Philosophers have long explored the human struggle between right and wrong. The venerated book, the Tao Te Ching, includes a quote by Chinese sage Lao Tzu; “Without darkness, there can be no light.” Since the species first crawled out of our ancient caves, we’ve been trying to make sense of good and bad, happiness and pain. We’ve developed incredible stories of punishing and rewarding gods, all judging us for living along some sort of moral guidelines.

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Today the Sun shifted into airy Gemini, the same sign as Mercury is in, moving retrograde and making things a little erratic and strange. Typically the solar move into Gemini comes with a social lightness, a feeling of movement and inquisitiveness where the heaviness of normal reality is a little more interesting because our curiosity is a piqued by new contacts and new possibilities. But Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, isn’t communicating clearly. When Mercury goes retrograde, we have to slow down and rethink things. We have to take extra time to do things correctly because often the details are not quite right. Traffic, communication breakdowns, misunderstandings… all force us to redo what we tried to do the first time.

But there’s more on our astrological plates right now, and it isn’t just Mercury retrograde (which continues until June 11). Venus is passing through self-protective Cancer, and is getting a bit worked up by some larger outer planetary energies. Venus opposed mythic Lord of the Underworld Pluto today, and will square destabilizing Uranus on Monday. Venus in Cancer is a domestic sweetheart, urging us to tend to our need for comfort and security. During this transit of maternal and cautious Cancer, Venus can help us value those little personal things that make our lives more enjoyable– people, pets, places, foods. But there’s also a potential for some touchiness, like we want to remain private and secure in our little bubble. And Pluto and Uranus are not going to let that happen.

Pluto and Uranus shake us out of our comfort zone because otherwise we would remain stagnant. That’s where the so-called “darkness” comes in. Often the things that propel us to make change, to move forward, to stop the cycle– are not warm and fuzzy. It may be an extreme loss or failure that forces us out of a routine, but it can also be as small as a frustration with someone we trusted. And all of a sudden we see ourselves differently. The world is unfamiliar. It may seem like a negative thing hit us, but that’s because we’re human beings and we seek the familiar and the safe. And life is not always that way. We are human, and we get angry. We sulk, we say mean things, we lie, cheat, and steal. And we are not monsters. But it’s part of us.

So this next week or so, while defensiveness and vulnerability issues may surface in somewhat unexpected ways, try to remember that there is nothing constant except change. And denying the darkness in ourselves or others only leads to isolation and blame. Nothing is black and white, and the darkness (regardless of how minimal or vast) never lasts forever. The message of this astrology is to release past emotional entanglements, things that hold us back in patterns of history and family tradition. We can use this to expand our view of the brilliant light ahead.




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