The Tortoise and the Hare is a classic children’s fable that describes how these two very different animals agreed to compete against each other to see who would reach the finish line first. The hare immediately left the tortoise in its dust, but then became self-complacent and… well, a little sleepy. It decided to take a short nap, assuming it was safely well ahead of the slow-moving tortoise. According to other modern versions, the hare also got distracted playing in the forest, and having a few drinks with friends. Of course that slow-moving, but determined tortoise eventually caught up, and surpassed the hare to win the race.
This is the story that came to mind when reflecting on the transits of this week 🙂 This week is equal parts Tortoise and equal parts Hare; the desire to escape commitments, alongside the pressure to responsibly persevere toward one’s long-term goals.
The first major aspect is a flowing trine between Mercury and Jupiter on Tuesday. With Mercury currently in Gemini, Jupiter moving Direct in Libra, and the Moon moving through Aquarius as of Monday evening (i.e. all three air signs activated), the information channel is open, loud and clear, and interesting conversations are always around the corner. Mercury trine Jupiter in the air signs is a highly intellectual aspect, but also a humorous one. Mercury tends to be a mischievous trickster, while Jupiter is known for its joviality and its “lucky” effects. A deeply philosophical discussion with friends would be apt for the day – as would a comedy show.
As Mercury and Jupiter lead you on adventurous intellectual tangents on Tuesday, a dense Neptunian and Pisces mist will be beginning to settle in, cloaking the world in mystery, magic, confusion, and the desire to escape our mundane day-to-day lives. This is the influence of the hare, easily distracted.
On Wednesday Mercury will square Neptune. A square is a challenging aspect, so today there may be less of the inspiration and magic that Neptune loves to share, and more of the confusion and ambiguity that it is blamed for. Your brain synapses may feel like they are traveling through thick fog; sleepy, disoriented and slow as they try to connect. Your perception may be cloudy – you aren’t sure exactly what is going on. Do you have a realistic understanding of the situation? Decisions are likely to be difficult as the options lack clarity. In the face of these struggles, any form of cognitive escape becomes more and more attractive.
There is a heavy Sun-Saturn opposition going exact on Thursday, but we’ll undoubtedly feel its burden increasingly as we approach it. This is the tortoise influence – slowly and steadily enduring delays and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. Under this influence it will be crucial to hold firm to our long-term vision and goals, and to not let discouragement get the better of us. And yet, can we stay the course with so much Neptunian fog in the air?
On Thursday, as the Sun-Saturn opposition goes exact, the Moon will enter Pisces and then will fuse with Neptune through conjunction Friday morning – within only a few hours of Neptune turning retrograde, punctuating this pivotal shift with an extra dose of magic. Furthermore, the Sun will sextile the North Node on Friday, adding to the inspiration in the air while tugging at our souls; beckoning them toward their continued evolution.
Neptune is retrograde for about 5-6 months every year, so no need to overdo it with the retrograde hysteria. That said, when a planet changes direction (even when it’s an outer planet), it stirs up some cosmic dust. Take note of what happens this week so you can compare with what happens around the week of November 22nd, which is when Neptune turns Direct. What does this retrograde want to reveal to you?
Neptune (the modern ruler of Pisces), the planet of intangible ideals and other-worldly realms, seeks to dissolves boundaries and our attachments to that which is no longer serving us. Pisces is a sign of duality, symbolized by two fish chasing each other’s tails. Pisces highlights the tension between our human Earth-bound lives, and our spiritual, creative and imaginary nature. When Neptune turns retrograde, there is an opportunity to re-evaluate how we may have created an imbalance with this duality in a particular area of our life (check your chart for house-related clues).
Are we clinging to some illusionary belief or fantasy that is preventing us from perceiving a situation clearly? Or are we so attached to the practical, mundane responsibilities of everyday life and “realistic”, protective Saturnian boundaries, that we have closed ourselves off to Neptune’s inspirational and transcendent gifts of love, creativity, and spiritual practice? Whichever direction we tend to lean toward in the area of our birth chart that Neptune is transiting, its retrograde will strive to bring us back into balance.
The weekend launches with the Last Quarter Moon on Saturday. We are 3/4s of the way through this lunation cycle that began with the Gemini New Moon on May 25th. At this Last Quarter Moon phase the Moon in Pisces is squaring the Sun in Gemini. As always, this is a time to release and let go, to begin preparing yourself for the next lunation cycle starting next week. With two of the zodiac’s most dualistic and mutable signs involved, you may need to make a decision and move forward, without having all the answers. Release the need to resolve all ambiguity.
On Sunday, the Sun in Gemini is sextiling Uranus, sending some sparks of insight flying, while Mercury takes its turn opposing Saturn. Sure, life is still moving more slowly than you would have hoped for and you may be struggling to make sense of some confusing, ambiguous aspect in your life, but hey! At the end of the day both the tortoise and the hare crossed the finish line. One could also say that this week was about blending realism with idealism. Either way, you are still moving forward.
