by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sun-Mars-Mercury in Cancer, Venus into Shadow and a Chiron New Moon

Sunset on Kuta Beach in Bali
(photo credit: Egor Pasko, July 2009)
With these days which are our second week of June 2015, things start to shift - even if not by our design. Something’s stirring ... and it’s not about good or bad, or even about whether we like something or not.

It’s just ... something is there - and it’s a different thing for each one of us.

But yes, it’s there. And as we go through each day trying to get things done and we encounter other people with other things hanging in their psychic background ... and as everyone becomes conscious of being just-that-little-bit distracted (and aware that everyone else is too) things may seem odder and odder because when push comes to shove, we’re coming to a place on the inside of our world (whether that’s individual, familial, group-oriented and/or otherwise) where we want to be in gear. 

We’re in the mood to get things done.

Yes, that’s it, exactly ... we want to get what WE want to get done. And that’s a dicey concept in a moment when Neptune is about to go retrograde (at 9:10 in the morning of June 12th, UT/+0 time) ... and especially so when that Neptune station is falls ever-so-shortly after Mercury will have gone direct at 23:34 (11:34 p.m.) the previous evening (i.e., the 11th) - also UT/+0 time.

Now to be sure there are a handful of ways to make either one of these stations personally (even globally) useful. There are even ways to make them both useful at once - singularly or together.

So ... the problem would be ... what?

In a word: Neptune. Yes, Neptune - symbol of all things anti-ego, whether they’re originating in us or confronting us through someone else or circumstance. Plus Neptune is in Pisces, Neptune’s ‘home’ sign, meaning we’re in the middle of a set of years when Neptune is going to be at it’s very, very best - and worst, depending on where we stand with learning to accept and stop trying to control - in particular - what we get exposed to about our Self ... and with regards to feeling our deepest feelings.

You know ... including our deepest feelings about our deepest feelings.

Certainly in combination, this joint-and-overlapping Mercury (plus) Neptune stations of the 11th and 12th is a moment worth noting. The combination of planets, as noted elsewhere and many a time tends to ‘soften’ the edges of our thinking - which makes the operative question ‘whose soft edges, and why?,’ meaning (approximately) are you enchanting me (or being simply enchanting) or is one of us taking me for a ride?

But as mentioned, both stations have individual - and possible joint positive uses. Mercury’s station-direct moment, especially in Gemini (it’s mentally-oriented home sight) often coincides with decisions, declarations, and important communications (which includes the ‘communicating’ of our Self or things of import from one place to another). And then there’s the positive-versus-negative of how liars, entertainers and romantics are all said to benefit from Mercury-Neptune contacts as all such efforts and effects are alike: a ‘spell’ is cast, with the real question being why, on whom ... and to what purpose?

No matter what shape such a sway takes, Neptune represents that which allows for the suspension of belief ... which Mercury lends the note of mentality ... meaning that this is one of those moments when the lie is one we tell our Self which leads to finding out how foolish we can be - which would be one of those Neptunian ‘self-confronting’ feeling moments of the generally unwanted kind where we melt before the truth of our willingness, even our longing to be deceived.

Of course, it could all just be in good fun, as well. The divider is ego - which is the Neptunian part. As Neptune symbolizes the denial of ego, any attempt to 'twist' something for some personal gain or malicious purpose will stir up the inevitability of falling into an emotional pit being dug not for those who one would like to 'influence' (read: control) but ultimately for our Self.

That's the down side of Pisces, you see. And Neptune is not only currently in Pisces, it's the 'outcome' ruler OF Pisces, which makes this whole span of years (2011-2025) of Neptune in Pisces one where ALL of us, individually and at all sorts of levels of collection and collectivity are going to experience all the many ways in which we try to fool ourselves.

And that we have been fooling ourselves. 

But getting back to this current Mercury-Neptune coinciding in time (i.e., by date) if not by sign or aspect ... the idea that at the very same time the stationing duo is doing its duo-directional thing (Mercury going direct, Neptune going retrograde), our Sun and Mars - having skirted with becoming exactly conjunct (in Gemini) - now make good on that concept. And in that ‘fusing’ together of energies of consciousness and motivation suggests all sorts of 'amping up' of things - and some newness, inceptions and beginnings.

It also speaks to the possibility of haste, particularly when we take the Neptune-Mercury capacity for illusions of various types into account.

(Like I said ... when it comes to Neptune-Mercury, it's all about who is doing what to whom and why they're doing it.)

Beyond that, this all also speaks to a lot of general (Mars) energy going into all those things we would think of as Sun-in-Gemini with a healthy doses of imagination ... rather on the premise of 'the Neptunian energetic which does not deludes us inspires, instead'. So not only are we likely to be dealing with an increasing number and rate of thoughts,  conversations, errands, paperwork, communications, traffic (vehicular and otherwise), input, details - plus all sorts of needs to plan, compare, sort, organize, maintain priorities...

Trust me: between the Sun and Mars joining up by conjunction and Mercury going direct, much will be going on - expect a few pedals to hit the proverbial metal. This uptick in push-need-desire-effort will be with us for the full amount of time this Sun-Mars connection is going to be with us - and that lasts until July 2nd, which would also be the date of the 9 Cancer Full Moon.

Which together suggests for some a confluence in time (call it a couple of days) during which much can be done - and for many, as the Full Moon so often does, the end of some effort - be it the phase or preoccupation with something, or the thing in whole and total.

Not that the Sun is entering Cancer just yet, so this all starts with Sun in Gemini (underscoring the mental, the thought, the idea, the conversation - and all such). Once the two-pronged Mercury-Neptune station period is over we have another week or so until the Sun enters Cancer at 4:39 (UT/+0) in the afternoon of June 21st.

Cancer ingress of the Sun (glyph chart)
June 21, 2015 - 16:39 (4:39 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Cancer ingress of the Sun (text chart)
June 21, 2015 - 16:39 (4:39 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
But when it does, not only will life move into a more emotional, feeling and visceral mode. And since the date of the Sun's Cancer ingress (the 21st) just happens to be the same day Venus moves into the shadow of its upcoming July-August-September retrograde by crossing 14 Leo (a degree which in some measure speaks to the need to ‘marry’ our spiritual life to our material life by investing some measure of respect for that which otherwise seems - at least to us - so terribly mundane, boring, unproductive ... even ugly or unfriendly) this is life moving into a personally provocative mode (note that word 'personal,' please) even as an odd sort of sense of something begins taking hold.

Call it disquietude, call it disinterest, call it that sort of boredom which happens when you're just tired of something...

So after a week of that passes as we settle into a new perspective on whatever isn't quite what we want it to be at the moment with the Sun in early Cancer and Venus transiting its shadow - as distinct from its actual retrograde. Efforts will get made and few will feel like they hit the mark, even if they do.

As for shadow versus retrograde, the two have very different effects, one (shadow effects) being its tendency to coincide with things slowing down (or at least slowing down with regards to how fast we feel we’re advancing our cause) ... and the other (retrograde) being a growing awareness of what it takes to get things to happen the way we want them to, all of which is set against an awareness that something (singular or plural) isn’t being handled productively.

And still, being human, we react to all this by pressing on in an ever-so-determined way, only to find more of the same.

That’s all very Venus in its shadow. And maybe it would work better to put it this way: where Venus in Virgo is a process (and sometimes a test) of what we do (and are able to do) in the process of making something happen, Venus in shadow is dealing with the fact that no matter what you do, there will be complications (for everyone) which are part of our life an times.

Not that we like them - Venus is always about what we do which we think will ‘create’ the right response, whether from others or life or this world. And under retrograde, we have to be our own best cheering (and applause) section, as its unlikely the world is going to behave like a bed of proverbial rose petals. (On top of which, no one is likely to be much in the mood to talk about the real problem, singular or plural.)

