It’s a good week for taking as much time as necessary to assess your situation, both personal and professional, with an eye toward gaining greater clarity about what’s in motion and what needs to be put in motion. We’re currently in a retrograde free zone, which means this assessment isn’t so much about reviewing as it is about knowing where you stand and what your options are. By the end of June, when the full throttle Retro Summer of 2018 begins—with all its stops and starts and stops—there won’t be as many opportunities to put course corrections in motion. Seriously: from June 16 – September 10, there isn’t a retrograde free moment—and that’s going to impede all kinds of progress as it simultaneously agitates emotional bodies.
We started 2018 with the clarity that it would be a transitional year—a year that was best spent preparing for what lies ahead, which is why many recent columns have focused on future events. One of the most important transitions this year is Uranian: Uranus leaves Aries and enters Taurus—a shift we are currently in the midst of, and a shift that nervous systems are working hard to adjust to. For new readers, Uranus entered Taurus on May 15, just fifteen days ago, ending one cycle and beginning another—and most of us are still getting used to the new frequency. This ‘neuro-adjustment’ affects lots of different areas of life, personal and professional, but disrupted sleep patterns are probably the most obvious manifestation.
Another powerful transitional force this year is Mars. Last week’s column spent a lot of time talking about Mars and its activation of Zero Aquarius, a point that is playing a large role in the political fabric of Planet Earth—and a point that Mars transits three times this year.
Mars goes retrograde on June 26, at 9° Aquarius and continues its retrograde until August 27 when it goes direct at 28° Capricorn—that’s the reason it transits Zero Aquarius three times: May 16, August 12 and September 10. Mars Retrograde is a drag (that’s the highly technical way of describing its retro-transit) because Mars symbolizes movement. It signifies the athlete, the muscles of the body, competition, activity, and ambitious endeavors. No one likes running a race backwards, especially a marathon—which is what the rest of 2018 is and the summer months are likely to be the most grueling, so don’t be surprised if almost everyone, you included, gets caught by an irritable wind. And yes, I can hear those groans.
By June 13—just two weeks away—Mars starts slowing down in preparation for its ‘turn around’. And just so we’re clear: the planets don’t actually travel backwards in their orbits. Their retrograde motion is called that relative to our view of their orbital path around the Sun. Astrology interprets planetary retrogrades as opportunities to review, reflect and reconsider recent choices, with an eye towards making any necessary course corrections. These next two weeks are free from retrograde interference. The weeks prior to a retrograde, things start to slow down, and the weeks after a retrograde, forward motion takes a moment to gather momentum—so neither are free from retrograde problems. If there’s something you must get started, now is the time.
Mars is retrograde all summer, and on July 26, it’s joined by Mercury, which begins its second retrograde phase of the year, a phase that ends on August 19. (And yes, again, I can hear those groans—no need to wail louder, your protests won’t make the planets change their positions.) Mercury and Mars drive the mechanics of daily life and the rhythms that keep regular routines stable—the comings and goings, whether its trains, boats, planes, or automobiles, not to mention technological devices of all denomination.
And that leads me to one more thing that might make matters worse: Uranus begins its retrograde phase on August 7—and the combination of these three retrogrades is certain to cause a great gnashing of teeth. It would be wise to prepare for a rather hellish summer, and I’m not being negative, dramatic or exaggerating the potential for heated intensity. I’m being realistic. Those in the know about this retrograde nightmare will appear to the world as Zen goddesses and gods, so practice explaining these astral influences so you can help others to achieve some level of satori—or at the very least, help them chill.
This week, Mars, in Aquarius, continues its square to Uranus, in Taurus, which means the air continues to feel nervous, especially as some fellow travelers persist in aggressive confrontations. Be aware, a fight might feel good in the moment but even if it feels like the best way to spend the excess energy generated by this square, the consequences of these interactions have the shelf life of Uranium.
Also this week, Mars also continues its trine to a Sun/Mercury conjunction in Gemini, which exacerbates restless energy even as it encourages curiosity. Being patient won’t be easy—there’s just too much happening all at once and everyone wants to rule the world—but that doesn’t mean your efforts to stay steady and calm are for naught.
