Mercury will soon officially turned direct, meaning it will begin to move forward again through the zodiac. As with many other astrological phenomena, astrologers disagree about how long the “shadow” period of the retrograde is, and when it is safe to emerge again from the shadows and begin making decisions and taking new steps.
Mercury is still retrograde for another few days or so, and there are signs of it everywhere. Mercury rules transportation as well as communication, and when retrograde there are often snafus and the need to repair our equipment and revise our plans
I’m sure my readers have stories of their own to tell: disappearing emails, dropped phone calls, malfunctioning equipment, miscommunications. There are plenty of stories in the news as well that relate to the retrograde Mercury cycle (italicized words are Mercury keywords)
- Passengers are stranded in airports all over the world from Boston to London to Moscow as winter storms bring air travel to a screeching halt.
- Miscommunications between airline pilots and air traffic controllers resulted in passengers on Cathay Pacific and British Airways planes being stuck on the tarmac without an available gate for many hours.
- The Chinese government delivered a counterattack to Pope Benedict’s criticism of Chinese religious freedoms in his Christmas message. It seems to me this is an area in which the Pope doesn’t have much room to criticize.
- Time Warner Cable makes another grab for more programming money by rejecting a settlement offer with Sinclair Broadcasting which means Sinclair channels, including network and Fox affiliates, will go dark when the contract expires.
- Consumer confidence retreated in December, with consumers expecting that there will be fewer jobs in 2011.
- A malfunction of a ski lift in Maine injured nine people.
What’s going on in your world?
If you liked 2010, you’ll love 2011! While likely not as personally challenging as the past two years, the astrology of 2011 brings its’ own excitement.
To learn more what’s coming up next year, here is a link to an .mp3 of the radio show I did on the subject. The recording is just of the lecture portion and does not include the call-in section.
Historical records and modern-day computer simulations indicate that there was a rare series of planetary groupings, also known as conjunctions, during the years 3 B.C. and 2 B.C.The show started on the morning of June 12 in 3 B.C., when Venus could be sighted very close to Saturn in the eastern sky. Then there was a spectacular pairing of Venus and Jupiter on Aug. 12 in the constellation Leo, which ancient astrologers associated with the destiny of the Jews.Between September of 3 B.C. and June of 2 B.C., Jupiter passed by the star Regulus in Leo, reversed itself and passed it again, then turned back and passed the star a third time. This was another remarkable event, since astrologers considered Jupiter the kingly planet and regarded Regulus as the “king star.”The crowning touch came on June 17, when Jupiter seemed to approach so close to Venus that, without binoculars, they would have looked like a single star.The whole sequence of events could have been enough for at least three astrologers to go to Jerusalem and ask Herod: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.”
While I’m thrilled that astrology is spreading like wildfire on the internet, I am less thrilled at the fear that is sometimes generated, both by astrologers and by readers themselves.
I’d like to post a portion of an email from a client, perhaps this may be helpful for others.
Client: I read on another site that this lunar eclipse is a big one for Virgos born 17-21.
I’m really nervous. Can’t find my CD of our reading to check if this is a day I should stay in bed:)
Lynn: I’m sorry that I am just responding to your email and the eclipse happened last night. The reason that site said this about Virgos is because the lunar eclipse was in a square aspect to your Sun. But more important for your chart, it also made a very tight square to your Moon. This suggests that this period may be catalyzing some big emotional shifts for you – if so, it’s a good time to breathe deeply and let go so that the transformation can occur. If we stay in bed, metaphorically or literally, we miss the opportunity to unfold in a new way.
Despite the fear tactics that some astrologers use, I have not seen instances where eclipses lead to tragic events. They are general internal forces that create change.
Please don’t let astrology scare you! It should be a tool to bring wisdom into our lives, and where there is wisdom fear disappears.
Please note that I am unable to offer free readings to the general public unless they are clients.
This was the year the Earth struck back.
Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 — the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.
“It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves,” said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.
“The term ’100-year event’ really lost its meaning this year.”
This is not surprising astrologically, since the charts for the equinoxes and solstices are often used as tools for weather prediction. The chart for the Summer Solstice was closely tied into the Cardinal Drama that we’ve seen over the past year was an intense one (see the details in this earlier article), suggesting climactic summer weather around the globe. The chart for the Fall Equinox featured the square of Saturn to Pluto aligning with the Equinox Sun and portending more crisis (Saturn) and upheaval (Pluto), as well as dramatic change (Jupiter conjunct Uranus and the Moon) likely in the realm of water (all three signs in Pisces). Not to mention the ongoing influence of the Chiron/Neptune conjunction which has had the effect of lancing a painful boil on the face of the earth to see what might erupt there and ultimately be healed from the experience.
It looks like we won’t get any respite this winter since the chart for the Equinox includes a lunar eclipse and a lineup in Capricorn that includes Mars and Pluto along with the Sun and the North Node. We are being pulled towards our ultimate destiny, whether we cooperate or not! We might as well strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride.
