Tuesday, November 8, 2016
THE SECOND COMING Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? --William Butler Yeats (1919) Dear readers, I plead guilty to the sin of procrastination. Yes, I have been run down, burned-out, too engaged in my paying work and with my drama-filled life, but I still feel obligated to try to make some sense of this crazy-ass election cycle...not so much to predict who will win the U.S. presidency today, or to reiterate what many of you might have already read about Mars being in the last degree of Capricorn on Election Day, and how the Moon will change signs from Aquarius to Pisces. Instead, I want to explore the U.S. natal chart and its progressions, transits, and its next Lunar Return (which happens today, 12:44 p.m. EST). When I gaze a little ways down the cosmic road, I do not like much of what I see for America. Over and over again on this site, I discussed the Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15 and the more recent Saturn-Neptune square of 2015-16. I still believe these ridiculously horrendous aspects, operating on a mass level because they involved the outer planets, were what made this ridiculously horrendous election cycle possible. What I somehow missed was that transiting Pluto opposed U.S. Sun throughout 2015 (a classic power-tripping aspect that also points to nefarious underground, illicit activity). This opposition was heightened by the fact that U.S. 1st and 7th Houses were involved, lending a highly polarized "you vs. me" flavor. Pluto has been transiting U.S. 1st House since December 2000; it was conjunct U.S. Ascendant on the heels of 9/11, with transiting Saturn opposing it in Gemini, the sign of the twins (or twin towers). It is safe to say that for the past decade and a half, America has been going through a classic Pluto-transiting-1st-House identity crisis. Pluto does transform -- but not always for the better. Pluto first entered U.S. 2nd House in March of this year and will go back into the 2nd House for good in the first week of January 2017. So right now, we are at the tail end of this particular chapter of U.S. history, of Pluto transiting the 1st House. And in so many ways, America has become unrecognizable...not just in its appearance (downside: obese; upside: increased acceptance of transgendered individuals; downside: crumbling infrastructure and chain-store-ification; upside: more underground/alternative scenes) but in a deep-rooted sense that is not at all visible yet still palpable on a psychic level. Aside from blossoming shamanistic healers, the vibe has been dark, menacing, hostile, morbid, nihilistic. In other words, Plutonian. Transiting Uranus has also been making plenty of noise in the U.S. chart. As Pluto slips into the U.S. 2nd House, Uranus remains in the angular 4th House and will continue to square U.S. Mercury, as it did in the summer of 2016, till April 2017. Interestingly, Uranus comes within a hair's breadth of squaring U.S. Mercury again at the very beginning of 2018, but turns direct just before the exact aspect. Given the signs and Houses involved (Aries/Cancer, 4th House to 8th), I suspect that we will narrowly avert a disaster of potentially apocalyptic proportions right around New Year's Day 2018. However, we may not be so lucky on that front this coming April. That does not mean I am predicting THE apocalypse when spring comes, but it suggests homegrown terrorism and/or Civil War II. The climate is very ripe for such brutal, intransigent tragedy, the likes of which we have not experienced in America since the 1860s. Even if we all breathe a collective sigh of relief in January 2018, transiting Uranus will have been squaring U.S. Pluto (June and September 2017) and will not finish doing so till April 2018. So basically, Uranus has been, and will continue, triggering America's natal Mercury-Pluto opposition: one of America's worst aspects. (The other one is the Mars-Neptune square, which will soon be triggered by transiting Saturn in Sagittarius.) Uranus is genius but also insanity; Uranus is a rebel with a cause; Uranus is a lightning bolt that could zap America's collective brain, forcing some of us to wake up while encouraging others of us to succumb to violent paranoia and scratch an itchy trigger finger. No matter who wins the U.S. election, I see the potential for mass deception, depression, and imprisonment, as transiting Neptune continues to conjunct U.S. progressed Sun in Pisces until spring 2018. (The conjunction began this past spring.) On the upside, I also see some wonderful movies, literature, dance, and other art forms being created and released -- though some of the art could well be banned or suppressed if it lacks the necessary propaganda and "spin." Another positive manifestation of this very strong Pisces conjunction could be increased medical or recreational legalization of marijuana in America. As you are probably aware, the issue of marijuana reform is on the ballot today for nine states. If all the measures pass, that would make almost a quarter of the U.S. population (not a quarter of the actual states) eligible to indulge in recreational pot use. I see an influx of immigrants with U.S. progressed Moon in Sagittarius entering U.S. 1st House at the dawn of spring 2017, but also a wave of people emigrating due to religious or philosophical differences. More worrisome is the fact that U.S. progressed Moon exactly opposes U.S. Uranus in Gemini just two weeks after Election Day. Emotions will be running high and not at all rationally; at the risk of repeating myself, another read of this opposition is Civil War II. At the very least, some quarters will be experiencing a meltdown or nervous breakdown of epic proportions. I implore those of you who can vote in the U.S. election to do so. Yes, the upcoming aspects are deeply troubling and downright alarming, no matter which candidate wins; but I am not saying that it does not make a difference who wins...far from it. It is also crucial that the Democratic Party regain the Senate. One cause I have for optimism is that the U.S. Lunar Return features the Sun and Mercury at the Midheaven in Scorpio, and Hillary Clinton is a Scorpio. Capricorn is Rising in the Lunar Return, with Mars close to the Ascendant and U.S. Mercury exactly conjunct the 7th House Cusp. This suggests that women voters will be particularly important, but that some poll centers will be a very unpleasant experience, with or without police presence. What my study of transiting aspects indicates is that no matter which candidate wins, the hatred, extremism, racism, sexism, greed, and xenophobia that have moved from the lunatic fringe to the alt-right (which I refer to as alt-control-delete, since that better describes their agenda) will not magically vanish in a puff of acrid smoke if Hillary Clinton wins America's next presidency. There are simply too many of them to