by Heather Roan Robbins
We can see all the visible planets, Mercury (Capricorn), Venus and Saturn (Sagittarius), Mars (Scorpio) and Jupiter (Virgo) are visible in this order in the morning skies these days, but they are not conjunct nor parallel. Enjoy the view and feel their camaraderie, their relationship to one another, and to us. But the real astrological action these days happens less visibly. Pluto is hiding in the depths of the sky behind Mercury. Saturn squares non-visible Neptune still way below the horizon. And Mars, so strong in its traditional sign of Scorpio, trines that Neptune.
We may feel like we’re living in an artistic retrospective exhibit, and the artist is the creator of our lives. Over the last six weeks events may have triggered us to look back and remember emotionally intense events that changed the course of our lives. So many famous people have died and remind us of the moments in our lives when their music was playing, their movie rolled behind the scenes, when the book they wrote woke us up. Even if we missed all the famous obits, this haunting retrospective may have been triggered by our dreams, or a visit with an old relative, or some memorabilia unearthed from the back of our closet.
This process began right before Christmas as thoughtful Mercury first conjunct intense Pluto and set off a cascade of emotions. Mercury turned retrograde, or appeared to back up in the sky, on January 4, and has backed up to conjunct Pluto again this weekend under an expressive, emotionally fulsome full Moon in Leo. We may just need to wail or laugh, to overstate our feelings to get at the backlog. Listening will be the trick.
Mercury then pivots direct on Monday and stays conjunct with Pluto through the end of the month. Normally we feel this conjunction for about a week out of the year, but this time we get six full weeks where this aspect is in play and stirring our psyche.
So while Mercury brings our mind to it, let’s take a look at Pluto’s mythology. Pluto was lord of all that was received into the earth and all that we dig up from the earth, of death, rebirth, obsession and revolution. He was also considered the lord of mining, of gold, silver, all the jewels of the earth. It may be time to bury our dead, to really lay to rest something that is no longer alive for us, some hope, dream, or grudge. Give it funereal rites and let it go.
Or it could be time do some mining, to dig down deep in the caves of our soul and of our culture, dredge up dirt, rinse it away and find gold and jewels. We may see some great research or investigative reporting, but watch out for people who obsess on the dirt. Don’t get lost in those underground caves. If those interior rooms become fearsome, come back to the present and save the spelunking for later. Keep an eye on one another and send in the search party if a friend forgets to come up for air.
One more expression of Mercury conjunct Pluto can be found in Plutonian communication. When we tap into the positive side of this it gives power to our words and curiosity to the mind. But it also brings up words as bludgeoning power tools to hurt or manipulate, or near lethal mangling of ordinary communications. Look to recent political rallies for some messy examples.
One helpful and pragmatic way to use this aspect is to go back to a tough time in our lives and reconnect with the good that was buried within, and pull up those skills and those connections to see what new value we can find. Or find a chance meeting with an old companion offers us some new information or healing around those old tender places.
The stock market tends to respond to emotional transits rather than logical one, and so do the scarier corners of international politics. Mercury retrograde, stationery conjunct Pluto can make even simple conversation tricky, let alone conversations on really important or heavy topics. Sometimes we just can’t find the right words. Or no matter how eloquently speak, sometimes they just can’t hear us. Finances and politics may stay volatile until these aspects even out in February.
We can also expect a continuation of basic retrograde slapstick; let’s be forgiving when people are late due to a dead car battery, broken server, or frozen pipes. Make sure urgent messages actually get where they mean to go. Mercury turns direct on Monday, so moods and messages begin to straighten out towards the end of the week.
Friday, January 22: Our emotions run high tide as the waxing Cancer Moon opposes the exact Mercury Pluto conjunction. We splash around in the pool of memories, writhe in a snow drift of the best and worst of our emotions, or may just want to burrow back into bed and nest. Sudden decisions made now may be reconsidered; sudden losses may be temporary but rock the boat. It furthers to be compassionate with one another in this mushy state; consider it an opportunity to build trust.
Moon trine Mars 12:15 AM, Mercury conjunct Pluto 2:58 AM, Moon opposed Mercury10:16 AM, moon trine Chiron 3:06 PM, Moon sextile Jupiter 11:20 PM.
Saturday, January 23: morning is quieter drifting. Our emotional needs grow and we can feel the need for attention, for a moment in the sun of another’s eyes, as the moon waxes full in Leo this afternoon. We want melodrama, party, community work; we need something as strong and colorful as our feelings. Share the limelight and all will be well, but if we withhold or grandstand, others will act out.
Moon enters Leo 12:20 PM, Venus enters Capricorn 1:31 PM, Moon opposes Sun 6:45 PM,
Sunday, January 24: Early morning can be cranky, we can step on each other’s toes with impatience as the Moon squares Mars and we deal with some inevitable delays. Let everyone take a moment to shine midday, and the ensuing collaborative ingenuity can really cook. Tonight, restrain some effort to give more than is healthy, or to sacrifice more than is useful.
Moon square Mars 9:10 AM, Moon trine Saturn 1:24 PM, Moon trine Uranus 7:51 PM, Saturn trine Vesta 10:54 PM.
Monday, January 25: Sympathy, patience and humor can salvage this awkward Monday morning. Energy swirls in place as Mercury appears to hold still before it turns direct. Things just don’t go as planned, and delays proliferate. We spin in place like a bear in its den, trying to find a comfortable spot, and can get mighty cranky if we can’t. Health concerns can get in the way of our romance or our creative enthusiasm. Lost items are found, real opinions and secrets revealed as the week progresses.
Mars conjunct Juno 1:31 AM, Venus square Hygeia 2:01 AM, Mercury turns direct 2:49 PM, Moon enters Virgo 8:45 PM.
Tuesday, January 26: After a friendlier, it easier morning, we may make some mistake, Mrs. signal wade through some self-doubts or notice our critical defenses as the Virgo Moon opposes Neptune midday. It can be hard to finish any project, because we always see what needs fixing. We can unproductively notice what needs editing in our beloveds unless we consciously focus on their good points.
Moon trine Venus 2:50 AM., Moon opposed Neptune 12:51 PM, Moon Sextile Mars 9:11 PM, Moon square Saturn 11:33 PM.
Wednesday, January 27: Rocks are turned over and we find both things we need, and squirming evidence we’d rather not. An unsettled, edgy critique, and depression whispers, but this too shall pass, everything is transitory, nothing needs to be stuck here no matter what it feels like. No need to prove oneself. Ride the waves and support one another. It’s easier to see the silver lining around dinner time.
Moon trine Mercury 2:09 AM, Moon trine Pluto 3:56 AM, Moon opposed Chiron 9:04 AM, Moon conjunct Jupiter 5:10 PM.
Thursday, January 28: The communication begins to straighten out today, we interact and can exchange ideas with a little more friendliness though may stay guarded for a while longer. If possible, be forgiving about hurt feelings from stumbled words and distracted psyches over the last few weeks. The signals still cross and social moments can trip up with a dash of awkwardness tonight as the Moon squares Venus and the Sun semi-sex tiles Neptune, but it is easier to believe one another’s good intentions.
Moon enters Libra 7:59 AM, Sun semi-sextile Neptune 1:45 PM, Moon square Venus 9:14 PM.
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