Archive | August 2016

Triple Alignment of Retrograde Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in Virgo – Aug 2016 – the Three Wise Men do it again

The triple alignment of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter this month is a moderately rare opportunity to see the three planetary bodies close together in the night sky on the western horizon just after sunset.

Mercury conjunct Venus conjunct JupiterMercury and Venus are close all month and eventually Venus exactly conjuncts Mercury as the latter slows to his stationary position in the sky before going into a 3 week retrograde motion, from our observers’ point of view on earth. This alignment is curiously exact on the very day that both of them also conjunct Jupiter to within a single degree on 30 August ‘16. And it further also happens to be the day of the Mercury stationary, traditionally the most critical day in the general Mercury shadow/retrograde event.

So throughout August both planets are in synch and closely involved in identical alignments with other planets, like for example, the harmonious trine with Pluto around mid month. Pluto in Greek mythology is the lord or the underworld, and when positively aspecting Mercury the winged messenger and Venus the goddess of love, one may find an opportunity to tap into valuable insights via research or brainstorming or meditation, or to revive, rediscover or renovate social connections, and the doors they open. It is a great time to attend yoga workshops or retreats or see a counsellor, or even just deepen friendships, which in themselves are healthy when chosen from the appropriate association. When days are dark and friends are few, it only takes one true friend to provide a solution or shift in perception that aids the journey.

Amazingly the trine of Venus to Pluto, which is at its most exact on 17 Aug, is on the eve of the full moon associated with Sri Balarama, the brother of Krishna, representative of the elder brother, guide, and dear-most friend and protector. This trine is describing a time of intensified emotional depth, which can facilitate the highest forms of love. It facilitates spiritual regeneration, a perfect time for an initiation, based on love, and a healing of the heart or relationship department. The days leading up to and just after the 17th will be the window of alignment, so this is a wonderful full moon opportunity to harness, particularly via the power of music or sound to uplift the consciousness, as taught in numerous ancient cultures and practices since ancient times on the planet. I will be celebrating the full moon event with song, drum and dance, hopefully good company, and a little feasting perhaps, if such an oxymoron exists. Basically relationships can be healed during this window around the full moon. Venus trine Pluto, Mercury trine Pluto

The simultaneous square aspects from Mercury and Venus to Saturn earlier this August have already tested relationships to breaking point and some may have failed the stress test. Good company is hard to find, but solitude is better than irreconcilable bad association. Those who have chosen to take the higher road will find over the full moon period a chance to heal any strained relationships, or the opportunity to end bad ones by discovering better alternatives. As to which way you play it, which choice you take, that is up to you, or higher arrangement, whatever your perspective of life.

Remember too, as Venus opposes Neptune in the zodiac also around 15 August, that any relationship of healer and patient, victim and rescuer, fallen and saviour, needs to be kept healthy for both parties, for either sides are vulnerable to exploitation in such mutual relationships, and even the cheater and the cheated are two sides of the same coin of a potentially unhealthy relationship if it disempowers one or the other party, or if it perpetuates unhealthy lifestyle patterns or habits in any relationship. That said, many souls are struggling with the hard knocks of life on earth, devoid of knowledge, battered down by the lower modes and much in need of a merciful hand to help them up. So the balance between empowering and perpetuating victimhood needs to be maintained for both parties to really benefit the most from any relationship.

Of course all of these are but introductions to the main event of this month, namely the exact triple alignment on the day of Mercury’s station – 30 August. Already from 21 August Mercury will slow down to an exact conjunction with Jupiter for at least two weeks until 4 September, when Mercury gradually begins to edge away in retrograde motion from Jupiter. Because of it occurring on the Mercury retrograde event, it becomes a particularly rare and valuable opportunity worth harnessing, as the window of conjunction is stretched to over two weeks, when it would normally only last two days. This fortnight will facilitate a greater philosophical awareness and insight, where we can see the bigger picture, visit further horizons, and expand our understanding or network to incorporate more than before. Just be very careful – considering the conjunction falls in Virgo – not to be overcome by pettiness, and miss the opportunity for growth due to minor or insignificant issues. This is a great planetary aspect for higher studies, tertiary education, particularly religion and law, as well as foreign travels and business even, if that is your penchant. The elections and current search for new Public Protector will be buzz themes to benefit from airtime under a Mercury/Jupiter conjunction. With the immanent Mercury station and retrograde involved, delays, hitches, backtracking, etc could be the order of the day, and that implies delays in any legal, political or educational issues.

Mercury conjunct Venus conjunct JupiterSome, however, will benefit from the available opportunity to harness empowered speech, lecturing or political campaigning, as well as improved studies; anyone who’s career depends on smooth or fluent talking potentially benefits during this extended fortnight. Wit and wisdom should win the day, or a big propaganda machine. And when Venus finally joins the alignment for a couple of days just before and after the 30th August peak, the third force adds her rays of benediction to the conjunction, bringing generosity and optimism to the equation. This then becomes a truly friendly and sociable time, even if in the shy, reserved, modest and dutiful sign of Virgo. At its best it can facilitate healthy, healing relationships based on mutual service and upliftment, with peace as the lubricant. Just be careful that it doesn’t lead to complacency of course, lest the great opportunity to evolve, grow and expand goes by unharnessed simply because Maya’s lap seemed comfortable at the time.


Mars conjunct Saturn square Neptune – when the going gets tough, the tough call your bluff

As Saturn grinds to a halt in its retrograde motion on 13 August, and remains pretty much stationary during this month at around nine to ten degrees of Sagittarius, Mars will come to an exact conjunction with it on the 24th marking a time of hard realities where biting the bullet may be the only way to bear the pain for those unprepared or overly attached to the trivial.

