2021 Astrology’s hopes unfounded?

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De Chirico's 'Mystery and Melancholy-Of A Street'
Giorgio de Chirico's 'Mystery and Melancholy Of A Street'

The hopeful view I and most astrologers put across at the end of 2020 was for the pandemic situation to definitely improve in 2021. The main reason for optimism was the December 2020 Jupiter and Saturn’s splendid conjunction on the threshold of Aquarius. That rare transit ended in fact their passage through Capricorn where their alignment to Pluto had proven so disastrous for the world. But the hoped for positive impact on the pandemic didn’t eventuate the way many expected.

The world’s economically leading countries have seen undeniable changes for the better in 2021. After imposing strict and often controversial borders closure, lock downs, social distancing, masking mandates and vaccinating a great number of their citizens these countries seem to be on their way out of the wood. It is a different story globally though, with infections on the raise and the death toll actually worse than in 2020.

So what happened? Why is it taking so long for things to really improve? To better understand the situation astrologically I had another look at Pluto, because it was after all Pluto, ancient god of the underworld, of dire losses and deep transformations who mainly contributed to paint this period in such dark hues.

One of the most important tenets of astrology is that degrees highlighted by significant transits remain sensitive for much longer than the actual period when the transit makes an exact hit. Because of this the area affected by the significant alignments of Jupiter-Saturn to Pluto will remain sensitized for a long time, easily brought back to life by any challenging transit from fast moving celestial bodies (conjunctions, 45, 90°, 135° and 180°) or by any stations of planets. The latter are the degrees when a planet seems to stand still before it turns retrograde or direct. These degrees become always a strong focus for the expression of that planet’s energy. 

For example Pluto was Stationary Direct on the 24th degree of Capricorn (the same degree where the conjunction with Jupiter occurred between March and July 2020) at the end of April 2020 (one of the pandemic peak period in Europe) and will be again Stationary Direct on the same degree on October 7 2021! At the end of this year Pluto will move for good from that fated degree; hopefully good news for our tired world.   In the mean time however Mars, the catalyst in chief, will activate that degree again on June 6 (opposing Pluto from Cancer), and on October 22 (squaring Pluto from Libra), as it did three times in August, October and December 2020 (squaring Pluto from Aries during a long retro period), with dire effect on the world.

At this point, despite everyone’s understandable wishes for a rapid recovery, I don’t think the brutal effect of the Covid pandemic could really end until Pluto will move out of Capricorn. And that will happen only between March 2023 and November 2024. Mine may seem like a very pessimistic outlook, after my hopeful early outlook, but what I am talking about is a global recovery not just confined to some ‘lucky’ countries.

On a more positive note and despite serious setbacks (not just regarding the pandemic), the alignment of Jupiter-Saturn in Aquarius has already began to deliver some of its promises for a more just and inclusive mindset in the world. It seems to be unavoidable that this should prevail in the course of the next twenty years. We are still however only at the inception of this progressive trend and a long way from fulfilling it.

June July 2021 Astrological Highlights

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This article has been already posted in issue 118 of the Uki Village News

The dragon has been the symbol of the two aspects of the Lunar Nodes since great antiquity, in both eastern and western cosmologies. Their zodiacal positions are indicators of the current Solar and Lunar Eclipses.

Welcome to my take on the main astrological events of June-July 2021

Note: where I mention specific degrees in the following readings I mean for these degrees to be highlighted by the Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles in a Birth Chart, a necessary distinction to avoid generalizations.

June 1: the Gemini Sun aligns with the Moon’s North Node, announcing the imminent New Moon Solar Eclipse, on June 10: a time, right now, for setting new long term goals guided by our inner light rather than external pressures. This eclipse could prove a transformative experience for the degrees 10 to 12 of the Mutable Signs (Gem/Sag/Vir/Pis).

June 2 to 27: Venus’ yearly transit through Watery Cancer should help us feel more keenly the sacredness of our close relationships, family, lovers and close friends.

June 6: Mars in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. The trouble maker in chief is now again setting off Pluto, at 24th Capricorn, the very same degree activated by the Jupiter-Pluto’s conjunction in 2020, with such dire consequences for the planet. With Pluto Stationary on this degree all the way to October 7 the current Mars’ transit could again provide an outlet for Pluto’s dark energy, globally bringing once more into sharp focus the still raging pandemic. On a more personal level feelings of Jealousy and resentment could surface from unfathomable depths in relationship, with the risk of hurtful confrontations and even break ups, especially for degrees 23 to 25 of the Cardinal Signs (Can/Cap/Ari/Lib). 

June 6 and 14: Mercury has been retracing its steps in Gemini since May 30; its retrogradation will end on June 23.  The highlight of this phase has to be the 90° angle with-Neptune, its second pass occurring today (it was exact also on May 23 and will be again on July 6). The Sun and Mercury will become conjunct on June 10; and, on June 14, the Sun will also form a square to Neptune, expanding the influence of this transit. 
When both Sun and Mercury transit Mutable Gemini the accent is on mental adaptability and restlessness. Our heads may be filled with ideas, or plagued by mind changes or too easily distracted.  This time the Sun-Mercury’s square to dreamy Neptune in dreamy Pisces, around the latter’s ultra sensitive Retro Station degree, carries the added risk of our minds being swamped by a flood of psychic content from within ourselves and/or our surroundings. Neptune’s energy can be uplifting, intuitional, inspiring, even mystical, but also confusing at the best of times and downright delusional, occasionally. More affected by these transits could be degrees 22/23/24 of the Mutable Signs (Gem/Sag/Vir/Pis).

June 10: New Moon Solar Eclipse, 19 degrees 47 minutes of Gemini. See June 1 reading.

June 11 to July 30:  Mars transits Fiery Leo, marking an active, creative, enthusiastic and adventurous period especially for the Fire/Air Signs. You could develop a strong passion for a project or a relationship. You might accomplish much in intense bursts of energy, wherever you focus your attention. The danger could be physical and emotional burnouts if you keep on going even after running out of puff.
This time though Mars will also emphasize the difficult angle Saturn-Uranus (June 14), by opposing Saturn on July 1 and squaring Uranus on July 4. These transits could be problematic, heightening the risk of serious conflict worldwide and even causing personal unexpected upheavals, especially for degrees 11 to 15 of the Fixed Signs (Leo/Aqu/Tau/Sco). 

June 15: retro Saturn in Aquarius forms the second pass of its square to Uranus in Taurus, the most important transit of 2021.
Since its first inception on February 16 this transit has contributed to the escalation of conflicts, in the form of actual wars, civil unrest and even civil wars in many regions of the world.  This transit in Fixed Signs, typically resisting changes, is guarantee that this year that the regressive forces in this world (Saturn) will be severely pitted against the progressive (Uranus), creating huge obstacles to the drive for change signified by the Jupiter-Saturn’s Aquarius December 2020 conjunction. The second instance of this transit today has already proven difficult, with Saturn’s slow retro motion extending its period of influence, before and after the actual hit. Obvious examples of this are the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ongoing civil unrest, military repression, blatant war on democracy all over the globe. The list is very long.
The third and last pass of the same difficult angle will be on December 24; by then its effect should begin to wane.

June 21: we celebrate the advent of winter at 1.32 pm local time, Cancer Solstice 2021. Today also Jupiter begins its Pisces’ Retro Station, eventually returning to Aquarius on July 28, until December 29.

June 23: Mercury turns Stationary Direct at 16°07’ Gemini, time to move ahead with our plans and projects, with a clearer sense of direction.

June 27 to July 22: Fiery Leo’s great vitality and power will now shine through Venus, making the world feel warmer and more welcoming, enhancing our social lives, passions and creativity.

July 5: Sun in Cancer square Chiron (Chiron’s Retrograde Station on 13° Aries), another problematic transit, fortunately of short duration. Degrees 12 to 14 of the Cardinal Signs (Ari/Lib/Can/Cap) may be faced with some painful soul searching, to acknowledge how hurtful past experiences have become stumbling blocks in life’s progress, hindering true fulfillment.

July 13: Venus and Mars conjunct in Leo: a time for romance, art, fun and laughter.

July 18: Sun in Cancer opposition Pluto in Capricorn, another difficult angle actively focussing on Pluto’s dark side for a few days.

July 22 to August 16: Venus transits Earthy Virgo, helping us to transform daily routines into soulful rituals and to consider others’ emotional and practical needs above our own.

July 23 to August 23: the Sun in Fiery Leo: Happy Birthday to all warm, brilliant and proud Leo. The world would be a darker place without You!

