Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing in 2011 with Mercury Finally Turned Direct

Lucky me and my sweetie (a Sagittarius with Venus in Scorpio and Moon conjunct Jupiter in Cancer) barely escaped the 6th-worst blizzard in NYC history on 12/26; our original afternoon flight to Chicago was canceled, but we were put on an 11 a.m. flight. The first flakes were just beginning to fall as we boarded the plane.

Awaiting us in the Windy City was a blanket of snow from Christmas Day, but we did not have to deal with any precipitation.

I'd never been to Chicago before, and although we were only there for one evening-into-afternoon before taking the train to Deerfield to meet up with my sweetie's family, whom I'd never met before, it was a wonderful time: great hotel, delicious dinner, and the wonderful Cyrus Chestnut trio at Jazz Showcase.

I was concerned about the Mars/Saturn square, but its chief manifestation for me was low energy and a drive to write.

Back home now and ready to move forward along with Mercury. For this last post of 2010, I'd like to encourage all readers, instead of coming up with a dreary resolutions list that you will break by late January, to write down or otherwise record your big, crazy, unconventional, beautiful, mystical revolutionary dreams. Jupiter is nearly conjunct Uranus at 27 degrees of Pisces, and although the aspect is not exact till January 4, it's certainly in effect now, and with the Moon having just entered the sign of Sagittarius, its despositor is none other than Jupiter.

You may not see the fruits of your current dreams for quite some time, but by making them conscious to yourself, you will be in a much better position to take unexpected (Uranus) opportunities to expand (Jupiter) those dreams and ideals, so that by the time Jupiter and Uranus have both entered self-centered Aries, you won't just dream it--you'll be it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays to Those of You Reading My Blog

Jupiter is currently perching on the cusp of my 7th House at 25 degrees of Pisces, and so everything that the planet Jupiter and the sign Pisces stand for--philosophy, values, expansion, religion, education, travel (Jupiter) and Pisces (spirituality, reatreat, psychic sensitivity, the arts) have combined and are directing my energies to...others.

Given the time of the year, at least in my neck of the woods, it would seem impossible to avoid thinking of others--but there you have it. When Jupiter turned direct at 23 Pisces right before my reading last month, I anticipated a major shift with Jupiter crossing the Descendant of my chart, but did not foretell its depth of feeling. Relationships of all kinds are taking on a deeper and more profound meaning, and I find myself even less interested than usual in small talk and shallow interactions. And I find myself increasingly grateful for the connections I have formed with others that mean a whole lot, both online and off.

Then again, my progressed Mercury (planet of communication) conjuncted my prominent Pluto this year, and my progressed Moon will conjunct my Saturn next week--so I have been quite the serious, communication-oriented cookie lately, not that anyone would have ever confused me with Holly Golightly.

Whatever religion you practice (or don't practice), you are presumably reading my blog because you are interested in astrology--one of the oldest, most mysterious and yet commonsense paths in existence.

Religion means "to rejoin." In that respect, I feel that practicing astrology has reconnected me with something vast, scary, and wonderful. It may be outside myself, but it is also within.

Rejoin, and rejoice, wherever you may be, and whomever you may be with.

PS: With Mercury still retrograde, don't sweat it if you still don't know what you're doing for New Year's. You'll figure it out on the 30th. Even if you think you know how you'll usher in 2011, be prepared for a change of plans.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

R.I.P. East West Books

Yesterday's Winter Solstice (as non-astrologers refer to the Sun's ingress into Capricorn) and Mercury/Jupiter square found me experiencing a sense of loss and auld lang syne: after I left the office (yes, I'm now working in an actual office part-time for the first time in 5 years!) I decided to make my annual pilgrimage to East West Books to pick up Jim Maynard's Celestial Influences wall calendar and datebook. As it was not an overly cold evening, I walked down to 14th St. and 5th Ave. I passed many chichi shops doing brisk business, but when I arrived at where East West was supposed to be...well, it wasn't. Just a vacant space. A woman smack-dab in the middle of middle age was standing right outside, looking so annoyed I decided she was also looking for East West; it turns out she wasn't (looking for East West, that is), but she told me that they'd closed this past summer and that the website was still live and that the owner was still looking for another space.

Back in the mid-nineties, East West Books was my respite from the New School across the street, where I was an unhappy, fish-out-of-water grad student in the teacher trainer program. In that one year, I must've browsed through nine-tenths of the books in East West's astrology section (I did buy some of them, as well as calendars and datebooks). I also admired the crystals, wind chimes, and Eastern trinkets.

I haven't been a "regular" at East West in many years, but would still make a point of visiting a few times a year, mostly when I was in the neighborhood and needed to buy a gift for someone, and once I attended a lecture at the upstairs cafe that was added a few years ago. The fact that East West is no more is another nail in the coffin of Old New York--or at least, the Old New York that I knew, which I realize isn't the same as the Old New York of the '60s, '70s, or '80s. Still, for over 30 years, East West was the go-to place for local astrologers, hippies, New Age lovers, and disenchanted students, and now it's gone, and leases are ridiculously high in the city, and most likely an Applebee's, Starbucks, or Rite Aid will take its place, and that really, really sucks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse at the Edge of the Winter Solstice!


This is the third Full Moon in a row that falls in the 29th and final degree of a sign. Back in October, the Full Moon was at 29 Aries; in November, the Full Moon was at 29 Taurus; now we have the final Full Moon of 2010 at 29 Gemini, shortly before the Winter Solstice.

The last degree of any given sign is known as the "cusp," and its energy is highly unstable; it teeters on the verge of the next sign, yet is not quite there yet.

I have never read this anywhere, but it is my belief that the final "dwad" of any given sign (i.e., 27.30 to 29.59 degrees) has great potential to achieve mastery of the nature of that particular sign. My favorite aspect in my own chart is the trine between my Mercury at 28 Cancer and Neptune at 28 Scorpio.

In the case of this Full Moon, which is also a Lunar Eclipse (exact 3:13 a.m. EST--quick, go outside and start watching the Moon turn into a bronze medal!), the mastery can be found in the attributes of Sagittarius and Gemini. Although these two signs are opposite each other, they have much in common: curiosity, a desire to communicate on an intellectual and philosophical level, an affinity with travel, teaching, and learning.

When negatively expressed, Gemini is prone to gossip; Sagittarius, to overly blunt tactlessness. Since we are still within orb of the very recent Sun/Uranus, Mercury/Uranus, and Moon/Uranus squares, be particularly careful not to let your rebellion and desire for freedom get the better of you; these difficult squares may be manifesting as "December burnout"--losing patience with various holiday obligations and purchases.

Just after the Solstice at 6:39 p.m. is the Mercury/Jupiter square, so do try not to bite off more than you can chew. With the Sun moving into Capricorn, you won't be able to stomach overindulgence of any kind as well as you could with the Sun in Sagittarius.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Detective Work


Did you say or share anything of great top-secret importance last Sunday, December 5? Or did someone share that information with you? Well, it's coming back today, although in slightly different form...perhaps whatever the secret 411 is will be "taken back" or otherwise transformed via an old-fashioned game of Telephone, where the original words are rendered into something unrecognizeable.

Just don't push too hard today, whatever that sensitive info contains. Mars is moving over that already supercharged Mercury/Pluto conjunction, so despite Mercury being retrograde, silence is highly unlikely.

This is a highly productive day for detectives, amateur sleuths, bloodhounds, therapists, and surgeons. But it's not such a good day for individuals, or corporations, in positions of power (the triple conjunction falls in the highly ambitious sign of Capricorn) who have something to hide. If you happen to be a member of a gang, call in sick with the fu today unless you relish the prospect of receiving broken bones for some infraction or other. And if you absolutely must scale that mountain today, bring along extra guides and extra supplies.

I would not be surprised if more pitch-black stuff comes out regarding the aptly named (given Uranus in Pisces) WikiLeaks, or if a whole other scandal breaks.

Basically, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. If you do have something to hide, you can either clear your conscience or join a huge club that's getting bigger all the time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wrapping up Sun in Scorpio on a Full Moon


I've been incommunicado during most of the Scorpio period for a variety of reasons.

For starters, just a few days after Halloween, during a routine eye exam at my local eyewear store for the Visually Challenged, it was discovered I had a small hole in my left retina.

That Friday, during the very dark of the Moon in Scorpio, I got pyrotechnically ill not once, but two times at a lovely dinner party, from either too much to drink or too many samosas, and yet my abrupt excursions to the bathroom miraculously went undetected by all except for my Taller Half.

Upon further examination two days later by an opthalmologist who used to play tennis with my father, the "small hole" in my left retina had morphed into a larger rip, plus there were a few others, and the retina had already begun to detach. The eye operation as considered minor due to the fact that I was awake the entire time and not screaming in pain (though I did inwardly squirm with discomfort and a general sense of ickiness), yet the ordeal left me blurry and sore and quite out of the mood for astrologizing, or much of anything except for sleeping and watching reruns of Bad Girls Club on the Oxygen Network.

I am not looking forward to my follow-up exam at the end of the month, but I was extremely lucky my eye problem was detected at this time, for next year, with Uranus in Aries (eyes) squaring Pluto and opposing my Uranus, my left retina might have slipped its moorings altogether.

