Unfriendly fire in the US military

A US soldier stationed at Camp Liberty in Baghdad has allegedly killed five fellow soldiers and wounded three others at a stress clinic which has been set up to handle cases of psychological problems.

Already there has been an eruption of news articles with revelations about friendly fireconditions on the US military and the increasing stress that servicemen are under from these long years of war.  Five soldiers in Iraq try to kill themselves every day.  Sexual assault cases are up 26%.  A 2007 FBI report on gang activity found members of virtually every known gang to be present in the military.

In mundane astrology, the study of planetary events on events and nations, the military is represented by Mars.  Mars in the US progressed chart has been sitting prominently in the tenth house of the US natal chart since 1942 reflecting the power of the military (Mars) in United States government (tenth house).  The crossing of progressed Mars over the US Midheaven coincides with the dramatic transformation of the military from a small defensive force to a large military industrial complex.

The US progressed Mars turned retrograde in the summer of 2006, just as one of the main architects of the Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld, resigned from his post as Secretary of Defense.  The country has not been able to regain its footing since 2003 when the Iraq war began, and many astrologers (including this one) feel that the retrograde turn of the US Progressed Mars marks the weakening of the United States as a military power.

When Uranus enters Aries and begins to square Pluto in Capricorn, it is extremely likely that we will see the real military power lies in the splinter groups and radical fringe groups (Uranus) who will by then have access to sophisticated weaponry (Aries) as they face off against the establishment (Capricorn).

At this time, when Chiron and Neptune are causing all of us to reach into the depths of our souls for answers, this event that occurred today is a symbol for the underlying disease (Chiron) that has caused us to lose our way (Neptune).

More thoughts on the Chiron/Neptune conjunction

Chiron Neptune conjunctionI did a reading for a brand new baby the other day.  I love doing consultations for parents of beings that have just entered the earth plane, because it’s all about possibilities and choices and talents and skills.  Challenges too, of course, but when we understand the charts of children, parents, spouses, siblings – really anyone! – a new level of conscious awareness improves the way that we relate to each other.

Anyway, this baby of course has the approaching conjunction of Jupiter to Chiron and Neptune. This triple conjunction has been building for quite some time and will culminate within a half a degree on May 26.  All children born at this time have this conjunction in their charts, and in fact all children born between around March 2008, when Chiron and Neptune first entered the orb of their conjunction, and around April of 2011 when they meet for the last time, will be the “Chiron Neptune” generation.

Neptune is the planet that drives us to fulfill our spiritual longing.  Every individual has in their nature a longing for an experience that will provide us with a connection to our inner Self.  For some of us this manifests in a desire for the perfect bowling score.  For some it is an experience of God in a Church.  For some it is a few beers when we get home from work, or losing ourself in a beautiful piece of music.  The experience is different – the motivation is the same.

When we add the experience of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, it becomes necessary to process any psychological and emotional blocks in order to gain that Neptunian experience.  Chiron doesn’t just invite us to enter the inner world of our abandoned psychic debris – it throws that stuff up in our face where we have to face it.  Our emotions can run wild, feeling out of control, as any old undigested memories or emotional angst surfaces so that it can be dealt with.  This process can be exhilarating if we surrender to it and treat it just like cleaning out the basement.  It’s a painful process to go down there and see all of the crap that has accumulated, but a thrilling feeling to be rid of it once and for all.  The Chironic process helps to open the heart more and more fully, and in this process we gain greater wisdom and a phenomenal sense of peace.

The addition of Jupiter here is a two-edged sword.  On the one hand the conjunction of Jupiter to Neptune expands (Jupiter) the longing for spiritual redemption and renewal (Neptune) which can lead us to incredible experiences of spiritual advancement now.  On the other hand, Jupiter can lead to excesses of escapist behavior and flights of fantasy, both of which fall under the dark side of Neptune’s domain..

If this triple conjunction is triggering a planet in your own chart, you are likely experiencing a highly emotional state right now and some resistance to the surrender that is required now.  Letting go to the river of spiritual evolution isn’t easy, but if you can stay in the canoe during this exciting whitewater ride of the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, you will emerge having freed yourself and able to enter a higher level of awareness and conscious action.

