TMA This Week

The Tillman Story

By Mary Plumb | August 23, 2010

Pat Tillman was a professional football player before serving as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was tragically killed by “friendly fire” in 2004. A documentary, The Tillman Story, was released nationwide on August 20, 2010. It tells of the cover-up about the details of his death and his family’s determination to understand what really happened to their son.

Tillman was born on November 6, 1976, several hours before a lunar eclipse at 14°41′ Taurus.

Pat Tillman natal

He died on April 22, 2004, two weeks before a total lunar eclipse on May 4 at 14°42′ Scorpio.

Pat Tillman

The fixed signs at 15° are connected to 0° Aries, the potent Aries Point, by an eighth-harmonic aspect of 45°. The Aries Point brings an individual into public awareness or shows what that person is known for in the world. [1]

Looking at midpoints in Tillman’s natal horoscope, not only is the natal Sun (14°27′ Scorpio) on the Aries Point, indicating a heroic (solar) role in the public eye, but the Sun is also on his Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint, which connects the two most important angles in the horoscope. (On the 45° dial, his Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint is the closest to the Aries Point, further indicating its prominence in the horoscope.)

45 Sort

This midpoint (AS/MC) symbolizes the linking of the personality (Ascendant) with what we show the world in public life (Midheaven). The Sun conjunct this most significant midpoint suggests a person whose life purpose and unique creative drive (Sun) seek expression through the synergy of the personal (Ascendant) and public (Midheaven) identity. This midpoint picture is a strong indication of fame, or of someone whose life touches many.

Tillman was a renowned professional athlete when he enlisted in the Army in 2002. A member of an elite infantry unit, he served in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan, where he was killed on April 22, 2004. At the time of his death, his progressed Sun, at 12°10′ Sagittarius, had come to a conjunction with his 12th-house natal Neptune at 12°38′ Sagittarius. This is also conjunct the U.S. (Sibly) Ascendant at 12°21′ Sagittarius.

Tillman tri-wheel

A sad story indeed — the nation as a whole (the Ascendant) was touched by the loss (Neptune) of a hero (Sun). A Neptunian theme is further shown by the distorted story told to Tillman’s family about the conditions surrounding his death.

At Tillman’s death, his progressed Moon, ruler of the 8th house, was at 14°13′ Taurus, opposite the natal Sun at 14°27′ Scorpio. On that day, transiting Mars was at 20°38′ Gemini conjunct his Descendant, which is also conjunct the U.S. Mars (21°23′ Gemini). The Moon was in Gemini (6°52′) at Tillman’s death as well; his brother Kevin, who had enlisted in the army along with Pat, was riding in a vehicle not far away when Pat was killed.

Tillman tri-wheel

The U.S. Sibly horoscope has a square between angular Mars and Neptune, suggesting confusion or obfuscation (Neptune) in battle (Mars). At Pat Tillman’s death, his natal horoscope and transits aligned directly with this aspect in the nation’s chart. The capacities inherent in his life (i.e., his natal chart) and the time of his death converge with a key dilemma (i.e., Mars square Neptune) in the national psyche; thus, his story has a continuing hold on the nation’s consciousness.

Following on the Neptune theme, The Tillman Story opened nationally on August 20, 2010. The Sun was at 27° Leo, opposite Neptune at 27°Aquarius, the degree of the U.S. Sibly Moon. (Transiting Chiron was at 28° Aquarius.)

Whenever I read or think about current U.S. war stories, strategies, and statistics, I remember Robert Blaschke noting that the Sibly Mars in Libra went retrograde in 2006. As Robert has noted, this suggests that a re-evaluation of U.S. military policy might be a good idea.

The New York Times review of the film describes a lot about Pat Tillman and his family. “The Tillman family — especially Mary, Kevin, and Tillman’s widow, Marie — emerge as noble souls still choking on their rage and frustration. Kevin, who had not spoken publicly of his brother’s death, is seen reading a bitter, excoriating statement at the hearing. This devastating film persuasively portrays them as finer, more morally sturdy people than the cynical chain of command that lied to them and used their son as a propaganda tool.” [2] (Propaganda is another theme tied to Neptune.)

(This blog is based on a TMA Planet Tracks article I wrote in 2007; since the film just came out, I thought a revision might be interesting.)

References and Notes

[1] Jessica Lynch is another infamous soldier in our time. I wrote about her for TMA in 2003: “U.S. Army private Lynch was born on April 26, 1983. Her natal Mars is at 15°21′ Taurus, on the Aries Point. Could there be a clearer picture of a famous female soldier (i.e., Mars in a feminine sign)? Natal Mars is also directly on Lynch’s natal Sun/Chiron midpoint, suggesting that a wound or healing is part of her personal warrior archetype.”

Jessica Lynch’s birth data: April 26, 1983; 7:45 a.m. EDT; Palestine (Wirt County), WV, USA (39°N02′, 81°W24′); A: news report

Jessica Lynch testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on April 24, 2007, the same day that Kevin Tillman spoke. She said: “I hope whatever comes out of this hearing will be good news for the Tillmans,” Lynch said in her prepared statement. “This is more about them than it is about me. The Tillmans have been lied to so many times, it’s hard to tell what took place….Our stories are similar,” she added. The military “either didn’t take the time to tell the truth or find out what really happened.”

[2] New York Times

Charts:

Chart 1: Pat Tillman, November 6, 1976; 9:39 a.m. PST; Fremont, CA, USA (37°N32′, 121°W59′); AA: Pat Taglilatelo quotes birth certificate in hand.

Chart 2: Pat Tillman’s death, April 22, 2004; 7:30 p.m. AFT; Khowst, Afghanistan (33°N22′, 69°E57′); from news reports, quoted on AstroDatabank: “Tillman was killed that day near Sperah, Afghanistan (about 26 miles southwest of Khowst) at about 7:30 PM local time.”

Chart 4: Tri-wheel: Inner wheel and house cusps: Pat Tillman, natal; middle wheel: Tillman’s chart progressed to April 22, 2004; outer wheel: U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776; 5:10 p.m. LMT; Philadelphia, PA, USA (39°N57′, 75°W10′); Source: Nicholas Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, Chart 370.

Chart 5: Tri-wheel: Inner wheel and house cusps: Pat Tillman, natal; middle wheel: Tillman’s chart progressed to April 22, 2004; outer wheel: April 22, 2004; 7:30 p.m.; Khowst, Afghanistan


TMA writer Mary Plumb is available for private consultations. She can be reached at mary@maryplumb.com

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Julian Assange: No Secrets

By Mary Plumb | August 2, 2010

The publication on July 25 of the Afghan War Diary by WikiLeaks occurred within one day of Saturn’s last opposition to Uranus (exact on the 26th). A truly non-mainstrem media, WikiLeaks is based in Sweden, in part, at least, because the laws there protect journalistic sources. The leaking of the 90,000 documents of internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan can be seen as Uranus; the subsequent search for (and, presumably, punishment of) those responsible for the leaks can be seen as falling within Saturn’s province.

Aside from the evidence of possible war crimes, including details of the actual numbers of civilian casualties and targeted assassinations, the documents speak to the confusion of aims and alliances in the war effort.  

Not only is this war the longest in U.S. history, but July has been the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces. The planet of war, Mars (in detriment), and the planet of accounts payable, Saturn (in exaltation), conjunct on July 31 at 1° Libra, announced this grim tally of death. Peace activists hail the documents as having importance in turning public opinion against the war. Certainly the timing suggests that it will have an impact, and maybe one day, we will look back on it as a significant step to ending the war.

(Some have likened this publishing of classified documents to the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971 in the New York Times. Daniel Ellsburg, subject of the new documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America, leaked the papers, which many feel began to turn the public against the Vietnam War.)

Whatever the political or ethical judgment one might have about the situation, WikiLeaks is a striking display of an opening (Uranus) of controlled information (Saturn); or exposure (Uranus) of information against the will of the status quo (Saturn). Jupiter is conjunct Uranus and this is the biggest leak in intelligence history. (Pluto, symbol of concentrated power, is agitating all three planets from very close by.)

I saw an interview with WikiLeaks spokesperson Julian Assange on July 28. (1) This week, as Mars conjuncts Saturn and both oppose Uranus and Jupiter, he could have been reading from an astrologer’s notebook. He said that everybody knows there are no simple solutions to the war, but  “maybe now is the time for ‘restructuring the war’ in Afghanistan.”

When asked about the leaked documents being a “threat to national security,” Assange turned that back to the question of what we actually mean when we talk about national security.

And, yes, he agreed, all organizations (Saturn) are “alarmed” (Uranus) by what we (i.e., WikiLeaks) release; he calmly said, “that is true.”  

