Into the Light Comes Change

Tonight is the full moon in Taurus.  Normally this is a really amazing moon.  Taurus is a fixed sign.  It wants to curl up with a luxurious blanket, sip gourmet hot chocolate, and relax.  But tonight is a different story because the moon is hanging out right next to Uranus.  Uranus LOVES change and unexpected lightening bolts.  This doesn’t mingle well with our fixed signs of Taurus (where the moon is) and Scorpio (where the sun just entered yesterday).  Our lovely fixed signs are all about routine and protecting the way things have always been.  They like consistency.  They like deep and meaningful relationships.  But when you throw Uranus in the mix…ooh, boy.

Some potential ways things can manifest during this time are unexpected departures in stable relationships, new information and secrets coming to light, or shake-ups to “this is the way we’ve always done things” attitudes.  With the sun moving into Scorpio, a sign notorious for its secrets, the full moon shines its light and exposes them.  Full moons are always about endings and those ah-ha moments.  The October full moon is traditionally called the hunters moon or the dying moon.  Native Americans likened it to the time after the crops have been harvested and the rest of the plant is dying.

I am always amazed how astrology manifests.  This morning, a dear friend was preparing for her birthday party.  Suddenly she found out that her grandfather, a steady presence in her life, had passed.  I was so sad to hear of his unexpected death.  A birthday celebration shifts to a time of life reflection.  My heart goes out to her and her family.

While the story was a literal manifestation, things aren’t always so dramatic.  Ways that you can help mitigate the effects of today is to actively invite change into your life.  Be deliberate in driving a new way to work or even using your non-dominant hand to do routine things like opening doors or brushing your teeth.  Studies have shown that these small changes help rewire our brains and create new pathways of learning.  Change is stimulating and it yields innovation.  Let the full moon shine new ways into your fixed paths.

Retrogrades

Let’s talk retrogrades, shall we?

Like everyone new to astrology, the mention of Mercury retrograde sends one into a Chicken Little frenzy.  Every thing that goes wrong gets blamed on Mercury retrograde.  It could be a simple as your plane getting delayed, phone on the fritz, or a complete wipe out of your hard drive.  Everyone is convinced the sky is falling.

Earlier this year we had 5 planets in retrograde at the same time.  Was it intense?  Oh my goodness, yes!  But, look!  We made it to the other side!!

All of this is to say that (dun, dun, dun), today is the eve of Venus going retrograde in Scorpio around 2:05 PM CDT on October 5, 2018.  What does this mean?  Well, let’s get into that in a minute, but first I’d like to give some perspective on retrogrades.

While we say planets go retrograde (aka travel backwards), it is all a matter of perception.  Since the cavemen days we have observed this phenomenon.  Planets really do not go backwards in their orbits.  As the Earth goes faster than the other planets around the sun, we pass them and so it just looks like they are going backwards.  Think of Olympic runners on the track.  Everyone is running the race and going forward around the track (orbiting the sun), but for the faster person who is passing the slower runner,  it looks like the slower runner is going backwards as they outpace them.  Does that make sense?

Every planet goes retrograde.  Mercury gets talked about the most because it is the fastest orbiter to the sun and thus we see this more often.  It happens about 3x a year so we feel its effects a lot more frequently.  I think because we see it more often and that most of our day to day involves things that are governed by Mercury, it feels impactful.  Mercury governs all communication, electronics, and travel.

The good part about retrogrades is that they let us RE-do or RE-work things that weren’t correctly addressed in the first place.  I like the idea of the universe giving us a shot to fix things.  It also gives us a chance to do some introspection and RE-assess our goals.  Nothing is perfect which is a perfectly wonderful meta-lesson for us to learn.  The shadow side is that this time can be frustrating.  I’m a pretty impatient person, so having to do anything twice is like pulling my hair out.

Like I mentioned earlier, every planet goes retrograde.  Note that the Sun, Moon, and Earth do not retrograde.  It all depends on perspective.  Everyone orbits the sun; the moon orbits us; and we live on Earth.  But here is a rough timetable of how the planets retrograde play out:

  • Mercury goes retrograde every 3-4 months for about 21 days.
  • Venus goes retrograde every 18 months or so for about 40 days .
  • Mars goes retrograde every 2 – 2.5 years for about 50-80 days.
  • Saturn goes retrograde about every year for about 138 days.
  • Jupiter goes retrograde about every year for 121 days.
  • Uranus goes retrograde every year for about 151 days.
  • Neptune goes retrograde every year for about 158 days.
  • Pluto goes retrograde every year and spends 5-6 months there.

As you can tell with the frequency, it is more of a common occurrence that someone will have at least one planet in retrograde in their natal chart.  So why do astrologers pay attention to retrogrades if they are that common?  Well, because each planet tells us what is at play.  For example, Venus happens to speak to our relationships but also our finances we earn and our self-worth.  Also, if you were born with a planet in retrograde and it goes into retrograde presently, then it may feel more like a homecoming vs. an exile.

