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.
While most astrologers are busy talking about the “Great American Eclipse” (a total solar eclipse on August 21 visible across the heart of America), not as much attention is being paid to the Lunar Eclipse that precedes it, which is very important, too. It occurs on Monday, August 7 at 10:11 AM PDT, 2:11 PM EDT with the Moon at 15°25’ Aquarius and the Sun at 15°25’ Leo. These degrees accentuate what is called the Cardinal axis, composed of the 0 degrees of the four Cardinals signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) where the Sun is located at equinoxes and solstices. Halfway between them are the almost as powerful 15 degrees of Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) known as the “cross-quarters.” Together, this group of degrees acts as a link between all people since everyone experiences these key celestial turning points. Big events are sparked by planets traveling through the Cardinal axis.
By definition, a Lunar Eclipse is only visible at night when the Moon is above the horizon. (Although the Moon sometimes appears in the sky during the day, that never happens at its Full phase when it is opposite the Sun. When the Sun rises, the Moon sets and vice versa.) This eclipse occurs during our daylight hours and is visible half a world away from the USA.
I discussed both eclipses in the July 2017 episode of LOOKING UP entitled “Red Sky in the Morning” (as in the old weather saying, “sailors take warning”). After I filmed the show, I realized that I had made an error saying the path of visibility for the eclipse on August 21 is the same as the Lunar Eclipse the day Donald Trump was born. I took another look at the maps and found it is this eclipse on August 7 that has a path very close to Trump’s birth eclipse. (To see the two maps from NASA, click the links below and scroll down the site pages.) Visibility for both stretches from eastern Africa to western Australia, encompassing a lot of Asia, including Yemen and the Straits of Hormuz, much of Iran, all of the Indian subcontinent, part of the Philippines and much of China.
The Philippines and North Korea are only in the partial shadow of the 1946 eclipse while the Philippines are in the 2017 eclipse’s path of full visibility, which cuts right through the Korean peninsula. This is significant because as the August 7 eclipse occurs, talks are taking place in the Philippines about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. This is typical of how eclipse paths point to hot spots.
Fortunately, this is not a mean eclipse, so hopefully the talks will be productive and bring us back from the brink of a potentially deadly confrontation. The degrees of the Sun and Moon interact in harmonious links with the USA’s Saturn (the planet related to boundaries and respect), which is in the cooperative sign of Libra. The eclipse Jupiter (the planet related to international matters) is near the USA’s Saturn. Venus (the planet of peace) at the eclipse is in Cancer close to the USA’s big-hearted Venus-Jupiter duo. All of this bodes well for finding a reasonable solution or compromise, and if that happens, it would make the President look good even though he isn’t directly involved in the talks (and interestingly, his personal birth eclipse path is not quite in the target zone).
Here is what I said about this eclipse in Janet’s Plan-its:
Some eclipses roar like a lion; this one’s a pussy cat. The good energy is liable to spread far and wide since the degree is 15º of a Fixed sign, almost as potent as 0º of a Cardinal sign. The Sun is in its glory in Leo, shining bright with Mars 4° behind it, boosting the fiery energy. The Moon is across from both in friendly Aquarius, not a mean opposition though there could be a hint of competition between intellect (Air sign Aquarius) and intuition (Fire sign Leo). The North Node in Leo and South Node in Aquarius point to lovers and playmates (Leo) or friends and associates (Aquarius) as key people in our lives now. All relationships, in fact, should benefit from Jupiter in Libra trine the Moon and sextile the Sun. The Moon and Sun are in a Finger of God with Neptune and Pluto, which are widely sextile (the aspect won’t be exact until 2026). The Sun is at the apex of this triangle and the Moon is at the “release point.” Spiritual matters and healing activities are enhanced, though there might be an odd twist along the path. The Moon is in a Quintile Triangle with Aquarius’ ruling planet, Uranus, and Libra’s ruling planet, Venus. This magnifies the potential for fortunate social interactions, including with relatives, thanks to the location of Venus in Cancer, the sign of families. Another QT adds to the positive energy in the atmosphere. Pluto, Chiron and the North Node blend their power to assist us to put hurt behind us and focus on moving ahead toward more joy.
