TMA This Week

The Mirror is Also a Blade: Libra & Mercury’s Retrograde

By Sasha Ravitch | October 13, 2021

Do not be fooled into believing that Libra is about balance. Balance itself is a goal, a telos, an imperfect practice which is arguably unachievable for humans (remember that Libra is the only zodiacal presence made not of man or beast). Libra is Judgment: it assigns and detracts value, discerns worth, and measures and weighs potability. It is not the harmony-seeking denizen of the arts, it is the inscrutable eye of an impartial philosophy: it thinks in terms of “right and wrong,” “fair or unjust,” but not in terms of kindness. Diplomacy and charm are the glamours Libra casts while it dissects and categorizes you, while it compares you and contrasts you, while it decides who you are by concluding who you are not. As previously stated, Libra is neither man nor beast like the rest of the zodiacal figures are, and therefore there is no beating heart within it — this is why the heart is worn externally: a tool of qualifiable measurement.

“But Libra is Venus-ruled!” you might say — and you are right. But it is in our best interest to remember that Venus is the Guru of demons in Vedic astrology, and that the inimitable and compelling force of Venus swings toward the consuming and corrosive. We must remember
that there is a debilitating terror in beauty, something which plunges its tongue down our throat to swallow what’s hidden deep inside — to consume our secret emotions and our illicit feelings. Every astrologer has their own belief as to why the Sun is essentially debilitated (Fallen) in Libra, but I will maintain that Mirrors make for dis-integrated Egos, and that the Mirror would be as fitting a symbol for Libra as the Scales would be. Note that when I refer to a Mirror, I refer to it as perhaps one of the most universal symbols of the reified and deified feminine spirit
governing over love, relationships, beauty, etc. But I also refer to it, more particularly, as the tool which reflects back the true self to whomever gazes into it. Libra’s preoccupation with “the Other” is often as challenging for the Other as it is for the Libran individual, and when the mirror is polished it serves as a blade which beheads the person wishing to run from their own reflection.

On Monday, September 27th, Mercury began its true retrogradation in the third decan of Libra. Mercury walks backwards through the Libran Underworld (the occluded side of the mirror) where he met the Sun on Saturday, October 9th for katabasis rites and the ritual renunciation of rumors. He will keep his recessive gait until this coming Monday, October 18th, where he shares his direct station with Jupiter in Aquarius. Mercury stations direct at Libra’s tenth degree, which represents the initiation into the second decan of Libra, where Saturn takes the throne. I believe it will be this second decan of Libra which most colors our experience of this retrograde, and more importantly, the Saturnine dominion of relationships: that is, the oaths, promises, pacts, and binds we have with Others. Commitments and oaths bring intimacy and trust, but the forging of these pacts as well as the violation of these sacrosanct vows are governed by the Lord of Consequence, himself, and it is the second decan of Libra where we find Saturn exalted as Arbiter of Oath.

This period of retrogradation will have brought with it boons for the ways in which we honored pacts and vows — even under scrutiny or adversity — and punishments for those who have violated the sacred tenets of their agreements. We will have found opportunities to both catalyze the rumor mill, as well as be exposed for our participation in gossip and duplicity. We will have been tested to see that we have been agents acting in Good Faith, and scrutinized by a jury of our peers if we have instead been acting in Bad Faith. We can expect, and likely observe, relationships becoming fortified and more deeply secured into lasting knots, or for Saturn’s scythe to slice the rotting ropes binding false friends and new foes. Most importantly, I think, will be the options and choices made available to us, and their lasting impact. We need to remember that while pacts and vows and oaths (oh my!) are precious, powerful things, we are not obligated to remain in relationships which feel unjust or undeserving of the energy we are pouring into them. Remember that Libra wants us to always be in the process of weighing, examining, considering, and judging. Your judgment is allowed to change, your perspective around value is allowed to change, and your tools of measurement are allowed to change. You do not have to tie yourself to a sinking ship, you do not need to hitch your horse to that carriage. You can love someone and still change the terms of your relationship agreement. You can love someone and still decide that loving them the way they want you to love them is not fair for you. You can simply think to yourself “I love this person but this relationship doesn’t fit the life I am endeavoring to lead.” We must first dream of the life we want, and we must dream of it honestly, if we hope to shape reality around it. Libra understands better than anyone that caring for someone, even caring very deeply, can preclude being close to them. Libra understands that love, that care, that affection is sometimes better at a distance where it can be studied, where it can be weighed, where it can be measured. When we are too close, we cannot see as
clearly — Mercury Rxing in Libra wants you to remember to cultivate perspective and to explore your relationships from a higher vantage point where all the details don’t distract from the bigger picture.

If Libra is a Mirror, and Mercury Rx is Mercury Khthonios, I imagine Mercury Rx in the second decan of Libra as the One Way Mirror, and you are standing on the transparent side, invisibly observing those around you. Similarly, you might be the scryer gazing into the black mirror, or the reflecting pool. You are being asked to quietly observe, to reflect, and to not make an impact on the environment — the retrogradation is the gathering, the studying, the researching.When Mercury stations direct on the 18th of October, it will be amplified and expanded by Jupiter stationing direct in Aquarius and adding an anthropological keenness, and further bolstered by Saturn having stationed direct in Aquarius on October 10th. Keep in mind that five of the traditional seven planets will be in Air signs, with Venus galloping through Sagittarius, and the Moon entering Aries (where it will oppose all of the Libra placements). All which is theoretical will be orchestrated into action. In the meantime, just watch: people will always show you exactly who they are.

Painting: Salome by Francisco Masriera (1888)

Bio: Sasha Ravitch is a professional astrologer, occult-educator, writer, and counselor, living in New Orleans. She strives to support both students and clients in cultivating magical and mundane lenses of meaning making, galvanized by a passion for: ancestral dead, psychoanalysis, sublunar spiritwork, folkloric witchcraft, intranquil daemons, and an affection, in particular, for Saturn.
Find her at: 

No Comments - click to write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Persephone and Hades, Venus and Pluto: Britney Spears a chilling myth comes to life

By Wade Caves | October 6, 2021

The Netflix documentary Britney vs. Spears was released on September 28, one day before the Los Angeles County Superior Court heard testimony on the Britney Spears’ legal battle to end her conservatorship.

If you’ve not been paying attention to the #FreeBritney movement, here follows a short summary.

After a psychotic break in 2007, Britney Spears was placed under a court-ordered conservatorship with her father, Jamie Spears, serving as conservator. This conservatorship’s mandate to protect gradually transformed into a state-sanctioned case of human trafficking. Under the provisions of the conservatorship, Britney has been forced to go on tour against her own will (coerced labour), she remains unable to hire her own legal counsel, and has no legal access to her existing wealth or revenues earned while under the conservatorship. It isn’t an exaggeration to suggest that nearly everything has been taken from Britney Spears while she sits captive, waiting on the mercy of the state to sanction her release.

