Planetary cycles

Jupiter/Saturn and Mercury Retrogrades

Saturn opposite JupiterThis week the expansive urge of Jupiter bumps up against the contraction of Saturn for the third and final time in the current cycle.  This is the “Full Moon” phase of the cycle, the culmination of a pattern that began in 2000 with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus.  Mundane astrologers, observing the effect of astrological patterns on nations and politics, connect the Saturn/Jupiter opposition with a crisis point or climax in global political events.

It’s hard to tell right now which planetary cycle is inspiring the political events unfolding on the ground, and I tend to think that Uranus entering Aries, being a more powerful planet in its influence, is primarily in play with the revolutionary fervor that is spreading around the world, including in the UK where hundreds of protesters rioted in London last weekend, protesting against the concentration of wealth and the reduction of goods and services for the common man.  This is very Uranian and a harbinger of what is to come over the next few years as Uranus and Pluto align in square formation.

Jupiter/Saturn alignments are often significators of financial adjustments, but stock market indices are relatively stable at the moment.  I have found that the square aspect (90 degrees) is usually more problematic than the opposition.  Oppositions create a tension, but the tension can be balanced and does not always necessitate a crisis for resolution.

However, with Mercury turning retrograde on March 30th, we are in the shadow of the retrograde which could bring about a downturn in the market.  Uranus in Aries is quite volatile anyway, and it won’t take much inspiration to create havoc in financial markets and stocks.  The retrograde turn of Mercury generally […]

By | 2011-03-29T06:18:23+00:00 March 29th, 2011|Planetary cycles|Comments Off on Jupiter/Saturn and Mercury Retrogrades

Looking forward: The transformation of 2012

Looking back to understand the future.


No matter what you think about the controversy over the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, there is no question that this is a significant time in human history.  As I write this, a wave of revolutionary fervor is spreading throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and in the United States frustrated workers are taking to the streets in protest against a political structure that favors banks and corporations and strips individuals of their economic rights.

It would be easy to think that perhaps the world really IS coming to an end if you weren’t following the astrological trends.  These trends provide a context for these world events and offer clues to help us to make sense of them as well as the changes that are occurring in our own lives.  The interrelationships of the planets as they circle the Sun help us to define periods of cyclic change that will encourage personal growth and global balance.  Depending upon the nature of the individual planet, areas of life which are out of balance will be highlighted and will require that we make some sort of adjustment in order to achieve a harmonious state in our lives.

In order to understand the nature of the changes that are coming, we must travel back in time to the beginning of 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn.  As the planet that governs destruction and regeneration as well as revelations about the dark side of human character, Pluto has a transformative effect on the issues of any sign that it travels through.  Pluto’s journey through its own sign of Scorpio witnessed revelations of sexual abuse and the HIV epidemic  (death through sex) which […]

By | 2018-06-11T11:11:11+00:00 March 1st, 2011|Longreads, Planetary cycles|6 Comments

Chiron in Pisces, February 8 2011

Chiron in Pisces Art by Willow Arlenea

Most of the planets in our solar system travel through the zodiac (from our perspective here on earth) at approximately the same rate of speed, no matter what sign they are traveling through.  The Sun takes about 30 days to go through each sign; Saturn takes approximately 26-28 months to go through a sign.

Chiron and Pluto both have elliptical orbits from our perspective on earth, so their travel through the twelve signs of the zodiac is more erratic.  Here are the approximate number of years Chiron spends in each sign:

  • Nine years in Aries
  • Seven years in Taurus
  • Four years in Gemini
  • Three years in Cancer
  • Two years in Leo
  • Two years in Virgo
  • Two years  in Libra
  • Two years in Scorpio
  • Three years in Sagittarius
  • Four years in Capricorn
  • Six years in Aquarius
  • Eight years in Pisces

So Chiron spends more time in Pisces and in Aries than in any other sign.  Chiron tiptoed into Pisces in April of 2010 for just a few months before moving back into Aquarius to complete its Aquarian journey along with Neptune.  You can read more about the transition from Aquarius to Pisces here which includes these paragraphs that are probably most applicable today:

With Chiron in Pisces for the next nine years or so, the last stage of healing occurs at the soul level. This process began last year with the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune, the ruler of Pisces. Under this combination many of us were intensely aware of the longings of the soul within. Memories of past loves; mourning for those we’ve lost — all took on a more profound meaning as the doorway to the soul opened under Neptune’s guidance so that the healing of Chiron could begin to do its work. The […]

By | 2011-02-05T09:19:44+00:00 February 5th, 2011|Consciousness, Planetary cycles|Comments Off on Chiron in Pisces, February 8 2011

Into the underworld, and Venus ascending

Halloween truly is a pagan practice, and most people now recognize that this so-called holiday is actually rooted in the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Although Halloween is commonly celebrated on October 31, the festival of Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday that occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice on November 7.

Astrologically, Samhain (along with the other cross-quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasad) is celebrated at the midpoint of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. Fixed signs are the signs of power – like the square, their stability and fixed nature leads to a buildup of energy that opens up a doorway to an explosion of raw power. In Scorpio, that power is directed within, fearlessly exploring the invisible dimensions of life and reaching across dimensions to discover what awaits there.

Samhain was celebrated as the New Year in pre-Christian Celtic lands, and it was thought that during this time the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication with the dead was widely practiced during Samhain rituals, not surprising because of the association with Scorpio and the underworld of darkness that it rules.

When Christianity attempted to subsume the pagan Celtic festivals into Christian holidays, All Saints or All Hallows Day was established on November 2 with the night before being the Eve of All Hallows which has come down to us as Halloween. Participants still celebrate the souls of the dead during Hallows Eve, but now the creatures from the other side were reviled as evil. Wise women became the evil witches; offerings of food and drink were left out for the dead souls to placate their evil spirits.

Sig Lonegren from Glastonbury writes about Samhain and […]

By | 2010-10-30T12:27:53+00:00 October 30th, 2010|Holidays, Planetary cycles|1 Comment

Jupiter and Uranus meet again

Art by Josephine Wall

Jupiter and Uranus are the two planets of liberation, and back in May they converged in the first sign of Aries, the sign of courage, warfare, and action.  The two turned retrograde over the summer, and a few weeks ago Uranus retrograded back into Pisces to complete its mission of revolutionizing (Uranus) the realm of our spiritual experience (Pisces).

Yesterday Jupiter retrograded back into Pisces and the two planets are within a degree of each other now, so the influence of this conjunction is strengthening leading up to the exact alignment on the 18th of September.  The combination of Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces will have a much different effect than the explosive conjunction in Aries back in May and June. Jupiter seeks expansion, optimism and shared meaning in life; Uranus demands radical action to break free of restrictions.

The second and third phases of this cycle will occur in Pisces.  In Aries, there is a big explosion of energy moving out into the world.  In Pisces, the pressure to release and expand moves inward and creates a force of pressure into the world of dreams, ideals, and spiritual realities.  There may be passive-aggressive forces at work here since it is more difficult to identify the players; in Pisces the archetypes are submerged into the deep waters of the sea.  Emotions may feel unsettling at times, all the more so because they are difficult to identify.  This is a time to ride the waves of the internal flow.

The stirrings of liberation made themselves known during the first Aries phase.  Now, in our individual lives, we are asked to go more deeply into the multiple layers of our inner realities so that we […]

By | 2010-09-10T06:43:46+00:00 September 10th, 2010|Planetary cycles|2 Comments
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