Monday, December 31, 2007
The Christian Calendar can be set up for 12am 1st Jan 0001 AD. (Click for larger image).
With Jupiter on the ASC opposite Mars in Aries on the DESC (‘open enemies’) square to the Sun, the expansive (Jupiter) and crusading (Mars) nature of Christianity seems to be clear. Islam has also spread widely, but it is not worldwide in the way that Christianity is.
The Muslim Calendar can be set up for July 16 622 AD at 6.45pm in Medina, Saudi Arabia: this is the traditional date of Mohammed’s arrival (at sunset) in Medina. These are both symbolic rather than literal charts, but so is the US Sibly chart! And astrology itself is symbolic.
Islam is much more identified with its place of origin, the Middle East, than is Christianity, and I think we can see this from its Sun in Cancer on the DESC conjunct Saturn: it is concerned to defend (Saturn) the homeland (Cancer) from its enemies (DESC). The Moon (Home) in the 7th House (enemies) seems to reinforce this point. With most of the chart in the 7th, opposition and enemies would seem to be central to Islam, it’s as though it wouldn’t know itself without them. Like an old friend of ours who also has Sun in Cancer and unaspected Mars in Virgo, George W Bush.
If you Progress the Christian Chart to 1095 AD, the date of the first Crusade to the Holy Land, you find Pluto stationary Retrograde. The Progressed Chart for 1271, the year of the final Crusade, has Pluto stationary Direct. So the Medieval Crusades involved a whole Progressed Pluto cycle for Christianity. If we fast forward to 11th Sept 2001, what do we find? Progressed Pluto stationary Direct! The start of a whole new cycle of aggression against Islam.
That this new cycle is not just a one-way process is confirmed by Progressing the Islamic Chart to 11th Sept 2001, and setting it for New York. What we find is progressed Pluto at 25.02 Aries, within 5 minutes of the MC at 24.57 Aries.
As I have written elsewhere, the War on Terror (using the 9/11 chart for its beginning) had a progressed New Moon in August 2007, heralding a major new phase in the conflict, whose nature will take time to become clear. The chart for Islam had a progressed New Moon 4 weeks earlier in July 2007, which is extraordinary, and confirms the point.
The Composite Chart for Islam and Christianity has Mars at 0.39 Cancer conjunct Saturn and Pluto in Cancer, which is about as heavy as it gets. Pluto will oppose this Mars by transit in Feb 2008, again indicative of a new phase in the conflict between the Christian West and Muslim Middle East.
When Benazir Bhutto was assassinated a few days ago, transiting Mars was very close to this Christian-Muslim composite Mars, and so is descriptive of the tensions between the pro-western Bhutto and the Pakistani Islamists, that led to her murder.
As Pluto moves to oppose the composite Saturn and Pluto in the coming years, Uranus will also square them, at the same time as the Uranus-Pluto square transits the charts of most of the major western powers. This suggests that the development of the conflict between the west and the Muslim world will be an important part of the Uranus-Pluto square, which is the big astrological configuration coming our way. You never know, some sort of accommodation might eventually be reached, it might not be all doom and gloom.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The local phone company, CenturyTel, has finally relented and allowed residents to use the prefix 749. This decision, said the local mayor Scott Walker, was “divine intervention.”
"It's been a black eye for our town, a stigma," he said. "I don't think it's anything bad on us, just an image," he added. "We're good Christian people."
I don’t know if they’ve thought about their new number, but 749 is 7 then 7x7, i.e. 777. Someone at CenturyTel has a sense of humour. If you Google 777 you soon end up at 777was666.com, whose pages include the "Beast666 tapes".
The fear of the number 666 is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It’s been pretty clear for some time, even without astrology, that she was going to get assassinated. She was very nearly killed within a very short time of arriving back in Pakistan a couple of months ago. She said at the time that she reckoned the country’s Intelligence services were involved, not actively, but rather that they had allowed it to happen.
With any number of Islamists wanting the pro-western Bhutto out of the way, and with the Intelligence services, run by her political rival President Musharraf, also quite happy to see her gone, what chance did she have? She must have known this.
Benazir Bhutto was born in Karachi on 21st June 1953. She had Pluto within a ¼ of a degree of the Pakistan Sun, giving her the power (Pluto) to be Leader (Sun), which she was twice.
She had Sun at 29 degrees of Gemini conjunct Mars at 5 Cancer. Pluto by transit is currently opposing her Sun and moving in her Mars. She also has Prog Sun conjunct natal Pluto and moving in on Prog Pluto: ‘Death through Leadership”. Given her situation, any western astrologer would have said, “Look dear, they’re going to get you, if not now, next week, if not this year, next year. It’s not a matter of risk management.” The Oxford and Harvard educated Bhutto clearly did not consult an astrologer – or if she did, maybe it was a Vedic one, who wouldn’t have used Pluto?
With Neptune currently opposing this Prog Sun/Pluto mix, she was either going to find herself the saviour of the nation, or find her leadership hopes dissolving under her. Neptune’s involvement also suggests she will be beatified, seen as the saviour who was cruelly taken away. Her natal Moon conjunct Neptune also gives her this potential to become an Eva Peron or Princess Diana type figure.
