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.

2016 Astrology Forecast

Time 2016We start 2016 with lot’s of hope and anticipation for the good times ahead and even though it may take some months before we feel that this really is a trend in the right direction. By years end we might find ourselves living in a different reality to the one we’ve just left behind. 2016 is a year when the recent challenging cycles of the last ten years show us how they have prepared the way for our next phase of development. This year is likely to be a “game changer” and now each one of us has to choose how we are going to play it.  Read the Full 2016 Forecast

Uranus opposite Mars, a change of purpose? Neptune Dreams & Solstice Celebrations

Sunrise-SpaceDuring early December as the Sun approaches the Solstice, it’s nearly midwinter for us in the northern hemisphere and a perfect opportunity to view the pre-dawn sky, particularly if you’re not a naturally early riser! The late sunrise and clear cold skies will give a chance to see the waning crescent Moon drop a little further each day, past the bright planets, Jupiter, then Mars and finally Venus before it joins with the Sun at the New Moon phase. Saturn, rising just ahead of the Sun is so close now it’s not visible. Taking some quiet time to star gaze can really help to put things into perspective. This is especially so when there’s such demand for our attention now with the short days, busy pre Christmas preparations and world news broadcasts creating fear and stress as we imagine the worst.

With the current astrological “weather” it is even more important to keep a check on what we focus on. Become aware of how much mental and emotional energy is given to worry, anxiety, fear and a sense of helplessness. Take advantage of the astrological climate to change those thoughts into something more positive and empowering now. The challenging aspect between Saturn and Neptune began to make its self known in mid November and will continue in the background throughout the next year. The shifts and changes seem to be intensified and there can be a growing sense of unreality. Bombarded with too much information, the world around us can seem quite surreal. Keeping a grip on reality is the personal challenge.

It will become increasingly apparent that so much in our world is actually no more than a creation of imagination or ideas that are believed to be true, or just something that everyone agrees with and never paused to question. Taking “time to stand and stare” or pause and reflect quietly has become a lost art for many, but it is an essential practice during the coming weeks and months. The New Moon on the 11th is in Sagittarius and in a natural placement to begin a sincere quest for truth.

Over the whole New Moon phase and into the next weeks the effect of Mars in opposition to Uranus will be apparent. There may be struggles or argument as the forceful will of Mars is in direct conflict with the unpredictable nature of Uranus. This is certainly a time when a sudden change of direction or purpose is likely. It can have a very positive effect, once things have settled. When two high energy planets clash like this it can be disruptive and seem to happen beyond any individual control. It may create chaos as the old goal or objective is blown out, in favour of new, more liberal ideals. Self-centred or self serving desires of an individual or group can be overridden by a “live and let live” attitude but there is likely to be some shocking news, incident or revelation that forces a change in perspective first.

Also on the same day, we have Venus in Scorpio in a supportive trine aspect with Neptune in Pisces. This highlights the things that are important, going deeply into things, what we value in life and what higher ideals we have. It supports compassion, inclusion and love regardless of differences and despite social taboo. Start looking out beyond what’s immediately apparent and seek new dreams, ideas or beliefs. Read uplifting words. Research new facts rather than automatically accept what is simply repetition. Think up your next question instead of responding with the ready answer. These options are ways to antidote some of the more challenging aspects involving Mars and Uranus and to ensure the balance is tipped towards a positive experience for the Solstice and Full Moon Midwinter festivities.

The December New Moon is at 20° Sagittarius on the 11th at 10:31am. The Full Moon is at 4° Cancer on the 25th at 11:11am. (UT)

Watch out for the 2016 forecast coming soon.

Personal 2016 forecasts and readings can be arranged by leaving me a message in the comments section and  through my Website or Facebook page.

Happy Solstice Season!

Venus & Uranus retrograde, Saturn direct. Jupiter, Venus conjunct – A busy start to August!

principlesAstrologically August starts out with a few busy days. The last week of July has set the pace, when Venus turned to retrograde motion on 25th July and Uranus followed suit on the 26th. We now have five planets in retrograde which includes all the slower heavyweights, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. This is a clean up operation. Whilst going “backwards” a planet is re- treading past territory and this gives us the call to attend any loose ends, details or unfinished business with the issues that each planet represents. The slower – farther from earth – the planet is, the more thorough that process has to be. That’s quite a workload right now!

The second Full Moon of July on 31st in Aquarius put the focus on our relative position within the greater scheme of things. It may well have highlighted our role in the community or made us consider what we bring as an individual to contribute to the bigger picture as a whole. Where we aren’t satisfied, or remain unclear or just not matching up to our own ideals, will all be given an overhaul in the coming weeks and months.

As August gets under way, Saturn, known to some as the “Lord of Karma” reaches the point where he turns to go forward once more, having been retrograde since March. He has travelled back into Scorpio as far as his position last December, so there has likely been some harsh lessons and thwarted plans during this time. Saturn’s role is to constrain or provide structure, discipline and substance to our lives. It is through learning from experience, over time, that we really get the chance to develop our endurance and resilience and also we’re frequently compelled to yield to forces of time and the limits of physical reality whenever Saturn in involved. These experiences can be frustrating, but also potentially enlightening and ultimately liberating gifts to our lives. By November Saturn will reach the point he had progressed to before turning back. We can then start to really move away from the lessons of the last 2-3 years into a new phase with Saturn staying in Sagittarius during the next couple of years.

The main planetary activity is around 28 degrees of the fixed signs for the first week of August as this is where all the action takes place. Whilst Saturn is changing direction he is in a challenging aspect with both the “feel good” planets – Venus and Jupiter. Anyone born between 20th – 23rd of January, April, July or October will be strongly affected as will anyone with a late degree ascendant or personal planet in late Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius.

As Venus goes backwards she links up with Jupiter for the second time this summer on the 4th. This puts the focus on love, relationships and money but this time round with Saturn involved, it shows up where we feel things are less than satisfactory. This is the time to make adjustments, re-negotiate the contracts and ask how we are making boundaries or limitations that don’t do us any favours. It’s not all bad though. This is our opportunity to firm up where we let things slide or were a bit unclear to begin with. We can set out something more solid and reliable now. Maybe less exciting, romantic or adventurous but certainly more likely to withstand the test of time and serve us well in to the future.

The August New Moon is at 22° Leo on the 14th at 2:55pm with the following Full Moon at 7° Pisces on the 29th at 6:36pm (UT)

New Horoscopes column for 2015

zodiac wheelMy new horoscope column for Woh! magazine covers mid June to mid July and is out now.

This new monthly Irish publication is a glossy chat, fashion & trend style magazine and I’m writing the Horoscopes.

Currently the column is not exclusive to the magazine but this may change in the following months so to read the latest horoscopes it may be a case of making sure you manage to pick up a copy!

Mid month the whole magazine can be read online here for free!

Enjoy!

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.

New Moon Solar Eclipse in Scorpio 23rd October 2014 Intense and hidden undercurrents

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Use this potent and powerful eclipse to make a positive shift that can have deep and long lasting effects in your world of relationships and your overall well being. The question to ask yourself today and during this New Moon phase is “who or what is in control?”

This is not just about world powers or public authorities but is especially about the forces deep within your own psyche – beliefs, desires, prejudices and so called facts about reality. We may be convinced that a situation or circumstance cannot change or that it absolutely has to before we can have our personal happiness. It’s these fixed assumptions that can be questioned today.
Maybe there is another option that hasn’t been considered. By suspending what you believe you absolutely “know” to be “true” and letting an alternative possibility arise you may get a pleasant surprise! With the the solar eclipse in the first degree of Scorpio alongside Venus the energy is intensely focussed on issues of desire and will. An eclipse can open up a window of opportunity. Like the changing of scenery between acts in a theatre play, the story continues but the stage is “re set” for the next episode!
Deep and powerful emotions abound and can dictate our life, sometimes disguised as realism, common knowledge, social trends -or personal rights, reasonable expectations, accepted beliefs etc. Drop what you think is true for you – just for a day – and then see what emerges as a new possibility. Enjoy the new scenery!

