New Moon Gemini - June 2016 - Crossed Swords on the Crossroads

We are about to embark on another lunar cycle with the new moon in Gemini. And this one is going to challenge us to the core for the next 28 or so days. Whatever illusions and pie-in-the-sky ideals you have regarding love, relationships, career, and projects... throw those out the window and seek the truth within. Because those illusions are going to be challenged and challenged hard. But there are some hidden rewards in here as well, and those balance out the crossroads.

* Note: I do tend to use "New Moon" to refer to both Sun and Moon conjunct in the chart. So don't think I'm ignoring the sun, it's just how I term this in New Moon articles.

The New Moon itself conjuncts Venus, and conjuncts relatively tightly at about a half degree orb when the exact new moon takes effect. Sun and moon both conjunct Venus aren't too bad, though the Venus is combust (within 8 degrees of the Sun, but not within 0 ° 17' where it would be Cazimi), so Venus is slightly weakened in truth. So themes of romance, love, relationships, and to an extent jobs and service to others will be emphasized, as well as how we feel about all of this.. One may not think of Venus as related to jobs, one would normally think of Jupiter (money, expansion), and that's fine. But... in this case I think it's safe to say that it does factor due to the greater picture...

The greater picture is that New Moon/Venus in Gemini are in a Grand Cross with Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, and Neptune in Pisces. And another part of that greater picture is the Grand Trine Kite between Jupiter/North Node in Virgo, Mercury in Taurus, and Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, with Neptune in Pisces pulling the bowstring aiming at Jupiter. So really, the star of the play is going to be Jupiter and North Node, with New Moon/Venus sharing top billing. We're going to have to break this down, as there is a lot going on with this lunar cycle!

We already covered Venus and Sun/Moon conjunct. The opposition to Saturn retrograde in Jupiter's ruled sign isn't an easy place for Saturn to be, more so when it's retrograde, and it's spotlighted this cycle. We're looking inwards, asking "is this what we really want?" We're also looking over our failings, seeing where our discipline has failed us. (Mars retrograde going back through one of its ruled signs, Scorpio, will further hammer this point home). This isn't easy for us to deal with. But it's something we really need to look at.

We also have Saturn retrograde square Neptune, and this is a brutal, brutal aspect. One of the more difficult ones, as we have Neptune in Pisces, feeling all airy and dreamy (despite being a water sign, I know...), and we're at a point where we see where we want to go, and all these dreams we want to build. Saturn squaring this is showing we're at a time of some serious (if not severe) wake-up calls... and retrograde Saturn is having us look inwards, saying "Hey, silly! This isn't realistic!". We've got a point in our lives here where we are examining our dreams, and seeing just how realistic our dreams and goals really are. Those of us who are a bit more grounded (and I don't profess to be this right now, to be brutally honest), well, ok they'll be more alright. More headaches than normal, but nothing they can't handle. Us folk who are not so grounded and on stable footing at the moment, well, we've got our trial by fire. The New Moon and Venus together squaring Neptune in the other direction further amplifies this, as we're getting frustrated and disappointed in that some of our ambitions and dreams are not working out, and beating ourselves up over it. Even if we don't admit it to anyone else. We are our harshest critics, after all.

And speaking of dealing with where we want to be, let's get to Jupiter's role in this... Saturn retrograde square Jupiter is a bit of a downer on us building things at the moment. We have some self-doubt or some realistic realization of how optimism doesn't always pan out. (Neither does pessimism, otherwise we'd never get anywhere!) Jupiter wants to go go go, and applying towards the North Node, it seems like we feel we're destined to gain somehow, win it all. But Saturn, again, retrograde and squaring all this, it's telling us to slow down and making us wait when some of us just can't afford to wait. Jupiter opposite Neptune is also a bit of a monkey wrench right now as we're starting to see some cracks in the facade, and while we want to keep going, we're probably distracted right now and not focusing entirely on the goal of getting where we want to get to. Something's holding us back, and given that Neptune is five degrees or so from the South Node (where we tend to withdraw to and feel comfortable), we're probably indulging, ever so slightly, in some forms of escape. With Jupiter square New Moon/Venus, we're feeling a bit off-kilter and probably not being as effective in pursuing our goals, getting that job, winning that man or woman's heart.

