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NorthPoint Astrology Journal June 23 to 29, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s image: Photo of auroras, taken from inside an abandoned and roofless grain bin on June 8, 2014, 120km NW of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (photo by Zoltan Kenwell, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

THERE’S STILL TIME! If you missed my recent teleclass on the last six months of 2014, you can still purchase the recording and slideshow from the class — just send me an email with “Teleclass Replay” in the subject line, and I’ll reply with details. (pam)

WE ARE IN completion mode as we begin this week. The Moon is waning, completing the lunar cycle that began on May 28. And, on a grander scale, the Uranus-Mars opposition on Wednesday wraps up many of the loose ends left by the Cardinal Grand Cross we experienced in April.

On top of that, Mercury is in its last week of being retrograde, Jupiter is wrapping up its year-long transit through Cancer, and Saturn is in the last weeks of its 20-week retrograde phase.

THIS COMBINATION of planetary influences — especially the Uranus-Mars opposition midweek — may have us feeling exceptionally restless, eager to be free of restriction and limitation. But a part of us is also aware of the need for proper timing, and acknowledges that this completion phase has a purpose.

In part, we are still adjusting energetically to the impact of April’s grand cross configuration. Even if we didn’t have direct transits to planets in our birth charts at that time, we were still dealing with the energy of change in four different areas of our lives (represented by the four houses involved).

IT WILL BE IMPORTANT to observe what occurs midweek, as we work with the impatient energies of the Uranus-Mars opposition. It will be very clear (if it isn’t already) where we’re done with the old and ready to embrace the new.

And, some effects of the grand cross may have been waiting until now to manifest. In April, when the grand cross was exact, Mars was retrograde. This means the planet was more focused on building inner courage and not as concerned with external progress.

Now that Mars is moving forward, it supports us in applying our new inner courage to more tangible action steps. But, the self-awareness we gain with this week’s Uranus-Mars opposition may best be applied more proactively once we get into July — especially after Mercury goes direct on July 1.

EVERY NEW MOON offers a starting point for a new phase in our development. With Friday’s New Moon being in Cancer, this lunar cycle is focused on ways to increase emotional support and satisfaction in our lives. We will also be working with the issues of trust, security, and vulnerability.

The Sabian symbol for the New Moon captures some of these themes:

“Game birds feathering their nests: An instinctual dedication of self to new forms of life.”

Taking inspiration from this imagery, we can look at this upcoming lunar cycle (the next four weeks) as being instrumental in laying the emotional groundwork for the changes we wish to make. And yet, the process is primarily “instinctual,” coming from a different level of our awareness.

As food for further thought, here is a bit of astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation of this Sabian symbol:

“We see here the beginning of a process; action is definitely oriented toward the future. A new wave of life is starting and a concrete — and no longer symbolical — preparation is made for it. It reveals a preparation for rebirth, and a significant note is sounded by the mention of game birds. What is being built is instinctively — but not yet consciously — offered to a higher level of consciousness. An appropriate keynote would be ‘symbiosis’ — a deep, unconscious cooperation between different levels of existence.”

OTHER PLANETARY ACTIVITY also stands out as important this week. I’m especially noticing Jupiter’s square to the Nodes on Friday, and Neptune’s interactions with both the Sun and Venus on Sunday.

As Jupiter squares the North and South Nodes, it provides an opportunity for us to look at the polarity between self and other in new ways. Jupiter expands whatever it touches, so this square could exaggerate our feeling that life is an “either-or” experience — either we pay attention to our own needs (South Node in Aries), or we choose to work in harmony with others (North Node in Libra).

The challenge of this square is to find ways to integrate the best of both options, paying attention to our own needs while also acknowledging that one of our needs is to cooperate and create harmonious relationship with others.

ON SUNDAY, Neptune will trine the Sun and square Venus. Even though the square indicates some oversensitivity — and perhaps some disillusionment — with regards to our relationships, the Neptune-Sun trine soothes our sensitive souls and helps us create new connections based in a higher expression of love.

The adjustment we’ll need to make to achieve this shift (represented by Chiron quiincunx Mars) will be moving beyond the personality’s tendency to go to extremes, to either trust completely or completely mistrust. We will need to love ourselves enough to maintain appropriate boundaries, and move beyond defining “love” in terms of rescuing and self-sacrifice. At the same time, we will need to accept the paradox that we’re all one, and there are no boundaries.

Good thing Mercury is retrograde — maybe it will help our brains wrap around that one!

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog:New blog post this week: “Chiron’s station,” posted Friday, June 20. To read posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal May 19 to 25, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Bergheim, Saskatchewan, Canada on April 30, 2014 (photo by Mike Boyce, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

TWO PLANETARY EVENTS that occur this week are notable in in their support of forward motion:

  • After being retrograde (moving backward) since March 1,Mars finally goes direct on Monday.
  • And, on Saturday, a process that began last July comes to completion with a harmonious Saturn-Jupiter trine aspect.

Taking these two events chronologically, let’s talk a bit about Mars. Astrological tradition tells us that Mars represents the assertive/aggressive sides of our human natures, as well as the power of individual will and the advancement of personal desires. As the Roman god of war, Mars (known as Ares by the Greeks) is the leader of the charge, the one with the courage to venture where others fear to tread.

