plowed under

Of the six largest snowstorms in New York City history, two have occurred this year, and three since 2006. A pesky consequence of global warming is that is changes weather patterns in bizarre ways, leading to more snow even as the overall temperature climbs. Oh well.
Interestingly enough, with Mercury retrograde, snowstorms first closed European airports, most notably Heathrow in London, last week, and then their American cousins this week. In the midst of the holiday travel season, the headache has been huge. This echos Mercury's retrograde in the spring, when volcanic ash from Iceland closed airports across Europe.

The picture, by the way, is from last year's storm. I left my camera at my sister's house on Christmas, another Mercury retrograde phenomenon, I guess.

In other news, President Obama apparently called Michael Vick, enthusiastic about Vick getting a second chance in the NFL. Professional sports are always so concerned about the image their athletes - "role models" - provide, that they can be very unforgiving. Vick's role in a dog fighting scheme that killed dogs by electrocution and hanging, among other things, is apparently something the sanctimonious NFL and the President can get past - and in record time. Vick has been rehabilitated quickly enough to come back and be in the playoffs. At least no cannabis was involved... that would have been unforgivable.

dark star

Tonight's full moon is already high in the sky, casting a silvery light all over Queens, New York, and I'll bet plenty of other places as well.

Today is the darkest day of the year, just before the Winter Solstice. We have less sunlight than on any other day of the year. But this year, it just so happens that the full moon falls on the same day... so while we have the least sunlight, we have the most moonlight.

Or at least we do now...

That will soon change, as the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, gradually darkening the skies. A full moon is always powerful, bringing things to light. A lunar eclipse is a supercharged full moon, one that extends the influence of the full moon both forwards and backwards in time. The solstice is a turning point, the low end of the solar year.

So, what does this very special eclipse mean, besides a little extra drama in the skies?

We'll have to see. Personally, I think that it will really set off the who's-in-charge? power struggles of Pluto in Capricorn. We may soon be waking up to find that the world is different than we have thought it to be (Wikileaks has been working on proving that to us). Although it is also a Mercury-retrograde issue, the Net Neutrality bill is in the Senate, and while it seems to offer some protection for consumers, it will also restrict wireless access to some applications... not all of your favorite websites will be available. Who's in charge?

But you can wait and see for yourself. My only observation is that the only thing that comes between the bright orange glow of the sun and the cool silvery moonlight, is the Earth.


Mercury went retrograde yesterday, and I've already experienced a bunch of the typical stuff. One of my email accounts always -always - stops working just as the Cosmic Messenger backs up. I get a message saying that the Certificate cannot be trusted. It's easy to fix, but a bit time-consuming. I like it, though, cuz it always happens right on cue, the day before the retrograde. Then there was the Long Island Railroad train whose doors stopped working... and so on.
But the biggest do-over in the news was the "Celebration" in the Southern United States of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. There were RE-enactments of Georgia's secession convention, and RE-living of the Old South, mint juleps and all. Click here to check out the Associated Press story on the events. But also read the UK Guardian editorial.

As Alabama NAACP president Benard Simelton said, "It's almost like celebrating the Holocaust."

This type of thing - especially a glorification of the "rebel" spirit of the South, is likely to increase as Uranus enters Aries. The Tea Party obviously resonates with the secessionist tendencies of the South (old or new).

most ominous

Mars squared Jupiter on Monday, and will aspect Uranus on Friday, making for a dynamic week. With the Warrior in Sagittarius and the two Giants in Pisces, it has been quite a row. The sun is also in Sag, amping up dogmatic beliefs, even as the moon sailed through otherwise-compromizing Libra. Saturn is in that sign, however, and the news has been characteristic of that sober planet.

What am I talking about? Pisces, Sag, Libra. Compassion, beliefs, bargaining. But the planets involved have wrangled some of the worst aspects of these signs together...

The U.S. Congress, famous for bailing out GM and banks "too big to fail" has failed to extend unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans - not only dooming them but also hamstringing the economy (because people on unemployment tend to spend money). At the same time, Republicans have threatened to derail all legislation if tax cuts are not extended for the richest Americans.

And while many in the new Congress see repealing the feeble health care laws that were passed as a priority, a new report now estimates that retirees will need about $100,000 to meet uncovered Medicare expenses. And the Congressional committee to reduce the Federal deficit has some dire ideas in stock, including cutting 200,000 federal jobs.

Wikileaks is the real news of the week - both in what it has revealed and in the heat that it is under. Hillary Clinton was preaching openness in Central Asia on Wednesday, while the U.S. government is seeking to prosecute Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder.
You can read the news however you like, and take what you will out of each issue. But what no one can fail to see is that we are going to extremes - holding to dogmatic beliefs and ignoring any call to compromise and common sense. It is as though we would rather sink while waving our flag (whatever flag you want to wave) than swim.

In our more personal lives, we might be feeling more like the victims of the power plays that are taking place so far from us. But we are also faced with a question as we barrel ahead with our personal agendas - Are we living out the courage of our convictions, or holding on to yesterday's reality for dear life?

taking a leak

With Mercury aspecting Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus over the weekend, we would expect all kinds of information to be flying around. The release of more sensitive U.S. information via Wikileaks is a prime example. The huge (Jupiter) number of documents - over 250,000 - leaked (Neptune) has been creating shock (Uranus) waves all around the world.
pipe leak
The documents show that U.S. diplomats are being asked to spy on U.N. officials and that Saudi Arabia put pressure on the U.S. to attack Iran, among other surprising things. The documents are expected to create a public relations nightmare for the United States and many other countries (to a lesser degree). The heat will surely be turned up on Wikileaks itself.

With Mars aspecting Jupiter today, we will be seeing the effects of the release reverberating around the world.

The same principles can apply in our lives. Think of where you have been active - and verbal - in the past few days, and the reactions you have received. Very possibly you've been making plans and announcing your intentions - to mixed results - and are now ready to put them into action.

Today is certainly a day to act, and in fact this entire week is characterized by aspects to Uranus and Jupiter (Mars squares Uranus on Friday), so what we talked about last week we will be more inclined to actually do this week.

Of course, as with the Wikileaks story, there is likely to be a certain amount of blowback for all concerned.

basic black

Today is "Black Friday" in the United States, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and the day that many stores go "into the black" as profits beat out losses.
In ever-increasingly high pitch, the ads have been pulling people in earlier and earlier, with some stores opening up as early as 2 a.m.. Ironically and sadly, Thanksgiving has become the prelude to Black Friday rather than the focus of the weekend.

Also ironically, the use of the term "Black" to describe a day is most closely associated with Black Monday, the day of the stock market crash in 1929 and the beginning of the great depression. Today, Black Friday signals the prayer for big sales that will keep our economy going - a necessary link in our economic chain. Say what you will about the insanity of getting up at 1 a.m. to go shopping - if people didn't do it, we'd all be screwed.

With Mercury aspecting Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus this weekend, sales should be strong. People will spend too much, putting themselves in debt, while keeping the economy moving.

My bank opened at 6, but according to the teller, it will be a waste of time. "Last year," he said, "the first customer came in around nine."

After all, no one's paying cash for anything, are they?

24 new red hats

In the shadow of the dual station of Venus and Jupiter on Thursday, the Catholic Church has been in the news. That makes sense, as Jupiter rules conventional religions. The Hierophant card in the Tarot, for example, is very Jupiterian (think - the dogmatic, inflexible side of your favorite Sag).

But the church has actually "changed direction" on a Venusian, or should I say, Venereal (they both have roots in the name Venus) issue, in lifting its absolute ban on the use of condoms. Although the Pope has said that condoms don't constitute a real or moral solution to AIDS, the Church can see the use of condoms with respect to the disease. That should be good news in Africa, where both AIDS and the Church are strong.

In an impossibly funny coincidence, the New York Times has published this story today - "24 New Cardinals Get Red Hats"

popularity contests

With Venus about to go direct tomorrow at 4:19p EST, this is no time to be making moves if you are a prominent woman. But Nancy Pelosi will be re-elected as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, although this time around not as Majority Leader.

There was an attempt to delay the vote, but it failed, and Pelosi is more or less assured of winning the election today, although with quite a few dissenting votes. I'm reminded of Will Rogers' famous quip, "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

Women are literally dominating the news these days, from the Florida woman who has a confirmed case of cholera to Meg Whitman.

But other Venusian news out of Burma is more interesting and hopeful, as Aung San Suu Kyi was released last weekend after being under house arrest since late 2007. She has spent about 15 of the last 20 years under house arrest, and the reasons for her release are - as with everything in Burma - mysterious. Ms. Suu Kyi is already working on rebuilding her political party.

a three-hour tour...

Hours after the Neptune station on Sunday morning, the Carnival cruise ship Splendor set sail out of San Diego for a cruise of the Mexican Riviera. All was going fine until Monday morning at 6 a.m. local time, when a fire in the engine room left the ship stranded without power.

Without any power - how Neptunian - the ship listed and rolled with the waves, increasing sea sickness on board. Passengers had to eat "safe" (canned, and so on) rations, and had no phone or internet services. Two tug boats are towing the ship back to San Diego, and they are expected to arrive on Thursday afternoon.

Click here for the Time story on the cruise ship.

foggy with a chance of showers

Haiti was shaken by the Uranus station back in January, and the temporary shelters (at this point perhaps a bit less than temporary) have been threatened by Hurricane Tomas on this Neptune station.

Nothing is clear, as we might expect. Last night I checked Google News and read that Haiti had been spared the worst of Tomas, while today I read that floods and mudslides had killed seven people and Tomas had driven Haitians to higher ground.
Neptune rules floods, and generally makes things unclear.

Interestingly, the other major natural disaster this week was a Plutonian volcano, Mt. Merapi, in Indonesia. Now, at his station, Neptune is angular to the east of both islands, indicating a kind of 'near miss.' But Mars is directly angular through both islands, on the midheaven in Java and on the IC in Haiti (and through the Eastern tip of Long Island). Mars is the fiery god of war, more closely linked to volcanos than floods.

