The biggest cosmic event this week is the intense Jupiter-Pluto square going exact on Friday, with Uranus upping the ante on this aspect due to its retrograde pivot occurring the day before, early Thursday morning (ADT). Combined with the week’s build toward the Full Moon Partial Lunar Eclipse next Monday, we may become more aware of the darker side of Leo Season while under these aggrevated skies.
But first, let’s address Monday’s sweet loving whispers brought to you by Venus gliding into Cancerian waters today. Last week Venus was quite busy. This week Venus makes no major aspects to other planets, but her shift from open-minded Gemini’s curious and flirtatious airy delights, to traditional Cancer’s shy and sensitive nest, is certainly worth noting.
As a childless, female-identifying person in my early 30s, the metaphorical reference to one’s “biological clock ticking,” is one I’m familiar with. Now, I’m personally resistant to the idea of having children for a variety of reasons, but it could be said that when Venus transitions into Cancer, the so-called “biological clock” starts ticking worldwide. As the planet of love and relationships intersects with the desire for home, family, and mutual nurturing, there is an increased likelihood that the pressing question on everyone’s mind will be: “WILL YOU MAKE BABIES WITH ME?!”
Maybe it’s not a small human that you want to create and nurture. Maybe you and your partner decide to take the plunge during this season and bring home a dog, or a pet snake. Maybe it’s that tomato plant on the balcony that you and your roommate continuously fuss over, measuring the growing globes each day and protectively warding off destructive pests. Maybe you go on a massive baking spree, delivering packages of cookies to your nearest and dearest with their initials marked in icing.
Whatever it is, find a way to nurture, to grow belonging, to increase emotional security – through relationships.
Side Note: I don’t often mention celebrities on this platform, but when their exact birth times are publicly available, celebrities become excellent astro case studies – especially when they are well over the age of 30, because by this point it is likely that all the key features in their natal chart will have been activated and expressed in some form throughout their (public and well-documented) life.
I was recently looking at Angelina Jolie’s natal chart. Her celebrity status, sex appeal, brazen rebellious edge, and recent reputation as a humanitarian, are all quite obvious in her chart: e.g. An extroverted Gemini Sun in the 11th House (wants to contribute to humanity); Moon conjunct Mars in Aries in the adventurous 9th House opposite Pluto (fiery bold passion and sex drive with a dark edge + a love of travelling and engaging with diverse cultures); an Aries mid-heaven closely conjunct Jupiter (indicating huge fame, success, assertive leadership in the public eye, as well as being perceived as a philanthropist and public speaker on global issues); Venus in Cancer tightly conjunct her Ascendant (giving her that curvaceous figure) square Uranus (unconventional relationships and abrupt changes to her physical body throughout her life).
My apologies for the blatant astro jargon, but my key point is that The Angelina Jolie of 15+ years ago, whom I remember watching and reading about in my teen years, is not someone I would EVER have imagined at the time, having 6 children, and having her identity so strongly linked with motherhood. Angelina was Lara Croft, Tomb Raider; the wild, fiercely independent one with torrid love affairs and open relationships, leaving a stream of daring scandals in her wake.
Now she has 6 children. Three adoptions and one set of twins. A nurturing commitment of epic proportions.
That, my friends, is the power of Venus in Cancer, which is prominently emphasized in Angelina’s chart due to its placement right on her Ascendant. Venus in Cancer has buckets and buckets of nurturing, motherly-like love that it longs to give. Without casting any judgement on Angie’s past or current life, this is also a reminder of how many potential life paths and diverse expressions of our personality are available to us through our astro blueprint.
Aside from making us all preggers with nurturing relational energy and creations of some sort that we hope to give birth to, Venus in Cancer can also be incredibly sentimental, nostalgic, as well as oh-so-sensitive. During Venus’ trek through Cancer until August 25th/26th, you may be particularly vulnerable to flipping through old photo albums of past relationships and pining after previous lovers. Cancer’s self-protective traits may be a blessing in disguise here, if they prevent you from rekindling romance with that ex whom you’d be better off not seeing again.
