The Next Mercury Retrograde Mission, Part 1

With Mercury’s recent arrival in Gemini, we are officially gearing down for its next retrograde phase – though the formal kickoff isn’t until the end of the month (May 29th, to be exact), we’re going to want to decelerate a bit and drop into a lower gear now to build some power in order to make it through with minimal disruption.   This Rx is a bit of an agility course; only after we’ve spun around like this multiple times due its repeated contacts to disorienting Neptune:

Dizzy

Perhaps one of the bigger keynotes of this upcoming Mercury Retrograde is: Slow down and check your orientation/heading as a first order.  Wind the gears in your brain DOWN and take a few deep, centering breaths before opening your mouth, answering that email/text, or posting on social media.  Maybe say nothing at all.  Consider taking a mini “communications sabbatical” if it’s not absolutely essential.  I say this because there is a higher than usual likelihood that mindless engagement during this retrograde period can cause us to be the source of our own suffering.  We may have a disorganized or disordered mentality about something and this is hardly the place to be making enlightened conversation from.  “No comment at this time” is a perfectly acceptable response during this upcoming retro. Mindfulness gives us an edge; think twice.  Mindlessness, however, presents a real problem – this is especially so if alcohol or other substances (natural or pharmaceutical) are allowed into the mix; do NOT drink and text/dial, kids!  Checking our orientation/heading may also involve utilizing a combination of intuition and critical thinking to introspectively examine where we may have been misinformed about something; either via our own wishful thinking, being in a state of denial, or perhaps we’ve even been outwardly deceived by someone else.  There’s much more to this Mercury Retrograde of course, but this is a good starting point for now.

05/10/2021

Air Meets Fire

Roughly 12 hours from now, Mercury bursts into Aries with a “bang” and begins a 2+ week-long exchange of energies with Mars in Gemini.  In astrological parlance, this phenomenon is known as a “mutual reception” – for a more in-depth primer on the topic, see this previous post. But for those who want a more short and to-the-point explanation of the effects of this specific mutual reception, you need only to consider how Air feeds Fire. 

Mercury represents the wind of our words, and Mars the heat and fire of battle – from this, one could infer the next couple of weeks as being a period when people are more likely to mouth off, curse people out, or – more neutrally – speak up about things.  We gain the courage to raise our voices, but also need to carefully monitor our irritation levels before speaking as the tongue is more likely to be sharpened/armed under this influence – when one blows on a fire, the flames intensify and this can result in an uncontrolled inferno that stands to burn not only others but ourselves as well.  Make it a point *not* to say offensive things under this influence (say, by insulting someone’s intelligence) or to be rude/curt; it’s far more likely this will turn into a fight.  If we’re going to use our verbal energy for something – and as I said the mouth is apt to be energized during this mutual reception – let it be to stand up for someone/something worth championing and be sure to leave your ego out of it.  Do not spoil for a fight by being a (verbal) instigator; cue a pair of child twins sitting in the back seat of car, pointing at each other and saying “Mom, he/she started it!!!” – avoid the impulse to take a juvenile jab at someone in a vocal sense.

Oh, and speaking of cars: Mercury has dominion over our wheels, and Mars is accident-prone.  Translation: Slow down behind the wheel,  do not flip or cut someone off in rush hour traffic, and avoid starting or contributing to what could be labeled “a road rage incident” – no newspaper headings with this particular line ever end well.  Think out your communications (written or verbal) more during this period in all contexts; don’t just fire off the first thing that comes to your mouth.  For example, the first thing that would likely come to mind if we were driving home and someone were to come flying up out of nowhere to ride our rear bumper is probably something along the lines of “A$$#@*%!!” – avoiding the split-second urge to vocalize that sentiment  (particularly one that arises in anger) can keep a situation from escalating into something more dangerous and possibly more physical.  ThemsFightinWordsThe phrase “Them’s fightin’ words!” is worth bearing in mind for the couple weeks this specific mutual reception remains in play; it will help us to be more mindful that what we say may well be construed as an affront if we’re too hasty in speaking.

On the plus side, this mutual reception can give us plenty of mental energy – new ideas may fly around in our heads in ways that can move things forward for us.  We do also well both listening to and utilizing motivational speech that inspires positive action in our lives under this astrological vibe. If we need to make a daring “sales pitch” of some kind, this energy can help us pull it off; provided we’re not *too* aggressive – remember that nobody likes a pushy “salesman”.

Lastly, please do use care around hot or sharp objects for the next couple of weeks – Mars has ties to cuts and burns while Mercury represents our arms, hands, and “digits”.  This mutual reception will come to a close on April 19th, but until then it’s best to bear all of the aforementioned in mind for best results.

