Thursday, September 26, 2013

Knowing When to Turn the Tap On and, More Importantly, When to Turn it Off

Mercury enters deep, dark Scorpio on September 29 (6:38 a.m. CST), and our mind, our communications, and our connections are filtered through the penetrating, unwavering gaze of the scorpion.


Mercury in Scorpio wants to see what lies beneath the surface. It wants to know what's really going on. It wants some validation for that sick feeling in the pit of its stomach, for the crawling of its skin, for the tingling spidey sense. Mercury in Scorpio is a researching mind, an uncovering mind, drawing uncomfortable tidbits of information up to conscious awareness for integration into the broader scene.

The festering stink-pile of corruption and lies on Planet Earth is one of the prime targets for this laser mind, this Mercury in Scorpio. And there can be no doubt, really, about the state we're in on this planet. We're teetering at the point of no return, led there by generations of materialist mass murderers masquerading as our leaders. We're close to the point of energetic impossibility.

And let's not be silly about this: we'll be making some life-or-death connections throughout this Mercury transit of Scorpio (September 29 - December 4, 2013). It's that serious. Messenger planet Mercury has some reality-based information that we must digest over the course of the transit, and it's in our best interests to heed every last squirmy detail.

Mercury will retrograde in the sign of sex, death, birth, healing, X-Ray vision, and hardcore soul drive from October 21 to November 10, travelling backward in the zodiac from 18 to 2 degrees Scorpio.

This is the third and final Mercury retrograde of 2013, all of which have been in water signs.

As Mercury transits Scorpio, it will conjunct the North Node and Saturn three times, reactivating the obscenely powerful and intense Venus-Saturn-North Node conjunction, which occurred at 8 degrees Scorpio on September 17/18. That conjunction occurred exactly sextile stationing and inky-potent Pluto at 8 degrees Capricorn, which turned direct September 20.

Those unaffected by the intensity and energetic demands of the week of September 16 - 22 were fortunate. There were exhaustion, breakdowns, meltdowns, and acute stress involved. At the end of our ropes and beyond. We processed a massive amount of energy through our bodies and through our relationships during that week - and we're still processing it. We'll be processing the energy of that week and integrating its lessons for some time to come, including during the transit of Mercury through Scorpio.

We set a whole new, soul-driven tone in human relationships that week, and it was no joke. The way energy is distributed in our relationships, the underlying power dynamics, the allotment of that precious, supportive, soulful Scorpio energy are all under a state of reconstitution and reconstruction, continuing with the Venus retrograde in Capricorn at the end of the year (December 20, 2013 - January 30, 2014).

With restricting Saturn involved, we had to pull the reins in on a number of relational fronts. To continue in the old dynamics brings depletion.

We're working with restricted energy, particularly emotional, psychological, sexual, and psychic energy. At times during the transit of Saturn through Scorpio (into September 2015), this will be severely restricted.

We need to invest our precious time and energy oh-so-wisely now in order to make it through the next couple years successfully.

So heading into autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, we went through a very extreme Pluto station, a very extreme Venus-Saturn-North Node conjunction, and an over-the-top Harvest Full Moon in Pisces.

We now get a little breather with the Sun in Libra working to rebalance our upset energetic systems.

But it won't last long.

Mercury enters its retrograde shadow at 2 degrees Scorpio on October 1, just in time for the Libra Sun to enter a cardinal Grand Cross formation ahead of the Libra New Moon October 4.

In other words, kiss that harmonious Libran equinox breather goodbye, and prepare to play your 'A Games.' If you were expecting an easy breezy Libra season, you're in for a surprise...

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What is Mercury retrograde?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Getting Crystal Clear on What's Hurting & Sickening Us: A Pisces Full Moon Re-Post at This Harvest Moon

Photo: Willow

The Moon is currently growing full in dewy and sublime Pisces, opposite the Sun in late Virgo, and it touched wounded healer Chiron in Pisces early this morning on its way to the peak.

This late-Pisces Full Moon (exact at 6:13 a.m. CST on September 19) is the Harvest Moon, the Full Moon closest to autumn equinox, so named because farmers could work well into the night under its light. The Harvest Moon, along with the Hunter's Moon and Beaver Moon in following months, rises earlier and sets later than the Full Moons in other months, providing more moonlit hours.

This Harvest Moon in Pisces has end-of-era themes radiating from its moonbeams, as well as an impetus to get much clearer on the things that are hurting and sickening us on this planet.

This is a re-post of an article I wrote for last year's Pisces Full Moon. The themes continue to apply, maybe moreso than ever. The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan continues to unfold, two-and-a-half years after the initial event, and genetically modified alfalfa has just started contaminating the natural crop in the United States.

"A Chiron-Infused Pisces Full Moon, Pisces for the Aquarian Era, and Shifting Ideas Around Healing and Health" from the last Pisces Full Moon August 25, 2012:

"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."

