Apollo's Chariot III, by Odilon Redon
Welcome to my thoughts for the Capricorn Solstice season, January to March 2012.
Uranus Direct in Aries
Since December 2011 Uranus and Jupiter have resumed their direct motion, while Saturn is slowing down and will soon become Retrograde. The irrevocable dance of the planets continues.
When planets turn direct, after their retro period, the function they represent has the greater chance to be expressed outwardly in a positive and direct manner.
Uranus turned Stationary-Direct on December 10, 2011, around the time of the Gemini Total Lunar Eclipse, promising an accelerated pace of change for the next six months or so. This transit will strengthen the willingness to try new directions, moving on from the habitual and humdrum.
Uranus is said to be more dangerous and unpredictable in his effect when moving retrograde. The need for change is then more likely to implode, not finding suitable outlets for the release of his erratic energy, or to be squandered in anxious and nerve-wracking attempts to cut with the past. During the Direct motion instead Uranus’ intense drive can be more readily focused on external projects and active changes, often of a radical nature. This is the phase Uranus is entering now, until mid-July 2012.
To some of us Uranus in early Aries will offer the opportunity to implement changes we have been obsessing about for a while but lacked the ability or opportunity to make real. We are slowly being released from a period of high anxiety and erratic nervous energy, toward a period when we should feel more in charge, doing things our own way.
Uranus’ transits over the Sun always entail an experience of individual uniqueness, bringing about some very independent choices.
This phase will be more keenly felt by the early Fire Signs: Aries (March 20/29), Leo (July 23/31), Sagittarius (November 22/30). With greater difficulty, by some early Cancer (June 21/July 1), Libra (September 22/30), and Capricorn (December 22/30) also.
Jupiter Direct in Taurus
Jupiter, has returned, in retro motion, to the start of Taurus, and has now began his journey in this Earth Sign all over again, hopefully this time enriched by greater practical wisdom and inspired by more realistic goals.
Amongst all the present planetary influences, until June 2012, Jupiter in Taurus will be a stabilizing factor. At the end of this season the third and last pass of the harmonious aspect between Jupiter and Pluto (March 13, 2012) could suggest some radical solutions, legislations and bills to find creative ways out of the general mess, practical and austere means to harmonize our natural needs for expansion and growth, our human arrogance and ambition (Jupiter) with the real ecological needs of the Planet, her dwindling resources, her desperate plight for regeneration and rebirth.
Since mid 2011 the Jupiter-Pluto’s contact has shown how it can be a very constructive and transformative influence. If integrated it could help the world to regenerate before it begins to degenerates beyond hope. They suggest finding wiser and more sustainable ways to interact with Earth’s resources, revealing riches and solving mysteries that have puzzled earthlings for thousands of years.
The long awaited first pass of the Uranus-Pluto’s square, on June 24 2012, will give these grass roots aspirations enough fuel to make a big bang for the rest of 2012 and the whole (at least) of 2013 .
While Jupiter transits placid Taurus though growth is slowed down, everyone is looking for more security. Much energy can be stored in the root system of our psyche and the planet, for a few more months, because Jupiter in Gemini, from the second half of 2012, will have a much more buzzing and risk taking type of energy.
The aspirations of Jupiter, his flights of intuition all the way to divinity are now checked by the pragmatic solidity of Taurus. To feel contented with our lot could be the outcome of such a transit when used wisely. This will be especially true for the Earth Signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; and also, perhaps in a more challenging way, for the Fixed Signs Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius.
Saturn Stationary/Retrograde in Libra
As ever the forward dance of some of the giants is punctuated by the beginning of the backward dance of another.
Ringed Saturn turns Stationary/Retrograde on February 8, on the very last degree of the Sign Libra. Scorpios will have to wait until October to welcome Saturn in their mist.
From January to October 2012 Saturn will contact, in turn, the Sun degree of some Libra (October 17/24), Aries (April 13/20), Cancer (July 16/23), Capricorn (January 13/20); and, more gently, also Gemini (June 14/21), and Aquarius (February 12/19). A retrogradation of Saturn over someone’s Sun manifests often as a sort of test, things appear harder than usual, and, in some cases, life seems to have lost its meaning, depression easily settling in, when hope is lost.
It is a reality test. Can you take it without crumbling into many pieces? After this honest look at your life what have you learnt from Saturn? Which areas of your life need the most urgent work, restructuring, making more efficient? Often it comes down to a realization that you pay for everything and there aren’t many easy rides in this world.