In general, we're wanting to go one direction while we're being pulled in another. Well, that's a Grand Cross for you! Pulled in four different directions. NOW... Let's get to the Grand Trine.

Jupiter trine Pluto retrograde is something we've been experiencing for the last few weeks now pretty strongly, and Pluto is going to be going backwards for some time yet. Pluto retrograde is where we look at what we're doing to ourselves, what do we not need and what do we need to discard to get to where we want to go. Quite simply, with Jupiter trine this, we're seeing where we're sabotaging ourselves, and what we need to do to get on that path to get us to a better place.

Mercury trine Jupiter isn't bad either, as this should help us along in some communications. We'll likely have some breakthroughs in communications, in document-signing, probably some easing of travel, though we can expect some mayhem with the Grand Cross going. Should probably also note the Mercury wide opposite Mars retrograde, where we're probably a bit frustrated with some of the other delays. We'll have to look out for some aggressive drivers, and we need to take a step back and not get too worked up over delays, especially those of our own making. And try not to get too mad at ourselves. But I repeat myself.

And we already know Jupiter opposite Neptune, which is pulling the bowstring towards Jupiter. Neptune is also in a wide sextile to Pluto retrograde at the moment, so if we can, we should use some of our intuition to figure out what's sabotaging ourselves.

It occurred to me that three of the most "malefic" planets are all retrograde right now... So right now, and for the majority of this lunar cycle, we're going to still be doing some soul-searching and self-reflection and seeing what just hasn't worked in general, and we'll need to figure out where to go from there. I didn't even think about that before, but this is actually a rather unique opportunity for us as the human race. Not that that which needs discarded isn't going to fight back and fight to maintain its hold on us.

Let's go deeper into this cycle...

99942 Apophis conjunct Vesta shows we're at a point where we're seeing what's sacred to us, what we most value, and in some cases, this is where we must destroy that which no longer serves us. Sometimes beliefs are challenged, and this is going to be one of those times I think. As this conjunction does not directly aspect a planet, this may be a more minor influence. But those seeds of wondering are going to be there.

Pholus retrograde opposite 3811 Karma is at a point where we're probably thinking "what did we do to deserve this?" A little self-reflection is further exemplified, and some of us may actually step up some good deeds, even without thinking. Or maybe the chickens come home to roost. Pholus is sitting on Galactic Center, so a sense of divine what-goes-around-comes-around may be coming about in this cycle.

4386 Lust sextile New Moon/Venus could make a few things hot and heavy, and it is close to Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere anyways), so expect a few fireworks to go off. The Grand Cross with the New Moon will of course temper this.

37117 Narcissus sextile 875 Nymphe also offers some opportunities for some romps in the hay, but be careful you're choosing a partner who actually cares about you and aren't just using you for your own ends. Solid advice at any point, but I sense there's going to be some disappointments over this next month. 149 Medusa conjunct 433 Eros, 16089 Lamb, and 7066 Nessus further adds influence to this, and both Medusa and Eros make a wide (for asteroids) opposition to 1930 Lucifer and 8690 Swindle (Lamb and Nessus are a little wide for the opposition by themselves), so be careful that you are not betrayed where a woman (or woman-minded) other is concerned. Likely there will be an acting of pride involved, maybe from a previous hurt? Or people getting taken in over a sob-story, so do keep your wits about you. With Nessus station retrograde, any self-serving betrayals will come back to bite the offender, just don't let yourself be the sacrificial lamb in any such encounters.

Juno conjunct Black Moon Lilith can add a bit of spice to romantic relationships, sexual unions, friends with benefits, etc. Be alert that this also sextiles Lucifer/Swindle, so a little bit of ulterior motive is likely this cycle. (When isn't it?)... there is a possiblity that it will be somewhat muted though, given the sextile.