- Herophilus, some 3rd/4th century doctor dude who fancied himself a philosopher

I read this quote recently on the back of a $13 package of smug hippie cereal that comes from the Canadian West Coast. There are a lot of smug hippies out there. The thing is, though, a lot of times, the smug hippies get it wrong.

I've been ill (though improving) for almost three years now. The military industrial complex disguised as Big Pharma disguised as an inexperienced doctor in a walk-in clinic slipped me poison in the form of an antibiotic called Cipro, and it devastated my system.

That said, I have to refute the quote by the good doctor up there. The best astrological work I've done has come during the time since I was poisoned. Since then, wisdom has revealed itself more fully, art has been expressed more richly. Not only was I able to fight, I was Plutonically strengthened to fight. Fighting those to-the-roots Plutonic fights gave me almost otherworldly strength at times, even as my body and physical system were weakened. Even as I was picking out words on the keyboard with a pencil in my mouth because my arms and wrists were not fully functional. Intelligence was most certainly applied. I don't think there can be any doubt that cosmic intelligence is coming through loud and clear.

People often say, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." I really wish people would stop saying that. It's kind of an assholish thing to say, especially to people who have compromised health.

Illness takes you far from the mainstream and from the mainstream ideals. You become what people are afraid of. Illness and pain isolate you, forcing you to fall back on yourself and on your faith and spiritual connection (if there are any to be had). They change and often deepen your perspective.

And it's from this perspective that people are able to bring forth some of their very, very best.

Some of the best writers, artists, activists, creatives, and people, period, on this planet live and have lived with illness and pain. They've worked under duress and wrested their contributions from the depths of despair and isolation. They've spoken from that very potent point at the edge between life and death, concentrated into the current moment by the withdrawal of the promise of a long and healthy life.

So Herophilus, your words certainly hold some of that Old Male Philosopher weight. They really do sound as if we should pay attention to them. But as per usual, the exalted and oft-quoted philosophical thinkers (mostly men) miss the real root truth.

Changing your diet, improving the water you drink, eating organic, exercising, spending time in nature, taking vitamins and supplements - these all help greatly. They're our responsibility. And as we move through a two-year Virgo-infused Mars cycle, refining and perfecting these things is a constant theme and focus.

But we're dealing with multi-layered and intentional attacks on our health and energetic systems on this planet. We're dealing with straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back environmental pollution, electromagnetic pollution, psychic pollution, radioactivity. We're dealing with toxic corporate lifestyles packaged and sold to "the consumer." We're dealing with the absolute disconnection that is car culture. Work that is exploitative soul slavery. A planet kept in a state of perpetual war. Degraded food, degraded water, degraded air, degraded life. People aren't getting the basic nutrition they need - either because they do not have access to food or because the food they do have access to is genetically modified, chemical-ridden, or heavily processed.

In corporate capitalist society, people aren't trained to be healthy. They're trained to be unhealthy because they buy more that way.

There's only so much that can be done by the individual to maintain health within systems and structures that are inherently sick. Unless willing to look at the broader scenarios and the broader reasons why people are getting sick, we're just treating symptoms, not eradicating the illness.

Looking at the big picture like this scares people. They like to think their health is in their control, in their own hands, that it's their decisions and their decisions alone that determine their health or lack of it. This allows them to continue living without looking at the deeper causes of illness and pain on this planet. It keeps them from examining the roots, and it reinforces both their smugness and their ignorance about what is really going on.

There is a strong "survival of the fittest and most able-bodied" ethic in Western culture. There's a real desire to divide people into the healthy and the unhealthy, the winners and the losers. If you're too sick or have too much pain to work in the toxic mainstream workforce, you're often considered a low-life degenerate.

Often, the underlying idea is: if you're ill or in pain, you're doing something wrong. You're living wrong. Your thoughts are wrong. You're holding onto emotion. You have bad karma. You're genetically flawed. You're unenlightened.

This is a view of illness and injury created, reinforced, and furthered by the New Age paradigm, and it is one that's taken all the way to the bank.

With wounded healer Chiron transiting Pisces, though, it's plain to see how all this misses the point. Pisces deals with the whole, with the full, inter-related situation. Chiron in Pisces relates to the understanding of the whole in relation to sickness and pain in order to heal. On this planet at this time, more people are dealing with illness and pain - of one variety or another - than are not. If an individual is not dealing with it him or herself, a family member or close friend is. The idea of a mainstream society in tip-top, glowing health with a small minority of unfortunates who are ill and weak is just not reality. People in a state of optimal health are, in actuality, not the norm.

The truth is, each sick individual is part of a larger whole that is also sick. Sick individuals do not live in a vacuum - though the solipsistic "creating your own reality" meme would lead people to believe that. Sick people are symptomatic of sick human relations, sick cultures, sick environments, sick systems, sick power dynamics.