Some details of modern celebrity may obscure the obvious parallel: we’re watching the myth of Persephone and Hades unfold. Tracing lines of mythological consensus, the story of Persephone’s abduction by Hades goes thus.

Hades coveted the beautiful maiden Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Sensing that Demeter would obstruct Hades in his intentions with Persephone, Hades sidestepped Demeter and petitioned her father, Zeus, directly. Zeus consents to Hades’ plan to abduct Persephone and bring her to the underworld. As she descends, Persephone must leave all her material possessions behind and go without, finding wealth only within Hades.

Demeter, having no knowledge of her daughter’s whereabouts, became miserable and desolate. In her grief, she caused nothing to grow. She is later told of the abduction and Zeus’s participation in it. Sympathetic gods and a starving people raged against Zeus to restore Persephone to the overworld. Reactively responding to public pressure, Zeus demanded Hades return Persephone, and Hades acquiesces – but not before tricking Persephone through the cunning use of a humble pomegranate. By consuming the food of the underworld, she was condemned to return to Hades for a third of the year (the time we mark as winter in the northern hemisphere, when most organic life turns inward in hibernation). But for two-thirds of the year, she is reunited with the overworld (and her material possessions), and vegetative growth returns to the world during spring and summer.

In both instances, we have a sociopathic father figure making a deal with a symbol of great wealth (Hades = Pluto = GRK ploutos = wealth), that being the sale of his daughter and her autonomy. The daughter is abducted in the prime of life, stripped of her material possessions, sentenced to the underworld, and held captive as an object of desire. The common people, the nobility and even gods in heaven unite in demanding the father undo his faithless injustice. He caves to this pressure, and greed’s grip is loosened.

The Greek myth ends with a woman being released – not wholly, for she will never be freed of the trauma borne of her abduction, and she will have to return to that dark place each year; but something of the life Persephone had before was restored to her.

How Britney’s story ends is yet to be seen – but it’s tempting to suggest that both stories should end at least as analogously as they started and progressed.

Perhaps the reason why Britney’s battle against her conservatorship evokes such clear comparisons to the myth of Persephone’s abduction is because the former is predicated on the hard contacts of Venus and Pluto. Persephone is sometimes called Kore or Kora, meaning ‘maiden’ – there is no planet better positioned to represent the archetype of youthful femininity than Venus.

The conservatorship was initially instated as a temporary measure on February 1, 2008. The active (preceding) lunation shows that this whole saga kicks off on a conjunction of Venus and Pluto in the 12th house. Venus here separates from an opposition of Mars at 24° Gemini (ruling the 4th house – i.e., the father) to a conjunction Pluto at 27° Sagittarius. We find 9° Capricorn on the ascendant, and 28° Libra on the midheaven. This midheaven is currently being transited by Pluto in Capricorn – a contact which will intensify as we move into 2022.

The conservatorship was extended indefinitely, effectively made permanent, on 28th October, 2008. Two lunations attend this decision – one preceding, and one which perfected as the court’s decision was being delivered that afternoon. We find the same angles on the lunation preceding as we do for the lunation attending the initial setup of the conservatorship eight months prior: 8° Capricorn rising, 28° Libra on the midheaven.

28° Libra is a significant degree. It calls out Britney Spears’ natal Pluto at 25° Libra. Britney’s natal ascendant-ruler Venus is at 25° Capricorn, conjunct her South Node at 24° Capricorn – where we find transiting Pluto. (This Venus-Pluto theme is relentless.)

The New Moon of 28th October has two notable chart features: Pluto at 28° Sagittarius culminates on the midheaven, casting a grotesque cthonic tenor over the entire chart; and, Venus is now relegated to the 9th, the house of litigation (but also the turned 12th from the 10th) – and applies to the square of 12th-ruler Saturn which transited Spears’ 12th house at the same time.

The first time Britney addressed her conservatorship was late September 2016 in an interview for The Jonathan Ross Show. Why did the discussion come up at that time? It seems almost drawn out by prevalent astrological tides. Venus cycles last 8 years – this interview fell 8 years after the establishment of the conservatorship. Further, the lunation preceding the interview was a full Moon at 24° Pisces opposite the Sun at 24° Virgo. A T-square is formed by Mars at 23° Sagittarius, opposite his place in the lunation corresponding with the initial provision of the conservatorship.

You can watch the interview here. Note Jonathan Ross, the interviewer, didn’t know how to talk to Britney about anything other than men – to the extent that Jonathan Ross’s guest has to tell him that she’s not looking for a man and happy with herself. Next, he moves to a game of ‘never have I ever’, one of those hormonal games played by puberty-stricken teenagers when parents are out of town. Once this concludes, he focuses on how she dresses, and whether or not she tries to relive any of these moments from her youth. Then follows a game of beer pong. He treated her like patronising men tend to treat Venus: as an object of desire with no intrinsic value outside what pleasure she can arouse in others. Despite the onslaught of sexist, patronising questions, Britney maintained composure, dignity and grace: a true southern belle.

After a high-level skim over events from 2008 to 2016, let’s fast forward to this year.

On 23rd June 2021, Britney addressed the Los Angeles Superior Court regarding her conservatorship. The testimony was chilling and disturbing – she told the world for the first time that her 2018 ‘Piece of Me’ tour was forced upon her: if she failed to cooperate and perform, her management company would sue her, and because of the conservatorship, she was unable to hire an attorney. She was caught between the malignant influence of her conservators and her management team. Among other shocking revelations, Britney raises abuse allegations against a previous therapist assigned to her by her conservators. Britney says during her testimony, “I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised. I just want my life back.”

As Britney gave her testimony to the court, Venus at 25° Cancer was culminating on the midheaven in Los Angeles, in opposition to Pluto at 26° Capricorn. These exactly configure to Britney’s natal Pluto at 25° Libra and Venus at 25° Capricorn.

On September 7, Jamie petitioned the court to be temporarily removed from the conservatorship. Venus was at 26° Libra in a square to Pluto at 24° Capricorn. Mars at 24° Virgo sat in square to his radical place. His occasional appearance around 24° of the mutable signs strikes me as a recurring secondary chronocator – note Britney is born with Mars in the 12th house at 23° Virgo in square to natal Neptune at 24° Sagittarius.

Just as Zeus responded to public pressure to free Persephone from Hades’ grasp, Britney Spears’ father has signalled his willingness to step down as conservator. The court has not dissolved the conservatorship, although public support for Britney has gained traction over recent months. The next hearing is on September 29th. (See update below). On that date, the Moon opposes Pluto from Cancer. Mercury will have stationed at 25° Libra, retrograding back to the square of Pluto at 24° Capricorn – which does, for me, call into question the reliability of the testimony that will be given.

There was an attempt by Britney’s legal team to pull this court date forward to Aug 23 – but the signatures didn’t fit on that date (have a look in your own astrological software). The trail of radicality is extinguished. The previously agreed date, September 29, plugs into the established roots and that appointment held. This is radicality in action, like a magnet bringing together appropriate and fitting events.

