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Planetary Alignment

The New Year Starts with a BANG: Saturn and Pluto in exact conjunction

It’s finally here; the conjunction that will reshape our world at every level, personally and globally. On January 12, 2020, in the early hours of the morning, about 3AM PDT, the outer planets Saturn and Pluto will be approaching each other within one arc minute (that’s 1/60th of a degree) of an exact conjunction. They’ll be standing almost precisely side by side at 22º Capricorn in the Tropical zodiacal band. Like a couple dancing in close embrace, Saturn and Pluto will become one in the heavens, a single powerful entity ushering in change. But, this dance is one of great transformation!

If we maintain a +/- six-degree orb to define a conjunction, in the months after this January 12, 2020 event, Saturn and Pluto will remain mostly conjunct throughout the year. Even as both peddle backwards from Earth’s perspective, moving in and out of retrograde status, the majority of that time they will remain conjunct. 2020 will bring a powerfully combined pattern of awareness of both of these outer planets, the conjunction last occurring in November of 1982 in Libra. Astrologically speaking, there is no doubt about of the importance of this event.

As the ruler of Capricorn, Saturn is and has been for the past two years in a very powerful position as it transits the sign of Capricorn. In March of this year, it temporarily exists into Aquarius where it sits until July 1, moving retrograde back into Capricorn and conjunct again with Pluto. On a global level, this is our signal about what’s coming during this period; a reexamination of established institutions and organizations, such as governments, with consideration for how those establishments are being of benefit to the populace. Given the conservative or restrictive overlay Saturn can bring, we could see badly needed changes manifest in democracy, capitalism, free markets and our monetary systems that will bring a new level of responsibility to society. Regardless of what Saturn in Capricorn foretells, with Pluto in conjunction, it’s in the sky, heads may roll during this time.

These same patterns play out in us as well as in the world. What responsibility do we have to uphold a tradition in ourselves that fails to work and be of aid others? Operating as the project manager for the soul, Saturn reminds us that we must learn to pay attention to our responsibilities and define our boundaries for all behavior. It brings the burning question “are you committed to doing the right thing”, which in a transit should be asked of both yourself, looking to the affected areas of your chart (that’s near 22º Capricorn), and the societal institutions that surround you.

Physically, Saturn is around 50 times bigger (in diameter) than Pluto, yet we can think of Pluto as almost an equal player influencing our reality in the human theatre of change. Arriving on the world scene officially in 1930, Pluto, brings to us the higher consciousness inherent in the modern age. As the designated planetary ruler of Scorpio, it incorporates a sensitive insight vital to initiating the transformation process, its presence typically being intolerant of insincerity. Combine this quality with a sudden or blunt action, precipitated by the unavoidable frank power of that insight, and we shouldn’t be surprised at the sudden change Pluto can manifest.

Pluto’s distance from the sun and our knowledge of its presence (we can’t actually see it), symbolizes the mystery of both the planet and its process. Pluto’s illusiveness, harboring denizens of the underworld, can be secretive, seeming almost deceptive as to its role in transforming our lives. Yet, this quality is in reality an misconception as to the message or content Pluto is trying to reveal to us, seeming mysterious in its work. If you keep committed to promoting higher consciousness in all your acts, you won’t miss the mark with embracing Pluto’s influence. It can and will empower your inner self.

Representing numbers in the millions and as ruler of the 8th house, the first house of relating to others, Pluto brings to us events of the globe. Look at where the Pluto transit is occurring in a natal chart and we’ll see in us a reflection of what’s going on globally in society and how you feel about it. What role is transiting Pluto playing out in your life; are you impacting global events, feeling the change externally, or are the global events transforming you internally, personally? Like a part of God trapped in his own creation, there’s a pressure to act out, to alter that which is failing to measure up. As Pluto is pummeling a transformative path into our new future, when we don’t acknowledge its presence, our reaction to its alterations, internal or external, can be especially strong. For some, the shock at occurrence of certain global events can be felt at a very personal level, almost like a wound mysteriously acquired. Yet, the more we anticipate those events, by willingly raising our own consciousness, the less surprised or disruptive Pluto’s actions seem.