In typical Neptunian fashion, even the moment of the station is hard to find, since it occurs at 1:05a Sunday. Because of the clock change, setting the hour back at 2:00a Eastern Daylight Time, there are not one but two 1:05 a.m.s tomorrow! (I verified by checking the station in Pacific time).

It has been a bad week for flying. The Mt. Merapi incident has grounded planes over Java, a plane crashed in Cuba, and a brand new Qantas Airbus A380 was forced to land in Singapore when one of its engines failed (and apparently spewed parts over Indonesia).

Perhaps this is Neptune's way of bidding farewell to Aquarius as he heads towards his home sign of Pisces in April. He will, however, station once more in Aquarius, next November.

On a personal level, this is a good weekend to chill out, space out, or freak out. But by Tuesday, things should be feeling a bit more grounded.

the audacity of hope

Well, we ought not to be too surprised.
A momentary blip two years ago, brought on by a serious economic downturn, doesn't do much to shake things up in any fundamental way. Pluto, Saturn and Uranus weren't going to bring about an "easy" revolution. Things will get more intense, and there will be more fuel added to the fire so that the pot can really boil, and boil over.

Change isn't easy. Evolution is not really like a butterfly turning into a caterpillar (that's metamorphosis, anyhow). It's more like the dinosaurs going extinct so mammals can take over... not exactly the kind of agenda you can endorse if you're a brontosaurus.

And change isn't what anyone - or any party, or any viewpoint - wants it to be. All of our debates are the pushing and pulling that turns the engines of real change, which go where they will, not where we would like.

Oh, well.


Just hours before Halloween, the day when Americans dress up as something they are not (but must have some feeling about), and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are holding a dress-up version of a rally in Washington. The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is considered to be so full of mocking hyperbole that the Washington Post has mused whether Stewart and Colbert have themselves entered into the very process they are mocking.

That's pretty ironic. Being so over-the-top that you are mistaken for the real thing might be okay in professional wrestling, but it's hard to see how it could work in politics. Or anyway, it should be difficult.

This is all happening against the backdrop of the usually-fun moon in Leo, the perfect sign for dramatic demonstrations. But Leo is also the sign of royalty. Politics in the United States is becoming such a Hollywood event that perhaps Stewart and Colbert really are on their way to the White House. A recent poll showed Stewart one of America's most trusted newspeople. He was somewhere behind Glenn Beck. It's hard to say what's next, but my bet is a reality TV show featuring the Obamas.
It's been very hard to keep up with all the Venus retrograde news. Women have been in the headlines for the past few weeks, particularly in politics, although in other areas of life as well. And just yesterday, 18 year old Alixandria Mills of the United States won the Miss World Pageant in Beijing. Imagine that such things as Miss World still exist. And the competition was held in Beijing, of all places.

My guess is that she'll be considered at least Vice Presidential timber by 2012.

feeling over the hill?

More Venus retrograde news...

Apparently, over the past weekend the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked Anita Hill, now a professor of law at Brandeis University, to apologize for her remarks at the Justice's confirmation hearings back in 1991. Hill turned the voicemail message over to campus security, but apparently it is the real deal. Mrs. Thomas says she was extending an olive branch to Hill.

Hill said she has no intention of apologizing, because she testified truthfully and stands by her testimony. Click here for the CNN story.
Thomas, an African-American conservative nominated by George H. W. Bush, has remained true to his ideology, with a decision record closer to what one would expect from Patrick Buchanan than Thurgood Marshall.

back in the day

In more Venus-retrograde news, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Mary McKillop, an Australian nun. Among her many accomplishments, McKillop was noted for exposing the "scandalous behavior" of a local priest. At the time, she was excommunicated for five months, but was allowed back into the church, where she was apparently a real challenge to authority.

It's nice to see that the Pope is doing something to recognize abuse in the church and to ratify the role of whistleblowers.

McKillop died in 1909.

Venus retrograde in the news

First, a bit of context...

When Venus is retrograde, we tend to reconsider our relationships. That's true on a personal level, but also on a collective level as well. But with Saturn sailing through the sign of relationships, Libra, we are even more focused on the structure of our partnerships.

This Venus retrograde has seen us focusing on gay relationships. However, rather than bringing up the issue of gay marriage (okay, New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has come out in favor of it), we have been dealing with the issue of gay relationships, per se.

It started with the story of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate internet-broadcasted him having sex. Since then, the issues have been cascading, most recently with Joel Burns, a gay Fort Worth councilman pleading with teens not to commit suicide. (By the way, Fort Worth is in Texas!)


"You will get out of the household that doesn't accept you. You will get out of that high school, and you don't ever have to deal with those jerks again," Burns said. "Things will get easier ... Please stick around to make those happy memories for yourself."

Sadly, we still have to deal with these issues. And with this Venus retrograde, the emphasis has been on the heavier side of the issue. It has not been so much about going forward with gay rights, as about loss and pain. Republican candidate for Governor of New York, Carl Paladino went on a rant against gays at a talk to an orthodox Jewish group - no doubt helping Andrew Cuomo to make his point about gay marriage.

Then there is the Justice Department's overturning of the Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" policy - and of course who benefits from that and in what way is a real head-scratcher.

There are other Venus retrograde stories, too. A woman in Jerry Brown's campaign suggested calling California Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman a "whore." Whitman was offended.

It isn't about Venus, but California could legalize cannabis next week, and sadly the U.S. Justice Department has promised to enforce the federal laws, nonetheless. So much for change in the Obamaian world.


“Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s day to day living that wears you out.”

That quote was ascribed to Henrik Ibsen in my October Newsletter, when in fact it came from Anton Chekov.

And Mercury isn’t even retrograde.


be the coyote

This isn’t any kind of endorsement of the Native American Trickster, or anything profound like that. I’m referencing the Warner Bros. cartoon character here.

Sure, we all grew up thinking the coyote was the ultimate schlemmozel, a foil for the speedy Road Runner (and Bugs Bunny, in one cartoon). And it’s true, the coyote had his issues.
But such resilience! Such perseverance! At least three times in each episode, he had his dreams of a delicious dinner cancelled by his fowl nemesis. Yet did he ever give up? Did he ever decide that his dream was impossible? Did his doubt ever stop him from believing that the next ACME product was “the one” that would snag his speedy quarry?

The coyote serves as a model in trying times, as life slaps our dreams around, as we light too-short fuses and go dashing off cliffs in pursuit of something better, as we open flimsy parasols as our only defense against a falling boulder.

Be the coyote.

You could do worse.

back on track

Mercury’s retrograde was all that we could have hoped for, and the last few days since his station to go direct have been even more hectic. In the midst of all of this, I took a couple of weeks off from the Astroblog.

This last week has really seen “power” shifts, consistent with Pluto’s station on the 14th.

The powerful surge for Tea Party candidates, who are not only worrying Democrats but also moderate Republicans, coincided with Pluto’s station on the day of the primaries.

Then there was the storm on Thursday. New York was virtually impassable as the Long Island Rail Road was shut down west of Jamaica, resulting in snagged roadways deep into the wee hours of the morning, blending the energies of Pluto and Mercury (the latter stationed direct on the 12th).


Other Mercury retrograde news to catch up on include the woman who scarred her own face with acid, rather than being attacked in Starbucks as she originally said. And Lindsay Lohan failed a drug test for cocaine and may have to return to jail (because in the U.S. having a problem with drugs is a crime rather than an illness... and using drugs is always a “problem” here, too).

Today, Jupiter and Uranus meet up in Pisces. This high-energy combo’s power will be schmeared across the next few days, as the sun opposes the two giants on Monday.


After a busy few days at the end of August, I finally had a bit of time to look at the news...

Apple has a nice history, astrologically. Most of their product launches land at auspicious times, although there have been a few exceptions. Its new social networking site for musicians, Ping! was launched with Mercury retrograde, and is already drawing media attention (like this story) for attracting scams and spam.

Apparently, the site is literally awash in spam. It seems that it is also very difficult to link up with Facebook, although that may be as much of a virtue as a problem. If Ping! takes off, that would just about do it for MySpace, the historical home of quick & dirty web pages for bands.

all aboard!

You know, there’s usually a transportation story with Mercury retrograde...

There was the famous Jet Blue incident a while back, and then air travel was halted over Europe this spring... This time, it’s the trains in the Northeastern United States.

Now, blaming train mishaps on Mercury retrograde is a bit difficult, since even on a good day things don’t go all that smoothly on the rails. But two significant incidents happened on Monday and Tuesday.

First, a cable fire affected signals on the Long Island Rail Road, effectively stopping train traffic in and out of Jamaica - the busiest railroad bottleneck in the world - for an entire rush hour. As of today, service is still not back to normal. Then, on Tuesday, Amtrak needed to halt Northeast Corridor service due to low-voltage power problems.

In an Associated Press release, from the Kansas City Star (click here for the full story): the director of the National Association of Railroad Passengers said the most likely cause of the Amtrak problem was software issues in a computer system the railroad is upgrading. We shouldn’t take it was a sign of “an antiquated, decrepit or underfunded system,” says he.

Well, we can always take to the roads. Although in another Mercury retrograded story, there is apparently an 11 day old traffic jam in China, which is expected to last into September.

Eh. Maybe I’ll just stay home.

cloudy with a chance of Neptune

Two more stories in the last day have gotten my attention, as Mercury retrogrades and the sun opposed Neptune.

First, there was the Rocket, Roger Clemens. Yesterday he was indicted for lying to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his February, 2008 testimony.

Clemens, a Leo, seems to really represent the haughty arrogance that can be the negative side of the sign. Leo is ruled by the sun, which yesterday opposed Neptune (drugs) in Aquarius (the people, congress). It all fits together so very well, astrologically.
Interestingly, it turns out to be none other than Clemens’ good friend, Andy Pettitte, who provided the key piece of evidence. According to one congressional member, neither Clemens nor his then-trainer were “articulate” enough by themselves to warrant an indictment.

Then there is the disturbing story of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was accused of rape and molestation in Sweden. Assange has said that the accusation is a “dirty trick” in retribution for his site’s publication of Afghan war papers, something that greatly angered the Pentagon.