Taking a quick look at the lunation now passed which preceded the court date, we see Venus opposed to Uranus in the 9th house: litigation to be opened on a Venusian icon. A look at Britney’s nativity shows the Venus/Uranus opposition brings tight focus to Britney’s Moon, ruler of her 10th house. When you look at the shape of T-square (which is formed here, with Britney’s natal Moon at the apex), we do get the image of a third planet carrying the brunt of the opposition’s fall-out. All within an orb of 3°, we can expect something very tense. The message here is that in this battle being held at a mundane level between Uranus and Venus, Spears’ career is caught in the crosshairs, almost a stage for the transiting aspect’s manifestation.

In retrospect, I shouldn’t be surprised that at the exact moment I sat down to write this presentation, Pluto was culminating on the midheaven, and the Moon was in an exact opposition to Venus across the ascending/descending angles. The Moon is at 17° Taurus, North Node at 4° Gemini: the Moon is still ascending in her nodal path, like Persephone yet to resurface. The Moon separates from her opposition to Venus, and applies next to benefic Jupiter in the 11th, at 23° Aquarius, retrograde: a signature of benefic reversals, previous misfortune lifted; a message of release and freedom.

Out of curiosity (and you’ll have to forgive me these gratuitous tangents), I wondered when the North Node might recede back to 17° Taurus, the degree of the Moon in this chart. I was floored to see that mid-August 2022, while the nodal axis transits 17° Taurus/Scorpio, Venus perfects her opposition to Pluto at 26° Capricorn. Saturn is then retrograde at 22° Aquarius, near the degree of Jupiter to which the Moon next applied at the time of my writing this piece. (I don’t actually believe my writing this is all that relevant, except that I am now in some way participating in this story by giving it my attention.) On August 9 in particular, the Moon transits the Venus/Pluto opposition and the Sun stands at 17° Leo, which by longitude puts the Sun at the northernmost point of the Moon’s orbit (i.e., at the northern bending of the nodes). The Sun will be in Leo, the sign of summer, opposing Saturn the lord of winter: this again invokes the story of Persphone’s seasonal retreat to Hades and eventual promise of return. Not that I’m sure what to make of this, but the nodes are in square to their placement at the time Britney’s conservatorship was made permanent (28 October 2008).

I will continue to monitor this situation with great interest, not only out of concern for Britney and her wellbeing, but because there is a message about the autonomy of women that is being explored in Venus’s contacts to the outer planets Uranus and Pluto, made manifest through this chaotic and inhumane handling of Britney’s autonomy. #FreeBritney

Wade’s September 29 update:

Facing public pressure, Zeus compels Hades to return Persephone to the overworld. Hades does comply, but with cunning and subtlety lays an irrevocable claim on Persephone’s autonomy — by baiting her faith and naïveté.

Jamie is out, but he remains dangerous.

Bio: Wade Caves, based in Brooklyn, NY, is an astrological consultant, speaker and educator specializing in horary, electional and classical astrological technique. Wade was certified with honors from the Mayo School of Astrology in London, and is well versed in both traditional and modern psychological methods of chart delineation. Wade’s passion and focus is not only in understanding the historical and philosophical origins of astrological symbolism, but finding new and reliable ways to put this information to good practical use in a consultation setting. He is the editor and annotator of the 300th anniversary edition of William Lilly’s History of His Life & Times (Rubedo Press, 2015).

Wade received his certification as a horary practitioner from Deborah Houlding’s School of Traditional Astrology (STA) in 2013, and now serves as a faculty member. He began tutoring for the STA in October 2015 and delivers the Practitioner’s Level Horary Course as an intensive attendance program.

Wade has a busy consultation practice, lectures widely and publishes frequently on horary through journal articles and online podcasts.

3 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Top Five Astro-Events for October

By Michael O'Reilly | September 29, 2021

1. The New Moon in Libra takes place on the 6th while tightly conjunct Mars and quincunx Uranus, making an unbalanced four-planet configuration. The tension around this extraordinary line-up can be felt at least a week ahead of time and, for many, will lead to dramatic changes in relationship status, alliances, and partnerships. Constructive breakthroughs are also possible given the unpredictable nature of Uranus. But be careful of accidents by staying focused on the present moment. A healthy manifestation for this dynamic is to become energetically engaged in physical or recreational activities, and/or organized competitions. Expect explosive developments in Washington since the New Moon squares the US Sun.

2. Saturn turns direct in Aquarius on the 10th, preceded by Pluto’s direct station on the 5th. This month, the celestial tide is turning in how individuals find ways to network, socialize, and fulfill their ambitions. Those with natal placements in 6º-8º of the fixed signs are especially motivated to begin anew, to take what you’ve learned over the past four months, and apply it in some constructive way moving forward. Leading up to this station, Saturn has been octile (45º) Neptune, which slows everything down, creates a fog, and fosters confusing circumstances. Now Saturn is past this nebulous phase, and clarity can ensue if you open your eyes.

3. Mercury turns direct in Libra on the 18th while linked to several other planets, making this station unusually sharp in terms of events, developments, and changes. Mercury’s opposition to Chiron warns of health issues coming into focus. As best as possible, use diplomacy to express your concern over self-centered behavior. Mercury is closely trine Lilith on the 18th, which may open up paranormal channels; look for messages from unexpected sources. This is a good time to get a Tarot reading, for example, or tune in to your own psychic ability. In general, personal, business, and family relationships improve with clearer, more honest communication.

4. Jupiter turns direct in Aquarius on the 18th, underscoring this date (plus or minus one day) as marking a new beginning in many ways. Jupiter here resonates with Mercury’s station, and may bring good news regarding prospects for the future. As Jupiter turns direct, it’s trine Mars in Libra, making a great time to energetically begin a new project with a trusted colleague or partner. Whatever you’ve been working on or contemplating doing, now is the time to step forward with your group or team and make your collective mark. Optimism, enthusiasm, and opportunities return. Look for doors opening and take advantage of the moment.

5. Black Moon Lilith makes a hard aspect to Pluto (the trioctile or 135º aspect) on the 10th, but this dynamic is in effect from the 1st through 18th. At its worst, these two can bring obsessive behavior, melodramatic encounters, and situations that fill one with rage. This harsh combination fuels conspiracy theories, powerful sexual undercurrents, and desire for revenge. How well do you know your dark side, how much of your own psyche do you project onto the motivations of others? If you’re willing to look deeper, the positive side of this combo may bring healing and psychological insights, especially after the 16th when Lilith conjoins Ceres and sextiles Chiron.