04/03/2021

 

Mercury In Detriment & Mental Health

Mercury dips into aquatic Pisces – one of the two signs of its astrological Detriment (the other being Sagittarius) – this evening, and as such I thought this to be an opportune time to discuss Mercury’s relationship to our mental well-being.  Astrologically, Mercury is associated with the mind; it is intellectual, analytical, communicative, and incisive.  It concerns what and how we think as well as how we verbalize (or perhaps don’t articulate) those thoughts – from here, it is not difficult to see how this might correlate to mental health.

Now let’s look at what it means for a planet – in this case, Mercury – to occupy a sign of its Detriment. When a planet enters a sign that is antithetical to its very nature, it becomes debilitated; meaning the planet in question tends to have a more difficult time functioning optimally by default.  That’s not to say we can’t get anything good out of it, but whenever we have a debilitated planet we should always watch it a little bit closer because it’s more liable than run-of-the-mill placements to act up in problematic ways if we aren’t displaying self-awareness as to its related qualities and characteristics that might be considered “less than helpful”.

To wit, let’s take a look at Mercury in Pisces.  Why is this inclined to be a more challenging place for Mercury to reside?  Simply put, dreamy, sensitive, intuitive Piscean energy is something naturally at odds with all that Mercury stands for: rational thought, data, and logic, just to name a few key concepts.  When Mercury is forced to don this sign’s fish-tail, it is ill-fitting garb likely to cause Mercury to sink rather than swim.  How can Mercury keep its head above water in such an environ; it is an Air (mind) planet forced to submerge itself in the fathomless sea of Piscean Water?  Mercury in Water signs – which Pisces is – behaves in a more subjective manner; the thought process is apt to be colored by emotion, whether this is conscious or unconscious.  Cold clear logic can become muddled by vague yet often undefinable “feelings”, or – in a much better scenario – intuitive “hunches”.  We may be inclined to suspend disbelief instead of analyzing facts or crunching numbers (anyone living in the USA during the prior 4 years should be able to see how this might be, um, “problematic”).  Our minds can become occupied with fiction and fantasy instead of dwelling in the world of science and reason.  You see where I’m going with this?

In its most neutral sense, Mercury in Pisces is a sign that often prefers to be alone with its thoughts; on one hand this can be a positive source of inspiration (say for pursuits like art, poetry, writing works of fiction, or maybe even songwriting), but on the other this tendency toward isolation can be hazardous when left alone in a vacuum.  Adding to this is the fact that the Mercury in Pisces mind is inclined to be quite impressionable and subject to external influences – isolation is helpful when we’re trying to tune into our own thoughts and separate them from outside “noise” in a way that truly serves our Highest Good; not so healthy when maybe we’ve come in contact with some kind of intellectual “contaminant” or “thought virus” that distorts our thinking so that it is no longer anchored in reality, facts, or logic and there is no one there to provide feedback, contrast, or resistance. Mercury in Pisces can sometimes incline toward insularity in this regard; where the mind becomes cocooned off in its own little “bubble” and disconnected from humanity/the rest of society if we’re not careful.

Again, being in one’s “own little world” in a mental sense can be positive if we’re using it for creative inspiration; negative if we effectively become mentally “checked out” and seek refuge in a world that either doesn’t exist or that does not functionally integrate with the rest of society.  Alcohol and other substances (natural or pharmaceutical) that alter mental state should be avoided, and the tendency to intellectually escape into realms of fantasy/fiction – whether that’s through movies, books, social media consumption, or simple daydream/imagination – should be monitored and moderated.  There’s nothing wrong re: sitting down with a good book or unwinding with a decent movie; however if we find ourselves compulsively reading book after book in a way that causes us to avoid being fully present in our day-to-day lives or zoning out in front of the TV as a way to cope with the stress of everyday living, then we may need to mentally re-calibrate.

The same can be said of being alone with our thoughts; applied with conscious intention to find clarity and understanding in a way that serves our own & humanity’s Highest Good is a definite plus, yet a hermetically-sealed mind (in both senses of the word; both hermit-like and airtight) can be problematic if there is anything funky-smelling and yeasty that’s been (half-)baked-in.  Mental illness only multiplies in such an environment; this is why suffering in silence is ill-advisable. Mercury in Pisces can sometimes be so sensitive to what is said (or unsaid) that it finds it easier to say nothing at all, or seeks out only a sympathetic ear (read: echo chamber) when it might be better served by some amount of intellectual contrast.  If there is a problem within the mindset, talking to someone about our thoughts or our suffering and bouncing this off an external source can help us collectively – as a society – ensure that we’re getting people the help they need and identify potential mental health problems before they can ripple outward any further. A gentle and compassionate – yet non-enabling – approach works best from a communication standpoint. In this era of social isolation, have we found ourselves or others withdrawing overmuch?  Maybe it is time to make a call or reach out if there is anyone – or anything within ourselves – we’ve had some concerned thoughts about recently; certainly this is something worth  pondering whilst Mercury spends the next 3 weeks in Pisces.

