TMA This Week

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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Top Five Astro-Events for May

By Michael O'Reilly | April 29, 2021

Artist: Michael George Haddad

1. Ceres sextiles Jupiter on the 5th, with this favorable pairing lasting from the 1st through 8th. Friendships may flourish during this time, with mutually supportive projects, gatherings, and outings promoting individual strengths and talents. If you have a favorite cause, get involved with like-minded comrades to further your goals. Shared meals with friends and family is one of the best ways to take advantage of this excellent celestial phase. Avoid arbitrary authority or dictums, while looking for channels to open that help achieve long-term collective well-being. This Ceres-Jupiter combination can facilitate tremendous progress in any environmental movement.

2. Jupiter enters Pisces on the 13th where it remains until it retrogrades back into Aquarius on July 28th. This 2½ month phase tends to increase interest in religion, spirituality, and faith-oriented perspectives, especially those that encourage self-sacrifice for a higher purpose. Jupiter here offers hope for the oppressed, with compassion, empathy, and kindness becoming more apparent in our leaders, neighbors, family and, potentially, from some internal, soulful realization. This month, Jupiter in Pisces enhances mystic qualities due to the simultaneous sextile between Black Moon Lilith and Neptune. This fortunate connection between Lilith and Neptune offers lucid dreams, accurate divination readings (like Tarot), and favors a more intuitive approach to astrology.

3. Saturn turns retrograde on the 22nd and immediately begins to pick up the square to Uranus in Taurus, which becomes exact on June 14th. Anyone with natal planets in 11º-14º of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) is primed for some life-altering changes which have likely been shaping up in recent months. Relationships, health, work situations, and domestic conditions that have become too limiting are due for some breaks. The conflict between personal freedom and responsibility can become dramatically eventful under this Saturn-Uranus vibe, and the trick is to find the right balance. The asteroid Hygeia (the Goddess of Health) in Leo forms hard aspects to Saturn and Uranus from the 21st through month’s end, potentially bringing a health issue (or even crisis) for those under this influence.

4. The Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on the 26th takes place while the Sun in Gemini forms a challenging octile (45º) to Mars. This restless Full Moon encourages travel, expanding one’s horizons, and experiencing greener pastures than what’s been available over the past year. With turf-protective Mars in Cancer involved, this naturally leads to run-ins with people from different political, religious, or socio-economic backgrounds. Those with prominent planets from 3º-7º of the Gemini/Sagittarius polarity will be most influenced by this eclipse. We’ll keep an eye on Joe Biden’s personal health, and his allies and enemies, since his Ascendant is at 3º Sagittarius and his progressed Saturn is at 5º Gemini.

5. Mercury in Gemini turns retrograde on the 29th, but the innate brain fog that often goes with this station has likely already been experienced over the previous week due to Mercury’s square to Neptune. We can consider this station to be in effect starting around the 21st and lasting through the first week of June, since that’s how long Mercury is under Neptune’s influence. The inability to think clearly will be readily apparent in others’ words and actions around you especially after Mercury’s retrograde station. Be well-advised that your own internal thoughts and plans may be subject to wishful thinking or false assumptions. Although the ongoing Saturn-Uranus square may push hard for big changes, this three-week Mercury retrograde phase is best spent re-evaluating, re-considering, and doing more research.

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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Pluto Stationing: A Sneak Preview of the U.S. Pluto Return?

By Ray Grasse | April 22, 2021

painting: Pluto by Agostino Carracci (1592)

If the news seems unusually intense right now, there’s a reason for that — several, actually. But I’d like to focus here on one in particular: Pluto is crawling to a stop, and will be reversing directions on April 27th. During the entire time a planet slows down like this, it exerts a “branding iron” effect that can extend for days or even weeks on either side, especially when that involves a super-slow-mover like Pluto.

But what does this mean in terms of Pluto, specifically?

Among other things, Pluto energies can manifest as turbulent, unresolved emotions erupting to the surface, causing people to act out in dramatic or sometimes even violent ways. Issues of power and control move to the forefront — who has it, who doesn’t? At best, it can force us to deal with issues that have long been festering and kept tightly under wraps, hopefully resulting in a constructive resolution of some sort. Sometimes, that Plutonian “uncovering” process can even result in important discoveries of a historical or even scientific nature.

