Astrological Musings

Powerful Virgo New Moon on Friday

art by Oxana Zuboff

The New Moon on Friday September 18, 2009 captures all of the powerful September planetary events and provides us with an opportunity to pull them all together for the new lunar cycle.  New Moons, remember, represent the beginning of a brand new lunar experience as the Moon conjoins the Sun and their dance begins anew.

The New Moon is actually the dark of the Moon – the Sun completely obscures the Moon’s light, and we begin the new cycle in a void.  This is an opportunity to let go of the lessons learned from the previous lunar cycle and begin the anew in the sign of Virgo.

Virgo isn’t a very exciting sign – it won’t bring fame or fortune like Leo, and it won’t attract passion and power like Scorpio.  Virgo is all about the necessary things we have to do to maintain life in a body like eating right, getting enough exercise, making sure our teeth are brushed and our house is clean.  But Virgo also inspires the powers of perception and discrimination.  Under Virgo’s influence we are able to sort through the complex factors that tend to confuse as and achieve clarity and purpose.

This New Moon sits right on the Saturn end of the Saturn/Uranus opposition, suggesting that the tension here between the Uranian drive for change and the Saturnian drive for discipline and convention will be exacerbated, but the Virgo influence will attempt to impose some kind of order on this tension.  Virgo wants to be prepared for everything, and needs a road map before beginning any kind of new adventure.  During this New Moon we will be called on to create a plan and a strategy (Virgo/Saturn) to help integrate the change that is sure to occur (Uranus).

Because Saturn and Uranus are in opposition, there is a tendency to want to favor one side over the other.  Perhaps we are more comfortable with Saturn and don’t want change.  Or maybe we are adventurous and chafing at the restrictions that Saturn has imposed, and ready for Uranus to take over.  But oppositions require balance; both ends of the equation must be integrated.  Uranus opposes the New Moon, so change is inevitable.  The only thing missing now is the plan, and the New Moon in Virgo can provide this.

Because Chiron is, in my opinion, the transformational ruler of Virgo, the power of Chiron to teach and infuse us with wisdom is at work in this New Moon.  Chiron teaches us through our own emotions and feelings.  When we feel something uncomfortable lurking within us, rather than reach for the beer or the candy bar turn your attention within.  See what emotion needs to be faced and released.

But this healing power of Chiron goes beyond emotional healing; there is also the impetus to create perfection and balance in our lives so that we may experience the body truly as the temple of the soul.  Under Chiron’s influence, as we heal we become less distracted by life in a physical form and more aligned with the soul’s experience.

Chiron is still enmeshed in the triple conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune, and as we have been discussing here all summer the call of the soul has been paramount under this planetary combination.

Pluto is powerful in this lunar chart, having just changed direction last week and still stationary, having only advanced by one minute at the time of the New Moon.  Pluto sits on the Ascendant of the chart in the charts for Washington DC and New York, and the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune trines the Libra Midheaven.  This suggests that issues of power (Pluto) will take center stage during this lunation, and most of us along the East Coast will feel it.  Pluto requires that we eliminate waste from our lives, and he’s not always nice about it.

There’s no doubt that this is a major time of transition, and this New Moon can help us to move forward.  If, however, we attempt to hold onto the past, which will be tempting as Saturn embraces the New Moon, transition will be that much more difficult.  This is a time of letting go, but having a plan (Virgo) within which the process can occur.

By | 2009-09-17T08:56:28+00:00 September 17th, 2009|Moon|Comments Off on Powerful Virgo New Moon on Friday

The people around us help us create our reality

Now there’s even more scientific evidence for what most of us already know:  our friends can make us fat, happy, and sad.

The National Heart Institute has followed more than 15,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts and their descendants, giving them comprehensive physicals every four years.  This data has resulted in a treasure trove for medical research.  Recently two social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, began using this data to study behaviors of the participants.  They discovered that good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The Framingham participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking. Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of your genes and your diet, it seems. Good health is also a product, in part, of your sheer proximity to other healthy people. By keeping in close, regular contact with other healthy friends for decades, Eileen and Joseph had quite possibly kept themselves alive and thriving.

When a Framingham resident became obese, his or her friends were 57 percent more likely to become obese, too. Even more astonishing to Christakis and Fowler was the fact that the effect didn’t stop there. In fact, it appeared to skip links. A Framingham resident was roughly 20 percent more likely to become obese if the friend of a friend became obese — even if the connecting friend didn’t put on a single pound. Indeed, a person’s risk of obesity went up about 10 percent even if a friend of a friend of a friend gained weight.

“People are connected, and so their health is connected,” Christakis and Fowler concluded when they summarized their findings in a July 2007 article in The New England Journal of Medicine, the first time the prestigious journal published a study of how social networks affect health. Or as Christakis and Fowler put it in “Connected,” their coming book on their findings: “You may not know him personally, but your friend’s husband’s co-worker can make you fat. And your sister’s friend’s boyfriend can make you thin.”

The researchers also found that happiness is contagious – more contagious than unhappiness.  “According to their statistical analysis, each additional happy friend boosts your good cheer by 9 percent, while each additional unhappy friend drags you down by only 7 percent. ”

They also found, as other social researchers have, that the number of social connections we maintain improve our chances for happiness.

Christakis and Fowler began to wonder if a person’s connectedness is to some degree fated from birth — a product, at least in part, of DNA. To test the idea, they conducted a study of twins. Using the Add Health school data, they located more than 500 sets of twins and analyzed where they were located in their friendship clusters. Employing statistical techniques traditionally used to parse out how much of twins’ lifestyles are attributable to their genes as opposed to their environment, they found that almost half — 46 percent — of the difference between two twins’ levels of connectedness could be explained by DNA.

