The Astrology Blog 20 April 2020
All times in BST
” Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore …”
Dorothy to her dog, in The Wizard of Oz
You’re probably sick of hearing me say that it’s another important week, but it is. The intensity of the times we’re living through is reflected in the heavens, and as astrology works on the “as above, so below” principle, then turbulence is to be expected.
Little wonder that The Wizard of Oz famous line popped into my head when I was thinking about a quote for this week’s blog. I Googled it to check the exact wording, and in the process this came up, showing that this iconic quote is so iconic, ie symbolic of something else, that it has worked its way into our culture, meaning that whenever you say it, others know exactly what you mean –
We‘re not in Kansas anymore is a phrase that means we have stepped outside of what is considered normal, we have entered a place or circumstance that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable, we have found ourselves in a strange situation.
Many of us don’t know where we are anymore, many people feel lost and adrift, out of life’s normal routine and struggling with anxiety or apathy. It’s affecting work, concentration, relationships and sleep patterns. Many of us didn’t realize that constantly making plans, constantly nurturing our hopes and dreams, is actually a vital part of our very identity. In the face of so much fear and uncertainty many people don’t know WHO they are anymore, never mind where. That’s a lot to deal with. So it’s extremely important to be kind to yourself and to love yourself through this “strange situation”.
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by wise and spiritually advanced women. Three of them have said or written things in recent weeks that I’ve found so helpful, so am passing on their words as a source of thought and support. It started with a conversation a few weeks ago with, unsurprisingly, my colleague and good friend, astrologer and herbalist Elisabeth Brooke, who drew my attention with –
Really, if you were God/Goddess aka Mother Nature, what would YOU do? The only way to stop humans from destroying this planet was to bring the whole world to a grinding halt and start again.
Hilary Kelly, tarot reader and therapist, wrote to me a few weeks ago, including the sentence –
I hope you are okay and making a friend of this time and do not see it as an enemy. What an important time this is now and how enterprising, it is a time for people to rediscover themselves and sort out their inhibitions and problems without any diversions.
At the time I was up to my eyes in the ruins of my Summer School and reinventing myself as an online business, and I probably was seeing the pandemic as the enemy, but her words resonated with me and they make more and more sense.
Jocelyn Chaplin – psychotherapist, natural spirituality teacher, artist and writer – is emphatic on the point of this pandemic not being the enemy –
It’s NOT a war. It’s a massive challenge to Humanity, socially, economically and spiritually. Metaphors of battles and enemies are part of the old way of thinking many of us want to change. Even some spiritual commentators talk of dark versus light, nature versus humans (despite the fact that we are part of nature too.) In the Gaia hypothesis by scientist James Lovelock the earth is a self regulating body.
If nothing else I think everyone is inevitably, increasingly, and not always comfortably, aware of the healing happening to our planet itself. You can’t miss it, from cities shimmering under blue skies to the appearance of wildlife roaming the streets. On the news just this morning there was a video of a kangaroo hopping down the deserted Adelaide streets. Satellite observations have shown a marked drop in nitrogen dioxide concentrations, firstly over China and northern Italy, and now over the rest of Europe and presumably over the US as well. Air pollution has halved in all the UK major cities, including London, Glasgow, Bristol and Oxford. Will we ever think of our own carbon footprints in the same way again? We now can’t fail to be aware of the difference we can make.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
In the meantime, as you’ll no doubt know by now, it’s the major Jupiter – Pluto conjunction that is carrying a lot of the symbolism related to the pandemic, and this aspect is being activated again at the end of this week by Mercury. More on that in a minute, but here’s the link again to the feature just on this subject.
Firstly, we’re getting a whisper of another major aspect in the making which is the square between another two giants, Saturn and Uranus. This aspect occurs every 22 years, but won’t be exact until next year, playing out from February to December 2021.
The two planets are now only 5 degrees apart in their respective signs but for now they won’t get any closer than that, and in fact they’re about to start drifting further apart from each other (because Saturn is already starting to slow down in readiness for turning retrograde in three weeks time). This week however starts with the Sun newly arrived in Taurus squaring Saturn, and finishes with the Sun conjunct Uranus. In the middle we have the New Moon (when the Sun and Moon are conjunct) at 3 Taurus –
Tuesday 21 April
- Sun 1 Taurus square Saturn 1 Aquarius 08.01
Thursday 23 April
- New Moon 3 Taurus 03.29
- Moon conjunct Uranus 6 Taurus 09.30
Sunday 26 April
- Sun conjunct Uranus 6 Taurus 10.02
The Sun and the Moon are known as the Lights – Sun light of the day, Moon light of the night – and between them they symbolize life itself. Saturn is the opposite, as he is the enemy of the Lights, being in detriment in Leo and Cancer, the two signs ruled by the Sun and the Moon respectively. So any Lights/Saturn combination is not great for health issues, which in turn reflects the pandemic emergency which has still yet to peak in many countries.