Lest any of us get tempted to turn her into too much of a heroine, it is worth remembering the considerable fortune – said to be over a billion dollars - that she and her husband amassed during her 2 periods as leader. There have been ongoing corruption investigations ever since, and if you read her Wikipedia entry, it is clear that the charges against her were not just politically motivated. France, Poland, Switzerland and Spain have all provided documentary evidence against her and her husband. In Switzerland, she was found guilty of money-laundering. And an Asian gold bullion dealer was also alleged to have put bribe money in her husband’s account in return for becoming Pakistan’s sole licensed importer of gold.
Benazir Bhutto had Venus in Taurus square to Pluto. It is well possible that she was greedy and corrupt.
When I heard of her death, my first astrological thought was of the Moon-Mars eclipse that happened at 3 Cancer on Christmas Eve. I’d been wondering in an earlier blog what events might be associated with this eclipse, so now we have one of them. It occurred close to her Sun-Mars midpoint (she was also having a Mars Return), while of course Pluto was opposing. It was this eclipse correlation that made me realise yet again that astrology works.
Monday, December 24, 2007
The hypothetical example that the BBC website used was giving a goat to a tribesman in the Sudan. This was perfect for Jupiter’s (generosity) recent entry into Capricorn (goats).
Actually the main point they were making was about how to be polite when you open a present you don’t want, and that however hard you try, your first response will give you away.
Speaking of goats, they are a symbol for the devil. With Pluto entering Capricorn, maybe we will see a resurgence of Satanism. Maybe, at last, the anti-Christ will come.
The other day I went into an Ann Summers shop – this is a chain of sex shops that you find in the UK. I hadn’t been in one before, and I wanted to see what they had at the back, beyond all the lacy lingerie. Sure enough, it was full of vibrators, handcuffs, whips etc, which still slightly surprised me, as it was a high street chain store. What interested me, apart from all the paraphernalia, was that it was full of people, and none of them looked furtive – unlike if you’re looking at the porn mags on the top shelf at the newsagents, where no-one wants to be seen. They were acting like they were in any other shop. One middle-aged woman pulled down a large, dead-flesh coloured vibrator and showed it to her daughter, who must have been in her early twenties. “This one’s good,” she said knowledgeably. There was no exhibitionism or coyness around it, it was like she was showing her a can of baked beans, and no-one else took any notice. This was in Taunton, the heart of yokel country.
So it seems that sex and its taboo side (Pluto) is now normal (Capricorn).
Happy Christmas everyone!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
We may be well aware that we have our own fundamentalisms, but I think it can be hard to see that they can be just as extreme. But if you look at some of the American Christians with their “God hates gays” placards, it’s clear that fundamentalism is alive and kicking just as strongly in the west as it is amongst the Muslims.
For some light relief, here's a "Hot Muslim Chick"
We’re just finishing 12 years of Pluto in Sagittarius, with Jupiter having welcomed him in in 1995, and now ushering him out. During this time fundamentalism has proliferated in many forms: philosophically, there has been the very popular materialistic atheism of Richard Dawkins, who ridicules anyone who believes in God or anything like it;
environmentally, we have had the crisis reduced to one issue – CO2 – with the likes of Al Gore denouncing anyone who questions its role in global warming; politically, there has been a belief in democracy so absolute that it justified a war in Iraq, and its imposition on a country completely unsuited (at present) to democracy; and religiously, Christian fundamentalists in the US have risen to political power and waged war on Islam; they have also managed to get creationism on the school syllabus, and have even opened a spurious museum of creationism;
at the same time Islamic fundamentalists have used the Koran to justify attacks on the west, as well as brutal treatment of their own peoples if they don't follow their interpretation of the Koran.
Jupiter left Sag last Tuesday, and Pluto will leave Sag towards the end of January. Fundamentalism has reached its extremes, we have had our eyes opened to it as a potential within modern, technologically advanced humanity, but I reckon the tide is just starting to turn. So long fundamentalism, at least to some extent.
In the US, the political tide has turned against George Bush and the neo-cons; Tony Blair is no longer PM in the UK – he has been replaced by Gordon Brown, who does not share his taste for wars of ‘right’ against ‘wrong’; a bishop in the UK has just been warning against fundamentalist atheism; there is today an article on the BBC News Website entitled "Bible bashing dying out in Kansas", which the author claims is suggestive of a 'revolution in American Christendom'; and the war in Iraq, fuelled so much by Al Qaeda, has eased off considerably in the last few months. Perversely, the recent American refusal (yet again) to commit to CO2 reductions for all the wrong reasons may change the environmental debate, it may become more open, who knows.
Incidentally, Arnold Schwarzenegger, political opportunist that he is, is my current environmental hero for insisting on big emissions cuts in California, and taking the Federal Government to court for not ratifying the emissions laws that he has pushed through. Top Gun meets Terminator.
I’ve always thought with the environmental/energy issue that though America is the worst offender, they will be the ones who come up with the technological solutions, once the economic argument is there. America has a history of amazing resourcefulness. I was reading the other day, for example, about the cutting edge solar cell research that is going on in the US, that promises a step change in making solar energy more economically viable. Let’s hope the price of oil keeps rising.
So goodbye Fundamentalism, hello Big Brother. This is one of the meanings of Pluto in Capricorn: control of the individual by government and by the big corporations.
