Mundane Astrology

Reimagining Possibilities: Total Solar Eclipse in Cancer 2019

Alchemist-hp (talk) ( [FAL]

Alchemist-hp (talk) ( [FAL]

Total Solar Eclipse @ 10 Cancer 38’

July 2, 2019

12:16 PM Los Angeles

3:16 PM New York

8:16 PM London

July 3, 2019

3:16 AM Beijing

5:16 AM Sydney

July's New Moon is a total solar eclipse in the tropical sign of Cancer. The eclipse will be visible predominately oversea and for most regions of South America. Eclipses are more meaningful for the specific regions where the eclipse path falls, but also, eclipses can be experienced as more pronounced lunations for everyone else.

This month's total solar eclipse is a potentiated New Moon that will correlate with the initiation of significant changes and developments over the next six months. New Moons are new beginnings, and total solar eclipses symbolize the first steps in a vital transformative process. Eclipses, by their very nature, are inherently about change. Ancient people viewed them with fear and trepidation, as negative omens, sometimes indicating the death or dethronement of those in power.

Indeed, inherent to the symbolism of the total eclipse itself is that the Moon, a symbol of hidden, obscure, and irrational natural forces momentarily overpower the Sun, a symbol of stability, authority, and rationality. Eclipses bring about an accelerated pace of change, typically beginning from within oneself and radiating outward. Especially in the days surrounding the eclipse, the urge to change things up can more profound than usual.

Cancer points to changes more so on the inner realms, the domestic life, the heart and hearth. This eclipse can stimulate intense sensitivity, domestic dramas, and a pronounced urge to protect, defend, and nurture. The Moon, in Cancer, is especially strong in its ruling sign--accentuating the intuitive, psychic, and sentimental. In opposition, however, is Saturn, equally strong in its ruling sign, Capricorn. In looking at the eclipse chart, one can't help but notice the significance of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction near the lunar South Node.

By itself, Saturn demands growth and maturity, which requires letting go of what's become too comfortable. There is an inherent element of discomfort in this eclipse, and bringing Pluto into the picture, we might feel a "now or never" kind of vibe to this collective change-making process. This eclipse will culminate in early January of next year, at the epicenter of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, likely to be a precarious moment on the geopolitical stage, especially in the United States (if it isn't already).

What's brewing now both personally and collectively will endure a critical reality testing early next year, so keep that in mind. If you choose to "follow your heart," you'll need to defend that choice in the face of challenges. Of course, that's central to do what you feel is right because it isn't necessarily the easier path, but the one that's likely the most rewarding. In the moment of this eclipse, it's also easier to keep busy to avoid facing your feelings about a particular matter.

The South Node in Capricorn tempts us to make things harder for ourselves, too, through exhausting ourselves so that we don't have to face our soul's calling. Perhaps, the astrology has some profound wisdom to espouse about what's happening "out there" as well. The eclipse accelerates the intention of the Cancer North Node, which invites us to heal before we rebuild because we risk restoring over a faulty and unstable foundation.

Healing isn't simply imaging "love and light.”. Healing takes time and courageousness to talk things out, feel things out, and face some painful truths. Sometimes, that's a messy process, and with Chiron square the eclipse too, it pierces deep into some vulnerable places. No, this eclipse isn't likely comfortable, but that's a part of this season for change. Mercury turns retrograde soon too, and we're already in the shadow. We'll have all of July to rethink and ruminate over what's coming up for us now so prepare for some deep, internal revisions, introspection, and setbacks. Reimagine any delays, disappointments, or detours as opportunities to acquire a new perception and vision.

2020: In the Shadow of Saturn and Pluto

By Jamie Kern, via Wikimedia Commons

By Jamie Kern, via Wikimedia Commons

Astrology's primary theoretical suggestion is that life reflects the cosmos, as above so below. Anything born at a specific moment develops, culminates, decays, and dies in synch with the persistent motion of the planets. Not just human life, but the life of humanity's creations--its ideas, innovations, and civilizations, all endure and expire beside the churning of the sky. The most primordial and easily observed of these cycles is that of the Moon, which begins and ends its cycle within roughly one month.

The New Moon begins the cycle at the conjunction of Sun and Moon, culminates at the opposition (the Full Moon), ending and starting again at the following conjunction/New Moon. And between these new and full phases, exist symbolic points of tension, struggle, and crisis--the waxing square (between new and full) and the waning square (between full and new). These four primary aspects are known technically as quadrature axial alignments, and they occur between all planets and objects in the sky.

In our theory of astrology, the dynamic aspects of planets correlate with specific archetypal themes which emerge in both personal and cultural shifts. These four quadrature axial alignments became the focus of astrologer and historian Richard Tarnas' monumental work, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. Before the accessibility of personal astrological software, Tarnus painstakingly studied the cycles of the outer planets and their correlation with history.


In Cosmos and Psyche, Tarnas observed that peaks within cycles involving Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto correlated with poignant sociopolitical shifts and changes. He noted, for example, how the counter-cultural revolution and the American/Russian space race of the late 1960s (culminating in the Moon landing in 1969), correlated with the rare conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, occurring once every 100 some years. That same Uranus/Pluto cycle, Tarnas noted, correlated with the birth of the scientific revolution through the publication of mathematician/astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' De Revolutionibus under a Uranus/Pluto opposition in 1543.

Another dynamic cycle featured in Tarnas' book was that of Saturn and Pluto, two planets set to conjoin in tropical Capricorn in early 2020. It's been over 500 years since Saturn and Pluto last conjoined in Capricorn, but their conjunctions occur every 31 to 37 years in different zodiac signs. Much like the New Moon in the lunar cycle, Saturn and Pluto will begin a new development in 2020, bringing an end to the previous cycle which opened at the conjunction in the early 1980s.

In Cosmos and Psyche, Tarnas stresses that astrology is archetypally but not concretely predictive. In other words, astrology cannot explicitly predict the future, but it can predict the future's archetypal resonance. I won't be making those kinds of concrete predictions that you might imagine when you think of astrology. We're going to explore the current moment from an archetypal vantage point drawing on some notable historical correlations.

Astrology is not very good for telling you exactly what will happen in definitive, concrete terms. Archetypes, as Tarnas also beautifully demonstrated in his book, have an inherent multivalency. Archetypes can manifest within a varied range of possibilities. So while it's possible to look at past cycles and find similarities to the present, it's impossible to know which of those previous manifestations will occur for certain.

I highly suggest reading Tarnas' Cosmos and Psyche if you're interested in this topic. I can only cover in a general manner what is an incredibly complex subject. I'm going to explore how this aspect might show up, especially in the United States which is approaching its 2022 Pluto return alongside the exact Saturn/Pluto conjunction in early 2020. And we'll also consider the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in late 2020.

Tarnas suggests using an orb of 15 degrees on either side of an aspect when looking at historical correlations. In using this wider orb, the approaching Saturn/Pluto conjunction encompasses the time between January 2018 through December 2021.

The aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, Photo credit: 9/11 photos on Visual Hunt, via Wikimedia Commons.

The aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, Photo credit: 9/11 photos on Visual Hunt, via Wikimedia Commons.

As mentioned, the conjunction phase is one point within the various quadrature axial alignments of Saturn and Pluto. Dynamic Saturn/Pluto periods also occur at the square and opposition phases. While the last conjunction occurred in the early 1980s, the most recent Saturn/Pluto periods occurred at the opposition (June 2000-April 2004) and the waning square (Nov. 2008-August 2011). Several notable events occurred within these time bands. Under the opposition period from 2000-2004 were the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, as well as the subsequent US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Under the next square, the global financial crisis erupted in the years 2007-2008 at the brink of the Saturn/Pluto square (2008-2011). In Cosmos and Psyche, Tarnas describes quadrature axial alignments of Saturn and Pluto as "cycles of crisis and contraction." Throughout history, we see evidence of the Saturn/Pluto cycle correlating with periods of economic austerity, conservative empowerment (on a global scale), disease pandemics, the start of wars, and sometimes the rise of fascist/totalitarian powers and ideologies.

Saturn and Pluto also correlate with these same themes emerging in culturally significant art and literature, such as several famous works of dystopian fiction. It was at the tail end of the previous Saturn/Pluto conjunction, in the spring of 1984, when author Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale while residing in West Berlin, seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Atwood's novel takes place in a near-future New England when environmental ruin and a pandemic of infertility spawns a conservative revolution which effectively suspends the US constitution. The empowerment of a brutal totalitarian regime, resembling a theonomy (a hypothetical Christian government, ruled by divine law), forces the sparingly fertile women to serve as handmaids for the elite, bearing children in service for humanities' preservation. Women are forbidden from reading and writing, and stripped of their rights to hold property and handle money.

Gay men, dissidents, and those refusing conversion to the state religion are executed, their bodies hung along public walls. Those considered “non-persons” such as sterile, unmarried women, feminists, and lesbians are sent to the "colonies" to clean up radioactive waste until their death. Atwood's dire vision depicted a post-American, totalitarian government to osmose both Christian and puritanical overtones, true to the dominating ideologies which helped shape the construction of the American empire.

Interestingly, the Handmaid's Tale has reached its first Saturn return since its publication in 1985, regaining popularity over thirty years later as a Hulu original series with two seasons and a third currently in production. In the midst of the Trump administration, Atwood’s novel feels chillingly pertinent to our current times, a compelling warning of how in moments of crisis or collective frustration, extremely conservative ideologies can rapidly gain dominance.

George Orwell's dystopian, sci-fi classic, 1984 (the year Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale), was written under the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in 1948, the same cycle that correlated with the initiation of the Cold War. Aldous Huxley wrote A Brave New World from May to August 1931 under a Saturn/Pluto opposition. Based in a futuristic "negative utopia," as Huxley described it, A Brave New World also presented a frightening vision of the future, written as a parody of H.G. Wells' more optimistic, utopian novels of the early 1900s.

The original Guy Fawkes mask used in the film adaptation of V for Vendetta; photo by Enrique Dans from Madrid, Spain

The original Guy Fawkes mask used in the film adaptation of V for Vendetta; photo by Enrique Dans from Madrid, Spain

V for Vendetta, a British graphic novel written by Alan Moore, was originally published as a multi-part series starting in 1982, under the last Saturn/Pluto conjunction. The iconic "Guy Fawkes mask," worn by the novel's protagonist, V, has become a global symbol of revolt against tyranny, mostly through its ubiquitous use within the hacktivist community, Annonymous. The story depicts a dystopian, near-future United Kingdom set in the 1990s, where a fascist, police state takes control proceeding a nuclear war. It gained global popularity after the release of its film adaptation in 2006.

Saturn, Pluto, and Capricorn Archetypes

Untitled, known as   Saturn Devouring His Son  ,  Devoration  or  Saturn Eats His Child  by Francisco Goya

Untitled, known as Saturn Devouring His Son, Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child by Francisco Goya

In astrology, an essential archetypal quality of Saturn is that of preservation, as well as endurance within the midst of extreme hardship or austerity. Pluto, the God of the underworld, invokes the darkest depths of the planets it contacts, revealing the underbelly and repressed, unconscious motivations. Pluto appears to empower the planets it touches, morphing their expression into sometimes inflated caricatures beyond normal bounds.

Pluto also relates to the principle of entropy and regeneration. Pluto brings about transformation, sometimes through a descent into the unconscious, or through the volcanic eruption of repressed psychic contents. When Pluto is active in collective or personal events, an old order dies and falls away, and a new way of life emerges from the debris. In this sense, Pluto's archetype is destructive, but sometimes, destruction is necessary for the seeding of new life.

Saturn represents the archetype of time which derives from its earlier Greek title, Kronos (or Cronus/Cronos), the God who devoured his children to prevent his dethronement. For both the Greeks and Romans, the Saturn/Kronos association with time reflected the observation that time eventually devours all things, and thus Saturn's archaic associations with the passing of seasons and agriculture. Saturn invokes the qualities of restraint, maturity, and death, just as the flow of time leads to the inevitable transitions of each stage of life.

Saturn, Internet Archive Book Images, via Wikimedia Commons

Saturn, Internet Archive Book Images, via Wikimedia Commons

Saturn presents limitations, challenges, and necessities; it seeks to preserve authority, traditions, structures, and conventions. Saturn can actively work against progress; it is the impulse for control of instinct and chaos, seeking to provide strict or harsh securities, boundaries, and divisions. It can present us with seemingly insurmountable barriers, yet also the opportunity to fortify strength, willpower, persistence, and autonomy.

As Pluto conjoins Saturn in the coming few years, we will experience a dramatic amplification of the above-mentioned Saturnian archetypes within the collective psyche, as well as a glance into their darkest or most terrifying manifestations. This current period is thus a moment of a leviathan-like Saturn, a time when we will witness an extreme boost of conservative dominance and the collective need to strengthen and solidify boundaries physically, culturally, and politically.

As an added layer, Saturn and Pluto will conjoin in Capricorn, where the Sun initiates the winter solstice each year in the northern hemisphere. Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn resonate with the archetypal dark, cold, and precarious winter. In the traditional, western astrological system, Saturn is the ruler (or lord) of Capricorn, and its placement here technically empowers Saturn's power and expression.

15th century depiction of Capricorn, from Medieval book of astrology, via Wikimedia Commons.

15th century depiction of Capricorn, from Medieval book of astrology, via Wikimedia Commons.

Capricorn, much like Saturn, is the archetype of authority and elderhood, and in its darkest face, what astrologer Steven Forrest calls the "crushing patriarch." Both Capricorn and Saturn symbolize systems and structures which seek to preserve their dominance at any cost, just as Kronos ate his children to avoid being deposed. The shadow of Capricorn is the oppressive autocrat or controller who exploits crisis and breakdown to acquire leadership.