Saturn by square (tough aspect) is also about restriction, obstacles and delays. Ask the NHS staff in the UK who are STILL waiting for the proper provision of PPE or everyone who is still waiting for testing. No matter what your own politics might be there is no doubt that the UK government has basically screwed this up big time, and verified news stories bear this out, including spending $20 million on 2 million coronavirus home test kits … bought from the Chinese … which didn’t work …
This kind of stuff really doesn’t do a lot for trust and confidence. And even without the isolating issues Sun square Saturn, at a personal level, can be low morale, slowness, tiredness, claustrophobia, or just a plain bad mood. Don’t be surprised if you go on a “fed up with all of this” downer or find it extra hard to accept the current limitations.
With your personal concerns it’s time to ease back from anything that isn’t working out the way you’d hoped. Square pegs don’t fit into round holes and we basically have to find ways of easing our frustrations, not adding to them, as this new week gets underway. New ways of doing things is an ongoing theme, and everything that’s playing out around this New Moon suggests that adaptability is one of the top factors in survival at every level.
THE NEW MOON
The New Moon in itself is lovely, at 3 degrees of Taurus. This is the Moon’s sign of “exaltation”, a symbol of nurturing, abundance and sensuality. Further, 3 degrees is the Moon’s ultimate “degree of exaltation”, it doesn’t get any better than that. But being sandwiched in between the heavy mob of Saturn and Uranus really isn’t helping. For many the obvious interpretation applies, that the life that most appeals is being withheld, or that further loss of some kind may set us back yet again.
Wherever possible though there’s no harm in still building dreams around the life you most want for yourself and/or your loved ones. Squares to Saturn so often indicate bad timing so some matters will be delayed rather than denied forever. Protect your own emotional space and you may even feel thankful that you’re now able to see what you really want, what is of real importance, and be able to adjust your priorities accordingly.
The Sun’s conjunction with Uranus, previewed at the time of the New Moon and then exact at the weekend, is in some ways more important as this aspect happens only once a year. It’s an aspect that is unpredictable simply because Uranus is the loose cannon, the rug puller, the thing you couldn’t possibly have seen coming. It can be the ultimate wakeup call as Uranus is like The Tower in the Tarot, the harbinger of upheaval, lightning bolts, sudden revelations or any kind of event that changes your world, or which changes a situation that had, up until now, seemed hopelessly stuck.
Within the context of the pandemic remember that Uranus rules the collective but is also the planet of rebellion. Saturn restricts, Uranus explodes. Saturn sulks, Uranus gets stroppy. Many are on a very short fuse. Already in the news are reports of how various countries are introducing gradual easing of the lockdown rules, especially for children, and of growing concerns for people’s mental health. Two weeks ago I wrote about the rise in domestic violence, one of the worst examples of how it’s the vulnerable who suffer the most. Here’s the helpline info again if you need it or if you can pass it on to anyone in trouble –
The 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge is for women experiencing domestic abuse, their family, friends and others calling on their behalf.
Phone: 0808 2000 247
The other big point about the presence of Uranus this week is that, as the planet of humanity as whole, it reminds us that all of our actions affect others. It is the individuals who don’t follow the guidelines who put their community at risk. Also as I’ve written before, if you take this pandemic personally, you will suffer more. For example, it was impossible to stay upset about losing my Summer School this year when I realized that every single business on this island was going to suffer. At the heart of adaptability is the ability to focus on what we do have, rather than what we don’t.
MERCURY IN ARIES FINALE
Staying positive in this way is of course harder at some times than others, and Mercury’s aspects at the end of the week will put us to the test –
Saturday 25 April
- Mercury 25 Aries square Pluto 25 Capricorn 08.35
- Pluto turns retrograde 25 Capricorn 19.52
Sunday 26 April
- Mercury 26 Aries square Jupiter 26 Capricorn 05.32
We had the first of the three Jupiter – Pluto conjunctions on 5 April, but these slow moving planets are still travelling side by side, less than two degrees apart. Mercury’s aspects carry a lot of weight for several reasons –
- they re-invoke the power of this major conjunction
- they are Mercury’s last aspects before changing sign (moves into Taurus next Monday)
- squares equate with conflict and tension, and the square to Pluto coincides with Pluto himself turning retrograde (won’t turn direct again until the beginning of October).
- these aspects finalise within a few hours of the Sun’s meeting with Uranus
In a nutshell, fasten your seatbelts. Mercury as the communication planet brings news, information and decisions. This whole week’s astrology at one level would seem to reflect the struggle between personal freedom/protection, following/breaking rules, containing the population/anarchy and breakdowns, choices between more safety/more economic downturn – and so on.
These themes will also be making themselves felt at a personal level, such as having to face problems with no positive answers, having to make difficult decisions that might protect your own (Aries) sanity but which won’t go down well with anyone else, having lockdown measures extended and dealing with how that impacts on your relationships and working life, worrying about a loss of closeness and intimacy with those you can’t physically be with – the list is probably endless. But it’s crucial not to give in to despair. Again, make adaptability your top watchword. The world of psychotherapy tells us that “perception of choice” is a huge factor in staving off depression, so keep looking at all your options in every area of your life. Keep yourself empowered. Remember, this isn’t forever – it just feels like it. And Dorothy and Toto did get back to Kansas!
With love from Greece