Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Deep Is Your Love? Venus Meets Saturn; Mercury Turns Direct

Within three hours of Mercury's turning Direct in Scorpio (5:48pm ET), the Moon in Venus-ruled Taurus opposed Mercury -- and Venus conjoined Saturn in Scorpio. Translation: thoughts took an emotional turn; the main focus of these thoughts was about the quality (as opposed to quantity) of your relationships. Although worry and depression may very well have shown up like unwanted guests, the main question, as the BeeGees put it so well at the height of the disco era, was: How deep is your love?

Venus in sexed-up Scorpio running into Saturn's cold, armored wall does not sound very sexy on the surface, but Scorpio knows just a thing or two about walls, relishes a challenge, and if it cannot pole-vault itself over that wall, it can dig under defenses and plumb the depths in a most effective manner. Venus in Scorpio is in it for the long haul, and when it meets Saturn, dead ashes can be rekindled; passion can revitalize a moribund romance, even bring back a long-lost love. Even with Mercury turning Direct, there is value in examining the past and cherishing foundations of all kinds. On an aesthetic level, vintage items hold far more appeal than new ones.

Interestingly, I spent the Venus-Saturn conjunction in a cold (Saturn) movie theater with my sweetie (Venus) watching Skyfall. (Minor spoilers ahead!) The theme of the movie pretty much sums up the Venus-Saturn conjunction: "Sometimes," as Mr. James Shaken Not Stirred Bond quips, "the old ways are the best." (This is also a tip of the hat toward the golden 50th anniversary of the 007 movie series.) Dame Judi Stiff Upper Lip Dench, playing an endangered-species M, is the true Bond Girl of this installment, despite the fact that she is about three times older than the average Bond Girl. James Bond himself is portrayed as an aging (Saturn), burned-out mess (albeit still appealing to the ladies and even to the Bond villain!), but we can get past his formidable defenses with something never before done in the Bond series: his tragic backstory. His return to his spooky childhood home in the moors of Scotland, ostensibly to settle the score, symbolizes another read of the Venus-Saturn conjunction: making peace (Venus), no matter how violent and cathartic (Scorpio), with your roots (Saturn), even as you realize that never again can you truly go home.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Big Fat Midlife Crisis: Notes on Uranus Opposing My Ass

Being an astrologer does have its perks. At the same time, it can be like waiting for a delicately poised axe to fall and relieve me of my head.

In this era, the three aspects that launch one into midlife are the Pluto square, the Neptune square, and the Uranus opposition. (In other eras, Pluto is not a factor, due to its highly eccentric orbit.) Depending on exactly when you were born, these aspects can overlap, or not be anywhere near one another. However the timing plays out, it helps to think of these aspects as a process instead of isolated incidents.

In my case, I experienced the Pluto square first, at the relatively early ages of 35 and 36. With Pluto at my IC (aka Nadir, or the 4th House cusp) squaring my natal Pluto on the Ascendant, I feared that I would lose my home; instead, I slowly slid into credit card debt (Pluto). There was also a disastrous moneymaking scheme on my too-trusting father's part that eventually cost him his medical license and hefty lawyer's fees to stay out of jail. (Although the father is traditionally said to rule the 10th House, the family in general is to be found in the 4th, and this situation affected the entire family.) Sex became a battleground, but by the final square I had become far more emotionally honest about my needs and wants. What wound up alleviating the Pluto square was my natal Jupiter; on the heels of the square, Pluto formed a sextile to it. Though I was spending money I didn't really have, I was also very creatively productive (wrote my second book). On a shallow level, I looked surprisingly good; at least on the surface, the Pluto square agreed with me. Unlike just a few years before, I felt that my life was on an upswing; I was no longer mourning my lost youth, had a great apartment and some new friends, and felt I was growing younger, not older.

The Neptune square came considerably later, between the ages of 39 and 41. (This square, unlike the Pluto square, occurred five times instead of the standard three.) At age 39, with Neptune entering my 6th House, I began experiencing various minor but annoying health issues that compelled me to confront my physical vulnerabilities and jump off the Fun Train. Feeling extremely lost, a Nowhere (Wo)man in a Nowhere Land, my relationships expressed the dark side of my Neptune-ruled 7th House, with much masochistic behavior on my part in an attempt to hold on to those who were not worth touching with a ten-foot pole. I moved to a neighborhood that was more affordable but also very far away from almost everything and everyone I wanted to be close to. I further compounded that mistake by convincing myself (and not for the first time, unfortunately) that companionship trumped good sexual chemistry in a steady relationship, and that I could literally live with such a scenario. But it was a harmful pipe dream, and while I was smoking it, I gained weight; instead of applying my Plutonian willpower to dieting, I bought some trousers and skirts with elasticized waists and proceeded to pack on more pounds. I became increasingly morose and downright depressed at the same time that I was publishing erotica eBooks and poetry and attracting attention on the thriving Manhattan reading-performance circuit -- a typically Neptunian paradox, as validation for my writing meant very little to me when I felt so worthless. It was was midway through this nearly two-year period that I landed a part-time office job without even seeking it out -- and the job dissolved (Neptune transiting my 6th) just as mysteriously after the fifth and final square. This last square not so coincidentally occurred just a few weeks after getting together with my current boyfriend, a Pisces -- there was an air of fatedness and magic (Neptune) to the proceedings, as we'd had a date three years earlier, and on our do-over the NRE (new relationship energy) was off the charts. But the square forced me to see that far from being a pair of enchanted mythological creatures, we were fallible, just two sensitive souls with plenty of baggage that cannot be easily jettisoned. Similar to the Pluto square, I believe that my natal Jupiter acted as a sort of guardian angel and kept my creative juices flowing, as Neptune trined it shortly before making the square to my natal Neptune.

Today marked my second Uranus opposition. (The first one happened this past April, just two months before the transiting Uranus-Pluto square). Falling in my 1st and 7th Houses, from Libra to Aries, the question of how to balance my relationships with the people who are most important to me are on my front burner -- but so too is a sense of wanting to make some pretty big changes that are incompatible with current realities. I have no idea how this dilemma can be resolved. Maybe it can't. I don't really know what else to write about my Uranus opposition; combined with the notorious Uranus-Pluto square, it's just too much to fathom, and unlike the Pluto and Neptune squares, my Jupiter is not there to cushion any blows. Perhaps its true meaning won't become clear to me until after the final Uranus opposition occurs, which is just two months away. I have a very strong sense of champing at the bit and being very frustrated with all the limitations in my life, at the same time that I am aware of how thankful I should be. I feel that a window is open, that this may be my last chance to steer my life in the direction I want it to go, but at the same time, I am terrified to climb through this window because it would entail letting go of just about everything and everyone dear to my heart as well as everything and everyone I want to leave behind.

If you are going through the same midlife aspects, I would love to hear from you. It would also be interesting to hear from those of you who emerged on the other side of the Uranus opposition. If you do not wish to leave a public comment, please email me at plutorisingastrologer@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Storm Warnings: Election Day in a Uranus-Pluto Square Era

As many of you are aware, 2012 marked the beginning of a three-year era defined by a Uranus-Pluto square. History does not always repeat itself, but it often rhymes; therefore, especially for a nation as willfully amnesiac as the United States, it is crucial to look back about 80 years, when the last Uranus-Pluto square was in effect. The early 1930s was the Uranian "crash" of the stock market and the end of the decade-long party known as the Jazz Age; throwing Pluto into the mix ensured extreme measures would steer the economy (a Plutonian domain).

On this Election Day (or what may turn out to be Election Week or Election Month), America stands at a crucial crossroads that will seal our collective fate and global reputation. The path taken will reverebate for the next three decades, until the next Uranus conjunction occurs. (Keep in mind that the last Uranus conjunction defined the 1960s.) Mercury has not even turned Retrograde yet (that happens at 6:04pm ET), and already frustration, confusion, long lines, and malfuctioning machines are occurring at the polls.

If Barack Obama retains the keys to the presidency, America will have the chance to flower into a new "New Deal," the seeds of which have been sown over the past four years despite the constant obstruction, bad-mouthing, and downright hysteria from the opposing party. If President Obama prevails and presides for another term, he will represent the changing face of America, and its future (represented by forward-thinking Uranus). Echoes of FDR's dictum, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," will become so strong and so present that it will cease to become an echo. For Americans, the five remaining Uranus-Pluto squares between now and March 2015 may feel more like growing pains and less like an extended death knell -- unless ever more extreme weather patterns become the norm.

If you have not yet cast your ballot and are not in love or even in like with Obama, consider the alternative. If the election goes the other way -- whether it is stolen or not -- America could come to resemble 1930s Germany minus the death camps, which are probably too extreme a "Final Solution" even for the most irrational, cold-blooded members of the RepubliCons. However, friendly little expulsions of various groups could occur. Debtors' prisons and workhouses could enjoy a renaissance as gated communities turn into steel-armored fiefdoms with toxic moats. The United States may remain a democracy on paper, but a plutocracy in reality. Its most lasting effect on the government will be on the judicial branch: a Supreme Court dominated by the Farthest of the Far Right. An entire nation will be ruled by fear, suppression of countless freedoms, wholesale censorship, irrationality (the downside of Uranus), propaganda (the downside of Pluto), and scapegoating of groups that are not white, well-off, and wishing for a return to the 1950s (minus the financial security that many Americans were able to achieve during that postwar decade). If you are a woman -- even a white, well-off woman who wants to be a housewife and mother -- you may eventually lose not only the right to control your own reproductive system, but your right to vote. The five remaining Uranus-Pluto squares between now and March 2015 could be marked by socially sanctioned violence. Citizens may first be gently encouraged, then not so gently ordered, to report "suspicious" individuals, even family members and friends. New forms of taxation and unnecessary rationing will all rise in the name of "patriotism" while serving their true function: to keep the populace scared stiff, stirred up, and in line.