discount, and not all of them are uneducated and poor, either. It is conceivable that the inconceivable could happen; consider how British voters did not come to their senses earlier this year, resulting in "Brexit." According to Bill Maher, this election is a referendum on decency. I would go even further and say it is a referendum on evil. Unfortunately, as Yeats put it so well nearly 100 years ago, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity." It would be pretty swell if those of us who aspire to be our best selves (human beings who, for example, do not grab the best piece of cake and put barbed-wire fence around the rest) dare to be passionately intense, intensely passionate. Now is the time for those of us who are compassionate and curious to stop numbing ourselves out with various panaceas, pharmaceuticals, and passivity. It will hurt, because Uranus and Pluto squares and oppositions don't tickle. Nor would another Civil War tickle. But the alternative is allow ourselves to believe that the rise of the alt-control-delete movement in America is the new normal, to sleepwalk into the 21st-century version of the Third Reich.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Fallout from the Uranus-Pluto Square and Saturn-Neptune Square: I Am Ready to Blow a Gasket over the Damn Election
I'm back after a three-month hiatus...has anyone missed my misanthropic, profane astrobabble? It's just been too damned depressing to post lately. Everything out of everyone's mouths has been about the US election. I know how crucial it is, believe me. I am just sick of it, all of it. The Saturn-Neptune square may finally be over, but this aspect of collective mental illness (specifically, insanity) continues to reverberate, especially when planets in mutable signs (i.e., Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) trigger Saturn and Neptune. But on a Sun-Pluto square, a stressful power-tripper of an aspect, the pain has gotten so intense that I have got to get on my virtual soapbox. You've been warned. If you want to read your Sun Sign horoscope or learn what color lipstick you should wear according to your Venus sign, please go to another astrology site -- at least for today. (Deep breath, long exhale.) I figured that the greatest danger of a dictator/demagogue's being elected US president was four years ago, at the dawn of the Uranus-Pluto square (2012-15). After all, look at what happened in Germany during the last Uranus-Pluto square (1931-35). However, although Mitt Romney is many mean, nasty, horrible things, he's not quite a Hitler type. And Obama held on to the presidency, the economy officially took a turn for the better, the Affordable Health Care Act took hold (at least in most states), and the world did not come to an end, as the doomsday crowd fond of taking the Mayan calendar out of context kept predicting. Not that everything was roses and sunshine. Examples of the cruelty, brutality, fanaticism, and poor impulse control that define a Uranus-Pluto square included Syria, the Ukraine, the rise of ISIS, and Edward Snowden (who might have been a real hero had he only exposed the US government's Big Brother surveillance on its citizens instead of also revealing the secret-sauce technology that kept tabs on terrorist activity). Still, it came as a surprise to me that it was not until this election cycle got under way, with the Uranus-Pluto square finally in our rear-view window, that the next Hitler emerged from the shadows, on our very shores. Think I'm exaggerating? Here is a quote from a new book by Volker Ullrick, Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939: "Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners ... He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds' fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order." High-ranking officials around the world refused to take Hitler seriously, calling him a "clown." Remind you of anyone? The Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15 was what made possible the extreme disenchantment, and extremism in general, that defines a sizeable and still-growing percentage of voting-age Americans. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and some of the concerns and criticisms of even the most bigoted, hateful members of our citizenry are valid. For example, with all the employment numbers pointing up, how many unemployed, working-age people are no longer even counted because they no longer receive unemployment benefits? What kinds of jobs are being created? Why is the term "working poor" part of the "new normal"? How does minuscule gains in income truly help a person get a leg over the runaway cost of living? And what good is "Obamacare" if you can't really use it, due to a ridiculously narrow provider network and sky-high deductible? Under the Uranus-Pluto square, growing numbers of fed-up people became less interested in trying to fix The System, The Powers That Be, Politics, etc. and more enthusiastic about the prospect of just blowing the whole thing up, even if they did not survive the fallout from the explosion. Not surprisingly, another signature of the Uranus-Pluto square is nihilism. Throw in the delusional, downright idiotic nature of the Saturn-Neptune square, which began on Thanksgiving 2015 and lasted till September 10 of this year, and it is frighteningly obvious that the collective has reached a new low. And the US media cannot wash its grimy hands of the phenomenon of DT (short for "distemper" or "delirium tremors"), for the media gladly gave him tons of free publicity while pointedly marginalizing Bernie Sanders, a true public servant, as a cranky, eccentric grampa -- and a horse-race election always brings in more subscribers and money than a shutout. I was plenty nervous about the election of 2000, with Mercury stationing retrograde on that Election Day. I am plenty nervous about this one, as well -- not only will the Moon be changing signs, so early returns may not reflect the ultimate reality, but the Moon itself will end up in Pisces, a sign that calls reality itself into question. Mars will be in the last degree of Capricorn, just past US Pluto; in the days leading up to the election, this may not manifest in literal assassination, but character assassination. Authority in general, and government in particular, is ruled by the sign Capricorn. As a cardinal earth sign, Capricorn will fight to hold its ground so it can ascend, but Mars is not known to be gentle and reasonable. I hope I will be proved wrong in my fear that even if the much, much, much lesser of two evils wins, and even if it is by a landslide (a possible read of Mars on the cusp of Aquarius), and the US Supreme Court is saved from turning into the next Third Reich, this will not be a sweet victory by any means -- just a four-year breather until a smarter, saner demagogue appears on the political scene.
