Pluto Transits: Don’t confuse the mission with the side effects!

I will preface this post by stating that my life experiences and study of astrology have led me to believe in a purposeful Universe that is continuously working toward positive growth and ultimately good outcomes (granted, in a very mysterious big picture kinda way). That’s a simplistic sentence for which I can point to no hard proof, but I am stating my biases regardless 🙂 This belief shapes my worldview, my philosophy on life and astrology, and my writing. Someone with a different worldview would perceive the planetary archetypes/energies differently.

Yesterday as Venus squared Pluto, I saw a lot of online warnings about Pluto’s side effects, as I call them. This happens during any Pluto transit, or Scorpio / 8th House related transit – since Pluto is the landlord of the 8th House and the modern ruler of Scorpio, they all share similar energies.

I think it is important not to confuse Pluto’s mission with its (often uncomfortable) side effects! The side effects occur when our psyches, emotions, bodies, and soul react to Pluto’s movements across the sky (or Pluto/Scorpio/8th House in our natal charts) – especially when Pluto is making a more challenging aspect to another planet (such as a conjunction, square or opposition). But let’s not get stuck with the side effects and ignore Pluto’s intended medicinal action!

Stay with me while I personify our dear planet of Hades.

Pluto wants you to be fearless. To reach fearlessness, you must face your fears. Facing fears often involves experiencing them – you have to touch them to conquer them.

Pluto wants you to transform and change. But transformation and change is scary because it involves letting go of what is familiar to us. Thus some of the side effects kick in as we try to maintain control in our lives – a hunger for power, manipulating others, obsessions and possessiveness. The challenge is to see a Pluto transit as an invitation to transform and move beyond the resistance which produces the side effects.

Steven Forrest writes that “Pluto forces us to stare into the ultimate meaninglessness of our existence… and to face the elemental futility of life.”

I’ve been doing a lot of abyss-gazing into the gaping hole of absurdity these days, and it can be a painful and dark, soul-wrenching experience.

Humans need meaning in life like they need oxygen. When we are forced to face existential questions of meaning (questions which often emerge following loss in our lives), we have access to the potential gifts of insight, self-awareness, and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose than we have ever known before. There are few things more valuable than that. But the side effects? Despair and hopelessness are common risks on route to these gifts.

Pluto wants you to acquire an inner peace that will not be shaken – no matter how volatile, unpredictable and chaotic the world becomes.

Pluto wants you to confront the shame and secrets you carry and bring them to the light where they will wither, freeing you from their chains and ushering in a much deeper sense of self-compassion and self-worth.

But as always, there are no shortcuts. These precious gifts must be earned. On route to inner peace and self-acceptance we encounter Pluto’s uncomfortable side effects again. We may feel acutely vulnerable, ashamed and anxious; aware of our mortality, faults, and weaknesses.

I’m not denying the uncomfortable side effects, or their association with Pluto’s transits, but I believe it is beneficial to remember that the side effects are not the point. They are not the end-goal. Perhaps struggling with some of these side effects may be a necessary part of the journey toward the destination, but keeping your focus on Pluto’s ultimate mission will prevent you from being completely overtaken by the medicine’s side effects.

And once you come through Pluto’s underworld? You are like the Phoenix; the highest expression of the Scorpio archetype. No longer crawling on the ground like the Scorpion, you have walked through Pluto’s fires. You have died and been reborn with wings. Newly armed with spiritual and emotional resilience, you now have the fortitude to walk with others through their own dark journeys.

Sounds dramatic? I’m speaking in mythic terms and what we experienced yesterday was a fleeting Venus-Pluto transit that will dissipate quickly. However, Pluto remains in orbit, Scorpio still claims 30 degrees of the zodiac wheel, and the 8th House finds its niche in each one of our birth charts. Pluto’s invitation to transform is always a constant call. It’s just that some days this call is more piercingly sharp than other days.

As Pluto challenged Venus on Thursday – our planet of love, relationships, beauty,  pleasure, art, self-worth, and finances, currently moving through the sign of Aries, asking us to courageously pursue our heart’s desires – did you feel any side effects? I did. Fear, doubts and insecurities, vulnerability, withdrawal, discouragement, and intense emotional reactions were all present for me yesterday.

Transiting Saturn (opposite transiting Mars) is also forming an exact square to my natal Sun and Mercury cazimi today. Saturn too,  has its gifts and its trials; its mission and its side effects. I’m wading through the swamp, scanning the murky waters for submerged jewels as my toes sink into the slime and the warm glow of the opposite shoreline beckons in the distance.

Stay the course loves, the astro weather is pretty rough until after Monday. Moderate and bear with the side effects while plumbing the depths of these transits for their gold. Remember that all transits are temporary and we all get to share in the experience of global transits together 🙂

New Moon in Gemini :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for May 22nd – 28th

This week is relatively quiet in terms of dramatic major aspects between the big heavy-weight planets, although there are few punctuation points to look out for.

