Collage: back of woman's head; Rodin's sculpture The Thinker; 15th c. butterfly sake bottles

Mars-Uranus: Get moving!

The weekly astrological forecast portends several energetic shifts in our skies. We start off with a great big shove from action-oriented Mars finally completing his conjunction with electrifying Uranus in the feisty sign of Aries (exact Feb. 12). We may be more in the mood to challenge beliefs and attitudes, as well as experience a challenge of our sense of direction! Shall we tilt at this windmill? Or that one? Or is there an entirely different and more productive road to travel? The most willful road—the path of I, Me, Mine and F-the-world—may seem the most appealing in the moment, but it also may be wise to wait until Mars enters Taurus (Feb. 14) a few days later before making any life-changing decisions which are wrapped up in sudden anger, pure rebellion or resentment. Mars in Taurus might give us a better lay of land for making any bold moves. On the other hand, if we’ve been unable to take an important step forward or are caught up in limiting beliefs, this extra bolt of energy could at least get something moving!

Saturn-Uranus-Pluto: Who’s got the power?

Mars’ conjunction with Uranus also forms a kind of kickstarter for the larger world transit of Uranus square Saturn-Pluto, which will run through Dec. 2021. Saturn-Uranus-Pluto periods of time challenge not only the status quo (existing conditions) but also those who believe themselves to be the vanguard of change bringing an answer to the world’s woes. The intensification (Pluto) of radical (Uranus) backlash (Saturn) is one possibility and in the current climate it is hard to pin “radical” on just one political persuasion. We might see even more unpredictable splitting (Uranus) amidst all the polarization (Saturn-Pluto) around the world—and note that unpredictable doesn’t automatically mean bad or undesirable. There will likely be echoes back to the 2007 – 2012 Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square formation which correlated to an economic crisis, in keeping with the economic upheavals under previous Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square alignments in history. Since Saturn and Uranus will continue to square each other from 2021–2023 outside of the direct orb of influence of power-broker Pluto, our current time period may be more focused on questions of “the sources of power.”

What is power anyway?

I have a perception of power as something dynamic. I define power as the ability to cause or prevent change which arises out of the fact of communion (a fundamental relatedness). It’s not an object that one or another person or thing possesses but is more of a dynamic that is co-created. To summarize the observations of Gene Sharp, a scholar of nonviolence, the power of all rulers and hierarchical systems, including tyrants and oppressors, resides within the attitudes, behaviors, cooperation and obedience of the governed. So if power does arise from relationship, a thorough examination of how we are connected to one another seems the order of the day. And across all scales, because the larger collective movements of the Soul of the World are enacted by individuals and in individual lives.

Open Heart tarot card of the Triple Goddess Deck

Venus-Saturn sextile Neptune: Right relations

This is an appropriate reflection for sociable Venus’ sextile to empathic Neptune (exact Feb. 17), as she also sidles up next to the make-or-break energy of Saturn, putting a spotlight on “right relations.” We have our “ideals” (Neptune) and then there is “what actually is” (Saturn). Venus-Saturn can correlate to sweet karmic friendship, long-lasting bonds filled with loyalty and mutual support. And it can also point to what would stand in the way of enduring connection and the sweetness that is available to us, as well as whether loyalty is authentic or will not last through rough times. We might encounter where we have outsourced the leverage points of our power or where we can improve the quality of our existing connections. Transits involving Venus plus Saturn are a classic for “clearing out relations” and that doesn’t have to spell The End. Not at all. With maturity and discernment, we could actually come much closer to our Sacred Others—but only if we’re not compromising ourselves or our deepest truths. Many of us may experience the frustrations of inequalities in maturity levels which can make negotiations difficult. It’s very hard for one person’s maturity to carry the entire load especially in a relationship between peers.

Sun sextile Uranus: What do we serve?

Meanwhile, the identity-bringer of the Sun makes a helpful sextile to freedom-seeking Uranus (exact Feb. 17) which can support our aspirations to remain true to ourselves and our own values. If there is a dispute cropping up, it could be very helpful to identify how serving our own values serves the relationship—or if it doesn’t!

Erica Jones profile photo, Navarro River redwoods

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Bridge over a creek

NB: All dates are US/Pacific time or UTC -8h.

This week, messenger Mercury returns to the sign of Sagittarius (Dec. 12 to Jan. 4) post-retrograde, adding to the exaggeration, overestimation of capacity and glossing over of important details that the self-centered Sun plus jolly Jupiter in Sagittarius can represent. While these placements can be great for big picture visioning, some of us will need to be extra tidy with details and mindful to stop talk-talk-talking and actually take in other people’s information and experience. Good intentions can actually interfere with desirable outcomes. At the same time, the lightness, optimism and hopefulness offered by the next two weeks of Sagittarian emphasis is a welcome counterpoint to all the heaviness and intensity of the strengthening Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which will come within three degrees of exact next April. The closer planets are in aspect to each other, the more vivid their correlations become and the grim reaper energy of Saturn meeting the irresistible inevitability of Pluto is about as dramatic as it gets in terms of depth and the possessive effect of archetypes.