Monday, July 18, 2016
I was out of town, with my sweetie, at an arts and music festival in Maryland over the long Fourth of July weekend. After a bumpy start, it turned out to be a great time. There was plenty of reconnecting as well as some interesting new connections. Then we came home. It was America's 240th birthday, with my own birthday just 9 days away. And it seemed the news for the following week, and then the week after that, was all bad -- not just for the U.S., but all over the world. It felt overwhelming. I wished I were back at the festival and felt sad that I hadn't heard about another regional "burn," which happened this past weekend, until it was too late to plan on going. For an introvert and semi-misanthropist like me, wishing I were back surrounded by people who look like characters in a Fellini film -- plus nonstop techno music, light shows, and other festival refinements -- says quite a bit about the validity of progressed astrology. Last month my progressed Moon entered my 11th House and conjuncted my natal Mercury, the ruler of my chart. Now with Moon progressed in the final degree of Cancer, I feel at the end of a 2.5-year winding underwater road, needing to come up for air and breathe in the fiery warmth of Leo. Needing change for the better. After about three years of being emotionally wrapped up in Making It (a 10th-House specialty), I am beginning to focus on other people and group activities. It's in my natal chart to be sure (a heavily aspected Mars-Mercury conjunction in late Cancer across the 11th-House cusp) but with a 12th-House Venus in Virgo, as well as Pluto exactly conjunct the Ascendant in Virgo, I need a lot more downtime than the average 11th-House / Aquarius / Uranian type. My Solar Return and the U.S. Solar Return both contain rising planets, but to much different effect: I have the Moon Rising at 28 degrees of Libra, with 29 degrees of Libra Rising, which I read as domestic and relationship friction involving my current progressed Moon, since it forms a square to it. I also see more surface vanity, which in my case may actually be a good thing, since it may finally motivate me to lose weight and do something about my rapidly graying hair other than a quick fix of fuschia highlights that washed out after barely a week. The U.S. has Saturn Retrograde Rising in Sagittarius, with the Sun, Moon, and Venus in the 8th-House of death, transformation, taxes, and other people's resources. I refuse to predict at this juncture who will win the presidential election, but especially with the Sun closely opposing Pluto, there will be much school for scandal. Saturn Rising in a Retrograde position suggests that several harsh lessons will need to learned involving the law and religion. The self-identity of the US is definitely under strain and will need to be stripped away to its essence -- no mere face-lift will do the job. Remember, we are still in the Saturn-Neptune square, and with Neptune in the 3rd House of U.S. Solar Return, there will be a challenge to think and communicate creatively, not just rationalize, deny, and lie. Stay tuned, I will try to be better about updating even if the news does not improve.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
It finally makes sense now. I'm not only talking about this week's carnage in Orlando (where not only was there a massacre at a gay nightclub but a murder of a pop star and a deadly alligator attack) and, across the Atlantic, the fatal stabbing of a British politician. I'm talking about me, yet again, trying to figure out why June hasn't been heaven with whipped cream on top with Neptune at 12 Pisces trining my natal Moon at 12 Scorpio all month while my progressed Moon at 28 Cancer is trining my Natal Neptune at 28 Scorpio and about to conjunct my natal Mercury -- the ruler of my chart, though my Rising Pluto sure does a lot of throne-hogging. To be sure, Mars is still retrograde in Scorpio, a classic example of a time when bullies prevail. But the low energy, the constant minor yet annoying and debilitating health ailments, the time squeeze -- even the unexpectedly extreme savaging of my writing at the hands of two so-called experts -- all go far beyond Mars retrograde. Finally, I figured it out: Saturn and Neptune have been squaring each other for the second time all month. Since Saturn is retrograde and Neptune just turned retrograde, the square will be in effect for a few weeks past the exact square on June 17. In many ways, Saturn and Neptune have as little in common with each other as the more obvious polarity of Saturn and Jupiter (interestingly, until Neptune was discovered Jupiter was the ruling planet of Pisces as well as Sagittarius). Saturn is all about structure, boundaries, rules, discipline; Neptune's waves dissolve all of those things. I'd imagine that in a flowing aspect such as a trine or sextile, Saturn and Neptune can join forces to scale the heights while plumbing the depths, with Saturn's ironclad discipline and Neptune's creative vision. I actually remember the Saturn-Neptune trine c. 1978; I might have been only eight years old, but damn, was I on fire in a good way. I also remember the far more recent Saturn-Neptune trine of 2013, as well; again, it was a very creative, relatively stable time. The square? Forget about it. Squares don't know how to do anything but fight. And unlike an opposition, which at least involves harmonious elements if not signs, there is no chance at satisfactory compromise. Even if there is a "winner," it comes at a huge cost (morals 'n' ethics, not just money). The Saturn-Neptune square is akin to the Titanic after hitting the icebergs. The ship is sinking, and someone is rearranging deck chairs. Although the Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15 had astrologers all over the world hyperventilating, it seems the so-called Quiet One is wreaking just as much havoc. This is such an extreme time in all areas of life, and it shows no signs of letting up. (The third square, by the way, occurs in September, so we really don't get much of a reprieve this summer.) I "get it," and I also get that the current progressed and transiting trines in my chart, while not manifesting in joy, inspiration, or achievement, are softening the harsh blow of the Saturn-Neptune square at least somewhat. I may not feel well, I may feel misunderstood and undervalued, but at least I am alive, there is some love in my life, and have a few things to look forward to. In other words, I am remembering to be grateful for what I have, and realizing that it could be far, far worse.