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.

The Science of Uranus in Aries

The seven to eight years during which Uranus transits Aries, every eighty four years or so, seem to have an uncanny connection with the science of light, in particular with the speed of light. Here are some instances worthy reflecting upon (marked with a red asterisk *). Other important scientific breakthroughs are also included:

Uranus in Aries between 1675/76 and 1682

*In 1675 the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer, while observing variations in the timing of eclipses of the Jupiter’s Moon, measured the speed of light at 200.000 Km/sec, according to the then accepted value of Earth’s orbit.

Also in 1675 king Charles II of England commissioned the construction of  the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, to obtain more accurate data on longitudinal positions at sea, thus improving ship navigation as well as astronomical observation (Wiki page on the Greenwich history).

*In 1678 the Dutch scientist Christian Huygens (Wiki page on Huygens) published a seminal treatise on the nature of light, for the first time exposing the theory that light was made of ‘waves’, moving through space at an amazing speed.

Uranus in Aries between 1759/60 and 1767

The English chemist Henry Cavendish discovered the element Hydrogen in the chemical composition of water (Wiki page on Henry Cavendish).

Uranus in Aries between 1843/44 and 1850

In 1842 the British government paid Charles Babbage, inventor of the ‘Difference Machine’, to develop an advanced calculating machine, which they called ‘analytical engine’, a sort of mathematical computer (Wiki page on Charles Babbage). 

In 1846, British and French astronomers ‘discovered’ a new planet in the solar system, Neptune, beyond Uranus’ boundaries.

*Also in 1846 Michael Faraday, English chemist and physicist, discovered the principle of the electric motor. In a lecture titled ‘Thoughts of Ray Vibration’ he described the magnetic and electrical forces which hold atoms together, also suggesting that the same might transmit light (Wiki page on Faraday).

*In 1847 Thomas Edison was born in the USA to become one of the most prolific and influential inventors of all times. 1.300 inventions have been attributed to him. One of his enduring legacies has been the invention of the electric light bulb. Edison died around his 84th birthday in 1931, during the next transit of Uranus in Aries that went from 1927/28 to 1934 (Wiki page on Thomas Edison).

*In 1849 the speed of light was calculated more accurately by Leon Foucault, a French physicist. Foucault kept researching and improving his method of calculation until he reached his final measurement of 299,796 Km/s in 1862 (Wiki page on Leon Foucault).

Uranus transits Aries between 1927/28 and 1934

In 1927 the German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg discovered that the path of an electron revolving around an atom’s nucleus cannot be predicted, calling this ‘the Uncertainty Principle’, a key discovery of Quantum Physics(Wiki page on Werner Heisenberg HERE and the Uncertainty Principle).

On September 28 1928 the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered by a lucky accident the antibacterial properties of blue-green mould, calling it Penicillin. Mould grown on bread had been however used to heal infected wounds since the Middle Ages before its scientific properties were actually demonstrated by Fleming and others (Wiki page on the discovery of Penicillin).

In 1931 American Karl Janski, a radio engineer,  discovered radio emissions from the constellation of Sagittarius in the Milky Way. His so called ‘Janski turn-table’ was the first rudimentary Radio Telescope ever to be constructed. Because his discovery occurred during the Great Depression a proper Radio Telescope wasn’t constructed until 1937 (Wiki page on Karl Janski).

In 1928 the English physicist John Cockroft and Irish Ernest Walton began working on the acceleration of protons. In 1932 they constructed a machine for accelerating elementary particles, the first popularly known ‘smashing of the atom’ (Wiki page on Cockroft and Walton).

Uranus transits Aries between 2010/11 and 2018

*Can the mysterious sub-atomic particles neutrinos exceed the speed of light, as some European physicists made public in Geneva on September 23 2011? If true this would challenge one of the fundamental tenets of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and probably, yet again, change our vision of the world. As Dennis Overbye puts it  in his September 24 article:“Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with notions of cause and effect”. As with all Uranian maverick thinking and love of unexplored places, these results will be tested by time and perhaps found wanting. One way or the other this is exciting news.

On September 29 2011 China launched its first experimental module to form part of a future space station, aiming at becoming a major space power. This is an important development for China, with Uranus in Aries transiting in opposition, for the next few years, to China’s natal Sun, Mercury, Neptune and South Lunar Node.

