The Astrology Blog 27 April 2020
All times in BST
” The future depends on what we do in the present.”
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.”
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
When it first started to become obvious that we were dealing with a pandemic the first area to be hit was long distance travel. News features predicted that airline losses would run into billions. They didn’t predict or even ponder the idea that the big airlines could collapse completely. But the ongoing Jupiter (foreign travel, all things overseas or at a distance) Pluto (wipeout) conjunction makes me now think that, even if the virus is brought under control this year, the possibility of travel will still be practically zero. Matters are now being increasingly compounded by the issue of actual aircraft. Pilots have to have ongoing training, planes need ongoing maintenance. It’s not like going back to your car after a few months and hoping that you haven’t got a flat battery.
From an astrological point of view it’s fascinating to see how world events still play out in the horoscope of the individual. Last Tuesday Virgin Australia slumped into administration. This was the exact day that Pluto opposed Richard Branson’s Sun of 25.03 Cancer. To put that into extremely powerful perspective this transit is exact only once every 248 years.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
The general backdrop is that Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are all slowing down in readiness to start retrograde journeys next month, the periods of time when they loop backwards through the heavens instead of following a straight line. Here are the dates to watch –
- 11th May Saturn 2 degrees Aquarius
- 13th May Venus 22 degrees Gemini
- 14th May Jupiter 27 degrees Capricorn
It doesn’t take much symbolic knowhow to deduce that this isn’t very encouraging for progress. On the contrary, these turning points would suggest that there is a very real risk of things unraveling and having to back to more stringent lockdown measures.
Last week you may remember that the Sun played into the Saturn – Uranus square (that in itself won’t be exact until next year but they are already in aspect, being 5 degrees apart in their respective signs). But I wondered if the Sun’s aspects would give us a sneak preview. Saturn rules boundaries and restrictions (lockdowns), Uranus rules the collective, anarchy and explosiveness (rebellion, not just in the “I don’t care” mode but also in the spirit of desperation, I’m a human being get me out of here). There is definitely an uncontainable quality about this square.
As suspected, I noticed that the news was full of stories related to how countries were starting to ease their lockdown measures, all accompanied by mutterings of restarting the economy, but even more evident was the worrying link to mental health.
Again and again it was reported that imprisonment was becoming too much to bear, especially for young people and for families with children. A big factor in depression – ie the real thing, not just feeling fed up/having a bad day, but that deep dark hole that turns your world into a place of despair – is disconnection. The more depressed someone becomes, generally the more they disconnect from their relationships and the world around them. So the loneliness and deprivation of ongoing isolation is a very real and serious concern.
On a more positive note Uranus is also about breakthroughs as well as breakdowns. The Sun – Uranus conjunction was just yesterday, and this morning’s best news came from New Zealand, whose lockdown is now being eased not in a desperate, fingers crossed way, but on the basis of having currently eliminated the virus transmission –
New Zealand brought in very tough restrictions on travel and activity early on in the pandemic, when it only had a few dozen cases. It closed its borders, started enforcing quarantine of all arrivals in the country, brought in a stringent lockdown and mounted an extensive testing and contact tracing operation.
Ms Ardern said modelling indicated New Zealand could have had more than 1,000 cases a day if it had not brought in the lockdown so early.
The other message underlined by this news is the reminder of just how important leadership is. Ardern’s handling of the crisis has been described as a masterclass in political leadership. There’s no time of birth for her but this description certainly fits the combination of Sun in Leo (confidence, holding a central role, management skills) and Moon in Capricorn (Saturn’s sign, goal orientated, surefooted). I also see her obvious multitasking skills in her Venus in Gemini, and it’s this planet that will show as supremely important in the coming weeks. More on that in the last point in this blog.
An article I read last week described how women tend to underestimate their own ability and are therefore more open to seeking and listening to counsel, whereas men can overestimate their ability and therefore act more on their own beliefs and personal convictions.
But over confidence or an inflated sense of competence is, in the current situation, disastrous. Look at Boris Johnson who boasted about shaking hands with virus sufferers and then ended up in intensive care. And if we want an example of Trump’s disordered grandiosity and how he believes his own inflated versions in favour of hard facts, we can start with his refusal to accept clear evidence about the size of the crowd attending his inauguration –
MERCURY & MOTIVATION
One of the very few planets that isn’t retrograde at the moment or about to turn is Mercury. In fact, he’s currently at full speed and the only one making any noise. We all know Mercury as the planet of communication, and one of his main jobs is to bring us messages, but don’t forget that he’s also the mind planet, and carries a lot in relation to thoughts, attitude, beliefs, opinions, decisions and so on.
This evening Mercury follows the Sun into Taurus and so this week it’s Mercury’s turn to play into that Saturn – Uranus alignment –
Monday 27 April
- Mercury ingress Taurus 20.54
Tuesday 28 April
- Mercury 2 Taurus square Saturn 2 Aquarius 18.29
Friday 1 May
- Mercury conjunct Uranus 7 Taurus 04.42
Let’s hope that this journey will reflect the same as the Sun’s – that the tough enforcement of rules (Saturn) could lead us further along the path of breakthroughs and liberation (Uranus), if the model of New Zealand is anything to go by.
