Image by Ulrike Leone
Astrological Overview: May 11 - 17, 2020
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 Standard Time. For Eastern Time, add 3 hours. For Greenwich Mean Time, add 7 hours.
MON: Mercury square Mars, Mercury enters Gemini
TUE: Mercury trine Pallas Athene, Mercury trine Saturn, Mars enters Pisces, Venus stations retrograde
WED: Sun semisquare Chiron
THU: Jupiter stations retrograde, Mercury square Ceres, Sun trine Pluto
FRI: Mercury sextile Chiron
SAT: Mercury sesquiquadrate Pluto
SUN: Sun trine Jupiter, Mercury sesquiquadrate Jupiter
WE ARE ENTERING a new phase in this experience of transformation that we call the year 2020. The inner fears and outer restrictions have eased just a bit, leaving the emotional space for us to ponder developments over the last few months, and to reflect on how our values may have shifted.
Holding the space for us in this regard is the planet Venus, which goes retrograde on Tuesday, May 12, at 11:44 p.m. PDT. Currently several degrees ahead of the Taurus Sun, Venus is in Gemini and appears in the sky as our evening star. During this period of backward motion, it will cross paths with the Sun (on June 3), rising and setting with the solar orb for a few days. After that, Venus will become our morning star and will return to forward motion on June 24.
MOST OF US are familiar with Mercury's retrograde effect, which occurs three times a year. We are less acquainted with what happens when Venus goes backward, which happens only every two years. In essence, the themes are similar: review, reassessment, reprioritizing; but since we're working with Venus, we'll be applying this awareness to areas that the planet rules: relationships and alliances, finances and values, amusements and the arts.
It's not hard to imagine the kinds of issues that we will be reevaluating over the next six weeks as social realms begin to be more available. Recent circumstances have put heightened pressure on relationships, on resources, and on the availability of entertainments and artistic offerings.
As we weave our way through this Venus retrograde period, we of course will be considering ways to rejoin these areas of life – but the more important questions to answer are, do we want to reengage, and if so, how fully? Do we want to reconnect with a certain person, job, or activity in the ways that we had become accustomed to? Or have our values changed at such a deep level that some of these prior manifestations are no longer a vibrational match with us?
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
OUR ANSWERS to these questions cannot be forced, but must slowly reveal themselves through introspection. On a cosmic timing level, we are advised to wait until Venus is once again moving direct before we make concrete decisions in these areas. We also need to take into account that for the first three weeks of its retrograde period, Venus is in square aspect to Neptune.
Venus is the planetary representative of the human heart and its capacity for love. Neptune symbolizes the higher heart of oneness and compassion. Even when the two planets are in hard aspect, they provide opportunities for growth in both of these areas. We are more likely to see the good in people, and less likely to focus on their flaws.
HOWEVER, there are also hazards involved with a Venus-Neptune square. We may not see another person clearly, and can over-romanticize, over-value, or take on martyr or rescuer roles. Common symptoms of this problem would be excusing abusive behavior because the person was "under a lot of stress," or stepping in to save someone who really would benefit most from learning how to save themselves. In the material realms, a Venus-Neptune square corresponds with spending too much on an item or making an investment without checking on its actual value.
In other words, it's a good idea to be intentional during Venus retrograde. It is time best used by going inward, by listening to the voice of our true heart. Every day, we can sense into our answers to these questions: "What fills me with aliveness and vitality?" "What interests me?" "What can I truthfully say that I love, as compared to what is merely habit?"
And, with the Venus-Neptune square active, we will also be asking ourselves: "How can I best express compassion in the world?" "How can I use my mind and my heart to make a difference?" "How can I open my heart so that I am a better channel for unconditional love?"
THIS IS a good time to remember the "new" definition of unconditional love, as brought into our collective awareness by Abraham-Hicks. In the past, we may have defined unconditional love as the capacity to deny our own needs and to live solely to support others – even at best, an unattainable and inadvisable goal. This kind of self-denial is usually not unconditional love, since it tends to leave self-love completely out of the equation.
According to Abraham, unconditional love is "feeling in alignment with Source regardless of what’s going on around you." When we are in that state, we cannot harm others or ourselves. We can only express love, because to do otherwise would disconnect us from Source.
A lofty goal! We have our marching (dancing?) orders ...
