In Honor of Spring 2019

I have been away from writing this blog and greatly missed sharing my thoughts. It just seems these days that as soon as ideas get put down on paper they become obsolete. Why is that?

We are experiencing a definite increase with the speed and number of events piling up from the world news and in our own smaller world. Marriages, deaths, births, major illnesses, job losses, relationship turmoil, power outages, financial upheavals, forced location changes, neighbor boundary issues and catastrophic weather events are happening continuously. All is accompanied by a sense of overload.

Is the access to information just so great that we cannot help getting caught up in it? And then what can we do about it, if we are so far, only reading or hearing about these horrific events?

After feeling compassion and sending sympathy and what material resources are at our disposal to alleviate the suffering, what else can we do? Where does our responsibility lie in being of service to our fellow men? Especially when we are not directly engaged in an overwhelming clean up process?

This is what today the 20th and tomorrow the 21st is all about-the transition from Pisces to Aries. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and encompasses all the previous eleven. Emotional wisdom and a wide perspective characterize Pisces which sees the bigger picture. We feel for all of humanity and especially the suffering and helpless. We do service to others as best we can.

Then as the Sun apparently leaves Pisces and moves into Aries , the first sign of the zodiac, we begin a personal new journey of self discovery. We move from the collective aspect of the Pisces viewpoint to the more personal and self fulfilling perspective of Aries. Each sign of the zodiac holds a different characteristic and we are all composed of all twelve signs in varying degrees of strength.

Through Aries we wake up to a new identity, a new enthusiasm emerges to further our own individuation. We have a new mission or start a new adventure, which has a ripple effect reverberating into our immediate environment. In Aries we realize we can only help others by discovering and embodying who we are or want to be. We can no longer procrastinate. Aries is here for the next 30 days. Saddle up your horse and jump on. The culmination will be a year from now when the Sun passes over Pisces again. The wheel turns.


Why the Sudden Surge in Veteran Candidates?

This is the question Lisa Desjardins asked in a segment for a PBS NewsHour episode that I heard on Friday, June 1. (1) Military veterans are running for the United States Congress in record numbers this year. To investigate this trend, Desjardins focused on northern New Jersey’s 11th District where four veterans are running, two in each party and all first-time candidates. When speaking to Memorial Day celebration organizers in the 11th District, Desjardins heard several possible explanations for this phenomenon.

One veteran commented that vets intuitively understand how important it is to put the country ahead of one’s personal interest. He does not feel that all the current representatives in Washington think that way. Veterans also swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The sergeant to whom Desjardins spoke believes that veterans hold themselves under that oath to serve the Constitution, even after being discharged from the armed forces.

Another Memorial Day celebrant, in answering the interviewer’s question, felt that, as an inductee, he knew that this enlistment lasted for a certain duration and was not a lifelong commitment. This vet sees some current members in Congress becoming professional lifelong politicians. He mentioned the framers of the Constitution as examples of those who left George Washington’s army after their time in the military and returned to their previous occupations.

There is also evidence that voters’ trust (or lack of it) in government is a consideration as to why more vets are running for Congress this year. In a recent NewsHour/Marist/PBS poll, only 25% of adults had any confidence or trust in Congress, and 43% in the presidency, but 88% of adults have confidence in the military!

This upsurge in veterans seeking public office  is not an accident, as there have been groups, like New Politics, formed to help these first-time candidates make a go of it. Historically, before 1975, more than 70% of members of Congress had served in the military; now it is less than 18%, the lowest in history. (2)

One of the winners in the New Jersey 11th District race was Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a Naval Academy graduate, retired Navy pilot, and prosecutor whose grandfather was a Navy pilot in World War II. She is part of the influx of Democratic veterans running this year.

Can we also find an astrological reason why this trend is so noticeable this year?

The first thing that comes to this astrologer’s mind is the condition of the U.S. Mars, the planet  the planet that governs the military, and the 6th house, which signifies the armed forces in a country’s chart. According to the Sibly chart for the U.S., Taurus is on the cusp of the 6th house (using Whole Sign houses), and Venus, its ruler, is in Cancer in the 8th house closely conjunct an exalted Jupiter.

U.S. Sibly chart (Whole sign houses), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA (39N57 75W10)

Our nation’s servicemen and women can thus be described by Venus conjunct Jupiter in Cancer. Washington’s army was a collection (Jupiter) of state militiamen who left their homes (Venus in Cancer) to fight. Venus conjunct an exalted Jupiter also suggests the growth of the military; placed in the 8th house, this becomes the big business of the military, so obvious today.

