April 2016, Retrogrades


Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto by Caravaggio

Today, we greet the world with a Pluto in retrograde in the 10th house sign of Capricorn and Mars in retrograde in the 9th house sign of Sagittarius.

We’ve had several significant events gaining momentum in the cosmos, beginning in 2015. I started by jotting down some thoughts, so I’d ask that readers bear with me if I flub up here and there. Ultimately, I tend to think in long term, big picture sweeps of time, so when I examine astrological events, I desire a larger context for their placement in where we stand in history.

To better understand the Pluto/Mars retrograde, Saturn in Sag, and lest we not forget, the Saturn/Neptune square, I turned to the rulerships to get a better hold of how the energy is moving through the pinball machine of the cosmos. (I still have much to learn, but this, I decided, could give us a better dimension to events.)

  • Pluto in the 10th house of Capricorn, is throwing energy to Saturn
  • Saturn is currently in Sag, Mars is in Sag, so Saturn and Mars are working in concert to feed expansive Jupiter
  • Jupiter is currently in Virgo, at detriment (and we could even take it further and say that all these rulerships form a breadcrumb trail to Mercury, who rules Virgo, and will be going retrograde shortly!)

 Mars, Saturn, Pluto, together combining a large momentum of complementary forces from Sag to Capricorn, expanding forces of military, authority, gambling, institutions, media, publishing, career and public face, etc.

 My gut tells me the things set down now for this cycle, in the larger stages of government and political theater will not be uncovered for years to come, as this is a ripe time for deception under the influence of the Sat/Neptune square, and the contracting force of Saturn will encourage those whose mettle is lacking to make poor choices and opt for laziness over hard work, deception over conflict.

 (The Panama Papers may well ring a bell here as a nexus of 9th house media and 10th house authority, as aside from the general outcry of the unfairness of tax havens — Plutonic themes — there are other voices weighing in that the Panama Papers is a political instrument [Saturn’s control] to make examples of some, while letting others slide through the Neptunian fog.)

With three gods lined up in this fashion, the personal egocentric God of War, the constraining authoritarian force of Saturn’s disciplinary spirit, and Pluto’s reaping presence, and these forces in retrograde, we should expect on both micro and macro stages, a succession of conflicts in our personal and exterior lives. Think the drunk (Neptune) who gets behind the wheel (Mars/Mercury) and kills someone (Pluto) and is then brought to trial (Saturn). Loss of money will feature as a result of poor long term thinking in finances, as this is certainly a recurring theme with Pluto in Capricorn and will have extra punch with Jupiter in Virgo (at its detriment) where the North Node has been transiting degrees. We will be entrenched in years long battles unless we use our Mercury cleverness to think a better way through, and thinking clearly will be encumbered with the Saturn-Neptune square, with a Mercury Retrograde looming just ahead, making this doubly difficult. Expect people to articulate their intentions, desires, and motives poorly or not at all, and fail to communicate responsibly.

As someone with a Pluto-Mars contact in the nativity, if you have such contacts you may find yourself galvanized, as I do, and taking on a thousand projects. You may even find the superhuman strength to finish them out. Most astrologers caution against this, but if this is something in your nativity, take advantage of the turbo-charged aggression by funneling it into projects that will bear fruit in the long term, as short term plays are proving to be unprofitable for many and it will be those building strong foundations (Saturn twined with Mars) who will be able to stand on their feet while others fall.

Harnessing happy go lucky Mars in Sag and the Earth trine through April is good way to bring sense to the mire and the mixed signals we may well find ourselves. Because the gears and cogs of the mind are being thrown into chaos by the fog of Neptune, Mercury’s impending retrograde, consider that physical endeavors in an independent setting may bear more fruit because less interactions will mean less chance of being undermined by those around you, whether they be institutions or friends who were once reliable but now are letting you down through sheer flakiness. Take some time off with a model airplane, building that garden (Earth trine, anyone?) for the spring, or attempt to engage Neptune by learning an instrument (also Saturn’s discipline), where you can bend him to a productive service (Virgo) instead of letting him empty all the bottles of wine in your fridge. You know what I’m talking about.

On a global, generational level, short term thinking in politics, economics, and environment has been undermining the quality of life for many all over the world, and with the North Node transit in Virgo earlier in September of 2015, the cracks are beginning to show; the role of Mars, Pluto, Saturn, Neptune in their hard aspects will be to exploit these cracks and show them to our faces, and in some cases, things we took for granted will blow up in our faces, such as political inequities or outrages, or acts of war and terrorism. On a smaller lever, it could be something as personal as perhaps getting away with a bad habit at work for years and suddenly, the boss is selectively focusing on us while ignoring all the bad behavior of our peers who are doing the same.

 On a bigger picture level, despite being shown that this short term way of thinking will lead to great losses and suffering, most will not be able to change the course set down. Dominant generations and institutions set in place during Pluto in Virgo through to Pluto in Sag phases past, will not be able to shift gears or lifestyles to do what is necessary for the good of the global population or the planet. They are locked in the past, even if it means running full tilt into a brick wall. It will be those who come after the 2012 Regulus from Leo into Virgo event who will rediscover service for true underlying value — as opposed to speculation and superficial fool’s gold plays, such as the stock market and economic bubbles — who will be tasked to do the cleaning up of the generations before.

(Perhaps here, we see the movement of Democracy Spring in Washington D.C. as being an echo of that; for now, it appears small, using passive resistance and non-violence service [Virgo] as guiding principles. It barely receives coverage through the media — but in history’s grand sweep, we may well look back and recognize it as the groundswell of fixed star Regulus moving away from the era of worshipped royalty-autocrat to an era of selfless consideration in goddess Virgo.)

Despite talk of “working toward a higher purpose” it will not feel positive, it will be hard and dirty work with little to no reward — but by using these energies in play now, we might be able to pave the road ahead of time for those who come after and make it less bumpy. While this doesn’t sound like particularly uplifting concepts, the message is that we must remind ourselves what we are thankful for, not what we do not have — to cultivate gratitude in our lives. If we do not and continue our program of endlessly taking without giving back, we can expect Pluto to reap with enthusiasm in decades to come.