Astro news this week: Mars and Venus in Aquarius


Pluto is virtually stationary in the sky as it prepares to turn retrograde at the end of April – it reached the 27th degree of Capricorn on February 3rd, and it will only travel one degree between now and August 2nd. With Pluto stationary in the sky within one degree, the US Pluto return is at its peak for all of these months.  There’s a saying that when the US sneezes the rest of the world gets a cold, and as the world gets smaller and smaller that becomes more and more true.

However, this week there are no major planetary alignments so the faster moving planets will have more of a say in the energies of the week.  Someone shouting in your house may sound loud until a helicopter passes by overhead, and that is what happens with planetary alignments when a major planetary interaction drowns out the more fleeting influences.

Mars and Venus both entered Aquarius yesterday on March 6th, marking a transition from the grounded physical reality of Capricorn into the Aquarian realm of ideas and objectivity. In Capricorn we can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture, but Aquarius offers some perspective and new ways of thinking about an issue.  With Mercury and Saturn also in Aquarius, we now have four planets in that sign of reason and paradigm shifts. This may not in itself be enough to alter the facts on the ground in Ukraine, but in our personal lives we can take the small steps to bring in more light and more liberation in our own lives from the things and ideas which hold us back.

And now, the week ahead. Dates and times are for the Eastern time zone, please adjust for your locality.

Monday March 7.  The week begins with the Moon in Taurus which normally would conflict somewhat with the fresh new Aquarian energy of Mars and Venus. However, the Moon passed through a conjunction to Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius, awakening the spirit to these new energies and making change a little easier. The Moon harmonizes with Jupiter, the Sun and Neptune today which will bring some nice peaceful energy most of the day except for a few hours around 5 pm when we may feel somewhat overburdened by the pressures of our responsibilities. Being a lunar aspect it will last only a few hours. (Moon conjunct Uranus 1:37 am, Moon sextile Jupiter 8:49 am, Moon sextile Sun 12:02 pm, Moon square Saturn 4:55 pm, Moon sextile Neptune 11:02 pm.)

Tuesday March 8.  More lunar aspects today, with the Moon conjunct the North Node of fate around 3 am. Aspects to the North Node can mark a significant event, but a lunar/node aspect is usually very subtle and sometimes not even noticeable. Still, it’s a good idea to pay attention because a new idea or something you hear could make a change with long-lasting consequences (usually positive!).

We may be more emotional in our thinking around 9 am, but this can lead to greater understanding.  After the Moon enters Gemini at 1:39 pm EST we become more interested in everything and more curious about the world for a few days.  Later in the day the Moon harmonizes with Mars and Venus to awaken our desires (Mars) and all manner of positive feelings (Venus).

Wednesday March 9.  Wednesday’s planetary energies inspire and motivate us to take care of ourselves. A conjunction from the Moon to Ceres at 2 am occurs when most of us are sleeping, but will encourage the nourishment of body and soul. This is followed by a harmonious sextile to Chiron at around noon to facilitate healing and understanding.

Mercury leaves Aquarius for Pisces at 8:32 pm EST. With Mercury in Pisces for the next few weeks, the imagination and creativity will be highlighted but the details may not be clear if you have to make a difficult decision. This brings the number of planetary bodies to four including the Sun, Jupiter and Neptune. Pisces can be a beautiful and magical influence but like the world of faery in the old stories it can also bring illusion and confusion so we will want to try to enjoy the fairy dust while keeping our eyes wide open.

Thursday March 10.  Lunar aspects today may exacerbate the Piscean fog, especially in the morning. Thankfully a Saturn aspect just before 6 gives us an opportunity to get grounded and organized for the day. (Moon square Sun 5:45 am, Moon trine Saturn 5:47 am, Moon square Neptune 11:42 am.)

Friday March 11.  The Moon enters Cancer at 2:24 am EST, marking the shift from the mental realm of Gemini into the world of feelings and our inner life.  Family and friends become more important over the next few days, and a harmonious trine to Mercury around 7 am is a beautiful gift for communicating our emotions and feelings in a clear and direct manner.  The rest of the day is quiet astrologically.

Saturday March 12.  Today we have a busy Moon, and a Sun/Neptune conjunction is building to culminate on the 13th.  The Sun represents our conscious inclinations, and when linked to Neptune the urge to transcend into a more mystical or creative experience is strong.

The lunar aspects today may bring some emotional stress just after midnight, but the rest of the day the influences are harmonious and open the heart as well as the soul to new possibilities and joy. (Moon square Chiron 12:57 am, Moon sextile Uranus 2:37 am, Moon trine Jupiter 12:06 pm, Moon trine Sun 11:52 pm.)

Sunday March 13.  The conjunction of the Sun to Neptune culminates today and will be in effect for the next day or two. With a stellium of four planets in Pisces, the Sun conjunct Neptune on Sunday, and a tightening Jupiter/Neptune conjunction, this Piscean influence is beginning to prevail over all of the Saturnian control and repression we’ve had over the past year with so many planets in Capricorn and Aquarius, both ruled by Saturn. The sublime transcendence of Pisces can be a beautiful spiritual experience, or it can be a descent into addiction and madness. Ideally we choose the doorway into Spirit!

We will likely feel pretty intense for a couple of hours around 11 am under a Moon/Pluto aspect, so this wouldn’t be the best time to decide on a difficult confrontation.  But once the Moon leaves Cancer for Leo at 2:31 pm EST you may feel differently so best to wait until after that time. The Moon in Leo tends to bring a desire for joy and happiness that changes the way we view a problem.


Next week we have a Full Moon in Virgo! I hope you have a beautiful week. ❤️

Astrological news this week: A war with no retrogrades and a Pisces New Moon


February 28 through March 7, 2022.  Maybe the US threatening a short dictator with Scorpio rising and Pluto conjunct the Midheaven that his country would suffer untold destruction, under a Venus/Mars/Pluto conjunction, wasn’t the best idea. Especially with Pluto exactly conjunct US Pluto on February 22nd. Sometimes we wish astrology didn’t work quite so well.

Anyway. It’s difficult to predict what will happen, although plenty of people will try. So in the meantime let’s try to change the things we can and not obsess over what we can’t, doomscrolling into the night like I’ve been doing! Let’s donate to the causes that will help the people of Ukraine like the highly rated  World Central Kitchen, feeding displaced people of which there are so many.

In the astrological news this week, we still have no planets in retrograde motion. This is a fairly unusual situation in which all planets are in direct motion so there is no going back and re-doing or re-evaluating – it’s full speed all the way. Under a condition such as this, throughout March and April, we want to think carefully about what we are planning and what actions we take since we will be on a train going in only one directly.

The Pisces New Moon on Wednesday March 2nd will be extra expansive under a conjunction to Jupiter. Under the sign of Pisces we tend to let go of some of the day to day details in favor of a yearning for an experience which is more meaningful – more relaxing, more creative. Imagination is heightened, a yearning for spiritual connection is intensified. Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, and its conjunction to the New Moon deepens the Piscean need to blur the boundaries and escape into a world of illusion. As you can see, this can be positive or negative, depending upon which avenue we pursue.

The triple conjunction of Venus, Mars and Pluto is embedded in the chart of the New Moon which suggests that there is some danger in too much escapism and idealistic thinking. There is a need for adjustments in our personal relationships where necessary, and these adjustments must occur before the peace of Pisces can be realized. The expression “fog of war” unfortunately is perfect for this planetary line-up, and hopefully this fog will erode the plans of warmongers everywhere.

Fortunately, the Sun and Moon harmonize in a sextile to Uranus to inspire innovation and inventive ways through problems, but watch for some negative thinking around the New Moon (Mercury conjunct Saturn in Capricorn). Under Saturn and Capricorn we can, with some effort, turn negative thinking into constructive plans for change and that is what is called for here. If we take the yearning for peace and Spirit of the Pisces New Moon, add a bit of Uranian innovation and some Mercury/Saturn concrete thinking, we can transform the Mars/Pluto challenges of our lives for the better.

Speaking of Mars, Venus and Pluto, the exact conjunction of Mars and Venus to Pluto is March 3 EST, but this difficult alignment will be in effect all week. There is a powerful drive and ambition to achieve one’s goals, and this can be channeled into positive pursuits to effect great results. However, any areas of resentment or anger are likely to be pushed to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness so be careful on the roads, in the skies, and with any people that are difficult to get along with. Especially because the Moon enters Aries on March 3rd at 7:52 pm EST, and since Aries is ruled by Mars the energy of aggression and dominance will be particularly strong until the Moon enters Taurus on Monday March 6 just after the Venus/Mars conjunction.

The conjunction of the Sun to Jupiter which was incorporated into the New Moon energies culminates on Saturday March 5 EST. This is a lovely and optimistic planetary event which will really be in effect for much of the week because of its New Moon impact. Cultivating a hopeful approach to our lives will go a long way right now.

Last but not least, Mars and Venus both enter Aquarius. Aquarius is the sign of reason and social justice but at a time like this we have to remember that social justice means different things to different people. Aquarius doesn’t mean that what we believe will prevail – but the idealism of Aquarius will begin to take center stage. Mercury and Saturn are already in Aquarius, so we will have a pretty big stellium of personal planets carrying the Aquarian energy. Aquarius tends to be detached and emotions take a back seat, but we will also have the Sun and then Jupiter conjoin Neptune in Pisces which will provide an interesting duality of feeling and intuition (Pisces) vs reason and data (Aquarius).

Here’s where the Moon is this week (all dates and times are Eastern time zone, please adjust for your locality):

  • Moon entered Aquarius February 27 at 1:35 pm
  • Moon enters Pisces March 1 at 3:53 pm
  • Moon enters Aries March 3 at 7:52 pm
  • Moon enters Taurus March 6 at 2:59 am


Vladmir Putin and the war on Ukraine

Embed from Getty Images

Vladmir Putin launched an attack against Ukraine at about 5 am Moscow time on February 24, 2022.  This attack should not have been a surprise to anyone who was paying attention since Putin has been announcing his intentions for quite a long time but Putin has the Sun in Libra, and Libra can be a master manipulator when Scorpio is rising in the chart.

I should point out that there is no verified birth time for Putin as birth times aren’t recorded on birth certificates in Russia, but the birth time of 9:30 am was provided to an astrological researcher back in 2000 and this is the chart that is widely used today.  If this isn’t Putin’s actual chart it’s the chart he would want to have, with the power sign Scorpio rising and Pluto conjunct the Midheaven along with the South Node. These are powerful placements, especially with the ascendant ruler Mars in a trine to Pluto, Scorpio’s modern ruler which tends to facilitate the rise of power, and a square from Jupiter to Pluto which tends to bestow a sense of self-righteousness.  Full disclosure: My own date of birth is five days after Putin’s and our natal charts are very similar. 


There are many different charts for Russia as there are for any nation which has undergone a great deal of change. December 8, 1991 is the date that Belarus, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine announced the Minsk Declaration which dissolved the Soviet Union, but the agreement wasn’t ratified by the Russian Parliament until the 12th of December that year at 13:22 according to Nick Campion. On the other hand, Adrian Ross Duncan uses the chart of December 25, 1991 when the flag for the new Russia began flying at the Kremlin.

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The late Zipporah “Zip” Dobyns, one of the world’s most celebrated astrologers, uses yet another chart: the chart of Gorbachev’s resignation in August of 1991. Her reasoning in using this chart is because “it works” to explain subsequent events better than the other dates. With all due respect to the memory of Ms. Dobyns, this doesn’t seem a very scholarly way to approach the birth of a nation.

To me the date that makes the most sense from a historical point of view is the date that the Russian Federation declared its independence from the Soviet Union which was June 12, 1990. This is the date that the First Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation adopted the Declaration on Russia’s National Sovereignty which seems to me to be a very formal declaration of statehood and a strong basis for an astrological chart. This is the day that is celebrated as the Day of Russia and is identified by modern Russians as the birth of their nation.

This is a somewhat aggressive chart, with Leo on the ascendant needing to be seen and respected, but with Pluto (power and transformation) squaring the ascendant and opposite Venus (diplomacy and collaboration).  With the Pluto/Venus opposition, diplomacy is extremely difficult and it doesn’t help that the Sun and Moon are both in Gemini which tends to be somewhat weak but also can change shape fairly easily. And then we have Mars in Aries which is very comfortable with open aggression, especially when squared by Uranus/Neptune on one end for a radical (Uranus) confusion (Neptune) and illusory sense of boundaries, and Jupiter/Chiron on the other for an expanded (Jupiter) sense of the wounds of the loss of empire (Chiron).

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Putin is the perfect leader in the attempt to return Russia to its former glory.  His Gemini Moon is in a trine to the Russian Moon: a vivid representation of an emotional link to the motherland.  His Mars is opposite the Russian Sun: He has the will to act out the aggression needed to achieve Russian goals. His Libra Sun activates the cardinal T-square of the Russian chart to convert the stress of the square aspects into action and results.

On top of everything else, the ascendant of the Russian chart sits right on the Pluto/MC conjunction of Putin’s chart and the South Node of the past is there too. There is a sense of destiny here, as well as a debt owed with the South Node squared by Russia’s Pluto.  There are many important linkages here.

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Ukraine declared independence from Russia on August 24, 1991 at 6 pm and this is the day celebrated as Independence Day in Ukraine which makes it the most viable chart to me. While the independence was not formally legalized until December, the declaration of independence serves as the birth date of the nation, just as the signing of the declaration of independence on July 4th in the US marks the annual celebrations here.

The Virgo Sun is relatively modest and assuming, and the Aquarius ascendant is idealistic and geared towards equality and justice. However, Pluto figures prominently here as well, in a challenging square to the idealistic Aquarius Moon. In addition, the painful history of Ukraine’s independence is embedded into the chart with a challenging aspect from Saturn to Chiron.

February 2022 invasion

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia that occurred in February is just one episode of a war which has been going on since 2014.  This is really Putin’s war – a war to fulfill what he must feel is his destiny to bring back the glory of Russia under the Soviet Union. In 2014 when the war began and Crimea was taken, transiting Saturn and Pluto were triggering the complex of planetary bodies on his Midheaven, stimulating an eruption of energy for what I think of as his Mission.

Putin has the same Sun/Saturn conjunction which I have, and like me it squares Neptune.  This bestows the ability to work diligently through hardships, but the square from Neptune can be difficult and weaken the personal identity.  The Uranus/Pluto square of 2014-2018 squared this system for a few years, amplifying the urge for power and coincided with air strikes on Syrian rebels on behalf of his ally President Bashar al-Assad, flexing the muscles of Russia’s power and turning the tide of the war in Syria.

Putin’s progressed Sun made a trine to his natal Midheaven/Pluto/South Node over the past few years, activating once again the importance of the Mission. But transiting Saturn is opposite the Midheaven and Pluto this year, so the takeover of Ukraine will likely not go as smoothly as he may have hoped.


It’s here: The US Pluto return

The US Pluto return culminates this week. Some of you are familiar with the term “Saturn return” – an event which happens for everyone at age 28-30 and then again around 56-60 when Saturn returns to its position by degree in the natal chart. These are very Saturnian events – times when we need to face responsibilities and hard facts as we transition into the next phase of life. Pluto takes 244 years to orbit the Sun so humans do not experience Pluto returns, but nations often do.

The Sagittarius ascendant in the US chart reflects the expansive tendency of the American empire which is probably the single thing that will be its undoing.  Like other empires before it, the expansion of the national identity (Sagittarius ascendant) through ideas like “Manifest Destiny” which inspired pioneers to trek across the undeveloped terrain and do battle with the native peoples and Mexicans and Canadians who were already living on the land. . . .

Since Pluto entered the contracting sign of Capricorn, however, the cracks in the foundation have become more evident. Pluto deals with issues of compulsion and use and misuse of power, and in the US chart Pluto lives in the second house of money. With Pluto in the second house of money and finance, the American shadow is a dirty little secret – an obsession (Pluto) with the power that money can provide (second house).  The persona of the country is the sunny Jupiterian/Sagittarian nature of optimism and faith that everything will turn out fine, but the Plutonian shadow of greed hides in the darkness.

Between 2014 and 2017, Pluto has been no more than two degrees from an exact opposition (stressful aspect) to the Sun in the US chart.  (Geeky astrological detail: because Saturn squares the US Sun, Pluto is also transiting in square to US Saturn which applies even more pressure.) The candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump with his openly expressed xenophobia has opened the door to the dark Plutonic realms of the US dark secrets which are rooted in slavery and genocide.

This, my friends, is Pluto in action.  Trump didn’t cause this to happen – together with Pluto, he opened the door to the circles of hell and the demons began to emerge from the underground of the US psyche. Pluto’s domain has to do with power, corruption, destruction and regeneration, we would expect that governments which do not have a strong foundation would experience some kind of collapse or major transformation during these times. (I did a study of Pluto returns in the Roman Empire which you can read here.)

The Pluto Return has been building for the past year, with transiting Pluto just a few degrees from US Pluto.  The exact alignment occurs on February 22nd, but a Pluto transit tends to take a long time to build and the crescendo is slow and dramatic.  The second phase occurs in August 2022 and the final exact alignment in December 2022, but Pluto will come within a degree of US Pluto once more in October 2023. So this transit will continue to unfold over the next two years.

Other than the rise of violence, one of the ways in which the US Pluto return has made itself known in mainstream consciousness is the idea that our Democracy is dead or dying. Our system of free and fair elections, the basis of democracy, is fracturing. There is talk of a civil war, and some states want to secede from the Union. America is becoming even more geographically polarized.

Pluto transits very rarely result in complete destruction, but Pluto’s transformative effect is virtually always visible at these times. The power of creative destruction under Pluto may break down systems that are failing, but something else will be rebuilt in their place.

These times of dramatic change can be frightening, but when we understand the planetary forces at work behind the scenes we can more easily manage our reactions to the events at hand. Pluto is in the last degrees of Capricorn, the sign that inspires us to create structures that will help us to achieve mastery of the material world. Any of these structures that are decaying from the inside out and weakened by this decay will almost surely collapse, but will be ultimately replaced by something that better fits the modern reality of life in the Aquarian Age.


The astrology of Joe Rogan

Please be sure to read the entire post before commenting, and please limit your comments to the astrology. This post is not endorsement of Joe Rogan’s views, or a blanket approval of everything he has ever said.  As always, all viewpoints are welcomed, but any comments that serve only to inflame and do not add to the discussion will be deleted. Thank you for your cooperation!   

If you haven’t watched Joe Rogan’s YouTube channel you likely have a very different impression of him than if you have.  If all you read is the headlines, you see a crazy man who embraces conspiracy theories and radical ideas. This is certainly a piece of the man, but if you dive into what he has produced as I have, you see a much more nuanced picture.

Joe Rogan was born with the Sun in Leo conjunct expansive Jupiter – a very fortunate placement which virtually ensures success, especially since these planets are in his 10th house of career and vocation. Leo is the sign of the Self – under the influence of Leo we need to be “seen” and recognized, but also, ultimately, to be the best person we can be.  Mercury, planet of communication, is right on the Midheaven which is a powerful point and denotes someone who is a strong communicator.  Saturn, planet of hard work and success, forms a harmonious trine to the Sun and Jupiter which helps to facilitate the discipline needed to work towards a goal. The main drive here is for fame and recognition, but there’s more.

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Rogan was born in 1967 at the height of the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, the planetary formation that brought us “the 60s.”  He narrowly escaped the emotional challenges (Saturn and Chiron opposed Uranus and Pluto) of the 1965-1966 period, so the transformational power of that big conjunction is able to operate freely.  Individuals born under this conjunction (between 1963-1968) generally experience an urgency to bring about a radical (Uranus) transformation (Pluto), and for Rogan this comes through his Mercury/Midheaven skills with communication. His Venus (relating to others) is a part of that conjunction, and his Venus is in the more modest sign of Virgo which would tone down some of the Leo tendency to be bombastic and attention-seeking.

There is a lot of fire in this chart, and fire is the element that promotes passion and enthusiasm. Three planets (plus Ceres) in Leo, and three planets, including Mars, in Scorpio which is one of the Mars-ruled signs. Saturn is in the other Mars-ruled sign, suggesting insecurities and doubts about his masculinity which can lead to overcompensation, especially in one’s younger years.  But Saturn is well placed in a trine to the Sun and Jupiter which ameliorates some of these difficulties. Still, the impetuosity of the fire element is clearly visible in Rogan’s personality.

The thing that prompted this post today was this article: Joe Rogan apologizes to Spotify and musicians.

In a nearly 10-minute long video posted on Instagram, Rogan said he is open to changes to the show such as booking more mainstream experts after having controversial ones and doing more research on certain topics. Rogan praised Spotify for its latest decision to add content advisories to any material mentioning Covid-19, and direct its users to public health sites for more information. He also thanked the platform for its support. …

“I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan added. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”

We do have a time of birth for Rogan (thank you!) which shows that Libra is rising in the chart. The rising sign, or ascendant, shows the way in which we move through the world, and the influence to which we aspire and which we grow into during our lives. Libra is the sign of balance – the diplomat, the equalizer. Libra always tends toward the middle (full disclosure here: I myself have the Sun and a few other planets in Libra).  Libra also wants to be liked and please others, so with Libra rising, Rogan would not be a character like Russell Brand who is a provocateur and doesn’t care who he offends. Apology is a major tool in Libra’s arsenal in the effort to avoid offense.

If you watch Rogan’s podcasts you can see that he is genuinely interested in different points of view, even those that are clearly incorrect. As we have watched the “truth” about the Coronavirus unfold, we have seen things that were first said to be true later revealed to be false, and vice versa. As an astrologer who practices what some would call “pseudoscience” and “misinformation,” I may be particularly sensitive to the fear of information repression, but as an astrologer I also see the conflict over information as an expected part of the Saturn/Uranus square under which we operated throughout 2021 and which is still in force in 2022.  Both Saturn and Uranus are in difficult aspects to Rogan’s Leo and Scorpio planets, so he is at once being pulled to break out of restriction (Uranus) and also being hammered by authority figures (Saturn).  In the  meantime, his fame continues to grow because of controversy, rather than in spite of it.