Well, that’s much more than I anticipated writing on Monday’s sweet loving whispers, but at any rate: onward, to the ferocious dynamic found in the interplay between the expansive Jupiter in Libra and the transformative Pluto in Capricorn as they build to their third and final square, exact on Friday. Due to their respective retrograde motion, we’ve experienced this square two times previously in the last 10 months. The first was November 24th, 2016, and the second was March 30th (see any repeating, building themes?). We have felt these slow-moving cosmic power-houses conversing for a while now, but this week their exchange will become particularly evident once again.
Jupiter is generally a jovial planet, associated with good luck and abundance. Throughout its transit through Libra, Jupiter has been working to expand our big-picture understanding of justice, harmony, and peace within our interpersonal relationships and society as a whole. When squared by Pluto however, Libra’s plea for diplomacy may be overpowered by a desire to win – at all costs. Libra is that kid on the playground who wants to play the “type of game where everyone wins”. But Pluto is the kid who doesn’t play fair.
Jupiter expands the nature of whatever planet he comes in contact with, and in this case, he may be feeding Pluto’s ravenous desire for power and control. Jupiter is good natured when alone, but when under the peer-pressure influence of Pluto, he is vulnerable to being egotistical, forcefully dogmatic, and hungry for success and fame. Of course, it should be noted that this final Jupiter-Pluto square is occurring during Leo season, with both the Sun, and Mars the warrior, moving through the sign of the lion; the king of the jungle.
While Venus in Cancer would likely take Libra’s side on the playground and make the case for everyone taking turns, the Leo emphasis stokes the competitive fires fueling the engines of the Jupiter-Pluto square as we move toward the Full Moon, exacerbating the rising tension further.
The cosmic atmosphere is currently like that of a gym, where a bunch of macho, muscular men are aggressively grunting, flexing and flaunting, while competing to see who can lift the heaviest weights.
This vibe is pretty obvious in world politics right now, but it may show up more subtly in your own life.
You’ll better understand how this week’s key aspect is impacting you personally, if you know what houses Jupiter and Pluto are moving through. If you don’t know how to do this, plug your exact birth time and date into an app like Time Passages (iOS), Astro Future (iOS), or Time Nomad (iOS), and then make sure you are looking at the transit view rather than solely your natal chart (p.s. anyone have any recommendations for free android astro chart apps?). Access some basic astro resources online, to figure out what houses and their associated themes are being activated in your chart by transit.
The house that Jupiter is transiting in your chart is where you want to grow and expand – where you want to achieve success and mastery.
The house that Pluto is transiting in your chart is where you sense a shadow that threatens you in your Jupiterian pursuit, possibly causing you to strive more fiercely.
Shadows are that which we’d rather not see in ourselves: Our fears and insecurities; repressed thoughts, memories and emotions; hidden desires, wounds and secrets we are ashamed of; as well as our discomfort with the capacity of each and everyone of us to cause harm to others.
On Sunday I wrote about Scorpio experiencing existence as a life or death struggle for survival. Pluto is the modern ruler of Scorpio, named after the Roman god of the underworld, and similarly Pluto can also provoke an intense, desperate, make-it-or-break struggle in our life, and in society.
Here’s how to put it together… When Jupiter and Pluto meet in hard aspect (like with this Friday’s square) life hands us the following fill-in-the-blanks sentence: “I MUST achieve success by ______ , OR ELSE______ (insert the shadow you’re running from).”
Fill in the sentence based on what houses are being activated in your chart. State it in all or nothing terms.
Here’s an example (not mine) for Jupiter transiting the 10th House of career, square transiting Pluto in the 7th House of relationships:
“I MUST achieve career success (desire for expansion), OR ELSE I will fail my partner who is depending on me to bring in more income (fear, insecurity).”
