Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Specialized Feminine Forces: A New Willow's Web Astrology Reading on the Four Major Asteroids, Eris, and Black Moon Lilith

Of the ten planets most often used in astrological analysis, only two - Venus and the Moon - are considered feminine. The Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are considered masculine, and Mercury is considered gender neutral. Chiron, the "asteroid" (actually a comet nucleus) most often included in the astrology of the day, is also masculine.

There are hundreds of thousands of asteroids that can be used in astrological analysis, but the two largest (Ceres* and Vesta) along with Juno and Pallas Athene are often considered primary players. These bodies are located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and they are all considered feminine.

Black Moon Lilith is the point of lunar apogee, relating to a point of wild and raw, dark feminine energy.

Adding these feminine bodies to the analysis of your astrological birth chart adds a new layer of understanding, bringing feminine elements to the surface that have so far been hidden or vague.

The feminine forces on this planet are stepping it up (it's now or never), and adding an awareness of these bodies can arm you with knowledge of emerging themes in you, in your life, and in the culture around you, as the effort to emancipate the feminine on this planet intensifies and the balance of power between masculine and feminine and men and women continues to shift.

The Specialized Feminine Forces in Your Natal Chart

I'm offering a new reading in 30 and 60-minute formats on the four major asteroids - Ceres, Vesta, Juno, and Pallas Athene - along with Black Moon Lilith.

You can order a reading by clicking the Purchase a Reading button at the top of the screen.

* Ceres is now considered a dwarf planet, not an asteroid.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A State of Ongoing Cardinal T-Square and Some Mars in Libra Foreshadowing

Riding the Cardinal T-Square Waves

The Sun in Cancer moves into exact t-square position with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn on June 29, and we're in a state of ongoing cardinal t-square throughout the summer.

Mars pushed its way out of the retrograde shadow force field June 19, moving into new degrees of Virgo for the last bit of its almost eight-month transit in the sign of the virgin. It enters Libra, the sign of its detriment, July 3, forming yet another cardinal t-square with Uranus and Pluto July 17/18.

The Capricorn Full Moon also falls within cardinal t-square formation July 3, reaching fullness after a conjunction to Pluto and square to Uranus earlier that day.

Venus enters Cancer August 7 after more than four months in Gemini and also heads into cardinal t-square formation August 15/16.

Mercury in Libra forms an exact cardinal t-square with Uranus and Pluto September 20 just a day after Uranus and Pluto form their second exact square, and we don't get much relief as the Sun in Libra then moves into t-square position September 29, refreshing the themes. Venus in Libra gets in on the t-square action a bit later on November 3.

The cardinal t-squares forming this summer are fast-moving, involving personal planets with no retrograding, but the Uranus in Aries-Pluto in Capricorn square is fairly relentless into mid-October. Uranus and Pluto form the first of seven exact squares early tomorrow morning, and they stay within one degree of a square all the way into mid-October 2012.

Uranus goes retrograde July 13 at 8 degrees Aries, backing into the second exact Uranus-Pluto square September 18 at 6 degrees Aries/Capricorn with Pluto super potent and stationing direct. Uranus and Pluto will, again, be in cardinal t-square with Mercury and then the Sun in Libra at that time.

Big, structural shifts are happening quickly. New directions are being initiated (or forced) under highly pressurized, backs-against-the-wall conditions on Planet Earth - but what else is new?

We've been under a state of cardinal siege for a couple years now, and it isn't letting up any time soon. Every time a planet transits Cancer or Libra over the next 2.5 years, we'll experience a cardinal t-square with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. It's uncertain, it's stressful, it's frustrating, it's constricting. But once you get used to the uncertainty, stress, frustration, and constriction, it's kind of old hat. Nothing much could surprise or shock at this point if you've been following the narratives and sub-narratives on this planet closely.

The waves of tense, clashing, potentially devastating energy won't be dissipating. Crises -  manufactured or natural - won't be disappearing, regardless of the levels of collective denial. We're at official breaking points all over this planet, with corresponding friction and fracturing to be expected politically, socially, environmentally, personally.

The current Pluto in Capricorn agendas, still rabidly supported and furthered (either directly or indirectly) by many on this planet, can't really be summed up by the word "insane."

What happens when we reach the points of no return, when the "we're so screwed" points start tipping each other off like dominoes with no agenda change in sight? Rather, when there is an acceleration of freight train over cliff?

We're about to find out, folks, and it's likely to be a wild, sometimes exhilirating, often gross ride.

(Oh, glory be. It's the end of the world. We're ascending to the magical fifth dimension. Jebus is on his way back for the chosen few. The aliens are going to save us. The Transcendant Spiritual Masters currently gracing us with their presence in material form shall guide us to the promised land.)

Whee.

This is the Uranus-Pluto square series unfolding...

Mars in Libra Foreshadows the next Mars Retrograde Within Cardinal Grand Cross

The Mars transit through Libra (July 3 to August 23), capped off by a conjunction to Saturn August 15, is particularly notable. It's foreshadowing and a test of balanced will all in one.

Transiting Mars in Libra is already a tricky, potentially frustrating placement where the action planet is in a sign opposite one it rules, forced to balance and compromise when it would far rather blaze on immediately and directly toward its goals. Mars doesn't like to have to take other people (or other circumstantial factors) into consideration whilst driving to the net, and there is a whole lot to balance and consider at this point.

Add to this position of detriment the constriction of Mars within cardinal t-square AND the mid-August conjunction to Saturn just finishing its transit of Libra, and the potential frustration is threefold, at the very least.

This little Mars is under a whole lot of pressure, and its usual ways of blowing off steam - temper tantrums, pissing matches, aggression of all forms - are going to be very poor form under the influence of Saturn. It will be difficult if not impossible to fully recover from the social damage done by unrestrained Mars energy this summer. An out-of-control Mars will undo a lot of the Saturn in Libra relationship work we've completed thus far, knocking us out of hard-won social position. Fair warning to keep it contained.

