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.
Click below to check out the Cosmic Forecast for each day of the week…
- Monday, May 22nd
- Tuesday, May 23rd
- Wednesday, May 24th
- Thursday, May 25th
- Friday, May 26th
- Saturday, May 27th
- Sunday, May 28th
- Moon (in Aries) conjuncts Venus, then opposes Jupiter (in Libra), squares Pluto (in Capricorn), sextiles Mars (in Gemini)
- Moon (in Aries) trines Saturn (in Sagittarius) & conjuncts Uranus (in Aries)
- Moon enters Taurus
It was only a few days ago – last Friday – that the trine between Uranus and Saturn was exact, and today the aspect is still quite tight. This is a transit that supports you in making your dreams a reality.
There is a lovely quote by Henry David Thoreau that describes the invitation of this transit:
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
This Uranus-Saturn trine was first initiated in December 2016 and will spread its influence into late 2017. Today the Moon in Aries conjuncts Uranus and trines Saturn, thereby activating the Uranus-Saturn trine and encouraging us to continue the work that has been started.
I’ll reiterate some imaginary Uranus-Saturn dialogue from my previous post:
Uranus shrieks: “I want liberation! I want a breakthrough! I want to be released from these burdens of the past, from the chains of tradition that hold me down, so that I can fly free!”
Saturn, unusually obliging these days, sighs heavily: “Well, you’re not going to grow wings anytime soon, so lets get started on building you a hand glider.”
How IS that hand glider coming along? What steps can you take this week toward making your dreams a reality? Saturn provides steady patience and endurance. Your dreams are worth the effort – don’t rush. Be thorough, strategic, and focus on quality. Even if you just make one small contribution toward your manifesting your dreams this week, put your heart into it – says the moon.
- Moon (in Taurus) sextiles Neptune (in Pisces), then trines Pluto (in Capricorn), and is then void of course for the evening
Every time I read “Balsamic Moon” I think of balsamic vinegar. Finally, as I prepared the post for today, I was like – but what does “balsamic” actually mean?!
It’s Gemini Season and I have a Gemini Moon. That’s my excuse for today’s post which branches out into multiple tangents tracing my inquiry into the word “balsamic” 🙂
In astro terms the Balsamic Moon phase occurs during the 3 days before a New Moon. Externally, we may see the moon as a tiny sliver of light before it temporarily disappears – swallowed up by the light of the sun, leaving the night sky devoid of that sacred lunar glow. Internally, we receive a call to retreat, and to rest. This is a time to distill and process the events of the lunation cycle. To shed the extraneous energies we may have absorbed throughout the last 28 days in order to prepare ourselves to welcome whatever the next cycle brings.
The world “balsamic” is related to the word “balm”, which you may recognize as a word referring to something that is healing, restorative and soothing. The word can be used literally in a medicinal sense (e.g., as a medicinal balm for inflamed skin), or figuratively as in: “that music was a balm for my broken heart”. It is also associated with an aromatic, fragrant odor and oily resinous substances – both of which are often produced by various types of plants and trees (e.g. lemon balm plant, balsam fir trees), which have medicinal properties.
But what does this have to do with balsamic vinegar which is made from grapes? Wikipedia tells me that “Balsamic vinegar contains no balsam. The word balsamico… means “balsam-like” in the sense of “restorative” or “curative””. Ah. Okay. It is not derived from a balsam-producing plant, but balsamic vinegar itself certainly has an aromatic odor and is apparently full of good stuff that helps blood circulation, improves immunity, helps digestion, etc.
So sure, I’ll continue to use balsamic vinegar in my salad dressings, but I find my mind’s association between balsamic vinegar and the Balsamic Moon a little distracting. Both are healing and restorative, yes, but you know what else is?
Balsam fir trees. I live in Canada where I am surrounded by thick forests of these beautiful, fragrant trees. Commonly used as Christmas trees, the sticky resin from balsam firs was historically used a cold remedy (as well as for other practical uses). In modern times you can find infection-fighting extracts from balsam fir trees in healing essential oils, calming candles, and soothing teas.