Bio: Michael O’Reilly is a professional astrologer and counselor specializing in the use of political and evolutionary astrology. His recently published book, The Ultimate Book of Astrology Books, is a collection of book reviews he wrote for Dell Horoscope magazine between 1993 and 2020. Visit his website at or email him at

No Comments - click to write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Mercury Elemental Years of Air & the Development of Cryptocurrency

By Gary P. Caton | September 15, 2021

“I would be surprised if 10 years from now we’re not using electronic currency in some way…it might make sense just to get some, in case it catches on. If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Satoshi Nakamoto, January 16, 2009 (1)

Earlier this year, Satoshi Nakamoto’s self-fulfilling prophecy came true in a very big way. Bitcoin, the original electronic currency, reached an all-time high value of $60,000 per coin in April. That means a whole lot of people were thinking the same way! Since then cryptocurrency has enjoyed an expansion into all kinds of areas we traditionally think of as belonging pretty much exclusively to banks. As well as trade assets and derivatives, decentralized finance (DeFi) can help you do things like earn interest, borrow, lend, and buy insurance. Only it’s much faster than dealing with a bank, with less fees and no paperwork.

I’m a bit embarrassed to say that, up until very recently, I was pretty much oblivious to these developments — which I now see as nothing short of a Revolution in progress. I had been hard at work in my own private practice, serving my clients and members, researching, writing and creating. I hadn’t a clue that cryptocurrency was reaching a new threshold of mass adoption until one of my members asked me to help them time their investments using astrology.

I quickly discovered that the development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency over the last 22 years is a very clear and profound example of the premises in my book, Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. The basic premise is simple. Each year Mercury spends more time in one element than all the other Elements combined. And this Elemental emphasis drives mass socio-cultural narratives. For example, regarding Air years, I wrote:

“Air is moist becoming hot and is the most naturally communicative of the elements. The basic nature for air is to rise (hot) and to unify (moist). Therefore air serves to answer the basic human needs for intellectual activity and theoretical unity, belonging-ness and cooperation with others, and to quickly understand and adjust to diverse ideas and people.” (2) The moist quality of air is what Nakamoto is referring to in the opening quote: If enough people share an idea, this cohesiveness naturally leads to mass changes. As the new idea gains momentum, it eventually envelops and overwhelms the previously accepted consensus view.

Not only the philosophy but even the actual technology of blockchain and cryptocurrency very much resembles the qualities of air. Again, air is hot and moist — that is, active and connective or unifying. Blockchain is literally a way of actively linking together (connecting) blocks of information (air) using cryptography. Blockchains are typically managed by a peer-to-peer (person to person) network of connected nodes (computers that share the same program). All of this inter-connectivity and information exchange is classic air.

In fact, the Internet itself is a classic manifestation of air, in that it is simply a more basic kind of network which allows information exchange. And of course the Internet was born after the Great Mutation of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions into Air signs in 1980. It should come as no surprise then that the two biggest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, both began during Mercury Elemental Years of Air. Bitcoin (BTC) began in 2009 and is the original. The actual birth data for Bitcoin (which is stored in the blockchain itself): January 3, 2009 at 6:15 p.m. in London. (3)

After 6-7 years, the Mercury Elemental Year cycles through all 4 elements and returns to the same element. Therefore, as the Mercury Elemental Year returned to Air in 2015, Ethereum was born on July 30 at 5:26 p.m. in Zug, Switzerland. (The data is taken from the timestamp embedded in the “genesis” or first block of the blockchain). (4)

In 2021 as the Mercury Elemental Year returns to Air, we have an explosion of the crypto industry as several new cryptocurrencies have flourished to reach more than 50 billion dollars in total market value. This year has especially favored those with “smart contract” capabilities, like Cardano and Solana. Even the phrase “smart contract” corresponds to air, as it is an intelligent way of making agreements that connect people. This year the crypto industry as a whole reached more than two trillion dollars in market cap. This has garnered the attention of the U.S. Government as Congress looks to regulate and tax the fast growing industry. More than just increased value, crypto has also branched out into new applications and areas like finance, and pop culture (via NFT’s or non-fungible tokens).

Taken together, this means that three consecutive installments of Air Years for Mercury have seen major introductions or upgrades to this game changing technology. From this we can clearly see how Mercury has served to augment the powerful mutation of the Great Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn into the Air Element. And since the Great Conjunctions will continue to be in Air signs for a very long time to come, the basic astrology seems to be saying crypto is also probably here to stay.

With Bitcoin recently logging its 700,000th block, its staying power seems obvious. (5) Furthermore, having begun in 2009 under the auspices of Saturn opposite Uranus and come to full flowering under this year’s Saturn-Uranus squares, it seems clear to this astrologer that what we are witnessing and experiencing is nothing short of a Revolution. Crypto has already changed the world in some pretty incredible ways. You can transfer currency to someone now with very low fees and about as quickly and easily as you can send them an email. It’s not extreme hyperbole to say this makes services like Western Union seem almost like the Pony Express. And given the rapid pace of development just this year, we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. Some say that crypto holds the keys to unleashing the full power of the Internet – that crypto is essentially Internet 3.0. Whether Bitcoin manages to reach another all-time high this year, or not (and there are sound astrological reasons to think it could) – it might make sense to just get some crypto, in case it continues to catch on.

Full disclosure: I own crypto. As of this writing, I only own coins that pay interest (specifically, USDC, ATOM, XTZ & ALGO) – but (as you might have guessed) I have ideas about adding some others to my portfolio.

References and recommended reading:

(1) The Quotable Satoshi
Nakamoto Institute

(2) Caton, Gary. Hermetica Triptycha Vol I: The Mercury Elemental Year. Aukland, NZ: Rubedo Press, 2017.
Available via publisher.
also on Amazon.

(3) The timestamp on BTC genesis block reads: January 3, 2009 18:15:05 UTC. The place comes from the newspaper headline embedded in the code “Chancellor on Brink of Second Bailout for Banks” which ran that day in the London Times.

(4) The timestamp on ETH genesis block reads: July 30, 2015 3:26:13pm UTC. I have assumed the place as the headquarters of the Ethereum Foundation, which is in Zug, Switzerland.

(5) Cointelegraph

Bio: Gary P. Caton is an Hermetic practitioner integrating diverse traditions, art forms and practices gathered from his spiritual quest over a full Saturn cycle. Initiated an astrologer by a magnificent dream in 1993, he’s since become an accomplished counselor, writer, podcaster, teacher, photographer and mage. Gary is the author of Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year, and host of the popular Hermetic Astrology Podcast. Connect with him at

1 Comment - click to read it or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Astrologer Predicted Global Pandemic

By Edward Snow | September 9, 2021

Was there a heads-up from the astrological community warning about a deadly pandemic starting in January 2020 that would kill thousands and lead to economic dysfunction and chaos around the globe?

The iconic French mundane astrologer Andre Barbault passed in October 2019, a week after his 98th birthday.  But his intuitive insights live on in the many books and published articles he left behind.  On that list is an article translated by Kate Johnson for the May/June issue of the Astrological Journal that’s on topic. 

“It may well be that we are seriously threatened by a new pandemic in 2020-2021,” Barbault opined, grimly expressing in 2011 his concern that such an outcome was a distinct possibility.