The Full Moon on December 21st is at the last degree of Gemini and it occurs on the same day as the Solstice, a relatively rare event. There is a fair amount of dispute on the web as to exactly how rare it is: the Spaceweather site originally listed the year 1378 as the last time an eclipse fell on the Winter Solstice but astrologer Kathryn Cassidy has been setting the record straight. The Spaceweather site now lists the year 1638, but that was NOT the last eclipse that fell on the Solstice. The actual date for the last time an eclipse fell on the Solstice was December 22, 1703. That was a VERY powerful eclipse because the nodes of the Moon were in a nearly exact conjunction with the lunation (the opposition of the Sun and Moon).
Eclipses occur when a lunation (new or full Moon) occurs near one of the nodes of the Moon (see this earlier article for more details). Astronomers use a wide orb of 15 degrees to define an eclipse, but when the lunar nodes are closer to the Sun and Moon the effect of the eclipse is more intense. This eclipse is a strong one, with the lunar nodes within four degrees and Pluto within six. So Pluto becomes part of the Full Moon and therefore the eclipse, marking the necessity for letting go and deep transformation.
The Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun enters the sign of tropical Capricorn. The chart for the Solstices and Equinoxes are often used as a predictive tool to gauge the upcoming events of the next three months. At the Solstices and Equinoxes the Sun moves into one of the cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn), resulting in a shift of attention and a sense of change. This eclipse, occuring at the Full Moon, is a time of recognition and fulfillment that leads us into the next season of transformation. We can choose to remain asleep, or we can awaken to a new level of awareness and conscious direction.
This lunar eclipse is at the 29th degree of Gemini, the degree of completion, and Gemini’s ruler Mercury is retrograde. This is a time to assemble all of the information that has been accumulated since the New Moon and use the power of Pluto to focus and transmute any difficulty or challenges into raw power and transformation.
Mercury retrograded back into Sagittarius on the 18th, leaving the more practical sign of Capricorn. For a few weeks the mind will be drawn more to philosophy and lofty goals, and to re-evaluate (with Mercury in retrograde motion) our values and ideals.
Just before the Solstice/Eclipse, Mercury engages with Chiron and forms a challenging square to Uranus, activating the mental realms but perhaps creating some unease in the mind. It may be difficult to focus for a few days here, especially since these aspects are embedded in the eclipse itself.
The eclipse chart shows that the Sun and Moon are both in a tight square to Jupiter and Uranus, as is Mercury The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction has been another major player in the planetary climate over the past year, and these two planets are still tightly aligned. Big changes and the breaking apart of something that is no longer needed is inevitable now. Prepare for surprises and new opportunities that can only occur when the current situation has ended. The mind is agile and active, even though Mercury is retrograde, and a nice aspect from Mercury to Neptune helps to open the mind to the voice of Spirit within.
There is no doubt that we are living in a time of enormous change, and there is some significance to the fact that this Solstice Eclipse occurs within three degrees of the Galactic Center. We are being primed for a period of cellular evolution, whether or not we are consciously aware of the change that is occurring. The climactic opening occurs from the inside out and it’s quite likely that there will be no evidence of this transformation in our outer world. It may require a quiet listening from within to experience the dramatic unfolding in its full force.
The eclipse occurs at 3:13 am Eastern time/8:13 am GMT on December 21st.
In the story of the Wikileaks cables that has dominated the news over the past month or so there are two big players. The first is Julian Assange, whose mysterious past and controversial present has captivated the curiosity of newshounds everywhere. The second player in this drama is Private First Class Bradley Manning, who actually leaked many of the cables and documents regarding Afghanistan and Iraq to the Wikileaks organization.
Julian Assange is free on bail today, staying in a 10-bedroom mansion in England while awaiting trial over extradition to Sweden, but Private Manning is incarcerated at the Marine Corps Brig in Quantico. Today (December 17th) is his birthday.
Bradley Manning (born December 17, 1987, time unknown, Crescent Oklahoma) has an interesting chart as one would expect. His Sagittarius Sun is tightly conjunct Uranus, the planet of radicalism and sudden change. He shares this tendency towards revolutionary behavior and radical ideas with Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, who has the Sun in a square formation to Uranus.
Manning has four planets in Sagittarius (Uranus, Sun, Saturn, Mercury), revealing his love of adventure and the desire for a life that expands beyond ordinary boundaries. Sagittarians seek to live a life that is bigger than life – where there are no limits, and the inclusion of Uranus, the boundary-buster, into the mix gives him a reckless quality, especially since Jupiter, the planet of confidence and expansion, is in a harmonious aspect to his Sagittarian planets. Because Jupiter rules Sagittarius, this expanded confidence and sense of inner glory bestows an Icarus-like overconfidence that can lead to one’s flying too close to the Sun. In fact friends have described him as having “delusions of grandeur.” However, the planet Saturn which bestows an inner sadness and lack of connection is also part of the Sagittarius stellium, disclosing an inner struggle between a deep lack of confidence (Saturn) and the pull of the desire to live a great life (Jupiter/Sag).
