TMA This Week

The Lunar Eclipse of 12/31 and Teddy Kennedy’s Legacy

By Claudia Dikinis | December 28, 2009

Our New Year’s Eve lunar eclipse at 10° Cancer/Capricorn is a singular mark on the Senate’s December 24, 2009 final vote on its health care reform bill. The next step is for the House of Representatives to cobble together their version of the bill with the Senate’s.

Political sausage is ugly in the making, so expect fresh rounds of blistering harangues, rehashes of “death panel” conspiracies, and spicy but stale accusations of Nazism and Fascism.

But before we are forced to return to the ugliness of business as usual, commemorating 2009’s last eclipse holds special significance. This celestial event falls on the Ascendant and Descendant cusps of liberal lion of the Senate, Teddy Kennedy.

Health care reform was “the cause of my life,” he stated during the closing days of his life. Had he lived to see the historic Senate vote (beloved wife Reggie was on the Senate floor to witness it for him), this astrologer thinks he would have shouted, “Darn good start!”

Teddy Kennedy was diagnosed in late May 2008 of a lethal brain cancer called Glioma. There is no cure and most sufferers die in a matter of months. For luckier patients like Kennedy, they survive about a year.

After a valiant struggle, Kennedy succumbed late in the evening of August 25, 2009, about a year and a half from the date he endorsed Barack Obama for president (Jan. 28, 2008). It bears mentioning that there is a 29-year age difference between Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama – the equivalent of one full Saturn cycle. When Kennedy said he was handing over “the torch of a new generation” to Obama, astrologers know he wasn’t kidding.

The December 31 eclipse on Kennedy’s Ascendant axis shows how:

A person’s chart lives on and continues to resonate during key transits and eclipses;
How a chart reveals the legacies, legends, and dynamic histories of key national figures; and
Provides a glimpse into the hearts of those who know intuitively that life is a seamless web transcending generations and enduring beyond one single person’s incarnation.

Teddy Kennedy grew from a spoiled playboy into a man who could bear and contain that level of soul responsibility.

Regardless of whether one identifies as a progressive or conservative (labels that took on heavier baggage with four oppositions of Saturn-Uranus in Virgo-Pisces), or whether one is a Kennedy fan or not, his devotion to the fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves became his life’s mission

Edward M. Kennedy

Edward Moore Kennedy (nicknamed Teddy by an older sister) was born Feb. 22, 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression. He was just shy of nine months of age when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in November of the same year. Teddy was born rich and would never know a day of hunger, homelessness, or denial of a whim. Even so, this man with a compassionate Pisces Sun and Virgo Moon conjunct Neptune found it natural in later years to reach beyond the boundaries of self to champion others.

Kennedy was elected nine times to the U.S. Senate and served a total of 46 years. He outlived his two iconic brothers – one a president, the other his Attorney General – and left a body of social, legal, and economic reforms that are unmatched.

Kennedy’s Pisces Sun is empowered by an out-of-sign conjunction with Mars and Mercury in Aquarius. Mercury (exalted in the sign) is drawn into the opposition with Kennedy’s Moon-Neptune conjunction in Virgo. Freedom-fighting Mars in the every man sign of Aquarius, coupled with Sun in oceanic Pisces, spurred Kennedy to strive ever harder for social justice.

Mercury’s out-of-sign tie-in to Moon and Neptune also made him a marvelous storyteller and spellbinding orator. Kennedy loved to sail (Pisces/water), and whether he was on his sailboat or “sailing” on oratory or raucous song, this man of large appetites and huge emotions lived an unfettered life.

Mars’s placement by itself, however, was always a bane as well as a boon for Kennedy. The warrior planet is posited in mutual reception with his Uranus in Aries. He had a lightning wit for sure. Also a knack for “cutting to the chase,” which allowed him to slice into the core of any issue. His caustic barbs blurted to anyone with the guts to invoke his Irish ire in the Senate were another story. Sometimes the lion suffered from a momentary case of paw in mouth.

That same incisive Mars-Uranus mutual reception finally taught Kennedy how to set safe boundaries around his Moon-Neptune conjunction. The lion could bite. The lion was finally protected.

As this sensitive, but often egotistical, Pisces man (with Jupiter, the Sun’s traditional ruler, in Leo!) matured – and grew into his natal Saturn – he devoted himself to a life of good deeds, redemption (he was a devoted Catholic), and atonement. (The night of July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a Kennedy staff campaign worker, lost her life when Kennedy’s car careened off the side of a narrow bridge. It was alleged that Kennedy was drunk at the wheel and lost control of the car. Kennedy was charged with fleeing the scene of the accident, but not with Mary Jo’s death.)

Teddy’s bouts with alcoholism, philandering, a broken back suffered in a plane crash, the assassination of two brothers, and the death of his older sister Kathleen, exacted a heavy toll. Outside events proved to be what was necessary to force Kennedy to embrace his unaspected first-house Saturn posited in duty-laden Capricorn.

The aforementioned tragedies tempered the anger, the ego, and the bluster. He donned the mantle of family patriarch and stand-in father for Jack and Bobby’s children. It was then that Kennedy fully embraced his destiny. The long road of a privileged yet tragedy-burdened life combined to make him a champion of the common people — the liberal lion of the U.S. Senate.

Lunar Eclipse

As mentioned above, eclipse Sun conjoins Teddy’s Ascendant and the Moon conjoins his Descendant. The eclipse itself is a South Node event highlighting the past, family, deep feelings, endings, and the final rest of those who have passed on.

Pluto, Venus, and Sun oppose the eclipse Moon and all flow into a t-square with Saturn positioned at 4° Libra. Teddy’s natal Ascendant joins Pluto, Venus, and Sun in the 8th house of the eclipse chart, the house of legacies, death, and inheritances. It is the house also associated with insurance and corporations.

Looking at the same planets placed in Teddy’s chart brings the Capricorn crowd in alignment with Teddy’s first,house unaspected Saturn. Although none are far enough along by degree to conjoin Teddy’s Saturn, Venus will by January 17 (two days after 2010’s first major Solar Eclipse). It will take Pluto many years to meet Teddy’s Saturn. This will occur close to and just after the USA’s first Pluto return of 2022-2023. However, the twin themes of identity (first house) and legacy/inheritances (8th house) are merged here in the charts and more will be revealed as the eclipse cycle of 2010 unfolds.

Saturn, currently in transit through Libra, is squared by the eclipse Sun, Moon, and the Capricorn players, Pluto and Venus. Venus is also in mutual reception with Saturn until mid-January 2010. Retrograde Mercury at 19° Capricorn stationed on December 26 while conjunct the North Node. This signals that the health care bill’s final form will be the result of a renewed battle between corporate special interests (Pluto in Capricorn) seeking to undermine advocates of a structured health care bill that favors fairness (Saturn in Libra).

As the United States moves closer to its 8th Saturn Return (Dec. 3, 2010), it will also make its 8th waxing square to the USA’s vulnerable Cancer Sun. The stress of that, combined with energy offloading from the cardinal t-square (transiting Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus), may force legislation that removes insurance company mandates and proposed IRS penalties. The failure of the U.S. economy and looming bankruptcy of the health care system itself may do for the public what it cannot do for itself.

Perhaps in the end health care reform will arise out of the sheer burden of necessity (Saturn). It may be that the Saturnian lesson Teddy was forced to learn personally will push the United States as a country into evolving, into manifesting something closer to the true reform Teddy Kennedy envisioned.