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Click below to check out the detailed Cosmic Forecast for the following days…
- Monday, June 12th
- Tuesday, June 13th
- Wednesday, June 14th
- Thursday, June 15th
- Friday, June 16th
- Saturday, June 17th
- Sunday, June 18th
- Moon (in Capricorn) squares Uranus (in Aries) and then is void of course
- Moon enters in Aquarius in the evening
From Monday night to Thursday morning the Moon will be moving through the sign of Aquarius. It is a good time to improve efficiency and repair weak links in your life and day-to-day routine.
Aquarius approaches life as if it were a system. Systems theory posits that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, smaller phenomenon must be understood in terms of the way they contribute and influence the bigger picture – and in the way that they are affected by other small phenomenon and changes to the overall system. Nothing in our world acts in isolation, and therefore nothing should be understood and analyzed in isolation. Everything is interrelated and interdependent.
Systems theory can be applied to every discipline and area of life. For example, a family is like a system, with every individual family member playing a particular role, affecting other family members and the emotional well-being of the family unit as a whole (referred to as family systems theory within psychology). One’s body can be seen as a system, and so can one’s life trajectory, nested within increasingly larger systems from the micro to the macro – each influencing the other.
While most of you may acknowledge this as being true and logical, people with a lot of Aquarius in their charts explicitly approach life as a system on the daily. I have repeatedly noticed that this is the dominant lens through which they view the world.
Always the visionary and the catalyst for change, the Aquarius is continuously asking: “How can we make this system run smoother? How can we be more efficient? What can be streamlined to prevent wasted expenditure? What subsystem needs to be adjusted? What weak link needs to be fixed in order to make this system more capable of responding effectively to its environment and reaching its evolutionary potential?”
Why is Aquarius often associated with a love of technological progress? Because they see technology as a way to improve efficiency, cut down on errors, wasted time, and system deviations. I’ve had several conversations with Aquarius folks where they have enthusiastically discussed the future of technological innovation and eagerly looked forward to the day when we will have techno chips in our brains to improve cognition and be able to genetically engineer the next generation of babies into superhero disease-free humans. This stuff kind of freaks me out for various reasons, but I understand the Aquarius’ drive for efficiency and progress!
They have tremendous faith in science and technology, humanity’s evolutionary potential, and our ability to create a “system” that meets everyone’s needs.
Furthermore, they personally want to be part of creating this perfect system of the future. Symbolized by the water-bearer and the humanitarian bringing water back to its community, Aquarius longs to be useful. They want to help people in tangible ways. Nothing makes an Aquarius happier than being useful and knowing they made a valued contribution to a greater cause!
They have a strong utilitarian bent, and are always analyzing and ranking all information and opportunities that come their way according to their “use value”. Known for their brilliant, rational, and original minds, they hunger for new knowledge. However, many of them have low opinions of formal educational systems and many have dropped out of school. Why? Because they likely assessed the educational “system” as being inefficient and a waste of time. Not one to bow to conformity or put up with a malfunctioning incompetent system, the Aquarius speeds away to more useful, vitalizing sources of information.
For a while I was confused as to why Aquarius (and its ruler Uranus) is always associated with astrology. Aquarius is such a rational sign and at this point we have no idea how astrology works (what the mechanism is), and there has not yet been substantial research into its consistent outcomes using the scientific method. I have indeed often been greeted with Aquarius’ skepticism when astrology comes up. However, demonstrate strong, repeated correlations between cosmic movements and life on Earth, and the Aquarius’ mind, frequently receptive to the strange and unusual, will come around!
I believe the most significant reason for Aquarius being associated with astrology though, is because astrology is a fascinating, complex and useful “system” of symbols! It is a macro system affecting, or correlated with, a subsystem of the “solar system” – Earth. Study this macro system, and you can better understand how the subsystems (i.e. humans) function and relate to each other in predictable ways. Once an understanding has been achieved, actions can be taken to improve efficiency! Typically I find that Aquarius dominated folks also love personality systems like Myers Briggs for the same reasons – it helps them delineate the attributes of each “human subsystem” in order to facilitate these subsystems working more effectively together.
Be careful with defining an Aquarius and ascertaining where they fit in the human system though – that’s their job! Many of them have a stubborn rebellious streak (could be latent or overt) that may resent being boxed into a definition by others.
Another reoccurring trait I’ve noticed is “minimalism”. They are often minimalists, but in a very different way than a Virgo might be, for example. Virgos want orderly organization for peace of mind and because of their desire for perfection. Virgos may be minimalists to reduce distressing “mess” and because they are money-conscious and thrifty. Again for Aquarius it is all about use value. They may stockpile on technology or whatever they think is useful to them, but they are brutally practical when it comes to superfluous “extras” that might clog up their efficiency. It isn’t because they are worried about money – they’ll invest in quality if it improves the efficiency of the item. But they are the type that might buy 10 identical high-quality t-shirts that fit really well and last a long time – increasing efficiency by reducing the need to buy more t-shirts and reducing time spent trying to decide what to wear.
They may be clean and organized, similar to a Virgo, IF they believe this improves their efficiency, or they may leave their kitchen counter a mess because they think it is an inefficient use of time to clean it unless they are ready to cook.
One can’t talk about Aquarius without mentioning their most frequently observed shadow trait – emotional detachment. Why do rational Aquarius’ have trouble with emotions? Emotions, are not efficient. They are not rational. Emotions are messy and unpredictable! When someone is emotionally distraught, they can infect all the other people in the near vicinity (within the system of family, friends, etc.) with these contagious emotions! And for an Aquarius, that sort of system malfunction is not cool! Intense Scorpionic emotional breakdowns? Nope, nope, and nope. Aquarius is like, “Yea, I can’t handle this. Call me when you can calm down and talk rationally”.
For Aquarius individuals who also have strong water sign placements, they can find their own intense emotional reactions quite distressing when they can’t control them. Emotions are glitches in the system! Accepting that difficult emotions, despite their irrational chaotic nature, also have a “use value” of a different kind, is a hard lesson for many Aquarius folks.
Finally Aquarius is both a visionary leader and a keen collaborator. They are often seen as (revolutionary) outsiders because in order to catalyze an evolutionary jump for humanity, for whatever system they’re working on, Aquarius needs to have an original, external perspective where system malfunctions and weak links can be more easily identified. In order to be a catalyst and develop their unique insight, they require absolute independence and freedom.
But once Aquarius has identified the system to change and the changes to be made, they need “buy-in” from others. They need partners and teammates in order to change the world. They of all people, know that a larger system cannot change unless the many subsystems are working together effectively toward a common goal.
Known for their open-mindedness and their often wildly diverse group of friends, an Aquarius understands that systems flourish when diversity is nurtured. To build the world of our dreams we are going to need many different types of skill sets and abilities!
An Aquarius is always asking: “Can you help me make the world a better place? Can we sync up our respective life systems (each with its unique set of skills and attributes) so that together we can be part of an effective subsystem and team working to change the worldwide system of life which is currently malfunctioning? …Please?”
As the Moon moves through Aquarius over the next few days, say yes! Band together with the water-bearers in your life, envision future possibilities, improve efficiency, and change the world!
Image credit: diagram by Hchokr @ Wikipedia Commons (words added, image modified)
- Mercury (in Gemini) trines Jupiter (in Libra)
- Moon (in Aquarius) squares Venus (in Taurus) and trines Jupiter (in Libra)
Today Mercury, the planet of thought and communication, trines Jupiter, the planet of expansion, faith, and philosophy. Both planets are extremely intellectual archetypes, and both are currently traveling through communicative air signs – Gemini and Libra respectively.
The image for today is a famous painting by Raphael, called “The School of Athens” (circa 1511). It depicts many famous intellectuals of history in deep discussion about philosophy, poetry, theology and law. Plato and Aristotle are featured at centre stage. The painting speaks to a love of learning and of knowledge. This image captures the vibe of today.
Today there is a high chance of you participating in a philosophical discussion, enthusiastically immersing yourself in studying some new topic, getting insight into the big picture, or feeling unusually optimistic about the future and setting some long term goals.
There is a magnificent deluge of words today. Everyone has something to say! Take advantage of the final days of Gemini season and soak it up!
Mercury tends to be a mischievous trickster, while Jupiter is known for its joviality and its “lucky” effects. While this could be a day for some serious, philosophical, what-is-the-meaning-of-life discussions, it could also be a great day for interesting synchronicity, hilarity and uproarious laughter.
For example, a few weeks ago the Moon made a trine to Jupiter in the evening. So, this was the same supportive aspect – a lucky trine with Jupiter – but the Moon, symbolizing our attachments to home and our need for emotional safety/ nurturing, was involved instead of Mercury.
At that time my sister was very busy moving into her new house in the city. She had dropped off her beloved (and enormous) bright red bookshelf in the driveway of her new place while she went off to find some assistance with getting it indoors (it is extremely heavy). She wasn’t gone for long, but by the time she returned with a friend, the shelf was gone! She was completely distraught. Being already at maxed out stress levels, having her beloved bookshelf stolen was the last thing she needed.
My sister has a large Facebook following and she immediately posted a message with a photo of the bookshelf, asking if anyone had happened to see it in the area. What happened next is a perfect example of the type of hilariously lucky and synchronistic events that Jupiter trines are correlated with.
She instantly received many, many messages in response. Friends, friends of friends, and strangers, told her they had witnessed this gigantic bright red bookshelf being transported across the city on a skateboard. It had ended up in the middle of a nearby field on its side and respondents posted photos of its final resting place with people checking it out, sitting on it, etc.
What began as a distressing case of theft, turned into a wildly funny story about a bright red bookshelf that went on some city adventures before luckily, returning home. The array of comments beneath her post about the bookshelf, were hilarious. People had all sorts of different stories about seeing the red shelf on the move.
You may not have a red bookshelf experience today, but be prepared to hear the following sentence: “You’ll never guess what happened to me today…!!”
With Jupiter’s influence, today is also prone to exaggeration, so receive each wild story with a grain of salt. Mercury is quickly moving on into a square with Neptune that goes exact shortly after midnight tonight, therefore stories may be even more liable of elaboration and ambiguous truth.
- Mercury (in Gemini) square Neptune (in Pisces)
- Moon (in Aquarius) trines Mercury (in Gemini), trines the Sun (in Gemini), and sextiles Saturn (in Sagittarius)
Very early this morning, Mercury squares Neptune, which reminds me of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, in which the hero Odysseus, is warned that he and his crew will soon be passing the Sirens on their way home from a long journey. The Sirens are dangerous creatures that bewitch and enchant sailors with their beautiful songs. No mortal can resist these voices and the many bones of sailors that surround the Sirens are a testament to that.
