TMA This Week

Prelude to the Cardinal Crisis

By Gary P. Caton | August 23, 2009

As Mars arrives again in Cancer, we must ask ourselves: what is the mission of this planetary emissary? Many people who know a little something about classical astrology dread this transit, because Cancer is opposite Mars’ sign of exaltation — and so Mars is seen to be “fallen” here.

A closer inspection of the zodiac reveals that the first important meeting to which Mars is headed on Wednesday, August 26 is an opposition to Pluto in the first degree of cardinal signs. This is one day after Venus, Vesta, and the South Node congregate on the recent eclipse degree of 29°+ Cancer. The prior Mars–Pluto opposition, this close to the cardinal axis, was in the last degrees of Gemini-Sagittarius, on January 2, 2008. If we look back to this time period, we will likely see a similar process happening now.

• December 27 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, and at least 20 others are killed by a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
• December 31 – Over 200 people are killed in Kenya, due to riots over the results of the December 27 presidential election.
• January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.

When cast for Washington D.C., the opposition of August 26 falls across the Asc/Dsc axis with Mercury and Juno–Uranus completing a grand square in the cardinal signs and angular houses (see chart below, using Whole Sign houses). Clearly this looks like an important development.

Cardinal T-Square

Mars, in the house of partners and open enemies, represents hostile forces in our relations with other countries, both friendly and hostile, at both political and commercial levels. Mars receives additional strength from the mutual reception with the Moon, though both planets are fallen. Fallen planets are not “weak” — they are, in fact, strong but unable to exercise their strength due to circumstance. The position of the Moon in a mundane chart represents the people and where the public’s attention falls. The Moon in the 11th represents Congress, town and county councils, and similar bodies and their legislation. So there are two manifestations which seem equally probable. This could represent opponents of U.S. health care reform striking back. However, the 11th can also represent friends of the nation. So this could represent some kind of terrorist attack on a nation whom we consider a friend.

When you look at the chain of dispositors in this chart, some interesting things come to light. Dispositors basically show a chain of command — who any particular planet “reports” to because of being in a particular sign. Mars and the Moon report to one another via mutual reception — again this could be a connection between public opinion and the opposition party (Republicans) or public outcry at some common enemy. Mercury is the other planet in the first degree of a Cardinal sign. Mercury in Libra reports to Venus. Venus in Leo reports in turn to The Sun. The Sun in Virgo reports back to Mercury. So, this is a sort of “committee” of rulership where the leadership (Sun), diplomats (Venus) and media (Mercury) are working together to deal with a change in circumstance (fallen Mars and Moon in mutual reception).

All the other planets in the chart report to Mercury, either directly (Saturn) or indirectly (Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto report to Saturn, and Uranus reports to Jupiter who reports to Saturn). So it seems the media (Mercury) have an inordinate amount of influence in this situation. Since Mercury reports to Venus, it appears that some sort of diplomacy is to be key to the situation. This could be something like a final call for a “bipartisan” solution to the health care crisis accompanied by a media blitz, or some type of diplomatic endeavor to negotiate with a hostile foreign party and the subsequent media storm. However, we must remember that Venus and Vesta sit at or near the recent eclipse degree, and diplomatic abilities may be hampered.

With preliminary figures for the Afghan vote (amid fraud allegations) and the official release of two government reports projecting huge budget shortfalls over the next decade both due on Tuesday, August 25, it seems that either scenario offered above — or perhaps both — are likely.

© 2009 Gary Caton – all rights reserved

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who has published in journals and spoken at conferences on mundane astrology since 2002. In addition to practicing mundane astrology, Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed over 17 years a unique multi-disciplinarian neo-classical system which embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration. Gary also 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! Contact Gary at www.DreamAstrologer.com and view his written work, lectures, classes or readings.

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Food, Inc.

By Mary Plumb | August 3, 2009

Food activists and writers Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser appear in the film Food, Inc., which is about the politics of food. (1) It essentially describes how a few corporations “own” the food industry and are controlling how most Americans eat. I’m looking at sunrise charts for the two gentlemen, as no birth times are known.

Michael Pollan was born on February 6, 1955 in Long Island, N.Y. (2). He is a writer, food activist and professor of journalism at U.C. Berkeley. He was born on a full moon day, with the Sun at 17° Aquarius, the Moon in Leo and Saturn squaring the lights from 21° Scorpio.

Michael Pollan natal

Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser was born on August 17, 1959 in New York, N.Y. (3) He became famous for his book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2000). Schlosser was born the day before the full moon; the Sun is at 24° Leo, the Moon in Aquarius (for the whole day) and Jupiter squaring both from 23° Scorpio.

Eric Schlosser natal

Each has the Sun and Moon in fixed signs, powered by a square from a planet in Scorpio. Having relentless focus, being drawn to whatever is hidden, and the instinct to uncover by any means possible are Scorpio’s natural gestures. When combined with the Sun, the individual creative drive to distinguish the self carries the deeply reformist agenda inherent in the sign that is impelled to bring change from the inside out.

Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation — and a film of the same name (in 2006) — exposed the dark side of the meat industry. His book brings together not only the way animals are treated, but also the workers in the industry and the impact on the environment.  Eric Schlosser has natal Ceres at 21° Scorpio  conjunct Jupiter at 23° Scorpio. Ceres is connected to the land; food production and safety, unions and worker’s rights, and preserving the environment and resources are all part of her symbolism. Jupiter conjunct Ceres brings those concerns into the larger social sphere, and Scorpio, of course, can handle complexity and is the muckraking journalist extraordinaire.

Michael Pollan also has Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and grain, conjunct a benefic in the natal chart — Venus is conjunct Ceres, conjunct the North Node, all in early Capricorn. Here’s a fellow whose love for grain and appreciation of growing food is directly tied to the life path. Venus with Ceres in an earth sign also suggests a strong physicality and sensuality. His first best seller, about human desire and the evolution of plants, was The Botany of Desire (2001).

Venus in Capricorn is not known for its romantic excesses. The essence of his newest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008), is in its opening sentences: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (He knows that the average American diet now is so heavily processed and refined that it cannot qualify as “food.” His message is practical: eat the way our grandparents or great grandparents ate.)

He also has a long article on the politics and pleasures of cooking in the current New York Times magazine.

Since (I know I’m not the only one) I do get weary of considering transiting Pluto’s connection to the financial crisis, I am happy to find Michael Pollan with planets in this line-up — a positive Pluto transformation story. Transiting Pluto was exactly on Pollan’s natal Venus (which, at 0° Capricorn, is on the Aries Point of public recognition) throughout 2008. Throughout 2009 Pluto conjuncts natal Ceres at 2°07′ Capricorn and then makes five exact hits to the North Node between 2010 and 2011. This is a horoscope of a person who continues strongly on a path of empowerment and cultural relevance for these next few years. (That’s my hope, anyway.)

Pollan’s personal success story is also shown in his progressed chart. Progressed Jupiter is applying to trine Saturn, which is exact in March 2010. Progressed Mercury trines Uranus then as well.

Michael Pollan progressed

Saturn and Jupiter formed a progressed trine in 1966. Since Saturn turned retrograde by progression in 1977, and Jupiter went direct in 1993, they come to another trine in March.  This suggests good instincts and success in business and worldly matters, and productive and constructive outlets for social concerns.

On the local level, many gardeners and farmers have a prominent Ceres in the natal chart. I know someone who changed her life’s work to become an organic farmer when Ceres was conjunct the Moon in the progressed chart. I confess to natal Ceres in Sagittarius. I naturally love the concept of gardening, but as someone near and dear to me noticed a while ago, I don’t like to get my hands dirty. But, with Pluto’s encouragement, I’ve loved being in the garden this year.

Notes:

(1) The web site has links for further activist information  The film had its official U.S. opening on June 12, 2009.
(2) Wikipedia
(3) Wikipedia

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A Beer with the President

By Mary Plumb | July 27, 2009

The layers of meaning and influence of an eclipse will unfold over time, but the days immediately surrounding the exact day can bring events that take unusual turns.

A big national story at the eclipse was the arrest on July 16 of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his home after being mistaken for a burglar. At his press conference on July 22 President Obama addressed the incident, which has been much discussed for the racial and class issues it has raised.

Like any good Leo Sun (not to mention being the world’s most famous political leader), the president can’t do much without creating a stir. He did create a furor at the news conference by commenting that police “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates. The president’s remarks became the big news story at a time when he was seeking to build public support for his health care plan. Obama’s progressed Moon is now at 27°01′ Aquarius, exactly conjunct the US Sibly Moon — signifying the public — at 27° Aquarius. Surely the US populace is in need of support and recognition by the president and he is in the unique position, remarkably so right now, to make decisions that have a huge impact on us all. I think the urgency of the health care debate is symbolized in part by this once-in-29-year aspect.

His progressed Moon is also on his natal south node at 27°01′ Aquarius; I didn’t see the press conference, but some reports suggested that he seemed a bit disheartened or weary. Who wouldn’t be with that combination?

Maybe another display of this aspect is the excessive media attention right now to the “Birthers movement” whose adherents don’t believe that Obama was born in the USA.

Back to the eclipse, which falls in Obama’s natal 6th house of public employees. Some say the president insulted all the police in the land with his comment. Obama’s natal Mercury is at 2°20′ Leo; although out-of-sign, that’s still within 3° of the solar eclipse at 29°26′ Cancer.

After acknowledging that he could have used more “calibrated” language, the president then said he hoped to turn the incident into a “teachable moment, where all of us, instead of pumping up the volume, spend a little more time listening to each other.” (1) Sounds suspiciously Aquarian to me.

So, apparently, the police officer and the professor will join the President at the White House for a beer.

How’s that for Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter to the rescue? (These three bodies carry a mighty healing force and are just slightly over one degree apart.) The arrest was perceived as an injustice and that is receiving attention. The president hopes for a  “teachable moment” (Chiron and Jupiter), bringing disparate parties together for a beer (Neptune). That sounds like a good idea for lots of different situations these days.