But there is one area I think is worth paying special attention to these next couple of weeks. While a Pluto station certainly has a global impact that affects people the world over, I’d suggest that this one is serving as an early trigger for the U.S. Pluto return that will be climaxing these next few years. Even though that aspect won’t technically be exact until 2022 (with sidereal astrologers putting that date back to 2024), it’s certainly within spitting distance, the result being that station points like this can act as “sneak previews” of what to expect when a major aspect like this actually becomes exact.

So what can we expect? I’ve written about the U.S. Pluto return in more detail elsewhere (my 2019 article for TMA has been posted at but among those things I think we can expect in the coming days is a continuing mood of civil unrest, especially in terms of the United States having to confront its legacy of slavery, racism, and treatment of minorities generally (including Latinos, Native Americans, Muslims, Asian Americans, and the LGBTQ community). For too long, the U.S. has tried hard to avoid looking too closely at its history of injustices in these areas, but that spirit of denial may be hard to maintain under the mounting pressures of Pluto.

It’s also likely things could get especially contentious in D.C. over the coming days in terms of proposed legislation around such issues as voting rights, expanding the Supreme Court, or even addressing the Jan. 6th insurrection. (Look to Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema to play an especially oversized role in these and other deliberations.) Sadly, mass shootings seem to be happening with greater frequency lately, as are police-related deaths. It hardly seems accidental that the Derek Chauvin trial reached its conclusion during this Pluto station, with a verdict that has already been called a breakthrough in accountability and justice for African-Americans, albeit a modest one. (Perhaps it’s even synchronistic the very same day the verdict was announced, archaeologists announced they discovered the family home of Harriet Tubman — historically one of America’s most important crusaders for African-American rights.)

It’s too early to say whether Americans will rally to the cause and inaugurate a rebirth of the national spirit during this first Pluto return — or succumb to the darker impulses of what that distant planet unveils for us. One way or another, we could be getting some telling clues in the days immediately ahead. I’d suggest paying particular attention to the April 24th to 30th period for observing its maximum effect.

Stay tuned – and stay calm!

Bio: Ray Grasse is associate editor of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, and author of several books, including StarGates: Essays on Astrology, Symbolism, and the Synchronistic Universe, and The Sky Stretched Out Before Me: Encounters with Mystics, Anomalies, and Waking Dreams. His website is Ray

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“E Pluribus Unum:” Travels with the Sibly progressed lunar cycle, part 2

By Raye Robertson | April 15, 2021

(Read part 1 here)

The Civil War was fought during the nation’s 3rd progressed cycle, 2Q phase, a very fraught turning point that was turbocharged by the 1850 Uranus-Pluto cycle in fiery late Aries. The war began (outer wheel, Triwheel #2 below) with the Sibly PSun (Libra) exactly opposite the PMoon in Aries — grand-squaring the Sibly 7th house Cancer stellium (Sun, Jupiter, Venus) opposite Sibly Eris (Capricorn). The war challenged the nation’s very being, but in keeping with the entire 3rd progressed cycle’s focus, business thrived.

Triwheel #2

Labor riots and…
The PSun moved into Scorpio in May 1886, ten years into (1Q phase) the 4th progressed cycle that launched at 19°+ Libra and fell exactly trine the PMoon in Pisces. The nation was settled from sea to sea by then (often controversially), so this Scorpio ingress signaled a consolidating mood in D.C., but it took a little convincing for the people (Moon) to cooperate. All that year, the PMoon had been energizing the Sibly radix Moon (27+ Aquarius) on its way into Pisces — this period was known as the “Progressive Era,” after all. There was labor unrest and growing interest in Socialism — a system that was catching on in Europe and the future Soviet Union at that time. Neptune and Pisces are often equated in mundane astrology with “left-wing” politics; whereas Uranus and Aquarius are equated with “right-wing” politics. This sometimes seems over-simplified, but in that volatile 1880s period, it applied pretty well.

On May 4th of that year, the Chicago Haymarket Riot pitted police against workers and ended in several deaths, just as the PSun finished up its last 24 days in Libra and the PMoon had already reached Pisces. Transiting Saturn (4+ Cancer) fell snugly between the Sibly Venus-Jupiter conjunction, and was exactly squared by transiting Uranus (4+ Libra). “Negotiations” were carried out with billy-clubs and guns, and several demonstrators were tried, judged and executed with little due process. Transiting Moon and Neptune were conjunct in down-to-earth Taurus — this was a dispute over horrendous workplace conditions (including for children) and the obscene income gap between “haves” and “have-nots,” a theme that has repeated over time.

