Friday, August 26, 2016

A Concentrated Mercury Rx Station: The Truth is in the Details

Graffiti on a train car
This train went forward past me and then reversed back up the track the way it came. A fitting symbol for a Mercury retrograde article, I thought.

Mercury retrograde August 30 to September 21 from 29 to 14 degrees Virgo

Communication and intelligence planet Mercury stations retrograde on the 29th degree of Virgo on August 30 (6:04 a.m. PDT) in a mash-up with the two benefics of the zodiac, Venus (which will be newly in Libra) and Jupiter (just finishing its transit of Virgo).

Winged messenger Mercury is at home in Virgo. It is the ruling body of that sign. However, a retrograde station on the potent and concentrated anaretic (final) degree of this sign is a bit much, even for Mercury in home territory.

There is an absolute glut of information and detail concentrated into this degree, so very much we have to take into consideration if we are to maintain effective perspective. As Mercury puts on the brakes and reverses direction on this most analytical of zodiac degrees, to say we are tasked with keeping up on the finer points would be an understatement.

Luckily, we have an extended transit of Mercury through Virgo (until October 7) to process and integrate all those pertinent finer points...

We're going back over the ideas, information, connections, perceptions, and conversations we've had since Mercury first entered the retrograde shadow on August 10. There are more details to be gleaned and more perspective to be gathered on everything experienced between August 10 and August 30.

There is some confusion here, also, as Mercury reverses itself, some difficulty in maintaining that honed, practical, "100% totally and completely with it" perspective. Staying on top of alllllll the information, details, and organization we have to stay on top of in our daily lives and work is a challenge at the moment, to say the least.

This challenge eases a little as Mercury re-gains speed in retrograde motion during the first few days of September.

Mercury in Virgo has a tendency to turn things over and over and over in the mind, looking at every possible angle, bringing in even the tiniest of details, going over even the most minute of perceived errors.

And all that mental processing and processing and processing has a tendency to make us a little stressed!

With Mercury stationing retrograde in conjunction to Jupiter, the over-thinking and overly-analytical tendencies are exaggerated even further. Mercury conjunct Jupiter indicates the possibility of too much information/analysis/thinking with the Virgo function (fairly overloaded at the moment) required to streamline and filter it all.

The truth is in the details, but we must first shed the unnecessary and narrow our focus. 

There is some concentrated worry here, some intensified mental stress, some over-analytical tendencies that must be balanced and kept under control.

We have to be willing to cut ourselves (and others) a little slack - just a little - so that we don't have smoke coming out our ears before the retrograde process even begins. Mercury is in the sign of the virgin until October 7. We have to pace ourselves.

With Mercury stationing retrograde on this taut and somewhat loaded zodiac degree, small glitches can throw us off in big ways, particularly stress-wise. There is an element of things not going exactly according to plan. Some mistakes could be made. Misunderstandings are possible. Some errors in judgment could seep in. We'll become aware of areas that need improvement.

Just breathe, stay calm, and correct your mistakes as soon as you become aware of them. Virgo is a mutable sign, so stay adaptable. Stay fluid. Be proactive. Adjust to the organic flow of things, even when what's going on wasn't part of the original plan. Don't stress. Most mistakes can be corrected without anyone being the wiser! And remember: we're humans, not machines. Humans are fallible. But we can also learn, correct, improve, make things better.

There is a lot of work associated with Virgo and with this Mercury retrograde period. But Virgo is also a minimalist sign, an "only what's necessary" sign.

With Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Virgo, we must be sure not to make more work for ourselves than is necessary. We must ensure that we are fulfilling our exact roles and nothing more.

Rather than burying yourself under heaps of work right off the bat, first ask if it's work that really needs to be done?

Then ask if it's work that really needs to be done by you specifically? Could it be delegated? Is there someone with skills better suited to the task?

Finally, ask what is the simplest and most efficient way to complete the work - and then do it.

Keeping things simple, minimal, basic, realistic, and functional is the name of the game.

During this extended transit of Mercury through Virgo, we're streamlining and purifying our work life, our communications, our information sources, our personal perspectives, and our daily tasks, eliminating non-essentials and a lot of unnecessary stress along with them.

As stated, Mercury has been in a conjunction with Venus and Jupiter in late Virgo for the tail end of August, indicating that some blessed connections are in progress, paving new trails for us.

The blessed perspective, information, and connections indicated are helping us to pare away the excess, streamlining and honing our personal trajectories to maximize efficiency.

A "paring down" is underway so that we are fulfilling the roles and duties most suited to our skill sets while also picking up new skills that will be necessary to us along the way.

We're honing our perspectives throughout the Mercury retrograde process, sanding things down to exactly what we think, ensuring that we are applying our efforts, our words, and our minds in just the right ways.

Mercury goes direct at 14 degrees Virgo on September 21.

Mercury leaves Virgo for Libra October 7.

Mercurial Tid-Bits: the comments section on the blog has been re-opened. You can also find me at Twitter.

