Technical Note

My analyses are based on composite charts that combine data for the New and Full Moons of each month.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Astrology of April 2014 - A New Paradigm?


The Astrology of April 2014 - A New Paradigm?

For years, in many democratic nations, two relatively small elite groups, one essentially conservative, one essentially liberal, have controlled political, economic and cultural debate and all but dictated outcomes.

In recent months, a decidedly more inclusive, pluralistic, "multi-polar" approach to resolving important political issues has been suggested by and supported in the charts. This month’s analysis is about this proposed New Paradigm.

I will describe the astrological evidence for its existence and describe its likely effects in the real world. We can then decide for ourselves whether the New Paradigm is a real thing producing observable effects in the world.


March Recap


March’s aspects sent transformative energy deep into our hearts and minds, motivating and empowering us to explore new ways of thinking about our lives and the world around us.

The social, political and economic structures that shape society are rooted in our minds. This suggests that these inner changes are, indeed, laying the foundation for a New Paradigm.


April & January

April’s chart resembles January’s in relevant ways. A Grand Cross in Cardinal Signs is embedded in a Kite. An intense blocking energy is harnessed to power an inclusive, wide-ranging debate process instead. In January, local and state level activism too the lead.

Accordingly, this winter, politics did not follow the old right-left paradigm. In the US, Washington gridlock morphed into a complex dialogue between the local, state and national governments. Conservatives began to compromise with liberals in ways that scarcely seemed possible. The conflicts were still readily apparent, but they were at least partially overcome to produce progress.

In the US, at least, Liberals and conservatives cooperated, however grudgingly, on key budget issues. A number of states moved forward with the legalization of pot and marriage equality. Grassroots protest against fracking surged. There was resistance to drug testing of welfare recipients in Florida, action against voter suppression laws and a range of other issues. These trends continued in February.

It became clear that stepped up grassroots activism was now part of the landscape. Things are still happening that no one would have anticipated, given the epic confrontations of recent years.

April’s Chart

April’s combination of Grand Cross and Kite, augmented by the effects of two eclipses, will make the emerging trends of this winter the new normal. The changes brought about this winter will firm up and the trend toward compromise and progressive reform will grow quite noticeably. The sharp, deeply ideological conflicts will remain apparent, but it will become clear that regressive forces in both conservative and liberal camps have lost ground.

An “imperfection” in April’s Kite will bring income inequality and the forces that keep it in place to the fore, demanding that it be actively addressed.


The Bad News Squares

In general, the issue of political and economic fairness is foregrounded in April.

Mars retrograde is in Libra in the 5th; Jupiter is in Cancer in the 2nd; Uranus in Aries is in the 11th, and Pluto retrograde is in Capricorn in the 8th. The Cardinal signs are all placed in fixed houses, further ensuring conflict.

Jupiter opposes Pluto along the financial axis, which governs the relation between individual and collective finances. The power and wealth of the government and the finance industry (Pluto in Capricorn in the 8th) is massed against the productivity and prosperity of individuals (Jupiter in Cancer in the 2nd).

Uranus opposes Mars along the the axis connecting individual and group interests. The expectations and aspirations of the individual (Mars in Leo in the 5th house) are pitted against group ideals and aspirations (Uranus in Aries in the 11th). Accordingly, in the public arena, conservative ideologies are arrayed against liberal, group-oriented ideologies.

This Grand Cross in Cardinal Signs embodies the central economic and ideological issues of our times.


The Good News Kite

Fortunately, the great tensions of April’s Grand Cardinal Cross are imbedded in a Kite which absorbs its severe tensions.

The Kite is organized around the financial axis; the opposition across the charts financial axis runs from the base to the apex of the Kite. It looks perfectly placed to relieve the fierce tension over fundamental economic issues. The Kite’s trines and sextiles will allow input from many sides, from high and low.


Into the Political Sunshine

An all important sextile is missing in the Kite. And that is a good thing.

The gap in the Kite leaves an opening that extends from the early degrees of the the 8th, thru the 7th and most of the 6th house.