For a discussion of the transits active in the months of October, November and December2011 please  navigate to one of my previous posts HERE.

Aries New Moon, and Aries Mercury, Mars, Uranus, Jupiter. A call to arms?

I was preparing for an intense day on this New Moon, and for good astrological reasons. The conjunction Mars-Uranus has become exact today, so giving a certain character and tone to the whole new cycle the New Moon is opening. Bloody conflicts are all over the news, with not imminent solutions in view.

The whole month will keep this momentum going, the drive for change and progress at all cost (Uranus) married to the need for action without delay and an aggressive general attitude (Mars). This trend will be obvious on the evening news as well as in our own private lives, where conflicts could flare up at the least provocation, causing often a sense of alienation and separateness amongst people. No great strides toward peaceful solutions seem to be on the cards for now.

Furthermore the Sun and Moon were also in conjunction to Jupiter in Aries today and therefore in opposition to Saturn in Libra, thus becoming active participants in the cosmic patterns that are shaping the  present historical events. In fact Jupiter is only now just separating from the opposition to Saturn that became exact, for the third and last time, last Tuesday, March 29.

If interested in the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition, please look up the astrological highlights of the week March 28 to April 3 HERE, and, for a more in depth analysis, to my older post on the historical significance of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition HERE.

The Sun and Moon with Jupiter will attract big events, and perhaps also an inflated expectation of big events. We may risk collectively to escalate differences, rather than contain them.

A good example of this is the fierce conflict raging at present in Australia about the so called Carbon Tax, between opposite factions, one absolutely against it and the other absolutely in favor.

The opposition of Sun and Moon to Saturn, at New Moon, will have also a powerful effect, on this particular issue and others, now and in the next few weeks. Finding a middle ground between Jupiter and Saturn’s tendencies would be indeed very difficult. Perhaps this necessary reform will have to be imposed forcibly on a lot of people who don’t want any of it.

Or another possibility is that Saturn could create the type of stalemate we have seen gripping other crisis, all over the world, from Japan’s atomic crisis, to the bloody civil conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

Mercury now moving slowly in retro motion in Aries could also have the effect of making us revisit the past, going through similar experiences and tests we have had recently. It is difficult to find permanent solutions to personal or collective problems while Little Brother is making his cosmic loop, because we need now to re-think everything, to go over again what we thought we had outgrown and overcome. Mercury turning direct again, on April 23, will offer more opportunities for a meaningful change of direction. For more information on April’s retrogradation of Mercury visit last week highlights post HERE.

Astrological predictions cannot be rosy under these circumstances, also considering the imminent retrograde station of Pluto (beginning on April 9) that could also mark a more intense and transformative time of the year for all of us.

One of the positive roles of Astrology is to make us more aware of the dangers inherent in a period of social and personal revolutions like the present, hopefully helping to find ways of toning down our passions, thus achieving a measure of cooperation with those who held opposing views.

A different facet of this New Moon story is represented by Neptune entering Pisces tomorrow, April 5. This historical transit seems to indicate that whatever is happening now in the world and within us will have far reaching consequences in shaping our beliefs, because we are in the grip of something much bigger than our own individual ambitions, dreams or wants, something we can hardly fight against because it seems and is unavoidable.

Amongst all other transits active at present the passage of Neptune in Pisces could redeem us by fostering compassion and tolerance, in a period of increased turbulence and unrest. Via Neptune’s unifying lenses we may be made to perceive that the aspirations of all human beings on the planet are indeed the same, because our source of being is the same.

For more about the transition of Neptune into Pisces visit my Escape to Neptune post HERE and More about the effect of Neptune in Pisces HERE.

My own Aries’ transits

I have been living through an experience lately, confirming to me the power of planetary configurations on our daily life. This story can also be read as an apology for posting this New Moon article late and also for non having published yet the Mars in Aries’ article I was preparing last week.

A sudden and very acute attack of sciatica prevented me from working. Only tonight I am finally able to sit for any length of time to type.

