Sun Into Scorpio 2014: Rolling In The Deep

     When the Sun changes signs, we can count on Mercury and Venus being amongst its closest traveling companions. That’s because Mercury and Venus are the planets nearest to the Sun, so the three bodies travel is close proximity. That being said, this year’s solar entrance into Scorpio is unusual. When the Sun moves into astrology’s 8th sign on October 23rd, it will be accompanied by Venus, a new Scorpio moon and solar eclipse. Along with Saturn, the Sun, Venus and new moon form a brief stellium. A stellium is a grouping of four or more planets in one sign, a condition that amplifies the themes inherent in that sign. In the case of Scorpio, these include emotional intensity, death and regeneration, sex, ritual and purification. This dramatic start marks the beginning of a cycle that will include a second eight-day-long stellium in November and the beginning of Saturn’s foray into the most extreme degrees of Scorpio. Saturn has not traversed this terrain for nearly 30 years. Add some mutual reception to potent Pluto, and the Scorpio cycle ahead promises to be an interesting one.

     Saturn represents the karmic lessons we signed up for, the soul agreements we made prior to this incarnation. When we’re living in accord with them, Saturn’s presence may only need to iron out a few wrinkles. When we’ve lost touch with them, the wakeup calls sound like fire alarms and life as we know it is severely disrupted. After all Saturn, the Universal taskmaster, is the planet charged with keeping us track and on time. Since October 2012 Saturn has been moving through Scorpio, a transit that will be complete in September of 2015. During the unfolding Sun through Scorpio cycle, Saturn will move from 22 to 26 degrees, and during the following Sun through Sagittarius cycle it will move from 26-29 degrees. The consensus in astrology is that as the planets move through the later degrees of each sign, from 20-29 degrees, the characteristics of that sign become their most pronounced.

Saturn And Ebola

     When Saturn initially passed 20 degrees of Scorpio late last December, the number of infections and deaths from the Ebola virus was in the low hundreds. As Saturn forged its way to 23 degrees, before turning retrograde on March 2nd, the number of deaths and infections steadily rose. While Saturn was in that retrograde (moving backward), the world outside of West Africa largely ignored the spreading outbreak. On July 20th Saturn stationed at 16 degrees and began moving forward, and on September 26th it reached 20 degrees for the second time. Four days later Thomas Eric Duncan became the first patient in the United States to be diagnosed with the disease. On October 27th Saturn will cross the 23 degree mark, moving beyond the point at had gotten to in March before turning retrograde. Astrologically, this means that we are moving into uncharted territory. Comparison’s are being made between Ebola and AIDS/HIV. Both are transmitted via bodily fluids, and like AIDS/HIV in its early stages, Ebola is presently lethal. Saturn’s last Scorpio transit was from August 1983 through November of 1985, with its critical 20-29 degree period beginning in late 1984.

     During that transit, Saturn first hit 22 degrees of Scorpio on December 5, 1984. Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS/HIV that month. During its 1985 retrograde, Saturn moved back to the earliest minutes of 22 degrees on June 29th. A formal request to re-admit White to school was submitted on June 30th. Saturn remained in Scorpio until November 17th, and on the 25th, with Saturn at 1 degree of Sagittarius, an Indiana Department of Education officer ruled that White must be allowed to attend school. White was the teenaged hemophiliac who contracted the AIDS/HIV virus through a blood transfusion, and who was subsequently banned from attending his local middle school. People on his newspaper delivery route canceled their subscriptions for hear of becoming infected, 151 of his 360 classmates stayed home when he was readmitted to school, and a bullet was fired into his living room. His case ultimately inspired international compassion, and he became a celebrated spokesman for the disease until his death in April of 1990. Now Saturn is poised to journey through the late degrees of Scorpio for the first time since then. If the previous generation left a template for the current outbreak, it was given by White’s mother who said this in an interview with The New York Times.

     “Ryan always said, ‘I’m just like everyone else with AIDS, no matter how I got it.’ And he would never have lived as long as he did without the gay community. The people we knew in New York made sure we knew about the latest treatments way before we would have known in Indiana. I hear mothers today say they’re not gonna work with no gay community on anything. Well, if it comes to your son’s life, you better start changing your heart and your attitude around.”

