The aftermath of the Aquarius New Moon 2012

Prosperity and luck are the gifts the Dragon brings to the New Year. Let's hope it is so, this world needing all the luck it can get. The Water Dragon is a less fiery fellow than his siblings. Cautious and diplomatic this Dragon achieves success via patience and perseverance, without compromising his ambition and natural leading abilities.

Rain, serious rain has come to our and surrounding regions, in New South Wales and Queensland. The system is now developing into a possibly major flood event. This is a pattern I have seen here many years ago, when the tail of the tropical monsoon announces the end of summer proper for us in the sub-tropics.

Rivers and creeks are overflowing their banks. All vegetation is intensely green, shiny with water, drooping toward the soggy ground. The slopy path where the doggies and I walk has been transformed overnight into a liquid staircase; rocks, pebbles and dirt rearranged in dramatic ways.

No wonder. All started with the Water Bearer New Moon, on the 23rd, gate to the lunar year of the Water Dragon, while Venus and Chiron are swimming in the ocean of Pisces, and Neptune is on the threshold of the same watery realm, his contact with Saturn (trine) making the oceanic effect more palpable.

The Sun and Moon are together at the New Moon and so also share the same planetary aspects. The most important amongst these is the Tsquare with Jupiter and Saturn, themselves in an out of Signs opposition. I discussed the T-square Sun-Jupiter-Saturn at length in an earlier post HERE. So the New Moon gives her blessing to the Sun ingress into Aquarius, providing a vessel for the manifestation of the T-square also. With the next New Moon in early Pisces the Aquarius period will correspond precisely to a lunar month, the opposition Jupiter-Saturn and the ingress of Neptune in Pisces (on February 4) the most important events. The sea saw effect of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition unfolding while Mars begins to move retrograde shows the need for reconsidering all sorts of issues this month and get back to real basic. For us it could mean cooking on an outdoor fire and working hard to keep things for becoming moldy. It is that sort of rain, frog weather.

I reproduce here something I wrote for the February/March edition of the Uki News, concerning the Retrogradation of Mars that started his Retro Station on the 24th degree of Virgo just around the Aquarius New Moon, so connected with it.

Of immediate interest to everyone is the Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo (January23-April15), a ‘get back to basic’ transit, lasting until early July. Virgo is a thrifty, crafty and responsible character, helping to ground the fiery Martial energy by directing it into practical tasks and routines.

Mars retracing his step in Virgo could be busy taking care of the little things, all the crummy and cluttered corners of one’s life; or doing some adding and subtracting, accounting, budgeting, so important for the smooth running of every household or business. Few key words: de-cluttering; spring/autumn cleaning; various chores, the more humble the better; detoxifying; dieting; exercising; having  health check; learning the language of your body in order to heal; trying vegetarian, vegan, it’s your pick. Spiritually Virgo is the Sign of purity and selfless service, also of ritual Earth Magic.”

This Moon phase will be particularly significant for Aquarius, born January 22 to 24 (by conjunction); Leo, born July 23 to 25 (by opposition); Taurus, born April 21 to 23 and Scorpio, October 24 to 26 (by square); Gemini, May 22 to 24 and Libra, born September 24 to 26 (by trine).

Other Transits I notice at this time are Uranus conjunct Ceres in Aries (comments welcome on this one. I am looking up major mundane events under the same conjunction). The Sun and Moon in sextile to Uranus and Ceres. Then Mercury in Capricorn trine Stationary Mars in Virgo.

Due to the flood I am unable to get to my office, my main power supply. Our solar batteries power is very low and so I can’t waffle on as usual. Here though is a Chart of the recent Aquarius New Moon calculated for our local coordinates. See any flood in it? Keep me posted if you have any idea you want to share about the weather or other topics. Always happy to hear from you.

click to view larger image


Horoscope of the ingress of the Sun in Aquarius, January 21, 2012 – Another incarnation of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition

In these difficult economic and social times every ingress of the Sun in a new Sign is important to watch the developments of collective issues.

