Current Astrology

Mercury in Virgo+Saturn Direct

Grand Tetons National Park, August 2017; photo by Chad Woodward

Grand Tetons National Park, August 2017; photo by Chad Woodward

Mercury is entering Virgo, its home sign, and place of exaltation. From Sept. 5 through Sept. 21, Mercury in Virgo empowers mental and communicative precision, favoring the editing of words/documents, clarification of messages, and technical mastery. For all cerebral tasks, projects, and activities, a more precise focus can fuel productivity but can also overwhelm with minutiae. 

Hyper-awareness of imperfections can lead to rigorous and laborious digressions. If you need your words or thoughts on point, Mercury in Virgo is invaluable. With Saturn's direct station Sept. 6, anticipate a notable increase in ambition the next few days. For those just getting into the work groove this Virgo season, Saturn direct is pure motivation. 

If you think you're not living up to some higher expectations at the moment, assess whether or not that's true. You might have internalized an unhelpful inner voice which has now become a tyrannical critic. Guilt tripping is never useful nor helpful, so make improvements where needed, but then forgive yourself for not being perfect. Start with small steps now, and you'll rise with the new lunar cycle next week. 

The week's end brings us high-capacity earth energy, and yet, from the background, the numinous invades our perception through the Sun's building opposition to Neptune (exact Sept. 7). Beyond delusions of grandeur and paranoia, lies the awareness of one's participation in a vast synchronistic field, rich with meaning, inspiration, and insight. While the magical and pragmatic may clash toward the end of this week, the mystical can infuse the physical, revealing their separation as a total illusion. 



New Visions: New Moon in Virgo 2018

By Ralph F. Kresge [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ralph F. Kresge [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Moon @ 17 Virgo 00'

September 9, 2018

11:02 AM Los Angeles

2:02 PM New York

7:02 PM London

September 10, 2018

2:02 AM Beijing

4:02 AM Sydney

On Sept. 9/10, the Sun and Moon will conjoin in tropical Virgo. During every New Moon, new life is dawning forth from the depths of the darkness. In the dark of the Moon, possibilities are more easily within our reach, because emerging insights and realizations have yet to take shape. While the sign of Virgo is unquestionably pragmatic, the New Moon is a moment of mystery and uncertainty. 

With Mars now direct and the eclipses behind us, we've made it past the intensified astrology of July/August, and actually, the most challenging aspects of 2018. Mercury is direct too, and now undeniably strong in its home sign Virgo, also supported via a grand trine with Saturn and Uranus. Occurring in a mutable sign, this Virgo New Moon is transitional, gently carrying us deeper into the astrology of September. 

You've made it through the thick of this year, so first, utilize this lunation as a grounding point and allow yourself some rest. While true that every New Moon helps to initiate new paths, those seeds can be gently planted. Aside from an opposition from Neptune, this New Moon receives supportive aspects/sign-based relationships from all other planets. And as I mentioned, Mercury, the ruler of this lunation, is in a powerful place. 

In regards to taking first steps with anything you've been mulling over, reconsidering, or processing these last several weeks, this lunation is most definitely supportive. New beginnings are well within your reach, but yes, Neptune's opposition is a dominating theme of this New Moon. Neptune can be a source of deception as well as inspiration. Its opposition here suggests that we could all use insight and revelation. 

However, Neptune's opposition can force insight upon us, especially if we approach this lunation without humility. The hubris of the modern world is its arrogant assumption that all things can be rationalized, every mystery deductively dissected, and all instincts tamed. Don't fall for that delusion with this New Moon. Humbly accept that you need guidance, you need an awakening and that there are endless enigmas which still evade your grasp.  

The first step in passing through this New Moon is to take some time to step back, find your quiet place, and relax. With Mars and Mercury direct, and the delays of the past weeks now dissolving, this might sound a bit counterintuitive. Surely, the first New Moon after the most tumultuous astrology of 2018 is about taking action. But sometimes, the best step is choosing to wait for clarity, and instead allowing the universe to send you a message. Without intuitively and thoughtfully considering these first steps, the Full Moon in two weeks can work to block our efforts. 

If you find yourself feeling lost with this New Moon, unmotivated, or uninspired, you're probably looking in the wrong places. In this dark of the Moon, the best place to look is within yourself, and its there that you'll discover the vision needed to make any new path successful. A supportive trine to Pluto in Capricorn provides access to all of those unconscious narratives that keep tripping you up and holding you back. But to grasp those insights requires some intense introspection. 

The Virgo path is the path toward self-improvement. Virgo understands well that the improvements are endless. Bettering oneself is not an easy thing to undertake, but with this New Moon, the visions we seek can point us in the right direction. But don't fall into the trap of believing that you need to resolve all of your stuff, that you need to cleanse, purify, and scrub away every defective and broken piece before moving forward. Accept that you're human, that you have flaws, and that life is dirty. All of those dirty and perceptively broken places are what make you who you are. 

When approaching the path of self-improvement, it's important to accept that perfection is not the goal. Instead, the journey toward a better you is all about the journey itself and how it changes you. The path of self-improvement has little to do with achieving this towering goal and proving to the world how incredibly disciplined and focused you are. It's not you that changes you. We are shaped and sculpted by life, etched into something we could never have imagined. Neptune here reminds us that we are made "better" by what happens to us. 

So, accepting yourself the way that you are, in all of your wholeness and innate divine perfection is how you improve. It's through loving and seeing ourselves as complete that we can humbly accept that life can make us better. But we have to trust life to do that, and we have to trust ourselves to see it through. And with this New Moon, its about trusting the darkness and loving the mystery and all that it can teach us. Mercury in its domicile is an influential teacher, so look for synchronicities, omens, signs, or a guide who may come in any guise. 

Editing, pruning, and decluttering are Virgo's primary tactics. Mercury in Virgo can undoubtedly notice all the details and flaws. You can apply received insight and a seemingly infinite focus to many things--yourself, a project, goals/objectives, a relationship, or just your life overall. Look for the various ways you can augment your reality, but be kind to yourself. In your scrutinizing, be careful what you choose to believe about yourself and your potential. 

Lastly, Venus is entering Scorpio alongside this New Moon. Aside from a momentary dip back into Libra in November, Venus will not complete its transit through Scorpio until January 2019. Venus isn't comfortable in Scorpio, and her retrograde cycle beginning Oct. 5 can uncover many layers of secrets, truths, and rare insight within our relationships. 

Venus in Scorpio is blunt, honest, and real. Venus adds more profound complexity to the New Moon conversation. And Venus' t-square with Mars/Uranus stimulates a desire to break free of routines in our relationships and our approach to creative projects. However, be cautious with committing too deeply to any new fling, or responding solely to your impulse desires when it comes to investments. Venus' upcoming retrograde cycle will be a phase of revaluing what brings us joy and what feeds our heart. Utilize the Virgo/Mercury powers of discrimination to see past any glamour or gloss. 



Is the Jupiter/Uranus Opposition Still Relevant?

Somewhere in central California; photo by Chad Woodward, 2018. 

Somewhere in central California; photo by Chad Woodward, 2018. 

The short answer is yes. An opposition is 180 degrees and while Jupiter and Uranus' current relationship may not be exact, precisely, they both occupy opposing signs. Whole sign aspects were widely used by ancient astrologers, and they're still relevant today. With Uranus retrograding back to Aries, and Jupiter heading for Sagittarius soon, this oppositional relationship will only last until Nov. 7. 

Uranus in Taurus is still something we're all adjusting. Its entry into a new area of your chart and life will be making waves for the next seven years. With Jupiter's current involvement, the genius/innovative, radical revolutionary takes on a more bombastic quality, and changes come about more easily. Exploring the house Taurus rules in your chart could provide insight into the themes currently undergoing a revolution/liberation in your life. 