Venus will be turning to retrograde in Virgo - at 0 Virgo as it happens. So the whole of this shadow period in advance of that 0 Virgo station on July 25th (at 9:30 a.m. UT/+0) occurs in Leo, a sign which in being in opposition to Aquarius (the mass collective social sign), after Cancer, and in advance of Virgo speaks to Leo as our opportunity to think of things in terms of our Self and our abilities and potentials and all we are capable of doing, learning and excelling at, and not just that, but also as the sign about preparing ourselves to experience some of Virgo’s (read: life’s) more testing questions, specifically those about our willingness to feel and experience our own vulnerabilities (reflecting Virgo’s opposition to Pisces) along with Virgo as the sign of preparation or self-development which allows us to support our own aims while learning how to do so responsibly in a world or society we share with others.

And Leo values all that development, to be sure. If Virgo is the sign where we hone and ultimately prove our ability to ‘do, in a skilled and productive manner’ under conditions which honor the keywords ‘health, work, service,’ then all those things must be what Leo development is valuing as it aims to achieve all those dazzling Leo feats.

What’s the astrological logical there? Simple ... Virgo is the derivative 2nd house to Leo. So Virgo - and all the industriousness Virgo represents - is the prime Leo ‘resource.’

Leo works well when what it ‘develops’ through its acts or actions has a value which (here’s the catch) values first to others and through that enhances the Leo effort. (Or person. Or situation.)(Etcetera.)

So with Venus, emblem of all we do for the effect, or because we are seeking to simulate a specific response or reward (whether from our Self or others) is not thought of as being particularly ‘astro-happy’ in Virgo. Why not? Well, because Virgo is all about what the thing is, and in the end Venus is all about the things we do so that we feel comfortable or good about our Self, ourselves and life in general.

And that part ... the aiming at what we want, need or dream of ... that’s just fine under Leo. But the minute Venus moves from Leo to Venus it takes its station and ‘turns around.’

What’s that about?

Retrogrades - particularly those of the personal planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars being the personal planets which go retrograde) refer to things we have to get done/work on, learn about, catch up with, revamp or perfect, edit, polish or fix in some way.

Or maybe we just have to wait. If Venus is all about getting to the reward (and all we have to do to get that reward)(all of which Venus is), then Venus retrograde is often not about OUR having to do a bunch of work, but our having to wait while others do ‘their part’ in something we may well have been working on prior to retrograde.

So some of us are dreaming big and doing things we’ve never done and having an interesting time as the days slide by. Then, whether we’re working on something or not, things are going to change as we come the end of July and Venus’ station into retrograde. Either something gets tougher. Something is needed before we can proceed.

And there’s one more fact to consider about this retrograde station. That would be the idea that in going retrograde at 0 Virgo, Venus is taking its station ‘atop’ royal and fixed star Regulus, a star which promises success only if we haven’t violated one itty bitty rule which concerns acts of revenge or vengeance (or acts born of revenge or vengeance). And considering how it’s hard (read: probably foolish) to think any configuration comes to us without someone needing to experience it (or being human, to be shown up by it), that means not only can we expect to see people doing interesting (and possibly startling) things over the next six weeks or so (as Venus moves through Leo towards this Regulus station) ... but since stations not only lead to situations but also reveal things which have already taken place, this shadow period may be a time when some among us will be looking to ‘clean something up’ (or at least the ‘dirty evidence’) prior to Venus taking its turn atop Regulus, lest there be some sort of exposure or turn of fate.

The whole of Venus retrograde (by the by), is going to last through the whole of August and into early September. That it starts just after the Sun moves into Leo (which happens on July 23rd, UT/+0 time) seems telling in that It’s only once life (i.e., the Sun) ... once the whole of life and not just our (Venus) dreams and personal hopes moves into Leo that we need to curb or reconsider some ‘thing.’

About ourselves, I mean. Is whatever we are focused on actually what we want? Or a good idea? Or are we feeling ‘sold’ on some idea which though grand in concept is anywhere from unreasonable to unworkable to downright (and even dangerously) problematic in reality? 

As for Sun in Cancer, the Sun’s annual transit of Cancer - which begins with the Cancer Solstice (the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the shortest day of the year in Earth’s southern hemisphere) - this is a time when in some way we get ‘introduced’ (or re-introduced, obviously) to our feelings and the entire notion of emotions.

Known for moodiness and familial love or love of family, home, traditions, culture and all such ‘basic’ or foundational perspectives, in being the first of the zodiac’s water signs Cancer is all about learning what feelings mean. The snippy or moody qualities you hear associated with Cancer are exactly about this, as the typical Cancer situation sets up moods and moments all about our reacting to others (and why we react to them as we do).

That Cancer falls immediately after Gemini and in opposition to Capricorn is the great indicator that our feelings are generated by or in reaction to our thoughts ... and that both are there to inform us of where we stand in the Cancer family, in the Capricorn world and in our own (Gemini) opinion or thoughts. And because of this, as we recognize where we are and aren’t vis-à-vis others and our world, that’s when it ‘hits’ us - the ‘hitting part’ being our emotional reaction to the truth of the situation.

And that’s Cancer - and why Cancer is said to be a sign about planning. We plan when, and because we realize where we ‘are’ (in life, in the world, in our own plans, etc.) and how that may not match where we want to (Cancer) feel we are in life ... or how we want to (Cancer) feel about who we are in this world and this life.

All those reactions, those feelings of satisfaction with this and dissatisfaction with that, those are the things which motivate us to come up with ways we make our (personal) world better. The ways and the developing of them is Leo - the sign after Cancer, and a perfect picture of how families (Cancer) value the (Leo) developing of their (Leo) “creations” - their children.

But the ‘why’ about why we care beyond that? The ‘why’ about why we would bother to develop those ideas (so that we can have the world we want to have)...? Those feelings, that drive ... that’s Cancerian. Cancer is the nest. It’s not the instinctive feeling of safety and security we associate with the Taurus/Scorpio polarity, it’s the existence and the life which makes life feel like it’s worth living.

Cancer embraces all those basic and important feelings - and that which supports and provides for those feelings which makes them strong enough to make us be willing to try.

And when necessary, try, try again.

So as the Sun reaches Cancer on June 21st, we can expect the open airiness of Gemini to be replaced by more visceral Cancer feelings. (Cancer rules the stomach, so ‘visceral’ is a great Cancer word!) By themselves, those feelings don’t mean anything is wrong, but there are some who tend to interpret the uptick in emotionality which happens this time of year as the Sun moves from the zodiac’s first “quadrant” of three signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) into the second.

And that is also natural - in the sense that if we didn’t have to ‘grow up’ and own our own feelings we wouldn’t. (There’s a little Peter Pan in all of us, evidently.)

The zodiac’s first quadrant is all about simply being who we are and learning about what the fact we exist (in our own mind as in this world) ... what that all means. Native to the horoscope’s left hemisphere, that first quadrant is all about learning what things are and how they work ... sort of as we do as human beings from the time we’re born until around age seven, when ‘magical’ (baby child) thinking gives way to an understanding that we are both on our own at many levels as individuals AND that there are other people in this world and how they have opinions and needs too.

Not that this transition always goes so very well. The last degree of the first quadrant - 29 Gemini - is described as all degrees are, in many different ways. But amidst all that is a singular note commented on by many a passing astrologer: this is a difficult cusp. In other words, to go from not having to feel anything (apart from instinct) to having feelings we have to feel, navigate and deal with in others isn’t always such a picnic.

And that’s just something which arises, applies, manifests then fades away every time the Sun moves from Gemini into Cancer ... or as part of the general shift from first to second zodiacal considerations, all of which is going to come into play as the Sun passes through 29 Gemini into Cancer (depending on what time zone you’re in) as June 20th becomes June 21st ... then again on June 23rd/June 24th as Mars moves through 29 Gemini in advance of reaching Cancer at 13:34 (1:34 in the afternoon) on June 24th ... and one more time yet again on July 8th as Mercury wraps up a transit of its Gemini ‘home’ sign on July 8th, prior to diving into Cancer.

