Mars square Uranus

Planetary Illuminations for November now posted

November horoscopesThe November edition of the monthly Planetary Illuminations report is now posted.  You can read the entire article here, and if you are not yet on my mailing list please sign up to subscribe.  Subscribers receive a monthly report with an abridged translation that is easy to understand.  Just enter your email address here, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.  Subscribers, your newsletter will go out tonight!

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Here is the synopsis of the major events coming up in November to get you started:

Cardinal alignments November 6-15th.  Ever since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 there has been an expanding and contracting pressure from other planets that have aspected Pluto.  Because Pluto and the other planets were in the Cardinal signs of action (Capricorn, Cancer, Libra, Aries) some astrologers have called this the “Cardinal Crisis,” the “Cardinal Climax,” etc.  I preferred to call it a Cardinal Drama, because a “climax” or “crisis” suggests that there will be a peak of intensity which will then be followed by a resolution.

As many of you know, this Cardinal Drama was particularly stimulated by the challenging square between Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn.  You can read many many articles about this cycle here on this site, but you will find a summary in the sidebar of this page.  Uranus/Pluto cycles rarely create a peak of intensity which resolves itself as we would find in other planetary cycles – Uranus inspires the breakdown of the old order and Pluto encourages its destruction.  Then the rebuilding must occur, but the final resolution can take time.

As November begins the dance between Uranus and Pluto is tightening and becoming more intense as the planets align for the sixth out of a total of seven total alignments.  What is even more significant for us right now is that the planet Mars, which is known to trigger the larger and slower moving cycles, will be translating the Uranus/Pluto cycle, meaning it will act as a spark to activate both Uranus and Pluto.  This is rather like a boxing match in which two big fighters are circling each other and one pipsqueak calls out something from the stands to goad the fighters into action.

The interaction between these three players will be further stimulated when the Moon moves into Cancer and activates the dynamic, forming a Grand Cross of tension and disturbance.  This will begin around November 6th and will be most intense between the 8th and the 15th or so.

Scorpio gives way to Sagittarius.   We have been in an intensely Scorpionic time over the past month or so – truly the “Season of the Witch.”  On November 15th that Scorpio energy of deep introspection and powerful transformation will give way to a lighter and more buoyant experience as one by one the Scorpio planets start to move into Sagittarius beginning with Venus, followed by the Sun and Moon at the New Moon on November 22nd at the first degree of Sagittarius.  Sag encourages us to let go of the gloom and dark power of the season of darkness and to find a more carefree approach to life.  Sagittarius is all about faith, and when we find true faith in life itself our problems begin to disappear.

Neptune and Chiron turn direct mid-month.  The outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) appear to travel retrograde for about six months of every years, so their retrograde periods are not particularly challenging.  However, when any planet (appears to) change direction, its movement slows down to a crawl in preparation for that turn and at this time its influence is particularly powerful, especially if that planet is in aspect to your own chart.  Neptune will turn direct on November 16th and Chiron turns direct on the 23rd.

Chiron and Neptune have been within ten degrees of each other since 2009, urging us to open our hearts to heal the wounds of the soul (Chiron) so that spiritual evolution (Neptune) can occur.  With these two changing direction virtually at the same time, the focus on this process will be intensified.

By | 2014-10-31T15:05:30+00:00 October 31st, 2014|Astrology|1 Comment

Journeys with Mars and the Uranus/Pluto square

I’m finishing up the Planetary Illuminations report, but I wanted to give you a heads up on this important cycle.

You can read in the sidebar about the square aspect between Uranus and Pluto that has been creating intensity, drama and change since the two planets first came together back in 2011 (their first meeting was just a degree from exactitude, but close enough to pack a punch).  The sixth exact square is in mid-December, but during November they will be moving closer and closer to the exact alignment that will likely foster even more breakdown (Pluto) and realignment (Uranus).

As Mars travels through Capricorn it will align with Pluto and form a challenging square to Uranus.  By November 5th Mars will be close enough to Pluto that we will start to feel it in earnest, and the exact conjunction will take place November 10th. Mars represents the anger and passion of the individual, where Pluto represents a transformational force that destroys and rebuilds.  These two planets together are a formidable force that will energize but also inspire us to purge and eliminate anything from our life that no longer works.

At the same time, Mars will be in a square to Uranus.  Uranus is the radical – the innovator and the one which shatters paradigms.  It will be difficult to resist realignment and change under this combination of influences.  The exact square from Mars to Uranus occurs November 12th.  The Moon moves through Cancer during this same period, and when a Grand Cross forms on November 10th we are likely to see a climax of intensity and passion that breaks apart anything in our lives that is brittle and dying, and urge us to embrace the new.