Notes:

(1) Bloomberg.com

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Total Solar Eclipse

By Mary Plumb | July 20, 2009

The century’s longest total solar eclipse is almost upon us. It is exact on Tuesday, July 21 at 7:36 p.m. PDT (July 22, 2:36 a.m. GMT).

Since at least the 2nd century (as written by Ptolemy), the length of an eclipse has been associated with the duration of time the eclipse will have an impact. For example, the effects of a lunar eclipse that lasts for two minutes will be felt for two months;  for a solar eclipse, the impact will be in years. The duration of the average solar eclipse is three and a half minutes. The July 21 eclipse lasts for more than six minutes; if we follow Ptolemy’s equation we will be experiencing its impact for longer than six years. This gives extra oomph to the modern astrologer’s thinking that the solar eclipse is an auspicious time to set intentions for the future. We are planting seeds in our minds, or being impressed by events or experiences that will take a long time to unfold. In the personal horoscope, this, of course, will be specifically related to the house position of 29° Cancer and any planets connected to that degree.

Another thing that makes this eclipse stand out is the 29th degree. The first reference I’ve seen to the 29th degree (of any sign) as “the degree of expiation” is in Isabel Hickey’s Astrology: A Cosmic Science (1970). The degree of expiation suggests that all conditions and situations related to the sign have this one last degree, this one last moment to resolve themselves. It has the suggestion of atonement, propitiating a god, or the means through which atonement is made. I’ll leave it to you readers to see how that idea might fit with your own circumstances, or what you feel in these next few days surrounding the eclipse.

Eclipses are known to bring things to a head or indicate a release point. This eclipse suggests that things are moving quickly: The Moon is traveling at maximum speed (nearly 15° in 24 hours) and changes sign several hours after the eclipse; the Sun moves into Leo the next morning.

This extra-long eclipse, occurring at a degree that implies a pressure for resolution, is in the sign of Cancer the Crab, who clings with tenacity. It seems, with all water signs, that we do best by recognizing some emotional experience. Cancer, the first water sign, hints at the most primitive emotions or stages of development — the earliest in time or the most deeply buried in the unconscious. Thus, both our personal histories and our collective or ancestral memories may be the ground through which this potent eclipse moves us forward along our life path.

This is a total solar eclipse — the Sun is darkened. In ancient times, this was considered a bad omen for the king and, therefore, for the land or nation; the health and strength of the king were thought to determine the conditions of the people.

In modern thinking, of course, the Sun has a pronounced personal symbolism. The Sun is our personal star, where we connect to the greater logos. In the individual horoscope, the Sun relates to our own inner nobility — where we shine, where we both receive and give the life essence. It relates to the personal will and ego force that is hereby darkened; quickly, mysteriously, and awesomely, the light of the personal ego is overtaken by something else — perhaps a powerful impression of past or future, a compelling and temporary awareness of a life force far greater than what we have imagined for ourselves thus far.

Remember the key symbolism of a New Moon as a seed-planting time. The masculine and feminine have lined up in direct union and communion and perfect equipoise until, suddenly and inexplicably, the solar light is gone. Where are we without our usual frame of reference? We can see why eclipses are so evocative in the human imagination, as well as being associated with significant world events.

The total solar eclipse at 29° Cancer suggests that matters of home, family, and past impressions are triggered to be resolved. I suspect that we’ve all got hidden cracks in our emotional armor; this eclipse is a profound invitation to let tenderness and vulnerability lead the way. There may be tears, releasing memories of a long-lost (or absent) mother or sentiments about connecting with an ultimate nourishment that tethers and binds us, feeds us, and gives us everything we will ever need to be secure and safe in this world.

The morning after the eclipse, the Sun moves into Leo — its own sign — and the sometimes grasping, needy claws of Cancer (where the Moon has dominion) will have to let go.

A friend on our Facebook page  suggested this YouTube video for a presentation of the mundane implications of this eclipse. The video is really well done and demonstrates clearly the essential ways that eclipses are used for predicting world events. (You’ll see the eclipse path of visibility on the Earth, as well as a few countries that have 29° Cancer prominent in the national horoscope.)

I’ve posted Stephanie Austin’s fine column on the eclipse here. For a look at the bigger picture, I’ve posted the maps of the eclipse visibility here.
And, also from the June/July 2009 issue, you can see the solar eclipse world maps and midpoints here.

I also did a search on AstroDatabank for people with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Midheaven from 28° to 30° Cancer or Capricorn. I filtered for AA data, so these degrees should be accurate. (I have an older version of the software, and this selection is mostly older people. I couldn’t find a search function at the free online database at Astro.com, which has more current data. Does anyone know if it’s there?)