Indeed, throughout history, it is in times of crisis, hardship, and uncertainty, that autocrats have gained control by enticing the desperate and fearful populace with the promise of restoring convention and offering protection from the unknown. And the contracting aspect of Saturn/Pluto alignments so often manifest as a collective yearning for regression, to restore society to an idealized, past era of simplicity, stability, and control.

Such was the case in 1930's Germany with the rapid ascendency of Nazism and the start of Hitler's dictatorship under the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 1930-1933. Or in Italy, under the fascist dictatorship of Mussolini during the Saturn/Pluto square 1921-1923. That same cycle correlated with Stalin's seizure of the Communist party in Russia, and Hitler's momentary prison time in which he began writing Mein Kampf, the ideological vision which would, at the following Saturn/Pluto alignment, enrapture the nation of Germany.

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction 2020


While there's a unique archetypal quality to the peaks within the Saturn/Pluto cycle, it does not occur in a vacuum. The ever-changing sky correlates with the uniqueness of every moment. However, many cycles overlap which can create similarities within specific historical periods.

A unique feature of the previous conjunction of Saturn/Pluto in the 1980s was its correlation with Jupiter's conjunction with Saturn in air sign Libra. In 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will conjoin in Aquarius, another air sign, drawing a parallel to the early 1980s. The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction is a complex topic unto itself; however, it's important to mention because of its historical correlations with economic and social upheaval.

The Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions occur in the same element for roughly two centuries. From 1802-2020, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred in earth signs. The 1980s saw the first shift of Jupiter/Saturn into air sign Libra. But the following conjunction went back to earth, with Jupiter/Saturn conjoining in Taurus in May 2000. The transition of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction from one element to another is called a Grand Mutation which has been underway from late 1980-late 2020.

Many astrologers point to the development of the internet and accompanying technologies within this period as meaningful correlations with the Jupiter/Saturn Grand Mutation into air signs. Indeed the air archetype relates symbolically to the mind, communication, and connection. The internet explosion of the 1990s led the way to a rapid acceleration of communicative technologies that connected the world in ways hardly imaginable at the brink of the 1980s.

We are likely to see the genesis of another major socioeconomic shift under Saturn's conjunction with Jupiter in 2020. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions represent a fusion of tradition and innovation, the melding of antagonistic desires--to maintain the status quo and yet to seek freedom from it simultaneously. These are periods where traditional systems, methods, and approaches are forced into reformation.

Similar even to the backdrop of WWII, during the Saturn/Pluto opposition and Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in earth sign Virgo, the 2020s is likely to be a highly precarious and uncertain period which paves the way for a new social and economic order. With Jupiter and Saturn conjoining in Saturn's domicile sign of Aquarius, we still get a powerful Saturn dominating over Jupiter. Symbolically, the expansiveness of Jupiter must contend with Saturn's limiting nature.

However, Aquarius is symbolic of the "outsider's perspective" and the desire to achieve independence and autonomy. This conjunction is likely to correlate with economic and political policies emerging from previously alienated voices and minds, as well as the desire for liberation from the constraints of the past. It may be the outsider's perspective as well as the collective yearning for independence, that drastically changes the social and economic landscape over the next 20 years. So, what might crumble in the wake of this socioeconomic revolution?

The last two centuries of Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions in earth signs correlated with the industrial revolution and its ramifications. The shift from earth to air has dramatically shifted the collective focus from the shaping of material empires to those of the mind--an elevation of systems and structures from the land to sky.


The internet revolution unleashed several social and economic structures from the limitations of physical space. Consider the storage of mass amounts of data and information onto "cloud networks," or how much of our daily life revolves around smartphones and wifi signals. Jupiter and Saturn's conjunction in Aquarius begins the next two centuries of conjunctions solely in the air element and in a sign associated with innovation, ingenuity, and independence, this is likely to begin a revolutionary social and economic shift.

The Aquarian archetype represents the other face of Saturn since it is Saturn's second ruling sign. While Saturn in Capricorn is the conservative face, Aquarius is more progressive and freedom-seeking. It is indeed a critical requirement of growing up that we claim independence and freedom from the structures, beliefs, and dependencies of the past. One cannot become an adult without a necessary phase of individuation, often through defiance or rejection of the formative life.

In true Saturnian fashion, that process of differentiating ourselves from the past is often painful and scary. It suggests willingly abandoning familiarity for the acquiescence of autonomy. Usually, there is a need to dissociate or even alienate oneself from family, society, and culture to find one's unique way in the world. The developments spawned under the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius are likely to carry this theme of strengthening independence and throwing out old beliefs, ideologies, and theories that no longer work.

On the economic level, we could witness the crumbling of the individual's dependency on physical institutions and constraints. While the 2020 period of Saturn/Pluto's conjunction will likely be constraining, Jupiter and Saturn's conjunction beyond it will help to offer up new solutions which can lead to fresh approaches to managing the economic, social, and political challenges. In that sense, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction provides a bit of hope in a moment of darkness.

If we look back at the early 80s, we note the rise of a little-known, economic and ideological development that came to dominate the world, Neoliberalism or economic liberalism. We also see a similar wave of conservatism and greater appeal for populist, political leaders. As mentioned, the simultaneous occurrence of Saturn/Pluto and Jupiter/Saturn in the 80s creates an interesting parallel to the approaching time-period, and thus we are likely to see some similar themes and trends emerge.

Neoliberalism & Corporate Dominance

Ronald Reagan  at the Arrival Ceremony for State Visit of Prime Minister  Margaret Thatcher  of the United Kingdom, by Jack Kightlinger (Official White House photographer), via Wikimedia Commons.

Ronald Reagan at the Arrival Ceremony for State Visit of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom, by Jack Kightlinger (Official White House photographer), via Wikimedia Commons.

As Saturn and Pluto were approaching notable orb of conjunction in 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States. As is often the case with Saturn/Pluto alignments, Reagan rode a wave of rising conservatism within the nation. The same was true in the United Kingdom, with Margaret Thatcher, leader of the UK Conservative Party, winning the United Kingdom general election in May 1979.

Both Reagan and Thatcher heavily glorified the free market, and equally promoted the idea that businesses, instead of the government, could better serve the needs of the people. The 1980s saw the rise of the corporate world and its dominance over many facets of society. The injection of advertising and product placement in editorials became standard practice. It was a decade when corporate interests would begin their tacit manipulation of the free press. Today, we can connect the enmeshment of corporate lobbyists and elected representatives directly to the policy changes of the 80s era.

It was Reagan and Thatcher, along with libertarian economist, Milton Freidman, who significantly popularized Neoliberalism, which has since become the predominant economic and political ideology across the world. During this time, with the help of corporate advertising, market research, and rampant polling, US and UK culture were suddenly bewitched to prioritize the satiation of public desire above anything else. Proponents of Neoliberalism suggested that excessive government involvement promoted enormous waste, stagnation, and inefficiency, and thus welfare was shunned in favor of empowering privatized corporate dominance.

By Alejandro Alvarez, via Wikimedia Commons

By Alejandro Alvarez, via Wikimedia Commons

The 1980s saw a building rejection of government regulations and high taxation, resulting in deep tax cuts for the rich and corporations, under the belief that the wealth would "trickle down" and thereby boost the economy. This lead to a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the rich that surged wealth inequality not just in the United States, but across the globe. By the mid-1990s, the wealthiest 1% of the American population held 40% of the nation's wealth, double the share from twenty years prior. Today, as we approach the next Saturn/Pluto conjunction, the top 1% own more wealth than the bottom 90%. And working wages haven't increased since.

The 1980's Saturn/Pluto conjunction was, economically speaking, a great time for big businesses and the wealthy (the Saturnian structures themselves), but not so much for the working class. Do we see any parallels today? In the United States, the new GOP tax plan has continued the same Neoliberal ideology that was given a boost under Reagan and Thatcher, resulting in the most significant corporate tax cut in US history.

But Neoliberalism isn't solely a right-wing ideology. It first took root under US president Jimmy Carter and UK Prime Minister John Callahan and has since become the dominant policy on both sides of the political spectrum. US president Bill Clinton effectively destroyed America's cash assistance programs through his welfare reform bill, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Clinton's Neoliberal "welfare to work" rhetoric has been appropriated and rebranded today by the Republican party. In early 2018, Trump announced his plan to, “lift our citizens from welfare to work," echoing the Clinton era position against the welfare dependent.

Al Gore and Newt Gingrich applaud to US President Clinton during the State of the Union address in 1997, from White House Official Site, via Wikimedia Commons

Al Gore and Newt Gingrich applaud to US President Clinton during the State of the Union address in 1997, from White House Official Site, via Wikimedia Commons

Under the Neoliberal ideology, the economic plight of the homeless lies solely in their laziness or inability to take the initiative and better themselves. Negligent banking practices, privatization of social services, the complexities of human development, or institutionalized racism and violence are never to blame.

The Saturn/Pluto square of 2008-2011, under the US Obama administration, correlated with the shameful bailouts of the big banks and Wall Street, the very institutions responsible for creating the collapse through their reckless affair with stock derivatives and subprime mortgages. Working Americans were left with the burden of cleaning up the mess, costing taxpayers $21 billion in bailouts.

The US Financial Inquiry Commission, in its Jan. 2011 report, concluded that, "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve's failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages; Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk; An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis; Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels."

Occupy Bank of America March 15, 2012, Occupy Wall Street targets BofA with a rally and march, by Mike Fleshman, via Wikimedia Commons

Occupy Bank of America March 15, 2012, Occupy Wall Street targets BofA with a rally and march, by Mike Fleshman, via Wikimedia Commons

A recent report from the environmental non-profit group, the CDP, in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, found that just 100 companies are responsible for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Chevron, BP, Exxon Mobile, and Shell were implicated as the highest emitting companies since 1988. In the current crisis of global climate change, the blame unsurprisingly falls in the hands of corporate entities empowered by the tax cuts and subsidies from the nascent Neoliberal period.

At a moderated discussion at Rice University in Houston, former president Barack Obama boasted that his presidency was responsible for making America the largest oil producer in the world, stating that, "And you know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer.…that was me, people."

Unregulated corporate power lies at the root of Neoliberalism, which has fueled globalization and the current environmental crisis. It's an ideology that has infected both sides of the political aisle, promoting the strangely skewed belief that the right of a company to make a profit is a higher priority than the needs of the people.

The 2008 global recession resulted in 1.2 million American households lost due to foreclosures and millions left unemployed. And yet, not a single Wall Street executive was prosecuted for their witting sale of toxic mortgages. It was the same unregulated corporate power that initiated the Great Depression in 1929, a result of laissez-faire economics, much the predecessor to Neoliberalism, just as Saturn and Pluto reached orb of opposition the following year.

Photo by Chopper Dave, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Chopper Dave, via Wikimedia Commons

While Ronald Reagan was considered rather moderate when it came to his conservative politics, preserving Medicaid and Social Security as two examples, it was under his administration when homelessness would rapidly increase across the US. The closing of mental institutions throughout the country forced the mentally ill onto the streets. Today, with ever-increasing wealth inequality, the gentrification of major cities is spawning preternaturally, pristine corporate landscapes which push and displace the lower classes further to the margins of society.

With an ideology that promotes maximizing economic freedom no matter the cost, many find themselves beleaguered by a cold, harsh world where profits are placed over human compassion and welfare. Such is the nature of Saturn/Kronos when brought to its darkest and most frightening expression in the shadow of underworld ruler, Pluto. Under the approaching Saturn/Pluto and Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions, we can anticipate another significant chapter change in the evolution of Neoliberalism.

This moment in history represents the closing of the previous cycle, and yet the beginning of a new step. In contemplating the current situation, the next few years looks to be an extremely challenging period, especially for the poor, working class, and the economy. Saturn/Pluto alignments have shown to embolden corporations, the elite, and authoritarian leadership. The Trump administration is continuing the same Neoliberal ideology just as all administrations have since the late 1970s, and in that sense, it's business as usual.

We are likely to see, not just in the US, but across the world, political powers which seek to minimize government regulation and embolden private interests. It's now clear, after 30 plus years of Neoliberal dominance, that its effects are not working out for those at the lower rung of the economic ladder. Therefore, this period is likely to result in increasing civil unrest and frustration, as we've recently seen in France and spreading elsewhere, and the rise of populist leaders who attempt to empathize with the struggles of the 99 percent of non-elites.

By  Umar Shahid , via Wikimedia Commons

By Umar Shahid, via Wikimedia Commons

The backlash from the struggling lower classes is bound to result in a tightening of oppression, control, and retaliation from governmental and corporate powers. As we look beyond the Saturn/Pluto conjunction and consider Saturn's conjunction with Jupiter, a new order will emerge from the outsiders--many geniuses, rebels, and the marginalized are likely to gain power and help shape new structures, and incredible technological innovations will help to catalyze that.

However, the dark side of this cycle, as I've discussed, is that so often, leaders exploit the suffering of the struggling to embolden their nationalistic and sometimes fascist movements. This appears to be a significant risk here in the United States especially, with the Saturn/Pluto conjunction touching the US Pluto alongside its Pluto return. The underworld is now emerging, forcing us to acknowledge the most unsettling and frightening aspects of American culture and its political/economic structures. Neoliberalism is likely to play a major role, reaching a demise or further elaboration. Astrology doesn't tell us which.