If you regularly find Willow's Web Astrology blog valuable, consider becoming a patron.
Patrons receive full articles to their email inboxes that appear only as excerpts on the blog, and they also receive unwavering gratitude and good vibes from Willow!

Reading information can be found here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Saturn Square Neptune Tension and Some Fortifying Context From the Vault

As mentioned in a recent post, the astrological aspects of the moment suggest a tough period of time for many as end-of-Piscean-era structural realities continue to dissolve, disappoint, and come up short all around us.

At the same time, we're forging ahead - experimentally, often in a state of muted shock - while gaining momentum in a new astrological era. Things work differently now. Energy works differently. As a result, in order to be successful, things must be set up differently, under rules aligned with the natural laws governing the astrological Aquarian Age.

In many ways, we are moving into a freer and more dynamic period. As things break down, we are forced to seek alternatives, to do things differently. Keeping the grand scale, macro shift in mind can help to inspire us and buoy our spirits when everything seems to be swirling down the fin-de-Piscean-era drain.

There can also be no doubt, however, that many/most are weighed down in some way by this "will it never end?" transitional period. We're moving through experiences of stagnation, inertia, confusion, isolation, listlessness, disappointment, and/or despair, time periods when nothing at all seems to work, and these periods can increase in potency as the era shift gathers momentum.

Keep in mind: we are working to achieve escape velocity from the sticky karmic loops, from the devastating dirty tricks, and from the unmet and unrealized ideals of the astrological Piscean era.

And we're going to get there, there's no doubt about it. If for no other reason than: there's nowhere else to go.

At the same time, no caring, feeling, intelligent being of any degree of sensitivity could deny the pain and suffering going on on this planet - much of it intentionally being brought down upon us by the nasty mix of nefarious nogoodniks inhabiting positions of power within the illegitimate structural hierarchies of this planet.

More than two thousand years of it is being layered upon us now, concentrated into this period of time, spread amongst the billions of us currently living and breathing on Planet Earth, shared even amongst the Earth-compassionate spirits on the other side.

No one can entirely separate his or her own emotional and psychological states from the intense misery and fear that has been generated, stirred, and intentionally manufactured around the globe for millenia. We can protect ourselves from it, insulate ourselves from it to a degree, love ourselves and others through it, but we cannot separate ourselves from it.

This impossibility of separation is a Chiron in Pisces lesson, and with the wounded healer now transiting late Pisces, this lesson is coming to a head.

As most readers know, I'm a Scorpionic/Plutonic soul, and I don't believe in shying away from the stone cold reality of the situation. In fact, I think avoiding, glossing over, denying, or shying away from the reality of the situation just creates more pain and dysfunction.

We have to get to the heart of the matter in order to protect ourselves from the crushing weight being brought down on the living things of this planet.

To this end, I will re-publish some older writing here that may provide context while helping those who are feeling "on the brink" at this time. Hopefully it can help to blast us out of any anxiety or malaise associated with the Saturn-Neptune square, an aspect we have been working with since November 2015 that is now coming to a head once again.

From the October 30, 2014 article, "Entering the Dark Half..."

"We have been emotionally and psychologically challenged - intensely - during Saturn's transit of Scorpio [2012 - 2015] by the bottom-line realities on this planet. We have been challenged by some of the darkest and most repugnant realities possible related to corrupt, violent, and vicious power structures on this planet and the miseries they create.

(If the New Agers want to talk about "creating reality," why don't we start with the miserable realities being created for billions of people by the violent power-holders and social engineers?)

There has been a lot of talk about depression since Saturn entered Scorpio in October 2012. This is a topic that has been worked up to the surface in media and social media, particularly after some high-profile celebrity suicides.

There has also been a lot of talk about how to alleviate or cure depression.

But here's where it gets a bit more tricky, complicated, Scorpionic.

We can't sever ourselves or our emotional realities from the reality of the whole. We can't sever our personal psyches from the collective situation on Planet Earth. We can't sever ourselves from the misery intentionally being brought down on people as the powers-that-be steamroll their way to continued "success."

There is no pill or drug or psychiatrist that can make all that go away.

Do we really think the millions of Iraqui and Afghani war orphans that have been created by the vicious Global Government and their NATO forces are not feeling depressed right about now?

Do we think the mothers giving birth to babies deformed from depleted uranium exposure, again brought to them by NATO forces, are not feeling some depression?

Do we believe the 43 million Americans on food stamps, some unable to put food on their tables with even two or three jobs, are not feeling a bit down at the moment?

Or the millions who remain unemployed? The millions who are homeless? The millions who are working for a wage that cannot sustain the very basics of life?

Do we think the sea life being irradiated, sickened, and killed in the Pacific Ocean is not feeling a bit wonky at this point? That we have no energetic connection to these creatures?

Do we believe that we can escape the intentional irradiation and toxification of our own bodies and minds by pretending it isn't happening, that it isn't so bad?