The Sabian Symbol for eclipse Moon is “A Clown is Caricaturing Well-Known Personalities.” Alongside the impersonations and send-ups of politicians from the likes of Leno, Letterman, and SNL, we can look forward to more biting sarcasm from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.

Politicians will not disappoint. The usual suspects will hit the airwaves in all their majesty. Exaggerated claims made by the buffoonish Sarah Palin and the Kabuki Theater of right wing court jesters such Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck will continue unabated.

The Sabian Symbol for eclipse Sun is “Pheasants Display Their Brilliant Colors on a Private Estate.” Privilege, position, and power are clearly indicated by this Saturn-ruled Sun position. As Lynda Hill outlines in her brilliant Sabian Symbols book, “360 Degrees of Wisdom,” we have some keywords to consider: “Glorious houses and estates. Lawns and gardens. . . .  [the] Aristocracy and the ruling elite.”

The two eclipse degree symbols are either a Greek tragedy or a Greek comedy. At this stage, I’m not sure which!

Buffoons and elites will mingle this New Year’s Eve while the USA, looking a bit like the Titanic, still relies on the working class to rearrange the deck chairs. Let us hope that relief is on the way.


Edward M. Kennedy; Feb. 22, 1932; 3:58 am, EST; Dorchester, Massachusetts (42°N17’, 71°W04’). AA
Lunar Eclipse; Dec. 31, 2009; 2:12:45 pm EST; Washington, DC, (38°N53’, 77°W02’).

© 2009 Claudia D. Dikinis

Claudia D. Dikinis (Starcats) is an astrologer, poet and writer located in Santa Monica, California. As founder of AstroConsultants of Santa Monica, she maintains a thriving practice as a full-time astrologer and writer. To learn more about Claudia, her services and check out her Starcats astrology articles and blogs, visit her website: Starcats You can also email Claudia at

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A New Model for Full Planetary Phases: The Venus Journey

By Adam Gainsburg | December 1, 2009

With the current leveling of our structures and bodies by the transiting Saturn-Pluto square, along with the exposing of both our illusions and further visions a la the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune stellium, one might wonder if there’s any other sky story worthy of our attention now. In fact, there is, this January.

Since 2003, I’ve actively followed the synodic cycles of Mars-Sun and Venus-Sun, both through extensive sky-watching from many locations and through researching my client and celebrity files. I’ve investigated how ancient sky-watching wisdom from Babylonian, Egyptian, Celtic, and other cultures might be brought to bear on contemporary psychological and consciousness development today. I wish to go further than mundane considerations — but certainly not exclude them — and to meld our ancient and current skills for the purpose of exposing how a more complete vision of our astrological future might be engendered. It seemed to me that our post-postmodern focus on a more complex, yet integrated, emotional, psychological, and spiritual life was asking to be integrated with the ancients’ masterful awareness of direct-sky watching. If viable, such a marriage would further deepen us into what it means to be terrestrial and celestial simultaneously.

This January, the two most transformational events in the synodic lives of Mars and Venus will occur within two weeks of one another — what I have named Transcendence and Transmutation. These phases in the Mars-Sun and Venus-Sun cycles are the templates for our deepest inner and best outer masculine and feminine selves. They are our personal Shiva and Shakti, our own sacred masculine and feminine.

Synode-Nativity Work
Only through the synodic cycle do we see the larger developmental intention, the natal planetary phase, any relevant star testimonies, and important visual attributes of the birth moment. To understand how synodic and natal delineations work together, first assess the entire natal condition of the planet in question — i.e., sign, house, aspects, dignity, etc. This is the native’s core masculine (Mars) and feminine (Venus) wiring, their personal masculine and feminine ‘story’. Next, frame that multivalent image within the native’s planet-Sun synodic cycle — by phase, and by visual and physical attributes. Similar in concept to lunar phases, synodes are wonderful framing devices for natal and personal transit work. With both being considered, and in proper relationship to one another, a more robust and complete picture of someone’s full nature emerges: not only who someone individually is but what someone collectively contributes to the larger human unfolding. I often describe the natal synodic picture as a personal masculine/feminine dharma.

January 2010
On January 11, Venus will conjunct the Sun in her superior conjunction, marking what I call her Transmutational Underworld Phase (TMU), at 4:00 pm ET at 21°32′ Capricorn (tropical zodiac). TMU lets us know that Venus is invisible (co-rising with the Sun) and moving at her most rapid direct velocity. What the ancients observed, and what holds true for us today, is the correlation of the superior conjunction to a transmutation of those energies standing in the way of better, more appropriate expressions of Venusian functioning (the planet under synodic consideration).

graphic shows Venus behind the Sun at superior conjunction (Jan 11, 2010)

Venus behind the Sun

The visual experience of superior conjunction is of course an invisible Venus. Within us, however, even today, we sense/know that the Sun and Venus alchemize together to act as a doorway into what has been called “the underworld” for millenia. We can further understand the superior conjunction to force the Earth and Venus into a spatial polarity to one another, with the Sun positioned as their archetypal midpoint. The Sun inhabits the vesica region, the intersecting ripple patterns of influence of both planets.

graphic shows Venus-Sun-Earth archetypal ‘displacement’ at superior conjunction

Venus Sun Earth
When this is observed on a nativity, in phase progression or in mundane work, an archetypal loss occurs. What is lost here is not the content of the individual psyche — personal fears and contractive patterns — but the blueprint of our otherwise natural relationship with Venus. We (Earth) effectively lose ourselves as our own feminine (socio-physiological) center. We further find that it’s been replaced by the alchemical Venus + Sun being described above. This type of synodic transit event catalyzes a deeper effect on us than a traditionally conceived Venus-Sun conjunction. It’s been my observation that its influence is as strong and lasting for an individual as any hard outer-planet transit, and may have equal impact on the collective level as well.

Venus’ Journey is consistently 19-months in duration. From extensive research with thousands of client and celebrity charts, I’ve come to name Venus’ phases (in order):

1. Self-Conception (Transmigrational Underworld – see graphic #3 for explanation)
2. Gestation (Transmigrational Underworld)
3. Birth
4. Adolescence
5. Maturity
6. Queen’s Descent (Surrender & Discovery)
7. Transmutational Underworld (see graphic #3)
8. ReBirth
9. Queen’s Ascent (Remembering & Embodiment)
10. Wholeness
11. Crone
12. Completion (Transmigrational Underworld)

Venus’ Underworlds
Venus experiences two distinct underworld periods associated with each of her Sun conjunctions. They are entirely different in visual quality/experience and inner meaning, as may be obvious to many. The first phase, Transmigration, sees Venus retrograde at inferior conjunction (thus invisible), effectively shifting the previous cycle to the next. The most recent Transmigration took place on March 27, 2009, when Venus transmigrated out of the former Leo Journey (8-17-07 to 3-26-09) and began the current Aries Journey at 7°15′ Aries. Transmigration is the Omega/Alpha point in humanity’s developing feminine nature. The lessons learned or avoided through our Leo Femininity (prior cycle) are now being worked out through Aries (current cycle). How we’ve embraced ourselves in acceptance and love, how we’ve discovered or avoided ourselves as creators of our world, now is put to the test. This Aries Journey may be about acting from our creative natures, bravely testing new ways to relate, facing our fear of connecting with different kinds of people, and defending what’s important. It’s an active, experimental, and heart-driven Feminine. Keep in mind that the terms ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ do not refer to gender and gender issues, but to core principles inherent in each woman, man, and child.

