Lunar and Solar Eclipses, Mars in Leo, Trump’s Astrology, Jupiter aligned to Pluto-Uranus and Mercury Retrograde, a lot to process in August and September

Donald Trump + August Solar Eclipse

a picture is worth a thousand words

This article was published, in a shorter form, in the Uki Village News, at the beginning of August 2017

Mars in Leo aligned to the August Eclipses. Whoopee!

An intense Eclipse Season is again upon us, this time aligned to the axis Leo-Aquarius (and indirectly to Taurus-Scorpio) and made livelier by being associated with Mars. The Eclipses are: a Lunar at the Full Moon in Aquarius (opposite Sun-Mars conjunct in Leo) on August 8, and a Solar at the Leo New Moon, on August 22, aligned this time to Uranus in Aries, the traditional Sign of Mars, while Mars itself will be by then conjunct the Moon’s North Node, an interception point on the Earth orbit which is connected to Eclipses.

The Mars theme is obviously strong at this time, enhancing the possibility of confrontations, conflicts and escalation of issues that may have been dormant for a while. In a positive sense this means a clearing of the air and a healthy moving away from stale situations, especially after the second Eclipse. The August 8 Lunar Eclipse represents in fact a climax of some kind, when things are revealed or realized, while the Solar Eclipse, on August 22, signifies a cutting off from the past and a radical new start.

Mars in Leo

Mars, the main catalyst of all these cosmic energies, will be transiting Leo between July 20 and September 5.

When Mars moves Sign, every two months or so, a shift occurs in the way we act out our desires, assert ourselves and defend ourselves from real or imagined dangers. Naturally people with different planetary placements in their Birth Charts will respond to Mars’ changing energy in their own individual way.

Mars in Leo provides the type of energy that can be spontaneously channeled into creative activities. The energy should be high and focused. Brightness and warmth accompany this placement when found in a Birth Chart. Collectively also this Mars’ position can provide added warmth, brilliance and passion to everyone’s life.

Mars will remain in Leo until September 6. Leo is considered a positive placement for Mars, providing the fiery passion the Red Planet feeds on, but also containing that passion and controlling it, enabling us to utilize the positive energy for creative and enterprising feats.

Donald Trump’s Astrology

A case in point:  the transits to the Birth Horoscope of USA President Trump. Around the time of the Lunar Eclipse, on August 8, transiting Mars will be aligned to Trump’s Birth Pluto (one explosive conjunction, like putting a live match in a keg of dynamite); while, during the second event, Mars will be close to his Birth Mars and the Solar Eclipse degree will be in near perfect alignment to his Birth Ascendant (born in NY on June 14 1946, official time 10.54 am). Both Mars and Jupiter are soon due to return to his Birth Horoscope’s positions, marking endings and new beginnings. At the same time Saturn is forming the last alignment to his Moon (conjunction) and Sun (opposition) in August and September, the same transit active since his presidential inauguration, making the job itself feel very hardous to Trump, the routines tiresome, the responsibilities heavy. All these combined factors further stress the significance of this period in his life.

Two New Moons in Leo, one on July 23, the other on August 22

The first New Moon in Leo occurred on July 23 2017, at 7.45 pm. The New Moon fell on the same day the Sun entered Leo (1.15 am), and just about an hour after the ingress of the Moon in Leo (6.33 pm). Because that New Moon was at the very beginning of the Sign there will be another Leo New Moon on August 22, on the 28th degree of Leo, just before the Sun‘s ingress into Virgo. This latter New Moon will be the Solar Eclipse spoken of before.

Jupiter alignment to Pluto and Uranus

Collectively, to add to the intensity of all the above, Libran Jupiter will be forming its last major alignments to Uranus and Pluto (before entering Scorpio on October 10): a right angle to Pluto in Capricorn on August 5 (close to the Lunar Eclipse) and an opposition to Uranus in Aries on September 28. In this case the Cardinal Signs are highlighted, also showing that accelerated changes, even upheavals, are now possible and the start of brand new phases in the life of the collective as well as many individuals. The role of Jupiter is to help us strive toward greater understanding of our place in the world, lifting us up and out of a too personal outlook on life. Its alignments to two of the most powerful ‘astrological transformers’, Pluto and Uranus, is now matching Jupiter’s widening of perspective with greater willingness to embrace radical changes, even if it means cutting the roots of deep attachments and lifelong habits.

Mercury Retrograde, a reminder…

Finally to make the period even more ‘interesting’ Mercury will turn Retrograde between August 12 and September 6, from Virgo back into Leo. To read more about Mercury’s Retro period  please navigate to my July post HERE.

Happy transits everyone.

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Jupiter in Libra, friend or foe?

