On a few fronts, love and relationship come into greater focus this week amidst our current Venus retrograde and a Full Moon in Libra. Think of love as a high-speed energy beginning to vibrate into focus, with our attentions accelerating enough that we speed up to the focus of love such that the picture can be very still and breathing full of clarity.
As we are ultimately building toward a Full Moon in Venus-ruled Libra, we will have Venus retrograde square Saturn after Saturn stations retrograde this week. Mercury also comes to a halt and stations retrograde in Venus-ruled Taurus. Before I speak more of it, feel this for a moment. What is it like, as a Venus-ruled Full Moon coming into the fullest light of its cycle – for all of these Venus-related signatures to halt in place or begin to move backward, with Venus already moving backwards from the perspective of Earth? Why is this moment in time so important that we’ve all slowed it down so we can look at these parts of the constellation belt longer? What tensions and polarities are being highlighted?
With the Sun in Aries and Mars aspecting Pluto, this isn’t all just a storyline of relationship and harmony with other: it’s going to be a gaze as well into our own natures, distinct impulses, and our own dharma, and how our individuation and individuality fits in to the larger storylines of love in our lives. It’s an examination of how harmony cannot exist by suppressing one’s instinctual nature, but that it is actually a balance of being who we really are, and letting ourselves emerge into being, while respecting and dancing with the free will of others. This is what creates active harmony and relationship. Where did we ever get the idea that it was peaceful to ignore our own free will and let others dance with our ghosts? The ego aspect of self can think less of itself all it wants; to diminish it’s own dreams, hopes, impulses – but on a soul or spirit level, we have value in existing and radiating who we are, not just for ourselves but for the ecosystem of humanity. We are the guardians to our own passions – do we follow and develop them?
Venus squaring Saturn need not be a bad thing, but it can equate to love showing itself as where it is at in our lives, versus where we might construct it to be on purely an ego fantasy level. When Venus and Saturn interact we may need to become disillusioned in such a way that we learn to love reality, rather than our illusions upon reality. Each layer of illusion we burn through has an effect of grief or deepening us into the nature of our own souls. The pain that may be present need not be ignored, but valued as a moment of spiritual and personal maturation, as well as an indicator of where a boundary is perhaps ushering us in another direction.
Because Saturn is a harvest planet, it will show us the consequences of the actions and vibrations we’ve sown. (This is not the same as a judgement-punisher god, rather cause and effect.) Whether this becomes a cause of celebration, or a time to take account of where we’re at and change course, simply depends on how aligned we are with our personal truth at this moment of space-time, and as anyone interested in myth and astrology tends to observe, aligning with one’s personal truth is an ongoing quest.
One might argue we don’t actually have time to deliberate in self-deprecating judgement or despair, but to use whatever insights or failures come forth as a way to re-calibrate our personal compass. The ways in which the Universe’s deep mirroring of us nudges us to make other more stable or empowering decisions is often more tender, even gently ahead of its time, than we give it credit for.
(Top image: Jean Giraud)
Here’s our week:
Mars in Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn: 8:57 PM PST
(Image: Jean Giraud)
- This is a harmony between two octaves: Pluto is said to be the higher octave of Mars. While Mars represents our impulse and instinctual nature, Pluto is the deep undercurrent that sources that instinct. To know the Pluto side of our own nature is to have a finely tuned free will. While Mars may fight or put up defenses, Pluto magnetizes reality to itself by being what it is. In a sense, all Mars without Pluto would be like continuing to slay a dragon who grows back its head each time it is slain. To know Pluto in this scenario would be to so deeply understand and come to terms with this particular dragon and what it represents, such that it becomes no longer threatening and is instead an ally.
- Mars and Pluto will both be in earth signs, and a high expression of this harmony can be the ways in which our actions are always cultivating (Mars in Taurus) the greater infrastructure we are seeking to nourish (Pluto in Capricorn). Some of us may be more clear on the big picture than we are the small actions that suit that big picture, or vice versa. Either way, there is a deep tenderness with Taurus to take into account. There are as yet hidden ways we can lead our lives moment-to-moment from an underlying vibration of peace, rather than being at war with what is. The vital energy of war would still be present, except it would be a vitality of active peace.
- To observe this transit, consider at a moment-to-moment level the bull (Taurus) energy within you and whether it is is relaxed and at peace with the way time and events are unfolding, while also showing up to be part of that passage of time: or if there is a sense of frustration and the bull breathing heavy and pulling its foot back against the dirt prepared to charge. Both of these planets are in yin signs, and while the trigger of any given frustration may be an external cue, the alchemy is pretty internal here. To cultivate interior and exterior stability, we find ways to source ourselves with the same energies or symbols of gratification we seek to “get”/reach for externally.