So what is this about? With the Nodes at 5 and 4 Libra/Aries throughout this time, all three of these ingresses are being made in square - indicating some sort of challenge - to the lunar nodes.

That spells issues having to do with relationships and our ability or willingness to relate (mentally or otherwise).  With the North Node in Libra, we should be keeping an eye on the affect we have on others (which will generate how they respond to us) and whether we are focused on that which is really important in the moment, or merely that part of the situation (or the person) which interests us, scratches our itch or irritates us all to tar.

Cancer ingress of Mars, Chiron Station-Retrograde (glyph chart)
June 24, 2015 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Cancer ingress of Mars, Chiron Station-Retrograde (text chart)
June 24, 2015 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
And with Mars moving into Cancer, that last may be part of the issue. Whether it’s our tar or someone else feeling we’ve tarred them (or that we’re not helping deal with some sticky situation), Mars’ shift into Cancer represents a shift from approximately a year (or so) of being in ‘asserting our opinion and will about, in and through our own life’ mode into a more responsive mode ... which when combined with Cancerian emotionality doesn’t tend to spell (Mars-type) energies and motivations operating under their most comfortable parameters.

In other words, Cancer is - as outlined above - a sign which among other things is reactive, which can be something of a shock after months and months of being personally proactive and more or less being on our own. With Mars, a symbol of asserting and doing and operating and getting things done, suddenly having to wait or wait on others to do whatever they need to do before you can move on can turn into a sudden experience of feeling frustrated. And since Cancer is itself a process of exposing us to emotions and situations we aren’t sure how to grapple with, having anything show up in our life (i.e., the Mars factor) urging us to ‘do,’ ‘feel’ or ‘be’ this or that lest we find ourselves needing to work through some ‘insecurity’ ... tends to prompt the kind of motivation to ‘get it done’ which can become plenty insistent. It can even prompt rebellion and conflict, some of which seems to come out of nowhere.

On the other hand, there are many good uses for, and positive results which can come out of Mars in Cancer. For those who take the six-plus weeks of this transit as an opportunity to tackle tough tasks, give or take all the usual sorts of moments of frustration which go with anything we think of as ‘tough,’ ‘difficult’ or even merely challenging, a lot can get done. Mars in Cancer is one of those transits which can lead to feelings of avoidance, disinterest or defeat even as we are in the process of slaying some dragon-du-jour (emotional, physical, situational or financial) which will eventually lead to feeling better equipped to tackle our prospects for tomorrow.

All of this combines to put us in a position to learn a great deal - most of all about our Self as various focal points in our mind and in the world around us start coming together.

Part of what we learn is likely to perplex us - generally or in terms of what to do in some particular moment. That’s typical Chiron fare, and Chiron is on station and going retrograde on the same day that Mars is moving on into Cancer - June 24th - with that being the last day of last month’s lunar cycle.

Maybe you remember last month’s chit-chat about fixed star Algol being in that lunar mix?

A lot of people have experienced - in themselves and from others - a lot which has to do with our feelings about ourselves, others or the world. That’s the ‘Algol effect,’ and from everything I’ve heard from people, this past month of Algol energetics as part of our (emotional) psyche’s challenges has been anywhere between trying and painful, most often with literally no one to blame and the reality of the situation being a big, fat pointer pointing straight at us - particularly at something we don’t want to deal with, or which we are ravaged at the very thought of having to experience emotionally.

But that’s just what we’re going to be doing, as Chiron’s station is just there ... and its in Pisces - at 21 Pisces, to be exact.

21 Pisces is a degree which focuses on the difference between the tradition (and that which is traditional) and the reality of substance. The first term refers to something we ‘like’ or something which we adopt because ‘it’s always been that way’ or because we were taught about it as part of our cultural life. The second term has to do with practicality and our ability to build something we can rely on and which will provide for us and/or others.

Sometimes these two things do not match - or even come close to meeting in the middle. And annoying as it may seem at the moment (hello, Mars?) this is likely to be one of those moments when we stop trying to dream about and plan for tomorrow in our confronting of today. Something in us or in our regard for (or about) something isn’t working in that 21 Pisces sense of tradition-versus-the-needs-of-reality and we need to deal with that in present tense, whatever that may concern. With Chiron coming to this station at a moment when in opposition to Black Moon Lilith at 23 Virgo, a good number of us will want to turn away from ‘non-traditional’ answers simply because they don’t ‘feel’ right - but is that the right thing to do?

Probably not always - and as far as the feeling part goes, not ever if the underlying problem we’re having with whatever is going on has to do with our discomfort just with the ‘feeling’ part, or in being “made” to feel something we’d rather not feel (which though very human is also negative Pisces and a problem where Chiron is concerned).

And again, this may have something to do with something we’re doing at the moment ... or the dynamics of the moment may pertain to, or be in connection with something from some time ago.

ALL of this would matter under any circumstance: the Chiron side of things would have us wavering on the edge of some internal and personal knife (which isn’t our favorite place to be) as Black Moon Lilith represents some argument we’re having ... or others are having with us ... or life is presenting in abundance ... all of which has to do with something very real (and Virgo-like) which isn’t working which we would (to the depths of our little Pisces souls) like to not have to deal with.

And here it is. So after we cringe and swallow and say ‘ugh’ a few times (in our mind, at least) the question becomes simple: are we going to tackle the challenge or not?

But to all the above (the ‘under any circumstance’ part) we need to add one thing, that being the idea that the solar eclipse which is going to occur on September 9th will be at 20 Virgo, which is in direct opposition to Chiron’s station.

And that means that whatever is currently in motion, of concern, meandering around through our innards causing whatever form of consternation ... for many of us there is the proverbial ‘dotted line’ which connects this Chiron moment with that of the solar eclipse. (Or to be more exact, that of the solar eclipse and the months which then follow, as eclipse effects continue drawing out whatever ills are poisoning our world, life or preventing us from growing and keeping up with our potential ... as opposed to our preferences.)

All of this (of course) is going to be more acute for anyone with any natal planet, dwarf planet, node, or axis point in orb (particularly a hard aspect orb) to the current Chiron station - which with only a few exceptions would be the same list of planets, dwarf planets (etcetera) which would make one particularly susceptible to major life changes coming along at the time of (or in the wake of) this September’s eclipse.

So when we say ‘hard aspects,’ what do we mean? The standard hard aspects are the square and the opposition (with it going without saying that having a solar eclipse hit anything in your chart by conjunction being more than just a simple wild ride). To this, a lot of modernists add the semi-sextile and inconjunct (also known as a quincunx) for their ability to challenge our self-confidence - and seeing how modern life requires ever more confidence (as opposed to the self-absorption of narcissism, which it doesn’t need)... with all of this coming down to a few basics: if your chart contains a point between 16 and 26 degrees of Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius or Gemini, this Chiron station has your name on it in chisel-point marker. This doesn’t mean anything has to be a disaster, but it does imply something needs to change or be changed.

And anyone with a natal chart point between 19 and 23 degrees of Aquarius, Aries, Libra or Leo? You’re on the more emotionally evocative side of this combination, and the emotional chip is probably on your shoulder, not someone else’s. (Getting in touch with this and dealing with it internally would be the aim.)

As opposed to this - just to be clear here - with September’s solar eclipse at 20 Virgo (as opposed to 21 Pisces), the ‘hard aspect’ sign list stays the same. But instead of 16-to-26 degrees being the orb for a Virgo conjunction, Pisces opposition and Gemini or Sagittarian square aspects in your chart (or that of someone you know), the solar eclipse degrees are 15 through 25 for the Gemini or Sagittarius squares, the Virgo conjunction and/or the Pisces opposition ... with 18-22 degrees of Aquarius and Aries being the inconjuncts (denoting adjustments which are going to be made) and 18-22 degrees of Libra or Leo denoting semi-sextiles to the eclipse (a not entirely fun experience of one’s own over-focus, over-sensitivity or excess ego defensiveness on either a specific or general level).   

