Real Time Astrology: New Moon In Aries March 27th, 2017


The first lunation after the spring equinox (Sun entering Aries) in the northern hemisphere occurs March 27th (9:57 P.M. CST) in the form of a New Moon at 7 degrees Aries. The most notable feature of this New Moon is the conjunction to love, relationships, money and aesthetics planet Venus, in detriment and retrograde at 3 degrees Aries. Venus in a martial sign is in a mutual reception to Mars in Taurus, also in detriment. Flirtatious fighting! To paraphrase Tina Turner, this Aries New Moon can do things nice and easy, but it’s more fun to serve it up nice and rough… [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: March 2017


March marches along (sorry) at a fairly ho-hum pace at first, picking up the tempo by months end. This is, of course, Pisces season, with Mercury in Pisces until March 13th and the Sun in Pisces until March 20th. The most notable of the events in March has already occurred by the time of this post (sorry!): Venus stationing retrograde at 13 degrees Aries on Saturday, March 4th. Venus will remain retrograde until April 15th and will remain retrograde in Aries for the rest of March. (Venus will retrograde into Pisces in April). Venus is in detriment in Aries, meaning it has to work harder here than in any other sign to express it’s true nature. This goes double when Venus is retrograde. The focus is the turning of values inwards and away from the values of society, our values as sovereign individuals becomes more important. Venus retrograde in Aries often shows the need to stand up, defend, or fight for the right to express individualistic values. This retrograde could very well be the end of many relationships and partnerships this month; of those that remain intact, there will have to be a newfound respect for the rights of the other to have their own values that may or may not match yours. The ability or lack thereof to allow differences can be the make or break of alliances. [Read more…]

2017: The Year Of Conviction And Contradictions

2017 predictions forecast astrology

Life thriving, in spite of its environment. Photo by Guy Tal.


2016 was, of course, the year of change and transition. A rocky, slippery slope that we can see clearer in retrospect was a detour into unknown territory for the purpose of testing our faith and mettle. In many ways 2017 will pick us up out of the ditch and move us forward on a clear trajectory again. Regaining a more visible and structured path does not translate into an easier year; 2017 is a year of contradictions openly challenging our convictions as we’re honing them.


The general gist of what 2017 has in store: [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: January 2017


Water, water everywhere. January 2017 is dominated by a Pisces stellium, waterlogging the psychosphere. Everything is being absorbed at the expense of mental and emotional health, clarity and direction. A recent blog comment sums up the current underlying mood circulating unspoken: [Read more…]

Weirdo Book Reviews: The Book Of Retrogrades by John McCormick

astrology retrogrades in charts Venus Mercury mars

L: Cover of “The Book Of Retrogrades” by John McCormick. R: Photo by Nom Pourflickr.


“What does it mean if I have Mercury/Venus/Mars retrograde in my birth chart?” is a fairly common question among people trying to learn astrology. I’ve been asked to answer this question by several readers in the past, and since I aim to please I will oblige. Since Mercury is still retrograde in Virgo, I’ll stick with last month’s theme of killing two birds with one stone and also do a book review/recommendation: this time it’s John McCormick’s The Book Of Retrogrades.

[Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Cancer July 15, 2015

Breathe in deeply, there’s a lot going on with this one. The New Moon at 23 degrees Cancer (the sign the Moon naturally rules) takes place at 8:24 P.M. CST on Wednesday, July 15 and will create a stellium in Cancer. On the same day, Mercury and Mars will move into an exact conjunction at 14 degrees Cancer as well as move into an exact opposition to Pluto retrograde at 14 Capricorn. The New Moon will be in a wide conjunction to the tight Mercury-Mars conjunction and will oppose Pluto as well. Besides the Pluto opposition, the Cancer New Moon will also square Uranus at 20 Aries, bringing back the energy of the Uranus-Pluto squares we thought had ended in March.  The New Moon will also be trine to Saturn retrograde in Scorpio, which would normally be considered harmonious except we will be reeling from the effects of the first exact square the previous evening, between Venus in Leo and Saturn Rx in Scorpio. Even a “harmonious” aspect betrays us here.

