Uranus is Afoot: Goin’ retro

Some say that astrology is the world’s oldest profession (well, maybe the second oldest). The premise here is that we’re all descended from stardust, and that astrology endeavors to correlate cycles in the cosmos with cycles in human activity. Bit of a stretch, you may well be thinking. Gravity only goes so far. But even Einstein grudgingly conceded the quantum principle he called “spooky action at a distance”… With that in mind, what’s on the cosmic radar this month that astrology might unentangle?

Last month’s column (“Capricorn Stellium: Redux”) explored planetary conjunctions and ingresses involving Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. Now it’s time to explore what happens when a planet goes retrograde. This month three planets –– Venus, Jupiter and Saturn –– go retrograde just a few days from now, starting May 11 to 14. When a planet retrogrades, it appears to be moving backwards from Earth’s perspective. That motion is an illusion, due to the relative difference in speed with which planets revolve around the Sun. Okay, picture this. You’re stopped at a red light. A fraction of a second before the light turns green, Vinny Testosteronie guns his ‘68 Pontiac GTO. He takes off, temporarily giving you the sensation of moving backwards. You even slam on your brakes. That’s the retrograde illusion.

In 2020, Venus retrogrades between May 13 to June 25, in the sign of Gemini. In astrology, the planet Venus corresponds to beauty, romance, and financial security: love and money, honey. But alas, when a planet is retrograde, it’s generally not a good time to initiate new activities which that planet rules. So, as for beauty, hold off on the Brazilian Butt Lift during this period. As for romance, it gets a little tricky. Pulp astrology is not my forte. But suffice it to say that lovers from the past may re-emerge. In which case, enjoy the nostalgia. But beware projecting past flings into future relationships at this time. Also, because this transit happens in the sign of Gemini (restless, quick-witted thinker), physical attraction alone isn’t going to cut it. I’m afraid you’ll need someone with a brain. I’ll leave the rest of this discussion to Dear Abby.

Jupiter retrogrades May 14, and turns direct again on September 13, 2020. Jupiter (direct) represents growth and expansion, good fortune, long-distance travel, among other benefits. Jupiter (retrograde), not so much. Jupiter’s prosperity and beneficence are curtailed. The fact that this retrograde occurs in the sign of Capricorn (cautious, controlled, disciplined) doesn’t help matters. The last time Jupiter was retrograde in Capricorn was in the summer of 2008. Not a happy time, especially in the mortgage business, and for the economy in general.  In today’s already Covid-crippled world, this forecast is no surprise. Ultimately, we will put the pieces back together. But certainly not in a straight line. The eventual recovery will very much be a two steps forward, one step backward approach. And the puzzle will look different when we’re done.

Now, Saturn. It retrogrades May 11 and turns direct on September 29, 2020. Besides symbolizing limitation and contraction, Saturn craves security and safety. Known as Father Time, Saturn is about teaching and wisdom, aging and the elderly. It will highlight the tensions, boundaries, and rules governing the conflicts between the greater social good versus the desires and freedoms of the individual. Translation: COVID-19 issues and challenges remain above the fold. Saturn begins its retrograde at one degree Aquarius, but it spends the majority of this transit in Capricorn, the sign it rules. That augments the power dynamic of this particular retrograde, raising the ante in the celestial poker game.

But wait, there’s more… retrogrades! Neptune goes retro on June 22, 2020 in the sign of Pisces, becoming direct on November 28, 2020. Mars is retrograde in Aries from September 9 – November 13, 2020. Both of these planets make their retrogrades in the signs they govern (Neptune rules Pisces, Mars rules Aries), again amping up the voltage of these transits. Mercury makes its second retrograde of the year between June 18 and July 12, and its third and final such passage from October 13 – November 3. Uranus and Pluto get into the retro drama this year as well. We’ve run out of planets to retrograde. Which is fortunate. Any more of this, and we’ll all be forced to retrograde our lunch.

There is hope. Last month’s column suggested changes in planetary alignments that foretell of scientific breakthroughs. Already we have seen the emergency FDA adoption of the drug remdesivir, shown to partially reduce morbidity and mortality in ICU-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. There will be many more shots on goal, with additional antiviral therapies as well as multiple vaccine clinical trials. Novel coronavirus testing, though still woefully inadequate, is ramping up. Mars retrograde in Aries favors research efforts. Neptune’s retrograde in Pisces has two harmonious aspects with Jupiter later this year, symbolism which supports the vision and inspiration needed to solve the COVID puzzle. So keep the faith. We will figure this out and regain our social equilibrium. It is said that politicians and economists are often wrong but never in doubt. Perhaps the same could be said about astrologers. But that’s the beauty of pretending to be an oracle –– you get to speak in riddles.

Jack Copeland is a retired busboy/radiologist, and Judd Foundation tour guide.

Sources for this column include: (1) Raymond Merriman’s book Forecast 2020, as well as Raymond Merriman’s “Free Weekly Forecast” (for the weeks beginning April 27, 2020 and May 4, 2020) @ https://www.mmacycles.com. (2) Learn Astrology Vol. One: Basic Principles by Marion March and Joan McEvers. (3) Notes from astrologer Tom Brady.