Chicago Presentation of The Radical Era

A talk given in Chicago: The Radical Era

A talk given in Chicago: The Radical Era

On June 15th, I'll be in Chicago to give my talk The Radical Era: An Astro-Jungian View of the 2020s. If you're in the area, please consider attending!

When: Saturday, June 15th, 3-5pm
Jupiter Botanical Studio
Flat Iron Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee, Studio 340

Suggested donation is $10-25.
Venmo @penny-gac to reserve your spot.


Jupiter-Pluto and the Meaning of Oliver Twist

Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the somber colors are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.

From Oliver Twist, Chapter 24

It is an illuminating fact that Charles Dickens' famous novel Oliver Twist has a repeated association with Jupiter-Pluto alignments. The book was originally published in serialized installments throughout the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 1837, and continued until the Jupiter-Pluto opposition in 1839. Amazingly, future adaptations of the work also coincided with Jupiter-Pluto alignments, trines in particular: The film version was released during the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 1948, which was banned in the US due to antisemitic concerns until the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 1951. The film was subsequently re-released with scenes restored during the Jupiter-Pluto sextile of 1970, and was later entered into the British Film Institute's top 100 rated films during the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 1999.

The musical adaptation, Oliver!, opened during the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 1960 and the film version of the musical was released during the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction of 1968.

What could the meaning of this synchronicity tell us? Why is Oliver Twist so connected to this particular planetary duo?

When we consider the broader social themes of the book — urban poverty, injustice, the plight of the downtrodden — the connection is pretty clear to see. Jupiter tends to shine a light upon whatever it touches, or expands it to the point we have to notice it, and Pluto represents the hidden aspects of society, not only the poor and oppressed, but also the rich and powerful who exert control over those with less.

Like Dickens's exposition of the English workhouse, Jupiter-Pluto alignments often bring a collective clarity arising out of an exposure to some morally intolerable condition. Think of the revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib prison during the Jupiter-Pluto trine of 2003, or the release of video showing the murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago during the Jupiter-Pluto trine of late 2015. We can also include the #MeToo movement, which occurred throughout Jupiter's transit through Scorpio — a sign linked strongly with Pluto — and its sextile alignment with Pluto. Most recently, Jupiter and Pluto were conjunct when George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officers, kicking off a series of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

Note that Jupiter-Pluto alignments do not instigate such events, but instead show us what was already occurring, like lifting a log in the forest to see the creepy crawlies underneath. True to Jupiter, whatever issue is being exposed becomes greatly expanded, larger than life, because the issue symbolizes, true to Pluto, a much deeper and darker problem: Government sanctioned torture, police brutality, sexual abuse by star figures, etc.

Today we are entering the very beginning of the next Jupiter-Pluto trine. It is a good time to consider: what are today's issues of poverty, injustice, and abuses of power that demand we witness with a full gaze? What can we no longer turn away from but must acknowledge as a travesty of civilization? Where have we allowed too much power to aggregate, and where have too many suffered the consequences? We might take our cue from Oliver Twist.

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The Potential Comeback of Ukraine

Chart for Ukraine in 2024

Chart for Ukraine (inner), with 2024 Aries Ingress (outer)

Almost a year ago, I mentioned in an article the significance of Jupiter-Uranus alignments to the history of Ukraine. In short, within the time since Ukraine declared its independence from Russia in 1991 it has undergone two political revolutions: The so-called Orange Revolution (2004) and the Revolution of Dignity (2014). Both revolutions were a success from the standpoint of Ukraine's sovereign independence and popular will, and both revolutions occurred during strong Jupiter-Uranus alignments.

As I've said before, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to predict the future when you study and practice astrology on a daily basis. I try to avoid doing much of it publicly because an astrologer's unconscious bias is always a mitigating factor. Yet, I have been saying since the war in Ukraine started in 2022 that come the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 2024, which is happening now, we could see a major shift in the war in favor of Ukraine.

Sure enough: The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has finally brought the Ukraine military aid bill to the floor, and it passed. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, at exact alignment during the passing of the bill, makes a square to Ukraine's Aquarius Moon, signifying a major reversal of (mis)fortune.

