Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Blessed Point of Balance



The Sun enters Libra September 22 (8:21 a.m. PDT), marking fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, a balancing point when daytime and nighttime hours are perfectly matched.

After the nose-to-the-grindstone Virgoan harvest, a time of work, work, work and intensely industrious progress on the physical plane, we move to this airy Libran equinox point of balancing and re-balancing.

Fall equinox is a time when we raise our eyes from our own dutiful productivity, shifting focus to the enjoyment of human society and the people we like and love most on this planet. It marks a time characterized by relationships, sociability, and the shared enjoyment of the fruits of our industrious labour. It is a point of rest, recuperation, and relaxation as the scales balance themselves out naturally with little effort on our parts, perfectly counter-weighted for a fleeting period of time that must be recognized, enjoyed, and celebrated.

So Happy Equinox, everyone!

This equinox and the following Libra season are special ones, indeed, as Greater Benefic planet Jupiter is also newly in Libra (as of September 9), marking the first fall equinox since 2005 when lucky horseshoe Jupiter is bringing its blessings, expansion, and grace to the proceedings.

The Sun will form its one and only conjunction to Jupiter in Libra on September 26 at 3 degrees. These bodies will not conjoin again in Libra until September 30, 2028, so the cosmic grace is really raining down on all things Libra - and on anyone with a strong Libra placement or placements either natally or by Secondary Progression. This is a time of blessed expansion, luck, and grace in relationships, partnerships, social life, and community building. Issues around art, beauty, and aesthetic are being given a boost at this time. This aspect also indicates the potential for beneficial progress related to justice issues, fairness, truth, and overall mutuality in human relationships.

We are forming or building relationships and alliances at this time that expand our social webs in beneficial ways that will develop over the next 12 years of life on Planet Earth and beyond.

There is some strong social magic at this fall equinox and throughout this Sun in Libra season, to say the least.

With Jupiter transiting Libra until October 2017, love and togetherness are back in vogue.

This is not to say that it's all smooth relational sailing, however. (A more in-depth look at the Jupiter in Libra transit can be found in this patron article.)

Libra's ruling planet Venus moves into the sign of its detriment, Scorpio, on September 23 (8:51 a.m.) for a transit that lasts until October 18. This is the placement most heavily influencing the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Libra on September 26.

In order to benefit fully from the relationship expansion indicated by the Sun-Jupiter conjunction, we must go deep, perhaps deeper than lovely Libra is completely comfortable with.

Full emotional authenticity - layer by layer - will be required as we work together to overcome tricky ancestral patterns and sore spots as well as their emotional/psychological aftermath.

There are deep needs that have gone unmet in relationship through our ancestral lines, particularly emotional and psychological needs. These unmet needs create disturbance, trauma, and dysfunction that are carried forward through the generations. The upcoming aspects indicate a wonderful opportunity to address the carried-over ancestral trauma and unmet needs right to their roots, building relationship dynamics with greater awareness, transparency, depth, understanding, and mutual support.

Venus transiting Scorpio indicates a time when it is especially important to be clear on underlying motivations, goals, and trajectories in relationships, ensuring that these things are ultimately compatible before too much expansion and merger are taken on.

Venus transiting Scorpio indicates a deepening of soul-level bonds, a stronger emotional meshing with others, and a full merger at the heart with those we love right to the core of who they are. Powerful bonds are being forged here, and a powerful love is being catalyzed that will fuel our relationships and social settings over the next 12 years. 

We will also experience some relief in mental pressure and intensity just in time for equinox, as communication and intelligence planet Mercury stations direct at 14 degrees Virgo on September 21 (10:31 p.m.).

We've had a lot on our mental plates as the messenger planet retrograded in highly-focused and hard-working Virgo. There were many details we had to stay on top of (not at all easy during a Mercury retrograde period), many duties that had to be completed, and much work and worry and stress that had to be navigated.

Now, with Mercury shifting forward again, we experience some relief in the mental strain and worry, as well as an alleviation of the painfully intense focus. (A full shift comes as Mercury enters Libra October 7.)

As Mercury re-gains speed direct, we start to feel as if we're on top of things once again.

Something has been clarified for us since August 10 when Mercury first entered the retrograde shadow. Our perspectives have been honed and re-shaped as new information and details came in - or were dug up by us.

As Mercury goes direct, we have achieved a necessary new clarity, and we are able to put that into practical application in our lives. 