Last week, with the Moon robustly waxing, found me freelancing in an actual office for the first time in 5 years. On the way to my first day at the office, I decided I had enough time to pick up my new vintage eyeglasses in Chinatown, where I slipped on a leaf and fell on my chin and right knee in the middle of Mott Street. I managed to mop up the blood and buy a new pair of cheap tights and still show up at the office with my new glasses bang on time. I guess the Sun/Jupiter trine made all that possible--including my not being seriously injured. The workplace had great people and high energy, and they seemed to like my work...yet I was also trying to work on another at-home freelance project and prepare for a featured reading performance at the Cornelia Street Cafe. By midweek I was getting very nervous because I still wasn't absolutely sure of my performance program, which is something I like to lock in at least five days ahead of time so I can get in a lot of practice.

Fortunately on Thursday Jupiter and Venus both turned direct in signs that are considered very strong for those two planets: Pisces (Jupiter and Libra (Venus). Plus we got an inspiring Sun/Uranus trine in the wee hours of Friday Brooklyn Standard Time, so after I got home from the office I was able to figure it all out plus do a marathon run-through before passing out at 3 a.m. While still in bed the next morning, the Moon now in Taurus, I figured out what I was going to wear.

The poetry and prose performance itself, with the Sun less than a degree away from my very strongly aspected Neptune, went very well and I'm glad I bothered to find a videographer to film (Neptune!) it plus my Taller Half's performance. A gaggle of good friends showed up at Cornelia St. and we had a fun time afterward at an Indian restaurant--and despite drinking plenty of wine and ingesting plenty of spices, my digestive system did not revolt.

Now on the verge of the Full Moon in the last degrees of Scorpio and Taurus, this is a good time to take stock of the entire Scorpio period and balance intense ego needs and desire for taking sexual and financial risks with emotional sensuality and desire for comfort and security. Overindulgence in food, drink, drugs, and/or sex is a real possibility with this Sun/Moon combination, so try to be moderate in your extreme needs and wants.

It is indeed of great significance that this is the second Full Moon in a row that falls in the last degree of a sign. And it will happen again next month.

Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving report!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Master of Disguise: Happy Moon-in-Leo Halloween!


My Halloween weekend forecast is a simple one: with the Moon in dramatic, showy, party-hearty Leo, and the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in equally dramatic, provocative, secretive Scorpio, the stars are perfectly aligned for you, regardless of your Sun sign, to attire yourself in a costume and mingle at a masquerade, not sit home alone watching horror movies and scarfing down bite-size Hershey candy bars. Of course, since Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, you can actually do both--go out and socialize tonight, stay home and go into a candy-corn-induced coma with your favorite cinematic psychopath tomorrow.

Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) should have a particularly wild time.

Trick-or-Treat!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tail End of Libra: Another Full Moon Will Launch Us into Scorpio

I hope everyone enjoyed the imaginative, romantic, soothing energy of the Sun/Neptune trine in airy Libra and Aquarius (exact 10/19 at 8:20 a.m. EDT) and was also able to surf the dynamic, expansive wave created by the trine between Mars in Scorpio and Jupiter in Pisces (exact 10/20 at 9:42 p.m.).

However, today that Mars in Scorpio made a challenging square to Neptune in Scorpio at 11:37 a.m. EDT, and I fear that many of us, caught between dreaming (Neptune) and doing (Mars), wiped out. (Some of the literal forms this wipe-out may have taken: food or alcohol poisoning, drug ODing, viral infection.)

Adding to the emotional intensity is the imminent Full Moon in Aries, exact at 9:37 p.m. EDT. The Sun is now in the last degree of Libra, and is obviously going out this year with a bang, not a whimper. You may know already that this is the second Full Moon we've had in Aries (the first being the Harvest Moon of 9/23). Optimistically speaking, this gives us a second chance at harvesting our relationship between ourselves and others, finding that elusive balance (Libra) between fulfilling our needs and wants and those of the people with whom we share open, aboveboard connections.

(Please note that the 7th House, which is associated with Libra, is where all of our relationships that are there for all the world to see are located--for hidden friends and enemies as well as secret romances, go to the Pisces-ruled 12th house, and if there is a decidedly unequal or unsavory power dynamic involving sex or money, head to the Scorpio-ruled 8th house.)

With the Sun's entrance into Scorpio tomorrow at 8:35 a.m. EDT, the Northern Hemisphere plunges into the heart of autumn. The last bit of summer, which lingered in NYC well beyond the Autumnal Equinox, has faded away; foliage will soon reach its peak as the temperature continues to drop; and at the centerpiece of the zodiac's most intense, transformative sign is Halloween, followed by the Day of the Dead. The benign pumpkin is carved into a scary Jack-o-lantern; the dead rise from their graves; horror movies are spotlighted. Hordes of costumed children may no longer wander about their neighborhood trick-or-treating after dark, as my generation did back in the '70s and early '80s, without a squadron of parents hovering nearby to protect them (and also to ration the candy booty instead of letting their kiddies go into their annual sugar coma). But if NYC is any indication, Halloween seems to be, more than ever, an adult-oriented holiday (sexy nurse costume or ridiculous politician mask optional). Interestingly, the majority of Gen-Xers, born 1961-81, have an outer planet in Scorpio--either Neptune (1961-70) or Uranus (1975-81). Stay tuned and see if Halloween becomes more popular with septo- and octogenerians in the 2040s and '50s!

Between tomorrow and 10/28, we will have four planets in Scorpio (Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars), and with Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces, there is an awful lot of emotional, intuitive water energy going on. So it won't come as a surprise that the next five days will most smile on the water signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Capricorns should also benefit, but Taurus and Virgo may find some resistance if they push their practicality or pragmatism too hard. All that water is urging us to go with the flow, even though Scorpio is admittedly the most stubborn and controlled (and controlling!) of the water signs.

Stay tuned for my Halloween forecast!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Venus and Mars Don't Go Out on a Date When They Meet in Scorpio















Venus und Mars, Giovane, c. 1590


This weekend is marked by the Venus/Mars conjunction in sexy, intense, mysterious Scorpio (exact Sunday at 5:59 p.m. EDT). Combine this energy with the Moon in fiery, extroverted Leo, there could be some pretty wild parties going on--but whether you are single or attached, try to get some alone time with the one you feel love (Venus)and lust (Mars) for even if you are also tempted to be a bit of an exhibitionist (Leo) regarding your sexuality (Scorpio).

This is a great time to explore your sexuality with a partner who is open-minded. If you are tempted to role-play, make a porno video, go to a sex club, read erotica together by candlelight, or dig out your adult toy chest--or visit a kink-friendly shop for fur-lined handcuffs or patent-leather boots--go for it. Even if you don't have a partner with whom to experiment, you still have yourself, and you have every right to turn yourself on if no one at that party you go to (or crash) responds to the sexual magnetism you are radiating.

Please note, however, that Scorpio is a sign of extremes and can be self-destructive, so here I'm going to slap on that "Play It Safe" label in glowing neon letters. This warning is particularly true for those of you who are Cancers or have Cancer Rising, Aries or Aries Rising, and Taurus or Taurus Rising. (And how about if you happen to be a Scorpio or have Scorpio Rising? Well, you're probably too hot to trot to listen to me, but yeah, that goes for you, too.)

If sex is out of the question this weekend for whatever reason, since Scorpio is also connected to clairaudience, you may wish to dig out that ouji board and hold a seance. A film noir festival would also make good use of this mysterious, deep energy, as would a seafood feast (ideally a clambake on the beach, but Red Lobster will do) with dark chocolate for dessert.

Interestingly, Venus is now moving more slowly than Mars--and the love planet will turn retrograde on Friday 10/8, at 3:06 a.m. EDT. Venus does not often experience retrograde periods (unlike Mercury!) and I take this to mean that whatever goes down (or up, or sideways) this weekend, you will soon have second, or third, thoughts about it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but do keep that in mind in case you either are tempted to pop a pretty serious proposition or are the "popee."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sun/Saturn Conjunction: Taking Responsibility for Yourself



Today the Sun and Saturn meet (the exact conjunction is 8:42 p.m. EDT). Because we are also coming up on the Last Quarter Moon in Cancer (11:52 p.m. EDT), there will also be a Moon/Saturn square (11:40 p.m.). The Last Quarter aspect itself relates strongly to the sign Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn. All this by way of saying that there's a lot of Saturn energy out there today. Saturn can be a melancholy "heavy," and especially combined with the Moon in Cancer, a "wet blanket." The weather today, at least at my coordinates, is literally reflecting that: plenty of rain with the possibility of flooding. (The Moon also opposes Pluto in Capricorn at 2:54 p.m., which is a good time to avoid being drawn into any emotional or manipulative exchanges.)

How best to handle your inner weather? Saturn is all about time--especially slowing it down. If your day is dragging, take it as a blessing in disguise and use that extra time to ponder your relationships (since the Sun/Saturn conjunction occurs in Libra, the most relating-centric sign in the zodiac), your ambition, your goals. It is a good day to concentrate on structure of any kind, both inner and outer, such as hierarchies, architecture or bones (especially spine), outlines or timelines. It is a good day to work hard, but not so hard as to force an idea whose time has not come.

Fellow earth sign Virgo is the sign of discrimination, details, organization, and service, but Capricorn is more likely to want to run the company and be on top than to toil or tinker, unrecognized, on the finer details. Yet if you wind up being the lone goat on the mountaintop, you can easily become disconnected from others; it is very important to make an effort to connect and foster a sense of interdependency. Even if you are the most rugged, anti-team-player individualist on earth, you can't do it all (whatever "all" means to you) by yourself. Again, the fact that Sun and Saturn are in Libra, the relating sign, should help.

