The ebb and flow of life is mirrored in the heavens by the apparent forward and backward motion of the planets. Sans a fancy 3D motion graphic to illustrate the illusion scientifically, suffice it to say that when the astral bodies are “retrograde” (i.e. they appear to be going backward from the point of view of the earth), archetypally it correlates here on earth with established patterns of personal and collective growth. There are times we advance and make leaps to new levels, and other times we seem to regress, experience setbacks, or simply look back in review of the state of our being. In 2014 to date, we’ve basically been in review mode with a parade of retrogrades. First it was Venus, then Mars and Saturn (the latter of which won’t turn direct until July). Now it’s time for Mercury and Neptune. The penultimate fastest and slowest astral bodies join the turnaround procession, marking yet another “retreat” from ground gained in the zodiac map. But rather than seeing this as a negative (as the highly charged words associated with this direction usually are), we could choose to remember that learning and growth are part of the movement of life, no matter the direction we’re going in. We have the opportunity to align with the planets’ offering to alter our perspective by disengaging from the expected role playing represented by each of their distinct archetypes. There is a certain freedom in breaking from an established pattern, even if it means going “backward.” As a collective, however, when the planets go retrograde do we change our course simultaneously like a school of minnows? Is the instinctual energetic connectedness in humans so strong that it overrides any individualized sense of direction? Or do we disconnect from the group consciousness completely and spray off in billions of directions? Imagine the earth as a sparkler shooting off points of light out into the universe. Somewhere out in the far reaches those points of light connect with other points of light and act as conduits for the galactic consciousness. When the retrograde period is over, we move forward again energized and enriched by the unique experience, even if we barely perceive it.
On June 6th, the Sun and Uranus set the tone for the impending retrogrades when they sextile each other from their positions in Gemini and Aries, firing up our core intellect to detach from the school of minnows doing the same thing as everyone else and appreciate our own special uniqueness. We’ll also be inclined to celebrate when others around us spontaneously express in a way that is new and fresh. Acting with distinction is supported now, as is being playfully controversial by poking fun at the status quo, especially when the intent is to liberate the collective from conditioning that enslaves. This is the time when inconvenient truths can awaken the progressive spirit.
Mercury stands still in the sky on June 7th, commencing his retrograde period that lasts until July 1st. Moving very slowly in Cancer as he pivots, Mercury intensifies his focus on subtle clues to guide his concentrated perception of his sensitive inner world. The normal din of outer life can seem harsh to him and at times personally assaulting, so he finds shelter that provides a protective shield against the clamor. Good thing here on earth we can always don noise cancelling headphones to get through the days ahead. Retrograde Mercury periods may inspire us to multitask in other dimensions, but generally that ends up forcing priorities up from the back burner as they hit critical mass and require 100% of our attention.
Venus in Taurus brings relationship issues to full frontal awareness when she trines Pluto in Capricorn on June 8th. Pluto empowers her capacity to love, taking her into profound territory where intensity precipitates change. This harmonious aspect between the shrewd power-broker and the value conscious matchmaker could open the doors for influential alignments to take hold. The ultimate power couple specializing in mergers and acquisitions isn’t necessarily focused solely on material gain, although in practical earth signs that is certainly important. They may give us reason to focus intently enough on our relationships in order to deepen their energetic connections thus making them more effective as well as deeply satisfying. We may be strong as individuals, but truly united we can be a force for change.
Already somewhat detached from the other planets with no exact aspects except to the Moon until June 28th, slow moving Neptune in Pisces stations retrograde on June 9th and will take nearly five months to move but a few degrees backward. Our extrasensory view becomes even more subjective as Neptune retreats. While it may take more effort to stay grounded, especially for those with planets in the 4° to 8° range of the mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, we may operate more freely in the spiritual realms. It could feel like the veil separating us from the non-physical dimension is somehow thinner and that if we make even slightly more of an effort we may connect with the mystery of life.
Like it or not, however, we’ll be reigned in to deal with earthly realities, as early as June 12th when Venus in sensual Taurus opposes Saturn in passionate Scorpio. This planetary pair with the imperative to maintain a sense of responsibility in our relationships, may set up a stress test to see just how strong they are. Those that are enduring may be feeling a bit frayed around the edges and require a renewed commitment. While a feeling of alienation is certainly possible – Saturn represents limitation and lack as much as he does authority and mastery – we could take the stoic approach and choose to take neutral stock of the lessons he’s been giving us on the power of love, and with Venusian graciousness accept and value wherever we are in our ability to respond to others. In that moment of recognition we may see a fear of our own creation that has been intruding in our relationships. Then it is simply a matter of choice to walk right through it so we can be more present with those in our heart.
