Astrology 3/21 – 3/27: Balance of PowerMarch 21, 2016
Blast Furnace: Mars’ 2016 RetrogradeApril 14, 2016
This week both Mercury and Venus change signs, while the Moon wanes down to nothing and disappears, aligning quietly with the Sun beneath a veil of light. Venus enters Aries on Tuesday, the 5th, and is followed only hours later by Mercury, who forsakes the Ram’s sign for the earthy comforts of Taurus. The New Moon in Aries arrives on Thursday, the 7th. Under the cover of these moonless nights, the stagehands busy themselves setting the scene and readying the pyrotechnics for the dramatic lunar month seeded on the 7th. This week provides glimpses of the great potentials, and equally great challenges, held within the season unfolding before us.
Mercury in Taurus: Food For Thought
After hurtling through Aries at top speed, Mercury enters Taurus on Tuesday , April 5th (4:09 PM PDT). The clever planet’s ingress sees the tone of communications change. Where Aries is inflammatory and evocative, Taurus is grounded and slower to jump to conclusions. Furthermore, the first ten degrees of Taurus are considered to be ruled by Mercury. When activated by the presence of the swift planet, this face of Taurus is thought to be especially fortunate for thoughtful analysis and the creation of solid long term plans. Not only that, but according to traditional authors, it’s also fantastic for plowing— so you should probably get on that.
The ingress thus suggests a shift toward rumination, fact-checking and planning ahead. This change in tone is also supported by Mercury’s synodic phase. After disappearing from the morning sky in early March, Mercury returns to full visibility this week, but this time in the western sky, just after sunset. This is a fortunate phase for Mercury, but one that does not last very long. Mercury will be in this evening-star period until he stations retrograde during the last week of April.
Mercury’s pass through this phase and face will not over-ride the number of volatile elements currently in play, but it can be drawn upon to counter-point them. You can stabilize the mind with a long-term perspective, and ground the thoughts by anchoring them to facts.
Venus in Aries: Roses and Thorns
Venus leaves Pisces behind on April 5th, forsaking the sign’s seascapes for the hotter, dryer climes of Aries (9:50 AM PDT). A fire-flower grows from parched soil and out of its petals steps a figure of great beauty but severe demeanor. In Aries, Venus’ passions run hot but are also easily exhausted. The will-to-harmony wanes while joy-in-self-assertion waxes.
Venus will spend the first leg of her journey in Aries applying to a trine with a nearly-stationary Mars in Sagittarius, which will not be complete until April 12th. With Venus and Mars both in fire signs, the flames of passion will be easily stoked, but the heat they generate may be excessive, and the amount of fuel they consume inefficient. Nonetheless, if touchy subjects can be navigated or avoided, this combination can easily preside over good times. Playing with fire can be fun— even if it’s not safe. If the flames do end up getting out of control, aim a fire extinguisher at your heart and back off until you’ve cooled down.
A Turbulent Ascent
While Mercury and Venus change signs, the Sun goes through the same gauntlet of aspects that Mercury braved last week. The Sun trines Saturn on Tuesday, squares Pluto on Wednesday and finally conjoins Uranus on Saturday. This 1-2-3 punch from Saturn, Pluto and Uranus may make it difficult for Helios to keep his solar chariot steady. This configuration is likely to throw gasoline on a variety of ongoing conflicts between ossified institutions and inflamed reformers. The American electoral system is one of the easiest places to spot this conflagration, but it is only the most glaringly obvious instance of this pattern.
It is in the midst of this trio of influences that the Sun and Moon conjoin. The New Moon in Aries arrives on Thursday morning (4:22 AM PDT). Every year’s New Moon in Aries points towards our true potential, and asks us to consider how we might better realize it. This year’s installment is, however, rather more potent than usual, as it draws in the mixed influences of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto— ingredients for a much more intense and volatile recipe than usual.
This special emphasis is further compounded by the fact the New Moon occurs in the single degree of the zodiac traditionally held to be the Sun’s point of maximum power- it’s degree of exaltation. Here the Sun strives upward toward perfection, even while bearing the entire weight of history.
Thus we struggle, beneath the low ceiling of a sometimes-shabby epoch, toward the still-shining possibility of greatness. Though circumstance is quick to obscure it, a battered but gleaming solar crown waits within each of us, ready to be claimed, and with it both perfect self-sovereignty and total responsibility.
What must we do to obtain that crown? What stands between us and it? And how heavy is it, truly?