Jupiter & Uranus were in exact opposition from Dec. 2016 through Sept. 2017 in the Aries/Libra axis. Their cyclic conjunctions, squares, and oppositions lead to electric revolutionary impulses in the political, scientific, and creative landscapes. The combination of Jupiter/Uranus is inherently innovative and original, inspiring many to seek freedom in new frontiers or to release themselves from the status quo, with notable success.

So from now until early Nov., this broad Jupiter/Uranus oppositional relationship gives you added motivation to revolutionize some part of your life. Think in what way you could go above and beyond your limitations to bring something fresh and exciting into the foreground. The Moon's transit through Taurus Aug. 31-Sept. 2 pulls this theme into conscious view and has the advantage of helping generate palpable results. 

With the Sun in Virgo also stimulating an earth grand trine with Uranus & Saturn, we're experiencing a unique fusion of elements. Both the practical and novel weave together quite beautifully right now, assisting in the implementation of a different look and feel to things. Experimenting with unusual approaches can lead to new forms and designs. Pushing known boundaries might result in shifts to areas which have been stagnant for far too long. And the current earth energies help maintain reasonable, concrete focus for the avoidance of going too far. 



Mars Direct+Mercury Square Jupiter

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Strength, vitality, willpower, and momentum will return over the next few weeks. Mars is stationing direct in Capricorn, which might feel like our actions aren't manifesting the concrete results we so desire. Transient frustrations are possible, but use this time to double up your efforts and sharpen your focus. Life will return to its normal pace soon enough. 

Mars in Capricorn is helpful for specifying a target, enthusiastically prepping for future challenges, or revitalizing ambitions. If you want to get to the mountaintop, adequate preparation is required like gathering essential supplies/resources and physical conditioning. So yes, some effort is needed, but nothing pays like the satisfaction of knowing you're primed and well adapted. 

In the midst of the earth element influx (Mars in Capricorn, Virgo Sun/Grand Trine), efficient strategies prevail, but more innovations are coming soon. In looking back since Mars turned retrograde in late June, how has your trajectory/target been altered? More alternations are likely in the latter half of Sept. via the third Mars/Uranus square. The Mars retro narrative continues. Set up a stable foundation for your initiatives now so they'll withstand the unexpected. 

But some potent Mars-like vigor is surprisingly available to all, even those who might feel exhausted. For anyone that has been running on pure adrenaline, the now waning Moon will assist in calming down. In two weeks time, the New Moon in Virgo is a rest/destress milestone, so adjust your schedule accordingly. 

Mercury's third square to Jupiter can feel a little redundant. As was the case earlier this month, watch for ideologically charged ego battles, or inflamed debates over who's right or wrong. Question all positions, assumptions, and dogmas, even your own. You can constructively refine beliefs, theories, and opinions in light of knowledge previously concealed from view. However, now that Mercury is direct, big ideas have greater impact and outreach.



Shifting Tides: Full Moon in Pisces 2018

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, Sedona, Arizona; photo by Chad Woodward

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, Sedona, Arizona; photo by Chad Woodward

Full Moon @ 3 Pisces 12'

August 26, 2018

4:56 AM Los Angeles

7:56 AM New York

12:56 PM London

7:56 PM Beijing

9:56 PM Sydney

After the crossfire of three eclipses plus Mercury and Mars retrograde in July/early August, this Full Moon in tropical Pisces is a welcome reprieve. Complications which arose over the last few weeks finally get an opportunity for resolution. Devoid of challenging aspects to the Moon itself, this lunar culmination is helpful for pulling projects or situations together or otherwise reclaiming confidence in a larger purpose.

Mars is stationing direct in Capricorn the following day, which magnifies a willingness to engage in prolific productivity. Finding an endpoint becomes more relaxed with this lunation, especially with an earth grand trine formed between the Sun, Saturn, and Uranus, all supporting the Full Moon. The strong presence of the earth element is helpful for concrete actualization or for acquiring tangible results from consistent efforts. 

Neptune is currently transiting with the Moon in Pisces, which excites the waning Jupiter/Neptune trine from the previous week. Outer planet aspects have a longer shelf life, so this lunation certainly has mystical, creative, and visionary elements. In mutable Pisces, this Full Moon is a definite marker of shifting tides. Real, tangible transitions are now afoot, and with Mars turning direct, hurdles and hesitations will soon cease in the following two weeks.

Pisces evokes contemplation, compassion, and the desire for self-transcendence. The culmination of this Full Moon is helpful for detaching from excessive worry or self-doubt and engaging more fully in what fuels passions. While the Full Moon energy is often outer-directed, this lunation carries a robust inner calling. If you require some time to yourself to reflect or focus in on what matters most, these symbols are highly supportive. 

The main point of tension is Venus' applying square to Pluto which adds an element of intensity to relational interactions. Venus/Pluto suggests working to create authenticity in stable relationships, as opposed to giving in to the temptations of drama or fleeting seductions. The Sun in Virgo and its earth grand trine with Saturn/Uranus, however, serve as a powerful grounding point, which may correlate with a need to engage more fully in pragmatic tasks or endeavors.

The interplay between both the timeless archetype of Pisces and the earth elements suggest that this is an optimal Full Moon for getting wholly consumed in some work, practice, project, or duty which fuels the heart. Yes, the earth grand trine can incite an obsessive focus on what needs to get done or accomplished to the point of losing sight of other needs or obligations. Pisces' negative face might lead to escapism through productivity. 

But after the many setbacks of the last few weeks, it might feel good to dig into something concrete. Look around for things that are reaching culmination or completion with this lunation. Perhaps you'll see the tangible results of a daily practice coming to fruition, or a plan you've been mulling over finally coming together. And trust that within the next few weeks, the usual pace and momentum will return, so reap any benefits of this Full Moon and prepare yourself for larger initiations just after the Virgo New Moon Sept. 9. 



Virgo Season & Earth Sign Synergy


Virgo season has arrived. For northern hemispheric dwellers, summer is on the wane, though you will notice that nature has begun to transition and change (the signs of spring have emerged also in the southern hemisphere). As the Sun enters Virgo this year, it comes into a grand trine with Saturn and Uranus, exact Aug. 25. The synergy between Sun/Saturn/Uranus in earth signs is incredibly palpable, synthesizing pragmatism, ingenuity, and precision. 

For adding a unique touch to the daily grind, freshening up an otherwise monotonous task, or giving the overly radical a more credible look, this earth grand trine can do it all. With the Sun in Virgo until the equinox Sept. 22, consider those things in life which desperately need more clarity. Virgo season is a time to get coordinated in daily routines, emphasizing duty, service, and contribution to others. And this year, the productivity flow is almost effortless.

Yes, Virgo is known for its potential obsession with perfection, but at the heart of that lies a commitment to the ideal. Getting better at something always motivates the path toward self-improvement. And improvements can always be made. You might notice shortcomings more than usual, but don't lose sight of the need to do your best and move on. Getting hung up on the fact life doesn't exactly match up with the ideal can be problematic.

The Full Moon's culmination (Aug. 26) following the peak of the earth grand trine is incredibly motivating for taking on or tackling critical projects. The earth element is all about making mental constructions concretely manifest. Consider what you need to materialize the next few days, and what needs improvement and augmentation. Getting closer to health and fitness goals, gaining more competence in your job/calling, or just taking care of anything that needs tending, this is an optimal time. 



Earth Influx: Capricorn Moon & Earth Grand Trine


With the Moon's transit through Capricorn the next two days, the earth element is dominant. The Sun enters Virgo Aug. 22, and Mars is stationing in Capricorn, too. Practicality and a steady stride win out over emotionality or blazing bravado. After the recent eclipse/retrograde saga, we can ground down and get more engaged in anything requiring tangible results. If you're watching the sky, note the waxing gibbous Moon near Saturn against the star swarms of the milky way. 