To quote the founder of archetypal psychology, James Hillman: “By setting up a universe which tends to hold everything we do, see, and say in the sway of its cosmos, an archetype is best comparable with a God.” Hence the practice of astrology that ideally allows us to take a step back from the archetype’s narrative of the world and be a little more responsive and a little less reactive (maybe). It’s even possible to honor the power of archetypes by deliberately engaging with the unique perceptions and powers of their cosmic vision and invite them to play along with stories you would like to enact. Although we mere mortals do not always understand the rules of the games these deities play, and we certainly struggle enough with our own self-control! it is very worthwhile to work on becoming more conscious of archetypes and their significant influence. We are all already puppets of these cosmological powers, enacting their tendencies without even trying.

Meditating Buddha with tea service

With that in mind, the first quarter of the Moon (Dec. 15) could stir an emotional challenge to our search for meaning—a good cry in a hot bath could do wonders to clear our heart-minds. Then on Dec. 16, socializing Venus makes her exact sextile to Saturn and feisty Mars makes his exact sextile to Pluto. A combination of irritation, enthusiasm, confidence and uncertainty could bring us face to face with some of the major themes in our particular lives that are contained within the much larger movement of Saturn-Pluto (2018–2021).

The sextile aspects especially point to the role of mentors, teachers, counselors and guides in our lives. Since Mars and Venus are concerned with pursuit, being pursued and our likes and dislikes, we might guide our reflections with another quote from James Hillman:

“Loving in safety is the smaller part of loving.”

To be clear, when I say “major themes” related to the longer Saturn-Pluto transit, I am referring to the predominant storylines, relationships, responsibilities, opportunities and losses related to the Saturn-Pluto archetypal complex. As noted above, this particular combination carries a very weighty, serious experience and sharpens our awareness of the difficulties which can either crush us or make us stronger (or both). Knowledge of where this conjunction falls in your natal chart can provide some clues around what you might want to become more conscious of and intentional with. To give just one example, if Saturn-Pluto is transiting your 7th House of relationship, you could be focusing heavily on the hard work of maintaining your partnership(s); creating a completely new persona to present to the public; experiencing the karmic consequences (positive and negative) of how you have related to others 1-to-1 in the past; or challenged to demonstrate or embody the wisdom gained from studies with powerful if sometimes abusive teachers or mentors (represented by Pluto’s transit of your 7th House). Saturn-Pluto can be very concerned with safety and yet fear can sabotage us with paranoia and misjudgment, making everything far less safe. We might wonder how we can pursue the greater part of loving, with all the risk that carries.

We open this week with Mercury in the final degrees of Aquarius, where it will snuggle up with the chilly, cerebral Aquarius New Moon on Thurs., Feb. 15 after forming an exact square on Tues., Feb. 13 with the reigning king of the underworld, Jupiter in Scorpio. Your mouth may get you in some trouble if you are unaware that you’re motivated to simply shock or upset others with your clever (you thought) perspective. Even if you know you are trying to upset some apple carts, you still might want to check in on where your intentions are placed. Mercury square Jupiter suggests exaggerating or stretching the truth, or perhaps having an honesty deficiency, so make sure that any of your tall tales will have some entertainment value.

We have an Aquarius New Moon on Thurs., Feb. 15, 2018 at 1:05pm US/Pacific, which also ushers in the Chinese Year of the Dog and the 4,715 year of the Chinese calendar. When the Moon conjoins the Sun in the sky, it is a time of dayworld consciousness (Sun) interpenetrating with the more unconscious, animal self (Moon), when the Sun’s directed, focused nature energizes the deeper, hidden layers of our being. In turn, the Moon may saturate dayworld consciousness with its emotional tides and the immediate needs of the body. The mutual activation of what can appear to be two poles or extremes of the human experience is perhaps why the New Moon is thought to be a good time to plant seeds and set intentions for the lunar month.

Aquarius New Moon 2018

This Aquarius New Moon on Feb. 15 is a partial solar eclipse featuring Mercury in a triple conjunction with the Sun and Moon, squared by Jupiter and sextiled by Uranus. It’s a good New Moon for declaring your quirky, unconventional ways to be fit for human consumption. If you have had any reservations about being exactly as you are because at least part of you feels like a misfit, an alien, an outcast or outsider…this is a good time to explore self-acceptance of those parts of yourself. Is it really the outside world that is judging you? Or an inner critic trying to protect some tender spot or insecurity? How have your coping mechanisms served you so far, and are they still successful? Or do you need a change of strategy? It may be time to trade in some old habits of hiding your uniqueness or the ways that you stand out from the crowd—or to simply notice that those habits of hiding or shying away exist. Venus in Pisces, along with Mars squaring Neptune, can help open your heart to those outcasts or misfits within.

With Venus sextiling Saturn (exact on Feb. 15), your duties and obligations in intimate and platonic as well as workplace relationships are highlighted. It’s generally a good time to make adjustments to those relationships, but other factors may make the situation a little more contentious. While Venus in Pisces provides a kinder tenor to any relational adjustments, you may experience the heights of passive aggression, as unexpressed needs or desires refuse to conveniently disappear, despite having been unexpressed.

Feb. 18 features Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun at 28°Aquarius, when Mercury is farthest from Earth and begins its transition over the next few weeks from a morning star to an evening star, eventually joining Venus who is presently low in the western twilight sky. Mercury will enter Pisces on Feb. 17, closely followed by the Sun on Feb. 18, making somewhat of a pileup in the spiritual sign of the fishes: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Chiron will all be swimming in the Piscean ocean through March 5. It will be a time to get in touch with that bleeding heart of compassion—however concealed it may be.

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch here!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes