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)

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.

June Astrology – Full Moon in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Cancer & Summer Solstice

This coming Sagittarius Full Moon on the 13th is not just for mythical four legged beasts to enjoy. The Moon is waxing to it’s full phase as we approach the culmination of the Sun’s northerly journey during the Solstice. The sign of Cancer, the natural home sign for the Moon, has extra significance this month and brings the Lunar energies to a peak.

The Solstice can be notedAstrolsunmoon astrologically as the moment the Sun passes into the first degree of the Zodiac sign of Cancer. (21st June at 10.52 UT) Representing the archetypal mother principal, Cancer is the sign of the nurturing feminine side of our nature. At the time of year when in the Northern hemisphere our crops and potential food sources are still vulnerable needing vigilant care to bring them to fruition, this sign oversees the process. The Cancerian nurturing theme can apply to all things that need tending, compassion and gentle attention to help them on towards fulfilling their potential, whether it’s children, plants, baby animals, relationships, projects, ideas or enterprises.

Whilst the Moon is in the sign of Sagittarius for only just over two and a half days the planet Jupiter which rules Sagittarius is in the Moon’s sign, Cancer over a period of about a year. When two planets are in each others home ruling signs astrologers call it a mutual reception and the planets involved have an enhanced effect.

Just to add to the impact of the Full Moon mutual reception, the Planet Jupiter is at the equivalent zodiac degree as the Sun/Moon position and forms a challenging quincunx angle which suggests some personal adjustment is required to reach the promise of the planets involved.

Jupiter rules over Sagittarius and represents our spiritual aspirations and urge to expand, seek greater knowledge, expose ourselves to new experiences, find fulfilment and generally enjoy being alive. He is particularly comfortable (exhalted) in Cancer where this warm expansive energy can be directed into personally meaningful endeavours. The Moon is our mood, our sensitivity, a longing for something familiar and inner security – it is our emotional life, our soulful side. At Full Moon that yearning or need for “connection” becomes temporarily satisfied as whatever has been increasing becomes fulfilled. At New Moon that impulse towards satisfaction starts building in intensity again. In Sagittarius the Moon is seeking some higher knowledge, or greater possibility. It wants to go where it hasn’t been before. The Sun in the opposite sign of Gemini is emphasising connections of the mental kind. Putting thoughts together and forming relationships between ideas or information.

Although this combination is not likely to set off a major event it can put an increased focus on the spiritually meaningful dimension in our lives. This peaking energy pattern could supply the opportunity to reach for your “life-path goal” along with the required impulse to make whatever adjustments are needed to bring it into it’s full potential. At least it is likely to bring some new understanding that will put you more consciously on the path of your soul’s journey or towards a deeply personal ambition.

If you’re familiar with your personal birth chart you can see which area of life is likely to be affected by these planetary dynamics by finding where the Sun, Moon and Jupiter fall in your chart during the Full Moon or New Moon phase.

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Saturn in Scorpio, Mercury in Sagittarius, Venus in Libra & a Taurus New Moon

The last Full Moon on 30th September was in action orientated Aries in conjunction with revolutionary Uranus which is a potentially volatile combination. The Moon in a mundane or “event” chart represents the mood of the people and combined with Uranus shows us that people want change and at almost any cost! As we move into October the theme continues and we can expect changes and at quite a pace too. The Sun changes sign each month around the 21st – 23rd and every Zodiac sign lends its different character to the month as the year unfolds. The Moon, which travels the same Zodiac journey thirteen times over the year, changes signs approximately every 2.5 days. In traditional astrology a planet moving into the next sign indicates a new phase of events. This month we have a total of seven of these ingress events, not including the Moon’s progress.
Venus planet of personal values and relationships moves from larger than life Leo into modest Virgo on the 3rd. This will bring an attitude of critical discrimination into our lives as we keep checking on how well our possessions and relationships match up to our desires. We will want to get it “right” especially as the Sun has its focus in Libra, the sign of harmony and balance in relationships, during this time. We start to go deeper when Mercury, governing our thoughts, moves into Scorpio on the 5th with Saturn following a few hours later. Planets in Scorpio always activate a release of tension from stored up energy. This contained pressure is often due to suppression of power or resources that have been kept under wraps out of fear or as a precaution.
Mars the planet of personal drive and competition moves into Sagittarius on the 7th. This is a fast paced combination where the sights are set to distance and long term goals. Also spiritual, ethical or religious aspiration can be the motivation towards improvements.
This intense planetary trend turns us towards our deepest, and darkest, inner life as the Sun also moves into Scorpio on the 23rd. This time of year lends itself to introspection and we draw from our depths to find valuable resources. Scorpio will keep what it doesn’t feel comfortable with hidden until it’s transformed it into a dynamic asset. Either that or the less refined instincts and emotions of this water sign will break out suddenly and sometimes destructively when the pent up energy is suddenly released.
The Sun joins with Saturn in this powerful sign on the 25th to illuminate the limitations and boundaries we have allowed to keep us in check. This is a time to release the behaviours that control us or others. Often these are habitual ways of being that we subscribe to unconsciously. This passing astrological dynamic might just highlight some of the imposed constraints within and without so we can assess their true purpose and value.
The last few days of the month sees Venus move into Libra where she is most happy as its ruler. Here the focus is on our social values and relationship harmony once more. We will want to get along and are prepared to make whatever moves are required. This is especially true with dashing Mercury slipping into optimistic Sagittarius on the 29th. Now is a time for high ideals and striving for a better, more positive way forward. Combined with the Full Moon in peace seeking Taurus there is plenty of opportunity to have some “feel good” moments.