He also said he keeps going and stays hopeful because of the “people from inside organizations who want change.” Maybe that’s a good way to summarize this complex interchange of planetary energies. I’m going to try that as a motto: keep going for change, even from the darkest, most hidden or scared places in my mind and memory. Just keep relaxing, breathing, and not resisting the profoundly changing life currents suggested by this confluence of planetary aspects.

I have a personal story about Saturn and Mars. Usually, I have a fairly brisk pace when I walk to yoga class; I like to get moving in the mornings. But on Saturday morning, after awhile, I noticed how slowly I was walking. I felt like I was crawling in slow motion the short distance from my house to class. I really did wonder, “What is going on with me? I feel like there’s lead in my body.” The class was slow and steady, and I mentioned to a friend afterwards that I had felt particularly sluggish and tired and appreciated the slow pace of the class. She surprised me by saying that she felt the same, in fact, she thought everyone was tired and moving slowly. If you haven’t guessed where I’m going with this, later that day I remembered Saturn was exactly conjunct Mars that morning.

Here’s to Saturn and Mars — moving us all through time and space at just the right pace.

References:

(1) Julian Assange – now there’s a fellow whose horoscope I’d like to see. He was born in 1971, so all we know for certain is that he has Uranus in Libra and Neptune in Sagittarius. Here’s a fascinating article about him from The New Yorker magazine: No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency.

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After the Full Moon

By Mary Plumb | July 26, 2010

As astrologers we know that when Saturn is in Libra the heavenly guides are offering the optimal time to pay attention to how we relate to one another.

Relationships are the vehicle through which we can reveal ourselves and learn more about ourselves; it takes the reflection of the “other” to find aspects of ourselves. Relationships can become the ground for the inner work of reclaiming parts of ourselves. Saturn in Libra is directly open to reflection from others. (1)

Libra is the archetype for all relationships, not just the romantic ones. Although this comes as a continual surprise to some of us with Neptune in Libra (2), there are other ways to relate. All teamwork, cooperative efforts, and gestures to include the larger social contract are on the front burner. There is much more that we can and need to accomplish together.

We are now in a highly charged planetary geometry whereby the domain labeled “necessary work with others” (Saturn in Libra) is being defined by wild and striking moments of self-expression and realization (Uranus in Aries), as well as a call for a vital new meaning or purpose (Jupiter in Aries) that is in service to the ongoing profound and hidden deconstruction of our collective experience of reality (Pluto in Capricorn). (3)

That’s a big (!) enough job and yet, on July 29, Mars joins Saturn in Libra, bringing a sharp edge to these established players on the stage. Mars and Saturn can be a wicked combo, but let’s tease it apart and look for the high road here.

Saturn offers internal stability and groundedness; this archetype, remember, relates to the skin and the skeletal system in the physical body. We need a strong and flexible sense of self and the ability to hold steady inside ourselves to embrace and work with all that is coming our way at this time.

Instead of embittered, hardened, and thwarted (Saturn) drives and desires (Mars), perhaps we can stand poised and serene within our own selves (Saturn) and take actions (Mars) that will ultimately bring benefit for the larger social sphere (Libra).

If we hold steady inside ourselves, what we receive from others and what we can create together will be maximized, including shocking and delightful new possibilities, as well as the triggering of our own unconscious mental and emotional patterns that are ready to be released.

With Mars and Saturn in Libra, perhaps our defenses and resistances can be refined so precisely that we become more efficient and skillful from here on in. A finely wrought balance between inside and out is a current theme, especially these next few weeks. Mars and Saturn means we are simultaneously fired up and restrained, and that takes skill to pull off.

In Gary Caton’s wonderful Lunar Eclipse blog from a few weeks ago, he suggested a simple exercise for improving communications. In that same spirit, on the Full Moon yesterday, I twice was reminded of Marshall Rosenberg’s work on Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Christiane Northrup suggested him as a resource in her blog on Huffington Post. She writes:

“I recommend that you go to Marshall Rosenberg’s Web site for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and check out the emotions and needs lists. Ask yourself what need is behind what you are feeling. Once you can identify the unmet need, know that, as an adult, you have the power to get that need met directly. Children don’t have this capacity, which is why most difficult emotions spring from unmet childhood needs that must now be addressed. When you can state a need directly to yourself, you are well on your way to health.”  (4)

Norma Nakai Burton, the Unity minister here in Ashland, also spoke about Rosenberg’s work in some of the most painful and divisive locations in the world right now. Last night I was part of a circle where Norma applied this approach in a beautifully productive way.

On a lighter (and back to the romantic) note, the late astrologer Richard Idemon makes a funny point in his book Through the Looking Glass (a transcription from a 1982 seminar). I can’t find the exact quote but he says that “relationships” are almost  like some sort of an “object” or construction, and that those who are in one can’t wait to get out, and those who aren’t in one can’t wait to get in. Some of us (maybe especially those with planets in early degrees of the cardinal signs?) are jumping in and out again and again and on lots of different levels, i.e., by actually making physical separations, distinctions and boundaries, or, in more subtle ways, by acutely learning from our emotional and mental responses to others.

As homage to Saturn, may we all know the deep satisfaction in facing the bare bones of our reality and experiencing the naked truth of our own existence. From that point of strength and self-sufficiency, may we welcome and recognize each other deeply and carry on together with the great transformational work at our doorstep!

References:

(1) Saturn is in Libra until October 2012.

(2) Those born between 1942–1956 have natal Neptune in Libra. For a quick synopsis: those born between 1968–1975 have Uranus in Libra and are drawn to brilliant instability in relationships, while the generation of Pluto in Libra (1971–1984) are compelled to face the very edge of life and death in the relationship arena. (Is everyone having fun by now?)

(3) Pluto is in Capricorn from late 2009 through early 2024.

(4) Huffington Post

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A Beleaguered Presidency

By Robert P. Blaschke | June 28, 2010

Transit Neptune in Square to Barack Obama’s Midheaven

History has shown that U.S. presidencies quite often are shaped by events. While in office, presidents may face circumstances requiring the declaration of war, or natural disasters necessitating mobilization of all available resources in order to help victims, or economic conditions impacting the ability of their administration to advance its legislative priorities. These tribulations are seen in the progressions and transits after the election.

Barack Obama has been no exception. The transit of Neptune in square to his Midheaven, along with the transit of Saturn over his progressed Sun, have brought him one crisis after another. From the Gulf oil spill, to firing his commanding general in Afghanistan, to an anemic and jobless recovery from the Great Recession, he now has the lowest approval ratings of his presidency (45%), with a job disapproval rate of 48%. (1)

The perception of his authority and leadership as weak and ineffective has grown to the point of concern. Neptune, having turned retrograde on May 31st in 28º42′ Aquarius, is holding a stationary square to Mr. Obama’s MC for three-and-a-half months, within a one-degree orb between April 5th and July 29th. This difficult transit stays with him through January 2012 and, combined with his upcoming progressions, looks to remain problematic.


 

The Gulf oil spill is an environmental catastrophe of the highest magnitude. Politically, it has consumed the president’s attention for over two months and has hampered his ability to move forward with his legislative priorities before the break for the midterm elections. This man-made disaster is another manifestation of the transit of Saturn over Mr. Obama’s progressed Sun, while transit Uranus opposes it, giving him an unexpected heavy burden.

There is but one Sabian Symbol out of 360 that refers to wildlife being adversely affected by the destructive actions of man. At the time (2) of the Deepwater Horizon Rig explosion on April 20th, the midpoint of Pluto (eruptions from beneath the surface) and the event Ascendant (3) (representing the surface, or horizon, of something) was in 18º45′ Sagittarius.

Remarkably, the Sabian Symbol for the 19th degree of the Archer is:

The pelicans have been distressed by the intrusion of man; they are moving their habitat to places unknown.

The Tetradic Yod in the oil spill event chart illustrates a turning point for energy policy in America. Offshore drilling will now have to face regulatory scrutiny as never before. With the president having the transit of Neptune (ruling the oil and gas industry) over his South Node (a sensitive degree for self-undoing), and with the third pass of this transit not over until January 2011, one suspects that this ongoing environmental disaster will spell big trouble for the Democrats in the November elections, leaving Mr. Obama in a weakened political position from which to execute the remaining two years of his presidency.

Unfortunately, Neptune will again transit in square to his Midheaven next year, holding another stationary square from August 9, 2011 until January 31, 2012. This time period coincides with the beginning of the planned drawdown of American combat forces in Afghanistan and if the war is still going poorly, Mr. Obama will once more be perceived as a weak wartime president, as his natal MC is again under assault by Neptune.

Many of the president’s ongoing predicaments can be attributed to his rising degree.

Aquarius 19, from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:

A boat upon the sea to which a submerged man is clinging for support.