This is really a time of letting go to our attachment to what we think is true and those things to which we have become accustomed.  This is a Brave New World, as Aldous Huxley wrote, and in order to move through the portal to the future the past must be surrendered.

“Impulse arrested spills over, and the flood is feeling, the flood is passion, the flood is even madness: it depends on the force of the current, the height and strength of the barrier. The unchecked stream flows smoothly down its appointed channels into a calm well being.” 
― Aldous HuxleyBrave New World

By | 2014-10-30T19:54:58+00:00 October 30th, 2014|Planetary cycles, Uranus square Pluto|2 Comments

RIP Robin Williams, the astrology of Mars and depression

Robin Williams astrologyRobin Williams lost a long battle against depression and substance abuse when he took his own life this week at the age of 63.  Like many comedic geniuses, Williams had a dark side that was evident in some of his darker film roles which allowed the multidimensionality of his personality to emerge through the veneer of hilarity.

Depression and addiction take many forms in the astrological chart.  A prominent Saturn can cause depression through a sense of one’s own failure.  A strong Chiron can bring one’s inner wounds to the surface where emotional sensitivity is the central experience.  Neptune can bring about a desire for escapism and a tendency to avoid the harsh realities of life.  But underlying many forms of depression we find a weak Mars and a buildup of anger and rage that becomes turned against itself in helplessness.

Anger is associated with depression, and it is often the denied or unexpressed anger or aggression which correlates most closely in depression. In the astrological chart, anger and aggression correlate with the planet Mars.  The placement of Mars in the birthchart reveals how comfortable the individual is with expressing their own needs and how they respond when those needs aren’t met.  Infants demonstrate the purest expression of Mars: an infant is hungry, they cry to be fed.  There are no filters when those needs are expressed but if the needs are not met, frustration is the result.  Habitual frustration leads to anger, chronic anger leads to rage.  This kind of anger and frustration can erupt into violence on an external level, or internally.

Williams’s astrological chart shows that as the ruler of his Scorpio ascendant, Mars was an important planet and a driver of his personality.  Scorpio has a traditional ruler (Mars) and a modern ruler (Pluto), and individuals with Scorpio rising are powerful and charismatic.  They are driven and dislike superficiality, preferring to process the stuff of their lives secretly and behind the walls of privacy.

His Mars was actually quite strong – it conjoined Uranus and squared Jupiter, a combination which contributed to his zany zest for life and innovative style of comedy.  Uranus represents revolutionary behavior, and Jupiter is expansive and optimistic.  In a strong aspect to each other like the square (90 degrees) these two planets create tension and conflict that requires resolution.  But his Mars was in the sign of Cancer where it is not easily expressed – in Cancer Mars becomes driven to solve everyone else’s problems.  So here was all of this energy, stimulated by Uranus and Jupiter, with no easy outlet.  To complicate matters even more, his Mars was also squared by Neptune, the planet of transcendence and addiction, offering a solution.

Williams also had a painful square from Saturn (tests and challenges) to Chiron (soul wounds) that usually denotes an individual who struggles with a deep inner wound in order to find healing and eventual release.  This quality was evident in many of Williams’s film roles in which he stretched beyond his comedic talents into exploration of darkness and human complexity.

Robin Williams talked a great deal about fear.  In 2003 he said “It’s just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.”  Asked what he was afraid of, he replied: “Everything. It’s just a general all-round arggghhh. It’s fearfulness and anxiety.”  In one of my very favorite Robin Williams movies, The Fisher King, he plays a character whose inner demon emerges as a Red Knight, representing this inner demons that pursued him.  In my experience battling my own demons I’ve learned we must come face to face with them before they can be conquered although that can be a terrifying experience as we can see in this trailer for the movie (watch for the emergence of the Red Knight at about 1:40).

Over the past year Uranus and Pluto have both been transiting the challenging Mars complex in Williams’s chart, and in the spring Mars in Libra formed a Grand Cross with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  Jupiter, in Cancer, was also involved in that alignment and all of these planets were dancing across Mars in Williams’s chart.  The Pluto transit to Mars especially would have worked to dredge up old hurts and resentments and other demons, making it difficult for Williams to avoid relapse.   His death is a tragedy and a loss of one of the geniuses of our time.

Update:  For those of you who are interested, here is a more complete list of planetary factors at the time of Robin Williams’ death. 

  • His progressed Sun had aligned with natal Saturn last year and squared his natal Chiron, potentially revealing issues of security, abandonment and isolation.
  • Transiting Uranus had been in a square to his natal Mars/Uranus conjunction since last year, potentially triggering a desire for some kind of radical change in his life.
  • Transiting Saturn had been in a square to the natal Mercury/Pluto conjunction at the Midheaven since December of last year.
  • A series of Jupiter transits in the spring and summer of this year could have given him the confidence he needed to make this happen.  We think of Jupiter as always being “good,” but it’s not uncommon to find Jupiter transits at the time of a suicide or major crime spree.
  • Transiting Mars over his ascendant at the time of the event.

