When you're assessing your natal chart, you first look at the locations of planets and houses in the signs, the houses the planets fall in, and aspects they make. You can look at aspects the planets make to one another, as well as to the angles in your natal chart.
The angles are the Ascendant (usually the 1st house cusp), the Descendant (usually the 7th house cusp), the Imum Coeli (usually the 4th house cusp), and the Midheaven (usually the 10th house cusp). The angles govern the four pillars of your life: the self (Ascendant) and others (Descendant), the home/family/internal foundation (Imum Coeli) and goals/external foundation (Midheaven).
You can look for planets conjunct, sextile/trine, or square your angles. This article will cover planets that are square!
What is the Imum Coeli and Midheaven?
The Midheaven is external, focused on your goals, ambitions, and direction in life. The Midheaven is the highest part of your chart, and so it’s tied to what you aspire to be. Because of this, it’s often tied to career, what we want professionally, but the goals we have can go outside of our professional lives, so it’s not exclusively that. It can show anything that we look up to, aspire to be, and respect. This position also shows your life path, the direction that your life goes in, but this is more often seen through transits, progressions, and in return charts. In the natal chart, it’s more the approach you can take to your life path.
The Imum Coeli is exactly opposite the Midheaven, so it’s internal and focused on the personal. It governs your home and family, your roots and where you come from. It’s the very bottom of your chart (hence being your roots). We all start at the bottom with the Imum Coeli, and rise to the Midheaven (at least, we can try to!). The kind of family you had growing up, the kind of home life you want to have, and what you hold at your core can be found with the Imum Coeli.
Natal planets that are square your Midheaven/Imum Coeli axis can be seen as a block to balancing the internal and external, and may get in the way of having a solid foundation for your life, constantly creating rifts and shaking things up too much. It becomes very important to work on the issues associated with the block so you can create a solid foundation for yourself and life, and find the balance.
Natal Planets Square the Natal Imum Coeli & Midheaven Axis:
The Sun: There can be challenges with achieving what you set out to do, and problems at home or personally can cause problems for your goals, and problems professionally can cause problems at home or personally. You may need to work on developing solid self-confidence, believing in yourself more without being arrogant, and working hard for what you want while not ignoring personal needs.
The Moon: There can be challenges with controlling your emotions, and this can create problems for you at home and professionally. You may be unsatisfied with your home life and with your career, but may lack motivation to do something about it. You may need to work on taking positive action to create change, and to make a conscious effort to use your talents and skills.
Mercury: There can be challenges with communication that hampers your ability to succeed or balance the internal and external. You may be scattered, all over the place with your goals and personally, and this can create all sorts of problems for you. Having better focus needs to be worked on, and sticking with things. If Mercury is retrograde, the different way you communicate and see the world may be the source of the problem, and you need to work on finding and accepting your own way.
Venus: There can be challenges with feeling appreciated at home or professionally. You may feel that you’re not getting the love and affection you want at home, or the recognition you deserve professionally. Challenges at home or professionally can lead to an unhappy social life. Finding more self-love and not looking for it externally may need to be worked on. If Venus is retrograde, the different ways in which you express affection and connect may be at the root of the challenges, and you need to work on opening up more.
Mars: There can be challenges with authority figures, parents, bosses, mentors, etc. and you may struggle with separating what happens professionally with what happens at home, so you can bring problems professionally into your personal life and vice versa. There is likely some underlying anger issues that need to be worked on, and an outlet to channel energy into can help. If Mars is retrograde, the different ways in which you use energy and pursue what you want may be a hindrance, and you need to work on finding motivation and not making excuses.
Jupiter: There can be challenges with thinking too big, too broad, and lacking a practical approach or sense of reality with your goals. You may talk big but not follow it up with action. You can come up with big goals, but may be lazy with pursuing them. Issues at home or personally can grow quickly if you don’t deal with them right away, so don’t run from issues. Work to take a more active role in your life.
Saturn: There can be challenges with restriction, often through too many responsibilities, both personally and professionally. Others may make demands of you that are unrealistic, and you may try to shoulder the burden, but it only serves to overwhelm you. Work on finding some space within your limitations, and stop taking on responsibilities that aren’t yours. You may find that the biggest obstacle in your path - is you.
