Astro Doings June 2016

Hi Everyone

The planet that stands out for me in June is Neptune. Attention all Pisceans – this is your ruling planet and she will be at 120 Pisces the entire month. Why? She goes retrograde on June 13th at 4:43 p.m. EDT and basically stops there. She will also be part of a big T (called a t-square, also called a growth opportunity) with Jupiter on the other side of the heavens in Virgo (earth), with Saturn squaring both of them in Sagittarius (fire). Early in the month, the Sun in Gemini (air) will change this T to an X by opposing Saturn and closing the figure. The New Moon on June 3rd will add a little more energy to this X in the heavens (called a Grand Cross). This may result in a feeling of restlessness, an inability to settle down, and needing to choose (but unable to do so) between many different possibilities. Emotions may be very close to the surface and anyone impacted by Neptune may feel somewhat in a fog. It can also be a time of increased compassion. By the way, Saturn (and this big X) is currently sitting on the Ascendant (how we present ourselves) of the US Sibly chart. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means!

At the very end of June – the 29th to be exact, Mars, the planet of war and warriors (spiritual and otherwise) goes direct after his retrograde that began in April. He’ll be at 230 Scorpio. Mars is male, initiating energy so things may seem to move forward a little more easily. Scorpio is a water sign and is about what ripples beneath the surface, especially power. Scorps can never been fooled and they have unfailingly accurate insight into others, which can be rather unnerving.

The Summer Solstice, when the Sun enters Cancer, occurs on June 20th at 6:34 p.m. Earlier that morning, we have June’s Full Moon at 290 Sagittarius. Since this occurs at the very end of the Gemini/Sagittarius continuum, it suggests that we have an opportunity to re-visit our ways of thinking about things (Gemini) and to incorporate higher truths (Sagittarius) into our everyday lives.

This is the 65th Astro Doings post, and I’ve decided to take the summer off. Astro Doings, or some form of it, will be back in the fall.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Peace and abundant blessings,

Margaret

Astro Doings April 2016

Hi Everyone

What strikes me about the planetary doings in April is that by the end of the month there will be five planets in retrograde motion: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Three of them (Mercury, Mars and Pluto) change direction during the month. While we generally experience the energies of planets in retrograde motion more inwardly and this can be true if we choose to use them this way, we may also experience this as feeling somewhat stuck or without a lot of forward motion, both personally and globally. And three of them (Sun, Mercury and Venus) will be in Taurus, the slowest moving sign of the zodiac, at the end of the month – just for emphasis!

We begin the month with a powerful New Moon at 180 Aries on April 7th at 7:24 a.m. EDT. New moons are always about new beginnings and Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, reiterating the “new beginning” theme. Uranus, planet of higher level thinking, rebellion and revolution, is conjunct (next to) this New Moon, adding the potential for innovative new ways of doing things to the Sun/Moon “conversation” about needing to start anew. It is also being squared by powerful Pluto in Capricorn, reminding us that this “new beginning” needs to focus on structures that no longer work, on planning, on discipline and on dedication.

Mars is currently in Sagittarius with Saturn. Mars is the warrior; Saturn is the disciplinarian/father and both planets are male in their energetic feel. Sagittarius is the sign of the pathfinder, so this can be a time to find our inner path and have the courage (Mars) and discipline/dedication (Saturn) to follow it. Mars stations retrograde on April 17 at 8:14 a.m. and will remain in retrograde motion until the end of June.

And the next day, April 18, Pluto stations retrograde at 3:23 a.m. at 170 Capricorn. Here we have another opportunity to look at personal structures and attitudes that no longer serve us. I believe that we will also continue to see societal structures that no longer work be part of the evening news.

And last, but certainly not least, Mercury goes retrograde on April 28th at 1:20 p.m. He’ll be at 230 Taurus. He’ll go direct three weeks later, May 23rd.

A rather introspective month, I think, considering it’s spring and a time when things begin to blossom and flower. It may be that this time is given us to slow our frenetic pace down, and focus on what is truly important to us, to truly fulfill all our potential for our highest and best.

Have a wonderful April!

Peace and abundant blessings,

Margaret

 

 

Astro Doings February 2016

 

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re enjoying the 5 visible planet line up each morning before dawn. It truly is spectacular and worth getting up early to see. It will continue through mid-February.

February promises to be a rather quiet interlude between January and March – so enjoy it!

Jupiter, planet of expansion, good fortune and faith, continues its retrograde motion through Virgo (see January 2016 Astro Doings). It will make its second opposition to Chiron, planet of deep healing, inner child work, and mentoring, in Pisces. This transit can be used to soften our inner critic and nurture our awareness of our inner divinity.