The Mars-Saturn conjunction August 15 falls at 24 degrees Libra, conjunct highly fortunate fixed star Arcturus. This is potentially a saving grace - but we're going to need all the help we can get.

Malefic planets Mars and Saturn teaming up is a potentially nasty combo at the best of times, and Mars is going to be pretty well sick of all the forced social graces by the time it hits Saturn near the end of Libra.

If people haven't been dealing well with mounting social frustations and pressures, consciously working on perfecting that balanced will, they'll be irritable, testy, and ready to blow (or collapse) by the second week in August.

If people have been letting things slide where they should have been digging their heels in - particularly in professional relationships - anger and social inflammation can be expected.

We're fighting for what we consider fair, balanced, and just, and with Saturn finishing its transit in Libra, we're fighting for rightful social position. But remember: we're fighting like a Libra, so you can't let them see you fight. You have to fight nicely, politely, using social power and prowess, and with a smile on your face.

In Libra, the Mars action, aggression, and fight are often subverted, which can lead to some underhanded moves. People will be using their social currency and already-established social scenes rather than fighting their own battles. Passive aggression is a classic trait of Libra under pressure (including Mars in Libra), and if you've learned how to successfully sniff out, head off, and deal with passo aggro, you're ahead of the game.

(If all this isn't your scene, don't fret - Mars in Scorpio is right around the corner, just in time for the North Node in Scorpio at the end of August.)

Add to all this the fact that Mars and Saturn's dispositor Venus in Cancer will be in exact cardinal t-square with Uranus and Pluto at the time of their conjunction, and we're looking at some very pressurized social/relational scenarios over the next couple months - but social/relational scenarios that can also propel us into stellar new positions.

As stated, we can expect some very pissy, potentially passo aggro and underhanded social situations to pop up with an aggressive jockeying for social position as an underlying factor. There's a build-up of aggravating, irritating, angering factors throughout the Mars in Libra transit, particularly involving social slights and an insulted sense of social justice, and people may eventually blow a gasket - potentially very publicly - under the pressure.

Again, this transit is foreshadowing. Observe it closely and work carefully to balance the pressurized energies, and you put yourself in strong position for future formations:

Mars goes retrograde (appears to move backward through the zodiac) about every two years. The next time Mars is in Libra (December 7, 2013 - July 25, 2014) is also the next Mars retrograde. During that extended transit of Mars through Libra, two cardinal Grand Crosses will form - one in December 2013 and an exact formation at 13 degrees of all four cardinal signs in April 2014. That's the big one.

Those Grand Crosses follow three others that form with different personal planets in August, September, and October 2013.

Did I mention we should get used to this?

This Mars in Libra transit is designed to test and try our patience considerably.

The Mars-Saturn conjunction is followed by Mercury and then the Sun in Libra forming cardinal t-squares with Uranus and Pluto during the last ten days of September.

There is a whole lot being tossed onto the scales that we will be expected to balance maturely, competantly, and as calmly as possible. But pass the tests (moving through the mid-August conjunction to Saturn), and we're in good shape for the next couple years when the heat will be turned up and situations will be even more complex.

Failing these tests now indicates that there is a whole lot of work to do ahead of those Grand Crosses, and the conjunction to Saturn as social placement test will ensure we do it.


Uranus-Pluto Square Cycle 2012 - 2015

1. June 24, 2012 (Uranus 8 Aries/Pluto Rx 8 Capricorn)
2. September 18, 2012 (Uranus Rx 6 Aries/Pluto (stationing direct) 6 Capricorn)
3. May 20, 2013 (Uranus 11 Aries/Pluto Rx 11 Capricorn)
4. October 31, 2013 (Uranus Rx 9 Aries/Pluto 9 Capricorn)
5. April 21, 2014 (Uranus 13 Aries/Pluto Rx 13 Capricorn)
6. December 15, 2014 (Uranus Rx 12 Aries/Pluto 12 Capricorn)
7. March 16, 2015 (Uranus 15 Aries/Pluto 15 Capricorn)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Golden Apples and Discordant Social Shuffling with Saturn Direct in Libra

By the time you wake up on the morning of June 25, Saturn will be direct in Libra, officially on the last leg of its transit through the cardinal sign of the scales.

This is a powerful station for a number of reasons.

Saturn Opposite Eris

Saturn is stationing direct at 22 degrees Libra, exactly opposite Eris, dwarf planet of discord and strife, at 22 degrees Aries. The discordant Eris energy permeates the final leg of the transit, adding a wild, willful, potentially chaotic element to relationships and challenging our progress here during the final 3.5 months of Saturn in Libra. Even relationships that seem solid could be coming apart at the seams as Saturn completes its transit in Libra and enters Scorpio October 5, 2012.

From a previous post: "The influence of Eris in Aries attempts to upset the apple cart as far as the hard-won relationship progress and standard-setting achieved so far during Saturn's transit of Libra. Don't get too cosy or complacent. Eris knows things aren't solid until they're solid, the show isn't over until it's over, and we can't count on current relational positions holding if Eris can find an in and kick anything up. Keep a stiff upper lip, diligently maintaining relational boundaries and standards, throughout the potentially discordant Saturn direct station."

The most well-known story about Eris involves a big social snub. Eris was not invited to a prominent wedding that was going on, despite the fact that all of Olympus had been invited. The social roster was not complete. Eris had been shut out of the proceedings. As a result, the big smiles and boisterous glad-handing were too phony for her to bear, and she stirred up some drama at their little party to make things seem more fair.

Queen Shit Disturber, that one is.

