Romeo finds his Juliet: a preview of Uranus' move into Taurus

Image courtesy of Robin Moore, Global Wildlife Conservation

Image courtesy of Robin Moore, Global Wildlife Conservation

How 'Uranus meets Taurus' is this romantic encounter between these almost extinct frogs, Romeo and Juliet?!? They have been brought together to mate to save their species.

Romeo: " really calm and relaxed and doesn't move a whole lot...he's healthy and likes to eat, but he is kind of shy and slow." Chilled and hungry = Taurus.

Juliet: "She's really energetic, she swims a lot and she eats a lot and sometimes she tries to escape." Uranus splits when life gets a bit boring.

Uranus does not re-enter Taurus until 6th March 2019 (and will remain there until Summer 2026) so we still have a few more weeks until totally new ground is broken in the Taurean realm.

The Moon entered Taurus today. That's like a much swifter, lighter touch rehearsal of Uranus entering Taurus. Romeo and Juliet's story is a micro preview (Moon) of what it's like to have your world turned upside down (Uranus).

That's not as catastrophic as it sounds. Uranus' job is to shake up whatever's got stuck and staid. Poor ol' Romeo's been waiting to meet someone special for 10 years! Taureans are famously patient.

We've already had a few pointers as to what Uranus will revolutionise in the coming seven years for society as a whole. While Uranus spent the latter part of 2018 in Taurus, veganism went mainstream, fintech exploded and concern for our environment sharpened. Taurus is all about resources. Uranus compels us to the think outside the box about how we generate, sustain and protect them.

This year, Saturn and Pluto inch closer together in Capricorn, Taurus’ fellow earth sign. Their proximity is bolstered by three Capricorn eclipses: we'll all be required to get real, meet our obligations and to work within our limits. When the majority of the outer planets are positioned in earth signs, our attention is directed to what's real, tangible and finite.

Jupiter is strong in Sagittarius for most of 2019 so we are also blessed with opportunities to adventure and to expand our horizons. Gambling under Jupiter’s auspices often pays off. Take your chances and enjoy the ride!

But the main astrological headline of 2019 is still Uranus' imminent move into Taurus. What does it mean for you?

Think back to last Spring, around 15th May 2018, when Uranus moved into Taurus for the first time since 1934. Mars squared Uranus the day after just to make sure you didn't miss it. That was a sneak preview of what's about to get turned upside down for you over the coming seven years once Uranus resumes zig zagging through Taurus in early March.

Taureans, people with planets and/or angles in the early degrees of fixed signs Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and/or Aquarius, and those with Uranus potently configured in their natal charts will all remember mid-May last year for sure. But, we're all going to notice something shifting because an outer planet changing sign impacts everyone to some degree.

One more thing. Uranus is unpredictable. Just when you think you know what's what, he'll surprise you from leftfield. It’ll be something beyond anything you could have imagined. A revelation.

The textbook response is to trash everything in whichever area of your life Uranus reveals himself. The urge to smash the whole thing to smithereens is not to be underestimated. Uranus invites you to break the mould. It’s obsolete: you need a new one.

Uranus wants you to breathe new life into what’s expired. Discarding the past to begin all over again from scratch is the obvious way to start afresh. But, it’s not the only way. After all, with Taurus, something always endures. Working out what that is and sustaining it is the challenge - even though it might feel as if ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ is the answer.

Besides, you have seven years of Uranus in Taurus to innovate on what to hold on to, what to nurture, and what to ditch. Take your time figuring out your version of the paradigm shift Uranus demands from all of us.

You may well conclude that a brand new start is the way forward for you. Aim for your response to Uranus to be a choice rather than a compulsion. Outer planet moves are often experienced as divine injunctions. Expressing a true personal response is much harder than being carried along with the collective reaction.

Steady, reliable and tactile, that’s Taurus. Uranus is an erratic, detached firework. It’s a much less congruous pairing than Uranus in Aries; the sign where Uranus has spent the last seven years, and where they shared a direct, sharp immediacy. The cycle of life keeps moving and carries us along.

Enjoy the ride.

With blessings to Romeo and Juliet, and fingers crossed, their baby frogs.

Today’s Full Moon in Capricorn: Have You Accepted Saturn’s Invitation To Grow Up?

Image 9114 courtesy of Pixaby

Image 9114 courtesy of Pixaby

A Full Moon is the culmination of a cycle.  The Moon’s light reflects what you’ve fed and watered since the seed moment.  

Today’s Full Moon at 6° Capricorn is disposed by and conjunct Saturn, the adult of the solar system.  Saturn's job is to make us grow up and to take responsibility for ourselves and our lives.  

Here’s where you’ll be feeling Saturn’s presence in your life based on your sun sign, and your rising sign if you know it.

