Moving Mountains, Magical Moonlight, Mischief & Mayhem
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The Astrology Blog 4 March 2019
All times given are stated in GMT
‘Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.’
Robin S Sharma
‘Change the way you see things and the things you see will change.’
Dr Wayne Dwyer
This is a much longer blog than usual but it’s another big week in terms of major planetary activity. The first thing that struck me when looking at this week’s picture is that it’s all earth and water – the feminine elements.
In the background we have Venus newly arrived in Aquarius (air) and Jupiter happily placed in his own sign of Sagittarius (fire), the masculine elements. But neither of these planets feature this week in terms of major aspects, ie linking up with anything else.
Jupiter makes one minor aspect midweek but is also easing back as he’s starting to slow down in readiness for turning retrograde next month, which I’ll cover further on.
Mercury turns retrograde
The week starts with Mercury turning retrograde, which he does three times a year for three weeks at a time. This is when Mercury turns from magician to mischief maker.
Each year this happens in a different element. Last year it was the three fire signs as Mercury turned retrograde in Aries (March), Leo (July) and Sagittarius (November).
This year it’s the turn of the water element, with the exception of July when Mercury turns just after entering Leo but then returns to Cancer. Here’s the sequence for the coming year so you can put these dates in your diary!
5 March – Mercury turns retrograde at 29.38 Pisces
28 March – Mercury turns direct at 16.06 Pisces
7 July – Mercury turns retrograde at 4.25 Leo
1 August – Mercury turns direct at 24 Cancer
31 October – Mercury turns retrograde at 27.37 Scorpio
20 November – Mercury turns direct at 11.35 Scorpio
Regular readers will know how I feel about these trouble spots! I’m always threatening to stop everything, to spend these times going back to bed and reading all the books that I never seem to have the time for.
Of course life can’t just stop in this way, there’s still work to do, shopping to be done, dogs to be walked and we are all needed by others in both large and small ways. But I do think there’s a case for creating more down time, and giving yourself some time off wherever possible is part of my regular checklist – see below.
So as I write (Sunday) Mercury is stationing – ie appearing to stand still in the skies as he starts to loop backwards, which also translates into being “stuck” on the same degree for about a week.
To put that in perspective, Mercury at full speed can move up to 2 degrees a day, so this gives us an idea of how very slow his turning points really are. My favourite analogy is to compare this to a plane’s take off and landing. An aircraft has to slow down when making the descent and then has to pick up speed again when making the ascent, it can’t just reach its destination and drop out of the sky onto its appointed strip of tarmac, and it can’t take off vertically and start its journey at full throttle.
This particular stationing is a tough one as Mercury turns in the last degree of Pisces, the position of a Fixed Star called Scheat, associated with pain and loss:
Tuesday 5 March
Mercury turns retrograde at 29 Pisces 18.20
This degree has been in the news elsewhere as Chiron has just entered Aries for the second and final time, and has spent the last year going backwards and forwards over 29 Pisces (from end of March 2018 to 18 February 2019).
So if you have planets or angles at this degree you’ll be emerging from a long journey with themes of loss/emotional wounding/healing/awakening, and Mercury may well now be writing some kind of finale for you.
Mercury retrograde themes
At a universal level, however, regardless of whether you have planets or angles at this particular degree, these are the themes to look out for, now and over the next three weeks:
- Decide to ease the pain or cool the resentment. Write the letter you can’t send or you’ll never send – whether it’s to someone you’ve lost or to someone you want to strangle it’s great therapy!
- Stop trying to fix others – just focus on yourself. Changes starts with us, and within us, from the inside out, not the other way around
- Guard against trying to construct situations or distress yourself with regard to anything beyond your control. Forcing any kind of round pegs into square holes won’t be worth the effort and could cost you dearly
- Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink, repair, redress the balance and so on. Also remember rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off and try not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure
- Buy yourself time wherever needed – Keep options open
- When in doubt, check it out – second hand opinions are a dead cert for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick – and don’t believe everything you hear
- Write things down and double check everything – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
- Back up all your computer work
- Don’t delete any documents – you may need them at a later date
- Getting back to ideas on the back burner
- Getting back in touch with those who’ve been neglected or important to you in the past. Do let them know how much they matter, especially those in crisis bearing in mind the presence of Scheat
- Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, tablets, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
- The same for cars – never buy any mode of transport under a retro Mercury
- Plan any journey with extra care, don’t trust to luck and don’t travel unless you have to
- Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
- Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines. Don’t book anything that is non refundable or make sure your insurance covers you for cancellations
- Assume nothing. No matter how certain a situation might seem there is a good chance that it will morph into something else over the next couple of weeks – the “x” factor is at work …
- And finally reserve the right to change your mind, and keep an open mind. As you start to see something from a different angle you may then also start to question the truth, reality or logistics involved.