I want to consider the Mars retrograde station in the U.S. Sibly’s progressed chart as another indication of the present state of affairs. This is germane as we are looking forward to a transiting Mars retrograde period on June 26. This will be the first Mars retrograde in Aquarius since 1971, when the planet was retrograde between July 11 and September 9, and President Richard M. Nixon was in his first term.

Excerpts from the Pentagon Papers — Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s previously unpublished history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam — began to be published by The New York Times on June 13, 1971. McNamara’s account began in 1954 when President Harry S. Truman secretly sent aid to France to help fight their colonial war with Vietnam. The Vietnamese, having been under French rule for 100 years, wanted independence. (3) The Nixon administration placed an injunction on the Times to cease publishing, but the Washington Post came to the rescue and kept printing the material. The case was heard by the Supreme Court, who sided with both newspapers’ right to publish.

It is interesting to note that McNamara ordered the study on June 17, 1967 and did not tell President Lyndon B. Johnson about it. Transiting Mars was at 17° Libra, conjunct the U.S. Saturn, the planet of accountability. Mars had just finished a retrograde period with its direct station at 15° Libra on May 26. The U.S. progressed Mars was at 11° Libra, within one degree of the progressed IC. So, a study commissioned in 1967, under a newly direct Mars (on the nation’s natal Saturn), was finally revealed to the public during a retrograde Mars period four years later. Might we expect some military secrets to be revealed this summer?

Progressed Mars went retrograde in the Sibly chart on July 19, 2006 at 18°42’ Libra. From this point forward — through March 27, 2086 — our aggressive and assertive tendencies, instead of projecting outward, are being turned inward to our own country — shooting ourselves, so to speak (literally, as it is unbearably sad to say). Our ability to win wars, especially those we initiate, is no longer guaranteed. Might this also indicate that we must look to using the military for a different purpose? Instead of sending the military overseas and fighting no-win situations, perhaps retired servicemen can stay at home and help govern the country.

When a planet goes retrograde, it is changing its orientation to the Sun, which signifies one’s purpose. When a country’s actions are no longer aligned with its purpose and mission, then a readjustment has to take place. In the article “America Attacks Itself,” Francis Donald Grabau wrote: “America is due for an 80-year period of self-examination regarding the nature of Mars, its power, force, and potential aggression.” (4)

Might the U.S. progressed Mars station also indicate how the military is being used in this country? The progressed Mars retrograde station in 2006 took place in Libra, a good sign for generals so that they can see both sides of the conflict  but also for negotiators and peacemakers. Seems to me quite appropriate to have military personnel in Congress deciding when and if the military can or should be used, rather than these decisions being made by professional politicians who have never been on a battleground.

The current Mars retrograde period can also explain the #MeToo movement coming to a head, as well as the continuing struggles for racial justice, more equitable sentencing guidelines, and prison reform. We are not very far from slavery when we shoot and incarcerate so many young black men, while their white counterparts often get lighter sentences. Our violent Mars shadow — our misuse of forceful action, our misuse of will, our misfiring military missions — all of our collective missteps are rising to the surface.


(1) PBS

(2) All of these details are from the PBS episode cited above.

(3) See, for example, Ken Burns’s recent documentary, Vietnam.

(4) This is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s recent movie The Post.

(5) Progressed Mars Turns Retrograde in America’s Birth Chart

Truly a Man for All Seasons

Today is the 500th anniversary of the first declaration of an individual’s right to speak out his/her own conscience, in the Western World. Although no one can confirm these words categorically (that this is the first declaration of an expression of an individual's right to express his/her mind against the prevailing authority), but if we judge the aftermath of the event, however, we can verify that Martin Luther (Nov 10 1483-Feb 18 1546) might be responsible for initiating the freedom of self expression that we take for granted today. 

Luther, an Augustinian monk, nailed his petition of Ninety-Five Theses on the door at the Cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, October 31, 1517. He was condemning the abuses he saw in the Catholic Church which, among other things, was selling indulgences, promising poor, trusting peasants forgiveness for their sins. The Church was using the monies collected to build St. Peter's Cathedral.  Luther's position, after extensive Biblical studies, was that there was no place in Scripture where it was said that the faithful had to perform any deed, or buy any piece of paper to gain forgiveness. God's grace and a person's faith was all that was needed. 

Luther was a scholar.  He began his career as a lawyer at the University of Erfurt at age 19 in 1501, as his father wished. Those years he studied hard but was increasingly dissatisfied and tormented. On July 2nd 1505, while riding back to the University Luther encountered a terrifying thunderstorm.  With lightening striking all around him and fearing for his life, he cried out in prayer, "If you save me Lord, I will become a monk".  Having been saved, upon returning to the University, he quit law school and on July 17th entered the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt.

