Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The year ahead, 2009, USA.

The year ahead, 2009, USA.

With the economy in tatters from the Wall-Street meltdown, anyone anticipating sweetness and light in the coming year is in for a rude shock.

President Obama takes his oath of office under the same eclipse that brought Wall Street to its knees and repositioned recession (which was a much-danced-around taboo until September) and placed it as a favorable option when compared to its gloomy cousin, depression.

The US government was held to account to the people for its mal-administration of the economy.

While I believe full-scale meltdown into depression can be averted, it will not be without a lot of hard work from the government and deep resolve from the people.

President Obama enters his first term feeling the need to give account to the people for his every action. A large part of his appeal is transparency in the Whitehouse, which lays in direct contrast to the behavior of his predecessor. It is to his credit that he is responding to this need with the most transparent executive branch in history, but it will be interesting to see how long this lasts. While I would like it to remain the case in perpetuity, US history tells me a different story. We’ll see.

As the year progresses, the economic situation will worsen before it shows any signs of getting better. Destabilization will peak in the quarter from March to June, it will even out a little in the quarter from June to September, the year’s most stable quarter will be September to December, but normalcy is unlikely to return until March 2010, at which time a more certain path forward will emerge, though the 2010 year is still relatively unstable.

In short, the economic crisis is deep, it is protracted, it is global, and there are no quick fixes. The best hope is to ride out the storm as best we can, and plan for better days in the medium to long term.

The people will suffer most of all, with serious erosion of core values. Desperation will lead people to do things they had thought unthinkable, and become the people they had previously despised. The notion that “If I am good I will be OK” will take a serious hammering. We have already suffered enormous job-losses, and the US infrastructure is ill-equipped to deal with large-scale unemployment. The subsequent drop in those covered by health insurance will force more people into emergency care with fewer resources to deal with it. The stage is set for a depression-like episode, however I think the worst of it will be fairly short-lived.

I can see President Obama at his lowest public opinion ebb in the quarter from Cancer (late June) to Libra (late September), after which he begins to restore some respectability, to his name, to the Whitehouse, and to the country, however it will be 2012 before the economy and the country begin to gain lasting traction.

The president will need the tenacity to hold on through the toughest times in most people’s memory, and realize that even the very best he is capable of will fall short of what is required in the short term.

The government and clergy of the USA will do well to emphasize introspection, compassion, and care for our fellow man. Much needs to be made of “pulling together” when the going gets tough, lest the society fragment into violent, competitive interest groups.

Step by step through the year…..

Inauguration day will be the highlight of what will turn out to be a very bleak year.

The president will look good, the people will be wowed. The president will display the steady hand that he needs to have to see these times through, and despite the tough times ahead, his presidency looks like it will endure, though it will not accomplish all that it has set out to do. Cleaning out the culture of corruption in Washington will be the hallmark of this presidency, though it will be interesting to see how he manages to do this while working with the very people he needs to reform. The waning moon suggests that this term of his presidency will be about ending the old era more than about starting a new one.

The January 26 solar eclipse, just a week after the inauguration, sees the hopes and dreams of the people pinned to their president and his ideals. This is not an eclipse that allows a lot to be accomplished, however it stresses that the greatest good of the people is in fostering strong community and neighborhood spirit. That is just about all that the people will have going for them in the next 6 months. There will be talk of war and civil unrest, which the executive branch will try desperately to ignore. They will be forced to face it soon enough.

The February 9 Lunar eclipse brings the reality of the financial crisis home to many Americans. While their welfare is best served by “keeping the faith” the majority of Americans are going to feel isolated, alone, and disillusioned for this lunar eclipse period, which ends in July.

The Aries ingress of March 20 ushers in the most punishing quarter of the year. By mid-June, the country is going to feel awash, the crisis will look insurmountable, the fabric of the society will begin to tear and people will wonder just how low it can go. This will be the darkest period of all, however it will not endure for long. The country will slowly, tentatively, show some signs of hope. It will actually be a couple of years before it begins to really recover, but the worst of the storm is over by June 21, and the fits and starts of the economic solutions begin, falter, regroup and slowly take root enough for people to get some confidence going.

