As long as we’re not in a hurry we can enjoy this weekend’s sweet and mellow aspects, which are perfect for puttering in the garden or through the farmer’s market and checking in with old friends. Catch up with a backlog of emotional processing. Venus enters its own earthy sign of Taurus and nurtures our gardens and our relationships.
But if we have specific places to go, things to do, and a tight timeline to get there, we’ll tend to feel frustrated and can tune into an underlying ambient irritation. It will help us to stay flexible about our plans while being open to serendipity and important side agendas; yes we can make plans and set a few easy goals, but let’s be willing to roll with life and work with what fate has to offer. Mercury has just turned retrograde and all things now Mercurial slow down and take a unique path.
Mercury symbolizes how we think, communicate, transport, and be honest, and is now retrograde until May 22. It joins Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto all appearing to back up against the zodiac from our earthly perspective. When any planet turns retrograde, we get a chance to review what we’ve learned over its recent path, and may have to deal with an usual, sometimes difficult, expression of its realm. For instance, in Minneapolis, the main interstate throughway which also connects the Twin Cities is completely closed throughout this first weekend of Mercury retrograde, forcing drivers to find unique roots through side-streets and secondary arteries. Drivers may run late for their plans, but could see new parts of the city they didn’t know existed.
In another example of retrograde action, since Mars (whose realm includes desire, machismo, exploration, physical energy, sexuality, violence, and war) turned retrograde (April 17-, June 29) in the sign Sagittarius, a sign we associate with children, youthful energy, movement, we have seen several incidents in the national news of children who found a gun and harmed themselves or family. Only a few families in the country and had to deal with this personally, but we all have had to contemplate that symbol and wonder what we could do to prevent such tragedies in the future. Mars retrograde is also an important time to go back and find missing passions or long-standing ambitions that have fallen by the wayside, and reinvestigate. But let’s watch the tendency towards road rage. Mars retrograde can also be a time when something triggers an old anger of ours, and we have to decide to either reattach to that anger, or pull the thorn and let it go.
This week Mercury retrogrades back into the grand trine with Jupiter and Pluto (the first pass was April 15 -19), a grand trine which will resonate throughout May. Just watch the bombastic political (Jupiter/Pluto) slinging, a power play of words (Mercury), throughout the month. But this grand trine may also take our minds back to a time where we felt depressed or disempowered and help us open the energy locked up that memory. As a culture we may also need to recommit to fixing an old wrong, deal with intense and heavy news, or contemplate (Mercury) what truly frees us (Jupiter/Pluto) in a concrete and real way (grand trine in earth signs). With Mercury retrograde it behooves us to take our time, to review, renew, recollect, return, and complete on all levels.
So this weekend, wherever possible, let’s kick back rather than push forward. Sunday, May Day, marks spring’s midpoint. It’s a lovely day to commune with nature and invoke the magic of the burgeoning natural world, and the healing power of healthy human evolution. We can feel a little hypersensitive, may not be feeling so realistic, and may lose a lot of details in the process as the energizing Sun sextiles intuitive, spiritual, idealistic Neptune, just as the Moon enters Neptune rule Pisces, but it truly can be a magical time.
Enjoy the spring pulchritude before Tuesday. The weekend ends with nervy, high friction aspects that can both make us cranky and lower our impulse control just as mechanical glitches and human assumptions increase. We can direct this irritable fuel to further our work or rebel against problems. But let’s watch what we say with one another, watch where we drive, and hold one another and the major hotspots of the world in lovingkindness.
Friday, April 29: The mood is pleasantly stubborn, though it’s all too easy to miss signals and work tangentially instead of cooperatively. If people feels out of sync, slow down, hold hands and reconnect, decide on a few select goals, and let everything else wait. The evening has a cuddly, humorous, well-fed quality if we’re not in a hurry or sidetracked by misunderstandings.
Moon square Venus 1:07 AM, Moon enters Aquarius 2:46 AM, Moon sextiles Mars 5:19 PM, Venus enters Taurus 6:35 PM, Moon square Sun 9:28 PM.
Saturday, April 30: We may want to connect, but our relationships can feel tested or strained by distracting responsibilities this morning. The garden and other pragmatic chores call us for attention and it’s a good time to catch up with our own work. The afternoon is sociable if restless, our feet may want to roam and check out the neighborhood. Though we may need to work around a clash between head and heart or between conflicting needs tonight as the Moon squares Mercury.
Venus sesqui-quadrate Saturn 2:13 AM, Moon sextile Saturn 6:46 AM, Moon sextile Uranus 5:54 PM, Moon square Mercury 8:55 PM.
