To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake
is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in
no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.
~ Pema Chödrön
Aquarius is often known for being detached. So what is detachment? How is it different from being disconnected? The two words are often used interchangeably, but are they the same?
Detachment implies non-attachment. It doesn't mean you don't care, but that you can tread lightly over heavy issues and experiences. Disconnection implies a severing of connection. It suggests you have turned your back on those issues and have wiped them off your radar.
Disconnection is like a wall. Detachment is more like a flexible boundary—and it's a lot harder. Disconnection is relatively easy, since it's all or nothing. Detachment in many ways is more challenging because you stay connected to something that may be unpleasant, difficult or even painful.
Detachment from an thorny situation suggests the underlying presence of hope – a vision of something better in the future, or a realization that a lighter connection to the situation doesn't mean less meaningful. On the other hand, disconnection tends to indicate that we've given up.
The Aquarius New Moon brings us to a precipice where we are urged to ponder these concepts and in some way to awaken to our experience of them.
I am a kite in a tornado, but I have a long string.
~ Karen Marie Moning, Dreamfever
Aquarius is an Air sign. That means Aquarians live primarily in their heads—in their intellect and thoughts. It's not that they don't have feelings (Water) or bodies (Earth) or enthusiasm (Fire), but they are usually most at home in the realm of ideas and concepts (Air).
As a Fixed Air sign, Aquarius is about identifying and sustaining the best ideas. These tend to be Big Ideas with the potential for a much greater reach and effect than those of personal intelligence (Gemini) or interpersonal interchange (Libra).
At their best, Aquarius ideas require bigger resources, cut a bigger swath in their influence, and set in motion even bigger implications that stretch far beyond their origin.
Fixed Air is like a tornado. But isn't Fixed energy stable and constant? Tornadoes are erratic and destructive! That's true, but think about it. The tornado itself is a sustained structure—a column composed of wind that's held in balance. It pulls in, and is created from, the surrounding air masses.
Certainly a tornado is extremely destructive! Buildings and trees can be damaged or destroyed. Animals and plant life may die; but even a tornado has its benefits. An old forest, for example, may be severely damaged, but this allows fresh light to contact the newly turned soil, which encourages new sapling growth and in turn can diversify the animal population. This is nature's decluttering and recycling program that ensures there is a dynamic balance between the old and the new.
The archetypal Aquarius agenda of change can be far-reaching and damaging to the status quo. But this also opens the way for rejuvenation and rebirth that could only emerge after the old has been cleared away. That which has been torn down can then built up again and reconstructed in a whole new way.
This is how change often works in Aquarius. It is not merely destruction out of vengeance or the ventilation of rage. It is more like a wrecking ball that tears down an old building that's already falling down ...or a tornado that makes room for new growth.
This kind of upheaval is often necessary when smaller adjustments have been evaded for too long until you've run out of options. Or you might need to expand and there's no room left in the existing structure, although in this case the change can and should be more controlled so that there is less collateral damage.
Either way, it's not usually much fun while it's happening. Just ask anyone who has survived a home renovation ...or a tornado. Chaos becomes the new normal, and a lot of loss is often involved in the process.
Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent... But detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it.
~ Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
In the midst of sweeping change, we individual mortals can easily feel overwhelmed by the disruption. But the Aquarius energy in us—and we all have Aquarius somewhere in our charts—is capable of seeing the bigger picture and the greater good. Like the tornado, the flow of energy is to suction air upward from the ground into the clouds. (Or, to put it another way: Aquarius sucks. ;-)
That's where Aquarian detachment comes in handy.
When change is spinning crazily around you, the safest place to be is in the eye of the storm where it's relatively calm. When you reach out and try to stop the chaos or try to control it, that's usually when you get yanked out of your centre and get into problems.
Being centered within the eye of the tornado requires alertness, flexibility and detachment. It doesn't work to focus only on what's right in front of you; you need to be aware of what's around you as well. Your immediate actions are guided by your overarching purpose and intention.
Detachment allows you to let go of needing the situation or person to conform to your expectations in that moment. It helps you navigate through the middle ground between the extremes and to adjust your position as needed.
Mind you, detachment is not the same as indifference. Aquarius is usually very passionate about its vision and wanting the manifestation of that vision to be true to its core ideals. The question is how you choose to do that. When it comes to the specifics of the finished result, our Aquarius energy can become a bit split. On one hand, it might be strict and demand that things only be done one way. On the other hand, it may be loose, changeable or even unpredictable ...kind of like walking inside a moving tornado.
I know you're tired but come, this is the way.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
So what does the New Moon chart have to say about how we are likely to encounter Aquarius energy?
