The Astrology Blog 31 August 2020
All times in BST
“We have to choose between what is right, and what is easy.”
“The truth is always easier than a lie or an evasion – easier to deal with and easier to live with.”
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
JK Rowling – Mercury 0 degrees Virgo
There are several threads running through this week’s weave. One of them is truth, particularly in terms of our relationship with ourselves. It’s very easy to make excuses, to spin our own stories and then believe in them, but it’s rarely helpful in terms of finding any true inner peace. Even if the truth is the opposite to what we want, the opposite to our dreams and fantasies, at least we know what you’re dealing with. And when we know what we’re up against we can then make active and informed choices, another thread for the week.
There are two other ways of making choices or decisions – passively, as in doing nothing, letting life drift on, and allowing others or “fate” to run our lives for us. We know when we’re doing that as we tend to moan more. But what we are not changing we are, in fact, choosing and we secretly know it. The other way of facing choices or decisions is when they are forced upon us, sometimes dramatically, such as being fired, being evicted, partner walking out and so on. I’ve been through all three of those examples in my life and they all turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me in terms of my life journey. I wouldn’t be sitting here now on Lefkada if my English life had followed a safe and conventional pattern. But students note, that with a Grand Cross involving Jupiter on the Ascendant and a Moon – Uranus conjunction in the 9th, that was never going to happen anyway.
On the subject of “fate” we do of course all have one and, yes, your big life events will still happen no matter what you do or don’t do. It wouldn’t be possible to do “retro-diction” – looking at someone’s horoscope for past events before doing “pre-diction”, what’s coming up, if there wasn’t a cosmic plan that the astrologer learns to observe and witness. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this exists so when I get the “do you really believe in all of this?” question the answer is no, I don’t believe in it, it’s not a faith. I know it, because I’ve seen it at work thousands of times. The paradox though is that in terms of quality of life we must all be willing and energetic participants. Yes you can sit back and hand over the reins if you want to, life will still go on, but it won’t be empowering, growthful, fascinating or beneficial, for you or for others.
When we are growing up nearly all our choices are made for us, right down to what we ate, what we wore, where we went to school, what time we had to go to bed – and so on. If we were lucky these choices were made from a position of love and concern, with our best interests at heart and with at least some negotiation. The other extreme is an upbringing dictated by the needs, desires, preferences and ambitions of others, in a climate of control rather than care.
Most of us can probably identify being somewhere in the middle of that spectrum some of the time, but the more difficult it is for us to make conscious decisions in our adult life, the harder it is to acknowledge a healthy sense of entitlement to our own happiness, the more likely it is that our individual needs in our formative years were unvalued or minimized, or even totally ignored or ridiculed by our parents or caregivers. The child doesn’t have the wisdom to discern that that his or her parents are being selfish or unloving. They learn only that they are unlovable.
We all carry our inner child with us, and so begins the life of pleasing others, “in a culture that encourages us not to take our own suffering seriously but rather to make light of it, or even to laugh about it. What is more, this attitude is regarded as a virtue and many people are proud of their lack of sensitivity toward their own fate.” (Alice Miller, The Drama of Being a Child).
You might think that to one extent or another we all sublimate our own desires in order to maintain our relationships and this is true. The point is, in what spirit is this done, and how does this work out in our daily interactions? If it’s done in the spirit of negotiation then it’s called healthy compromise –
- A: Can we go out at 8pm tonight?
- B: That’s a bit early for me, I’m really busy. Can we say 9pm?
- A: Can you manage 8.30pm? Is there anything I can help you with that would speed things up?
If it’s done in the spirit of non negotiable behavior it’s called control –
- A: We’re going out at 8pm tonight.
- B: That’s a bit early for me, I’m really busy. Can we say 9pm?
- A: You’re always busy. I’m leaving at 8pm. If you’re not ready I’m going without you.
- B: Ok, ok, I’ll cancel my other plans.
The latter pattern is evident in unhealthy relationships, where inequality or resentment (relationship acid) has set in, and never more obvious than when we are clinging to the wreckage of a relationship that passed its shelf life a long time ago.
Back to the point about truth leading us to good choices which become healthy decisions, astrologically we locate all thought processes in Mercury, planet of the mind and everything that relates to communication through the spoken or written word. Mercury is at full speed, strong in his own sign of analytical Virgo, which is why I chose J K Rowling for this week’s quote. She’s a full blown creative Leo but she has Mercury at 0 degrees of Virgo. There’s the power of her pen. And an example of someone who hasn’t just sat back with her riches but who uses her status and power for the benefit of the world.
As I was saying on the Facebook group the other evening, after posting the photo of the Moon conjunct Jupiter and Saturn, these two planets are getting closer and will eventually make their conjunction at the end of the year at 0 Aquarius. Anything at 0 degrees carries enormous symbolic significance – it’s the fresh start, the clean slate, the seed moment of potential. 0 degrees of Aquarius, sign of the collective, bodes well for progress re the pandemic.
Mercury is a lead player again and starts the week starts with a harmonious aspect to Pluto, who rules the teeming world of our unconscious and all that is potentially transformative. Pluto’s flip side is, guess what, power, control and absence. The aspect is repeated with serious Saturn midweek –
Tuesday 1 September
- Mercury 22 Virgo trine Pluto 22 Capricorn 11.41
Thursday 3 September
- Mercury 26 Virgo trine Saturn 26 Capricorn 08.24
Both Saturn and Pluto are still retrograde, but not for much longer. Both are already “stationing”, both at or nearly at the degree at which they’ll turn direct again after months of looping backwards (Saturn turns at 25.20 Capricorn 29 Sept, Pluto turns at 22.29 Capricorn 4 October). Mercury making aspects to both this week is like a preview of what’s to come, and may bring clues for the major turning points that lie ahead, both universally and personally, especially if you have planets or Angles at or close to these degrees. Listen intensely to the things you’re being told. Dig deep for your answers and understanding, refuse to be silenced or overruled. Courage at this time will pay off.