Sunday, May 1: This is a hard day to stay grounded, pragmatic and efficient but a wonderful day to talk with the garden spirits and open the heart, to dance the Maypole or find another way to honor mid-spring. The Moon enters sensitive Pisces, the Sun sextiles imaginative, sensitive Neptune, we can feel squishy and amorphous, permeable, unrealistic and alive. Magic resonates.
Sun sextile Neptune 6 AM, Moon conjunct Pisces 8:33 AM, Moon sextile Venus 12:15 PM, Moon square Mars 9:34 PM.
Monday, May 2: Be gentle on one another this Monday morning, we may still be feeling squishy and watery, may not be the sharpest tool in the box. Allergies and other irritants hit delicate nerves. We may start off this morning in a generous mood if uncertain or foggy in our perceptions. Mid-day can bring a grim streak as the squishy mood hits workday realities, but ends on a more comfortable note where we can be sympathetic and supportive of one another.
Moon conjunct Neptune 4:22 AM, Moon sextile Sun 5:59 AM, Moon opposed Jupiter 7:22 AM, Moon square Saturn 10:38 AM, Moon sextile Pluto 2:16 PM, Moon sextile Mercury 11:07 PM.
Tuesday, May 3: The ambient energy picks up, but now we have to focus it ourselves as the Sun trines upbeat Jupiter The moon enters energized, iconoclastic Aries and infuses us with a desire to break away from it all; we’re not interested in trivia or routine, but we don’t have to push others away or create artificial intensity. Though some people will do just that. It furthers to philosophize on the nature of true freedom.
Sun trine Jupiter 1:57 AM, Moon enters Aries 11:04 AM, Moon trine Mars 10:42 PM.
Wednesday, May 4: We could wake up with a rebellious chip on our shoulder. We tend to butt up against the rules, restrictions anybody playing the authority figure, with no patience for bureaucracy as the Sun quincunx Saturn We may also have to accept that we have to release an item, plan, or person. Either we can let that distract us, or let it bring us more into our heart. Watch for minor odd power plays from people afraid to let go. Be cautious tonight, the energy swirls erratically.
Moon trine Saturn 11:33 AM, Moon square Pluto 3:13 PM, Moon conjunct Uranus 10:16 PM, Sun quincunx Saturn 10:39 PM.
Thursday, May 5: The day begins with nervy, difficult, even accident-prone energy. It’s all too easy to say something we don’t really mean. Keep it five second delay on impulses, check to make sure they are real. Don’t read too much into interpersonal friction. The day smooths out as the Moon enters Taurus midday We can reconnect easily tonight, if we can get past earlier sparks. Show love through concrete help.
Mercury semi sextile Uranus 12:31 AM, Mars sesqui-quadrate Uranus 5:10 AM, Venus quincunx Mars 8:10 AM, Moon enters Taurus 11:10 AM, Moon conjunct Venus 11:12 PM.
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Yesterday’s full Moon in Scorpio may have left us with a full Moon hangover. That Scorpio full Moon still resonates as the weekend begins and brings a light into the darker corners of our psyche, stirring up corners we usually leave untouched, dredging up primal feelings and stirring emotions we thought we had progressed beyond. This full Moon plays hardball.
This full Moon can also reconnect us to resources we forgot we had. Once we’ve remembered all this, now what do we do. We are feeling deeply and may feel emotionally or creatively restless, waiting for some thing or event to touch us at our emotional core as Venus conjunct Uranus in fiery Aries. A highly competent grand trine in Earth nudges us to take action, while Mars and Mercury appear to hold still and tell us to slow down and feel instead.
As the weekend begins, this Scorpio Moon is also good for excavating closets, digging up clues and unearthing uncomfortable information, we may see some revelations of hiddenness assets or old peccadillos that could change our personal or political landscape. It can really tick us off if we perceive an intention to hide, deceive or triangulate with Mars now retrograde in outspoken, direct Sagittarius.
That Moon is good for digging up roots and reorganizing, for spring cleaning, overhauling our wardrobe or obsessing about our art supplies and painting all day. It furthers to have to choose our obsession so one doesn’t just come out and grab us.
The earth grand trine composed of Mercury in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn, and Jupiter in Virgo wants us to do something with all that energy. Mars retrograde in Sagittarius helps us let things go. On a more personal and mundane level, if we feel creatively or emotionally restless this weekend we can take this discontent out by moving flowerbeds or furniture, changing our relationship or our opinions.
