We’ve arrived at the middle of August. It’s been raining on and off here in Central Mexico. The soccer field I walk by has adorned itself with a pretty coat of the greenest grass. Mosquitos appear like Happy Hour regulars every afternoon, finding exposed ankles and forearms to feast upon. School is out for the summer. At night, kids play in the streets until very late at night as parents and neighbors sit outside chatting with one another.
Overhead, Venus has disappeared from the nighttime sky as she makes her underground journey beneath the beams of the Sun. Her Cazimi moment is today on the 13th—when she makes her inferior conjunction with the Sun—marked the halfway moment of her retrograde. The Cazimi is a special moment when we might feel imbued with Venusian sentiment. Our senses might be heightened as we engage in a field of love, friendship, pleasure, peace and even abundance.
On the 23rd, the Sun enters Virgo while Mercury stations retrograde. The Sun has its annual opposition to Saturn on the 27th, the same day that Mars enters Libra. The next day, Uranus stations retrograde at 23° Taurus. For the next five months, Uranus will revisit four degrees, turning direct on January 27th on 19° Taurus.
Given Uranus’s square to Wednesday’s New Moon in Leo, we could encounter an unexpected development or two. Let’s turn to the New Moon now.
August 16, 2023 at 3:38am in Mexico City—Wednesday’s New Moon in Leo is not for the faint of heart. With a dramatic square to Uranus—the planet of disruption, change and breakthrough—the energy of this New Moon suckles on lightning. By lightning, I mean a sudden surge of forceful action precipitated by restlessness, impatience and a dramatic boldness to no longer settle for mediocrity—or in some cases (pardon my French)—bullshit.
Ever since Venus entered her shadow period on June 19th, many of us have been re-evaluating our values around partnership, community and resources. As Venus squared Uranus last week, these issues may have come to a head, forcing us to either adjust expectations or break free of restrictions, some of which are self-imposed. Today, as Venus enters the heart of the Sun, there might be a moment of insight and clarity around next steps.
Mars provides for this decan of the sky, the last 10° of Leo. He importantly serves as the wind in the sails of this New Moon. Forming an energetic trine to Uranus, Mars pumps up the volume on the courage needed to break free from people or conditions that dim our light and drain our spirit. Alternatively, Mars compels us to charge forward from our hem-haw procrastination and move with confidence on action we’ve been considering.
Rally the inner forces
The tarot card synchronized with the third decan of Leo is the Seven of Wands. In the card, we see a man defending his turf. It’s possible he’s acted in haste: notice the mismatched shoes. But yet, there’s a primal urge here to rally the inner forces and in a very Leo manner, stand up for oneself. When we’re in the Seven of Wands energy, we’re infused with a dramatic integrity and the right to protect our raison d’etre.
All this to say that in a week and a half, Mercury will turn retrograde causing some of us to rethink what we’ve said or signed up for. Mars ingress into Libra towards the end of the month will emphasize diplomacy, tact and fairness in our actions—a pretty big shift from the energies we’re feeling this week.
What to make of this? Act from the heart in a way that puts integrity first. If there’s a clean-up down the road, at least you can be Lion Proud of how you presented yourself today.
August 1, 2023 at 12:31pm in Mexico City—Tuesday’s Full Moon in Aquarius echoes back to January 21st when a New Moon seeded this part of the sky in the first decan of Aquarius. Back then, I described this optimistic beginning as “believing in better.” At the time, the sextile to Jupiter encouraged us to step forward in the direction of meaning and purpose. And now, for those of us who seeded a new beginning under January’s New Moon, this Full Moon is the expression of that purposeful movement.
Like reaching the end of a chapter, all Full Moons bring a sense of culmination and, beyond that, a fresh start. January’s New Moon’s sextile to Jupiter now expands to a square in August’s Full Moon. If sextiles indicate flow, squares point to a blockage in flow. Yet, when the square involves Jupiter, as it does here, working through the challenge leads to the restorative and expanded promise of the Greater Benefic.
Speaking of blockages: the tarot card that corresponds to this part of the sky—The Five of Swords—indicates a stepping away from an altercation. There’s an “agree to disagree” vibe in this card. The man in the Five of Swords cuts his losses and moves on. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, and in a very Saturnian way, the Five of Swords man is creating boundaries around his energy, time, and mental bandwidth by disengaging. With Saturn currently in the sign of Pisces, the boundaries some of us erect at this time have to do with honoring our feelings and emotional capacity to sustain settings that potentially drain us.
A little more on Saturn
In the Full Moon chart, the ruler of the Aquarius Moon—Saturn—stands in direct opposition to Mercury, who has recently entered Virgo. Embedded in this lunation is a signature of being methodical and calculating (Mercury in Virgo) regarding the emotional maturity (Saturn in Pisces) asked of us now. Perhaps this Full Moon is a check on the emotional labor we’ve been bearing since Saturn entered the sign of Pisces back in early March. Is there a better way to feel? Can we shift our perceptions so the burden feels lighter?
This Full Moon offers a clue for these questions, mainly in the confidence gleaned in following our unique path. If we have pushed ourselves to experiment and bravely step out of our comfort zone this year, as this 1st decan of Aquarius is ought to do, let’s acknowledge our efforts and applaud our creative confidence. So often, we’re busy living in the future. This Full Moon invites us to look back over the year and give ourselves a pat on the back for the heroic changes we’ve included in the plot line of our distinctive and precious lives.
Water Bearer images made by me in Midjourney
On July 28th, Mercury left expressive Queen Bee Leo to enter the industrious sign of Worker Bee Virgo. If Mercury in Leo envisions the extravagant gala, it’s the bespectacled Mercury in Virgo with pad and pencil who comes in to structure the grand event, impose order with a schedule and begin finding vendors to execute each piece of the celebration. Mercury has big ideas in Leo, but manifests them through analysis and preparation in Virgo.
Virgo, questing towards perfection
The sign of Virgo rules the intestines whose job is to take the veggie burger we had for lunch and discriminate between what to keep and what to let go. Virgo is the yoga pose adjustment offered by a skilled instructor. It’s the hours that went into the flawless delivery of a Ted Talk. It’s the discriminating finger testing the sauce on the stove to evaluate spice levels. Virgo is the sign that strives towards perfection, always on the quest to improve one’s life, one’s performance, one’s skills, one’s relationships, one’s you-name-it! No wonder those with a heavy emphasis in Virgo tend to go far in life: they are always setting the bar a little out of reach and then striving for it, somehow never quite satisfied with what they’ve attained as their focus aims on the part that still isn’t perfect.
The Sun will enter Virgo on August 23rd. But for now, Mars and Mercury lead the way, activating the Virgo parts of our charts. Whereas Mars will exit Virgo on the 27th, Mercury extends his stay in Virgo this year as he stations retrograde on August 23rd.
Mercury in Virgo
When we take the Virgo qualities above and apply them to Mercury we get “methodical inquiry” and “in-depth analysis”. Mercury refers to communication and the way we process and disseminate information.
Besides methodical, Mercury in Virgo lends a practical and tangible approach. Mercury does some of his best work in Virgo where he is said to be in rulership and exaltation. During Mercury’s transit through Virgo, we can put him to good use in any area that requires a systematic and orderly approach.
August 1st—Mercury oppose Saturn
Mercury will have to deal with both Saturn and Mars during his time through Virgo. Mercury entered the sign of the virgin on July 28th and began his opposition to Saturn which perfect on August 1st. Saturn can represent obstacles, limitations and delays. This might be a time we’re faced with a formative challenge that invites us to be methodical. “Baby steps” is a good mantra at this time. We don’t have to figure it all out in one grokking gulp. We just have to solve the piece we’re working with now at the highest level we’re capable of.
August 9th—Mercury trine Jupiter
A boost comes now as Mercury—halfway through Virgo—trines Jupiter in Taurus, expanding our thoughts with enthusiasm, purpose and vision. On the same day, a retrograde Venus squares Uranus, indicating a breakthrough and/or disruption around Venusian themes such as relationships, finances and social mores.
August 23rd—Mercury stations retrograde
Mercury stations retrograde for the third time this year in an Earth sign. If we just consider Mercury’s retrogrades, 2023 has been a year at rethinking, reassessing and re-evaluating practical concerns such as stability, security and sustainability.
Mercury stations at 21°51′, just 1° away from a square with Uranus and 5° from a conjunction with Mars. It’s as if Mercury is about to pull the trigger on a decision… and then doesn’t. Mercury goes back to the drawing board and reassess the situation. Mercury meets up with Jupiter again on September 4th to reconsider the vision, has a moment of renewed Cazimi insight with the Sun on September 6th, and then stations direct on September 15th at 8° Virgo.