Dirty tricks are certainly a possibility with the sun opposite Neptune. It may be a long time before we learn the truth about this, although with Neptune involved the story may drag on for a while and then just fade away... ala Swine Flu.

and of course

Since Mercury is stationing, the picture I put into the previous post showed up not as the troops I intended, but as the image I used months ago in another post of protesters at the G20 summit.

But it will probably mysteriously have changed again by the time you read this...

clear as a bell

With the sun opposing Neptune today as Mercury stations to retrograde, it would be a poor time to say anything with certainty. The issues of the day may get us carried away, but the odds are there is a fair amount of misinformation in air.

You can see that in your personal life, especially at work or if business deals are on the menu. But that same energy is coloring the “big” issues of the day, as well. We’re still in the shadow of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition that began the week, pitting the status quo against the forces of change and the values of community against the individual. In the great paradox of things, we often see the energy of one side mixed with the other - for example, Aries’ warrior stance affecting the collective.

The now prominent “Ground Zero Mosque” (actually an Islamic Center about two blocks away) is one of the flagship issues, especially since President Obama said last weekend that they have the right to go ahead with the plans for the center. The president later clarified that having the right doesn’t make it a good idea.

But the president is speaking in the United States, where attention to detail is not a strength - this is the land of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid), after all. Apparently, one in five Americans think President Obama is a Muslim (click here for a story on this). That’s odd, considering all the hoopla about his pastor’s remarks during the campaign. Oh, but that was two years ago.

Daisy Khan, according to the Washington Post, wants to know when “Muslims will be accepted as plain old Americans?” Yet, that may be a little difficult when Saudi Arabia, a country that follows Islamic law, produces stories like this.

Yet some things are clear, like the pullout of U.S. combat troops from Iraq. To the extent anyone really pays attention, this was taken as very good news. Of course, 50,000 American troops will remain as “advisors” (geesh, they must be chewing the Iraqi’s ears off with all their advice). Clear as a bell.

Venus in ashes

Sure enough, the last few days around the first quarter moon brought up relationship issues and prominent females, and the Scorpio moon made its dark energy felt.


First, poor Dr. Laura. She didn’t call anyone anything, she used a word that you can’t say (unless you’re say, Kanye West). But you can’t even use that word to talk about that word. You have to call it the N-Word. A few years ago, the NAACP had a ceremony where they “buried” the word. Apparently, it’s a zombie.

Ironically, of course, is that in not even allowing someone to say it, we exponentially increase its power. Lenny Bruce understood that... but his understanding didn’t keep him out of jail.

A California judge decided that he won’t decide on the gay marriage ban until December. Some folks will no doubt say that this issue - which predictably came to a head this week as Saturn and Jupiter came to an opposition in Libra-Aries (check the forecast, I said it would...) - is delayed because of the upcoming elections. But you and I know that it’s Venus’ retrograde in October and November.

And even more soberly, the New York Times reported yesterday that a young couple was stoned to death in Afghanistan - for eloping. They were lured back to their village, where friends and family joined in their collective punishment. Saturn rules stones, and he’s in the tradition-oriented sign of Libra, dealing with relationships.

Abject cruelty, vapid stupidity and self-righteous moralism are not ruled by any planet in the heavens, but are found in quantity here on Earth.


Today’s early-morning blast in Bogota, Colombia can be seen as another manifestation of the Jupiter-Pluto square that was angular in that country on August 3rd. In fact, the time of the blast, around 5:30 a.m. corresponds very closely to the square, with the ascendant for the blast on the aspect’s sun and the midheaven on its moon. Click here for the BBC story.


For the most part, today is a quiet day, with the moon void-of-course until 6:42 p.m., EDT. However, as soon as Luna arrives in the normally balanced sign of Libra, she’ll begin making aspect to the Jupiter-Uranus-Saturn-Pluto T-square. Creativity might be running very high this evening, but so may tensions. Relationships (of all kinds) will be particularly vulnerable, and this is a time when feelings that have been submerged for a time may come to the surface, in both constructive and challenging ways.

a girls best fiend?

The last few days have seen Venus making aspects to Saturn, Uranus, and - most recently - Pluto. My prediction, and I do make them every so often, was that we would see prominent women in the news.

And sure enough, Naomi Campbell, Mia Farrow, and now Campbell’s former agent, Carole White, have been making headlines, not in the entertainment world, but in a war crimes court. The three women have slightly different versions of the same story, which centers on events at a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in 1997.

The upshot of it is that former Liberian President Charles Taylor is alleged to have given Campbell “blood diamonds” as a gift. Proof that he gave her the diamonds is apparently crucial in his trial for crimes against humanity... something of a head-scratcher in itself, in that a man that is accused of insighting the rape and murder of 100,000 people ought to have left a more obvious trail than one that needs to be substantiated by celebrities. Still, blood diamonds are bad business, and they would link Taylor to much more than flirting with a supermodel.
Campbell appears to be dodging the full story out of fear for her life, while Farrow is going full-court with her version. With Venus in her home sign of Libra, odds are that the women will be okay.

In our personal relationships, the last few days of Venusian aspects have come at the time of the new moon. Tensions may be running high, but this is an excellent time for course-correction and setting intentions for the future.

a very long hot summer

Last week’s planetary activity was highlighted by a Jupiter-Pluto square on the 3rd, triggered a day later by Mars aspecting each of those two planets. Looking around the world at the places where the aspects were “angular” (on the horizon, or overhead), we can see that it is indeed a long, hot summer. The position of the sun at the time of these aspects also seems to be very relevant, especially as “heat” is the theme this summer.

Los Angeles and Moscow are battling fires. A 14 year-old boy is accused of setting a wildfire near Los Angeles. The Associated Press reports that 700 people per day are dying of the Moscow fires and their acrid smoke. The political fallout might work its way all the way up to Vladamir Putin, who - like Obama with the Gulf oil spill - could wind up taking the heat for not having superhuman capabilities against the forces of nature.

To add absurdity to tragedy - and more tragedy - a contestant in a sauna context died in Finland. The man had been a room at a temperature of about 230 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees above the temperature at which water boils) for about six minutes. There is something very Superhero (or Arch-villain) about Jupiter/Pluto. More power is demanded...

Colombia and Venezuela had the square angular - more directly than Finland - and indeed, Venezuelan President Chavez has urged Colombian rebels to put down their arms. He’s afraid they will be perceived as forces in line with Venezuela. Of course, if they listen to him...

Finally, Haiti had Uranus angular at the aspect, and the sun angular when Mars triggered it a day later. Wyclef Jean, of the Fugees, is running for president, a job that one must really want to have.

It’s a hot summer, and the theme seems to be about getting burned...

Saturn returns

Companies have Saturn returns, just like individuals.

I caught this story today about Green Mountain Coffee (click here for the NY Times story), a company founded in 1981 and at its Saturn return.
Apparently, Green Mountain has built its reputation on being a “green” company (although I’m sure the name comes from its Vermont location). Problem is, Green Mountain has been doing great business lately.

But much of their sales come from disposable coffee pods, those little one-shots that make individual cups of coffee. Considering the plastic and aluminum structure of the pods, they are bit less than green. Stepping up to the challenge (always a good strategy when Saturn is involved), Green Mountain is apparently working on a more eco-friendly pod.

Still, this is Saturn, and they were outed by the Times....

storm warnings

Today features a major aspect between Jupiter and Pluto. Power struggles can reach phenomenal proportions, but with Jupiter in the picture, it is usually a matter of principle, at least from the perspective of the participants. Righteous anger is a potential manifestation, and that can be dangerous. After all, we can feel a bit guilty when acting out of anger, but throw in some righteousness behind it, and the temptation is to take off the gloves and really dig in.

The ongoing troubles in Pakistan and Afghanistan seem to capture some of the energy of this aspect, as they have been at the center of international news all week.

The aspect is “angular” (rising, setting, overhead) through East Asia, where it grazes the coast of Vietnam and goes through the island of Java in Indonesia, and cuts through China. It is also powerful through Central Africa and “Mittle Europa,” including a line right through Warsaw.
In the Western Hemisphere, the line of the aspect cuts through the far eastern coast of the United States, around Boston, then down through the Dominican Republic. It is especially strong in Venezuela and Colombia, in South America, places to watch. The U.S. National Hurricane Center announced the formation of a tropical depression which is apparently headed up the East Coast of the U.S., so the effects may be meteorological as well as political, at least in some parts.

But “the” story to watch for the Jupiter-Pluto aspect may be the question of whether a mosque will be built in New York City near the World Trade Center site. That issue is scheduled to reach a new peak today, as the city landmark commission is expected to unanimously reject landmark status for the building, opening up the possibility for renovations for the mosque.


I can only assume that Sarah Palin is aware that the word she used to describe what she says President Obama lacks on immigration is Spanish. She must have used it ironically, although - and it’s early in the morning and I’m still on my first cup of coffee - I fail to see what the irony could be.
Palin made her comments this weekend, as Mars opposed the Saturn-Uranus opposition. In Libra, Mars is most likely to express itself in words, and aggression is often put in a very civil form.

Iran’s President Ahmaninejad also offered to negotiate one-on-one with Obama, another example of Mars-in-Libra aggressiveness - “we can talk, but only on terms you would never accept.”

The energy of the weekend will continue to move us forward as we approach the volatile Jupiter-Pluto square tomorrow morning. Look for evidence - at the international and very local levels - that righteousness might be getting out of hand. There’s always some danger around when people or groups are sure they are in the right.

who's in charge here?

Saturn and Uranus had their last opposition in a series of five yesterday. The oppositions go back to 2008, when the first one occurred on Election Day in the United States. Two news stories seem to sum up the energy, which pits the conservative powers-that-be against upstarts and revolutionaries.

The first is the breaking of the Wikileaks story. Wikileaks has done it again, in Uranus-in-Aries fashion, by publishing secret documents. That truly annoys the powers that be, which in this case is the previously Uranian but in this case Saturnian Obama administration. The documents show the war in Afghanistan is going poorly, that the Pakistanis are playing on both sides, and that many Afghan civilians are being killed. As secrets go, that’s hardly ground-breaking stuff, but it is the stuff that folks on the Saturnian side of the fence don’t want getting out. Transparency isn’t a priority, and they can always yell “National Security!” when someone o close to a truth they don’t want to get out. This round goes to Uranus.

