Blasting Toward Something Better: the Mars, Uranus, North Node Moment

The time has arrived for the aforementioned Mars-Uranus-North Node conjunction, reaching perfection on August 1st. You may have picked up on the energy last week, with the Moon passing through this Taurean territory on Thursday, July 21st. At our homestead, for instance, we experienced a power outage and a slew of rearranged or cancelled plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Uranus perverts plans and expectations—not because Uranus is a pesky, needlessly rebellious annoyance, but because Uranus is asking us to try living without them, if not wholly, then just for a spell. As I’ve shared before, Uranus shows us the value of living in the Here and Now:

The basic principle of Uranus is immediacy. Uranus is concerned with the Now. And so astrologers tie Uranus to surprises, epiphanies, and unpredictable events (which bring us into the Now); to revolutions and revolutionaries (which demand change Now); to modern technology (which needs our attention Now); to individuation/individualism (as the presence of the other(s) can over-contextualize the Now); and in Medical astrology, to the lightning-fast nervous system (an empowered Uranus = quick reflexes, a weakened Uranus = hyperactive nervous system).

Uranus wants us to be in the moment, and not concern ourselves with how we got here or what’s to follow.”

So, as Uranus combines with Mars’ basic principle of Action and the bursting, gushing energy of the Moon’s North Node, what do we have in store?

One approach would be to look at the most previous Mars-Uranus conjunction in Taurus. As it happens, this took place as the current president of the US was being sworn in. That whole election-to-inauguration process went pretty smooth, right? Okay, maybe not. And while there is plenty of mess in that narrative to get lost in, surface details are insignificant compared to the underlying rhythm: twists and turns, constant rapid change, and never knowing what to expect next. Uranus-Mars needs spontaneous action, embedded in the moment, and thrashes against any form of restriction. With Uranus also conjoining the North Node in Taurus, the only deep security we can truly hold on to is the air we are breathing in, which of course we must let go of.

I would like to use this space to examine a more subtle expression of this astrological circuit, which it turns out, includes more than just Mars, Uranus, and the North Node at 18 degrees Taurus.

During the central days (July 30 – Aug 2) of this conjunction, these three celestial beings are operating in cahoots with the Sun (7-9 degrees Leo) and Jupiter (8 degrees Aries and freshly stationed retrograde) in measures of 40 degrees, or ninths (1/9) of a circle. In astrology, we call this aspect the novile. 

I have casted blue novile lines in this chart—which shows us the exact conjunction of Mars and Uranus—to show you where the noviles occur. We see that Jupiter in Aries is 40 degrees away from Mars-Uranus-North Node, creating a novile (1/9) aspect. If we travel two more noviles (2/9, 80 degrees, a binovile) from the big conjunction, we arrive at the Sun in Leo. So, all five celestial beings are connected by noviles, while Jupiter and the Sun form a trine (120 degrees, 3/9 or 1/3) aspect to one another. I get pretty personal with the planets, and I gotta say, it feels to me like a fuzzy group hug. 

I should also inform you that noviles and the ninth vibration/harmonic in astrology are all about finding common ground and working together, in communion. With these particular planets, there is a tone of advancing in big ways and creating a better situation for ourselves and each other through shared action.

One other note about this configuration is that during this conjunction, the Sun is traveling in opposition to the Saturn/Pluto midpoint. I have made a habit of tracking this midpoint year-round (currently at 10 degrees Aquarius, and slowly inching backwards), as it seems to have a really strong and often unpleasant effect when it connects with folks’ natal charts.

With the Sun illuminating the Saturn/Pluto point of convergence—while in trine with Jupiter and in this novile pattern with Mars, Uranus, and the North Node—we can see a little more specifically what kind of advancements are favored by the energy of this time. Saturn and Pluto tend to suppress material growth, as we can see playing out with the delayed-but-inevitable economic recession that began with their conjunctions in 2020. So, what grows in Saturn-Pluto soil, amended by all these other planets? The channels of advancement that flow here are those of deeper meaning and lasting value. Particularly with the noviles, I think of harmony in relationships, village, and community, but to each their own. In this time, these are the paths to true, meaningful abundance.

