I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world today, and I wonder if we are under some form of curse. And no, not something performed by a tricky magician with his own personal motives. Instead, this is something deeper.
(waits for the moans and groans to subside)
… and yes, we can expect all the problems that normally occur during a Mercury retrograde – electronic device issues, travel plans have gone awry, communications with others go crazy, and more socks than ever seem to slip into the vortex of the dryers 4th dimension.
(waits for the moans and groans to subside)
Now, before I get into how to work with the candle, let’s get into the Mercury Retrograde chart, and figure out how we can get the most out of it.
Mercury is the planet that helps us understand life. It’s kind of our little computer/phone app that lets us see what is going on in the world, and integrate all the bits of information into something that is useable for us as we navigate through our day to day lives.
In Greek Myth, Hermes (his Greek name) was a peculiar God. Let me give you the areas of life he was the god of: commerce, messages, the link between mortals and the gods, travel, and he was the protector of travelers, thieves, and athletes.
Mercury was the only god that did not have temples and shrines that were erected in his honor – and with the people he trafficked with, you can see why. Instead, he had ‘herms’ that were erected at crossroads in his honor. This would be where travelers that were lost or people that needed Mercury’s assistance would rest to get guidance from the god.
So, you can see why this years ‘Crossroads’ limited edition (meaning Jacki doesn’t make them often) is perfect because it gives us something tangible to work with during this retrograde cycle.
On with the chart… (yes, there is always a chart for everything)
Mercury goes retrograde in the sign of Virgo on August 12 at 9:00 PM EST. Virgo is an earth sign and is associated with order, discipline, structure, foundation, and natural law.
To look at the trends of the Mercury retrograde chart, we set the chart for Washington, DC for the United States. These trends will be more potent for anyone that has planets between 7-15 degrees of a sign, with a stronger emphasis in the signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces.
Let’s begin with the 4th house. This house is enormous power because it reflects the current emotional weather of the collective at the time Mercury goes retrograde. There are no planets in the 4th house of the chart, but the sign of Gemini is on the cusp. This reflects a lot of conflicting emotions. We may be torn about the current state of our relationships or need to decide whether our jobs or careers are giving us what we need. Additionally, Gemini is ruled by Mercury retrograde and sits in the 6th house on the cusp of the 7th. So, we have a clue that our day to day life, our habits, and our relationships (personal and business) are going to be high target areas of concern during this retrograde.
Our next area of concern is going to be the Ascendant of the chart, which has Pisces on the cusp and Neptune, Chiron, and the Moon in the 1st house. Neptune in the 1st reflects that we may need to think things out and possibly be very patient because all the information is not available. Many of the decisions and choices we need to make right now might also involve past problems or decisions that have come back for us to reflect on and possibly make future adjustments. Chiron in the first implies that we may view things now through the lens of spoiled luck or unfortunate situations that have occurred that have not really been our personal fault or the faults of those in our day to day life. Chiron’s influence is amplified in this chart, and it might be necessary to work through any anger or rage that you may have towards the collective. Additionally, the Moon in energetic Aries in the first implies that we need to take control of our own thoughts and ideas, and our pathway to security (Moon) is doing things on our own and forging our own path. We need to embrace change.
The traditional ruler of Pisces is Jupiter. Jupiter lands in the 7th house of the chart. The 7th house has to do with our relationships with others. This reflects that we can learn more about our path by being open and receptive to the ideas and opinions of others. This does not mean that we should do it their way, but it does give us an area that we can look for answers.
Now, let’s analyze Mercury itself:
Mercury lands in the 6th house of the chart straddling the 7th house cusp. As I stated earlier, will influence our everyday lives and our relationships. So, the areas most affected will be our jobs, our hobbies, rituals, and possibly put a strain on relationships. This retrograde could even activate our adversaries.
Mercury always indicates a period of reflection when he is retrograde, and we can use its energy to analyze the areas he will influence and gauge whether they are giving us what we need.
Here are some meditation and reflection points:
Am I happy with my job situation?
Am I getting enough exercise?
How am I feeling physically and emotionally?
Have I had a health check up recently?
Have my pets visited the vet recently? How are they doing?
Am I getting enough rest?
Is there anything that I am doing habitually that may be causing a problem?
Are there any new hobbies I wish to pursue?
Am I happy with my current hobbies?
Am I happy with my relationships?
Are there people I need to make amends with?
How are my business partnerships going and do I need to make other strategic alliances?
Do I need to end some business relationships?
Mercury forms several aspects that I mentioned earlier in conjunction with the 4th house. The most significant is Mercury opposed Neptune. You can expect to feel confusing during the retrograde. Areas of your life may seem muddled and you may need to put off ANY decision making completely until the retrograde is over – especially if this is making you anxious. This could be amplified by Mercury sesquiquadrate Uranus. Mercury and Uranus bring forth feelings of anxiety on their own and likes to make plans and have a scheme on how to resolve things, especially when this is combined with Neptune’s influence. Uranus is the ruler of the 12th house past and could indicate that we need to analyze the decisions and choices we’ve made that may have led to our current confusion. This could be difficult and force you to dig deep, yet the rewards of reviewing the past will be many.
The second difficult aspect is Mercury square Saturn. This is an extremely frustrating aspect because we often feel thwarted, limited, face any obstacles, and this could lead to depression. This is not the greatest time to engage in social activities because social gatherings could make us feel even more alienated – especially since Saturn is the ruler of the 11th house group. The key to working with this aspect is realizing that sometimes you should do things slowly and with purpose and that only through going through the frustrations and limitations, you get to the other side. Mercury square Saturn, when worked with consciously, can bring forth solid and endurable results.
Mercury does make one positive aspect: a trine to Pluto. Mercury-Pluto aspects let you dig deeper. Mercury trine Pluto lets you get to the bottom of situations and see the underlying issues and problems. Pluto is the ruler of the 9th house big picture and Mercury trine Pluto will allow us to see the larger scheme of things and put them in their proper perspective eliminating circumstances that may no longer be good for us.
Now, we all know that Mercury retrograde is difficult, and I have written extensively on its purpose. It’s very easy for us to get caught up in the physical manifestation of this cosmic event. However, Coventry Creations has released a limited-edition Crossroads Candle – and it has arrived at the right time.