We also see a deep sense of shame and isolation as revealed by a challenging opposition between Chiron (wounding and healing) to the Sagittarius stellium. The Chiron/Uranus opposition often shows someone who is extremely sensitive energetically and can have difficulty managing their emotions. Chiron opposite and Saturn conjunct the Sun suggests someone who feels alienated and rejected from the father. Chiron opposite Saturn indicates a powerful inner wound that is painfully persistent. Messages between Manning and a friend contained diatribes such as this one: “”Ive been isolated so long . . . i just wanted to figure out ways to survive . . . smart enough to know whats going on, but helpless to do anything . . . no-one took any notice of me,” he wrote at one point. Another time, he wrote: “im a wreck.”"
Like Assange, who has a Scorpio Moon and Scorpio Ascendant, Manning has a strong Scorpionic element to his chart with Mars, Moon and Pluto all conjunct in Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign of intensity, passion and drama, and the Scorpio Moon has a deep craving for the Truth that lies beyond all artifice. There is also a complex relationship with power in those with a strong Scorpio component to their charts, and for Manning this is particularly true with Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler, conjunct his Moon and doubling that intense passion and drive.
This is an extremely complicated chart with a dueling set of powerful emotional needs. As Assange is being feted by the glitterati throughout the world, Manning has been virtually forgotten in his solitary confinement.
Bradley Manning was arrested in May of 2010 as Jupiter and Uranus formed an exact square to the Sun/Uranus/Saturn complex in his chart. Jupiter is usually considered a lucky planet, but often the confidence that Jupiter instills in us can cause us to take unnecessary risks. The square of Uranus in the sky to Uranus in our charts inspires us to question everything in our life and desire changes. Manning already has a personality that leans in that direction, as we have seen from his other planetary aspects, so the additional influence of these planetary cycles was a perfect storm for the creation of a large-scale Uranian disruption such as the Wikileaks phenomenon.
As you know if you follow my Facebook page, over the past week or so we have seen a challenging alignment of these three planets which culminated on December 13th. Mercury just turned retrograde on the 10th so it is still moving pretty slowly, and will remain within five degrees of Pluto for the next few days. All planets are in Capricorn, the sign that represents structures, governments, tradition.
Uranus, the radical revolutionary, also changed direction on the 5th, and its influence is very visible in the dramatic events that have transpired over the past week or so, beginning with the arrest of Julian Assange and the explosion of the Wikileaks documents – (the radical (Uranus) exposure of information (Mercury) that reveals the secrets (Pluto) that are rocking the stability of national governments (Capricorn).
Mercury presides over communication and learning, but also transportation and messages. Mars is the fiery god of war and Pluto the god of destruction so any alignment of these two planets can get pretty intense. When Mercury joins in, there can be a heightened chance of arguments, disputes, and traffic problems.
The explosion of a city bus in my hometown of Chapel Hill North Carolina yesterday, for apparently no reason, is eerily reflective of this triple conjunction since it involves the element of transportation, explosion and fire.
Then there are the riots. Rioters in England last week attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla when they drove too near a demonstration against university tuition hikes. This occurred just as Mercury was preparing to turn retrograde in conjunction to Pluto.
Two days later, tensions in Russia flared after the shooting of a football fan that resulted in violence against ethnic minorities.
Yesterday riots erupted in Greece in fiery protests against that government’s austerity measures that favor the wealthy.
In Rome yesterday after Prime Minster Berlusconi won a no-confidence vote, an anti-austerity protest ignited a firestorm of violence from masked and hooded protesters.
Garment workers in Bangladesh have for days been rioting over unfair labor practices, with over 25o people being injured and several deaths.
Other riots over the past week have been reported in Argentina, Jordan, and Haiti.
The astrological underpinning for much of this radical behavior has to do with Uranus, which in its change of direction is creating a powerful force for rebellion against the status quo. The triple conjunction of Mercury, Mars and Pluto is acting as a spark to ignite the conflict that inspires this rebellion, but as Uranus and Pluto begin to align in their square formation next year these riots and violent protests will escalate.
Uranus in Aries is about fairness (Uranus) for the individual (Aries), and the violence (Pluto) will be against the governments and corporations (Capricorn) that hold most of the world’s wealth. This conservative commentator sees the same situation that I do, but has a different take on it than I do: ”[W]e’ve created a dependent class: a herd of cattle, beholden to government for its very existence, the individual cows of which have no grasp and no concept of principles, ideas, values, property rights, our past or our future. And, given the absence of such critical education, when it should be the producers who are revolting to protest their status as the looted lambs compelled to fund it all – it’s the parasites taking the lead instead.”
No matter which side of the divide you are standing on, there’s no question that the chasm is growing wider and deeper, and revolution is coming. Hold onto your hats!
After a short hiatus, the Musings on Astrology radio show will be back tonight for a special 90-minute show on the Astrology of 2011. What’s in store for us next year? How will it affect us personally?
Tuesday December 14th, 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific.
To listen, click the link below at the appointed time and you’ll be taken to the chatroom. If you register (it’s free) at Blog Talk Radio you can interact in the chatroom and ask questions. You can also call in with questions about your own chart – we’ll start with first-time callers and see how much time there is. I’ve extended the show to allow for more time to take your calls. The call-in number is 646-478-5731 but the lines are limited, so if you can’t get through keep trying.