But the rising tide of nationalism and conservatism at this current juncture is something we should be wary of as the US approaches its presidential elections in 2020. Saturn/Pluto cycles are often periods of widespread, global backlash against progressive, social changes. Under US president, Ronald Reagan, there was a strong racially driven opposition against the effects of the civil rights movements of the late 60s. Many believed that blacks entering the workforce were jeopardizing job prospects for the white, working class.

Today, under the Trump presidency, similar rhetoric is heard, as many white, right-wing voters blame their economic hardships on immigrants and welfare programs, seemingly ignorant of the effects of Neoliberalism over the past three decades. Donald Trump's blatantly racist and misogynistic comments, his obsession with the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico, appears to echo many of the trends which built momentum in the early 80s, though far more dangerous and extreme.

Crisis and Contraction

Reagan addressing the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals ("Evil Empire" speech), Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Reagan addressing the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals ("Evil Empire" speech), Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Another risk with this current Saturn/Pluto cycle is the synchronistic emergence of crisis. The 1980s saw the height of the Cold War, a time when Reagan declared the Soviet Union "the evil empire," similar to George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech (under the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 2001-2004). Fortunately, the Cold War came to an end after the 80s era Saturn/Pluto conjunction and did not result in nuclear war.

As mentioned, the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred during the previous Saturn/Pluto opposition (2000-2004). It's clear that the events on 9/11 forever changed the political and economic landscape of the US, as well as the entire world, symbolic of the Saturn/Pluto archetypes, a transformation of the world order. In the midst of the 9/11 crisis, airport security checks hugely expanded, and many freedoms and liberties were restricted.

The implementation of the Patriot Act after 9/11 led to the construction of the behemoth surveillance state which has since collected mass amounts of private phone and internet data. The National Security Agency (NSA) spying campaign took on enormous and complex proportions, gathering not just the private data of Americans, but that of citizens abroad. The extent of the NSA spying program was leaked in June 2013 by Edward Snowden, under the Uranus/Pluto square, which as briefly discussed earlier, is much the antithesis of the Saturn/Pluto archetype.

Photo by  Amada44 , via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Amada44, via Wikimedia Commons

But as was the case with the Cold War, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction can bring both beginnings and endings. As the current cycle has correlated with the vast spread of Neoliberalism across the world, we're likely to witness its failure and decline. However, as was the case with modern terrorism, said to have begun in 1946 under another conjunction of Saturn/Pluto, that crisis has worsened, inflamed and supported by corrupt, US foreign policies. The global AIDS crisis, which began under the last Saturn/Pluto conjunction in the 1980s, reached pandemic proportions in Africa under the Saturn/Pluto opposition in 2000-2004.

Promising new HIV treatments and preventions have recently become accessible, and so perhaps, we could see a decisive turning point in the AIDS narrative soon. However, a new disease pandemic is another possibility under the next wave of Saturn/Pluto, as was equally the case with the bubonic plague under the Saturn/Pluto conjunction of 1348-1351. But let us remember, astrology is archetypally but not concretely predictive.

We cannot, in looking at the conjunction alone, predict precisely what kind of crisis will erupt. Astrologer Robert Hand, writing in 2001 about the approaching Saturn/Pluto opposition, admitted that, "I would like to be able to give a definitive judgment about the likelihood or unlikelihood of war, but I cannot. I don’t think that astrology is capable of that." Based on the historical data alone, we can only speculate on the possibilities, such as Hand did in early 2001.

I would suggest, however, that given the past conjunction's correlation with the rise of Neoliberalism and the corporate world, there will be a dramatic change in our corporate and economic structures. And a crisis involving those structures is a high probability. Pluto igniting the US Pluto return in Capricorn in 2022, adds another layer of symbolic significance about an encroaching breakdown and transformation of US economic structures. How exactly this will play out, or what specific factors will lead to it, we cannot say. But the signs are already looming, and the shadow is erupting on the world stage.

Hope in Dark Times

Photo by  MateeKhan , via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by MateeKhan, via Wikimedia Commons

Is there a positive side to the Saturn/Pluto cycle? First, we can look at challenges and even suffering as forces which sculpt formidable strength within individuals. Such experiences catalyze growth, action, and change. There is no life without pain. Indeed, pain is a requirement of being alive. We can reframe our view of the Saturn/Pluto cycle from a victim's perspective to a courageous acceptance of difficulty to add dimension to our experiences, or to provide the incentive for action and thus change.

From an evolutionary astrological view, life isn't all the product of chaos or chance. There is an intelligence guiding the flow of life, a fate to which we are in some way meandering our way through. With that said, are there not periods when we need to step back, conserve, even question previous advances? Is contraction always a bad thing? Can excessive liberalism at times become a problem, or can things progress too soon and too fast? While yes, the world stage appears to depict a hyper-inflated, cartoon version of astrological archetypes, often disconnected from the more profound wisdom or teachings of the planets, there is still perhaps a greater purpose to any difficult moment of life, even a purpose to a collective backlash against progress.

It is to that greater purpose I would encourage us to seek to embrace or understand, if only just to hold that intention with a sense of humility, of surrender to what we don't yet know or understand. In our personal lives, as it is in the collective, we can, through the acquisition of expanded consciousness, align ourselves with the mysterious, cosmic agenda, whatever that is. While we cannot control what happens on the political or cultural stage, we can be inspired by it, motivated to action in our uniquely personal way.

With Saturn empowered in Capricorn by Pluto, and set to align Jupiter in air sign Aquarius, a new structural order is on the verge of its birth. Revolutionary, technological innovations, ideas, and realities will come forth at this time. What can you do to help shape it? How can you implement a new order in your own life? What will you construct from this foundation of solidity? Saturn's more positive face is construed by the virtues of tenacity, relentless commitment, accountability, and self-discipline. And perhaps, if we each embraced responsibility for not just our physical selves, but our darkness, the collective could resist the tempting hypnosis of authoritarian sway.

The peaks of the Saturn/Pluto cycle are indeed difficult times, but they can also reveal the deeper, unconscious underpinnings of our cultural, economic, and political structures. It seems a compelling phenomena that these periods bring to the surface quite literal manifestations of these archetypes, in the form of political leaders and external crises. But we can hold on to the hope that this cycle will pass, and new themes will emerge in the near future.

Let us hope that we've learned from history, that humanity has the wisdom to step back from the edge of the abyss when the signs emerge. Let us hope that we can transcend the dangerous pitfalls of fear, prejudice, the rapid breakdown of critical thought, and the external projection of self-hatred. With that said, Pluto empowering Saturn can correlate, on the individual level, with the empowerment of individual purpose or destiny, a time when we can rise to some daunting challenge and consistently forge our way to victory. Always, as above so below, and so within so without. The planets, an indeed life itself, always have something to say. May we be so blessed to receive the message.

Close Encounters: Earth, Sun, Moon, and Mars

Photo by  Georg Slickers  via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Georg Slickers via Wikimedia Commons

Mars is nearing an intimate flyby with our home planet soon. Intimacy in astronomical terms is about 35 million miles, but if you've been paying attention to Mars lately, via the night sky, you've seen that's quite a statement. On July 26/27 (depending on your time zone), Mars will make its exact perihelic opposition to the Sun. 

If you looked down from above the solar system, you would see a straight line formed between the Sun, Earth, and Mars. If you could somehow perceive the orbital paths of these objects, you'd notice that both Earth and Mars run along an ellipse and that both planets were at their closest points relative to one another. 

This opposition of Mars and Sun is one of three rare and significant events at the close of this month, and all of them involve the infamous, red planet. Following the Sun and Mars' exact opposition, a total lunar eclipse occurs July 27/28, entirely or partially visible for much of the globe except North America and Greenland. 

This eclipse occurs in conjunction with Mars, as the red planet emits its orangish-red beams just beneath the eclipsed Moon. This eclipse will also be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting about an hour and 42 minutes for those on the direct path, such as Eastern Africa and the Middle East. 

And finally, on July 31/Aug 1, Mars will make its closest approach to the Earth, crossing that roughly 35 million mile mark. Mars hasn't been this close to Earth since 2003, and before that, nearly 60,000 years. We are speaking of a few million miles difference for some other Sun/Mars perihelic oppositions, but when it comes to astronomy, numbers seem to count. 

In astrology, Mars is a challenging planet to integrate. It's not a "bad" planet, that is, it doesn't always portend tragedy or crisis, but its emergence into both the personal and collective field is often uncomfortable. I believe that's because Mars is a catalyst, and whether we're responding to pain, anger, or fear, something is prodding us into action. 

Mars' perihelic opposition to the Sun always occurs during Mars' retrograde cycle, every two years. When Mars is retrograde, it's a chance to make adjustments to our aggressive, sexual, and passionate nature. But this cycle, Mars is a little bigger and brighter than usual, and perhaps that physical closeness relates symbolically to a heightened sense of passion, lustiness, aggression, or a willingness to fight. 

As an astrologer, I think that the archetype of Mars exists within us all, but that everyone's response to it is different. Mars has a "primal" vibe, in that it relates to thoughts, feelings, or compulsions which are seemingly beyond rational control. As Mars makes its opposition to the Sun, that primal wave will take over the ego momentarily, and we are given a window into that unfiltered, and untamable void. 

It's what we do with our passion, rage, or fear that matters most. Some things are beyond our control. People may trigger us, a health issue can arise, or an accident. Perhaps nothing so serious shows up for you, but you're feeling fed up with the way things presently are. Catalysts can arrive both inwardly and externally, but what we do with them, how we let our experiences define us, is indeed the most critical work. 

The synchronicity of a historical lunar eclipse and Mars' closest terrestrial encounter is both beautiful and intimidating. Always, on the global stage of political/cultural changes, we see the most cartooned version of astrology, such as a building aggression surging out of control. But with Mars retrograde, something different might show up, a critical adjustment or shift in the tide of war. 

With Mars on the lunar South Node, we know that some karma has ripened, some past, unresolved or unexpressed frustration seeks closure and release. With the Sun now in Leo, nearing the lunar North Node, we can only do our best to take the higher road, to stand confidently and courageously in our power while acknowledging the heart. 

Leo's positive face is that of generosity but also humor. Taking things too seriously could blow up in our faces. The higher road might also suggest the lighter path, where laughter is good medicine and reminds us of our humanity. Beware of the pitfalls of extreme alienation or "higher than thou" attitudes. Remember that a unique feature of humanity is the necessity of community. 

The negative face of Aquarius, the tropical zodiac sign both Mars and the lunar eclipse will reside, is anti-social-like apathy or the rebel without a cause. A Mars-like field as potent as this reminds me of Carl Jung's hypothetical enantiodromia, which warns us that when we polarize against an evil other, we risk eventual assimilation of that which we fight.

In looking at the astrological clock, it's evident that we could all use a catalyst, so let us be thankful for the reminder that life is worth living and that there are things worth fighting. Mars is the warrior after all, but a warrior defends what is sacred and vulnerable. There are harshness and injustices in the world, but Mars inspires us to protect what matters. 

In our fighting, let's not lose sight of compassion, or fall into the trap of making our enemy a literal embodiment of evil. There are profound lessons in a moment of terror, and immense strength acquired through every battle, no matter how small. And when you look out into the world, realize that everyone is in the midst of a personal crusade, even if you can't see it. Use that insight to connect yourself to the greater whole, and perhaps not feel so alone. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path


The Revelation 12 Sign: Is It Really Astrology?

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun by William Blake. 

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun by William Blake. 

As many of my readers are probably well aware, I’m not a Christian. I’m going to assume that most of my readers probably aren’t either. But, to be respectful here, I’m not going to make any attempt to denounce Christianity in this article. My spiritual and philosophical views are rather varied, and my own personal “beliefs” (if you want to call them that) reflect a synthesis of many things that work for me personally, which means that organized religion doesn’t work for me.

Naturally, that conflicts with many of the beliefs of Christianity. I’m also an astrologer, but that doesn’t really conflict with Christianity entirely. Actually, there are Christian astrologers (and they’re good at what they do). I want to make it clear that I don’t believe in a lot of things that Christians believe, but I don’t think that’s a problem in discussing the legitimacy of the popular “Revelation 12 sign” and I think that many rational people within the Christian community will agree with me on many points in this article.

Also, this article isn’t my attempt to make anyone look stupid, or to dissuade anyone from believing in the prophetic context of The Book of Revelation (Revelation) or the spiritual significance of the Bible. However, it is my strong conviction that Revelation and the Bible were never intended to be literally interpreted. With that said, the Revelation 12 sign brings up an interesting discussion about astrology and biblical prophecy that needs to be addressed. Also, the Revelation 12 sign is another opportunity for astrologers to better inform the public about what we astrologers actually do because the debunking of the Revelation 12 sign from the scientific and astronomical communities is going to impact the public’s perception of what astrologers do, unfortunately.

The Revelation 12 sign is a theory proposing that on September 23, 2017, a certain “alignment” of planets and stars occurring over Jerusalem will signify the beginning of Jacob’s Trouble, also known as the Tribulation Period as outlined in Revelation. This “theory” suggests the literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation, i.e. the rapture and the eventual end of the world. Now, “literal fulfillment” is the important point here.

Not all Christians agree on the interpretation of Revelation. For example, historicists look at the book through the broad lens of history. Preterists think that it describes events that happened in the 1st century or during the fall of the Roman empire. And futurist interpretations are really at the root of the Revelation 12 sign theory and suggest that Revelation describes future events. This falls into alignment with a literal or fundamentalist interpretation of biblical passages. However, an idealist or symbolic interpretation (something I would suggest if you take it seriously) looks at Revelation from a metaphoric standpoint.