On a personal level, you can use this important eclipse to broaden your social circles and consolidate your network of contacts to serve your creative goals.
The USA was born of rebellion and to this day, protesting is in our blood. Somebody’s always fighting about something somewhere – we’re a pugilistic society. In the nation’s birth chart, we see this signaled by our Moon (one’s emotional nature and what one feeds on or hungers for) in the sign Aquarius. (While the Moon is important in any chart, it’s especially so when the Sun sign is Cancer, ruled by the Moon. Born in early July, the USA has the Sun in Cancer.) Aquarius is the sign ruled by Uranus, the planet of the common man, and is the sign positioned opposite Leo, the royal sign. We united in opposition to the crown and declared all men to be equal, as the most egalitarian sign, Aquarius, would be prone to do! Uranus, said to rule revolution, was discovered in 1781, about midway between the revolutions in America (beginning in 1774) and in France (1789). Some charts for the USA (including the one I usually use) are based on an early morning time when Uranus was rising at the eastern horizon, which is a key position in any chart and indicates what is being manifested. I think this fits well with our national character, but since there is not a definitive, agreed-upon time for the USA’s birth, I will restrict this analysis to apply to July 4, 1776 in general, no matter what time.
A key planet related to fighting is, of course, Mars, named for the god of war. At our inception, it was in Gemini, a sign of communication. “Them’s fighting words,” old Westerns used to say, although sometimes we battle with more than our tongues. Gemini is also a sign of siblings and neighbors. In some instances during our Civil War, brother fought against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Gemini’s ruling planet, Mercury, is named for the messenger of the gods, who also carried a moneybag. Astrology associates Mercury with commerce. In America, business has long been a bone of contention. In fact, our first act of war was heaving the Brits’ tea into Boston harbor. Mars is situated in he USA chart about halfway between Uranus and Venus at their “midpoint” (which blends their influences). Venus shows what one loves; we love to rebel and we do so with our words and wits (Mars in Gemini). Mars also rules weapons and there certainly are a lot of gun-loving activists in this nation where there are more guns than people.
The Sun in a country’s chart represents its leader, even if not a king; there’s a regal or high-ranking implication (the Sun rules Leo). At the USA’s birth, the Sun was in a 90-degree angle (indicating extreme friction) relative to Saturn, the planet of rules and the law. Saturn was in Libra, the sign of equality and justice. Our tenant is no one is above the law, not even our President. This Sun-Saturn abrasion also represents limitations (think of Saturn’s rings) that affect our leader or even our nation as a whole (the Sun in a chart indicates identity one’s very being).
The USA is blessed to have the two planets most favored by ancient astrologers, Venus and Jupiter, paired only 5 degrees apart at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Big and bright and the easiest of the planets to spot in the night sky, they were dubbed “benefics” (good do-ers), and indeed their combination often yields positive results. They herald the bounty and riches of our nation. Our “bread basket,” love of country and “family values” are consistent with the sign Cancer, where Venus and Jupiter joined. The iconic American Dream is to achieve abundance, usually thought to include home ownership (Cancer rules real estate).
Three Presidents of the modern era were all born relatively near a solar eclipse in the summer of 1946 at 6°49’ Cancer, only a degree away from Jupiter’s position at the USA’s birth. This solar eclipse was 7 degrees from George W. Bush’s Sun, 2 degrees from Donald Trump’s Mercury, and less than a degree from Bill Clinton’s Midheaven (the important top point of a chart, indicating career and status). All three men present Jupiter’s qualities of hope, humor and homespun philosophy, which America found appealing enough to put them in the White House.