Eris tossed a golden apple, referred to as the Apple of Discord, into the party. The apple was inscribed with "To the Fairest One," (ingenious) and three goddesses there, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, immediately started quarrelling and vying for the prize. They stripped naked for the judge, Paris, and offered him bribes.

Eris played on the vanity of the women involved to great effect, making them look like fools, and, unfortunately, a war was even started over it.

The discovery of dwarf planet Eris in 2005 created discord in our solar system classifications, as well, resulting in the 2006 reclassifications of Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, and Makemake as dwarf planets by the International Astronomical Union. Here again, we have things being stirred up by Eris, but finding a new and more fair structure. That reclassification put feminine Ceres and masculine Pluto on an even playing field, rather than classifying Pluto as a planet and Ceres as an asteroid.

The influence of Eris in Aries during Saturn's direct station in Libra indicates there will be some "golden apples" tossed into previously structured and secure social scenes until the beginning of Saturn's next retrograde in February 2013, shaking things up considerably. We could be acting as Eris, as the golden apple, or as the keeper of the establishment social order - perhaps all three at different times.

There's a prominent theme here of a person initially being warmly welcomed into the social fold, but his or her presence creating unexpected disruption and discord to the point that the individual is then expelled. The inadvertant golden apple. Those with associated astrological aspects in the natal chart (like this astrologer) know the theme well, but it will come as a surprise to many over the next months.

Saturn opposite Eris indicates that discord in relationships and social scenes will have elements of:

-- big snubs and the aftermath of those snubs
-- standard female competitiveness and jockeying for position, especially around looks, appeal, and social and career positioning
-- the benefits of belonging socially versus the difficulties of being left out
-- the difficulties of belonging versus the benefits of staying independent
-- justice, fairness, and balance in social settings
-- the results of shutting certain people or perspectives out of society - anger, upset, disruption, violence, imbalance, injustice, ineffectiveness, skewed ideas of reality
-- the reasons people are left out and whether they are warranted
-- doing your own thing, balancing it with inevitable social disruption
-- disruptive elements (golden apples) brought into carefully constructed social structures that change the game
-- acts of raw individuality and personal will altering how people are viewed or thought of socially
-- the weight of social more and custom stirring rebellion
-- social shuffling
-- social breakdowns
-- feisty or even violent changes in social status and position, including on the world stage

Venus Direct

Venus, the current dispositor of Saturn, turns direct June 27, just two days after the Saturn station. This completes its retrograde period in Gemini which included the last Venus Transit most of us will experience in our lifetimes June 5/6. Venus makes its way back to the degree of the Venus Transit July 18/19, making for a potent few days. It leaves its retrograde shadow July 31 and enters Cancer August 7.

With Saturn in Libra and Venus in Gemini stationing direct together, we're officially moving forward in matters of love, relationship, social connection, equality, justice, beauty, money, and values. The recaps have been recapped; the reviews have been completed; the relational stock-taking has been filed away. As of the end of June, our hearts are moving forward, not backward. But again, this doesn't necessarily mean smooth relationship sailing. We're going to be hitting some charged points, some feisty moments, and some trigger zones in the arena of relating, guaranteed.

The Eris-related discord kicked up during the final 3.5 months of Saturn's transit in Libra initiates new directions and new social structuring that then become a fixed, slow-burn transformation during the transit of Saturn in Scorpio (October 2012 - September 2015).

Summer Solstice and Uranus Square Pluto

Saturn stations direct in Libra just as Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn form their first exact square (June 24), making for a very intense period immediately following the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere (June 20). Summer solstice is the point when daylight hours are the longest and hours of darkness the shortest in the northern hemisphere.

We're struggling to maintain equilibrium at the breaking points.

The Uranus-Pluto square dominates the astro atmosphere into mid-October, and the final leg of relationship structuring, positioning, and progress is underway under very serious, very charged, and very pressurized circumstances. Many of the partnerships - working, romantic, or otherwise - coming together at the end of Saturn's transit in Libra are real players, game changers. The responsibilities and battles involved are great as we attempt to create a real, workable balance of power between men and women and the masculine and feminine on this planet.

The relationship work we're doing now is epic, and when something is epic, the course does not generally run smoothly. Just ask Eris. But this also makes it kind of fun and amusing (black humour).

I mean, looking at the fucking mess we have going on on this planet, you kind of have to laugh, don't you?

Pallas Athene Conjunct Uranus, Square Pluto

Pallas Athene, the asteroid related to the female warrior who did it better than the boys, is currently in ready-for-the-fight Aries, travelling tightly conjunct Uranus and square Pluto in Capricorn. Pallas Athene will be exactly conjunct Uranus and square Pluto at the time of the first Uranus-Pluto square. The feminine warrior spirit is stirred to blazing via the strong presence of this asteroid at that time, and the emancipation of women and of the feminine on this planet are primary battles.

We're at a push-coming-to-shove point when it is imperative that the feminine stand up and be counted all over this planet. Letting things slide and refusing to stand up now - even in seemingly small issues - means the Pluto in Capricorn regressive force makes big gains.

The Uranus-Pallas Athene fight is about human beings as free and sovereign individuals, able to determine their own courses through life, with structures set up and available to support them in that. The areas most in need of improvement on this front relate to the treatment and condition of women.

The situation of women on this planet is dismal in many arenas. This is most visible in blatantly patriarchal, repressive countries and societies, but it is also prevalent in countries and societies that pay lip service to the equality between men and women. Injustice and oppression are there, whether out in the open or hidden.

In Aries, Pallas Athene is fighting for the rights of women as self-sovereign individuals, outside roles and identities as wives, sexual partners, mothers, daughters, sisters, workers, or domestic labour.

We're not free until we're all free, and women who have secured a basic level of rights are responsible for taking up the fight in whatever form, maintaining awareness of broader issues for women who are not in such a position.