Well, my sciatica is part of the Aries story really. Mars, entering Aries on Friday, April 2, has formed a perfect right angle (square) with my very early Cancer Sun and my Birth Chiron, on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn. And, of course, Uranus was already forming exactly the same aspects since it too entered Aries on March 12. Uranus was obviously just waiting for Mars passing over the same degree to unleash its sudden fury over my poor sciatic nerve.

Today, New Moon day, Mars is conjunct Uranus; this particular transit has therefore reached its climax. My condition has improved slightly; I feel I am on the road to recovery.

The New Moon always brings some difference, offering an opportunity to look at our predicament in a new light, with hope rather than gloom. I feel that the waxing energy of the New Moon helps the body to fight back or give enough incentive to tackle ongoing problems with a fresh and positive attitude.

I didn’t expect my sciatica to get as bad as it did, so Uranus provided the aspect of unexpectedness, as it is supposed to do.  Mars, on the other hand, brought on the acute stage of the condition, flaring it up. And Chiron the soreness, one to which I am already accustomed, having had it times before. With Chiron is always something from the past that hit us, something ingrained and chronic that causes the physical or psychological unease, fostering at the same time a desire to understand the root cause of a condition, thus also promoting healing.

Of course the very same transits wouldn’t have had the same results if my Natal Gemini Mars did not promise trouble in the first place, opposing Natal Chiron in the Sign of Sagittarius (ruling over the sciatic nerve), conjunct Natal Mercury (planet of mobility), and at right angle to Natal Saturn in Virgo Third House, often stressing life’s limitations in a very physical way. The Saturn in Virgo connection shows me also the obvious consequences of the unhealthy choice of sitting for hours at the computer, forgetting to keep my body in a good posture, foregoing in fact all good advice in this respect.

In good Saturnine fashion I conclude that the sciatica is not just a case of bad luck, but very much of bad choices too.

Mea culpa.

Weekly Astrological Highlights, March 21 to 27

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Highlights of the week

Apology for again posting this weekly update late. There is so much going on at the moment and so little time (and electrical power) in my personal life I’m finding it hard to stick to my deadlines.

Big cosmic events have happened at the start of the week, with the Aries Equinox and the conjunction Sun-Uranus on Monday, March 21.  I have already discussed these events in a previous post, Full Moon in Virgo and the Aries Equinox conjunct Uranus so I’ll only make a note about them here.

The most important mutual aspect this week will be the sesqui-square (135 degrees) between Saturn retrograded in Libra and Neptune on the last degree of Aquarius, on March 25.

Also coming on, but not exact until March 29 is the last opposition Jupiter-Saturn, from Aries to Libra. The most recent difficulties experienced by the global economy, due to many natural and man-made disasters, bear the signature of this historical opposition, the third and last to occur since May 2010. It will be a topic for next week’s highlights.

The Moon is Waning this week, from the late Virgo Full Moon on Sunday, March 20, to the Capricorn Last Quarter Phase, on Saturday, March 26, always a time for self-reflection, when we can begin preparing for the next New Moon in a week time.

To end the week on a positive note, Venus will enter the Water Sign of Pisces, a suitable ambiance for our Love Goddess, on Sunday March 27.

March 21: Astrologers all over the globe are seeking answers in the transits active at the time of the Aries Equinox, the Birth Chart of the new astrological year, to glean a sense of what this new year might bring.

This time, we all agree, the wind of change is blowing, altering the lives of millions in a clean sweep. We all expected dramatic events of some sort, due to the number of significant shifts at hand, but reality has surpassed all expectations.

Putting aside the recent cataclysmic events and gloom and doom predictions, this Sun-Uranus’ conjunction, at this pivotal time of the year and so close to a Full Moon, will present opportunities for a lot of  people to take their lives into their own hands, to become more independent and self-reliant, to accept their differences and find the courage to live by their principles, rather than those the ‘system’ has prepared for them. Psychological freedom from excessive conditioning is what a powerful Uranus’s transit is supposed to foster, even when your external situation may take a longer time than your inner self to shift.

As we have seen in collective uprisings in many parts of the world, people are now impatient for change, ready to fight and even risk their lives in order to make a difference, and to outgrow the past.

If Uranus can make revolutionary heroes out of average citizens of an average world, so too he could revolutionize your life. You need to answer his call however. Change will not happen of its own accord, in most cases, and it would be preferable anyway to be at the helm rather than passively suffer upheavals imposed upon by outside circumstances.