Venus phases
Transmutation Phase
In contrast, and the subject of this series of articles, Venus’ next Transmutation Phase on January 11 (superior conjunction, invisible, fastest direct motion) immerses Venus in the core transformative process within the current Aries cycle. TMU is the midpoint of any journey and marks Venus’ precise changeover from morning-sky to night-sky (albeit invisibly). The governing intention of this and every other phase, however, remains Aries. To clarify this idea for those new to synodic delineation, we can form the question, How will Aries’ femininity develop/grow/evolve through her transition from morning-sky, to invisibility, to night-sky? Or, how will Aries’ femininity, the sign of the overall journey, radically transform from 29° Scorpio — her first disappearance in the morning sky — through 14° Pisces — her first reappearance in the evening sky? Scorpio through Pisces are the signs Venus inhabits while moving through the Transmutation Phase (TMU).

TMU occurs at the temporal midpoint in each Venus Journey, indicating that its purpose is to shift us from morning to evening Venus, yet still within that Journey’s developmental arc. Venus enters TMU having completed her entire morning-sky period with all the impulsiveness, violence, and entitlement ascribed to early morning Venus for thousands of years. She will exit, though, as Night Star, exhibiting all the benevolent, goddess-like qualities we’ve equally inherited from the past.

The Queen’s Ascent and ReBirth Phases
In her evening-turned-night period, Venus’ movement ascends — growing brighter with each passing night, sending her benefic-ial rays to touch more of the sky (increasing magnitude). While the entire transition occurs within this Aries Journey, she will emerge from TMU stripped of inhibiting assumptions, orientations, and needs, such as impatience, impulsiveness, and anger. Venus’ evening emergence is her ReBirth Phase, which occurs on February 23, 2010 at 14° Pisces, marking her night-sky heliacal rise or EF (“evening first”).

Interestingly, late February through early March will see the meaning of Venus’ ReBirth phase (entirely distinct from her earlier Birth Phase) become wedded to the dialogue between Jupiter and Uranus. Venus will conjunct Jupiter at 6° Pisces on February 16 while still invisible (yet close to reappearing), and Uranus, visibly, on March 3 at 25° Pisces, in the ReBirth phase. This celestial transference of information between Jupiter and Uranus through our feminine functioning will play out a core theme of rebirth. How so? When the Venus arrow moves from Jupiter to Uranus, we are beckoned to surrender our cognitive superiority and dissociation and the rote seeking of hollow, yet seemingly expansive, experiences. Instead we can redirect that energy into inventively crafting our new creations with others. Now, set this delineation into the larger frame of Venus’ ReBirth Phase — collaborating on new plans with others, seeking nurturing and liberating situations, and an earnest yet naïve optimism — and Venus’ ReBirth, as an evolutionary response to her prior Transmutation, can trigger a newfound capacity to boldly create with others where pre-set beliefs and fears reigned before. The real-time results will be profound for many aligned to Venus’ rhythms, either archetypally or activated through natal sensitive degrees to these synode hot spots.

The New Moon at 25° Capricorn on January 15 and the conjunction of the North Node with the Sun-Venus superior conjunction at 21° Capricorn are two additional events playing important roles in Venus’ Transmutational Underworld Phase of 2010. Colleagues are encouraged to add these events into their own investigations into the Venus-Sun synode.

This January, feminine Venus and masculine Mars will align their most transformational phases with one another. On the 11th Venus reaches superior conjunction with the Sun, known herein as her Transmutational Underworld Phase. And on the 29th, Mars enters his retrograde opposition to the Sun, what I call his Transcendence Phase. The Moon meets up with Mars during Transcendence as well, forming that month’s Full Moon. This creates a powerful set of polarities:  Sun (masculine) and Venus (feminine), Mars (masculine) and Moon (feminine). This is one of the most potent sacred science formulas for activating seed potential, changing our internal rules about who we are and what our options are, and most importantly, forging a robust and mutual partnership between our inner masculine and feminine selves. With Mars highest, brightest and visibly reddest, and Venus invisible behind the Sun, it’s time to devote to our deepest desires (red Mars) which emanate from our deepest heart (invisible Venus).

Adam Gainsburg has authored three books, including Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart. Adam is the founder of Soulsign Astrology and an active teacher and lecturer at astrology conferences since 2007. His work emphasizes the Heart’s evolutionary intelligence at the core of all astrological method. His next book, Bridges of Union (2010), will present a comprehensive delineation model of the phases in the Mars and Venus synodic cycles. Adam also records a monthly podcast on the synodic cycles of Venus and Mars and is developing an online tool to merge astronomical advances with astrological wisdom.

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Waterloo at the FED?

By Mary Plumb | November 23, 2009

Although I am not an especially close observer of financial matters, Pluto’s last transit over the Sun in the horoscope of the Federal Reserve on November 10 does coincide with a rather obvious event.

A little over a week later, a “lifelong fight” by Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) had a significant step as the House moved closer to an audit of the privately held (and massively influential) bank.  H.R. 1207: The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 is “an epochal development in the relationship between the government and the country’s quasi-governmental central bank.” (1) Astrologers will have no trouble recognizing Pluto’s transit over the heart and creative life of any entity as being “epochal.”

In other interesting language, Alan Grayson (D-Florida),  a strong supporter of the bill, said, “Today was Waterloo for FED secrecy.” (2)

Federal Reserve & Pluto on the Sun

For a few quick observations, the Federal Reserve chart has Cancer ascending with the Moon in secretive Scorpio. Ron Paul’s natal Mars and Jupiter are in Scorpio right on top of the Moon.  Another close-to-exact connection is Paul’s natal Pluto at 26°28’ Cancer conjunct the Federal Reserve first-house Neptune at 27°31’ Cancer, which seems to speak of Paul’s persistence in taking on what many perceive as the nebulous workings of the bank.

Federal Reserve & Ron Paul

Here are some links to a few of the many astrological writers on the Federal Reserve chart:

A few years ago my friend Don Cerow alerted me to the significance of the Federal Reserve and he’s written extensively for years on the subject. If you go to Athena’s Web and scroll down to The Freedom Trail and follow the links, you can read a recent series of his analysis of the U.S. chart and Fed chart in relationship to Pluto’s transit into Capricorn.

Consulting astrologers will enjoy a blog entry that imagines the Fed as a client in the astrologer’s office, just as the transit of Pluto is upon itself.

Bill Meridian’s classic article, The Horoscope of the Federal Reserve, is a thorough treatment of the matter and has been updated since its original publication in 1985.

Washington D.C. blogger Jude Cowell brings Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke into the mix here.

And, for a non-astrological explanation of the Resolution from London’s Financial Times, Auditing the central bank: a jolly good thing!

Your comments and observations about the events are most welcome.

Chart data:

Federal Reserve; December 23, 1913; 6:02 p.m.; Washington, D.C.

Ron Paul, August 20, 1935, Pittsburg, PA;  from Wikipedia

Footnotes: (1) The Big Money

(2) The Progressive Mind

Additional reference: House panel votes to Advance Paul Plan on Fed Audits


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Chiron Calls

By Mary Plumb | November 2, 2009

Chiron stationed direct at 21°13’ Aquarius late at night here on the west coast on October 30.  There was a Full Moon eclipse on February 9 at 20°52’ Leo, so this degree area is especially responsive again.

Chiron station

There are other significant celestial events at the station: Saturn is newly in Libra, the Full Moon is today, Jupiter is just moving forward (as of October 12), and Neptune turns direct on November 4.

As always, there are many windows to peer through when noticing events as they parallel the sky. And there are many levels of manifestation and countless expressions of the movements in the heavens. I’m writing a few stories from my own life as the wisest of the centaurs has turned around and is slowing, slowing, slowing, and tenderly, carefully, moving forward again.