As Mercury turns on the very last degree of the zodiac, nearly but not quite making it to 0 degrees Aries, look out also for themes of something nearly happening but being stalled. Back to the drawing board.
Mercury will finally enter Aries on 17 April, interestingly the day I return from the UK after the London events and it will be full steam ahead getting ready for the start of Summer School second week of May.
Uranus Ingress Taurus – What does it Signify?
In the normal scheme of things this Mercury activity alone would be enough to contend with and keep us on our toes, but there’s another major event the very next day, Uranus’ change of sign.
Uranus is moving into Taurus for the second and final time, ie won’t return to Aries again. This is a major transition as Uranus’ cycle is a lengthy 84 years.
He has an erratic orbit but as a rough rule of thumb Uranus changes sign only once every 7 to 8 years so it’s a big deal. Uranus will be travelling through Taurus until 26 April 2026.
Wednesday 6 March
Uranus ingress Taurus 08.36
Expanding on what I said last week:
- Uranus rules change in the shape of the explosive, unexpected, suddenness, the thing you couldn’t possibly have seen coming, technology, electricity, including light bulb moments, shocks, shock tactics, splits, and is basically the loose cannon.
- He’s seemingly random in nature, signifying chaos, the fiasco, the banana skin, the rebel, the genius, originality, the “mad professor” archetype, the revolutionary and the rouser.
- Unpredictable – the astrologer’s basic nightmare.
Now add all of this to the nature of Taurus:
- The sign of the Bull is Fixed (mode) Earth (element). Think Rock of Gibraltar. Ruled by sensual Venus this sign is connected to money, produce, art, beauty, softness, security and the material world.
- The nature is slow, cautious, risk averse and hates to be rushed, pushed or provoked.
- Low on drama, high on humour of the droll kind, thrives on routine and familiarity to the point of being highly predictable, has a deep resistance to change, finds it hard to climb out of ruts sometimes to the extent of preferring comfort zones at any cost.
The outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) don’t have official signs of “exaltation” as do the personal planets. Many textbooks give Scorpio for Uranus, which means that the opposite sign of Taurus is his sign of “fall”, his most troubled placing.
Looking at the stark comparison between the two descriptions above, it’s easy to see why. This is the stuff of electrical storms, tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes – surges of shock and sudden seismic movement colliding with the solid ground.
There are massive implications for Brexit here of course, but I’m just not going there because I’m so bored with the whole subject and this is a personal rather than a political blog.
We can look at these cycles historically.
The last Uranus ingress into Taurus fell on 6 June 1934 (until 15 May 1942) and on researching this date guess what immediately came up:
- On 5 June 1934 a powerful hurricane made landfall in British Honduras. Over the next four days between 1,000 and 3,000 people in Central America were killed by massive floods and landslides.
Please don’t think I’m scaremongering, but the Uranus Taurus combination is obvious symbolism for natural disasters and history bears that out. But at a more universal level, and in terms of day to day astrological wisdom, the message is more symbolic.
Uranus tends to override our fears and pull the rug anyway. His job is to revolutionize, so we can either do this voluntarily (proactive) or we can wait for the events that will force change upon us (reactive).
So, are you in a rut? Do you need to lose a significant amount of weight? Are you resisting change because what tempts you is too scary or uncertain? Or because it feels like too much effort? Or because you can’t bear the idea of the shockwaves you’ll create? Do you secretly believe that your life will never change? Or that you should settle for “good enough” even if it’s boring and doesn’t stretch you? Is your life constructed in a way that suits others but is not that great for you? These are the kind of issues that are perfect fodder for Uranus in the sign of the Bull.
One of the things that I say to clients going through Uranus transits is, “well you can’t change and stay the same. Something’s gotta give.”
And I found some fantastic quotations for change which pretty much say the same thing, only more eloquently, and which capture the Uranus vibe:
- All great changes are preceded by chaos
- We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are
- Change must be greater than your desire to stay the same
- Any change, even a change for the better, is accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts
- If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you
- You’re always one decision away from a totally different life
- Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it
Even though Uranus is going to be in Taurus for several years, it’s well worth noting what actually happens at the time of the ingress.
Remember that we’ve already had one ingress – 16 May 2018 – but Uranus then turned retrograde and slid back into Aries, crossing over 0 degrees of Taurus again on 6 November 2018.
If events on or very close to those dates accurately reflected the symbolism at work in your life then look out for a repetition, or the next stage of a long running issue.
For me these are very definite dates, the first one being about a personal relationship, and the second one being the exact date of the loss of a beloved cat Jasper, who was only 7 but suddenly collapsed with horrifying symptoms that turned out to be massive renal failure (Taurus is ruled by Venus, who rules the kidneys in the physical body).