Through tonight (Aug. 20) and tomorrow (Aug. 21) comfort is harder to come by. But for extended focus/concentration or a catalytic push, the Moon through Capricorn is helpful. It's not uncommon to feel emotionally detached or challenged under these Capricorn vibes. Mars' station can constellate passion, desire, or enthusiasm, which can be easily confused with stagnation. 

Use this time to get specific. Mars' station will be active for at least two weeks, but the momentum is returning. Locate the bottom line, and work consistently toward distillation and clarification. Once the Sun enters Virgo Aug. 22, it comes into an earth grand trine with Saturn & Uranus. For ironing out a technique or organizing all aspects of life, Virgo season is perfect. 

The earth grand trine at the end of this week is incredibly integrative, connecting disparate elements, both time-tested and innovative. And building up to the Full Moon (Aug. 26), there's likely a lot to get done and accomplished. For business enterprises, maximizing fitness goals, or overall decluttering, the next few days offers a nudge toward various pragmatic ventures.



Mercury Direct & Jupiter Trine Neptune

Mercury direct.jpg

Alongside the first quarter Moon in tropical Scorpio, Mercury stations direct. While this is the end of Mercury's retrograde cycle, obstacles, setbacks, detours, miscommunications, and irritations gradually fade out and get resolved. Still, residual glitches and frustrations are likely the next several days. 

With Mars retrograde until Aug. 27, we don't get a clear and unhindered push until about mid-Sept. Of course, do what you usually do, but if you're considering a full-on barrage into some new terrain,  next month is far more ideal. But now that Mercury is direct in this waxing gibbous phase, we can regain our strength and willpower, and put the pieces back together. So stay focused, but still, take your time. 

Jupiter trine Neptune encourages a faithful adherence to our vision or spiritual practice. And this waxing Moon increases our engagement with any current process. Leaps of faith, however, require extra caution/consideration now. The Moon through Sagittarius over the weekend kicks up idealism and spontaneity. These Jupiter/Neptune vibes can arouse compassion and sensitivity, but can also tempt us into avoidance of duty. 

Jupiter's trine to Neptune is the final of three aspects since last Dec., but its correlations are prominent until Jupiter enters Sagittarius in early Nov. Under Jupiter/Neptune, there's a tendency to ignore the nitty-gritty reality of things and favor the bigger picture or how things could be. Idealism is helpful for creative innovation, but problematic when we apply it to situations requiring a sober assessment. 

Still, Jupiter/Neptune gives us increased access to a belief in ourselves or what we're currently doing. For empowering those who have lost their faith, this has been helpful. This weekend's peak energy allows for opening ourselves up or cultivating a holistic perspective of life in general. If you can remain skeptical and discerning, this Jupiter/Neptune trine can feel enjoyable and affirmative of a larger purpose. 



Trust Your Bliss: Partial Solar Eclipse in Leo 2018

By Zeynel Cebeci [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Zeynel Cebeci [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

New Moon/Partial Solar Eclipse @ 18 Leo 42' 

August 11, 2018

2:58 AM Los Angeles

5:58 AM New York

10:58 AM London

5:58 PM Beijing

7:58 PM Sydney

This month's New Moon is a partial solar eclipse in the tropical sign of Leo. It occurs against the backdrop of both Mercury and Mars retrograde. If you've felt like you've had to maneuver around extra obstacles, setbacks, or delays lately, you're not alone. Technical, mechanical, and communicative glitches are ubiquitous during the backtrack of the tiny and flighty planet Mercury. 

And within this potentized field of eclipses and Mars' retrograde cycle too, life can feel more unpredictable and less willing to agree with our expectations. Random annoyances are part of the deal. However, this is also a prime season for profound life shifts and changes of perception. And this Leo New Moon/eclipse can help us see a new path forward that we didn't know existed. 

Leo has a reputation for drama and excessive audacity. Leo's ruler is the Sun, the King/Queen of the solar system after all. Leo's emphasis is on the expression of creativity and affirmation of one's existence. Leo wants to be acknowledged, but not always the center of attention. Indeed in its negative face, Leo can become overly self-absorbed or addicted to applause/validation. If there were an archetype for pathological narcissism, Leo's bad side comes somewhat close. 

This New Moon/eclipse in the vibrant sign of Leo encourages visibility and self-expression. Occurring near the lunar North Node, it represents a profound shift in confidence and creative potential. This eclipse is profoundly bound up with a desire for more acknowledgment, respect, recognition, and of course, fun. With Mercury retrograde closely conjunct the New Moon/eclipse, it helps us make critical revisions and adjustments while breathing new life into ongoing creative projects. 

Jupiter's square to Mercury and the eclipse represents an optimistic thrust forward, but be mindful of arrogance or over-confident, leaps of faith. It is still the dark of the Moon, so tread carefully. Fact check, read the fine print and discuss things before jumping in. Don't indulge in more than you can process. Consider seeing yourself and your creations through a new lens or perception. Experiment with fresh approaches for communicating yourself to the world at large. 

When it comes to pushing forward with current projects or situations, remember to take your time and go with the flow. Both Mercury retrograde and eclipse season require patience and flexibility. Often, the greatest ideas come to us when we aren't actively looking for them. Consider the mantra of legendary, Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, "I do not seek. I find."

Open yourself up to the joy of discovery with this eclipse, which requires less attachment to results and more engagement with the process. Yes, Mercury retrograde induces some second-guessing, and this eclipse can undoubtedly feel overwhelming, but it invites us to bring some new element into our lives and reconsider how we playfully participate in the creative, evolutionary flow of the cosmos. 

How are you feeling the eclipse? Feel free to comment below. 

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Close Encounters: Earth, Sun, Moon, and Mars

Photo by  Georg Slickers  via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Georg Slickers via Wikimedia Commons

Mars is nearing an intimate flyby with our home planet soon. Intimacy in astronomical terms is about 35 million miles, but if you've been paying attention to Mars lately, via the night sky, you've seen that's quite a statement. On July 26/27 (depending on your time zone), Mars will make its exact perihelic opposition to the Sun. 

If you looked down from above the solar system, you would see a straight line formed between the Sun, Earth, and Mars. If you could somehow perceive the orbital paths of these objects, you'd notice that both Earth and Mars run along an ellipse and that both planets were at their closest points relative to one another. 

This opposition of Mars and Sun is one of three rare and significant events at the close of this month, and all of them involve the infamous, red planet. Following the Sun and Mars' exact opposition, a total lunar eclipse occurs July 27/28, entirely or partially visible for much of the globe except North America and Greenland. 

This eclipse occurs in conjunction with Mars, as the red planet emits its orangish-red beams just beneath the eclipsed Moon. This eclipse will also be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting about an hour and 42 minutes for those on the direct path, such as Eastern Africa and the Middle East. 

And finally, on July 31/Aug 1, Mars will make its closest approach to the Earth, crossing that roughly 35 million mile mark. Mars hasn't been this close to Earth since 2003, and before that, nearly 60,000 years. We are speaking of a few million miles difference for some other Sun/Mars perihelic oppositions, but when it comes to astronomy, numbers seem to count. 

In astrology, Mars is a challenging planet to integrate. It's not a "bad" planet, that is, it doesn't always portend tragedy or crisis, but its emergence into both the personal and collective field is often uncomfortable. I believe that's because Mars is a catalyst, and whether we're responding to pain, anger, or fear, something is prodding us into action. 

Mars' perihelic opposition to the Sun always occurs during Mars' retrograde cycle, every two years. When Mars is retrograde, it's a chance to make adjustments to our aggressive, sexual, and passionate nature. But this cycle, Mars is a little bigger and brighter than usual, and perhaps that physical closeness relates symbolically to a heightened sense of passion, lustiness, aggression, or a willingness to fight. 

As an astrologer, I think that the archetype of Mars exists within us all, but that everyone's response to it is different. Mars has a "primal" vibe, in that it relates to thoughts, feelings, or compulsions which are seemingly beyond rational control. As Mars makes its opposition to the Sun, that primal wave will take over the ego momentarily, and we are given a window into that unfiltered, and untamable void. 