If you study religion, theology, AND occultism, you soon realize the Bible’s esoteric nature. Basically, you could suggest that the Bible is filled with veiled astrological metaphors, which is true, but not the whole picture. You see, the astrology of the Bible is not really astrology as we understand it today, but rather something called astrotheology. Horoscopic astrology and astrotheology are quite different, as is the difference between alchemy and modern day chemistry. Astrotheology is more congruent with shamanism and mysticism and was an integral aspect of many ancient, religious cults. A rigorous discussion of this subject is beyond the scope of this article. There are many books on this subject and if you’re interested, I’d strongly suggest researching this.

For our purposes here, I’d like to point out that the “theory” of the Revelation 12 sign is not astrology as I would practice it or as many of my colleagues would practice it. The belief or theory of the Revelation 12 sign is more in alignment with astrotheology and prophecy, not western, horoscopic astrology. But before I go further, let’s flesh out this Revelation 12 sign. It all begins with this prophecy from Revelations 12: 1-2:

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth … She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.”

An image of "The Revelation 12 Sign" on September 23, 2017 using Starry Night software. 

An image of "The Revelation 12 Sign" on September 23, 2017 using Starry Night software. 

On September 23, just after the equinox and the New Moon, proponents of the Revelation 12 sign suggest that this prophecy from Revelation will literally happen as an alignment of planets and stars in the sky. As you can see in the image above, the woman is said to represent the constellation of Virgo; the Sun is at her shoulders (“clothed with the Sun”), the Moon is at her feet, three planets in the constellation Leo (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) are visually “aligned” “above her head” along with nine of the most visible stars in this constellation (making 12 “stars”), and the planet Jupiter is stationing direct near her abdominal area.

Jupiter is said to symbolize the male child this woman is giving birth to. The fact that Jupiter is recently stationing direct, which means that it’s shifting from retrograde (an apparent backwards movement through the sky) to direct motion, further reinforces the theory and belief that Jupiter is symbolic of the birth of a child in Virgo’s abdomen, because this retrograde period takes 42 days, which is the approximate period of gestation in the womb.

Now, it’s certainly intriguing and this particular setup of planets is quite rare, but let’s get real here. This isn’t the first time this kind of alignment has occurred since Revelation was written. In an article featured on The Catholic Astronomer, astronomer Christopher M. Graney, pointed out that in the last one thousand years, similar configurations have happened at least four times: September 24, 1827, September 6, 1483, September 5, 1293, and September 14, 1056. I’m very grateful for Mr. Graney’s work in finding these past configurations, because I really didn’t have the time or interest to do this myself.

You can use an astronomy software program (like Starry Night which I use, or Stellarium) to easily verify these dates for yourself, which I did. While these past configurations are not identical, they’re extremely close and are enough to warrant a validation of this prophecy at those times as well. Maybe the rapture already happened in 1483 and we just haven’t realized it yet?

It’s also possible that Revelation, if it has any prophetic or symbolic value, was probably never meant to be taken as a vision of literal future events at all. It’s possible that Revelation, and the Bible itself, are filled with veiled astrological metaphors meant only for those initiates who could decode it and understand the symbolism. It was extremely common for alchemists and initiates of mystery religions and cults to write material coded in esoteric symbolism. This was a way of keeping non-initiates from understanding the true message, cult secrets, and also a way of protecting the secrecy of the cult from persecution. The popularity of the Revelation 12 sign reflects the exoteric understanding of Christianity, and it misses the likely truth that Christianity today is not what it was over two thousand years ago.

The same is true of astrology. In fact, astrologers today are just now uncovering the techniques, beliefs, and practices of astrologers who lived thousands of years ago. We’re just now beginning to understand the origin of western astrology. Even with this newfound material, we still barely understand how these ancient astrologers practiced, how they understood time and space, or how they even thought. In light of these discoveries, it’s obvious that early Greco-Roman astrology and the astrotheology of the Bible are not the same thing, by any means.

In fact, modern astrologers don’t actually use the constellations. The large majority of astrologers today use either the tropical or sidereal zodiacs. The signs of these zodiacs are named after the constellations, but are not the same thing in a technical sense. The tropical zodiac was already in use long before the Bible was written, and was used in tandem with the sidereal zodiac during the height of Hellenistic astrology during the reign of the Roman empire.

When astronomers try to say that your Sun sign is actually the sign before it, they apparently don’t know that western astrologers don’t use the constellations at all, but rather the tropical zodiac, constructed from the Sun’s seasonal cycle. The sidereal zodiac attempts to line up the signs with the constellations, but fails to do so completely because the signs of the sidereal zodiac occur at 30 degree equal increments, while the constellations do not. The constellation of Virgo is 40 degrees wide!

The reason astrologers no longer use the constellations is due to something called precession of the equinoxes. This is the gradual shifting of the constellations relative to seasonal points and planetary alignments over a period of thousands of years. For example, roughly two thousand years ago, during the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the Sun was in the constellation of Aries, but today it occurs near the end of the constellation of Pisces.

This is also where the belief in the astrological ages comes from, and the suggestion that we’re moving into the “Age of Aquarius”  since the Sun on the equinox is moving from the constellation Pisces to Aquarius. But, to go back to Revelation 12, I don’t think that this particular passage from the Bible was referring to a specific “alignment” of planets on September 23, 2017. In fact, whenever this configuration occurs, it happens near the Sun, where no one could ever possibly see it! You won’t see any of these planets or stars on Sep. 23. You’ll only see the Sun, and I wouldn’t recommend looking at it (unless you still have some leftover eclipse glasses).

From The Book of Revelation ; a study of the last prophetic book of Holy Scripture by Clarence Larkin, 1919. 

From The Book of Revelation ; a study of the last prophetic book of Holy Scripture by Clarence Larkin, 1919. 

This “great sign” that “appears” in the sky doesn’t actually appear at all. Doesn’t anyone think this is a little suspect? Or did the prophet of Revelation know that two thousand years later we would have the astronomical software to see the “great sign?” I’m thinking probably not. Also, referring to the planets Venus, Mercury, and Mars and the constellation Leo as the “twelve stars” that appear above the woman’s head, is really some serious twisting of the facts to make things fit perfectly.

There are actually more than nine stars in Leo. The nine “stars” in the the Revelation 12 sign are the most visible stars in the constellation, but there are several more, as well as above the Virgin’s head that are technically not in Leo. Also, while we know that ancient people may have referred to planets as stars, they actually knew the difference. The word planet is Greek for wanderer, which refers to a star that moves. While they may have thought of planets as “wandering stars”, they knew there was a difference between stars and “wanderers” because they had a word for it.

The constellation of Virgo also refers to a virgin! Yes, last time I checked, with the exception of the birth of Christ and Mary’s supposed immaculate conception, virgin’s don’t give birth to children. Okay, that’s not a strong point, but I thought it was kind of funny. The Revelation 12 sign is also somehow tied into the belief in “Planet X” (and a whole host of other viral internet ideologies like the “Flat Earth Theory”). The belief in Planet X originates from the work of Zecharia Sitchin and his many books about the fabled planet “Nibiru”, but particularly his most popular, The Twelfth Planet.

According to Sitchin, Nibiru enters the inner solar system periodically, close enough to cause weather changes and massive destruction on Earth. Sitchin primarily made connections between Mesopotamian artifacts to support his thesis that Nibiru is a planet inhabited by a race of extraterrestrial beings called the Annunaki, who descend upon the Earth whenever their planet is in the neighborhood. Sitchin suggested that these aliens actually created the human race, and that the deluge mythologies from Mesopotamia and the bible actually refer to Nibiru.

Now, how Christian conspiracy theorists on YouTube are getting caught up in Sitchin's literal interpretations of mesopotamian mythologies is beyond me (unless you decide that the bible is now an account of aliens creating humans). I do think it’s possible that extraterrestrial beings may have interfered with human evolution. Do I whole-heartedly believe that? No. But I’m not going to dismiss that as a possibility. It’s plausible, and it’s an interesting hypothesis. Also, there is much credence to a Planet X.

In fact, astronomers are still looking for a large planet, known as Planet Nine, that’s creating gravitational anomalies in the Extreme Trans Neptunian Objects, but it still remains hypothetical. Could this planet be Nibiru? Is it coming into its cyclic passage through the solar system creating havoc and destruction on the planet? I doubt it. And if Nibiru actually does exist, is it inhabited by a race of extraterrestrial beings? I’m going to say, probably not. These are all fascinating ideas and speculations, and they make for great works of fiction, but there just isn’t enough evidence to convince me of their actual validity (and I’ve actually read all of Sitchin's books).

The hypothosized orbit of Planet Nine; image via Wikimedia Commons.

The hypothosized orbit of Planet Nine; image via Wikimedia Commons.

So, why would anyone believe in the Revelation 12 sign or the planet Nibiru? Why do people periodically get swept up in paranoid fantasies about the end of the world? If you go back through history, especially since the writing of Revelation, these kinds of predictions and speculations have been going on for a very long time. It’s nothing new. I mean, let’s go back to medieval Europe during the bubonic plague and imagine what they thought was happening as they watched everyone around them dying (with Revelation probably at the forefront of their minds). The Revelation 12 sign is not really that unique. As we have seen, it’s happened before.

I think that these reactions are a natural response to uncertainty and change. We’re living in a world and society that’s becoming increasingly complex and fast paced. Everything is changing, and rapidly. Technological progress and scientific understanding are happening at an increasingly faster rate. We’re living in a period of human evolution that’s probably never happened before, and if it has, we have no record of it. As a result of this increasing complexity and advancement, people get scared. They want to have some sense of control over what’s happening.

It’s possible that what’s happening in the world, for the most part, is beyond our control. For astrologers, we look at a world possessed by mythology. I believe that these myths have power and that they influence people on a very real, psychological dimension. I also think that the Christian mythology is important, and it’s influenced all aspects of our culture, even within the institutions of scientific skepticism. Again, that’s a lengthy conversation, but I point that out because I don’t think anyone is immune to myth even if they don’t believe in a literal battle of “good versus evil”. That battle is still being waged within the unconscious of all people influenced by western culture.

I think that humanity is in a process of awakening. To me, this process is endless, because it is the process of evolution itself. As we awaken, we realize the vast complexity of reality, and at each stage, we have varying reactions to that. Here in the U.S., the current political establishment appeals to a percentage of the population that wants to revert back to a more simplistic period of American history. We’re seeing this trend not just in the United States, but across the world. For an astrologer, this appears to be an archetypal inundation within the collective consciousness, and understanding it objectively helps us keep some distance from being taken over by it.

But the solution to what’s happening in the world lies at the heart of evolution: adaptation. I think that humans have survived some extremely difficult situations throughout our time here. Given the advancements in science and technology, I think we’re more equipped to survive now than we have ever been. I think it’s time that we embraced change and chaos, and do what we can to continue our journey here on earth, whatever that looks like.

In conclusion, many astronomers (including Mr. Graney mentioned above) go on to debunk astrology along with the Revelation 12 sign. This is unfortunate, because their discussion of astrology is always poorly researched. It’s clear that astronomers don’t study astrology, and therefore are not qualified to make any claims about it. They often use the same rhetoric in their discussions, emphasizing poorly written Sun sign horoscopes, as if those represent the entire field of astrology and those who practice it. This is entirely untrue, and forges a very limited perception of astrology in the public eye.

To compare the fanatical beliefs and astrotheological prophecies of the proponents of the Revelation 12 sign with the entire field of horoscopic astrology, is rather absurd. Unfortunately, this is a common trend with astronomers and scientists, who, with their very narrow, ad hoc understanding of astrology, try to “debunk” something they know very little about. To experienced, professional astrologers, who study, research, and practice astrology their entire lives, the Revelation 12 sign is insignificant astrologically speaking, but it’s interesting because it opens a discussion about the Bible and astrotheology as a whole. We could suggest that the believers of the Revelation 12 sign are actually debunking the literal interpretation of the Bible through their unwitting obsession with astrotheology.

The myth of Revelation, however, is definitely significant from a symbolic or archetypal perspective, and I think that it’s playing out within each of us, and in the world, whether we believe that or not. That is an entire discussion by itself, but for now, I’ll leave you with this: the world isn’t literally coming to an end. The Sun will be around another 5 billion years, and the Earth will be habitable for at least another billion. A meteor strike or nearby supernova explosion could always happen, and yet the Earth would likely still be here, though we might not. But our demise isn’t the demise of the Earth. It’ll move on with its evolution, so let’s move on with ours. These myths may actually be part of that evolutionary process, and working through them within our own lives and on the world stage, may be a very crucial piece of our human story and evolution here on Earth.

Shine On: Total Solar Eclipse in Leo 2017

Total eclipse of the sun taken in Chita, Russia on March 9, 1997; photo by  名古屋太郎  via Wikimedia Commons. 

Total eclipse of the sun taken in Chita, Russia on March 9, 1997; photo by 名古屋太郎 via Wikimedia Commons. 


Total Solar Eclipse @ 28 tropical Leo 53'

August 21, 2017

11:30 AM Los Angeles

2:30 PM New York

1:30 PM Chicago

7:30 PM London

2:30 AM Hong Kong

4:30 AM Sydney

6:30 AM Aukland

*The U.S. times above are for the precise conjunction of Sun and Moon as measured from the center of the Earth, not the times for the maximum phase of the eclipse if you plan to view it. Also, NEVER watch a solar eclipse without using eclipse glasses or a special filter. For eclipse safety and viewing times, please read this article. 

