The Astrology Blog 9 May 2022
All times in BST
“Waiting time is not wasted time. Something is being worked out – in us, in someone else, in the Universe.”
Melody Beattie – American author, including Codependent No More, which sold 8 million copies
“The journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”
Happy Solar Return (Birthday) to Billy Joel – 9 May 1949
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SYNASTRY – WHAT IS IT?
This is one of the areas that I’ll be covering with your own horoscopes in the Discovering Astrology week, aimed at exploring how astrology really works. If you don’t already know the word synastry it will sound familiar to you because of the prefix “syn-” which comes from Greek, meaning together.
For example, synonym is a word that goes together with another word that means the same thing, a dictionary definition of synergy is “an interaction or cooperation giving rise to a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts” and synthesis is “the combination of components or elements to form a connected whole”. In other words, any kind of relationship.
When I started studying astrology seriously (36 years ago, eek!) the term “chart synthesis” was all around me, leading the student to believe that the art of horoscopy was essentially about understanding the whole chart. All you had to do was stare at it for long enough and you’d “get it”. It was several years before I realized that, at least as an academic exercise, this is an impossible goal. No wonder we all go through that phase of looking at a horoscope and glazing over. What does it mean? Am I thick?
In tarot I teach the crucial point that you don’t have to understand the whole spread in order to do an effective reading. If you fail to connect with the meaning of one or more cards in a spread it doesn’t matter as much as you might think it does.
The same idea works in astrology too, you definitely don’t have to understand the whole chart in order to arrive at understanding and meaning. It’s impossible to see full meaning “in advance” and it’s only as a chart unfolds throughout the years that we come to appreciate this. It’s like unpacking a bottomless treasure chest, you can never get to the end as there is no floor and no ceiling, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. We’ll explore this more in the astrology week.
So back to synastry, which is the comparison of two horoscopes to locate the areas of compatibility or conflict within any relationship. In this area of craft there are some things that we can know in advance as the rules of craft give us some guidelines. When it comes to closeness, longevity and soul mate stuff here are some of the top things to look for –
- One person’s Sun conjunct (same sign) the other person’s Moon (to within 5 degrees) – this is known as the Cosmic Marriage
- One person’s Sun or Moon conjunct one or more of the other person’s personal planets (Sun to Saturn)
- One person’s Sun or Moon conjunct the other person’s Ascendant – Descendant (Angles marking the beginning to the 1st and 7th Houses of me/you)
- Sharing the same Ascendant – Descendant horizon
- The Benefics – one person’s Venus or Jupiter conjunct the other person’s natal planets or Angles, especially the Ascendant or Descendant, Sun or Moon
- A positive relationship between the rulers of the two Ascendants (the planets ruling the sign on the Ascendant, the rising sign) – and even more importantly, the rulers of the two Descendants (the two planets ruling the sign on
Some of my favourite examples –
- The Queen Sun at 0 Taurus, Prince Charles Moon at 0 Taurus
- Clark Gable Sun at 12 Aquarius, Vivien Leigh Moon at 9 Aquarius (Gone with the Wind)
- Brad Pitt Sun at 26 Sagittarius, Jennifer Aniston Moon at 23 Sagittarius (he should never have left her?)
- Brad Pitt Asc/Desc at 12 Sagittarius/Gemini, Angelina Jolie Sun at 13 Gemini (but this is why he did)
- Tom Cruise Saturn at 10 Aquarius, opposite Nicole Kidman’s Venus 14 Leo (ouch)
- Keith Urban Sun at 1 Scorpio, Nicole Kidman’s Ascendant 6 Scorpio
- Keith Urban Moon at 19 Cancer, Nicole Kidman’s Mercury 21 Cancer
- George Clooney Moon at 28 Capricorn, Amal Clooney Mercury at 28 Capricorn
- Michael Douglas, ruler of 7th Venus 27 Libra, Catherine Zeta Jones Midheaven 27 Libra
- Prince Charles Ascendant 5 Leo, Camilla Ascendant 5 Leo
- Celine Dion Ascendant 2 Leo, René Angélil Ascendant 1 Leo
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Here’s your at a glance list of activity for this week which is definitely more about quality than quantity. We don’t have long lists of aspects but we’re clearly being kept on our toes with some important events heading our way, starting with Mercury switching to retrograde and ending with the Lunar Eclipse –
Tuesday 10 May
- Mercury turns retrograde 4 Gemini 12.49
Wednesday 11 May
- Jupiter ingress Aries 00.23
Sunday 15 May
- Sun 25 Taurus square Saturn 25 Aquarius 19.50
- Sun 25 Taurus sextile Neptune 25 Pisces 20.17
Monday 16 May
- Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse 25 Scorpio 05.15
MERCURY TURNS RETROGRADE
You’ll find the usual checklist at the end of this blog section of things to look out for, but at a general level this is the symbolism at work –
- Mercury is retrograde 3 times a year (so every 4 months) for 3 weeks at a time. The last one was 14 Jan to 4 Feb, the next one will be 10 Sept to 2 Oct.