It's what we do with our passion, rage, or fear that matters most. Some things are beyond our control. People may trigger us, a health issue can arise, or an accident. Perhaps nothing so serious shows up for you, but you're feeling fed up with the way things presently are. Catalysts can arrive both inwardly and externally, but what we do with them, how we let our experiences define us, is indeed the most critical work. 

The synchronicity of a historical lunar eclipse and Mars' closest terrestrial encounter is both beautiful and intimidating. Always, on the global stage of political/cultural changes, we see the most cartooned version of astrology, such as a building aggression surging out of control. But with Mars retrograde, something different might show up, a critical adjustment or shift in the tide of war. 

With Mars on the lunar South Node, we know that some karma has ripened, some past, unresolved or unexpressed frustration seeks closure and release. With the Sun now in Leo, nearing the lunar North Node, we can only do our best to take the higher road, to stand confidently and courageously in our power while acknowledging the heart. 

Leo's positive face is that of generosity but also humor. Taking things too seriously could blow up in our faces. The higher road might also suggest the lighter path, where laughter is good medicine and reminds us of our humanity. Beware of the pitfalls of extreme alienation or "higher than thou" attitudes. Remember that a unique feature of humanity is the necessity of community. 

The negative face of Aquarius, the tropical zodiac sign both Mars and the lunar eclipse will reside, is anti-social-like apathy or the rebel without a cause. A Mars-like field as potent as this reminds me of Carl Jung's hypothetical enantiodromia, which warns us that when we polarize against an evil other, we risk eventual assimilation of that which we fight.

In looking at the astrological clock, it's evident that we could all use a catalyst, so let us be thankful for the reminder that life is worth living and that there are things worth fighting. Mars is the warrior after all, but a warrior defends what is sacred and vulnerable. There are harshness and injustices in the world, but Mars inspires us to protect what matters. 

In our fighting, let's not lose sight of compassion, or fall into the trap of making our enemy a literal embodiment of evil. There are profound lessons in a moment of terror, and immense strength acquired through every battle, no matter how small. And when you look out into the world, realize that everyone is in the midst of a personal crusade, even if you can't see it. Use that insight to connect yourself to the greater whole, and perhaps not feel so alone. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Free Yourself: Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius 2018

By Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Lunar Eclipse, Star Dune, and Elk) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Lunar Eclipse, Star Dune, and Elk) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse @ 4 degrees Aquarius 45'

July 27, 2018

1:20 PM Los Angeles

4:20 PM New York

9:20 PM London

July 28, 2018

12:20 AM Dubai

4:20 AM Beijing

6:20 AM Sydney

8:20 AM Auckland

At the end of July, a total lunar eclipse will be entirely visible from the Middle East, Central and East Africa, Central Asia, and Antartica, while West Africa, Europe, Austrailia, New Zealand, South America, and the Eastern Caribbean will see a partial lunar eclipse (Iceland and West South America will catch some of the penumbral phase). Pretty much everyone except those residing in North America and Greenland will witness some or most of the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. Totality will last an hour and 42 minutes for those first regions listed.

But even more uniquely, this long-lasting lunar eclipse will conjoin the planet Mars while at its brightest since 2003. Those lucky enough to see it will witness a diminishing of the Moon's reflective light and the piercing, red glow of Mars beneath it. In fact, during a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns a reddish orange hue. So, both the Moon and Mars will be distinctly red beacons in the night sky. 

If you're unable to see this historic event, you can still witness the extra brilliance of Mars as it makes its peak opposition to the Sun on July 26/27 and then closest approach (and brightest shine) to Earth on July 31. Mars is currently retrograde, which happens when the red planet reaches its perihelic opposition to the Sun every two years. Read more about that in my article here. 

Okay, now for the astrology. Cue the shrieks of terror! Mars is not a friendly planet. It's the God/Goddess of war. War is not pleasant; it's divisive and hostile. But divisiveness is an essential part of life. In fact, tension, frustration, destruction, even combativeness can be healthy and appropriate at times. Have you ever been in a relationship with a sociopath, malignant narcissist, or otherwise abusive person? Have you had a tick attached to you, gleefully enjoying your blood? The best solution to those problems is a fundamental Mars function. Cut your ties! There are situations in life when peace and love are not useful options.

By Farhan Perdana (Blek) from Jakarta, Indonesia (Lunar Eclipse: Umbra) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Farhan Perdana (Blek) from Jakarta, Indonesia (Lunar Eclipse: Umbra) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

In astrology, a lunar eclipse is an extra-potent Full Moon, and when total, it's even more powerful. So a lunar eclipse is a dramatic peak, culmination, crisis, or ending. Something has reached its furthest state of growth and achievement. As mentioned, Mars is also reaching its peak of brightness just as the Full Moon/eclipse culminates. Coincidence? I'd like to say it's a byproduct of synchronicity and an intelligent universe. We have two peak experiences reaching their peak at about the same time. 

As always with astrology, significant events like this are not massively substantial for everyone. If you have planets or critical placements around four degrees of tropical Aquarius, you should pay more attention. And for those residing in the regions where the eclipse is most visible, we may see some significant events develop around these themes in those places in the following weeks or months. 

With the lunar eclipse/Full Moon in Aquarius conjunct Mars retrograde, and in square aspect with Uranus, these are some seriously volatile and rebellious vibes. Confrontations as a result of diminished freedom, autonomy, or individualistic expression are all highly possible manifestations of this eclipse. "Enough is enough" is a potent phrase for this eclipse, especially with both Mars and the eclipse conjunct the lunar South Node. For those that have been oppressed, dominated, or kept silent, this lunar eclipse provides an empowering surge of retaliation and rage. 

If this eclipse speaks to you, and it will speak to us all in some way, it encourages a fight for individual rights. It stimulates the bravery needed to demand freedom and to liberate oneself from stagnant situations. As an air sign, Aquarius expresses itself through thoughts, ideas, and information. Perhaps this eclipse empowers us through knowledge or an enlightening, objective perspective on reality. However, with Mars retrograde, and the Moon at its peak, this is not necessarily an ideal start for a revolution. Those seeds were planted in the distant past.

Chart for the Total Lunar Eclipse July 27/28, 2018. 

Chart for the Total Lunar Eclipse July 27/28, 2018. 

Here, at the Full Moon phase, we are reaching the peak tension, and the consequences of our actions will come upon us soon. As the Full Moon/eclipse culminates, it would be wise to be extra cautious with overly risky endeavors, or intentionally putting yourself in situations where danger is a high possibility. Pushing yourself or others past reasonable limitations might not go too well. Using the mind's power of reason, and cool rationality, take a good look at your feelings, impulses, and reactions and assess whether or not you should indulge them. 

Consider long-standing situations which have caused you to amass frustration, anger, or resentment. Consider in what ways you've been held back or not allowed the freedom to be who you are or to follow your unique path in life. Notice how those situations are reaching critical points of crisis or culmination, and how you can handle the situation the best way possible. Perhaps, you'll need to cut ties, or maybe you'll need to set firm boundaries and divisions. Either way, Mars is assertive, and this Full Moon is not your usual lunar culmination. 

Conversely, as mentioned, this is a South Nodal eclipse, which brings up the past in a dynamic way. And given that Mars is retrograde, unresolved, past conflicts, or the eruption of unexpressed frustration could be a major theme of this eclipse. The karma has ripened, as the saying goes. With the lunar North Node in Leo, conjunct the Sun raging and roaring in its home sign, the eclipse opens a pathway forward which requires increased visibility, self-expressiveness, and passion for following through. 

