03/29/09 Forgot to write about HAIL!

March 30, 2009

I realize, somewhat belatedly, that one thing you’re supposed to do with a blog is write about things that HAPPEN.   Well, Wednesday, Hail Happened in NW Austin.   I was in my car, on the feeder road on N. 183, only a few miles from home, when little hailstones started to fall.  Then they got big, VERY BIG, Fast!   Near-baseball sized hailstones were pounding at the front window.  The noise was deafening, and scary, too, as each wind-blown collision between hail and car-metal sounded like a gunshot.  And seeing those things coming straight at my face, hoping the windshield wouldn’tbeautiful-hail-pic break, and wondering what I’d do if it did….  well.    I was looking for shelter, but was in the wrong lane to get under a freeway overpass.  Finally I pulled off where I saw some big trees.  Some strip mall had a grassy area with trees and I jumped the curb (along with about 4 other cars) and parked under a tree, hoping the leaves/branches would at least slow down the hailstones.   (The windshield held).   The car is thoroughly pockmarked and today I’m driving around dealing with insurance issues.

Maup was in the car with me.  He shakes like a leaf when there’s thunder, but was frozen still with the battery of hail (louder than ANY thunder could be).  After the hail stopped, some thunder rolled by, and THEN he started shaking.

When I got home, about a half hour later (temps in the upper 60’s), I took some pics.  The area looked like a packing-peanut factory had exploded.   By the time I got home hailstones were starting to melt, and the largest pictured here is “only” golf-ball sized.    Here are a few more shots:hail-pics

Astrology?  I looked at the chart.  Could make a case for the storm, but couldn’t have predicted from the chart.  If anyone wants to look, check out 3/25/09, sometime around 6 pm, Austin, TX.

A little fiddling with the time (which is approximate) could put Sat on the Asc; or Mars on the Desc. or Moon sextile Vertex.  Sun/Venus/Merc were square Pluto in general, and Merc had JUST entered Aries (which may be the significant timer).

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03/29/09 Part Two: Joyful Anticipation: Converging Trends towards a Changing Future

March 29, 2009

Joyful Anticipation:Converging Trends towards a Changing Future

(and how to get where we want to go)

Anne Beversdorf, April 2009

Part Two: Fractals, and the science of chaos. How these principles can be applied to today’s multiple changing systems. And yes, more astrology references—after talking about how time is fractal in nature, we ask how can we identify repeating cycles and find several answers through astrology. Then we look at what happened the last time we were in a similar cycle.

Fractals and Chaos Theory

One of the huge breakthroughs in our understanding of the world came about through the study of chaotic systems and the resulting science of Chaos. As things go, this is old stuff by now—reaching huge popular awareness in the 1970’s. But we are still learning how to think in these terms, especially when we think about chaotic systems like, well, societies! Understanding chaotic systems seems like a useful skill when we’re facing the many changes in front of us these days.

What defines a chaotic system is “non-linearity”. In a linear system, any change you make to it has predictable results. Mixing paint colors, once you know the proportions and rules, will reliably give you the same results every time you do the same thing. The actions are controllable. No outside factors are involved. Mixing paint colors in open vats in a chemical storm, on the other hand, could give quite unpredictable results. That is because the multiple variable involved—the winds, the multiple chemicals and their effect on colors, the random mixtures of the multiple chemicals and winds—create a non-linear system, which is chaotic and unpredictable by nature. And nonlinear systems have their own feedback loops, which mean that their patterns of chaos build on themselves to create even more complex situations.

In fact, Chaos theory was developed by studies of weather systems. You’ve probably heard about the flapping of a butterfly’s wing in China could be the cause of the hurricane in Brazil… This is the part of chaos theory that says outcomes are based in sensitive dependence on initial conditions, or SDIC.

Conrad Lorenz initially believed that if you programmed in all the possible weather interactions into a gigantic computer, and ran a simulation, the simulation would create the same results each time it was run. To his amazement, not only didn’t it work that way—but the more he refined the system, taking into account more and more variable, the less predictable it became. Each additional detail added its own feedback loops, which added even more complexity to the resultant pattern. To Lorenz’s utter amazement, the graphs plotting his weather systems were indistinguishable from a graph of cotton prices in the 1800’s in the office of a history professor… so Lorenz then began studying how complex, non-linear systems were alike, and thus was born the science of Chaos.

James Peterson, the head of the futurist think-tank, The Arlington Institute, says that the present global economic system alone is so complex that it is, literally, a chaotic system. There is no way we can tweak this or tweak that part of the economic system and get a predictable or reliable result. It is a non-linear system, which means that nothing we do to it will result in predictable outcomes. The best we can do is guess, and hope for the best. And the economic system is only one of many non-linear systems going into crisis before our eyes.

But the mathematics of chaos does offer hope. We can see this best through fractal images. These are visual outcomes of mathematically complex formulas with built-in feedback loops. Fractal images allow us to see how simple patterns play out in increasingly complex patterns. Fractals are controlled, mathematical images of chaos.

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Fig 2. A Fractal Image

Self-Similarity and Boundaries

In a fractal image, we can see the pattern repeat over and over, with tiny variations in each repetition. In the image above, you can see the original large loop replicated, with tiny differences, along the edges of the spiral. At first, it looks like the same image, but closer observation reveals the differences. These repeating patterns are self-similar.

The edges of a fractal image are its “boundaries”. The boundary is where the original pattern is most subject to change and variation. Chaos scientists have discovered that the ONLY truly creative point is at the point of the greatest chaos. The boundary between known order, and unpredictable chaos is, quite literally, the ONLY point of creative change. This is the point where scientists say the “probabilities” ultimately “condense” into totally new and previously unimaginable patterns.

The good news here is that we’re quickly approaching total chaos. Yes, that’s the good news. That’s where new systems can arrive!

Theodore Landscheidt, a researcher in chaos science, says:

It is inherent in the emergence of boundaries that their creative potential is irresolvably linked to instability. However, it is just this instability…which can lead to a spontaneous formation of new structures…out of chaos.

This also applies to…the boundary between consciousness and subconsciousness, the transition from waking to sleeping, creative acts of artist, eureka moments, mystic experience, birth, death….

Instability is the dominant quality of all borderlines between chaos and order.

—Theodore Landscheidt: Sun, Earth, Man: A Mesh of Cosmic Oscillations

If we look around us, we not only see the chaotic economic patterns. We also see the non-linear system of global climate change, population increases, issues of fuel availability, and other issues. So what happens when we’ve got a LOT of non-linear systems going on at the same time?

One feature of any non-linear system (including the human body, which we now discover doesn’t just react to genetic coding, but which can actually turn on or off various genetic predispositions, creating our OWN genetic coding)… is that they are utterly unique. Not just unique though: The scientific term is “strange attractor.”

