Planetary Ingresses

STARDATE:  December, 2017
All times Pacific Standard Time, USA. (For EST, add three hours.)

Planetary Ingresses (when planets move to a new sign)

Dec 1, 1:14 am, Venus to Sagittarius.
What is Sagittarius’s advice to Venus about relationships, creativity and aesthetics?
Keep relationships interesting; have new experiences together; see what’s funny about each other’s differences. Creativity: don’t be afraid to experiment, and remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What is Venus’s gift to Sagittarius?
Tact, tolerance, fairness, acceptance of people as they are.

Dec 9, 12:59 am, Mars to Scorpio
What is Scorpio’s advice to Mars about courage, assertion, and physical sexuality?
Be direct. What do you truly want most, right now and long term? Keeping desire alive means relating to the whole person, including his or her shadow or wounded side. Help each other with your “baggage” and unresolved conflicts.
What is Mars’s gift to Scorpio?
Passion. Strength of will. Acting on your feelings once they’re understood.

Dec 19, 8:48 pm, Saturn to Capricorn
What is Capricorn’s advice to Saturn about maturity, realism and priorities?
Saturn doesn’t need much advice, since it rules Capricorn, but Capricorn offers it nonetheless: Think and plan ahead, but remember that you can’t protect yourself from every single mishap in the world. Don’t let fear or caution stop you from living a full life.
What is Saturn’s gift to Capricorn?
Self-sufficiency. Patience. Planning. Adulthood.

Dec 21, 8:28 am, Sun to Capricorn: the winter solstice
What is Capricorn’s advice to the Sun about sanity, identity, leadership, and how to nourish your life force?
Don’t neglect your “executive function” (being sufficiently organized, keeping your locus of control within, managing your own life). Sometimes you have to delay gratification. Be yourself, don’t try to impress others with a façade.
What is the Sun’s gift to Capricorn?
Energy, vitality, self-confidence, willingness to shine, not making yourself small to avoid others’ reactions to you or your gifts, being yourself rather than a false self

Dec 24, 9:26 pm, Venus to Capricorn
What is Capricorn’s advice to Venus about relating, aesthetics and creativity?
Reserve, and a couple’s differing needs for time alone, aren’t good or bad; they just are, the way brown eyes are neither good nor bad. You need to respect one another. Take your time getting to know someone or learning an art form. Don’t cling.
What is Venus’s gift to Capricorn?
A desire to connect with others, rather than staying isolated all the time. The instinct to share. The ability to consider others’ feelings about a situation, as well as its practical side. Helping others save face without lying or patronizing them. Speaking  softly even when you have to carry a big stick.

Moon Void of Course (VOC) times:
During the VOC times listed below, don’t start something you want to finish well.

12-1, VOC in Taurus, 5:53 pm to 12-2 at 1:21 pm, Moon enters Gemini
12-4, VOC in Gemini, 11:12 am to 12:36 pm, Moon enters Cancer
12-6, VOC in Cancer, 9:55 am, to 12:37 pm, Moon enters Leo
12-8, VOC in Leo, to 3:08 pm, Moon enters Virgo
12-10, VOC in Virgo, 7:02 pm, to 9:01 pm, Moon enters Libra
12-13, VOC in Libra, 4:27 am, to 5:58 am, Moon enters Scorpio
12-14, VOC in Scorpio, 5:42 pm, to 12-15 at 5:07 pm, Moon enters Sagittarius
12-18, VOC in Sagittarius, 5:09 am, to 5:33 am, Moon enters Capricorn
12-20, VOC in Capricorn, 7:37 am, to 6:29 pm Moon enters Aquarius
12-23, VOC in Aquarius, 2:12 am, to 6:41 am, Moon enters Pisces
12-24, VOC in Pisces, 6:48 pm, to 12-25 at 4:26 pm, Moon enters Aries
12-27, VOC in Aries, 12:57 pm, to 10:23 pm, Moon enters Taurus
12-29, VOC in Taurus, 6:01 am, to 12-31 am, Moon enters Gemini
12-31, VOC in Gemini at 3:38 pm


12-3, full Moon ,11 degrees Gemini (opposing Sun in 11 degrees Sag.) 7:47 am
A full Moon that pumps up your curiosity, your ability to learn, listen, teach, and communicate—and your awareness that communication means dialogue, not a one-way street. Mental energy and activity can run high. Investigate something you’ve always wanted to experience.
A waning Moon until the 17th:
Finish what you want to finish.
If you want to break a bad habit, set that intention and break this habit during a waning Moon, because you want the habit to diminish.

12-17, new Moon, 26 degrees Sagittarius
(with Sun conjunct Moon in Sagittarius), 10:30 pm
A new Moon that inclines us toward tolerance, good will, and generosity, and we may feel philosophical. Find someone with whom you enjoy discussing the world’s issues and the human condition, or write yourself a journal entry about those topics. What makes your life most meaningful? Think of it as a pre-New-Year’s-Resolutions assessment.
A waxing Moon until Jan. 2nd.
Start what you want to start and to go well, to “wax” and grow.
If you want to begin a good habit or a new phase of your life, your career, your relationship, etc., set that intention and begin it during a waxing Moon, because you want the new habit or phase to increase and grow.

1-2, full Moon, 11 degrees Cancer (opposing Sun in 11 degrees Capricorn),
10:26 am

Stardate, November 2017

Stardate, November 2017.
All times Pacific.

Scorpio, All Hallows’ Eve and the Day of the Dead: Happy Ghost-hunting!

As a genre, horror films, shows, or novels seem more popular than ever these days. At Halloween, a.k.a. All Hallows’ Eve, people who would never watch a terrifying movie are often happy to escort their children for trick or treating, or to wear costumes themselves, go to parties or parades, and enjoy some sweets.
On All Saints’ Day, November 1st, which is a holy day in Roman Catholicism and which Mexico calls the Day of the Dead, many people remember and honor their departed friends and relatives. With or without a ritual, some of us make personal altars for our dead, while others visit them and have a family picnic in the cemetery.

Halloween comes down to us from the millenia when it was Samhain, one of the eight festivals of the pagan year. The veils between the worlds are said to open at Samhain, which is why the living and the dead supposedly draw closer to one another then, and why spirits and Powers are reputed to walk the Earth. In the Northern hemisphere, crops have been harvested, leaving empty fields and aimless scarecrows. The darkest weeks of the year begin; the days grow colder, and the nights lengthen.
Do we enjoy being scared? I’m not sure. Fear of the unknown, the dead and the dark seems fairly instinctive in homo sapiens. I think we like recovering from being scared. We like knowing that night terrors aren’t really there after all, that there’s no monster under the bed, that there’s no such thing as ghosts.

Is there?

Halloween is a Scorpionic and Plutonian festival—skeletons are on parade. Unless you’re on a special effects TV or film crew, however, the skeletons you see on Main Street then aren’t walking collections of articulated bones animated by some unseen force. They’re merely people in costume. In that sense, those skeletons aren’t real.

But death is. So were the loved ones who’ve left us for the unknown.
If the last two sentences made you uncomfortable, welcome to Scorpio.
Scorpio rules metamorphosis, whose literal meaning is “a change of form.” A caterpillar changes into a butterfly. A child becomes an adult, at least physically.
The deaths associated with this sign are not only those of living beings. They are also metaphorical. In other words, some of the skeletons are in our psyches.

The active phase of some of our relationships “die;” as do some of the lives we could have led or the roads we could have taken. If we work on ourselves and persist, some of our bad habits or clouded perceptions can “die,” as well. Epochs of our lives “die,” too, such as our childhood or our twenties—or at least those eras  pass, and the older selves we have become move on, or should.
Since the 1980s, the phrase “inner child” has made me wince. I didn’t want it to become a cliché, but it basically has . . .  I forget who said: “An adult isn’t a dead child. An adult is a child who survived.” (If you know the origin of that quote, please let me know, and thank you.) The phrase “childhood survivor” is more complex but perhaps more accurate than “inner child.” The children whom we used to be changed. They didn’t literally die. Instead, the ageing process transformed us and is still doing so.