No laws safeguarded employees from toxins and other dangers, and employers were not required to compensate workers for injuries or death: activism and drives to unionize were the only protections workers had. In keeping with the times, women also rose up for workplace rights and suffrage, a parallel stream of discontent.

The IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) was founded in 1905; an eight-hour workday was one of their demands. They were immediately seen as a threat to capitalism. The right to demonstrate was repressed in many places, but the mass movement was too big for DC and the corporate class to ignore; the PSun’s entire tour of Scorpio was marked by violence and deepening class divisions. Thousands of striking workers were essentially martyred (Pisces Moon) to the cause of improving conditions, in such events as the Colorado Ludlow Massacre in 1914. In 1917, Montana vigilantes tortured and killed IWW organizer Frank Little, hanging his body from a railroad trestle.

That same year, despite his initial determination to remain neutral in WWI, president Woodrow Wilson used the German sinking of the Lusitania (ostensibly a passenger ship, but carrying arms to Britain) to justify entering the war. The PSun had just entered Sagittarius in March, 1916, (1Q, 5th progressed cycle) with the PMoon in bellicose Aries, so these were fiery times. Compulsory military training for all American males was discussed in Congress that summer.

Triwheel #3

When the U.S. entered WWI (outer wheel, Triwheel #3 above), transiting Mars-conjunct-Venus (Aries) formed a fiery grand trine with PSun (Sag) and Sibly North Node (Leo) — the nation needed a cause it could unite around (grand trine), so why not put those volatile Aries PMoon energies to that purpose? More to the point, the world had to be made safe once again from protesting workers: the economy was depressed, with serious unemployment in 1914; by early 1917, things were starting to hum, with more than $2 billion in goods sold to the Allies. U.S. Steel reportedly made $348 million in profit in 1916 alone. Historian Richard Hofstadter wrote: “America became bound up with the Allies in a fateful union of war and prosperity.” (1)

We lost relatively few soldiers in WWI (116k+) compared to our European allies and others, but the so-called Spanish or Swine Flu epidemic, which followed immediately, took another estimated 500,000-850,000 in the U.S alone. When people started dying from it in February, 1918, Saturn and Neptune were conjunct in Leo, and Chiron in Pisces (disposed by that Neptune) tightly squared the Nodal Axis (Sagittarius-Gemini) and opposed Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Sibly PSun (Sagittarius) formed a yod between PMoon (Taurus) and radix Venus-Jupiter (Cancer). Then-president Woodrow Wilson contracted the flu virus during the Paris Peace Conference at the end of WWI, which knocked him out of the negotiations. He suffered a massive stroke the following year, which historians think may have been related.

All this, before this progressed cycle’s 2Q. It was like the world had gone mad and “We the People” were along for the ride.

The greater context

I hope it’s become clear that the greater planetary context contributes to understanding how a progressed lunar cycle tracks with history. We saw this with Jupiter during the go-go 3rd progressed cycle and with Uranus-Pluto in the run up to the Civil War. Not to be ignored, Pluto sign ingresses reliably signal important turning points in our history, as well, and no surprise, they often work in significant ways with the lunar progressed cycle.

This was especially evident in Pluto’s ingress into Libra in October 1971 (outer wheel, Triwheel #4 below). We’ve already seen that the 70s were a period of serious leadership corruption challenges and war, but what may go unnoticed is that the 1970s marked the onset of a new hyper-conservative economic worldview. The decades between the 1930s Depression to then were marked by a more liberal, Keynesian economics, so in some ways the nation was primed for the major sea change that took over. Notice that at Pluto’s ingress, conjunct Sibly MC (Libra), PSun (middle wheel, Capricorn) almost exactly conjoins Sibly Pluto and the PSouth Node; these Capricorn points are squared by a dignified Libra Venus opposite Aries PMoon, exactly conjunct the transiting Moon that day.

And those aspects were just part of the amazing confluence of go-go Cardinal energies at that ingress: falling further into Libra than Pluto were Mercury, Sun, Uranus and Venus. Jupiter was within 2° of Neptune in Sagittarius that day, with both opposing Gemini Saturn and t-squaring Pisces Venus. Great change was gestating (Jupiter-Neptune over Sibly 12th) and the nation was ready for it on some level (transiting Uranus conjoined Sibly PMars (Libra), but workers would feel the pain (Saturn over Sibly 6th) soon enough, through developments like NAFTA and other “free trade” agreements that sent jobs overseas. That day, in retrospect, was like the cosmic conception moment for what we now call globalization.