And sometimes, an excessive focus on rebelling or being different can be alienating. The North Node in Leo conjunct the Sun suggests coming into the light and moving out of isolation, which takes courage. The Sun in Leo says that it's time to speak up and be heard. This eclipse requires more than embracing individuality or jumping onto the next revolutionary bandwagon. It's an invitation to create a bridge into the real world to allow yourself to be an effective truth speaker or freedom advocate. After the war is over, life must go on. Free yourself. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Defying Boundaries: Mars Retrograde 2018

Base jumpers; photo by  Xof711

Base jumpers; photo by Xof711

This year, Mars turns stationary retrograde on June 26/27 (check time zones below). On this day, the red planet will stop moving, reverse direction, and appear to move backward for about two months. It'll pause again around Aug. 27/28, returning to its usual west-east path and ending its retrograde cycle. 

Mars retrograde happens every two years as it reaches its perihelic opposition to the Sun. When this happens, Mars is closer to the Earth and appears brighter in the night sky. In fact, when Mars is retrograde, it's visible throughout the entire night due to the Sun's opposition. 

This July and August, Mars will outshine Jupiter, making it the second brightest planet in the sky (except for the Sun and Moon, of course, which are considered planets in astrology). For skywatchers, this is an optimal year for viewing Mars, whether with naked eye or telescope. 

Mars will reach its closest approach to Earth on July 31, a few days after reaching maximum brightness at the exact opposition to the Sun on July 26/27. This year is the nearest approach Mars has made to Earth since 2003. Mars will be roughly 35 million miles away from us, compared to its average distance of 140 million miles (though still incomprehensibly far).

And before 2003, Mars hadn't been this close in nearly 60 thousand years. Will Mars' closeness to the Earth this year give us some extra juicy Mars drama? Perhaps. In looking at 2003, there were some interesting Mars-like events like record-breaking heat waves in Europe (causing 35,000 deaths that summer), historic wildfires in California and Germany, and the initial stages of the "War on Terror" via the Invasion of Iraq (which reached its 15 year anniversary earlier this year). 

Did I mention that Mars has a 15-year cycle? Mars will be retrograde in both Aquarius and Capricorn this year and turning stationary retrograde near the lunar South Node. The last time Mars turned retrograde in Aquarius was in 1971. Just days before its retrograde station that year, then U.S. President Richard Nixon certified the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age to 18. 

Also, the Apollo 15 mission, the fourth manned mission to the Moon, literally goes to the Moon and back within this retrograde period. The 1971 Mars retrograde cycle was the first time the lunar rover drove on the Moon's surface. I want to point out that sending some guys in a rocket ship to the Moon to drive around in their new all-terrain vehicle is hugely Mars-like. Interestingly, the first manned-lunar mission occurred just 13 days after Mars stationed direct in 1969 (that time, at the first degree of adventure-seeking Sagittarius). 

Dave Scott on the rim of Hadley Rille at Station 10 during the Apollo 15 mission; photo by  NASA .

Dave Scott on the rim of Hadley Rille at Station 10 during the Apollo 15 mission; photo by NASA.

How Will Mars Retrograde Effect You? 

I don't believe that Mars' closeness to the Earth has any physical effect, which is to say that just because Mars is closer to us, doesn't mean that it's causing anything to happen. I view astrology as having a correlative or symbolic significance. So how will Mars retrograde correlate with changes in your life?

Unlike Mercury retrograde (which occurs quite frequently but isn't always significant for everyone, every time), Mars retrograde is rare, but its most notable impact likely happens when it stations retrograde or direct on prominent places in our horoscopes. 

You might read that Mars retrograde isn't a good time for starting a business, a new job, sexual relationship or otherwise living your life as you would typically do. We could probably find evidence to corroborate some of that, but honestly, I wouldn't stick to that view dogmatically. 

When Mars is retrograde, you can still have great sex and launch into new directions, but you need to be extra mindful of acting solely on impulse. When Mars is closer to the Earth during its perihelic opposition and retrograde cycle, the Mars archetype gets louder. If we imagine that Mars is the archetypal warrior and trailblazer, then those impulses within each of us get a bit magnified. 

Perhaps, you'll find yourself or others feeling extra lascivious. You might notice the rise of inner assertiveness or less tolerance for those who infringe on your boundaries. You might see some usually timid people feeling audacious, more willing to make bold moves. Controlling a temper could be a problem. 

And with Mars stationing near the lunar South Node around June 26, you might find yourself needing to release some unresolved anger, anxiety, aggression, or face some unresolved conflict or fear you couldn't deal with before. Mars dares us to live and defend our right to do so. 

Living doesn't stop just because Mars is retrograde, though because it appears to be moving backward, we might find ourselves reviewing or reconsidering how we're utilizing our inner Mars. During this time, we're collectively building up momentum and giving our actions, desires, and impulses extra thought and attention. 

Also, since Mars is opposing the Sun during its retrograde cycle, it's making a somewhat rebellious statement. Since the Sun is the ruler of the solar system, and Mars is in opposition and retrograde, Mars is less restrained by the Sun's rule and control. Thus, during Mars retrograde, we might find ourselves or others more likely to break the rules. This rebellious theme is especially pertinent this cycle because Mars will backtrack into a square aspect to Uranus.

Sometimes those rules were self-imposed or enforced on us by family, society, community, culture, or authority figures. When Mars is retrograde, we are tempted to break free of restraints or restrictions to forge new paths for ourselves with either positive or negative consequences. When Mars is retrograde, we're more prone to crossing new boundaries and thresholds which once contained us. 

If Mars stations or is retrograde near critical placements in your chart, especially if making difficult aspects, you might need to be extra cautious about pushing yourself too hard, trying to force something to action prematurely, or seriously watch your temper or immediate, automatic reactions (violence represents the negative extreme of Mars energy). 

While this Mars retrograde cycle might not be a good time to start an actual war, rebellion, or revolution (those instigating the fight aren't likely to succeed), its a good time to check in with how we've allowed others to control our actions. And observe how we have silenced ourselves or kept our inner warrior from getting what it wants and deserves. 
Mars retrograde, especially at the stations (June 26 and August 27), can limit or even slow down our momentum. While sometimes frustrating (or amplifying repressed or unacknowledged frustration), it gives us a chance to reconsider our current trajectory or gain more clarity about our ultimate target. If you find yourself losing steam or unable to act with confidence, utilize this retrograde period to regain your strength, courage, willpower, and passion so that you'll be ready to launch when the time is right for you. 


True color image of Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft during its February 2007 flyby of the planet; photo by  European Space Agency & Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research for OSIRIS Team ESA/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

True color image of Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft during its February 2007 flyby of the planet; photo by European Space Agency & Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research for OSIRIS Team ESA/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Mars Square Uranus, Mercury Retro, and Eclipse Season

Due to its retrograde cycle, Mars will square Uranus three times this year. It made its first square on May 16, one day after Uranus entered Taurus. The second, retrograde square occurs on Aug. 1, and the final square happens on Sept. 18. The most problematic square is likely to be in early Aug., with both Mars and Mercury in retrograde. 

Taking significant risks at that point without full consideration of the consequences, or lacking a very carefully laid out strategy could lead to problems. If you find yourself unable to move forward at this point with specific plans, intentions, or ambitions, step back and reassess. 

If you intend to move forward with some important matter in the first weeks of August, be prepared for unexpected changes, detours, delays, setbacks, or breakdowns and plan accordingly. The combination of Mars and Uranus is highly volatile and unpredictable.

On another level, however, this combination of planets in late July/early August gives us an opportunity to define and defend who we are on a deeper soul level. While you can expect considerable resistance from others, the tension inherent to this aspect can be helpful for strengthening a commitment to a unique path or destiny. 

Working at a higher level with Mars/Uranus will likely require upsetting other people for the sake of being true to ourselves, but ignoring our authenticity can be equally painful. With the Mars/Uranus square occurring alongside Mercury retrograde, don't resist the flow if you feel obstructed. Sometimes, the best thing to do is wait things out, at least until after Aug. 18/19. 

Also, consider that from July 12-Aug. 11 we'll be in a triple eclipse season, so this will be a profoundly transformational period for many of us. Both prominent retrogrades and eclipses often lead to significant changes of direction, focus, and perception. Consider that your current plans or intentions are likely to change in the coming months quite suddenly, so remain flexible.  

