The USA was born of rebellion and to this day, protesting is in our blood. Somebody’s always fighting about something somewhere – we’re a pugilistic society. In the nation’s birth chart, we see this signaled by our Moon (one’s emotional nature and what one feeds on or hungers for) in the sign Aquarius. (While the Moon is important in any chart, it’s especially so when the Sun sign is Cancer, ruled by the Moon. Born in early July, the USA has the Sun in Cancer.) Aquarius is the sign ruled by Uranus, the planet of the common man, and is the sign positioned opposite Leo, the royal sign. We united in opposition to the crown and declared all men to be equal, as the most egalitarian sign, Aquarius, would be prone to do! Uranus, said to rule revolution, was discovered in 1781, about midway between the revolutions in America (beginning in 1774) and in France (1789). Some charts for the USA (including the one I usually use) are based on an early morning time when Uranus was rising at the eastern horizon, which is a key position in any chart and indicates what is being manifested. I think this fits well with our national character, but since there is not a definitive, agreed-upon time for the USA’s birth, I will restrict this analysis to apply to July 4, 1776 in general, no matter what time.
A key planet related to fighting is, of course, Mars, named for the god of war. At our inception, it was in Gemini, a sign of communication. “Them’s fighting words,” old Westerns used to say, although sometimes we battle with more than our tongues. Gemini is also a sign of siblings and neighbors. In some instances during our Civil War, brother fought against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Gemini’s ruling planet, Mercury, is named for the messenger of the gods, who also carried a moneybag. Astrology associates Mercury with commerce. In America, business has long been a bone of contention. In fact, our first act of war was heaving the Brits’ tea into Boston harbor. Mars is situated in he USA chart about halfway between Uranus and Venus at their “midpoint” (which blends their influences). Venus shows what one loves; we love to rebel and we do so with our words and wits (Mars in Gemini). Mars also rules weapons and there certainly are a lot of gun-loving activists in this nation where there are more guns than people.
The Sun in a country’s chart represents its leader, even if not a king; there’s a regal or high-ranking implication (the Sun rules Leo). At the USA’s birth, the Sun was in a 90-degree angle (indicating extreme friction) relative to Saturn, the planet of rules and the law. Saturn was in Libra, the sign of equality and justice. Our tenant is no one is above the law, not even our President. This Sun-Saturn abrasion also represents limitations (think of Saturn’s rings) that affect our leader or even our nation as a whole (the Sun in a chart indicates identity one’s very being).
The USA is blessed to have the two planets most favored by ancient astrologers, Venus and Jupiter, paired only 5 degrees apart at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Big and bright and the easiest of the planets to spot in the night sky, they were dubbed “benefics” (good do-ers), and indeed their combination often yields positive results. They herald the bounty and riches of our nation. Our “bread basket,” love of country and “family values” are consistent with the sign Cancer, where Venus and Jupiter joined. The iconic American Dream is to achieve abundance, usually thought to include home ownership (Cancer rules real estate).
Three Presidents of the modern era were all born relatively near a solar eclipse in the summer of 1946 at 6°49’ Cancer, only a degree away from Jupiter’s position at the USA’s birth. This solar eclipse was 7 degrees from George W. Bush’s Sun, 2 degrees from Donald Trump’s Mercury, and less than a degree from Bill Clinton’s Midheaven (the important top point of a chart, indicating career and status). All three men present Jupiter’s qualities of hope, humor and homespun philosophy, which America found appealing enough to put them in the White House.
However, also in the summer of 1946, Chiron, an asteroid nicknamed “the Wounded Healer,” was traveling in Libra, teamed up with big Jupiter, which magnifies all that it contacts. Both Jupiter and Chiron came to the USA’s Saturn degree, 90° from the USA’s Sun. This can be interpreted as each of these men, born with their natal Jupiter and Chiron activating the USA’s Saturn-Sun abrasion, present the potential for big harm to the respect (Saturn) of the country’s highest position (Sun). Of these three Presidents, Trump’s Chiron is closest to the USA’s Saturn and thus the injury he can do may exceed the wounds of the other two. Thus far, we have seen Clinton nearly thrown out of office over a lie and Bush taking us into the prolonged and basically unwinnable Iraq war based on a lie (that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which were never found). Will a lie, or perhaps his many lies, also be the undoing of Trump? Time will tell. And the time may be upon us before long. To add a little spice to this stew, consider that Vladimir Putin’s Sun is in Libra only a degree from the USA Saturn and exactly 90 degrees from the USA Sun. He is not a friend to America and he may well play a role in the unfolding drama.
The USA’s 2017 Birthday
Birthday influences affect not only the anniversary of a nation’s (or a person’s) birth; they are indications for the nature of the times and have an impact from before the birthday (perhaps as much as three months earlier) up to a year afterward (or at least nine months). Since ancient times, the birthday chart has been a key forecasting tool.
The Moon at USA birthday is in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and evolution, a water sign signifying deep emotions. The Moon is a primary indicator of the people, and as our country’s Sun-sign ruler, it definitely signifies the entire nation. We are shifting and our feelings are an important part of the process. Women, also related to the Moon, will play a vital role in the coming changes.