From a previous post: "The intense levels of psychic pain held at this point in human history, collectively left denied and unvoiced, truly have the potential to do us in. The psychic backwash drops over us in waves, often without warning, threatening to drag us under. The homeless, the alcoholics, the addicts, the mentally ill, the depressed, the prostituted, the murdered, the missing are symbols of this unaddressed psychic pain and the resulting dysfunction, symptomatic of deeper roots. They've done all they can, said all they can, and still most don't see the connections.

It seeps into suburbia, into condo buildings, into schools and offices, and still people won't put their fingers on it."

At this point in the game, heading out of the astrological Piscean era, most of us are the walking wounded - whether the wounds are visible or not. We're pretty much all playing hurt. The wounded Pisces themes, brought freshly into perspective at last February's Pisces New Moon conjunct Chiron, come to a point of illuminated culmination here.

The Sun entered Virgo August 22 and opposed Neptune in Pisces - the prime symbol of 'Pisces for the Aquarian era' - August 24. The Sun now moves to an opposition to Chiron at 7 degrees Pisces on August 30, leading into the Pisces Full Moon that night (exact August 31 at 7:58 a.m. CST).

Mercury enters Virgo in the evening of August 31, opposing Neptune in Pisces September 1 and Chiron in Pisces September 4. There is a strong theme of pinpointing, of applying Virgoan antiseptic sting, of removing fallacy and bloat and changing ideas around healing, health, service, and work.

As we gradually move out of the astrological Piscean era, we're entrusted with the responsibility of shifting consensus reality to something closer to the truth. At this time, with the influence of nitty gritty, reality-based Virgo opposing, the Piscean era denials, delusions, escapism, scapegoating, and smoke-and-mirrors effects can be removed with precision.

The pain and damage done during the Piscean era are still here to be resolved. Part of the resolution comes from a much more keen analysis than has previously been offered, with a more precise accounting of cause and effect.

As the Moon grows full over the next week and touches Chiron, we can pinpoint fallacies around health, illness, and pain that keep us divided into the healthy and the unhealthy on this planet. We can stretch out into a full, illuminated understanding of our shared responsibility for changing things.

Under the Aquarian era umbrella, illness, injury, disability, and pain do not have to separate us from the "normal" people and from mainstream society. (There really is no "normal" with Aquarius.) Under the Aquarian umbrella, these things do not define us, and they do not have to sentence us to lives of isolation. The pain and illness we endure living in these human bodies are not shameful secrets. They're badges of honour. And the way we heal from here is to bring it all into the fold, into the wide-open Pisces heart.

Enjoy this healing moon.

More on Chiron in Pisces

Friday, September 13, 2013

Douche of the Day at Willow's Web Astrology - Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart

That's a whole lot of assholes.
Photo: Willow

The first case of GM alfalfa contamination is now being investigated in Washington state in the U.S. after a farmer had his alfalfa crop rejected for export because it (unknown to him) contained genetically modified material.

This is the first case of what will be many.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready GM alfalfa is the first genetically modified feral perennial ever planted in North America. Pollinated by insects and the wind, this highly tenacious plant used for livestock feed and organic fertilizer, among other things, spreads like a weed. In fact, if you do not want alfalfa in your field, it is extremely difficult to eradicate.

As seen in the initial case in Washington state, genetically modified alfalfa will inevitably cross-pollinate and contaminate the natural crop.

Currently, 93% of Canada's alfalfa crop is unsprayed. This means, farmers and ranchers do not have to pay thousands of dollars to apply chemical herbicide or pesticide to their alfalfa crops. These crops are natural, non-genetically modified, and unsprayed.

Monsanto would like to change that.

There are ongoing plans to introduce genetically modified alfalfa in Ontario and Quebec in order to set up an export hay market (talk about unsustainable). This hay would be sold to countries that desire 100% weed-free hay and are willing to purchase genetically modified, heavily chemically-sprayed alfalfa in order to achieve that.

Since Canada's federal Conservatives are as pro-GMO as you can get, the next step in appealing to our so-called leaders is at the provincial level. Municipal governments in British Columbia have passed laws making their areas GMO-free, and there is no reason provinces cannot do the same.

I wrote a letter recently to my home province's Agriculture Minister, Lyle Stewart, appealing for a moratorium on the sale, planting, and growth of genetically modified alfalfa within the province's borders.

What I got back was a very robotic and ill-informed letter from a very robotic and ill-informed Lyle Stewart of the Saskatchewan Party (AKA provincial Conservatives).

In the letter that he more than likely did not see or write, our boy Lyle passed the buck to the Federal government and denied there are any concerns over GM alfalfa at all.