Aries  Your work, career, public image and reputation
Taurus  Your learning, start up or other horizon-expanding venture
Gemini  Your most trusted connections, wealth and investments
Cancer  Your committed partnerships, significant others and collaborators
Leo  Your daily routines, diet and exercise habits, lifestyle
Virgo  Your romantic and creative life, pleasure and recreation, children
Libra  Your home, family and roots, property, origins
Scorpio  Your local community, social life, friends, siblings
Sagittarius Your income, finances, products, output, sense of self-worth
Capricorn Your priorities, appearance, vitality, approach to life
Aquarius  Your self-care, time out, inner life, privacy
Pisces  Your group endeavours, teams, network, causes

This current lunar cycle began with the New Moon in Capricorn on 17th January 2018.  Today’s lunation illuminates how far you’ve come since then, and how you feel about it.  

If in January you made a plan and followed through on it, satisfaction is one of your rewards.  Overcoming obstacles, coping with delays and accepting limits requires maturity.  Saturn cultivates resilience.  He obliges us to take a long term view.  Instant gratification is for babies.

If you didn’t quite get yourself together, or somehow got diverted from your plan, life might not feel so great right now.  It's ok.  Don’t waste precious energy beating yourself up.  Start from wherever you are and with whatever you have.  Hold yourself to account with kindness.

As Mars, the planet of ‘doing’, is newly retrograde in Aquarius, the other Saturn-ruled sign, moving fast isn’t possible anyway.  Analyse more carefully what your best course of action is.  With Uranus in Taurus, progress is slow and steady, not fast and flashy.  Take your time.

The Capricorn Full Moon reveals where we can all be a bit wiser, demonstrate a little more commitment, and set healthier boundaries.  It’s not meant to be easy.  Just necessary.  If you find yourself in a downward spiral, pause and imagine how a wise old woman might guide you.

Saturn is in Capricorn until December 2020 so there’s still time to engineer and work on your long-game.  Be patient and persist.  Especially when it feels boring, hard or impossible.  Which is nearly all of the time – until you begin to reap what you’ve sown and nurtured.

Clock The Good Stuff: Venus Conjuncts the Leo North Node Before Facing Off Mars


Tomorrow, Venus gets cosy with the North Node at 7 Leo.  

She'll be inviting you to notice what makes you feel good.  Whatever Venus suggests will bring you fulfilment (North Node).  Take note, and engage (Venus) in that direction.

The Leo feel-good factor will be both muted and underlined as Venus and the Node are quincunx serious, dutiful Saturn at 6 Capricorn.  It's awkward - but essential - to follow your heart (Leo).

Venus' uplifting vibe is also challenged by opposing Mars in Aquarius.  In a fixed Air sign, fiery Mars operates with cooler detachment.  And he's still charged by free spirit Uranus' square from Taurus.

The Venus-Mars opposition is exact in two days.  It's a pretty rare astronomical phenomenon.  These two last stood face to face in May 2016 and won't do so again until November 2020.  

Thursday's transit's origins are in the Venus-Mars conjunction of 5th October 2017 at 18 Virgo.  Whatever started then got tested at the opening square of that cycle on 25th February with Venus-Mars at 17 Pisces/ Sagittarius. 

Things comes to a head on 21st June when the transiting opposition perfects.  The tension climaxes.  

How do you balance a desire for harmony (Venus) and some respectability (quincunx Saturn) with what really turns you on (Mars), and threatens to turn your life upside-down (square Uranus)?  That's the conflict. 

How honest are you about your own - and others' - need for romance and attention (Leo)?  What do you do to make space for freer, social bonds - and time out from everyone (Aquarius)?  That's also part of the picture.

Given the rarity of this Venus-Mars match, everyone is likely to experience it in some way.  Your astrological chart will speak to which side of the Venus-Mars and Leo-Aquarius axes you align with more comfortably.  

It's a fine balancing act when planets meet head-to-head.  Will you handle this situation as drama or negotiate a way through?  You do have a choice as to how you respond.        

This opposition comes with extra spice as Venus and Mars confront each other at 9 degrees: the same degree at which Mars turns retrograde next Tuesday, until 27th August.  Time to reevaluate your actions.  

If you end up in a battle (or embrace - it's Venus and Mars, after all) at least you'll have a good few months to work it all out.  Venus also retraces her steps between 5th October and 17th November.  Revisit your values.

If you're already clear about where you stand on these matters then this transit is more likely to manifest as the result of how you've balanced differing requirements, and the retrograde phases are more a period of consolidation.  

Since Neptune turned retrograde in Pisces yesterday (for around 5 months), you might not care either way about any of this.  Still, now you've got a heads up, you can't say you weren't warned.

Chart by Astro Gold

Chart by Astro Gold

Boring is the New Black - Uranus in Taurus 15th May 2018, until 2026

Image by Comfreak/ 400 courtesy of Pixaby

Image by Comfreak/ 400 courtesy of Pixaby

This week is the ‘big one’ in the astrological diary for 2018.

Yesterday Mercury entered chilled Taurus and on Saturday Venus enters homely Cancer.  The week is top and tailed by two low key moves.  The main event is anything but. 

Tomorrow, Uranus bursts into Taurus at 16.24 London time for the first time in 84 years.  A New Moon in Taurus a few hours prior heralds this major shift.  

