The Astrology Blog 16 August 2021
All times in BST
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
URANUS – THE BAD & THE GOOD
We all know that our natural world is in trouble and we wonder how many more times we’ll hear the phrase “the need to cut emissions” before it actually gets anywhere near happening. It’s little wonder that David Attenborough despairs. But many natural disasters are beyond our control and they all carry the same hallmark of suddenness. One moment life is going on as normal, the next moment everything is upside down.
As I’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks, Uranus (sudden change, disruption, the unexpected, shocks) grinding to a halt in Taurus (Fixed Earth) carries a symbolic and literal message. To repeat from last week’s blog –
- Events that carry the hallmarks of drama, or surprises, the bolt from the blue, the arrival of those who knock us off balance, who challenge our views, sweep us off our feet or events that turn our world upside down
- In the natural world Uranus rules things like earthquakes. He signals the events that move the ground under our feet, again literally or metaphorically
Tragically this has happened in Haiti with a terrifying 7.2 earthquake that has reduced thousands of homes and buildings to rubble and the death toll is rising. In Japan two million people are told to shelter from unprecedented rainfall, and Turkey has gone from battling massive wildfires in the south to the tragedy of deadly flash floods in the north. In Afghanistan the Taliban have regained the country with breathtaking speed. In the UK several families were shattered with a burst of gunfire.
It’s hard if not impossible to feel anything other than depressed or fearful when such horrifying news floods our screens. There’ll be plentiful “good Uranus” stories out there but of course they’re not reported. Mostly the news is about keeping us informed of all the horrible things that are happening to other people, which is why I regularly say take a news moratorium, or at least don’t immerse yourself in it.
It’s not often thankfully that we’re prompted to be thankful for the firm ground under our own feet, but this week is one of them. Overall it’s a time to take nothing for granted as Uranus finally makes the turnaround that has been building up for at least a month. More on that in a minute.
TRANSITS – Universal v Personal
The fact that Uranus often and clearly features in shocking world events doesn’t translate into Uranus always being the bad guy when it comes to personal transits. If you study your own horoscopes for the Uranus transits you’ve had so far in your own life you’ll almost certainly find that this is the case, that it’s a real mixture.
To put the Uranus journey in perspective, each planet travels through the 12 signs of the zodiac at a different speed. The “personal” planets, Sun through to Saturn, range from between a year to nearly 30 years to make a full lap of the zodiac (Aries to Pisces) whereas the cycles of the outer or “generational” planets are significantly slower:
|Saturn||29 and a half years|
This translates into the fact that, from the moment you’re born, Uranus begins a journey around your whole chart that will culminate with the Uranus Return – back to his original position – when you reach the grand old age of 84.
This means that in that journey he will transit – or cross over – all of your other natal planets and Angles (Ascendant/Midheaven). These moments will correspond to life events that are described by the nature of Uranus.
Note that Uranus is erratic in orbit as well as in his nature so the halfway/midpoint of his journey falls anywhere between the ages of 38 and 43. This is called the Uranus Half Return, commonly referred to as the astrological midlife crisis.
For example, if you have natal Uranus at 4 degrees of Libra then Uranus will have reached his halfway point when he arrives at 4 degrees of the opposite sign of Aries. You will need an Ephemerides, or an astrologer, to look up these or any other transit dates.
On all Uranus transits but especially on the Half Return some area of life is restructured, sometimes dramatically, and often this manifests as a claiming of something unlived up until this point, a sense of “if I don’t do it now I never will”. Divorces, marriages and “last chance” babies are incredibly common at the time of the Half Return.
URANUS TURNS RETROGRADE
The turning point happens in the early hours of Friday and the moment is captured by both Mercury and Mars being part of the picture –
Thursday 19 August
- Mercury conjunct Mars 13 Virgo 04.29
Friday 20 August
- Uranus turns retrograde at 14.47 Taurus 02.41
- Mercury 14 Virgo trine Uranus 14 Taurus 09.07
Sunday 22 August
- Mars 14 Virgo trine Uranus 14 Taurus 07.58
Taken by itself the coming together of Mercury (everything under the communication umbrella) and Mars (action/god of war) would normally amount to things like sharp words, pointed messages, debates, arguments, complaints, decisions of the snap or painful kind, or anything that’s needed to speed things up.
On that point I’m definitely buying a new printer lol, mine is ancient and slow, and when I went to print out some course material yesterday it immediately jammed. The writing is on the wall.