Astrology and the Australian floods, April-May 2021

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A shorter version of this article was published, in late March, on the Uki Village News

Jupiter in Pisces
Astrology and the Australian Floods In ancient times the art of predicting the weather was one of astrology’s most valuable uses. In the absence of scientific instruments astrological weather forecast was naturally of the greatest importance for early agricultural people who relied on it to decide the best times for sowing and harvesting. Meteorological astrology is an art in itself, with very complex sets of laws of its own. I am not an expert in this specialized topic, but I can very much appreciate the cosmic synchronicity that I observed at play during the recent Australian floods.    Astrology is an amazing mirror of both ‘reality’ and ‘psyche’. In its cosmic mirror the two merge: the outer life of events and experiences and the inner life of thoughts and feelings. Becoming aware of this underlying nexus is at the heart of our art, opening up a fascinating view of the world and ourselves. That is why for me it’s not farfetched to hear the sound of rain in the Water Signs; to feel warmth, dry weather in the Fire Signs; temperate, moist weather in the Earth Signs; cooler, windy weather in the Air Signs; as well as identify possible extreme events in some intense planetary configurations. The lunar cycle, during which the peak of the floods has occurred, began at the Pisces Water New Moon, on March 13, with increase in rain activity in many parts of the country. During that phase the Moon and Sun weren’t just transiting a Water Sign but were also in close conjunction to Venus and Neptune in Pisces too. At the time I began writing, March 20, day of the Aries Equinox (yearly ingress of the Sun in Aries, a crucial time in the cosmic calendar), Venus was still in Pisces and again conjunct the Sun! Early on March 22 the First Quarter Moon, another crucial phase of the lunar cycle, fell in Water Cancer, at a significant distance of 120 degrees (trine) from Pisces Mercury. All the above suggests water events and also translates as a highly emotional period, when compassionate and loving feelings prevail (Water), within families (Cancer) and communities (Pisces).  April 2021 During the first two to three weeks in April the focus will be on the Fire and Air Signs: Venus transiting Aries from April 1 to 15; Mercury will be in Aries also, April 4 to 19; Mars, in Gemini since March 4, will be in this Air Sign until April 23; Jupiter will remain in Aquarius until May 14; Saturn will be in Aquarius all the way to early 2023; Chiron in Aries until 2026. Only the trans-Saturn planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are found in Earth and Water Signs. The Fire and Air Elements cause a planet to express its particular power in an outgoing and sometimes even forceful manner, showing more oomph, but also less sensitivity. This will be a great time then to walk the talk, putting into action our ideas with confidence and optimism.  Aries Mercury and Gemini Mars are in fact bouncing off each other by occupying each other Signs for a while, what is known in Astrology as ‘mutual reception’. Venus in Aries encourages us to be more assertive in our relationships, if less emotional and diplomatic. Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius remain a great stimulus for everyone to participate more in the life of the community, getting involved in collective projects, making new friends and trying new and exciting things, including social dissent. Independence and self-motivated actions are the keys to make the best of this period. By far the most important transit, exact on April 7, will be the 45°angle (semi-square) between Aquarius Jupiter and Aries Chiron. This difficult transit between the planet of expansion and the planet of illness and healing, peaking again in mid August and mid November, seems significant, with the world still in the grip of a pandemic and the southern hemisphere entering the year’s colder months that have proven so difficult for many during the North American and European winter. On April 19 Mercury and on April 23 Venus will enter Taurus, the same day Mars will leave Gemini to enter Cancer. Mercury and Venus’s transits in Taurus will last only until May 4 and 9 respectively; while Mars will remain in Cancer until June 12.  These are the three faster planets, affecting the way we deal with life from day to day and week to week. Their shift into the Earth and Water Signs indicate a less independent period for many, when relationships and feeling will come more to the fore, helping us to establish stronger emotional connections with family and loved ones.   May 2021 The month of May opens with the yearly conjunction of Sun-Uranus in Taurus, in itself a sign that some unexpected and sudden events are on the cards. The Sun will become, at this time, a powerful catalyst for the energies of both Uranus and Saturn by also squaring Aquarius Saturn on May 4. These transits could anticipate the challenges of the upcoming second pass of the Saturn-Uranus’ 90° angle, exact again on June 15. Escalation of personal and collective conflicts is likely, as we have seen happening around the world recently. The need for change in our social structures, laws, cultural bias etc. are compelling this year but also enormously challenged by the world’s most conservative mind set. As it was impossible to sugar coat the difficult transits of 2020 so it is for the Saturn-Uranus square, the most powerful and difficult transit of 2021, another clash of Titans. Jupiter in Pisces, May 14 to July 28 The Mutable Signs will become more active this month and in June-July. Mercury and Venus will enter Mutable Gemini in May 4 and 9 respectively. Most importantly, on May 14, Jupiter will leave Aquarius, Sign it entered only on December 19 2020, to enter Mutable Pisces. Jupiter’s stay in Pisces will not last long, covering only the first two degrees of the Sign. Jupiter in fact will re-enter Aquarius in retro motion on July 28 (until December 29). Jupiter will end its transit in Pisces on May 11 but will return to this Sign again for a short period, between October 28 and December 21 2022, date of its final ingress into Aries. Jupiter enters the last of the Water Signs about every twelve years, ushering a period when we are encouraged to listen more to our inner self, be inspired by heightened imagination and sensitivity. We could also become more responsive to the feelings of others, seeking to identify with their souls, their emotional needs and suffering. And, on a grander scale, we could become more open and receptive to the soul of the planet and all its creatures; an especially urgent need during the immediate drama of the Covid pandemic and the ecological tragedy looming on our world.  Feeling of collective empathy and compassion should inspire our life philosophy if we are able to respond to Jupiter’s amazing prompting. Of course there is always another, darker side to all coins, including ‘beneficial’ Jupiter’s. Pisces sensitivity often means a lack of boundaries and proper discrimination, the qualities of its opposite complementary Sign of Virgo that Pisces is in great need of consciously cultivate. We could then run the risk, as a collective, to be contaminated (for lack of a better word) by all sorts of fanciful notions, from wild conspiracies theories to actual physical infections. These could in fact spread even more readily under this influence. Let’s hope that rational thinking and Pisces’ uplifting spiritual insight will prevail, for the good of the planet. Upcoming Mercury’s retro period in Gemini and the first Eclipses of 2021 The Mutable shift will be also significant because of Mercury’s Gemini retro period (from May 30 to June 23), causing our little brother to transit Gemini for a protracted period, until July 12. To add to this, the first Eclipses of 2021 will fall in Mutable Signs too: a Lunar at the Full Moon in Mutable Sagittarius, on May 26, and a Solar at the Gemini New Moon, on June 10. The emphasis on these Signs will make this period feel more transitional and uncertain, on the bright side stimulating us to adapt better to swiftly evolving circumstances.

Breakthroughs in December 2020 and January 2021

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Just as it began, this fateful year ends with two eclipses, major planetary shifts and a historical conjunction. As different planetary patterns take hold things around the world should start to improve.

My Ganymede, Cup Bearer of the Gods

Critical Dates

In December 2019 and January 2020 the focus was on eclipses and conjunctions in Capricorn-Cancer, while all the major alignments involved Pluto. This planet in astrology is symbol of all ultimate experiences, death, loss, as well as profound personal/collective transformations. Pluto, in Capricorn until 2023, still remains active in the short term though, especially from late December 2020 to end of January 2021. Dates to watch are those when fast moving bodies will form challenging transits to the slow moving ones, in particular to all mighty Pluto. Here are some:
December 24: Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn – December 30: Venus in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces – January 7: Mars enters Taurus – January 9: Venus enters Capricorn – January 13: Mars in Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius – January 18: Jupiter in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus – January 21: Mars conjunct Uranus in Taurus – January 23: Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Aquarius – January 29: Venus conjunct Pluto in Capricorn.

Despite all of that now that Jupiter and Saturn have separated from Pluto its power for destruction is definitely reduced. Regeneration comes after destruction; hope after despair, and resilience too, allowing us to tap onto those inner resources we all need to thrive in a difficult world, the very positive aftermath of all Pluto’s transits.

Jupiter-Saturn momentous conjunction in Aquarius

As they quickly move away from Pluto Jupiter and Saturn are getting closer to a right angle to Uranus. But, first of all, they have a date to keep: December 22 (few hours past the Capricorn Solstice) when they will finally become conjunct on the threshold of Aquarius, marking the beginning of a brand new twenty years cycle. These recurring conjunctions are important because they show the direction the world is going in the areas of government, law, religion, ethical issues etc, for the whole of two decades. The current twenty years event is particularly special because it begins an even greater cycle. This will last roughly two hundred years, during which Jupiter and Saturn will become conjunct mainly in Air Signs. Astrological researchers have found that the transits of Jupiter-Saturn in Air Signs (also known as the ‘humane Signs’) tend to move the world’s political needle toward progressive trends, strengthening a collective spirit of reform and innovation. Aquarius in particular is the Sign of individualism and friendly cooperation.

