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November 2, 2014

Non-Traditional Predictive Indicators for 2014 Mid-Term Elections
Offer Hope to Democrats

The 2014 mid-terms have been called “the most suspenseful election we’ve had in a long time” by Steve Kornacki on MSNBC (on his show Up With Steve Kornacki, 11/2/14). No doubt that the number of Senate seats being defended by Democrats is much higher than Republican-held seats, giving the GOP the advantage. But two predictors examined for presidential elections concur that the incumbent party wins the day in the mid-term contest this year. This is contrary to poli sci conventional wisdom that the party of a president with an unfavorable approval rating should lose and that the incumbent party usually has a set-back midway through a second term. The National League won the World Series and the Redskins won their home game prior to the election, both signifiers with a significantly higher than 50-50 success rate at predicting presidential election winners. Granted, both these wins were squeakers. The Giants won on the road, in a nail-biter finish in the 9th inning of game 7. The Skins’ victory came down to the last play as time ran out, in a come-from-behind drive led by a back-up QB. The implication for the 2014 election: a scary, uncertain win for Democrats that may not be clear on election night.

Nate Silver, who has a very good track record in his sports and political predictions, gives Republicans a greater probability of the Senate. Polls are showing a better shot for the Republicans to take the Senate but according to election analyst, Princeton professor Sam Wang, “When errors occur, the outcome tends to be more favorable to the Democrats.”1 His recent (Oct. 21, 2014) article proclaims, “The Data Favors Democrats,”2 although this article looks at governors’ races rather than the Senate. Keep your eye on Wang’s numbers; his techniques were right for every Senate race in 2012.3 Yet even he warns, “midterm-year polling is far less accurate than Presidential-year polling.”4

Astrology may provide another clue. The Moon’s sign and any angular connections it makes to other planets are thought to show the collective mood of the people and which way the wind of public opinion is blowing. (For instance, the Moon’s signs and connections many times correlate with movements in the stock market, which respond to emotions.) The election day Moon is in Aries, a freedom-oriented, impulsive sign, often showing anger. Voters are fed up and want to take action. Voter turn-out should be higher than in average for mid-term elections, which usually gives Democrats an advantage. The Moon is in an abrasive position relative to planets that signify conservative values5 while harmonizing with more progressive-oriented planets.6 Furthermore, the Republican-leaning links are either fading or over early in the day, whereas the Democratic-friendly connections occur later in the day. Thus the mood moves away from conservatives and toward liberals, and inclining the results in the Democrats’ direction. The condition associated with the recounts in 2000 is not present. 7 Still, with so many close races, all results may not be determined promptly.





5 A harsh connection (called a “sesquiquadrate,” a 135° angle) to Saturn occurs before the polls open, thus indicates a fading emotion. Early in the day, the Moon is “square” (90° away from) Pluto in Capricorn (the sign ruled by Saturn). Saturnian archetypes are nay-sayers, obstructionists, stodgy old men and authority figures. Of course, Pluto signifies a Plutocratic party, ruled by the rich.

6 The Moon passes the planet of the masses, Uranus, mid-way through the day. All day long, the Moon moves into the most favorable link (a 120° “trine”) to Jupiter, the planet that most inclines people to be open-minded and generous.

7 Mercury Retrograde, the planet of information exchange in apparent backward motion, is famous for communication mix-ups.

Janet Booth © Nov. 2, 2014

July 27, 2013

New Royal for the UK - George Alexander Louis

As the Duchess of Cambridge went into labor, astrologers sat by watching to see if her baby would be a Cancer or a Leo. Either way, it’s very appropriate for this baby to be born on the cusp (dividing line) between the sign of family, tribe and nation (Cancer) and royalty and the spotlight (Leo). His father, Prince William, was born on the first day of Cancer in 1982 (on a very rare and special day: a solar eclipse on the summer solstice). His son was born on the last day of Cancer. Both William and Kate have the Moon in Cancer, so we should not have been surprised for this baby to be a Cancer, as was his late grandmamma, Diana. Still, he’s so close to a Leo, that his will undoubtedly be, as Cassandra Vinograd wrote for AP, a “lifetime of fanfare and public glare.”

The UK’s new pride and joy was born, just hours ahead of a Full Moon. Of course, many babies are born at a Full Moon, when the gravitational pull on the mother’s water is strongest. This Full Moon is a little unusual in that it is the first of two in a row that will be in the same sign, Aquarius, the sign of the masses. This royal has a commoner for a mother and is expected to be raised, similar to Prince William, in as everyday a way as is possible for someone likely to wear the crown one day.

When the Moon is full, it is in the sign opposite the Sun. This nearly full moon was in Capricorn, opposite the Sun at the end of Cancer. The Moon in Capricorn is related to traditions, especially family traditions, and these will be important for the Prince of Cambridge. Thus it was no surprise for him to be given a very traditional name. Already there have been six King Georges, the final one being Queen Elizabeth’s father. Capricorn is the sign of responsibility. This prince will take his family responsibilities very seriously. He will probably also be very close to the family of his mother (the Moon rules mothers) and she is a Capricorn by Sun-sign.

A very favorable configuration between slow-moving planets has been strongly in place for at least a week and will remain for another week or so (closest to exact July 17-19). It symbolizes a time to manifest one’s vision and put ideas into concrete form. For any baby born around now, it promises luck and the potential for charisma, particularly if the pattern is strengthened by its positioning at certain times of day. People who have a birthday in this period should have a record-breaking year ahead, more so if the age they are attaining is a multiple (or fraction) of 12 or 28. Even people of these ages who don’t have a July birthday are seeing positive events in their lives this summer. An example is Nairo Quintana (age 23-1/2), who just came in second overall in the 100th Tour de France, also winning the “King of the Mountain” title and the white jersey for best young rider (25 or under).

Looking back and ahead 200 years (scanning a 400-year span), there has not been such a precise occurrence of this special alignment - an equilateral triangle around the zodiac called a Grand Trine - between these three planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. (There were two very imprecise occurrences, one in 1928 and one in 1966. The next imprecise triangle will be in 2192.) It’s really a magical time for dreams to come true. With Mars, a planet that moves much more quickly through the zodiac, so close to Jupiter now, the triangle is even more powerful, steering its expression into Martian areas: competitions, sports, leadership or the military. (This is another indication of how favorable a time it was for Quintana to be in a sports competition.)

On July 29, the Grand Trine is expanded into a brief, rare (though not as precise) six-pointed star formation (called a Star of David or Grand Sextile) when Pluto is given a little leeway to be counted as being in the right spot. Quick Venus and the rapid Moon fill in the other points. Coming a week after the royal baby’s birth, this has significance for him at the age of six to seven. That’s due to the astrological technique called progressions, which move a birth chart forward to show progress in one’s life based on each day after birth signifying a year of life.

Two other important points in his life related to his progressions will be when the Full Moon that occurred hours after his birth is exact for him (Sept. 4 of this year) and when the next Aquarius Full Moon (occurring on our calendars on Aug. 20) comes due for him Dec. 27, 2042, when he is 29 years old. That is the same year when he will have his Saturn Return (Saturn coming back to where it was at his birth), which happens three times: Jan. 1, March 30 and Sept. 24. Saturn is an important planet for anyone but more so for him because it rules his Moon sign, Capricorn, and it is in that fabulous Grand Trine in his birth chart.

His chart is not without challenges. The current Uranus-Pluto T-square is expanded into a T-square by Jupiter, in effect for several weeks, and intensified by Mars joining Jupiter in that configuration. Mercury is close to Jupiter and Mars, too, bringing a strong tendency to vocalize feelings. He might have quite a temper, particularly when frustrated by the slowness of changes he can envision and wants to see enacted. He might be King but there is a Parliament to contend with and other forces beyond his control. Another T-square in his chart is created by the natural Sun-Moon opposition at a Full Moon, and both were square his Saturn. This adds emotionality to frustration and points to limitations on imposing one’s will or finding comfort and security in one’s family and the world at large. He will in a sense be a prisoner of his position.

The Moon was Void of Course when he was born. That means it was not making any more aspects to other planets in the sign it occupied. This is a condition considered to mean lacking in motivation or specific goals. This might be compensated for, though, since a Capricorn person is very goal-oriented. And he won’t really have to worry about getting a job or pleasing a boss, will he?

