It’s looking a little rugged right now in the planetary lineup. Mars in fall, Mercury combust the Sun, Venus in fall and about to go retrograde, Saturn slowing down in retrograde in Scorpio, Jupiter moving toward a square of Saturn and then entering its detriment, and the Moon about to enter the via combusta. So what should we make of so many classic debilities happening all at once?
Let’s look at them one by one and then zoom out…
* With Mercury sandwiched between the Sun and Mars in fall, it might feel like we’re in a state of limbo right now, as though we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, or we’re constantly fighting off anxiety and worst case scenario thinking. Given that all three planets are in the cardinal sign of Cancer we might be trying to start or initiate something that is having a hard time getting off the ground, or given Cancer’s association with the home and family, we might be dealing with difficult situations in those areas of our lives right now, especially things involving communication, boundary issues with communication, or mental/emotional health issues in the family.
* With Mars in fall we might be seeing themes of violence, abuse, death, or difficulty in the home or family. We may also be seeing themes of emotional frustration, a general feeling of impotence or the feeling that all our actions or initiatives are falling somewhat flat.
* With Venus stationing in her fall in Virgo we may also be experiencing a certain cold, dry, and sober feeling in relationships or love. We might be feeling prudish or overly critical about ourselves or others, or we might find that it’s harder than usual to find harmony in negotiations or dealings with other people right now because of a general aura of worry, control, and fussiness that permeates our relationships.
* With Jupiter squaring Saturn we’ve been looking at the themes of generational conflict lately. The young versus the old, the traditional versus the innovative, the somber and serious versus the faithful and trusting. As Jupiter enters Virgo, the normally expansive Jupiter will become more earthy and factual, more serious and focused, more organized and plain in his actions.
* With Saturn slowing down via retrograde in Scorpio, we’ve been looking one last time at the subterranean, the unconscious, or the underworld. The subjects of death, mortality, fear, control, resistance to change, and the need for a total transformation of circumstances have all been looming large this summer.
* As the Moon enters the Via combusta and we head toward the first quarter on Friday, this week has a “keep your head down and work through the difficulty” kind of feeling. The moon waxing (growth and progress) but working through difficult conditions as it goes along.
So, by all accounts it looks pretty challenging right now. But what can we do with all of this so that we don’t get too negative or depressed? To my mind we can’t just make every negative into a positive, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for the wisdom of the divine in difficult seasons. What I’m seeing right now in the planets is the challenge of learning to listen to what setbacks, frustrations, worries, and anxieties are saying to us, rather than only seeing them as limitations or prohibitions standing between us and the object of our desire. How else do we build character if not during times of challenges and setbacks? Using too much force right now will likely make things worse. On the other hand, using too little force, feeling sorry for ourselves, or throwing in the towel, will also make things worse. The blessing of so many debilitation in the sky right now is that they force us to work through something. Any extreme reaction or response to the challenges we are facing will likely lead to even bigger problems.
Nobody likes feeling in limbo, and nobody likes feeling like it’s hard to make things happen, or that it’s hard to keep a clear mind or straight path. But it’s exactly these challenging times that help us recognize the limits of our own control or power in life. Without these moments we can’t cultivate the virtues of trust and faith, or peace and surrender.
Prayer: As we grow through these difficult times, give us the gift of a quiet heart and a quiet mind.