Uranus Pluto square

The Mars effect, February 2017: Stocks, politics and personal power

Mars went into Aries on January 28th and will remain in that fiery sign of will and adventure through March 9th.  While in Aries, Mars is at its most potent and the aggressive force is permitted full expression, unhampered by the niceties of signs like Libra or Pisces, by practical considerations such as Capricorn and Taurus would exercise, or by reason and intellectual processing such as Gemini and Aquarius would instigate.  It is pure, unadulterated need and drive.

Mars is also bold and especially in Aries, does not hesitate to venture into unknown territory and take untold risks.  We are seeing this in the stock market, which continues to break records as it soars into the stratosphere because of unbridled optimism and the sheer force of momentum.  Currently Jupiter, the planet of expansion and luck, is forming a challenging opposition to Uranus, planet of radical action.  This planetary combination is ready to break through all kinds of barriers – whether physical, emotional, or ideological.  When we add Pluto’s destructive and transformational force into the mix, we get a powerhouse of movement and upheaval.  Jupiter here is reconnecting Uranus and Pluto for one final dance after nearly eight years of the Uranus/Pluto square.  Although Uranus and Pluto are not in exact alignment to one another, Jupiter “translates” the dynamic by acting as an intermediary over the next few months.  You can see how the current political climate fits perfectly into this drama of radical behavior and action that seems to have no basis in fact.

During the last week of February, Mars steps into the fray like a match thrown into a smoldering fire.  Until February 28th Mars will be poking the bear of the Uranus/Pluto square, creating extreme excitement and fueling us with a tremendous amount of energy, but also triggering anger and rage that may be suppressed or otherwise managed but not resolved.  As with any intense Mars time, using our conscious mind to focus this energy on a goal or aspiration can be very helpful in utilizing the power of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.  Physical activity can help us to channel the intensity and feel more comfortable in our bodies.

This will become more confusing around February 25-28 when a solar eclipse in mystical Pisces, with the Sun and  Moon conjunct Neptune, dumps a bucket of water and a wet blanket on all this fire.  I suspect that this is when the stock market will begin to retreat in response to this confusion.  On a personal level, this is an optimum time for a personal retreat and reset, especially since Venus will turn retrograde on March 4th.  I’ll be writing more about that as we get closer to the time, but Venus retrograde periods tend to cause a pullback in the financial markets and are good times for a personal review.

We live in exciting times.  Thank the gods we have astrology to help us to make sense of them!

SIgn up for my free monthly Planetary Illuminations report!

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By | 2017-02-21T11:59:56+00:00 February 21st, 2017|Featured posts, Planetary cycles|11 Comments

Capricorn New Moon at the Solstice: The dark point of stillness

“The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come.  At the darkest moment comes the light.” – Joseph Campbell


The Capricorn New Moon will occur just six minutes after the moment of the Winter Solstice – the point at which the Sun moves into Capricorn in the tropical system.  The three days before the Winter Solstice are the darkest days of the year in the northern hemisphere.  Not only are the days shorter, but the Sun is lower in the sky, causing shadows to lengthen and its motion appears to stand still.

The Winter Solstice marks the return to the light – after the Solstice the days start growing longer and the Sun stronger.  As humans we are naturally drawn to light and tend to shun the darkness, but it is in the quiet stillness of the dark, when we are not distracted by the flickering images that pass through our life, that we can go deeply within into the core of our Selves and discover who we are beneath the superficial comings and goings of our experiences. (more…)

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By | 2014-12-20T13:29:53+00:00 December 20th, 2014|Moon|1 Comment

Uranus squares Pluto, splintering the Middle East

(This is one of many articles on the major planetary cycle occurring now between Uranus and Pluto.  For more information about this phenomenon please review the short article in the sidebar and browse older articles on this site. )

The entry of Jupiter into Aries back in 2011 led to a string of rebellious acts around the world, not the least of which was the Arab Spring.  Jupiter represents confidence and our ability to make grand gestures, and Aries is the sign of individuality, assertiveness, adventure, and courage (Aries, remember, was the god of war).  Uranus, planet of revolution, entered Aries in the Spring of 2011.  the image of joyful revolution in Egypt and elsewhere led to the overthrow of the Egyptian president and uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and numerous other smaller skirmishes across the Middle East.

Two years later, several of these uprisings have turned into full scale civil wars as it becomes evident that the repressive dictatorships in these countries since the fall of the Ottoman Empire may have been the only thing keeping ethnic and religious factions from continual sectarian violence.  We saw this in Iraq where the removal of Saddam Hussein left a vacuum of control, the result of which has been continuous civil war between the Sunni and Shiite sects in Iraq.

This eruption of long simmering resentments into open violence has spread into Syria and Lebanon and recent clashes in Nigeria and Egypt have resulted in fears of a major meltdown throughout the middle East.

Uranus in Aries is the independent force rebelling against the control of authority as represented by Pluto in Capricorn.  With this cycle continuing into 2015 we are not likely to see a cessation of the violence any time soon.