Odysseus instructs his sailors to put beeswax in their ears to resist the lethal seduction by the Sirens, but he himself is curious and wants to listen. He orders his men to tie him tightly to the mast so that he cannot jump the ship when he hears the Sirens calling to him. They do so, and their plan works. The sailors safely sail past the Sirens, unable to hear through the beeswax crammed in their ears, and although Odysseus struggles against his bonds and yells at his men to untie him, they thankfully ignore his pleas until they are at a safe distance.
During the time period when this transit is most strongly felt (Tuesday/Wednesday in particular, but extending a few days further in both directions), you may want to get your friends to tie you to the mast, or perhaps you’d prefer the beeswax option.
Alternatively, you could turn your phone to silent, use one of those apps that limit your social media use to certain times, and avoid internet blackholes. This is a time when you are being asked to focus and cultivate self-discipline (with the Saturn-Sun opposition going exact tomorrow), but dangerous distractions sing to you from every direction. With Mercury currently in Gemini, social media and other forms of information and communication will certainly be a key culprit, but you also may find yourself tempted to take a nap.
Your brain synapses may feel like they are traveling through thick fog; sleepy, disoriented and slow as they try to connect. Your perception may be cloudy – you aren’t sure exactly what is going on. Do you have a realistic understanding of the situation? Decisions are likely to be difficult as the options lack clarity. In the face of these struggles, any form of cognitive escape becomes more and more attractive.
Whether you decide to listen to the Sirens’ song or not, consider yourself warned ❤
The Sun’s 180° opposition to Saturn goes exact tomorrow morning. Since you have likely already been feeling the heavy presence of this aspect throughout the beginning of the week, it’s a good time to carefully differentiate Saturn’s mission from the side effects, because when so many gloomy Saturnian keywords are tossed around online it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Saturn is awful and Saturn transits are hell.
Saturn is great! …sort of. We can misinterpret his instructions or feedback sometimes, which can result in the uncomfortable side effects. When we sense Saturn’s presence by transit, or through the planet’s imprint in our birth chart, we can hear an order something like: “Commit to impossibly high standards and then work ridiculously hard to try and meet these standards, achieve your goals, and produce tangible outcomes – and no matter what, stay dutifully committed.”
This interpretation can cause… problems.
Whatever house Saturn (or Capricorn, ruled by Saturn) resides in within your birth chart, is usually an area of life where we hit the ground running frantically, trying to achieve lots of stuff, living with a sense of duty and obligation, comparing ourselves to others, and often feeling like we are falling short. Or alternatively, we sense Saturn’s high standards and are so terrified of failing that we avoid engaging with this area at all costs.
Saturn (and Capricorn) placements and transits also highlight areas where we frequently experience barriers and challenges.
Okay, so it sounds shitty so far, but! Review Saturn’s mission. As with Pluto’s mission that I discussed previously, most of us need life experiences to help us develop these admirable traits of patience, self-discipline, perseverance, endurance, resilience, wisdom, authenticity, leadership skills, etc.
Saturn’s teaching method is often to slooooow us down by presenting us with some obstacles that we have to learn how to overcome. These obstacles (lessons?) can show up in many forms – e.g. a lack of money, time, personal capacity, or rules and authority figures restricting progress.
Receive this week’s Sun-Saturn opposition as Saturn checking in to ensure that you haven’t misunderstood his instructions. Check the list. If you are experiencing a heavy dose of Saturnian side effects this week, there may have been some issues with interpreting his instructions. If you are facing some obstacles and challenges this week, but the first set of keywords is really jiving with you, then you’ve likely made a strong connection with Saturn’s intended mission. There’s a good chance you’re feeling a bit of both.
Cultivate compassion for yourself and others this week in particular. Hard transits to Saturn can make us feel very alone and insignificant in a seemingly cold and competitive world.
One of my favourite archetypes or analogies for Saturn is that of an architect and building inspector. Through this lens I try to make the following types of assessments when Saturn is involved:
1) Assessment of the scope of the project, the building site, & the building materials. Is the timing right for this project? Does the blueprint indicate that the finished project will fulfill me? Is the scope unreasonably ambitious given the budget and resources I have access to? Am I trying to do too much with low-quality resources that are inappropriate for achieving the goal I am working toward?
Or in other words, am I ignoring my true authentic nature and trying to be someone else? Am I trying to compensate for a weak, insecure area of my life by going after some impressive goal that doesn’t reflect who I am? Am I trying to “earn” my worth and value through this endeavor and trying live up to someone else’s expectations in order to receive their validation and approval?
It is advisable to reflect on these questions before breaking ground! This is the very important assessment stage that we often overlook until our Saturn Return forces us to return to this step every 30 years.
2) Assessment of the commitment to the project & the strength of its foundation. This is the moment we begin to move forward toward a goal. This is when we might be in a rush to produce visible and tangible outcomes, and thus we may neglect to lay a solid foundation. Don’t cut corners!! Saturn does NOT believe in taking short cuts. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a while before your efforts materialize above ground where everyone can see your work and congratulate you on your progress. It doesn’t matter if everyone is like, “What is taking you so long? What do you have to show for your investment of time, money, energy?”