Mutual Reception

     Whether or not we have a pandemic is not the point. Saturn is asking what lessons we learned from the last crisis. When studying the correlation between AIDS/HIV and astrology, most astrologers would correctly point to another, and far greater factor, Pluto. It was in Scorpio from 1983 until 1995. Presently Pluto, the planet of evolution, is in mutual reception to Saturn. Mutual Reception means that two planets are in each other’s signs of rulership. In this case, Saturn rules Capricorn where Pluto is and Pluto rules Scorpio where Saturn is. Under this condition, the two planets share characteristics and work toward corresponding purposes. Capricorn deals with institutions, government and systems, and similarly Saturn is the planet of structure, order and discipline. Scorpio is associated with loss, power and metamorphosis, and Pluto is the planet of death, change and transformation. However the Ebola outbreak plays out, we’re already seeing a coalescing of these energies as NGOs, the UN and governments stridently work to find solutions. On a personal level, this mutual reception gives us the opportunity to apply form and structure to goals and objectives. It’s also working to weed out the things in our lives that are out of sync with our life purpose. Though Saturn and Pluto have been in mutual reception since 2012, during this Sun through Scorpio cycle, all of the personal planets will strengthen it, bringing its influence closer to home. On October 26th Mars will move into Capricorn, fueling Pluto, and on November 8th Mercury will move into Scorpio, joining Venus and supporting Saturn.

     Mercury’s entrance into Scorpio forms the cycle’s second stellium. This one will last until the 16th when Venus heads into Sagittarius. On the dark side, Scorpio is associated with secrecy, envy, obsession and deceit. During this stellium, we are being asked to examine our darkest fears and to pay careful attention each time an emotional button is pushed. Scorpio is astrology’s shaman, and its hallmark is honesty. What is repressed cannot heal, and this eight-day period gives us time to look inward, trace emotions back to their origins and release the unhealthy patterns they’ve encoded. Mars will encourage us to face our shadows, fears and true desires. Prayer, journaling and meditation are ways to work through this celestial purification zone. Saturn will depart from Scorpio on December 23rd of this year, return to it from June 16th through September 18, 2015, and then leave the sign for another 29 and a half years. This is the last time when the Sun and Saturn will connect in Scorpio until then. Shortly before his untimely death, Dallas native Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded his last studio album. The project gave him the chance to fulfill a long-held wish to work with his older brother Jimmie. Their track “Tick Tock” has a title befitting Saturn and a message hauntingly relevant to the challenges before us.

Sun Into Virgo 2014: Power Station

     Mutable, service-oriented Virgo is not the sign we typically associate with power. Initiating Cardinal signs like assertive Aries and ambitious Capricorn, or determined Fixed signs like firm Taurus and Pluto-ruled Scorpio, usually come to mind long before the mild-mannered earth sign. In part this is due to cultural conditioning that has mislead us into regarding values like love and peace as signs of weakness, instead of strength. Further, we’ve been lead to think of masculinity and its aggressive characteristics as being more powerful than femininity and its communal qualities. Phrases like “dog eat dog” and “survival of the fittest” have infiltrated our collective psyche and distorted our perceptions. One tap of any news app shows us how much damage these misconceptions are reeking: war, economic inequality and environmental abuse are threatening our very extinction. 2014’s Virgo cycle concludes with Pluto stationing to turn direct on September 21st, the United Nations Day of International Peace. Between now and then we are being called to redefine how we think of and use our power. Courtesy of Mercury, we’ll also be given a cosmic emotional intelligence evaluation. At the same time, Mars will energize new pathways and possibilities. As noted in my article of 2010, the constellation Virgo is home to the mythological Goddess Astraea. She was the last Olympian deity to leave earth and its inhabitants as they plunged into their self-created darkness of greed, war and competition. She desperately wanted to help humankind restore the world to a perfect state. The cycle ahead will give us the chance to immerse ourselves in the thoughtful, healing essence of astrology’s altruistic sixth sign.

     In 2014, all three Mercury retrogrades involve the planet of thinking and communication moving from a water sign backward into the preceding air sign. The Pisces/Aquarius retrograde took place from February 6th-28th and the Cancer/Gemini one take place from June 7th-July 1st. The next one begins on October 4th with Mercury at two degrees of the fixed water sign Scorpio. By October 25th it will have traveled all the way back to 16 degrees of the Cardinal air sign Libra. This is important for the cycle ahead because Mercury will first reach 16 degrees of Libra on September 14th. If either of this year’s previous Mercury retrogrades effected you significantly or your chart is heavily influenced by Mercury, preparing for the next one now is a good idea. You can check your chart to see which planets and houses fall in the signs of Gemini and Virgo because both are ruled by Mercury. Also look to see where your natal Mercury is. If it’s in a water or air sign, especially Libra or Scorpio, you may be more impacted by the coming retrograde than others. But universally, water represents the emotions and air represents our thinking, so we can all benefit for this one.


