Now that the Sun and Venus are squarely in Gemini (as I wrote about in my last essay), they're moving in to complete the full mutable grand cross (i.e., four planets at 90-degree angles to one another) with Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune.

A T-square between those three slower-moving planets has already been in effect since last September, creating an ongoing backdrop of transitional changeableness due to its emphasis on the mutable signs (which are each associated with the closing phase of their respective season).

The mutable T-square's heightening of these transitional energies extends through the first three-quarters of the year… which I described in my 2016 overview as '[carrying] a fluctuating feel, as we vacillate between now-passing-away and still-nascent versions of ourselves: some behaviors familiar, some foreign. Think of this as a testing-ground phase, then, when we can provisionally try on different ways of being, learning-by-doing-style, as we figure out what will best serve us once we "begin again" more emphatically.'

Whenever faster-moving bodies wander into the orb of a longer-term planetary aspect such as this T-square, we feel a re-accentuation of its influence, like when background music which has been playing all along suddenly gets turned up to a volume-level you can't help but notice. This week, the Sun and Venus in Gemini will be playing this instigating role: Each will simultaneously oppose Saturn in Sagittarius and square both Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces (Jun 1-4). After Mercury enters Gemini, it too will form another grand cross with these same mutable outer-planet players (Jun 20-22).

Gemini is noteworthy for its breezy interest in a wide array of topics, ideas, involvements, and personalities… any of which would be plenty rewarding, simply due to the fact they'd stimulate a side of ourselves we perhaps haven't lately connected with, expose us to other ways-of-being, give us something to talk about, and/or generally keep life varied and fresh. But Gemini doesn't take most of its interests 'all the way', in terms of total dedication, immersion, and/or understanding. Gemini is the quintessential dabbler, sampling a bit of this and a dash of that, straddling lines, staying casual and non-committal, leaving options open—which is a great attitude to apply during moments of transition such as this, when we aren't quite sure what to do next and wish to play with the different possibilities before choosing.

With the Sun and Venus (and, a couple weeks later, Mercury) in Gemini simultaneously squaring both Jupiter and Neptune, we're liable to misjudge the current status of any emerging options which may—or may not—serve a guiding role in whatever transition we're still in the midst of effecting. Rather than restrict its expression, squares to either Jupiter or Neptune tend to exaggerate or muddle a planet's capacity to function by blurring boundaries, fueling blind faith, and/or erasing the appearance of red-flags.

The Gemini planets' squares to Jupiter in Virgo threaten to overstate the significance of certain details we may be examining while we weigh our options… at the expense of a more comprehensive wide-lens analysis of the situation. This could lead to our making a choice based upon having meticulously 'crunched the numbers' in one seemingly-all-important data set, without our having bothered to address an entirely different set of questions which, perhaps, don't have answers that can be accounted for in as concrete or fact-driven a manner.

The squares to Neptune in Pisces, meanwhile, can blind us to any inconvenient or undesirable reality-check angles that would necessarily impact us, should we sign on to an involvement more fully. After all, Neptune speaks a language of high ideals and wishful imaginativeness. Neptune squares encourage us to romantically believe that the best is always possible, especially if we orient ourselves toward prioritizing compassion for the human experience (and, as such, striving to ease the suffering of others any way we can) above all else. Though motivated by loving care or humble service, we may consequently overlook the real-world feasibility of what we've chosen—and end up sacrificing a personal aspiration on another's behalf, going down with their sinking ship and/or squandering our own life-force.

Both these squares can cause us to believe too wholeheartedly in the rightfulness of a given option, when we've only partially and/or superficially scrutinized its potential impact. Each presents us a contrasting mirror-image caution: looking too intently at rational particularities and missing some relevant bigger-picture (Jupiter in Virgo), or gazing through our rose-colored glasses and making heartfelt decisions that ignore certain practical concerns (Neptune in Pisces).

We must think through and feel into our multiple possibilities for a next-step—but not overvalue any one mode of knowing, justifying a major life-decision by discounting other pertinent factors.

Saturn in Sagittarius plays perhaps the most pivotal role in all this, however, by virtue both of Saturn being the archetypal restrictor/authority-figure and blocking the easy expression of the Sun and Venus (and, later, Mercury) by direct opposition, an aspect of head-on confrontation between opposing planets' efforts to do their jobs effectively. Oppositions from Saturn can indicate a serious life-challenge or -responsibility must be honorably attended to, if we are to avoid negative repercussions from acting unilaterally on the opposed-planet's benefit. On the other hand, Saturn oppositions can inhibit our capacity or willingness to act at all, should we simply bow down to Saturn's restrictive authority without earnestly engaging the work it's assigned to us.

As an opposing force, Saturn pressures us to attain the most conscientious, moderate, and/or appropriate way forward: neither unmitigated freedom-of-movement (for every action yields a reaction, and it's not always a beneficial one), nor timid or fearful self-repression (because, think of what you'll miss out on if you don't at least try!).

Where we now stand, at a magnifying peak of this longer transitional moment, it does not behoove us to prematurely shut down possibilities before we've given them a fair chance, invested more careful thought and intuitive reflection into the follow-up due-diligence, and/or let a bit more time take its revelatory course. Neither should we barrel head-first toward any one of the shiny-and-sparkly choices in front of us, as we may only be catching a glimpse of its 'good side' (and thus missing key features that ultimately won't work for us). These are the mirror-image extremes which Saturn urges us to avoid. There's no rush for us to proffer a firm 'yes' or 'no', especially while still in between two incarnations of self as we now are.

Saturn does, however, want us to pose the provocative questions… to evaluate any appealing option from the more comprehensive perspective of whether it sincerely fits with our overriding life-direction. Is this a re-inspiring departure, or a time-wasting tangent? Are we seeking to open a new door, or to escape an old problem? Will I look back on this crossroads and be most proud of having broken free of a confining belief, or of having stayed the course? While the Gemini voice might goad you on with the position that no choice is 'wrong' because there's always something to reap from it, Saturn in Sagittarius would remind you life is real short and you can't do everything and so you'd better choose whatever promises the most bang for your buck.

Saturn's ongoing mutable squares to both Jupiter and Neptune suggest we aren't overstating the significance of this crossroads in determining who we'll become next. Just days ago (on May 26), Jupiter and Saturn formed a final pass of their third-quarter square (the first two were last August and this past March), the crisis-point in their cycle at which we consider what to grow and what to cut back, what should stay and what should go, where to loosen and where to tighten. A couple weeks from now (on Jun 17), Saturn and Neptune make their second exact square (the first was last November), challenging us to integrate hopeful idealism with workable reality, so we're neither chasing impossible dreams nor resigning ourselves to embittering disenchantment.

We aren't that 'next' version yet, though we're well on our way. There's still some unfinished business to sort out, but we're working on it. There are intriguing opportunities starting to materialize, but we aren't quite ready to pin them down. We're in the in-between-ness. That's just how it goes.