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Hello to all you Dear Astrologically Inclined Readers who might be wondering where on earth I disappeared to since my last post of 3/31. It's been a very strange, at times surreal, past several weeks. I never would have predicted that my progressed Moon at 26 degrees of Cancer square my natal Jupiter at 26 degrees of Libra in late April would manifest in my learning that along with over 3,000 seemingly random fellow Nu Yawkers, I was on a "hit list" posted to the encrypted messaging app Telegram by the United Cyber Caliphate, a little-known hacker group with ties to ISIS. Officials are reportedly not too troubled about this list, as the group is apparently poorly organized and Small Potatoesville, yet the local FBI has been contacting every name on that list (which disappeared very quickly). The day before Mercury turned Retrograde (which was 4/28 in case you didn't know), I received a "there's nothing to worry about, but please call us back" voicemail from an agent. I thought it was some sort of prank or scam -- I also wondered if anyone I knew on the poetry-performance circuit had flipped out, since the message was left for "T.C." (my nom de plume and so-called stage name). However, the agent I spoke with turned out to be very real indeed. She was very nice, in fact, and had no advice for me other than to go about my business and let her know if I notice any suspicious activity, at least as pertains to me. I guess I'm not that paranoid or fearful a person, because I have been pretty much going about my business as usual. Since I lived in Manhattan's East Village when Avenues A, B, C, and D meant Avenues Aware, Beware, Caution, and Danger, I am generally alert when I'm out in the field. Perhaps the progressed Moon also going over my natal Mars earlier this month also helped keep me brave, though the exact conjunction also manifested in yet another bout of crappy health (bad cold plus a fever). It was not even till last week that I bothered to do a little sleuthing via Google and came up with a likely reason why I made the list: last November, shortly before the first Saturn-Neptune square, I posted a little astrological essay entitled "Ash vs ISIS." As I reread it, I was honestly impressed that I'd written it. If I truly had my knickers in a twist, I would have taken down the post, and I certainly would not be throwing another metaphoric log on the fire by sharing this information. But as long as there is still freedom of speech in the United States of America, I refuse to shut up. That is exactly what terrorists of all stripes want: for relatively innocent people to be scared little sheeple. In certain respects, e.g., post-9/11 air travel in the U.S., the terrorists have won. Security Above All! (Even if many security measures are acknowledged to be mere Band-Aids on a festering, gangrenous wound.) I am sure that more hit lists comprised of names of random civilians will be posted and then yanked before the lists can be traced to specific sickos, all in the name of fear-mongering. Screw that! Tough talk, huh, Dear Readers? Especially coming from a Water-element individual who is too damn sensitive for this hardwood world (though the sensitivity often comes across as sheer Cancerian crabbiness). Especially coming from an astrologer who knows that while progressed Lunar aspects pass quickly (albeit sometimes with long-lasting aftereffects), other aspects do not. I can't say that I am looking forward to Uranus squaring my Sun another two times within the next several months, nor Pluto opposing my Cancer stellium a little ways down the road. I do not practice astrology in order to predict anyone's death, including my own; not only would that be morbid, any halfway professional astrologer understands that even the most fearsome of aspects can manifest in ways other than death (or severe illness or injury). Apparently Yoko Ono's astrologer predicted that 1981 would be a very good year for John Lennon, who wound up being assassinated in December 1980. To quote another rock legend and member of the so-called 27 Club, "No one here gets out alive." Since none of us can know for sure how much time we have, it is our responsibility to truly live. Easier said than done -- God only knows I haven't always been able to put that philosophy into practice. But if you can't even say it, you don't stand much of a chance of doing it, either.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