Positively, we are likely to see much less in the way of economic bubbles and government spin. Negatively, we may be entering a less adventurous, more insecure era. More ominously it will be one in which the government and the big corporations have all sorts of data on us, along with intrusive CCTV. One of the lessons here is that they can’t own our souls, however much information about us is out there. You are not your spending habits, your emails, your Google searches, your criminal record, your CV, your medical records, your earnings or your National Insurance Number. In the last analysis, you are what you know to be of worth within you, which the government can never reduce to data nor take away. I think there’s a lot of freedom in this sort of realisation.
As an aside, Tony Blair formally converted to Catholicism 2 days ago. I think, like his heroine Margaret Thatcher, he is likely to become increasingly rigid and irrelevant as time goes on.
Pluto's time in Sag has been life changing for him, but I don't think I want to go there. 3 days after Jupiter entered Cap, he converted to a traditional (Capricorn) religion (Jupiter), one with a not very pleasant history, and whose medieval crusades against Islam he has re-enacted.
Friday, December 21, 2007
An occultation is an eclipse. An eclipse of the Sun is when the Moon gets in front of it and blocks out its light. This is an unusual event. In ancient cultures, any unusual natural event would have been seen as meaning something, as a message, a portent.
Sometimes these portents are personal, like when a wild animal behaves in an unusual manner, but you are the only one to see it. You reflect on it, you think about it symbolically, and the meaning may become clear. Or you just know what it means.
And sometimes these portents have a wider significance, because we all see them. Like an eclipse of the Sun. Or an eclipse of Mars by the Moon. Long ago, before the astrologers worked it all out, we wouldn’t have been able to predict them. That would have made them even more awesome. On the other hand, once we could predict them, that would also have been awesome, like the minds of the gods opening to humanity.
Moon Goddess Selene
So occultations mean something by virtue of their rarity. They also mean something by virtue of the symbolism of the planets involved, and the symbolism of one being hidden behind the other.
In medieval astrology, as I understand it, the Moon was the most important planet, for it was the nearest and so transmitted to earth the energies of all the other planets. This is why a Void Moon is said not to be a good time to start anything. A Void Moon occurs when the Moon approaches the end of a sign, and will not make any applying major aspects with any of the planets before it enters the next sign. The Moon is not transmitting anything, so nothing can be accomplished. The Titanic set out on its maiden voyage under a Void Moon. If they’d waited an hour or so, it would have been in the next sign, and the ship might have been OK.
So you can look at an eclipse of the Sun in two ways. Because of the exact line-up between the Moon and the Sun, you could say that the energy of the Sun is transmitted to the earth in an unusually intense manner. Or you could say that the energy of the Sun is blocked out, the light of consciousness and reason is blocked out, and nature in her raw power and unpredictability is released. No doubt one of these is a more traditionally correct interpretation, but as I said, I’m just writing what comes out of my head.
So we can look at Moon-Mars in these 2 ways. Mars becomes unusually intensified and focussed. Or the Mars principle is occluded, the ability of certain peoples to stand up for themselves, to survive, is weakened.
Ares or Mars
Mars will be retrograde in Cancer during the occultation. Both of these factors suggest to me that any Mars related events will not be between countries but within certain countries.
Mars will be at 3 degrees of Cancer. This was Pluto’s position during the time of the Russian revolution and the destruction of its monarchy. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s strongman leader, is legally obliged to stand down as President at the end of his second term early next year. He is currently arranging to have himself made Prime Minister, with his own appointee as President, so that he can carry on as before. Then at the following election, he will be allowed to stand as President again. So he is turning himself into a monarch. He is assuming the power (Pluto) of the old monarchy. Moon-Mars is occurring in opposition to Jupiter-Pluto, adding to this symbolism of leaders and their power: a Prince (Jupiter-Putin) who is fighting (Mars) to increase his Power (Pluto) at home (Cancer) through internal politicking (Mars retrograde).
Strongman Vladimir Putin
Eclipses/occultations are more about particular events than long-term trends (though they may be part of that), so in Putin’s case, there may be particular acts of skulduggery going on, which he is not shy of, but which we may never get to hear about.
On 4th July 1776, Venus was at 3 Cancer. So whatever chart you use for that day, Moon-Mars will be hitting the US Venus and its meaning of wealth and resources. A reasonable prediction here, especially with Pluto going into Capricorn and opposing this Venus, is that the Moon-Mars occultation portends the correction needed to sort the sub-prime crisis, the owning up by the financial institutions of their exposure to it and their likely losses. This will bring things down to earth and help end the credit squeeze and bring us back to ‘normal’ economics. There is currently a trickle of banks etc owning up to their losses. Moon-Mars may somehow force the issue, events may occur that turn the trickle into a flood.
The Constitution for the Federal Government of the USA was approved and signed at 4pm on 17 Sept 1787 in Philadelphia. This chart has Mars at 3 Cancer conjunct South Node at 1 Cancer. So this could be very significant, a retrograde Mars Return under an occultation by the Moon of Mars. And by transit, Pluto is starting to oppose this Moon-Node. George Bush’s warmongering, and the unreason fuelling it, has been disastrous for the USA’s place in the world. Who knows, Constitutional issues may be raised around the President’s powers to take the country to war. Events may occur around the occultation that kick off the issue.