Johannes Kepler's depiction of the geocentric motions of Mars, from  Astronomia Nova  (1609).

Johannes Kepler's depiction of the geocentric motions of Mars, from Astronomia Nova (1609).

Mars stationary retrograde @ 09 degrees Aquarius

June 26, 2018

2:05 PM Los Angeles

5:05 PM New York

10:05 PM London

June 27, 2018

1:05 AM Dubai

5:05 AM Beijing

7:05 AM Sydney

9:05 AM Auckland

Mars stationary direct @ 29 degrees Capricorn 

August 27, 2018

7:05 AM Los Angeles

10:05 AM New York

3:05 PM London

6:05 PM Dubai

10:05 PM Beijing

August 28, 2018

12:05 AM Sydney

2:05 AM Auckland

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Inner Spirals: Full Moon in Capricorn 2018

Ortler Alps in Italy; photo by  Friedrich Haag

Ortler Alps in Italy; photo by Friedrich Haag

Full Moon @ 6 degrees Capricorn 28'

June 27

9:53 PM Los Angeles

June 28

12:53 AM New York

5:53 AM London

8:53 AM Dubai

12:53 PM Beijing

3:53 PM Sydney

5:53 PM Auckland

As the Sun sails through the sensitive and perceptive sign of tropical Cancer, the Moon reaches its cyclic opposition in the cool, hard edges of Capricorn. For the Moon, Capricorn is not a comfortable place. As this Full Moon culminates in conjunction with Saturn, we might find ourselves meeting some vast limitations through which we can more clearly define and prioritize goals and objectives. 

The crises end of this lunation might look like an awkward confrontation with a world that doesn't readily cater to our deepest needs. Collectively and personally, we might significantly feel the enormity of things a bit more than usual. Saturn doesn't give anything away. It suggests to us that even in following our heart, we must sacrifice and discipline ourselves if we want to find success. 

For some of us, depression,  pessimism, and self-doubt are some possible manifestations of this Full Moon energy. No matter how you respond, a significant level of pressure arrives with this lunation like the inevitability of reaching a critical deadline. And Mars' retrograde station alongside this heavy, lunar culmination gives each of us a lot to contemplate. For some of us, this Full Moon could quickly put the brakes on things or act as a symbolic obstruction. 

If you find yourself holding on to anger, agitation, hopelessness, or fear at this lunation, trust that you can move through these feelings and find a way forward as the Moon begins to wane. As the Full Moon culminates, it invites us to take a moment to look inwardly and acknowledge some deep places constructed from our pain. This lunation offers us the harsh implication that hardship is an inevitable part of the human experience. 

Saturn reminds us that discomfort is a natural part of maturation which is the engine of life. One of the most difficult of truths is that death feeds life. We are intricately entwined in this sacred dance: as one life ends it spirals into yet another. This month's Full Moon stands at the gateway of some challenging but profoundly transformative astrology in the following weeks. 

The Sun is applying to a wide trine with Jupiter which offers hope and some building confidence. A water grand trine formed between the Sun, Jupiter, and Neptune in the first week of July will help to shatter the heaviness and constriction of these Full Moon vibes, opening new doors, expansive frontiers, and rekindling the imagination. 

Trust that as you move forward, you'll soon discover new paths and perceptions. Embrace the reality we all have a mission and some significant work to do in this world, but that it just takes time to chisel your way through. Take some time with this Full Moon to fully contemplate your choices and sit with any surfacing discomfort. Growth is hard, but not growing is even harder. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Reaching for Clarity: New Moon/Supermoon in Gemini 2018

Photo by Jessie Eastland

Photo by Jessie Eastland

New Moon @ 22 Gemini 45'

June 13, 2018

12:44 PM Los Angeles

3:44 PM New York

8:44 PM London 

11:44 PM Dubai

June 14

3:44 AM Beijing

5:44 AM Sydney

7:44 AM Auckland

June's New Moon/Supermoon in tropical Gemini creates a fresh start for new ideas, perceptions, theories, and dialogues. Gemini, a mutable air sign, provokes a desire for intellectual and experiential diversity and stimulation. While every New Moon has a lower energy vibe, as it is a natural period of rest and recovery, the extroversion of Gemini seeks out new experiences and understandings. The close proximity of this New Moon to earth amplifies the voice of the unconscious and inner self. 

Combined with some other background astrology, this Supermoon/New Moon works to clarify as well as pronounce individual needs and willpower. The Sun is separating from its square aspect to Neptune, and thus this lunation can represent a period of emergence from disillusionment or an idealized/romanticized perception of reality. While the fog is beginning to clear, we are taking those first steps toward a more explicit understanding of things backed by facts, evidence, and environmental feedback. 

Mercury, the New Moon ruler, has recently entered Cancer, a water sign more attuned to psychic and imaginal dimensions. Mercury's square to the centaur object Chiron can accentuate certain flaws or defects in our ability to articulate feelings and emotional content. Chiron's square to Mercury represents the challenge of vulnerability, either the dangers of too much or too little. Chiron invites us to make the effort to heal blockages preventing us from authentic communication and the expression of our true feelings.

Mercury's applying opposition to Saturn, exact June 15/16 may correlate with a period of increased sobriety and realism. Saturn's opposition to Mercury represents a greater confrontation with perceptual limitations which can be useful for focusing concentration but difficult if we fail to grow our communicative tactics. Saturn's opposition to Mercury in the days following this New Moon can heighten negative or pessimistic thinking, but can equally help us gain a more realistic perspective of certain situations. 

Venus enters Leo shortly after this New Moon, engaging in a square aspect to Uranus (exact June 14). Combined with Venus' opposition to Mars (exact on June 21), we are entering into a potentially volatile or disruptive period for relationships until the latter end of June. As the New Moon begins to build, consider that dynamic changes need to be created in present commitments, allowing more space for freedom and the expression of desires.  

As this New Moon sets in, keep close to the facts, practice truthfulness and authenticity. Glossing over certain details could lead to some very real problems, but this lunation is a dynamic stepping stone into the more challenging astrology towards the end of this month which will be easier to navigate if we prepare ourselves. Reframe your expectations now with this New Moon, and try your best to look at things from a more honest vantage point. Reach for clarity in whatever way you can. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Surrendering Certainty: Full Moon in Sagittarius 2018

Photo by Lakshmi Sawitri via Wikimedia Commons 

Photo by Lakshmi Sawitri via Wikimedia Commons 

Full Moon @ 08 degrees Sagittarius 

May 29, 2018

7:19 AM Los Angeles

10:19 AM New York

3:19 PM London

6:19 PM Dubai 

10:19 PM Beijing

May 30, 2018

12:19 AM Sydney

2:19 AM Auckland

May's Full Moon occurs in tropical Sagittarius just before cerebral Mercury enters its home sign Gemini. A Full Moon in Sagittarius can feel expansive and its sextile to Mars punctuates the audacious nature of this mutable, fire sign. The rising enthusiasm that may accompany this Full Moon can feel impulsive and courageous. 

And with Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, receiving a sweet trine from Venus, there isn't too much tension inherent to this Full Moon except for a wide, applying square from the Sun and Moon to Neptune. First off, a water grand trine involving Jupiter, Venus, and Neptune is currently forming in the sky, and this influx of the water element enhances emotional and psychic sensitivity. 

The water grand trine brings in a wave of imagination inducing idealism that will peak in intensity at the initial start of June. And as the lunar cycle begins to wane shortly after the climax of this lunar cycle, we'll be inundated with a spiritual longing for transcendence or connectivity. The negative face of Sagittarius expresses itself through dogmatism or an oversimplification of reality. 