Pallas Athene is also fighting for the feminine, in general, which has been whitewashed out of most of the proceedings and power structures on this planet. This fight is taken up by women and men who refuse to deny the inner/yin/soulful/emotional aspects of themselves and who see the current male/female and masculine/feminine imbalances as untenable and unacceptable moving forward.

Pallas Athene-Uranus in Aries (the fight for women's rights and freedoms as individuals) are sextile Venus, stationing direct in Gemini (women in the media), and issues relating to the treatment of women around the world are currently in focus. One issue coming to the forefront at the moment is sex-selective abortions in order to terminate female fetuses. This is a common practise in China, India, Pakistan, and Taiwan (along with cases of female infanticide), where males are valued over females, but it is being practised in countries around the world, including in the United States and Canada.

In Canada, there is currently no law limiting when people can learn the sex of their babies, so ultrasounds can be and are being used to terminate female fetuses.

The practises of infanticide and sex-selective abortions have created a major decline in female populations in those countries. In India, the repression of women has been increased further by an emerging trend of "wife-sharing" where one woman is forced to sexually accept her husband and any brothers who happen to be unmarried due to a lack of marriageable women. The decline in females has also led to increased incidents of rape and human trafficking. ("Wife-Sharing Haunts Indian Villages" by Nita Bhalla, Reuters)

It is estimated that since the 1970s, 163 million female fetuses have been aborted because of their sex. Think about that for a moment. Think about the huge and detrimental imbalance that has been created over the past 40 years. On a planet that generally keeps the feminine stifled, snuffed out, oppressed, and out of positions of power, the loss of millions of women creates a massive deficit of feminine energy, resulting in an even more out-of-whack and dangerous situation.

Is it any wonder we're seeing the insanity and violence that we're seeing at these breaking points on the planet?

Saturn Re-Enters a Safe Haven

By July 12, Saturn re-enters an area of the zodiac considered safe, if not exactly fortunate, conjuncting the fixed stars Spica (23 Libra) and Arcturus (24 Libra) until August 17. We're assisted in our relationship work and can hunker down through any social pissing matches during this period of time, especially those that are Eris-related or along male/female or masculine/feminine lines.

For more on that: Saturn Re-Enters A Fixed Star Safe Haven From the Heat of the Via Combusta

Friday, June 15, 2012

Oh, Canada: Officially At the Line in the Sand at the First Uranus-Pluto Square

Uranus-Pluto Square Makes a Direct Hit

The first of the seven Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn squares occurs June 24, and the heat is officially on around the globe.

Uranus turns retrograde July 13, backing into a second square to Pluto September 18 at 6 degrees of the signs. Uranus and Pluto will be within one degree of an exact square from now into mid-October. The themes are hot, pressurized, intensive, and fairly unrelenting this summer and early fall.

Lock-step Pluto in Capricorn agendas being brought about around the world by members of the global elite - with middlemen and women firmly entrenched within government, business, and finance - are stirring staunch resistance and clashes with those striving for a free humanity on this planet.

Nowhere is the Uranus-Pluto square more influential than in Canada, a country currently experiencing highly-charged and fractious national events.

Harper Conservatives' Pluto in Capricorn Omnibus Steamroller

The right-wing Harper Conservatives holding majority power nationally are acting so unilaterally, so undemocratically, and so in contravention to Canadian institutions and stated values that there is a movement afoot to unite all other parties in an effort to oust them. The idea coming to the forefront is to run only one other candidate in every riding - it's either a vote for Harper or a vote for the alternative. This strategy is not only involving the more left-of-centre parties like the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens - conservatives are also joining the effort, disgusted by the secretive direction of the Harper Conservatives.

The initial Uranus-Pluto square is so powerful in this nation because the Sun-Uranus conjunction in Cancer in Canada's corporate chart is locked exactly into cardinal t-square by the Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn square June 24, which falls at 8 degrees of the cardinal signs.

From a previous post: "Transiting Uranus and Pluto acting intensively on the Uranus-Sun in Cancer in Canada's astrological chart are forging deep, fractious changes in this country while the astrological transits are used by those in positions of power to continue toward a vision that I do not wish to see become a reality in this country. The agenda of the current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and his government, merged within broader global agenda, lead in a direction that, despite the government's claimed majority, most Canadians do not wish to follow...

Considering the merger of the ultra right-wing Canadian Alliance with the generally more moderate Progressive Conservatives, my guess is that even some conservative-minded people within that party do not support the current Harper agenda. What this man, what this government, what all the lock-step governments worldwide are steamrolling ahead with is disastrous. It’s happening at both warp-speed (Uranus in Aries), before Canadians can really get their minds wrapped around what is going on, and also as a slow motion train wreck unfolding before our eyes (Pluto in Capricorn)."

Harper is steam-rolling his policy change agenda through with the massive 2012 budget, called Bill C-38, and it touches on every aspect of Canada's public affairs. Critics, including in his own party, say the types of changes proposed should not be rolled into a money bill.

The funding cuts in Harper's budget, referred to as the omnibus budget, are sweeping and act as the straw the breaks the camel's back after years of erosion in areas of science, the arts, media, and environment. Because of the size and complexity of the budget, it is impossible for opposition members or Canadian citizens to understand the full effect of what is contained within it. Requests to divide the budget up into smaller segments were refused.

Some of what lies within the massive budget:

-- overhauls to environmental protection rules. Critics say the Harper budget will gut environmental protections. The budget is calling for shortened time frames for environmental assessments, used to determine whether a project will have a detrimental effect on the environment. (Tarsands, anyone?) Harper is attempting to fast track environmental assessments in order to steamroll through big, resource-based projects, including the highly controversial proposed Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines. (There were 687 leaks and spills from oil pipelines in Alberta in 2010 alone.)