"Lyle" went on to say: "The Government of Saskatchewan takes a science-based approach to promoting research, commercialization, and marketing of all aspects of agricultural biotechnology. We are committed to working with the industry to ensure farmers and ranchers have the latest advancements in agronomic and production tools available to help them remain competitive."

In other words, the Government of Saskatchewan is pro-GMO and (falsely) believes farmers and ranchers need GM alfalfa in order to "stay competitive."

Now, y'all, if Lyle knew his ass from page eight on this subject he'd know that farmers and ranchers in Western Canada - yes, including in his own province - have already rejected GM alfalfa wholeheartedly.

He would know there is actually zero benefit to going from an unsprayed, natural crop to a heavily chemically-sprayed GMO crop that costs thousands of dollars more to produce. And farmers and ranchers know this. Anyone with common sense does.

Our boy Lyle would also know that, rather than making farmers and ranchers "more competitive," the unintentional spread of GM alfalfa will actually destroy export crops to any country that does not allow GMOs within its borders. This is the entire European Union, which happens to be a big importer of Canadian alfalfa.

He also touts the science. But what science would that be, Lyle? The Seralini study showing increased incidences of cancer, organ damage, and premature death in lab rats fed GM corn and glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the chemical herbicide Roundup?

Or would it be the suckling pig study that found stomach inflammation and fertility damage related to diets of GM corn and soy?

Or is it the study that found Roundup toxic to dairy cattle?

What, exactly, is the science you're using to support your pro-GMO claims, here, Lyle?

Because the science I see says GMOs cause health damage in animals, and what causes health damage in animals will certainly cause health damage in human beings who eat animals or animal products.

For the fact that the provincial Agriculture Minister in prime livestock country, Saskatchewan, is ill-informed on the issue of genetically modified alfalfa, for the fact that he is not listening to the farmers and ranchers in his own province, and for the fact that he is implementing policy that puts the entire food supply at risk:

Lyle Stewart is Willow's Web Astrology's Douche of the Day!

Congratulations, Lyle. It isn't just any old douche who makes it to such a high level of douchery!

Get your "Stop GM Alfalfa" bumper sticker from Willow: $5 each or 5 for $22.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grumbling, Fuming, and Mental Stress As We Move Through the Week Ahead. Pace Yourselves.

We start the week on Monday morning under a Scorpio Moon conjunct Saturn, with both bodies forming a square (hard aspect) to Mars in Leo.

This is the sweet and sensitive, feminine Moon - already uncomfortable in the sign of its fall, Scorpio - in aspect to the two Bad Boy malefic planets, Mars and Saturn.

By Friday morning, the Moon is in Capricorn (the sign of its detriment), conjunct stationing (ie. very potent) Pluto, just as we head into another tense and highly-strung cardinal Grand Cross formation, exact September 14 - 19.

It's going to take a very strategic game this week to not come out emotionally shredded.

Find your emotional sustenance where you can - just don't broadcast your sources. People are going to be a little crusty, looking for a sticking point they can latch onto and pick apart. (We are in Virgo season, after all.) Though Mars in Leo may be urging us to be expressive, boisterous, fun, and generous, the square to Saturn in Scorpio indicates that even well-intentioned efforts on that front could have some karmic bite-back.

As we start the week, war drums are being beaten as the United States government and its allies attempt to manufacture consent for yet another brutal war to secure long-term oil interests, this time in Syria. The media blackout related to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan is starting to crack around the edges. The "green shoots" of economic recovery in the United States and around the world (if they ever really existed) have officially withered and died. Saturn in Scorpio requires that we keep in mind the very serious context of the times in which we are living, and you do so to your own benefit this week.

Maintaining the right tone means you will not get caught on any Saturn in Scorpio bramble bushes.

As the workweek begins this Monday morning, the mood is sombre, touchy, irritated, under-appreciated, and a little burnt out. People are not in the mood for any shenanigans or for any forced joviality, either. Emotionally, we're playing our cards close to our chests, gathering our energy to us, despite the urgings of Mars in Leo to radiate our fabulousness for all to see, to fight for our rightful attention and acclaim.

You can fight for what's rightfully yours this week. Just do it in a matter-of-fact way - no blowing your own horn, no overkill - and then withdraw from the proceedings.

If you are passed over this week and can fly under the radar, consider yourself lucky.

As was mentioned in a previous post, the Mars in Leo square to Saturn in Scorpio has been restricting our wills, our actions, and the expression of our fun-loving personalities since the beginning of September.

However, this square that has been so peeing on our Leonine parades is exact at 6:06 a.m. CST on Monday, September 9. This means, as we wake and get our Mondays underway, the discomfort, restriction, and frustration indicated by this square has reached a peak. We are dealing only with the aftermath of this aspect, the denouement, throughout the week.

This is not to say that the Mars-Saturn denouement will not be feisty, challenging, or action-packed. Its potentially pissy, frustrated themes reverberate throughout the upcoming week.

