Revise Plans

Saturn Retrograde in Scorpio

Revise PlansAs if to taunt Jupiter’s freshly enthusiastic direct motion at the end of January 2013, shortly thereafter Saturn began its retrograde cycle on February 18th in the sign of Scorpio, where it stationed retrograde at 11°. Note that degree, because if you have any planets in 11° or within a degree or two on either side, this will be an important Saturn retrograde cycle for you. Saturn, the planet that signifies the structures and persistence we need in order to bring any endeavor solidly into fruition, is asking us to slow down, maybe change direction, and even to consider revising our plan. This Saturn retrograde cycle lasts until July 7, 2013 when it goes direct again. But many astrologers agree that the cycle isn’t really complete until Saturn finally clears the 11° point at which it stationed retrograde, which isn’t until October. So settle in for a cycle that will require some patience.

When Saturn stations retrograde on a sensitive point in our chart, we’re being asked to review our past plans in search of improvements that will help shore up our foundation. The topic at hand depends on the house Saturn is transiting in your chart, which planets it’s making contact with, and what your natal Saturn’s long-term goals and intentions are. In some cases, the Saturn retrograde process of evaluation makes us aware that our plan (or our job, our home, our relationship) doesn’t have the strength to weather the storm, and that it’s now time to let it come to an end. But we may not figure that out right away. That’s what the cycle is for – to help us get clarity about what’s causing this newly uncomfortable feeling of stuckness that will ultimately edge us into the process.

At the beginning of the cycle, since we may not be aware yet just exactly what is going to end (or begin) or when, we may find that we reach an impass of sorts, a blockage, an obstacle, or a take on a new responsibility. This experience will eventually provide the impetus for change and forward movement once the cycle is complete. In order to get the most out of the cycle, we need to get in sync with the process, which will require Saturnian patience and endurance.

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Full Moon in Cancer - Nurturing the Solar Principle

Full Moon in Cancer 12/28/12 at 2:21 AM PST at 7º Cancer

On Friday December 28th, the full moon, at home in Cancer, the sign of the Great Mother, is matched in expression by its opposition from the Sun in Capricorn conjunct Pluto. Here we have the archetypal mother-nurturer, opposite the solar-expressive father. On this day, our need to find sustenance, warmth, and emotional comfort stands in sharp contrast to our solar principle – the ego’s desire to express, to do, and to accomplish; the powerful drive to be, to exist; the capital-letter expression of I AM. In Cancer the moon wants to support, to heal, to nurture. MotherIn Capricorn, the Sun wants to build something concrete, and importantly, to leave behind a legacy. The opposition suggests some tension between these forces. Maybe this nurturing element comes at an unwanted time. Or our drive to accomplish perhaps steamrolls our need for rest, comfort and support.

While browsing the web for some Great Mother imagery, I was reminded of this painting of mother and child set in the Great Depression. This imagery sheds light on another angle of the archetypal polarity between Cancer and Capricorn - here, the nurturing mother seen in her stark strength and vulnerability, at odds with the unrelenting demands of culture, of ego. The mother here is seen struggling to nurture in the absence of adequate resources, thwarted at every turn, by society, and the world of "men." In this month's full moon, the conjunction from Pluto to the Sun adds to our picture that perhaps the Great Mother is facing an adversary who is too strong to "kill with kindness."

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The Revolution Will Be Televised: Uranus Square Pluto

Revolution TVIt appears that the revolution will in fact, be televised. Read on and I’ll explain…

The feeling of revolution is infusing our cultural experience these days. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, from the Tea Party to the right-wing extremist calls for violent retaliation against perceived oppression, everywhere we look we can find angry folks who “just don’t want to take it anymore.” And astrologically, these folks are right on time. For we’re now in the thick of one of the major planetary cycles of our times – the Uranus square Pluto configuration.

When two planets are square – meaning they form a 90° angle with each other in the sky – they are enacting a dramatic play of dynamic developmental tension. We can readily see this drama unfold on the world stage. Perhaps no one has done a more thorough and eloquent job of tracking these kinds of cyclic resonance patterns than Richard Tarnas, in his groundbreaking work Cosmos & Psyche, from which I’m drawing inspiration here.