Also included are a complete re-write of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and a major shift in direction in the Fisheries Act. The new Fisheries Act eliminates the protection of fish habitat, focussing instead on protecting "economically viable fisheries." Unilaterally gutting the Fisheries Act is akin to unilaterally dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board, something else the Harper Conservatives have done recently.

-- scrapping the Experimental Lakes Area. This is being criticized by scientists at Harvard and the Smithsonian Institute, among others. This is a world-class freshwater research program. Scientists study pollution of freshwater bodies, and the results of their experiments go into environmental laws and protections. No Experimental Lakes Area or pesky scientists talking about freshwater pollution means more green lights for environmentally hazardous projects like the Athabasca Tarsands, the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines, coal-fired power plants, you name it. This summer, the Experimental Lakes Area staff and researchers were slated to begin a new long-term project on the effects of nanoparticles, an emerging multi-billion-dollar technology, on waterways and fish.

-- elimination of an advisory panel known as the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. This panel was set up in the 1990s under right-wing Brian Mulroney, and critics of Harper's move here include both Reform and Conservative Members of Parliament - his peeps.

-- stepped-up scrutiny of political activities by environmental charities. This is an attempt to muzzle charitable environmental protection groups speaking out critically about things such as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The budget declares these groups cannot accept funding from outside Canada - a major source of their income currently. This, like the shortened environmental assessment time frames, is an attempt by the Harper Conservatives to fast track potentially environmentally devastating projects such as the massive pipeline.

-- the raising of the age of retirement to 67 from 65 - which only comes into effect after the last of the Pluto in Leos retire!

-- civil service job cuts. Nineteen thousand two hundred federal public service workers will be on the unemployment lines. Sounds like a great strategy for creating jobs.

-- a 10% cut in funding to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or $115 million over three years. The CBC is the public broadcaster in Canada and the last and best option for keeping real issues in the news, including investigative critique of governing parties. It has been hacked and slashed repeatedly over the past couple decades, leaving bare bones staff in TV and radio newsrooms across the country. Harper has made no secret of his hatred of the media, allowing almost zero access to reporters and operating unilaterally under a shroud of secrecy. These funding cuts will result in hundreds of job losses over the next three years.

-- a toughening of Employment Insurance eligibility. This includes a change in what is considered "suitable employment" for the unemployed. (The "Would you like fries with that?" clause.)

-- new immigration measures. This seems to shift focus to bringing in skilled workers, rather than reuniting families who currently have members working in Canada.

-- an end to the Fair Wages act. This Act required that contractors who received federal government construction projects pay their workers the prevailing wage in the region as well as overtime. With this Act scrapped, contractors will be free to pay workers as little as minimum wage. As rents, real estate prices, and the cost of living in Canada skyrocket, Harper is working hard to lower wages.

-- the elimination of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) watchdog. CSIS is Canada's version of the CIA, and the elimination of its watchdog is unsettling, to say the least. The inspector general's office has been in existence since CSIS was created in 1984.

Notice some patterns? Gutting environmental protections, shutting down environmentally-based scientific research, lowering wages, making it harder to collect Employment Insurance benefits, getting rid of watchdogs, and handicapping media. Paving the way for unfettered industry at all costs. The Harper vision.

The more than 70 changes to federal law rolled into the budget will require tight scrutiny, point-by-point, from the opposition as far as the true effect on the lives of the Canadian people and on the fabric of the country. That scrutiny may not be possible with so many aspects of the omnibus budget to pore through, and this is what the Harper Conservatives are banking on.


A Venus Return Marked By the Venus Transit

The Venus Transit at 15 degrees Gemini on June 5 also just marked a super-charged Venus return for the nation, falling in exact conjunction to Venus in Gemini in the Canadian chart.

From a previous post: "Just as the cardinal t-square formation becomes exact (making for one hell of a Canada Day July 1), the Venus Transit in Gemini occurs June 5 exactly conjunct Canada's natal Venus in Gemini at 15 degrees. The Venus Transit - an eclipse of the Sun by Venus - indicates a major relational backdrop change, so suffice it to say Canada's Venus return marks a dramatic re-orientation within its global relations. Canada's dual identity - always in existence, not often prominent - becomes undeniable. The ambitious, strategizing, cunning twin that has mostly stayed in the background, behind the glad-handing, people-pleasing diplomat, comes screaming to the forefront as the stage continues to be set and booby trapped for more global war. Slick manipulation of media and the slippery shifting of perspectives (Gemini) become primary aces in the hole for the elitist interests holding the people of this country - and the world - hostage."

Massive Student Demonstrations in Quebec

Within this climate, the largest student demonstations in Canadian history have been going on in Montreal, Quebec since March, 2012.

It was announced in February that university tuitions in Quebec would be undergoing a massive increase of $1,625 between 2012 and 2017 (from $2,168 to $3,793 per year). This news sparked outrage and massive ongoing protests by student groups, with individual protesters numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

Much has been made of the fact that Quebec currently has the lowest tuitions in the country ("So why shouldn't they be raised?"), but this fact misses the point entirely. As a province, Quebec holds a strong value of affordable and accessible higher education. This is a province that would prefer education be free to its citizens. It is a province that has a highly-successful, heavily-subsidized daycare system where parents pay only $7 per child per day for childcare. These values are not free market, dog-eat-dog, capitalist values, and this is what is at odds with the current agenda.

Tuition was frozen in Quebec at $540 per year from 1968 to 1990 when it was raised to $1,668 per year. It was then frozen again until 2007, when it increased $100 per year until 2012, making it the current rate of $2,168 per year. You can observe the incremental raising of tuitions, with every jump taking it further away from the people's goal of affordable or free higher education. This $1,625 increase over the next five years is the Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn sticking point. It is an increase that will not be tolerated, and it is not difficult, when one understands the values of most people in that province, to understand why.