For context, the war took a turn for the worse for Ukraine once Saturn entered Pisces and made an opposition to Ukraine's Sun in early 2023. Indeed, the 2023 Aries Ingress chart for Ukraine suggested the entire year would be bad for them, given the Saturn opposition and Neptune opposing Ukraine's Mars (dissolution of military strength). By contrast, 2024 shows massive international support helping Ukraine maintain its independence and a return of its military strength. Not only do we have the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction mentioned above, but the 2024 Ingress chart shows both planets trine Ukraine's Uranus and Ascendant, meaning that Jupiter and Uranus represent a theme for the entire year. Like the Orange Revolution and Revolution of Dignity that came before, the theme is of successful political revolution in favor of their sovereign independence.

Looking ahead, amongst the astonishing astrological alignments of 2025 is a conjunction of Saturn with Neptune at 0º Aries, the first degree of the Zodiac. As I've also previously written, the Saturn-Neptune cycle is intimately connected to Russia's political history, and its conjunctions correlate with major endings and beginnings in Russia's political leadership. Saturn and Neptune were conjunct for the Bolshevik Revolution, the death of Stalin, and at the fall of the Soviet Union, which began Putin's rise. For 2025, it is easily conceivable that the regime of Putin will finally end.

As an astrologer, I am optimistic. The total solar eclipse of April 8th represented, to me, a major turning point. Following it comes: Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, Jupiter-Pluto trine, Uranus-Pluto trine, Saturn-Neptune conjunction, Saturn-Uranus sextile. Each of these alignments on their own would give cause for hope, but to see all of them occurring within a year is about as hopeful of a message from the heavens as any of us could ask for.

Jupiter-Uranus: Televising the Revolution

Art generated by AI

Art generated by AI

You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight germs that may cause bad breath
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat...
The revolution will not be televised

Gil Scott-Heron recorded those now famous lyrics during the Jupiter-Uranus sextile of 1971. The central idea behind the song's poetry is that the cultural revolution shaping the country at that time wasn't something that was broadcast over any normal channels of carefully procured media, but was instead happening in real life, under our feet, around our homes, and on our streets. The revolution can't be sold to us, made pretty, and solve meaningless problems.

During a similar Jupiter-Uranus sextile in early 1903, McClure's Magazine published its famous January issue that launched the muckraker revolution in journalism. This was the beginning of in-depth, scathing articles detailing the corruption and neglect in American society and in the secret halls of the behemoth corporate trusts. Muckraking was crucial to kicking off the Progressive Era, a deeply transformative period that ushered in some of the greatest reforms of American civil life, from food and drug regulation to national parks and legalizing women's right to vote.

Most of those reforms are better correlated with the Uranus-Pluto opposition of the time, as is the Uranus-Pluto conjunction with the reforms of the 1960s, just before Scott-Heron's famous poem. But Jupiter and Uranus together evoke more specifically the widespread dissemination of a social realization, a cultural shift made apparent, if not real, to everyone. Jupiter-Uranus alignments can bring about cultural epiphanies and creative solutions that catch the collective imagination like wildfire, because their time has finally come.

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Chiron and the Healing Power of Horses


Our boy Heartsong ❤️🎶

My wife and I have become very involved with horses recently. While she has had a good deal of experience with them, as a lifelong city dweller horses are completely new to me. I have revered them for their symbolic power, but until recently I had not had the kind of direct experience with horses that is medicinal and even mythical. Their massive size, terrifying power, friendly countenance, and helpful purposefulness make them seem impossible to exist. Interacting with a horse feels like interacting with a dream creature, some wild thing from another dimension, five times my size, that looks me in the eyes with equal puzzlement about me. And yet, despite seeming so otherworldly, the horse has been a partner to human civilization for millennia.

Domesticated horses have been essential to everything from transportation and farming to policing and the military. Now that technology has largely supplanted their traditional roles, we are discovering that horses have a new way to partner with us — as healers. Research has shown that equine-assisted programs help with healing war trauma, depression, substance abuse, and can help improve motor skills. Our relationship with horses is transforming from domination to alliance in our mutual journey towards healing.

The centaur — a creature that is half human, half horse — is a central image in Greek mythology, and also in astrology. The symbol for the constellation Sagittarius is a centaur, and the half-comet, half-asteroid centaurs that orbit our solar system, such as Chiron, Chariklo, Pholus, and Nessus, carry meaning in astrology of their Greek mythological counterparts. While most centaurs from Greek myth were bawdy and gregarious, possessed as they were by their instinctive, horsey nature, these more exceptional centaurs lived in balance with their human side, with care, artistry, and spiritual grace.