Ordained in 1507, Luther received a BA in Biblical Studies in 1508, and another degree in 1509.  He taught theology and was awarded a Doctorate of Theology on October 19th in 1512. That same year he became Chair of the Theology department at the University of Wittenberg, where he remained for the rest of his career.

His lectures and sermons in those years 1510-1520 were all directed toward the idea that faith and God's grace alone can save one from hell and damnation. Of course this position was counter not only to the Catholic Church of Rome (where he visited and was horrified by the debauchery he saw in Rome) but the Holy Roman Emperor.

In order to defend his theses, Luther had to appear for 3 days before a papal legate in October 1518,  where he was questioned about his beliefs, with the hope that he would recant his words, but where he questioned the pope's right to issue indulgences.  The Pope issued a bull of excommunication in June 1520, which Luther tossed into a fire, December 10, 1520 and thus was formally excommunicated on Jan 3 1521. 

Then he had to appear before delegates from the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Worms (local civil governing body) April 18th 1521, where he declared: 

“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me.


Martin Luther is one of those notable figures, like Alexander Hamilton, who has come back to life. Hamilton came back to life with Lin Manuel Miranda's phenomenal Broadway musical of the same name.  To a somewhat lesser extent Martin Luther has come back to life after over 500 years, with the PBS broadcast of Martin Luther "The Idea That Changed the World", first airing Tuesday September 12th.  On viewing this show I was immediately struck by the enormity of his contributions to human history then and certainly now.

The PBS special gave Luther credit for: the proliferation of schools and universities in Germany, making a point that this proliferation was far greater than in other Continental countries; stressing the importance of teaching children of both sexes; translating the Bible into German from Latin so everyone could read scripture (this was done during his enforced captivity as there was a bounty on his head); unifying the German language for the first time; awakening people to the concept that, according to scripture (which he made sure everyone could read by translating the Bible into German from Latin) your conscience was your guide in spiritual matters (this of course had unintended consequences as the peasants often interpreted scripture in ways that made Luther’s hair stand on edge);  that believers did not have to perform certain works (purchase indulgences, go on pilgrimages) to achieve salvation; only faith in Christ and the power of His forgiveness was important for salvation. (Of course, the church’s position was that it was only through the institution that salvation was achieved.)

Further, according to the producers, Luther was a "first media star," as he could take advantage of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press (1439) to promote his new idea. Two weeks after he posted his "Ninety-five Theses", railing against the church's selling of indulgences copies were all over Germany and within two months copies were all over Europe. There are 130 volumes of his works, books and pamphlets, and true to his unique understanding of the importance of the printing press, he carefully made sure each one was aesthetically pleasing in look and feel.

After he was excommunicated by the Pope, Luther married and had many children. He loved being a family man and was devoted to the care of his wife (a former nun whom Luther helped to escape from the nunnery) and children. Not only was he on the Pope’s wrong side, but he was considered an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor, who issued a degree that there would be no consequences for anyone who took upon himself the task of sending him to his grave. Hence his forced captivity after his statement at the Diet of Worms, but which afforded him the time to do all his translation work.

After his excommunication Luther declared that celibacy was not crucial to becoming a priest, as it was not mandated in Scripture.  He felt celibacy was a "gift" but not for every monk or priest. This was in the era of primogeniture when second and third sons had to have a career as the whole of a family’s estate went to the eldest son. Clergy often lived with concubines and or wives even when the Vatican’s policy was to mandate celibacy. He denounced the notion that popes and monks and priests were “holier” than the rest of humanity (whom he thought quite sinful).

Luther had a much more enlightened view of the role of women, than did most men of his time, in evidence, deeding his farm to his wife, which was illegal at the time.  (After Luther died, the farm was razed by the Holy Roman Emperor in retaliation-never daring to do that in Luther’s lifetime for fear of a peasant revolt with whom Luther was immensely popular.)

Luther’s influence was enormous.  He oversaw 11 monasteries, which he visited regularly, heard hundreds of confessions from monks and laymen, and altered the liturgical service to include more music. Luther was also a prolific hymnodist, that is he wrote many hymns and psalms, including “A Mighty Fortress is our God”, probably his best-known hymn. He encouraged no less than J.S. Bach to compose.

He wrote a German Mass in 1526, which was widely used throughout Germany, so all the parishioners could understand the words. Under Luther’s influence, too, sermons took on a greater role in the service as a teaching tool. Luther wrote a catechism in 1529 -a manual for pastors and teachers as well as a smaller catechism for children which became a model for clear religious teaching. After finishing the translation of the Old Testament into German in 1534, we had  'The Luther Bible". 

