It’s that time of year again! That’s right, Mercury is retrograding starting April 28th and ending on May 22nd. Keep in mind, the shadow period is from April 14th to June 7th so you might already be feeling its effects. There will be a total of four periods that Mercury will be retrograding this year and they will mainly occur in the Earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo). This current position of Mercury will fall within the sign of Taurus. With Taurus being ruled by Venus, the planet of love, you will notice this Mercury retrograde will focus on all things love and relationships. Should I rekindle the relationship with an old friend? Or perhaps an old flame? These are questions that might surface as you’re reflecting on things of the past during this transit. If your sun, moon, or ascendant sign is in Taurus then you’ll likely feel the effects of this Mercury retrograde much more than others. Yikes! Don’t worry you’re not alone, Taurus ascendant here.
Yesterday morning, headlines across the world were eager to share with us new information to validate the last bit of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity in a way they thought they never could. Nytimes explains, “space-time could curve, fold, wrap itself up around a dead star and disappear into a black hole” and this cosmic reaction was recorded on September 14, 2015.
In my home state of Washington and also in the state of Louisiana is where a pair of L-shaped antennas each with arms equal to 2.5 miles are monitored by LIGO scientists, or properly the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. These $1 billion antennas are designed to record gravitational waves from galaxies; much like a rippling wave effect from a drop of water in a pond. It was this data that proved to scientists that they were picking up on gravitational waves from the merging of two black holes. These two black holes were more than 30x larger than the mass of the sun and after merging into one black hole its new mass was greater than 60x the mass of the sun! I’ve embedded an excerpt from LIGO’s A Passion for Understanding video to further explain for any of you who are visual learners much like myself.
Lastly, to my fellow Pisces Albert Einstein, I salute you! #teampisces
If you didn’t catch a glimpse of the morning skies today then you have another shot at it tomorrow before sunrise. If you happen to miss tomorrow’s reveal then you still have till about February 20th to take a look at this memorable event! What’s happening is that five planets are visible to the naked eye for the first time in a decade. Yes, that’s right, Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter have joined forces to show us one hell of a magic show in the dark morning skies. Other planets like Uranus, Neptune, Pluto will still be around but seeing those planets requires a strong telescope. In case you’re new to the world of astronomy, or even astrology, then let me enlighten you on the significances of these planets.
When people normally think of planets, they might think that they are mysterious or ideas of whether they could inhabit humans centuries from now might cross their minds. The planets hold much more power than we often give credit for. Just look at Earth, our home, the perfect conditions to allow us to breed (as long as we take care of her). In addition to Earth, other nearby planets are more involved in our lives than we consciously are aware of. Unconsciously, we can take on the energies of these planets when they are in certain degrees, or transits. We might have a sudden influx of determination, increased drive, and workaholic tendencies lasting for weeks without even realizing where it might stem from. Or let’s say that you find yourself being in a lovey dovey mood and you notice you’re focusing your strengths on arts, beauty, and all things related to the heart. These influences are likely coming from the energies of the planets in our solar system. Let’s take a deeper look.
Planets and their energies
Saturn: the planet of Karma • rules Capricorn, and anciently Aquarius
Saturn brings energies of hard work, ethics, discipline, responsibility, task management, life lessons taught, structure and order. With Saturn being the planet of karma and a planet of hard work it definitely abides by “you reap what you sow”. If you are slacking at work or with other responsibilities then you might find when Saturn makes certain transits into your life that you are hit with unfortunate luck. However, if you have been on the grind and diligent then you are likely to see the fruits of your labor flourish.
Mars: the planet of Passion • rules Aries and Scorpio
With Mars either being your astrological ruling planet or having entered a distinct degree to Earth you will notice your need for action, drive, determination and power. Mars energy is very ambitious, confident, competitive, courageous, fearless and sometimes impulsive. All of these traits are the reason why most astrologers will tag Mars as being the ruler of military entities. You might find yourself having an increase of stamina with Mars making appearances in your life. This is ideal time to start a workout regimen and if Saturn is playing a part in this too then you will likely be able to maintain your regimen instead of quitting when the going gets tough.
Mercury: the planet of Communication
• rules Gemini and Virgo
The planet Mercury energetic forces focus on all things communicative, logic, reasoning, intellect, and short trips. Being the ruler of communication Mercury has a lot on it’s plate. Your style of writing or speech is influenced by Mercury. Having a birth natal chart with a lot of Mercury energy can mean you might be witty, indecisive, and curious. Mercury is often discussed in the news and social media due to Mercury going retrograde. Retrograde, means to move backward, but truly the planet does not move backwards it’s merely an optical illusion. We are actually experiencing a Mercury retrograde now, it started roughly around January 5th and will end around January 25th, give or take some days. With Mercury in retrograde you might be prone to having misunderstandings with people, electronics might be giving you trouble, traveling can be delayed due to traffic or flight delays. Although, this can be frustrating to some, this period can also be good for reflecting, relaxing, and re-examining aspects of our life.
