Catching our Breath, Chewing on Possibilities


Now, on the other side of March's 'crazy-active' astrology (which I described here and here), we have a few moments to catch our collective breath.

The current vibe is significantly more grounding and slower-paced, with the Sun, Mercury, and Mars all presently in Taurus, an earth-sign which typically prefers to keep its feet planted… or, if they must be moved, to drag them along at a modest (or plodding) rate, to ensure each step lands safely and securely. That's a marked shift from last month's hyper-Aries influence, which was, for better and/or for worse, a more 'act first and ask questions later' energy.

This is not to imply, of course, we have a total absence of notable planetary aspects. As I write this, Mercury and Mars are conjunct in Taurus (exact today, Apr 22), after both having recently formed squares to Jupiter in Leo. Mercury-Mars conjunctions unite mind and body, thought and might… giving us an enhanced capacity to put competent action behind our words, while simultaneously adding a potentially aggressive and uncompromising edge to how we communicate.

The lurking blind-spots in our thinking and speaking that such a Mercury-Mars edge can create are only compounded by the dual Jupiter squares, which serve to inflate our confidence in the rightfulness of that one side from which we're seeing things. That these squares occur between fixed signs (or, as I like to call them, the 'know-it-all' signs) can also increase the ego-stubbornness involved, should we find ourselves at odds with another hyperconfident opinion from across the table. The best way to defuse a war of wills? Quietly reminding yourself to be pragmatic about the actual payoffs. If there's no practical benefit to 'winning' a showdown, you might as well back away. (That's not the same thing as conceding they're right or you're wrong.)

This Mercury-Mars-Jupiter effect hardly qualifies as lasting news, however, and gradually tapers off over the coming days, to be followed by a relatively low-impact astro-outlook.

Venus has been in Gemini these past couple weeks (since Apr 11), softening up excessively serious single-mindedness… helping, even, to ease some of the aforementioned stubbornness, at least for those of us willing to step aside from any exasperating situation or locked-horns stalemate, if only to sample something else for a moment or two. Venus is in mutual reception with Mercury (i.e., they are each in signs ruled by the other) until the messenger-god leaves Taurus on Apr 30, which allows these two personal planets to support each other. While Mercury in Taurus might otherwise inspire us to hold our cherished truths and viewpoints tight rather than become too easily swayed by unproven alternatives, Venus in Gemini encourages us to enjoy non-committal dabblings into other areas and angles… with the reassurance that there's no obligation or pressure to change our minds, but, while we're here, we might as well delight in the exposure to new people, ideas, and experiences.

This invitation to non-committally open ourselves up—dipping a toe in here and there, but not ceding our trusty ground—is a gentle introduction to May's increasingly-ultra-Gemini proliferation of further possibilities.

Once Mercury enters Gemini on Apr 30, it remains there for an unusually long stretch (more than two months!), which includes three-and-a-half weeks of retrograde motion (starting May 18). Then, Mars follows Mercury into Gemini, helping to fuel a frenetic swell of social events and exchanges, brainstorms and bright new ideas, flip-side suggestions and considerations which could lead us to cultivate previously un(der)explored sides to our personality, if we so choose. While little of what emerges during this time will seem certain or clear, that'll be perfectly okay for the time being: Before making the decision to branch off in a fresh direction, we might wish to take a few tentative or preliminary steps down this, that, and the other path—far enough, perhaps, that we can begin to get a good taste of its offerings, but not so far that we can't dash back to the starting-gate fairly easily.

May will be all about chewing on possibilities, but stopping short of taking too big a bite of any one. Though the Gemini emphasis may foster a super-busyness that could leave some folks feeling anxious, we ought to be able to neutralize such anxieties by postponing judgment-calls and leaving doors dangling open. Even with the hyperactivity May's astrology will likely breed, as well as corresponding bouts of stronger-than-usual confusion ('which option is which? do I even know the right questions to ask?') courtesy of Mercury both retrograding and squaring Neptune, this still mostly qualifies under the heading of 'few moments to catch our collective breath'. Despite what our constantly-whirring minds, high-strung pals, and/or mountains of supporting information may tell us, there really isn't a critical pressure to make decisions at this time.

For the real critical astrology, we're looking ahead to June and beyond, once Venus hits Leo and starts tracing steps towards its retrograde (Jul 25-Sep 6). As June flows into July, the fiery vibe picks up again, with Jupiter trining Uranus for a final round while snaring Venus in its wild erratic surges. In counterpoint, Saturn slips back into Scorpio for a burst of recurrence intensity, to square Venus prior to and during its retrograde, as if to test whether our latest forward moves are, in fact, moving us forward—or merely recreating circumstances similar to what we thought we'd transcended, due to our unconscious ego-refusal to truly leave behind the familiar dynamics.

This mid-year Venus-retrograde period is essentially, as I see it, our transition from (1) the fiery last-throes of Uranus-and-Pluto's exact square, fueled by Jupiter-in-Leo's trine to Uranus, to (2) a more earthy restrategize-and-rebuild mode, supported by Jupiter's move into Virgo in mid-August (during the height of Venus's retrograde) and subsequent trine to Pluto. But with rascally Venus-retrograde themes (e.g., what do I really find value in? who do I really have affection for?) permeating this transition period, don't be so certain that how you're now thinking it'll go is how it'll end up going once, say, September and October roll around.

With that in mind, why not take this time to chew on some other fledgling possibilities for how your second-half of 2015 might go… while you've still got a few catch-your-breath moments?