by Pam Younghans

Today’s photo: Pastel auroras over Tromsø, Norway on February 13, 2013 (photo by Anne Aas, posted on SpaceWeather.com)

astrology-painting-sun-moon-zodiac-signsWE CONTINUE in the “Pisces zone” this week, with the added effects of the Sun also entering the 12th sign on Monday. This makes a total of five planets encouraging us to live according to the Pisces credos of compassion and understanding, and to rediscover or enhance our spiritual or creative practices.

Pisces also teaches us to surrender to the course of our lives, trusting that we are ultimately protected even in times of stress, and having faith in positive outcomes even when they are as yet unseen. In times of great uncertainty, this is a vital skill to learn.

Our other options are to reside in fear or to try to control every nuance of our experience in an effort to stay safe. Pisces helps us transcend that rigid way of viewing reality, and helps us step into the world of imagination, faith and light, where possibilities and magic are born.

IN CONTRAST to these other-worldly Piscean themes, practical Saturn stations retrograde on Monday, preparing for its almost-five-month phase of moving backward through the zodiac. I’ve mentioned before that when an outer planet stations (stands still), its effects seem to be heightened in our experience.

It looks like we will have one foot in the creative/spiritual realms this week, while another part of us will be very focused on our current responsibilities and goals.

IT WILL TAKE nine months for Saturn to again reach its current location in the 12th degree of Scorpio. For those who are working with Saturn transits to their natal charts right now, this means that some aspects of current challenges may not be fully resolved until mid-October.

This is the “gestation period” I often refer to in personal readings when someone is working with a Saturn transit. Saturn teaches discipline, patience and adherence to our ultimate goals — very much like the qualities required of a pregnant woman as she awaits the emergence of her new baby.

Astrologer Bil Tierney writes in his book Dynamics of Aspect Analysis that when Saturn goes retrograde, it:

“…slows down the normal rate of current activity so that we are given a better chance to develop a more efficient and sensible plan or method, enabling us to make the most later out of any realistic endeavor… [there may be] unfinished business, neglected at some previous point, that now must be resolved and completed (on some level of consciousness) before we are permitted to forge ahead into new activity… a proper timing system is here taking place, and we will actually succeed best in the long run when we now accept our present duties with more patience, endurance, and inner steadiness of attention.”

WHERE WE EXPERIENCE this slowing down depends on where Saturn is currently transiting through our natal charts, what natal planets are being affected, and where Saturn resides by sign and house in our natal charts.

Given our society’s emphasis on accomplishment, and our increasing need for immediate gratification, it may be challenging not to feel frustrated when our forward motion seems to slow. It can be helpful to remember that Saturn, as Father Time, is very in tune with proper timing.

Perhaps the best way to interpret this combination of Pisces energy and strong Saturn effect is that our growth and forward motion right now may be more represented by advancements in consciousness and less quantifiable in practical terms.

THIS IS, of course, reinforced by the fact that Mercury also goes retrograde this week. Most of us are familiar with the effects of Mercury retrograde — computer malfunctions, communication glitches, unexpected detours and delays all tend to manifest during the times of year when this planet moves backward.

Knowing that Mercury will be retrograde for more than three weeks, we have a choice to make: We can either grit our teeth and hold our breath and hope to make it through without too much disruption — or, we can make a friend of this process and find the benefits of the altered perspective that is possible.

Since I have Mr. Tierney’s book handy, let’s see what he says about Mercury retrograde:

“The transiting Mercury retrograde period is excellent for involvement in all mental activities such as research, editing, revising written work, proofreading, etc. Due to the introspective nature of retrogradation, this period is also good for meditation, in-depth self-analysis, and various forms of psychological techniques for self-understanding. Since Mercury is moving slower, the mind can be more deliberate in its evaluations and thus reconsiders matters more carefully, [making this] a constructive time for re-appraisal.”

With Mercury in Pisces throughout this retrograde period, creative and meditative outlets are especially recommended — and very much in alignment with the strong Pisces themes in general.

OUR CONNECTION to other realms and our disconnect from the “real world” will be especially strong midweek, due to the alignment between Neptune and the Sun in Pisces. In the positive, this is an excellent time to do dreamwork, write poetry, meditate, or involve ourselves in a creative activity that helps us transcend the normal boundaries of time and space.

The other side of the Pisces coin is avoidance, escapism, and getting lost in a fantasy world — the opposite of being practical and responsible. But, we can certainly harness this wave of Pisces energy in very positive and productive ways, especially given the strength of Saturn this week.

Blessings,

Pam

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