46 percent does not appear to be statistically significant.  As astrologers know, the ability of individuals to connect is reflected in their astrological charts.  Twins can be very different because although they have the same charts, the conflicts within the chart are often split between the twins resulting in very different personalities.

In any case, this is more data to support the fact that reality is flexible and that we have more power than we know to mold and shape it as we choose.

By | 2009-09-16T07:53:53+00:00 September 16th, 2009|Health & Healing, Life|Comments Off on The people around us help us create our reality

Saturn/Uranus and “jackass moments”

Kanye West has never been known for his humility or circumspect behavior.  I wrote a post on him a couple of years ago after he compared himself to Jesus, and since then he hasn’t really mellowed much.

But his behavior on Sunday night’s Video Music Awards program on MTV was really astonishing.   Snatching the microphone away from Taylor Swift, winner in the “Best Female Video” category, he ranted that Beyonce should have won.

President Obama called him a “jackass,” and who can argue with him.  Just days before, South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson interrupted Obama’s speech to call him a liar, and then there was Serena Williams‘ own jackass moment.  Still…the reactions to these events have appeared to be overamplified, leading a commenter calling him/herself the Cynical Astrologer to note: “hysterical overreacting–from CNN on 9/11 to Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, et al to astrologers everywhere–is the main manifestation of th[e Saturn/Uranus opposition] aspect.”

There is such a sense now of opposition with this aspect, as I discussed the other day, that these events have a reach that extend far beyond the immediacy of their obnoxiousness.  I was invited today to join a Facebook group: 1,000,000 people against Joe Wilson.  The problem is, the greater a reaction to an event, the greater the apparent significance that event takes on.  Instead, we all take sides and the controversy expands and grows, expanding conflict and making compromise more and more impossible.

I hope that this is merely a function of the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which peaks today for the third time.  We do have two more phases of this cycle, but with Pluto having turned direct I’d like to think we can now move forward with some more important issues.

By | 2009-09-15T08:52:07+00:00 September 15th, 2009|People|Comments Off on Saturn/Uranus and “jackass moments”

What’s got into Serena Williams?

Tennis legend Serena Williams (9/26/1981, unverified time of 8:26 pm in Saginaw, MI) gave a referee a piece of her mind on Saturday, costing her the game and the match.  This sudden outburst is considered out of character for Serena, who rarely makes the news outside of the sports section.

This can be explained partially by her astrology chart and the fact that Serena has five planets in the peaceloving sign of Libra:  the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto and Mercury.  But she’s not all peace, love and harmony – that Pluto/Mercury conjunction gives her plenty of verbal (Mercury) power (Pluto) and I suspect that she’s not afraid to use it.  Her Virgo Moon gives her a natural reticence and modesty, but this conflicts with a powerful Mars in the competitive sign of Leo, revealing her intense drive (Mars) to win (Leo). Still, that Virgo Moon is typically respectful of rules and dislikes rocking the boat and ESPN sports analyst Mary Carillo said, “This was an aberration, I’ve never seen her like that.”

It’s not surprising that Serena is touchier these days than usual.  Transiting Chiron, the planet that brings up all of our old wounds and fears, is making a square to Chiron in her natal chart. This is a challenging planetary event that removes the protective band-aids that we use to cover up our insecurities and old wounds of the psyche.

She has also had a major transit of Pluto making a square to her Sun.  Although that cycle is taking a breather, she has likely been going through some rather intense changes in her professional and personal life.

On the day of the incident, transiting Mars was forming an exact square to Saturn in Serena’s chart.  Saturn often represents the father – the stern taskmaster that tells us over and over again that we’re not good enough.  I suspect that the voice of the referee, even though she was female, brought up something deep and old for Serena, who was already sensitized by the transiting square of Chiron, and goaded by Mars, the god of war,she erupted with anger.

The final phase of the Chiron cycle will end in late April, and Serena will have plenty of Mars transits between now and then.  Hopefully she will resolve some of her issues off the courts so that her career can continue its amazing trajectory.

By | 2009-09-14T08:45:53+00:00 September 14th, 2009|People|Comments Off on What’s got into Serena Williams?

Are we heading into another “little ice age?”

Maybe the solar warming skeptics are on to something.  As you probably know, we are in a very deep solar minimum, with over 700 days with absolutely no sunspot activity since 2004. In fact, some scientists are beginning to speculate that sunspots may be gone for good:

“Sunspot magnetic fields are dropping by about 50 gauss per year,” says Penn. “If we extrapolate this trend into the future, sunspots could completely vanish around the year 2015.”

This disappearing act is possible because sunspots are made of magnetism. The “firmament” of a sunspot is not matter but rather a strong magnetic field that appears dark because it blocks the upflow of heat from the sun’s interior. If Earth lost its magnetic field, the solid planet would remain intact, but if a sunspot loses its magnetism, it ceases to exist.

read more here…

Between 1645 and 1715 or so, another spotless period later became known as the  “Maunder Minimum,” and happened to coincide with the beginning of the “little ice age” that spread through Europe causing bitterly cold winters.  However, the cold spell lasted well beyond the end of the Solar Minimum period, leading many scientists to dispute the correlation.

Much of the panic over 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar also relates to the idea that this will be the year of the peak solar maximum.  If the solar cycle behaved as it was supposed to, we would be peaking during the period from 2011 to 2012.  Some scientists are predicting an even stronger peak because of the minimum.

The fact is, no one knows.  And isn’t that one of the exciting mysteries of life!

By | 2009-09-13T07:44:42+00:00 September 13th, 2009|Astronomy|Comments Off on Are we heading into another “little ice age?”