With Aquarius and Uranus thus strongly highlighted progress seems certain, if slow and fraught with difficulties. In the coming year, for instance, Saturn will undoubtedly attempt to slow down the process of reform and innovation (square Uranus), manifesting the karmic consequences of the Covid19 crisis that has widened rather than reduced the gap between the ‘have’ and ‘have not’ of this world.  2021 critical dates for the difficult Saturn’s square Uranus will be: February 18, June 15 and December 24.

Witness the conjunction with your own eyes

Even visually this conjunction is an event we could do well not to miss, the two planets appearing closer to each other than they have been in 800 years! Look west in the early evening, on December 21 and 22. Jupiter, the brightest, and Saturn will be so close to appear as a double star. We will need not only a clear night though, but also a clear view of the westerly sky. The two planets will be in fact near the horizon and quickly sink out of sight.

Uranus in Taurus, a come back

With all the attention given in 2020 to the fateful Capricorn alignments, no much thought has been given to the transit of Uranus in Taurus, one of the most significant in recent years. It was easy enough to predict that, during the seven long year of Uranus’ passage through Taurus we could see changes of great magnitude happening in the financial and business world; as well as major challenges to our sense of security and wellbeing. Uranus in Taurus is coming to the fore again in 2021.

Jupiter will be the first to reach the right angle to Uranus, one and only time on January 18, a transit that could bring significant breakthrough in the area of collective cooperation, to do with the global availability of Covid19 vaccines and therapies for example, also inspiring greater confidence in the eventual improvement in the economic and security future of the world, and encouraging more risk taking in the areas of alternative technologies and more sustainable ways to do business. We could even experience an excess of enthusiasm for a while, driving us to make changes before we are truly ready for them. The same transit could bring also some unusually extreme weather globally and worsen the autocracy/democracy conflicts proliferating around the world; change will not come without formidable global grassroots movements. Negative outcomes possible, especially while other challenges are active from Mars and Venus to the end of January and afterward when the Saturn square Uranus will become active (first pass exact on February 18).  

Saturn in fact will significantly make three passes of the square to Uranus, the most significant planetary theme of 2021. Uranus always suggests the need to do things differently, to find new untried ways, to re-invent ourselves if necessary.  Saturn in 2021 will severely limit our collective drive toward real deep reforms, a new economic model, or enacting sufficient countermeasures to climate change and social injustice.  In a period when the drive for change is so compelling this slowing down will be a frustrating trend, but it could prove necessary to obtain more ground braking results in the long run. Personal responsibility and greater grassroots involvement in social issues will be a must.

Gemini-Sagittarius Eclipse Season: Lunar at the Gemini Full Moon, on November 30, 7.29 pm; and Solar at the Sagittarius New Moon on December 15, 2.16 am.

The Eclipses in Mutable Signs end the year showing the need for greater adaptability and a more optimistic and open minded approach to problems. If, in your Birth Chart, the Sun, Moon, any Planet or Chart Angle happen to fall around the 8th degree (Lunar Eclipse) or 23rd degree (Solar Eclipse) of the Mutable Signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, Pisces) these cosmic events may affect you in more personal and tangible ways.

The Lunar Eclipse could manifest as a significant emotional climax in the area of experience indicated by the sector of your Birth Chart where it will take place (the Houses of the Horoscope). For some will be relationships, for others work, career, health, study, family etc.  And not just for now but possibly for many months to come, depending how close the alignment is.

The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse will be a very special New Moon if closely aligned to sensitive points in your Birth Chart. It could mark the beginning of a brand new phase of your life, extending far into the future. The area of your Chart where the eclipse falls will determine the experiences and opportunities driving you toward the goals you seek.

Capricorn Solstice 2020, December 21, 8.02 pm

The seasonal Capricorn Solstice is this year simultaneous to the double ingress of Jupiter-Saturn into Aquarius and their rare conjunction. This synchronicity indicates that the Aquarian effect will strongly persist over the whole three months of the new season, summer in the southern hemisphere, winter in the northern. This is indeed a real opportunity to choose the collective good above more ego-centered tendencies, striving toward humane reforms against stale conservatism.

Changing Times: October and November 2020 Astrology

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The Babel Tower
The Babel Tower

October and November 2020 will be abuzz with cosmic events. We are nearing the last stage of the planetary saga that began at the end of last year and has dominated the world since. In December Jupiter and Saturn will finally align in Aquarius, ending this tough Capricorn year with a promise of redemption. Here are the highlights for this interim period, as I see them.

Saturn and Pluto packing a punch during their stationary periods

Between mid September and early October all three history making planets transiting Capricorn, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, turn Direct, beginning thus the last lap of their 2020 momentous alignments. When planets begin and end their retrogradation they enter a stationary period during which they sit on one degree of the eclipse for a sustained period of time. This makes their influence more intense and longer lasting. Saturn will pause on the 25th degree of Capricorn until the end of October and Pluto on the 22nd until the third week in November. If these same degrees of Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra (the Cardinal Signs) were occupied by Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles in your Birth Chart this is for you a time of serious adjustments and even profound changes. It could become a necessity to establish more realistic foundations for your future, moving away from past choices, even if the process of doing so can disheartening at times. The whole of this year we have been urged by circumstances and inner feelings to take a stand, to reinvent ourself using untapped before inner resources.  This is one of the last calls this year to embrace courageous if difficult choices because they feel deeply right.  

An example in point: transiting Saturn and Pluto will be, for a long while, stationary opposite US President Donald Trump’s birth Cancer Venus-Saturn, the challenge of a lifetime, just during his struggle for a second term. At the same time the USA itself is preparing for its first Pluto’ Return since independence from Britain, one of the most intense period of transformation any country can go through; a lengthy and difficult process of shedding its old skin, very close now and in 2021, exact in 2022/23 and ending only in early 2024.

Jupiter last historical passes in Capricorn

In October and November it is Jupiter though that will take front stage again, forming the last ‘passes’ of two major transits: the harmonious angle with Neptune in Pisces, exact for the last time on October 12; and the difficult but transformative conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn, exact for the last time on November 14.  Both these transits influence will last until December, when a new shift is on the cards. We can thus expect Jupiter to amplify again the current health/economic crisis, as well as manifesting as extreme weather events, social-military conflicts and social unrest on a grander scale than usual. As it has already done this year Jupiter could be also prying open boxes full of secrets and scandals, exposing corruption, propaganda and misinformation,  

The conjunctions of Jupiter and Pluto are not rare events, occurring roughly every thirteen years. At times they acquire greater significance however, happening simultaneously with other major planetary shifts, as it has been the case this year, when Saturn also aligned to Pluto.  Here are just a couple of examples astrologers have ascribed, at least in part, to the effect of the Jupiter-Pluto’s conjunction.

  • 1930-31 in Cancer: the Great Depression that spread from Wall Street to the world and its aftermath.
  • 1955 in Leo: the day of conjunction, November 1, became the earliest date for the official recording of American combat deaths in Vietnam, as well as the start of the social unrest against it that continued to divide America and the world to the war’s bitter end in 1975. 
  • 2020 in Capricorn: the first pass of this conjunction occurred in early April when the pandemic became more widespread and serious. The second pass happened on June 30, four days shy of the horrible explosion that rocked Beirut, exposing the criminal neglect and corruption of the Lebanese government.  July was also the month the pandemic took a turn for the worse in many regions of the world. On November 14 we will witness the last of these fateful alignments. It is not all bad news though! Being the last of these alignments this should also bring the beginning of closure to the issues that have plagued the world thus far. Whenever Jupiter is involved in a major transit, even a difficult one, the aftermath is often a collective expansion of consciousness, greatly helping to make sense of otherwise inexplicable misfortunes.

Mars still extremely active and influential

Mars, Retrograde since September 10, ignites the current period with the second pass of its frustrating angle to Saturn in Capricorn (90 degrees) on September 30, an alignment whose influence will spill over the first two weeks of October and yet return in mid January 2021. This is the transit so far principally responsible for the social unrest we have seen enacted in a number of countries all over the world: related to the intense frustration caused by the unprecedented government measures to minimize the spread of the pandemic, as well as exasperation with rigged elections (see Belarus), governments’ failures and corruption, endemic racism and police brutality.
Retracing its steps through Aries, Mars will also reach again its challenging angles to the other two planets in Capricorn, forming a 90 degrees angle to Pluto on October 9 and to Jupiter on October 19 (both angles to be repeated for the last time on December 24 and January 23 respectively).  These transits could again escalate social unrest all over the world, exasperation with governments’ failures, political and ideological divisions. We have seen the power of Mars (the God of War) to instigate conflicts and rebellion, to jump into the fry without thought of consequences, following an often blind instinct to head on address real or perceived wrongs. Another period likely to produce open conflicts and widespread intolerance is approaching. More of the same is on the world cards, not just for the rest of this year but also the beginning of 2021, when things should hopefully begin to ease up.  

