TMA This Week

“We Are All Egyptians”

By Mary Plumb | February 7, 2011

Many of us are closely following the uprising against plutocracy, tyranny, and repression, and the spectacular bravery of people in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. (1)

A New York Times headline this morning reads, “Normal Life in Cairo Begins to Resume.” Of course, we know differently.

Stepping back to the longer cycles of time, we know that as Pluto moves through Capricorn, we are in an extended time of accelerated death and rebirth on all fronts.

With Uranus squaring Pluto (not precise until June 2012), revolutionary (Uranus) transformation (Pluto) is a grand and overarching theme of our time. The world will be different, and we haven’t seen yet what these coming brilliant and disruptive (Uranus) transformations (Pluto) will look like.

As one more specific indicator of the time: As astrologers, we know that mundane events that take place near the time of an eclipse have long lasting implications; the waves and results from actions at an eclipse are magnified.  As I wrote last week, the events occurring now in Egypt were seeded in part by Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man in Tunisia who set himself on fire in protest of a tyrannical and oppressive regime. He died on the day of the solar eclipse on January 4.

The planet Saturn is where we get swallowed up, or oppressed, or contracted into a too-tight skin or a too-confined experience of our world or ourselves. On January 25th, Saturn stationed retrograde at 17º14. (2) (This degree, and all that resonates with it, stays sensitive and meaningful until Saturn turns direct at 10º Libra on June 13.)

The middle degrees, i.e., 10º – 20º, of Libra are the Uranus decan of Libra. (3) So, Uranus is a subtext now to Saturn’s gift at solidification. Uranus is the radical vision, as yet unseen.

Retrograde motion is retrieval, a backtracking. Saturn is painstaking, and yet solidifies the infrastructure that we hold fast to. And that infrastructure is now infused with the necessary radical and brilliant urge towards freedom. I think of it as overthrowing the tyranny, in our own minds and emotions, of all that is oppressing us.

Mars was conjunct the Sun precisely on February 4th at 15º Aquarius; this degree is strengthened by being on the Aries Point of maximum potency of expression. Both planets then moved to trine Saturn in Libra, exact on the 5th and 6th.

This is a robust picture for us to draw upon this week: Mars and the Sun together, with Saturn’s support. Mars and the Sun declare a personal boundary; something inside says no, I’m not going to do this anymore, and Saturn confirms and stabilizes our resolve. The planetary archetypes of individuality (Sun), drive (Mars), and diligence (Saturn) are connecting with ease.

As Rick Tarnas has so eloquently described, astrologers know that inner and outer events are connected by meaning. We watch the planets move against the backdrop of the zodiac. The planetos, the wandering stars, and all of the newly recognized celestial bodies, are the messengers from the great beyond. And these movements are occurring within the very cells of the human being. As above, so below is unimaginably vast in scope, and absolutely precise and personal; both far away and deeply inside. Everything indeed is alive and animated and interconnected.

In traversing my own life and the people I see, it seems that no one is having an easy time. I have many clients and friends with great and obvious difficulties besetting them, e.g., health challenges, severe financial stress, acute depressions, relationship woes, and anxieties of all manner.

Even those who have everything — I know a few people with ample money, loving partnerships, successful children and careers, etc. — are experiencing the pressure of inexorable change in some deep or invisible compartment of mind.

Saturn in Libra suggests that our safety and security come in the shared social endeavor. We are equals as we build bridges for the new life and new consciousness that is calling us all. Sometimes that bridge is simply a call or visit to a friend, who is caught in some undercurrent of despair, or being swallowed by the tides of the time. We seem to take turns there, being crushed, or overwhelmed, by the pressure upon us, and maybe, just as often, feeling the exhilaration of a rebirth.

I always have to remember the Moon. The Earth’s closest ally is the Moon; our emotional lives and intimate connections with each other are our most accessible guardians of the psyche.

Jodie Forrest includes these words from Carl Jung in her lovely article, The Water Houses, in the current TMA: “Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”

Last night, the Moon-Jupiter conjunction in early Aries was very bright here in Oregon; that was an inspiration for this blog, too. The Moon moves quickly, and every month it touches every part of our horoscope, every part of us. Jupiter will be in Aries quickly, only until June 4.

Moon-Jupiter in Aries shows a paradox of an inner ruthlessness towards disarming our protective armoring, standing vulnerable and open, and gently, ever so gently, holding each other in the embrace that sustains us all.

Note: The current issue of TMA has a theme, The Archetypal Roots of Astrology. The articles are wonderful, and we’ve already gotten lots of praise for it. I was especially taken with Kate’s letter (she’s our Special Projects Editor), which is an eloquent summary of her intent as editor of this issue. If you haven’t read it yet, please do enjoy it here.


(1) Here’s an opinion piece by Nicholas D. Kristof: We Are All Egyptians

(2) If this is not something you’ve heard before, here is a good description of the decans:

(3) I wrote last week, “On January 25 thousands of people took to the streets protesting against poverty, high food prices, and overall government corruption.”

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By Arielle Guttman | January 17, 2011

Asclepius (also cited as Aesculapius, Asklepius, and Asklepios), the Greek God of Healing through Dreams, was the subject of an in-depth article that I penned on Dream Interpretation Using Astrology and Myth in the current (Feb/Mar 2011) issue of The Mountain Astrologer.

Greek myth tells us that because Asclepius was able to literally bring people back from the dead, he was killed by Zeus with a thunderbolt. Later, remorseful Zeus placed Asclepius in the sky as the image Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Sandwiched in between Scorpio and Sagittarius, barely touching the ecliptic, stands a giant serpent holder…a giant man in the sky, the image of Ophiuchus.

The serpent represents the Kundalini and the double helix of the DNA. Images of serpents and bulls appear all over the ancient world (in Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, etc.) beginning around the time that Gemini and Taurus were rising and Ophiuchus was setting in the precessional scheme in the sky, a vivid demonstration of As Above So Below.  During the era when the signs of Gemini and Taurus rose at the Vernal Equinox (approximately 6,000 to 4,000 years ago), the stars of Scorpio and Sagittarius were on the western horizon, including the sign in the middle of those two: Ophiuchus. Testaments to these signs as guiding beacons are the numerous emblems carved in stones, painted on fresco walls, and left as bas-reliefs by our predecessors. Especially noteworthy is the emblem of the snake wrapped around the healing rod caduceus as the identifying cult symbol for the followers of Asclepius (Ophiuchus) at this time. And that emblem has endured through time. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, is a descendant of Asclepius. The caduceus symbol of serpentine healing power can be seen all over the world in hospitals, healing clinics, ambulances and everywhere people go in attempts to obtain healing cures for all types of disorders and illness.