But to me it was the Pluto transit to his Mars described in the article that really motivated the degree of inner violence required to take his life in this way.


By | 2016-12-31T11:12:05+00:00 August 12th, 2014|People|8 Comments

Mars is back, with Mercury Rx! Practical advice for stressful times.

Mercury retrogradeSince last December Mars, currently traveling through Libra, has been tied to the intense Uranus/Pluto dynamic.  (If this is new to you, please read this section in the sidebar.)  Uranus and Pluto have been in this dramatic dance since 2011-2012, shattering paradigms and breaking down old patterns to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Mars is a faster moving planet so its effect usually doesn’t last very long, but in its role as instigator it does tend to trigger the larger cycles into action when they have remained dormant.  Mars aligned in a challenging square to Pluto (destruction/regeneration) on the 14th, coinciding with the increase in violence in Iraq.  Between now and June 25th when Mars opposes Uranus (radical behavior), tempers will be high and behavior more intense and potentially reckless.

Mars energy can be a challenge because it is difficult to contain and channel constructively.  By its very nature it is somewhat reckless and impulsive, but it also helps to energize us and motivate us to take positive action.  Over the next ten days or so we have the potential to oversee productive change if we pay attention and create intention.  Mercury is retrograde, of course, making it more difficult to begin anything new, but as we look back over the past we can create new intentions based upon previous errors and start to make plans for change once Mercury turns direct.

This conflict between Mars/Uranus, which demands instant action and can become easily frustrated, with the retrograde Mercury that keeps holding us back, will almost certainly be at a minimum annoying and quite potentially disturbing.  As always, physical activity is a great way to channel the overabundance of Mars energy so that it doesn’t build up into a pressure cooker of irritation and eventually, anger and rage.  Instead we can channel that energy to motivate and inspire us to create positive change in our lives.

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By | 2014-06-18T07:07:43+00:00 June 18th, 2014|Planetary cycles|0 Comments

Capricorn Full Moon: July 3, 2012

Capricorn Full Moonby Lynn Hayes Today’s Full Moon has the potential to bring more than the usual fireworks for Independence Day here in the US.  The Moon is in the pragmatic and practical sign of Capricorn where planning and a solid approach to the matters at hand is required.  However, the Moon has just passed through the gates of Pluto which has intensified and magnified its energy, which means that the Moon has also faced off in a challenging aspect (square) to Uranus, inspiring resistance and rebellion. Meanwhile Mars has just entered the sign of Libra.  When the planet of war moves through the sign of peace the aggressive instincts of Mars are not easily expressed.  There is an outward desire for harmony that belies the inner turmoil that will eventually require an outlet.  This conflicted Mars is preparing to get involved in the greater battle between Uranus and Pluto over the next two weeks and will serve as the trigger for any areas of life where change is needed. Capricorn is all about Doing What It Takes to Get Things Done.  However, in the Full Moon the Capricorn Moon opposes the Cancerian Sun which takes us deeper into the realm of feelings and emotions, a realm which Capricorn would just as soon forget.  All Full Moons require that we balance energies that are in polarity with each other since the Sun is always in a sign that is opposite the sign the Moon falls in.  Here we are balancing the inner world with the outer – our home life with our work life,  our feelings with what we know must be done. In any Full Moon, the lunar light of emotions and feelings outshines the solar light of rational thought and awareness, but in this Full Moon we have the Moon in the sign of earthly matters while the Sun is in the sign of feelings and emotions.  Don’t be surprised if there is a bit of a struggle between these two areas of life as we strive to integrate them into one cohesive and united experience of consciousness.  To live in the world in a practical manner (Capricorn) while remaining in full awareness of our inner feelings and connection to our tribe (Cancer) is the method to this lunar madness. Uranus, the planet of radical change and innovation, squares the Sun and Moon in the chart for this Full Moon which suggests a radical departure from the old ways of thinking and an acceleration of personal development. This process is facilitated by a harmonious trine between Mercury (the mind) and Uranus (the higher mind) which helps to unlock our ability to understand the higher levels of awareness and gain greater perspective. Venus is a great ally during this Full Moon since it forms tight harmonious sextiles to Mercury and Uranus, easing transition and encouraging interpersonal interactions that will help to facilitate the letting go and moving forward from past to future. for daily planetary cycles visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

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By | 2012-07-03T07:54:44+00:00 July 3rd, 2012|Moon|5 Comments