Whether it’s significant dilemmas or less life changing issues both Saturn and Pluto symbolize resistance, denial and endings. Look out for cancellations or delays. But the first half of this week is ideal for wrapping things up, for dealing with the things you’ve been putting off or which have been getting in the way. Identify the things that are weighing you down, including the subjects you’ve been avoiding, and get list ticking. Mercury and Saturn/Pluto combinations, even by positive aspect, are notorious for procrastination, keeping things to ourselves, not speaking up or for dealing with others who find it equally difficult to get a conversation started. All “elephant in the room” scenarios are being underlined, especially as these Mercury aspects fall either side of the Full Moon.
A WHACKY FULL MOON
This Full Moon in turn coincides with two other major aspects –
Wednesday 2 September
- Full Moon 10 Pisces 06.23
- Venus 26 Cancer opposite Saturn 26 Capricorn 13.19
- Sun 10 Virgo trine Uranus 10 Taurus 15.10
All Full Moons are oppositions. You never have to ask what sign is the Full Moon in because it’s always smack opposite the Sun, receiving all of the Sun’s light, and as we’re in the Virgo (earth, work, duty, service to others) time of year (where the Sun is) that means that the Full Moon has to be in the opposite sign of Pisces (water, instincts, imaginative powers, sacrifice for others).
So another thread in this week’s weave is about reconciling opposites and finding balance. You don’t have to be all left brain or all right brain. You don’t have to make all your choices or decisions on the basis that they “make sense” or because it’s what you “should do”, or what others say you “should do”. Neither do you have to make any moves based entirely on how you feel if it means creating practical chaos in your life. But it is your feeling world that is being highlighted, and if you’re staying in something (a job, a relationship) purely for material reasons this is probably going to sit uncomfortably with you.
This is indicated in the other opposition here, of Venus (love, pleasures, money, material comforts) opposing Saturn (blocks, duty, time and money invested in the foundations of your life, things that were supposed to last). But Saturn is also the Grim Reaper and I was having this conversation with a friend just this weekend when I said that nobody lies on their deathbed thinking about the carpets they chose. She laughed and said no, you wouldn’t be lying there thinking, “that was a great property”, which made me laugh too. If you’ve ever nursed a loved one through a terminal illness, as I have, or been with someone at the end of their life you’ll know beyond any doubt whatsoever that the only thing that matters is love. Everything else is incidental.
It’s little wonder that Full Moons are a time of “lunacy”, when things can go nuts. But craziness is really life being out of balance in some way. On that note try replacing “should” (Saturn) with “could” (Venus) – eg I should stay in my job as I’m lucky to have it and it pays well, but actually it’s really not what I want to do so I could start looking for other things and start digging my escape tunnel. The word “could” reveals options, and perception of choice is one of the biggest single remedies against depression. It keeps us active (empowered) not passive (victim).
On end of shelf life relationships, Venus rules love, Saturn is Lord of Time. Remember that the longevity of a relationship bears no direct relation to the quality of it. Therefore staying in a relationship only because you’ve been together a long time can never be a recipe for happiness, on either side. We don’t “own” each other. Nobody belongs to us, and we don’t belong to them.
But back to the craziness and whacky issue this is definitely a theme to look out for more than usual on this Full Moon as it aligns exactly with Uranus, planet of sudden change. Uranus brings everything from surprises to shocks, he’s the rug puller, the loose cannon and a law unto himself. But at best he symbolizes the events that shoehorn us out of our cosy corners and turf us off the sofa, like it or not. Uranus by trine (harmonious) can be the “deus ex machina” event, the thing that comes in from the outside, out of the blue, and resolves a matter in a way that nobody could possibly have seen coming. Not even an astrologer lol. If you’re worried about what others might think, stop it. Be open to raising eyebrows, including your own.
MERCURY & VENUS LAST WORDS
The week closes with Mercury and Venus making their final aspects before they both change sign over the weekend –
Friday 4 September
- Venus 28 Cancer square Mars 28 Aries 10.13
- Mercury 28 Virgo sextile Venus 28 Cancer 21.33
Saturday 5 September
- Mercury ingress Libra 20.47
Sunday 6 September
- Venus ingress Leo 8.23
At one level the more effort you’ve put into the rest of the week the more rewarding this finale will be for you. So don’t be afraid to deal with the tough stuff. Avoidance may seem like the easy option but in fact nearly always makes an issue even harder. If you don’t wash up that baking tray or at least leave it to soak then getting it clean the next day is at least twice the work!
The love planets Venus and Mars squaring up to each can indicate times of friction or reveal your incompatibilities rather than your similarities. That’s not always a bad thing. A lot of relationship research shows that the couples who make the greatest success of their lives together are those who very different from each other. In fact, trying to make someone align with everything you want and in the way that you want is the fastest way to breed possessiveness and to suck the life out of romance. It’s not “sameness” that attracts us or fascinates us. Honour your partner’s right (or anyone else’s) to live their life in the way that is best for them. Vive la difference.
The Mercury – Venus alignment is beautiful. It’s a reward moment for effortful talking and listening earlier in the week, it’s love talk and mutually satisfying agreements, it’s the company of your best girlfriends, it’s financial help on the receiving or giving end, it’s good news, great choices and decisions! Don’t worry if things aren’t “perfect” (Virgo) although some matters may well turn out to be just that, it’s the closure moments that really matter, that sense of having sorted things between yourself and another or just in your own head. Mercury and Venus now start off on their new journeys, so can you, and I’ll be talking a lot more about this next time,
Until next week, with love from Greece