Playing Catch-Up


There's yet another commanding combo of astrological factors for me to report upon… one which already happened last week. (So fire me.)

Just since Thanksgiving, we've seen (1) Mars in Capricorn embroil himself, by square and conjunction respectively, in the Uranus-Pluto square, (2) Venus conjoin Saturn in Scorpio, (3) Mercury end his retrograde, and (4) a full moon lunar eclipse in Gemini. That's a lot to transpire over the span of little more than a week.

Astrology is as useful a tool for retrospective reflection as for predictive preparation, if not more… and I'm not just saying that to assuage my duty-driven guilt for not having 'gotten you the information' in a timely fashion. There is a delicate balance to my roles as both astrological educator/commentator and sensitive individual who's simultaneously living through the astrology I'm also teaching and writing about. When the planets align in such consequential patterns at particularly busy times—like, for instance, during Thanksgiving week, right after a 3-week trip to Australia, while my parents are visiting and I'm trying to finish writing a book—I find myself caught between haphazardly throwing together a quick 'warning' about upcoming intensity and permitting myself the human experience of just allowing the intensity to wash over me.

Lately, I've encountered a certain intensity fatigue. Call it a hazard of my profession, but how many times can one trot an article that describes one more 'especially intense week or two ahead' and not begin to feel like you're just repeating the same banal sentiments over and over again ad nauseum? I proudly do the best I can to actually provide distinct enough descriptions that help qualitatively distinguish between the myriad forms of intensity we might encounter at a given time. Still, due to the intense overall flavor of this era—so markedly infused with this uncommon revolutionary Uranus/Pluto unrest-instability-and-discomfort energy—I could probably phone in one generic essay after another that basically says, 'Shit's intense, dude!' and then head out for an artisanal pizza and some locally-crafted microbrew. I'm forced to up my writerly game.

But this really isn't a meditation on my writing practice as much as an actual account of the latest astrology itself, which just so happens to thematically coincide with everything I've shared thus far. It is not just that I'm somewhat tired of this endless stretch of similarly intense astrological scenes to report upon: We're all contending with these astro-scenes, back-to-back-to-back-to-back, in our day-to-day lives, with relatively few lulls during which we might catch our breath or replenish our stores of patience. At a certain point, doesn't it start to become redundant to attempt much interactive sense-making (beyond, of course, the presumed mutual acknowledgment that most of us are lately wearing 'Danger: Construction Zone' signs across our chests most of the time)… when what we really want is just a handful of 'days off' so we can play emotional catch-up with everything that's occurred and/or continues to occur, even as each latest development seems to rob the possibility of ever being 'off' right out of our hands?

Mars's recent concurrent square to Uranus (Fri Nov 23) and conjunction to Pluto (Tue Nov 27) is one great example of an astro-event that likely stirred up some shit. Mars in Capricorn is a strong strategic asserter, capable of faithfully fighting for a goal—or fighting against an opponent—from several steps back, knowing just when to strike and when it may be smarter to let others discharge their munitions first. Last week's conjunction with Pluto intensified the force with which such Martian shows of assertion, strength and/or purpose were being made; it became more obvious than ever who wanted what, and how exactly the balance of power among the various parties was hanging. The Uranus square added the element of surprise, inspiring those who taking issue with the current balance-of-power to insert a breakthrough revision or rebellious reaction. All in all, it was a Thanksgiving weekend of demonstrative willfulness.

Yet, within the wider scope of this entire multi-year period of Uranus-square-Pluto (say, roughly 2009 through 2017, with the sharpest intensity during the exact peaks of 2012-2015), this sort of thing happens all the time. Or more precisely, each instance of another faster-planet veering into orb of conjoining, opposing and/or squaring Uranus and Pluto—because if it aspects one, it therefore aspects the other, too—brings another week or so with energies similar to what I've just recounted. After several rounds per year of these head-on planetary meetups, we almost come to accept this profoundly challenging Uranus/Pluto reorientation vibe as 'the new normal' (only for a few more years, of course). So, what more is there to say?

With the lunar eclipse in Gemini and Mercury's retrograde behind us, we now possess a greater amount of externalized information about our current state of affairs than we did before. In other words, a chunk of previously unidentified, underemphasized and/or disowned psychological material has managed to articulate its way to the surface, whether through active effort or by chance. Though we may still be struggling to adequately address whatever cracks are evident in this or that story, at least we're acknowledging the need for continuing discussion. Venus's conjunction to Saturn in Scorpio rewarded those willing to dwell in the psychologically-taxing-but-nakedly-frank ambiguity of conflicting feelings with solider interpersonal bonds—and, at the same time, she doled out relational penalties to those who'd been pretending everything was peachy-keen when it really really wasn't.

Looking ahead, much of December presents far less interesting astrology than all this… though I must add the caveat that I'm speaking relatively here, insofar as the whole of 2012 remains an exceptionally interesting astrological year. (But if the world does end on December 21 as the Mayans supposedly foresaw, I'll rescind my prior statement.) Right near Christmas and New Year's, we'll have the Sun in Capricorn doing the Uranus/Pluto tango, replicating the aspects that Mars made to both during Thanksgiving. Guess the holidays are just meant to be more, ahem, momentous this year. Mainly, though, this month provides about as much of a chance to play catch-up as we're going to get. I, for one, intend to take full advantage of it.