However, it is its use as a Christmas tree that has the strongest association for me. As soon as the tree was brought in, our house would smell of that rich fragrance. I would stick my head in its branches and breath in deeply with my eyes closed. Now when I catch a hint of that scent again while out in the woods or when lighting a candle, I am transported to warm memories of cozy times indoors while a winter storm rages outside – sitting by the fireplace, hypnotized by gentle and evocative flames, cradling a mug of hot chocolate in my hands, and reflecting on the past year and what is to come.
This is the essence of the Balsamic Moon phase for me. What is it for you?
If you feel a desire to withdraw, to find closure, to reflect – move with this desire if you can. This phase often brings a tiredness with it. The Moon is dying, and our energy mirrors this waning symbolism.
The Moon is currently moving through Taurus today and will sextile Neptune, then trine Pluto, and will then be void of course for the rest of the day. These are wonderful energies for the Balsamic Moon phase. With the Moon in Taurus, this is a wonderful day for some solo meditative strolls through a forest or a field (preferably surrounded by balsam firs if possible 🙂 ). With the sextile to magical Neptune, all the woodland’s fairies and gnomes will be out to play, making your world-weary heart sing with delight. The Moon’s trine to Pluto will ensure that your reflective pondering reaches deep into your soul.
As the Moon moves void of course through the remaining degrees of Taurus (i.e. making no new major aspects to any other planets), you are lured into a strange lightness of being. While it is a terrible time for making big decisions, the Moon being void of course is an excellent time to engage in spiritual practices. Your intuition is sharp now.
Let this Balsamic Moon seduce you with its healing balm for your soul.
- Moon enters Gemini
- Venus (in Aries) squares Pluto (in Capricorn)
- Moon conjunct Sun ~ “New Moon” @ 4° 46 Gemini (4:44 pm ADT)
Today Venus in Aries is challenged by Pluto through a 90° square aspect, just 3 hours before the New Moon conjunction in Gemini is exact. You likely have felt this Venus-Pluto square building over the past couple of days.
Venus is associated with love, relationships, self-worth, values, and finances, whereas Pluto reminds us of life’s inexorable cycles of death, transformation and rebirth. That which we cling to – that which is rotting, decaying, and long since expired – Pluto rips from our grasping, desperate hands, for how can we accept new life when our hands are full of death?
This transit hurts. This Venus-Pluto square weighs down the springy steps of the Gemini New Moon.
Venus is in Aries; teaching us to be bold and courageous in going after what and who we desire – that which stokes our passion for life. When Pluto squares Venus, you are being asked: Are you scared and intimidated to go after what you really want in life? Are you nervous to risk that which is familiar? Are your hidden wounds holding you back? Do you carry shame around the way you want to relate to others? The way you want to express your love and sexuality? Is there someone who is making you feel ashamed for who you are and what you desire in life?
With this Venus-Pluto square occurring within a few hours of the New Moon, this may be a struggle for a new beginning and fresh start. Where does this struggle lie for you? What have you been avoiding that you need to address directly? What is decaying in your life (externally or internally) that needs to be let go of? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to shift into a place of greater authenticity?
Wounds always have something to teach us. As we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and bring our inhibitions, fears, and insecurities into the light, Pluto symbolizing the transformative power that we then have access to.
Venus square Pluto is a call to transform relationships. What relationship are you being called to transform? Your relationship to money? To friends and to lovers? Are you being called to transform your relationship to pleasure and beauty standards? To yourself and your self-worth?
Post-retrograde Venus has learned so much, but Pluto has the ability to get into the nooks and cranny’s of our soul that all that thorough retrograde digging may not have touched.
All this Pluto probing may provoke some extreme responses typical of challenging Pluto transits. Unnerved by Pluto’s harsh exposure, you can react to this aspect with increased protectionism, emotional defenses, jealousy, insecurity, defiant dismissals and stubborn obsessions as you try to maintain control and hold on to old ways of being in the world. 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.
Transformation is not a one-time thing. Life is all one messy, beautiful process of continual growth and transformation. May we never cease our search for greater self-awareness, honesty, and authenticity – even when it hurts.
Image Credit: Daniel Oines @ Wikipedia Commons (Image modified, words added)
Today is the New Moon, exact at 4°46 Gemini (4:44 pm ADT). The New Moon itself (the Sun-Moon conjunction) shares no major aspects to other planets in transit, but we are still riding the inspiration of the Uranus-Saturn trine (last Friday), feeling the heavy emotional weight of the Venus-Pluto square (today), and sensing the incoming frustration of the Mars-Saturn opposition (exact next Monday). Context and synthesis is everything in astrology! However, this un-aspected Gemini New Moon still welcomes the careful exploration of new opportunities and possibilities. It presents a prime time for planting some New Moon seeds.
