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.

Weekly Astrological Highlights, April 25 to May 1

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THIS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS

The transits of Venus in Aries come to the fore this week, with the square to Pluto in Capricorn, on Wednesday, April 27, and the opposition to Saturn in Libra on Sunday, May 1.

On May 1 Mars in Aries will also form a conjunction to Jupiter.

The most significant solar aspect will be the 120 degrees angle (trine) to Pluto in Capricorn, exact on Thursday, April 28.

THIS WEEK MOON

The Moon’s Last Quarter falls in Aquarius on Monday, April 25, beginning the last week of the lunar cycle that was born with the Aries New Moon on April 4. This particular cycle, important because it marked the beginning of the astrological year after the Aries Equinox, started with very intense transits, delivering a month of serious international events, with the deepening nuclear crisis in Japan, the escalating democratic uprising in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, followed by bloody repression.

We have entered collectively a period during which we may find difficult to cooperate, and when the line of least resistance will be to seek conflict rather than peace. After the Sun entered Taurus few days ago there are still five celestial bodies transiting Aries at the moment, namely Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus.

The Aquarius Last Quarter phase provides a time for reflection, focusing on global humanitarian issues.  This trend will continue with the Balsamic Moon Phase in the Sign of Pisces on Friday, April 29.

The next New Moon will be in the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus on May 3.

APRIL 27 and 28, WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY: Pluto is brought to life by the combined transits from Venus in Aries, today, and the Sun in Taurus, tomorrow, April 28.

On April 27 Venus in Aries is exactly at right angle to Pluto in Capricorn. This transit, as well as the Sun-Pluto’s angle exact tomorrow, will remain active for three/four days, from April 26 to 28.  Individuals directly aligned to this transit are Aries, born March 27 to 30,  Capricorn, born December 28 to 31, Libra, born September 30 to October 3, and Cancer, born June 28 to July 1. Or anyone with Moon, planets or Chart’s Angles around the 7th and 8th degrees of the same Signs.

The Venus-Pluto’s transit cannot be separated from the conjunction Venus-Uranus that was exact on April 23, or the upcoming opposition Venus-Saturn, due on May 1. They are all part of the present Venus’ story, affecting the way we relate to each other on the planet.

Like Mars did in recent weeks Venus is now playing the role of trigger to bring to manifestation the energies of the slower moving planets. Venus brought Uranus to life inciting rebellion against the status quo in our relationships at the end of last week, while today, contacting Pluto, she helps to reveal the shadowy side of relationships, and later, expressing the power of Saturn, she will make us more aware of relationships’ limitations and responsibilities.

Venus-Pluto is not a fuzzy, lovey-dovy kind of transit, it is far too intense and truthful for that. Great passion combines here with great difficulties, forcing us to look into those irksome issues we often prefer to ignore or gloss over. We may get the chance to explore power struggles, control issues, sexual difficulties, loss in love, changes we find difficult to accept but that are unavoidable. It should help to better understand what makes our relationships thick, and what needs to change in us so that we can begin to relate in a more authentic way. If we are unable or unwilling to look within for answers this configuration could instead contribute to destructive feelings, such as jealousy, resentment, excessive pride, and, in some cases, even to violent behavior.

Art being also the realm of Venus this aspect could help us to express our feelings into more passionate and truthful forms of art, not just beauty for beauty sake.

On April 28 the Sun is also in aspect to Pluto, and a positive aspect at that (trine), hopefully helping us to experience the square Venus-Pluto in a more constructive way.

Whenever the Sun contacts a planet an opportunity arises to integrate the planet’s function in our conscious life. Despite the obvious difficulties of the Venus-Pluto’s square, the Sun in trine to Pluto could direct the spot-light of awareness onto the hidden layers and dark recesses of our relationships and life patterns. This should stimulate the desire to make meaningful changes in these areas, taking full emotional responsibility for what happen to us or finding the inner strength to end relationships that have become toxic.

MAY 1, SUNDAY: a mixed bag of transits today, all originating in Aries, but of a rather different character. Aries Venus is opposing Saturn in Libra, a limiting, sobering influence, while Aries Mars becomes conjunct Jupiter, an exhilarating, expansive aspect.

Despite the fact that these transits are exact on the same day, different lots of individuals will be aligned to them.

The Venus-Saturn’s opposition will be active for about three days, from April 30 to May 2, touching in particular Aries born April 1 to 4, Libra born October 5 to 8, Cancer born July 3 to 6, Capricorn born January 2 to 5, Leo born August 4 to 7, and Sagittarius born December 4 to 7. Or anyone with Moon, planets or Chart’s Angles around the 12th degree of the same Signs (11th to 13th).

If you feel lonely and unloved today, or just a bit cold and gloomy, blame it on Saturn.

The reality is that today we have been offered an opportunity to test our ability to be alone, without feeling lost or emotionally bereaved. The function of Saturn in fact (a saturnine adverb) is to help us build enough ego-confidence, self-authority and self-respect to stand in our own light, even in matter of love.

When connecting to Venus Saturn  demands that we find emotional fulfillment in ourselves first, before we start looking for it in other people.

Negatively this could be a reality check transit spoiling any romantic notions we may have about love, showing our relationships in a stark light, not embellished by wishful thinking and desire, but rather the way they really are. Or, and that’s the trap, through a darkling glass of pessimism and cynicism. In this way secure and dependable relationships may seem devoid of spark and boring, while new ones may fail to excite, because we are in the mood to expect the worst from them, feeling basically not just unloved but unlovable.

This planetary combination is better expressed through love in action, landing a hand to others in need, especially the elderly, or getting into down to earth activities, like gardening, pottery, wood working, crafts of all sort, where Saturn’s practical knack becomes attuned to Venus’ eye for beauty.

Few hours after the Venus-Saturn’s opposition Mars reaches his once every two years conjunction to giant Jupiter.
This transit will be active for about six days, from April 29 to May 4, touching in particular Aries born April 10 to 15, Libra born October 13 to 18, Cancer born July 12 to 17, Capricorn born January 11 to 16, Leo born August 12 to 17, and Sagittarius born December 12 to 17. Or anyone with Moon, planets or Chart’s Angles around the 22nd degree of the same Signs (20th to 24th).

The Mars-Jupiter’s conjunction has a quite opposite nature to the Venus-Saturn’s contact.

Venus and Mars attract each other because of their dissimilarities, like male is attracted to female and viceversa. They form one of the best known couples in the planetary pantheon.

Saturn and Jupiter also form a couple of sorts, with Jupiter embodying the function of expansion and Saturn that of contraction. So, as much as Saturn will limit and define our experience of love and relationships (Venus) today, Jupiter will stimulate our desires, prompting us to reach out for what we want in a confident way (Mars).

The Mars-Jupiter’s conjunction is a risk taking transit, through which we may even become too bold and cocky for our own good, impressed by such high expectations that the reality of things may prove rather disappointing, once the enthusiasm begins to wane, later on.

Positively this transit could provide a great injection of confidence, faith in oneself and life, desire to start something new, and aspiration toward bigger and better things. Especially because it happens in this very idealistic and passionate Sign it could provide a vision of the future we may want to live by and believe in during darker moments. Save this ray of sunshine for the rainy days that will unavoidably come.

Click here for my most recent post on the June to September 2011 Major Transits

Click HERE for my recent post about  the Aries Equinox conjunct Uranus

If interested, please click HERE to navigate to my recent Venus in Aries’ post .

Click here to navigate to my most recent post on the transit of Uranus in Aries, and other major transits.

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

Can Astrology make sense of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear menace?

First of all let’s examine the Chart of the earthquake itself.  The coordinates used were given by the International Seismological Center,  and are those of the epicenter.

Here it is.

Click to enlarge

Celestial Bodies orbiting parallel to the Earth Equator, with Saturn holding the reins

One thing is immediately apparent, as it was in the Christchurch, NZ, recent quake: many celestial bodies are at the present time orbiting parallel to the Earth’s Equator, including the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Chiron in Pisces (Sign just South of the Equator), and also Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn respectively in Aries and Libra (both Equatorial Signs).

This alignment on the mid-drift of the Earth could by itself increase the possibility of severe seismic and volcanic activity. Another one is the grouping of  many celestial bodies on one side of the sky while only Saturn stands alone on the other side.  Here is an interesting article by Australian astrologer Ed Tamplin on the astrological factors often involved in earthquakes and in particular on the role of Saturn.

The Sabian symbol for the degree occupied by Saturn (16th of Libra) reads: ‘a boat landing washed away(!!!).

To make this symbolic connection even more significant Saturn will transit  this degree between March 5 and 20, two entire weeks, due to retrogradation.

