**Times where noted are Pacific Daylight Time. Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
We’ve experienced many dramatic events and situations over the last month as the third exact square between Uranus and Pluto has grown closer, with Uranus forging ahead in his degree space of revolutionary Aries, and retrograde Pluto in paternal Capricorn marching backwards to meet him at the 11-degree mark. This “double applying” aspect has the effect of intensifying the building energies more than if both were moving in the same direction. This is a head on collision and while our lives may not be totaled, on some level each one of us is feeling it personally just as our collective global village is reeling from the shock waves of major natural disasters, mass shootings, bombings, self-immolations, industrial “accidents,” scandals and the deep economic disconnect between the forces of wealth and the individual consumers that support them. The individual raging against a machine only concerned with amassing more wealth and power and thus growing away from its ability to serve the individual is an extreme outward symptom of the unbridled energy run amok. Although we have another inertia breaking Lunar Eclipse in a few days, hopefully we’ll have already seen the worst of these symptomatic manifestations by the time the square becomes exact on May 20th and the energies start to dissipate – until the next square hits on November 1st. When this series of seven squares is over in 2015, only then can we look back and see just how much we have changed. This is an era defining signature, just as the conjunction between these two planets was in the 1960s and the last square before that in the 1930s. It is another cyclical moment of upheaval in human evolution with the archetypal purpose to shake us, wake us and take us to the next level by forcing us to let go of the past and all that we hold near and dear. Authenticity is the one thing that can withstand this immense pressure. Ultimately whatever breaks down only does so because it is non-essential to the core of our Self. Being open to change is easy to say but much, much harder to do in the face of the mountain of “learning” we’ve gone through to be a success as a human being. Fear is definitely a culprit and is usually directed at someone or something that threatens our very existence – as we think we know it. A great anti-fear agent is observation. To conquer resistance to change, we could make a choice not to fight it but instead to adopt the counter-intuitive measure of simply observing it. Where in each of our lives are we resisting change? Perhaps the first step would be to contemplate the question and when we recognize the point of internal conflict, confusion or inertia, then simply acknowledge it. Change that needs to happen is generally only volatile when it meets an equal but opposite energy of refusal. Approached honestly, the willingness to look at the mostly unconscious thoughts that run our lives could act as a neutralizer. Real evolutionary movement with long lasting effects can then happen by choice rather than by force.
As a testament to the value of transitions, also on the 20th the Sun leaves the gentle fields of laid-back Taurus behind for the land of curiosity and conversation. Graduations and weddings, basic rites of passage, traditionally happen when the Sun is in this mutable sign – it is the season of pairings and claiming the golden ring of a well-informed mind. Making connections and communicating all that is happening is the lifeblood of Gemini. The Sun here puts real willpower into this effort, finding that virtually everything has something of interest to explore and share with others. Life is one long smorgasbord and while the desire to linger on any one subject is rare under this sign, the Sun in Gemini’s sharp mind can grasp enough of its essence before moving onto the next. As he progresses through myriad offerings, he leaves behind him a network of cross-pollinating links that bear witness to the synchronistic nature of existence.
With four planets now in this air sign, the world of ideas is favored and talking or writing about them in abundance may seem to be all we want to do. Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are all travelling together in the same degree space in Gemini that expresses most enthusiastically from May 24th to May 28th. This trio has the potential to bring a lively tempo to the daily beat, a lyrical tone to our expressions and a generous, joyous disposition. Social gatherings are favored as fertile ground for the exchange of artistic or philosophical panoramas that enrich and cheerfully invigorate. Love and creativity align with the heart and mind and may in the process attract us some very good luck.
