Gemini Season Highlights: Twin Retrogrades, Eris Issues and Eclipse Season: May 20, 2020–June 20, 2020 (Pacific)

Welcome to Gemini Season!  Sorry I am a little late.   I got carried away with last season’s Taurus energy and did nothing but garden for weeks on end and could not prepare my forecast in time.  Here are some highlights about what to expect for the remainder of Gemini Season.

General Vibes

Usually Gemini season is one of the most busiest, restless and social times of the year for everyone.  However, this year the cosmos seems to have put the brakes on that.

Currently, we have 3 players in Gemini –the Sun, Venus and North Lunar Node.  (Mercury was also in domicile in Gemini but recently switched to Cancer.)  Thanks to all this Gemini energy, most of us have felt a welcome surge of movement in our life, maybe getting out and about a little more, traveling around a little more, socializing in person a little more.  But this movement is being hindered by Venus, who is still retrograde.  This creates a sense of wanting to mingle and be on the move, but also wanting to hold back (or being forced to hold back).  Venus will stay retrograde until June 25, 2020.  But if you think that means an end to our pandemic restrictions on socializing, commerce and travel, think again.  Just before Venus goes direct, Mercury will go retrograde, which means an additional few weeks of hindered motion, restricted travel and subdued socializing.   

The twin retrogrades will also continue to complicate matters pertaining to education for a while.  If you are a student or a teacher and if you feel like you are fighting the wind right now, it’s because, quite literally, you are!  It will be hard to feel like you are going anywhere but backward for the next few weeks.  Students, teachers (and homeschooling parents) would benefit from doing lots or review and going over previous lessons rather than expecting to burst forward and cover a lot of new ground.  In general, matters pertaining to education might feel somewhat slow and challenging until both Mercury and Venus cease their retrograde motions and climb out of their shadow zones toward the end of July 2020.

Additionally, Mars conjoins Neptune in Pisces around mid-June creating a general sense of malaise, aimlessness, an inability to take action, feeling lost, directionless or simply wandering around in a haze.  If you feel tired and listless or like your ability to take action is completely fizzling out, it might be due to this transit.  Striding forward in a linear fashion with purpose and physical energy might just feel impossible at times.  If you feel the need to rest and if you have the opportunity, then do so.  You won’t miss anything.  Chances are, everyone else is feeling as bagged-out as you are.  June 11th and 12th might feel like particularly listless days, when the Moon conjoins Mars and Neptune in Pisces.

In my article for Taurus Season, I also mentioned that Neptune in Pisces is associated with the immune system.  Mars conjoining Neptune and squaring planets in Gemini could suggest increased transmission of Covid-19.  If you are immuno-compromised or simply want to take extra precautions, you might want to continue to practice strict physical distancing until the end of June when Mars is out of orb from Neptune and leaves Pisces.  

How’s your love life going?  Venus retrograde in Gemini has us all going over old ground once more.  That could mean anything from thinking about previous relationships and contacting old lovers to rehashing old issues with your current partner.  Communication is key here:  previous issues might need to be dredged up and discussed once more in order to clear the air.  Things might get rocky around the dates of June 2nd through to June 5th when both the Sun and Venus make squares to Mars while Mercury squares Chiron.  But the arguments could actually be stemming from confusion or a misunderstanding.   It’s hard to see things clearly now, and falsehoods or errors might be involved (either intentionally or unintentionally) complicating the picture.  If you are struggling to move forward in your relationship, you might start to feel a bit better after June 25th when Venus resumes forward motion.  Old issues will still need to be addressed until the end of July, but at least you can make some progress while you work on the problem.

Finances might also seem really stuck and on hold till Venus stations and goes direct after June 25th.  Venus will climb out of the shadow zone near the end of July, at which point finances, commerce and the circulation of goods might get a helping hand and seem a bit more normal paced.

A New Lunar Nodal Axis:  The Universe suggests:  “Shut up and Listen”

On May 4th, the nodal axis shifted from Cancer/Capricorn to Gemini/Sagittarius.  The North Node now points to Gemini instead of Cancer.  For the next eighteen months, we will experience a subconscious pull to be out and about, travelling and socializing (Gemini) instead of staying at home in privacy (Cancer).  So good luck getting people to comply with pandemic restrictions.  Many people are simply not in the mood due to the siren call of the North Node.

This nodal shift also suggests a general increase in busyness, along with an increase in communications and information, (dear god is it truly possible to have even MORE information?)  For the next 18 months, we will be bombarded by many different points of view–even more than usual.  Gemini signifies duality and so this nodal axis is asking us to see the other side of the picture, the other side of the coin.  It also suggests we all would benefit from listening more than speaking.   Instead of immediately jumping on your keyboard in order to argue with people online, maybe just read or listen with your ears open and with actual curiosity.  What makes people say and do the things that they do?  (And no, the answer is not “Because they are idiots.”  Try to understand the bigger picture, here.)  