This much anticipated total solar eclipse in tropical Leo is here (much anticipated for those visiting or living in the United States, especially those on the path of totality). For thousands of years, eclipses were viewed by many cultures as negative omens, often feared and revered by those who witnessed them, and for obvious reasons. Especially with a total solar eclipse, the experience is mesmerizing, visceral, and eerie. In a little over an hour, the Moon passes over the Sun, creating a darkening of the sky, a drastic drop in temperature, and during the few minutes of totality, spectators witness spectacular visual effects such as the appearance of the solar corona, the emergence of stars and planets typically hidden, and sometimes, in rare cases, shadow bands (which appear as shimmering, wavy shadows on white or very lightly colored objects below). 

It’s no wonder that our ancestors viewed eclipses with terror and came up with various superstitions about them. Science has done much to dispel this superstition, and has given us a more precise technical understanding of why eclipses happen, but science has also stripped the magic and archetypal reality away from the modern mind. Those who witness a total solar eclipse cannot deny their own experience which is profound and unforgettable. In that moment, a beauty and power that’s hard to describe overtakes you. Even the most staunch materialist will be consumed with awe by the sheer magnificence and mystery of the experience, even sometimes drawn to tears. Something primal inside of us responds to this, even if it’s just a mechanical fluke of nature. As an astrologer, I avoid making outlandish claims and speculations when it comes to astrology, but I also study the subject and observe its relevance in my life and the life of friends, family, clients, and notable figures.

And because of that, I can say with much certainty that eclipses, like any other astronomical event, have a direct correlation with human life. There is convincing evidence that throughout history, eclipses that occur over a specific region perceptibly impact that place in significant and notable ways. Aside from their historical implications, they can accelerate interpersonal changes, life transitions, and amplify emotional and psychological constructs within us. And collectively, a rapid series of events begins to unfold. What will happen with this particular eclipse? I don’t know concretely, and I won’t pretend that I do. Eclipses are hard to understand while they happen, and because they tend to develop weeks, months, and even years after the event itself, they’re more discernible in hindsight. But, especially with a total solar eclipse, the symbolism speaks volumes. The Moon, a symbol of the irrational, unconscious, and hidden dimensions of life experience, momentarily overtakes the light of the Sun. 

The Sun symbolizes the rational, apollonian archetype related to the visible world we see and interact with. A solar eclipse is a powerful New Moon, which is a symbolic death and rebirth of the lunar cycle. Thus, what I can say with confidence is that a large shadow will be cast across the United States and a powerful, unconscious narrative/mythos will overtake the collective mind of this country. Many people will be swept up in a collective drama with origins lying deep within the collective psyche, or what psychologist Carl Jung called the collective unconscious (the repository of repressed psychic content within a given culture). We will also witness some very drastic external changes happening in this nation from here on out, especially since the U.S. is nearing its first Pluto return alongside a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in 2020, and will also witness another total solar eclipse in 2024. What that will all look like, I don’t know exactly, but I think we are already seeing it emerge on the world stage as I write these words. It is a dynamic process of death, rebirth, and an upwelling of contraction.

A viewer of the Solar Eclipse on Aug 11, 1999 in Paris, France; photo by Arnaudh via Wikimedia Commons. 

A viewer of the Solar Eclipse on Aug 11, 1999 in Paris, France; photo by Arnaudh via Wikimedia Commons. 

I’d suggest looking into the work of scholars who specialize in studying historical and economic trends, as well as mundane astrologers with that kind of analytical expertise for a better understanding the unfolding historical narrative. My focus is more so on the personal dimensions of astrological application. For a more mundane perspective on this eclipse, do read my article here. This New Moon/total solar eclipse occurs at the final degrees of Leo. Leo is a fire sign of yang polarity. The solar eclipse also creates a fire grand trine between Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. The trine to Uranus is particularly significant in its precision, and can empower the rebellious, revolutionary, and unstable elements surrounding this eclipse. Personally, it can feel like a dramatic, passionate, and creative uprising within each of us (as well as collectively). This solar eclipse seeks to awaken within us a renewed desire for life, vitality, and self-expression which serves to liberate and free us from limitations and past constraints.

As always with Uranus, previous barriers and obstacles are suddenly and unexpectedly cleared, making way for new avenues of experience and opportunities to express individuality. For good or ill, this eclipse is empowering individuals to step out and gain more visibility in the world. The wider trine to Saturn can help us gain more traction, as well as bring forth the fruits of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. If you’re feeling motivated to bring forth your creative energy now, you should feel a sense of greater confidence and courage to do so. If you’re unclear of what you want to create or express exactly, this eclipse can help catalyze movement by igniting inspiration and motivation to make some drastic changes within yourself and within your personal life. These changes will unfold and develop in the coming weeks and months. 

With the south nodal lunar eclipse in Aquarius just two weeks ago, we crossed a threshold of accelerated release and dissipation of past patterns, attitudes, and behaviors that have been limiting the flow of life force, creativity, passion, and vitality in our lives. This north nodal solar eclipse in Leo is like a great awakening of excitement and zeal. While certainly we can take some positive steps, and gradually begin expressing our talents and willpower, there’s a negative side to these symbols too. Leo can indicate a blindness as a result of overt subjectivity and egocentricity. It can also incite an over dramatization of the ego (or false self) which can empower others to overstep boundaries and impose themselves tactlessly and harshly. Be mindful that what you’re expressing now is actually in alignment with your authentic self, not something imposed on you externally. Eclipses can also relate to a difficult transition or even a sudden fading away of the past, which can be painful for some.

The positive side of Leo is the ability to bring forth our creative, child-like self in healthy ways which helps to inspire and enliven others. Tantrums and misguided revolts are an expression of the fear based components of the inner child and will work to harm or otherwise keep us from fulfilling our true potential during this eclipse. Remember, that the greatest of all revolutions are within. Uranus’ close trine to this eclipse encourages us to liberate ourselves and gain more autonomy and independence to be who we are. If you’re feeling the need to step into this fire, do so. This eclipse will express both the positive and negative faces of these energies. Seeing that western culture is rather unconscious of its own myths and demons, the demons are likely to run amok here. But you have the power to face your own, and by doing that, you’ll be creating not only the life you want and deserve, but also helping to bring us all back to wholeness.  


Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help.

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Insights into "The Great American Eclipse"

Total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009; photo by kubotake via Wikimedia Commons. 

Total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009; photo by kubotake via Wikimedia Commons. 

As usual with rare astronomical/astrological events, a lot of speculation, rumor, hype and superstition surround it. The unfortunate part of this is that it spreads a lot of fear, anxiety, and then, when some momentous event doesn’t in fact happen, it reinforces a perception among the general public that astrology again failed and got a lot of people worked up over nothing. As you probably now know, next week’s lunar eclipse leads into a total solar eclipse in Leo just two weeks later on Aug 21. It will only appear as a total solar eclipse for those residing in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, south eastern Georgia, and South Carolina. For everyone else in the U.S., it will appear as a partial eclipse (still a pretty cool experience).

As you may or may not know, as an astrologer I stay away from making radical predictions and claims. While I’m not completely against the idea that there are many predetermined events in life, I think that for the most part, consciousness can alter and change our experiences. I think that life is a mixture of fate and free-will. So often, our predictions fail to manifest as we expect them to. That could be partially a result of faulty technique, but I think it more often has to do with the fact that astrological symbolism is multivalent. Each sign and planet has an array of possible expressions. Even with a finely tuned, time-tested technique, astrologers will never be 100 percent accurate in predicting the future. One thing that I’ve learned about astrology, especially the more I engage with it consciously, is that it’s so often hundreds of steps ahead of me.

I’m more often completely surprised by how things actually turn out. In hindsight, I look back and the event certainly fit the symbolism, but never could I have imagined the end result. I think most of us experience life like that. Astrology shouldn’t be used to control your choices or dread the future, but rather to help you make more conscious and informed choices. Rarely do the worse-case scenarios ever manifest as we feared. With that said, and considering where the U.S. currently is politically, this event is pretty interesting. The first thing to consider is that eclipses are not isolated events. Eclipses open a portal in the zodiac that becomes an active hot zone. Planets that cross over or aspect the degree of the eclipse can trigger its manifestations for weeks, months, or even years into the future. The first step in analyzing this eclipse is to consider that it’s emphasizing the United States because it will be visible here and cross from coast to coast, which means that it’s making a statement about this country. The next step is to look at what kind of eclipse it is. Since it’s a solar eclipse, it’s basically a supercharged New Moon. It symbolizes a dramatic end and beginning of something.

Death is a natural part of life. That’s an obvious statement, but so often we choose to forget it for good reasons. We’re here to live our lives; there’s no sense in dwelling on death while in the thick of life. But I think every nation, or anything that gains considerable power in the world, creates an illusion that it’s somehow omnipotent and immortal. As an American myself, I grew up with this belief pounded into my head that my country was the “greatest” and would never end. I obviously didn’t grow up to believe that. All empires meet their end. Everything dies. While we might not have the capacity to comprehend it, the Sun will die too. The entire Universe will cease to exist. These unsettling thoughts threaten the ego, that dominating part of our consciousness that has gained such power over the western mind.

Empires come and go, just as people do. As the Buddhists would say, “all is impermanent.” I think eclipses are fascinating because they generate this very real sense that there’s something more powerful than we are. Like an earthquake or severe storm, we’re suddenly minimal in comparison. Our existence is instantly put into perspective. It would seem that this eclipse kind of sends that message to America: “you’re not the center of the universe and there are greater powers than you.” You can interpret that in many ways. I’m certainly not predicting the fall of the American Empire over this eclipse, but it may well signify the beginning of an end in terms of how we’ve perceived ourselves as a nation. Consider the tropical sign of Leo, and consider how this eclipse occurs at the end, the anaretic degrees of this sign.

Leo is a fixed, fire sign of yang polarity. It’s ruled by the Sun. It carries this symbolism of gravitas, presence, and a sense of permanent ruler ship and power. The Sun is the center of our solar system. The Sun forces all planets to orbit around it, but as I just said, the Sun will not have rule forever. It too will die. I think this illusion in the American psyche of being the dominating and fixed power center of the world needs a serious reality check. It has mobilized a movement of people who seriously lack perspective, and I think that’s a dangerous thing. I think the United States needs some humility and respect of other perspectives. And I think it’s highly possible that this eclipse signifies the beginning of the end of this illusion. Many would say that began long ago, but I’m not sure it’s reached the collective consciousness of the United States just yet. Perhaps it soon will.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help. Click here for personal readings. 

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President Donald Trump and the U.S. Horoscope

As you may be aware, this “Great American Eclipse” touches the horoscope of President Donald Trump. You’ve probably heard of him. I’m going to steer clear of expressing any personal bias or opinions about him here. The eclipse touches on Donald Trump’s Ascendant. This is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time he came screaming into the world (I imagine he was probably pretty vocal with a 10th house Gemini Sun, but maybe not). In modern astrology, the Ascendant is the cusp of the first house, and in ancient, Hellenistic astrology (which tended to favor whole sign places over houses), the first house was known as the Helm. In simple words, this place originally signified where we steer the ship, that is to say, how we direct our lives. In modern, evolutionary astrology, the Ascendant is a symbol of our persona or outward mask. This is separate from our public mask. It’s more personal and one on one. It’s what my teacher, Steven Forrest, calls the mask we wear at a cocktail party.

I would argue that the mask we see of Donald Trump is more described by his 10th house and the sign that falls on his Midheaven because it’s what he shows to the public (though you’ll soon see that his Ascendant and Midheaven are interchangeable). Using equal houses, Trump has his Sun conjunct Uranus and the North Node in Gemini in his 10th house. We see a statement about a person who has greatly emphasized public and career matters (10th house) and that he’s using radical and rebellious vocal expression as a means of getting ahead in life (Uranus conjunct Sun). With a strong 10th house statement, Donald Trump is deeply concerned with status, reputation, and making a stamp on the world. With Uranus making such a statement here as well, Donald Trump is a rebel and has an eccentric public persona. With Taurus on his Midheaven, immediately we see a fixed, stubborn, and determined edge to this. Taurus is an immovable sign, and it symbolizes energy that stands tall and firmly entrenched.

The ruler of his Midheaven is Venus which is separating from a conjunction with Saturn in Cancer in the 11th house. This reveals that a big part of his public image depicts him networking and schmoozing, but also gives a traditional, conservative side (Saturn in Cancer) to his otherwise eccentric and radical Uranus vibes. The 11th house is known traditionally as the house of dreams, hopes, and friends. With Saturn placed in Cancer and conjunct Venus, this placement also shows a person who is fated to have a history of separations and challenges in his friendships and relationships (which will be very much public knowledge). Also, from a modern perspective, this Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer paints a person whose public image is predicated upon laying out nostalgic dreams and visions of the “good old days”, promising security, safety, and practical goals. Do we see his, “Make America Great Again” slogan emerging from these symbols?

Donald Trump's chart (inner chart) with transits (outer wheel) during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Note the eclipse to the left of the chart on his Ascendant. Equal houses and tropical zodiac.

Donald Trump's chart (inner chart) with transits (outer wheel) during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Note the eclipse to the left of the chart on his Ascendant. Equal houses and tropical zodiac.

President Donald Trump’s Saturn/Venus conjoins Mercury in the U.S. Sibley horoscope. These nostalgic dreams and visions hit a powerful chord in the American mind. Donald Trump’s Ascendant falls in the last degrees of Leo, and is ruled by the Sun. This brings us back to his equal 10th house Gemini placement conjunct Uranus. Thus, there is a strong synergy between his personal persona and public image. With a Leo Ascendant, Donald Trump’s personal style is one that is showy, dramatic, attention getting, and loud. With Mars close to his Ascendant, there is an element of assertiveness, aggressiveness, and a “warrior” like quality to this. Mars, the planet of war, reveals a highly combative and forceful persona which amplifies the fire element in his mask.

This eclipse represents on one level a death of that image and style, and the way he makes decisions, choices, and asserts himself in the world. Hitting an angle of the chart (the Ascendant) is also very significant as the beginning of a critical shift in his consciousness and personal life. On another level, the solar eclipse requires a rebirth of his personal and public image, one that is likely to be dramatic in its change and transformation. Thus, what we could expect here is to witness a major shift in how Donald Trump represents himself, which may come as a result of a crisis or challenge to his reputation. This will utterly change the freedom he has to make decisions and lead others. Since the first house and Ascendant are tied into themes involving leadership as well, we see the death and rebirth of a leader in one way or another. How exactly that manifests is partly up to fate, and partly up to Donald Trump’s own free will.

Also, the first house and Ascendant represent the physical body, and it’s possible we may see some health related issues arise from this. From these symbols we can ascertain that Donald Trump is going to be “eclipsed” in the coming weeks and months. What that actually looks like, we’ll soon see. The eclipse occurs in the ninth equal house/place in the U.S. Sibley chart. This chart is the most commonly used by astrologers, and really proved its validity during the events of Sept 11, 2011. In traditional astrology, the ninth house was known as the house of the “king” or “God” and governed issues dealing with foreign travel/relations, divination, religion, and even astrology. Since we live in different times (though technically not much different), we can conclude that this “Great American Eclipse” will change much of our national ideology/beliefs, foreign relations (policies) as well as our “king”, which we could say symbolically represents the President of the United States.

The U.S. Sibley horoscope (center chart) with transits during the solar eclipse on Aug 21, 2017 (outer wheel). Note the eclipse making an opposition to the Moon in Aquarius in the third house. Equal Houses and tropical zodiac. 

The U.S. Sibley horoscope (center chart) with transits during the solar eclipse on Aug 21, 2017 (outer wheel). Note the eclipse making an opposition to the Moon in Aquarius in the third house. Equal Houses and tropical zodiac. 

In evolutionary astrology, the ninth house deals with encountering shocking perspectives and the formation of personal ethics, philosophy, or worldview. Its shadow exhibits dogmatism and defensiveness against foreign views and perspectives. So for the country as a whole, there’s a dramatic shift in our perspective as a nation, and a change in our national ideology. The eclipse also makes a challenging opposition to the natal Moon in Aquarius in the third house. This Aquarian Moon, looked at through a modern lens, symbolizes the “revolutionary” soul of America and our need to be a “progressive” and rebellious nation via the Aquarian association with Uranus. The third house came to be known as a house dealing with communication in a broad sense, though traditionally it was called “Goddess”, and dealt topically with issues surrounding travel, relatives, and siblings.

I believe that the third house association with communication is an important modern shift in its symbolism. It can indicate the transmission of news and gossip. American culture is so highly influenced by the media which now expresses itself mostly through the internet. We see here an eclipsing of our media, and also the revolutionary spirit of America. This is being directly challenged by the “King” as well as a foreign influence or through foreign relations. It will stimulate much gossip and theorizing to take place surrounding these issues, or will utterly change how Americans communicate over time. I’m sure that given the nature of recent events and speculations, we could imagine all kinds of scenarios here.

From the evolutionary view, the third house deals with the ability to form unbiased perceptions. Opposite the ninth, the third house supports the asking of questions as opposed espousing a definitive underlying truth. In it’s shadow, similar to the ninth, it seeks to defend a given perception of reality and limit the flow of information, leading to a scattered pursuit of useless facts and ideas. It’s interesting that the themes of these two houses are rather hot topics with the current presidency. It’s presented us with a lot of questions about what the truth really is, who to actually trust, and whether the facts are really what we think they are.

I think theses symbols also speak to the reality of the times we currently live in. We are at a point in this country where we need to be very careful of simplifying and polarizing the issues on the table. I don’t think it’s as simple as making one side “good” and another side “bad”. There isn’t much of anything in life that’s that simplistic. Life is complicated and messy. The truth isn’t so clean cut and dry. I think that as we approach this eclipse, Americans need to be really careful of taking any particular side, no matter how hard that is. If you really want the truth, these symbols suggest moving beyond any rigid assumptions you might have about reality, and choosing to look beyond your usual sources of information to find it. I think that’s important advice, and something we might find to be a necessity in the very near future.

One last observation here. The Moon rules the eighth house in the U.S. horoscope, which is traditionally called the house of death. That's always sounds a little ominous, but it also deals with issues pertaining to shared resources and debt. There are several critical placements in this sign and house, including the Sun and Mercury, and if using whole sign houses, both Jupiter and Venus as well. This was not seen as a favorable house for placements in earlier traditions, though even in modern astrology the eighth house is not a particularly comfortable place. It invokes a sense of having to face uncomfortable realities, usually pertaining to ones mortality. It's possible this eclipse will dredge up some unsettling truths which will deeply effect our national security and may well impact America's shared resources. 

Consider that currently, America's only major economic export is war. This sad truth is what led many to believe that Donald Trump could restore our self-sufficiency as a nation. I think the reality of whether or not this is possible is going to very quickly sink in here. And on a basic symbolic level, the Moon is a statement about our nation's heart, hearth, and safety. This eclipse brings into the collective consciousness of the nation an awakening realization to the threat that not all is as safe and secure as we might imagine. The synchronicity of that correlating with the eclipse hitting Donald Trump's Ascendant reveals that as President, he must alter his image somehow, to get the public to earn his trust as a leader. In looking at his current ratings, that may be a very difficult challenge. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help.

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The Path of Heart: Venus Retrograde 2017

Western buttercup in bloom; photo by Chad Woodward, February 2017.

Western buttercup in bloom; photo by Chad Woodward, February 2017.

Venus Retrograde in Aries/Pisces 2017

March 4-April 15, 2017

Venus turns retrograde on March 4, 2017 in tropical Aries. Venus will transit from 13 degrees of Aries to 26 degrees of Pisces this cycle. It turns direct on April 15 after 42 days of retrograde motion. These roughly 40 days of Venus retrograde are often quite significant for relationships and “matters of the heart”. The planet Venus correlates primarily with the bonding instinct. When she turns retrograde, many relationships undergo a notable transformation, but there is a lot more to it as you will soon learn. The Venus retrograde cycle runs on an eight year rhythm. She stations retrograde at five different points in the zodiac and returns to roughly the same locations every eight years (yes, she forms a near perfect pentagram in the sky). 

The Venus retrograde cycle correlates strongly with the development of situations that reach critical turning points every eight years. This particular cycle echoes back to March-April 2009. You may want to reflect on this past cycle to gain some understanding about what’s happening now. Relationships cover a lot of territories. We form relationships with people. That one is obvious. We can also form relationships to other sentient beings like plants, animals, and “higher entities”. Venus is associated with both Libra and Taurus. The Libra face of Venus deals with “bridge building” and rapport--the instinct to form connections between self and other. 

The Taurus face of Venus deals with the more interior dimension of Venus--what we place value upon in life and how we value and show love for ourselves. The goddess Venus/Aphrodite is the quintessential love goddess. In both her two faces, Venus deals with love for other beings and for ourselves. Venus is the brightest “star” in the sky. We know that Venus is not actually a star, but it’s radiant glow certainly gives it that illustrious, star-like appearance. Like Mercury, Venus is never too far away from the Sun (an actual star which is certainly brighter). Due to this fact, Venus can either be seen rising before the Sun or setting after the Sun. 

It is during these retrograde phases that Venus switches from evening (known as Venus Hesperus) to morning star (Venus Lucifer). At the midpoint of the Venus retrograde cycle (also known as New Venus), the Sun and Venus form what’s called an inferior conjunction where Venus is between the Earth and the Sun. After Venus slowly emerges from this conjunction, it will be seen rising before the Sun each morning until the superior conjunction (when Venus is on the far side of the Sun). These two conjunctions create a Sun, Venus, Earth alignment. During Venus retrograde, it is moving at its slowest, it’s closer to the Earth, and it spends several months in roughly one sign of the zodiac. 

To understand Venus retrograde, these fine details are important. Venus is the archetypal “heart”, not really the actual organ, but the “heart center”, like the heart chakra. It represents that place inside of us that seeks peace, love, understanding, common ground, and relational stability. We associate Venus with beautiful things and people, experiences that have this calming and sedative effect on the body. When you look at something beautiful, how do you feel? When you see someone incredibly attractive, where do you feel it? Beauty fills us with this warm fuzzy feeling in the heart center in the body. Culturally, we often talk about “following your heart”, listening to that place inside of you that is guided by blissful feelings. Mythologist Joseph Campbell summed it up in this catch phrase, “follow your bliss”. 

The pattern that Venus' cycle creates from our geocentric perspective. 

The pattern that Venus' cycle creates from our geocentric perspective. 

We don’t just experience life through the mind and ego. That is of course how we’re culturally conditioned to see the world--logically and rationally. Venus isn’t either of those things. Venus is that heart centered desire for something idyllic--something beyond reason and common sense. Venus wants everyone to get along and live a harmonious, blissful existence. It seeks to connect and with whomever it comes into contact with. While that’s not an entirely realistic goal, it does say a lot about what happens in our social interactions. Even in the most awkward of exchanges, there seems to be something inside of us that attempts to find common ground no matter what. Some of us are better at that than others. Usually, Venus is strong in these people’s charts. 

Venus is this bridge-building impulse within the psyche. When we have common ground, when we’re at peace with people in our lives, we can relax. We calm down. We don’t have to worry so much about where other people stand. When we look at a beautiful painting, sculpture, natural setting, or listen to breathtaking music, we equally feel this sense of calm and ease with the world. And when we slow down, when we relax and really listen, we can hear the heart. How do we follow the heart unless we can hear it? You can’t hear it if you’re up in your head all the time thinking about how you’re supposed to be following your heart. You need to stop, quiet down, and listen.

How do we learn about other people if we just talk about ourselves all of the time? We don’t. We have to shut up and listen to others. Venus also deals heavily with empathy--the ability to put yourself in someone else’s place to understand what they’re experiencing and where they’re coming from. So, when Venus is retrograde, the heart is louder! Venus is the closest to the earth when it’s retrograde. This is a time to slow down and get out of your head. Sometimes during these cycles we’re kind of forced to slow down by circumstances around us. Between the stations of Venus (when Venus stops and changes direction), Venus reaches its inferior conjunction with the Sun. It is engulfed by it; the heart undergoes this alchemical transformation. Venus is descending into the heart of the Sun to become reborn. 

When Venus is retrograde, all of these Venusian themes are much louder than usual. Our relationships (our ability to relate and bond with others) undergo a transformation. You may notice a lot of shifting dynamics within your interactions with other people. You may reevaluate all of your partnerships (friendships, professional, and marriage/intimate partnerships). You may notice certain shadows, flaws, and blind spots in others that you didn’t see before. You may focus heavily on such things within yourself. You may become preoccupied with beautiful things. You may discover or rediscover beauty in some new way in your life. You may also come closer to finding your own unique “heart path”--that thread through life that is guided by your bliss. There is a lot of reevaluating going on during Venus retrograde, shifting values and priorities.

You may heavily reevaluate yourself, what you’re worth and worthy of. That may deeply impact your relationships and how you connect with others. To get the most out of Venus retrograde, you need to go with the flow. Take some time to slow down your life and check in with your heart. What does it have to say? What does it need? Tend to and take care of this powerful place. Learn how to feed it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. This is a time to discover what you find beautiful so that you can actively seek and attract it into your life. Give your heart what it needs during this time. Be gentle with yourself and the people you love.

This is an opportunity to go deeper, to see how far you can reach both inwardly and outwardly. When Venus is reborn, you will feel some new and expanded capacity for love. You can love a whole lot more, but only if you take the time to listen, slow down, and trust where your heart is leading you. It may defy logic. It’ll probably be a little uncomfortable, but if you choose the path of heart, you’ll really be living. You’ll know what it means to thrive. That is not something the mind knows how to do. Only the heart knows how to really feel life in its wholeness--to see beauty in both the joy and the pain. 

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Standing Rock at the Precipice: The Astrology of NODAPL

Dakota Access Pipeline protest site near Cannonball, ND August 15, 2016; photo by Shane Balkowitsch via Wikimedia Commons. 

Dakota Access Pipeline protest site near Cannonball, ND August 15, 2016; photo by Shane Balkowitsch via Wikimedia Commons. 

You’ve likely heard about the ongoing protests against the construction of an oil pipeline on unceded territory of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota. It all began on April 1, 2016 when dozens of tribal members from various nations rode on horseback to set up camp near the construction site--the portion of pipeline that was to be placed beneath Lake Oahe which connects to the Missouri River. It is the only source of clean water for the people of Standing Rock as well as many other indigenous groups. It equally supplies water for 18 million people downstream. The protesters, who call themselves water protectors, traveled to the site to peacefully protest and pray to the land in which their ancestors are buried. They feel that this pipeline not only threatens this vital water source but also violates treaties made between the U.S. government and the Sioux nation, infringing upon sacred burial grounds and historically significant sites. 

“They’re going under the river 500 yards from my son’s grave, my father’s grave, my aunt who I buried last week. I really love my land, and if that pipeline breaks everything is gone,” Ladonna Allard, a member of the Standing Rock, told the Guardian. Oil pipelines are notorious for leaks causing massive environmental contamination and requiring large scale clean-up operations. Like the Keystone XL pipeline, the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been subject to ongoing delays due to fierce opposition from protesters and environmental groups. However, unlike Keystone XL, DAPL doesn’t cross the Canadian border and is not considered a federal project. It’s privately funded and its construction is subject to approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

On Dec. 4 2016, the USACE denied an easement for the texas-based subsidy of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline construction. This proved to be a short lived victory for the water protectors and many felt it was a distraction intended to remove the No Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL) protests from the media. There was already very little coverage of the story by the mainstream press and, for the most part, complete silence from politicians before and after the 2016 election. Coverage of the DAPL protests has derived entirely from alternative media outlets and activist groups. As expected, shortly after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued an executive memorandum expediting the completion of DAPL. As of this writing, on Feb. 7,  the USACE has stated their intention to now grant an easement which will give Energy Transfer Partners permission to continue construction beneath Lake Oahu. 

Lake Oahe; image by Doc Searls via Wikimedia Commons.

Lake Oahe; image by Doc Searls via Wikimedia Commons.

The camp at Standing Rock grew into the thousands over several months since the water protectors arrived in April 2016. Tribal nations across the U.S. and the world have joined forces to fight DAPL. Many non-native people also came to Standing Rock to show support and protest peacefully, including thousands of U.S. veterans who arrived just as the easement was denied back in Dec. 2016. Activists across the country held protests, demonstrations, and marches to voice their opposition to DAPL. The water protectors’ primary plea is for the pipeline to be rerouted from its present course so that it doesn’t threaten their sacred sites and source of clean water. In fact, the pipeline was already rerouted from its previous course just north of Bismarck, a highly populated city which, according to a 2010 census, is 92.4 percent white. 

The ongoing fight at Standing Rock is not only an environmental justice issue, but one involving racial and class discrimination. American History is tainted with stains of genocide and relentless oppression against Native Americans and many other ethnic minorities. The residents of Bismarck, just like the people at Standing Rock, opposed the construction of this oil pipeline that could potentially cause massive environmental harm. Yet unlike Bismarck, the voices at Standing Rock have only been faintly heard by Energy Transfer Partners and the USACE. It would seem that it’s far easier to exploit a subjugated minority group (who suffer a 63 percent unemployment rate) than the residents of Bismarck. 

Energy Transfer Partners has gone as far as hiring police from various departments throughout North Dakota to protect their pipeline. These militarized police forces have, in the name of defending corporate interests, inflicted harm upon American citizens, the very people they are supposed to protect. This abuse of power is one of the most egregious examples of the corruption that has infected the heart of corporate and governmental relations in America today. Attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and water cannons (in freezing temperatures) have been unleashed on the water protectors. They’ve been harassed, arrested (even kept in dog kennels), and overall treated as criminals on their own sacred land. 

People marching to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline near San Francisco City Hall; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. By Pax Ahimsa Gethen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

People marching to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline near San Francisco City Hall; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. By Pax Ahimsa Gethen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, this is nothing new for the native people of the U.S. American history is filled with the gruesome assault on native people. And yet, so many, including many of our elected (and supposedly “progressive”) officials, have remained silent about the injustices that are happening at Standing Rock. I’ve been following this story since the summer of 2016, yet just recently thought of looking into the astrology. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact time for the construction of the chart that would symbolize the fight at Standing Rock. April 1 is really the symbolic day that it all began. That morning, tribal members left on horseback to travel to a camp near the site. After some research and slight rectification (a method of testing a chart against various dates to adjust the time), I came up with April 1, 2016 @ 1:04 PM, Cannonball, ND, around the time they arrived according to video tweets from Unicorn Riot. We could also theoretically look at a time when they departed. Yet, this chart seemed a better fit than earlier variations as you’ll soon see.

I rectified the chart to 1:04 PM after looking for significant angular activation on days of critical developments (planets hitting the Ascendent, Nadir, Descendent, or Midheaven). For example, on Dec. 4, the date that the USACE denied Energy Transfer Partners an easement, Jupiter was conjunct the Nadir (fourth house cusp) trine the transiting Moon conjunct Mars. Venus was conjunct the radix Moon in the 6th house and sextile the radix Venus in the 9th. The transiting Sun was also exactly trine the radix Sun in the 9th. The secondary progressed Moon was conjunct the Descendant (seventh house cusp). These were all rather “positive” aspects. With stimulation from both classical “benefics”, Jupiter and Venus, and a nice trine from Sun to radix Sun, this indicated the symbols of a celebration which the water protectors certainly indulged in that day.

Taking this chart to be merely symbolic of the fight at Standing Rock, let’s see what it has to say. I will look at this chart from a classical approach and then interpret it from an evolutionary lens. To begin, the chart has tropical Leo rising. I adjusted the Ascendant (ASC) to 4 degrees of Leo which gave a sabian symbol of, “Rock formations at the edge of a precipice.” Interestingly, the opposite symbol, on the Descendent (DSC) is, “A council of ancestors.” This was immediately intriguing to me. With Leo rising, the ruler of the chart is the Sun, which is elevated in the 9th house and exalted in Aries. This gives the ruler of the chart, and thus the water protectors themselves, a tremendous advantage and considerable power and influence. 


The Sun is free of affliction from any malefic planets though it does receive a trine from Saturn which is actually quite supportive. The only trouble with this chart is the Moon. The Moon is in detriment in Capricorn and it’s void of course. On April 1 of that day, the Moon went void of course at 11:39 AM. Could the Sun’s exaltation overpower this negative omen from the Moon? When the Moon is void of course, it means that “nothing will come of the matter” or “the situation is out of your hands.” Let’s imagine that the Moon, the fastest moving planet, carries out our wishes and expectations. The Moon helps us manifest the things we desire which emanate from the unconscious, emotional terrain within the psyche. When the Moon is void, she is of no help to us. She cannot make use of our will or desires at these times. Now, considering that we don’t exactly know the official start of the fight at Standing Rock, and that the water protectors actually left for their trip to the protest site on horseback before the Moon went void, this may not have the greatest power over the will of the water protectors.

Yet, if it does, it may have much to say about the realistic result of the peaceful protest itself. Meaning, it’s possible that this fight, the ultimate rerouting of the pipeline, may be “out of the hands” of the water protectors. But that Sun is powerful! In Aries, it shows a group of people who are ready for battle. Aries is the warrior, the trailblazer, and the daredevil. There are three planets in Aries. Both Mercury and Uranus are conjunct each other and the Midheaven (MC) in the 10th house in Aries. This reveals the public persona that this group will create for themselves: those who are vocally opposed (Mercury) to the pipeline, willing to fight (Aries) and rebel (Uranus) against any authority (10th house) to the bitter end. Uranus and Mercury on the MC in Aries gives Standing Rock a powerful voice to spread a message publically about the injustices they face. 

With the Sun exalted in Aries and also conjunct the MC with Mercury and Uranus, this reveals a group of radical warriors willing to withstand and face any challenge. From the evolutionary perspective, the emphasis in Aries shows that the water protectors are destined to face tremendous stress and opposition. While the Sun is exalted, its placement in Aries foreshadows that this is a fight that will strengthen their group identity. Aries tells us that they must face some serious fears and cultivate immense bravery to carry this mission out. When Aries is highlighted, there is an element of risk, thrill, and considerable stress involved--all elements we have seen manifest at Standing Rock. 

The chart with transits on Dec. 4, 2016 when the U.S. Army Corps denied easement requiring an environmental impact study before further construction. This has now been revoked and DAPL has been granted easement. Note Jupiter on the IC with three more passes to go. 

The chart with transits on Dec. 4, 2016 when the U.S. Army Corps denied easement requiring an environmental impact study before further construction. This has now been revoked and DAPL has been granted easement. Note Jupiter on the IC with three more passes to go. 

The Sun in the 9th house in Aries paints the picture of true spiritual warriors that are fighting and defending their religion and beliefs. Interestingly, while the 9th house has a correlation with “foreign travel”, the very people who first settled on these lands are perceived by the rest of us as foreigners. Their customs, traditions, and way of life seem alien to westernized Americans, which they have fought to preserve against all odds. This strong Arian energy is something that the indigenous Americans have had to cultivate merely as a means of survival. The Moon in Capricorn reveals much about the group soul. In the 6th house, there is a deep concern about survival and the preservation of their daily life (6th house). 

Capricorn is concerned about the future and planning ahead. The emotional impetus of NODAPL is exactly that. The Moon is their home, their sacred land. In Capricorn, we feel a sense of urgency within these people driven by the fear of the dangers within the environment. The Moon is very widely conjunct Pluto (by over 9 degrees). Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, which began with the Global Financial Crises that shed light on the corruption of big banks and the government’s inability to hold them accountable. Many big banks have in fact invested in the pipeline. Pluto in Capricorn in the 6th house reveals a threat to survival and personal and environmental health. The Moon’s close proximity reveals the core emotional and karmic reasons for this standoff. Pluto also makes a square to the Sun (ruler of the chart), the MC, Mercury and Uranus. This further reveals a conflict that the water protectors (Sun in Aries 9th) must face and the hardship they will endure from the corruption of a big and powerful entity. 

Pluto is certainly a worthy opponent for this exalted Sun in Aries. The ultimate mission of these water protectors is highly thwarted by Pluto. This reveals that a compromise will likely be made, because in a square, neither side will back down. This tells us that the fight at Standing Rock is one that, even despite any “official” decision, will continue for some time. Looking at the South Node of the Moon, the core of any evolutionary reading, we see it in Pisces in the 9th house conjunct Chiron, Ceres, and Venus. The ruler of the South Node, Neptune, is in Pisces in the 8th house. This is all rather telling. As we know, Native Americans have been the victims of mass genocide for hundreds of years. Chiron conjunct the South Node reveals a deep, karmic wound of dissipation and loss of identity (Pisces) at the hands of foreigners (9th house). 

Neptune in Pisces in the 8th, the house of death, reveals a dark history of the native people facing the constant threat of annihilation. The South Node in Pisces has the feel of a ghost, unseen and unnoticed. Deeply buried in the karmic past, we see a people who feel unheard and forgotten. We see the soul of a nation that has seen the darkest side of humanity. With Venus and Ceres conjunct the South Node as well, we see that they have been able to band together and maintain a strong bond upholding their beliefs and customs. Yet, Chiron reveals the reality that these bonds, traditions, and way of life have succumbed to deformity and defectiveness. Ceres, the grain goddess, and its association with food and nourishment, tells of a wound related to malnutrition and poverty. We also see, quite poignantly, Pisces’ association with water. 

People marching in protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

People marching in protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Chiron speaks quite clearly to the threat of “wounded” (Chiron) water (Pisces/Neptune). The North Node of the Moon is in Virgo in the 3rd house conjunct Jupiter. It’s ruler, Mercury, is in Aries in the 10th, conjunct Uranus and the MC. From our evolutionary lens, we see that this protest, whether it succeeds in rerouting the pipeline or not, will have a greater impact on informing the world about this injustice, hopefully inspiring others to stand up against corporate and governmental corruption. The North Node in Virgo in the third house conjunct Jupiter reveals that these native groups must learn new skills and means of communication to get their message out. Many have teamed up with various legal groups to fight the pipeline in courts and to help communicate with police forces. Mercury conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 10th house urges the water protectors to continue to fight and rebel against the structures that seek to oppress them. 

Jupiter conjunct the North Node illustrates the unresolved wound within these indigenous groups of not feeling heard, noticed, or taken seriously. It also reveals the power of authority figures over them, who used a complicated foreign language (such as legalease) to oppress and dominate them. Jupiter’s presence here suggests that the water protector’s higher destiny involves taking a big risk--even risking it all, to stand up and be heard by the world. It also suggests the need to use this complicated language, previously used against them, to fight back. The presence of Jupiter may involve the need to take legal action. While many mainstream media organizations have persistently ignored the water protectors, the power of the internet and alternative media has given them a platform to be noticed (symbolized by Uranus conjunct Mercury).  

Saturn in the 5th house also makes a square to the nodal axis. This symbolizes a karmic “skipped step”, something that was left unresolved in the past but must now be integrated. Saturn has clear associations with authority figures and government. In Sagittarius, it relates to the further wounding and violence perpetrated upon these people by the ideologies and beliefs of European immigrants. A square is an overpowering influence, one which the ancestors of the water protectors couldn’t resolve previously. It speaks to past patterns of enduring daunting challenges that leave the karmic memory with a sense of futility and depression. The way to resolve it now is to persist against all opposition and accomplish something great. Saturn in the 5th house symbolizes a wound inflicted upon children and future generations, and the need to make a dramatic statement to preserve their traditions and spiritual beliefs. 

The chart with transits in mid April 2O17 with Jupiter's second pass to the IC. 

The chart with transits in mid April 2O17 with Jupiter's second pass to the IC. 

Looking ahead, it seems that Jupiter’s recent retrograde may give some support. All hope is not yet lost. Jupiter is set to conjunct the IC again in mid April 2017 in its retrograde phase (assuming this chart is radical and has predictive value). Just as it did in Dec. 2016, this Jupiter contact could indicate another victory for the water protectors, or another construction delay of some kind (considering Jupiter’s retrograde motion). Jupiter will station one degree from opposition to the radix Sun at 13 degrees of Libra from May to early June of 2017. It will hit the IC one last time in early August 2017, and so perhaps, if the God of good fortune smiles upon the bold efforts of the indigenous warriors, some good news or compromise will come. Early August looks potentially promising, with the Sun, then in Leo, making a trine to its radix position as it did from Sagittarius in Dec. 2016. The Sun will be joined by Mars in the first house of this chart, giving great willpower and new direction to the water protectors.

