This week begins with a New Moon in Gemini, while Neptune stations retrograde and Mars hovers on the South Node of the Moon (soon to go retrograde as well). The dark moon and recent Neptune squares had a lot of people feeling murky and depressed. Moods may begin to lift as the Moon cycle resets anew, yet the Neptune retrograde keeps the Neptunian energy amped up in the sky. Neptune is a planet that relates to both illusion and deep spiritual truths – fantasies we invent or project onto circumstances as well as seeming-fantasies beyond our invention and comprehension that we fall deeper and deeper into on a spiritual path. In that alone, Neptune is a confusing archetype – one that both animates our projections (such as on film) for a time, and one that brings us closer to spiritual realization through disillusionment and miracle alike. If you feel a little bit at sea (ups and downs), it may be Neptune you’re feeling. Neptune transits are favorable for spiritual activity, as well as for deepening our openness to our perception of reality shifting.
When Mars retrogrades (around every two years), it comes time to internalize the Martian archetype – to meet and discover our inner warrior. Perhaps in a simplistic way, this apparent reversal of Mars in the sky points to the following: people who tend to not get angry ever may feel more intimations of inner-fire, and people who tend to run hot already may feel thwarted and need to redirect. New defenses emerge, and we disarm our old ones. But more complexly, we might meet situations in our lives that present us with the awareness that we don’t actually know how to act or meet them. Courage and skillful action become more relevant themes. Mars officially retrogrades on June 26, but you might be able to feel some of these themes ahead of time as Mars appears to slow down from Earth’s perspective.
So during the New Moon, the ruler Mercury sextiles Uranus – perhaps quickening our thinking and tuning us into future plans – but Mercury also opposes Saturn, pointing to the way in which some of our ideas and inclinations at this time might need careful strategies and time to develop. With Mars as well, slowing down and hovering on the South Node, we may not be materializing all of our current action plans – but perhaps letting many of them go or transform. Still, they arise for us to review. Mental activity, however compelling, does not always mean a green light – and Mars in Aquarius on the South Node is like an upsurge in action blueprints, these fleshed-out plans immediately accessible for review.
Venus in Leo approaches the North Node of the Moon however, energizing our values oriented toward fun and happiness. Fun and war are very different paths. This tension is here with us right now – if you orient your consciousness towards more fun and joyful ways of perceiving reality and your options, watch your action blueprints shift. And as for any heat that is arising within you: how will you cultivate it?
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Here’s our week:
Mercury in 1 Cancer sextile Uranus in 1 Taurus: 4:40 AM PDT
There’s (always) a lot going on, and it taxes the nervous system when there’s no rest or integration. As Mercury synchronizes with its higher octave planet, and we have a pairing of the mind and the higher mind, their conversation takes place in the signs of Cancer and Taurus, which both can have so much to do with coziness, safety and pleasure. Creating a soothing, harmonious environment in the home and finding ways to deeply relax can be associated with gentle quantum shifts under this transit – a new perspective that comes from a calmed body-mind.
New Moon in 22 Gemini: 12:43 PM PDT
(Image: Bartek Arobal Kociemba)
This New Moon in Gemini is still square Neptune in Pisces (after the exact Sun-Neptune square last week) and is quincunx to Pluto and Black Moon Lilith in Capricorn and sextiling Juno and Eris in Aries. Pluto in Capricorn is squaring Eris and Juno. The ruler of the New Moon, Mercury, has recently entered Cancer and forms a T-square with Chiron in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn (with Chiron at the fulcrum). Mercury is sextile Uranus in Taurus.
Themes may be in development around obligation, and the ways in which acting out of obligation pulls us off-center and creates subtle forms of deceit. Similar to obligation, but different, would be acting on our integrity. Both imply that there is a code that a person is adhering to. But with integrity, we are using our discipline-natures to uphold something we value, rather than something we think we should value.
The tension that exists between possibility and collapsing possibility by making a choice (and therefore restricting other possibilities in the process). This happens in obvious and subtle ways – like choosing a college to go to obviously collapses the possibility of going to another one, if all stays to plan. But on the subtle level, something like choosing to practice forgiveness alters the streams of one’s reality and collapses the potential streams that existed otherwise. We might not always think about it, but we are conditioned by the choices we make, and so as we make choices we are making certain realities more concrete, while leaving others in potentia.
Collapsing possibility however, is another form of manifestation – it brings some potential within reality into a more dense, real form of being. So what if we were clever about all of this? If you think about what you’d really like to manifest and bring into being this lunar month, what choices are going to support that?
The importance of research: more information can equal more possibility, and perhaps even a relevant fork in the road. When it comes to any visions or goals you have at this time, the action related to that might be a research phase. If you’re not feeling sure about your prospects, get more information. Consult with experts. Ideas and opportunities you don’t even know about yet would be likely to emerge. When the time comes to make a decision, let that be ripe, rather than rushed. Mercury is opposing Saturn, favoring sober decision making and sober thought.