The generation that embodies this planetary combination will, I feel, be extremely sensitive and easily wounded.  But they will also possess the tools to process their wounds quickly and emerge as deeply human but also amazing spiritual beings.

I found this gorgeous art on the web but it was unattributed.  If you know who created this piece please let me know!

Elizabeth Edwards has her say

Elizabeth EdwardsMy sister Jill is nearly never wrong, so it pained me greatly when she fell for the slick posturing of John Edwards in his presidential campaign last year.  Now she is really mad, and who can blame her. I am generally a pretty tolerant person, but the one thing that I can’t stand is phoniness, and I have watched this in Mr. Edwards ever since he burst suddenly onto the North Carolina political scene.  You can learn more about how his astrological chart describes his personality here.

Elizabeth Edwards is another story – she is the kind of “Everywoman” that nearly everyone can relate to.  She is gritty and real, and when she fearlessly appeared before the TV cameras with her hair falling out from chemo to talk about health care reform she warmed the hearts of women everywhere.  These same women also loved John Edwards for his loyalty to Elizabeth.  I suspect that it was really Elizabeth that won Jill’s admiration, and John Edwards was merely basking in the reflection of Elizabeth’s glory for Jill and many other women.  You can read more about the astrology of the marriage of John and Elizabeth Edwards here.

When it was discovered that John Edwards was having a serious affair during the campaign, and that Elizabeth Edwards knew about it and encouraged him to run anyway, her supporters were shocked and furious.  But you can take one look at Elizabeth’s birthchart and see that she is a desperate romantic for whom family and her relationships are the most important foundation of her life.  Her Sun in Cancer, with a focus on nurturing and family ties, is squared by Neptune (planet of transcendence and illusion) which shows that she is all too eager to surrender her own self and values for the sake of the family.  Her Moon is in Libra, revealing her emotional need (Moon) for balance and harmony in relationships at all costs (Libra).  And that Moon also conjuncts Neptune and squares the Sun, giving her a tremendously romantic view of life and very thick rose-colored glasses.  She would much rather enjoy her idealistic view of her life and her man than face a reality that might necessitate a change in her family.

The Edwards are back in the news with the publication of Elizabeth’s new book and her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show this afternoon where she has promised a no-limits interview.  Elizabeth has a number of favorable transits occurring this year, including a trine from transformational Pluto to her natal Saturn which is helping her to recreate the structures (Saturn) of her life in a way that empowers her and gives her a greater core strength.  It is not her nature to rock the boat or threaten the stability of her family, but transiting Pluto is also in a challenging aspect to Uranus in her chart, fostering a deep restlessness and a need to break free of anything that is not working in her life.

For John Edwards it’s another story.  As transiting Uranus (surprise, shock, change) crosses his midheaven (public life), an investigation into his campaign finances could bring out more scandal.  And the National Enquirer reports that his mistress Rielle Hunter, apparently angered at the way events unfolded, has asked for a DNA test to prove paternity of her child.

These two have survived a great many tragedies and crises in their 31 years of marriage, and the bond between them is strong.  Thiis scandal has brought Elizabeth Edwards into the limelight in a way that would not have happened otherwise, for better or for worse.

Full Moon in Scorpio on Friday!

Scorpio full moonImages from La Chambre Magique. The Scorpio Full Moon technically doesn’t occur until 12:01 am on Saturday (May 9) EDT (how appropriate for the Scorpio lunation!!), but the energy will be building all day as the Moon gets closer to its opposition with the Sun.

Full Moons are intense because of this oppositional pull between the Sun and the Moon that forces us to balance the polarity of the opposite signs.  In this particular case we are working with the intensity of Scorpio’s emotional need for drama and depth with the Taurus desire for peace and serenity.  Scorpio tends to strip away at the veneer of social niceties that Taurus creates in its pursuit of stability, and emotions are raw now and intensified.