Having just posted this, I noticed at astrofuturetrends that an asteroid may hit Mars at the end of January, equivalent to the 15 megaton impact of the asteroid that hit Siberia in 1908. Now that would be a good literal meaning for the Mars-Moon eclipse.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
As you do, trolling through astrological events in December, I noticed that the Moon occults Mars around 03:45 am on 24th December, when the Moon's azimuth is 256*23', altitude +44*59', while Mars is 256* 06' and +44* 43'. This puts Mars behind the moon. The lunar parallax is applied (i.e Moon viewed from or on the earth's surface and not from the centre of our fair planet).
The conjunction opposes Jupiter and the Sun, Making the earlier (just - at 1:35 am)) full moon include a Mars/Moon occultation. You'd have to be a brave astrologer not to reckon that this is a potent sign... but just of what I cannot foretell. Something like... a culmination of reckless optimism and risk-taking leads to a big fight over territory or an attack on powerful institutions or associations that are seen to fight the common people.
Or a big idea or big lie fails utterly, causing the people to uprise.
Or Aliens land in Wigan and many strange and weird events ensue - they eat several tons of hot pies, steal the pier, and sing Cliff Richard's songs.
Whatever, it's a powerful chart when the Moon blocks Mars.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
From the BBC website:
A powerful jet of particles from a "supermassive" black hole has been seen blasting a nearby galaxy, according to findings from the US space agency. Galaxies have been seen colliding before, but it is the first time this form of galactic violence has been witnessed by astronomers. This could have a profound effect on any planets in the jet's path and could also trigger a burst of star formation.
They were obtained using Nasa's space-based Chandra X-ray Observatory, its Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope, as well as the Very Large Array (VLA) and Merlin radio telescopes on the ground.
The event is occurring in a system called 3C321, which lies 1.4 billion light-years from Earth. It contains two galaxies in orbit around one another which are in the process of merging. Most, if not all, galaxies - including our own Milky Way - are thought to host supermassive black holes at their galactic centres. A handful of these galaxies eject powerful jets from the vicinities of their black holes, and are known as radio galaxies - because jets are very "visible" at radio wavelengths. The larger of the two galaxies in 3C321 - dubbed the "death star galaxy" by the astronomers - has a jet emanating from the vicinity of the black hole at its centre. The unfortunate smaller galaxy has apparently swung into the jet's line of fire.
A particle jet from a black hole at the centre of the main galaxy (lower left) strikes its companion galaxy (upper right). The jet hits the companion galaxy at its edge and is then disrupted and deflected Image: Nasa/CXC/CfA/D.Evans et al/STScI/NSF/VLA/STFC/JBO/MERLIN)
A bright spot in some images shows where the jet has slammed into the side of the companion galaxy, dissipating some of its energy. After striking it, the jet has become disrupted and deflected. Jets can race out at close to the speed of light and can travel vast distances. The jet in 3C321 was about 1,000 light-years across and might have travelled one or two million light-years from its origin. These jets consist of high energy particles and magnetic fields. They produce enormous amounts of radiation, especially in the form of high-energy X-rays and gamma-rays.
"We've seen many jets produced by black holes, but this is the first time we've seen one punch into another galaxy like we're seeing here," said Dan Evans, lead author from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, US. "This jet could be causing all sorts of problems for the smaller galaxy it is pummelling."
The combined effects of this radiation and particles travelling at almost the speed of light could have disastrous consequences for the atmospheres of any Earth-like planets lying in the path of the jet. For example, protective layers of ozone in the planet's upper atmosphere could be destroyed, which could result in the mass extinction of any life that had evolved on the planet.
Neil Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York commented: "Black holes are famous for wreaking havoc on their environment. This particular black hole is disrupting its local region by dining on matter that wanders too close - which is the source of the energy for this jet. It also fires a jet out of the galaxy. So it is like a black hole bully, punching the nose of a passing galaxy."
"There are still basic unanswered questions about how these jets work," said co-author Martin Hardcastle of the University of Hertfordshire, UK. "We don't know how exactly they're generated close to the black hole, what they're made of, how fast they're going, or how they evolve with time. So an object like 3C321 can act as an experiment which can give us an insight into the inner working of the jet."
The effect of the jet on the companion galaxy is likely to be substantial, because the galaxies in 3C321 are extremely close to one another. At only about 20,000 light years apart, these galaxies lie approximately the same distance as the Earth is from the centre of the Milky Way.
It is possible that it would not all be bad news for the galaxy being struck by the jet. The massive influx of energy and radiation from the jet may induce the formation of large numbers of stars and planets once its initial wake of destruction is complete. "Although we call it a death star galaxy, in the end it might be a source of new life in the more distant galaxy," said Dr Hardcastle.
