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Energy Shifts: Mars in Libra goes direct, Sun enters Gemini

Ducks in the River
Ducks in the River
Catherine Al-Meten

“The world we are experiencing today is the result of our collective consciousness, and if we want a new world, each of us must start taking responsibility for helping create it.” —Rosemary Fillmore Rhea

Rosemary Fillmore Rhea, was the granddaughter of the founders of Unity, and the former editor of Unity magazine. She was also the author of a book, That’s How My Spirit Travels. When asked her favorite word, she said “peace”, for
“Peace, the word, brings to mind thoughts of tranquility, a feeling of being in unity and harmony with the energy of life. ..The word peace always reminds me that no matter what I experience, I have a choice of how I react. I can strike out with anger and fear or I can choose peace. When I choose peace, I not only help myself, but also I help make our world a little more peaceful.”

Her words set the tone for how this week and all the shifts of energy that have been happening this month, may be affecting us. It is in times of greatest trial, crisis, or uncertainty, that we are tempered and honed like fine gold. This last year may have been quite a trial for many, and certainly when we look at all that has transpired in the world, we know that we are living in times of great change, transformation, and transition. How are we handling ourselves, and what kinds of choices are we making, not so much about what we do, but more about how we respond to the shifts of energy. If we are still grasping and holding on for dear life, we may be missing something very important about giving up the struggle and letting go of trying to fix, control, or reason things out.

Since March 1 when Mars entered its retrograde phase in its orbit around the Sun, it has been going back over territory in that area of our lives between 27/9 degrees to 9/2 degrees where it is today. Wherever Mars is transiting the sign of Libra between 27/9 and 9 degrees, is the area of your life where you have been meeting the challenges, discoveries, and all things related to your right-brain perspectives. Because Mars has been transiting Libra, its normal rapid fire, impulsive tendencies have been muted.

Most of what has been going on, at least in its inception, has been experienced as a cyclic pattern that has brought us face to face with issues that we might have thought were resolved. Mars has been acting like a shovel, digging up old issues, worn out patterns of thought and behavior, and pushing us to change and grow by forcing issues we have tried to suppress or gloss over. Anything that poses a threat to our becoming more conscious of unconscious and subconscious desires and needs, has been pushed closer to the surface of our awareness.

Mars in Libra has given us ample opportunity to come out from behind our masks to express the truth of who we are. Hiding true feelings and attitudes has been difficult during this time. Whatever had been hidden beneath pleasant facades or suppressed with the thought of ‘forgetting’ have been stirred up by Mars retrograde phase. Instead of acting dashing and impulsively as Mars tends to do, we have held back, looked deeper, and reflected more cautiously on how we are going to respond to what has become evident. Libra seeks to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages of whatever area of life it represents to you. While initiating or completing a deal are usually best done after a retrograde phase, this has not been the case during this phase.

If what you have been starting or completing is based on honorable and sound judgment, the reflective nature of the Libra retrograde of Mars can have a positive outcome on whatever area of your life this deals with. You may find answers within yourself and from a growing depth of understanding you derive during this time. I found it interesting that Mars’ retrograde phase in my own life has brought some things to the forefront of my attention, and caused me to become aware of some very positive areas where both completing projects and initiating others has been possible and beneficial. In an attempt to purge what is no longer necessary in my life, I discovered what I had already created. Without taking time to reflect on, reevaluate, and discern what is both necessary and essential, and what is not, it would not have been possible for me to initiate and complete some things. I have been able to finish a book. I changed the venue of an art exhibit, and in the process, became open to more offers and working partnerships. It is probably very evident to you what area of life this Mars transit through Libra has been working its way through—what have you noticed breaking down below the surface, and rising up into awareness? What that appeared as a disaster, major obstacle, or challenge, has become the source of pleasure, benefit, or opportunity? What have you been learning about the cyclic nature of this area of your life, and of how you have learned to renegotiate and resolves conflicts?

Since December 8, 2013, Mars has been transiting Libra, the sign of its detriment or fall. That means that this is the least favorable place for Mars. However, the adage, “when given lemons, make lemonade” applies for this Mars cycle. If we have been willing to pay attention to what is breaking up, rising to our awareness, and driving our choices and behavior, shaping our attitudes and beliefs, then we have had a wonderful opportunity to think before we act, and to slowly, carefully, and discretely handle our lives with greater aplomb and grace.

