April, Mars Retrograde – Feisty planet unleashed!

mars-cropA retrograde planet is doing something out of the usual ordered pattern and so it can act as an unpredictable force let loose.

Our Solar star, the Sun, is the life giving centre for our corner of the cosmos and at this time of year the Solar energy is transmitted through the sign of Aries. The Sun is blessed (in it’s exaltation) in this fire sign nearly as much as when it’s in it’s own fire sign, Leo. This time of year also has the force of Mars behind it, as ruler of Aries. Mars represents the potent primal drive in life and we see it strongly expressed as the vital energy of Spring. The main theme for this month has an emphatic Mars right up front, taking the lead in planetary events. Our “red planet” is currently in another fire sign, Sagittarius which also gives some extra thrust to an already feisty mode of expression. After the last few weeks of change, redirection and anti-climax all this assertive energy can have us impatient to make progress.

Trouble might be looming if we fail to take care as this next phase could bring further hindrance when all that fully charged up Martian drive goes into reverse mid month on the 17th. This current retrograde period for Mars will echo a similar one of fifteen years ago when his retrograde was also in Sagittarius. If that was a year of significant change or re-routing for you, then this year may have some similar trends in store. In general, the apparent backwards motion of Mars is a time when trying to push forward in an obvious, direct or dynamic way proves unproductive. A retrograde planet is doing something out of the usual ordered pattern and so it can act as an unpredictable force let loose.  Energy is hard to harness, initiatives seem slow to complete and the use of force yields little of the desired result. This retrograde lasts until the end of June and doesn’t clear fully until Mars regains it’s original ground in mid August.

This is a more internalised Mars than usual which is why it could become a virtual powder keg, ready to be set off when antagonised. Be careful not to let the frustration build up. Be aware of any anger that is being suppressed. Put your attention on finding ways to redirect your vitality into positive and self supporting initiatives. The power of this transit is best used for subjective or personal work. A lot can be achieved during a Mars retrograde phase. Get the basic needs of life in order. Recognise where you have an excess of energy or an abundance of something in your life and utilise it to overcome any sense of lack you have experienced.

Take notice of where Mars is in your own birth chart, if you know, and use these next weeks to better understand your personal way of expressing desires, your goals and how you achieve them. This is the best time to adjust the way that you dissipate or dilute your physical energy so it can be more productive for you in the future. You may feel the effect of this phase more strongly if you have your Sun or Moon in Aries or Scorpio or have either of those signs rising. Also, if Mars is combined with a personal planet or critical angle it will energise that area of your chart in particular.

The New Moon and Full Moon this month also support working with the Mars energy as they both occur in Mars ruled signs. The New Moon on 7th April falls on the most powerful degree for the Sun in Aries, so it’s especially potent for setting out new intentions for personal goals in preparation for the Mars retrograde period. The Full Moon in Scorpio on the 22nd is a time when any pent up emotions could find forceful expression. If you experience some uncontrolled release or passionate outburst take it as a signal that some part of your life needs attention. Allow any unexpected changes to serve as an opportunity to head in a new direction and make it become something positive in your life.

Capricorn New Moon, lets get physical – real world manifestation!

crescent moon

Let’s do something practical to really make the most of the Capricorn New Moon vibes. The New Moon is at 20° Capricorn on the 10th January at 1:31am (UT)

The first New Moon of the year falls in Capricorn, our sea goat sign, ruled by Saturn. New Moons are always a good starting point for any new initiative or direction and in Capricorn, a Cardinal earth sign, there’s the opportunity to really make some long term changes. When we decide we want to make life altering plans, or do our daily positive affirmations, or write lists of future intent, there has to be something more than just wishful hoping that it will simply all happen because we have declared it.

With the Sun Moon combination touching the Pluto Uranus square that still lingers with us, there is definitely the sense that so much more needs to shift if we are to live the life we prefer. Making changes isn’t an option – it’s essential! The first planet the Moon touches with its rays, after connecting with the Sun, is Jupiter in retrograde and next is that tricky Mercury also in retrograde. These two planets are re-treading old ground, renegotiating, redesigning and refining, making sure we have the full information and have definitely covered the details for when we finally discover that what we desire is coming in our direction.

