Notes on an Astro-Dynamic Week


Mars changes signs going forward, while Venus changes signs going backward. And they square each other.

Jupiter stands still. Saturn and Pluto get along nicely (for once), by trining. And the New Moon announces the coming of the latest round of eclipses.

Is that enough for y'all in a single week? Thought so. Want more details? Thought so.

1. Mars, the lord of personal self-assertion, waltzes into Gemini early in the week… a sign-shift that definitely lightens how we'll be treading in our loafers, thanks to its attention-splitting desires to involve itself in multiple exchanges and enterprises all at once. Mars in Gemini feels no need to put all its eggs in one basket, when dropping one or two here and there provides much more stimulation and variety.

Mars has been in Taurus since Jun 24, where he prefers to dig his stubborn heels into the earth and only budge very slowly, sacrificing ease of movement for sure-footed practically. Only problem is, Mars isn't so happy in Taurus, traditionally a sign of its detriment… and over the past couple weeks, he's been caught in squares to both Neptune and Saturn, further hindering his usual ability to propel things along.

With Mars moving through Gemini, we bid farewell to some of the stabilizing groundedness provided by Taurus—in exchange for a more frenetic, socially absorbing climate where we pursue what we want by trying bits of this, that and the other.

2(a). In the process of this switch, Mars spends the week squaring off with retrograde Venus in Virgo. Venus-Mars squares have a knack for stirring up our passions, if we understand that a necessary ingredient of 'passion' is tension between two conflicting manners of being (e.g., the differences between the sexes). This can be a very creative tension, if we are willing to play the two sides off each other, so they are in dynamic dialogue.

Clearly, Venus is the planet at a distinct disadvantage in this clash… being both retrograde and in Virgo, a sign of her detriment. Mars in Gemini spurs us to explore our options and straddle the dividing lines, so we may forge partial commitments or adopt relativist positions, all to leave a door or window open for changing our minds. The flummoxing consequences for Venus in Virgo are obvious—her neat divisions become muddied, her pragmatic rationale complicated by whims, and her guidelines betrayed by possibility.

But, oh, what a poignant time for it. When Venus is retrograde, we have to reconsider what's valuable to us anyhow… and if those rules and regulating categories cannot contain what we want to do at any given moment (even if we are, by nature, inconsistent and contradictory), they should probably be reconceived, right?

2(b). Then, by Wednesday (Aug 8), the retrograde lady slips herself back into Leo, where she'll remain for the next two months. Venus thus revisits the themes I wrote about back in June, when she first entered that sign—it's as if she's being forced away from the analytic perspective favored by Virgo, and back toward the heart's truths that underscore the warm bounty of vitality symbolized by Leo. In other words, Venus simply can't succumb to fitting her values into the confines of a Virgoan box; she must reshape the box to fit her true self, no matter if it's not how she thinks she's 'supposed to be'.

For the rest of the week, Venus applies back to another Saturn conjunction (exact on Mon Aug 13), indicating that this is serious business… demanding that we not take this question of living to our heart's content lightly. Being the second of three Venus-Saturn conjunctions during this current phase, we're still in the middle of a story that began over a month ago and isn't due for a conclusion until mid-October. To reiterate, the theme is: Follow your heart wisely. At this stage, expect to face the fallout—good and bad—from choices in love and/or money made in late June… and be prepared to respond accordingly, so you can reap the best possible outcomes a couple months from now.

3. This week also marks a trine between Saturn and Pluto, two tough-guy planets who rarely, if ever, mess around… and in this configuration, they're actually functioning together to provide a formidably solid jumping-off point for the tempestuous times up ahead. Both Saturn and Pluto are in the last throes of their recent sign transits, Saturn through Leo and Pluto through Sagittarius. Saturn moves into Virgo next month, while Pluto wraps up his current 12-year stint at the end of this year, to spend 2008 making his transition into Capricorn.

When Saturn and Pluto interact, the results can be rather dark and menacing. Case in point: Their last major aspect, the polarizing opposition, will be forever linked with the events of Sep 11 2001… a day that changed the global political landscape in countless irreversible ways. However, a trine is perhaps the easiest of aspects, helping its two planetary players groove in synergy, assisting both in their purposes.

As Saturn and Pluto both prepare to drift from fire to earth signs, this trine should be useful in helping us shore up the question of who we are and what we believe, as a marker of the progress we've made in self-definition. Only after we feel firm in our answers can we be truly productive in our next task: to revisit and refine the rules we dutifully adhere to (Saturn in Virgo), and to purge the toxins from the authoritarian structures that govern our lives (Pluto in Capricorn).

4.-5. To cap it all off, today's the day (Mon Aug 6) Jupiter stands still and returns to direct motion. What's especially remarkable about this station, of course, is that Jupiter remains in his ruling sign Sagittarius… which, as I've detailed for you before, has added a bigger, bolder, wilder and more adventurous twist to our year. Since early April, Jupiter's been retrograde, giving us a few months to broaden our internal perspectives so they'll match up with the expansive opportunities we've met on the outside. Now, with Jupiter heading forward again, we should expect to see the outer developments rebounding to epic proportions, leading up to a powerhouse Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on Dec 11.

And as if I needed one more thing to mention this week… the Sunday ahead (Aug 12) marks the latest New Moon, a union of Sun and Moon (along with Mercury, Venus and Saturn) in Leo that makes this upcoming weekend a wonderful one for setting a precedent like, 'This is how I'd like to enjoy my life all the time!'

Of course, this lunation's close opposition to Neptune should be a clue that we cannot count on anything outside ourselves to make much clear, predictable sense over the coming month—and this shouldn't surprise us too greatly, when we remind ourselves that the next batch of eclipses are rapidly approaching. The next Full Moon on Aug 28 is a lunar eclipse in Pisces… followed by the big solar eclipse on Sep 11 in Virgo.

The 'flipping of the pages' to the next chapter of our lives is upon us, kiddos… and we are truly on the verge of some very, um, interesting times. That's all I'm going to say about it now, but trust me, I won't leave you hangin' forever. This is plenty to chew on for now. More soon, I promise…