Uranus’ job is to shake things up.  Taurus embodies stillness and steadiness.  The planet of innovation is moving into a sign where things stay put.  It’s like a bolt of lightning through a tree.  Or an exploding rock.  

While he’s spent the last 7 years in Aries, Uranus has symbolised a vision of progress shaped by excitement, adventure and instant impact.  The elevated status of running your own start up and selfie mania are just two examples.  Aries is about beating the odds and ensuring all eyes are on you. 

For the next 8 years, Uranus is planting his feet on steadier Taurean terrain.  Dependability will count for much more than dynamism.

Boring is the new black. 

This shift in emphasis may not be evident overnight: Earth signs can take a while to get going, and Taurus is the slowest of them all.  Championing the willingness to ‘go for it’ will gradually be replaced by a sense that a sensible, measured approach backed by solid numbers is the way forward.

Or will it?  Uranus is the most unpredictable of all the planets. 

Exactly how our relationship to wealth and self-worth – Taurus governs both through money and values planet Venus – will change is unclear.  Still, all things Taurean will be turned upside down one way or another over the next 8 years.

The banking system, the main custodian of our wealth, is already grappling with open banking and challengers.  Fintech players and investors who can break the rules to reimagine a system (Uranus) which delivers enduring stability and reliability in a practical, fuss-free way (Taurus) will be handsomely rewarded when Uranus reaches the end of Taurus in 2026. 

Meanwhile, Pluto, the planet of root and branch restructuring, continues to pace through Capricorn until 2024.  The banking crisis began when Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008.  Now with Uranus in the sign of banking, the banks will have to demonstrate real accountability.  The time for radical change in our financial institutions is finally here.

As the first of three Earth signs (Virgo and Capricorn follow), Taurus lays the foundation of the tangible realm.  Our physical bodies, our senses and our environment.  

Is the growing momentum behind veganism a sign that we're embarking on a healthier relationship with our food, how it is produced and what it really costs us as a society?  Uranus in Taurus favours prudent, creative use of limited, precious resources.  Then again, how realistic (Taurus) is it that most people can give up meat and dairy products?

The shock of Uranus changing sign ratchets up on Wednesday when action planet Mars squares Uranus upon entering Aquarius.  The tension of this aspect is heightened by the fixed signs: “this is how it is (Aquarius) and I’m not budging one inch (Taurus)”.  It’s a clash between ideals of progress (Aquarius, Fixed Air) and unchanging reality (Taurus, Fixed Earth).  

The pent-up frustration of this square is already expressing itself in the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip following President Trump's decision to open a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

More global news stories will reflect the rearranged sky.  The royal family are likely to hit the headlines for reasons besides the imminent royal wedding.  The Queen's Sun is at 0 degree Taurus, the very spot Uranus will soon be occupying.  Several members of her family also have charts sensitive to 0 degree Taurus.    

Uranus meets the Queen’s Sun exactly, at precisely 44 minutes before the start of Harry and Meghan’s wedding at noon on Saturday.  Anytime between Uranus changing sign on Tuesday and 11.16am London time on Saturday, the Queen and the royal family will experience a momentous change.  

Here’s a guide to where you will experience a blast of Uranian fresh air over the next 8 years based on your sun sign chart.  The area of life governed by your Ascendant or rising sign, if you know it, also counts.

Aries             Your financial situation and self-worth
Taurus           Your whole life and identity
Gemini          Your place of retreat and spiritual life
Cancer          Your social circle and group associations
Leo                Your professional life and public reputation
Virgo             Your adventures and belief system
Libra              Your intimate relationships and joint investments
Scorpio          Your significant others and opponents
Sagittarius     Your daily routines and wellbeing  
Capricorn      Your romantic life and recreational activities
Aquarius        Your family and property
Pisces            Your siblings and neighbours

Rest in Peace Sunshine George and Everyone Else on The Other Side

Image by susanlu4esm / 431 courtesy of Pixaby

Image by susanlu4esm / 431 courtesy of Pixaby

It’s a gorgeous sunny day in London so I don’t want to spoil the mood but I’ve learned of three deaths today.    

A young man was shot and killed in my neighbourhood last night and a distant uncle whom I rarely saw, but whose brother and wife I know well, passed on Friday after 15 years of serious health problems.  The third person was the very lovely George who died just short of his 75th birthday on Monday morning.  

George and I met one Summer day a few years ago when he crossed my path totally randomly as I was leaving my then office near tourist hotspot Piccadilly Circus.  George was visiting London with his son-in-law Marc and they’d somehow got separated.  He was totally lost.  George had no phone on him and couldn’t remember where he was staying.

As I was trying to figure out what to do, I learned about George’s life story.  He was a very chatty, genuine and warm man so I felt like I’d known him for years even though we’d only just met. 

As a younger man, he worked in a fancy bank in New York.  George was a true banker, quite unlike the persona we’ve got used to hearing about since our financial institutions began crumbling.  When customers died, George was the only one trusted to physically return people’s valuables back to their families.  He knew how to sensitively and properly handle people when difficulties arose (as they nearly always do) in inheritance matters. 

