The horoscope chart is like a roadmap. It very succinctly shows us the things we can take for granted as well as the areas of life that we’ll need to work on. Astrological aspects give us one way to analyze the map’s potential.
“Soft” or flowing aspects indicate things that are easy for us. With sextiles and trines, only a little effort is necessary to maximize what’s promised by the linked planets. With the Moon sextile Venus, for example, one easily finds opportunities to develop relationships with women and can have an intuitive connection with them. However this aspect does not push one toward any kind of spectacular achievement. If things become difficult, other relationships generally come along to release the pressure.
“Hard” or challenging aspects are motivators that force us to do more. These planetary patterns are not easily ignored and will be activated periodically throughout life. The Sun square or opposite Saturn demands hard work in order to succeed. Those with hard aspects may also experience more disruptive changes or set-backs from time to time than a person with the Sun trine Saturn. People with challenging aspects might crave a comfortable rut, but the Universe will not let them rest in it for very long. These aspects create those determined to achieve, who can learn to make the most of what they’ve been given.
Of course, the ideal is to have both hard and soft aspects in the natal chart, which most people do. While we’re given challenges to motivate us, there are also opportunities to embrace. We’re pushed to solve problems but also have enough support and opportunity to help us do so.
Pope Francis has called an “extraordinary synod” of bishops who have traveled to the Vatican from around the globe to discuss church policies from October 5 to 19, 2014. Mercury retrograde should be helpful to them as they review surveys of family religious attitudes and rehash the church’s stance on divorce, contraception and homosexuality. Uranus square Pluto is obviously at work here, as the bishops are analyzing parishioners’ contemporary behavior (Uranus) in the light of Church dogma (Pluto). Given this astrological signature, there’s a good chance for innovation.
Francis was born on December 17, 1936 at 9:00 PM in Buenos Aires, according to Astrodatabank. With an out-of-sign Uranus square Pluto in his own birth chart, he’s been called a “herald of change” by commentators. And in the Jesuit manner, the Pope’s thinking has inspired open discussions at the synod.
In addition, his Mercury at 11 Capricorn 49 is conjoined by transiting Pluto as the synod progresses. The Uranus-Pluto square already activated Francis’ Mercury in 2013 when he requested that every diocese around the world survey its families.
The Catholic Church doesn’t often hold this type of unusual meet-up. The previous one, known as Vatican II, was held from 1962 to 1965. Uranus was exactly conjunct Pluto in October of 1965 when the talks ended. After that time, mass began to be celebrated in local languages and priests turned to face the congregation. These were noticeable, if not monumental reforms, and we can expect similar developments when the bishops formulate new guidelines next year as the Uranus-Pluto square winds down. But given Catholic lifestyles in communities around the world as well as the Pope’s compassionate attitude, there’s hope that the new policies will be more inclusive and better reflect our changing times.
While Evangeline Adams never wrote the typical 12-sign horoscope column we know today, she did write other kinds of weekly columns that were syndicated in many papers around the country. In these, she often described the characteristics of the signs and tried to offer a transit forecast for the coming year for people born within 10 days of a certain date. In addition, she used other cookbook-like approaches to give some idea of the upcoming astrological weather. Consider the following, which was printed in 1922, but can apply to the fall of 2014 (I’ve updated the periods it refers to):
The fact that the Sun and Venus travel side by side from mid-September through November indicates more harmony may exist in the world and more will be accomplished along constructive lines. In fact, everything should be done to establish confidence and optimism.
We can immediately see that she associates the Sun with confidence and optimism and Venus with harmony. But cookbooks have obvious limitations. The Sun and Venus in Libra in October may strengthen the need for harmony, since Venus is accentuated in one of its own signs. Yet they’ll both become part of a T-square with the Uranus-Pluto square mid-month. Is this peaceful? Or not? Any sense of harmony in the world will be challenged and we’ll need to find new and unique ways of expressing it.