As we all attempt to “Spring Forward” now, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about some planetary energies that may change the tempo of the dance just a little. In the “big picture” news, March and April feature 2 eclipses that offer their own themes, which I talked about in my first article on the Eclipses of 2015 (please see the January issue of the Inner Tapestry Journal for a review of eclipses).
But the Spring Fling really officially begins with the Spring Equinox on March 21st. This is when the Sun enters the sign of Aries the Ram. Aries lends its energies to moving things forward and wants us to focus on our personal plans and goals; but there are also aspects at work now that suggest that we have to fit them into a larger context. In other words, we have to be true to ourselves while also maintaining our connections to others. Each year, the Sun’s entrance into Aries renews our energy and drive and reminds us that we can still rededicate ourselves now to whatever makes us excited to be alive. Ask yourself what you feel passionately about….what gets your juices flowing…..what makes you feel alive. That’s where you should be putting your time and energy.
And, by the way, in Chinese Astrology, February 19thbegan the Chinese New Year. Each year the Chinese honor an animal whose energies represent the prevailing themes for the year. 2015 is the Year of the Sheep (also called the Goat or the Ram in some places).Last year was the Year of the Horse, and many of us had to run at top speed just to keep up with things. This year however, the Sheep rules and the overall energy will be slower and gentler. Because sheep always travel together, group projects and working with others to form consensus and community will become important. We all need to band together now to help one another. This year our success is greater (and possibly sweeter) if we’re part of a support group.
As we move into Spring, several retrograding planets will also be joining the dance. For instance, Saturn has been retrograding (from Sagittarius back into Scorpio) since March 14thand will not go direct again until August 1st. This may cause some delays for people with respect to career, real estate, authority figures and aging parents. Also, your “just do it” attitude may not be quite up to the task. When Saturn is retrograde, just being able to get things done requires more time and patience than you had planned on. However, give projects the time and expertise required, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. Speaking of experts—Saturn rules them—so if you need one to do the job right the first time, hire one. Otherwise, you’ll just end up doing it all over again. And no one wants that.
On his best day, Saturn travels slowly and so will not reach the last degrees of Scorpio until June and July. And as it does so, the plot will thicken (objects in your rear view mirror may suddenly loom much larger!). Scorpio is a deeply penetrating sign and the emotions stirred up during that time may be intense. Saturn in Scorpio has been known to bring up issues of sexuality and if there are any sexual abuse issues you need to deal with, this can be a very healing time. Another theme that may surface is fatherhood. Indeed, authority in general becomes a complex issue—particularly if you’re not the one in charge. So from March thru August expect to be working things out with “dad” (literal or figurative), or with your boss at work, or with the powers that be in general. Anyone who represents authority to you now (even the government), can become a target for your power/control issues from the past; or you can choose to dissolve past issues by recognizing them for what they are and dealing with them (as opposed to projecting them). Remember that the ultimate goal here is not to overthrow the government. The ultimate goal is to become your own authority and to understand exactly what it means to be a grownup (even when you’re the only one in the room who is).
Personally, I have found that the best thing to do with Saturn in Scorpio is to respect my elders and recognize their positive contribution to my life. While the worst thing you could probably do now is to get angry at your parents or grandparents for aging—especially if you are involved in their care at all (because while Saturn is retrograde it is likely that someone older than you may need your help). Remember, it’s not their fault they got old. God willing, one day you’ll get old too! Ask yourself how you’d like to be treated. In addition to aging relatives, we may also notice the toll time has taken on us. Saturn in Scorpio can bring up issues of our own aging process, and we may need to readjust some of the expectations we have of ourselves. Remember the lessons of the Year of the Sheep and be patient and gentle with yourself. Surely you deserve kindness and compassion just as much as anyone else in your life.
Mercury (the planet ruling communications) will be retrograde from about May 19ththru June 10th. Many people seem to be apprehensive when they hear of Mercury’s retrograde (I get letters). Well, fear not! Following a few simple guidelines will make this time just as productive as any other time. When any planet retrogrades, it appears to be slowing down in its orbit, and that’s exactly what we should be doing, too. Retrogrades are simply a time to takeyour time with things, stop all the rushing around, and focus inward instead of outward. Some things do go better than others now, and because Mercury rules communications of all kinds, the slow down period is generally considered a poor time to sign major or long-term contracts (for homes, cars, leases etc.) or to purchase major electronics (such as TVs, computers, phones). So this retrograde may see people struggling to implement new technology, or having to deal with outdated technology. Repairing or replacing electronics now is a good idea.
In addition, this particular retrograde is mainly in the sign of communications—Gemini. So, in our personal or professional relationships we may find that we either misunderstand others or they misunderstand us. Make sure that your communication is clear and concise now and make extra sure that what you said (or wrote in an email) is exactly what was heard or intended. Leave enough time for everyone to be heard in meetings. Agreements should be revisited at this time, and may be revised if needed. And do keep in mind that not every topic is appropriate to be discussed by email. Some things still require face-to-face discussion.
Your main focus during a retrograde should be on completing projects already begun and working behind the scenes to troubleshoot your previous efforts. Mercury retrograde is a great time to focus your efforts on the “re” words as in: redo, rework, rewrite, renew, rebuild, repurpose, re-evaluate, review, return, redirect, renegotiate, remind, rewind…you get the general idea. Mercury’s energy is focused privately rather than publicly during its retrograde phase, so launching new products or services just doesn’t generally work out like we planned it. But finishing up old projects or fixing what’s not working goes better. See things through to the end. Research also works especially well now, as you can uncover things previously hidden. Getting organized (or reorganizing) and working quietly and diligently to perfect your process gets you ahead in the long run. And if necessity dictates that you do sign contracts at this time—because let’s face it, life has a tendency to just keep happening regardless of Mercury’s phases—be sure to read the fine print first. In other words: know exactly what you’re getting into.
The retrograde energy of any planet requires us to look in the mirror and transform ourselves, rather than others. So during your own personal “Spring Fling” remember to stop and look within. Taking time for reflection now can clear the debris away so that we can move forward into our year with confidence. What will you choose to transform in your own life this year? Your career? Your relationships? Your spiritual journey? In the end, remember, it’s only a dance. It keeps us on our toes to learn a few new steps every now and again. So play, laugh, be kind, and keep on dancing. Then look up and thank your lucky stars.