Saturn, that planet that keeps our feet firmly on the ground, paired up with Venus for a couple of days, giving our Venusian desires a down to earth practicality. We want to include more of what’s both meaningful, and useful, now. Using the Capricorn way as an example, it’s time to reflect our desires in the physical world of stuff and things. Acting out our dreams, hopes or desires by doing something that represents the change we want to make, is very powerful. It doesn’t have to be the “big thing” all at once – just a gesture to the universe to say you mean it!

If you want world peace then take five minutes to sit or walk quietly without allowing the busy mind to interfere with you own inner peace. If it’s greater abundance you require then go around your house and count up the things you have already. If you want to kick a habit then just make a simple change, take a different route when you leave home.

Using the “making it real” energy that this January New Moon offers can really give your New Year optimism a very substantial and much needed boost.

October Astro Update – Relationship Focus, Mars & Venus join with Jupiter –

F&L 01The big Lunar eclipse of last month probably had you put your attention on relationships with it’s Aries and Libra focus. October will continue with this theme and it’s not just the relationship with your “soul mate” or “significant other” that’s being brought into view for consideration now.

Venus, the planet most closely associated with love and relationships is in Leo as we start this month and now that the Sun is in her zodiac sign Libra, she gets extra strength. Venus is also the planet which represents our values and what we want to include in our lives simply because it’s meaningful. She urges us towards social inclusion and harmonious connections. When she moves into Virgo, home sign of planet Mercury on the 8th she is once again strengthened because Mercury is currently in Libra (her sign). In Virgo, Venus wants to be discerning and practical and definitely wants to get it right. Venus goes on to make a challenging square aspect to Saturn on the 11th making us aware of any conflicting desire for equality and openness versus prudence and temperance. This is especially relevant now with Saturn, planet of boundaries and limits, firmly in Sagittarius, the sign of the truth seeker. We can expect to be confronted by issues of censure and exclusion during the next couple of years.

The strongest dynamic during October is the conjunction of Mars to Jupiter exact on 17th but can be felt for several days either side of that date. When all that action centred, physical drive energy of Mars is combined with the “let the good times roll” planet Jupiter it could bring on some crazy party vibes or the required thrust to get some adventurous project under way. This duo have a well earned reputation for taking risks or going to excess but with both these planets in conscientious Virgo the energy can be carefully directed and precision timed for best effect. While this forceful pair team up they are also connecting with powerful Pluto in a supportive trine aspect which gives an extra sense of determined focus to achieve something momentous.

Not to be left out of the limelight we have Venus following in the footsteps of Mars. Throughout the month she keeps our focus on personal values, social relationships and a desire for the beautiful things in life, ensuring we don’t lose sight of what’s most important to us. Venus also connects positively with Pluto, on 23rd giving us the boost we need to completely align ourselves with the very best “win win” situations. She goes on to join with upbeat Jupiter on 25th just in time for the Full Moon in her sign on 27th This line up gives a real sense of having something to celebrate and be grateful for. To finish off the month on a high note, the love goddess Venus catches up with her warrior consort Mars bringing the two archetypal aspects of human relationship together just in time for Samhain.

July Astro News.The promise of good things to come – Jupiter & Venus conjunct in Leo

jupiter&VenusJuly starts with a welcome sense of opportunity and good fortune as both the greater and lesser “benefics” Jupiter and Venus, join together on the 1st. The view of these two bright stars getting closer by the day has been an enchanting feature of our early evening sky for the last several weeks. This combination in larger than life Leo, gives us a favourable expectation for all the classic “love, luck and money” issues. Venus puts the focus on socialising, money and of course, romance. Jupiter is the feel good planet and provides opportunities to expand and increase, even to the point of excess. Combined with the heightened vibrational qualities of a Full Moon on 2nd the events of next week could be positively uplifting.

Making the most of this upbeat energy gets the summer rolling and we will see two more Jupiter Venus conjunctions, in early August and mid October, due to Venus in retrograde motion from July 25th to September 6th. Expect to have to rethink some of the important factors connected to your finances and relationships during late July and August. Making commitments too rashly early in the month will certainly find you needing to reconsider your position, but preparing the way ahead and setting out the game plan for later in the year is a good strategy.