The New Moon will occur on February 8th at 190 Aquarius at 9:39 a.m. ET. Aquarius is the sign of the visionary, inventor, humanitarian and tends to consider what would benefit the group in all issues. It is, however, also the sign of friendship. It is an air sign, so it’s more comfortable in the mental realm. Mercury (how we think) and Venus (how we express and receive love) will join the Sun in Aquarius in mid-February.

The Sun enters Pisces, a water sign that seeks to merge with something greater than itself, on February 19th at just after midnight and will be “running” with Neptune, Chiron and the South Node in the last third of the month. (The Sun will be exactly conjunct, read next to, Neptune at the end of February into early March.) This is be great time to increase our awareness of our innate divinity, with Chiron’s healing energy helping to erase old wounds that continue to prevent us from expressing who we are in truth. The water element can also help us to tune into others more compassionately. Mars in Scorpio, which is another water sign and flows easily with Pisces, provides additional impetus and energy for these internal changes. All this water, of course, can also mean that globally and nationally we will continue to deal with issues around water – think Flint, Michigan, major storms and/or lack of water. All this to increase our appreciation of this vital resource and to better protect it to ensure that everyone on the planet has enough pure water to meet their needs.

The Full Moon occurs on February 22nd at 1:20 p.m. at 30 Virgo. This will echo the Jupiter/Chiron opposition (see above). I think the key word for the end of February is softening. The beginning of the month will provide a lot of air (ideas, innovation) but the end of the month can provide insight of another sort – compassion and true understanding of ourselves and others.

Have a great month!

Peace and abundant blessings,

Margaret

Astro Doings January 2016

Happy New Year, Everyone!

This year will begin on a very introspective note energetically. As you know, January is named for the Roman god, Janus, who had two heads – one looking forward to the new and one looking back to the old. This is very appropriate for the planetary doings this month.

We begin with everyone’s favorite retrograde! Mercury will be retrograde in Capricorn from January 5th through the 25th. He joins the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn. As a matter of fact on January 6th the Sun and Pluto will be right next to each other (conjunct) in the heavens. And the New Moon (new beginnings) occurs on the 9th at 190 Capricorn.

If that isn’t enough for you, Jupiter, planet of expansion, good fortune and luck, goes retrograde on the 7th. He’ll be at 230 Virgo, another earth sign and an easy flow with the Sun, Pluto and Mercury. His retrograde ends in May.

Retrogrades are wonderful times to re-flect, re-group, re-think, re-organize, and re-treat. As the god Janus invites us to do to – look back on what has gone well in the past and look forward to changes you want to make. Pluto is the planet of transformation, never an easy process, because we all love to hang on to our illusions and Pluto goes deep. No hiding! So we have a whole month for this process! Neat, eh?

Like all signs, the energy of Capricorn can be used on different levels. Capricorn brings with it the Saturnian concepts of discipline, determination, and sure-footed forward motion. Capricorn folks always have a plan – one year, five year, and beyond. Nothing is left to chance. These wonderful attributes can be applied on one level to goals on the material plane, such as business, career, athletics, etc. On a higher level, Capricorn is the sign of the spiritual initiate, pictured as a goat climbing sure-footedly up the mountain of spiritual understanding. Its symbol (glyph) is a combination of the symbol for Aries (the head) and Leo (the heart). When these two parts of us work in harmony, great growth can be achieved.

I believe this powerful combination of Pluto (transformation), Mercury retrograde (inner thought processes) and the Sun (our essence) is an invitation from the stars to look at our spiritual growth and service, and Capricorn provides wonderful, practical, goal-setting energy. I think we all hve planets either in cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) and/or planets in earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) that will aid us in tapping into this energetic line up this month to re-dedicate ourselves to service, in whatever form that may take for us, and to brighten the light that we shine in our world.

Adding to the mix is Jupiter in Virgo, a sign that is frequently misunderstood. It is most often viewed as being perfectionist, lost in the details, bean counters, and/or a health nut. In actuality Virgo is the sign of the harvest of self, an individual who moves through his/her world with assurance and an inner sense of self. Maya Angelou described Virgo beautifully when she wrote: “A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” Add this developing sense of who we are to how we want to serve our world, and I think we can bring a lot of light wherever we are. This is a month of determining inwardly how we want to go about this and identifying/dissolving blocks to our goals. Jupiter retrograde may bring news stories about business issues, the stock market not doing well, but it is in truth the planet of faith and higher truth. Where is our faith?

