TMA This Week

Catch up with astrology on the web….

By Mary Plumb | January 20, 2014

This week our collection of blogs represents lots of points of view and subject matters, as well as discussions of the past (i.e., see Chris Brennan’s), present (e.g., sex scandal in France), and future (e.g., Austin Coppock and Crystal Pomeroy on 2014). Something for every mood, I hope.

Have a good Monday and enjoy the first day of the Sun in Aquarius.
Paul Saunders at Solaris Astrology writes on French President Francois Hollande’s love affair with actress Julie Gayet in France Rocked by Presidential Sex. He considers the horoscopes of all the players — the president, the actress, and his primary partner. “It is very revealing that transiting Jupiter, the planet ruling his permanent partner of the moment (Valerie Trierweiler), is now conjunct Hollande’s South Node, a point of detriment, and as it has moved there she has gone into hospital and is suffering greatly from stress.”
Frederick Woodruff interviews Jessica Murray, Finding a Way Through, at AstroInquiry. Enjoy this conversation between two intellectually robust astrologers.
Austin Coppock has a synopsis of the big themes of the year in The Astrology of 2014. (This is an excerpt from 2014 Astrology Almanac.)
Crystal Pomeroy writes: 2014: The Year of the Spiritual Warrior at DayKeeper Journal. “If the sacred masculine supports heroic progress in 2014, the sacred feminine is the center that insures deep and lasting results. From St. George saving the maiden to the celestial Toltec warrior who defends his mother from attack while still in the womb, warrior myths remind us that the hero’s ultimate goal is to defend the inner life. Whether you prefer mindfulness, meditation, prayer, forgiveness, journaling, or any discipline or combination, this is a year to keep the inward flame burning through daily practice and a commitment that goes beyond the surface.”
As the Sun moves from one Saturn sign (Capricorn) to another (Aquarius), let’s keep listening to the ringed planet. Julie O’Mahoney writes: Saturn: The Big C (by which she means commitment) at The Astrology Place. “With Saturn we need to rise to the challenge, we need our mettle to be tested, and it rules those places we feel less developed, inferior, not good enough. Saturn is the place we compensate for our weaknesses, but some of our greatest talents and capabilities arise from our feelings of inadequacy. It is thought that humans will do anything to avoid pain to preserve a sense of self, but this avoidance results in the creation of psychological defences that are so common with Saturn in the natal chart.”
Enjoy Gary Caton’s current 50-minute talk at his Goddess Astrology Podcast. His subject: Venus Conjunct the Sun in Capricorn.
Teri Parsley Starnes at Starsdance Astrology writes about Time. “What is your relationship to Time as a Mysterious One? Does this question catch you by surprise? Have you never thought of Time as a being with whom you could have relationship? If so, I invite you to entertain that notion. It could shift your whole life. I know it has mine…….Pressure and panic are signals that I am not in alignment with Time. Too focused on the future, I lose my anchor to Present Being. Like a child who feels neglected and who knows she is the center of the world (don’t we all know this?), Present Being warns, ‘If you lose me, you lose everything! Future won’t help you and it won’t help me. Come back to me. I need you.'”

Chris Brennan collected a list of Top 10 Astrologers of All Time. It’s a mini-mini course on astrological history; he explains why he chose these ten (and lists some Honorable Mentions), and gives a snapshot of their respective contributions and place in history.

Jeremy Neal at Chirotic Journal writes The Astrology of Paul Walker’s Demise and the importance of transNeptunian objects Ixion and Orcus. “Studies of Walker’s demise cite varying opinions about the gathering portents implied in his astrology. In my view, none of the analysis has identified the single overwhelming stormy petrel of the piece, which is the Hadean transit of Ixion to Walker’s Sun and Saturn.” (Editor’s note: “stormy petrel” – “a person or thing that foreshadows trouble” The Free Dictionary)
We’re always open to your suggestions for links to help keep us informed about the myriad astrology writers on the web. (I remember when TMA first started collecting astrology websites — 1995, I think. It’s rather a more complex picture nowadays.)

Thank you.
Have a good week everyone, Mary

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Solstice blogs

By Mary Plumb | December 23, 2013

We wish the happiest solstice season to all of TMA’s wonderful readers and friends. Here is a collection of blogs considering (mostly) astrological perspectives on the times.

Alan Oken’s Christmas Message 2013 is a short (four minute) greeting from his home in Bali telling of the esoteric significance of 0° Capricorn.

Venus stationed on the solstice; Jim Sher describes her current cycle in Venus Retrograde 2013-14.

Julija Simas at C*I*A has a thorough description of the Capricorn ingress, including an explanation of precession, links to other blogs, and the AstroCartoGraphy map. “A year ago at this Solstice 2012, the world was excited about the supposed ending of the Mayan Calendar; it was a time to contemplate the dawning of a New World, a new awareness, the coming of a big shift. A year later, and after another couple of Pluto-Uranus squares, we can sense a shift, a change, and a deep change within, yet we also sense so much more ahead. We knew this was all symbolic, we gave it meaning, and we continue to live in hope as we desperately still want our world to change for the better.”

Classical Astrologer Weblog’s entry Winter Solstice 2013 sets the chart for Victoria, British Columbia. “The darkening of the Year and corresponding lightening of the Year are equally valued. Night and Day are equal, as is the spiraling in and spiraling out of human consciousness. It’s the eternal relationship of feminine and masculine, complementary and inseparable.”

Here’s an  eight-minute video that describes the early Pagan festivals, traditions, and rituals around the Winter Solstice. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia to honor the god of agriculture. “They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness and lamps to light one’s journey through life…..In Sumerian history, the god Nimrod was said to bring gifts and put them under the evergreen tree….Kissing under the mistletoe also has Pagan origins….The Druids believed mistletoe fell from heaven and grew onto a tree that sprang from earth. Mistletoe thus represented the joining of heaven and earth and later man to woman.”