Scorpio and one of its rulers, Pluto, are related to the process of transformation, which involves both disintegration and dissolution, and coalescence or some type of rebirth. Some of us find the emotional metamorphoses of our ongoing maturation more difficult than others do.
In psychotherapy, a Scorpio-ruled process, the ego’s defenses from reality and its assumptions about itself are slowly and gently (we hope) dissolved, leaving the person with new insights and, perhaps, some increased vulnerability. What happens next should be a supportive procedure of rebuilding that person’s self-image and developing better coping mechanisms, so that he or she is both more self-aware and stronger than before, as well as better adapted to his or her present-day  circumstances.
I don’t mean that we all need therapy during the Sun’s passage through Scorpio! But it is a good time for some soul-searching. Would you like to get to know yourself much better? (Warts and all?) Are you ready to let go of a habit or an attitude that no longer serves you? Is it time to address a relationship issue or reconsider that stultifying job? But . . .  What would you and your life be like afterward?

The answer to that question is at least partly unknown. Much of the future is hidden from us, “occulted” by our linear perception of time. Scorpio rules the unknown, the depths of the human psyche, and the occult. It rules what scares us. The dead are spooky because we don’t know everything that the dying process entails, or what comes after it. The dead are also frightening because their human forms have disintegrated but haven’t been rebuilt, as far as we can tell, nor do we know if they ever will be. Ghosts, monsters and zombies are usually portrayed in some state of decay or incompletion.

This condition can exist in the psyche, too. A fifty-year-old who’s one hundred percent as furious at Mom and Dad now as he was at age fifteen may not frighten us, but somehow we can sense that he’s emotionally stuck, that some part of his growth that should have happened by now did not come to fruition, as if something is missing, frozen, or unresolved in his psyche. Even the most unobservant people may feel a bit uncomfortable around such a person.
Little wonder: Metaphorically, his emotional state is like a ghost of himself at age fifteen, a ghost that still haunts his life at age fifty.

In my opinion, the presence of dissolution, the first process of transformation, when not followed by the second process of new growth or integration, and/or when followed by the unknown, can frighten even the bravest among us. Remember that the cultural images of ghosts, zombies and monsters usually involve some unnerving form of disintegration or decay? Feeling fear—Mars co-rules Scorpio—is human. Not letting your fears stop you from claiming a more integrated Self, no matter how disturbing the journey toward a more fulfilling life may sometimes be, is transformative.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends in the U.S. on 2:00 a.m., Nov. 5, 2017, which then becomes 1:00 a.m. Enjoy an extra hour’s sleep! (Note: in most European countries, DST ends at 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 29, the last Sunday in October.)

Pick a time when the Moon is well-aspected to start something that you want to finish well. All times Pacific:
Nov. 1, ending Nov. 2 at 8:03 pm PST
Nov. 5 from 2:26 am to Nov. 7 at 2:40 am
Nov. 9 from 4:29 am to Nov. 11 at 12:55 am
Nov. 13 from 3:26 pm to Nov. 15 at 4:50 pm
Nov. 16 from 12:19 am to Nov. 18 at 3:42 am
Nov. 18 from 10:59 am to Nov. 20 at 4:26 pm
Nov. 23 from 12:14 pm to Nov. 26 at 6:37 pm
Nov. 28 from 8:30 am to Nov. 30 at 10:37 am

Planetary Ingresses (planets entering a new sign):
Nov. 5, Mercury enters Sagittarius, 11:19 am. Try to be open to opinions and world views that are different from yours. You don’t have to agree, but it would be wise to listen.
Nov. 7, Venus enters Scorpio, 3:38 am. Start making room for more passion and intensity in your important relationships. How? Begin with some gentle honesty to address any unresolved issues.

Nov. 21, Sun enters Sagittarius, 7:05 pm.
The American Thanksgiving is an appropriate holiday to arrive near the Sun’s ingress into this Jupiter-ruled sign. Find the “horns of plenty” and the “groaning boards” (full dinner tables) in your life, be grateful for them, and think about how they could be improved or expanded. Generosity, tolerance, and a desire for broader perspectives are the calling cards of this expansive sign, and hope is its gift.

Full Moon, Nov. 3, 10:23 pm, 13 degrees Scorpio (Sun)-Taurus (Moon).
If you have natal planets within 3 degrees of the 13th degrees of Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, you’ll need to work out an understanding, a compromise or an agreement to disagree with someone else, in situations concerning that planet(s), the house where it lies, and the opposite house.
Also, this situation may span the month before and/or the month after this full Moon, from Oct. 3 through Dec. 3.

A full Moon marks the beginning of the waning half of the lunar cycle.
Some people feel that it’s better to make new beginnings during the approximately two weeks that fall between the new Moon and the full Moon, and to be more concerned with wrapping up events or discarding what’s no longer needed between the full Moon and the new Moon.

New Moon, Nov. 18, 3:42 am, 27 degrees Scorpio. “The dark of the Moon.”
If you have natal planets within 3 degrees of the 27th degree of Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, then from Oct. 18 to Dec. 18, peaking on Nov. 18 at the new Moon, you’ll be focused on that planet and house. It’s possible to understand some issues or to take some new steps here that don’t necessarily involve another person.

A new Moon marks the beginning of the waxing half of the lunar cycle.
Some people feel that it’s better to make new beginnings during the approximately two weeks that fall between the new Moon and the full Moon, and to be more concerned with wrapping up events or discarding what’s no longer needed between the full Moon and the new Moon.

Stardate, September 2017

Stardate, September 2017

This month, I’m focusing on the recent eclipse, which occurred on August 21st. Much has been written about it, online and off. Why am I talking about it now?

1. We feel the effects of an eclipse from about a month before until about a month after the day of the eclipse.
2. An eclipse’s effects are most felt along its path of totality, which in this case swept across the United States from approximately Bend, OR, to Charleston, SC.
3. The eclipse was at least partially visible throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the northern portion of South America, and parts of northern or western Europe.

4. To illustrate #3, see the map above, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and NASA.
A. The narrow area between the two very dark blue lines crossing the U.S. is the path of totality.
B. Look at the lighter blue lines crossing the U.S. above and below the path of totality. See the number .80 labeling those lines? They’re the lines along which the eclipse was 80%, or .80, total.
c. The area between the 80% totality line and the full totality path ranged from 99% total closest to the full totality path, down to 81% total closest to the 80% totality line.
D. You can use this logic to find the 60% line, the 40% line, etc., and to “eyeball” between lines to guesstimate where the eclipse was, say, 70% total.
5. However, an eclipse is felt on the entire Earth, not just in the regions within the eclipse’s total or partial path.

What do eclipses mean? First, explore this fascinating website about solar eclipse myths from around the world!
In the meantime, here’s a quote from that site:

"If you do a worldwide survey of eclipse lore, the theme that constantly appears, with few exceptions, is it's always a disruption of the established order," said E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. That's true of both solar and lunar eclipses.

Last month’s eclipse occurred at 28 degrees and 53 minutes of the sign Leo, conjunct (very close to) the fixed star Regulus. What are fixed stars? For the long version, please see the work of Bernadette Brady and Diana Rosenberg. Here’s the short version:  First, remember that the word “planet” means “wanderer?” The ancients called them wanderers because planets change their position against the backdrop of the stars and constellations. They “wander” through the zodiac, in other words.

In contrast, during a human lifetime, the stars appear to be fixed in place and not to wander. (They do move, but only very, very slowly. Why? Because the Earth’s axis takes 26,000 years to wobble in a circle, during which the axis points to one sign of the zodiac after another. That circular motion very gradually appears to change the backdrop of the stars in relation to the Earth. It also changes the North Star: Before it was Polaris as it is today, for example, the North Star was Thuban. By the way, the axis points at each of the twelve signs for  2,167 years, which astrologers call an “Age:” an Age of Pisces, an Age of Aquarius, etc.)

Back to the fixed stars. For millennia, in an attempt to interpret the meanings of the stars lined up with different degrees of the zodiac, astrologers have made notes of events or traits that seemed to be associated with a particular star. As astrologer Jeff Green says, astrology evolved from a process of observations and correlations.