However, also in the summer of 1946, Chiron, an asteroid nicknamed “the Wounded Healer,” was traveling in Libra, teamed up with big Jupiter, which magnifies all that it contacts. Both Jupiter and Chiron came to the USA’s Saturn degree, 90° from the USA’s Sun. This can be interpreted as each of these men, born with their natal Jupiter and Chiron activating the USA’s Saturn-Sun abrasion, present the potential for big harm to the respect (Saturn) of the country’s highest position (Sun). Of these three Presidents, Trump’s Chiron is closest to the USA’s Saturn and thus the injury he can do may exceed the wounds of the other two. Thus far, we have seen Clinton nearly thrown out of office over a lie and Bush taking us into the prolonged and basically unwinnable Iraq war based on a lie (that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which were never found). Will a lie, or perhaps his many lies, also be the undoing of Trump? Time will tell. And the time may be upon us before long. To add a little spice to this stew, consider that Vladimir Putin’s Sun is in Libra only a degree from the USA Saturn and exactly 90 degrees from the USA Sun. He is not a friend to America and he may well play a role in the unfolding drama.
The USA’s 2017 Birthday
Birthday influences affect not only the anniversary of a nation’s (or a person’s) birth; they are indications for the nature of the times and have an impact from before the birthday (perhaps as much as three months earlier) up to a year afterward (or at least nine months). Since ancient times, the birthday chart has been a key forecasting tool.
The Moon at USA birthday is in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and evolution, a water sign signifying deep emotions. The Moon is a primary indicator of the people, and as our country’s Sun-sign ruler, it definitely signifies the entire nation. We are shifting and our feelings are an important part of the process. Women, also related to the Moon, will play a vital role in the coming changes.
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, which in addition to the associations it shares with this sign, also relates to destruction, elimination and letting go. On Independence Day, two important connections involve Pluto. The current positions of Mars and Pluto are opposite one another (a relationship of conflict) in an explosive signal for angry extremes or damaging combative confrontations. (This brings to mind the shooting at the Republican Congressmen’s baseball practice on June 14, when Mars was at the degree of the USA Jupiter. In addition to other associations listed above, Jupiter is also related to beliefs, politics and legislation/legislators. Such a combination represents an aggressive expression of political beliefs and violence against lawmakers.) The other Pluto connection involves the USA’s natal Pluto, which is in the last degrees of Capricorn. At our 2017 birthday, Mercury is near the end of Cancer, opposite our natal Pluto, indicating powerful words, transformative talk and even harmful tirades. Pluto also has a financial associations and rules insurance and taxes, among other things. Big issues up for discussion around now are health insurance reforms and soon will come talk about taxes and budgets, with plenty of disagreements from opposing viewpoints. Adding fuel to this fire is rowdy Uranus, currently at 90 degrees to our natal Pluto as well as the birthday Mercury in a volatile relationship called a T-square. Uranus has been in Aries since 2011 and is nearing the end of its roughly seven-year visit. As the ruler of technology, Uranus in antagonistic Aries is an appropriate harbinger of cyber warfare, and we see what’s been happening in that regard.
Jupiter has been in Libra since last summer and at our birthday is very close to the degree of the USA’s Saturn and Trump’s Chiron (both 90 degrees from the USA Sun). Jupiter closes in on that degree about a week later, around July 12 (the exact date depends on the unknown USA birth time but it’s within a day or two at the most, of the 12th). Jupiter is famous for bringing things out into the open. Jupiter is also associated with all forms of the media, which Trump is trying to brand as an enemy, not a surprising development when you think of Jupiter currently chafing the USA’s natal Sun-Saturn friction. Keep your eyes on Putin’s and Trump’s first face-to-face meeting as world leaders on July 7 or 8 (details to be determined) at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, midway between our July 4 birthday and the July 12-ish Jupiter visit. Whatever these two do or do not discuss may not seem tremendously significant at the time, but I suspect it will set some wheels in motion that will turn out to be very important. It probably won’t be a love-fest since Venus is in a rough relationship with Jupiter at the USA’s 2017 birthday. Although these two had a good relationship at the nation’s birth, the current connection isn’t likely to deliver the wished-for goodies since it activates the difficult link between the natal and birthday Sun with natal Saturn. Venus is the planet of values. Russia’s clash with America’s, but whose will Trump tout? So far, he hasn’t criticized Russia or Putin on any issues. But an altercation may be in the offing. Mercury and Mars are close together at our birthday (roughly 6-7 degrees apart), echoing the USA natal Mars in Mercury-ruled Gemini. Lots of heated discussions are in store, as is our wont. We love our fightin’ words, which is where we started this discussion. And oh, by the way, Trump’s Sun is at the degree of the USA Mars. He exemplifies our pugilistic nature and rather than making American great again, it seems more like he’s at war with the nation he’s been elected to lead. He may ignore being called to task by Americans, but no one can escape the just desserts of Saturn, known as the Lord of Karma, renowned for indicating chickens coming home to roost. At this foreboding birthday (and for months before and after), Saturn opposes the USA’s natal Mars and Trump’s natal Sun. Watch to see when his verbal attacks have consequences. Saturn takes its time but always does its work.