George mentioned meeting Jackie Kennedy when she came in with items to deposit.  He was sweetly star struck rather than showing off.  It was evident he treated all his customers with care and respect, whoever they were.  He was a very down-to-earth kind of guy. 

Is this the kind of banking we’ll begin to return to once Uranus enters earth sign Taurus in just over a week on 15th May?  Game-changing Uranus’ imminent arrival in the sign of tangible wealth promises to shake up our relationship to money and possessions over the next seven years.  I can’t imagine a better role model than George for any bankers looking to restore their reputation.

Master storyteller George loved his job.  Still, the story he most wanted to tell me was the one about his beloved Mary.  He spoke very proudly of his wife, a feisty, splendid, red-haired Irish woman.  Since she had recently died, George said he didn’t know what to do with himself.  I got the clear impression that Mary wore the trousers and he really missed the direction she gave him.  It was very moving to witness how much he loved her and so sad that they were no longer together.  After London, George and Marc were due to visit one of Mary’s relatives in Scotland. 

To cut a long story short, I called George’s daughter back home in New York to find out where he was staying and then took him to his hotel.  Marc was very relieved to be reunited with his father-in law (and he was spared having to tell his wife that he’d lost her father). 

That evening, we all went out for a lovely Italian meal.  The next day we went on a boat trip on the Thames to Greenwich.  The weather was just like it is today and we had a lovely time.  London in the sunshine is fabulous! 

Just earlier today I was thinking about visiting Greenwich by boat again.  Only a few hours later I heard the sad news of George’s passing. 

George shone brightly like the sun, even when he was sad and lost.  He was delightful, hilarious company and a true gem of a gentleman.  I hope he’s together again with the magnificent Mary, and being bossed about by her, just as he wanted.

Rest in peace dear George, Uncle Kishore, the young man whose life was tragically cut short - and everyone else who is no longer here to enjoy the glorious sunshine.

Saturn and Pluto Change Direction with a Dog’s Tale and Death Cafés

Image by jplenio/ 287/ courtesy of Pixaby

Image by jplenio/ 287/ courtesy of Pixaby

Maisy the dog’s cancer diagnosis turns out to be four toy teddies she’d consumed, after stealing them from the Chihuahuas she shares a home with.  It's a funny story with a happy ending after a life-threatening, naughty start.  Also, death is something that happens to other people’s dogs.  And to other people.

Earlier today, I went to a three-hour talk: ‘Planning a Funeral (everything you wanted to know about a funeral but were afraid to ask)’ by an independent funeral director from Compassionate Funerals.  I like to do fun things on a sunny Saturday afternoon. 

The talk started with a demonstration of how a dead body is wrapped in preparation for death, with the help of a (still alive) assistant, a bamboo couch and some white sheets.  As a caring organisation, Compassionate Funerals prefer not to embalm bodies because it’s invasive.  Embalming requires making an incision in the neck, armpit or groin to extract a vein through which the blood which remains in the body after the heart has stopped is drained out and replaced with preservative formaldehyde.

The speaker explained how the embalming process continues and lots more besides on the specifics of what can happen when you die, how and when coroners get involved, death rates in the UK (they’re rising for the post-war generation; the numbers were much lower for those prematurely taken in WW2), the UK funeral landscape, and so much more.  I cannot choose which other bits to highlight as it was all so incredibly informative and fascinating. 

I’m surprised to say I now feel quite excited about planning my own funeral (we’ll be going through this at the next meeting) now that I’ve heard some examples of how others have made plans well ahead of time.

At this meeting, I also discovered the existence of Death Cafés.  In their own words, it’s a place where ‘people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death.  Our aim is to increase awareness of death and to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.  A Death Café is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session’.

Now that the two main astrological significators for death are retrograde, Saturn (since Wednesday and until 6th September 2018) and Pluto (currently stationed to turn retrograde tomorrow until 1st October 2018), a Death Café would be a good place to have a cup of tea at some point in the coming months.  It’s a time to reflect on being mortal.

As one lady in the group put it ‘if only we could choose when and how we go!’.  While that's tricky, we can organise practically and financially for what happens when our time is up.  Both Saturn and Pluto are in Capricorn, a sign that appreciates a long-term plan with a delineated path to the desired goal.  For starters, make sure you have a will.  If you already have one in place, make sure it includes a detailed funeral plan and circulate the plan to the people you trust most.

This is not just about preparing for the end.  What about right now?  When you arrive at death’s door, everything is stripped away and only the raw truth remains.  The funeral director and his colleagues regularly witness this with the deceased and the loved ones they care for. 

How real (Capricorn) can you get about who you are, and how you live now - with help from Saturn and Pluto’s wise, firm hands - instead of waiting until the end?  The clock is ticking.   

Today's Air Strikes in Syria

There is still hope in this sad situation

Image by quimono/434 courtesy of Pixaby

Image by quimono/434 courtesy of Pixaby

I woke up to news of today’s airstrikes in Syria by the US and its allies.  My heart sank.  Then I remembered that today Jupiter in Scorpio sextiles Pluto in Capricorn.  Did Trump see an astrologer before he choose today to exercise what he called ‘righteous (Jupiter) power (Pluto)’?