If we have been unhappy for a time and feel we have not been heard, and this can happen anywhere- at home, in our love life, at work, or with our politicians- we can feel ready to walk away as Venus conjunct Uranus. But we may just need to walk around the block; we need to assess that restlessness before it causes any real destruction, and make sure we’re going where we want to go, not reacting against but moving towards something we actually want.
This assessment is particularly important because as Mercury prepares to turn retrograde on Thursday; we can already feel the mercurial sludge beginning, the world begins to slow down, items displace themselves easily, and misunderstandings accrue. So let’s not throw anything out that we are not truly ready to release. There is a good chance that sudden radical decisions we make now will have to be revisited when Mercury turns direct at the end of May, or in July, after Mars (also now retrograde) turns direct. But if we’ve been holding onto some object or person far longer than we know is healthy for us, this is a great week to let it go.
We are in the heart of retrograde season by the end of the week, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all retrograde, and all will be for the next few weeks. Jupiter turns direct May 10 and Mercury turns direct on May 23. Mercury is the most uncomfortable retrograde because it’s the planet of movement, the rest of the retrograde send us back and chew on the lessons we just learned. They are not a punishment but a review session. A planet’s energies do not work in a standard way when they’re retrograde, they don’t play by the textbooks, so we need to get more conscious and listen to them, rather than take them for granted.
Retrograde season asks us to return. Old family and friends show up in our lives. Gardeners dig up last year’s gardens. We are not recapitulating the past but are remembering our work and looking it with a fresh eye. We can choose to get caught up in the past, or we can dance with this unique time and do the work that comes to us.
Sunday through Tuesday the Moon enters Sagittarius and can broadcast any hidden information that has recently come to light. We can use it in a more personal way to be honest with ourselves over the weekend and share that honesty with one another early in the week.
On Wednesday and Thursday the Capricorn Moon gives us the competence to handle Mercury stationary. We’ll want to get serious and will be tempted to really put things in motion, but with Mercury appearing to hold still the sky and preparing turn retrograde it is important to see things through, but not push.
Build extra room into the schedule Wednesday and Thursday as a Moon in durable Capricorn lends us competence but can leave us grim, with lots to do, not enough time to do it, and extra complications thrown in. That Capricorn Moon conjuncts Pluto and squares Uranus just as Mercury stations, we may get see something reminds us some event may remind us of the great challenges of our time, something sparks an old and difficult memory about what our world is walking through and all the problems we have yet to solve. It also may remind us of power of human kindness and give us hope that we work together, we can solve these problems in the future.
Friday, April 22: Heaviness, sadness, or a sullen recalcitrance can impede this morning unless we hear it out, then let it go. If we can, rich imaginative possibilities and interpersonal curiosity can make life interesting as Venus conjuncts Uranus; we long for fascinating interactions and need unique ways to express our affection.
Venus conjunct Uranus 2:59 PM, Moon trine Neptune 5:13 PM, Moon sextile Jupiter 9:56 PM.
Saturday, April 23: It’s a day to follow our inner callings, to putter or focus as we see fit either alone or with specific people of our choosing. Crowds can be aggravating. We really won’t feel like tip-toeing around other people’s delicate psyches because we need to trod boldly around our own.
Moon sextile Pluto 5:38 AM, Moon opposed Mercury 3:45 PM, Mercury semi sextile Venus 5:17 PM.
Sunday, April 24. A fresh honesty can help awkward communications. But if there’s friction in intimate relationships, back up, yet don’t go away; hold on to the image that everyone’s needs can be met. It furthers to revel in connection with the natural world.
Moon enters Sagittarius 6:46 AM, Moon semi-squares Pluto 11:42 AM, Venus sesqui-quadrate Mars 1:22 PM, Moon conjuncts Mars 11:45 PM.
Monday, April 25: We may not want to work, find ourselves working at cross purposes, or not quite understanding what’s needed, unless we save time and confirm priorities first as the Moon squares confusing Neptune this morning. It is easier to buckle down later, which is handy as responsibilities come due. De-stress tonight.
Moon square Neptune 5:26 AM, Moon square Mercury 9:41 AM, Moon conjunct Mars 1:46 PM.
Tuesday, April 26: One thread aids our serious work, another brings in imagination laced with romantic illusion. Day dreams, projections, assumptions can either open us up or get in the way. We hit our blind spots and have to actively look for what’s real.
Moon trine Uranus 1:06 AM, Moon this trine Venus 9:50 AM, Moon enters Capricorn 5:54 PM, Venus semi-square Neptune 9:07 PM
Wednesday, April 27: People can get grim or easily irritated unless they see a clear path forward. The energy swirls and we can suddenly be hard on ourselves or others for inefficiency and make cranky commentary. But as Mercury appears stationary, many things grind to a halt just when the Capricorn Moon nags us to accomplish.