Do we believe that the current state of perpetual war will not affect our emotional or psychological states as long as we don't have to see it right in front of us?

We can't change the situation for ourselves personally unless we are also working to change it for the collective. It will just cycle around and grab us again unless we are working with the real sociological roots...

There are real ghouls, real soul-devoid individuals, in positions of power on this planet, intentionally bringing down pain, misery, death, and destruction on the living things here. (And most of those real ghouls wear suits and ties.) This web of corrupt power stretches around the globe, unimaginably complex and intricately connected. And this web must be outed - systematically, relentlessly, repeatedly, until every tendril, every connection is exposed.

Until people are willing to work with the true root realities, until they are ready to strike at the heart of the beast, they will be paralyzed under the layers, the symptoms, the intentionally-created bad feelings.

The goals...are to understand the true sources of our depression and to understand that we cannot alleviate the weight of this depression by leaving those sources hidden, festering, unaddressed."

From the April 25, 2014 article, "Suicide Prevention Post: You are Loved & You Are Needed. Stay Here With Me."

"We are in the thick of the Pluto (corruption/death) in Capricorn (business/hierarchy) years, and people are being placed under layers and layers of manufactured stress. These manufactured stresses often stem from corrupt institutions that are being accepted by people as normal, sane, and legitimate.

These corrupt institutions include the money system and stock markets, as well as business and governmental models.

People feel forced to play roles and to keep up in structures that are increasingly insane, inhumane, illegitimate, violent, deadly, and devoid of soul.

People are being ruled through fear, coercion, and artificially-stimulated adrenaline - a very weak foundation, indeed, which works to break people down over the course of time.

Many are unaware of the extreme emotional and psychological violence being perpetuated by these institutions and blame themselves solely for the troubles they are encountering.

All this can break the human psyche down pretty quickly. In fact, the manufactured pressures are designed to do just that.

In an attempt to cope, people are taking pharmaceuticals for which suicidal thoughts or actions are known side effects.

There is also a covert use of energy weapons and electromagnetic frequencies underway that is creating suicidal thinking and actions in people.

If you are feeling suicidal or are having suicidal thoughts, please know that you are not alone in what you are experiencing. It is a widespread phenomenon. Also know that you can move out of the most detrimental suicidal thinking with enough time, awareness, and support... 

Suicidal thoughts are temporary - even if they last off-and-on for years. The problems you are experiencing are not as big or impossible as they seem to you, and many of them have been intentionally manufactured by forces outside yourself.

Please know that the pressures being intentionally heaped upon you are not of your doing. You have not created them. You have not done something terribly wrong. You are not a failure...

From a previous post:

"In a great many instances, institutions want you to fail. They train you to fail. Because they benefit from, make money from, your failure.

Institutions destroy people. They sometimes destroy people quickly. Usually, however, it's a slow, eroding, toxifying collapse over the course of time...

The current constructs and power dynamics have lost legitimacy in the minds of all but the most conditioned.

What you have to do, pretty babies, is destroy its importance in your mind before it destroys you.

Get out from under the psychological weight of it however you can.

Step right out from under it.

Annihilate it.

Because it will crush you if you give it the chance.

Whatever is oppressing you so heavily right now doesn't matter.

Whatever is stressing you out doesn't matter. It's bullshit. Take responsibility for what's yours and get rid of the rest. Give it up to the universe, your higher power, God.

You are loved...

To a great extent, our institutions are devoid of humanity. But that doesn't mean we have to be...

One of the ways they crush us is by isolating us. They make us feel as if we're the only ones going through it, as if we're irretrievably damaged goods, as if we'll never have access to what's good in life.

Understand that whenever Pluto is involved, the roots of the situation are immensely complex. Each individual struggling is part of a massive Plutonic network struggling with the same thing...

We have to work to connect with each other, even though it's hard, and to love and care for each other, or they've got us. They've stripped us of one of the primary things that makes life worth living on this planet - our loving, compassionate humanity, given and received...

They keep us isolated in shame and embarrassment. Feeling like damaged goods. Feeling abnormal. Don't be ashamed. There isn't one thing we need to be ashamed of. It's the ones enforcing this violence who should be ashamed."

You're what matters.

[During the Pluto in Capricorn years,] it will be easy to feel crappy about our finances and our material insecurity. It will be easy to tie our self-worth to our dwindling earning potential or bank accounts. It will be easy to forget our inherent worth.

So we must buck that trend.

Please know that you are loved, and you are needed on this planet. You are worth so much more than any amount of money or material goods. You are so much more than a paycheque.

Please do not forget all the people who need your presence in this world. There are people you don't even know who are glad you are alive. You being on this planet makes life easier and better for so many - even people you have only met in passing, even the slightest of acquaintances, even people you haven't met in the flesh. You don't have to earn any money or live the high life to please these people. All you have to do is be you in the world and keep being you in the world.

Don't forget how much you are loved and how devastating it would be for you not to be here anymore.