Features seen in images from the VLA and Chandra indicate that the jet started hitting the smaller galaxy about one million years ago. This is a blink of the eye in the lifetime of 3C321, which marks it out as an important opportunity to study a rare astronomical phenomenon, say the astronomers.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
LIBRA Pluto has been transiting your Solar 3rd House since 1995, empowering your ability to think, to study, to write and to communicate. The 3rd is a House of Reason (as opposed to the 9th of Faith), and like all human faculties it has its dark side. The Libran quest is to achieve wisdom through understanding the complexity of people and events, and seeing that there is often no ‘right’ answer. The dark side of our culture is the belief that reason, via science, can explain everything, and in this way other means of knowing are shut out, and reason itself is corrupted. Pluto has been pushing you to become a human being who knows the power and beauty of reason, but who also knows its limits. On the one hand he has not allowed you to by-pass reason, and use easy ‘mystical’ explanations; on the other hand, if you are a one-sidedly ‘reasonable’ Libran, you may have encountered unreason, either in yourself or in a partner, that has pushed you to have a broader outlook.
This long transit has prepared you for Pluto’s entry into the watery 4th House, where reason finds it hard to have a foothold, but can at the same time provide some much needed perspective. Pluto is on home territory here, and you will be faced with emotional realities that will transform you, maybe through betrayals and ruptures within the family that wake you up; or maybe, if you are older, with the death of one of more parents, that moves you into the next stage of your life. Whatever the events, you will have a sense of deep shifts on an emotional level, of passing from one age of your life to the next, and an accession of self-knowledge.
SCORPIO Pluto has been transiting your 2nd House, pushing you to let go of some long standing attachments. You may have made a lot of money during this period, and then like the Scorpios Bill Gates and Ted Turner, loosened your attitude to it, and even begun giving some away. More broadly, Pluto has been helping you loosen the convulsive grasp you can have on what feels important to you, perhaps certain possessions, places, people or principles, but which can get outdated and stand in the way of your evolution. Change doesn’t come easily to fixed Scorpios, it can be a process taking years, but it is deep and irrevocable.
As you have become less one-sidedly determined by instinctual compulsions, your mind is being freed to explore other possibilities, and this is the meaning of Pluto’s entry into your Solar 3rd House. The Scorpio Bill Gates has been talking publicly about the importance of curiosity in just the last few days. A healthy Scorpio is true to his/her instincts, but can find it hard to take reason seriously. The next 15 years are going to open you up to the mental realm, to the power of reason and its capacity for another kind of truth, for objectivity and perspective, and for the exploration of new possibilities in life.
SAGITTARIUS This is the sign that Pluto has been transiting for the last 12 years, so he has been in your 1st House, getting you to look at how you are in some very basic and general ways. The fundamentalism, the rigidly held beliefs of whatever kind, that we have seen in the world over this period have been a very useful mirror for these tendencies in yourself – tendencies that all human beings, in our existential insecurity, in our need for certainty, share. To what extent are the beliefs that fuel you a positive expression of your faith in life, and to what extent an expression of hidden insecurities, whose time for exposure and transformation has come?
Positively, Pluto has empowered your optimism, your confidence, your faith in life, your sense of deeper truths, your ability to step out enthusiastically into new adventures. But he has also empowered your blindness, your reluctance to think before you act, the self-serving nature of some of your beliefs, and if you’re lucky you will have come gloriously unstuck! As a Sagittarian, you have the resilience to be able to acknowledge your hypocrisy, your blindness, your impatient foolishness, your tyrannically held beliefs, when finally your eyes are opened. I’m laying it on thick, but that’s because you can take it!
What Sagittarians need to do is to come down to earth, make their visions real and practical, and Pluto will be taking you here over the next 15 years as he enters your 2nd house of money. As the Native American saying goes: “Don’t tell me about your visions unless they grow corn.” More broadly, the second house concerns our talents and what they are worth. It will be a time of testing yourself in the marketplace, seeing what people are prepared to pay in hard cash for what you can do. Making the vision real, discovering that it is robust enough to withstand dirty, mundane, earthly reality.
CAPRICORN These last 12 years have been difficult for you as Pluto has transited your 12th House. Your natural tendency is towards concrete, practical, measurable achievement. This is what makes you feel that your life is worth something. Pluto has been forcing you into the 12th House, the most intangible, dreamlike place in the horoscope, and you have found it hard to ‘achieve’ and be productive in the way you like to be. You may have become depressed. But what Pluto has wanted of you is to listen to a different drumbeat, to have more of a sense of vocation with your life, where you are not the narrow judge of the value of what you do; rather, you need to get your sense of fulfilment through allowing something greater to work through you.
As Pluto moves to cross your Solar Ascendant, these wilderness years are coming to an end. You now have the capacity to listen to that different drumbeat, as well as the natural Capricornian ability to do something practical with it. Pluto will be empowering you to achieve a lot in the next 15 years, but he will give you a hard time whenever you get negatively Capricorn: when you get too narrow and cautious and result-oriented and proud; or whenever you decide it just isn’t worth the effort and slide into depression.
AQUARIUS You have been on home territory these last 12 years as Pluto has transited your 11th House. This is a House of group networking, of ideals and aspirations, and this period has coincided with the arrival of the internet, a fun-fest for Aquarians and their dreams. Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces have further emphasised this. Globalisation, the continuing advance of technology, the beginnings of an ecological awareness on a worldwide scale and its resultant technologies. Aquarians have been having fun. They have been empowered by Pluto.
Like Sagittarians, Aquarians aren’t always that good at ordinary human reality, and Pluto has also been asking that of you. Yes, you can make all these contacts and friends, but how much of that is real, and how much just shared mental electricity? It has been time to identify your real friends, acknowledge those enduring soul connections as they turn up in your life, and this has given you depth as a human being. With Pluto in your 11th, you may have been through a big shift in your network of friends.