The middle degree of Libra is the starting point of the so called Via Combusta too, a section of the Zodiac, between the middle of Libra and the middle of Scorpio, that is considered unpredictable, unstable, even dangerous in the practice of  Horary Astrology.

Symbolically then Saturn seems to play an important part in this event.

The local Horizon-Meridian Axis in Fixed Signs

Not surprising to students of Astrology the four Fixed Signs were on the Horizon and Meridian of that time and place, Leo on the Ascendant, Aquarius on the Descendant, while Taurus and Scorpio are found on the Mid-Heaven and Lower-Heaven respectively. Because Leo was on the Ascendant the Sun is ruler of this Chart and is placed in the Eighth House of Death and Loss, together with Mars, Uranus and Mercury. Saturn is instead in the Second House, which in a Mundane Chart like this one represents the wealth of the nation, its financial institutions etc. Already in deep troubles before the event these were dealt a terrible blow by the enormity of this disaster.

It is a well known astrological tenet that Fixed Signs have greater propensity for earthquakes and all kinds of violent disasters, offering stronger resistance to all changes.

I cite here just a few recent examples I have personally observed:

  • The Christchurch’s (New Zealand) earthquake of February 22, 2011: Ascendant in Taurus, Descendant in Scorpio, Mid-Heaven in Aquarius, Lower-Heaven in Leo.
  • Category 5 Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, on February 3, 2011: Ascendant in Scorpio, Descendant in Taurus, Mid-Heaven in Leo, Lower-Heaven in Aquarius.
  • New Moon on the day cyclone Yasi struck Queensland coast: Ascendant in Taurus, Descendant in Scorpio, Mid-Heaven in Aquarius, Lower-Heaven in Leo.
  • The Tibetan Earthquake of April 14 2010, which killed nearly 3.000 people : Ascendant in Taurus, Descendant in Scorpio, Mid-Heaven in Capricorn, Lower-Heaven in Cancer.
  • The massive Haiti earthquake of January 12 2010 that killed more than 200.000 people . This event was preceded by two Eclipses, a Lunar on December 31 2009 and a Solar on January 15 2010. At the times of both these Eclipses in Haiti the Horizon and Meridian were also in Fixed Signs. During the Moon Eclipse: Ascendant in Taurus, Descendant in Scorpio, Mid-Heaven in Aquarius, Lower-Heaven in Leo. And during the Sun Eclipse: Ascendant in Scorpio, Descendant in Taurus, Mid-Heaven in Leo, Lower-Heaven in Aquarius.

These would be  indeed very strange coincidences if Astrology could not explain them as it does!

The relevant articles on these events can be found via these links: New Zealand’s February Quake ~ Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland ~ Tibetan Earthquake of April 14 2010 ~ Haiti Earthquake of January 12 2010 ~

Parallels and Counter-Parallels

Studying the Earthquake Chart, apart from many traditional aspects, I have observed a number of Parallel and Counter-Parallels of Declination. These aspects are special because they are not measured in longitudinal distance but rather in declination, North or South of the Ecliptic (Earth’s orbit). Celestial Bodies occupying the same degree of declination North or South are said to be in Parallel, while those on the same degree of declination but in different hemisphere are said to be in Counter-Parallel.

These aspects are important, the Parallel acting in a similar way to conjunctions and the Counter-Parallels to oppositions.

I have found that the Sun, ruler of the Earthquake Chart, was in Parallel to Saturn (similar to a conjunction to Saturn, considered traditionally unfortunate) and Counter-Parallel to Jupiter (similar to an opposition to Jupiter, also traditionally inauspicious),  while Jupiter and Saturn were in Counter-Parallel to each other (similar to an opposition). The actual opposition between Jupiter and Saturn not that far away, becoming exact on March 31. The Counter-Parallel anticipating the opposition’s effect.

Furthermore Mercury was in Counter-parallel to Uranus (similar to an opposition), another significant connection between these two.

The Ingress of Uranus in Aries

Astrologers are rightly having a field day with the ingress of Uranus in Aries coinciding so closely to this massive earthquake and its aftermath. It is nearly too perfect to be true, especially now that we are all anxiously waiting for news of those damaged nuclear reactors, that actually contain radioactive Uranium which is dangerously heating up (Aries Fire)!

Due to the present nuclear dread in Fukushima and others nuclear plants in Japan, Uranium stocks are falling on the stock market in Australia, country that produces more than 30% of the economically exploitable Uranium in the world. This seems to be in accord with the general planetary trends pointing to another downturn period for the global economy.

In my previous post on the Japanese event I stressed the importance of Mercury as a medium for the Uranian energy, entering Aries only two days before. But there are many other angles from which we can look at this Uranus astrologically, to try to understand why, of all days in a year when huge transits occur, this one day brought about such catastrophe.

To penetrate the mystery we need to look at other aspects Uranus was forming on the day, as well as at the link with other cosmic events, like the two Eclipses that have preceded the earthquake (Lunar on December 21 2010 and Solar on January 4 2011). And also we need to place these transits in the context of Japan’s Birth Charts (1889 and 1952).

On the day of the earthquake and tsunami Uranus, on the 29th degree of Pisces, was still forming a semi-sextile to Neptune on the 29th degree of Aquarius, transit that had been exact in mid-January. Due to the slowness of these two planets the angle was separating  by less than a degree (49 minutes of arc), still very close.  Mercury in early Aries was forming the same aspect (semi-sextile) with Chiron in early Pisces. Considering the nature of this event, sudden and violent (Uranus on the cusp Pisces-Aries) and beginning under the sea (Neptune) the transit fits the bill perfectly, also considering that this was the very last day these two planets would have been in Mutual Reception (one in the Sign of the other and viceversa), relationship that began when Uranus entered Pisces in 2003. At the same time there is another active Mutual Reception between Mars in Pisces (Sign ruled by Jupiter-Neptune) and Jupiter in Aries (Sign ruled by Mars). This relationship Mars-Jupiter, between Water and Fire Signs, is also very appropriate to the nature of the event, expressing itself violently and from a sea location (Mars in Pisces), and with great and expanding power (Jupiter in Aries magnifying the fiery nature of  Mars in the watery realm of Pisces). I feel all this to be remarkable.

Of great interest is also the fact that all the Full Moons since September 2010 have been on the 29th degree of the Signs, so that the degrees of both Uranus and Neptune have been activated by these Lunations, including the Total Eclipse of the Moon of December 21 2010, the day of the Capricorn Solstice. During this lunar eclipse the Sun and Moon were on the 29th degree of Sagittarius and Gemini therefore forming a square with the transiting Uranus and a sextile and trine with the transiting Neptune, aspects that became more exact by the time of the Japanese earthquake. Even the Lunar Nodes, eclipses’ signposts,  that were, at the time of the lunar eclipse, in early Capricorn and Cancer, reached the 28th degree of Sagittarius and Gemini at the time of the earthquake in Japan! We can definitely connect this powerful eclipse with the recent events in Japan. Mars exalted, strong in Capricorn, was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and approaching a square to Saturn in Libra at the time of the eclipse, showing the inherent dangers for the weeks and months ahead, eclipses always having an extended effect in time.

Jupiter was also close to conjunct Uranus for the last time before entering Aries in January, so Jupiter was augmenting the power of Uranus as well. At the time of the Solar Eclipse of January 4 2011 the last conjunction became exact, the solar eclipse making this transit truly powerful and far reaching, as this massive earthquake has demonstrated.

At present Jupiter, obviously another major actor in these events, is also separating from a 90 degrees angle to Pluto in Capricorn, that became exact on February 26, a potentially very destructive and deeply transforming angle, Jupiter enhancing also the power of the Underworld God. 

Read more on the December 21 Lunar Eclipse HERE. And the January 4 Solar Eclipse HERE.

Here is are two double wheel Charts. The top one has the Japan Earthquake Chart in the inner wheel and the Lunar Eclipse Chart on the outer wheel. The bottom one has the Japan Earthquake in the inner wheel and the Solar Eclipse in the outer wheel.  All Charts are calculated for the coordinates of Hoshu.

Please note the position of the Moon, transiting the Sign of Gemini during both the earthquake and lunar eclipse, the end of Gemini during the eclipse, and the beginning of Gemini at the time of the earthquake. More about the Moon in Gemini later.

The Earthquake Chart and the Total Lunar Eclipse of December 21 2010

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The Earthquake Chart and the Solar Eclipse of January 4 2011

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The earthquake’s transits become even more remarkable when we look at them over the backdrop of the two Birth Charts of Japan.

Here I consider some of the connections between these transits and the Imperial Chart of 1889.