Mars conjunct SaturnFrom the 10th of August already Mars can be considered within a wide eight degree orb of conjunction and the influence of the two malefics meeting may begin to be felt, gradually intensifying in their influence by the 24th and then gradually subsiding thereafter as Mars passes the slow tick of Old Father Time – Saturn – as he speeds up to his usual snail’s pace once more.

The alignment of these two planets can play itself out in a variety of ways, not only problematic. It depends, of course, on the consciousness of the individual as to how this opportunity may be harnessed. Mars symbolises the desire nature, the male libido, and one’s assertiveness generally, while Saturn traditionally symbolises authority figures, limitations and a slow and heavy influence. So some have described this combination as “driving with the brakes on”. When the drive or desire meets the slow heavy object, the initial urge to achieve the goal may seem obstructed, slow or difficult, but with perseverance the force of inertia can be overcome, launch velocity can be reached, and movement, once initiated, can grow and actually endure with great stamina available for the long haul.

So on the positive side this is potentially a time of increased capacity for hard work or physical achievement, with enduring strength, resourcefulness and even courage in situations of danger or initial difficulty. The Spartan qualities of the soldier toughing it out under frugal conditions are thus available to those who are able to overcome their attachments to frivolous luxuries, soft pillows or petty needs, and so although seeming bitter in the beginning, those who are willing to persevere will taste the sweetness at the end, as the stiff muscles warm up, the engine builds up steam and the wheels of the Juggernaut begin rolling in the right direction, with the long term goal in mind.

In other words this is not – on first impression – an easy time, but for those willing to do the needful, much can be achieved by sheer hard work, patience and determination. No pain – no gain. Stiffness due to unused muscles or even sluggishness of mind due to wallowing in the mire of Maya can be overcome now for those with the desire to go higher. Just be careful though of anger or hard feelings of malice against another during this phase, possibly due to frustration at blockages or slow pace or apparent opposition to your actions. Deliberate aggression or organised destruction is to be avoided, unless of course i’ts time to mount that wrecking ball and ride it like a bucking bronco, but only you will know. Just be careful of breaking bones though, yours or someone else’s. And also be sure to analyse your motives, lest they contain any seeds of mundane ambition for power, which will only make you look like a tyrannical dictator. The current political situation in Turkey comes to mind now, as attempted coups, military overthrows and purges, along with a fanatical desire to reinstate the once great Ottoman Empire under Sharia Law is a perfect example of this conjunction gong to the head of some tyrant drunk on selfish power.

This month’s planetary conjunction suggests a time when the going may get tough, but the tough will certainly get going and keep going, as one’s stamina, endurance and strength are tested, strength of will and of character. Courage is called for, as Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune favours the brave, if they fight for the right cause. The combination of Mars and Saturn is a paradoxical one, for it requires courage despite fear, assertion along with great control, and desire along with staunch discipline. When the intense desire to move meets the incredibly heavy or paralysing weight of inertia, or fear of assertion, then something has to give, and it depends entirely on one’s character as to how this plays itself out. Certainly, if you have been feeling stuck and needing a way to break free from the lower modes or break out of the chains of illusion, then this month’s conjunction of Mars and Saturn may be your window of opportunity. Now is the time to fight the good fight, on behalf of the right authority figure, of course. If your will was ever excessively thwarted as a child, then unresolved issues may arise now as patterns of repeated fights against authorities or parental influences may emerge. Just remember that neither the whipping boy or the cracker of the whip is a healthy role to play now. Ideally we have good authorities to follow, or we have internalised in a healthy way the higher authority and are guided by them to sublimate our desires to a worthy cause so that we can make proper use of this valuable human form of life, and not behave like polished animals, pigs in silk, monkey renunciates.

If you find yourself frustrated or suffering from blocked desire that leaves you feeling angry, then try vigorous physical exercise, hard physical labour, find a healthy outlet to channel any pent up libido. Harness that chi and mould it to your will, or to a higher will, and avoid getting yourself into trouble, or into quarrels. In this way you forge the heavy metal of your human nature into a powerful tool or weapon in the war against Maya or the lower forces of nature, so that it becomes tempered to perfection. No athlete has made it to the current Olympic Games without daily hours of sweat and labour to attain the real gold for which we are all always anxious. Mars conjunct Saturn

Let’s also remember that Saturn is still square to Neptune this month (as mentioned in a previous article) and so as Mars conjuncts with Saturn, it too will join that challenging square to Neptune for a few days, peaking around the 24th of August. Be careful then of any unwanted or conflicting emotional desires or bad habits from your unconscious blocking your drive forward. Repression is not the answer now either, as it will only lead to neurosis or unhealthy expression, either in psychosomatic illness or accident, or deviation from the path. Be careful of drug usage, conventional or otherwise, for they all have bad side effects and psychiatrists and doctors are merely drug pushers for Big Pharma who prefer you sick or medicated so that they can get rich. The deception that the medical industry has your best interests at heart is huge and those days of “Hippocratically oathed” doctors is long gone. Just watch the documentary called “The Marketing of Madness” if you want evidence. Under this astrological alignment we all need to beware of treachery, deceit and dishonesty, and the challenge will be to keep it real.

Any apparent feelings of emotional frustration or sentimental longing for that big illusion called romance can also be easily mitigated by channelling your creativity into art, dance, drama or music, or any field that gives scope to the imagination or the image-making hemisphere of the brain. Romance is basically self-deception and merely a side effect of the mating instinct, but unless we are taught the science of consciousness we will remain victims of the advertising agencies as well as our own minds and will only have ourselves to blame when we inevitably suffer the disappearance of that temporary imagined romantic illusion. Indeed it is uncontrolled imagination (Neptune) which inflames the desires (Mars) of the unwitting aspirant. Now you know.