Planet Watch: Grand Sextile 2013

Planet Watch: Grand Sextile 2013

Planet Watch Week of July 28, 2013: Is the “star” of this week’s show, the Grand Sextile, aka Star of David, a portal to peace and love on a mass scale that many astrologers say it to be? While we are not versed in this event as well as we should be, we will try to explain, at least the technical part of this rare event. (Note: At the minimum it’s a fascination aspect and we encourage you to research it to learn more). In the meantime,  here’s what’s happening: the Moon’s transit during a brief period of time on July 29 will trigger a six-point Star of David configuration between the Moon and 7 of the planets (only the Sun and Mercury aren’t involved). The Moon (emotion) will come into exact alignment with Venus (love) and Pluto (transformation) to form an Earth Grand Trine. This GT mates ever so briefly with the already-in-place Water Grand Trine that involves Jupiter (feel-good expansion), Neptune (spirituality) and Saturn (teacher) in such a way to form the six-pointed star.* Five points of the Star each represent a transiting planet and one point the Moon, and each of these in turn form a Sextile to the planets or Moon on either side of them. The integration of an Earth and Water Grand Trine is said to offer a portal of time where peace and love can flourish.

How might it affect you personally (or should we ask, how can you contribute to an enlightened mass consciousness)? First, it’s important to note that, while Trines and Sextiles are considered “easy” aspects, an opening of a door, if you will, to an opportunity, there are no guarantees. You don’t have to knock on that door…but you have to notice it’s open and then be curious (and for some, brave) enough to go in to see where the path leads. But as we all know, opportunities rarely manifest into a positive outcome without doing some work first. And so it is with these so called “easy” aspects, including those of the rare 2013 Grand Sextile.

If any of the above transits come into direct contact with your natal planets, you might be among the fortunate to operate at a higher vibration for a few hours on this day, starting about midday on July 29. It would seem that only good would come from thinking about positive thoughts and intentions for yourself and others close to you, so why not go ahead and make a conscious effort to put them “out there” — they might even filter into the mass consciousness.

We welcome input from any and all who might have further insight regarding the Grand Sextile.

*Note: that within this Star of David configuration there are other aspects that form oppositions and squares, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll stick to discussion of the Grand Sextile only.

Cardinal Signs & Uranus-Aries Transit 2013

Cardinal Signs & Uranus-Aries Transit 2013

A Uranus transit forming a hard aspect to your natal Sun, Moon, and/or Ascendant can be life-altering. …its shock can be difficult and the resulting awe isn’t easily apparent for most of us until viewed in hindsight.

If you are an Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, you might have experienced or are experiencing sudden change — or the extreme urge for freedom — in a particular area of your life during the last few years. Manifestations of these unexpected changes or urges to set yourself “free” can range from job loss to ending/beginning of a close relationship, starting your own business, or refusing to go along with status quo, to name a few. Leaving you slightly traumatized and asking yourself, “What the heck just happened?” (If you were to be honest with yourself, however, you weren’t happy in that area of your life anyway!) It’s likely you can thank the Uranus transit of Aries for all the “fun”.

The seventh planet from our Solar System’s Sun has been transiting Aries since 2010/2011 and will be working its way through the first sign of the Zodiac until 2018/2019. As an outer planet, its affects are often on a societal scale. When paired with Aries (ruled by Mars, the planet of war and action), a sudden chaos can ensue, producing a sort of “shock-and-awe” effect. The last time these two paired together was over 80 years ago — during the Great Depression (shock) and the New Deal (awe). Some would argue today we are facing a similar scenario on a global scale with the financial woes (shock) that have been plaguing the world financial markets, forcing us to revolutionize our way of life through globalization, living within our means, etc. (awe).*  We still have some years to go in this transit, so it will be interesting to see the outcome.

That said, a Uranus transit forming a hard aspect to your natal Celestial Bodies, especially to your Sun, Moon, or to your Ascendant can impact you personally on a global scale of its own in that it can be life-altering. Unfortunately, at least in the beginning, its shock can be difficult and the resulting awe isn’t easily apparent for most of us until viewed in hindsight. However, it usually is for the “better”. This particular transit is forming hard aspects to Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). Those of you who have your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in Aries or if the House Aries rules in your birth chart is angular (e.g. 1st House/ego, self; 4th/inner, family life; 7th/one-on-one relationships or 10th/career, public image). At the time of this writing, Uranus is at 12 degrees Aries and has been affecting those of you with your Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant in early degrees of the sign (8 to 12) for the last year or so. Essentially, Uranus has pulled up alongside that Celestial Body or angle it’s aspecting, forming a conjunction.  Aries are not alone, however. Those of you with Capricorn, Cancer or Libra Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant have felt or will feel the punch, too, as Uranus forms a square (Caps and Cancers) or opposition (Libra) to these Cardinal Signs (For examples, see our “Uranus-Aries Hard Aspects” sidebar below).

“If there’s an area in your life that you are not satisfied with, or in which you feel stuck, this transit will give you the chance to change that.”