03/15/2021

The Saturn/Uranus Square, In The News (Again)

Right as we reached the first of three exact squares between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus yesterday, here in The States we experienced a (not unexpected) highly visible manifestation of this energy as a sudden cold snap caused an electrical supply failure in Texas that abruptly left some 2.3 million people without electricity and heat in freezing cold weather. I say “not unexpected” because if you read my February 2021 monthly newsletter, I mentioned this square’s correlation to the “Y2K” era and that time’s related concern over the possibility of electrical grids failing; calling to mind the recent major electrical outage in Pakistan during January 2021 (within the influence of this approaching square) and stating and how this series of squares would be problematic in 2021 for governments who don’t see the necessity of/wisdom in modernization from an infrastructure standpoint.  Now, we have this.  Saturn always warns us so we’ll have ample time to fix an issue before it becomes more serious, and I think it would be prudent at this juncture to consider ourselves “put on notice” – clearly, strengthening our electrical grids is an area where there is work to be done.

The main difference between the Y2K era and now lies in the position swap of Saturn and Uranus; back then it was Saturn placed in Taurus, while Uranus – the planet we associate with electricity – was quite happy in his Aquarius home.  The electrical grids never did fail us as the clocks struck midnight and the new millennium was ushered in on January 1, 2000, and this is largely because Uranus was bolstered by its occupation of Aquarius.  Now, however, Uranus is debilitated by is occupation of terrestrial Taurus, while Saturn is the more comfortable of the two in his ancient Aquarius domicile.  In layman’s terms, this is like having a “bad [electrical] ground” – having a good ground is an essential safety feature that prevents all sorts of problems from arising.  With this square, metaphorically it’s almost as if the safety coating (insulation) on a wire has been worn through with age and caused a dangerous fault; one which we’ll have warnings about as the lights in our house suddenly flicker and dim.  We can try to wait it out and hope nothing sparks and catches fire, or we can see the necessity of replacing our old knob-and-tube wiring and update/upgrade.

Speaking to the Uranus in Taurus part of this equation specifically, I have mentioned on earlier blog posts a couple of times now how the last visit of Uranus to Taurus was the era of FDR’s New Deal; an economic policy which helped to slowly but steadily lift the USA out of the Great Depression.  Seeing as we have found  ourselves in the midst of yet another global financial crisis – not to mention a huge worldwide health crisis – perhaps the time is ripe for another New Deal; one that would  strengthen and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and create thousands of jobs at the same time.  Fiscal conservatives will likely freak, but securing the USA’s economic future may involve the government having to re-invest in America in a similar – yet more modernized – fashion.  Remember that I just said in my previous post how the Saturn-Uranus Square is good for modernizing a classic; same basic idea, but give it different aesthetics for the times we are in; i.e. a different “lipstick” more befitting the current era. We’re so plugged in these days – and have to be more than ever when so many of us are working from home and going to virtual classrooms – that getting our electrical grids solid during this square is an idea that’s time has come.

02/18/2021

Saturn/Uranus Square, Round 1

Mere days now separate us from the first of three rounds that will feature Saturn in Aquarius squaring off with Uranus in Taurus; exact on February 17, 2021.  The influence of this energy spends weeks building, culminating, and then receding, and we’ve already seen high-profile manifestations of its influence here in The States as the Law became lawless when Republican lawmakers – ironically the party who branded themselves the so-called  “party of law & order” – essentially sanctioned President Orcus’s January 6, 2021 incitement of insurrection at the United States Capitol by voting to acquit the former president a second time despite ample evidence of his culpability.  The defense that it was somehow “unconstitutional to impeach someone no longer in office” was particularly absurd; especially when Sen. Majority Leader McConnell had refused to convene a senate session sooner in order to hold impeachment proceedings whilst the president still sat in office – you can’t be the one stalling for time and running the clock out, then turn around and claim things didn’t happen quickly enough.

I mention this crystal-clear example as an illustration of just how warped “normal” can/has become when Saturn is hit by a double Uranian influence like this; its occupation of topsy-turvy, contrary Aquarius (a sign that takes its cues from Uranus) coupled with a tense square to wild, chaotic, anarchistic Uranus has upended our sense of stability, normalcy, and has us questioning what is lawful. Lunatic fringe elements of society – and those who would shield them – flagrantly infiltrate the ranks of government. There is zero accountability with elected officials when it comes to protecting their own cliques, and a dangerous precedent for democracy is set when lawmakers more or less give tacit approval to the notion that results of a lawful election can/should be overturned if/when you don’t agree with the choice that was legitimately secured by both popular and electoral votes; whether you are a private citizen or the President of the United States.

