The Pursuit of Meaning, Looking Backwards and Forwards, Getting our Act Together
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The Astrology Blog 6 May 2019
All times given are stated in BST
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
“It is not the path which is the difficulty; rather, it is the difficulty which is the path.”
Søren Kierkegaard (Taurus, 5 May 1813)
The week starts slowly, but don’t be fooled. We’re in the Taurus season, sign of Fixed Earth. However, the rumblings and grumblings – that started with the Sun meeting up with disruptive, spontaneous but always change loving Uranus in Taurus a couple of weeks ago – are definitely getting louder.
This is firstly reflected in the arrival of Mercury in Taurus, whose first appointment is also the meeting with Uranus:
Monday 6 May
Mercury ingress Taurus 19.26 BST
Wednesday 8 May
Mercury conjunct Uranus 3 Taurus 15.24
The communication planet in this steady earth sign is linked with bags of common sense, pragmatism and carefully selected words. Generally this combination signals caution. It requires much consideration in the process of decision making – and an avoidance of anything that feels unsafe or based on guesswork. Mercury in Taurus likes to see things in black and white. Spreadsheets come to mind.
However, Mercury is currently very fast moving. He is now in top gear and racing through Taurus over the next two weeks. He will move into Gemini almost exactly at the same moment as the Sun on 21 May. (In retrograde periods Mercury can spend up to 6 weeks in the same sign).
So the instant collision course with wild child Uranus is, um, interesting!
It’s a wakeup call, unexpected news, events of the 9 day wonder variety. It could be a breaking with tradition, rebellious, inspired or spur of the moment decisions. Or a brainwave or the tipping point in either a rocky or boring situation. It’s a new way of thinking, keeping up with the times and making technology work for you. Lively Uranus also rules groups (the link to Aquarius/11th House) so am loving this aspect for the start of the Summer School, first students arriving on this day.
Note that Uranus is erratic by orbit as well as by nature. He has an 84 year cycle but this doesn’t divide neatly into 12, so he spends longer in some signs than others. Ironically though, his transits often work to exactitude. The transits of the slow moving outer planets often show several weeks either side of their exact contact with natal planets or angles, but it’s not unusual for Uranus transits to be bang on.
If you’d like to explore this point further then look no further than your own natal chart.
Using the Ephemerides (the table that shows the daily motions of all the planets for any day in any year), find when Uranus was last in exactly the same place as one of your natal planets or angles. Or opposite. You’ll find that these dates correlate with clearly Uranian life events.
Looking at past transits from any of the outer planets is retrodiction – ie going backwards, looking at what has already happened, the opposite to PREdiction.
This is something I always do with a new horoscope, as a way of demonstrating how this celestial machinery works.
The point of this, to uncover meaning, is captured in this week’s first quote from Kierkegaard, who is widely considered to be the first existentialist (nature of being/existing) philosopher.
“Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a “single individual”, giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment… His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.”
It was a lovely little synchronicity to discover that after selecting his words to capture the themes of the week that I was actually writing this blog (yesterday) on his birthday. And his work and legacy are all the more fascinating given that they weren’t a result of reaching old age. He died at the age of 42.
So, it helps to make sense of our past, not with a view to living in it or punishing ourselves with regrets, bitterness or sadness, but as a way of equipping ourselves with knowledge.
Every experience is part of our journey. Kierkegaard also wrote the brilliant line that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” but I think astrology does a lot to mitigate anxiety, not because it takes away our freedom but because it reveals meaning and timing. There’s a plan! This is the core material of the new course now running end of August, Astrology – from Information to Meaning.
Note also that Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of both love and money, so relationship and finance issues are a significant part of the picture, running the whole gamut from splits/sudden unions and hirings/firings.
Venus herself is now a major player, starting with the toughest aspect of the week, the square to Saturn which is sandwiched in between the two Mercury dates:
Tuesday 7 May
Venus 20 Aries square Saturn 20 Capricorn 14.27
Venus in conflict with Saturn is never easy, but this one is tough as Venus is in her sign of detriment in Aries and Saturn has just turned retrograde.