And so does the next. A Utah court overturned the conviction of polygamist Warren Jeffs for marrying (performing the ceremony) a 14 year old girl to her 19 year old cousin (there is no mention in the article I read about whether polygamy was involved). Jeffs is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, a renegade (Uranian) group. So score one more for Uranus.

me, i prefer coffee

Back when they got their start last winter, I predicted dim times ahead for the Tea Party.

They launched their project - going on the offensive - with Mars retrograde, after all. Astrological logic says you shouldn’t go on the offensive when the Warrior is retrograde (appearing to go backward in the sky). It’s not that passions don’t run high, but rather that they cannot be properly expressed with Mars backpedalling through the zodiac.

Since then, the Tea Party, led by Sarah Palin (Tina Fey will be busy for years to come) has stayed in the news and appears to be becoming a viable political force in the United States. I find this problematic for a host of reasons, but not least because it could mean I was wrong about something.

True, I have also said that “rogue” groups will be prominent with Uranus (and Jupiter) in Aries, and I have harped on how the “Pirate Mentality” will be strong for a while. The Tea Party looks like a kind of Disney-fied version of what I’ve been talking about, although I am not entirely sure that they are as kookily harmless as they may appear. The Boston Tea Party was the beginning of the American Revolution, after all, so there are fighin’ words in that name.

But it occurred to me recently that their getting their start with Mars retrograde may not have doomed them, after all. The U.S. progressed Mars went retrograde in 2008, and so the Tea Party is in a way in harmony with the nation. More than that, the energy of the Warrior is turned internally when retrograde, which would focus any of the nation’s belligerent tendencies back on itself.

I bring this up now that the NAACP has asked the Tea Party to repudiate racism and the only Democrat endorsed by the party (talk about a token!) has refused to be associated with them.

more than oil is spilling

It is often the case that we see and feel an eclipse most strongly before or after it occurs.

Sunday’s eclipse, on the 11th, seems to be a case of the shock waves coming afterwards. Monday and Tuesday seem to have been fairly dreadful for a lot of people. There was a kind of low-level crankiness, and the complaints of fatigue were numerous. Yesterday, things seemed to get somewhat back to normal, at least enough for me to take a look at the news.

Two stories seem very eclipse-related. Remember that Pluto ties into these past two eclipses, and that means things which are buried (and come to the surface).

Well, oil is still a buried thing coming to the surface all over the Gulf, but we can’t blame that on the eclipse. BP has been under criticism for its handling of the disaster, and around the lunar eclipse a couple of weeks ago it got a ribbing for its safety procedures. Even Exxon felt justified in saying a few words against BP.

Yesterday, as the moon made a trine to Pluto, it came out that BP lobbied the British government for the 2007 transfer to Libya of a prisoner convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie/Pan Am bombing.
The other case-in-point is also just another node in an ongoing story, the Vatican’s response (?) to priests’ sexual abuse. Click here for the Associated Press story. The Vatican extended from 10 to 20 years the statute of limitations on sexual abuse, but did not put in place measures to see that such cases are reported.

Plutonian power meets Plutonian power.

angular features

Today’s solar eclipse at 3:40 p.m., EDT, will only be seen in the South Pacific and the south-western coast of South America. But the eclipse is “angular” (rising, setting, or directly below) in Paris, and Tokyo, places to watch.

The eclipse is setting in Madrid, and the lines also pass through the Netherlands, although they miss Amsterdam. As far as I can tell, the game plays right through the eclipse, so we’ll see what happens in the World Cup.
Neptune is overhead in New York City at the moment of the eclipse, nipping the West Side of Manhattan below Central Park and a slice of Brooklyn that cuts through Coney Island (an extremely Neptunian place). The nodal axis also passes through Sacramento, so keep an ear out for Governor Schwarzenegger.

The energy from an eclipse is not all that local, however. We all feel the tension, like late on a hot afternoon when we suspect a thunderstorm is on the way. While full moon lunar eclipses tend towards overt explosions of energy, new moon solar eclipses like todays have a quiet intensity about them. If anything happens, it is most likely more of an implosion, a collapsing inwards, than an outward-moving energy.

But often nothing happens. There are exceptions, but like most thunderstorms, lightening seems to hit something only rarely. That takes little away from the feeling of the experience, however. Issues that normally bubble beneath the surface can come to a full boil around eclipse season, if we put a lid on the pot.

At best, we can think of a solar eclipse as a powerful new moon, a good time to set intentions for the coming months. Starting tomorrow, begin to move forward with your projects and put your ideas into action.

Today, I guess you can join the estimated 700 million people watching the World Cup Final.

fire cracker

Yesterday’s Uranus station saw tensions mounting, and occasional explosions.

Interestingly, Toronto was again in the news, this time with a blackout. The G20 have all gone home, but the Queen of England was in town. Torontons (I’m sure that’s not what they’re called, but I like the sound of it) seem to have really stepped up and handled it well. The blackout occurred within an hour of the station.

The rest of the world was certainly very keyed up, although I’m not entirely sure that you could tell the difference from any other day. The “state of emergency” was extended in Thailand, where Jupiter and Pluto were angular at the eclipse (but Burma was also under the station, and no news from there).

On a more local level, it was either too hot in New York for people to really be acting up, or else we swallowed our irritation. A brilliant idea or two may have popped into our minds, although it usually takes longer for those to reach the surface.

the other eclipse

While we are between two eclipses, it is perhaps a good idea to reflect on the more popular eclipse, the one at the box office.

Eclipse is the latest installment of the Twilight Saga, a series of stories about vampires. I don’t really know much about it, but the posters and trailers give off a vibe that reminds me more of 90210 than

Ever since Tom Cruise starred in Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (and maybe before that), the undead have become a strangely sexy symbol in popular culture. Teen books are full of vampire stories. Buffy was hot. But why?
Dracula, back in the day, was scary stuff. The novel by Bram Stoker is a winner, and very cleverly written. The classic film starring Bela Lugosi debuted in 1931, right around the discovery of the planet Pluto. No one thought Bela was sexy, just scary.

Dracula was one of the classic horror monsters for years, together with Frankenstein’s monster, The Mummy, and The Wolfman. All but the last made it to the big screen within two years of the discovery of Pluto.

The planet Pluto is closely associated with death and rebirth. Pluto, after all, was the Roman god of the underworld, the equivalent of the Greek’s Hades. On a good day, Pluto is all about dying and being reborn, as in the story of Persephone, who spends half of each year in the underworld (causing winter) and half in our world (summer).

But if things go awry, there can be problems. Pluto is associated with some fearful transits, largely because unprocessed emotional experiences can resurface years after they were buried. In this way, they become the “undead,” just like the Count. There is indeed something creepy about repressed emotional material when it resurfaces, especially if it isn’t processed as it emerges from the grave.

The tendency is for that energy to go amuck, wreaking havoc all over the landscape of our lives, at least until we acknowledge it and work to incorporate it back into ourselves. Like Dracula, it can sap our life’s energy. Like Frankenstein’s monster, it can do harm equally when in the midst of anger or while trying to be gentle.

With anger bubbling up within the collective like the oil in the Gulf (see the post about the protests at the G20 summit for an example) it is no wonder our attention turns to vampires. The oil spill itself is an example of the undead, a grisly reminder that we power our light-filled world with the corpses of beings that were around millions of years ago. And like Frankenstein’s monster or the mummy or Dracula, we can’t stop the 100,000 barrels of oil that are spilling forth each day. It is so much a time of feeling out of control.

So why would the undead become sexy? For one thing, the Pluto-in-Scorpio generation is now in their twenties, and they have a decidedly goth outlook on life (and death). A group which was born back in the day when sex and death were equated so strongly in the public’s mind (via AIDS) is sure to be comfortable with the dark side.

But if we’re feeling that things are out of control and the undead cannot be stopped... I guess we might be tempted to join ‘em...

Gee... 20?

In the wake of the eclipse and an earthquake, the G20 summit is off and running... into trouble. The meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders is beset by violent protests - and in Canada, no less. Imagine if they had held the thing in Greece!


Problems are heating up, as this G20 meeting occurs between the two eclipses. Saturday morning’s lunar eclipse helped “bring to light” the anger and doubt that is simmering. But the upcoming solar eclipse is preceded by Uranus stationing on the World Axis at 0 degrees of Aries. independence and a distrust for authority are all but guaranteed with a picture like that.

Still, I doubt the G20 folks really know what’s going on, and doubt further still that they are in much of position to do anything about it. Sure, Pluto in Capricorn challenges existing institutional structures, but a big part of what we will be learning is that no one is really in charge... as hopeful and scary as that may be.


As we approach tomorrow morning’s eclipse at 7:30 a.m. EDT, we can see that the world news is already heating up. Remember that this is a lunar eclipse, occurring on a full moon, so things tend to come to light. It is an active time, as opposed to the more powerful but less over solar eclipse we’ll be having in two weeks.

The resignation of General McChrystal is one example of things coming to a head. So is the release of poll number showing President Obama’s popularity at an all-time low. Anger seems to be spewing out of everyone, from the French World Cup team to hotel workers in Toronto.

Speaking of Toronto, the 5.0 magnitude earthquake there - a somewhat uncharacteristic spot for one - comes just in advance of the G20 summit there. Can it be hard to miss the symbolism? The shakiness of the planet’s leadership “system” and the degree of uncertainty we are all feeling is indeed like the tremors of an earthquake.
But I have to comment on the restaurant in Arizona which is serving meat made from real lions as part of a World Cup promotion (they watch soccer in Arizona? It seems so... ethnic...). The restaurant owner pointed out that lions are protected, but not endangered, and said that since Africans eat lion meat, it should be okay for Americans, as well.

Whoo-hooo! The Wild West rides again. With ethical thinking like that, who knows who we’ll be modeling our behavior on next.

happy solstice

Monday morning at 7:28 a.m., EDT, the sun reaches his solstice point, marking the peak of his northward climb in the skies.
So, happy solstice! and a Merry Summer to All!