At issue here is the attempt to bring Quebec into lock step with the other provinces and, in doing so, with the larger agenda keeping university education financially out of reach for people of a certain class. The people of Quebec are saying, "No, thank you."

Just as with the "Arab Spring," a trigger issue (in this case, a huge tuition increase) sparked an onslaught of protest, action, and civil disobediance from the people, voicing rage and displeasure with the entire culture of leadership and its current direction. Corruption, inhumane legislation, the erosion of social programs and quality of life, and the use of the police state are just some of the issues being drawn in.

And using the police state, they certainly are.

Two protesters have lost eyes, and one sustained massive head trauma and a skull fracture in clashes with riot police.

On May 18, 2012, Bill 78 was passed in the National Assembly of Quebec prohibiting, among other things, the assembly of more than 50 people unless dates, times, starting point, and routes as well as the duration of the venue and the means of transportation used by participants have been submitted to and approved by Quebec police. Police can also modify the location or date of the protest. In other words, protests are illegal unless sanctioned by the Quebec police within their designated protest areas. Individuals and groups can be fined thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for unsanctioned protesting with a doubling or tripling of fines for subsequent offenses. The wearing of masks during protests was also prohibited. Bill 78 expires July 1, 2013.

As part of the opposition to the passing of Bill 78, more than 100,000 people marched in Montreal on May 22, with some estimates as high as 400,000 people protesting.

Suffice it to say, there are huge shifts underway in this country - many undesired by the people. The current leadership - both national and provincial - is attempting to bring Canada lock-step into a broader scheme. Those in power are not reflecting the needs and values of the people, and the top-down agenda being steamrolled forward is not acceptable to the majority of people, including to conservatives. A common refrain around the world.

People's backs are up against the wall, and the fight is for the soul of this country, outside the dictates of the imposed order.

Decades of "free" trade, "free" market ideology, big industry as God, and the erosion and chipping away of health care, education, social programs, food, air quality, the environment, science, the arts, and the state of humanity, in general, have brought a transformation of this country that is out-of-touch with the values of most who live here.

As my friend said recently, "It isn't Canada anymore." I'm not sure it ever really was, but this is certainly a sentiment weighing heavily on many people under the Uranus-Pluto squares.

I've written extensively on this Uranus-Pluto square and its effects on the country in two articles earlier in the year:

From March 8, 2012: Canada's Uranus-Sun in Cancer in T-Square Lock Down within the Uranus-Pluto Square Series

From March 16, 2012: Canada's Uranus-Sun in Cancer in T-Square Lock Down within the Uranus-Pluto Square Series - Part Two


Uranus-Pluto Square Cycle 2012 - 2015

1. June 24, 2012 (Uranus 8 Aries/Pluto Rx 8 Capricorn)
2. September 18, 2012 (Uranus Rx 6 Aries/Pluto (stationing direct) 6 Capricorn)
3. May 20, 2013 (Uranus 11 Aries/Pluto Rx 11 Capricorn)
4. October 31, 2013 (Uranus Rx 9 Aries/Pluto 9 Capricorn)
5. April 21, 2014 (Uranus 13 Aries/Pluto Rx 13 Capricorn)
6. December 15, 2014 (Uranus Rx 12 Aries/Pluto 12 Capricorn)
7. March 16, 2015 (Uranus 15 Aries/Pluto 15 Capricorn)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jupiter Enters Gemini Conjunct the South Node and Things Are About to Get (More) Complicated

Jupiter in Gemini - June 11, 2012 to June 25, 2013

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, entered Gemini yesterday for its one-year stay in the sign. Jupiter spends one year in each of the 12 signs, making one full pass through the zodiac every 12 years.

Because of its size, Jupiter is the planet associated with all things big. It is a planet considered to have an enlarging influence on everything it touches and relates to expansion, luck, benefits, cosmic grace, and the broadening of horizons. The activities and themes related to the house where Gemini falls in your natal chart will be ripe for expansion this year - this is where the Jupiterian spotlight falls for the next 12 months.

Jupiter is considered to have a philosophical bent, relating to things such as meaning, truth, and wisdom gathered through direct experiences in the big, wide world. Through its association with Sagittarius, the sign it rules, and the 9th house, the house naturally ruled by Sagittarius, Jupiter can have some connection to travel, happy-go-lucky adventures, culture, higher education, gypsy life, fortune telling, foreign lands, wilderness, randy centaurs, and wild, Dionysian parties in the middle of ancient forests.

Jupiter also relates to hedonism and detrimental overindulgence in sex, food, drink or any other arena, recklessness, gambling, financial overextension, overstepping boundaries, "too much, too fast," relying on luck over hard work and planning, dogma, pedantry, and being a bit of a fly-by-night candy-ass.

It's the Las Vegas of planets.

Though it is overarchingly associated by astrologers with luck, beneficial events, and good will flowing freely to us from the universe, when we say Jupiter enlarges everything it touches, this can also mean the enlarging and expansion of unpleasant characteristics and events and their consequences.

As Jupiter in Taurus crossed back and forth over the natal South Node of New Age huckster James Arthur Ray in 2011, for example, his excessive focus on related South Node exploits (money, material wealth, "manifesting abundance") and the resulting abuses of his Scorpio North Node - leading to the deaths of at least three people and the injury of dozens - coincided with his trial for three counts of negligent homicide and a resulting guilty verdict.

The lucky part of Jupiter in Taurus' influence in James Ray's life meant he was sentenced to only two years in prison, rather than the nine years for which prosecutors were hoping.

Jupiter can certainly kick up what appear to be lucky breaks, but it can also put a spotlight on areas of weakness, excess, or past recklessness that are then blown up into major issues.