WHILE MARS has been retrograde, it’s clear that all progress has not completely ceased — I’m sure that if we look back to early March, each of us can find ways in which we have taken steps forward. But when a planet is retrograde, we are most supported if we internalize the process it represents.

This means that part of our psychological and spiritual directive over these past 11 weeks has been to acknowledge and work with the fears or other internal resistance that may have been inhibiting the manifestation of what we desire. If you are familiar with the channeled work of Abraham-Hicks, you may call this resistance “being outside your Vortex” or “holding your cork underwater.”

BECAUSE Mars has been in Libra throughout this retrograde phase, some of what we’ve needed to look at is whether our need for others to like us, or our need to maintain a semblance of harmony in our relationships, has actually been undermining our ability to create the life we desire. The paradox of Libra is that it wants to create relationship and harmony, but it often does so at the expense of self. We tend to forget that the Scales of Libra are also about balance and fairness, which means we need to give ourselves equal value in all situations.

So perhaps, as we look back over these past 11 weeks, we can find some progress in how we assert ourselves and have learned that it’s OK to want things for ourselves. If we’ve made advancement in those ways, as Mars goes direct and then starts to pick up speed over the coming weeks, we will likely be more successful in creating circumstances and relationships that are fulfilling on deeper levels, not just in appearance.

It will be interesting to watch our experience in mid- to late June, when Mars once again reaches the energy field of the ongoing Pluto-Uranus square. We are likely to see developments then that are related to our experience during the grand cross in mid-April — but in June, with Mars direct instead of retrograde, we may find our engines more revved and our courage more online for taking those forays into new territory. (Exact dates: Mars square Pluto June 14; Mars opposite Uranus June 25.)

OUR OTHER major event this week is the Saturn-Jupiter trine on Saturday. Because of the back-and-forth nature of planetary movement, this trine is actually the last of three that these two planets form while in their respective water signs (Saturn in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer).

The link back to the other two trines (on July 17 and December 12, 2013) may seem a bit obscure in our memories, since this is not a “flashy” aspect, with lots of fireworks and clearly life-changing events. This trine tends to work more on subtle levels, along the lines of “slow but sure” effects.

SATURN deals with manifestation in form — practical, tangible results based on discipline, responsibility, and hard work. Jupiter is quite different in effect, providing hope, optimism, and faith, and asking us to always look for the larger meaning in events and in our lives.

When these two planets are working in harmony — as they are throughout this week and next — principles we usually think of as being opposites are on the same team and working together. This means we have equal access to both realism and optimism, both practicality and faith, and both conservatism and expansionism.

In effect, Saturn is helping ground Jupiter, and Jupiter is helping uplift Saturn. And, with both planets in water signs, this trine should be helpful in stabilizing our emotional bodies.

SINCE SATURN is retrograde and Jupiter is direct, the Jupiter qualities theoretically will be getting more conscious “air time” — but we can’t forget that Saturn in Scorpio is still at work beneath the surface, weeding out the emotional patterns that may be interfering with our ambitions.

Perhaps the best advice with this planetary aspect is to take advantage of all the positive perspective available, and remember that we have until July 20, when Saturn goes direct, to complete some important work in our ongoing self-discovery.

TELECLASS IN JUNE!

By now, you should have received my announcement (and the follow-up email with active link) about my next teleclass on Thursday, June 12, called “Finding the Trail Home.” I’m once again teaming up with Elsie Kerns, Wellness Educator, to share with you my thoughts about the planetary energies for the next six months.

As always, you can either attend live or just download the replay afterward at your convenience. If you’d like more information, or are ready to register, here’s the link:

http://pamjune2014.eventbrite.com

I hope you can join us!

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent posts, please visithttp://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal April 28 to May 4, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Solar halos seen from Östersund, Sweden onApril 25, 2014 (photo by Göran Strand, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

THE NEW MOON that begins this week is also a Solar Eclipse, magnifying its potential for inspiring and urging us to make a new start in some area of our lives.

Although this is an eclipse, which can intensify our emotions in general, thankfully several facets of this eclipse are supportive and soothing in nature.

To begin with, this eclipse is in Taurus, a very grounded and usually stable sign. Not that Taurus doesn’t have its faults — stubbornness and resistance to change being at the top of the list — but at its essence, Taurus is about creating a supportive life on the physical plane and finding a level of inner peace that is not controlled by outer circumstances.

WE OFTEN THINK of the phrase “bull in a china shop” when we think of Taurus the Bull — head down, perhaps clumsy, stubbornly following its course in spite of evidence that the current path is not leading in a positive direction. But — perhaps because I am a Taurus — I prefer to think of Taurus as Ferdinand the Bull.

If you are familiar with that children’s book by Munro Leaf, you know that Ferdinand’s primary desire in life is to sit on the hillside and smell the flowers, in spite of attempts to get him to fight in the bullring.

It tells you a bit more about this story — and about the higher-vibrational qualities of Taurus — to know that Mahatma Gandhi evidently considered “Ferdinand the Bull” one of his favorite books. And, when the book was released in 1936, it was banned by Spain (which was on the brink of civil war) and was ordered burned in pre-war Germany.

WITH A SOLAR ECLIPSE in Taurus, we are meant to find new stability through reconnecting with our peaceful centerpoint, establishing a stronger connection with the Earth, and staying true to what we most deeply value.

