Planetary cycles

Mars in the news: The Opposition and Blood Moon

marsAstrological Mars is retrograde right now and moving much more slowly than it normally does (from our perspective on earth).  Consequently, its impact is more intense with a heightened feeling of aggression and inspiration towards action.  Mercury entered Mars’s own sign of Aries yesterday which adds additional fire to the mix and adding excitement and perhaps a few arguments to interpersonal communication everywhere.

Mars of course is instrumental in the upcoming Grand Cross of planets in the cardinal signs of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, so this barrage of intensity will not be letting up any time soon.

So it’s an interesting coincidence that Mars will be opposite the Sun in the sky Tuesday evening – an event that happens only once every two years or so.  A week later, on April 14th, Mars will at its closest point to Earth, making both of these evenings an ideal time to observe Mars in the sky.

The color of Mars is red, and when Mars is near the earth it appears as a red ball in the sky.  At the same time that Mars will be at perihelion, it’s closest proximity to earth, the Moon will be approaching fullness (the Full Moon actually occurs on April 15th but will be nearing fullness on the 14th).  This Full Moon is likely to appear red as it is eclipsed by the Sun, prompting it to be called a Blood Moon, and Mars will appear adjacent to the Moon as a second fiery red body in the sky.

All of this occurring at the time of the Cardinal Grand Cross has lots of people fearing the worst, and the idea of the Blood Moon has sparked the imaginations of fundamentalist bible readers across the globe. […]

By | 2014-04-07T22:19:31+00:00 April 7th, 2014|Planetary cycles|11 Comments

Planetary news this week: Mars and Saturn change direction

Art from Deviant Art Art from Deviant Art

I am late with the Planetary Illuminations report this week, but you all may be feeling the influence of Mars turning retrograde on March 1st followed immediately by Saturn on the 2nd.

Planets don’t travel backwards, but because astrologers view the movement of the planets from our perspective on earth they sometimes appear to travel in reverse direction.  Before a planet changes direction its movement slows down to a crawl and they appear stationary in the sky at the time the change of direction actually occurs.

When a planet is stationary its influence is more powerful.  Mars only turns retrograde every couple of years and the fact that it is retracing its steps over the challenging dynamic square between Uranus and Pluto makes this a significant event.  I discussed this back in December when Mars entered the sign of Libra:

The archetype of Mars is the “God of War.”  This gives Mars dominion over the human quality of aggression and the emotion of rage, but it also helps us to define boundaries and defend ourselves. Mars has been called “the lesser malefic” but it is also the desire nature – the drive that gets us out of bed in the morning and instills excitement and eagerness to make something happen.  When Mars is repressed or afflicted in the natal chart it becomes more difficult to express, resulting in fatigue or health problems.

Mars is said to be in its detriment in Libra, meaning it is not very happy there.  Rather than be directly obnoxious, as Mars prefers to be, Mars in Libra covers its irritation and anger with a veneer of Libran polish so that it can be difficult to really see the […]

By | 2018-06-11T11:31:24+00:00 March 5th, 2014|Planetary news this week|4 Comments

Planetary news this week: a Pisces trip through magic

Sun in PiscesThe Sun has entered into dreamy Pisces – the “celestial dustbin” of the zodiac.  In Pisces everything that exists in the world comes together in a swirl of magic to be released like fairy dust into the ethers.  The Piscean experience is that of transcendence – it urges us to transcend our ordinary lives of mundane details and find bliss in a joyful dream.  This experience can occur in an infinite number of ways – through losing ourselves in our relationships, an experience of Samadhi in meditation, a walk in the woods or a sunset, creating a beautiful piece of art. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and having just entered Pisces the Sun will align with Neptune on the 23rd of February.  For the next few days creativity is at a peak and it becomes easier to channel the divine within us into a form that can create happiness not only for us but also for those around us. A trine from the Sun to the North Node of the Moon opens doorways that help us in our evolutionary journey.  This is a beneficial energy that will help us from falling into the Pisces trap of becoming lost in the “glamour” of the fairy dust under which we see only want we want to see and lose track of the physical world entirely. In the  meantime, this Pisces/Neptune magic can open the heart to Divine Love in a way that nothing else can, opening portals in your relationships for deeper connection, facilitating your art or creative drive, and deepening your connection to Universal Wisdom.

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world, For I would ride with you upon the wind, Run on the top […]

By | 2018-06-11T11:31:38+00:00 February 19th, 2014|Planetary news this week|2 Comments

A change of direction: the lunar nodes change signs

Art by Igor Pogosyan

The Nodes of the Moon are not planets – they are purely mathematical points that show where the path of the Moon crosses the path of the Sun (called the “ecliptic”).  The North, or ascending, node acts as a signpost to take us into the future – it points the way for our soul’s evolutionary growth.  The South, or descending, node is a signpost from the past.  Through the South Node we release people, places and things which we carry with us that are no longer needed.

The North and South Nodes are always in opposite signs, reflecting the polarity of the astrological pantheon, and they change signs approximately every eighteen months or so.  On March 23 the mean calculation for the North Node will move from Scorpio into Libra.  Some astrologers use the “true node” which will change signs on February 19th.

One of many things astrologers argue over is whether to use the “mean node” or the “true node.”  Steven Forrest has written a which I can’t improve upon.  Steven says:

[T]he actual moment-to-moment position of the lunar nodes is quite twitchy. Essentially that is how the true node is calculated—although in reality most astrological computer do not take all of these effects fully into account. Even the “true” node is not really true. The bottom line is the calculated true node’s motion is eccentric. It can even sometimes go briefly Direct.

The mean node assumes the simpler view: that the Moon orbits the center of the Earth. The effect is to smooth everything out a bit.

In any case, when the lunar nodes change signs there is a shift in focus on a global […]

By | 2014-02-11T02:32:44+00:00 February 11th, 2014|Planetary cycles|9 Comments

The Jupiter/Pluto opposition: this time with Venus

Art  by Mati Klarwein

The most recent opposition (180 degree) formation between Jupiter and Pluto began last summer and you can catch up on that earlier article here.

Jupiter inspires us to find meaning in our lives by developing faith and belief in an ideal that works for us.  It therefore rules theology and religion, but also travel and exposure to other cultures that expand our minds.  Jupiter also presides over the realm of higher knowledge and the search for a truth that makes sense for us.  However, Jupiter’s need for continual expansion can result in an overinflated sense of reality that has no basis in the real world.  Pluto on the other hand demands nothing less than Truth with a capital “T” – the ultimate Truth that can be known  only when artifice and the superficial are discarded, and when Pluto interacts with Jupiter the inflated hopes and dreams of Jupiter can often be burst.

With Jupiter opposing Pluto we will likely see conflict between the small truths and the bigger Truths that underlie the very fabric of reality.  Jupiterian truths are like theologies – your truth may be different from mine.  Your politics may be different from mine.  But Truth is a reality that cannot change from one person to the next.

Many planetary cycles occur in three phases (although sometimes with Saturn there is only one, and with Neptune and Pluto there can be five and even, rarely, seven).  These cycles sometimes fall into a pattern of experience, although just as with all human experience there is a wide variation depending on the individual and the cycle.  The initiatory phase wakes us up with new information – there is […]

By | 2014-01-25T08:36:59+00:00 January 25th, 2014|Planetary cycles|6 Comments
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