I love the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Today’s photo features one of her infinity rooms hosted by the Helsinki Art Museum. Using mirrors and lights, she creates kaleidoscopic-type environments that offers visitors the opportunity to step into an illusion of infinite space (search #infinityroom on Instagram for more examples). You can get the same continuous repetition of images when you step into a public restroom that has two mirrors facing each other.
The symbolism seemed appropriate for a New Moon occurring in the sign of the zodiac’s twins.
Curator Marie Laurberg is quoted as saying:
“‘The exhibition traces Kusama’s lifelong interest in the concept of Infinity… which in her work figures both as a spiritual idea, a boundless universe and a psychological abyss.’ “
A spiritual idea. A boundless universe. A psychological abyss. Three interesting possibilities, three different perspectives on a fascinating concept.
This New Moon in the sign of the curious twins opens the door to a multitude of other possibilities and perspectives that you may have never considered. This Gemini New Moon invites you to begin writing a new story.
Double-check yourself: Are you choosing an option that is authentically aligned with who you are? A path that will lead to promising growth? Or are you being deceived by Gemini’s trickster nature and a cunning mirror trick? You perceive an infinity of options and this may look like a new path – but is it really? Is it true liberation or are you replaying a familiar pattern in your life?
As Venus-squares Pluto today, there may be resistance to growth. Progress can cause some growing pains. Is your shame, your past hurts, your vulnerability, holding you to a life option – a way of being in the world/ reacting to the world – that is empty and stagnant in its never-ending decay? Or are you being reborn in some area of your life, as you head in the direction of a more authentic, more liberated you? This New Moon is reminding you that you do not have stick to your well-worn path; you can break free of behavioral ruts and bad habits by charting a new path. It may be scary, but it’s definitely worth it. What is Pluto reflecting back to you today as it dredges up some deep struggle and brings it into your consciousness?
During the New Moon phase the Moon is still obscured by the Sun’s light. Yes, it is the beginning of a new lunation cycle and traditionally a time for initiating a new project and pursuing a new possibility, but it is recommended to wait until the day after the New Moon to make any big decisions. New Moons, fresh from their rebirth, can be somewhat disorienting and uncertain. Take your first steps once the Moon has aged a day or so.
P.S. For those who speak fluent astrologese, transiting Uranus makes an exact conjunction with my Progressed Sun today (in my 9th house) as this New Moon simultaneously occurs within a degree of my natal Moon in my 10th house, squaring my natal Jupiter. The transiting Uranus (conjunct my Progressed Sun) trine Saturn is also forming a grand trine with my Leo Ascendant, which is within 2 degrees of the transiting North Node (applying & exact in early June) – eeeek! So many transits of change for me these days, yet coinciding with a brutal Mars-Saturn (return) T-square to my Sun/Mercury. Many growing pains!
Image credit: Helsinki Art Museum/CC (Words added)
- Moon (in Gemini) trines Jupiter (in Libra), then squares Neptune (in Pisces), sextiles Venus (in Aries), and conjuncts Mars (in Gemini)
- Moon (in Gemini) opposes Saturn (in Sagittarius), then sextiles Uranus (in Aries)
- Moon enters Cancer
Today the Moon enters Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon, and naturally at home in the 4th House.
If you are unfamiliar with the astrological House system (based on the horizon line at the time of your birth and associated with the 24-hour rotation of the Earth on its axis) – it is definitely worth exploring further. Signs and Planets present a lot of useful information, but the placement of the 12 Houses can change the interpretation of your birth chart quite dramatically!
When I first started studying astrology I noticed that the common interpretation of the 4th House was related to one’s family and to one’s childhood (similar to how the Moon is often interpreted). I was like, okay, that makes sense. A person’s childhood impacts them profoundly, but I knew the 4th House must speak to more than that. Most definitions seemed paper-thin. What was the immediate relevance of the 4th House to my adult life?