This symbol is related to one in whose life some great catastrophe will occur
at a time when providentially there will be a friend at hand to rescue him
from his danger. It indicates that a deficiency of tact and skill is liable to
render him subject to adversity of fortune, and he will suffer financial
disaster and even peril of death. But there will be raised up to him a friend
capable of sustaining him in his extremity, and he will not therefore sink into
the depths. This will be in response to his great faith. The nature, although
daring, is lacking in tact and strength. All his troubles will arise from failing to
admit his own incompetence. He will travel afar. It is a degree of INSECURITY.

Looking ahead, two very important secondary progressions for President Obama appear to validate and verify the dramatic scenario illustrated in the symbolism for his Ascendant. His progressed Sun will ingress into Libra on August 25th, and shortly before that, on July 3rd, that progressed Sun begins a two-year trine with his natal Jupiter. This aspect can be understood as the providential intervention to which his rising degree refers.

Shortly afterward, on October 7th of this year, Mr. Obama begins a concurrent three-year period in which his secondary progressed Mars will be in square to his natal Saturn, with this troublesome aspect perfecting on April 5, 2012. This will be a crucial progression for the president, as it involves the planetary rulers of his natal Midheaven and Ascendant, as well as the rulers of his progressed Ascendant and progressed MC.(4)

The assessment of this aspect by Alan Leo is rather sobering, and underscores the second part of the symbolism contained within his natal rising degree – the great catastrophe.

An evil aspect, which will act very much against the native’s progress, causing him to be at the mercy of two very opposing forces, corresponding to heat and cold, force and inertia. He will be prone to give expression to outbursts of temper or exhibit very hasty and at times rash conduct, which will bring trouble; indeed, if the other directions operating are very evil it may cause dishonour or disgrace, if not complete ruin, through his impulsive desires and willful actions. There is no occasion on which this aspect may be said to operate favourably, for it is a war
between two very powerful malefics and is likely to rend the native in its violence if the vibrations are more than he can control; therefore more than usual care is necessary at this period to avoid quarrels, disputes, or any friction with others, especially if it is likely to deprive him of his liberty for any time. This is an excitable and turbulent aspect, and when not otherwise acting as a disturbing element gives over-enthusiastic and extreme tendencies. The more evil the lunar directions, the more evil this mutual aspect.

A very critical and trying period necessitating great caution and self-control.

During the three-year period from October 2010 until October 2013, when this malefic progression is within its one-degree orb, the president will have the following adverse lunar directions:

1. March 17 to May 5, 2011 – Progressed Moon opposing natal Mars
2. October 28 to December 16, 2011 – Progressed Moon square natal Venus
3. June 2 to July 23, 2013 – Progressed Moon square natal Saturn

In November 2011, Mr. Obama will experience a secondary progressed Full Moon in the 2nd degree of Aries. This upcoming progressed lunation is remarkable in that it will be exactly conjunct the meridian in the U.S. Sibly horoscope, with the progressed Sun on the nation’s MC and the progressed Moon conjunct the Sibly IC.

Many who voted for President Obama in 2008 were longing for a departure from the trials and tribulations of the George W. Bush era. In significant irony, Mr. Obama may ultimately turn out to be as much of a wartime president as Mr. Bush, as is evidenced by the degree symbol for his progressed Full Moon:

Aries 2 from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:

A man standing, armed with sword and spear; richly dressed in scarlet
and purple, with jeweled clasps, and helmet of fine brass or gold
– apparently prepared for battle and confident of victory.


It denotes a proud, warlike nature, with much self-reliance and confidence in
his own powers. One who will have few friends and will be very independent
in his way of living; at all times willing to assert his opinions and to evidence
his powers. A nature somewhat fond of DISPLAY.

One conjectures from this progressed Full Moon symbolism that a youthful president, with no military experience, and while attempting to become a respected commander-in-chief, may be inclined to become over-zealous in his efforts to act and appear presidential and authoritative when dealing with the Pentagon and his generals in the battlefield.

 

Your correspondent has written previously that he believes Mr. Obama is a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. What is fascinating about the November 2011 progressed Full Moon for the president, and its alignment with the Sibly MC/IC axis, is that it is a close echo of a U.S.progressed Full Moon of April 3, 1861, nine days before the outbreak of the Civil War.

When President Lincoln gave his June 1858 speech while accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, he said, regarding slavery, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This is a clear reference by Mr. Lincoln to the New Testament, where in Matthew 12:25, it is written:

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them,
‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;
and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’

In Mundane Astrology, the 10th house rules the party in power and the 4th house rules the party in opposition. Progressed Full Moons that align with the national meridian are an indication of a deeply polarized and divided country. Next year, when the retrograde Mercury cycle transitions into the fire element, and identity politics, such as immigration reform and gays in the military, take center stage, the United States will become as deeply divided as it was in the years leading up to the Civil War.

With President Obama having the concurrent secondary progressions of Sun trine Jupiter and Mars square Saturn, he is about to enter into a similar political environment as Lincoln had to navigate in the 1860s. The real test of his beleaguered presidency will be if he can summon up the spiritual courage and wisdom to guide the nation through its violent polarization without our house dividing amongst itself and no longer remaining standing.

© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke

Bibliography

Lecture~Lessons,  Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Assembly, 1931
The Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised, Charubel, Astrology Classics, 2005
(Includes a Translation by Sepharial of a Similar Series of Degree Symbols Found in La Volasfera)
The Progressed Horoscope, Alan Leo, L.N. Fowler & Co. Ltd., 1906
The Holy Bible, King James Version, 1611

Footnotes:

(1) Wall Street Journal Poll

(2) Horizon oil spill date and time.

(3) Horizon oil spill latitude and longitude.

(4) Mr. Obama has natal Mars trine Saturn; thus, according to C.E.O. Carter’s Nativity Rule, making this a priority progression.

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A Shared Birthday Eclipse

By Mary Plumb | June 14, 2010

I thought it was curious that Helen Thomas and Barak Obama share the same birthday, August 4.  Thomas, born in 1920, is the veteran journalist whose career ended suddenly last week when she spoke candidly about her views on Israel.  I’m not commenting on the politics involved, just looking at her horoscope to see if there are any clues that might show the timing of such an event.

In August 2009, there was a lunar eclipse at 13º35’ Aquarius, within 2º of their respective Suns. (1) We know that a year with an eclipse in the solar return is always an important year in life. The President’s ongoing trials are well documented, and this abrupt end to Thomas’s career certainly fits the symbolism of a lunar eclipse — a significant chapter in life coming to a climax or turning point.

I don’t have a time for her birth, so am looking at the sunrise chart for Helen Thomas.  (2)

Helen Thomas, natal sunrise

Helen Thomas has the natal Sun conjunct Neptune in Leo, squared by Mars in Scorpio conjunct the North Node. The Moon was in Aries on her birthday.

She had an illustrious career in a male-dominated work environment, a testimony to someone with both the Sun and Mars in dignity. Among pioneering achievements, she was the first female officer of the National Press Club and the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Thomas was always known for her outspoken and direct questioning of the president’s press secretary in the White House pressroom. She has covered the presidents since Eisenhower and, in her long career, “earned a reputation for being relentless and demanding.” (3)

On May 27, the day of her career-ending comments, transiting Mars was at 25º Leo, conjunct her natal Jupiter.

Thomas & transits for May 27, 2010

Looking at solar houses, the 10th house of career is signified by Taurus. On May 27, transiting Venus at 9º Cancer was conjunct natal Pluto — in this case, apparently, a brutal combination for one’s reputation.

Interestingly, Thomas was born with Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces, the same aspect we are in the midst of again.  She was born with the potentially polarizing implications of planets in opposition to one another. The Israel-Palestine issue is certainly one of the most divisive political issues of our day.

Since the Moon was at 1º Aries at midnight as her birthday began, it’s possible that the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction – exact on June 8 – was within orb of her natal Moon on June 7, the day she resigned.

The prenatal solar eclipse prior to birth shows a life-long sensitive degree. The prenatal solar eclipse prior to Thomas’s birth was on May 18, 1920. The Sun and Moon were at 27º Taurus. The Sun for Israel is 24º Taurus. (4) Barak Obama’s prenatal solar eclipse is 27º Aquarius, the degree of the U.S. Sibly Moon, his natal South Node, and the current transit of Neptune (and its discovery degree). In this case, we can see that, in part, their respective life stories are entwined with the fates of those two countries.

Footnotes:

(1) Obama’s natal Sun is 12º33’ Leo; Thomas’s Sun traveled between 11º29’  – 12º27’ Leo on her birthday.

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Thomas

(3)All biographical material and quotes from Wikipedia.