One of the effects of this year’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction is polarization--people sectioning themselves off into factions and expressing strong hostility toward the opposing camp.  Thinking turns very black-and-white with little room for complexity or shades of gray.  The North Node in Gemini is suggesting we soften this polarization now.  Instead of building walls against people who don’t believe in the same things you do, it is time to mingle with them–stay curious, communicate, ask questions, listen, understand, build bridges.  Then and only then, share your own ideas.  Not with the intention to preach or bash your beliefs into somebody else, but just to share.  Sound hard?  That’s okay.  You will have eighteen months to practice it.  

And don’t be put off if this seems impossible to do in June.  With the Sun, Venus and North Node in Gemini squaring Neptune and Mars in Pisces, much confusion will still reign in June.  Facts?  Ahahaha!  Anything goes.  Reality gets lost in a misty haze of ideas and beliefs.  Especially between June 6th to 12th.  Don’t even try to make sense of what you are seeing and hearing then.  Get off of social media and the news and go read a book or something instead.  And this trend might also get stronger when Mercury stations and goes retrograde in Cancer around June 17th.   But if you want to use this energy in a positive way, use it to foster compassion toward your fellow humans.  This energy can help you see what you have in common with other people, rather than what is different about you.  You just have to stay open to that idea and consciously seek commonalities.

Preparing for Another Mercury Retrograde

Mercury enters the shadow zone in the sign of Cancer on June 2nd so pay attention to what is happening in your life between June 2nd and 17th because these themes will re-appear or repeat once again from June 18th to July 26th when Mercury is in retrograde motion then goes direct to catch up through the shadow zone.   Look to the house where Cancer lies in your natal chart.  This is the area of life that will be affected by the retrograde action.   

This Mercury retrograde is a prime opportunity to re-think how you are integrating into the outside world again and re-assess your travel and socializing plans.  Since the retrograde is taking place in the sign of Cancer, you might realize that you are not as keen to go out as you were a while ago and actually are quite content to hang out at home again for a few weeks.

Retrogrades are great times to return to old projects or plans in order to re-do them or complete them.  This retrograde starts in Gemini season but crosses over into Cancer season, so after June 20th, it is a great time to retreat back home again for a few weeks, putter around in private and maybe revisit house or family projects that you started during the initial stages of the quarantine period.  

Eris and Social Unrest

Eris, aka Discordia, is a dwarf planet known as Mar’s archetypal sister.  She is currently travelling through war-like Aries and applying to square Pluto.  As I write this, she is helping to whip up the masses into social protests and riots.  Globally, governments would be wise to heed the rioters’ call for justice because these violent protests are not merely a phase or a passing whim.  They are a red flag of what is likely to come in the future.  Eris will make a total of 5 exact squares to Pluto throughout 2020 and 2021 and she is currently only on her second one.  Expect social unrest on all kinds of issues (not just race) to be the name of the game throughout 2020 and 2021.  

The current rioting triggered by the death of George Floyd will likely continue to rise and peak near June 14th/15th when Eris makes her second partile square to Pluto.  As the months pass, things might settle down to a general rumble, but only to flare once more as we approach December 10th, 2020.  Then Mars enters the picture, conjoining with Eris who is squaring Pluto again.  Yikes.  December protests and showdowns could potentially be even more explosive than the current ones.  Or, some other conflict explodes that goes beyond street protests.   

2021 brings more Eris/Pluto squares in August and October and additionally, some Saturn and Uranus squares--another pairing known to coincide with discord, protest and conflict.  Saturn squaring Uranus will pit the old against the new;  tradition against progress, convention against revolution and conservative values against progressive values.  Taking place in fixed signs, this pairing worries me that it will coincide with actual wars.

If Eris in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn had a motto, it might be:  “Mainstream society and its institutions (Capricorn) are totally screwing me (Aries) so I am going to do something about it (square).  And I am so fed up that I don’t care if I blow everything up to hell and back (Pluto).”  And this should terrify governments, if they are paying any attention at all.  Since we are so close to Pluto entering Aquarius in 2024 (echoes of the French Revolution when citizens took to the streets to behead their oppressors and burn their property), corrupt governments and the economic elite should heed the current red flags happening everywhere.  The power they currently enjoy holding will likely be strongly contested in the years ahead.  It will not be “business as usual” for them anymore.

Eclipse Season Begins

Eclipses are important because they often coincide with significant changes in our lives, often unforeseen, and often challenging.  If you have planets or significant points in your natal chart within a two degree orb of a conjunction or opposition to 15 degrees Gemini or Sagittarius, zero degrees Cancer or Capricorn and 13 degrees Cancer or Capricorn, then this year’s eclipses are significant for you.  

A planet that is being eclipsed is often temporarily subdued or weakened.  It might be unable to act, or is temporarily wiped out for a while.  This effect can last for weeks (for a lunar eclipse) or for months (for a solar eclipse).  Eclipses are particularly important in Horary charts and often suggest a negative condition for the signifier, especially in the charts concerning illness and missing persons.

This year, Eclipse Season starts with a penumbral lunar eclipse on June 5th at 15 degrees Sagittarius.  This is part of the Saros series of 111. 