And if all this difficult yet necessary effort is getting you down, listen to Capricorn Janis Joplin's "Try Just a Little Bit Harder" (preferably the live version).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love Letter from "Anonymous Follower"

I received this comment about my last post ("Ch-ch-changes," 9/23) over the weekend and thought I would share it:

I still like you a lot, but please do not bring politics into your witty, intelligent and knowledgeable Plutonian astrology..even as a fellow Plutonian I understand that you can not resist..I follow you and you are always spot on with all planet's directions... But please more astrology and no politics-it just doesn't make you look good...you have taken away from your overall allure with your unintentional tirade..why?
I know you can write whatever you want, but this has made me question my intention of contacting you and doing astrological consultation...I will still follow you but I am not sure if you would be sick of me -as a part of all the political things you are sick off... as we all are..


The piss-and-vinegar Plutonian in me cannot resist dissecting this left-handed love letter for all 21 "followers" of my astrology blog (plus an unknown number of casual or uncommitted readers) to enjoy. Maybe I'll wind up alienating some more of my small-but-select readership...that's how I'll truly know I'm on to something good! And since my secret admirer self-identifies as a Plutonian, I won't bother mincing words.

I may very well have gone on for too long about politics in my last post. However, it did not come from nowhere; it was within the context of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Pisces. I first made observations on this major aspect's more positive manifestations, then had quite a bit to say about the negative--which focused on politics. Had I also included environmental issues, or expanded upon the potential for creative inspiration and genius, perhaps the post would've read in a more balanced way.

I believe that astrology blogs can include politics within the context of astrology, and this is what I set out to do, even if it went on too long because I am, in fact, tired and disgusted by the nonstop propaganda and flat-out lies, and I am very concerned about how the effects of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction will reverberate and possibly affect other major aspects to come over the next few years.

I live in the real world, and cannot and do not want to astrologize in a vacuum. That would be doing everyone, including myself, a disservice. Everything, including Anonymous's comment and my response to it, is fair game in the context of various transits and aspects.

Anonymous's comment was sent to me on Saturday, the day of the Sun/Pluto square (indicating resentment, challenges to the ego, and power struggles). I did not see the comment till today, as I spent the weekend offline. The Moon is now in late Taurus, approaching a square to Neptune, so I'm more inclined to react to this red flag being waved in my direction (Taurus) and address this follower's, and my own, disappointment and confusion (Neptune) than to say "whatever" (which, despite my membership in the "X" generation, I try to avoid saying or thinking anyway).

If this one "tirade," as my anonymous commenter described it, has had the effect of dimming my "overall allure" and putting him or her off contacting me for an astrological consultation despite my "witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable Plutonian astrology," so be it...and so much the better. I wouldn't want to do astrological work for someone who would latch on to the one thing I've done on my blog that, in his or her opinion, "just doesn't make [me] look good" in over a year of "spot on" astrology posts.

It is, of course, Anonymous's right to express his or her opinion, just as I am free to opine that Anonymous is engaging in the kind of pedestal-toppling that results from rigid perfectionism (or perhaps from rigidly adhering to putting people into neatly defined categories).

As for the sign-off, "I will still follow you but I am not sure if you would be sick of me -as a part of all the political things you are sick off... as we all are...," huh? How exactly would Anonymous's continuing to follow me make me feel as ill as when I ponder political things (that apparently everyone is also sick of)? Does Anonymous think he or she is all that? Even though I've devoted an entire post to this comment, that does not mean Anonymous is even close of making my Major League Sick List.

At least, not yet.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Ch-ch-ch-changes...turn and face the strange...."

I've been a bad Plutonian this month for not keeping my small-but-select readership abreast of all the astrological changes we've been going through...in part because Mercury was Retrograde till 9/12, which partly manifested though many difficulties with my new computer, and also because we've had so many changes that it's a formidable task to keep up with them, let alone offer up insights. Truly, it's as if we've entered another time zone, and perhaps another time--not the future, but the sort-of-recent past.

Have you been feeling unusually passionate, intense, sexy, emotional, moody, dreamy, and/or just plain thirsty? If so, you're in sync with our solar system's transits: Venus entered Scorpio on 9/8; Jupiter retrograded back into Pisces 9/9; Mars entered Scorpio 9/14. Add Uranus, which retrograded back into Pisces in mid-August, and we have four out of ten planets in the water element.

The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 28 degrees of Pisces ideally triggered inspiring visions, unusual and idealistic plans, and creative pursuits, especially involving film, music, dance, and writing. However, Uranus is entirely capable of rebelling against rational behavior, and Jupiter is all about exapansion. Combine these two planets in Pisces, there is unusually high danger of emotions distorting facts.

Specifically, this month we have seen more crackpot manifestos issuing from the Tea Party, the ascendancy of a Republicon (yes, I know how "Republican" is spelled, but poor Abe Lincoln has been turning over in his grave enough since the Nixon administration, so I'm spelling it with a "con" to denote both conservatism and con job or con artist) who opposes abortion even in the case of rape, and considers masturbation adultery. (And if you're not married...? I guess that means you're having pre-marital sex with yourself, and we all know how evil sex outside marriage is.) Oh yes, and the Republicons have just promised the American people a repeat of the mess that contributed largely to the recession that we are supposed to believe is over, as well as a promise to take away whatever good has come from the health care reform.

Astrologically, amnesia can be attributed to Pisces; it seems to be brought on by a blow, trauma, or shock (Uranus). I sometimes refer to the country in which I live as the Untied States of Amnesia; I am not joking, because this is no joke.

As a Plutonian, I understand all about the effectiveness of propaganda, a fancy term for having one's brain washed in bullshit. This is partly why people will vote time and time again for Republicons, who most assuredly do not have the poor and middle-class citizens' interests at what passes for their collective heart. Never mind the facts: Repubicons want for voters to be confused, poorly educated, and unhealthy, and an effective way to keep them that way is to feed them nothing but red herrings. Facts would hang the Grand Old Party out to dry.

Not that I think the Democrats are so groovy--they're in the back pocket of Wall Street, corporations, and various interest groups that are mainly self-interested opportunists, and I think the health-care reform leaves much to be desired. But politicians basically hang out with rich people, many of whom balk at the very idea of giving up a few percentage points of their vast millions and billions. Never mind that during the Eisenhower administration, the super-rich did just that and then some, and the result benefited everyone in the USA, not just the monied. Still, I really hope that the Democraps (sorry, couldn't resist) point out the obvious during this mid-term election instead of doing the usual, i.e., alienating the many voters who think "lib-uh-ruls" are wimpy, politically correct elitists preaching to the converted from their ivory tower/White House.

I honestly did not mean to go on a political tirade, but really, it all makes me sick.

In the meantime, I hope you feasted your orbs upon the big, beautiful Harvest Moon that coincided with the Autumnal Equinox (and the Sun's entrance into Libra). That bright star next to the Moon, by the way, was Jupiter.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bad, Mercury Retrograde. Bad, Bad.

No groovy image this post. I don't feel like pasting a tacky, trying-too-hard-to-be-witty cartoon of a laptop that has turned into a "lapstop," or anything else that symbolizes Mercury Deeply, and I Do Mean Deeply, in Retrograde.

It sucks linty lollipop to be an astrologer and know that this is destined to be a few-weeks stretch (1 week down, 2 to go) of delayed communications, malfunctioning machinery, and the inability to have mens sana in corpore sano, and yet still be so thrown by these charming manifestations of Retro Merc.

My new laptop, barely 6 weeks old, is acting funny, as in Sick Funny, which really isn't humorous at all, and I've been too tired and stressed-out to deal with tech support because I don't think it's a Minor Problem. Maybe my new laptop is schizo and thinks it's my old laptop, on which I am writing this post; my old laptop, which has been on its last legs for the past several months, is fortunately still letting me tickle and pound its partially worn-off keyboard, like the old soldier that it is.

Also, instead of losing the 10 lbs. I'd planned on losing by Labor Day, I've gained another 5 lbs. My petite body is not meant to be overweight; I now have a constant stomachache. I could cry when I think of how modest I was when I had a perfect figure. Now I'm shameless, but am too ashamed of my expansion (props to progressed Moon in Taurus) to flaunt it.

Too bad that this expansion has unfortunately not extended to my bank account. A check that I was supposed to receive from Unnamed Publishing House never showed; upon asking my unnamed Production Editor about its whereabouts, I was informed that it "fell through the cracks" and was never sent to Accounts Payable. It could take another month for me to get it, and meanwhile, I still have to pay rent, and not only don't I have any real savings, I have slow-but-sure losings.

I may or may not still have my health--I don't want to get my annual checkup while Merc is still Retro, having made that mistake last September.

At least I'm not stuck in a mine till Christmastime.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Venus and Mars: Late for a Very Important Date?

(A preface of sorts: I forgot to mention in my last post, all about Friday the 13th, that social historians Neil Howe and William Strauss dubbed what most know as "Generation X" the "13th Generation" back in 1990 [see their exhaustive, sometimes exhausting tome entitled Generations], the year before writer Douglas Coupland arrived on the scene. According to Strauss and Howe, those born in the U.S. between 1961-81 are the 13th generation of Americans--if you count the Puritan Generation, which apparently has many parallels to modern-day Boomers, as the first [methinks it is not a coincidence that Strauss and Howe are Boomers]. Back in the early '90s, 13ers/Xers were generally maligned as materialistic, Halloweenish, stupid slacker barbarians by the media [13 just doesn't get good PR] and more recently have been overshadowed by the younger Millennial Generation. Now let's get on with today's order of business....)