And we have some fire to help inspire us along the way. Venus and Saturn are both in Sagittarius (Jupiter’s sign) and Uranus is in Aries (Mars’s sign). When earth and fire work together, we have inspiration (fire) and practicality (earth) in our toolbox to realize our dreams.

January also brings with it some sustaining energy, which has been absent recently. We astrologers call it “fixed” energy and Mars, the warrior, enters Scorpio on January 3rd. Scorpio is another generally misunderstood sign. It is water, which will soften all the earthy Capricorn and Virgo energy. It is an easy flow of energy with Neptune in Pisces. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto and can provide insight into the depths of us. Scorpio goes where we perhaps would rather not look – but need to. It is a sign of great healing and insight, as we bring the dark parts of ourselves to the light. And Mars provides energy and courage for this task.

There will be more sustaining energy when the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20th. Aquarius is an air sign and not necessarily compatible with watery Scorpio. Aquarius is a visionary, but can get stuck in the ruts of his/her own thinking. However, it can provide innovative ideas on how we want to change and new areas of service that we’d like to explore. Air is mental energy and water taps the feeling, psychic energy – a restatement of the symbol for Capricorn when used it its highest expression.

I wish you a most joyous and reflective January.

Peace and abundant blessings,

Margaret

 

 

 

 

Astro Doings June 2015

Hi Everyone

It’s hard to believe that it’s June already. Time seems to be moving at a breakneck speed! Here’s what the planets are up to in June.

Full Moon: June 2 at 12:19 pm EDT

We begin the month with a Full Moon, where the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of the zodiac. In this case the Moon is at 110 Sagittarius and the Sun is at 110 Gemini. This Full Moon calls us to balance gathering information (Gemini) and seeking truth and meaning (Sagittarius). We are bombarded by more information than at any time in history, but this easy access to data is not without cost to our nervous system. Data do not bring knowledge or wisdom per se, and we are increasingly become aware that our ceaseless, multi-tasking orientation is actually making us less productive. Focus is difficult to achieve as we flit (Gemini) in a restless search for meaning (Sagittarius).

So, what are we to do? The heavens provide some assistance in the form of a square to this Full Moon (perspective-changing, growth opportunity) from Neptune in Pisces. Neptune expresses herself very powerfully in her own sign, so this is a particularly strong square. (She also squares the Sun, Saturn, Mercury and Mars.) What Neptune encourages us to do is look beyond our multi-tasking, frenetic search for more of whatever, to the numinous, to the transcendent in our search for meaning and wisdom. To do that we need to slow down, focus inward, be quiet and find time in our day for meditation and contemplation. She invites to bring our world back into better balance between our busy-ness and our higher selves. As we all know, meditation helps us to stay present and to respond instead of react. So this is a time to ramp up our spiritual practice.

Mercury Retrograde Ends: June 11 at 6:33 pm EDT

You’ll all be delighted to know that Mercury goes direct this month. However he will remain in Gemini until next month – a very long transit in his own sign. The good news is that this will favor all mercurial things: communication, writing, computers, and thinking. Also, Mercury was the only one in the Greek and Roman pantheon who could access all three levels (Hades, Earth and Olympus) without getting stuck anywhere. So he provides us the ability to integrate all three levels of our being as well. The bad news is that Mercury tends to flit from thing to thing to thing. Gemini hates to be bored, and so learns a little bit about a lot of things and then quickly moves on to something else “more interesting.” The square from Neptune, which will last all month, will provide some balance between Mercury’s speed and help us to carve out time each day to connect with our Higher Selves (and our Higher Mind). I believe that one of the reasons some tend to regard planets in retrograde motion as “bad” is that they disrupt our multi-tasking busy-ness and slows the out-of-control speed at which many of us live our lives. We get caught up in the everyday and lose sight of who we truly are. A retrograde planet, especially Mercury, changes the energy flow and invites us to re-tool our lives and re-flect on who we truly are. Some of us aren’t too sure we want to look inward – afraid of what we might find there.

Neptune Stations Retrograde: June 12 at 5:09 am EDT

OK, so if we didn’t get the hint about taking time to go inward, Neptune will help us along by changing directions at 90 Pisces. She will remain retrograde until November, so we have some time to integrate what she has to teach us about making a habit of meditation and of turning inward. Planets in retrograde motion tend to express themselves more inwardly as a general rule, providing the opportunity to make inward changes that express outwardly when the planet changes direction. Neptune’s time in retrograde motion may also assist us in better understanding our global water crisis, since Pisces is a water sign.