Astrology – February 2013

During these few short weeks of February we could see what’s called a “ game changer”. The month starts off with both Venus and Mars changing sign on 2nd February and Jupiter has just started forward motion once more. This brings a shift in energy and we may already be feeling the benefits. It can finally feel like we are making a new start and things are suddenly moving ahead now after slow progress since the turn of the year. Whilst Mars was in Aquarius, a fixed air sign, we would have come up against opposition to our ideas with confrontations over principles and plans for group projects. Now in Pisces, a fluid water sign, there should be a lot more flexibility and more sensitivity towards others. Venus has moved into Aquarius and this will add a co-operative or even altruistic dimension to our involvement with others thus making it easier to work towards the “bigger picture”.

Quicksilver, messenger planet Mercury joins with feisty, assertive Mars on 8th which will give us a sense of urgency to get the ideas out there. Expect some fast and furious communications to be flying around as news travels like wildfire. There could also be cross words and heated exchanges if the Picean tendency towards vagueness or ambiguity makes it hard to be clear or concise.

As we approach the New Moon in Aquarius on the 10th the sense of being in a global community or at least an awareness that we are part of a larger social group will come into focus. Though, with that Pisces Mars making a difficult square angle to giant Jupiter in the sign of the twins, Gemini, we may get some distorted versions of the background story during the next few days.
A new Moon sets the trend for the next weeks with the energies culminating at the Full Moon which falls in discerning Virgo on the 25th this month. As the Moon grows in size, so too might an emerging theme. The planet of structure and limitation, Saturn is currently in covert Scorpio and starts to make its apparent retrograde motion on the 18th. This brings issues relating to our organisations and social or political establishments into focus. Where it may have been hoped that unpleasant truths had successfully been swept under the carpet late last year, we will likely see them emerge again during the following weeks.
The Sun, having moved into in watery Pisces, also on 18th, joins with Neptune on 21st. This dreamy and ethereal combination has an almost “other worldly” feel to it. The mundane and purely physical will be hard to grasp and this is a time of peak experiences of the spiritual kind.
The theme of expanded connectedness continues as messenger Mercury also turns retrograde on 23rd bringing information, news, communications and the “bigger picture” to our attention again. As we reach the Full Moon phase on 25th Jupiter makes a challenging square angle to both Sun and Moon. Be aware that what occurs now is prone to exaggeration or likely to be blown out of all proportion for effect. As the month ends what we now know may have altered our reality but we also could be left wondering if we know the difference between reality and imagination.

2013 – The Astrological Highlights

The Astrology of 2013

Read more – Astrology of Solstice December 21st 2012

Saturn – Pluto

Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn will make three exact sextile aspects between December 2012 and September 2013. This pair are in mutual reception, (Saturn rules Capricorn and Pluto co-rules Scorpio) creating a supportive basis for the hard work involved in making necessary changes. This brings out the best qualities of these heavy duty planets providing some stability and allowing the use of will power to get through the more disruptive times.

Uranus-Pluto

The major astrological influence of our current time continues to be the square aspect between Uranus and Pluto. It first became exact during late June 2011 and will continue its influence until early 2016. I wrote extensively on this pair in the 2012 forecast and we’ll see more of the same effects throughout this year as it makes an exact angle twice, first on 20th May and again 1st November. This challenging dynamic brings revolution and power struggles which cause us to undergo a major shift of focus. Some people will have begun the shift already for others it will come later. “If we want to have freedom from material restraints (Uranus) we have to be purged of self importance and become honourable (Pluto). The struggle will be acted out on many levels as we are forced to face ourselves. We have to question what is really true and appropriate and what have we blindly accepted as a convenient or comfortable assertion.” Slowly as we become more conscious of ourselves and our motivations we will begin to see that whatever occurs in our world is a direct result of our own inner state of being. There will continue to be conflict and struggle in the world only whilst we are in conflict within ourselves. The peace and comfort we seek in the world will develop naturally as we cultivate a peaceful relationship with ourselves.