We must keep in mind, however, that the Uranus-North Node conjunction outlasts all of this. It’s extremely strong now, and it will remain so for weeks to come (arguably months). The energy I’m speaking of isn’t something we can orchestrate or control, but rather a channel to merge with, should you spot it passing through your life.

As with any moment in time, there are numerous channels of energy to engage. Your birth chart is a picture of such a moment, and indubitably you are a being of great plurality. I have highlighted one particular channel of this cosmic moment here, and there are many others, but this is the one which I hope to jump into, and maybe you might, too.

with Love,

Phil

Fire for the Whole: the 2022 Summer Solstice Chart

Some recent discussions and charts have inspired me to look at the Summer Solstice chart for western USA. As the explosive triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node looms large just a month away (exact on August 1st, but look for it all through the end of July and beginning of August), I was curious to see what planets or other celestial beings are making an impact in this seasonal chart, keeping a close eye on the angles of the chart.

As you can see, the solstice takes place at 2:14 AM Pacific time, with the Sun crossing into Cancer. If we look at this chart with the idea that the themes within it will play a prominent role in the next three months—until Equinox—while also considering regional weather patterns in recent years, we find a few causes for alarm.

An Aries Stellium for your Solstice, Dearies

Most basically, we see that the sign of Aries is full to the brim, with Moon and Jupiter in conjunction, as well as longer-term residents Chiron and Eris accompanied by Mars, each separated by 4 degrees in a very tight midpoint arrangement, with Mars as the focal (middle) planet. In this arrangement, Eris is nuzzled tightly with the Aries ascending point, just nine zodiacal minutes away in San Francisco. Needless to say, that is a lot of fire, folks.

With Moon and Jupiter conjoined in Aries, the baseline theme is big feelings. But when we recall that the Moon is in deep relationship with Earth and life on Earth to the point that she is our greatest tool for growing food, we can assume that Earth will have some big feelings this season. And in Aries, those feelings are hot.

Speaking of heat, how about the red planet, Mars? When Mars is conjunct Chiron, themes of persistence and perseverance are strong, especially within a narrative of conflict. (If you have Mars and Chiron interacting with each other in your natal chart, know that any study within the martial arts is extremely remedial for that energy.) It seems these conflicts can go on and on, with no resolution at all. Mars and Chiron here are part of a very tight midpoint pattern with dwarf planet Eris. Additionally, Eris is rising over the West Coast just as solstice takes hold. Check it out on an astromap:

The furthest-right white line, the Eris Rising line connects San Francisco, California, with Coos Bay, Oregon, and is otherwise at sea.

A line as powerful as a rising line has a very large orb of influence. Imagine a ray extending two hundred miles in either direction from this line. Now, what sort of energy is Eris carrying, you might ask?

How Eris Operates in Astrology

If you are clinging to the comfort of a “normal” or status-quo life that is structurally unsound, Eris can bring significant disruption. Any fears that you harbor, Eris reflects and energizes, and you are forced through circumstances to deal with them. In the case that you’ve somehow managed to remain oblivious to what you ought to be wary of, the disruption of your life could be cataclysmic, whether via external sources or unconscious self-sabotage. And once Eris is done with you… well, you won’t be oblivious anymore. Eris does not operate within the subtle realms, except to transform the subtle into the blatant. In short: Eris is an often uncomfortable reality check.

The Chiron-Mars-Eris Midpoint Pattern

In a standard, three-planet midpoint structure, no planet—even the middle planet—rules the story. All three planets work through each other to inform a pattern. Here, we could call it something like persistent, deeply wounding or wound-informed reality checks; revelations of generational trauma-based behaviors that cannot be unseen; or inescapable discomfort on a traumatic scale, forcing us to take action that requires great perseverance to succeed. All of this, let’s not forget, in Aries.

If the thought hasn’t crossed your mind yet, let me make it Eris-blatant for you: WILDFIRES.