Naomi Campbell and Susan Sarandon have Ascendants in these degrees of Capricorn. (Ms. Sarandon’s natal Moon is at 26° Capricorn as well.) Emmylou Harris, Wynonna Judd, Stephen King and John Travolta have natal Ascendants in these degrees of Cancer. Melanie Griffith has the Midheaven in Capricorn, Jimmy Carter has the Midheaven in Cancer, David Lynch has the Sun in Capricorn, and Robin Williams and Alex Trebek (the host of Jeopardy!) have the Sun in Cancer; Geraldo Rivera and Tai Situ Rinpoche have the Moon in Cancer, all in these very late degrees.

These individuals are some of those under the direct influence of this potent solar eclipse. May all of us meet the situations that arise for us with an open mind and heart!

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Sarah Palin & the Eclipse

By Mary Plumb | July 6, 2009

On July 3, in case you haven’t heard, Sarah Palin made her surprise announcement that she is stepping down as the governor of Alaska.

Her announcement shocked, apparently, even her closest advisors. (1) There is a Full Moon eclipse on July 7 at 2:21 a.m. PDT, at 15°24′ Cancer/Capricorn The approach to an eclipse is always a bit of a wild time, as energy builds to be released in often surprising and unexpected ways.

In her natal horoscope, Palin has Jupiter at 16°43’ Aries, square the nodal axis at 10°40′ Cancer/Capricorn. Sarah Palin natal

This Full Moon eclipse is square the natal Jupiter. (It’s also obviously quite close to the natal nodes; there is another Full Moon eclipse on Dec 31, 2009 at 10°21’ Cancer/Capricorn, exactly on her nodal axis. More to come from Ms Palin.)

For now, I’m looking at Jupiter. As a planet square the nodal axis, it is know as a planet “at the bending” and has special prominence. Kathy Allan, in her article “Re-Visioning the Lunar Nodes” (TMA, Feb./March 2009), writes: “The bending of the nodes may be the most overlooked feature of the horoscope.”

And Kevin Burk, in The Complete Node Book (2003), says: “…. a planet that is ‘at the bending’ must be given careful consideration, because that planet, and the issues associated with it, will tend to take center stage repeatedly in the individual’s life.”

So, here we have an eclipse on the planet in Palin’s horoscope that will “tend to take center stage.” Can there be any doubt that Palin is back on center stage in a very big (Jupiter) way?

As a further refinement to “the bending,” the planet can be either at the North or South Bending. Jupiter in Aries is on Palin’s South Bending, which Allan describes as resembling “the South Node; planets here have difficulty in outer expression and are best used subjectively, spiritually, or give away to the collective.” Lee Lehman, in Classical Astrology for Modern Living (1996), calls the South Bending the “scapegoat position.”

I think these are fascinating ideas, given the tone of Palin’s announcement, and her Facebook entry the next day, in which she wrote that she is free now to pursue “a higher calling.”

Another significant marker for Sarah Palin is the progressed Full Moon that was exact on March 15, 2009.

Sarah Palin, progressed Full Moon

The Sun at 7°29′ Aries, and the Moon at 7°29′ Libra, is squaring the progressed nodes at 6°32′ Cancer. She is at a culmination point for the cycle which began at her progressed New Moon in March 1995 at 23°32′ Pisces. (Palin was also in her Saturn return then.) She began serving as mayor or Wasilla in 1996. Perhaps she is complete with state politics now, having begun as mayor at the New Moon, she’s gone as far as can and is ready to leave at the Full Moon.

On the day of the announcement, the transiting Sun was at 12° Cancer, conjunct her natal North Node.  The transiting North Node was at 0°18′ Aquarius, within a degree of her natal Mercury (1°37’ Aquarius).

Sarah Palin's resignation

Palin seemed as self-confident and feisty as ever at the news conference; transiting Mars at 24° Taurus was squaring her natal Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction at 23° – 26° Aquarius.

Transiting Chiron-Jupiter-Neptune is within orb of her Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction until early 2010 (when Neptune crosses Saturn for the last time), so we might expect the scandals, or rumors of scandals, to keep coming for a while. And, with Jupiter and Chiron present, the impact of her actions has yet to be revealed. (Is she a brilliant political maverick? Is she permanently and inexorably damaging her reputation?)

As a final note (for now!), Sarah Palin’s natal Sun-Uranus midpoint is at 0°31′ Sagittarius. This is semi-square (45°) to this week’s Full Moon eclipse at 15° Capricorn, which suggests a powerful triggering of the midpoint.

In Midpoints, Don Mc Broom describes the Sun-Uranus combination: “Illumination of individuality in an innovative or eccentric approach to life purpose; revolutionary spirit; possibly feeling above the rules.”

When connected to the Moon (as is the case here), Ebertin calls the combination, “Emotional excitability, impulsiveness, rashness. A nervous and agitated woman.”

Now I do sympathize with Sarah Palin’s quirky demeanor as a demonstration of Aquarius. (Mark McKinnon, who worked with her, wrote: “She crackles with energy like a live electrical wire.”) (2)

She did seem a bit agitated at her news conference. But then, what’s a person (with an Aquarius stellium) to do when a Full Moon eclipse hits her Sun-Uranus midpoint, and her most elevated and at-the-bending Jupiter, while she’s also at a progressed Full Moon, and transiting Mars squares a Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction? In the words of one blogger: “Palin’s week culminated, of course, in a strange, twitchy, impulsive announcement from her home on the shore of Lake Lucille, that she would be stepping down from office, and resigning.” (3)

Footnote:

(1) “Palin explodes a nuclear device by announcing she’s stepping down as governor of Alaska.” The Daily Beast

(2) The Daily Beast

(3) Huffington Post

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Disputed Presidential Election in Iran

By Robert P. Blaschke | June 22, 2009

On June 12 Iran held presidential elections with a record number of voters participating. Within hours after the polls closed the Iranian government dubiously declared a re-election victory for incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claiming he had won with 24 million votes. Main opposition leader Mir Hosein Mousavi was declared the loser with 13 million votes. Immediately, supporters of Mr. Mousavi began questioning the suspicious vote count and by June 15, over a million Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to protest what was believed to be a rigged election.

Islamic Republic Tri-Wheel

The Islamic Republic came into existence in February 1979 during Iran’s upheaval and revolution coinciding with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returning from exile in France, just after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had fled the country.

Astrologers observe that Pluto is transiting the Midheaven of the Iranian mundane horoscope and the theocratic regime is facing the greatest threat to its power and control in 30 years. Iran has also just had its first Saturn return since its 1979 revolution, and the extent of the challenge to the authority of its ruling clerics is seen in its progressed Sun applying to an opposition with Saturn.

Will protests over the disputed presidential election continue to intensify and is another revolution fomenting in Iran? The progressed Venus-Jupiter opposition shows the women of Iran as being pivotal in this political process and evidence points to unrest continuing to escalate as the Iranian progressed Moon applies to an opposition with its national Uranus, becoming exact on August 31, just days before the Sun perfects its progressed opposition to Saturn on September 4.

Iran: progressed & SE

Theocratic regimes are ruled by Jupiter and remarkably, the total solar eclipse of July 22 in 29° Cancer will exactly conjoin the Iranian progressed Jupiter. This will be the longest total eclipse of the 21st century and coinciding with this powerful event is the ingress of the Iranian progressed ruler, Venus, into 00°00 Aquarius, right as the North Node also transits that degree. With Venus ingressing into the zodiacal sign of “people power,” it appears the clerical regime will now fall.

After several violent demonstrations in the streets of Tehran and other cities in which the police and militia forces loyal to the government have used guns, batons, tear gas and water cannons to quell the protestors, resulting in the deaths of 13 Iranians on Saturday alone, now the daughter of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been arrested for supporting Mr. Mousavi. A rift has also been exposed in the inner circle of the ruling clerics, further weakening the grip on power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has declared the protests illegal.

Mousavi Tri-wheel

Mr. Mousavi appears to be a man of destiny as Saturn conjoins his progressed North Node right as the July 22 solar eclipse conjoins the Iranian progressed Jupiter. In a remarkable display of individual alignment with a larger political movement, his progressed Venus has also just ingressed into Aquarius and the transit North Node will conjoin it on the day of the total eclipse.

When the time of birth is unknown, your correspondent uses a noon nativity for politicians and world leaders. The progressed angles of these 12:00 p.m. horoscopes never cease to amaze him and this is the case with Mr. Mousavi. Astrologers will observe that his progressed Ascendant is in 26°Aquarius, the exact degree of the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction in late May. As if that was not enough to make the soft-spoken former prime minister the leader of a revolution, the direct station of Uranus on December 1 in 22°42′ Pisces will fall precisely on his South Node.
Mousavi PNSE

With Mr. Mousavi’s pre-natal solar eclipse exactly conjunct his Neptune, it is unknown at this time whether he will become a martyr for the freedom movement in Iran or if he will get to live and go on to become installed as an inspirational president after a new election takes place. Saturn transits his pre-natal solar eclipse degree on October 10 and astrologers will wait and watch for further developments to unfold in Iran during this turbulent chapter of the country’s history.

© 2009 Robert P. Blaschke

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Sonia Sotomayor

By Mary Plumb | June 8, 2009

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. (1) Her birth time is unknown, but we can look at the noon chart for the day she was born, as well as her connections to the U.S. horoscope.

Sonia Sotomayor & U.S. Sibly

Like the U.S. Sibly horoscope, Sotomayor has the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Cancer. The South Node, Mercury and Uranus are also in Cancer in her natal horoscope.

On the day of her nomination Sotomayor said: “For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by the achievement of our founding fathers. They set forth principles that have endured for more than two centuries. Those principles are as meaningful and relevant in each generation as the generation before.” (2) This strong connection to the founding fathers echoes Cancer’s respect for the past and tradition.

Sotomayor’s natal Mercury (18° Cancer) is conjunct Uranus (22° Cancer), which is also conjunct the Sibly Mercury (24° Cancer). Although most assessments of her record thus far indicate that she will be a moderate voice on the Court, perhaps she will surprise with a more radical view than her history suggests.

In her natal horoscope, Mercury is conjunct the South Node and had just stationed retrograde two days before she was born. (It went direct by progression when she was 21 or 22 years old.) The very slowly moving Mercury at birth shows a deliberate turn of mind. The Sibly chart also has Mercury retrograde in Cancer. Perhaps the judge’s Mercury retrograde with the South Node is echoed in her statement: “I chose to be a lawyer and ultimately a judge because I find endless challenge in the complexities of the law.” (3)

The Cancer stellium also speaks to her interest in supporting families and the much discussed “empathy” factor. If confirmed, she will be the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and the first Latina justice.

Sotomayor has an exact natal sextile between Saturn at 2° Scorpio and Mars at 2° Capricorn. This indication of success through hard work and focused effort gains even more strength due to the mutual reception between the two planets. They not only have the opportunity to act together (being in aspect), but the strong inclination to do so (mutual reception). (Born into a modest background, Sotomayor was the first person in her family to go to college; she graduated at the top of her class from Princeton. Her father died when she was nine — at the half-nodal return — and she was raised by her mother.)

Sotomayor’s prominence in the U.S. is also indicated by her natal Sun at 3° Cancer, a partile conjunction with the U.S. Venus at 3°06′ Cancer. The judge’s natal Venus is at 9° Leo, quite close to the U.S. North Node at 6°36′ Leo.

Confirmation of her nomination is expected within the next several months. Since transiting Pluto is conjunct her natal Mars and opposing her Sun, I think she is ready and willing to stand up to any potential derailments in the confirmation proceedings.

The upcoming lunar eclipse (July 7 at 14°32′ Capricorn) exactly conjuncts her nodal axis, showing an important moment in the unfolding of her life path (natal North Node is at 14° Capricorn.)

The asteroid Astraea, a goddess of justice, is at 17°53′ Virgo in Sotomayor’s natal horoscope. Transiting Saturn was at 15° on May 26. By mid-July, Saturn will make its third and final passage to her natal Astraea, surely a nice signature for her recognition as the Supreme Court’s newest member.

Notes:

(1) Wikipedia

(2) CNN

(3) CNN

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Tension Mounts on the Korean Peninsula

By Robert P. Blaschke | June 1, 2009

On May 25 North Korea conducted its second underground nuclear test and the next day, in addition to test firing short-range ballistic missiles, the isolated regime and international pariah unilaterally withdrew from its 1953 armistice treaty with South Korea.

Astrologers will observe that the June 1950 outbreak of the Korean War has now had its second Saturn return. Will hostilities continue to escalate?

Your correspondent has rectified the mundane horoscope for the outbreak of the Korean War. According to military records, hostilities commenced in the pre-dawn hours of June 25, 1950 when the North Korean army crossed the DMZ,  invaded the South, and wound up occupying Seoul in just three days.

Rectifying the war chart to 04:29:10 AM local time places the Ascendant at 21°22′ Gemini, which is precisely conjunct the U.S. Sibly Mars (exact to the degree and minute of arc). Progressing this war chart diurnally (using 19:29:10 GMT of the previous evening – the equivalent to 04:29:10 AM local time the next morning) to North Korea’s unilateral withdrawal from its armistice with the South on May 26 (May 25 GMT), one finds transit Mars in an exact-to-the-minute-of-arc conjunction with the war chart’s progressed MC. (1) The Sun in the war chart has also progressed to a conjunction with the IC (end of matter), exact to 03′ of arc.

With so much bellicose rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang, and the nullification of the truce ending the Korean War, it is no wonder that the retrograde station of Uranus in 26° Pisces is exactly opposite the progressed Mercury in the 1950 war chart. North Korea’s arrogant and cocky flexing of its military muscle can also be clearly seen in the progressed Mars of the war chart now applying to a trine with Jupiter (exact to 02′).

It has been this writer’s experience that the Galactic Center degree of 26° Sagittarius is highly malefic and here we find the war chart’s current secondary progressed Moon. In December 1941, for example, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and brought the United States into World War II, the U.S. Sibly progressed Sun had just entered 26° Sagittarius the month before. In April 1865, the month that President Lincoln was assassinated, the U.S. Sibly Midheaven was also in 26° Sagittarius.

Korean War Tri-Wheel

Indications of severe international condemnation for this unpredictable and isolated country are also evident in the mundane horoscope for North Korea. Saturn is transiting its national Sun three times, with the final pass becoming exact on June 27. What is quite disturbing, and a troubling indication of the possibility for a violent outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula, is the direct station of Pluto in 00°39′ Capricorn on September 11, of all days, in exact opposition to the North Korean Uranus. These planets, with their rulerships of plutonium and uranium, can be associated with the potential for the usage of nuclear weapons.

Sober astrologers will take no heart in the progressed Sun-Pluto square in the North Korean horoscope nearing exactitude. The nearly exact progressed trine of Mars and Pluto (2) is a further indication that the North now has the technology mastered in order to put a nuclear warhead onto a ballistic missile. Japan is in range of the nuclear capabilities of North Korea and with the progressed Mars in the 1950 war chart in the same degree as the progressed MC in the North Korean horoscope, one should not expect U.N. Security Council sanctions to do anything other than to prod this regime to pull the trigger on the South or to engage in naval warfare with the United States if interdiction of its vessels is attempted.