As for this month’s lunar cycle, that begins with a New Moon at 25 Gemini on June 16th at 14:07 (or 2:07 in the afternoon) UT/+0 time.

New Moon at 25 Gemini (glyph chart)
June 16, 2015 - 14:07 (2:07 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
New Moon at 25 Gemini (text chart)
June 16, 2015 - 14:07 (2:07 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
With a 25 Gemini New Moon, just as last month’s Taurus New Moon led to a month filled with issues about personal security which was all too easy to focus on/onto a ‘Scorpio other’  - in other words,  someone or something else we assigned the role of ‘bad guy’ to as the source of our own instinctual flaws and issues ... this month we know that that our choices, decisions and ‘being of good mind’ (whether in attitude or health) will be easily assigned to (as in ‘isn’t that your job?’) or projected onto an Other (or external situation) which is typified by Sagittarius. In other words, it’s not native to how we think. So where last month we felt our challenges more or less ‘viscerally’ (I’m betting there were a lot of stomach aches during the last lunar month!), this month we’re likely to have a headache.

And for some of us (let’s be honest...) we’re going to BE the headache - even in our own mind.

Not that we’re going to like admitting that, even to ourselves.

There’s are two grand trines in this New Moon chart. One connects Uranus, Jupiter and Pallas in fire signs and the other includes Ceres, Mercury and the North Node, which by virtue of Vesta and the South Node sitting in opposition is actually a kite.

For the following delineation, a couple of different diagrams would be better, but the injuries from last year are still limiting time spent sitting at my desk, so bear with me ... The grand trine within the kite being in the element of air, the ‘should’ here is the North Node in Libra which speaks to a need for the continuation of conversational or theoretical (idea based) activities which are aimed at dealing with the ‘costs’ (Vesta) of that which is thinking of being committed to ... and that which has already been done or committed to.

As for the fire sign trine (which having no kite ‘outlet’ represents ongoing energy) that speaks to a breaking down or changing of one’s view and understanding of your world (or on the world, perhaps) which in tying into the grand square which the New Moon IS part of (through Pallas) speaks to the need for this growth and these changes of attitude, and how probably things will be hardest for those who refuse to change, or for those who think they can ‘outrun’ or ‘avoid’ changes they need to make in spite of the fact that 25 Gemini (the degree of the New Moon) is known as a degree known for a quality of ‘dancing’ which in Gemini could refer to dancing feet and then again, could refer to dancing attitudes, statements and the sort of ‘dancing’ which we think of when someone tries to evade some conversational point.

With 25 Gemini also known for skilled minds and the kind of quick thinking and reactions we associate with athletics and sports the fact that Mars (action, motivation) is conjunct Arachne (entanglement) and just a degree off the New Moon suggests being (Arachne) caught, or caught up in something which, with Tantalus in this line up, is either meant to tempt ... or that we have been tempted prior to now and that’s the source of some Mars/Arachne involvement.

Fixed star Capella (ease of expression) and equally fixed star Bellatrix (difficulty getting the point across) being both in orb here, its to be guessed that a lot of what we deal with this month will be ‘a little of this, a little of that’ and that for that which makes things easier there will indeed be a cost (which not surprisingly refers us back to Vesta).

That Sappho and Chaos are included in this image promises a lot of ‘things’ (conversations, events, sources, situations, opportunities, thoughts, considerations, priorities, meetings, choices - or whatever else they may be) also as part of the lunar month ahead. And with Ixion, Ras Alhague, Pholus and Pallas in opposition, each one of us - in our own space and at our own pace - will be finding some things worth pursuing and other things worth giving in or giving up on, all of which depends on the perspective we are willing to work at developing.

With Chiron still at its degree of station (21 Pisces) all the considerations spoken of in regards to Chiron (and 21 Pisces) are still in play - as is the fact that Black Moon Lilith is still in opposition to Chiron. But with asteroid Germania having joined Black Moon Lilith’s side of the astro-discussion, some of 21 Pisces darker notes (such as its penchant for nastiness to others) may surface here and there during our next lunar month in some lives ...even as other people use the determination and strength of action/actions associated with Germania (and sometimes its 'clout' quality) as governor on their own impulsive or negative impulses.

Remembering how grand squares can either represent multiple things (or ideas, issues, etc.) 'tugging' at us from different direction or a gaining of perspective on some challenging issue which causes a need to reassess and change, there are plainly a lot of emotions which can be in play to choose from (or experience). The 'tugging' quality of grand squares is (frankly) the more common experience of such moments and how we react to such tugging (or pushing) on our time, opinion, schedules, feelings - it can all come together in some very personal stew or celebration at this moment.

And then, considering this is a Full Moon, we move on. Full Moons are seldom the end of anything. But they are often informative - most of all about how we feel things are going in our lives.

From there we move the balance of June...with Mercury exiting the shadow of its May-into-June retrograde on June 27th. So at least at that point, many a matter begun as far back as the earliest part of May (when Mercury entered its retrograde shadow) will now wind up or become clear, allowing us to capitalize on the gains and lay aside a few other things as we move on through our Cancerian days, one by one, until we get to the Full Moon at 9 Capricorn on July 2nd.

Full Moon at 9 Capricorn (glyph chart)
July 2, 2015 - 2:21 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Full Moon at 9 Capricorn (text chart)
July 2, 2015 - 2:21 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
That position - 9 Capricorn - puts the (Full) Moon in conjunction with Pluto at a moment when the ‘other’ side of this Full Moon figure (the Cancer side) has the Sun not just conjunct Mars but also Alhena, a star which always has to do with a purpose or Our Purpose (the daily versus the life-long version, one might say). And just to make things entirely complicated, the Sun-Moon ‘fulfillment’ or ‘coming to fruition’ of this moment is in square to the Nodes of the Moon, forming situations which reflect the testing (and occasionally testy) quality of a(nother) grand square. 

Any time we see the Nodes involved in anything, we know our relationship to something or someone is involved. Good or bad, we’re just not the only one (or our issue isn’t the only issue) on the table, in the pot or otherwise up for consideration. And with the Nodes in one axis and the Sun-Moon in a diametric other, it would be easy to see this combination as our wanting to do ‘Thing A’ for our own convenience, with “everyone else” (or the situation) is calling for something different.

Is this quandary entirely inside our hearts, heads and stomachs? Maybe. Then again, for some of us this sort of image may manifest as some parting of the ways, be it happy or otherwise ... a ‘relationship’ to something or someone going on as they-or-it will as we attend to our own fulfillment.

Or maybe we’re just gaining perspective. There is something about a grand square which asks whether we really understand what’s going on ... which may describe this moment as a ‘relationship’ (i.e., something outside of our Self) giving us input on what we’ve been doing (or who we’ve been being) whether that takes the form of applause, criticism, a request or some form of generally informational feedback. Alternately, maybe we’re the one who ‘sees’ what’s going on in some situation and that understanding is allowing us to bring some effort or aim to some sort of moment of fulfillment, whether ultimately tiny or vital.

The North Node always representing something we should do (or be, or know, or see to) the North Node at 5 Libra, a degree which speaks to two sides of the Libra question, that being dependence versus independence and all the feelings we have about same, particularly as that applies to what we do or don’t do when we see some person/thing which “should” be able to succeed, but which doesn’t ... and when that comprehending (of that other thing) raises in us an empathic understanding of struggle in us which itself is in a conflict with our desire not to be involved for whatever reason. Having the North Node conjunct asteroid Medusa as it is here adds a note about being afraid of our own capacity which fixed star Diadem (currently at 9 Libra) aims a beam of critical thinking ... or merely criticism...of the ‘did you not learn?’ (aka, learn yet) to the whole discussion.

