Lots of astrologers will be talking about Uranus moving into Taurus this month – and for good reason. Major planet ingresses are a big deal. Heck, I might even write about it for you soon. But what you might miss in all of the Uranus commotion is that Venus goes out of bounds May 5 and doesn’t come back in bounds until June 8. And that’s worth talking about.
If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “out of bounds,” check out my webinar on Venus out of bounds, which includes an introduction to the concept.
Venus starts this cycle at 14° Gemini and ends at 22° Cancer, covering quite a lot of ground on the way. So if you have planets in Mutable or Cardinal signs, you’re going to see some Venus action in the coming month in the zone of life signified by the house Venus is moving through. And on the last day of this cycle – June 7 – two planets will be out of bounds at once, since Mercury starts its own out of bounds cycle that day. That’s a day to note on your calendar and watch what unfolds.
Those are the technical bits, so what’s the scoop?
On March 17, Mars reaches a declination that is beyond the limit set by the Sun. We call that “out of bounds”. On the positive side, this can be a highly expressive time, where we might feel a little more freedom to go after what we want, take action with less of a sense of limitation, and do work that stretches our limits. On the negative side, we go rogue, awol, or do things we later regret.
Blanket statements like this can’t apply with the strength or clear channel for all of us, because planetary energies happening today are always going to refer back to our own natal charts. But we’ll be able to sense this unrestrained energy in the collective, and some of us will express it in direct ways.
For technical astro nerds, it’s important to note that when a planet is out of bounds, it’s actually further away from making close aspects with other planets if you take into account declination in addition to the “regular” longitudinal measurement of aspects. This could be the reason the out of bounds energy often has the feeling of a “wild card.” Any aspects it does make are a bit weaker than usual. So the out of bounds planet literally has less restraint and more freedom to express in uninhibited ways.
This particular Mars out of bounds cycle starts off with Mars at zero degrees Capricorn, already a charged cardinal point signifying new beginnings. In this case, maybe the start of creating/building something solid or tangible, or something with a long-term end game.
You may have heard that Jupiter recently changed signs from Libra to Scorpio. But did you know that we have a “super conjunction” of Venus and Jupiter this weekend? Yep! And what is that?
A super conjunction is the rare condition when two planets are simultaneously conjunct and parallel. This basically means that their latitude and longitude positions are the same, or very close. So that if you look at them in the night sky, you’ll see them right next to each other.
When astrologers say that two planets are conjunct, they’re using a measurement of longitude. “Parallel” is a measurement of declination, or latitude – the distance a planet is north or south of the equator. When two planets come together using both measurements, we get a super conjunction.
If you have good night sky visibility this weekend, it will be worth a trip outside to see Venus and Jupiter converge.
So what does this mean for the little people on Earth? Well, it could sound like a time for celebration, given that these are the two so-called “benefic” planets. We astrologers often look to these planets to see where the “good news” is in terms of astrological timing and birth chart potentials. But we need to remember that they are both more than that, they both have shadow expressions, and they are in the sign of Scorpio, which further colors our interpretation.
Our charts don’t define us. They are energetic fields of possibility in which we interact. They may corral us into a certain arena of life in which to engage, or point to specific dynamics that hold the keys to our healing and growth. But it’s always up to us to make choices. Comic books teach us this at a very basic level: we always have the choice to use our special powers for good or bad.
For some of us, the choice is an easy one in either direction. But most of us hang out in the grey area, making some decisions we later regret, and making other better choices based on learning from those same regrets.
Sometimes we’ll see a standout citizen who embodies some of the highest potentials in their chart in a way that impacts the collective. They inspire us, shine a light for humanity to follow, or give us hope, spreading love, instigating healing or sharing insight. We can’t see this kind of collective reach or predict its occurrence with the chart alone. Something inside the person - call it soul if you like - shines out in a particularly luminous way. Two people born at that same moment still have the same choice to make - use my chart for good, or wallow in negativity and poor choices with those very same energies.
In this context, I’d call Brene Brown a warrior of light. Her work as a researcher around complex topics like shame, vulnerability, courage and empathy has helped countless numbers of folks make positive change in their lives. Brown is a 12th house Scorpio, with her Sun conjunct Neptune. Combined with Pluto-Uranus conjunct in Virgo on the MC, she’s one of the most important voices of her generation - with a message of healing tailored specifically to all of us.
Mercury retrograde in the sign of Virgo is especially important for me personally, as I have Gemini rising, a Virgo stellium, and a Mercury that Rob Hand jokingly told me scores a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10. As Mercury stationed retrograde at 11° Virgo this month, I found myself sitting at a public show with psychic medium Cindy Kaza. (By the way, stationing retrograde means that the planet, from our perspective, is standing still, emphasizing both its lack of speed and its degree position.) Her skills proved to be formidable, and many folks in the audience were overcome with emotion at the accuracy of detail she provided as she communicated with the “other side” to bring messages from departed loved ones.
Before the event started, I had a feeling I’d get called, and I also had an idea who might show up. My intuition was right on both counts. As I reflected on the messages passed on after the event and the timing of Mercury’s station, I was reminded of the psychopomp dynamic of Mercury. In mythology, Mercury is the one god with the ability to travel back and forth to the underworld, relaying messages between the worlds. We sometimes forget this dynamic of Mercury, instead thinking first of communication dynamics, language, and duality as classic Mercury signatures. Which are all right on. But Mercury is also associated with omens, signs, and these kinds of messages from beyond the veil.