So what do these “growth” opportunities look like under the Uranus/Aries transit? Uranus, the ruler of that so-unusual Fixed Air Sign Aquarius, represents freedom, change, innovation, revolution, the sudden and unexpected, among other things. In transit it works to awaken or free us from areas in our life that have become mundane or static, or in which we feel stifled, trapped, stuck. In short, areas in need of change. Aries represents independence and new beginnings, and its Ruling Planet Mars represents action (not the gentle kind). Working in concert, this duo can orchestrate an electrical (Uranus also represents electricity) shock (Mars) to our systems that’s unlike no other combination if it forms a hard aspect with any of your CBs or your Ascendant. If there’s an area in your life that you are not satisfied with, or in which you feel stuck, this transit will give you the chance to change that.

Over the course of its transit of an astrological sign, Uranus visits the CB that’s in hard aspect three times, giving you plenty of chances to get the point. At the time of this writing, Uranus is about 12 degrees, so for those of you with any Cardinal CBs and/or your Ascendant between 8 and 12 degrees, your last round is near. Uranus goes retrograde July 17 (for more on what retrograde means, read our Pluto and Mercury Retrograde posts), giving you the third and final look at what needs to be changed, if you haven’t complied already, before stationing direct Dec. 17. Then it’s time for the Blue Planet to pay a visit to those Cardinal Signs who have their CBs or Ascendant in the middle degrees of Aries for a conjunction (and of Capricorn and Cancer for a square, and Libra for an opposition).

The best advice for those of you still under its influence and for those of you who have yet to encounter it:  Take the “one-two-three” on the chin and go with the “blow”… or flow, as it were.  You might be ever so reluctant to pay the initial price, but in the end you’ll look back and be “glad” you paid it. And if you don’t pay upfront, you just might feel like a missed opportunity passed you by and lifelong regret could end up being your only purchase.

*Note: we would be remiss within this post if we didn’t mention the current transit of Pluto (transformation) in Capricorn (government, finances) that’s forming a square to the Uranus/Aries transit and adding to the “color” of the Uranus/Aries transit, especially for the United States, which has a Cancer Sun.  On a personal scale, if you a have CBs and/or Ascendant in Capricorn at 8-12 degrees, the Pluto-Uranus square could be “doubling the fun” for you. That Uranus/Aries induced “unexpected” change goes beyond the surface and is transforming or will transform your subterranean landscape. But we’ll save that for another post.

Uranus-Aries Hard Aspects Explained
Remember from our post Basic Architecture of a Birth Chart that conjunctions between CBs produce an intense focus or emphasis of energy between the CBs or angles in question, giving us the chance for improvement in the areas represented by the House in which its occurring; we tend to feel squares between CBs or angles as an inner tension or struggle, alerting us to an inner growth opportunity related to the Houses in which they reside. Oppositions, on the other hand, often form a sort of metaphorical tug-of-war that you must engage in, usually with or as the result of others, as it relates to the Houses/signs in which the CBs or angle reside.  Below are brief examples of how each hard aspect might manifest, for the purpose of illustration. If you are feeling the transit, you’ll know!

If you have an Aries Sun in the 10th House, it did/is/will form a conjunction with the transit, causing you to focus on your career or how you interact with the public, maybe even a combination of the two. It could be that all of sudden you feel you’ve outgrown your current position and want to take a leadership role. If you can’t make it happen where you are, you could end up finding what you need elsewhere or starting a new endeavor on your own as the one in charge.

Sun Square
If you have a Capricorn or Cancer Sun in the 6th House, it did/is/will square Uranus-Aries in the 10th House. You might be feeling stuck or trapped in your career (10th House) and or bored with the monotony of daily work life (6th). This could manifest in a job loss or change requiring you to reevaluate your career direction and environment, or to start entirely fresh.

Moon Opposite
If you have a Libra Moon in the 3rd House, it was/is/will be opposite Uranus-Aries in the 9th House. As a result, the transit might cause an emotional conflict within a relationship resulting from a sudden desire by one of you to perhaps pursue a higher education (9th House) that involves having to move away, perhaps even to another state or country (9th House). Do you (or they) stay or go?

Ascendant Square
If you have a Capricorn or Cancer Ascendant, it did/is/will square the Uranus-Aries transit in the 10th House. Again, squares are usually felt as an inner struggle about the areas it’s aspecting.  It’s all about you (Ascendant) and could manifest in restlessness, rebellion against the status quo, all to find the freedom or excitement you desire, regardless what others think. With the 10th House involved, you could suddenly decide to shake things up and reinvent your career, just for the sake of it.


Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

“The confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel typically associated with Mercury Retrograde is best viewed as an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking.”