Chiron can signify a wound. Words fly out of some half conscious part of our selves and are magnetized right into someone’s most recent, or most finely tuned, point of sorrow. We’re not in our usual parameters of time with Chiron. We may slip into a new and heightened consciousness. It can happen very quickly and there is no going back — only slowly, gently, allowing space for the grace that we trust will descend again.

Enhanced by Neptune’s delicate presence, some are feeling a fragility and vulnerability that is hard to bear. On the day of the station (in close aspect to my natal Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto), I said too much to a close loved one. I’m waiting for the moment to make amends.

In another Chironic episode: On Saturday I got a phone call from a sometimes aloof (i.e., Uranus connections between us) but beloved family member. It was a longed for and cherished conversation, which was indeed a healing connection.

A dear friend’s natal Sun is at 20° Aquarius. Her Ascendant is 22° Taurus, the same degree and sign as her elderly father’s natal Sun. She flew across the country late last week to sit with her father at the hospital after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and had surgery. The family waited guardedly with him as he hovered between this world and another. He left this mortal coil early this morning, surrounded by his family and their prayers. Here Chiron’s appearance relates to the father’s illness and wound and as the shape-shifting, shamanic principle of traveling between worlds.

Chiron is also a guide on the journey to wholeness or completion. Some Jungian therapists speak of the individuation process as shamanic, in that we can retrieve parts of ourselves heretofore lost, discounted, or abandoned. This healing can be initiated at the cellular, physical, or spiritual levels — and all levels seem to interconnect with each other.

At the station, Chiron is barely moving. Chiron gives the gift of a new perspective, which in some traditions has to be practiced with diligence and inner gentleness. It can be accompanied by acute awareness of pain, emptiness, being different or left out.

This weekend, I spoke with someone who is in a healing journey with a shaman. At this moment in the therapeutic process, having re-visited a critical early wound, she is literally at the time where she has been instructed to “practice the new perspective.” Chiron signifies the recapitulation of a wound, the insight gained, and the necessity to practice the change in awareness that then stimulates new neural pathways in the nervous system. In this case, the Chiron station is conjunct Mercury, which is aspected by Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto.

I have friends in a challenging relationship. The composite chart has Saturn conjunct the South Node at 21° Aquarius. Late last week they came to the decision to break off all contact (for now, anyway), after a series of difficult and painful disagreements.

Another friend has struggled for years with digestive issues. She is an alternative health care professional and has tried everything. She is thrilled to have received a definitive diagnosis (i.e., celiac disease) on Friday. (She said, Mary, tell them it’s been 40 years!) She has a Moon-Mars conjunction at 21° Leo in the natal horoscope — the Chiron station in opposition brought a significant new perspective for her long-standing digestion (Moon-Mars) issues. The Moon and Mars are part of a fixed cross in the natal chart, suggesting the persistence of her symptoms and her huge relief now.

Someone else I am very close to has Venus, the Moon, and Pluto in Leo. The Venus/Pluto midpoint is precisely at 21° Leo. Transiting Chiron stopping directly opposite that very sensitive point has brought intense awareness of her deeply familiar feelings of abandonment and aloneness. She has been grappling with her emotional history for a while now, but the Chiron station has sharply and painfully articulated what she now feels is the primary wound at her emotional core.

At times like these I often consult the I Ching. Yesterday I threw hexagram #8: Holding Together. In The I Ching Workbook by R. L. Wing (1979), I read: “The individual human spirit is nourished by a sense of connectedness to the whole of human awareness….You will be able to glimpse yourself as a part of a whole, which will both amplify your individuality and annihilate it. Do not fear this, for it will not diminish your self-awareness but rather spotlight it against a more profound background.”

I think these words are a beautiful description for these days with Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter continuing to travel together and moving forward again. May we all find the way home to our own true selves.

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Mars in Leo & the Cardinal Crisis

By Gary P. Caton | October 26, 2009

On October 16, 2009 Mars began his longest transit of Leo since 1962-63. The 1962-63 time period saw publication of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and the Cuban missile crisis. The 1962 Mars into Leo ingress chart cast for Washington, D.C. has a Taurus Ascendant.

Chart for Mars ingress to Leo: October 11, 1962; Washington, D.C. (38N54, 77W02); whole sign houses

Mars ingress to Leo, 1962

Mars rules the 12th whole-sign house of prisons and secret enemies, and the 7th whole-sign house of open enemies. Mars is also the exaltation ruler of the 9th whole sign of Capricorn, which signifies religion, churches and preachers, as well as the Law. Mars with the North Node in the 4th house of this chart represents a popular movement of the People in opposition to the Government. I find this chart to be very fitting for these two rather important historical events, both occurring during Mars’s prolonged stay in the sign.

Mars’s October 16, 2009 ingress chart cast for Washington, D.C. has Sagittarius rising.

Chart for Mars ingress to Leo: October 16, 2009; Washington, D.C. (38N54, 77W02); whole sign houses

Mars ingress to Leo, 2009

Mars, once again, rules the 12th whole-sign of secret enemies and prisons, as well as the 5th whole sign, which is related to ambassadors and “high society.” Mars is also the exaltation ruler of the 2nd whole sign, which has to do with banks and stock markets. Mars is located in the 9th whole sign, which suggests issues of religion and law, and  international communications and travel.

We could speculate from the above that we can expect important events related to spies or “secret enemies.” This could suggest anything from terrorists or insurgents, to countries that are secretly undermining or, at the very least, not cooperating with our agenda. However, with the 5th and 9th also activated, it seems that we are actively negotiating with these countries to deal with the various hidden agendas.

There are, however, more compelling reasons to pay attention to this Mars ingress chart, as it has several parallels to the U.S. Sibly chart.

The most obvious parallel is that both charts are Sagittarius rising and so they share the same house structure. Leo is the 9th whole sign in both charts, the house of the Sibly North Node. Furthermore, on July 20, 2006, the Sibly secondary progressed Mars turned retrograde for the first time in American history (at 18°42’ Libra). Finally, Leo is the sign of the Sibly secondary progressed Ascendant.

It is fascinating that the U.S. has been dealing with either Iran or Iraq for much of the time that the Sibly secondary progressed Ascendant has been in Leo, i.e., since the early 1970’s. Prior to 1962-63, Mars had an extended transit through Leo in 1915-16. This was the time of the Sykes-Picot agreement, which reneged on T.E. Lawrence’s promise of a unified Arab region in return for their allegiance to the Allied powers against the Ottoman Empire in WWI. Instead, Britain, France, and Russia divvied up the Arab lands into spheres of influence, which eventually resulted in what we now know as Iran, Iraq, and Israel. This was a turning point in Arab relations with the West and planted some of the seeds of the current cycle of violence in which we find ourselves embroiled.

It seems to me that part of America’s destiny is to moderate the imperialistic urges (our own and others) symbolized by the natal Sibly Leo North Node in the 9th. America was formed during the height of British imperialism. We defeated the British and expanded past the Mississippi largely with the help of French imperialist ambitions. The post WWII era was defined by the Cold War, which was essentially a contest to see who would be the biggest “superpower.” If this was not literal imperialism, it can be viewed as a competition between American and Russian national egos. Now we find ourselves partnered (in one way or another) with all three of these nations in attempting to deal with the direct consequences of this collective imperialism. The compelling coincidences or synchronicity of this convergence of national interests in the Middle East region once again should not be lost on us.We may be faced now with an opportunity to balance the mistakes of the past century.

Perhaps it is now time that America can become a world leader by example, rather than by force or meddling. By joining in the efforts to limit greenhouse gases, control nuclear proliferation, and expand global economic ties, President Obama has already taken huge strides in this direction. However, until foreign forces leave Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly even Iran, we cannot really say that this period of history is finished, can we? For a new chapter to begin, it seems that the international community will have to allow the nations of the Middle East to have control over their own destiny, to sort things out on their own, or at the very least without constant military interventions. Viewed historically, it appears to me that Mars in Leo could be a test of our resolve to begin to do just that.

In fact, viewed historically, this Mars transit appears to be part of a much bigger picture. As astrologers, we all know we are now coming under the aegis of the transiting  Uranus-Pluto squares. These planets’ alignments have been historically important for the U.S. Mars and will activate the mid-point of the forming transit Uranus-Pluto squares three times while in Leo. This is extremely important for the U.S. because the Sibly natal Midheaven/IC axis forms the mid-point of the natal Uranus-Pluto waxing gibbous angle of 131°. Mars will be forming this same angle, and also the tri-octile or sesquisquare (135°) to both ends of the forming Uranus-Pluto square three times over the next 8 months. This aspect configuration is known by different names, such as Arrowhead, Thor’s Hammer, or God’s Fist.

Some astrologers view this configuration like the t-square, with the energy originating in the tension of the two square planets (in this case, Uranus-Pluto) and finding an outlet through the apex planet (in this case, Mars). This means we must use the apex planet, Mars, to find creative solutions to the square or the tension of the square could erupt suddenly and perhaps destructively. This perspective reflects the use of this configuration as a tool, like an Arrowhead, and seems to be demonstrated in the possible nuclear deal brokered by the U.S. between Iran, Russia, and France. We could effectively divert the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon — at least in the short term.

Other astrologers see the energy flow of this configuration originating with the apex planet (Mars in this case). This image is more like a Hammer or Fist. Mars, then, must find a way to wield the power and dynamic energy of the square planets, Uranus and Pluto. Again, 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 this hammer can be used to begin to construct the framework for the grand vision of President Obama and the U.S. becoming a leader in alternative energy.

Mars will remain in Leo until June 7, 2010. Mars entered the “shadow” of retrograde immediately upon his ingress to Leo. He stations retrograde on December 20, 2009 at 19°42’ Leo. This is a little more than a degree from the fixed-cross eclipse of 1999 at 18°22’ Leo. The direct station is March 10, 2010 at nearly 0° Leo – very close to last summer’s eclipse degree (i.e., 29°26’ Cancer). Mars does not clear the “shadow” of the retrograde until he passes the initial retrograde station in mid-May 2010. The most important transits during this period, as I see it, will be the tri-octile or sesquiquadrate aspects to Uranus and Pluto and their mid-point. These will occur throughout the months of November, January, and May and will set the stage for whether next summer’s dramatic cardinal alignments, and perhaps even the Uranus-Pluto squares, will be experienced as a destructive or creative crisis.

About Gary P. Caton:

In addition to practicing Mundane astrology, Gary P. Caton hosts the FREE Goddess Astrology pod-cast which illuminates the current cycles of Venus and the Asteroid Goddesses and is the best reviewed astrology pod-cast on iTunes! Gary is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration, holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique multi-discipline approach over 17 years. You can connect with Gary at www.DreamAstrologer

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A Big Week

By Mary Plumb | October 12, 2009

Within a week President Obama went from the stunning disappointment of traveling to Copenhagen, replete with exaggerated media attention and fanfare, to having Chicago eliminated for the 2012 Olympics, and then to the equally stunning surprise of winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

What happened in his personal horoscope within that week?

As a background theme: the President has Scorpio on the Midheaven, which symbolizes his public life and reputation. Scorpio is ruled by Mars, which is natally placed at 22°35’ Virgo. Transiting Uranus, of course, has been opposing Mars since summer 2008. And 22° is a particularly sensitive degree: Uranus stationed retrograde at 22° in June 2008 and, after moving back and forth a bit, it stations again at 22°, this time going direct on December 1. So, generally, Obama’s reputation is subject to the quick reversals signified by the volatile and eccentric Uranus. Obama, natal

Looking more specifically, transiting Mars was applying to oppose natal Saturn in Capricorn (co-ruler of the Ascendant) for the trip to Copenhagen. The opposition was exact on October 6; some obstacle had come to a head and was behind him when the Nobel Prize was announced on October 9. Transiting Venus came to consort with Mars as well — Venus was exactly conjunct the President’s natal Mars late on the 8th.

Obama’s progressed Mars travels through 23° Libra, the degree of the beautiful fixed star Spica, for only a few years in his horoscope. In October 2008, Mars arrived at 23° and will move to 24° in mid 2010. The President’s progressed Moon was at the very end of a sign when he went to Copenhagen, at 29° Aquarius. On October 6 the Moon moved into Pisces, just in time to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


Obama, progressedThe mysterious, shape-shifting, projection-laden, out-of-the-ordinary, yet expansive/possibly magnificent conditions described by the rare and refined combination of Chiron, Jupiter, and Neptune is part of the picture as well. Disappointments (Neptune), unusual experiences (Chiron), great honors (Jupiter) are all hovering around the President’s Ascendant. Jupiter is closest right now: the bringer of reward and accolades goes direct on October 12, within a degree of Obama’s Ascendant.

With this combination of influences, the Aquarius archetype is obviously pronounced.  We can imagine for a moment that the Nobel Prize might signify some of the best of Aquarius, i.e., the ability to see beyond what is currently apparent, to demonstrate clear, deep thinking, to have genuine independence from practical restraints, and to recognize creative possibilities hidden from our ordinary view. As Rick Tarnas has proposed, rather than Uranus, it may be Prometheus — the wisest of the Titans who tricked Zeus and stole fire from the gods to give to humans — who is resonant with the sign of Aquarius.

Psychological astrologers say that it’s never a good idea to argue with an archetype. Putting cynicism and doubt about the prize being awarded to the President so early in his term (and on the same day he was debating a huge expanse of troops in Afghanistan) aside, maybe the Aquarian ability to offer an experience of mutual hope and bring inexplicable events is setting a very high bar that the President and all of his companions (that’s us, friends) can indeed accomplish.

There was an air trine in the sky on the day of the announcement: the Sun at 16° Libra, and the Moon in Gemini complete the trine to Jupiter. (1)  (Oct. 9, 2009; 9:00 am GMT; Oslo, Norway)


Nobel Prize AnnouncementCertainly, as transiting Saturn is about to cross the U.S. Midheaven, our reputation as a nation is at a crucial turning point and the U.S. can demonstrate a new kind of responsible leadership in the world. (2)

(1) “Mr. Obama was not told of the award in advance and only found out about it when he was awakened by his press secretary at 6:00 am (1000 GMT), an hour after the decision was announced in Oslo.”
Times Online

(2) The Sibly Midheaven is 1°03’ Libra. Transiting Saturn will be exactly there on November 8 and continue through the summer of 2010.

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The Libra Ingress Chart

By Gary P. Caton | September 21, 2009

Astrologers have inherited a truly rich history, and we modern astrologers would be wise to integrate more of its lessons. For instance, having some time ago researched the astrology around the Black Death of the Middle Ages, I was not surprised when the swine flu erupted onto the scene earlier this year, even when it was labeled a pandemic. After all, medieval astrologers blamed another triple conjunction in Aquarius — that of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — for history’s most famous pandemic. However, when one looks more closely, it is easy to see that that triple conjunction did not occur at the time of the outbreak itself. Rather, it occurred at the Sun’s ingress into Aries in 1345. This is a clue about the vital importance of these moments of ingress.

One of the most powerful tools for the mundane astrologer has always been the ingress chart — cast for the capital city of a country at the precise moment when the Sun enters the cardinal signs, which mark the solstice and equinoctial points and, thus, the foundation of the tropical zodiac. It was by using these charts that I correctly predicted (in the Dec. 2002/Jan. 2003 issue of The Mountain Astrologer) that the war in Iraq would face significant opposition before its first summer was over. When one views the 2008 Aries ingress through the lens of classical astrology, it becomes quite clear that the unusual nature of this chart depicts the third worst year in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Jupiter in Capricorn is in fall in the 2nd whole sign house, and Mars in Cancer is in fall in the 8th. The dispositors of those planets, Saturn and the Moon, respectively, are conjunct in Virgo in the 10th and opposite their fallen dispositor, Mercury in Pisces, in the 4th. In short, this chart says: Fall, Fall, Fall. And that’s the way it was. So, let us have a look at 2009 and gaze into the crystal ball that its ingress charts provide.

A general rule in traditional astrology is that if the Ascendant of the Aries ingress chart is in a cardinal sign, the chart remains valid for three months only, and it is necessary to draw further charts for the Sun’s entry into Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. The 2009 Aries ingress, which has an Aries Ascendant (when cast for Washington, D.C.), is one such case. So, the Cancer ingress is the chart we have been living under for the past three months. You may remember that the summer solstice was closely accompanied by a New Moon and the asteroid Vesta. I have noted that Vesta represents a process of compression and contraction much like the first stage of birth labor. The uterus is pressing in on all sides, but the cervix has not yet dilated, so there is no place yet for the baby to go! Doesn’t this describe the emotional turbulence surrounding this summer’s health care “debate”? Curiously enough, the Libra ingress is also closely preceded by a New Moon, which is again conjunct one of the Asteroid Goddesses, Pallas Athena. Pallas symbolizes a release of the pressure from the Vesta stage and a springing forth into the birth canal (or wormhole) that leads to our future. Let us hope it is so! You can read more material about the Goddesses on my Web site and my Goddess Astrology page on Facebook.

With this general sense of the process of rebirth in mind, what else does the 2009 Libra ingress chart show us?

Libra Ingress



When the chart is cast for Washington, D.C., we see an Aquarius Ascendant. Right away, this tells us that President Barack Obama (who also has Aquarius rising) will be making some prominent appearances. This is no surprise, but this theme is backed up in a couple other places. The Moon is a mundane chart represents the people and where their attention falls. In the 10th whole sign house, this Moon is focused on the executive branch of the government. The president himself, symbolized by the Sun, is in the 9th whole sign. This suggests that his attention is on legal and foreign affairs. But what about health care, you may ask? We must assume that, after his speech, the president will once again leave this process to the legislative branch. In fact, the Sun in the 9th is suggestive of him signing into law some new initiative(s). The Congress itself and legislation are symbolized by the 11th house. With the Sagittarius Midheaven there, ruled by Jupiter rising in the 1st whole sign, we can again assume some progress.

When we begin to look at the dispositorships for this chart, we can flesh out the picture further. The president, symbolized by the Sun in Libra, seems to be on a diplomatic mission of peace, since the Sun’s dispositor is Venus. Located in the 8th whole sign (Virgo), Venus symbolizes a concern with the details of our financial relations with other countries. In the sign of her fall, she is unable to exercise her power due to circumstances beyond her control. Because Venus reports to a retrograde Mercury in his own sign and conjunct Saturn, this astrologer thinks it not unlikely that President Obama will once more feel the need to call on former Democratic Presidents Clinton and/or Carter for support. I also predicted earlier this year that, since Mercury retrogrades are moving from air signs back into earth signs, we may see political issues from the years 2002 and 1996 re-emerge, as Mercury was following the same pattern in those years as well. Specifically, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process may be up for renegotiation, since Obama’s mediator had meetings with Netanyahu earlier this year. Juno’s current return to Obama’s natal placement of 0° Aries seems to be an indicator of success in such endeavors.

A broader look at the dispositor trees for this chart gives us a feeling of the overall spirit of the time. Since there is a mutual reception, Mercury in Virgo cannot be the final dispositor of the entire chart. A fallen Mars in the 6th whole sign house, in mutual reception with a fallen Moon in the 10th, suggests that issues of public health will be on the people’s minds and perhaps demand to be addressed by the president. The fallen Sun in the 9th may indicate a call for some voluntary restrictions on travel to ease the possibility of spreading contagious illnesses. A fallen Venus in the 8th also suggests that public mortality (perhaps from war as well as flu) will be perceived as somehow under the control or influence of special circumstances.

The saving grace of this chart seems to be Mercury in his own sign of Virgo. I feel that he is protected by his conjunction with Pallas, the patron of heroic endeavor — the Palladium was one of the most sought-after protective talismans in ancient Greece. Since Mercury is the final dispositor of all other planets except Mars and the Moon, this suggests that the media, ambassadors, trade/commerce, and communications of all kinds will be very active and prominent. However, Mercury also faces a few challenges here because he is retrograde, conjunct Saturn, and invisible. I do not embrace the concept of “combustion” for planets hidden by the Sun; instead, I view them, as does Bernadette Brady, to be planets not entirely of this world. Additionally, the Underworld journey is the natural mythic province of Mercury, so I believe that he is not necessarily “weakened” by this phase, particularly since he is past the point of interior conjunction with the Sun and thus can be seen as rising or on his way up and out of the “special world” of the Hero.

The journey to the Underworld is steeped in diverse mythology. Joseph Campbell notes that it is part of the Universal path of the Hero. In astrological symbolism, we can see that the invitation to the Underworld harkens at every turn. Midnight comes to us each day, beckoning us to explore the subconscious Underworld of our dreams. The New Moon visits us monthly, asking us to explore the ebbing of our vital force and the quiet place within. The winter solstice is a time of spiritual seeking and rededication of our life path. The heliacal setting of a planet into invisibility (as it moves within 15–18 degrees of the Sun) asks us to explore the unconscious qualities of that energy in ourselves and our environment. But as astrologer–shamans, we also know that each of these markers is only a point in an endless cycle — a cycle of rebirth! What this placement suggests to me, then, is a more spiritual focus for Mercury and Saturn, rather than material. In addition, invisible planets (particularly in the 8th whole sign house) often represent forces behind the scenes that later burst out in dramatic fashion (symbolized by the movement toward heliacal rise and rebirth into visibility as morning star). We can hope that this represents the triumph of decency and genuine concern for our fellow citizens over the interests of big insurance, lobbyists, and corrupt politicians.

Brady, Bernadette. Visual Astrology Newsletter, August 2009;

Burk, Kevin B. “Essential Dignities,” in TMA, Aug./Sept. 2009.

Caton, Gary P. “Saturn’s Perihelion,” in TMA, Dec. 2002/Jan. 2003.

Caton, Gary P. “Avian Flu,” in Considerations, Vol. XXI, #1.

Caton, Gary P. “Mercury Elemental Year,” Major Sky, Pisces New Moon Edition.

Caton, Gary P. “Goddess Astrology Re-Visioned,” in TMA, Aug./Sept. 2009.

Caton, Gary P. “Obama’s Juno Return,”

Houlding, Deborah. “Ingresses,”

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The Jupiter-Neptune Conjunctions of 2009

By Robert P. Blaschke | August 17, 2009

A contentious public debate now taking place over the efforts by the Obama administration to enact health care reform legislation is being played out during the five Saturn-Uranus oppositions forming in the heavens between November 2008 and July 2010. The first four fall in the mutable axis of Virgo and Pisces, the medical signs, while a fifth and final opposition occurs exactly on the Aries Point.

The last time in U.S. history that major health care legislation was passed by Congress was the Medicare Act of 1965, when oppositions of Saturn and Uranus were also forming in the signs of Pisces and Virgo. The duel between the need for reform and the entrenched interests of the status quo becomes highly intensified during these once-in-44-year mundane aspects.

Against this backdrop, 2009 has also brought the alignment of Jupiter and Neptune in the sign of Aquarius. Conjunctions of these two planets take place at 13-year intervals and every thirteenth conjunction recurs at nearly the same Zodiacal position. Neptune’s sidereal cycle averages 165 years and the Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions divide the Neptune cycle into 13 sub-periods (13 x 13 = 169).

The last conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in this degree area of Aquarius took place in 1843. That year, the American social reformer, Dorothea Dix, revealed in a report to the Massachusetts legislature the shocking conditions in prisons and asylums. With recent riots between black and Mexican inmates at the overcrowded Chino, California Men’s Penitentiary, history is repeating itself in foreseen fashion.

As Neptune moves from one sign to the next, eleven out of twelve times it meets Jupiter only once while transiting a sign. Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti both wrote that the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction is the high-point of Neptune’s stay in any given sign. What does this mean for the remainder of Neptune’s transit through Aquarius until 2011-12?

Aquarius symbolizes the principles of decentralization and distribution, following a concentration of wealth in the hands of the elite during the sign of Capricorn. To finance health care reform, the rich will have to pay higher taxes, the insurance industry will have to become more humane and less profitable, and doctors have to give up perverse incentives to prescribe expensive and unnecessary procedures.

Since the ingress of Neptune into Aquarius in 1998, society has not seen this promise of decentralization and distribution. Rather, the working and middle classes have become noticeably poorer while the affluent have seen their wealth reach unprecedented heights. When the gap between rich and poor reaches a critical limit, the Aquarian principles of fairness and equity in society asseverate – and either a revolution or a legislated redistribution of wealth must take place.

Jupiter - Neptune Comjunction

Calculating the conjunction for the nation’s capital, 20°17′ Leo culminates on the Midheaven and this degree symbolizes the leader of the nation. From Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera, we find the degree symbol for 21° Leo to be:

A human face surmounted by a coiled serpent; a raised hand also appears.

“It indicates not only a powerful and commanding nature, but a keen understanding of the laws of life; much introspection and knowledge of human nature; strong sympathies; much discretion; careful balance of power and effort; intuition and foresight, as well as diplomacy of no mean order. The native will have strong powers of concentration, good memory, and will be successful in commanding others, through his insight into character.  It is a degree of PENETRATION.”

This Jupiter-Neptune conjunction conjoins President Obama’s South Node which in turn is itself conjunct the U.S. Sibly Moon. One theorizes that he is a reincarnation of a past U.S. president who sided with the people over the powerful; this writer believes that Mr. Obama is the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. The above degree symbol supports the premise that his sophisticated intelligence ultimately prevails.

With the two spiritual planets of our solar system, Jupiter and Neptune, aligning in the most humane of the Zodiac signs, 2009 holds significant promise for a fairer and more equitable society to emerge. If health care reform legislation cannot pass this year, it never will. Alexander Ruperti, writing over 30 years ago, propounded:

“Neptune brings to Jupiter’s social action the great dreams of social reformers, panaceas which are supposed to do away with all economic and political evils. The tendency of those in public office to present new plans for social and economic reform is generally premature or deceptive at the time of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction.” — Cycles of Becoming (1978)

Researching Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions during the 20th century, the astrologer finds that one out of every three or four of the 13-year alignments results in a triple conjunction, such as is occurring in 2009. As in 1919-20, when Jupiter and Neptune conjoined thrice in Leo, and again in 1971, when three conjunctions occurred in the early degrees of Sagittarius, 2009 has had its first two conjunctions on May 27 and July 9, with the third in the series to align on December 21.

During this part of the year when both Jupiter and Neptune are retrograde, one sees much misinformation being spread about proposed health insurance reforms by small-minded and self-serving politicians. After Jupiter and Neptune station direct on October 12 and November 4, respectively, the health care reform legislation will evolve into its final framework and be passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by the President before December 21.

The global economic crisis brought about by the Pluto ingress into Capricorn has exposed the worst practices of free-market capitalism. Reform in the health care and financial sectors is indeed necessary in order to prevent future threats to the systemic health of the global economy. Millions of people have been devastated by the current recession, having lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of value in their mutual funds and in retirement accounts, or by declining property values having resulted in mortgages now worth more than their homes. Despair is all around us.

Because the symbolism of the number 13 is so prominent in the Jupiter-Neptune cycle, with 13 years between conjunctions and 13 alignments during the sidereal cycle of Neptune, its theme of transcendence is especially poignant during this era:

“The number 13 refers to the Christ principle and as such is the symbol of the power to overcome death and limitations on all planes … Therefore, in essence, the Jupiter-Neptune cycle gives mankind a basic rhythm of and describes its urge toward transcendence.” — Alexander Ruperti

US & the Jupiter - Neptune Conjunction

America is healing from an unprecedented 13-year period of violence, paranoia, greed and social decline ushered in by the previous Jupiter-Neptune conjunction of January 1997. The Greater Benefic was fallen and both Malefics were in detriment or fall, opposed to one another on the axis of the lunar nodes, and were in exact conjunction to the MC/IC axis of the Sibly chart. Moreover, the alignment of Jupiter and Neptune was itself exactly conjunct the U.S. Pluto. One has to believe that things can only get better and have nowhere to go but up from here.

A beautiful album by a precious angel was released to the public during the last conjunction in 1997 with lyrics and music to soothe the weariest of souls:

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Dante’s Prayer
Loreena McKennitt
The Book of Secrets 1997

© 2009 Robert P. Blaschke

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Sotomayor’s Confirmation

By Alex Miller | August 10, 2009

Newly minted Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s August 6, 2009 confirmation came with the full plate of judiciary-related celestial markers that have been so much in evidence in her birth chart and the confirmation process.  Astonishingly, asteroids Justitia (#269) and Themis (#24), named for the Roman and Greek goddesses of Justice, respectively, are precisely conjoined in the sky at 14° Scorpio, with asteroid Sonja (#1293) right beside them at 15° Scorpio, all squared by the 14° Leo Sun!  You can’t get much plainer than that!

Additionally, several deep space factors add a galactic flavoring to the proceedings.  Asteroids Sonja and the two Justices are also conjunct a Pulsar at 15° Scorpio. A Pulsar is a rotating, pulsing stellar remnant that is informational in nature and often appears at newsworthy moments with strong media attention.   The Sun is exactly conjunct a Maser, a violent anomaly that spews jets of matter from its core, light years into space.  Astrologically, Masers often signal controversy; they also manifest as heightened energy, excitement, volatility, even violence.  Although the vote itself was now a foregone conclusion — Sotomayor easily passing by 68-31 — this galactic nod to controversy well reflects the genesis of her nomination, which was a period fraught with contention and conservative animus.

When that nomination was announced on May 26, 2009, asteroids Themis and Sonja were also conjoined, retrograde at 12° and 13° Scorpio, with Justitia, at 5° Scorpio retrograde, conjoined Sotomayor’s natal Saturn (representing her career) at 2° Scorpio, which  is conjunct natal Justitia in the same degree. (1) The divisiveness of the early nomination process was augured by a 21° Aries Eris, named for the Greek goddess of Strife and Discord, in a stellium with Venus (women) at 20° Aries and Mars (arguments, battles) at 26° Aries, all points prominently displayed at the 22° Aries Midheaven for the 10:15 a.m. EDT announcement time.

There’s another celestial body with a judiciary application which reverberates throughout Sotomayor’s life. This is Rhadamanthus, which like Eris, is a Trans-Neptunian Object, or TNO, a bit of icy rock debris in the Kuiper Belt region near Pluto.  Rhadamanthus is named for a king in Greek mythology who was so respected for his impartial, fair judgments and integrity that, after his demise, he was made a judge of the dead in Hades.  Sotomayor has Rhadamanthus natally at 10° Cancer, conjunct her 7° Cancer Jupiter, which rules the Supreme Court, and natal asteroid Sonja at 12° Cancer.  Her Sun at 3° Cancer and Mercury at 18° Cancer are also both broadly conjunct Rhadamanthus — or, more accurately, he falls within their orb of influence.

At both Sotomayor’s nomination and confirmation, transit Rhadamanthus appears at 15° Libra, exactly conjoined a Quasar, yet another type of deep space anomaly, this among the farthest and brightest objects in the universe.  As such, Quasar activation throws a spotlight on whatever it touches, and it aids us in attaining our highest aspirations; having a judge-related body conjoined a Quasar for this nomination process is typical of the types of high-profile events they promote.  This message from the outer solar system is also reflected in planet Jupiter’s current transit of another Quasar at 25° Aquarius.  Jupiter appears at 26° Aquarius for Obama’s announcement of Sotomayor’s nomination and at 23° Aquarius for her confirmation, while Sotomayor’s natal Jupiter closely conjoins the Quasar at 8° Cancer, with natal Rhadamanthus in exact square to yet another at 10° Aries and natal Saturn/Justitia within orb of a third at 4° Scorpio.  That’s a lot of success, achievement, and renown associated with a judicial career, so it’s not at all surprising that Sonia Sotomayor has made it to the top of her profession!


(1) See previous blog: “On May 26, 2009 President Obama introduced his choice for Supreme Court Justice. Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City.”

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of  The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.

His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at

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Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron

By Mary Plumb | May 25, 2009

We’ve been watching Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron move closer to one another for several weeks. Jupiter and Neptune are exactly conjunct for the first time on Wednesday at 26° Aquarius, and shape-shifting Chiron, the wise teacher from outside of our solar system, is also at this degree. Since both Chiron and Neptune station in the next few days, and Jupiter stations in mid-June, these three continue to stay close all year, with another peak period in December.

Mars is now at 26° Aries; in these immediate few days the qualities of these three bodies coming together, their alchemical possibilities, gain encouragement, warmth and guidance through the easy support of the sextile aspect.

The New Moon yesterday was at 3°28′ Gemini (and a happy lunar return to the president, whose natal Moon is 3°21′ Gemini). President Obama, of course, has the North Node at 27° Leo (conjunct Uranus at 25° Leo) and the South Node at 27° Aquarius, also the degree of the U.S. Sibly Moon. (This is also the degree of his pre-natal solar eclipse, February 15, 1961.) The convergence of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron this week activates all of these points.

The Moon in the chart of a country represents ordinary people and the general populace, the “little” people as opposed to the rulers. One aspect in the political debate this week is the focus on the president’s nomination for Chief Justice. Obama made the shocking-to-some admission that he is looking for the quality of “empathy” in his choice. As Mercury retrograde is bound to do (accompanied in this case, by a square to Neptune), the word has been reframed and dissected throughout the media this week. In some contexts a discussion of empathy vs. compassion and sympathy might be relevant. But, for now, I’m going to imagine that “empathy” is a quality that the union of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron could well pull off, if not specifically in our next Chief Justice, then perhaps in our own ordinary/extraordinary human consciousness.

Since the Moon in a country’s horoscope shows the mood of the people, maybe we are confused (e.g., is anyone telling the truth?), yet optimistic and idealistic. The planets that bring the greatest benefit (Jupiter) in the best possible ways (Neptune) to the human community (Aquarius) are speaking to the people of the nation. With Chiron there as well, there’s an even more translucent quality to this time in which the invisible worlds are opened up and teaching us a lot. Increasing our spiritual sensitivity has many methods and means, of course. Whether through devotion to religious or artistic practices, a meditative or contemplative path, or a more secular inquiry into issues of human rights and justice, we certainly see a deep reorganizing of priorities as people grapple with huge unemployment numbers, unending wars, an upended economy, global warming, etc.

These are strong days for our most expansive ideals, demonstrations of faith and generosity, and raucous nothing-to-lose interconnectedness and service to the highest good.

If we consider transits to your personal horoscope, the natal house where this conjunction falls is of primary focus. At least as significant, however, is the house with Pisces on the cusp. Herein is the domain in your inner/outer life where the experience of sublime transcendence and dissolution of self-centered fixations can be directly felt  (and may, for some of us, require guidance – remembering Saturn’s place in keeping us tethered in reality).

In a display of Gemini’s capacity to gather information, here is a brief offering of ideas and experiences that I think suggest this current alchemy between Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron. Please add your suggestions to advance the collective endeavor offered by these planetary archetypes towards more (Jupiter) love (Neptune) and healing (Chiron) for us all (Aquarius)!

Many readers may be familiar with the teaching of Gangaji, a spiritual teacher in the lineage of Ramana Maharshi. She’s now blogging on one the most visible sites: Huffington Post. Her first entry is a clear and simple commentary on the meditative state.

Environmental activist Paul Hawken gave a superb commencement speech earlier this month at the University of Portland. If you haven’t already, do read it now, with the words charged by the potency of this moment. Hawken’s words are infused with “a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.” He says: “Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider.”

Musician John Legend also gave a commencement speech this week at the University of Pennsylvania. Legend considers the reality of poverty and the politics of war, as well as the necessity for a “politics of empathy” and the quality of soulfulness. (Musicians, sensitive to the muses, are ruled by Neptune whose dreams are furthered spectacularly now by Jupiter’s expansive view and Chiron’s body/mind wisdom.)

Your Practice Site for Gratefulness is a lovely stopping point. It is the site of an international nonprofit organization that “provides resources for living in the gentle power of gratefulness, which restores courage, reconciles relationships, and heals our Earth.” There are meditative and prayerful experiences herein, including a labyrinth walk and the Angel of the Hour The angel hours are accompanied by bells and chants for each of the traditional eight hours of the day (e.g., Vigils, The Night Watch, “before the day’s noises begin and it is still perfectly quiet”; Terce, The Joy of Living, a “mid-morning prayer break” and Compline, Completing the Circle, at night, just before going to bed.

And, of course, Susan Boyle sang to the world again on Friday night. One of the British TV host’s spoke of how the world going through a very difficult time was looking for a “bit of hope and inspiration” and found it in Ms. Boyle. TV reviewer Ken Tucker writes: “Wearing a glittery brown dress, standing behind a backdrop of clouds with a spotlight behind her head making it look as though her face was emanating from heaven, Boyle pulled off her second major public appearance with ease.” As Robert Blaschke noted in an earlier blog, she has the prenatal solar eclipse at 26° Aquarius (like President Obama). If you’re not already one of the 60 million viewers who have seen it thus far, take delight in Susan Boyle’s singing (and notice the supreme confidence in her face and voice while singing the lines “a new day will begin.”)

On this Memorial Day, thank you to all who have served, who are serving and who will serve our country in the days ahead.

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