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Figure 3: Family Circus Strange Attractor

In the Family Circus cartoon in figure 3, Jeffy is trying to get the bird to fly back OUT the door it just flew in. Several years ago I had repeating experiences of hummingbirds flying into my livingroom. The first time it happened, I opened all the doors, took the screens off the windows and exhausted myself and the hummingbird chasing it around the house with a broom. It had a unique and reliable pattern of flying EVERYWHERE except to an open door or window. Hours after I’d stopped in exhaustion, I realized it had found its own way out. (By the third hummingbird visit I’d learned to open the front door and ignore it and it would all work out.)

These repeated patterns exist in everything, and there is both infinite variety in and NO exception to the parameters of the pattern that’s repeated. Your heartbeat, plotted in graphic form, will not vary from its pattern whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, excited or resting, or even when you’re in the process of having a heart attack. Strange attractors were named because they seem to be patterns that cannot be broken—they attract the system into repeating the same patterns. Astrologically speaking, a birth chart—the pattern of planets (with symbolism and meaning) at the exact time of your birth forms a strange attractor for the personality and lifetime. If you are born serious and responsible, you have an imprint of Saturn (which, as an archetype, is much larger than “serious and responsible”). There is no time in your life when you will NOT express some part of Saturn’s imprint in some manner.

There are actually two kinds of infinity. One is the infinity of the very large. Physicists like thinking about that kind of infinity. This is the infinity of the cosmos, for example. But there is another kind of infinity that scientists don’t like thinking about much. In fact, they call it “nasty infinity.” This is the infinity of the very small. We can tell they don’t think about it much, because of the vast monetary resources spent on trying to discover “the smallest particle.” Think about that for a minute. Particles can be infinitely small! How are we going to fine THE smallest particle! “Nasty infinity” is related to the poets’ “infinity in a grain of sand”. Look at Figure 4, an image of a strange attractor.

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Figure 4: Strange Attractor Image

If you look at this image, pretty soon you’ll realize that the movements possible within the limits of this shape are literally infinite. Infinite movements are possible without ever leaving the boundaries of this shape. You’ll also see that some of the boundaries are expressed by very faint lines, meaning that there is a very small likelihood that any individual movement will reach those boundaries.

When strange attractors interact, they affect each other. Imagine falling in love—your strange attractor connects with the strange attractor of another human being, and both of you are changed—within the limits of who you are able to be. In times like today, when multiple non-linear strange-attractors interact, the boundaries begin to change, and as we’ve seen before, this is where something totally new, novelty in science-speak, can arise.

As the planet Earth is involved in the entanglement of feedback loops, the yield of these intricate processes is beyond imagination. Even human creativity seems to be involved. At the boundary between competing [strange] attractors, wonders of creativity emerge: patterns delicately poised between order and chaos.

T. Landscheidt, Sun-Earth-Man: A Mesh of Cosmic Oscillations

Another interesting feature of fractals, one which you probably already know, is that they repeat basic patterns in what is called “self-similarity”. As we saw in the first fractal image, above, and as you can see in the image below, “[Any] arbitrary piece of the boundary contains all the essential structure of the whole boundary.” (Landscheidt, ibid)

Figure 6: Fractal Image

Figure 5: Fractal Image

Fractal Time

This is a very interesting observation when we extend the concept of fractals from shorelines, tree branches, market data, weather patterns, to the concept of social structures and to time itself. We begin to see that time moves in waves, or rhythms, with self-similar patterns going both forwards and backwards. We can see this in astrology, which is a very fractal science. One common technique is to predict the events of your current year by looking at the date and year of your birth, (say Jan 1 1970), your current age (in 2010, we’d say 40) and then looking at the chart for 40 days after your birth, which would be Feb 9, 1950, we can read the symbols of that chart to predict events and life experiences of your 40th year. This is a pragmatic use of fractal intervals. You could also count 40 lunations from your birth, or 40 eclipses, or you could apply any other standard measurement. But what most people don’t realize is that you can also apply these measurements backwards! You could use the chart for 40 days before your 1/1/70 birth, and look at the chart of 11/22/69, and have a chart with symbolism that will coincide with the events of your 40th year. As with all fractals, the question is, What periodicity are we measuring? Patterns will themselves at regular intervals but what defines an interval?

Self-Similar Time Cycles

In Vedic astrology, the standard “repeating” period is 120 years. This is the length of time covered by the most frequently used Dasa system (Vimshottari). So if we look back 120 years to 1889-1890, we find the following events in US history:

1889 Major political realignment leads to progressive era.

1890 University of Chicago founded

1890 Sherman Silver Purchase

1890 AFL founded

1890 Battle of Wounded Knee

1890 Women’s Suffrage Org founded

1890 SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST LAW

1890 McKinley Tariff (HIGH import taxes created economic chaos at home)

1890 Yosemite National Park created

These represent earlier iterations of many of the issues we’re facing today, most notably labor union issues, government taking over of financial systems (Sherman Silver Purchase), and corporate skullduggery that led to the Sherman Anti-Trust Law (equivalent to late 2009-2010 in our current time period).

Another measure of repeating periods is through the movements of slower planets. Pluto entered the tropical sign of Capricorn (staying until 2024) in November, 2008. Capricorn is a “cardinal” sign that is considered to affect the world as a whole, not just individuals. Pluto’s orbital cycle is 248 years. The American Revolution took place at the end of Pluto’s last stay in Capricorn. As I recall, the issue was unfair taxation and government-supported corporate domination of the tea-market (all teas NOT from the British-East-India tea company were taxed at extremely high rates. Rebels threw British-East-India tea overboard in outrage at the Boston Tea Party.)

Pluto just ended its 14-year cycle of Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the sign associated with sports, athletes, the media, the legal system, travel, higher education, religion, philosophy—all of these supposedly being things that expand our awareness. On the VERY DAY Pluto entered Sag to stay, the OJ Simpson trial opened, bringing to prime time issues of sports figures, the media, and the legal system all in one fell swoop. In the last weeks of Pluto’s final stay in Sag, OJ was finally convicted and sentenced to jail on a different matter entirely. Toward the end of Pluto in Sagittarius, we experienced a big change in how we experienced long-distance travel, due to security measures and inconveniences resulting from 9/11.

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Figure 6: The Tower, Tarot Card

So what will Pluto in Capricorn bring? First, we’ll look at Pluto. Pluto is associated with a Phoenix-like breakdown and then regeneration. It’s associated with death and rebirth and all transformational processes. I tell individuals, if you’re “dancing” with Pluto, the pattern is designed to move you beyond the blindness of the rut you’ve dug for yourself: It’s like you’ve dug this handy-dandy little hole in the ground, lined it with cushions and blankets, made it comfortable, and want to stay there for as long as you can imagine. The problem is, the hole is so deep you can’t see what’s coming, and finally, Pluto sees something good out there for you and says GET OUT! But you don’t want to. If you don’t get out, Pluto grabs someone’s sewer pipe and starts filling in your hole, and there’s nothing you can do. Once you get over being mad, you will see this great thing on the horizon that you couldn’t see when you were down in your hole. They say “The only difference between a rut and a grave is how deep you dig it.” Pluto will get you out of the rut before it becomes a grave. If you read the signals early and surrender your resistance to change, you can even avoid the sewage pipe!

Capricorn is about the structures of the world. From the human skeletal system, to societal infrastructure, to big banking, big business, big bureaucracies, and “Plutocrats” those who hold power without limit, these are all the subjects of Capricorn.

(continued in Joyful Change: THREE)

03/22/09: Part One: Joyful Anticipation: Converging Trends towards a Changing Future

March 22, 2009

Joyful Anticipation:   Converging Trends towards a Changing Future

(and how to get where we want to go)

Anne Beversdorf,  March 2009

Part One: In which general introductory notes and answers to previously asked questions about the history of astrology are addressed. Note: If you are not interested in astrology at all, please go to Part Two. If you are not interested in astrology generally, but are interested in the Age of Aquarius and when it starts, skip to the end of this part and then go to Part Two. Last thing I want to do is bore anyone!

Introduction:

Many of us are aware that we are in a period of phenomenal and unprecedented change. The very foundation under us is shifting as we contemplate financial meltdown, global climate change, and the collapse of systems we have relied on for generations. In the meantime, new things keep popping up—just enough to make most of us feel even more unstable in our environment. In this article I’ll be looking at the trends already in play from a variety of perspectives. Underlying all these perspectives will also be astrological observations, since that’s been my profession for the past 16 years. I’ll also look at scientific, technical, and sociological trends, and will also look at some metaphysical predictions and places where science and the study of consciousness coincide and join to bring us to new understandings of our place in time.

Astrological Notes:

As an astrologer, I tend to look at things through a long lens—the lens of cycles of planets, lifetimes, and the cycle of repeating themes throughout lives and history itself. As a physicist friend stated to me after listening to my rather baffling (to him) astrological talk, “Oh! It’s about pattern recognition!” Patterns in human lives and in the lives of nations and the world seem to coincide with regularly occurring patterns in the stars and planets above us. Simply speaking, the Sun marks day and night. Most people work in the day and sleep at night. The Sun doesn’t MAKE you do this. It’s just easier to do things that way. The Moon affects tides and the movement of fluids, so fishing people and farmers find it useful to pay attention to the position of the Moon when they look for fish, or set out new plants. The Old Farmers Almanac is the “bible” for astrological planting. My grandfather would have laughed at the word “astrology”, but he swore by the Farmers Almanac Moon tables for planting.

The symbolic and archetypal language of the astrological hieroglyphs helps me flesh out these patterns, and anticipate, in general terms, what’s coming up. Astrology, by itself, won’t TELL anyone what’s happening. You have to ask questions, and for that, you have to be educated enough to know what questions to ask. For example, financial astrologers need to know investments thoroughly in order to ask the right questions and understand the answers that astrology can provide. Medical astrologers need to know health, diseases, and how to treat them in order to ask the right questions and recognize the right answers in the patterns of planets and stars.

Astrology is actually a second language to me. The symbols of astrology, also called “glyphs” which is short for “hieroglyphs”, are actually a language. Just as in Egyptian hieroglyphs, each glyph cannot easily be translated into a single word. It contains a series of concepts. This means that when one hieroglyph is paired with another one, both share and combine meanings in different ways. The result is that a single hieroglyph can appear to have many different “translations”, depending on its relationships with other glyphs.

But the issue of conceptual groups is the most important one. After decades of working with astrological symbols, I see the world in those terms. I can “feel” the world in those terms. When a client calls me, spitting mad because her HOA refused her permit to add a deck to her house, I can feel Pluto and Mars energy, which have their own archetypal patterns and will relax with certain behaviors and will increase with others. I can identify this planetary combination even before looking at the chart to see that yes, Pluto in the sky was on the position of Mars at the time and date of her birth. I can look at a person who is very thin with prominent bones (or a person with bad teeth and apparent skin problems), and say Saturn is active in her life. This will mean a lot more than thin and bony—or dental and cosmetic expenses. It will mean exposure to stern authority figures, to an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, to possibly a sense of being overburdened or depressed. It can also mean executive ability, dignity, respect given and received among other things. When the pattern runs strongly in one part of a life, I know it will run strongly in other parts of the life, and my question is always about how this person has learned to use the energy.

Although my work is mostly with individuals, I also watch trends, both social and psychological, and read a lot about breakthroughs in new sciences. I bring these issues and my own commitment to personal spiritual development to the questions I ask of charts in my personal practice. The questions I’m predisposed to ask lead me to look towards the transformative changes I’m seeing in individuals as well as in society all around me. In fact, I’m threatening to change my personal “label” from Astrologer to “Futurist”. We’ll see.

I was asked to talk a bit about the history of astrology. Frankly, it’s a subject that has grown and developed independently in many different cultures. We know of the Vedic tradition. We know of the Babylonian tradition that shaped and was shaped by the Egyptian tradition and grew into the ancient Greek and Roman astrological tradition which is the predecessor of modern Western Astrology. (If you know your “Sun Sign” you are speaking the language of modern western astrology but I bet you didn’t know your debt to Babylon!) We also know of the Chinese tradition; the Tibetan tradition which seems to be a mix of Vedic and Chinese; and of course there is the Mayan astrological tradition.

In all these traditions, the first question is, when faced with the circle of stars above us, where do we start? What is the BEGINNING of a circle? There have been long astrological arguments on this point.

The earliest version of “western” astrology that we know of is from Babylon. At that point astrology was more the omenology of the sky. Sunset and Sunrise were important because they were the first and last times you could see the stars. When the sun is up, we can’t see the stars. The very last star you could see in the morning and the first star of night were tremendously significant. These were stars bright enough to compete with the light of the sun which meant they had a lot of power. And of course, comets, eclipses, storms that hid the stars from view, were all considered important omens. If you were determined to watch the sky one night and a dust storm obscured the stars, the storm itself would be an omen. Over years, these omens –the planets seen, the unusual visual effects, comets, rings around the moon, etc, were recorded and tested, patterns were recognized, and astrology began to be more systematic.

Greek/Roman and Western astrology both give primary importance to the Sun, for somewhat different reasons. Modern western astrology has a media-induced Sun-emphasis. The 20th century was the introduction of “Sun Sign Astrology”, mainly because it was the easiest way to publicize astrology to the masses. The Sun is the only astrological point that is in the same position every year at the same time (within about a day). So you could easily say “If you were born between March 20 and April 20, your Sun is in Aries, which means…..” and then create sun-sign columns in newspapers. This isn’t because the Sun is more important than the other planets. It’s just the only planet that matches our calendar, which is (yes, you guessed it) a SOLAR calendar—based on the cycle of the Sun. If you wanted to do a Moon Sign column, you’d have to include a reference book for every day of the last 100 years so each person reading the column could find their own moon sign. So Sun signs became popularized.

India-n astrology gives primacy to the Moon, the Sun, I presume, being too obvious. The moon moves through the 12 constellations of the ecliptic every 28 days, giving about 2.3 days to each sign. The Indian system of “nakshatras” speaks of the Lunar Mansions—the “home” the moon travels through for a few days. WB Yeats has a poem to the Mansions of the Moon. Vedic astrology has long and detailed stories for the lunar mansions, just as western astrology has long and detailed stories for the 12 solar signs. Vedic astrology traditionally doesn’t use the solar stories.

The astrology of Greece and the astrology of India became quite jumbled up over the course of history. During the great epoch of trade and exchange of learning in the late Greek and early Roman empires, during the development of the great library of Alexandria, and later during the great rise of Islamic scholarship, ideas from all parts of the world were exchanged, and astrology was considered one of the great sciences. Although Vedic astrology existed before this, many concepts from Greek and Arab astrology were added to Vedic techniques, as evidenced by Greek and Arabic words used in Indian astrology.

The same mixture wasn’t available for the Mayan astrologers. In fact, their astrological cycles are based on the planet Venus, which probably not coincidentally, is often the last visible Morning Star and first visible Evening Star.

One confusion about astrology in the western world is that the astrological tradition that gelled in about 300 CE took two different directions: Tropical, and Sidereal. At that time, the spring equinox would take place against a background of stars in the constellation of Aries. In the west, we still say that the spring equinox is the “beginning of Aries”, even though, due to the slow drift caused by the earth’s wobble on its axis, the Precession of the Equinox puts the real position of the Spring Equinox against stars in late Pisces—almost a full sign away. In fact, that’s why we are in the “age of Pisces.” The Equinoxes drift backwards through the signs, and when we finish the “age of Pisces” we’ll be in the Age of Aquarius.

As a result of this, western scientists frequently (and ignorantly) say “Astrologers are so stupid they don’t even know the signs of the zodiac. They’ll look at the sky and say ‘Jupiter is in Aquarius’ when anyone can see that the constellation behind Jupiter is Capricorn.” Yes, western astrologers will say that. The convention of about 300 CE is that the first day of spring would define zero Aries in the Tropical Zodiac, so that astrological signs and astronomical constellations were no longer the same thing. This offers two different answers to “where does the circle begin.” The answer? It Depends!

starlight-skymap0015Figure 1: Skymap showing the constellations of Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius, against which we can see the glyph for the tropical sign Aries circled in blue, against the very end of the constellation Pisces.

Sidereal astrology (meaning ‘by the stars’) generally labels a planet by the constellation behind it in the sky, but even that isn’t a cut-and-dried science. As you can see from the sky map above, constellations vary widely in their size. Astrology only watches the constellations along the ecliptic—if we drew a line in the sky connecting the positions of all the eclipses, that line would be the ecliptic. In this skymap, the pink line traces the path of the ecliptic.

To the left of and below the blue circled Aries glyph, you’ll see a short straight line with the star Hamal labeled. This is the constellation of Aries. Just above that you see Pisces, which is a big v-shape with a circle-ish shape at the top of both ends of the v. Above that is Aquarius, which ends with a large S-shape, which actually overlaps the last circle-ish part of Pisces.

The thing is, the constellations aren’t naturally 12 equally-sized parts of the 360 circle of the sky. This 12-part division is an average. Sidereal astrology, which is based against the so-called “actual constellations”, still has to figure out where the circle begins. Most Indian astrologers use the point opposite the bright star Spica, in Libra, as the opposite point to zero Aries. Even this is debated though, with several other widely acknowledged starting points also in use. Generally speaking the difference between the Tropical zodiac and the Sidereal zodiac is about 23 degrees. This is why your familiar-to-you western Sun Sign (or ascendant, or moon, or any other planet) may suddenly be in the previous sign if you look at a Vedic chart. However, as we said earlier, the interpretations are entirely different. Leos usually don’t like “becoming” Cancers, but in Vedic astrology the important thing is, from the sign on the horizon at your birth, how many signs away is Leo, the Sun’s own sign, and how many signs away is Cancer, the position of the sun, and are any particularly bad or good planets entangled with it.

The Precessional Ages, The Age of Aquarius, and Are We There Yet?

I sometimes feel like the parent on a car trip with young kids in the back seat. The Age of Aquarius—are we there yet? This is another subject with no simple answer, though I’ve read quite convincing arguments that claim everything from “It began at the Declaration of Independence” to “It won’t start for another 400 years.” This is another variety of the “where does the circle begin” question. At least this time, the answer comes ONLY in the sidereal zodiac, meaning that the real question will be “When will it be that the Sun, on the spring equinox, will be rising against a backdrop of the stars of Aquarius.” As you can tell from the phrase “precession of the equinoxes”, this is all about the equinoctial pattern. The question goes back to where the lines are drawn that divide the 12 “zodiac signs” in the sky. It just so happens that Pisces is a very large constellation, taking up way more than the average 30 degrees. Pisces actually overlaps Aquarius. It also happens that the total time for the circle to complete itself is 26,000 years. In other words, it takes 26,000 years for the earth to wobble around so that all 12 signs get to host the spring equinox. If we divide 12 into 26,000 years, we get an average of 2160 years per constellation, but again, all constellations are not made equal. As we can see from the skymap, the Aries glyph (blue circle) is against a background of BOTH Pisces and Aquarius. It’ll be about 400 years before we drop the Pisces part completely. So we kind of already are in Aquarius, and have been for a while, and we kind of aren’t done with Pisces for a long time. The Precession of the Equinoxes is a scientific concept. It’s about a real, physical world phenomenon. But the idea that there are 12 equally-long periods of time with clear beginnings and endings is a compromise. Equinoctial ages are real. Their length in years is approximate.

What does the precession mean in symbolic terms? The easiest way to answer the question is simply to look at history. The time frames I’m using are approximate and overlap, which is actually the only accurate way to talk about this, but the themes are quite obvious. At the beginning of an astrological age, new ideas about social structure and consciousness arise, threatening and eventually overturning the old structure. Over the course of a couple of millennia, the new idea becomes stuck. It’s no longer new, but old, inflexible, and in need of revision, so the next age presents another new idea, which in turn becomes old and outmoded.

From about 4000-2000 BC was the Age of Taurus. What is Taurus? It’s the Taurean Bull. Remember the Minotaur? Remember the Sacred Calf? This was the age of Taurus. This was the time in our known history that cities began. Sumeria, Babylon, Minos, Egypt. Taurus is about builders. It is also an earth sign, and a sign of luxury. Here we see agriculture setting a foundation for abundance from which arose the first great city-states. The Taurus constellation is very large, and overlays (and delays) the beginning of the age of Aries, so the real dates could well be 4200-1500 BC. The idea here is that one can securely and luxuriously stay in one place and have all the comforts you could ever need—food, housing, luxuries of all kinds. After several thousands of years, some people got bored.

2000-0 BC was the Age of Aries. Ballistic, warriors, conquering armies. Love for battle, physical might makes right. This is the age of the Greek and Roman empires (although the Roman empire maintained its strength for another 400-500 years, in another example of overlap). The symbol was the RAM. In Egypt, we saw the Ram worshipped during this time. In Judaic tradition, a sacrifice of a Ram was a highly respected sacrifice. Sheep and rams were a major part of diet and tradition. The Ram was an important image in the Roman idea of power—as was the idea of just charging forward into whatever you wanted next. The new idea is that we can leave our comfortable homes and conquer new lands. It’s exciting. It’s pioneering on a grand scale, and we can just take whatever we want. By the time Christ was born, a lot of people were getting really tired of this paradigm.

0 – 2000+ CE Age of Pisces. The constellation of Pisces is two fish, pulling in two different directions. Pisces is a water sign, and the big new religion of this age, Christianity, called its messiah a “fisher of men”, and uses a fish as a symbol of the religion. Christ-consciousness is about boundarilessness—the breaking of boundaries that divide and separate us. We are all swimming in one great ocean. The concept of this religion is that one should love others, give what you have to help others, and turn the other cheek when one of those Arian Romans strikes you. It was an ultimate repudiation of war, which was rather refreshing at the time.

Another important theme of this watery era was of great discoveries made over water: Vikings and Europeans discovered the western hemisphere during this time. Interestingly, these discoveries took place about half-way through the era, dividing the world into East and West, another example of the two fish, pulling in opposite directions.

This polarizing action of Pisces has been visible throughout the era. Even the idealistic original goal of self-sacrifice rather than anger was raised beyond the point of reason. The theme was even co-opted by large institutions, like the church and the state, to convince people that they should sacrifice themselves for the larger good (namely, the church and the state), making it easier to control the populace. So the concept of self-sacrifice also became polarized: It was both a spiritual concept, and also a tool of political control.. Eventually, this “large ocean we’re all swimming in” became full of metaphorical fish-poop left behind by those consuming the most. We’re getting tired of this one now.

Now-ish til about 4200 CE, the Age of Aquarius. The symbol here is interesting, and is a break from the two fish swimming in a vast ocean. The image of this constellation is a person pouring the water of life into the ocean (where the Piscean fish swim!). People often think this means Aquarius is a water sign, but it isn’t. It’s an air sign. Air is associated with ideas, so the pouring water becomes a metaphor. The “water of life” isn’t necessarily liquid. This is a time of great new ideas, poured upon the entire earth from an unusual source (ourselves!).

I do think we will see water as an important symbol in this cycle. From Emoto’s frozen water molecule studies, through homeopathic medicines, which are measurably nothing but water, to electrically charged water, to a fuel source for cars, we’re already seeing amazing new possibilities from our own waters. We’ll also see concern over equitable sharing of this precious and now somewhat threatened resource.

But Aquarius being an air sign, I think the next 2000 years will be the age of space travel for our species. This could mean public recognition of off-world visitors to our planet, too, and could include making new discoveries by traveling in space. The Hubble Telescope is a forerunner of this. The Aquarian age is certainly a time of cooperative, rather than competitive work. Aquarius is the sign of community. Will we become a planet of tribe-like warring communities, or will we see the globe as an entire community, working with Gaia herself for a better home for all? The modality of the powerful will change from “all you people must sacrifice for the greater good” to “let’s work together for the greatest good”.

(continued in Joyful Change TWO)

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Part One: In which general introductory notes and answers to previously asked questions about the history of astrology are addressed. Note: If you are not interested in astrology at all, please go to Part Two. If you are not interested in astrology generally, but are interested in the Age of Aquarius and when it starts, skip to the end of this part and then go to Part Two. Last thing I want to do is bore anyone!

Introduction:

Many of us are aware that we are in a period of phenomenal and unprecedented change. The very foundation under us is shifting as we contemplate financial meltdown, global climate change, and the collapse of systems we have relied on for generations. In the meantime, new things keep popping up—just enough to make most of us feel even more unstable in our environment. In this article I’ll be looking at the trends already in play from a variety of perspectives. Underlying all these perspectives will also be astrological observations, since that’s been my profession for the past 16 years. I’ll also look at scientific, technical, and sociological trends, and will also look at some metaphysical predictions and places where science and the study of consciousness coincide and join to bring us to new understandings of our place in time.

Astrological Notes:

As an astrologer, I tend to look at things through a long lens—the lens of cycles of planets, lifetimes, and the cycle of repeating themes throughout lives and history itself. As a physicist friend stated to me after listening to my rather baffling (to him) astrological talk, “Oh! It’s about pattern recognition!” Patterns in human lives and in the lives of nations and the world seem to coincide with regularly occurring patterns in the stars and planets above us. Simply speaking, the Sun marks day and night. Most people work in the day and sleep at night. The Sun doesn’t MAKE you do this. It’s just easier to do things that way. The Moon affects tides and the movement of fluids, so fishing people and farmers find it useful to pay attention to the position of the Moon when they look for fish, or set out new plants. The Old Farmers Almanac is the “bible” for astrological planting. My grandfather would have laughed at the word “astrology”, but he swore by the Farmers Almanac Moon tables for planting.

The symbolic and archetypal language of the astrological hieroglyphs helps me flesh out these patterns, and anticipate, in general terms, what’s coming up. Astrology, by itself, won’t TELL anyone what’s happening. You have to ask questions, and for that, you have to be educated enough to know what questions to ask. For example, financial astrologers need to know investments thoroughly in order to ask the right questions and understand the answers that astrology can provide. Medical astrologers need to know health, diseases, and how to treat them in order to ask the right questions and recognize the right answers in the patterns of planets and stars.

Astrology is actually a second language to me. The symbols of astrology, also called “glyphs” which is short for “hieroglyphs”, are actually a language. Just as in Egyptian hieroglyphs, each glyph cannot easily be translated into a single word. It contains a series of concepts. This means that when one hieroglyph is paired with another one, both share and combine meanings in different ways. The result is that a single hieroglyph can appear to have many different “translations”, depending on its relationships with other glyphs.

But the issue of conceptual groups is the most important one. After decades of working with astrological symbols, I see the world in those terms. I can “feel” the world in those terms. When a client calls me, spitting mad because her HOA refused her permit to add a deck to her house, I can feel Pluto and Mars energy, which have their own archetypal patterns and will relax with certain behaviors and will increase with others. I can identify this planetary combination even before looking at the chart to see that yes, Pluto in the sky was on the position of Mars at the time and date of her birth. I can look at a person who is very thin with prominent bones (or a person with bad teeth and apparent skin problems), and say Saturn is active in her life. This will mean a lot more than thin and bony—or dental and cosmetic expenses. It will mean exposure to stern authority figures, to an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, to possibly a sense of being overburdened or depressed. It can also mean executive ability, dignity, respect given and received among other things. When the pattern runs strongly in one part of a life, I know it will run strongly in other parts of the life, and my question is always about how this person has learned to use the energy.

Although my work is mostly with individuals, I also watch trends, both social and psychological, and read a lot about breakthroughs in new sciences. I bring these issues and my own commitment to personal spiritual development to the questions I ask of charts in my personal practice. The questions I’m predisposed to ask lead me to look towards the transformative changes I’m seeing in individuals as well as in society all around me. In fact, I’m threatening to change my personal “label” from Astrologer to “Futurist”. We’ll see.

I was asked to talk a bit about the history of astrology. Frankly, it’s a subject that has grown and developed independently in many different cultures. We know of the Vedic tradition. We know of the Babylonian tradition that shaped and was shaped by the Egyptian tradition and grew into the ancient Greek and Roman astrological tradition which is the predecessor of modern Western Astrology. (If you know your “Sun Sign” you are speaking the language of modern western astrology but I bet you didn’t know your debt to Babylon!) We also know of the Chinese tradition; the Tibetan tradition which seems to be a mix of Vedic and Chinese; and of course there is the Mayan astrological tradition.

In all these traditions, the first question is, when faced with the circle of stars above us, where do we start? What is the BEGINNING of a circle? There have been long astrological arguments on this point.

The earliest version of “western” astrology that we know of is from Babylon. At that point astrology was more the omenology of the sky. Sunset and Sunrise were important because they were the first and last times you could see the stars. When the sun is up, we can’t see the stars. The very last star you could see in the morning and the first star of night were tremendously significant. These were stars bright enough to compete with the light of the sun which meant they had a lot of power. And of course, comets, eclipses, storms that hid the stars from view, were all considered important omens. If you were determined to watch the sky one night and a dust storm obscured the stars, the storm itself would be an omen. Over years, these omens –the planets seen, the unusual visual effects, comets, rings around the moon, etc, were recorded and tested, patterns were recognized, and astrology began to be more systematic.

Greek/Roman and Western astrology both give primary importance to the Sun, for somewhat different reasons. Modern western astrology has a media-induced Sun-emphasis. The 20th century was the introduction of “Sun Sign Astrology”, mainly because it was the easiest way to publicize astrology to the masses. The Sun is the only astrological point that is in the same position every year at the same time (within about a day). So you could easily say “If you were born between March 20 and April 20, your Sun is in Aries, which means…..” and then create sun-sign columns in newspapers. This isn’t because the Sun is more important than the other planets. It’s just the only planet that matches our calendar, which is (yes, you guessed it) a SOLAR calendar—based on the cycle of the Sun. If you wanted to do a Moon Sign column, you’d have to include a reference book for every day of the last 100 years so each person reading the column could find their own moon sign. So Sun signs became popularized.

India-n astrology gives primacy to the Moon, the Sun, I presume, being too obvious. The moon moves through the 12 constellations of the ecliptic every 28 days, giving about 2.3 days to each sign. The Indian system of “nakshatras” speaks of the Lunar Mansions—the “home” the moon travels through for a few days. WB Yeats has a poem to the Mansions of the Moon. Vedic astrology has long and detailed stories for the lunar mansions, just as western astrology has long and detailed stories for the 12 solar signs. Vedic astrology traditionally doesn’t use the solar stories.

The astrology of Greece and the astrology of India became quite jumbled up over the course of history. During the great epoch of trade and exchange of learning in the late Greek and early Roman empires, during the development of the great library of Alexandria, and later during the great rise of Islamic scholarship, ideas from all parts of the world were exchanged, and astrology was considered one of the great sciences. Although Vedic astrology existed before this, many concepts from Greek and Arab astrology were added to Vedic techniques, as evidenced by Greek and Arabic words used in Indian astrology.

The same mixture wasn’t available for the Mayan astrologers. In fact, their astrological cycles are based on the planet Venus, which probably not coincidentally, is often the last visible Morning Star and first visible Evening Star.

One confusion about astrology in the western world is that the astrological tradition that gelled in about 300 CE took two different directions: Tropical, and Sidereal. At that time, the spring equinox would take place against a background of stars in the constellation of Aries. In the west, we still say that the spring equinox is the “beginning of Aries”, even though, due to the slow drift caused by the earth’s wobble on its axis, the Precession of the Equinox puts the real position of the Spring Equinox against stars in late Pisces—almost a full sign away. In fact, that’s why we are in the “age of Pisces.” The Equinoxes drift backwards through the signs, and when we finish the “age of Pisces” we’ll be in the Age of Aquarius.

As a result of this, western scientists frequently (and ignorantly) say “Astrologers are so stupid they don’t even know the signs of the zodiac. They’ll look at the sky and say ‘Jupiter is in Aquarius’ when anyone can see that the constellation behind Jupiter is Capricorn.” Yes, western astrologers will say that. The convention of about 300 CE is that the first day of spring would define zero Aries in the Tropical Zodiac, so that astrological signs and astronomical constellations were no longer the same thing. This offers two different answers to “where does the circle begin.” The answer? It Depends!

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Figure 1: Skymap showing the constellations of Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius, against which we can see the glyph for the tropical sign Aries circled in blue, against the very end of the constellation Pisces.

Sidereal astrology (meaning ‘by the stars’) generally labels a planet by the constellation behind it in the sky, but even that isn’t a cut-and-dried science. As you can see from the sky map above, constellations vary widely in their size. Astrology only watches the constellations along the ecliptic—if we drew a line in the sky connecting the positions of all the eclipses, that line would be the ecliptic. In this skymap, the pink line traces the path of the ecliptic.

To the left of and below the blue circled Aries glyph, you’ll see a short straight line with the star Hamal labeled. This is the constellation of Aries. Just above that you see Pisces, which is a big v-shape with a circle-ish shape at the top of both ends of the v. Above that is Aquarius, which ends with a large S-shape, which actually overlaps the last circle-ish part of Pisces.

The thing is, the constellations aren’t naturally 12 equally-sized parts of the 360 circle of the sky. This 12-part division is an average. Sidereal astrology, which is based against the so-called “actual constellations”, still has to figure out where the circle begins. Most Indian astrologers use the point opposite the bright star Spica, in Libra, as the opposite point to zero Aries. Even this is debated though, with several other widely acknowledged starting points also in use. Generally speaking the difference between the Tropical zodiac and the Sidereal zodiac is about 23 degrees. This is why your familiar-to-you western Sun Sign (or ascendant, or moon, or any other planet) may suddenly be in the previous sign if you look at a Vedic chart. However, as we said earlier, the interpretations are entirely different. Leos usually don’t like “becoming” Cancers, but in Vedic astrology the important thing is, from the sign on the horizon at your birth, how many signs away is Leo, the Sun’s own sign, and how many signs away is Cancer, the position of the sun, and are any particularly bad or good planets entangled with it.

The Precessional Ages, The Age of Aquarius, and Are We There Yet?

I sometimes feel like the parent on a car trip with young kids in the back seat. The Age of Aquarius—are we there yet? This is another subject with no simple answer, though I’ve read quite convincing arguments that claim everything from “It began at the Declaration of Independence” to “It won’t start for another 400 years.” This is another variety of the “where does the circle begin” question. At least this time, the answer comes ONLY in the sidereal zodiac, meaning that the real question will be “When will it be that the Sun, on the spring equinox, will be rising against a backdrop of the stars of Aquarius.” As you can tell from the phrase “precession of the equinoxes”, this is all about the equinoctial pattern. The question goes back to where the lines are drawn that divide the 12 “zodiac signs” in the sky. It just so happens that Pisces is a very large constellation, taking up way more than the average 30 degrees. Pisces actually overlaps Aquarius. It also happens that the total time for the circle to complete itself is 26,000 years. In other words, it takes 26,000 years for the earth to wobble around so that all 12 signs get to host the spring equinox. If we divide 12 into 26,000 years, we get an average of 2160 years per constellation, but again, all constellations are not made equal. As we can see from the skymap, the Aries glyph (blue circle) is against a background of BOTH Pisces and Aquarius. It’ll be about 400 years before we drop the Pisces part completely. So we kind of already are in Aquarius, and have been for a while, and we kind of aren’t done with Pisces for a long time. The Precession of the Equinoxes is a scientific concept. It’s about a real, physical world phenomenon. But the idea that there are 12 equally-long periods of time with clear beginnings and endings is a compromise. Equinoctial ages are real. Their length in years is approximate.

What does the precession mean in symbolic terms? The easiest way to answer the question is simply to look at history. The time frames I’m using are approximate and overlap, which is actually the only accurate way to talk about this, but the themes are quite obvious. At the beginning of an astrological age, new ideas about social structure and consciousness arise, threatening and eventually overturning the old structure. Over the course of a couple of millennia, the new idea becomes stuck. It’s no longer new, but old, inflexible, and in need of revision, so the next age presents another new idea, which in turn becomes old and outmoded.

From about 4000-2000 BC was the Age of Taurus. What is Taurus? It’s the Taurean Bull. Remember the Minotaur? Remember the Sacred Calf? This was the age of Taurus. This was the time in our known history that cities began. Sumeria, Babylon, Minos, Egypt. Taurus is about builders. It is also an earth sign, and a sign of luxury. Here we see agriculture setting a foundation for abundance from which arose the first great city-states. The Taurus constellation is very large, and overlays (and delays) the beginning of the age of Aries, so the real dates could well be 4200-1500 BC. The idea here is that one can securely and luxuriously stay in one place and have all the comforts you could ever need—food, housing, luxuries of all kinds. After several thousands of years, some people got bored.

2000-0 BC was the Age of Aries. Ballistic, warriors, conquering armies. Love for battle, physical might makes right. This is the age of the Greek and Roman empires (although the Roman empire maintained its strength for another 400-500 years, in another example of overlap). The symbol was the RAM. In Egypt, we saw the Ram worshipped during this time. In Judaic tradition, a sacrifice of a Ram was a highly respected sacrifice. Sheep and rams were a major part of diet and tradition. The Ram was an important image in the Roman idea of power—as was the idea of just charging forward into whatever you wanted next. The new idea is that we can leave our comfortable homes and conquer new lands. It’s exciting. It’s pioneering on a grand scale, and we can just take whatever we want. By the time Christ was born, a lot of people were getting really tired of this paradigm.

0 – 2000+ CE Age of Pisces. The constellation of Pisces is two fish, pulling in two different directions. Pisces is a water sign, and the big new religion of this age, Christianity, called its messiah a “fisher of men”, and uses a fish as a symbol of the religion. Christ-consciousness is about boundarilessness—the breaking of boundaries that divide and separate us. We are all swimming in one great ocean. The concept of this religion is that one should love others, give what you have to help others, and turn the other cheek when one of those Arian Romans strikes you. It was an ultimate repudiation of war, which was rather refreshing at the time.

Another important theme of this watery era was of great discoveries made over water: Vikings and Europeans discovered the western hemisphere during this time. Interestingly, these discoveries took place about half-way through the era, dividing the world into East and West, another example of the two fish, pulling in opposite directions.

This polarizing action of Pisces has been visible throughout the era. Even the idealistic original goal of self-sacrifice rather than anger was raised beyond the point of reason. The theme was even co-opted by large institutions, like the church and the state, to convince people that they should sacrifice themselves for the larger good (namely, the church and the state), making it easier to control the populace. So the concept of self-sacrifice also became polarized: It was both a spiritual concept, and also a tool of political control.. Eventually, this “large ocean we’re all swimming in” became full of metaphorical fish-poop left behind by those consuming the most. We’re getting tired of this one now.

Now-ish til about 4200 CE, the Age of Aquarius. The symbol here is interesting, and is a break from the two fish swimming in a vast ocean. The image of this constellation is a person pouring the water of life into the ocean (where the Piscean fish swim!). People often think this means Aquarius is a water sign, but it isn’t. It’s an air sign. Air is associated with ideas, so the pouring water becomes a metaphor. The “water of life” isn’t necessarily liquid. This is a time of great new ideas, poured upon the entire earth from an unusual source (ourselves!).

I do think we will see water as an important symbol in this cycle. From Emoto’s frozen water molecule studies, through homeopathic medicines, which are measurably nothing but water, to electrically charged water, to a fuel source for cars, we’re already seeing amazing new possibilities from our own waters. We’ll also see concern over equitable sharing of this precious and now somewhat threatened resource.

But Aquarius being an air sign, I think the next 2000 years will be the age of space travel for our species. This could mean public recognition of off-world visitors to our planet, too, and could include making new discoveries by traveling in space. The Hubble Telescope is a forerunner of this. The Aquarian age is certainly a time of cooperative, rather than competitive work. Aquarius is the sign of community. Will we become a planet of tribe-like warring communities, or will we see the globe as an entire community, working with Gaia herself for a better home for all? The modality of the powerful will change from “all you people must sacrifice for the greater good” to “let’s work together for the greatest good”.

03/22/09 BUGS!!!

March 22, 2009

First, I’ve got to confess defeat.   I haven’t a clue as to how to upload the powerpoint for the IONS lecture of late February.   So I’m actually writing the article I promised.   I’ll get it up soon.

I consider this a Bug.

Otherwise, I’m having other Buggy problems.   I’ve been gardening.   Haven’t done this since I was about 12 years old, which is WAY longer ago than I want to think about.   And back then, my gardening was in Indiana, where the summers began in late spring and ended in September and you had a nice long, and reasonably wet growing season over a humid hot summer.    Now I’m in Austin, Texas, and boy are growing conditions different.

First, I learned we have TWO growing seasons.   The first starts as early as January and wraps up in May or June.  The second begins in October and wraps up in late December.   Summer is considered a wash.  Go inside and sit by the air conditioner.   It takes a miracle just to keep grass growing.

Furthermore, the first growing season requires knowing which plants can take a random frost if you’re willing to cover them up (NOT), and which plants can take cold temperatures without frosts.   If you are willing to bet on one plant-blanket nite, you can start in February, which I did.   I found this handy book that tells you what you can plant in which months, and set out onions, which looked pretty limp and bleak but not in late March are sitting up straight and show some promise.   Then I put in tomatoes and basil.

Pillbugs ate ALL the tomatoes in a single night.  Pill bugs!  “rollypoly’s”.  Damn their armored hides!   (I didn’t know they were pill bugs at first.   I planted more tomatoes and then went out in the middle of the night with a flashlight.  ARMIES of pill bug tanks were swarming and chewing on them.   I heard diatomaceous earth would help, and not having any I grabbed my Shower-to-Shower talc and powdered them heavily.   Next day they were injured but still standing.

I won’t bore you with all the details.   I’ve now planted about 16 tomato plants and have 5 standing.  I also planted marigolds, which the little beasties ate entirely.   I put out a half cantaloupe, upside down, which a web site told me would “attract and trap” them.  It attracted them alright, but half of them stopped by the marigolds, squashes and beans on the way to the cantaloupe.   I didn’t know gardening was War.

Diatomaceous earth does keep them off if you use enough, and if you re-apply after rain or watering.   It’s rumored that once the plants pass the seedling stage the pillbugs will let up.   We’ll see.

Back to the article.

03/12/09 Truly rare astro conditions coming…

March 12, 2009

I’ve been busy—thanks to all of you–and slow in getting notes up.   As you probably know, we’re in the middle of a Venus Retrograde period—til April 17, but we won’t be past the “shadow” til May 21st.   Venus is what we value–love, money, comfort, security, “bling”, anything we “desire”.   When Venus goes retrograde, for most of us it’s simply a time to re-examine our value systems (including Self-value).  In the public eye though, Venus Rx tends to show us–all of us, everyone, where someone public has FAILED to pass the “values” test.   It’s a time for scandals to pop up.   Just the other day, the International Court issued a statement that they WILL begin proceedings against the previous US administration for war crimes.   Oh–and a new book by a prominent author (Seymour Hirsch?) is saying Cheney had his very own “assassination squads” to hunt down and kill folks around the world that he himself targeted.   Hmmm.

One little note–big for some of you.  The day before Venus went RX–Thu, Mar 5, it was sitting stationary, rattling our “values/money” cages, while the Moon opposed Pluto.   I had quite a handful of clients and friends call me with “screwed over by their bosses (Pluto: BIG power) over money” issues, and one heart attack apparently caused by an inability to keep secrets and lies from leaking out.   Moon opposes Pluto once a month, but rarely while Venus is stationary.

NOW the BIG stuff…  (yes, more BIG stuff)

On May 29 and 30 will be an exact and powerful pattern than will continue to echo, resonate, and play out over the entire summer and fall, not ending til November, when the other “bookend” of the pattern occurs.  What is this pattern you may ask….

At exactly 26 degrees of tropical Aquarius (which means it’s also Aquarius in the sidereal, or Vedic system), Jupiter will be standing watch as Neptune and Chiron station retrograde (yes, all THREE at 26 tropical Aquarius) on the 29th and 30th of May.   To say this is rare is an understatement.  I wish I knew how to calculate these kinds of patterns, but I can safely say this combination at ANY degree is a thousands upon thousands of years cycle–maybe tens of thousands.  It just so happens that 25 Aquarius is the Sibley chart U.S. moon, and Obama’s Uranus (modern ruling planet for Aquarius) is exactly opposite this point.  So this very much applies to events in the United States.

Let’s look at the pieces of this pattern:

Jupiter makes things big.  It’s also generally a benevolent planet.  We usually associate Aquarius with new ways of thinking and the “masses” of people.  But big isn’t always good… Jupiter trine Mars in air signs (Aquarius is one) created huge winds feeding wildfires in California several years back, until the aspect ended.

Neptune is about ideals, illusions, deceptions.  It’s also in charge of “anesthesia”, of water and of gas.

Chiron is usually called “the wounded healer”.   I don’t say that’s wrong, but I see him as “the wound that heals”.   We receive a chiron wound early in life, and the wound itself drives us to develop gifts that eventually (if we’re growing), we value more than the pain of the wound.   Chiron transits are usually a shock that heals.  Like lancing a boil—you know, like a humongous pimple that won’t come to a head and hurts like heck.  Lancing the boil takes the pressure and pain off, but it’s painful when it happens.  It also allows us to drain the infection and heal.  Sorry for the gory metaphor, but that’s the way it is.

Oh–and all this is being opposed by Saturn in the sidereal zodiac.  Good ol’ Uranus Saturn stuff again–upset the old order.  And of course, Aquarius is STILL ruled by Saturn, and Pluto is riding in Saturn’s “other” sign, Capricorn–just setting the backdrop here.

Putting these things together I get the picture that we’re gonna see a huge, gory bandaid pulled off a huge raging “infection” in the country.   Jupiter rules growth, so maybe we’ll finally “get it” as a nation that “restoring growth” isn’t realistic.   (Maybe we can start thinking in terms of Bhutan’s “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross National PRODUCT.)

How will we get this?   Well, maybe AIG WILL finally fail.   But I also see the possibility of huge flooding (Neptune with Jupiter and Chiron) or a terrible gas leak (not a fire though, but airborne gas) that shows us just how seriously we’ve gotta be about repairing what’s been neglected to the point of breaking.   The good news is that Jupiter provides a saving kindness, Neptune offers emotional anesthesia, and wounding caused by Chiron is usually the early surgery that saves a bigger one later.   Maybe we’ll see a “superstorm” big enough to shut up all the “global warming is a lie” naysayers… put the fear of God into them, so to speak…   Believe me, this is BIG.   And these planets are riding along together all summer.   Then between Oct 31 and Nov 4, first Chiron, then Neptune station direct at 21 and 23 degrees of Aquarius… still tag-teaming each other and bringing the issues up again.  I think it IS possible that we’ll have a big disaster with surprisingly few fatalities.  It Can happen.  Remember the Candlestick Quake in San Francisco?

Another BIG thing about this combination is a magical feeling of optimism and relief.  The relief can be that “now we know the problem and therefore we can fix it”, or the magic can be sheer spiritual exhilaration.   Hmmm.  Maybe a big UFO show?  A massive spiritual breakthrough?

What else might be involved?   Not fire, not big institutions except where the issue of deception is involved.  (Ok,  can’t rule out big institutions period.)  SO, we might discover that the hundreds of billions we’ve been dumping on investment banks has landed in private accounts in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands. AND be charged up to take it back.   That would fit the bill.   But I’m still thinking water, gas, even communication systems being scammed–maybe a HUGE internet virus.

The Sabian Symbol for 26 Aqu is “An ancient pottery bowl filled with fresh violets.  The importance of traditional skills and artistic values deeply rooted in man’s instinctive feelings as frames of reference for man’s most authentic emotions.  Delicacy of Feelings.”   Not so bad.   This suggests the more magical and spiritual side, and respect for nature, traditions.   Could we discover something amazingly revealing and totally unexpected about our own history?

I’d love to hear other ideas about what this could bring.