There is another side to Martin Luther. In later years Luther wrote against the Jews.  He had a messianic attitude towards Jesus as Savior and had a very hard time withstanding the denunciations of Jesus by the Jews who could not reconcile what they saw in the historical Jesus with the scriptures descriptions of the kind of king to expect. Luther has often been be scourged for this position as Hitler used his writings in his propaganda in the 1930’s.  However, let us not forget, that Martin Luther King Jr. changed his name in honor of the ex-monk.

There is a new biography of Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas, published by Viking which has just popped up on the New York Times best-seller list, should you wish to read more about his life and struggles.  He is truly a man for all seasons, including our own.

Working Through the Unimaginable

"Coming down to earth", "tackling the truth" and "seeing a situation for what it is and not what we wanted it to be", are some of the phrases Bernadette Brady uses in her book, "The Eagle and The Lark" to characterize the meaning of the Solar Eclipse that occurred September 1st. These phrases perfectly describe the election week surprise. 


There are no more potent celestial markers for life changing moments than eclipses. The crossing of the Moon, Sun and Earth's paths in a Solar Eclipse has a powerful effect that resonates through time; not unlike throwing a stone across a body of water and watching it ripple. The repercussions of the meaning of an eclipse continue on. Tuesday the 29th with the New Moon (not an eclipse as only the Sun and Moon are connected) and for the rest of this month we have the opportunity to come to terms with the sudden awakening to a new reality, both in our personal and collective lives. This is true for everybody; even President-elect Trump.

There is always more than one celestial event that synchronizes with such an unpredictable turn of events here on the terrestrial plane; that is to say they occur at the same time. If the eclipse in September, has the veil over our eyes being lifted-it would suggest that we have been seeing through rose-colored glasses. 

The planets Neptune (deception) and Saturn (accountability) have been dancing together all year.  It has been hard to discern fact (Saturn) from fiction (Neptune). What is real?  A fog over our eyes, without knowing there is one, makes it difficult to know who or what to believe. With these two planets distancing themselves from each other, the blindfold is coming off; we have an opportunity to see with new eyes; to see more clearly. We are now aware, for instance, that "fake news" was floating around.

This new awareness will be true both in our collective lives and in our personal one. An astrological interpretation of events can be used as a guidepost to what could/should be happening in our lives. My guess is that there is something in your personal life that has gone through a shift in the past 3 months. The time is right to see through those new pair of glasses; to let go of any outdated picture of reality and see your life and our life together from a different perspective.

The gradual movement of the Moon in her orbit coming closer to earth leading up to the Super Moon, the Full Moon on the 14th of November, would be another contender for a contribution to the perfect storm of influences that converged in this upsetting and surprising Trump victory. Super Moons have an effect on us, as our bodies are 90% water, effect the tides and the Teutonic plates in the earth. Emotions, too, run high-not a time for a reasoned decision. We act on impulse-not consciously understood. Shifts happen. The last year that the Moon was this close to the earth was 1948-the year that Truman beat Dewey-another upsetting victory.

Maybe this is one reason so many people get it so wrong?  From astrologers, (one astrologer's method to predict presidential elections has worked since 1868, but failed this year) to mass media, to newspaper projections (only 3 papers in the country endorsed Trump including the KKK's), to Las Vegas book makers, to social media to pollsters and pundits (by some accounts to Trump himself); the whole world was shocked. It felt like suddenly being caught stark naked in the middle of Main Street, and not knowing what to do or where to go.

Studying the cycles of the planets, or using astrology, can make a contribution towards a new perspective. Astrologers are good at playing "connect the dots"; the planets are the dots. When a big event occurs, we look to see where the planets are as it is happening and if/where they are repeating a pattern from the past and in the future. 

Mars changed signs and went into 0 degrees of Aquarius in the middle of the night as Trump was gaining the upper hand. Zero degrees of Aquarius is extremely significant as it is the degree of the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction December 21, 2020. This date marks the beginning of next major cultural, economic, social and  political epoch, as recorded by these Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions. It will be a watershed moment. We are at the end of a 20 year cycle that began May 28, 2000, the month that the tech bubble burst, and faith in any sustained material security collapsed.

These Grand Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, having been in earth signs since 1802, the beginning of the Industrial Age, are now moving into air signs (Aquarius 0 degrees). We are moving from wealth creation, land settlements, territorial disputes and value being concentrated in material form, into the air signs. Here our value will be centered in technological development, social progress, intellectual development and new concepts coming into human consciousness (there was a taste of the air modality in 1980-1). The last time these every 200 year Grand Conjunctions occurred in air signs was 1186, then from 1226 to 1345 and in 1405. Looking back to see the list of human achievement across the globe then will give us clues as to what the next 200 years will be like.  

