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Astro-logical Forecast for Monday 4/18/2016: Sneak Peek at the Week; A Guide to Mars & Pluto Retrograde

Ease on into the work week.

Monday is driven by a Virgo Moon, seeking to be efficiently correct in its quest for a more perfect union. It went void at 8:29AM ET, first making easy contacts to Mercury and Pluto. It’s a self-sufficient blend of mindset and transformation that may gently glide you through a day of  focus on routine analysis and organizational efforts.

Roll with the twists and delays that may crop up in your efforts to move forward in a straight line. Crises that arise during voids are often much ado about nothing. Real-life example: a friend had an interview scheduled today — the second with this particular company. I told him last week that it might be rescheduled.  It was. No worries.

At 10:38AM ET disciplined Saturn makes an easy connection with Venus (money, women, art, love, beauty), facilitating a flow in the management of  resources and relationships. After today, matters related to Venus are subject to the supercharged disruption and/or empowerment suggested by 1) a square to Pluto on Tuesday at 4:49PM ET; followed by 2) a meet-up with Uranus at 5PM ET on Friday, in the aftermath of Friday’s Full Moon in Scorpio. Here’s what hit the headlines under a similar pattern last year.

Also of note: tomorrow the Sun leaves firebrand Aries for earthy Taurus at 11:30AM ET. That may bring the volume down a notch or two over the next few weeks. Moon voids this week are today (Monday) until 7:24AM Tuesday; Thursday 2:13AM ET until 8:17PM ET; Saturday 5:46PM ET until 8:46AM ET on Sunday.

The biggest news in the cosmos is  — as noted last week — Mars turning retrograde yesterday — Sunday — and Pluto turning retrograde today at 3:23AM ET.  Is that good or bad? That’s the question I most often hear when reporting on a planetary pattern. Good or bad — as if it necessarily must be one or the other. Isn’t it interesting how programmed we are to think in terms of duality? Why is that (she typed, rhetorically)?

Sounds like the perfect time to repeat the tale of the Chinese farmer. There are plenty of versions online. The first one that came up on Google is this one from the website of Dr. Marlo, a psychologist in Arizona.

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Planetary patterns are neither good nor bad. When it comes to choosing how to use these (symbolic) patterns, some choices are better than others. It depends on what you are trying to achieve!

Getting back to Mars and Pluto, neither of which are marshmallows….

Mars refers to energy applied; Pluto refers to “news from underground,” among other keywords noted below. It wasn’t surprising to note a series of earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador occurring as both planets were turning retrograde.

Retrograde planets symbolize an opportunity for introspection and review. They may also suggest a need to connect with an inner authority, as opposed to an external outlet.  If Pluto refers to power, control, regeneration, transformation and healing, one suggestion might be to cease trying to control the world around you.  Instead use the next few months (until September 26th), to work on controlling (mastering) your own inner world.  After your awesome inner focus, perhaps the world around you will start to reflect your newly-masterful self.   You’ll feel the potential for a change of perspective more personally if you have a planet or angle around 14 to 18 degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer — and especially Capricorn. Keep an eye on Governor Paul Le Page (R-ME), whose Sun is at 16 Libra.

Pluto is retrograde for months at a time, so unless its retrograde directly impacts your horoscope, you might not even notice it. Not so with Mars, which retrogrades “every two years or so,” according to an official NASA site, so it must be true.  That NASA site has a nifty animation explaining why planets seem to be moving backwards in the sky, btw.

As the planet of action, you might imagine that Mars moving backwards is not a comfortable orientation. Thus you may notice an uptick in the levels of irritation, impatience and frustration between now and June 30th, when Mars turns direct. Projects you thought were good to go since  February 17th, may hit an unexpected snag, as Mars backtracks over the ground it covered since then. Initially the issues involved may include free speech and other matters of opinion; collective belief systems (legal, religious), publishing, foreigners, sports and entertainment. Why? Because Mars is retrograding in Sagittarius. After May 28th, when Mars backs into Scorpio, we may note a shift to matters of sex, death and money. Whatever the hitch, bear in mind that there may be a second opportunity for a revision when Mars moves forward again, finally moving into new territory  when it hits 9 degrees of Sagittarius on August 23rd.