I've been too down in the dumps to post for the past few weeks. The Jupiter-Saturn square, exact last Wednesday, was as shitty as any half-assed astrologer could have predicted: terrorist attacks in Brussels and Pakistan; Donald Trump still hasn't been gonged off The Gong Show. I have not even been keeping track of my own transit-to-natal aspects (though I'm well aware of my progressed Moon in late Cancer, as it affects so many of my natal planets), but I finally determined that transiting Uranus will exactly square my natal Sun in just over two weeks -- on Tax Day. That means I am well within the two-month orb most astrologers would give to such an important, stressful aspect. Well, that sure explains a lot: my nerves, which are even more high-strung than usual; my health, which has fluctuated between so-so and horrible since early February (Uranus rules my 6th-house cusp); my chafing and champing at the bit, feeling in a rut and Kept Down by the Man (and all that implies); and my impatience, which has already reached the boiling point and is about to spill over. I'm in full-on Crisis Mode. I want to relax and I crave sleep, but I am having nightmares that are even more scary than usual. How does this sound for Uranus about to square my Sun: I recently dreamed that it was the aftermath of the world blowing up; four people, including myself, were hurtling through pitch-black outer space, holding on to shards of the exploded planet Earth, headed straight for the sun, which was not even in our galaxy. I did not know who the three other people were. We were close enough to one another to shout things back and forth, but nothing significant was said other that we were all going to die. The sun loomed like a vat of red lava. I may not acquire many new astrology clients by admitting that I am extremely frustrated and unhappy with my life on just about every level, but it's the truth. I wonder if the anger that I am constantly feeling is keeping me alive or if it's part of what's weighing me down. Both ifs might be true. Apparently, if I make any major decisions during this aspect, I will sorely regret them. And yet paralysis is a form of death. Contrary to what you might expect of a canny, intuitive astrologer with Pluto Rising and a Scorpio Moon, I have made a lot of bad decisions in my life. I can advise others pretty well, but this gift does not seem to include giving myself good advice. Unfunnily enough, I often know when I am making a decision that it is not going to end well. But there are times in a person's life when keeping things status quo is not an option. There are times when a person has to make a decisive move, even if it is one of those lose-lose "lesser of two evils" options. As peeved as I am with nearly everyone and everything that is keeping me down, I am most angry with myself for not managing to pull off the whole autonomy trip, the way any intelligent, self-respecting woman living in a first-world country in the twenty-first century is supposed to do. Very soon after the square passes, Uranus will enter my 8th house. Uranus will then retrograde and square my Sun a second time in early December. I haven't checked the date of the third pass, but it will obviously occur sometime in 2017. All this by way of saying that the fun has just begun. I hope I will survive this square. The last time Uranus squared my Sun I was three years old, and I made it out alive, but back then my main concerns were Sesame Street, Play-Doh, and Colorforms. Life isn't quite as simple these days. More's the pity.
Monday, March 7, 2016
I never in a million years thought I'd be defending the recently deceased former First Lady, but in light of four score and many more cruel comments concerning Nancy "Just Say No" Reagan's obituary in the New York Times (this publication is getting tackier all the time: first they bow and scrape before Queen Hillary while marginalizing my homeboy Bernie, now they're opening up an obit to reader comments), I've gotta say it: consulting with an astrologer proves that Nancy Reagan probably did at least one thing right. I say "probably" because I really don't know whether or not Joan Quigley (who died in 2014) was a good astrologer. I'm guessing she didn't entirely suck if Nancy Reagan kept consulting her. It just makes my blood boil that so many people commenting on Nancy Reagan's obit believe that hiring an astrologer is on a par with Nancy's solving America's Growing Drug Problem by telling us all to "Just Say No"; with having a Hollywood background yet willfully ignoring the AIDS crisis for years, even when it socked family friend Rock Hudson; for covering for St. Ronnie's escalating dementia while he was still in office; for graciously helping to usher in the "Greed is good" era, which widened the gap between the have-everythings and the have-nots and turned the proletariat condiment ketchup (as opposed to the yuppified Dijon mustard) into a vegetable. There is a difference between using astrology as a crutch and using it as a road map. It's not a good thing if I excuse my bad behavior by saying, "I have a Scorpio Moon and a Mars-Jupiter square, so I can't help it." The whole point of studying your natal chart is to become super conscious of all your aspects, but especially your crappy ones, so that you can try to rise above them. However, it can save a lot of time, money, and/or aggravation by deciding to avoid traveling, partying, signing a contract, or sitting down to have a nice, rational discussion under a Mercury-Mars square (see my last post). I know this because once upon a time, when I first got into astrology, I refused to schedule my life around planetary aspects. Of course, sometimes you have to sign that contract, take that exam, head out on the highway, get loaded, or try to hash out a sensitive issue with your sweetie, best friend, or boss. Of course you can't always put off something or someone till the aspects improve; life can be very time-sensitive. But sometimes you can delay (or -- horrors! -- Just Say No), and that is what I learned when I kept damning the torpedoes when I didn't have to. So as much as I disapproved of Nancy Reagan when she was First Lady during so-called Morning in America, I cannot on principle object to her consulting an astrologer on a regular basis.
