Sign-Shifts Extraordinaire


As an astro-watcher, I love weeks such as this current one, when all three of the personal planets—Mercury, Venus and Mars—change signs.

During such weeks, it's much easier for us humdrum human creatures to notice the overall energetic shift in the atmosphere. The contrasts (between 'before' and 'after') are more obvious. The subtleties, replaced with the dramatic sensation of 'a whole new thing'.

(Is it any wonder I awoke this morning with the sensation that this is the first day of the rest of my life? Okay, I get that sense a lot. Technically speaking, it's never not true, right?)

Between last Friday (Apr 6) and this Wednesday (Apr 11), a span of five days, we're witnessing the three sign-shifts of Mercury, Venus and Mars… not such a significant deal when considered separately, but collectively, rather noteworthy. Think about where you were at the beginning of last week (Mon Apr 2)—I'd be shocked to hear you weren't somewhere markedly different by the end of this one.

Mars began the switchovers on Fri Apr 6, leaving cool-and-airy Aquarius for the impossible-to-chart territory of Pisces. Mars in Pisces (where it stays through mid-May) feels his way toward his desired targets… targets that might magically disappear or rematerialize in another location, requiring that we follow a wholly indirect or illogical (maybe even downright nonsensical) pathway to land them.

A Piscean Mars operates best by continual fluctuation, responding to barely detectable shifts in mood or environment with seeming self-surrender—though a 'higher' (read: spiritual) logic is often at work, whether we recognize it or not. What appears to be us 'giving in' (a la 'throwing in the towel') may actually be us 'giving in' (a la 'ceasing to egoistically fight against currents stronger than we'). Needless to say, Mars in Pisces works best for folks who move through the world by feeling or hunch, as opposed to straight-line thinking or pragmatic presumption.

Mars's transition from Aquarius to Pisces isn't as remarkable as it might be, when we consider the recent conjunction of Mars to Neptune, ruler of Pisces… and enough of a muddling, mystifying influence in its own right to have already fogged up Mars's straightforward charge throughout the second half of March. However, now that Mars is in Pisces, he needn't contend with that pesky opposition to Saturn in Leo, which had an unavoidable thwarting effect on our assertive efforts during the last month.

In fact, over the next three weeks, Mars will wax toward a conjunction with Uranus (Apr 28-29)… a mounting influence of chaotic reinvention, driving us to reject 'common wisdom' or 'what's come before', in favor of something radically different. Throw in the added involvement of the Moon's North Node (signifying 'a future-minded leap away from past karma'), and April looks like a month for jumping ahead, not looking back. Of course, with Pisces coloring the scene, don't expect it to follow a clear A-to-B-to-C chain of cause-and-effect. The new physics doesn't adhere to the laws theorized in 'the olden-days'. Particles disappear and reappear in a mirage of miraculousness.

Luckily, the entry of Mercury into Aries tomorrow (Tue Apr 10) helps our minds refrain from fixating on all that we won't—and indeed can't—understand at the moment. Mercury in Aries hasn't the patience or wherewithal to bother. He'd rather offer the first declaration or explanation that comes to his head… then dash off to other considerations, conversations or concepts. Don't like what Mercury in Aries has to say? Then 'fuck off!' he might snap, since he doesn't give a rat's ass what you think. (Don't worry, though: He won't hold onto the frustration. He might not even remember having been annoyed.)

Mercury in Aries favors spontaneous talking and thinking: No attempts to coat the terms in syrupy sugar, to conceal the motivations or withhold the judgments, and no delicate shades of gray. What you get is what's there. But though we might lose the finer gradations reaped from rigorous analysis, we make up for it in impromptu genius. After all, enlightenment often occurs in instantaneous epiphany, not labored scrutiny.

As such, it's a good time to trust our sudden understandings… to listen to, and obey, or instinctive knowledge. With Mercury in Aries, our initial thoughts or utterances are often the right ones. And considering Mercury forms only easy flowing aspects (trines and sextiles) to the other planets throughout its time in Aries (through Apr 27), nothing's standing in the way of its crude extemporaneous brilliance.

Lastly, Venus heads on into Gemini on Wednesday (Apr 11) for a monthlong jaunt… enticing us to better appreciate the value of social activity and variety. Venus in Gemini loves to flirt with possibilities, whether specifically in romance or more generally in life. Though she may resist being pinned down to a single interest or engagement ('fickle' is an apt description of her dark side), Venus in Gemini gains in breadth what she sacrifices in depth. The more, the merrier. The busier the bee, the sweeter the honey. And the greater the number of stimuli we expose ourselves to, the happier and more creative we are.

Putting it all together, then, we're in for a coming few weeks where anything is possible… where calm rationale is less likely to serve us than quick-fire decisiveness… where hi-frequency social circulation and avid experimentation fuel our spirit… and where the immediate goal isn't exactly clear, nor easy to hold tight to.

See if, over the next several days, you can't notice this difference unfolding.