Transition in Three Parts


Are you ready for a transition back to things running normally again? Well, too bad. Even if we were to overlook the inherent problem in deeming anything in our lives as 'normal', we're still shit out of luck… though still, I'd say there's something transitional about the week ahead.

Just the other day, I was reading through the 605th book I've picked up over the last few years on 'living spiritually in the modern urban world' or some other such perfectly true and meaningful nonsense—and I mean 'nonsense' in the most respectful and reverent manner, since I sincerely adore these books (and may even write one someday)—and paused at the notion, 'There's no such thing as a transition.'

Essentially, the author's point was: Every moment in the present is equally as important, and we should refrain from living as if some supposedly-less-significant points in time exist merely as thruways from one supposedly-more-consequential event to another. (This awareness should help, for instance, ease the frustration of sitting in traffic in your car. After all, the seats are comfy and the music's good.)

I think his point is well taken. I always gain a lot when I can cease obsessively dwelling on my intended destination and take the time to enjoy the journey. The scenery is beautiful, and the pace more pleasant.

But as an astrologer, my job does require some projecting ahead… perhaps not to the destination (because, um, there actually isn't one), but certainly to provide advance warning of what to next expect along the highway, the next fork-in-the-road or the next super-stellar gas station truck stop… you know, the one with the clean bathrooms and the full-color map on the wall and the enormous mini-mart crammed with 57 varieties of beef jerky and a Taco Bell Express. There may be no such thing as a transition, but there are certainly stretches of pavement with more curves or steeper hills… and there are definitely more and less pleasant places to pull over for a piss.

All that rambling preamble aside (or not), Mercury is finally going direct on Mon Aug 15, and that's Part One of this week's transition. This Mercury retrograde seems to have had more than its fair share of transmissive mishaps (although, in fairness, so many Mercury retrogrades seem more harrying than the others… guess our memories are short!). And it won't let us off the hook that easy either. My laptop still can't find its internet connection, though the ethernet connection that delivers it continues to flow as if it doesn't have a care in the world. This Mercury retrograde will live in history as the one during which President Bush signed an energy bill that increases daylight savings time, likely mucking up a gaggle of preprogrammed techno-gadgets and gizmos… not to mention all astrology software.

Now, at last, it's over. But not so fast with the yippees and yahoos, people. Only fools should rush in to celebrate Mercury going direct.

Coming out of this Merc-retro is thornier than usual, thanks to a few disagreeable aspects to other planets. Right as Mercury slows down to change direction, it hits both a crusty square to Mars and a chafing quincunx to Uranus. The Mercury-Mars square affected us once already this past weekend, and comes back next week like acid reflux after an especially greasy meal. This square indicates a disconnection between words and actions, often resulting in flared tempers, edgy encounters and irritable impulses. And the squaring signs are Leo and Taurus, two of the more stubborn zodiac energies. Leo wants to feel loved and Taurus wants to feel safe—what happens when one feeling can only be procured at the expense of the other? 'Lashing out' is one answer. Self-diagnosing the internal conflict for what it is may be healthier. Give it all another week or two to iron itself out.

Part Two of the transition is better news. On Tue Aug 16, Venus moves into Libra, one of two signs she rules, and bringing an altogether harmonious air and carriage along with her. This anticipated harmony may sound antithetical to the Mercury-square-Mars energy I just described… like, How can we have stubborn irritability and amiable accord at the same time? Picture two strong-headed men arguing unproductively with each other on a rather myopic point. Then, picture a lovely lady with a soothing voice, gently and charmingly cooing, 'You boys should really cut out your silly little argument. Can't we enjoy some chardonnay (and my pretty smile, wink, wink) and just make nice?' And the situation is diffused… for the moment… on the surface… in her presence, at least. Get the idea?

Venus in Libra is not enough to save the day, but she'll shine a glossy luster across the scene. This segment of the film of our lives will feature some particularly gorgeous shots, from flattering angles, with sophisticated lighting and captivating color—even when the action being depicted isn't necessarily pleasant or artful. Venus's movement here lasts until Sep 11, serving as a genial ambassador to the next chapter-marking solar eclipse, which occurs on Oct 3, also in Libra. All those things we said we wanted at the last solar eclipse in April? Apparently, we need alliances with others in the world, so we can make as much happen as possible to everyone's best liking.

Part Three signals the windup of a longer-term transit, as Jupiter makes its final of three trines to Neptune on Wed Aug 17 and asks for our hand in heightening humanistic compassion. These two planetary convoys to that meandering Quest for Higher Meaning (…and Enlightenment…) first linked hands in synergistic trine in Nov 04, then met up again in Mar 05. (Follow last sentence's links to read my two previous in-depth takes on this Jupiter-Neptune trine.)

Since they're aligning in air signs, their greatest promise rests in social settlement, intellectual openness, and cordially outright acceptance of individual human difference. But, as I wrote before, Jupiter and Neptune aren't the type to force anyone to do anything. They're a mellow influence, only promising reward to those agreeable enough to shut up and listen to the wisdom that pervades those gaps of self-relinquishment in between self-insistent resolve.

Like any transiting aspect, Jupiter trine Neptune has its more and less beneficial ways of manifesting. If we truly open ourselves up to wide awareness, we can find the humanity beyond any ideological difference… agreeing to disagree when need be, authentically appreciating the existence of 'the Other' as a blessed chance to learn more about ourselves. (After all, wouldn't a world full of people just like us be more than a little boring?) If, however, we wrongly assume that everybody agrees when in fact we don't, letting sweeping (and coercively 'inclusive') rhetoric universalize our experiences unfairly, then we're grandly deluding ourselves. When we speak of concepts like unity and mutual respect, are we merely mouthing the words? Are we really acting to bring people closer together, or are we just pretending everything's more okay than it is?

To best honor Part Three of this week's transition, put some conscious thought to the personal impact of the Jupiter-Neptune trine over these months. Look back to Nov 04, and the questions that then rose about your compassion for those who believe different things than you. Compare with now. How are you when similar issues reappear? Have you upped your game, broadening your understanding beyond totalizing belief systems to the level of cosmic oneness? Or do you neglect to even consider how unrecognized differences between us quietly fester into self-dissatisfaction?

These next couple months favor us softening up our ideological borders, and learning to share common space. As next year rolls around, the easier opportunity closes—and the untended-to contrasts grow sharper. Saturn will move into opposition with Neptune, and both will square Jupiter. That's for later, though. For now, take advantage of whichever subtle occasions to make peace flow past you. No one will beg you to stop and shake hands… but the reward of choosing to do so will extend beyond the moment.