Against this we have the South Node conjunct Vesta at 5 and 7 Aries, respectively, a combination which speaks either to the ‘cost’ of easily raised problems or the problem (and thus the cost) of being able to raise problems too easily. This ‘cost’ concept will at this point have been with us for plural weeks as Vesta started out at 4 Aries as the Sun entered Cancer, exactly conjuncting the South Node on June 22nd through 24th, sort of ‘bridging’ the gap - happily or otherwise - between the Sun and Mars entering Cancer, posing some sort of question as to what we are going to do (about what in particular being entirely individual).

But we are being given a few other clues here. In square to the Sun and Moon in Capricorn and Cancer, this South Node would seem to be referencing matters which pertain to one’s ‘standing’ and ‘reputation’ or possible paths forward or opportunities, all of which should be dealt with in terms of those (North Node, Medusa, Diadem) things we probably should know by now ... but do we?

Then there’s just the Sun and Moon of it all, which here expresses some measure of (Mars-Sun-Alhena) focus on what we feel and where we think - or have been thinking - we’re going, plus (or against) a Moon at 9 Capricorn which in conjunction with Facies-Kassandra on one side (at 8 Capricorn) and Pluto (i.e., Pluto-Vega) on the other side (at 14 and 15 Capricorn) speaks to the (Facies) many factors which we can’t believe ... and so many things which are unbelievable ... along with issues like ‘who am I to believe?’ which understandably goes right to Mars in Cancer’s sulkier tendencies and habits, which here - being in opposition may speak to some opposition to something, or simply something which gets in the way, be it just an innocent rainstorm raining on your parade or picnic.

With all four points of this grand square in cardinal (“doing oriented”) signs, there’s bound to be a lot of activity, some of which is rushed, some of which is precise and deftly on target and some of which is uncalled for, at best.

But let’s remember ... we are just talking about a Full Moon here. So though the balloon may go up or the proposal may go off without a hitch, that’s not the end of anything.

There’s more to go, there’s more to be done. Beyond whatever happens at the moment of any Full Moon it’s always something of a cosmic ‘shifting of gears’ which comes with a change of mood, energy level and thus, direction.

Ah yes... the universe is a mysterious place.

With Neptune at 9 Pisces there is - in addition to everything else - a softer side of this highlighting process. Neptune’s influences tend to ‘fuzzy’ the edges of things, which may mean we’re just farther off-base in our inability (or unwillingness) to see something ... and then again may mean that we’re able to have some compassion about something, about someone ... about how hard it is to get ourselves to do some things and yes, how very universal such tendencies are.

Plus (of course), what does knowing all that really say about who we are (most of all in our own estimation), who we have been being, who we are going to be and what (or who) we are going to have to face ‘facing up to,’ complete with all the Facies details and (Cancer Mars-Sun) self-exposing details?

There are some real challenges which are likely to arise in connection with this Full Moon - as we’ve talked about, Mars in Cancer can be very productive, but when it isn’t being productive (for whatever reason) it tends to manifest as puddles of dissatisfaction and frustration.

And since Moon-Pluto contacts are widely known as moments of emotional in-depth over-focus (which if over the line get called obsessions) ... the point is, this Full Moon pitches our feelings against our ability to have, and to be seen as we would want (or at least prefer). Some of us will take this on as a challenge to change our Self, some of us will project whatever they’re feeling onto others or blame someone else, and some of us will realize that whether we like it or not, we need to tackle whatever it is which in time (not immediately, but in time) stands a chance of getting us where we want to go.

So at the moment of this Full Moon it’s entirely possible we’re going to be feeling like we ‘cannot believe’ something ... or that we don’t believe something is possible. And whether we’re on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ side of this believing, whatever it pertains to in our lives is that which we are going to be moving on ‘from’ (or towards) as Mercury itself moves from Gemini into Cancer (or from a ‘pure thinking’ into a ‘thinking about emotions and in emotional terms’ mode) as of July 8th...

Cancer ingress of Mercury (glyph chart)
July 8, 2015 - 18:53 (6:53 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Cancer ingress of Mercury (text chart)
July 8, 2015 - 18:53 (6:53 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
... which is just a few days shy of July 13th, that being the date when eclipse effects begin and where we’ll be taking up this tale as that time comes along.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Gemini Sun, a Taurus New Moon and Mercury Station-Retrograde

A balloon festival in Chateaux d'Oex, Switzerland
(photo credit: Jynus January 2006)
Fixed star Algol has a bit of an evil reputation ... one which is associated with how, why and what gets us to respond, whether to others, or something we really don’t like in or about our Self, what we're experiencing, and sometimes in terms of what we need to do, be, accept or recognize our part in (or responsibility for) - maybe as part of some greater relationship with others, but maybe just as part of dealing with our own reactions to our various life challenges.

To put it politely, Algol promotes growling - and this reputation hasn’t been enhanced/made any nicer by its long-term residence at 26 Taurus as 26 Taurus is a degree known for wanting things to be ‘nice’ (which in Taurus reads ‘the way I want them to be’) ... and just as often with little or no regard or though for anyone else or their preferences.

 New Moon at 26 Taurus with Mercury direct and on Station (glyph chart)
May 18, 2015 - 4:14 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 New Moon at 26 Taurus with Mercury direct and on Station (text chart)
May 18, 2015 - 4:14 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
That would be part of the problem, of course ... with the other part being how wherever Algol is positioned (in the sky or in our chart) that would be an 'area of life' where things (or we are) “designed” to get poked, prodded, prompted, provoked and otherwise rousted from, by or through that devotion to our own perspective from time to time.

After all, how would Algol's presence at 26 Taurus play out if everything was going the way we thought it should?

Another thing about Algol worth mentioning: though Algol is indeed positioned at the aforementioned 26 Taurus, Algol is NOT part of the constellation Taurus.

Instead, it’s part of constellation Perseus. And any time we talk about Perseus, slayer of Medusa, we know there’s some sort of theme in play about being tested against our fears and all we fear most, whether that’s in/about our Self, or otherwise...

...all of which applies not just to the idea of a New Moon at 26 Taurus (and conjunct Algol) at 4:14 a.m. on Monday, May 18th (UT/+-0), but also to the idea that anything about Perseus refers to times which are going to confront us with some sort of question about our ability ... and (equally) our willingness to get past something we consider ‘fearful’ - whether what matters to us matters to the next person or not.

And that's not all (not by a country mile, as they say ...). That same day ... Monday, May 18th ... is also the date when the North Node arrives at 8 Libra.

Astrologically, New Moons start cycles - either cycles of activity or cycles of experience, effort, realization or anything which will prompt emotional growth or growth as some sort of ‘maturing’ process which itself may last a month but the values of which (or the values we come to have because of our experiences) last far, far longer.

So just on the surface here, with this New Moon occurring in a responsive, responding, internally testing (and often testy) degree just as the North Node (the ‘do this’ side of the lunar node pair) arrives at 8 Libra ... that would tend to say there is a lot of this next lunar month which is going to be all about how much we’ve really learned in life and how realistic we’re willing to be about things - as opposed to what we want or like thinking, having to say or admit, do or grapple with believing. 

Most of us just don’t want to do what we need to do, and with the North Node at 8 Libra, some of us don’t even know how we can do what we need to do - which rather gets back to what side of the Algol line we’re standing. Are we on the side which has been threatened by something in life? Or are we on the side which has been doing the threatening, whether purposeful or otherwise?