Triwheel #4

Fast forward to 2021

Flashing forward to the present, we’re in the final three years of a mutable 3Q (of the 8th Sibly progressed cycle that launched in 1994 at 19°+ Aquarius). The Biden/Harris administration’s plate is overflowing, of course, especially with two major, persistent threats: the COVID pandemic, and what the FBI has recently red-flagged as the rise of “domestic right-wing extremist terrorism.” (1) Add to that the perennial flow of people seeking asylum at our southern border that only seems to complicate the other two crises and we can get a sense of just how difficult a progressed 3Q phase can be. All these issues may seem unrelated or just woven into each other by happenstance, yet deep planetary connections exist. And, as always, the Sibly progressed lunar cycle is implicated.

Triwheel #5 is cast for the Biden/Harris inauguration this past January 20, 2021 and set against the Sibly radix and progressed charts for that moment. This chart marks not just the shift from one administration to the next, but perhaps also the tone of events we might expect going into the coming 2022 election cycle and the new progressed cycle in 2024.

Triwheel #5

Notice the heavy emphasis on the Sibly lower hemisphere in this triwheel: Inauguration Sun, Jupiter and Saturn all conjoin PMoon in Aquarius and both trine Sibly Uranus in Gemini; this suggests that we can perhaps count on institutions and technologies to cooperate (Saturn and Jupiter trine Sibly Uranus) in addressing People’s challenges. Yet, with all this Aquarius energy afloat, the possibilities for shocking, even volatile events increases. The current drive among Amazon workers to unionize in Bessemer, Alabama could qualify: this $1.5 trillion dollar giant didn’t get that way by supporting unions, so something to watch.

That FBI threat assessment points to plenty of other volatile possibilities: a serious rise in hate crimes and right-wing extremism is well documented these days, as conspiracy cults like QAnon vie for attention with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. We’ve already discussed the possible right-wing leanings during Aquarius-dominated times, but this is complicated even further: Neptune t-squares the transiting Nodal axis from Gemini-Sagittarius, with Neptune also conjunct Sibly PSun in Pisces. The sensation that toxic conspiracies are spawned and perpetuated in a sealed-off alternate reality with cult-like qualities speaks to Sibly Neptune (Virgo) forming a 4th leg to this mutable configuration.

That today’s extremists are armed and dangerous is obviously a concern; we haven’t heard anyone “connect the dots” between all this, but since January, Saturn (Aquarius) has moved into its waning square with Uranus (Taurus) and we’ve seen a rash of mass shootings this March that could very well be connected. Notice that PMars Rx (middle wheel) trines 7th house Sibly Mars and its midpoint with Sibly Uranus (all Gemini) — the volatility may continue to flair up during the PMoon’s square from Aquarius to transiting Uranus in Taurus. This is a month’s-long aspect that will be exact in May and then linger on for a few months of after-orb, so we could be in for a volatile summer.

Final thoughts

The good news is, Neptune is now transiting out of square with that Nodal axis, so that hermetically sealed conspiracy world could deflate a bit. We may not get too big of a break from this, however: Jupiter and Neptune are now in the final 30° of their 2009 cycle that launched at 26°+ Aquarius, conjunct Sibly Moon, but their new cycle, which begins next year, will put both in Neptunian Pisces. Probably not especially helpful for tackling misinformation and conspiracy-mongering.

Clearly, all this Neptunian energy also relates to the ever-morphing COVID pandemic. Perhaps we’re approaching a critical turning point, with Neptune transiting opposite Sibly Neptune, but giving into pandemic fatigue at this critical juncture also risks a serious relapse. The volatility that’s unfolded along with the pandemic is clearly related; the Neptune-Neptune opposition t-squares Sibly Mars (Gemini) and grand squares the transiting Nodal axis, so we’re pretty much caught in a global trend that has triggered our pre-existing tensions. And it’s no wonder that we’re seeing a surge of asylum seekers at our southern border — people flow like water to “find their places” in the world; Neptune! Unfortunately, with the energies falling the way they do, these people who — are entitled by international law to at least our consideration — are perceived as the “enemy.”

