Monday, January 25, 2016

Mercury Turns Direct on Pluto

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

The Sun Signs' Reactions to the Snowstorm

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

David Bowie: The Starman Shall Shine On and Rise Like Lazarus



My tribute to David Bowie, assisted by two of my Party Animals: Ursula (the Disco Bear) and Miffy (the Rabbit from Mars and Thin White Bunny).

It's hard to believe that three days ago I posted birthday wishes for two rock legends, one in the past tense (Elvis Presley) and the other in the present (David Bowie), and now the latter has joined the former in that sense.

Except, not really. That's the thing about icons whose artistic, scientific, philosophic, or political creations outlive their physical bodies: they never die, except for the ones who eventually become footnotes.

David Bowie was a gifted performer of many personas, a man who claimed that he was a robot offstage and could only feel emotion while acting out his many roles onstage. Interestingly, he had the same Sun/Ascendant combination (Capricorn and Aquarius, respectively) as another rock legend of the Pluto-in-Leo generation: Janis Joplin. Both were bisexual, although Bowie later called himself "a closet heterosexual." But whereas Joplin's persona of Pearl, adopted during the last year of her tumultuous life, was a grotesque caricature of her party-hearty self, used to shield her extreme vulnerability (Moon and Jupiter in Cancer), David Bowie identified with each of his personas (including the junkie Major Tom, the glammed-out alien Ziggy Stardust, and the self-destructive Thin White Duke) so thoroughly that he often feared for his sanity.

His Moon at 3 degrees of Leo was exactly conjunct his Descendant, as well as trine his Venus and Midheaven at 2 and 3 degrees of Sagittarius; this connection blessed him with the instincts of a creative performer who probably was the most at home in the spotlight and also the ability to give his fans (who tended to be outside the norm in some way) what they wanted (e.g., dystopian fantasies and validation for freakiness) before they even knew what they wanted. When transiting Neptune passed over his Venus and Midheaven in the early 1970s, he became a star -- an exotic, erotic, gender-fluid, shape-shifting star. In all of his public guises, Bowie was a sexy alien or outsider, not the boy next door. A trine from Saturn in Leo to Venus-MC indicates staying power, yet Bowie's Moon was also closely conjunct Saturn, indicating a tendency to emotional isolation and the sort of depression that comes from being perpetually hungry for unconditional love -- the type of starvation that propels many individuals who had cold, isolated, or unloving childhoods toward fame (the title of one of Bowie's biggest hits), which is its own double-edged sword (just as a bowie knife cuts both ways).

His Sun-Mars conjunction in his 12th house, as well as Mercury on the cusp of the 12th closely squaring Neptune, ensured that he had plenty of inner demons and a genuine fear of insanity. Mercury-Neptune contacts often manifest in left-handedness, and Bowie was indeed a southpaw, but Mercury can also point to sibling issues; in this case, the square between Mercury and Neptune is a read of Bowie's half-brother, who was institutionalized and later escaped the mental hospital, committing suicide.

This past weekend, Mars at 3 degrees of Scorpio squared Bowie's Aquarius Ascendant and Leo Moon; the Moon was in Capricorn for most of the weekend, passing over Bowie's Sun-Mars conjunction during the Dark of the Moon, before moving into Aquarius on Sunday. Clearly, the Moon-Mars contacts took him out, with transiting Uranus just a few days away from squaring his Mars for the final time (exact 1/14/16; also occurred in April and December 2015). He had apparently been fighting cancer for 18 months, and in early 2014 transiting Uranus opposed his Neptune, which can result in a weakened immune system. And of course, the transiting Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15, with its erratic, explosive yet oppressive energy taking a global toll, put Bowie's Sun-Mars conjunction in its line of fire. This aspect was obviously terrible for his physical health, yet in 2013, seemingly out of nowhere, he released a new album, The Next Day, to much acclaim.

Since transiting Pluto in Capricorn will go back and forth over David Bowie's Sun-Mars conjunction this year, his death will bring him even greater fame -- especially since he released an album on his 69th birthday, with the rather Plutonic title Blackstar (and a Plutonically titled song, "Lazarus"), and a concert he planned to give at Carnegie Hall in March, with Pluto just past his Sun, is now turning into a full-fledged memorial.

Back in 1993 or '94, David Bowie showed me that there really was life on Mars. In 1998, he showed me that I could be hero just for one day while Christiane F. and her teen junkie friends cinematically looted a shopping mall in Berlin. And in the summer of 2002, a certain someone whose heart I was breaking quoted this line from "Win" to me: "Someone like you should not be around to start any fires," which made me feel simultaneously ashamed and proud.

Rock on in Peace.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mercury Square Mars = Mostly Bad News

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

It's a New Year: Ready, Set, Go (Backward)!

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.