Mercury stations direct in exact trine to Pluto in Capricorn, which is also stationing direct at this time (September 26 at 9:02 a.m.). This flowing Mercury-Pluto trine - though quite concentrated and intense with both bodies stationing direct - indicates some very welcome progress, no matter how small the advancements may seem. Solutions can appear for even the largest of problems and concerns.

Overall, the Mercury direct station in Virgo relieves mental pressure, taking a load off our minds as we move into Libra season.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Jupiter in Libra: Bringing it All to the Table

Photos: Willow

Relationship-related planet Venus is acting as a scout at the moment as it transits its home turf of Libra. 

Venus is currently out front of Jupiter, which enters Libra September 9 for a transit that lasts until October 17, 2017. 

As it transits the sign of the scales, Venus is forming the same aspects to the outer planets that Jupiter will form during its own year-long transit. 

This gives us a taste of the social and relationship growth on the near horizon, and friends, this taste could be a little spicier than we were expecting from such a balanced and peace-seeking sign. 

Just as we clear the final exact Saturn-Neptune square on September 10, Venus will square transiting Pluto in Capricorn (September 11) and oppose transiting Uranus in Aries (September 18). 

Sandwiched between those two Venus aspects, we have a number of dominant squares to navigate, and the flavour of these squares gives us an indicator of the sometimes-frictional growth opportunities that lie ahead. 

The Sun and Mercury retrograde will form their interior conjunction at 20 degrees Virgo on September 12, and both bodies will be in exact square to Mars in Sagittarius September 12/13. 

We will also experience a 24-degree Pisces Full Moon conjunct wounded healer Chiron on September 16 opposite the Sun and Mercury Rx in Virgo and with all bodies squaring Mars in Sagittarius. This Full Moon has a definite "getting it all on the table" quality, and the things being shared could be inflammatory (Mars). *ahem* 

As mentioned in the recent Jupiter in Libra patron article, Jupiter's transit of Libra will put a spotlight on social justice issues and the ongoing work toward a more just society.  *hoo boy* 

The main theme I see here - with Venus scouting for us in Libra and the Sun-Mercury in Virgo square to Mars in Sagittarius - is a requirement for some of the finer points on social justice issues to come forth in order to puncture and "reality check" some partial-truth rhetoric being put forth by academic circles, media, and various organized groups. 

From the Jupiter in Libra article: 

"On the macro level, the indicated turbulence relates to social justice issues intensifying and gaining steam - though the real potency here involves perspectives and truths that are rarely heard on a public platform. 

There is quite a bloated “social justice machine” at play these days with certain pet issues being funded and supported while others are kept muted. Crystallized messages on social justice are being produced, often to the point of rhetoric. These aspects work to break down those crystallized messages, allowing those who have been shut out of the conversation to find some space within the cracks. The finer points on social justice issues must come forth, re-shaping the standardized takes that are currently dominating the collective discourse." 

In order to have a truly just society, we have to air the concerns, struggles, and grievances of all parties involved, not just the ones that fit conveniently into the currently accepted discourse. We need to understand the common roots that are shared among people of many different races and cultural backgrounds, and we need to come together through these common roots to fight - together - the unjust power structures and dynamics that continue to injure us today. 

With the Sun and Mercury in Virgo square Mars in Sagittarius, cultural and philosophical battles are to be expected, and it is precisely-applied details, facts, and personal perspectives (Virgo) that re-shape the discourse into something truer and more powerful that what we currently have going on.

I've recently re-located to a different Canadian province, and I've immediately come into instances where I know that the accepted rhetoric here is not the full story. 

I've had to pipe up in a couple different ways that have proven somewhat socially frictional, and I'm certain similar themes will be affecting many of you in the next weeks and months, as well. 

This is a theme first outlined in my main Saturn in Sagittarius article from January 2015, "Saturn in Sagittarius: Freeing Suppressed Truths with Our Blazing Arrows of Righteousness": 

"We will be confronted with many instances during Saturn’s transit of Sagittarius when the accepted rhetoric, including in alternative scenes, is not fully effective or truthful. It will be up to us to call these out." 

The transit of Saturn in Sagittarius involves: 

* Moving out from under cultural truths, beliefs, religions, philosophies, or accepted rhetoric that no longer rings true to us 
* Challenging the wisdom and authority of old era figureheads, academics, authors, scientists, intellectuals, and spiritual gurus 
* Working through fear of the truth or fear of speaking the truth 
* Updating our education and knowledge to stay relevant in these quickly-moving times

One of the areas hitting me as not-quite-right is a tendency in this new area to start public meetings and gatherings with a declaration that the land we're on (the town) is actually native land, belonging to a particular tribe, and that we are just visitors on this land. 