Mundane astrologers focus on world affairs and events.  Barbault’s approach to the challenge took a deep dive into history to look for the correlation between astrological influences and pandemics.  His research started with the ancient plague of the 3rd century B.C. and continued into the present.  Along the way he paused to consider the astrological influences impacting what he described as “the worst pandemic in history.”

In 1347–1348, Bubonic Plague, the terrifying “Black Death,” decimated a third of the population of Europe in less than two years – or more lives than were lost in the Hundred Years War between England and France.  Barbault writes that the fast-moving epidemic came from the Mediterranean region in 1347 and contaminated all of Europe.

A Terrible Panic
“The slaughter engendered a terrible panic, which manifested in punitive self flogging and the massacres of Jews and lepers who were held responsible for the plague,” he observed.

One of Barbault’s books, Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology, was translated into English by the Astrological Association of Great Britain in 2014.  In it the author explained why he often shut himself away “in a remote, faraway place where you can’t guess what’s going on in the world around you.  I had to rid myself of illusions,” he said.   

Secluded in this way, the nonagenarian astrologer accurately predicted world events years and sometimes decades in advance.  For example, more than a year before Stalin’s death in 1953 he used the Saturn/Neptune cycle to predict a major transformation of the Soviet system and its ultimate collapse in 1989.  More recently he predicted the world economic crisis of 2008-2010.  And he was spot-on about the current pandemic with its accompanying economic meltdown.      

For more than 40 years his predictions published in L’astrologue, a French magazine.  

Symbolically, from an astrological perspective, the conjunction aspect marks the end of one cycle and beginning of the next.  The conjoined planets appear to occupy the same degree of the astrological sign they are transiting or passing through.  Astrological Association President Roy Gillett says Barbault undertook a massive investigation into planetary conjunctions involving any combination of the five outer planets, from Jupiter to Pluto.   For this task he used a diagnostic tool, the Cyclic Index, which first was developed by another French astrologer, Henri-Joseph Gouchon, to plot planetary turbulence in times of war and peace.  

The Cyclic Index is predicated on the increasing and decreasing degrees of separation between conjoined planetary pairs.  Barbault used this methodology when forecasting major social, cultural and economic events.   He not only predicted the pandemic of 2020 – 21, but looks back from the 14th century to show how certain planetary positions have indicated similar pandemics, Gillett said.

Setting the Stage
Barbault identified certain times in history when the concentration or bunching together of the five slower moving outer planets coincided with epidemics, wars and natural catastrophes.  For example, in 1347 the planets Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus formed a triple conjunction in the astrological sign of Aries while Saturn and Neptune, the other slow pokes, were nearby in the signs of Pisces and Aquarius.  Only 73 degrees separated Uranus and Neptune, the planets framing this grouping.

Similarly, in January 2020, Saturn and Pluto were in a tight conjunction aspect in Capricorn and Jupiter was relatively close by in the same astrological sign.  This five-planet grouping also included Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces all gathered within about 100 degrees of each other on the 360 degree horoscope wheel.

Unique but similar aspects were observed during other pandemics.  Barbault wrote that the Great Plague of London in 1665 claimed the lives of about 70,000 people, or about 15 to 16 percent of the city’s population.  At the time, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were gathered within about 40 degrees.  Also, an epidemic of great plague hit Western Europe in 1720-1721 with Marseilles losing 50,000 of its inhabitants. At this time Saturn and a Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto trio were positioned inside an arc of about 60 degrees.

In his Astrological Journal article Barbault writes that the main thing about the work is that it “is is leading to a global vision that embraces diverse situations.  We keep expanding the field of observation, and by broadening our view we reshape our vision of things.”

The Universe is capable of sending mixed messages.  For example, in 1485, Barbault says the impetus for the Renaissance was accompanied by a great plague pandemic called the English sweats, which also ravaged Europe.

“Andre’s basic point is that when the outer planets are close together the impetus for change is strong.  But change can be either beneficial or unbeneficial – it depends on from where you are looking at it.  What’s good for an ant infestation may not be good for my kitchen,” Gillett said. 

“The present corona virus is a good example.  From the point of view of global warming, biodiversity, excessive activity and travel, uncontrolled consumption, the quality of the environment, and closer family relationships, the present situation is far more beneficial than anything that could be decided and implemented by human decision.  We are being forced into rethinking and being controlled as we come out of it.

“From the planet’s perception and most creatures on it, this controlling of human activity is beneficial,” he added.
“Andre Barbault’s rigorous research is a deep study of how to know and anticipate social trends and events far into the future.  Properly used, this knowledge could enable government planners to prepare, avoid the worse and navigate actions to create the very best outcomes.

“Barbault’s work stands as a remarkable testament to the value of astrology.  Had he been listened to the 2008 financial crash might have been largely avoided.  And we could have been better prepared for the corona virus pandemic.”

Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology can be purchased at Amazon or from the Astrological Association

Bio: Edward Snow is Managing Editor of the Astrology News Service (ANS). He is a former news reporter, publicist and public relations executive who has studied astrology for many years.

(Editor’s note: Ed’s article originally appeared on April 26, 2020 at Astrology News Service.)

Learn more about Andre Barbault and his prediction of the 2020 pandemic in the ANS video The Most Significant Prediction made by an Astrologer.

6 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer


By Gargatholil | September 2, 2021

The primal function of the psyche symbolized by Venus is perhaps best described by the Sanskrit term, buddhi, or sense of discrimination. While Venus is commonly thought to symbolize love and relationship, all of the various meanings associated with Venus derive from the sense of discrimination that it represents.

Discrimination is made necessary for the human consciousness due to the prevalence of duality on the Earth plane. This is not to deny the existence of duality in all of the Mind-worlds (beyond that level of consciousness, we cannot say), for, as I have addressed in previous work: Duality is the necessary consequence of a manifest Creation, at least if the Mind is involved. Once there is Duality, any action requires choice, and choice requires the ability to discriminate between the objects of choice, between opposites. (I am choosing to capitalize Duality when referring to the primal state of separation into Subject and Object and to use lower case when talking about the duality that exists at the level of the material world, in everyday life.)

Venus, then, is concerned with opposites and how to negotiate opposites in the material world. In fact, the association of Venus with the feminine archetype can be seen as a direct consequence of the planet’s involvement with opposites. This is because in the cosmology that we have inherited — putting aside any debate or conclusion about the dominance of patriarchalism over the last 10,000 years — the masculine principle has been assigned as the first existent with the emergence of Duality bringing forth the feminine principle. Since Venus is so closely associated with Duality, and the feminine only exists (per our inherited cosmology) when Duality exists, we have the core reason for the identification of Venus with the feminine.

This is aptly illustrated in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Adam comes first. When Eve, the feminine archetype, is created, Duality exists. In fact, the concept of Duality is intimately wrapped up in the myth of Adam and Eve. The Fall from the Garden of Eden is a fall from a state of spiritual unity into a state of spiritual fragmentation, coinciding with the fall of the soul’s consciousness from the realms of pure Spirit into the material realms. This fall may be viewed to begin with the soul’s association with Universal Mind and proceed through the mental and astral planes to the physical plane of existence.