Although Taurus is a very realistic, practical sign, there are definite spiritual overtones to this eclipse. Venus, the planet known as the “ruler” of Taurus, is in other-worldly, sensitive Pisces. And, the Sun and the Moon are in close, positive aspect to Neptune — the most “spiritualizing” planet — at the time of the eclipse.

These factors will help us both find that grounded center of peace, and build on the spiritual growth and insights that have been our constant companions recently.

MERCURY is also fully involved with the eclipse energies, being conjunct (very close to) the Sun and the Moon. With Mercury’s involvement, we anticipate that new ideas and plans are woven into the fabric of this eclipse — especially those that strengthen our inner resources and support the Taurean goals of inner peace, self worth, beauty, and ease.

Adding to the supportive nature of this eclipse, Mercury is in positive relationship with Pluto, Jupiter, and Chiron. When these planets work well together (as they are this week), our conscious awareness is expanded and we are more sensitive to the needs of others. We are also able to see more clearly our own wounds related to themes of Trust and Faith, to participate in the healing of those wounds, and to emerge from that healing with increased hope and a stronger commitment to fulfilling our higher mission on the planet.

Not too shabby, eh?

THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the location of the Solar Eclipse increases our anticipation of the positive effects of this lunation:

“A fully decorated Christmas tree: The ability to create inner happiness in dark hours.”

Certainly, many have experienced some dark hours recently, as together we navigated the intensity of this month’s Cardinal Grand Cross. While our physical reality often takes a while to restabilize after change, it is good to know that this eclipse is meant to help us in that regard.

And, in keeping with the Pisces/Neptune/Chiron influences we’ve already discussed, the last line of astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation of this Sabian symbol tells us that the energy of this degree of Taurus “evokes our undying faith in cyclical renewal.”

Trust and Faith — always good companions to have on our journey.

EVEN WITH all this supportive energy, we should be prepared for a bit of a hiccup on Friday. Saturn will oppose Mercury, reminding us to do our research before we invest too fully (either physically or financially) in the ideas and plans that have inspired us this week.

This is not to say that our ideas and plans are faulty — but Saturn’s role is to make sure that we are grounded in reality before we commit to any endeavor. We can benefit from using the influence of this Saturn-Mercury opposition to check the facts and make sure we’ve understood all the ramifications of our decisions before we sign on the dotted line.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent posts, please visithttp://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal April 14 to 20, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Boden, Sweden, on April 11, 2014(photo by “a family of aurora addicts,” posted onSpaceWeather.com)

OUR LIST of highlighted aspects for this week is a lengthy one — a testament to the amplified energies we’re all feeling. The effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross, which is exact next week, are brought more fully into our awareness early this week due to Mercury’s interactions with all four of the grand cross planets — Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars.

Adding to the excitement, Pluto’s transformational influence is heightened this week due to its change of direction on Monday. And, we have a Total Lunar Eclipse on Tuesday. In other words, our cup is full!

SINCE MERCURY, the planet of reason, thought and communication, is in dynamic relationship with all four of the grand cross planets this week, we can assume that one of our biggest tasks will be to observe and channel our mental energies in positive ways.

In the positive, Mercury in Aries can enhance inspiration and help us have the courage of our convictions in our speech. Mercury in Aries is used most beneficially through finding ways to inspire others through our words, while also being sure that we pay attention to the reactions our words invoke, to guide us in any further interaction.

In the negative, Mercury in Aries can be so focused on getting the point across, that it pays little attention to how its words are being received. Without sensitivity to the reactions and responses of others, words become weapons of the impulse of the moment, and conversations can disintegrate into misunderstandings, anger and alienation.

AS MERCURY squares Jupiter, aligns with Uranus and squares Pluto on Monday, we can expect plenty of mental activity, but not a lot of order or organization. This is good energy for brainstorming, but not the best for implementing. The practical application is best left for another day (or week) when Mercury is more grounded.

By the time Mercury opposes Mars on Wednesday, there’s plenty of steam built up, and the tension is heightened, especially between those with opposing viewpoints. The challenge with this opposition will be to be strong yet flexible, to know our minds without needing to force our opinions on others, and to be so clear in our self-understanding that we can clearly say “yes” or “no” from a very true place within us, not needing to resort to anger or defensiveness about what we think and what we want.

TUESDAY’S LUNAR ECLIPSE occurs in the very early morning hours in my part of the world — at 12:42am PDT. This eclipse is the sister of the Lunar Eclipse that occurred on October 18 of last year. During that eclipse, the Moon was in Aries and the Sun was in Libra (both at 26 degrees); at this week’s eclipse, the Moon is in Libra and the Sun is in Aries (both at 25 degrees).This means that we are working with themes that may be similar to what we were working with last October, but from a different angle and perspective.

The themes that accompany the Aries-Libra polarity include self-interest vs. the awareness of the needs of others, the desire to be autonomous vs. the desire for partnership, the courage to risk taking on new challenges vs. the skill needed to create harmony in existing situations.

THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the location of Tuesday’s Lunar Eclipse speaks directly to the polarities of Aries and Libra:

“An eagle and a large white dove change into each other: The interaction of the spiritual Will and of the Love principle when critical needs arise.”