Much which exists as a consequence of what we have done (or chosen not to do) will now show up through where our lack of being responsible - ultimately for our Self - has been laid aside or rejected in favor of comfort or short term pleasures. These things - which now reflect through circumstances around us (relationships, situations, confrontations, influences) - they all speak of the Libra connection between who we are and how that affects others.

No human is an island, to nudge the old saying. With the North Node at 8 Libra from May 18th through June 2nd, it’s more than likely that at least a few of the things or issues which we have ignored or put off too long - those things will rise again, maybe in life, or maybe in the inner recesses of our eternally tender conscience.

Evidently we need to feel a little ouch, a little disquietude, a little discomfort. Evidently that’s what life thinks we need to get us past our personal inertia. With Mars having moved into Gemini last week (on Tuesday the 12th), much is in motion and much wants to get done.

Was that our wanting to be “too busy” to deal with the things which are going to pop up now and in the days ahead? Was that life moving to throw so much into our days and onto our mental tables that we would have to stop and make sure we were doing what we needed to do - which would be so very Mars in Gemini both from a ‘doing’ perspective and from the Gemini ‘thinking it through and refining my plans’ way?

Plus all of this is happening with Mercury already on station. With Mercury due to go retrograde on Tuesday the 19th (at 1:50 in the morning), it’s station fully embraces the New Moon and the Moon’s North Node moving into a position where it will set off either a slew of learning through the experience of loss, or through the application of understanding what loss is - and what that means not only to us, but to others, maybe even those we have chosen to ignore.

So this would seem to be a turning point of some sort, although not one which will produce its ‘outcomes’ promptly. Mercury won’t be going direct again until June 11th.

Mercury Station-Retrograde (glyph chart)
May 19, 2015 - 1:49 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)

 Mercury Station-Retrograde (text chart)
May 19, 2015 - 1:49 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury Station-Direct (glyph chart)
June 11, 2015 - 22 33 (10 33 pm, UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Mercury Station-Direct (text chart)
June 11, 2015 - 22 33 (10 33 pm, UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
And with that Mercury station-direct moment overlapping Neptune’s station-retrograde (Neptune goes retrograde on June 12th), some things will still be confused at that point while other things will be in the middle of being ‘dissolved’ or revealed as incorrect (false, untrue, non-viable, unworkable, etc.) at that time... and going forward through June.

But so you know, there are just as many positives to Mercury + Neptune as negatives - it’s all in how you use it. The basic idea being that Mercury represents thought, speech or comprehension and Neptune’s actions melt things away while making them diffuse and fuzzy (or foggy and mysterious ... even magical or mystical) along the way, this combination supports the suspension of disbelief (believing) just as often as it leads to a lifting of a veil which reveals a reality which isn’t what we thought it was.

So while Mercury (plus) Neptune can equal deceit and self-delusion (lying to ourselves), it can also represent anything which is all about ‘letting go’ of some hard or fast shell. Or some illusion about something or someone which really needs to go. This Mercury/Neptune period for some will no doubt be and become a time of joy, of pleasure of all those things we look back on as that memory we so treasure. It can represent a time when we indulge in some ‘suspending of reality’ which is entirely harmless, such as when we read a book or watch a movie, ‘forgetting’ the “real world” outside as we indulge in the story or excitement in the tale.  

As for the planetary ‘layout’ of Mercury’s station, it’s both interesting for what it is, and interesting in what it isn’t - as diagrammed here:

The above pictures the astrological ‘planetary picture’ known as a kite. This being a day after the New Moon, the Moon (which moves more-or-less a half-degree per hour) has already left Taurus for Gemini. In fact, as Mercury goes direct the Moon is in conjunction with royal star Aldebaran, lending either the specter of hope or need to priorities, actions, statements and choices made in conjunction with this station - and by implication, with all which would be connected to how we deal with and what we do with this entire period ... and all which comes from its influence(s), whether in terms of what happens in the world, what we do because of what happens around us, or who we are to be in this world, part of this world, and a member of the great family of mankind which - whether we like it or not - is charged with the care of our planet and everything about our world, including ourselves, each other and everything other part of Creation.

After all, didn’t we all get taught that what we don’t make we should be responsible for - and certainly not going around breaking?

As for that idea - breaking, breakage or however else it wants to be conjugated, while we tend to think of that as bad, it doesn’t have to be. A ‘breakthrough’ breaks the barrier presented with equal destruction as that which merely damages, it’s just one we like and one we don’t like.

But that very idea - the what we like versus what we don’t like - that is, in part, the very lynchpin being operated on now. So what is good and what is bad - and will we know right now?

Maybe. Then again, maybe not. About the only ‘clue’ we have is that end-of-Mercury’s-retrograde fact that there is a Neptunian moment of ‘letting go’ of (or losing) something which is going to happen or take shape as we move towards and into the middle of June.

As usual, it depends on where we are starting - a position we would find and outline by using your natal, solar and current lunar charts. But barring that (and the particulars of nuance which come with your personal and individual data), one thing we can say: the emotional underpinnings of this month are still going to have a Taurean flavor, whatever else they become. And because of that, considering the New Moon and its Algol-ian ‘ill flavor,’ we are all and every each one of us more than usually prone to being (or at least acting) in ways others will react to (because remember, they’re busy reacting to things in their own Algol-North Node/8 Libra-tinged ways  in ... well, maybe not the most positive of manners. And if we’re not conscious of who we are and why anyone and everyone is doing what they’re doing (including our first person Self), we’re going to respond to their responses with something which will just make everything worse - all because we all tend to have so much trouble with understanding how anyone could like what we don’t like, be it a way of life or a flavor of ice cream.

You know, that Taurus/Scorpio polarity thing.

So let’s think ... are we going to like this process?

Probably not. Between the North Node (which represents that we don’t want to HAVE to do) being at 8 Libra (not the zodiac’s happiest transit point) in a moment when Algol’s snark-snap-bite is being evoked not just for a day but as a background ‘theme’ which lasts the entire lunar month (read: until the Gemini New Moon of June 16) ... it doesn’t exactly sound like a summer peaches-and-cream sort of delight.

Still, that doesn’t mean good can’t come out of these days - or the month which flows from them. It’s just that it’s not going to be easy (for us) to get there ... or rather, it’s not going to be easy for us to want to do the thing which will get us there.

And is that about the difficulty of the moment - or about simply who we are?

Answer: yes.

In other words, your guess is as good as mine here, as that information would come from your personal chart. So alas, only time will tell. And when time does ‘tell,’ (time speaks to many things) those who are listening will have the opportunity for a kind of personal insight which stands us very well in the long run for freeing us from unworkable preconceived notions. 

As for that planetary picture (ye olde kite) Mercury is in a grand trine with Ceres/Chaldea and the North Node, the idea of guarding old ways and general ‘guardianship’ (responsibility of some type) is presented as an ‘ongoing’ issue. But when you come right down to it ... as we start zeroing in or focusing in on things, what we are likely to find is the “full kite” effect - that being a kite which doesn’t include Mercury, but which is valid using the Moon and royal star Aldebaran, the star which guarantees success only where we have not compromised (never mind violated) some integral standard of integrity.

This suggests the possibility of somewhat divergent impulses. One one hand, the Mercury station grand trine speaks to ongoing ideas, standing agreements and existent ways of doing things. On the other hand, there is a need (read: requirement) that we maintain our integrity (particularly our emotional integrity) in our efforts - represented by the kite’s two sextiles, to deal either with our own propensity either for outbursts of aggression or the experience of violence resulting from any other viable, acceptable or applicable skill ... or the finding of something which can harness the ‘untapped’ energies currently manifesting in-or-as something undesirable. Both are ‘sides’ of 8 Aries, a degree which in this moment is conjunct Medea (obsessive, often self-destructive energy) and which even after Medea moves away is going to influence life matters for the next while (until June 2nd).