Retrogradation of Mercury from Scorpio back into Libra (October 14 to November 4)

Last but not least Mercury will go through its last retro period of 2020, from on October 14 to November 4, moving direct only after the US presidential elections. This seems to highlight the potential for communication breakdowns, general chaos, mistrust and flourishing of misinformation during the last league of this historic campaign.

On October 14 Mercury will become Stationary Retrograde between the 11th and 12th degree of Scorpio. On October 28 Mercury will re-enter Libra and continue to transit this Sign all the way to the 25th/26th degrees, becoming then Stationary Direct on November 4, to re-enter Scorpio for good on November 11. Of great significance during this Retro period will be three passes of difficult angles to Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces and Chiron in Aries, in early and late October, and again in mid November.
During the whole of Mercury’s Retro period avoid, if you can, to make serious commitments or big purchases, as circumstances are likely to change in the near future, so that early choices may give cause for regret.

Lunations in October-November: Aries Full Moon, October 2, 7.05 am – Libra New Moon, October 23, 5.30 am – Taurus Full Moon, November 1, 0.49 am – Scorpio New Moon, November 15, 3.07 pm – Gemini Full Moon, November 30, 7.29 pm, also a Lunar Eclipse.

Critical days in October: September 30: Retro Mars in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn – October 2, 7.05 am : Aries Full Moon – October 8: Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – October 9: Retro Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn – October 11: the Sun in Libra square Jupiter in Capricorn – October 12: Jupiter in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces – October 14: Mercury turns Retrograde + the Sun in Libra opposition Mars in Aries – October 15: the Sun in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn – October 18: the Sun in Libra square Saturn in Capricorn – October 19: Retro Mars in Aries square Jupiter in Capricorn – October 20: Retro Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – October 23, 5.30 am : Libra New Moon –

Critical days in November: November 1: the Sun in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus, as well as Taurus Full Moon, 0.49 am – November 4: Mercury turns Direct – November 14: Jupiter conjunct Pluto in Capricorn – November 15, 3.07 pm: Scorpio New Moon – November 17: Mercury in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus – November 30: start of the last Eclipse season for 2020: Lunar Eclipse at the Gemini Full Moon, at 7.29 pm. The next Solar Total Eclipse, at the Sagittarius New Moon, will occur on December 14.

Major Transits from December 2019 to November 2020 included

An astrological view on the current world covid19 crisis

A shorter version of this article has been recently published in the Uki Village News

April/May Astrology: unprecedented challenges and opportunities

Welcome. The January Saturn-Pluto’s alignment, whose previous climax in 2001 fell so close to 9/11, is delivering a more powerful punch than was expected. It is a truly global, profound and unprecedented experience, at least for the modern world.

Right now, we found ourselves in the eye of the storm; and the prevalent feelings, depending on temperament, age and experience, are either of anguish and panic, or a sense imminent danger, or great uncertainty, or even incredulity.  In this atmosphere it is much better to concentrate on the fact that this, like everything, is a transitory reality.

The cosmic events that we are witnessing are part of a much greater cycle of becoming. So, no matter how dramatic and potentially dangerous the transits may seem, they too will pass. They may last longer than we wish for though, and also leave behind an extended period of difficult re-adjustments.

At the time of writing (late March 2020) it is difficult to be too optimistic. Too many real everyday problems are affecting us in the wake of the emergency to allow flights of fancy. We are asked, not just by the government, but by our common sense to be self disciplined and practical, accepting necessary limitations for the good of all (Saturn). The older among us are the worst impacted (Saturn rules old age and Pluto all endings).

We may be pulled down the dark abyss of loneliness and depression, a common Saturn effect too; while Pluto is forcing us to look into our deepest fear, the unknown. If mismanaged, personally and collectively, this calamity could affect not only our physical health and well-being. As importantly it could impact our mental health and relationships. We could experience the tightening grip of authoritarianism, bigoted nationalism and xenophobia too.

It seems to me though that there is here also an opportunity to begin ending the sort of globalization that is polluting the natural world; escalating climate change and making us into shopaholic, globally wired robots. We have a chance to embrace the globalization of good will and cooperation instead, for a greener, cooler more peaceful planet (the passage of Saturn into Aquarius, temporarily from the end of March to early July, definitely from mid December). Aquarius, presently and even more in the near is the light that could guide us out of this dark tunnel.

The famous phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ fits this era very well. It will be great if you could learn to self resource again, to make things, to learn practical skills, as individuals and individual countries. We could be brought down to our knees by this, in particular by the severe economic downturn that seems now unavoidable, but we could also learn to live more simply, growing our food, mending our socks, cooking our meals (exaggerating a bit here for good effect). We could discover that we can feel richer and more fulfilled rather than deprived. It is a big task but not an impossible one. Apart from nasty viruses, more sustainable, less wasteful lifestyles will also protect us from climate change and the wanton destruction of the natural world. It can be tough because we are so used to a ready made, button pushing way of living. So it could be time to toughen up while staying optimistic, there is no other way. If a crisis of this proportion cannot do it than nothing can.

The cosmic patterns

Here is a summary of the cosmic events involved in this global crisis, as they began to unfold in early December 2019. To unravel the mystery we need to observe different planetary cycles, involving slow and fast planets, as well as seasonal eclipses as they magically interconnect and overlap, creating the intense results we are all experiencing.

If an arbitrary beginning could be found it would be, for me, the ingress of Jupiter in Capricorn, on December 3 2019. Why? This was the first sign that emerging issues pertaining to Capricorn were going to be magnified during the year long Jupiter’s Transit.
Capricorn has a lot to do with the orderly working of government and business, our collective planning and practical concerns, already gravely challenged by the then imminent historical alignment of Saturn to Pluto. This occurred on January 13 2020, in the midst of a powerful Eclipse season, involving also Capricorn and its opposite complementary Sign of Cancer.

Let’s step back again. The Sun made its yearly ingress into Capricorn, on December 22. By Boxing Day the Sun was very close to Jupiter, nearly conjunct. This was the day of the Capricorn New Moon and a Solar Eclipse, the last of 2019 and the closest to the Capricorn Solstice, start of a new season. Jupiter right on the Solar Eclipse indicated that it was also going to magnify any effect, positive and negative, the Eclipse might have. The whole event was in turn aligned to the Moon’s Descending Node, what Vedic astrologers call the Dragon’s Tail, pointing to what of our collective past has not been yet integrated in our consciousness and need redressing. On January 9 2020 Jupiter and the Descending Node became conjunct.

Eclipses nearly always come in pair, so a Lunar Eclipse at the next Full Moon in Cancer occurred on January 11. The Moon did not just oppose the Sun, as at every full phase, but also Mercury, the collective mind, and the largest of our closest asteroids, Ceres, symbol of Mother Earth herself, not in her nurturing but rather in her vengeful mode! To top this up the eclipsed Cancer Moon was also opposing the Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, which became exact on January 13. This alignment as I described many times in earlier posts, is considered a make or break transit of great significance, the very same astrologers were waiting for with some trepidation.

We come to mid February, when things got even more interesting and complicated, with the ingress of trouble making Mars into Capricorn too, February 16 (transit due to last until March 31). And, like if the above wasn’t enough, Mercury of the collective mind began his retro period on February 17 in the Sign of Pisces, the most receptive and dangerously exposed to outside influences.

On March 8 the Sun, symbol of our collective consciousness aligned with Neptune in Pisces, setting the scene for a period of confusion, misinformation, anxieties, extreme sensitivity, but also compassion, sacrifice, redemption. Neptune is indeed a very spiritual energy when in its high vibration.  We all have felt the universal sorrows the news were spilling everywhere and began praying, meditating, going within.

Mars in Capricorn has also been a leading character in March. It acted clearly as a catalyst of the energy packed into the slow moving planets, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. It became conjunct Jupiter on March 20, day of the Aries Equinox, marking the start of a new season with a big bang. Then Mars aligned with Pluto on March 23, extremely intense, unleashing hidden resentments and rage, mounting fatalities and suffering, a crude and cruel wake-up call.

Capricorn Mars also triggered the still energized degrees of the December-January Solar and Lunar Eclipses. Mars has definitely inflamed and worsened an already difficult situation. We must be glad to see him moving out of Capricorn on March 31st. The crisis will continue, I believe, with Jupiter soon to conjunct Pluto, as early as April 5; more of that later. To finish with Mars for the immediate future he will align with Saturn on April First, thus ending for now its direct link with the Capricorn big picture planets. On April 9 a right angle between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus could add to the surprises of this amazing times, most possibly in an unsettling way but perhaps also in a positive way, with some exciting breakthrough.