Remain diligently mindful of a tendency to reduce complexity or jump to conclusions prematurely simply to justify a belief. The Sun in Gemini and Mercury's ingress into this sign hold the opposing end of this Full Moon narrative. Both Sun and Mercury remind us about the importance of carefully considering the facts and double checking sources. 

Neptune's square to the Full Moon axis can generate a considerable level of obfuscation in regards to emerging news and information, a theme that will be persistent throughout the first half of June. But Neptune ultimately invites us to question and expand upon our carefully guarded truths and assumptions. The dissolving nature of Neptune offers humility as well as humiliation. Leaps of faith can be both liberating and devastating. 

This Sagittarian Full Moon brings us to the culminating endpoint of a quest or reveals the limitations of beliefs and ideologies. And now that the journey has culminated, we may be in awe of how much more there is to discover or how little we actually know. With this Full Moon, it might be best to surrender your attachment to certainty and allow the universe to reveal yet another layer of possibility. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


New Revolutions: New Moon in Taurus 2018

Photo by  Ira O. Villanueva  via Wikimedia Commons. 

Photo by Ira O. Villanueva via Wikimedia Commons. 

New Moon @ 24 Taurus 36'

May 15, 2018

4:48 AM Los Angeles 

7:48 AM New York

12:48 PM London

3:48 PM Dubai

7:48 PM Beijing

9:48 PM Sydney

11:48 PM Auckland 

This month’s New Moon occurs in tropical Taurus just hours before the planet Uranus enters Taurus, later followed by Mars entering Aquarius. With two planetary sign changes occurring alongside this lunation, this New Moon can symbolize a subtle, yet highly potent transitional beginning point. And with both Mars and Uranus making a square aspect to one another shortly after their ingress into new signs, we can anticipate an influx of impulsiveness, rebelliousness, and freedom seeking desires as we seek to liberate ourselves from the monotony of outdated routines.

Of all the zodiac signs, Taurus is the most immovable and resistant to change. As a fixed, earth sign, Taurean energies prefer to conserve and maintain a predictable or dependable stability. However, with Uranus entering Taurus (where it will transit for the next seven years after solidly entering Taurus in early 2019), radical changes are on the horizon for many things we thought were permanent or solid fixtures in our lives or within the world. For those of us with planetary placements or critical angles in Taurus, sudden, unexpected, and revolutionary changes are likely.

Despite the intensity of Mars square Uranus and both planets changing signs simultaneously, this New Moon still stands as a solid grounding point. The New Moon’s wide opposition to Jupiter also gives this lunation an auspicious and optimistic edge but combined with Taurus’ impulse toward pleasure and self-gratification, we’ll need to be mindful of going over the top or taking on too much of a good thing. Combined with Mars/Uranus and Jupiter opposing the New Moon, this lunation can symbolize the first steps in a process of stretching some aspect of our lives beyond its normal parameters or expanding our expectations of what we’ve thought possible.

But the New Moon in Taurus reminds us that no matter what may be going on in our lives, we’ll need to keep calm and find our center before taking action. Mars’ square to Uranus is the first of three squares this year due to Mars’ retrograde cycle from June 26 through Aug. 27. This first square indicates that whatever actions we feel we need to take now could later be revised, or a new course of action could suddenly emerge later down the road. Keep that in mind because the combination of Mars/Uranus can ignite impulsive or rash decision making.

Still, the New Moon in Taurus invites us to chill out and trust the process that’s just now beginning for us. Change is an inevitable part of life, and every change is a necessary function of evolution. At this moment, you might notice some subtle (or not so subtle) signals that something you’ve long thought to be stubbornly resistant to change is in fact not as solid as you have come to believe. Reflect on the house that Taurus correlates with, and you’ll probably find some powerful indicators of what area of your life is about to undergo a reformation. In fact, no matter how placid things might look on the surface, the revolution has just begun.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Unleash the Wildness: Full Moon in Scorpio 2018

Geysers of Tatio, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile; photo by Diego Delso via Wikimedia Commons.

Geysers of Tatio, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile; photo by Diego Delso via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon @ 9 Scorpio 39’

April 29, 2018

5:58 PM Los Angeles

8:58 PM New York

April 30, 2018

1:58 AM London

4:58 PM Dubai

8:58 AM Beijing

10:58 AM Sydney

12:58 PM Auckland

This month’s Full Moon occurs in tropical Scorpio, proceeding a conjunction of Mars and Pluto. Honesty, directness, and intensity are hallmarks of this lunation. A Scorpio Full Moon empowers us to seek and articulate truth. Quincunx aspects from both Mercury and Venus extend the reach of this Full Moon to our relationships and communicative exchanges, but with the Full Moon at the apex, critical adjustments are required in our interactions to create space for more authentic encounters, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.

With Mars, the ruler of the Full Moon separating from a conjunction with Pluto, primal instincts, impulses, and drives can be magnified to an extreme degree. Mars represents our ability to assert, defend ourselves, and claim our right to exist. Mars compels us to take action for the things that we want or desire. And from an evolutionary perspective, desires emanating from Mars originate from deeper motivations contained within the soul. As this Full Moon culminates, it can ignite awareness of how we may have held ourselves back from getting what we want, or it might confront us with limitations because we’ve overused our assertiveness, crossing too many lines.

The collective agreement we call “civilization” requires that we repress or subjugate the wild, untamed aspects within ourselves for the sake of maintaining order and control. For several thousands of years, human-created ideologies, religions, and philosophies have attempted to convince us that humanity is somehow elevated compared to the rest of the natural world. But as modern science progresses, we realize that there’s not much difference between ourselves and the rest of nature. We’re primal beings with primal needs, and no matter how “civilized” we’ve become, we cannot deny where we came from, and where we will return.

At the heart of Scorpio is a lucid awareness of the full spectrum of life and death and that we need humility to honor all of life. True humility comes from realizing our place in a larger, interconnected whole. While facing the truth of ourselves and what we are can be frightening and uncomfortable, living a lie is far more difficult to contend with. With this Full Moon’s wide conjunction with Jupiter, it invites us to dive in deep and explore what scares us. While we should be mindful of opening ourselves too much, revealing too much, or going too far too fast, this lunar culmination opens up emotional and psychic landscapes which need to be seen and felt.

In the watery depths of Scorpio, this is an emotionally sensitive Full Moon--instigating passion and releasing anxieties, desires, and hidden motivations. Or you might find it easier to glimpse dimensions of yourself and life typically concealed or forbidden. However you experience this Full Moon, either impactfully or subtly, look beyond appearances more deeply and push yourself a little further to see what you’ve been unable (or unwilling) to see. As intense as this Full Moon could be, the Sun in Taurus trine Saturn offers a grounding and solid foundation, helping us to patiently and consistently work toward personal and collective transformation.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Do Your Thing: New Moon in Aries 2018

Green field on Saint Martin Island, Bangladesh; photo by  Tahmid Munaz

Green field on Saint Martin Island, Bangladesh; photo by Tahmid Munaz

New Moon @ 26 Aries 02'

April 15, 2018

6:57 PM Los Angeles

9:57 PM New York

April 16, 2018

2:57 AM London

5:57 AM Dubai

9:57 AM Beijing

11:57 AM Sydney

1:57 PM Auckland

April’s New Moon occurs in the courageous and fiery, tropical sign of Aries, closely aligned with radical and novel Uranus (as well as the newly discovered dwarf planet, Eris). With Mercury turning direct several hours before the conjunction of Sun and Moon, this New Moon has a notably transitional edge and edginess. And with Uranus entering Taurus next month, you’re likely to feel as if you’re definitely standing on the fringe of a cardinal shift. Since Aries is, in fact, a cardinal sign, this lunation is highly catalytic--provoking action, motion, and momentum.

With Mercury retrograde in Aries the last three weeks, it came into a square aspect to both Saturn and Mars. Mercury’s challenging square aspect to two challenging planets could have slowed some of your plans, causing serious delays, or instigated internal frustration. However, it’s also possible that you were able to slow down your thoughts and zero in on your priorities these last few weeks. Naturally, Mercury retrograde gives us an opportunity to gain more awareness or learn a lot of new things in a very short period of time. 