What’s associated with Regulus, then? It’s said to be of the nature of both Jupiter (hope, faith, benevolence, our belief system, abundance, “luck,” or an inflated ego and a sense of entitlement) and Mars (the “inner warrior,” courage, our fright, flight or freeze mechanism, boundaries, assertiveness, or fear, aggression, rage and belligerence). It’s said to be a “royal” star, and if it’s prominent in someone’s chart, that person often seems to have more than his or her share of good fortune. Sometimes it’s said to bring honor, riches, military power—and sometimes if excess pride is involved, it’s also said to bring a fall, typically a big one. Jupiter does nothing in a small way.

Why would we care that the eclipse conjoined Regulus? Because Regulus is conjunct Donald Trump’s natal Ascendant, his persona, his external self, how he presents himself. It’s therefore opposed to his Descendant: how he interacts with others, particularly but not only with his intimates. The Descendant refers to The Other, to That Which Is Not The Self.

It’s interesting that the rambling, defensive speech that Trump made on August 22, in which he attacked the media and the senators from AZ and defended his “perfect” responses to the Charlottesville, VA, demonstration, in which the alt-right waved Nazi flags, chanted anti-Semitic slogans, and deliberately rammed a car into counter-protestors and killed one of them, happened the day after the eclipse. It’s also interesting that on the following day, Trump pardoned a sheriff convicted of racial profiling, which consisted in part of stopping anyone he thought might be an illegal immigrant, without any evidence, despite our Constitutional protection against unreasonable search or seizure.

We’ve certainly been seeing “disruptions of the established order” for some time, but they can come to a head around an eclipse. Prominent Republicans, and the heads of all the branches of the armed services, are distancing themselves from Trump and speaking out against his views. We’ll see what happens next.

What if you have a natal planet conjunct Regulus? Well, you’d be wise not to get conceited about whatever’s ruled by that planet. (For everyone, it’s wise not to become egotistical about what’s ruled by the house in your chart that contains the late degrees of the sign Leo.) You might want to examine that planet’s and/or house’s role in your life. Does it need changing? What’s been disrupted there? What perhaps should be “disrupted”?

All food for thought, this September.

Stardate: July, 2017

Stardate: July, 2017. All times PDT. (Add 3 hours for EDT.)

The Moon:
Full, 7/8th, 18 Capricorn, 9:07 pm PDT (Sun: 18 Cancer) If you have planets here, you may need to make compromises related to that planet or related to the house that holds 18 degrees Cancer or Capricorn, and to a lesser extent, 18 degrees of Aries or Libra.
New, 7/23rd, 1 Leo, 2:45 am PDT. If you have planets at 1 Leo, there will be a lot of focus on that planet or in that house.
No eclipses

Good times to start an action or event that you want to finish well, based on both:
1. when the Moon is not void of course (VOC), and
2. when the last major aspect the Moon will make before it goes VOC is a traditionally “good” one: sextiles, trines, and most conjunctions.
Assume that if a date and time does not fall within the ones given below, it would be better to wait for a time that is within the dates and times below.
Much depends on how important the action or event is to you. I’d buy shoes or a book without paying attention to whether the Moon is good or not, but I would adopt a kitten, buy a computer or a car, book a flight, get married, or apply for a job, etc., only when the Moon is good.

7/2nd at 9:59 am to 7/4th at 6:34 pm
7/4th at 10:08 pm to 7/7th at 7:12 am
7/9th at 10:35 pm to 7/12th at 5:41 am
7/12th at 8:51 am to 7/14th at 10:01 am
7/14th at 4:52 pm to 7/16th at 7:19 pm
7/16th at 10:04 pm to 7/18th at 10:12 pm
7/19th at 12:31 am to 7/20th 10:41 pm
7/23rd at 1:34 am to 7/25th at 2:22 am. Note new Moon the 23rd at 1 Leo, 2:45 am.
7/29th at 5:23 pm to Jul 31st at 4:10 am

What does VOC mean? When the Moon will not make any more major aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition) to another planet before it leaves the sign it’s in and enters the next sign, it’s said to be void of course. The Moon rules events on  the Earth, as well as the tides and our emotions. Traditionally, in electional, horary and mundane astrology, actions begun during a VOC Moon tend not to finish the way you’d like them to, or to fail regardless of striving, and items bought may not be used much.

Planets’ ingresses (entrances) into a new sign:
Venus enters Gemini, 7/4th at 5:11 pm
Mercury enters Leo, 7/5th at 5:19 pm
Mars enters Leo, 7/20th at 5:19 am
Sun enters Leo, 7/22nd at 8:15 am
Mercury enters Virgo, 7/25th at 4:40 pm
Venus enters Cancer, 7/31st at 7:53 am

Planets within one degree orbs of being stationary (and therefore more powerful):
Orbs: up to 12 degrees if an outer planet is involved (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto)
Jupiter in mid-Libra, still stationary direct through 7/5th, while opposing Uranus and squaring Pluto & Mars
Saturn in the last third of Sagittarius, begins the orbs of a direct station 7/20th at 23 Sagittarius, while squaring Neptune and trining Uranus
Uranus in late Aries, still stationary retrograde through 8/4th,  while widely squaring Pluto
Neptune in mid-Pisces, still stationary retrograde through 8/20th, while squaring Saturn and sextiling Pluto

If you have natal planets in Libra, Jupiter’s benevolent influence can help renew, expand and bring hope to whatever part of your psyche that planet represents. Jupiter can also inflate that Libran planet and give it a temporary tendency to be over-confident. Ask for what you really want, but don’t demand it or assume you’re entitled to it. No planets in Libra? Our largest planet is influencing the circumstances ruled by whatever natal house or houses of yours contain the sign Libra.
Jupiter stays in Libra until Oct. 11th, when it enters Scorpio.

If you have natal planets in mid to late Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo or Pisces: Transiting Saturn, the Elder, the Lord of Maturity, of experience, realism, and responsibility, of self-sufficiency and the psyche’s “executive function,” is asking the part of your psyche represented by that natal planet, and how you operate in the circumstances of the house containing that planet, to “grow up” a bit. How?
1. Face reality around whatever that natal planet and house rule, no matter how hard that is to do or how much you want two and two to make five. Confused about that reality? Get second and third opinions from knowledgeable people whose opinions you respect.
2. If something needs to change in order for you to remain a self-respecting adult in this part of your life, then change it, one step at a time, working alone if necessary.
3. Practice your Saturn virtues and strengths—patience, realism, responsibility, self-sufficiency, organization, being pro-active, setting priorities wisely, and seeing things through—and apply them to analyzing your situation and changing it if necessary.

Also, those planets and/or houses in your chart are in a dialog with transiting Neptune, Lord of the Transpersonal Realms, Lord of Mysticism. Neptune is asking that planet and/or house to move one step away from a totally materialistic and atheistic view of life, and one step closer to a spiritual, empathic, compassionate, imaginative point of view. Neptune reduces the grip of the human ego and its illusions on whatever planet or house it’s affecting. How does that feel? It probably depends on how often you were approaching that part of your life with a selfish, venal or opportunistic attitude, and how attached you were to that approach. Sometimes we trip over our illusions before we let them go. You’re not losing yourself. You’re losing some things that obscured your vision of your true Self as part and parcel of this mysterious universe. Meditation always helps during Neptune transits. So does creativity. So does inner work of all kinds. Any psychic awareness you have may increase. If you ignore the Neptunian need to put the outer world on hold while you look within on a regular basis, you may feel foggy, confused or overwhelmed. Resist the urge to escape in less than healthy ways. Look for positive or harmless time-outs: a movie, a retreat, a Renaissance Fair, a novel you can’t put down, a painting group, etc.