Chiron is of particular interest, as he represents a kind of pinnacle of centauric evolution. Chiron was a master of art, music, archery, and medicine. He mentored many of the great heroes, including Achilles, Heracles, and the god of medicine, Asclepius. Despite Chiron's wisdom as a healer, when he was wounded by an arrow dipped in magical poison that pierced his leg, he could not heal himself and suffered greatly. Eventually, with the help of Heracles — whose arrow had accidentally wounded Chiron — he exchanged his immortality to save Prometheus, and was elevated to the stars, given unto the constellation Centaurus.

Astronomically, Chiron is a celestial body with an eccentric orbit that cuts across the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. Astrologically, in resonance with his myth, Chiron represents our own journey as a "wounded healer." A question we can apply to Chiron in our own charts is, what core wounds do we carry that, by virtue of carrying them, have taught us wisdom that can help heal others? How does that wisdom bridge the hard tests of life (Saturn) to an awakening of inner liberation (Uranus)?

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2024: The Year Ahead

2024 Pointing to a veiled sunrise.

AI-generated by DALL-E.

The year 2024 begins a crucial turning point. It is the year that initiates a set of major astrological alignments that will define the next couple of decades. I've coined this period The Radical Era, which, if we look at the astrology more holistically, stretches from 2020 until 2050.

The first alignments to define this era began in early 2020, including Saturn conjunct Pluto and Saturn square Uranus, as well as the centuries-long influence of Saturn and Jupiter meeting at 0º Aquarius on the December Solstice of that year. When we consider the difficulties the past three years have brought — Covid, January 6th, culture wars, international wars, democracy in peril — we can easily see correlation with those particular alignments. But when we look forward past 2024 we see a more optimistic astrological landscape, where concentrations of power are broken and liberating new ideas and technology flourish.

One major transit of this year is the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius. This could be the defining transit of these times that colors, shades, and underpins everything else. When we take a macro view of these middle years of the 2020s, we see that Pluto's entrance into Aquarius is accompanied by a trine from both Uranus and Jupiter. This grand alignment of planets is quite the herald for Pluto's new ground. It evokes for the coming years a decidedly Aquarian political landscape — that is, progressive and democratic — along with surprising technological innovation and social change.

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A New Year’s Non-Forecast

Happy Artificially Intelligent New Year!

It is a tricky business, yet often expected of and reinforced by astrologers, to give an astrological forecast each year. Correctly interpreting planetary transits is a fiendishly challenging practice. The astrologer must be disciplined not only in astrology, but also in world history and human nature. Even then, the best any of us can do is speculate on how planetary alignments might manifest in the world, based on our understanding (such as it is) of the world and its history to this day. Or we can play with our imagination of the symbols, seeking out meaning and a sense of grounding in a turbulent world. To do all of this requires a real discipline of intellect and emotion. We astrologers are, if we are being true to our craft, martial artists of the mind.

Such a statement is almost eye-rolling from a Mercury-in-Aries native like myself. But I don't mean to be trivial: An astrologer must keep a constantly vigilant eye on what they say and write, being very clear to themselves when they might be invoking confirmation bias, cherry picking, psychological projection, or one of many other dangers that are inherent to the craft.

Part of astrology's value is in stimulating conversations around what could be, to transform and elevate our perspective so that we may see that there is reason to keep going, that whatever vexes us is temporary, and that a cosmic story is unfolding in this world, in our own lives, that is far grander than anything our limited senses can tell us. This is why intellectual and emotional discipline are so important to the astrologer. No transformative perspective can be given if we are weak in mental understanding or emotional honesty.

Those of you who seek out astrological understanding must also be fiercely discerning in what you choose to consume and believe. Yet at the same time, we must carry enough openness to be surprised, challenged, and changed.

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2023 November Update

After weeks of Saturn slowly retrograding back into range of squaring Uranus — an alignment linked with social chaos and a break down of traditional norms — Saturn finally turned direct on November 4th. Then on November 7th, as the Virgo Moon (a symbol of female fertility) came into trine alignment with Jupiter, voters scored another victory for women's reproductive rights in Ohio. The outcome of that election day rekindled hope, even if briefly, that the defeat of an autocratic movement in the United States is possible. The astrological picture supports that hope, yet we are not clear of the woods. Events at home and abroad continue to vex our longings for a more peaceful world.

For example, in correspondence with the long running Eris-North Node conjunction in Aries, the war in Israel continues to rage. That war was sparked by the Oct 7 Hamas attack that occurred just days before a solar eclipse on Israel's Libra Ascendant that was at opposition to that Eris-North Node conjunction.

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Cosmic Hints for the 2024 Election

Solar eclipse of July 1860, taken by Warren De La Rue using the Kew photoheliograph.

On July 18, 1860, a total solar eclipse in the sign of Cancer enchanted the Western world. It was visible throughout the United States as well as France and Spain, where the first ever photograph of a solar eclipse was taken by astrophotographer Warren De La Rue. It was the most dramatic and scientifically important solar eclipse of the century.

But even more dramatically, two days later a major meteor procession burned across the night sky of the Eastern United States, recounted by witnesses from Catskill to Asheville.

During that cosmically eventful week, Saturn was at a direct opposition to Abraham Lincoln's Sun. Fittingly, Lincoln was keeping a low profile as the Republican Party stumped for his presidential campaign. From a broader astrological lens, the combination of the solar eclipse with this Saturn transit implied a major life chapter was about to unfold for him. The added ingredient of the country being grazed by a massive meteor lends an almost biblically prophetic feeling for what was to come. Four months later, as Jupiter crossed the exact same point where Saturn was during the eclipse, Lincoln won the presidency, the most significant election in American history. Five months after that, the country was embroiled in its bloodiest war on record.

The most dramatic solar eclipse, meteoric procession, presidential election, and subsequent war in American history, all occurred within less than a year of each other. Today we are, again, entering a cosmically profound election cycle whose outcome likely will determine the long term path of the United States.

While astrology cannot predict meteoric events, we can see that on April 8th, 2024, the path of a total solar eclipse will cut across the United States, up from Mexico, through Texas, and up through Maine. This eclipse is a kind of bookend paired with the US-centric eclipse that cut across the entire country in 2017. We may recall a presidential election with major political consequences occurred just nine months before, handing the presidency to a man whose Ascendant coincides precisely with the degree of that eclipse.

Major eclipses wipe away something from the past — a mode of thinking, a style of being, a social, political, or cultural paradigm — and initiate a new phase. Think of the 1860 solar eclipse's proximity to the war that ended slavery, or the 2017 eclipse's proximity to Trump's presidential term. Given the 2017 and 2024 eclipses focused on the U.S., along with a set of rare and politically charged upcoming outer planet alignments, we are clearly in the long-running throes of a cultural and political reboot.

The best keynote I can offer for this election cycle is: trust the unexpected. Whatever we think is happening is never the entire picture, and whatever does happen may be more positive for the future of the planet than we think. Taking in new perspectives is an important part of psychological health, and something astrology excels at giving us. Let's dig in.

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Past and Future Renaissance

The Triumph of Galatea, fresco by Raphael

The Triumph of Galatea, fresco by Raphael

Among the many radical astrological shifts coming in the next few years, perhaps the rarest and most important is that all three outer planets — Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — will change signs within a few months. Taken individually, each sign change refers to a prominent shift in consciousness. Taken all together, we can scarcely imagine the scope of what is occurring, and it may take decades before we can look back and cognize the broader changes taking place.

Adding more depth and intrigue is that as these planets ingress into their new territories they will be aligned at important geometrical degrees. These particular alignments are referred to as "aspects of flow," meaning that the energies these planets represent are in harmony with each other rather than in conflict.

To throw in one more impressive factor, when Neptune re-enters Aries in 2026 it will be accompanied by Saturn, the two planets meeting at 0º Aries. This is a highly symbolic point as it is the first degree of the zodiac, corresponding with the Spring Equinox, the moment that represents the fate of the world for the year.

We are looking at an astounding confluence of astrological change and alignment within a very short time. This is both frightening and exciting to contemplate, and like all periods of major consciousness shift, such as the fall of Old Egypt, the European Renaissance, and the world wars of the 1900s, the birth of a new world entails some extent of destruction. The good news is that, due to the harmonized alignments of 2024-2028, we are looking at a more graceful and less destructive process that has a real potential to result in a more unified world.

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