New Virgo moon with Saturn and Mars conjunction.

New Virgo moon with Saturn and Mars conjunction.


     This year’s theme of bringing our feelings to the surface for analysis, review and revision is clear, and this final retrograde will give us yet another chance to resolve the issues our emotions call our attention to. To underscore the cosmic mandate to decode the messages that our emotions are sending us, this retrograde will take place during the year’s second set of eclipses. The first set took place in the midst of the Grand Cardinal Cross and during the last Pluto/Uranus square. This time, under shamanic Scorpio’s influence, our emotions are likely to feel their most intense, yet simultaneously the Libra aspect will be working to restore equilibrium and inner peace. Paradoxically, one of the clearest indications that we are actually on track is the experience of discomfort. Esther Hicks describes this energetic disturbance as a contrast wave, merely our awareness of what we want instead of the present reality we are experiencing. She says that once we understand that, we can appreciate its meaning and make needed the changes. One emotion that is particularly good at getting our attention is anger.

     Astrologically, anger is associated with Mars. The planet of war takes two years to travel through the zodiac, a cycle that correlates to our development. Can you say terrible twos? Much like the temper tantrums thrown by children, our conflicts need love, patience and wisdom. Instead of repressing anger, or any of the uneasy emotions, the cycle ahead is asking us to cradle them with the same compassion we naturally give to the innocent and vulnerable. Mars is also our inner call to action. Coincidentally the red planet will move into Sagittarius on September 13th, the day before Mercury hits the shadow point of its next retrograde, and it will be there until October 26th, the day after the retrograde ends. Hopeful, inspirational Sagittarius shows us possibilities. Symbolized by the Archer’s bow, the optimistic fire sign points to the horizon and directs us toward solutions. Couple that with Martian courage, energy and enterprise, and you begin to see the value in uncovering and clearing blockages while taking action toward your heart’s desires. To round out this Virgo Sun cycle, Pluto stations to turn direct on September 21st. Another source of celestial fuel, Pluto imparts the gift of transformation. It will be powering up as we head into the autumn. With fresh analysis and motivation, we can plot the coordinates on our map to a happier and more peaceful future. The celestial recharge begins now.

     “You now allow yourself to experience your power. Being powerful is safe for you, knowing that you express your power with love. You have all of the power of your Creator within you! All the power of Divine love, wisdom and intelligence is available to you. You have the spiritual power to see angels and the future. You have intellectual power to tap into the universal wisdom of the One Mind. You have emotional power to empathize with others, and physical power that is truly unlimited. The angels ask you to give them any fears you may have connected with being a powerful person. Your angels see a quiet and beautiful aspect of your true power streaming from the only power in the universe: Divine love. Allow yourself to shine with this radiant love, so that your true power can radiant out into the world in miraculous ways.” Dr. Doreen Virtue, Ph. D.

Sun Into Leo 2014: Roar And Shine

     On July 22nd at 4:41 P.M. MST the Sun enters courageous, confident Leo. Annually this signals a celebratory cycle when rays of enthusiasm, joy and vitality flow freely from the very source of our solar system and life, the Sun. What makes 2014’s solar homecoming extra vibrant is that abundant Jupiter, our solar system’s second biggest celestial body, has also recently rolled into the charismatic fixed fire sign, for a year-long stay. In the context of Saturn gaining forward momentum and Mercury and Mars past their retrograde shadows and picking up steam, the forecast is indeed sunny and optimistic. But if a plot line is to be genuinely compelling, it needs a good antagonist. Contentious Mars and obstinate Saturn have been cast for those parts. On July 25th Mars will move into fixed, intense Scorpio, where alongside Saturn, it will square the planets traveling through lively Leo, cooling intemperate tendencies and issuing the reality checks. Whether you are sitting back to watch the show, writing your own script or feeling like the Oscar-winning director of your own life story, the cycle ahead will be filled with new opportunities and plenty of entertainment.