On March 23 Saturn entered Aquarius, one of the silver linings of this emergency, Aquarius being the Sign of universal cooperation and mate-ship. For now this transit will last only until July 2, when he will re- enter Capricorn until December 17, with the definite ingress into Aquarius and soon after, on December 22, a very promising alignment with Jupiter by then also in Aquarius.

Now to Jupiter who, on April 5, will align with Pluto. This transit is one of the reasons why I feel that the emergency could escalate for another while, not necessarily for Australia but generally speaking. This transit cannot be underestimated in its potency because it will return two more times, on June 30 and November 13, more Eclipse Seasons. Jupiter seems to want to expand the situation, to its limits. This is a challenge to embrace a truer philosophy of life, to transform our beliefs in full blooded knowledge, to give up on what seemed so essential before and now may have to be discarded, surviving the whole things wiser and stronger. The other strong reason in my eyes for this situation to linger is the retrogradation of Mars in Aries from September 10 to November 14, again interacting by square with Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, three times into January 2021. And finally also the Solar Eclipse on the Cancer Solstice, on June 21, sort of eclipsing another season.

I cannot see how this crisis could really end until, at least, the end of this year. With this I don’t mean that we will all be in lock down the whole time, but that there will be peaks and lows, the crisis abating in one place and surfacing in another. I am saying this especially thinking of the retrogradation of Jupiter and Mars.

 

 

 

Astrology for February-March 2020 and beyond, by Paola Emma

‘Morning On The Seine In The Rain’ by Claude Monet

‘Morning On The Seine In The Rain’ by Claude Monet

A shorter version of this article was published in issue 110 of the Uki Village News

The big picture

No doubt the January 11 Full Moon Eclipse in Cancer brought a major shift of energies to our region, with rain finally falling on our parched land. With the Eclipse’s extraordinary alignment to one of the major astrological occurrences in recent year, the Capricorn Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, the weather change was only one of the many events that this powerful transit brought in its wake.  This regional experience reflects the fact that the long awaited and by many dreaded alignment is now technically behind us, even if still powerfully close. The numerous thunderstorms we are experiencing are just another sign that a massive pent-up energy is being released. Many of us feel lighter and more optimistic; also awed by nature’s uncanny power to surprise us.

We are certainly not out of the wood though. The failure of the December 2019 UN Madrid Climate Conference to achieve significant commitments from participating countries clearly demonstrates that we are still hovering at the edge of a chasm, separating us not only from viable solutions to the pressing climate crisis, but also from a unifying vision for the future: first world countries versus developing ones; aging politicians and plutocrats versus angry activist teenagers; science versus conspiracy theory etc.

Pluto in Capricorn is destined to bring profound changes that could be lethal if we do not take responsible charge of the situation. Allowing Pluto, ancient God of the Underworld, to do his own thing could mean unprecedented ecological disasters, massive extinctions and consequently social upheavals the world has not seen in a long time. Positively the slow passage of Pluto through Capricorn (2008-2023) could instead provide us with the moral courage and resourcefulness to tackle this crisis and indeed survive it, if not completely avoiding the dangers we are facing, as the Australian fires have sadly demonstrated.

Saturn, known as the Lord of Karma among other titles, is not missing this opportunity to deal out some heavy penalties for our past transgressions and callous indifference. For this reason it is considered by most astrologers an ominous companion for Pluto. To me Saturn represents also a hopeful side of this difficult equation though:  the down to earth, responsible attitude that is absolutely crucial to the success of any human intervention. Like knowing, for instance, the limits of what can be realistically achieved, finding viable local and global solutions, rather than aiming for the stars only to fail miserably.

Apart from all that, there is indeed a light at the end of this tunnel because Saturn will soon be leaving Capricorn (March 22) to enter Aquarius. This transit, due to retrogradation, will last only until July 2. When Saturn will re-enter Aquarius for good, on December 17, it will also, few days later, become conjunct to Jupiter, on December 22. This alignment could indeed bring some welcome opening to unity and humanitarian reforms, all sentiments that seem unattainable under the ominous shadow of the current conjunction to Pluto.  Furthermore the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius is not just one of their regular twenty year meetings. It represents in fact the momentous shift of these alignments from the Earth Signs (where most of these conjunctions have occurred since 1802) to the Air Sign (where most will occur until 2140!). Astrologers throughout the ages have considered the alignments of Jupiter and Saturn extremely influential in shaping world’s history, its prevalent ideologies and socio-political leanings. While collectively the Earth Signs are driven by the need for material security and a pragmatic view of life, the Air Signs are driven by ideals and a reforming, sometimes even revolutionary spirit.

However 2020, with Jupiter in Capricorn also activating Pluto in early April, at the end of June and again in mid November, will see most probably an exhalation of similar issues to the ones we have experienced in 2019. Only at the very end of the year Jupiter’s ingress into Aquarius, with Saturn, could mark a positive shift. The next UN Climate Conference will be held in Glasgow, England, on November 19 2020, just a month before the Aquarius alignment. There is hope that the Aquarian spirit of mutual understanding and friendship may prevail over our differences and that more visionary, idealistic goals could drive the discussions toward the more radical approach needed in this grave emergency. Pluto, in Capricorn until 2023, can in fact provide enough down to earth focus to manifest ideals into practical forms.

In the short term

The Sun

It is that time of the year again, on March 8, when the Sun will align to mystical Neptune in Pisces, encouraging us to become more conscious of our innate intuition, imagination and compassion. It will be easier to forgive and forget, washing past resentments into the unifying water of this oceanic Sign. With Mercury, returning in Pisces, after retrogradation, from March 16 to April 11, the gentle, artistic, dreamy influence of this Sign will remain with us, softening the harsh realities of the intense Capricorn experience.

The Retrogradation of Mercury between Pisces and Aquarius
February 17 to March 10

Mercury is ready for its regular loop, reminding us that it is time to review our thinking and the way we communicate our thoughts, to achieve the best possible outcome personally and in our social life. People who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Mutable Sign of Pisces-Virgo-Sagittarius-Gemini or the last two degrees of the Fixed Signs of Aquarius-Leo-Taurus-Scorpio will be more directly affected by this retrogradation.

To avoid feeling severely ‘muddled headed’ (a common side effect of Mercury in Pisces, even when not retrograde), we could all try to take it easier at this time; not attempting to deal with too many matters or to stick too strictly to plans and routines. The best would be to stay mentally pliable, in order to adapt to shifting circumstances. It could also be wise to be tolerant of confusing or mixed messages we may receive from other people. Whom can we expect to trust when we cannot even trust ourselves?

Venus

From February 8 to March 5 Venus will transit fiery Aries, where she takes on the role of Warrior Goddess, fighting against injustice and inequality. During this transit she will cross swords with all the Capricorn planets: first with Jupiter, on February 24, then with Pluto, on February 29, and finally with Saturn on March 4. This could mean heightened chance for disputes and open conflicts, when ‘winning’ is the whole point. On the positive side, things that need facing, directly and courageously, can be faced at these times. All will be well if we manage to move on afterward. No time for regrets and looking back when Venus is in Aries.

Venus will transit Taurus from March 5 to April 4, a more relaxed and affectionate place for Venus, when art and pleasure could inspire creativity and also ability to focus more intensely on whatever we do. Said that, just as the Sun separates from Neptune (March 8) Venus becomes conjunct Uranus (March 9), bringing two powerful outer planets to play on the daily stage of life and relationships. Despite the loyal and steady nature usually attributed to Venus in Taurus the alignment to Uranus will bring up the more rebellious side of the Goddess, if for a few days.  New and exciting relationships could spring up as from nowhere, and perhaps opportunities for adventure or to just prove our independence.

Mars

From February 16 to March 31 Mars will be transiting Capricorn, joining the planetary group already there, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. This will be therefore an important transit because Mars’ role is to bring things out into the open, also activating into action the slower moving celestial bodies. Mars will first meet Jupiter on March 20, then Pluto, on March 23, and finally Saturn but not before both entering the Sign of Aquarius, between March 31 and April 1. As with Venus activating the same planets earlier, this Mars will increase the chance of open conflicts at these times; the sort of confrontations when we test our strength against another, trying to establish ‘who is the boss’. Moderation is recommended, remembering that Mars can cut bridges permanently if let loose.

The final alignment to Saturn, on April 1, could manifest as a strong drive to action but also great frustration as we face delays and limitations that could severely try our patience. No time to expect immediate gratifications.

Positively the whole period of Mars in Capricorn could prove particularly constructive, helping us to get things done, putting in the extra effort and discipline necessary for success, making a ‘real’ difference: a test of our self confidence and leadership abilities.