Around the 14th any strong desires or alliances you aim to fulfil will be tested when Saturn makes a challenging aspect to Venus. This is a useful reality check as whilst Saturn is still making his progress backwards into Scorpio the “stuff” that isn’t really working to sustain or support you is having to be dealt with – even if you thought you had it covered already – it’s going to take a bit more of your time and attention to get it right.

This is the month to put some attitude or way of operating well and truly behind you before Saturn moves forward once more and into Sagittarius properly in a few weeks time. Just to assist with this process of sorting out what is appropriate to continue to have in our life, we have feisty Mars in touchy feely Cancer, opposite Pluto in Capricorn on the 15th. This stressful aspect is likely to draw out some strong emotions. Any sense of vulnerability or overexposure to a demanding or powerful force will become apparent and require some remedial action.

The Cancer New Moon on 16th is a perfect energy to give attention to a new phase of life. This dynamic is combined with Mercury, the planet of ideas, connections and communication, making a difficult aspect to transformative Pluto, whilst also joined with assertive Mars. Not the best time for sensitive negotiations! But if things have to be said or harsh truths realised and discussed then this is the most likely time it will all come out into the open.

Having freed up some emotional energy and now that Jupiter, with all it’s promise of better things ahead, has finally caught up to the position it was in, before the recent retrograde phase starting last December, we can pick up and run with plans, projects and relationships that seemed to have stalled for the first half of this year. Jupiter is in Leo until early August and in this sign he wants to have fun and get seriously creative. Use this month to go the extra mile, make an impression and enjoy the impulses of your soul filled heart.

Full Moon is at 10° Capricorn on the 2nd July at 2:21am and New Moon is at 24° Cancer on the 16th at 1:25am (UT)

May Planet Update – Beltaine, Full Moon in Scorpio – Passions run high

Planets15thCThe month of May begins with the celebration of Beltaine, a cross quarter day and fire festival which marks the halfway point of the Sun’s journey between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Although most commonly associated with Mayday and the 1st May the actual mid point falls a few days later – on the 5th this year. Many of the traditional customs that have survived through the ages represent a form of cleansing and re-seeding in preparation for the bountiful summer months.

With the Sun in the earthy sign of Taurus at this time of year the connection with our physical body and natural environment is very strong. At full Moon there is a culmination or peak in energy and because the Moon is always in the opposite sign to the Sun at the Full Moon phase, so we also have all the intense associations of Scorpio involved. Passions of all kinds can run high and emotions can go deep as a whole range of material, physical and practical issues come to a head. Whether this manifests as a satisfactory completion or a critical climax it is likely to be quite an event because Jupiter, known for it’s ability to exaggerate whatever it touches, is hitting a hard angle at both the Sun and Moon from fixed fire sign Leo. This Moon phase could highlight issues of individual personal expression as a human right particularly when it concerns any subject that has been considered a social taboo.

We can expect to have our beliefs and level of openness to new ideas challenged over the next few weeks as Saturn, planet of limitation and restraint is now in it’s retrograde phase, moving back to re-enter Scorpio in mid June. The small but powerful planet Pluto in Capricorn also turned to retrograde during April and will be in reverse until late September. This gives us the impetus to go back over some important and fundamental areas of our life. Looking at the systems, structures and supports which are no longer valid or sustainable, with a view to re-building or completely transforming what isn’t working well is the theme once more.

As the action planet Mars moves into Gemini mid month and confronts Saturn there will be an increase in the tempo of communications and information exchanges but it could be just a lot of “hot air” without the required will to follow through on any positive action.

The New Moon in Taurus on the 18th will bring us back to considering our core values and possibly a desire to indulge in the simpler things of life. On the 19th Mercury, in it’s own sign of Gemini and natural representative for all communications, travel and exchanges, turns to go retrograde until the second week of June. The emphasis is firmly on reconsidering, re-negotiating, revising and re-writing documents, travel arrangements, deals and trading. This provides an opportunity to edit, proof read or check the “small print” before we sign on the dotted line or embark on something new.

