Venus & Neptune Come Down to Earth

This weekend Venus met Neptune, moved into his home of Pisces, and spun out out a couple of fascinating examples of extraordinary love.

The New York Times reported the arrival of a postcard 24 years late that reconnected two old friends and brought heart healing to the stranger who now lives in the NYC apartment to which it was addressed. The postcard was sent on March 17, 1987, two Jupiter cycles ago, with Mercury, planet of communication at 0 Pisces. The card arrived last month, as Mars was moving into conjunction with Chiron (healer of the abiding wound!) in early Pisces.

The postcard was a message of hope and comfort from one dear friend to another, suggesting that the recipient nurse a broken heart by moving home to California. The woman who received it didn’t realize at first that she wasn’t the intended recipient, that’s how directly it spoke to her current plight and — AND — she has the same last name as the addressee. Further fun fact: the postcard was initially written around the time of the addressee’s birthdate, Feb. 5 — making her an Aquarian woman, whose link to her dear old friend came back around when Venus was in … Aquarius.

“Life is a romantic adventure, remember, romance is everywhere!” the postcard ended, a perfect Venus/Neptune message. All three woman have now connected and expressed an awe bordering on the metaphysical that they have been brought together. The intended recipient told the Times, “It’s an overwhelming gift that the three of us have been given.”

At the other end of the spectrum, TCM inadvertently celebrated the Venus/Neptune conjunction by airing the 1945 film Mildred Pierce on “The Essentials” Saturday evening. It was a career-reviving vehicle for Joan Crawford, but her screen goddess status isn’t the only characteristic that fits the conjunction. The story does, too, following a mother’s love so self-sacrificing that it ruined lives. Mildred Pierce embodies the unhealthy end of the Venus/Neptune spectrum so well that we’re getting a prolonged look at her. HBO has adapted the source novel into a five-part mini-series that premiered Sunday — on Venus’ first day in Pisces.

Astrology in the News: Elizabeth Taylor and Venus in Transition

Yesterday, March 23, brought the death of screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor, a voluptuous, violet-eyed, stunningly beautiful Pisces who embodied Venus in the flesh. She carried our culture’s projection of beauty so well and so naturally that her iconic status has endured for more than 60 years, even as her curves filled out and her dark locks gave way to white wisps.

The transits to her birth chart indicate that this stage of her mission is complete. Pluto, lord of the underworld and metamorphosis, is in a waning opportunity aspect to her Sun/Mercury conjunction, which embodies her artistry, the otherworldly quality of her being and the message that she came her to convey. Chiron, with his abiding wound and challenge to master the physical, is moving off her Mars, which rules her use of her body and energy — a conjunction that brought the healing of release from the body. Mars is approaching her north node, her path of destiny and her relationship to the public, a signal that it’s time to get moving. She’s in no danger of fading quietly or quickly. Jupiter is moving toward her natal Venus, a contact that will fan her flame and keep it burning.

The archetype of Venus is ready for a new earthly phase as well. We are collectively saying goodbye to one ideal of the feminine. The current position of Venus shows a completion and ending. Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, is closing in on her conjunction Saturday with Neptune, ruler of glamor, illusion, artistry and film. Their date will occur at the doorway of Pisces, where all boundaries dissolve — between fantasy and reality, between hearts, between body and spirit. On the day of Taylor’s death, Venus had reached a highly charged bridge between the physical and spiritual: 26 Aquarius, where Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron met in May 2009. The trio made an exact growth aspect to Uranus in Pisces then, linking body and spirit and changing the way in which we navigate this world. Those four bodies remained close to that degree as they danced in formation all that year. The spot that they electrified for change, though, was 26 Aquarius. Venus moved there yesterday and hit the trip wire, opening her archetype and her earthly vessel to change.

Other human goddesses are likely to depart this week, as Venus perfects her conjunction to Neptune and enters Pisces, the sign of ultimate sacrifice. And as for the new form of archetype to come, odds are she will carry more Aries and Mars energy, gearing her to function quite well on her own, thank you very much, instead of Taylor’s sorrow-tinged mix of ethereal beauty and inability to find lasting love.

Astrology in the News: NPR & the Moon

In the buildup to this weekend’s Virgo full moon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund National Public Radio. Talk about a reboot of our relationship to our information sources and flow! That’s part of the current Gemini/Sagittarius eclipse cycle, and no surprise that the skies are currently activating the lunar eclipse that launched the cycle last December.

The nodes of the moon are within a degree of that eclipse. The Sun is pressing on that point in an action-demanding square, while the Moon will soon be applying the same pressure from the other end. They’re conducting the first stress test of this eclipse axis and voila! This vote.