And like a Sagittarian (and an Aries!) you too can be rigidly ideological. And it’s because your ideas get disconnected from people, you get too ‘clever’, you mistake envisagements for visions. With Pluto passing through the 11th, such ideas will have backfired on you, perhaps painfully, forcing you to look at how people actually work, connecting you with them, and bringing your dreams and aspirations down to earth.
Brilliant as they can be, Aquarians can be one-sidedly conceptual, and this is going to make life hard for them as Pluto moves into their Solar 12th House. Not only is Pluto entering Aquarius’ Neptune House, but for the next few years Uranus – the ruler of Aquarius - will continue to be in Neptune’s sign of Pisces, and Neptune will continue to be in the sign of Aquarius. And during 2008, Jupiter will also be in your solar 12th House.
So they are all ganging up on Aquarians! You really are being asked to listen to yourself in a way that you are not used to. You are a fixed sign, you have a definite sense of who you are (remember Saturn is co-ruler of Aquarius), and you’re having to let go of that, and let your whole life be guided by something you don’t understand and can’t understand. You don’t fully trust it, and yet it is a siren call, everything can fall into place once you let yourself be guided in this way.
So this is your path and your challenge for the next 15 years. Every time you come from Will or Ideas, Pluto is going to undermine you. Let your sense of who you are be fuzzy so that it can soften. Be patient and make sure something really feels right before you act. And you’ll be surprised by the quality of what you do.
PISCES This has been a strong transit for you as Pluto has spent the last 12 years passing though your 10th House of career and vocation. The 10th House is not an easy place for the retiring, sensitive sign of Pisces. Pluto has been demanding you find your power out there in the world. But what he wants of you is your own power, your own confidence and strength, not that which you appear to have by virtue of your success, and which can easily be taken away from you.
Pisces is good at doing a disappearing act when faced with a challenge. So you may have spent the last 12 years struggling to have any impact at all, and felt miserable and hopeless in the face of Pluto’s demands: but, when you have finally achieved something, however small, it has been genuine and inspired and soulful. And that is all Pluto wants of you: he wants something that is real and that is in your case the voice of Spirit, at which you excel. The singer Pete Doherty is a good example of a Pisces faced with this 10th House challenge, but unable (so far) to meet it: he has disappeared into a world of drug addiction and of being the ultimate in self-destructive ‘cool’, and there’s no sign yet of him rising out of it. Pluto may yet force the issue before he finally leaves Sagittarius. Pluto will go all the way, and may in this case even mean death.
The other way that Pisces can disappear when faced with a 10th House challenge is to let the rest of the chart take over, and shape-shift to fit in with the world around you. You may well have succeeded, but you have also been betraying yourself big-time, and probably unconsciously. You’ll probably end up with some strange compulsions to compensate for this! As Pluto leaves Sagittarius, he may take you down, brutally, from the heights to which he has raised you. He may even destroy your career. But that is to get you to listen to that huge side of yourself, the Sun, your real centre. A good case in point is Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister. He has been very driven and very successful during Pluto’s time in Sagittarius. But people have always felt that the man isn’t quite right. He is actually very Pisces, he is a very feelingful, compassionate human being at heart, which we occasionally see glimpses of, but what we see mainly is the driven control freak who is in denial of all this. As Pluto reaches the end of his Solar 10th House, we have begun to see some spectacular disintegration of his career, a process that may continue over the next year. (What I feel with Gordon Brown is that at least he is a human being, however odd, whereas with Blair I have never felt that.)
Because what career needs to be for Pisces perhaps more than for any other sign is vocation. This is what you are emerging with from Pluto’s transit through Sagittarius, however germinal. Of course, you may be a well-sorted Pisces and have gone from strength to strength. Whichever, it is now time to bring that sense of vocation to a wider audience, to share it with the collective. This will be the meaning for you of Pluto’s passage through Capricorn.
A career is about you making your mark on the world. Fair enough, we all need to do that. But a vocation is a gift from Wherever, it is not yours, it is something that works through you, and it needs to be shared. Because it comes from a wider source, it speaks to the Collective, you are an agent for the transformation of the Collective: Pluto in the 11th. So whatever it is you do or are, you need to connect it out there. It may be by just having a few friends who understand your ravings. Or, if your gift is fully fledged, it is time to take it to a wider audience. Either way, you can trust in Pluto to empower your gifts and your sense of vocation if you have the courage to let others see it. This is often the stumbling block: people may be perfectly confident at ordinary tasks, but feel ridiculously shy and timid about their unique talents. So don’t be over-confident or under-confident. Just be real, and Pluto will empower you.
Friday, December 14, 2007
This whole change of sign is happening with a bang, as Jupiter joins Pluto in the last degrees of Sag, and will be there in early Cap when Pluto moves in later next month.
ARIES You are leaving a 12 year period when your beliefs were challenged. Any rigidly held beliefs were up for transformation. Rigidity leads to fundamentalism, and we all have our areas of fundamentalism. You are now much better at taking things as they come, and not imposing your own ideas of right and wrong on life. You may have moved away from a traditional belief system, however venerable, and begun to see beliefs of any kind as limiting.
