Highlighted Aspects this Week

MON: Jupiter quincunx Venus, Mercury enters Pisces; TUE: Mercury trine Ceres, Uranus sextile Venus; THU: Sun enters Aries (Equinox) 9:57am PDT, Vesta conjunct North Node; SAT: Ceres enters Libra, Neptune conjunct Mercury; SUN: Jupiter square Juno

OUR REASONING MINDShave been wrestling with how to navigate the leaps back and forth between waking reality and the inner realms of meditation,  dreaming, and other travels into alternate realities. Is it any wonder we are having a hard time focusing on the practicalities of physical life? And is it surprising that our brains are easily overwhelmed when we ask them to do what seem like routine mental tasks?

Adding to the potential confusion, Mercury slips into Pisces on Monday, on a quest to further blur the boundaries between our conscious minds and the vast, unfathomable realms of infinite wisdom and compassion.

MERCURY actually goes on a very interesting journey this week. On Tuesday, the planet forms a trine aspect with Ceres. This interaction enhances empathy and our ability to merge communication and compassion. It also assists in transforming our negative thinking patterns and lack of trust through holding the space for us to feel greater self-acceptance.

Then, on Saturday, Mercury aligns with Neptune. At first glance, this might seem to be indicative of a foggy day mentally, but one also conducive for meditative or creative activities.

WHILE SOME may have this experience on Saturday, the interpretation of this alignment is altered a bit by the fact that the planets will be aligning in Pisces. This means that the dissolving power of Neptune, while indeed working to soften the boundaries between our thinking minds and the cosmos, is also working to expose our illusions.

It’s a bit like the rules of arithmetic. As confusing as it may be to conceptualize, when we multiply two negative numbers together, the answer is always a positive number. So, the dissolving power of Neptune, when placed in a boundary-less sign like Pisces, is actually working to “undream the dream,” or bring a dose of reality to the fantasy.

Perhaps the best way to use Saturday’s energies would be to engage in extended times of either meditation or creative/artistic endeavors, while also staying open to receiving insights of truth in areas where we have been in denial or illusion.

THIS WEEK, of course, also brings the Aries Equinox, when the Sun begins a new transit of the 12 signs of the zodiac. This is the astrological New Year, and carries all the expectation (and hype) that we culturally assign to January 1.

A chart drawn for the moment of the Sun’s ingress into Aries (Thursday, 9:57am PDT) is said to reveal the themes of the coming season — spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern. This means that we can consider the energies of the Neptune-Mercury alignment as continuing, in some form, into the next three months.

ANOTHER strong energy in the Equinox chart is the alignment between Vesta and the North Node in Libra. We’ve only just started working with the North Node in this sign, so this alignment will give us a good opportunity to make our commitment to what the North Node in Libra means for our personal development.

Jan Spiller’s excellent book on the Moon’s nodes, Astrology for the Soul, gives us this list of attributes that we are asked to develop when the North Node is in Libra:

  • Cooperation, diplomacy, and tact
  • Awareness of others’ needs
  • Creating win/win situations
  • Communicating clearly who we are

These may all sound like excellent qualities to embody. But, as a client asked me this past week, how does someone with North Node in Aries, who is in a lifetime of learning to be independent, self-aware, self-nurturing, and constructively self-interested, deal with what appears to be a contradiction in guidance?

ALTHOUGH I do not retain much of what I say within personal astrology sessions, I believe my answer was centered around the themes of Balance and Fairness. This is, after all, what Libra the Scales is all about.

Each of us must be self-aware enough to know where we’ve been for most of our lives on this scale of balance between Self and Other. Some have spent years in self-denial or self-sacrifice, perhaps not even knowing their true needs or desires due to an over-focus on others’ needs.

FOR THESE FOLKS who have struggled with claiming their needs and wants, it will be helpful to consider this 18-month transit of the North Node in Libra as an opportunity to check their balance point. The questions to ask are:

  • Do I know what I want, or is my wanting still colored by my perception of what would make others happy?
  • When was the last time my mouth said “Yes” while my gut was saying “No”? Have I gained the self-awareness needed to catch myself in this habit?
  • If I consider that my needs are as valid as anyone else’s, how does that awareness change this decision?
  • And, ultimately, if what is truly best for ME is actually best for EVERYONE, how does that change my perception of the situation?

We can all benefit, of course, from those Libra aspirations of being creators of harmony. The greatest challenge is often to realize that inner harmony needs to be first priority, and that outer harmony will follow — perhaps not immediately (!), but in time.

I ALSO FIND Demetra George’s book Asteroid Goddesses helpful as I’m considering the meanings of the Vesta-North Node alignment. Her interpretation of Vesta in Libra reads in part:

“The need to be recognized as an equal and to exchange reciprocal give-and-take is an important factor. Due to the need to be accepted, there is a tendency to give up one’s own needs and desires. Achieving a sensible balance between personal preferences and those of others is vital.”

In mythology, Vesta is the goddess of the hearth and the keeper of the sacred flame. Her priestesses in ancient Rome were the “vestal virgins,” known for their dedication to their spiritual purpose above all else. Astrologically, Vesta represents our capacity for commitment and devotion.

AS WE WORK with the intentions of the Vesta-North Node alignment — both this week and over the next three months — we may want to think about our dedication to what we have determined is most important in our lives.

We may also consider ways to adjust our energy field so that we are working with rather than against — not in accommodation of others’ needs over our own, but in alignment with and acknowledgement of the flowing river of positive energy we all are traveling upon.



Today’s photo: Auroras over Inari, Finnish Lapland, on March 13, 2014 (photo by Rayann Elzein, posted on