I realize the above paragraph is quite extreme in its predictions, but it is an informed point of view (i.e., not gleaned from Faux 5 News). It is also not just about America having the choice to take the "New Deal" path or to spiral down into the cesspool of a fascistic 1984 scenario. Thanks to technology as well as various contracts, nations are connected to one another as never before, so we are more affected by the actions and policies of one another. This means that there needs to be a far greater sense of accountability across the globe, which I also realize is easier said than done -- without such necessities as food, clean water, shelter, and other supplies, as well as access to education and technology, there is only so much an impoverished nation can do to shake off the shackles of a plutocracy or an insane, abusive tyrant. Deep-rooted dysfunction cannot be cured by lectures, sanctions, or Band-Aids. The United States cannot keep on being the world's policeman . . . especially if we are showing definite signs of being unable to police ourselves in a just, rational manner.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath / Election Day: Oh, Boy

By now, many of you astrology hounds have undoubtedly unearthed many fine articles about Hurricane Sandy as well as the upcoming presidential election. I am adding my thoughts mainly because I feel a certain responsibility to astrologize, even though those two cents may as well be two drops in the cyberspace bucket. I know that I am not alone in feeling a certain ambivalence toward the up-to-the-second online updates that sometimes makes the information age feel more like information overload. (Did the acronym TMI even exist back in the '90s?)

Just read over the above paragraph. Aren't I a little ray of sunshine today? The Sun is coming up on its annual conjunction to my Moon, which sounds like it should be a ton of fun, except that the sign involved is Scorpio, which can be ecstatic but rarely happy.

Pressing on regardless:

Of course the Full Moon increased Hurricane Sandy's power, since the Full Moon translates into higher than usual tides. But what is even more striking about the chart of Hurricane Sandy as it reached landfall by slamming into Atlantic City at 8pm on Monday night is Jupiter in Gemini on the Ascendant with Mars setting in Sagittarius (the sign traditionally ruled by Jupiter). Jupiter always does things in a big way, and Mars can indicate aggressive destruction. The opposition between Mars and Jupiter occurred the day before Sandy hit landfall, but since these two planets are on the most sensitive angles of the chart, this opposition cannot be dismissed as "separating" (i.e., diminishing in intensity). Interestingly, Jupiter also rules gambling, and Atlantic City is one of the top two gambling spots in the nation.

With Gemini Rising, the planet Mercury is of crucial importance as well. Mercury has just entered Sagittarius (traditionally considered a detrimental placement), is placed in the 6th House of health and work, and is just separating from a square to Neptune (ruling the sea and floods), the most elevated planet at just 9 degrees from the Midheaven in the 10th House. Obviously, business was not able to go on as usual as the storm cut its devastating swath through the tristate area and beyond, with loss of life and homes, as well as electricity and dwindling food and gas supplies. Halloween this year turned out to be more about tricks and less about treats -- though with that elevated Neptune, the blessing in disguise was the in-your-face confrontation of how man-made climate change is resulting in extreme weather patterns. (Ironically, right before Halloween last year NYC was hit by a so-called freak blizzard.)

As someone lucky enough to have gotten through Sandy in good company (boyfriend and boyfriend's affectionate little gray tabby), with electricity (though no heat) and plenty to eat, my cell phone the only thing not working throughout the week, I still feel compelled to mention a disconnect within the lucky camp that I feel is represented by the Mercury-Neptune square. There were salaried workers who were able to stay home and telecommute (or not work at all) without any loss of income, but there were also plenty of workers who had to commute four hours to receive $10 an hour starting on Wednesday, with the MTA barely functioning, or who lost a week's worth of income because their workplaces were shut down. I myself was able to do a phone interview for a job midweek (I did not get it, boo hoo) only because my boyfriend has a land line, and a work package I was expecting to receive on Tuesday will not get to me until the messenger service is up and running again. Not that I would trade places with someone who has a steady job but no home, or someone who drowned during the storm.

With so many people in NYC still going without, especially in Staten Island, it is fortunate that yesterday the mayor rescinded his tone-deaf, gung-ho attitude about the annual marathon -- but if he had stuck to his guns, the disconnect would've been even more severe come tomorrow. A Mercury-Neptune square is not known for clear thinking or good judgment calls.


Plenty has already been written about the upcoming Election Day occuring when Mercury turns Retrograde (just as the polls are closing on the East Coast). It is too bad that the U.S. government cannot delay voting for another three weeks -- though come to think of it, the 2000 elections occurred the day Mercury stationed Direct. It is clear from an astrological perspective that we may not find out who the true winner is for weeks, if not months, as Mercury will square Neptune two more times. I think this is also an indication of lingering trauma from Sandy effecting the ability of storm-struck individuals to vote. Whatever happens, I hope that any lingering sense of complacency will have been replaced by urgency and an unwillingness on the public's part to settle for a stolen (or even "borrowed") election, even if the candidates want to do so for the sake of peace, harmony, and moving forward. In the United States, we get the government that we deserve. We cannot afford not to rock the boat -- another interpretation of the Mercury-Neptune square.