The Sun Sign people in direct contact with Uranus, at the moment, are Aries (March 20 to 22), Cancer (June 21 to 23), Libra (September 23 to 25), Capricorn (December 21 to 23), and also Leo (July 22 to 24) and Sagittarius (November 21 to 23), or anyone with the Moon, one of the four angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven and Lower Heaven) or a planet in the first degree of the same Signs. Due to the slowness of Uranus (it will remain in Aries for nearly seven more years) this transit will extend its influence for many months.

MARCH 25, FRIDAY: the sesqui-square (a tongue twister of an aspect) between Saturn retrograde in Libra and Neptune, on the last degree of Aquarius, may be considered a minor aspect by some, but in this case it is not. The two planets are in fact slow moving  enough to savor this relationships, not perhaps for as long a time as with a square, opposition or trine, but long enough to leave a definite mark. In this case, for instance, the transit started becoming active in mid March and will remain active until early April (using a one degree orb). Furthermore this is already the second pass (occurrence) of this transit, because the two planets formed the same angle at the end of October 2010, when Saturn was still traveling in direct motion (first pass), and will be forming it again in late August 2011 (third and last pass).Covering such a long period of time it has certainly an impact on the collective psyche and events.

While this angle is said to cause some discordance and delays that require patience, the two planets involved are known to have some natural difficulties in working together anyway, due to their very different natures: Saturn all down to earth and Neptune all spaced- out.

This week in particular it could prove difficult to reconcile the need to be practical and grounded with the need to transcend limitations and allow creative and spiritual experiences to take place. When planets are in aspects the idea is to make them work together, rather than give one or the other the upper hand. In this case, the ideal would be to keep the vision alive (Neptune) without losing our sense of reality or forgetting our duties (Saturn).

Individuals more likely to feel the difficulties of this transit are Libra (October 6 to 8 ), and Aquarius (February 3 to 5).

MARCH 26 and 27, SATURDAY and SUNDAY: these two days are dominated by the Sign’s change of Venus, from logical Aquarius to romantic (and not so logical) Pisces. A post on this shift is in the pipeline. A few words here: in traditional Astrology Neptune is said to represent the higher octave of Venus (a musical term meaning the reproduction of a sound at a higher, or lower pitch), because if we identify Venus with love, we then have to identify Neptune with compassion, the highest expression of love, when we love not for what we can get out of the other person (attention, pleasure, support etc.), but unconditionally. Venus transiting Pisces, the realm of Neptune, is said to take on the spiritual garb of the Oceanic God, to allow us to experience the unconditional love toward our fellow human beings and the sense of unity that that love brings. This is also a very imaginative and artistic Venus, helping us to appreciate beauty in all its forms, from natural to cultural beauty, sensuality and poetry. Negatively we run the risk, while Venus is in Pisces, of glamorizing the idea of love and idealizing the people we love to excess, looking for the ever elusive soul-mate of our dreams. Keeping the heart anchored on something solid (a sense of self), and keeping some emotional boundaries up will help to avoid these pitfalls.

Individuals more likely to feel the enchantment of Venus in Pisces, over the next month, will be Pisces, of course, as well as Cancer, Scorpio, and, mixed with difficulties, also Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius.

Venus will be transiting Pisces until April 21.

If interested, please click HERE to navigate to my Venus in Aquarius 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 imminent 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.

Full Moon in Virgo and the Aries Equinox conjunct Uranus

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.

Alan Watts

While the earthquake-tsunami crisis in Japan continues, aggravated now by the threat of a nuclear melt down, a new international war is unfolding in North Africa, now that the UN has resolved to impose a no fly zone over Libya. Meanwhile the whole Middle East is in grave turmoil on the wake of last months Egypt’s successful push for democratic reforms.

The Full Moon in late Virgo (March 20 in Australia, March 19 in Europe and the US) opposing the Sun on the threshold of Aries, astrological starting point of the year, could see a climax of the last fortnight’s dramatic events, hopefully bringing solutions rather than more heartache.

Uranus is brought to life by the Sun, uniting with it on zero degree Aries, and also by the Moon going to oppose it from the naught degree of Libra. I can’t think of a grander way to announce this eccentric planet on the world stage: a special welcome.

Since antiquity a planet close to the Sun was said to be combust, somewhat weakened by the Sun’s power. But this only until the Sun got really close to the planet, 17′ or less, when the planet’s power actually is said to increase, in a relationship called Cazimi.

Being so close to the center of consciousness of our solar system,  the power of the planet can be revealed in all its glory, bathed as it were in the light of the Sun, becoming one with it. Here, to make this picture more memorable, the Moon is illumining the whole scene, reflecting back to Earth the light of both Sun and Uranus,making us more conscious of their energies, and also easier preys to their potential destructive tendencies. Both Sun and Uranus are highly masculine, outgoing energies that can easily bring us to extremes, feeling on edge or going on over-drive.

Quantum leaps of consciousness could be more common in this occasion and, because this incredible transit begins the year, it will also accompany the year. Exciting and full of surprises, also potentially unsafe, uncompromising, alienating, destructive, aggressive, war-mongering (compare the last ingress of Uranus in Aries, 1927-1935).

Please note also the approaching third and last opposition Jupiter-Saturn (exact on March 29), pointing to a new incarnation of the ongoing financial crisis, another downturn that astrologers predicted all along.

Making this mix even more intriguing on Full Moon day Ceres (Demeter), the largest asteroid, the ancient Earth Mother, Goddess of the harvest and also of mourning, will unite with Neptune, God of the oceans, on the last degree of Aquarius (7 pm Eastern Australia Summer Time, 11 hours East of GMT). This degree is symbolically very significant, marking the Ascendant of the World Chart, now on the cusp of Aquarius, which happens to be at the end of the Sign rather than the start (Precession of the Equinoxes).

I feel that the latest man-made and natural disasters fit well also with the atmosphere of the conjunction Ceres-Neptune, when we cry for our Earth Mother and for ourselves, when families and entire communities are thorn apart, and all we can do is mourn what we have lost, and pray for redemption. A great and sincere wave of compassion has gone around the world with the power of a spiritual tsunami. We have all  been somehow transformed by it.

Last minutes battery power: I post here a few Charts, in batches of 3 (for three different localities, Australia, Japan and Libya) for the Full Moon and Aries Equinox events.

In the Aries Ingress Chart for Japan note the Ascendant on the 29th degree of Taurus, a special degree activated by all the Full Moons since September 2010,and especially by the last Total Eclipse of the Moon of December 21 2010, still very much dominating the fate of  the world today.

Last but not least a double wheel Chart with the Sunrise Chart of Colonel Gaddafi in the inner wheel and the Aries Equinox in the outer wheel.

All these Charts make very interesting reading. Hope they can inspire you to search more.

For more about the current transits, including the SuperMoon effect, please click HERE.

Full Moon 20 March 2011 in Wollumbin, Australia

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Full Moon 20 March 2011 in Japan (coordinates of earthquake’s epicenter)

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Full Moon 19 March 2011 in Libya

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Aries Ingress of the Sun in Wollumbin, Australia

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Aries Ingress of the Sun in Japan (coordinates of earthquake’s epicenter)

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Aries Ingress of the Sun in Libya

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Colonel Geddafi’s Sunrise Chart (time of birth unknown) and the Aries Ingress Chart

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Weekly Astrological Highlights, March 14 to 20

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Highlights of the week

Apology for posting this weekly update late. The unfolding crisis in Japan has pretty much upset my priorities in the last few days.

No major transits are exact this week, while we are all still reeling from the dramatic entrance of Uranus in Aries, last Saturday, March 12.

Prominent in transit are the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus, respectively in Aries and Aquarius.

The Moon is waxing, the Leo Gibbous phase begins on Thursday, March 17, and the Full phase, in the Sign of Virgo, on Sunday, March 20, 5.10 am (Eastern Australia Summer Time = 11 hours East of GMT).

MARCH 14, MONDAY : Mercury in Aries reached a distance of 90 degrees from Pluto in Capricorn on Monday, March 14. The transit will then be active for another day or so.

This was a somewhat depressing transit for lively Mercury: our conversations, writing, reading, learning, teaching leaning toward more profound and serious subjects. Glaring examples of this have been the media and public attention given to the ongoing tragedy in Japan, with very confronting footage of the destruction and death brought by the earthquake and tsunami filling television screens and radio reporting all over the globe. The Fire and Earth Signs will be more directly aligned to this transit, particularly Aries and Capricorn.

In the context of these appalling events the contact Mercury-Pluto reminds one of the Greek myth of Hermes (Mercury) Psychopomp, guiding the souls in the afterlife realm of Hades, name that indicated the place where the souls went after death as well as the God of the underworld himself (what the Romans and astrologers call Pluto). Just a thought, and an intriguing picture by German master Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), born with Pluto on the Ascendant.

The square to Pluto is just the first of Mercury’s transits this week. On Wednesday, March 16, our little brother will become conjunct Jupiter in Aries, on Friday, March 18, he will semi-square Neptune on the cusp Aquarius/Pisces, on Saturday, March 19,will reach the opposition to Saturn in Libra, and finally, on Sunday, March 20 (Full Moon day) Mercury will form a semi-square to Chiron in Pisces.

MARCH 15, TUESDAY : today Venus comes to the fore in transit, first in difficult aspect (semi-square) to Uranus in Aries and then in harmonious aspect (trine) to Saturn in Libra.

When Venus is prominent in transit the feminine is strong, also desires and the pursuit of pleasure and joy are important. Today we may oscillate from the desire to be different and relate in unconventional ways (Uranus’ contact) and the desire to comply with what is expected of us, what is considered proper and straight (Saturn’s contact). Difficult but interesting balance. The Air Signs of Aquarius, Libra and Gemini will feel this transits more keenly.

If interested, please click HERE to navigate to my Venus in Aquarius post .

MARCH 16, WEDNESDAY: today Mercury is conjunct expansive Jupiter, in the fiery Sign of Aries, an optimistic transit that could help to lift our collective spirit for a while.

Astrologically Mercury is said to rule the intellect and our human capacity to mentally analyze our experiences, translating them into words and concepts. Jupiter, on the other hand, is also a planetary energy that deal with mind stuff, but rather than categorizing and discriminating Jupiter has the function of searching for meaning, widening our mental horizons through philosophical thoughts and flights of intuition. We need Jupiter to see the big picture, to observe things from a more global and inclusive perspective, while we need Mercury to function as intelligent beings on the planet. If we define Mercury as Intellect we should then define Jupiter as Intuition. The combination of these planetary energies today will help our intellect to align with intuition, giving us a more refined tool for understanding life. This aspect will be more significant for Aries and the Fire Signs in general.

MARCH 19, SATURDAY: Mercury in Aries opposes Saturn in Libra today. Another difficult but potentially productive contact for Mercury.

After the flights of intuition brought about by the conjunction to Jupiter on Wednesday we are brought back to reality and forced to look at things as they are, minus the embellishments and wishful thinking. Used properly this is a wonderful energy to be particularly efficient in our work, especially paper work and studies, to meet deadlines and plan our future moves. Serious conversations and/or meeting with people from the past could be on the agenda too. The Fire and Air Signs are the ones directly aligned to this transits, in particular Aries and Libra.

MARCH 20, SUNDAY: Full Moon in Virgo today (28° 47′). As I explained in a previous post this Full Moon and the one after, in April, will be the closest to Earth in a period of 18 years (perigee), hence the term SuperMoon used to describe this phenomenon (apparently first coined by astrologer Richard Nolle).

Some have linked the perigee SuperMoon with the Japanese disaster. Reading more about the subject I discovered however that, at the time the quake struck, the Moon was actually at apogee (greatest distance from Earth), because she regularly oscillates between perigee and apogee, in cycles of two weeks (click HERE to calculate the Moon’s apogee and perigee periods for any year).

The perigee that will occur during today Full Moon will cause higher than usual tides, while its effects could have been anticipated by other astrological factors, active at the time of the disaster, as it often happens in astrological experience.

These things remain a mystery, to astrologers and astronomers alike, no matter how much the skeptics try to deny the lunar influence on Earth’s affairs. We should then remain open to the possibility that this special time in the Moon’s cycle could indeed bring special effects to planet Earth.

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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 imminent 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.