This week, four planets—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto—are retrograde, soon to be joined by Mercury on April 28, forming a powerful aggregation of astral energy I like to call the Retro-Zone. Last week, foreshocks, aftershocks, quakes, and tremors escorted us into the Retro-Zone, presaging much of what to expect for the next several weeks and months as we adjust to the new pace of daily life. I am not predicting the world will continue to physically wobble during this period. I am forecasting that internal quakes—mental, emotional and spiritual, major as well as minor—are certain to disrupt regular routines. Lots of folks could find themselves in a reactive state, unable to break free from standard emergency measures.
But the old ways don’t work as well as they have in the past and in some ways they don’t work at all. We’re in a new world that requires the bravery of innovative responses. So find a fluid stance that allows you to roll with the shifts as it simultaneously supports your capacity for growth.
Mars Retrograde began on Sunday April 17, as did Pluto Retrograde. (Two notes: 1. See last week’s column for a detailed description and interpretation of that dual retrograde. 2. For those new to astrology, the planets aren’t actually moving backwards; they just appear to be, relative to our orbital perspective.) As Mars and Pluto “retrace” their paths, we revisit our recent history. Although in Pluto’s case, it’s more like revisiting ancient history repackaged as something new. With Pluto you always have to look beneath the particular circumstances to find the underlying theme or themes presenting themselves through a new set of circumstances. This is one way of understanding why “the same old same old” is such a common lament under Pluto’s influence. Pluto is unrelenting in stripping away what’s superfluous to reveal what’s causal. So as you review, pay attention to what you cling to as a “must be” and then question why you are holding on so tightly.
As Mars reviews its recent path, we reexamine where we have felt its influence. Mars represents themes of self-assertion, from the lowest forms of anger and global rage to the highest forms of self-actualization—and everything in between. Competition, ambition, and tests of strength and courage in all areas of life are part of Mars’ domain. Mars is retrograde until June 29, and during the next nearly three months, its retro glance reaches back to January 2016, which means we’re looking at what we’ve been working on since that time. Use this retrospective wisely by being open to the possibility that it isn’t always necessary to push to make something work right. One of the secrets of a Mars Retrograde success story is allowing whatever it is your interested in to unfold at its own pace.
Mercury Retrograde begins in eight days, which means there are only five good days (remember the Mercury Retrograde Three-Day Rule) to backup your files and documents. For those new to Mercury Retrograde: All things related to communication and travel tend to unravel during this phase. For seasoned Mercury Retrograders: Don’t be too blasé; this Mercury Retrograde is certain to be a tough one.
The good news is a Venus/Uranus conjunction, in Aries, an innovative planetary coupling that’s sure to stir more than a few urges. Don’t be surprised if you feel like taking a risk on love or if you notice someone is in hot pursuit of you. Just be aware, Venus/Uranus combinations are notorious for an exciting start that dampens quickly once the initial contact is past. My Venus/Uranus motto: Have fun, but don’t expect it to last forever.
Today and tomorrow are probably the toughest days of the week. The Moon, in Libra, squares Pluto as it simultaneously opposes that Venus/Uranus conjunction. This entire bundle indicates the potential for sudden, volatile flare-ups fueled by fanaticism that just won’t take no for an answer. This turbulent, tempestuous atmosphere is likely to set nervous systems on edge, so make a special effort to be calm and centered. And if possible, do your best to help others find the same reserve. Surely compassion and kindness are the most important components of any emergency survival kit.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
There’s nothing sudden about your desire to create a new, improved first impression. It’s just that suddenly there is the energy and determination to, as Picard would say, “Make it so.” So do just that, and use this time for positive innovation and renovation.
Taurus April 20-May 20
If you let your imagination run away with you, it might be difficult finding your way back home. I’m not suggesting fantasy isn’t fun or that flights of fancy are not worthwhile. But I am advising you to consider what the long-term consequences might be if you let yourself run completely wild.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Breaking the old social paradigm requires the willingness to take a risk. So embrace surprising encounters with members of your community because those “chance” meetings could inspire a new outlook on an old dilemma. Unusual ideas are often the perfect solution to stagnation.
Cancer June 22-July 22
You may not be expecting a brouhaha over dividing your responsibilities between work and home, but a little incident could escalate into a full-blown squabble if you ignore the needs of others. Do your best to honor your desires as you simultaneously honor the desires of others.
Leo July 23-August 22
You’re in an important process of figuring out how to better walk your talk, and while this integration process might be difficult at first, it’s all about being authentic. Just don’t confuse authenticity with permission to unload angry feelings on others. Be true, but also be generous of spirit.
Virgo August 23-September 22
It’s a value challenge: Your values versus the values of significant others, and a large part of this challenge is not letting money—neither a deficit or a surplus—camouflage the real issue. Continue to consider how to find the solid ground of compromise and you’ll handle the stress of this test.
Libra September 23-October 22
Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, let go of the notion that you must solve the problem immediately. You’re always wrestling with relationship issues, and for the last six years, as long as Uranus has been opposite your Sign, that’s been the main focus. So don’t worry—you’ll make it through these waves.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Refuse to let your anxiety about the future become a Brain Worm that steals your self-confidence. Yes…there are likely to be startling developments that catch you off-guard, but you have the strength and power to handle the new information.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Look for inspiration in the simplest things—creative energy surrounds all of us even if we aren’t aware of it. Allow yourself to be stimulated by your environment and you’ll experience a renewed appreciation of what you’ve already created and a fresh enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
It sounds like the same old song, but if you listen closely, the music and lyrics have changed. (Okay…the chords are similar.) Be open to new information about balancing the responsibilities of work with the need to be connected to family—and you’ll find a fresh approach to both.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Be prepared for surprising conversations with just about everyone, and while some of these discussions could be startling, not every exchange is negative. Listen closely to what’s said, and listen just as closely to your reactions, but take your time making any decisions.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Do your best to avoid letting your financial situation morph into a crisis. I’m not suggesting massive losses or huge gains. I’m simply advising you to pay attention to the details of your spending so you can create a solid internal as well as external sense of what’s possible.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2016 by Ralfee Finn