August as a Rubik’s cube
The challenge that began Mercury’s methodical analytical process is the opposition to Saturn on August 1st. The entire month feels as if Mercury is turning the sides on a complicated Rubik’s cube, seeing what lines up and what next move might offer more coherence. Lucky for us, Mercury in Virgo is in a dignified position to bring out it’s significations when we are strategic and orderly in our planning.
Images: Worker Bee modern dance choreography stills made by me in Midjourney.
Mars laid down his victor’s wreath as he departed from glorious Leo to arrive in the humble and service oriented sign of Virgo on July 10th. Moving from fixed fire to mutable earth, Mars concerns himself now with practicality and efficiency while cleaning up a bit of the overindulgence he may have gotten into the past seven weeks in Leo. While self-assured in Leo, now Mars might have to consider (and slow down) his course of action by pouring over the details and doing a cost-benefit analysis of some of the grand goals he had while touring Leo.
How do we put this to practical use? Mars speaks to how we go after what we desire and assert ourselves. In Virgo, it’s by optimizing. By making the thing better. By creating order out of chaos. By having a plan that is reasonable, actionable and practical.
I think of Mars in Virgo as the editor’s red pen. We’ve written the memoir, pouring our hearts out candidly onto the page in Leo. Now Mars in Virgo says “how do we make this legible?” Confidence is not inherent to Virgo. It’s hard earned through the committed development of skill over time. And although humble and not a fan of fawning or the limelight, Mars in Virgo needs to be recognized for its talent because it often believes it’s not ready for prime time. Acknowledgment of skill can often be the push needed to get the ball rolling.
Opposition to Saturn
With Saturn retrograding at 6° Pisces, it won’t take long for Mars to form an opposition to the planet of boundaries, reality checks and limitations. The Mars—Saturn opposition perfects July 20th. Many of us will be feeling “hurry up and wait” tensions rise sooner than this as these two planets work towards their face-off.
On one hand, for those of us involved in a herculean effort, Mars approaching Saturn can help with finding your pace. For instance, any marathoner knows you can’t run 26.2 miles at a 5k race pace. In order to make your goal, you have to run strategically. This means fueling yourself appropriately during the race, holding yourself back in the beginning, and pushing at the end. When used consciously, a Mars-Saturn aspect can help us find just the right gear to do a very big job: whether that be a marathon, a tough conversation, a major task, or a demanding deadline.
The problem is when we overdo. For instance, the runner (Mars) that starts off too fast and then pays the price when she hits The Wall (Saturn). Saturn often indicates limitation, restraints and delays (what are body can do, in this example) whereas Mars wants immediate gratification (an impressive finish time). Saturn knows you can’t bypass the process. Mars—Saturn aspects will bring the stark realization of what is and what isn’t possible.
Putt Mars in Virgo to good use
Mars will be in Virgo for the next seven weeks until he ingresses into Libra on August 27th. Embrace the optimizing energy of Mars in Virgo by striving for practicality and efficiency in pursuing your goals. Get out that red pen and see where your edits will create a stronger body of work. Focus on improvements that create order. Remember that recognition of your skills can provide the necessary motivation to move forward; and perhaps you can use this time to motivate others by generously saluting their efforts and work. Finally, at least until the 20th, find the right balance between pushing yourself and respecting the process. Patience and strategic action is the pace you want to slip into.
Images: The Coffee Grower made by me in Midjourney. Here we have a martial drink, coffee, being taken to its highest expression by a coffee farmer. Ask any Virgo: perfection is in the details!
July 17, 2023 at 12:31pm in Mexico City—New Moon 24° Cancer 56′
I’ve always loved the John Muir quote “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” When we look back in retrospect contemplating the past, we see how everything led to the next thing.
The quote seems especially apropos to Monday’s New Moon in Cancer—a celestial matriarch—whose influence will ripple throughout the next 18 months. Events, people and experiences incubated during the Summer of 2023 will take on greater importance as they weave defining threads into our future tapestry.
Nodes Changing Signs
We’re in a significant time right now. The New Moon in Cancer is the portal through which a few cosmic events initiate. For one, the nodes are changing signs. The lunar nodes are important points on the Moon’s orbit that intersect with the ecliptic (the Earth’s orbit around the Sun). In our charts, the North Node speaks to what we’re hungry for and a destination point we strive towards. The South Node has more of a surrendering quality. This is where we let go and empty out which can feel spiritual, depleting, and often a little bit of both.
With the North Node moving into Aries, we will hunger for sovereignty, independence and self initiative. The Aries parts of our charts is where this striving will take place and where we might take on a personal challenge or two. We’ll be balancing our martial endeavors with Libra’s desire for harmony in relationships, justice and feel-good collaborations. Some of the themes that will arise during this time will have to do with relationships of all kinds and reevaluating the compromises we make in them. Many of us will focus more than we have before on getting the balance right between autonomy and partnership. What’s the conscious way to be in relationship while remaining true to oneself? How can we be a great partner without over-compromising? With the South Node in Libra, many of us will be releasing outdated modes of people pleasing as we reclaim ourselves in the reach towards the North Node in self-prioritizing Aries.
The nodes have an 18.6 year cycle. We can look back to the last time the North Node was in Aries and the South Node was in Libra for an idea of the topics we might be revisiting now. This was December 2004 through June 2006. We can also think about February 2014 to November 2015 when the nodes were in opposing places. Do you find similar themes in these two time periods? They might rhyme with some of the major decisions and course directions you’ll be considering between July 2023 to January 2025 as the nodes transit the Aries-Libra axis once again.
Another cosmic event unfolding in the nurturing web of the Cancer New Moon is Venus stationing retrograde in Leo on July 22nd. For 40 days and nights, we’ll be reassessing Venusian themes such as finances, relationships, creativity, belonging and inner peace. As Venus stations, she’ll be forming a supportive trine to the North Node in Aries and a friendly sextile to the South Node in Libra, pulling in the themes of self & other into her retrograde.
In Leo, Venus knows her worth. She’s magnetic and affectionate. She values loyalty and sincerity. Her relating style is warm, creative and genuine. At times, she can be a bit of a diva, and we love her for it! As Venus retrogrades through Leo, we will reappraise Venusian themes perhaps a bit dramatically but also with sincerity or “sincere drama” if our natal chart supports it. Where will we do the reappraising? In our Leo house as well as the two houses ruled by Venus: Taurus and Libra.
Think back to July 25—September 6, 2015 and July 27—September 8, 2007 when Venus retrograded in this part of the sky to consider past themes you might be encountering again in a new way.
The new Moon in Cancer heralds future developments around personal freedom balanced by how we show up in partnerships of all kinds. We’ll be reassessing our commitments and compromises the next 18 months. More immediately, the Venus retrograde will have us taking another look at how boldly we’re letting our light shine through the containers of coin, community, connection and creativity. Sandwiched between a sexile to Uranus and a trine to Neptune, this beginning seeded in this New Moon points towards a friendly restlessness that stimulates our imaginative ideals. The New Moon’s opposition to Pluto suggests we will have to do some soul searching to reach our dreams.
Images made by me in Midjourney
The stories we hear often contain delightful reflections on how the planets can express in our everyday lives. To capture some of these examples, I’ve created this occasional column Analogies where I use an example from something I’ve recently heard or read and transfer it on to a planet’s significations.
- Source: Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Planet: Saturn
I’ve recently begun listening to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s light-hearted and soulful new podcast “Wiser Than Me”. 62 year old Dreyfus understands older women are a treasure trove of life-earned wisdom. She wonders why we don’t hear more about and from them. So she created this podcast to glean the gold women over 70 have accumulated throughout their years. Immediately I thought of the wisdom Saturn offers when we alchemize our experience from adversity to maturity.
Each episode offers gratifying conversations where Dreyfus gets schooled by women that are wiser than her. She asks questions like What would you do differently? What’s your biggest regret? What advice would you give your 21 year old self? What’s sex like at your age? How do you feel about aging? The answers are sincere and unapologetic. These older voices speak with a gravitas that takes years of living to acquire.
How does the podcast relate to Saturn? Saturn represents time, wisdom, maturity and deep learning. Saturn transits often bring duty, hardship and heaviness. Yet, through these times we learn to take responsibility for the changes we wish to see in our lives. In this process, we develop wisdom. We mature. We grow into ourselves. Listening to these interviews feels like auricular pieces of art sculpted by Saturn.
Here are some examples:
- Saturn represents boundaries. Jane Fonda offers this recommendation to Julia as helpful piece of advice: No is a complete sentence. There’s no need to amplify the reason why we’ve chosen no as our answer.