The story of Adam and Eve implies that the soul was tricked or tempted into falling into the trap of the Mind. The “bait” was the promise of experience that a condition of Duality makes possible, symbolized by the apple from the Tree of Knowledge. This Knowledge was the perception of Duality, represented by the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Good and Evil are actually only proxies for all forms of opposites. Thus, when Adam and Eve, the prototype for dual forms, are thrust into the material world after their fall from Eden, they enter a world of opposites.

As noted above, once in the world of duality, it is necessary to make choices. Action implies choosing a course of action, and choosing a course of action implies selecting one course over another. If the world is not to be the experience of a random walk, some criteria must be developed to allow one to discriminate between choices, between opposites. This is the task of Venus.

A first step in this task is the creation of the notion of value. Without the notion of value, we simply have the existence of opposites and the inherent proposition that it does not matter which opposite is chosen, since neither has value. While at an existential level this may be true — that opposites merely exist as opposites and one pole is not intrinsically better than the other — when it comes to choice this assumption is a prescription for the paralysis of indecision. This is the paradoxical trap of Venus-ruled Libra.

Libra represents an advanced stage of negotiating opposites, one which follows the polarization of opposites into “good” and “bad.” At some point, we realize the destructive nature of such a polarization in that it inevitably leads to conflict and disharmony. As explained, the fact that at a basic level there is a need for such polarization is one of the devious traps of the Mind, or, put another way, a deeply embedded flaw in the system of consciousness which springs out of Duality.

Once we realize the destructive potential of valuing opposites, there arises an urge in the psyche to end the conflict and disharmony by attaining a state of equilibrium or balance. In order to reach a balance of opposites, however, the construct that one pole is inherently “good” and the other pole is inherently “evil” must be abandoned. Otherwise, conflict will persist and harmony will not be attained.

This desire for balance and harmony between opposites itself becomes problematic when the need arises to make a choice involving those opposites. With the clear weight of value removed — or with value being distributed evenly between the two opposites — there may no longer be any criterion upon which to base a choice. Furthermore, one may be unwilling to choose one pole over the other because rejecting one pole for the other may sow the seeds of conflict and disharmony. As we shall see again and again, the basic function of Venus as discriminator is very much represented in Libra and I pose this as an argument against seeking some other “planet” to rule this sign. Venus rules both Taurus and Libra.

To escape the trap of unwillingness to commit to a choice out of fear of upsetting the balance, Libra must rise above the apparentness of opposites and seek their essential unity. This is known as the Sacred Marriage or Mysterium Conjunctionis. As Mercury rules alchemy, we see in this a link between the two planets. We can say that Mercury represents the alchemical method while Venus represents the alchemical goal.

painting by John Young

Bio: Please see Gargatholil’s work at where he has a series exploring the archetypal and derivative meanings of the planets. This article is shortened from an extensive essay at the website. He has also written a four volume Depth Astrology Handbook (reviewed in TMA) and the newly published Sign-to-Sign Dynamics: A Depth Astrology Approach, both available at

4 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

September’s Top Five Astro-Events

By Michael O'Reilly | August 25, 2021

1. The New Moon in Virgo takes place on the 6th and marks an unusual new beginning since it’s exactly (to the minute) trine Uranus. The coming month is favorable for implementing new tech devices, designs, apps, and innovative programs into your daily work routine or professional role. Take advantage of this phase by getting rid of clutter, refining your diet and exercise regime, and organizing your files and paperwork. Satisfaction comes from cleaning up your act, doing a good job, and being helpful to those in need. This New Moon is especially favorable for those with their Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or ruling planet at 12º-14º of any sign.

2. Ceres is trioctile (135º) Pluto on the 8th and this combination is a strong and potentially emotionally difficult influence from the 4th to 13th. The challenge presented is one of loss and letting go, which can manifest in personal relationships, job circumstances, residential moves, and actual end of life transitions. Ceres-Pluto aspects are often active during natural disasters, which may indicate peaking Covid infections, ongoing wildfires on the West Coast, and an unsettling hurricane season on the East Coast. With Ceres in Gemini, find the mental attitude that knows every ending has a new beginning. Express your empathy with those who are experiencing separation or loss.

3. Saturn and Neptune are in a tight octile (semi-square or 45º aspect), but they never quite become partile since Saturn is slowing down to turn direct in October. Fantasy, delusion, and deception (Neptune) mix freely with practical plans, traditional structures, and sources of security (Saturn); wishful thinking may interfere with a realistic approach. The misery index tends to trend up as Neptune dissolves the structures that shape our lives. Lack of meaningful work can provide inspiration to find something better. Avoid over-indulgence in drugs and/or alcohol. Remain flexible while respecting personal space and keeping others’ expectations at arm’s length.

4. Black Moon Lilith trines Saturn on the 21st, producing a healthy social environment from the 14th through 27th. Saturn in Aquarius demands respect for social distance and mask protocols, and makes sure that friends and acquaintances are vaccinated. Black Moon Lilith in Gemini adds sparkling wit and conversation to keep things interesting. This duo is a beneficial contra-indication to the more negative feelings of the Saturn-Neptune aspect in effect all month. Find someone to play with; have a recreational excursion. The two weeks of this astro-event are especially favorable for all creative pursuits, as your ideas and inspirations (Lilith) can be put into presentable form (Saturn).

5. Mercury turns retrograde on the 27th while forming a square to Pluto. Expect to be mentally focused from the 22nd into early October under this dynamic, either working out a dilemma, researching, or otherwise delving into mysteries. Beware of obsessive behavior, especially the kind where you play and re-play scenarios in your head with no new insights or resolution. Since the Sun is simultaneously octile Venus, your thoughts may turn to romance under this influence. Perhaps an ex returns, or you find yourself fixated on someone who is unavailable. The Sun octile Venus as Mercury turns retrograde marks a good time to touch bases with distant loved ones.

graphic: Gustav Klimt’s The Virgin (1913). Original from Wikimedia Commons. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel

Bio: Michael O’Reilly is a professional astrologer and counselor specializing in the use of political and evolutionary astrology. His recently published book, The Ultimate Book of Astrology Books, is a collection of book reviews he wrote for Dell Horoscope magazine between 1993 and 2020. Visit his website at or email him at

3 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Happy Solar Return 2021 USA!