Astrology Notes from Nancy has a piece on the meaning of the solstice. “We can overcome the Cold Winter Sun by evoking our highest and most loving instincts and being that person who brings loving kindness and warmth to all of our fellow-men. Be that light, be your best self, be love incarnate — dwell and flourish in the burgeoning light! Blessings to all.”

Peter Stockinger’s Traditional Astrology Weblog sets the ingress chart for Brussels (capital of the European Union). Citing Bonatti, “Saturn is the planet with the most essential and accidental dignity and has therefore to be Lord of the Revolution….Jupiter will turn direct, ending Saturn’s reign on 16 March 2014, just five days before the 2014 Aries ingress. Up until then we will have to stay under the rule of Saturn in his role of Lord of the Revolution.”

Nick Dagan Best has a five-minute talk with graphics on his work with the Venus retrograde cycle: Nelson Mandela: Venus Cycles and the Freedom Struggle.

Abella Arthur has an article, Venus Rx Retrograde in Capricorn, wherein she gives the essence of the planet and sign, keywords, hints on how to use the time, and a collection of Venus music videos, including this 1959 clip of Frankie Avalon singing Venus. (The author includes his horoscope. “Frankie Avalon has a full Venus house — Venus aspects all the planets in his chart. Venus is at the apex of a grand trine including Saturn & Mars! He has Venus conjunct Neptune!”)

From a different musical corridor of the Internet, Frederick Woodruff created a
Winter Solstice Compendium
, a collection of sacred music and chants and hymns. (He also links to a solstice interview with astrologer Jessica Murray.)

And, we close with this lovely poem from Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). (The gentleman, born October 2, has a deep feeling for stillness; he had natal Saturn in Aries opposite the Sun in Libra.)

The Snow Man
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

May we all appreciate the dark and the quiet of the season.

Have safe, happy, healthy holidays, one and all.

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Blog roundup for a waning Moon week..

By Mary Plumb | November 18, 2013

A note from TMA‘s publisher:
Are you curious about the astrology of 2014?
The 120-page Dec./Jan. issue of The Mountain Astrologer is hot off the press, and it includes two in-depth articles on how we will be affected by the grand cross of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto in 2014. Key charts are examined, starting with the January 1 New Moon, and 12-sign forecasts are included. The Uranus–Pluto square’s strong connection to the July 4, 1776 U.S. chart is also interpreted. This issue of TMA also features articles on Jupiter, Planetary Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, and an installment of Deborah Houlding’s teaching column on Horary Astrology. See the contents here.
To order a subscription (print or digital) or a single (print) copy direct from TMA, go here to order print or order digital.

Today’s blog:
The Full Moon in Scorpio has just passed and the Moon in Gemini  today is moving towards Jupiter in Cancer. They will conjoin on the 21st at the moment the Sun enters Sagittarius (10:48 p.m. ET; 7:48 p.m. PT), a delightful hint of an uplift in the tone of the days.

Here are some blogs of different moods and views and purposes. To get our bearings, I’ll start with a few pages on Sagittarius from Skyscript

Star Lore of the Constellations: Sagittarius the Archer by Deborah Houlding looks at the stars, i.e., Facies and Ascella. And, from an essay on the traits of the sign: “Typically a lover of sport, the real issue for the Sagittarian is the need to react spontaneously and intuitively; to project the energies outwards and upwards. An instinct for acting first and thinking later necessarily brings inconstancy and risk, but the indefatigable Sagittarian is always ‘in there’, playing the game, positioning themselves at the very heart of where the action is.” 

Astrology News Service has an always interesting collection of articles. Some recent additions: Edward Snow’s introduction to asteroids, Is There an Asteroid With Your Name On It? and Armand Diaz’s review of A Wonderbook of True Astrological Case Files: 54 True Short Stories by Judith Hill and Andrea Gehrz.

Classical astrologer Peter James Clark writes on Scorpio the accursed sign. “Scorpio stares down mortality. It brings reverence to our ancestors and allays many of our fears. Some Hispanic cultures, notably Mexican, have made an art of celebrating the close relationship between life and death. Lanterns and candles are lit to guide the ancestors home. This, it seems to me, is at the heart of Scorpio, yet the sign has been maligned for centuries.”

He also looks at different historical sources for the sign of the fishes in Pisces — A Bridge Between the Worlds. “The crux of the matter is an obvious problem with Traditional astrology. It tends to fall down and fail us when it comes to the spiritual and the emotional.  I have chosen the Sign Pisces to demonstrate what I mean for fairly obvious reasons — a particular spirituality and emotionality are strong in Pisces.”

Pat Paquette at RealAstrologers has a Weekly Forecast November 18: Chiron Direct, Sun Enters Sagittarius:  “The favorable angle between Pluto and Chiron suggests that the breakdowns that have been occurring over the past several weeks — for example, the shutdown of the U.S. government and breakdown in President Obama’s signature healthcare program — could contain the seeds for deep healing. One can always hope.”

There is an amazing resource at Serennu for quick and easy reference.
Minor planet aspectarian 2014: This includes the classical planets, all named Centaurs & TNOs, dwarf planets, commonly used asteroids, galactic points, and Black Moon Lilith.
Minor planet aspects of the Moon 2014: Daily aspects of the Moon to the planets, dwarf planets, named centaurs, named TNOs, commonly used asteroids, Galactic Center, and Great Attractor.
Astrology — Outer Planet Aspect Search 1600 – 2099: Lists all instances of a chosen outer-planet aspect from 1600 – 2099. Searches for aspects between the named Centaurs and TNOs, and Uranian and Galactic points, as well as Saturn to Pluto.

Barry Goddard at AstroTableTalk writes on The Two Faces of Saturn. “But Saturn is key when it comes to taking charge of our lives….At the same time, Saturn can get carried away when he only looks one way, earthwards instead of back out to Uranus and beyond. Saturn has two faces, expressed by the two signs he rules: Capricorn and Aquarius. And Aquarius is now co-ruled by Uranus.”

Robert Phoenix at Astrology for the Now Age has a new post, 
Mercury Goes Direct, Gut Check in the Dark, Summon Your Inner Scorpio, Power Up Your Will. He concludes: “Look, any number of weird and anxiety ridden end time scenarios are swirling and in play, especially as Miley Cyrus continues her ‘World Twerk’ with the contorted tongue of Kali wagging back at you, dripping with madness, so you might as well dig in and let the inner you rip the void of stagnation and inertia. The serpentine energy of Scorpio is on your side. You’re either busy living or busy dying. No time like the present to live your dream in the face of fear, the sum of all end games scenarios. It might be the best survival strategy there is.”

Tracy’s AstroSalon is a good place to check in for short clues on the week ahead. 

We start the week with Chiron’s station direct. The astrologer at Astropost writes The healing you need with Chiron. (“If you are a hypochondriac, skip this post.”)
She also writes on The Chiron progression and return, with examples including the current Chiron return of both the Kennedy assassination and President Obama: “His health care (Chiron) program doesn’t work as it should and his popularity is declining. This happens exactly with progressed Sun inconjunct progressed Chiron. It must be painful to see how the key project of your presidency fails to be supported by the majority.”

And, some new videos from Astrology for the 21t Century.

Venus in 2014(including its retrograde motion)
The same video on YouTube Venus in 2014
“A short animated video showing the movement of Venus during 2014:
A sky-view of the different phase-relationships of Venus in relation
to the Sun
A top-down orbital view of the angular relationships between Venus
and the Sun
A sky-backdrop view of the retrograde motion of Venus
A view of the motion of Venus through the astrological chart-wheel”

Mars in 2014 (including its retrograde motion)
The same video, on YouTube: Mars in 2014
“A short animated video showing the movement of Mars during 2014:
A top-down orbital view of the angular relationships between Mars
and the Sun
A sky-backdrop view of the retrograde motion of Mars
A view of the motion of Mars through the astrological chart-wheel”

Uranus square Pluto in 2014
The same video, on YouTube: Uranus square Pluto in 2014
“A short animated video showing the motion of Uranus and Pluto during
2014, their square aspects, and their angular relationships with the
The view used throughout is the astrological chart-wheel.”

Have a good week everyone, enjoy the flow as the brightness of the Full Moon begins to soften. 

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The Grand Sextile

By Mary Plumb | July 28, 2013

When I walked on Sunday morning, the Moon and Sun were visible in the blue sky; it is always wonderful to see both lights in the sky. I could see their angular relationship, as the Moon was close to her last quarter, exact on Monday.

There is much beautiful symmetrical geometry of the spheres surrounding us these days. I couldn’t pass by this moment without a blog dedicated to the ongoing trines and sextiles. In an ongoing weaving of planets this summer, the trine between Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces has formed a backdrop to the faster-moving planets. We have had a series of grand sextiles since late June when Venus joined Mercury in Cancer, followed by Jupiter and Mars. (1)

The most significant sextile, truly The Grand Sextile, forms precisely on July 29.

I chose the Moon’s sextile to Neptune for the illustration (6:45 am PT). About an hour later the Moon opposes Saturn, then squares the Sun, sextiles Jupiter, trines Venus and Pluto, sextiles Mars, conjuncts the south node, and sextiles Mercury. Go exalted Moon in Taurus!

Grand sextile

We are somewhat out of the direct intensity of Uranus square Pluto (the last square was May 20, the next November 1). If we have the opportunity, there could not be a better day to take a moment to invite and cultivate our version of perfectly potentized water (feelings, fluids, lakes, waves, ponds, pools, showers, libations, fertility, impressions, dreams, ablutions), interlocking and moving in profound agreement and cooperation with an equal equipoise in earth (land, ground, money, food, manifestation, stabilizing).

Although there are challenging aspects forming now as well, with many writers in the links below telling this part of the story, I am focusing on the symmetry of the six-pointed star. (2)

On Monday especially, others might be drawn to align with this geometry. In some yogic traditions, the six-pointed star is associated with the anahata, the heart chakra. This is the 4th chakra, the meeting point and the balance between the lower and higher chakras.

Anahata means “unbeaten” or “unstuck.” A local yogini has spoken about the innermost place in the human heart, “the place that has never been hurt.” It is a place of deepest stillness, way down inside each of us, the place that the mystics and yogis have cultivated for life times.

There is also an association with bees and the heart chakra. The bee’s honeycomb is a hexagon, a six-sided figure that can be viewed as two interlocking triangles, symbolizing union of the masculine and feminine (Shiva and Shakti).

I am on the same wavelength here as Julija Simas from C*I*A; see her fine astrological interpretation and her link to a BBC special on the bees here.

Here are some wonderful astrological interpretations from around the web.

Thank you everyone for reading, and may we find cooperation and ease beyond our wildest imaginations.


(1) I saw something last week that spoke to me of a theme of this summer — a new Italian-designed technology that is made of intricate coils or tubes that carry water, either hot for heat or cold for cooling. They were carefully and intricately placed in a layer of the ceilings of a very big house under construction. It was hugely challenging; no one had ever done it before and an imminent deadline was pressing. It was also complicated by the fact that the new system was added late in the design; the architectural plans were completed but everyone had to adapt and see if it would work. I happened to be there when the craftsmen had the first trial run to see if it worked: Yay! It did, no leaks. I naturally saw this as a beautiful display of water and earth trines: safe new pathways to hold the energy supplied by water, the successful outcome of a creative new technology and a metaphor for what we are experiencing in life these days. I won’t belabor what may seem obvious, but it was a manifestation of pressure, challenge, creativity, and cooperation all moving to a successful result.

(2) I took two trips in my car on Saturday. Both times I caught myself going much too fast — hello Mars opposite Pluto square Uranus — right before I spotted a police car.

Other writers on today’s event:

Roxanna Muise has a terrifically informative article, The Grand Sextile. She includes many details on aspect patterns, history of past grand sextiles, and connections now to the NY Stock Exchange, the U.S. Gemini Rising and Sibly charts, and to Barack Obama. “The Grand Sextile is the ultimate in symmetrical configurations. It is a multidimensional mandala composed of sextiles, trines, oppositions, midpoints, dual elements, and singular sign polarity. The GS is a rare configuration, as you might understand – it is quite a feat for our solar system to manage the orbits so that at least 6 of our planets find themselves exactly 60° apart around the wheel of our zodiac.”

Grand Sextile of July 29, 2013: A Spiraling Vortex of Ascension for the Human Race by Tara Faulkner, PhD, is an inspiring essay on this rare alignment. “When such an auspicious, archetypal symbol locks into position (like the tumblers inside the door of a bank vault falling into place), as happens in the early afternoon of July 29 (EST), it signals the opening of a window of immense opportunity (perhaps the opportunity of a million lifetimes) — a time of greatly accelerated evolutionary potential — for ourselves, our planet, our solar system, and even our galaxy.”

Amy Bird delineates each of the planets comprising the Grand Sextile — July 29, 2013. “Earth and Water signs are feminine (yin) signs and so this Grand Sextile is indicative of a big shift towards the feminine principles of emotional intelligence, harmony, gentleness, kindness, intuition, nurturance, and grace. Indeed, it has been labelled by some as ‘The Saving Grace’!”

Dipali Desai writes about the “gem of opportunity” at Celestial Twinkle: “Star Gateway” or Star of David Aspect on July 29, 2013. “It is a time to get serious about what you need to clear away and what you need to place your focus and attention upon. Use the potentials within this beautiful configuration for your highest good.”

Kathy Nance at Gateway Goddess says, “Get ready to wish on a star — a giant, six-pointed one ringing the Zodiac” in Monday’s Grand Sextile Powers Manifestation Magic.
“The last time we had this exact configuration was February 27, 1945 — near the end of World War II. Millions wishing for peace; and in May and August of that year, they got it.”

Lauren Edmond of Artcharts writes Grand SEXTILE of July 29: the new normal. “A GRAND SEXTILE is an opportunity — golden and perfect — to opt for peace and prosperity for all, or we can just keep doing what we’ve been doing — hoarding power and profit. Are we generous and flowing, or are we convinced that the world is scary and FEAR is the only sane response? Is that the best we can do? Because this is a GOLDEN opportunity to ask and receive. This Grand Sextile can also help you get clear about what you truly desire.”

The Great Sextile Star of David Merkaba of late July 2013, by Robert Wilkinson at Aquarius Papers, has wise words: “All should clearly understand in fairly simple terms some part of the past that must be left behind to open the door to self-renewal. It may involve a certain type of specialized genius or unique self-expression, anchored in the core teaching of learning how to get beyond fear. Imitation expands opportunities, even as we tear ourselves away from the known and familiar, mastering discouragement in the marketplace of life.”

Nadia Gilchrist at Ruby Slipper Astrology does a fine job of breaking down the complexities of The July 29th Grand Sextile. “I posted a picture of the configuration, so you can see what it looks like (another name for this aspect is a Star of David). All Water and Earth. All harmonious aspects, all hooked up together in an unbroken circuit. There’s a couple of wide oppositions in there (Jupiter/Mars opposite Pluto, Moon opposite Saturn), but they’ll be weak. The harmony of the sextiles and trines will drown out any tension.”

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Cancer Solstice/Ingress blogs

By Mary Plumb | June 17, 2013

The Cancer Solstice is on June 20 at 10:04 pm (PDT) – that’s on the 21st at 1:04 am EDT, and 6:04 am GMD.

Tem wrote a brief description of the chart with the astrolocality map in the June/July issue of TMA. Some highlights about the map: “Venus and Mercury-Midheaven lines run through the Koreas; a Pluto-Desc. line runs through London; Mars, Chiron, and Neptune lines all come together in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana.”

I’ve collected a mix of blogs, including some mundane analyses of the ingress chart, a Vedic perspective, and a Druid’s view of the significance of the day.

Have a good week everyone and enjoy this longest day (in the northern hemisphere).

Jude Cowell’s essay, Horoscope: Summer Solstice 2013 in Political Astrology at Stars Over Washington, considers midpoints in her assessment. (She also shows her handwritten notes on the chart in question — a cool view of a working astrologer’s thought process.) She comments: “Rising is 27°Pisces31′ along with two midpoints: 1) Uranus-NN, denoting radical political groups and reformers; 2) the forceful Mars-Pluto midpoint, which gives dangerous and ruthless tones to the chart and to the hot summer season. Also, Mars-Pluto opposes US progressed Neptune, which adds potentials for disasters related to water, oil, or gas, causing secret harm to others, and use of cunning and deceit — you know: Washington and state politicians behaving badly.”

Kathy Biehl’s blog is called The Summer of Water is Here: Astrology Forecast from June 17-23, 2013. She writes: “Look at the next three months as time in the ocean. Coming to terms with the water is essential. Push it and blowback is likely. Fight it and you’ll exhaust yourself, get water up your nose (remember how that hurts?), and possibly go under. Ride it, swim, surf, float, canoe. Experiment with metaphors; some will fit certain days, others…others. Let the current carry you, and some days going with the flow will also mean full speed ahead.”