The most obvious transit of the Sun at the time of this ingress, colouring the whole Sun in Aquarius period, is the T-square the Sun if forming with Jupiter in early Taurus and Saturn in late Libra, themselves in out of Signs opposition to each other. This Jupiter-Saturn’s aspect  brings back memories of the past two years, when Jupiter was still transiting Aries and opposing Saturn in May and August 2010, and again in March 2011. The difference is that the present opposition will never become exact. It reached its closest contact (01° 57′) around January 10,  and now Jupiter, Direct since the end of December 2011, is separating from Saturn while Saturn will soon move back through Libra in retro motion. The fact that the configuration is a T-square introduces an element of tension in the contacts the Sun is making and also of urgency, the tug of war between expansion and restriction of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition in need of becoming more conscious (Sun) at the collective level, in order to introduce reforms (Aquarius) that could help to bring about a better outcome for this difficult transit.

I re-post here something I wrote in June 2010 about the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition, because it seems relevant with what the news are telling about the present state of the world economy: “

Many different astrological traditions ascribed great importance to the mutual aspects of Jupiter and Saturn since very early times, with particular emphasis on the conjunction and opposition. We shouldn’t forget that, before the ‘discovery’ of Uranus in the late 18th century, and later on of Neptune, Pluto, Chiron and the various Plutons or Dwarf Planets, Jupiter and Saturn were the most distant planets we consciously knew about, therefore their cyclical interaction was naturally deemed significant for the destiny of people and nations.

The conjunction is considered the start of the whole cycle and also of an upward trend in world affairs, while the opposition is the culmination or climax of the whole period and also the beginning of a downward trend. The impact of this particular opposition could be indeed very great considering that Jupiter is, at the same time, also conjunct Uranus, a planet that always lives up to his reputation of harbinger of major changes.

Why Jupiter, archetype of plenty and good luck, should be involved in an economic recession or depression, some may ask? Well, the eternal dance of Jupiter-Saturn, now closing up on each other, now separating, make them exchange energies and, at times, take one the colour of the other, so expansion follows contraction and so on.  At conjunction time, for instance, Jupiter coming onto Saturn impart on Saturn his own sense of optimism and the vision of future possibilities for improvement and gain. People then tend to spend more, feel more confident about the market economy, saving less, consuming more, thus creating, for a time, greater demand for goods and services. Great recent examples are the economic boom and financial optimism that pervaded the world in the early 1980s (Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Libra in 1981) followed by the more pragmatic and critical early 1990s (Jupiter opposing Saturn between 1989 and 1991), when, in the words of the then Finance Minister and future Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating, we experienced the ‘recession we had to have”. Or the optimism at the start of the New Millennium (the 2000′s Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Taurus, both square Uranus in Aquarius, warning of the risks of unchecked expansion) that pre-dated the present period of uncertainty and lack of confidence, with fear we all share of not being able to pay back the debts we incurred in more optimistic times………

……. Some countries, like China and India, are still enjoying their boom, but the financial pundits are already warning of the risks involved in this unchecked growth. These fast growing economies will have also to begin slowing down soon, in order to avoid the same pitfalls western countries have fallen into due to the same recklessness and greed.

So, if we hoped the world’s financial vows to be over or, at least, mending, we need indeed to think again. The general predictions for this opposition are gloomy, especially because it is just one aspect of a number that also seem to indicate negative trends. One of the most significant is the slow transit of Pluto in Capricorn (for the next fifteen years), indicating the ongoing need to radically change the way we do business with each other and also the use and abuse we make of Planet Earth’s natural resources. There will be tax and banking reforms, and those will not   happen without the sacrifice and loss of some of the security, comfort and even luxuries we have become accustomed to…..

…..The Jupiter-Saturn opposition is the culmination or climax of a cycle that began in the year 2000, before 9/11 changed everything, and will end only in 2020. Now this Twenty-Twenty has been a mantra-year on many lips, since the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, because it is in that far off year that many countries agreed to meet their reduction targets. Judging from the present transits it seems to me that we may have to wait that long perhaps to see real and lasting improvements of the present situation. The next conjunction will be at the gate of Aquarius (zero degree) and will herald the beginning of a more democratic and humanitarian trend in world affairs. Symbolically that 2020 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction could sanction our official ingress into the Aquarian Age. To read more about the historical effect of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition, in the same article, click HERE.