'The assembly of the Gods around the throne of Jupiter' by Giulio Romano. From the vault of the 'Sala dei Giganti', in Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy

‘The assembly of the Gods around the throne of Jupiter’ by Giulio Romano. From the vault of the ‘Sala dei Giganti’, in Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy

Here is a longer version of an article published in the Uki Village News, October/November 2016 issue.

From September 9 this year until October 10 next year Jupiter will be transiting the Cardinal Air Sign of Libra.  This transition resonated with a bang: possibly the largest ever nuclear warhead was tested in North Korea on the very day of the transition; no surprising given that Jupiter never does anything half measure. It is not all gloom and doom though, most students of Astrology, including myself, consider Jupiter in Libra a mainly positive development for the collective.

The recent transit through Virgo (with Jupiter involved, on/off, in a rather difficult and paradoxical configuration involving stingy Saturn and open-handed Neptune) did manifest as a stifling of the generous impulses and optimism traditionally associated with this planet. This coming 12 months Jupiter will instead align to Uranus and Pluto, all now in Cardinal dynamic Signs, more likely to inspire collective changes of a great magnitude.

The fear of changes, reflected by Jupiter in timid Virgo, may be replaced by enthusiasm for trying new ideas and policies, and perhaps the ruthlessness necessary to cut the roots of a noxious past, with those in power hopefully more willing to take up the need of radical reforms.

The periods more likely to see the outer manifestation of these new cosmic alignments will be November to late December 2016, March, and then August to late September 2017. These transits will encourage many to embrace changes, collectively aligning ourselves to principles of justice and equality. In particular people with Air, Fire and Cardinal Signs highlighted in their Birth Horoscopes will be more likely to respond to this cosmic vibes, embracing a more adventurous and risk taking philosophy of life.

At the personal level the big planet could help us find new friends and make new contacts with the greater world.  Finally, Jupiter in Libra is a stalwart patron of the arts. This could be a time of feeling inspired again, in love, art and social ideals. Most importantly, it’s a time of finding our inspirations together.

Jupiter in Libra in recent history

Looking back in history at the time, last century and this, when Jupiter transited Libra (at interval of 12 years) it is easy to see how, even without the accompanying alignment to revolutionary Uranus and trans-formative Pluto active in 2017, this transit tends to manifest as positive changes to the ideological and philosophical mindset of the planet. Civil Rights and Grass Roots Movements, for example, receive a new impetus with open minded Jupiter transiting peace loving, cooperative Libra. Jupiter supports works of reconciliation between warring parties, the signature of important contracts, be they constitutions, trade deals, or something a bit more personal.

If that sounds philosophical, it’s because we’re going to be in a philosophical state of mind during Jupiter in Libra, which will form a positive aspect (sextile) to Saturn in Sagittarius, a Sign traditionally ruled by Jupiter himself.

Many financial astrologers reckon that the cardinal T-square, involving Jupiter to Uranus and Pluto, will manifest as a major economic re-balancing, or “market correction”, with equal winners and losers. Libra is balance, not meaning that balance is always achieved, but rather that balance is the ultimate goal.

Peace accords and trade agreements of great international consequence have been signed during past Jupiter’s transits through Libra, strengthening hopes that the cease fire in Syria, decided on the day Jupiter entered Libra, may hold and eventually bring permanent peace to the region.  Jupiter in Libra, at its best, could de-escalate many conflicts, at the personal and collective level, at least for a time.   Venus, traditionally associated with Libra, will go through a retrograde period starting in the opposite Sign of Aries from early March to mid April 2017, possibly an obstacle or an extended crisis in any peace process.

I list here few historical examples of events associated with the transits of Jupiter in Libra:

  • In 1946 many trials for genocide and crimes against humanity were held in Nurenberg, to bring some sense of justice to the millions who had suffered before and during WWII. Strangely enough the previous transit of Jupiter in Libra (1933/34) had witnessed the promulgations of the racial laws in Germany! I cannot help seeing the similarity in the world’s situation at present, divided as we are along racial, ideological and religious borders.
  • The Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1957, a great step toward social justice in the USA.
  • 1968/69 were the iconic years of grass roots movements becoming very active in all western countries, ushering the beginning of the end of the Vietnam war, the rise of political and social reforms, the so called sexual revolution etc. In 1968 there were mass protests and violent clashes in Ireland, producing some concessions to Catholic in a bitterly divided country.
  • In 1992/93 the Oslo accord was signed, the first in the long running Israel/Palestinian saga.
  • In 1992/93 also a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was also signed by the USA and Russia.
  • A single European market was created in 1992, eliminating trade barriers in Europe.
  • In the same years South Africa abandoned its nuclear weapons program, and the International Chemical Weapons Convention was established.
  • In 1992 the Church of England admitted women to the priesthood for the first time. Also in 1992 the Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was unveiled in New York, raising awareness to the plight of million ostracised sufferers. In 1992, again the USA, women were allowed to fly military aircrafts and the first female attorney General was elected.
  • In 2004/05 Kuwati women regained the right to vote (!).
  • The rise of social Networking, the most powerful grass roots movement of our modern era: the World Wide Web was released as a royalty free application in April 1993, sparking a global wave of multicultural cooperation; Facebook was born in 2004 and Youtube in 2005; freedom loving net users welcomed the release of the Ubuntu free and open source operating system in 2004. Furthermore Ubuntu’s precursor was released in 1993, another Jupiter in Libra epoch.
  • Advances in astronomy and space exploration:
  • 1957: first Sputnik launched by the Soviet Union.
  • 1958: birth of
  • 1969: first manned Moon landing (with Jupiter conjunct Uranus on the very first degree of the Sign); first trial flight of Concorde; Vietnam’s peace talks begin in Paris; first Boeing 747 commercial flight.
  • 1981: first orbital flight of the Space Shuttle.
  • 1993: space station agreement between the USA and Russia was signed, first act of space cooperation between these super powers.      