At a more personal level Mercury’s messages this week are at least partly about how to get results. Being in the Fixed sign of pragmatic earthy Taurus and squaring up to Saturn in Fixed Aquarius (Saturn’s other sign) is intransigent but the meeting with Uranus at the end of the week signals change, possibly of the unexpected or surprising kind. Be patient and hold out for what you want. Put in firmer boundaries with those who are draining you. Try to avoid arguments that neither side can win.
Also check your mindset. We all know what the pandemic problems are, but how we react to them is, in terms of mental health, the essential difference between coping or not coping. Again, thinking back to when the lockdown situation first started, there was lots of humour on Facebook, such as, “I’ve always said I want to spring clean my house but I never have the time – now I realize that’s not the real reason.”
On paper you’d think that having lots of extra free time would be an extremely positive thing but a tendency to put things off, that we all have to one extent or another, appears to grow even larger rather than smaller when our “normal” routines are pulled from under our feet. I’m lucky that I work for myself and from home anyway, but I’m increasingly aware of how challenging this is for people who are used to the environment of colleagues and office hours, right down to having a lunch break at the same time every day. In many ways disciplines and structures that are imposed on us are much easier than those that we have to construct for ourselves.
But I chose Gandhi this week for my quotes as with his 1st House (the self/persona) Mercury (the mind) in Scorpio (empowerment, piercing insights, magic) it’s hard to imagine any better example of the power of the mind. His quotes could have been written for the situation that we’re now enduring, but of course they weren’t, which also tells us that – pandemic or no pandemic – life’s big issues and concerns actually don’t change that much.
As Louise Hay writes, “There is no new knowledge. All is ancient and infinite”.
In terms of motivation you might think that we’d ascribe that to Mars – god of war, planet of action – but actually that comes second. Everything starts with the mind. As Gandhi says, what we think, we become. So use Mercury’s aspects this week to look at how you think, how you can work on your ideas and how you can achieve results with regard to whatever is important to you, practically or emotionally.
As noted earlier Venus is soon going to turn retrograde and is therefore going to be in the astrological news a great deal in the coming weeks. To put this in perspective, Venus turns retrograde only once every 18-20 months, and stays retrograde for a period of around 42 days, backtracks between 15 and 17 degrees, and here’s the sequence –
- Venus arrived in Gemini 3 April
- Venus turns retrograde at 22 Gemini – 13 May
- Venus turns direct at 5 Gemini – 25 June
- Venus will enter Cancer 7 August
- So Venus will be in Gemini for 4 months, four times longer than usual for a journey though one sign
As Venus travels this long and winding road she makes a series of three major aspects (the square) to just one of the outer planets, Neptune. I’m listing the first one here as it will be exact in the early hours of next Monday –
Monday 4 May
- Venus 20 Gemini square Neptune 20 Pisces 04.55
The second square will happen after Venus has turned retrograde and comes back again to align with Neptune – 21 May – and the third and final square will fall after she’s turned direct and caught up with Neptune for the third and final time – 27 July. So there’s a long way to go.
Venus is Aphrodite, and primarily the love planet. So in the context of romantic relationships squares to Neptune are linked with longing, nostalgia, an over active imagination – paranoia at worst – confusion, a lack of realism or emotional issues beyond our control. Sorry, not very cheerful stuff is it, but it doesn’t mean that all love stops being real! It is nevertheless a very testing time, especially if you’re not with the one you love, or if a new romance has been interrupted.
As noted earlier this is an important event for New Zealand as Jacinda Ardern has her natal Venus at 22 Gemini. This means that Venus “stations” (appears to come to a standstill before switching direction) at the exact moment that she’s experiencing her Venus Return. Just as our Solar Return is our birthday (many happy “returns” of the day) our Venus Return also happens once a year and is generally considered to be a highlight, associated with all things Venusian.
As we don’t have a time of birth for Jacinda I can’t say more about what Venus might be in particular in her horoscope – we don’t know which house Venus lives in or which houses she rules, so we can’t say more about “who” is this planet as well as “what” is this planet. But as Venus rules love, pleasures and money this turnaround is rather unsettling and may indicate the reintroduction of lockdown measures, especially as Gemini is the sign of the Twins, ruling duality (second waves) or multiplicity in all things. Or it may show only in her personal life. Let’s wait and see, but either way this isn’t easy for her.
Interesting to note that Richard Branson also has natal Venus in Gemini and close to this crucial degree – his Venus is 24 Gemini – in the 11th House, where we locate organizations. We can already speculate that this will at least partly relate to seeking funding for Virgin, already a controversial and contentious subject as many feel understandable outrage at the prospect of a billionaire tax evader being rescued.
Next week Mercury will continue to be the lead player with no less than five more aspects to come before changing sign, all unfolding around the Full Moon in Scorpio next Thursday. Until then stay safe and remember this isn’t forever – it just feels like it,
with love from Greece