Uranus: There can be challenges with instability at home and professionally, and you may create sudden changes with your goals so you never really achieve anything, or you may create sudden changes at home or personally that leave you on shaky ground at all times. Controlling the rebellious urge and need for constant stimulation is important, and finding creative ways to channel the energy can be helpful.
Neptune: There can be challenges with being focused on your goals, personally or professionally. This may cause you to be scattered, uncertain, and easily deceived by others who want to drive you down a path that isn’t good for you. You can be dreamy with your goals, but lack reality or action. Getting clear about your goals in life can help, and having some good boundaries between you and others.
Pluto: There can be challenges with disruption and upheaval in your life that can cause problems personally and professionally. You may become obsessed with a goal or with something in your personal life to the detriment of everything else, and need to take a step back. You may want to transform things too much, and need to be more practical about what’s possible and more realistic about what really needs to be changed.
Chiron: There can be challenges with healing yourself that gets in the way of allowing you to feel you have a strong foundation or achieving anything in your life. The more you avoid healing, the harder it gets. Healing and growth can feed your foundation and help you strengthen it. This can then help you to help others, though you do need to make sure you have solid boundaries and don’t become self important.
Lunar Nodes: This may show that balancing the internal and external, personal and professional, and having a solid foundation needs to be achieved in order for you to get on your spiritual, karmic path to find your potential and purpose. Until then, a shaky foundation and imbalance with the personal and professional can create lots of problems in your life and keep you from your potential. Removing blocks to imbalance and strengthening your internal foundation can be of great help.
Suggested Reading: The 4th House and 10th House pages for planets in the houses and signs on the cusp
March now! The month of March brings us a full moon in Virgo to get things done, and a new moon in Aries to take action. Onward!
What is a new moon?
A new moon occurs when the transit (moving) Sun and Moon are in the exact same position in the Zodiac (called a conjunction). New moons are related to beginnings, have high energy, and are enthusiastic.
What is a full moon?
A full moon occurs when the transit (moving) Sun and Moon are in the exact opposite positions in the Zodiac (called an opposition). Full moons are related to endings, culminations, and are emotional energy.
Full Moon in Virgo: March 9th 2020 (1:48PM ET)
The Virgo full moon is generally a great time to get things done. Get. Things. Done! Virgo is the most productive of the signs, always wanting plenty to do and work on, and full moons are times of endings, so this is the time to make a list, check it twice, and get it done, pronto. Virgo doesn't do things halfway through - it takes too much pride in its work! - so while you can get working pronto, and get a lot done, you'll make sure it's all done well so you don't have to do it again. That would just be a giant waste of time, and Virgo hates that!
Virgo is the sign of work, so this is also a good time to focus on work projects that you need to finish, and this can be the job that pays (your "job" job), and the jobs that don't (like at home). There's plenty of work to be done, all the time, so get going with it. Get organized, tweak your routine and schedule, and you'll get even more work finished, and as best as you can. Just watch for perfectionism (classic Virgo).
With everything that's to be done (and done right), Virgo is also a sign that stresses out pretty easily, and that is heightened in a big way with a Virgo full moon. This can be a highly stressful period for everyone, and there may be something important that we're ripping to shreds over the details, and we may want to vomit about it. It's easy to stress yourself into sickness under a Virgo full moon. So, make sure you take breaks (napping is not a weakness), don't demand more of yourself than is realistic, and know your limits. It's okay to say no to a project!
The full moon is trine (positive aspect, 4 signs away) Jupiter in Capricorn and opposite Neptune in Pisces. The trine to Jupiter helps with getting things done, and we can be more optimistic than usual with a Virgo full moon. The opposition to Neptune can bring some fogginess though, and focus may not be as great as usual. We may need better boundaries, and to do a better job protecting ourselves. We can be super worn out and burned down if we're not careful. Rest, yes, very important with this full moon!
The full moon occurs at 19 degrees 37 minutes Virgo. The aspects this full moon makes are:
Conjunction: 17 degrees 37 minutes - 21 degrees 37 minutes Virgo
Sextile: 17 degrees 37 minutes - 21 degrees 37 minutes Cancer or Scorpio
Square: 17 degrees 37 minutes - 21 degrees 37 minutes Gemini or Sagittarius
Trine: 17 degrees 37 minutes - 21 degrees 37 minutes Taurus or Capricorn
Opposition: 17 degrees 37 minutes - 21 degrees 37 minutes Pisces
New Moon in Aries: March 24th 2020 (5:29AM ET)
The new moon in Aries is a great time of the year for energy and drive, which are an Aries thing. Aries wants to get out there and get moving, do something, anything! Not the time to sit back and let things slide by. This is the time to get moving, to take action, to take initiative and GO! Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, so this sign corresponds to new beginnings. Take the energy and use it to start something new that excites you, that you're enthusiastic about, and that you've been dying to get started with.