This appropriately supports the May 24th Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 4 degrees of Gemini/Sagittarius that has been characterized as representing a “release of tension” (see Jim Sher’s article on this season’s series of Eclipses here). Although traditional astrology sees Eclipses as all doom and gloom, the humanistic approach allows for more favorable correlations. It all depends on where each of us is in our own personal evolution. The one thing eclipses generally signify is movement – where there is inaction, action may appear. Where there is apathy, there may be a sudden interest. The Moon in Sagittarius amplifies this with her independent, wanderlust spirit and propensity for a strong belief system. Since the Moon’s illumination is blocked during an eclipse, that allows for a reset of our emotional underpinnings. It’s a way of decoding our psychic hard drives so that we can feel in a new, unconditioned way. The hidden roots of learned reactions may be revealed as the saboteurs of our conscious goals. The Sun in Gemini contrasts with the Sagittarius Moon in that it focuses on building connections with others, rather than adventuring off alone into uncharted territory. He wants to gather facts without giving much concern for their meaning. He doesn’t need to believe, he just wants the details. As with all Full Moons, the challenge is to find the middle ground. The Sun in Gemini is great at talking and making connections through shared information, but the Moon in Sagittarius, with her broad philosophical outlook, can bring the universal message home.
The imprint of the eclipse includes the aspects discussed herein, which by association hang onto the coattails of the eclipse’s longer lasting effects. Once the Sun arrived in Gemini he entered into a square to Neptune, which becomes exact on May 26th at 5 degrees Gemini/Pisces. Neptune’s influence, strong from his home sign of Pisces, adds a high level of sensitivity to virtually everything – subtle vibrations may seem like shock waves. If we are not clearly attuned to the core of our being, we could become susceptible to outside influences that may be no clearer than we are. This is where the doubt and confusion so keenly associated with Neptune/Pisces comes in. Fortunately the antidote built into this signature is visibility on the permeable membrane between matter and spirit. Neptune in Pisces gives us the looking glass we need to de-identify from all the stuff that makes up who we think we are. The Sun in Gemini in this fractious relationship with the mystical planet may be tempted to stick to the “facts” but he will be hard pressed not to see their hard edges dissolve before his very eyes. If we are open to this it may feel like blinders coming off to reveal our innate omnivision.
On May 31st two planetary shifts occur that will correlate to a realignment of our mental focus and means of assertion. Mercury gives up the fast paced life of the networker to submerge himself into Cancer’s deep feeling sea at 12:07 am. Through his protective Canceran shell, Mercury sends out his tentacle like sensors to gather information about his subliminal environment, which can seem at once peaceful and perilous. The realm of emotions, family life and security may take up most of our bandwidth while Mercury floats through this area of the zodiac for the next 40 days. Following suit with his last retrograde period in the water sign of Pisces, Mercury will have his second retrograde period of the year in Cancer, beginning June 26th, to concentrate our thoughts once again on sympathetic sensations. Yet Cancer’s motherly gift of compassion has its shadow side of over-identification with other. While Mercury lingers here, we’ll have an opportunity to observe our memories and see how we may have taken situations too personally.
Also on the 31st, Mars leaves terra firma behind when he enters intellectual Gemini. His manner of assertion manifests more as brainpower than physical muscle, although dexterity may be more evident as hand/eye coordination can sharpen under this influence. Self-assertion follows the interests of the mind, which unless curbed by other considerations, can jump from one subject to another, either by nervous habit or as a way to avoid deep contact. Mars’ romantic exploits under this sign may not fare well unless he takes the time to listen as well as talk.
Venus follows Mercury into Cancer on June 2nd furthering the shift away from a mental to a more emotional way of processing life and love. Here Venus seeks protection above all and will be reticent to show her heart unless she knows that not only will she be safe but also nurtured. Being surrounded by family and loved ones is important as it gives her the sense of security she needs. We may have a greater sense of belonging to the tribe of humanity while Venus travels Cancer’s waters. We may also be more accepting of others as the social atmosphere will be enveloped with a sense of empathy for the collective wounds of society as if they were our own, just as a mother cries for an injured child. If we can rise above the temptation to personalize pain and suffering, we may be able to tune into the archetypal energy of the Divine Mother, and then some real healing can begin.