There was absolutely no warning (Uranus). I have another much loved cat Lulu, now on very dodgy ground, but she’ll be 17 this year so it’s easier to accept. Even so I am bracing myself for at least some medical intervention this week.
The Royal Family and 0 degrees Taurus
We can also study the charts of those who have planets at 0 degrees of Taurus, such as the royal family. They are a total gift to astrologers because they have accurate birth times and live in the public eye:
- The Queen – Sun 00.13 Taurus
- Prince Charles – Moon 00.26 Taurus
- William – Jupiter 00.30 Scorpio conjunct Midheaven 02.32 Scorpio
- Harry – Pluto 00.33 Scorpio
The wedding of Harry and Meghan took place on 19 May last year, just three days after the ingress and when Uranus was exactly conjunct the Queen’s Sun.
To put that in perspective this transit has only happened once before in her entire life. Uranus, with an 84 year cycle, last crossed her Sun in 1934 when she was 8 years old. That was the year that she first met Philip Mountbatten!
The Sun in a woman’s chart often signifies “the man”. The Queen has a Capricorn Ascendant, and we therefore take Saturn as the chart ruler, but she has the sign of Aquarius intercepted in her 1st House which is ruled by Saturn and Uranus, so Uranus acts as her co-ruler.
So I would expect to hear news in connection to the royal family and especially Prince Philip this week.
At the time of the wedding last year I wrote that this seemed to be all part of the modernizing of the monarchy, and passing the baton on to the new generation.
It was certainly a thoroughly modern wedding. The bride arrived unescorted. And the congregation and speakers were multicultural, different – and even whacky. The highlight being the unforgettable American Bishop Michael Curry’s address – which was Uranus come to life.
The most positive showing of Uranus is that which is riveting, ahead of its time, innovative and brilliant. The bishop is Pisces by Sun sign but with Sun trine Uranus and Moon in Aquarius.
The Pisces New Moon conjunct Neptune
On the same day as Uranus’ change of sign we also have the New Moon. Interestingly this falls at 16 Pisces, the exact degree at which Mercury will turn direct again on 28 March.
If you have planets or angles at or very close to this degree look out for a turn of events that will be resolved in three weeks’ time.
Wednesday 6 March
New Moon 16 Pisces 16.05
This New Moon (when the Sun and Moon are exactly conjunct each other) also falls in an almost exact conjunction with Neptune, less than half a degree away:
Thursday 7 March
Sun conjunct Neptune 16 Pisces 01.01
This could hardly be more different from the Uranus activity. But in every desert there’s an oasis and all change starts with a dream.
New Moons open new cycles, swing open new doors, literally or in our hearts and minds.
On this Neptunian New Moon the emotional tides will be riding extremely high. And depending on context, can run the gamut from being love struck to feeling engulfed with grief, or making a sacrifice.
The factor in common is that Neptunian experiences render us highly receptive but tend to disorientate us. And with Mercury turning retrograde also in Pisces there has to be a huge question mark over situations that are new or highly sensitized in some way.
New Moons present new opportunities. However it may take us a while to find our sea legs and to navigate these waters. Our job is to stay afloat!
In terms of the physical body check out urinary issues. Start to make a concerted effort to drink more water. Look out for plumbing issues in the home.
Big change is also wrapped up in the minor aspect between Jupiter and Pluto:
Thursday 7 March
Jupiter 22 Sagittarius semi-sextile Pluto 22 Capricorn 15.54
Jupiter is starting to slow down, Pluto is all or nothing.
This aspect adds to the theme of changes of direction. Possibly to contemplate the kind of chances that don’t come along very often or which involve no going back.
But your path to good fortune (Jupiter) is glimmering in the moonlight. There are shadows. But you may start to get a sense of what, with some effort or some loss (change), you can make real.
These kind of messages are underlined as the Pisces Sun links to a dignified Saturn. And that rough and ready Mars in Taurus links to Neptune, co-ruler of Pisces, at the end of the week.
Saturday 9 March
Sun 18 Pisces sextile Saturn 18 Capricorn 07.11
Sunday 10 March
Mars 16 Taurus sextile Neptune 16 Pisces 16.22
So, dreams rarely come true just by staring out of the window. Or wishing on a star, no matter what Walt Disney might say.
Follow your instincts, tap into your creativity (Pisces/Neptune/water) but also roll up your shirt sleeves and get to work (Mars/Saturn/earth).
Materialize your fantasy and hopes. Finish each day with a review of what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve done, rather than what you haven’t done.
The best possible expression of Uranus in Taurus is to believe that you can dig tunnels and move mountains – even if it’s only one shovel at a time.
Until next week, with love from Greece