Kim Jong-il Tri-Wheel

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at an annual meeting of defense and security officials in Singapore, recently stated that North Korea’s progress on nuclear weapons and long-range missiles is “a harbinger of a dark future” and he also said that “We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia – or on us.”

In order to properly assess the mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the likelihood of war breaking out, astrologers should also examine the nativity and progressed horoscope of Kim Jong-il, the eccentric and despotic leader of the North Korean people. (3)

Remarkably, the retrograde station of Jupiter in 27°01′ Aquarius precisely conjoins his Sun. As transit Pluto forms a cardinal t-cross with his lunar nodes in 02° Aries–Libra, he has arrived at his “life-purpose moment.” Will the irrational hubris of Jupiter further delude him into launching a nuclear war? Or will the planet signifying one’s guardian angels whisper into his ear and tell him that he cannot unleash the violent destruction that an ill-thought-out commencement of war with the U.S. would bring to earth.

His erratic and unpredictable behavior can be seen in the Aquarius Sun in square to Uranus. He was born at the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 9° Taurus in 1941 and his natal Uranus is in the exact degree of the May 2000 Jupiter-Saturn alignment. In addition, his progressed Jupiter is also passing through the 23rd degree of Taurus over a four-year period. The direct station of Mercury on May 30 occurred in 22°52′ Taurus.

Much has been written about his love of cognac and Hollywood films, his fear of flying, and a penchant for beautiful women. Astrologers see that he is highly intelligent, as he possesses one of C.E.O. Carter’s six aspects of raw brainpower – a sextile of the Sun and Mars (sextiles and trines of the Sun to Mars, Jupiter or Uranus make up this category of “mensa aspects”).

It is distressing to speculate that during the month of June, the future of the world hinges on the decision of one isolated world leader who with the push of a button could unleash unspeakable devastation upon humanity. One must have faith that the upcoming conjunction of Venus and Mars in the power degree of 15° Taurus at the Cancer ingress on June 21 will favor peace over war. Venus is in dignity while Mars is in detriment, and one prays that another page of world history will be turned without a chapter of war again having to be written.

References:

(1) Using solar arc in longitude progression of the MC.

(2) Both of these are progressed-to-progressed aspects.

(3) Kim Jong-il; Feb 16 1941; Vyatskoye, Soviet Union (48°N16′ 135°E06′); 12:00 PM UZ9. Source: Wikipedia, noon chart used.

© 2009 Robert P. Blaschke

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The Troubled U.S. Automobile Industry: Another Giant About to Fall

By Robert P. Blaschke | May 18, 2009

With Saturn turning direct in 14° Virgo and holding a stationary conjunction to the General Motors Corporation progressed ruler, Jupiter, it has become increasingly clear that this once formidable auto manufacturer will not be able to restructure itself by the June 1st deadline imposed by the U.S. government and GM will have to enter into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

GM Tri Wheel

Astrologers understand that a progressed opposition of the Sun and a retrograde superior planet is the most karmic point in that planet’s synodic cycle, as it is nearest to Earth at that point in its orbit and is exerting maximum influence.

One sees that the General Motors horoscope has arrived at its progressed Full Moon and at a progressed opposition of the Sun and Neptune, underpinning the dissolution of a once great company whose business has become completely undermined by the recession and its distorted financial obligations to its unionized retirees.

With progressed Saturn in a partile (exact to the degree and minute of arc) opposition with the GM Sun, the company’s day of reckoning has come. According to news reports, General Motors will send termination notices to 1,100 of its car dealers, about 20% of its 6,000 U.S. dealerships. The transit of Pluto in 2010 in square to the GM Sun will allow the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and to rebuild and reinvent itself.

Since the U.S. progressed Mercury stationed retrograde in 1994, it has been only a matter of time for the relentless decline in the American auto industry to reach its critical juncture. The station of Neptune in 24° Aquarius in 2008, exactly on the U.S. Sibly horoscope’s third cusp, and the transit of Neptune over the U.S. progressed Mercury have been the astrological underpinnings for this current crisis.

Astrologers can hope that by the third Jupiter-Saturn opposition of late March 2011, which falls in 14° of Aries and Libra and coincides with the U.S. Saturn return, the American automobile industry will be on the rebound. Saturn rules the Sibly third house and its return will mark a new 30-year era in Detroit.

Another of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Chrysler Motors, filed for bankruptcy on April 30th exactly at its Uranus return, 84 years after its incorporation in June 1925. Its ruler, Mercury, progressed into retrograde motion some years ago and is now about to receive the transit opposition of Neptune as the company dissolves and closes about 790 of its 3,189 U.S. dealerships.

With a retrograde Mercury in opposition to Pluto in the U.S. horoscope, it is no wonder that the American automobile industry has a historical pattern of repeating crisis and transformation.

