Happy first quarter Moon, and happy Jupiter trine Neptune day today. Plus, bonus material, Venus and Mercury are sextile today as Mercury is stationing to turn direct!!
Here's what to watch for, and then stay tuned to my YouTube channel today because I'm also providing a brief video blog covering the same transits:
* First quarter Moon's represent important turning points in each monthly lunation cycle. The first quarter Moon reflects a moment of "yang breakthrough," where the Moon is becoming lighter than it is dark. Of course, this means that some effort is required right now, and you might be facing some trials or obstacles. If we pay attention to the Moon's rhythms, we see that the same qualities appear each month at this time, and so we might learn how to handle things with more care and patience!
* This first quarter Moon has been in Scorpio, while the Sun is in Leo. Sometimes we mistake our ego's growth for spiritual growth, or sometimes we are challenged to give the ego a constructive role as we are growing spiritually. Power, motivation, intentions, domination, submission, loyalty and betrayal, manipulation and jealousy...these are just some of the powerful themes involved when Leo and Scorpio get together, most of which are complicated to deal with when we are trying our best to cultivate our consciousness and stay awake in the world!
* Meanwhile, Jupiter is perfecting its trine to Neptune. I discussed this at length in yesterday's video blog, but here are some of the highlights of this transit:
* Smoothness, grace, surrender, and fluidity.
* The appearance or arrival of teachers, gurus, etc.
* The dark or corrupt guru, the teacher seeking power, followers, fame, etc.
* The tendency toward inflation, grandiosity, idealism without grounding.
* The "effulgence" of spiritual culture...spiritual materialism, getting lost in the look or trend of spiritual life.
* The desire to make greater wholes, seeking unity, finding forgiveness, compassion, and charity.
* The biggest influences in our lives, who or what we associate with, and how it takes on a life or dimensionality of its own.
* Water, water, water.
* Emotional realizations, insights, projections, fantasies.
* The enlivening of our faith, belief, hope, or inspiration.
* Projecting ourselves to be something bigger or more magical, mystical, than we are.
* Dreams coming true, but maybe we realize we didn't want or need what we thought we did.
* The impulse to go big or go home.
* Seeing the divine in everyone and everything.
* Growth, growth, growth.
* Success but at what cost?
* Surrendering our desires and asking for guidance from people who know more than we do.
Finally, Venus and Mercury are sextile today, as Mercury is stationing to turn direct in Leo. Watch for:
* Harmonious communication
* Learning how to be more careful, thoughtful, diplomatic with words
* Learning how to be more balanced in speech
* An attractive person, a special piece of news, or announcement
* A positive reversal
* Coming to terms or reaching an agreement
* Recovering something that was lost
* Receiving criticism in a helpful/diplomatic way
* Offering apologies or compensation for an offense
* Justice, pride, fairness, balance, ego
* Explaining something carefully
* Revising a form or mode of communication, technology, teaching, or curriculum
The mood should brighten up and become a lot more buoyant in the next few hours, as the Moon enters Sagittarius and also moves to trine Mercury and sextile Venus.
Prayer: Give us the courage to hear your instructions, to check our egos, and to walk our talk. Teach us to be more than "right." Show us the path of your love.
The waxing crescent Moon is in Libra today, moving into a conjunction with Venus, which you should be able to see for a brief while in the western sky tonight, just after sunset, and above Venus and the Moon, Jupiter! When these three are close together, it's really a beautiful thing to see, so don't miss it. You'll also be able to see Saturn and Mars in the eastern sky tonight, so it's going to be quite a lineup.
Meanwhile, Jupiter is closing in on a trine to Neptune, perfecting over the weekend.
Here is what to watch for:
* The waxing crescent Moon in Libra reflects budding relationships, friendships, or business agreements, negotiations, compromise, and harmony, as well as finding general agreement, help, or allies. This is an empowered Venus right now, in her own domicile, and so she is ready to give her assistance to a young or new cause (reflected by the young Moon in Libra).