Aside from what is going on in the USA, look also at recent events in Myanmar and Haiti – we have a full-on military coup happening in the former and a president refusing to leave office at the expiration of his term in the latter.  As I have said elsewhere – both in a previous post and via a more in-depth look at this astrological alignment in my Feburary 2021 monthly newsletter – Governments and their People are not inclined to see eye-to-eye when Saturn in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus; particularly if/when you have rogue elements advocating for the suspension – if not outright abolishment – of the democratic process.  Delegated authority falls under Saturn’s domain, but the current double-Uranian whammy upon The Ringed One upends everything and tends toward revolts, coups, and sedition.  Sociopolitical unrest unfortunately will continue to be a hallmark of this energy throughout 2021 and especially surrounding the weeks these squares perfect in February, June, and December.

On an interconnected note, Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus both shows us the weaknesses within our social connections as well as their strengths – connections are being tested for integrity in this respect.  Old friends surprise us in good and bad ways; perhaps acting completely out-of-character in alienating ways, or potentially showing up to support us from out-of-the-blue when we thought that connection was a thing long-since passed – perhaps even alternating tacks in some instances.  Can we modernize a classic?  That, too, is a hallmark of Saturn in Aquarius squaring Uranus in Taurus; both specific to our friendships and applying more broadly to a wide variety of arenas.  Things can get necessary – or perhaps even “forced” – updates during this period; ostensibly for the sake of strengthening them to ensure future utility.  But as relating back to our social networks, the fabric of our communities are  under great strain and are currently being tested on an individual as well as collective level.  Will we work *with* our Fellow Man to resolve longstanding social challenges, or remain aloof and inhumane about its troubles (which BTW really are our problems, too)?  Any brittleness we might display in this way threatens to shatter both our own code of honor and the covenant of essential social contracts like broken glass – society is only as good as its weakest links and a failure of one is a failure of all as Saturn in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus. United we stand, divided we fall and perhaps one of the most important lessons we face under this alignment involves how to have sane, intellectual, yet lawful & respectful dissent; a difficult prospect indeed when the radicalization of our individual and collective values systems has become so normalized.

02/15/2021

Saturn In Aquarius Square Uranus In Taurus: Insurrection

The Age of Aquarius has arrived in earnest, it would appear, and with quite a “bang” at that as we’ve burst in to an all-too-eventful start to 2021 if you’ve been paying attention to larger-scale geopolitical events at all; particularly here in The States.   With an invisible tractor-beam lock pulling us ever-closer to the first of three squares between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus (on February 17, 2021 to be exact), you know you’re definitely arrived in the Aquarian Age when the astrology appears to mirror the title of a Star Trek movie. [She says with a wry smile] I had to use the above GIF to just lighten the mood a bit; I hate it when I have to start the year off discussing heavy-duty astro (see also: last year’s conjunction of Saturn & Pluto in Capricorn) but it’s all part and parcel of the job – if you shirk your responsibility to address potentially problematic astrological energies, IMO it is a dereliction of duty and disservice to your clients as a consulting astrologer. Pick a different profession instead.

Now, back to how a Star Trek film relates to the current astro: Recent days have seen an insurrection [read: act of domestic terrorism] occurring at America’s capitol and with this alignment in play on and off throughout various points in 2021, without being alarmist I think it prudent we be prepared for the possibility of further unrest on both a national and global level.  Though no year is ever completely “settled” in an energetic sense, having Saturn and Uranus at loggerheads with each other represents a pressurized situation in which there’s tension between stability and chaos; law and anarchy; sanity and craziness. It is important to note that, from the right substance, this pressure can in fact yield diamonds but if we are working with poor-quality base material it is much more likely to crack under the weight of this particular energetic force.  Governments and their People are not inclined to see eye-to-eye under this vibe, and there is a general sense of unrest with the Status Quo even as the challenges to it seem to be facing a strong headwind.  Fractures in the integrity of government can cause democracy to shatter and break; as difficult as this may be, the higher result of such a happening would be for the sake of systemic & economic reform, evolution, and progress achieved in plodding yet peaceful Taurean manner.  FYI, FDR’s “New Deal” happened the last time Uranus was in Taurus and his cutting-edge fiscal reforms helped to lift the USA out of the Depression by federally funding massive infrastructure updates which created robust job growth, even though this did not happen overnight. The New Deal also gave rise to the highly humanitarian Social Security program; a program which in recent years has been standing upon shaky ground and could badly use an update to v2.0 in the 21st century.

