Weekend with Venus

Venus entered Pisces this week, formed a square to Saturn earlier this morning, and is now moving towards a conjunction with Neptune which will be exact on Sunday. Astrology associates Venus with pleasure, beauty, and harmony– it is a symbol of both what we desire and what we place value in. Our self-esteem is connected to that. We love to be around the people/places/activities that feed our sense of worth. So things that are precious to us tend to be things that we love in ourselves– the things that bring out our favorite parts of our personality.

With Venus transiting Pisces, there’s a certain softness seeping into the picture. This is a sensitive energy, in tune with unspoken or subconcious vibes. We can find ourselves more empathetic and compassionate with the planet of relating (Venus) in the sign of spiritual oneness (Pisces). This can take form in relationships with others or simply the way we are treating ourselves. There’s a gentle and soothing quality to Venus in Pisces, where we can approach emotions from a less defensive stance. But there’s also a risk of enabling or sacrificing too much, which never works out well in the end. Balance is important between giving and taking, and that includes how indulgent we are with ourselves.

Where are you taking advantage or being taken advantage of in your relationships? What are you doing that makes you feel good? That seems to be the theme of this weekend. This morning’s Venus/Saturn square presents us with a friction– sort of like we’re being told, “Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that.” Saturn will point out our delusions, no matter how glossy and nice they are. But Venus is moving away from this square, toward a meeting with Neptune in fantasyland. It’s wise to stay grounded in self-honesty, because we are inclined to get carried away as Neptune gains influence.

With Venus involved, it all comes down to a healthy relationship with joy and self-worth. Pisces is an encouraging and calming sign, and we can use this weekend to tend to issues or struggles that are normally volatile. Just remember not to get too lost in the emotional waters.

Making Some Space – the Aquarius New Moon

The Sun enters Aquarius early Tuesday morning, Jan. 20, followed by the Moon just a few hours later. Their conjunction at 8:13 a.m. EST is symbolic of turning a new page, at least in an intellectual sense. Other planetary factors in the astrological forecast of the next few days are reminders to withhold judgement and remain internally centered.

Aquarius is an interesting sign, one that is often categorized as both aloof and independent, as well as humanitarian and democratic. It describes an airy intelligence that can often see the big picture, but is sometimes a little detached from personal interactions– like the person who is so busy posting pictures of their vacation on Facebook that they forget to enjoy the exotic beach they’re photographing. One of the blessings and curses of Aquarius is the sense of living in one’s own head. There can be brilliant theories and ideas brewing when Aquarius is strong, particularly when it comes to improving groups or organizations. This lunation is a pivotal planning moment, where we may have a keen sense of insight about what would work best for us. Maybe even what would work best for everyone.

The wrench in the works here is a pair of diffusive transits that can make the clearest insight seem incomprehensible. Mars and Neptune will form a conjunction Monday night, marking this New Moon phase with a sensitive, empathetic, and impressionable softness. Mars, the planet of action and assertion, is spaced out around watery Neptune in its home sign Pisces. This is a great influence for any creative endeavor, and is hugely inspirational for artistic and spiritual expression. It can also lower our boundaries with other people. So on the positive side, there’s compassion and acceptance in the air; on the down side, perceptions are a bit cloudy.

Adding to that Neptunian blur, we have Mercury slowing down to a halt, about to turn retrograde on Wednesday through Feb. 11. When Mercury goes retrograde, we have to slow down and reassess what we’re doing. In work, home, and personal life– this is a time when things just naturally seem to come back to us to be fixed or revised. There’s a bit of strangeness in the atmosphere when Mercury crawls along, since it normally travels swiftly. Our thought processes, communication, technology– all of it can be a little odd. Not necessarily wrong, just not normal. The 3-week retrograde is a time to clarify the course you are set on, and to tie up loose ends or cut off extra baggage before moving forward again next month.

The planets seem to be urging us to stay open-minded. If we get too attached to our own opinions or perceptions, we may miss the possibility of something even better. The supportive 60 degree angle from Saturn to this Aquarius New Moon implies that there’s work to be done by each of us to create a more tolerant and cooperative world. It may be small or large scale– it can be as simple as not holding a grudge. There are many people in the news and in our media who push the extremes of negativity, and it can feel as if we have no power to stop them. Hell, we meet those people driving on the highways, in our jobs, on the bus. That’s a shadow side of Mars/Neptune– feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and seeking escape. But maybe this New Moon is a second chance at resolutions, a time to check in internally and decide what we can improve on.



Cancer Full Moon

The Moon is in Cancer today, moving toward an opposition with the Capricorn Sun at 11:53  p.m EST. While this lunation is traditionally an auspicious moment to plant seeds for future plans, there are other factors involved requiring us to cut loose from some past baggage before we can really forge ahead.

The Sun and Pluto are within one degree in goal-oriented Capricorn, a conjunction that spurs us on with personal willpower and intensity. Pluto is symbolic of our depths– our passion, fears, obsessions, and secrets. Often these things are hidden from ourselves, being too heavy to really deal with on a daily basis. So all of our compulsive habits, our addictions, and our insane nightmares often lie unconscious within us– we know they’re there, but we keep the door tightly closed.

But the Capricorn Sun is rigorous. The ethic of Capricorn is to stand in its own integrity, to be real and accept nothing less than dignity and respect. With the Sun shining this light on our shadow material, we can easily tap into our power, but we can also see into what is hurting or angry. Injustices that we’ve felt stung by, desires that we feel have been unfulfilled, and losses that we’ve tried to overcome all can come tumbling into the light of day, overwhelming us with emotion.

And that’s challenging to the sweet Cancer Moon. Cancer is associated with the crab, characterized by a self-protective and security-seeking nature. “Crabby” is not the same thing as “bitchy.” Cancer is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac– no other sign fears being hurt as much as this cardinal water sign. The security that is sought relates to emotional and intellectual safety, and Cancer wants this safety for itself and also wants to provide it to others. That’s why it is associated with the archetypal mother– there is a desire to nurture and keep protected that which is fragile or in need, to provide a foundation for something to grow in. Cancer doesn’t like to hurt others, but it is a defensive energy that can close down its shell if feeling threatened.

So we have this fearless Sun/Pluto combination opposing the Cancer Moon, opening up a real chance to release what is rotting and replant with something more wholesome. Even if this is as simple as a long-held grudge, or a mental habit of insecurity, there is an opportunity for us be real with ourselves. We can choose to accept that the fear or hurt existed, and that we are done with it. We can choose to replace those thoughts with good ones, more supportive and loving, and we can choose to find the strength to be more sensitive with what we go through during our lifetimes. The Cancer Full Moon is a moment to press the reset button on our emotional health.

This weekend someone said to me, “Just having the intention is enough.” It doesn’t take grand gestures or mental awakenings for this to happen. We can simply choose to feel better. There’s a great simplicity in that.