During the early days of the week the Moon is in its balsamic phase as it disappears into darkness in preparation for the New Moon. The balsamic phase is a spiritual time; a time to retreat, restore and reflect.

As the week continues, the cosmos draws our attention to Thursday, May 25th. On Thursday the Sun and the Moon have their monthly meet-up through conjunction. This is the New Moon in Gemini; a moment of new beginnings reminding us that we don’t have to do what we have always done. There are a myriad of possibilities and options. We can begin this lunation cycle by breaking with bad habits and behavioral ruts.

On the same day, Venus exacts her square to Pluto.

Venus has had many lessons and has accumulated many insights for each of us over the last couple months throughout her retrograde phases. Now she is moving forward quickly, propelled by Aries’ fire to go boldly after what she wants.

Pluto puts a bit of a damper on her speed. Yes, you’ve grown tremendously in Venus-themed areas of relationships and self-worth, but Pluto is checking in to make sure that transformation is continuing. Pluto square Venus challenges us to face our Venus-related shadows, shame, vulnerabilities, our deeper motivations and desires, and core needs. Pluto asks for raw honesty and self-awareness.

You will feel the Venus-Pluto square as early as Monday, and increasingly so Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can react to this aspect with increased protectionism, emotional defenses, jealousy, insecurity, defiant dismissals and stubborn obsessions. Or you can let Pluto break you wide open so you can see clearly the other possibilities for transformation and growth that life offers you through the New Moon in Gemini.

The Moon of course, continues its usual rounds through the zodiac, moving through Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer this week; activating different energies as it greets the other planets while dancing its way through the signs.

The weekend ends with a magical little sextile between Mercury and Neptune on Sunday, full of magic and inspiration. Let your head drift above the clouds for a while – some much needed relief from the Mars and Saturn opposition that’s in formation.

The challenging Mars and Saturn opposition will be exact on Monday, May 29th. This aspect falls into the next week’s cosmic forecast, but you will surely be feeling this dynamic in your life beginning around Thursday and increasingly through the weekend. This astro aspect is pushing you up against some limits – limits of time, energy, money, or personal capacity, depending on what two houses this transit highlights in your natal chart.

Try not to get frustrated. Find your resilience. Take care of your health and avoid burn out. Let go of feeling guilty for what you haven’t achieved. Demonstrate patience and meet your responsibilities without beating yourself up over what you are not able to accomplish.

For daily cosmic weather updates follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates.

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Solving Puzzles :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for May 15th – 21st

Some words and phrases that come to mind when reflecting on the cosmic weather of the coming week include…

Solving puzzles. Tying up loose ends. Identifying “You Are Here” on a public map. Plotting out a change of course. Processing. Sorting. Addressing doubts and uncertainties. Clearing the air. Re-orientating yourself toward a new direction. Finally seeing the big picture. Assembling the necessary tools and resources to make change happen. Preparing for the big launch.

Venus was retrograde March 4 to April 15. Mercury was retrograde April 9 to May 3. After their Rx periods, they have taken a couple weeks to travel back to the point where their retrograde first started. This week both planets will clear their retrograde shadows. Venus clears her shadow on Thursday and Mercury clears its shadow on Sunday.

So much has changed. So much has shifted. Your personal retrograde stories are wrapping up. As this week unfolds, their lessons will be illuminated in your life as these Rx developments and insights finish taking up residence in your consciousness. The puzzle pieces are coming together.

The Big Bang of the week occurs on Friday when the rambunctious, over-the-top Jupiter blows his trumpets loudly to congratulate and celebrate Venus (the planet of love and self-worth) on her completing her Rx journey. How interesting that the day after Venus clears her shadow she is greeted and welcomed back by a noisy opposition to Jupiter? This will be a transit that will be hard to miss.

Further emphasizing the tone and themes of the week, Mercury shakes the embers of Aries from its boots, and then steps into Taurus’ green pastures on Tuesday. On Saturday, the Sun leaves stable Taurus to enter curious Gemini. Mercury and the Sun are both very influential cosmic forces in our day-to-day lives, so we will feel these shifts as they tie up loose ends in one zodiac sign, to enter the next.

We have the Last-Quarter Moon on Thursday, again reminding us to resolve what needs to be resolved in this lunation cycle so we can let go, and move toward the next chapter that begins with a Gemini New Moon next week.

Slow-moving Saturn and Uranus have been trining each other for a while now, but on Friday their trine is exact. Together with the Moon’s North Node, this pairing is urging you to invest the work into making all those great ideas a reality. Now you can see the big picture and you are developing a plan.

For daily cosmic weather updates follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook, and to receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates.

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Grand Fire Trine & Full Moon in Scorpio :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for May 8th – May 14th

Okay, so this Mercury-Uranus in Aries conjunction that has been creating sparks since the last week of April? It is feeling pretty intense these days! Especially since Mercury turned Direct last Wednesday (May 3rd). This conjunction is all about CHANGE. Fast and furious change.