The Crossroads candle is an elegantly designed candle that comes adorned with a key. Now for those of you that are Lenormand fans, then you know that the key card signifies opening doors, and usually indicates a yes answer when he appears in a spread.
The text on the candle says:
“What wonders await when you unlock the door to your true self? Magic is not from an external source, but from deep within. We designed this candle to help you find your inner wisdom. Lighting this candle and visualizing your goal is a commitment to your success.”
This candle is perfect for working with Mercury retrograde. It helps us receive inner answers that we can then implement once Mercury goes direct on September 5th.
Here are ways you can use the candles:
Career – Are you at a point in your career where you are not getting what you need? Do you not feel creative enough or that your career is feeding your spirit? The crossroads candle can be used to help you receive clarity on what direction that you need to take, and what path is more aligned with your spirit.
Finances – Are finances a problem? The crossroads candle can be used to help you get clarity on your financial situation. Do you need a stricter budget or do you need to find a new job to make more money? Do you need to pay off your debt? Are you spending more than you need to spend? This candle will bring you clarity on your financial needs.
Relationships – Relationships are important to everyone. However, there are times when we need to take a deep look at how our relationships are feeding us, and whether or not they are fulfilling us on an emotional level. Additionally, this applies to business relationships. You can use the crossroads candle to help show your relationship path and guide you in the choices that you need to make.
Here is an amazing video that Jacki Smith has done to show how to perform a crossroads ritual.
To get more information on the crossroads candle please visit http://www.coventrycrossroads.com
.. and Happy Retrograde
Storm Cestavani, August 10, 2017
(If you like this article, please hit the like or +g button below)
I am still shocked!
I have had a difficult time since the election. It’s been hard to understand the current state of the United States. The division and the backbiting. The derision on social media and people being bitterly antagonistic to any belief and anyone that differs with them is a difficult and bitter pill to swallow.
I disconnected. I pulled back. I had to once again learn about boundaries, limits, and creating my space.
I’ve been angry. REAL ANGRY.
I’ve been depressed, more depressed, and lost interest in everything – even astrology.
I would try to force myself to write; pen on paper, fingers on the keyboard, buying new notebooks and pens that I thought would trigger my desire to write, but words just wouldn’t come out.
I was frozen.
I tried to make sense of it all. It hasn’t been easy, and ultimately, I have had to surrender and just focus on what I am good at – helping other people take control and make the most out of their personal lives.
This eclipse article is going to be a bit different than ones I have written in the past. Yes, I will have to write about collective trends and how those trends have influenced politics, but this is going to be more about people using the energy in productive ways to make the most out of it.
It’s REALLY (and everything) is about you.
Before we get to the eclipse though, we need to look at some of the larger collective currents, which are running the show.
So, get a cup of something, this is going to be a wild ride.
Saturn square Neptune Redux
For the past two years, we have had Saturn in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces. Saturn is the planet that represents foundation, structure, the rule of law, and our psychic skin. It’s our defense mechanism that protects us (constructively or dysfunctionally) from the outer world. Neptune, on the other hand, is concerned with redemption from ordinary mortal sins and the vision of a perfect world. When you combine these two planets together, you get a whiff of the populist tidal wave that has possessed both the United States and Western Europe and was apparent on both sides of the aisle in the 2016 US Election.
Saturn square Neptune makes us painfully aware of the areas of life where we experience internal disappointment and frustration. It tends to manifest in the belief that things could be so much better if circumstances were different. In many ways, it is a battle of entitlements: Saturn feels entitled to what it possesses because it has worked hard for it, and Neptune feels entitled because certain things should be guaranteed to all humans and seeks a messianic figure to redeem us from suffering. It’s a conundrum, and perhaps, both planets are right from their perspectives.
The current Saturn square Neptune has manifested both of these conflicting ideas. The rich and powerful are seen as the enemy of the people and the general population is seen as crybabies who are petulant and self-indulgent. The 1% believes that people should work a little more and take responsibility for themselves; whereas, the 99% believes that rich people should pay a little more and quit being selfish.
Another manifestation of this aspect has been ‘group think’. You can see across social media platforms people lining up on one side or the other sharing like-minded posts and battling the other side like never before. The need to belong to a familiar collective is highly Neptunian and it allows us to elect our heroes and enemies. It also allows us to be easily duped by information that is not factual and in many ways, is the fantasies and dreams of those caught up in the groups. It also loves a good slogan – a future we can believe in, make America great again, or even stray hashtags such as #fakenews.
All Hail Eris
The other major planetary aspect currently active is Uranus conjunct Eris in the sign of Aries, and both planets have been in square to Pluto in Capricorn.
I have written extensively about Uranus square Pluto over the past 7 years, and I am not going to do so here – but you can read it my other blog posts. Instead, I am going to focus on Uranus conjunct Eris.
I have not written much about Eris up to this point. It is a peculiar planet (dwarf planet) and has not really been part of the astrological toolkit for too long.
Eris in Greek myth is the goddess of strife and discord. She has a rather nasty reputation and is probably one of myths greatest villainesses. But, no archetypal figure lives without necessity, and it is necessary to probe beneath the surface of the Eris myths to understand what she is all about.
The most famous myth that Eris appears in known as the Judgement of Paris. A story that revolves around a young man who is forced to decide a beauty contest between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite and his decision (of Aphrodite) leads to the Trojan War. However, I believe that Eris simply throwing an apple on a table is insufficient in understand her overall purpose in the myth.
The myth begins when an Oracle informs Zeus that if his brothers or he ever impregnate the goddess Thetis, the spawn of this union would eventually overthrow the Olympians. So, being like most gods that want to retain their power, Zeus sets to form an arranged marriage between Thetis and mortal named Peleus. Of course, Thetis resents the marriage and tries to get out of it by transforming herself, but Peleus continues to hold on to her and eventually Thetis relents. Here is the deal: we have a woman who is relinquishing her personal power to satisfy masculine principles and ideals – which like any resentment it builds up over time and eventually seeps out in curious and destructive ways.