As the week unfolds, accept the challenge of being a peaceful warrior. Assess how these last few months have played out from a personal perspective, but also consider how they have manifested on the collective stage. Contemplate what you would like to shift and then strategize how to implement those changes. Most importantly, consider how your actions affect others and how you can refine all your interactions to create a more peaceful environment.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
This is not the moment to give up, give in or capitulate out of frustration. Yes there are some difficult issues, and yes, again, there are some cranky people to contend with, but don’t let that stop you from putting one foot in front of the other. Assume a non-judgmental stance that allows you to bear witness without getting entangled in the web of intrigue.
Taurus April 20-May 20
It is your astro power moment—Uranus is in your Sign and the power of its presence might take some getting used to. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to the intensity and don’t be surprised if you’re anxious during this shift. You’re calibrating how it feels to have the planet of revolution inspiring new heights of personal transformation—and that’s a complex process.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Stretch the boundaries of your already facile mind beyond your natural intellectual curiosity and reach out with your intuition. And yes, I do sound like Obi Wan, but that’s not the point. Allow yourself to be transported beyond logic and reason and you’ll find ways of understanding what’s happening to you that don’t necessarily make sense, but nonetheless feel completely true.
Cancer June 22-July 22
You can brood if that’s what you would most like to do but handing your precious mental energy over to the Brain Worm without a struggle wouldn’t actually be the best choice. So rather than dwell on all that’s wrong with your world, hit the reset button and start to focus on all the things that are right. Gratitude as an attitude will work wonders for your head and your heart.
Leo July 23-August 22
It would be very helpful to realize that your primary relationship—the one which all others stem from—is your relationship with yourself. How you treat yourself on a day-to-day basis models how you relate to everyone and everything—friends, family, co-workers, pets, and plants. Clean up your partnership with yourself and all your other partnerships will fall into a wholesome balance.
Virgo August 23-September 22
There’s so much going on that it’s almost too much—except it isn’t really and you are quite prepared to handle anything that comes your way. I’m not suggesting you are a superhero, but I am acknowledging that you have a superpower—the ability to think about practical solutions to almost any situation. So rely on your brains rather than your brawn to get you through.
Libra September 23-October 22
You might want to spend time chronicling your affairs through poetry or some other form of artistic expression. You have so much to say about so many things in such an unusual way that you need a medium that will not only spotlight your unique perspective, but also enhance it. There’s no need to be concerned about the final product—the process is where the gold is hidden.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
You might have to light a bright torch to illuminate your way through a maze of details, but that extra effort won’t diminish the benefits of making this journey. Yes…it’s a gigantic pain to assess what’s transpired since the start of the year, but without that information, the rest of the year might become a muddle, and that won’t produce the most valuable outcome.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Words are powerful—they can create war or peace—it just depends on how they are used. Pay close attention to your intention as you engage in a wide range of conversations with an even wider range of significant others. I’m not suggesting you just make nice and leave it at that. I’m advising you to pay attention to how deeper feelings—often unspoken—determine an outcome.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Yes…it’s as difficult as it feels because you’re not only in the grip of Pluto transiting your Sign, but you are also under the thumb of Saturn, also in your Sign—and neither of them will give you a break. So take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel centered in the depth of your true self—the self that will endure whatever it takes to work through the superfluous to the real.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
You have the capability to draw from a tremendous inner strength right now if you are willing to plumb the depths of who you are and stay true to it. This isn’t about lifting any physical weight or winning any competitions—although some of those things might occur. What’s most important at this moment, is that you realize your innate resilience and honor it.
Pisces February 19-March 20
You’re too busy and there doesn’t seem to be any relief from the workload because once you’re finished for the day, your mind immediately starts chewing on everything that happened and you’re reliving the day again. (I’m exhausted just writing about it.) Call time out by refusing to torture yourself with ‘what if’ or ‘if only.’ Just breathe into a deeply relaxed state and get the rest you need.
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