(4) The legal moment for the creation of Israel is May 15, 1948, 12:00 a.m. The chart can be set for Tel Aviv. “Set for Jerusalem this could also be considered a map for Palestine.” Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes, The Wessex Astrologer, 2004, p. 169.

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Upheaval and Rebellion on the Horizon

By Robert P. Blaschke | May 17, 2010

The USA Progressed Sun-Uranus Square of 2011

Observing the present condition of American culture and politics, in some quarters a rather distinct atmosphere of discontent and uneasiness can be seen. Many people have become displeased with the actions of the government and with the increasing deficit. The Great Recession, and its economic hardship for so many, has contributed to this angst. The transit of Neptune over the U.S. Moon has produced nebulous dissatisfaction.

Chart 1

Further exacerbating this period of vague antipathy amongst the public will be the U.S. progressed Moon conjoining the nation’s natal Neptune on June 27th, holding that influence until the subsequent progressed conjunction about four months later. This means that the entire midterm election campaign season will be conducted under a Neptunian haze of fear, worry, misinformation, outright deception, and obfuscation of the truth.

The five oppositions of Saturn and Uranus between late 2008 and this July have cultivated a growing resentment of the establishment, and, in a significant political twist of fate, those who came to power in 2008 as the outsiders promising reform have now become the incumbents targeted by disgruntled voters who are agitating for their removal from office.

Looking at the U.S. Sibly chart and its current secondary progressions and transits, the astrologer sees that the American Sun has progressed to a trine with Jupiter. This aspect, perfecting on September 27th of this year, has been responsible for the country holding it together despite all of the restlessness and resentment in the political atmosphere.

Waiting in the wings, however, is the 2011 progressed Sun-Uranus square, the transit of Uranus over the IC, a U.S. Saturn return, and the transit of Pluto opposite the Sibly ruler, Jupiter. This forewarns us that an intense storm of political extremism, widespread social instability and upheaval, and a rebellious disregard for the law is gathering on the horizon.

In Mundane Astrology, the 4th house rules the common people, land and houses, and the opposition party in government. (1) The influence of Uranus tends toward insurrection and anarchy. What emerges as the likely outcome next year is an uprising by the common people, such as those who now gravitate toward the Tea Party Movement and its deficit reduction platform, and Latinos upset by the illegal immigration crackdown in Arizona.

Mars has been transiting the Sibly 8th house since September 25th of last year. Because of its lengthy retrogradation between the stations at 19º Leo and 0º Leo, Mars will not ingress into the U.S. 9th house until May 27th, having spent a total of eight months in the mundane house of insurance, public debt, and financial relations with foreign countries. It is no wonder that health insurance reform, the ballooning government deficit, financial regulatory reform, and the European debt crisis have been dominating the headlines.

Remarkably, coinciding with the progressed Sun-Uranus square becoming exact in October of next year is the concurrent ingress of the U.S. progressed Ascendant into Virgo, ending its 38-year passage through the sign of Leo, which began in February 1973. A new 36-year American period of history will commence with the progressed Virgo rising.

The progressed Leo rising era and its infatuation with Hollywood celebrities, the societal addiction to electronic entertainment and games, and the casino mentality on Wall Street that led to overly risky financial practices, will all soon be coming to a merciful ending.

Replacing this will be the new progressed Virgo rising era, lasting until 2047 and ushering in a more humble and conservative America, with a return to traditional values such as hard work and craftsmanship. Health insurance reform legislation, with its emphasis on preventative medicine, diet, exercise and nutrition, all ruled by Virgo, should lead to a healthier and fitter America, while the current epidemic of childhood obesity transitions into a new generation of health conscious youngsters snacking on carrots and apples.

chart 2

How should the astrologer further assess the upcoming societal instability in 2011? The only other progressed Sun-Uranus square in American history occurred in 1836, the year that the Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo took place. The Republic of Texas won independence from Mexico and existed as an independent country for twelve years. Hostilities increased between the United States and Mexico and a Declaration of War occurred in 1846. After defeating the Mexicans, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified in October 1848, with the United States acquiring Texas, New Mexico, California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming from Mexico.

chart 3

If the history of the U.S. progressed Sun-Uranus synodic cycle repeats itself, the expected disorder in 2011 will involve the large number of undocumented aliens from Mexico who are in the country illegally. Political extremism regarding immigration with Pluto opposing the U.S. Jupiter, widespread social instability and upheaval with Uranus transiting the Sibly IC, and a willful disregard for the law brought on by the progressed Sun-Uranus square, should be expected next year as the U.S. Congress takes on volatile immigration reform legislation, or the states enact their own laws regarding illegal immigrants.

After the Governor of Arizona recently signed into state law a tough crackdown on illegal immigration, a report by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 59 percent of adults polled in a national survey gave their overall approval to the law, which opponents charge is unconstitutional and a mandate for racial profiling. (2)

On the other side of the coin, an Associated Press-Univision poll released May 13th found sharp contrasts between the views of Hispanics and others on immigration. A resounding majority of Latinos say illegal immigrants are a boon to the country, while most non-Hispanics say illegal immigrants are a drain on society. The poll also found most Hispanics condemn Arizona’s strict new law targeting undocumented immigrants, while only 20 percent of non-Hispanics oppose it. (3)

As you can see, a highly polarized political environment is evolving in this country as we enter into the three Jupiter-Saturn oppositions between May 2010 and March 2011. The flash point is likely to occur after the midterm elections, when Congress takes up this volatile legislative agenda. Is there also a discernible pattern in American history where, during prior progressed Sun-Uranus aspects, the country has experienced upheaval and rebellion, along with anti-immigrant sentiment? The following research shows such events:

1788:  Progressed Sun @ 24º
Cancer Octile Progressed Uranus @ 9º Gemini
U.S. Constitution, ratified by New Hampshire, the ninth state, comes into force.

1836:  Progressed Sun @ 10
º Virgo Square Progressed Uranus @ 10º Gemini
Battle of the Alamo; Texas wins independence from Mexico and becomes a republic.

1881: Progressed Sun @ 25
º Libra Tri-Octile Progressed Uranus @ 10º Gemini Rx
President James A. Garfield assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau.

1924: Progressed Sun @ 8
º Sagittarius Opposite Progressed Uranus @ 8º Gemini Rx
Johnson–Reed Immigration Act of 1924; prohibiting immigration of all Japanese.

1967: Progressed Sun @ 22º Capricorn Tri-Octile Progressed Uranus @ 7º Gemini Rx
Ghetto riots in Cleveland, Newark, and Detroit; Lincoln Memorial Anti-War Demonstration.

2011: Progressed Sun @ 7º Pisces Square Progressed Uranus @ 7º Gemini
Congress again takes up legislation on illegal immigration.

These types of progressed aspects have a two-year impact on the country. From the start of the one-degree applying orb, to the aspect perfecting, to the end of the one-degree separating orb lasts about 24 months. When within this 2-year window should astrologers expect events to occur? To know this, one refers to C.E.O. Carter’s Law of Excitation:

“If, at the time that a progressed body is in aspect to another by direction, either of these bodies forms an aspect by transit with either of the two directional bodies, then this transit will excite the direction into immediate operation”.
(4)

The progressed square of the U.S. Sun and Uranus will be in effect from October 2010 until October 2012. Limiting the aspect to its one-degree orb range, the U.S. progressed Sun will travel the degrees of 6º00′  to 8º01′  Pisces while forming that square.

According to Carter’s Law of Excitation, and to your correspondent’s more detailed interpretation of this law in his Volume I – Progressions, the transit of the Sun passing through 6º to 8º of mutable signs, or through 21º to 23º of cardinal signs, will produce transit conjunctions, octiles, squares, tri-octiles, or oppositions to this progressed aspect while it is within its one-degree orb, thus exciting or triggering events into manifestation. (5)

The dates on which these transit triggers will occur:

October 14-15, 2010             July 14, 2011                 April 11, 2012
November 28-29, 2010       August 30, 2011            May 27-28, 2012
January 11-12, 2011              October 15, 2011           July 13-14, 2012
February 25, 2011                 November 29, 2011      August 29-30, 2012
April 11-12, 2011                    January 12, 2012          October 14-15, 2012
May 28, 2011                         February 26, 2012

Students of history will recall that in November 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law The Immigration Reform and Control Act. According to Wikipedia:

The Act made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization), required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status, and granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. The Act also granted a path towards legalization to certain agricultural seasonal workers and immigrants who had been continuously and illegally present in the United States since January 1, 1982.

The description of this 1986 legislation looks almost identical to what is being proposed at the present time. Therefore, why hasn’t the 1986 law been more rigorously enforced, and why must Congress start working on similar legislation all over again?