This statement, put forth as absolute truth by the people purporting it, is actually controversial and debatable. 

In principle, I respect the grievances of the native people, and I understand that they are embroiled in a battle with government over land rights.

What I don't agree with is using public meetings and gatherings to advance the agenda of one group of people - often unrelated to the meeting or gathering itself - while indicating that all other people are less entitled to a place in that area/to a place at the table. 

The Accepted Rhetoric: native people have experienced systemic genocide at the hands of white Europeans and are the bearers of the greatest injustice in Canada. All white Europeans come from a colonialist background.

The Unacknowledged Truth: most cultural/racial backgrounds have experienced genocidal practises in the relatively recent past and continue to struggle with the trauma and negative effects of those practises to this day. This includes people of a white European background.

Since time immemorial, people with power and wealth have oppressed, injured, exploited, and murdered those without power and wealth. This has gone on, and continues to go on, across racial and cultural lines. 

People have been pushed off their land by owners and imperialist forces all around the world. They have had their homes torn down or burned to the ground, sometimes with them inside. They have been forced onto marginal land that could not sustain life. They have been forced into starvation, degraded living conditions, and disease brought on by malnutrition, exposure to the elements, inadequate housing, over-work, vermin, and insects. They have been forced into slavery, de facto if not literal, in urban factories and in other low-paying jobs. 

The Irish potato famine, the Highland clearances of Scotland, and the purges and forced labour camps of Russia, Poland, and Ukraine are just a few examples of "white people" being subjected to similar genocidal treatment within a similar time frame. 

As stated, there are many other examples from across almost all racial/cultural backgrounds.

But because "white people" are so often considered (or implied to be) privileged within the currently accepted discourse, I offer these examples simply to puncture the "all white people are the oppressor/all white people are colonialists" rhetoric. 

Many of the white people living in Canada and the United States today were forced to leave their home countries under a situation of "emigrate or die." For many, it was not a free personal choice to come to North America. They had been forced off their land, out of their homes, and into degraded states, including starvation and almost certain death if they stayed in their home countries. 

Many died on the trips across the sea, as the ships were in extremely poor condition and were overcrowded, without proper food or medical care. During these times of forced emigration, white immigrants were considered less valuable than African slaves because the slaves were a commodity that would bring cash value if they arrived alive. The white immigrants had no value by comparison. No one was overseeing whether they lived or died on the passage over, and many perished, including when the ships carrying them sank. According to one account, 34 ships carrying white immigrants sank in the span of just one year. 

Many other white immigrants starved to death, died of exposure, or died prematurely of disease once they hit North America. 

Genocidal practises against white people and against all other races not included in the standardized discourse have been whitewashed from the current social justice rhetoric, from standard history books, and from school curricula. 

Children are taught about native history and struggles in Canada. They are taught about African American history and struggles in the United States. They are taught about the Jewish Holocaust (which, incidentally, killed more than Jewish people - intellectuals, activists, the disabled, and gypsies were some of the others rounded up and murdered.) 

Within the current discourse, class is generally kept invisible or, again, related mostly to native people, black people, or new immigrants - when in reality, poverty and the troubles stemming from dispossession and facist/genocidal practises are affecting people from many backgrounds. 

We have to broaden the current discourse if it's going to be a true representation of reality. 

And if we aren't working with a true representation of reality, we're ultimately going to get nowhere.

People of non-white races are much more likely, per capita, to experience things like poverty and police brutality. Racism is a huge and despicable problem, and we all need to work together to make it unacceptable and not tolerated in our societies. 

But there are more white people living in poverty in Canada and the United States than any other race. I can speak to this firsthand because I live below the poverty line myself. 

There are more white people killed by police every year than any other race. I have personal experience with dangerous police misconduct, as well. 

White people are struggling with the traumas and social problems stemming from genocidal/fascist practises, just like people of other races are. They are battling unresolved emotional and psychological demons, psychic disturbance, alcoholism, addictions, poverty, domestic abuse and violence, rootlessness, ill health. They are being worked to death in blue collar jobs or falling prey to joblessness, homelessness, and mental illness - just like people of other races. 