* A waxing crescent Moon with a conjunction to Venus in her own sign represents a very auspicious development in the journey of the month ahead. There is an aura of help, ease, refinement, grace, beauty, agreement, and harmony available today. I do not often talk about fast-moving, daily lunar connections, but they are sometimes very strong and can be incredibly important when tracking daily astrological changes. Today's conjunction suggests that whatever you might be working on or in the early stages of development with will find some strong form of help or confirmation.
* Of course, this does not make the transit inherently "good," in a spiritual sense because, as we know, "bad people" find success in this world all the time, and "good people" often build their egos on "good deeds."
* Similarly, one of the main reasons we study astrology, one of the main benefits of tracking the transits or seeing the planets reflected in any kind of event, however moral or immoral, minor or major, public or private, is that it reminds us that there is a greater universal intelligence guiding and directing everything. It reminds us that nothing escapes the vision and direction of the divine. So, seeing astrology reflected in the day to day events, it should not further entangle us in the drama and gossip, or the idle spectacles of the world, but rather astrology helps us to see everything in the divine and the divine in everything. If we do this carefully, in the right mood and spirit, then astrology may actually help us to gain some healthy distance from the streaming tickers and dramas of the world and return to a life lived in service to the divine whole, of which we are a unique part.
* If we take this insight and bring it back to the astrology of the day, described above, then we are left with a simple idea. As things are developing, and there is some Venusian agreement, help, or support to be found under this early waxing moon, then we might ask ourselves one question, "How can I use whatever support is presenting itself right now to serve the divine source of which I am a part?" Or, "have I taken a moment to recognize and thank the divine source for whatever support I am receiving since nothing really belongs to me?" Either question, if we dare to ask it sincerely, may lead us to slowly learning how to use the planetary transits in service to our original divine source, which can only enhance and deepen our spiritual lives.
Prayer: May we use whatever momentary good fortune that comes our way for your service. May we learn to feel the excitement of giving back to you, directly, from whatever we are given!
Mars has left Aquarius and entered Capricorn through its retrograde, meanwhile, Saturn and Uranus are in a tight trine with each other.
A few things to watch for:
* The sudden emphasis on "earth" is notable, especially as Leo season is now winding down and Virgo season is upon us.
*Because Virgo season marks the preparation for the harvest and the entry into the yin/dark half of the year, it is a good time for making many nuts and bolts changes, checking items off the "to-do" list, and essentially readying ourselves for larger or more sweeping and systematic changes we'd like to make to close out the year.
* Think of cleaning, preparing, organizing, and the gradual implementation of an entirely new structure.
* Saturn and Uranus together in a trine feature both conservative and progressive, even defiant, tendencies coming together, for good or bad.
* For example, Saturn and Uranus reinforcing the worst in one another can lead to hard clashes of ideology that result in stalemates, fingerpointing, and rhetoric cage matches, or, reinforcing the best in one another might lead to nuts and bolts, systematic changes that help create or implement an important new way of doing something or being in the world.
* Saturn and Uranus is about conservative empowerment, where the word "conservative" is an energetic and highly flexible word prior to it ever being a political word.
* How do we maximize our output, gains, or results, for example, while conserving our energy, time, or resources? Or, how do we build the structure to sustain or support a creative enterprise that may also suffer from too much rigidity, control, or structure?
* With Mars retrograde in Capricorn right now, Mars is back to its exaltation, signifying that there is more constructive Mars energy to be found right now. However, with Mars retrograde, we are still being asked to surrender, revise, reflect, or endure a period of prolonged waiting or delays, frustration or prohibition, at least temporarily until just after the Full Moon.
* Considering that Mercury also turns direct on August 20th, we can expect that late August, and most of Virgo season, will be a prime time to begin implementing the changes that have been building over the summer.
* For more on these energies, check out today's video blog on my youtube channel. Link in the comments section!
Prayer: Help us to create the kinds of material changes that will reflect and enhance the changes we've been experiencing on the inside.
Happy Solar Eclipse!
The solar eclipse in Leo just took place early this morning, eastern time, and was only visible from "most of Asian, far northern Europe, Iceland and Greenland, as well as a slice of northern and eastern Canada."
If you missed my discussion of the solar eclipse on my video blog, be sure to check it out on the home page. Just scroll down a few posts and you'll see it!