- Saturn transits have us face our fears. Food critique Ruth Reichl shares a story of the fear she grappled with when writing a negative review for a prominent restaurant. The piece of wisdom she offers is that when something frightens you, you must do it.
- Saturn reveals actions have consequences. If you reap disharmony, you will sow it. If you are generous throughout life, others will be generous towards you. Isabel Allende speaks to this Saturnian tenant and ponders why people who have been cold and boundaried their entire life would expect companionship and someone to care for them in old age.
- Saturn cultivates strength when we stay in our integrity. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg relays, “The only thing you have complete control of is your character. You could lose your health, your wealth, your job, your husband, your family, you could lose everything. But you never lose your character. And that character is the little house inside yourself that is called strength.” It’s also where wise elder Saturn lives.
Saturn’s Natal Promise
Dreyfus herself has a prominent Saturn with Saturn at 21° Capricorn next to her MC at 22° and Capricorn Sun at 23° (see her chart). It’s fitting that she brings the topics of age and wisdom to the forefront, especially in regards to women with such a dignified Saturn in its nocturnal domicile.
Dreyfus launched Wiser Than Me back in March 2023, just as Saturn entered Pisces. Her exalted Venus lands at 9° Pisces. Dreyfus has used the co-presence of Saturn and her Venus to celebrate our women elders and to share their wisdom with the rest of us as her natal Saturn promises.
If you listen to podcasts, I highly recommend this one. Maybe it’s Saturn transiting over my own stellium in Pisces, but I think some hard earned advice from our long lived sisters is always a good thing.
Image made by me in Midjourney
June 3, 2023 at 9:40 pm Central—This month’s full moon shines brightly in Sagittarius, and while the trine from Mars inspires adventure and motivates drive, the square from Saturn reminds us there is still a lot of hard work left to go and maybe an obstacle or two to iron out.
Sagittarius is the part of our charts where we dare to quest like a modern day Percival in order to find our personal holy grail of purpose and meaning.
Given the celestial activity these past couple of months, it’s likely that our Sag house reveals the stage where many of themes of these moving parts have culminated. Yet, it hasn’t been easy. This Full Moon illuminates the path we’ve been on and encourages us to keep going.
Nine of Wands
It’s helpful to look at the tarot card associated with this decan, the Nine of Wands. In this card, we see a man that looks like he’s a bit busted and bruised. His bandaged head suggests it’s important not to let our own thoughts derail us. He holds a defensive posture and his facial expression says: “Go ahead and try!” There’s a determination in this card to finish what we’ve started even if we don’t know how much longer we can sustain our pace given the challenging terrain we’re navigating.
Yet, we’re near the end. All nines in tarot correspond to The Hermit in the major arcana. It’s in the nines—especially in the suit of Fire (Wands) and Air (Swords)—where we’re asked to call on our inner mettle contained within an outer husk of vulnerability. When we break through our armored insecurity to find our strength to keep on going, a shift occurs gracing us with a second wind that comes out of nowhere.
Austin Coppock offers the image of a bridle to the second decan of Sagittarius, where this Full Moon illuminates the sky from. A bridle keeps a rider and a horse united. In the same way, in this celestial field of Sag II, we’re often asked to hone in on our focus to keep our intention and action together. Doing so results not only in sustained control, but on keeping our horse (action) steady from unpredictable events that would spook our direction and throw us off course.
As this decan is ruled by the Moon, Coppock speaks of the vulnerability present as well. Moon is memory. It’s the past. Our conditioning, habits and impulses safeguard us from wounds scripted in a long time ago. Perhaps something to be aware of at this time is when we’re allowing yesterday’s wounds to keep informing tomorrow’s potential. That sweet spot, the present moment, truly has the power of focus when harness it.
Saturday’s Full Moon in Sagittarius reminds us of the positive strides we make when we consistently put one foot in front of the other despite our insecurities. The key to a purposeful path doesn’t lie in the past. It’s not in the future either. We discover the key when we drop into the here and now. By immersing ourselves in the present, we push past our vulnerability to discover the strength and clarity needed to continue moving forward.
First image, Bridle, created by me in Midjourney. Second image by the artist Pamela Coleman Smith for the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck.
We’ve been through some pretty big changes these last few months! The slower moving planets Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter have a changed signs. Eclipse season has come and gone. Mercury has stationed direct, picked up speed, and is preparing to enter his diurnal domicile of Gemini.
Things are beginning to stabilize. If we believe in the Hermetic principle “As above, so below”, June will give us a chance to catch our breath as we metabolize the shifts in our lives reflected in the skies since March. The only outer planet changing signs this month is Pluto which retrogrades back into Capricorn on the 11th. However, the last few degrees of Capricorn is no stranger to us by now. Pluto has been here before and will most likely bring up topics again that we dealt with in March through June of last year plus January and February of this year.
Leo is seeing some action this month as Mars charges through. The upcoming month finds us asserting ourselves, desiring recognition and/or expressing courage in the Leo part of our charts. Venus will drop rose petals behind Mars’ swordplay when she enters Leo on June 5th. The planet of love spreads charm, warmth and generosity over any rips and tears Mars’ pride may have caused. Venus will retrograde through Leo this year during July and August. The month of June sets us up for her retrograde and the Venusian revisions we’ll be considering the end of Summer in the Leo part of our charts as well as the signs she rules: Taurus and Libra.
May 19, 2023, 9:53 AM Central—Friday’s New Moon in Taurus feels like a prayer where we offer gratitude for where we’re at and courage for where we’re going. Let’s begin with the gratitude part.
After an intense Mars ruled eclipse season, we’re in a restorative period focusing on comfort and stability. Venus in Cancer, the ruler of this New Moon, uses lunar tools of support, nourishment and protection to foster belongingness. This can feel like spending time with family or those who feel like kin to share stories or create experiences that fortify bonds and feed the heart.
In the New Moon chart, Mercury is direct and applying by sextile to Saturn increasing clarity that may have been missing the last couple of weeks. There’s an opportunity to make a plan and solidify a sustainable commitment. In Taurus, Mercury is practical, intentional and thorough in its approach. Deliberations can move forward with confidence under this kind of energy especially in sextile to Saturn.
The New Moon in Taurus sextiles Neptune as well. Neptune softens, dissolves and transcends. If we’ve been struggling with someone or something lately, Neptune can act as a spiritual solvent to help us step out of our ego and elevate our perspective to a more holistic one.
Alternatively, Neptune can also indicate deception and self-delusion. With the New Moon just 2° from Algol, a star associated with wrath and misfortune, and sextile to trigger happy Mars in Cancer, Friday’s lunation carries a bit of a double-sided vibe: honey and milk in one hand and gunpowder in the other. Derived from the same root as alcohol and associated with Medusa, Algol can correspond to events where we lose our heads or more likely: our bearing. It will be an interesting time for the British royal family as Algol repeatedly shows up in the charts of many family members and important events connected to them.
People can also become possessed of an arrogant hubris that blinds them to reality. In addition, the formidable Mars-Jupiter-Pluto T-Square that exacts on the 20th is also a part of this New Moon signature. More on that in the article below. Perhaps a helpful question to ground us during this time would be “how can a dose of wise humility guide me right now?”
I was listening to Austin Coppock speak on the third decan of Taurus. He shares that a Hellenistic source attributes the name litae to this decan. The litae were a group of spirit goddesses that carried prayers of the faithful to the ears to the gods. It’s a beautiful image, especially if you believe we live in an animistic world like I do.
As we move through the next six months and make our way to the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus the end of October, may our right action seeded now blossom into the prayer the Litae take to the gods as they intercede on our behalf come Fall.
Illustration “Litae” made by me in Midjourney
After eight weeks of using lunar tools do to martial things, Mars is more than ready to depart the sign of its Fall and enter the regal sign of Leo on the 20th. Mars in Leo expresses itself using solar tools such as creativity, visibility and generosity. Just like the Sun which rules the sign of Leo, Mars in the lion’s den executes its will with charisma, confidence and presence.
The last two months might have felt as though we needed to be extra careful around precarious emotional weather fronts. In a Moon ruled sign, some of the questions Mars considers before taking action include how can I protect my savings and assets, my home & family, my emotional well-being, my body, other people’s feelings and the vulnerable? Coupled with the recent Mercury retrograde, the conditions that would enable us to move forward with confidence simply weren’t available.
Things are clicking into place
Things are changing now. Mercury stations direct today. As the Messenger Planet begins to pick up speed, clarity and efficiency will increase. Mars moving into Fixed-Fire also helps. Mars in Leo isn’t weighed down by emotional considerations that has us constantly reacting, absorbing and adjusting with the sensitive power-steering that Mars in Cancer uses. Mars in Leo proceeds steadily like the Sun. The Action Planet’s tour through Leo these next seven weeks opens a fortuitous time to find your gear in a project or goal and make significant strides forward.