So Trump's presidency is not a beginning, it is the beginning of the end. The urgency to redistribute wealth (Aquarius) has reached such a crisis, that the voters in the mid-west, who have not benefited from the technological expansion the east and west coast citizens have, had the courage to vote for such an outwardly repugnant person to be President. We are in no less a shifting pattern than we were when we went into the Industrial Age, when we moved from being an agrarian nation to being a manufacturing one. There was much civic turmoil then too. 

The American people are represented by the Moon in the natal chart for the USA, which is in Aquarius; the sign of the reformer, the maverick, the outsider, the rebel (Obama is one). Trump who owed nothing to the establishment is such a person. The American people see him and they him; his unorthodox approach, unscripted rallies, his lack of political backing are appealing to all of us. (The Super Moon probably influenced enough of us to make a difference too).  In order for us to live according to our founding values, we have to become more of a just society. The concentration of wealth has to be re assigned, more tolerance has to be in evidence.

The mid-westerners voted for change- they saw clearly that if the system has to be fixed that it is best to find a leader who is not of the system. Trump with Uranus the planet of the maverick, reformer and rebel conjunct his Sun, neither Republican nor Democratic is the one to do it, contrary though it may seem to be. His election is necessary for us to wake up to our founding fathers ideals and the US's spiritual destiny, as the election result occurred with Mars moving into 0 degrees Aquarius, thus foreshadowing the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction.  

There are no more leaders; each of us has to follow our own inner daemon. We are in the Aquarian Age-or the dawning of it anyway.  Aquarius is about equality, about being able to relate to all kinds of people, the brotherhood of man, social justice, tolerance, where everyone does his/her part and all contribute their uniqueness equally. Lincoln was an Aquarian he asked all the men who ran against him to join his cabinet.  He wanted to hear their point of view on matters. If we have a whole block of the US not joining the party-that will not work.  Those people "fed up" with the establishment let us know it this election cycle. They want a seat at the table.  And we have to make room for them.

Meanwhile working through the unimaginable with 59 million other people seems quite comforting.

If Not Trump, What?

We’ll probably need a new national story. Up until now, America’s story has been some version of the rags-to-riches story, the lone individual who rises from the bottom through pluck and work. But that story isn’t working for people anymore, especially for people who think the system is rigged. I don’t know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive. 

Maybe it will be a story about communities that heal those who suffer from addiction, broken homes, trauma, prison and loss, a story of those who triumph over the isolation, social instability and dislocation so common today.

David Brooks wrote these words on the op ed page of the New York Times April 29th, 2016. I only guess that no one has told David Brooks that the US is having an identity crisis. It happens to anyone with Pluto (the Transformer) passing opposite your Sun (your Identity). We are also having a crisis (Pluto) in faith and trust (Jupiter) as transiting Pluto is opposite a retrograde progressed Jupiter- which Trump has strangely tuned into. In many ways Trump signifies an opponent who is making us confront ourselves as to our identity, to force us to decide who we are as a nation. Is it only the 1% who get the goods? This identity crisis (Pluto always involves a crisis) has been true these last few years in the 5:10 PM July 4th 1776 set in Philadelphia. (By the way, has anyone told Trump that "Making America Great Again" will be impossible as long has the USA has 5 planets in apparent retrograde motion? It is time to withdraw, reflect, refine our vision, refocus, reevaluate our past actions as to what has been achieved and realign present and future actions to clearly defined intentions.  We have to ask ourselves who we are as a nation and what are we creating?

This is an identity crisis. Each moment in time is unique and unlike any other. Why does a successful restaurant or corporation fail, after closing, reorganizing and reopening a second time? It has a new and  different birth moment. In order to get a picture of what the USA is going through we can also use another interesting moment in time-that is Washington's First Inauguration on the steps of Federal Hall on Broadway and Wall, NYC, on April 30, 1789 precisely at noon. (David R. Roell, that prolific bookseller, writer and fascinating astrologer, who passed away suddenly in the summer of 2014, was a proponent of this chart to help explain some of America's idiosyncrasies). Can this birth moment help us explain some of this identity crisis we are going through; and help us to arrive at a new story, as Brooks suggests we need?

The rising sign for this chart is Leo the lion, the sign of kings, dignitaries, heroes and the courageous; the planet of the Reformer and the Maverick and the Awakener, Uranus is also in the first house, further defining how we engage with the world.. Considering we were born by revolting (Uranus) from the king (Leo) and mother country this seems apt. It also suggests an inherent individualistic or independent streak running through this country-the mentality that we can do it alone and do not need anybody.  Which is just what Brooks is saying we need to reorient away from.

(A good example of our inherent  sudden reforming ability is in the election of Obama as President. The planet Venus (values and what we are attracted to)) entered the sign of Aquarius (brotherhood and community) and came opposite that Maverick Uranus, eight years ago. Our ability to elect an outsider, a black man, showed the world, (not unlike Washington's ragged Continental Army defeating the British, the greatest fighting force in the world),  that the USA is quite capable of suddenly upsetting the status quo and "turning the world upside down". 

Another very strong and noticeable planet is situated across the horizon from rising sign Leo; Pluto in Aquarius in the 7th house of partners and open enemies. Pluto becomes the lens through which we see our enemies, it describes them. Pluto is the planet of revenge, power struggles, and what is hidden in the underworld. As Uranus symbolizes us as being revolutionaries,  Pluto indicates that we see our open enemies (enemies that we can see-our secret enemies are seen in another part of the chart) as dark, powerful and out to do us harm. We would also tend to project onto anyone who asserts them self against us, as all the unconscious and repressed evil in the world, and that we bear no responsibility for the situation. It is all THEM!!!

This placement and Pluto's meaning would indicate that our partners or open enemies are emissaries of the underground; they force us to confront unconscious compulsions that are lurking beneath the surface. A good example here (as well as the Trump candidacy mentioned above) is of course the 9/11 attacks-we just made them the enemy without reflecting on what part we played in getting the pilots so crazed as to fly jets into 2 skyscrapers.)

So what of this new story and our ability to become less individualistic and more redemptive, as Brooks suggests? We need to look at the placement of planets Jupiter and the Moon is Cancer lurking behind the scenes in our 12th house of secret enemies.  Here is our secret undoing-the issues and people that can cause us the greatest anguish and suffering. These two planets are very caring and nourishing by nature, but their placement in this position in the Washington First Inaugural birth moment indicates that our caring and nurturing and mothering qualities (Cancer), we as a nation, have repressed or hidden from view.

This is further emphasized by the planet Mars which is very strong in its own sign, highly placed in a day chart and acts much too aggressively as a result. This Mars forms a square (friction, tension, stress) to those beautiful Cancer planets.  We angrily fight (Mars) this innate covert characteristic of our identity-to have empathy, compassion and sensitivity (Cancer) to the unseen suffering. . We want to keep our potential to be redemptive-to heal the sick, addicted and those suffering from trauma or broken homes or those in prison. We are fighting to keep these victimized or violated  people quietly ignored. (Slavery?)

But that will not be forever as planets Pluto, the Transformer and Uranus, the Awakener, are on the Moon (our feelings) in this chart and coming soon to Jupiter (help and aid and redemption). These are the same two planets that oppose one another in the birth moment as discussed above..So the USA will always be sensitive to the connections they make in the sky. and They have been making 7 connections to each other since 2010. 

We have seen evidence of these transformations recently as President Obama visited a federal prison, the the first sitting president to do so; and with the talk of attempts to change drug laws and deal differently with our huge incarcerated population.  Other evidence is both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders campaigns to equalize the off balanced scale of have and have nots.  They talk of reallocating  the excessive amounts of money used on the military (after all we have not been physically attacked on the Continental USA in 200 years) to healing suffering human beings, tackle issues in the environment and educating and inspiring the young disadvantaged. 

A new story is slowly being written thanks to the current planetary activity which is striking notes to the planetary placements in our birth moment that help us see how much farther this "unfinished sympathy has to go. Chaos, where we are now, is a stage of the evolutionary process and comes before order and stability prevail. Faith in the innate ability of these Unites States to radically reform and correct itself is warranted, even when things "seem" so scary.

Standstill Week

Late last August (30th) in the New York Times magazine, there was a "First Words" piece with the title "Standstill". In it the author, Sam Anderson, explores the two ancient Greek concepts of time; Chronos which is" the vast, inhuman, infinite stretch of time" (in other words the years, months, hours, etc.); and Kairos which is defined as a decisive moment- where "magic" happens and some event becomes charged with meaning. Kairos is god's time as it transcends Chronos with its calendars. This Kairos time event suddenly changes the whole picture; and is often remembered complete with emotional component many years later.   

Anderson goes on and helps us understand that we live with both concepts of time, but we crave and are addicted to Kairos-those magic moments when something happens which is so potent and so charged that we sense and can make sense out of the ordinary and humdrum. Living in perplexing times such as we do, these peak moments when Kairos intervenes helps us to make sense of at least a moment-if  understanding the whole era seems to daunting.

Standstill is defined in Websters as "a state in which all activity and motion is stopped".  Anderson wrote about learning to discern the "moments" whether it be in a political campaign, in an acceptance speech, a blunder on TV or in social media, where someone is "having a moment".  But who gets to decide whether this moment or that one has the Kairos quality of everything being at stake?  When does a significant moment (Kairos) just dissipate into Chronos time that grinding, monotonous, unglamorous time? Interesting questions without answers.

As astrologers or planetary cycles scientists we understand time (Chronos) by watching the planets cycling around the Sun.  Some planet orbits around the Sun are inside the Earth's and some are outside. Mercury orbits inside the Earth's and Mars orbits outside ours.  This week and for the next few weeks and months these two planets are doing a dance as observed from Earth which gives rise to the title of this blog and the New York Times article.

Mars the reddish planet began its retrograde pattern on the 17th, when from earth's perspective he came to a standstill, staying in one degree of the zodiac for the entire month. Usually Mars takes 3 weeks to go 15 degrees; in this part of the cycle it will take him 8 1/2 months to travel those same 15 degrees, appearing to go back and forth over the same area 3 times. That in itself is really all you need to know.  You may make decisions and plans on how to navigate and manifest your vision, only to have to change your direction, not once or twice but perhaps 3 times.  So advice--GO SLOWLY. 


Mars will appear in the east at sundown on the 22nd of May, rising as the Sun sets.  This is the 1/2 way mark. He is as bright in the sky as he gets and is at his closest pass to the Earth. (Please do not think Mars will look anything like a Full Moon). Around this time Mars slips back into Scorpio and we must get a handle on the true motives and passions that are driving us.  It might be gut wrenching work; some dirt and old baggage wants to come out and be exposed to the light. Scorpio demands intensity. You may find yourself going backwards, or returning to some work you have done before, or to someone you been with before.  It does not necessarily mean that that situation will continue on into the future.  It is not all unlikely that at the end of this Mars retrograde cycle June 28th-but final closing August 22nd when new territory is reached- that you will completely change your direction, goals and visions for the future.

At the same time Mercury is also at a standstill this week starting his retrograde cycle on Thursday the 28th.  He will take a long time to go 10 degrees, going back and forth over the same area of Taurus and moving more slowly that usual.  Taurus has to do with what has value to us-what we are worth what anything is worth to us, capital costs, hidden costs, and secret matters around money and property,or artistic valuations. Expect these issues to come forth in your world and the world around you.

One more thing of great interest is that the Mercury station (standstill) at 23 Taurus this week is opposite the Mars station (standstill) on June 28th at 23 Scorpio.  That means that what is occurring this week (especially as regards finances) is and will be connecting again at the end of June. Whether you use your own resources or someone else's be sure you read the small print and have the whole picture.  Mercury can be a trickster especially in his retrograde phase, which lasts until May 22nd again.

Lastly, through this whole period of Mercury and Mars standstill and retrograde, when the planets themselves are behaving differently than the normal (both in direction and speed,) you might be more sensitive to experiencing those out of the normal personal Kairos moments, when the magic happens and the beauty of life is undeniable. 

Week of Wednesday the 22nd of October -Tuesday the 28th of October

The format of these blogs will be changing to a review of the most prominent weekly planetary activity with some current events synchronicity.

Please read your rising sign as well if you know it. 


ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 22) – This is a big week. New Moon Solar Eclipse tomorrow at 5:57 PM EDT on the cusp of your 8th house of joint finances, wills, inheritances, taxes, monies from other people. Expect to begin to have to deal with any undisclosed, possibly acrimonious financial affairs.  When Mercury goes forward at 2:10 PM Saturday, the right person to talk to appears. Then Mars your ruler moves into Capricorn Sunday just before dawn, where it and you are in the best shape possible. No more exasperation but determination to work through the issues one at a time.

TAURUS (Apr 22- May 21) – Solar Eclipse New Moon tomorrow in Scorpio will affect you through your partners. Expect to see some movement in your partnership affairs, including negotiations and /or reconciliations, in the next days, months and years of your life, as eclipses ripple through time. Venus your ruler enters Scorpio at the same time making the desire for more of an intense interpersonal experience (even secretive and sexual) stronger. For the record Mercury apparently goes direct on Saturday afternoon so your renewed healthy habits or daily regime program will begin to pay off.  Expect a blissful afternoon on Monday. 

GEMINI (May 21-Jun 21) – We have the Solar Eclipse New Moon igniting the 6th house of your chart at 5:57 PM tomorrow. This will bring with it the resurrecting of a dietary/healthy regime maybe long forgotten; or action towards inaugurating a new way to be of service. The month of the year when the Sun is going through the 6th is not really about having fun but rather about doing your duty, which in its own way can be fun. It is preparation time for a more public role so use the time to improve your daily efficiency. Good news too is that Mercury will apparently move forward again at 3:19 PM on Saturday.  You might feel stuck this week though, before that happens, as the times of Mercury’s turn around accompany a feeling of stalling; like I cannot get anything going; but anticipation of movement forward is being felt.

CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22) – You are always mindful of who you ought to be caring for; and might be called upon to extend your arms to those others than family or your own group. The Solar Eclipse New Moon in Scorpio tomorrow begins new energy in regards your children or a lover or a creative project. Scorpio is the sign of passion, secrets, life's biggest transformations and intense desire. You can feel that about your children or lover; best to use it on your own secret artistic project or creative outlet. There might be a young person at home that you need to connect with and talk to. It has been on your mind.

LEO (Jul 22-Aug 20) – As long as you are truly being magnanimous you are living up to the inherent greatness of your sign. This week’s Solar Eclipse New Moon accentuates your home or domestic life and how you feel about yourself. This New Moon is in Scorpio, the sign that gives us the strongest manifestation of purpose. You are called to switchover any ostentation for a completely open and loving heart. Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th feel the bliss and your dreamy, spiritual and selfless side.

VIRGO (Aug 20-Sep 21) – The mind is a terrible thing to waste as they say.  Your striving for perfection necessitates that you rearrange your thinking at this Solar Eclipse New Moon tomorrow in Scorpio, the sign of intense desire. In order to achieve your purpose, you must be so clear headed that your mental focus can cut into the heart of the matter.Your ruler moves forward on Saturday afternoon and so begins the slow slog to return to normal speed after a trip to Hades and the underground. Delight in coming to what is fair concerning your possessions or money.

LIBRA (Sep 21-Oct 19) – Acutely aware of what is right regarding rights and responsibilities in mutual relationships, you are being asked to deeply desire your own sense of self esteem and self worth at this Solar Eclipse New Moon tomorrow. Solar Eclipses are more significant and longer lasting new beginnings than regular New Moons. The universe wants us to get something quickly and alters our outward life in order for us to see the urgency. Your ruler Venus moves into Scorpio tomorrow afternoon too, awakening those innermost desires regarding how you want to earn a living, which needs to support your own self reliance and therefore self worth.

SCORPIO (Oct 19-Nov 21) – You certainly must be feeling exhausted after such a long journey these past few years with Saturn in your sign, then the  long passage of Mars in your 12th house of secrets and sufferings; followed by the long transit of Mercury through the same place.  This influence will finally leave November 9th when you can begin to talk about all the secrets and sufferings and releases you have been experiencing.  Saturn is beginning its descent into the next sign and you will experience a very deep sigh of relief on Christmas when he moves in Sagittarius.  Tomorrow there is a Solar Eclipse New Moon in Scorpio, with Venus. You can be feeling that the past trials through the years have brought you a deeper understanding of yourself and what an intense person you are; coupled with a profound sense that there is Divine Order not to be supplanted. If you are suddenly invited to socialize this weekend go and enjoy it.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 21-Dec 21) - You might have made a new friend or have been thinking about it, or they about you. With Mercury moving forward on Saturday you both can be feeling the pull to move forward at the same time. The Solar Eclipse New Moon in Scorpio tomorrow is in your house of secrets emboldening that very private area of your chart.  Perhaps exhausted from all the aspiring and traveling recently, there might still be time for one more retreat or therapy session before the next push towards higher fulfillment that you desire, begins.

CAPRICORN (Dec 21-Jan 20) –The Solar Eclipse New Moon in Scorpio tomorrow in your house of friendships, goals, organizations –the most social area of the birth chart.  Expect to be surprised with a raise, or recognition that a long sort for goal or entrance into a club is within reach. Mars enters your sign on Sunday early morning and with Mercury’s apparent forward motion on Saturday and your ruler Saturn finally entering new ground the sails are set.  Get ready for a big shift at Christmas.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 19) – Your sense of the value of community over that of an individual is strong. In a funny way though this can lead to a diminishing of the power and uniqueness you see in each person you meet.  Aquarius is a fixed sign and can get stuck. The New Moon Solar Eclipse tomorrow in Scorpio asks you to desire to be seen as someone who is intensely passionate about transforming her outdated belief system so as not only to be content with just participation in the group, but through self discipline and inner reflection be open to fresh thinking. Mars entering your12th house of “that which holds you back” on Sunday and will highlight any inner work that needs to be done. You have until December 5th.

PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 21) –If everything might be taking longer than you’d like, you might blame Mercury, who in its apparent retrograde motion moves more slowly. Mercury goes direct Saturday afternoon and may mean that those persons, with whom you have been working, have finally gotten their financial act together and you can proceed. The Solar Eclipse New Moon in Scorpio tomorrow in your 9th house of travel, further education, courts, philosophy or meaning of life is asking you to focus on taking responsibility for your thinking and belief system as that determines what happens to you in your outer life; the consequences of our thoughts and actions cannot be avoided.