TMA This Week

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

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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.

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What is Tecumseh’s Curse?

By Mary Plumb | July 15, 2021

Painting of Tecumseh based on an 1808 sketch (Wikipedia)

Karen Christino is a long-time astrologer, writer and researcher. Her latest book, Tecumseh’s Curse is a marvel.

By some measure of astrological lore entering the mainstream of public consciousness, Tecumseh’s Curse might be close behind the phenomena of Mercury retrograde and the void-of-course Moon.

The basic idea of this specific “curse” is the pattern that connects U.S. Presidents selected during election years that end in zero, and death in office. The very rough, and often-referenced outline of the pattern, begins with William Henry Harrison. Elected in 1840, Harrison was the first president to die in office. Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, Andrew Garfield (1880), William McKinley’s 2nd term (1900), William Harding (1920) and John Kennedy (1960) are some others who follow this basic pattern.

Tecumseh (born in 1768) was a Shawnee chief whose story is woven into Harrison’s election story. About Harrison, she writes: “He was elected in 1840 by touting his role in driving the Shawnees and other groups out of the Northwest Territory. Some have suggested that his history of conflict with Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, the Shawnee coalition and numerous other Nations set him up for retribution and an Indigenous curse.”

Christino’s book is a nuanced and wide-ranging weaving of this history and sophisticated astrological analysis.

Years of study inform the book: In an email, she told me that she’s been “haunted” by the topic since the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in the early 1990s. COVID gave her time to deepen her ongoing study of Maya, Aztecs, Incas and North American astrologies. She wrote: “….the pandemic gave me more time to dig into some of the Turtle Island information as well as the Indigenous voices and get a better picture.”

That picture is wonderfully drawn out in Tecumseh’s Curse, whose subtitle themes — Indigenous Wisdom, Astrology and the Deaths of U.S Presidents — are all covered in enormous detail.

In Part I: The History, the author takes us on deep exploration into the roots of Shawnee culture whose homeland was the Ohio River Valley. I was enthralled by her respectful, affectionate and knowledgeable writing on this chapter of Native American history. She looks back to burial mounds and ceremonial centers established by the Adena people (1,000 to 200 BCE), and carries forward in time to the war chief Tecumseh and his mysteriously powerful brother, Tenskwatwa.

Intriguing historical details inform all parts of the book: “He [Tenskwatwa] was a triplet, and one of the infants died soon after birth. The Shawnee medicine man and prophet Penaghashea (Change of Feathers) may have suggested that some of the infants be killed as multiple births were unusual and could be a grave omen.”

Part II: The Mystery is an account of Sacred Time and Space; Curses, Omens and Prophecies, and Shamans and the Moon.

In Part III Christino analyses the horoscopes of the relevant presidents (including Biden), their inaugural charts, synastry with the U.S. horoscope, and much more. Parallels of declination, eclipses, longer planetary cycles, André Barbault’s Cyclic Index are a few of the many techniques she uses.

There are Appendices, Chart Notes, Bibliography, many illustrations and quotes. From Tecumseh: “Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Christino is a wonderful writer. This is not beginner astrology, however, but rather a comprehensive (and accessible) study. Although the Jupiter-Saturn 20-year cycle is often noted as the most striking component of the pattern, the author discusses many other planetary patterns: “Astrologer Kelsey Richfield identified the recurrence of the Moon, Mars and Nodal afflictions in U.S. progressed to natal aspects at the time of the presidential deaths, along with those between the fated presidents and U.S. natal horoscope (see Appendix 4). Many of the zero-year presidents as well as some of their inauguration horoscopes also have Moon-Mars aspects.”

Tecumseh’s Curse: Indigenous Wisdom, Astrology and the Deaths of U.S Presidents is an exceptional work from a seasoned astrologer who weaves techniques and historical details into an engaging, evocative and substantive book. Highly recommended (and a bargain price too): the paperback is $12.99; Kindle is $5.99.

Available on Amazon.
See also the author’s website.

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Never get married on a Tuesday

By Anthony Louis | July 7, 2021

In Spain there is a proverb which goes: “En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques.” (On Tuesdays, neither get married nor embark on a journey.) According to wikipedia: “In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck. The Greeks also consider Tuesday (and especially the 13th) an unlucky day.”

Most likely the origin of this superstition about Tuesdays being unlucky has to do with Hellenistic astrology. The Babylonians had assigned each of the visible wandering stars (‘planets’) to a day of the week. Sun got Sun-day; Moon, Monday; Mars, Tuesday; Mercury, Wednesday; Jupiter, Thursday; Venus, Friday; and Saturn, Saturday. The English names for the days preserved the planetary rulers but alluded to the names of Norse gods instead of Greek or Roman gods.

The texts of Hellenistic Greece and the Persian-Arabic astrologers made their way into Europe through Spain, where they were translated into Latin. Images such as the following of the planets ruling each day and hour of the week were familiar to the educated classes of Europe during the Renaissance:

The sequence of planetary hours for each day of the week.