Venus and Mars, Sandro Botticelli, c. 1483.




There is a lovely Venus/Mars conjunction coming up at 2:49 p.m. BST (Brooklyn Summer Time). Friday is ruled by Venus, Venus rules the sign Libra, and the conjunction occurs in at 13 degrees of Libra--a critical degree, which means the double dose of Libra present via Venus and Mars already present is quadrupled.

To quote Libran John Lennon, "Love, love, love...all you need is love."

Venus is stronger than Mars in this conjunction, as Venus and Libra are one and the same, but Mars is in its detriment in Libra. You are therefore more likely to be approached (ladylike Venus) for a romantic interlude or date than to do the approaching (go-for-it Mars) in the next few hours. However, if you are more of an aggressive type, you may want to take advantage of the general passivity. Just don't be too "Mars"--make sure to conquer using pretty words and flowers and a nice-sounding plan for the evening, not by clubbing the dude or dame of your red-hot dreams over the head and dragging him or her back to your cave.

More words of caution: we are approaching the Moon/Venus and Moon/Mars squares (exact at 12:45 and 12:49 p.m. EDT, respectively), and the Moon is in Capricorn--so it would not be the wisest idea to interrupt your intended date's focus on work or other duties until after these squares have passed; literal and figurative heartburn could result.

Oh yes, and Mercury turns the Big R (i.e., retrograde) today at 3:59 p.m. Unexpected delays, losses, or miscommunications could result in your being late for that very important Venus/Mars date, so have a backup plan in mind (e.g., if you miss the movie due to being stuck on the subway from hell) in order to take advantage of the Moon/Mercury trine (exact at 11:49 p.m. EDT).

Much has been made of what a pain in the ass Mercury retrograde is and so I will not bother adding fuel to the fire, but it is worth mentioning that Mercury Rx in Virgo could get especially sticky, as Virgo is ruled by Mercury. Miscommunications are particularly likely in writing, and worrying too much and being too self-critical may have an adverse effect on your health, particularly your digestion. However, because Mercury is retrograde from now till 9/12, you have the chance to extend your summer activities beyond Labor Day...especially if we get August-in-September weather. Unfortunately, your boss or teacher probably will not want to give you that chance, you'll feel the need to prove you're not a space case while your head and heart are still lazing along in Augustville, and if you're un- or underemployed, you'll probably be too depressed to take yourself to the beach.

I only wish I were kidding.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friggatriskaidekaphile's Delight


Ah, what better time to pick up on my astrology anti-horoscope blah(g) than on Friday the 13th?

For those of you who have been hanging out on this site for at least the past month, it shouldn't come as any great shockarooni that 13 is my favorite number. Yes, I celebrated my birthday exactly one month ago--but my love of 13 is not only about my birth date.

The number 13, regarded by many with a combination of awe and fear, is clearly ruled by Yes It's Still a Planet Dammit Pluto. Even without taking into consideration this number's early pagan connection (which was an especially positive one), followed by the Judeo-Christian connection (an especially negative one, due to the pagans' high regard for this number), even without pondering the fact that superstition is a Plutonic emotion/philosophy, and even without reflecting that 13 is one number past the perfect circle of a clock or the zodiac, just take a look at the 13th major arcana card in any Tarot deck: XIII = Death.

Now, any Tarot reader worth his or her salt knows that Death in this case does not mean the "significator" is about to be mowed down by a scythe-wielding skeleton in a hoodie; it's a card that speaks of profound inner transformation. Ah, the T-word. Pluto, anyone?

Fear of the number 13 translates into the tongue-twister "triskaidekaphobia" (if you can even say it once, it's an impressive feat), and since the 13th day of this month falls on a Friday, hard-core friggatriskaidekaphobes may have given into the tempation to call in sick and/or lock themselves in their homes to watch horror movies. (In case you are friggatriskaidekaphobic and reading this, please consider going out tonight, especially if you are in NYC: not only is it arguably the most comfortable day of the summer, the majority of accidents occur in the home.) Friday is ruled by Venus, so perhaps the combined energies of the love 'n' beauty planet and the sexiest planet in our solar system should be approached with awe and respect; however, instead of hiding under the bed alone tonight, why not roll around on top of it, either alone or in good company, and surrender to the possible ecstasy that can be yours so long as you face it and give it a saucy wink?

While you're at it, you might consider making a Venus/Pluto gesture to a southpaw, as today happens to be International Left-Handers' Day. (If you suffer from sinistrophobia, just think, you can kill two phobias with one...um...whatever.)

And wherever you happen to be at 11:31 p.m. EDT, pause to let Uranus's retrograding back into Pisces wash over you like a warm, salty, midsummer wave.

And if this weekend you find yourself caught between two polar opposite choices, situations, people, or sides of your own personality, remember that we are coming up on the Jupiter/Saturn opposition (exact Monday 8/16 at 4:45 p.m.). You may feel like gambling at the same time you feel the need to sock away every penny; you may desire travel and philosophy and parties at the same time you're in an antisocial, agoraphobic rut stronger than Duco cement glue.

Which, when you think about it, really makes all this friggatriskaidekaphobia business supercalifragilismallpotatoesdocious.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Full Moon + Jupiter/Pluto Square = Oy Vey Its Meir!


If you're overwhelmed, feeling funky in a bad way, being unreasonable, or are unable to tell your ass from your aspirations, relax, it's only the Jupiter/Pluto square (exact today at 9:51 p.m. EDT), a difficult aspect further complicated by the fact that it occurs within 24 hours of the the Full Moon (exact tomorrow at 9:37 p.m. EDT).

Since Jupiter and Pluto both operate on a mass level, I was not at all surprised to find in today's news that 15 people were trampled to death in a panicked stampede in an overcrowded entrance tunnel (Pluto) and 10 seriously injured at the Love Parade, an annual techno music festival in Duisburg, Germany.

Also, 241 teachers (Jupiter) in Washington, D.C., were fired because their students did not perform well on standardized tests (more Jupiter). I personally do not think it is fair for teachers, who often must take charge of overcrowded classrooms of unruly students (who often lack home environments that are conducive to studying), who have zero-to-no autonomy over their classroom's curriculum, to be held accountable.

Shirley Sherrod was, as New York Times columnist Bob Herbert put it, "thrown to the wolves" after a comment of hers about a white farmer was taken out of context about a much larger statement about racism and poverty cutting across color lines; she was fired by phone as she was driving home, and was forced to pull over and text in her resignation. Fortunately, the NAACP later recanted its incendiary remarks and President Obama called Ms. Sherrod to encourage the continuation of her good work in the U.S. Agriculture Dept., but this was a classic case of the injustice, dogmatism, and poor judgment that is the hallmark of a Jupiter/Pluto square. Ms. Sherrod was simply not given a chance to defend herself against the self-righteous, intransigent, impulsive powers that be.

North Korea is threatening to take action over the joint U.S.-South Korea naval exercises scheduled to take place tomorrow. The U.N. Security Council, thanks to China, has essentially passed the buck on censoring North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship a few months ago. What is particularly Plutonic about this situation is that the U.S. is imposing even more sanctions on nuclear-ready North Korea in the hope that China will finally decide to keep its neighbor in line.

I'm honestly not sure if the Jupiter/Pluto square is also responsible for the hottest recorded summer in NYC, but Jupiter will be retrograde in Aries, a fire sign, for the rest of the summer, so there might be something to it.

The Full Moon in Aquarius on the heels of the Jupiter/Pluto square councils all of us to avoid a black-and-white approach to solving problems. Reformist zeal is strong in the personal sphere, but if you try to "fix" your friends or lovers, you may soon find yourself all alone. On the positive side, this is an excellent time to embrace your own creativity and share your visions with others.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Solar Return to Me


My Solar Return officially happened today at 2:58 a.m., and naturally as a Pluto-in-Virgo Rising native I had to not only see my 39th birthday in (for the second time), but also engage in a bit of ritual. I have a nice little collection of upscale candles, the subtly as opposed to overpoweringly scented kind that come in decorative tins, and I lit the pink magnolia one as I wrote in my journal.

How I wish I could share some choice profundities from that journal entry upon entering my 5th (!) decade in this life, a la F. Scott Fitzgerald in his "The Crack-Up" essay, which he wrote just days before turning the big 4-0. Yet I don't think I was waxing so wise late last night. It was more like I was in unexpected shock that the moment I'd been anticipating for the past 10 years, i.e., entering middle age, was finally happening. I was so reflective and conscious of passing time as a child and younger adult that I never actually felt young; now that I am definitely no longer young, I feel wistful at the same time I have zero nostalgia for it...

...except for isolated incidents, like walking on Lido Beach on the South Shore of Long Island with my grandparents' nearly untrained Lhasha Apso, feeling totally at peace with the world and with myself. Like believing with all my heart as an adolescent that I would grow up to be a SoHo artist and thus get my revenge on all my classmates who treated me like an alien or as if I didn't exist. Like having the energy and persistence to send out my short stories and novel on a regular basis despite the constant rejections because I believed so much in what I was doing...