ASSISTING US with this directive, Mars enters compassionate Pisces on May 12 at 9:17 p.m. PDT – the very same day that Venus goes retrograde. Since Mars is named for the god of War, and Pisces is a sign of non-aggression, this journey can be a bit complicated.
At its highest frequency, Mars in Pisces awakens our capacity to act on our ideals. We find it easier to align our actions with our spiritual principles, to go with the flow, to let go of anger, and to be inspired by our creative Muse.
BUT there are cautions about this placement of Mars, too. Mars is a fiery planet, while Pisces is a water sign – and as we know, water extinguishes fire. The assertiveness of Mars is dampened in Pisces, resulting in a tendency to not face issues directly, or to be passive-aggressive. And, the impulse of energy we usually associate with Mars can come and go like the tides, leaving us feeling moody and inconsistent.
As the twelfth sign of the zodiac, Pisces relates to a process of completion and spiritual realignment, in preparation for a new beginning. Mars in Pisces is a time for releasing old desires and old angers so that we can start anew with a clean slate when the planet enters Aries in late June.
It's intriguing to see that Mars is in Pisces until June 27, almost exactly the same period that Venus is retrograde. Methinks the Cosmos has a plan.
BUILDING on these themes, Jupiter also goes retrograde this week. Astrologer Bil Tierney writes that Jupiter's retrograde phase can be:
"...a marvelous time for gaining insights into spiritual or philosophical matters, as wisdom can flow easier from the superconscious and make contact with the conscious self ... We may find it easier to develop inner faith and a more hopeful outlook due to self-inspired contemplation ... We may feel detached from what is socially expected of us during this period and may reject such pressures in favor of listening to our own inner calling ..."
While Jupiter is retrograde, we will benefit from maintaining many of the new habits we've developed during this quarantine time, especially if we've allowed ourselves to spend more time in contemplation. Our priorities are to meditate on our beliefs about reality and on our dreams for a more meaningful and spiritually fulfilling future. Jupiter will be moving backward until September 12, at which time it will become easier to then take action "while remaining true to the needs of our spirit." (Tierney)
FOR THE DAY-TO-DAY influences we're working with this week, here's a quick list of the most notable aspects:
- Mercury square Mars (Monday): Disagreements, stubborn resistance, rebelling against the rules.
- Mercury enters Gemini (Monday): With Mercury in Gemini until May 28, we enter a two-week period of increased information exchange and social activity.
- Mercury trine Saturn (Tuesday): A better day for communications and intellectual pursuits, as Saturn in Aquarius provides both stability and the determination to make progress.
- Sun trine Pluto (Thursday): A stronger sense of empowerment, as we direct our energies in productive ways.
- Mercury square Ceres, sextile Chiron, sesquiquadrate Pluto, and sesquiquadrate Jupiter (Thursday-Sunday): Differences of opinion that challenge our perspectives and push us to be more clear in our communications, while also keeping an open mind.
- Sun trine Jupiter (Sunday): A day to enjoy nature and new adventures, as we are able!
FOR THOSE who are tracking important lunar aspects, here is this week's watch list, in Pacific Daylight Time:
- Moon in Capricorn conjunct Pluto: Monday, May 11, 11:14 p.m.
- Moon in Capricorn conjunct Jupiter: Tuesday, May 12, 3:30 a.m.
- Moon in Aquarius conjunct Saturn: Tuesday, May 12, 12:18 p.m.
- Moon in Aquarius square Uranus: Tuesday, May 12, 10:52 p.m.
IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: The year ahead brings many opportunities for new adventures and a stronger knowing of your own capabilities. At the same time, you are encouraged to take the time to go within, as there are spiritual and creative gifts awaiting. The primary challenge appears in the form of an impatience or restlessness that interferes with your ability to focus on one step at a time. Find a physical outlet for this tension, so that it doesn't compromise the other positive potentials. Solutions include power walking or gardening, or more concentrated activities such as martial arts. (Solar Return Sun square Mars, trine Jupiter, sextile Neptune, trine Pluto)
For previous weeks of the Astrological Journal, click here.
About the Author
Pam Younghans is a professional astrologer, editor, and writer. She lives in a log home northeast of Seattle, Washington with her beloved animal companions. She has been interpreting charts professionally for over 25 years. If you are interested in an astrology reading, e-mail [email protected], or leave a message at 425.445.3775. For more information about NorthPoint Astrology offerings, please visit northpointastrology.com or visit her Facebook page.