Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: The Year of Personal Transformation?

2014 starts out with a bang (Moon-Uranus square, exact 2:40 a.m. ET) but the day continues with aspects that are more about plumbing the depths than explosions: the New Moon (i.e., Sun and Moon) conjuncting Pluto. With Mercury just past the Sun, this is an excellent time to make important New Year's resolutions that will truly stick.

Just as a concerted weight-loss or quitting-smoking regimen will improve your outer appearance and health, other resolutions could lead to highly significant shifts within yourself. Others may not be able to see these changes, but such deep-rooted transformation will be all the more important to you.

Never mind that Venus will stay retrograde till 1/31 -- Rome wasn't built in a day, and this stellium in Capricorn is in it for the long haul.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mercury Square Uranus: Tread Lightly; There's a Crack in the Ice

If you don't have something nice to say today, it may be best not to say it, for we are on a Mercury-Uranus square (exact 3:48 p.m. ET). A friendly debate may well turn into a full-on fight; constructive criticism is more likely to be interpreted as just plain mean.

Unfortunately, even after the square passes, we are just not getting much in the way of smooth, flowing aspects in the final few days of 2013: just after midnight ET the Sun squares Uranus, later on Monday Mars squares Pluto, and on the 31st Mercury conjuncts Pluto and squares Mars. Harmony must be somewhere out there, but it may not be so easy to find. Nerves are frayed. Patience has worn thin. Egos are bruised. Hissy fits are abounding.

For 1.3 million Americans (plus who knows how many dependent family members), the cause of this distress is very simple: being cut off from EUC (extended unemployment compensation) today, just a few days after Christmas. Hel-lo, Scrooge!

It is obvious to me that the White House does not have an astrologer on its staff; otherwise, this would never have happened -- not only is national unemployment still much higher than it was back in 2008, when EUC was first implemented (by then president Bush -- yes, United States of Amnesiacs, a Republican!), but we are only midway through the Uranus-Pluto square that astrologers have been ranting about since 2012 (or 2011 for the early birds). This is potentially a highly revolutionary aspect; the last Uranus-Pluto square happened in the early 1930s, and the New Deal (along with the associated and much-needed WPA) may have saved the United States from a truly ugly revolution. It is also worth keeping in mind that the depression that Germany went through during the same decade of the '30s triggered not a New Deal, but the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party and the exit of civilized law and order, which culminated in the Holocaust and World War II.

As we still have 15 months of the Uranus-Pluto square to go, the jury is still out about which way the United States will go. With Mars tying into the Uranus-Pluto square, an increase in civilized protests may result -- Mars will be in Libra until late July, and retrograde for part of that time; Libra is not a sign noted for its bellicosity. I am all for civilized protests, yet at the same time, in this current climate, I do not know what, if anything, will change as a result of genteel protesting. It is certainly possible that the generation with Pluto in Libra (born 1971/72 - 1983/84) will not react in a genteel manner with Mars passing back and forth over its collective Pluto, but like a bunch of modern-day charming yet ruthless Bonnie and Clydes. Remember that the short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, run mainly by the rising Millennial generation, generated a lot of "they're so entitled and unorganized" criticism before the protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park. Any future protests will have to take a different tack in order to garner not only respect, but the "fear and awe" that may be necessary in the face of crushing, Scrooge-like meanness from the Right and "sorry, but we need to throw you under the bus" attitude from the Left.

Stay tuned, and if anyone from the White House happens to be reading this, I am available for astrological consultation via Skype.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Winter Solstice, Charlie Brown...Oh, Good Grief, Venus Just Turned Retrograde!

Astrology maintains that there is no such thing as "coincidence"...it's more like synchronicity. Astrology is far more of an art than a science...yes, the science exists (astrologers use the exact same ephemeris as astronomers to check planets' positions; the key difference is that astronomers discard the meaning of each zodiac sign), but to attempt to understand the meaning of various changes that come on the heels of each other is to involve, and invoke, the same mind-set as poetry and intuition.

