By Amanda Painter
With the Sun reaching the midpoint of Aquarius, a ‘fixed’ sign, we reach the middle of this season — ‘fixing’ into place. You might say we’re also watching the new presidential administration taking steps to similarly fix itself into the political and social landscape. Yet our astrology is still leaning more heavily on the mutable signs (which are adaptable) and the cardinal signs (which are about initiative), and socially we seem to be reflecting this energy.
For example, there’s still significant, long-term activity in Pisces and Sagittarius. Yet what seems to be really ringing the bells as we head into the weekend are the planets currently in — or newly entering — the cardinal signs.
This is stoking the imperatives to act and to express ourselves.
All the while, that Aquarius Sun represents (at its best) our consciousness of the need for collective, humanitarian awareness and forward-thinking ideas.
One standout feature of the astrology today into tomorrow is a grand cross in the cardinal signs. This is made up of Eris in Aries (with the Aries Moon, briefly), Vesta in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra and Mercury in Capricorn — all in the 22-24 degree range of their signs.
Grand crosses are considered to be stable patterns, in terms of their energy. Yes, there may be some pressure and confrontation, and this pattern can represent obstacles that need to be overcome. But in cardinal signs, the outlet for that energy and tension is action — and our current cultural situation is nothing if not an open invitation to act, with the Sun serving as a reminder to balance action with responsibility.
It might help to take Mercury, Vesta, Jupiter and Eris as a collection of questions to consider:
Do your ideas truly stand apart? If you feel the urge to argue, does that come from: a fear of being seen as wrong; a need to be seen, heard and acknowledged; an attempt to establish who you are and what you stand for; or a sense that you can offer concrete, concise facts?
Did Mercury’s recent conjunction to Pluto at the start of the week feel like a mini Mercury retrograde to you? (Particularly in terms of communication difficulties, scrambled thoughts, uncharacteristic decisions or questionable purchases.) If so, you’ll want to watch for making rash decisions that ought to receive more thought. How much is ‘too much’ — either in terms of material extravagance, or how much you can take on socially?
Where are you on the spectrum between material ambitions and an emotionally felt sense of devotion? Does nurturing feel like a ‘sacrifice’ in the face of ‘taking care of business’? It does not have to. In fact, much good can be done when sincere caring (for self or others) meets a keen, grounded mind. Where do you feel abundance, and where do you feel lack?
With all of that going on, Venus will leave cushy, squishy Pisces and move into Aries at 10:51 am EST on Friday (15:51 UTC). This is a big, demonstration-sign-worthy reminder to remember your empathy.
Venus in Aries is assertive about expressing its emotions — and often, those emotions are focused on oneself. With energy, tempers, fears and polarization still running high, this is both a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing because stuffing down what you need to express is not healthy, and can contribute to depression. It could be a curse because, well, one look at social media will tell you that many people are expressing themselves frequently and forcefully already.
So I’m going to repeat this: with Venus in Aries, it will be up to you to consciously remember to take a breath and find that space of empathy for the other person you’re talking to (or about), before you let things fly. We have an intriguing learning opportunity coming up with Venus stationing retrograde in about a month, but you might find that ride smoother if you can practice active, empathetic self-expression now.
Finally, it’s worth noting that when Venus lands on that first degree of Aries (the ‘personal is political’ Aries Point), it will square two objects newly arrived in Capricorn. One is the asteroid Juno; the other is a lesser-used object called Quaoar.
Without getting into detailed delineations, give this some thought: a lot of our needs — especially the ones we have the hardest time expressing and filling — can be traced back to our family of origin. Whatever metaphorical ‘dance’ they were doing when we arrived on the planet is probably a pattern that dates back many generations and might seem rigid at this point.
As you push to express your individuality, consider whom you’re really pushing against. Is it actually the person you’re talking to? Is it ‘the patriarchy’ or ‘the government’? Is it your family? Is it some internalized version of your family and your unmet needs from those relationships?
Take a breath, take care of yourself, and get to work. There is much to be done; though it does not all need to be done by you. We’re all in this together.