Now, I recognize that wildfires are common in the summers out west. But this season looks particularly potent, like it could really catalyze another wave of climate refugees eastward. Be on the lookout especially when Mars conjoins with Uranus and the North Node as July turns to August. Uranus on the North Node in Taurus is already an earthquake waiting to happen, so a trigger from Mars certainly won’t make the situation any less volatile. As I’ve said before, this is a great time for independent, unrestricted action. But for folks who don’t live in free-feeling life structures, this could be very challenging—a time of great urgency and immediacy, when you really don’t know what to expect or how to plan, but you must do something. And you must do it now.

My prayers are out for the peoples and beings of the west: bipeds, quadrupeds, octopeds, many-peds, and the plant and fungal realms who will shepherd the bioregion into new eco epochs. Perhaps I’ll have to write more at another time about some of the other notable characteristics of this chart—like Chiron’s square with Ceres and a super-tight isotrap of Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto (whoa!)—but in truth they support a very similar narrative to what I’ve presented here. So act wisely this season, especially those readers out west.

In deep honor, from a little perch in an Appalachia,

Phil

Forecasting 2022 with Soul Song Solutions

After hearing an astrologer deliver a woefully dumpy and wholly unhelpful podcast concerning planetary energies for the year 2022, I reached out to my friend Olivia at Soul Song Solutions so I could offer a more empowering take.

While I don’t think there any question that dominant culture is in a real mess at the moment, we still have plenty of room as individuals to make strong choices and positive moves within our communities and our own lives. I’m hoping this conversation can help you situate yourself in a healthy perspective around where we’re at and how the ongoing planetary energies can be helpful for you.

Some topics we cover in this hour-long discussion:

  • Ways that we can see the Saturn-Uranus square playing out before our eyes
  • A subtle aspect occurring between Uranus and Neptune for 2022 and 2023
  • The eclipses in the spring and fall
  • A day of wildness (August 1, 2022) with Uranus, Mars, and the North Node conjunct in Taurus
  • Other lunations of note

It is so imperative that we understand ourselves not as victims of cosmic energies, but as co-creators with the planets. If you are aware of what’s coming, you can be prepared to meet life in ways that work to your advantage. Astrology is power when harnessed appropriately, but when we approach it as deterministic (which it isn’t!), we become paralyzed by it. As with all magic, it must be wielded responsibly–with maturity–otherwise it won’t work for us.

You can listen on Spotify, Apple, and anywhere you listen to podcasts.

love all around,

Phil

Interview on Soul Song Solutions Podcast

On April 24th, I sat down at Plantasia with Olivia of Soul Song Solutions podcast for an impromptu discussion around Astrology.

Topics covered include:

  • A 2021 overview (the Saturn-Uranus square)
  • Timing and transits as tools for personal empowerment
  • The astrological symbolism of Chiron, and the fifty-year Chiron journey
  • Embracing Neptune’s request for an honored ambivalence

You can listen through the link above, or find Soul Song Solutions on your podcast app. Olivia is a sound healer, vocal and personal coach and an incredible local ally of ours.

The Saturn Uranus Square: Great Revelations and a Chance for Positive Change in 2021

In the year 2021, the Saturn Uranus square provides the energetic backdrop for the world at large, and many of us personally. Three times this year, Saturn and Uranus will be exactly ninety degrees apart in the zodiacal wheel:

  • February 17th, at 7 degrees Aquarius and Taurus
  • June 14th, at 13 degrees Aquarius and Taurus
  • December 24th, at 11 degrees Aquarius and Taurus

If you have planets that fall at 7*, 11*, or 13* in a fixed sign, then this alignment has medicine for you.

So, let’s talk about each planet’s base signatures, and how Saturn and Uranus interact when in square.

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Venus in Retrograde Out of Bounds

2020’s Venus retrograde is significantly flavored by the planet’s positioning out of bounds. The qualities of our current time show challenges to most conventions that dominant culture depends on, so it should be of no surprise that Venus—who represents our systems of value—has been out of bounds since April 2nd. Alternative value systems are boosted at this time, allowing feminine economies like trade and gift to flourish, and perhaps the most valuable currency of all right now is not the dollar, but relationship (another Venus realm!), as so many find themselves in isolation, without true human contact.