And please check in with other people - even those you do not know well. A random kind word or light conversation can make all the difference in the world for someone feeling isolated and miserable."

The heavy, wet blanket effect of Saturn square Neptune is dropping the yuck on us in fairly sucky doses at the moment, as the current Saturn in Sagittarius - Neptune in Pisces square is being inflamed by war planet Mars. 

As Mars in Sagittarius leaves its retrograde shadow (August 22), forms a conjunction to Saturn (August 24), and then squares Neptune in Pisces (August 25), the almost-post-Piscean suck-age is being pushed to a flaming, inflaming head.

But we are also busting through into something new. Old forms are being shaken apart by Uranian shock waves. After the storms of disappointment, fear, and despair, we see things in a new light.

This backdrop change is reinforced by September's eclipse season with a New Moon solar eclipse at 9 degrees Virgo on September 1 and a Full Moon lunar eclipse at 24 degrees Pisces on September 16.

The 9-degree Virgo New Moon solar eclipse on September 1 tightly squares Saturn at 10 degrees Sagittarius and opposes Neptune at 10 degrees Pisces, indicating that the themes of the Saturn-Neptune square dominate the following 28-day lunar cycle.

Sandwiched between these two eclipses is the final Saturn-Neptune square at 10 degrees Sagittarius/Pisces on September 10. A completion point.

The month of September appears to be a powerhouse for both peak pain and (ultimately) peak healing. The period around the 24-degree Pisces Full Moon is particularly potent, as the Full Moon occurs in tight conjunction to wounded healer Chiron.

At the time of the September 16 Pisces Full Moon, Mars in Sagittarius will be in tight square aspect to the Moon and Chiron in Pisces as well as to the Virgo Sun. This creates a mutable t-square formation, indicating transition, shifts, and emotional changeability/instability.

Luckily, Mars in Sagittarius will also be in exact trine aspect to Uranus in Aries at the time of the Full Moon, and it is this Mars-Uranus trine that drives us forward into new (and hopefully refreshing) territory.

Mars rubbing up against the wounded healer in Pisces at the time of the Full Moon indicates a possible inflammation of personal pain as connected to collective pain. But the Mars trine to Uranus indicates the dynamism and energy to move out of the worst of it. It indicates that we will (eventually) understand this pain as well as what we can do (Mars) about it. There will be a healing trajectory coming out of this Full Moon formation, and it may be a radical healing trajectory, requiring surprising changes in our lives.

We have 2,000+ years of pain, illusion, dirty tricks, manipulation, deception, artifice,  disappointment, dead ends, and collective karma to work our way through. These times were never going to be easy.

But we also have 2,000+ years of sublime beauty, overflowing love, mystery and magic, spirit-centred guidance, collective wisdom, and sustaining connection to our fellow beings to draw on, to help us through. We can be fall-on-our-knees grateful for that.

I can't sugarcoat the experiences associated with these astrological aspects. But I can say that we are coming into powerful new truth - including guiding spiritual truth for a new era - because of them. 

As we're propelled beyond old holding patterns, there is new energy and new growth available. There are new ideas coming, practically applicable. There is a 'whoosh' moment, a dam breaking and water gushing forth. This is not controllable by us, but it is nothing, ultimately, to fear. The dam was no longer necessary. In fact, it was holding us back.

We're navigating some trepidation, uncertainty, and instability over the next six weeks - but it's also exhilarating when we catch a glimpse of the big picture, when we see how all the mysterious threads connect, when we see all that has been accomplished via our hard work and diligence.

The periods of end-of-Pisces inertia, stagnation, and despair get shorter. They become easier to recognize, too. It becomes easier to gain objective emotional distance and awareness. Ahh, Aquarius. We are no longer immersed, drowning, as we so often have been.

The bursts of inspiration get stronger. We start to see the path out of the wreckage, even if it's just a single new step available for us to take.

A single, precious new step.

Thank-you for being here.

If you regularly find Willow's Web Astrology blog valuable, consider becoming a patron.
Patrons receive full articles to their email inboxes that appear only as excerpts on the blog, and they also receive unwavering gratitude and good vibes from Willow!

Reading information can be found here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Grateful for Small Shifts

When we wake up tomorrow morning, that heavy beast Saturn will be direct, indicating an ever-so-slight release in the pressure.

Venus in Virgo also squares Saturn in Sagittarius tomorrow morning (7:31 a.m. PDT), an indicator that ongoing hits to self-esteem will gradually be lifting, as well.

Both Saturn stations and challenging aspects between Venus and Saturn can indicate financial stress, so these types of anxieties may be reaching a peak now, as well. Phew. I'm not sure we could have taken much more, especially combined with the Saturn square Neptune angst. But just in time - in perfect cosmic timing - we experience a little shift.

We're navigating some tough astrological aspects now, there can be no doubt about it, as well as a great deal of uncertainty. But as of tomorrow, we're inching forward, happy and grateful for even the slightest of progress or alleviation of pressure. (And for those complaining that it's not enough progress, or that it's not coming fast enough, work on that gratitude...)

