Astrology 5/23-5/29: Syncopated Transition

Astrology 5/23-5/29: Syncopated Transition

This week completes the series of changes set in motion by last Saturday’s Full Moon.  By its end, we will have transitioned into the next movement in this season’s symphony.  The next movement, the finale, is a complex arrangement, due to be played up-tempo and full of both ecstatic harmony and jarring discordance.

The week begins with the opposition of Venus in Gemini and retrograde Mars in Sagittarius, which lights up the dynamics of relationships already illuminated by the recent Full Moon.  The dance of Mars and Venus’ is followed by a key moment in the 20 year tango of Jupiter and Saturn.  Finally, on Friday morning, a retrograde Mars retreats back into Scorpio, in whose burrow the red planet will remain until August.

Red and Green Lights

Venus enters tropical Gemini early Tuesday morning (2:44 AM PDT).  Crossing this threshold moves Venus immediately into an opposition with retrograde Mars in Sagittarius.  This opposition colors all of Tuesday, and is exact during the evening (7:37 PM PDT).

The face-off between verdant Venus and crimson Mars provides echoes of the recent Full Moon.  It is, in many senses, a continuation of it, extending its significations toward love and sex, peace and war, harmony and strife and the other polarities which Mars and Venus describe as a pair.

This configuration is thus likely to mark an important point in a variety of different types of relationships.  The necessary adjustments and compromises will, in many cases, be necessitated by the changing power dynamics which Mars’ retrograde cycle is in the process of presiding over.  Issues of direction and intention clarified by last weekend’s Full Moon impact the structure of relationships under this configuration.   In this light, it will be clear that some bonds must be strengthened, while others should be cut without vacillation.

Joy and its Shadow

The initial clash with Mars impedes Venus in Gemini’s significations by involving her in matters of profound intensity.  Yet the quick, bright, light and playful influence one would expect from the star of Aphrodite in the Twins’ sign will become clear by the end of week.  Still, there is something decidedly introverted about the flow of Venusian energy, as she is closing in on a superior conjunction with the Sun.  Thoughtful, yes, playful, yes, but with a note of melancholy for harmonies possible-but-absent.  The configuration of things-to-come is complicated, and the necessary juggling act may provoke a bit of anxiety.

Questions, Answers, and Fart Noises

Jupiter’s final exact square with Saturn occurs this Thursday, May 26th, highlighting the relationship between opportunities and obstacles.  Though the moment in which the aspect is perfect is certainly worth noting, it is counterproductive to see it as occurring at a single moment or on a single day, as Jupiter and Saturn are both slow enough that they will be in a tight square all week.

Though it can be expressed in a variety of ways, the angle between Saturn and Jupiter right now can be seen as the relationship between the questions posed by life and the answers available. In this frictive combination, Jupiter in Virgo’s desire for humble, incremental growth is chaffed by Saturn in Sagittarius’ demand for bold and ambitious solutions.  Sagittarius is mobile, fiery and bold, given to big projects and bigger ideas.  Virgo, meanwhile, focuses on what is small, and looks to refine and reform rather than transform.  Furthermore, Jupiter is considered to be especially impeded in Virgo, where the confidence and optimism which are natural to the big planet must be strained through a fine-mesh net.

Yet there is a third body involved in this cyclical dispute- Neptune.  In Pisces, the distant blue planet is perfectly placed to side-track the serious debate between Jupiter and Saturn with comforting illusions, imaginary solutions and random fart-noises.   Thus, although the last thing that this complicated discussion needs is a smoke machine and hidden whoopee-cushions, that is what Neptune provides.  A glance toward the state of political discussion on most continents should provide ample examples of this dynamic.

Although this week, in which Jupiter and Saturn complete their square, may highlight an abundance of frustrations about the way things are going, both personally and collectively, remember that this is what this part of the cycle is about.  It is neither an end nor the beginning of anything.  It will yield to a more pleasing set of affairs later in the year, when Jupiter enters Libra and makes a more complementary set of angles to Saturn.  For now, be patient and address the issues which arise.