Imperial Japan Birth Chart (1889) activated by the Earthquake’s Transits

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The Moon in Gemini

If the entrance of Uranus in Aries, plus the Sun and three planets in the Eighth House of Death weren’t enough, the transiting Moon, at the time of the quake, had just entered Gemini, a significant placement for Japan, because the Moon happened also to transit Gemini in Japan’s Imperial Chart of 1889 as well as the Modern Japan’s Chart of 1952.

Strange enough the Moon happened also to transit Gemini at the time of the magnitude 9.1 Sumatra’s earthquake and tsunami of December 26 2004, and the more recent Indonesian tsunami of October 25, 2010. As well as at the time of the first salvos on Krakatoa, on August 26 1883, and when the three big blasts of the same eruption occurred, on August 27 1883.

All this seems to show a different face of the airy and light Gemini Moon of astrological lore!

The Moon was also involved in significant transits with some of this event’s major actors, on the day disaster struck. The Moon was in fact in aspect to Mercury, catalyst of the Uranian energy; Saturn, the planet modern astrologers call the Lord of Karma and the ancients recognized as the root-cause of earth tremors, ruling as it does the Earth plane; Chiron, planet of collective suffering and healing; Uranus, planet of sudden and unexpected events; Neptune, God of the Oceans and all that happens therein; and the Lunar Nodes, the axis of destiny, connected with recent eclipses. As I will explain a bit later the Moon’s aspects to Mercury and Saturn seem particularly relevant here, due to the role of these planets in the event when compared to the Birth Charts of Japan.

Naught degree of Gemini is also the middle of the Pleiades Star Cluster in the constellation of Taurus. These stars were considered by some writers to have an evil influence, causing bereavement, mourning, sorrows and tragedies, and also abundant rains and floods, their name meaning ‘The Rainy Stars’. The Star Alcyone, most brilliant amongst the Seven Sisters, was perfectly conjunct the transiting Moon at the time. All the Pleiades were known in antiquity as the Sailor’s Stars.

According to Arab astrologers when the Moon was transiting the Mansion connected with these stars (Al Thurayya, the Many Little Ones) one could plant and sow but do not marry or travel by water.

Other amazing connections between Japan’s Imperial Birth Chart and the earthquake’s transits

  • The transiting Moon is conjunct Imperial Japan’s Neptune and Pluto. Now this is something!  Being born with a conjunction Neptune-Pluto the nation of Japan was destined to experience destructive upheavals and profound transformations involving the sea (Neptune) and the depths of the Earth (Pluto). It also shows Imperial Japan’s fascination and delusional aspirations (Neptune) for power and war (Pluto); heroic ideals that were utterly defeated in the Second World War. Hiroshima and Nagasaki come to mind, as well as the constant fear of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions with which the Japanese people have learnt to live. The fact that now Japan is also facing the prospect of melt down in some of its nuclear power plants shows the connection Moon-Pluto in action. This, together with the transits of Uranus, is proving indeed disastrous. And there is more, because the transiting Moon was also at right angle to Imperial Japan’s Mercury in early Pisces, while the transiting Neptune and Chiron are both conjunct the same Mercury and at right angle with the transiting Moon as well as Japan’s Neptune and Pluto! The Moon, in this type of Chart, is said to represent the people. So meaningfully connected with these destiny makers (conjunction Neptune-Pluto, square transiting Neptune-Chiron etc.) the Moon is a symbol here of the great loss of human lives.
  • The significant role of Mercury is confirmed by the fact that transiting Mercury (major activator of Uranus on the cups of Aries) was also approaching a sesqui-square (135 degrees) to Japan’s Saturn in Leo, while, at the same time, transiting Saturn in Libra was sesqui-square Japan’s Mercury in Pisces. This is what astrologers like to call a ‘double whammy’, the repeat of the same aspect, putting a strong accent on the power of these planets in the unfolding of this particular event. The double aspect was possible because the two Saturn (the transiting one and Japan’s) are close to a sextile aspect (60 degrees), a positive aspect, showing perhaps how early warning, strict building regulations and many other cautionary measures have saved many in the circumstances, the positive aspects of Saturn indicating caution and forethought.

Please check my next posts for more on the astrological signature of the Japan event. There are in fact many more meaningful aspects to be considered, in particular the connection with the 1952 Birth Chart of Modern Japan.

2008-2010, YEARS OF THE SATURN-URANUS’ OPPOSITION

Today the Saturn Uranus’ opposition is again exact. We should now be rather used to this difficult transit because it has been around since 2008.

This is what I was writing about it in September 2008 (The Art Of Healing):

The major Transit of this period is the Saturn-Uranus opposition, exact on November 5, but active much earlier and continuing until September 2009 and beyond. This is the last of the historic oppositions formed by Saturn since 2001. It will be a long time before such a set of saturnine challenges will constellate again our astrological sky.

The opposition which opened the sequence was Saturn-Pluto (2001-2002), coinciding with 9/11; an event not just big in itself, but big in its implications. It has in fact left the world sorely divided ideologically and spiritually, accentuating the fanatic stances of fundamentalists of all political and religious provenance (Sagittarius Pluto). It provoked at first a war of words and a clash of principles (Gemini-Sagittarius), and degenerated in the second Iraq war, the intervention in Afghanistan, and the corrosive and pervasive fear of terrorism we are still experiencing. Among other woes this connection has also made us more aware of the limited supply and non sustainability (Saturn) of Earth natural resources (Pluto), culminating in the recognition of our responsibility in the vital issue of climate change.

Between 2003 and 2006 the Saturn-Chiron opposition took place, witnessing the outbreak of conflict in Iraq, affecting the welfare and security of the whole planet. Political and economical issues in Africa also worsened considerably.

In August 2006 and June 2007 Saturn reached the opposition to Neptune, a difficult configuration, amply discussed in previous articles, pitting our material imperatives and survival needs against our spiritual and social ideals.

The last stage in this opposition journey of Saturn is its confrontation with Uranus, in November. Saturn represents all boundaries, material, psychological etc., and also the awareness of our limitations. Uranus, first giant planet past the orbit of Saturn, represents, on the other hand, the breaking free from Saturn’s confines. Uranus is against everything that is too structured and rigid, too conservative and safe. Uranus urges us to seek our individual path, irrespective and often against all that we have learnt we should be like or we should be doing. Revolt and rebellion are key words here, sometimes acted out just for the sake of change, but more often for an unrecognized need for freedom of choice. It is a common experience being told that we are acting out of character as soon as we begin to express more of our true selves to the world, especially our private world of family and close friends! Uranian crisis can alienate us from others and disrupt the apparently smooth surface of our relationships and occupations, but can also help us to feel younger and more empowered, not depending so much on other people for approval or help….

One is naturally reminded of the fact that in November Americans will go to the poll to elect a new President. At the time of writing (June 2008) the choice is Obama versus McCain, appropriate incarnations of the Saturn (McCain) and Obama (Uranus) principles: the older one upholding traditions and the safe old ways; the young one proposing a new deal and breaking, just by being who he is, with one of the most ingrained social convention in the American psyche, racial division. “The Audacity of Hope” is one of his most successful slogans, hinting at the drive for change embodied by the Uranus side of the opposition. Mythological Saturn and Uranus were, respectively, son and father in the Greek pantheon, and theirs was the story of a natural conflict of interest and rivalry. An archetypal father/son conflict has been obviously enacted here.

Strange enough the two men have striking numerous conjunctions on the same degree of the Zodiac (Sun-Pluto, Venus-Mars, South Node-Venus, Moon-Saturn-Jupiter). Their relationship was indeed made in heaven: the many meaningful connections are bright examples of synchronicity in action. This shows how their destinies are indeed intertwined, the raise of one will mean the fall of the other and vice versa.

……It is easy, at this point, to become biased in favour of Obama, after viewing his still incomplete chart. He seems conservative enough in his views and yet ‘different’ enough to make the most of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, when the old will meet the new in a big way.”

For more of this article, click here. For the future prospects of the Saturn-Uranus’ opposition, exact again in July 2010, please read this article.

Apart from the general meaning of this transit, what is the effect of this opposition at the personal level? Are different Signs going to experience it in a different way?

As the Obama-Macain’s stories demonstrate a study of the individual Birth Chart would be necessary to establish the impact of this mighty transit on any particular person.