For starters, the Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon) is very weakly aspected to the rest of the chart. There are no major aspects, which means it could be tricky getting that Aquarian energy to work easily with the other planets. Unaspected planetary energies can be a bit erratic and unpredictable. Like we didn't have enough of this in Aquarius already.
What the New Moon does do, however, is balance on the midpoint between Saturn on one side and Venus and Chiron on the other. This forms an aspect pattern I like to call a Mini-Square, in which two or more planets are in square aspect (90°) while another planet is between them forming semi-square aspects (45°) to both square planets.
Semi-squares and squares are all part of the Square family of aspects, and therefore rooted in tension, stress, conflict and struggle, so I'm not sure these aspects to the New Moon are much of an improvement. Yet even a difficult connection to the rest of the chart is better than none. This suggests that the New Moon has an especially focused agenda of mediating the conflict between Saturn and Venus-Chiron.
What makes this Mini-Square even more significant is that it involves Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius who therefore carries a loud voice in the New Moon chorus. In fact, Saturn square Venus is the closest aspect in the chart (0:12 orb) other than the precise Sun-Moon conjunction, so the Saturn-Venus square will also have a strong voice in the chart.
Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life's cruelest irony.
~ Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
Using the tornado analogy again, Saturn's role in the Aquarius objective is to provide the structure that holds the tornado together. Down here on the ground, the effect may be a chaotic, fierce, rotating energy, but there is a structure to the funnel cloud that keeps it rotating in a way that doesn't spin totally out of control. Be it a destructive, chaotic force or a powerful agent of positive change, Aquarius needs some kind of unifying formation that allows it to maintain its energy, and that's Saturn's job.
Venus, on the other hand, is symbolic of feminine energy which at its core includes the qualities of cooperation, negotiation and collaboration. It also represents our human need for connection at all levels, including interpersonal, romantic, friendship and social. How you work with your Venus tends to be reflected in how you interact with others, how socially active you are, and what draws you toward others and they to you.
Venus is in Pisces, her sign of exaltation where shines like a jewel! Our need to connect, as well as feeling the lack of it, comes through non-physical experiences – intuition, art and beauty, music, inspiration and creativity. When powerful change is happening, it releases creative energy that can be used to respond to the force of change; to steer it or to fuel it.
Right now Venus is conjunct Chiron, introducing the idea that there is a struggle with old wounds related to feminine energy, but also an opportunity for healing in all that Venus influences. In other words, we're challenged to work through that which blocks us from enjoying close connections with others and how we embrace beauty and love, both within ourselves and with others. This may include the baggage we bring to relationships, our struggle to accept our bodies without shame, or our ability to experience pleasure in life despite its hardships.
When Saturn squares Venus it tends to have a restrictive effect on Venus' natural expression. This doesn't have to be a bad thing – it can simply mean that our Venus inclinations need to be more structured, realistic or focused on concrete manifestation. But if you are attached to Venus manifesting in your life in a particular way that lies outside of Saturn's mandate, it can feel like poor Venus has been gagged and locked in a straightjacket.
So what is the overall effect of Saturn square Venus-Chiron, in a Mini-Square pattern with the Sun and Moon? You might find it a bit difficult to connect with like-minded people in a way that feels satisfying. For example, friends might seem a bit distant or you might feel frustrated with them and want to distance yourself for a while. Or, your previous intentions with a loved one might become interrupted when they don't quite fit comfortably into your future plans. Or, your ability to find enjoy life might be overshadowed by unexpected disruptions or the need to accept a cooler degree of passion for a while.
We are all connected;
To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
Uranus is the other planetary ruler of Aquarius, using modern rulerships, and therefore he'll have a distinct voice in the chart as well. He continues to oppose Jupiter and form a T-square aspect pattern with Pluto and Mercury, so his hands are pretty full at the moment. Uranus, the planet of lightning bolt change and awakening, has been engaged in a titanic argument with Jupiter, the planet of faith, optimism, wisdom, mercy and that ever-elusive concept called spirituality.
Spirituality, regardless of what forces you believe are driving the universe, is at its core the sense that you are part of something greater than yourself.
That's it. That's what it all boils down to.
Whether you see that as God or Gods or the laws of physics or a collective global consciousness or the natural order of things or All That Is or the Cosmic Muffin—we all have the need to feel we're part of something greater than ourselves. Think of spirituality as something that gives our lives context and is therefore something from which we derive meaning and purpose to our lives and our self-awareness.
So, with Uranus and Jupiter battling it out from opposite ends of the zodiac, we seem to be struggling to become more awake, more knowledgeable, more comprehensive in our understanding, and more hungry for change. You may feel enthusiastic and joyful about this, or flattened by despair and fear. Either way, most of us have been overwhelmed by information overload, exhausted trying to keep up with the dramatic changes, and longing for a time when we can relax and just breathe again without all the controversy, conflict and craziness.
(Thank you SO much, Uranus and Jupiter...)
And since Uranus is a major player in the Aquarius New Moon drama, we get to have another go at working with these energies for a few weeks. Although it might not have felt like it, the disarray, discord and disorder around us actually has a good side because it means the evolutionary process is still unfolding and we haven't become stuck. Certainly this Jupiter-Uranus turmoil is not something we want to stay in indefinitely, but until it resolves down the road it's best to keep going through the uproar. Stay in the eye of the tornado, even as it moves around.
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
~ Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
Mercury and Pluto form a T-square with Jupiter and Uranus. He has a very special role right now because Mercury is at the same degree where he went retrograde back on Dec.19.2016. You may recall that Mercury stationed-retrograde just a degree-and-a-half away from Pluto's posterior, and stayed retrograde until turning direct on Jan.08. Well, he's baaaack!
That means this New Moon is likely to bring up old issues from mid-December that need to be addressed, resolved or decided in a different way than before. You have new information now that was undeveloped or incomplete back then, and now you're in a better position to make a more clear and informed decision about that situation.
Since Mercury is in Capricorn, this will work best if you choose your direction based on an objective, logical and methodical perspective. Despite this, Jupiter and Uranus might make you feel like solid decisions are futile and amount to little more than spitting into the wind. And therein lies the struggle of the T-square – do you just give up and let chaos take over, or do you do what you can anyway knowing it might not be enough?
Mercury and Pluto are here to tell you it's much better to do what you can, even if that seems ineffective. Think of Mercury and Pluto as dual charioteers pulling on the reins of a team of wild horses. Even just the effort of doing this can begin to harness that power and channel it into something more constructive. Your efforts can help to keep you more balanced, grounded and centered as you grapple with the Jupiter-Uranus turmoil. The Mercury-Pluto charioteers can keep you moving and centered within the eye of that erratic tornado. (And why not mix metaphors when talking about chaotic energy? ;-)
On the other hand, probably the worst thing you can do right now is let the Mercury-Pluto team inside you try to seize control in a my-way-or-the-highway fashion. This might work in an emergency for a while, but is likely to burn you out if you try to exert absolute control for too long. You want Mercury-Pluto to skillfully steer and work with those wild horses, not put a stranglehold on them.
The good news is that Saturn is still making a Wedge aspect pattern with Jupiter and Uranus. Saturn is sextile (60°) to Jupiter and trine (120°) to Uranus. That means the planet of structure, discipline and groundedness is on good terms with those wild and crazy horses, so this can make it easier to establish a constructive balance between being overly rigid and too loosey goosey.
The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment
and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.
~ Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die
The takeaway here is that you're more likely be successful and saner if you deal with the chaotic situations in your life in a patient, detached way, than if you try to strong-arm them into submission to force them to comply with your wishes. Aim for the far horizon, and don't be hard on yourself if your steps in the short run don't seem to get you any closer to your vision. Give it time and keep your intentions focused on the big picture of where you're going.
And don't let discouragement lure you off the path where you could get lost. It's one thing to decide to explore or even initiate a different path, but it's best to avoid becoming so disheartened and disoriented that you lose your way.
This is a good time to be aware of the difference between detachment and disconnection. Severing your connections to the world—your community of friends and those who support your vision—might feel like a welcome vacation from stress for a short time. However, if you're disconnected for too long, it could lead to feeling isolated and cynical. If you really need a break, make sure you remain connected to your core values and keep the faith of your vision of what you want your life to be.
Detachment is probably a better alternative. That means letting go of the compulsive grip you might have in order to control what's happening. Stay connected to the situation, to your feelings, to your urges, and to other people, but let your connection be light and responsive rather than strict and controlling. More passion, less reaction. More elasticity, less rigidity.
This is a time to be true to your highest vision, but allow it to unfold in its own way. It's not just up to you – you are part of the whole. You are a co-creator of what happens, along with everything and everyone else. This is the group aspect of Aquarius. Manifesting your vision requires a give and take with the world around you, and that means not all of that process is in your hands.
Therefore, let it surprise you. Let it freak you out. Let it astound you. Let it open your mind and shake you up. Then take your next step.
Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what's out there
without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.
~ Pema Chödrön
Mars is in his own sign while in Aries, which stokes the fires of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and a pioneering spirit. Assertive, decisive action can come more easily now...but then, so can anger and conflict. This is a good time to initiate new projects and activities, and move old projects forward, taking advantage of the courage and daring that is in the air now. However, the results will be better if you are able to channel this energy through a focused goal, rather than going on impulse alone. The tendency to take risks is also high right now, which can be a mixed blessing. It's best to avoid complications and problems that can arise from being reckless or irresponsible, but do use this energy to muster the courage to take pre-planned action.