This next one might be somewhat political on all sides, as I'm not singling out a single party: 564 Dudu conjunct 26955 Lie, wide orb (2 degrees), both straddling fixed star Algol. Expect the bullshit to fly and fly far and fast. Appropriate as US Presidential Primary season is winding down in the U.S. here. With both sextile Chiron, maybe more people will have their bullshit detectors calibrated a little better, and of course recognize the lies and deal accordingly. We do also have 2601 Bologna retrograde sextile Lucifer/Swindle (which puts it with Juno/Black Moon Lilith, arguably, at wide orb), so hopefully a lot of lies are discovered before they do get really damaging.

4179 Toutatis conjunct 6583 Destinn... hmm... I'm going to interpret this as us needing to be on the lookout for fated events, as we have seen with Muhammed Ali passing away last night. I need to do a little more study on Toutatis. That was an asteroid mentioned as being one that could potentially hit Earth in the future if I'm not mistaken, so it's definitely one to keep track of.

157 Dejanira square 1388 Aphrodite is something we need to watch out for as well in our relationships. Given the involvement of Narcissus, Swindle, Lucifer, and Medusa mentioned above, definitely keep your wits up. Falling for the wrong one is looking a little more likely, and now that I think of events such as the Primaries... I wouldn't be surprised if we see developments in the Bill Cosby case or ex-Subway Jared's adventures in prison during this month. Sex scandals... watch for those. Don't get caught in one yourself.

And I think this bears repeating: Nessus is station retrograde, and Nessus represents abuse, obsession, disregarding others for one's own gain. Nessus was a bit of a bastard in mythology as well (and I think I need to do an article on Nessus and Dejanira now). I think we're going to see a period where people's skeletons come pouring out of their closets. Again, just in time for an election year, and the conventions as well. This should be fun. We're either going to see more revelations of the Donald, or Hillary's email woes are going to bite her in the ass. My bet? Both.

This is where I'm going to stop. I'm sure I may have missed some aspects. But this is a lot of information to chew on. Again, set your intentions for this New Moon period well, and ultimately things will be alright for a lot of us. Even if it doesn't seem like it right now. Trust me, I've got my Dark Night of the Soul going on a bit too. But dark nights are the best nights for seeing brilliant lights.

Mercury Retrograde April-May 2016 - Retroactive Reversal

April 28th is coming up on us, and we've got that magical time again: Mercury Retrograde. This one is considerably different than most, considering that when it goes backwards from our perspective on Earth, we will have five planets in retrograde motion at the same time! The last time this happened was about ten years ago, and this is about a 4% of the time occurance.

The first thing that strikes out at me is the Minor Grand Trine between Moon and Mercury/Vesta, apexing at Chiron. Now fortunately, Chiron is in the focus of a beneficial pattern such as this, so in this case the Wounded Healer is likely to start bringing us some healing rather than wounding. Chiron itself, however, is square Ixion, so from what I see, themes of infidelity or betrayals is going to be a theme of that healing. Maybe false allegations thereof. I don't know. With Ixion itself retrograde, perhaps you thoguht yourself to have betrayed some trust before, and during this cycle perhaps there's a healing and a clearing of the air where things may not have been quite as bad as thought, or circumstances have changed. I'm not imagining a flagging marriage being one of these where one or both partners cheated, but maybe something like a bad assumption or series of bad assumptions being worked over right now.

We do still have the T-Square between Neptune opposite Jupiter Retrograde, apex Saturn Retrograde. This is also a time where we will be facing some of our illusions, and facing some hard truths within ourselves. Let's use Chiron's influence to start healing this. Perhaps the hard truths are related to the Chiron/Ixion retrograde square, and perhaps there's an underlying reason some of us have fallen into the bad assumption pattern.

To put a personal perspective on this: Recently I just had an assumption blow up in my face, though there was a buffer zone given for this. I assumed my contract job was going to last until at least June and give me some more time to save up a little more for that eventuality (or the hopeful possibility of a contract extension, or even conversion to full-time). Guess what: Instead I got a two-weeks notice, and this was with a slight extension (details I'm going to skip over for now). To be fair, my manager and contact are looking high and low for colleagues that need someone with my skills (which would be most-accurately described as Full Stack Developer, though I was brought on as a UX developer. I've done front, middle, database stuff, so yeah Full Stack it is. But I digress...). What this is also revealing on a personal level is that I have support from others who have worked with me and are pulling for me. There's a few options, but right now, I need to evaluate very carefully given my situation.

Back to the matter at hand: Mercury Retrograde's beginning. Let's moved on to Mercury and the Fixed Star: Algol is out of range. YES. Algol is a very unfortunate star, but as Mercury is farther than two degrees away, close to three degrees away, it's just out of range. So let's gloss over that one! Trust me, this could be far worse. About a degree and a half from a conjunction with Vesta, we're going to be reviewing and reflecting on what is sacred or special to us, what we hold highly in regards to our beliefs.

We do also have a Trine between Pluto Retrograde and Mercury Retrograde, and though this is about a six degree orb, we have a slight influence with Pluto's internal devestation and rebirth meshing with Mercury retrograde's review and slowdown. What do we truly value in life? What are we going to let go in this cycle? Grudges? Crushing defeats? That's up to you.

Mars Retrograde is another fun point of this, and is within orb of activating its own T-Square with Neptune and Jupiter Retrograde. So where Saturn is one apex where we face our illusions, Mars retrograde as another apex is going to slowly burn this illusion out.

We need to also consider Mars Sesquiquadrate Uranus/Hekate/Eris/Dejanira. Where do we feel like we've been victimized in our lives? Is it because of going against the grain? Have we victimized others, and is karma about to roll its wheel right over us? Is justice to be done for this rebellious victimization? As part of a news thing I just saw... Bill Cosby may be seeing his day in court very soon, and could face up to 10 years if convicted once this goes to trial. We shoould also note Venus conjunct 99942 Apophis, with Apophis representing destruction. In Cosby's case, I think we're about to see some interesting times ahead with that story. Also note Venus/Apophis trine Pholus Retrograde. Pholus is like a detonator, and also like an intoxication asteroid. In this case, I think we're about to see an implosion from previous destructive lustful actions.

I can't wait to see what this means for the Presidential Campaigns... and I do not like most of the results I saw Tuesday... Let's just say two of the candidates I really did not want to see hit the White House... are in striking range of clinching the nomination of their respective parties. But this is getting to be a quintuple-retrograde period... what fresh hell of surprises are all of the campaigns about to see? We'll find out between now and May 9th, perhaps.

Finally, Sun Quincunx Mars. The Quincunx is a strange animal, it's not a trine, not an opposition, but somewhere in between. It's like in this case, fixed Earth to mutable Fire. Sorta like a slowly simmering volcano, but when it goes off... it's going to go off. We could see some very harsh words come out, followed by some major apologizing. Expect some mood swings this Mercury Retrograde cycle. Some of those mood swings are needed, though, just don't take it out on loved ones. Mars retrograde in this mix suggests we really shouldn't take it out on ourselves either. I'd recommend physical activity like running or hitting the weights as opposed to driving a fist into the drywall, because drywall repair isn't fun and neither is scaring your friends and loved ones. That and punching a wall hurts like hell, especially when you find that stud in the wall that's considerably more sturdy than the plaster. And court-ordered anger management training isn't something that's considered fun by many, so try to keep your cool.

I'm out of time for now, but I'll leave this here as a Part 1. Part 2, I haven't decided if I'll get into other asteroids, or if I'll just go to look at the Mercury Direct phase that comes later in May.

Mars and Pluto Retrograde 2016 - All Stop (Part 1)

It's finally here. Mars Retrograde. Pluto Retrograde follows in less than 24 hours after this point. Don't expect a lot of forward momentum at this time. Nay, if you try to force things now, it's probably not going to go very well. Since Mars and Pluto are both going retrograde within one day of one another, I've opted to combine this series for both as there really isn't going to be much of a difference in placements overall for both retrograde stations.

To recap about retrogrades, the planets themselves are not going backwards in space. Instead, the orbits of Earth and the planets are at such a point that the planets that are retrograde appear to be moving in reverse from our perspective here on Earth.

Mars Retrograde begins it's backward motion on Antares, a fixed star in Sagittarius. This is going to be rather interesting, as Antares is a pretty incendiary star all on its own, and Mars is the planet of action, war, anger, and fire. Mars, when going forwards, things progress and advance, and initiating actions seems to go a lot smoother. Once it's retrograde, it's pause-and-reassess time. Sure, you can force things forward, and you may have situations where you can't wait. Make sure you know if it's that kind of situation, or if it's a situation that you can take some time to think about and plan things out better.