Now, once you have your make-it-or-break-it sentence, soften it.
Sand down the hard edges. Decorate the sentence and surround it with pretty doodles.
Now that we’ve secured the necessary self-awareness, ask yourself, is it really a life or death struggle? Probably not. And even if it is, regardless, a gentle touch of self-compassion, acceptance, shadow work and patience may be helpful this week. Be prepared to let something go in order to move forward.
Thanks to the added aggravation of the Jupiter-Pluto square and the build to the Full Moon, the darker side of Leo Season could be strongly activated this week – maybe in ourselves, maybe in others, or maybe we see it in the general social climate.
The Leo in us all, wants to be loved; truly and deeply, for who we are, as we are.
Remember this: Attention, accolades, success and power, are poor substitutes for love.
Remember this: Life is not a competition. You don’t have to “win” to prove and demonstrate to the world, your inherent worth.
I was tempted to re-title this post, “Competition vs. Cooperation.” We’ve likely all heard of the theory that competition is one of the key factors fueling evolution and progress. This takes us right back to Darwin, as well as to ancient philosophers like Hobbes, who waxed poetic about the innate selfish nature of human beings, always living in a state of war with each other.
Survival of the fittest, right? Humans are born with variations (like everything else in nature), and when pitted against each other under the conditions of limited resources, the “strongest” ones win and reproduce, while the “weak” ones eventually die out. Humanity evolves and “progresses”. Natural selection occurs.
And since anything labeled with the word “natural” always seems to gain exclusive, elitist rights to that which is “good”, “right”, and “best”, some of the ugliest, most horrific forms of capitalism, slavery, military warfare (etc.) have been easily justified on the premise that the natural state of the world is one in which we are all cut-throat competitors, fighting against each other to get to the top of the evolutionary hierarchy.
History, science, ancient philosophy – none of us are immune from the way they subtly shape cultures and worldviews, even if the links are not always made explicit.
However, researchers have recently put forward the hypothesis that it is cooperation, not competition, that gives us an evolutionary advantage, allowing us to progress and thrive. And in fact, a closer look at Darwin’s writings reveal that to some extent, he shared this perspective. These researchers point to the many examples in nature of mutually supportive symbiotic relationships occurring between different organisms, and they extol the broader evolutionary benefits of selflessness and altruism.
Back to astrology: Uranus, the erratic, but brilliant planet of sudden change, liberation, and rebellion, is currently grinding to a halt, preparing to turn retrograde early Thursday morning at 28° Aries (it will trine the Aug. 21st solar eclipse and will station Direct on January 2nd, 2018 at 24° Aries). Take notes, because as always, a planet’s pivot point stirs up dust and provides clues as to what it might be working on in your life during the Rx period.
Review your life’s Revolutions. Reflect on the time you have spent revolving around the sun, spinning on your axis.
Lean into this Retrograde by asking yourself: How have I been responding to changes in my life and in society? Are there ways in which I could respond more effectively to change and opportunities for liberation, in order to propel greater progress? In what ways am I acting as the jailer of my own imprisonment, the sabotager of my own freedom? In what ways might I be defiantly rebelling against constraints, only to draw attention to myself? How might increased cooperation and collaboration be built in order to create sustainable change that benefits not just myself, but everyone around me?
Uranus turning retro just before the Jupiter-Pluto square goes exact, will help draw our attention to the red flags where perhaps our competitive striving for success and victory, has been ineffective or misdirected.
In 2011, Martin Nowak, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, published a book titled: SuperCooperators: Beyond the Survival of the Fittest: Why Cooperation, Not Competition, is the Key to Life.
Nowak calls the phenomenon of cooperation for evolutionary advantage, the “snuggle for survival.”
Another contender for the title of this post could have been:
The Struggle for Survival vs. The Snuggle for Survival.
i.e. The Jupiter-Pluto Square vs. Venus in Cancer
Ah well, review your revolution folks, and remember, life is not a competition.
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