The week begins with the Sun ruling the first hour of daylight on Sunday. In the above diagram you can see that Mars rules the first hour of daylight on Tuesday, the 3rd day of the week. At nightfall (sunset) on Tuesday, Saturn takes over as the first ruler of Tuesday night. The first planet to rule the day, or the night, hours has a special influence over the periods of daylight and nighttime, respectively.

In ancient astrology Mars and Saturn were the two principal malefic planets, causing harm and being inimical to life. Mars was especially dangerous during the daylight hours because the heat of the Sun enhanced the natural fiery nature of Mars, making him more impulsive, aggressive and violent. Saturn was especially harmful during nighttime hours because the coldness of the night enhanced Saturn’s natural tendency to limit, constrict, and chill the life out of living creatives. Perhaps Robert Frost had Mars and Saturn in mind when he wrote his poem “Fire and Ice” which debates whether the world will end in fire or in ice.

The astrological teachings about planetary days and hours and the nature of malefic planets being enhanced by the “sect” (diurnal or nocturnal nature) of the chart apparently got codified in the the Spanish proverb: “En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques.”

Bio: Anthony Louis is a psychiatrist who has been studying astrology as a serious avocation since his early teens and tarot for the past three decades. His longstanding interest in the history and symbolism of the divinatory arts has led him to lecture internationally and to publish numerous articles and books on astrology, tarot, and other forms of divination. His highly acclaimed text on horary astrology first appeared in 1991 and was revised and reissued in 1996. In February of 2021 Llewellyn published his most recent text on finding lost objects with horary. His book Tarot Plain and Simple now has over 150,000 copies in print. Anthony is a member of the Astrological Society of Connecticut. His blog is TonyLouis.Wordpress.

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By Mary Plumb | June 29, 2021

The testimony that Britney Spears gave on June 23 described the conditions she has endured since the court placed her under a conservatorship led by her father in January 2008. The details were shocking, including being forced to take lithium and being denied the right to marry and have another child.

The natal chart has Saturn, Pluto and Ceres in the 1st house. (1)
Britney Spears
December 2, 1981
1:30 am CST
McComb MI

Born at night, Saturn is the out-of-sect malefic but in Libra, its sign of exaltation. A planet in exaltation was understood by Maternus to be held in high esteem and an honored guest in the house he occupies. Pluto and Ceres are both characters in the mythological tale of Persephone’s disappearance into the Underworld — and her subsequent reappearance, renewal and rejoicing as the season’s returned.

In January 2008, when she was 26, the conservatorship was instated. Britney’s progressed Ascendant had come to 27° Libra, the degree of natal Ceres. (2) Saturn, ruler of the 4th house of family matters was transiting in Virgo in the 12th house of confinement. At 26, she was in a 3rd house perfected year (from the Ascendant). Jupiter (ruler of the 3rd) and lord of the year was transiting in Capricorn (patriarchy, anyone?) in her natal 4th house.

Britney natal, and progressed to January 15, 2008
(transiting Saturn in Virgo and Jupiter in Capricorn not shown)

Forward to June 23, 2021, her 39th year and a 4th house profected year. With Capricorn on the cusp of the natal 4th, exalted Saturn in Libra is the lord of the year, holding a place of esteem in the 1st.

In an echo of the adage, Saturn does not deny, but delay, with natal Saturn in Libra (the scales of justice) in the 1st house Britney took command of the moment in a striking way. Along with detailing allegations of abuse, she said: “I just want my life back. All I want is to own my money and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car. I want to sue my family……. My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, including my management … they should be in jail.”

There are remarkable transits for the day she gave her testimony. Transiting Saturn was exactly on natal Moon (12°23’ Aquarius), the sect light and ruler of Cancer MC. Uranus is squaring the Moon from the 8th (joint money matters), co-present with Ceres. (The Saturn/Uranus square will stay connected to the natal Moon through early 2022.)

Transiting Pluto (26° Capricorn) was conjunct natal Venus (25° Capricorn) with transiting Venus (25° Cancer) opposite her natal position. The Venus opposition Pluto in the sky was also on the natal nodal axis. Transiting Pluto will conjoin Venus and square natal Pluto until January 2022.

Britney natal, and transits to June 23, 2021The Sun at 2° Cancer was conjunct the MC — a day of maximum public visibility: a new hashtag #BritneySpeaks references the court appearance.

Natally, there is a partile square from 1st house ruler Venus (25° Capricorn) to Pluto (25° Libra). (See natal chart above.) Her physical/erotic magnetism is a mark of her performances. The midpoint of the square falls directly on the Sun at 10° Sagittarius. This is about as close as it gets to the supercharged fixed star, Antares (9°47’). Antares, aka “the rival to Mars,” is the star in the heart of the scorpion. Antares, over 800 times the size of our Sun and one of the brightest stars in the sky, is known to bring obsessiveness, competitiveness, passion, intensity and fame.

