As I started the research for this article on May 2012’s Venus Retrograde in Gemini (and the rare Transit of Venus that occurs on June 5), I quickly opened up a rather large can of worms. For it seems that in June of 2012, we have the makings of a perfect astrological storm. You see, when we look at key moments in history, we almost always find dynamic planetary transits bunched up in clusters around those same dates. It’s in those times when many key transits occur simultaneously that we tend to find more outward events – landmarks for memorable moments in history where we find sea changes, shifts, beginnings and endings of cycles. In June of 2012, we find one of those clusters that suggest June could be a month in which important formative outer events transpire. The conditions for the storm start to form in May when Venus goes retrograde.
Historically memorable events serve as bookends that we can use to compartmentalize segments of time. They help us organize the chaos that is daily existence into quantifiable, understandable bits. This way of organizing events into cycles is one of many processes that give us an experience we like to call sanity. In truth, the sheer enormity of paradoxical and contradictory data in the world is mind-blowing. It’s just too much for any one person to objectively synthesize. We need a way to organize the data, and to then create meaning out of it.
This information-sifting is a crucial step in our individual evolutionary processes, helping us to find meaning and make decisions. The planet Venus represents a crucial organizational process that occurs within the psyche. We'll have a chance to learn more about this process during the current Venus retrograde cycle.
Information can be organized in many ways. A Virgo style of organization might express itself as compartmentalizing the facts of life into neat folders (one for all of the frightening facts, one for the pleasant thoughts, etc.). A Sagittarius style might express as organizing the data into systems of thought, big picture philosophies, and broad sweeps of holistic understanding. Venus relates to an organizational process that results in art. More than just compartmentalization of facts, the organization that Venus refers to is endowed with her signature principles of proportion, balance, and grace.
Welcome to 2012. It sure feels like "full steam ahead" in my neck of the woods. If you're feeling a forward whoosh of energy, you're right on track, as we head towards an earth trine of Mars in Virgo to the Sun in Capricorn on January 12. We're just coming out of a Jupiter retrograde cycle, in which you likely did some re-visioning of your big picture plans. You might be itching to put some of those plans into action. If there are projects that have been waiting in the wings, now is a great time to get them moving. These are good days to spend a little more time working, and less time playing. Take care of the details, get the structure in order, establish the foundation. Because just a couple of weeks later, it's going to be time to put the brakes on.
The planet Mars relates to our personal will, our ability to take action and assert ourselves, and our sense of "I want." Every two years, Mars has a retrograde cycle which lasts for about 2 1/2 months. But like Mercury retrograde, our experience of the cycle is actually a bit longer, encompassing the entire span of degrees which Mars will traipse back and forth over, emphasizing that sign and house in our chart.
As many huge transits take up our attention, I was reminded by an article on HuffPost Business that Saturn is still in Libra. You may have heard the news reports that employers are now using social media sites to screen new (and current) employees. And they’re being very Saturnian with the information. What’s that you say? They’re JUDGING you based on how you APPEAR in your SOCIAL circles? Saturn is the judge. Libra is the social circles and also your concern about what others think of you. With this report, we see the archetypes in action.
Saturn in Libra increases our concern about judgment from superiors or authority figures. It gets us thinking about what “proper” behavior is. Libra rules what’s polite, and Saturn is the hall monitor.
Saturn is the planet of “you get what you deserve” and also of eye-for-an-eye justice. You can be sure that with this combination, you’ll have to pay for any social “mistakes” you make online. So this isn’t just talk.
The report shows that 45% of employers are using social media screening. And most of them are finding material to judge you unworthy for. This is something you’ll need to take seriously if you’re in a position to be evaluated for a job (or maintain a current job).
Wow, it's been a while...
Sun is rare in the Pacific Northwest, so I've been enjoying it as much as possible. If you're in Texas or the Southwest, or one of the other parts of the country experiencing a heat wave, you won't appreciate my enthusiasm for spending time outdoors. One of my friends on Facebook responded to a recent excited call to get outside with a picture of a thermometer at 106°. I lived in Texas for several years, so I can definitely appreciate the sentiment. But out here, sunny hot days are few in number, so we enjoy them when we can.
But on to the astrology of the moment...
We're in the shadow of the next Mercury Retrograde cycle, which will last from August 2 to August 26. During the shadow period it's usually a good idea to start moving a little more slowly, double check your work for errors, and get ready for a slower rhythm and pace. It's time to start thinking about finishing up the projects you're in the middle of, rather than starting new ones.
But this shadow period might feel a little stronger than usual. As I write this, Mercury is exactly opposite Neptune. If you've been noticing delays while driving, or blocks to progress, or technological mishaps, you're probably noticing the effects of this Mercury opposite Neptune transit, which is exact today, July 31. It might feel a lot like Mercury Retrograde, and it has enough in common with Mercury Retorgrade that it amplifies those energies. But there are some additional dimensions to this transit that I'll try to shed some light on for you.
From the view here on earth, we find ourselves once again nearing the time when Mercury appears to retrace its steps in the sky for a roughly 3-week period we call Mercury Retrograde. This next period occurs from March 30 through April 23, 2011. We astrologers often speak as if every Mercury Retrograde period is the same – as if the same advice holds true for every retrograde period. And yet, the sky patterns are never the same! All of the planets are in constant, engaged, moving, changing relationship with each other, never repeating a story the same way twice. And that includes Mercury.
So what makes this Mercury Retrograde period special? For starters, it occurs during a time of a huge changing-of-the-guards moment among the slower outer planets. These larger planets set the tone for longer periods of time. When we think of “the 70s” or “the 60s,” an image is evoked of a period of time – a slice of life in which certain defining themes held sway over the whole world. We find ourselves now at the beginning of one of these new phases as both Uranus and Neptune change signs.
Edgy Uranus has finally settled into its next long stint in the edgy sign of Aries. And in April, Neptune begins a new phase of enlightenment as it moves into its comfortable home in Pisces. Moments like these represent great shifts in global consciousness – times when we can perceive a collective movement into specific modes of expression.