The story continues…
Hera agrees to put together the reception for the wedding, and she decides to do it at the full moon. This part of the myth is fascinating because the honored guests at the wedding were the 12 Olympians, and in mythology numbers matter. Twelve reflects the solar calendar of 12 months that is based on the sun moving through the signs of the zodiac. Solar ideals are based on individual destiny, purpose, and meaning. However, Hera schedules the reception during a full moon, which is based on lunar needs – comfort, emotions, security, attachment to family and roots, and survival. And, let us not forget that Hera is the wife of Zeus, who received the Oracle originally, and how many women are going to want to arrange a reception for another woman that their husband may or may not be interested in?
Of course, we know that Eris (the unconscious repressed feminine) bursts through the door and tosses an apple down the table that is inscribed “to the fairest” and all hell breaks loose and you have a rivalry begin between three goddesses that ultimately leads to the Trojan War.
In another myth, there is a wedding between Perithous and Hippodaeia. Perithous invited the Olympians again, except for Aries and Eris – because he remembered the mischief Eris created at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. This reminds me of Einstein’s famous quote, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes again and again, but expecting different results.” Yet, on a deeper level, we can begin to see that ‘solar’ principles were favored over lunar needs. Of course, Eris retaliates and we end up with the feud between the Lapiths and the Centaurs.
We can get a lot of keywords for Eris through myth – the obvious is strife and discord. But, I think using keywords for Eris that are already part of our planetary pantheon gives great disservice to her (strife and discord are already covered quite well with Mars), and of course, we know Eris will strike back if she is insulted. Instead, I think we need to look deeper and understand what causes strife and what causes discord? Is there a deeper element to the myth?
Let’s dig a bit deeper…
There is something that occurs at the beginning of each of the major Eris myths. Someone has pushed the gods to their limits. It is either through some form of trespass or insult against the gods, but regardless, a slight has occurred and the gods are looking for revenge. This is called hubris.
According to Mr. Webster the definition of hubris is as follows:
Excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods, which leads to Nemesis.
Nemesis is the Greek term for one’s inescapable fate that leads to their downfall. She was also a rather feared goddess.
In many cases, we all commit hubris. We become too big for our britches or we do questionable things to succeed. We push the limits of what is permissible and sometimes blow back occurs. Sometimes we even ignore the warnings of the gods, and one thing they dislike is being ignored. Eris seems to appear at the point in the myth where everything is so blown up that a major event needs to occur to settle scores or level the playing field for things to return to their natural order.
Over the past few years transiting Uranus has been conjoined to Eris in Aries. Uranus is a political vision or plan and Eris is the balance of hubris and the rectification of natural laws. Additionally, the sign of Aries is the need to be independent and get our personal desires met.
Adding all of this together, you can clearly see how it’s been very easy for us to get the point we are at. For far too long, people have been suffering at the hands of governmental structures who have disregarded the will of the people and have been more concerned with their personal careers and donations from special interest groups. There is race inequality, gender inequality, sexual identity inequality, and perhaps most importantly financial inequality. Rebellions and protests have erupted throughout the world, and the will of the people is as elusive as ever. Hubris has been adding up over time as seen through our treatment of resources and the environment. But, perhaps the greatest hubris overall is handing over our personal responsibilities to others – whether that be politicians, our communities, or even our families.
Now that we have put the big picture together, it is time to bring this back down to our personal lives. Yes, most likely we will see large events during this eclipse cycle that could potentially be game changers on the world stage. So, expect some rather heated news over the next few weeks. But, what about how the eclipse is going to affect our personal lives.
Any collective based chart (including eclipse and ingress charts) can be used in understanding the individual – because we are each part of the collective. These charts can be read to show areas of life where we need to be reflective and areas where it may be easy for us to fall prey to collective trends.
The first thing that we are going to look at is the 4th house of the eclipse chart (since most of my clients live in the US or Canada, I have customized this article more for them, but the general energy of the eclipse is relevant for everyone). Planets in the 4th house are going to have enormous power because they reflect the current emotional weather within the collective. Neptune and Chiron are in the 4th and both are retrograde indicating a lot of energy of this eclipse is connected to the past. Further, both rulers of the 4th house (Saturn and Uranus) are retrograde confirming that the answers are found by deep reflection on how we got into our current situation.
Neptune in the 4th house implies that the collective is confused and emotionally yearning for redemption. It usually elects people to be messianic figures that will save us from the sins of ordinary living. In this case, we are currently dealing with issues around health care, equal rights, and environmental concerns. Unfortunately, Neptune can often lead us towards charismatic figures that often promise a lot, but deliver very little. This is further amplified by Chiron. Chiron reflects wounds caused by life’s unfairness. Our current economic situation, health care problems, equality issues, and pollution have been caused by many generations of failing to address these potent issues. These wounds can often (especially when partnered with Neptune) take over and practical sensibility is superseded by anger and deep resentments.
The ruler of the 4th house (Saturn) lands in the 2nd house of house of personal values. Saturn forms a sextile to the Moon and a trine to the Sun. As lord of the eclipse, Saturn urges us to look at our values, seek our own identities by focusing on our own beliefs and ideals (Saturn also rules the 3rd house), and find ways to get our needs met.
Are we currently getting our needs met by the group or have we simply fallen into ‘group think’ and catering to others because it’s easier than facing potential conflicts that may occur because of differing opinions? Has our reliance on the group to solve our problems increased them?
The Ascendant of an eclipse chart and planets in the 1st are considered energies that we need to integrate into our personality. The sign on the 1st house is Scorpio, which reflects enforced change. Circumstances have reached a point where we can no longer continue the way we have been, which is confirmed by Pluto being in the 2nd house of values. Pluto in the 2nd shows how our values may be outdated and we need to let go of beliefs that may not be useful to us and diminish our lives rather than add to them.
Two planets make aspects to Pluto: Mercury and Venus.
Mercury is the planet through which we get ideas and how we understand life. It lands in the 8th house of the horoscope and forms a beautiful trine to Pluto. Since Mercury is retrograde in the eclipse chart, it gives us the ability to reflect and deeply probe our own nature. This is extremely useful to get to the bottom difficulties you may face, which are often covered up by deep seated issues. It’s also a wonderful time (since the 8th involves our psychological inheritances) to deal with family of origin issues.