If you have natal planets in the latter two-thirds of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn,
you’re feeling the Uranus-Pluto transiting square as a tense Grand Cross until about the 20th and/or the 22nd, when Mars (20th) and the Sun (22nd) enter Leo. When Mars and the Sun leave Cancer (to enter Leo), the Grand Cross becomes a T-square: Uranus in Aries opposes Jupiter in Libra, and the opposition is squared by Pluto in Capricorn. See my article “The Revolution Will Be Televised Tonight: The Uranus-Pluto Square on Prime Time TV,” elsewhere on this site (link) for more about the Uranus-Pluto square from May, 2007, through March, 2020.
Basically, whatever natal planet you have in the affected signs and degrees listed above is challenged by transiting Mars, your Inner Warrior and Protector, through the 20th. That natal planet or house needs to respond to the challenge courageously, energetically, and while maintaining good boundaries. Stand your ground. Turn fear into energy and firmness. Schedule an extra workout. Take the next steps to get what you want, without bullying anyone or letting yourself be bullied.
Whatever natal planet you have in the relevant degrees of Capricorn is in a Plutonian process of revelation and transformation. Revelation: You may experience “the dark side of the Force” of whatever natal planet or house lies within those degrees of Capricorn, something you might have been blind to before now. It may not be pretty. Cooperate with your healing, be gentle and patient with the newly glimpsed wounded parts of your psyche, and move forward.
Whatever natal planet you have in the relevant degrees of Aries, or where they lie in your house structure, is in an energized (Aries)  Uranian process of liberation and progress, of radical change into a more authentic form, of questioning authority (Capricorn rules authorities), striving for self-actualization, and perhaps longing for some sort of Utopian ideal. Be as completely yourself as you can . Resist oppression and unfairness. As Charles Bukowski wrote, “Your life is your life. Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.” On the other hand, not every authority is stupid, cruel or unjust. Some are helpful. Some are more informed, experienced or wise than you are. Find out the true nature of the authority or rule before you automatically resist it.

Stardate, Jun 21-30

 Stardate, Jun 21-30.

Time to work out, or go see a new movie!

Please see the first and second writeups for June. In addition:
The Moon: All times PDT

These time periods are good for beginning important things that you want to end well, because:
1. the Moon isn’t void of course (VOC),
2. AND the Moon’s last aspect before it will next go VOC is a traditionally “good” aspect.

If a day and time falls outside the ones below, it’s better to wait for a good time period if you can. Also, it depends on how important the action is to you. Not all actions have specific or important outcomes, either. I wouldn’t adopt a kitten, buy a car, or send out the office party invitations when the Moon isn’t good, but I’d certainly go grocery shopping, work out, or see a new movie with friends.

The Moon’s good:
After 3:44 pm June 21 through June 23 at 11:45 am After 3:06 pm June 25 through June 27 at 2:12 pm After 5:41 pm June 27 through Jun 29 at 1:35 pm
New Moon on June 23 at 7:31 pm at 3 degrees Cancer. (Note that this degree is rounded up from 2 Cancer 44 to 3 degrees, the way we say this is the 21st century although its years start with 20, as in 2017. They don’t start with 21.)

This new Moon is also:
* conjunct Mercury in about 4 Cancer,
* very widely conjunct Mars at 13 Cancer.
* just outside the orb of squaring a stationary Jupiter at 14 Libra
If you have planets or points in the early degrees of the cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, then you’ll feel this new Moon more intensely than the rest of us will.

Look at your chart to see what house 3 degrees Cancer occupies. That’s where in your life you’ll experience the new Moon’s energy: at work, at home, in a relationship, in your finances, etc. If you have a planet or a point there, be prepared to pay attention to this house and feel (Moon) whether there’s anything you’d like to change. You’re ready for some new beginnings or insights in that area.
If you have a planet or point at or near 3 degrees of Aries, Libra or Capricorn, you’ll still experience the new Moon in whatever house holds 3 degrees Cancer in your chart. However, the planet or point affected by the new Moon will also have a chance for self- analysis and making some new starts, although they may be rockier than for the 3 degree Cancer people.

 The Sun entered Cancer (the summer solstice), June 20 at 9:24 pm. It enters Leo at 8:15 am on July 22. Mercury entered Cancer, June 21 at 2:57 am. It enters Leo July 5 at 5:20 pm.

The Sun moves into the first and most sensitive of the water signs, Cancer, on the 20th at 9:24 a.m. Cancer the Mother, the Healer, the Nurturer, the Sensitive, the Rememberer. Cancer is the pinnacle of yin energy. We can relate it to the Great ort Divine Mother or the Goddess, but Cancer is an archetype, not a person, and about half the people born with this Sun sign are men. We all have yin energy somewhere, regardless of our plumbing or inclinations.

Natives of this sign or those strongly influenced by it—a Cancer Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, and to a lesser degree those born with the Moon conjunct the Sun (a new Moon) or in the first house, need to develop an even richer inner life than they had as children.

To explore their sensitivity, their feelings, their vulnerability, and the influence of their childhood and family, without being overwhelmed by them or by other people and retreating or shutting down. To use their imagination. To feel their way through life as much as possible. To open their hearts as much as they can, consistent with their own emotional health. Much as mild summer weather does, Cancer needs to encourage and support growth in itself and others, but not smother-mother to the point of self-neglect or allowing others to take advantage.

(Some chickies really are ready to leave the nest.) That nurturing energy needs a harmless outlet somewhere: a kitten, a garden, a room to redo. Speaking of rooms, Cancer needs to be content with its home, and to have an equal say in what happens there: how it’s decorated, who’s invited and when, where the pets are allowed, etc. That home is a kind of shell for Cancer the Crab, a place to protect its sensitivities, to daydream, to think things through without interruption, to journal, to create.

During this solar passage through Cancer, slow down a bit. Plant something. Aim for more and better self-care. If you need a day off, take one. Give yourself time to feel as well as think.

Listen for the hurt behind someone’s sharp words. Don’t knuckle under, and count to ten before you answer.
Everyone’s emotions are running a bit higher now. The weather may be calling us outdoors, but this solar month is a good time to look within.
Don’t take a book to the beach. Turn off your phone.

Look at the water or swim. Delve for your earliest memory, then the one after that.
Imagine all the homes you’ve ever lived in, beginning with the first you can remember.

Watch for whatever feelings may accompany the memories.

Or build a sand castle of your ideal home. What rooms are biggest? Which did you build first? What might that say about what you’d like your life to include?

It’s time for some introspection. Explore some of the many symbol systems or theories people use to understand themselves better: astrology, Tarot, the I-Ching, the Enneagram, the Myers-Briggs, Jungian psychology, dreamwork, guided journaling, intuitive painting, etc.

And if you’ve been wanting a pet, now’s a good time to adopt one and give it its forever home.

Friday, June 9-18 is good for a new starts up

Void of course (VOC) Moon, Jun 9-18, 2017: All times PDT. When, and when not, to begin an important action. “See explanation of VOC Moon” link

Friday, June 9th is good for new starts up until 11:20 PM when the Moon goes VOC. 

From the 9th at 11:20 pm until the 10th at 4:36 am is not good for new starts; the
Moon is VOC then.

From the 10th at 4:36 am until the 12th at 4:45 pm is not good for new starts.

The Moon’s not always VOC, but its last aspect before it goes VOC during this time is not a good one.
From the 12th at 4:45 pm until the 14th at 10:40 pm is good for new starts.

From the 14
th at 10:40 pm until the 17th at 10:55 am is not good for new starts. 
The Moon is either VOC or its last aspect before going VOC is not good during this time.

From the 17th at 10:55 am until the 19th at 12:42 pm is good for new starts. 

How can I find the Moon’s last aspect before it goes VOC, and when it enters the next sign?

* Consult an astrological calendar, datebook, or ephemeris. The one I’ll walk you through is Llewellyn’s Daily Planetary Guide.

Stardate, June, 4th 2017, lunation's and planetary ingresses.

Stardate, June, 4th 2017, lunation's and planetary ingresses. Times given in Eastern. For Pacific, subtract three hours. See also the earlier post for Stardate, June 1st 2017.

On the 4th, Mars enters the sign Cancer at 12:15 pm Eastern. By the 17th, it will be in the orbs of opposing Pluto and turning the transiting T-square into a transiting grand cross (or grand square) until July 3rd. Grand crosses are formed of two oppositions whose planets all square or oppose one another, making four squares and two oppositions. That’s a more tense complex aspect pattern than the T-square, with Pluto in Capricorn feeling invigorated, stressed or challenged by, or fearful of, Mars in Cancer. The grand cross is in cardinal signs, which correlate with taking initiative or taking action, with starting things. Remember that Mars asserts, acts, and defends, as well as attacks, challenges, or pursues. We may see more energy, fear, anger or violence in international and/or intra-national relationships and politics. Some party or parties may feel an urgency to Do Something, which may be out of proportion to the situation. With Jupiter still in the diplomatic sign Libra, cooler heads may prevail.

On the 6th, Venus enters Taurus, 3:26 am EDT. Deep breaths, people. Let art and nature soothe your soul’s ruffled feathers. As a collective, we need grounding, calming and common sense. We need to simplify, to listen to others. I don’t recall who said, “Intelligence speaks; wisdom listens.”
The 9th’s full Moon occurs at 19 degrees Sagittarius (Moon) / Gemini (Sun), 9:10 am Eastern. The Moon conjoins transiting Saturn in Sagittarius; the Sun and Moon both square transiting Neptune in Pisces, making it the fulcrum of a T-square to the full Moon. If you have planets or angles in about 9 to 29 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces), questions, conflicts or dilemmas involving those planets and their houses may come to a head. The houses of your chart that hold 19 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius may experience a conflict that requires compromise for resolution. Try to take both a spiritual (Neptune) and a practical (Saturn) view of the conflict; neither planet should “win.”

Also on the 9th, Jupiter turns stationary direct at 10:02 am, 14 d. Libra, sextiling and trining the full Moon. Imagine what the most positive outcome (Jupiter) of a conflict (full Moon) could be for all involved (Libra), and try for it. You’ll feel this very powerfully if you have planets between about 4-24 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), or if you have a Sagittarian or Piscean Sun, Moon, or Ascendant.

On the 16th, Neptune turns stationary retrograde at 7:09 am Eastern at 15 degrees Pisces, the sign it rules. If you have planets or angles from about 5-25 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces), you’ll feel this station very strongly, and also if you have a Pisces Sun, Moon or Ascendant.

On the 21st, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the Sun moves into Cancer at 12:23 am Eastern. Mercury moves into Cancer too on this day, at 5:57 am Eastern. It’s interesting that although the Sun rules Leo, its longest-lasting light occurs on the first day of Cancer. What to do on this day of maximal sunlight? In Cancer, first of the water signs, the Sun as a sort of traveling spotlight illuminates our feelings. Let yourself feel yours. With Mercury also entering Cancer today, take some quiet time to explore them, or to think, write, or talk about them. Cancer rules everything that is archetypally Yin: receptive, fertile, gentle, homey, feeling-oriented, introspective, subjective, nurturing, cyclical, changing, and non-linear. Aim for good, healthy, self-care all month. Take some time off if you can. Make sure that you’re not over-nurturing others who could stand on their own two feet. Your dreams may be more active than usual; write them down, and find a good dream dictionary such as Cirlot’s.

On the 23rd, the new Moon occurs at 3 degrees Cancer at 10:30 pm Eastern. This degree is within the orbs of triggering the transiting T-square and turning it into a grand cross. Wherever this degree falls in your chart, you’ll experience a lot of focus in that house or on that planet, and feel its effects on the rest of the grand cross. Remember that the Moon rules the tides, and at the new and full Moons, everyone’s emotional tides are running high, and yours particularly if you have a Cancer Sun, Moon or Ascendant. Let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling. You don’t have to act on it or even talk about it, but you do need to feel it. Then try to figure out how realistic those feelings are, whether they need a behavioral response, and if so, what kind. Traditionally, new Moons begin a new lunar cycle, once the Moon has started to wax again, and new Moons are said to be good for new beginnings. Remember that Cancer energy is drawn to security, to protect both its extreme sensitivity and what and whom it loves. Try not to err on the side of too much caution, or of sacrificing too much for what you perceive as providing safety. 

Stardate, June, 1st 2017

Stardate, June, 1st 2017 
The second half of this month contains major peaks of the currently transiting square aspect between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, which we feel from 2007 to 2020. What does that mean? See my article, The Revolution Will Be Televised Tonight, about the transiting square’s themes reflected in prime-time TV, in the May/June, 2017, issue of The Mountain Astrologer, 
In the meantime:
1. Think of Uranus in Aries as a warlike and heroic, or angry and violent (Aries) rebel, innovator or loose cannon (Uranus).
2. Think of Pluto in Capricorn as a traditional and patriarchal, or controlling and greedy (Capricorn) elder, institution, or tyrant. 
These astrological energies are of course far more complex than the two- 
dimensional, cartoon-character summaries here, but they’ll do for a memory aid. 
3. Think of Uranus-in-Aries, angry, or innovative rebellion (Uranus) against rigidly patriarchal, profit-hungry Capricorn people, governments or corporations. 
Sound familiar? It should, given recent and current events... 
Meanwhile, the planet Jupiter’s 2016-17 transit through Libra moves it opposite Uranus in Aries and square Pluto in Capricorn. Jupiter in Libra temporarily turns the transiting square into a transiting T-square
4. Who’s our third, Jupiter-in-Libra character in this mix? Think of it as a mediating and empathic (Libra), or as a charismatic and conflict-avoidant (Libra) rich man, philanthropist or inflated fool (Jupiter). 
6. A T-square is like a see-saw balanced on a fulcrum. Here, Pluto in Capricorn is the fulcrum on which balances the Jupiter-in-Libra opposition to Uranus-in-Aries. A T- square, a complex aspect pattern, is more tense than either a square or an opposition alone. Since Pluto supports the weight of the “see-saw,” it feels more tension from the T- square than the other two planets do. The fulcrum, Pluto, needs to stay grounded and stable, or the see-saw could dump one of its two “seated” planets to earth, traumatizing it, and toss the other one up in the air, unmooring it. Or they might both crash—atop the fulcrum. Which planet falls? Which flies? There’s no way to know for sure. 
7. From June 14-29, all three planets in the transiting T-square are in the orbs of making a station (apparently slowing down, holding still and then reversing their direction of travel through in the zodiac). Stationary planets are stronger than usual, as if by “holding still,” they temporarily acquire acquire extra bandwidth and a more powerful transmitter. 
8. We’ll feel some additional tension in the transiting T-square during these 15 days. Look for attempts to mediate, explain, compromise, and whitewash (Libra) problematic world events that have already occurred or that will evolve in the transiting T-square. Certainly we’ll see more manifestations of the Capricorn shadow, as Pluto in Capricorn may try to dig in and hold its ground, and it will be driven home to us that not all governments have their citizens’ best interests at heart, and that the unhealthy side of patriarchal societies can crush the people lowest in their hierarchies. Uranus in Aries may try to rebel even harder against “the dark side (Pluto) of the Capricorn force,” may suddenly do something completely unexpected (the unpredictable loose cannon), or may insist on promoting its Utopian fantasies regardless of the human cost. 
9. Meanwhile, cooler heads are trying to smooth ruffled feathers (Libra), but may be too optimistic, idealistic or over-confident (Jupiter), and may take too many chances (Jupiter). Jupiter rules the law, the courts, organized churches, the international community and higher education; we may see attempts by some or all of these entities to improve the situation. Another possibility is too much hesitation (Libra) on the part of potential mediators (Libra); perhaps because there probably won’t be solutions that are fair to everyone involved. 
10. Neptune is transiting through its own sign, Pisces, which increases its impact even when it isn’t stationary—but these fifteen days include a Neptune stationary period, too. What does Neptune rule? Consciousness, mysticism, spirituality (not organized religion; that’s Jupiter), and altered states of awareness, particularly about where “the two worlds touch,” as the poet Rumi says. It also rules meditation, a technique through which we temporarily cease acting as our personalities, try to become aware of the nature of our minds and souls, and try to feel like part of some vast, transpersonal, mysterious whole. Finally, Neptune rules escapism, which is what overwhelmed or traumatized people may seek. On a global level, it rules social work, social justice, aid to those in need, humanitarian workers, refugees, gasoline, liquids, chemicals, the pharmaceutical industry, delusion, “fake news,” “alternative facts,” epidemics, fashion, and trends. 
Because Neptune is stationary, too, our ability to see reality clearly and to think logically and strategically during the already triple-stationed T-square may be less than usual, or harder to access. People may be in denial or flight; humanitarian or political crises may be prominent in the news, and there may be a still more pervasive sense of not knowing what’s actually happening in the world, the country, the government, or perhaps our personal lives. 
What to do? 
1. Verify rumors and news stories. Get the facts from reliable sources before you make up your mind.
2. You may need to deal with an unpleasant situation. 
Angry? Count to 10, 20, 30, 40, whatever it takes to remain calm. Then protest, firmly and succinctly.
Scared? Consider if you have good, concrete and measurable reasons to be frightened. Can you do something to improve the situation? Then count to 100, and do it. Can’t do anything? Then let go of worrying about it. Confine your worrying to things that you CAN do something about. 
3. Resist all or nothing thinking. Ask yourself if you’re being realistic and on what evidence. Look for the middle ground rather than leaping to judgment.
4. Try not to take long shots without thinking through the possible outcomes.
5. Try to avoid arbitrary displays of authority that are way out of proportion to the situation. 
6. Listen to others’ points of view. You don’t have to act and you don’t have to agree. Experience talks; wisdom listens.
7. Pace yourself! It’s okay to take a “mental health” day off. It’s okay to take an evening off, to amuse yourself. We all need to relax sometimes, especially when we’re stressed. You’re not being shallow, in denial or escapist, unless you decide to spend all 15 days writing down what your life would have been like if you were a movie star, or seeing how many Comic-Cons you can possibly attend during that time, or hunkering down with Netflix and not answering your phone, doorbell or email. 