Contemporary with the present instance of this opposition are the harmonious aspects that Jupiter and Saturn are forming with Neptune on the last degree of Aquarius, on the verge of entering Pisces and a whole new Neptunian period. Jupiter is separating from an out of Signs sextile to Neptune and Saturn is applying to a trine to Neptune, never quite reaching it remaining very close to it until February. These Neptune’s contacts show the positive impact a more inclusive and compassionate outlook could have on the affairs of our planet. Neptune can in fact make the opposition Jupiter-Saturn easier to bear but only if its spiritual principles of compassion and tolerance are upheld. An opposition is defined Easy in traditional Astrology when another planet happens to form a trine and a sextile to the planets in opposition, thus helping to release some of the tension and conflict of the aspect.   To learn more about astrological aspects and configurations of aspects please click HERE to go to my relevant Tutorial Page.

Another important solar transit at the time of the Aquarius ingress is the sextile of the Sun to Uranus in Aries. This harmonious aspect shows how positive would be to face our collective problems with a mind free of old conditioning, and the willingness to accept major changes in the way we live and conduct our businesses in this world ‘on the brink’.  Resisting this trend could have instead very negative consequences, that I’m afraid, at this point, could not be completely avoided anyway. The coming Uranus-Pluto’s square, exact for the first time in June 2012, will be a titanic battle between old and new ways, that will rage for a few years, during which time we will have to decide to which side we give our alliance. Sitting on the fence will not be a practical alternative.

Some other developments occurring during the Sun in Aquarius period: the ingress of Neptune in Pisces on February 4, and the  Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo, beginning on January 24 and ending on April 14. You can find articles on both the Neptune’s ingress into Pisces and the Retrogradation of Mars HERE.

A look into the future: 2012 Astrology, January to March

Apollo's Chariot III, by Odilon Redon

Welcome to my thoughts for the Capricorn Solstice season, January to March 2012.

Uranus Direct in Aries

Since December 2011 Uranus and Jupiter have resumed their direct motion, while Saturn is slowing down and will soon become Retrograde. The irrevocable dance of the planets continues.

When planets turn direct, after their retro period, the function they represent has the greater chance to be expressed outwardly in a positive and direct manner.

Uranus turned Stationary-Direct on December 10, 2011, around the time of the Gemini Total Lunar Eclipse, promising an accelerated pace of change for the next six months or so. This transit will strengthen the willingness to try new directions, moving on from the habitual and humdrum.

Uranus is said to be more dangerous and unpredictable in his effect when moving retrograde. The need for change is then more likely to implode, not finding suitable outlets for the release of his erratic energy, or to be squandered in anxious and nerve-wracking attempts to cut with the past. During the Direct motion instead Uranus’ intense drive can be more readily focused on external projects and active changes, often of a radical nature. This is the phase Uranus is entering now, until mid-July 2012.

To some of us Uranus in early Aries will offer the opportunity to implement changes we have been obsessing about for a while but lacked the ability or opportunity to make real. We are slowly being released from a period of high anxiety and erratic nervous energy, toward a period when we should feel more in charge, doing  things our own way.

Uranus’ transits over the Sun always entail an experience of individual uniqueness, bringing about some very independent choices.

This phase will be more keenly felt by the early Fire Signs: Aries (March 20/29), Leo (July 23/31), Sagittarius (November 22/30). With greater difficulty, by some early Cancer (June 21/July 1), Libra (September 22/30), and Capricorn (December 22/30) also.

Jupiter Direct in Taurus

Jupiter, has returned, in retro motion, to the start of Taurus, and has now began his journey in this Earth Sign all over again, hopefully this time enriched by greater practical wisdom and inspired by more realistic goals.

Amongst all the present planetary influences, until June 2012, Jupiter in Taurus will be a stabilizing factor. At the end of this season the third and last pass of the harmonious aspect between Jupiter and Pluto (March 13, 2012) could suggest some radical solutions, legislations and bills to find creative ways out of the general mess, practical and austere means to harmonize our natural needs for expansion and growth, our human arrogance and ambition (Jupiter) with the real ecological needs of the Planet, her dwindling resources, her desperate plight for regeneration and rebirth.

Since mid 2011 the Jupiter-Pluto’s contact has shown how it can be a very constructive and transformative influence. If integrated it could help the world to regenerate before it begins to degenerates beyond hope. They suggest finding wiser and more sustainable ways to interact with Earth’s resources, revealing riches and solving mysteries that have puzzled earthlings for thousands of years.

The long awaited first pass of the Uranus-Pluto’s  square, on June 24 2012, will give these grass roots aspirations enough fuel to make a big bang for the rest of 2012 and the whole (at least) of 2013 .