As Mars enters Leo on May 20th the day after the New Moon in Taurus, he’ll be forming a special aspect pattern called a T-square with Jupiter and Pluto. T-squares form when one planet opposes another and a third planet squares them both. This configuration holds a lot of tension that can express as ambition. The discomfort and restlessness inherent in a T-square drives resourcefulness, ingenuity and accomplishment.
On May 20th, as Mars ingresses into Leo, he will oppose Pluto in Aquarius. Both planets will square Jupiter in Taurus. All three planets are at 0° of a fixed sign, signifying a bold beginning with a lot of enthusiasm and might behind it.
If you’ve been gearing up for a power move, now is the time to pull the trigger. When drive (Mars) purpose (Jupiter) and power (Pluto) join forces, they create a field of enthusiastic risk-taking. Action begun at this has the potential to mature into an enormous win or a cataclysmic loss accompanied by a priceless lesson on what not to do next time.
Another time to note on our calendars will be when Mars squares Uranus on June 26. I love the language Renn Butler uses for Mars-Uranus in The Archetypal Universe : “electric yang enthusiasm and a swashbuckling style”. He quotes Walt Whitman’s “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world!” Butler goes on to warn against “desires for sudden change, reckless audacity, high-flying contempt for the mediocre and defiance of all limits to expression.” Wow!
I like to call Mars-Uranus hard aspects road rage or the I quit! aspect. Think twice before shooting from the hip during this time. All this to say that The Warrior Planet’s charge through Leo might be a bit passionate and high spirited for some of us, especially if your Time Lord is Mars. We’ll be thanking our lucky stars that Venus spends some extra time in Leo this year during her retrograde, soothing and smoothing over any casualties Mars leaves in his swashbuckling wake. On the other hand, we can truly get a lot done if we ride these enterprising energies with mastery during this time.
Mars invigorates the Leo part of our charts until July 10th when he enters Virgo. Words to live by during this time: “Fortune favors the bold” by Roman poet Virgil who had his Mars in Leo. And maybe one more reflecting the valiant beginnings available to us now: “There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.” — Ted Lasso.
Images made by me in Midjourney
Jupiter dramatically shifts gears on May 16th as he leaves cardinal fire for fixed earth. While in Aries, we may have felt driven and lit up by an idea or project. Now as Jupiter moves into the sign of the Bull, he’s more tempered, measured and thoughtful about his approach. Whereas Jupiter in Aries finds meaning in a challenge and is anxious to initiate action, Jupiter in Taurus values pursuing purpose in leisure while securing a solid foundation.
If Jupiter has brought opportunity to the Aries part of your chart, the meaning in this opportunity may now begin to prioritize the relationship components. As the African proverb goes: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Aries, ruled by Mars, goes fast. But Taurus, ruled by Venus, is more interested in peace and partnership which allows a steady pace.
What are of life will Jupiter bless for you? Let’s take a look at Jupiter in Aries throughout all the signs:
Aries Rising—Jupiter will transit your 2nd House
Jupiter transiting the 2nd often brings new income streams, a raise, or a big boost to our self worth. If you’re long overdue a raise, Aries, ask for it when Jupiter is in your money house! Remember, the opportunity is there, but we have to activate it. A warning: be careful not to overspend as Jupiter can have us feeling more generous towards ourselves and others than we normally are.
Taurus Rising—Jupiter will transit your 1st House
Get ready for a big year, Taurus! As Jupiter transits the first house of self, your overall outlook to life lifts and brightens. You’re encouraged to envision big while paying attention to opportunities that will initiate a brand new 12-year cycle for you. This is a year of building your sense of self and what you have to offer the world simply by being you. But watch those calories! Jupiter transiting the 1st can have us adding unwanted pounds.
Gemini Rising—Jupiter will transit your 12th House
Looking into our own Pandora’s Box. What do we find there? What have we repressed that is now wanting to express in our conscious life? What has been hidden that comes to light now? This transit is great for retreat and solitary time. Warning: frenemies/enemies could emerge from the woodwork.
Cancer Rising—Jupiter will transit your 11th House
A great time to put some muscle behind your hopes and aspirations. Jupiter will usher in opportunities that could take the form of helpful friendships or social networks that fill your sails with friendly winds. Be on the lookout for dreams coming true!
Leo Rising—Jupiter will transit your 10th House
Your role at work could expand during this time. Your reputation and social standing can make a bigger splash with Jupiter here. If you’re looking to advance in your career, take risks and find more meaning in how you contribute to the world, now’s the time to ride this Jupiter wave as it has the power to carry you far this year.
Virgo Rising—Jupiter will transit your 9th House
An excellent time to expand the edges of your mental and physical frontiers. This could look like going back to school, focusing on spiritual growth, learning astrology or embarking on international travel. The 9th House is associated with all things that grow our minds and our tangible world. Jupiter encourages you to take plant seeds deep and wide!
Libra Rising—Jupiter will transit your 8th House
Jupiter can lend a helping hand in taxes, loans and debt. However, take care not to take on more financial promises you can realistically handle sinking you into greater debt. Opportunity can arise through receiving an inheritance or a windfall you didn’t work for. Your significant other might experience a nice bump in their finances which then affects you.
Scorpio Rising—Jupiter will transit your 7th House
Significant relationships bloom. Jupiter transiting the 7th can bring in an important person—romantic or not—who you can grow with. If you’re already in a relationship, Jupiter offers optimism and expansion, taking you further down the path together.
Sagittarius Rising—Jupiter will transit your 6th House
Be proactive with your health now. Schedules can get overly packed exasperating underlying health issues. Time management is important. On the bright side: relationships with people that work for you and/or colleagues turn sweeter thanks to Jupiter’s benevolent presence. It’s also possible to adopt a fur baby during this transit or pay more attention to pets.
Capricorn Rising—Jupiter will transit your 5th House
Jupiter brings Cap Risings growth opportunities around romance, children, or following their passions. Single Capricorns: if you’re looking for love, now is the time to do something about it! For some, the topic of children will take on more importance. And with Jupiter in the 5th, it’s your time to shine! Follow your passions and you’ll be rewarded.
Aquarius Rising—Jupiter will transit your 4th House
Are you thinking about expanding your home, Aquarius? This year could see you bringing home a baby, another relative, or making room for an elderly parent to come live with you. You might entertain moving into a bigger house or building a structural add-on to your home.
Pisces Rising—Jupiter will transit your 3rd House
Development and opportunity around siblings can present themselves now. The Moon has her joy here so increasing knowledge around pagan wisdom traditions can happen when Jupiter transits the 3rd. You might find that you’re commuting more and making small trips as well.
As the greater benefic, Jupiter can bless us with good fortune, meaning, abundance, wisdom, growth and optimism in our Taurus house. That said: Jupiter doesn’t guarantee a bonanza in the house he transits. More often than not, opportunity will knock but we have to respond to the call and do our part to evolve it into our lives. It’s a duet, not Jupiter’s solo.
Fortunately, we will have an energizing New Moon in Taurus to plant a new beginning on May 19th, just a few days after Jupiter’s ingress. The presence of Jupiter in our Taurus house will fertilize and cultivate this new beginning for one solid year. In addition, the last eclipse in Taurus will a Full Moon on October 28 will bring us evidence of what we sow now. I’m feeling optimistic about this. I hope you are too!
Image made by me in Midjourney
May 5, 2023, 11:34 AM Central—Full Moon Lunar Eclipse 14° Scorpio 58′
Maya Angelou spoke from her IC* in Scorpio when she wrote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Of all the signs, Scorpio knows how to bury a secret. In Angelou’s case, she stopped speaking for five years after her uncles murdered the man that raped her. 7-year old Angelou had testified against her attacker and believed her words killed him. So she buried her words inside of her. Eventually, she resurrected these words and phoenixed them into her masterpiece I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which went on to powerfully influence a generation of women.
If Scorpio can bury a secret it can also excavate it. The purging that accompanies this process is transformative. It takes a lot of energy to conceal, pretend and ignore. When this energy to bear down is no longer needed, we reclaim our power. Part of this reclamation requires identifying the hidden commitments that work at cross purposes with what we desire in the future. These deep seated and often unconscious loyalties strategically protect us from change, even if change is exactly what we need.
Resistance to change
This lunation falls in the very middle of a very fixed sign which is the deepest, most embedded section in the Zodiac. Scorpio holds on tight to its loyalties and resentments. Since the beginning of 2022, the eclipses have been catalyzing this part of our charts. With the South Node in Scorpio, that might have meant unearthing deep, emotional wounds—an untold story—to let it go and let us grow.