That’s the major event in June, the coinciding planetary stations in the latter half of the month. Next, we’ll bring in the month’s lunar activity (full and new moons). Stay tuned! 

The Revolution Will Be Televised Tonight

The Mountain Astrologer
June / July 2017 issue
This month read the magazine article by Jodie Forrest:

 The Revolution Will Be Televised Tonight with The Mountain Astrologer magazine.

Two current TV series reflect many motifs of the ongoing Uranus–Pluto square, which lasts until March, 2020: the medieval fantasy world of George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones (GoT) on HBO; and USA Network’s modern, techno-apocalyptic psychological thriller, Mr. Robot (MR). 

The shows’ settings differ tremendously. Their themes, however, come straight from today’s Uranus–Pluto square, with a dash of Neptune’s transits of its own sign, Pisces, on the side.

About Jodie Forrest

Jodie Forrest

I've maintained an evolutionary astrology practice for 33 years. I believe living beings are growing and evolving, not static, and that your chart represents both your growth potentials and your possible navigational errors.

The ways you choose to grow or to avoid growing effect on how fulfilled and happy a life you can lead. Because I've learned to read the symbolic language of astrology, I can use it to help increase your self-awareness and your understanding of the different life paths that are open to you. Think of your birth chart as your individual Lonely Planet guide to living.

Astrology isn't a religion or even a belief system; it's a tool, something like a very sophisticated personality theory that's rooted in the archetypes of the collective unconscious. You can interpret a chart like a dream or a poem. Dreams and poems aren't "real," but they can contain illuminating wisdom.

For example, after a very busy holiday season with many rotating shifts of guests and dinners, one woman dreamed that she was locked in a small closet with the most obnoxious of her in-laws, and the in-law wanted to put a grand piano in the closet with them. Did that really happen? No. Do you think one meaning of the dream was that this woman had been feeling crowded by her lengthy procession of visitors?

I think so, too.
By the same token, your birth chart is not astronomically "real," because it's drawn as if the Sun, Moon, and planets all revolved around the Earth. We know better nowadays. But we can still interpret that drawing of your birth chart in ways that are just as meaningful to you as our besieged woman's dream is to her.

Each chart is so complex that it's virtually a universe in itself. Your universe. Come explore it with me.

Jodie's Retreat House

Jodie's Retreat
Are you ready to relax in the Borrego desert at Jodie's House Airbnb?

Jodie's House was the very first straw bale house permitted in southern California. The walls of this house are made with real straw bales and are three feet thick. The house was designed to keep the hot summer temperatures outside which have been known to reach 120 degrees in the shade.

Jodie's Retreat
Maybe you're an early morning coffee person who longs to feel the sun's warmth rise upon your body. Just walk up the stairs to the loft, and beyond the door there's a chair waiting just for you to experience the sun waking to a new day that's just for you. Let the other sleep unless you choose to share the morning sun with your someone special.

If it's late afternoon and you're wanting to experience that end of the day sunset, gather yourself to the loft; just beyond the door are the chairs from which to watch the shadows move across the desert as the sun sets behind you. Once the sun has said the goodbye to your day, a new friend approaches: the moonrise and the trillions of stars that await in your night.

Jodie's Retreat
Welcome to your outside private patio where you can experience the sun falling from the sky and creating shadows upon your mountains, all from the comfort of your patio chair. Summer will bring the warm desert breeze, and the winter will bring you cool breezes. Maybe it's steaks on the grill that speak to you or a bit of takeout from one of the local restaurants.

Could it be that a mimosa is calling to your afternoon and/or evening. If that's your desire, here's our suggestion: In a couple of chilled glasses, pour equal parts champagne (or other sparkling wine) and chilled citrus juice, usually orange juice. Then spend the evening adjusting the champagne to orange juice ratio. Enjoy your mimosas!

Many nights Jodie has relaxed on this patio while writing her next book and looking to the stars just as you can be, too. This is why after traveling the world, Jodie decided to make Borrego Springs her home. This straw bale house was built for her, and she continues to come here to enjoy her house in the peaceful desert. You can, too; just make your reservations for your stay in Borrego, CA.

Along the Starry Road

Sept. 1, 2015

Once upon a time, an overextended friend of mine quoted from a movie he'd seen. I don't recall what movie, but I'll never forget the quote. I may not have the exact words:

I want to be able to think a thought through from one end to the other.

So do I!

The planet Mercury goes retrograde about three times a year, for about three weeks at a time. It went retrograde on Sept. 17th. Astrological newbies may be wondering what that means?

Here's the relative, naked-eye "truth":  Mercury appears to slow down, then to stop and hold still briefly (to make a station and be stationary retrograde) before starting to move backward through the zodiac. Three weeks later, it appears to slow down, stop again briefly (another station, this one stationary direct), then start to move forward through the zodiac again. That's called turning direct, which will happen on Oct. 9th.

Here's the astronomical situation: When the Earth temporarily overtakes Mercury in its orbit, Mercury appears to slow, stop and move backwards.

Some astrologers think that we're still "under the shadow" of Mercury retrograde until it passes the degree in which it first went retrograde. I don't. Direct is direct; retrograde is retrograde. Remember that the outer planets are retrograde for a long time, in some cases about half the year. If we included "the shadow" for the retrogradations of Mercury, then by that logic we should include "the shadow" for the retrogradations of all the planets. That inclusion would leave the outer planets retrograde most of the time, and that's not how I've observed that my clients experience them.

So what happens under Mercury retrograde? We've defined it, but what does it mean?

First, what does Mercury mean? In your birth chart, Mercury is the information, perception and experience-processing unit in your head. With pure Mercury, that means data in, data out, without assigning any meaning to the data. There's no such thing as pure Mercury, however. Inevitably, we humans interact with our perceptions, with our experiences, and tend to form opinions about the data that we observe and communicate. The sign, house position and aspects of your natal Mercury say a lot about how your mind works, what you tend to notice, how you learn, how you teach, where your attention goes, how and what you perceive and communicate. People with prominent Mercuries tends to have a busy brain; regardless of their IQ, their minds are active. They're curious. They notice more than the average human, if there is such a person. They thrive on new information and experiences and indeed often crave them.

What about the world outside the birth chart? What does Mercury rule there? All the ways and means in and by which we communicate. Anything written or spoken or read or heard. Schedules. Appointments. Classes. Students. Teachers. Transportation (planes, trains and automobiles). Media. The Internet. Computers. Telephones. Wiring. (I think Uranus rules the impulses that travel along the wiring, but Mercury rules the wires and cables themselves.) Objects that have wires, cables, plugs, on/off switches... Crossroads. Doorways. Windows. (Saturn rules the walls.) Agreements and disagreements. Perceptions and misperceptions. Messages and messengers. The more verbal or ephemeral art forms. Objects that measure time. (Saturn rules time itself.) Eloquence. Persuasiveness. Certainly, when Mercury is retrograde, anything it rules can seem to go widdershins. I advise clients to double check all details of messages, appointments, tickets, etc., and to leave early for wherever they're going. I suggest they don't buy a car or a computer until after Mercury goes direct again, and has left the degree in which it went direct, too.