This post is not about the complexity of the Syrian situation, the merits of the decision to send missiles, or what the true motives behind firing them might be.  I just want to flag that while the consequences of today’s strike are yet to unfold, their timing means things are not as bad as they seem.

Jupiter sextile pluto: danger with benefits  

Today is not a day for any old gamble (Jupiter), but one that takes it to the wire (Pluto).  It’s a very good idea (sextile) to go that little bit further than you normally would (Scorpio sextile Capricorn).  Jupiter, the good guy, is in Scorpio: good fortune is in the darkness.  With Scorpio’s co-ruler Pluto as his partner in in Capricorn, a primitive urge overrides respect for society's institutions.  The feeling that one's survival is at stake fuels the 'give it a go' move that results from Jupiter and Pluto's connection. 

If ever there is a time for a British Prime Minister to act without Parliamentary approval -  a hot topic in itself - it’s today.  As a Libran, Theresa May’s whole life is about the struggle to make the ‘right’ decision.  'Prime ministers don't choose the decisions that face them. But they have to judge which way to jump', says BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg.  What others make of May's decision is another matter entirely.  

In a year in which there are no major encounters between the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, Jupiter’s beneficial hook up with Pluto is more significant than usual.  The planet of lucky breaks has got Pluto’s back.  A sextile is the best aspect: a balance of flow and effort.  It’s got legs.

Believe it or not - Jupiter sextile Pluto goes to the core of what you believe - there is hope hidden in this situation.  The positive side is hard to see right now as the drive to survive (Pluto) is stronger than the impulse for optimism (Jupiter).  Jupiter is in the dark (Scorpio), and retrograde, or appearing to move backwards through the sky. 

today is the best day in 2018 to take a BIG, scary risk

Today is the second of three meetings between favourable Jupiter and uncompromising Pluto.  The middle contact is often the most potent in three-stage transits.  The two planets met already on 16th January 2018; the roots of today’s strike link to that date.  The better side of this situation might only become more apparent after Jupiter goes direct later this year on 10th July, not too long after Jupiter and Pluto make contact for a third and last time on 12th September 2018.  Jupiter does not leave his retrograde shadow until a month later on 11th October, so something on this theme is still playing out until then, even after Jupiter resumes forward motion, albeit in a more muted way.

There is a new Moon in Aries on Monday, conjunct unpredictable Uranus.  Aries is the astrological home of the military, machismo and guns.  There is likely to be much more heated exchange (Mercury is also in Aries) on these themes in the month ahead, and of a nature we cannot yet fully anticipate (Uranus). 

Right now Mercury is stationing to turn direct tomorrow.  While he was retrograde, the inclination was to be less direct and more reflective.  As Mercury resumes forward motion, 'telling it straight' becomes the norm.   Whatever happens next is supposed to be informed by whatever came to light during the research period of this latest Mercury retrograde phase, which began last month on 23rd March.    

On 16th May 2018, Mars in Aquarius squares, and will be disposed by, Uranus.  That is the day after Uranus enters Taurus for the first time since 1934.  It’s a fever pitch day.  Perhaps the most dangerous one this year.  If the missiles had been fired on that day instead of today, that would be a lot more troublesome.  Having Jupiter in the mix today ensures a beneficial dimension.  Exactly how, is not yet obvious.  Today's strikes are too late to stop Assad's regime - but it might wake up the world to how close to the edge we are.  Much less ideally, Jupiter's luck could provide the political leaders of the U.S.A, the U. K. and France with a much-needed distraction from their challenging domestic situations.    

what risk will take you to the edge?

So, what do we do in all of this?  The planetary set up applies to each of us as much as it applies to Trump and May.  Today, the sky says 'take a big risk'.  Not a few small footsteps out of your comfort zone but something that really scares the sh*t out of you.  Does the risk terrify (Scorpio) you?  If not, it's not big enough to count (Jupiter).  Try something more spine-chilling (Pluto in Capricorn). 

Where specifically in your life you need to flirt with danger depends on where Scorpio and Capricorn fall in your chart.  The intensity of the push is determined by whether Jupiter and Pluto’s positions correlate to planets and/or other sensitive points in your own chart.  If there is no contact between their placements and your chart, you may barely notice the pressure.  If the ‘go for it’ message resonates for you, or has done so in the last day or so: do it.  Jupiter is watching over you.  Your story’s timeline is outlined above.

Mars is the principle of assertion.  This can manifest as aggression or violence.  When Mars comes into conflict with ‘do something completely different – it’s the only way’ Uranus, as he will on 16th May, it would be wise to accept that you do indeed have to do something you’ve not done before, or at least, do it in a very different way.  Aim to do so assertively from a place of confidence rather than aggressively from fear to minimise the risk of 'group think' extreme actions, and outcomes you might later regret. 

fight the good fight 

Another astrological factor to add to the mix: early next week, Chiron enters Aries on 17th April for the first time since 1961.  It's a time to revisit how we do and fight for things, even if it's painful.  How can we act in a way that heals rather than harms?  It's all about using the best of Aries’ competitive spirit to tackle all battles with honour.  Healing (Chiron) is now found in engaging directly (Aries) with the hurt (Chiron).  

