Apropos to multiple planets being currently retrograde, the correlating pace of life may seem slower than usual and attempts to rush or force anything to move or progress may result in less than desirable results. Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all moving backward from the point of view of the earth and the cosmos this week joins the slow train by offering up only two astral events, both on May 3rd. The most significant is Mercury turning direct and as it stations, hanging motionless in the sky, it reaches the midpoint of an extraordinarily long three-week conjunction with Uranus (rather than the usual couple of days). As discussed in the last AstroCast, this period therefore is quite mentally (Mercury) electric (Uranus), perhaps full of surprises or at least more than the usual computer glitches and/or communication breakdowns. Imagine rapidly firing synapses delivering lucid thoughts from unchartered territory as a highly probable result of this potent union of the archetypes of higher and lower mind. Mercury stations little more than a degree away from Uranus in Aries and remains within two degrees through the first couple of weeks in May so although it is in direct motion now and will pick up to normal speed over the week, processes may still seem slow or delayed by erratic disruptions. Finding the still point to rest the busy mind is the best antidote and also opens receptivity to messages from that “out of nowhere” place. It may be worthwhile to write down any revelatory thoughts that flash into our awareness as they may disappear just as quickly.
Also on May 3rd, the Sun in Taurus forms a sextile to Neptune in Pisces, a soft breeze of an aspect that has the potential to ever so briefly open the door to a deep sense of mystery of our natural world. Neptune, strong in its home sign of Pisces, draws the sensual, environmentally conscious Taurus Sun into a profound contemplation on love, beauty, the preciousness of Mother Earth and our personal relationships. Over the course of this week, the Sun/Neptune transit may subtly stimulate our imagination and nudge us to tune into our intuitive nature. We may pay greater attention to aesthetics and seek out close encounters off the harried treadmill of daily routine. If we are able to find a moment of stillness with all the Mercury/Uranus disruptive energy, the Sun/Neptune alignment has the potential to open us to transcendent feelings of love and compassion.
With no further exact aspects taking place this week, I’ll take a deeper look into the ongoing retrogrades of Jupiter in Libra and Saturn in Sagittarius.
Jupiter, retrograde in Libra February 5th to June 9th, represents a review of our philosophy (Jupiter) of relating (Libra). What do we believe about relationships? Is that belief in balance? If there is imbalance, what are we doing to recalibrate? The expanding nature of Jupiter is somewhat curtailed by the need to answer to the scales of Libra. Any growth must pass the balance test: are we sufficiently responding to the needs of self as well as other? President Trump, for example, is finding it is not so easy to make deals as he thought in our democratic system without considering all points of view. Jupiter represents the law and Libra represents society. Congress, representing the people, creates laws based on shared viewpoints and experience. The new president is being forced out of his maverick comfort zone to build consensus in order to get anything done. Unlike his experience in the business world, the democratic way is not just one person at the top having the final say. Following existing laws and regulations, or bending them to his will, is not the same as creating them through a system that requires agreement with a host of lawmakers representing an entire nation of 320+ million people. Additionally, he is being forced to relate to foreign populations (Jupiter in Libra) and their governments around the world. Can he maintain his balance on the tight rope that is governing for the good of the whole? Such hot button campaign promises such as heightened immigration restrictions, border walls and repealing/replacing the Affordable Healthcare Act are all facing major reviews at this time. Jupiter retrograde in Libra seems to be asking us as a nation to decide the fundamental philosophical question of whether or not we want to ensure the welfare of society as a whole or follow the cult of the individual.
During the Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius April 5th to August 25th we are being asked to review what has been building and put it to the test. Externally it may be projects we’ve been working on or internally looking at the very structure (Saturn) of our belief systems (Sagittarius). If something isn’t quite clear, this is the opportunity to bring things into focus and see what is real based on actual experience. What underlying theories and postulates are running our lives that may be based on incomplete information? Saturn is interested in reality so accurate and holistically complete data is extremely important. The disciplined work (Saturn) of learning and applying knowledge to our everyday life can be fun if approached from the adventurous Sagittarius perspective.
For example, as astrology lovers we could review what Saturn itself means to us. In traditional astrology Saturn is considered a “malefic,” a harbinger of hard knocks and painful restriction, but if approached from a transcendental philosophical viewpoint, Saturn is archetypally our best friend looking out for us, telling us when we have mud on our face. To me, Saturn is by far the coolest planet in our solar system, so distinguishable in the night sky with its dazzling rings. In beautiful synchronicity, just barely into Saturn’s retrograde period, NASA’s Cassini rocket began the final leg of its mission exploring Saturn by initiating a series of deep dives into its rings. This process will last throughout Saturn’s retrograde – a perfect time to review the structure of this grand planet (Saturn rules structures).
A recent New York Times article on the Cassini, which has been exploring Saturn and its environs since 2004, revealed “Saturn’s little corner of the universe proved to be weirder and more diverse and promising than anyone could have predicted: the six-sided storm that hugs the planet’s North Pole; the mysterious plume-squirting moon Enceladus; and the bedazzling rings, spidery threads of ice, rock and dust — cosmic detritus shed over the ages by comets and meteorite collisions, woven by gravity into warps, braids, knots, walls, as iridescent and changeable as an oil slick.” Perhaps we could envision our own personal Cassini taking the deep dive during Saturn’s retrograde through panoramic Sagittarius to explore all the strange, marvelous and promising aspects of our own being and discover within what the scientists are discovering about Saturn. “For as long as humans have looked up with telescopes, the finest, most alluring thing they could see was the ringed planet,” wrote the New York Times. “Galileo, the first one to see the rings, never knew what he was looking at. They have been a symbol of mystery ever since, of ineffable things just beyond our reach.” But now they are very much in our reach, thanks to the Cassini mission and our own good old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity, a bedazzling example for us to model as we embark on our own mind-blowing adventures through internal spaces.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
May 3 – Mercury station direct at 24° Aries at 9:33 a.m.
May 3 – Sun sextile Neptune at 14° Taurus/Pisces at 5:51 p.m.