Britney’s words were galvanizing. Although conservatorship is a complicated legal matter (and these difficult transits have a ways to go), a comment made on a YouTube account of the day seems to say it well: “One thing’s for sure, the World is on Britney’s side.”


(1) Britney Spears, December 2, 1981; 1:30 a.m. CST; McComb, MI (31N04, 90W27). A data: from memory

(2) Not finding an exact date, I set the chart for January 15. The progressed Ascendant was at 27° for over a month.

References: Wikipedia: Britney Spears

You can read the transcript: Britney Spears: Full Statement

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Top Five Astro-Events for July

By Michael O'Reilly | June 24, 2021

1. Mars in Leo may bring conflict and stress from late June through July 4 due to its opposition to Saturn on the 1st and square to Uranus on the 3rd. Mars activates the underlying tension between maintaining one’s regular routine and personal network (Saturn in Aquarius) and the need for fundamental change from longstanding but irksome conditions (Uranus in Taurus). As the action planet, Mars pushes limits, thrives in dangerous situations, and fights the good fight, but may also bring accidents and other mishaps during this dynamic phase. Mars may also be problematic from the 18th through 29th when other challenging aspects come into play. On the plus side, Mars energizes one’s Inner Hero.

2. Juno is octile Pluto from the 1st through 10th, kicking off a month of developing relationship dynamics. Juno is retrograde in adventurous Sagittarius, and on this celestial path, not as likely to make unreasonable demands on any personal or professional partnership. However, with Pluto pressuring Juno, beware of unspoken yet evident control issues, either coming from you or your partner. Pluto in Capricorn has definite expectations, limits of outlandish behavior, and the need to be in charge. Juno seeks fairness within relationships, and anything that comes short of that may be cause for tension and conflict. Those without a significant other, or those in a shallow relationship, may be experiencing the lack of a meaningful connection at this time.

3. Venus conjoins Mars on the 13th, but these two are interacting from the 8th through 15th. The last time these two love planets were conjunct was in late August 2019 when they were in proper Virgo. The sexual chemistry in the air at the time was likely still quite provocative for many, but this time it’s much more so in the dramatic sign of Leo. Venus and Mars coming together in Leo offers a window for romantic interests to grow as well as to entertain with friends and family. Splurging on high-brow outings with a significant other is favored, especially fine dining, theater, and concerts.

4. Black Moon Lilith squares Jupiter from the 18th to 26th, marking an interval when people may come or go from your life. Lilith enters Gemini on the 18th and immediately picks up the square from Jupiter in early Pisces, a restless combination that inspires creative change, expands one’s horizons, and increases the urge for travel. Jupiter brings out the best in Lilith, so this phase may bring great insights, and/or inspire new creative direction in the arts, especially in writing and music. A possible downside is running into people who are overly enthusiastic about whatever weird thing they believe: Lilith encourages acceptance of outrageous conspiracy theories, for example. Rein in any self-righteousness, and this passage may bring good luck.

5. The Full Moon in Aquarius on the 23rd highlights the Lilith-Jupiter square as well as a Venus-Hygeia conjunction in Virgo. The interactions between all these celestial archetypes promote an eventful three days around this Full Moon, especially regarding relationship patterns. This is a good time to work on mental health issues, find a workable balance between intimate connection and friendship, and consider dietary changes to improve overall well-being (especially cutting out sugar). The two days leading up to this Full Moon tend to encourage self-indulgence in eating, drinking, and other forms of living the good life. Consider these the last hurrah before cleaning up your act.

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Dolphins at play: Jupiter-Neptune in Pisces

By Raye Robertson | June 9, 2021

“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it…brave enough to be it.”

Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”

It’s a relatively short cycle at approximately 13 years, but as history shows, when Jupiter and Neptune join forces — especially in water signs —  their combined energies can be quite consequential. This will likely be even more true with both of these planets in Pisces, the water sign they co-rule; their combined impact is likely to further destabilize the existing social order and will resonate deeply on multiple levels.

The dynamics of this cycle, even apart from its sign, tend to both light and dark extremes:  aspirational, potentially caught up in expansionist and/or charismatic ideologies or religions. Picture a “Big Fish” in a small pond — he’s compelled by his thirst for growth and reproduction to consume the smaller organisms in his path, to explore new horizons and to push his limits to the max. Sometimes he just “lurks” and seizes upon the hapless; passive aggression is a real possibility with both co-rulers in this sign.

In fact, several significant change-producing moments in U.S. history have involved one or both of these planets in Pisces, including: the revolutionary 1766 cycle’s 2Q (1773), with Jupiter-180-Neptune from Pisces-Virgo; the expansionist 1804 cycle’s 1Q (1808), with Jupiter-90-Neptune from Pisces-Sagittarius; the “Gold Rush” 1843 cycle’s 2Q (1849) with Jupiter-180-Neptune from Virgo-Pisces; the pre-Civil War 1856 cycle itself, launching at 18+ Pisces; and the pre-WWII 1932 cycle’s 2Q (1939), with Jupiter-180-Neptune, Pisces-Virgo. (See Footnote #1 for specific dates.)