Compared to most of the people of the world, especially in this worsening Global Recession-slash-Depression, I know how lucky I have it: an aesthetically pleasing roof over my gradually graying head in the so-hip-it-hurts borough of Kings; decent if not excellent health; work (albeit the kind that is erratic and not terribly lucrative, i.e., freelance editing, and all of the CVs I send out for salaried positions fall into a cybervoid); some real friends; a real love; family that no longer features the sort of drama that shredded my nerves on a regular basis; some validation for my creative work (today my audio book has been published on paper-bag-press.com, a very cool manifestation of Moon in Leo in my Solar Return chart's 3rd house, and sextile the SR Ascendant). And this evening I'm going to dine in very good company in an iconic restaurant that is fortuitously taking part in NY Restaurant Week.

Yet there is so much more I could be if only I could harness my willpower the way I used to be able to do. With my progressed Moon in Taurus, I've grown soft. Just as I predicted a year ago, I've gained weight (about 10 lbs., which is like 20 lbs. on a small frame) and creatively speaking, have been reaping more than sowing (the poems in my eBook and audio book are new to readers, but they are old hat to me...I feel like the Beatles must've felt doing "Twist and Shout" in 1965, but without the fame and fortune).

And just as I could not enjoy my youth when I had it, I worry that what I do have will be swept away in next year's Uranus/Pluto square. At least if such loss comes to pass, I will have plenty of company. I can't predict whether the U.S. is going to have a Civil War or a decade or so of uncivil scrounging, but with my progressed Mercury conjunct my natal Pluto/Asc., I doubt I'll be sitting quietly by the sidelines. I suppose that getting assassinated (a Plutonian activity) would do wonders for my career, since having a shady reputation (also Plutonian) hasn't done the job.

Interestingly, I learned last night that Julius "Et tu, Brute?" Caesar was born on July 13, not July 12 as is commonly thought. Apparently his birthday was celebrated a day early so as to avoid conflict with an ancient Roman festival, the Ludi Apollinares (the games that celebrated the Sun god, Apollo). You'd think that Julius, who basically made the Roman Empire, could've moved the festival to suit his schedule, but maybe he didn't want to press his luck. (Or maybe he just liked festivals. I wonder if he'd have enjoyed the one I went to over July 4 weekend? I can just see him cannonballing into the swimming pool wearing an LED-light-enhanced toga....)

Anyway, this bit of knowledge I just acquired gives me even more of a reason (as if sharing a birthday with Harrison Ford, Cheech Marin, and Cameron Crowe weren't enough) to refuse to rest on my laurels.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Show Me the Way to Go Home: Solar Eclipse in Cancer


Have you recovered from the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn about 2 weeks back? Good, because we are about to have the Solar Eclipse in Cancer (exact July 11, 3:40 p.m. EDT).

"There's no place like home."
--Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

"I'm wasted and I can't find my way home."
--Blind Faith, "Can't Find My Way Home"

"Home is where the heart is."
--Old proverb, often found needlepointed onto a pillow at your great-aunt Gertrude's.

What does home mean to you right now? Are you content in your current domicile? Do you have a yen to renovate or redecorate or visit yard sales? Are you feeling more domestic, intuitive, downright psychic? Do you long for the shore, sand between your toes, listening to music in a shell, diving through the waves?

How do you feel about your family?

This is a great time to allow yourself to feel intensely about home and family, and an equally fortuitous time to begin a new cycle in terms of these issues. Follow your instincts as long as you can be objective about your subjectivity. Connect with water, even if it is the form of a long bath with sea salts. You may need to reenter your shell when you are out in the world--but at home, let yourself open to receive something truly wonderful from the past in order to live fully in this present moment.




Friday, July 9, 2010

Pluto Rising Goes to a Festival


You know you're a Plutonian when you're at a 3-day festival of the Burning Man school (though not technically Burning Man) and the best part of it for you was getting about 15 or 20 minutes of unexpected, total privacy. (There was another unexpectedly satisfying Plutonian moment, but as Plutonians do value their privacy, I ain't getting into specifics.)

Pluto is the outermost of the outer planets, and as such, those who have Pluto strong in their charts can feel far more alienated or lonely when in a crowd than when they are alone.

Last year at the same festival, my 1st-house Uranus trumped my 1st-house Pluto; I met new people, got to know some other recently made friends better, and generally got into the groove. This time around, though I had someone very special with me, connections with others, both known and unknown, were not so easily made.

During last year's festival the Moon was mostly in expansive, adventurous Sagittarius; this time, it was mostly in aggressive, self-focused Aries (along with Uranus and Jupiter in Aries, another change from last year), squaring the Sun and Mercury in sensitive, moody Cancer.

This time around, I ate too much (highly uncharacteristic behavior considering the heat wave), the constant throbbing techno music gave me a headache (downside of Aries), and I felt too out of sorts after no one attended my writing workshop to go with the flow.

Fortunately on the last day of the festival I was able to connect with some friends at the very popular pool, and the open mic I MC'd on the last night of the festival had a decent turnout; there were some strong performers, someone in the audience asked me if she could have a signed copy of the poem I read to close out the show, and someone else who came to the open mic sent me a friend request on Facebook. With Mercury conjunct my Sun that night, I was finally able to add my voice to the festival--though it was by holding a mic and standing apart.

Can we say "Plutonian" again?

Stay tuned for my 2 cents about the upcoming Solar Eclipse in Cancer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn: Time to Cut Those Apron Strings!


If a simple pair of scissors won't do the job, if those apron strings are more like unyielding steel or sharp barbed wire or a brick wall, then locate a chainsaw or machete. Whatever it takes, fellas.

(I've decided to use the salutation "fellas" instead of "lovelies," often used by female bloggers and hip party promoters, because I'm too much of a misanthropist to believe that most people are deserving of such an endearment. Chocolate ice cream, however, is lovely, so any chocolate ice-cream cones reading this post, especially soft-serve ones with rainbow sprinkles, are absolutely exempt from "fellas.")

Okay, so I'm late to the Lunar Eclipse party. I'm probably the last serious astrologer in cyberspace to post about it. But last night I was using the approaching Full Moon in Capricorn energy to clean up my apartment, which had degenerated into a pigsty during the past two weeks when I had a terrible head cold, and preparing for an erotic writing workshop I'm facilitating at the PEX festival in Maryland next weekend.

And I was obsessing about my family even more than I usually do. It gave me a typically Cancerian tummyache.

Yes indeed, fellas, this is the Full Moon in which you too may be obsessing about your family and home, your career and ambition, and any ties that bind. Not all ties and obligations are bad, to be sure--but if you feel you're being held back in a big way, go fetch those scissors or stick of dynamite, pronto.

This is also the time to try to balance your homebody-slippers-domestic self with your ambitious, latent-CEO-of-your-universe self. If you deny either side, if you claim to be fine with your humdrum existence while secretly daydreaming of glamor or a more creative existence, you will truly feel more torn apart than under any other lunation of this year.

The Lunar Eclipse adds power to any Full Moon, and good ol' Pluto adds even more power--but on the downside, more issues dealing with resentment, manipulation, and skeletons rattling around in the closet. I don't happen to agree with the puritanical statement that "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"--it can make you bitter and twisted and wanting to treat other fellas like shit to prove the point that life is unfair. So if you're feeling subterranean rumbles of resentment or suspicion, for god's sake deal with it now before it gets out of hand and explodes six months from now.

Now I've got to get ready for an evening of astrologizing at a local shop/cafe called Hom, which is having a Full Moon dinner event, and my mini readings are the icing on the cake.

By the way, the image in this post is one I painted several Full Moons in Capricorn ago, titled "Quite a Kid," all rights goddamned straight reserved.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Back (In Case You Missed Me): Ready for Uranus in Aries?

Plutonians can be highly self-involved creatures, and I am no exception. For the past two months my concerns have focused almost entirely on my BM (big move): first finding the new apartment, which was a breeze due to following astrology; then packing up my old apartment, which was hellish, but I had help from my devoted Moon-in-Cancer sweetie; the actual move, which occurred on Tax Day, two days before Mercury turned Retrograde; and post-move unpacking (which has halted due to needing a new bookcase and another set of shelves to display doodads that will otherwise be tossed because I ran out of closet space.)

In fact, although Mercury turned Direct two weeks ago, it hasn't yet reached 12 degrees and 38 minutes of Taurus, where it was when it turned Retrograde on 4/17. So we're all still playing catch-up here.

With Uranus about to leave Pisces tomorrow at 9:49 p.m. EDT and dip its toes into headstrong Aries till it Retrogrades back into Pisces in mid-August, I am anticipating many big changes afoot (yes, all these Piscean puns are intended). We will be within shouting distance of the notorious Uranus/Pluto square, which last graced us with its presence in the early 1930s, the depths of the Great Depression and the birth of fascism. Uranus shies away from making that square exact till next year, but we will certainly get a taste of it--especially since Jupiter will enter Aries in early June and square Pluto in late July. Jupiter, in other words, could well be Uranus's pilot fish.

I do not exaggerate when I predict that Uranus in Aries will make the past seven years of Uranus in Pisces look like a walk through the park. Although Pluto's ingress into Capricorn in 2008 certainly mirrored the economy turning sour, the gap between the haves and the have-nots growing ever wider, and the symbosis between politics and Wall Street becoming ever more painfully obvious, Uranus in Pisces provided some measure of escape (Pisces) through technology (Uranus), and injected more CGI and 3-D into the movies (Pisces again). Uranus in Aries, by contrast, is far too martial to lose itself via dreamy escapism. The motto of Uranus in Aries is "Off with her head!" It is perhaps fortunate that next year Neptune enters its ruling sign Pisces; it may take the edge off Uranus in Aries, but it may also trigger coastal flooding and more gas leaks and spills.