It is in our best interests to keep our big, bold personalities in check, or Saturn in Scorpio will do it for us.

Further adding to the fun is an uncomfortable quincunx between Mars in Leo and Pluto in Capricorn on Wednesday, September 11. Power issues continue to simmer within the hierarchies as they exist, as we continue the shift from a Pluto in Leo world that we all just live in (love you, Pluto in Leos!) to a stronger Pluto in Virgo-led scene.

One saving grace is communication planet Mercury, which shifts into congenial and sociable Libra on Monday morning, as well, until September 29. This does help to maintain a modicum of social decorum under all these emotionally spicy and feisty layers.

However, Mercury in Libra also moves into the cardinal Grand Cross formation by the end of the week. Lovely Libra is going to have its work cut out for it keeping the peace under these conditions.

There's some definite subtext and some underlying charge to our social interactions through the next two weeks. Honour this. Don't be phony about it. Understand that the things you say and the tones you take with people - even in brief moments of frustration - could have enduring social and professional ripple effects, with Mercury in tight-as-a-drum cardinal Grand Cross.

Love, money, and relationship planet Venus in Libra first activated the cardinal Grand Cross involving Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Pluto in Capricorn at the end of August (exact August 23 - 27). This set a new tone in relationships while testing them under intense pressure. New social leadership was initiated under that configuration, particularly involving new era-oriented leadership in our personal and professional relationships.

Now, as communication and intelligence planet Mercury enters Libra and re-activates the cardinal Grand Cross September 14 - 19, we start to wrap our minds around the social, professional, familial, and interpersonal shifts underway. We're gathering information and attempting to find our own social context within these pressurized and changing circumstances. We're working to maintain social continuity and right human relations during times when those things are too often being shoved to the side as unimportant.

Relationship-ruler Venus enters the sign of its detriment, Scorpio, on September 11, indicating human relations will have their sticking points through the end of the transit October 7. The relationship planet transiting the sign of sex, death, regeneration, secrets, and emotional suppression indicates our relationships are more tricky, complicated, and complex than we would prefer. However, a trine between Venus in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces, exact September 14, indicates that there is a whole lot we can transcend, give up to the universe, or see under a spiritually-compassionate lens on the relationship front.

The combination of the tail-end of the Mars-Saturn square, the Moon conjunct stationing Pluto in Capricorn, and the Mercury-triggered cardinal Grand Cross indicates that people could be quite fed up, past their breaking points, by weeks end. You will hear it in their tones, as the sociable Mercury in Libra convos show strain.

Big egos that are used to getting what they want with a free course could be particularly fuming, uncomfortable and perplexed as a new pecking order emerges.

Women in the workplace could also reach an "enough's enough" point, as it becomes too much to maintain the nicey-nice social fa├žade, as well as the invisible and often unrecognized social work so often expected of females in the workplace.

This week is a bit of a minefield, though it's not impossible to navigate. Pick through carefully, and don't allow temper tantrums, shitty remarks, or desperate passive aggressiveness to throw you off course.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Willow on Ask the Astrologer with Matt Savinar This Thursday, September 5

I'll be a guest on Matt Savinar's community radio show, Ask the Astrologer, tomorrow (Thursday, September 5) as we open out of the Virgo New Moon.

Fittingly for a Virgo (analysis, health, hard work) New Moon opposite Chiron in Pisces (wounds and pain that affect us all), we'll be talking about Fukushima, media blackouts, and the importance of independent citizens doing the job that governments should be doing in protecting and informing us.

The collective can't seem to fully grasp the lessons of Pisces at the end of the era. People, en masse, don't get that what affects one, eventually affects all as Aquarius pulls them into extreme individualism and technology/science as God.

Let's see if we can assist on that front, shall we? Fukushima and its nuclear fallout are pretty good illustrations of the point...

The show is on KOWS 107.3 FM, out of Occidental, California, and starts at:

10 a.m. Pacific time
11 a.m. Mountain and Central Standard time
Noon Central Daylight and Eastern

You can listen to the show live online here. Look to the right part of the screen for the link: KOWS 107.3 FM

Or the show will be up at Matt's YouTube channel a little later.

Monday, September 2, 2013

An Alchemical Social and Professional Mix Percolates As We Head to Equinox

Photos: Willow

As we move into September, the Grand Water Trine summer of 2013 is officially winding down. The good vibes that buoyed us from Jupiter and the personal planets in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces have now mostly dissipated, and we are left with a more challenging series of cardinal Grand Crosses to navigate between August 2013 and April 2014. I hope you soaked up all the water magic you could this summer - we're going to need it!
We're now in the thick of Virgo season, harvest time, with the Sun and Mercury travelling through the sometimes persnickety sign of the virgin. Our focus for most of this month is on work, diligent effort, and attention to detail in preparation for the long winter ahead - physical and/or metaphorical.

A Virgo New Moon at 13 degrees, opposite Chiron Rx in Pisces, occurs September 5 (6:36 a.m. CST), and we open into new work, new roles, and a newly streamlined modus operandi. We're honing, purifying, and perfecting our skills as we move through this New Moon doorway, increasing effectiveness and eliminating unproductive efforts.

However, we also have to ask ourselves how we are so-very-effectively directing our personal efforts at this time.

(The Nazis were highly effective, too, after all. Efficacy is not always a good thing - Pluto in Virgos, I'm especially looking at you right now.)

The opposition to wounded healer Chiron in Pisces at the time of the New Moon indicates that we're working to heal the gaping psychic/spiritual wounds carried forward by humanity at this time, or we're working to support systems and ideas that cause further damage, tossing more salt in the collective wounds.

This New Moon is a time to get very clear on which effort you would like to support with your own time, focus, work, and energy. The condition and orientation of our souls at this crisis time on the planet are of utmost importance. We don't have as much time as we may have thought.

As we move through this clean-and-clear Virgo New Moon portal, small adjustments to our courses can create lasting improvements, particularly for physical and psychic health.

If there are changes you know you need to make in lifestyle or mindset, there's no better time than the present to implement them, propelled by this New Moon.

In light of recent information coming from Fukushima, eliminating certain foods in an effort to decrease the possibility of radioactive contamination may be wise.

The dominant formation in the zodiac this Virgo season is a cardinal Grand Cross involving ruling planet Mercury in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries and square Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn.

Mercury enters Libra September 9 (until September 29), and the Grand Cross tensions will be on our minds, colouring our communications and sociability almost immediately. Mercury in Libra likes to keep things social, lovely, nice, harmonious. But under the friction, pressure, and mental stress of this Grand Cross, keeping our tones sociable, or taking others into consideration at all, could prove tricky.

This tight and highly-strung Grand Cross is in effect most intensely September 14 - 19, as we head into a highly-charged fall equinox in the northern hemisphere. The pressure created will spur new interactions, relationships, and social leadership during the final quarter of 2013.

New leaders could emerge in more visible ways as the Sun in Libra re-activates the Grand Cross October 1 - 12.

People will be making up their minds in relationships, formulating plans, and taking part in some difficult conversations with Mercury in Grand Cross September 14 - 19. We have to move if we want to relieve the stress of the Grand Cross configuration, but with a "back against the wall/Do Not Enter" feeling almost everywhere we turn, determining exactly which move to make and which relationships to bolster will not be simple.

The Mercury-triggered Grand Cross indicates we have a lot on our minds this September, with a lot of complexity to balance mentally and socially. With transpersonal planets Uranus and Pluto involved in square aspect, this particularly relates to the multi-layered, "breaking point" global scenarios currently unfolding. (Fukushima, more orchestrated warfare, the attempted takeover of the food supply by GMO corporations, the attempted criminalization of farmer's markets, local food, and herbal medicine, groundwater contamination and instability from widespread fracking, poisoned air, water, food, and medicine, hyper inflation and manipulation of the money system/stock markets, housing crises, homelessness, joblessness, increasing mental illness and chronic fatigue, state-spying on citizens, attacks on women's reproductive rights, an inhumane global agenda, and general tyranny of all stripes - to name but a few.)

The writing is on the wall as we head to fall equinox in the northern hemisphere. It's up to us to figure out our context within the orchestrated global events unfolding - and what to do about it.

Talking about it and maintaining social contact - though potentially difficult and highly-charged - helps to take the edge off.

This September, we're also grinding out a Mars in Leo square to Saturn in Scorpio (exact September 9 at 7 degrees Leo/Scorpio). This square constricts our will, our actions, and the expression of our personalities throughout the month. We're being held in place - frustratingly, at times - until Saturn says we've earned our acclaim, our applause, our praise, and our attention from others, right down to the last consideration.

Mars in Leo may have us wanting to party and live it up this month, but the square to Saturn in Scorpio requires that we keep in mind the soulful context, the serious context, the life-and-death context.

Hard-assed Saturn in Scorpio asks: What right do you have to party and gallivant and show off in your stylish, stylish life when so many on this planet are in a state of absolute misery? What right do you have to live it up when your joy is so often played out on the backs of those not so fortunate?

Are you using your creative gifts and personal artistry in the deepest, most soulful ways you can, addressing the pertinent issues of our times? And if not, what good are your efforts at this crisis time on the planet?

Mars in Leo square Saturn in Scorpio throughout the month indicates: it's time to stop screwing around.

Those who are used to getting what they want with a free course will find this square particularly intolerable at times. Watch for temper tantrums! Leo is the sign of the child, after all, and this month, many adults will be reverting.

Self-control and control of our egos under the irritation and friction of the Saturn square will be required throughout the month. This is a real "bite your tongue" aspect, exacerbated by Mercury within Grand Cross. Speak up when you know you have to, but don't be goaded into the dramas of others.

Mars in Leo trines Uranus in Aries September 14, and we do get some assistance with the Aquarian shift. The old school egos can't stop us now...

As we enter September, Saturn has just gotten back up to full speed direct in Scorpio after its July 8 station. You can read about some of those direct station themes here: Saturn Turns Direct in Scorpio: Watch the Offloading of Dreaded Responsibilities.

Saturn now moves quickly into a Saturn-Venus-North Node conjunction at 8 degrees Scorpio, which will be exactly sextile Pluto at 8 degrees Capricorn (September 18 - 20). These aspects are particularly potent, as Pluto stations direct on September 20 and is permeating the astro atmosphere with its deep, dark, down-and-dirty themes (especially in family, business, and government) throughout the month.

From the last Pluto stationing direct article:

"Feeling nauseated, greasy, triggered, paranoid, exhausted, poisoned, irritable, low on tolerance, ready to blow, and as if you are energetically moulting are all par for the course during a Pluto station."

As we enter September under social, professional, familial, and global tensions that do not appear to be letting up any time soon, we're on the lookout for the right energy, the right combinations, and the right fusions to get us through the next stretch.

The only way past it is through it, so we're on the lookout for the people and scenarios that will mutually bolster us, support us, and help us through in both immediate terms and over the long run.
We're in a highly alchemical time period this September (and not just because we're being irradiated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster). We're heading into a potent fall equinox under the influence of the Saturn-Venus-North Node conjunction, the Mercury in Libra-triggered cardinal Grand Cross, as well as a highly sensitive Full Moon at 26 degrees Pisces on September 18/19 (exact at 6:13 a.m. CST on Sept. 19). This Pisces Full Moon marks an emotional end point for the astrological Piscean era, and there could be waterworks as people's shredded, end-of-era emotions fill to the brim and spill over... 

Things are being pushed to a head this equinox, and it will take all our Libran social prowess and all our Scorpionic energetic mastery to keep things  in any state of balance or harmony at all.

As we move to equinox, the Sun is losing some of its potency in the northern hemisphere, the days and nights are balancing, and we're looking for just the right social and professional mix and balance ourselves.

The mergers and partnerships that come together naturally this fall (catalyzed by the Venus-Saturn-North Node conjunction in Scorpio) have the potential to bring long-term and mutual benefits, advancement, and gain. Puzzle pieces can come together now in ways that feel natural, right. People can gel in ways we were not expecting.

That said, the wrong elements, people, or energies coming together this fall have the possibility of either immediate "powder keg" blowouts or a slow erosion and collapse. Be careful, oh-so-careful, about whom you choose as an ally this fall. Also be careful about who seems to be choosing you as an ally! 
We're putting down a new foundation here, particularly supportive of our emotional and psychological health as we continue through rough terrain on this planet.

If we fold dirty, charged, or unresolved energy into the mix for those foundations, we run the risk of investing our precious time, energy, and money in situations that are ultimately untenable. If we refuse to speak up about our misgivings, if we go along for the ride because we think it's easier, if we cave to our fears, we run the risk of a long, arduous, and costly extrication process later on.

Recall that Venus will be in the sign of its detriment, Scorpio, as it comes together with Saturn and the North Node on September 18. This is one of the trickiest placements for the love and relationship planet, indicating that the relational contracts and structuring underway now are complex, complicated, soulful, layered, and require our utmost consciousness every step of the way. No stone unturned. Venus leaves domicile Libra, entering detrimental Scorpio on September 11, where it will stay until October 7.

Feel out what the Scorpio in your natal chart is trying to do. Get a feel for whatever is attempting to come together, and either assist it or limit it.

If something doesn't feel right, wait. Investigate. Examine. Feel it out. Get to the roots. Draw it up to the surface. Address it. Resolve it before you commit, especially if you're signing a contract or committing money or resources.

This Scorpionic digging process may take a lot of work, but putting in the effort now to get the energy just right pays off over the long run.

Since September/October of 2012, Saturn and the North Node in Scorpio have been honing our intuition to a laser-like point. We've been challenged to listen to our intuition down to the slightest breath of trouble and to make decisions based on our Scorpionic spidey sense. We've been challenged to navigate Scorpionic tendencies to paranoia and detrimental thinking, moving through fears and miscues.

We've been challenged to see and understand how energy really works, rather than how we wish it worked.

How we and others really feel, deep down, about the realities before us is the key navigation point now.

As Saturn conjuncts the North Node, an event that occurs about once every 11 years, the energetic foundation has to be just right.
From October 14 to November 26, 2013, Saturn will move through degrees of the zodiac to which it will not return during its next retrograde period (March 1 to July 19, 2014). Saturn will move in one pass through the degrees 11 through 16 Scorpio. Anyone with natal planets on these degrees of Scorpio or on the same degrees of the other fixed signs should be most markedly involved in the structural movements and the "coming together" following fall equinox.

If all our energetic ducks are in a row and if all the power dynamics have been worked out satisfactorily, this time period (Oct. 14 - Nov. 26) can result in some fairly easy progress with natural next steps occurring with projects and in career.

People will be moving into more structured and solid positions of authority this fall quarter, and this particularly includes positions involving shared power, money, and resources.

Under the ongoing stressors, people who have not fully earned their authority or positions, who have not set the right energetic foundations, will soon be in over their heads, however.

With Saturn conjunct the North Node this fall, be careful not to take on too much, too fast - no matter how promising things seem. The commitments we make or deepen this fall could be life changing and deeply altering for us over the long term. We must be very careful to follow our intuition down to the last little twinge regarding decisions and commitments made at this time, particularly involving legal contracts and money. 
Mercury will be retrograde in Scorpio October 21 to November 10, 2013,  at the same time as Saturn moves in one pass over those degrees, and it will conjunct Saturn in Scorpio three times. This indicates a time of caution, information-gathering, and sober second thought related to commitments, responsibilities, shared resources, and mergers of a personal or business kind. Again, don't jump in too fast, no matter how exciting the opportunity seems.
As of September 30, 2013, we have completed the first decan (third) of the transit of Saturn through Scorpio. By the end of this month, the first leg is over. Remember to take a breath and give yourselves a pat on the back.

The movement and development we experience (pleasant or unpleasant) as Saturn traverses 11 through 16 Scorpio this October/November is a direct result of our efforts during the first leg of Saturn in Scorpio. We can experience almost effortless progress, as things alchemically fall into place. And we can also experience areas of frustration where we feel stuck or oppressed. Areas where we're feeling stuck or oppressed will require more effort and attention during the final two decans of Saturn in Scorpio.
As of September 30, Saturn has also moved out of the most purely Scorpionic energy, the first decan (or 10 degrees) of the sign, and into the second decan of Scorpio. The second decan of Scorpio is the Piscean decan, and it is most strongly influenced by that sign. The combination of these energies requires the mastery of a psychic surgeon, determining areas of decay and attachment that must be pared away. We must penetrate to the true core of any remaining Piscean-era illusions, delusions, deceptions, or areas of wishful thinking during Saturn's transit of these degrees (September 30, 2013 to October 5, 2014). We must re-direct and reconfigure dreams, hopes, spirituality, and our love for life on this planet. We must shape-shift, changing the ways in which we apply our highest spiritual principles as we move through the shifting sands at the beginning of the astrological Aquarian era.
If we have successfully met the challenges of the first leg of Saturn through Scorpio, we should see some progress, advancement, solidification, and a time when things "gel" during the final quarter of 2013. This may come about gradually, more slowly than we were expecting or hoping, but remember: it's never a good idea to rush Saturn.

More Saturn in Scorpio articles from Willow's Web Astrology

Willow's Web Astrology Saturn in Scorpio pay-for article - 2,768 of the finest words you will find on the transit of Saturn through Scorpio. Please note: This article was previously available on the blog. It is not a new article. It was originally published September 20, 2012.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

What You Should Know About the Ongoing Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima, Japan

Click to enlarge.

This is a graphic showing the current crisis at the Daiichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. As was reported in the New York Times on August 6, 2013, tons of radioactive water are now being released into the Pacific Ocean every day from these reactors. 

Officials at the Tokyo Electrical Power Company (Tepco) have said the leak started sometime between December and May of 2012. (Just a guess, guys?)

What has always been a global emergency has now become an acute, immediate global emergency.

How I understand it: The groundwater flowing under the nuclear site has become radioactively contaminated and is flowing out to sea, despite efforts to contain it. 

The nuclear cores from the reactors have breached their containments and are somewhere in the ground beneath the site, contaminating the soil and groundwater.

Since the beginning of the disaster, water has also been pumped through the nuclear reactors to keep the ongoing radioactive reaction - still kicking off massive amounts of radiation - as cool and contained as possible. This has been going on since the start of the reaction in March 2011, endangering the lives of many workers who are pumping the water.

The radioactive water used to cool the reaction is now being stored in storage tanks. Some of the storage tanks have sprung leaks and are also releasing water containing radioactive isotopes into the ground beneath the Fukushima Daiichi reactors.

This appears to be an escalation of the nuclear crisis, with Japan now asking for international assistance to contain the situation. Previously, it had refused offers of international assistance.

As ever, we need every brain and every set of eyes in the world on this issue, coming up with a solution to contain or stop it, evacuating people, teaching people what to do to protect themselves from contamination by radioactivity, providing equipment, and educating people around the world about radioactive food, milk, water, etc.