While Jupiter transits placid Taurus though growth is slowed down, everyone is looking for more security. Much energy can be stored in the root system of our psyche and the planet, for a few more months, because Jupiter in Gemini, from the second half of 2012, will have a much more buzzing and risk taking type of energy.

The aspirations of Jupiter, his flights of intuition all the way to divinity are now checked by the pragmatic solidity of Taurus. To feel contented with our lot could be the outcome of such a transit when used wisely. This will be especially true for the Earth Signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; and also, perhaps in a more challenging way, for the Fixed Signs Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius.

Saturn Stationary/Retrograde in Libra

As ever the forward dance of some of the giants is punctuated by the beginning of the backward dance of another.

Ringed Saturn turns Stationary/Retrograde on February 8, on the very last degree of the Sign Libra. Scorpios will have to wait until October to welcome Saturn in their mist.

From January to October 2012 Saturn will contact, in turn, the Sun degree of some Libra (October 17/24), Aries (April 13/20), Cancer (July 16/23), Capricorn (January 13/20); and, more gently, also Gemini (June 14/21), and Aquarius (February 12/19). A retrogradation of Saturn over someone’s Sun manifests often as a sort of test, things appear harder than usual, and, in some cases, life seems to have lost its meaning, depression easily settling in, when hope is lost.

It is a reality test. Can you take it without crumbling into many pieces? After this honest look at your life what have you learnt from Saturn? Which areas of your life need the most urgent work, restructuring, making more efficient? Often it comes down to a realization that you pay for everything and there aren’t many easy rides in this world.

Three different generations are also experiencing their respective Saturn’s Return in late Libra, over the next seven months. These are coming of age transits, to more fully embrace who we have become and begin to appreciate the cycle ahead of us, no matter our age. Growing up has its moments of sadness, to be sure, but also many rewards, the sort we appreciate only at the right age, and not a moment before. That’s why Saturn was known as the Lord of Time, dispensing the wisdom that comes from experience, and hard ego-building work.

The Saturn-Return’s generations comprise:  the very old, now in their nineties, born October / December 1923, and April/September 1924. The Baby Boomers, in their sixties, born November 1952/ April 1953, and August 1953/October 1953. And the Saturnine Youngsters, turning just thirty, lucky them, born October/December 1982, and May/August 1983.

The Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo

Amongst the most important astrological events of the start of 2012 will be the lengthy retrogradation of Mars in Virgo, from January 24 to April 14. Mars will enter the next Sign of Libra only in early July 2012, after having transited Virgo for a whooping eight months, since November 2011!

The fact that Virgo is highlighted here shows a need to adjust our daily routine, clean our acts, tackling those jobs we always find a good excuse not to do. Making our space at work and home clear of clutter, organizing everything in a more rational way will contribute to efficiency and better practical outcomes.

The tendency of people influenced by Virgo to become engrossed in details of no consequence will be tested during the Mars’ retrograde period when opportunities will arise to look into our habits (from diet to work), and experience, in a more acute way, the anxieties brought about by the inability to stick to priorities.

The birthdays directly aligned to Mars retro in Virgo are: Virgo (August 26/September 16), Pisces (February 21/March 14), Gemini (May 24/June 14), and Sagittarius (November 25/December 15).

It could be difficult for many of us to freely express our passions and highly charged emotions or to go after what we want in an effective way. This could be true for the birthdays given and also for those whose Mars was in a prominent or difficult position at birth. In particular individuals who had Mars transiting Virgo the day they were born and will experience the all important two yearly Mars’ Return during the retro period (end of January to mid-April).

When Mars moves retrograde his energy, usually spontaneous and outgoing, is somewhat internalized, to serve psychic rather than physical purposes. There arise the need for re-thinking the way we go about asserting ourselves, our modalities of action, in our personal lives as well as communities of people and nations.

If our habitual behavior has often created strife and attracted opposition in the past perhaps now is the right time to look into these issues and the way we normally handle conflicts in our lives.  Because Mars, during retrogradation, becomes somewhat frustrated in his desire for action, we got to find another way to deal with anger, and with all the unspent energy that boils beneath the surface.  Virgo suggests taking up a discipline or healthy routine that could help dealing with the unspent energy and the unending frustrations and irritations of daily life (Virgo’s stuff).

Neptune returning to Pisces

After six months spell in Aquarius, Neptune finally returns to Pisces on February 4, to stay in this Water Sign until 2025. This transit will define an epoch in human history, reflecting on our spiritual and aesthetic values for years to come.