Whereas Mercury rules the mind, Venus rules values and relationships. Pluto forms a sextile (opportunities) to Venus. This provides us the opportunity to really look at our relationships with others and see what we get out of them. If relationships are not working well, Pluto can provide us with the personal power to manage them by dealing with the issues that are causing problems. Venus rules the 7th, 11th, and 12th houses of the chart – all of which deal with relationships with others, on one level or another. This is a great time to explore what are our own values and what values we may have inherited through our relationships (7th), our friends (11th), or even our ancestors (12th). We can then keep what values that we hold dear, and perhaps, release those that are no longer viable or no longer resonate with us.
Since Mars is the co-ruler of Scorpio, we need to analyze his placement and aspects. Mars is located in the 9th house of the chart. The 9th house has to do with higher education, beliefs, and the big picture. Mars forms a conjunction with the Sun (ruler of the 10th) an opposition to the eclipse Moon (ruler of the 9th), and a sextile to Jupiter (ruler of the 2nd). This is a powerful combination which puts our own values and beliefs at odds with others. It may be necessary for you to stand your ground and use better negotiation skills to get what you want, but overall, the conjunction with the Sun gives us all a dose of individual potency that lets us go our own path and forge our own destiny.
The striking thing about this eclipse chart is its consistent theme of our personal values. Many of us go through our lives living out other people’s values and the eclipse states that it is time for us to stand on our own two feet and become truly individual. After all, the sign that opposes Aquarius (where the eclipse occurs) is Leo. We may need to value those like-minded individuals who support us and strengthen our personal positions, but the eclipse tells us that those personal values need to be uniquely our own.
Now that we have covered all the collective stuff – which is important. Let’s dive into the personal.
If you know your own chart look at planets that are between 10-20 degrees of a sign and the closer to 15 degrees the stronger the eclipse will be for you – especially if those planets are in the signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, or Aquarius.
An eclipsed planet signifies that the nature of the planet affected will come up through this eclipse cycle. Although, I am giving a guide map of general areas that will be influenced, getting an eclipse reading might help you understand its full impact better.
Here is how the eclipse will affect your personal planets:
The Sun – The Sun reflects our personal destiny and the core of the individuality of the personality. The eclipsed Sun signifies issues that arise that may ultimately change our course and put us on a new path. This can come in either a new vocation, creative or artistic endeavor, and since the Sun is the natural ruler of children, they are not out of the question.
The Moon – The Moon is our emotions, connections to our physical bodies, and our families. She is known as the archetypal mother and like nature itself, she changes constantly. The Eclipsed Moon signifies emotional issues that can either complicate our lives or breakthroughs (in the material and emotional world) can easily occur. This can come through relationship or familial problems, sudden endings and beginnings, and fluctuations within our day to day life. The Moon is the natural ruler of the 4th house and when she is eclipsed it can signify a change of residence can occur.
Mercury – Mercury is the planet of ideas and helps us understand life. It is the information processing center of the psyche. The eclipsed Mercury can influence how we think about things, change our opinions, and issues with electronic devices or automobiles are common. Since Mercury is the natural ruler of the commerce, issues surrounding business, buying and selling, trade, or our job may arise. If you have an eclipsed Mercury, it’s auspicious for you to consider your health and exercise regime and this energy can be used to effectively break bad habits.
Venus – Venus is the planet of relationships and values. She brings people together – in every sense of the word. The eclipsed Venus can influence how we relate to others. At this time, relationships can either move to the next level or they can suddenly end. Additionally, our values can come under fire and we might find ourselves in circumstances where what we once held dear suddenly comes under fire and forces our values to become more malleable or change. If you have an eclipsed Venus, it’s necessary to view your relationships in an honest light and decide whether it is something you should continue to invest in. You might meet new people and start new relationships that are extremely important over the next 6 months.
Mars – Mars is the planet of desire, warfare, and willpower. He is the planet that goes out into the world and gets us what we want. Of course, any time we use our own will there is the potential of conflict with others. An eclipsed Mars often brings your personal agenda forward, and this could lead to opportunities and complications. It’s always best to be assertive and stay true to your vision while Mars is triggered. Try to avoid arguments and confrontation because they will usually only frustrate you further. Since Mars is the natural ruler of the 1st house, this eclipse season is all about you – so take advantage of it.
Jupiter – Jupiter is the planet of expansion. He loves to make everything bigger. Everything! Sometimes expansion is not a good thing, especially when it involves our waistline. An eclipsed Jupiter brings expansion into the areas of your life, and it’s a time that traditional astrologers consider ‘lucky’. Now, luck is a pretty tricky word that even the least skeptically minded question, and perhaps what occurs when Jupiter is activated is that we become more attuned to potentials and possibilities. Jupiter gives us a glimpse of what can happen, but it’s up to us to take advantage of it.
Saturn – Saturn is the planet of restriction and fears. Unlike Jupiter, Saturn likes to make everything small and often comes with a dose of depression. Restriction is not necessarily a bad thing because Saturn teaches us how to live within our limits and often is the knee-jerk response to too much Jupiter in our lives. An eclipsed Saturn brings restriction into your life and often is accompanied with roadblocks, frustrations, anxiety, and long-standing fears rise to the surface. Saturn teaches us that we must do things methodically, with careful consideration, and tons of patience. If you have things you need to accomplish and finish, an eclipsed Saturn is the perfect time to get off the couch and do so.
Chiron – Chiron is the planetoid of life’s unfairness. Yep, sh*t happens and sometimes it’s not anyone’s fault and just part of living. Chiron tends to be angry and bitter when it is activated. Why? Well, usually there is no one to blame and it tends to act like an abscess that refuses to heal. It’s painful and tender to the touch. An eclipsed Chiron tends to bring up areas of our life where we have experienced life’s unfairness. The pains of the past come back to haunt us, and many times, it’s the areas of life that we think we have overcome that creep back to the surface. The key to working with Chiron is acceptance. It doesn’t take the hurt away, but it allows us to move on.
Eclipsed Outer Planets:
Uranus – Uranus is the planet of rebellion and sudden changes. He is a generational planet, so you will find that many people in your age group will experience similar issues at the same time. Uranus breaks up things that have remained stagnant and unchanging over lengthy periods of time to create a new scheme or a new plan. This can be extremely difficult for people with a lot of earth and water in their charts. An eclipsed Uranus reflects a period where old ideas and philosophies that you have held dear, come to an abrupt change. This can come in sudden changes in your life – including relationship and career changes. The key with Uranus is that if you hold on too tight to outdated ideas, the more difficult it will be. It’s best to surrender and go with the flow.