On the very day that the Grand Cardinal Cross earlier this month, reached its peak, the retrograde Mars formed a conjunction with the star, Algorab. Algorab is part of the constellation Corvus (the Crow). Algorab (algoruub also means ‘crow’ in Arabic) is a third magnitude star that lies 86.9 light years from Earth. According to Astrologer, Jamie Partridge, Algorab “has a Saturn-Mars nature” and it can hinder or delay. It also suggests an element of treachery, deception or secret diplomacy and negotiations. Mars being in retrograde, muted the effects, of this aspect and/or drove it underground where it lies waiting to rise up and burst through the surface once Mars goes direct. Pay attention to any areas where duplicity or under-the-table deals may have been active.

Algorab, and indeed, all of the stars in the constellation of Corvus, fall into the 2nd decan of Libra (between 11-20 degrees), the same area that Mars has been in retrograde motion. Whatever is brewing beneath the surface has been disguised or hidden. Astrologer, Marina Macario’s excellent article “Libra Decan 2” describes the symbolic meaning of the Crow, Algorab beautifully. http://darkstarastrology.com/libra-decan-2/ .

During May, Jupiter and Saturn have been forming a beneficent trine (120 degree angle) and Mars in Libra, has been retrograde. The former aspect has been shining a light on whatever areas of your life have needed to be refined, corrected, and make essential alterations to your life now. Whatever seeds you have been planting, weeding out, and nurturing during this period of time, are growing beneath the surface. This upcoming week provides us with the wonderful opportunities. On Monday, May 19, Mars stations to turn direct in Libra as Saturn and Jupiter’s trine becomes exact. This week concludes one 12-year cycle and ushers in a new one, that lasts for the next 12 years. This is the week to become more mindful of where your efforts, focus, and plans are energized and clear. Understand that whatever you have been dwelling on, discerning, or planning will begin to take shape. Wherever you may have experienced blocks, obstacles, slow downs, disappointments, or rejection, you will now begin to feel release, open doors, and a big push forward. Be receptive to guidance. Notice where energy has been released, and where doors that were closed, now begin to open. I had a dream last night that I was waiting in the lobby of a school that had been closed down. Someone appeared and called me to follow him through an open door, and we found ourselves walking up stairs and into a building that had been closed but now was open to us. This is one segment of a dream that follows a series of dreams about locks, keys, and closed doors. Hard to miss the symbolism here, and interesting timing to have such a dream—just before a portal to the future opens for us all.

How we set our sails for the journey ahead, how we prepare and clarify our goals will in part, determine the nature of our journey and our receptiveness to learn whatever it is we are meant to learn. Now is the time to recognize our gifts and to rely on discernment that allows us to receive the guidance we need, and the willingness to accept both that guidance and the way our path unfolds. If we get too caught up in ego-needs and the need to control outcomes, we may be blocking our good. “Say yes to what you really desire, and then get out of the way.” Rely on the Universal Truth and Source to provide and open the path before you.

Transits and Aspects for the Week of May 18-24.

A dynamic week ahead, begins with a series squares on Sunday, May 18. The Moon in Capricorn forms a square to Uranus in Aries in the middle of the night (about the time I was having my door dream). The Moon tunes us in emotionally to changes, surprises, shocking revelations that are coming to our awareness. The Moon also forms a square to Venus in Aries in the early morning (PDT) mid-morning (EDT). Squares activate areas where we need to take or respond to activity, events, actions, and the ideas of others. In this case, we are feeling compelled to take action on our desire for romance, beauty, balance, and connection. While the Moon (emotions) in Capricorn may remind us of the practicalities, Venus (our hearts and desires) urge us to act anyway. The Moon also opposes Jupiter in Cancer in the morning. The polarities between the Moon and Jupiter are calling us to find a happy medium between our need for emotional security and harmony and our desire to express ourselves with the full force of our joy and happiness. We feel so full of love, and need to find ways to express this (art, music, dance, sharing time with those we love, communicating or expressing our feelings of abundance, good fortune, and joy. Just before noon (EDT) and midmorning (PDT) Venus squares Jupiter, again calling us to action.This aspect may also remind us of where romance and pleasure are lacking in our lives. Tap into the beauty within you and the in the world around you. Seek connection with what and who brings you pleasure and meaning.