On Wednesday, the day after, Saturn turns retrograde until 6th September.  The rules (Saturn) of engagement are also up for review (retrograde) over the coming months.  

Jupiter's January-September dance with Pluto this year enables us all to get closer to the underbelly of what 'doing the right thing' really means, and not just for our politicians. 

A Sunny, Square Day in London: Mercury in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn

Image by AlexVan courtesy of Pixabay 

Image by AlexVan courtesy of Pixabay 

It’s a sunny day in London - at last!!!  We’ve longed for Spring sunshine in England this year, after a biting cold Winter.  Then again, patience can be a good thing as today’s main planetary aspect, Mercury in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn, reminds us.

The fast, pushy energy (Aries) of something childlike and curious (Mercury) is being blocked or contained (square) by something older, wiser and more cautious – or boring (Saturn) – in a very practical, tangible way (Capricorn).

Squaring Off: Aries and Capricorn

A square is a challenge.  How do two signs which are essentially at odds co-exist?  Being positioned at a 90° right-angle to each other means the planets in Aries and Capricorn are not at ease with each other.  It’s anything from awkward to downright hostile.    

Either way, the underlying feeling is one of tension.  Mercury is the zodiac’s swiftest mover except for the Moon, so the ‘be patient’ note is more post-it than red pen.  It’s over quickly.  You might have felt it more yesterday.  The peak experience is often strongest during the anticipation.  

Take 1: The Harsh Version

Earlier today my elderly neighbour (Mercury) Jane told me she fell due to her ‘poor balance’ – Aries is the opposite of Libran balance.  Fortunately, Jane is not seriously hurt.  Her doctor says, ‘slow down, you’re getting older!’.  Saturn in Capricorn is both the doctor and the ageing process.

Can Mercury in Aries be a significator for an elderly female?  Jane stands out in her beautiful, bright African clothes.  She’s a white Welsh native who used to be married to a Nigerian gentleman.  Jane also regularly sets off on impromptu travels to feed her adventurous spirit.

Take 2: The Helpful Version

This morning I also learned that Vauxhall City Farm is running a ‘New Shoots’ employability skills programme for unemployed 18-25 year olds.  Aries is Spring, and new starts.  Like Jane, the participants are Mercury in Aries in spirit rather than calendar age.  Their energy is direct, and a bit random. 

The invitation describes ‘a fun, practical, hands-on, programme designed to…set and achieve your personal goals…develop real skills for work…and gain a new qualification’.  The supportive farm is Saturn in the final Earth sign Capricorn - you don’t get more earthy than a Farm!  It's a project with a purpose.

Be Patient not A Patient

While I’m relieved she’s not too worse for wear, Jane experienced the hard side of a Saturn square.  She got hurt.  By contrast, the farm is playing a responsible role in holding, stabilising and organising energy in productive ways.  That’s the beneficial side of today’s square.  Take care and play the long game.

Which side of the square do you identify with most?

Aries say something useful, acknowledging the ultimately fruitful, if frustrating, block you cannot avoid.

Capricorn be grown up while making space for a little dynamism to spice up your life.  It's good for you.

It might be easier to make sense of today by also taking into account what happened on 11th March and what might happen on 25th April, 2018.  These are the three dates when Mercury squares Saturn as part of Mercury’s current retrograde - direct, backwards and direct again – motion.

Why 2018 Begins In The Middle Of January And Your Resolutions Need To Last 3 Years

Sun in Capricorn Season
21 December 2017 - 19 January 2018

Image by Annette Keys courtesy of Unsplash

Image by Annette Keys courtesy of Unsplash

Got the New Year Blues?

Don't worry if you haven't quite pressed the reset button for the new year just yet.  Maybe you launched your resolutions but are no longer following them?

2018 started with an emotional release and a bang.  That's how it can feel when a new year co-incides with a Full Moon in Cancer, and Uranus stations direct after 5 months of retrograde, or backward, motion.

Magical Moons Switch It Up

A total lunar eclipse and Supermoon in 'watch me' Leo at the end of this month is the culmination of last August's attention-grabbing Leo total solar eclipse.  That's a whole other story.

This blog post is about the Capricorn new Moon on 17 January.  The days following this lunation is when your new year really begins.  

Capricorn Rules O.K.

The new Moon joins the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Pluto in disciplined, determined, eyes-on-the-prize Capricorn.  It'll be much easier to get - and to keep - going with your resolutions from then on.

As most of the planetary pile-up in Capricorn squares firecracker Uranus in Aries, something can turnaround your determination to succeed beyond the fears and doubts that usually hold you back.

Go For It 

Action planet Mars and 'give it a go' Jupiter are still close enough in laser-focused, fixed Scorpio that whatever you initiate at this new Moon, you're unlikely to be thrown off your course of action.  

