by Tony Howard
Are you ready for another Mercury retrograde cycle? We almost never are, are we? Since Mercury will retrograde in Gemini this time - its own sign - it’s likely we’ll see more of the stereotypical manifestations of this cycle. To get in the flow, you’ll probably need to slow down in general, but especially in regards to Gemini-ruled topics, like communication, speaking, writing, teaching, and learning.
My approach to a smooth Mercury retrograde period is to soften my will. Frustration only arises if I’m too invested in doing something at my usual lightning pace (I have natal Mercury conjunct Uranus). If I allow myself to slip into ultra-patient mode, I usually find that Mercury retrograde is pleasant. It’s one of the only times I give myself permission to slow down, let things go undone until they get done, and allow life to unfold as it will without pushing too much. Hey, I should probably adopt a Mercury retrograde attitude all the time! Luckily, Mercury retrograde happens 3 times a year, so we get 3 chances to get it right. (Did I really just say “luckily”?!)
If you have planets in early-to-mid Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces, you’re likely to notice this Mercury Rx cycle more than usual. Also pay close attention to planets in those signs near 4° or 13°, the degrees of Mercury’s stations.
by Steven Forrest
I love planets in so-called “detriment.” Take Mars, for example. It’s not normally viewed as the most cooperative of planets, but just look how nice it is being to me. Right on schedule for this April newsletter, on March 31, it leaves Aries and enters Taurus—the sign of its detriment—where it will remain until May 11. How convenient! This gives me a chance to write about one of my favorite topics, which is underscoring how unintentionally poisonous to our clients some of our conventional astrological language can be. One out of every twelve of us is born with Mars in Taurus. How does such a person feel when he or she hears the word “detriment?” Ditto of course for anyone born with Mars in Libra, its other sign of “debility?” Words such as those can’t bring good news, huh?
This kind of astrological language conveys the notion of a weakness or a flawed condition that is inherent one’s chart. It disempowers people. It helps no one. And, to me, words like “detriment” and “debility” simply represent bad astrological theory.
by Steven Forrest
On March 16, 2015 Uranus and Pluto form a square aspect in the signs Aries and Capricorn. This is the final exact square in the long series of seven, which began on June 24, 2012. Interestingly, it is the first time both planets have been direct at the moment of the exact square. Thus, over a period of about three years, the furious, violent “Lord of Earthquakes and Lightning Bolts” has been squaring off against the uber-controlling “Lord of the Underworld”—also known as the “God of Hell.”
Don’t you love this language? The words ring of Alien Vs Predator. They sound like a hormone-addled fourteen-year-old boy’s fantasy.
And of course, astrology works. It always mirrors reality. All that archetypal mayhem has been reflected almost daily in the horrific news of the world. Just when we thought things could not possibly get any worse in terms of the way humans behave toward each other, we saw government-approved torture, mass graves, beheadings, public school shootings and murdered journalists. The dark, log-jammed logic of this potent square has been evident everywhere we look.
Thank God it is ending, right?
Well, not so fast. These planets move slowly and, while March 16 marks the date of their last exact square, they’ve not exactly finished with each other. Pluto turns retrograde in April as does Uranus in July. On Christmas Day, 2015, Uranus will be standing Stationary at 16°33' of Aries, with Pluto then at 14°51' of Capricorn. That 1.5°spread is “close enough to count,” for sure. The epochal power of this square will then fade out through 2016 and 2017 as Uranus slowly pulls ahead. Their dance, in other words, will end with a whimper, not a bang—although 2015 may very well hold another bang or two.
by Tony Howard
At this point you’re probably well aware that Saturn is now transiting Sagittarius. I know a few Scorpios who were impatiently waiting for the ingress! Now the Sagittarians get to quiver (but if you’re really quivering, keep reading). For Steven’s take on this transit through each of the 12 houses, check out the audio release from last month.
Here are the dates of Saturn’s time in Sagittarius for those who don’t have them:
But rather than wax poetic about what this transit could hold in store, I want to see what folks born with Saturn in Sagittarius can teach us via the hard-won lessons they’ve already learned. Following are some highlights culled from the biographies of five prominent people born with both the Sun and Saturn in Sagittarius.
by Steven Forrest
Stored deep in the antiquarian depths of my memory banks is an old giggle about the dance that heterosexual people do: “She ran away from him until she caught him.” Are the times gone when people believed that script? Is it extinct? I guess that is an essay question nowadays as the old gender assumptions pass through the wringer of cultural change.
In any case, the saying came to mind as I watched Venus chase Mars around the Zodiac this month. At the beginning of January, Venus is speeding through the last degrees of Capricorn while Mars lies safely ahead, deep in Aquarius. Venus joins “him” there on the 3rd, but “he” quickly escapes into Pisces on January 12th. Venus tracks Mars down and enters Pisces “herself” at the end of the month, on the 28th. Mars nearly makes his getaway yet again—he just manages to cross the line into Aries in mid-February, but Venus finally catches up with him there on February 22nd.
by Steven Forrest
We are proud to offer our newest instructional program this month: “Working Consciously With Mercury, Venus, and Mars.”
I love the immediacy and liveliness of teaching a room full of astrologers, and I am never so happy in that department as I am sitting with my apprentices. With serious, informed students and four or five days to work, we are able to probe deeply into the heart of evolutionary astrology.
A year ago, I offered this particular program to my southern California students. Tony Howard brought his video camera and captured the introductory material, which is what we present here.
By the way, if any of you have ever thought about coming to one of my “AP’s,” watching this video would give you a sense of the nature of the work-with one major caveat. The soul of the AP lies in the relationships we generate there, as well as work with specific charts. Once I’ve outlined a topic, we typically work directly with the charts of class members, applying the principles and sharing our human experiences. People are vulnerable and revealing in that process, and for that reason we keep that work 100% confidential. So you won't find that part of the program in this video.
Steven is just back from his annual trip to China, and after a grueling travel schedule, we're giving him a break from his newsletter-writing duties. But that doesn't mean you won't get your Steven fix this month. I've been busy editing some new audio for you and have just prepared not one, but THREE new releases-all on the planet Mercury. Details below.
Most of us know Mercury as the messenger planet, ruling the transmission of information, transport and translation. But Mercury also has to do with omens and synchronicities, a subject Steven explores in more depth in the new programs.
Mercury relates to the key conversations we have in which we receive and disseminate new information. Along that vein, Mercury relates to education, fact-collecting and reporting.
This fast-moving planet also has to with physical motion and speedy, chaotic developments that unfold in our lives.
At first glance, Mercury may not seem as compelling to explore as the juicy outer planets like Pluto. But let's not forget that mythologically, Mercury was the one god who could travel between the worlds, able to move through Pluto's underworld with an all-access pass. So Mercury represents the vehicle that gives us awareness of that subterranean psychological domain. Without Mercury, Pluto would remain "under wraps" so to speak.