Neptune – Neptune is the planet of redemption with a good ole fashion dose of delusion. On one hand, he can bring forth intense artistic creativity, yet on another, he often seeks redeemers to save us from the ills we suffer. Unfortunately, those redeemers end up being human with their own frailties and can lead to feelings of victimization or deception. An eclipsed Neptune augurs a time for you to be cautious about choices and decisions that you make or people that you meet. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. The key to an eclipsed Neptune is realizing that the only person that can be your savior is you.
Pluto – Pluto is the planet of death and regeneration. He tends to amputate the things in our life that are past the sell by date and are spoiling on the shelf. This often leads to endings (and new beginnings) in areas of our life that can lead to some rather dark feelings – including depression and rage. An eclipsed Pluto tells us that something in our life needs to change. It needs to be let go of so we can begin to prosper once again. It reminds me of the gardener who has to prune shrubs so that they can continue to grow, and Pluto tends to point out the areas of our life where dead wood exists. The key to an eclipsed Pluto is just giving in and letting go, fighting it is simply futile.
There is a lot of controversy over aspects with eclipses. Some astrologers only use the conjunction and opposition, and others add the squares. Sextiles and trines are usually ignored.
In my experience, nothing in astrology should be ignored. Yes, an eclipse conjoined, opposed, or squared to your natal planet can be felt more strongly and often the more difficult sides of the eclipse can occur. However, sextiles often provide opportunities, if you are willing to work with them, and I have found trines can make things flow relatively easily. For example, a squared Venus could bring forth difficulties in relationships that are hard to manage or bring forth emotional pain, but a trine to Venus could show that those difficulties will be resolved easily and without much effort.
In addition to planets, the house that an eclipse lands in is important. Houses show the area of influence while the eclipse is active.
1st house: An eclipse in the 1st hour reflects a changing identity. It might mean that you become more malleable or that you suddenly take a different path in life. Finally, the aspects of femininity might need to be integrated now.
2nd house: An eclipse in the 2nd house means that our values and our sense of self-esteem might come under pressure. We will find evidence of this in things we attempt to birth into the physical world.
3rd house: Siblings, short communication, ideas, and simple communication. An eclipse in the third house might reveal changes in how we understand life.
4th house: An eclipse in the 4th house brings changes to our home, family, and sense of security.
5th house: The 5th house traditionally is the house of children and recreational activities. However, psychologically we view it as the house where we tend to shine the most. An eclipse in this house can often bring new talents and the experience of joy into our lives.
6th house: Since the 6th house is our day to day activities and jobs, it is also the house of what we are working on. This is the spring cleaning house and an eclipse occurring within this house could reflect the need for us to make changes in our life and immediate environment. Health and small pets could also be a concern.
7th house: Relationships – both romantic and business. Additionally, this is the house of open enemies and issues and conflicts with others can peak while the eclipse is active.
8th house: In traditional astrology, the 8th house is the house of death, sex, and regeneration. It’s where circumstances change and when an eclipse occurs within this house, it often reflects that enforced changes happen that are difficult to deal with. Also, issues that have been inherited psychologically become apparent.
9th house: The 9th house is our teacher. It’s where we learn things and form our opinions. An eclipse occurring in this house reflects the need for us to learn from our experiences of life and look at the big picture rather than small personal concerns.
10th house: The 10th house is our governing principle. It is how we govern ourselves and how we adapt to the outer world. An eclipse occurring in the 10th could reflect changes in our reputation and position.
11th house: The 11th house is the house of the group. It shows where we are influenced by others and how we fit into the larger fabric of society. An eclipse in the 11th could reflect changes in our network and social circles.
12th house: The house of retreat. An eclipse in the 12th house augurs a time where we need to reflect deeply on our lives and make changes accordingly. Self-defeating behaviors could easily come to the surface, but also the change to change them and heal our past.
Storm Cestavani, August 6, 2017
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I will admit that it kind of shocked me, even though I went into it knowing that with Saturn being in square to Neptune that everything would not be as it seems.
Bernie Sanders brought us the Berners and the Bernie Bros.
Hillary Clinton brought us all those nasty women.
Britain has given us Brexit.
Reagan McNeil has come back to our screens now played by Gina Davis in the television series “The Exorcist.”
And, shocker, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
As Voltaire stated, “we live in curious times and astonishing contrasts.”
Last year, I discussed at length the need for us to wait things out with patience and not take any form of significant action, and this remains true while this aspect is active through much of 2017. There will still be an urge to build new structures and dissolve old ones. For many, needing to accept the challenge of taking control of our own lives will be paramount to finding a more creative dimension to this aspect than seeking ‘redeemers’ to attempt to fix life for us, but with the latest headlines, it’s hard to imagine whether that is possible. It’s hard to reconcile a square aspect between Saturn and an outer planet, and our quest to find redemption or a figurehead Messiah will most likely continue to be projected an external figure to provide us with security and structure, even though these are personal issues that can only be resolved within.
I am going to begin this blog a little differently than I normally start a yearly forecast. Rather than get to the nitty gritty, which I normally do, I am going to start first by painting in broad strokes and then attempt to filter this down to the personal.
I have had several of the readers of my website and the listeners of my radio show write to me over the course of the last several months trying to make sense of what is happening in the world. Many are scared and frightened, and several others are concerned about the trajectory our world is taking whether it be political, economically, or ecologically based.
So, I am going to try to provide a bit of insight. Not in the usual way of exposing my political bias (and we all have one) or attempting to vilify or make an enemy of collective figures – because they all live inside of us. Instead, I am going to try to offer some collective insight into the energies that are percolating; if we really want to master and control our outer world, then we must start by controlling our inner one.
I’ll begin with a map that was created by Gret Jung, who was Carl Jung’s daughter and I first encountered this map in the early 90’s from reading a book by Liz Greene called Outer Planets and Their Cycles, which I recommend to anyone who can find themselves a reasonably priced copy.
This map is tricky, and I agree with Liz Greene’s assessment that it’s hard to tell what age we are in and what constitutes an age or how long one actually is.