In this particular astrological situation, Saturn in Aquarius represents both radical and/or progressive governments; in the USA we’ve certainly had the former on our hands lately with an Alt-Right conspiracy theory-touting, rabble-rousing, deceitful, and disgraceful head of the lunatic fringe himself –  President Orcus – sitting in (and blatantly attempting to commandeer for a second term)  the captain’s seat.  Lo-Fi Saturn runs on fear, and President Orcus certainly knew what he was doing in taking every opportunity he could to label his political opponents “radical Socialists” and create a convenient boogeyman that only he could protects us from.  Even now with multiple arrests of several well–known Right Wing extremists (MAGA supporters are not exactly subtle, are they?) in connection with the recent horrifying assault on our nation’s capitol, his disinformation campaign is out there trying to float outlandish propaganda about how these domestic terrorists “were actually ANTIFA in disguise”.  🙄  Riiiiiiiiight; if this doesn’t exemplify insanity at the highest level, I’m not sure what does. What we have in America right now with Saturn in wacky, unpredictable Aquarius is a radicalized, unhinged, unstable Alt-Right government that seeks to control through fear. It is chaotic, unstable, and hopefully in time will be looked at in the history books as an aberration and Lesson Learned.

We know what we’re leaving behind, but what are we headed toward in 2021 when it comes to our elected officials?  Well, one could certainly argue that a hard swing Left toward more Democratic Socialist governance would be both radical AND progressive.  Yet this would seem to play right into MAGA Nation’s greatest fears, which one could argue creates two sides of the same coin by virtue of its capacity to alienate.  Please understand that is *not* a criticism of such a tack; merely a musing wherein I’m wondering if the truly “radical” approach to government in these extreme times involves simple sanity in the form of gradual reforms; the most “revolutionary” of these consisting of an economic nature.  Change is slowed considerably under this alignment; Uranus being under duress from ponderous Saturn while occupying slow-yet-sweet-as-molasses Taurus.  Taurus can be coaxed but not prodded and it may indeed be possible to bring part of the lunatic fringe back in line by appealing to their materialism.  Distasteful as I find it, there may be some merit to such an approach when Saturn in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus; the question is: Will this happen and can it happen in time?  When humanity is socially isolated this is more inclined to create splintered factions than unity, and binding it back together during a pandemic is obviously going to take some work.  People are, however, more inclined to congregate around their values – the tension comes from a push to de-radicalize these and return to sanity.  With Saturn in Aquarius, time seems arbitrary and it is difficult to say with any certainty when the timer might strike; it can be a sudden buzzer that startles us or the shock of realizing the alarm was never even set in the first place.

01/09/2021

Jupiter Conjunct Saturn In Aquarius

The upcoming meet-up between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21st, 2020 (yes, on the Solstice!) seems to be getting quite a lot of press in both the scientific and spiritual communities alike as of late, and as such I thought it was time for a long-overdue post outlining some of the highlights of this event – you know an alignment is pretty special when astronomers agree with astrologers on something for once, LOL! It’s unfortunate that science seems to prefer casting aspersions our way these days – astronomy and astrology were one and the same back in olden times and most astrologers have at least a basic understanding of celestial mechanics (can’t say the inverse; that astronomers bother to understand rudimentary astrological principles, however 🙃). That aside, both fields are in alignment regarding how this upcoming conjunction is uncommon; occurring only about every 20 years or so. A conjunction between this duo hasn’t happened in this sign since the Middle Ages, so it’s been a long time since they met up in this particular ‘hood; a turf where Saturn holds sway.

One of the many manifestations of the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius is how it is affording us an opportunity to take a positive break from tradition this holiday season. In a Covid-ravaged year, the holidays certainly do look different but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if we are willing to back up and do an objective cost/benefit assessment; one that includes a perspective on the time we’ll be able to free up by having more minimalist celebrations. This isn’t at all rooted in “terminal positivity”; I am simply saying that for some of us being able to focus on the blessing of having a default non-obligatory appearance at family or work gatherings (or other social commitments) and pared-back responsibilities after such a demanding year may actually feel like a burden has been lifted from us. The energy of this conjunction is really encouraging us to take tradition and put our own unique “twist” on it this year in a way that celebrates our individuality and freedom. Personally, I am doing a mere fraction of the holiday baking I usually do and am cooking holiday meals purely for my own taste this year – as someone who gives (and gives a lot!), that in itself is a joy; I have permission to be a bit selfish for once! I decided to celebrate by dong something I have always wanted to do during December but could never seem to find the time for: Finally get into gingerbread house making. Introverts among us might also find themselves relishing the opportunity to focus on more restorative pursuits vs. feeling like they always have to be “on” for the many social functions that always seem to crop up this time of year.

Regarding some other manifestations of this energy, I shared this in my November 2020 newsletter: I like Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions; I really do. These planets are natural energetic opposites, so when rightly utilized they can help to balance each other’s problem areas out. Jupiter’s faults are those of excess and overdoing while Saturn’s are those of restraint and limitation, so you can see how being foils for each other would be quite helpful. That said, Saturn will be considerably stronger in this equation which will mean that to squeeze the very best out of this alignment we’ll need to embrace its tenets of accountability, personal responsibility, hard work, and doing the right/lawful/ethical thing; both in the lead-up to this aspect perfecting and throughout the entire next season. Though Saturn never gives us “something for nothing”, he does tangibly – and perhaps in this case, abundantly – reward those who commit to walking an upright path as shown by his example. Saturn is the Celestial Teacher who doles out gold stars to those working hard and paying attention to its lessons and assigns extra homework – or worse, detentions – to those who don’t take its teachings and warnings seriously. Let’s all commit now to getting on board with the positive reinforcement model, yes?

What these planets *do* have in common is their capacity for learning – Jupiter represents the ability to develop a belief or overarching philosophy through an expansion of perspective, while Saturn symbolizes trial-and-error learning where we grow wise from our mistakes with time and experience. With every Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, there is the ability to turn our biggest stumbling blocks into our greatest strengths. In community-minded Aquarius, this can be contextualized in a social sense. Where we individually and collectively are experiencing the biggest challenges in our own lives as well as in a larger sociopolitical context, we can grow enormously beyond all previous limitations if we commit to extending more time and effort in that direction.

Along this vein, perhaps the greatest benefit to be had in the upcoming meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius lies in its capacity for community-building; for helping us to create the essential framework for stronger, more supportive social networks and broader communities in general. This will take time – as all things Saturn-related do – but if we approach the upcoming event with the intention of building a greater sense of community through honesty and trust and set about implementing a solid plan for how to do so, the social and professional payoffs could be enormous. I probably don’t have to tell my readers this, but in an era where “social distancing” has become *a thing* and we have wide sociopolitical divides drawing hard lines between families, friends, and neighbors, the necessity for each of us to do our own individual part to help build solid and more unified communities that focus on uplifting each other and/or working toward greater transpersonal goals/the betterment of humanity at large is so crucially important on both a micro and macro scale now. 

On an individual level, when so many of us are feeling isolated by this ongoing pandemic we need to know that we’re truly there for each other; especially during the hard(est) times. No person is an island, and feeling more connected to each other can ripple outward and create greater positive engagement with the world at large. Think back to your school days and what a difference it could have made in yours or a classmate’s life to have had more/better friends – statistically, it lowers our chances of depression, increases happiness, boosts our sense of purpose, and our friends can also keep us “in check” in ways that are good for us. Isolation can breed radicalization; this is a social malady we should all be doing our best to put a stop to now under this conjunction. There are many people out there who might benefit from a longstanding trusted friend pausing to tap them on the shoulder and warn them that some of the philosophies they’re espousing aren’t right or perhaps are even sounding kinda crazy. Leaving someone alone to believe whatever they want instead of putting effort into trying to understand and yet also challenge their point of view so that it becomes less alienating benefits everyone. When you trust someone; when they’ve been your friend for a long period of time and you truly understand they want the best for you, you’re more inclined to listen to them even if you don’t agree. If enough people join together to form a safety net of genuine concern, this is what stops people from “falling through the cracks”; it’s how we can help stop everything from white supremacy to mass shootings. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions can point to us having a fundamentally wrong philosophy about something, and indicates the broader process/challenge of straightening this out to “get right”. Unfortunately we’ve gotten to the point of normalizing crazy; this has to stop for the good of all, and it will take each and every one of us stepping up and applying beneficial social pressure.

Mind you this is not about moral superiority and looking down on others who simply believe something different than we do; it’s about being able to distinguish genuinely problematic philosophies that – if left unchecked – can harm our communities and doing our very best to contain them before they become more widespread. (Social) Prevention really is the best cure. It may not be popular, but in my view the world has gotten to be the “Wild Wild West” it has in this respect because we’re not doing more to police our own communities and protect each other. I’ve said this more than a few times, but during Saturn in Aquarius we must embrace the concept of truly being “our brothers’ keepers”. Going back to the quaint olden days when there were social consequences for things like racism instead of tolerating it and allowing the First Amendment to be used as both a sword and a free-for-all coward’s shield against accountability would be a step in the right direction – keep standards high and create positive social pressure to shape your networks into better versions of what they currently are.

What does building more supportive community look like? Coming together for a common purpose or ideal; it could be as personal as forming more/more dependable friendships, it could be to improve standards in an industry or community, or it could be as big as concretizing a huge and aspirational ideological goal that thousands of people all work toward together. This energy is fabulous for community organizing, and though the venues might look different – i.e. reliance on virtual instead of in-person meeting spaces – there is also the ability to utilize technology for its bigger and best purposes to broadcast and organize at more effective levels. Have a purpose, a plan, and know your target audience. Start or join virtual meetup groups and get a firm commitment from all participants. Delegate judiciously; everyone needs to have a “job”.