Every element of this event had a counterpart in the sky. The north node, representing our collective experience, is in the sign of Sagittarius, which rules law, philosophical and political beliefs, propaganda and the media; the south node, embodying old behaviors, is in Gemini, the sign of communication and things that move through the air (sound and radio waves, say). There’s the framework for the issue, as well as the national radio network and its 100 million or so listeners, not to mention politicking, partisanship and legislation.

The impetus for the vote is up there, too. A video with questions about its credibility and accusations of manipulated editing (capturing NPR’s now ex-CEO saying she didn’t want federal funding) — that’s spin doctor Neptune in an easy flow to the nodes of the moon, and in growth aspect to the Sun. Who’s to say what she really said; the glamor of that sound byte was enough for the podium, the cameras and a party-line vote split. The escalation to emergency status and lightning strike timing? Uranus conjunct the Sun and adding his own wild-card, out-of-sign pressure on the nodes and the eclipse point.

Will the vote hold? It doesn’t have the support of the White House and much of the Senate. Nor do the skies lend it much staying power. For one thing, the pressure building up among the Sun, the nodes and, soon, the Moon is all in mutable signs — signs that go this way and that exploring all manner of options.

More importantly — most importantly — the vote took place when the Moon was void of course. This is a condition that occurs when the Moon has made her last major aspect before leaving a sign, and it almost guarantees that nothing will come of anything that’s put in place during the void. It’s worth noting that the Moon’s last aspect before this vote was an opposition to Neptune, the cosmic smoke machine. The vote took place under a veil of illusion, whether that was due to misinformation, obfuscation or, perish forfend, lies and deception. Very likely the real reason for vote was not the stated ones, but more for Neptunian posturing and creating an appearance.

Still, this vote is important. It is a shot across the bow in the information skirmishes that will increasingly characterize the Gemini/Sagittarius eclipses we’re undergoing through May 2013.

As I wrote in my article about that eclipse: “We are coming to the logical — and in many cases illogical — extremes of all aspects of life ruled by the Gemini/Sagittarius axis — our information flow and belief systems. our electronic networks and use/reliance on technology, our attitudes about our communities and the people we see as foreigners, our approaches to learning and credentials, our relationship to the media and the credence we do or do not give it. Over the long haul of the eclipse cycle expect to see milestone developments in political parties and agitprop, … the role of social media, broadcasting (shifting away from the decades-long TV and radio model), … and issues involving the superficiality, depth, truthfulness or reliability of information sources.”

In the course of a day, it suddenly became possible to envision a world without the news, cultural and entertainment programming NPR has been delivering for decades. If this matters to you … wake up.

Virgo Full Moon: The Paradox of Boundaries

Saturday, March 19, 2011
2:10 PM EDT / 6:10 PM GDT
28 Virgo 47 / 28 Pisces 47

For more of my analysis of the full moon, read my forecast for the week of March 14-21.

This month’s full moon in Virgo wraps up the last seven years — and the last couple of weeks. The inquiry it raises is paradoxical: How healthy and intact are your personal boundaries and behaviors? And aren’t political borders irrelevant?

Separation vs. interconnectedness, both personally and collectively, is the defining theme of this full moon. The Moon in Virgo is in the camp of separation, while the Sun in Pisces is holding down the interconnectedness end of the equation.

We’ve had lots of recent immersion in the Piscean end of this polarity. The seven-year phase that this full moon is wrapping up is Uranus’ time in the sign of Pisces, which escalated dramatically and unforgettably in the last couple of weeks as Uranus inched through the final degree of that sign and the zodiac.

This full moon is a recap of both time periods. We’ll be seeing what we learned during both, and what needs improvement. The one getting the greater attention is Uranus’ visit to the last degree of Pisces, when our collective attention riveted on shocking, headline-grabbing rantings by a celebrity I will no longer name, political maneuvers that demanded sacrifice from workers, and the physical devastation of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and throughout the Pacific.

This is the degree where Piscean proclivities come completely unmoored from the solid ground of mundane, daily life. Boundaries dissolve here between artistry and insanity, between faith and deceit, between compassion and martyrdom — hence the traditional meaning of this as the degree of ultimate sacrifice and sorrow.

The Sun is pressing on that very degree and bringing home the personal meaning of it and the events it engendered — the meltdowns, the breakups, the departures, the walls of water, metaphoric and real. The Moon is escalating our processing and understanding of those events, perhaps through repercussions rippling out in time and space that cause us to both analyze and emotionally react.

What have we learned? Some answers you can foresee. Others are going to be surprises.