Lore speaks of this degree as being one which is ultimately bent on getting us to clarify who we are - which would be very consistent with Aries’ typically first person “I/me” energy. The problem lies with getting us there - which given how 8 Aries is being activated by the South Node suggests the way forward is at least in part about working to understand what that North Node at 8 Libra ‘loss’ factor is.

After all, with Diadem involved, there is something of incredible value to be learned - or simply gained. But it’s going to take time. Considering how the ruler of Libra (in which the North Node and Diadem sit) is Venus and how as of May 17th (the date Mercury’s station begins) Venus will be in opposition to Pluto-Vega-Kassandra in Capricorn there are unbelievable (Kassandra) potentials and much fervency and passion being felt on the part of some.

This Venus opposition to Pluto (inclusive of oppositional orb) lasts from the 17th through late on May 27th (in the UT/+0 zone). And while they’re feeling that, others are experiencing a few days of passionate disbelief - or perhaps the disbelief, even the rejection of a level of some passion, should they be an observer.

One other perhaps miscellaneous Mercury note: when Mercury goes direct on June 11th, it will be doing so at 4 Gemini, the degree in exact opposition (polarity) to 4 Sagittarius - which is the degree Saturn went retrograde at back on March 14th.

Did some sort of (Phaethon) haste ... or determination concreted hastily ‘back then’ lead to where we are now, making the whole of the impending Mercury retrograde somehow about working out where we were and how far we have (or haven’t) gotten since March 14th?

Maybe that’s why we’re going to make a change about something? Or now change something about whatever we were working with or on back then?

It could be. Then again, we could just be doing something more normal and mundane with our Mercury retrograde - like cleaning out the garage or doing our filing (mental, digital or otherwise). Mercury retrograde represents a chance to ‘catch up,’ either with our Self or others, which is why we often hear from people we haven’t heard from in a while under Mercury retrograde, and why Mercury retrograde is also a time to stop and ‘fill in the gaps,’ whether that means doing research, making plans or working on something you need in order to move ahead once Mercury does go direct.

Apart from all that however, is a whole other way to see the kite. Kites often represent a new way to ‘see’ or approach things - and if you think of that  as grabbing the ‘kite string’ which would theoretically be tied to the tail of a real kite, that suggests that there are options and opportunities which require or depend on our willingness (or ability) to go through some sort of North Node, 8 Libra, Diadem sort of experience - maybe in our own mind (we are talking about air sign Libra here, so this could all be a mental escapade) ... or maybe with regards to a relationship, or our ability or inability to relate to some external thing, person, organization or situation.

As Mercury goes retrograde, two other celestial objects are also on station, too. One (Damocles) is going retrograde at 25 Aquarius, a degree which complicates the Damocles nature, that nature being all about the very human habit we all have to critique, criticize and think we could do a better job with something UNTIL we’re the one in the hot seat - at which point we suddenly recognize how what we were being so glib about critiquing is a whole lot harder and far more complicated than we had thought.

And maybe that means we should think a little more before speaking? Or that we should learn a little more about what we’re taking a position on (or talking about) before taking that position? This goes to both the stationing degrees of Mercury and Damocles in that 13 Gemini (Mercury’s position) is all about abilities which though substantial are frustrated by mechanisms/people which are defined (astrologically) as being quite possibly ‘less qualified’ on the specific subject but more ‘acceptable’ and ‘easily grasped’ or accessed. 13 Gemini asks that we bridge some gap, and that gap starts within our Self. To be truly and fully successful, we need to understand within our Self (the retrograde pointing to this being an inner comprehension being sought).

And yet, will we want to? Where we have already done this sort of thing, is that what is now coming to the surface for us to explore and learn from?

In adding in Damocles 25 Aquarius, we begin to see something more of the dynamics here as 25 Aquarius is a social/non-personal third-decanate degree in the airy sign of Aquarius, a sign which is social, systemic and which turns brittle, fracturing wherever and whenever we attempt to bend the universal Aquarian whole into some shape which suits our individual (Leo) ego-defined preferences.

This polarity - the Leo/Aquarian polarity - is about using our ego to develop our Self so that we find a place in society, with the finding part of that process being the Aquarian part. So when we speak of Damocles going retrograde in the latter part of Aquarius, we are speaking of a difficulty we are finding with or in society as we are trying to go about our business or find our personal place/space in this world ... or we are realizing that something about the world’s issues (and our conviction that we can ‘fix that’) is ... well, a bit more difficult and complicated than we thought it was.

And all the experiences which will get us into this space? That’s what we will be experiencing as both Damocles and Mercury go into retrograde on Tuesday, May 19th (UT/+0) ... just as the motion of dwarf planet Orcus turns to direct.

Roman god Orcus represents all that can no longer be changed, and in going retrograde at 5 Virgo, Orcus speaks to several things, all of which are going to operate under the auspices of royal star Regulus, the star which tells us that what we do (our choices, actions, priorities, methods) is only successful when our actions (thoughts, choices, positions, etc.) are in no way connected with any desire for revenge.

At 5 Virgo, Orcus’ current ‘finality’ concerns all which has been done and all the many people and other forms of life which have been operating out of a sense of doing what was required or asked of them.

Something is done ... or something has come to be done. Those who have done the ‘doing’ are either ‘done’ themselves, or they are done ‘doing’ or they are ‘done’ with whatever has been formerly regarded as a serviceable duty. And now all of that is coloring the need to bridge some gap in terms of whatever cannot be changed (or perhaps carried on with or continued in its current form/format) even as Damocles goes into retrograde at 25 Aquarius, a degree which in adding a very distinct and sometimes violently determined energetic speaks to some gnawing at the bit, a bit of biting the hand which feeds us and a whole variety of merry variations on feeling torn about something on the inside while needing to keep moving on the outside.

And yes, those two impulses could be about the very same thing. They don’t have to be about the same thing ... but they could be, in which case the frustration being felt by others would be understandably felt by us, speaking of Algol.

Then again, we could be at a loss. Or thinking about what we may stand to lose ... or need to lose, which with Damocles in Aquarius and the North Node in Libra like as not refers to some (Libra) relationship we have - whether to others, our ability to relate to others, or something having to do with how we feel about our (Damocles) chances of making something work, either in our own mind or in some more interactive or public situation.

And again - all of this is happening under a lunation (lunar month) influence which will tend to make it difficult for us to even want to see things from any other perspective apart from our own, even if that’s where our answer is.

All of this is what it is and takes place within forty-eight hours (between May 18th and 19th). Then we get a day of dealing with Mercury just having gone retrograde at a moment when the Sun is at 29 this-could-be-sticky degrees of Taurus, that being what the Sun has to do before it then enters Gemini at 8:46 in the morning on May 21st (UT/+0).

Sun in Gemini (glyph chart)
May 21, 2015 - 9:44 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Sun in Gemini (text chart)
May 21, 2015 - 9 44 am (UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Gemini is much like Sun in Taurus in the sense that it’s about the ‘me’ of life. It’s basic and like all three of the first quadrant zodiac signs (those signs being Aries, Taurus, Gemini), it’s about learning to be the person we are (part one), and in time, learning how to be that person to our benefit.

(Yes, we all have things to learn about being who we are - at least metaphysically!)

So as fire sign/first sign Aries is about learning how to ‘be’ and operate our body (eat, sleep, walk, smile, pee, etc.) so that we can in time have a good (Libra) effect on others (or at least the effect we want to have on them) ... and just as second zodiac sign Taurus is where we learn to recognize that now that we exist we have to take care of our Self (leading to all of those Taurus ‘desires’ which tend to manifest as ‘gathering to our Self’ everything we need while working out how to control enough life factors that we feel secure) ... Gemini, as the first of the zodiac air signs is all our experience of ideas - initially as input from others and then as the process of thinking for our Self. Gemini experiences - and all of the many ‘Gemini options’ are about learning how to think, how to think about those things, and about learning to choose from our options those which will work for us. Gemini is about learning to learn and learning what learning how assembling ideas creates knowledge and how putting plural ideas to work in the form of a ‘plan’ can teaches us ever more interesting things - such as how to succeed with others and in the world.