As our daily lives become more and more impacted by the momentous adjustments and disruptions all around us, Neptune in Pisces can show us transcendental ways to navigate the troubled waters of the present, enhancing creativity, imagination and compassion. There will be a sense of underlying unity between us and the planet, a striving toward greater integration amongst races, religions and ideologies, in the face of the still polarized situation on the surface of things. Outlasting many other transits that preoccupy astrologers at the present time, this influence gives us real hope that we will be guided toward greater spiritual unity in the next decade and beyond. The fate of the planet, I feel, depends very much on the way we will be able to embrace Neptune in Pisces, avoiding its downside of extreme passivity and escapism.

This season the birthday people touched by Neptune will be the early Water and Mutable Signs: Pisces (February 19/22), Cancer (June 21/24), Scorpio (October 23/26), Virgo (August 23/26), Gemini (May 21/24), and Sagittarius (November 22/25). You will feel, in a quiet space within, growing like a pool slowly filled by spring rains, a new dimension of being. This could open your perception to intangible realities, making you long for more love and creative joy in your life, refusing to be caged in by routines and duties.

It is a poignant fact that, while Neptune shifts into Pisces, Mars is making his difficult transit through the opposite-complementary Sign of Virgo. These transits should help us see two apparently opposite ways of experiencing the world: one free of per-conceived ideas, easy flowing, imaginative and creative (Pisces), the other limited by necessities and struggling to manifest the dream into practical reality (Virgo). This polarity is vital though, because, if Pisces and Neptune are the soul’s life of the planet, imbued with the vision of earthly and unearthly paradises, ultimately no real good work could be accomplished without Mars’ drive and Virgo’s dutifulness.

Happy transits, everyone.

COPENHAGEN, FAILURE? POST 6

 

I am late writing about the Copenhagen conference’s aftermath. At first I found myself too wrapped up in the feeling of failure and disillusionment that I derived from the outcome. It made me and many others, I am sure, realize that, yes, we don’t seem to be able to live up to our ideals; yes, our progress is very slow and may not be sufficient to avoid ecological catastrophe. Fear of dire consequences has accompanied the disappointment. I had to consciously snap out of it, or I could have get depressed. Many many have felt the same, the pain (Chiron) of disappointed longing for unity and love for our Earth Mother; collective tears (Neptune).

The powerful last passes of the conjunctions of Jupiter to Chiron (opening day) and Neptune (two days past the closing), encompassing  the whole conference,  were very appropriate symbols of the promise, the ideals, the aspirations which the conference aroused around the world. We were all affected by them, more or less consciously. Only a legally binding and exceptionally positive outcome, with brave reductions in emissions, high targets for the future and cooperation amongst developed and developing countries, could have satisfied the expectations and wishes of these lofty, but not particularly grounded transits.

To sum up the salient configurations of transits that I deemed significance for the Climate Change Conference:

The time chosen to initiate the conference,  Waning Moon phase, close to Last Quarter. Lots of unfinished business came to the surface, as it is proper during the dark fortnight of our Lady Moon, and only the last two days of the conference the Moon began to wax, after a New Moon in Sagittarius, giving few precious hours to draft a sort of agreement, at least amongst the major players. The agreement crafted by the American ‘Deus Ex Machina’ Barack Obama, making a grand entrance in the last few hours, contains just the spirit but certainly not the letter of what should have been achieved (if interested see my previous post on Obama in Copenhagen).

The Moon’s Void of Course at the time of the official beginning (6 pm, Copenhagen time, on December 7, 2009). This period (void because the Moon is not forming any major aspect with the Sun and Planets before she enters a new Sign) is considered inauspicious for beginning anything. It is an interim period and not an active one.

The square of the Sun in Sagittarius to Uranus in Pisces, on opening day,  becoming exact a week inside the negotiations, when temps started boiling up seriously, and schisms were created amongst different factions.

The conjunction of Jupiter to Chiron and Neptune. It started something, but also made us somewhat blind to the stark reality of commerce and the national and ideological divisions of our world (while the conference was on, war was still raging in many corners of the globe and since the conference ended there has been an exhalation of  terrorists attacks in Pakistan and Iraq). Jupiter, the catalyst of these transits, is really a ‘future’ planet, creating the vision and showing the potential and ideal of every enterprise, instilling confidence and faith, while the grounding touch of Saturn will be required for our ideals to manifest in concrete forms. Those feelings and visions are not lost or useless, however, because they have began to illumine the dark path ahead of us, providing us with ideals to strive for.