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, which in addition to the associations it shares with this sign, also relates to destruction, elimination and letting go. On Independence Day, two important connections involve Pluto. The current positions of Mars and Pluto are opposite one another (a relationship of conflict) in an explosive signal for angry extremes or damaging combative confrontations. (This brings to mind the shooting at the Republican Congressmen’s baseball practice on June 14, when Mars was at the degree of the USA Jupiter. In addition to other associations listed above, Jupiter is also related to beliefs, politics and legislation/legislators. Such a combination represents an aggressive expression of political beliefs and violence against lawmakers.) The other Pluto connection involves the USA’s natal Pluto, which is in the last degrees of Capricorn. At our 2017 birthday, Mercury is near the end of Cancer, opposite our natal Pluto, indicating powerful words, transformative talk and even harmful tirades. Pluto also has a financial associations and rules insurance and taxes, among other things. Big issues up for discussion around now are health insurance reforms and soon will come talk about taxes and budgets, with plenty of disagreements from opposing viewpoints. Adding fuel to this fire is rowdy Uranus, currently at 90 degrees to our natal Pluto as well as the birthday Mercury in a volatile relationship called a T-square. Uranus has been in Aries since 2011 and is nearing the end of its roughly seven-year visit. As the ruler of technology, Uranus in antagonistic Aries is an appropriate harbinger of cyber warfare, and we see what’s been happening in that regard.
Jupiter has been in Libra since last summer and at our birthday is very close to the degree of the USA’s Saturn and Trump’s Chiron (both 90 degrees from the USA Sun). Jupiter closes in on that degree about a week later, around July 12 (the exact date depends on the unknown USA birth time but it’s within a day or two at the most, of the 12th). Jupiter is famous for bringing things out into the open. Jupiter is also associated with all forms of the media, which Trump is trying to brand as an enemy, not a surprising development when you think of Jupiter currently chafing the USA’s natal Sun-Saturn friction. Keep your eyes on Putin’s and Trump’s first face-to-face meeting as world leaders on July 7 or 8 (details to be determined) at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, midway between our July 4 birthday and the July 12-ish Jupiter visit. Whatever these two do or do not discuss may not seem tremendously significant at the time, but I suspect it will set some wheels in motion that will turn out to be very important. It probably won’t be a love-fest since Venus is in a rough relationship with Jupiter at the USA’s 2017 birthday. Although these two had a good relationship at the nation’s birth, the current connection isn’t likely to deliver the wished-for goodies since it activates the difficult link between the natal and birthday Sun with natal Saturn. Venus is the planet of values. Russia’s clash with America’s, but whose will Trump tout? So far, he hasn’t criticized Russia or Putin on any issues. But an altercation may be in the offing. Mercury and Mars are close together at our birthday (roughly 6-7 degrees apart), echoing the USA natal Mars in Mercury-ruled Gemini. Lots of heated discussions are in store, as is our wont. We love our fightin’ words, which is where we started this discussion. And oh, by the way, Trump’s Sun is at the degree of the USA Mars. He exemplifies our pugilistic nature and rather than making American great again, it seems more like he’s at war with the nation he’s been elected to lead. He may ignore being called to task by Americans, but no one can escape the just desserts of Saturn, known as the Lord of Karma, renowned for indicating chickens coming home to roost. At this foreboding birthday (and for months before and after), Saturn opposes the USA’s natal Mars and Trump’s natal Sun. Watch to see when his verbal attacks have consequences. Saturn takes its time but always does its work.
For more about the astrological influences at work in July, the USA’s birthday, Trump and the eclipses coming in August, watch the July episode of my LOOKING UP cable show entitled “Red Sky in the Morning” (as in the weather prediction to “take warning”).
[Read more about the 4/26/17 New Moon in the AstrologyBooth newsletter, a free email (via Constant Contact) which goes to a list separate from followers of this blog. They include a sign-up line at the bottom. HERE is the latest one, posted on the AstrologyBooth Facebook page, which you can also follow.]
The time between one New Moon and the next is approximately one month. (In fact, the word “month” derives from measuring a Moon cycle.) During this time, the Moon moves through the range of degrees (about 29-1/2) between the two New Moon zodiac positions twice, once in the first 2-1/2 days of the cycle and again in the final 2-1/2 days of the cycle as it approaches the Sun. Meanwhile, the Sun advances a degree a day through the range of zodiac degrees between the two New Moon locations. Thus there are three times that connections are made to other planets from the traversed degree range, twice by the Moon and once in between by the Sun. This gives us the opportunity to link actions at these three moments for reinforcement or progress related to what the affected planets represent.
I noticed this phenomenon years ago and I’ve lectured on it several times. I call it Sol-lunar Threepeats, borrowing the term from sports for teams or players who win three tournaments in succession; they don’t merely repeat, they “threepeat.” I’ve also used the nickname “Moon loops” because the Moon loops around the whole zodiac, passing the position of one New Moon and continuing nearly another sign further to catch the Sun and form the next New Moon.
If you know some astrology, check your chart for what might be positioned between 6°27’ Taurus, where the New Moon on April 26 occurs, and 4°47’ Gemini, the location of the next New Moon on May 25. There will be three stimulations of everything in that degree range over the next month. Whatever your affected natal planet(s) represent(s) as well as matters of the house(s) ruled in your chart are targets for developments. Likewise, other parts of your chart may be contacted from the pertinent degree range. For example, if you have something between 6°27’ Scorpio and 4°47’ Sagittarius, it will be opposed by the Moon twice and the Sun once.