- This time Mercury turns retrograde at 4 Gemini, slides back into Taurus 23 May and turns direct at 26 Taurus 3 June
- Retrograde – As winged messenger of the gods Mercury appearing to fly backwards can tie us all in knots with regard to anything linked to communication and transport. Often there are themes of secrecy, the unknown, things going the wrong way, reversing, unraveling, and all the “re” words you can think of – redoing, reviewing, rethinking, revoking, regretting, rescheduling and so on
- Direct – the turning point in resolving and solution finding, things get moving again in the right direction, the previous three weeks start to make sense, the arrival of new faces or information that enable decision making and turnarounds of all kinds, revelation of the things that had been going on
If you have natal planets or Angles at or very close to the same degrees as the turning points (when a planet turns retrograde and then direct again, in this case 4 Gemini and 26 Taurus) this current sequence will be especially relevant for a life event of your own.
But retrograde Mercury is always important for us all, at a universal level. Note that he’s turning around in his own sign of Gemini, sign of the Twins, that so often denotes themes of duality or important choices. But don’t try to rush or force anything, let matters unfold.
JUPITER INGRESS ARIES
Jupiter has a 12 year cycle and we have 12 signs of the zodiac, so it’s easy maths, Jupiter spends a year travelling through each sign. This is never just A to B in a straight line though as Jupiter always has a retrograde period every year that lasts about four months. This means that Jupiter can slide in and out of two signs in any given 12 month period which is what will happen this year. Here’s the sequence –
- 11 May – Jupiter enters Aries
- 28 July – Jupiter turns retrograde at 8.43 Aries
- 28 Oct – Jupiter slides back into Pisces
- 23 Nov – Jupiter turns direct at 28.48 Pisces
- 20 Dec – Jupiter enters Aries for the second time and won’t return to Pisces for another 12 years
This time around the change of sign is a very welcome transition. From 6 – 10 May Jupiter is on the last degree of the zodiac, 29 Pisces, which is the position of a Fixed Star called Scheat, associated with suffering. As you can see from the above sequence Jupiter will be back on this degree again at the end of October and November.
As one of Jupiter’s realms is peace and liberation I think this sequence will relate to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and may even indicate that the conflict will be resolved by the end of the year. But let’s hope it’s sooner.
For those of lucky enough not to be living through a war Jupiter’s transition is packed with messages. To move from 29 Pisces to 0 Aries is to mark the shift from endings to beginnings, especially in terms of any journey that has involved themes of grief, suffering, sadness, victim role (either type, genuinely because of matters beyond our control, or the “poor me” doormat variety), sacrifice, loss of identity, focus or purpose, or the end of any matter which you can no longer change, eg loss of a job, the breakdown of a relationship of irreconcilable differences etc.
Jupiter the Greater Benefic arriving at 0 Aries is a massive and passion filled fanfare for the ego, as in returning to a healthy ego state. It’s time to choose what is right for you, especially if you’ve been living your life in a way that suits others but is making you personally miserable. Examine your own excuses for not doing the things you secretly long for. So often things boil down to low self esteem or lack of confidence or fear of failure or being overly risk averse – and so on, you get the picture. Try saying out loud, “I want …” and see how it makes you feel!
Jupiter tends to work well in the fire signs, being big, bold and exuberant. In particular look out for brand new starts in relation to Jupiter’s concerns – higher education, foreign travel, all matters linked to overseas, legal matters, personal freedom, generosity or any kind of opportunity, particularly those that feel gift wrapped from the heavens, simply because the time is right. Pay close attention to what unfolds for you on Wednesday as any kind of beginning, anything that fires your imagination or jump starts your energy, will have more to come.
THE LUNAR ECLIPSE 25 SCORPIO, SQUARE SATURN 25 AQUARIUS
Sunday 15 May
- Sun 25 Taurus square Saturn 25 Aquarius 19.50
- Sun 25 Taurus sextile Neptune 25 Pisces 20.17
Monday 16 May
- Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse 25 Scorpio 05.15
Eclipses work in pairs, sometimes in threes. A Solar Eclipse (on a New Moon) is therefore always followed two weeks later by a Lunar Eclipse (on a Full Moon) or vice versa. We had the Solar Eclipse two weeks ago so now it’s the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 25 Scorpio that will be exact in the early hours of next Monday.