The Moon moves into Aquarius in the middle of the night (3:03 A.M. EDT/12:03, just past midnight, PDT) on Monday, May 19. Mercury at 19/27 Gemini forms a quincunx to Saturn in Scorpio, bring some delays or some ambiguity around different forms of communication. May be hard to pay attention to details due to scattered thoughts or forgetfulness.

In the middle of the night (PDT) or close to dawn (EDT) as the Sun in Taurus makes a seisquiquadrate aspect to Neptune in Pisces, you may find yourself wrestling with the sense that someone or something is trying to control you. It may be a pattern of behavior in which you feel trapped, or a person/relationship where you feel used or manipulated. In any case, you may discover that you can sprout warrior angel wings, and come to your own defense. The message of this aspect is to come to greater awareness that you can fight against all odds and make positive changes in any area—particularly in the way you view and respond to what is happening. Standing on your own two feet, and trusting yourself are key elements of the Sun in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces—I know myself, know who I am, and am strong and resolute in that knowledge. Knowing myself means knowing where I need to change or improve as well as where I excel and have mastered a skill or talent. Because Neptune is involved, this is a highly personal and internal epiphany. Not only are we able to see ourselves more clearly, we are more tolerant and understanding of who we are. Only when we can be so with ourselves can we hope to extend that to other relationships. It is okay to make mistakes, to fail, and to fall down. What matters most is that we try and that we pic ourselves up with greater awareness and keep on going. The warrior is tested in battle, not in training or in moments of glory.

The big news of the week is Mars in Libra stationing direct at 6:00 P.M. PDT/9:00 P.M. EDT. At 9:30 P.M. EDT/6:30 P.M. PDT, Mars in Libra at 9/2 degrees stations direct. Mars has been slowing down for the turn back to direct as Mars begins to turn its orbit around the Sun back in the direction of the Earth. The changes will be noted not by a blinding flash but by the slow lifting of the heaviness, the oppression, and the strong sense of obligation, duty, and in some cases, drudgery and toil, that has marked this retrograde period. Relief will come like the lifting of the clouds after a storm. During the next few days and weeks, the pace of life, the level of enthusiasm, and the sense of pleasure and enjoyment will begin to return along with greater energy and stamina. Mars direct in Libra will still be somewhat more muted than it is in other signs, however, it will be a great time to see some of the first signs of movement, action, and interaction—all of which have been under the heavy weight of this retrograde phase. The Moon in Aquarius trines Mars in Libra just before Mars stations to turn direct. We may feel a moment or two of light and lightness as this occurs. The air sign energy promotes positive thinking, releases creative ideas, and sparks the imagination

Tuesday, the Moon remains in Aquarius all day. Energetically, the shift has begun, and you might want to pay attention to what that looks like in your life, feels in your body, and releases or pulls in mentally. The Moon square Saturn in Scorpio at midday or in the early afternoon, and may find us wrestling with some of the lessons that we have recently been learning. Saturn in Scorpio wakes us up, stirs up the unconsciousness, and makes us more aware of our subconscious drives and needs. Combine this with the connection between our emotional health (the Moon) and our minds and imagination (Aquarius),and we probably feel we have a lot to sort through.

The Moon trines Mercury in Gemini later (favoring emotionally satisfying communication) and forms a seisquiquadrate with Mars in Libra, striking a sharp note with the awareness that what has been learned now has to be processed and integrated into daily life and the overall perspective we hold. Many people seem to think that learning something or having a breakthrough, victory, or success automatically precludes them from having any more issues, conflicts, or problems to deal with. If asked, I’m sure no one would think this is necessarily true, however, we all seem to operate on the idea that ‘if only we learn this lesson, we won’t have to go through this again”—not true. It simply means we are better equipped to deal with similar issues in the future, and perhaps, even head some problems in the future.