Get into the ground and start laying a foundation. A strong resilient house needs a stable foundation. Were you strategic during the initial stages? Did you do your research? Did you carefully prepare and plan your steps?
3) Assessment of one’s determination & endurance to complete the building project under often adverse conditions. Now you are running into some bad weather, some storms that are holding up your building progress. How are you going to respond? Play the long game. Stay the course. If you have carefully moved through Steps 1 and 2 and feel confident in your initial assessment and the foundation you have laid, then you have nothing to fear. Cultivate patience and endurance. If you are really second-guessing your efforts then review Steps 1 and 2 with the willingness to start from scratch if you realize that you’ve gone off course.
Successful completion of all three steps bestows resilience, strength of character and the leadership skills necessary to assist others with their inner and outer life-building projects.
Ultimately I believe that Saturn’s purpose is to help us learn who we truly are, to teach us to live authentically, aligned with our truth, and to ground us with an unshakable sense of self-worth. Saturn seeks to accomplish this through presenting us with worldly tasks to complete and obstacles to overcome, but its real underlying focus is on facilitating our inner growth and maturity. The external projects are only a means to an end.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Regardless of what you achieve in the world of time and space, you are enough.
You are enough, you are enough, you are enough.
Remember that this week.
- Sun (in Gemini) opposite Saturn (in Sagittarius) @ 7:17 am (ADT)
- Moon (in Aquarius) sextiles Uranus (in Aries), and then is void of course
- Moon enters Pisces in the morning, and trines Mars (in Cancer)
The Sun opposes Saturn at 7:17 am (ADT), but this aspect would have been felt since the beginning of the week (read yesterday’s post for more information on how to navigating harsh Saturn transits).
This Sun-Saturn opposition is particularly noteworthy because it occurs as Saturn hits the mid-point of its retrograde journey (April 6th – August 25th). This week may hold a critical turning point. This week may be delivering you with: setbacks, delays, obstacles, reduced personal capacity, criticism, tight deadlines, doubts and second guessing, decisions to make, responsibilities and commitments that demand attention, or unresolved projects that you must now thoroughly complete in order to move forward.
The Sun is currently still moving through Gemini which usually means a plethora of options, but with the Sun facing off with Saturn, we may see a restriction around the options available to us and perhaps as well, the pressure to communicate something difficult or uncomfortable.
Saturn wants you to play the long game. This could mean delayed gratification. This means not letting set-backs and difficulties get the best of you.
Yesterday I talked about the archetype or analogy of Saturn being an architect and building inspector. My other favourite Saturn-related image is that of dedicated and weathered farmer who has been working faithfully on his family’s farm for many decades.
It is not easy being a farmer, tirelessly toiling away in harsh weather conditions, continually trying to anticipate Mother Nature’s next move while banking all your hopes and dreams (and income) on a questionable harvest many months away.
Some seasons bring torrential downpours that wash away all the seeds. Some seasons bring drought that drains the fields of their life-giving capacity, or pests which can rapidly destroy a crop just before it is ready to be harvested. Regardless, the farmer – a realist not a pessimist – stays the course. The farmer trusts in delayed gratification. The farmer plays the long game. If this year’s crop is unsuccessful, maybe next year’s crop will fare better.
Be like the farmer.
Re-align with your purpose and your goals. Be self-disciplined and focused, despite the week’s cosmic influences that are tempting you to do otherwise. Commit. Endure. Try again. Work hard, but also be wise and strategic in your efforts. Patiently see your work to completion. One step at a time.
And if you experience a failure of sorts? Learn from your mistakes; don’t beat yourself up over them. Failures can also be an indication that you need to return to Saturn’s Step 1 (see yesterday’s post). Review, re-assess, re-adjust… and then pick yourself up off the ground and keep moving forward.
Here are some failure-related quotes for inspiration:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill (United Kingdom prime minister)
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling (billionaire author of Harry Potter)
“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick (comedian & TV host)
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison (invented the lightbulb)
Final words of advice: Watch out for stress and burn out, and be gentle with yourself and others. Show love. Everyone is affected by this aspect so rein in your frustration. Use your words wisely, strategically. Communicate carefully and with maturity.
Ward against Saturnian side effects such as fear of failure and a nagging guilt that you are not accomplishing enough. Nourish a stable core, and greet challenges with a calm and steely resilience.
Also, ask for help when you need it. Yes, Saturn values self-sufficiency and independence, but Saturn also wants to see a person who is secure enough in their own worth and identity that they are able to wisely perceive when they are unable to do something alone and ask for assistance.
Lastly, go and read an article called “How to Play the Long Game with Your Life“, by Heidi Priebe @ the Thought Catalog. I swear this woman must have some serious Capricorn or Saturn in her chart, or was experiencing a major Saturn transit when she wrote this! This article has 6 great tips re: how to play Saturn’s Long Game (although astrology is never mentioned). I’ve posted a few excerpts below…
“Everything about the society we live in is targeted toward instant gratification. We have instant meals, instant money and instant messaging. We have get-rich quick schemes and lose-weight fast programs. We have one night stands to dull the ache of long-term loneliness and ecstasy pills for when the nights when the agony sets in. We are a nation of quick fixes, easy answers and overnight solutions. And as a result, it’s all too easy to forget about what we want long-term.