Friday, March 4, 2016
...or maybe they are mine, since it shouldn't matter that I don't know any of the characters who populated this morning's string of nightmares (a wheelchair-bound man whose legs were eventually amputated; a strange family of Australians who only sang, never spoke; a gang of frat boys pigging out at a hotel's breakfast buffet, leaving no food for anyone else). For one thing, I am a writer who constantly conjures up strange characters; for another, as anyone who's ever made even a cursory study of dream interpretation knows, so-called strangers in dreams can symbolize the dreamer. In which case, I really should worry. Yes, my assorted astrologically inclined ruffians and fops, we're just about midway through the annual swim through Pisces, and the seas have been rough thus far. The Sun-Neptune conjunction in Pisces last weekend was utterly wasted on me, since I was too low-energy after the flu to be creative; instead I became obsessed with finding the box containing my framed photographs that I could contribute to my sweetie's imminent "Wall of Fame." (Okay, photographs are certainly Pisces, and my sweetie also happens to be a Pisces). Turns out my framed photos were scattered throughout a few boxes, and many of the frames are not designed for hanging, just propping. But no problemo: once I regain my energy, which should happen any month now, I can buy some frames with hooks at my no-longer-so-local 99-cent-&-up store. Before returning to Piscean issues, I must say that I am disappointed in Mars in the fellow water sign of Scorpio--although to be fair, it more than earned its keep from early January till just after the Sun-Mars square in early February; I got an exciting opportunity as the Sunday Brunch Astrologer at class-act old-school French restaurant Raoul's in Soho. (It's a temporary gig, just through May until the regular Sunday Brunch reader returns from her maternity leave...but everything is temporary, is it not?) But then I got the flu, with Sun squaring my Saturn and Mars opposing it, as well I got more freelance projects than I could handle, and my life was pretty much reduced to three things: Medicine, Work, and Sleep. Whereas I used to require maybe 7 hours of sleep in order to function reasonably well, I now need at least 10. Mars at the Scorpion's tail end will not go gently into that good night before visiting Sagittarius for a few months (yes, Mars will retrograde back into Scorpio in late May, and stay there till early August). This is because we are coming up on a Mercury-Mars square (exact 12:43 a.m. EST) at 29 degrees of Aquarius and Scorpio, respectively. Although it's not likely there will be much respect going on under this square. If at all possible, avoid getting into any arguments; they could turn ugly, even violent. This may mean having to avoid people in general for the rest of the day and evening. Even good friends may have a bad falling-out -- hell, especially good friends. That also goes for lovers, frenemies, coworkers, siblings, neighbors, and the random guy standing behind you at the bodega about to go postal because they're out of his preferred flavor of Fanta. Get the picture? If you can't really hide out or avoid hanging out, it might be a wise idea to hit your inner Mute button -- though if you can still hear, you may get incensed enough to flush that wisdom down the toilet. Back to the Sun in Pisces. This weekend features an icky Sun-Saturn square (exact Sunday 3/6, 1:04 a.m. EST, i.e., Saturday night for many of us) and a potentially much better Sun-Pluto sextile (exact 3/6, 11:36 p.m.). This particular Sun-Saturn square from Pisces to Sagittarius highlights all sorts of conflicts: spiritual, religious, moral, family, career. I daresay it will be an "interesting" (i.e., scandalous and nausea-inducing) weekend in the continuing ridiculousness that is the U.S. election cycle. Especially if you have planets in middle degrees of mutable signs (Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo), the Sun-Saturn square may feel like a crucifixion. I am hoping that the Sun-Pluto sextile 10 hours later will provide the opportunity for a resurrection, for both body and soul. Stay tuned for my Solar Eclipse in Pisces forecast!
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Friday, February 5, 2016
One of my favorite sayings in astrology is that planets are more powerful than signs. This is because the signs themselves are mere zones in the sky, a cosmic backdrop or wallpaper if you will, while the planets represent specific modes of energy. Any sign of the zodiac needs a planet passing through it to make that sign's energy come alive, to give form to that particular sign's expression, for better or worse. However, I am not saying that signs have no importance to the planets passing through them. In cases where a planet is placed in a sign's rulership (e.g., Moon in Cancer), the energy can be likened to an ice cream sundae with all the fixings as opposed to a single, unadorned scoop. Conversely, if a planet is placed in a sign's detriment or fall (e.g., Mars in Libra), the energy can feel out of step or downright disconnected (in the case of Mars in Libra, the planet's MO is to take direct, aggressive action, whereas the sign can never make up its mind and desires above all else to collaborate and compromise). Yet particularly when considering a planet placed in a sign that is peregrine (i.e., neither helpful nor harmful for that planet's expression), it is very important to check if there are any aspects being made. And so we now come to a potential powerhouse of two peregrine planets approaching a conjunction in the sign of Capricorn, exact at 8:12 p.m. EST: Venus and Pluto. Love? Sex? Is there a difference? When Venus is conjunct Pluto, it's gotta be both, and to the max. Romantic feelings must meld with hot action. Right now, having a special feeling in your heart just ain't enough, and neither is merely getting off. Never mind that this conjunction is placed in Capricorn, a sign whose reserve and repression often gets in the way of its earthy sensuality; in this instance, Venus in icy Capricorn melts in the passionate, life-and-death, no-half-measures crucible that is Pluto. You are either feeling more seductive and magnetic right now, plotting to ensnare someone in your sticky web of love and lust, or you are about to be clubbed over the head and hauled off to someone's cave. On the downside, if you are mentally or emotionally unbalanced, this conjunction can manifest in obsessive, overly possessive, stalker-type behavior that could end very badly. Even if you're definitely not interested in partaking of the agony and the ecstasy of love and sex at this time, if you are an artist, the Venus-Pluto conjunction should inspire great depth and drama to your particular mode of creative expression. With the Moon in Capricorn crossing over Venus and Pluto between 1 and 1:30 a.m., this intense-with-a-capital-I conjunction will have staying power and sustained reverberation for a good five hours past the exact aspect. In other words, this ain't no quickie. Since the Moon does concern the home, as well as females, do not be surprised if under this aspect your home turns into a hotbed of sexy earth-meets-underworld goddess territory. Now, are you ready to howl at the moon?
