Greetings to everyone in lock down land. It is clear we are in a completely new reality and the paradigm shift change to our daily routines due to the COVID-19 crisis is having widely varying effects. Whatever our circumstance, from being cooped up in close quarters with family members, to experiencing loss of income, extreme solitude or other dramatic changes, one thing we probably have in common is being forced to look at our life in a new way. The profoundness of this crisis could spur philosophical contemplations about the bigger questions of life. Looking at the nature of our thoughts coming up will help us focus on what it is about for each of us personally. As always, we have the power of our choices on what attitude to take and what to do/not do about it. Also, as always, the upcoming transits offer signposts from the cosmic intelligences to help us navigate this strange new land.
I’m noticing, for example, that I’m having more intimate conversations in this time of home confinement, albeit on video calls, with old friends from far and wide. One to one in a quiet chat room has a much different feel than meeting at a crowded, noisy restaurant. Venus entering Gemini on April 3 may correlate to an even greater need for social interaction. Emphasizing the need to make connections despite home confinement, Venus will remain in the sign of communication through August 7, an extraordinarily long time due to its once-every 19-month retrograde between May 12 and June 24. The Venus archetype is a feminine force that rules the principle of attraction and repulsion. How Venus operates in our natal chart shows us what we desire to have or reject in our life, from our relationships to our possessions, money and life interests. Fundamentally, it rules the process of discovering our internal values, our priorities and what matters most to us. Gemini is the sign that rules our thinking processes and how we choose to share our thoughts. It is a gatherer of pure data. How we process that data and apply it to our lives will be emphasized during the time Venus is in Gemini and further amplified when Mercury and the Sun arrive here in May (more on this below).
Mercury conjuncts Neptune in its home sign of Pisces on April 4, commencing a new annual cycle between the planet of perception and the planet of cosmic compassion. This is a mind-meld kind of aspect where the boundaries of thought can dissolve and our imagination soars into the nether realms where we feel connected to the whole of existence. On the earthly plane, this state can correlate to a high degree of intuition but also bewilderment if we are not careful to stay in touch with our immediate reality. This aspect could correlate to missing or misleading information about the virus situation that keep us in a state of confusion about what is really happening. For more on how Neptune in Pisces is related to the pandemic, read “The Neptunian Wave,” a guest article by a former Sher Astrology student. Mitigating the Neptunian effect somewhat, Venus trines Saturn in Aquarius also on April 4 giving us some support to be more mature about differentiating between the information coming in and our emotions about it so we can make intelligent, informed decisions based on our core values, rather than irrational ones based on the sensational opinions of others.
The most significant aspect of this period, again on April 4, is the first of three exact conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, representing the initiation of a new 13 year cycle. This aspect will be in effect throughout the year (second and third passes on June 29 and November 12) and archetypally relates to the extreme dismantling of societal structures we are currently experiencing with so many retail businesses closed and people working from home. Jupiter expands on what it touches and motivates us to see things from a philosophical perspective. Pluto relates to death/rebirth and the hidden treasure that awaits the awakened soul. Its processes can seem ruthless as it forges us into the Being we are destined to be. Through the Capricorn lens of material reality, the hidden treasure relates to the wealth that supports society. The markets have lost trillions in value and the systems of commerce are collapsing due to the lock down. Yet the U.S. Congress and other nations are finding trillions to fund relief packages. Where is that money coming from, who will benefit from it and who will collect when the time comes? The U.S. is heading into its very first “Pluto return” (transiting Pluto in Capricorn conjunct Pluto at the degree it was on the day in 1776 the U.S. was “born”). As this momentous transit intensifies into its peak in 2022/2023, it is clear the very foundation of our capitalistic democracy is at risk, already weakened by radical imbalances created by selfish interests.
The Full Moon in Libra opposing the Sun in Aries on April 7 is in a tense square alignment with the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction (with the Sun’s exact first quarter “crisis of action” alignments with these archetypally powerful planets on April 14-15 prolonging the effects). Uncomfortable revelations about this crisis, which intensified with the shutdown orders at the time of the New Moon a couple of weeks ago, may come to light at the Full Moon, which is further disturbed by another stressful first quarter square between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus, also on April 7. These fractious planetary alignments may incite a forceful urge to break out of our extreme imposed confinement. The Sun and Moon along the Aries/Libra axis polarizes considerations of self and other. Freedom at all cost typifies the Mars/Uranus archetypal signature. Aries doesn’t need validation from others to act while Libra often takes the needs of others into consideration before taking action. The Full Moon chart is shaped like a bucket with the Moon as the all-important handle, indicating our sensitivities and emotions may rule the day. It will be even more important therefore, to integrate these polarities and to ensure common sense that benefits all prevails over blind common consensus that does not serve the most vulnerable among us.
Regardless of the true impact of this virus in relation to other seasonal flus, the implications of the unprecedented global shut down will undoubtedly affect our children and generations to come. This is a serious wake-up call for us to look at how the structures of society can so easily collapse due to an event that experts anticipated but for which we did not prepare. Adding to the archetypal complexities of April 7, Mercury in Pisces forms a sextile to the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction suggesting we may find our collective voice to express with compassion and love our concerns for taking care of everyone on this planet. Speaking from the heart is where real power resides.
On April 9, Venus enters its “shadow” zone, the degree range between 5°20’ and 21°50’ Gemini it will traverse three times due to its upcoming retrograde. It is important, therefore, to pay attention to repressed feelings that arise during the initial phase of the shadow through May 12. Venus matters will begin to intensify and peak during its relatively rare retrograde so whatever is set up now could trigger strong emotions. Consciously working with the energies now will help us prepare for what comes. According to Dane Rudhyar, the gift of Gemini is “The Art of Letting Things Happen.” Venus in Gemini can become saturated with data about our relationships, etc., but not be enriched by it. The idea is to allow ourselves to receive wisdom by holding still at the ‘gates of the temple’ (as symbolized by the Gemini glyph) and allowing the unseen divine forces to attune us to the values of our soul. Relationships and all else that have been magnetized to us through Venus’ attraction principle could get overwhelming while we’re in lock down. If we dare to ask how we arrived at where we are, we may begin receiving answers from above and then can make more conscious choices that reflect what we actually care about. We may find during this period of confinement that expressions of love and connectedness are what matter the most.