The Full Moon is at 18 Scorpio includes the challenging square to the alignment of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius.  Expect an intensification and possible release of the darker emotions that we hide in the darkness, along with a powerful yearning for an experience of Spirit to cleanse the darkness and bring in new light. A harmonious aspect from both the Sun and Moon to Saturn helps to stabilize our intention and give us the patience and focus to do the work that must be done.

The doorways are open now, and the potential for magic awaits!

Pluto in Virgo: The Slacker generation and the new fiscal conservatism

slackersGenerations of people can be defined by the sign that Pluto was traveling in at the time of the birth of that population group.  The Pluto in Leo generation, the “baby boomers,” are famous for being self-involved and self-important, as you would expect from a group that is compulsively driven (Pluto) to break through the barriers of the sign of Leo, the sign of the ego.  Pluto was in Virgo between 1958 and 1971, and that generation is now between 38 and 53 years old.

The generation defined by Pluto experiences a compulsive attention to matters described by the sign that Pluto falls in.  The Pluto in Cancer generation, parents to the Pluto in Leo boomers, gave up everything for their families (Cancer).  The Leo Boomers made self-expression into an art form.

Like all of the other signs of the zodiac, Virgo operates on many different levels but the underlying principle is a sense of order and attention to the mundane details of everyday life.  We therefore find Virgo representing our physical health and the connection between the mind and the body, our diet, service to others in assisting them in their daily life, and the day-to-day work experiences that provide the income to sustain us.

Demographers often call this generation “Generation X,” which was also called the “Slacker” generation, and report that this was the first generation in the United States to earn less than the previous generation.  As “Slackers,” this generation embraced grunge rock and rejected the pull of materialism.  Perhaps aware on some level that the world was about to change, many of them went from job to job and thought about career completely differently from any other previous generation.  Forget the college degree…forget the 30 years and the gold watch.  They lived a life that was more spartan than their baby boomer parents and elder siblings – no second home, no boat, no three-car garage (Virgo is modest and tends to be financially conservative).

An interesting article about this Generation is a clear demonstration of Pluto in Virgo:

WE MOVED to San Francisco and Brooklyn and Mission Hill. We jumped from job to job. Put off marriage. Never bought a place. And we never heard the end of it. We were drifters, they said. Layabouts. No respect for work and real estate or the value of a good pair of cufflinks.

But now, in the cold glare of a recession, everything looks different: We’ve got no house to lose, no career to dash, no school-aged children in need of pricey Wii gaming systems.

Not recession-proof, exactly, but recession-resistant, at least.

Of course, it’s not like we saw the crash coming. We didn’t plan for this, didn’t time the market. And we made some bad choices along the way: The persistent neglect of our 401(k)s, battered stock market notwithstanding, will catch up to us someday.

But in retrospect, it’s clear that we did something right. We lived a smaller life, a life we could afford. And as the country rebuilds the economy, as it tries to replace it with something more sustainable than a leaning tower of subprime mortgages and consumer binging, it is time to reevaluate that much-maligned Gen X archetype: the American Slacker….

We brought you the Internet, worked on green technology, and filled the ranks of Teach for America. We crossed the color line, ate local produce, and bought secondhand clothing. We lived in smaller spaces, drove smaller cars, and took the subway to work.

It all seemed like a quaint liberal fantasy at the time. And on some level it was. But now, with a creaking economy and an overheated planet, it reads more like a survival manual: a guide to multicultural living in an increasingly diverse society, an incubator for the technology that might save the American auto industry, an antidote to our awful adventures in sprawl.

Of course, we could abandon this life as we get older, I suppose. We could grow impatient with our little apartments and cramped hatchbacks. We could set our sights on the kind of suburban existence we’ve forsaken. But I’d like to think we’re smarter than that.

We created something worthwhile – a sustainable neighborhood, a tech future, a life we can manage. And we won’t let it go too easily.

At least I hope not. As the nation rebuilds a crumbling capitalism, it could use a little perspective, a little wisdom. Bet you didn’t think you’d get it from us.

Image is reprinted without permission from the book The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Slackers (Because 7 Is Too Many)