Three different generations are also experiencing their respective Saturn’s Return in late Libra, over the next seven months. These are coming of age transits, to more fully embrace who we have become and begin to appreciate the cycle ahead of us, no matter our age. Growing up has its moments of sadness, to be sure, but also many rewards, the sort we appreciate only at the right age, and not a moment before. That’s why Saturn was known as the Lord of Time, dispensing the wisdom that comes from experience, and hard ego-building work.
The Saturn-Return’s generations comprise: the very old, now in their nineties, born October / December 1923, and April/September 1924. The Baby Boomers, in their sixties, born November 1952/ April 1953, and August 1953/October 1953. And the Saturnine Youngsters, turning just thirty, lucky them, born October/December 1982, and May/August 1983.
The Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo
Amongst the most important astrological events of the start of 2012 will be the lengthy retrogradation of Mars in Virgo, from January 24 to April 14. Mars will enter the next Sign of Libra only in early July 2012, after having transited Virgo for a whooping eight months, since November 2011!
The fact that Virgo is highlighted here shows a need to adjust our daily routine, clean our acts, tackling those jobs we always find a good excuse not to do. Making our space at work and home clear of clutter, organizing everything in a more rational way will contribute to efficiency and better practical outcomes.
The tendency of people influenced by Virgo to become engrossed in details of no consequence will be tested during the Mars’ retrograde period when opportunities will arise to look into our habits (from diet to work), and experience, in a more acute way, the anxieties brought about by the inability to stick to priorities.
The birthdays directly aligned to Mars retro in Virgo are: Virgo (August 26/September 16), Pisces (February 21/March 14), Gemini (May 24/June 14), and Sagittarius (November 25/December 15).
It could be difficult for many of us to freely express our passions and highly charged emotions or to go after what we want in an effective way. This could be true for the birthdays given and also for those whose Mars was in a prominent or difficult position at birth. In particular individuals who had Mars transiting Virgo the day they were born and will experience the all important two yearly Mars’ Return during the retro period (end of January to mid-April).
When Mars moves retrograde his energy, usually spontaneous and outgoing, is somewhat internalized, to serve psychic rather than physical purposes. There arise the need for re-thinking the way we go about asserting ourselves, our modalities of action, in our personal lives as well as communities of people and nations.
If our habitual behavior has often created strife and attracted opposition in the past perhaps now is the right time to look into these issues and the way we normally handle conflicts in our lives. Because Mars, during retrogradation, becomes somewhat frustrated in his desire for action, we got to find another way to deal with anger, and with all the unspent energy that boils beneath the surface. Virgo suggests taking up a discipline or healthy routine that could help dealing with the unspent energy and the unending frustrations and irritations of daily life (Virgo’s stuff).
Neptune returning to Pisces
After six months spell in Aquarius, Neptune finally returns to Pisces on February 4, to stay in this Water Sign until 2025. This transit will define an epoch in human history, reflecting on our spiritual and aesthetic values for years to come.
As our daily lives become more and more impacted by the momentous adjustments and disruptions all around us, Neptune in Pisces can show us transcendental ways to navigate the troubled waters of the present, enhancing creativity, imagination and compassion. There will be a sense of underlying unity between us and the planet, a striving toward greater integration amongst races, religions and ideologies, in the face of the still polarized situation on the surface of things. Outlasting many other transits that preoccupy astrologers at the present time, this influence gives us real hope that we will be guided toward greater spiritual unity in the next decade and beyond. The fate of the planet, I feel, depends very much on the way we will be able to embrace Neptune in Pisces, avoiding its downside of extreme passivity and escapism.
This season the birthday people touched by Neptune will be the early Water and Mutable Signs: Pisces (February 19/22), Cancer (June 21/24), Scorpio (October 23/26), Virgo (August 23/26), Gemini (May 21/24), and Sagittarius (November 22/25). You will feel, in a quiet space within, growing like a pool slowly filled by spring rains, a new dimension of being. This could open your perception to intangible realities, making you long for more love and creative joy in your life, refusing to be caged in by routines and duties.
It is a poignant fact that, while Neptune shifts into Pisces, Mars is making his difficult transit through the opposite-complementary Sign of Virgo. These transits should help us see two apparently opposite ways of experiencing the world: one free of per-conceived ideas, easy flowing, imaginative and creative (Pisces), the other limited by necessities and struggling to manifest the dream into practical reality (Virgo). This polarity is vital though, because, if Pisces and Neptune are the soul’s life of the planet, imbued with the vision of earthly and unearthly paradises, ultimately no real good work could be accomplished without Mars’ drive and Virgo’s dutifulness.
Happy transits, everyone.