Many white people have had their roots, histories, and stories erased from the public dialogue and struggle with a sense of anomie because of that. Even worse, they have had their roots, histories, and stories re-written and manipulated by the fascist/genocidal forces themselves. (Again, this experience is not limited to white people, but it does include white people.) 

If you listen to the talking heads on the mainstream media or attend one of the many rallies on the subject of oppression in our society, it is quite unlikely that you will come away with any understanding of this shared struggle, however. 

These are all facts. But they are facts that are rarely acknowledged or spoken about in the current history books, in school curricula, or on mainstream media platforms. 

If you do bring up these inconvenient facts, it's quite likely that you will be branded a racist, and I'm willing to take that risk here. 

Focusing almost exclusively on the plights of certain groups of people - native people, African Americans, or Jewish Holocaust victims, for example - manufactures a consensus reality that is not fully true or representative of the current situation. 

This has a tendency to breed resentment in groups that feel their concerns are being ignored, downplayed, or kept invisible within the broader discourse. 

These manufactured resentments often have a racially divisive effect, rather than bringing together all the different groups to fight these power dynamics that are still harming us and running rampant today. 

I know I won't be popular speaking and writing about these things, but it isn't about being popular. It's about saying what needs to be said and writing what needs to be written to bring about effective social change.

And it's about saying what needs to be said and writing what needs to be written from your perspectives, too. This is what's being asked of you under the current transits. You have the ability to speak clearly from your own particular perspective, puncturing half-truths and bloated rhetoric (whatever form they may take) that are keeping us from being as effective as we need to be. You have the ability to advance the discourse in ways that it desperately needs to be advanced. 

This is the cathartic healing point we're being pushed to at the Pisces Full Moon conjunct Chiron September 16. And this is the work being laid at our feet as Jupiter enters the sign of fairness, beauty, and justice. 

I don't wish to play identity politics. I know my injustices are no more deplorable than your injustices and vice versa. I just want everything on the table so that we can fight and work and make a more just world together, for everyone. 

I want the needless suffering of everyone, regardless of background, to end. But first, we have to acknowledge the shared suffering that has gone on and continues to go on. We have to come to a true understanding of the context in which we are living on Planet Earth.

They're hurting and killing all of us.

I want it acknowledged that we're in this together, that we're struggling together, and that we fight this fight together, even as we fight it in our own particular ways, from our own particular backgrounds and personal perspectives.

From where I sit, this is not what's happening with the current discourse.

And it needs to change.  

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jupiter in Libra and a New-Era Shake Up of Relating Patterns



Big, beautiful Jupiter enters tropical Libra on September 9 for a transit that lasts until October 11, 2017. 

We have a lovely equinox September 22 to look forward to, as the Sun enters Libra and daylight and darkness hours are in perfect balance. This will be the first fall equinox with Greater Benefic Jupiter bringing its good vibes to the party since 2005. Enjoy this moment of natural re-balancing and good cheer. The Sun will form its one and only conjunction to Jupiter in Libra on September 26 at 3 degrees. Wonderful.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is said to make anything it touches BIGGER. Jupiter is associated astrologically with blessings, benefit, luck, wisdom, expansion, and the broadening expansion of horizons. Referred to as the Greater Benefic planet, Jupiter is generally considered an optimistic and jovial influence, a bringer of benevolent things.

Libra as a sign is associated with balance, peace, justice, beauty, aesthetic, manners, and social graces.

Oh, yeah, and relationships. Did I forget to mention relationships?

Now, I have a feeling I know how a lot of astrologers out there are going to read this transit. Jupiter in Libra: nothing but luck in relationships all year long! If we're single, we all fall madly in love, get married, and live happily ever after! If we're already paired up, get ready for romantic trips to Paris, Mimosas and chocolate-dipped strawberries every morning, and full-on coupled-up bliss!

The astrologer you're reading, however, has Venus in one of the tougher placements, which makes her well aware that relationships are not that easy-breezy, smooth sailing for everyone. In fact, if you are reading this particular astrologer, it's quite likely that you're well aware of that yourself, and probably from personal experience.

This astrologer is well aware that Jupiter is also associated with bluster, rhetoric, assumptions, blanket statements, over-reaching, and over-confidence.


This is an excerpt from the article, "Jupiter in Libra and a New-Era Shake Up of Relating Patterns." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased for $10.25 by PayPal or email money transfer.

This 3,400+ word article outlines themes and major aspects for the year-long Jupiter in Libra transit.

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.

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.

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.