Many pardons if this sounds alarmist, but with all the potential for reforming (Uranus) one's self-identity (Aries) on a collective level (Uranus again), and figuring out what you really want (Aries again), the next seven years will usher in an era of rising intolerance, me-first-ism, and bloodshed. Particularly in light of the upcoming Uranus/Pluto square, If I were a U.S. banker or a higher-up in Big Pharma, I'd make plans to move to a remote island in the Fijis and leave no forwarding address. If I were a politician, I would refuse to align myself with either party, and that includes the Mad-as-a-Hatter Tea Party. This will be a time to attempt to reshuffle the decks, not get into bed with corrupt, "too big to fail" institutions of any kind.

While it's true that more can be accomplished under a square than an easier aspect, more can be lost. Over the next seven years, we will all have to pick our battles (Uranus in Aries) wisely, even if that does mean fighting City Hall (Pluto in Capricorn). Many brave individuals will choose to sacrifice themselves, even if they are never recognized or eulogized.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Revisiting Saturn in Virgo

Saturn's retrograding back into Virgo today at 2:55 p.m. EDT urges us all to revisit (and perhaps relearn) hard lessons about the state of one's health as well as job situation. Saturn spends about two and a half years in a sign, and although we got our feet wet with Saturn in Libra shortly before Halloween 2009, we must now jump back to a sign that concentrates not on relationships, but on purifying oneself and making oneself useful in preparation of entering the world of relating to others.

So I advise you to think back to the fall of 2009 in order to get some sort of road map to guide you for the spring and early summer of 2010 (Saturn goes back into Libra on 7/21). Keep in mind that although Uranus enters Aries for the first time in late May, Saturn will oppose Uranus at 28 degrees of Pisces in late April. This is hardly a fun aspect, since Saturn and Uranus are hardly the best of friends to begin with and oppositions always indicate relationship difficulties and projecting one's own issues onto others. The opposition from Virgo to Pisces emphasizes hard lessons to be learned regarding health and work; even if your own health and job situation couldn't be better, I'm talking about on a mass level here, since outer planets always indicate the collective. The news will be filled with more editorials about the Great Recession, obesity, scandals that concentrate on the major disconnect that makes possible such hypocrisy on the part of those who hold everyone but themselves to exemplary standards, and waking up from the American Dream that has become more of a nightmare for increasing numbers of citizens.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Under a Pesach Moon




As we've moved toward the Full Moon in Libra these past two weeks, things have been more than a little hectic (but mainly in a positive way) for this Pluto Rising astrologer. I am writing this on the fly from my mishpoka's place on Lawn Guyland (aka Wrong Island) before the Seder to wish my slightly increased readership a very Happy Full Moon, exact tonight at 10 something EDT. Whether or not you celebrate Passover, use today and tonight to concentrate on your most important relationships. If you manage to balance your independence (Aries) with diplomacy, (Libra) you as well as your relationship will experience a growth spurt. If you are not romantically involved with anyone, you could focus on improving matters with your boss, your business partner, your landlord, or anyone with whom you have a contractual relationship.

The Jewish calendar is a lunar one, and Passover, which always falls on the Full Moon, marks the spring in Judaic tradition in not just a literal way: although the days are indeed getting longer and warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, this holiday marks the springing as in liberation, of when the Jewish God acted in a particularly Mars-like manner to loose his worshippers from 430 years of slavery in Egypt. A host of troublesome and downright violent plagues were visited upon the Jews' Egyptian oppressors, and the Jews were free to wander the desert for 40 years (almost 10% of their slavery years...was this their Freedom Tax?). The pascal lamb that is featured at the Seder is an apt symbol of sacrifice, rebirth...and also Aries!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ides of March: Pile-Up in Pisces

We're still in the midst of a major pile-up in Pisces, and I figured I should stop daydreaming for a moment and try to write about this very special stellium (in astrology, this means three or more planets piled up on top of one another). We are in the New Moon period (exact today at 5:01 p.m. EDT), Mercury and Uranus were conjunct earlier this evening, the Sun/Mercury conjunction happened yesterday, and the Sun/Uranus conjunction is yet to come on the 17th (2:51 a.m. EDT). Yes, it sure smells like a Pisces in here!

Pisces is not only the last sign of winter, but the last sign of the zodiac. It is represented by two fish: one looking up toward the light sparkling on the water's surface, the other looking down into the murky depths. Pisces dreams with eyes wide shut (fish lack eyelids) and seems to have bits and pieces of every other sign in its complex, contradictory nature. Pisces rules the feet, and has karmically walked that mile in every other sign's shoes. Pisces can be the most lost of all the signs, and also the most found--and it's not uncommon for someone born under Pisces to vacillate between these two states. The same goes for the Piscean ability to empathize and then suddenly shut off that compassion and be a cold-blooded fish.

And how many types of fish there are: to list just a handful off the top of my head, there are angelfish, goldfish, catfish, koi, bottom feeders, minnows, salmon, sharks. (Shellfish, by the way, fall under the rulership of fellow water sign Cancer, which literally means "crab.")

Pisces is famous for being "psychic," but just as infamous for being self-destructive--in a more passive, victim-of-circumstance way than its fellow water sign Scorpio, who is more apt to go out and find trouble than sit back and wait for it to rain down on its head.

With the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus all in Pisces, it may be hard to focus on any one thing, especially if it is "practical." But this is a wonderful window of opportunity to create, invent, come up with new ways to communicate, have visions, and solve long-standing problems in a highly unorthodox, illogical way. This past weekend, about thirteen hours before the Sun/Mercury conjunction, I was fortunate enough to perform as a featured poet at Madame X, a rosy-hued downtown venue, and I believe it was the best performance I ever gave. Pisces is not about performance per se--that's more Leo's specialty--but Pisces has the ability to mirror whatever the audience desires and be a living, breathing fantasy.

Let yourself dream and fantasize without censorship over the next few days. Once Mercury and the Sun join Venus in fiery, headstrong Aries, you will be more likely to "just do it." Yet the seeding process of Pisces is necessary for Aries action.

After all, if you don't know what you want, how will you go after it when the time comes to act upon your truest desire and carpe diem?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Signs of Spring: Welcome Venus in Aries!

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but this past weekend certainly felt like spring in New York City.

Unless you happen to be a fan of the N.Y. winter that began with a deep freeze and continued with ever-deeper snow, you may tip your hat in the direction of Venus in Aries, the first harbinger of spring. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the beginning of which marks the vernal equinox, which happens this year on March 20, 1:32 p.m. EDT. Venus shows what is loved and valued. Although Venus is about the passive or receptive side of love, Aries is far too headstrong to cool its heels and wait for a suitor to come a-callin'. Hence, Venus in Aries is said to be in its "detriment," as it is a challenge for the aggressive sign of Aries to express itself effectively via the refined rays of Venus. Think of a high-spirited, profanity-spouting teenager tracking mud into a pristine, dainty living room and that's Venus in Aries for you. Nothing subtle, yet such energy can be refreshing, especially if you don't mind getting a little down and dirty and are not shy about setting boundaries (actually, make that not shy, period).

Yesterday featured a beneficial trine aspect between Venus and Mars (which is finally about to turn direct at 0 degrees of fiery Leo this Wednesday), so if you were feeling neither romantic nor randy, neither creative nor in the mood to carpe diem, I'm going to bet that you reside on a planet other than Earth...or that you are extremely sensitive to the fact that Mars is still Retrograde. If the latter is the case, in less than 48 hours you should begin to thaw out and embrace some early spring fever.

I can't comment on The Hurt Locker's sweep of the Oscars last night because I haven't seen the film, yet I am pleased as punch that Avatar (see my 12/28/09 post-viewing rant for more details) did not walk away with all those golden statuettes. I would also like to humbly thank the Academy Awards committee for scheduling, since 2004, the ultimate celebration of our most Piscean art form during the Sun in Pisces period. I wonder if the Oscars planning committee finally got around to consulting an astrologer? One aspect of last night I did not predict was the short-lived but highly dramatic war between Cablevision and ABC, which ended 20 minutes or so into the Oscars ceremony, yet it certainly had the mark of Venus in Aries.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The "We" Regeneration: The Pluto-in-Libra Group Faces the Pluto-in-Capricorn Challenge


Pluto’s energy is primal, compulsive, and willful—it deals with both eros (sexual desire, which ensures the survival of a species) and thanatos (the death wish). People tend to obsess over and repress Pluto issues; a few years ago the International Astronomers Union literally demoted Pluto to the status of “dwarf planet.” Yet Pluto’s power refuses to be diminished.

Pluto calls upon us during crises to evolve and survive, or die. Due to Pluto’s eccentric orbit, different generations experience transiting Pluto’s square to their natal Pluto position at varying stages of life—or not at all, when Pluto passes through the slower-moving signs. The square is an aspect of inner conflict. As Pluto passes through Capricorn (2008/09–2023/24), the group that will have the most challenges to face during this very challenging era is Pluto in Libra (1971/72–1983/84; please consult Astrodienst.com’s free ephemeris for exact dates), the younger half of Generation X (born 1961–1981, according to highly regarded social historians Neil Howe and William Strauss).