We know how to get everything we want in the moment. Every teenager knows how to open up Tinder or Instagram and receive a hefty dose of validation. But very few can tell you what makes them feel the most fulfilled. Where they hope to be in twenty-five years. What makes them feel good on the days where quick fixes just aren’t enough.
And it’s not just a teenage epidemic. As a nation, we’re forgetting that our lives are so much more than what’s happening this evening or this weekend or this year. That our sense of wellbeing isn’t just a matter of how we’re perceived or how well we can distract ourselves from our own lack of direction. We’re forgetting to play the long game with our life – the one that leaves us feeling fulfilled and accomplished, even on the bad days. The one that gives us an underlying sense of meaning when the shortcuts just can’t take us to where we want to be. The one that provides us with a healthy sense of self that doesn’t depend on external validation.
We need to stop letting our short-term desires cloud our long-term visions. We have to remember, from time to time, to move a little slower, show a little patience and let our lives take form in a meaningful way – instead of mindlessly consuming and then assigning our experiences meaning afterwards. We need to remember to play the long game with our lives.” – Heidi Priebe
Go read her long game tips @ The Thought Catalog.
- Neptune turns retrograde in Pisces @ 8:09 am (ADT)
- Sun (in Gemini) sextile North Node
- Moon (in Pisces) sextiles Venus (in Taurus), conjoins Neptune (in Pisces), sextiles Pluto (in Capricorn), and squares Mercury (in Gemini)
This morning (ADT) Neptune turns retrograde. No planet literally travels backward, but astrology is about how humans on earth experience the cosmos and from this geocentric perspective, due to speeds of orbits and distances between planets, it will appear as if certain planets are moving backward (i.e. Retrograde) during certain periods of the year. In astrology this backward retrograde action is interpreted as a meaningful shift in the planet’s symbolism and its associated themes.
Neptune travels at the very edges of the known solar system and therefore it moves quite slowly. Neptune takes about 165 years to complete a full rotation of the zodiac wheel and will stay in each sign for approximately 14 years. Currently it is moving through Pisces, which is significant since it is the modern ruler of Pisces and therefore it brings a greater intensity to Pisces themes. Since it spends approximately half the year in Retrograde motion, this isn’t groundbreaking news, but it’s worthwhile to notice what happens in your life around the time that Neptune goes Retrograde today, and when it turns Direct on November 22nd.
I’ve looked back at my history to track Neptune’s transits throughout the past 7 years, and I’ve often experienced some pretty meaningful Neptunian events within very close proximity to the time of Neptune turning Retrograde or Direct – in ways that are directly associated with the themes of the astro house that Neptune is transiting in my natal chart. The day a planet turns Retrograde and then Direct, bookends a life chapter of sorts – a lesson, a period of personal growth, specific to its interaction with your natal chart. So take notes! It’s meaning will crystallize in the future.
Neptune, the planet of intangible ideals and other-worldly realms, seeks to dissolve the hard boundaries that keep our lives devoid of magic, love, and inspiration, and ultimately it also seeks to dissolve our attachments to unrealistic fantasies which are no longer serving us. Pisces is a sign of duality, symbolized by two fish chasing each other’s tails. Pisces highlights the tension between our human Earth-bound lives, the material world, and our spiritual, creative and imaginary nature. When Neptune turns retrograde, there is an opportunity to re-evaluate how we may have created an imbalance with this duality in a particular area of our life (check your chart for house-related clues).
Are we clinging to some illusionary belief or fantasy that is preventing us from perceiving a situation clearly? Or are we so attached to the practical, mundane responsibilities of everyday life and “realistic”, protective Saturnian boundaries, that we have closed ourselves off to Neptune’s inspirational and transcendent gifts of love, creativity, and spiritual practice? Whichever direction we tend to lean toward in the area of our birth chart that Neptune is transiting, its retrograde will strive to bring us back into balance.
I have my Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter in Pisces. I know this energy well. To be honest, I think it is hard to be a Pisces-dominant person. A Pisces is said to belong elsewhere; they only have one foot (fin?) in this world. Half in, half out. Continually navigating the inherent tension in the Pisces duality and trying to keep it balance, is difficult! I tend to lean to the extreme, one way or the other, with serious consequences for my well-being.
So! Given that effectively managing Pisces duality is essential for my health and happiness, I have invested a lot of careful thought into 4 different ways that I believe one can transcend and bridge the divide between the tangible world and the intangible one; connecting and translating components of otherworldly ethereal fantasies, dreams and ideals into day-to-day reality on Earth. We all have Pisces (and Neptune + the 12th House it’s associated with) in our natal charts somewhere, and these 4 tips may be useful in addressing whatever Neptune’s retrograde brings up for you:
TIP #1: Because Pisces is in touch with a universal consciousness that perceives separate ego-selves as a mirage, Pisces has the capacity for unconditional, compassionate and empathetic love like no other sign. If we are not activating that capacity it is because we are sheltering that capacity in an intangible world of ideals where it is safe from being abused or hurt. Translating Pisces into the real world means demonstrating that unconditional empathy through actions of love toward other human beings – and being open to receive it.