- A Solar Eclipse – occurs when the Sun is obscured by the shadow of the Moon at the time of a New Moon
- A Lunar Eclipse – occurs when the Moon is obscured by the shadow of the earth at the time of a Full Moon
Eclipse essential symbolism includes –
- Being overshadowed, feeling in the dark
- Themes of empowerment – disempowerment
- Themes of loss/endings that change your life and set you on a different path
- Themes of symbolic death/rebirth – out with the old, in with the new, literally or psychologically
- Sorting winners from losers between twos or threes (Sun, Moon, Earth), eg affairs, job applications, house buying, any competitive situation. One person’s loss is another person’s gain
- Dealing with that which, until now, has been hidden from us in some way
- Revelations – sometimes on the run up to the Eclipse, sometimes even exactly on the day, or at a later date we learn what happened when we weren’t looking, when we were in the dark or “when the light went out”
- Eclipses light fuses that take time to burn – but they can’t be stopped. They often indicate pure Fate, the things that you can’t argue with
- Tipping points of change – no going back to something belonging to your old life
Getting back to basics the Sun is masculine and the Moon is feminine. With a Total Lunar Eclipse we would expect to hear news of an important woman in the world, and especially so if they have natal planets or Angles at or close to the Eclipse degree.
In other words Eclipses “sensitize” and inevitably then my thoughts go to the Queen whose horoscope I know so well as she’s one of my favourite teaching examples. With a Capricorn Ascendant she is ruled by Saturn (authority, work, duty), who sits at 24.27 Scorpio almost exactly conjunct her Midheaven (status/career) at 25.37 Scorpio.
Furthermore her Saturn is the focal point of a Fixed T-Square – being exactly square to her Mars/Jupiter conjunction at 21/22 Aquarius to one side and her Neptune at 22 Leo on the other side.
Transiting Saturn in Aquarius (ie where he is now) is currently triggering this T-Square, going backwards and forwards over her Mars/Jupiter in the 1st House of the physical body, which has clearly shown in the onset of mobility problems, opposing her Neptune and squaring natal Saturn. This Lunar Eclipse coincides with Solar aspects to Saturn and Neptune, again echoing her horoscope, and these two planets themselves come together by minor aspect at the beginning of next week.
In spite of the fact that she’s clearly still mentally sharp I wonder if she might finally give in to the fact that she’s 96 and may choose to abdicate, ie to be eclipsed. Her own journey to the throne included a major Eclipse event as her father George VI had kingship thrust upon him, coming to the throne only because his brother Edward VIII abdicated –
- Edward VIII officially abdicated on 10 December 1936
- A Solar Eclipse fell at 21.49 Sagittarius just three days later, on 13 December 1936
- His brother George VI (born 14 December 1895), had his natal Sun at 21.55 Sagittarius, exactly conjunct the eclipse degree
- The Sun in his natal chart is conjunct his 3rd house cusp – the house in which we locate siblings.
- His Sun in Sagittarius rules his Leo Midheaven (status) and is in mutual reception with Jupiter in Leo (the Sun and Jupiter are in each other’s signs), which in turn is conjunct his Midheaven – in itself a fitting symbolic picture for a man who is to be a monarch
- The eclipse falling conjunct his Sun on the 3rd house cusp sensitizes the natal configuration. His brother is eclipsed, and in fact spent the rest of his life in the shadows of exile, the mutual reception between the Sun and Jupiter is made, and George is crowned in Edward’s place
And that’s a pretty good example of what I mean by Eclipses signaling events that are fated!
Until next week, take care, and here’s your retrograde Mercury survival kit,
With love from Greece
Regardless of what is going on in the world, here’s a reminder of the usual checklist of the kind of themes to look out for when Mercury is retrograde. Traditional astrology says expect problems with “communication, information and travel” and this list certainly includes those areas in all their guises, but has also been compiled from other observations over the years.
You may already be experiencing some of these themes while others or similar may yet unfold during the next three weeks –
- Be cautious or at least selective in your use of social media. Avoid posting anything too personal or getting involved in any kind of angry debates. Also check privacy settings
- Guard against trying to construct situations or distressing 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
- Adopt the mantra of one day at a time … going too far ahead creates anxiety, especially with problems which have no clear or immediate answers
- Know that there are things you don’t know – yet
- 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
- Expect cancellations or rescheduling of appointments or personal arrangements
- 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 – let them know how much they matter
- 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 – it’s best to avoid buying any mode of transport under a retro Mercury BUT it’s the ideal time for doing all the hunting and research
- Plan any journey with extra care, don’t trust to luck or to fine timing, and make sure tickets are covered on your insurance
- Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
- Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines – paperwork and admin of all kinds are a minefield
- 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
- Turning this the other way around you can also write a letter to yourself from someone you’ve lost – which is even greater therapy. I’ve done this in the past, from my twin Sue, and it was unbelievably powerful
- 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
- 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 …
- Reserve the right to change your mind/keep an open mind. As you start to see something from a different angle the truth, reality or logistics will evolve in a way that you couldn’t possibly have planned or expected
- KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOUR 🙂