There’s a lot of really uncomfortable, high strung energy floating through the ether now, and for better or worse this New Moon in Cancer ties it all together. This is a New Moon where you will definitely want to check where everything is hitting your natal chart. The house the New Moon and Cancer stellium fall in may receive the most activity, but do not ignore where the other bodies are transiting and their aspects as everything will be lit up.

Our survival instincts will be heightened by this Cancer New Moon. Not in a primal, fight-or-flight way (that would be Aries) but by increasing our awareness of the need for self preservation and bulking up defense mechanisms. Our homes, families, money, and emotional lives are in need of careful protection and vigilant defense if we are to survive the changes being thrown at us. Fighting challenges head-on may no longer be working. Cancer is a sign that functions better by sidestepping issues or withdrawing from them altogether. This isn’t necessarily a bad trait to have: there exists those situations in life that cannot be directly resolved and pouring valuable energy into them is a total drain. Withdrawal is a natural response to unfulfilling and untenable situations. It is sometimes a matter of survival.

Financial survival is something that will require our serious attention here. The financial downturns and upsets in global stock markets and national debts were no accidents. They are cracks in the façade, correcting our perceptions of money and valuables coinciding with the austerity of the Venus-Saturn square. Cancer is associated with financial fluctuations, and this New Moon/stellium in the sign along with the Venus-Saturn retrograde in Scorpio square and the reawakening of the Uranus-Pluto squares will see money matters shrink rather than swell. Financial cycles and patterns will become evident. Saturn is the planet most closely associated with karma, Cancer ties the past to the present… financial repercussions experienced now are not flukes, they are the end results of past decisions that were likely made on premises that weren’t entirely logical or healthy or even in our best interests. As the sage author of Ecclesiastes wrote, there is a time to every purpose and there will be other times for big risks and gambles, but not here. This is not a time to remain stagnant but caution and discretion are crucial components for change under this sky.

Emotional self preservation is more necessary, though. We must separate our value and self worth from our money and relationships, especially if we’re currently very deficient in both. This is a good time to address the parallels between current financial, romantic and living situations and emotional needs and patterns. It is more arbitrary than usual now to gauge your worth on external status symbols. It will, however, be easier to see where we are running in circles and spinning our wheels, and easier too to change the plot and move in new directions. We will also be more aware than usual of the amount of compassion and support we receive or lack, and how our more intimate associations are either hurting or helping us. Actions can be taken accordingly.

Not everyone that hurts us actually means to, so some sensitivity and even tenderness in handling others will go a long way. You may have a long list of grudges you feel entitled to carry around and call people out on, but if they were unaware they were hurting you, hashing things out may do more harm than good and it will be you inflicting pain rather than the other way around. Arguments are going to be hard to avoid under a New Moon-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Cancer; it isn’t great for moods in the first place and worse for prudent discussion. Old resentments and hurts will surface from our subconscious to allow us to become conscious of them and sort them out. Preventing new resentments and hurts from forming in the process will require skill and strength. Here again, some temporary withdrawal and circumventing may not be such a bad thing.

Our subconsciouses will be in overdrive (dream activity too), and whatever good that may come from this New Moon in Cancer will be a result of allowing our intuitions (sometimes a separate thing from our emotions; remember that!) to take the driver’s seat for a change. Our perceptions are sharp and strong now and are on our side more than we might normally understand. Gut instincts are not so separate from survival instincts.

Big Love: Venus in Leo (including Venus retrograde) June 5-October 8, 2015

The rising summer temperatures parallel the sexy warmth filling our hearts as the planet of love, relationship, beauty, values and money Venus has arrived in the sign of Leo, the sign of big personalities, bigger hair, over-the-top drama and childlike playfulness. Venus in Leo will be with us for an extended period of time, from June 5 to October 8, thanks in part to a retrograde period from July 25 through September 6. Grand times are to be had, for sure. Amidst all the fun and games and theatrics Venus in Leo will also be rolling up its sleeves and reshaping our perspectives on love, money and values, bringing out our hearts truest, most honest expression.