Mercury was the messenger of the gods. Mercury traveled between the worlds, facilitating communication between the realm of the mortals, the realm of the gods, and the underworld. Sometimes Mercury was involved in the journey of the dead to and from the underworld; in that role, we call it a psychopomp. If we think of the underworld as a metaphor for the unconscious mind, then Mercury's busy in a good therapist's office, facilitating the retrieval of information from the client's unconscious, or helping the client understand information that he or she already has. Psychological growth involves both insight and support. We can't change our self-defeating behavior or work through a loss if we're unaware of it. Mercury aids with how and when insights arise. Mercury retrograde is a great time to dig deep and see how much more we might unearth.

Mercury has another face, that of the Trickster. This archetype has many names in many cultures. Mercury, Hermes, Coyote. Confidence men, flimflam artists, grifters. Magicians and illusionists. How do magicians direct your attention (Mercury) away from their tricks and props (Mercury)? They keep up a patter and provide distractions (Mercury). This planet rules card players, sleight of hand, language and manual dexterity. It rules the shoulders, arms and hands, what we reach for, what we can grasp.

What we perceive or think or know. How we know it. That's Mercury.

We can't pay attention to everything at once in this fast-paced world; Mercury rules our selective attention. More information is available to more people today, at least in the developed world, than ever before. It isn't an information highway so much as it's an information tsunami that drenches us every day. Hurricanes of data streaming down the Internet. Avalanches of information waiting to appear on our computer monitors, our televisions, our radios. I'm amused at the way the phrase "too much information" or "TMI" signals that a listener doesn't want to hear any more, typically because he or she is hearing potentially embarrassing data. Life in the developed world's Information Age means that everyone is dealing with TMI in general, not just the embarrassing kind, all the time.


No wonder it can be so hard these days to think a thought through all the way from one end to the other. But if you never have time to ponder, to work through your understanding of something, to focus, to concentrate, to absorb a complex sequence of ideas, what happens? You're distracted, and distractible. You don't have sufficient time or attention to think deeply, which can be necessary for some information to move from short-term to long-term memory. You don't retain details. Moreover, living like an air traffic controller on speed isn't relaxing. You can become nervous, hypervigilant, even anxious. Whoever first pointed out that the pace of modern life can produce some of the symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in normal people understood Mercury very well.

I'm using this Mercury retrograde to slow down a bit. Not to stop, just to slow down. Mercury started communicating this need to me in a series of meaningful coincidences. One: I've wrenched my back more than once in the past several months, aggravating an old injury. Result: I've been horizontal on an ice bag for long periods of time. I couldn't be busy, at least physically. So I caught up on most of my email. I'm almost through reading a book I've been asked to review. I'm working on my own writing. Mercury.

Two: Because our electricity, solar panels and air conditioning (Mercury) were all malfunctioning, I had to stay home to let repair people--tradesmen, Mercury-- in and out of the house. Result: Being home allowed me to take a breather and handle some details I'd neglected (Mercury).

Three: When my back improved, I promptly injured my right foot (Mercury, who wore winged sandals) when I stood up and started to walk without realizing how very asleep and numb my foot was. I stumbled and twisted my ankle badly. Result: I had to slow down. I couldn't be as busy, at least physically. And I had the insight that Mercury retrograde was coinciding with circumstances that were helping me slow down enough to think a thought through from one end to the other.

As a friend says, "Deep breaths." If it feels right to you, don't spend so much time online while Mercury is retrograde. Walk, don't run. Turn off the TV. If you can, reduce the demands on your time. Watch where your attention goes when you aren't distracted and interrupted all the time. Give yourself the luxury of time for introspection. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

August 11, 2016. Transits: Uranus is still in the orbs of its station, and Saturn's began on July 27 and is exact on Aug. 14th and lasts until Aug. 30. 
Thoughts about Mars conjunct Saturn on Aug. 24th, and the building Saturn-Neptune square, which is exact on Sept. 10th.

Unless you've been stranded on a desert island for several weeks, you've had front row seats on quite a show. Uranus, planet of revolutionaries, sociopaths, reformers, cranks, geniuses, crackpots, whistle-blowers, rabble-rousers, Utopian thinkers, anarchists, non-conformists, criminals, radicals (and reactionaries, if sufficiently non-mainstream or at odds with current society), and the freedom-loving and the contrary alike. We've been experiencing its station in Aries, the sign of the warrior, risk-taker, adventurer, athlete, pioneer, hero/heroine, brave man or woman, bully, "me-firster," rageaholic, adrenalin junkie, "s***-stirrer," trouble-maker, drama king or queen, and loose cannon.

Loose cannon. Rabble-rouser. Um, non-conformist . . . Sound like anyone in the news lately? Has there been an outcry over death threats? Discord in the ranks of a certain political party? Heated exchanges of words?

Yes, it does and yes, there have.

Does one of the presidential nominees have a Sun-Uranus conjunction in Gemini in the tenth house? Yes: Donald Trump's been something like a lightning rod for the energy of this station. We can also see its energy around the many incidents of politically or religiously-motivated violence in the world over the past month, including the fact that some of the perpetrators may have been genuinely mentally ill (which can correlate with Neptune).

Saturn's been slowing down since Jul. 27 for its stationary-retrograde exact station on Aug. 14, and we're still feeling the station through Aug. 30th. That's been intensifying the ongoing Saturn-Neptune square which is exact on Sept. 10th. I wrote about that in my June 7th post below. Right now I'd like to add that a striking manifestation of this transit has been meandering around in circles among us, in the persons of Pokemon Go's global (Neptune) players.

Catch those floating monsters (Neptune) that only you and other players can see (Neptune), and you only by the aid of a very complicated and technical electronic device (Saturn)! Become so oblivious (Neptune) to your outer surroundings (Saturn) that you bump into people, hold up traffic, don't notice when you're walking into danger, etc.! There's the square.

This AR (augmented Neptune, reality Saturn) device is earning people millions of dollars, while it amuses and relaxes many of us and annoys or endangers others, who don't appreciate (square) having to keep track (Saturn) of what's happening in pedestrians' virtual space (Neptune) as well as in their physical surroundings. While we may make attempts to regulate its use, Pokemon Go will not be taken off the market. Neptune's strong in its own sign, Pisces, and the AR illusions win.

And now for a bit of odd advice (I'm an Aquarian. You have been warned.): A great many people are feeling overwhelmed today for all kinds of reasons. The news seems to teeter between horrible and surrealistic, the economy could be better, etc. "Reality" (Saturn) can feel too much some days, and on an international level (Sagittarius), not just at home. What's an antidote for Saturn? The Moon, yes; we all need nurturing sometimes. Venus, yes; sometimes we all need empathy and connectedness. And Neptune, in my opinion, because we all need harmless forms of escape sometimes, too. Healthy trances. The movies. A fantastic book. Front row seats to your favorite band. Some extra sleep. A visit with your best friend.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and find some time to relax, then don't stop at lunar and Venusian antidotes, although they can certainly help. During the Saturn-Neptune square, make every effort to go do something that takes you out of yourself (Neptune). Not all the time, but as a deliberate break. You take a breather. You get lost in the movie; you swap stories and laugh with your old friend; you float along with the music. You make art; you cook; you do something that puts you in a state of flow (Neptune). Or you meditate. Or you help someone else, and in helping them you forget yourself long enough to feel refreshed and restored when you pick up your Saturnian to-do lists again.

July 8, 2016:  It's Station City just now!

Mars leaves the degree in which it went direct on July 12, so its station is over on July 12. A few more cosmic tomatoes may get lobbed in your direction; be prepared and it's easier to duck them. Stationary Mars can correlate with situations that require you to assert yourself or otherwise respond with courage and strength of will. It can increase your energy (and irritability, and libido), and sometimes contribute to your feeling restless. Go to the gym, carefully. Make that cardio machine your safe "opponent."