The astrological intensity is already building towards the powerful eclipse on the 26th, and our collective edginess is growing. Still, this is a time to appreciate the warm rays and long days, and all those we share them with.

I’ll be back to the snappy astrological analysis and pithy comments in a day or two...

"i did it all by myself"

Coming out of the new moon, we’ve had a series of nice Venusian aspects which offer the possibility of tempering the strong drive for independence which began around the 8th with a little recognition of the other’s perspective. With so much energy pulling us to go our own way, it is helpful to at least look out the window and wave others as we race past them on our way to wherever it is we feel we need to go.

Still, the “rogue” energy of Uranus-in-Aries is strong. The recent arrest of an American in Afghanistan is a case in point. The Voice of America reports that Gary Faulkner was hunting Osama bin Laden with a handgun, a sword, a dagger, and night vision goggles. Most significantly from an astrological perspective is that the press has dubbed Faulkner the “American Ninja,” suggesting yet another image that we can add to the list of rogues, pirates, and other off-the-grid personalities.

Remember that one difference between going your own way and going rogue is intention. We’re all gonna take matters into our own hands a bit, but there’s a difference between singing “I gotta be me” and deciding to become an assassin. In public matters, expressing oneself is one thing, grabbing your night vision goggles and dagger is another...

the week that was on 201st street

I’ve spoken to enough clients and friends to know that our experience here wasn’t exactly typical, but then again the Jupiter-Uranus-Aries energy seems to have been both strong and explosive this week.

My own experience of getting stuck in traffic was a nightmare on Tuesday, as time pressure mounted for me to get where I was going. But then again, I was on Long Island, so no big surprise there.

But what a week for 201st street! We had two deaths on our block (both after long illnesses), and two major traffic accidents. The number of near-misses was pretty high, too, and all seemed to involve people blowing through lights or stop signs. Uranian impulsiveness pushes us to break the rules - even the rules that make sense.

And my nephew’s school bus got hit by a car... necessitating a trip to the hospital for the elementary schoolers...

a move to the right

This week has seen a great deal of activity, with Jupiter entering Aries on Sunday and meeting up with Uranus on Tuesday. The results have been somewhat clouded by the Mercury-Neptune square on Wednesday, but it does seem like the energy has been leaning towards reversals and rogue groups.

That things have been tending in favor of the right end of the political spectrum does present something of an anomaly to the usually progressive (if revolutionary) Jupiter-Uranus energy. But in Aries, things tend not to be progressive so much as forceful, and the meeting of these two planets is square to Jupiter in traditional Capricorn. And I guess it all depends on what your idea of “progress” is, too.

The usually tolerant Dutch voters have - through a split in the vote - given the far-right a real boost. Everyone, the Dutch included, is kind of shocked that the anti-immigrant party won so many seats. Click here for a story on this.

Women also won a number of primaries in the United States, which might seem quite progressive, but once again, it is the Uranus-in-Aries rogue Tea Party spirit which seems to be infusing things.

The Gaza Flotilla is back in the news, with the story breaking that Israel will allow soda and snack food into the area.

And Helen Thomas, a quirky Uranus-in-Aries character (heck, she was born before the last time Uranus was in Aries), has retired after making inflammatory remarks about Israel. Thomas is approaching her Pluto opposition (which says something, given the 246 year orbit of the planet), but most significantly she was born at the Uranus-Jupiter opposition of 1921, so she really resonates with this aspect. Or, I suppose, we could say she doesn’t resonate well with it at all...

One story referred to Thomas as a “tarnished icon” but most of her colleagues seemed to think she was just a bit weird. She was, however, one of the few reporters to question the invasion of Iraq back in the flag-waving early days of the decade. No wonder Ari Fleischer was quick to lead the call for her to retire.

truth or dare

With Jupiter newly in Aries and the conjunction with Aries today, we are seeing a strong pull towards rebellion... and also clearing up some old business...

A great example of the rebelliousness and rogue activity of Uranus in Aries can be seen in the case of Army Specialist Bradford Manning, who leaked information to Wikileaks, including videos of US helicopter strikes that killed civilians (including a Reuters employee... Click here for the full story).

The combination of going off the grid (by leaking information) and doing so with technology (Wikileaks) is perfect symbolism for Uranus/Jupiter, which often has to do with new technological innovations (the iphone 4 is due out, but I’m not sure this is on par with the moon landing). That it is happening in Aries shows the go-your-own-way mentality at its strongest.

If the system isn’t working, we’ll have to find a way around it. Rules matter less at times like these, for better or worse. We can see the stubborn refusal of the system to change in the ordeal of Armando Gallaraga’s almost no-hitter and Bud Selig’s refusal to reverse the call. The guardians of the system are scared in such times...

Television gives us an instant replay on the umpire’s decision -whether or not Major League Baseball wants to admit it. Specialist Manning gave us an instant replay on an action in Iraq, whether or not the Army wants to admit it. In both cases, the system ain’t moving... at least not yet, and not under it’s own steam.

Sometimes we’re gonna cheer those who break the rules and take matters into their own hands, and sometimes we’re gonna be upset. Here’s a clue - are they giving us information, or blowing us up to get their message across?
In an almost-related story, Union Carbide employees were sentenced for negligence in the 1984 Bhopal disaster, which killed thousands. At the time of the accident, Neptune (which rules gasses) was on the “World Axis” at 0 degrees of Capricorn (which rules business and institutions). Now, Jupiter and Uranus are square to that position of Neptune at 0 degrees of Aries. Predictably, it is the reaction to the light sentences which have been the center of attention. Justice delayed is justice denied.... so what do you do when the system isn’t working....

battered up!

Neptune, a planet associated with a foggy, dream-like energy, was especially powerful this week, with a “station” (appearing to stop in the sky) last Monday and an opposition from Mars on Friday. The week certainly seemed Neptunian...

Of course, the ongoing BP oil spill (Neptune rules oil) still continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Seafood prices are rising, and President Obama is starting to take the heat.

The new Shrek movie seems to have stumbled into an oil slick of its own. First, some theatres announced they would charge $20 per ticket for the movie, but reversed themselves when public reaction was less-than-enthusiastic. Then later this week McDonalds announced a recall of millions of Shrek glasses which are tainted with cadmium, a toxic heavy metal. Incredibly, it turns out the glasses were not made in China!
But the most Neptunian moment of the week came on the baseball diamond, as umpire Jim Joyce blew a call on the last out of what would have been Armando Galaragga’s perfect game. A “perfect game” is an extreme rarity in baseball, with only 20 having been pitched in the entire history of major league baseball, going back to the 1800s. Oddly, it would have been the third perfect game this season (which is nowhere near half over), with the most recent one occurring just a few days before, on May 29th.

Galaragga will probably not see the umpire’s ruling overturned, and he will become the Neptunian martyr who sacrifices himself... in this case, most probably for a good cause - instant replay reviews of umpire calls.

sink whole

The weekend’s dual Saturn/Neptune station had me fogged out enough that I avoided even checking the news... but this morning it appears that Saturn - and particularly Neptune - were very busy.

Remember that Neptune rules the seas, oils, drugs, martyrs, scapegoats, and things which just disappear... Here’s the Neptunian news roundup...

It seems that Tropical Storm Agatha was implicated in a massive sink hole that swallowed an entire building in downtown Guatemala City...
President Obama’s Memorial Day speech in Illinois was rained out...

Former ABC anchorman Ted Koppel’s son was found dead, apparently after a drinking binge...

One person died and seven were hospitalized, probably as the result of tainted drugs at a San Francisco rave... which was named “POP 2010: The Dream.”

And as if they knew it was Neptunian weekend, the New York Times wrote a piece entitled, “States Create Flood of Education Bills,” in response to Colorado’s recent law, which has been called The Teacher Scapegoat Bill.

I won’t even mention the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...

rebel, rebel

India and Pakistan have seen terrorist attacks in the last 24 hours. Maoist rebels (apparently there are sill Maoist rebels) are suspected of attacking a train in India, while in Lahore a mosque was attacked.
It’s a little hard to get a fix on the exact time that these things happened, but they happened at the full moon in Sagittarius (a sign associated with beliefs and world views) and on the day that revolutionary Uranus moved into Aries. Uranus, Saturn, and Pluto (Jupiter, too) were at least close to rising or culminating at the time of the ingress.

Uranus in Aries is can be expected to stoke rebellion and conflict. At an personal level, it will have many of us asserting our individuality. The next seven years should see a lot recognition that “I gotta be me,” especially where relationships are concerned.

But on a collective level, things tend to get expressed at a lowest-common-denominator level. Rebel bands and survivalist groups form and move into action with this kind of energy behind them. But at any level, from the survivalists in their bunkers in the woods to the corporate raiders in their midtown offices, this is a time when we will see groups “going rogue.”

The Thai government has dealt harshly with the Red Shirt protestors, one of the more obvious manifestations of this energy. Outer planets like Uranus “cast their shadows before themselves”, and in the Thai reaction to the protestors, we see that the forces of the status quo are unlikely to sit by quietly while rebels emerge.

That, of course, is good news and bad, depending on what rebels and establishments you happen to be looking at. Uranus certainly isn’t playing politics here on Planet Earth, and as long as we manifest the potential energy, that is enough for him.

29:59, and counting

This morning, the planet Uranus is at 29 degrees, 59 minutes of Pisces, just a hair’s breadth away from Aries. The move officially comes at 9:48 p.m. EDT tonight.

Today is also the full moon, which will happen in the sign of Sagittarius at 7:07 p.m. EDT tonight.

That’s a lot of energy for one day, and we can expect the unexpected throughout the early part of the weekend (I don’t know what to expect on the 30th and 31st, with Saturn and Neptune both stationing). Tempers may be short, and impatience can run high. But so can brilliant insights (if only others would listen to them!!) and streaks of creativity.

On an individual level, the best possible expression of this energy might be what I like to call creative selfishness, the insistence on following our own path in the face of all kinds of resistance. Not without concern for others and their feelings, but with the knowledge that if we aren’t true to ourselves, we aren’t much help to anyone else, either.

