We’re in the midst of a confusing time when it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s an illusion (or deception). This can be attributed to Neptune, the planet of fog and non-reality, being at a standstill on the summer solstice. In fact, it’s in 18º of Pisces all of May, June, July and half of August. Also, it’s never less than 4º from an abrasive and powerful “square” at cross purposes with Jupiter, which amplifies the haze. Since both planets are in the signs they rule (Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Sagittarius), the effect is even stronger. If you have something in your chart in the range of 14º – 18º of the “mutable” signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), you’re being hit especially hard by this uncomfortable combination. Whatever that part of your chart indicates will be subject to misunderstandings or missteps.
Mercury dances around Mars this summer, hanging out very close to the red planet at both the summer solstice and at the July 2 Solar Eclipse New Moon. Influences at a solstice or an eclipse last an extended period of time. Mercury passes Mars in Cancer on 6/18 before going Retrograde 7/7 – 7/31, during which time it passes Mars again on 7/8 in Leo. (Later this fall, when both are in Virgo, they meet again on 9/3, the one day of 2019 that I rated a “5,” the best day of the year.) Their blend promotes quick-thinking as well as speaking too hastily and will likely propel many people to drive too fast. There can be an aggressive side to speech with these two so close, along with jumping to conclusions. Caution is advised, along with slowing down.
Mercury zigzags back and forth between the latter part of Cancer (around 24º) and the beginning area of Leo (around 4-1/2º), crossing the Cancer/Leo border three times: 6/26 entering Leo, 7/19 backtracking into Cancer, and 8/11 re-entering Leo. This is one of the two most important cusps of the zodiac (the other being the Pisces/Aries cusp, the traditional end point of the zodiac and its new beginning). This cusp reflects a key shift in energies from Cancer’s subconscious impressionability (the Moon’s home turf) to Leo’s conscious will power (the Sun’s kingdom). Our most important heavenly bodies, the “luminaries” or “lights,” are the rulers of these signs, the primary reason for the significance of this cusp. Since Mercury is the main planet of thinking, we’ll be shifting gears between logic-based decision-making and trusting gut instincts.
Venus approaches and passes the Sun over the summer (exact on 8/14), hanging out close together and traveling at about the same pace for while. This should help counterbalance the potential pugilistic influence of the Mercury-Mars conjunctions. These four heavenly bodies gather in a grouping and often simultaneously occupy the summer signs, moving first through Cancer and then through Leo and Virgo. The marriage asteroid Juno is also near these quick-moving planets, moving through Leo, putting emphasis on marital matters. Many people will have marriage on their minds, either a union they’re in or one they’re contemplating. (If you plan to to marry this summer, a good day for a wedding is August 10.) There is one week, August 11 to 17, when all the speedy planets (Mercury, Sun, Venus, Mars, as well as asteroid Juno) are in Leo. The Sun and Venus are within 5º of one another from 7/26 – 9/3 and within that range, within 1º from 8/10 -8/17. This makes for a very romantic time around the 8/15 Full Moon. Venus joins Mars on 8/24, and all the quick planets pass Juno. This is a rare situation. What a year for a summer romance! That said, there are potentially bumpy times for relationships when the Sun is square unpredictable Uranus on 7/29 and especially as Venus follows suit on 8/2. Uranus is famous for throwing curve balls and though it’s traveling now in the normally stable sign of Taurus, it is a highly unstable influence.
Many types of relationships are improved by being proactive in expressing our affections and caring. Ceres, a dwarf planet of nurturing, is traveling in a helpful trine with Chiron, the “repairman” asteroid. They are within 5º of this connection from 5/18 until 9/13, exactly trine on 6/6 and 8/27. Across July and August, the quick planets all form imprecise (but still effective) Grand Trines with them.
Eclipses occur when new or full moons are within range (about half a sign) of the lunar Nodes, which are the intersections of the two key orbits: the Moon around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun. The North Node, an indicator of the direction in which we should travel for our spiritual growth, is in the maternal sign of Cancer. The Solar Eclipse New Moon on July 2 in Cancer (10º38’) close to the North Node brings out our soft side and puts the focus on nation, home and family. The South Node, signaling what we should strive to release, is in Capricorn, a judgmental and regimented sign that turns a cold shoulder. The Lunar Eclipse Full Moon on July 16 is in Capricorn (24º4’) close to the South Node and Saturn. Capricorn along with its ruling planet Saturn represent government. The July eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn occur within about 7º of the Nodes, highlighting how they point to the crisis at the US southern border regarding how refugees, especially the children, are being detained in harsh conditions rather than being cared about and for. Saturn is about 1º from the South Node at both eclipses, showing us it’s time to look at the laws that encode exclusion. Pluto is about 4º from the South Node, as well, and it’s a planet of elimination. There are some regulations that need to be changed! The Ceres-Chiron trine (featured at the Solar Eclipse) and its enhancement by the quick planets’ trines should help bring better conditions for these desperate people seeking a welcome from America. And there is already a lot of poverty and hunger among America’s children that also needs to be addressed. Hopefully, this summer of love will be about loving our neighbors, not just our lovers.