Notes

1 The GM progressed Saturn stationed direct in November 1978. That month, a 1973 Monte Carlo Chevrolet, burst into flames after it was struck by a pickup truck that crossed the median of the Kansas Turnpike and six people were killed. Attorneys for Ulysses Betts, 10 years old, the sole survivor, and other relatives held that GM had been negligent in placing the fuel tank under the trunk and asked $45 million in damages. In 1983, a jury cleared the General Motors Corporation of responsibility for the automobile crash.

In 1947, when the GM progressed Saturn, in retrograde motion, made its first exact opposition to the Sun, the founder of General Motors, William C. Durant, died.

© 2009 Robert P. Blaschke

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Rachel Corrie

By Mary Plumb | May 4, 2009

Rachel Corrie was an American activist who died in Gaza in the Palestinian Territories in March 2003. She was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Corrie was acting as a human shield to protect the home of a Palestinian family when she was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Although the events surrounding her death are in dispute  — her actions are seen as heroic by some, and as reckless and provocative by others — she has gained admiration in many quarters for the bravery of her actions, as well as for her eloquent writings.

There has been extensive international media coverage of her story, “in part because she was an American, and in part because of the highly politicized nature of the conflict itself.” (1)

Her journals and e-mails have been made public and her views on the situation in Gaza have been noted for the compassion with which she viewed the Palestinian’s plight.

Since I don’t have a birth time for Rachel Corrie, I am herein looking at a sunrise chart. I will only mention those things that were in place for the entire day and not speculate on the Ascendant or Moon sign (it did change from Virgo to Libra on the afternoon she was born).

Rachel  was born on a Tuesday (Mars’s day) with the Sun, Mars and Juno in Aries, the sign of the warrior. The Sun is in exaltation and Mars is in rulership in Aries. Juno is sensitive to those who are powerless; in Aries she will act bravely (or heedlessly?) for balance of power.

She also had Mercury, Venus and the South Node in Pisces, a signature of her ability to empathize deeply with, and write sensitively about, the conditions in Gaza. The Pisces fish swim in many directions. She has both “been praised as a heroic martyr and denounced as a misguided, ill-informed naïf.” (2)

Rachel was born with the Sun in Aries opposite to Pluto, so being drawn to dangerous situations and events of great magnitude was natural for her. Uranus at 20° Scorpio is exactly inconjunct the Sun as well; aside from the ability to see things in a radical way, this can also be seen as a signature of the sudden and abrupt end of her life.

The Sun at 20° Aries is also trine Neptune at 20°24’ Sagittarius in the natal chart. At her death, on March 16, 2003, transiting Pluto at 19°56’ Sagittarius was conjunct Neptune and trine the natal Sun. We might see this as an indication of a life infused by idealism to a larger cause (Sun trine Neptune) that nevertheless ended tragically and with significant implications (Pluto).

Since there is no time for her birth, let’s look at the prenatal solar eclipse degree. The eclipse was on February 26, 1979 at 8:45 am PST set for her birthplace in Olympia, Washington.

Prenatal Solar Eclipse

Although I have other degree symbols on hand, I find the Sabian symbol as recorded by Marc Edmund Jones to be the most relevant:

The degree of the eclipse is:
“Pisces 8. A girl blowing a bugle. Keyword: Summons
Theme: A Call to Action” (3)

Corrie’s natal Saturn was at 8° Virgo; she was literally displaying the Call to Action when she died.

Transiting Mercury was at 20° Pisces on the day she died. In the prenatal solar eclipse chart, the South Node at 17° Pisces was conjunct Juno (19°) and Mercury at (22°). Mercury is a teller of tales and Pisces, of course, favors the underdog and the disenfranchised. Along with her own journals there have been many songs written about Rachel Corrie, as well as a controversial play (“My Name is Rachel Corrie”) that was performed in London and New York. This week a documentary film about her premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. The film, “Rachel,” (which is apparently sympathetic to Rachel and her activist friends) was made by a Moroccan-born Jewish filmmaker. (4)

Transiting Pluto was prominent at her death, as it conjoined natal Neptune.  But the less personal side of Neptune seems also to have been strengthened as her story is being told again and again in different venues and from different perspectives.

It is also interesting to see that Rachel’s Sun in Aries is in aspect to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — she was pulled by the collective issues of the time. She was in a dangerous situation when events moved quickly and her life ended suddenly. Her story, however, continues to be told and her work continues. Her parents have set up foundations and launched projects in memory of their daughter and to continue her work.  In an interview soon after Rachel died, her mother said:
“She wanted to open our eyes to this side of the conflict, that Americans, in general, do not understand. She felt that this is an unbalanced conflict between a powerful military force that has the support of the U.S. and people who have no power. She was for all humanity, against the suffering of the Israelis and against the suicide attacks. But she felt the Palestinian side is invisible and that’s why she chose to be there.”  (5)

Footnotes:
(1) wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie

(2) boston.com/ae/theater_arts

(3) The Sabian Symbols by Diana E. Roche, Trafford Publishing, 1998.

(4) www.salon.com

(5) www.haaretz.com

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