     Co-starring in this month’s blockbuster are the Sun and Jupiter. Together in dramatic Leo, these powerhouse planets will enliven and expand our endeavors. The Sun is after all, the gravitational center of our solar system and our source of life. But a few billion years back, Jupiter came very close to becoming a star in its own right. It opted for becoming hefty enough to hold 1,330 earths, having sixteen moons revolve around it and turning into our solar system’s second largest energy supplier. Not a bad gig if you can get it. From ancient to modern times, it has symbolized good fortune, success and benevolence. Who doesn’t want some of that? Combined with the regal radiance of playful Leo, the celestial stage is set for a year filled with positive possibility. Where in your life are you ready to take a leading role? What projects are ready for their debuts? The silver screen is lighting up now, and a cast of cosmic characters are waiting in the wings to support you.


New Leo Moon

     The first supporting role will be played by the new Leo moon on July 26th. By the time this one is full on August 10th, it will be one of this year’s SuperMoons. Would a Leo settle for anything less? Setting a clear intention as this one dawns is the surest way of manifesting your heart’s desire. After all, Leo rules the heart. Getting into the act next will be nimble Mercury, which makes its Leo run from July 31st to August 15th. Bolstered by Jupiter and the Sun, this transit will give us the chance to think big and express boldly. Turning up the volume and star power, magnetic Venus will join the leonine tour de force on August 12th. Her run will last until September 5th. This Jupiter/SunVenus trio suggests ideal conditions for attracting new relationships or spicing up existing ones. Cheering the star-studded Leo cast and us on, possibly into celestial overdrive, will be rambunctious Uranus, who will beam surprises from passionate Aries. Even in retrograde mode, this innovative force will find good company amongst its feisty and fiery planetary companions. The extra energy will likely prod and push us to abandon routines, experiment and play to new audiences. Uranus will form exact trines with Mercury and the Sun on August 8th, the same day that the Sun and Mercury conjoin. Further out, it will trine Venus on August 25th and Jupiter on September 25th. In the immediate forecast, look for lucky Jupiter hookups with Mercury on August 2nd and Venus on August 17th-18th. Bright lunar transits of Sagittarius, August 5th-7th. and Aries, August 13th-15th round out this ring of fire. But this all-star cast won’t be without its critics.

     As Luke Skywalker needed Darth Vader and Harry Potter needed Lord Voldemort, to grow Leo requires her nemesis. She’ll find him in Scorpio. There Mars and Saturn will be waiting to challenge the Sun’s self-centeredness and Jupiter’s excess. First aggressive Mars will rival the royal players when he forms squares to the new moon on July 26th, Jupiter on August 1st and Mercury on August 2nd. Next, and more significantly, restrictive Saturn will be putting the smack-down on Jupiter influenced exuberance when he squares that new Leo moon, Mercury on August 8th and the Sun on August 9th. Though Saturn will not square Venus until August 26th, the day after an exact meeting with Mars, and the battle royal with Jupiter will not heat up until the autumn, these early Mars and Saturn skirmishes will give us some indication of the issues we need to surmount during the coming year. Where do our excesses get us into trouble? Where, as Casey Kasem might have phrased it, do we need to keep our feet on the ground as we reach for the stars?

     Dreams born in the fires of Jupiter in Leo and forged by the mettle of Saturn in Scorpio. can build a foundation that will sustain us, and our happiness, for the next twelve years, Jupiter’s cycle. At its worst Leo is immature, selfish and autocratic, and at its worst Scorpio is vindictive, obsessive and ruthless. Jupiter expands and sees what’s possible while Saturn constricts and sees soberly. Under the aforementioned squares, the skies, and plot, could turn very, very dark. What are we and our hero to do? Like Simba, Leo can access its enormous heart and act with its signature courage and generosity for the greater good. Scorpio can mead out its candor with watery compassion. We can pour our enthusiasm into manageable tasks. The full Aquarius moon of August 10th at 19 degrees of Aquarius and the August 1st Venus trine to Saturn and Chiron can show all of us how to integrate the best of these aspects. Jupiter will be in Leo until August of 2015 and Saturn will not leave Scorpio for good until the following month. Their friction between them will intensity this fall before dropping off for the winter, but their exact square will occur in August of 2015. The Lion Kings and Queens among us will now begin learning how to manage, fuse and master these conflicting forces, and create the lives of their dreams. Let the Sun shine!



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