It’s also possible to use the “aspects” (connections) the Moon and Sun make to other planets in motion (“transits”) as discussed below. These times and recommendations apply to anyone and everyone, no matter what is in one’s individual chart. I mention the degrees involved because you may find that they hit something in your chart.
New Moon at 6°27 Taurus on Wednesday, April 26 (5:16 am PDT, 8:16 am EDT)
next New Moon at 4°47’ Gemini on Thursday, May 25 (12:44 pm PDT, 3:44 pm EDT)
As the new lunar cycle commences, Venus is almost at zero degrees of Aries, the zodiac’s beginning point and most powerful degree. However, it is actually at the difficult final zodiac degree, 29 Pisces. This could bring financial or relationship challenges with karmic consequences. Be careful when the Moon is semisquare Venus on Wed. 4/26 at 5:51 pm PDT, 8:51 pm EDT. The Moon will be at 14°21’ Taurus and Venus will be at 29°21’ Pisces. The border between Pisces and Aries has a wide-ranging effect. I expect some important news! Look for related circumstances when the Sun repeats the semisquare to Venus on Fri. 5/19 at 11:35 pm PDT, which is the same moment as Sat. 5/20 at 2:36 am EDT. The impact may not be as strong then since the Pisces/Aries border is not the location. The Sun will be at 29°26’ Taurus and Venus will be at 14°26’ Aries. The Moon’s “threepeat” semisquare to Venus is Thurs. 5/25 at 11:50 am PDT, 2:50 pm EDT. The Moon will be at 4°12’ Gemini and Venus will be at 19°12’ Aries. Like the third act of a play, there is likely to be a resolution to the situation around this time.
Exact times are more important for the Moon’s hits since it moves about half a degree per hour. The Sun moves about a degree in a whole day, so the time of its hits is not as crucial. You can use other times on that day. This is especially important to know on days when the Moon is Void of Course (which you want to avoid) at the time of the Sun’s exact aspect. Janet’s Plan-its tells you when the Moon is Void.
When two planets are in a strong aspect during a lunar cycle, the days when the Moon and Sun trigger them are times when the aspect strongly “shows its stuff.” Here are key aspects in the coming cycle.
Mars sesquiquadrate Pluto, exact Thurs. 4/27 at 12:00 pm PDT, 3:00 pm EDT (Mars at 4°23’ Gemini, Pluto at 19°23’ Capricorn), indicates tough talk, discussions about power and change, and action to eliminate or end something. On Fri. 4/28, the Moon is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 1:36 am PDT, 4:36 am EDT and conjunct Mars at 2:15 am PDT, 5:15 am EDT. Then Mars moves out of the applicable degree range. However, Pluto is hit two more times, reverberating whatever begins 4/27 – 4/28. On Wed. 5/24, the Sun is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 8:15 pm PDT, 11:15 pm EDT. Then on Thurs. 5/25, the Moon is sesquiquadrate Pluto at 11:41 am PDT, 2:41 pm EDT. Pluto’s slow, staying at 19° Capricorn, with the aspects coming from 4° Gemini.
Saturn square Chiron This stand-off happened before on 12/28/16 and comes around again on 11/2/17. There will probably be connected events or developments around these three dates. This current occurrence is exact Sun. 4/30 at 1:24 pm PDT, 4:24 pm EDT, at 27°18’ of Sagittarius (Saturn) and Pisces (Chiron). These are both slow heavenly bodies and don’t move very far in the coming month. The Moon and Sun stimulate them from 12° Taurus. Their combo relates to health concerns (especially involving the skeletal system, immune system, feet, drugs or medicine), boundary issues, trouble with authority figures, problems in the ocean and international power struggles. The “threepeats” are:
Wed, 4/26 Moon semisquare Chiron at 2:17 pm PDT, 5:17 pm EDT and sesquiquadrate Saturn at 2:49 pm PDT, 5:49 pm EDT.
Tues, 5/2 Sun sesquiquadrate Saturn at 4:18 am PDT, 7:18 am EDT and semisquare Chiron at 7:56 am PDT, 10:56 am EDT.
Moon sesquiquadrate Saturn Tues. 5/23 11:21 pm PDT, which is the same moment as Wed. 5/24 2:21 am EDT; semisquare Chiron Wed. 5/24 at 2:49 am PDT, 5:49 am EDT.
A strong lunar push comes on Sat. 4/29. Before it goes Void, the Moon forms a T-square with Saturn and Chiron BUT NOT FROM THE DEGREE RANGE WHERE THE SUN TRAVELS OVER THE COMING MONTH. The Moon is square Chiron at 2:10 pm PDT, 5:20 pm EDT and it’s opposite Saturn at 2:28 pm PDT, 5:28 pm EDT, when it becomes Void. Something heavy may emerge with this T-square.