In November 1986, within a day of when President Reagan signed the previous legislation into law, there was an inferior conjunction of the Sun and retrograde Venus in Scorpio. These inferior conjunctions have a recurrence pattern, forming in Scorpio every eight years; thus in 1994, 2002, and again this year in 2010, there have been, or will be, inferior conjunctions of the Sun and retrograde Venus in the same degree area of Scorpio.

In Mundane Astrology, the 11th house rules Congress and legislative bodies, such as the Senate and the House of Representatives. Retrograde planets are known to produce two types of manifestation: 1) something previously gained is taken away; and 2) actions must be done over again. That Venus is the ruler of the Sibly 11th, and that its inferior conjunction cycle in Scorpio has been falling in the U.S.11th house, informs the astrologer why the 1986 immigration reform law is coming back to be legislated again.

In Mundane Astrology, the third house rules neighboring nations and the country’s relations with them. (6) Right as transiting Neptune ingressed into the Sibly 3rd house in March 2009, Mexican drug cartels began to be perceived as threatening the security and stability of the United States. The barbaric violence of Mexican drug gangs has crossed the border and has begun destabilizing American cities.

While beheadings, kidnappings, home invasions, murdering of politicians, journalists and police officers, and the financial bribery of military officers and elected officials is common in Mexico, some of this violence is now spilling across the border into the United States. It is this darker and violent side of the illegal immigration dilemma that prompted Arizona politicians to enact their recent legislation.

Astrologers may deduce that at the ingress of Neptune into Pisces, and thus relegating its transit through the Sibly 3rd house to an intercepted status, the full extent and reach of Mexican drug gangs hidden in the Unites States will become more completely exposed.

Similar to the early 1930s, during the squares of Uranus and Pluto, when law enforcement in the United States had its hands full going after organized crime syndicates, bootleggers, and violent gang activity, one suspects that the seven squares of Uranus and Pluto from 2012 until 2015 will result in similar levels of violence in America and in equivalent efforts by the FBI and the DEA to restore law and order.

One is left thinking that the United States is about to head into a wild ride starting in 2011, with the progressed Sun-Uranus square bringing upheaval, rebellion, and general conditions of instability all around. The ingress of the USA progressed Ascendant into Virgo will also activate the Sibly 9th house of immigration, wherein the intercepted Virgo ruled by a progressed retrograde Mercury between September 1994 and August 2016 will have resulted in 22 years of ineffective attempts at securing the borders and producing a competent solution for dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants living in our country.

A progressed Virgo rising in the U.S. Sibly horoscope will represent a new era in American life and it is informative for astrologers to review United States history and see how past progressed Ascendant sign changes have demarcated periods of the American experience.

1776 to 1799 • U.S. Sibly Ascendant in Sagittarius
Country Founded upon Moral Principles of Freedom and Democracy.

1799 to 1830 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Capricorn

Era of Founding Fathers as Presidents.

1830 to 1851 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Aquarius

Era of Jacksonian Democracy and Political Involvement by the Common Man.

1851 to 1868 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Pisces
Era of Slavery Compromise and the Civil War.

1868 to 1885 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Aries
Era of Reconstruction and the Indian Wars.

1885 to 1906 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Taurus
Era of the Railroads and Wealth Creation by Robber Barons.

1906 to 1935 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Gemini

Era of the Telephone, Radio, Telegraph, and the Automobile.

1935 to 1973 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Cancer
Era of Great Depression, World War II, the 60s, and the Modern Nuclear Family.

1973 to 2011 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Leo
Era of Celebrity Infatuation, Entertainment Culture, and Baby Boomer Excesses.

2011 to 2047 • Progressed U.S. Ascendant in Virgo
Era of Healthy Citizens, Self-Employment, Hard Work, and a Return to Craftsmanship.

Astrologers will observe that the duration of the progressed U.S. Ascendant in a given sign varies from as few as 17 years in Pisces or Aries, to as long as 38 years in Cancer or Leo. This is due to the phenomenon known as Signs of Short or Long Ascension, caused by the 23 1/2º tilt of the Earth’s polar axis.

This is precisely why one can never eyeball the movement of a progressed Ascendant in an individual’s horoscope by assuming one degree of progression per year of life. This method comes close when estimating the current degree of a progressing Midheaven from a person’s age, but variability of the progressing Ascendant does not allow one to do this.

© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke

Bibliography

Bernard Grun, The Timetables of History, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

Footnotes:

(1) An Introduction to Political Astrology, Charles E.O. Carter, L.N. Fowler & Co., 1951

(2) Reuters news report, May 12, 2010.

(3) The Associated Press report of May 14, 2010.

(4) The Principles of Astrology, Charles E.O. Carter, L.N. Fowler & Co., 1925

(5) Uranus will neither transit through 6º – 8º of mutable nor 21º – 23º of cardinal during this two-year period.

(6) An Introduction to Political Astrology, Charles E.O. Carter, L.N. Fowler & Co., 1951


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Retrograde Mercury in Taurus: Recurring Cycle for Goldman Sachs & Global Financial Crises

By Robert P. Blaschke | April 26, 2010

An inferior conjunction of retrograde Mercury and the Sun will occur this week, beginning a new 128-day synodic cycle. Taking place in the middle of the retrograde Mercury period, the Winged Messenger transitions from the Epimethean Evening Star (setting after the Sun) to the Promethean Morning Star (rising ahead of the Sun). Casting this horoscope for the nation’s capital, the rising degree is exactly conjunct President Obama’s natal Sun.


Sun-Mercury 2010

The following orbital diagram illustrates just where in the Sun-Mercury synodic cycle the inferior conjunction takes place:


Cycles & Phases of Mercury

Sun-Mercury inferior conjunctions have a recurrence pattern, falling in the same degree area of the Zodiac as part of a cycle that has durations of 13, 33, or 46 years between conjunctions. After 79 years (33 + 46), or after 125 years (79 + 46), inferior conjunctions can recur in the exact same degree of the Zodiac, or within a one-degree orb of the starting conjunction’s degree in that sign’s cycle.(1)

The following table shows the first decanate of Taurus inferior conjunctions of retrograde Mercury and the Sun over the last 125 years.

Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 28, 1885; 7°59′ Taurus R
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 27, 1918;  6°03′ Taurus R + 33
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 30, 1931; 9°06′ Taurus R + 13 = 46
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 27, 1964; 7°10′ Taurus R + 33 = 79
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 30, 1977; 10°13′ Taurus R + 13 = 92
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 28, 2010; 8°17′ Taurus R + 33 = 125

During this current retrograde Mercury in Taurus, financial news has been dominant in the headlines. Airplane travel disruptions to and from Europe caused by the ash cloud from the volcano eruption in Iceland resulted in $2 billion in losses for the airline industry.

As Mercury was stationing retrograde, Goldman Sachs, a prominent Wall Street investment bank, was accused of securities fraud in a civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 16th, which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail.

Congressional hearings have looked into the failure of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that became insolvent in September 2008 and sparked the global economic crisis. During the review of Lehman’s bankruptcy, it was pointed out that regulators failed to catch the accounting manipulation that permitted the bank to give a misleading picture of its financial status despite its being over leveraged on toxic mortgage assets.

On April 22nd, President Obama gave a speech at Cooper Union college in Manhattan, at which many prominent executives of Wall Street banks were in attendance. He asked the banking industry to support the financial regulatory reform measures being debated and voted on in the Senate this week.

This recurring cycle of Sun-Mercury inferior conjunctions in the first decanate of Taurus has a direct correspondence with the history of Goldman Sachs, and with previous global economic crises. In 1885 — 125 years ago — an inferior conjunction occurred in 7°59′ Taurus, only 18′ of arc from the Sun-Mercury conjunction of this week. That was the year when Goldman Sachs, after being founded in 1869, took its present name, Goldman Sachs & Co.


Sun-Mercury 1885

It is of interest to astrologers that Saturn is presently transiting the Uranus degree in the 1885 inferior conjunction horoscope as the SEC filed its civil fraud lawsuit against the firm.

In 1931 — 79 years ago — an inferior conjunction occurred in 9°06′ Taurus, only 49′ of arc from the Sun-Mercury conjunction of this week. Immediately after this 1931 conjunction, Creditanstalt, Austria’s largest bank, went bankrupt and caused a banking collapse in Central Europe that precipitated a global financial crisis.


S

The astrologer observes that Jupiter, ruling planet of international finance, although exalted, was exactly square the nodal axis in the 1931 inferior conjunction horoscope, and was also part of a Cardinal Grand Cross that included the Moon, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto.

This present retrograde Mercury has been of the worst kind, with hundreds of thousands of airline passengers stranded for days while their flights were grounded by the Icelandic volcano and its subsequent ash cloud. True to form, retrograde Mercury in Taurus also resulted in recriminations by the airlines against European civil aviation authorities for acting too slowly and cautiously in reopening the flight paths for air travel.