- The deep and intense sense of peace that is a high expression of this transit, is not necessarily immediately accessible – it is a kind of fitness, a grooved track one can enter because of personal practices or ways of being. When things like emotional wellbeing are overly mystified, it seems like something that just happens to us, rather than something that can be deliberately cultivated. Watch for (be receptive to) practical information on how to improve a given situation. In the meantime, the frustration is a fire we learn how to sit with, learn how to let it move us toward our goal by showing us where there is a sense of unease.
- Earth signs don’t get a rap for being existential or philosophical, but they definitely can be. The energy they apply toward it may be more earthy though, present at the density – such as this sentiment: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or books that are written in a foreign tongue. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live your way some distant day into the answers.” – R. M. Rilke
Saturn stations retrograde in Sagittarius: 10:06 PM PST
(Image: Daan Noppen)
- Stationing planets focus in intensity within consciousness. As you may have noticed this forecast even has a more sober, Saturnian tone than usual, with quotes from a great historical mind like Rilke a few times throughout. Saturn retrograde in particular invites us to reconsider how we are structuring our lives. Saturn is not interested in band-aid solutions – it wants to know how the system can function better as a whole such that a given coping strategy is not even necessary. Saturn likes efficiency. To understand the gravity or severity even of Saturn, imagine how you feel in your body and spirit when you enter a courthouse, a prison, or even an institution you have more positive associations with: the energy in the air is actually denser; a certain code with certain limitations exists. But the nature of the container, whatever it is, allows a certain experience or function to exist. When Saturn re-writes itself, which it needs to now and then to serve a valid function rather than to be a hollow memory of an old need and actually obstructing flow with its rigidity – it is not always simple. Sometimes it takes deep contemplation, life experience, time, resources, or essentially a whole and dynamic process of overhaul.
- Within Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius, we are understanding the cosmology of the status quo, how whatever we classify as reality, whether that is the physical plane, government, science, our cultural upbringing, our family of origin’s value — all derive cosmology. Within this, it becomes important to examine if our beliefs about how reality function are supportive, or if they are misguided in some way. We consider the consequences of cosmology. For example, within astrology, there are many different cosmological understandings of how it works. If a person believes that “detriments” and “falls” within astrology (bad planetary placements) are actually an objective thing (like Mars actually is ineffective in Cancer), rather than a value judgement by a human or a group of humans within a specific cultural/historical context, this is going to color how they interpret their own or other’s planetary placements. It is important to consider where our cosmologies become entrapments, versus where our cosmologies can actually launch us into greater truths.
- In terms of supportive beliefs, or beliefs that “work”, experimenting with wishful thinking or new ideas is an option. However, what sticks, or what is given authority of existing, has more likely been made “real” by Saturn. There is a difference between hoping things are going to work out all right, and a deep, authoritative knowing that everything is working out. The quest is how we get there, and no moment of that quest is less true than the final result. If anything, those “less true” moments are less mature, not fully ripe, but they are necessary frames of time leading up to the moment of ripeness. In this way, that is why you will hear some people speak highly of failure for it being a relevant compass point on their path.
Sun in Aries opposite Jupiter in Libra: 2:39 PM PST
- The Fool (Aries) is often granted luck (Jupiter). Think of where you have gone out on a limb in a truly fresh, Aries kind of way and been rewarded or personally expanded for it. The true fool is not making the karmic choice of ignoring something it knows in favor of doing something rashly anyway – it literally is trying something entirely new to itself, which in many ways the Universe shines brightly upon, like it’s charmed by it.
- The true fool as well is vulnerable – capable of being wounded. It is acting with courage. Vibrationally, this can bring out the best in others. I think of it like videos you might see of predatory animals like lions or tigers taking in a baby animal it is accustomed to eating, but taking care of it instead of eating it.
- Culture training on not being “selfish” aside, the genuine impulse to become who one really is does have a spiritual value within the cultural ecosystem it is present within, especially in terms of facing the problems our world faces today, which needs the presence of creatively self-actualized individuals. So often we have been exposed to cultural or relationship matrices which require that people stifle themselves for the greater good for culture or relationship, when it is actually good for everyone if everyone thrives and becomes what they really are. This transit can show us through direct experience the ways in which our authenticity shining forth is actually an opening and a liberation to connection with others, if we will be more expansive in our view of what is possible in terms of how we openheartedly relate to ourselves and others.
Retrograding Venus in Pisces square Saturn in Sagittarius: 1:28 PM PST
“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult task of all… the work for which all other work is but preparation. It is a higher inducement to the individual to ripen… a great exacting claim upon us, something that chooses us out and calls us to vast things.” – R. M. Rilke
- The trials that love presents us with can be met on the ego level or being/soul level – and the great mythic work of Saturn in Sagittarius and the great transpersonal opening of Venus in Pisces happen at their best here, the soul and being levels.