When Venus, ruling planet of Taurus, now in Cancer moves into exact opposition to Pluto on 22nd you may experience some resistance to your desires if they are just about fulfilling your own needs. The chances are that as Venus moves on to oppose unpredictable Uranus in Aries on 25th there may be the recognition once again that even excitement and high tension can become tedious and the simpler things of life can bring a longer lasting satisfaction so a deeper sense of nourishment can be enjoyed.

April Full Moon Lunar Eclipse aligns with Uranus & Pluto

tree of life17thCA breakdown, breakthrough or break out! With a potential for release of tension & necessary discharge of emotional energy this Lunar eclipse is an opportunity for another major step in our important relationships & self development.

After last month’s peak in astrological excitement April is going to seem quite unremarkable by comparison. We do though have some planetary events that hold great potential for really working with, and moving on from, what was brought out in these recent weeks.

The month opens with a fire trine aspect between the Sun in Aries and Jupiter in Leo on 2nd. This is a powerful “up beat” energy boost from two planets that bring a positive energetic vibe working together to bring out the best of their respective traits. Use this as an opportunity for creative expansion, exciting adventure or the inspiration to embark on a new enterprise.

On the 4th we have this months headline event – a total lunar eclipse! Although not visible in Europe we can still experience the astrological effects. At every Full Moon the Sun is on one side of the earth and casts it’s light onto the face of the Moon on the opposite side of the earth. When the earth is in exact alignment in the middle (twice each year) it’s shadow obscures the Moon for about 2 hours, hence the eclipse.

As the Moon reaches it’s culminating phase at Full so we can expect the fulfilment of whatever was in focus at the last New Moon (the solar eclipse of March) and being a lunar eclipse this is a time of great release. If you sensed the tension that built up during last month as Uranus and Pluto reached their final exact square and then felt some relief after the Solar eclipse you might recognise some of that same energy being expressed again in early April. Both the Sun and Moon align with Uranus and Pluto within orb of the lunar eclipse degree.

Our intentions, aims and personal will was aligned during last months solar eclipse and now we can clear away remaining emotional blockages, fears or inhibitions that prevent us moving more fully in to the new possibilities. Just a couple of hours after the lunar eclipse the Moon will be square to Pluto which can dredge up old fear feelings or deep seated issues that have been unconsciously inhibiting our responses. The Moon is then opposite Uranus just four hours after the eclipse which could bring a sudden emotional discharge, unexpected breakthrough – or a break away!

As the Sun connects with Pluto on the 5th and then Uranus on the 6th the solar energy of self determination gets another stimulating kick towards the, recently revealed, new version of yourself. The next planet to get involved in this game (on the 8th) is Mercury, who represents our thinking process, communications and way of exchanging ideas and information. This could bring about a revolutionary shift or change in what you think, or say, and even how you express your innermost or secret thoughts.

The overall effect of this dynamic pattern around the lunar eclipse could produce a powerful emotional release. If you’re ready, and welcoming the current changes, it can be an exciting step forward. If however you’re resistant to upheaval in your personal life it could mean a rough ride for a couple of weeks. This phase is a further shedding of old patterns or reactions and a time to let go of the past. Anything that we cling to as familiar or that gives us a sense of security or well being but is actually more of a limitation than a comfort needs to be discarded. As the big “feel good” future orientated planet, Jupiter ends its retrograde phase to move forward once more, also on the 8th, we can really get a stronger sense of the new and very inviting horizon that’s coming into view.