The opposition of Mars, close to its Retro Station, to the above conjunctions (augmented on opening day by the conjunction of the transiting Moon to Mars and the Moon’s own oppositions to Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune). This is a rather wonderful symbol to describe the many confrontations, disagreements, big arguments, stubborn stances we have witnessed in Copenhagen, every day risking to make the conference flounder all together. Mars was just preparing to retrograde, and will continue its loop until March 10, transiting Leo until June 2010. This shows that the confrontations and ideological wars that started in Copenhagen will go on past the event and well into the new year.

Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, both square Saturn in Libra. This has proven to be one of the strongest influences, manifesting already on the second day of the conference when documents were leaked to the press. showing that secret deals were being agreed upon by some of the main players. The last agreement too, signed behind closed doors by some of the key players, the USA, China, India and South Africa, while hailed by some as a last minute miracle and a step forward, has been considered by many the product of shady deals amongst super-powers and aspiring super-powers.

The power struggle became evident from the start, with the marked division between the poor countries, especially African and Oceanic, and the developed and developing giants that also squabbled amongst themselves the whole time. Many cans of worms were opened and the contents spilled out all over the place. Hidden motives, greed, power trips, pride, all surfaced to impede smooth progress, also causing salutary debates and much needed reality checks.

Realizing our limitations is one of the functions of Saturn, while its hard aspect to Pluto made the process more difficult and confronting. We faced each other demons and had to take a long hard look at everything. Trying to lay the blame on the opponent, we had to acknowledge our own shortcomings.

For some this debate was actually a question of survival, a life-death situation (Pluto). The results must have certainly distressed and depressed those who fought for the survival of so many island communities around the world. The changes required by Pluto in Capricorn are humongous, involving a complete transformation of attitudes. Saturn, with its fear mongering and resistance to change has put the usual spoke in the wheel, frustrating many hopes.

The square Saturn-Pluto will still be active in 2010 (exact again on February 1 and August 21), so the struggle and frustration are set to continue. Saturn, the Planet of ingrained old habits, is still fighting hard to maintain the status quo against the onslaught of Pluto’s transformative power.

Uranus in positive aspect to the Lunar Nodes, while Venus formed negative links to the same, on opening day. The destiny of the moment was to aid change and implement reforms (Uranus in positive aspect to the axis of Destiny), but not without problems in finding harmony and embracing cooperation (Venus’ negative links to the Axis of Destiny).

As many delegates have affirmed, on leaving the conference and afterwards: this has been the first real big summit on the subject of Global Warming, in itself a step forward on the road toward an international agreement. We obviously need more time and more talks. There is still hope that the next conference (Mexico 2010? date still undecided) will produce the legally binding document we need to implement real changes.

September to December 2009

blake_jacobsladder Libra Equinox to Capricorn Solstice

Welcome to my astrological thoughts covering the major cosmic events of October-December 2009, and beyond.

One of the most significant transits of this period will be the passage of Saturn into Libra on October 30, after two years in Virgo. This is the first in a series of planetary shifts that epitomize our period in history: Pluto in Capricorn (November 2008) – Saturn in Libra (October 30, 2009) – Jupiter in Pisces (January 2010) – Chiron in Pisces (April 2010) – Uranus in Aries (May 2010) – Neptune in Pisces (April 2011, and, for good, February 2012).

Libra is the Sign of Saturn’s ‘exaltation’, a lofty position for this earthy planet, and a real opportunity for all of us to become more responsible and adult like in our relationships. Libra is the Sign of Justice and Equanimity, so that the laws of the lands could now begin to reflect more faithfully the democratic and equalitarian principles exemplified by Libra, with its innate respect for others. Libra Saturn, representing the implementation of the law, will strive toward a more democratic social order.

Saturn has not quite finished with Virgo yet. It will re-enter the Sign in retro motion on April 8 and make it back into Libra for good in July 2010. Saturn will then transit Libra until October 2012, a time of grounding, concrete success, as well as tough confrontation with insecurities and fears for all Librans. Ask your Virgo friends who have just spent the last two years in the company of this ponderous planet and they will tell you about the unavoidable tribulations and well deserved triumphs of their close encounter with the mythical ‘Lord of Time’. You would not want to miss it.