Uranus is a direct participant in this full moon, in an out of sign conjunction with the Sun and opposition to the Moon. More startling developments are in store, more shocking ramifications and late-hour fractures, more hair-pin changes of mind and heart. If you are still in a situation that is not healthy for you, liberation is at hand, either by your choice or by circumstances pushing you out. The jail break could involve a habit, routine behavior (including your work duties and the usual flow of your daily schedule) or a dynamic of taking on other people’s problems, minding other people’s business or hurting yourself for someone else’s benefit.

You’re not going to proceed as you would have seven years ago — maybe not even seven weeks ago. Neptune, ruler of Pisces and the Sun, is in a growth aspect to the Sun and a choice aspect to the Moon. Your emotional response is not the victim of your past and programming. You have the choice to respond with your heart, in its current state. The choice you make will reflect the person you have evolved into being; it will suit the personality that you now have.

The unlocking will come in an instant. It’ll be like someone’s flipped a switch and you simply change your attitude, or news comes that requires you to make the change. You’ll either jump on board enthusiastically, or you’ll fight it with a vengeance. Indifference is not an option. That’s because the Moon’s ruler, Mercury, is expressing the passion of Aries, from its go-getting impulsiveness to its combativeness and fury — all of which is being fanned by his current traveling companion Jupiter.

There’s a strong sense of destiny and life-defining moments in this full moon. The Sun and the Moon are squaring the Moon’s nodes and forming a mutable grand cross. A grand cross consists of two oppositions with the endpoints of each axis squaring each other — or, in simpler terms, a combination of hard, demanding aspects that splay impulses in four directions. It’s hard to move forward when you’re being pulled this way and that. In this instance, the signs involved are the most malleable and give way the easiest.

On an individual level, the Moon’s nodes involve your life path, contact with the public and the behaviors you are evolving toward (the North Node) and your instinctive behaviors that you came in with and are gradually shedding (the South Node). The tension of the grand cross could cause some back and forth on choices, particularly in the department of habits and behaviors. Still, the pressure of this configuration will lead, eventually, to the choices and path of your future.

On a broader level, the Moon’s nodes reflect a collective experience, here involving beliefs, doctrines, ideologies, the media and information channels. Do we understand how connected life is on this planet? Do we have compassion for other people and nations as fellow humans or do we see them as different and judge them? Virgo does zero in on where improvement is needed, and these questions will get her cosmic laser pointer out and tapping.

More will come to light, too, about or arising from the political fracases of Uranus’ last days in Pisces, and the conversation is not going to be polite or neutral, with Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Aries. Protests will be angry to an extreme, and the militaristic nature of the counter-assault will challenge our beliefs about how our country operates. We’ll also see and experience more fallout from the earthquake in Japan, the tsunamis, and the nuclear reactor meltdowns. Because of Mercury/Jupiter in Aries again, hot particles could well be literally flying through the air.

Speculation has been abounding about this Full Moon’s potential to wreck more physical havoc on the planet. This Full Moon is being termed a super-moon, because it will be at perigee, when its orbit comes the closest to the earth, as well as at syzygy, when it lines up with the Sun and the earth. This proximity and alignment is believed by some to interfere with the earth’s electromagnetic field and cause tectonic plate shifts. Whether this is possible — I don’t have the scientific expertise to pass on it — the fact that the Full Moon is activating the last degree of Pisces would in itself be enough to trigger another round of physical jolts, shocks, quakes and tsunamis, and the Aries component could set off volcanic eruptions, wildfires and radioactive issues.

No freaking out, please. This level of structural revolution could just as easily — or also — happen on a symbolic level, or the level of thought. The recent events of planetary devastation could unroll into a cacophony of cosmic alarm clocks going off. The same could unspool from the events you have personally experienced in your life. That is the goal to seek actively under this Full Moon. Chewing over possible tomorrows, gnawing on “what ifs” and worrying over doomsday scenarios will not get you anywhere positive. None of that is healthy. Which brings us back to the ultimate message of this full moon: Choose what is healthy for you, and remember: you are not alone.

“Dearly beloved, heed theeth wordth of withdom: Worrying ith praying for what you don’t want.” — Godpig

If you miss the Sabian symbols, you can receive them directly in your mailbox by subscribing to Lynda Hill’s newsletter.

Outlook for March

March has come in like a lion and isn’t going to stop roaring. Or let go. Buckle your seat belts and keep your knees loose. Uranus’s move from the end of Pisces to the beginning of Aries is knocking loose tsunamis of partings, binges, insanity, enlightenment and dreams come true. The most erratic force in the zodiac is moving from the point of utter connectedness and universality to absolute individuation. Spring will be like none we’ve seen (unless you’re older than 84).