Earthquakes

Jupiter has been orbiting in alignment with the earth’s Equator for some time now, exerting a greater pull than usual on our planet, fact that could account for the numerous Earth’s tremors and major quake events of the last few weeks.

The ingress itself corresponded to the man-made Earth’s tremor caused by the latest and biggest nuclear test in North Korea (an eerie synchronicity).

For students of Astrology I am listing here the major transits active during the whole Jupiter in Libra period:

  • Mars in Capricorn squares Jupiter in Libra at 5 degrees, Wednesday, October 5th
  • Mercury conjuncts Jupiter 6 degrees Libra Tuesday, October 11th
  • Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn 15 degrees Thursday, November 24th
  • Venus in Capricorn squares Jupiter in Libra 15 degrees Friday, November 25th
  • Jupiter in Libra opposes Uranus retrograde in Aries 20 degrees Monday, December 26th
  • Sun in Capricorn squares Jupiter in Libra 22 degrees Wednesday, January 11th
  • Mercury in Capricorn squares Jupiter in Libra 23 degrees Thursday, February 2nd
  • Jupiter stations retrograde 23 degrees Libra Monday, February 6th
  • Mars in Aries opposes Jupiter Rx in Libra 22 degrees Monday, February 27th
  • Jupiter Rx in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries 22 degrees Thursday, March 2nd, 7:16 PM
  • Mercury in Aries opposes Jupiter Rx in Libra 20 degrees Friday, March 24th
  • Jupiter Rx in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn 19 degrees Thursday, March 30th
  • Sun in Aries opposes Jupiter Rx in Libra 18 degrees Friday, April 7th
  • Jupiter stations direct at 13 degrees Libra Friday, June 9th
  • Mars in Cancer squares Jupiter in Libra 13 degrees Friday, June 23rd
  • Mercury in Cancer squares Jupiter in Libra 13 degrees Tuesday, June 27th
  • Sun in Cancer squares Jupiter in Libra 14 degrees Wednesday, July 5th
  • Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto retrograde in Capricorn 17 degrees Friday, August 4th
  • Jupiter in Libra opposes Uranus retrograde in Aries 27 degrees Wednesday

Weekly Astrological Highlights: February 28 to March 6

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Highlights of the week

  • Saturn in Libra sesqui-square (135°) to Chiron in Pisces, on February 28
  • the ingress of Venus into Aquarius, on March 2
  • the New Moon in Pisces, on March 5

FEBRUARY 28 to MARCH 11: today Saturn is forming an exact aspect to Chiron (135 degrees). This is the second pass of the same transit, Saturn being retrograde. The first pass occurred at the end of December 2010, while the third and last pass will be in September this year. Due to the slowness of the two celestial bodies involved, this aspect, often considered weak, is actually an important and difficult one.

Via Saturn we become aware of what’s really happening in our lives. Often we describe the effect of Saturn’s transits as cyclical reality checks that we need to undergo in order to grow to face life challenges squarely, in an adult, responsible way.

Chiron, on the other hand, always implies the need for accepting the unavoidable, learning to live with it and eventually gaining wisdom from it.

The contact between Saturn and Chiron could then be described as a collective reality check about all those things and experiences that cannot be changed or healed (in a literal sense), but that need to be integrated as painful lessons in one’s life, hopefully helping us to grow in compassion and wisdom.

Becoming responsible (Saturn) for our own emotional burden (Chiron) we may be able to share our knowledge with others going through similar circumstance, because another essential role of Chiron is that of teacher and healer, while Saturn embodies wisdom brought about by well assimilated experience.

This transit seems to be appropriate at this time, when many are mourning loved ones lost in the New Zealand earthquake of February 22. The first funerals were held on the 28th and on March 1st, with the Moon in Saturnine Capricorn, in difficult aspect to Saturn, Chiron, Mars, and conjunct Venus. At the same time Chile has been remembering the 500 who perished in the earthquake of February 28, 2010.