The bodies in the 7th house are Quaoar, Pholus, and Ixion; all are retrograde in Sagittarius.

Two influences, are poised to slip rough the opening left by the missing sextile, bypassing the filtering, moderating, integrative powers of the Kite.


One influence governs the ideas (Sagittarius) that shape societal attitudes (Quaoar, Pholus and Ixion) and the partisan alliances (the 7th house) that ensure that new laws don’t change the status quo.

Another influence (Saturn retrograde in Scorpio in the 6th), highlights the exploitation and hardship of working people.

Combined, these two influences will penetrate to the heart of public debate and demand that the issues they represent be dealt with in their raw, unfiltered, unmodified form.

This gap in the Kite will block the ideological alliances that hammer new laws into the shape of old laws; these alliances and their work will instead become an issue. They will be identified as part of the problem and made the target of legislative action.

The likely outcome, over time, will be legislation that blocks the interference of these groups, opening the way for genuine reform of labor laws and the creation of laws that address income inequality.

Be mindful that all these bodies are retrograde. The debate will go deep and reform will proceed over time. In general, retrograde motion indicates an inclination to back away from prevailing attitudes and beliefs.

Harbingers of Things to Come

These events will likely be part of an emerging trend. The US labor force is governed by Taurus in the 6th house of the US natal chart. Uranus will transition into Taurus in 2018-19, ushering in, I believe, a new era of labor activism and reforms.

As I write this, the US National Labor Relations Board ruled that football players at Northwestern University, with campuses in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois, are university employees and can unionize. Appeals could take years to resolve. (Saturn retrograde in Scorpio in the  6th.)

To the extent that economic events in the US are indicative of emerging global trends, this suggests a global resurgence of labor activism and labor reforms.

However, we needn’t necessarily anticipate an epic confrontation between labor and management. If the New Paradigm is a reality, coming reforms will be the result of a much more open, inclusive debate. Solutions adopted will be more innovative and less polarizing than similar solutions in the past.


The Beginning of the Beginning?

There are also two eclipses in April.

  • April 15th ~ a total eclipse of the Full Moon in Libra. (GMT)

  • April 29th ~ an annular eclipse of the Sun in Taurus. (GMT)

Using the Sun and Moon placements in the composite chart, the lunar eclipse energy would flow through Leo in the 3rd house. The solar eclipse energy would flow through Taurus in the 11th house. These placements are square by sign, but trine by house.

Taurus, the sign governing personal income and finances, squares Leo, the sign of personal and interpersonal exploration. The House of Aquarius, governing idealized interpersonal and group values, is trining the House of Gemini, the house of community.

Using these composite placements, the eclipses set up an intricate tension between individual and community expectations. These placements suggest a negative and positive developments that will push people to reconcile the needs of the community with the needs of its members.

Predictions

Privately, April’s eclipses will firm up psychological and spiritual transformations supported by recent charts. We commit to a new course for ourselves.

Publically, people will revisit issues of political and economic fairness with deeply revised attitudes and personal opinions.

Gross income inequality and the mechanisms that perpetuate it will be examined in a new light and with a renewed will to eliminate it.

All issues will be addressed more openly and inclusively.

A Test Case

The eclipses also suggest a turning point in the emergence of the New Paradigm. If my hypothesis is correct, from April onward, we should expect to see more open, inclusive, constructive debate and fewer confrontations.

The crisis in the Ukraine makes a good test case. Many are predicting a return to Cold War conditions between Russia and the West. If the New Paradigm is a reality, then the Crimean and Ukrainian crises will proceed along far less confrontational, far less destructive lines than other, comparable crises.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Astrology of March 2014 - Realignment

The Astrology of March 2014

February Recap

February’s analysis focused on a triangle, an exact, potent, powerfully placed influence, acting on the individual and community levels. It transformed personal and community values and then gave these values transformative force.

As members of a community, we were powerfully motivated to rethink our values and their effects in the community and then to project our new, more idealistic expectations into our community and out into the wider world.