Did you know that Mercury retrogrades several times a year?
So what does that mean for you? First, let’s clarify what “retrograde” really means. As we wrote in our post, Transiting Pluto Retrograde & You, in as near scientific terms as we can understand and conjure (so please speak up if we get it wrong!), when a planet is retrograde, it’s not actually going backwards as the term implies, but only seems as if it is to those of us who happen to be inhabiting the planets that are passing each other at certain times of their orbits. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and, thus, on the most inner lane of the orbital racetrack, so to speak, while Earth is on an outside lane of the track. As the faster planet’s (Mercury) pulls parallel to the slower planet (Earth), the planets appear stationary to each other for a “moment’, until Mercury passes Earth. It’s at this point, it appears that one or the other is going backward, depending on which planet you’re living on. “Appears” is the operative word here. Or, if you prefer more “Earth bound” analogies, consider when a fast car approaches a slower car…for a moment two cars seem simpatico, but not for long. As the fast car pulls ahead, the slow car appears to move backward or vice versa. That’s not really the case, as we know. Something called physics is happening!

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth's 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth’s 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

In the case of Mercury, its latest retrograde at the time of this writing began June 26, 2013, in Cancer and will continue through July 20.  Unless you were born with Mercury Retrograde, when the fastest orbiting planet in our solar system “goes retrograde,” confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel might occur for many. However, it’s actually an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking. For example, when it’s in Cancer, as it is now, generally speaking you might find yourself feeling more sentimental than usual about the past or your family and you have an nagging urge to express these sentiments. Or maybe you are considering a real estate transaction. Or signing a contract to have work done on your house. Depending on the House it’s transiting in your birth chart and if it’s forming an aspect to any of your CBs, the three or so weeks it’s retrograding might be best used to mull things over before taking any action. And if you can wait until it goes direct around July 20, all the better.  If Mercury is the Ruling Planet of your Sun, Moon or Ascendant Sign (Gemini or Virgo), read our blog, Gemini Sun Sign.

Interestingly, if your natal Mercury is retrograde at the time of your birth, these periods are can be productive for you and you’ll rarely experience its confusion (To learn more about the difference between natal planets and transiting planets, read Natal Planets vs. Transiting Planets). However, when in doubt, the best modes of action to take during any Transiting Mercury Retrograde period: slow down, take stock, reorganize, review, be patient.

Mercury Rx 2013
Feb. 23 – March 17
June 26 – July 20
October 21 –  Nov. 10

A Few Mercury Fast Facts

  • Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System
  • Its orbit around the sun is about 88 Earth Days
  • Named after the fleet footed messenger of the Roman Gods
  • Its atmosphere is nearly nil, so has widest temperature fluctuations of any other planet in our Solar System
  • Because of its speed and eccentric orbit it has been the least understood of the Solar System’s planets
  • NASA’s Messenger space probe launched in 2004 reached Mercury’s orbit in 2011, when it captured the first-ever complete picture of Mercury
April’s Scorpio Partial Lunar Eclipse

April’s Scorpio Partial Lunar Eclipse


“While the partial lunar eclipses might not be as potent as full eclipses on our astrological psyche, they still open up brief windows of opportunities to embrace new energy…”

Not only is April 25, 2013’s full moon in Scorpio, it’s also a partial lunar eclipse at 5 degrees Scorpio (see’s Facebook post, “Planet Watch/Week of April 21”). The moon transits through our astrological charts quickly and its influence is brief, but eclipses can have a lingering impact. While the partial lunar eclipses might not be as potent as full eclipses on our astrological psyche, they still open up brief windows of opportunities to embrace new energy for those who have Celestial Bodies with which the moon comes into direct aspect.  Fixed Signs (Scorpio, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius) can take advantage of tonight’s eclipse. This is especially so if you have a Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in Scorpio that is within a few degrees of this eclipse. You can choose to invite into your life a period of openness to deep, probing, investigative inner work (Scorpio) as it pertains to the Celestial Body/s and House/s the moon is aspecting. For example, if you have a 6th House Scorpio Sun within tight aspect to the transiting moon (within a few degrees but especially if exact), use this energy to focus on transforming any patterns related to health, day-to-day work, service to others: Fully research and understand a new exercise regimen or the benefits of an improved diet. Intensify your effort to add efficiency to your job. Commit to opening up to more experiences by being less rigid in your day-to-day routine. You get the idea! If it’s your Scorpio Moon that’s in tight conjunction with this transiting Moon, you could be impacted on an emotional level. Remember, the Moon signifies our feminine, emotional side, so look to your emotional patterns to see if there is room for transformation. Scorpio Moons are intense. Do you tend to react with jealousy or obsessiveness in relationships? Ask yourself why you feel the way you do and search for the answer. You might also look to where the Natal Ruler of Scorpio, Pluto, resides. If it’s in direct contact with this eclipse, take inner inventory there too.

Bottom line: Use this eclipse (and any eclipse) energy, though partial, to open up, at least to yourself, to ways of improvement. All else will follow.

2013 Solar & Lunar Eclipse Schedule

Partial Lunar    Apr. 25 in Scorpio

Annular Solar   May 10 in Taurus

Penumbral Lunar   May 25 in Sagittarius

Penumbral Lunar   Oct. 18  in Aries

Hybrid Solar    Nov. 03 in Scorpio

Shown: A partial lunar eclipse on June 26, 2010, close to maximum. Viewed from Canberra, Australia. By Mdekool