Monday, January 25, 2016
It's the moment you've been waiting for since January 5th: Mercury turning direct. Whenever Mercury stations direct (or retrograde) very close to another planet, that other planet will offer the key to our thoughts and our communications for a week or so. In this case, the planet tied up with Mercury's stationing direct is my personal favorite: Pluto. In the wee hours of last Friday 1/22, Mercury backed over Pluto, and a tremendous blizzard that broke many local records slowly made its way up the Mid-Atlantic states and into New England. Since it was a weekend, many (though by no means all) individuals were able to stay home and kick back -- a great thing to do with Mercury Stationary, when time seems to slow down and reflection is important. Mercury will cross over Pluto again on Saturday 1/30, so there may be another snowstorm (though probably not as slow-moving and extreme as last weekend's). As for interior weather, many a mystery will be solved. As Mercury is a neutral planet, neither overtly masculine nor feminine, it takes on the color and tone of the planet it is conjunct, and since Pluto is the ultimate spy of our solar system, don't be surprised if you uncover a huge secret -- or if you have one of your own secrets blown. When feeling vengeful, Pluto will hit below the belt and abuse its considerable power; a Mercury-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn could create not only a snowstorm, but a perfect storm for scandal. Politicians, bankster bigwigs, CEOs, and famous people in general will be especially vulnerable, but even if you're Mr. or Ms. Nobody from Nowhere, if your hands aren't completely clean, watch out -- you will be called out. With the Moon in Scorpio next weekend, the fallout from the Mercury-Pluto conjunction may very well involve the revealing of "sexcapades," embezzlement, abuse, and murder. If you find yourself falsely accused or under obvious suspicion this week, try not to fall into the trap of "Well, if that's what you think of me, I might as well go ahead and do it." You may have more short-term fun, but in the long run, not so much. Other Mercury-Pluto conjunction activities include having breakthroughs in psychotherapy; reading and writing mysteries, crime novels, and erotica; masturbating; purging yourself of possessions that have lost their meaning to you; obsessing; breaking bad habits; changing your routine in a way that is profound though not necessarily visible; having a meaningful interaction with a sibling or neighbor; coming to terms with a death or loss; channeling your inner shaman; being able to concentrate on something with great intensity and insight; experiencing clairaudience; communicating with the dead. In the hands of a dangerous person with too much power at his or her disposal, a Mercury-Pluto conjunction can be a literal or figurative nuclear weapon. In the hands of a super-loving, super-conscious person, this aspect can be used as a highly effective tool for healing. Most of us stand somewhere between these two extremes, but it does help to know where exactly you stand, and to move your ass if you don't feel right about your location.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Good evening, my astro-curious lovelies. Once in a blue moon or so, I dispense with my seriousness regarding astrology in favor of something lighter...in the form of sun-sign astrology. This is one of those times. You may well find a grain of truth in this post, but I also advise you to take it with several grains of salt (unless you know your Moon and Rising signs, and can therefore read those descriptions as well for a more accurate reading). You live in one of the Mid-Atlantic states, and a Nor'easter blizzard's a-comin'. However, your reaction to the impending "snowpocalypse" will vary depending on your sign. Aries: Bring that sucker on, baby! I'm gonna take out my SUV or motorcycle out onto the zero-visibility roads and race against myself. Taurus: Let's stay inside all weekend and bake brownies and pies. And eat them. Gemini: After I check in on my neighbors and siblings, I'm going to text/call everyone I know, plus update my Facebook status every hour and post selfies of me making snow angels. Cancer: Get out of my way, I have to run to the supermarket in total panic mode and buy up all the milk, eggs, and bread. Leo: Party! Virgo: This will give me a great opportunity to catch up on some paperwork and also organize my linen closet. Libra: Snowstorms are so romantic when you have someone special to hunker down with. If I don't have a special someone, I have a few hours to find him/her. Scorpio: Snowstorms are so sexy when you can stay in bed and fuck all day and all night, lather, rinse, and repeat. Sagittarius: Now that my flight to Aruba's been canceled, guess I'll Skype with all of my friends in different time zones, start reading that book I got as a holiday present last month, and register for a philosophy, religion, or foreign language course. Oh, and go snowboarding. Capricorn: I need to check on my parents/grandparents to make sure they're okay (if my elderly relatives are all dead, then I'll check on other old folks) and shovel some walkways to make some extra coin. Aquarius: Start a revolution online! Pisces: Snowstorm? There's a snowstorm predicted? Hmm. Well, after I take a ten-hour nap, let's watch DVDs or binge-watch (fill in that TV show) and drink ourselves legless.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
