The Astrology Blog 22 June 2020
All times in BST
“When I loved myself enough … I learned to meet my own needs, and not call it selfish.”
Kim McMillen – writer, teacher and chaplain
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.”
― E E Cummings (American poet October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962)
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES
VENUS TURNS DIRECT
In my bedroom I have a chest of drawers, and the bottom drawer is my Memory Drawer. Everything precious that I want to keep goes in there, so naturally it’s full of little things linked to my beloved twin sister, and also to her two children, my nieces to whom I have always been a second mum. When I was adding something to the drawer last week I came across a little book of quotes called When I Loved Myself Enough, given to Sue many years ago by her elder daughter Sara. The author Kim McMillan died unexpectedly at the age of 52 and the book was published and promoted by her daughter.
I’ve chosen one of this week’s quotes from this book because Venus turning direct again is the chance to do love stuff differently, starting with self love. This is not selfish in the derogatory sense of the word, but “self”ish in terms of being true to you. If you’re single and searching then “love yourself” can be one of those sayings that creates anger or inadequacy, as if the only reason that you don’t have a relationship is because you don’t love yourself enough and are therefore not worthy of romance. The fact that there are thousands of dysfunctional relationships out there would illustrate that it doesn’t quite work like that …
The point is that while we’re always looking for love OUTSIDE of ourselves then we are far more likely to attract and create emotionally unhealthy situations. When we work on finding love INSIDE of ourselves, when we truly value ourselves as the unique individuals that we are and fall in love with our own life, then we are simply not able to choose anything abusive. This might sound over simplistic but it is packed with truth. Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) works on the premise that all illness and unhappiness springs from a lack of self love and esteem. I’ve just watched Shirley Valentine (again!) over the weekend, which is such a wonderful movie about the discovery of self. One of the best lines is, “I didn’t fall in love with him. I fell in love with the idea of life.”
The second author selected for this week is poet E E Cummings who penned nearly 3,000 poems. Venus is turning direct this week at 5 degrees of Gemini, which is the exact degree of his Ascendant. So his words speak to us now and are as relevant to us now as they were in his own lifetime. More on Venus later.
As regular readers know the times of Mercury being retrograde is one of my favourite topics, but not one of my favourite events! This one started last Thursday morning and is so far running rings around me and a lot of other people too. I always know when things are hotting up as this is when my non astrological friends (ie not students or those who have ever done any studying, but who might occasionally read the blog) start asking me questions.
The textbook definition of retrograde Mercury is “problems with communication and transport”, a very wide umbrella for a whole host of potential hiccups and mixups. Here’s a taster of the stories already coming my way, and also a couple of examples of how knowing what Mercury was up to helped me to make more informed decisions –
My internet connection is going off and on again throughout the day. Sometimes it will stay on for up to an hour but mostly it’s clicking on and off every 20 minutes or less. I’ll need to seize my moment to get this mailing out! When I finally got through to the phone company, after being on hold for a total of hours, they told me it was because of major roadworks in my area (true) and that most residents hadn’t got internet at all!
I told them that my landline had blown out in a thunderstorm a few weeks ago but they insisted that this was also part of the roadworks problem, even though it seems obvious to me that it isn’t. I begged them for an engineer’s appointment but nothing doing. They gave me some free gigabytes for my phone but that wasn’t the point.
Sure enough, the next person to book a private reading with me turned out not to have Whatsapp and was relying on a landline call. This could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for her as she’s going to get the app installed this week and once she starts using it then am hoping that she’ll see how useful it could be.
I was asked by Maggie Hyde (The Company of Astrologers, with whom I’m still affiliated even though I’ve been in Greece for 25 years) if I could step in to cover an online slot for the Astrological Association Conference. This at first felt exciting, until I realized that it was happening under a retrograde Mercury. Apart from the fact that it would have been a massive learning curve to get to grips with Zoom, and it was too short notice to prepare any top quality content, my unstable internet connection would make it impossible. Another time. I’d also discovered that my computer doesn’t have an audio function. I’ve now tried three times to order a webcam, nothing doing. Nobody is holding any stock and nobody is calling me back, surprise, surprise!
