All three personal planets are making themselves known this weekend — Mercury, Venus and Mars. In the most general terms, this means the emotional tone for everyone will be shifting, and that shift will be from the inside out. Depending on what’s resonating most strongly with you lately, these movements could feel either like mixed messages or a study in rich contrasts (think hot fudge sundae).
I’m going to begin with Mercury, because Saturday it makes a conjunction to Nessus, the unofficial star of the show this week. Nessus is one of the centaur planets, a class of objects named for half-human, half-horse characters in mythology. In astrology, these objects generally represent old family patterns, shadow material and buried wounds, bringing all of it to our consciousness so we can recognize it, deal with it and release it.
Eric and I have covered Nessus in several recent articles (notably on Monday, Tuesday and last Thursday, plus PW FM). The main themes for Nessus involve patterns of sexual and emotional abuse, potentially inappropriate sexual contact, other forms of psychological wounding of a sexual type, and the idea that “the buck stops here” — that is, that once you know what’s up, you get to resolve and release the karma. You have the honor of stopping any of the negative patterns Nessus represents once you see them clearly.
What Mercury brings to its conjunction with Nessus (which is in late Aquarius) is a more intellectual take on all the shadowy, potentially painful stuff you may be working through right now. Mercury rules the mind and communication. One way to think of Mercury conjoining Nessus in airy, detached Aquarius is that it’s a chance to take a more logical, less emotionally-invested approach to the process. Writing (whether in a journal, blog comment or letter) could be helpful.
It’s wise, however, to keep in mind that Mercury in Aquarius could represent fixed ideas — as in the kind that get stuck; the kind that become obstacles or fixations instead of solutions. Are you open to alternative interpretations of what your situation/shadow material might mean or need from you to resolve it? Can you be present in your pain without getting attached to it? If you are grieving over some past pain or family pattern, can you tell when you’re moving through the stages at your own pace versus when you’re camping out in one of them — whether out of resentment, a sense of justification, or simple habit?
A spiritual counselor I am working with, before describing to me an aspect of my past-life karma related to some present-life habits, reminded me, “You are not your issues; you are god’s beloved.” The idea was to remind me that it’s possible to lay the new insights on the proverbial altar for Spirit to dissolve, rather than saddling myself with them. This seems like a good moment to share her words with you.
As we all continue working through our collective ‘week of Nessus’, Mars and Venus change signs on Friday about an hour apart from each other. Mars enters Pisces at 8:54 pm EST; Venus enters Aquarius at 9:46 pm EST. Both planets are moving into signs that are very different from the last place they were. Neither new sign is traditionally considered the best fit for either planet, though there are benefits and ways of working with the placements.
When Mars ingresses Pisces, it immediately moves into a conjunction with Neptune. Mars-Neptune is always an interesting, compelling mix. It can work many different ways; it has a wide range of effects, from the most creative to the most toxic. When Mars and Neptune are in any aspect, it’s necessary to exercise your best judgment — especially if the aspect is a conjunction.
Neptune conjunctions, by the way, have the widest orb of influence; Neptune is unusually sensitive to transits and aspects. This is amplified by the whole thing happening in Pisces — notably, this is the first Mars-Neptune conjunction since Neptune entered Pisces (the first of seven in Pisces between now and 2024).
If you have some spiritual awareness, this could be very helpful with things of a more mystical nature. Your dreams might be especially interesting or intense. This is not (in our opinion) the time to be playing with the Ouija board or inviting entities into your space. If you are going to drink alcohol, I suggest you stay home, where you have some safe containment.
It can, however, be a fantastically creative time, for art, music, poetry and visioning your life, though what you come up with may take some fact-checking or revision. You’ll need to sift for the gems among your ideas; take notes because anything involving Neptune can be volatile, fleeting or difficult to grasp.
In general, Mars in Pisces can be the equivalent of steam heat if you can keep Mars’ drive directed and focused. It’s passionate and deep — making it more of a feelings-based engine to power you through the Mercury-Nessus conjunction. It’s a boost to not getting mentally stuck.
Venus in Aquarius is a real contrast: cool and detached, less about intimate passion and more about filtering emotions through the mind. You might find your non-sexual friendships on an even keel, while more intimately focused relationships feel slightly alien or dispassionate. It might be challenging at times, but the situation is temporary (Venus will move on to Pisces Feb. 25).
Interestingly, Venus in Aquarius may also help you negotiate Mercury-Nessus, through that ability to dispassionately notice and filter emotions — which have possibly been intense this last week. It’s the opposite way from how Mars in Pisces can help. This is where the hot fudge sundae metaphor comes in: you have the hot, dark fudge and the cold, light ice cream — complete opposites — combining to make something that really works. Add in Mercury, and this becomes the opportunity to speak up about what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about what you’re processing.
Or for a different image, consider The Hierophant card in tarot: one monk in red, one monk in white. Both are before the Pope. The path of passion and the path of purity will both get you to where you’re going; you can’t get this ‘wrong’. Keep moving through what comes up; ask for help when you need it; understand, process and release. You’re going to be okay.