Difficult Saturn’s transits at the end of 2009 and in the first half of 2010 will, however, make the path a rough and difficult one for many, at least for a time; with a right angle to Pluto (November 16, first pass, February 1 and August 21, 2010, second and third passes); and renewed oppositions to Uranus in 2010 (exact April 27 and July 27).

The birthdays in direct line with these transits are, again, the early season Libra (22/25 September), Aries (20/23 March), Capricorn (21/24 December) and Cancer (21/24 June). The austere and sobering ray of Saturn is added to the intense Pluto atmosphere, and the electrifying impact of Uranus. These transits exemplify a breakage from the past. There will be an unprecedented drive for change, or unavoidable changes will have to be met, willing or not. Deep down you know that they were over due, really, and that you have been procrastinating. This may seem, at times, to shake badly the sense of personal and/or material security you might have built and thought quite solid and permanent. It will certainly be a lesson in impermanency, and an opportunity to re-invent yourself, starting your life on new foundations.

Collectively the situation has both implosive (Pluto) and explosive (Uranus) potentials. A 90 degrees angle between Uranus and Pluto is now in its incubation stage, becoming exact between mid 2012 and the end of 2014.  Saturn is stimulating that transit into early activity. The so called Techno-Punk’ generation, born between 1963 and 1969, who had the Uranus-Pluto conjunction signature in their birth charts, are now experiencing the mid-life crisis defined astrologically by the opposition of Uranus to their birth Uranus-Pluto, and the right angle between their Neptune and the transiting Neptune. This is an important spiritual and existential crisis, enacted in everyone’s life from the early to mid forty years. These people will be the next generation to yield positions of power on the world stage, the ones who will need to deal creatively with this unprecedented crisis. The emergency itself has a lot to do with the use and abuse of our planet’s resources (Pluto) and of technology (Uranus).

The triple conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron will be exact again, for the last time, between December 2009 and January 2010. These conjunctions have permeated the whole of 2009, helping to raise our spirits during the global financial crisis. At the time of writing (early June 2009) Obama has been visiting Egypt to show a friendly hand to Palestinians and Muslims in general, making historical speeches of reconciliation. He is also campaigning to have Guantanamo Bay shut by the end of 2009, a brave move, hopefully coinciding with the last pass of the Aquarian conjunction, in December.

All these events exemplify to me the progressive spirit of the Aquarian conjunction, with its idealism and humanitarian principles, as well as the downside of the same, as chimerical hopes of easy solutions, and social/political naivety. Obama himself has Ascendant and Jupiter in Aquarius and became officially President at the time of his Jupiter’s return in early Aquarius, in January 2009, while his Moon’s South Node, part of his ‘axe of destiny’ is conjunct the historical conjunction Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron in late Aquarius.

Neptune can embellish every picture, but has the potential of being also deceptive, elusive and unrealistic. Jupiter on his part tends to exaggerate, usually accentuating the promising parts rather than the problematic issues. Finally mysterious Chiron portends the potential for collective healing of old wounds or, negatively, karmic illnesses. Chiron is physically and symbolically the go-between the known world (Saturn boundary) and the Uranian vision of a new world, forever reminding us of the painful limitations of our human condition (Saturn), while igniting the spark of our godlike genius (Uranus).

We see a Jupiter conjunct Neptune every twelve years or so, not a rare event, after all. But we experience a triple conjunction Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron only once in a while, the last in 1945, at the end of World War Two. Even rarer is the same triple conjunction in the same zodiacal position, Aquarius, which occurred the last time in 1843. This was a period very close to the ‘discovery’ of Neptune in 1846, considered historically, philosophically and literarily an idealistic era. Many proletarian, grass root revolutions also started then (Marx’s Communist Manifesto was published in 1848). On the religious front it was a messianic period, when many Christians awaited the second coming and the advent of a new world order of peace and enlightenment.

Similar hopes in a redeeming time ahead are alive and well in 2009. We may at times feel we need a Saviour or a miracle to overcome the huge obstacles ahead of us; but hope alone will not save our troubled world.