Here’s a bit more of the interpretation of this symbol, by astrologer Dane Rudhyar:

“This symbol deals with the problems met by the seeker for the fulfillment of the higher life of Relationship. Implied here is a kind of Yang-Yin interplay. When the circle encompassing both principles rotate fast, they appear to change into each other. Consciousness operates beyond duality, because the polarized energies of the Soul (or spirit), Will and Love, though ever distinct, work for a single purpose.”

It is our challenge, with any Full Moon, to find a way to utilize and balance the polarities represented by the sign locations of the Sun and the Moon. This Sabian symbol provides the perfect visual image to help us imagine how that balance between Aries and Libra might best be represented in our lives.

ALTHOUGH the challenging grand cross energies are very prevalent now, we do have some planetary interactions late in the week that can help smooth the road a little. Blessed Venus, as she transits through Pisces, forms happy relationships with Jupiter on Thursday (trine) and with Pluto on Friday (sextile).

In actuality, Venus is acting as the release valve on the tensions represented by the opposition of Jupiter and Pluto (exact on Sunday, April 20). Here’s how that can work to our benefit:

Jupiter in Cancer is amplifying our need for emotional security. In the positive, this placement of Jupiter can support our connections to home and family. In the negative, it can increase our protectiveness and defensiveness, so that we more quickly go into “fight or flight” mode.

DIRECTLY OPPOSITE Jupiter in our skies, Pluto in Capricorn is focusing our attention on those attitudes, structures and traditional methods that have outlived their usefulness, that are now mostly serving as vehicles to keep us in positions of “less than.” Pluto helps tear down those outdated forms — a process that is needed, but can also be painful if we’re too attached to what has been.

The opposition between Pluto and Jupiter is working with that polarity between the past and the future, the need for security and familiarity vs. the need for advancement, which necessitates change.

As Venus softly steps into relationship with these two planets on Thursday and Friday, we can benefit from also softening our stance, if we are feeling polarized in some area. We may even call on Venus to amplify her Pisces qualities of compassion, understanding and unconditional love, as a way to assist all of us in navigating the challenges underway.

NEXT SUNDAY, April 20, is the beginning of our four-day “Festival of the Cardinal Grand Cross.” Two of the four planets in the grand cross form exact relationships that day: Uranus squares Jupiter and Pluto opposes Jupiter. The next day, Monday, April 21, sees the exact Uranus-Pluto square. On Tuesday, April 22, Mars finally steps in with an exact square to Jupiter; and on Wednesday, April 23, Mars is exactly opposite Uranus and square Pluto.

In other words, our cup overfloweth.

And yet, if we can maintain our balance and stay in center when feeling pulled into polarity, we will be able to take advantage of all the positive potentials of this configuration: the breakthroughs of Uranus, the expanded faith and hope of Jupiter, the internal courage of Mars retrograde, and the ability of Pluto to release the past in preparation for a much better future.

More next week, of course.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent blog posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal April 7 to 13, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Russia, Murmansk region, Imandra, on April 6, 2014 (photo by Valentin Jiganov, posted onSpaceWeather.com)

MARS is beginning to make its presence known this week, through an opposition to the Sun on Tuesday. Mars will eventually be a part of the grand cross configuration that we’ve been talking about, but until this week, the planet has been “out of orb” (too far away) to be engaged in the process.

By the end of this week, that will change. Mars will be at 16 degrees of Libra, well within range of interacting with Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter, all of which are at about 13 degrees of their respective signs.

OUR SUN-MARS opposition on Tuesday will be another opportunity for us to get insights into the energies that are building. An opposition between these two planets can be highly energizing, either to motivate us to take necessary action, or to bring conflict out into the open.

With Mars representing how we take action and assert ourselves, both physically and emotionally, I believe it is very important that we find ways to move the energy — both this week and throughout April. If we do not, it will be very easy for us to experience the down-sides of Mars — frustrations, conflict, irritations, and more.

I’VE BEEN THINKING about what the letters M-O-V-E might stand for, to help motivate us into physical activity and exercise. So far, I’ve come up with the following.

When we MOVE, we can:

  • Magnify Our Vital Energy
  • Moderate Our Vitriolic Edge
  • Manage Our Vibrational Emanation
  • Make Our Options Very Evident (MOOVE!)

Bottom line is, with Mars in the equation now, the pressure intensifies, and having a release valve on a physical level can be very helpful.

PLUTO’S INFLUENCE is also heightened now, not only because it is part of the grand cross. Pluto will go retrograde (backward) starting next Monday, April 14. When a planet comes to a standstill and changes direction, the effects of that planet are amplified in our experience for at least a week on either side of the exact date.

That means this week and next, we can anticipate that we will become more aware of Pluto’s transformational energies. Pluto works to manifest change by helping us be aware of underlying motivations, so that we can transform formerly unconscious intentions, bringing them out into the open.

I OFTEN USE the metaphor of the “Great Wizard of Oz” when describing Pluto transits. When Dorothy and her friends first reach Oz and gain audience with the wizard, they are fearful and awestruck, cowering in front of the manifestation that appears so powerful.

Blessed Toto, like so many of our own four-legged friends, serves as the agent for awareness, pulling back the curtain to reveal that the “Great Wizard” is just a human being, and a rather sheepish one at that.

This is exactly what Pluto transits do. They bring into our awareness those attitudes and emotions that have kept us in fear, and have inhibited our knowing that we are really carrying all the power we need (wearing the magic red shoes) to gain our ultimate desires. Once we see that “the man behind the curtain” truly has no power over us, we gain new levels of self-confidence and can proceed on our journeys with a new lightness in our step.