Does anyone else feel like their life is moving really quickly, on fast-forward mode? Are you struggling to keep up with the changes and fast-paced energy in your life? You are not alone!

That is the challenge of Uranus energy. Uranus is inherently disruptive. But change is also what propels us forward in life, toward our potential, and Uranus, the visionary, loves to do just that. The aspects this week are really quite something. If you are ready to embrace change, you could experience some really profound and positive breakthroughs in your life over the next couple weeks. In particular, be on the look out for important information coming to light, and surprising and unexpected news coming your way through communication with others.

For example, here are some life events that happened to people close to me within 48 hours of Mercury going Direct on Wednesday:

  • I contacted someone that I had abruptly stopped speaking to about 6 months ago, who unexpectedly showed up in my home city
  • A family member was offered an ideal mentorship opportunity within her field that she had been trying to secure for the last year in order to work toward a certification (this opportunity literally fell into her lap in an uncanny way)
  • A family member finally received an important diagnosis for a health concern that had been plaguing her for three years – she can now start addressing it
  • A family member made the tough decision to hand in her notice of resignation and end a three-year long job position in order to focus all her energy on her new business
  • A family member started an important clinical placement on Wednesday (with some trepidation) and was pleasantly surprised at how well it went as he stepped out of his comfort zone
  • A family friend received the date and time for a very crucial heart surgery the following week

And that was last week. This week the winds of change are blowing even stronger as the Lunar Nodes of destiny shift into new zodiac signs on Tuesday, and Uranus and Mercury make their third and final exact conjunction in Aries on Wednesday just before the intense and emotional Full Moon in Scorpio goes exact that night; a Full Moon which asks us to trust and surrender to the moment – to whatever and wherever life has brought us to.

Near the end of the week Mars in Gemini is pretty active; squaring Neptune on Thursday and then trining Jupiter on Friday. Perhaps Thursday we are feeling vulnerable, confused and indecisive in the wake of all this change, and then on Friday we see the way forward to success and we know how to achieve our goals?

Changes in our life often initiate both the beginning of something, and the end of something. This is part of the reason change is so difficult for humans to adapt to. It isn’t easy to let go of old ways of being in the world, even if we are being invited into an exciting new way of living. Do your best to stay grounded. Do what you can to reduce your stress and anxiety. And then open yourself up to whatever this week brings.

The Moon moves through Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius during the weekdays. The weekend then brings us the serious, stable earthy energy of a Moon-Saturn conjunction and of the Moon moving through Capricorn. This may feel sobering, but could also be a welcomed grounding after this whirlwind week.

On Thursday, Mercury (still closely conjunct Uranus in Aries) trines Saturn in Sagittarius, and on Sunday, it trines the North Node, newly in Leo. By doing so, Mercury is activating an exciting Grand Fire Trine between Uranus, Saturn, and the North Node – all in the late degrees of the three fire signs. In a Trine aspect, energy is flowing easily. There is tremendous support for whatever new endeavors and projects you launch in the next couple of weeks. This energy is both inspired and risk-taking, as well as being stable and hard-working with Saturn involved.

Don’t let this week blow you away! Those fierce winds are still picking up speed. They are clearing away all the debris to make room for new life, a new chapter.

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Mercury Stations Direct :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for May 1st – May 7th


This week is about spreading your wings and doing a few trials runs. Testing the waters. This week is like a dress rehearsal for the following week which is heavily laden with sizzling cosmic action.

First up, we have the First-Quarter Moon in Leo squaring the Sun in Taurus on Tuesday. This is the mid-way point between new moon beginnings and full moon maturation. This is a day to take a strategic and deliberate step forward, out of your comfort zone. Nothing too risky since we still have Mercury in retrograde, but regardless, this aspect challenges you to step out.

Wednesday afternoon Mercury ends its three week retrograde journey and starts moving forward! Still closely conjunct with Uranus, this is bound to shake life up. If you have been stressed and overwhelmed recently, take some time to ground yourself. If you have felt stuck and stalled lately, then unfurl those sails and prepare to embrace the fast-moving current of change.

Mercury then starts moving Direct through its retrograde shadow with the assistance of the analytical Moon in Virgo on Thursday. What has been revealed to you throughout Mercury’s three week retrograde journey? Now is the time to start utilizing those new insights or life developments.

Three outer planets – Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter – are still retrograde, but the fog has lifted significantly now that Venus and Mercury have gone Direct. Personal planets or luminaries (Venus, Mercury, Mars, Moon, Sun) are closer to the Earth than the outer planets, and their orbit through the zodiac is much faster. Therefore they often have a more obvious daily influence on our lives, and consequently affect us more explicitly than outer planets when they are retrograde.

Throughout the next seven days the moon will transition through the signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, and into Libra over the weekend. On Sunday, in the relational sign of Libra, the Moon will tag Venus and Mars through major aspects and then conjunct Jupiter, which loves to expand the energy of any other planet it comes in contact with. This is a day for love and adventure!

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