The Lunar Eclipse looks to be a more difficult time, due to that pesky dwarf planet of disruption and chaos, Eris. (Its discovery is what prompted astronomers – not astrologers! – to re-examine what a “planet” is.) The opposition of the Sun and Moon (which is what defines a full moon) is weighed down on the Capricorn side of the seesaw, and both ends of the axis are squared by Eris forming a troublesome T-square. But a T-square can also mean a turning point, a push – even if a hard one – for transformation.
A second New Moon (not an eclipse) in July on the 31st (which calendars not based in the Americas will list as August 1) shows a somewhat easier pattern, still featuring the long-term Pluto-Eris square that tries to force change, this time in a milder T-square with Mercury occupying the space where the Sun was at the Lunar Eclipse. The rest of the quick planets are having a good time in sunny Leo, trine other planets in the Fire signs. This means HEAT along with lots of passion and creativity, and hopefully fun.
Do the best you can this summer to show your heart!
While the common idea of a “blue moon” is a second full moon in a calendar month, that’s not the original definition. The term arose to address a rare astronomical phenomenon of having four full moons in a season. Seasons are always three months and ordinarily have only three full moons. The third of four upset the natural order and instead of carrying the customary name for that season’s third full moon, it needed to have a different name. For instance, if the Lenten Moon had been the third full moon of four in the winter season, it would have triggered an extra month of fasting before Easter came later than usual in the spring. It was deemed a “betrayer,” for which the old English word was “belewe.” This came to be misconstrued as “blue.” An error in Sky & Telescope Magazine in 1946 pegged a second full moon in a calendar month as a blue moon and the notion stuck.
These articles explain blue moons well:
from Smithsonian Magazine
The last time we had a blue moon using the traditional definition was in the spring of 2016, on 5/21/16. The next time it occurs will be in the summer of 2021, on 8/22/21, and after that, the next will be 8/19/24. The average time between these blue moons is 2.7 years (per the Space.com article).
As for a second full moon in a calendar month, that happens in an irregular manner. Recent occurrences were 8/31/12, 7/31/15, and two in one year: 1/31/18 and 3/31/18. The next couple will be 10/31/20 and 8/31/23.
Both types of blue moons are infrequent and noteworthy, but the calendar version is a man-made construct while the third in a season is strictly astronomical.
UPDATE to this article, 8/28/23 (Article was originally written 5/18/19) I did a little research and looked at a period of 30 years, in which there were eleven “belewe” moons (original definition) and ten “blue” moons (modern usage), so these two types of occurrence are about equally rare.
Neptune, the ruling planet of Pisces, spends approximately 13 years in its home sign during its 165-year swim around the zodiac. It dipped its toes into Pisces in 2011 and doesn’t completely leave this sign until early 2026. You’d say that sounds like 15 years but you’d be fooled (a Neptunian pitfall) in that assumption. Because planets appear to move backward in the zodiac (an optical illusion called retrograde motion due to the earth also being in motion), slow planets take 1-2 calendar years to transition between signs.
In 2019, we’re just over halfway through this important period when this sign and planet reinforce one another and their shared traits and inclinations are exhibited most powerfully. And when the union of the Sun and Moon at a New Moon occurs close to Neptune, these tendencies are accentuated even more.
During Neptune’s time in Pisces, there are two New Moons just two degrees from Neptune (2/21/12 and 3/13/21) and one Solar Eclipse New Moon only three degrees from Neptune (2/26/17). The New Moon on March 6, 2019 gets the award for closest to Neptune, less than half a degree away, and that’s as Pisces as it gets!
What can we expect in the coming four-week lunar cycle? A big dose of everything related to Pisces and Neptune.