These are indeed difficult realities to acknowledge and accept, but they can also deepen our humanitarian feelings like nothing else can.

MARCH 2: Venus is entering Aquarius today. This month long transit will be more significant for the Air Signs, Aquarius, Gemini and Libra, as well as the other Fixed Signs, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio; or anyone with Moon, Ascendant or Planets in the same Signs. It could in fact help to lighten everyone’s feelings, providing some badly needed perspective on otherwise emotionally confusing, even bewildering times, due to the emphasis on Pisces (Sun, Mercury, Mars, Chiron and the next New Moon).

Aquarius is a more forward looking Sign than Capricorn, the Sign Venus is leaving behind today, Capricorn being inclined to look at the past and to carry past burdens on its shoulders. It can be rather easy to become depressed and lonely during  a Venus in Capricorn’s period, because the Love Goddess wears the gray mantle of Saturn there, helping us to gain a more mature views of our relationships and a more serious attitude in many areas of life, while often losing the cheerfulness and joy of living which are the gifts of Venus’ embodiment of divinity.

Via Aquarius we experience friendship, the stirring of new ideas and aspirations, feelings of cooperation, desire to get together with others to pursue similar interests and work toward shared ideals.

Venus’ function is always to foster cooperation and appreciation of each others’ feelings. When transiting the Air Signs her cooperative spirit is stimulated by this Element’s innate desire for communication and team work. With Venus in Aquarius we may all be encouraged to seek such cooperation with a number of people, not just in our own insular, private relationships.

For more thoughts on this subject please navigate to my Venus in Aquarius post HERE.

MARCH 5:

PISCES NEW MOON

Click to enlarge

This New Moon, like the Aquarius New Moon that preceded it, on February 3, found Sun and Moon still in conjunction to Mars, but this time not in such close proximity.

The transits more active at this time are the sextile (60 degrees) Mars-Pluto and the separating square (90 degrees) Jupiter-Pluto.

Thinking of the popular uprising in numerous countries in the Middle East, this New Moon does not promise prompt resolution of these grave issues, but rather more confrontations and struggles against abuse of power and tyranny. Fight to the death to uphold one’s principles is an extreme but possible outcome of these transits.  The fact that Uranus is now on the very last degree of Pisces, the most critical of all critical degrees, ready to enter uncompromising and conflict-prone Aries, could only add more fire to the mix.

The large group of celestial bodies in Pisces is working as a medium through which all these planetary energies may more easily spread their influence, as we have seen happening in these troubled countries, each in turn responding to the same call for greater democratic participation and freedom of choice.

Visually retrograded, therefore very slow moving Saturn is on the other side from everything, in Libra, attempting to restore some modicum of balance and fairness in our personal and social relationships.

The third and last opposition to Saturn from Jupiter in Aries is still far away (exact on March 29), but the financial pundits are already talking about another economic downturn. If you were running a retailing shop, like I do, you will know how low consumers’ confidence has reached in recent weeks!

The great awakener Uranus and giant Jupiter with his lightening bolts are found on the Ascendant of the eastern Australia Chart, promising more extreme weather events in this areas. Also the introduction of innovative (Uranus) legislature (Jupiter), like the price on carbon that is, at the moment, getting a lot of publicity on the media. *

For more information about the imminent ingress of Neptune in Pisces, please check two of my posts on the subject HERE and HERE.

And for readings on the transit of Uranus in Aries please check these three Living Moon articles, HERE, HERE and HERE.

A post on  Jupiter transiting Aries can be found HERE.

For a list of all Transits this week and for the rest of the month please CLICK HERE to the Monthly Transits Page

or HERE to navigate to the Astro-Calendar Page.

The Astrology of the New Zealand Earthquake, February 22, 2011

Another natural disaster, not so far from home. Christchurch, second largest city in New Zealand, was hit by a deadly earthquake on Tuesday, February 22, 12.51 pm (local New Zealand’s Summer time, 13 hours East of Greenwich).

Christchurch’s region lays on the so called Pacific Ring of Fire, stretching from the South Pacific through Papua New Guinea, South-East Asia, all the way to the North and South-West coast of the American continent.

Along the 40.000 km rim are found 453 active volcanoes. Tectonic plates collide on a regular basis along this rim.

New Zealand is hit by earth tremors whenever the adjoining Pacific and Australian plates collide, which happens often, not always with such devastating results (pictures compliment of abc.net.au and History.com).

This quake wasn’t as powerful (6.3 magnitude) as  the one that occurred in the same place, on September 4, 2010 (7.1 magnitude), but it was shallow, 5 km deep, and the epicenter only 10 km south of the town.

Seventy five bodies have been recovered so far, but many more people are still listed as missing, so the death toll is likely to rise.