As part of this, Jupiter conjunct the South Node could be referred to as the James Ray Effect, and the James Ray Effect is a distinct possibility from now through the end of July as transiting Jupiter crosses the South Node in Gemini.

If we've been hitting our marks with the North Node since it entered Sagittarius in March 2011, quietly banking on our own ancient, cultural wisdom and guiding truth rather than on the streams of diversionary (and often insane) information coming from society and media, Jupiter crossing the South Node can bring soulful benefit or at least no major flare ups.

If, on the other hand, we've been too far in the Gemini South Node with excessive gossip, two-faced talking of crap, intellectual laziness, and superficial perceptions, succumbing to information/media/social media/cell phone/instant message addictions, maintaining social acceptability over what is morally or philosophically correct, and focusing too heavily on the local society and personal status within it to the detriment of broader context, this pass by Jupiter could create some spicy events or circumstances that force us out into our own personal truth wilderness, outside society's dictates.

Jupiter entering Gemini is complicated. It's complicated for a few reasons.

Jupiter is in the sign of its detriment in Gemini, meaning it is not an easy or flowing placement for this planet. Jupiter does best in broad-minded, freedom-loving, philosophically-oriented Sagittarius, the polar opposite of chatty Gemini, which is more at home with news, daily conversation, and local neighbourhood goings-on.

There is a feeling of contraction and concentration with this placement - things Jupiter is not too keen on experiencing. Jupiter in Gemini is the wild and randy centaur, drunk on the heady experience of life, culture, and opulent living, forced into the confines of local society: hoofs clickety-clacking through crosswalks, standing in line at banks, ordering espresso at the local coffee shop rather than loping through magnificent wilderness around the globe.

This is part of the thematic flavour for the next 12 months - a slightly more irritated, slightly less jovial Jupiter.

Jupiter in Gemini's conjunction to the South Node from now through the end of July (exact July 2) increases the complication of this placement and indicates a strongly "fated" period of time. The connections being made at this time are soul-charged and purposeful. Events have a "meant to be" quality.

My sweet firecracker of a Sagittarius Sun Grandma died unexpectedly yesterday (born December 13, 1919), and she was giving her daughters hell right up to the end.

With the luck of a Jupiter-ruled Sun in Sadge, she lived independently, was mentally sharp, and died suddenly at an advanced age without suffering. She was a true Sagittarius Sun in that she loved visiting, sharing stories, playing cards, and hitting the slots on gambling trips whenever she got the opportunity. She was a fiery personality in a small package, and she brought energy, interest, and warmth to the world and to the people around her. She'll be missed.

Interesting is the astrological timing. She died almost exactly 12 years after my Grandpa - one full Jupiter cycle. My Grandpa died July 1, 2000, the day after Jupiter entered Gemini, as it was on the zero degree. My Grandma died around 3 p.m. yesterday, just after Jupiter ingressed Gemini and was, once again, on the zero degree.

She and my Grandpa were married June 5, 1943 after a late spring blizzard. This means, of course, that their anniversary has just passed, marked by this year's very special Venus Transit in Gemini. The day prior to the Venus Transit, a Sagittarius Full Moon eclipse loosely conjuncted her Sun.

The day before she died, she found my Grandpa's wedding band in her apartment and put it on her finger.

She visited some of her friends and called all her children just to check in. She wanted someone to pick some rhubarb for her at the farm.

This is a lady, a Pluto in Cancer lady, who lived through the Great Depression as part of a working class farm family. Her mother died young after giving birth to seven children, and my Grandma had to leave her home and family as a teenager to "work out" as domestic and farm help in other households.

The suffering and devastation people experienced during the Great Depression never completely left her, as it hasn't left most of that generation. Many Pluto in Cancers are leaving Earth now, and as an anchoring generation is released, the rapid energetic changes we are experiencing increase exponentially.

The last series of Uranus-Pluto squares occurred during that 1930s Great Depression. She passed just before the first of the seven Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn squares on June 24. She didn't need to do that one twice.

My Grandma's Sagittarius Sun falls exactly on my Pallas Athene - the feminine warrior - and I'm honoured and grateful to have her fight, her feistiness, and her willingness to stand up for what's right running through my blood.

With Jupiter's move from Taurus to Gemini, we move from a beneficial stabilizing influence in fixed earth to a more highly-charged, changeable effect in mutable air. Here, our minds, our words, our perspectives, our conversation skills, our local societies, our siblings, and our networks bring us fortune. We move from feet firmly on the ground in Taurus to movement, change, and sometimes chaos of the mind in Gemini. Jupiter is no longer acting as the anchor that it was while transiting Taurus, and things have officially come unmoored in certain respects, bringing both excitement and anxiety.

Jupiter's dispositor planet - the planet most strongly influencing its related developments and themes - has now shifted from Venus to Mercury.

Looking at the position of Mercury at the time of Jupiter's ingress shows us where our minds are going to be during the year-long transit of Gemini. Mercury in Cancer was forming a square to Uranus in Aries and an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn - a cardinal t-square - at the time of Jupiter's ingress.

Uranus and Pluto are just about to form the first of seven exact squares, again, last experienced in the 1930s during the Great Depression. We are going through huge, clashing shifts on this planet under a great deal of pressure, both manufactured and natural, and the position of Mercury at this time, as dispositor of Jupiter, indicates this will be a primary theme. This is what is on our minds.

Waves of job losses since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 have not been addressed. In Canada, there is an acute housing shortage across many provinces with sky-high real estate costs and rents. People are paying inflated mortgages that are being hedged by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Company. The cost of living and working has been inflated to the point of ridiculousness. And the industries paying employees the most money are generally doing the most damage to people and to environments.

