By Pam Younghans

Today’s photo: Auroras over Tårneträsk, Kiruna, Sweden on October 2, 2013 (photo by Markus Eriksson, posted on


dark stormy cloudsTHE PHOTO at the top of today’s Journal seems especially appropriate as a representation of recent energies — a dark sky with storm clouds lit up by dazzling auroras in soft shades of pink, purple and green. (If you receive a text-only version of the Journal, click here to see the photo.)


The skies have definitely felt stormy this past week, as we’ve dealt with the intense energies of the Cardinal Grand Cross. And yet, at times, we’ve had moments of inspiration that allowed us to look beyond the storm clouds to see glimpses of beautiful possibility and potential.


In comparison to last week, the list of aspects for the coming week appears much more subdued, so we may have some breathing room to work with.


OUR NEW WEEK starts off with Venus changing signs, moving from the emotional waters of Scorpio into the inspirational realms of Sagittarius. Venus represents issues of the heart chakra — relationships, personal values (including finances) and our “heart’s desire” — so our approach to these areas of our lives may lighten up a bit. We may feel less of a need to go to the depths and more of a willingness to laugh at ourselves.


Sagittarius is known for its optimistic, hopeful attitude, and its willingness to take risks and embrace the adventure of life. With Venus in Sagittarius for the next four weeks, we will be eager to do more activities that we enjoy (and more willing to spend the money to do so). We may also find ourselves drawn to connect with friends who share our beliefs and life philosophy.


MERCURY, however, is still in Scorpio, and will be in that sign for more than two months because of going retrograde (backward) from October 21 to November 10. Since Mercury represents our conscious thoughts and perceptions, this long journey through Scorpio indicates that our overall more serious view of reality will be with us for a while.


This tendency to think more seriously (and perhaps pessimistically) will be especially true each time Mercury aligns with Saturn. This alignment occurs for the first time this Tuesday, and repeats October 29 and November 25.


KNOWING that Mercury will soon be going retrograde, we can use this alignment with Saturn to our advantage. The general rule is that when a transit occurs three times (as this one does), it provides a timeline for progress.


We can consider that our first Saturn-Mercury alignment this week represents the first step in a process. It may be anything that Mercury represents: an idea may be seeded, a plan may be put into effect, or an interaction may be initiated. The important thing to remember is that Saturn requires that whatever we begin is grounded in reality and has a tangible goal.


THE NEXT STEP is to have patience. Saturn teaches responsibility, tenacity, discipline, and the importance of keeping the goal in sight — and will often move things forward Ever So Slowly to give us plenty of time to learn these lessons. And, since Mercury will soon be going retrograde, we may feel like it’s a one-step-forward, two-steps-back situation.


During that Mercury retrograde period, it will be our time to review whatever we’ve initiated, to check every line item. We want to make sure we are meeting all the requirements of both Saturn and Scorpio: practical and realistic, focused on the ultimate external goal, yet taking into account the underlying, deeper needs and purposes. We will also benefit from using this time to weed out any internal (personal, interpersonal, or organizational) issues that may be undermining our progress.


If we succeed in this interim phase (which at first may feel a lot like we’ve gone back three or four steps), by the time of the third Saturn-Mercury alignment, the project we’ve begun will have much firmer footing in reality — and also feel much cleaner, having gone through its purging process.


THURSDAY of this week is a very “Neptunian” day, since Neptune forms aspects with both Venus and the Sun. Neptune’s influence can be spiritually or creatively inspiring — and yet, we can also feel disillusioned, be overly idealistic, or find ourselves choosing avenues of escape instead of roads to fulfillment.


In general, we should be aware, both Wednesday and Thursday, of ways in which we are choosing to ignore or deny the truth of any matter. This may be with regards to a relationship with another, or in our self-concept.


On the other hand, given that Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio have a firm grasp on the “look at the truth in the mirror” theme, it might be nice to ride fluffy clouds for a couple of days, yes?


THE PLANETARY HIGHLIGHT next weekend is the Jupiter-Sun square on Saturday. Jupiter is called the “Greater Benefic” in astrology, which means that its effects are most often positive. I think of Jupiter as the Santa Claus of the solar system, which can be a very nice thing.


However, there is a downside to the energies of this largest planet. Santa Claus can go too far — as in comedian Bill Cosby’s hilarious routine about feeding the kids cake for breakfast. (What’s wrong with that, you say?)


And, if you will recall, Jupiter is currently in Cancer, emphasizing our emotional and protective tendencies, and playing a role in the effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross we are working with. So, our caution for next weekend is to be aware that we will probably be feeling our emotions more powerfully than usual, and to watch tendencies to react defensively. Always remember: It’s rarely (if ever?) personal.






NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read my recent blog posting, “Chart similarities for parents and children,” visit I look forward to your comments!

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