A happier indication comes from Jupiter quintile Saturn, exact on Wed. 5/3 at 4:13 am PDT, 7:13 am EDT, when Jupiter is at 15°12’ Libra and Saturn is at 27°12’ Sagittarius. This pairing offers the potential for beneficial decisions, lucrative business relations or foreign interactions, good relationships with those in government or authority positions, and advantageous collaboration in educational and media-related matters. The Moon and Sun create a Quintile Triangle with them from 21° Taurus. On Thurs. 4/27, the Moon is biquintile Saturn at 5:03 am PDT, 8:03 am EDT and biquintile Jupiter at 5:42 am PDT, 8:42 am EDT. The Sun follows suit over two calendar days (discussed in the “Star Pages” of Janet’s Plan-its). It’s biquintile Jupiter on Wed. 5/10 at 5:05 pm PDT, 8:05 pm EDT and biquintile Saturn on Thurs. 5/11 at 1:16 am PDT, 4:16 am EDT. The Moon completes the “threepeat” on Wed. 5/24 with a biquintile to Jupiter at 12:52 pm PDT, 3:52 pm EDT and a biquintile to Saturn at 1:34 pm PDT, 4:34 pm EDT.
Here are some single aspects that are “threepeated” over the next month and how you can use the three-step process.
sextile Neptune from 13° Taurus to 13° Pisces – not a super powerful aspect but quite favorable for health, spirituality and creative pursuits:
Moon sextile Neptune Wed. 4/26 at 4:38 pm PDT, 7:38 pm EDT
Sun sextile Neptune Wed. 5/3 at 5:50 pm PDT, 8:50 pm EDT
Moon sextile Neptune Wed. 5/24 at 4:12 am PDT, 7:12 am EDT
sextile Chiron from 28° Taurus to 28° Pisces – also favorable for health matters as well as problem-solving:
Moon sextile Chiron Thurs. 4/27 at 2:09 pm PDT, 5:09 pm EDT
Sun sextile Chiron Thurs. 5/18 at 1:06 pm PDT, 4:06 pm EDT
Moon sextile Chiron Thurs. 5/25 at 2:33 am PDT, 5:33 am EDT
trine Pluto from 19° Taurus to 19° Capricorn – good for business-building and securing finances:
Moon trine Pluto Thurs. 4/27 at 1:49 am PDT, 4:49 am EDT
Sun trine Pluto Tues. 5/9 at 11:23 am PDT, 2:23 pm EDT
Moon trine Pluto Wed. 5/24 at 12:08 pm PDT, 3:08 pm EDT
sesquiquadrate Jupiter brings steep learning curves and growing pains; occurs from 28° Taurus to 0° Gemini (Jupiter is retrograde 15-13° Libra):
Moon at 0° Gemini sesquiquadrate Jupiter Thurs. 4/27 at 7:52 pm PDT, 10:52 pm EDT
Sun at 28° Taurus sesquiquadrate Jupiter Fri. 5/19 at 9:18 am PDT, 12:18 pm EDT
Moon at 28° Taurus sesquiquadrate Jupiter Thurs. 5/25 at 2:59 am PDT, 5:59 am EDT
square the North & South Nodes from 28° Taurus to 0° Gemini (the Nodes are retrograde at 0° Virgo/Pisces to 28° Leo/Aquarius) – shift gears, adjust direction:
Moon square the Nodes Thurs. 4/27 at 6:41 pm PDT, 9:41 pm EDT
Sun square the Nodes Fri. 5/19 at 9:36 am PDT, 12:36 pm EDT
Moon square the Nodes Thurs. 5/25 at 3:01 am PDT, 6:01 am EDT
I am very interested to hear your experiences in regard to related events around the times of these “threepeats” or how you used these time frames to intentionally affect situations in your life. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
People who expect a refund are usually quicker to file their tax return than those who owe. That much is a no-brainer. Perhaps if you have a lot of work to do before you arrive at your bottom line, you might not file until deadline time even if you’d get money back. But there a good astrological reason to file this year earlier rather than later.
You may be familiar with the phenomenon of retrograde motion of planets. This is an optical illusion where a planet appears to travel in the opposite direction of its normal motion for a period of time, from weeks to months. It’s due to the fact that we on earth are in motion along with our fellow orbiters of the sun, and our relative positions makes planets look like they’re going in reverse as they pass closest to earth.
The interpretation is that activities and items associated with a planet tend to present more difficulties when that planet is retrograde and seem to be easier to handle when the planet is proceeding forward through the zodiac (called direct motion). Some type of revision or correction is often necessitated when an action is undertaken during a retrograde and possibly even when it’s preparing to turn retrograde.
This April, not one but two relevant planets will be in retrograde motion. Venus, related to monetary matters, will backtrack from March 4 to April 15. Since taxes are a reporting of money earned and spent, Venus is rather important in tax filing.
Mercury, the planet related to all forms of communication (including filing of forms), as well as commerce, is retrograde from April 9 to May 3. Many people have experienced errors of commission or omission during a Mercury retrograde period. Sometimes trying to take care of communications ahead of a retrograde will still result in a need for corrections, particularly if the work is done shortly before the backtracking commences as Mercury moves forward through the range of degrees where it is about to back up. Mercury enters this range on March 27. (Venus entered its backup range on January 30, before the deadline for 1099 forms to be sent to you for your taxes.)
Thus there are a few days, April 9 to 15, with a double retrograde of the two planets most related to filing a tax return. (You can see this overlap on the bar chart on my 2017 On a Page, a free download on my website.) Knowing this, don’t you want to avoid waiting until the deadline? In fact, you probably want to finish your accounting before March 27, if not before March 4.