Each of the periods in history covered by those cycle hits were tumultuous, if not unstable and extreme, in one way or another, but by those parameters, our currently waning 2009 Jupiter-Neptune cycle stands out — because Pisces is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune (they will co-habit Pisces for a few months before their actual 2022 cycle launches-see chart below), it naturally wields more influence. All the quarters of this cycle have been deeply impacted by Neptune’s 2011 ingress into Pisces, even though the cycle itself launched conjunct the Sibly Moon at 26+ Aquarius. Most notably, we witnessed the election of our first African-American president, the rise of extremist Tea Party elements in the GOP, built upon by the even more extreme presidency of Donald Trump.

We’re still living with that presidency’s aftermath, of course — the passage of egregious voter suppression laws in response to the “Big Lie” Trump perpetrated about Biden’s 2020 election and the announcement that a new, white-supremacist-leaning “America First Caucus” is forming in Congress only perpetuates radical extremism. (2) All this makes a Jupiter-Neptune cycle launching in pure Pisces during election year 2022 concerning, especially since the challenges before us, to my mind, have so little to do with partisan politics. We’re faced with existential collective imperatives these days, and to respond constructively, transcending or at least setting divisiveness aside will help. Wouldn’t our energies be better spent eradicating Covid, reimagining law enforcement in this nation as the lighter, less destructive force it can be, and turning our attention to the very real challenges of climate change?

The collective reach of Pisces may, indeed, be a saving grace: perhaps under this new cycle, global imperatives will become so intense and compelling that we will finally have no choice but to lay aside petty partisan divisions. “Divide and conquer” has been standard operating procedure during the 2009 cycle; perhaps the Cosmos is telling us that it’s time to unite behind something more worthwhile?

Unfortunately, energies that can be put to such good use on the collective level can find much more troubling uses on other levels. Those who are particularly sensitive to this cycle may lean towards right-brain ways of processing reality, through images, belief and “gut feelings,” avoiding or even denying left-brained provable facts. This isn’t particularly troubling in some realms, like artistic expression, but in fact-dependent concerns, it can be destructive. Under Neptune alone in Pisces, we’ve seen it enable spikes in Opioid addiction, toxic and corrupt distortions of reality and excessively fear-and-panic driven responses to daily life. There’s a tendency, in other words, to see the world through perceptual filters that can undermine us all.

I suspect that under this cycle, individuals and societies alike will continue seeing dark phobias, biases and hatreds surface that have been repressed over history, but never completely healed. Pluto also chimes in on this process, which could be troubling with our Sibly Pluto return in progress (exact in February, 2022) at roughly the same time this new Jupiter-Neptune cycle is launching in Pisces, tightly opposite our Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Clearly, with nearly 200 mass shootings to date in this year alone (as of 4/30), and over 953 Americans killed by police over the past year, the toxic contents of America’s collective unconscious need to be addressed. (3) Our national “Wild West” and “American Dream” mythologies (which many are trying to conflate with “America First”) have been coming back to haunt us, demanding our attention. At its lightest, these dynamics will help heal the karma produced by our early historical ruthlessness (the Sibly Chiron return in 2024 will likely help); at its darkest, we will experience mounting turmoil.

Related to this, transforming law enforcement into the agent for social peace and wellbeing that we need it to be isn’t going to happen without a broad Pisces consensus and collective commitment — no one among us should need to dread every time their children or grandchildren leave home.

Natural grace

Often tracking with increased incidents of natural disasters, the Jupiter-Neptune cycle can also perpetuate what environmental scientists label “overshoot:” “…to increase in [population] numbers so much that the habitat’s carrying capacity is exceeded by the ecological load, which must in time decrease accordingly… the condition of having exceeded for the time being the permanent carrying capacity of the habitat.”

“Exceeding the carrying capacity of a habitat” is a scientific way of saying that we’ve put an unsustainable strain on the Earth with our misuse and abuse of its resources, and that — plainly put — the jig is up: it’s time to grow up and take responsibility for our resource needs in more earth-friendly ways. Even the Supreme Court is getting involved these days, hearing cases involving disputes over increasingly scarce water resources between states. (4) These issues only become more troubling every fire season: like all cycles, Jupiter-Neptune offers both light and dark possibilities for this, and the choice is ours.

Here’s where I’d like to don an unapologetic pair of rose-colored glasses and to err on the side of wonder, awe and perhaps even a bit of euphoric hope that Nature will win out over our intransigence and neglect, and that Humanity will pioneer brilliant new ways for living within Nature’s limitations. This Pisces Jupiter-Neptune cycle is capable of compassionate, ideals-driven “magic,” if only we can avoid the delusionary pitfalls.

I’m convinced, in fact, that embracing radical optimism is a practical way of tapping into the power of “natural grace” — Nature and Spirit at play like dolphins in the Pisces waves. Why not choose to “see” Jupiter and Neptune at their joyful best, instead of at their worst, thundering like crazed-eye horses into the Apocalypse?