With Pluto moving into your 10th House, you are starting to feel ready to take on the world again (like a good Aries), but in a more ‘responsible’ way – i.e. based on your genuine response to events and people, rather than your ideas about what is right and wrong. To this extent there will be more power in what you do in the world, more genuine confidence, more of a sense that you are doing what you were born to do.
TAURUS You have been dealing with your own demons for some years now. They have been perhaps those that disempower you, that make you defer unnecessarily to others. And you have been coming to see that you also possess your own deep insight that is your inheritance as a human being, and that it makes you neither greater nor less than anyone else. Or you may have been dealing with taboo areas that most people would not like to acknowledge about themselves, but which have given you a much broader and real picture of what you and other people are like.
With Pluto moving into your 9th House, you are now in a position to teach your hard-won understanding, to bring back to humanity your gifts from the Underworld. But not necessarily in any formal way: don’t underestimate the effect you can have by just being who you are.
GEMINI The big theme for you since 1995 has been identifying and withdrawing your projections onto other people, particularly those close to you. As a Gemini, your path involves bringing together the ‘light’ and the ‘dark’, the division you have in your psyche between what you find acceptable, what you approve of, and what you disapprove of, what is beyond the pale. It is easy for you to see the dark in others, without seeing the plank in your own eye. With any luck, Pluto has provided you with partners/significant others who do not accept your judgements of them, and who have begun for you a new process of self-awareness.
Having helped you make the crucial leap into self-awareness, Pluto is about to take you on a 15 year journey of integrating and deepening this initial insight. He is taking you on a journey that is about much more than healing your own psychological divisions. You will come to understand that collective humanity is also divided in this way, that it tends (to a varying extent) to divide life into good and evil, with evil somewhere ‘out there’. And that a true human being lives beyond this divide, because he/she has acknowledged his/her own shadow.
CANCER Pluto has been passing through your 6th House of hard work and service. So this has been a period of hard work for many of you, in which you may have been surprised at just how productive you can be, and how many hours you are capable of putting in. But in our society we are fuelled by the Protestant work ethic, the idea that somehow hard work will redeem us, will of itself make us a better person. So Pluto may also have brought you up against this limited idea, and brought you to the point where you don’t want to, even can’t, carry on working like you have been.
Pluto is now moving into your 7th House of relationships, and as a caring, nurturing Cancerian this is a nice place to be. It is time to drop that shell of hard work, and that image you have created of yourself that keeps others at a distance, and understand that if anything is going to nourish and redeem you, it is your capacity to love and to be in relationship.
LEO Pluto has been passing through Leo’s own House, the 5th, for the last 12 years. Leo’s task more than any other sign is to become who they are in all its uniqueness and glory and genius, so this has been the theme for you since 1995, but in a Plutonian way.
You have talents that are special to you, and life for you is about discovering those talents and finding the leonine courage to live from them, to display them, to develop them, and to make no bones about acknowledging just how good you are, that you are the best.
But because it is Pluto who has been leading you through this time, it has not been a simple matter of acknowledging your god-given gifts: you have been to some dark places in this quest, you have felt disconnected from the source of life and lost sight of your gifts. But that has served a purpose, because Pluto in not going to let you cruise through life on your talents, like a lazy lion.
He wants to ensure you understand that there is a deeper source to life, that flows directly through you more than any other sign, but you can’t take it for granted, just because it has always been there. That sense of disconnection is very painful for a Leo, it is like a god who has fallen to earth, but ultimately it gives you depth and humanity.
With Pluto moving into your 6th House, it is time to learn about work and service, which is not necessarily easy for a proud Leo. But Pluto’s passage through the 5th has given you the humility to do this, you have begun to understand that the life that flows through you is not yours, that it is greater even than you. It is an endless and powerful spring. If you tend to this spring and honour it, it will increase. If you try and grasp it as your own, it will eventually dry up.
VIRGO You have been taken on a long and difficult journey through the depths of the chart, through the 4th House. You may have encountered death within your immediate family. Or there may have been ruptured relationships and betrayals within the family.
It is common to have illusions around our parents or children well into later life, but these illusions also stop us fully growing up. Pluto’s passage through the 4th may have destroyed some of these illusions, as well as giving you a more straightforward relationship with death, as a natural part of life. As a Virgo, you need to learn the Pisces quality of taking people as they are without judgement. But also as a Virgo, you have the ability to analyse and understand why people are as they are, that there is always a reason they are so ‘badly’ behaved.
You have gained self-knowledge in this period. You know better who your parents are/were, and therefore who you are. Your Virgo capacity for analysis has stood you in good stead.
Pluto is about to move into your 5th House. Out of your dark night of the soul you will be able to create. Painful or pleasant, your experience of Pluto in the 4th has deepened you, you have inner riches to tell. As a Virgo, you can now articulate what we call the Underworld, but which is actually just a side of life.
Pluto in the 5th will also teach you about being egotistical in the best sense. Virgos are very happy to be of service, this is your strength. But you also need to be able to step into the limelight, to announce your talents and your existence to the world. Pluto will give you a hard time until you do this. You may find yourself taken advantage of and undervalued until you step forward and declare who you are.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
But conjunctions are beginnings/endings of cycles, so we may well see some new phase in the War on Terror. I use the chart for 9/11 for this war – 8.46am 11 Sept 2001, New York – and what I have been aware of this year is that the 9/11 chart had a Progressed New Moon in August, which again suggests the beginning of a new phase.