Even Christchurch 19th century cathedral, together with many modern buildings, now lay in ruins.

Here is the Chart of the moment the deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck.

We are looking here at the earthquake as a moment in time. This Chart has been cast with the coordinates of Lyttelton, the quake’s epicenter.

Christchurch/Lyttelton’s Earthquake, February 22, 2011, 12, 51 pm

Click to enlarge

I immediately recognized similarities between this Horoscope and that of Yasi, the category 5 cyclone that hit North Queensland on February 3 2011. Here is my Cyclone Yasi post, if interested.

In both instances the Fixed Signs were on the Four Angles when disaster struck (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven and Lower Heaven); with the so called Violent Signs of Taurus and Scorpio on the Horizon: Taurus on the Ascendant in Christchurch, and Scorpio, its complementary opposite Sign, on the Ascendant in Tully. Taurus was on the Ascendant in Tully too, by the way, at the time of the Aquarius New Moon, at midday on the same day as the cyclone.

As I stated on the post on Yasi, Taurus and Scorpio, and the Fixed Signs in general, are traditionally linked to violent events, such as quakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme weather, accidents and conflicts. These Signs in fact offer more resistance to change than other Signs, therefore the impact of whatever happens becomes more obvious when they are involved in any configuration.

Another similarity is the prominent position of the largest Asteroid Ceres, conjunct the Sun and Moon at the time of the cyclone, and most elevated of all celestial bodies at the time of the NZ earthquake.

Ceres was known to the Greeks as Demeter, ancient Goddess of Fertility, one of Goddesses representative of Mother Earth. She was venerated as the Goddess of the Harvest and also of Mourning, because of her connection with the Persephone myth. Persephone, once known simply as Kore, the Maiden, was in fact Demeter’s daughter, the same who was kidnapped by Hades (the Roman Pluto), God of the underworld; the same for whom the mother mourned during the barren winter months, until she was returned to her in the spring time. Ceres’ prominent position in this particular Horoscope doesn’t seem a positive sign as far as the quake’s final death toll is concerned.

In the earthquake Chart what really sticks out is the cluster of celestial bodies between the end of Aquarius and the beginning of Pisces, all in the prominent Tenth House or very close to it: Mars and Neptune are conjunct on the 28th and 29th degrees of Aquarius, while Mercury, Chiron and the Sun are conjunct on the first degrees of Pisces.

The conjunction of the Sun and Mercury to Chiron and the approaching one of Mars to Chiron are strengthening the notion that Chiron relates to collective suffering and the need to accept unavoidable pains in this far from perfect world.

The conjunction Mars-Neptune is the most interesting aspect, being very close to the Mid-Heaven at the time, with Ceres most elevated of all planets, and also because they are connected by aspect to Uranus, on the 29th degree of Pisces, and the Lunar Nodes on the 29th degree of Sagittarius and Gemini. This means, of course, that Uranus is in perfect 90 degrees angle (square) to the Nodes, just as he prepares to enter Aries for good (March 12).

Uranus is the King of the Unexpected and the Sudden, those events, in life and within our human psyche, which seem to happen without a warning, out of the blue, with often destructive results, forcing, as it were, major adjustments, through shocks and abrupt u-turns that can leave us shaken and changed in profound ways.The fact that Uranus is now on the cusp of the most active and impulsive Sign of the Zodiac is not help, but rather enhance the violent character of some of the events connected with it.More of this type of events can be expected during Uranus’ 7 years transit through Aries, in particular perhaps from June 2011 when Jupiter will enter the earthquake Sign of Taurus.

We shouldn’t forget also that, while Mars, Neptune and Ceres are on the Mid-Heaven, Uranus actually rules, together with Saturn, the Sign of Aquarius on the cusp of the Mid-heaven, symbolically deciding the nature of the outcome or the outward manifestation of that particular moment.

Not only Uranus is here at right angle to the Nodes, symbolizing the collective destiny of the time, but the Nodes happen to be in the VIII House of Death and Loss, together with Pluto, God of the underworld. To add to this, Mars, a well known catalyst, whose role is often to precipitate events, is connected to the same Uranus (semi-sextile) and Lunar Nodes (sextile and trine), but also to Pluto, via a minor aspect known as a Septile (51.4 degrees distance, based on the division of the circle by 7), an aspect indicative of transcendental influences at work.

I would like to explore a little the importance of the Nodes in this Chart. As you know the Lunar Nodes are connected to Eclipses, their positions showing where Eclipses occur at any given times. The fact that Uranus and Mars are here linked by aspect to the Nodes means then that there is a relation between the earthquake and recent Eclipses too, in particular the Total Lunar Eclipse that occurred on December 21, 2010, the day of the Capricorn Solstice (important date often used to forecast events in the year ahead). That Eclipse happened on the 29th degree of the Signs Gemini (Moon) and Sagittarius (Sun).