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By | 2013-05-29T07:41:06+00:00 May 29th, 2013|Politics|3 Comments

Jupiter in Gemini, June 2012 – June 2013

Jupiter in GeminiJupiter moved into Gemini on June 11th, and unlike some periods during which Jupiter retrogrades back into the previous sign at some point in its travels, it will remain in Gemini without interruption for about a year.

Jupiter is the planet of good fortune – of faith and optimism and our ability to encapsulate the world in a theology that provides our life with meaning.  Jupiter represents the evolution of our philosophies and our shared vision of meaning that we call religion.

Jupiter is often called the “Greater Benefic” (with Venus the Lesser) because of its generally expansive nature.  However, there is a dark side to Jupiter as well – the lack of practicality that blind optimism can engender, a self-righteousness that goes with strong beliefs.  Jupiter’s dark side can appear relatively benign when compared with a planet such as, say, Pluto, but when expansion turns into a relentless quest for more that never ceases it can become a bit of a problem.

I like to say that Jupiter in the natal chart shows where we want to be god.  Jupiter was the king of the gods, and he was always battling to defend his crown. When Jupiter goes through a sign it has a tendency to expand the qualities of that sign, and because Gemini rules all matters of communication, short travel, learning and intellectual stimulation we are likely to see a magnification of these experiences.

Jupiter is said to be in its “detriment” in Gemini because Gemini is opposite the sign of Jupiter’s rulership – Sagittarius.  Of all the polarities, the Gemini/Sagittarius opposition is the least problematic because they share so much in common.  Both are concerned with issues of learning and knowledge, they just approach the issues differently.  Where Sagittarius views the larger picture in order to create a belief system, Gemini has a hunger to learn everything without any discrimination.  All experiences are equal for Gemini, and they usually must be verbalized.

Because Jupiter urges us to aggrandize ourselves, to become larger than life, people with Jupiter in Gemini in their charts tend to have a lot to say and a sense that others need to hear what they have to say.  You can see this quality in Oprah WInfrey, whose Jupiter in Gemini trines her Aquarian Sun.  Jupiter’s urge to develop a philosophy that will give life meaning can become bogged down by the Geminian quest to examine and experience everything, which makes it less effective.

Jupiter also deals with publishing and the law, and while Jupiter travels through Gemini we would expect issues such as intellectual property (Gemini) law (Jupiter) to become more important.  Because we are in the middle of such revolutionary energy and change under the square of Uranus to Pluto, wars of words are likely to be more important than bombs with Jupiter in Gemini. Discussions (Gemini) about philosophy (Jupiter) will become critical, and could erupt into violence because of Uranus/Pluto.

Jupiter was last in Gemini between the summer of 2000 and 2001.  During that time the hotly contested presidential election (Gemini) in the US was decided by the court system (Jupiter).  Pluto was in Jupiter’s own sign of Sagittarius at the time and the relentless exuberance of that cycle (1995-2008) has been widely discussed in this column, including yesterday.  During that period corporations began to merge into larger and larger (Sagittarius) companies But the merger of America Online (AOL) and Time Warner in 2001 created the world’s largest (Jupiter) media (Gemini) company in a move that shocked even seasoned industry observers. One analyst called this “the most significant development in the Internet business world to date,” an example of Jupiterian hyperbole if ever I heard one.

This is likely to be a time of hyperbolic promises – especially in the political realm.  Because Jupiter rules kingship, and we have so much change in the global political arena right now, we can expect political rhetoric (Gemini) to become inflated and self-righteous (Jupiter).

On the positive side, Jupiter’s travel through Gemini is very positive for charitable works, for Internet publishing (especially blogging, Facebook and Twitter which are all very Geminian in nature due to the short attention span required), for telecommunications, for new developments in phone and internet.  Jupiter will harmonize with Uranus during the first part of its journey through Gemini, and this is a very positive influence for scientific developments and inventions (Uranus) for all things that involve communication (Gemini).

In our personal lives it will be important to be very clear in our communication and speech since Jupiter in Gemini can inspire carelessness in the sheer volume of discussion.  Centering ourselves in our inner knowledge of what we intend to communicate will be very helpful.  If you are a writer, or want to be one, this is an extremely beneficial time.  There is a lot to say, and plenty of people who want to hear.

For regular planetary updates please visit my Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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By | 2012-06-15T08:15:06+00:00 June 15th, 2012|Planetary cycles|5 Comments

Sunday inspiration: Working with the Hierophant to create our destiny

My friend Beth Owls Daughter writes that 2012 is the Year of the Hierophant according to the Tarot numerology system. The Hierophant in the Tarot is traditionally associated with the Pope as a symbol for religious structures and dogma.

The word Hierophant comes from the ancient Greek that means ta hiera,“the holy,” and phainein, “to show.”  In ancient Greece the hierophant was the priest who interpreted the sacred mysteries and served as the bridge between the spiritual experience and the individual worshiper, just as the Pope later took on that role.  The word Hierophant is also considered an advocate, proponent and supporter.