This sign and planet are not known for being straightforward nor transparent. Instead, they operate in round-about ways, in the realm of illusion and mysteries. They deal in dreams rather than reality, in impressions, wishes and fantasies rather than facts. Their domain encompasses fog, veils, and whatever goes on behind the curtain or behind your back. Their associated territory in a chart is the Twelfth House, a place indicating hidden enemies, imprisonment or confinement. This is also the area of our connection to the Divine (however that’s defined) and our need for retreat and rest. Neptune and Pisces are affiliated with sleep, healing (which takes place during sleep), the medical field, medications and self-medicating, including alcohol and recreational drugs. In the body, the related areas are the feet (containing reflex points that impact one’s entire physiology) and the immune system. On a psychological level, projection, escapism and delusion come into play, as well as pathological lies and playing the victim. Positive expressions of this energy are visualization, prayer, empathy and psychic ability. This is the sign and planet most connected to fear and faith, the opposite side of fear’s coin.
We may be in for extra confusion in the current period courtesy of Mercury, the planet of communication, traveling in reverse in Pisces. This can feel like swimming in circles (the fish chasing its tail). The retrograde began on March 5 with Mercury at 29° Pisces, a degree of selflessness and sometimes of suffering. This likely makes this bout of Mercury Retrograde in Pisces more challenging than some Mercury backtracks in this sign. In addition, Mercury passes by Neptune three times: February 18-19 (depending on your time zone) in the approach to its back-up, March 24 while Retrograde, and April 2 when leaving the back-up range. These are apt to be peaks of Piscean problems or possibilities. Jupiter, which magnifies whatever it’s involved in, is roughly 90 degrees (“square”) Neptune during this time (exact January 13 and June 16) and Mercury will feel Jupiter’s amplification when Mercury is square Jupiter on February 22, March 15 and April 12. The final connection may be most difficult since Jupiter turns Retrograde on April 10 and thus is motionless and exerting additional force.
Other important links for Neptune in this period (which Mercury will also replicate) are a jarring 45-degree “semisquare” with Uranus (exact December 15, 2018 and May 1, 2019), a planet famous for shocks and surprises, and easy 60-degree “sextiles” with two planets in practical, grounding earth signs: Saturn in Capricorn (exact January 19 and June 18) and Mars in Taurus (exact March 10). These sextiles with planets in earth signs are likely to be our saving grace to keep us from going off the deep end. Pisces and Neptune don’t incline us to stick to something but Mars in Taurus won’t let go or give up.
Recommendations for handling these energies:
To satisfy the Uranus-Neptune semisquare, break away from your comfort zone or old established ways and surprise yourself by reaching for a dream. To honor Saturn’s need for maturity and wisdom, don’t go crazy; have a plan or at least a realistic goal. Then bring in the assistance of Mars in Taurus by being persistent and steady in heading toward the finish line. In the process, trust your sixth sense since Mercury in Pisces isn’t good at logic. Use the positive visualization feature: “believe to achieve” and “see it to be it.”
To learn more about Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, watch the February episode of LOOKING UP entitled “Swimming in Stormy Seas.” Some of the other phenomena mentioned in this blog are also addressed in the March episode “Shift Into Spring.”
One more thing: we shouldn’t ignore another major astrological occurrence on March 6, 2019: Uranus enters Taurus for a visit of approximately seven years. It made its first foray into Taurus on May 15, 2018, with Neptune at 16°10’ of Pisces, only one degree from a precise semisquare. At Uranus’s re-entry into Taurus, Neptune is at 16°9’, a nearly exact duplication of the prior set-up. On May 15, 2018, the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii began, a very apt symbol for the shift from a fire to an earth sign for the planet related to volcanoes and explosions in a tension relationship with the planet of the oceans. Literally fire went into the ocean and then created more land (earth). Over the next seven years, expect Mother Nature to give us some significant wake-up calls as Uranus, the “alarm clock” planet, travels through earth sign, Taurus.
The new year promises a lot of hope and opportunity for growth. Jupiter is in its sign of rulership, Sagittarius, for most of 2019 (11/8/18 – 12/2/19). This is the planet of optimism in the sign of expansion. Yet there are precarious periods when it’s better to lay low than forge ahead. January is such a time.
As January gets going, two planetary turning points pack a wallop. When planets begin or end their apparent backward motion (retrograde), they seem to stand still for days (called “on station”), which intensifies their influence. Uranus, acting like an alarm clock to shake and wake us, shifts from reverse to forward motion on 1/6, less than 24 hours after a Solar Eclipse New Moon on 1/5. On 1/10, dwarf planet Eris, known for being warlike and disruptive, does likewise. In between, the most trying combination of the year kicks into high gear, the Jupiter-Neptune square on 1/9.