Trump and those who want to pick up his mantle will leverage these energies to stir up discontent; my hope is that Biden will find lighter uses for this potentially redemptive Neptune “half-return.” That it’s happening at the same time as our Sibly Pluto return (first exact on February 20, 2022) raises the stakes: PMoon will still be in Aquarius, conjunct transiting Saturn and nearly midpoint between transiting Venus-Mars (Capricorn) and transiting Neptune (Pisces), but trine Sibly Mars (Gemini). I suspect our best hope will lie in business interests and government leaders (especially Congress-Saturn) rising to the challenges of the day. This may relate to the massive infrastructure (Saturn) plans afoot, but it appears there will also be some role for the military in this. To my mind, if there’s one good use we could make of all this Neptunian energy, it would be to get ourselves vaccinated, and to help everyone around us do the same!

Be safe, be well!


(1) Archives: FBI

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, including the newly-released title, The Mundane Moon: an evolving cosmic story for “We the People”, available from Amazon.

For information about individual chart readings, contact:

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“E Pluribus Unum:” Travels with the Sibly progressed lunar cycle

By Raye Robertson | April 10, 2021

The solar and lunar dimensions of our natures are partners in the astrological dance of life, and it takes time for them to work out their best moves — this is the focus of the personal progressed lunar cycle, and an intriguing topic in its own right.

The topic of this post, however, concerns mundane astrology and the “dance” we all do together as a nation. What does that progressed process look like in a nation’s evolution? Who exactly are the dance “partners?” I’ve made a pandemic project out of studying this topic, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the layers upon layers of insight to be gained. I began by exploring what, exactly, the mundane Moon represents (it’s long been unclear to me) and from there I worked on incorporating it more fully into mundane chart explorations. What I hope has come out of it is a more People-centric way of exploring a mundane chart; an approach that I will introduce here.

It’s always seemed trite to me to say that the mundane Moon represents the “People” of a nation, as if we’re all just one amorphous mass with the same needs, values and belief systems, but in fact, the millions of individuals who were born in, or somehow wake up in the same nation everyday do share ineffable qualities that over time, help identify that nation. People don’t pull off this feat all at once or in a vacuum, however: to grasp the mundane Moon on a deeper level we must examine the broader solar/lunar dynamics at work in a nation’s chart. That requires asking key questions—for instance, what role do the People play in their nation? What role does Government (leadership) play? And critically, how do people and their leaders operate together to accomplish the nation’s needs and goals? What kind of relationship exists there, and how does that manifest over the course of time and events?

To answer these questions requires understanding how the mundane Moon and Sun work in tandem over time, and that brings us inevitably to the mundane progressed lunar cycle. The evolution of a nation is driven by its leadership and sovereign character (in mundane astrology, the Sun) and by its People and grass roots priorities (the Moon). These two dimensions of any nation’s life are deeply interdependent, of course—historian Jon Meacham likes to say that there’s an essential “covenant between the leaders and the led” at work in American life; that’s certainly true, but this “covenant” also evolves over time, and not always in positive ways.  One way or another, this all-important progressed lunar cycle makes for an intriguing way to explore and better understand the forces driving a nation’s history.

Cliché or not, history does unfold in cycles, and the secondary progressed lunar cycle of a mundane chart is a critical guide to how this works. This cycle tracks the angular relationship over time of the progressed Moon (faster body) and the progressed Sun (slower body). A full progressed lunar cycle takes approximately 30 years long because the Sun progresses 1° per year, while the Moon progresses approximately 1° per month. The major cycle milestones (using numerical aspect numbers) are:


Progressed New Moon (PSun-0-PMoon)

Progressed 1Q (PSun-90-PMoon)

Progressed 2Q (PSun-180-PMoon)

Progressed 3Q (PSun-270-PMoon)


Like any planetary cycle, there is a lighter-feeling waxing half (PMoon moving counterclockwise ahead of the PSun) and a somewhat heavier-feeling waning half (again going counterclockwise, PMoon trailing behind and catching up to the PSun). The culmination/turning point between these halves is, of course, the opposition.

We expect certain dynamics to unfold over these cycle milestones—from the seed moment of the cycle inception (PSun-PMoon conjunction) into the mildly stressful semi-square and the more open, possibility-filled sextile, through the first quarter square period (the 1Q), which can be exciting and creative, but can also pose developmental challenges for the nation and the new cycle’s “seed agenda.” Efforts to meet those challenges (effective or not) develop from there. The cycle agenda tends to enjoy smoother sailing around the time of the trine and to meet more frustrations and obstacles around the quincunx. It culminates in the progressed opposition (the 2Q), which, as noted, provides a turning point within that cycle’s agenda.

