WERE YOU BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN? HOW TO WORK WITH CHALLENGING ASTROLOGY

Born under a bad sign? Frederick Steinmann says so-called difficult placements are actually opportunities for greater awareness, acceptance, and transformation. Images: Veda Wildfire 

Venus entered Aries on April 28, and the planet of love’s journey through this bold, assertive (and sometimes brash and selfish) warrior archetype is not always … smooth. In the sign of Aries, Venus is in its “detriment”- indicating one of the 4 states possible for each planet when placed in different zodiac signs (“detriment” and “fall” being more challenging, while “exaltation” and “rulership” the easier placements).

Rulership: Planets here are “at home” in their environment and easy to express.
Exaltation: A step beyond rulership, planets here have a chance to achieve their highest expression.
Detriment: The opposite of rulership- planets are in slightly uncomfortable territory, and the energy may need to become unblocked or unstuck.
Fall: The opposite of exaltation—energy is lessened and may need some invigoration in order to achieve expression.

For example, in Aries, Venus wants what she wants, now, and on her terms. Fiery Aries is quick with passion but not with compromise. Venus in its detriment could learn a thing or too about love from Venus’ ruling sign, Libra (the opposite sign to Aries). Venus in Libra naturally knows how to pause and apply strategy instead of just a quick reaction.

When in their detriment or fall, planets are challenged to adjust, to learn, and to further refine the energies symbolized by that planet. Below, a guide to these cosmic challenges …

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**Discover your challenging placements by calculating your birth chart. No challenging aspects? You can still use the dates below to work with these energies throughout the year as the planet indicated spends time in that sign! 

:: THE SUN ::
Rulership: Leo // Exaltation: Aries // Detriment: Aquarius // Fall: Libra  
The Sun is the single most important point in a horoscope. He vitalizes Earth and the rest of our solar system, and relates to our “individuality”- who we are beyond our thoughts and emotions.

Detriment in Aquarius (2017 Dates: January 19-February 18)  
Aquarius energy is connected to the concept of humanity as a whole, but can sometimes struggle with the messiness of the individual. Aquarians circulate the solar force within the group by “fixing their will” in the service of group ideals. The Sun in Aquarius placement is all about learning how to balance group ideals with individual creativity, and sometimes learning to say “Yes, I really matter!”

Fall in Libra (2017 Dates: September 22- October 23
Because of their penchant for pursuing the perfect relationship, Libra Sun signs’ individual vitality can become diffused. Librans can learn how to vitalize themselves by developing some Aries energy in relationships. A good way to start is by noticing: “where am I holding back from asserting my individuality and just strategically reflecting what the other person wants to hear.” Assertion of individuality will rebalance vitality and allow space for creative expression.

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:: THE MOON ::
Rulership: Cancer // Exaltation: Taurus // Detriment: Capricorn // Fall: Scorpio 
The Moon is the second most important point in the horoscope, and represents emotions, imagination, memories, and how we are nurtured.

**2017 Dates: Because the Moon changes signs every few days, check Planet Watcher for the current placement. We’ll have a Full Moon in Scorpio on May 10th, a New Moon in Scorpio on November 18th, and a Full Moon in Capricorn on July 9th.

Detriment in Capricorn
The Moon and achievement-conscious Capricorn are both related to security but they have opposing views. The ambition and drive to achieve success in society are energetically opposed with the Moon’s nurturing function (just think of those countless burnt out corporate ladder climbers!) Capricorn moons will benefit from reevaluating safety and security needs, scheduling time for self-care rituals like massage, and just feeling their feelings.

Fall in Scorpio
In fixed signs, the Moon wants to hold on to inherited patterns of nurturing, and in fixed Scorpio the art is in learning to let go. Scorpio Moons are nurtured through in-depth sharing that leads to transformation. Learn to honor your watery depths by getting in touch with more difficult emotions. You might try Jungian therapy, group counseling, or another form of therapy where you can share, transform, and release old habits.