Read what’s in store for each sign in my March horoscopes and KidScopes.

Pisces New Moon: Choppy Waters, Tidal Waves

Mar 4, 2011
13 Pisces 55
3:47 PM EST / 8:47 PM GMT

Forget the usual attributes of Pisces as quiet, gentle and unobtrusive. They’re not likely to be what we experience under and remember about this year’s Pisces New Moon. It’s got three planets and Chiron in the water with it, and one of them is on the brink of launching a bold and exciting new cycle in our lives.

The last planet that the Sun and the Moon cross over before meeting each other is Mars, the god of war and representative of our masculine, assertive-to-aggressive impulses. He’s closer enough to their union to color it. If he were the only planet touching the Sun and the Moon, his presence would be enough to energize their meeting. He’s pushing them forward and motivating all of us to express its potentials — ranging from acting with love, compassion and awareness of the interconnectedness of all being, to sponging up other people’s agendas and losing clear vision of your own, to using indirect, passive-aggressive, misleading or intentionally deceptive behavior.

Mars alone could produce choppy waters. He’s got assistance, though, and he’s bringing in other influences that could complicate or cloud the waters as well. He’s pulling in Chiron (the embodiment of our abiding wounds and the challenge of mastering them), which adds a super-sensitivity to events and actions now. They could put metaphoric balm on wounds or just as easily irritate them, pound them or rub salt into them.

Chiron, in turn, is pulling in Neptune, the ruler of these waters, who is just over the border in Aquarius and gliding toward his entry into Pisces, which will happen in April. As a result, Neptune’s not merely the ruler of this New Moon, but an active, if indirect, participant in it. His presence adds to all of the potentials of the New Moon, making them all the more loving, spiritual and artistically inspired, yet all the more illusion-filled, unclear, vague, confused and deceiving.

On the other end, the New Moon is moving into a link with Mercury, the ruler of our mental processes, communications and means of getting around. Instead of concrete, specific, grounded thought, this Moon immerses us in knowing — not so much intuition or gut instinct, but rather absorbing information simply from being in a situation or near another person. Thoughts are abstract and nonlinear and, perhaps, reactive and projected, representing more what we have picked up from someone else than what we would say we believe if we were to step outside of the situation.

Susceptibility to subliminals and shadings of the truth will run high. Instead of automatically buying into everything you hear and read (especially if you have an emotional reaction to it), check it out. Check in with your heart and your higher guidance, too.

Be aware when you’re on the road: This influence could lead to a lot of automatic driving, with people arriving somewhere without much memory of how they got there. It’s also possible, since Mars and Mercury are sandwiching the New Moon, that people will be increasingly walking their talk, whether they’re conscious of it or not. in other words, actions will reveal much about people’s underlying beliefs.

Mercury has a hand stretched out about as far as it can go to bring in the final influence in Pisces, which is Uranus at the out door. Uranus’s eight years in Pisces have brought an electric, nervous quality to the sign, akin to a live wire in bath water. In just days, on March 11, he makes his exit into Aries and begins his next 84-year trip around the zodiac.

His final moments in Pisces are fraught with bittersweet and sometimes abrupt redefined boundaries and endings, blasting us from beliefs, programming, associations, and situations that belong to the era that’s on the brink of closing out forever. The closer he comes to the door, the more intense and extreme the explosions and illuminations. They’re taking on a fiery, impulsive, impatient and even angry volatility, too, Aries characteristics that he’s already accessing and expressing through his conjunction to Jupiter running ahead of him in that sign.

There’s another cause for the peaking of the end-of-an-era quality. This is the last New Moon we will experience in our lifetimes with Neptune and Uranus in mutual reception (each in the other’s sign). They’ve enjoyed this special relationship since 2003. Whatever their collaborative impact has been on you for the past eight years, it’s coming to a head and will swell and roll like a tidal wave carrying you into new territory.

See how this combination is not conducive to still waters? Think about what happens when you push water in the tub, or in a pool, or in the lake. If the container is small, such as the tub, it hits the wall and comes back at you. If the receptacle is larger, you may not feel a return, but the movement still has consequences. Anyone close by feels it and might shove it back at you. It may well be felt outside your line of vision, too. You can’t always foresee or see how far out ripples go.

And when waters come at you — when they lift you up and you realize they’re carrying you along and away — you’ve got navigational tools: your connection to your higher self; your awareness of and openness to your soul, spirit and inherent divinity; your awareness and acknowledgment of your connection to other people and beings on this planet and, just as importantly, the divinity within each of those. We are all in this together. Do not allow anger, posturing and spin to obscure that truth.