The Astrology Blog 28 September
All times posted in BST
Regular readers will know that during retrograde Mercury periods – three weeks at a time, three times a year – I usually say at some point that the best thing to do would be to go to bed and read plenty of books. This of course isn’t possible in our busy lives, but you understand the sentiment. Unsurprisingly then this article in the news this weekend absolutely leapt out at me –
Hygge – A heartwarming lesson from Denmark
The Danish word, pronounced “hoo-ga”, is usually translated into English as “cosiness”. But it’s much more than that, say its aficionados – an entire attitude to life that helps Denmark to vie with Switzerland and Iceland to be the world’s happiest country… Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed, or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book… It works best when there’s not too large an empty space around the person or people. The idea is to relax and feel as at-home as possible, forgetting life’s worries.
“The rest of the world seems to be slowly waking up to what Danes have been wise to for generations – that having a relaxed, cosy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer, can be good for the soul,” says Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country. “Hygge seems to me to be about being kind to yourself – indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or denying yourself anything. All very useful come January when in the UK everyone’s on diets or manically exercising or abstaining from alcohol… There isn’t so much enforced deprivation in Denmark. Instead you’re kinder to yourselves and so each other. Danes don’t binge then purge – there’s not much yo-yo dieting in Denmark. No wonder they’re happier than we are in the UK.”
The UK has a reputation for poor work-life balance and days full of hurry and worry. Is Denmark an example to follow?
What’s happening this week?
The short answer is – quite a lot and probably way too much. In fact, this has all the makings of a rather manic week as every single planet has got something to say – the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all involved in this week’s aspects. As above, so below, all sorts of things could start to unfold and develop at the same time. It may feel as if you’re pulling through various different colored threads to create a whole, or as if you’re spinning a lot of plates that are all revolving at different speeds, so try to stay centered and trust that the bigger picture is coming together. Mercury is getting ready to turn direct at the end of the week, but there’s still a lot to get through before reaching those green lights, or before you can see the wood for the trees.
As usual I’ll be giving the signs and degrees involved in this week’s aspects, so here are the links to check the position of your natal planets in your own horoscope. Both make all the necessary time zone adjustments for you so simply enter your date, place and local time of birth, eg if you’re born in BST or outside of the UK the calculator will take that automatically into account:
You can also try this calculator, which lists all your planets and angles rather than bringing up the visual of the horoscope, so for non astrologers it’s a easier to use.
This week we start with the Sun in Libra playing into the Uranus – Pluto square. This major aspect between these two outer planets is itself separating – ie the 7 times when they made an exact square to each other have all happened – but with Uranus currently retrograde they’re moving back into a very close formation.
Tuesday Sun square Pluto (15.13)
Monday (12th) Sun opposite Uranus (04.50)
These aspects happen with the Sun at 13 degrees of Libra and Pluto at 13 degrees of Capricorn, then with the Sun at 18 degrees of Libra and Uranus at 18 degrees of Aries. If you have planets or angles at or close to these degrees in any of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) then these aspects will be especially significant for you.
In essence, challenging aspects – the square and opposition – bring the difficult stuff into play. With Pluto that means loss, endings or starting again from scratch scenarios, while Uranus throws in the unexpected or a few firecrackers for good measure. All you can do is try not to let a situation turn into a huge drama, but with these potentially explosive aspects it’s not always easy to keep things contained. Also as the Sun – Uranus dust up happens just after other major events, as you’ll see, it may be that something actually needs to blow apart in order to bring about the necessary changes.
Mercury is in play, also on Tuesday –
Mercury sextile Saturn (23.59)
Mercury is still retrograde but stationing – ie appears to be virtually at a standstill while getting ready to turn direct on Friday – so this is a powerful aspect happening with Mercury at 1 degree of Libra and Saturn at 1 degree of Sagittarius. Also note that this is the second of a series of three sextiles between these two planets – the first being on 26 August when Mercury was at the end of Virgo and Saturn was still at the end of Scorpio, and the third will be next week.
This translates into the end of retrograde Mercury themes (see end of this blog) being underlined with a big black indelible marker. It’s not always easy or helpful to pigeonhole this as “good” or “bad”, but this does very much feel like the voice of reason, arriving at a definite crossroads, making definite choices – and so on. Even if a decision is tough to make and even if it doesn’t please everyone it will almost certainly be the right one, or the only option. Anything you’ve been grappling with/looking for is reaching a point of resolution.