Meanwhile, here are some things to remember/watch for:
* Eclipses in Leo are essentially about solar things. In modern astrology, we tend to identify with our Sun signs more than any other planet in the birth chart. The Sun represents action, ambition, and an inborn sense of destiny or purpose that we each have. The Sun is like the plot of a good movie or the core motivations or desires of the protagonist in a novel. We are each compelled by a sense that we live our lives for a reason or a purpose, even if we fail to find or fulfill that sense of destiny or purpose, or even if we somehow define our purpose as an anti-purpose. Nobody can avoid taking action in the world, and even various forms of renunciation still involve "action." Of course, the Indian word for this concept is "karma." And so, you can think of today's eclipse as a "karmic" eclipse insofar as the Sun is a planet of action, destiny, and ambition. A solar eclipse in the Sun's sign suggests a shift of purpose or direction, or the end of one way of acting and being in the world and the introduction of an entirely new way of being in the world.
* The Sun can also easily step in and play the role of the "ego." What makes a good ego? Simply that the ego recognizes its nature as a servant to the unborn, undying soul, and in turn the soul's relationship to the divine source of which it is a part. When the ego's first question becomes, how might I serve my higher nature and the source, then our lives take on the effulgence of the Sun: a halo of light grows around us like the mane of the Celestial Lion. So, beware of all temptations to become bigger, more successful, famous, visible, powerful, authoritative, etc., and remember that all of these forms of success will eventually fall apart if we are not serving. Legacies in this world are born and then they die, but the legacy of that which is eternal is never born and never dies.
* The Sun is also about individuation. It is a joy to discover more of who we are as a spirit/soul. The more we discover who we are the more we will be filled with a spirit of generosity. Because the more we know who we are the more we are in touch with the wellspring of the divine, at which point our lives become the overflow of that knowledge, bliss, and eternality. The natural bi-products of real self-knowledge is generosity, tolerance, and humility. Though these qualities may seem "weak" to some, they actually find their perfection in the image of the cosmic Lion.
* Today's eclipse falls at around the 18th degree of Leo and is the last of the eclipses happening in Leo and Aquarius before the nodes change signs to Cancer/Capricorn in November. Be sure to check the house/topics of Leo in your chart, or planets or points near the 18th degree of Leo, or the fixed signs.
* If you want a sneak preview of where changes are coming next, just look at the Cancer/Capricorn axis of your birth chart. Eclipses will start falling in these houses regularly starting this winter!
Prayer: May we hear the roar of your mighty love today, pounding open the steel doors of our hearts!
There are SO many planets in retrograde motion right now. Does it mean something? What does it mean, exactly? This explains everything I'm going through, right?! I mean, RIGHT!?
Every day I receive questions about the daily astrological "weather," and every day I see people posting things about astrology. Lately, there has been a lot of commentary surrounding the fact that there are currently six planets retrograde (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). So today I thought I would take a moment to address this phenomenon and whether or not it means anything.
Things to consider:
* First, the sky is a mirror more than it is a causal agent. Or you could say that the sky symbolically reflects the ongoing decisions or judgments of the gods, regarding all different levels of karma simultaneously. So from this standpoint, nothing is messing you up and nothing is happening to you but the repercussions of your own karma and the karma of innumerable other beings. Have you ever been inside a crowded coffee shop where everyone is waiting patiently in line while one customer is flipping out about the wait, saying, "What is going on here? Oh my GOD!" And this person assumes that everyone else is just as stressed and irate as they are that their coffee isn't coming quicker? Then they say, "the service is really bad at this place," rather than simply recognizing that there's a long line and that they are rushed and hence projecting their own urgency onto the situation. Everyone has had an experience like this before, and sometimes we are even that very person throwing the Starbucks tantrum! In astrology, when we project the same feeling of being out of control, urgent, anxious, stressed out, etc., into the coffee shop of the cosmos, we generally say things like, "It's all those darn retrogrades! This is absurd!" And then we throw up our hands, create the most sarcastic and "#I'msofabulouslystressed" social media meme we can think of, blaming all of the planets in retrograde. All the while, we usually don't know what retrogrades mean, or how to interpret them, let alone how to interpret several planets being retrograde at once.
