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Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay 

“May you live in interesting times” is a phrase that is often used ironically. There is an assumption that life is better in non-interesting times, and that “interesting” times are in fact quite troublesome. Time will tell.

But interesting times are also opportunities to examine our life, our choices and how we choose to live.

There are definitely some interesting influences at play at present, so let’s explore those and how they might impact our choices.

The New Moon in Gemini

The New Moon in Gemini arrives May 22 at 17:38 UTC, roughly halfway between the traditional date for Bealtaine (Northern Hemisphere) and Samhain (Southern Hemisphere) and the coming Solstice on June 20th. Perhaps you are already starting to feel the energies around you shift towards the coming Solstice energy, marking the “hinge” when the Sun shifts from waxing to waning (NH) and waning to waxing (SH).

In yesterday’s Moon Seeds newsletter, I shared the energetics of both the New Moon and Gemini, how the Gemini energy raises our awareness to the dualities within us and how we can reframe those opposing Gemini energies and even embrace them. If you haven’t yet subscribed to Moon Seeds, click here.

Venus Retrograde

There are other energies at play at present, such as the Venus Retrograde, which began on May 13th and ends June 25th. When in retrograde, a planet appears to be moving backward. Of course, this is an optical illusion, but astrologers believe that retrograde motion presents an exception or challenge to the typical qualities associated with that planet. This is similar to how many view a tarot card when upside down: it presents a challenge, a reversal of the usual interpretation. Those who work with the astrological energies would recognize this Retrograde as an important influence on us.

Like Gemini, Venus too is sociable but more related to romantic love, abundance and beauty.  So when it is in retrograde, we may feel conflicted about those areas of our lives, and the Gemini duality may reinforce that.

Pandemic Influence

Unfortunately the Venus Retrograde is happening during a pandemic lockdown and the reversal of how we experience the qualities of romantic love, abundance and beauty may be experienced even more strongly.

Romantic love: You may feel that our romantic relationships are in crisis or simply out of kilter, with any existing tensions or fragility under even greater pressure. Some of us are in isolation 24/7 with partners and loved ones, and perhaps feeling the tension of that too. Sadly, violence against domestic partners, mostly women, has escalated dramatically during the lockdown. Some of us are alone, perhaps reinforcing our sense of loneliness or isolation, and we may be longing for our partners, family, loved ones in seniors homes or elsewhere. Alternately, some are enjoying spending some time on their own.

Abundance: You may feel the opposite of abundance, such as seeing the world through the filter of “lack” which can lead to hoarding and other behaviours. Of course, due to the pandemic situation, some of us may be experiencing a true lack of abundance such as lost income; inability to source sufficient food, personal protective equipment, household or personal products or even medicine; access to needed services; devalued stock portfolios, etc.

Beauty: You may become highly critical of your appearance or how others see you. And dare I mention lockdown haircuts? This in particular has been a source of both concern and bemusement in social media. But in terms of beauty, and how we regard our Self, some of us may become more critical of our appearance at this time. But beauty is found in many places . . . some are finding it in nature, in our homes, in a word, a book, and I encourage you to find beauty despite the retrograde!

What might these influences manifest?

The New Moon is an intutive and emotional time. Both emotions and intuition may be felt even more deeply and keenly.

Retrogrades can influence one’s perspective and some will find they are experiencing negative emotions: fear, anxiety, doubt, confusion, etc. Experiencing these negatives states and influences can contribute to higher stress, which can lead to adverse effects on our health: increased blood pressure or heart rate, increased levels of cortisol and other hormones, headaches, weight gain, increased blood sugar, etc.

I encourage you to look at ways to eliminate stress or reduce your reaction to stress through whatever ways resonate with you: meditation, walking, reading a book, listening to music, creating art, enjoying a cup of herbal tea, singing, playing an instrument, exercising, yoga, supporting your immunity system with healthy foods and herbal supplements, focusing on sleep hygiene. If stress is something you cannot manage on your own, consult your preferred health practitioner.

Fortunately, the Venus Retrograde is a temporary condition, and it will pass. 

But some events and conditions, such as the current pandemic and lockdown, may also be temporary but will likely have a much longer duration and impact, or may return in a second or third wave.

As I write this post, some of us are already experiencing an easing of some previous protocols and restrictions that were put in place as COVID-19 initially spread through our communities. You may be feeling that some of our losses and restrictions are being restored or reversed. Yet how well the re-opening will succeed or how quickly normality will be restored may not be immediately apparent.

Making new choices

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

The lockdown and pandemic protocol changes for most of us were sudden and profound. Some of us have found it deeply distressing on many levels. But many have also found surprising positive qualities: a quieter environment, perhaps enjoying working from home, appreciating less time commuting to work, reassessing wants vs needs, appreciating the slower pace and the opportunity to focus on activities they love, etc.

Raise your awareness to how you would prefer to live. Be mindful of what no longer resonates with you, what you can stop doing . . . . and start doing.

For each of us, we have an opportunity to consider what is “normal” for each of us, and how we may want to redefine “normal” moving forward. And not just for ourselves but for our community and our culture. 

This time truly is a life-changing experience. An initiatory experience, a liminal time when everything is different before and after. And perhaps you will experience a paradigm shift in how you view the world and how you interact with it moving forward. 

It may take some time to work your way through this, especially as needs and circumstances shift and change. And that’s okay. You are finding a new way of being, a new way to express your self in this world, perhaps even a new path.

What will you choose?