Saturn – Neptune – Jupiter

During the summer months we will see a series of trine aspects that culminate in a Grand water trine. This type of aspect is considered the most harmonious or beneficial and allows the planets involved to work easily together. Saturn in Scorpio made the first trine aspect to Neptune in Pisces in October 2012, the second is on 11th June and again on 19th July. On the 17th July Jupiter in Cancer moves into range to complete a triangular pattern known as a Grand Trine, in water signs. With Saturn representing “reality” and Neptune as the dream or illusory world ,we can bring the two together with ease. Be careful what you wish for! With Jupiter in Cancer adding to the mix expect an increased ability to manifest your desires and reach for the stars. Emotional responses can be exaggerated during this time but if you have honed your senses to be spiritually orientated this could even be a mystical experience. It’s important though not to let your imagination run wild as you may find you can be convinced of something that actually has no substance. At worst this could bring a spate of over zealous idealism.

Comets – Signs & Portents

This year we are told to expect two comets to pass close by and even be visible during the day light. The first should arrive by late February and remain visible during March whilst the second should be visible in the Northern hemisphere from October through to December. In traditional astrology a comet was considered a herald of major disruption to government or the fall of empires and kings. Until the comet makes itself visible it’s hard to predict it’s significance on a mundane level. We already know that this is likely to be a game changing year and the chances of there being major political upheaval is certainly on the cards. Meanwhile, we will have to, literally, watch this space!

September 2012 Astrology, Mars in Scorpio, New Moon choices & Uranus squares up to Pluto

This is the month of the autumn Equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. Falling on the 22nd the Sun enters the Sign of Libra at 3.49pm (GMD). As the nights begin to lengthen and we head towards the winter Solstice many personal and global issues will be brought into focus.
During September the feisty, action oriented planet Mars is traveling through the intense sign of Scorpio. As the traditional ruler of Scorpio, Mars is easily able to act out his true nature here. Always looking to see where he can get the advantage, gain ground, defeat the competition or achieve his desires, Mars is the thrust and drive behind our personal assertion in life. The nature of Scorpio is transformation at it’s deepest level, and Scorpio really does go deep. Whatever falls under the power of this sign is in for a journey into “the pits” and back. During this process of being taken into the symbolic underworld where the worst in human nature can be found, something alchemical occurs and what once seemed so “bad” is now found to be “good”. Use the forceful and determined energy of Mars to seek for the positive outcome which is always contained as a potential in even the most extreme and seemingly disastrous experiences.
As the Moon wanes in the light of the Virgo Sun and disappears from view we are inclined to move our focus inward to become more reflective. When the Sun and Moon combine at New Moon on 16th the facets of the self represented by these “luminaries” are also blended. Our outwardly projected personality which is illuminated and enlivened by the life force from within, is the Sun’s concern. Our impressionable and emotional nature is the realm of the Moon. When both are temporarily melded together we can act irrationally or emotionally from conditioned responses and unconscious fears. Alternatively we can draw from an intuitive knowing or inner strength and act with calm equanimity. With the influence of Virgo behind this New Moon the choice is to be either hyper-critical and quick to judge or to perceive the potential for perfection and strive to exemplify it.
Being aware of this choice in attitude or expression is even more crucial now. We move into the last quarter of the year following the second exact square aspect between Uranus and Pluto which occurs on the 19th.
This difficult and challenging dynamic between two outer planets sets the general tone and continues in the background during the next few years. As they square up to each other the established order of corporate affairs and control through economics is challenged by a need for complete overhaul and a radical departure towards more individual freedom of expression and autonomy.
Through Pluto’s influence during these next weeks it will become more apparent than ever that those people who power has corrupted are unable to act with any personal integrity. The challenge of Uranus is for each individual to free themselves from bias, prejudice and covert collusion so that personal action and decision can be made without the constraints of fear and confusion.