Some astrologers believe that you have less of a chance of being audited if you file your return when the Moon is in a condition called “void of course.” This means it is making no more connections to other planets from the sign through which it is traveling. When it makes its last contact from that sign, it begins the void, which lasts until the Moon enters the next sign. You might think of the links it makes as providing motivation or direction and that when those have expired, the Moon is without a mission, hence “void of course.” I’m not sure if there are statistical studies to verify this belief, but I know many astrologers who file their taxes during a void Moon!
In my Janet’s Plan-its astrology calendars (both the print version and the ebook), I indicate when the Moon is void and I recommend certain days for particular activities. However, the days I show as best for tax-related matters are not when the Moon is void; a void Moon isn’t usually a best time for doing anything the first time (although it’s fine for continuing ongoing activities). I also rate the days 1-5 as to their ease or difficulty according to how nicely the planets are interacting (1 is toughest; 5 is smoothest). A decent day for filing your return is Friday, Feb. 17, rated 3, with the Moon in Scorpio (the sign related to taxes) becoming void at 11:38 am (P), 2:38 pm (E) and remaining void the rest of the day. The last connection the Moon makes as it becomes void is a positive link with the “ruling planet” of Scorpio, Pluto. If you want to try the void approach and file before Venus turns retrograde, this is your best bet. You can also just barely skirt the edge of Venus turning retrograde by filing on March 3 with the Moon in Taurus, the sign of money, becoming void for the rest of the day at 7:20 am (P), 10:20 am (E). It is only rated 2 but that last connection the Moon makes is a positive one to Pluto. Venus is basically motionless then, so it wouldn’t be my preference.
If Mercury retrograde is more of a concern to you for filing your taxes (and in my opinion, it’s a more relevant factor than Venus retrograde), you can file on Friday, March 10, which is rated 4 with the Moon void from 9:05 am to 2:07 pm Pacific time, 12:05 pm to 5:07 pm Eastern time. The Moon’s last contact is not with Pluto but at least it is a positive one, in this case to Saturn, which is related to governmental matters. If you don’t care about filing when the Moon is void, days I list in Janet’s Plan-its that are best for tax-related matters are the morning of 2/16 (a 3 day with the Moon in Scorpio) and the evening of 3/21, also a 3 day with the Moon in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn).
Whatever you do, try to avoid those last few days before the deadline – they’re deadly!
After a rough and tumble 2016, what’s there to look forward to in 2017? More changes, some of them quite sweeping!
There will be major developments in America, that’s for sure, with a new administration and a single party in charge of the executive and legislative branches of government, on a mission to take the country in a different direction. Both parties were shook to their core in the 2016 elections and will go through twists and turns to reinvent themselves. The old guard is challenged by a rising tide of populism. Disagreements over policy and how to proceed will continue, between the parties and within them.
The forces for rapid evolution that intensified in this decade have not completed their work. The stress and abrasion are actually magnified in the first quarter of 2017, with short February being particularly volatile. Watch out for “nasty women” proudly on the rampage in March. Beginning in the third quarter in a tumultuous end to September, what we’ve believed to be true comes under new scrutiny or hidden conditions come to light explosively, with reverberations that last into 2019. Religious differences take on a stronger role and the science-versus-religion debate intensifies.
What’s rare in 2017? A solar eclipse stretching across the country (see this interactive map from NASA), which we haven’t experienced since 1979 and won’t again until 2024. Although the totality is concentrated in a small swath and will be very brief, its impact could be huge. Its zodiacal degree is at the important rising degree (“Ascendant “) of our new President. Since the Sun represents the leader and the Moon signifies the people, as the Moon blocks the Sun in this eclipse, it points to a time for the people to wield power over their leader. Two weeks later (less than 24 hours before the full moon peak of the lunar cycle begun at the eclipse), Mercury ends a retrograde backtrack at the same degree as the eclipse. Mercury represents news and information, and the terminus of a retrograde is a stoppage. Will the President try to clamp down on the press or limit the internet in some way?
What’s not so different? The trend toward a hotter and hotter world. Each year sets a new record for global temperature. And this may be symbolic of hot heads, making it harder and harder for everyone to get along.
What can you do? Surprise yourself, take a risk, try something new. Know your true self and bring out your highest potentials, for your own advantage and for the benefit of the greater whole. CHANGE YOUR THINKING – CHANGE YOUR LIFE – CHANGE YOUR WORLD.
For an in-depth analysis and explanation IN ENGLISH of 2017’s astrological influences – with tips for making the most of what the planets offer – consult Janet’s Plan-its Celestial Planner 2017 Astrology Calendar (paperback) or Janet’s Plan-its 2017 Quick & Easy Astrology Calendar (ebook). The December episode of LOOKING UP also discusses 2017’s highlights.
Here’s wishing you a year of wonderful changes!
Today’s Rating: 2 Today’s Message:
People are forthright, possibly even blunt, rebelling if someone tries to tell them what to do. However, if shown the wisdom of a request, they’ll change their tune and go along.
Days are rated 1 – 5 (1 = most challenging; 5 = easiest)
America had a birthday. It was a New Moon. As an American astrologer, I was excited about that. A new start, a fresh perspective, I thought. In Cancer, the sign of Mom, home and apple pie. A woman is running for President. Maybe she’ll win. That would be something new. Probably a better something new than a man who’s never engaged in the process of enacting laws by any means other than contributing to politicians.