Update February 2012

This lunar month started at New Moon on January 23rd coinciding with Mars beginning its retrograde motion. Whatever started then is likely to have an impact around the Full Moon on 7th February. This date coincides with Saturn going retrograde. Saturn and Mars are traditionally known as malefics and have a tendency to be troublesome. Although these planets represent essential drives and bring about plenty of beneficial outcomes, if their energies are expressed negatively the results can be far worse than with the other planets. When a planet is retrograde it’s hard to use the energy in a positive way so they are best accessed for reflection rather than action. Saturn rules over the corporeal world and represents the limitations of material reality.
In retrograde until late June, he will highlight issues with boundaries, restrictions, imposed borders, binding contracts as well as legal, social and religious regulations. Any attempts to enforce these might just be considered a line crossed, boundary breached or unfair discipline. It’s not a good time to push forward with a business contract, impose authority or create a new organisation. Use this time to question the existing arrangements and examine plans and proposals for areas that need review and renewal.
The next few months may seem like endless austerity and conflict. Repeatedly we see how things are just not working out the way they were intended. Whilst this might be our everyday experience there is something else occurring, not so noticeable but certainly both exceptional and profound. About every 164 years Neptune moves into Pisces. As one of the outer planets its journey through the zodiac is very slow taking about 13 years in each sign. Neptune moved into Pisces briefly in April until August last year but now it will stay there until 2025. The last time was between 1847 and 1862. The outer planets are evolutionary and mark time over generations. They affect us as a group and demonstrate deep and lasting social, political and spiritual change. To understand the significance of this event we need to consider the nature of Neptune.
At home in watery Pisces, it’s associated with the unified consciousness, our inter-connectedness and all that exists beyond the physical. It transcends and dissolves boundaries. Pisces represents both the material and spiritual co-existing. Finding the balance between the two is a hard art to practice. During this period we can expect to see a movement to more inclusion, less restraint and greater compassion. Existing boundaries, barriers, separation and segregation will be seen as an unnecessary fabrication when similarity and shared experiences unite people.
As Neptune blurs distinctions and recognisable definitions there may be confusion and disorientation. Some people will find themselves in a Neptunian state of denial and delusion as they try to maintain their personal vision of life. Over the next decade we will each need to choose whether to continue to accept what we are told to believe or begin to trust in our inner senses.

The next Full Moon is at 19° Leo on the 7th February at 9:54pm and the New Moon is at 3° Pisces on the 21st February at 10:35pm

Planet Update October 2011

As this month’s lunar phase reaches its culmination during the Full Moon in Aries it’s in opposition to Saturn. The following day our “Greater Luminary” the Sun passes over the “Lord of Time” Saturn, in Libra. This Lunar phase began with September’s New Moon in Libra beginning a process of evaluation under the sign of the scales as we’re prompted to find a balance between our personal needs, Aries, and our Libran need for relationships. Physical limitations and responsibilities come under the Sun’s spotlight as it passes over Saturn and we have to face up to some bare truths. Saturn teaches about the practical realities of life. You get the clarification needed to make a realistic plan of action for the future and by now you probably know who is on your side, and who isn’t. This is a solid place to be as we launch into the next phase of the Jupiter Pluto cycle, started in December 2007 and continuing into 2020. I wrote in this column back then of the impending “global changes in our faith and understanding regarding religious and financial authorities”. I also explained that as Pluto moved into the sign of Capricorn it “ushers in earth-shaking transformations of political structures, and the death of old political parties which have outlived their usefulness. We will likely see the collapse of outdated and decadent regimes as new systems of government rise from the ashes. In the business world many upheavals will take place as new business strategies replace the old economic views and business practices”. This month we are a third of the way through this 12 year cycle and we should have fully realised the futility of waiting for the fix that returns life to “normal”. If we haven’t already started to build an alternative lifestyle this is the final turning point and time to get on with the important work of creating something sustainable from the ground up. On October 28th Jupiter in Taurus makes a trine aspect to Pluto in Capricorn. This is the second of three exact “hits” this year. The first was during early July, the third in March 2012. The energies are positive and always easy to work with under a trine aspect. It’s an important time for us as we make the shift into a new paradigm. Pluto stays in Capricorn until 2024 and signifies a new order emerging. The sign of the sea goat represents our ambition and struggle to reach great heights of accomplishment within the limiting structure of a material world. Pluto brings about forced breakdown which ultimately results in a breakthrough into something more appropriate. Until June 2012 the Jupitarian impulse towards expanding and enhancing, expresses itself with the no-nonsense Taurean qualities of determination and purpose. In harmony with the transformative qualities of Pluto this is the time to make plans based on the reality of our circumstances. The message from the planets is that the old system doesn’t work, we have the proof now, so lets get to work and ensure that we have the essential resources we need to construct the new and improved way of organising ourselves.