It may help that the New Moon is in stable Capricorn and very close to (less than 3° from) Capricorn’s ruling planet, Saturn. This influence offers grounding in common sense and tradition, or restraint by virtue of rules. Saturn keeps Jupiter reined in (at least a bit) via a mild semisextile (30°) connection. Neptune two signs from (sextile) the Sun, Moon and Saturn contributes a touch of softness but can’t be very helpful since it’s in a jarring relationship with Uranus (see next paragraph). A nice Water sign trine (120°) from Venus in Scorpio to Chiron in Pisces supplies sympathy and could help reduce the impact of financial bumps. Venus is one of two money planets while Chiron is an asteroid with a healing “repairman” function. But they’re up against some heavyweights.
An insidious influence from two slow-moving planets sets a snare into which quicker planets fall. From the second half of 2017 into the first half of 2019, Uranus and Neptune form a grating connection (semisquare) five times. The most recent instance on 12/15/18 is still reverberating. These two planets are within 1° of their exact 45° relationship from 11/13/18 to 1/27/19. (The next occurrence is the finale on 5/1/19 (with a repeat of their 1° range this spring from 3/19 to 5/30.) Uranus brings shocks and surprises. Neptune acts out of sight and sneaks up on you. Their combined effect spawns great confusion and instability. For instance, the 2018 Janet’s Plan-its warned of “volatility in commodities and the stock market” from their interaction. Well, we’ve been having that! Big Jupiter amplifies the problems when it interacts with Uranus and Neptune on 1/9 and 1/13, respectively (as it will again 6/6 and 6/16). Speedy planets join the fray: Venus and the Sun, traveling 45° apart, form a tangled mess with these three 1/18 – 1/22 (including at the Lunar Eclipse Full Moon on 1/21) and Mercury follows suit 1/23 – 1/24 for a wild roller coaster week. Situations come to a head at a full moon, even more so at an eclipse.
Eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon line up with the lunar Nodes, the directional indicators showing our path for spiritual or cultural development. Currently the North Node in Cancer aims us toward caring for home, family and nation, moving us away from the domination by corporations and government associated with the South Node in Capricorn. Uranus is halfway in between, forming a T-square (which marks a turning point) with the Sun, Moon and Nodes. Their effect is not a gentle nudge but more like a slap in the face. The question is whether Neptune’s collaboration will bring empathy for desperate situations or signal an escapist ignoring of troubles. Think of how Al Gore warned us years ago of the “inconvenient truth” of global warming and how still some people think there’s no problem or that we have all the time in the world to save our planet from devastation. We’re hearing from the scientists now that we do not. It’s time to raise awareness, maybe through a march or something like a Climate Aid concert. Or Mother Nature may supply inspiration through a calamity.
Maybe we can muster up a sense of urgency. Mars, the planet of action, is in its sign of rulership, Aries, from 12/31/18 to 2/14/19, bringing agitation and impatience. There’s also a tendency to jump the gun (and perhaps toward more gun violence since Mars and Aries rule weapons and attacks). Fortunately, Mars does not interact with the Uranus-Neptune semisquare or we’d be on the lookout for trouble from religious rebels. (Uranus rules revolutionaries and Neptune rules belief systems.) Instead, at the lunar eclipse, Mars is in harmonious relationships with Jupiter (trine) and Neptune (semisextile), mitigating the difficulties posed by the Jupiter-Neptune square. Neptune is related to fears on one side of its coin and faith on the other. When Jupiter expands these in January, we’ll see extremes of both expressions, twisted weirdly as a result of the involvement of Uranus, planet of the unusual. Mars encourages us to take action rather than being frozen in apprehension. See if you can figure out something positive to do to help in the areas in which you’re involved. Together, we can make a difference.
Although, the new year holds some good prospects, carefully choosing when to act will help ensure success in your endeavors. Take advantage of the recommendations in the Janet’s Plan-its Best & Worst Days of 2019 list, a free downloadable PDF. And mark your appointment calendar with the Janet’s Plan-its 2019 Day Ratings or print the free 12-month list to carry with you. Add luck to your plans using the power of the Plan-its!
Sooner or later, everyone has to deal with Mercury Retrograde (explained in detail in my article Mercury Retrograde). The general recommendation is to keep your wits about you and be willing to revise or redo.