* If we looked in our mirrors at home and flipped out like this, people might call us overly dramatic, at best, but they could easily charge us with worse! So what to speak of looking at the divinely infused mirror of the sky and creating such a spectacle?
* The mirror of the sky, whatever it may say and however it may say it, should cause to become self-reflective rather than reactive. We should be taking our metaphorical sandals off and approaching the oracle of the sky with just a little more humility and reverence. One of the reasons we have objectified the cosmos and tend to think of the planets solely in terms of "influences" is that we like to think of ourselves as ultimately in control but CONTENDING with forces that are constantly trying to thwart us. So, like Toad's wild ride, we throttle around our lives, topsy-turvy, with all the symptoms of madness, clinging to self-effacing humor and sarcasm as the most socially acceptable forms of sanity. "I'm coping and just fabulously wrecked! Curse all these retrogrades!"
* So the question is, are planetary retrogrades really causing these so-called meltdowns or do people who melt down a lot tend to blame retrogrades, or maybe some combination of both?
* First, again, meltdowns are caused by people's own karma or an interaction of karmas that is complex beyond what we can comprehend or easily explain. Blaming retrogrades is not helpful.
* Second, even if retrogrades may adequately describe a loss of control, a flipped script, an upside down plot, or reversals of fortune that are maddening or frustrating, the key thing to remember is that they are "describing" them, not causing them.
* Third, our reactions to reversals, delays, blocks, breakdowns, or crowded coffee shops (cosmic or otherwise!) is where we have some free will to use. With practices that help us to steady the mind, we can begin to see these events as opportunities for correction, learning, and increased discernment. In retrograde symbolism, there is often an opportunity to see the limits of our own will or control over a situation (as planets that were once moving forward are now moving backward), and hence, because each event is divinely orchestrated, we can recognize the loss of control we experience as an invitation to take our seats again in the cosmic classroom. We may begin to hear the voice of our spiritual guidance system once more (Hermes, the guide of souls, we may recall, is the quintessential lord of retrogrades).
* When we do not react to the breakdowns, delays, and reversals that retrogrades describe, we may become a servant rather than a cosmically frustrated consumer raging inside the circle that never ends.
* More than so many planets being retrograde right now, the frustration of multiple planets in retrograde motion may be easily mistaken for the frustration that is typical of Mars being retrograde. Nobody really loves the god of war and will being retrograde because it often coincides with a more acute sense of having lost control.
* Because Mars retrogrades for a very long period of time, and because Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde for very long periods of time each year, it is not uncommon to see many of them retrograde at once when Mars is retrograde.
* Mercury is also retrograde at least three times, sometimes four, per year. It's not uncommon when Mars OR Venus turns retrograde for a long period of time for it to coincide for a period of time with a Mercury retrograde.
* Notice that nobody says, "Oh my god, there are so many planets in DIRECT motion right now. Of course, that explains everything!" Just like I observe in my practice each and every day that when there is any sign of promising financial or professional development in someone's chart the reaction is, "It's DESTINY!" but if there is any indication of a health challenge or relationship stress, the response is more frequently, "So how do I change that? That's negotiable right? I'm not a fatalist!" But to the extent that we mistake our whims for our freedom, we are all fatalists.
* We like being in control, and we like subjectively satisfying things. We don't like losing control, and we don't like subjectively dissatisfying things. In many ways, this is the most simple and profound message that astrology keeps predicting for us each and every day, year in and year out, inviting us each new Moon, each eclipse, and each bumper car derby of retrogrades, to try a different approach to finding happiness.
* So, are so many retrogrades to blame? Life is full of reversals. What goes up eventually comes down. What is young, eventually becomes old. What is exciting eventually becomes dull. Retrogrades frequently describe the come down that we don't like as much, but who exactly is causing us to suffer this situation, and why exactly is this realm filled with this pattern? If we start asking these questions more frequently, we will quickly discover an entirely different sense of ourselves, a spirit/soul just begging us for more quality time and attention, and we will once more hear the sound of something shimmering within and beyond these maddening cycles, singing us home again.
Prayer: Be our sacred syllable, Om, the beginning, middle, and end. Cool our frustrated minds with the white lotus of your patience.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.