Regarding Mars conjunct Antares... From [url=]Constellations of Words:

With Mars: Detrimental habits powerfully affecting the life, quarrels with friends and relatives, fairly favorable for gain. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging. [Robson*, p.138.]

Fortunately, moon is not with Aldebaran so we don't have to worry about that last part. Still, for this Mars Retrograde cycle, we can expect more arguments and incidents, some stemming from people trying to force things through, and others just because people are more argumentative.

We do have some good news though... We have an Earth Grand Trine with Pluto in Capricorn trine Mercury/Vesta in Taurus trine Jupiter Retrograde in Virgo. This should go a long way in smoothing over some communications with others (though get things in writing, as Mecury itself is in it's Pre-Retrograde Shadow Period right now)... And the trine to Jupiter retrograde will allow us to take some things to heart and apply what we learn to ourselves. We'll be able to somewhat go forward with this before too long as Jupiter turns direct next month, though Mars will be retrograde until June 29th.

Saturn is also retrograde right now, and will be retrograde for the entire Mars Retrograde cycle. At the station for Mars, it trines Venus and to a lesser degree Uranus. We should have a little more stability with our relationships to others and will be looking inwards regarding our role in said relationships, and what we can do differently. Saturn squares Jupiter, so we will have conflict within ourselves regarding our relations wtih others, in romance and jobs. After all, Venus is Quincunx Jupiter at this point.

Truth be told, we do have a Fire Grand Trine between Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius trine Venus in Aries trine 55 Pandora in Leo. Our looking inwards regarding these relationships is going to unlock some uncomfortable truths, most likely, and this will be like Pandora opening that wonderful box that unleashed all sorts of fun stuff into the world. But there was still hope in the box when all was said in done, so whatever you find out, don't despair too much. Take stock and take steps to rectify what you find. If all you find is good things, then awesome! Keep that stuff up.

Asteroid-wise, we have a rather nasty trio making a conjunction. 37117 Narcissus, 433 Eros, and 149 Medusa are all conjunct in Aquarius. Now Eros itself isn't bad, it's love. Romantic love, to be specific. The problem is with Narcissus, which of course portrays narcissism, and we have Medusa which in my experience has represented betrayal by or involving women. Ladies and gentlemen, if you've got any planets in hard aspect to 16-17 Aquarius or conjunct around there, do be wary of self-centered suitors looking to bleed you dry. Now, these do make a Minor Grand Trine to Saturn and Venus, however, the orb to Venus makes this weak, and Medusa really only factors due to the conjunction to Narcissus and Eros which are within 2 degrees orb of sextiling Venus. So there's some possible mitigation here as Saturn in the back of your head might be telling you "Hang on, this might be too good to be true", and perhaps Venus's influence smooths things over too... or makes it easier to fall head over heels in love with someone who isn't all that great for you.

100 Hekate and 157 Dejanira square Pluto isn't very nice. We could see more revelations of victims of ritualistic abuse or other abuses come to light. Do be careful.

Ceres conjunct 4386 Lust might be something to spice up the homestead's love life. Or maybe you see a proposal come at this time. However, do remember that with all of this retrograde action going on, you may want to hold off on this. Rather, strengthen the bonds you have now and think things through before going full matrimony-mode.

In part 2, I will further examine some asteroids, and give further focus to Pluto.

New Moon Aries - April 2016 - All Hail Discordia

This New Moon is upon us, and it's a doozy. Hold on to your hats because it's looking like a bumpy ride this cycle.

The New Moon itself is square Pluto, and it's a pretty tight square too at less than one degree orb. This lunar cycle is going to be about overcoming obstacles, and of things being torn down and rebuilt. Let's get the ground work going and prepare for impact, because honestly we're going to see quite a few things get hit. And what gets hit will impact our egos and our emotions for sure. A lot of things that get impacted this lunar cycle will even seem out of the blue, given the Uranus square Pluto aspect that's also here. With Uranus conjunct New Moon, we can expect some sudden surprises that are, frankly, going to be quite disruptive, such as travel delays, relationships going amok, staplers jamming just as you're scrambling to get to that meeting in time... but not much that should be totally insurmountable. Uranus, though at greater than two degree orb, is conjunct Eris, representing chaos and discord. It's a loose conjunction, very loose, so we should be able to weather some of these storms at least.

New Moon trine Saturn Retrograde also adds a dash of us taking into account restrictions we have placed upon ourselves, and this is a prime opportunity to see exactly where we're sabotaging ourselves, and what we can do to take steps to get around it.

Mars conjunct Fixed Star Antares is quite the incendiary combination. According to Constellations of Words:

With Mars: Detrimental habits powerfully affecting the life, quarrels with friends and relatives, fairly favorable for gain. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging.

Well, I think that's pretty descriptive. Moon is nowhere near Aldeberan, so I think we can avoid the worst of aggression and war for now. Keep in mind however, that Mars Retrograde begins during this cycle, and that's when things are going to get mucked up. Expect shifting alliances and upheavals in our relationships with others, which fits quite well with Pluto squaring the New Moon and Uranus/Eris. It's not all doom and gloom though, as we can use the Mars/Antares energy to initiate something that will be lucrative in the future (though we should not expect instant results as Saturn is retrograde at this time...

Chiron conjunct South Node during this lunar cycle is something else that needs addressed too. We are likely to face healing and pain from a part of our past, as we have for the past few months.

Chiron squares Ixion as well, so we should be rather careful of things that are too good to be true, and let's not leave a good thing for something that feels more comfortable, such as leaving a loving partner to go back to an old relationship.

A weak Apophis conjunct Venus also exemplifies this. Some relationships are likely to end at this time, and probably already have. Venus has entered Aries, opposite one of it's ruled signs (Libra), so we need to be careful that we're chasing after what's good for us in terms of relationships and money, and be careful if we're chasing after fun without the relationship (I think you know where this is heading).

Lucifer square Karma (itself conjunct Algol) is another cause for concern. Lucifer is retrograde, so we're going to be looking at our inner pride during this time. Karma is just that, karma. On Algol, the most malefic star in the heavens, this karma will be brutal. (I should know, I have Karma conjunct Algol in my natal chart, and am going through a Karma Return right now. And yes, some crows are coming home to roost... though the embodiment of such as my air mattress springing a leak and leaving me to sleep on a hard floor... (This could very well be a manifestation of Saturn retrograde as well)... well anyways... maybe it'll help my back. I don't know. But i digress...). I can also say personally a couple purchases I was considering making are now backburnered as more important expenses are coming up... Like taxes.... Oh yeah, Income Tax day in the U.S. is coming up during this cycle... a day after Mars turns retrograde! DO NOT wait until the last minute this year!!! I cannot stress that enough! I can almost guarantee there will be a snafu if you wait until the last day to do taxes.

Karma/Algol Sextile Kaali, forming a Yod to Pholus/Galactic Center is also present, asteroid-wise. Though not as powerful as planets, there is the potential for something to blow up, as Pholus is said to explode or expand what it touches. Frankly, be careful with the imbibing of alcohol and other intoxicating substances or activities this cycle. Could lead to more than you bargain for.

Finally, Saturn retrograde squaring Jupiter retrograde is leading us to consider recent restrictions and roadblocks and what that's doing to our inner sense of self-worth. If things are going along and you're able to shrug off the delays and frustrations, great! If not, then take a step back and see exactly where you're falling behind, and determine if its factors beyond your control, or if you're sabotaging yourself. If you are sabotaging yourself, stop. As much as you can. Sometimes things just have a way of piling up on you. Fortunately, Jupiter won't be retrograde much longer, but we'll have to wait until the next lunar cycle for that forward motion to come.

In fact, let's make it a point during this lunar cycle to eliminate any Last-Minute-Charliedom and end procrastination where possible. It's very much looking like that this is going to be a major theme for the next month or so untl the next New Moon. The manifestations around the Full Moon later this month should be quite telling.