During Mars stations, all kinds of chores, activities and events can feel more urgent, dramatic or crucial than they actually are. Don't rush when there's no real need to, as I did. During this particular Mars retrograde, which was affecting key areas of my natal chart, I sprained my left foot and ankle. I slipped sideways / forward off of my platform sandal while carrying a huge basket of laundry. I was trying to save time by cramming a towering pile of laundry into that basket, so that I could make just one trip to and from the dryer instead of two, as if speed were a matter of life and death. But it wasn't. It was a relaxed Sunday at home. Lesson learned!

A Uranus station (direct) started on June 24, is exact on July 29 when Uranus stops and turns retrograde. The (retrograde) station continues until Sept. 4, when Uranus leaves the degree in which it went retrograde and enters the previous degree (retrograde motion goes backward through the zodiac).

Saturn starts its station (direct) on July 27, stops and turns retrograde on Aug. 14, and the station lasts until Aug. 30, when Saturn leaves the degree in which it went retrograde and enters the previous degree.

June 7, 2016
California Primary
Uranus-Pluto square
Saturn-Neptune square
Mars retrograde and stationary

If you live in California, please vote in the primary election today! Thank you.

As usual, a lot's happening overhead.

* Uranus and Pluto are still in the orbs of their transiting square. If you have natal planets between about 15 and 27 degrees of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Scorpio, you're feeling this slow-moving transiting square particularly acutely. How are you feeling it? Whatever planet Pluto is aspecting represents a part of your psyche that's in an internal review and rebuild process.

Is it your Venus, for example? That's your attitude toward relating (friends and lovers) and creativity, and the people with whom you relate or create. Your relationship/creativity patterns and behaviors. The sign and house of Venus will give you more details and insights about what you need to examine. Go slowly. Feel your way. Watch your dreams. Take your time; Pluto transits last a few years. Talk to someone if you feel it would be helpful. Above all, attend to your feelings and memories; if you have to make time to do so, then make that time. Pluto rules our deep unconscious at both a personal and a transpersonal level, and under its transits, whatever we haven't been dealing with floats up for processing. Since what "floats up" is often something we've repressed (forgotten) or suppressed (are trying not to think about it or haven't thought through yet), and was or is often painful to consider, Pluto transits are not typically our favorites. However, when faced with courage and a desire to grow, they can be immensely strengthening. Clear some of your psychological "clutter," learn a lot, make some changes, and feel better and stronger because you no longer have psychological energy locked up in "forgetting" that clutter. Actually, "clutter" isn't the best word. Wounds. Baggage. Charged issues or situations we haven't dealt with yet, for whatever reason.

Meanwhile in this example, transiting Uranus may be aspecting your Venus, too. Out with the outgrown, limiting, distorting, inauthentic areas of your relating or creative life. And in with the new, with what suits you better. What should leave?That takes time and Pluto and your gut to figure out. A "sudden" insight may have taken years to surface. What seems a "sudden" change you make, or need someone else to make, may have taken years for you to process until you say, "Enough: This can't go on." I suspect that Uranus is very connected to "the last straw." Not everything should change, of course. Some of your relating and creative life is just fine and should remain as it is, if it fits the real, core you. That's what Uranus and Pluto are both there to help you determine.

Saturn and Neptune: Their transiting square is exact on June 17th. We've been feeling this one for a while; their last exact square was in November, and their third and last one is in September. Saturn requires good reality testing, realism, responsibility and practical effort. It rules maturity and the wisdom that we hope accompanies it. It rules priorities, deadlines, deliverables. Neptune encourages letting go of our definition of ourselves as just a body and an ego, "feeling the force," exploring our consciousness, exploring mysticism, and opening to the possibility of other dimensions besides our time-bound, three-dimensional one.

To Saturn, Neptune can seem completely woo-woo, ungrounded, spacy, impractical, even helpless or delusional. To Neptune, Saturn can seem cold, soulless, without imagination, and overly linear, as if Saturn wants to put this mysterious world into the box of a laboratory experiment or an algebra equation.

If you have planets in about three to twenty degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, you've felt the square for part of last year and will feel it for part of this one. Saturn's saying to the planet or house that it's affecting, "Grow up. Claim your dignity. Claim your authority. Figure out what's broken or needs doing here, and fix it or do it. Yes, it'll take some planning and hard work: Welcome to the real world. If you decide what you need to do to maintain your self-respect and do it, the planning and hard work are worth it."

Meanwhile, Neptune's saying "Trust! Trust God! What does Spirit want you to do with this planet or in this house? How can you open up to the divine here? Those little ESP experiences and meaningful coincidences are coming from somewhere . . . How can you feel more one with all that is?"

Whoever made up the proverb "Trust God, but tie your camel" probably had a natal Saturn-Neptune square. What are you more comfortable doing, trusting whatever you call God/Goddess/the Dharma/the divine, or tying your camel? Which one are you better at doing? How's that been working for you?

Planets in square need equal amounts of time, equal amounts of expression, except when you've been underdoing or overdoing one of them. Then, the less expressed planet has to show up more, and/or the overfunctioning one has to rein itself in more. Trouble happens if one planet in the square tries to take over, or if you completely ignore one of them, or both.

For example, your ashram (Neptune) burns down; where will you live and what will you do (Saturn)? Or, you and your MBA are overworking (Saturn); your relationships, health and ability to rest suffer to the point that you make a stupid, sleep-deprived decision in traffic and have a near-death experience (Neptune). Even if you don't see a tunnel, narrowly escaping death tends to make us question what matters most in life, and what if anything comes afterward. You might decide it's unrealistic (Saturn) to push yourself so hard, and you too deserve an inner life (Neptune). You might take a long hard look at reality (Saturn) and decide you've been idealizing (Neptune) the wrong priorities or people.

* Mars is still retrograde (apparently moving backwards in the zodiac) until June 29th, when the station occurs in about 24 degrees Scorpio. It appears to hold still before slowly changing direction and moving forward ("direct motion") through the zodiac again. What happens with a retrograde inner planet? Everything that planet rules has a tendency to go backwards or widdershins, become complicated, slow down, etc. It's actually a good time to do some deep reflecting on how you deal with what Mars rules: very briefly, your will, your desire nature, your boundaries, how you defend or protect yourself or others, your basic energy level. However, I think we feel retrograde planets as retrograde until the planet leaves the degree in which it went direct and enters the following degree. For Mars this time, that's July 12th, when it reaches the 25th degree of Scorpio. If you have an Aries *or* a Scorpio Sun, Moon, or particularly Ascendant, then you're feeling this astrological event more than the rest of us are. I suspect that people born with Mars conjunct the Sun or Moon or Ascendant, or in the first house, find the stations and retrogradations of Mars particularly noticeable, too. Meanwhile, since Mars and Pluto co-rule Scorpio, I think the Mars station adds some juice to the Pluto-Uranus square. Whatever long-term aspects those two outer planets are making in your chart, the Mars station can emphasize them, trigger them, bring them more to your attention, particularly if you're angry, fearful or sad about something important that Pluto may be excavating or that Uranus may be breaking free. Ditto for the Saturn-Neptune square: the Mars station may trigger stresses related to how you're dealing with the balance of practicality and idealism in your life.

The Mars station starts on June 18th, when Mars starts slowing down before it turns direct on June 29th. The station lasts until July 12th. From June 18-July 12:
* Don't just count to ten. Count to at least thirty.
* People may be more irritable, impatient, stressed, foolhardy, fearful or moody than usual. Make the allowances for them that you'd want someone to make you if you were in their situation, but speak up calmly if you need to.
* Don't chicken out about something major that has a big impact on your life. It's not good for you to agree to something you know is wrong for you or that scares, appalls or hurts you. Don't let yourself be bullied.
* Know what you want or need to do, but you're frightened? Inform yourself. Get some second and third opinions from wise people. Get support. And if you know you must do something, feel the fear and do it anyway.

* Remember that the station runs June 18-July 12. Expect more than the usual number of setbacks, traffic snarls, petty annoyances, exasperated people, situations where someone needs to be assertive, etc. All around you. It's global. And it's not forever! Think of it as an opportunity to practice the virtues of patience, non-judgmentalness and compassion. (I'm not good at remembering that, either.  ;-)