This week in America, the news was the “same old, same old” – or worse. The woman, who isn’t known for being tremendously trustworthy and who’s been under attack for decades, was cleared of intentional wrong-doing in a situation still riddled with question marks. Even though no known harm has apparently resulted directly (as yet, at least) from her actions, there are outraged citizens and the witch hunt continues, now focused on skewering those who didn’t skewer her
We had just recently been having a national conversation – heated of course – about guns, the Second Amendment, reasonable background checks, and maybe even re-instituting the lapsed ban on assault weapons. (The Governor of California signed just such a law in that progressive state.) I don’t oppose the right to have a gun. Like the Founding Fathers, I’m all for anyone who wants a musket to have one. Go ahead and carry it openly. Load little ball bullets one at a time with a ramrod. Keep your powder dry. Note: they did not say an individual should own a cannon.
Meanwhile, death haunted the headlines nearly daily, well, three days in a row. White cops kill a black man in Baton Rouge. White cops kill an Hispanic man in St. Paul. Their violations in no way warranted the over-reactions that resulted in their violent demise. The capper was an over-the-top over-reactive counter-attack on white cops by a black sniper during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. All the killing was done with guns.
Americans love their guns! The Wild West, cowboys and Indians, all our “heroic” wars fought with guns. Crime shows on TV, action adventures in the movies all featuring guns. Kids don’t want to learn how to throw a knife or shoot a bow and arrow. They play violent video games about killing with guns. Maybe soon that will be superseded with virtual drone attack video games. Better preparation for future wars.
It occurs to me that we speak incessantly about fighting. Even in sports. Fight, fight, fight. Fighting for our political beliefs, fighting for our rights, fighting for freedom, fighting for a better life. That strikes me as oxymoronic. Or perhaps just plain moronic. But that term is politically insensitive to morons. People are even fighting against being “politically correct,” a stance which really just means being mature and respectful of others’ rights. But, oh, if that steps on your sense of entitlement, well, then, that’s a bad thing.
When the USA was “born” (July 4, 1776) Mars, the fighting and war planet, was bumping heads with (as yet undiscovered but already operative) Neptune, the planet of symbolism, idealization, worship and delusion. We glorify fighting, we believe in fighting. Might makes right. We’re the police force for the world. The greatest military (industrial complex) ever known to man. Plenty enough nuclear warheads to destroy our planet many times over. Oh, don’t forgot how testosterone-laden and phallic Mars, weapons and war are, how deeply embedded in our animal primitive brainstem killing is. The fight or flight instinct. For survival. The USA was born of war. Live by fighting; die by fighting.
Fighting is no longer conducive to survival. The new paradigm for the New Age is cooperation rather than competition. Two Great Ages earlier (2,000-4,000+ years ago) was the Age of Aries and the Peloponnesian Wars, with the development of metallurgy and better means of fighting (swords and shields). Then 2,000 years ago came the Age of Pisces, which could have – and probably should have – delivered a more feminine energy, with empathy and understanding, abiding by the Golden Rule and the Christian tenet to love your enemy, love your neighbor as yourself. But we continued to war, especially relishing religious wars. “My god’s better than your god.” Perhaps in the Age of Aquarius, we’ll only have wars of words. Air signs are all about thought and communication. Aquarius is the sign of the masses, the people, friendship and the community. It’s much more androgynous than Aries. We’re all trans-gendering in a way.
At our birthday in 2016, we’re 240 years old, still in battle mode. Perhaps we’ll hit a turning point. Planets at one’s birthday show the promise for the coming year. Mars is traveling through Scorpio, the sign of extremes, death, resurrection, and transformation. It sits at the apex of a strange triangle called a Finger of God that brings a divine detour of odd twists and turns en route to an ultimate destination different from that intended but more in tune with destiny. The base of the triangle is formed by the country’s natal Mars in Gemini (the sign of ideas and conversations, learning, neighbors, siblings, brotherhood) being stimulated by a volatile combination in Aries (the sign ruled by Mars and related to survival, aggression, action, speed). Throughout this year, Uranus (planet of shocks and surprises, rebellion and revolution) travels hand-in-hand with the mighty little dwarf planet Eris, the bitchy sister of Mars. She loves a good fight. She kicks butt and stands up for independence like nobody’s business. Perhaps Eris will call forth her sisters to fight to end fighting. Oh, let me re-state that. ADVOCATE to end fighting. You can’t fight to end fighting. That’s oxymoronic.
I’ve called 2016 the “year of strong women” because of the Uranus-Eris pairing. We could have a woman President. And lots of men (and women) could fight against her; no doubt they will. But she’ll likely advocate for less fighting overall and more cooperation. Or we could choose a guy whose Sun (leadership, ego, pride, self-promotion) is in Gemini just one degree from the USA’s Mars. We can police the planet, and fight one another, and fight fight fight all around the world, with tough talk (one of Mars in Gemini’s favorite (lower) expressions) and lots of guns. And many more weeks like this one in America.
Maybe we’ll surprise ourselves and change the pattern. That’s where the Finger of God points, to Scorpio’s options. Transform or die.
The beautiful full moon never fails to enchant us, its round face as inscrutable as the Mona Lisa’s. It beams down on our planet far and wide. At a lunar eclipse, it’s ensconced in earth’s shadow (even though not from everyone’s viewpoint). What an incredible miracle that the size of our star and our satellite and their distances from us are such that one can obscure another, resulting in a momentary disappearing act. It’s hard to image if there is another life-supporting planet in a distant solar system that it experiences a similar eclipse phenomenon. How lucky we are to be on this spaceship earth and how careful we should be not to destroy its delicate balance.