Mercury in Virgo is well into its retrograde shadow, indicating that we'll be coming back to all this to pick up on further details. Tiny details and pieces of missing information will be gathered between now and October 7 - when Mercury finally completes its transit of Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius finally forms its exact square to the nodal axis. Our perspectives are being honed, refined, and re-shaped ever-so-slightly between now and early October. We may be quite surprised by how our mindsets change between now and then.

Saturn in Sagittarius direct: the wise, wise path of endurance combined with patience. Bearing the weight and the struggle with humour, good will, and optimism. Acceptance of conditions while working to improve them. Even the tiniest morsels of inspiration pushing us onward.

You can read more about the themes of the Saturn direct station in this recent article: Saturn Direct Brings Us Into a Period of Structural Transition - $6.25 for non-patrons

I will also remind patrons to consult this March 19, 2016 article for further context: Entering a Period of Beneficial and Inspirational Re-Structuring

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Potential for Intense Challenge, Particularly For Males

Head's up: what I'm writing about here isn't pretty, but it is real.

I've written on the blog before about Mars - Saturn contacts and the increase in the likelihood of (in particular) male suicides.

In my own little sphere, I've heard about two male suicides as well as an attempted suicide this summer with Mars (actions) transiting late Scorpio (death).

This isn't limited to men, but men would be affected in particular, as both Mars and Saturn are masculine symbols. 

We've had extended interplay between Mars and Saturn, the two malefic bodies of the zodiac, during the Mars retrograde period (April 17 - June 29).

Mars formed a loose conjunction to Saturn as it stationed retrograde, drawing the challenge, the dread, the fear, and the intense pressure associated with Saturn into that entire process. It inflamed (Mars) all those difficult Saturnine challenges, making them seem - at times - insurmountable.

This inflammation continues...

Mars has just re-entered Sagittarius (August 2) and is now closing in on an exact conjunction to Saturn at 9 degrees of the sign (August 24). Saturn is also stationing direct August 13 in square aspect to Neptune Rx in Pisces, indicating that our responsibilities may seem more difficult/heavy/intolerable/unworkable than usual.

The situation is: many people are under an intense amount of pressure now. This reaches a peak August 24/25 with the exact Mars-Saturn conjunction and Mars-Neptune square. Luckily, we will also have a pile-up of Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter in late Virgo at that time to keep things functioning. This conjunction of the two benefic planets (Venus and Jupiter) works to offset the conjunction of the two malefic planets (Mars and Saturn).

Coming out of the Mars retrograde period as we are now, there are changes in personal direction necessary that may be upsetting to people who have gotten used to the way things are. Previous trajectories may have to be abandoned or at least transitioned now, and this may involve commitments that we were expecting to keep over the long term. There are potentially major "structural adjustments" underway in our lives, and under the current aspects, these changes may seem impossibly challenging.

There just isn't energy for these older goals, trajectories, or structures anymore. And if we pretend, if we try to carry the deadened shells on our backs just because we can't face making a different decision and potentially letting people down, we may not even be able to sustain the will to go on.

Understand the pressures that people are dealing with now. Understand the pressures affecting you and your own mental/emotional state.

When I say astrology saves lives, I'm not speaking in hyperbole. It absolutely can and does. Using astrology to understand the pressures and challenges we're under can help us to eke our way through them. In particular, the understanding that the intolerable difficulty of our challenges is temporary can help immeasurably.

I've re-opened the comments section on the blog, so if you'd like to share a comment or a laugh, please do. I think it helps to know that there are other sensitive and thinking people out there, other people who know what's up on Planet Earth. I know it helps me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Saturn Direct Brings Us Into a Period of Structural Transition

Saturn is currently grinding to a halt in the zodiac as it prepares to station direct at 9 degrees Sagittarius on August 13 (2:50 a.m. PDT).

Saturn slowing to a crawl can bring up our "Saturn lessons" in a concentrated way. We may experience temporarily heightened bouts of fear, frustration, depression, self-doubt, and insecurity (especially financial), as well as feelings of inadequacy or inferiority. All the fun stuff. We may also become aware of areas where we need to get stronger.

Saturn stations can weigh us down a bit, making responsibilities seem heavier and more difficult than they may ordinarily seem. We may feel a little trapped within the walls of our own lives, particularly in the areas related to the house where transiting Saturn is stationing in the natal chart. It may seem that progress has stopped entirely - and for a short period of time, it pretty much has!

But as Saturn shifts forward again August 13 and slowly regains speed direct throughout the rest of the month, we also get a feeling that the show is once again on the road. We've had a period of inner restructuring and sober second thought throughout the retrograde (March 25 - August 13, 2016) and are preparing to once again dig in and make some concrete progress.

After action planet Mars forms its conjunction to Saturn at 9 degrees Sagittarius on August 24, we are officially on our way. We're freer to make decisions and commitments that launch us on a new trajectory.

There may be a feeling of the torch being passed from older members of the planet (Saturn) to younger members (Mars). Or in the best case scenarios, there are new collaborations coming among the older and more experienced and the younger and more energetic.

We're all struggling out of the tail-end dregs of the astrological Piscean era together, friends.

This is an excerpt from the patron article, "Saturn Direct Brings Us Into a Period of Structural Transition." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased for $6.25 by PayPal or email money transfer. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Uranian Guerilla Warfare to Combat Pluto in Capricorn Economic Violence

Revolutionary rabble-rouser planet Uranus is almost stopped in the zodiac, preparing for a retrograde station July 29 (2:07 p.m. PDT) at 24 degrees Aries. This retrograde period will last until December 29 when Uranus will once again go direct at 20 degrees Aries, bringing it to within 3 degrees of an exact square to Pluto in Capricorn in early 2017.

That will be the closest Uranus and Pluto get to another exact square.

The series of seven exact squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn (2012 - 2015) officially came to an end in March 2015.

So we are now post-Uranus-Pluto square series (as well as post-slow-motion-apocalypse in some pretty fundamental ways), and continued survival of the intentionally-created economic violence of the Pluto in Capricorn years requires some wily and radical guerilla techniques.

With Uranus in Aries, we have to take matters into our own hands. 

Since Pluto first entered Capricorn in 2008, inflation has been absolutely scorching. Rents and real estate prices are mind-bogglingly high in many areas, even for the simplest and most basic of dwellings. Wide-scale gentrification (the Pluto in Capricorn bulldozer) has pushed independent businesses and organizations out of long-term homes, including my own beloved Art of My Heart in Calgary, Alberta in 2009, while gentrification in residential areas has forced long-term tenants to migrate out of beloved neighbourhoods, breaking down the fabric of local societies that have existed for decades or even a century.

Food prices are sob-worthy. Utility prices are cringe-worthy. And a lot of work is drying up as we shift into a "new economy" with next-to-no human-centred leadership within the crystallized, old-era positions of power still being clung to by the dinosaurs (aliens?) on this planet.

We have a money system that works against most human beings, rather than for them, and this creates soul-erosion, wasted energy, and degrading economic violence.

So we're all looking to shave the budget down a little these days, to say the least. It's pretty much a necessity for most people. This is not to say that we should not spend money if we have it to spend - especially locally. This is what keeps people in work and businesses functioning! But a few cost-saving tips certainly can't hurt considering the current circumstances.

With Pluto in Capricorn's dispositor Saturn (institutions) stationing direct in Sagittarius (knowledge, books) on August 13, one of the easiest and best ways to save money on entertainment and intellectual stimulation is by utilizing public libraries.

Libraries seem to have gone out of favour to a great extent in the days of social media saturation, YouTube, Netflix, and Kindle. But I'm here to remind you of the absolute fabulousness of the public library! I can only speak for the Canadian library system, but they are a vast (and free) resource, as well as a desperately needed public gathering place, a solid fulcrum for local culture.

Libraries have heaps of books on every imaginable subject - and if your local library doesn't have a title you're looking for, it can often bring it in from another library.

The extras libraries have for your enjoyment are also worth exploring. Libraries are lenders of graphic novels and magazines, as well. Many of these are hard, if not impossible, to find otherwise in the local area.

Libraries generally have a huge selection of music CDs and also DVDs. Again, these are often hard-to-find titles, including independent and underground stuff.

I was a "hard copy purist" up until now, but after moving to a new town recently, I've grudgingly admitted the benefits of digital library selections, as well. I was excited to learn that my local library has an online e-video collection that can be viewed easily from home. It's like Netflix, only free...and much cooler! There are so many hard-to-find videos available. A real treasure trove.

A documentary called No Fun City, about gentrification and bylaws in Vancouver, B.C. that are closing music venues and making it hard for independent bands to find a place to play, was a particular gem. It's a very "Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn" type of story about the lengths independent culture is having to go to survive a hostile climate that is trying to snuff it out and "go big/corporate all the way." I lost a precious cultural place of my own due to the gentrification bulldozer, so it's a story and a sociological theme close to my heart. I had been hoping to see this documentary for a while now, and finding it through the local library was just great.

But any subject of interest you might have will likely be stoked by the selections available through your local library.

As stated, libraries also provide a desperately-needed public gathering place that is free, quiet, contemplative, and rich in culture. No matter where I've lived, I've always made the library one of my routine haunts. Different cross-sections of the population come together at the library that you would rarely, if ever, see otherwise.

The library is a nice place for people who do not fit into the world in other ways. It can provide a safe haven, a welcoming place where personal interests can be explored for free in a peaceful environment.

It is also great for travelers or for people without access to internet, as the library provides free internet to both patrons and visitors.

Many libraries hold workshops or seminars - for free or for a small fee - and children's programs are also common. 

