New Moon May 22, 2020, 17:39 UTC

We have now entered the annual period of retrogradation:

Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto have all turned retrograde, while Neptune will follow in June, and last, but not least, Uranus will be going retrograde in August. While the slow-moving planets do this every year, and Mercury does it three times a year, Venus and Mars do so much less frequently. But this year, even they are going retrograde. Venus went retro last week (May 13) and Mars will go retro in September.

The retrogradation of the slower moving planets tends to be more apparent in the political and the social sphere. But of course, whatever takes place at the social/political level also has repercussions in our private lives.

North Node quincunx Saturn / Jupiter

This retrograde period is a time of revisiting the developments and decisions of the first few months of the year, particularly before Saturn went retrograde. Right now, we are seeing lockdown measures eased or lifted as efforts are underway to get the economy going again. We all yearn for a return to some sort of condition that is recognizably ‘normal’. Yet, we are also apprehensive. How long will it be before cases will again increase? And will people return to lockdown conditions as willingly the second time around? How will we cope with the risks that we now have to take in order to return to work? In the New Moon horoscope, the signature of this ambivalence is marked by the quincunx between the north node, our collective destiny, and Saturn, who represents the need for social responsibility and caution, and Jupiter, who signifies the desire for more freedom, hope, and optimism.

Venus Retrograde

When the personal planets go retrograde, the effects are more immediately apparent in the personal sphere. With Venus in retro mode relationships are being tested. There has been a lot of strain and pressure on couples of all ages and around the world in recent weeks. How will we cope with this amount of stress? The unexpected and cumulative effects of suddenly ‘being locked up’ with your mate, lover, husband or wife, or with the whole family, 24/7, for weeks on end are taking their toll. Add to that the anxiety over the welfare of elderly relatives, or grief over losing loved ones, job insecurity, and the strain of keeping the kids penned up and entertained, or suddenly having to homeschool them. It’s enough to crack anybody up. Venus in retro mode makes the cracks more visible. The crises that are emerging now are opportunities to put things in order, but that does not mean it’s going to be easy. How it will play out depends on where Gemini falls in your natal horoscope and what aspects Venus makes (to your natal placements) during this transit, as she slides back through Gemini.

Venus will turn direct again on June 25th, right as Jupiter and Pluto conjunct and Saturn is slipping back into Capricorn.

Sun/Moon trine Saturn

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

On this New Moon in Gemini, the Sun and Moon form a close trine with Saturn in Aquarius. Gemini and Aquarius are both air signs, which means that both are social and communicative. However, in this case, the naturally outgoing, light, and breezy attitude is somewhat constrained by Saturn  (his own sign). We need to be socially responsible as we re-enter the social sphere. Keeping distance is harder than anyone ever thought it would be. Yet, complying with these distancing measures is the best thing we can do to demonstrate that we care about each other.

Mercury/Venus (R) square Neptune

The other aspect pattern that stands out is the Mercury/Venus conjunction, also in Gemini, forming a tight square with Neptune. This is a waxing square, the first that Venus and Mercury are forming with Neptune since they passed him in Pisces, thus initiating a new cycle. This suggests that certain murky facts may rise to the surface – perhaps via a whistleblower. It also indicates a likely response of denial and lies in order to diffuse the impact of those emerging facts. A possible scenario could be an investigation launched with the aim of clearing up why have so many lives been lost? Where did we go wrong? Why wasn’t this or that done earlier? Of course, this kind of inquiry also stimulates a rampant proliferation of conspiracy theories.

Looking at the more positive spectrum of possible manifestations, this can also indicate a willingness to rethink the future and to change our narrative for the post-Covid-19 world.

On a personal level, this is a good time to find meaning in all this suffering and to envision the path ahead. There are no promises that things will be alright, but we must take the chance nevertheless. The dual nature of both Gemini (Sun and Moon) and Pisces (Neptune) indicates that there is ambivalence. We are at a spiritual crossroads. Which is the right path? We all need to find an answer to that question individually – but we also need to have that discussion on a global level. How different countries, alliances, and regions respond to the aftermath of this first wave of the pandemic and what kind of future we will be shaping for ourselves remains to be seen.