Obviously both Mars and Uranus are very much linked with this all important Eclipse event, because same degrees along the zodiacal wheel are always connected by aspect and meaning. In this case Uranus is linked to the Lunar Eclipse by square and Mars by trine and sextile. We can say then that, at the moment of the quake, the time was ripe for what had been already promised by the Eclipse.

The correlation between Uranus (sudden -destructive events), the Lunar Nodes (collective destiny), and Mars (cosmic catalyst) appears even more significant when we look at the December Eclipse Chart relocated to Christchurch. Here is this amazing Chart.

Total Lunar Eclipse of December 21, 2010, in Christchurch, New Zealand

Click to enlarge

The Lunar Eclipse was right on the horizon of Christchurch, with the Full Moon rising on the East, just as the Eclipse began, while the Sun was setting in the West! Both Sun and Moon were, at the time, at right angle (squares) to the conjunction Jupiter Uranus on the Mid-Heaven, while Mars was then separating from a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn!

Another aspect of this configuration, which I feel is important, is the nature of the degrees we are considering, being the last degrees of  some of the Signs involved, cusps between Signs, degrees of change and transformation. These Cusp degrees are sometimes called Critical Degrees, indicating moment of crisis and change for the function of the planet/s placed there. We have seen many of these last or Cusp Degrees activated recently, with all the Full Moons, since September 2010, happening on a Cusp between Signs, the last, few days before the earthquake, on February 18, with the Moon on the 29th degree of Leo, Cusp Virgo, and the Sun on the 29th degree of Aquarius, Cusp Pisces. This last Full Moon was also closely involved with Mars and Neptune, as they were both conjunct the Sun.

These considerations seem to indicate that the conjunction Mars-Neptune was very significant for this event (as well as the recent conjunction of Sun and Mercury also to Neptune, and their passage into the Water Sign of Pisces). A literal reading of such a conjunction could be ‘accidents at sea’. Now Lyttelton, the quake’s epicenter, is a coastal village, and New Zealand is made up of two major islands, a place surrounded by sea.

Another observation that also seem to put the Critical or Cusp Degrees to the fore of this event is the fact that in the Birth Chart of New Zealand (January 17, 1853, midnight, Wellington) Pluto was on the 29th degree of Aries, and Mars on the 28th degree of Capricorn (conjunct the Sun), respectively in semi-sextile and sextile with transiting Uranus, and, of course, also connected with the recent Lunar Eclipse.

Below it is a two-wheels Chart, with New Zealand Constitution Chart in the inner wheel and the earthquake’s Chart in the outer wheel.

Christchurch/Lyttelton’s Earthquake and the Birth Chart of New Zealand

Click to enlarge

Many more observations can be made about this event from an astrological viewpoint: what about the fact that the Moon and Saturn were in the VI House of Work and Daily Routine. at the time of the quake? Compare this position with the Moon and Sun position in the Yasi event, in the IV House of Home. Most people (represented by the Moon in a Mundane Chart like this one) were busy at work or study the moment the quake hit, the building taking the more direct hit being office buildings, where rescue personnel are now looking for survivors.

Saturn was heavily aspected on the day too, 135 degrees (sesqui-square) to Chiron, the Sun and Mercury, in trine to the Mid-Heaven (and ruling it, with Uranus), still in square and Mutual reception to Venus in Capricorn, apart, of course, from his all important conjunction to the Moon.

The transiting Moon was also just separating from a conjunction to Saturn, Lord of karma, and from a 90 degrees angle to Venus in Capricorn (the latter still in orb of square to Saturn), all aspects that can manifest in sadness, pessimism and emotional hurt, especially as they activate the XII House in the New Zealand’s Birth Chart, a place where things need to be accepted because they cannot be changed, being beyond anyone’s control. Both the Moon and Saturn were transiting the so called Via Combusta (literally the burning path or road), the zodiacal area spanning from the middle of Libra to the middle of Scorpio. This area was considered unfortunate, having an effect similar to the negative effects of some Eclipses. This notion was probably derived from the presence of difficult Fixed Stars in this area of the Sidereal Zodiac (the Zodiac of the Constellations).

Out of pure Mercury in Gemini’s curiosity I looked up also the Birth Chart of the Anglican 19th century cathedral that was nearly completely destroyed by the quake.

I chose as the birth time the day the cathedral was consecrated, on November 1, 1881. Because I don’t know the time of the official event I have cast a Chart for sunrise on that day.

Here it is.

Christchurch Cathedral Consecration date, November 1, 1881, sunrise

Click to enlarge

This Chart is also very interesting, in the light of the recent events. The Sun was in Scorpio that day and in opposition to Saturn in Taurus (a difficult aspect for a building, Saturn signifying the structure of the same and its durability). We can observe even here the influence of the Fixed, Earthquake Signs of Scorpio and Taurus. The cathedral was damaged by an earthquake only one month after the consecration ceremony and, more severely, on occasion of the September 1, 1888 earthquake, and other earth tremors following.