The Aries Equinox

If you would like to celebrate the advent of autumn, the Aries Equinox will occur this year on March 20, at 2.49 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The map of this cosmic event, the traditional beginning of the astrological year, the Ram leading the flock, shows, in a nutshell, the transits that will be relevant in the next six to twelve months. As it has been the case in recent months the accent is on the Earth Sign of Capricorn where many planets are still congregating at the time of the Equinox, namely Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn, the latter though on the verge of entering the next Sign of Aquarius.  The fact that, just around this crucial time, Saturn finds itself at the threshold of a new Sign (together with Mars!) seems to me indicative that during the next few months the world will be at an important crossroad, the growing aspirations for meaningful changes (Aquarius) still held back by the powerful pull of the past and the way things have been done until now (highlight on conservative Capricorn).

For more insightful Astrology please visit my site: livingmoonastrology.com

Regulus, the Star of Donald Trump’s destiny

 

Regulus Middle Eastern Talisman

It may be interesting to students of Astrology to know that Trump’s Birth Ascendant on the last degree of Leo was very closely aligned to Regulus, alpha Star in the constellation of Leo, and was also conjunct his Leo Mars, in the Twelfth House of self-undoing.

The name Regulus means in Latin ‘Little King’. This Star is also known as ‘The Heart of the Lion’. Regulus was one of the four pillars of the ancient sky-universe. With Antares of Scorpio, Aldebaran of Taurus and Fomalhaut of Pisces Regulus guarded one of the four corners of the universe, the Northern.

Just today, while editing this post, I came across a Washington Post’s headline reading Trump is looking a lot like King Lear — but this tragedy is far from over, one of the weird synchronicity that occurs when one happens to be in a focused state of mind, for whatever reason. It is an interesting article and very much, if unknowingly, attuned to the nature of the Star that is at the helm of Trump’s destiny, right on the degree of his Ascendant !

This Star was traditionally considered mainly fortunate, bringing ‘success, high and lofty ideals and strength of spirit, making its natives magnanimous, grandly liberal, generous, ambitious, fond of power, desirous of command, high-spirited and independent.’

Bernardette Brady, one of the most serious contemporary authority on Sidereal Astrology, reads a strong potential for downfall in this Star power too, especially if the individual embraces revenge as a way of redressing true or imagined wrongs. This Star’s influence sometimes shows hubris, the ego arrogance that was considered a sin against the Gods and brought within the seed of self-destruction (does this sound familiar while discussing Trump?). So this Star can bring one to very high ranking positions but also to dramatic reversals if its power is abused.

Regulus had certainly its negative side according to more traditional sources also. It is supposed for instance to instigate violence, to be often destructive, offering military honors of short duration, because benefits tend not to last, with ultimate failure and even imprisonment possible.

The ancient scholar-astrologer Ptolemy (second century ad) talked about the Leo constellation and its alpha star Regulus in his treatise Almagest, describing its effect on human personality and destiny as a combination of Mars and Jupiter influence, mainly fortunate but also given to extremes, especially if ill aspected at birth. In a Birth Chart an alignment of Mars to Jupiter will provide the personality with great drive, optimism and stamina, with the risk of grandiosity though, making the individual prone to self-inflation and given to excessive risk taking. Like if Trump, born on a Sagittarius Full Moon and with Mars rising in Leo, needed more self-inflating encouragement !

Guido Bonatti, a 13th century Italian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, advisor of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, wrote that this Star, when acting in a negative way, signifies that ‘the Native shall die an unhappy death; or at least that all his honors, greatness and power shall at last suffer an eclipse and set in a cloud‘. A very poetical description.

These are not my words, but the words of ancient astrologers, long dead. Time will tell.

For more on Trump Astrology please navigate to his dedicated page Here.

April-May 2019 astrological highlights: the Lunar Nodes aligned to Pluto-Saturn + Uranus in Taurus

This post has been already published, in a slightly edited form, in the Uki’s Village News, issue 105, April/May 2019.

Astronomicum 'Caesareum' by Michael Ostendorfer (1540)

Astronomicum ‘Caesareum’ by Michael Ostendorfer (1540)

The Lunar Node, Pluto and Saturn

The highlights of the April/May period will be two alignments of the Lunar Nodes to Pluto (April 5) and Saturn (May 1). The conjunction South Node-Pluto (and opposition North Node-Pluto) will be exact on the same day as the Aries New Moon (first New Moon in the astrological yearly calendar).

Both the Pluto and Saturn’s alignments will also happen on the same degree of longitude (23 degrees Capricorn and Cancer) as the Sun’s southernmost and northernmost degrees of declination, corresponding with the Winter/Summer Solstices . This is only a symbolical or numerical connection though: the two planes of celestial declination and celestial longitude being different from each other. Any apparent coincidence can be considered significant in astrology, because we are dealing here with becoming aware of all possible meaningful coincidences in our lives and the life of the planet (synchronicity).

Pluto will also turn Stationary-Retrograde on April 25, while sitting on this critical degree, just about on the exact declination of the Tropic of Capricorn. The alignments of the Nodes to Saturn will go beyond May, returning on July 4 and September 28.

These are all huge events in Mundane Astrology, that branch of the art that deals with the worldly effects of planetary motions.

The North and South Nodes of the Moon (also known, more picturesquely, as the Head and Tail of the Dragon) are the ascending and descending points of interception of the Moon and Earth’s orbits. Due to the Moon and Earth’s constant motion, these points naturally move too, completing 360 degrees in about nineteen years. The Nodes are closely connected to the phenomenon of Eclipses because it is only when the Sun is close to one of the Nodes, near a New or Full Moon time, that Lunar and Solar Eclipses can occur.  This means that the Nodes are linked with the deep experiences associated with Eclipses, new beginning and climaxes on a grand scale. They represent in astrology an axis of collective and individual destiny, showing the direction we are going, the trajectory between past and future enacted in the present moment.

The conjunction to the South Node (and opposition to the North Node) with Pluto occur only once every sixteen or seventeen years; with Saturn every twelve years or so.

The South Node has to do with the past; in this instance the world’s past. It has to do with letting go of what of the past is dragging us back (coal, bigotry and greed come to mind). The two Nodes are an axis and never work separately; if one is affected the other is too. So what we do with these mighty transits will have enormous effect on the future (the North Node), how things will eventually turn out.

Pluto is the planet of crisis, transformation, power struggles and all experiences in life that help to change us in radical ways. Saturn and Capricorn, on the other hand, are symbols of structure, security, ambition, the established order, authority, governments etc. These alignments certainly indicate a serious shake up of the established order of things, the sort of things we take for granted.

Much corruption, injustice and hypocrisy of our past and present are coming to the surface now. Confronting these could help remove our gaze from the scapegoats we have chosen to bear the burden of our collective guilt. Confronting stuff within ourselves (Pluto), taking responsibility and doing something about it (Capricorn and Saturn) are key necessities here.

Uranus in Taurus

We cannot forget that we are also still adjusting to the recent ingress of Uranus in Taurus (March 6), transit that will continue to 2025.  A passage over the very first degrees of any Sign is always harbinger of significant adjustments in the planet’s psyche, especially when a game changer like Uranus is involved.  The Moon on April 5-7, the Sun on April 23, Mercury on May 9, Venus on May 19 will in turn align to Uranus, bringing its exciting and/or disruptive energy to the fore around these dates. Times for things to perhaps unexpectedly change in our lives, our destiny taking a u-turn of sorts, new unforeseen opportunities arising, especially if the first four degrees of the Fixed Signs happen to be highlighted in your Birth Horoscope (from the first to the fourth degrees Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, Aquarius).

All these cosmic events are actually foreshadowing the big one on the horizon, the actual conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on January 13 2020, ending a mutual cycle that had its climax at opposition, around 9/11 (covering the period from August 2001 to June 2002). Let’s hope this is good news, the end of the bitter divisions that have been breaking the world apart in recent times.

 

 

Cosmic February and March 2019: keeping it ‘real’

Earth Mandala Living Moon Astrology
A shorter version of this article has been already published in the Uki Village News in early February 2019.

The Earth Signs

A shift toward the Earth Signs will characterize the astrological months of February/March 2019. Venus will be transiting Capricorn from February 4 to March 2 (marrying creativity with business sense), and Mars Taurus from February 14 to March 31 (a dogged, often hard working position for Mars). The historical ingress of Uranus in Earthy Taurus will take place on March 6, this transit continuing to 2025/26. Of course Saturn, the Lunar South Node and Pluto are also still in Earthy Capricorn, to 2020 and 2023/24 respectively.
To add to the above the Chinese Lunar New Year has welcomed the smart PIG, this time associated with the EARTH ELEMENT, the last Earth Element Animal before the switch to the next Element, Metal, from 2020. Each Element lasts in fact for twelve years and is in turn associated with each of the Twelve Animals.
So, for the long term as well as the short term, planning, discipline, dedication and hard work are top prerequisites for success.

