Hello, Dear Readers,
I apologize for my continued vacation from regular posts. I took a break a while back, after posting monthly since 1998, and time seems to fly. Posting is easier than ever, as I’m about to prove to myself, so let’s see what’s up.
In my last post I wrote about Mercury retrograde, those periods when Mercury appears to backtrack in its orbit while it’s actually looping through the inside of its orbit around the Sun as seen from the earth. (When Mercury’s on the far side of the Sun from Earth, it appears to be moving forward through the Zodiac, then when it comes around to the side nearer Earth it appears to be moving backward.) All the planets retrograde, in their own patterns – Mercury for three weeks or so, three times a year; Venus for 41 days or so, about every 19 months; Mars every other year for about 72 days, and the remainder of the planets yearly for varying periods of 4-5 months. We pay more attention to Mercury retrograde because it happens so frequently and because of its apparent ability to slow down our daily affairs, wreak havoc on plans and agreements and communications, and generally tangle things up. Mercury retrograde is also known for travel delays and snafus, and it’s generally best to install software and update computers while Mercury is direct, though all information processing and communication devices may be a bit more prone to malfunction during these retrogrades, necessitating those very repairs and updates.
Since Mercury’s retrograde period is only three weeks or so, it makes sense to be aware and work around it. (Don’t stop everything – just get things rolling before the retrograde, be prepared for a few delays during that period, and look ahead to the return to direct motion for things to straighten out.)
We just finished a Mercury retrograde period from September 17 to October 9, and the next Mercury retrograde will run from January 5 to January 25, 2016. Good to know as you’re getting the New Year off to a good start.
Recent developments: It’s interesting to watch the transits of the planets through the signs of the zodiac, The time each year that the Sun is in each sign, for about 30 days in a sign, starting with its ingress into Aries at Spring Equinox, provides a framework for the cycle of the year. The sign Mercury is in, usually for two or three weeks in each sign, with retrogrades as noted above, gives indications as to how we’re all tending to think and communicate. Venus’s sign position gives clues to how we’re tending to relate to one another, to express our affections, and to enjoy life and its pleasures. Venus spends about a month in each sign. Mars’s current sign gives indications as to how we’re using our energy, pursuing our goals, asserting our wishes; that changes about every two months. These evolving placements can be interesting to watch as day-to-day life unfolds.
What’s really interesting to me, though is the progress of the outer planets through their orbits. Jupiter spends about a year in each sign, and gives an indication of qualities and abilities that we are currently developing and expanding. (Also, it’s great to note when Jupiter enters your sign, as that can be a time when much progress is made, things open up for you, expanding your life experience and presence in the world.) Jupiter was in Leo, a good period for Leos and a great time for all of us to enhance our confidence, creativity and self-expression, from July 16, 2014, until August 11, 2015. On August 11, Jupiter entered Virgo, where it will remain until September 9, 2016. Then it will be in Libra.
Jupiter’s transit in Virgo is a great time to get your life in order, from straightening up your living space and doing repairs, to organizing your papers, to getting your healthy lifestyle in real life, moving from good intentions to actuality. Virgo can obsess over details, to excess. It is always good to balance a sign’s energies with the qualities of the opposite sign. Virgo’s opposite is Pisces, and Pisces is able to go with the flow, and have faith in the overall Divine order. Let go and let God. So this is a time to do your best, put in good work, and then let it be.
We are really having an opportunity to experience the benefits and the excesses of Virgo right now, as Venus and Mars have been in Virgo, making a beautiful show in the early morning sky. I myself have gotten a lot done, and just now, on November 7, Venus has moved into its own sign, Libra, a sign of harmony and balance.
Saturn is the planet of hard work and patiently dealing with challenges. Saturn takes approximately 29 years to complete its orbit, spending about 2 1/2 years in each sign. Saturn has just recently completed its transit of Scorpio. Many of us have been dealing with deep issues, hidden matters including family issues and other things from the past. It’s tempting to avoid such matters in life, but it’s better to deal with them, and Saturn’s transit in Scorpio can be just the time when we examine and resolve long-standing issues, or this may be the time we become aware of them. Saturn was in Scorpio from October 5, 2012, until December 23, 2014, and then retrograded back into Scorpio from June 15 until September 18, 2015. It’s now in Sagittarius.
The time when Saturn is in your sun sign is typically a time of much hard work and fewer free passes. Typically when Saturn completes its transit of your sign you can look back with pride in your accomplishment and relief that it’s over. Scorpios might be able to confirm that, though they tend to be private about personal matters.
Overall, the interval when Saturn is in Scorpio is a time when all of us, and the world at large, grapples with more challenges, does more soul-searching, and faces the darker aspects of life. This last couple of years has coincided with the square of Uranus and Pluto, about which I and other astrologers have written extensively, and I’m guessing most of us would agree it has been a doozy.
Now Saturn is in Sagittarius, an opportunity for all of us to refine our Sagittarian qualities. Sagittarius can be rather outspoken and opinionated, can jump to conclusions, and may have good intentions and high ideals that may not be well realized due to restless impatience to get on with the chase. It’s a good time for all of us, Sagittarians included, to employ the deliberation and diligence of Saturn to these areas, toning down our opinions in order to see things in a more balanced fashion, embracing our ongoing learning, speaking after thinking, and following through on attaining our aspirations for ourselves and the world.
I’ve spoken as though only Leos and Virgos have enjoyed the expansive influences of Jupiter, and only Scorpios and Sagittarians are working hard with Saturn’s issues. I want to be clear that Jupiter’s sign indicates qualities all of us can develop and expand, and Saturn’s placement indicates challenges we are all likely to be experiencing. Also, if you know your individual birth chart, you can identify the house Jupiter is in and the house Saturn is currently occupying, giving more potential insight as to where you are easily expanding and growing, and where you are likely to be working to put your life in solid order.
That’s about it for now. I’ll post more soon. I’m available if you have simple questions about astrology, and I appreciate your interest in this column.