The Arrow’s Head

On Friday morning, retrograde Mars retreats back into Scorpio (6:51 AM PDT).  Mars will spend not only the rest of his retrograde in Scorpio, which will take us to June 28th, but also the following month of July.  This Friday ingress, or rather regress, thus sees Mars capture the territory that he’ll be contesting until August 2nd.  So get ready for another 10 weeks of Mars in Scorpio.  It is “another” because we’ve already had a pair of months this year, January and February, which saw Mars in the scorpion’s sign.

On a day to day level, Mars’ energy will be less frantic than it was during the Sagittarius phase.  With the shift back to Scorpio the red planet’s influence becomes more calm, serious and intense.  As I wrote of Mars’ return to Scorpio in “Blast Furnace: Mars 2016 Retrograde:

“There Mars will tunnel deep, seeking untapped veins of raw desire and drive.  There we will work to extract and awaken the metals.  In time, we will begin the process of forging new arrow heads, whispering the names of our targets over each sharpened bit of cooling metal.  Re-armed, we will emerge from the cave equipped to tackle the next cycle.”



Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram

The Venus-Mars opposition early in the week strikes the same note that the Full Moon did, highlighting the relationship between what is near and far, and how to bridge the distance. Meanwhile, the Jupiter-Saturn square spotlights the friction between your big goals and the capacity of your vehicle to take you there. What repairs and upgrades are required by your goals? Though you may long for the wind-in-your-hair thrill of speeding toward your objective, your chariot probably needs a little work first.
On Friday morning, Mars regresses into Scorpio, which shifts your wandering star into a more potent and introspective place. The lessons waiting to be learned lurk in the space between you and other people, the rivers of power and influence which run betwixt us.

Taurus: The Bull

The Venus-Mars opposition which occurs early in the week rings the same bell as last weekend’s Full Moon, highlighting the entanglement of what’s yours, what’s not and what’s shared.
Meanwhile, Jupiter’s square with Saturn highlights your obligations to others, what they require, and the amount of energy you have available to commit.
Finally, on the 27th, Mars retreats back into Scorpio. In the Scorpion’s sign for the next several months, Mars will test your close relationships. Though the red planet may cast a harsh light on the dynamics between yourself and others, it is still a type of illumination, and things can be seen by that light which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Gemini: The Twins

The Venus-Mars opposition which colors the early week emphasizes your close relationships and intimate desires. Both harmonies and conflicts come readily to the surface during the early week, highlighting both warlike and peaceful passions.
Meanwhile, Jupiter and Saturn’s square this week highlights the manner in which the space you have available intersects with your relationships. If you would plant flowers, you must first have soil.
Finally, on Friday, Mars retreats to Scorpio, where he will be until August. Back in Scorpio, Mars shifts some of the emphasis away from your relationships and back toward your physical and fiscal health, highlighting the importance of problem solving and steady improvement.

Cancer: The Crab

The Venus-Mars opposition early in the week highlights the same themes that the Full Moon did a few days previous— your mental and physical health.
Meanwhile, the Jupiter-Saturn square exposes the relationship between the tasks you’re committed to and the amount of time you have to do them. Reduce your dreams of accomplishment down to something that will actually fit in the time you have available.
On Friday, Mars regresses into Scorpio, shifting the emphasis of his retrograde from fiscal and physical health to the question of what you commit your energy to, and why.

Leo: The Lion

The early week’s opposition between Venus and Mars, much like the previous weekend’s Full Moon, highlights the relationship between what you’re devoting your energy to and how the people in your life are reacting.
Meanwhile, the Jupiter-Saturn square this week highlights the friction between the projects you’re committed to and the resources currently at your disposal.
Finally, on the 27th, Mars moves back into Scorpio, where he will remain for the rest of his retrograde. In Scorpio, Mars highlights conflicts with and within family, as well as issues pertaining to your living situation and your ability to control space.

Virgo: The Virgin

The Venus-Mars opposition on Tuesday further stresses the relationship between your profession and home-life. Work life balance is a thing, and it should probably be your thing.
Meanwhile, this week’s square between Jupiter and Saturn shines a light on your familial obligations, and may also highlight issues with your home which require repair.
Finally, on the 27th, Mars retreats back into Scorpio, in whose burrow he will remain until August. In Scorpio, retrograde Mars will shift his concerns to your regular schedule, and the changes you need to make to it.

Libra: The Scales

Tuesday’s Venus-Mars opposition highlights the relationship between your long and short term goals. Consider both the entire journey as well as its individual jaunts.
Meanwhile, this week’s Jupiter-Saturn square spotlights the friction between your regular duties and the time alone you need for the spiritual and psychological growth spurt that’s trying to happen right now.
On the 27th, Mars moves back into Scorpio, where he will finish out the remainder of his retrograde. In the Scorpion’s sign, Mars will focus his red rays on your financial situation, spotlighting both what you need and how you’re going to get it.

Scorpio: The Scorpion

The Venus-Mars opposition which begins the week highlights, just as the recent Full Moon did, the entanglement between your resources and those of other people. Look to what is passing between yourself and others.
Meanwhile, Jupiter and Saturn spend the week in a tight square, highlighting the connection between the resources you have at your disposal and your relationships with friends. You be called upon to do a friend a favor, or be the recipient of such a boon.
On Friday, Mars moves back into Scorpio. The red one will be in your sign for the rest of his retrograde and beyond, driving toward the heart of what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it.

Sagittarius: The Centaur

The early week’s Venus-Mars opposition spotlights your closest relationships. Witness what conflicts exist between yourself and others and see what harmony can be brought to them. Though some rifts are deep and wide, most can be bridged with understanding.
The square between Jupiter and Saturn this week points towards the work necessary to take advantage of the professional opportunities currently available to you.
On Friday, Mars retrogrades out of your sign, which should take some of the heat off of you for the remainder of the planet’s retrograde. The questions and adjustments will continue, but they will shift into a more internal, contemplative mode.

Capricorn: The Goat

The Venus-Mars opposition early in the week highlights the status of your mental and physical health, spotlighting the manner in which the subtle and gross are entangled. To bring harmony to one necessarily involves the other.
Meanwhile, Jupiter and Saturn’s square this week is likely to draw attention to the gains possible from various projects, as well as how those profits contribute to the resources you currently require.
On the 27th, Mars sneaks back into Scorpio, where it will remain for the next 10 weeks. The red planet’s time back in Scorpio points toward your network of friends and contacts, and this portion of its cycle asks when it is worth fighting with people, and when conflict merely makes things worse. It will also pushes you to consider the value of strong allies and the silken strength of a healthy social web.

Aquarius: The Waterbearer

Tuesday’s Venus-Mars opposition stresses the relationship between the social and the creative for you. What is it that you’re shaping with your energy, and who can see it? Meanwhile, this week’s Jupiter-Saturn square highlights the group projects you’ve bound your energy to, and the status of relevant partnerships.
On Thursday, retrograde Mars re-enters Scorpio, where the red planet will shine across your professional life until August. This phase of Mars’ retrograde will help you clarify exactly what you want out of a career, and how deep you’re willing to dig in order to unearth it.

Pisces: The Fish

The Venus-Mars opposition which begins the week continues the themes which the previous weekend’s Full Moon introduced— the relationship between what you are reaching for and what supports you. This dialogue between foundation and aspiration involves your relationships with the people who support and inspire you. Jupiter and Saturn’s square this week further stresses this relating component, highlighting the importance of integrating partnership, ambition and support.
On Friday the 27th, Mars retrogrades back into Scorpio. This portion of the red planet’s cycle shifts the planet’s crimson light back toward your long term goals and life direction, asking you what your destination truly is, and what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get there.

Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.

1 Comment

  1. Kate plumb 4 years ago

    Thank you Austin. I love the language you use. It is so descriptive in a poetic way. The images you describe make your ideas come to life.

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