Four Planets Changing Signs!


Many of us astrologers have pointed to this weekend's Full Moon (on Sat Sep 29) as the climax to an incredibly intense, extra-Uranus-Pluto-y couple weeks (which I described at length in this article)… with hopes for a relative calm-down thereafter, giving ourselves a moment to catch our collective breath.

One thing's for sure: There will be a noticeable shift in the astro-energy, as the week ahead features four planets changing signs. (Whether this actually results in any 'calming', however, is up for debate.)

Both Venus and Mars, who are still within orb of squaring each other for another week or so, move into new signs during the course of this week. First, Venus enters Virgo on Wednesday (Oct 3)… and then Mars enters Sagittarius on Saturday (Oct 6). What's interesting to me about these two squaring signs is how one is all about the details (Virgo), while the other doesn't have much patience for 'em at all (Sagittarius). This blend, then, offers a promise that we might balance both close attention to the precise specifics and a broader understanding of the big-picture issues, to make sure all our bases are covered. Of course, it could also fuel tensions between those who only see the whole forest and those who can't see beyond the individual trees—two different attitudes of comprehension that may both be 'correct', but which definitely lack something without the other's input.

Venus is not considered to be at her best in Virgo, where she can get a bit fussy due to her painstaking preference for very certain particularities. When Venus in Virgo becomes too fixated on a particular quality or characteristic, it can actually inhibit her ability to easily form relationships… much like one of the hypercritical characters of '90s sitcom Seinfeld might dismiss a potential romantic partner because his laugh is too loud or her hands don't look right. Yet, the flipside of her 'fussiness' is a true respect for purity: Venus in Virgo will hold out for just the sort of union that best suits her proclivities, and often treats such unions as quite sacred. Plus, Venus's association with aesthetics also affords her great dexterity and an impeccable eye for fine detail when she's in Virgo, a boon for any artists or craftspeople who seek to realize a very particular creative vision.

Mars in Sagittarius, on the other hand, is fast and loose, eager to dash off to wherever the interesting action may be… and not especially hesitant about leaving the boring bits behind. This Mars likes to cut straight through the bullshit, in his hurry to get to what really matters (at least to him), and doesn't mind being a bit blunt or irreverent in doing so. Thankfully, Mars in Sagittarius is typically upbeat about life (even when he's jabbing someone, which he'd probably describe as 'just playing around'), taking faith in the knowledge that there's always something else right around the corner from here, so why get caught up in negative preoccupations with the past or present? The worst sensation he could ever experience would be stuckness of any kind. Should Mars in Sagittarius feel stuck, he'll just jump the fence—or else poke the offending warden until he's set free.

The clash between these two is fairly obvious: Venus in Virgo wants to safeguard the impeccability of its product and will do whatever possible to ensure things are done right, while Mars in Sagittarius doesn't want to waste too much valuable time on trifling minutiae and just wants things done quickly. Naturally, this can work to our creative advantage—or our interpersonal disadvantage—based upon how much we value both ideals instead of blindly favoring one over the other.

As both Venus and Mars move into their new signs, they also form hard aspects to Neptune in Pisces… with Venus opposing and Mars squaring simultaneously. These aspects can further blind us to whichever perspective(s) we've omitted in our glorification of how we're making sense of a situation. But Neptune's involvement can alternatively offer potential rescue from stalemates, should we find ourselves caught in conflict between Virgoan detail and Sagittarian breadth (when, in a certain sense, both outlooks are 'correct' within their own frameworks).

A Neptunian tiebreaker boils down to transcending the words being spoken by each side, since we know it's futile to try winning an argument with somebody who speaks a totally different language—and instead attempting to re-establish a mutual vibe of personal respect and compassion, with the understanding that our own viewpoint cannot be wholly 'correct' if it leaves our co-collaborator feeling dishonored, overpowered or ignored. It's often useful to compromise our ideals a bit, in a show of sympathy with someone we'll continue to interact with… someone who just might return the favor in future snarls, considering we displayed genuine care for their investment alongside our own.

On Friday (Oct 5), Mercury, the great information-processor and message-deliverer, makes his move into Scorpio, a sign where his investigative capacities are highlighted and his tolerance for brutally-honest communications is heightened. Mercury in Scorpio doesn't settle for the surface-level information—particularly if something about the too-pat storyline smells funny—and has no trouble rousing discomfort in order to drill down to the root truth. He will pose probing questions, one after the other… or, if he's behaving with extra-slyness, might even set a trap in order to catch someone in a lie. We do have to be careful, alas, with this 'sly' quality to Mercury in Scorpio: Unchecked, he can be a bit shady in how he manipulatively engineers his words in such a way to glean the desired disclosure or response, leaving the recipient of his manipulations exposed and/or unaware. Beware the stinging tongue.

The fourth sign-shift of the week also occurs in Scorpio, as Saturn conjoins with Mercury just hours before they both leave Libra. And this shift is, by far, the most significant, since Saturn has been in Libra for nearly three years [link]. Obviously, Saturn's arrival into Scorpio (Fri Oct 5) is an event worthy of its own full article (which will be coming up shortly)… though I began to address its importance near the end of this piece. For now, let's just say Saturn will be considerably less mild-mannered than he's been in Libra, where he behaves with grace and equanimity. Scorpio is way more down-and-dirty.

This Mercury-Saturn conjunction at the very last bit of the very last degree of Libra, in the meantime, warns us to be unwaveringly fair and exacting in our communications… for if we dare to throw out hollowly diplomatic niceties or tell someone a partial truth to get 'em off our backs, we can expect pretty immediate and pretty harsh consequences, courtesy of a Scorpionic backlash. Seen another way, the guiding statements of intent we utter at the time of a Mercury-Saturn conjunction are quite helpful in structuring our thoughts around what we seek to achieve. If we are indeed serious about a certain life-goal, explicitly articulating it in writing and/or speaking it aloud to others at this time sets a powerful precedent for the efforts ahead.

Venus remains in Virgo through Oct 28. Mars remains in Sagittarius through Nov 16. Mercury stays in Scorpio through Oct 29, but then retrogrades back in during his next retrograde-phase (Nov 6-26). Saturn will be in Scorpio into mid-2015.