Scorpio is Mars' natural turf.  Just go with your gut and - with a push from Jupiter and a shove from Uranus - then some.  There is a risk you may go too far.  Just as excited new year's eve partygoers do. 

Be Productive Not Reflective

There are no planets in Air at this new Moon.  This is not a time for analysis paralysis.  It's a big dollop of planets in practical, high-yielding Earth.  It's all about what you do, make, build.        

You still have time to organise your plan for what you want to achieve this year.  Besides, Mercury doesn't leave its retrograde shadow - the tail-end of a research and review period - until 10 January.

Chart by Astro Gold

Chart by Astro Gold

plan ahead to December 2020

This year it's wise to make resolutions for the next 3 years, not just for 2018.  The new year more or less aligns with the start of Saturn's three year staycation in Capricorn until 16 December 2020.  

Every time Saturn enters a new zodiac sign it's time to start building in a new area of your life for the duration of his stay.  Now that Saturn is back in his home sign, it'll be easier to make sh*t happen.   

Saturn: A Planet With A Plan

While Saturn's happy to be home, he isn't exactly chilling out in his PJs and slippers.  He's got plans.  He's asking you to make plans in the Capricorn-ruled area of your life, as shown in your astrological chart.

What do you want to achieve?  What are your long-term goals?  How are you going to turn them into reality?  How ambitious are you?  Do your plans allow for your own, other people's and life's limits?      

Have an investment mindset 

In this first year, lay solid foundations for your structured, doable challenge to get to where you want to be. To produce whatever gives you deep satisfaction.  A sense of mastery.  Respect.  Your place in society.   

Begin and then just keep going.  And keep going.  Don't give up.  Ever.  Things worth being, doing, having take time to construct.  Be responsible for the fruits of your labour.  That is Saturn's message to you.

Hang In There

Take regular, small steps towards the consequences you want to materialise.  At times it will feel as if you are going nowhere.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Persist.  Be patient.  Eventually you will arrive.      

Do the work and to do it well.  Even when you don't feel like it.  That is how you earn Saturn's prizes.  He will test your commitment, standards and integrity along they way.  Sloppy, half-baked efforts turn him off.

Go Slow And Steady

Learn to say 'no' to manage expectations and resources - especially your own.  Slow down to adjust and hone your plan as needed.  Focus on what brings you closer to your long-term goals and ditch the rest.

Saturn is indifferent to excuses and blaming others because you're understandably tired, bored or fed up. Expect obstacles, rejection and ennui.  Adults find a way to deal with them.  It's hard.  That's life.  Get real.  

Make Your Time On Planet Earth Count

Practical challenges are not what prevent us from reaping Saturn's rewards.  Our doubts and fears about not being enough get in the way.  Knowing we are limited is inescapable.  No wonder it hurts.

Cynicism hides feeling inadequate and mortal.  Saturn in Capricorn says keep on regardless.  Make a difference while you are here.  Be useful to your equally flawed and very capable fellow human beings. 

What Is Success For You?

The road to success is a long and winding one.  Are you pursuing your own version of success, or someone else's?  Saturn in Capricorn is time to define your own take on achievement.  Own it.

This month's Capricorn New Moon square innovative Arian Uranus enables - or requires - you to push past your inhibitions about what you think others expect of you.  Rise to the challenge you most want to meet.  

You Can Handle It

Prior to Saturn's arrival in Capricorn on 20 December 2017, he spent 3 years in Sagittarius.  As he squared image-maker Neptune, heartbreaking stories of people escaping horror across the globe filled the media.

We also witnessed incredible human endurance in the most dire situations.  Saturn knows how grim life can be.  He also demonstrates how people can miraculously cope with far more than we imagine possible.

play the long game

Working with Saturn cultivates an acceptance of life as it is, not the reality TV version.  He demands things are done properly and realistically.  Operate accordingly and be handsomely rewarded at the end of 2020.

That might feel like ages away.  The effort and wait are worth their weight in gold.  The inner sense of being truly present in the world is priceless.  Material wellbeing and wealth are also Saturnian gifts.

Image by Kaidi Guo courtesy of Unsplash

Image by Kaidi Guo courtesy of Unsplash

the bigger picture

Once paradigm-shifting Uranus lands in earthbound Taurus this May, the firm ground that Saturn treads will feel much less stable.  It's a sensation we'll all get used to as we begin to re-envision our environment.

Pluto in Capricorn since 2008 has intensified all Capricorn activity and will do so for a few more years yet. When Saturn and Pluto meet in 2020, a whole new set of societal structures will begin to emerge globally.

start your trek to december 2020

Here's an outline, by sun sign, of the areas of life in which Saturn promises to honour you in exchange for your hard graft in his Earth realm.  Take a look at your ascendant or rising sign too if you know what it is.