Thinking of our planet as a spaceship reminds me of the Whole Earth Catalog, which was popular in 1968-1972, around the time of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Earth Day is a chance to honor our Mother Earth and focus on her health and well-being. The first Earth Day came a day before a Full Moon, similar to this year when the Full Moon is on Earth Day. Both Mercury and Ceres are nearly exactly where they were 46 years ago at the first Earth Day. Mercury is getting ready to turn Retrograde on April 28 at 23-1/2 degrees of Taurus. In 1970, it turned Retrograde on April 28 at 22-12 degrees of Taurus. Ceres enters Aries April 11, 2016; in 1970, it entered Aries on April 14. A Mercury Retrograde turning point asks us to stop in our tracks and re-think and reflect on something; in Taurus, the focus is the material realm. Ceres is a dwarf planet named for the goddess fertility and harvest. In Aries, there’s excitement and enthusiasm to try something new or to make a change, planting new seeds. The original intent of Earth Day was to promote awareness of our environment and resources and to begin a new tradition of caring for our planet, both of which are in keeping with the pivoting Mercury in Taurus and Ceres newly in Aries. This year’s echo of those celestial influences signals an excellent time to re-commit to that noble goal.
Earth Day comes right around the beginning of the Sun’s passage through Taurus, a sign in the Earth element ruled by Venus, the planet named for the goddess of beauty and love. This is the time each year for appreciating all that we value and for reveling in our senses, enjoying the beautiful sights, sounds, smells and tastes of spring, a time for expressing affection through embraces. Taurus time always coincides with Mothers Day, too, when we honor the ones who gave us our lives.
One might hope that reverence for Earth, our Mother, would breed reverence for our brothers and sisters and fellow creatures and inhabitants, too. If only we could all care for one another the way a mother nurtures her children. But with the ISIS attack in Brussels on March 22, we’re reminded again of divisiveness and hatred, with the temptation to succumb to fear. The cure, of course, is inclusion and love. And for that, it helps to remember Spaceship Earth. We’re all in this boat together.
The 23rd of January is a cool date; in numerals, it’s 1, 2, 3 (1/23). This year, it brings us a Full Moon, which is in the fun sign of Leo. Maybe the kids of the eastern states will enjoy the snow. Full Moons frequently usher in a storm, and this one is a doozey! With power outages, coastal and street flooding, flight cancellations and closed roads, most people are “sheltering in place,” the modern term for hunkering down at home.
The area of the country that’s affected has Saturn, a planet of cold and challenges, at the foot of the Full Moon chart, a place that indicates “here” and where weather astrologers look for an indication of the conditions. It’s interesting to note that an asteroid named “Jonasz” (and there is no “Jonas” asteroid) is in a 90-degree position of friction relative to Saturn and not far from Chiron (a planetoid that highlights injury and difficulties) in the wet and wintery sign of Pisces. The named asteroids often present uncanny synchronicity. For example, the asteroids “Booth” and “Janhoet” (there is no asteroid “Janet”) were together on my birthday and rising at my exact time and place of birth.
CRAZY START TO THE YEAR
The stock market got off to the rockiest start for a year ever. Those astrologically in the know might have guessed there would be a big emphasis on economics at the new year. In its current Retrograde zigzag, Mercury hangs around a long time with Pluto, the planet associated with stocks and commodities, emphasizing Pluto’s long-term friction with volatile Uranus. The first Mercury-Pluto meet-up was 12/19/15, close enough to the winter solstice to portend extremes for the entire season. The second and third pairings on 1/22 and 1/30 bookend the final day of Mercury’s back-up on 1/25, coming near the Full Moon on 1/23. Full Moons often signal something having run its course. We can hope that’s the case with this market slide. At the end of the week on 1/22, the markets showed a net increase for the week for the first time in 2016, having gained ground the final two days of the shortened trading week. December was an up-and-down month and the serious tumble began around 12/29. That date provides a hint for more bouncing around to come.
Not only is Mercury joining Pluto’s present position three times, it also makes three passes over the degree where Pluto was at the “birth” of the USA (27-1/2 Capricorn). These occur 12/29/15, 1/11/16 and 2/11/16. Mercury is a key predictor for Plutonian matters in the USA because on 7/4/1776, Mercury in Cancer was across from Pluto, and Mercury was Retrograde. It’s in our “DNA” to keep our minds on our money AND to be dumb about it on occasion. The current Mercury Retrograde opposes the country’s birth Mercury position three times, too: 12/26, 1/13, 2/9. A little more stability may set in once we’re in the cycle that begins at the New Moon on 2/8, when Venus (a beneficial planet related to money) joins Pluto.
That said, the year as a whole holds big challenges for investors. Markets respond to people’s emotions, a primary one being fear. The USA’s birth Neptune (the planet associated with fear) is being visited now by Jupiter, the expander. At the 1/23 Full Moon, Jupiter is back at the exact degree it occupied at the winter solstice, having inched forward and then turned tail on 1/7. This combination inclines people to react, or should we say over-react, to worries and the unknown. Neptune is also the planet related to oil and a lot of the concerns stem from the depression of oil prices. In astrology, we see the correlation from pressure put on Neptune by a 90-degree tension relationship with Saturn, the planet of contraction. These two are in this difficult link for most of 2016 (with two spikes on 6/17 and 9/10).