I worked as an Assistant Librarian a couple years ago and came to understand that many libraries are struggling these days, especially in small towns. In order to keep them vibrant and well-funded, we need to be utilizing them as the rich cultural resource that they are.

With Saturn stationing in Sagittarius and moving to a trine to Uranus in Aries in December, it is a good time to access the richness of any free (or cheap) cultural institution or event available in your local area, including museums, art galleries, craft shows, and free festivals.

Many communities hold free (or cheap) festivals at various times throughout the year that provide hours of excellent people-watching, as well as exposure to local entertainment and artists that one may not come across otherwise.

Finally, with Saturn stationing direct in Sagittarius, it's a good time to enjoy the most wonderful and inspiring free entertainment there is - nature! People tend to get a little spoiled having vehicles to transport them around, but there is almost always a park or a natural feature like a river/creek that can be enjoyed right where you are. No gas money or vehicle required!

Most often, we don't need to go anywhere to experience the majesty of nature. We can look at the sky and enjoy a sunset or a moonrise almost anywhere, in even the most concentrated of concrete jungles. We can watch a storm rolling in. We can appreciate the trees, flowers, and creatures around us.

Pluto in Capricorn's dispositor Saturn (restriction) transiting Sagittarius (travel, adventure) into December 2017 indicates that the reins are being pulled back on excess, frivolity, and hedonistic adventure. But this is no problem if we employ some of that radical Uranian guerilla creativity to solve our problems.

Stripping things down to the simple pleasures and exploring everything our local environments have to offer for free (or cheap) are basic ways we can empower, inspire, and relax ourselves as finances tighten.

The options offered here are available to pretty much anyone, from any walk of life, from any class or cultural background. 

We can make it a fun challenge to have as much fun as possible for free or next-to-free.

There's no need to lament a lack of funds or a lack of ability to travel the world. The best adventures are the ones we have in our own backyards, in our own towns, and in our own minds. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Willow at the Farmers Market

Photos: Willow

A tablecloth over a U-Haul box.
AKA "Boho Style"
(The "tablecloth" is actually a shower curtain I got at a garage sale for 25 cents. heehee)

A close-up of the wares
You can check out the available earth gems at the Weeping Willow Designs blog

Or perhaps you are hankering after some affordable prairie anarchist stylings. In that case, there is Renegade Heifer Photography, offering surprising snatches of beauty from the prairie landscape and beyond. Please contact me at willowsweb [at] for more information.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Meditative Movements and Resurrection Out of Stillness

Photo: Willow

Action planet Mars is creeping-crawling back up to full speed direct, pushing through the bramble bushes, booby traps, and energy drains of late Scorpio. The next couple weeks require the utmost caution and thoughtfulness on our parts as we carefully pick through this territory. Our movements are thick with karmic recoil now, as mighty malefic Mars moves through this quite loaded area of the astrological zodiac.  

From a previous article:

"During Mars' dip back into Scorpio, we will move back over the emotional, psychological, and energetic wakes of past actions/trajectories while also becoming aware of areas of emotional or energetic over-extension."

With Mars now moving direct, we have officially entered a new two-year cycle related to goals, personal direction, desires, sex life, and mergers of resources and/or energy. Contemplating what we would like to accomplish over the next two years, as well as coming up with some basic ideas as far as how we might get there, is a good exercise at the moment.

We can also sense at this time - if we get very quiet and very still for a moment - the directions, goals, driving desires, and relationship dynamics that have now run their course. 

With the degrees of late Scorpio involved, colouring our trajectories for the next two years of life, there is only so much energy to go around. In order to be our most effective, potent, and ultimately successful selves, we must allow some things to come to their organic end, re-investing our energy in what naturally resurrects itself out of those endings. 

This is an excerpt from the article, "Meditative Movements and Resurrection Out of Stillness." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Venus and Mercury in Leo Put Our Hearts in Motion

 Photo: Willow

Things are about to get a whole lot hotter this summer as both Venus and Mercury enter fire sign Leo in the near future. 

Love, money, and relationship planet Venus enters creative and heart-centred Leo on July 11 (10:34 p.m. PDT) for a transit that lasts until August 5.

Communication and intelligence planet Mercury follows hot on Venus' heels, entering the colourful leonine sign on July 13 (5:47 p.m.) for a transit that lasts until July 30.

Venus and Mercury will come together in a passionate embrace (erm, conjunction) at 5 degrees Leo on July 16 (2:59 p.m.), indicating a point when our hearts and minds are one.

Love is on our minds - whom we love, what we love, how we can create more love in this world - and we are communicating straight from the heart at this time. This Venus-Mercury mash-up puts hearts in motion. We are willing to travel to the people and places we love most, and we are willing to express ourselves in creative, romantic, and heartfelt ways.

We may be a little bashful about sharing what's in our hearts, about putting it on display or putting it in someone's ears, but now is the time to draw on the courage of the lion and share the beauty and bounty of our heart-deep feelings and creations. They're about to burst into bloom!

