By Amanda Painter
People define ‘freedom’ many different ways: as adult independence; as the liberty granted by a democracy; as a lack of responsibilities and obligations; as sexual openness; as having a choice, and so on. Yet none of those definitions means much if you are not free within your own mind — to think, feel, decide, fantasize, question, grow and love in the ways that are most true for you.
This week, the astrology points us toward a question of freedom; yet it does so with a clear emphasis on how free you feel within your own self.
Today, retrograde Jupiter opposes Uranus (and Eris) in Aries (exact at 8:15 pm EST / 1:15 UTC Friday). Generally speaking, Jupiter-Uranus oppositions are about independence, determination and a desire to release oneself from obligations or restrictions. The signs Aries and Libra emphasize the theme of ‘an individual in a relationship’.
One basic interpretation would be to notice where in your relationships you’re chafing to break away. Or, in projected form, to notice if any of your partners (romantic, business or other) seem to be pushing away or looking for a soft way out of some part of your agreement. Dragging your heels on making a decision could be a clue that you’re having trouble being forthright with yourself about the extra wiggle room you truly want or need.
Yet it’s worth noting that Jupiter is retrograde. This is one of the factors that underscores the idea of “freedom within your own self.” Retrograde planets often signal a phase of review or looking inward. How freely do you acknowledge to yourself your own urges to break away? How often and how strongly does guilt, or a fear of letting others down, overshadow your need to renegotiate duties to liberate some of your time or creative energy?
That Jupiter is opposite the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries brings in the question of digital technology. Do you feel a need to take a break from Facebook, Twitter and so on?
In the relatively short time of social media’s existence (and that of the smartphone), people’s lives have become overwhelmingly dictated by a sense of online ‘duty’. You owe it to your career to network and position your ‘brand’; you owe it to your political or activist communities to stay abreast of issues, share articles, sign petitions and argue with oppositional friends-of-friends; you owe it to everyone you’re connected with to send a greeting on their birthday (even if you’ve never met them in person); you owe it to your own Fear of Missing Out to click on the latest event posting; you owe it to your friends and your own ego to post continual photos of your fabulous vacation, with witty captions, in real time.
Or do you?
There has always been peer pressure. There have always been social codes of conduct and ‘consequences’ for ignoring or breaking them (sometimes serious; more often easily disregarded if one’s self-esteem is healthy). But never before has social engagement been such a 24-7 mandate; never before has it been expected even when one is not in the flesh-and-blood company of others.
Don’t be surprised if today’s Jupiter-Uranus opposition feels like a wake-up call to release yourself from some of these technologically imposed ‘obligations’. Remember that if you crave contact and affirmation from others, there are many other ways to achieve that; ways that will leave you feeling alive and refreshed, rather than drained and stressed out. Perhaps it’s not that you need to break away from any valued relationships but rather that you need to break out of the proscribed online formats to which they’ve been unconsciously relegated.
You might also take a cue from both the Sun (consciousness) and Mercury (intellect) making conjunctions to Neptune in Pisces this week. How free are you in your imagination — both in terms of your creativity and your erotic fantasies?
I ask partly because this is the atmosphere in which Venus will be stationing retrograde in Aries on Saturday at 4:09 am EST (9:09 UTC). Venus will then backtrack into Pisces. On April 15, it will station direct in a conjunction to Chiron, a centaur planet associated with healing.
Eric has been discussing this Venus retrograde journey for months now, including in this week’s Planet Waves FM broadcast, and in the sign-by-sign readings of the 2017 annual edition from Planet Waves, called The Book of Your Life. Of particular note are the ideas that this Venus retrograde indicates “an introspective experience of questioning what you typically project to the world” in Aries; and that in Pisces, “We’re talking about sexual healing with this arrangement,” as Eric phrased it in a December 2016 article.
I see this week’s prevalent astrology as opening up this topic of ‘freedom’ to help you find the space within your life and within your psyche to take this trip with Venus. In a beautiful synchronicity, when Venus stations retrograde, it will be exactly one sign away from the asteroid Memoria in Taurus — one of the signs Venus rules.
In this position, Memoria seems to suggest that beginning on March 4, you’re kicking off a journey to remember what you value — specifically, to remember the tremendous worth inherent in your body, your senses, your voice and your erotic energy, and how intricately your emotions are connected with those things. These facets of yourself — though they may be in need of healing — are essential resources. It’s up to you to grant yourself the freedom to claim them.