Beth quotes Caitlin Matthews (creator of the Arthurian Tarot)

The ancient Tarots make this card a Pope, while the more recent ones return to an older tradition of the hierophants of the Greek Mysteries.  Both Pope and Hierophant draw upon earlier traditions and represent important concepts. Drawing upon pre-Christian Roman religion, the Pope is called the pontiff or bridge who, in his own person, bridges this world and the other.

The ancient Mystery Religions were largely about the revelation of myth through dramatic representation or sacred ritual.  This is still an important part of our divinatory profession whereby the Tarot-reader bridges the everyday and the deep worlds for the client, through the medium of the cards’ story.

Beth also posts a Tarot spread created by Ms. Matthews to work with the energy of the Hierophant, the arbiter of the “Triple Crown” as she says of Fate, Free Will and Destiny. If you are a Tarot aficionado you may want to try this spread, but we can all use Caitlin’s outline of this spread as a map to unwind our past so that it lays out before us as a map to our future, without using a single Tarot card.

Wisdom of the Years Behind Me.

Begin by making a list of everything you have learned from the experiences that you have been through during your lifetime.  We often find that the most difficult and intense times of your life (often denoted by transits of Saturn and Pluto) are the times in which we gained the most insight and wisdom and deep understanding.

Sometimes it helps if we begin by listing the most intensely powerful and challenging experiences of our life, and then extract the gifts that came out of those experiences.

How I Wisely Traverse 2012

While there is nothing particularly significant astrologically for the year 2012, this is the year that Uranus and Pluto make their first exact square after coming close in the summer of 2011.  When the revolutionary (Uranus) and the destroyer and rebuilder (Pluto) face off in battle, the result is often intense and always involves endings and new beginnings.

What in your life are you ready to let go of?  Where is change needed in your life, and what do you need to do in order to achieve a flexibility of spirit so that this transformation can occur?

The Wisdom of the Years Ahead of Me

When you look ahead along the timeline of your future, what do you see?  Is the future blank and filled with fear?  Do you see a long and open road that is ready to be populated with people events?  Do you have a dream, a vision or an idea that can carry you into your future?

Whether or not we have a vision for the future, we will create it out of what we carry in the present.  Creating a vision for our future timeline is not the same as making a plan: the work of visioning requires a higher and broader view and a desire for a sense of purpose.  The transformation of the Uranus and Pluto square will continue through 2015.  Consider where you would like your life to be when this Great Transformation period is complete.

This Tarot spread also lays out three defining tools:

The Hand I’m Dealt (Me and my Fate)

In the astrological language, the hand we’re dealt is the birthchart.  This defines the potential of our personality and whether certain areas of life will be difficult for us or easy and harmonious.  Modern-day astrologers have learned that fate and destiny are two different things, and our free will is the determining factor of how one becomes the other.  The family we are born into, the circumstances over which we had no control – these are our fate.  What we do with that fate is up to us.

Looking along the timeline of your past, how can you define this hand that you were dealt?  What are the tools that you were given either to facilitate your progress, or to create challenges for you to overcome?

The Game I Play (Me and my Free Will

How we play the cards we are dealt is up to us.  Say you were beaten by your father.  Are you going to allow that experience to create bitterness and rage that will destroy your relationships and your future?  Or will you seek the help that you need to find the empowerment and compassion from the experience that can help you to become a mentor and healer?

This is where the path of Life becomes interesting.  We read about Free Will every day in the newspaper: how some people surpass incredibly horrific life experiences to accomplish great things, and others turn to a life of crime.  It’s all a question of how we play the game with the cards we’re given.

The Hand I Create (Me and my Destiny)

The question over whether or not we have any control over our Destiny is a thorny one and has been the subject of much debate.  Most dictionaries define Fate and Destiny as being synonymous, but my own belief is that they are quite different.

Using this triad of experiences, our Fate is the hand we are dealt, and our Destiny is created by how we play the Game.  Through the Free Will we have been given, we can make choices in our life that can alter the trajectory of the life that we are living.  In my theology, our higher self and celestial teachers assist in this process, speaking to us like the proverbial angel on the shoulder, helping to guide us towards the Right Actions that will help our destinies to unfold.

Most of us spend a great deal of our lives listening instead to the little devil on the shoulder which urges us to react in habitually patterned responses rather than break free of those bonds.  It takes wisdom and attention to learn to tell the difference between those two voices.

Where has your own voice of old habits and patterns held you back from making the transformations that are needed?  Where can you make better choices which will help you to break through the blocks to bring you closer to your own Destiny?

This is a beautiful exercise for the New Year and I thank Beth and Caitlin for their inspiration.  Please share your experience in the comments!

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By | 2012-01-15T06:39:27+00:00 January 15th, 2012|Fate, Inspiration|4 Comments
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