The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio is the last eclipse in Scorpio for a while. This Full Moon culminates into a time of decision, one which might see some of us releasing someone or something that has siphoned too much of our precious bandwidth. The South Node can have a spiritualizing effect as we release energetic and emotional baggage. What kind of baggage do we find in Scorpio? The kind that sinks way down deep: hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness, betrayal and grief. This Full Moon Lunar Eclipse offers us an opportunity to let things rise to the surface. Once brought out in the open, we can choose to skillfully address issues that might’ve felt like a “dark passenger”.**
Blowup to breakthrough
The Sun is just four degrees away from Uranus at the Full Moon eclipse. As we know, Uranus signifies abrupt change either through disruption, chaos, breakthrough and/or awakening. Whether it be a flash of insight, an emotional outpour or simply just reaching our limit, the electrifying presence of Uranus jolts us out of our routines and habits, forcing us to try something new.
It would be helpful to watch the days just days before the Full Moon when Mercury has his Cazimi with the Sun on May 1st. What messages did we receive at that time? What insights were suddenly available to us? The Venus-Neptune square on the 4th may also have us feeling disillusioned around Venusian themes such as friends, love, creativity and abundance. Have we numbed ourselves in the name of diplomacy? Or does smoothing the harsher edges in the name of compromise ensure compatibility? With the emotional turmoil roiling beneath the surface, perhaps these questions are preparing to answer themselves.
We can use the energy of this releasing eclipse in Scorpio to emancipate ourselves from resentment, hurt and misunderstanding. Doing so will feel restorative, especially as we prepare ourselves to receive the blessings and opportunities Jupiter has in store for us as he ingresses into the opposite sign of Scorpio, Taurus.
* Imum Coeli (IC; from Latin for “bottom of the sky”)
** Dexter reference
Illustration “Uncaged” made by me in Midjourney
Mercury plays a role in the upcoming New Moon Solar Eclipse on April 19, 2023. Although Mercury does not aspect the New Moon, it is in relationship with the lunation’s ruler Mars in Cancer by a harmonious sextile from Taurus. Mercury sextile Mars can signify an “idea diarrhea” of sorts: lots of talk, suggestions and intentions. Go-getter Mars is a powerful shot of Ristretto stimulating Mercury’s themes of commerce, communication and mental processing. In a sextile to Mars, this Mercury wants to take action and get the business ball rolling.
In addition, Mercury is on its way to Uranus, a destabilizing force that can surprise us with breakthrough, breakdown and sometimes both. Interestingly, as Mercury advances towards Uranus, he begins to slow down. In fact, Mercury never makes it to Uranus. In the early morning hours of Friday the 21st, Mercury stations retrograde just two degrees away from Uranus in Taurus.
Given what we know about the potentially snappy New Moon Solar Eclipse, backing up to review might actually be a course correction. All the action in Aries would have us sprint right now. Ideas are swirling and everything is moving quickly—maybe a little too quickly. There’s a generalized impatience in the air. The steadiness and stability-seeking of Taurus acts as an antidote to the rush of Aries.
Just twenty minutes after the eclipse, the Moon moves into Taurus. The Sun follows on April 20th. An image that comes to my mind is applying a soothing stem of aloe vera on a sunburn. The focus turns towards peace, relaxation, harmony and enjoyment—all themes of a Venus ruled sign. Mercury’s retrograde could very well be looking for ways to make an experience more enjoyable and less frenetic which ultimately brings more stability and security.
- Mercury stations Retrograde on April 21st at 15°37′ Taurus
- Mercury stations Direct on May 14th at 5°51′ Taurus
- Mercury clears his shadow when he passes 15°37′ Taurus on May 31st
- Mercury catches up to Uranus on June 4th
We may be excited to move forward on a project, relationship, experiment or self-related opportunity. Yet before we take the leap, it would be wise to inform our Aries with the slower, more practical pace of Taurus. As the saying goes: “Measure twice, cut once.” It will serve all of us to remember these words as Mercury is retrograde.
Finally, Mercury retrogrades three times in 2023. Each retrograde occurs in an Earth sign. 2023 is a year we’ll be reviewing, rethinking and re-doing our needs for stability, security and accomplishment while striving to remain flexible and open to perspectives different than our own.
April 19, 2023, 10:12 PM Central—The Aries part of our charts is buzzing with potential at the moment. Jupiter has been fertilizing the field of Aries since January. Jupiter visits a sign every twelve years bringing forth his significations of expansion, opportunity, optimism and meaning to whatever house Aries falls in for us personally. Jupiter first visited Aries from May to October of last year. He’ll leave Aries mid May. This final month of Jupiter through the sign of the Ram will see some of us cultivating new starts in a potentiated field that promises new purpose in at least one part of our lives.
Spotlight on Aries
The Sun is winding up its annual tour through Aries as well. The Sun brings focus to the house it travels through. One of the significations of the Sun is healing. The Sun transiting Aries can show us how we might begin to repair our relationship with the topics of our Aries house in a way that brings us back into alignment with how we want to express ourselves in the world.
When the Sun first entered Aries, we experienced a New Moon on March 21st. Now as the Sun prepares to enter Taurus, the Moon joins the Sun to renew herself again at 29° Aries 50′. Two New Moons in one sign doesn’t happen often—this occurs every 2.5 to 3 years. It is like seeding the same section of a field twice. In addition, when the second of these lunations is an eclipse, we are sowing super-seeds: powerful new beginnings that will catalyze significant change when they begin to break ground.
A new set of themes
The New Moon Solar Eclipse in Aries is the first in a series that will bring about major change in the Aries-Libra axis of our charts. Eclipses occur when there is a New or Full Moon within 18° of the Nodes, which happens about every 6 months. These are times of acceleration where we must make decisions around certain people, events or commitments in our lives that will alter our current course. In modern astrology, the Nodes are associated with destiny. We can look at these times as shaping our future. Traditional astrology points more towards a hungry striving (North Node) and surrender or release (South Node). This traditional perspective highlights the wisdom gained in knowing when to assert ourselves with a full-steam ahead mentality balanced with mature self-restraint and letting go.
Wednesday’s/Thursday’s (depending where you live) New Moon Solar Eclipse initiates a new set of topics related to the Aries-Libra axis in our natal charts. The last eclipse along this axis occurs in March of 2025. Yet until October of 2023, the eclipses will activate both the Taurus-Scorpio axis and the Aries-Libra axis. So we’re wrapping up changes brought from the last two years as we accelerate into new territory.
Driven by emotions
The New Moon in Aries is ruled by Mars currently in a sign said to be his “Fall”. Mars can struggle in Cancer because rather than making a straight line from point A to point B as is his preference, he has to consider other people, their feelings and potential fallout. This can feel like walking on eggshells or being hypervigilant of trauma triggers. This makes it challenging for Mars who just wants to do-the-thing. Cancer has a long memory and Mars in this sign is motivated by emotions. Like Aries, Cancer is a Cardinal sign. Cardinal signs can be a bit impatient as they don’t want to wait and see what happens; they prefer to initiate action. So movement forward now is responsive but cautiously protective, keeping a watchful eye on the emotional barometer.
Adding to the intensity is a square to Pluto. As the ruler of the underworld, Pluto ushers in themes of obsession, compulsion and rumination. It also offers empowerment when we understand the roots of a situation and where our energy might be bound in power struggles. Pluto symbolizes the death-rebirth process, where like a snake shedding its skin, brings renewal. This square to the New Moon is a Rubik’s Cube that with time and patience, can reinvigorate pieces of self to bring ourselves and our relationships back into alignment.
Vesta makes a guest appearance as well. Conjunct the Sun and Moon in the second degree of Taurus, she signifies where we focus our energy, time and resources. Like the hearth of a home, Vesta symbolizes what brings us together, gives focus and captures our attention. In this New Moon, there is a component of revitalizing ourselves through work, commitment and even devotion, but in the steady and slow style of Taurus.
Take a look at the chart below where Aries falls for you:
- Aries Rising—1st House
- Taurus Rising—12th House
- Gemini Rising—11th House
- Cancer Rising—10th House
- Leo Rising—9th House
- Virgo Rising—8th House
- Libra Rising—7th House
- Scorpio Rising—6th House
- Sagittarius Rising—5th House
- Capricorn Rising—4th House
- Aquarius Rising—3rd House
- Pisces Rising—2nd House
With Jupiter fertilizing the field of Aries since January, two powerful new moons in the sign of the Ram and the kick-off to eclipse season highlighting the Aries-Libra axis, this is a time to be conscious of how we want to show up for ourselves and others. From little things, big things grow. In this case, patient and purposeful action will be key to making progress in the Aries part of our lives.
- Illustrations made by me in Midjourney
- Houses Chart photocopied from Demetra George’s workbook Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chart
April 5, 2023 at 10:34 pm Central—Wednesday’s Full Moon in Libra is the creamy filling of an Oreo cookie, connecting our primal needs with the desire for harmony with others. This lunation falls in the middle of two powerful Aries New Moons—one of them an upcoming eclipse. Like the sweet cream holding the chocolate wafers together, this Full Moon bridges the courageous and reactive thrust of Aries focused on Self with a more peaceful and relationship-centered approach of Libra.
Let’s get into it
So much has happened in such a short time. It’s a new day with Saturn beginning its reality-check in Pisces, Pluto initiating a bulldoze through Aquarius, and Mars swording through the protective and tribal waters of Cancer. All of these ingresses (planets entering new signs) occurred less than one month ago. Some of us are feeling like the tectonic plates in our lives are shifting, rearranging the continents of work, family, relationships and inner-drive. In fact, when outer planets change signs, they mirror a collective shift, such as the one we’re witnessing now with AI. The massive changes in artificial intelligence will restructure the way we work and socialize, just like the World Wide Web did beginning in 1989.
Where does that leave us today? As I mentioned above, the Full Moon in Libra connects two New Moons in Aries. Aries-Libra is the axis of Self and Other. Me-We. Mine-Ours. All Full Moons bring a culminating energy. We can experience insight now of how past behavior has contributed to present conditions. These ah-ha moments of clear understanding that often occur during a Full Moon help to close down an experience or behavior we no longer want to participate in.
The Full Moon in Libra would have us reflect on the experience of others. A good example is the work I used to do as a UX (user experience) librarian. I would watch students as they completed tasks using the library’s website. I was continually amazed by what they would click on and the round-about ways they found information. Oftentimes, they didn’t understand library jargon so they couldn’t find links right under their mouse! It wasn’t their fault. There was a disconnection between the design and the student’s knowledge. It was my job to bridge that gap.
In the same way, the Full Moon in Libra sheds light on pain points. In UX language, pain points are the bottlenecks, friction and jams users experience with a product. When we care enough to ask the right questions and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we’re often surprised at how off our assumptions are. The Full Moon in Libra seeks perspective. What is it like to be you? Where are you struggling and why?
Less than 1 degree in opposition of the Full Moon, Chiron play a prominent role in this lunation. Rejected by birth by his mother and later injured by an arrow, Chiron signifies our deepest wounds, the ones that we often work on for decades until we alchemize them into our medicine. The analogy of a UX researcher as the Libra Full Moon works here: it’s in the light governed by Venusian principles of peace, harmony, reconciliation and love that we identify the other’s pain points. Often times, their wounds seem to be custom tailored to match our own soft spots. This perspective can help us create better experiences for us and for them. It’s an iterative process—one that requires checking-in, modifying, trying again and then repeating the process. Cardinal signs excel at this because they are responsive. They don’t want to leave things as they are when they know it could be better.
Three of Swords
Interestingly enough, the part of the sky the Full Moon reflects her light from corresponds to the Three of Swords. In tarot, the Three of Swords is a card of disappointment and pain, often connected to misunderstanding and betrayal. This is a heart-heavy card. Yet the suit of Swords signifies our perspective: it’s our thinking about a situation that makes it intolerable, not the situation itself. If we can witness ourselves and the Three of Swords situation with a bit of detachment, we can begin to respond with wisdom instead of conditioned reactivity to wounds that belong in another place and time. Moving through the discomfort with grace offers us an opportunity for growth.
In the tarot, threes are connected to The Empress, a card of creativity, nourishment and cultivation. Nothing is lost in the 3’s. Rather, this is a composting and regeneration. Even the pain and the heartache is mixed in to create something beautiful. Like an alchemist, we can use everything.
Where’s the ruler?
Meanwhile, the ruler of the Libra New Moon, Venus, is in her home sign Taurus. Her priority is peace, stability and the ability to sink into a nourishing-secure soil that will promote comfort, sensuality and flow. From her domicile in Taurus, she can’t see this Full Moon in Libra. Her ability to manage the UX research is somewhat hindered. It’s as if she’s in charge, but has to rely on someone else to preform the tests and report back.
Venus has been going through a bit of upheaval herself as she shares the same part of the sky Uranus currently occupies. Yet, if she can stick to her principles of calm and balance, the opportunity to use new found perspective for fairness in relationships is strong.
To summarize, Wednesday’s Full Moon in Libra seeks to gain perspective of the Other as it’s sandwiched between two New Moons that focus on the Self. By asking the right questions and putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we can identify pain points to create better experiences for everyone. For some of us, understanding and iterating towards harmony is key to getting the most out of this Full Moon in Libra.
I created the images with Midjourney. The Three of Swords card was created by Pamela Coleman Smith for the Rider Waite Smith Tarot.
The month of April seeks to stabilize the notable sea change that March ushered in. The month begins Cardinal-heavy wth the Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Aries and Mars in Cancer. The Cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn appear at the beginning of each season. They are the go-getters and initiators of the Zodiac. Forget sitting still! These planets want to get the ball rolling and meet challenges as they arise.
The Cardinal theme of responding to change is emphasized by the Full Moon in Libra on the 5th and the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Aries on the 19th. April sees us adjusting to recent changes by bringing insight around how we maintain healthy and harmonious partnerships while not compromising self integrity.
The Sun joins Mercury already halfway through Taurus on the 20th, the day before Mercury stations retrograde. Taurus, a fixed-earth sign, leans towards stable, predictive environments with practical solutions. Mercury begins to retrace his steps the end of April rethinking strategy and looking for what might have slipped between the cracks to pave a more steady and comfortable road ahead.
We live in interesting times! April helps us to remember we can embrace the ebb and flow of life while finding solace in the familiarity of its sameness.
Award-winning photographer (and lovely human being) Holly Wilmeth and I are creating talismanic photographs. Integrating magical elections, ritual and photography, we ask a person to represent the focal planet while wearing items that correspond to that planet. We began with Saturn in December of 2021 and have captured Saturn, Jupiter, Sun, Moon and the Third Lunar Mansion. Our aim is to create a body of work that ensouls and transmits the celestial bodies we’re capturing via photography & planetary magic.
Yesterday morning, we had an election for the goddess of love and beauty, Venus. We captured the laughter loving queen in her degree of exaltation where she is most equipped to bring her positive significations.
When I opened the photoshoot with ritual, a wind struck up and the temperature dropped. I’ve been working intentionally with Venus for one year now. In that time, she has announced herself to me with blasts of wind. Knowing that Venus is temperately cold and moist, I took the coldness as a sign of her presence. It had been warm 45 minutes earlier when I walked my dog.
In preparation for these photos, the planet enters our lives through people, synchronicity and dreams. I’ve been dreaming of Venus solidly for the past week. One of Holly’s students randomly lent her dove wings a few days before the photoshoot. We already had the feathers, but had thought wings would be a nice touch… but where would we find them? The wings made their way to us. It’s always a magical process, but especially so with Venus
EXALTED VENUS DETAILS
— Planet: Venus with her correspondences of white roses, Venus talisman, copper, dove feathers and wings
— Location: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
— Election: February 17, 2023 from 8:28 am—8:53 am
— Request: Beautiful and sweet Venus, may this talismanic photo bring your blessings of love, peace and harmony. May all who view this magical photograph realize greater connection that comes from meaningful relationships. May they be infused with the artistry and beauty as a creative spirit flourishes under your divine guidance.
Thank you, so much, to our gracious model Natalia @nataliafdzr who braved the wind and cold to effortlessly channel Venus. Thank you Holly for believing in this project and always, always bringing your A game with a big ol’ smile. Most of all, thank you to Venus for companioning me the past 12 months.
Next up: Mercury and Mars. I’ve started looking for elections!
We’re entering a new era which will be reflected in our personal lives and in the greater collective. In every great shift, we seek to stabilize and structure our lives so we can better envision the future. The Pisces part of our charts signals where we will be using Saturnian methods to add stability and reliability while Pluto weaves back and forth from Capricorn to Aquarius. These methods include but aren’t limited to:
- taking inventory
- facing reality
- metabolizing fear
- prioritizing and consolidating
- slowing down
- erecting boundaries
- off-loading responsibility in one area and possibly accepting it in another
More than anything, Saturn asks us to be responsible for the change we wish to see in our lives. When we do this, we create a foundation that we can rely on long term. Even more, we reach a deeper level of maturation. We accrue self-reliance and wisdom from putting in the effort to build desired outcomes.