Venus: the planet of Love
• rules Taurus and Libra
I just adore Venus energy! Venus brings out energies of love, romance, friendships, socializing, arts, charm, and other pleasurable endeavours. If you suddenly find yourself in a loveable mood and wanting to dive into life’s pleasures you might of been hit with Venus’ powers. It’s actually common as Venus energies likes to stay around for many months. Venus is all about what makes you happy. What are you attracted to? Good food, art galleries, luxury items, oh my!
Jupiter: the planet of Luck
• rules Sagittarius, and anciently Pisces
Yes, the planet of luck, Jupiter being the largest planet in our solar system expands good fortune in your astrological chart. Higher learning, spirituality, philosophy, manifestations, long distant travel, optimism, benevolent moral values, and sense of purpose are some benefits of this star’s energy. Having a spiritual awakening or being endowed with lady luck on your side can be thought of as Jupiter’s doings. Like all the planets, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, too much pull from this energy can cause laziness and sloth.
Uranus: the planet of Rebellion
• rules Aquarius
Uranus gives you a new look on things, it allows you to see what else may be out there for you. This is the planet that rules originality, ingenious inventions, free will, creativity and liberation. Uranus energy is largely associated with the hippie movement, activism, and the urge for social change and reform. John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Beatles were some of many who were born during strong Uranus transits. Some astrologers also believe Uranus is ruler of natural disasters such as earthquakes.
Pluto: the planet of Power
• rules Scorpio
Ninth planet from the sun, it is no wonder why pluto is the keeper of secrets, transformations, and control. It is the smallest planet known to our solar system but do not be fooled this planet is packed full of power. Pluto’s motto is “out with the old and in with the new”. You might find yourself changing career paths or making new groups of friends with the energy of this planet, especially if Uranus or Mercury retrograde are adding in their two cents. Being the planet of death and rebirth should not be taken as something negative but rather a blessing in disguise. After Pluto is done with you you’ll notice that you come out stronger than before. A triumph over the odds, from grief to grace!
Neptune: the planet of Illusions
• rules Pisces
Neptune, ruler of dreams, the subconscious, spirituality, compassion, inspiration, intuition and psychic receptiveness. This planet is all about what lies underneath, all things unseen. Since it is the ruler of oceans, it is only fitting that the watery emotional Pisces is paired with this planet. It is known that water symbolically means emotional depths and free-flowing ideals. In addition, in dream interpretation, seeing water is often a symbolic meaning related to your inner emotions. People who have an air of mystery to them can often have strong Neptune influence in their astrological charts. Also those with strong gut instincts, empathic nature, or psychic abilities have Neptune to thank for that. Downfalls of too much of this energy can cause people the urge to escape from reality, often leading to addictions. It’s best to practice grounding techniques to help balance you out if you feel you always have your head in the clouds.
We see the sun and the moon all the time but just so we don’t exclude Leos and Cancers out of the fun let’s quickly go over their ruling star’s attributes.
Sun: the star of Illumination
• rules Leo
The masculine energy of the Sun brings about spirited personality traits, a confident ego, vitality, and success. The sun questions “who are you” and what shapes us. This star gives off such energy and strength and one might find they can overcome any challenges. Since the Sun is a source of heat for us, Leos can often be portrayed as warm, passionate, and attractive. This extroverted energy can be very attractive to many. Just like the planets, the Sun can come with negative traits such as having an inflated ego and extreme self-centered tendencies.
Moon: ruler of emotions
• rules Cancer
The feminine energy of the Moon dictates emotions, the subconscious, introspection. The Moon is naturally a mysterious ‘planet’ to astronomers and it goes without saying that the Moon is just as important as the Sun. Moon energy is responsive, nurturing, sustainable, reflective, creative and receptive. Where as the sun is active, the moon is reactive. The moon focuses on “how we feel” and this is why Cancers can be stigmatized as having mood swings and sudden bursts of different emotions. Similar to Neptune, the Moon is ruler of the tides, thus also making this energy have watery emotional depths. Cancers like to have a soul connection with people, a true bond, an emotional bond much like its fellow water signs Pisces and Scorpio. The moon is most influential during full moons and supermoons which is why people say things get a little weird on those distinct nights.
For more information about the effects that planets have on people, please visit astrology.about.com.