What the heart desires the heart may have to wait for. And anything that’s fuelled just by one person’s ego, the blinkered head first approach that doesn’t take differences of any kind into account or look ahead for possible consequences, is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
At best this is not a picture of instant gratification, either because a love/emotional issue/need or financial problem can’t be resolved without time, or because it can’t be resolved at all owing to insurmountable barriers. Or we may have to accept that we’ve been expecting something of someone that they’re simply unable to give, either at this time, or ever.
For some this will be the end of a road, the acceptance that a relationship has reached its natural end or that someone can never be/do what we had hoped for.
However, there is definitely an element of the classic “death/rebirth” symbolism at work here. You may remember last week that Mercury aspected both Jupiter and Pluto, who now make an exact minor aspect (one sign apart). This minor aspect happens frequently amongst the faster moving planets but when it’s formed between two slower moving planets it’s worth noting, ie it’s not so common. This week it’s Venus’ turn to play into this Jupiter – Pluto alliance:
Thursday 9 May
Jupiter 23 Sagittarius semi-sextile Pluto 23 Capricorn
Venus 23 Aries trine Jupiter 23 Sagittarius 17.57
Venus 23 Aries square Pluto 23 Capricorn 18.19
Start by noting the main themes of the two major planets involved here:
Jupiter’s main principle is Expansion, anything that makes our life bigger and better. He’s the Greater Benefic, he’s good for us. Creating opportunity, luck, liberation, good fortune, learning, truth and justice. Long distance travel is also part of Jupiter’s domain, so all things and all people related to overseas are part of this picture.
Pluto’s main principle is endings/beginnings, often starting with loss, death of the old and the birth of the new. Darkness, obsessions, addictions, starting from scratch. Those who are physically or emotionally absent. Transformative processes, deep healing, resourcefulness. Secrets, taboos, issues concerning power, control and wealth.
So Venus squaring up to Pluto echoes the themes of her square to Saturn earlier in the week. And the harmonious trine to Jupiter adds a healthy dash of optimism into the mix.
Jupiter is the freedom planet. So even something that feels like a major disappointment or setback could actually turn out to be liberation. Jupiter is brilliant at blessings in disguise. So the bottom line is to let go gracefully of what is just not taking shape for you. Trust that there are reasons, even if you can’t see them at the moment. Do not waste energy on forcing square pegs into round holes.
Also as with all formations involving three planets look out for triangular situations. As Venus the love planet is the one now playing into the Jupiter/Pluto link then affairs are high up on this list. This is the kind of picture that speaks of resolution, sorting out who should be with whom. If you’re the one in the position of making the choice, then focus on who is good for you (Jupiter) and recognize your own power (Pluto) in the matter. If it’s a choice of who wants the best for you, who brings out the best in you, or who wants to control you, then it’s a no-brainer.
This doesn’t apply just to sexual relationships either. Professional or family conflicts also need clarity and clear boundaries. Be extremely watchful over anything that smacks of emotional blackmail because Pluto has a way of slamming doors and you may miss an opportunity.
Fortunately new arrangements and closure of the healthy kind are looking promising with the final aspect of this week:
Saturday 11 May
Sun 20 Taurus trine Saturn 20 Capricorn 10.20
The Sun and Saturn are generally uneasy partners. The Sun being in detriment in Aquarius (Saturn’s other sign) and Saturn being in detriment in Leo (the Sun’s sign). But they now come together by harmonious trine. Both being in get-it-together earth signs, and Saturn of course is currently dignified in his own sign of Capricorn, even if he is looping backwards. This can be a scenario of “good endings” – enough is enough, it’s good enough, I’ve done my best, let’s wrap this up.
The Sun – in any sign – is the life force. So this aspect can also speak of breathing new life into your plans, desires, goals and projects. It’s a time for rolling up our shirt sleeves and getting down to work, for recognizing what, with effort, application and commitment, can come good, even if it’s a matter of rebuilding from Uranus’ rubble.
Either way, tend to the foundations.
Whatever takes shape under this constructive aspect can prosper if it’s started on a firm footing and clear understandings.
No complacency though!
Next week’s astrology continues many of this week’s themes as it will be the Sun’s turn to play into the Jupiter/Pluto, followed by Mercury (again), both the love planets Venus and Mars will change sign, it will be Venus’ turn to meet up with Uranus, all topped off with a witchy Full Moon in Scorpio. Lively stuff!
Until next week,
With love from Greece