Neptune evokes our “oceanic Source,” and with Jupiter’s impulse for growth and brilliant exploration, new revelations, ideas and creations gestate in that Womb and crawl up on the shores of our dilemmas, prepared to sprout legs and wings. At its best, this cycle will support Nature’s impulses and desires: to regenerate, to proliferate, to delight with abundance — to welcome us into a perspective biologist Andreas Weber calls “enlivenment.” We must think of humans and Nature, in his words,

“…in a way that dissolves the separation between the two categories….as participants in a common household of matter, desire, and imagination — an economy of metabolic and poetic transformations.”

Pisces specializes in “dissolving the separation” between any two divided or separated entities, in fact, and as scary as this may sound at times, we should benefit from the spiritual Unity that this idea implies, as long as we unite for constructive reasons. Perhaps like those dolphins at play, we can work on celebrating the Others leaping around with us in this life, letting go of toxic divisions in personal, social and collective realms alike. We can shift our focus to higher purposes under this cycle, and working to protect Life as we know it on this planet certainly fits that description.

Through their sheer intellectual, aspirational and archetypal force, Jupiter and Neptune in this border-overwhelming sign will replicate our persistent patterns of thought and behavior with extreme virality. In other words, we need to watch out what we wish for or what we model to others through the media, our use of weighted symbolism and otherwise: aspiring to things that really matter and that won’t further divide us will be key.

We will also want to proceed cautiously as we navigate the personal/collective divide that could be seriously blurred and confused by this Pisces cycle. Societies require sound institutional structures to function and to protect individual rights against the undertow of neurotic collective movements such as nationalism, xenophobia and racism. Of course, individual psyches need structural integrity to function well, too: Jung saw this individual/collective dilemma at work in our evolutionary history, saying, “The further we go back into history, the more we see personality disappearing beneath the wrappings of collectivity. And if we go right back to primitive psychology, we find absolutely no trace of the concept of an individual. Instead of individuality we find only collective relationship or what Lévy-Bruhl calls “participation mystique.”(5)

Extreme times tend to feed off this “mystical participation,” a phenomenon that can transpire when either Jupiter and Neptune are transiting water signs. Mob hysteria and other panic-driven responses to our everyday world are potential pitfalls, dynamics the world witnessed in the ravages of 20th century nationalist Fascism across Europe (the 1932 Jupiter-Neptune cycle’s 2Q from Pisces-Virgo was especially troublesome), in the WWI era’s carnage, including the Armenian genocide (during the 1907 cycle’s 2Q from Capricorn-Cancer). More recently, both international and domestic terrorism (indiscriminate gun violence seems definitely related), have become almost “normal” with Neptune in Pisces.

Such extremes can emerge when those “rose-colored glasses” I’ve tried to adopt here are replaced with the cynical lens of mistrust, paranoia and zero-sum thinking, so easily exploited by the power-hungry. Sound social structures protect people from tyranny (Saturn counters Neptune here), so it will be important that we contain this Pisces cycle’s ability to sow panic, misinformation, confusion and further cynicism.

Jupiter-Neptune cycle’s tendency to heighten our sensitivity to mythic archetypes like the scapegoat, the revolutionary and the savior can exacerbate these pitfalls — it’s all too easy to demonize a people (or a system) under this energy, which makes fixing our deeply flawed U.S. immigration system all the more urgent. We’ve known for decades that the twin crises of climate change and heightened immigration are related — all the more reason to strengthen international agreements like the Paris Accord.

As for the Covid pandemic — by definition, a global Neptunian affair — we can probably expect it to carry over into this coming Jupiter-Neptune cycle in some form. Helping to vaccinate the rest of the world is key here: until that happens, we’re all in danger of falling back. This will be one of the most critical collective efforts — a sort of 21st century “Marshall Plan,” if you will. Perhaps with Jupiter ingresses into Pisces last month, we’ll see a bit more cooperation from the resistant in our midst, however this cooperation could unfold in fits and starts: Jupiter ingresses into Pisces in May, turns Rx in June, making its way back into rebellious Aquarius, until turning direct in October and returning to Pisces in late December, 2021, just a few months before it surges ahead to meet up with Neptune at 23°59’ Pisces on April 12, 2022.

Let’s hope we won’t be back to pandemic “square one” at that time. I’m hopeful and in absolute awe of those who are working so hard to help us all in this effort: as I write this, fully 50% of the nation is now at least partially vaccinated, but there’s obviously a lot more to go. And then there’s the rest of the world to help along — both Jupiter “smarts” and Pisces compassion say that this isn’t over ‘til it’s over, folks!


(1) Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct at 2°40’ Virgo on August 24, 1766; the opposition was at 16°52’ Pisces/Virgo in March 1773.

Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct at 27°09’ Scorpio on Dec. 29, 1804;  the square was in March 1808, with Jupiter at 4°33’ Pisces, Neptune at 4°33’ Sagittarius.

Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct at 20°57 Aquarius on April 9, 1843; the opposition was in August 1849 with Jupiter at 3°24’ Virgo, Neptune at 3°24’ Pisces.

Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct at 18°13 Pisces on March 17, 1856.

Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct at  8°24’ Virgo on Sept. 18, 1932; the opposition was on April 1, 1939 at 21°25’ Pisces/Virgo.

(2) The Hill

(3) Washington Post/graphics

Wikipedia: U.S mass shootings

(4) The Conversation

(5) Wikipedia: Participation mystique

Bio: Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. For articles on all these topics, see her blog, at Diary of a Mundane Astrologer. See the Publications tab there for a list of Raye’s recent E-books on current topics.

For information about individual chart readings, contact:

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June’s Top Five Astro-Events

By Michael O'Reilly | June 1, 2021

1. Mars opposes Pluto on the 5th, one of the most intense two-planet combinations in our celestial sphere. Mars and Pluto are both warrior archetypes, and when they face off like this, power plays become inevitable, whether in your personal realm or in the larger socio-economic-political-military system. Family dynamics may become problematic, eventful, and divisive from the 1st through the 8th. Avoid trouble by staying away from those who tend toward obsessions, violence, cruelty, and sexually offensive behavior during this phase. On the positive side, an airing of grievances may clear the field for constructive advances. Make sure you have the facts correct before acting.

2. A Solar Eclipse at 19º Gemini takes place on the 10th (6:53 am EDT), marking major life changes for anyone with planets close to this critical degree (plus or minus three degrees). At least two indicators in this chart point to significant economic changes, which will likely lead to a shift in Fed policy — a tightening up due to rising inflation (Ceres conjunct Uranus in Taurus, and the Ascendant at 5º Cancer conjoins the U.S. Jupiter). This eclipse also features a retrograde Mercury conjunct the Sun and Moon, with all three squaring Neptune. Important announcements from officials may be based on misinformation; be careful about what you believe to be true.

3. Saturn squares Uranus on the 14th, the second of three squares between these two outer planets in 2021. For some, this passage may serve as a healing time since Saturn is also sextile Chiron for most of the month (within one degree from the 7th into early July). For others, money issues will be a central focus since Ceres is with Uranus in Taurus. Be careful with investments of all kinds, especially those based on speculative or unreliable information. Those with key placements from 12º to 14º of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) will be most likely to experience major disruption of the status quo.

4. The Sun enters Cancer on the 20th (at 11:32 pm EDT), a moment also known as the Summer Solstice, which marks the longest day of the year. The horoscope for this astro-event set in Washington DC can be read as a map for the coming three months. It’s unusually favorable for the current political leadership since the Sun conjoins the Part of Fortune and both are trine Jupiter. With Hygeia the most angular placement, the Covid pandemic remains a concern, but perhaps more associated with what’s happening in other nations (conjunct the Descendant). Saturn and Uranus remain in a close square, indicating ongoing major disruptions in various sectors.

5. Mercury turns direct on the 22nd which may bring a welcome change of plans, fortunes, or promising new developments. Mercury’s station is accompanied by the Sun trine Jupiter, making the 22nd and 23rd quite favorable for initiating new projects. However, Mercury is still in a relatively lengthy phase of squaring Neptune (completes on July 6), so continue to keep an eye open for misinformation, unsupportable “facts”, and deceptive or overly rosy promotions. Some may get some good news on the 21st, 22nd, or 23rd and this is a great time to reconnect with family members, friends, and/or romantic interests.

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

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Mercury Retrograde in Gemini 2021

By Gary P. Caton | May 26, 2021

Anaximenes…attributed all the causes of things to infinite Air, and did not deny that there were Gods; yet he believed not that Air was made by them, but that they arose from Air.” (1)

Augustine of Hippo, De Civitate Dei (The City of God) 5th Century CE


Anaximenes’ cosmology centers on Air, and this year Mercury is spending more time in the Air signs than all the other signs combined. In the previous blogs of this series, we noticed how the philosophy of Anaximenes laid the foundation for the Western understanding of the nature of the four elements (via four qualities) as a well as connection between the microcosm and macrocosm. (2) Importantly, Augustine reminds us that the Air upon which Anaximenes based his philosophy and cosmology was not the “common” atmospheric air, but something more transcendent — more transcendent even than the Gods.

The ancient alchemists saw Mercury in a similar fashion. Certainly mercurius vulgaris, the common elemental form of Mercury, figured importantly in their work. But this work in the “below” (or microcosm) was far from the end goal. Rather, the alchemists sought the rarefied presence of Mercurius philosophorum — which Jung described as “the world-creating Spirit concealed or imprisoned in matter.” (3) And of course the duality inherent in these two different forms is inherent to both Mercury and its diurnal home of Gemini, for alchemical Mercury is at once both “the innermost point and at the same time the encompasser of the World.” (4)