More Water: Saturn retrogrades into Scorpio: June 15

Saturn returns to Scorpio and will remain there until September. Saturn, the most spiritual of the planets of our solar system, has been working on our inner concepts of meaning and truth during his retrograde transit through Sagittarius. Now he moves back into the power sign – Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, planet of the underground, the unseen, the deeply transformative. Coupled with retrograde Neptune, the summer months provide an opportunity for us to come to a deeper (Pluto) understanding of our own divine (Neptune, Pisces) power (Scorpio). This is not power as the world defines it but quiet, personal, inner knowing – very feminine in its feel. Both Neptune and Pluto are feminine planets and water is a feminine element. Saturn’s re-entry into Scorpio strengthens his relationship to Pluto in Capricorn – they are in each other’s sign. This provides a very easy flow of energy, and Capricorn, being an earth sign, provides boundaries for water, which in turn softens earth so it can be more productive. Capricorn is the sign of the spiritual initiate in its highest expression. The inner nature of this summer’s planetary energies may make us feel less energetic or active than we normally think we should be during the summer months. This can be a time of deep transition for those who desire to take advantage of it.

New Moon: June 16 at 10:05 am EDT

This New Moon occurs at 250 Gemini and is joined by Mars and squared by Chiron (who is also in Pisces). New moons represent new beginnings and in Gemini these new beginnings have to do with how we think about things – what our attitudes are – and how those affect everything around us. With Mars in the mix we have an opportunity to rethink our definition of the warrior – to move from the warmonger to the spiritual warrior. Chiron helps heal with deep wounds of the patriarchy and in Pisces to bring more of the numinous, feminine inner knowing into our thinking. It can also signal a new beginning in how we communicate (Gemini) with one another, with the masculine and feminine sides of our own nature.

Yet More Water: Summer Solstice: Sun enters Cancer: June 21 at 12:38 pm EDT

The last third of June provides an interesting conflict between planets in fire signs (Venus, Jupiter, Uranus) and those in water (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Neptune). There will be one planet in earth (Pluto) and one in air (Mercury). Obviously fire and water don’t get along very well – in fact they’re “afraid” of each other. Water puts fire out; fire boils water into nothingness. This elemental tension will last through the first half of July as well. I believe we will feel this tension in the world at large. On a personal level, I think balance is the key and honoring the blessings of both elements for what they bring to us.

Have a great June!

Peace and abundant blessings,

Margaret

Astro Doings May 2014

Hi Everyone

Phew!  Well, April was certainly intense!  Many people whom I’ve talked to and done readings for this spring have not felt the rush of energy that generally comes in the spring – myself included.  I would describe everything as feeling very inward still. I believe it is due to the Cardinal Grand Cross in April, which will continue through May, and the fact that Mars has been retrograde since March 1.  When a planet’s motion is retrograde, we tend to experience its energy more inwardly.  Mars is the planet of getting things moving, war, initiating new projects; he rules Aries, a fire sign. So if you’ve been feeling like your get-up-and-go got up and went, you’re not alone. I believe this will ease a little bit towards when Mars goes direct.  (See below.)

May promises to be a little quieter in that there are no eclipses.  However the Cardinal Grand Cross will still be there:  Pluto in Capricorn square Uranus in Aries (with Venus most of the month), square Mars in Libra, opposed Jupiter in Cancer.  (See April Astro Doings for a full description of this intense configuration.)  Again those with planets in middle degrees (8-20) of cardinal signs may feel this Grand Cross more intensely than others. Continue reading

Astro Doings April 2014

Hi Everyone

The theme of deep-seated change gets an extra boost of intensity in April with two eclipses and Pluto changing directions.  Let’s take them in the order they will occur.

Pluto: stations retrograde on April 14th at 7:44 p.m., just hours before a total lunar eclipse (see below).  When a planet changes direction its energy intensifies because it is basically standing still on the degree of the sign where it is – in this case 130Capricorn.  Thirteen degrees happens to be what we call a “critical degree” for cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn).  It’s a point that is very sensitive for that particular sign. Those with planets in mid degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and of course Capricorn may feel this change of direction more strongly.  The other earth signs (Taurus and Virgo) will experience this more easily.  Retrograde motion means that we tend to experience the energy of the planet – in this case transformation, power and power struggles, unearthing that which is hidden, compulsions – more inwardly.  It’s a very powerful time to totally leave behind that which no longer serves and/or gets in our way. Continue reading