Ron Berger, whose site is called Living Skillfully with Vedic Astrology, has a short essay on aspects of the week: Venus Conjunct Mercury, Summer Solstice, Venus enters Cancer, Jupiter Combust. Of the solstice, he writes: “In Vedic Astrology this is called a Sankranti, an Ingress. It’s a Transition, and therefore Unstable, i.e., avoid doing anything really important for three days on either side of the Solstice, from Wednesday through Sunday.”

Peter Stockinger at the Traditional Astrology Weblog writes: Cancer Ingress 2013 for the UK & Europe. Using the ingress chart set for London, he finds that since the planets ruling the Ascendant (Cancer) and 10th (Pisces) are in fall (Moon in Scorpio) and detriment (Jupiter in Gemini), then Venus is the “Lady of the Revolution.” (Venus is exalted in the sign on the 10th cusp (Pisces) and well placed in the first house.)

David Crook at Stellar Insights has a concise appraisal of the solstice chart set for Washington, D.C. In this mundane analysis, Summer 2013 in the U.S., he notes the importance of Betelgeuse at 29° Gemini on the 4th-house cusp and cites recent mundane events where that star was prominent.

Genevieve Vierling, the Blue Light Lady, has an article on Solstice June 20/21st, 2013. Writing on the water emphasis this year, she says: “This takes us on a dive into the unconscious realm as well. All the unseen realms are going to be emphasized this coming year in a very strong way. Water symbolizes secrets and all the hidden subterranean depths of the human psyche. It also symbolizes the subtle dimensions where other entities often hide and, with stealth, feed on those unaware. Oh yes, how many of us are aware that the unseen dimensions are inhabited by not just viruses, bacteria, and mutant cells, but also actual entities? Think about that one for a while! Perhaps we will learn more about the astral realm in the months ahead.”

Benjamin Bernstein at Astroshaman offers June 2013 Astrology Forecast: Visualize Revolutionary Transformation! This is a straightforward presentation with lots of good data — i.e., major aspects for the month, void-of-course Moon times, notes on New and Full Moons and stations. “Creative visualization is supercharged by four Grand Trines featuring Law of Attraction powerhouses Saturn and Neptune. Stir in three T-Squares ignited by the Uranus-Pluto square to get June’s astrological theme: visualize revolutionary transformation!”

Caroline Casey will be having a live event, Summer Solstice Swoosh! in Washington, D.C. on June 22. The recording of Convening the Council of Extreme Mythological Weather will be available as a download for $15. (The live event is not free; please see website for details.)

If you want to understand the broader use of declination and the solstice points in astrology, here are two good articles:

Declination for Beginners by Paul Newman

Declinations & The Antiscia by Bette Denlinger (1996)

David Crawford, who writes The World through a Druid’s Point of View, writes on the meaning of the Summer Solstice: “To get a broader understanding of this High Day, one should look at various aspects of the season: the actual astrological phenomenon, the agrarian activities, and a religious aspect.”

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Monday morning blogs

By Mary Plumb | March 25, 2013

I think it was my windy walk on Sunday afternoon on Ocean Beach in San Francisco that inspired this collection of blogs on diverse topics – a discussion of Karl Marx (from a traditional astrologer), a few views on the current transits, a look at an upcoming eclipse, and some writers that I just found and am happy to share.

Seven Stars Astrology is a traditional astrology site (Ancient Astrology in Practice: Hellenistic through Persian). The author has Twelve Easy Lessons for Absolute Beginners (a work in progress) and a current blog that looks at the horoscope of Karl Marx. “All in all, I found him to be a good-humored, somewhat selfish, impulsive, and irresponsible person, though one with a strong sense of social justice and a keen mind for abstract economic analysis.”

David Tangredi combines astrology, tarot, and numerology in his work at A Fool’s Inclination. His tag line is “journey with more joy.” Today’s entry is Interaction. “Astrology is geometric. Some days, even when you’re not sure what it all means, it sure is pretty.” There is also a recent blog called Caffeinated Prudence. “Mars in Aries is like three cups of coffee when you normally have one. Sitting still is a challenge and patience a chore. With Uranus nearby, it’s like putting power tools in those jittery, impetuous hands. Yes, you can be very productive, but yes, you can also do some damage.”

Cosmic Thinking: Thoughts on the universe has an article In Defence of Chiron. “…….Chiron is somehow critical in bringing us together. Expressing our pain and vulnerability and the aspects of our lives that don’t work somehow tempers the discomfort of solar energy, where everyone is shining. Who likes the individual who seems to have it all, or has no vulnerability? Somehow we identify with vulnerability and imperfection; it brings out our empathy and compassion for others.”

Astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson is one of the speakers who is auto-tuned in this short video, We Are Star Dust, from the Symphony of Science series.

Look up at the night sky
We are part of that
The universe itself
Exists within us

We are star dust
In the highest exalted way
Called by the universe
Reaching out to the universe

Big Sky Astrology is April Elliott Kent’s blog. She has an article on this week’s lunation: Libra Full Moon: Befriending the Enemy.“ With lots of impatient Aries planets on a collision course with Pluto, the potential for animosity and frustration over the next couple of weeks is enormous. It’s the kind of celestial atmosphere that suggests full-scale emotional meltdown. Picture four planets in Aries, like frustrated toddlers, falling down on their fannies, kicking their feet in the air, and screaming until they turn purple.”

Peter Stockinger’s Traditional Astrology Weblog looks ahead to the Lunar Eclipse, 25 April 2013. “Astrologically speaking, the Moon will be in 5°45’ Scorpio, opposing the Sun in 5°45’ Taurus. The eclipsed Moon will be conjunct Saturn and the Sun will be conjunct Mars. Furthermore Mars will be conjunct fixed star Sheratan and the Ascendant will be conjunct fixed star Zuben Elgenubi, the Southern Claw of the Scorpion.” He delineates the eclipse chart set for London.

Kimberly Maxwell writes in detail about the current aspects in AstroCast: March 20 – April 3, 2013. “But it is the four planets in Aries that could make the most noise. In the midst of turmoil around the globe, already experiencing an uptick of eruptions since Mars went into Aries, new leaders among the poor and marginalized may arise. On a personal level, we may finally see the changes happening that we’ve been working for, or perhaps resisting. If we don’t consciously make the choice for change, it may be made for us.”

I trust everyone is enjoying the full-hearted and somewhat rambunctious step into spring, and I hope we all have a very good week.

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Blogs for a New Moon week

By Mary Plumb | February 4, 2013

Good Monday everyone. If anyone else is starting this week feeling a bit quiet (and slow?), a notable change in mood will surely come with the weekend’s New Moon at 22° Aquarius (Feb. 9 11:20 pm PT; Feb. 10 2:20 am ET). We are between eclipses, the past November’s total solar eclipse at 22° Scorpio and the May 9 annular solar eclipse at 20° Taurus. This week’s New Moon is square the nodal axis; seems like the Taurus/Scorpio houses await – and are ready for – a blast of clear Aquarian air.

I had fun finding an eclectic mix of blogs – some inspired by the beautiful clear nights we’ve had lately in Oregon (followed by very foggy mornings).

Sky Maps archived in the Public Libraries at the International Academy of Astrology (IAA). There are a dozen or so constellation maps for each month and they co-ordinate with Julene Packer-Louis’s Sky Watch column in every issue of TMA.

Earth Sky is a great astronomy site with highlights of what you can see in the sky for every day. Here’s the link for tonight, that is, the predawn sky on Tuesday, February 5, when the Moon and Antares pair up together.
TMA Editor Dena DeCastro has a series of podcast interviews archived at her site, including two with our distinguished — and ever modest — publisher, Tem Tarriktar.

Here’s an article on The Vertex: a Turning Point of Fate by Lorna Tedder at The Spiritual Eclectic. She describes how to find the Vertex and how to use it, including in synastry, with transits, and in progressed and solar return charts. She concludes: “Once you understand how the Vertex works in your life, you’ll never look at your astrology chart again without considering the Vertex or, as I imagine Duran Duran might have said if they’d been singing about the Vertex instead of the Reflex, the Vertex is in charge of finding your treasure in the dark.”
Now that Jupiter is moving ahead again, let’s not forget to notice when good luck comes our way. Molly Hall at Astrology has a summary of Jupiter in Gemini Transiting in the Houses.

Dharmaruci at Astrotabletalk has a new essay called What Sort of Astrologer am I? He concludes: “So there you have it: I’m a polytheistic evolutionary astrologer.”
Robert Hand has a paper at StarIQ called Freedom and Consciousness. He refers to some ideas of the late Anthony Damiani (author of Astronoesis) and suggests “that the movements of the physical planets are results of movements in higher worlds in which there is freedom, and that we participate in those worlds also, and therefore we have freedom.” The article also includes a look at dignities: “Detriment and fall do not really weaken a planet. It is more our problem. We are more creative with these planets when we are being conscious beings and less creative when we are less conscious.”

(The website has an archive of 23 of Hand’s articles.)
You can download Bill Herbst’s pdf of Astrological Patterns in 2013-2014 from his site. Bill is very specific, including mention of the rare isosceles trapezoid forming in the sky with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto in March 2013.
Enjoy these excellent videos produced to accompany 2013: A Round-up of Planetary Movements This Year at Astrology for the 21st Century.

Uranus square Pluto 2013

Venus in 2013

Mercury in 2013

Okay everyone, that should keep us busy for a while.
Onwards to a good week ahead of us. (What could possibly go wrong with Mars conjoining Neptune in Pisces?) 

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2012 Solstice links

By Mary Plumb | December 17, 2012

Happy Monday (Moon’s day) in this solstice week. The Moon ingresses into Pisces at 4:48 p.m. (7:48 p.m. ET) and it is also the night of the mystic Jalaluddin Rumi’s Reunion with his Beloved, his Wedding Night, considered the holiest night in the year by the Mevlevi Sufi Order. He died on December 17, 1273.

Here is a collection of blogs (and a few videos) on the season.

From Aepril’s Astrology: Winter Solstice: Shortest Light, End of Days, Rebirth of Sun! “This Solstice has an apocalyptic nature, to be sure. Much has been made about the Mayan calendar and the End of Days. Many of us are obsessed with Zombie Apocalypse, Vampires, the biblical book of Revelations, etc. The Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM Universal Time (7:11 AM EST) also marks the completion of the 5125 year great cycle of the Mayan Calendar. Emotional reactions to this pending event range from fear to dismissal to excitement and anticipation, or mixtures of many feelings. Uncertainty about the outcome is part of the package. Ultimately, it is rebirth that we’re experiencing now!”

Roeland de Looff writes The Astrology of December 2012: Ascension, Disaster or both. “The chart of December 21, 2012 is another incentive for not wasting our energy on pursuing material wealth but for enriching ourselves by finding inner peace. Whatever may or may not happen on December 21, 2012, finding inner peace, happiness and evolving in a spiritual sense is certainly the best and the only way to protect ourselves.”

Lynn Hayes writes Lynn’s Skywatch: Planetary Illuminations has the aspects for the month. About these immediate few days, she writes: “Between the 16th and the 22nd of December a series of minor planetary alliances involving Venus will bring out any hidden issues in our relationships with others and make it important to find balance and harmony as well as beauty in our lives. We will be more sensitive to dissonance as well. On the 16th a challenging square from Venus to Neptune opens up the creative centers and enhances our craving for aesthetic experiences, but can also bring confusion and a lack of clarity.”