ASTROLOGER Bil Tierney writes in his book, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis:

“Retrograde Pluto suggests that we have an opportunity to retrace our steps and discover latent sources of power (hidden resources) formerly overlooked, that now can help us further our objectives. This can be a marvelous time to apply more penetrating insight toward exposing those parts of the psyche that chronically resist constructive change on the emotional level.”

The gift of a Pluto transit is empowerment, a new level of strength that comes when we’ve realized that what we once feared truly has no power over us. And, usually, what has occurred is that we have dismantled patterns and attitudes within ourselves that have kept us fearful, rather than doing anything to change the external reality.

AND YET, when we alter the internal pattern, our outer experience must change as a result. Magically, the situation changes, the other person turns their attention elsewhere, the crisis resolves — because we are no longer holding up our end of the energetic jump rope.

Pluto will be retrograde until September 22, giving us over five months to find those hidden treasures of self-confidence and inner power that have eluded our grasp until now.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent blog posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal March 31 to April 6, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Iceland (photo by Þorvarður Árnason, Astronomy Picture of the Day, March 24, 2014)

“ENGAGE.” This week we begin the month of April. That means we also start our most direct work with the energies of the Cardinal Grand Cross of 2014, building to the exact cross and strongest effects during the week of April 20.

A grand cross is a configuration in the sky created by planets in four corners of the zodiac. In this case, those planets are in the four cardinal signs: Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Mars in Libra.

CARDINAL SIGNS are the ones most concerned with initiating action. This creative energy can either come forth as a response to internal inspiration, or as a response to pressure and events from outside of us.

With a grand cross, all four planets involved are either square or opposite each other, so there is a great deal of pressure that can manifest when we’re working with this formation. How this pressure moves through each of our lives — whether mostly from the inside out or from the outside in — will depend a lot on where these planets are transiting through our natal charts, and whether (and how) they are interacting with our natal planets.

BECAUSE we’re working with cardinal signs, we may be tempted throughout this month to take action, perhaps not always supported by reason or concern for consequences. For some, this can be a very positive effect, if we have been “on the fence” in some area of our lives, wanting to make a change or a decision, but feeling tentative or fearful up until now.

For others, we will want to be sure we’ve thought through all the ramifications of taking action before we leap off the bridge. The impulse of CHANGE is great during this time, and can feel urgent in its calling to us. If we feel this urgency, no doubt there is need for change in our lives — but we may want to breathe deeply and tap into the wisdom of our divine Self for guidance before taking that Grand Leap.

IN OTHER WORDS, there is no one right answer for everyone who is asking, “Is this the right time, the best time, to make this change?” What we know for sure is that each of us is being pushed and prodded to make shifts in some areas of our lives — and each of us will come to our own personal awareness of when and how completely to make those changes.

For guidance and direction, we can study the intentions of each of the planets in the grand cross:

Uranus wants to liberate us from the “shoulds” of our lives, so that we live more authentically and more in tune with what is right for us, even if it looks crazy or selfish to others. Uranus is often called the “wild card” planet, because under its influence we may act suddenly and in unexpected ways.

Pluto wants to empower us, to help us move beyond the internal and external limitations that have held us in fear or resistance. As part of this process, Pluto helps us see very clearly the emotional patterns and life structures that have kept us feeling disempowered. This is not always a pleasant awareness, but it helps us see what needs to be dismantled or purged, as the first step in renovation.

Jupiter wants us to connect with our joy, with what has meaning for us, and with what we really believe in. Jupiter tends to exaggerate whatever it touches, and so while it is in Cancer, we are REALLY aware of what feels good and life-giving vs. what no longer nourishes us, no matter how well it used to fill our plates.

Last, but not least, Mars wants us to have the courage and energy to go after our desires. It gets a bit complicated when we start talking about Mars, however, because this planet is currently retrograde (moving backward). When a planet is retrograde, its energies are said to be focused more internally than externally. But if Mars is about taking action, how do we interpret Mars retrograde, especially as part of a cardinal grand cross that is inspiring us to take action and make changes?

ONE WAY to interpret this Mars retrograde is to understand that we are under a LOT of internal pressure right now. We may be holding in the frustrations we feel, especially if we don’t know what to do with them. If this is true, we need to find outlets for that energy, preferably through physical activity, and especially anything that involves swinging our arms (which is where anger and frustration are primarily held in the body).

The other interpretation of Mars retrograde is that this may be a very positive influence as a part of the grand cross. With Mars retrograde, we are inclined to be more deliberate, less impulsive. Since we’re dealing with Uranus and Pluto, two very impulsive planets, having Mars retrograde can be helpful if we are trying to stay in balance during this time.

THE SUN, now in Aries, interacts with three of the four grand cross planets this week. The exact aspects are the square to Jupiter (Tuesday), the alignment with Uranus (Wednesday) and the square to Pluto (Thursday). The opposition to Mars will occur next week (April 8).

The Sun represents our personal identity and sense of purpose, so these aspects this week and next may call forward issues of “who am I” and “what do I REALLY want.” Based on our answers to those questions, we may initiate some of our changes now.

Venus also interacts with Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto this week, but with less impact than the Sun. Still, including Venus in the mix means our relationships, values, and material/financial worlds are woven into the tapestry of change now.