If you are already trekking up your respective mountain(s), like the stoical Capricorn mountain goat, raise your game to maximise your prospects of reaching the peak.  Saturn favours excellence (not perfection).

where to build for success by sun sign/ rising sign

Aries  Your work, career, public image and reputation
Taurus  Your learning, start up or other horizon-expanding venture
Gemini  Your most trusted connections, wealth and investments
Cancer  Your committed partnerships, significant others and collaborators
Leo  Your daily routines, diet and exercise habits, lifestyle
Virgo  Your romantic and creative life, pleasure and recreation, children
Libra  Your home, family and roots, property, origins
Scorpio  Your local community, social life, friends, siblings
Sagittarius Your income, finances, products, output, sense of self-worth
Capricorn Your priorities, appearance, vitality, approach to life
Aquarius  Your self-care, time out, inner life, privacy
Pisces  Your group endeavours, teams, network, causes

get clear on your goals

Unsure about your goals?  Who do you respect most in this area?  What is it about them and/or what they do that you envy?  That is what you most need to work on creating for yourself.  Awkward but true.  

There will be times when you feel blocked, rejected and denied on the road to success.  It's part of the maturing process.  Saturn is testing how bad you really want it.  Stick with it and you'll both find out.

Your Sun in Capricorn Action

Saturn was last in Capricorn between 1988-1991.  What was happening for you at that time?  That's a clue as to how things might play out during his current 2017-2020 stay in Capricorn.

Is this the first time you are experiencing Saturn in Capricorn?  If so, you are having your Saturn return. Collect your first 'I'm an adult' badge and continue on Saturn's road to more maturity, wisdom and mastery.

What Do You Do When Your Survival Instinct Kicks In?

Sun in Scorpio Season
23 October – 21 November 2017

Image by Lali Masiera/ Magdeleine

Image by Lali Masiera/ Magdeleine

The Sun's annual stay in Scorpio shines an extra bright light on our instinctual life as Jupiter's presence in Scorpio since 10 October 2017 questions the integrity with which we handle the animal part of our nature.

Jupiter's arrival in Scorpio marked the end of the silence protecting Harvey Weinstein.  Instead of getting caught in the sordid details of his abuse of power, ask what you do when you feel your survival is at stake.

Scorpio’s Shady Reputation

The rage, shame and reckoning the Weinstein story evokes all fall within the Scorpio realm.  Primal emotions are hard for so-called civilised society to stomach so they live underground.

Until they meet the light of the Sun.  Jupiter in Scorpio morally magnifies the Sun in Scorpio shining on violations of raw, natural power.  It is big news: Jupiter visits every zodiac sign only once every 12 years.

Don’t Fake It

What is the right thing to do when you feel extremely vulnerable?  Together, the Sun and Jupiter in Scorpio seek the absolute emotional truth.  Hiding from or denying your baser instincts will not work. 

Even if you have never sat on the Hollywood casting couch, you will have experienced feeling powerless. Whether the danger is real or not,  your survival instinct kicks in.  Do you hear it?  What happens for you?  

Can You Smell Your Gut Calling?

How attuned are you to your gut's call to action for survival?  If you are tuned in, you might experience an overwhelming urge to destroy the perceived threat.  You might want to run away.  Or just freeze.  

Perhaps you are such a ‘nice’, civilised person that you rely fully on your head and do not notice your body's call for self-preservation.  After all, we are not living in caves and jungles anymore.  Or are we?   

Responding and Reacting

Upon sensing your gut alarm, you have a choice.  You can react in blind knee-jerk fashion.  Or, you can pause to check and assess the danger.  Then you can respond, blending instinct with reason. 

Saturn’s 2012-2015 visit to Scorpio was a tough training in responding versus reacting.  Jupiter’s current year-long stay in Scorpio can help to heal any residual emotionally stuck reactions.

When the Tables are Turned

Imagine you have the upper hand in any given situation.  Do you by any chance resort to humiliating behaviour to maintain your feeling of being in charge?  It could be in tiny, subtle, even unspoken ways. 

Even the kindest, most ‘normal’ people can react destructively when their sense of being in control evaporates.  A firm ‘no’, (re)asserting a healthy boundary or taking time out might work just as well.   

Scorpio Equals Survival

Scorpio is ruled by the planets of survival.  On a personal level by night warrior Mars, and collectively, by Pluto, mythical lord of the underworld. 

Scorpio is necessarily an extreme sign.  It is a matter of life and death.  Overreaction is understandable.  Still, how does that help you when your survival instinct has been triggered by, say, a traffic jam?

Is It Really ‘The End’?

Sometimes an ending really is on the horizon.  Having to say goodbye to a job, a relationship, a life can hurt like hell.  But Jupiter can can help you to learn to let go.  Accepting death is the first law of survival.   

Scorpio takes you to the edge to remind you that everything has to end sometime.  But, is it really over or just time to renew?  Jupiter in Scorpio opens up new emotional pathways until 7 November 2018.  

Your Sun in Scorpio Action

Pay attention next time your gut calls.  You are part animal.  We all are.

Breathe.  Calm down, assess the danger and consider your options.  Even if a split second is all you have.  

Honour your survival instinct.  In a genuine, life/death scenario, trust yourself and life to look after you. Taking time to respond - rather than reacting - as best you can is usually enough to stay safe and alive.