Please note the position of the Moon, on the 28th degree of Aquarius, conjunct the transiting Neptune, Mars and Mid-Heaven of the recent quake’s Chart. That’s something!

I’m sure this chart could reveal more about the fate of this building, but I’m running out of time, and i can’t go there now.

One last important transit that I want to include in this reading is the powerful Jupiter square Pluto, that will be exact on Saturday, February 26, but has been close for days. This aspect definitely spells earthquake, as well as war and mayhem, all events that resonate well with this fateful week. Jupiter, as we know, tends to magnify the effects of all planets he comes in contact with, in this case Pluto, the symbolic ruler of the underworld, presiding over experiences of death, loss and transformation.

A positive outcome of this transit would be a strong stimulus toward radical reforms, including the toppling of people who abuse their power, or even organized crimes leaders, as it is has happened in Egypt, and now in Libya and many other countries in the Middle East. This transit also shows the possibility of a strong resistance from these same individual and the possibility of war and bloodshed.

But that’s another story, hopefully my next post.

Weekly Astrological Highlights: February 21 to 27, 2011

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General Trends

It is Pisces’ week, no doubt! Remaining with our feet firmly planted on the ground could prove challenging, while we may find easier to float and drift aimlessly. If we manage to keep our feelers in contact with the Earth’s plane, we may sprout leaves and bloom like flowers, making the most of this emotional/psychic/spiritual journey. Fertility, in all its possible meanings, is the key word this week.

It will bring its reward to trust Providence or Life, the Great Mother or God, whatever you like to call it.

The Sun entered Pisces on Saturday the 19th of February, and just a day earlier, while still in Aquarius, met Neptune, Pisces’ ruling planet.

Mercury will make his ingress into Pisces on Monday 21st and Mars will follow on Wednesday 23rd. Chiron has been in Pisces since February 9 and Neptune is hovering on this Sign’s threshold, ready to enter it on April 5.

With the Sun and so many planets transiting Pisces, being fluid and adaptable will help us to navigate these changeable waters, but is is going to be tricky not to lose ourselves in dreams and fantasies.

For more information about the imminent ingress of Neptune in Pisces, please check two of my posts on the subject HERE and HERE.

Venus‘ position will hopefully help to stay grounded. Still continuing her transit through earthy and responsible Capricorn (now separated from a difficult angle to Saturn, exact last week) Venus remains however in Saturn’s own Sign while the latter transits the Venusian Sign of Libra, thus carrying the link to Saturn (Mutual Reception) to the end of her Capricorn transit, on March 4.

For more information about this transit please CLICK HERE to navigate to my Venus in Capricorn’s post.

The Moon is waning this week, after the cusp Leo/Virgo Full Moon on February 18. She will reach her Last Quarter Phase in Sagittarius on Friday February 25. Time to reflect on the Full Moon revelation and ‘disseminate’ the psychological riches we have gathered then. What we have realized and learnt from our experience could now help others in their journeys too.

Highlights of the week

  • the ingress of Mercury and Mars in Pisces (February 21 and 23)
  • Mercury and Mars conjunct Chiron (February 22 and 24)
  • The Conjunction Sun-Mercury (February 25).
  • Jupiter in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn (February 26).

Specific Dates

FEBRUARY 21 and 22: before entering Pisces on February 22 Mercury will conjunct first Mars and then Neptune, at the end of Aquarius, on February 21; while Mars will reach its own conjunction to Neptune in the afternoon of the same day.

Leaving the clear-headed and mentally concentrate Air Sign of Aquarius Mercury (and Mars) are today preparing to enter the often turbulent and mysterious waters of Pisces, where the mind tends to lose its rational boundaries, contacting unspoken realities that are difficult to verbalize. The conjunction of both planets to Neptune today can be considered their initiation into a world guided by intuition and vision rather than logic or practical considerations.

No doubt Mercury’s logical function often suffers somewhat in the Water Signs, especially in Pisces (or when in close contact to Neptune), but what it gains can make up for it tenfold, if the energy is used creatively.

Mercury will remain in Pisces only until March 10, an opportunity for all of us to test our intuitive faculties and get in touch with our creativity, idealism and dreams. We can now be able to contact a greater Mind than our individual one, ready to absorb influences from many different quarters, not too fearful to thread uncharted waters, but rather fascinated by all the possibilities.

Not the best time however to remain focused on one subject and to be mentally objective, because our feelings will colour our thought processes and ideas, even when we are not aware it’s happening.

The conjunction of both Mercury and Mars to Neptune today is anticipating the Pisces effect and preparing us for it.