Depending upon where Mars is traveling through your horoscope, you may feel like a truck spinning its wheels in the mud. Frustration built up can lead to an urge to jump into reckless action. This is a potential pitfall of Mars retrograde. You are more personally affected if you have planets or angles at 8 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Pisces and especially Sagittarius.  You are also personally affected if you have a planet or angle around 23 degrees of Taurus, Aquarius, Leo and especially Scorpio. That’s where Mars will be sitting for almost a month starting in mid-June.

Right now Bernie Sanders has Mars squaring his 8 degree Virgo Midheaven, Adding to other patterns noted in prior forecasts this month, you can see why his public status could be energized by an invitation to jet off to the Vatican to deliver a speech to  global economic forum, as befitting his position as a U.S. Senator representing the people of Vermont. Bernie’s Ascendant is 25 degrees Scorpio, so June and July are also hot for his horoscope. Equal time: Hillary will have transiting Mars hitting her Midheaven during the second week of May. If the 8:02AM birth time is correct, let the record show that her Ascendant is 22 Scorpio — to be almost exactly hit  by Mars in June/July, still creating tension. Her South Node is 24 Scorpio — that’s a definite hit. Hmm.

Back to what it means for you. An appropriate use of Mars retrograde would be as an opportunity to plan an effective review and strategy in the area of your horoscope impacted. Think of a coach calling a time out on the playing field. Everyone gets into a huddle — literally turning inward.  Are those players sitting around doing nothing? No!

That being said, conventional astrological wisdom suggests caution when contemplating launching certain initiatives during this time:

A marriage contract
A sexual relationship
Filing for divorce
Elective surgery
Taking title to property
Buying a car
Hiring a new employee (unless it’s a temp)
Quitting your job in a frustrated huff
Starting a lawsuit
Signing a contract
Starting a war

When in doubt, consult your local astrologer about your own personal horoscope, which has a lot of moving parts!!

In a natal chart, Mars retrograde suggests a need to go over and over an action plan before letting it fly. Since we’re on the subject, Bernie Sanders has Mars retrograde in pioneering Aries. My money says he’s got “strategy” covered, but perhaps Mars retrograde reflects why it took days longer than you might think it ought to finally let his tax return fly. Equal time: Hillary has Mars in Leo — not retrograde — and in a supercharged meet-up with Saturn and Pluto, squared to an idealistic meet-up of Mercury and Venus.  Mars in Leo needs to act with drama and regal entitlement. With Saturn and Pluto, it has discipline and persuasive force in spades, channeled into how she needs to think and what she values and her social expression. Those five planets in fixed signs — not to mention her Scorpio Sun — can be tenacious as heck.

While her Mars is not retrograde, Hillary’s Mercury is retrograde, suggesting a need to go over and over things in her head before she commits them to paper or the spoken word. Perhaps that’s why she finds it so difficult to answer a direct question, such as whether she personally supports a carbon tax, with a simple yes or no. Fun Fact: Bernie and Hillary both have only one planet retrograde: rebel Uranus, suggesting — as astrologer Bil Tierney writes on page 191 of Dynamics of Aspect Analysis:

These individuals…often feel polarized or alienated by the social standards they nevertheless are expected to submit to.  Their desire is to know internal freedom before advancing social freedom. The inner path to liberation they tend to follow may seem counter-productive to what society wants or demands from such a generation.

Like Pluto, Uranus is retrograde for more than a few months at a time. Lots of people have it — perhaps even you.

Finally, my favorite “news from underground” story of the past few days: “Barn conversion unearths palatial Roman villa.”

Thank you for reading this forecast.




Astro-logical Forecast for Thursday 4/14/2016 & a Few More Days: Earth Grand Trine; Mars and Pluto RX Alert

Moon enters Leo at 9:53AM ET, ending the void it’s been in since 11:59PM ET last night. A Moon void suggests a higher probability of twists and delays in efforts to move forward in a straight line, which can be your excuse for any flakiness you experienced this morning. Pour hot water over coffee beans you forgot to grind? Been there; done that. Focus on routine concerns; chill if you can; don’t make a mountain over a molehill of crisis.