Winter Solstice 2012: What is Ending? What is Beginning? Astrologer Genevieve Vierling reports on her extensive research on the Maya predictions for December 21, 2012 (including John Major Jenkins and the words of several Mayan elders). She concludes: “I would love to keep going, but I feel this is long enough. Too many words! We also need to ‘feel our way’ and trust what arises in our hearts. By keeping our hearts open we will receive exactly the truths and information we need to know through this gateway into a new cycle yet to be revealed. Namaste.”

Frank Piechoski writes on the Winter Solstice 2012 chart, with an accompanying world mundane map. “The main thing this chart suggests is the balance that is needed to get through the troubling times ahead. The world needs to deal with both the Mars/Saturn and the Mercury/Uranus see-saws that it seems to be riding. Aggression versus Restriction and Thought versus Enthusiasm are the themes for this time period.”

Astrologer Diotima looks at the solstice chart set for Washington, and a bi-wheel with the U.S. Sibly horoscope, at Faith gets a reality check: “The angles (Ascendant and Midheaven) of the transit (Winter Solstice) chart are almost identical to the natal USA chart — within a degree of each other. So we can assume that the effects of this Winter Solstice chart will be felt strongly by the whole country. You might also immediately notice that transiting Jupiter is almost exactly conjunct the USA’s natal Uranus, pulling that planet in to the transiting Yod. ”

Theodore White’s
Global Astrology
site has several new articles, including an assessment of the solstice chart set for Washington.
“The winter solstice chart shows a need for prudence, for honesty and avoidance of others who waste valuable time. The season calls for readjustments in how one views the world and for changes in personal life that have been disrupted by forces outside of one’s personal control.”

Here’s a site called Birth 2012 dedicated to broadcasting worldwide prayer and ritual events for the 21st and the 22nd. (Their mission statement, “Empowering the Movement to Birth a New Era,” can be found here.)

Unify Earth (“What we can imagine, we can create”) is coordinating people with events for December 21st. (The site was a bit confusing when I checked it, but it is a work-in-progress.)

Here’s a new 10-minute video, Capricorn: A Meditation for the Solstice, from artist, photographer, video producer, and astrologer Anne Nordhaus-Bike.

For the traditionalists, Paul Winter Consort had their 30th annual Winter Solstice Celebration at the Church of St John the Divinein NYC earlier this week. You can watch a short video of the highlights, including The Forces of Nature Dancers and Drummers, or download free music here.
A nice synopsis from the site: “In ancient times, observers watched the sun sink lower in the sky each day, and feared it would disappear completely and leave them in darkness.
People practiced special rituals intended to entice the sun’s return. Bonfires and candles, with their imitative magic, helped fortify the waning sun and ward off the spirits of darkness. These symbols live on in our modern seasonal customs: the candles of Hanukkah and Christmas are kin to the fiery rites of old, which celebrated the miracle of the earth’s renewal.
These traditions reflect our need to come together in times of extended darkness. We celebrate not only the rebirth of the sun, but the community of life on earth.”

Carl Boudreau has a 38-minute video on The Astrology of 2012, Winter Solstice, Mayan Calendar, etc. He bases his assessment on a triple composite chart between the December 13 New Moon, the solstice chart, and the December 28 Full Moon chart. (Among his comments below the video, someone posts: “I’ll be so disappointed if I still have to pay back my student loans after 12/21/12. I am hoping for a swift way out.” Carl responds: “Sorry guy, I don’t think the end of the Mayan Calendar or the winter solstice will have much effect on student loans.”

Tem posted some links at TMA‘s Facebook page, including Melbourne-based Agent 12 Julija’s article on the solstice. “It’s the End of the World as we Know It – so we’d best do something about it!”

Also, from Kenneth Johnson — long time student of Maya cosmology and the author of Jaguar Wisdom and many other books — his closing statement from an article on the time: “The elders of Momostenango are recommending these actions to their citizens for their private moments during the transitional days of Dec 20 and 21:
Turn off the computer.
Turn off the cell phone.
Turn off the television.
Experience the beauty of silence.”

Please see Ken Johnson’s website for information about his extensive work with the Maya.

Please post any other sites that you like for 2012 celebrations; I know there are many others out there.

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Happy Saturn in Scorpio

By Mary Plumb | October 8, 2012

We are committed to keeping readers up-to-date on the political front, so I will begin with (just) three blogs on current U.S. politics before moving on to Saturn.

Nancy Sommers writes on The President’s Chiron Return at Starlight News Blog. “During the September 20 to October 20 phase, Chiron is accompanied by some stressful Saturn transits to the president’s chart, suggesting the wounds are sharp and the struggle to overcome them difficult.”

Eric Francis at Planet Waves writes a thorough exploration of Mercury Retrograde Election Day. (This is the only time in history where Mercury stations retrograde on Election Day.) He concludes: “Question what you see and hear in the media. Question your own opinions. Educate others about what you learn. Use every tool at your disposal to get the word out. Take a personal stand and refuse to believe lies, and refuse to be manipulated. Research the truth yourself, and try to figure out what’s really going on. Yes, Mercury will be retrograde, and it may be hard to get to the bottom of things. But astrology is no excuse.”

Late addition: here’s a very informative article on the Vice Presidential Debate at Tracy’s Astro Salon. “First of all we know that both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are scrappers. Pundits are pretty confident that both of them are going to come into event like prize fighters entering the ring. Fists up.” (The debate is Thursday, October 11 at 9 p.m. in Danville, KY.)

Okay, enough politics for the moment. Let’s move on to lighter fare – Saturn in Scorpio.