Many of my clients in the last year and half have shown me that the impact differ according to the relative position of both Saturn and Uranus in the individual’s wheel. The effect is definitely magnified if the Saturn-Uranus’ opposition was to become aligned to the Sun, Moon, the Ascendant or one of the personal Planets, Mercury, Venus or Mars. A few examples to clarify this: a unaspected career opportunity is beckoning in the life of a young man (transiting Uranus conjunct Mid-Heaven), until now still living amidst the safety and limitations of his family home (natal and transiting Saturn on the Lower-Heaven). The transit is driving him to take a decision that will change the course of his life, helping him to find his path for himself and overcome early negative conditioning.

A middle-aged woman is facing the separation from her teen daughter who is leaving home to go to the big city to study, while Saturn is transiting her Fifth House of Children, and Uranus her Eleventh House of Friendships and Aspirations. Despite her deep sense of loss and sadness (Saturn) she is excited at the prospects of the freedom her daughter’s leaving home will mean to her, to become more involved in a community project she has been interested for a long time. Her new-found freedom scares her but it is also powerfully attractive, showing her a side of herself she hardly had time to explore before.

Another lady is going through a difficult divorce from her husband of many years, with Saturn transiting her natal Venus and opposing Uranus in transit over her natal Saturn. In this case too, loneliness and depression seem to go hand in hand with a feeling of emerging relief and great expectations for the possible future. She has finally made a decision and she is sticking to it; the need for real change in her life is overriding the fears that have somehow permeated her failed marriage in the last few years. Uranus in transit over her natal Saturn is showing her that change doesn’t mean doom and that sometimes disruption of our life-patterns is the only way to re-gain individual control over one’s life.

ANOTHER PASS OF THE SATURN – URANUS’ OPPOSITION

Saturn, as usual when prominent in transit (see, among other things its opposition to the Sun on the day of the Aries Equinox and the conjunction to the Sun at the next Libra Equinox) is suggesting the need for caution and a more conservative approach, when every other planetary indicator points instead to the need for decisive action.

With all these different strains on the Planet it is not surprising that we may not achieve as much as we wish. A saturnine period is one during which practical matters, money, work, health, duties override other considerations, when ideals have to bow down to realities, and our collective horizon seems to shrink a little.

Saturn says: you are not ready, you haven’t quite done your home work yet; long term commitments and hard work are necessary to back up the lofty dreams of a better future. Saturn will help us, as always, to keep our feet firmly on the ground, hopefully without stifling our hopes.

At the end of April Saturn (retrograded in Virgo since the 8th of April) will again oppose Uranus, as it had done in November 2008, February and September 2009. This is not the last of this cosmic tug of war, but it is the last involving Virgo and Pisces. Another opposition will become exact in July 2010, with Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries, and stay with us well into 2011.

The birthdays directly aligned to the April opposition will be Virgo (September19/22), Pisces (March17/20), Gemini (June18/21), Sagittarius (December18/21). While your need to create a future for yourself is becoming stronger (Uranus), the past is revisiting you now, making you feel that instead than moving forward you are going backwards at the moment (Saturn). Some unfinished business still need to be addressed and cannot be brushed aside if you want your life to move out of this impasse. The past has still some valuable lesson for you; ignoring this is not an alternative in the circumstances.

Considering the collective potential of this transit many astrologers think that it could bring about more of the financial vows we all experienced in 2008/09. The Virgo/Pisces’ dynamics is again pointing to the need to be more humble and realistic, to sacrifice something in order to become more inclusive, shifting our focus from Ego centred values to more compassionate and spiritual ones.

“Planet Animation” by Richard Trask & Mare Dianora

For more current and future transits please check the 2010 Forecast page.

Transits June to September 2010

William Turner’s Angel Standing in the Sunshine

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The Solstice Chart

Astronomers and astrologers alike mark the start of the Southern Winter and Northern Summer with the Cancer Solstice, this year falling on June 21. On this day the Sun lingers on its northernmost declination, before beginning to descend again toward the Equator. An important time in the yearly calendar, recognised and held sacred by most cultures, since the dawn of time. Still today, all the promises and mysteries of the coming season are contained in the Solstice Chart.

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This year the Solstice Horoscope shows the Moon in Via Combusta, that trait of the Zodiac that traditionally is said to span between the middle of Libra and the middle of Scorpio. As its Latin name implies, translating something like ‘burning path’ or ‘fiery road’, I’m reminded here of the feats of walking on hot embers and fire accomplished during initiation ceremonies in diverse cultural traditions, including those of some Australian Aboriginals. The months ahead then we will all be walking on a difficult but enlightening path, a trial of sorts, with empowering potential.

The Moon also forms a beautiful Grand Trine, the combination of three 120 degrees angles, shaping an imaginary equilateral triangle between the Moon (emotions, family), Neptune-Chiron (spiritual healing and karmic suffering), and the Sun itself stationary on 0 degree Cancer, the ancient Gate of Life. Grand Trines are highly energetic configurations, mostly harmonious and positive, opening up new valves of understanding and offering outlets for greater creativity. This configuration seems to redeem the more difficult reading of Via Combusta. There is great potential for healing in this Chart and to overcome the emotional burning with an outflow of higher emotions, compassion, desire to help and heal the world, and all round enhancement of the nurturing quality of Cancer.

Full Moon in Capricorn, Lunar Eclipse, June26

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The Eclipses, once again, accompany the change of season, a significant fact that will make their influence more marked and also longer lasting.

The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse is Partial, visible after sunset from Australasia, and before sunrise in western South and North America.

The Moon, central to the whole interpretation, is transiting in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, separated from the position of this planet, as projected on the ecliptic, by a mere 0 degrees and 41 minutes of longitude. The Sun then is of course exactly 180 degrees away from the Moon and also Pluto. Even by itself this configuration would heighten the intensity of the ecliptic Moon, but there is much more. Mercury is in Cancer with the Sun on the day, while Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct in Aries, are 90 degrees away from both Sun and Moon; while Saturn in Virgo, opposite to them, is also in a wide 90 degrees angle to Sun and Moon. This configuration is known as a Grand Cross, usually connecting four celestial bodies, but, in this case, linking instead seven: Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn.

Grand Crosses are tough, tight knots, forcing planets to work together, especially problematic if difficult planets are involved, as here are Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, heavy weights of the Zodiac. This Eclipse seems to draw attention and energize the knotty transits coming into activity during this season, the squares and opposition of Saturn to Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus respectively; more about these specific transits later. Some intensely emotional events can be the result of such a configuration corresponding with the time of an eclipse, because the combined forces of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will create a fierce opposition to the might of Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, also challenging each other: a time of quickening, a protracted labour inducing the birth of the New (a forceps birth rather than a gentle water birth). Unavoidably astrologers would notice the similarity between this event and the last lunar eclipse of 2009 (or first eclipse of 2010, depending where you were at the time), the one that preceded the Haiti and Chile’s disasters. The Sun and Moon were then placed in the Sign each other occupies in the June eclipse, on opposite hemispheres. The Sun was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and both Sun and Moon were widely square Saturn in Libra. But there is a great difference too.

All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse; other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.

So, for instance, the Lunar Eclipse of June 26 2010 belongs to the Saros number 120. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one that took place on October 5, 982 AD, close to the beginning of the last Millennium. The Eclipse that began a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series to get a feel of what we are dealing with. This first eclipse of the series shows a highly charged Horoscope, but also one with many redeeming factors. The Saros number of the December eclipse instead began with an extremely difficult eclipse in 1000 AD, showing more clearly the potential destructive nature of all the following eclipses of the same number.

Cancer New Moon, Solar Eclipse, July 11

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The Total Solar Eclipse of July 11 (or 12, depending on your location) will be visible within a narrow corridor in the Southern Hemisphere, across the South Pacific, through the latitudes of the Cook and Eastern Islands. According to the NASA website the path of totality will end just short of Chile and Argentina’s coastlines.

The threatening Grand Cross manifested during the Lunar Eclipse has become a more common T Cross in the Solar Eclipse Horoscope, a less powerful configuration. A difficult square Jupiter-Pluto is nearly exact on the day, and the opposition of Saturn to Jupiter-Uranus and square to Pluto are still active, while the Sun and Moon, conjunct in Cancer, are both in harmonious aspect to Mars. This is not an easy Chart either. The ancient Eclipse, that began the Saros cycle pertaining to this one, took place on September 20, 1541. The Chart for this event presents a milder picture, with positive aspects of Pluto to Sun, Moon and Mercury and of Mars-Uranus to Venus and Saturn. There is an alignment in Libra of Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn, but the most difficult short term transits are the Mars-Uranus conjunction and the Venus-Neptune’s opposition. So, if we follow the ancient rule of the Saros numbers, it seems that the Solar Eclipse, despite its totality, may not be as intense in effect as the preceding Lunar Eclipse. Their combined effect however could be something to reckon with.

Saturn in Libra

From July 22 Saturn is again in Libra, this time to stay. The ringed planet will traverse the Sign of Justice until October 2012. Saturn is in a very special place in Libra, traditionally described as the Sign of its Exaltation. Apart from some seriously hard transits this year, this is one of the best promising cosmic influences for the next few years. At first it may seem like a strange energetic mix: why the planet of responsibility, discipline and old age should be considered in its best zodiacal position (Exaltation) in the bright and light Sign of Libra? Libra is traditionally said to be ruled by Venus, the ever-young goddess of beauty, love and all pleasures. Venus’ Eternal Feminine and the usually grim old Saturn archetype are indeed an odd couple, apparently most unsuited to each other. This notion however comes from our limited (a Saturn’s keyword!) concept of Saturn, the one that tends to stress only his negative potential.

If Saturn represents commitment and serious attitudes, and Venus symbolizes love and relationships, the positive combination of the two would spell something like: committed and lasting love, responsible relationships, love of duty and work, sense of family, respect for elders and women, generation and gender’s gaps bridged by a sense of cooperation and mutual respect. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Collectively, during this two years transit, we could all improve the way we relate with each other, paying attention to fairness, gentleness, respect, upholding high but practical ideals of relating.

All Librans, and, to a lesser degree, all Aries, Cancer and Capricorn people in turn will learn their Saturnine-Venusian lesson, becoming more serious and committed not only in their relationships but in all their activities. Saturn always demands effort and commitment. Old Father Time wants us to learn from our experiences, good and bad alike, in order to slowly build a solid centre of consciousness that will serve us well until old age and beyond.

Saturn-Uranus’ Opposition

Coming back to Saturn’s present transits, the fifth and last pass of the opposition to Uranus, this time from Libra to Aries, will be exact on July 27. While the square (90 degrees angle) from Saturn in Libra to Pluto in Capricorn will be exact, for the third and last time, on August 21 (previous passes were in November 2009 and February 2010).

I’m sure the world will be glad to say goodbye to these difficult transits, considered by many responsible for the global financial crisis and the increasing antagonism between reforming and conservative forces all over the globe.

The Uranus’ opposition became exact for the first time in November 2008, revisiting us in February and September 2009, and as recently as April this year, thus permeating the last eighteen months or so. Barack Obama was elected to the American Presidency during this transit’s November 2008 incarnation, so the last pass of the same could bring important developments to his career too.

A transit’s last pass is when the tension the aspect was creating and the issues it was raising are resolved or, at least, addressed; or when the attempt to deal with them ends in failure, a missed opportunity.

In this last opposition the focus has shifted from the Mutable Signs of Virgo and Pisces onto the Cardinal Signs, Aries and Libra. This shift implies that this is a more active pass than the past ones, because, while the Mutable Signs have to do with necessary adjustments to changes in the environment, testing our adaptability and tolerance, the Cardinal Signs are action Signs, tending to bring issues out into the open. In particular Uranus in Aries can stir a degree of militancy and desire to fight for individual rights and freedom. This opposition, combined with the upcoming Saturn-Pluto’s square, exact on August 21, will engage at the personal level especially those people who were born with the Sun in one of the early cardinal Signs (Aries, 21/25 March), Cancer (21-25 June), Libra (September 23/27) and Capricorn (December 22/26). Also people with the Moon, Ascendant, Mercury, Venus and Mars in the first two to five degrees of these Signs will be in direct line with this transit. This is a once in a life opportunity to seriously address unbalances in your life, especially in the area of relationships. The tension created by, on one hand, the desire for independence and self determination (Aries Uranus) and, on the other, the need to cooperate and remain committed (Libra Saturn) could give the last blow to some shaky relationships, while starting a complete new phase for more mature and steadfast ones. Uranus will insure that you allow yourself the freedom and individuality you are striving for, while Saturn will provide you with the experience and wisdom to meet others on neutral ground and remain fair to them too. The presence of Pluto could add more than a touch of emotional drama and the compulsion to tear away from us what of the past we reckon we have truly finished with.

Saturn-Pluto’s Square

One of the most valuable asset the Saturn-Pluto combined energies can leave to us is the ability to integrate some of the core issues and darker souls’ shades into our outer personalities, thus making life a more authentic and profound experience. Hard collective and personal lessons are showing us how fully responsible we are for our lives and that no one will be coming to rescue us, unless we begin to rescue ourselves from poisonous memories, attachments, attitudes and lifestyles.

Pluto is all well if its energy, especially when combined with the cynicism and earthiness of Saturn, is not misused in demonizing others or becoming prey to obsessive behaviour. Let’s face it: a number of people on this very populated planet will have to respond negatively to these transits, hence the potential dangers to the collective. The next major plutonian encounter will occur in June and September 2012, when Uranus will first form a 90 degrees angle to Pluto, lasting well to the end of 2013. That will be another meeting of Titans and a powerful destiny maker for the whole planet.

In the wide world these are aspects that can and will upset the status quo, making fierce confrontations more likely. Revolutions of the types advocated by Uranus and Pluto are not the non-violent variety and aren’t necessary democratic, but can be autocratic as well, ushering in more conservative forces. Or the desire for change could force many to resort to violence or to abide by their own sense of law and justice rather than the one sanctioned by their governments.

Uranus and Jupiter in Aries

Since May 28 Uranus has remained within the first degree of Aries. it will soon re-enter Pisces, in retro motion, and so will Jupiter, shortly afterwards, both emerging into Aries again only in 2011.

So the very early Cardinal Signs, again, are getting just a two and half months taste of the exciting and independent touch of Uranus, bringing all things weird and wonderful in their lives, including a new sense of self, new friendships, new occupations, new freedom. Jupiter, following the path of Uranus, will add confidence and optimism, helping you to embrace more readily the changes and even disruption to your safe routines that usually Uranus demands. This is just the tentative beginning (see opposition from ‘kill joy’ Saturn) of a startling existential revolution that will unfold during the seven years transits of Uranus in aspect to your Sun Sign, first for the ones born early in the Sign and then, in their turn, all the others.

If we consider the development of computers technology in the last few years close to phenomenal, reaching more and more people on the planet every day (Uranus transiting the highly intuitive, penetrating and group oriented Pisces since 2003 ), we can predict that the transit of Uranus through Aries will bring a veritable information and technology revolution, during which we may find newer and better ways to do just about everything. Aries Uranus spells ‘technology and inventiveness in action’. With the courage to embrace and pioneer new ideas, hopefully we will begin to tackle the issue of our total reliance on oil and coal, the most polluting energy means in world history. There is hope, with another Climate Change Conference planned for the end of November, that Jupiter (becoming conjunct Uranus three times, in June, September and lastly January 2011) will do its job as a grand cosmic catalyst, improving our lives and getting us closer to our higher human ideals.

Looking back in history at the two closest periods of Uranus in Aries (1927-1934 and 1843-1850) we find lots of political unrest, egalitarian and communist movements, as well as autocratic and fascist ones, all uncompromising, radical, war like ideologies and actions, and little time for diplomacy or careful planning. Action time!

Aries however is often misrepresented as just an aggressive and less than thoughtful Sign, while we forget its high intuitions and daring feats that have produced not only great warriors and freedom fighters, but also many great thinkers and visionaries.

Uranus and Jupiter back into Pisces

Re-entering Pisces from the back door, Uranus and Jupiter are providing not just some late born Pisces but also other late born Mutable Signs (Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius) with the last opportunity in 84 years (Uranus’ cycle) and 12 years (Jupiter’s) to do something different, even radical with their lives. The Uranus in Pisces period will last from August 14, 2010, to March 12, 2011. While the Jupiter in Pisces period will cover the period September to end of December 2010. The birthdays in line with these transits are Pisces, born March 13 to 21, Virgo, born September 15 to 23, Gemini, born June 14 to 22, and Sagittarius, born December 14 to 22.

The sense of restlessness that gripped you in 2009 is returning with a vengeance this year. You feel the need to do something about it. You are striving toward greater independence and detachment from people or situations which seem to limit your freedom of action and thought. With your self confidence improving and your head full of new ideas and plans for the future it is unlikely that you will let this opportunity go. Jupiter will aid Uranus here offering opportunities that will help you to bring to fruition what seemed impossible before (Uranus).

Pisces may find these transits a bit strange, alienating them for a while from their naturally passive and yielding nature. This could prove an emotionally roller-coasting period, unless you are an artist or miracle worker and able to use the surplus energy to your advantage.

Virgo, on the other hand, may enjoy these transits that can provide them with the power and opportunities to free themselves from mindless and life-denying duties and relationships; also encouraging them to apply their innate cleverness to something completely new.

Gemini and Sagittarius may instead become a touch too hypo under these influences, liable to over-reach and under-achieve as a consequence. Sagittarius doesn’t usually need much incentive to be extra bold and Geminis are already a bit too restless by nature, so that the Uranus-Jupiter’s transits may exacerbate these problems for them, for a while. Then again, isn’t the sky the limit? Much can be achieved now that will encourage new trends in these people’s own lives as well as the life of their families and communities.

Chiron back in Aquarius

After entering Pisces on April 20, Chiron will go back to Aquarius in retro motion on July 20, re-entering Pisces for good only in February 2011. The birthdays in direct alignment with this transiting loop are Aquarius, born February 14 to 19, Leo, born August 19 to 24, Taurus, born May 17 to 22, and Scorpio, born November 18 to 23.

The determination and power to heal comes usually with the experience of pain. Symbolically Chiron, the mythical wounded healer and teacher, yields this double edged sword, on one side bringing up physical and psychological hurts we could all do without and which seem often unfair and undeserved, while also revealing to us the healing powers that we all possess but are mainly unaware of.

A Chiron’s transit represents also a time for sharing your life experiences and your knowledge with others, in order to aid them in their healing journey. You may learn, while communicating your knowledge, that there are things you cannot change, in your life and in other people’s, be it a chronic illness, a disability, a loss, or simply old age. Those factors too need to be integrated into a holistic vision of life, one including the joys as well as the pains of existence, gaining wisdom from both.

Transits January to March 2010

FROM THE CAPRICORN SOLSTICE TO THE ARIES EQUINOX

I’m re-publishing this post here because the previous version mysteriously disappeared from my site during the Mercury retro period (!); probably something I did.

In the FORECAST page are saved all the 2010 Transits articles.

Welcome to my astrological musings for the opening season of 2010. Many cosmic shifts are ushering new phases of personal and collective growth on the planet.

Like 2009 this year also begins with two Eclipses, Lunar in Cancer (January1) and Solar in Capricorn (January 15). More eventful times are on the cards for all of us, the Eclipses imparting a special resonance to the year ahead.

The lunar event will be felt more keenly by some Cancer (July1/3) and Capricorn (December30/January1), indicating an emotionally charged start of the year. It could be the climax to a somewhat trying period. What you value and whom you love will become immersed in the darkling light of the eclipsed Moon, your soul’s mysterious mirror.

The Solar Eclipse will affect directly some Capricorn (January14/16) and Cancer (July16/18), making you increasingly conscious of the need to fire up the year with new attitudes, more akin to your inner believes and drives. Solar Eclipses are not climaxes but rather starting points. Conscious and unconscious merge now, revealing to us things about us that are normally hidden, new impulses seeking outward expression.

During both Eclipses the Sun will be close to Venus, eternal feminine and archetypal energy behind attraction and love. The theme of the Eclipses is love, relationships and our sense of value, with an accent on commitment, marriage, family, career, status, security, co-dependency issues, due to the emphasis on Capricorn and Cancer, conservative Signs.

Venus will be invisible, obliterated by the brilliance of the Sun. returning to our western skies, as Evening Star, only around the end of March. According to Bernadette Brady, renown Australian astrologer, Venus or any other planet found in close proximity to the Sun can be regarded as  ‘enchanted’ (Visual Astrology newsletter, August 2009), meaning that they become truly merged with the solar centre of consciousness, made stronger by their invisibility rather than weaker.

On December 20 Mars turned retrograde. The fiery planet will retrace its steps all the way to the beginning of Leo and turn direct again only on March 11 2010. This is not the touch and go effect of a common transit of Mars, because the apparent backward motion of the planet slows the planet down considerably, causing its transits to linger and thus impress us more deeply.

It will be so, in this case, for some Leo (July23 to August14), and also Aquarius (January21 to February10), Taurus (April21 to May12), and Scorpio (October23 to November13).

Mars symbolizes the outward energy we all need to enter into action, assert ourselves and feel distinctly separated from others, in order to pursue our own desires as unhindered as possible. When retrograde, Mars works somewhat against itself; its outward motion becoming checked and also slowed down. This could prove frustrating if you want to make things happen quickly or if you need to prove your independence and personal strength. It is a better time to revisit the way you normally go about asserting yourself or the manner you tackle activities in your daily life. Have you been too forceful and self centred lately? Do you consider others when going about your business?

The slow motion of Mars might interfere with the prompt deployment of energy in your everyday life, and the immediate satisfaction of desires, but could also teach you an invaluable lesson on the right way to exert your energies and the value of forethought and cautious consideration of all circumstances and people.

The Sun-Mars’ opposition (central to the whole phenomenon of retrogradation) will be exact on January 30 2010, coinciding, for more emphasis, with the Full Moon in Leo. This will be the focal point during the retro period of Mars, one of greater awareness of the issues discussed, especially for some Aquarius (January 29/31), and Leo (August 2/4). There is a risk of going to emotional extremes, and anger issues, especially with ‘familiar’ people.

Saturn has entered Libra in October 2009 and will turn retrograde on January 14, re-entering Virgo, from the back door, on April 8.

Some Libra (September23/27); Aries (March21/25); Cancer (June21/25); and Capricorn (December22/26) are now been visited by Saturn: reality check or reality therapy, it depends. You will feel more inclined and better equipped to commit yourself to your projects, relationships, everything, because you feel the need now to establish emotional and material security for yourself and your loved ones. Often important decisions are made under the watchful eyes of Saturn that will affect your destiny for the next seven years and beyond. The call of duty will be herd but the response to that call is ultimately up to you. You could decide to pay no attention to it, missing an opportunity for the setting down of some important groundwork. To answer the call in the way Saturn demands you need to accept personal responsibilities and put yourself on the line, through commitment and efficient use of time and energy. Saturn is worth the effort, because his rewards are lasting and generous when they finally come. To give instant gratification is not Saturn’s modus operandi.

A possible negative outcome of such a transit is the feeling of having been burdened by a weight too heavy to carry, or by the naked realization that life can be hard sometimes. Some may opt to plunge into a more or less deep state of depression and experience low levels of energy and libido. If practical responsibilities have not been previously met they seem to crush down on us now, making us painfully aware of our shortcomings and sins of omissions. A sense of separation from the warmth and joy of life can exacerbate loneliness, while teaching an important lesson on self-reliance and maturity.

Looking at your state of mind from a different angle could help. In ancient times melancholia used to be considered a fruitful ground for creative work, emotional and spiritual insights. We don’t need to reject it as an illness, but acknowledge it as a rewarding phase of experience.

An important meeting of Saturn and Pluto (square or 90 degrees angle) is also coming on February 1.

It is not the first time this heavy duty transit touches your life though. It has been exact already in November 2009 and will return at the end of August 2010. Confronting some dark fears could be the expression of it, with the underlying, mostly unconscious desire to change your life in important ways, especially in the area of work, personal ambition, social standing, sexuality and the use of personal resources. A radical change of attitudes is demanded here, in order to shed old ingrained habits (Saturn) and transform yourself into someone closer to your real inner essence (Pluto). Using creatively the impact of this transit (the ultimate reality check) will enable you to contact your inner power and to face difficult and demanding circumstances with renewed strength and depth of understanding.

Saturn circles the Sun in just under thirty years. With the ingress of Saturn in Libra people born in 1980 are going this year through their first Saturn’s Return. This is a decisive maturing period, when the individual is expected to have reached a degree of autonomy and grasp of his/her social and personal obligations. A time when life definitely change (ask anyone who has been there) and some fundamental path of destiny becomes defined.

Older people born in 1951 are instead experiencing their second Saturn’s Return. On the threshold of 60 this is a critical time of adjustment, to a different role within families and communities. Are we ready to become elders at sixty, or are we still pining for lost youth, looks and enthusiasm? The wisdom brought by the second cycle of Saturn is available only when the old values are allowed to change and we can again, or perhaps for the first time, sit comfortably in our own skins, wrinkles and all.

The again older generation born in 1921 are beginning the third and last cycle of this formative and ultimately spiritual planet. The works indicated by Saturn are now inward jobs of self reflection and the rescue of old memories, enabling the individual to sum up his/her experiences somehow. There could be regrets if we stay stuck at the earthy Saturn’s level of productivity and duty, because the value essence of people reaching their 90th year is impossible to measure by external achievements, successes and failures alike. The senior cycle of Saturn serves the purpose of creating a scaffolding to hold the soul in place in preparation for death, rather than the material/ego scaffolding that characterized the previous cycles.

Jupiter will enter Pisces on January 18, transiting the whole of Pisces in under six month time, entering Aries as early as June 2010. It will however return to Pisces between September 2010 and January 2011. In June Jupiter and Uranus are planning to arrive at Aries’ gates at the same time, a grand entrance, with some fireworks involved; but that exciting rendezvous is not yet in season.

For the first three months of 2010 Jupiter’s extroverted energy will be felt by some Pisces people (February19/March9); also Virgo (August23/September11), Gemini (May21/June9) and Sagittarius (November22/December11).

This could sound like a call to adventure, a taste of confidence and optimism. Dare to dream and see some of your wishes become a reality, because you truly believe in them and also in your ability to seize them.

Your social life can be greatly improved by this transit and also the desire for knowledge either via travel or study. Anything that can bring you out of your habitual routines will be certainly welcome: a great time to make life improvements that have been long overdue and a leap of faith in uncharted waters.

Staying grounded could prove difficult; you may occasionally confuse yearning with authentic intuition and overstep your mark. Even if nothing concrete come out of this now, the vision and faith you are experiencing will help you to gain greater perspective during more prosaic times.

If your present situation seems to impede your progress you will be likely to rebel, because you know now that you deserve better. The blessings of Jupiter are often mixed with the woes of discontent and frustration, if opportunities for expansion are not readily available. You may feel impatient of any form of restriction, and uncharacteristically outspoken. Moderation is a useful word to remember when Jupiter is strongly activated.

On February 17 we will finally experience the great conjunction of Chiron to Neptune. This transit has entered the collective psyche since 2008, becoming exact only now. The birthdays in more direct line of contact with it are: Aquarians (February14/16), Leo (August18/20), Taurus (May16/18)) and Scorpio (November18/20). The New Moon in Aquarius, on February 14, will help to emphasize the power of this transit, for everyone.

The depth of compassion and empathy of a Chiron-Neptune’s conjunction is possibly unparalleled. Neptune’s function is to open us to universal vibrations, making us psychically and physically more vulnerable but also easily identified with the whole. The Chiron’s experience, on the other hand, teaches acceptance of what cannot be changed and the wisdom of detachment.

Chiron, orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, respectively the last visible planet (physical awareness) and the first invisible one (the realm of abstract thought), functions as go-between the known and unknown realms of experience.

Collectively this transit conveys then the present struggle to become more inclusive, compassionate and accepting of differences, opening our heart to the sufferings of the poor and disposed, attempting to heal the rift among people caused by ignorant and selfish attitudes. It could also represent an experience of collective grief, dissolving our illusion of being in control, thus enhancing spiritual awareness.

These humanitarian (Aquarian) trends came into focus very much in 2009 when Jupiter activated the conjunction Chiron-Neptune by its own transit through Aquarius. These trends continue strongly throughout 2010, with Jupiter’s passage into compassionate and inclusive Pisces and the conjunction Neptune-Chiron still very much alive.

Happy and wise transits, everyone.

Transits March to June 2010

FROM ARIES EQUINOX TO CANCER SOLSTICE

March 21, 2010, a new Aries Equinox is upon us, opening the astrological year. The Aries Equinox is traditionally considered the most powerful indicator of the year’s future trends, because Aries is the archetypal beginning Sign, for both Northern and Southern hemispheres.  At this moment in history Aries is becoming also a focal point of interest to astrologers for another, very important reason.

Uranus’ ingress into Aries

No time to waste.

The top event for this season is in fact the entrance of Uranus, the sky god, into fiery Aries, on May 28, preceded by the ingress of Chiron in Pisces, on April 20. Three of the four planets orbiting beyond Saturn have now moved Sign (Pluto, Chiron and Uranus). Neptune will follow, entering Pisces in April 2011, and, for good, in early 2012. All these consecutive changes in the zodiacal position of these Destiny Makers, between 2008 and 2012, characterize the present time and near future as one of the most rapidly transformative period in recent history, reflecting a renaissance of a sort, but also huge social, political and ecological upheavals.

These transits are momentous, and Uranus in Aries can be considered, together with Pluto in Capricorn, one of the most dynamic and also potentially dangerous of all these transits.

Uranus takes an average of seven years to transit a Sign, returning to the same position every 84 years (7×12), its entire orbit containing a whole epoch of cultural development. Any planet’s ingress into Aries represents also a new start. Uranus will accelerate the pace of changes, boosting the collective urge to rebel against the status quo. This is however a brief taste of Uranus in Aries, lasting only until August 14, when this eccentric planet will re-enter Pisces in retro motion.

Uranus will be back in Aries for good in 2011 and remain there until 2019. What effect would Uranus in Aries have over the generation of people who will be born between 2010 and 2019? Let’s look into the past for answers: the last Uranus in Aries generation was born between 1927 and 1935. They have been identified by some as the “Rebels without a cause’, a class of defiant people who had the courage to be themselves, and often became actively engaged in changing the rules and anticipating trends, thus paving the way for those who followed them.  Many of them personify very well the rebelliousness and modernity of Uranus boldly expressed through the Aries medium. To name a few of the best known: James Dean, Mikhail Gorbachev, Che Guevara, Buddy Holly, Ted Kennedy, Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Shirley McLain, Rupert Murdoch, Peter O’Toole, Elvis Presley. The power of these people to excite and inspire the generations that followed them is a testimony to their unique individuality.

The birthdays now in line with this transit are: Aries (March21/23), Libra (September23/25), Cancer (June21/23), Capricorn (December22/24). These same people have been under a barrage of heavy duty transits since early 2008, first from Pluto in Capricorn, then from Saturn in Libra and now from Uranus! You may start feeling as if you have been singled out by some overwhelming fate, ruthlessly playing with your life. This latest Uranus’ contact could bring the situation to a sort of climax for you, hopefully making you more aware of the fact that every future is built on the ruins and riches of the past.  Searching for your own individual path will be the challenge in the next two years. A sense of isolation may prevail if you find that your present situation and current relationships are not reflecting your urgent need for freedom and self determination. It would very much depends on what use you have made of the Plutonian and Saturnine energies, in recent months and years. Are you now taking full responsibility for your life and stopped procrastinating (Saturn)? Have you identified and dealt with those aspects of your life that have had an obvious negative/destructive influence in the past (Pluto)? If you have done your home work, then Uranus can now bring you the independence you have yearned for a long time. If you have not made these steps, then Uranus could feel instead like another upheaval you don’t want to know about, prompting you to move out of your comfort zone, risking much of the security you have built in the past.

Generally speaking, Aries is not an easy place for Uranus and the transits of the planet of rebellion in the Sign of impulsivity promises that the Uranian drive for renewal will be thrust upon us in a rather abrupt way, probably not giving us enough time to assimilate the changes. This is not, I’m afraid, a very promising position in regard to world peace, because the combination of the iconoclastic and autocratic character of Uranus and the fiery, belligerent nature of Aries could be an explosive one. Both archetypes are masculine, if not hyper-masculine, with a marked tendency to antagonize rather than cooperate and seek peaceful resolutions. The ingress of Uranus in Aries also anticipates an intense contact Uranus-Pluto (90 degrees angle) that will become exact between 2012 and 2014, but is already very close. The mingling of the highly transformative energies of these two planets will manifest as make or break situations that we all will have to face. Accepting changes will not be any more a matter of choice. A remarkably similar situation happened in the late 20s and early 30’s, when Uranus was also transiting Aries (1927-35) and Pluto was in the opposite point of the zodiac that it is occupying now, in the Sign of Cancer. They formed their 90 degrees angles between 1930 and 1933. Not only this was the period of the Great Depression, with the fall of Wall street in October 1929, but also the beginning of an ideological  transformation in Europe and the far east that led to the rise of dictatorships and eventually to the outbreak of World War II. Destruction of the past is an appropriate key phrase to describe the combined energies of these planets. Then it meant war, the autocratic and aggressive side of the aspect obviously prevailing. It does not have to mean war in our near future, but certainly a confrontation of sort and a need to embrace changes (Uranus), no matter the cost, or perhaps even the means (Pluto) we choose to employ.

The Uranus-Pluto’s pairing with the end of the Mayan Calendar gives this particular aspect even greater significance, together with the passage of Neptune into Pisces (another 2012 event).

The Jupiter-Uranus’ Aries Conjunction,the escalating urge for action

Jupiter has entered Pisces on January 18. It will transit the whole Sign in record six months time, entering Aries on June 6 2010, and then returning to Pisces, in retro motion, between September 2010 and January 2011.

On June 8 Jupiter will meet Uranus on the cusp of Aries, the most active point of the whole ecliptic. This is exciting stuff. We will experience the same transit in September 2010 and January 2011, again close to pivotal times, the Libra Equinox and Capricorn Solstice. It certainly represents more than a passing trend.

Jupiter embodies the power that enlarges and improves on everything. In what way can we then see an improvement or enlargement of Uranus’ energy? Uranus represents, first and foremost, the urge toward change and modernization of values, also new technologies and all revolutionary ideas. Jupiter then will increase this urge. Great innovative ideas could come out of the collective brain, a new philosophical perspective that will affect, amongst other things, the way we view and use technology. This is a daring and risk taking influence that could greatly help to overcome the impasse of the still powerful Saturn with its conservative stance. The negative side of the same could be found in a tendency to rush into things without adequate forethought, to become arrogant and overbearing, expecting too much of circumstances or people, or trusting too blindly in our abilities. It is definitely a mixed bag for all of us and the early Cardinal Signs in particular, Jupiter making us more and more impatient of those restrictions that are nevertheless unavoidable.

All these transits on the cusp of the Cardinal Signs, the pillars of the yearly astrological calendar, really suggest a quickening in the pace of events and the need to get into action without delay to face problems head on. This is true not only for Cardinal Signs people (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn) but for all of us. The whole configuration suggests a very eventful year ahead, with old Saturn still doing its best to put a keg in the wheel of progress.

Another Pass of the Saturn-Uranus opposition

Saturn, as usual when prominent in transit (see, among other things its opposition to the Sun on the day of the Aries Equinox and the conjunction to the Sun at the next Libra Equinox) is suggesting the need for caution and a more conservative approach, when every other planetary indicator points instead to the need for decisive action.

With all these different strains on the Planet it is not surprising that we may not achieve as much as we wish. A saturnine period is one during which practical matters, money, work, health, duties override other considerations, when ideals have to bow down to realities, and our collective horizon seems to shrink a little.

Saturn says: you are not ready, you haven’t quite done your home work yet; long term commitments and hard work are necessary to back up the lofty dreams of a better future. Saturn will help us, as always, to keep our feet firmly on the ground, hopefully without stifling our hopes.

At the end of April Saturn (retrograded in Virgo since April 8) will again oppose Uranus, as it had done in November 2008, February and September 2009. This is not the last of this cosmic tag of war, but it is the last involving Virgo and Pisces. Another opposition will become exact in July 2010, with Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries, and stay with us well into 2011.

The birthdays directly aligned to the April opposition will be Virgo (September19/22), Pisces (March17/20), Gemini (June18/21), Sagittarius (December18/21). While your need to create a future for yourself is becoming stronger (Uranus), the past is revisiting you now, making you feel that instead than moving forward you are going backwards at the moment (Saturn). Some unfinished business still need to be addressed and cannot be brushed aside if you want your life to move out of this impasse. The past has still some valuable lesson for you; ignoring this is not an alternative in the circumstances.

Considering the collective potential of this transit many astrologers think that it could bring about more of the financial vows we all experienced in 2008/09. The Virgo/Pisces’ dynamics is again pointing to the need to be more humble and realistic, to sacrifice something in order to become more inclusive, shifting our focus from Ego centred values to more compassionate and spiritual ones.

The Equinox Moon and the power of Medusa

Looking at the Aries Equinox chart for 2010 many astrologers would notice the Moon’s position, on the 26th degree of Taurus. The reason is that this is the longitude of a very important star, Algol, in the constellation of Perseus. From antiquity this star has been universally considered an evil, unfortunate and violent influence. Apart from these superstitions, what is the archetype associated with Algol and why it has become such a symbol of vow and catastrophe? In Greek mythology Perseus is the typical hero who has to courageously and cunningly face deadly perils in order to re-gain his kingdom. Algol (western rendering of the Arab name Ra’s al Ghul, the Demon’s Head) was Medusa, the monster Perseus had to kill in order to regain his lost kingdom and rescue his maiden princess (his soul). This Medusa, the legend tells, was once a beautiful woman, transformed into an evil monster by the wrath of the god Neptune, against whom she had sinned. She represents the ugly face of resentment and hate, with her power to turn everyone who looks at her face into lifeless stone. To slay her Perseus had to avoid staring at her, but uses instead a magical reflective shield that Athena, goddess of wisdom, had given him for this purpose. Once the deed is accomplished the hero places Medusa’s head over Athena’s shield and returned the same to the goddess who, from then on, used it to deter evil in the world.

The symbol of the mirror-shield is an obvious one, showing the need for self reflection when tackling our inner demons, because direct confrontation with the same could prove fatal to our quest. The light of reason and wisdom is needed in order to handle the monster safely, as we need a protective and supportive environment and loyal helpers in order to face those deep seated feeling of resentment that we carry with us since childhood. To confront them head on, without the aid of self reflection and spiritual understanding, could be psychologically very destructive.

The potential for good of Medusa herself becomes clear when out of her severed head, apart from vengeful demons, sprang also Pegasus, the winged horse, a symbol of the soul freed from the shackles of past pain and loathing. So there is a lot of positive stuff to be found in the Algol/Medusa’s legend. For sure the prominence of Algol in a chart already packed with challenging aspects warns us that the road ahead is a perilous one, where perpetuating old hatreds could prove fatal to our spiritual evolution. To see the beauty (Pegasus) in those we consider our enemies (Medusa) is the secret for successfully using this star’s energy without being psychologically paralysed by her terrible stare.

As Diana K. Rosenberg, an esteemed expert on Fixed Stars, beautifully put it in her internet article on Medusa : ‘…Algol … in a chart does not necessarily mean that you will inflict, or be the victim of, horror and mayhem … but that you will be aware of the depths of suffering that can occur, whether through human depravity or “Acts of God”; …. your life path will require that you come to terms with that level of experience… The polarities of bigotry or tolerance, violence or kindness, cruelty or compassion, war or peace are issues that are unavoidable and must be dealt with under Medusa.’

The seasonal Mercury’s loop, April 18 to May 12

Our trickster planet, the child of the solar family, will perform its station and retrogradation in the Sign of Taurus, affecting in particular Taureans born between April 21 and May 3. These few weeks could be the ideal time for a break from routine and duties. If you slow down the pace of your life you are less likely to experience frustration. If you have to stay on the job, expect some delay and inconsistencies. Many little things could happen that will measure or even stop your progress for a while. Keep your appointments and deadlines fluid enough to accommodate last minute unexpected trouble. This will be a test of your mental flexibility and ability to adapt, not usually your forte.

Transits to the Fixed Signs

Taurus, like all the other Fixed Signs (Scorpio-Aquarius-Leo) are also still influenced by the slow passage of Mars through Leo (since mid October 2009!). Mars is finally moving in direct motion at Equinox time, indicating a better period ahead to tackle business with renewed energy and confidence, apart from the short interval of Mercury retrogradation.

The central experience though for some Fixed Sign people will still be the life changing transit of Neptune through Aquarius (with us until 2012). Aquarius (Feb.16/19), Leo (Aug.20/23), Taurus (May18/21), Scorpio (Nov.19/22) are still under the spell of Neptune, often feeling as if their sense of reality has changed to the point that they are unable to act and relate the way they always did. When prominent in transit Neptune opens new dimensions in our life, new channels of understanding, but, unless we are psychologically prepared and spiritually aware, these could prove more bewildering than helpful.

Chiron in Pisces, 2010-18, a healing transit

I have left the discussion of this transit last, not because it is less notable than others, but because it is one that promises some real healing.

Pisces, last in the sequence of twelve Signs, represents the end product of the entire cycle and also contains, in seed form, the future cycle. Chiron, the healer centaur of ancient lore, with his wisdom and knowledge of nature’s remedies, in Pisces will show us the way to merge with the natural environment, to participate emotionally, not merely intellectually to the suffering of the less privileged and of the Planet itself.

On the negative side this position of Chiron may increase the risk of serious pandemics, because the medium of Pisces, with its openness and fluidity, is ideal for the spread of infections, the absorption of poisons and the lowering of our collective immunity. Tears and powerlessness, with the loss of control are some of the traditional attributes of mystical Pisces, when its energy is mishandled.

The Earth may become more susceptible to illnesses brought about by pollution and neglect, the same applying to all the beings that populate it, animals and humans. The situation on our planet may worsen before the healing can begin.

One way or the other, this long transit will make us realize that, if any member of the human family suffers, the whole of humanity suffers. The potential for collective healing through this configuration is self-evident, but only via spiritual surrender of ego centred attitudes.

Chiron in Pisces basically suggests that to cure the body (ours, the Earth’s) we need to heal the soul.

Happy and wise transits, everyone.

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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