There are a few noticeable things that I can mention. During the Arian age, which allegedly ran from about -2000BC to 0, the concept of deity moved from the agricultural realms of the Great Mother Goddess and into a more humanized version of the Greek Gods. The focus moved from the fields, living off the land, and natural survival and shifted to the building of the city-state and a more patriarchal society.
Then around the year 0 – 2000 (?) we were in the Piscean age, which we can all recognize with the Christian religious imagery that has existed up till now – fish, fishermen, and the redemptive themes of sin vs. salvation.
Whether or not we have entered into the Aquarian age is questionable, and there may be a several hundred year bleeding process in which we can still see the remnants of one age and the formation of another. We do see technological advancement at an extremely rapid rate coupled with mass information and the popularity of the internet as valid points for the Aquarian age. We can also see the opposite sign of Aquarius manifesting through our quest for self-improvement and inward focus with a dose of lovely terms such as ‘inner child’ work in the sign of Leo. However, none of these factors can clearly discern whether or not we have changed ages.
For the sake of this article, I am going to use a chart that does use Aquarius rising, which would reflect our being in an Aquarian age. The planetary house placements do not change, and I do feel that planetary energies trump where a planet lands in the chart. For me, house placements just reveal what stage in life that the planets will be enacted on.
Let’s begin with the astrological holdovers from last year. There are two: Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces and Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn.
The transit of Saturn and Neptune made itself rather apparent in the 2016 election cycle. For many, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump successfully tapped into this planetary cycle, which seeks a redeemer figure to heal us of our collective suffering. Saturn-Neptune is messianic and although Sanders and Trump were hooks for this pairing of planets, it was ultimately Donald Trump with his bombastic attitude and political promise of “being the one” that resonated with at least 49% of the American population, and an electoral college win (Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote by almost 3 million). These same elements could be seen in Brexit where the British people voted to leave the European Union without even considering what that ‘exit’ entirely means.
As I wrote last year, Saturn and Neptune are mortal enemies. The two planets have little in common, and one of them is ultimately going to get projected. If you side with Saturn, you are going to find the fairy tale Neptunian vision of a particular utopian flavor dressed up in slogans such as, ‘a future to believe in,’ ‘we are going to start a political revolution,’ or “make America great again,” suspicious or a pipe dream. Saturn wants structure and foundation and potentials rooted in collective yearning can seem disingenuous or childish. If you side with Neptune, the establishment and everything it represents is corrupt, evil, tainted with sin, and must be dissolved and replaced with a savior figure who can fix all the problems that the establishment has caused, which has resulted in human suffering.
Starting to sound a bit familiar, doesn’t it?
For the moment, Neptune seems to have won the battle over the Saturnian establishment, but it comes with a price, and that is hopelessness if the messianic figure cannot live up to the expectations of the collective and Neptunian expectations are often very high.
This transit, although technically over, will still be within orb throughout 2017. In Gret Jung’s chart, Saturn is currently transiting the 10th house of government and social structures and Neptune is now moving through the 1st. Neptune in the 1st house is often seen as the ‘victim’ in a personal chart, and it will be interesting to see what occurs once the fog of Saturn-square-Neptune begins to fade. Will Trump or the British government be able to solve the problems of those that voted for these types of changes or will they morph into the next Saturnian structure system? In the latter case, this can often lead to blowback, and it will be interesting to see what the next election will bring – so, pay attention to the midterm elections in the United States.
Saturn and Neptune did not work alone in recent world events. Another transit that has been around for almost 7 years need to also be considered – Uranus square Pluto.
I have written at length about this aspect. At times, I feel that I will write about it for several years to come because it seems to be a “seed level” point that erupts over and over andv it feeds into other aspects and the roots of the current transit of Uranus and Pluto actually began in the 60’s.
There is something curious that happened with this aspect that seemed to crack something in the collective that has yet to be resolved. Perhaps, it will not be resolved until the next Uranus-Pluto conjunction, which occurs in 2100. Right now, we are experiencing the first square to that conjunction that took place in the sign of Virgo.
The sign of Virgo get’s a lot of bad press. It’s not nearly as glamorous as Leo and doesn’t involve relationships like Libra or Aquarius. Instead, Virgo is earthy and reflects everyday life, our rituals, and the world of natural law. Virgo is efficient, dutiful, and disciplined and all of these earthy ideals came into question when Uranus and Pluto formed their conjunction.
One of the most notable events of the 60’s was the Vietnam War, and the children of World War II veterans were just not having it. Protests against the war occurred throughout the United States. Draft dodgers and conscientious objectors were featured in newscasts, and the unquestioned obedience to the system and authority were smashed as people began to wonder about the motivation of their government and its involvement in foreign affairs. This period also gave birth to the drug culture and during the later part of the transit issues surrounding homosexuality came front and center with the Stonewall Riots in NYC.
We are now in the first square of the Virgo conjunction, yet many of the same themes have come to the surface. Labor union disputed in the Midwest, revolutions in the middle east, and individuals coming face to face with their personal desires being at odds with their governments. Uranus in Aries is concerned with collective ideals of individual progress and destiny; whereas, Pluto in Capricorn is concerned with the tearing down of corrupt governmental structures and replacing it with new structures that are viable to continue to survive in the modern world. As a result, the questioning of governments and the elimination of that which is perceived as tainted are being cast aside and replaced with some rather unusual world figures.
In the ages chart, Pluto is currently moving through the 11th house of collective groups, and it is not surprising that corruption and decay are projected upon politicians – they are as good of a hook for it as any. However, groups have also carried projected Pluto regardless of what side of the political spectrum you are on. We have seen Planned Parenthood, the gun lobby, police officers, certain races, and even the Russian government once again cast as the dark god of the underworld, many of which might rightly deserve the role. Uranus is moving through the material 2nd house and people’s ideas on their relationship to money and resources and opposition to those that ‘have’ and the question of whether or not this is fair and just are being questioned. Uranus likes freedom, and in Aries, it wants personal freedom. So, it is not really all that surprising that there is a war between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots”.