And then depending upon which sign it is traveling in tells us what area its going to be affecting.  So sticking with our impending retrograde as the example, Scorpio deals with intensity, secrets, and power.  But exactly where this occurs depends on your specific chart.  Scorpio may be the house of children for one person, but the house of parents for another.  Can you see where I’m going with this?

The dates of the retrograde are important because it gives us timing tools.  Activity around dates planets stationing retrograde (at the beginning) or going direct (at the end) can be stronger.  Then if the planet is crossing an important angle or degree for you in your chart can be enlightening for specific timing.  And that, my friends, is why knowing your chart is really, really helpful.

Saturn in Capricorn

Saturn does not play.  It is separating in nature and cold.  It is inflexible and dry.  It is the embodiment of Scrooge.  It Is stern.  It teaches boundaries and discipline.  It is rigid, like the bones it governs in medical astrology.  It is the planet of hard work.  But for me, as a Capricorn rising, Saturn has always been a big planet for me to draw into my personal lens.

With Saturn whatever work given, the rewards will be earned.   It may take awhile though.  There are no short cuts but there will also be  second guessing once you hit the mark.   As a result, I tend to embrace this planet.  No use in swimming upstream when the current is pushing you forward.  You’ve got to work with what you have.  So I nestle right in with this ringed giant and see where it will take me.

Saturn is a slow ringed giant. It is the last planet we can see with the naked eye in the night sky.  For the longest time, it defined our outer limit of our solar system. It was known in prehistoric times but the rings were not seen until Gallieo in 1610.  The other outer planets weren’t discovered for an other 171 years until Uranus was noticed.  Its not a stretch to see why Saturn governs the idea of boundaries in general.  It takes 28.5 years to make one trip around the zodiac.  If the average person lives 90 years that individual will have 2-3 times to see the patterns it presents during a lifetime.  Any time Saturn is at its halfway mark and again when it returns to its natal station in a birth chart can mark big points of demarkation for the lessons its presenting.

I know Saturn.  It has been a BIG hitter for me my whole life.  My first Saturn opposition in 1991  manifested in my first knee surgery.  It ended up as a massive realignment knee surgery that ended my swimming career.  I got married the month of my first Saturn return in 2006 (and it conjoined the astroid Juno, symbolizing the wife).  My son was born the day Saturn crossed over my 10th house which led me to the decision of quitting my full time professional career which included two masters degrees and several administrative positions in large medical patriarchal institutions.  Saturn literally stepped in an restricted my projected career growth.  I became a full time stay at home mom.  Board room to board books, is what I called that step.  Saturns transits literally restructure my life.

As Saturn entered Capricorn in mid-December 2017, I figured I’d get to see this planet in action.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, so it is relatively happy there.  As the rest of the astrological community let out a collective groan anticipating the next 7 year chapter, I thought of all of the blessings that might happen.  Its in my first house of physical self, image, and body.   Bring on the restricted healthy diet and hard exercise!  I figured I would be in the best shape of my life by the end of this run.  That was the intention I set.  Let’s transform my physical self. I was ready.

I laid the ground work for this manifestation.  I went to gyms to interview them about their philosophy.   I booked a medical astrology consultation with Kira Sutherland.  I went back to my sports med doctors to get an all clear.  I got assigned to physical therapy for some rehab work, but hey, it was still early in the Saturn/Capricorn chapter, so some remediation is to be expected.

The first pass of Saturn over my Ascendant in February 2018 wasn’t eventful.  I waited to see what would happen with the retrograde motion after it stationed in April.Reality hit, and it hit hard.

In late June 2018, Saturn made an exact conjunction with my ascendant in early Capricorn.  I honestly didn’t expect things to be so bad.  The night before it went exact, I *decided* to do my own stunt work.  It was a perfect example of how not to do physical comedy.  I took a spill down the stairs while carrying two glass lanterns and heard loud crunching and popping from my ankles.  (But hey!  I saved the glass lanterns!!) The last thing you want to hear from your doctor is, “Oh my God, you are a Board question!”  That, in layman’s terms, means that my injuries were so bad and so complex that they use it as the more obscure question when they test doctors for certification.  I had torn 3 ligaments perfectly away from the bones.  Hello, Saturn.  A break would have been an easy fix:  6 weeks, maybe surgery, and you are on your way.  Ligaments?  They don’t grow back.  Once they are gone, the only thing you can do is cozy up with physical therapy and build the strength to support the structures that were once there.

It is now October and I am still in the boot.  To make matters a bit more complex I went back in for a knee injection last week.  The next day the moon went into Gemini in my 6th house and my knee blew up like a balloon.  It is the size of a cantaloupe.  I cannot bend it past 80 degrees.  I cannot walk on it.  When a joint swells, your body’s first reaction is to cut off the supporting muscles strength.  So my quad is useless.  It is its wise way of saying, “Stop.  You cannot use me.   You must rest.”

Sometimes the lesson of Saturn is to rest and allow others to help.  That, in itself, is the hard work.

We will see what November 9, 2018 brings when Saturn once again grinds across my ascendant degree in early Capricorn.  And again, when it makes its second opposition in 2022-2023.