The Winter Solstice occurred today at 12:11 p.m. ET,, when the Sun entered Capricorn. The holiday lights and the sociable celebrations to combat the long, cold nights are peaking -- and at this moment, the birth of winter, summer is also born, for even as the cold strengthens, the days will slowly begin to lengthen. This neatly illustrates a basic lesson of astrology: every sign, and therefore every season, contains a drop of its opposite. Just visualize the yin yang symbol.

Less than five hours after the Solstice, Venus turned retrograde at the end of Capricorn (28 degrees and 59 minutes, to be exact). Venus will remain retrograde till January 31. Venus retrograde will strongly affect love, art (especially the established, validated sort that hangs in museums and can be auctioned off for millions of dollars), beauty, and finances. There may be second thoughts, delays, low energy, and downright problems in all of these areas. We will also revisit issues concerning love, money, and/or art dating from yesterday all the way back to November 21, though these issues may not be resolved in full till February or early March. The three biggest emotional dangers of Venus retrograde in Capricorn are depression, coldheartedness, and putting up unnecessary walls. However, when Venus backs over Mercury on January 7, this could result in an icebreaker in terms of communication -- and on January 11, when Venus backs over the Sun, perhaps things will thaw out even more.

As Capricorn is the sign of government, I am hoping (though not hopeful) that Venus retrograde in Capricorn will undo the mean-spirited message to the long-term unemployed (cutting off EUC benefits just a few days after Christmas is pretty Scrooge-like) and not do further damage to the ACA rollout (enrollment numbers are up, but these last-minute exceptions and changes just keep coming, resulting in much confusion and frustration). Meanwhile, the Fed plans to scale back the stimulus by $10 billion, even though that austerity thing hasn't worked out too well in other countries.

In short, Venus retrograde in Capricorn serves as a challenge to us all not to close our hearts or our wallets, not to be (un)comfortably numb or "penny wise, pound foolish."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Update from Triskaidekaphile Central

This post goes out to all of you lovelies and uglies who have thus far managed to evade a silent killer in a hockey mask...but there are still twenty-three minutes left of Friday the 13th, so don't relax just yet!

When you meet the Buddha on the road, you are supposed to kill him. But what to do when you meet Mars in Libra? However you decide to react, you have to recognize him. Mars will be in Libra for what may feel like forever, because it turns retrograde on March 1, 2014, and will not exit Libra till July 26. In the past week alone I have seen (and heard) a few very apropros emissaries of this challenging placement:

* a male burlesque performer
* Woody Allen aping Blanche DuBois and Diane Keaton aping Marlon Brando playing Stanley Kowalksi in Sleeper
* the voice-over at the beginning of Alice's Restaurant (the film, not the song): sounds like a man at the army induction center, but turns out to be a woman; a few scenes later, there is a voice-over that sounds like a woman dean, but turns out to be a man
* a Congress that decided to throw the long-term unemployed under a bus and not pass the Farm Bill

And this all happened on a waxing Moon and the Jupiter-Saturn trine -- the ultimate balancing act between expansion and contraction, optimism and pessimism, luck and hard work, hope and despair. I shudder to envision how Mars in Libra will behave (or misbehave) when it plays into the Uranus-Pluto square next year. T-squares can bring incredible tension. Especially in cardinal signs, much tension will need to be released. The "missing leg," the sign where this energy can be funneled, is Cancer: home, family, security, emotions. All will undergo major upheaval in the next several months, and if you happen to be a Cancer (like yours truly and the United States) or have important planets in Cancer, get ready for your world to be rocked -- or to rock the world.

Last time Mars turned retrograde was in early 2012, in the sign of Virgo: work, health, service, pragmatism got bogged down for many of us. I am dearly hoping that Mars in Libra (both direct and retrograde) will be positive for unconventional relationships (think role reversal, if not literally cross dressing). Mars is not often thought of as a healer, as its energy is aggressive, even impulsive -- yet Mars is also the surgeon, capable of cutting away diseased flesh in order to save the rest of the organism. Mars in Libra is in its detriment, meaning that it is not comfortably placed in this sign -- yet at its best, I believe Mars in Libra can indicate important healing work in relationships.

It is already happening in my world. If a Sir Tin Pie Seas is reading this post: I'm crossing the bridge and thinking of you, I'm sailing right behind, and I'm still next to you on that bus gazing at the snow.