At the minute of his birth, 27 degrees of Scorpio was rising on the eastern horizon. This point in the chart depends on the minute and longitude and latitude of birth. It shows a lot about one’s personality. Using a series of images for the zodiac degrees called the Sabian Symbols, the symbol for this degree reads, “The king of the fairies approaching his domain.” This degree would only be rising for about 5 minutes, so he emerged (approached his domain) at just the right minute to be a king (you can ignore the fairies part).

That rising degree was in a difficult configuration with the planets of intelligence and communication (Uranus and Mercury). It’s possible he will have an unusual mind or manner of speech, perhaps a stuttering problem like the King George IV in the King’s Speech (great-great-grandfather of this new George). This can express in many ways, such as a tendency to blurt things out before thinking them through, an ability to see things differently than others do, challenges using the latest technology, and difficulties from miscommunication and missed communications.

It will be interesting to see how his chart plays out in the life of this new VIP.

March 26, 2013

Death Knell for DOMA?

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Clinton on Sept. 21, 1996, codifies prejudice against a certain class of people, namely homosexuals. In a country that prides itself on “freedom and justice for all,” it’s a big black mark, one which the Supreme Court has the opportunity to erase with the case that comes before it on March 27, 2013. Already two lower courts have found it unconstitutional, so it’s not a stretch to think the Supreme Court will uphold their decisions. Even the current (Obama) administration no longer defends the Defense of Marriage Act and the case in the law’s favor is being argued by a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (acronym BLAG) of the House of Representatives.

A couple months ago, I was looking ahead to the Full Moon just after the spring equinox. I was struck by the quadruple conjunction (union of four heavenly bodies) of Venus, the Sun, Uranus, and Mars in Aries opposed by the Moon in Libra. Uranus is the key planet that indicates non-mainstream anything and when linked to Venus, planet of marriage and relationships, together they signify gay marriage. Add Mars, a planet of conflict and battles, and you get the fight over gay marriage. At that time, I knew the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a case challenging DOMA so I looked up their docket and was astounded to see the case listed EXACTLY on the date of the Full Moon in question. How very appropriate because Full Moons are when things come to a head, and sometimes when they have run their course and end. The Moon’s sign, Libra (ruled by Venus), is the sign of marriage as well as equality and justice. The symbols could not be more fitting!

Looking back at the historical roots of the case, we begin with the USA birth chart (July 4, 1776), where we find Mars at the halfway point between Venus and Uranus. The halfway point (called midpoint) represents a blending of two planets’ influences, as if they were paired up (positioned within a few degrees of one another, called conjunct). From the beginning, this poses the potential for conflicts in our nation about fairness for those who are different from the majority. This is an ongoing theme in our country, not just about gay people but about other minorities as well, such as African Americans and women (actually, women are now a majority but treated as a minority). On the day when DOMA was enacted, Mars was approximately 90 degrees from the Venus-Uranus midpoint in an interplanetary relationship called a square, which signifies friction and a potential turning point.

The plaintiff in the case, Edith Windsor, married her lifelong love, Thea Spyer, on May 22, 2007. Mars was at 5 degrees of Aries. This is significant for two reasons. First, it is within one degree of the location at DOMA’s enactment of Saturn, a planet signifying laws, restrictions and judgment, so this pairing indicates a challenge to that law. Second, the marriage Mars is within 3 degrees of the Venus-Uranus-Sun conjunction at March 2013 Full Moon Supreme Court hearing. You could say the seed of this battle was planted at the time of the marriage. Also that day, Mercury (planet of information, news and making a statement) was at the degree of the USA natal Mars and Venus-Uranus midpoint. Their union is an apt one for testing the constitutionality of DOMA.

After Thea Spyer died, Edith Windsor had to pay the IRS for estate inheritance tax - more than $363,000! – due to the value of their joint property, which a heterosexual couple would not have owed. When the case was first filed (Windsor v. US, Nov. 9, 2010), the Venus-Uranus midpoint was square to Saturn at the time and to the USA’s natal Saturn. This filing put the wheels of the challenge to DOMA in motion. Saturn of the moment being very close to the USA’s natal Saturn is a condition called Saturn Return, which occurs about every 29 years and signals a time when “chickens come home to roost.” The tenets of our existence as a nation of liberty and equality were set to be tested. This was also the approximate halfway point of the Saturn cycle begun when DOMA was enacted, about 14 years earlier. A halfway point acts as a culmination in the same way as a Full Moon (which is the halfway point of a lunar cycle).

The Federal District Court in New York found in favor of Edie Windsor on June 6, 2012, declaring DOMA unconstitutional. On appeal, a second court agreed with the first decision on Oct. 18, 2012. At neither time was there a significant involvement of the Venus-Uranus midpoint, but that is not surprising because neither decision was the last word on the subject. The Supreme Court hearing on March 27, 2013 will be the determining factor and we can see that date shows the peak of the challenge to DOMA. If the theory holds of a Full Moon showing a situation has run its course, the outcome should be the death of DOMA.

It is interesting to note that the first decision came close in time to the occurrence of an intense push for big change signaled by two slow-moving planets (Uranus and Pluto) in that abrasive square relationship. They are roughly in this relationship from 2011 to 2016, making an exact square seven times. The first was June 24, 2012. The second decision happened with Uranus at 5 degrees of Aries, the degree where Mars was when Windsor and Spyer married (see above).

The Supreme Court is expected to reveal its decision in June, 2013. The exact date is unknown at this time, but it won’t surprise me if it comes close upon the heels of the June 8 New Moon at 18 degrees of Gemini, which is just two degrees from 20 Gemini, the location of the USA Mars and Venus-Uranus midpoint. The Sun will cross 20 Gemini on Monday, June 10. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Venus will interact with the Uranus-Pluto square, forming a potent pattern called a T-square, which can mean “the end of the line” (like a T intersection is where the road no longer continues in the direction it’s been headed). Venus is close enough in its approach to the T-square to “count” on Monday, when the Moon passes Venus and is also part of the configuration. Furthermore, Mercury (the planet of announcements) makes a square to the USA Saturn that day, too, so the decision is likely to be against the law of the land, DOMA, in effect ending its reign. That’s my prediction, at least, and now we’ll wait to see.

March 13, 2012

Rush Limbaugh’s Terrible Awful Mercury Retrograde

So you think YOU are having a bad Mercury Retrograde? Consider what is going on for Rush Limbaugh!

The degrees where a planet appears to stop and head backwards (turning Retrograde) or ends its apparent backtracking (called the Stations) receive an extra blast from the planet as it pivots, with a sensitivity lasting for a time after the Retrograde. If such a degree makes a strong contact to your chart, chances are you will see a noticeable effect in your life, probably in the area described by the house where the Retrograde occurs.

Rush Limbaugh is getting a double-whammy from the current Mercury Retrograde. In his Second House of net worth and values, Mercury backtracks from one of his natal planets to another. It started March 12 at his Eris (the new planet way past Pluto, named for Mars’s bitchy sister) and ends April 4 at his Moon (related to women and the public). Eris points to chaos, discord and rivalry. In Aries, it can indicate conditions associated with strong and/or angry women. His Moon in Pisces could have made him a sympathetic person (and you could say it is related to his drug addiction), but it seems instead to be twisted into an imagined sense of being a victim himself. It is at the Degree of Sorrow. He will be the sorry one when Mercury parks there in early April. By then, he will see consequences of his actions (his karma). Already his national advertisers are abandoning his radio show in droves. Excellence in Broadcasting – really? The man cannot refer to a Feminist without calling her his denigrating epithet, FemiNazi. The chicks are coming home to roost for his long history of misogyny.

Limbaugh was born* at the moment of a one-two Retrograde punch. Saturn (planet of responsibility, boundaries and karma) turned Retrograde 12 hours earlier and Mercury (the planet of communication) was less than two hours from ending its Retrograde period. Furthermore, these two planets were in a grating connection called a square, which often brings problems. Some people with such a combination would be tight-lipped. In his case, it shows his judgmental side and indicates lessons he will learn the hard way from what he says. During the lead up to his Fluke fiasco, while Congress heard testimony only from men about women’s reproductive health, the wild card planet, Uranus, made aggravating contacts to his natal Mercury-Saturn square. Now it is moving toward his Eris, which is in a square to his natal Uranus, and will activate a potential he had all along for sudden and surprising trouble with women. The time has arrived.

Later this spring, Venus (a money planet) pivots at the end of June at the degree of Gemini that is square to his Moon. These are the two planets most associated with women, so his troubles with women, resulting in an unfavorable opinion by the public and difficult financial impact, are far from over. Also across the coming year, Chiron (an asteroid nicknamed The Wounded Healer) will visit his Jupiter three times (March 23, Sept. 6 and Jan. 19, 2013) due to its back-and-forth Retrograde dance. Chiron indicates weak links and hurts as well as the possibility of healing them. Jupiter is related to broadcasting as well as humor and exaggeration. He might be able to turn this situation around eventually but that would require some humility or laughing at himself, qualities he seems to lack. In his birth chart, Venus is rising (which often shows a strong self-love), followed by Mars (a strong self-centered focus) and then Jupiter (accounting for his large size as his delight hearing himself pontificate).

He has not demonstrated an ability to learn his lesson about judgmentalism and boundary violations. Back in the fall of 2003 (numerologically a 5 year, like 2012), he got in trouble for badmouthing Philadelphia’s black quarterback Donovan McNabb. Limbaugh had to resign his dream job of being an ESPN football commentator. Ironically, this occurred exactly the same week when he addressed a luncheon of broadcasters in – of all places – Philadelphia and the same week his housekeeper blew the whistle on his illegal drug purchases. This was just past a New Moon at the degree of his natal Saturn (a month for his come-uppance) AND the Saturn and Chiron positions of the moment were opposite each other (a straining connection showing a time for karmic wounds).

If only Rush had an astrologer. He could have been advised to use awareness of precarious times when he needs to counteract his natural tendencies that get him into trouble. This presumes he can heed warnings to keep his big mouth shut!

More about Mercury Retrograde.

* chart data, rated AA by AstroDataBank: Jan. 12, 1951, 7:50 am CST, Cape Girardeau, MO - see their extensive biography!

August 9, 2011

Wisconsin’s Recall Election from an Astrological Angle

Two powerhouse planets are nearing an important turning point after completing about a quarter of their cycle of 115 (or so) years that began in the turbulent Sixties. Rebellious Uranus is approximately 90 degrees past plutocratic Pluto (in a relationship called a square, meaning at cross purposes). This relationship symbolizes well the current insanity in the markets (Uranus relates to volatility and Pluto to investments) and the special recall election in Wisconsin, a referendum on right wing warfare against the middle class (Uranus means “the people”) and a test of the influence of big money and power (Pluto again) to affect elections. This square was a weak 10 degrees from exact at the election in Nov. 2010 (and the population was not riled up at that point), then a stronger 8 degrees from exact the night the Wisconsin legislature shoved through its anti-union law on Feb. 25, 2011 (amidst massive demonstrations), and is a potent one degree from exact at the Aug. 9, 2011 recall election (expected to have record turnout despite efforts to make it harder to vote).

The dwarf planet Ceres was only 4 degrees from Pluto at the election in Nov. 2010 when the Republican Governor Scott Walker was elected. Ceres relates to protective agencies like the police and firefighters who are among the targets of his union-busting agenda. (Ceres also relates to commodities markets.) Nothing had been said in his campaign to indicate any problem for these groups. On August 9, 2011, Ceres is at 0 degrees Aries, the first degree of the zodiac, often associated with big news and events of far-reaching impact. This time, it’s only 4 degrees from Uranus, representing the masses, both in Aries, a sign of anger and action. As goddess of harvests, Ceres’ symbol is the sickle (picture angry masses of workers brandishing sickles – or maybe not since that sounds like Russian Communists but these are teachers and peaceful democratic middle class people). Together with Uranus, ruler of lightning and electricity, they are about to deliver a shock and make history. As the polls open for the recall election in the state’s capitol, Retrograde Mercury (the planet of communication in its phase of apparent backward motion) is rising in the chart (a position of emergence and visibility). Mercury Retrograde is perfect for a “do-over” and a step in the opposite direction.

Astrologers might argue this point, but I contend Saturn (planet of authority and elder status) represents conservatives and Jupiter (planet of open-mindedness and eternal learning) represents progressives. At the opening of the polls for the Nov. 2010 election as well as the night the anti-union law passed in Feb. 2011, Saturn was rising toward the upper reaches of the chart (gaining in power) while Jupiter was dropping lower in the chart (waning in influence). (In fact on the night the law passed, Jupiter and Saturn were 10 degrees from an exact stand-off opposite each other.) On Tuesday, August 9, 2011, as the recall election commences, the reverse is true: Jupiter is high in the sky and Saturn is low. This is another clue as to which way the wind will blow. I will be surprised if the Democrats don’t retake the state Senate. Even if it’s only “close but no cigar,” the solidarity of the middle class is sending a message to Republican governors across the nation that workers are “mad as hell and not going to take it any more.”

July 14, 2011

July 15 Full Moon – Peak of Political Power Plays?

News headlines frequently mirror simultaneous astrological occurrences. Current discussions about the US economy and its global impact, raising the national debt limit, tackling the deficit and addressing the gap between revenue and spending are all associated with the planet Pluto, which rules shared finances. Things are coming to a head around the July 2011 Full Moon. Full Moons are often a marker for a peak or culmination, sometimes a completion. The Moon at 22-1/2 degrees of Capricorn is opposite (by definition) the Sun at 22-1/2 degrees Cancer. The influence of a Full Moon stretches a few degrees before and after its point of exactness.

Looking at the USA chart for July 4, 1776 (no matter what birth time you use – and astrologers debate about that!), the country’s birth position for Pluto is at 27-1/2 degrees of Capricorn, while the Mercury position is around 24 degrees of Cancer. In addition, the USA Mercury is in the apparent backward motion called Retrograde, famous for re-visiting a topic. Mercury across from Pluto shows how the country frequently has opposing views on how to handle its finances and care for its people (nurturing is related to Cancer). The current Full Moon points right to this conflict and should mean some kind of conclusion, at least for this round of discussions, though the topic will arise again and again.

Approximately half-way between the USA’s Mercury and Pluto, forming a tough pattern called a T-square with them is the USA’s Chiron. This asteroid, nicknamed the “wounded healer,” shows where difficulties arise and gives clues to resolving them. The USA Chiron in Aries points to selfishness as a sticking point. Everyone wants his slice of the American pie! The upside of Aries is being bold and fresh. New solutions are needed because what’s been tried isn’t working.

Adding a monkey wrench to the process is the very slow-moving newly discovered little planet, Eris (a troublemaker in mythology). It is now around 22 degrees of Aries, turning up the volume on arguments. At this Full Moon, the Moon and Sun are in a nearly exact T-square pattern with Eris. This Full Moon is the peak of a cycle that began at the July 1 New Moon at 9 degrees of Cancer, across from the USA birth position of Eris at 8 degrees of Capricorn, reinforcing the present Eris involvement. Eris also indicate strong, powerful (and perhaps angry) women. Will it be the women in the legislature who lead the way?

[A side note, nothing to do with economics or politics. This week’s highlights in my Janet’s Plan-its 2011 Celestial Planner says: “look for well-known women protesting as well as news about women in the military or leadership positions.” This described the July 11 entry of the woman-related dwarf planet, Ceres, into Aries, a sign associated with athletics and competitions. The USA women’s soccer team, on a roll since then, plays in the world final game July 17. Again, the news reflects the cosmic weather: “as above, so below.”]

Although this Full Moon is not an eclipse, it is the culmination of a cycle that began with a Solar Eclipse - and a rare type at that. It began a totally new Saros Cycle, which is a series of 72 related eclipses occurring every 18 years over a period of 1300 years. They spiral around the earth’s surface, each a third of the world’s circumference beyond the one before it. The cycle begins with partial eclipses near one pole that become total when occurring closer to the equator, then receding to partial eclipses as they approach the end of the cycle at the opposite pole. This entire new cycle will carry the flavor of the current astrological tides as a subtext to the evolving energies of future related eclipses.

The key feature at the July 1 eclipse was a pattern as formidable as a T-square and similar to it, with the empty spot across from the middle planet filled in to form a Grand Cross. Three heavy-duty slow planets are traveling in a T-square. They were roughly in this relationship a year ago, when many astrologers expected a market crash and economic downturn at the end of July 2010. It didn’t happen then, but we’re back to a tension level and situation where it’s threatened again. Uranus (famous for unpredictability and rebelliousness) and the financial planet, Pluto, are slowly heading for their exact stand-off, a friction-producing 90-degree square in 2012. (More on that in future blogs!) Meanwhile Saturn (planet of responsible maturity) is moving through Libra (and the empty spot of the USA T-square) creating a T-square that’s strong for several more weeks. The eclipse Sun and Moon filled in the empty spot of that T-square, at 9 degrees of Cancer (exactly 90 degrees from the USA Eris).

Saturn is a planet of karma, bringing rewards (or punishment) for behavior. It’s also the planet signaling definitions and regulations. Uranus rules the masses and humanitarian leanings. Pluto, like its name implies, is associated with plutocracy, control by those with assets and power. Here we have an indication of the conflicting interests between the masses and the ruling classes, what the media calls class warfare. The Cancer Moon and Sun indicate the caring role the government, as representatives of the people, plays for the collective. This is the time for that role to be defined.

One of the obstacles to finding common ground between the warring parties is the Republican party’s refusal to even consider any form of tax increase to bridge the revenue-spending gap. Almost to a man (or woman), Republicans in Congress have signed an anti-tax pledge foisted on them by someone who wields more influence than most elected officials: Grover Norquist. As head of a group called Americans for Tax Reform, he can dole out or withhold campaign contributions from the moneyed minority and corporations who stand to benefit from low taxes on them. Basically they are pledging allegiance to their contributors rather than their nation and constituents. Mr. Norquist’s Sun at 26 degrees of Libra forms a Grand Cross with the USA Mercury-Chiron-Pluto T-square. He stymies balancing the USA budget. Without ever increasing taxes, this can only be done at the (literal) expense of the vast majority of the non-rich. So we’ll see how America defines itself. Is it still a nation of majority rule?

The degrees in question show up in the charts of other key players in the debate: House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R, VA), Lunar Nodes at 22 Cancer/Capricorn; John Boehner, Speaker of the House (R, OH), Jupiter 27 Capricorn; Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader (R, NV), Saturn at 25 Aries; Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (D, CA), North Node at 21 Libra; Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Lunar Nodes at 25 Capricorn/Cancer, Uranus at 22 Cancer, Mars and Neptune at 25 Libra; and both President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (born 2 weeks after Obama) with Saturn at 25 Capricorn. Will Rand Paul (R, KY) call for a filibuster in the Senate? Probably not. He has no planets in the 22-27 degree range of the pertinent signs.

The debt ceiling date of August 2 is the day Mercury begins another backward jaunt. The US has been dumb before. Will going into default by failure to quit bickering be the latest and greatest mistake? Doesn’t look likely. Fortunately, the degree range for this retrograde doesn’t poke at the zodiacal trouble spots for the US economy. But you can’t bank on that.

May 6, 2011

Potent Planetary Combination Brings Big News

A rare and formidable team-up of three powerful planets, called a triple conjunction, occurred over a three-day period from April 29 to May 1 (May 2 in Europe and east of there). I wrote about it in my Janet’s Plan-its 2011 astrological calendar and then anxiously awaited what would transpire then that would pack a punch. The deadly devastating tornado outbreaks in southeastern USA just days before that time didn’t really match the associations of the planets involved, but the demise of our nation’s biggest enemy on May 1-2 sure did! And in a way, even the Royal wedding on April 29 fit the bill.

Jupiter spends about a year in a sign, usually. This year, it speeds through the zodiac’s first sign, Aries (famous for quickness), in record time from late January to early June (after a brief foray into Aries 6/6 - 9/9 last year). It spent much of 2010 buddied up with wildcard Uranus zigzagging the border between the first and last degrees of the zodiac circle. This is the point the Sun traverses each year at the vernal equinox, ending winter and rebirthing toward the summer solstice. Get the feeling of the close of one era and the start of another? As the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter expands or exaggerates whatever it contacts. Uranus is the planet of revolution and the populace at large. So Jupiter was revved up to spur large protests, which began as soon as it entered Aries (a sign of impatience and anger) the second time on January 22. It didn’t take long for the Egyptian President Mubarak to succumb to the rising tide of change, resigning on Feb. 11 after just 18 days of huge demonstrations.

The grand finale of Uranus in the last sign of Pisces came March 11 when the earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan. I had correctly predicted “ocean-related news” and “suffering of the masses” then but I hadn’t anticipated anything like the ensuing fires, explosions and meltdowns in the nuclear reactors that added awful insult to the horrendous injury immediately upon as Uranus’s entry into Aries. It should have been easy enough to guess: Uranus is the planet related to electricity, explosions and surprises, including catastrophes, while Aries signifies fire.

By the time Uranus strode into Aries March 11 to settle in for a seven-year stay, unrest across the Middle East was well underway. On April Fool’s Day (in some US time zones; April 2nd in the east), Mars stormed into the sign it “rules” (a term denoting a strong association between a planet and a sign) for a five-week visit. By the end of the month, it would pass Jupiter, which had by then caught up to the newest planet, slow Eris, named for Mars’s bitchy sister and thought to represent strife. This is the triple conjunction I had circled on my calendar and worried that some tragedy would ensue. Historically it’s been affiliated with war and turmoil, though not exclusively. For instance, at its last occurrence (in January 1940), it coincided with the first demonstration of FM radio to the FCC (Jupiter rules all forms of long distance communication and Mars relates to newness). But a Mars-Jupiter combo can spell a big conflict or attack, and blended with Eris, it certainly looked like trouble, at least for someone. As we came closer to May Day, I began to wonder if the big news would involve taking out Ghadafi. But a different prey was being sniffed down. By the weekend, the Mars’ relation to leadership and decisiveness showed itself as what’s been called a “gutsy decision” on the part of President Obama in ordering the attack on Osama bin Laden.

The exact moment his death has not been disclosed but it’s safe to say that the final hours of the decision-making do align with the Moon’s quick passage over the triple conjunction midday on Sunday, May 1. By the time of the mission that night, the Moon (which moves about a degree every two hours) was about three degrees past Eris, Jupiter and Mars. As the heavenly body that moves fastest around the zodiac, the Moon is the ultimate timer for events and showed its thrust once again.

When I think of all the disasters I had worried about prior to this big planetary line-up, I am grateful that the main manifestation was the culmination of a decade-long manhunt. BUT – and this is a big but – it remains to be seen if Eris’s association with chaos will bring unintended and unwanted repercussions in the future. A time to keep your eye on will be around May 9, when Mercury and Venus, currently traveling closely together, pass Eris (forming another triple conjunction, though a less volatile one) at the same degree of the May Day weekend triple conjunction. Mercury signals news. Venus is generally peaceful and benign. Considering they’re in Aries, there could be aggression in an attempt at balance (which Venus also rules). Already we’re seeing adversarial discussions domestically about the potential role of “enhanced interrogation” in obtaining the information to track down bin Laden and heated political disagreements about whether to release the photographic evidence of the deed. Did I mention that Jupiter is related to philosophy and politics?

Another key astrological feature present at the time of the bin Laden operation was a precise Mercury-Neptune connection, indicative of hidden information and clandestine activities, as well as the “treasure trove” of al Qaeda data procured in the process. (Nearby Venus, the planet related to worth and assets, hints that there will be much of value here.)

As the weekend commenced, all the world watched the royal wedding in London between Prince William, likely a future king, and the regal commoner, Kate Middleton. Though I wouldn’t have pegged the date as particularly auspicious astrologically on its own, it turns out to be quite good for their charts, fortunately. When combining their individual birth charts into a blended chart (called a composite), we find that Venus, the love planet, was visiting exactly at their Sun degree, the key indicator for them as a couple. At the moment they were declared “husband and wife” (11:20 AM), the Mercury-Venus combination (literally meaning “words of love and marriage”) straddled the exact top of the chart, the point indicating status, thus their status changed with the pronouncement. In the wedding chart’s top sector, related to public standing and reputation, was the Mars-Jupiter-Eris trio, representing the enormity (Jupiter) of the event, which represented a new era (Mars) for British royalty welcoming a strong non-royal woman (Eris) into their ranks. Kate, now titled the Duchess of Cambridge, really does embody the best side of Eris and in her chart, we see Eris at the eastern horizon, the area showing one’s persona and individuality.

Between these two important news events, the Mars-Jupiter-Eris conjunction turned out not to be so bad after all – well, except for al Qaeda.

The May 2011 episode of my astrology show, Looking Up, discusses these topics further. It should be available in the archive for viewing by May 13 or shortly thereafter.