Every three months or so, the “trickster” planet Mercury appears to move backward through the zodiac for about three weeks. Since it’s the planet of communication and local transportation – key matters in our everyday lives – it can have a strong impact! Sometimes, you’ll hardly notice its effects, but when the range of degrees where it backtracks connects to your chart strongly, you’ll definitely feel its influence. The most intense effect occurs at the degree where Mercury appears to stop to change direction, called the “station.” For about a week centering on the date of the directional change, Mercury remains nearly motionless in that degree. [Check if any Mercury station degrees hit your chart using the Janet’s Plan-its “On a Page” bar graphs.]
The time frame for Mercury’s discombobulating effects is not just during the three weeks it’s actually moving in reverse. It also includes a period of about 2-1/2 weeks before and afterward as Mercury moves forward through the range of degrees of its retrograde. These are known as the entry and exit “shadow” periods. Actions undertaken in the shadow before the retrograde (entry shadow) often require revision or modification in the retrograde back-up period and in the shadow following the backtrack (exit shadow). When Mercury links to your chart, it makes three “hits” – one before the retrograde, one during and one after. So the overall time frame lasts for about two months altogether, with about two months free and clear between bouts.
Things that occur during a Mercury Retrograde can have a long-lasting impact. One important example that comes to mind is the US presidential election of 2000, which occurred as Mercury stood still ending a Retrograde backtrack. The recount mess during the exit shadow resulted in a Supreme Court ruling decided by one vote that resulted in denying Al Gore his victory. Think of how different our world would be now if we had had an environmentally friendly president at the start of this millennium!
When we take into account the weeks and months before and after a person’s birth, long-term experiences of Mercury Retrograde come into play. The astrological technique called “progressions” correlates the consecutive days after one’s birth with the consecutive years of one’s life, on a day-for-a-year basis. (See “Making Progress – Astrologically” in the Study Booth Articles.) With this forecasting system, if you are both during a Mercury Retrograde, sometime in your first 22 years, you move past its strongest effects, but it still takes another decade-plus to get out of its “shadow.” You could be live through decades when your progressed Mercury goes through the entire cycle of entry shadow, retrograde and exit shadow. If you’re born just after an exit shadow, in your later life you enter a shadow. The only people who avoid any extended period of Mercury Retrograde or its shadows by progression are those born after an exit shadow and who die before the next entry shadow. So chances are, you’ll have to live a while with some influence from a Mercury Retrograde.
The extended, progressed version of the Mercury Retrograde cycle is not easily observable on a day-to-day basis. Long-term trends or projects are where we see it at work. Since it’s an influence inclining us to re-do or go back to something, the progressed Mercury Retrograde is a period to undertake an activity or project you wanted to do before but didn’t get around to, or to complete something that was unfinished. Mercury is associated with the hands, so the Retrograde is a good time to learn something new that’s done with the hands, such as a craft or playing an instrument.
I can say for myself that I have progressed Mercury Retrograde from 2002 to 2022. I always wanted to be a writer and during this time, I created my Janet’s Plan-its calendars and they grew to be quite a detailed and involved annual book. Since they became a lot of work that is only meaningful for a brief period of time (a year), before I finish my retrograde I want to complete a book that won’t “expire.” This is a key reason I decided to forego writing more calendars and focus on other writing and other means of communication. Another thing I attribute to my progressed Mercury Retrograde period is that for the past few years, I’ve noticed I frequently, unconsciously hold my lips closed and retract them inward. For someone who’s been pretty “big-mouthed” most of my life, this is an interesting change!
If you want to learn about your natal and progressed Mercury, you can look in an ephemeris to see what was going on in the months before and after your birth and compare Mercury Retrograde station degrees to your natal chart. In a full general reading, I always look at that for a client, or it can easily be covered in a mini-reading with me. (Contact me and we’ll set something up.) We’ll discuss how you can “live with Mercury Retrograde.”
The new U.S. embassy opened in Jerusalem amidst Palestinian protests. This should be no surprise to those following astrology as Uranus – a planet of prodding, shock and progress – enters Taurus, the Sun Sign of the nation of Israel (founded May 14, 1948 by a United Nations resolution). Israel turned 70 the last day Uranus was in Aries. When Uranus returns to this degree on Election Day, November 6, 2018, perhaps moving the embassy and any resulting turmoil will be an issue in the mid-term elections. Or there may be a connected development around then.
