The Astrology Blog 17 August 2020
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“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate. The world doesn’t need any more grey. Remember the three P’s –
Passion + Persistence = Possibility.”
Jon Bon Jovi – singer songwriter, record producer and philanthropist
Passion is underrated. Too often we associate the word just with sexual desire but pervasive passion can be a force of nature in itself. It’s interesting that we can often reach a deeper understanding of something when we consider the opposite. This is something I teach in astrology – eg if you want to learn about the nature of Aries then take a deeper look at Libra. In essence Libra is everything that Aries is not and, of course, vice versa, and true of all the “polarities”, the opposite signs.
So, when we are passionless we have little or no energy, not just for our goals but for our day to day life. We lose our desires, apart from maybe some vague hope of Mr or Mrs Right coming along to sort it all out. We find ourselves somewhere on the spectrum from boredom to pointlessness. So what is the point? Passionless lives are a breeding ground for inertia and depression. Therefore a life lived with passion is full of purpose, fascination and meaning-making activity. It’s living, not existing. A life, not an existence. And it comes from within you, it’s not dependent on others, on what they may or may not say or do. What lives and thrives within you is yours, nobody and nothing can take it away. Not even a pandemic.
Astrologically we locate passion in the element of fire. Those with fiery charts are the personality types that get fired up about things, they are fervent, feisty, enthusiastic, ardent and animated. The more challenging side is that they can be too hot to handle, easily angered, hotheaded with no or low impulse control, all or nothing natures that land them in difficult situations and exhaust everyone around them. I’m a dominantly fire type and I’ve had to learn in my life to cool it down!
I don’t feel my age but at the same time I’m conscious of being in the cooler climes of my crone years, and in many ways it’s more relaxing. But I’m still fervent at heart, not just in my “what I’m here to do” convictions but also in finding joy in the little things. This is what my psychologist friend Paul calls “a life rich in engagement” – like walking the dogs (when it’s not 40 degrees lol), picking wild flowers, growing things from seed, sitting on the balcony in the cool of the evening, looking at the stars, messing around with new recipes, catching up with a friend – whatever little things like this bring you pleasure are so important. What are yours?
So being passionate doesn’t mean living life at full tilt the whole time, heading for burnout. It does mean engaging fully and meaningfully and energetically with whatever life can offer, whatever comes your way, with whoever crosses your path. On the vocation front for me this includes writing this blog, and teaching. I count myself extremely fortunate that my passion for what I do burns as brightly as ever and is the thing most commented on by my students, and is universally seen as a Good Thing. I might have been criticized in my life for being over the top in other ways but over the last 35 years nobody has ever said, You’re too passionate about astrology Jo!
Astrologically we also locate passion in the red planet Mars, who is “dignified” in the fire sign of Aries. Mars is the god of war and Mars people are warrior spirits, they know how to go on a mission, how to lead the charge and how to inspire. They’re the ones who organize marches, protests, draw attention and wake everyone up. The sharp eyed students amongst you might notice from Bon Jovi’s horoscope that he has no personal planets (Sun through to Saturn) in the element of fire, but he’s born on an applying Mars – Jupiter conjunction opposite free spirit, wake up call, rebel Uranus in the fire sign of Leo.
Mr Big Jupiter expands whatever he touches, so there’s the huge passion. Bon Jovi has the classic Pisces/Neptune combinations for artistically talented types, but it’s the energetic Mars/Jupiter/Uranus combination that packs the punch and delivers lyrics such as, “I’m going down in a blaze of glory, I’d live and I’d die for you/I’d steal the sun from the sky for you, It’s my life!/and it’s now or never.”
So let passion set the tone for the week and remember that it’s a hallmark of success and satisfaction as well as the joy of life, all of which has been easy to lose sight of in these fearful and restrictive days of the pandemic. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” What do you get fired up about, what turns you on?