:: MERCURY ::
Rulership: Gemini & Virgo // Exaltation: Aquarius // Detriment: Sagittarius // Fall: Pisces & Leo 
As the ruler of thought, reason, and communication, Mercury is an androgynous planet that picks up masculine or feminine energy depending on the sign or relationship to other planets.

Detriment in Sagittarius (2017 Dates: November 5-January 11 2018, retrograde December 3-22)
With Sag’s philosophically expanded worldview, Mercury placed here can tend towards exaggeration, embellishment, boastfulness, or the zealous view that one’s personal opinion equals a universal outlook. To work with this energy, it’s important to notice when you’re blowing things out of proportion and to practice more discretion in speech.

Fall in Pisces (2017 Dates: February 25-March 13)
With the overemphasis on words and rational thought in Western education, Mercury in Pisces may feel that their imagination or creativity is “silly.” The key here is learning to believe that compassion doesn’t always need to be verbalized- a loving presence or hug can work. Emotional communication is a valid form of communication. Dream interpretation or a study of symbols like the Tarot could help bring out the best in this Mercury.

Fall in Leo (2017 Dates: July 5-July 25) 
Leo represents creative expression and Mercury placed here sometimes thinks they are an instant prodigy! In order to achieve the highest form of expression, this Mercury could use a dose of Aquarian objectivity to integrate their vision into society. Developing a meditation practice with a mantra like “thoughts are things, I am not my thoughts” will help with this process.

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:: VENUS ::
Rulership: Taurus & Libra // Exaltation: Pisces // Detriment: Scorpio & Aries // Fall: Virgo 
Venus is the goddess of love, beauty, and harmony. She also rules the Law of Attraction- how you value and feel about yourself ultimately manifests in both your relationships and your bank account.

Detriment in Scorpio (2017 Dates: November 7-December 1)
In Scorpio, the challenging call is to transform the Venusian areas of love, relationships, and money. Learning to value your own and others’ resources appropriately is a lesson for this Venus. Another challenge comes from dealing with intensity and learning when to say no to excitement and emotional thrills that may lead to financial or emotional problems. Find your own value and trust in the process of regeneration.

Fall in Virgo (2017 Dates: September 19- October 14) 
Virgo is a mutable sign associated with the process of improvement, and when attached to Venus this can manifest as sharp criticism and endless “fixing” in relationships. Learning to dissolve some of your hyper-awareness through loving self-acceptance (the Piscean end of the polarity), and editing internal and external critique is key.

:: MARS ::
Rulership: Aries & Scorpio // Exaltation: Capricorn, // Detriment: Taurus & Libra // Fall: Cancer 
Mars rules the primitive side of our natures through the “4 Fs”: Feeding, fighting, fleeing, and … reproduction. The god of war is eager to penetrate the environment. A person’s humanness has a lot to do with Mars management- whether they are impulsive and brash or able to direct their will consciously and compassionately.

Detriment in Taurus (2017 Dates: March 9-21) 
When Mars is in Taurus, the desire for sensual experience is strong, and the challenge lies in overcoming and disciplining the heightened five senses. The drive and primal motive will be towards more concrete expressions of Taurus like money and sex. This placement will have to learn more about the unseen value of experience and presence. Try exercises like conscious, meditative eating where you pause gratefully for 5 minutes with a meal in front of you before diving in. Notice and observe what comes up without judgment.

Detriment in Libra (2017 Dates: October 22-December 9)
While Mars is all about fighting and assertion, Libra is about initiating relationships and this combination can lead to passive aggressive behavior. In Aries, it’s easy to fight our enemy but Mars in Libra has to sit at the table with them and negotiate. This Mars placement is learning how to evolve from an impulsive to a refined human being. Learn to balance instinctive reactions towards your partners’ moves with healthy self-assertion of your own desires.

Fall in Cancer (2017 Dates: June 4-July 20)  
Mars will always act out to assert himself as separate, and in Cancer the tendency towards cohesion and bonding leads to a conflict. Mars in Cancers act when they feel safe with their tribe and outside of this familiar context, the impulse to assert the self is repressed. This is a sign where Mars is learning courage. Courage comes through assertion of individuality in the world beyond the tribe (the Capricorn end of the polarity). Practicing action-oriented activities like martial arts will help build the confidence to express your desires!

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Fred Steinmann is a New York-based consulting astrologer who advises entrepreneurs, creative professionals, leaders of thought and industry, and all those searching for clarity, guidance, direction, and inspiration during uncertain times. He bases his practice on training and study in Ageless Wisdom, and astrological techniques grounded in 10+ years of professional experience advising clients and colleagues on Wall Street.

JUPITER IN VIRGO: A DREAM IN GREEN

Yesterday, the planet of good fortune and abundance moved signs. In this insightful post, the Astro Twins outline what we can expect with Jupiter in Virgo…Images: E A R T H by Gyéresi Andrea Éva

Changing of the guard! On August 11 2015, expansive Jupiter exits dramatic and flamboyant Leo, moving into clean, green and analytical Virgo until September 9, 2016. Jupiter is the planet that rules luck, personal growth, travel, opportunity and risk. Along with Venus, it’s one of the cosmsos’ two “benefics,” meaning its influence is largely positive. The biggest planet in the solar system, Jupiter represents abundance, so whatever you plant during a Jupiter cycle will grow into a cash crop.

As one of the slower-moving outer planets, Jupiter’s transits color the entire societal attitude and cultural zeitgeist. Jupiter changes signs every 12-13 months, meaning it only visits each zodiac sign once every 12 years. Its last trek through Virgo was from August 27, 2003-September 24, 2004. (Dial back to that era for themes that may arise again in your life.)

Here are few things we can expect while Jupiter tours Virgo through September 2016:

1. Walking the talk: Jupiter in Virgo.
Now that Leo’s grand speeches, public declarations and jaw-dropping debuts are over, it’s time for some follow up—the walk that goes with the talk. Jupiter in Virgo inspires us to roll up our sleeves and do the real work, to make change. In a telling pop culture example during Jupiter in Leo, Caitlyn Jenner filmed her reality show I Am Cait on the road with trans activists.

The episode revealed her ignorance about the struggles of transgender people who don’t share her wealth, fame and public support. While Jupiter in Leo brought Caitlyn Zac Posen gowns, tearful ESPY awards and Vanity Fair covers, Jupiter in Virgo will deliver the equivalent of a quick sociology degree. And we could all use some brushing up in that area, frankly.

Jupiter in Virgo cracks the integrity whip, making sure our own backyards are clean before we stand on our soapboxes. Do we wag our fingers at the world’s transgressions, then privately commit the same deeds? There will be no getting away with that while Jupiter is in Virgo. Beware the self-righteousness of this transit—change begins with ourselves.

2. Jupiter is in “detriment” in Virgo.
Jupiter is “in detriment” in Virgo, meaning it’s slogging through perhaps its least favorite shift – as if the celestial hedonist is doing community service to repent for his overindulgent ways. We just can’t act selfishly on every whim with Jupiter in self-controlled Virgo. Jupiter is the ruler of big-picture thinking and the higher mind, while Virgo is ruled by practical, sensible Mercury—Jupiter’s planetary opposite, in a way.

Jupiter and Virgo can be strange bedfellows, with the supersized planet pushing to expand, and fastidious Virgo fact-checking every little item along the way. It’s like a neurotic nanny trying to tame a hyperactive child on a sugar high. In the best situation, they will provide positive checks and balances for each other, ensuring that our grand ideas can actually go the distance.

3. Sustainability reigns: Earthy Virgo in charge.
After a people-focused year, our attention turns to our processes—and how they affect the planet. Climate change is an undeniable issue we face, and global ambassador Jupiter throws a giant spotlight here. As astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” The human race needs to cooperate with nature if we want to keep on keeping on.

We could draw some inspiration from New Yorker Colin Beavan’s film No Impact Man which documents his family’s efforts to spend one year making as little an impact as possible on the environment: no electricity, automated transportation or non-local food!

Virgo governs digestion so that rule extends to our palates. Bring on the organic produce and kale smoothies. Plant and grow food and put more greenery around your home. Vote with your dollar, opting for sustainably crafted goods that also support local business owners and keep the neighborhood economy thriving.