At 10:58 P.M. EDT/8:59 P.M. PDT, the Sun begins its month-long transit of Gemini. When the Sun begins its transit of Gemini, the traditional ruler of the third house, it begins a swing through untethered territory. Gemini is all about communication and mental stimulation. Not bound to limitations nor to traditional rubrics of design, the Sun in Gemini draws out of the lines, reads three or four books at once, and carries on two or three conversations simultaneously (one in the head, another with whoever is in front of the Gemini, and the third in some task at hand (writing an email, composing a song, or jotting down notations for a new piece of music. The creator, if there was one, of the concept of multitasking, had to have been Gemini. The growing edge for Gemini is bringing diversity into unity. Taking diverse concepts, visions, and elements, and putting them together in a way that forms new substance. The difficulty of Gemini, in whatever area it reigns in your life is in having too many ideas, projects, interests, conversations, and relationships running counter to one another. Also having your energy drained and depleted before you even begin something, is a Gemini experience. We all have Gemini ruling some area of our chart/life.

Gemini Sun Issues:

First house, you may find during this time that you get your masks mixed up. The tendency to want to be ‘all things to all people’ may become even more evident when the Sun is lighting up your Ascendent.

Second house, self worth, value, personal resources and finances is involved, you may be called upon to deal with whatever areas of your self concept are at odds. If we are still operating on false ideas of who you are based on negative programing or past experiences that have not been addressed, the Sun in Gemini will bring this to light.

Third house, Gemini’s natural home, all areas of communication, publishing neighbors, brothers and sisters, local community, and your own process of communication are highlighted. How are you using the benefits of this Gemini placement to overcome the negative aspects of all forms of communication, including how you talk to and about yourself. Many people know all the right words, but don’t apply them to themselves, particularly when talking, thinking and forming new concepts or when telling their own stories. Notice what you say to yourself. And notice how you present and talk about who you are. Ahimsa—do no harm. If you don’t know what Ahimsa is, look it up. All spiritual traditions and religions delineate boundaries for doing no harm, and that includes to yourself. The beneficence of Gemini in its natural home only is helpful if you are maintaining and using this gift properly.

Fourth house. Our home and our sense of feeling and being at home with ourselves. This house also pertains to our Mother, and of how we have or have not resolved any issues tied to our upbringing. We have to face whatever was hurtful, disappointing, or sad, deal with it, and redefine home for ourselves. Even those of us who had wonderful homes and upbringings, need to remember, life if dynamic. Everything is always changing, and we have to continually redefine what makes us feel at home and comfortable in our own skin.

Fifth house. Pleasure, children, romance, art and creativity, and discovery of our talents. This area of our lives is essential to our lives. It is one of the first areas of our lives that we discovered and that helped define who we are. If we lose our ability to enjoy life, find pleasure, experience and allow ourselves romance, and create and bring forth life and beauty, we miss an essential part of our nature. By bringing forth life, I am not just referring to giving birth; I refer to finding ways of creating and bring ideas, art, service, or whatever passions you have, to life. Many of us have become almost puritanical in denying our need or right to enjoy life. If Gemini is in your 5th house this next month, you will be called to pay attention to how this affects this area of your life.

Sixth house. Physical body and health, jobs, daily living, and how you spend your daily life. How we spend our time day to day directly affects our health. Gemini in the sixth house shines it slight on your health and well being, on what you do with your time and how you use your skills, talents, abilities, and mind. All of this affects your physical health, and is vital to your essence.

Seventh house. Depending what other aspects and planetary/lunar placements you have in the 7th house, this are relates to your close, committed partnerships and to marriage. Gemini transiting the 7th house can catch us up in flights of fancy and of acting impulsively on unfulfilled desires or needs. We may question or experiment with ideas that relate to how we partner and participate in marriage. If we are whole and healed, we may find a true sense of integration as the Sun transits this house, bringing us to a deeper level of wholeness, feeling both independent and interdependent in relationships. Good time to do some healthy healing and redefining of what it means for us to be in relationship.

Eighth house. Our value and reputation in community. Interest and involvement with the goods of the dead. Transformation, transition, and seeking deeper knowledge of the essence of life, spirituality, and the deeper meaning and purpose of life. This house pertains to healing, other people’s monies and resources, inheritance, and taxes and finances. Interest in psychology and the esoteric and mystical understanding of religion and spirituality. This is a time when we may have mystical experiences and see how what lies beneath the surface rises up to our awareness to call us to pay closer attention to how we connect and relate to those who count on us, seek our advice, or expect us to handle their business or dealings.