For more about the astrological influences at work in July, the USA’s birthday, Trump and the eclipses coming in August, watch the July episode of my LOOKING UP cable show entitled “Red Sky in the Morning” (as in the weather prediction to “take warning”).
[Read more about the 4/26/17 New Moon in the AstrologyBooth newsletter, a free email (via Constant Contact) which goes to a list separate from followers of this blog. They include a sign-up line at the bottom. HERE is the latest one, posted on the AstrologyBooth Facebook page, which you can also follow.]
The time between one New Moon and the next is approximately one month. (In fact, the word “month” derives from measuring a Moon cycle.) During this time, the Moon moves through the range of degrees (about 29-1/2) between the two New Moon zodiac positions twice, once in the first 2-1/2 days of the cycle and again in the final 2-1/2 days of the cycle as it approaches the Sun. Meanwhile, the Sun advances a degree a day through the range of zodiac degrees between the two New Moon locations. Thus there are three times that connections are made to other planets from the traversed degree range, twice by the Moon and once in between by the Sun. This gives us the opportunity to link actions at these three moments for reinforcement or progress related to what the affected planets represent.
I noticed this phenomenon years ago and I’ve lectured on it several times. I call it Sol-lunar Threepeats, borrowing the term from sports for teams or players who win three tournaments in succession; they don’t merely repeat, they “threepeat.” I’ve also used the nickname “Moon loops” because the Moon loops around the whole zodiac, passing the position of one New Moon and continuing nearly another sign further to catch the Sun and form the next New Moon.
If you know some astrology, check your chart for what might be positioned between 6°27’ Taurus, where the New Moon on April 26 occurs, and 4°47’ Gemini, the location of the next New Moon on May 25. There will be three stimulations of everything in that degree range over the next month. Whatever your affected natal planet(s) represent(s) as well as matters of the house(s) ruled in your chart are targets for developments. Likewise, other parts of your chart may be contacted from the pertinent degree range. For example, if you have something between 6°27’ Scorpio and 4°47’ Sagittarius, it will be opposed by the Moon twice and the Sun once.
It’s also possible to use the “aspects” (connections) the Moon and Sun make to other planets in motion (“transits”) as discussed below. These times and recommendations apply to anyone and everyone, no matter what is in one’s individual chart. I mention the degrees involved because you may find that they hit something in your chart.