What this means, in more practical terms, is that we must remember during this upcoming retrograde that we are being moved — not merely by the common forces of the mundane world — but more importantly, by something which is foundational, even to the Gods. In terms of the Tarot, these separate forces are indicated by the minor arcana and royal cards versus the more archetypal dimensions of the major arcana. The Jungian psychologist James Hollis referred to this split in terms of the human life span, saying that the question in the first half of life is, “What does the world want of me?” whereas the question of the second half of life becomes, “What does the Soul (or Gods) want of me?”  Depending on our development, we may need to focus on one of these questions, but during the upcoming retrograde these questions may be confounding and difficult to untangle. Jung said that this “tension of opposites” was not only necessary, but the source of all growth. And inasmuch as we are able to tolerate and even sustain this tension, we have the capacity to allow the unconscious to birth a “magical third” which resolves the conflict in a way we cannot foresee. (5)

Beyond the inherent dualistic tendencies of Gemini, there are other reasons to think this difficult tension between the common or everyday mercury and the philosophical mercury will be heightened in the upcoming retrograde. Award-winning astrologers Michael Munkasey and Robert Blaschke employed a technique whereby the difficulty level of the three retrogrades each year are sorted according to their duration, degrees of travel and relative speed of Mercury at cazimi. (6) Because this upcoming retrograde lasts the longest (25 days), has the shortest span of degrees (8°35’) and the slowest speed at cazimi (0° 33’/day) — it is expected to be the most difficult of the three this year.

In terms of the individual, this means that the affairs of the house occupied by Gemini are about to become very much intensified. In my own book on the subject, I found it useful to sort the houses into four basic combinations based on the rising sign of an individual nativity. (7) Using the ancient Whole Sign house method (also employed by modern horoscope writers), the three signs of the Air triplicity must represent either houses 1, 5, 9; or houses 2, 6, 10; or houses 3, 7, 11, or houses 4,8, 12, in any given nativity. I then use the angular house of each of these combinations to define the meaning of the group, or Trigon.

For Air rising signs the three retrogrades of 2021 will activate houses 1, 5 & 9. These are labeled the Trigon of Identity, and it is posited that this year’s retrogrades will most significantly impact the nature of the various social personas (1st house) available to the person; the creative outlets (5th house) which arise from their choice of persona, and the new horizons which open up (9th house) as a result of engaging these creative opportunities. During the coming retrograde, Geminis are developing a new identity by combining various cultural, philosophical or religious ideas in novel ways. For Libra, it becomes important to focus on personal creativity as a means or window to the transcendent. Aquarians should focus on developing a new persona by exploring more of the creative possibilities which are  afforded to them.

For Earth rising signs the Mercury Elemental Year of Air will activate houses 2, 6 & 10. Because the 10th is related to career, I have dubbed these houses the Trigon of Mastery, and it is posited that these retrogrades will most significantly impact the tangible and intangible resources (2nd) which are available to a person; the skill sets (6th) they develop in learning to manage these resources, and the career (10th) which develops as a result of bringing these skills out into the public eye. During the coming retrograde, continued professional development for Taurus requires the discovery of new inner strengths which will point the way to new income. By being willing to be seen, and even shine, Virgos can use their latest competencies to transform the nature of their profession. Capricorns should focus on developing the new skills needed to fully take advantage of their most recent harvests.

For Fire rising signs, the Mercury Elemental Year of Air will activate the houses 3, 7 & 11. Because the 7th is about relationships, I have dubbed these houses the Relationship Trigon. It is posited that these retrogrades will most significantly impact the 7th house of one-on-one relationships, the 11th house of intra-group relationships, and the 3rd house of inter-group relationships. Here we see a somewhat novel concept that I realized in examining these Trigons. Essentially there are three types of relationship: person to person as individuals (7th); person to person within a group of common interest (11th), and person to person as individuals belonging to different groups (3rd). During the coming retrograde, Aries can take the lessons they’ve learned from dealing with their colleagues to gain entry into new groups which will greatly expand their networks. For Leo, personal relationships become the doorways into new group collaborations. Sagittarius can use the rich diversity of their communities to find new ways of being with others, and ideally realize that each relationship has its own unique alchemy.

For Water rising signs, the Mercury Elemental Year of Air will activate the houses 4, 8 & 12. Because the 4th is about family, but also legacy, I have dubbed these houses the Trigon of Dynasty. It is posited that these retrogrades will most significantly impact the 4th house of biological family and ancestry; the 8th house of marital, business and extended family, and the 12th house of spiritual family. During the coming retrograde, Cancer will find that the fiscal or emotional challenges encountered within marriage or business relationships ultimately have spiritual solutions. Scorpio is discovering that healing their ancestral wounds is the real key to showing up fully for other people. For Pisces the focus should be on what they ultimately want to leave behind when their time here is done — all else is mere detail.


References and recommended reading:

(1) Wikipedia: The City of God

(2) I previously outlined the Air year in overview

and the Aquarius retrograde for the TMA blog.

(3) Psychology and Alchemy, Part 3, Chapter 3.1

(4) Jung, C.G, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Bollingen Foundation, NY., 1959. Quote retrieved here.