As we approach this New Moon, we’re all probably feeling more than ready for a change. Uranus, the first planet discovered beyond Saturn in the 18th century, is well known for its change making effects since it was solely responsible for throwing out the old model of the solar system. If there are two archetypes that seriously epitomize the wild, untamed primal spirit within each of us, it would be the combination of Aries and Uranus. And Eris, discovered shortly after the millennial shift, equally threw the solar system into disarray, demoting Pluto and redefining the astronomical definition of what it means to be a planet.

We might anticipate some of that paradigm shattering archetypal energy to give rise alongside this lunation, and with Mercury’s station happening at the same time, prepare for some extra glitches in the established order of things. Wide, whole sign squares from Mars, Saturn, and Pluto definitely generate some tension for the New Moon. As you set out to begin new paths, or break free from past commitments, be mindful of your limitations and be respectful of certain boundaries. In its wholly negative manifestation, this New Moon can impulse some into overly disruptive or destructive actions resulting in unnecessary violence or other intrusions.

But this New Moon invites us to embrace chaos as a natural function within the universe. Too often, we repress who or what we are for the sake of maintaining the social order and status quo. Well, with this New Moon, it’s going to be exceptionally difficult to restrain much of anything. The wildness will emerge in some shape or form, and anything begun under this New Moon is destined for a highly unstable and unpredictable path. With the Sun’s parallel conjunction with Uranus April 18/19, don’t plan on holding yourself or anyone back this next week. Consider what needs to break free and how you might give yourself some extra space to simply do your thing, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


Working it Out: Full Moon in Libra 2018

Lighting in Dallas, TX; from NOAA Photo Library via Wikimedia Commons.

Lighting in Dallas, TX; from NOAA Photo Library via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon @ 10 Libra 45'

March 31, 2018

5:38 AM Los Angeles

8:39 AM New York

1:38 PM London

4:38 PM Dubai

8:38 PM Beijing

11:38 PM Sydney

April 1, 2018

1:38 AM Auckland

This month’s Full Moon culminates in the tropical sign of Libra, bringing to a head relationship issues, matters about agreements between ourselves and others. The sign of Libra seeks peace, compromise, and agreement. But a hard square aspect of the building Mars and Saturn conjunction (exact April 2/3 in Capricorn) to the Full Moon axis, presents some challenges and conflicts. And Mercury retrograde, which opposes the Full Moon from Aries and conjunct the Sun, brings our attention dynamically to the unresolved past. `

This Full Moon is a difficult integration, but it can be utilized to work through building tensions, frustrations, or disagreements in our relationships. Every Full Moon correlates with conclusion, breakthrough, or crisis. In its positive potential, this lunation can bring several issues out into the open, allowing us to articulate ourselves to others and speak up about things unaddressed. Mercury, still retrograde for another two weeks, suggests that we give ourselves extra time to process material presented by this Full Moon, and work to make adjustments and alterations which can be more decisively implemented after the New Moon April 15/16. 

The major challenge of this Full Moon lies in Libra’s tendency to avoid confrontation and conflict. As the Moon reaches its climax in this sign, it amplifies the collective need to make peace, forgive, and forget. However, Mars and Saturn suggest that no matter how well you might want to “just get along,” differences between people still require resolution and acknowledgment. Saturn’s need for growth, maturity, and consistent effort places some uncomfortable tension on relationships which require a realistic assessment. And Mars conjunct Saturn can accentuate striking disparities between people. 

A lack of harmonious aspects to this Full Moon suggests that no matter how uncomfortable, relational problems will need addressing. Sometimes, fixing the problem isn’t really the objective, but rather discussing and negotiating boundaries can be more efficient, allowing each party to accept and understand the limitations inherent in the relationship itself. For some, this Full Moon can correlate with a breaking point, where enough is enough and it’s time to change how they relate to specific people or make changes in their agreements. For others, this may be a critical point at which they push through limitations and obstacles preventing a more harmonious flow of giving and take. 

And as applicable to other life issues, this Full Moon can help us find more balance in our life, but only through an acceptance of responsibility and the hard work needed to make peace a possibility. Mercury’s retrograde opposition to the Full Moon gives us an opportunity to see our relating patterns from a new perspective and gives us time to actively make revisions or reconsider the places occupied by some people in our lives. But no matter what arises with this Full Moon, Libra’s emphasis on empathy and ability to accept paradox gives each of us the power to understand another’s perspective, no matter how hard that might be. This lunation is a powerful reminder that all relationships require work, and both sides need to make an effort to make things flow the best they can. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


On the Edge: New Moon in Pisces 2018

An Alpine Ibex standing on a rock in Gorndergrat; photo by Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons. 

An Alpine Ibex standing on a rock in Gorndergrat; photo by Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons. 

New Moon @ 26 degrees Pisces 53'

March 17, 2018

6:12 AM Los Angeles

9:12 AM New York

1:12 AM London

5:12 PM Dubai

9:12 PM Beijing

March 18, 2018

12:12 AM Sydney

2:12 AM Auckland

As we begin this new lunar cycle, the Sun, and Moon align in the latter degrees of tropical Pisces. As a mutable, water sign, a Pisces New Moon often correlates with nebulous and mysterious transitions. And just days before Mercury turns retrograde (March 22/23) we might feel ourselves on the edge of a prominent shift, but perhaps uncertain of the form it will ultimately take. Mars’ ingress into Capricorn alongside this New Moon further punctuates these permutable vibes. Pisces is amorphous, mystical, and gentle, but this lunation is anything but easy-going or light.

At the final degree of Sagittarius, Mars makes a hard square aspect to the New Moon, while the centaur object Chiron sits in close conjunction. Some may experience the surfacing of trauma, frustration, or even conflict. With Pisces, the possibilities are seemingly endless, because Pisces contains the memories of all prior zodiac signs, invoking an awareness that the universe is ultimately fractalized and interconnected. For those deeply sensitive, you might feel connected to the rising of collective fear, anger, and rage. You might sense the truth that pain is an inevitable part of living.

And reflected in that pain, is your own piece of it. In its negative face, this New Moon can be emotionally overwhelming and acting out or projecting frustration could easily hit the wrong targets. This New Moon invites us inward, to reflect on the source of our pain, but it offers a way to take the steps needed toward transforming it into gifts for the benefit of others. For this New Moon to manifest positively, we may need to really look beyond ourselves and consider things from a more holistic vantage point. Chiron’s presence at this New Moon juncture suggests a shift of attitude and perception about your faults, wounds, and defects. And Mars’ square, while challenging and aggravating, can just as easily catalyze action toward the manifestation of new healing potentials.

Jupiter makes an auspicious trine aspect to the New Moon as well, which gives access to hope, optimism, and the awareness of new doors opening. While Jupiter can, of course, dramatize or amplify the negative aspects of this New Moon, it stands as a beacon of new possibility and support. Situations which arise under this lunation are not as dire or hopeless as they may at first appear. In fact, this New Moon works to alter our perception of dysfunctional or “broken” elements in our lives so we can see their positive impact, and how they fit into a larger, cosmic scheme. If you could reframe just one thing in your life that stands a source of deep pain, what would it be?

Mars entering Capricorn soon after this New Moon changes the landscape quite a bit. We move from inward contemplation to a highly ambitious and challenging cycle which stimulates productivity, determination, and drive. Mercury’s retrograde cycle occurs in square relationship to both Saturn and Mars, which suggests that the following few weeks may require a patient and careful reworking of strategies, goals, plans, objectives, and projects. Use this New Moon as a dynamic starting point for learning to surrender and connect with your most critical priorities. As we enter this Mars/Saturn/Capricorn season clear through May, procrastination is no longer an option, and neither is carelessness in handling responsibilities. Take your time but remain diligent.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path