If you have a planet in your natal chart near 15 degrees Sagittarius (or directly opposite that point) you might wish to meditate on the Sabian symbol for this degree, which is: “Seagulls fly around a ship in expectation of food.  The easily acquired dependence of the psychic desires upon the stimulation of social circumstances. a domesticated dependence on the by products of the wilderness (or unconscious).”  

Until a short time ago, most of the world took for granted our easy access to modern food systems.  This heavily “domesticated dependence” will be somewhat eclipsed at the start of June.  This might suggest some shortages of food or commodities that we normally had in abundance.  Or it suggests a new appreciation or understanding of our reliance upon Nature and an increase in the willingness to work with nature via planting gardens, working to stop climate change, practicing zero waste living etc.

The next eclipse is more of a big deal:  an annular solar eclipse on June 20th/21st at 0 degrees Cancer.  Most significantly, this will have a strong impact on China.  Also impacted by the eclipse will be parts of Africa (the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia), south of Pakistan and northern India.  Regions that will witness at least a partial eclipse include South/East Europe, much of Asia, Northern Australia, much of Africa, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.  

This eclipse is part of the Saros cycle 4 North (137).  Here is what Bernadette Brady writes about this particular Saros Cycle in her book The Eagle and the Lark:

“Restriction, restraint, separation and illusions are the trademarks of this family of eclipses.  Events can occur which seem to block the individual.  In this blocking the individual is very prone to misjudge his or her strengths of the situation and is best advised to wait until the eclipse passes before taking any real action.  This is a difficult Saros Cycle.”

Note that the effects of this particular eclipse will be felt before and after its actual date, perhaps for months.

This Saros cycle last operated in June 2002.  It took place a few months after 911, an event which coincided with a Saturn/Pluto opposition.  This year, this same Saros Cycle appears again, shortly after a Saturn/Pluto conjunction.   So if you think back to what the world was like in those months after 911, we will be experiencing a kind of repeat of that energy. 

As Richard Tarnas has pointed out,  Saturn/Pluto quadrature aspects coincide with global events involving tumult and crisis, which are responded to by creating new structures in society that last for years to come.  For example, after 911, airport travel was forever changed by new restrictions and security rules.  And government and military offices set up new units to deal specifically with terrorism.  The Saturn/Pluto conjunction suggests that the response to the Covid 19 pandemic will include new social rules, regulations and restrictions that will outlast the length of the pandemic itself and will become a “normal” part of society in the future.

If you have a planet or point in your natal chart at zero degrees Cancer or Capricorn, then you might wish to meditate on the Sabian symbol for this degree, which is:  “On a ship the sailors lower an old flag and raise a new one. A radical change of allegiance exteriorized in a symbolical act: a point of no return.”  This energy is being eclipsed.

With this eclipse taking place smack dab on the summer solstice degree, it suggests a difficulty or problem with starting a new cycle. We might have a sense that now is the time to make a change and begin a new cycle–but circumstances will not allow this new cycle to begin or take off like it usually does every year.  The summer solstice cycle is an important cycle in the scheme of things so the fact that it is being eclipsed gives me great pause.

It makes me think of a planet full of people who just want to “get on with life” amidst a pandemic, and start a new course back into the world, but unfortunately, circumstances do not allow them to do so.  But it is also much more than that.  Something deeper and more profound is being upset.  What happens when you can’t start an important new cycle?  You stay stuck in the old one.  And you feel angry or blocked or like something is terribly wrong.  That something is threatening the Natural order of things.  

Since this Sabian degree is being eclipsed, it suggests that we are unable to “lower the flag and raise a new one” or unable to “change our allegiance.”  This suggests that there will not likely be a change of political allegiances at this time, despite the fact that a radical change is due and required as part of a new cycle.  And even if you wanted to switch your allegiance, you might be prevented from doing so due to outside circumstances. 

Well, well, well.  All I can say about that without getting into the specifics of politics is: it sure is an interesting time to be an astrologer.

This summer’s eclipse season ends in July with a final lunar eclipse on July 4th/5th at 13 degrees Capricorn.  I will write more on that eclipse in the Cancer Season Forecast.   

If reading astrology forecasts feels like nothing but doom and gloom right now, take heart.  The world might seem like a mess but Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn’s job is to bring all the guck to the surface where it can be seen, acknowledged and dealt with.  Healing can’t happen if the poison is still hiding below the surface.  It has to come out, and when it does, it often looks so bad that you think it is just a hopeless mess.  That is what these chaotic global events are all about.  So trust there is method to the Universe’s apparent madness. 

Healing is the name of the game here, and as individuals, we are given a chance every day to make choices that are positive, healing and life-affirming toward the earth and all the species on it.  Keep your head up, your shoulders straight and keep on doing the good work.  Because every little action matters.  Every protest against injustice makes a difference, even if it doesn’t seem like it.  Every time you affirm justice or truth or peace or honesty or life or sanity, it makes a difference.  And every time you forego injustice, lies, violence, hatred and death energy, it makes a difference. 

See you next month for the Cancer Season forecast.  

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