The 4th House (associated with the sign of Cancer) symbolizes the arena of your psyche, your inner world, your hidden emotions, your daydreams. This private sanctuary, buried in darkness under the earth’s horizon next to the nadir, guards the deepest foundations of your life. They say the soul enters the chart through the 4th House, and will exit through the 4th House when the person dies. The 4th House is more than your “home” and family. The 4th House holds your psychological and spiritual – as well as ancestral – roots. The 4th House is where you cultivate a sense of belonging in the world; a sense of belonging in your own skin.
Shake and disturb this 4th House foundation, and psychological unease and emotional unrest sets in. The person stumbles, rootless in the world.
We all need a sense of belonging. I believe the need to belong to something bigger than ourselves is a universal human need. Some of us seek groups to belong to, some seek family, some seek partnership, some seek philosophy, science, history, and religion. Where do you fit into the big picture? Where do I fit?
Astrology has certainly helped me rediscover a sense of belonging in the world. In an interesting article for The Mountain Astrologer (one that I don’t fully agree with but I like the quote), Brad Kochunas writes:
“[Astrology] provides a framework for imagining a profound intimacy between ourselves and our world in ways that mainstream psychology does not address. Astrology functions within a larger meta-story in which every human being is an integral part of a living cosmos. This organismic view allows for the possibility of communication between the living whole and its parts in a way that a lifeless clockwork universe cannot.”
A careful study of astrology begins to unveil a complex tapestry of meaning, into which all our lives are woven. Astrology comes with no Holy Book, no explicit narrative, but rather a vast array of techniques that you can use to find your role in this mysterious, ambiguous, and yet coherent cosmic story, and to apply direction and understanding to your life course.
Where is Cancer in your birth chart? Which House does it occupy? It may not be in your 4th House, but like the crab it symbolizes, Cancer carries its home with it. Its Cardinal qualities prompt it to get busy setting up a “home” wherever it ends up. Cancer’s placement in your chart indicates an area of your life where you imitate 4th House qualities by both seeking to establish belonging for yourself and perhaps by providing a sense of belonging to others.
As the Moon moves into Cancer today where it will be until Monday, take some time to reflect on what “belonging” means to you and how you establish a sense of belonging, meaning, and psychological/emotional safety in the world. How and where, and with whom, do you find yourself “at home” in this world?
Cancer is on the cusp of my 12th house. The picture I used today illustrates exactly how I imagine my 4th House/Cancer space. Protected by a wall of cliffs, warmed by the light of a crackling fire, I sit on the beach under the moonlight during a warm summer evening; the ocean waves lapping at my feet while I reflect.
- Mercury (in Taurus) sextile Neptune (in Pisces)
- Moon (in Cancer) trines Neptune (in Pisces), then sextiles Mercury (in Taurus), opposes Pluto (in Capricorn), and squares Venus (in Aries)
Well, we are right in the middle of some stormy cosmic weather with the Mars-Saturn opposition going exact tomorrow. You have likely already been feeling this transit with building intensity throughout the past week. Are you feeling stretched? Under a deadline? Under pressure? Are you being forced to wait for something to arrive, some important news to be delivered, or someone to finish something before you can take action? Do you feel like you are continually encountering frustrating barriers and complications that are slowing you down? Are you being required to delay doing what you really want to do, so you can do what you need to do and take care of some responsibility or uncomfortable obligation? Do you feel like you are bumping up against limits of time, energy, money, or personal capacity? Yes? Then yup, you’re feeling the Mars-Saturn opposition.
The Moon both eases our discomfort through a trine to Neptune and a sextile to Mercury, as well as exacerbating it through opposition to Pluto and a square to Venus.
Today’s transit of Mercury sextiling Neptune is a gift offering from the cosmos to offer some relief from the Mars-Saturn tug of war.
Mercury is our thinking mind. It symbolizes forms of communication and the exchange of information and messages. Neptune is our mystical muse; overflowing with idealism, offering creative inspiration and intuitive insight.
This is an opportunity to fly on Neptune’s magic carpet, far above your trials and troubles. See how small they appear from a distance? Are they not small and insignificant when viewed within the broader context of your entire life and within the vastness of the universe you inhabit?
Some form of meditation would be beneficial today.
Be on the look-out for words of encouragement, inspiration, helping hands, new ways of creative and flexible problem-solving, and the presence of hope. You will get through this. Every transit is temporary 🙂