If you want to know where you feel it the most, look at how Pluto is aspected in your chart. What’s its relation to your natal planets and house cusps; is it conjunct, square, in opposition, sextile, or trine? Each hit from an aspect tells us where, in what part of our lives, we might feel the rumble of Pluto and simultaneously the oversight from Saturn during this period. If we don’t look ahead and do the work to change that which does not serve us well, in the Saturn-Pluto conjunct transit we may find an unavoidable presence, forcing an issue. When faced with change, keep thinking high vibration, not low. Avoid a low vibrational response, which could range from “Oh no!” to “I told you so!”

Let’s look beyond this conjunction in late Capricorn to see where things are going. Saturn’s next transiting sign this year will be Aquarius where the pattern there will become a watchful eye to commitments that support the many over the few or one, a genuine global outlook. Pluto, transiting very slowly, follows suit by moving into Aquarius in March 2023.  Saturn transits about a sign every three years, giving it more time and a better chance to affect that which requires alteration.

In this placement of Saturn in late Capricorn conjunct the power of Pluto, now is the time we may be forced, if we don’t act willingly, to make the changes that in the coming years will manifest as devotions to benefit others, the masses. During this period, it’s my hope that a stern resolve will manifest to realize badly needed modifications in our lives. At this time, will the world also create the stepping stones down that critical path of transformation ahead of us?

Copyright © 2020 Dan L Brock, All rights reserved.

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Planetary Alignment

Venus Retrograde Conjunct Mercury and…Coffee Stains?

The universe surrounds us in information. It’s our job to look for and acknowledge it, but even when it’s in plain sight, recognition can be a challenge. Info can come in the form of symbolic signs and patterns relating to our situation, and synchronicities which seem to defy probability and logic. If we fail to remain open, attentive and aware, we can easily miss an opportunity to gain knowledge that will aid us on our life mission.

Surprisingly, I found myself immersed in this “information flow” one morning as I woke and ventured into the kitchen to get my day going. My husband had already been up, in the kitchen, done his thing, and was out the door to work. Alone, I began to wander around to formulate a plan for drink and breakfast when I noticed on the counter top a coffee stain left earlier by my husband. I immediately thought, “Got to clean that up!”

Suddenly, I paused, stared into this dried, drippy liquid configuration and my awareness of the role of synchronicities started to kick in. In my astrologer’s mind, I immediately said “That’s the Sun with Mercury and Venus in conjunction…hmmm”. Taking a moment to ingest the absolute brilliance and beauty of this divine placement in my life, I thanked the universe for the spill and realized I needed to explore the data right away. The stain remaining in place, I ran out of the kitchen, grabbed my iPhone, and opened my astrology app (iPhemeris) to seek out the configuration; when was it next occurring, what were the conditions, how did it impact my chart, what are the implications of this alignment? Here’s what I found…

In the early morning hours of May 22, 2020, we are in for a fascinating astronomical/astrological alignment that involves the two inner planets Venus and Mercury. On this date, at 1:41AM MST, the planets will be in an exact conjunction in Gemini at 20º 11’ (degrees and arc minutes). The conjunction is something that happens routinely in the planetary orbits of Mercury and Venus, but there was a twist. Venus will be retrograde during the alignment, which happens to be the rarest retrograde observable in the solar system, occurring only about once every 18 months.

Elsewhere in the same chart, I could see other powerful alignments. The Sun, at 1º Gemini position, was trine (120º away) three outer planets, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto, that were all conjunct each other AND retrograde. This data was adding yet another twist to my story that could warrant an additional article worth of discussion. Suffice it to say, I realized the coffee stain message was trying to keep my focus on Venus retrograde conjunct Mercury. Later on, I’ll explore the process of intellectually reconsidering one’s identity in the slow-burn, expanding light of responsibility to others, supported by the well-ordered power of higher consciousness that comes through the insight of transformation. Anyway, what does Venus retrograde conjunct Mercury mean to us?