Deep insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. This can be a new beginning in understanding the deeper motives and dynamics of what is happening in your life, although this could happen with great intensity or obsession. The light can finally start to go on in the darker corners that have eluded you. Although what you see there might be both illuminating and disturbing, it is ultimately something you can grow from, which can transform your mental outlook into something more meaningful and resilient. This is a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.
Special Note: Mercury stationed retrograde on Dec.19.2016 just a couple of degrees shy of an exact conjunction with Pluto. Now he catches up and they conjoin exactly. Don't be surprised if some issues from around the time of the Mercury station come up again. Now is the time to act on what you've researched and discovered since then. You may be able to see deeper into some situation that presented itself at that time, and now you have better insight to deal more effectively with that situation. Choose your direction with transformation in mind – positive, in-depth change.
Venus now enters the span of the Zodiac where she will go retrograde in about. This is similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, except that we are now building up themes and energies related to Venus – beauty, art, balance, harmony, love, pleasure, desire, fairness, diplomacy, finances, possessions, values. As Venus approaches her retrograde station, you may notice increasing experiences and events that emphasise these areas.
For example, money and income could either increase or decrease during the Retrograde phase, and then often returns to its former state after Venus turns Direct again. Romantic possibilities may heat up during the Venus cycle, only to cool down again afterwards if there is no real substance to sustain it. Or, existing relationships might go through a period of confronting and sorting through issues or problems that have been lurking in the background. If the relationship is on shaky ground, this might push it to the breaking point, forcing you to do some serious renegotiating or consider ending it.
In this time of global economic struggle, this Venus retrograde cycle could lead you to rethink and recalibrate your financial motivations and ambitions on an individual level, as well as all of us collectively on national and global levels.
Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):
Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.
Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.
You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.
Your style of handling relationships, finances, resources and values now take on an attitude of assertiveness, directness and the pursuit of freedom and independence. Impulse buying may be a stronger temptation than usual, so be sure you can afford whatever it is! Your way of interacting may be somewhat more direct, open or flirtatious during this transit. You may have opportunities to acquire money quickly and casually...and spend it too! You may also be more open to trying new things in the areas of finances, relationships, interactions and your values. Trying out new ideas can take you into uncharted territory...which may or may not be welcome depending on how comfortable you are with change. But this still may be just what you need to get you out of a rut in the affected areas. This can also be a good time to celebrate and appreciate yourself just as you are, as a unique individual.
Special Note: Venus is in Aries an unusually long period of time because she will go retrograde in that sign on Mar.04.
For up to a week before and after this date (while Jupiter is moving very slowly and stopped during the station), you may experience an increase in idealism, longing or inspiration. Your opinions, beliefs and assumptions may come under question, as your understanding of life and the world around you now requires further study. While Jupiter is retrograde over the next five months, you may have to re-examine your assumptions, attitudes, biases and judgments about one or more situations. It can be a time to gather more knowledge and look at things from a different perspective, which can change your interpretation of events.
Right now at the station there is the turning point, which might inspire you to explore already-known territory in a new way, or it could disrupt your journey because your map of the territory isn't accurate or up-to-date. This especially applies to situations that have been developing in the last three months (since Jupiter entered the shadow). Allow yourself to be open to new possibilities emerging gradually out of old situations. There is a deeper understanding that can result from exploring things from a different perspective and questioning what you think you know. That which is known and familiar may seem strangely irrelevant or foreign for a while, yet will eventually become integrated and understood again after Jupiter goes direct in five months.
Mercury in Aquarius brings objectivity, detached mental focus, and communication that strives for unprecedented breadth and height – even to the point of adopting an "ivory tower" mentality. This is a good transit for anything requiring a scientific or analytical approach, as well as anything that calls for you to "think outside of the box." This can be a time when you start to see old familiar situations in new ways, giving you a fresh perspective on things. This planetary energy is not likely to be supportive if you need to take a gentle or sensitive approach to personal interaction, however, since you may be more tempted to just say what needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Your mental outlook may be focused on upcoming possibilities, and it can be a good time to map out future plans and try on new ideas, since you are likely to be more open-minded to things you had previously dismissed as unrealistic or too "out there." This can be a time when you suffer from "cabin fever" and need to get out of the house more, especially if you've been cooped up for a long time due to bad weather, hard work or just lack of motivation to do something different. Breaking free of old routines can be a good thing – just remember you have to live with whatever mess you make in the process.
You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers.
There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.
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© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Photos of Aquarius fish bowl by mikdam, and eagle by borisb17, both via CanStockPhoto.com. Illustration of tornado formation found at Indian Current Affairs website.