The 13th sign is somewhat obscured from view and is not typically included in the zodiac of twelve signs that astrologers generally use. This may be due to the fact that only the feet of Ophiuchus are visible from the ecliptic (see star diagram above), with the rest of his body towering above the constellations and not contained within the rest of the zodiac. In fact, one foot of Ophiuchus is smashing the Scorpion’s claws, while the other foot is where the Archer’s arrow is aimed. Nevertheless, astrologers definitely know it is there, and I for one, have been an advocate for including the interpretation of Ophiuchus in people’s charts ever since I first learned of his existence from the lectures and articles of astrologer Robert Hand, some thirty years ago. In other words, if a person’s horoscope contains many points in late Scorpio and early to mid Sagittarius, then they are indeed “born” under the influence of Ophiuchus, and the healing wisdom of Asclepius and Chiron is inherent in that person’s repertoire of opportunities, abilities, and influences in life.

Chiron the centaur, a recent addition to our solar system, orbits between Saturn and Uranus, while the rest of the centaurs’ orbits lie beyond Pluto. Due to Chiron’s unique orbit, distinct from the rest of the body of centaurs located beyond the orbit of Pluto, and because he was the god-father and mentor to Asclepius (Ophiuchus), I have come to proclaim Chiron as the ruler of the 13th sign. This Ophiuchus constellation takes up almost a half of each of the signs mentioned earlier (Scorpio and Sagittarius). A great deal of Scorpio symbolism for healing, depth, penetrating beneath the surface (including journeys to the unconscious realm), and transformation are all related to Ophiuchus. As for the symbolism of Sagittarius? The sage, the interest in philosophy, and the burning desire to know the meaning of life are also contained in the mysteries of Ophiuchus and its serpent-kundalini energy source.


Arielle Guttman and  Kenneth Johnson, Mythic Astrology: Internalizing the Planetary Powers, Llewellyn Publications, 1993-2004.

Arielle Guttman and  Kenneth Johnson, Mythic Astrology Applied: Personal Healing through the Planets, Llewellyn Publications, 2004.

Both volumes are available through Arielle’s website:

© Arielle Guttman 2011.

Thank you, Arielle, for bringing the story of Ophiuchus so clearly into our awareness.

Here are some other commentators on the current re-appearance of the 13th sign. Enjoy!

Rob Hand’s classic article, On the Invariance of the Tropical Zodiac, is an “inquiry into a fundamental problem that has to do with the tropical versus sidereal zodiac controversy”

Theodore White writes The 13th Zodiac Sign? Astrologers Ask: “Where’s the Beef?” complete with (funny) TV and YouTube clips about the “big discovery,” moving graphics showing precession, astronomers throughout history,  and the mythology of Ophiuchus.

Your Astrological Sign Isn’t Changing But It Was Fun While It Lasted includes a video clip of Rachel Maddow’s commentary about the molten core of the earth.

The Daily Beast has a report  on the story, with comments by “astrologists” Susan Miller and Rob Brezsny.

Lynn Hayes is a very clear writer and she easily explains the difference in the tropical and sidereal zodiacs in her article Your “zodiac sign” has not changed!

Here’s a video from Fox with good  graphics and a very nice presentation from astrologer Chris Taylor.

Gary Caton, in his letter to astronomers, writes: “Hey Astronomers, WAKE UP! Constellations are not Signs. Please learn some basic astrology or else leave the Signs to us.”

And, I did see a news clip of the astronomer who started the latest version of the “discovery” of the 13th sign (since removed) where he talks about his take on the media event. He’s just happy people are thinking about the sky. We couldn’t agree more.

Have a good week everyone.

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Scorpio New Moon

By Mary Plumb | November 1, 2010

The New Moon is on November 5 at 9:51 p.m. PT (November 6, 12:51 a.m. ET) at 13º40’ Scorpio.

Starting Tuesday afternoon, when the Moon is 45º from the Sun, until the New Moon, we are in this month’s balsamic, or the dark of the Moon, phase.

The suggestion of attunement to the dark and the internal life is pronounced now as the Sun and Mercury are in Scorpio, with Venus retrograde there as well. The asteroid Vesta is the closest body to the New Moon; she is within a degree and a half of the lunation.

Scorpio New MoonVesta is the goddess of the hearth to the Romans. Her presence was recognized by the sacred fire burning in the hearth. In our world, she shows us how to tend to the inner fire of our own being.

Venus retrograde in Scorpio, in very ordinary language, certainly suggests awkwardness in social situations. She tends toward being ill at ease in her sign of detriment. Her natural grace, and confidence in her own appeal, so clear in Taurus, is weakened in Scorpio. Venus’s retrograde phase, beckoning towards inner contentment, can also bring unskillful moments in what would generally be expected to be easy, effortless situations.

I have heard stories this week from friends and clients about bumbling social situations. Most of these stories have the hallmark of a moment where things just didn’t “feel right” — nothing particularly devastating, or of long-term consequence, but a bit clumsy or inelegant.

I went through something today that caught me by surprise: a friend, not a close friend, but someone who has been a fellow traveler and confidante this past while, told me that he felt misunderstood and unsettled in our last meeting and is choosing to end our friendship. I know Venus retrograde is blundering and prone to misunderstandings, but I was surprised by how this impacted me. Ah! But then I remembered that Chiron and Neptune both station direct on November 5. Aside from an exquisite openness to guidance from the invisible realms, the pervasive sensitivity of this combination can be experienced quite subjectively, and ‘hurt’ feelings are easily magnified.

Vesta’s close presence at this lunation shows us something, too. The inner flame can be kindled now within ourselves, in whatever ways we have access to — look to Vesta’s placement in the natal chart as an entryway to that internal source of life.

There may be some newly found inner resource or gem from Scorpio’s undying knowingness that comes to life with this New Moon. In the meantime, I will enjoy whatever time I have to be alone now, and I’ll try to be extra kind, as everyone is in this sometimes awkward dance together.

Thanks for coming by.

I hope you all have a good and deeply restorative week.

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Jupiter and Uranus

By Mary Plumb | September 20, 2010

Jupiter, now retrograde and closest to the earth, is glorious in the night sky. If you have a view and clear skies, do go out and see that beautiful planet traveling west across the night sky. Since Uranus is so close, a peer through a telescope will show the unprecedented-surprising-awakening one right there as well. (The conjunction was exact on June 8 and September 19, 2010, and will be again on January 4, 2011.)

Tomorrow (September 21) the Sun will be at 28º Virgo, opposing Jupiter and Uranus; for a few days the energies of these two planets are exceptionally vivid and bright.

There are some fine blogs now on this conjunction. I thank and appreciate all the creative and generous thinkers and writers out there who add so much to our understanding of the wondrous times we live in!

Jessica Murray says in her always beautifully thought out blog at MotherSky:
“The issues the world is dealing with now are huge (Jupiter), and they are coming at us fast (Uranus).”

Anne Whitaker is a careful observer of these planets.  She has written a book, Jupiter Meets Uranus: From Erotic Bathing to Star Gazing (reviewed in TMA Apr/May 2010), and documents her continuing research in Jupiter/Uranus do Religion: Countdown to 19 September.

Regarding the conjunction, I always remember my sister Kate’s description of Jupiter-Uranus as “our own personal walk on the Moon.” (She’s referring to the conjunction in July 1969 when man literally did walk on the Moon.)

In this time of rhetorical excesses (Jupiter) and up-side-down (Uranus) storylines (one of which I mention in the Footnote below), here are a few simple real life stories from the past few days.

I have two friends (a mother and daughter team) who are each very tuned into Jupiter: one is a Pisces Sun with Sagittarius rising, the other a Sag Sun with Pisces rising. They have had a long summer with lots of struggles and upheavals. On the day of the exact conjunction, the older one told me they both felt a “breath of fresh air.” She said it was like a whoosh! of energy just moving through and clearing the way.

Another Sag rising friend told me about an unusual (for her) dream on Friday night: she was in a car feeling too restrained by the seat belt. She was extremely restless and wanted to get out and go, yet she didn’t know where she was actually going; it was the vivid feeling of pushing against the constraint of the safety belt that defined the dream for her.

I spoke with another astrologer about her experience with this passage of the ongoing Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. She had a riveting experience of being “jolted” by connecting with a group of people in an innovative and collaborative effort, whose key elements include sustainable agriculture, music, and history! Sounds like the future is coming.

With Jupiter so brightly visible in Pisces now, maybe we are getting a message to be willing to feel — subtly, sorrowfully, joyously, ecstatically and more. Uranus does shock; we may experience it as mild or quite devastating, but the nature of that planet does require a change of perspective.

The portal whereby we  — one way or another, like it or not — surrender a personal frame of reference (i.e., Uranus in Pisces) also allows us to recognize a new view from the brilliant fire that Uranus always carries. A splendid, creative “Yes!”

And I heard the conjunction speaking when a yoga teacher suggested gently this weekend (whilst having her students hold an especially strong posture): It’s your life, don’t miss it.


Republican primary winner Christine O’Donnell could be the first conservative candidate to have “dabbled in witchcraft” (the news of which may make her more interesting to some). O’Donnell was born in August 1969, a few months after the last exact Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in March 1969.  Her natal Uranus is 2º Libra, with Jupiter at 7º.

Christine O’Donnell was born in Morristown, N.J. on August 27, 1969.

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Aberrations in the Venus-Mars Cycle

By Robert P. Blaschke | August 9, 2010

Mutations in 77-Month Recurrence Pattern since 1960

Over the next nine months, because of a six-week retrogression of Venus in October and November, there will be three Venus-Mars conjunctions between now and May 2011. These three alignments will fall in the signs of Libra, Scorpio and Taurus, and are part of a recurring 77-month cycle. They are also part of a longer 32-year cycle of Venus and Mars. (1)

Venus-Mars 2010

Astrologers of a certain age will be taken back in their memories to the time period from August 1978 until May 1979, when this sequence of triple Venus-Mars conjunctions last recurred in these same three signs of the Zodiac. For those already practicing astrology during that era, 1978 was the year that Cycles of Becoming, the classic treatise on transit cycles by Alexander Ruperti, was first published in America. It was this book, which was a summary of the humanistic approach to astrology first elucidated by Dane Rudhyar, that taught many of the younger astrologers of that period about recurrence patterns in the transiting Mars-Venus cycle, and about patterns in other inter-planetary synodic cycles.

Venus-Mars 1978

What Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti had researched was that, although Venus and Mars formed conjunctions about every two years, a cycle of five conjunctions was found to recur in which Venus was retrograde in nearly every fifth conjunction between these two planets. The alignments of retrograde Venus and direct Mars recurred approximately every 77 months, and were part of a longer recurrence pattern wherein the conjunctions would form in the same sign every 32 years (within 7-8 degrees of the last conjunction).(2)

Additionally, the alignment of retrograde Venus and Mars would take place as the middle conjunction in a sequence of three lasting about nine months from the first to the last. For example, from the 1920s until 1960, this recurrence pattern played out like clockwork. However, after 1960, an aberration in the Venus-Mars transit cycle began to take place.

These tables were calculated using Solar Fire for Windows, v.5
© 1994-2001 Esoteric Technologies Pty. Ltd.

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jan 9 1921        03° Pi 40′ D        03° Pi 40′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Apr 7 1921    09° Ta 31′ R    09° Ta 31′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Oct 3 1921        08° Vi 42′ D    08° Vi 42′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Aug 23 1923    24° Le 43′ D    24° Le 43′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jul 11 1925       09° Le 26′ D    09° Le 26′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jun 9 1927        02° Le 16′ D    02° Le 16′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Aug 30 1927    22° Vi 51′ R    22° Vi 51′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Feb 13 1928    19° Cp 01′ D    19° Cp 01′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jan 2 1930        03° Cp 12′ D    03° Cp 12′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Nov 18 1931    14° Sg 17′ D    14° Sg 17′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Oct 13 1933    03° Sg 12′ D    03° Sg 12′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Jan 24 1934    21° Aq 44′ R    21° Aq 44′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Aug 2 1934         11° Cn 53′ D    11° Cn 53′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jun 19 1936      26° Ge 08′ D    26° Ge 08′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     May 7 1938        09° Ge 45′ D    09° Ge 45′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Apr 9 1940        05° Ge 28′ D    05° Ge 28′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Jun 6 1940    13° Cn 12′ R    13° Cn 12′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Dec 2 1940        08° Sc 16′ D    08° Sc 16′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar    Oct 23 1942    24° Li 01′ D        24° Li 01′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar    Sep 10 1944    08° Li 00′ D        08° Li 00′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar     Aug 8 1946      29° Vi 43′ D    29° Vi 43′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar   Nov 7 1946    00° Sg 23′ R    00° Sg 23′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    May 18 1947    27° Ar 51′ D    27° Ar 51′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Apr 2 1949     09° Ar 26′ D    09° Ar 26′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Feb 16 1951    19° Pi 42′ D        19° Pi 42′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar    Jan 17 1953    13° Pi 51′ D        13° Pi 51′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar  Mar 21 1953    01° Ta 06′ R    01° Ta 06′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar    Oct 3 1953        12° Vi 17′ D    12° Vi 17′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 23 1955    27° Le 51′ D    27° Le 51′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jul 11 1957       12° Le 51′ D    12° Le 51′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jun 14 1959    08° Le 26′ D    08° Le 26′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar    Aug 14 1959    15° Vi 45′ R    15° Vi 45′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Feb 16 1960    25° Cp 04′ D    25° Cp 04′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jan 4 1962       08° Cp 04′ D    08° Cp 04′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Nov 20 1963    19° Sg 09′ D    19° Sg 09′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jul 17 1964       21° Ge 09′ D    21° Ge 09′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 26 1964    17° Cn 40′ D    17° Cn 40′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Oct 18 1965      10° Sg 36′ D    10° Sg 36′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar    Jan 8 1966   13° Aq 21′ R    13° Aq 21′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 3 1966        15° Cn 49′ D    15° Cn 49′ D

Studying this table of Venus-Mars conjunctions from 1921 until 1966, one observes:

1. The retrograde Venus alignments recur every fifth conjunction.
2. The retrograde Venus conjunction is in the middle of a sequence of three.
3. This sequence of three conjunctions is spread out over a nine-month period.
4. The retrograde Venus conjunctions recur about every 77 months.
5. Every 32 years, the conjunctions recur in the same sign (i.e. 1921 + 1953).
6. An aberration in the regularity of the cycle began after 1960.
7. Two extra conjunctions took place in the pattern between 1959 and 1966.

The humanistic approach to astrology, as outlined in the books of both Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti, made recommendations for spiritual growth when consciously working with the Venus-Mars synodic cycle. This nine-month period containing the three conjunctions of Venus and Mars, which recurs only about every 6 1/2 years and into which we are about to enter (between now and May 2011), is ideally, at the middle conjunction, “a significant turning point in one’s emotional life and provides an opportunity to change one’s values and to find a deeper spiritual significance to one’s individual actions”. (3)

If the retrograde Venus conjunction falls in a degree that conjoins a Luminary or an angle in the nativity, then this period would be especially potent for a personal metamorphosis. The upcoming middle conjunction of Venus and Mars in early October is in 12° Scorpio, and the natal house into which it falls will also be activated for the next several years.

In modern times, since 1960 an aberration has occurred in the Venus-Mars transit cycle in which the retrograde Venus conjunction no longer recurs exactly every 77 months as before. In the view of your correspondent, this has contributed to a societal decline in personal reflection taking place within marriage that would have led to an improved self-awareness about one’s personal responsibility for problems in relationship. As a result, without that necessary introspection, society has evolved relational patterns that repeat over and over again in a counter-productive sequence of ongoing serial monogamy. (4)

Since the retrograde Venus conjunction with direct Mars in January of 1966, the cycle’s historical aberration has caused some subsequent conjunctions (recurring every 77 months) to occur when Venus and Mars were both in direct motion, or to be missed altogether. For example, in May 1972, the next expected alignment after January 1966, the conjunction occurred with both planets direct in 02° Cancer 31′. Venus did not station retrograde until 26 May 1972, some 10 days after that conjunction.

Ven  Cnj  Mar  May 16 1972   02° Cn 31′ D    02° Cn 31′ D (Venus SRx 5/26/72)
Ven Cnj  Mar  Oct 21 1978  22° Sc 16′ R    22° Sc 16′ D
Ven  Cnj  Mar    Feb 27 1985  18° Ar 30′ D    18° Ar 30′ D (Venus SRx 3/13/85)
Ven Cnj  Mar  Jul 25 1991  06° Vi 33′ R    06° Vi 33′ D
Ven  Cnj  Mar  Dec 22 1997  03° Aq 20′ D    03° Aq 20′ D (Venus SRx 12/26/97)
Ven  Cnj  Mar Oct 3 2010  12° Sc 36′ D    12° Sc 36′ D (Venus SRx 10/8/10)

Because of this aberration within the Venus-Mars cycle, the seven expected conjunctions of retrograde Venus and direct Mars recurring every 77 months since 1966 have not gone anything like clockwork. There have been only two retrograde conjunctions, in 1978 and 1991, and in 2004, the expected sequence of three conjunctions did not even transpire. The next retrograde Venus conjunction with direct Mars will not take place until 2015. (5)

This year, the middle conjunction of three on October 3rd will have both planets in direct motion, with Venus not stationing retrograde until October 8th. The recurrence pattern was even further disrupted during the last two years, when a sporadic sequence of three conjunctions took place out of schedule between September 2008 and June 2009.

Looking ahead, the cycle of Venus and Mars will not return to “normal” until 2060 when, at that time, every fifth conjunction will regularly recur with a retrograde Venus and will continue in that predictable pattern until the year 2258. Looking backwards, prior to 1960, this recurrence cycle had repeated like clockwork since 1761. What is the astrologer to make of this century-long aberration in the Venus-Mars transit cycle, preceded by and followed by two centuries of regularity? (6)

One may hypothesize that human relationship requires a fluid and dynamic evolution in order to grow and change with the times. After two centuries, the social pattern has become stagnant and thus needs to transmute into a different form. As we have seen since 1960, when the birth control pill and the feminist movement radically altered roles for men and women, it is not unreasonable to expect that the social disruptions brought about by the changes to the relational patterns could take an entire century to stabilize. If this is the case, one can predict that it will take another 50 years for stability to return.

One can carefully study the degrees in which the once-in-77-month conjunctions fall and see if any of these Venus-Mars alignments may have conjoined a natal Luminary or angle. (7) If Venus was retrograde at the conjunction, then necessary self-reflection about one’s spiritual values at that time will have led to a personal metamorphosis. However, if Venus was direct at the time of the middle conjunction, there is the risk of having resisted an important period of reorientation, with the result being a continuation of old patterns.

To share a personal story with you, your correspondent was living in Vermont in 1978 at the age of 24. He received initiation into an Eastern Spiritual Path on August 13th of that year, exactly on the day of the first Venus-Mars conjunction in the sequence of three. It was like enlisting in the spiritual Marine Corps, as the four required vows stipulated 2 1/2 hours of meditation per day, a strict lacto-vegetarian diet, no drugs or alcohol, and no sex outside of lawful marriage. Of course, all four vows were eventually broken over time!

As you can see in the above tri-wheel chart, the middle conjunction in the sequence of three had a retrograde Venus aligning with a direct Mars and formed an exact conjunction with your correspondent’s Sun in 22° Scorpio. Looking back, he would have to say that over the course of his life, that was the year of his greatest personal metamorphosis.

caption from the back of photo:

Initiation, E. Calais, Vermont
August 13, 1978
Mr. Robert Paul Blaschke and Mr. H.F. Weekley

Now, 32 years later as the Venus-Mars recurrence cycle repeats itself in Libra and Scorpio, your correspondent, ailing with cancer and trying to stay alive, will have to face another metamorphosis, one in which he commits to fasting for six weeks twice a year and also transmuting into a raw food diet in order to heal the body. With the middle conjunction of this upcoming sequence of three occurring with Venus in direct motion in 12 Scorpio, exactly conjunct his progressed Ascendant, any resistance to the required reorientation this time will result in death. Sounds like a Scorpio’s fate, eh?

RPB bi-wheel

© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke


1) One observes that these three signs place Venus and Mars in either dignity or detriment.
2) Ruperti observed that 77 and 32 in numerology add up to the number 5; associated with the Venus cycle and its 5-pointed star.
3) Cycles of Becoming, 2nd Edition, Alexander Ruperti, Earthwalk School of Astrology, 2005, pg. 89.
4) The ubiquity of on-line dating has certainly accelerated and enabled this trend!
5) This middle conjunction of retrograde Venus and direct Mars in September 2015 takes place at a rare 59-month interval.
6) 3000 years of Venus-Mars conjunctions can be found at Richard Nolle’s site: www.astropro
7) The secondary progressed Lights and angles should also be taken into consideration.

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Eclipse Stories

By Mary Plumb | July 12, 2010

I love the symbolism of eclipses; they loom large in our collective memory as auspicious, unusual times and have always been important in history. As far back as 1700 BC, the Babylonians tied eclipses to the death of the monarch. About a thousand years later (i.e., 700 BC) the Assyrians had traced the ecliptic in the sky and were able to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon.

It is said in one early record (609 BC) that Thales of Miletus predicted that a total solar eclipse would bring a five-year-old war to an end. (1) The eclipse occurred in the sixth year of the war and “the battle ended abruptly due to a total solar eclipse; the eclipse was perceived as an omen, indicating that the gods wanted the fighting to stop.” This, the Battle of Halys, became known as the Battle of the Eclipse. (2)

In the New Testament (Luke 23:44) there is a description of the crucifixion, which refers to what many believe was a solar eclipse, when “darkness came over the whole land until about three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed.”

Although the oil gushing completely untethered from the Gulf at the time of the eclipse does not seem like a good omen, perhaps we can take heart in Bernadette Brady’s interpretation of this eclipse, 12 South in Saros Series 146. She writes: “This Saros Series will bring successful outcomes to long-term worries or illness. An issue which has worried or drained the individual for some time will at first seem worse and then clear with successful outcomes.” (3)

The solar eclipse carries the symbolism of a new cycle; it is the dark of the Moon, where potent, unseen influences are strong. Eclipses have long been thought of as unpredictable; at a solar eclipse, much is hidden and will be developed as Moon gains in light. Although an eclipse announces themes that will develop over months, it is, of course, telling to observe the time of the eclipse itself.

Certainly this solar eclipse suggests the deeply receptive pull and wisdom of the feminine Moon in Cancer; many of the people I spent time with (and spoke to) on the eclipse day seemed quite aware of being very impressionable now.

Late in the day I talked to some people who I knew had close connections in their natal horoscopes to the eclipse degree. I wanted to see what they were doing (or feeling) during the time of this solar eclipse at 19º24’ Cancer.

One friend, with the natal Moon (and the Sun/Neptune midpoint) at 21º Libra in the 1st house, became suddenly quite ill early on the morning of the eclipse. The eclipse is square the natal Moon in this chart, and the sometimes physically debilitating implications of a solar eclipse seem to be showing in this case.

Someone else has natal Mars at 20º Capricorn in the 9th house; she told me that she has come to a very clear decision that she wants a long drawn-out lawsuit she is involved with to be “out of her life.” It sounds like she will do what she can to bring closure to this situation, which has been going on for at least a few years.

A man I know, with natal Mercury at 19º Capricorn and Venus at 24º Capricorn, was surprised and delighted to see an old friend unexpectedly. He was at a café within an hour of the exact moment of the eclipse when she came in. The opposition from Cancer manifested as someone (sweet and lovely) from the past reappearing in the present.

Someone else I talked to, with the natal Sun at 19º Pisces in gentle trine to the eclipse, spent the eclipse time by a lake, throwing stones into the water and saying a prayer with each stone. She said she felt “emptied out, very peaceful, and relaxed.”

A client has Sagittarius rising and natal Jupiter at 5º Capricorn, the degree of the June 26 lunar eclipse. The progressed Jupiter is at 19º Capricorn, opposite the solar eclipse. We had a very interesting conversation about the current triggering of her ruling planet, e.g., first her natal Jupiter and then progressed Jupiter. She spoke of how she has faced things in herself in these past weeks that have been very hard to see, but very significant. (Remember, the June 26 lunar eclipse was at 5º Capricorn conjunct Pluto, inclining towards revealing the deeper corners of the shadow.) She felt that her “shell is empty” — that what she has done in certain key departments of her life is not working, and she’s not sure what’s next. After our conversation, she wrote an email to me: “I’ve felt most of my life that I’ve been living out of a shell of myself, but through this period have become acutely aware of a more vital, expressive ‘me.’ As this happens, the shell has seemed more and more empty. My life has been built upon that shell, as it were, so the shift is disorienting. But because it’s a return to myself, it’s very welcome.”

I thought about the ruler of the Ascendant, Jupiter, in detriment. One view of the detriment planet is that it tends to act on the physical plane; it takes awareness to elevate its function to support spiritual growth in the individual’s life. (I’m not picking on anyone here, but speaking from experience; the ruler of my Ascendant is also in detriment.) This is an important time for her in changing key life patterns.  

An artist I know has Mercury and Uranus conjunct at 18º Cancer in the 5th house. At the time of the solar eclipse at 19º Cancer she was singing in an outdoor venue. She told me she was “wailing.” (Her voice sounded hoarse, in fact, when we spoke later in the day.) She was elated; she said she felt as if she had “come home.” She’s a fine graphic designer, but years ago she “started her creative life with singing” and returned to that with this eclipse. Further, natal Chiron is at 19º Capricorn, suggesting another layer of meaning to finding her voice again.

I spoke with someone with the Mercury/Neptune midpoint at 19º Cancer, who was very lonely and depressed on the eclipse day. Presumably, this is an acute and passing mood that is bringing sad memories to the foreground and she will be able to turn toward a happier time very soon. I also know someone with natal Venus at 18º Cancer; he spent part of the day quietly contemplating his current and past relationship life.

There are lots of ways of timing the development of eclipses. Transiting Mars in aspect to the eclipse degrees is one technique. (A well-known recent example: there was a Solar Eclipse on July 21, 2001 at 0º Cancer; transiting Mars came to 0º Cancer on September 11, 2001.) On August 28, 2010, Mars at 19º Libra will square the eclipse degree and then oppose it from 19º Capricorn on January 1, 2011. Mars will next square the eclipse from 19º Aries on April 26, 2011 and return to 19º Cancer on September 1, 2011.

Dietrech Pessin’s new book, Lunar Shadows III, teaches another very interesting way of timing with eclipses. In her method, which describes “Moon Families,” this eclipse is tied to both past and future lunations. In the future, this eclipse is connected to the First Quarter Moon on April 11, 2011; the Full Moon on January 9, 2012; the Last Quarter Moon on October 8, 2012, etc. (I reviewed her book in the Aug./Sept. issue of TMA.)

Our guest blogger, Gary Caton, has written fine articles on each of this month’s eclipses. Do go back and read them if you haven’t already. (add links) Among other gems, he traces events from the previous eclipses in this Saros Series.




(3) Bernadette Brady, Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, Samuel Weiser, 1999, pg. 326.

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Cancer Eclipse: An Old Power Withdraws

By Gary P. Caton | July 5, 2010

As if there weren’t enough juice flowing through the cardinal signs — with four of the five outer planets currently transiting near the solstice and equinoctial points — we now begin a period where the Cancer archetype will be forced open, ejecting its inner contents and forcing all the world to become aware of the loss. This is because an eclipse is essentially a rip in the fabric of time, and the South Node (now in Cancer) suggests a loss.

To appreciate the power of an eclipse, it is useful to understand that time here on Earth is fractal. It is measured by the constant repetition of the primal alternations of darkness and light. This rhythm of dark/light is ingrained into our bodies and psyches.

When there is a disruption of this pattern, via an eclipse, the natural flow of the dark/light fractal is stopped in its tracks. There is darkness where there should be light. It is as if the Laws of our Universe are temporarily inverted. The world is stood on its head, specifically in terms of the archetype within which the eclipse is operating.

An eclipse occurs when there is a lunation near the lunar nodes — the place where the Moon crosses the path of the Sun or ecliptic. Astrologically, the lunar nodes have been called the head and tail of the dragon, for in myth it was a demonic serpent swallowing the heavenly orb. The North Node represents the head of the dragon, therefore something being taken in or ingested. The South Node or tail of the dragon represents something being released.

The South Node is now in the sign of Cancer. As a Cancer nation, it is hard not to remember the exodus of American celebrities and dignitaries that surrounded last summer’s solar eclipse at 29° Cancer. A partial list includes: Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Karl Malden, Steve McNair, Walter Cronkite, Les Paul, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. We lost Ted Kennedy on the day that Venus crossed the eclipse degree. It is almost as if a door was opened to the “other side” through which these souls were bound to exit. It should be noted that the release doesn’t always have to be destructive. For instance, following last summer’s South Node eclipse, world leaders announced that the G20 will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations. Technically, this was the “death” of the G8; however, since it continues to exist in another form, we could more aptly describe it as a transformation..

When wondering what the coming eclipse will release, it is important to remember that eclipses happen in families or series; a new member emerges about every 18 years. This is the Saros cycle, first discovered by Babylonian astronomer/astrologers more than two millennia ago. Solar eclipses with very similar characteristics repeat every 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours; these eclipses are then part of the same family or Saros series. Any two eclipses separated by one Saros (6,585.3 days) share very similar geometries. They occur at the same node with the Moon, at nearly the same distance from Earth, and at the same time of year.

The current eclipse belongs to Saros Series 146, the last two of which occurred in June 1992 and 1974. This series is made up of a total of 76 eclipses; the current July 11, 2010 eclipse is number 27 in the series. The family began on September 19, 1541. The first total eclipse in the series took place on May 29, 1938. The eclipse of June 30, 1992 was the longest total eclipse of the series and lasted 5 minutes and 21 seconds with a magnitude 1.0592. The July 11, 2010 eclipse is the 2nd longest of the series, lasting 5 minutes and 20 seconds with a magnitude 1.0580.

When we look at the birth chart for this series, we see a very powerful conjunction of Mars with Uranus in late Leo near the Persian Royal star Regulus. Certainly this series has recently seen its share of sudden dramatic reversals in fame and/or power, including Hitler in 1938, Elvis in 1956, Nixon in 1974, and the British Royal Family in 1992.

Saros series 146; September 19, 1541; 3:44:05 p.m. LMT
Philadelphia, PA
Whole sign houses



When we look specifically at the three most recent eclipses of this family, we see some very powerful events unfolding near the eclipse and/or within the following six months (until the next solar eclipse). I have noted a few of the most important events that clearly resonate with the zodiac sign of the corresponding eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse, June 8, 1956 (18°02′ Gemini)
On June 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, which created the Interstate Highway System. With the completion of the highways, the cross-country journey that took Eisenhower’s U.S. Army convoy two months in 1919 was cut down to two weeks. Direct subsidization of the suburban road infrastructure made commutes between urban centers to suburbs much quicker, which furthered the flight of citizens and businesses from inner cities and compounded vehicle pollution and excessive petroleum-use.

Total Solar Eclipse, June 20, 1974 (28°30′ Gemini)
In the face of likely impeachment for his role in the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States of America on August 9, 1974.

Total Solar Eclipse, June 30, 1992 (8°57′ Cancer)
On November 24, the 40th anniversary of her accession, Queen Elizabeth II described the closing year as an “annuls horribilis.” This was due to several scandals damaging the image of the Royal Family, as well as the Windsor Castle fire. On December 9, Prince Charles and Princess Diana publicly announced their separation.

The current July 11, 2010 Total Solar Eclipse occurs at 19°24′ Cancer.

Solar Eclipse; July 11, 2010; 3:40:52 p.m. EDT
Washington, D.C.
Whole sign houses


The Porphyry 8th house cusp of the U.S. Sibley chart is 18°40? Cancer, within one degree of the upcoming eclipse.



I discussed the Saros cycle above; however, the Greek astronomer Meton of Athens observed another eclipse cycle. The Metonic cycles track eclipses that occur near the same degree of the zodiac. Four or five eclipses occur near the same degree of the zodiac, with each one almost exactly 19 years apart. In the previous century, two Metonic cycles occurred near 17° – 19° Cancer. A Metonic cycle of North Node eclipses occurred near these degrees in 1907, 1926, 1945 and 1964. A Metonic cycle of South Node eclipses near these degrees occurred in 1953, 1972, 1991 and 2010.  A cursory glance at history shows that the months following eclipses near these degrees (17° — 19° Cancer) have been very eventful for our country. I will list the North Node eclipses in sequential order, then the South Node eclipses.

The North Node annular Solar Eclipse on July 10, 1907 (17°12’ Cancer) was followed by the Panic of 1907. This financial crisis occurred in October and was triggered by the failed attempt to corner the market on the stock of the United Copper Company. The New York Stock Exchange fell close to 50% from its peak the previous year. Panic occurred and there were numerous runs on banks and trust companies.

The North Node annular Solar Eclipse on July 9, 1926 (16°56’ Cancer) was followed by Great Miami Hurricane on September 18. The storm’s enormous regional economic impact helped end the Florida land boom of the 1920s and pushed the region on an early start into the Great Depression.

The North Node total Solar Eclipse on July 9, 1945 (16°56’ Cancer) was followed by the Trinity Test and U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Japan. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed by the detonation of “Fat Man” over Nagasaki on August 9. These two events were the first and, thankfully, remain the only active deployments of nuclear weapons in war.

The North Node partial Solar Eclipse on July 9, 1964 (17°15’ Cancer) was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and 4. The outcome of the second incident was the U.S. Congress passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by “communist aggression.” The resolution served as Johnson’s legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.

The South Node partial Solar Eclipse on July 11, 1953 (18°30’ Cancer) was followed by the end of The Korean War on July 27. The Armistice was signed with the division line approximately at the 38th parallel. The Korean Peninsula remains divided to this day and no peace treaty has been signed.

The South Node total Solar Eclipse on July 10, 1972 (18°37’ Cancer) was followed by U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, withdrawing from the race on August 1 after revealing he was once treated for mental illness. Another key event after that eclipse was the departure of the last U.S. ground troops from Vietnam on August 23.

The South Node total Solar of Eclipse July 11, 1991 (18°58’ Cancer) was followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev resigned as president of the USSR, declaring the office extinct. That night, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin. By December 31, 1991, all official Soviet institutions had ceased operations and individual republics assumed the central government’s role. This gave the U.S. a de facto victory in the Cold War.

The two Metonic cycles outlined above demonstrate the striking difference between North Node and South Node eclipses. The North Node eclipses brought powerful new forces to bear, tearing open the previous status quo. The South Node eclipses brought an end to things and have marked the final stages of major hostilities. Remarkably, this is in agreement with President Obama’s plans to begin withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps the ending of this South Node Metonic cycle will correspond with the closing of a chapter of American history and the dawning of a new era. I’m sure many would look forward to a future where we no longer engage in controversial regional conflicts in far-flung and remote corners of the world.

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration. Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique and multidisciplinary approach to astrology over 17 years. Connect with Gary at:

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Cardinal Cross Lunar Eclipse

By Gary P. Caton | June 21, 2010

Astronomically, an eclipse occurs when there is a lunation near the lunar nodes — the place where the Moon crosses the path of the Sun, the ecliptic. Astrologically, the lunar nodes have been called “the head and tail of the dragon,” for in Chinese myth it was seen as a demonic serpent swallowing the heavenly orb. The North Node represents the head of the dragon, and therefore something being taken in or ingested, as opposed to something being released or excreted at the South Node, or tail of the dragon.

Currently the North Node resides in the sign of Capricorn. That’s why this astrologer wrote (in a TMA blog) about the North Node Solar Eclipse that happened earlier this year: “We begin a period where the Capricorn archetype will be torn open, erupting its dark shadow contents and forcing all the World to see.” I later noted that that particular Solar Eclipse (i.e., January 15) and the first eclipse of its family or Saros series both contained Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions. Just after transiting Chiron crossed the eclipse chart’s Jupiter (29º23’ Aquarius) and made his ingress into Pisces, we had the Deepwater Horizon event where the dark contents of Big Oil and corporate/government scandal were rudely thrust into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the nature of a North Node eclipse to force something into awareness, and often this is something uncomfortable, what psychologists would call “shadow material.” Note that an eclipse is by nature a phenomenon of shadows. Generally, the Moon is said to govern domestic matters, the people, and emotions, so a lunar eclipse tends to have a more personal effect than the solar eclipse, which, as we have seen, has a distinctive socio-political effect. Also, since the lunar eclipse is by nature an opposition, it has the tendency to work itself out via the relationships with other people in our lives.

Lunar Eclipse

The lunar eclipse on June 26 (4º46’ Capricorn) is a really intense one, to say the least. It could be said to represent roughly the lunar equivalent of the “Nostradamus” solar eclipse of 1999, which contained a grand cross in the fixed signs. Venus crossed the degree of that eclipse on September 11, 2001 as the Twin Towers fell. We might say then that this lunar eclipse has the capacity for emotional paradigm change in a similar way as the 1999 solar eclipse had in the socio-political arena. The main difference is that this grand cross is in cardinal signs and so represents the potential for new beginnings or emotional re-birth rather than awareness of something (such as terrorism) becoming fixed into the socio-political fabric.

Lunar eclipse; June 26, 2010; 7:31 AM EDT; Washington, D.C. (77W02’ 38N42’)
Geocentric, tropical, whole sign houses

Lunar Eclipse

So how are we supposed to handle the immense potential for emotional paradigm change that this lunar eclipse represents? In this astrologer’s view, it would be by focusing on the personal planets and how they are involved in the chart. The social and transpersonal planets are certainly heavily involved, but, to this astrologer, they simply represent that we each now have to deal with the obvious fact that all our modern conveniences come at the very high price of dependence on a highly technological and toxic oil-driven economy. The personal planets represent the basic tools we have as individuals to learn to cope with the emotional and psychological ramifications of this rude awakening.
The first thing we should notice is that the personal planet closest to the cardinal axis is Mercury. Therefore, the best tool we have is our ability to communicate with each other. This may seem so obvious as to be silly, but, as a trained counselor, I’ve learned that communication skills are not always something we value as a society. Interpersonal communication is not taught in our public school system, at least not until the post secondary level, and even then it is usually an elective. There are some very basic communication skills that I always remind my clients of, which go a long way to making stressful situations more manageable.

The first skill we need to remember is to make “I” statements. Starting a sentence with “you” is like pointing the finger; nobody likes it and most people will naturally become defensive. The second thing is to be clear when we’re talking about feelings versus objective facts. It’s important to do both, but if the other person is talking about facts when we’re talking about emotions, we’re are not really having a conversation but just talking “at” each other. Some people have trouble talking about feelings. A good formula for making feeling statements is as follows: I feel ____ (name an emotion) when you ____ (name a behavior) because ____ (name the effects the behavior has or could have on you). An example would be: “I feel angry and scared when you drive carelessly because I love my family and don’t want to see anything bad happen to them.” I trust the reader can see how that would begin a much more productive conversation than: “You are a terrible driver!”

The next personal planet that stands out is Venus. Venus in Leo is making the same Arrowhead, or Thor’s Hammer, alignment that Mars made from Leo earlier this year. She is making the tri-octile or sesquisquare aspect to both ends of the massive square between Jupiter-Uranus and Moon-Ceres-Pluto. As I wrote in these pages about that formation, there are basically two ways to see this energy flow: Some astrologers view this configuration like the t-square, with the energy originating in the tension of the square planets (in this case, Jupiter-Uranus and Moon-Ceres-Pluto) and finding an outlet through the apex planet (in this case, Venus). This means we must use the apex planet, Venus, to find creative solutions to the square or the tension of the square could erupt suddenly and destructively. This perspective reflects the use of this configuration as a tool like an arrowhead.

The aforementioned square holds the clear signature of huge emotional trauma over our Planet being carelessly despoiled by corrupt profiteers. However, I would also venture to say that it serves as a window to much deeper and more personal feelings. Demeter’s Eleusinian mysteries were a rite of passage that gave people an awareness of the possibility of pleasant conditions in the afterlife (when they reached the realm of Hades). So, in many ways, the Moon-Ceres-Pluto conjunction is about recognizing, confronting, and getting over our fear of death (both personal and that of our civilization), so that we may get on with truly living. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction at the Aries point challenges each of us to be like Charles Lindbergh, “Lucky Lindy” (who crossed the Atlantic solo under the last such alignment), and pilot our lives across some previously uncharted terrain in order to open a new realm of experience for both ourselves and the coming generations. Venus as the apex or focal planet of this square says that as we do both these things, we can serve as a model for others. By sharing our personal stories, struggles, and adventures, we can help assist others in slicing like an arrowhead through their own emotional morass.

Other astrologers see the energy flow of this configuration as originating with the apex planet (Venus, in this case). This image is more like a Hammer. Venus, then, must find a way to wield the immense power and dynamic energy of the square planets. We need to find a way to use this constructively and creatively or the energy can become destructive. A hammer can either be used to crush an object or to drive home a connecting agent, such as a nail or dowel. Perhaps Venus, as the hand on this hammer, can represent emotional leadership and the power of personality being harnessed to champion the causes whose needs become more and more apparent to us all in times like these.

Finally, there is a very close conjunction of Mars and Vesta. Recently I wrote about this extensively in my own Soul Sign Horoscopes blog. In brief review, this represents the purging and release of old ways that are outworn and clearly not working. As we are brave enough to let go of our hold on the habits of the past, we make room in our lives for something new to emerge. The immense power of this lunar eclipse is such that the new things that emerge may be powerfully liberating — in much greater proportion than that which we released. On a practical level, this purging can be achieved in any number of ways. I will give some examples, but I recommend readers use their imagination and trust their own instincts and judgment. On the physical level this could mean fasting, sweating, and other cleansing exercises. On an emotional level this could mean spending time alone and becoming still and quiet. On a mental level, this could mean identifying the old stories we tell ourselves to rationalize the way life is and not repeating them if they don’t really feel true anymore. On a spiritual level this could be some sort of ritual where we give away something symbolically representative of the past.

Over the next six months we have a tremendous opportunity to harness the enormous power of this eclipse for personal growth. Mercury, Venus, and Mars all hold the keys to how we can do this. All three planets will be hanging out in the western sky this summer. Gazing upon them occasionally in the evening at dusk is a way we can check in with ourselves and gauge our progress on this journey of becoming.

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach to spiritual growth, exploration and transformation. Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique multi-disciplinarian approach to Astrology over 17 years. Connect with Gary at

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The Aries Point: It’s All About Me

By Mary Plumb | June 7, 2010

Saturday night I had a restless sleep, as I’m learning many others did as well. There was a triple conjunction — the Moon and Jupiter moved into Aries within an hour of each other and conjoined the rebel-rousing, agitating, unnerving Uranus.

I was anxious because I had been (surprisingly) asked to speak at the Unity Church service here in Ashland on Sunday morning. The pastor, Norma Nakai Burton, was speaking on the 11th century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. Having a keen appreciation of astrology, she asked me to address the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction briefly.

I did it. It was a stretch. I work mostly alone, or with people one-on-one and in small groups. But with the stirring energy of the Aries planets overhead, I said “yes” to the invitation to try to capture a bit of the zeitgeist for this community.

Once I relaxed a bit (with the help of Rescue Remedy and lavender oil), I was able to just let the words come. And, surprise, it was fun. It was a deep pleasure to speak the language of the stars to a new group. We astrologers do have something to say that is helpful — especially now, when our faith (Jupiter) in the future (Uranus) may need polishing.

So, dear friends, if I can step out of my self-image and try on a radically (Uranus) bigger (Jupiter) new identity (Aries), trust me, you can too.

I also had a giggle on the phone today with my 5-year old granddaughter.  Since she is a Cancer rising, with her progressed Midheaven at 3º Aries, and the progressed Moon at 0º30’ Aries, I figured she’d be a direct conduit for some Aries Point activity. I wasn’t disappointed. She has just decided what she wants to be when she grows up: “A baby-sitter, an ice cream scooper, a ballerina, and a cowgirl.”

May we all listen to our wildest dreams and let our imaginations guide us toward the best possible outcome as we steal a bit of fire from the gods to help carry us all onwards and upwards.

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Welcome to the Aries Point

By Mary Plumb | May 24, 2010

I’ve been thinking about a big, warm welcome to Jupiter and Uranus who are about to enter Aries. We, of course, have had transiting Pluto, followed by Saturn, on the cardinal axis (from 0º Capricorn and Libra, respectively) since 2008.

Although the world picture is compelling now, I’m imagining herein how these factors are playing out in the personal sphere, in the realms where most of us most directly participate.

All the points in our individual horoscopes that connect to the Aries Point have had the gifts, grace, and challenges brought by the lord of the underworld and the keeper of linear time pressing upon us. (These two can come uninvited and not warmly welcomed, but apparently necessary. Sound familiar?)

So, it’s exciting to realize that the excavation and restructuring of those compartments in our lives that are sensitive by degree to Pluto and Saturn are opening into a whole new dimension with the presence of the great awakener, enhanced by the breadth of Jupiter. What is being fervently examined, stripped to the bone, and perhaps ending (i.e., Pluto and Saturn), relating to our contribution to the world (i.e., the Aries Point) is due for a mega-change in perspective.

As has been noted, the last Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the Aries Point (0º Libra), in July 1969, was the very day that man first walked on the Moon. My sister, Kate, suggested to me today that this upcoming conjunction of Jupiter-Uranus (exact on June 8th) is like “our own personal walk on the Moon.” Our sense of personal authenticity, self-realization (this is Aries, after all) and scope for what is possible can all expand beyond the previous limits or boundaries. We experience a quickening of our unique gift to the greater world. The next conjunctions of Jupiter and Uranus are back in the sign of Pisces where the collective field prevails, so this is a rare time of individual awakening to potential.

Any planet or point in the horoscope at 0º – 2º degrees of the cardinal signs is the most obvious place to look. And, we can get more specific if we study the midpoints that are on the AP in the natal horoscope.

I know someone who has the Sun-Uranus on the AP. In part, the Pluto-Saturn ending has been noticeable in regards to a certain gentleman who has played a big role in her life. After many years of entanglement, he is now irrevocably (and suddenly) out of the picture. This situation is concurrent with her newly invigorated commitment to her own creative and unique work life.

Some one else has Mars-Pluto, Jupiter-MC, Venus-Mars, Neptune-Ascendant and Uranus all on the AP. She has been designing and building a state-of-the-art house with principles from the sacred architecture of India for the past several years. It has been taxing and challenging in the extreme, but now the house is complete. She is living there and beginning to offer the space for groups. She hosted the first workshop this weekend, which she thought was a cooking class. “And yet,” she told me, “it was so much more than that. It was really about the deepest philosophy of healing.” She said, “I walked into this world I know nothing about.” Her natal Sun is 1º38’ Libra: Pluto and Saturn pressed her to create a (literal) structure whose purpose has an exciting and unforeseen life of its own that is beginning to unfold.

Another friend has Aries rising with natal Mars in Cancer. She has Moon-Venus and Saturn-MC on the AP. She is an educator and social activist whose time in these past few years has been spent tending closely to some difficult matters in her immediate family. She is longing for a new socially relevant project that she can devote herself to and move ahead in her customary high-spirited way.

Someone I know just returned from her first trip to Europe. She has 1º51’ Libra on the Ascendant and 1º57’ Cancer on the MC. In the past several years her life has completely changed. She left an office job, moved a thousand miles, and began work in a community focused on sustainable agriculture and shepherding the earth’s resources. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is coming to her Descendant. She said that this trip has given her a “different perspective on life,” both internally and externally.  She told me that she had expected to feel anxious and unsafe (echoes of Saturn and Pluto?), but she felt neither. Rather, she felt a great exhilaration and sense of wonder and discovery.

A close friend of mine (with natal Neptune/North Node on the Aries Point) is a lovely writer, world explorer, and all around lover of beauty in this life. As I was working on this article, she posted this on Facebook; it is from David Whyte’s poem, The Seven Streams:

“Be a provenance of something gathered, a summation of previous intuitions, let your vulnerabilities walking on the cracked sliding limestone be, this time, not a weakness but a faculty for what’s about to happen.”

Now, that seems like a perfect ode to this threshold moment, between the sometimes grim tidings of Saturn and Pluto and Jupiter and Uranus — newcomers to the world axis and the bearers of all that can be magically uplifting and of supreme vision for all that is of the greatest good.

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