Perception of Choice, What are you Waiting for and a New Moon Oasis
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The Astrology Blog 29 April 2019
All times given are stated in BST
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living… So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now
There’s a complex picture in the making at the moment. Two awkward patterns are being formed by a combination of three planets:
- Firstly, Mercury, Mars and Saturn early in the week.
- And then Mars, Jupiter and Pluto at the weekend.
- In between these two tangled areas, we have mixed Mercury aspects and a New Moon.
So, complicated matters are a bit of a minefield, but at the heart of it is the chance to sow seeds or to reshape a situation/relationship/issue, in a way that will sort out misunderstandings – or uncover workable compromises.
Mars in Gemini
Firstly a word – or two! – about Mars in Gemini, the sign of the Twins and ruled by Mercury, planet of the mind, which encompasses everything from thoughts to decisions.
As Mars is about action and immediacy, this week’s quote from spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle is especially apposite. It’s a reminder to look at your options and act on them, not next week, month, year – but now.
Gemini often signifies choices, and perception of choice is a crucial to good mental health.
Or putting it another way, if we think we’re trapped and powerless we get depressed. And we’ll carry on waiting for the life we want, a vision that will remain in some indeterminate future.
If we know that we have the choice of changing it, leaving it or accepting it, we realize that we do have a say and we feel empowered. So, ultimately, non action – including moaning – is madness.
Eckhart Tolle also says that every time we complain this is non-acceptance and choosing the victim role.
Saturn switching to retrograde
The first astrological feature of the week is Saturn switching to retrograde. This doesn’t mean that you should stop making plans or that everything that you’re working on will unravel.
Saturn won’t turn direct again until 18 September (at 14 Capricorn) so there’s several months to go on this new road. So, rather than thinking of this as reversing, think of this cycle as the beginning of the second leg of a three legged journey.
It’s especially significant if you have planets or angles between 14 and 21 degrees of this sign. This may include:
- “Back to the drawing board” themes, rethinks,
- Changing your mind or someone else changing theirs
- Or a new round of negotiations as both Mercury (communication) and Mars (action/purpose but also anger/irritation) are in on this act
Tuesday 30 April
Saturn turns retrograde 20.31 Capricorn 01.55 BST
Wednesday 1 May
Mercury 20 Aries sextile Mars 20 Gemini 07.39 BST
Mercury 20 Aries square Saturn 20 Capricorn 09.51 BST
Mars 20 Gemini quinqunx Saturn 20 Capricorn 13.19 BST
The sequence starts well. Mercury and Mars are currently in “mutual reception” (Mercury being in Aries which is Mars sign, and Mars being in Gemini which is Mercury’s sign). They come together by harmonious sextile (exactly two signs apart).
In other words, they’re in perfect step, talking to each other and making sense. They’re coming up with ideas and a plan. What could possibly go wrong?
Mercury squares up to Saturn which is “no”, bad news or a roadblock, and as Saturn is also stationary retrograde, this symbolizes something or someone inflexible or immoveable.
This could be an authority figure or “the rules”, a delay, a timing issue, cancellations, travel problems, but whatever the scenario it’s like a big cosmic foot hitting the brake. Or bringing us slap up against reality in a way that might make us feel frustrated or even powerless.
Allow extra time for everything but keep going! Mercury also rules admin so look out for that crucial bit of paperwork that could be holding things up.
And above all be patient and try not to jump to conclusions without checking the facts.
To put the tin hat on it, a few hours later Mars makes the quinqunx (or inconjunct) to Saturn, an awkward aspect formed when two planets are exactly five signs apart.
In this formation they have nothing in common and this aspect tends to signify curved balls, the blind spot, things we can’t make sense of or which are being obscured.
Look out for triangles, two people in harmony and the third making life as difficult as possible. Or two people knowing something and the third being kept out of the loop.
But Mercury is moving fast and, in Aries, is in trouble shooting mode – and looking for the straight line. Solution-finding is possible, but it won’t be in the shape of the answers or events that you’d expected or that you’d assumed would be straightforward.
Argh, why is nothing easy! It’s one of those weeks ….
Mercury’s midweek aspects
Mercury’s midweek aspects are at least in the most helpful order, the difficult one first:
Thursday 2 May
Mercury 23 Aries square Pluto 23 Capricorn 22.50 BST
Friday 3 May
Mercury 24 Aries trine Jupiter 24 Sagittarius 05.00 BST
Remember that Pluto has also just switched direction (last Wed) so is also stationary retrograde. So here’s another square (friction, blocks) that smacks of force meeting with intransigence.
If Mercury square Saturn is “no”, Mercury square Pluto is NO!
It’s the argument you can’t win, it’s silence and black holes, a feeling of being kept in the dark, people being absent or not getting back to you, lost objects, news or information that puts a whole new slant on complex concerns, including something you may have been ignoring in the hope that it would go away or prove to be less important than you’d thought.