Most who have Pluto in Libra will have similar timing with their square as the Pluto-in-Virgo group (born 1957/58–1971/72), and be in their mid- to late 30s—but to different effect, due to the different signs involved. The Virgo/Sagittarius Pluto square was about health, work, and obligations (Virgo issues) conflicting with sky’s-the-limit expansion, ethics, and globalization (Sagittarius issues)—which resulted by 2008 in too many obese, sick, unemployed, outsourced adults in their late 30s to early 50s with ruined credit and foreclosures.

The Libra/Capricorn Pluto square features relationships (particularly contractual ones) challenging institutions and structures. Because Pluto is slowing down in its orbit, the last of the Pluto-in-Libra group (1982–1984) will be in their early 40s when their Pluto square occurs—signifying a generational shift that will give them something in common with their Pluto-in-Leo Baby Boomer parents, whose Pluto square also coincided with the early 40s “midlife crisis” aspect: Uranus opposing Uranus.

Yet for the majority of Pluto-in-Libra individuals, the Pluto square occurs before the Uranus opposition. The Pluto square is such an intense aspect that it could make the potentially explosive Uranus opposition a half decade later somewhat anticlimactic. My take on this: Gen X, from front to back, had to grow up fast in an increasingly fragmented, R-rated, accelerated culture, and is now entering its prime earning years during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many soon-to-be forty-somethings will not have the luxury of experiencing the type of midlife crisis in which the Silent and Baby Boomer generations often participated.

Now that Pluto is in Capricorn, trading in your reliable but boring wheels at midlife for a hot sports car, your reliable but humdrum job for something more exciting, and your reliable but sagging spouse for a younger trophy wife (or the buff UPS guy) seem like relics from a bygone era. Perhaps as Pluto passes through Capricorn, it will be more common to see the Pluto-in-Libra group shun cars that utilize fossil fuels (Capricorn) in favor of “green machines,” and respond to chronic unemployment by finding something beautiful (Libra) to craft or build (Capricorn), which will result in more indie arts & crafts sites like Etsy.com.

I predict that even well-off Pluto-in-Libra individuals will choose not to flaunt it if they got it—especially if the growing numbers of desperate have-nots transform from frightened, fragmented individuals to angry, mobilized mobs. We may see quite a few “Bonnie and Clyde” couples (Libra) who rob banks (Capricorn) while minding their manners (Libra again!). And they will be seen as figures of romance, now that almost everyone on Main St. loves to hate Wall St. Marriage is likely to be an all-or-nothing proposition for the Pluto-in-Libra group; many will create an entirely new set of vows, and advocate for same-sex marriage. Since Libra rules the arts, there may soon be more depictions onstage and in the movies of gay couples that are more about love and relating, less about activism and AIDS.

When Pluto passes through a sign, everything concerning that sign is brought to the surface, obsessed about on a mass level, and transformed—or killed. Looking back to Pluto’s transit of Libra, “the term ‘relationship,’” as Jim Ryan puts it in his hilarious cartoon book The ’70s: Life in a Dumb Decade, “came from the ’70s need to categorize what Joni Mitchell was having. [Relationships] were thought about…talked about… discussed… worked out…opened up…taken on the Donahue Show.”

As many states implemented “no fault” divorce laws, divorce rates in the U.S. skyrocketed, finally peaking in 1980; many of those born with Pluto in Libra were young children of divorce. Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet women are said to be from; “women’s lib” during the 1970s resulted in more women entering the workforce and fighting for equality (Libra) with men. Although the Pluto-in-Libra group may take equal rights for granted because they were born into an era of feminism (and Mattel’s “We Girls Can Do Anything” ad campaign of the ’80s endeared the Barbie doll to young Pluto-in-Libra girls), there are deeper, more disturbing currents afoot that could potentially result in a new battle of the sexes.

Because the U.S. has lost much of its manufacturing and IT base, and its infrastructure has been allowed to crumble, more men have lost their jobs recently than women—to the extent that this recession has been called a “man-cession.” Men also have fallen behind women in educational achievement. Although the dual-income household has been the norm in the U.S. ever since Pluto transited Libra, the concept of the husband as main breadwinner is currently being turned on its head. Perhaps one challenge the Pluto-in-Libra group faces as Pluto passes through Capricorn is how to navigate marriages that feature more involuntary “househusbands.”

Look back at an earlier ’60s and ’70s era in America: the 1760s and ’70s, which just happened to be the last time Pluto passed through Capricorn. As hard as it might be to believe this early on in the transit, another revolution is coming. This revolution may gain momentum on MoveOn.org and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter (which certainly reflect the Pluto-in-Libra style), but it will need to move into the material world in order to take root (Capricorn).

Interestingly, George Washington was born with Pluto in Libra—which exactly squared his Moon in Capricorn! I for one hope that our next George Washington, regardless of gender or political affiliation, will soon come forward and play a huge role in saving our nation from its own corrupt government, poisonous pollutants, and out-of-whack institutions—including the Tea Party movement that many alienated Pluto-in-Libra extremists will be tempted to join.

The concept of depression as a psychological state, as well as its treatments, will undergo a transformation as Pluto transits Capricorn. Due to the Pluto square I described earlier, this will be especially relevant for the Pluto-in-Libra group, who came of age during a time when antidepressant drugs were not only being prescribed, but overprescribed. Long-term users of various mood elevators are becoming worried by the tolls these drugs may take on their physical health; combine this concern with the escalating costs of prescription drugs in general, and we may be looking at an era of mass withdrawal from the antidepressants that were so widespread when Pluto transited Sagittarius (tellingly, a sign that does not tolerate depression). Talk therapy will make a comeback, and there is also a growing belief in evolutionary psychology that depression serves a purpose, that “sadder but wiser” has the ring of truth.

Over the next dozen years, the Pluto-in-Libra group is most likely to take the hardest knocks from Pluto in Capricorn. Yet this group is also the best situated to transform itself by not only thinking of itself—and in so doing, just might go down in history as the “We Generation.”


T. C. Gardstein is a Brooklyn-based astrologer and writer. She is especially pleased that this article is included in the 2010 International Astrology Day Blog-a-thon (March 19-21) because her favorite planet is Pluto. T.C. has published articles in Dell Horoscope and Mountain Astrologer, and created and managed an astrology website, PlutoRising.com, for the now-defunct dot-com company Webseed. Her novel, Circuit, is available for purchase on Amazon and Xlibris, and her eBook of erotic verse, The Poetry Prostitute, has been published by Paper Bag Press (audio book forthcoming). T.C. is available for private astrological consultation as well as parties. Contact her at PlutoRisingAstrologer@gmail.com.

Sources:

Astrodienst.com
Generations, Neil Howe and William Strauss
Etsy.com
The ’70s: Life in a Dumb Decade, Jim Ryan
MoveOn.org
“The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged,” Frank Rich, 2/27/10, NYTimes.com
“Depression’s Upside,” Jonah Lehrer, 2/25/10, NYTimes.com

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Astrology of Valentine's Day

This year, Valentine's Day coincides with the Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Tiger: Will you be a wildcat or a pussy cat? Or perhaps a pink panther?

We are approaching the New Moon in Aquarius, but most of Valentine's Day occurs with the Moon in Pisces (the ingress happens at 7:23 a.m. EST). This Piscean feeling is strengthened by the Sun/Neptune conjunction. It's an auspicious day to be emotional and downright mushy with both friends and lovers.

If you're not sure what to do with your sweetie tomorrow (other than the obvious), you might consider taking in a movie or three, having a photography or video session (use your imagination), sharing and perhaps indulging in a fantasy, a champagne-soaked brunch, liquor-filled bonbons, or evening wining and dining. However, be careful not to indulge too much in alcohol or any other substances that may affect your ability to stay conscious.

If you don't have a sweetie, but do have a crush, tomorrow is an optimal day to declare your feelings, as long as your crush is actually available to be amenable! Seriously, with elements of fantasy running so high, you should ask yourself before declaring yourself if you are infatuated with the actual person, or with the idea of him/her.

As I mentioned earlier, this is also a wonderful V-Day to spend with close friends. In fact, it is entirely possible that platonic feelings between friends may turn more, well, Plutonic. Again, as long as you don't let the fantasy aspect (it's pretty romantic to fall in love with a friend) and too much to drink overwhelm what's truly going on here, a wonderful time could be had.

Whatever your situation, Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pluto Blushes for the Camera



(Photo copyright NASA, ESA, and M. Buie, Southwest Research Institute)

In a neat little bit of what Jung, who also practiced astrology, would term "synchronicity," NASA has just released 350 amazing close-up photos of Pluto; the Moon (which rules, among many other things, the public) is currently transiting Scorpio, the sign ruled by Pluto.

Apparently Pluto has been growing redder and brighter during the two-year span of these photos (2002 and 2003). No official reason has yet been determined.

My feeling is that Pluto is either camera-shy and blushing at having its privacy invaded via Hubble Space Telescope, or it is prophetically pissed off, knowing that by the time these photos were released, its stature in our solar system would have been demoted to "dwarf planet" and would suffer such headlines as: "Pluto, Former Planet, Ready for Its Close-Up."

More than any other planet, Pluto needs good PR. I hope these photos will help reintegrate this planet into our collective psyche, for Pluto will not go gently into that good night. Demoting or belittling its energy is like trying to close Pandora's box, or put a skeleton back in the closet. Attempting such a thing has already enabled the negative aspects of Pluto--manipulation (also known as power-tripping), repression, oppression, resentment, and yes, plutocracy--to dominate Pluto's positive traits of transformation, mediumship, literal and figurative X-ray vision, healing at the root level.

It is heartening to learn that some members of NASA who are involved in another Pluto project, which involves a robotic spacecraft (carrying the ashes of Pluto's discover, Clyde Tombaugh!), believe that Pluto should still be categorized as a bone fide planet.

PS: My late-to-the-party Groundhog Day predictions: we'll be getting the first signs of spring on March 11, when Mars turns direct...yet we'll also be dealing with the effects of Mars retrograde until mid-May. I still wish I could crawl into a burrow and hibernate for the next five weeks instead of having to pretend it's business as usual in the Borough of Kings.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bullies, Enemies, Frenemies: Sun Opposing Mars

If you're feeling a bit bellicose today, you're right on schedule: the Sun is opposing Mars (exact 2:43 p.m. EST). Take a step back and count to ten before becoming embroiled in a confrontation that could lead to the sort of physical violence that used to sell newspapers before the Internet made it possible to receive a free, constant flow of newsworthy bloodshed.

The Sun/Mars opposition might not be as stressful if you decide not to let your ego (Sun) be steamrolled over by a bully (Mars) who knows just which buttons to press. This opposition could be considered a follow-up to the Venus/Mars opposition earlier this week, in which many hearts were broken. The ego now may want to lash out (Mars) at the one who done you wrong (poor syntax totally intended).

An opposition always indicates a challenge in a relationship (that need not be a romantic one); often the issue is one of projecting your perceptions onto another person. When Mars is involved, aggression and the desire to win are more important than maintaining or reinstating harmony. Given that we are coming up on the Full Moon in Leo (exact 1/30 at 1:18 a.m. EST), emotions are already running at a fever pitch.

I for one am going to embrace my Cancerian nature and stay out of the fray if at all possible, though I may fight for my right to party.

Oh yes, that baleful bundle called the Saturn/Pluto square is exact on Sunday (exact 5:07 p.m.) with the Moon in Virgo. You may be less inclined to laze around and more inclined to work, worry, or resolve to become a hermit.

Sorry for the joyless nature of this post, but I'm sure you can find many other astrologers who will give you a more optimistic view of these tough planetary aspects. I just can't put a smiley face on any of the ones I've mentioned here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bye, Bye Baby: Happy Birthday, Janis Joplin

I came of pop-music age with the Go-Go's and Madonna. Yet as I was perusing my parents' LP collection as a teen-something, I paused at an album depicting an oddly attired woman on the cover: huge granny glasses, feathers, bangle bracelets, flywaway hair. This was Joplin in Concert. And from the very first sound of her chiding voice--"You've been playing the wrong chord all night"--right before "Down on Me" kicked in, I was transfixed. Yet the raw emotion and obvious vulnerability of this performer (there was no doubt in my mind that she was not just a singer, but a performer of epic proportions) also frightened me, and I hadn't even realized yet that her life was in the past tense. Listening to her wail the blues was like gazing into a mirror at my own teen angst, although my "voice" was that of a scribbler of morbid, puerile poetry that graced the pages of my suburban high-school literary magazine to little recognition (except for the local newspaper that offered me the job of "high school correspondent," obviously on the unfounded faith that a budding poet would make a good journalist).

Perhaps a year or two later, an hour-long documentary called Women in Rock was released on cable TV, and I saw, not merely heard, Janis wailing "Ball and Chain" and "Summertime" onstage at the Montery Pop Festival that ushered in the all too brief Summer of Love that had died by the summer I was born. And I was retroactively hooked.

Janis Joplin's first name could not have suited her more: she was born in January, the month itself named for the two-faced Roman god Janus, which looked both backward and forward. Janis was born at the end of the sign of Capricorn, a sign noted both for its melancholy and spiritual potential, and at the very beginning of the generation that became known as "hippies," although like the beatniks of the 1950s, Janis made the pilgrimage to North Beach a few years before the Haight-Ashbury district became psychedelicized.

But what, astrologically, could account for Janis's seismic personality; her persona of "Pearl," the tough-talking, hard-drinking, blues-singing floozy; her rebellious nature; her untimely demise?

Janis Joplin was born just before the Full Moon, the phase of the moon most associated with a desire for fame. And her Moon in Cancer (whose gem is the pearl) widely conjuncted her Jupiter, which only magnified the hypersensitivity of her innermost emotions. She may have talked tough, but it was obvious that her sharp words were there to protect a very soft underbelly. Indeed, a slight snub from a stranger at a party could make her burst into tears, and she often lamented that her life on the road was a cruel joke. She claimed to want a nice man to take her out to dinner after a show, as opposed to the hangers-on of the groupie scene that had nothing to do with her real self. Yet paradoxically, the more she retreated into her "Pearl" persona, the more of a caricature she became, the more she surrounded herself by sychophants, the less chance she seemed to have of someone "real" being able to break through.

She was the firstborn of three, and as the fates would have it, was born with Aquarius on the Ascendant, making her a natural rebel, especially in a town as "proper" as Port Arthur, Texas, and a time as constricted as the U.S. in the 1950s. Had she been born slightly earlier or later in the morning, Janis might have upheld the status quo (Capricorn Rising) or merged into her local environment (Pisces Rising). But Janis was born on a metaphoric fault line, and indeed, her conservative parents would never approve of the unusual path she created for herself. Janis was born with Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius in her 12th House, opposing Pluto; how apropos, then, that one of her "complexes" involved her younger sister (Mercury), who was perceived as the "good daughter," the one who was approved of by her parents while Janis herself was "lost" to the Plutonian underworld of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Capricorns, the cynics of the zodiac, are often influenced strongly by the father; Janis's own father, who by today's standards would probably be considered an alcoholic (certainly, he spent more time drinking and tinkering around in the garage than with his family), taught his oldest daughter about "the Saturday Night swindle": the realization that it's not ever going to get any better than being out on a Saturday night, not having a particularly good time, blowing your weekly paycheck on a few drinks, only to start all over again the next day, hung over and broke.

Yet with that prominent, creative, ever-hungry 5th House Moon in Cancer, Janis was one of the very few women of the era who made it in the men's club of rock and roll. Grace Slick similarly dominated her all-male band, yet "Gracie" was also a conventionally beautiful ex-model from a rich family, whereas Janis was a much rougher diamond. Both helped pave the way for subsequent generations of women in rock, yet Janis paid a very steep price for being the archetypal goat atop the mountain: she was already addicted to alcohol by the time of her success, and her ultimate undoing, heroin, soon followed to dull the pain. Yet because Janis was such a huge success, few people, even among her closest friends, felt that she deserved any sympathy or understanding for her so-called problems. "People like their blues singers drunk and miserable," she said bluntly.

(And dead?)

Her version of "Ball and Chain" is certainly a Capricornian masterpiece, showing how duty, sorrow, and loneliness can make the heart so heavy in love. Yet I would rather celebrate her upbeat "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)": as she exhorts in her stage patter right before the song kicks in, "If you're lookin' for a nice piece of... action, and you ain't gettin' any, you know what you gotta do, baby...you gotta try harder."

Somehow, this exultation to hard work, which flew in the face of the "tune in, turn on, drop out" hippie era, seems the opposite of sea-goat cynicism.

I love you, Janis.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside: Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

As I warned in my last post, which was posted on the last day of 2009, we are collectively entering 2010 looking backward. Mercury is still Retrograde in Capricorn, and at least on the East Coast, we have been in a deep-freeze unit. As I remarked to a friend last week: "My gloves need gloves." Yesterday, I finally cracked and dug out a pair of itchy woolen mittens. I have given up all pretense of stylishness until the mercury (as opposed to the planet Mercury) rises above 35 (on second thought, make that 40) degrees.

Although Mercury turns Direct on the New Moon and Solar Eclipse this Friday, 1/15, Mars remains Retrograde until 3/11. If only I could petition the Powers that Be and explain that no one should be expected to perform up to standard as long as the planet that is most responsible for determining one's personal drive is Retrograde in the sign that is all about ego (in the sense of "I am," not necessarily a bad thing and in fact a requirement for a healthy sense of self) and performance. If only I could pass an emergency law, effective for the rest of the winter, that is sort of an anti-stimulus plan: one that would encourage mass hibernation, with brief excursions for food (unless you prefer home delivery).

Rather than give an entire overview of 2010 in one post, I'd like to concentrate on a "biggie" aspect that we experienced back in November 2009, which will repeat at the end of January: the Saturn/Pluto square. Any lessons learned, or not, back in November will have to be repeated again at this time. I already posted details about the meaning of this square the first time around, but it's worth repeating here: any issues of resentment and rigidity will become heightened. This is a time in which skeletons (Saturn) will come out of the closet (Pluto). Various political (Saturn) and sex scandals (Pluto) are likely, all involving abuse of power. But so too is the ability to slam the brakes on a painful situation. A square between these two heavies of the solar system can indeed bring a lot of pain, but again, if you reach your personal breaking point, it may force you to say "never again," and really mean it this time. We will be getting yet a third Saturn/Pluto square this July, giving us all yet another opportunity to say "never again." (Third time's the charm, right?)

On 2/17 Jupiter ingresses into the emotional, visionary, compassionate sign of Pisces, and I hope this means that some of the friends we have found with Jupiter transiting through Aquarius will blossom into soul mates. If you find that you need to spend more time in solitary reflection and meditation in the coming months, though, you're right on schedule. Also, this Jupiter placement should benefit creative writers and artists, especially those working in the medium of film (both movies and photography).

More to come, and in the meantime, keep warm!