While we’re attempting to grow our social networks, we also need to understand that the first step toward this may actually involve paring back on certain connections; doing an honest cost/benefit assessment for the sake of freeing up time for the most rewarding social commitments is favored over letting everyone into our circle willy-nilly and then either having a time management/allocation problem on our hands or sacrificing quality, solid associates for a greater quantity of less reliable and more peripheral acquaintances. For example, the perceived prestige of having a large social media following is nothing compared to having true-blue friends who will show up for you in real life when you’re down and who will do whatever tangible things they can to help alleviate whatever hardships you might be dealing with. Mind you this is not at all to trivialize the significance of online connections as real community can be built digitally, too – be they virtual or in-person, the best communities put time and real effort into supporting one another for the good of all involved. But my point is: Logging exorbitant hours into cultivating an online “following” or “presence” – even if it is for work – can take up the free time we might have to use on more palpable social pursuits, so pausing to ask ourselves which connections are essential vs. which are more extraneous is advisable.

The other part that cannot be emphasized enough with Saturn being the Alpha Dog of this conjunction lies in taking personal responsibility for any social difficulties we might be encountering. Perhaps we find ourselves complaining about not having enough friends, yet aren’t making enough of an effort to broaden our connections. Maybe we have been putting too much time and effort into the wrong crowd and it’s causing us difficulty somehow (the term “juvenile delinquents” comes to mind, though problematic associates of all stripes can certainly be both above and below legal age). Perhaps we might be outgrowing a particular social circle but have been stunting ourselves in order to maintain the connection because of the sense of security this network provides, but what we really need is more age-/situation-appropriate friendships. Or perhaps we might have some troubles because we’ve not been the best of friends ourselves; perhaps being harsh or rather heavy on the judgment toward a member/members of our crew and now under this conjunction/the longer-running passage of Saturn through Aquarius this might come back to bite us in a karmic sense. Maybe we’ve been spreading socially irresponsible propaganda somehow or generally haven’t behaving as a”good citizen” and there might be pushback from our peers in a way that leaves us ostracized. Whatever the case might be, checking ourselves and doing an internal audit to work on the problems before more serious issues have an opportunity to manifest is enormously beneficial both ahead of and in the wake of this conjunction – heed the warnings; it’s for our own good. Make right what you can while also making an effort to stave off future problems from arising by being farsighted and preventative in approach. We can’t run around neglecting something for too long and then wonder why it is falling apart on us! Again, with all things Saturn-related, prevention really is the best cure. When we’ve failed to do that, at least humbling ourselves to learn from where we’ve erred is a good strategy.

Back to this concept of (social) prevention being the best cure and what I was saying earlier about stopping community spread (of potentially problematic philosophies), this same premise is directly applicable in a physical context as we continue to work to contain this ongoing pandemic. I have mentioned this many times, but the best and highest use of Saturn in Aquarius – and the means through which we stand to be most substantially rewarded for our efforts with Jupiter blessing it – lies in embracing the concept of social responsibility like a religion. Remember, the true measure of how good a society is lies in how well it protects its most vulnerable – shielding each other by wearing a mask (and properly, at that!) is a tangible example of how we can do better in this regard. Please understand this is not an individual liberty issue; it is one of public safety, so just take one for the team and shaddap about it because we all are. Along with having multiple layers of protection in place, if we all join together globally to do this right we can stop the spread and finally end this pandemic. At this point in time I’m not sure there could be a bigger reward than being able to walk around freely without fear of being in proximity to our fellow man once again.  Personally, I want us all to live in a world where we can be uninhibited by closeness – please join with me in resolving to do everything we can to unite together and make this hope into reality; that is my humble prayer for this conjunction 🙏

12/19/2020

Some Saturn In Capricorn Final Thoughts

Saturn currently is at the tail-end of a roughly 2 ½ year sojourn through its Capricorn stronghold, and as such this astrological climax makes it an important time to be driving home critical points about this energy.  We need to talk about the state of the world today as it relates to Saturn in Capricorn; specifically, how we got to be in the mess we’re in from a leadership standpoint.  Peak dysfunctional Saturn in Capricorn is rewarding achievement to the exclusion of all other metrics; such as the most crucially important one: character. When status or the content of one’s résumé matters more than the measure of their decency and integrity as a human being, this is how one winds up with a President Orcus on their hands.

