A couple weeks back, I heard a friend was home sick with a stubborn cold and felt oddly envious.
I wanted a few days off, too. I even updated my Twitter with: 'Where's the pause button on life? I'd like to put the constant motion on hold so I can pee, work out, catch a few winks, cuddle the dog '
I'm learning there's a reason common wisdom instructs us to be careful what we wish for. Fast forward a little over a week, and there I was sprawled across the couch, chest achy with congestion, appetite gone, tired, forced to call in sick to The Sacred Well and cancel astro-sessions with clients. Though I'd felt the ill coming on for days and did my best to fight it off, my efforts apparently weren't enough. My careless wishing, unbeknownst to me, had found that 'pause button' and pushed it.
There's no denying it's been a very, um, active few weeks. At least that's what I've witnessed, not only in my own life but amongst all those around me, many of whom have reiterated my disbelief at how the dynamic motion just keeps on going. The recent month-long 'eclipse period'marked by Jul 21's solar eclipse, bookended by two lunars on Jul 7 and Aug 5surely kicked off a new chapter of developments. And as I mentioned in last month's astrological glance-ahead (still very relevant reading today), we're presently moving through one of the most prime windows for fresh activity, new work and fast-developing opportunity (now through mid-October) all year. After that, things get somewhat tangled and tight until May 2010. No wonder my physical system demanded a break.
Planetarily speaking, this continuous all-engines-at-full-blast feeling dovetails with a pair of T-squarestwo planets opposing each other, with both squaring a third, to form a 'T' shapecompelling us to stay on our toes, with pressures on us to evolve around every corner. The present configuration began when Mars in Gemini found himself caught at a T-square apex between dueling squares to Saturn and Uranus, themselves in a protracted opposition from roughly Sep 08 into the end of '10. As I previously wrote, this situation causes Mars to become both frustrated and constrained in his efforts to experiment (Saturn square) at the same time he's also volatile, reactionary and potentially hostile to such constraints (Uranus square). This Mars-Saturn-Uranus T-square has been in effect over the past two weeks.
As if all that wasn't enough, Mercury began traveling through Virgo, Saturn's present home, at the beginning of August and moved into conjunction with Saturn and, therefore, opposition with Uranus last week at the height of the T-square with Mars. The Mercury who's at home in Virgo, one of the two signs it rules, is a stickler for details and methodologies and precision. He believes in answers being either 'right' or 'wrong'. Allied with Saturn, he's that much firmer and fussier about keeping our minds on the (so-called) proper track. The Uranus opposition, meanwhile, only increases our desire to rebel against that properness. Mars in Gemini (the other sign Mercury rules) also squared Mercury: a 'mind vs. body' split causing us to spin guilt-trip scripts in our head, telling us why we shouldn't pursue the detours and alternatives that our desires still drove us toward anyhow. Any of this feel familiar?
Of all the major geometric aspects between planets, squares are often considered the most stressful. They pit two archetypal energies against each other at a sharp 90-degree angle, forcing planet-actors in two very different zodiac signs to work out their differencesthrough either tense creative negotiation or an all-out clash. That's why squares are characterized as 'challenging' or, in unfairly reductive thinking, simply 'bad'.
Yet we need our squares to generate the pressures that goad us to actually do something: to take a stand, to combat attacking or squelching forces, to seek innovative solutions to vexing problems, to get us off our lazy asses. From that standpoint, they are also the most dynamic of aspects. Squares make things happen. Individuals or entities without squares in their natal charts can become lazy or entrenched in their status-quos; their lives may flow on smoothly enough ('everything's just fine') but lack the adversity that inspires the struggle for progress. Needless to say, however, in an environment like our present one that's chock full of squares, the dynamism can become downright tiring.
Though both Mercury and Mars are now passing out of aspect with Saturn and Uranus, they remain in a square to each other for another three weeks or so. This coming Tuesday (Aug 25), they both change signsMercury into Libra, Mars into Cancer. And in their new sign positions, both planets are somewhat less trustworthy.
Mercury in Libra makes us more interested in maintaining interpersonal peace, weighing options fairly rather than discerning 'right' from 'wrong' and saying, in the slickest tone possible, whatever it'll take to keep the other person happy enough to give us what we want. Mars in Cancer (the sign of its fall, a debilitating factor) has us asserting our agency on the emotional level, playing to what we intuit may be going on with the other person, attempting to somehow 'take care' of them even when it conflicts with what we want (which we also still try to craftily procure for ourselves) a catch-22 that sometimes leads to unfortunate manipulation or deception ('for their own good', that is). There's an inherent indirectness to both these sign-planet combinations that makes it hard to see exactly what's whatexcept, that is, when a square between 'em causes enough friction and strain to push the undercurrents upward.
But wait, there's more! Enter Pluto, lord of the underworld, king of our less-socially-acceptable, not-as-easy-to-digest, potentially-unsavory urges and feelings. Currently situated in the first degree of Capricorn, just at the beginning of his journey transforming our collective structures of authority, Pluto's got everything to do with the dramatic global economic reconfiguration now underway. To toss more dynamism in the pot, Mercury and Mars move into another T-square with Pluto in CapMars in opposition, Mercury in square.
All three aspects (Mercury square Mars, Mercury square Pluto, Mars oppose Pluto) form to exactitude in the first degree of the cardinal signs on Tuesday and Wednesday (Aug 25-26).
This square to Pluto will bring out Mercury-in-Libra's devious, calculating quality. When folks tell us what they think we want to hear, we will smell their controlling motives wafting up through the words. If a tidy compromise is proposed, we'll likely be suspicious and rightfully so. Watch for what isn't being said.
The Mars-Pluto opposition is much more potent, pitting two forceful and formidable competitors in a face-to-face confrontation. When we go after what we want, we may be gut-punched to discover we must put up quite a fight to get it. Perhaps we weren't aware we'd meet such intense resistance or that such previously-unexposed thirsts for power lay in wait. How badly do we want it? How much potential ugliness are we willing to face to succeed? Even if we think we've done nothing to 'deserve' the deep dark bogeyman's wrath, it might come for us anyway, should it feel threatened.
Such standoffs, these squares and oppositions, are indeed necessary for our onward progress, like 'em or not. Life is not always an easy or pleasant venture. If it were, we wouldn't get much done. What we're liable to witness this coming week, an apex to the prior few weeks of nonstop dynamism (exhausting enough to bring on a stubborn chest cold!), could likely bring a fullerthough not exactly prettierreality to light. Still, coming to grips with reality is a prerequisite for progress.
And this dynamic process of reality-checking won't stop anytime soon. These two T-squares I've described mirror that big astrology spectacle of mid-2010 I keep referencing in my recent articles: another T-square in early cardinal signs, with Pluto squaring both Saturn in Libra and a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries. (For more on this parallel, check out my colleague Gary Caton's article here.)
That t-square will be like the big-daddy grand-poobah compared to this one, affecting us on a much deeper, wider collective level. That one, in fact, just may be the spark that'll set all this building tension aflame. Apparently, in these times, we just can't get away from the planetary call to dynamic action. I better start taking my extra vitamin C now