Are there bad placements?

Why yes, there are... 😈😈😈

People sometimes ask if they have a “bad” chart or if there are “bad” placements. I see a lot of sweet baby astrologers online answer unequivocally that there’s no such thing. Every chart, every placement offers an opportunity for goodness or badness, these sweet baby astrologers say, and our choices always matter, and there’s room for evolution, and so on, and it’s beautiful.

I agree with all that in a larger sense, but I have to tell you, there are bad placements.

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I’ve wanted to talk about this for a while, but now it’s become necessary. Things are happening, and March is here, and we’ve got two planets—who are friends with each other—stuck in uncomfortable positions. They are in bad placements. One of them is leaving at the end of the month, but the other is staying there for seven years.

They also happen to be the two most important planets in my chart, so I’m all the way invested (and very much crying).

What are the states of a placement?

Quick lesson on placements. Not every planet likes being in every sign, and some combinations are good, some are very good, some are bad, and some are very bad. Here’s what’s up.

  • Dignity: A planet is in its home sign. Like Mercury in Gemini. It’s a happy, comfortable place, and the planet’s power is strong.

  • Exaltation: The planet rejoices in this sign. It can access its highest powers.

  • Detriment: In its detriment, a planet is uncomfortable and cranky. This sign is always the opposite of its home ruler.

  • Fall: The planet is literally falling down in this position. It’s like drawing an upside down tarot card—the worst qualities of the planet come out in this environment. This sign is always the opposite of the exalted position.

Here’s a little chart I drew up of everyone and their respective positions, and it’s bumming me out that no sign is exalted in Gemini. We’re such scattered, flimsy messes that we don’t lift anyone else up to their higher potential? We’re air signs, we’re all about operating at a high level! I never realized this before, and I’m so, so grumpy about it.

What’s so bad this month?

Two big things are happening in March:

  1. Mercury is going retrograde in Pisces from the 5th to the 28th, so basically the whole month.

  2. Uranus is moving into Taurus on the 6th until April 25, 2026, so basically the next seven years.

Did you see that both planets are in their FALL? Now that you know what that is, you can join me in being highly concerned.

First, Mercury. Mercury is my baby, the ruler of my sign and the guardian of all communication. I like to talk, and Mercury in retrograde tends to ruin that for me (and for us all). He’s mental energy, and I like mine to be sharp, stimulated, and nimble—not confused, unfocused, and stuck. But not only is he all of those things while in retrograde, he’s in Pisces—watery, intuitive, deep Pisces. Pisces is a wave of emotions crashing down on his head, overwhelming him, and undermining his gifts for elocution and storytelling. Pisces can storytell too, but in a completely different genre. This renders Mercury speechless. This is Mercury retrograde and stuck in his feelings.

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Now, Uranus. Uranus is said to be the higher octave of Mercury, taking his gifts for wit and intellectual insight and elevating them to the level of a genius and a revolutionary. Mercury’s winds of change are transformed into tornadoes of decimation under Uranus’s domain—and they have the power to transport us to Oz. Uranus can move us from black and white to color when we didn’t even know such a thing was possible. So these two have a relationship, and I pay attention to how they are working together.

This month, Uranus is moving out of fiery, innovative Aries for a long, long time and settling down into earthy, solid Taurus. It’s an odd couple pairing. Uranus wants to break systems and doesn’t care about the collateral damage—anything for the cause!—while Taurus finds value in old things, keeping them around to serve their purpose, forcing them to commit. Uranus is stubborn but doesn’t mind breaking a contract or two—it’s the planet of divorce, after all. Taurus, however, never changes. They find something that works and they nurture it until it’s grown. They care about the consequences, because it’s their skin in the game.

This means a few things. We’re going to feel the battle between progress and tradition, and neither will completely overtake the other. All the changes that have occurred over the past seven years will finally stick, and we’ll have to see them through to fruition. We’ll have to commit and deal with the consequences. Any big ideas that do survive will have material impact. We may see more natural disasters, as Taurus is an earth sign. This is climate change. Our planet is quickly becoming inhospitable to life, and nothing short of a political revolution (could be peaceful but will need to be a radical change!) will be strong enough to turn that tide. The very idea of a Green New Deal is a (hopeful) representation of Uranus in Taurus.

Uranus is all about reinvention

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Seven years is an era. It’s about how long it takes for you to reinvent yourself, and as soon as I said that to myself, I remembered that Uranus is the planet of invention and reinvention. Of course. After seven years, you realize you’ve replaced so many of your own floorboards that you’re a new ship. Seven years is when you’re due for a rebrand. Seven years is when a decade actually turns. Seven years is the start of a new chapter.

Uranus moved into Aries on March 11, 2011. It moved into Taurus last year on May 15th, and then quickly retrograded back into Aries. On the 6th, it’s in Taurus until 2026.

Think about what you were doing in 2011. Think about last May and realize that you may have experienced a preview of what’s to come. Nothing big is going to happen on the day (not necessarily). But this transit means we’re going to be feeling Uranus nudging us into our future, whether or not we like the direction. We may not like it, but that’s where we’re going. Taurus wants to keep everything just as it is, but Uranus is obsessed with the future and psychotically optimistic. He has no feelings for anything left behind, only allegiance to the bright new world he’s building. Even if it feels like he’s destroyed your life (me, me, this is me), you’ve got to trust in his vision. You may not understand (he is a genius, after all), but he is leading us all somewhere better. Whatever. I hope he saves the planet.


I’m painfully aware that I’m overdue on March ‘scopes for subscribers, and I’m working on it! I aim to get them out before the new moon on the 5th. Thanks as always for your patience with these.