In Leo, the Moon facilitates a sense of play, creativity and self-expression. Let the drama queens reign, for better or for worse. Throw a party. Help others shine. A Leo Moon without love is a sad thing indeed. Be generous with compliments today and tomorrow; they will come back to you.

The only exact aspect today is an easy flow between Mercury in Taurus (thinking about material security) and Jupiter (expansion) in Virgo. These two are closely aligned in another easy flow with Pluto (power and resources) in Capricorn (the Establishment). All together, they make a loose Grand Trine in the Earth element. This suggests a potential for abundance — or at least the projection of material self-sufficiency. Interesting to note that the markets hit a high for the year yesterday — the second day of a rally. This is not at all unexpected.

Moon continues in Leo through Friday and into Saturday. It goes void at 1:48PM ET, entering Virgo to put things back in order at 7:23PM ET.  On Sunday, Mercury aligns exactly with Pluto, suggesting more of what we’re already seeing this week in terms of news from underground coming to light, likely involving power and resources. Such as? Such as this release of still more documents suggesting that Exxon knew — way back in the 60s — about the damage fossil fuels could do to the environment. Exxon denies these allegations.  Meanwhile, Oxfam released a report on the top 50 US corporations, alleging they have $1.4 trillion stashed in offshore accounts. Did you know that $1.4 trillion is more than the combined economic output of Spain, Russia and South Korea? Me neither.

More important: Mars turns retrograde at 8:14AM ET on Sunday. Pluto turns retrograde hours later at 3:23AM ET on Sunday. Mars and Pluto slowing down now suggest that matters involving boundary-pushing action/aggression and power plays are likely to pull greater focus in the headlines over the next several days.  They’ll pull greater focus in your own personal world wherever these planets fall in your horoscope. Consult your local astrologer for details.

The Virgo Moon will be void as of 8:29AM ET on Monday. It won’t get into gear until 7:24AM ET on Tuesday. So that gives us a whole day to adjust to the change of direction for Mars and Pluto. Note that on Tuesday, Venus (social expression, money, women, aesthetics) in me-me-me Aries clashes with Pluto at 4:49PM ET. On Thursday, we’ll have a Full Moon in Scorpio, accompanied by a Venus meet-up with rebel Uranus. We’re set up for a particularly dynamic week of action. Will have more to say on the retrogrades in the next forecast.

And now, more news.

The Sun refers to the heart. Uranus making contact with the Sun, as it did last Sunday, suggests a disruption involving the heart. How fascinating to read that a drug which forcibly lowers “bad” cholesterol and raises “good” cholesterol had absolutely no apparent effect on preventing heart attacks and strokes. This was a shocker. Meanwhile, headlines were abuzz yesterday over a revelation in another study done 45 years ago, but never published. Thousands of people were put on a no animal-fat diet. Instead, their diets included vegetable oil, specifically corn oil.  Not surprisingly, their cholesterol levels went down. Surprisingly, they saw an increase in the rate of heart disease. Here, the NYT weighs in.

Elsewhere in matters of energy and resources: the Senate seems poised to pass the first comprehensive energy bill since the Bush Administration. Let the record show that the bill is sponsored by two female senators reflecting yesterday’s Venus in Aries (pioneering women) trine Mars, perhaps. Yesterday a bill sponsored by another pioneering woman — Senator Elizabeth Warren — proposes simplifying tax filing for millions who do not itemize their taxes by putting the onus on the IRS to determine what is owed. If you’re wondering what impact energy and resources have on your life expectancy, this study concludes it depends on where you live — at least in the U.S. Check out your state here.

Here’s an uplifting Venus in Aries trine Mars in Sagittarius (schooling) headline: “Female Chief in Malawi Breaks Up 850 Child Marriages; Sends Girls Back to School”

Finally, Neptune — which dissolves whatever it touches — is currently challenging Mars (the head) in Sagittarius (pushes boundaries), as both are simultaneously challenged by Jupiter (expansion) in Virgo (detail). There have been a number of interesting stories about drugs hitting the headlines this week — but consider this one about what the brain looks like under the influence of LSD.  Boundaries dissolved, indeed!