Sun Shrouds Over Empire: The American Eclipse of 2017

Path of the Aug 21 2017 Eclipse

The path of the Aug 21 2017 Eclipse as it crosses the United States. Image courtesy of NASA.

Astrology is predicated on the idea that there is an intrinsic link between the orbital cycles of celestial bodies and the cycles of human consciousness. Everything is made of the same essential matter sprung from the same atomic well, forged and re-forged in stellar furnaces since the beginning of time, so it is reasonable to presume that the outer clock of planetary orbits and the inner clock of human experience follow a singular timetable.

Eclipses mark important moments on that celestial clock. Like clock hands joining at the stroke of midnight, the Sun, Moon and Earth all line up to sound the toll of a cosmic bell that signifies the time has come to begin a new hour of being. A substantial cycle is ending as a new cycle begins.

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Upset of Upsets: Astrology and the US Presidential Election

Image by boozker.

Image by boozker.

It seemed unbelievable at the time — Donald Trump elected president of the United States. A man who was laughed at during his initial bid for president, derided by everyone connected to societal establishment, including the media and even his own party. And then he won. How did so many people — liberals, pundits, dyed in the wool Republicans, and even the astrologers that analyzed all the relevant charts — get it wrong?

Now that the dust has begun to settle, we can see a bit more clearly how and why Trump made it this far. We can look to the suffering of great swaths of the American people, including those who voted for Obama in previous election cycles, who gave priority to venting their anger at the entrenched powers over the integrity of their nominee. The message seems to be: When you are facing financial ruin, possible homelessness and hunger, and a bleak outcome for your children, any change is better than more of the same. Whether that actually works out for the country's benefit in any measure is a topic for another day.

What perplexes me as an astrologer is how clearly Trump's win was spelled in the stars and yet how wrong the astrological community was in predicting a Clinton win. It speaks to me of the deluded mental placation that so many of us were under that such a wild card as Trump couldn't possibly make it to the top. For myself, when I first looked at the astrological maps in May of 2016, after Clinton and Trump took the nominee positions, I felt very strongly the outcome would go to Trump. But after listening to talk after talk by astrologers giving the outcome to Clinton, I fell for the delusion, setting aside the clear public message of desire for political revolution, evidenced by the fact that Sanders should have won the Democratic ticket to battle fellow outsider Trump.

So what do the stars tell us about Trump, Clinton and this election?

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Note to NASA: The zodiac has not changed

Ophiuchus from Urania's Mirror, courtesy Wikipedia.

Ophiuchus from Urania's Mirror, courtesy Wikipedia.

There's a lot of hullabaloo on the web right now with respect to an article from NASA that claims that the zodiac has changed and that there is a heretofore unaccounted 13th sign, Ophiuchus. This all supposedly throws astrology into chaos and plants a final nail into its coffin as anything but charlatanism.

The truth is this, and I can't state this emphatically enough: Astrology has known about the precession of the equinoxes and the constellation of Ophiuchus for thousands of years. There's nothing new here, nothing has changed, your sign is still your sign, and NASA is, in actual fact, wrong.

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Astrology & Creativity, Part 2

© Agsandrew - Inner Life of Music

© Agsandrew - Inner Life of Music

This article is a prelude to a workshop I'll be giving at Life Force Arts Center, 1609 W Belmont, next Sunday the 24th from 1-4pm. Details and registration here.

Please see Part 1 for the natal signatures that speak to creative ability along with some famous chart examples.

Creative Timings

Certain transits and progressions can indicate when creative inspiration and opportunity for cultivation and expression is at its peak. For day-to-day and month-to-month analysis, look to the Moon for cues on when you're likely to be most "tapped in" to your creative muse. When the Moon transits your 5th and 12th houses, or makes major aspects to your Sun, Neptune, Venus, or your 5th and 12th rulers, can be high times for creative practice and cultivation. When Venus trines and sextiles those same points you may feel a greater affinity and sensitivity to those energies and you might want to cozy up to the planet or house in question and explore its mysteries. Jupiter transits will expand those points and fuel your creative drive and output when transiting the 5th and 12 houses. Uranus and Pluto transits to your natal planets and angles, which are very long term, can actually awaken latent talents you didn't even know you had.

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Astrology & Creativity, Part 1

This article is a prelude to a workshop I'll be giving at Life Force Arts Center, 1609 W Belmont, next Sunday the 24th from 1-4pm. Details and registration here.

What creates us, moment to moment? From the pairing of tiny gametes to the full ripening of our being, there is a mysterious power of creative will that animates our life from beginning to end. We are at once a vessel and arbiter of this creative power. There is nothing that we do that is not creative, since all action, no matter how small, serves the creation of the world we live in. We are created beings, thus we seek to create.

When speaking of creativity, many people think of art, music, theater, writing or various forms of craftwork. But if we take a closer look, we can see that even our most basic day to day activities — speaking, working, cooking, parenting, how we dress, how we decorate our homes, how we treat our partners — all of these things have a creative element to them. Being creative does not have to mean doing something lofty or as a profession. We can be creative by simply doing anything that gives our life meaning and purpose.

Astrology looks at creativity as a force seeking to express itself through every area of the natal chart. The astrological symbols most often linked with creativity are the 5th and 12th Houses, their cusp rulers, and the placements of the Sun, Moon, Venus and Neptune. These areas are where we find creative drive, sensitivity to beauty, visioning and power of expression.

But creativity is not limited to any particular set of symbols. The entire chart is a mandala of creative energy, and any prominent planet, sign, and house combination can be a focal point for creative expression.

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Cancer New Moon 2016 – Feeling Together

CancerArt by Josephine Wall.

Cancer
Art by Josephine Wall.

This year's Cancer New Moon occurs on Monday July 4th at 6:03am central time. As always, New Moons herald the start of a month long phase of emotional development, when emotions are symbolically hidden from view so that we can utilize our power of will (the light of the Sun) to help direct where our emotional development is taking us. When the sign is Cancer, the Moon's home sign, our focus is on family, home and history, the past conditions that have conditioned our current state.

This New Moon day is also Independence Day here in the USA, putting emphasis on the issue of the country's security. As Pluto marches to conjunction to the USA's natal Pluto (the country's "Pluto Return"), we are seeing appropriate issues arise with respect to the revealing of corruption in politics and infrastructure, and the erosion of freedoms out of fear of insecurity. If the USA wants to be a leader of a societal model of liberty and innovation (the USA's South Node in Aquarius, 1st house Uranus), it must confront the risk of attack by way of commitment to openness, rather than tightening its grip on itself. Embracing other cultures and beliefs can only make the country stronger.

To wit, the New Moon includes a wide conjunction to Venus, which is asking us to remember that being nurturing towards others, no matter how different a person or nation may be, is necessary for our security and well being. This requires that we share how we feel, even, and especially, if that feeling is vulnerable. If we are too protective of our emotions out of fearing their exposure then we become deadened to them and lose the richness and depth that a full emotional life offers. When an entire nation of people walls off their emotions in this way, that nation becomes hardened to the rest of the world, building borders and reinforcing self protective boundaries, cutting itself off from the boons of diversity and collective well being.

On a personal level, this New Moon can actually break us free momentarily from the bigger concerns of national security and world drama while softening any personal dramas. A truce between battling parties, or a deepening of more relaxed ties, is available to us through the recognition of our common needs.

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Gemini New Moon / Grand Cross: Move It and Gain It

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

We have a rather momentous New Moon coming in the sign of Gemini on June 4th at 10:01pm Central Time. This New Moon occurs as part of a Mutable Grand Cross, which is an astrological configuration created by having one or more planets in each of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) at similar degrees. The Mutable Grand Cross is a powerful energy pattern that puts us in the center of great change and transition, clearing from our path whatever impedes our growth while requiring us to manage many shifting energies at once. It can be a busy, disorienting time, but an allowance of the process with a strong focus and resolute faith will see us through with great results.

The key advice is to keep things simple and stay flexible. We may have to change ourselves to adjust to what is changing in our outer world, be it physical resources, relationships, family or work demands or geographic location. Or we may have to adjust our outer life to match a new subjective awareness that is changing us from within, such as the release of old emotional baggage, old ways of thinking, belief systems or psychic energy fields. Either way, what we lose or receive is always in accordance with our highest growth, and the more we can move with the currents, the easier the process will be.

This Gemini New Moon includes a tight conjunction with Venus, which suggests that we are renewing our perceptions of others, taking in new points of view and altering how we think and communicate to accommodate the world around us. Ruled by Mercury in Taurus, we may still be working on how we perceive our relationship to material resources as an expression of our relationship to ourselves. If you're having money issues right now, you're being asked to look at how you either attach too much or too little importance to your physical needs. If you grip money too tightly, it'll slip through your fingers. But if you don't communicate and assert your value, others will over-demand from you. As always, a balance is being made. The question is never "how can I be more assertive or scheming to make money," it's "how can I better love and value myself and my needs so that no matter what my circumstance I am always secure in myself." When that inner security and love of self is strong, then we give ourselves the best chance of generating the material resources we need to thrive.

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Pisces New Moon/Solar Eclipse: You are the Water, the Flow and the Surrender

Pisces Solar Eclipse - Artist Unknown

Pisces Solar Eclipse - Artist Unknown

The solar eclipse of March 8th, 2016 (7:55pm central time) comes with a heavy emphasis on the sign of Pisces, the sign of surrender, dissolution and unity. The Sun/Moon conjunction is there with the South Node, Chiron, Neptune and Mercury. Opposing the Sun/Moon/South Node grouping is a conjunction of Jupiter and the North Node in Virgo, the sign of work, detailed focus and purity. Sitting right in between at a 90 degree angle to all of it is Saturn in Sagittarius, the sign of exploration and truth.

It's quite a complex that suggests a conflict of will with no-will. The Pisces side of us may wish to simply let go, to rest and relax in order to reset our brains and batteries while the Virgo side of us may get irritated with becoming too dreamy, preferring to focus on actively tying up loose ends. But Saturn is pulling the reins, reminding us that we cannot find peace until we are precise about living by our principles, willing to stand up for higher truth when called to action.

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Aquarius New Moon 2016 – Freeing the Future

Aquarius, by Josephine Wall.

Aquarius, by Josephine Wall.

Aquarius teaches us about the importance of new ideas and ideals. When the status quo of Capricorn becomes too rigid in the ways of the old, Aquarius breaks in and establishes new modes, new rules, the seeds of new norms that will blossom into the structures that define the future. While Aquarius is needed to break apart outmoded Capricorn energy, what is Aquarian now will eventually become Capricorn later, ever demanding new Aquarian breakthroughs to revitalize the world.

Strong examples of Aquarius in action include the scientific breakthroughs of Albert Einstein, the musical breakthroughs of Beethoven and the Beatles, the political revolutions of the 1700s, and the social revolutions of the 1960s. Each of these examples represent the sudden shaking of an established order, a new vision thrust upon the world that either inspired or forced the world to change.

Whenever we have a new moon in Aquarius — exact at 8:40am Central Time on Monday February 8th — we are wanting to look into our future, to make new choices that will free us from whatever past chains still bind us. New insights may come to help us clarify the ideals that will shape us in times to come. Aquarius asks: In what ways can you bravely free your soul, bring more of your authentic uniqueness to light upon your life's stage? What brilliant ideas or visions are eagerly desiring to hatch from your mind? What parts of you feel trapped by social or societal expectations, begging to be freely expressed? Now's the time to look into your own heart and see if you can summon the courage to be more of who you are as an act of love to yourself and your community.

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Mercury Retrograde – Intimacy and Freedom

Artist unknown

"The gold is in finding shared freedom through the truth of our hearts."
(Photographer unknown)

Uranus recently turned direct, indicating a renewed impulse to free ourselves from the past as it inches its way out of square with Pluto, a collectively transformative dance, or grind, that has been ongoing since 2012. Meanwhile, Venus has entered Sagittarius, linked with the desire to experience new worlds with new people, or revitalize old relationships through shared adventure. But Mars has entered Scorpio, so before we can launch out and away we have to tend to our needs deep within, possibly fighting the urge to flee out of fear of our own inner dark.

Here is the stage that is set for the next Mercury Retrograde, lasting from January 5th - January 25th (the final direct pass ends Feb 14). This is a potent cycle that starts with Mercury in very early Aquarius at a near exact square to Mars in Scorpio. The lesson with that aspect is to figure out how to communicate our own ideas and needs while remaining open to the conflicting needs of others without reacting with anger. Personal situations that require us to face where we've been too detached may flare up to force us to look at the real motivations that keep us separate. Are we truly being compassionately detached or are we being too lofty, compensating for some fear of real intimacy? The gold in this lesson is in finding shared freedom through the truth of our hearts.

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