The Virgo full moon may zap energy and require some naps, but the Aries new moon says, hey, I got this! Coming out of the full moon, we can use it too. This may be focused for you on the areas of life ruled by the house the new moon occurs in.
Aries can be impatient, impulsive, reckless, and accident-prone, so do watch for that. Try to control the energy as best as you can, and channel it into something productive. Work on small changes you can accomplish quickly, and keep yourself physically busy. It's a great time for exercise!
This new moon is pretty interesting because it's conjunct (aligned with) both Chiron and Black Moon Lilith in Aries. Chiron is an asteroid called the "wounded healer" and governs the wounds we have and how we can heal from them, so this new moon says that it's a great time for healing (also note that Virgo is the sign of health, so this seems to be a good month for healing in many ways). Black Moon Lilith is the apogee of the Moon and represents inner power, so the new moon can also provoke us to stand up, feel empowered, and speak out in some way. We may decide to stand up and speak out because of some sort of hurt, some wound that we're acutely aware of, and we just can't take it anymore and have to do something. We may encounter some opposition as we do, but we're so driven to do something that we don't stop. We know we're in the right!
The new moon occurs at 4 degrees 12 minutes Aries. The aspects this new moon makes are:
Conjunction: 2 degrees 12 minutes - 6 degrees 12 minutes Aries
Sextile: 2 degrees 12 minutes - 6 degrees 12 minutes Gemini or Aquarius
Square: 2 degrees 12 minutes - 6 degrees 12 minutes Cancer or Capricorn
Trine: 2 degrees 12 minutes - 6 degrees 12 minutes Leo or Sagittarius
Opposition: 2 degrees 12 minutes - 6 degrees 12 minutes Libra
Suggested Reading: The New & Full Moons page for general interpretations by house and aspect
As we gear up for the day of love, let's continue with the love astrology focus! For this article, we're going to cover the Lunar Nodes and their impact on love in astrology.
What are the Lunar Nodes?
The Lunar Nodes are the points in the Moon's orbit where the Moon crosses the ecliptic. There are two Lunar Nodes, a North Node and a South Node, and they exactly oppose one another. The North Node represents your potential, your future, where you can find ultimate life satisfaction, but you have to grow into it and it can feel uncomfortable because it's unfamiliar.
The South Node represents your past, your karma, the baggage you carry from past lives or early in this life, but it's familiar and comfortable so you can fall back to it in times of stress and upset, using it as an emotional crutch, and that has to be moved away from. For each of us, this is found through the house and sign location of each Lunar Node, as well as any planets conjunct them.
If you have your North Node in the 5th house (of love) or 7th house (of relationships), or your natal Venus in your North Node sign, this can show that you can actually create great connections with others, and you can really find yourself through your relationships. But because it's unfamiliar and uncomfortable, you'll usually avoid this for a while, until you've worked out whatever issues are blocking you, and get some courage to take the next step.
If you have your South Node in the 5th or 7th houses, or your natal Venus is in your South Node sign, this can show that you're comfortable being in relationships and with others, but you may give too much and have relationship baggage that needs to be released. In your case, learning how to be in a relationship with yourself may be needed.
The Lunar Nodes & Synastry
We often attract people to us who connect with our Lunar Nodes through one of their personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars), or their Ascendant or Descendant. For better or worse! Those who connect to the North Node tend to be people who are meant to bring us forward in life in some way. Sometimes this is a positive experience, but because of the discomfort of the North Node, it's quite often a challenging one that we can learn from. The North Node people in our lives are meant to help us grow, however that actually comes through.
Those who connect to the South Node tend to be people we're pretty comfortable with and keep coming back to, but this can serve to hold us back. Remember that the South Node governs baggage, so these are people who can bring that baggage out in not-so-good ways, or are a part of that baggage themselves. The South Node people in our lives can give us some comfort, but without other more positive connections, we're likely meant to move away from them.