The H1N1 influenza virus that spread from Mexico in April 2009 have raised the interest of many Astrology’s students because some of the transits active in 2009 and 2010 are similar to those that were active at the time of the infamous Spanish Influenza that struck Europe and the globe between February 1918 and April 1919. That H1N1 virus (another Swine Flu) allegedly killed 20, 40 or even 100 million people worldwide, according to different sources. The number remains uncertain because the infection spread rapidly during an extremely unsettled period of our history, toward the end of the First World War that also killed and displaced millions. Many soldiers leaving the trenches spread the deadly virus on their return home. At the beginning of 1918 the war was dragging on when the initial strain of the Spanish Flu made its first appearance. This was a mild strain, a common flu from which most people recovered quickly. Around August of the same year a second strain, a mutation of the original virus, started killing people instead, a catastrophe comparable only to the endemic pestilences of earlier centuries. I am not surprised then that normally indifferent governments have been taking extraordinary steps to try to stop the virus from spreading. The memory of that pandemic is engraved on the collective psyche, where it has remained hidden, repressed, for a long time.

Astrologically the similarity with present transits is undeniable: Saturn was opposed Uranus in 1919, the same as it has been throughout 2009 and will be for a good while in 2010. Jupiter was also conjunct Neptune in 1919, as is happening in 2009 (last pass in December). Another transit that connects our time with that distant past is the recent passage of Pluto into Capricorn. Pluto has a lot to do with collective karma and mass deaths, like those caused by natural disasters, wars or industrial and mining accidents. Pluto had entered Cancer just before the First World War, portending the mass destruction of families during the two World Wars. It has reached Capricorn, 180 degrees away from his 1918 position, and now lies on the opposite Solstice point. These points, together with the Equinoxes, are the most active of the whole Zodiac, enhancing in great measure the power of Pluto.

A crucial difference is the fact that in 1918 Saturn was separating from a conjunction to Neptune, a powerful signature for a natural disaster such as the Spanish Flu pandemic. When ‘afflicted’ in a personal horoscope Neptune can portend death by drowning which was the manner of death from the deadly strain of the N1H1 virus (the lungs becoming filled with fluids). Jupiter, by becoming conjunct to Neptune after Saturn, acted as a cosmic carrier, spreading the contagion even further. Jupiter, in the picture even now, is spreading perhaps only the fear and not the reality of the contagion!

Many scenarios are indeed possible. According to medical experts, this strain of influenza and its possible mutations will stay with us for a long time. Astrologically the more critical periods could be between November this year and September next year.

Due to the fact that Aquarius is the Sign of science and innovative technologies, some astrologers have even suggested that this virus could be a man made product, purposely or accidentally released into the environment. Apart from these speculations the Aquarian connection suggests to me that a program of universal inoculations presents also many hidden dangers. A sad story of a mass vaccination gone terribly wrong is the one that occurred in 1976 in America, when ‘Swine’ flu vaccinations had to be suspended after the death of numerous people who suffered irreversible adverse effects (Guillian-Barre syndrome); while the feared spread of the virus did not eventuate. At that time Jupiter was in opposition to Neptune! So, we have been warned.

To conclude; yes, the planetary configurations active in 2009 and 2010 could manifest in a pandemic. On the other hand a serious but rather common outbreak of flu could be taken for a plague of biblical proportions, due to the inflating tendency of Jupiter and the deceptive nature of Neptune. We may found ourselves under the spell of prophecy makers who seem to believe in the unavoidable end of the world as we know it.

The media interest in a possible pandemic tends to glamorize the issue and make it look exceptional and dangerous, another Neptune’s effect. The reality is that influenza pandemics are not rare events. In the last five century more than thirty have been recorded. In First World countries one is more likely to suffer serious ill health due to harmful habits and lifestyle, heart diseases, cancer or accidents. Concentrating just on the possible dark side of influenza is part of Neptune’s morbidity. Collectively we are more gullible, fanciful and impressionable. Perhaps we are using this fear of pandemics to distract ourselves from the real threats, like global warming, pollution, man’s inhumanity to man, racism, sexism, inequality etc. To keep a firm grip on reality is more than ever important. In case of a serious outbreak it will be the weak, old and poor of the world who will be more at risk, as usual (see the transits of Saturn, archetype of old people, those of Neptune, archetype of the feeble, those with low immunity and the underdogs, and Chiron, archetype of people with chronic illnesses).

Whatever you do, keep positive; help the planet recover from its many illnesses, because we will all be healthier in a healthier environment. Sky stories are fascinating but can be read in many different ways and the ending is always open to review; it is not a black and white, ready drawn picture. It is partly up to us. Happy transits, everyone.

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