AS A WELCOME ASSIST, Saturn is trine Mercury this week (exact on Wednesday). This aspect should be very helpful in stabilizing our thinking processes. Saturn in Scorpio is dedicated to seeing truth, and Mercury in Pisces is a direct line to our spiritual perspective.

When these two are working in harmony, we can expect our thinking to be inspired, but not unrealistic. And, we can expect that whatever fears arise, we have the ability to access a level of mental calm that will help us transcend the drama.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent blog posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal March 24 to 30, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Equinox auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska, on March 21, 2014 (photo by John Chumack, posted onSpaceweather.com)

WE HAVE an active week, leading up to an activated New Moon next Sunday. To use this week wisely, we will be getting clear on our intentions, as well as breaking free from and releasing fears that have stood in the way of our achieving those intentions.

To help us in that regard, the asteroid Juno aligns with Uranus on Tuesday and squares Pluto on Thursday. These interactions bring forward the possibility for change in our significant relationships, and a shift in how we perceive our need for partnership.

SPECIFICALLY, the alignment between Juno and Uranus in Aries may provide the courage (or heightened anger) needed to break free from some of the less evolved manifestations of relationship. This may mean facing and overcoming the fears of abandonment, betrayal, and loss of self. It may also mean opportunities to see where and how we have given away our power to others, used manipulation instead of directly addressing issues, and/or repressed our needs or projected them onto the other person.

When Juno and Uranus align, the need for freedom and independence within the context of close relationships is highlighted. Once we move into the more highly evolved version of our relationships, we can use this alignment to envision new, creative ways for each partner to more fully express their individuality, while also maintaining a healthy level of connection. This is the time for change and innovation with respect to our most important committed relationships.

THE SQUARE two days later between Juno and Pluto complicates issues, however. The opportunity and imperative for change continues — but now it must face the challenge of redefining the relationship based on coming to terms with the unspoken (and sometimes hidden) motives of each partner.

If the outcome of acknowledging and allowing each person’s individuality activates power struggles, it’s probably an indication that the unconscious agreement for one partner to dominate has been challenged. The one who has been less dominant may find resentments arising, coming from a place of “when is it going to be MY turn?” The one who has been more dominant may find jealousies or other control patterns coming to the surface, triggered by the fear of having their significant other be more independent and equal.

As Demetra George eloquently explains in her book Asteroid Goddesses, the resolution of stressful aspects between Juno and Pluto “lies in transforming personal power into mutual trust and fusion. Learning to forgive oneself and one’s partner will bring about the much-needed healing.”

COMMUNICATION is another theme for the week, appropriately. As Mercury and Mars interact on Monday, some angers and frustrations that have been brewing may come to the surface. By Wednesday, when Jupiter trines Mercury, the urge to fully explain our feelings will be very strong.

The Pluto-Mercury sextile on Thursday helps us continue the conversation, and on deeper levels than before. Then, the Chiron-Mercury alignment in Pisces on Friday should help us follow Ms. George’s advice about forgiving both self and partner. The result can be a stronger trust and ability to allow and accept each other “as is.”

THE RELATIONSHIP THEME continues into the weekend. On Saturday, Mars trines Venus to enhance the harmonious dance between the masculine and feminine — but at the same time, Saturn squares Venus, which indicates there are still some challenges to be addressed.

Saturn is currently retrograde in Scorpio, so we are in a review phase of looking at our deeper motivations and psychological needs. Even if we bemoan the idea of yet another planetary challenge, this one comes at an important time, helping us see the truth of our situation and providing some objectivity that may otherwise be lacking.

THE NEW MOON on Sunday is our annual Aries New Moon. This marks the beginning of the first lunar cycle of the new astrological year that began on the Equinox.

I began today‘s journal calling this an “activated” New Moon — not only because it is in a very active and energized sign, but because the Sun and Moon are conjunct Uranus, square Jupiter, and square Pluto at the time of the lunation.

In other words, although Mars is still out of range, this New Moon activates the other three planets in the Cardinal Grand Cross that we’ve been talking about since the beginning of January. We can call this a fairly important energy wave building up to the main event in mid-April.

THIS LUNAR CYCLE that begins next Sunday literally sets the stage for the profound changes and transformations represented by the grand cross. This is an opportunity for us to get on our surfboard and set our intentions for where we want the wave to take us.

This is another reason it’s a great idea to use this week to get rid of some of the excess baggage we’ve been carrying with us. It’s hard enough to maintain balance on a surfboard — imagine if we’re also trying to juggle two suitcases and a carry-on at the same time.

THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the New Moon offers this imagery for us to consider:

“A teacher gives new symbolic forms to traditional images: Revision of attitude at the beginning of a new cycle of experience.”

Part of astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation of this symbol helps flesh out its meaning, and also emphasizes what we’ve been talking about in terms of letting go of the past:

“The very concrete, emotion-arousing images of the past can now be reinterpreted as ‘symbols’ with a wider scope of meaning.”

Beginnings always require endings, and endings always precede new beginnings. For all of us, this is one of those pivotal times of life when the transition between the old ways and the new ways both excites and challenges us to be more than we have been before.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent blog posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal March 10 to 16, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Tromso, Norway on March 4, 2014 (photo by Colin Palmer, posted on Spaceweather.com)

ALTHOUGH Mercury is now moving forward, we’re in the “shadow period,” when the planet is retracing steps it originally laid down in late January. In other words, we can benefit from continuing to be circumspect — especially now that both Saturn and Mars are retrograde (moving backward).