Remembering the theme of the current lunar cycle – to observe without evaluating – will certainly help our experience of the Venus/Saturn aspect as the Full Moon unfolds only minutes later on the 12th. Higher and lower mind face off as the Sun in Gemini’s focus on details attempts to answer to his polar opposite, the Moon in Big Picture Sagittarius. Grand theories and ideas become mere opinions and judgments when they aren’t supported by facts, but facts alone cannot bring us to meaningful knowledge without the ability to interpret how they connect. Balance is achieved when Sun in Gemini provides the information and the Moon in Sagittarius weaves its bits and pieces into a grand fabric of understanding.
Hopefully we’ll stay connected to that understanding as provocateur Mars challenges Pluto in a forceful square aspect exact on June 14th. Although he is in peace loving Libra, Mars is not one to give up the fight and after tempering his natural affinity for self-assertion in a sign that favors diplomacy, the hidden powers of Pluto could instigate Mars into significant action in the pursuit of his desires, the wake of which may unearth any manner of taboos, compulsions, or rage (especially considering this aspect reignites the volatile Uranus/Pluto square energies keeping them inflamed until after Mars opposes Uranus later this month). Harsh Pluto/Mars interactions at their most primal represent the fight for survival, to death if necessary, and empower the players with extraordinary physical endurance. If Mars remembers where he is, in Venus’ house, he would call in the support he needs to practice restraint and not force any issue. Libran love does have the power to soothe the savage beast so this influence may help him recognize he doesn’t have to fight so hard for what he wants and that all it serves is to make him feel more separated. Maybe it would help if we give a group shout out to Mars to let go and let love!
Finding the words to describe what is going on deep inside may get easier as retrograde Mercury backs into Gemini on June 17th. Mercury’s backward motion in his home sign may turn our inward looking mind to freely associate incoming data and analyze in non-linear ways. In the process, surface life may get backed up and put us in the position of feeling overloaded. That’s when the order of life starts to break down, giving Mercury retrograde its generic reputation for missed communications, mechanical failures, accidents and other reminders that while we are in a mindset to be perceiving that which is within rather than without, we still need to take notice of what needs handling!
After accessing her power through Pluto and her ability for enduring love with Saturn, Venus is ready to enjoy the company of Jupiter and appreciate the natural benevolence that life has to offer. Together in a sparkling sextile on June 18th, they generate a sense of boundless generosity that attracts a lively social life. Jupiter’s philosophical tendencies infuse Venus’ relationships with meaning and the sense that she can learn from her encounters with others. Operating through Cancer, Jupiter will influence Venus to value family gatherings where she is sure to offer up plenty to delight her Taurean senses with an artistic flair.
The Inferior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury in Gemini on June 19th will definitely liven up any gathering with lots of bright chatter. This is light bulb territory where minds actively seek and find connections. As we review whatever has been occupying our thoughts, we may be presented with a new idea, a new way to handle something or someone. Although it is the midpoint of the retrograde cycle, it may represent a turning point in the review process where we arrive at an enlightened position. The perspective shift will take some time to germinate but we’ll be ready to roll with it by the time Mercury turns direct!
Here’s the data:
Times where noted are Pacific Daylight Time. Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
June 6th Sun sextile Uranus at 16° Gemini/Aries at 4:20 a.m.
June 7th Mercury station retrograde at 3° Cancer at 4:57 a.m.
June 8th Venus trine Pluto at 13° Taurus/Capricorn at 6:38 a.m.
June 9th Neptune station retrograde at 8° Pisces at 12:51 p.m.
June 12th Venus opposite Saturn at 18° Taurus/Scorpio at 9:09 p.m.
Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 22° Sagittarius/Gemini at 9:11 p.m.
June 14th Mars square Pluto at 13° Libra/Capricorn at 5:34 a.m.
June 17th Mercury at 29°59’ Gemini at 3:05 a.m.
June 18th Venus sextile Jupiter at 24° Taurus/Cancer at 2:1 a.m.
June 19th Sun conjunct Mercury (Inferior Conjunction) at 29° Gemini at 3:50 p.m.