Obstacles and other challenges to forward movement are a continuing theme this week. The Mercury retrograde period that commenced last week focuses on a review of ground recently tread rather than initiating anything new, even though Mercury is in the sign of action-oriented Aries. Also continuing is the fractious alignment between the planets in independent-oriented Aries (the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus) and those in the archetypally dependable sign of Capricorn (Mars, Saturn and Pluto). Venus and Uranus, conjunct on March 28, emphasize independence in interpersonal relationships. Venus is the planet that governs how we relate with others and our values. Venus values relationships by the quality of love expressed therein. When it is high, all is in balance. Uranus is the planet that asks us to be our own authority. It represents a dynamic release of power that generates innovation and originality of expression as it shatters all convention. While this Venus/Uranus coupling can spark a rebellion against anything that challenges our authority, it bears asking the question: Where does that authority come from, an unconscious automatic response or a conscious act of being? Uranus is considered a transcendent planet focused on the future of humanity. When its archetype is triggered, it frequently correlates to crises that break up a dysfunctional status quo. Under the influence of this Venus/Uranus pairing it is possible to experience a sudden awareness that the authority of one’s soul is itself under the higher authority of the Love that governs all existence. Even if this is a brief spark of knowingness, what can come with it is a lasting notion that it is humanity’s mission to evolve to this state.
As Venus pulls away from Uranus, it leaves Aries and enters its home sign of Taurus on March 30, marking a shift away from unilateral independence in relationships. Taurus is an earth sign that considers being reliable a sign of love and focuses on tangibles when it comes to values, things the five senses can measure. Beauty in all its forms, especially the intrinsic aesthetics of nature, is of high value to Venus here, which sees it as an expression of Divine harmony in the world. The nature of relating slows to a sensual pace during the course of this transit, allowing time to savor the special moments of connection between beings at the deepest level. In Taurus through April 24, Venus will have to carry the peace flag alone while the other planets in Aries and Capricorn keep the confrontation level high through this time.
The Sun in Aries square to Saturn in Capricorn on March 29 brings into focus the need for individual independence to align with the need to commit to the needs of something greater than the self. The Sun in Aries represents the will to freely create in the moment. Saturn in Capricorn exemplifies responsibility, discipline and dependability. Rather than looking at these two sets of attributes as being at odds, it is helpful to contemplate how each is necessary for a successful and joyful life. Can taking greater responsibility for one’s state actually lead to greater independence? Can we be independent and dependent on others at the same time?
The annual Full Moon opposition between the Moon in Libra and the Sun in Aries on March 31 emphasizes these questions as it symbolizes the polarity between self (Aries) and other (Libra). Both luminaries are now in square to Mars, which archetypally can set off a need to act on any imbalances in relationships. Furthermore, retrograde Mercury is in close conjunction with the Sun (exact on April 1) and Mars is in close conjunction with Saturn (also exact on April 2), making this a formidable cardinal T-square alignment that can push hard for what it wants. This culminating moment of the current lunar cycle involving the planets of will, feelings, communication, action and accountability may present an emotional ‘in your face’ situation that can’t be ignored. As we focus on what’s working or not in our interactions with others, we may experience impatience or frustration if we are not prepared to deal with whatever we discover. Relationship structures in a family, work group or societal organization for example function best when the participating individuals know their roles and what they need to do. This mutual understanding brings clarity and one is free to operate within the agreed upon limits that are necessary to maintain order within the structure. Furthermore, this arrangement supports the individual’s development of the skills needed to live successfully within the group and beyond. This is in alignment with the theme of the lunar cycle which is to progress with compassion towards order with all souls in their right place, living their highest potential. It is when the structures do not evolve as the individuals grow that something like the Venus/Uranus in Aries archetype kicks in to break them down. But before we become unwitting rebels and butt heads with the righteous might of Mars/Saturn in Capricorn, it is up to us to contemplate if we can balance our need for independence with the need to honor our commitments, including to our own growth.
The “Inferior Conjunction” between retrograde Mercury and the Sun that perfects on April 1 is similar to a New Moon in that a new ‘seed’ idea is being born which can take root over the following two weeks. While it quietly comes into our awareness, it can open us to new considerations or approaches we haven’t thought of before. Known as the Messenger of the Gods, Mercury is not just a generator of ideas and networker of information but is also considered a receiver of messages from cosmic sources. With Mercury in the sign of Aries, which represents the “Seed Person” who brings new ideas to humanity, we may be surprised at the creativity and originality of the ideas coming in at this time. While we may not be able to act on them until Mercury goes direct on April 15, we can harness the disciplined, driving force of the Full Moon T-square to develop them so we’re ready to act when the time is right.
Here’s the data (Pacific Time and rounded to the nearest whole degree unless otherwise noted):
March 28 – Venus conjunct Uranus at 27° Aries at 5:46 p.m.
March 29 – Sun square Saturn at 9° Aries/Capricorn at 7:16 a.m.
March 30 – Venus at 0° Taurus at 9:54 p.m.
March 31 – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 11° Libra/Aries at 5:37 a.m.
April 1 – Sun conjunct Mercury (Inferior Conjunction) 12° Aries at 10:53 a.m.
April 2 – Mars conjunct Saturn 9° Capricorn at 8:44 a.m.