That's all I have time for for now. Need shower and ... floor. Don't exactly have a bed now. Let this be a lesson of what this lunar cycle has to bring us. It's not entirely fatalistic, but we've got our hands full this month.

Saturn Retrograde 2016 - Paradise Lost (Part 1)

Saturn Retrograde is generally not a fun time. It can be downright destructive, and if you're not ready for it, it can leave you in ashes. This can be a time where your self-discipline is brought into question, and also where you need to focus on improving how you handle your responsibilities.

This Saturn Retrograde has already begun by the time I write this. We're going to focus on the major placements first. Fixed Stars and asteroids will be covered in part two, though I include them here. (Don't worry, I'll actually get to writing this very soon unlike the Stephen Reed article!)

Saturn begins its retrograde in a T-Square to both Jupiter Retrograde and Venus. Jupiter opposite Venus brings a bit of a conflict between abundance, or in the retrograde Jupiter's case, inner abundance/sense of self, and what we find attractive, beautiful, fun. A bit of a wondering of "is this what I really want?" Well, Saturn squares both of those now, and is parked and sitting there during the retrograde station. Saturn's there telling you to make up your mind and make sure you figure it out. And it's not going to make it easy.

And you really better figure it out because with Saturn appearing to go backwards now (from Earth's perspective at least), Saturn Square Neptune is going to be rearing its ugly head once again. Saturn square Neptune is an illusion shatterer. Where we've been having daydreams, our heads in the clouds, whatever, Saturn is there cracking the whip and telling us to get on with it. This can also bring extremes in dogma, be it business, religious, or what have you. As Saturn slowed down, we saw the Brussels attacks, and let's not forget an attack happened in Turkey weeks prior that was underreported. We can expect more from Daesh, regrettably (and no I won't call them the other name because I refuse to bastardize the name of a perfectly decent Egyptian goddess. I suppose ISIL will also do).

Mars Trine Sun/Mercury at the beginning of this retrograde cycle might temper some of the initial pain of this retrograde a bit, but don't forget that Mars is in its pre-retrograde shadow period right now. Things are starting to slow down a bit, but Sun and Mercury are working together a bit to bolster some boistrous communication. We can see this right now with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz going at it right now regarding each others' wives. How classy, bringing family into this electoral squabble. Imagine if Sun/Mercury were squaring Mars right now. I think in that case it'd be downright libelous.

Pluto sextile Venus and Pluto Trine Jupiter Retrograde are also giving us a collective breather in a way right now. The jackhammer of the cosmos is using kids gloves where it comes to our relationships and our self-worth in general, so we're having a slightly easier time of things. Pluto is pretty much a destroyer and renewer, like the Phoenix, blasting apart what it touches and then allowing the ashes to fall and rebuild. The sextile to Venus? I'd say there's a chance of whatever's happening this retrograde cycle to help rebuild some relationships stronger than ever (to a lesser degree than the trine), and to allow new relationships to also build. Jupiter retrograde in this shows that there's going to have to be some self-growth, but the lessons should take hold. But first, with Jupiter opposite Venus, we're going to be taking some hits first.

Uranus square Pluto, however, doesn't make any of this easy. Pluto is slowing down for its own retrograde as well, and Uranus just recently got done with one of its own, so they're going to start separating pretty quickly here. Just in time too. Uranus square Pluto is highly volatile, highly destructive, and highly slow-moving. We need to be cautious. If you've been looking at the rhetoric, it's really starting to look like the 1930's again, isn't it? And not so coincidentally, that's when Uranus squared Pluto last time. The aftermath wasn't so pretty (World War II being one result). There's been a lot of upheaval personally in my life, and I'm sure there has been in all of yours too. But the Uranus square Pluto cycle is finally coming to an end within the next year or so, I think... I hope. There aren't any more exact squares until... I don't know when. I'd have to look. A lot of us will probably have moved on to the next life by then, and the rest of us will be much older.

I will leave off now by saying that this Saturn Retrograde is going to be a rough ride. Part Two will examine the asteroids and fixed stars involved in this, and then Part Three will get into the Station Direct later on that only occurs on August 13th. We've got a few months of "fun" in store. Stay tuned.