Such cyclical “forks in the road” can offer consequential choices: take, for instance, the 1816 Sibly progressed lunar cycle second quarter (2Q) launched in 1831 (see Table 1 below), just months after the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, a significant turning point that forever tainted our early expansionist ambitions. (1) That was happening at the same time the movement seeking to abolish slavery and slave-holding in the U.S. was gaining steam in the northeast—we are a nation rich in contradictions, a theme that emerges over and over in these cycles. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that the 1846 progressed cycle’s 2Q phase coincided almost exactly with the first shots of the U.S. Civil War, which haunts us yet today.

The final quarter (3Q) of any progressed cycle will resolve at least some of the loose ends left hanging by that cycle’s early agenda, but the 3Q’s more difficult moments (315°, 330°) can also muck up the works, inject a sluggishness of purpose and even crisis or corruption into public life. Leaders can fall into a rut in which they take their jobs for granted, or it becomes apparent that they simply aren’t up to the challenges of the day; this was the case with Herbert Hoover in 1929, during the 1905 cycle’s 3Q (Table 1). (2) He proved unable to overcome his ideological hang-ups to help the American people deal with the Great Depression, so it was up to the voters in 1932 to vote someone in who could bring a fresh perspective. Triwheel #1 displays what that 3Q election looked like; let’s consider a few quick points pertinent to the People’s priorities at the time.

Triwheel #1

Notice that Election Sun (outer wheel, Scorpio) conjoins Sibly progressed Moon (PMoon, middle wheel) — the People’s issues were the focus of that election, and they were suffering, with that PMoon transiting the Sibly 12th. PMoon trined Sibly Sun  —  the People were ready to cooperate with the nation’s leaders and they expected results, even though the progressed 3Q in its last 30° degrees had made that relationship difficult (Hooversville, the Bonus army protests, etc.). (1, 2) Notice that the progressed Sun (PSun, middle) was in Sagittarius in the Sibly 1st that election day — a new, more expansive (and frankly, optimistic and generous) leader was key, and FDR fit the role nicely.

In short, the 3Q will focus on clearing out any stale/outworn or corrupt energies, which often makes a change of leadership inevitable. Trump was elected at the end of the 1994 (our present cycle’s) 2Q, but almost his entire presidency fell during that cycle’s 3Q, which may partially explain why he didn’t win reelection. The cycle correlations with leadership shifts can’t be exact, of course—sometimes our election cycles fit the 7.5/30 year rhythms of the lunar progressed cycle, sometimes they don’t.

As the 3Q phase winds down, we’re on to the next progressed New Moon and a new cycle: these shifts can coincide with a new leadership culture and sometimes a generational shift. John F. Kennedy’s short-lived “Camelot” presidency was this kind of breath of fresh political air for 1960s American culture. He was our youngest president to date, and the first in a long time to have young children in the White House.

Kennedy was elected president in 1960, towards the end of the 1935 Sagittarius progressed cycle (see Table 1), and even though he was assassinated in late 1963, during the last 18° of that volatile 1935 progressed cycle, the new 1965 cycle (Capricorn) was imprinted with agenda items that LBJ (his successor) carried on from him: Civil Rights reforms and the unfortunate contradiction (always!) of the generation-rattling Vietnam War. Kennedy probably would have supported both, had he lived.

Of course, nothing says corruption must be confined to the 3Q: beset by anti-war protests, LBJ declined to run again in 1968, leaving the way open for Richard Nixon; both the war and the Nixon presidency ended during the 1965 cycle’s unusually fraught 1Q crisis of leadership, the Watergate conspiracy, and the Arab Oil embargo of 1973. Ratcheting up that Middle East tension and the nation’s post-Watergate longing for another “feel-good” president, the 1965 cycle’s 2Q turning point was marked by the 1979 Iran Hostage crisis (Table 1) and soon after, the transformational conservative Reagan presidency.


Table 1 details the Sibly progressed cycles from the nation’s first PNew Moon after the Revolution (1787). But, assuming every Being has a gestational period, the U.S. actually traces back its existence to the 2Q of an earlier 1757 cycle that launched at 25°+ Gemini—perhaps the root of our often-contradictory nature? King George III, our nemesis at the time, had natal Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Neptune in that sign—coincidental? The 2Q turning point in that critical 1757 cycle saw the breakdown of our relationship with the British monarchy and stretched between 10°+ Cancer and Capricorn, putting our gestational PSun very near our eventual radix Sun at 13°+ Cancer. These 1757 Gemini cycle origins also reflect what historians like to point out about the American “experiment,” that it’s been based more on an Enlightenment-era “idea” of freedom and equality than on a set of common ethnic or cultural roots. As they say, the rest is history.