Jupiter and Neptune

On the other hand, the 90 degrees angle between Jupiter in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces represents, this year, the biggest challenge to the Earth Signs’ need for realism and practicality (January14-June 17-September22). Jupiter is in fact the planet of expansion as well as exaggeration, and Neptune the planet of spirituality but also of confusion and passivity, together encouraging divorce from reality and from what is truly possible in the circumstances. And this is, after all, the most powerful transit of 2019!

We will all have to struggle somehow between these opposing Earthy and Psychic forces, their high contrast making our collective approach to problem solving fraught with contradictions and some paralysing moments. We will need to find ways to reconcile them and make their union fruitful.

In the short term the prevailing energy is encouraging us to work through difficulties rather than sweep them aside or avoid them. The Earth Signs will make sure that things eventually catch up with us and we will have to face the music. Prevention is definitely better than cure for the Earth Signs.  Getting too emotional will not serve our purpose either. Clear, practical, viable solutions will be available but we will need to put some real effort in, downsizing our expectations and waiting patiently for results. Immediate gratification of desires or easy windfalls will not be in the cards for most of us at this time.

Venus in Aquarius

From March 2 to 27 Venus will move to Aquarius, a lighter, more socially minded position for Venus, marking an ideal time for group works, friendships and love matches founded on mutual respect, learning, traveling, mixing with different people, networking of ideas, emotional independence etc.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces

In Pisces since February 10 Mercury will turn retrograde on Pisces’ very last degree on March 6 (same day Uranus enters Taurus). This period will last until March 29. People who were born with Sun, Moon, any Planet or one of the Four Angles (Ascendant – Descendant – MidHeaven – LowerHeaven) in Pisces or in any of the Mutable Signs (Virgo-Gemini-Sagittarius) will experience more personally the effects of this retrogradation: delays, communication breakdowns, misunderstanding, mechanical problems, tech issues, as well as striking insights, flights of intuition and creative  imagination.

Uranus in Taurus

On March 6 Uranus will enter Taurus, for good this time, until 2025/26. This extremely significant shift will gain even greater momentum in 2020, when the Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction in Capricorn will contribute to a quickening of planetary, political, social, economic and cultural transformations, with make/break situations for individuals and the planet to face squarely.

For in depth analysis of the transits of Uranus in Taurus and Chiron in Aries please navigate HERE to my April 2018 article.

Chiron in Aries

Worth of mention is also the unobtrusive final ingress of Chiron in Aries, on February 18 (until 2027), marking a whole new cycle for the planet of Healing! Looking back at the most recent times Chiron transited Aries (1918/1926-27;1968/1977), we see much struggle to realize historical social reforms: women suffrage, gender equality, sexual revolution, peace versus war. Aries, symbol of unbridled and often toxic masculinity, is going through a face of healing and higher learning from which it will emerge transformed.

 

 

November 7/8 2018: Jupiter enters Sagittarius (one year long transit) – Uranus is back in Aries – The Lunar Nodes shift in Cancer and Capricorn

Lord Jupiter statue

Lord Jupiter

JUPITER enters SAGITTARIUS today, November 8, 11.39 pm (Australia Eastern Summer Time).

In a recent post on the major transits active in November-December 2018 I have called the ingress of Jupiter in Sagittarius ‘splendid’. This because Sagittarius is a much more suitable environment for Jupiter than Scorpio has been.
The Fire, Air and Mutable Signs in particular (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, Aquarius, Gemini, Virgo, Pisces), and, in some way, all of us could profit from the inspiration and optimism of this year long transit, offering  opportunities to right some of the wrongs we have uncovered during the Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio and to look with greater confidence into the future. Jupiter will be in Sagittarius until early December 2019.
On November 7 Uranus re-entered Aries in retro motion too and thus squared again the Nodes (link to past and future eclipses)! The same day the North Node shifted into the back of Cancer, from Leo, and the South Node into the back of Capricorn, from Aquarius. This is a very significant combination of major transits around the time of the USA mid-term elections (November 6); also close to the New Moon in Scorpio (November 8).
Uranus square the Lunar Nodes is an ongoing transit that has manifested recently in intractable political chaos in many countries, as well as unprecedented weather events. More of the same, I suspect, is in the cards for the remaining of this year.

Timeline of Major Transits in October, November and early December 2018

Left section of the freeze, 525 BC, of the treasure of Siphnioi, entitled 'Symposium of the Gods' in Delphi, Greece, from left to right we can see Aphrodite = Venus, Artemis = Moon, and

Left section of the freeze, 525 BC, of the treasure of Siphnioi, entitled ‘Symposium of the Gods’ in Delphi, Greece, from left to right we can see Aphrodite = Venus, Artemis = Moon, and Apollo = Sun

Timeline of Major Transits in October

  • On October 6 Venus becomes Stationary Retrograde (10°/11° Scorpio). Click HERE For an in depth article on the retrogradation of Venus between October 6 and November 16.
  • From October 10 to 31 Mercury will also join Venus in Scorpio, strengthening the Scorpio effect at this time.
  • Venus square Mars on October 11 (10° of Scorpio-Aquarius), the blurred line between attraction and antagonism between the sexes. Exciting or destructive fire works. Keeping our cool could prove a challenge, with tomorrow Sun-Pluto’s aspect adding intensity to the mix.
  • The next day,October 12 the Sun square Pluto (Libra-Capricorn) and Mercury conjunct Venus (08°50’ Scorpio).
  • Mercury square Mars on October 20 (14°30′ Scorpio-Aquarius), disputes, heated arguments or intense, in depth conversations, this is no time for gossip or idle chit chat.
  • The Sun enters Scorpio on October 23 and on October 24 opposes Uranus in Taurus. Conscious striving toward individuality and independent choices; tugs of war, control issues. Uranus the mover and shaker could shake up the world finance and geology, extreme weather events above average around this time.
  • Venus sextiles Saturn (04°21’ Scorpio-Capricorn), on October 24 too. Common sense hopefully helping to keep us sane, encouraging us to embrace the practical and enjoy the unavoidable routine, work and duties.
  • Sun-Venus Conjunction on October 27. Venus’ orbit will pass between the Earth and the Sun, and will be lost in the Sun glare for a while. This occurs once in every synodic cycle of the planet (584 days), and marks the end of Venus’ Evening apparition and beginning of her Morning rising. This could prove a significant shift in the love life and relationships of many people, with a new, more candid look at love, creativity, pleasure and comfort in our lives, with the naivety that new beginnings entail.
  • Venus square Lunar Nodes (0°37’ Scorpio-Leo-Aquarius) on October 31. Fate is obviously playing an important part in our experiences at present, especially those involving relationships, creativity, finances. Venus also opposes Uranus in Taurus on October 31, enhancing the desire for independence and individuality within relationships and in any creative artistic process we may be engaged in. Unexpected events are likely.

Timeline of Major Transits in November

  • Venus re-enters Libra on November 1. After the plunge into the deep and dark waters of Scorpio this Libra Venus is wiser if less idealistic.
  • Uranus re-enters Aries in retro motion on November 7 and square the Nodes (link to past and future eclipses)! The same day the North Node will shift into the back of Cancer, from Leo, and the South Node into the back of Capricorn, from Aquarius. On November 6 will be held the USA all important mid-term elections.
    Uranus square the Lunar Nodes is an ongoing transit that has manifested recently in intractable political chaos in many countries, as well as unprecedented weather events. More of the same, I suspect, is in the cards for the remaining of this year.
  • Jupiter’s splendid entrance into Sagittarius on November 8. I call it splendid because Sagittarius is a much more suitable environment for Jupiter than Scorpio was. The Fire, Air and Mutable Signs in particular, but all of us could profit from the inspiration and optimism of this year long transit, offering  opportunities to right some of the wrongs we have uncovered during the Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio and to look with greater confidence into the future. Jupiter will be in Sagittarius until early December 2019.
  • Venus trine Mars (26° Libra-Aquarius) on November 10 (see Venus square Mars on October 11). A change of pace between these masculine and feminine cosmic energies, from open conflict to leaning toward peace making and reconciliation, when we are prepared to be less uncompromising and more tolerant.
  • Mars enters Pisces on November 16. On the same day Venus turns Direct. It seems an opportunity to go with the flow and trust it will bring us where we need to go.
  • On November 17 Mercury turns Retro (13°29’ Sagittarius. Mercury will re-enter Scorpio on December 1 and retrograde until December 7, when it will turn Direct at 27°16’ Scorpio. Mercury will re-enter Sagittarius on December 13 2018. Expect the usual difficulties and disruptions in your daily life; take it easy, it will pass.
  • On November 20 Mars square Jupiter Pisces-Sagittarius. Time for caution because we could make steps longer than our legs under this over-optimistic, over-reaching transit. Cultivate clarity and discrimination and try not to act too much on impulse.
  • Sun enters Sagittarius on November 22 and becomes conjunct Jupiter on November 23. More expansive feelings and positive outlook. Blind optimism not recommended, but if we remain grounded real opportunities will come our way.
  • Mercury-Sun Inferior conjunction on November 27 at 05°03’ Sagittarius. Like Venus in late October, Mercury will soon begin to rise before the Sun in the morning.