Ninth house. Seeking knowledge, higher education and learning, and other cultures and countries highlight the areas governed by the ninth house. Long distance travel, overseas connections, and ideas that go beyond the limitations of the conventional and local wisdom. Wisdom, religious ideals, academic learning, and the search for Truth are all highlighted while the Sun is in this realm of your life. A great time to seek a new adventure.

Tenth house. Life purpose, career path, higher mind. The Sun, in transiting the 10 house, highlights that which calls you. What is it that you are in search of, and what do you need to do, be, learn, understand? This is a time when you will become more aware of what your life purpose is, and will have experiences, opportunities, and insight that will help you feel more connected to purpose and meaning, and will give you a deeper sense of what the journey is and might be for you.

Eleventh house. How you relate in groups. I call it the Sociology house. This is the realm of yourself in relationship with others: friendships, work and play groups, colleagues, institutional settings and relationships. The groups that fire you up or drain your essence, as the case may be. Notice in your life, as the Sun Gemini moves through your 11th house, what your current relationships are fueling and firing up in you. How are they sparking your imagination, encouraging your well being and ideas, and supporting your visions and intuitive imagination?

Twelfth house. The unconscious, the hidden depths of self, memory, private thoughts and secrets, secret enemies (those whom we fear and those whom we threaten) and fears, and the shadow aspects of ourselves. Karmic and intuitive energy. This house is all that is hidden below the purvey of others and represents the most private, intimate aspect of who we are. When the Sun in Gemini, an air sign, transits this house, we may get a much deeper level of communication, and may be able to tap into our intuitive gifts more easily than at other times.

One of the wonderful opportunities we have with learning something about astrology, is that it fits into the models that enable us to better understand ourselves, others, and the world in which we live. A simple way to follow the way the Sun affects you, is to observe just one area of your life during each month of the Sun’s transit through a sign. Learn from your own experience and observations, what validity or lack thereof there is in how the energy of the Sun’s position in the heavens affects a particular area of life. Do this for a year, and you will be wiser by 12 of at least one solar year’s worth of observations and experiences.

The Sun entering Gemini, joins Mercury already in Gemini, and this lifts our energy and spirits. It also releases us from a prolonged period of challenges, hard work, struggles, and some delays. With Mars turning direct in Libra, more energy has also been released, and movement picks up in all areas. We move out of the heavy aspect of the Sun and Mercury in Taurus being in direct opposition to Saturn in Scorpio. We find much needed relief and release from the heavy oppositional energy and conflicts this brought on. With the pressure eased, we now can use the energy of Jupiter’s benevolence and abundance of resources to bolster and support the plans that Saturn in Scorpio have been dreaming up. Whatever issues we have death with and put to be, are now resolved and won’t be presenting as much of a problem as in the recent past. With Mars’ usual transit cycle shifting form its normal 7-week cycle to a heavy duty 8-month one, we are now also relieved of the endless mind shifts and soul-searching that has marked so much of most of the last year. It’s okay to let things be for a while. Everything doesn’t need your constant attention and focus. It’s okay and even desirable to take a break, get away on vacation, or simply lighten up your load (and your attitude about things) a bit.

Timing is perfect of breaks. Graduations and end-of-the school year celebrations are underway. Seasons are changing, and we have more hours to enjoy during each day. Get outside and walk on the land. Plant a garden, or fill a pot with seeds on your balcony or porch. Read something light or start a major summer read (I’ll never forget the summer I read Uris’ The Source and another when I read Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. A little bit every day, adds a deeper pleasure to life during a time when you can enjoy digesting it more.

And from one of those beautiful pieces of literature, this quote about our responsibility to enjoy and make the most of the life we have been given.

"There is only one salvation for you: take yourself up, and make yourself responsible for all the sins of men. For indeed it is so, my friend, and the moment you make yourself sincerely responsible for everything and everyone, you will see at once that it is really so, that it is you who are guilty on behalf of all and for all. Whereas by shifting your own laziness and powerlessness onto others, you will end by sharing in Satan's pride and murmuring against God."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov