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.

For older articles, published by the Art of Healing, please click here