I want to address one more thing before I move into the new astrological events we will encounter in 2017. For those of you that have written to me and asked important questions about the collective energies we are going through, I honestly have no real answers. I think we all need to remember that we are part of the collective. I suppose dealing with collective chaos is perhaps dealing with our own issues with a bit of compassion; not only for ourselves but for others. Collective energies are difficult to manage, and none of us are going to be able to deal with them entirely because they are concerned with issues that are beyond the personal, yet hopefully the collective will move us forward in some creative way that we might not be able to see right now. It’s up to each of us to develop our inner lives, and perhaps through personal growth and a quest to be authentically ourselves, the world can ultimately change for the better.
Venus Retrograde – The Bitch is Back
Did you know that Venus goes retrograde the least of all the planets?
Well, she does, and her effects are kind of interesting.
This year Venus will go retrograde on March 4th and turns direct on April 15th.
Now, this is where the fun begins!
Venus in Aries is considered in her detriment because the sign of Aries is not focused on other people or the urge towards relationships, nor is it focused on the sensual pleasures of the body. The sign of Aries is more self-focused, determined, intuitive, and concerned with self-achievement and winning at something in life.
Venus placed in Aries is a dilemma because the urge towards relationship needs to be filled with circumstances (or people) that are exciting, stimulating, and provide her a vehicle through which she can win. In other words, relationships become more about personal potency than other people.
Now this does not mean that Venus in Aries is incapable of relationships. It means that Venus in the sign of the ram needs conflict and a battle for relationships to be meaningful. While Venus moves through Aries, we all will experience a bit of ‘me-ness’ when it comes to relationships.
Venus retrograde is challenging because she tends to be more covert and vain, and instead of being the archetype of the beloved, she tends to become the battle goddess fighting for her individual desires. Of course, this brings up a whole bunch of rather distasteful issues like infidelity, arguments, love triangles, stress, and since Venus also rules money, our finances may be affected as well.
One thing is for sure, the more repressed Venus is in your life, the more she is going to act up.
The primary area of life that Venus retrograde will influence is relationships. On one level or another, all of our relationships will feel her battle cry, but for those that currently have relationship issues that are unresolved or the relationship is not meeting your needs, you can expect problems. Usually, Venus will provoke situations (she even likes self-sabotage) in your life that will bring the issues to the surface so that they can be dealt with accordingly. This will give you the opportunity to heal relationship issues before they cause irreparable harm. For those that cannot or will not deal with these issues honestly, and allow continues toxicity to occur, your relationships may come to an end. Because, in one way or another, Venus will win, and being single is as valid a victory as any other.
Govern yourself accordingly.
Jupiter oppose Uranus, Jupiter square Pluto
Just when you thought that Venus retrograde in Aries was enough stress on relationships, the war on relationships continues through the spring and summer as Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn and opposes Uranus in Aries.
In astrologese, this configuration is known as a t-square, and these are difficult configurations in a personal chart, so they will be especially tricky in on the world stage.
The key to a t-square is figuring out which planets are friends and which are not.
In this case, Jupiter and Uranus are both sky gods. Both planets are concerned with possibilities and potentials in a world filled with chance and chaos. Jupiter expands the Uranian need for progress and perfection, which may be beneficial for scientific discoveries and research. These two planets give us optimism and faith that a better future is possible. But, there can be issues with relationships because Uranus in Aries is concerned with personal progress and relationships might prove cumbersome. This can lead many to abandon responsibilities and seek personal freedom. Relationships that are extremely bound and constricted could prove problematic and the more you try to hold on to them, the more painful this transit will be. In other words, if it’s past the sell-by date, then it is probably best to let it go.
On the other hand, Pluto has little in common with Jupiter and Uranus. Pluto in Capricorn is interested in destroying structures that are no longer working, but it wishes to build a new system that is more viable and sustainable. The Capricornian need for wealth, power, social structures, and hierarchy remains – Pluto just wants to amputate what is no longer working in those structures, but Pluto in Capricorn is still Pluto in Capricorn, and every planet works through the energy of the sign it is placed in.
So, you can see what is at odds here.
Uranus and Jupiter’s need for progress, optimism, and personal freedoms is in conflict with the survival instinct. Pluto says destroy and rebuild, whereas, Jupiter and Uranus would prefer to tear it all down. This could lead to some rather interesting political battles, but the war in the outer world reflects a war that is going on within all of us. In other words, the more you try to fight the system, the more challenging the system becomes. Conversely, if you give into the system, then you lose your sense of individual freedom and potency.
Through most of the year, this t-square will be active. It augurs a cycle where we need to look at what is holding us back, where we feel constricted, and where we wish to gain power. None of these desires are wrong, but we have to fundamentally be honest about them. If we are not, one of the sides of the transit will fall into the unconscious and tends to react badly. For example, if you side with Jupiter and Uranus, the need for freedom, progress, and personal potency may provoke issues or circumstances in your life where you feel controlled or trapped in a corrupt system that benefits some, but not all. Alternatively, if you cling on to power and control and are afraid of losing your position, then events or circumstances will occur that shake things up, make life feel unpredictable, and tears your personal system down.
This aspect will be quite the juggling act. Since Jupiter is in Libra, the likely area of life that will be influenced will be relationships, partnerships, and even activate open enemies.
Be on guard.
August Mega-Eclipse in the United States
For the past 4000 years, astrologers have tracked the path of eclipses. Eclipses were a cosmic herald of changes that occur on Earth, and even today, they are watched carefully with awe and wonder.
This year the entire continental United States will experience the eclipse that will be total from the coast of South Carolina to the shores of Oregon.
So, mark your calendar – the date is August 21, 2017, and it occurs in the last degree of the sign of Leo.
This is what noted eclipse astrologer Celeste Teal says in her book on eclipses about fire sign eclipses:
“Eclipses in fire signs may produce sensational events with dissension among men, excessive heat, lack of rain, fire, rivers, movements of armies, death or imprisonment of great men, religious disputes, and the destruction of cud-chewing animals.”
Now that is some list, but let me add something else to the mix – the eclipse lands directly on Donald Trump’s ascendant.
What does this mean?
Let’s break the eclipse down.
An eclipse is simply a super powered New Moon that is conjoined to the lunar nodes. I have found over the years that where the eclipses land by sign seems to highlight the most important themes over the coming year. In this case, a Leonine eclipse would bring forth themes of individual values and development, and it’s an excellent time to do magical or intention work on these issues.