This week, an opportunity presented itself to look closely at the current field of planetary energies infusing our day-to-day lives by way of the new TV series Revolution, produced by J.J. Abrams, of Lost fame. In a laughably clear reference to the planetary energies of Uranus square Pluto, even this fledgling TV show’s title is aptly named. For revolution is indeed at hand. You might have noticed…
The planet responsible for this rebellious cultural brushstroke (which we’ll see coloring our lives for the next few years) is Uranus.

Associated with revolution and revolutionaries, Uranus is also the planet we link with radicals, freedom, emancipation, liberation, independence, innovation and change. Uranus is always out there in the sky doing its thing, just as all the planets are. But we’re seeing an increase in Uranian types of events in the world right now because of the tense relationship Uranus is currently in with Pluto. The planets’ constantly changing relationship to each other (measured by the geometric patterns they form, such as the 90° angle, or square) alerts us to times when some of them take center stage. For example, you may remember all of the excitement earlier this year around the Transit of Venus. Venus took center stage then, and now has stepped back into her usual routine, as Uranus and Pluto step back into the spotlight. Starting to make sense?

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Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White & the Huntsman: Dark Venus Rising

Originally published in the digital edition of The Mountain Astrologer magazine.

Snow White and the Huntsman astrologyWhen a subject rises to prominence in the zeitgeist of mainstream culture, the importance of that subject and its full meaning are not always what they appear to be on first look. For instance, in early 2011, when the “13th sign” was “discovered” (again), the cosmic intention probably wasn’t to throw a bunch of Sagittarians into an identity crisis. Demetra George makes a very eloquent case for the reason Ophiucus was suddenly getting so much attention in her audio presentation Ophiucus, 2012 and the Galactic Center. George makes it clear that when an issue like this takes center stage it’s worth taking a closer look in an effort to discover its full meaning.

So when the recent Transit of Venus in 2012 started to gain a lot of traction, I decided to delve into the subject, with my sights set on understanding the story behind the story. And it just turns out that what I found has something to do with another trending topic: The Mayans and 2012.

As a prelude to 2012, in 2011 we all learned quite a lot more about the Mesoamerican cultures via hype about the Mayan calendar. And in June of 2012, Venus took center stage through her rare and visible Transit in front of the Sun on June 5. The public was instantly enamored by the transit of Venus, uploading images to Facebook, blogging, and taking time out of the day to view this rare astronomical event in large gatherings both outdoors and online.

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A Perfect Storm? Venus Retrograde & the Transits of June 2012

Symmetry by e v e nAs I started the research for this article on May 2012’s Venus Retrograde in Gemini (and the rare Transit of Venus that occurs on June 5), I quickly opened up a rather large can of worms. For it seems that in June of 2012, we have the makings of a perfect astrological storm. You see, when we look at key moments in history, we almost always find dynamic planetary transits bunched up in clusters around those same dates. It’s in those times when many key transits occur simultaneously that we tend to find more outward events – landmarks for memorable moments in history where we find sea changes, shifts, beginnings and endings of cycles. In June of 2012, we find one of those clusters that suggest June could be a month in which important formative outer events transpire. The conditions for the storm start to form in May when Venus goes retrograde.

Historically memorable events serve as bookends that we can use to compartmentalize segments of time. They help us organize the chaos that is daily existence into quantifiable, understandable bits. This way of organizing events into cycles is one of many processes that give us an experience we like to call sanity. In truth, the sheer enormity of paradoxical and contradictory data in the world is mind-blowing. It’s just too much for any one person to objectively synthesize. We need a way to organize the data, and to then create meaning out of it.

This information-sifting is a crucial step in our individual evolutionary processes, helping us to find meaning and make decisions. The planet Venus represents a crucial organizational process that occurs within the psyche. We'll have a chance to learn more about this process during the current Venus retrograde cycle.

Information can be organized in many ways. A Virgo style of organization might express itself as compartmentalizing the facts of life into neat folders (one for all of the frightening facts, one for the pleasant thoughts, etc.). A Sagittarius style might express as organizing the data into systems of thought, big picture philosophies, and broad sweeps of holistic understanding. Venus relates to an organizational process that results in art. More than just compartmentalization of facts, the organization that Venus refers to is endowed with her signature principles of proportion, balance, and grace.

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