Early in Uranus’s visit to Aries, the “Arab Spring” brought shifts in power in parts of the Middle East. If we look at the globe from a “geodetic” viewpoint (which assigns the 360 degrees of longitude, east from Greenwich, England, to the 360 degrees of the zodiac), we see that some of the Arab world (most of Algeria, all of Libya and part of Egypt) falls in the first 30 degrees ascribed to Aries. But more of the Middle East is in the Taurus sector (longitudes 30 to 60 degrees East, covering Syria, Israel, Iraq, the Arabian peninsula and most of Iran). It’s likely things will heat up in this region over the coming seven years as rebellious Uranus passes through Taurus. Even though as a sign, Taurus is resistant to change, Uranus is an unstoppable force.
The final degree of a sign brings a karmic test. For Uranus in Aries, it’s about people being free to make their choices and even just to survive (a key Aries activity) – it’s existential. Hence the Palestinians protesting the encroachment of the Israelis into the land they view as theirs. And now the United States is taking sides in the dispute. There will be consequences, although those will take some time to play out. The initial hints may come immediately as Mercury, the messenger planet associated with news, reaches 5 degrees of Taurus (the geodetic location of Jerusalem) on May 16, concurrent with the exact Mars-Uranus square (90-degree stand-off), which on its own indicates “the natives are restless.” The bigger changes will come when Uranus passes through this degree (6/13/19, 10/12/19 and 4/2/20 – three times because of retrograde zigzagging).
Meanwhile, also on the last day of Uranus in Aries, another example of people fighting for their survival hits closer to home. The LA Times reported, “Hundreds of poor and low-wage workers, clergy and activists were arrested Monday outside the U.S. Capitol and at statehouses across the country as they kick-started a revival of the Poor People’s Campaign — the civil disobedience movement founded 50 years ago by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” Rev. William J. Barber II, the “Moral Mondays” pastor from North Carolina and the campaign’s co-chair, called for a “revolution of values.” Well, that sounds exactly like Uranus, planet of revolution, in Taurus, the sign of values! I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Why is it time to get serious? Saturn’s in Capricorn! It’s the planet of facing reality in a sign of well-planned action, taking your time and thinking long-term.
This free podcast – an overview of 2018 – is an excerpt from a lecture Janet gave on 11/19/17 at the Astrological Society of Conneticut, Inc.’s New Age Fair. Follow along with the PDF handout to learn the year’s high points and low points, which months are easiest and toughest, as well as which signs are under assault and which signs have it easy.
What a way to kick off a new year! A Full Moon on New Year’s Day [6:24 pm (P) 9:24 pm (E)] in feminine, nurturing Cancer sets the tone for 2018. The Sun and Venus are closely joined (less than 2º apart), offering plenty of love and an inclination for peace, which can be achieved via respect and order, traits of the Capricorn sign where they’re positioned. Venus is exactly halfway between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn at their midpoint, a place where their energies fuse. This indicates we can use our hearts for Pluto’s changes to Saturn’s systems and status quo, coming from a place of love. That’s the plus side. If expressed negatively, hard-hearted frugality, greed and Plutocracy will inflict a destructive influence. Kindness is more likely to rule the day, assisted by a wonderful Grand Trine (the best blending of planetary forces) between the Cancer Moon, compassionate Neptune in Pisces and a pairing of Jupiter and Mars (portending big action) in transformative Scorpio, which the Sun and Venus expand into a Kite pattern, giving the Grand Trine’s benevolence a lift. There’s a lot for which to be hopeful in 2018!
[This is an excerpt from the Overview of 2018 in the forthcoming ebook Janet’s Daily Plan-its 2018, by Janet Booth, which will be issued in the first week of 2018.]
The winter solstice comes around every year on the shortest day and longest night. The Sun, in its annual circling of the zodiac, begins a new season as enters the first sign of winter. In the northern hemisphere, that’s Capricorn. The “ruling planet” (like an emissary) of Capricorn is Saturn. It visits its home sign for 2-3 years of its roughly 30-year orbit. The Sun and Saturn don’t enter any sign simultaneously on any regular schedule. It fact, this team-up is extremely rare! A search of 1,000 years (1500 – 2500) turned up only four instances of Saturn at the zero degree of Capricorn as the Sun joins it on the winter solstice: 1664, 1870, 2017 and 2370. As this marker in the heavens portends, we are in a truly historic moment.