Most of this Mercury Retrograde (1/5 – 1/25) takes place in Capricorn, the sign of the Establishment, but it began in Aquarius, the sign of the rebel. We see a lot of anti-establishment sentiment in the electorate as we prepare for primary season, with fringe candidates getting the lion’s share of attention. Capricorn is also the sign of organization and order, which many have witnessed erode during this backtrack of the planet of communication, information, paperwork and commerce.
Have you had a Mercury Retrograde experience? I sure have!! This one makes a “T” pattern (tension, turning point) with my natal Mercury, which is 90-ish degrees from my Uranus. Lots of challenges with technology-related circumstances. But great insights about the power of acupuncture and mediation, both related to Uranus.
I hope you enjoy this Full Moon!
The 2016 Janet’s Plan-its came into the world between the Solstice and Christmas Eve, just ahead of the Christmas Full Moon. Many babies are born at a full moon. After a long labor, I have quintuplets: four digital versions and the printed paperback. Customers’ patience will be rewarded. You’ll have your astrological planning guide for the new year.
It’s not any rarer to have a full moon on Christmas than on any other day, although it does seem special somehow. What is more unusual is how it coincides with Uranus, the planet of the extraordinary, giving us an extra blast of its surprises. As it shifts from apparent backward to forward motion, it stays in the same zodiac position for days. Such a strong dose of Uranus energy is a signal for us to enhance our individuality or take a risk.
The Sun also appears to stand still in a way as it reaches its maximum northern tilt away from the Sun (in the northern hemisphere). That’s the origin of the word solstice: Sol (the Sun) sticks. Three days after the start of winter, the Sun begins its march southward again and the days become longer. Symbolically, this return of the Sun (or Son) may be why Jesus’s birth was said to occur at this time of year.
Here’s a brief poem I wrote on the Solstice:
I love night, don’t get me wrong.
But on the shortest day, the night’s too long!
I hope the Christmas Full Moon brings you only the most pleasant surprises.
Disclaimers often begin “Due to circumstances beyond our control …” A lot of what happens in our lives does seem to be beyond our personal control. In such a case, people behave in different ways. Some complain or protest; others evade or surrender. These are re-active responses. Usually there is something you can do to be pro-active. If it does not change the situation, at least it will change YOU! Maybe it’s not easy, not something you already know how to do. You’ll need to stretch and take a risk. That’s how you grow, create, solve problems. If enough of us make that effort instead of accepting conditions as they are, circumstances will shift and come more under our control.
This week, Mars is in the spotlight or should we say the hot seat? It’s not just the planet of anger and aggression, the fight or flight instinct. It’s also the planet of assertion, self-determination and ACTION. From 11/12/15 to 1/03/16, Mars is traveling through Libra, the sign opposite its power in Aries, the sign it rules. Competitive urges ebb while cooperation is enhanced. This is a period for teamwork and collaboration, as well as peace and diplomacy. We could see some ripples in the coming week, though.
Despite Libra being an indecisive sign generally (due to weighing options), Mars is pushing buttons now and forcing decisions. This is because on Dec. 6, Mars makes an abrasive connection to Pluto (90 degrees away) and on Dec. 10, it hits a peak of stress across from Uranus. Thus all week Mars makes a T-square pattern with Uranus and Pluto, which are traveling for years roughly 90 degrees apart. They are putting us through an extended process aimed at major change and transformation, altering the status quo and the balance of power. This applies to individual lives as well as the collective. The going is usually slow but at certain points, quicker planets interact with Uranus and Pluto and hasten the pace, like Mars is doing now. T-square configurations bring situations to a head so that we’ll go around a corner and head in a different direction. It really is time to do something!
On a global level, the climate conference in Paris is attempting to steer our planet back from the brink of disaster. Pluto is associated with shared resources, which water and air are, on a most basic level. If those are ruined, we’re all screwed. Pluto is also related to finances and economics, which figure into every situation. Uranus represents the masses and humanitarianism. In addition, Uranus is affiliated with electricity and power generation. Changing how we produce the power the world needs is one of the main ways the Uranus-Pluto square can foster a better world. And maybe it can be in a more balanced way of sharing the world’s resources among all people. That would be revolutionary!
Mars is in another pattern now, too, a friendlier one called a Quintile Triangle. It’s composed of planets a fifth or two-fifths apart in the sky (called quintiles and biquintiles), which represent luck and talent. The other players are Mercury, the planet of communication, and Neptune, the planet of imagination. Mars and Neptune were biquintile on 12/04. Quick Mercury links to both 12/06 to 12/07. This triangle helps us talk about our dreams and cooperate to set them in motion. The powers of prayer and positive visualization are heightened, as well.
In your individual life, maybe you face a situation where you need to engineer a shift. Mars wants to help you with that this week, and you don’t have to do it alone. The Libra influence offers assistance to you. Check around to see with whom you can share the load or help one another.
The world is in turmoil and life is unpredictable. It could get worse before it gets better. To go on with fortitude, we need to have faith that it will improve. And we need to take action. What can you do this week to improve the world or your world? Be brave and believe. Mars is at your side.