Looking ahead: timeline of Major Transits for early December 2018

  • Venus re-enters Scorpio on December 3, same day Sun square Mars (Sagittarius-Pisces).
  • December 6: Sun square Neptune.
  • December 8: Mars conjunct Neptune in Pisces.
  • December 9: Chiron turns Retrograde.
  • Venus will enter Sagittarius only in the new year, on January 7 2019.

 

August 2018 Astrology: The longest Lunar Eclipse of the century, multiple retrogrades and the ongoing risky dance of Mars-Uranus

Eclipse ancient artA slightly shorter version of this post was published in early August 2918 in the Uki Village News.

Last Eclipse Season for 2018

Spanning the months of July and August 2018 the Eclipse season will be intensified in its effect and extended in its duration by the fact that many planets are going retrograde, including our closest brothers, Mercury and Mars, with Saturn, Chiron, Neptune, Pluto and, from August 7, Uranus also. Mercury’s retro period in Leo will go from July 25 to August 19, while Mars’ current retrogradation, between Aquarius and Capricorn, will last until August 27. On top of this Mars has been closest to our planet for a number of years, fact that tends to make his war-like nature more evident; while, between July 7 and September 24, Mars will also be ‘out of bounds’ (beyond the usual 23° declination), another factor that could make the martial energy more erratic and unpredictable .

The Cancer Solar Eclipse of July 13 began the cycle and the August 11 Leo Solar Eclipse will end it. The July 28 Total Lunar Eclipse represents the culmination of the whole period, right in the middle of it, and it is indeed a very special event, not only to astrologers but astronomers as well, because of its length, a whopping one hour and 42 minutes, the longest lasting of the whole 21st century.

Many Retrogrades

In August and September the July 28 Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius will still dominate. The reason for this is that during the eclipse Mars is closely conjunct the Moon and thus the difficult ongoing 90° between Mars and Uranus (active at least until October) will also involve the Moon, the Sun and the Lunar Nodes (T Square). This is a combination of energies that could sorely try our collective patience.

This transit acquires strength due to the Lunar Eclipse, thus extending its influence beyond the month of August, but it started having an effect already in May 2018, when the first pass of the Mars-Uranus’ Square took place, just as both planets were entering Aquarius and Taurus respectively (exact on May 16).

The fact is that while Mars, in backward motion, implies that we are required to soften our stance, looking inward rather than outward for the causes of conflicts and misunderstanding, the strong involvement of Uranus could make it a lot more difficult to find the patience and calm needed to review the way we usually deal with conflicts. And retro Mercury will not help by aggravating any difficulty in communication.

Mars retro always represents an opportunity to avoid arguments by maintaining a calm and detached attitude, remaining centered in the eye of any storm that may come our way, avoiding unfruitful retaliation. The angle with Uranus, especially coinciding with such a full on eclipse, could make this task ever more difficult, because we are, at the same time, pulled toward a more antagonistic and rebellious way of dealing with confrontations, while our reactions could be exaggerated and compulsive. Uranus is in fact the least diplomatic, more radical and uncompromising planetary energy there is!

Again the Fixed Signs of Aquarius, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio are the ones that could be more directly affected by these events, especially if the 4th, 5th or 6th degrees (Lunar Eclipse) or the 17th, 18th or 19th degrees (Solar Eclipse) of these Signs are highlighted in your Birth Horoscope. Because the nature of these Signs is wilful and focussed there is here a need for everyone to be more flexible and tolerant.

The Lunar Node involved in the Lunar Eclipse is the South, indicating that whatever we need to face now, individually and collectively, has to do with negative patterns established long ago, and that this could be an ideal time to recognize and release them.

Positive Transits

To help dealing with the emotional extremes and frustration of the Mars-Uranus’ aspect, Jupiter in Scorpio, is forming a harmonious angle (120°) with Neptune in Pisces, exact on August 19, and active until early September. Here perhaps is one cosmic key to survive and thrive through this challenging and intense period: the cultivation of compassion, closeness to nature and any activities that can help you relax and unwind, thus reconnect to your emotional/spiritual source.

Another helpful transit, active between August 7 and September 9, is the passage of Venus through Libra, the Sign of cooperation and justice, showing us a way of reconciling differences and finding a middle ground from which to work out these differences in creative rather than disruptive ways.

September 2018

Past August the month of September looks mild in comparison, with a stronger accent on the Earth Signs, implying a more practical and realistic outlook that will help all of us to stay more grounded.

Mars will then be direct in motion too, encouraging the start or re-start of any enterprise and project we may have had to put on halt during retrogradation. The effect of all the aspects I discussed before will be still lingering though, if not as intense.

Major Transits active in June and July 2018: Mars Retro in Aquarius; second Eclipse Season 2018; Uranus in Taurus

Mars Retro in Aquarius

Mars Retro in Aquarius

A shorter version of this post was published in the 100th issue of the Uki Village News, in early June 2018.

We are now well into the Uranus in Taurus era. As usual astrology seems to have anticipated much of the tensions and disruptive events, as well as the breakthroughs and evolutionary upheavals in store for the world at this time.

June and July 2018 sees a return of some of the most intense transits already active in mid May, while another eclipse season is upon us too. It will start at the July 13, Cancer 20° New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse, continuing to the July 28, Aquarius 04°Full Moon Total Lunar Eclipse, and will end on the August 11, Leo 18°New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse; three events rather than the usual two.

If your birthday falls very close, a day or so, from these dates the eclipses could prove significant for you, marking an emotional climax of some kind (Lunar Eclipse) or new beginnings in some area of your life, responding to a new level of awareness within (Solar Eclipses).

Similar effects are possible if the Moon or any planet or angle in your Birth Horoscope happen to be on or around 20th degree of Cancer, Capricorn, Aries or Libra (Lunar Eclipse), and/or the 4th/5th and the 18th degrees of Aquarius, Leo, Taurus or Scorpio (Solar Eclipse).

The Taurus Uranian era will last for the seven years stay of Uranus in this Fixed Earth Sign (until 2025). In the long or short term, depending on our personal alignment to these cosmic events, it will be better if we prepare for major and rapid transformations in our world. Being complacent could find us unprepared for the necessary adjustments to new circumstances.

The very positive side of all of this will be about aligning ourselves to our truer purpose, asserting more openly our individuality, breaking with old moulds and taboos by defying social and family convention/conditioning. In the line of major impact will be the Fixed Signs, Taurus, of course, and also Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius.  This transit will hopefully shift those Signs from their proverbial tendency to become stuck and their stubborn avoidance of change, without completely upsetting their sense of security and belonging.

Depending on the exact position of Sun, Moon and planets in our Birth Horoscopes these transits will be close and personal to us, or manifest mainly as changes in the general environment, impacting on our life in an indirect way.

From the time of writing, end of May 2018, to mid August, than again from the end of August to September 11, Mars will transit the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius. Salient transits of Mars will be the alignment to the Lunar Nodes on June 8 and July 20, and the Mars-Uranus 90 degrees angle, from the week of May 16, to the weeks of August 2 and September 19. These difficult angles and the also challenging 45 degrees angle of Uranus to Neptune (June 16, December 15, 2018, + May 2, 2019) will dominate the whole period.  Rebellion and defiance are in the air; everybody seems more opinionated and stubborn than ever; the world is not shying away from open confrontations. Conflicts of ideas and ideologies could prevail; rationalism versus idealism; technology versus ecology. Many will need to stand up to uphold or defend the evolutionary principles and ideals of a just and tolerant world, because reactionary and ultra conservative traditions will not give up their grip on the planet without a good fight (Mars).

Manifestations of these conflicting forces are the present increase in tectonic and volcanic activities and in war-like posturing from world leaders. Look historically at the high cost modern democracies had to pay to stay alive during the last Uranus in Taurus epoch, 1934/35 to 1941/42.

With all the differences between the world now and the world of 84 plus years ago we are facing somewhat similar challenges, with rapid increase in governments power mongering, with the surge of dictatorship and general war-mongering around the globe, and the ever greedier big corporations and financial institutions’ control over our lives.

Timeline for the Mars’ Retro period

  • Mars turns Retro in Aquarius on June 27
  • Mars re-enters Capricorn on August 13
  • Mars turns Direct in Capricorn on August 28
  • Mars re-enter Aquarius on September 11

Let’s stay cool but alert, embracing the changes that come our way. They may seem daunting but they are really opportunities to rise above stagnant situations, allowing better things to manifest in our life.