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16 February 2015 – Setting goals, making transitions and the Venus/Mars new love cycle

The Astrology Blog – 16 February 2015

All times stated are in GMT

Regular readers and followers of astrology will know that the big event last week was Mercury turning direct. So he’s out of mischief mode and back on track, although will take a while to pick up speed again. It’s a bit like a plane coming into land – the plane has to slow down to make its descent rather than just drop out of the sky – or pick up speed after takeoff. Someone asked about this on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology –
– to which I posted the following answer:

I think you may be referring to what is known as the shadow period. Here’s how it works:

21 January Mercury turned retrograde at 17.04 Aquarius
11 February Mercury turned direct at 1.18 Aquarius
3 March Mercury reaches 17.04 Aquarius for the second time

So the shadow period lasts until 3 March and then Mercury is officially back up to proper speed.

As ever the principle to work by is “as above, so below” so look out for things picking up speed in your own life. And just in case you were thinking mmm, she’s gone very quiet on the diet story, that applies to shifting the pounds here, now close to that first half stone/3 kilos. I never thought I’d be able to walk past the croissants in the Lidls bakery section, so fresh and warm from the oven that the cellophane is all steamed up, but I do… for now! Dieting as I said when I started is, I find, very Mercurial. It’s a mind thing. And it’s not dissimilar to writing a book! When you start with a flat plan it seems like the unclimbable mountain but you tick off the pages as you go, and it’s the same feeling as watching the digital figures decrease each week. It makes me think that, at heart, the human nature is very goal orientated. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be the ambitious type what’s your current goal? No matter how great or small it may be this is a great week to set out your stall.

And loved a comment from my niece who has her work cut out for her with three and a half year old twins – during retrograde Mercury she said her life felt like Groundhog Day, but she’s now got extra nursery time which is life changing for all of them. Here’s the list of key issues that I posted last week, the kinds of things to expect that will tell you that Mercury is getting back to business:

• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us or make decisions
• We feel more courageous or determined to make something happen
• We stop pretending
• We stop avoiding
• We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
• We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Important information comes to light
• Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Secrets are revealed
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found – or we find what we have been looking for

I was heartened to read the day before Mercury turned direct (last Wednesday) that it was reported that Prince Charles had raised the issue of jailed blogger Raif Badawi during his first meeting with Saudi Arabia’s new king –

Prince Charles had been urged by human rights campaigners to discuss Raif’s case with King Salman and, although the details of the talk weren’t released, “Sir William Patey, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, earlier told the BBC that Prince Charles had a way of raising human rights issues that did not make the Saudis “bristle”.” This fits perfectly with Mercury turning direct in rational Aquarius, known for being cool rather than heated, and for ruling all humanitarian concerns.

From the political to the personal my own big news is that exactly on the day that Mercury turned direct the first copies of my new book Be Your Own Astrologer landed on my editor’s desk at Cico Books in London. Amazon UK listed the book as ready to pre-order but in fact everyone who ordered a copy got it the next day, so it’s up and running! Perfect Mercury symbolism. I should add though that in terms of picking up speed that is also showing as I haven’t received my author copies yet, so still waiting to hold the new baby in my own hands!

The book is still listed for pre-order only at the moment on but you can find it on Wordery, with free delivery to Greece within 5 – 12 working days:

Or, for those in Greece, you can wait for the my own book launch here and buy your own signed copy at the party, date to be decided but it will probably be towards the end of March.

So Mercury, planet of language and the written as well as the spoken word, rules books – and blogs! My thanks to Lynne Stainthorpe, my expert web mistress, for tidying up this newsletter. The layout and the links are now clearer and easier to see to follow.

Be Your Own Astrologer Workshop – London Saturday 11 April

The other event brought forth by Mercury was an invitation to visit friends in London before they move, so the plan is to fly over for the Easter weekend for about ten days. Again with the theme of things taking a while to get up to full speed the local flights to Corfu – where I can connect with Easy Jet – don’t announce their April schedule until 1 March so I’m holding on till then so that I can plan my journey around those connections (thereby taking 5 hours of road travel out of the equation!) However, one way or another, I will be there (and that will coincide with the big event of Jupiter turning direct, more on that nearer the time) and am planning to do a workshop based on the new book. Venue and details all work in progress at the moment but do let me know if you’d interested in attending. This will be a fun workshop, including lots of work on your own horoscope which I will prepare in advance for all participating students, and it will be suitable for all levels, including beginners/refreshers.

If you’d like to receive more information about this workshop just reply to this newsletter or start a new email with London workshop, please add me to the mailing list – in the Subject box.

If you want to talk you can email or text me (0030 6976 296085) a landline number and I will arrange a time to call you.

What else is happening this week?

This week’s first big event is the New Moon and, just to hark back, for the blog w/b 19 January I wrote:

This New Moon is part of a highly unusual sequence. We have three New Moons in a row that all fall at 0 degrees of their sign. Astronomically this means that the Moon, who zips through all 12 signs every month, actually enters the sign at the same time as the Sun three months running –

22 December New Moon at 00.06 Capricorn
20 January New Moon at 00.09 Aquarius
18 February New Moon at 00.00 Pisces

I need to revise this. In actual fact this week’s New Moon falls literally at the very end of Aquarius – even though in the Ephemerides (the table of planetary movement, compiled by NASA) it is listed as 00.00 Pisces. However, strictly speaking this isn’t astronomically possible as a New Moon is the moment when the Sun and Moon are exactly conjunct to the degree and minute. Both the Sun and the Moon enter the next sign of Pisces in the couple of minutes after the moment of the New Moon – here’s the sequence –

New Moon at 30.00 Aquarius (23.48)
Moon ingress Pisces (23.49)
Sun ingress Pisces (23.51)
It’s always important to note that any astrological event is especially powerful when it occurs at 0 degrees. In terms of the last two New Moons I wrote last month –

This means that they occur at the very beginning of their sign – and especially with New Moons, it doesn’t get more “new” than that. If you have any planet in your own horoscope positioned at 0 degrees of any sign you will find that this planet symbolizes something/someone very special or powerful for you. Events that unfolded on or around 22 December may prove to be the first link in a chain of change.

This New Moon misses that 0 degree status by just three minutes (of time) which poses its own interesting interpretative challenge. To me this feels intriguingly paradoxical. New Moons symbolize beginnings, but the last degree of a sign symbolizes endings. So it feels as if whatever is new is not something that is simply a new beginning all by itself, but will be somehow wrapped up with ending something else first. That sounds rather longwinded but, putting it another way, it feels like rebirth rather than birth. If you have unfinished business with any matter in your life this would seem to be the ideal time to deal with it, or events may evolve in a way that will resolve it for you. Either way, and especially if you have planets in your own chart at or close to 30 or 0 degrees of any sign, this New Moon resonates with this week’s themes of transition.
Remember that if you don’t know the sign and position of your natal planets you can find them here in a matter of seconds – just tap in your date, place and time of birth –

You will see the visual of your horoscope, all the planets positioned on a wheel. By hovering your mouse over the glyph (symbol) for each planet you’ll be able to see which planet it is, what sign it is in and what degree of that sign it holds.

Mercury has a role to play in this scenario, not only because he is picking up speed again but also because he makes the third and final aspect to Saturn –

Thursday Mercury sextile Saturn (13.07)
The other two sextiles happened on 5 January and 5 February. If these dates coincide with any ongoing matter in your life then you can now expect resolution. This is the stuff of final decisions and closure of all kinds. Similarly, any matter that has been slowly taking shape can now be finalized and put into action.
The theme of endings/beginnings is currently very strong and is dramatically underlined by the big event at the end of the week. Mars and Venus both enter Aries on the same day and make an exact conjunction on Sunday –
Friday Mars ingress Aries (00.12) and Venus ingress Aries (20.07)
Sunday Venus conjunct Mars at 1 degree Aries (05.14)
Venus and Mars are often referred to as the love planets, for obvious reasons, and the fire sign of Aries is the first of the zodiac so this is all about new unions – of the passionate kind. If you want to breathe new fire into your relationship then this coming weekend is the time to get passionate. If you’re unattached and ready for a new relationship, or if you want to get up close and personal with someone you’re already nuts about, then this weekend is your chance.

In essence this Venus – Mars double act is a red hot starting gun. Don’t even think about staying in, get out there and enjoy yourself! Every year I hear from friends how Valentine’s Day is not exactly a bundle of laughs when you’re single, although it was fine for me as Sue and Mike (my newly married sister and brother in law with whom I share the house) didn’t float off on a pink cloud all of their own and I wasn’t left to dog sit! Sue was remembering some years back, just before she met Mike, when a friend rang, “Sue, I feel awful asking you this, but would you be free to babysit for us on Valentine’s night?!” To which she replied, “Sadly, yes.” And then she met Mike, of course at a time and place when romance was the furthest thing from her mind. Doesn’t it so often happen that way!

And if you’re battling with the challenge of dating, hankering after someone special, wondering if you should call or the will he/she call, where you might meet someone new and how will you know and all the other agonies connected with new love, I leave you with the words of feminist cartoonist Jacky Fleming who is always guaranteed to reduce Sue and me into hysterical laughter –

“There is some confusion over which is sex and which is love but on the whole sex is less confusing than love, lust is less confusing than sex and chocolate is less confusing than any of them. Sex is when chocolate won’t do. Love is when sex won’t do. And lust is when almost anyone will do.”

That’s an excerpt from her Falling in Love book – if you want to put any cynicism about love into a humorous light then do yourself a favour and get a copy. See you next week!
With love from Greece


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