*Times are PDT, unless stated otherwise. Planetary positions are expressed as the degree (rounded to the nearest whole degree) followed by the sign.
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Are you wondering why you feel some of the transits we talk about and not others or why a friend may feel one but you don’t? If the transiting planet affects a planet in your natal chart, that is, where the planets were at the time you were born, then you are more likely to feel the transit or may feel it stronger than one that does not affect a planet in your natal chart. Don’t have a chart? Would you like one? Let us know.
The undertow of Uranus in the 90° first quarter square to Pluto is continuing to build. While we won’t see the wave break until next summer when the aspect becomes exact for the first time, a quick scan of the headlines is telling us what this “crisis of action” is about. The Arab Spring has turned into Europe’s Fall. Many heads of state have been unceremoniously deposed these past months and many more may be added in the next year. In the Arab world it was by the power of the people, represented by Uranus, but it is a different story in Europe. Here the Plutocracy, ruled by Pluto, is bringing down the economic hammer and hard. The large-scale protests by Greek citizens haven’t stopped the severe bank-imposed austerity measures, and their Prime Minister is now out. Silvio Berlusconi survived sex and fraud scandals galore over his 17 years of rule, but when he threatened the banks’ bottom line it didn’t take long at all for him to get the boot from Italy. Even here in the States, the 99% of the Occupy Wall Street Movement have found out just how far they could go before the 1% decided they were becoming a credible threat and stepped in with major police force to try to crush their stand for equality, trying to wash away any evidence of discontent with power hoses. This is not over by a long shot. The next couple of weeks will see this aspect, and the shorter but powerful ongoing “I can move mountains” Jupiter/Mars/Pluto grand earth trine triggered by the planet of love and money, Venus, who will also conjunct the Galactic Center. Let’s hope her feminine force will help to balance out the seeming disparity between the social and economic forces at loggerheads and remind us of the promise of transformation that was birthed at the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the mid-1960s – in mind/body/spirit integration, sustainable development of natural resources and, oh yeah, peace and love.
On November 22nd the Sun moves out of brooding Scorpio and into fun-loving, philosophical, sometimes commitment-phobic Sagittarius. Now the dominant elements are fire, earth and air. While practical, balanced drive should be available in great reserves, with no major astral bodies in water signs (other than the Moon) until Venus moves into Pisces on January 13th, our emotions may be hard to access or express. Also, compassion for others may be in short supply so we’ll need to make an extra effort on this front to consciously act rather than react when strong feelings are triggered – that’s right, during the entire holiday season! With the Sun in Sagittarius, the Big Picture becomes much more important than pesky details. As Dane Rudhyar puts it, “Sagittarius begins the realm of that vast and all-inclusive reality which is the product of the creative activity and creative thinking of millions of individuals throughout the centuries; the realm of culture and civilization.” Think of the hologram – the perfect Sagittarian tool to see the totality of something. (Dennis Gabor, who had a Uranus/Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius, won a Nobel prize for inventing holography which led to the first hologram in 1964.) But Sagittarius also looks beyond the horizons of the Wholes into far reaching areas of thought and brings back entirely abstract concepts to the rest of us where they are eventually assimilated into our ever evolving way of being – that is if we can find a practical link to transform them into concrete reality!
In the wee hours of November 23rd the action heats up as the Sun squares Chiron and less than one hour later trines Uranus. Sudden revelations of our destiny, collective and individual, may make their mark as Congress’ Super Committee meets its deadline to deal with the debt crisis. As of our press deadline, they’ve already signaled that they were unable to make the tough choices and will let the draconian auto-cuts go into effect while blaming each other for intransigence. These aspects also set the tone for what some consider to be our nation’s most important holiday. On the day of giving thanks, it may be especially important to trust those quiet thoughts called intuition, as our true calling may surface to consciousness only briefly to be seized upon before we become stuporized by tryptophan, alcohol, and/or the stuff of everyday family drama. Adding a tremendous focalizer to the day is Mercury stationing retrograde at 20° Sagittarius at 11:19 pm. That’s Thanksgiving eve, folks. With the planet of communication in Sagittarius, known for its “I-don’t-care-what-you-think truth-telling,” we may be serving up “crow” instead of turkey. It may help to approach this holiday by tuning into what it is really all about. Rather than fighting, ask for forgiveness. Rather than insisting on your way, be thankful for friends and family who know us for who we are and love us any way. Help may come when Venus conjuncts the Galactic Center at 26° Sagittarius giving strong gravitational pull to the desire for balanced relationships. Additionally the concentrating force of Mars trine Pluto that has been building for the past couple of weeks peaks this day at 6° Virgo/Capricorn. With retrograde Jupiter at 2° Taurus, the grand earth trine we discussed in the last AstroCast between Jupiter, Pluto and Mars is still in effect. The mountains we’ve been trying to move, at least the internal ones, may finally start shifting now. We may not see external manifestation of our efforts to create seismic shifts in our lives until next March when retrograde Mars comes back for a repeat performance in this muscle building ménage a trois. In the meantime we would greatly benefit from these formidable energies by practicing yoga, martial arts or other mind/body/spirit integrating disciplines.
Thanksgiving Day (November 24th) goes out with a bang. After dinner and football in the western US, there is a New Moon Solar eclipse at 10:10 pm at 3° Sagittarius. This fourth and final solar eclipse of 2011 will only be visible in areas from extreme southern South Africa, Antarctica and Tasmania to most of New Zealand. While this is only a partial eclipse, at the height of it the Moon will block more than 90% of the Sun. In such close quarters with Mercury stationing retrograde and within two degrees of a trine to Uranus, any holiday meal induced apathy or lethargy will be severely challenged by this particular monthly conjunction of the Sun and Moon. As Jim Sher wrote in his article on this eclipse: “Solar eclipses are inertia changers. They can suddenly change the direction and momentum of events in a person’s life.” While this time isn’t good for making major decisions, being prepared for a new chapter is definitely warranted. That means being willing to let go of outmoded beliefs and behaviors. Use the wide-visioned Sagittarian energy to look over the mountain and beyond to see where your true path is leading, then gather all the insights and accomplishments of the past to build a new reality. The Sabian symbol for 3° Sagittarius is “Two men playing chess; the transcendent ritualization of conflict.” In Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala, he writes, “The chess game trains men to be more objective, more careful, more aware of whole situations – and less impulsive and intent upon side issues. This third stage symbol deals with conflict, but at the level of group culture and psychological symbolization. It brings to the objective consciousness the basic realities in interpersonal interplay.” Being a great chess player means being able to see many moves ahead and plan how to get there while taking into consideration the likely actions of others who will thwart your path. Tapping into our sense of humor is one of the best strategies we can use to counteract resistance in others. This is one of the greatest gifts of the sign of the Archer, who aims his arrow to the heavens seeking a full understanding of Existence. Probably everyone can see the hilarity in the incompleteness of a staunch position when the person holding it seriously believes it to be perfectly absolute. Which reminds us an old new age joke: Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.
November 26th starts with Venus moving into practical, business-minded, cardinal earth Capricorn. Eschewing the romance of the wayfarer, Venus in dutiful Capricorn is more concerned with traditional values of love and art. Reliability and trust are gold to her and she will spend them on those who she regards as worthy. The downside of this of course is limitation – either she withholds love or it could be withheld from her, or love is given for reasons that have more to do with material or social status than idealistic soul bonding. Under this influence, however, when trust is built with a partner (of any kind), power in building great social structures is also created. This is where Venus in Capricorn shines like a beloved Queen presiding over her court. Fourteen hours later, Venus 0° Capricorn squares retrograde Uranus 0° Aries sealing her sojourn through the sign of leadership with a sense of the avant-garde. Although impulsive behavior with regards to relationships or purchases is possible, so is stepping out of the box for a glimpse of what the future could bring to her in the way of new alliances. This is Venus’ first step in activating the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square and she is coming into orb of the Pluto/Mars/Jupiter grand earth trine, so mark her trails while she adds some much needed yin to the yang of all those titans of the sky. Venus and the Moon are the only feminine archetypes in the “major arcana” of astrology. Not being broken down into so many sub-categories of femaleness makes them that much more potent. Since Venus is all about relationships, any new connections formed at this time may (Uranus) or may not (earth trine) be short-lived, but with Pluto so integrally involved they could be life changing. She is also about what we value, including self-worth, so we would do well to avoid denial and face our desires for what they are, no matter how taboo. We may be surprised at what we learn.
On November 27th, we have a potential occasion to celebrate as Venus at 1° Capricorn trines retrograde Jupiter at 1° Taurus. The ancient lesser and greater benefics make an easy connection that favors the good life. With Jupiter in Venus’ home sign of sensual Taurus, thoughts of love ever growing, ever expanding may prevail. Capricorn offers practical resourcefulness to attract abundant affection or high value targets of any sort. However, a word of caution about too much of a good thing as Jupiter may not be able to say “enough.”
Continuing along in her feminine pollination of the virile archetypes, Venus conjuncts Pluto at 6° Capricorn on December 1st. On an individual level, this can provide considerable, possibly obsessional, sexual attraction. But this interaction has an intense passion for transformation, even if it means death, symbolic or otherwise. In the cardinal (action) earth sign, who knows what might shake loose. It is bound to be complex and perhaps not easy to fathom until some space comes between these planetary energies allowing for reflection, but that may not happen until after Venus completely travels outside the degree space of the grand earth trine with Pluto, Mars and Jupiter and the square between Pluto and Uranus. This day is a focal point of those compelling aspects, with Venus stimulating the kingpin Pluto so that his deep hidden powers will be called forth in our relationships, for better or worse. The tyrannical and power-hungry can manifest as easily as a sacred sense of destiny. Whoever scheduled the TEDxWomen conference on this day tipped the scales to destiny – at this bi-coastal event happening in L.A. and New York, and streamed live to dozens of gatherings internationally, prominent men and women from around the world will speak on how women and girls are re-shaping the future.
On December 2nd the Sun at 10° Sagittarius squares Mars at 10° Virgo, which may amp up the competiveness in all of us. High energy and drive, as well as sheer cockiness may fill us up at this time, so we should endeavor to exercise some restraint as Mars is in his shadow (the degree space he will travel when retrograde next year). Any actions forced now without thorough consideration may come back to bite us in the butt during the review period. Speaking of “butt,” this is not an excuse to do nothing, as failure to act on what you should or must do at this time can also come back to haunt you when Mars retreats over this space and back in the first half of 2012. Virgo’s love of details hopefully will balance out Sagittarius’ horror of them; desire and will may clash but the friction can motivate us to accomplish much, especially if we focus on a worthy cause.
Retrograde Mercury has his “inferior conjunction” to the Sun at 12° Sagittarius on December 4th and just a few hours later Mercury at 11° Sagittarius squares Mars at 11° Virgo. Mid-way through the Mercury cycle, this may be the point where we begin to regret or rethink any decisions made at the time Mercury went retrograde (Super Committee anyone?). With Mars in the picture, impulsive speech is likely. This is the time to think twice before speaking or suffer the consequences of unfiltered rants. If Mar’s passion of the moment wins out, Venus will have to work extra hard to smooth things out when she comes into the picture.
And she does the next day, on December 5th, when she trines Mars at 11° Capricorn/Virgo, completing her passage of the grand earth trine. The Free Hugs campaign should get a boost this day, as everyone will want to be embraced and to embrace the humanity in all of us. If you fought it before, you won’t today! This sexy, earthy feeling can make us more accepting of others and the Plutonic and Jupiterian forces could open up a reservoir of deeply felt love to enrich our interactions with others.
We get to linger on this last note, as there are no major planetary aspects for the next four days. The Moon, of course, will still be very busy making aspects to Chiron and all the planets, most of them twice. Stay tuned for Part II when we will look at planets changing directions and another eclipse.