In the US, on February 10th, the NAACP kicked off Moral Mondays for 2014 in Raleigh, NC. It was joined by reform groups from around the country. Moral Monday protests were established to protest the extreme right wing agenda being advanced by North Carolina’s GOP dominated government.
With 80-100,000 people present, it was the largest such gathering since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Created to protest the extreme right wing agenda being advanced by NC’s GOP government.
There was a general, broad-based outcry against a blatantly discriminatory, anti-gay bill awaiting the signature of Governor of Arizona, which she vetoed.
Prolonged and violent confrontation between the grassroots and the government in the Ukraine, Venezuela and Thailand gave more intense, violent expression of this energy.


March 2014

March’s chart is a reflection of February’s in important respects. It is also especially intense; for the third month in a row, three Moons occur within 30 days.

New Moon - March 01

Full Moon - March 16

New Moon - March 30
In February, the focus of the transformative energies was on the individual acting as a member of the community. In March, the focus of transformative energies is the patterns that govern our relationships, at home, in the community, at work and in just about every area of our lives.

We live in an ocean of mental and emotional patterns, stereotypes, biases, habits and fixed attitudes, and so on. These are created by our minds and shape our culture. Culture, in turn shapes our personal, professional, political and economic relationships.

In March, these mental and emotional patterns are in rapid flux and so are the patterns in society.

The Moon governs the structure and continuity of our personality; it integrates present and past experiences and coordinates conscious and unconscious thought processes. With three Moons in a short space of time for the third month in a row, our psyches will, again, work unusually hard to sustain the processes that maintain our personality. Our personalities will, again, evolve at an even faster rate.

Many of us will continue to feel the strain, succumbing to periods of disorientation and confusion. We might have to step in consciously to keep normally unconscious, smooth-running cognitive processes on track.

We might, for example, have to consciously choose between competing, conflicting responses to events, each derived from a different points in our psychological development or drawn from conflicts and contradictions in our attitudes.

All the World’s a Stage
This month’s analysis focuses on several placements that complement the Moon’s transformative work. Each acts in its own way to disrupt and transform existing patterns of thought and behavior.


  • Pallas is retrograding in Leo in the 1st house.

Pallas governs the perception, creation, maintenance and destruction of patterns. While retrograde, Pallas loosens the grip and eases the pressure exerted by existing patterns. It also makes them easier to transform or destroy.

Pallas is in the playful and demonstrative sign of Leo in the 1st: individuals see and change their own patterns and patterns in the world around them. Under Leo’s influence, we will do this publicly, in very visible ways.


  • Retrograde Mars, retrograde Vesta, the North Node and retrograde Ceres are all in Libra in the 3rd house. Retrograde Vesta conjoins the North Node precisely.

This mixture of influences supports an intense, proactive commitment (Mars and Vesta) to reform (Libra and the North Node) of nurturance practices (Ceres) at the community level (the 3rd house).

The retrograde motion brings a long, hard look at past practices and at plans still on the drawing board. We experience a driving need to make our community a more just, loving, nurturing place.


  • Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio in the 4th house. The Arabic Lot of Accusation is in Sagittarius in the 4th.

We are motivated to take a sober look at our attitudes and let go of those that are hurting ourselves or others. Feelings of guilt about the harm our attitudes might have caused in the past rise to the surface.

Saturn retrograde in Scorpio in the 4th house is alongside the Arabic Lot of Accusation. The fourth house governs the deeper levels of our personality. This influence motivates and empowers us to clear out our psychological and attic, or basement. We change the rules we live by, making ourselves more responsive and responsible.
    • Ixion, Pholus and Quaoar are closely conjunct in Sagittarius in the 5th.
    Each of these bodies governs some aspect of the processes that govern social behavior. They are all trine Pallas in the sign of Leo in the 1st house.

    Ixion governs our ability to overcome our own passions so that we can fairly carry out our social duties and obligations. Ixion is often associated with gross misbehavior in high places.

    Pholus rules our ability to uphold the highest values of our community in the face of pressure to to do otherwise. It is frequently associated with cronyism, corruption, codependency and enabling.

    Quaoar, governs transformational chaos, our willingness to modify or destroy old patterns and create new ones. It is also associated with stagnation and rigidity, the refusal to change outdated patterns.

    In combination with Pallas in Leo in the 1st house, this influence empowers and motivates us to actively explore new and better ways of governing ourselves. 

    We are preparing ourselves to change the rules that govern society. We are already trying out new things in our day-to-day interactions with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and public officials.


    Relationship Realignments

    • The Part of Fortune is precisely conjunct the descendant and also conjunct Venus in Aquarius in the 7th house. Venus is strongly placed near the Descendant in its own house.

    This influence brings us recognition and friendship for creating relationships that support tolerance and inclusiveness.

    • Nessus in Aquarius and Mercury and Neptune in Pisces are loosely conjunct in the 7th house.

    This grouping lets us transform, or idealize, our thinking about relationships (Mercury conjunct Neptune in Pisces). Meanwhile, Nessus could trigger physical and emotional discomfort if we let ourselves be pressured into intolerance and exclusiveness.

    Mercury conjoins Neptune in Pisces in the 7th house near the cusp of the 8th house. Hence, this particular transformative influence not only affects relationships, but the distribution of wealth and power, also.

    This 7th house stellium, like those already discussed, also foretells deep changes in the patterns that shape our lives.


    Turn Ahead

    This phase of transformations and, thus, decision-making will be closed out in April.

    In April there are two eclipses and a Grand Cross in Cardinal signs combined with a Kite.

    • On April 15, there is a total eclipse of the Full Moon in Libra.

    • On April  29th, there is an annular eclipse of the Sun in Taurus.

    • Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus form a Grand Cross in cardinal signs. It will be in force pretty much all month.

    • The Grand Cross is imbedded in a Kite that will also be in force for much of April.

    I will discuss these aspects in greater detail next month. Suffice it to say, that eclipses are cut-off points. Old options are taken off the table. New options are adopted.

    A Grand Cross in cardinal signs will require hard, irreversible choices about how to move forward. But the Kite will insure that these decisions will be made carefully and with much thought and discussion. Kites do not allow snap decisions. So April will bring irreversible changes and hard but carefully made choices.

    The combination of Grand Cross and Kite make it unlikely that conflicts will have a catastrophic outcome.


    Saturday, February 01, 2014

    The Astrology of February 2014 - Fast Forward



    The Astrology of February 2014

    Fast Forward

    January Recap


    Governments have been solidly gridlocked over a broad range of issues for more than five years. In recent months, this gridlock has begun to ease noticeably. 

    This easing came about as people stopped thinking in partisan political terms and began thinking in moral and ethical terms and taking responsibility.

    In January, debate and activism at the grassroots level accelerated recovery from gridlock. Individuals at the community level took common cause and evoked remedial action from governmental. The development has distinctly spiritual and moral overtones.


    A Bridge Over Troubling Waters

    The burgeoning scandal in New Jersey is a case in point.

    In September, several traffic lanes were unexpectedly closed on the George Washington bridge, reputed to be the busiest bridge in the world. The four-day lane closing "turned the entire town of Fort Lee, NJ into a parking lot.” It caused long, painful, costly delays, impeding commuters, commercial traffic, children traveling, to school the movement of public service and emergency vehicles. All of this coincided with the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

    Local newspaper reporters and local and state leaders found evidence indicating political misbehavior behind the lane closings - implicating the governor’s staff and supporters and, apparently, the governor himself.
    The scandal quickly grew, as evidence suggested a pattern of abuse. Suspicions multiplied and accusations flew. They soon drew the attention of the national media and the US Department of Justice. At this writing, evidence against the Christie administration is mounting.

    Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, was a rising Republican star, widely expected to run for president in 2016. His reputation has been badly damaged. His fate will undoubtedly affect the political and economic balance of power in the United States and possibly the world for years to come.

    In general, we are seeing activism and significant movement on many important issues at the state and grassroots level - the legalization of pot, the legalization of gay marriage, movement against fracking, against drug testing for welfare recipients in Florida, against voter suppression and so on. It is spurring action on the national level.

    Initiative Shifts to the Grassroots

    In February, the issues and the social and political dynamics are familiar. What is new and important is the accelerated evolution of personal and public attitudes. February sharply enhances our awareness of the inner workings of our own minds, showing us more than we are prepared to deal with, perhaps. It also magnifies the role of grassroots activism.


    February’s Chart - Mooning Around

    February's chart includes numerous influences that speed up the process of change and adaptation.

    There are seven moons during the months of January, February and March: three in January, one in February and three in March. Two of the moons in January are so-called Supermoons. In other words, there is one extra moon.

    In any given 30 day period, there are three moons. To get a better sense of the overall arc of events I based February's analysis on a chart combining:
    • The New Moon on January 31st, a Supermoon
    • The Full Moon on February 14th, late on Valentine's Day,
    • The New Moon on March 1st.
    All times are GMT.
    Accelerated Personality Updating

    The Moon governs the short term cycles and processes in our lives. Of special concern here is the process by which we weave or blend new experiences into existing mental and emotional patterns. This process weaves the past and future into a seemingly seamless whole.

    That one extra moon between the beginning of January and the end of March and the two Supermoons will intensify this process noticeably.

    On the upside, our personal attitudes will evolve much more quickly; we will change and adapt more rapidly, allowing faster progress in our lives and in the world around us.

    On the downside, the acceleration and intensification of the integration process will cause conscious and unconscious mental processes to interfere with each other. Normally unconscious processes will intrude on conscious processes and vice versa.

    As a result, we will be especially aware of our many conflicting attitudes, both old and new - of how changeable and arbitrary they can be. Our minds will generate multiple, conflicting responses to the same event, some old, some new; we will have to consciously choose which competing reaction we will express.

    Or we can use this unusual window into the workings of our own mind to better understand ourselves and make needed changes. People are already experiencing this phenomenon.

    As noted, the extra moon and the two Supermoons are not the only influence that will accelerate and deepen change. Other placements in February’s chart also speed up the evolution of our thoughts and attitudes adding to the mental overload.


    If Not Us, then Who . . .

    One structure in particular illuminates the meaning of February 2014. It is a deceptively humble triangle, highly energetic, very exact and powerfully placed.

    Mars is at 25° Libra  in the 11th; the Moon is at 25° Sagittarius in the 1st, near the ascendant; retrograde Mercury is exactly conjunct ("combust") the Sun at 25° Aquarius in the 3rd.

    This triangle concentrates force in the individual personality, in general, and the individual conscience in particular - the individual is considered as part of a community, throughout. The exactness of the triangle and its angular placement grants it an overriding influence, heightened intensity and generally high energy.

    It points to a robust, spirited consensus for social justice emerging rapidly and forcefully at the grassroots level. In February, there is no comparable influence affecting government signs and houses. The initiative has shifted almost completely to the grassroots - to the 99%.

    This triangle will change government because it will change the attitudes of the people governed. Just how peaceful or violent this change is will depend heavily on the health of of the relationship between the government and those governed.

    A Closer Look at the Triangle

    A stellium surrounds each of the bodies forming the triangle, coloring the influence of each of these planets.


    • The stellium that includes Mars, at the uppermost point in the triangle includes:

      • Mars and Vesta closely conjunct in Libra in the 11th, the natural house of Aquarius. Vesta, representing passionate dedication, conjoins Mars, representing the aggressive pursuit of a goal. Libra in the house of Aquarius speaks eloquently of social justice.

      • Ceres and the North Node precisely conjunct in Scorpio, also in the 11th. Ceres governs nurturance issues, broadly defined. The North Node reliably indicates “the right thing to do.” 

      • The precise conjunction of Ceres and the North Node equates being moral with the nurturance of everyone: being moral equals nurturing others. This, again, is in the natural house of Aquarius, the sign of universal brotherhood and sisterhood.

      • Saturn in Scorpio in the 12th, close to the 12th house cusp. Saturn represents rectitude and authority. The 12th house, the natural house of Pisces and Neptune, represents spirituality, religious creeds, metaphysical truths and idealism. Scorpio represents shared resources and responsibilities.

    As a whole, then, the stellium produces a surge of idealism reinforced by moral and spiritual feelings, all expressing as a desire to nurture, assist and share more equitably with others. 



    • The stellium surrounding the Moon in the 1st house, in Sagittarius, at the apex of the triangle, includes:

      • Pholus, Ixion and the Ascendant closely conjunct in Sagittarius in the 1st. Ixion represents the criminal abuse of power. Pholus represents cronyism. With Ixion, a wholly unsavory character, Pholus suggests cronyism and corruption entrenched in high places.

      • The Moon in Sagittarius exactly conjunct Quaoar, which is conjunct Pholus, Ixion and the Ascendant in the 1s, all in Sagittarius. The Moon represents public awareness or mass consciousness. It is conjunct Quaoar, which represents creative chaos and the dissolution of existing patterns. This conjunction says that public opinion will turn fluid, shifting rapidly, radically and irreversibly.

      • The Point of Substance in Capricorn in the 1st. The Point of Substance represents moral vulnerability and feelings of guilt. Placed here, it suggests that we will feel morally responsible for the wrongs we see surround us.

      • Venus and Pluto loosely conjoined in Capricorn. Venus and Pluto conjunct point to a thorough realignment of loyalties. All alliances suddenly become fluid and changeable.

    This powerfully placed stellium points to a transformation in public consciousness. People begin to note the prevalence of corruption in public life and the extent to which their own inaction makes it responsible. Old, well-established patterns simply break down; new precedents will be set, establishing new patterns. 

    Here, again, the scandal burgeoning around the governor’s office in New Jersey is a good example. This alleged abuse of power (Ixion) would once have been considered business as usual. Increasingly, the alleged abuses are being looked at as the gross, crass abuses of power that they might prove to be. The public conscience is roused and action will be taken. 

    Increasingly, the scandal in New Jersey seems like a harbinger of things to come.



    • The stellium surrounding the exact Sun/Mercury retrograde conjunction in the 3rd house includes:

      • Retrograde Mercury exactly conjunct, or “combust,” the Sun in Aquarius in the 3rd. Retrograde Mercury combust the Sun brings intense focus on our own behavior. People examine their conscience, search their souls and generally take stock of their lives and the direction it is headed. They sense the time is right and conditions are favorable for personal reform.

      • Both retrograde Mercury and the Sun conjoined Nessus. Nessus governs our moral independence, our ability to resist social pressure. It turns guilt incurred by succumbing to social pressure into physical symptoms. It serves as an additional impetus for reform.

      • Neptune conjoined Chiron in Pisces. Chiron and Neptune combine to heal wounds, grievances and conflicts that block our access to and impede the flow of higher spiritual influences. They help us break boundaries, transcend old limitations and create space in our lives for exploration and growth.

      • The stellium bridges the Aquarius/Pisces cusp. Aquarius adds a reforming impulse to our intensifying spiritual aspirations. Pisces adds a spiritual dimension to our reforming impulse.

      • All bodies in this stellium are in the 3rd house of community relationships. This influence works on a community-wide level.

    This stellium is about communal uplift rooted in personal reform.

    Faster and Faster Forward

    Taken as a whole, this triangle marks a powerfully transformative moment. It puts our ideas and attitudes, indeed, our very personalities, in flux and moves us in a decidedly Aquarian direction.

    This triangle, like this overall chart, leads us beyond political and economic reform to soul searching and thoughts about how we can better align ourselves and members of our community and ultimately our nation with the expectations of our higher selves.

    Those clinging to the past, or trying to hold the rest of us prisoners in the past, have a reckoning in store.