Venus in Leo will bring us some of our highest highs this summer and yet also cause some of the sharpest pains, both brought about by the intense aspects outlined here. Venus in Leo doesn’t do half measures. It’s go big or go home time. Our first showy aspect occurs around July 1, as Venus conjuncts Jupiter in Leo. Two benefic planets working together in Leo is a party if there ever was one. If nothing else, a great mood and alleviated stress levels can be enjoyed. However, if you take advantage of this energy you can turn this into something long lasting and tangible. Look for money opportunities. Chat up potential bosses or business partners. Go to the bars and hangouts you’re usually too timid to visit and talk to someone cute. Bold moves and attention seeking will be less annoying and more attractive during this period, so don’t be afraid of putting on a display. Artists of all stripes can fall in love with creativity again.


The good feeling rolls on a little longer with a sextile between Mercury in Gemini and Venus in Leo around July 14. Motormouth alert! The good times do not roll on forever, though. Saturn will be retrograde as well (as of June 14) and deep in Scorpio waters; this will be the other, more intense energy dominating the summer (read here). Saturn in Scorpio will make two exact squares to Venus in Leo: the first around July 14 with Saturn retrograde and Venus direct, and the second around August 5 with Venus retrograde and Saturn direct. Saturn in Scorpio will be exhuming our pathology, especially in areas concerning abuse or power plays involving love, money, sex, trust, marriage and divorce, and soul connections. This will be true for the entire final transit of Saturn in Scorpio, but will be most obvious and unavoidable during the squares to Venus.


Careless love, “me first!” love, jumping in and out of love, obsessing over old lovers or the lovers you want but can’t have, cold cold loneliness from sheer lack of love… all these and more will reach a boiling point around the time of the squares between Venus in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio. Sparks will fly as the inherent vital forcefulness of Leo clashes with transformative, sometimes destructive Scorpio. Any karma still lingering in love matters that wasn’t worked through during the initial transit of Saturn in Scorpio will rise to the surface, one last opportunity to establish mutually healthy relationship practices and burn off the unhealthy ingrained behavior patterns, or be stuck with them for a rather long time. All of us have been guilty of using, abusing, taking advantage of or taking for granted a loved one or more.It would be to your advantage to own this rather than deny it. Reexperiencing this guilt will be heavy but is necessary to remind us of how much it hurts us to allow ourselves to hurt others or be hurt by others. Experience is the best teacher, and Saturn in Scorpio will be using the squares to Venus in Leo to drive home the lesson that love should never hurt.


Venus retrograde has a different story to tell. Venus retrograde periods are slightly less frequent than the retrograde periods of other planets; Venus only turns retrograde every year and a half or so for around forty days and nights. Venus will leave Leo temporarily for Virgo on July 18, and will station retrograde at 0 Virgo on July 25. Venus retrograde will re-enter Leo on July 31, turning direct at 14 degrees Leo on September 6. Venus will remain direct in Leo until October 8, when it re-enters and remains in Virgo. Retrograde periods are always a time of somewhat delayed progress in matters specific to the retrograde planet, a time of reviewing and rehashing. The deeper internal processes of the planets actions are emphasized more than the external works are. The Venus retrograde, working against the backdrop of Saturn retrograde in Scorpio, will serve to show us the values that are integral to us individually but that are incredibly out of synch with the values held by our societies. Even if our personal values systems aligns with mainstream values 98% of the time, the remaining 2% will be realized as a rather large chasm. It will be important to honor your values during this retrograde period. Stick to your guns. Do not let other diminish what you feel is really important in life. The square with Venus Rx and Saturn direct in August will be particularly useful in questioning why you are exerting energy into people and situations that do not appreciate you or what you stand for.


