Astrologer Pam Younghans writes this weekly astrological journal based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and insights to assist you in making the best use of current energies. This column is not intended as prediction. Your own experience will be more specifically defined by transits to your personal chart.
Highlighted Aspects for This Week
All times listed are Pacific StandardTime. For Eastern Time, add 3 hours.
MON: Mars square Jupiter
TUE: Sun trine Chiron
WED: Sun quincunx Uranus
THU: Sun enters Sagittarius, Mars semisquare Pluto, Full Moon 9:39 p.m.
SAT: Neptune stations direct 5:08 p.m.
SUN: Sun conjunct Jupiter
JUPITER AND SAGITTARIUS, the sign that Jupiter rules, have major roles in this week's astrological drama. We start and end the week with significant aspects involving Jupiter, and, after the Sun enters Sagittarius on Thursday, there will be three planets in that sign. Given that one of those planets is Jupiter itself -- which magnifies the issues of whatever sign it is traversing -- Sagittarian themes should be quite noticeable.
And, what exactly are those themes? Sagittarius rules lawsuits and the courts, religion and philosophy, foreign travel and cultures, publishing and institutions of higher learning, philanthropy and morality. The higher-vibrational qualities associated with the sign include generosity, idealism, tolerance, inspiration, honesty, and good humor. Among the lower-frequency traits are dogmatism, fanaticism, self-righteousness, bigotry, indulgence, and excesses of all kinds.
ON MONDAY, a square aspect between Mars and Jupiter is likely to stir up animosity between people who espouse differing philosophies and ideals. It's easy to appoint ourselves both judge and jury with this influence, and yet with Mars in non-aggressive Pisces, it can be difficult to know exactly what actions to take. Still, biases are strong and options may feel limited, so carefully review all avenues of expression. Try not to let self-righteousness drive your actions, nor to allow passivity to keep you from asserting your truth.
A Sun-Chiron trine on Tuesday provides the opportunity to let go of some of the resentments and negative perceptions that have been keeping us in doubt and fear. On Wednesday, a Sun-Uranus quincunx reminds us that if we are to be successful in this release process, we will need to make an attitude adjustment, by accessing a more enlightened perspective.
THE LUNAR CYCLE that began on November 7 achieves its pinnacle in the Full Moon on Thursday (Friday in some time zones). The lunation occurs at 9:39 p.m. PST, when the Moon is at 00°52′ Gemini.
This is the first of five Full Moons in a row that occur at 0 degrees of a sign. Since 0 degrees is a starting point, and a Full Moon is a culmination phase, this leaves us with an interesting paradox. For the next five months, as we come to the awareness represented by the Moon at its fullness, we are also initiating a new process based on that heightened consciousness.
A MUTABLE T-SQUARE configuration is formed at the time of the Full Moon, involving the Gemini Moon opposite the Sun, Jupiter, and Mercury in Sagittarius, and all four of those planets square Mars in Pisces. In other words, the effects of Monday's Mars-Jupiter aspect are fully incorporated into this Full Moon, as is the influence of the adventurous but opinionated Sun-Jupiter alignment that perfects next Sunday. Plus, we throw retrograde Mercury into the mix, just to keep us on our toes.
The Jupiter/Sagittarius themes mentioned earlier are amplified with this lunation, and our responses in these areas are complicated by the impulsiveness represented by Mars. Focus and patience are essential if we are to avoid scattering our energies or acting in a passive-aggressive manner. (Easier said than done for many, especially during holidays with family.) With Mercury moving backward, it is equally vital that we access our intuition now, rather than simply trusting our reason when making decisions.
THE MOON is aligned with the fixed star Alcyone at the time of the lunation, infusing our Full Moon experience with that star's influence. Alcyone is the main star of the Pleiades star cluster, one of the Seven Weeping Sisters. Depending on the resource, Alcyone's effect ranges from "mystical interest and inner knowledge" to "bereavement, loss, and sorrow."
Roderick Kidston provides a more in-depth and well-rounded explanation of the star's effects:
"The central theme of Alcyone is that of handling and overcoming burdensome problems. At its best, this star can give you great success, based on taking charge firmly of your own fate and being committed in all you do. Probably the greatest challenge is learning how to handle strong emotions. With Alcyone, there is a high degree of sensitivity, and it really isn't possible to ignore what is wrong with life. It either stresses you out so much you are forced to act on your purely personal behalf, or you become a passionate advocate for those who suffer, and work to find ways to make the world a better place."
With recent events, it isn't hard to imagine how this influence might play out. So many of us are either in the process of handling life-changing circumstances or are profoundly affected by the stories and situations we hear about, concerning either loved ones or even strangers. Heightened emotions usually accompany a Full Moon, so we may expect that we will be especially sensitive on Thursday and Friday, and that tears may fall readily as we feel and release deep sorrow.
THAT SENSITIVITY is also heightened this week due to Neptune's station on Saturday. The mystical planet is completing its five-month reverse phase and will be shifting into first gear once more. If we are especially in tune with Neptune, we may be able to sense more of an inward pull since it went retrograde on June 18. But for most of us, the planet's retrograde effect is hard to capture, since the planet is already "characteristically subtle, evasive, and reluctant to manifest in well-defined material terms." (Bil Tierney)
But, a planet's influence is always more potent around the time of its station, so we can expect that this week will feel even more "other worldly" than usual. Neptune is a very mystical planet, representing the higher vibrational qualities of compassion, understanding, and selflessness. Under a strong Neptune effect, we are more emotionally and spiritually impressionable. The dream state and meditation experiences are enhanced, and intuition, psychic impressions, and creative inspiration may be more accessible.
Taking these various influences into account, we shouldn't be surprised if we feel particularly ungrounded and a bit moody this week. This is a time to be especially gentle with yourself and with others. Even those souls who appear strong may be feeling very fragile or vulnerable beneath the personality veneer.
IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: You are on a journey of healing this year. The planets are supporting you, helping you approach life from a place of expanded trust and faith and facilitating your liberation from old patterns of doubt, disillusionment, and fear. You will be making important adjustments in your self-concept and in your personal goals. Be aware of how inertia may have interfered with your progress in the past, and encourage yourself to find new avenues to express your compassion and caring for others.
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