Matt Savinar at North Bay Astrology writes Saturn in Libra versus Saturn in Scorpio: The Lord of Karma Moves from the Sign of the Marriage and Family Therapist to the Sign of the Deep Cover Detective, the T-800 Terminator, and the Doctor of All that is Taboo.
(The movie clip from The Witness, illustrating Saturn in Scorpio, is a bit grisly; don’t watch it if you’re not in the mood for the sight of blood.)

Austin Coppock has an excerpt from his 2012 Astrological Almanac on Saturn in Scorpio. His subheadings: La Petit Morte, The Book of the Dead, If I Die Before I Wake, We Have Nothing to Fear But…Witches!, and Corruption (all with graphics).

Willow’s Web Astrology writes on Saturn in Scorpio. Of the time, she writes: “Legitimate power through Scorpio comes, in part, from facing fears head-on and working through them. Once we can no longer be coerced or controlled through our deepest fears, we’re liberated. And then we can start to hold some real power.”

A new entry at Solaris Astrology is called Learning to Accept that You Don’t Always Have Control. “The key during this period is to accept the restrictions placed in front of you. It may be that you will have to share responsibilities, allow someone to take over part of what you own, that you don’t fight against giving up some power to gain some freedom, you might bring someone into the most secret and intimate areas of your life or just step up to the plate and face your fears head on.”

Diane Lang writes Observations: Saturn in Scorpio Advice at her site Libra Seeking Balance. She begins: “Judging from the comments people are leaving, I thought I’d offer more information for the different signs on life with Saturn in Scorpio. First of all if you generally live by Saturn’s rules anyway then Saturn transits often end up being no more than fine tuning. You know . . . behave responsibly, pay your bills on time, be a dependable friend and lover, be respectful and don’t make too many rude gestures when frustrated.”

Donna Cunningham at Skywriter has an excerpt from Mandi Lockley’s newly published Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide through the Dark. “Problems occur when we let our fear of danger get out of proportion to the threat at hand. Losing our perspective, over-defending ourselves, and giving in to irrational fears limit our choices and create a barrier to positive change and development.”

Saturn in Scorpio is Julie O’Mahoney’s current entry at The Astrology Place. “Many of these individuals handle other peoples’ crises well, but have difficulty when it comes to their own turbulent emotions. Saturn tries to block what it fears, and is afraid of how deeply it feels. The art of transformation fascinates Scorpio and life itself feels like one big roller-coaster of emotions, and in order to change they need to learn how to let go.”

A gorgeous picture, a painting from 1903, Cave of the Storm Nymphs, accompanies Julie Demboski’s Saturn Into Scorpio. “In Scorpio, Saturn becomes self-reflective; we look at the reality that surrounds us and see ourselves in it – and that sends us on an emotional (Scorpio is a water sign) journey, one that plumbs the very depths of the intimate ties between psyche and emotional perception.”

Ruby Slipper has a short blog called Lucid Dreaming: Saturn in Scorpio Trine Neptune in Pisces, reminding us of that aspect accompanying the first weeks of the Saturn ingress. “If you’re into it (and experienced), this is a fantastic influence for meditation, lucid dreaming, energy work…anything that involves focusing (Saturn) to achieve a heightened awareness (Neptune). Scorpio’s power can add some single-minded intensity.”

Marcia Wade, in Star Sister Astrology, writes Saturn in Scorpio: For You Are the Cosmic Shape-Shifter. “We don’t normally think of Saturn as a shamanic energy. We think of him as the ruler of structures, boundaries, and effort. He’s also the ruler of the world of form. In truth, nothing is more shamanic — more shape-shifting and infused with intention and energy — than matter. When Saturn is in Scorpio, we begin to understand the tremendous energy and life-changing power of our deepest desires.”

Divine Harmony writes on the positive side of Saturn in Scorpio. She talks about the difference between ego and Soul running the inner life. “Saturn is restriction and limitation and the ego wants none of that..Saturn is also about mastery of Self..” She signs her work, “yours in the alchemical fires of transformation, divine harmony.”

I will end with Agent 12 Julija of Cosmic*Intelligence*Agency, who sums up her blog with what sounds to me like very good advice. “Don’t be scared, but open your Third eye, delve into and uncover further the mystery of what you’re made of, what drives you, who drives you, what stops you and what turns you on or off. Get to know the devil that resides within, as the devil you know is better than the one you don’t know.”

These writers have some good ideas, don’t you think?

Have a good week everyone..

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Astrology blogs

By Mary Plumb | September 17, 2012

Every week is important these day, and we’re on the threshold of another one: a Pluto station, the equinox, Mercury in hard aspect to the second exact Uranus-Pluto square, Moon occulting Mars in Scorpio, and more. Here are some good and useful insights from various corners of the web.

Here’s an astronomy site with Everything you need to know: September equinox 2012. (It happens on September 22.)

Dharmaruci on Uranus Squares Stationing Pluto. “The next few days are very powerful: Pluto will stand still in 3 days time, which he does twice a year. I can feel him there, staring harder than usual, urging change, to bring new life out of the shadows and out of what might seem unacceptable.”

Jeff Jawer has a nice take on the Uranus-Pluto square as he describes the heart of the signs in Aries Meets Capricorn at Star IQ. “The challenge of these times is to reconcile the differences between individual freedom and social order.”

Jessica Murray at MotherSky catches us up on Uranus and Pluto on display on the world stage in The New Revolution. “On a personal level, the combatants consist of our egoic mind vs. our spiritual perspective.”

Nick Anthony Fiorenza offers what is essentially a textbook on The Uranus-Pluto Square 2012-2015. Revolution and Revelation includes beautiful graphics, fixed stars, synodic cycles, cultural and historical references, and much, much more. A wonderful resource.

Nobody says it like Michael Lutin. Here’s Next Week in Review.

Here’s to a prosperous, enlightening, soulful, creative, joyful, and purposeful week all around. Let’s stay connected with one another and enjoy the passage of time!

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