Monday, July 18, 2016

America Turns 240, I Turn 39 Again with Progressed Moon at 29 Degrees of Cancer

I was out of town, with my sweetie, at an arts and music festival in Maryland over the long Fourth of July weekend. After a bumpy start, it turned out to be a great time. There was plenty of reconnecting as well as some interesting new connections.

Then we came home. It was America's 240th birthday, with my own birthday just 9 days away. And it seemed the news for the following week, and then the week after that, was all bad -- not just for the U.S., but all over the world. It felt overwhelming. I wished I were back at the festival and felt sad that I hadn't heard about another regional "burn," which happened this past weekend, until it was too late to plan on going.

For an introvert and semi-misanthropist like me, wishing I were back surrounded by people who look like characters in a Fellini film -- plus nonstop techno music, light shows, and other festival refinements -- says quite a bit about the validity of progressed astrology. Last month my progressed Moon entered my 11th House and conjuncted my natal Mercury, the ruler of my chart. Now with Moon progressed in the final degree of Cancer, I feel at the end of a 2.5-year winding underwater road, needing to come up for air and breathe in the fiery warmth of Leo. Needing change for the better. After about three years of being emotionally wrapped up in Making It (a 10th-House specialty), I am beginning to focus on other people and group activities. It's in my natal chart to be sure (a heavily aspected Mars-Mercury conjunction in late Cancer across the 11th-House cusp) but with a 12th-House Venus in Virgo, as well as Pluto exactly conjunct the Ascendant in Virgo, I need a lot more downtime than the average 11th-House / Aquarius / Uranian type.

My Solar Return and the U.S. Solar Return both contain rising planets, but to much different effect:

I have the Moon Rising at 28 degrees of Libra, with 29 degrees of Libra Rising, which I read as domestic and relationship friction involving my current progressed Moon, since it forms a square to it. I also see more surface vanity, which in my case may actually be a good thing, since it may finally motivate me to lose weight and do something about my rapidly graying hair other than a quick fix of fuschia highlights that washed out after barely a week.

The U.S. has Saturn Retrograde Rising in Sagittarius, with the Sun, Moon, and Venus in the 8th-House of death, transformation, taxes, and other people's resources. I refuse to predict at this juncture who will win the presidential election, but especially with the Sun closely opposing Pluto, there will be much school for scandal. Saturn Rising in a Retrograde position suggests that several harsh lessons will need to learned involving the law and religion. The self-identity of the US is definitely under strain and will need to be stripped away to its essence -- no mere face-lift will do the job. Remember, we are still in the Saturn-Neptune square, and with Neptune in the 3rd House of U.S. Solar Return, there will be a challenge to think and communicate creatively, not just rationalize, deny, and lie.

Stay tuned, I will try to be better about updating even if the news does not improve.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Saturn-Neptune Square, Part 2

It finally makes sense now.

I'm not only talking about this week's carnage in Orlando (where not only was there a massacre at a gay nightclub but a murder of a pop star and a deadly alligator attack) and, across the Atlantic, the fatal stabbing of a British politician. I'm talking about me, yet again, trying to figure out why June hasn't been heaven with whipped cream on top with Neptune at 12 Pisces trining my natal Moon at 12 Scorpio all month while my progressed Moon at 28 Cancer is trining my Natal Neptune at 28 Scorpio and about to conjunct my natal Mercury -- the ruler of my chart, though my Rising Pluto sure does a lot of throne-hogging.

To be sure, Mars is still retrograde in Scorpio, a classic example of a time when bullies prevail. But the low energy, the constant minor yet annoying and debilitating health ailments, the time squeeze -- even the unexpectedly extreme savaging of my writing at the hands of two so-called experts -- all go far beyond Mars retrograde. Finally, I figured it out: Saturn and Neptune have been squaring each other for the second time all month. Since Saturn is retrograde and Neptune just turned retrograde, the square will be in effect for a few weeks past the exact square on June 17.

In many ways, Saturn and Neptune have as little in common with each other as the more obvious polarity of Saturn and Jupiter (interestingly, until Neptune was discovered Jupiter was the ruling planet of Pisces as well as Sagittarius). Saturn is all about structure, boundaries, rules, discipline; Neptune's waves dissolve all of those things. I'd imagine that in a flowing aspect such as a trine or sextile, Saturn and Neptune can join forces to scale the heights while plumbing the depths, with Saturn's ironclad discipline and Neptune's creative vision. I actually remember the Saturn-Neptune trine c. 1978; I might have been only eight years old, but damn, was I on fire in a good way. I also remember the far more recent Saturn-Neptune trine of 2013, as well; again, it was a very creative, relatively stable time. The square? Forget about it. Squares don't know how to do anything but fight. And unlike an opposition, which at least involves harmonious elements if not signs, there is no chance at satisfactory compromise. Even if there is a "winner," it comes at a huge cost (morals 'n' ethics, not just money).

The Saturn-Neptune square is akin to the Titanic after hitting the icebergs. The ship is sinking, and someone is rearranging deck chairs. Although the Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15 had astrologers all over the world hyperventilating, it seems the so-called Quiet One is wreaking just as much havoc. This is such an extreme time in all areas of life, and it shows no signs of letting up. (The third square, by the way, occurs in September, so we really don't get much of a reprieve this summer.)

I "get it," and I also get that the current progressed and transiting trines in my chart, while not manifesting in joy, inspiration, or achievement, are softening the harsh blow of the Saturn-Neptune square at least somewhat. I may not feel well, I may feel misunderstood and undervalued, but at least I am alive, there is some love in my life, and have a few things to look forward to. In other words, I am remembering to be grateful for what I have, and realizing that it could be far, far worse.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I'm Back....

Hello to all you Dear Astrologically Inclined Readers who might be wondering where on earth I disappeared to since my last post of 3/31.

It's been a very strange, at times surreal, past several weeks.

I never would have predicted that my progressed Moon at 26 degrees of Cancer square my natal Jupiter at 26 degrees of Libra in late April would manifest in my learning that along with over 3,000 seemingly random fellow Nu Yawkers, I was on a "hit list" posted to the encrypted messaging app Telegram by the United Cyber Caliphate, a little-known hacker group with ties to ISIS.

Officials are reportedly not too troubled about this list, as the group is apparently poorly organized and Small Potatoesville, yet the local FBI has been contacting every name on that list (which disappeared very quickly). The day before Mercury turned Retrograde (which was 4/28 in case you didn't know), I received a "there's nothing to worry about, but please call us back" voicemail from an agent. I thought it was some sort of prank or scam -- I also wondered if anyone I knew on the poetry-performance circuit had flipped out, since the message was left for "T.C." (my nom de plume and so-called stage name). However, the agent I spoke with turned out to be very real indeed. She was very nice, in fact, and had no advice for me other than to go about my business and let her know if I notice any suspicious activity, at least as pertains to me.

I guess I'm not that paranoid or fearful a person, because I have been pretty much going about my business as usual. Since I lived in Manhattan's East Village when Avenues A, B, C, and D meant Avenues Aware, Beware, Caution, and Danger, I am generally alert when I'm out in the field. Perhaps the progressed Moon also going over my natal Mars earlier this month also helped keep me brave, though the exact conjunction also manifested in yet another bout of crappy health (bad cold plus a fever).

It was not even till last week that I bothered to do a little sleuthing via Google and came up with a likely reason why I made the list: last November, shortly before the first Saturn-Neptune square, I posted a little astrological essay entitled "Ash vs ISIS." As I reread it, I was honestly impressed that I'd written it. If I truly had my knickers in a twist, I would have taken down the post, and I certainly would not be throwing another metaphoric log on the fire by sharing this information.

But as long as there is still freedom of speech in the United States of America, I refuse to shut up. That is exactly what terrorists of all stripes want: for relatively innocent people to be scared little sheeple. In certain respects, e.g., post-9/11 air travel in the U.S., the terrorists have won. Security Above All! (Even if many security measures are acknowledged to be mere Band-Aids on a festering, gangrenous wound.) I am sure that more hit lists comprised of names of random civilians will be posted and then yanked before the lists can be traced to specific sickos, all in the name of fear-mongering. Screw that!

Tough talk, huh, Dear Readers? Especially coming from a Water-element individual who is too damn sensitive for this hardwood world (though the sensitivity often comes across as sheer Cancerian crabbiness). Especially coming from an astrologer who knows that while progressed Lunar aspects pass quickly (albeit sometimes with long-lasting aftereffects), other aspects do not. I can't say that I am looking forward to Uranus squaring my Sun another two times within the next several months, nor Pluto opposing my Cancer stellium a little ways down the road. I do not practice astrology in order to predict anyone's death, including my own; not only would that be morbid, any halfway professional astrologer understands that even the most fearsome of aspects can manifest in ways other than death (or severe illness or injury). Apparently Yoko Ono's astrologer predicted that 1981 would be a very good year for John Lennon, who wound up being assassinated in December 1980.

To quote another rock legend and member of the so-called 27 Club, "No one here gets out alive." Since none of us can know for sure how much time we have, it is our responsibility to truly live. Easier said than done -- God only knows I haven't always been able to put that philosophy into practice. But if you can't even say it, you don't stand much of a chance of doing it, either.