Remember too, that much of the resistance you feel coming from others has its source hidden within yourself. The criticisms, warnings, and demands that others place on you and which rankle you are resonating with something inside. Confronting our inner demons quiets many of the outer devils.
On a collective level, we are already hearing about how terror groups have been plotting at a very high rate. Then a convoy of ships carrying supplies to Gaza is riling the Israelis. There are similar stories in the news.

An overall theme is that “the system” isn’t working (Pluto in Capricorn has been making that clear for a couple of years). Given that we have widespread systemic failure, Uranus in Aries urges us to go our own way, individually or in small groups.

The success and wisdom of that are both in doubt. The Nazis came to power the last time Uranus was in Aries, but it was also a time of strength for organized labor. The planets set the key, but we write the melody.

99 cent store

Today’s Jupiter-Saturn opposition will no doubt go unnoticed in popular culture. But even among astrologers, this isn’t the Big Doin’s it used to be.

Back before the discovery of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn were the two furthest planets anyone knew about, and their 20 year cycle was watched closely for the social and political changes it heralded.

Now that we have Saturn in opposition to Uranus, who is about to square Pluto, the cycle of Jupiter and Saturn might seem as exciting as Pacman is to today’s video games. But... This cycle might catch our attention a bit more if we recognized some of it’s more concrete manifestations.

For one, it closely correlates with the Presidents-Who-Died-in-Office cycle which began with Lincoln and ended with Kennedy (during that time, the conjunction of the two planets was in Earth signs).

Because it is a 20 year cycle and has been falling on the decade line for some time, it has also contributed to the sense that the 60s were different from the 70s... or the 20s were different from the 30s. Social trends have seemed to hinge right on the “0” years for some time (although that is obviously very complex).

The latest cycle began on May 28, 2000. That was right around the time the Dot Com bubble burst and the high-rolling 90s came to an end. We all put out our cigars and put away our top hats, recognizing we might not be such investment geniuses after all.

The Euro was introduced around this time. Actually, the Euro became an electronic currency on January 1, 1999, at the closing semi-sextile of the cycle, and paper currency was introduced on January 1, 2002, at the opening semi-sextile. Thus, the midpoint in time of these two Euro landmarks was the 2000 conjunction.

For most of the past decade, the Euro has been gaining on the dollar as the international reserve currency. The history of the Euro is interesting, and extends back at least to the formation of the European Common Market, although it was really first put into concrete form in 1992. Germany, whose Deutsche Mark was a strong currency in its own right, pushed for the Euro after reunification of East and West Germany made economic ties seem more appealing.

Now, at the opposition, or peak of the cycle, the Euro is in crisis. The PIGS are pulling down the value of the currency, which dropped to 2004 levels on the news of the economic crisis in Greece (the Euro is still strong against the dollar compared with it’s rate at introduction).

As we work through this peak in the Jupiter-Saturn cycle through March of 2011, we are likely to see the Euro severely tested as an international currency. Clearly, the honeymoon period (and it was a rough one, all in all) is over. Jupiter and Saturn represent inflation and recession, respectively, and at present everyone is concerned about these two economic scenarios.

There are other social manifestations of Jupiter-Saturn, and these may get more airplay than economics as the opposition moves from Virgo-Pisces to Libra-Aries for the next two rounds. Still, the Aries energy (supported by Uranus) may have some countries questioning their participation in the Euro.


You know, I’m a Leo.

And I like to have a positive spin on all things Leonine. Each month when the moon passes through the sign of the lion, I get ready for 60 hours of creativity, fun, and a bit of royal treatment.

That’s the way I approached the past few days...

Since last October, however, Mars has been hanging out in Leo, a very long time, because he was doing his retrograde in the sign. Now, astrologers will tell you that Mars has an affinity with Leo, and Mars and the sun get along very well. So maybe the retrograde wasn’t so tough.

But this week has been. From the crackdown on protests in Thailand, to California fires beginning to burn again (sparked by a lawnmower, on top of all!), it has been the negative side of fire for the past few days.

Tensions were really soaring at the first quarter moon yesterday, as the sun (in very late Taurus) was squared by the moon, who also met up with Mars. So it certainly wasn’t a fun, creative time in the collective, and the personal stories I heard indicated that things were pretty tough on a personal level.

So I suppose I have to be thankful that the moon has made it to Virgo...

Such a thing for a Leo to have to say!

seeing double

I suppose a pithy analysis of the news would be appropriate... especially as we move towards the Saturn-Jupiter opposition on Sunday. That’s a big one, in which we will be revisiting issues from 2000...

But no...

Today I simply want to point out that the sun moves into Gemini tonight at 11:34 EDT. The moon will be in somewhat serious Virgo after 8:00 p.m., but the atmosphere should be a bit more social than in recent days (Virgo is Mercury’s other sign, after all).

I wouldn’t exactly call this a party weekend, but it probably is a good time to socialize. The nice thing about Gemini is that it gets us out and communicating... we meet up with the neighbors again, after hibernating through the winter in our homes.

Oh, it’s a Gemini rocket, by the way.

the 29th degree...

The news has been very nautical lately.

Or, as an astrologer might put it, the news has been very Neptunian. With Uranus in the last degree of Neptune’s sign (Pisces) and Neptune chugging towards 29 degrees of Uranus’s sign of Aquarius, these two planets are really egging each other on.

We are seeing quite a bit of disruption (Uranus) on the seas (Neptune). Last week’s crash of the Staten Island Ferry was one such incident. And it echoed the 2003 crash of the same ferry boat, when Uranus was back at the degree Neptune now occupies (sort of an attention-getter for that degree).

Of course, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is another, more potent manifestation. There is disruption (Uranus) of technology (Aquarius) resulting in oil (Neptune/Pisces) spilling into the sea (also Neptune/Pisces).


And Arizona’s controversial immigration law is yet another manifestation. Illegal immigrants are undocumented and unrepresented (Neptune/Pisces) citizens (Aquarius). Like the fish in the Gulf, they have little to say about their fate, while the debate is waged around them.

On a different nautical note, Jessica Watson, a 16 year old Australian girl has completed a 7-month solo voyage around the Earth on a yacht. Now that’s very Neptunian. However, there is some controversy about whether she will get the credit for sailing around the globe, since she took a southern route which may be short of the equatorial 21,600 miles required to get into the books... how very Neptunian.

yikes again!

It’s a rarity to have two Astroblog posts in one day, but the Staten Island Ferry crash this morning begs for some attention. I’m afraid, however, that I will have to go into a little ‘astrologese’ for this one. I beg your pardon.

When I heard about the crash, I pulled up the chart for this morning and for the crash on October 25, 2003. It’s especially appropriate because it is the same boat, the Andrew J. Barberi (pictured) that was involved in both crashes.
Could it be the Saturn square (7 1/4 years) of the first crash?

Turns out no. But I was intrigued to see that both the moon’s south node and the ascendant of today’s crash were conjunct (to within a degree - in fact the ascendant is within eight minutes) of the Saturn of the 2003 crash. That puts the ascendant and the nodes within a degree of the 2003 Chiron, which was opposing Saturn at the time.

Neptune, which was in the 12th house, two minutes off the Aquarius ascendant in 2003, is within a degree of the 2003 chart ruler, Uranus. And both the moon and Chiron were in Pisces, Neptune’s sign, this morning. Uranus is now at 29 Pisces, exactly 30 degrees (again, within a degree) of his 2003 position (says something about the value of those elusive semi-sextiles, no?).

Perhaps the most telling thing, though, is according the NTSB report on the 2003 accident, the ferry was commissioned in 1981, which means that it is having it’s Saturn return.

Of course, post-hoc analysis can be rich with astrological symbolism, but it would never lead to prediction before the fact.

Today’s crash clearly echos the 2003 disaster, although thankfully it was much less severe. Saturn, Uranus, Chiron, and Neptune seem to have it in for this vessel. Or perhaps they are just testing our resolve.


The stock market tumbled this week, putting some indexes in the red for the year. Why?

Well, the Euro crisis, stemming from the economic problems in Greece, the first of the PIGS to really go bust, certainly had an effect. (PIGS are Portugal, Greece, Spain... and no one seems sure which Eurozone “I” country rounds out the group... Ireland? Italy?).

But it seems possible that electronic trading programs were the culprits, at least to an extent. Click here for a New York Times article on this. No one is really sure. There seems to be some possibility that automatic programs with sophisticated algorithms may have overreacted to conditions. It is, in some ways, similar to what happened in 1988, when the stock market tumbled.

With Mercury retrograde, it sounds about right that a monkey may have gotten into the feedback loop and caused the selloff. This has been something of a bear of a retrograde, anyway. Perhaps that’s because this particular three week period is coming just before the big changes in late May and June.

But with the Messenger retrograding, we may never know.

ups and downs

With dear old Mercury retrograde, it is very hard to get a handle on what’s going on. That’s not unusual, as the news is often wrong at such times.

But with Uranus moving into Aries later in the month and the tension of the last quarter moon, we are getting the sense that something ought to be done. There’s been quite a bit of action over the last few days... although exactly where it is directed seems unclear.

A lot of what has been happening is clearly (well... maybe not clearly) related to last week’s Saturn-Uranus opposition, which blended the flavors of Virgo/Pisces (service, sacrifice, martyrdom) with Aries/Libra (individual, partner) into the revolutionary/conservative tussle between these two giants.

In Britain, Labor is taking a beating by the Conservatives... But of course, since Labor has been in power since the 1990s, it is hard to say who is the revolutionary and who the ‘conservative’ there.

In the U.S., two developments seemed particularly in sync with the prevailing energy.

On the one hand, the Senate prevented a Republican attack on consumer protections in a bill aimed at overhauling Wall Street (which has been turning itself inside-out all week without anyone’s help!). Click here for a story on that.

Then, in one of the most confusing “Who’s-the-Good-Guy?” moments of the week, the FCC said it would ask Congress to let it regulate broadband internet communication. Now, usually FCC regulation means restriction in content, but here, they will be in a role of protecting Net Neutrality (but what will happen to porn?). This was threatened by a Supreme Court ruling last month (check the Astroblog for the week of April 11th for details).