Riding down the rural Saskatchewan highway at night, the number of bright orange flames dotting the landscape is overwhelming - oil flares. Frenzied oil drilling in the area means more pop up every week, including on our family farm. "Oil flares are associated with benzene poisoning, a major cause of leukemia. Living in close proximity to oil flares is also associated with an increased incidence of cancers of the thyroid, bone, pancreas, and connective tissue. Oil flaring has been connected to autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (Saskatchewan has a higher than average incidence), rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disease. They are also a cause of increased chemical sensitivity."

A leak in a Plains Midstream Canada oil pipeline near Sundre, Alberta on June 7 has spilled hundreds of thousands of litres (an estimated 3,000 barrels) of oil into a tributary of the Red Deer River. This has polluted the river and surrounding wetlands, threatening drinking water, recreation, and local ranchers and inhabitants, including the City of Red Deer.

The real story, though, is that there have been thousands of pipeline leaks and spills like this over the past years. According to an article in The Globe & Mail called "Cleanup of latest Alberta oil spill could take all summer" by Nathan Vanderklippe and Dawn Walton, there are 400,000 kilometres of pipeline beneath the soil in Alberta. In 2010 alone, there were 687 leaks and spills from these pipelines. Mindboggling doesn't even begin to describe where we are right now.

On top of the most recent spill, Plains Midstream is still "cleaning up" (is clean-up even possible?) a 4.5 million litre spill that happened April 29, 2011 northeast of Peace River, Alberta.

There's no escaping it. It's everywhere. It's Uranus square Pluto, and it's not going anywhere. The screws are being tightened in a highly unstable, money-manipulated world, one that is at its breaking point on multiple fronts, one increasingly losing touch with any type of soulful reality.

The graces and lucky periods related to Jupiter in Gemini arise between the cracks of these often incredibly tense and difficult times and are not necessarily sustained periods of good fortune with Jupiter in the mutable sign of its detriment.

In other words, not having bad luck is as good as having good luck during these times on the planet. The concept of who is fortunate shifts, and if your life is not in a state of acute catastrophe or peril, count your lucky stars.

Jupiter in Gemini is a contradiction in many ways, and navigating this contradiction successfully is what will bring us the experience of luck over the next year.


Jupiter in Gemini indicates:

* exaggeration (Jupiter) of information (Gemini)
* sensationalized, over-the-top (Jupiter) news and gossip (Gemini) with a focus on the most bizarre, upsetting, or inflammatory
* strong use of propaganda, with the media continuing to be used to work people into a lather, manipulating views, opinions, and daily behaviours
* ideological fervour trickling into the most seemingly mundane daily discourse
* certain charismatic, silver-tongued personalities getting "big" and swaying the masses
* new philosophies around transportation, expansion of transportation forms and pathways
* too much on people's minds - the possibility of mental overload, singed circuits, and too much information, a broadening of perspective and mental pathways
* having faith in neighbourhood and local society
* the wisdom and deep, tribal weaving of "local talk"
* drawing on cultural/ancestral wisdom to do its part, applied in local societies, guiding day-to-day life
* luck coming through siblings, speaking and writing abilities, neighbourhood connections, societies, and networks
* a more expansive time for astrology bloggers, following the constricting influence of the Gemini South Node

Jupiter in Gemini is a placement whereby we are required to listen to our own truth beyond what we are being told, beyond commonly-held perspectives and perceptions. This transit is a time to trust the wisdom of our own perceptions and perspectives, using them to light the way through some often difficult and confusing times. This is a placement that draws on the wisdom we carry within, requiring that we translate, speak, and apply it in our immediate environments.

Jupiter in Cancer - June 25, 2013 to July 16, 2014

The complications related to the transit of Jupiter through Gemini will continue, though with a different flavour, with the transit of Jupiter in Cancer. Though Jupiter will be in the sign of its exaltation at that time, indicating an infusion of cosmic benefits and assistance along the way, it will be forming cardinal Grand Crosses throughout the transit along with Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, and the personal planets in Libra. These Grand Crosses form in August, September, and October of 2013 and in April of 2014.

For the next two years, Jupiter's movement indicates complex and complicated expansion within a period of intense, sustained pressure and backs-against-the-wall constriction.

Again, counting each and every blessing and utilizing each opportunity that comes to us to its maximum potential is a key to enjoying Jupiter's grace.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Full Moon in Mutable T-Square on the Way to the Venus Transit

The Moon is full in Sagittarius tonight (exact June 4) after it makes a conjunction to the North Node this afternoon. This Sagittarius Full Moon is happening as we head into the Venus Transit June 5/6, and things are coming fast. The Full Moon is a partial lunar eclipse, following the zero degree Gemini New Moon annular solar eclipse that was spectacular in many parts of the world.

The Sagittarius Full Moon will be in tight mutable t-square with the Sun-Venus in Gemini and Mars in Virgo, all at the mid-degrees of the mutable signs. If you include Chiron in Pisces at 9 degrees, this is a mutable Grand Cross.

What does all this mean? To say things are in transition would be an understatement. Even the transitions are in transition.

Let's take a cue from the Moon crossing the Sagittarius North Node today and not overthink it, overtalk it, or over-rationalize it. The importance of this point in time richly saturates every moment, every interaction. This is a time to be in our hearts, no matter what our hearts say, and even when our hearts have been broken and chewed up by the living and loving we do on this planet.

Just a reminder: I'll be visiting Matt Savinar in the radio studio June 7 on his Ask the Astrologer show. We'll be sharing Venus Transit stories then and now and talking relationships, in general. The show will be interactive in honour of Venus in Gemini, and we would love to hear from you.

The show runs 10 am to noon Pacific every Thursday on KOWS 107. FM serving Occidental and West Sonoma county.

You can call 1 (707) 874-1073 between 10:30 and 11:45 am to talk to me and Matt on the show, or e-mail me ahead of time with stories or questions.