The next Full Moon is at 19°Aries on the 12th October at 3:06am and the New Moon is at 4° Scorpio on the 26th at 8:57pm

Planet Update June 2011

2011 began with the first of the year’s four solar eclipses. Almost six months later we have the second on 1st June followed by a Lunar eclipse on 15th. Eclipses always occur in Solar/Lunar pairs within two weeks of each other. The partial Solar Eclipse can only be observed from the very northerly latitudes of China, Siberia, Canada, Iceland and Scandinavia. The later stages of the total Lunar eclipse on the 15th should be visible from Ireland just after moonrise. The Solar Eclipse is always at New Moon, and the Lunar Eclipse at Full Moon. When the New or Full Moon coincides with a celestial position known as the Moons Nodes we have an eclipse. The Moon’s North and South Nodes are the points at which the path of the Moon crosses the ecliptic, or apparent path of the Sun, each day. Astrologically these Nodes indicate the direction of our collective evolution and its significance in our personal lives. So when an eclipse occurs we can expect world events that will potentially affect us all in some way, however for most people not directly. The effect of these events though will usually have a deep, significant or life altering impact for each of us on some level. How it affects us individually depends on where in out chart the Eclipses fall.
Eclipses mean new starts and changes and a chance to break with the past. With both this month’s eclipses emphasising Mercury ruled Gemini we can expect to hear lot of new information and ideas being shared whilst being reminded there are two sides to a story. Strongly supported by a favourable angle from Saturn in Libra we can create firm foundations on which to build our ideas. There may be political agreements proposed and attempts to settle new boundaries or sanctions. We may see opposing arguments and demonstrations and subsequent negotiations. These few weeks are an excellent time to move plans forward and communicate intentions. Networking, writing and discussions are all favoured. As Saturn turns direct in motion again on June 12 we can move ahead with enthusiasm on the changes initiated at the Solar eclipse. At the Lunar eclipse on 15th the Sun joins with Mercury in Gemini and we can set our minds to implementing our goals and aspirations with some genuine optimism for the future.

March Astrology News

The Moon begins its “New” phase in Pisces this month on the 4th. Along with the Sun three other planets are in that same sign putting a strong emphasis on all Piscean matters. As the last sign in the Zodiac, Pisces represents an end phase in the cycle. Its world is in a constant state of change and can seem disorganised and confused but this doesn’t mean that it’s less relevant. All physical matter has to change form to regenerate as something else. It’s an unavoidable theme of life and an essential process of demise and renewal. Pisces is the phase of disintegration in which identifiable forms dissolve into an amorphous state. This seeming chaos is necessary although to some quite unnerving. There are things beyond our control and outside our known world or “comfort zone”. We frequently fear what we don’t know or understand. The modern world often views chaos and disorder as a failure or breakdown in its system. Yet those familiar with the Piscean nature will be at ease. They know about a world which they can’t control and usually they don’t waste energy trying to make it any different to what it is. They “go with the flow” and trust in some higher order that’s beyond any apparent turmoil. With ever changing Mercury and combatant Mars in Pisces along with both the Sun and Moon as well as unpredictable Uranus, do try to remember this month that any lack of stability and order is an important transition phase. As the Sun reaches the vernal equinox on March 20 and enters Aries we mark the start of the new astrological year. This cardinal point is considered the most potent of all the 360 degrees in the Zodiac. This year the erratic planet Uranus is there, having just entered Aries on 12 March, where it transits until 2018. This sets the tone for the coming months, and ultimately the next several years. So what can we expect? The nature of Uranus is known by its unpredictability and ability to blow apart anything preconceived so you must expect the unexpected. In Aries, this will likely bring more conflicts, though not necessarily violent, as first steps are taken in attempts at establishing a new order. How this affects your personal life depends on where in your birth chart this critical Sun/Uranus conjunction falls. Astrological indicators tell of the current trends taking us into the next era. Although the signature of these times is one of revolution and upheaval we must remember that this is only because we just can’t continue along the same well trodden paths any more. When expansive and positive Jupiter opposes hard working, consolidating Saturn on March 28 we can begin to see some of the potential rewards to be gained from enduring adversity. This is the first of a series of beneficial Jupiter transits that we can look for ward to later this year.