Lo-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is a ruthless ladder-climber; it will kneecap anyone in its way in order to get to the top of the heap.  This placement has ambition in spades, and as such it becomes easy to make the “ends” of one’s own personal goal/agenda justify the “means”.  When success matters more than anything – including how you play the game – from a karmic standpoint you are getting yourself in pretty deep and whether you pay the piper in this lifetime or the next, rest assured that what goes around does indeed eventually come back around.  Sooner or later, the piper will come to collect his due.  This is all the more relevant with the undercurrent of Pluto’s slower and longer-running journey through this sign playing out in tandem with Saturn’s stint in Capricorn – any Faustian bargains etched in stone during this passage leave indelible stains upon the soul from a karmic standpoint.

Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is completely the opposite; it is stringently upright because it holds high standards for the self without exception. People with a good hit of functional Saturn are often viewed by others as “hard on themselves”, but they are real about their faults/weaknesses/shortcomings so they know where more work is needed from a character development standpoint. Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is utterly humble, aware of its failings, and works to make right wherever it falls short of its own standards.  It applies a uniform “Code of Conduct” coupled with self-accountability for when it fails to measure up to its own ethical benchmarks and does what is right and good strictly because “it’s the right thing to do” – we must remember this planet is the salt of the earth; so honorable, respectable, and morally correct that it literally has a halo (rings).

Collectively we have been tasked with learning from history during Saturn’s passage through Capricorn, and we are failing.  We have a rampant resurgence of white nationalism, a veritable avalanche backslide toward the Dark Ages of Civil Rights, and the re-emergence of another global pandemic where our leadership refuses to follow the Best Practices we learned way in back 1918 (cleanliness, sanitization, masks [yes, look it up],  and leaving each other some distance) and instead focuses on preserving the sanctity of “the economy” rather than the lives of the people.  And while we’re on the subject, let’s start calling Covid-19 what it really is: The sickness of capitalism. This passage of Saturn through Capricorn has truly been a cautionary tale of what can happen when its Lo-Fi vibrations are allowed to remain unchecked; we become a money-grubbing, lonely miser with nothing but the coins locked in our safe to keep us warm at night – Lo-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is the densest (in all senses of the word) form of materialism possible.

What’s the old saying; “If you can’t be a shining example, be a horrible warning”?  That.  Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn absolutely does function as exemplar, but it should be clear by now that a collective body we haven’t been exhibiting a healthy, functional relationship to the material and we are erring on the side of the latter.  Maybe – just maybe – if we start focusing more on character (our own, first and foremost, as well as others’) than on achievement and status, we might be able to turn this around at the 11th hour.  At this point we are clearly flunking the course, though – Saturn leaves Capricorn for good in December and the time for us to get it together is running out….

09/11/2020

Mars In Aries Is Hearing Impaired

Figuratively; not necessarily literally deaf.  Mars in Aries is incredibly headstrong; so much so that it often fails to heed good advice or adhere to valid warnings, for example.  Add in the fact this placement also tends to relish challenge and it’s almost certainly an invitation for trouble – remember that astrologically speaking, dignified or not Mars is considered a malefic for good reason!   What Mars in Aries needs to learn is how to hold up a second and figure out how it instigates conflict by not considering anyone/anything else in the room and acting purely on first impulse, which is usually its own desires.

With Mars in Aries about to retrograde in just a few weeks’ time, one of the most important things we should be asking ourselves now and for the foreseeable future is: “Where/How am I not listening?”  Where have we been perhaps ignoring sage advice that subsequently fell upon our own deaf ears, failed to take a different course of action than the straight-line one we normally would, forged recklessly onward at speed against good warnings/common sense, or perhaps failed to restrain our own (possibly angry?) impulses and (re?)actions?  Something will likely have to be walked back over the next couple of months. Mars in Aries also tends to be offensive/forceful/aggressive in approach, and if we’ve rode roughshod over others recently this retrograde may amount to a comic order to “stand down”.  Especially if we find or have found ourselves in conflict with someone over the past month, there is a good chance this might have arisen because we A) weren’t listening or B) perhaps were being rather selfish; possibly also a combination of the two where maybe we weren’t hearing/didn’t ask what the other party wanted.  When someone doesn’t listen to us – repeatedly – the most common response tends to be to jack up the decibel level and start yelling. Note that I am not advocating that raising our voice should be a first-line approach to anything; rather to encourage self-reflection as to what our own responsibility is if we’ve found ourselves being shouted at because we haven’t been listening – “Can you hear me now???

Personally, my standby is the old “3 Strikes” rule; if I’ve had to say the same thing more than twice because the person in question is intent upon not hearing me despite varying my approach, by the third time I usually either 1) disengage completely and walk away; why throw more energy into it? 2) if disengagement isn’t a viable option – say, the party in question is being pushy about something – I have no qualms about standing up for myself with a marked increase in volume.

08/12/2020