Venus retrograde in personality centered Leo will help temper our impulses just a bit, keeping our emotions a bit more self contained and introspective. Egos will need to undergo some fine tuning: neither overblown nor repressed and forced into submission. Out of the ashes of the Venus-Saturn squares, sophisticated philosophies can be developed regarding who and how we love, who and how we attract, how fairly we give and receive love. All of this sounds like a lot of dreary painful hard work and it is. It will pay off, though, and sooner than it might feel. Not long after the second of the Venus-Saturn squares is over we will experience a lovely trine between Venus in Leo and Uranus in Aries, breathing new life into us and shaking up the scene in fresh and exciting ways. Our recent life experiences can be infused with meaning that will become a major source of genuine pride as we move into a conjunction between Venus and Mars- planet of drive, physical energy, and sex- at 14 degrees Leo around September 1. This is the second Venus-Mars conjunction in a fire sign this year! The first was in Aries on February 21 and seen the masculine and feminine joining forces, fighting alongside each other instead of against each other, playing on the same team. This second Venus-Mars conjunction will see the masculine and feminine joining hands and hearts, proud to be in each others company and each wanting the other to see their share of the spotlight.


Not every relationship will survive this summer. The ones that do make it can gain from the Venus-Mars conjunction in Leo the sexy confidence that comes from being secure, from being a part of something built to last. The people who were left single by the rougher transits, or who were already single, should have confidence from the clearer understanding in knowing who they are and what they have to offer. This is another opportunity to put your hot self on display!


Things really smooth out once Venus turns direct September 14, followed by Saturn leaving Scorpio for good and re-entering Sagittarius on September 18. Venus direct in Leo will again trine Uranus in Aries around September 22, bringing insights into the way forward as yet another cycle ends and a new one begins.


The houses of your natal charts that these aspect take place in is where you will experience the bulk of the action. Here’s the dates and times to know. The influence of these aspects can be felt for a few days before and after the day they are “exact”, which is when the influence peaks. Times given are Central Standard Time.


– Friday June 5 Venus first enters Leo at 10:33 A.M

– Wednesday July 1 Venus conjuncts Jupiter at 21 degrees Leo, exact at 2:51 A.M.

– Sunday July 5 Mercury at 24 Gemini sextiles Venus at 24 Leo, exact at 3:19 A.M.

– Tuesday July 14 Venus direct at 28 Leo squares Saturn retrograde at 28 Scorpio, exact at 1:48 A.M.

– Saturday July 18 Venus enters Virgo at 5:38 A.M.

– Saturday July 25 Venus stations retrograde, still at 0 degrees Virgo, at 4:29 A.M.

– Friday July 31 Venus retrograde re-enters Leo at 10:27 A.M.

– Sunday August 2 Saturn stations direct in Scorpio

– Tuesday August 4 Venus retrograde conjuncts Jupiter at 28 degrees Leo, exact at 4:47 P.M.

– Wednesday August 5 Venus Rx at 28 Leo squares Saturn direct at 28 Scorpio, exact at 10:08 A.M.

– Thursday August 6 Mercury conjuncts Venus Rx at 28 Leo, exact at 9:25 A.M.

– Friday August 14 New Moon at 21 degrees Leo conjuncts Venus Rx in Leo

– Saturday August 15 Sun conjuncts Venus Rx at 22 Leo, exact at 2:22 P.M.

– Wednesday August 19 Venus Rx at 20 Leo trines Uranus at 20 Aries, exact at 11:44 A.M.

– Tuesday September 1 Venus Rx conjuncts Mars at 14 degrees Leo, exact at 3:29 A.M.

– Sunday September 6 Venus stations direct at 14 degrees Leo

– Monday September 14 Mercury at 15 Libra sextiles Venus direct at 15 Leo, exact at 11:43 A.M.

– Tuesday September 22 Venus direct at 19 Leo trines Uranus at 19 Aries, exact at 11:00 P.M.

– Thursday October 8 Venus leaves Leo for good and enters Virgo at 12:29 P.M.