The Lunar Nodes are considered karmic and spiritual in nature, so connections via the Lunar Nodes are seen as karmic and spiritual. The whole, for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? Lunar Node connections are for a reason (sometimes for a season or lifetime, but that usually depends on other factors). North Node connections are meant to be for this life for a reason, hence being unfamiliar and uncomfortable; South Node connections come from past lives with us, hence being familiar and comfortable yet with baggage.
Lunar Node Transits & Relationships
The transit (moving) Lunar Nodes can move through the houses of your natal chart and aspect your natal planets. When the North Node is in the 5th or 7th houses, or conjunct your natal Venus, this can be a positive time for relationships if you move forward as you should. Connections you make during these periods can be lasting. When the South Node is in the 5th or 7th house, or conjunct your natal Venus, this can stir up some old relationship issues, and you may fall back on bad relationship habits or run to people you shouldn't. Use the period to release the baggage and the people who aren't serving you well.
The transit planets can also conjunct your Lunar Nodes, and if your Lunar Nodes are in your 5th or 7th houses or with your natal Venus, this can bring out the relationship stuff that has to be faced, dealt with, courageously moved forward. Each year, transit Venus (the planet of love) conjuncts each of your Lunar Nodes, and when conjunct your North Node, this can be the time of year when you can open to positive relationship experiences and grow; and when conjunct your South Node, this can be the time of year when you're grabbing back people from the past or relationship vices that need to be released.
Suggested Reading: Identifying Baggage With South Node Astrology
Another Mercury retrograde is nearly here, and there's always lots of focus on what this can impact for you. For this article, we're going to go into how retrogrades can impact relationships in astrology.
What is a retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward through the Zodiac from our view here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backward, and just looks that way. This is reverse motion for the planets, so their energy can get thrown off. Mercury retrogrades 3-4 times each year for about 3 weeks, Venus every 1 1/2 years for about 1 1/2 months, Mars every 2 - 2 1/2 years for 2 - 2 1/2 months, and Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde for months at a time every year. The Sun and Moon don't retrograde.
Transit Retrogrades & Relationships
When Mercury or Mars retrograde in your 5th house (of love) or 7th house (of relationships), or aspect your natal Venus, this can impact your relationships. You can experience challenges in existing relationships that have to be worked on, or you can reconnect with people from the past. You may become aware of old subconscious issues with Mercury, or have to deal with motivations in relationships with Mars. Communication has to be mindful, otherwise both can result in some epic fights and nasty exchanges.
Since Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are retrograde for months at a time, their impact isn't very strong. With Jupiter, you may grow lazier in dealing with issues; with Saturn, you may struggle with responsibilities; with Uranus, you may feel restless and impulsive; with Neptune, you may have a hard time seeing what's there; and with Pluto, you may want some space.
Venus is the planet of love, so Venus retrograde is the only one that impacts relationships regardless of where the retrograde is occurring or what aspects it's making. When Venus is retrograde, there tends to be all sorts of relationship problems! We often see people break up or get back together under Venus retrograde. It's usually best not to make a rash decision though, and try to understand what it is that the Venus retrograde may be trying to get you to see.
Natal Retrogrades & Relationships
If one of your natal planets is retrograde and is located in the 5th or 7th houses, conjunct your natal Venus, or is the 5th or 7th house ruler, that retrograde planet has some bearing on your relationships. It'll be much stronger when it's Mercury, Venus, or Mars, and this can show you have some big relationship or love issues to work on, and that your whole approach to relationships may be on the unconventional side. With Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto, you simply may go about relationships in a slightly different way, or go for people who are a little different.
Retrogrades & Synastry
If you have Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde in your natal chart (so you were born while they were retrograde), and someone else's planet conjuncts, this can elevate the nature of your retrograde planet in your dealings with one another. When it's one of their personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) or Jupiter, they may actually like the way your retrograde planet operates. While you may normally encounter people who don't like it, they may list it as one of the things they like most about you! When it's Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto, this can create challenges in the relationship.
Often, when you have Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde, you'll want to be with someone who has that same planet retrograde in their natal chart or progressed chart (which can make them comfortable with the retrograde energy now). You fit together nicely because you understand a part of your charts that is usually one of the most, if not the most, challenging part of your chart. There's less of a desire to change that as you understand it in one another. You're two strange peas from the same strange pod!
Suggested Reading: Articles in the love astrology series: Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the 12th house, Chiron, eclipses, the Lunar Nodes, and the Asteroids of Your Name