I don’t know what happened at the prior two occurrences, but let’s look at what I wrote (in September 2016) about this solstice for my Janet’s Plan-its 2017 Celestial Planner:
This may be one of the most significant seasons in decades! Whatever begins (and a lot will be initiated in this New Moon phase) can have sweeping effects because Saturn, ruler of winter’s first sign, has just entered Capricorn and occupies the zero degree, indicating worldwide impact. It’s teamed with the Sun (associated with leaders); big decisions are in the works. The Moon (representing the public) is in Aquarius, sign of the masses and a rebellious sign. Two planets in Scorpio, the sign of economics, play key roles. Mars squares the Moon: “natives are restless” and could be resentful and aggressive. Jupiter at the powerful middle degree of Scorpio is semisquare the Sun and Saturn, creating a conflict between expanding and holding back. This could pose problems for the class with money and power depending on the help they give those in need. Sympathy comes from Jupiter trine Neptune. Venus (planet of personal assets) connects to the Uranus-Chiron semisextile: there will be surprises in finances, but not all bad. Perceptions are clouded with Mercury Retrograde and square to vague Neptune.
Now that the moment has arrived, we see there is indeed a big decision with far-reaching impact, with a leader in the middle of it. It’s the passage of the USA’s sweeping tax reform, pleasing the rich and vexing the rest, amidst angry public protests and abysmal poll numbers for the plan. Scorpio is the sign related to taxes and insurance, and the tax cut bill contained the twofer of removing the underpinning of the Affordable Care Act ( “Obamacare”) by dropping the tax penalty for not having health insurance (the “individual mandate”). This effect of the new law was hardly reported. In fact, President Trump admitted he wanted to keep it quiet.1 The Mercury-Neptune square aspect is famous for deception or at least, misdirection, like a magician’s act: “Look over here at this hand” while the other hand is doing something sneaky, preparing to fool you. The Jupiter-Neptune trine did not seem to deliver sympathy so much as amplify the reverse Robin Hood con: the deficit could increase more than 10% of its current $10+ trillion2 in order to provide 80% of the tax cut benefits to 1% of taxpayers.3 Even the tax breaks foreigners get on investments in the USA is more generous than the deal is more average hardworking Americans. Individuals’ financial picture, signified by Venus, has a Uranian sudden impact, expressed in a Chiron fashion, either hurtful or helpful. As the asteroid Chiron’s nickname, the “wounded healer,” suggests, the new law gives some people a boost and for others, it will be a bust. Mercury Retrograde suggests the whole plan will come up for review and revision sometime down the road.
Using the July 4, 1776 birthday, the USA was born during a Mercury Retrograde period and frequently revisits decisions and policies. A natural time to revise this policy would be when the next major planet crosses through the zero degree of Capricorn. That will be Jupiter on Dec. 2, 2019. And at that time, Mars, the planet of battles, will have made its biannual lap around the zodiac and will be basically where it is at this winter solstice (only two degrees away). The drama that begins now is apt to see another act then. Oh, that sounds like another prediction.
1 “We didn’t want to bring it up. I told people specifically ‘be quiet with the fake news media because I don’t want them talking too much about it.’” http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/20/politics/donald-trump-thinks-he-tricked-everyone-into-repealing-obamacare/index.html
Chuck Todd finished his MSNBC MTP (Meet the Press) Daily show on Friday, August 19 with an editorial comment about “fake news that millions follow every day” and when he named it, my jaw nearly dropped: astrology! He spoke about astrologers’ predictions for the August 21 solar eclipse in a condescending manner, although I must agree with him that many astrologers do make statements that are so broad as to be weak. (I’m sure I’m guilty of this from time to time myself.)
Todd’s source was a Newsweek article discussing the work of astrologers Wade Caves and Marjorie Orr among others. Citing how this eclipse is “of a kind that also occurred in 1909, 1927, 1945, 1963, 1981 and 1999” [by which he meant the Saros Series, although he didn’t know what that means], Todd went on, “one astrologer points out that a lot of news happened in those years,” following with a question, “Did a lot of news happen in the other 94 years of the century?” What he did not say, and what that article does say, is that Orr described how major events aligned with those eclipses, all in “years which coincide with major political events, including President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death and the attempted assassination of President William Taft.”
Todd does talk about how this type of eclipse (of this Saros Series) is associated with violence and health issues, which I confirmed in Bernadette Brady’s extensive examination of Saros Series in her book Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and The Lark. (I did a search online for years with major illnesses in the US and of these years, only 1981 stood out as significant, for a measles epidemic and AIDS beginning to be documented.) Todd then teased, “So if you or anyone you know has health problems in say, the next few years, don’t say you weren’t warned.”