TIP #2: Pisces is known for being forgetful and oblivious to their surrounding while they disappear into their dream world. When I am having a full-on “Pisces day” I feel like I need someone to follow me around and make sure I don’t light the house on fire accidentally or walk into a tree. But oh! This Pisces world is so beautiful and magical. We all have access to this place of fantasy through our imaginations. We can channel it into our day-to-day lives in ways that ground us by translating moments of inspiration and glimpses of stunning beauty, into creative projects and art.
TIP #3: Pisces-dominant folks have strong spiritual inclinations and a very sensitive intuitive radar. When they neglect this aspect of themselves and resign themselves to only the reality they can see with their eyes, they become cynical, jaded, empty shells of human beings. Their heart may still pump, but a Pisces who has shut down its access to other-worldly realms is no longer truly living. Its day-to-day life is dry and parched, starving for a shimmer of magic and mystery – of something more. I’ve been there. It’s a desert that I’d rather not return to.
Wherever you fall within the broad spectrum of belief and faith in something intangible, grounding it through a defined and tangible spiritual practice or ritual can be really helpful. This could mean going to church every Sunday, studying astrology, or just taking a few moments to meditate in the park while you feel the cool breeze on your face.
TIP #4: My final tip for navigating Pisces duality and transcending the barrier between the tangible and intangible is: Pull an Einstein!!! Einstein is my favourite Pisces Sun from history! We thankfully have an accurate birth chart for him. It’s Einstein’s beautiful quote about the imagination vs. knowledge that I featured on today’s post. I love reading all his famous quotes because so many of them are bathed in Pisces’ waters. He makes me feel better about being born into this dualistic, often confused, zodiac sign.
What is the formulaic breakthrough that Einstein is so famous for??? E=mc2 . Basically it is a groundbreaking physics equation that posits energy and hard matter as two forms of the same thing – only at different densities. He demonstrated how they can be transformed into each other. How is that for effectively transcending the barrier between the tangible and the intangible?! Einstein was such a Pisces ❤
Tragically this equation became the basis of nuclear weapon development, but at least in theory this is a beautiful Piscean breakthrough!
Although his musical interest and ability was overshadowed by Einstein’s scientific theories, Einstein was known by his peers for his love of playing the violin (nicknamed Lina) and he would often turn to the instrument when he was seeking inspiration.
I’m such a sucker for good quotes and I love that Einstein has left such a recorded trail of Piscean insights throughout history, so here’s some more of the best ones…
“Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.”
“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.”
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Without our capacity for imagination, we would never be able to think of anything that did not already exist in the world. And therefore, humanity would never progress or evolve. Our lives would be terribly boring and dull, and certainly would be lacking in creativity and art. As Neptune turns Retrograde, pull an Einstein, channel some Pisces energy, and stay curious. Fly into other-worldly realms and then ground yourself by bringing this inspiration back down into the world.
- Moon (in Pisces) squares Saturn (in Sagittarius)
- Moon (in Pisces) squares Sun (in Gemini) – Last Quarter Moon @ 8:32 am (ADT)
- Moon enters Aries
The weekend launches with the Last Quarter Moon on Saturday. We are 3/4s of the way through this lunation cycle that began with the Gemini New Moon on May 25th. At this Last Quarter Moon phase the Moon in Pisces is squaring the Sun in Gemini. As always with the Quarter Moon phases, this is a time to release and let go, to begin preparing yourself for the next lunation cycle starting next week. With two of the zodiac’s most dualistic and mutable signs involved, you may need to make a decision and move forward, without having all the answers. Release the need to resolve all ambiguity. In astrology, the 90° square aspect always evokes some type of struggle. A challenge. Something to wrestle with.
Gemini is symbolized by twins. Pisces is symbolized by two fishes chasing each other. Even in their symbolism their inherent dualistic nature is obvious. The only other sign that is explicitly dualistic in this way is Libra, symbolized by a set of scales. And yet Gemini and Pisces are both fluid mutable signs which emphasizes their dual nature even more, whereas Libra is a cardinal sign.
Libra speaks primarily to dualism that emerges through relationships – How do we maintain harmony and balance in our interpersonal relationships while honoring and respecting our differences? How do we create just and peaceful societies that take into account people’s diverse motivations, abilities, and needs?
Gemini speaks to the dualism of truth and knowledge – How do we live in a incredibly complex, constantly changing, diverse world of relativity, where there is no one overarching meta-narrative or Absolute Truth? Every perspective and understanding of Truth is inevitably shaped by one’s life experiences and context – where the person is situated in the world.
And as I discussed in yesterday’s post, Pisces speaks to the dualism between the tangible and the intangible; the tension between our human Earth-bound lives, and our spiritual, creative and imaginary nature – How can we successfully connect the two realms without losing ourselves in either one?
You can learn a lot about a sign by studying its opposing sign in the zodiac wheel. Gemini is opposite Sagittarius and Pisces is opposite Virgo. Sagittarius seeks Absolute Truth; a holistic understanding or faith that encompasses the entire world. Virgo seeks perfection, impeccable order, and divine wholeness. Whereas both Sagittarius and Virgo are seeking to integrate separate, multiple different parts into an absolute and complete wholeness and “oneness”, Gemini and Pisces are constantly seeking to maintain dualism and diversity.