That part of the puzzle (as with all signs) is expressed by Gemini’s polarity sign - in this case,  Sagittarius, a sign which to the Gemini process represents not only another “source” of ideas and options (all of which will test whether we have learned to discipline our thinking and stay on course, on subject, on schedule and on top of things) but reactions to what we say, reactions to what we do and responses from all the way around the mulberry bush with regards to our plans, our goals, our efforts and whatever else we “put out there.”

So with the Sun in Gemini, we live in our heads more than usual. We’ll talk about things in ‘idea form’ more than usual. We’ll discuss what we think of things, we’ll debate the merit of things, we’ll want to see and think through options ... and we’re likely to be both more frustrated - and frustrating - when it comes time to make a decisions (“There are just too many options - I can’t decide!!!”). With the Sun entering Gemini in opposition to Saturn (at 1 Sagittarius), there are things which matter to us and no doubt at least a few things we need to attend to. And as  Mercury in retrograde as the Sun is starting into its annual game of Gemini hopscotch, we’re likely to be ‘stuck’ on something or about something in some way. This doesn’t have to be a problem, but it could be, especially where we (Gemini can sound disoriented when it isn’t, sound organized when it isn’t and otherwise change tack or tactics with the speed of the wind)

Around the end of the month (on the morning of May 30th in the UT/+0 zone) the Sun - in direct motion - meets up with Mercury, still in retrograde, at 8 Gemini, turning the Mercury/Moon kite formation we’ve already discussed into one with the Sun instead of the Moon and Mercury now folded (origami style, no doubt) into the kite. The ‘tail’ of any astrological kite image always being the thing we are supposed to ‘take hold of’ and use for ‘steering’ purposes, this again points us back towards all those things we should be doing or accepting as part of (North Node) life (even if we don’t want to) and either the application or learning about things through difficulties and (most often) loss, whether or not that really ‘costs’ us. The grand trine between North Node, Sun/Mercury and Ceres being an airy one, much of this operates on the mental level, which given Mercury retrograde and its well-earned reputation for making things difficult and requiring us to work through difficulties ... or to wait for them to clear up ... that could help as we hold firm to things we believe in.

Then again, it may make things harder if what we’re holding onto isn’t true or doesn’t work - whether it has before now or not.

About the time Mercury goes direct and Neptune turns to retrograde is when the Sun catches up with Mars at 21 Gemini, a degree which is known for a dissipating or scattering effect, which with perspective-oriented Pallas in opposition may indicate feeling scattered, having disconnected or ‘scattered’ things on your mind or plate to get done. The Mars side of things may speak to a (Mars) impulse or effort to ‘scatter’ or perhaps split something into parts or pieces ... is this because of some (Pallas) perspective we have come to have as Mercury goes direct and Neptune turns to retrograde? Is it because we get some sort of (Sagittarian) feedback or input from someone or some source which gives us some enlightening or possibly important form of Pallas ‘perspective’ on what we’re doing?

With Sun in Gemini what we learn about our Self always (at least over time) puts us in a better position to be productive - however we define that term. There's a nonce of a negative which goes with this ... namely how we’re not likely to be in the mood to be told things, so if you happen to be someone who's been told that you come off 'tougher' than you mean to ... or if you're just natively of an authoritarian bent (or too assertive) ... especially after Mars and the Sun come into orb of conjunction around May 29th (and escalating on from there)... you may want to make an effort over these next weeks (until the Sun moves into Cancer) to soften your tone, lest it set off ill feelings or cause someone to think you’re saying something you don’t mean to be saying at all.

And just to give you a preview, after Mars in Gemini comes Mars in Cancer, an entire month plus (read: six weeks) filled with touches of moodiness. (In other words, plan on dealing with the need to modulate energies and responses through the beginning of August).

The irony of the ‘flip side’ to all this is how we are (for the greatest part) open to conversations and dialogues. And if, or to the extent that we can keep some “Pallas perspective” on what we’re doing without needing to get poked (gently and/or otherwise) by others, we’re likely to find that a light touch and willingness to free ourselves up to hear things we may have been resisting talking about just a short time ago. And give or take the fact no Mercury retrograde ever runs in a straight line (and how by the end of Mercury retrograde the Sun and Mars running in Gemini sync (a fact which from there is going to go on for a while) energies are going to be running high.

Some will use this freewheeling, ultra-airy energy (think: 'free as the wind...') to work through complicated problems. Some will experience this energy as an easy-running period which for whatever reason feels as effortless as the flight of birds riding the passing breeze.

With Mercury traversing Gemini for the whole of the time the Sun is illuminating each of Gemini's degrees, each of them a chance to see a different facet of life through our mind's eye. The restlessness of Gemini energy can have us chasing paperwork or dreaming up fabulous plans at the same times that we're having to look for our car keys because we've gotten distracted (but you know ... who cares?) and when waiting for so-and-so to get back to us with that VERY important information even while attending to ninety-two other things can be terribly irritating - or just the excuse we've been looking for. It’s the sort of combination which can have us thinking we’ve heard what people are saying when we’re really only hearing what we want to hear not out of malice, but because we want so much to bounce ideas around with someone. Like the zodiac’s other three mutable signs (Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) Gemini speaks to situations and processes best served by being flexible enough to change a few things along the way even while continuing to aim for a previously determined goal. With Gemini being Mercury’s ‘home’ sign, having the Sun in Gemini through June 21st (when it moves on into Cancer) may be a time when there’s too much in our heads and seemingly too much noise to concentrate.

But it’s all meant to get us closer to knowing who we are. Gemini provides options so that we learn how to think and how to put together a life which ‘works’ for us. In doing so, first we ‘set’ our eyes on some far (Sagittarian) horizon ... which may or may not be what we think it is, which may or may not be desirable if and when we get there.

All of which teaches us what our mental priorities are ... and sometimes what they should be instead. When that happens, we react to what we’re learning about our Self, we deal with the million thoughts and questions about what this new information ‘means’ to everything else we know of and work it in among all our other affairs ... or not.

And that’s the Gemini influence, one which this year (at least for a time) will surely be affected in some way by all we associate with the North Node at 8 Libra. With regards to Sun in Gemini, the ‘loss’ implied by 8 Libra may refer to thoughts like ‘last time I tried that and it didn’t work - I’m going to try something else.’ Or maybe someone you are working with isn’t there, meaning you’re going to have to work by yourself and therefore do that Gemini ‘thinking thing’ by yourself since you’ve ‘lost’ the opportunity (at least for the moment?) to do things as you’re used to doing them.

And how does that apply to the myth behind Gemini? Well, to condense the myth from a gallon of text down to a verbal  teaspoon, the story behind Gemini centers largely on this constellation's two hallmark stars: Castor and Pollux.

Constellation Gemini
(image generated using Stellarium software)
In the story, Castor and Pollux are twin brothers. And when one of the brothers (Castor) tries to win his point using brute strength, he gets utterly struck town - only to be saved by his brother Pollux, a quick thinking (not to mention well-spoken) type who so impresses head honcho Olympian god Zeus (aka astrology's Jupiter) that Zeus agrees to save Castor by turning both brothers into stars, where each would be able to shine in their own right.

The thing to remember about this myth is that we are both Castor AND Pollux: we often try to lead with our ‘strong’ points and strengths, only resorting to more intellectual (read: air sign oriented) solutions once the fact we are going to pay some price (in other words, absorb some loss) has become evident.

All of which makes thinking through this conglomeration of symbols - and all which flows from them - all the more serious, all the more worth thinking through (that would be very Gemini, after all) and exquisitely woven with possibilities.

So ... what are we willing to try?