I mention this because Mercury appears a few times in our highlighted aspects list this week, starting on Monday with a Saturn-Mercury square. This would be a day to be cautious and observant, being aware of any tendencies to think we have all the knowledge we need (Mercury in Aquarius), when actually there may still be something just beneath the surface that we need to see more clearly before we act (Saturn in Scorpio).

MERCURY shows up again on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, through its interactions with the four planets in the Cardinal Grand Cross. These again are days to be mindful, to think before acting — even though the Mars-Mercury trine on Friday may tempt us to throw caution to the wind and take action on every inspiration that arises!

These are days to write down the ideas and inspirations that come forward from our other levels of consciousness, but it may be best to wait for action until a few days have passed and we’ve gotten more clear on potential outcomes.

Mercury emerges from its shadow phase on March 20 — just in time for us to take advantage of the new beginnings represented by the Aries Equinox on the 21st.

THE FULL MOON next Sunday is our energetic highlight of the week. With the Moon in Virgo and the Sun in Pisces, this lunation challenges us to find our balance between the polarities represented by the two signs – between practicality and spirituality, doing and being, controlling and allowing, analyzing every detail and trusting the unknown.

Saturn plays a helpful role in this Full Moon, through a trine to the Sun and a sextile to the Moon. With Saturn’s energetic assist, we can find more stable footing if we have been feeling out of balance. This stability will come primarily through a greater alignment with what we hold as truth, and through clearer understanding of our deeper motivations and intentions.

BOTH THE MOON and Mercury interact with the grand cross planets this week. As mentioned earlier, the days of Mercury’s aspects are Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. The Moon aligns with Jupiter early Monday morning (3:37am PDT) and then moves on to square Uranus (5:04am) and oppose Pluto (9:16am). The Moon-Mars square occurs midday on Tuesday (12:50pm).

These are all times when we can gather more clues about the nature and potential of the upcoming grand cross, and how it may work with each of us individually in the weeks ahead.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read my latest blog post, “Meditations for Saturn and Mars retrogrades,” please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal March 3 to 9, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Aurora “flame” over Straumfjord, Norway onFebruary 22, 2014 (photo by Micha, posted onSpaceweather.com)

WE MAY need to make some adjustments in our expectations this week, as we get used to having both Mars and Saturn retrograde (moving backward). These two planets are usually focused on external manifestations, so it can take a while for us to adapt to their shift in focus, as we learn to follow their trail inward.

But, not only is it true that “resistance is futile,” we can also benefit greatly from taking advantage of these retrograde phases, by doing the inner work they support. After all, Saturn will be retrograde until July 20, and Mars until May 19. It would be exhausting — and a waste of energy — to spend that many months fighting the flow of the river.

(Please see last week’s issue of this Journal for an overview of the meanings of these two retrograde phases. The most recent past issue is always available on the InnerSelf website.)

AS IF to make up for Saturn and Mars, the largest planet in our solar system completes its retrograde phase and goes direct this week. Starting on Thursday, Jupiter will once again be moving forward through our skies.

Jupiter went retrograde on November 6. For the past four months, Jupiter has supported us every time we turned inward for guidance, and every time we stumbled upon an old, outdated belief and realized we were ready to broaden our vision of what is possible.

Now that Jupiter is turning direct, we are ready to build upon the insights and guidance we’ve received. Here’s what Bil Tierney writes about Jupiter’s change of direction in his book Dynamics of Aspect Analysis:

“When Jupiter finally turns direct again, we adopt fresh, new attitudes, separating ourselves from social standards that have been blindly followed, that have been stifling for our inner growth.”

SINCE JUPITER is one of the planets in the Cardinal Grand Cross that is building in influence now, we can expect that our need to challenge old social standards will also grow in the weeks ahead.

Jupiter is currently in Cancer, the sign that represents home and emotional security, traditions and the past, and our capacity for nurturing. These are some of the areas where we are likely to experience a growing need to break free from old standards.

CHIRON and the Sun align in Pisces on Monday this week. Chiron is known as “the wounded healer” in astrology, which means we both experience a wound and are supported in the healing of that wound when Chiron is emphasized.

This is a short-lived alignment, which means its effects will last just a couple of days (as compared to the Pluto-Uranus square, which is in effect for three years). Even so, the Chiron-Sun alignment is an opportunity for us to see where we may still seesaw between the polarities of control and surrender, individuality and oneness, dealing with practical reality and escaping into alternative worlds.

WE’RE JUST seven weeks away from the strongest effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross. We can continue to watch the Moon’s aspects each week for clues and insights into how the configuration will play out in our individual lives.

Here are the Moon aspects to the four grand cross planets for the coming week (all times listed are Pacific Standard Time):

As you can see, most of these occur in the overnight or early morning hours in my part of the world. For those of us who will be asleep for these aspects, it may be a very good time to pay attention to any dreams that come forward.

Blessings,

Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: Please visit my blog during the week at http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!