During this event, Venus and Mercury, shown in relative size, are in an exact conjunction. This implies the symbolic patterns and archetypes of both planets are comingled in a power-combo, like two people summing their strength. There is a simultaneous expansion from what we are passionate about, desire, or love (Venus) to what we think about and how we express (Mercury) that passion/desire/love. The time lag between what we feel or want and how we express it is diminished, almost to zero. The process for both planets moves into a unity state, inseparable, and without their separate qualities buffered by greater separation to elsewhere in the zodiac.

For a Gemini Venus/Mercury exact conjunction that is transiting in our natal chart, issues about what we want (or have had) are rising in our mind, related thoughts and ideas around our wants must be expressed. It may be like an unconscious process trying to break through to the surface and present intellectually a feeling with words.

Wherever you have Gemini at 22º in your natal chart, the house that contains this position will foretell the area of life where there is a corresponding influence of the transiting energy (Howard Sasprotas’ book The Twelve Houses is an excellent resource on the houses). Whatever the house variant may be, the late Gemini placement makes us act utilizing clear thoughts and expressions that are well-conceived. Maturity in what and how we communicate is paramount. Maybe all we need is a new journal entry, but talking directly, in-person might also be the ticket.

Critical in our chart eval will be any natal planets that can be activated by this transit, which would be through the aspect they make with Venus/Mercury. Regardless, Gemini (Mercury is the planetary ruler) indicates it’s important to examine how are you thinking or communicating your desires. The softness of Venus or the Venusian archetype may hold a female energy that shinnes through, leaving you to consider an influence or content that is divinely feminine in quality. Sometimes Venus gets what she wants.

From May 13th to June 25th, 2020, Venus is retrograde. Retrogrades tend to slow things down so we get it right and don’t miss anything on the ride, which tells us there’s far more to this event than you might expect. Venus wants us to look deeply into an issue, holding its energy directly in front of us the whole time so that we must address it. Stop, look, review and reassess where you are, then evaluate your decisions by checking your work, being careful of those decisions. Whatever the issue, it is something we have to dig a little deeper to define, acting with a focused intent to extract a clear understanding. Venus retrograde may unearth passions of the past, love affairs and acts of the heart we need to revisit in order to right that which was wrong or done in haste.

In Gemini, with Mercury in exact conjunction on May 20th, Venus retrograde looks carefully at what you desire with the idea of being accurate in how you express it. During this time, be patient with yourself and take your time to deliver a well-conceived, thorough expression of your desires, which could be through something you’ve written. Conditions may point to aspects of an old love relationship gone sour that hasn’t been fully resolved. Perhaps a question remains about what you (or they) did or didn’t say or do? Maybe it’s involves a physical thing, a family member, or pet? Search your feelings to seek the truth.

Lastly, in the continental United States this event occurs when many are asleep. For us in the Southwest (Tucson, Arizona), at 1:39AM, two minutes prior, this Venus retrograde exact conjunction with Mercury will be exiting a Gemini 4th house, crossing the Nadir (in a Placidus house system). This may draw our collective attention to desires for securities of the past, earlier times and lives already lived, perhaps something that should be more nurturing which lingers unfinished. Regardless of your place on Earth, when you’re asleep, it’s a great time to poll the dream state to get answers to your questions!

Before bed, ask for information related to this astrological event to be revealed to you in your dreams; what does Venus retrograde conjunct Mercury in Gemini mean to you? As you wake, remaining particularly open to impressions from the final moments of sleep, you may just discover the answers. The somnambulistic conditions occurring during those last few minutes of sleep are critical for bringing into your waking life the much-needed details of your dreams. You might also consider where your natal or transiting Neptune (the higher frequency of Venus) is placed to better determine the symbolic dream content that manifests.

Knowing that the moments before we awake are so highly impressionable, if we are able to keep at bay the invasion of conscious thoughts, access to dream content is possible. As you first become conscious, take note immediately of your dreams. Some folks like to keep a journal or notebook with a pen beside their bed to document things on waking. Please consider this time as a vital window into information you can take advantage of by modifying your sleep program. When the astrological archetypes of Venus and Mercury are dancing around so eloquently in our heavens as they are late in the night on May 22, 2020, do everything you can to realize this opportunity.

Keep an eye out for the synchronicities and good luck!

Copyright © 2020 Dan L Brock, All rights reserved.