The transits of Mercury in Pisces will be more relevant for people born under this Sign, or with Moon, Ascendant or Planets in Pisces. Also for the other two Water Signs (Cancer and Scorpio) and the other Mutable Signs (Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius).

On February 22 Mercury will also conjunct Chiron, exaggerating in some cases feelings of intellectual insecurity, while providing others with a great depth of understanding, based on genuine compassion and empathy with other people difficulties, especially in the area of communication.

FEBRUARY 23 and 24: from February 23 to April 2 Mars, transiting Pisces, will energize all  the Water Signs, offering them an opportunity to be more assertive, but also posing the risk  of being easily carried away by strong and unsettling emotions.

In particular those individual born in the early stages of the Water and Mutable Signs will find it easy to scatter their physical, mental and emotional energies in these unpredictable oceanic currents, achieving little of what they have set out to do and getting muddled up in the process.

The waters of Pisces are in fact like the sirens whose stories are told in fairy tales and myths, alluring and beautiful but also treacherous and untrustworthy. Being fascinated by something or someone, emotionally, sexually, mentally, could be the line of least resistance this week for Pisces (February 19/22), Scorpio (October 23/26), Cancer (June 21/24), and also Virgo (August 23/26), Gemini (May 21/24), and Sagittarius (November 22/25) .

You need to find a state of balance, accepting what’s happening without losing your direction.

Attempts at asserting yourself may prove vain this week, it’s true, because events seem to run their own course, no matter what you try to do about them.  But of great help could be the psychological practice of keeping some boundaries standing between you and the world, a sense of your inner center, of who you are.

You may feel particularly intuitive and in touch with the soul of the situation and of other people, using your heightened imagination in a creative way will prove rewarding, and surprise you, if you aren’t usually a very inspired person.

Mars is the planet of Action, Do It!. In Pisces is activating the psychic/emotional, more than the physical or mental plane, a strange combination of action and inaction, assertion and passivity. Dance, the Martial Arts, Music, Creative Writing and any form of Art could express this energy at its best.

On February 24 Mars will meet Chiron, as Mercury has done on the 22nd.  If your birthday falls between the 21st and 25th of February the Healing Journey (fostered by Chiron) will be an important theme of your life this year, at the mental (Mercury),  physical and energetic levels (Mars).

FEBRUARY 25: today the Sun and Mercury become conjunct, what astronomically is known as a Superior Conjunction, with Mercury on the other side of the Sun from Earth’s viewpoint. During this phase of Mercury the planet, when visible, appears as the Evening Star.

As I wrote recently in a post on the mystery of Retrogradation (click here to see the entire article): ‘Mercury’s Evening Star incarnation (spanning in early 2011 from February 25 = Superior Conjunction to the Sun, to April 10 = Inferior Conjunction to the Sun), will be a time for giving due consideration to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others, the way we tackle intellectual challenges, like writing, reading, studying, teaching. The retro motion of Mercury corresponds to a period of mental introspection, at the end of which we can start again to project our minds onto the world, with renewed inventiveness and adaptability to different circumstances and people. Mercury’s direct energy does in fact facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world. This period will end with the Superior Conjunction on June 12, when our mental tendencies will have reached their more concrete and objective state. From then Mercury will begin to wane again, arriving at its next retro Station on August 3‘.

FEBRUARY 26: today Jupiter and Pluto are prominent in transit (at right angle to each other, while the Sun and Mercury are in sextile, 60 degrees, to Pluto and semi-sextile, 30 degrees, to Jupiter).

Jupiter tends to magnify the effect of every planet he comes in contact with. While Pluto has a lot to do with the use we make of our personal power and resources. With this transits we are meant to experience control issues in our lives (in particular people who celebrates their birthday today, yesterday or tomorrow). You may feel dominated by another or overwhelmed by a situation over which you have no apparent control, tending to rebel against it, in order to assert your own need of being in charge.

It could be difficult however to really know who is doing what: are you being dominated and rendered powerless by somebody or something? Or is it perhaps your own compulsion to dominate others or to control the situation at every cost that is causing the problem? An honest assessment of the situation is always a must when Pluto is involved, in order to go to the bottom of things, to the roots of the problem.

Used wisely this transit could enhance the scope of your personal power and put you in touch with a wealth of inner resources you didn’t even know you possessed. The expansive impulse denoted by Jupiter is meeting the depth of Pluto, an unusual opening to ours and others’ motives and secret life of the psyche.

Collectively this aspect may foster war rather than peace, escalating problems that have been hidden and untreated for a long time. Jupiter’s fiery energy in Aries could in fact push all these unprocessed issues to the surface, like a volcanic eruption pushes up the lava at the core of a mountain.

For a list of all Transits this week and for the rest of the month please CLICK HERE to the Monthly Transits Page

or HERE to navigate to the Astro-Calendar Page.