As difficult as it may be sometimes, Gemini and Pisces must actively maintain their dualistic nature. They must learn to live with this constant tension; this continuous pull in opposing directions. And they must somehow learn to bring balance to what could otherwise cause them to split or veer toward an extreme. Today, at this Last-Quarter Moon, which simultaneously activates the Sun in Gemini and the Moon in Pisces, this is a challenge that is presented to all of us.
Gemini’s gift is that of bright curiosity, cognitive flexibility and insight, as well as an open-minded nature. Their willingness to see other points of view, to compare and contrast ideas, and to see multiple life paths as being valid and legitimate, is a valuable gift in this conflicted world that so often gets divided along inflexible adherence to a single perspective or dogmatic belief system. It’s Gemini’s job to say things like, “Yes, but have you considered…? Okay, but let me play devil’s advocate for a moment…”
Multiplicities, contradictions and paradoxes do not distress or undermine Geminis. Conversely, Geminis find them fascinating and intriguing. This is an important trait in a world that is full of baffling contradictions and paradoxes. Geminis point us in the direction beyond the rigid binary trap. In a world where the two things you can always count on are change and uncertainty, Geminis can show us how to adapt quickly by highlighting the multitude of hopeful possibilities and potentialities in every situation.
More than most, Geminis require diversity and change in their life to thrive. Surrounding themselves with different types of information, new and varied experiences, and diverse people, helps them to actively maintain their duality and their cognitive flexibility.
The shadow of Gemini begins to appear when their attention is spread so thin, constantly chasing the new and different, that they lose all ability to focus on, commit to, and follow through with anything. Gemini’s shadow also emerges when they start to care too much about what other people think. This is when the duality completely splits them. Of course, as has been widely noted, a shadow that could engulf all Gemini shadows is clearly demonstrated in the life of the current US president, born with his Sun in Gemini. This is when we begin to see the “two-faced” deceitfulness and compulsive lying that occurs as Gemini presents whatever “truth” is currently most advantageous for it and most pleasing to its audience in that moment.
Gemini’s dualistic nature requires it to constantly be acknowledging that it doesn’t have all the answers. This is a challenging stance to honestly maintain in a competitive world. When expressing their duality in a healthy way, Geminis help us all to accept that it is okay to change one’s opinion.
I discussed Pisces in depth in yesterday’s post, but the gift of Pisces lies in their divided allegiance to the Earth, and to their imagination, dreams, and fantasies. If they can effectively navigate their duality and actively maintain it, they have the capacity to translate their access to divine love, to intangible dreams and visions, into tangible forms that we can all enjoy and benefit from.
When Pisces veers to the extreme one way or the other, we may see someone who is so caught up in their fantasy life, that they are near incapable of taking care of themselves. Or we see someone who keeps ending up in terrible situations or religious cults, being repeatedly victimized because they can’t perceive the danger they are in. On the other hand we may see someone who has given up on their dreams and is a cynical, despairing, walking shell of who they once were. We could also see the common stereotype of Pisces – the addict who uses different methods to escape reality because they cannot cope with the glaring breach between their beautiful dream world, and the pain of this Earth.
I was born with the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in Gemini. Navigating and balancing duality is my life 🙂
As the Moon reaches its Last-Quarter phase and you perhaps find yourself presented with a multitude of options and an ambiguous situation, embrace the gifts of these two zodiac signs and avoid their shadows. Move forward despite multiplicity, release the need to resolve ambiguity.
P.S. I just read a stellar article on the Gemini nature that you can also enjoy at Queer Cosmos.
- Sun (in Gemini) sextile Uranus (in Aries)
- Mercury (in Gemini) opposite Saturn (in Sagittarius)
- Moon (in Aries) squares Mars (in Cancer), opposes Jupiter (in Libra), and squares Pluto (in Capricorn)
This afternoon Mercury opposes Saturn and the Sun sextiles Uranus within an hour of each other.
So on one hand you still feel like some area of your life is moving sooo slowly (like a tortoise – or a snail). Some area of your life is sucking up all your cognitive energy, demanding your undivided attention and your clear communication. There is a restrictive and heavy presence sitting like an elephant in your mental sphere. This is the Mercury opposite Saturn aspect.
When my Saturn Return in Sagittarius (Dec. 23, 2014 – Dec. 19th, 2017) literally brought me back home (also figuratively – it was occurring in my 4th house) to finish up a long overdue thesis (responsibly finishing up projects is a major Saturnian theme), the quote that I taped above my computer (and named a playlist after) was this: “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get done” (by Denise Linn). It was a helpful reminder as I tried to move past my immobilizing perfectionism and discouragement.
Mercury opposite Saturn has this type of vibe. Feel free to adopt the quote if it resonates.
And if you are catching a glimpse of freedom, a breakthrough, something original and unique coming your way, this is the Sun sextile Uranus aspect. Write down any inspiration that shows up and return to these notes as we hit a few squares with Chiron, the wounded healer, early next week.