I sat down with Megan Mastel for an episode of Hearthspeak podcast, a wonderful, deeply considered project. We talked around the basic uses of astrology and how astrology has helped me through my life narrative to date, while also shedding light on the times.
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.
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.
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:
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 about 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.
The cosmic cocktail of the moment is overwhelming to synthesize:
A Full Moon conjunct Neptune and Black Moon Lilith, where the Moon is furthest from Earth
Mars and Neptune in exact opposition, with Jupiter shouldering the weight at the two planets’ midpoint
Mercury and Venus in exact conjunction in Mercury’s happy place, Venus’ cranky place (Virgo)
The hyper-intelligence of Uranus and Pallas Athene opposing each other in fixed signs
Saturn stationing direct conjunct the South Node and gearing up for the last march through Capricorn for 28 years.
I think I am supposed to be confused. Really, trying to form universally resonant messages from this potpourri would be a great misuse of energy. We’re all feeling different pieces more than others, and the energies are swirling about in different aspects of our lives.
So I find myself zooming out to a larger picture: Now as the central moment in this Virgo-rich lunar cycle, through the lens of AstroCartoGraphy.
The most prominent recipients of this energetic moment seem to be the areas of Western Brazil/Eastern Peru and Ecuador (the Amazon rainforest), and the nations of the South China Sea, especially Papua and Indonesia.
In both regions we see great struggles culminating, although we see it through a thick haze. In the Amazon, with Neptune on the MC, this manifests in the physical form by way of unrelenting gargantuam plumes of smoke (from fire; thanks Mars on the IC). In Papua, with Neptune on the nadir, there are major human rights actions occurring (see the Mars culminating line) which the Indonesian government has attempted to hide and smother with an all-out information quarantine, blacking out the internet and banning all press.
I wish I could look at this more in depth right now, but I am living my own internet blackout and in the midst of sweeping and drastic life changes.
But the way this lines up has me curious to look more at lunations and other synchronized planetary alignments—such as… the crazy January 2020 Full Moon!—by looking at their AstroCartoGraphical representations. Stay tuned!
The Abbott’s Sphinx Moth welcomes the incoming Virgo energy, and we have a new Wisdom of the Zodiac for every Virgo’s ever-filling handbag/backpack/canvas bag/tote.
The Sun traverses Virgo from 8/23 to 9/23, joined in part by Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Moon (New on 8/30), and the asteroid goddess Juno. Lessons and energies inherent to Virgo season, and those born with Sun or Moon in Virgo, or Virgo rising:
The Sun traverses its favorite sign, Leo, from July 22nd to August 23rd, joined in part by Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Moon (New on July 31st), and the asteroid Juno. Lessons and energies inherent to Leo season, and those born with Sun or Moon in Leo, or Leo rising:
Mercury’s retrograde from July 7th to the 31st joins the signs of Leo and Cancer, and includes a Full Moon/lunar eclipse in Capricorn (July 16th) and a Leo New Moon just hours before the retrograde ceases. Earth will also be receiving impactful energies from Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.
I’ve put together some notes to help us meet these energies and support our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health:
The Wisdom of Cancer, and the origin of existence.
In a vacuum, there is nothing. And then, a point: o
It follows, there is a second point. And then, a line can exist. o—o
A third point, with connecting lines, allows for a plane, or face.
The plane, if tipped, turned, spun, or flipped, reveals that still it is nothing, still the vacuum. Existence requires dimension. So, the fourth point. And with it: space, form, and the capacity to exist.
Like the fourth point, the fourth sign of the Zodiac, Cancer, introduces depth, and with it, life. All who live spring from Root—the ancestors, the foundational root system of the Plant, the wombs of mothers—and this is exactly where Cancer energy is held.
Beginning with Solstice, the Sun traverses Cancer from June 21 to July 22, joined in part by Mercury, Venus, Mars, the North Node, and the Moon. Lessons and energies inherent to Cancer season, and those born within it:
BEING MINDFUL OF:
Loyalties that are blocking your development
Stunting and oppressing the evolution of people in your care, fearing that these people may grow beyond their need for you, and leave you behind
Hiding your feelings only to have them burst from containment, overpowering and inaccurate
Keeping emotional score in your relationships
Holding expectations over others that are based on YOUR values and abilities
Bestowing your precious, caring, life-giving energy when your gifts are not properly accepted or appreciated
Exacerbating emotional difficulties by hiding away from loved ones who could care for you
Upholding fear-based actions and habits, but calling them safety-based actions and habits
The health of the stomach, the bosom/breasts, and the womb. Stay properly hydrated.
OPENING UP TO:
Giving love and attention to your homeplace(s), including the great mother Earth!
Honoring your ancestors and their good traditions
Spending meaningful time with family and those chosen ones you hold dear
Embodying and performing your feelings (yes, this includes crying!)
Reserving time alone, for rest, reflection, and recharge. Healthy care for others begins with care for the self.
Playing—imaginatively, improvisationally—like children/with children
Giving and receiving gentle guardianship, much like the Moon’s soft glow over Earth
Attention to and faith in your emotional truth
Trusting in and residing with the tides of your moods