Milestones and turning points continue to be the dominant theme.
These inevitably bring headaches but the good news – hurray – is that Mercury’s next aspect is a harmonious trine to Jupiter, the Greater Benefic.
Jupiter has also recently turned retrograde (10 April) but is at least starting to pick up speed even if it is backwards and is also “dignified” in his own sign of Sagittarius.
This aspect is also important because it’s Mercury’s last aspect before he changes sign (moving into Taurus at the beginning of next week 6 May). So there’s some kind of finale, happier news or some good will come from the chaos – maybe of the “necessity is the mother of invention” kind.
Jupiter is the opportunity maker and the bringer of blessings, bounty and good fortune. So this alliance with Mercury signals more positive options – such as changing, leaving or accepting! – and/or the arrival of those who can help us or a revival of optimism.
Plan A may have gone hopelessly wrong but there’s always plan B.
Note that longer term issues, ie those that only time can fix, could get back on track, but may not be fully and properly resolved until Jupiter turns direct again (at 14 Sag on 11 August).
Anyway, back to plan B.
The next group of planets all treading on each other’s toes include Mars again, currently symbolizing duality or multiplicity, “two” or more of anything.
If you’re in overwhelm or if your mind’s a total blank then talk to your Gemini friends or, rather, let them talk to you. You could learn a lot.
Even if they can’t wave a magic wand they’ve got busy brains, bags of ingenuity, a light touch and that crucial sense of humour. They’re also great at list ticking.
So far, so good, but Mars is now on a collision course with Pluto and then Jupiter (who themselves will come together by minor aspect next week):
Sunday 5 May
Mars 23 Gemini quinqunx Pluto 23 Capricorn 13.25
Mars 23 Gemini opposite Jupiter 23 Sagittarius 22.58
So, there’s that blind spot aspect again. On that note, to what extent should we get involved in other people’s complications, especially if we can see a potential disaster in the making?
This is certainly not the best time for forcing our opinions on others, but I do think it’s a time for intervening if someone is clearly missing a piece of the puzzle or if they’re hitting a self destruct button.
Don’t let knowing something that you’re not supposed to know, stop you from helping. Breaking a confidence may do less damage than withholding information, but each scenario has to be assessed in its own right.
These days I definitely hold back more and more, whereas my younger self would have gone charging in. However if I do intervene, I do an inner check that it’s with the other person’s best interests at heart.
I had a scenario last year where I didn’t manage to make a difference but I gave vital information, saying something along the lines of, “knowing this, might make you think differently, but if you still want to go down that road, that’s fine, it’s your choice, but at least you’re doing it with full awareness.”
So we can offer our advice whilst still leaving the ball firmly in the other person’s court. We can even issue warnings, but it’s best to stop short of issuing directives. The word backfire comes to mind.
So the Mars – Pluto mismatch can signify awkward situations, the elephant in the room, questionable intentions or ethics, destructive emotions or even saboteurs, manipulative behavior or the misuse of power.
It can signify complicated issues that can’t be resolved to the liking of all involved. It can also signify illness and the need to take some real time out. If this applies to you don’t push yourself. Sign off, rest up and listen to your body.
The Mars – Jupiter aspect is also a warning not to overdo things (I know, I’ve got one natally!) the opposition being challenging, full on or over the top.
Otherwise it’s potentially helpful, in keeping with the theme of the power of now – and could be a burst of creative energy.
Plan C anyone?
And if your social life has been flagging and you need to get out and enjoy yourself, then go for it.
Finally, just before all this rather frenzied Mars activity, we have a very quiet New Moon. This is exact late on Saturday night, just before the witching hour of midnight:
Saturday 4 May
New Moon 14 Taurus 23.47 BST
Taurus is the Moon’s sign of “exaltation”. It’s about connection to nature, sensuality, inner contentment and nurturing the things that benefit our emotional and financial wellbeing.
The mood is the opposite to all the drama going on, so this New Moon feels like a little oasis of calm and a firm foothold; something or someone who is a source of security; our rock or our port in a storm.
Alternatively we may be the one providing this for someone we care about. It’s a chance to put all that is crazy or complicated into perspective, and to focus on what is real and worth nurturing.
New relationships starting at this time may have all sorts of hurdles to overcome, especially where triangles are involved. However, this New Moon bodes well for building firm foundations and for emotional attachments that will stand the test of time. Also for being with someone who makes you feel fed and satisfied, rather than hungry and always hoping for more.
And to finish with another Eckhart Tolle pearl of wisdom, ‘pleasures come from outside of us, but joy comes from within’. So if someone is part of your pleasure and your joy it’s an emotional and spiritual jackpot.
That old song “Midnight at the Oasis” is now annoyingly going round and round in my head so I just had to look up the words!
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven’s holding a half-moon
Shining just for us
Let’s slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust
Until next week,
With love from Greece