Logic and the brightness of the mind tends to have a deeper anchor, like a set of values it is working around – like the ways we have certain defenses designed to protect ourselves, which includes its own story about how reality works and how safe reality is. If we are in a transformative process, such as self-improvement or growing spiritually, our mental scripts have to be updated, as well. It’s useful to have a layer of detachment from our thoughts, such as the ability to witness them, rather than to just believe them at face value.
Venus enters Leo: 2:54 PM PDT
Soon to oppose Mars, Venus will be on the North Node while Mars is on the South Node. Some approaching themes to be aware of:
Vitality, and lots of excitement and fire within relationship (and relationship to self, self-esteem) is possible, as well as discord – a more oppositional form of vitality here. Venus was just opposite Pluto and now its in orb of opposing Mars!
Mars on the South Node does not really favor reactivity, but we may still be getting triggered or feeling frustrated at this time. However, that fire that is being stoked as a result (in a detached, Aquarian way) can have other outlets in our lives. Maybe anger or frustration is surfacing that we don’t even quite understand yet. Processing it and working with it may yield a new appreciation of our independence, or a part of our fire that we were suppressing for whatever reason. And it might also influence our relational lives, as we come to others with more of ourselves intact.
Warriorship is also a huge theme with Mars on the South Node – learning the spiritual nature of the warrior, as well as being reminded of the importance of courage.
Wherever there is that anger/frustration rising, there are now competing opportunities for vibrant heart engagement… which opposes the dire qualities of Mars on the South Node (where it is dire, but it is not intrinsically a dire pair).
Venus in Leo on the North Node actually magnifies and brings in more themes of love, joy, and playfulness. It is the quality of our magnanimity, our generosity of heart, our willingness to loudly express love and beauty in the ways that we do.
Head versus heart dynamics are likely to surface. It may be less about choosing one than about finding the integration.
Anger (or frustration) may have a strong relationship to pride at this time. In the process/throes of this, see what parts of yourself are becoming ready for internal recognition. Pride, while not ranked very highly as an enlightened emotion (🤷🏻♀️), does indicate that we are building more fire in ourselves to be willful, recognized, met, special, etc. – rather than depressed, subdued, and entertaining ideas of futility. Pride often signifies that something which as been buried is coming up.
Venus in Leo amps up the romance and the extra-ness of life. It may feel a little (or a lot) bumpy with the Mars opposition and Uranus square (😻🙀), but all the while, there is lots of fun and romance out there to be enjoyed and stoked.
Venus in 1 Leo square Uranus in 1 Taurus: 8:32 PM PDT
Upgrades in self-esteem and love that may come in ways that feel tense (the square aspect) but these confrontations and their intensity may be important jolts in recognizing our own value, and the value of our connections.
It might feel that the will/pull of the heart in romance and friendships is working at cross-purpose to an interior need for integration and solitude. But both may have a large effect on the other.
We may also be upgrading our capacity to receive love and abundance as well as our capacity to walk with grace and poise in that abundance.
Mercury in 6 Cancer opposite Saturn in 6 Capricorn: 6:46 PM PDT
Mercury and Saturn also form tight quincunxes and semisextiles to the lunar nodes in Leo and Aquarius.
The potential to feel locked into a mental conundrum in which the situation feels particularly karmic – such as with a reoccurring scenario which is appearing once again, and we are debating how to meet it the most responsibly. Because of this impasse where we might feel more aware that something “is happening again” – we might be triggered into more novel insights or make more novel choices for meeting the reoccurring situation.
Neptune stations retrograde in 16 Pisces: 4:26 PM PDT
(Image: Adam Pizurny)
(Image: Elizabeth Waddell)
Neptune will station direct again November 24, 2018 in 13 degrees of Pisces.
Stationing planets become louder energies in the sky and in our lives – as they appear to slow down and crystallize into focus. Neptunian feelings are magnified: such as longing, fantasy, hope, disillusionment, forgiveness, ecstasy, confusion.
During the time of its station, Mercury in Cancer will already be trining Neptune, quite recently after Mercury in Gemini had squared Neptune. It’s possible that some of the mental/emotional crises we had the last couple weeks (if any) develop into further clarity at this time.
A Neptune retrograde can signify going inward and reassessing our spiritual compass, our dreams and hopes. While some aspects of Neptune can be floaty, loose, and dreamy – another side of Neptune experience can be a great spiritual fire, a yearning to know what is true (beyond what is illusion). The intensity of wanting to know what is true tends to peel back layers of the veil. This process can be a series of disillusionments which open up deeper perspectives on reality, as well as miracles which open up a sense of spiritual connectivity.
Mercury in 14 Cancer trine Jupiter in 14 Scorpio: 12:42 PM PDT
Mercury and Jupiter also form a grand trine with Neptune in 16 Pisces.
Deeper, stickier, and potentially more nebulous emotions can be mentally intelligible at this time. When emotions come up in this way (and we can sense them, rather than then happening at some subterranean level) we are able to work with them, and transform ourselves and/or our situation.
Thank you for meditating on the planets with me this week! Please share this article with your friends!
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Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts and teaches. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She is a novelist and is currently pursuing her masters in Philosophy. She also enjoys kundalini yoga, meditation and ashtanga yoga.