The Star Holds the Key

When Venus and/or Mercury undergo retrograde periods, the central and defining point of these retrogrades are the degrees of the planets’ conjunctions with the Sun. What I call the retrograde star, this degree stands out and provides significant identity to thematic elements of the retrograde. With this Venus retrograde, the retrograde star will occur on June 3rd, at 13 Gemini.

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Saturn Conjunct the South Node

About once every twelve years, Saturn and the South Node come together in the Zodiac. Those of us who are born with Saturn conjunct the South Node in the the birth chart are certainly not born by accident under this alignment. To this astrologer, the conjunction seems incredibly karmic.

The most crucial and incontrovertible truth about carrying Saturn conjunct the South Node is that you are born with a sizable karmic debt. This debt may carry over from past life activities or may be tied in with your ancestry. You can approach this debt like a privilege or a burden.

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Saturn Conjunct the South Node – Karmic Transfer

I write during the third and final perfection of Saturn’s 2019 conjunction with the South Node, an alignment that I wrote about in May and have been closely observing throughout its duration.

A term for the alignment that has coalesced in my head is Karmic Transfer. It’s unfortunately tied to banking terminology, but I’m imagining a bank of karma, and the goblins of karma are transferring it from one life to another. Here karma is something like destiny or life purpose—things that carry great weight, meaning, and potential, like a piece of land. A human life. Like a business or place of business, a home, a domesticated animal. Like the responsibility of nurturing our planet. 

The three conjunctions of Saturn and the South Node have occurred with the Sun in Taurus, Cancer, and Libra, signs that have significant orientations toward nature and beauty. Calls to action around climate change are in great saturation at the moment, while at the same time we are staring down an economic recession. Capricorn Saturn’s business powers (which by modern terms are inextricably tied to competition and capitalism) are weakened by its conjunction with the South Node; meanwhile Earth and her ways of unconditional lifegiving love are emerging through the opening.

I’m not going to leap into hopefulness or any results-based thinking. I am only noting what I observe. And when I take into account my belief that Saturn acts as a guardian for the outer planets (which are energetically geared toward our unity with each other and all beings), I’ve noticed both the beneficial and detrimental indications of those planets manifesting quite strongly since April’s initiating conjunction. A sampling:

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The Self with the Other: the Wisdom of Libra

The Sun traverses Libra from 9/23 to 10/23, joined in part by Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Moon (New on 9/28). Lessons and energies inherent to Libra season, and those born with Sun or Moon in Libra, or Libra rising:

Opening up to:

  • Aspects of grace and beauty that exist deep below the surface
  • Achieving intimacy and peace with yourself, and with nature. Truly, as long as you pay attention to the reflections within and all around, solitude is rich with experience, and nothing to fear.
  • Considering other points of view and examining a situation from all sides. As this becomes instinct, you will never take things personally (unless they actually concern you).
  • Communicating beauty through your art. In this way you become one with the gods.
  • Sharing your keen sense of aesthetics. Some people need help noticing and finding beauty. Be the beacon!
  • Responsible gossiping. You’re not going to stop, so at least do it respectfully.

Being mindful of:

  • Suppressing your self and your truth in attempt to sustain some level of harmony in a relationship
  • Respecting yourself first, at every turn. Only in this way can you act in honest respect to others.
  • Using romance like a drug. Serial dating is a downward spiral.
  • The flow and balance of the space around you. Curate your atmosphere with music, color, tone of light, arrangement, and authenticity.
  • Telling the truth in whole. Truth leaves problems in your past; lies and omissions (even the little ones!) place problems in your future.
  • Indulgences. The sweet treats, parties and drinks are all around. Everything in moderation, Libra. Do it for the kidneys.
  • Assuming your know what another is thinking or feeling. No matter how much you strive to understand each person, you can never fully know anyone. And that’s okay.
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