By Dorothy Oja | August 4, 2021

We’ve all seen the videos from January 6, 2021 of a violent mob threatening to harm members of Congress (including the US Vice President). This serious attack on our democracy makes the Solar Return of the United States especially relevant. Where are we going as a country in the next year? A Solar Return is a chart cast for the exact time the Sun returns to a person (or country’s) birth Sun in any given year. A popular astrological tool for looking at upcoming cycles, the Solar Return shows the trends and conditions the native must navigate for the coming year. (1)

The Solar Return for the USA took place on July 4, 2021 at 10:51 p.m., Washington, D.C. We’ll begin with the conditions of the Sun: the Sun in Cancer makes an exact (easy) sextile (60º) to Uranus in Taurus indicating that the US has absorbed (and is still dealing with) a state of shock. The Sun also makes an inconjunct (150º) to Saturn retrograde in Aquarius, thereby linking the Sun to the iconic and powerful aspect of 2021, the Uranus/Saturn square. Although there are paths to innovation, there is simultaneous struggle, blockage and fear of losing freedoms or ways of being in life that are familiar. There is resistance to change even though it is necessary. Resistant factions in society and ideological struggles make change more difficult.

The Moon in Taurus sits close to Uranus — the Moon is exalted in Taurus, a favorable  and generous placement, offering steadiness. There is opportunity to regain stability and security or, we might say there is a strong emotional (Moon) need for security and stability for the coming year as the Solar Return Moon disposes of the Cancer Sun and sextiles (60º) it as well. The exalted Taurus Moon indicates that economic and financial stability is likely to strengthen over the next year, but with some hard ups and downs due to its close contact with Uranus, the natural disrupter of existing patterns. We need to dig deeper and consider other connections to this pattern. Most critical is that the Moon is not only next to Uranus in Taurus but it also hooks into the square to Saturn in Aquarius, the aspect we’ve discussed before as the most powerful marker of 2021. Although there is a positive signal for recovery, the Moon’s connection to this square still shows distress and instability. Unless this instability is addressed the fortunate aspects cannot function optimally. The Moon makes a flowing, easy connection to Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. Big business is thriving and this inequity is readily apparent in the larger picture of the other aspects described. The Moon makes an easy aspect to Neptune retrograde in Pisces showing the opportunity to find the practical means to relieve or alleviate anxiety and chaos.

The ruler of the Aquarius Ascendant is Saturn (traditional) and Uranus (modern), emphasizing once more the key square aspect of 2021. Jupiter in Pisces conjoins the Ascendant but out of sign and retrograde, expressing both optimism but also exaggeration of symptoms dealing with the health of the country including, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We are exhausted and trying to regain our footing. Jupiter retrograde in Pisces conjunct the Solar Return Aquarius Ascendant offers some optimism, but being retrograde can mean that we are not finished dealing with health anxieties and finding our way through a once in a lifetime pandemic. It suggests too, that this year is one where we must come to terms with the confusions that are outright lies, or else we will be overwhelmed and overtaken by them.

Mercury is strong in its home sign of Gemini but makes a hard square to Neptune in Pisces and a stressful aspect to Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. Mentally we are still in the grips of tremendous misinformation with many people embracing lies, propaganda and innumerable conspiracy theories. These dangerous elements have infiltrated Congress, our elected leaders, and continue to endanger our democratic principles.

Venus and Mars in Leo in the 6th house are also involved with the dynamic configuration we’ve been discussing — both square the Moon/Uranus in Taurus and oppose Saturn retrograde in Aquarius. Things get more even more complicated. Now we have a 3-legged pattern in fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Aquarius, with the balance point or outlet in Scorpio (no planets there). The open space often functions as a release of the energy and an antidote to the strain of the triangular pattern. The Scorpio arena of life in the Solar Return is the 8th/9th houses. Essentially, there is continued danger of violence, death, and also transformation, issues of power, politics and control. One fact is that over the Fourth of July holiday weekend there were 400 shootings, 150 people were fatally shot, and many others wounded. This fixed sign configuration points to values deeply held and stubborn adherence to ideals with the equally strong pressure to change. Bottom line, there is still much tension stemming from income inequality and stresses of the past year as well as the revolutionary elements that want to break our democracy and create what? Change is needed in many systems of our society and the critical fault lines of the United States that have been ignored for far too long are demanding to be addressed. A terrible metaphor for these aspects is the recent collapse of the Florida condo, killing over 100 residents. Strains and stresses to this building were ignored over and over again until it finally gave way. In Philadelphia, PA on July 3rd hundreds of white supremacists marched, chanting, “The election was stolen,” and “Reclaim America.” A frightening event and something we have not seen since Charlottesville, Virginia, when white supremacists were called “very good people,” by the former President of the United States.

The most occupied houses are the Mutable ones — 12, 3, 6 and 9 — indicating trial and error, distractions, distortions, information overload with a concurrent and desperate need to discriminate and sort through misinformation. “Separating the wheat from the chaff,” becomes ever more important. Houses 6 and 12 contain the opposition part of the T-square between Mars/Venus in Leo opposite Saturn retrograde in Aquarius. These houses represent the axis of health — body, mind and spirit. Mars, the action, is located in the 6th house and Saturn, the achievement challenge, is located in the 12th. These two houses, somewhat behind the scenes, and behind/beneath the horizon line of the chart are more potent that we might realize. If the matters of these houses are not dealt with, true and equitable relationships cannot function. It’s said that “The devil’s in the details,” and if the ordinary details, rhythms, schedules and meaningful work are ill-functioning, we cannot find our true balance and cooperative spirit.

A complete Solar Return evaluation includes putting the natal chart around the SR to see the major contacts between them. The most outstanding aspect is that the SR Ascendant is nearly conjunct the USA Moon in Aquarius. The ideals that were written in our Constitution so long ago are being severely tested this year. The SR Ascendant emphasizes the USA’s birth Moon, which rules the Cancer Sun. We must all ask, what is the truth and are we willing to stand for the truth or are we rather willing to tolerate lies and compromising integrity to gain power, control and position. This struggle continues throughout the next year as the country seeks to identify and remember or reinforce its emotional foundation. The Solar Return MC conjuncts the USA Ascendant magnifying our identity as a country and focusing on the ideals we supposedly espouse. Of course, there are many more aspects that can be seen between the two charts in a double wheel format, and many indications of a critical year ahead.

In February, 2022 the US gets its first exact Pluto return to 27º Capricorn. A Pluto return, or its full revolution of all the signs back to its birth position takes 248 years and is only possible for a nation. Astrologers have been talking about this event for years. We’ve seen the signs of decay for many years now (Pluto moves slowly, relentlessly revealing decay and pollution in systems) and the exact return makes its first contact early next year. Examining, understanding and finding remedy of all the roots of our problems is critical, or else we cannot transform. We must transform, defend the values that protect all citizens, or democracy will surely die.


(1) The Rudhyar chart is used herein for the birth of the USA: July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., Philadelphia, PA.