(5) For a discussion of this quote within an alchemical framework, see for instance: The Archetype of the Holy Wedding in Alchemy and in the Unconscious of Modern Man.

(6) See Robert’s TMA blog on the subject here.

(7) Caton, Gary. Hermetica Triptycha Vol I: The Mercury Elemental Year Aukland, NZ: Rubedo Press, 2017.

Available via publisher Rubedo Press. Also on Amazon.

Bio:Gary P. Caton is a 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



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Who Are The Pluto In Sagittarius Generation?

By Chiara Christian | May 6, 2021

I am a native Gen Z born in 1997. Astrologically speaking, Gen Z is the Pluto in Sagittarius generation spanning 1995-2008.*(dates below) As a hyper-globally connected digital native, who hasn’t known a world pre-internet and couldn’t navigate a city without Google Maps if my life depended on it, I am your Generation Z exemplar.

My early years were spent online, leaving awfully embarrassing digital traces behind me on now long-gone social networks (remember Bebo or MSN Messenger?) in spite of my mum’s best efforts to ‘ban’ me from using them. But we also had our iconic toys of the decade—Bratz Dolls, the bad bitch version and racially inclusive version of Barbie was the shit. Maybe they were a tad overtly sexual for preteens, but their attitude and aesthetic is LITERALLY how Gen Z presents themselves today—rebellious, edgy, with style rooted in the nostalgia of the late 90s and early 2000s (even if we were too young to remember those times).

We’re Optimistic Nihilists
By 14, I was already snapping away on Snapchat and posting tragic selfies on my first Instagram account. Yet, it was our beloved Vine that defined the humor of our entire generation. The essence of what made a good Vine was unexplainable, but yet you just knew when you stumbled upon gold. RIP—we will never forget you, and I will continue to watch old Vine compilation videos until the day they stop being funny (i.e. never).

Marketing teams are freaking out about how to capture our fragmented attention like we’re some breed of alien (most of us are probably starseeds, but you know, it’s chill). We casually flick from Instagram to Netflix to Facebook Messenger, all whilst perfectly eating our Uber Eats sushi with chopsticks. It’s our natural state—we don’t know how to focus solely on one thing, being born into an over-stimulated environment where we fed on a diet of global 24/7 media.

What businesses need to understand is that we aren’t going to buy into corporate fuqery and greenwashing tactics, because we require Sagittarian values of truth and honesty. But not the kind that’s sloppily based on virtue signaling or ‘being authentic’ (*cringe* – leave this to the Millennials). We want a real sense of integrity, the BTS and unphotoshopped version, and we can naturally sniff out who has it in seconds.

The Difference Between Gen Z & Millennials? Gen Z Is Cooler
So what actually is the difference between Gen Zers and Millennials? We used to get lumped in together as all ‘young people’ before the differences became blatantly obvious. For starters, we came of age in different eras—the defining moment for Millennials growing up was 9/11, where in contrast I was too young to have any clear memory of it (arguably, the Coronavirus will be Gen Z’s defining life event).

Millennials are generally more idealistic than your average Gen Z—whilst they were entering the workforce during the GFC, Gen Zers were still at home, watching our parents lose jobs, houses and their income streams. It profoundly shaped our approach to money—we prefer to save and are generally more frugal. Millennials will splash out on ‘experiences’ with ‘good’ customer service. The proverbial Millennial participation trophy can be attributed to being coddled by their Boomer parents; our Gen X/Pluto in Virgo parents tried to do what they could so we didn’t end up the same.

Demographically, we’re the most diverse as well as the most educated generation yet, a likely influence on our globally-minded consciousness and ethical consumption habits. Getting a degree no longer sets you ahead in the career marketplace—it’s now a mandatory requirement for Gen Zs in order to eventually earn a decent wage, unless of course, you were able to kickstart a lucrative career online as a full-time content creator (exhibit A: Emma Chamberlain).

We Can’t Read Analogue Clocks – So What?
Despite the chaos of growing up and living in the 21st-century world, we’re surprisingly chill and pragmatic. Like Sagittarians, we’re optimistic nihilists and realists at heart. We can turn any bad situation going on, including our crippling mental health, into some hilarious meme, which takes skill by the way. So let’s be real, everybody knows our generation is way cooler than everyone else’s. And it’s funny because we’re not even trying.

Essentially, we were born tapped straight into the Zeitgeist, or more like miles ahead in a league of our own. Yeah, maybe we don’t know how to do maths without a calculator or read an analog clock. But we’re in the Technological Age now and you got to get with the program. We were born with media literacy running through our veins and the ability to adeptly handle the pressure of information overload.

It’s a strange hyperflux-technological-reality we find ourselves in today, which might be jarring for older generations. But for us it’s comforting. And the only version of ‘normal’ we’ve ever known.


January 17 1995 until April 22 1995
November 11 1995 until January 26 2008
June 26 2008 until November 28 2008

Editor’s note: Here’s a link for a peek at Billie Eilish. (Scroll down to her horoscope, as there are other news events in the post.)

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