My email is playing up. I seem to be receiving email with no problems but every now and then I look up and see that my outbox is full of unsent messages. This was fixed remotely by our local technoshop when the problem started last week – via an app called Any Desk, amazing watching someone 10 miles away moving my mouse around my screen! – but the glitch has reappeared. If you’ve emailed me and haven’t heard back please do contact me via Whatsapp (number in info after blog) or my alternative email address email@example.com
I try to be Buddhist about life and all things sentient, this week I have removed two baby frogs from the bath and crickets from my bedroom, but I draw the line at having a kitchen full of flies and mosquitoes so I have a fly machine. It broke, I waited 6 weeks for the part, it worked perfectly in the shop … got it home, not working. They said 10 days for another part. I thought, yeah right, retrograde Mercury in Cancer, sign of home, I don’t think so. I bought a new machine. Worth every Euro.
From Lucy a Pisces friend, who had missed last week’s blog about Mercury turning retrograde – What’s happening in the stars today Jo? We’re having a bizarre day of burnt feet, spontaneously smashing shower screens and a weird sense of anxiety… Plus a misunderstanding regarding a guided hike – I thought the guy meant 7am but he meant 7pm so poor Simon (her husband) got up and out extra early for no reason!
Crossed wires about dates, times and places are classic retrograde Mercury events. Mars rules burns, Pisces rules the feet – and Mars in Pisces was making his final aspects in this sign last Friday/Saturday. Neptune is also stationary retrograde in his own sign of Pisces, and this planet/sign rule waterworks and plumbing of all kinds. It’s also a textbook combination for creativity and imagination, but with Neptune turning retrograde this can work against us, tipping us into imaginings of the fearful kind.
We are all fearful to one extent or another, everything from Covid to existential angst, but some are more sensitive to a pervasive mood, like Lucy. Pisceans, the sign of mutable water, are known for their absorbent nature, soaking up atmosphere like sponges. Here on Lefkada tourists are arriving, and we’re all anxious, quietly hoping and praying that the bubble of our safe haven won’t burst.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
The first event of the week is Neptune reaching the exact point of switching direction, and the second event is Venus ending her retrograde journey and switching back to direct motion –
Tuesday 23 June
- Neptune turns retrograde 21 Pisces 05.33
Thursday 25 June
- Venus turns direct 5 Gemini 07.49
VENUS TURNING DIRECT AGAIN is especially welcoming as virtually everything else is going the other way! Primarily Venus is Aphrodite, goddess of love, but she also rules women generally, money and life’s pleasures. Re love stuff Venus turning direct in Mercury’s sign of Gemini (the mind) is a brilliant symbol for engaging the head and the heart. In other words, if your head’s been telling you one thing and your heart another, now’s the time to look at the difference. If you’ve been over thinking your love issues, now’s the time to engage with the actual feelings. If you’ve been hopelessly driven by your emotions and ignoring obvious obstacles or incompatibility, now’s the time to ask yourself why you would want someone who comes with such heavy baggage, who is unavailable or who is a constant source of disappointment. And so on.
Retrograde symbolism can show in all kinds of ways but generally it indicates either an unraveling or a holding back, a sense of things definitely not being in flow or of being overly complicated, confusing or just not happening. Look at where Venus has been retrograding in your own horoscope since the middle of May, but at a universal level love (Venus) decisions or choices or insights (Gemini/Mercury) are on the cards for many, as is the possibility of new faces. Pay special attention to what comes up for you, or who appears in your life, as Venus turns around.
Turning points are a major theme, including getting back to work and earning again, which is evident here as tourists start to arrive. For the bars/tavernas/villas/hotels etc and everyone who keeps them running the “holiday” is over while other people’s holidays begin. But bear in mind that key issues may come in the shape of matters that will take a while to resolve or bear fruit. Venus has yet to pick up any speed and of course Mercury is retrograde, along with several other planets.
A RETROGRADE PLANETS SUMMARY
All retrograde planets make a backwards loop through the heavens, and the slower moving the planet, the longer the loop. And in turn, as a rough guide, the longer the retrograde cycle, generally the less weighty it is in terms of symbolic meaning for our day to day lives, but often more significant in world events.
This is definitely a year of significant retrograde periods so here’s a summary of all the current planetary orbits in this respect –
The Sun and the Moon – the Lights – are never retrograde.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, for three weeks at a time.
- Turned retrograde last week 18 June at 15 Cancer, and will turn direct 5 Cancer on 12 July.
Venus turns retrograde once every 18-20 months, for a period of around 42 days, twice as long as Mercury, and backtracks around 15 degrees.
- Turned retrograde 13 May at 22 Gemini and will turn direct at 5 Gemini this week 25 June.
Mars turns retrograde approximately every 25 months for periods of around 65-80 days, and backtracks around 13 degrees.
- Will turn retrograde at 28 Aries on 9 September, and direct again at 15 Aries on 14 November.
Jupiter turns retrograde every 13 months, for four months at a time and backtracks 10 degrees.
- Turned retrograde at 27 Capricorn 14 May, and will turn direct 17 Capricorn on 13 September.
Saturn turns retrograde once a year, for about four months at a time and backtracks 6 to 7 degrees.
- Turned retrograde at 2 Aquarius 11 May, slides back into the previous sign of Capricorn (1 July) and will turn direct at 25 Capricorn 29 September.
Uranus turns retrograde once a year for five months at a time, backtracks around 4 degrees.
- Will turn retrograde at 11 Taurus 15 August, and direct again 7 Taurus 14 Jan 2021.
Neptune turns retrograde once a year for five months at a time, backtracks around 3 degrees.
- Turning retrograde now at 21 Pisces, will turn direct again 18 Pisces 28 November.
Pluto also turns retrograde once a year for about 6 months at a time, and also backtracks around 3 degrees.
- Turned retrograde at 25 Capricorn 25 April, and will turn direct 22 Capricorn 4 October.
MARS COMES HOME
Mars will be swimming through the last degrees of Pisces this week but won’t be making any further aspects to the other planets. But keep an eye on your personal boundaries, emotionally and physically (social distancing) as Mars has to move through the critical degree of 29 Pisces on Saturday before arriving in his own sign of Aries in the early hours of Sunday. Anything at 0 (the beginning) or 29 (the ending) degrees is called a critical degree, as in an important point of transition, but 29 Pisces is the last degree of the entire zodiac and is the position of a malefic Fixed Star called Scheat, associated with suffering and misfortune.
Neptune rules the booze, he’s turning retrograde in his own sign of Pisces and Mars is doing the above. Put it all together and it adds up, at least at one level, to a warning message about being out in pubs, bars, parties or anywhere that brings too many people together. Nothing collapses our boundaries faster than booze, and when I’ve been out myself these last couple of weeks I’ve seen a lot of hugging and kissing going on when people get pissed! Maybe I’m being overly alarmist but I think it pays to err on the side of caution.
So, Sunday brings Mars’ new cycle –
Sunday 28 June
- Mars ingress Aries 02.46
- Mars 0 Aries sextile Saturn 0 Aquarius 12.00
Usually Mars would whizz through each sign in about two months but because his retrograde phase starts in September, this means that Mars starts slowing down in August. Mars gets nearly to the end of Aries and then turns around and goes back to the middle of the sign again.
For now however let’s make the most of a “dignified” action man Mars. It’s so true that if we don’t want to do something we’ll find an excuse, but when we do, we’ll find a way. Take a leaf out of Aries’ book as this sign is the expert at immediacy, rising to a challenge with a “can do” attitude that can move mountains. This is the red hot fire sign, passion is the rocket fuel of life and whatever starts under the auspices of Mars’ new journey carries the hallmarks of trailblazing.
Along the way surround yourself with positive people and distance those who try to hold you back. The best of Aries is all about healthy ego, the power of the self and confidence boosting. History is full not of conformists but of fired up individuals who refused to play it safe. And back to the point of self esteem and loving your individual self – there is only one You.
Until next week, with love from Greece