Add in the fact that this conjunction is in Virgo and this also alerts us to health decisions or work that needs painstaking attention to detail. Also look out for the critical side to Virgo which, when expressed through Mars, can come through as nagging, nitpicking and over the top perfectionism. Well intentioned actions or advice could backfire on you. Or if you don’t measure up to someone’s high standards this is the week that you’ll get the message.
HOW OFTEN IS A MERCURY – MARS CONJUNCTION?
You might think this was an annual event as Mars’ orbit is twice the length of Mercury’s (see the box above) – ie Mercury would catch up once a year – but because of retrograde cycles we actually end up with a series of three conjunctions every two years. So we had three of these conjunctions in 2019, none in 2020, and this year we’ll have three again. Here’s the full sequence playing out around Mercury’s next retrograde cycle –
- 19 August – Mercury conjunct Mars 13 Virgo
- 27 September – Mercury turns retrograde at 25 Libra
- 9 October – Mercury (retrograde) conjunct Mars 16 Libra
- 18 October – Mercury turns direct at 10 Libra
- 10 November 2021 – Mercury conjunct Mars 7 Scorpio
So this week’s sequence of aspects starts with the conjunction of Mercury and Mars but then both align with Uranus just at the moment that he’s switching to retrograde. This is like a freeze frame, as if they’re taking photographs.
This suggests that all Mercury/Mars themes will take on greater weight and significance, or that they make a definite contribution as catalysts for any Uranus turning or tipping points. It’s hard to separate them all out.
Last word on Uranus is that when I was browsing for this week’s quotes Oscar Wilde jumped out at me. Other Uranus hallmarks are uniqueness and originality. I didn’t know his horoscope other than he was Sun Libra but, when you read quotes like this, any astrologer would immediately expect to see a horoscope with Uranus strongly aspected.
Interestingly his natal Uranus is in Taurus – 15 degrees. If he were still alive he’d be 167 years old and would be having his second Uranus Return next year! Sure enough Mercury (language) sits in the 3rd House (Mercury’s Natural House) at 13 Scorpio opposite his Uranus, and both Mercury and Uranus square the Moon at 15 Leo, ie creating a major aspect pattern called a T Square. Uranus at 15 Taurus is also trine his Ascendant at 15 Virgo.
FULL MOON & JUPITER
On the same day that Uranus switches to retrograde/Mercury trines Uranus we also have the beginning of the Full Moon activity. As this falls at 29 Aquarius this means that it’s tightly conjunct (within 2 degrees) of Jupiter.
Astronomically the Full Moon happens at the moment each month when the Moon is exactly opposite the Sun, ie when the face of the Moon is receiving all of the Sun’s light. So this time the Sun is opposite Jupiter first, then it’s the monthly Moon – Jupiter conjunction and then it’s the Full Moon –
Friday 20 August
- Sun 27 Leo opposite Jupiter 27 Aquarius 01.30
Sunday 22 August
- Moon conjunct Jupiter 27 Aquarius 08.20
- Full Moon (Moon opposite Sun) 29 Aquarius 13.03
- Sun ingress Virgo 22.36
Several other points about this Full Moon –
- This is not a Blue Moon – that’s when we get two Full Moons in the same month
- But it’s the second Full Moon in a row in Aquarius – the last Full Moon was 24 July at the beginning of the sign, at 1 Aquarius
- Both 1 and 29 are considered to be “critical” degrees, ie important in terms of starting or ending cycles
- This is the last solar activity before the Sun changes sign, leaving his own sign of Leo and starting his month in Virgo
As Jupiter rules long distance travel and everything to do with overseas, and is in Aquarius, the sign belonging to Uranus which links to the collective, then this is likely to be a big week for the travel industry. For many families it will be the last chance to travel for a summer holiday before schools start back in the first week of next month.
Jupiter is retrograde but that doesn’t take away the fact that he’s the Greater Benefic – Jupiter stuff benefits us – eg travel, learning, justice, liberation, a lucky break, the influence of positive people, optimism. Being a focal part of this Full Moon adds up to news in connection to these kinds of goodies but with an “over the top” flavor in the mix as well. Jupiter = expansion, Uranus and Full Moons can both = crazy, either in the dodgy way of something being out of control or in the fun way of letting your hair down and having a lot of fun.
This certainly seems to fit the UK story that’s now unfolding. As of 16 August, today, fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days if they’re told they have been in close contact with a person who has Covid. This more than anything seems to capture feel good Jupiter’s essence of freedom as most people I talk with in the UK are basically saying that, while they realize it’s still out there and still a risk, they’re sick of the subject!
So don’t go mad with risk taking but have fun, life is still to be enjoyed rather than endured,
Until next week, with love from Greece