With Jupiter in Virgo, businesses in “green” industries could boom. You might just make time to hear your friend’s pitch on solar panels, vitamins or supplements now. Since Jupiter is the global truth-teller we can expect to hear more stories about egregious waste dumping and pollution from overseas manufacturers…and hopefully, to see policies and regulations change that.

4. Living in tune with nature, sharing our “stuff.”
No, you don’t have to trade your loft apartment for a yurt this year…but you might airbnb it out for a month while you go shack up in a tent. Jupiter in Virgo calls our culture of excess into question, and people will begin making real lifestyle changes to reduce accumulation. Jupiter in practical Virgo will fuel the cooperative economy. More and more, people are asking: Why own when we can rent, and use only what we need when we need it?

Commune-style living could make a comeback too, with a modern twist. Interestingly, the first-ever kibbutz—a collective community in Israel where people live, work, farm, grow food and raise their families together—was formed in 1909, while Jupiter was in Virgo. We can expect to see a rise in urban farming, shared living spaces and a boom in people unloading their stuff on Craigslist or eBay.

5. Drop the selfie stick; pick up the talking stick.
It’s time for more mindfulness, says Jupiter in Virgo—to put down the gadgets for an hour and get back to IRL encounters. While we don’t predict that the likes of, say, Snapchat will go anywhere, serenity could set in if we carve out technology-free spaces (both in public or at home).

We’ll be more present with the people in our midst; less worried about attracting a million random followers. We’ll find joy in being of service to our fellow humans instead of competing to be the biggest superstars. It sounds downright old-fashioned, but this wrinkle in time might just buy us another era on Planet Earth.

6. The “Internet of Things” takes over
If anything, technology will become more integrated into our lives. Virgo may be an earthy hippie, but it’s also a data-loving nerd (think: an early adopter of Burning Man going off the grid but rocking serious tech skills). The “internet of things” (ioT) could expand under Jupiter in Virgo.

More of our everyday objects will become embedded with sensors and electronics, a la “geek chic” wearable technology (an industry projected to balloon by the billions). We may even see an innovation that helps us detach from our physical gadgets while still remaining “wired.” Will our entire identities soon be stored on the cloud?

7. Taking it to the polls: Rocking the vote?
With a U.S. presidential election year falling during Jupiter’s tour of Virgo, we could be due for another “Rock the Vote” era of grassroots change and socially-aware constituents (interestingly, the splashy Rock the Vote campaign was founded in 1990, while Jupiter was in Leo).

Jupiter in Virgo will demand integrity and follow-through from any politician who hopes to make it through the rounds of debates and primaries. If we’re lucky, Jupiter in Virgo may also help to inspire record voter turnout before it leaves in September 2016.

8. Health, science and fitness industries soar.
Virgo is the ruler of health and science, so new trends in medical care and the wellness industry could arise. Buying “local and sustainable” could become more of a mainstream trend, as consumers become ever more savvy in their research about food and product safety. We may see amazing advancements in medicine, too—for example, technology that allows doctors to predict and prevent brain diseases (such as dementia) long before they reach their full-blown state.

Artificial intelligence, robots and other innovations that once seemed like grist for a sci-fi movie could become integrated into our daily lives. Geneticists are even working to bring back extinct species, such as the carrier pigeon, which died out in 1914.

9. Coaching and “how-to” businesses thrive.
Coaches and consultants might also experience a heyday, as Virgo’s perfectionism has us all in self-analysis overdrive. Analytical Virgo doesn’t skimp on the details, so people will be hungry for advice on improving their practical skills: budgeting, dressing, decorating, parenting. If you’re an expert, look for ways you can package your knowledge as helpful advice.

Jupiter rules publishing and broadcasting, so consider marketing your unique skills through a YouTube video series, a “helpful tips” podcast or a how-to ebook. For best results, focus on simplifying a difficult process or giving people basic instructions. Jobs in the service sector will also grow, since Virgo is the ruler of service. Everyone, pitch in now…

How do you think Jupiter in Virgo will rock your world? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your hopes and dreams for this next cosmic portal.