The eclipse lands in the 9th house of the eclipse chart and denotes that higher education, foreigners, and the big picture are where our energies should be focused. This is amplified by Sagittarius, the natural sign ruler of the 9th house, placed on the Ascendant (1st house). Of course, anything that has to do with the 9th house also has to do with the world stage, and eclipses could trigger just about anything from a coup to the death of a world leader, which is very likely since the eclipse is conjoined to the fixed royal star, Regulus.
When you combine these placements together, your personal development will occur because of your big picture goals. In other words, it’s time to focus on your BIG PICTURE PLAN and not be distracted by day to day stuff. If you do not have a BIG PICTURE PLAN, then the eclipse augurs a time to put one together.
As far as Donald Trump is concerned, I would recommend he stay away from any of the areas that are directly affected by the eclipse path.
Jupiter in Scorpio / Saturn in Capricorn:
Finally, there are two major sign changes this year. Jupiter, which changes signs every 13 months, will move out of Libra and into Scorpio and Saturn will move out of Sagittarius and into its home sign of Capricorn.
Let’s get to the meat:
This year, Jupiter spends most of its time in Libra. Jupiter reflects the areas of life where we renew our faith, expand, and find meaning. When Jupiter is placed in Libra, it’s love relationships, business partnerships, and even our open enemies that he activates.
Relationships are peculiar. They seem to be what we desire most, but we tend to lack understanding of their meaning and purpose and use phrases, such as ‘my better half’ to attempt to explain them. The real purpose of relationships is to mirror ourselves so that through our experiences and interactions with others, we experience wholeness.
Jupiter being in Libra provides us with an opportunity to find personal meaning through relationships. So, this is a good time to look at your various relationships and see where they are restoring your confidence, adding value, and transforming who you are through your simple interactions in them.
In October, Jupiter will move out of the sign of the scales and into the sign of the Scorpion, which will change the mode of how we renew our faith, expand, and find meaning.
Scorpio reflects the areas of life that are hidden and deep. It’s the laws that are governing us behind our attempts to control them through intellectual reasoning that matter. Scorpio is connected to fate, and the unfoldment of natural processes, which is why this deeply misunderstood sign is associated with death and the darker elements of life.
Jupiter in Scorpio augurs a 13-month cycle where we will renew our faith in life and find meaning through the discovery of secrets and patterns that exist beneath the surface, yet hold value. For the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces), this will come naturally, and the transit of Jupiter in Scorpio will be filled with experiences that will be easy to manage, but for the other fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, and Aquarius) your challenging experiences may teach you the most about life. In fact, they will have a ‘meant to be’ feeling about them.
This leads us to our next transit – Saturn moving out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn.
Like Jupiter, Saturn will spend most of the year in the sign that it is already in. Saturn in Sagittarius has been a rather interesting transit. Sagittarius has to do with the ‘higher mind’ and ‘continued education, ’ and Saturn has to do with limitations, and seen the frequent instances where ‘higher minds’ have not prevailed, and populist leanings have. On the political landscape, education and knowledge of how a system works have been thrown out the window for intuitive hunches and charismatic figureheads.
In December, Saturn will move out of the sign of the archer and into its own sign of Capricorn. The last time Saturn was in Capricorn was 1989-1990, and some of the notable news stories were:
The end of the Soviet Union
The Tiananmen Square massacre
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
TheLoma Prieta Earthquake
The Savings and Loan Scandal
Saddam Hussein Invades Kuwait
Operation Desert Shield
The Us Enters a Major Recession
George Bush & Mikhail Gorbachev sign historic agreement to end production of chemical weapons ( ** side note – It is interesting that as of this writing, President Elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladamir Putin have decided to increase nuclear armaments).
As I mentioned earlier, the sign of Capricorn has to do with power, social structure, and hierarchy, and Saturn moving through this sign will attempt to establish rules which preserve the status quo. This is completely opposite of the campaign promises of 2016, which were about overthrowing the current governmental structure and starting political revolutions. So, it will be rather interesting to see what is actually changed and what is preserved. This will be even more curious as Saturn conjoins Pluto in Capricorn in 2020.
On the more personal level, Saturn in Capricorn reflects a cycle where we need to build structure in our lives to preserve our future. This is not about being overly structured and rigid to the point that there is no longer enjoyment in life, it is more a time of building so we can enjoy living a little bit more. The earth signs (Virgo, Taurus, and Capricorn) will find this rather easy because it is their natural mode of operation, but for the other cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, and Libra), building structure may come with obstacles that force you into allowing things to develop rather than rushing from one thing to another without building anything. However, the gifts of this transit are long lasting (28 ½ years worth), so Saturn in Capricorn should be taken rather seriously.
In closing, it is my feeling that 2017 is a seed level year. It’s a turning point where we decide our fate and the trajectory of our individual lives. Are we going to continue along the way we have or are we on the precipice of significant change?
One thing is for certain, if we wish to see a change in the outer world, then we ultimately have to change ourselves.
Are you brave enough for the task?
Storm Cestavani, December 25, 2016
I mean there is all the planning, the gift buying, and the people to visit.
It’s a never-ending list of celebratory activities that leave many frustrated and it gets worse as the Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) deadline gets near.
Well, this weekend we get an astrological opportunity to get everything done and out of the way.
Let me tell you how.
On Saturday, Mercury moving through Capricorn forms a sextile to Neptune. Your creative juices will flow, and this is a splendid time to decide which gifts you are going to give to people, and your sensitivity to them will be heightened, and I find using Mercury-Neptune connections ideal for giving that ‘perfect’ gift for the people in your life that you love.
We also have a conjunction of the Sun and Saturn, which makes us want to get things done and focus on the tasks at hand. This aspect gives us the ability to plan and organize and since it is not real social, we can get done all the things that often annoy us and get it out of the way so we can enjoy the rest of the season without stress or further annoyances.
On Sunday, the Moon will move through sensual Taurus. Taurus is the ‘sit back and relax’ sign because it enjoys simple pleasures like a good massage, a luxurious dinner, and even a bit of creamy, decadent chocolate for desert. It’s the universe’s way of giving us a ‘cheat day’ so that we can enjoy the finer things in life.
*Storm Update* I am taking next week off from the Daily does – we pretty much only have lunar aspects that are going to happen, so I thought it would be as good of a time as any to finish your Astrology of 2017 forecast, which is my present to you every Christmas.