I think that this war takes place as much inside of George Bush’s head as anywhere else. It was him who first used the term, and he has since used it as a single category for any person/country who he considers to be an enemy of America. To start with, it was a war against those who had brought about 9/11. But none of the resulting military activity has actually had much to do with 9/11. And he’s fudged it, drawing in Iraq, Iran and North Korea, his ‘Axis of Evil’, as all somehow connected to this ‘war’.
The only attack America has had on its home territory in this ‘war’ was 9/11 itself; the only attack the UK has had (America’s main ally in this war) were the July bombings of 2005. Yet this ‘threat’ has been used to justify rafts of measures in both countries that undermine civil liberties. In the UK we know what it is like to be subject to a terrorist campaign, through the IRA bombings of the 1970s. That was real, and yet we did not need all these repressive measures throughout the country. OK, we had such measures in Northern Ireland itself, where most of the trouble was, but that was understandable. So this heightened state of security we have recently been living under is largely phoney.
Because it is phoney, you can only keep it up for so long, and the other night I suddenly had this sense of weariness about it, that the War on Terror is now old hat, it belongs to the past. Pluto in Sagittarius may be about fundamentalism, but it is also about truth, and as Pluto and Jupiter move out of Sag, truth may be what we are starting to get.
For the US, its 2 main theatres for this war are Iraq and Iran. Around the time of the progressed New Moon in August, things improved in Iraq, and have remarkably stayed that way; and just as Jupiter comes up to conjoin Pluto, all the American intelligence agencies say as one that Iran is not such a threat as we thought. So I think this war, at least as it is now, is slowly starting to end. The Iraq War Sun is at 29 Pisces, which Pluto will be squaring all of next year. This has the definite meaning of a new phase in the war, and I think a probable meaning that the war will be continuing to draw down – with no doubt the odd blip of increased bombings etc.
In the UK, just as Jupiter is coming up to conjoin Pluto, the Home Secretary has announced plans to increase from 28 to 42 days the time the police can detain a suspect without charging them. She has to get Parliament to agree to this. There seems to be a good chance they won’t agree, and I think the outcome may be a general sense that the crisis is not what it was.
I think that the period between the last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in 1994 and the present one has been a particularly strong cycle. Astrologically, this is because each conjunction took place in the rulership sign of Jupiter or Pluto. In 1994, the sky-god Jupiter visited his brother Pluto in the Underworld; in 2007, Jupiter is returning the hospitality and hosting Pluto at his home on Mount Olympus.
In November 1994, 3 weeks before the conjunction, George Bush was elected governor of Texas, and the political career of this fundamentalist began. On the same day, the Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, paving the way for the ascendancy of the neo-cons. In 2007, a week before the current conjunction, Bush has received a major political knockback over Iran, and this may come to be seen as the point at which his own jihad finally went into reverse.
Because I think it is a jihad, a ‘holy war’, that he has been waging. He wants us to think it is the Islamists who are the problem, but Bush himself embodies all those characteristics that he sees in his enemies. It is a classic case of projection. He is a religious fundamentalist who will go to any lengths to impose his own rigid view of the world on other peoples. Just like the Islamists.
So I think the 9/11 Progressed New Moon and the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction are between them pointing to a new phase, and probably a drawing down, of Bush’s War on Terror that has so dominated international relations for the last 6 years. It doesn’t mean that e.g. Iran’s nuclear ambitions won’t remain a major problem, but the way of dealing with it will be different.
For Pakistan, however, the problems with religious fundamentalism have yet to peak. President Musharraf’s position has been weakening for some time, and it seems to me to be just a matter of time before we have a nuclear armed Islamic fundamentalist state. Using astrocartography, this is reflected in Jupiter and Pluto being on the IC in Pakistan at the moment of their conjunction. It also opposes Pakistan's natal Mars at 0.35 Cancer – ‘violent religious revolution in the homeland’ – while at the same time Neptune is opposing the Pakistan Sun at 21 Leo (and Musharraf's Sun at 18 Leo), dissolving the present leadership. You don’t need the majority behind you to have a revolution, you can get away with quite a small minority if you are determined enough, which I think the Islamists are.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
In the UK they’re trying to roll out super-fast broadband for which you need optical fibres. It costs vast amounts to dig up roads and lay new networks. So they’re using the sewage network. Is this an early sign of the upcoming square from Uranus (high tech) to Pluto (sewage)?
In a natal chart, the most powerful place for a star to be is on an Angle. The US Sibly chart has the star Betelgeuse conjunct the Descendant. This is one of the brightest stars in the sky, and the one most associated with unobstructed success. This does seem to characterise the history of the USA. The Descendant is associated (in Fixed Star astrology) with the later years of life, and it did take about 300 years from the first European settlers arriving in the early 17th century for the US to reach the heights of its success, when it took over from Britain as the world’s most powerful country.
Its good to see The Astrology Page Blog back. One nice point Susan Custer makes is that in traditional astrology, sex wasn’t associated with the 8th House, it was associated with the 5th, because it’s supposed to be fun!