mars will remain in Cancer until June 12. These are the three faster planets, affecting the way we deal with life from day to day and week to week. Their shift into the Earth and Water Signs indicate a less independent period for many, when relationships and feeling will come more to the fore, helping us to establish stronger emotional connections with family and loved ones.
The month of May opens with the yearly conjunction of Sun-Uranus in Taurus, in itself a sign that some unexpected and sudden events are on the cards. The Sun will become, at this time, a powerful catalyst for the energies of both Uranus and Saturn by also squaring Aquarius Saturn on May 4. These transits could anticipate the challenges of the upcoming second pass of the Saturn-Uranus’ 90° angle, exact again on June 15. Escalation of personal and collective conflicts is likely, as we have seen happening around the world recently. The need for change in our social structures, laws, cultural bias etc. are compelling this year but also enormously challenged by the world’s most conservative mind set. As it was impossible to sugar coat the difficult transits of 2020 so it is for the Saturn-Uranus square, the most powerful and difficult transit of 2021, another clash of Titans.
Jupiter in Pisces, May 14 to July 28
The Mutable Signs will become more active this month and in June-July. Mercury and Venus will enter Mutable Gemini in May 4 and 9 respectively.
Most importantly, on May 14, Jupiter will leave Aquarius, Sign it entered only on December 19 2020, to enter Mutable Pisces. Jupiter’s stay in Pisces will not last long, covering only the first two degrees of the Sign.
Jupiter in fact will re-enter Aquarius in retro motion on July 28 (until December 29). Jupiter will end its transit in Pisces on May 11 but will return to this Sign again for a short period, between October 28 and December 21 2022, date of its final ingress into Aries.
Jupiter enters the last of the Water Signs about every twelve years, ushering a period when we are encouraged to listen more to our inner self, be inspired by heightened imagination and sensitivity. We could also become more responsive to the feelings of others, seeking to identify with their souls, their emotional needs and suffering.
And, on a grander scale, we could become more open and receptive to the soul of the planet and all its creatures; an especially urgent need during the immediate drama of the Covid pandemic and the ecological tragedy looming on our world. Feeling of collective empathy and compassion should inspire our life philosophy if we are able to respond to Jupiter’s amazing prompting.
Of course there is always another, darker side to all coins, including ‘beneficial’ Jupiter’s. Pisces sensitivity often means a lack of boundaries and proper discrimination, the qualities of its opposite complementary Sign of Virgo that Pisces is in great need of consciously cultivate. We could then run the risk, as a collective, to be contaminated (for lack of a better word) by all sorts of fanciful notions, from wild conspiracies theories to actual physical infections. These could in fact spread even more readily under this influence. Let’s hope that rational thinking and Pisces’ uplifting spiritual insight will prevail, for the good of the planet.
Upcoming Mercury’s retro period in Gemini and the first Eclipses of 2021
The Mutable shift will be also significant because of Mercury’s Gemini retro period (from May 30 to June 23), causing our little brother to transit Gemini for a protracted period, until July 12.
To add to this, the first Eclipses of 2021 will fall in Mutable Signs too: a Lunar at the Full Moon in Mutable Sagittarius, on May 26, and a Solar at the Gemini New Moon, on June 10.
The emphasis on these Signs will make this period feel more transitional and uncertain, on the bright side stimulating us to adapt better to swiftly evolving circumstances.
October and November 2020 will be abuzz with cosmic events. We are nearing the last stage of the planetary saga that began at the end of last year and has dominated the world since. In December Jupiter and Saturn will finally align in Aquarius, ending this tough Capricorn year with a promise of redemption. Here are the highlights for this interim period, as I see them.
Saturn and Pluto packing a punch during their stationary periods
Between mid September and early October all three history making planets transiting Capricorn, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, turn Direct, beginning thus the last lap of their 2020 momentous alignments. When planets begin and end their retrogradation they enter a stationary period during which they sit on one degree of the eclipse for a sustained period of time. This makes their influence more intense and longer lasting. Saturn will pause on the 25th degree of Capricorn until the end of October and Pluto on the 22nd until the third week in November. If these same degrees of Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra (the Cardinal Signs) were occupied by Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles in your Birth Chart this is for you a time of serious adjustments and even profound changes. It could become a necessity to establish more realistic foundations for your future, moving away from past choices, even if the process of doing so can disheartening at times. The whole of this year we have been urged by circumstances and inner feelings to take a stand, to reinvent ourself using untapped before inner resources. This is one of the last calls this year to embrace courageous if difficult choices because they feel deeply right.
An example in point: transiting Saturn and Pluto will be, for a long while, stationary opposite US President Donald Trump’s birth Cancer Venus-Saturn, the challenge of a lifetime, just during his struggle for a second term. At the same time the USA itself is preparing for its first Pluto’ Return since independence from Britain, one of the most intense period of transformation any country can go through; a lengthy and difficult process of shedding its old skin, very close now and in 2021, exact in 2022/23 and ending only in early 2024.
Jupiter last historical passes in Capricorn
In October and November it is Jupiter though that will take front stage again, forming the last ‘passes’ of two major transits: the harmonious angle with Neptune in Pisces, exact for the last time on October 12; and the difficult but transformative conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn, exact for the last time on November 14. Both these transits influence will last until December, when a new shift is on the cards. We can thus expect Jupiter to amplify again the current health/economic crisis, as well as manifesting as extreme weather events, social-military conflicts and social unrest on a grander scale than usual. As it has already done this year Jupiter could be also prying open boxes full of secrets and scandals, exposing corruption, propaganda and misinformation,
The conjunctions of Jupiter and Pluto are not rare events, occurring roughly every thirteen years. At times they acquire greater significance however, happening simultaneously with other major planetary shifts, as it has been the case this year, when Saturn also aligned to Pluto. Here are just a couple of examples astrologers have ascribed, at least in part, to the effect of the Jupiter-Pluto’s conjunction.
1930-31 in Cancer: the Great Depression that spread from Wall Street to the world and its aftermath.
1955 in Leo: the day of conjunction, November 1, became the earliest date for the official recording of American combat deaths in Vietnam, as well as the start of the social unrest against it that continued to divide America and the world to the war’s bitter end in 1975.
2020 in Capricorn: the first pass of this conjunction occurred in early April when the pandemic became more widespread and serious. The second pass happened on June 30, four days shy of the horrible explosion that rocked Beirut, exposing the criminal neglect and corruption of the Lebanese government. July was also the month the pandemic took a turn for the worse in many regions of the world. On November 14 we will witness the last of these fateful alignments. It is not all bad news though! Being the last of these alignments this should also bring the beginning of closure to the issues that have plagued the world thus far. Whenever Jupiter is involved in a major transit, even a difficult one, the aftermath is often a collective expansion of consciousness, greatly helping to make sense of otherwise inexplicable misfortunes.
Mars still extremely active and influential
Mars, Retrograde since September 10, ignites the current period with the second pass of its frustrating angle to Saturn in Capricorn (90 degrees) on September 30, an alignment whose influence will spill over the first two weeks of October and yet return in mid January 2021. This is the transit so far principally responsible for the social unrest we have seen enacted in a number of countries all over the world: related to the intense frustration caused by the unprecedented government measures to minimize the spread of the pandemic, as well as exasperation with rigged elections (see Belarus), governments’ failures and corruption, endemic racism and police brutality. Retracing its steps through Aries, Mars will also reach again its challenging angles to the other two planets in Capricorn, forming a 90 degrees angle to Pluto on October 9 and to Jupiter on October 19 (both angles to be repeated for the last time on December 24 and January 23 respectively). These transits could again escalate social unrest all over the world, exasperation with governments’ failures, political and ideological divisions. We have seen the power of Mars (the God of War) to instigate conflicts and rebellion, to jump into the fry without thought of consequences, following an often blind instinct to head on address real or perceived wrongs. Another period likely to produce open conflicts and widespread intolerance is approaching. More of the same is on the world cards, not just for the rest of this year but also the beginning of 2021, when things should hopefully begin to ease up.
Retrogradation of Mercury from Scorpio back into Libra (October 14 to November 4)
Last but not least Mercury will go through its last retro period of 2020, from on October 14 to November 4, moving direct only after the US presidential elections. This seems to highlight the potential for communication breakdowns, general chaos, mistrust and flourishing of misinformation during the last league of this historic campaign.
On October 14 Mercury will become Stationary Retrograde between the 11th and 12th degree of Scorpio. On October 28 Mercury will re-enter Libra and continue to transit this Sign all the way to the 25th/26th degrees, becoming then Stationary Direct on November 4, to re-enter Scorpio for good on November 11. Of great significance during this Retro period will be three passes of difficult angles to Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces and Chiron in Aries, in early and late October, and again in mid November. During the whole of Mercury’s Retro period avoid, if you can, to make serious commitments or big purchases, as circumstances are likely to change in the near future, so that early choices may give cause for regret.
Lunations in October-November: Aries Full Moon, October 2, 7.05 am – Libra New Moon, October 23, 5.30 am – Taurus Full Moon, November 1, 0.49 am – Scorpio New Moon, November 15, 3.07 pm – Gemini Full Moon, November 30, 7.29 pm, also a Lunar Eclipse.
Critical days in October: September 30: Retro Mars in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn – October 2, 7.05 am : Aries Full Moon – October 8: Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – October 9: Retro Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn – October 11: the Sun in Libra square Jupiter in Capricorn – October 12: Jupiter in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces – October 14: Mercury turns Retrograde + the Sun in Libra opposition Mars in Aries – October 15: the Sun in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn – October 18: the Sun in Libra square Saturn in Capricorn – October 19: Retro Mars in Aries square Jupiter in Capricorn – October 20: Retro Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – October 23, 5.30 am : Libra New Moon –
Critical days in November: November 1: the Sun in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus, as well as Taurus Full Moon, 0.49 am – November 4: Mercury turns Direct – November 14: Jupiter conjunct Pluto in Capricorn – November 15, 3.07 pm: Scorpio New Moon – November 17: Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – November 30: start of the last Eclipse season for 2020: Lunar Eclipse at the Gemini Full Moon, at 7.29 pm. The next Solar Total Eclipse, at the Sagittarius New Moon, will occur on December 14.
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.
Capricorn Jupiter’s harmonious angle to Neptune in Pisces
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.
Focus on Mars
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.
The Libra Spring Equinox, Waxing Crescent Sagittarius Moon,
September 22, 11.30 pm local time
click to view larger image
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).
This a longer version of an article published in the Uki Village News issue 112, for June-July 2020
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 future 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 ancient astrologers called 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.
Next favorable days for Sowing and Planting:
Tuesday to Thursday, April 28, 29 and until 11 am on April 30 Waxing Crescent Moon transiting Water Fertile Cancer
To view a full interpretation of the Moon Sign and Phase please click the images below.
Taurus New Moon, 03°24′, Thu, Apr 23, 12.25 pm
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
Root Crops Bulbs
Taurus Moon in the garden
The following are the Edible Plants, Herbs, Tees and Flowers since ancient times associated with Taurus, and also with Venus, Taurus’ traditional Ruler, the archetypal goddess of love, pleasure, beauty, harmony. All plants that make the garden beautiful, cheerful and sweet smelling, and those whose fruit are pleasant and mild tasting belong to Venus and the Signs she rules.
In the gardenEarthy Taurusis 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.
Trees: Apple, Almond, Plum, Red Cherry, Birch, Sandalwood. Also flowering Trees.
Note that the garden activities associated with the Moon Sign depend also on the cycle the Moon is in. The Moon transiting through a fertile or productive Sign will no be so favorable if the Phase is not a productive one, and vice-versa. For best results the Sign and Phase of the Moon have to be considered together.
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.
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.
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).
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