... And On To The Next


After several weeks dominated by Venus-retrograde hijinks and a season full of Saturn-in-Scorpio reprises, the astrological climate is aflutter with change.

First things first: As of this past Sunday (Sep 6), Venus is once again direct after having spent the last six weeks or so in retrograde motion, freezing our focus on relationship reconsiderations and other questions of what we value most.

If you'll recall, Venus made it only to the first degree of Virgo (where it spent two full weeks at the end of July) before retrograding back into Leo, where it's been ever since. (Refresh yourself on Venus retrograde here and here.) Now direct, Venus has another full month in Leo before returning to Virgo on Oct 8 and finally clearing the shadow of this recent retrograde. This current interval, therefore, represents the 'closing of the loop' of any relational, financial, and/or aesthetic questions, concerns, or complications which may have arisen since the second-half of July.

This recent Venus-retrograde period highlighted the potential appeal of other possibilities, perspectives, and alternate-realities… specifically in terms of who else we could align ourselves with, what the different dynamics might look like, and/or which option would ultimately be worth more to us. Venus retrogrades make us look at our current relationships in a different way, while flashing us glimpses of new and/or potentially promising alternatives, all as an invitation for us to thoughtfully reconsider where our affiliations and affections would be most fittingly devoted.

Over recent weeks, some of us may have finally seen the light about our dissatisfying couplings, and are ready at last to put our own selves first. Others may have resolved longtime misunderstandings or disconnections, and now move forward in renewed togetherness. And as is the often the case during Venus retrogrades, many folks likely encountered an intriguing maybe-interest, a fresh face or avid admirer who captured their attention… leaving them to rethink their existing affinities, second-guess their status, and/or wonder whether this might be That One. Some of these fledgling connections will prove fleeting or misleading; others might develop into long-term partnerships.

Now, with Venus direct again and retracing steps back through its retrograde shadow, these coming few weeks will tell the tale. Questions ought to be answered, and doubts confirmed or debunked. With Mars also in Leo (through Sep 24), this is no time to be demure in expressing one's personal desires: It's that critical moment for boldly putting it on the line, aiming for the most spectacularly self-fulfilling scenario possible—and, if it's not meant to be, allowing it to crash and burn (perhaps just as spectacularly). Either way, it's time to start the laying practical groundwork in support of our next chapter, with or without certain individuals along for the ride.

Saturn is telling us a similar story, as it prepares to return to Sagittarius later next week (Sep 17) after a three-month dip back into Scorpio. Saturn first entered Sagittarius back in December of last year, bringing both a lightening in overall psychological intensity and an emphasis on actively moving forward toward that which matters most to us. Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to make simplifying judgment-calls, to prioritize the fundamental beliefs and driving purposes most important to us… then letting those become our focal-points, while allowing all the other extraneous concerns and trivialities to fall by the wayside. Sagittarius is always somewhat impatient with those things it finds too slow, meaningless, or boring. That's why the archer-sign directs its arrows straight at the bull's-eye—and essentially brushes off what's on the periphery.

Saturn's temporary Scorpio retreat served to test whether we had thoroughly confronted the full deep truth of our underlying drives, urges, and emotions during the main chunk of its transit through Scorpio (Oct 12-Dec 14)… and whether, under the restless onward-ho effects of Saturn's first six months in Sagittarius (Dec 14-Jun 15), we oversimplified complex issues, swept inconvenient truths underneath the proverbial rug, and/or advanced too quickly toward our latest destination while leaving certain heavier matters untended-to. Necessary reality-checks about anything we might've rushed past, glossed over, or totally forgotten about in our eagerness to 'get on to the next thing already' have surely revealed themselves in these most recent months. None of us can wriggle away from our most deep-seated issues that easily.

Saturn's impending return to Sagittarius signals we are now ready to 'get on' with those next things we've identified as most important, meaningful, or horizon-broadening… and, if we're not ready, lights the fire under our ass to get us going already. Though the general Saturn-in-Scorpio seriousness and intensity-of-mood should once again lift with the move back into Sagittarius, we also don't have the luxury of continuing to bat around options and possibilities past a productive point—especially if we already essentially know what's right, and might be creating more discussion (or is it time-wasting noise?) than is justified. Once Saturn's in Sagittarius again, we're officially in 'shit-or-get-off-the-pot' territory.

In a beautiful astrological synchronicity, we also welcome the latest solar eclipse new moon this coming weekend (on Sat Sep 12), another clear indicator of fresh-starts, breaks-from-the-past, and movings-forward. To review, an eclipse is essentially a new or full moon which carries a heightened charge of cosmic/karmic resonance, due to the Sun and Moon's alignment with the lunar nodes. I've long said that eclipse-periods (i.e., those few weeks, every six months or so, surrounding a set of eclipses) are like 'chapter-markers' in the unfolding narratives of our lives. In an eclipse-period, we often deal with an intensified pace of events, during which doors will open or close pretty dramatically, bringing one 'chapter' to a symbolic close while ushering in another one, often with markedly different focal-points.

This weekend's solar eclipse falls in Virgo, a zodiacal positioning which coincides with Jupiter's recent entry into the same sign… and also foretells the imminent arrival of Mars (Sep 24) and Venus (Oct 8) to Virgo, where they will both stay through the second week of November. This Virgoan emphasis tints our next 'chapter' with a commonsensical orientation toward orderly tasks with concrete results, demonstrating the functional workability of our latest endeavors and advances, ironing out all the kinks while developing patterns which can turn today's intentions into tomorrow's habits. Plant seeds at this new-moon eclipse for what you intend to work diligently on developing during October's concentration of Virgo energy.

To cap off this highly-active month, let's throw a Mercury retrograde into the mix, shall we? No grumbles, people. A well-timed Mercury retrograde like this one can help us work through inconsistencies in our thinking, clear up partial or erroneous understandings with other people, and/or resolve confusion. But to pull that off, we must be willing to patiently participate in the whole communicative or contemplative process, over the course of a few weeks… even knowing we might first make a goof en route to clarity. Meanwhile, all the usual Mercury-retrograde warnings apply: Beware of misspeaking, missing important details, taking unwise shortcuts, or overreacting to momentarily malfunctioning equipment. (Also see: 'An Alternate Take on Mercury Retrograde'.)

This Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9) falls entirely within Libra, a Venus-ruled sign… linking it, by dispositorship, to the recent Venus retrograde. Note the interesting connection with Mercury finishing its retrograde and going direct at the very same time Venus finally leaves its retrograde shadow and moves back into Virgo. As I see it, this particular Mercury-retrograde is all about having the Venus-retrograde follow-up conversations, helping us determine whether we share a similar perspective on recent reorientations and reevaluations as the other person—or if we've each been unknowingly operating under radically different understandings.

Mercury's upcoming retrograde also features a square to Pluto, a further indication that these getting-on-the-same-page discussions threaten to become weightier and/or more discordant than we might expect, as we uncover where our respective life-goals align with or diverge from someone else's. Mercury-retrograde-in-Libra being what it is, what initially starts out as a seemingly diplomatic or accommodating sentiment might accidentally end up exposing the power-move which lurks underneath… and, through this so-called 'oops', the conversation must address those complicating cross-purposes underscoring the pleasant connection. In light of all the other astrological happenings, this Merc-retro period is tailor-made for laying everything on the table—if you don't, it'll probably come out anyway. That way, come Mercury's return to direct motion and Venus's simultaneous treading of new ground in Virgo during the second week of October, we really can be on to the next.