Can the astrologer discern in advance which retrograde Mercury periods are going to be worse than others? Yes, but to know this one must first educate oneself about the three-part Sun-Mercury synodic cycle. This cycle has an average duration of 115-116 days.

The following table shows six consecutive 2010-11 Sun-Mercury inferior conjunctions and the duration of each individual synodic cycle:

Sun Conjunct Mercury: Jan 4, 2010; 14°19′ Capricorn R 106 days (since 9/20/09)
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 28, 2010; 8°17′ Taurus R 114 days
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Sep 3, 2010; 10°55′ Virgo R 128 days, therefore 348 days /3 = 116 avg.

Sun Conjunct Mercury: Dec 20, 2010; 28°02′ Sagittarius R 108 days
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Apr 9, 2011; 19°36′ Aries R 110 days
Sun Conjunct Mercury: Aug 17, 2011; 23°49′ Leo R 130 days, therefore 348 days /3 = 116 avg.

As you can see, the synodic cycle of Mercury has a three-part pattern. The length of each synodic period is variable, increasing in length from one to the next, but when taken as a whole, the overall duration is similar, totaling 348 days for three synodic cycles in a row, with an average cycle length of 116 days each. Within this three-part cycle, the duration of retrograde Mercury also varies, as does its Zodiac degree travel while retrogressing.

These are the stations of Mercury in 2010, which show the duration of the retrograde period along with the number of degrees that Mercury travels while in retrogression:

Mercury Rx Dec 26, 2009; 21°47′ Capricorn R
Mercury Direct Jan 15, 2010; 5°33′ Capricorn D 20 days/16°
Mercury Rx Apr 18, 2010; 12°37′ Taurus R
Mercury Direct May 11, 2010; 2°39′ Taurus  D 24 days/10°
Mercury Rx Aug 20, 2010; 19°03′ Virgo R
Mercury Direct Sep 12, 2010; 5°21′  Virgo D 23 days/14°

The most problematic retrograde Mercury periods occur when the speed of Mercury is the slowest while retrogressing. (2) This happens when Mercury is retrograde for 24 days, but is only reversing 9° to 10° in the Zodiac during that period. The least problematic retrograde Mercury periods occur when the speed of Mercury is the fastest while retrogressing. This happens when Mercury is retrograde for 20 days, but is reversing 16° in the Zodiac during that period. These can be called “Shorties” (20 days = fast and not so bad) or “Longies” (24 days = slow and awful). The third category is called a “Middie” (22 or 23 days with 12° to 14° of travel while retrogressing), and these retrograde periods can go either way. (3)

If you consult the ephemeris for January of this year, you will see that when Mercury was having an easier Shortie retrograde period — (20 days from its retrograde station on December 26, 2009 until its direct station on January 15, 2010, and traveling 16° between stations from 21° Capricorn to 5° Capricorn) — that, at the inferior conjunction on January 4th, Mercury was reversing as fast as 1°21′ per day in the Zodiac while retrograde. This faster speed while retrograde is what makes Mercury less problematic while in retrogression.

On the other hand, consulting the ephemeris for this month (April 2010), while Mercury is having an awful Longie retrograde period — (24 days from its retrograde station on April 17th/18th until its direct station on May 11th, yet traveling only 10° between stations from 12° Taurus to 2° Taurus) — one observes that at the inferior conjunction on April 28th, Mercury reaches its top speed while retrograde when traveling only 0°39′ per day in the Zodiac. This slower speed is what makes Mercury more problematic while in retrogression.

The next retrograde period of Mercury from August 20th to September 12th later this year will be of the Middie category, where Mercury retrogresses for 23 days and reverses 13°- 14° in the Zodiac while retrograde. Examining the ephemeris for September, astrologers find that at the inferior conjunction on September 3rd, Mercury reaches its top speed of 0°58′ per day of Zodiac travel while retrograde. Not as fast as a Shortie, but certainly faster than a dreaded Longie, which we are currently experiencing. This is why the Middie Mercury retrogrades are a mixed bag.

In the previous table showing the six consecutive Sun-Mercury inferior conjunctions for this year and next year, one observes that the Mercury retrograde periods will transition from the Earth element into the Fire element. Your correspondent wrote about the recurrence patterns found in the synodic cycles of the Sun and Mercury, and about the different categories of retrograde Mercury, in his book, Volume V – Holographic Transits:

“Author and astrologer, Erin Sullivan, in her book, Retrograde Planets, wrote of a pattern in the Mercury cycle wherein four to six consecutive periods of retrograde Mercury fall in the same element. This sequence of retrogradation occurs opposite to the pattern of signs in the Zodiac, going from Water to Air to Earth to Fire. Her research showed that this elemental cycle of Mercury lasts a little over six years.

What the astrologer may deduce from Sullivan’s work is that the four elements can fall into two categories. In the former, Mercury consecutively retrogrades in the air and earth elements for three years, bringing a mental and deliberative climate into the collective consciousness. In the latter, successive retrogradation of Mercury in the fire and water elements for three years produces an emotional and instinctual atmosphere in the mass magnetics of human consciousness.”

One could therefore deduce that, because Mercury leaves the Earth element and enters its retrograde cycle through the Fire signs just after the November midterm elections, by the end of this year we shall enter a much more highly charged emotional and instinctual climate within the collective consciousness.

The current focus on financial regulatory reform, deficit reduction, and health insurance reform while Mercury is still in its Earth element retrograde periods of Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, should give way to the debate over the much more volatile legislative agenda of immigration reform and identity politics next year when retrograde Mercury cycles through the Fire signs, starting with Sagittarius, sign of foreign cultures and races.

Footnotes:

(1) The math behind this is as follows: 79 years x 365.26 days per year = 28,855.54 days. Divide this product of days by the length of a Sun-Mercury synodic cycle: 28,855.54 days ÷ 115.88 days/cycle = 249. Thus, 249 synodic cycles of Mercury = exactly 79 years. In the longer periodicity, 394 synodic cycles of Mercury = exactly 125 years (125 x 365.26 = 45,657.5 ÷ 115.88 = 394).

(2) The most detailed research about the cycles and phases of the planet Mercury has been conducted by astrologer Michael Munkasey. Munkasey found that the more difficult retrograde Mercury periods overall are those that have the longest duration (24-day) and the least range of degree travel (± 9°). During these Mercury retrograde periods, the Winged Messenger has slowed to a maximum degree travel of 0°39′ per day between stations. It is this deceleration of degree movement that amplifies the Mercury retrograde effect.

(3) Further extrapolating from Munkasey’s observations, individuals born during the one Mercury retrograde period in three with the longest duration and the least degree movement between stations may have the most difficulty with the natal retrograde Mercury. On the other hand, where one is born during a short retrograde period with a greater degree of travel between stations, the retrograde Mercury in the nativity is perhaps more facile and can resuscitate knowledge from past lives, bringing information through into the current lifetime. This discrimination between the differing retrograde Mercury cycles can also be applied to the condition of a secondary, tertiary, or minor progressed Mercury.

Copyright 2010 by Robert Blaschke

{Editor’s note: If any readers would like the exact times for the Sun-Mercury conjunctions (or the Mercury stations in 2010) from the tables in Robert’s article, please email me, or write to me in the comments section. Robert’s article did include the GMT for those dates; I simplified the tables a bit to make it easier to read!  Mary Plumb}

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A Fateful Place? The Polish Plane Crash

By Mary Plumb | April 11, 2010

The terrible plane crash in Russia on Saturday leaves one bewildered at the magnitude of the shock to the Polish people. Our deep condolences extend to all our Polish family and friends.

There is a lot of fine astrological commentary on the tragedy at TMA’s Facebook page and many other web sites. There are many horoscopes to consider, including looking at the deceased President’s birth chart, the time of the swearing in of the current government, and the different national horoscopes for Poland.

The plane crash occurred on April 10 at 6:56 a.m. GMT, in Smolensk, Russia (54ºN36′, 32ºE03′).

Polish plane crash

Inevitably, there are some harsh midpoints in the chart for the plane crash: Neptune (28º Aquarius) is directly on the Sun/Pluto midpoint (27º52’ Aquarius), and the Ascendant (10º18’ Cancer) is on the Sun/Saturn midpoint (10º04’ Cancer). The Mars/Saturn midpoint is 2º31’ Virgo, opposite the Moon and Midheaven (2º33’ and 2º29’ Pisces), and the Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint is 6º24’ Taurus, square Mars (5º12’ Leo).