Broadband carriers like Verizon and cable companies would like to control the speed at which broadband works for specific sites. Site owners like Google, YouTube, and Amazon are fighting them and arguing for Net Neutrality, since they would otherwise have to pay fees in order to have their sites as high-speed access. And of course, little guys like Integral Astrology would load at the speed of dial-up.

So, the FCC and Google are in the odd role of good guy... sorta.

Anyway, we will have to wait and see. The only thing that’s clear is that nothing is too clear right now...

Si se puede

This past week has seen a focus on immigration issues, thanks to Arizona’s controversial new law. There are a couple of different astrological perspectives on this legislation. Click here for article from the Associated Press.

The timing of the law, and the reaction to it, clearly echos the Saturn-Uranus opposition on Monday the 26th. Saturn-Uranus is all about the revolutionary and rebellious in contrast to the traditional and conservative. On one level, this pits the protesters (Uranus) against the law (Saturn), while on another level it sets Arizona (Uranus) against the country as a whole (Saturn). Mostly the former, as I see it.

No matter which way you look at it, however, immigration steps in to take over where health care has apparently left off as an issue. Saturn is in Virgo, and is recalling the days of the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements (among others), back in the 1960s when Uranus and Pluto sailed through that sign.

We are also approaching the Jupiter-Saturn opposition in late May. This is a smaller cycle, which began back in 2000. At that time, you may recall, President Bush was considering immigration reform. After 9/11, the issue was obviously put on the back burner, both as a priority and because of growing suspicion of immigrants.

The opposition of any cycle is the peak, when there tends to be a realization of what the issues really are. It is at that point that the pendulum often begins swinging in the opposite direction. If that is the case, then we should see the Arizona law as provoking a change which runs counter to the law itself.

But with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto making aspects to each other for the next few years, it is doubtful that things will work out so smoothly or obviously. There are even deeper issues in the body politic, and immigration is - in a sense - just one way in which we are debating where we are going.

going rogue...

So, i finally watched an episode of 24. The show has been on for something like seven years, and I tune in with six episodes left.

Mercury retrograde.


Anyway, two things I noticed... one, Jack has “gone rogue.” This is very Uranus-in-Aries. It’s like the pirate thing, only with principle (see March 31 and April 1 for more on this). And where do you go when you go rogue?

Off the Grid.

Getting off the grid is big stuff these days. The Simpsons went off the grid (the electric grid) yesterday. Pirates are off the grid, of course. And it is where many people will be heading, as Uranus, the planet of revolution (and eccentricities) moves into Aries.

The only question, for many people, will be “what grid were you on?”


With Mercury retrograde, I figure this isn’t a bad time to consider some verbal issues, so with my DSL up to something like normal speed some of the time, I thought now would be a good time. It’s actually almost a week into the retrograde period, and I am finding it to be a very tough one.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I was using a word - a common word - with uncommon frequency. Actually, I was using it in a variety of situations, apparently as a marker in my conversation, a way of saying “this is important.”

The thing is, although I found myself using this word with uncommon frequency, I actually started hearing others using it as well. Was this just a case of my being more sensitive and perceptive to the word, or was it actually being used more? There is probably no way to tell, but I think the word is actually being used more and more, and for the same reason that I am using it - to serve as a conversational marker. Actually, since I have become aware of it, I am trying to use it less.

Here’s another word that has emerged over the last few months: “Conventional” - with regard to produce. It seems that in places like Whole Foods, you can buy either “Organic” or “Conventionally Grown” fruits and vegetables. Dr. Andrew Weil also used this distinction in one of his recent columns, and I have seen it elsewhere as well.

It’s a funny thing, because it makes “Organic” sound so new and special. But the truth is, throughout most of human history our food was organically grown. And while there is no single marker in time when we began using pesticides and artificial fertilizers, we can say that “conventional” farming is far less than a hundred years old. As we have added in GMO foods and irradiation, “conventional” produce has become more and more unconventional.

Just a thought for Mercury retrograde.


Mercury retrograde is not without it’s serious side, including my DSL working at about 1/3 speed and mail missing from my inbox. The former problem (which appears to be former in the good sense as well as the sequential one) has stopped me from adding to the Astroblog for a few days. It is also causing me a devil of a time trying to make these posts look like I want them to... something somewhere is wrong and I can’t introduce paragraphs where I want them.Today is Earth Day, a holiday with a place in our consciousness about 3 quantum levels below Columbus Day and a smidgeon above Secretary’s Day (but remember, there are very few secretaries around these days). I offer a picture of a burning oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, as a reminder that a bit more attention to the environment might not be a bad idea. Or perhaps I am just in a grouchy mood (although with the moon in Leo, you’d think I’d have on my smiley face)._47696945_009158636-1One more little errata in this unfocused post... it seems I severely misunderestimated the effects of the Aries new moon last week (around the 14th). The moon passing over Uranus and then the sun and moon meeting in the sign which is about to receive him apparently caused more of a stir than I had imagined. No doubt that is a reflection of Uranus’ pending entry into Aries, next month.At any rate, a good number of people felt the tension. Relationship issues boiled up (logical, since Aries opposes Libra, the sign of relationship) but lots of folks had work issues. Interesting....


The volcano eruption in Iceland may have us wondering about the Plutonian forces at work, but the consequences are very Mercurial when we consider the air traffic delays across Europe (click here for the BBC story). Of course, more Mercury retrograde stuff is sure to be coming our way (or is it “becoming our way”?) At any rate, between now and May 11 (or 12, or even 15th), it would be good to back off of activities which require a lot of support from electronics.

In another Mercury-retrograde event, Apple announced that it will delay some international sales of the iPad because demand in the U.S. is so strong. So, you see, the retrograde doesn’t always work against you...

and, of course, I’m having trouble getting this post to look as I want it... so excuse the odd placement of the picture...


Mapping it out

I’m here in San Jose at the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Scientific Conference. There’s all sorts of great information available, based on good, solid studies that are taking place.

For example, there is a study showing how MDMA (Ecstasy) can be used to facilitate healing in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Other studies are showing positive results for the use of entheogens (psychedelics) - particularly mushrooms - in patients with advanced cancer and other end-of-life conditions.

Almost a thousand people are here. It depends which way you look... sometimes it appears like any other scientific conference, with MDs and PhDs in slacks and blazers representing universities. But turn your head a bit and it can look like a Grateful Dead concert. All are welcome.

Our optimism is tempered with a bit of reserve, of course. No matter how good the studies are, and no matter how enthusiastic we are that psychedelic research is (slowly) moving forward again after almost 40 years, it’s obvious that we are long way from having these valuable substances accepted in the scientific and mainstream communities.

A plenary session with Dr. Andrew Weil yesterday afternoon brought that message home. Dr. Weil talked about how the source of research is often more important than the content. He pointed out that a general practitioner figured out that aspirin could help prevent heart attacks back in the 1950s, but it took 30 years until that idea was accepted - when more “scientific” researchers came up with the same idea.

More to come on this interesting conference in the days ahead...

the (Plutonian) week that was

Since Pluto’s station on Tuesday night, the Plutonian news has been pouring in...
First was the U.S. Appeals Court ruling in favor on Comcast, which said the FCC does not have the power to regulate broadband internet services. Many fear that this threatens Net Neutrality, (click here for a story on this) the principle whereby you have the same access to the Astroblog as you do to any other site. Imagine if “preferred” websites loaded 10x faster than others.

Then, Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell revived Confederate History Month, which USA Today called a “noxious tradition which his predecessors had dropped” (Full USA Today Story). Predictably, the Confederate History Month agenda left out slavery, that oh-so-Confederate institution which is the shame of this country. Pluto was quick to intervene, however, and McDonnell had to admit the omission.

Thai protesters were involved in the bloodiest clashes with the government in 18 years. Although there are very deep ideological differences, and so far a different modus operandi we can see in the Thai protests an echo of our own Tea Party movement. More pirates to come, I am sure.

Not one, but two United States representative were threatened for their views and votes on Health Care Reform. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington Senator Patty Murray were threatened by yahoos. Murray’s predator threatened to kill her, but we were not told about the nature of the threats to Pelosi. The combination of violent threats with the issue of Health Care reform melds Pluto’s station with Saturn’s retrograde into Virgo.

Unfortunately, we may be seeing more of this type of thing, as we become ever more polarized and angry. The rogue energy of Uranus in Aries suggests individuals and groups acting on their own set of rules. This isn’t the only - and certainly not the best - expression of the Uranian energy, but at the collective level it is hard to manifest things in a very evolved way. And Pluto amps up the intensity, making things worse before they get better.

There were other Plutonian events this week... the tragedy of the West Virginia mine (Pluto rules the underworld) and the Indonesian earthquake. In fact, there was a lot of Plutonian news. Take the time coming into the new moon on the 14th to set your own personal intention for the coming month. Remember to keep your own attitude as positive as possible.

crunch time

With today’s Pluto station at 10:33 EDT, it’s no wonder that we’re getting a steady dose of power-struggles in the news...

President Obama was talking about limiting nuclear weapons (which are, of course, Plutonian).

But the most Plutonian story, so far, has to do with Wikileaks, a sight which publishes “leaked” information. Now, leaks are Neptunian, and Neptune in the mass-media sign of Aquarius is probably the best symbol for Wikileaks overall. But Pluto brings up secret and repressed information.

Wikileaks has recently published a video which it claims shows U.S. troops killing Iraqi civilians in 2007, for example. As an additional bit of Plutonian intrigue, the U.S. intelligence has charged that Wikileaks is a threat to the U.S. military. Click here for the full story.

These Plutonian times are more intensified in the days around Pluto’s station. We will feel the same energy in our own lives. Be aware of power struggles at home and at work. Watch for deep, corroding anger. And a certain morbid fascination with death is also not too unlikely.

as if to prove my point

Just last night, I wrote here in The Astroblog that pirates would be one of the flagship symbols of Uranus in Aries (scroll down to find that post).