Table 1.

Cycle number P New Moon P1Q P2Q P3Q
1 3/25/1787 5/12/1795 8/4/1802 3/13/1809
23°+Can 1°+Leo-Sco 8°+Leo-Aq 14°+Leo-Tau
2 10/28/1816 12/25/1824 12/3/1831 7/17/1838
21°+Leo 29°+Leo-Sco 6°+Vir-Pis 12°+Vir-Gem
3 6/30/1846 7/14/1854 4/4/1861 1/18/1868
20°Vir 28°+Vir-Sag 5°+Lib-Ari 11°+Lib-Can
4 3/17/1876 1/5/1884 8/20/1890 9/24/1897
19°+Lib 27°+Lib-Ari 4°+Sco-Tau 11°+Lib-Can
5 12/5/1905 6/2/1913 2/1/1920 7/26/1927
19°+Sco 27°+Sco-Aqu 3°+Sag-Gem 11°+Sag-Vir
6 8/14/1935 10/8/1942 8/19/1949 6/21/1957
19°+Sag 26°+Sag-Pis 3°+Cap-Can 11°+Cap-Lib
7 3/3/1965 2/4/1972 4/12/1979 5/14/1987
19°+Cap 26°+Cap-Lib 4°+Aqu-Leo 12°+Aqu-Sco
8 10/14/1994 6/10/2001 12/24/2008 3/1/2017
19°+Aqu 26°+Aqu-Tau 4°+Pis-Vir 12°+Pis-Sag
9 3/25/2024 11/6/2030 9/16/2038 10/26/2046
19°+Pis 26°+Pis-Gem 3°+Ari-Lib 11°+Ari-Cap


Table 1 details the dates and quarter breakdown of these cycles, as well as the upcoming 9th cycle, which begins in 2024. (New Moon dates are bold.) Amazingly, apart from the critical gestational roots discussed above, this table basically reflects our entire history in the astrological “shorthand” of sign placements and aspects within one evolving series of cycles.  Operating in tandem with these cycle milestones, however, are the progressed solar/lunar sign changes over time.  Progressed ingresses of the Sibly Sun and their associated progressed Moon placements have also proven significant. See Table 2 for the raw data on those ingresses.

Notice that the progressed Sibly Moon seems to move ahead by only one sign every time the progressed Sibly Sun completes one sign and enters a new one (over 30 years). In fact, in those 30 years, the progressed Moon will have made one complete tour around the entire chart and then some. Which means over time, the U.S. Public (Moon) has evolved through experiences befitting all Zodiac signs in a full array of PSun/PMoon combinations. It’s kind of mind-boggling.

Table 2

Progressed ingress PSun sign PMoon sign
June 14, 1762 Cancer Virgo
December 23, 1793 Leo Libra
April 3, 1825 Virgo Sagittarius
January 31, 1856 Libra Capricorn
May 28, 1886 Scorpio Pisces
March 31, 1916 Sagittarius Aries
October 8, 1945 Capricorn Taurus
March 18, 1975 Aquarius Gemini
October 30, 2004 Pisces Cancer


Naturally, these sign shifts work in tandem with the progressed cycle phases and both impact the course of events. For instance, the Sibly PSun’s passage through Leo (1793-1825) coincided with the new nation establishing its sovereignty and administration. This was during our first post-revolutionary PNew Moon phase; the U.S. Constitution was a new document that validated our sovereign status, and the Founding Fathers were still in charge. With the PSun passing through the nation’s radix 8th and 9th houses, the move was already on to consolidate the resources and territories of the continent under U.S. control, and with the Monroe Doctrine, to do so as a matter of ideology and belief that it was our destiny to dominate this hemisphere and to stretch from sea-to-sea. This put the negotiating and relationship skills of the PMoon in Libra (beginning the cycle conjunct the Sibly 10th house Saturn) to good use, and everything was pushed along by expansion-minded PJupiter, squaring PMoon from Cancer, reinforcing the People’s sense of “destiny.” George Washington, the “Father” of the nation, died in 1799, as PSun conjoined the Sibly node at 6+ Leo.