Marauding Middle-Eastern molesters in Cologne on New Year's Eve; ginormous gaffe committed by that city's female mayor: womenfolk, dress modestly and keep an arm's length away from those valued immigrants! Anti-government asshats in Oregon. Retard Repugnicons deride President Obama's plan to implement background checks for anyone who wishes to purchase any type of firearm, from a ladylike pistol to a totally unnecessary AK-47, as a ploy to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. Donald Trumpeters appear in Bernie's backyard. Stock marketus interruptus, rinse and repeat. But take solace, for not all the news during this first week of 2016 has been fit to shit: according to the December jobs report, the US has now reached full employment! Just ignore the fact that something like 3 out of 5 new jobs enable workers to rent a cardboard box and switch to a better brand of cat food (for themselves). But seriously, at least in some cities, city employees will now receive a minimum wage of $15/hr. Oh, one other thing: under-45s in the US would apparently overwhelmingly prefer to Feel the Bern than to follow in the Puritans' dream of a City on a Hill(ary). I'd contest the New York Times columnist David Brooks's insistence on calling this a Millennial trend, since the oldest Millies are only turning 34 this year, but no one in the media has really noticed Gen X since 1996 or so, much less given this generation any credit for anything remotely positive, so whatever (or, as Kurt Cobain would say, nevermind). We are now in the Dark of the Moon in Capricorn. This is a great day to hibernate. The New Moon in Capricorn occurs tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. EST. Depending on which house that New Moon falls in your own chart, plan on the next lunar cycle being a mixed bag of structured energy (Capricorn) and frustrating delays (Mercury is retrograde till Mon. 1/25). The Sun will catch up with that retrograde Mercury on 1/14, so it's likely your ego will feel very ambitious and override cautious deliberation. Parting notes: Happy Birthday to rock legend Elvis "the King" Presley, who shares the same soulful combination of Sun in Capricorn and Moon in Pisces as Martin Luther King Jr. And Happy Birthday to David Bowie, who could be a poster boy for Neptune Rising (i.e., creative, glamorous, magical, elusive, what-you-see-is-not-what-you-get).
Monday, January 4, 2016
Please note that all times given are Eastern Standard Time. Happy New Year to you. Since 2016 began, we have already gone through some interesting ingresses (that's fancy-pants astrologese for "planet changing signs"): Mercury entered Aquarius at 9:21 p.m. on New Year's Day, and yesterday Mars entered Scorpio at 9:33 a.m., just five hours before the Moon joined it for Scorpionic Sunday. To quote my friendly neighborhood transit company, "Sometimes you have to go backward in order to go forward." Hold on to your seats: Mercury is about to turn retrograde at 8:06 tomorrow morning, and this backward-turning motion may jostle and jar you quite a bit because it comes on the heels of a Mercury-Mars square (exact 7 a.m.). We went through a Mercury-Mars square on December 29, but because the signs were different (Mercury in Capricorn, Mars in Libra), the upcoming square will not be so much a repetition of 12/29 as a rhyme. Similarities are bound to include communication difficulties (ranging from mild misunderstanding to full-blown fighting), travel delays, and health issues, but expect more stubbornness (since the square occurs between fixed signs this time) and less of a willingness to compromise (since Mars in Scorpio doesn't know the meaning of the word). Technical difficulties are also likely, so be sure to back up your backups. It is also likely that you will have to go back over certain things and situations that you thought you had wrapped up so neatly at the end of 2015. This could be a royal pain in the ass, but a more positive possibility is that you may be given a do-over -- a second chance you didn't think you had. Since a Venus-Neptune square follows just an hour and a half after Mercury turns retrograde, however, I feel compelled to state that you probably won't be feeling much in the way of gratitude tomorrow. More likely is a feeling of romantic disappointment, or feeling spiritually jet-lagged, out of place and out of time, a "divine discontent" with the world. If none of the above applies, you might just feel low-energy or downright ill (since Neptune is in Pisces). And with the Sun-Pluto conjunction exact tomorrow night at 10:26, you may feel called upon to restructure your self-identity, transform your level of ambition, or knock a couple of buildings down in order to start from scratch. You may find that you need to create an entirely new set of blueprints for yourself. The Sun-Uranus square follows on Thursday 1/7, so you may be feeling particularly boxed-in and rebellious -- or someone important to you will announce his or her desire for more freedom and fewer rules. It all depends on whether you are more representative of Sun in status-driven, control-oriented Capricorn or headstrong, impulsive Uranus in Aries.