- “Conscious commitment is a pact between beings, rather than between personalities. In effect, my partner and I say to each other, ‘Whatever problems our personalities have together, we will not let them get between us. If our egos are at war, we will not let that ruin our deeper connection – we will always come back and meet on this deeper level. We will help each other wake up and become all that we can be. We will keep opening to each other and to life itself and through this relationship.’ Without such an alliance between beings, our egos will likely conspire to perpetuate old habitual patterns, and the container we create may become a prison or a hollow shell. Conscious commitment is to /being/ together, not just staying together.” – John Welwood from Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love.
- Outside of this kind of sacred contract Welwood describes above, we are all feeling into what we are committed to, what sense of destiny we are committed to. Are we doing that work? The destiny work is like a sacred contract between our many selves: ego, personality, soul, higher self, spirit, and other-selves (other beings). We are tasked with the question of how do we really lean into our own fantasies, such that our dreams are our reality (no mysterious or ominous force is blocking our part)? How do we show up for that process in the ways that we are empowered to?
- It might help with this transit to not simply expect to get what one thinks they want – but to realize that grinding along our edge, feeling into the struggle, is part of getting what we want. Venus-Saturn contacts can correlate with our Venusian dreams manifesting in a 3D way, or that they seem blocked off and unattainable. Venus-Saturn is not simply the agenda; its the mirror of if we’re surfing our track or if we’re hitting our head against a wall. When we experience a limitation, it assists us to deeply contemplate why that limitation exists for us. This work is how we integrate Heaven and Earth.
Sun in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn: 5:45 PM PST
(See Full Moon in Libra interpretations below as this will be integrated there)
Mercury stations retrograde in Taurus: 4:15 PM PST
Some dates to keep in mind for you – Mercury will re-enter Aries April 20th, go direct May 3 from the sign of Aries, and it will leave retrograde shadow May 20, 2017.
- So Mercury retrograde protocol – it’s not a bad transit! Be prepared for some rerouting. When things don’t go to plan in Mercury retrograde, the point is not to try to control events so that they do – it’s often about opening up to what new information or experience is introduced. Sure, it’s getting your car fixed when it breaks down, but it’s that strangely poignant heart-to-heart you have with the tow-truck driver on the way that you pay attention to, or even the way that being late for an event as a result created a blow-up argument with your partner and revealed hidden frustration ready to be addressed and loved. Let either metaphor extend to how present you are with your re-routes, versus how doggedly you would try to get things to be back to plan.
Full Moon in Libra: 11:08 PM PST
(Image: Lotte Reiniger)
This Full Moon activates the Grand Cardinal Cross I spoke about in last week’s forecast – between Jupiter in Libra, Uranus in Aries, Vesta in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn. The Sun will be conjunct Uranus in Aries, with the Moon conjunct Jupiter in Libra, with each the Sun and Moon squaring Pluto. Here are some possibilities to look for:
- The surprising, expansive luck of personal candor (the potential for better relating where there is greater self-disclosure or sharing). The sense that we fit in because of who we are, not that we have to fit in by being someone else. Finding the critical adjustment that allows oneself to be a more honest participant of their social reality, on a metaphysical level of honesty (you fit into the greater ecosystem).
- The heightened connectivity that occurs because of vulnerable authenticity can effectively deprogram places where we have internalized shame, where we feel we are “not supposed” to act a certain way or be a certain way.
- Discovering how a sense of aggression or wanting more space than a current reality is allowing is a sign of something bigger in development – some shackles are wanting to be broken. (Think Alice in Wonderland outgrowing her house…) These shackles involve relationship, so it is an inner and outer development of phenomena that occurs (one force cannot simply act upon another when there is dynamic relationship).
- Outgrowing a prior comfort zone or notion of security because of a larger, more difficult-to-understand impulse toward something innovative and personally pioneering. It may be very easy to source this as the result of some tangible outer event or person which places restriction on one overtly or subtly, even though it is also truly an inner-process which the external world mirrors or triggers.
- Intimacy between ourselves and others is not sourced by maintaining the status quo: it’s about being present with disruptions and breakdowns and letting love shine into those cracks.
- The phenomenon in which when we change, or embark upon totally new territory, our outer social worlds shift as a result. It’s like a metaphysical game of musical chairs, and the music that is playing is our frequency and the kinds of actions we take within those frequencies. Some of these changes may be consciously enacted by us, while others may be deeper, subconscious forces which possess an intelligence we do not understand yet on the ego level and manifest as external events. The ego is bound to space and time, but the timeless self/Soul is not – hence why we are attracted to major catalytic life moments which can shock the ego self but catalyze a deeper alignment between one’s ego and Soul. These are events we understand in retrospect as moments that set us on the path.
Thank you for being here with me this week! The 6th is this Ram-ess’s birthday so if you are so inclined send me a wish! I love you guys and appreciate your readership so much.
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Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She also enjoys kundalini and ashtanga yoga, hiking and creative writing. You can subscribe to receive her weekly forecasts by email here.