New Moon at 6°27 Taurus on Wednesday, April 26 (5:16 am PDT, 8:16 am EDT)
next New Moon at 4°47’ Gemini on Thursday, May 25 (12:44 pm PDT, 3:44 pm EDT)
As the new lunar cycle commences, Venus is almost at zero degrees of Aries, the zodiac’s beginning point and most powerful degree. However, it is actually at the difficult final zodiac degree, 29 Pisces. This could bring financial or relationship challenges with karmic consequences. Be careful when the Moon is semisquare Venus on Wed. 4/26 at 5:51 pm PDT, 8:51 pm EDT. The Moon will be at 14°21’ Taurus and Venus will be at 29°21’ Pisces. The border between Pisces and Aries has a wide-ranging effect. I expect some important news! Look for related circumstances when the Sun repeats the semisquare to Venus on Fri. 5/19 at 11:35 pm PDT, which is the same moment as Sat. 5/20 at 2:36 am EDT. The impact may not be as strong then since the Pisces/Aries border is not the location. The Sun will be at 29°26’ Taurus and Venus will be at 14°26’ Aries. The Moon’s “threepeat” semisquare to Venus is Thurs. 5/25 at 11:50 am PDT, 2:50 pm EDT. The Moon will be at 4°12’ Gemini and Venus will be at 19°12’ Aries. Like the third act of a play, there is likely to be a resolution to the situation around this time.
Exact times are more important for the Moon’s hits since it moves about half a degree per hour. The Sun moves about a degree in a whole day, so the time of its hits is not as crucial. You can use other times on that day. This is especially important to know on days when the Moon is Void of Course (which you want to avoid) at the time of the Sun’s exact aspect. Janet’s Plan-its tells you when the Moon is Void.
When two planets are in a strong aspect during a lunar cycle, the days when the Moon and Sun trigger them are times when the aspect strongly “shows its stuff.” Here are key aspects in the coming cycle.
Mars sesquiquadrate Pluto, exact Thurs. 4/27 at 12:00 pm PDT, 3:00 pm EDT (Mars at 4°23’ Gemini, Pluto at 19°23’ Capricorn), indicates tough talk, discussions about power and change, and action to eliminate or end something. On Fri. 4/28, the Moon is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 1:36 am PDT, 4:36 am EDT and conjunct Mars at 2:15 am PDT, 5:15 am EDT. Then Mars moves out of the applicable degree range. However, Pluto is hit two more times, reverberating whatever begins 4/27 – 4/28. On Wed. 5/24, the Sun is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 8:15 pm PDT, 11:15 pm EDT. Then on Thurs. 5/25, the Moon is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 11:41 am PDT, 2:41 pm EDT. Pluto’s slow, staying at 19° Capricorn, with the aspects coming from 4° Gemini.
Saturn square Chiron This stand-off happened before on 12/28/16 and comes around again on 11/2/17. There will probably be connected events or developments around these three dates. This current occurrence is exact Sun. 4/30 at 1:24 pm PDT, 4:24 pm EDT, at 27°18’ of Sagittarius (Saturn) and Pisces (Chiron). These are both slow heavenly bodies and don’t move very far in the coming month. The Moon and Sun stimulate them from 12° Taurus. Their combo relates to health concerns (especially involving the skeletal system, immune system, feet, drugs or medicine), boundary issues, trouble with authority figures, problems in the ocean and international power struggles. The “threepeats” are:
Wed, 4/26 Moon semisquare Chiron at 2:17 pm PDT, 5:17 pm EDT and sesquiquadrate Saturn at 2:49 pm PDT, 5:49 pm EDT.
Tues, 5/2 Sun sesquiquadrate Saturn at 4:18 am PDT, 7:18 am EDT and semisquare Chiron at 7:56 am PDT, 10:56 am EDT.
Moon sesquiquadrate Saturn Tues. 5/23 11:21 pm PDT, which is the same moment as Wed. 5/24 2:21 am EDT; semisquare Chiron Wed. 5/24 at 2:49 am PDT, 5:49 am EDT.
A strong lunar push comes on Sat. 4/29. Before it goes Void, the Moon forms a T-square with Saturn and Chiron BUT NOT FROM THE DEGREE RANGE WHERE THE SUN TRAVELS OVER THE COMING MONTH. The Moon is square Chiron at 2:10 pm PDT, 5:20 pm EDT and it’s opposite Saturn at 2:28 pm PDT, 5:28 pm EDT, when it becomes Void. Something heavy may emerge with this T-square.
A happier indication comes from Jupiter quintile Saturn, exact on Wed. 5/3 at 4:13 am PDT, 7:13 am EDT, when Jupiter is at 15°12’ Libra and Saturn is at 27°12’ Sagittarius. This pairing offers the potential for beneficial decisions, lucrative business relations or foreign interactions, good relationships with those in government or authority positions, and advantageous collaboration in educational and media-related matters. The Moon and Sun create a Quintile Triangle with them from 21° Taurus. On Thurs. 4/27, the Moon is biquintile Saturn at 5:03 am PDT, 8:03 am EDT and biquintile Jupiter at 5:42 am PDT, 8:42 am EDT. The Sun follows suit over two calendar days (discussed in the “Star Pages” of Janet’s Plan-its). It’s biquintile Jupiter on Wed. 5/10 at 5:05 pm PDT, 8:05 pm EDT and biquintile Saturn on Thurs. 5/11 at 1:16 am PDT, 4:16 am EDT. The Moon completes the “threepeat” on Wed. 5/24 with a biquintile to Jupiter at 12:52 pm PDT, 3:52 pm EDT and a biquintile to Saturn at 1:34 pm PDT, 4:34 pm EDT.
Here are some single aspects that are “threepeated” over the next month and how you can use the three-step process.
sextile Neptune from 13° Taurus to 13° Pisces – not a super powerful aspect but quite favorable for health, spirituality and creative pursuits:
Moon sextile Neptune Wed. 4/26 at 4:38 pm PDT, 7:38 pm EDT
Sun sextile Neptune Wed. 5/3 at 5:50 pm PDT, 8:50 pm EDT
Moon sextile Neptune Wed. 5/24 at 4:12 am PDT, 7:12 am EDT
sextile Chiron from 28° Taurus to 28° Pisces – also favorable for health matters as well as problem-solving:
Moon sextile Chiron Thurs. 4/27 at 2:09 pm PDT, 5:09 pm EDT
Sun sextile Chiron Thurs. 5/18 at 1:06 pm PDT, 4:06 pm EDT
Moon sextile Chiron Thurs. 5/25 at 2:33 am PDT, 5:33 am EDT
trine Pluto from 19° Taurus to 19° Capricorn – good for business-building and securing finances:
Moon trine Pluto Thurs. 4/27 at 1:49 am PDT, 4:49 am EDT
Sun trine Pluto Tues. 5/9 at 11:23 am PDT, 2:23 pm EDT
Moon trine Pluto Wed. 5/24 at 12:08 pm PDT, 3:08 pm EDT
sesquiquadrate Jupiter brings steep learning curves and growing pains; occurs from 28° Taurus to 0° Gemini (Jupiter is retrograde 15-13° Libra):
Moon at 0° Gemini sesquiquadrate Jupiter Thurs. 4/27 at 7:52 pm PDT, 10:52 pm EDT
Sun at 28° Taurus sesquiquadrate Jupiter Fri. 5/19 at 9:18 am PDT, 12:18 pm EDT
Moon at 28° Taurus sesquiquadrate Jupiter Thurs. 5/25 at 2:59 am PDT, 5:59 am EDT
square the North & South Nodes from 28° Taurus to 0° Gemini (the Nodes are retrograde at 0° Virgo/Pisces to 28° Leo/Aquarius) – shift gears, adjust direction:
Moon square the Nodes Thurs. 4/27 at 6:41 pm PDT, 9:41 pm EDT
Sun square the Nodes Fri. 5/19 at 9:36 am PDT, 12:36 pm EDT
Moon square the Nodes Thurs. 5/25 at 3:01 am PDT, 6:01 am EDT
I am very interested to hear your experiences in regard to related events around the times of these “threepeats” or how you used these time frames to intentionally affect situations in your life. Please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!
People who expect a refund are usually quicker to file their tax return than those who owe. That much is a no-brainer. Perhaps if you have a lot of work to do before you arrive at your bottom line, you might not file until deadline time even if you’d get money back. But there a good astrological reason to file this year earlier rather than later.
You may be familiar with the phenomenon of retrograde motion of planets. This is an optical illusion where a planet appears to travel in the opposite direction of its normal motion for a period of time, from weeks to months. It’s due to the fact that we on earth are in motion along with our fellow orbiters of the sun, and our relative positions makes planets look like they’re going in reverse as they pass closest to earth.
The interpretation is that activities and items associated with a planet tend to present more difficulties when that planet is retrograde and seem to be easier to handle when the planet is proceeding forward through the zodiac (called direct motion). Some type of revision or correction is often necessitated when an action is undertaken during a retrograde and possibly even when it’s preparing to turn retrograde.
This April, not one but two relevant planets will be in retrograde motion. Venus, related to monetary matters, will backtrack from March 4 to April 15. Since taxes are a reporting of money earned and spent, Venus is rather important in tax filing.
Mercury, the planet related to all forms of communication (including filing of forms), as well as commerce, is retrograde from April 9 to May 3. Many people have experienced errors of commission or omission during a Mercury retrograde period. Sometimes trying to take care of communications ahead of a retrograde will still result in a need for corrections, particularly if the work is done shortly before the backtracking commences as Mercury moves forward through the range of degrees where it is about to back up. Mercury enters this range on March 27. (Venus entered its backup range on January 30, before the deadline for 1099 forms to be sent to you for your taxes.)
Thus there are a few days, April 9 to 15, with a double retrograde of the two planets most related to filing a tax return. (You can see this overlap on the bar chart on my 2017 On a Page, a free download on my website.) Knowing this, don’t you want to avoid waiting until the deadline? In fact, you probably want to finish your accounting before March 27, if not before March 4.
Some astrologers believe that you have less of a chance of being audited if you file your return when the Moon is in a condition called “void of course.” This means it is making no more connections to other planets from the sign through which it is traveling. When it makes its last contact from that sign, it begins the void, which lasts until the Moon enters the next sign. You might think of the links it makes as providing motivation or direction and that when those have expired, the Moon is without a mission, hence “void of course.” I’m not sure if there are statistical studies to verify this belief, but I know many astrologers who file their taxes during a void Moon!
In my Janet’s Plan-its astrology calendars (both the print version and the ebook), I indicate when the Moon is void and I recommend certain days for particular activities. However, the days I show as best for tax-related matters are not when the Moon is void; a void Moon isn’t usually a best time for doing anything the first time (although it’s fine for continuing ongoing activities). I also rate the days 1-5 as to their ease or difficulty according to how nicely the planets are interacting (1 is toughest; 5 is smoothest). A decent day for filing your return is Friday, Feb. 17, rated 3, with the Moon in Scorpio (the sign related to taxes) becoming void at 11:38 am (P), 2:38 pm (E) and remaining void the rest of the day. The last connection the Moon makes as it becomes void is a positive link with the “ruling planet” of Scorpio, Pluto. If you want to try the void approach and file before Venus turns retrograde, this is your best bet. You can also just barely skirt the edge of Venus turning retrograde by filing on March 3 with the Moon in Taurus, the sign of money, becoming void for the rest of the day at 7:20 am (P), 10:20 am (E). It is only rated 2 but that last connection the Moon makes is a positive one to Pluto. Venus is basically motionless then, so it wouldn’t be my preference.
If Mercury retrograde is more of a concern to you for filing your taxes (and in my opinion, it’s a more relevant factor than Venus retrograde), you can file on Friday, March 10, which is rated 4 with the Moon void from 9:05 am to 2:07 pm Pacific time, 12:05 pm to 5:07 pm Eastern time. The Moon’s last contact is not with Pluto but at least it is a positive one, in this case to Saturn, which is related to governmental matters. If you don’t care about filing when the Moon is void, days I list in Janet’s Plan-its that are best for tax-related matters are the morning of 2/16 (a 3 day with the Moon in Scorpio) and the evening of 3/21, also a 3 day with the Moon in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn).
Whatever you do, try to avoid those last few days before the deadline – they’re deadly!