Bio: Dorothy Oja is a certified career astrologer (ISAR C.A.P.), her studies span 40+ years. She services an international clientele, lectures, writes and teaches. Dorothy’s specialties are: Elections for Surgery, Relationship Compatibility (Davison Chart) and Children’s Profiles. She serves on the faculty of the International Academy of Astrology online, teaching several 9-week courses each year. She founded The Relationship Club which hosts astrologers who lecture on various topics pertaining to relationship astrology.  Her first book is Planetary Resonance: Everything Leaves a Trace. She has also authored two computer reports: Compatibility & Conflict for Romantic Relationships and Friendship and Business, (Cosmic Patterns Software). Dorothy has written and published a monthly newsmagazine, PlanetWeather for 23 years which includes social and cultural commentary. Her Facebook daily (almost) blog page is  She’s served the astrological community as AFAN’s Chair of Legal Information and spent 16 years as ISAR Board member as Chair of Ethics and developing its Ethics Awareness Training program.  Dorothy is writing a book on the Davison Relationship Chart. Contact her at:


5 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Top Five Astro-Events for August

By Michael O'Reilly | July 28, 2021

1. The Sun and Mercury bridge the Saturn-Uranus square from the 1st through 7th. When faster planets connect a tight but not exact outer planet dynamic, this is known as “translating the light.” It makes the challenges inherent in the Saturn-Uranus square come to life during this interval, especially if you have prominent placements in 9º-11º and/or 13º-15º of the fixed signs. Although the final Saturn-Uranus square is months away, events in early August may prove to be just as earth-shaking. Things break, accidents happen. Unavoidable conflicts and dilemmas require immediate attention. On the plus side, breakthroughs are possible.

2. Ceres conjoins Black Moon Lilith on the 8th, but these two are united from the 1st through 13th. Their combination is a mixed blessing, depending on mental clarity and ability to distinguish truth from fiction. Ceres in Gemini nurtures self and others through intelligence, helpful information, and clear communication. Lilith in Gemini can be a trickster — full of deception, fantasies, and delusions — but also capable of spontaneous insights and brilliant commentary. Watch out for phishing scams, and help others by countering misinformation. Stay centered at this time through meditation or yoga to avoid scattered energies.

3. Mars is trioctile (135º) Pluto on the 14th, and a potent factor from the 10th through 15th. This intensely energizing duo can push many to accomplish much in this interval, while others may be more interested in defeating their rivals or competitors. For those with interesting work, this phase will bring much satisfaction for jobs well done. “Cleaning up” may become an operational phrase, whether that means cleaning up your personal habits, living space, or making progress in your professional world. Beware of individuals using sheer brute force or violence, and you can be sure the headlines will be full of such incidents.

4. Jupiter octiles (semisquares) Chiron on the 18th, a terrific combination for finding answers to longstanding health issues and other nagging problem areas. Since these two are currently moving relatively slowly, they’re within interactive orb for the entire month, but especially from the 8th through 26th. Chiron in Aries looks for independent solutions to chronic health issues, and Jupiter may inspire looking outside traditional or mainstream medicine. The Chiron-Jupiter interaction can find healing in a group setting. Another facet of this Jupiter-Chiron dynamic is how outsiders fit into networks. Welcome wounded souls, find an open-minded group.

5. Uranus turns retrograde on the 19th, marking an unusually historic turning point in social, political, and financial developments. Uranus in Taurus puts the emphasis on global warming and the extreme weather events that will likely be intense around this time. Financial trends may become unusually volatile, perhaps bringing a market reversal. With Uranus precisely quincunx the U.S. Saturn, institutional powers are due for a shake-up, especially within the oil and gas industry. Longstanding political traditions – such as the congressional filibuster – are poised to be overturned. Some celebrity marriages may be breaking up as Mother Earth is waking up in surprising ways.

Bio: Michael O’Reilly is a professional astrologer and counselor specializing in the use of political and evolutionary astrology. His recently published book, The Ultimate Book of Astrology Books, is a collection of book reviews he wrote for Dell Horoscope magazine between 1993 and 2020. Visit his website at or email him at

4 Comments - click to read them or write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer

Jeff Bezos’s post-flight gift

By Mary Plumb | July 21, 2021

On July 20, after he landed his spacecraft Jeff Bezos announced two massive gifts: $100 million each to Van Jones and José Andrés. I’m curious, of course, to look at what these two individuals may have in common that made their particular stars align in such a dramatic way?

I have a few initial thoughts, drawn from various techniques.

Also, we have a birth time for Jones, but only the date for Andrés, so please keep in mind that all comments are based on Jones’s natal, but a solar (i.e., sunrise) chart for the chef. I am also using Whole sign houses for both.
José Andrés, sunrise chart (no birth time)
July 13, 1969; Meires, Spain

Van Jones was born on September 20, 1968 and José Andrés less than a year later — July 1969. Using profections from the Ascendant, both men are 52 which is a 5th house year. It’s kind of funny that this 5th house emphasis for both is in place only between Andres’s July 13th birthday (when he turned 52) until Jones’s September 20th birthday, when he turns 53.
Van Jones
September 20, 1968; 8:08 p.m. Jackson, TN

The fifth house is trine the first; it is fortuitous and can reflect gifts, general happiness, pleasant things, creativity and enjoyment. With Aries on the Ascendant, Leo is on the 5th for Jones and Mars in placed there at 29º Leo, the mighty star, Regulus. On July 20, the day of the gift, transiting Venus and Mars were at 24º – 28º Leo.

When considering solar houses, Andrés has Scorpio on the 5th ruled by Mars. Mars has just past the conjunction with Venus at 19º48’ Leo on July 13th, his 52nd birthday! What a nice birthday gift to the much admired gentleman.

(The timing of this gift makes me think the upcoming Venus/Mars conjunctions — on February 16, 2022 at 17º Capricorn and March 6, 2022 at 1º Aquarius — will be significant markers in the distribution of the funds, and how their projects are developing. Of particular interest is the 1º Aquarius conjunction as that triggers the Jupiter/Saturn epoch-changing conjunction from December 21, 2020 with its emphasis on equitable distribution of wealth, social justice, etc.)

Something that connects the two gentlemen: both are born in the Balsamic Moon phase, the dark of the Moon, before the New Moon. There was a New Moon at 29º29’ Virgo (conjunct Uranus) about 18 hours after Jones was born. The Moon was in Cancer the entire day on July 13, 1969 when Andres was born; the New Moon was at 21º56’ Cancer the next day.

Van Jones is Sun and Moon in Virgo, disposed by Mercury in Libra (conjunct Venus on Spica). The $100 million award is for “Courage and Civility.”

José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, has the Sun and Moon in Cancer. He also has Mercury and Vesta (What are we devoted too? What are we working for?) in Cancer — quite a strong signature for the man whose passion is to feed people all over the world. In an interview after the announcement, he said: “We need to build longer tables not higher walls.”

Both have Jupiter in careful Virgo. Jupiter, about to retrograde back into Aquarius, is now calling out from across the zodiac from his home sign — very favorable Pisces: Go big, gentlemen!

Birth data:

Van Jones, September 20, 1968; 8:08 p.m., Jackson, TN (35N26, 88W49); AA. AstroDatabank

José Andrés, July 13, 1969; Mieres, Spain (43N03, 5W46). Wikipedia.

No Comments - click to write one | Permalink

Like what you see?   Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer