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.”


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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
Taurus: The Bull
Gemini: The Twins
Cancer: The Crab
Leo: The Lion
Virgo: The Virgin
Libra: The Scales
Scorpio: The Scorpion
Sagittarius: The Centaur
Capricorn: The Goat
Aquarius: The Waterbearer
Pisces: The Fish
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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 7 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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Astrology 5/23-5/29: Syncopated Transition

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