Moon trine Sun 8:53 AM, Moon sextile Neptune 3:56 PM, Sun quincunx Mars 7:41 PM, Moon trine Jupiter 7:45 PM.
Thursday, April 28: We have ambitious hopes and yet may find our intentions thwarted. If and when things get frustrating, socializing can help; if we can’t work, we can bond over the problem and strengthen connections. Talk about what’s going on.
Moon conjunct Pluto 3:20 AM, Moon square Uranus 10:58 AM, Mercury retrograde 11:19 AM, Venus sesqui-quadrate Jupiter 12:04 PM, Moon trine Mercury 2:53 PM.
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A look at the year 2016.
by Heather Roan Robbin
We’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn from both calm and storm in 2016, and we need to stay awake, alive, engaged in hopeful to learn what we need to learn and direct the changes.
Let’s look at the lay of the land as 2016 dawns. Cultural earthquakes rumble on and momentum builds for the changes already in progress, but the dust is still so stirred up we can’t see the new pathways. We’re resonating from the 7 squares formed between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn between 2012-15, now waning but still within orb throughout the year, and the aftershocks will be with us for several more. Nothing, from our marriage systems to our ecosystem, will ever be the same as it was before. Think back to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-68 (our last major Uranus-Pluto interaction), the enormous cultural shifts stimulated then resonated and revolutionized our culture and politics through the early 70s; we can expect the same few years of aftershocks creative bursts as our world culture and politics adjust to the changes wrought by that square.
Let’s take another look at the characters involved in the square. Pluto in Capricorn (2008-24) pushes us to renovate our approach to political, financial, and personal power around the globe. We see some people make an effort to crack down and tighten rule, here debates on how governing and policing structures need to evolve, from political parties to our own circles. Rebellion will naturally foment in response, energized by revolutionary, anarchistic, easily-ticked- off Uranus in independent Aries (2010-18). Over and over again we’ll learn the lesson that only a third perspective, where all parties can be heard and empowered, takes us beyond struggle and into creation.
The separating Uranus-Pluto square is still a powerful engine, it can amp up any fight or war we let get started, or leave us depressed or pushy if we don’t have clear goals. But, like any good engine, can also give us the charge we need to tackle our work and change our world for the better. We have an incredible potential to change what we do, and how we do it, around the globe, hopefully in enough time to encourage a more balanced climate.
Every time one of the faster moving personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) hits Pluto or Uranus, they sound off that square and our whole world vibrates; we are thrown a few wildcards and all our ongoing cultural changes are stirred up again. We saw this as Mars rang that bell in November and December of 2015, as Mercury conjunct Pluto and twang our issues of mortality and power a week before Christmas, and we will feel it again next week as the Sun conjuncts Pluto and rings that bell again on January 6, 2016, just as Mercury turns retrograde.
Uranus in Aries strangely attracts people to drastic solutions. Lightning bolts can crack open our sky and shock us with sudden challenges or exciting opportunities. A new generation needs to sort out their relationship to violence, and we can help them choose peace if we encourage this urgent hope towards a balance of power, and prove that people will listen, that they don’t have to resort to violence to be heard. If we don’t give them faith in this process, we can expect the revolutionary momentum to build.
Underneath this compelling search for new answers, Neptune in Pisces (2011-25) lets the veil between the worlds stay thin. Our imagination and spiritual hunger sit like a welcoming pool, waiting for us, though we have to consciously reach in to activate. Neptune in Pisces also highlights water issues of all type. Water quality, availability, pollution, floods and droughts; and all this is underlined and emphasized as Saturn squares Neptune on and off from November 2015 through September 2016.
As Saturn in Neptune square we see how permeable all boundaries are, the boundaries of our immune system, the boundaries between countries. From the travel of disease to the patterns of refugee migration, be see how boundaries are an illusion, that we are all one, and that what happens to the least of us happens to all of us.
Saturn in Sagittarius (2015-18) puts on the front burner and gives us a chance to work on a restructure all international relationships, educational and legal systems. On a personal level Saturn in Sagittarius wants us to be honest about our work and asks us to walk, dance, and bring disciplined joy to our movement. Saturn in Sagittarius will support any effort we make towards greener transportation methods.
Jupiter in Virgo (until 9/10) spurs the urge for public health and encourages publishing and education on all health-related matters, and gives us visceral examples to show how our health and our work are deeply intertwined. Our work can set us free. Jupiter in Libra (after 9/10) encourages us to explore expanded concepts of partnership.