The plane carried 96 people, including President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and many prominent politicians and policymakers. Everyone on the plane perished. The plane was on its way to a ceremony to commemorate the Soviet massacre, ordered by Stalin, of more than 20,000 of Poland’s military elite, politicians, and artists, in April 1940. That gruesome event, known as the Katyn massacre, began “after April 3” and continued for the next 28 days. (1)

Although there are no immediately obvious connections to dates 70 years apart, I thought some astrological marker might show a link for an event with such an eerie tie to a previous time.

There was a solar eclipse at 17º52’ Aries on April 7, 1940, within a few days of the beginning of the killings.

Solar Eclipse April 1940

Hades, the TransNeptunian Planet (TNP) associated with darkest horrors and unspeakable tragedies, was at 18º10’ Aries at that eclipse, within 18’ of arc of the eclipse degree.

At the time of this week’s plane crash, transiting Uranus was at 27º55’ Pisces, exactly square Hades at 27º55’ Gemini. Aside from the sudden tragedy and grievous loss of life, the world is now getting another look at the events of the Katyn massacre, said to be one of the darkest moments of WWII. (2)

In another striking parallel between the two events, when the 1940 solar eclipse is set for Smolensk, Russia, site of both the massacre and the plane crash, the Ascendant is 25º34’ Scorpio. The Vertex point (the most “fated” point in the horoscope) for the crash is 23º34’ Scorpio. This connection between the Vertex of one event and the Ascendant of another event plays out the other way as well: The Vertex point for the 1940 eclipse in Smolensk is 9º20’ Cancer; the Ascendant of the plane crash chart is 10º18’ Cancer.

References:

(1) Wikipedia

(2) Telegraph

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Sandra Bullock and the Royal Stars

By Mary Plumb | March 22, 2010

I know the Health Care Bill is of huge importance and the time it passes will be an important chart. But it’s late in the day on Sunday and I can’t wait any longer for a blog topic. So, I’m looking at something perhaps less monumental in the long run, but of interest to moviegoers and romantics everywhere — the birth chart for Sandra Bullock.

Sandra Bullock was born on July 26, 1964 at 3:15 a.m. in Washington, D.C. A Leo Sun, with Aquarius Moon and Gemini rising, the actress has Mars and Venus conjunct the Ascendant. [1] (This time has to be considered DD, or unsubstantiated thus far by any documentation. I haven’t rectified the time, but am looking at it as if it were correct. I don’t usually proceed with DD, but the astrology suggested for this time is so interesting, I couldn’t resist.)

Sandra Bullock, natal chartShe’s known for her accessibility, for being likeable, friendly, and normal in the tough Hollywood world. Mars and Venus on the Ascendant certainly describe that public face well. (Although she’s not a personal favorite of mine as an actress, I do have two close friends, both with Leo Moon’s, who said this week that they really like her; she seems so “nice” and “real.”)

With Gemini rising, Sandra Bullock’s horoscope ruler is Mercury, positioned at birth at 28°25’ Leo, the degree of Regulus (29° Leo). One of the brilliant Royal stars, Bernadette Brady describes Regulus as, “Success if revenge is avoided.”

She has another of the four Royal stars in a prominent place: Fomalhaut at 3° Pisces is the degree of her Midheaven and Saturn. Brady says of Fomalhaut: “Success through noble ideas.” Although I did not see the film for which she won the Academy Award, she played a woman who acted against what was expected of her from her upbringing and peers. Perhaps this shows a flavor of the great star, Fomahault?

Ms. Bullock went from winning the Oscar for Best Actress (March 7) to the public announcement of her husband’s infidelity a few days later.

The actress was married on July 16, 2005. Her progressed Ascendant then was 28°24’ Cancer, and she was in the Balsamic phase of the progressed lunation cycle.

Sandra Bullock, progressed to weddingThe progressed Moon (ruler of the Cancer Ascendant) was at 0°49’ Virgo, exactly opposite progressed Saturn at 0°49 Pisces (ruler of the Capricorn Descendant). But whatever deeper implications may be suggested by that aspect, the day itself must have been very happy. I couldn’t find a time for the exchange of vows, but reports say it was a “sunset” ceremony near Santa Barbara. [2]

Sandra Bullock Wedding

There is a Sun-Moon trine and a fire trine between Mars, Venus, and Pluto. A bit more ominously (at least in hindsight) is Saturn exactly opposite Chiron; Mercury and Venus just past an opposition to Neptune; Venus square the Moon, and Mars in Aries, as the final dispositor of the chart, square the Sun.

Bullock began a 29-year cycle of development with the progressed New Moon in June 2006 at 13°36’ Virgo (conjunct Pluto). Also, her progressed Ascendant changed signs and moved into Leo in October 2008.

The progressed Moon entered Scorpio in December 2009. In January 2010 the progressed Moon squared the progressed Ascendant and progressed Venus. We can imagine she had private inclinations of marital trouble then.

Sandra Bullock, progressed to Jan 2010

The progressed Moon, now at 3° Scorpio, has just passed the square (March 17) to the natal Sun (a private wound?) and is now applying to trine natal Saturn and natal Midheaven at 3° Pisces, the degree of Fomalhaut. This can be seen as a public fulfillment and very visible success. (This trine is partile from March 29-31).

Sandra Bullock, natal & progressed to March 2010
As I’m finishing writing this, the Health Care Bill has passed. One quick observation is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is being given a lot of credit for her great determination in steering the Bill through an epic political battle to its successful passage, was born with Saturn at 0°43’ Taurus exactly square Pluto at 0°41’ Leo. [3] She has the fortitude demanded by the times, as now, of course, we are experiencing the square between the two planets again.

References:

(1) Wikipedia; time reported at various sites: famous-relationships

(2) marriage.about.com

(3) Wikipedia


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The Jupiter–Saturn Cycle: 2010–2011 Opposition and Global Changes

By Robert P. Blaschke | March 15, 2010

Every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the heavens and mark the beginning of a new cultural, political, and economic era. These alignments have historically been described as “Grand Conjunctions” or “Royal Conjunctions.” World leaders elected as presidents or prime ministers during this cycle often have exact conjunctions between their nativities and the degrees of the planets or angles found in these once-every-two-decades mundane horoscopes. The Grand Conjunction of May 2000, the origin horoscope of our present cycle, is shown here cast for the United States:


The rising degree of the last Grand Conjunction conjoined President Barack Obama’s North Node, exact to 03′ of arc. The Midheaven ruler, Venus, is exactly conjunct Mr. Obama’s natal Moon, and the South Node is in the degree of his natal Saturn. A dignified Mercury is a sole and final classical dispositor.

The present economic era ushered in at the last Grand Conjunction started with the bursting of the dot.com technology bubble when the NASDAQ stock market crashed in the spring of 2000. That was followed by unsustainable real estate speculation that ultimately peaked at the progressed retrograde station of the U.S. Mars, ruler of the Sibly IC, in July 2006. Since then, a global economic crisis has brought about the Great Recession, commencing with the Jupiter–Pluto conjunction of December 2007.

At the opposition aspect within this 20-year cycle, world events reach their climax, and global change occurs on a large scale. The Grand Conjunction cycle begun in May 2000 reaches its three oppositions between May 2010 and March 2011. This period will mark the turning point of the current global economic crisis, and will also produce breakthroughs in international political stalemates. The first opposition occurs with Jupiter dignified and in the degree of Venus’s exaltation, 27° Pisces.

At the previous Grand Conjunction cycle’s oppositions (i.e., five oppositions occurred between September 1989 and May 1991), the world experienced many significant and historical events, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall; the freeing of Nelson Mandela from prison and the beginning of the end of apartheid in South Africa; the student democratic revolution in China, culminating in the Tiananmen Square killings; and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, which lead to the first Gulf War. Can the mundane horoscope for the upcoming opposition of Jupiter and Saturn give us prescience into world events likely to occur over the next year? Yes, it can, and 27° of mutable signs are the key.

When casting the Jupiter–Saturn opposition for the Israeli capital, Jerusalem, Uranus conjoins the MC and the rising degree is 13° Cancer, the degree of the U.S. Sun. The lunar degree is conjunct the U.S. Sibly MC, and the Jerusalem IC is conjunct the Israeli progressed Mars.

Arguably, the one breakthrough that the world most needs at this time is for the seemingly intractable political stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians to become resolved through a two-state solution. This would involve the dismantling of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the return of Palestinian refugees, the division of Jerusalem, and the removal of the security fence that separates occupied areas in the West Bank, thus preventing a contiguous nation of Palestine.

In the horoscope for Israel, Jupiter (the planet of foreign relations) is at 27°38’ Sagittarius. The country’s progressed Uranus is at 27°56’ Gemini; together, these form an exact Mutable Grand Cross with the Jupiter–Saturn opposition. The classical sole and final dispositor, Mercury, in the Grand Conjunction horoscope from May 2000, was at 27° Gemini, symbolizing the two-state Israel–Palestine solution.

Can history repeat itself? In September 1989, at the first of five Jupiter–Saturn oppositions, 13,000 East German tourists escaped from Hungary to Austria. This led to a sequence of events over the next two months, starting with massive protest demonstrations in East Germany and culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. What historical parallel could one predict for 2010?

Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to the Middle East to meet with Israel and the Palestinians in an attempt to revive the stalled peace process. He and the United States were subsequently humiliated by Israel, who on the day of his arrival, made an announcement of 1,600 new housing units to be built in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama have issued stern warnings to Israel, during the last few days, essentially giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an ultimatum and a list of demands with which the U.S. expects Israel to fully comply. The continuation of this sequence of events could lead to the destabilization of Israel’s internal politics, with its governing coalition likely to splinter over tensions between the hard-line right wing parties like Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas, and the Likud party of which Mr. Netanyahu is the leader. This political instability within Israel is clearly seen by Uranus conjoining the MC, when the Jupiter–Saturn opposition is cast for Jerusalem, as shown in the chart above.

This political instability might not be a bad thing if it comes to pass. The Middle East peace process has been stuck with no progress for so many years that one is left praying for a lightning strike from heaven to radically transform the landscape and produce a sudden and unexpected breakthrough. Is there any evidence that this can occur during the next year while the three Jupiter–Saturn oppositions form?

In 1967, during the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab nations, the Israeli progressed Venus stationed retrograde. In December of 2010, this progressed Venus will finally station direct. One can see how it will have taken 43 years for solutions to be found regarding the occupied territories, the division of Jerusalem, the return of refugees, and all of the other difficult issues. One observes that the progressed direct station of the Israeli ruler, Venus, in 24° of Gemini is exactly conjoining the national Uranus. This means that sudden, chaotic, and unexpected events are coming.

Israel’s biggest worry is their ongoing threat from Iran. It is cause for concern that, in the Jupiter–Saturn opposition horoscope cast for Jerusalem, 29° Virgo is on the IC — the exact degree of Israel’s progressed Mars. [1] One could interpret this as violence in the homeland, should internal political instability degrade the cohesion of Israel’s military. The Haaretz newspaper in Israel has reported: “High-ranking officials in Washington believe that tightening the terms for a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank and the dismantling of outposts could lead to a deep rift within Israeli society, or even a mutiny within its military.” [2]

A possible unexpected outcome for Israel, radical as it may sound, would be a Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate moment: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This time around, President Obama would say to Prime Minister Netanyahu, “Tear down this security fence!”

Global events that occurred during the last series of Jupiter–Saturn oppositions from 1989 to 1991 are compelling evidence that the next twelve months will bring significant change. Whether these changes will be for the good, or will be destructive, can be predicted by the condition of the opposing planets in the Grand Conjunction cycle. Jupiter, the Greater Benefic, is dignified and in the exaltation degree of the Lesser Benefic, i.e., Venus at 27° Pisces. Thus, Jupiter is stronger than Saturn, so the changes will be positive.

Astrologers can recall the hundreds of thousands of East Germans streaming into West Germany and celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. If we cast the Jupiter–Saturn opposition of September 10, 1989 for Berlin, 9°49’ Aquarius rises. Remarkably, from Charubel for Aquarius 10°, we find:

A ruin consisting of the remains of an ancient massive wall, with an archway therein.



The Jupiter–Saturn 800-Year Great Historical Cycle & its 200-Year Elemental Subcycles

Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn recur in the same element for about two centuries. (The Grand Conjunctions began to occur in earth signs in 1802.) A transitional conjunction (or two) takes place in the succeeding element just prior to the end of this 200-year elemental subcycle. (The 1980–81 Grand Conjunctions were in the air sign of Libra.) The last conjunction in this subcycle’s earth element occurred in 2000. (The last earth subcycle previously concluded in 1206.)

The Grand Conjunctions will now fall in the air element for the next two centuries, with the Jupiter–Saturn conjunction of December 21, 2020 taking place at 0°29’ Aquarius. It is no small coincidence that Barack Obama’s natal Jupiter is in that exact degree — it shows the astrologer how he became a channel for our hopes for a better future.

A sequence of historical development can be shown to correspond with the Grand Conjunctions cycling through the four elements every 800 years. When there are fire element conjunctions, the world experiences global exploration, conquest, and discovery, along with independence movements. These conjunctions recurred in the fire signs in 1603 and 1623, then from 1663 to 1782, and in 1821.

When Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the earth element, societal infrastructure evolves globally and there is substantial wealth creation, along with extensive land settlement and territorial disputes. These conjunctions recurred in the earth signs in 1802, then from 1842 to 1961, and in 2000.

Grand Conjunctions in the air element historically correspond with rapid social progress, significant intellectual development, and new concepts entering into human consciousness. These conjunctions recurred in the air signs in 1186, then from 1226 to 1345, and again in 1385 and in 1405.

Jupiter and Saturn conjoining in the water element has resulted in artistic flourishing, the formation of spiritual movements, and societal assimilation on a large scale. These conjunctions recurred in the water signs in 1365, then from 1425 to 1583, and in 1643. This period encompassed the Renaissance.

It is thought that the Jupiter–Saturn 800-year historical cycle commences with a Grand Conjunction taking place nearest to the Aries Point. For our historical era, this occurred in May 1702.

This mundane horoscope can be said to reveal the conditions of human development over an eight-century period of history. When casting the Aries Point Grand Conjunction for Washington, D.C., we find 22° Libra rising, which is the exaltation degree of Saturn. A tightly orbed Cardinal T-Cross is also found, consisting of an apex Venus in detriment in Aries and an exalted Mars in Capricorn opposed by Uranus. Could the global economic crisis precipitated by America’s real estate bust and its toxic mortgage assets have been predicted three centuries ago by consulting this horoscope? Yes, and here is why:

Libra 22, the rising degree, from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:

A man asleep by the side of some money-bags.

“It denotes a person of little vigilance: much given to self-indulgence: wanting either in sense of duty, or in energy to fulfil it. The native will lose heavily on account of his carelessness, false sense of safety and want of caution. He will live much in the memory of the past and in dreams of the future, being the while oblivious to the demands of present duties. It is a degree of CARELESSNESS.”

The T-Cross with the apex Venus, squared by both Mars and Uranus, shows an eight-century era of history with periodic economic instability. The modern military-industrial complex — the present-day successor to European kings selling and exporting their armies as mercenaries to foreign countries to fight their wars — is infamous for its wartime profiteering and is symbolized by the exalted Mars.

A biblical metaphor also comes to mind with Venus in detriment and in the degree of the Sun’s exaltation:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

This suggests that if the financial sector becomes too materialistic and greedy, a spiritual crisis inevitably ensues.

Remarkably, the U.S. progressed Venus is currently passing through 19° Aries, the degree of the apex Venus in the Cardinal T-Cross of the 1702 Aries Point Grand Conjunction (from September 19, 2009 until August 8, 2010). It can be predicted that this 11-month period will be the worst of the recession for the U.S., with an improvement in our national economy taking place in August 2010. Conditions should stabilize with employment levels improving by March 2011 when the third and final Jupiter–Saturn opposition occurs at 14° of Aries and Libra (which is also the U.S. Saturn return).

In order to understand the arc of history between 2000 and 2020, astrologers can contemplate the square of Taurus to Aquarius, signs in which the 2000 and 2020 Grand Conjunctions fall. This square is indicative of the redistribution of wealth and assets. In an article entitled “The Pluto in Leo Generation,” published in The Mountain Astrologer in March 1993, I wrote:

“The evolutionary impulse of the redistribution of wealth meets the entrenched establishments of banking and real estate. The ideals of service to the collective meet the possessive stinginess of what is mine and what is yours. Social and economic revolution, and the temporary personal hardships necessary to achieve the lasting goals of equality, meet the fear of change and the love of comfort, luxury and personal opulence. The cutting edge of technology meets the challenge to market it so it may be of practical service to humanity. What must be changed for the good of the collective meets the needs of the individual’s security and his predictable continuity in life.”

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York State, recently was quoted in the New York Times: “What happened in the last decade was a massive redistribution of wealth to people who did not create value, but simply moved assets around.” [3]

The astrologer could not think of a more appropriate definition for the worst possible manifestation of a Taurus–Aquarius square. Let us hope that the second decade of this current Grand Conjunction cycle will produce a different kind of redistribution of wealth and resources in order to fashion a more humane and equitable society.

© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke

References:

1. 29° Virgo is also the degree of Mr. Obama’s progressed Sun.

2. www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1156251.html

3. www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/nyregion/28about.html

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