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NorthPoint Astrology Journal February 24 to March 2, 2014 Pam Younghans

Today‘s photo: Auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska on February 19, 2013 (photo by Marketa S. Murray, posted onSpaceweather.com)

CHANGE is more than “in the air” — it is very tangible now, and demonstrated both literally and symbolically by planetary activities this week. Three planets change direction in the next seven days: Mercury completes its retrograde (backward motion) phase on Friday, Mars goes retrograde on Saturday, and Saturn goes retrograde on Sunday.

Since planets must slow their progress to a standstill when they prepare to change directions, each of these planets is basically standing still in the heavens this week. This means that their influence is also strengthened now.

To conceptualize this effect, we can think of how it feels to stand on the platform in a train station when the train has pulled to a stop and is waiting for the next leg of its journey to begin. We can feel the vibration of the train through our feet on the platform, and our ears are filled with the sound of the idling train engine. Our awareness of the energy emitted by the train is greatly heightened.

WITH MERCURY at a standstill in Aquarius this week, we have the opportunity to observe life from a more objective standpoint than usual. If there are delays or complications that occur, we can stand back from our attachment to what we had expected would occur, and understand that there are reasons and purposes for whatever has transpired.

The week that Mercury finishes its retrograde phase is actually the preparation stage for moving forward. If we have used the past three weeks wisely, we have been reviewing our projected path and rethinking our plans.

Now that Mercury is ready to go forward, we want to be sure that we are not attached to previous ways of thinking or perceiving our reality. We want to have allowed Mercury retrograde to do its job of altering our perceptions, even if only slightly. It sometimes takes just a small change in current trajectory to manifest the unfolding of a major shift in course.

WITH MARS stationing in Libra this week, we will want to be aware of where we feel irritation, especially within the context of our desire to please others and maintain harmonious relationships. Mars is trying to help us be aware of any ways that we interrupt our forward motion through an over-dependence on confirmation from outside of us.

This over-dependence can manifest in several ways. The most common are through excessive reliance on another person’s agreement or input, and through dissipating our energy with too much mental comparison of possible outcomes.

While Mars is retrograde (until May 19), we will be learning more about where the energy we project is out-of-sync with what we really want to create. This time of review and realignment will help us release or alter old energy patterns that have undercut our progress toward the fulfillment of our desires.

SATURN’S retrograde phase begins on Saturday and will last until July 20. During this week and next, while the planet is barely moving, we may be especially aware of Saturn’s lessons of patience, discipline, and response-ability.

With Saturn in Scorpio, our progress toward our goals may appear to be slowed during this five-month period. This slow-down is more likely to occur if there is a need for further research, for greater knowing of our own motivations, or for an increased understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. This is especially true for those who are experiencing strong Saturn transits — those who have personal planets in their natal charts in the middle degrees (from 16 to 24 degrees) of a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius).

Here’s a helpful quote about Saturn’s retrograde phase from astrologer Bil Tierney, taken from his book Dynamics of Aspect Analysis:

“Our immediate ambitions often seem thwarted unnecessarily (according to our limited perspective), and usually because unforeseen commitments and responsibilities enter our lives and demand our time and energy. Such obligations are likely to be an example of ‘unfinished business’ neglected at some previous point that now must be resolved and completed before we can forge ahead into new activity. We will actually succeed with our interests best in the long run when we accept our present duties with more patience, endurance, and inner steadiness of attention.

“This is often a poor time for impulsively attempting to disrupt or alter one’s present status. It is a better period for first attempting to make adjustments or alterations that could ideally relieve any sense of frustration. However, this can be an excellent time for taking stock of oneself and working upon building the inner structure needed to foster a greater level of psychological strength.”

ANOTHER, very important, planetary highlight this week is the Uranus-Jupiter square, which is exact (strongest) on Tuesday. These two planets are two of the four players in April’s Cardinal Grand Cross, and so their interaction is likely to provide good information about the changes that lie ahead.

This Uranus-Jupiter square provides very different energy than the Saturn themes just described. Where Saturn moves slowly, Uranus moves with lightning speed. Where Saturn is cautious and practical, Jupiter is exuberant, enthusiastic, and willing to take risks.

It may be that those most affected by Saturn will have the “slo-mo” experience this week and next, while those most affected by Uranus/Jupiter will have a bit of a rollercoaster ride — exciting, but unpredictable. Those most affected by Uranus/Jupiter are those with personal planets in their natal charts between 8 to 13 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn).

WE ALSO HAVE a New Moon on Friday — a somewhat paradoxical lunation because it is in Pisces. New Moons represent opportunities for new beginnings, but Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and represents a time of completion, turning inward, and surrender.

We are called, every year when the New Moon occurs in Pisces, to re-energize our inner journey, in whatever form that may take for us personally. It may be that we call that journey spiritual, or view it as a creative unfolding, or perceive it as a deepening understanding of the workings of our subconscious.

THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the New Moon echoes the theme of the inner journey:

“Traveling a narrow path, seeking illumination: The capacity inherent in every individual to seek, at whatever cost, entrance to a transcendent realm of reality.”

Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation of this symbol emphasizes the profound nature of these times and this New Moon:

“This symbol opens a new level of consciousness. We can always go further, reach beyond. But we have to take the first step. Someone can show us the Path, but we alone can do the walking. Thus the Zen injunction: ‘Walk On.'”

May blessings and joy be your close companions as you “walk on” this week!
Pam

NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read my latest post, “Guided meditations from Orin,” please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!