THE SUN, MERCURY & LEO
Last week we had that stack of awkward, blind spot aspects (the quinqunx), created as both the Sun and Mercury in Leo aligned with the slower moving planets currently in Capricorn/Pisces. At the same time Mercury squared up to Uranus, just as this unpredictable planet of shocks and surprises was switching to retrograde. I wrote that this would bring the themes I would usually flag up when Mercury is retrograde and that certainly turned out to be true in all sorts of stories that came my way.
The textbook “problems with communication and transport” topped the bill. In the news the headlines were dominated by the plight of thousands of holidaymakers rushing back to the UK, especially from France, in order to avoid having to quarantine for 2 weeks at home. This rule came with virtually no warning and went into effect at 4am on Saturday, exactly coinciding with the Mercury and Sun’s blind spot aspects to Neptune and Pluto, and Uranus turning retrograde (and won’t be turning direct again until next January). Eurotunnel trains sold out and flight prices spiraled.
France and Holland warned that they would take “reciprocal measures”, as if the new rule had been deliberately imposed out of spite! But the countries named for quarantine restrictions were on the list because their infections rates exceeded 20 cases per 100,000 people over seven days. Greece is not on the list at the moment. So far Greece has the best statistics in Europe, with a total of 214 deaths (compared to Spain 28.5k, France 30k, Italy 35k). But the arrival of tourism is still pushing up the ratio figures so let’s see what this week brings as we have the last two of those quinqunx aspects still to come, as both Mercury and the Sun, and then the New Moon, make that awkward alignment with Saturn – planet of boundaries and limitations.
However the difficult stuff is this week somewhat diluted by the addition of other more positive factors, starting with the Sun – Mercury conjunction –
Monday 17 August
- Sun conjunct Mercury 25 Leo 16.08
The Sun illuminates and brings things to life, and is now dignified in his own sign of Leo. Mercury rules a vast number of things as he’s the mind planet, covering everything under the enormous umbrella of communication – including conversations, information, thoughts, ideas, deals, decisions, agreements, contracts, offers, news, emails and so on. The list is practically endless.
So just pay special attention to whatever comes up for you as the week kicks off, especially approximately three hours either side of the exact time of the conjunction as this is when Mercury will be “cazimi” – ie within 17′ of arc (just over a quarter of a degree). Any planet in that cazimi position is said to draw powerful energy by being in the heart of the Sun rather than being burnt up by it. Add in that this conjunction at 25 Leo is trine (harmonious) Mars at 24 Aries, a fellow fire sign, and things are definitely hotting up …. feel the passion!
Don’t forget to throw the Leo qualities into the mix. The hallmarks are anything creative, generous, lavish, dramatic, bold and confidence boosting. Take pride in your work and achievements, and give praise where praise is due. The flipside is dealing with ego stuff. The Sun rules the monarchy, and Leos are the kings and queens of the zodiac, proud and sometimes haughty. Never, ever make a Leo feel or look stupid, especially in public. You’ll get the dignified silence while they retreat to their den to lick their wounds, or you’ll get dropped with no explanation. For now apply this to everyone, not just Leos!
Fame and fortune for pure creative talent goes to J K Rowling for her magical hero Harry Potter. The books, movies and merchandise have made her a multimillionaire and she donates large sums to charity.
Madonna, the extrovert and frequently controversial Queen of Pop, famous for both her outrageous performances and her business acumen that has made her one of the top female earners of all time in the music industry. My favourite Madonna quote – I behaved like a star long before I was one.