It’s not an overnight process. Saturn brings reality checks that have been playing in the background for awhile. Unlike Uranus who rides on surprise and shock, Saturn delivers the stark truth of a known challenge in a manner that we can no longer ignore.
Saturn in the Houses
Pisces will be hosting Saturn from March 7th until May 25, 2025, and then again from September 1, 2025 to February 13, 2026. For the next three years, Saturn will be asking you to take responsibility for the changes you wish to see in your life in this house:
Aries Rising—Saturn will transit your 12th House
Looking into our own Pandora’s Box. What do we find there? What have we repressed that is now wanting to express in our conscious life? Great for retreat, solitary time, and working behind the scenes.
Taurus Rising—Saturn will transit your 11th House
A great time to put some muscle behind your hopes and dream. Friendships undergo changes: who stays, who goes?
Gemini Rising—Saturn will transit your 10th House
You might take on increased responsibility at work during this time. Additionally, issues of reputation and social standing can arise.
Cancer Rising—Saturn will transit your 9th House
An excellent time to commit to learning astrology or going to school. Perhaps this is the time you finally publish your book!
Leo Rising—Saturn will transit your 8th House
Consolidating loans, looking at long term financial planning, paying off debt and managing anxiety. Significant Other’s finances also considered now.
Virgo Rising—Saturn will transit your 7th House
Significant relationships are tested. You may find yourself asking what your responsibility to the relationship is now and if you’re getting your needs met. This can also be a time of commiting to a relationship.
Libra Rising—Saturn will transit your 6th House
Be proactive with your health now. This is a good time to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Schedules can become hectic so time management is important.
Scorpio Rising—Saturn will transit your 5th House
This is a time Scorpio Rising can get serious about dating, children, or following their passions. Even if you get off to a slow start, your commitment will pay off.
Sagittarius Rising—Saturn will transit your 4th House
Commitments can include buying land and building a home. The 4th often speaks to the end of things. This can be a time to say goodbye and seek closure.
Capricorn Rising—Saturn will transit your 3rd House
Issues around siblings can present themselves now. The Moon has her joy here so we can connect to pagan wisdom traditions during this transit.
Aquarius Rising—Saturn will transit your 2nd House
Do our values connect with the way we earn money? This might be a time where our financial picture changes or we work hard to manage our resources.
Pisces Rising—Saturn will transit your 1st House
We take on more responsibility. We “step up”. There’s a maturation process of the self when Saturn transits the 1st.
Saturn in Pisces
The planet Saturn and the sign of Pisces are an unlikely pairing. The former represents solidness, structure and discipline whereas the latter points to amorphous realms such as dreams, belief and creativity. What kind of strange and wonderful expressions do we find when we combine the two?
Saturn in Pisces combinations include:
—Emotionally repressed vs emotional intelligence
—Hiding one’s feelings (tough upper lip) vs skilled at expressing them
—Uninspired routines vs architecting one’s dreams
—Floating in a sea of blocked creativity vs building artful expression brick by brick
—Armored against collective pain vs holding universal compassion
—Weighed down by martyrdom vs cultivating strength through service
—Drowning in one’s own pain vs using suffering as a sacred tool towards transcendence
It’s not an either/or case here. Saturn in Pisces can hold both these values simultaneously, sometimes heavier on one end than the other.
When we work for it, Saturn offers us wisdom and insight over time. For those with this placement who have felt blocked, restrained or repressed in our emotions, our creativity, our spirituality and our compassion, we can strive to remove these blockages and burdens. When we do, there’s another side of Saturn in Pisces waiting for us.
Other possible characteristics include:
—Pisces is known for its empathy and compassion. A Saturn in Pisces individual can have a strong sense of responsibility and duty to help others.
—Pisces often has a gift around creativity, imagination and the arts. This person can approach their artistic pursuits with great discipline and effort that rewards them with a level of mastery.
—Known as a highly spiritual sign, a Saturn in Pisces person can often prioritize their spirituality as a source of strength and wisdom.
—In the highly sensitive and intuitive waters of Pisces, Saturn can repress feelings or block them from being fully expressed.
Both psychic Edgar Cayce and musician Kurt Cobain had their Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn in the sign of Pisces. Born 90 years apart, they had similar astrological wiring but very different expressions of it.
As a child, Cayce spoke with his dead grandfather’s spirit and played with “imaginary friends. He memorized books by sleeping on them. Later, as a sought after medical clairvoyant, he would diagnose people from a trance state. Dubbed the sleeping prophet, in deep states of meditation, he would enter some sort of archetypal field and answer questions. According to edgarcayce.org, “he was able to place his mind in contact with all time and space—the universal consciousness, also known as the super-conscious mind. From there, he could respond to questions as broad as, What are the secrets of the universe? and What is my purpose in life? to as specific as, What can I do to help my arthritis? and How were the pyramids of Egypt built? His responses to these questions came to be called ‘readings,’ and their insights offer practical help and advice to individuals even today…. when asked how to become psychic, Cayce’s advice was to become more spiritual.”
Then there’s Kurt Cobain, one of the greatest spokesperson of Generation X. Cobain became a reluctant icon of his time. It wasn’t only his grunge style that influenced youth fashion, it was his laid-back and detached attitude that emanated a sense of effortless cool. Tragically, Cobain suffered from heroin addiction, depression and health problems. He killed himself at age 27.
In his suicide note, Cobain calls himself too sensitive. Twice he writes that he loves people too much. He calls himself a sad, little, unappreciative, sensitive Pisces and signs off with peace, love, empathy, the hallmark Piscean terms.
It’s interesting to compare the two men’s Saturn in Pisces. Cayce used his Saturn to structure messages from the universal consciousness. His Saturn was a bridge he could cross into a collective No Time. Cobain tried to numb his sensitivity by escaping it. His heroin addiction erected personal boundaries around the excruciating cost of fame, of feeling everything and a devastating depression.
The Blue Lagoon
One other Saturn in Pisces example is the 1980 coming-of-age romantic survival film, The Blue Lagoon. Brooke Shields—who has her Saturn in Pisces—was 14 when she starred in this film, half a Saturn cycle. The movie tells the story of two seven year-olds (the opening Saturn square) marooned on an island paradise. Wikipedia continues: “But without either the guidance or the restrictions of society, emotional and physical changes arise as they reach puberty, go skinny dipping in the ocean and fall in love.”
The location for Blue Lagoon features a magical water-world where the two characters naturalize themselves to the island, the sea and the animals there. It’s a Piscean environment, one that plays the backdrop for self reliance, survival and exile: Saturn. I watched it again recently on Netflix and found myself repeating there’s Saturn, there’s Pisces, and then back again.
Saturn in Pisces Dates
It takes Saturn 29.5 years to orbit the Sun. When Saturn returns to the same sign and degree it was when you were born, this is called a Saturn Return. We experience Saturn returning to its natal position just before turning 30, around 59-60, and once again in our mid to late 80’s.
If you were born during these dates, you will be experiencing a Saturn Return during the next three years:
- 1st—Born 21MAY1993 to 30JUN1993 + 28JAN1994 to 7APR1996
- 2nd—Born 24MAR1964 to 16SEP1964 + 16DEC1964 to 3MAR1967
- 3rd—Born 14FEB1935 to 25APR1937 + 17OCT1937 to 14JAN1938
If you are experiencing your Saturn Return, lean on friends and family for support. This is a challenging time where you will feel pushed to your limits at times. It can also initiate us into the next level of wisdom, experience and authority.
Besides asking for support from your loved ones, consider scheduling a session with me if you’re experiencing a Saturn Return. I’d be happy to suggest ways that you can work with Saturn to use this time wisely based on your Saturn placement.
- I made the Saturn woodcut in Midjourney
- I made the woodcut of fish in hourglass in Midjourney
- Edgar Cayce—photographer unknown
- Kurt Cobain captured by Mark Seliger
- Blue Lagoon movie poster
February 20, 2023—The New Moon at 1° Pisces clocks in very late Sunday night or the wee hours of Monday morning depending on your location. Last time we had a New Moon in the first decan of Pisces was three years ago on February 23rd, right before COVID-19 placed the world in global lockdown. At the time, I wrote aboutthe word Zugunruhe in relation to the restlessness animals feel before migrating. Zug is German for migration. Unruhe is anxiety and restlessness. Before animals—and especially birds—migrate, they feel a state of growing agitation within themselves. Wings flutter, sleep is disrupted and organs atrophy as bodies prepare for the unseen journey.
I shared that Zugunruhe was a good descriptor for 2020 Pisces New Moon. At the time, we were shifting to a new epoch, Earth to Air, as Jupiter and Saturn were leaving Capricorn and entering Aquarius. And now, three years later, we find ourselves in Zugunruhe again with another New Moon in the first decan of Pisces as Saturn changes signs and Pluto begins his transition from Earth to Air.
With the tsunami of recent change being ushered into the world by AI bots, browsers and apps while foreign objects are being shot out of the sky, we do seem to be entering into some sort of altered reality. Perhaps we’re all feeling it on some level. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that these occurrences and the unease that accompanies them coincide with the New Moon in Pisces.
The receptive, watery and mutable world of Pisces lends itself to a deep, internal knowing when a divine migration begins to stir within. Just as Winter gives way to Spring, sensitive Pisces feels the magnetic pull to let go parts of our lives as we begin to structure anew.
Eight of Cups
The tarot card that corresponds to this decan is The Eight of Cups, aka “The Lord of Success Abandoned”. In this card, we see a man leaving behind eight chalices as he makes his way into the night. It dawns on me that if we study the formation of those cups, there’s one missing… where we see his foot. With his staff and focus, he’s a shepherd looking for a lost sheep; or in this case, searching for the meaning and emotional fulfillment that current circumstances didn’t bring. An internal Zugunruhe compels him to search once again. So he reaches for his red cloak—symbolizing his passion and primal urges—and sets out into the night, a symbol for unconscious drives and trusting instinct.
More often than not, when this card appears, people are on the brink of major changes in their lives. Even though life looks good on the outside, there’s an unmet need for meaning and purpose urgently beckoning within. At times, pulling the Eight of Cups has signaled prioritizing an inner, invisible desire over more concrete material concerns.
On a more collective level, we will see massive changes as Saturn and Pluto change signs. Just as Covid restructured the way many of us study, work and socialize with one another, these upcoming changes may very well be guided by (once again) finding more purpose and meaning in our lives as we adjust to the new normal around us.
This New Moon in Pisces seeds a dream of hope and promise. For the next three years, Saturn will plow this field, cultivating what we’re called to sow at this time with hard work and discipline. We may not know what the yield will bring. We do know that we’re in another shifting time that will have some of us instinctively reaching for our red cloak and, to borrow from Van Morrison, magnificently we will float into the mystic.
- Top image created in Midjourney
- The Eight of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
Last time Venus was in Pisces, I created two magical talismans: Exalted Venus conjunct Fomalhaut and Jupiter in Pisces. We can and do receive material benefits when working with planetary magic. Additionally, many of the results are tied to an internal shift that catalyzes us to co-create with the planet we are in devotional relationship with. Working with planetary magic will change you.
Develop a relationship with Jupiter for more joy, abundance, prosperity, optimism, healing, justice, increase in social standing, wisdom and integrity.
Collaborate with Venus to find love, sex, romance, artistry, popularity, community, inner peace and reconciliation.
Both talismans come with a digital booklet (PDF) instructing you how to consecrate your talisman and work with it if you choose to.
Contact me via my contact page with any questions you may have.
Rick Rubin is an influential and brilliant music producer who has worked with Metallica, Adele, JZ, the Beastie Boys, Neil Young and many more! In his new #1 New York Times bestseller, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, he writes about working with Johnny Cash on a love song. Something wasn’t right with the piece, although it was close. Rubin advised Cash not to think of delivering the song to a romantic partner, but instead to offer it as a devotional to God. And it worked. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face mesmerizes. It’s an eternal prayer and an utter embodiment of connected devotion.
In a similar way, this is how Venus in Pisces operates. If you listen to the song, you can hear Venus in Pisces keywords: heartache, longing, belonging, belief, magic and mystery. In the sensitive and dream filled waters of Pisces, Venus finds her exaltation. She’s fully resourced to allure others into her magical net, explore her ethereal creativity and empathize with the human condition. Venus in Pisces believes in love. Even if life has shown them otherwise, at core, those with Venus in Pisces are the romantics of the Zodiac. These natives radiate an entrancing magnetism and a generosity of spirit that seems to be connected to the very idea of love in its purest form.
Take for instance Ennis in Brokeback Mountain who awakened his own dormant need for love through a heartbreaking and transcendent connection with Jack while in a secluded pristine nature. Actor Heath Ledger’s performance was guided by his Venus in Pisces. Or Maya Angelou finding connection and unity (Venus) through compassion for our mutual suffering (in Pisces). She said, “Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”
Realm of Ideals
In Plato’s Theory of Forms, Plato believed our physical world is not the real world. Instead, ultimate reality exists beyond this 3D world of impermanence and change. There is another realm, one that is spiritual. Here, in the Realm of Ideals, exist the pure forms. In his famous Allegory of the Cave, he says most of us are like people living in a cave watching shadows on the wall. We think the shadows are the real thing. Yet, if we’re able to leave the cave and encounter the source of the shadows, it’s only then that we deeply understand its true nature.
Venus in Pisces aspires to connect to that higher Love: the Form. In doing so, they surpass Romeo & Juliet and encounter selflessness, devotion, compassion, service, mystical union and transcendence.
Venus will bring grace and beauty to the Pisces area of our charts from January 26 through February 20th when she enters Aries. Key dates to watch are:
- February 4 when she squares Mars, using her understanding and finesse in a contentious situation.
- February 7 when she sextiles Uranus encouraging us to mix it up a little bit and try something new.
- February 15 when she conjuncts Neptune ushering in enchantment, artistry and intoxicating reverie.
- February 19 when she sextiles Pluto offering depth, truth and emotional connection through a vulnerable compassion that leads to empowerment.
If you know where Pisces lands in your chart, make an extra effort here to move forward on a desire. You’ll have the aid of the laughter loving Goddess in her exaltation behind you.
I created these images in Midjourney.
February 5, 2023 at 12:26 pm Central—The other night as I was watching the first episode of AppleTV’s SHRINKiNG, I realized it was the perfect allegory to Sunday’s Full Moon in Leo at 16°40′ . The show revolves around a severely grieving therapist barely coping with the death of his wife and the estrangement of his teenage daughter. The massive disruption to his life jolts him outside the bounds of ethics in his work as he begins to blurt out to his patients what he really thinks about their problems. Surprisingly, his acerbic call-outs shake his clients out of their complacency, ringing an alarm of their own responsibility in the life they’ve been sleepwalking through. Check out the trailer which includes my favorite blurt at 1:08.
The show’s tagline, Sometimes you have to have a breakdown to have a breakthrough, speaks to the Full Moon’s tight square to Uranus. At times, it takes a shot of hardcore truth (no chaser) to ring the alarm bell and have us WAKE UP to our complicit relationship with mediocrity. A square speaks to a challenge or a tension that needs to be worked through. I like to think of them as knots we undo before we can lace up our lives and secure our footing. A square with Uranus is often unexpected and surprising. It disrupts our lives in ways that require us to try something new. Many times, our response to the disruption has us finding more freedom and alignment.
Also interesting are the signs of Aquarius and Leo where we find the Sun and the Moon. As a therapist, the character Jimmy Laird should be rational, logical and objective: Aquarius. This is not about Jimmy and his opinions. It’s about how he can offer neutral, uninvolved and professional guidance to his patients—more Aquarius.
The Sun is said to be in exile in the sign of Aquarius. The spotlight isn’t on the Self, but on improving the groups we’re apart of. There’s a utilitarian bent to Aquarius that leans towards the collective—a good example is Aquarian Sun Oprah Winfrey. So here we have a grieving human being unable to care for himself yet showing up to support his clients, which is another good example of the Sun in Aquarius.
Where does the Leo Moon come in? Jimmy Laird can’t hold back anymore. He’s tapped out on an internal bandwidth that has separated his personal exasperation from his professional obligations. The Self dramatically staggers into the clinical space: Leo Moon opposing Aquarius Sun. He defiantly lets loose and unleashes the pent up aggravation he was once able to control. The self-censorship dam breaches and the fallout is spectacular.
I’ve only watched the first episode, but according to Fresh Air, Dr. Laird’s unconventional therapy stimulates big changes in his client’s lives. They begin taking action. They accept responsibility for the changes they wish to see in their lives which is right out of Saturn’s playbook, co-present with the Sun and traditional ruler of Aquarius.
We can take the themes from SHRINKiNG and project them onto our lives and personal situations. The Full Moon in Leo sounds a revelatory wake-up call for some of us. Perhaps we’ll no longer be able to stay calm, cool and collected. The need for authentic self-expression will override our default settings of containing our emotions and behaving logically. If that’s you, just go with it. We often think “What’s the worst that could happen?” Perhaps this Full Moon asks us to pose the question: Where am I headed if things stay exactly as they are.
I created these images with Midjourney