This is an excerpt from the article, "Venus and Mercury in Leo Put Our Hearts in Motion." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons

If you regularly find Willow's Web Astrology blog helpful, consider becoming a patron. Patrons receive full articles to their email inboxes that appear only as excerpts on the blog, and they also receive unwavering gratitude and good vibes from Willow! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Venus Opposite Pluto And a Clearing of Relationship Deadfall Ahead of New Growth

Photos: Willow

Just as stationing Mars sets its sights on forward motion, love, money, and relationship planet Venus in Cancer opposes Lord of the Underworld Pluto in Capricorn, exact on June 30 (8:31 p.m. PDT).

From there, Venus continues to a frictional-but-dynamic square to revolutionary Uranus in Aries on July 7 (7:25 a.m.).

Venus rubbing up against the (now loosened) Uranus-Pluto square, just as action planet Mars regains forward-ho motion in Scorpio, really hammers home the "endings before beginnings" theme and indicates that, in many respects, there's no going home again (Cancer).

As Mars goes direct in a sign of thick karma (Scorpio), there can be no circling back to old comfort zones, old hidey holes, or old, familiar patterns.

Or at the very least, there can be no circling back without major karmic repercussions.

We must consciously pick our way through old fears and old draws as we choose something different, something lighter, something fresher, something freer. No one can draw us back into the old yuck but us. No one can take us back to the stuck places without our permission - given consciously or unconsciously. 

From a previous article:

"New life and new energy are coming as we close out this month of June. Certain areas are being resurrected. True feelings and desires are being revealed. And Mars is stirring the pot in ways that the pot desperately needs to be stirred.

 Mars is now stationing direct in quincunx aspect to Uranus and Ceres in Aries, indicating that it may be quite radical and/or shocking breaks from previous trajectories that are nourishing and validating to us now. We're busting out in new ways over the next two years, based on who we are and what we desire now, while also resolving some long-standing and very sticky karmic issues.

The next two years won't always be pretty. In fact, some of it will be pretty raw! But there is no energy in the same old karmic set-ups. There is no life in the holding patterns.

We're moving to where the life is, to where the energy is, to where the inspiration lies.

And with this martial quincunx energy carried forward for the next two years, there is not much that can stand in our way..."

Venus in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn at the time of the Mars direct station indicates a necessity to move beyond old comfort zones, especially relating/relationship comfort zones, lest we get sucked into one of those energy-less holding patterns again. 

Our fears (Pluto) are being stirred at the moment around relationships and money (Venus). The fear that we can't make it on our own is particularly inflamed, tempting us to latch on to whatever and whomever we find handy. 

Certain people and scenarios are in the process of leaving our lives now. Other relationships are simply morphing, changing form. 

Regardless of the situation and regardless of how tempting it is, though, latching on is not going to be successful.

These aspects indicate that the cauldron must be completely up-ended now, completely drained of unsatisfactory dynamics, so that the new life and new directions can get off on the right foot, with the best shot at developing and growing in a sustaining way over time.

The Venus-Pluto opposition at the time of the Mars direct station is a burning away of deadfall in relationships of all kinds. 

There is a requirement at this time to get out of reach of old obsessions, detrimental attractions, and moth-to-flame scenarios, especially as they relate to love, sex, relationships, and the social scene.

Our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are being preyed upon a little at the moment. Our resolve is being tested as far as "not going back" to what's familiar yet enervating.

With intelligence planet Mercury transiting Cancer as of June 29 (4:24 p.m.), we're gaining new perspective on our classic anxieties and fears and how those things tend to keep us stuck in the same holding patterns.

We experience a New Moon on July 4 (4:01 a.m.), as the Sun and Moon come together at 12 degrees Cancer, also opposite Pluto in Capricorn. Coming out of this New Moon, we have to put new emotional anchors to work.
Venus will move on from the opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, forming a square to rock-and-roll Uranus in Aries, exact on July 7 (7:25 a.m.), that propels us beyond the Plutonic fears. This square indicates a requirement to employ new ways of relating, perhaps even ways that would be considered out of character in some respect. 

Under the energy of this Venus-Uranus square, we have to surprise even ourselves by flipping the bird to old fears, insecurities, and anxieties, especially as they relate to other people, relationships, and the social scene, in general.

Both Mercury and the Sun in Cancer will oppose Pluto in Capricorn on July 7, as well, just as Venus squares Uranus in Aries. 

If you find yourself in a "broken record" scenario with old anxieties acting up, choose a different and more active path through it this time. 

If a certain situation would generally bum you out, concern you, depress you, or otherwise disturb your emotional calm, choose not to dwell on it this time. Don't weigh yourself down in a lead blanket of your own emotion - a Cancerian tendency. Drive yourself into different territory, maybe radically different territory, and don't look back. 

Surprise and thrill yourself with your own white-hot independent streak, with your own wiliness, ingenuity, and ability to successfully handle anything the universe throws your way.