Getting down to business

By January 1856, ten years into our 3rd progressed cycle (Table 1), the PSun entered Libra (1/1856-5/1886). The Gold Rush phenomenon of 1848-55 set the tone early in that 3rd progressed cycle, but the noble purpose of our beginnings and the euphoria of new expansion and adventurism was being slowly replaced by the more structural and systemic realities of nation-building: 1856 was during that cycle’s progressed 1Q and every time a new territory was added to the Union there would be a struggle in Congress to balance (Libra) states’ rights and federal rights. Would the new state be a “slave state” or a “free state?” Several legislative attempts were made to strike Libra compromises, but to no avail.

Traversing the Sibly 10th, the Libra PSun oversaw several major institutional developments:  in the press (the 500-lb. gorilla Hearst newspapers entered the mix), in finance and industry, in science and public opinion. The Robber Barons—ruthless industrialists and financial power-players whose influence is still felt today—rose to prominence during this time by pushing the fusion of government and business interests.

Needless to say, the PMoon in Capricorn opposite PJupiter in Cancer contributed to the corporate domination of this period; slave labor would soon be a thing of the past, although the Chinese immigrants who helped build our Transcontinental Railroad (1863-1869) may have felt like slaves. By the late 1880s when this PMoon reached the nation’s 2nd house Pluto, Jim Crow law’s were passed by southern states to “disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by black people during the Reconstruction period.” (3) PMoon was widely conjunct Sibly Chiron in Aries and exactly square Sibly Pluto when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1862: clearly, this Pluto has been prominent throughout our Chironic “trail of tears” with slavery and racism, and it continues to be so today, with our first Pluto return and another Chiron return looming ahead.

To be continued in Part 2, next week.


(1) Wikipedia: Great depression: Hoovervilles

(2) Wikipedia: Bonus Army

(3) Wikipedia: Jim Crow laws

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, including the newly-released title, The Mundane Moon: an evolving cosmic story for “We the People”, available from Amazon.

For information about individual chart readings, contact:

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April’s Top Five Astro-Events

By Michael O'Reilly | March 31, 2021

1. The New Moon in Aries on the 11th marks a new beginning, fortified by sextiles to Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Aquarius. The New Moon in Aries by itself brings an uptick in vitality and an urge to get out more. The sextiles to Mars and Jupiter can be wonderfully energizing, and a good time to get out into open air, sunshine, and whatever physical activity you may enjoy to get the blood flowing and circulating. The isolation and quarantine phases are drawing to a close, but remain vigilant since the Saturn-Uranus square is in effect all year.

2. Jupiter conjoins the U.S. Moon in Aquarius on the 12th, likely bringing some upbeat news and developments that favor Americans’ needs and concerns. In the U.S. horoscope the asteroid Hygeia – the Goddess of Health — happens to be exactly opposite the Moon, an alignment that has marked health care as a fundamental right and a public issue since the 1930s. Jupiter’s activation of this dynamic will likely bring good news concerning Covid infection and vaccination rates. Look for other benefits, such as the opening up of business and entertainment venues.

3. Mars in Gemini enters a rough patch from the 12th through 20th by aspecting four outer planets. This can manifest as an uncomfortable restlessness, verbal confrontations, short temper, and unexpected developments that disturb normal patterns. Expect some commitment/independence issues to arise from the 12th to 13th, or other unpleasant issues between you and your significant other. The 14th through 17th are quite favorable for expanding your horizons, finding new opportunities, and engaging in social activities. The 17th, 18th, and 19th may bring trouble or conflict with others: choose your battles wisely and let go of minor irritations.

4. Saturn trines the Moon’s North Node on the 24th and is within effective orb (one degree) from the 14th into early May. This phase is a good time to re-build your social network, which may include family members, friends, and business associates. If actual physical meetings are not feasible, open communication channels to find a growing sense of community. This combination is especially favorable for professional growth involving key alliances. Look for synchronicity (weird coincidences) to confirm your lifestyle choices and the presence of spirit guides.

5. Pluto turns retrograde on the 27th, the day after the Full Moon in Scorpio, bringing an emotional peak in personal events and developments. For some, this may involve a major life transition since Pluto is squaring Ceres. Generational shifts are unfolding, with family members going through irreversible life changes. Expect some major geophysical disruption and corresponding loss of life around this time, such as an earthquake, volcano eruption, or major weather disaster. Pluto at this location is the closest it will be to the U.S. Pluto Return until it first becomes exact in February 2022.

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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