This can also apply to getting your life organized for the rest of the month, or the year. For me Mercury getting back on track will coincide with booking flights and sorting out my crazy schedule for the trip back to the UK and the London workshops at the end of this month. Mercury is appointments of all kinds, and Saturn likes to firm things up. In the physical body also note that Saturn rules the teeth and bones, so dental treatment or osteopathy/chiropractic/orthopedic needs are as “well starred” as they can ever be! Add to that any appointment or get together that you’ve been avoiding or delaying. Whatever you need to deal with or wherever you need to lay your cards on the table the egg timer sands of procrastination are running out.
In terms of “doing”, however, the action planet Mars is not exactly in proactive mode. His aspects to the outer planets happen approximately once every two years, and he won’t struggle through Neptune’s sea mists until the early hours of Wednesday –
Wednesday Mars opposite Neptune (03.54)
Slow moving Neptune is even slower than usual at the moment as this planet is also gearing up to turn direct, in the middle of next month. During the slowing down journey, the moment of turning and then the time it takes to pick up speed again Neptune is “stuck” at 7 degrees of Pisces (on this degree from mid September 2015 to mid January 2016) – so this opposition happens with Mars at 7 degrees of the opposite sign of Virgo. Again, if you have planets or angles at or very close to 7 degrees of these signs, or the other mutable signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, then this aspect is one to watch. As stated last week, when we also had an ill placed Neptune combined with retrograde Mercury –
Neptune under any difficult aspect symbolizes confusion, distortion, deception, idealization and generally being conned or left to flounder in a total fog of misunderstandings or overwhelming feelings. Sounds like a real bundle of laughs so far doesn’t it! But do take care, question your own judgment rather than racing on regardless, buy yourself time for important decisions, try not to drown your sorrows (Neptune rules booze) too much, and try to get plenty of sleep. Difficult Neptune stuff is classic for insomnia and also for anxieties that grow arms and legs in the absence of any real answers.
Also consider the nature of Mars in Virgo – from my book Be Your Own Astrologer –
Mars in the second of Mercury’s signs is the epitome of precision, in word and in action. Here we find the hallmark of the artisan, pure craftsmanship and the honing of skills… measured, diligent, patient and painstaking and the attention to detail is second to none. These guys know how to “sweat the small stuff”, a concept that lies at the heart of astronaut Chris Hadfield’s philosophy and NASA training. Trust me, if you ever decided to travel into space, you would want Colonel Hadfield with his Sun, Venus and Mars all in Virgo at the controls.
The Virgo theme continues as Venus also enters this sign this week, and is also marking the tempo slow –
• Thursday Venus ingress Virgo (18.30)
• Sunday Venus square Saturn (01.32)
You may remember that Venus first entered Virgo in the middle of July but then turned retrograde almost immediately and didn’t get past 0 degrees of this sign before sliding back into Leo, where she’s been ever since. So this is “take two”, and it’s the third and final square to Saturn, the other two falling on 14 July and 5 August. Again, this signals the final stages of any Venusian matter (notably love/money) that has been long and drawn out. At a simpler and more obvious level any Venus – Saturn combinations signal blocks, delays or denial. Probably the most positive take is the relief of no longer banging your head against a brick wall, bringing a duty to an end, realizing where you’ve been trying to make the hat fit or deciding to stop doing the things that no longer bring you pleasure. Wherever you can recognize limitations – your own, other people’s or those of a situation/finances – will ultimately make you happier, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time!
So much of this week’s astrological symbolism adds up to “the writing’s on the wall”, so it’s up to us not to ignore it. In spite of the difficult aspects this week there are definitely rewards at the end of the tunnel. Mercury’s turning point on Friday is followed by Jupiter moving back into the picture over the weekend, aligning with Pluto by a positive aspect –
Monday 12th Jupiter trine Pluto (00.38)
Jupiter is also now well underway on his journey through Virgo (earth), and trines Pluto in Capricorn (earth) at 13 degrees. This is a major aspect that will repeat on 16 March and 26 June of next year, so if you have planets at or very close to 13 degrees of these signs or the third earth sign of Taurus, pay close attention to events unfolding in the second half of the week. Jupiter is opportunity and Pluto by good aspect loves to transform and empower. Again, however, we have a very slow moving outer planet as Pluto has only just turned direct and is stuck at 13 degrees of Capricorn (on this degree from mid July to the end of November) so for now this is more likely to show as seed sowing, the widening of horizons yet to be explored or the beginning of plans that will take you further afield, either geographically or in terms of stepping out of your comfort zone.
The last word goes to Mercury –
Friday Mercury turns direct at 1 degree of Libra (15.59)
Here are the general themes to look out for, some of which you may start noticing from the middle of the week:
• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Important information comes to light or secrets are revealed
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us re decisions
• We get back in touch with someone, or they get back in touch with us
• 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
• 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
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• We find what we have been looking for – from lost objects to spiritual needs
Wishing you strength and energy for this coming week – and don’t forget about “hygge”!
With love from Greece