Venus turns stationary retrograde in early March conjunct the radix Sun near the MC. It then turns stationary direct in mid April while conjunct the radix Venus. Mercury also turns retrograde shortly after, and then stations direct in early May conjunct the radix Mercury/Uranus in the 10th. It’s hard to say if all of this retrograde activity is positive or not. Hitting major placements in the chart, we can see some definite significant happenings taking place with the fight against DAPL. With the symbolism of retrogrades, we can anticipate a delay; some lengthy chain of events that drags out the battle. It’s likely, considering the circumstances, that this may involve legal proceedings at this point. When the easement was denied in Dec. 2016, Mercury was in the shadow of its retrograde, one week before its station near the radix Pluto in the 6th. Thus, we can expect these events to manifest from March through perhaps mid May with a definite highlight around mid April. We can only hope that Jupiter’s retrograde cycle brings a solution or compromise (Jupiter in Libra) which will likely occur in the August time frame. 

The protest at Standing Rock also coincides with the opposition of Jupiter and Uranus. The cycle of Jupiter and Uranus historically correlates with periods political and cultural upheaval, leading to widespread demonstrations, marches, and protests worldwide. The last phase of the Jupiter/Uranus cycle peaked in the summer of 2010, during the height of the Occupy Wallstreet movement and the Arab Spring uprisings in the middle east. This next opposition phase will be active through the end of 2018 using wide planetary orbs. With this in mind, it’s quite likely that the battle for this sacred land is not over yet, and we’re likely to see more opposition against similar projects in the very near future. 

As I briefly mentioned above, the sabian symbol for the rising degree is, “Rock formations at the edge of a precipice.” Not only does this symbol allude to Standing Rock, the tribe whose land is being directly violated by Energy Transfer Partners, but it speaks to a profound truth about the indigenous people of the United States. They and the legacy of their ancestors, are indeed like these symbolic rock formations, ancient and yet still standing tall at the edge of a precipice. Yet despite the uncertainty of the moment, sitting on the edge of a cliff, they persist, defying all the forces that seek to take them down. They are a people whose way of life is on the verge of extinction. If we care at all about those who first nurtured and cared for this land, then we must too stand with Standing Rock. We must stand at the precipice with them and fight for the injustice that has been inflicted upon them. It is the destiny of the water protectors to fight, that much is clear, and it is their destiny to be heard. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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The fight at Standing Rock is not over. Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux have filed a lawsuit as of Feb. 9, 2017 in response to the USACE granting easement. There is another legal challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline organized by Revolution Truth, a grassroots-based, human rights organization dedicated to protecting democratic principles and civil liberties. They are in need of funding to bring the case. 

Visit their gofundme page here
Revolution Truth website
RT interview with Tangerine Bolen

Here are some other ways you can support Standing Rock. Many need help with legal fees and cleanup costs....

Donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund

Lakota People's Law Project

Rise With Standing Rock

NODAPL 2017 Action Hub

Further Reading

The Treaties of Fort Laramie

Standing Rock Reservation

Declaration On The Rights of Indigenous People

United Nations Document on DRIP


Looking Ahead: What Astrology Reveals About Future History

A composite image of Earth; photo by NASA/ GSFC/ NOAA/ USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

A composite image of Earth; photo by NASA/ GSFC/ NOAA/ USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the many years that I’ve studied astrology I’ve learned that life is an endless blending of cycles and waves of experience. Each day and every moment is a microcosm of the larger cycles that envelop the world. If you want to understand where we are collectively and where we’re going, take a look at the interactions between the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and some recent discoveries. They won’t fail to give you at least a weather forecast understanding. I don’t think that astrology can concretely predict the future, but it can provide a rough archetypal sketch that can be incredibly useful in discerning upcoming trends. 

We are currently reaching the end of the Uranus/Pluto square, the second peak of a cycle that began with the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the mid to late 1960’s. What happened then reached a crisis point from roughly 2012-2015. If we use a broader, ten-degree orb, the entire Uranus/Pluto square epoch encompasses the years 2007-2020. Richard Tarnas, a true authority on this topic, calls the peaks of the Uranus/Pluto cycle, “Epochs of Revolution”. As we saw throughout the 60’s, this period carried on the implementation of many progressive issues in the political arena. 

Two obvious highlights here in the United States: the first African American president and the national legalization of same-sex marriage. If we look back at the 60’s, the fight for civil rights for gays and blacks were at the forefront of the progressive movements at the time. These topics have gained considerable legitimacy and momentum during this period. The recent election (of 2016) is also a profound reflection of the “revolutionary spirit” of this cycle. Presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton all carried themes of breaking through the boundaries of tradition and creating upheaval in the status quo. 

Looking ahead, we see this process slowly diminishing and giving way to a drastic shift in the archetypal narrative in the next few years. The two major cycles to look out for are the upcoming Jupiter/Uranus opposition and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. In particular, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction will likely correlate with a significant backlash against the liberal regime of President Barack Obama. While many people expected Hillary Clinton to become the first female President of the United States, Donald Trump gained victory, and because of that, there will be a definite shift of power to conservative republicans. 

The Uranus/Pluto cycle is a developmental process. The major breakthroughs that have happened during the square are stepping stones in a larger process that will fully peak at the opposition phase in the mid to late 2040’s. It’s possible, for instance, that the vision and movement catalyzed by Bernie Sanders, of creating a more democratic, socialist leaning American society will be more within reach at that time. We will also realize the full consequences of technologies that have developed throughout this cycle including the reality of mass surveillance revealed to the world by Edward Snowden (a major revolutionary figure of this period). 

It’s important to realize that what follows is only a rough sketch of significant, upcoming cycles. Every moment in history is unique because we must consider all cycles involved. To do that in an article would be impossible; to do so in a book would be exhausting. Also, as an evolutionary astrologer, I feel that human will and consciousness can elevate an archetypal complex to a higher level of expression. While it’s certainly much harder when we’re dealing with masses of people, it’s still possible that people can change, and that outcomes may not be so dire as they might initially suggest at first glance.

*The time frames listed represent the entirety of a particular era using 10 or 15 degree orbs between the planets involved. The exact contacts listed are not meant to predict anything on those dates, but are simply the peaks of the cycles discussed.  Often, the symbolism of a particular era becomes more evident at the latter phase of the time band. 

The Jupiter/Uranus/Eris Opposition

Day 14 of Occupy Wallstreet; photo by David Shankbone [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Day 14 of Occupy Wallstreet; photo by David Shankbone [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Oct. 2016-Sept. 2018
Exact contacts:
Dec 26, 2016
Mar 2, 2016
Sept 27, 2017

If you want to plan a creative breakthrough or revolution, do it under the peaks of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle. The last conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus occurred in the years 2010/2011 alongside the building Pluto/Uranus square. There was a lot more going on than just these two planets, but they definitely correlated with an amplification of this collective, revolutionary impulse. We saw uprisings all across the globe, including the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East and Occupy Wall Street in the U.S. 

The opposition phase of this cycle, which will hit its peak in late Dec 2016 through September 2017, will be the climax of what began around the 2010 time period. What might it look like? People across the world will be increasingly upset with oppression and restriction. Jupiter combined with Uranus wants to expand to new heights and horizons. Many visionaries, artists, and scientific geniuses will make breakthroughs in their fields delivering to us entirely new perceptions of reality and glimpses of what’s possible. But don’t expect to receive these gifts just now. New discoveries and creative works often take place during the cycle and reach the public at later phases.

What you will see is another intense wave of civil unrest and resistance to oppressive conditions in the form of marches, protests, and demonstrations across the world. There will be a collective mood that embraces a sense that new things are possible and infinite frontiers are within reach. Here in the United States, we’re likely to witness the empowerment of revolution and a sense that the status quo is actually changing. In some ways it might, but we must also realize that this archetypal current is easily co-opted by those in power to steer the masses in favor of their own agenda. 

Eris conjunct Uranus is a bit of a mystery since Eris is a recent discovery and we don’t know much about her yet. I do think that Eris, the trickster goddess of chaos and discord, will correlate with the release of unconscious forces within the collective psyche that will be frightening and difficult to fully comprehend. Her conjunction with Uranus is likely the beginning of a new revolutionary movement within the collective psyche that we will understand more fully in hindsight. I feel that Eris may be pointing to the limits of cultural imprinting, seeking to liberate and give voice to deeply repressed, primal impulses which exist in the collective unconscious, as many Trans-Neptunian objects symbolize. The next significant stage of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, the conjunction, will peak on April 20, 2024. Expect the birth of another wave of revolution then.

Saturn/Pluto Conjunction

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects to the caskets of the 17 US victims of the 1983 attack on the United States Embassy in Beirut during the last conjunction of Saturn/Pluto. Image courtesy of the Reagan Library, via Wikimedia Commons.

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects to the caskets of the 17 US victims of the 1983 attack on the United States Embassy in Beirut during the last conjunction of Saturn/Pluto. Image courtesy of the Reagan Library, via Wikimedia Commons.

Jan 2018-Dec 2021
Exact contacts:
Jan 12, 2020

Imagine the breakout of disease, the threat of atomic warfare, terrorism, fascism, intense economic contraction, or apocalyptic doom. You now have a good sense of the Saturn/Pluto cycle. That doesn’t mean all these things will actually happen, but their threatening presence often looms within the atmosphere under significant stages of this cycle. The conjunction and opposition phases often correlate with the rise of highly conservative regimes and the confrontation with their dark side. The last opposition took place from July 2001 through June 2002. You might note that Sept.11 fits right in that time band which paved the way for the invasion of Iraq. The last square between Saturn and Pluto occurred from late 2008 through 2010 and coincided with the Global Financial Crises. 
Major historical contacts between Saturn and Pluto are what astrologer/historian Richard Tarnas calls “Cycles of Crisis and Contraction.” If you want to understand the full history of this cycle fleshed out, read Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche. In it, we find correlations of this cycle with the rise and development of international terrorism, fascism, economic downturn, outbreaks of war and disease, and a lot of other unsettling things. This cycle, in particular, will occur in Capricorn and will touch the U.S. Pluto during its Pluto return. Pluto takes approximately 248 years to orbit the Sun. This is the first Pluto return since the birth of the United States. It will be a critical period where we must confront the shadow of America, and deeply reassess our true destiny as a nation.

It all looks rather ominous, but we’ve made it through plenty of other cycles and I’m sure we’ll make it through this one too. While this is likely to be an extremely challenging phase, especially here in the U.S., I’m hopeful that it will also bring to our awareness the need for more accountability, integrity, and ethics within our political structures. I’m hoping that along with the rise of the darker, shadowy elements of this nation there will be a systemic transformation of the establishment. This period has the potential to wake a lot of people up to dimensions of reality that have been deeply repressed, but that might only happen after incredible restrictions and challenges are placed on us for a period of time. 

If you’re hoping for a progressive government in the years ahead, I wouldn’t count on it. It may be another eight years before we see more liberal or progressive leaning politicians take the lead again. There is an element of fear and austerity within this cycle, so if you feel you should prepare for that, I’d suggest doing so. I’m not predicting anything specific, but historically, these are highly uncertain and difficult periods especially for the economy.  

I have an in-depth article on the Saturn/Pluto conjunction here.

Saturn/Neptune Conjunction

A view of Hurricane Katrina over Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 during the beginning stages of the Saturn/Neptune opposition; image from the NASA Earth Observatory website, via Wikimedia Commons.

A view of Hurricane Katrina over Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 during the beginning stages of the Saturn/Neptune opposition; image from the NASA Earth Observatory website, via Wikimedia Commons.

Mar 2024-Apr 2027

Exact contact: 
Feb 20, 2026

Saturn and Neptune symbolize two very different ends of a spectrum. Saturn represents concrete form and worldly manifestation, while Neptune symbolizes the transcendence of the world and the dissolving of boundaries. Imagine that Neptune symbolizes faith, belief, hope, and spiritual yearning, while Saturn symbolizes skepticism, cynicism, rationality, and an aspiration for orderly structure. When these two planets combine, they often correlate with historical periods that pit the rational against the irrational. Such has been the case during the most recent Saturn/Neptune square which peaked from 2015 through 2016 and made its last contact just two months before the 2016 U.S. election. The peaks of the Saturn/Neptune cycle can correlate with periods tainted by the sense of extreme divide and polarity between opposite points of view.

It can generate a sharp contrast between things like religion and science or Democrat and Republican. Saturn can impose a sense of limitation on Neptune, correlating with a collective mood of immense disappointment, loss of faith, or despair. Saturn/Neptune cycles can also correlate with the death and breakdown of a dream or ideal. Such was the case with the recent election; the incredible ideological divide within both parties such as Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump versus the rest of the Republican establishment. 

Neptune can have a dissolving effect on the very structures we rely upon. With Saturn square Neptune we witnessed the breakdown of the two-party system, a loss of faith in the democratic process, and a collective sense of hopelessness with the American Dream. Past cycles have also coincided with ending of wars (such as both World Wars, the Cold War, and Vietnam), correlating with a collective mood of exhaustion, sorrow, and mourning. However, there is also an opportunity during these times to build bridges between both worlds, between the faith-based and evidence-based. The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader who truly exemplifies the high end of this ideal was born under an opposition of Saturn and Neptune.

While these periods often correlate with periods of prodigious uncertainty, confusion, and collective disillusionment, they also help to provide awareness of certain blind-spots within our political, economic, spiritual, and scientific establishments. They are opportunities to reach beyond the boundaries which divide us to ultimately reveal the underlying commonality between us all. During these cycles, it’s important to distance yourself from any extreme view or party. The truth is likely between the dividing poles. This upcoming conjunction in 2026 occurs on the Aries Point, the first degree of the tropical sign of Aries. This cycle is likely to be incredibly significant for the entire world. Aries, the sign of the warrior will give this Saturn/Neptune alignment a thrust of power that has the potential to shake up the globe. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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