Roger Federer, the ultimate athlete with the speed and agility of the Big Cat, turning every tennis match into a grand performance and captured as King Arthur for Disney by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Back to the Sun – Mercury get together, this aspect is more common than you might think as Mercury is never found further than 27 degrees away from the Sun. He spends nine weeks of every year in retrograde motion and is therefore dancing around the Sun most of the time and we have 7 of these conjunctions (as opposed to only one Sun – Venus conjunction) throughout 2020 –
- 10 January – 19 Capricorn
- 26 February – 7 Pisces
- 4 May – 15 Taurus
- 1 July – 9 Cancer
- 17 August – 25 Leo
- 25 October – 3 Scorpio
- 20 December – 28 Sagittarius
If any of these fall conjunct or opposite your own natal planets or Angles then they will correlate with specific events or news that will move you forwards in some way. This one at 25 Leo is arguably especially strong and underlined by the fact that the New Moon at 26 Leo falls less than 48 hours later –
Wednesday 19 August
- New Moon 26 Leo 03.43
- Sun 26 Leo quinqunx Saturn 26 Capricorn 04.50
The only spoke in the wheel is, as already flagged up, that the New Moon also coincides with that awkward aspect to Saturn. Look out for timing and reality factors. At a physical level don’t do anything daft unless you want to put your back out. Leo rules the spine.
Along the way to the New Moon Mercury also makes that mismatch with Saturn, and Venus moves back into the picture too –
Tuesday 18 August
- Mercury 26 Leo quinqunx Saturn 26 Capricorn 10.18
- Venus 10 Cancer sextile Uranus 10 Taurus 20.29
Uranus is now what is called “stationary retrograde”. In other words, he’s at an apparent standstill in the skies, “stuck” at 10 degrees of Taurus as he switches from direct to retrograde motion, starting the long loop backwards instead of moving in a straight line. Venus is primarily love, money and pleasure issues. Venus – Uranus combinations are crackly, lively, whacky, erratic and unpredictable at the best of times but with Uranus spinning around all of these possibilities are dramatically underlined. Even by sextile – a harmonious aspect – expect surprises and suddenness at best, shocks at worst. It’s the kind of aspect that can sweep you off your feet romantically, bring brilliant social or group events of any kind but which can also turn arrangements upside down. It’s Uranus. Things really can go either way. Find your footholds and stand firm.
SUN AND MERCURY CHANGE SIGN
The second half of the week bring a calmer mood as both the Sun and Mercury move on into Virgo –
Thursday 20 August
- Mercury ingress Virgo 02.31
Saturday 22 August
- Sun ingress Virgo 16.46
Back to my opening point about opposites, the polarities are in direct opposition to each other but consecutive signs also work in the same way as each one is some kind of reaction to the sign before it. So for example, Leo is associated with all that is loud and lavish, big and bold. Essential Virgo is understated, frugal and exacting, letting results speak for themselves rather than courting attention.
This is an important shift for Mercury as Virgo is his strongest sign, where he is said to be “exalted” and is also his feminine sign of dignity, his better known sign of Gemini being his masculine sign. All Mercury people love to talk but when everything goes through the Virgo sieve we enter into a world that is more analytical and precise. Virgo is associated with care and attention to detail rather than throwing caution to the winds.
I’ll leave you with the description of Mercury in Virgo as a natal placing from Be Your Own Astrologer –
The planet of the mind in the sign of discrimination makes for an awesome combination – insightful, precise and observant. These individuals put two and two together and always make four. If something doesn’t add up they want to know why and they won’t rest until they find out. They would never be so brash as to ask direct or impertinent questions but the polite smile masks a brain that is working at the speed of sound. Nothing escapes their attention and their power of analysis is second to none.
Speech tends to be measured, economical – why use fifty words when you can use five – but not necessarily slow. Yes, these Mercury people can be pedantic, nit picking perfectionists and guilty of snap judgments, but there is also a quick understanding. Typically these individuals are highly articulate and deeply interested in the finer details. This is a wonderful placing for a serious novelist or researcher.
The link to Virgo’s domain of health also often shows in vocation. One of my Mercury in Virgo clients is a top speech therapist. The work goes far beyond diagnosing and treating the actual speech problems themselves, extending into analyzing the family dynamics and having the tact and professional acumen to reveal where a child’s verbal difficulties are nearly always linked to their parenting and environment. It is symbolic perfection to see how this is captured by Mercury in Virgo Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.
Until next week, with love from Greece