Then this morning I found this picture of militia members on The New York Times website. Note the skull and crossbones on his shirt. Militia’s are a kind of pirate group. Although not out for treasure, per se, they represent the same kind of rogue group mentality.

We saw and heard a lot about militia’s during the Clinton era, as they seem to surface mostly in response to Democratic administrations. Like pirates, militias are groups which operate outside of society. Although they tend to espouse some kind of philosophy or belief system, it usually comes down to a simple us-vs.-them, survival mindset, very reminiscent of scurvy buccaneers, indeed.

ahoy, matey...

Remember... You heard the sad news here first...

As Uranus heads towards Aries, we are beginning to get a sense of what the planet will have to offer in the way of mass media, and, I am sorry to report, it looks like it’s going to be about pirates.

Yes, although they were wildly popular only a few years ago, it is all too apparent that the swarthy devils are making a comeback. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (or is it 40?) will be coming out, the Tea Party is dressed in their finest eye patches, and the Food Network was featuring unshaven guys saying “Arrgh!” tonight.

Pirates are, of course, a respectable symbol for Uranus (the planet of independence) in Aries, the sign of the warrior. Not the best, and certainly not the “highest” symbol we could imagine, but appropriate on a mass media level. Pirates are independent warriors, for sure. And they are out for themselves, certainly a Uranus-in-Aries theme. The last time Uranus was in Aries, from 1927 to 1935 saw a spate of popular pirate films, including Treasure Island (1934) and Captain Blood (1935).

At best, Uranus in Aries represents what I like to call “creative selfishness” (you’ll be hearing a lot more about this as time goes on), the courage and the will to follow our own star, recognizing that we can’t really be there for others if we aren’t first there for ourselves. But “at best” ain’t always the order of the day, and the other side of Uranus in Aries can be plain old selfishness, the inability to give a hoot about who you hurt on your way to get what you want.

It won’t be just about pirates. You have to allow for all kinds of updated versions of the pirate theme... in outer space, futuristic wasteland cities, and so on. But pirates.

Let’s hope some of those pirates have hearts’a gold... Aarrrgghhhh....

have a cuppa?

With the sun/Pluto square on Thursday, the natural prediction was a power struggle, and sure enough, the Senate sent the Health Care bill back to Congress for revisions. Meanwhile, the Tea Party wants to oust Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill, which seems to suggest that another word for Tea Party is “Republican.” Health care coverage is, of course, a “liberal” issue that was championed by such famous progressives as Kaiser Wilhelm and Richard Nixon.

Buying some wine tonight, I overhear
d a customer in conversation with the liquor store owner. They were lamenting the bill. That insurance companies cannot drop them if they get sick did not impress them, and they seemed to actually feel bad the preexisting conditions would not be quite the same problem they have been. But the customer was most worried about pharmaceutical companies, who he feared would not have enough money for research and development. Such concern was touching...

At any rate, the Tea Party is just skimming the surface of the Plutonian anger which is brewing over this and many other issues. The sun/Pluto square asked the question: Who really has the power? And the answer, on a deep level, is “no one.”

Except Pluto, of course.


It’s not that lots of things haven’t been happening in the last week, but I’ve had a sense that waiting until the sun was in Aries was the polite move.

Over the last ten days or so, the collective ice has been melting and things have started moving again. President Obama started pushing for Health Care again just after Mars went direct on the 10th, and the vote is probably going to be today.

As the sun clicked off his last few minutes in Pisces yesterday, the unseen were seen, as Immigration Reform and the 7th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq were protested. Pisces is often about victims, and the Pope’s apologies to victims of sexual abuse were received rather poorly, as might be expected with a Mercury-Pluto square in the sky.

On a more personal level, projects seem to be moving much easier, and a degree of optimism is in the air. That could be the balmy Spring weather, of course...

out of the sand trap

With Mars moving up to speed again, we are seeing things start to get moving. You can notice that many things which were put on hold back in late December are now gearing up for action. I’ve been seeing this in the personal lives of many of us, but we can also see it in the news.

For example, the somewhat bizarre Tiger Woods story broke just after Thanksgiving, and after a few weeks (Mars went retrograde on the 23rd of December), Tiger decided to take a hiatus from golf. That hiatu
s last almost exactly as long as the retrograde (Mars went direct last week, on the 10th), as he announced he will be playing in the Masters tournament.

I don’t hold out much hope for President Obama’s health care overhaul, even if they manage to get a bill passed. But what looked like a complete dead stall at the beginning of the year is certainly in action again. The bill was initially ready for a vote just around the time of the compassionate Jupiter-Neptune conjunction on December 20th, but Republicans vowed to delay the bill, and delay they did, while Mars was retrograde.

Then there is the Tea Party Movement, a nondescript group of renegades which got its kick-off while Mars was retrograde - not a good time to launch an aggressive attack on government. But yesterday they were allowed to start collecting signatures to recall a New Jersey Democratic Senator (the national office). The Constitution doesn’t provide for recall of representatives by the people (although the Senate itself can expel a member with a 2/3 vote). My guess is that the recall won’t be allowed to go through - it is a national, not a state issue. But in these Plutonian times, it isn’t a safe bet either way, regardless of Mars retrograde.

I gob a colb

itchy eyes, itchy ears... achy...

A lot of people just now are experiencing a minor cold-like thing, although my nephews, for whom I will babysit later today, have had a stomach virus. Why mention this in the Astroblog?

Well, Mars stationed on Wednesday, and that was what I would call the epicenter of this itsy-bitsy pandemic. Around Mars and Saturn stations, you frequently see people coming down with minor colds and such. Saturn depresses immunity and saps energy, thus allowing the germs in. Mars rules infections, which is self-explanatory.

All of which does nothing to make me feel much better. I think I will go have an Advil....

In the mean time, I have added a “Comments” option, below. Now you’ll be able to share your experiences of having a cold and such!

Venus and Pluto

Two very different manifestations of the Venus-Pluto square took place yesterday, with women squaring off against the powers-that-be.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was criticized by China (which is kind of a badge of honor) for remarking about the “many brave Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom.” The Chinese think that Pelosi ought to keep quiet about their “internal affairs.” It’s kind of like a female Davey up against a very weird Goliath.

But it didn’t make big news even in the realm of U.S.-China relations, which was sparked up in the midst of the tense Mars station. That’s because the U.S. listed China up there with North Korea and other human-rights violators. China shot back that the U.S. has a terrible human rights record itself.

The Chinese did mention our world-leading domestic incarceration rate, but they put their focus on the sub-prime lending debacle and the ensuing economic problems for the world economy. Apparently making bad loans is not only bad business according to the Chinese, it is a human rights violation on par with the Chinese’ own practices of executing people (for all kinds of things) and harvesting their organs for sale while the victims are still alive.

The other Venus-Pluto manifestation that I caught was the bizarre story of “Jihad Jane,” a Pennsylvania suburbanite with no apparent religious leanings, who began making friends (and plans with friends) on the internet. Just plain weird...

Rarin' to go...

You may have noticed over the last few days how... energized, you’ve been feeling. There’s a desire to get projects off the ground and moving forward. Ideas are flowing fast and furious, and you’re ready to go.

Problem is, our enthusiasm isn’t being matched by the world. You put it out there, all right, but it’s hard for the flame to catch.

This is a good example of how retrograde planets work. When a planet is retrograde, we feel its energy intensely, but in a more inner way. That is, we recognize and are moved by the energy of the planet in a more conscious way, but we find it hard to act on that energy.

Mars is slowing down... really slow, in fact... and he’s stopping on Wednesday. Mars rules drive and ambition of all kinds, and assertiveness and even aggression. So, with Mars retrograde - and especially right now before the station - we feel the impulse to go forward very strongly, but getting things moving is somewhat difficult.

The moon is waning, with the new moon on the 15th, and that also slows down the energy. And the sun is in Pisces, the “last” sign of zodiacal calendar. So things should pick up over the next few weeks, as Mars goes direct, the moon begins growing and the sun enters Aries.

President Obama’s “last push” for health care reform is perhaps symptomatic of Mars retrograde. He really wants to get the thing passed, and he feels energized and ready to fight for it. Obama even joked that the fight for health care reform has contributed to his elevated cholesterol, a symbolic “blocking of the arteries” and an impediment to the free flow of blood (which is ruled by Mars, particularly when it is “boiling”).

As for the rest of us, it’s a similar situation. Revved up and rarin’ to go... but too much traffic to really hit the accelerator....

Venus in Aries

This past week, as Venus met up with Uranus on the 3rd and as she prepares to move into Aries on the 7th, a wave of news has been generated about women in the U.S. military. And the news is hardly good...

Time magazine reported on Captain Holly Graf of the Navy, referring to her as a Captain Bligh who was known for her cruelty and demeaning attitude towards those in her command. She was relieved of duty, a story which broke on the day that Venus conjuncted Uranus.

But before we judge Captain Graf too harshly, we might look to a story which is posted as March 8th on the Time website. This story is about women in the military and the great risk of sexual assault that they face, particularly those who are serving in Iraq. Venus of course represents women, and Aries is the sign of Mars, the Warrior, so the story will be “official” on Monday when Venus is in Aries. But it is posted now, when Venus is still in Pisces.

Venus in Pisces is often associated with a compassionate, caring attitude, one of universal love. But the shadow side of Pisces is victimhood, and it is apparent that women in the military are being victimized - by their fellow soldiers - at a horrifying rate. So perhaps we can understand why Captain Graf acted the way she did.

do what i say, not what i do...


So, as we are about to enter March, my frustration with Apple’s iWeb application led me to find a new program for web construction, Rapidweaver. I hope you like the new look of the site.

Of course, I did this on the 26th and 27th, and these were exactly the days I cautioned would be something like a mini Mercury retrograde.

Well, we’ll see what happens.

Oh, and you may have noticed I’m using the European date format...

In concert with the spirit of the day, the Daily News charged New York Governor David Paterson with “playing fast and loose with the facts.” Well, yeah. What else do you do when Mercury and Neptune get together?

But the BEST was the story which CNN and local Channel 12 “broke” about the 140 year old “original” hot dog at Coney Island. Too funny. But it’s great to see that the spirit of P.T. Barnum lives on.