It’s easy to make astrologers look foolish if you misquote them! And in slanting the words of astrologers, Todd is contributing to the fakeness of his “news.” He seemed to readily adopt from the article the criticism of Duncan Steel (space scientist and author), who says, “If people believe that the forthcoming solar eclipse ‘means’ anything for the U.S., for Trump, for the world, then they are deluded.” I wish both would read Bill Meridian’s The Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths. They’d see how powerful such paths are and how they do indeed portend great events and have done so throughout history. The article also mentions how Caves has “singled out certain dates that could prove significant: October 10, November 21, November 26 and December 17 through 19.” If Wade Caves turns out to be right, will they apologize to astrologers?
One item in the MTP commentary got me scratching my head, that this was the first total solar eclipse with a path exclusively in the United States since 1776. This implies that there was one then, which there was not. (That year was notable for having four solar eclipses, quite rare, but none of them was total nor centered in the US.) Perhaps that statement is better interpreted as the first since they nation began in 1776, although that’s also incorrect. On June 8, 1918, a total solar eclipse swept across the country, within weeks of when the US joined the Allied Forces in WW1 and there was a “Spanish ‘flu” pandemic. For a good discussion of what’s true and what’s not about this eclipse, see this blog from NationalEclipse.com, Debunking the National Eclipse.
The eclipse shadow cuts through the heart of our country, with the sun is at least partially blocked across all 48 contiguous states. Ancient astrologers would say this portends a major change or crisis for America. Are we about to be ripped apart? Maybe we’re already on the way!
There are so many divisions in America: income inequality, racial tension, religious differences, urban versus rural interests, gun activists versus gun control advocates; the list goes on. Not only are the two main political parties at extreme odds, they’re warring within their parties! We can’t agree on what basic American values are and when rights should be curtailed for safety.
The eclipse occurs in Leo, the sign of royalty and leaders, the sign ruled by the Sun. In a solar eclipse, the Moon, which indicates the People in a chart of world events (called “mundane astrology”), overtakes the Sun. Symbolically, this means the People supersede the leader. It can also mean the fall of a leader. And this eclipse hits Trump’s chart front and center. The degree of the zodiac where it occurs (around 29 degrees of Leo) is precisely the degree rising at the moment and place of Trump’s birth. This eastern horizon degree, called the ascendant, is the most important and personal part of a chart. It represents incarnation in the body, including genetic make-up and appearance as well as personality. This eclipse may presage a health problem for our President or an existential crisis for him and the country, such as whether he will continue at the helm. Already, so early in his first year in office, there is talk of impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment (for a case where a president is unable or unfit to serve).
Here’s an interesting synchronicity: Trump is already out of the White House. It’s being renovated. It symbolizes our country, which needs renovations, too. Last fall, the popular vote was “eclipsed” by the electoral college for the second time in this new century (the first being the “election” of Bush 43 by one vote in the Supreme Court). Although our economy appears vibrant (and its strength should not be gauged by the soaring stock market), weeks from now we could be thrown into chaos (and possibly default) when it‘s time to re-up the debt ceiling. Proposed changes to the tax code to eliminate mortgage interest deductions could precipitate a housing market slump or crash similar to ten years ago. And if charitable deductions are axed, there goes the help non-profits offer Americans needing assistance beyond what government gives.
And then there’s the North Korean problem. That one’s really scary, especially when you consider Trump has a Mars line running right through the Korean peninsula. Planetary power lines exist for any moment, including everyone’s birth time, and show where on earth various planets were rising, setting, culminating or anti-culminating (hitting the bottom of the chart) at the time. Presidents’ Mars lines frequently show areas of conflict during their term. An example is George W. Bush, who has Mars lines in Afghanistan, where he began America’s longest war, and Arizona, home state of his rival, John McCain. On a more peaceful note, there’s Jimmy Carter, who brokered an agreement between Israel and Egypt near a trio of his lines: Venus (peace, teamwork), Neptune (non-judgmental, forgiving) and North Node (bond, liaison). But his Mars line crosses with a Jupiter line, indicating a huge conflict, not far from Tehran, where Iranians held 60 Americans hostage for 444 days, contributing to the end of his presidency.
Trump was born with Mars just three degrees above his natal ascendant in his birth place of Jamaica, NY. Due to the earth’s curvature, at Trump’s birth moment, Mars was exactly on the ascendant in our nation’s capitol. Rather than “Making America Great Again,” it seems as if Trump is at war with America: with Congress, the judiciary, the press, and a large percentage of the people. So even if there is no physical effect on Trump, this eclipse signals that he is already being eclipsed. His power is waning. Close staff and advisors are gone. Economic advisory councils have abandoned him. His approval rating is at an historically low level. And that, Chuck Todd, is not “fake news.” It’s the truth of astrology as shown in the news.