The Cancer ingress of June 21 begins to staunch to the flow. This is not so much an upward trund, but a “less downward” trend, and the first hint of anything that resembles progress. During the economic crisis, there will military or other overseas crises that have been brewing and will then require some attention. They will still not get much attention, but they should not be ignored. There is both strength and resolve in the treasury, and while it is not enough to do any real good, it is a good place to start.

The Lunar eclipse of July 7 sees the first real glimpse that the president understands the plight of the people. He will present a detailed plan that will focus on family and core values, the people will finally feel as though they have been heard and will come together behind a plan. The “lost in the woods” feeling that took root in February will abate in favor of “it’s a hard row to hoe, but somebody’s got to do it”.

The solar eclipse later that month, (July 21) in the last degree of Cancer shows the people, unable to do anything about the economic crisis themselves, turning to family and core values, the only part of this mess in which they have any influence. While this has no measurable impact on the country as a whole, the exercise is a vital first step in restoring the will of the people. The dark side to this influence, and one that is commonly used in American politics, is that the entire economic and political debate can be sidetracked by dividing people over such issues as gay marriage, thereby sowing discord and strife in the name of family values at a time when the people are most vulnerable.

The Lunar Eclipse of August 5 brings out the idealistic side of the people again, as difficult plans are solidifying into difficult realities, life is not particularly pleasant or fruitful, but at least it is productive, and that is a start. The specter of war and/or terrorism occupies the minds of congress at this time.

The Libra ingress of September 22 brings with it the first glimmer of hope that things might be turning around. It provides the most stable quarter in the last several years, but it is only, alas, one quarter. There is a long way to go from here, but optimism increases for this little while at least.

The Capricorn ingress of December 21 sustains hope, but the stability of the previous quarter evaporates as a stronger military anxiety emerges. I will discuss this further as the time draws near and a clearer picture emerges. The Capricorn ingress is more important to the first quarter of 2010

The December 31 Lunar eclipse again brings the focus on the family as the issue that influences the people most, but that is a discussion for early 2010.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is what Mars in Libra looks like

... I swear I had no sooner put my post up than a friend sent this to my in-box

Armed 85-year-old woman forces intruder to call cops

POINT MARION, Pa. (AP) — An 85-year-old woman boldly went for her gun and busted a would-be burglar inside her home, then forced him to call police while she kept him in her sights, police said.

the rest of the story here

Gotta laugh when it makes the headlines. The extremely observant will notice that Mars was still in the last degree of Virgo when this incident happened, but the headline on the day of the Mars' Libra ingress is priceless.



Mars in Libra – What’s a Body to Do?

When Mars is in a diurnal sign, like Libra, He’s is in “get-er-done” mode. To hell with motivation and planning, Mars wants action and lots of it in diurnal signs. His diurnal home is Aries, home of exclusive binary logic and action without deep consideration of consequence. Mars is single-minded by day, taking his point of view as white, and the opposing point of view as black.

In Libra, he is in the diurnal home of Venus, the place of justice and of hearing the “other” point of view. This is large bunches of “no-fun” for Mars, and for this reason, Libra is considered one of the homes of Mars’ detriment. (The other is Taurus). Mars can see clear across the Zodiac to his Aries home, and wishes he were there instead of here.

Mars is forced to hear reason in Libra, which is not altogether a bad thing, but it does mean that he can’t get as much accomplished as he might otherwise. For Mars, this is frustrating, for the rest of us, it makes for calmer conditions!

In the real world, this means that those trying to get things accomplished or activated are going to come up against barriers posed by opposing points of view. Military operations will wind down a little, and negotiations between warring parties are likely to be more fruitful. Aggressive political campaigns are likely to be stymied in favor of a better-reasoned approach. Surgeons may suffer from indecision, though corrective surgery from previous errors/failures is likely fare better.

If you are the owner of a Libra Mars, there is probably a bit of hesitation involved in anything you try to accomplish. You might find this transit to be helpful, because the rest of the world is experiencing, for a short while, the hesitation that is part of your nature. You might find you can broker a truce between warring parties, or at very least talk somebody out of doing something really brash.

The hard part for a Libra Mars person is working out when to act, and realizing that this is an issue goes a long way to resolving it. Troublesome placements mean we have to work harder than most to make good use of what might otherwise be considered a character flaw. Some of the more decisive people with Mars in Libra include Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher (source astrodatabank). One might accuse these folks of many things, but indecision is not amongst them. One has to wonder how hard they worked to overcome indecision in their earlier years. All of them appear to be better acquainted than most with the opposing point of view, and there lies the useful element of Mars in Libra

Mars is a nocturnal planet, taking great delight in firing up the nocturnal signs and putting scattered emotions and tireless activity into a passionately focused goal.

It has done that job in Virgo, and while Mars will always be seen as malefic, the nocturnal signs are nevertheless a little better for the shake-up, even if they didn’t enjoy it. Mars is moving very quickly in Libra, so the limited aggression and active frustration of this sojourn will be short-lived, beginning August 19th and ending October 4th.

People with diurnal charts (born during the daylight hours) will experience less aggression under this transit, those with nocturnal charts (born at night) will experience more frustration.

All up, Mars in Libra will be marked by what didn’t happen rather than by what did, though some truly fruitful negotiations may come out of it.

Take Care


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Lunar Eclipse August 16, 2008
… with apologies to Pink Floyd…

The coming Lunar eclipse occurs in the “out there” sign of Aquarius, with Neptune sitting right there …on the dark side of the moon… (somebody’s gonna shoot me…).

While it might sound like I’ve been inhaling or ingesting psychotropic substances, the psychedelic 60’s will seem strangely familiar by the end of this eclipse season.

We are closing a very serious period where the public have become excruciatingly aware of realities and responsibilities, but have been largely powerless to do much about it. This was the Virgo (details and organization) eclipse back in February, when Saturn (structures, rules, cold, hard reality) conjoined the Moon (the mood of the people) , and brought its reality check along for the ride.

Personally we have felt that we had the inalienable right to tell everybody else how to live their lives. Only the very circumspect have managed to avoid sounding judgmental, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t thinking it!!

This eclipse marks a pendulum swing towards oblivion

So, here’s where it ends. (or, dare I say, -All things must pass- sorry George) We move from picky and judgmental thought police to a community of flower-child-space-cadets in a fell swoop that will boggle the mind.

The burden moves away from service and towards awareness, away from attention to minutia and towards social connectedness, away from restriction and towards freedom.

This eclipse falls in Aquarius, and which means the Aquarian chunk of your life (yes we all have one somewhere!!) will get a heftier-than-usual dose of moonshine!!

Regardless of what the Election advertising gurus think, there is likely to be a move away from negative rhetoric in the minds of the public. The smart money will feature lots of flower-child music. The street thuggery and finger pointing that is currently so effective in some quarters, will very quickly become “old hat”. The new influence on the mood of the people will be Aquarius (group-mind, community-thinking) with big dose of Neptune (reality, what reality, which perspective on reality are we talking about?).

We will be more persuaded by illusion than by reality. This could be a really good thing, or a really bad thing, depending on which party is savvy to it, and spins the most appealing line.

The will of the people will be most easily seduced by sweet-sounding, though well organized, flim-flam. While there’s nothing new about that, it should be a key feature of polls in the months leading up to the election.
Personally, I could use a few months of love-peace-and hippie-talk. It beat the hell out of -The Dogs of War- (yeah I had to get another one in)

Take care


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mercury in Virgo. What’s all the noise about?

Mercury is about to emerge from the Sun’s rays (where we can physically see him), and a that point, we get to hear what he thinks about the warrior Mars, the auditor Saturn, and the petulant princess Venus having a heavy duty gripe-session in his pristine Virgo home.

Mercury is at home in Virgo. It is his nocturnal home and he is in his nocturnal phase with the Sun. It is not necessarily a tidy place, but everything has its place, everything has a theme, and systems rule!!. Virgo hosted the most recent Lunar eclipse, and so there is still a lot of emotional charge in his usually emotionally neutral home. As he entered Virgo, he was still obscured by the light of the Sun, which for us means he is still doing the bidding of the Sun and not able to voice his own concerns.

That’s about to change, and for a few days between the time that Mercury finds his voice and Mars makes a hasty exit to Libra (August 19) Virgo is likely to become uncharacteristically vocal.

We can expect a lot of noise from the service industry in particular. Technical support and all manner of logistics personnel are likely to become vocal for a few days.

Many with strong Virgo placements are likely to find a voice for their often-repressed energy, and perhaps the rest of us will listen for a change!!

Those with Nocturnal charts (sun below the Ascendant/Descendant axis) will find their analytical and organizational skills strengthened by this transit, and, as already stated, the Virgo chunk of your chart will find it voice and demand to be heard.

Those with Diurnal charts (sun above the Ascendant/Descendant axis) will find their Virgo placements with no less energy, however they will be less vocal, and more resolute over the same period.

As the Lunar eclipse on August 16th removes the emotional trigger from Vigo and imparts it to Aquarius, so the volatility of Mars and the discontent of Venus will settle a little. This means we only have a couple of days of high intensity Virgo-in-a-pissy-mood, which will be a relief, because Virgo is a great sign with a lot to offer.

As Mars moves off into Libra, August 19th, Venus will become more agitated in Virgo, but Mars will be less volatile. That suggests that Virgo goes back to being rather picky with a strong voice, but it now lacks the impulse to act on it and force itself on others.

Saturn, of course, remains in Virgo, he has been there a while and will stay a good while yet, long after all of this fuss has settled. Saturn plays a repressive role in Virgo, but even the mighty Saturn is seriously out-numbered in the short-term. The lid is likely to come off Virgo’s powder-keg, but Saturn will make certain that it returns some long-term gain.

So, when the godawful din has just about driven you to distraction, you can remind yourself that this is only a couple of days, and it will gradually get easier.

Take Care


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Construct a chart by hand

Construct a chart by hand:

This is a promo for a class I am running locally. If there is interest, I might consider an on-line tutorial, but I would need to work out how best to achieve that.

A 6 week workshop designed to evaluate the best method for you to use in creating a chart by hand, and then lots of hands-on practice, with oversight, until you develop some proficiency.

Cost: $90.00

Dates : Tuesday / Saturday afternoons in September-October (to be finalized based on interest)

Place: East Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Additional requirements: You will need to be prepared to practice in your own time to gain proficiency. If you wish to continue the practice, you will need an ephemeris and tables, and an atlas for the truly self-sufficient.

10 places available. I will do both Tuesday and Saturday if there is sufficient interest in both.

Constructing a chart by hand is valuable in many ways

Every hand-erected chart includes a great deal of investment in the subject by the astrologer. This bond exists inherently in the hand-erected chart, the bond needs to be developed when using a computer-generated chart.

A mind already centered on accuracy will read a chart with greater clarity.

Understanding how our position on the globe effects the houses of the chart forms important groundwork for relocation astrology, and underlines the importance of accurate data.

This course is designed to help you fulfill a major technical component of the NCGR Level 1 exam. (there is no guarantee that you will pass, but I will do my best to help you get there). In that exam you must be able to calculate planet and house cusp positions on a blank sheet of paper using an atlas, an ephemeris, and sets of tables.

Other skills required for the NCGR exam include plotting planets on a pre-drawn blank chart using quadrant houses and assessing planetary aspects based on those positions.

Students who achieve early proficiency in chart calculation will receive instruction in some of the other technical requirements for the exam.

PLEASE NOTE: The NCGR handbook outlines the many areas of astrology that the student needs to have a grasp of to pass the exam. While this technical component is large, it is not the only requirement.

I hope to see some of you there, please state your preference for Tuesday/Saturday

Monday, August 11, 2008

Astrology's Oldest Question

3 minute Astrology

Open Question

What was on your mind when you had your first astrology reading?

Feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Venus in Virgo. The ultimate nit-picker.

Have you ever met one of those people who was really easy on the eyes, but really harsh on the soul? Venus in Virgo. The ultimate nit-picker.

Venus entered Virgo on August 6, 2008.

Having emerged fully from behind the light of the Sun, Venus is now visible in the evening sky. She has entered her “evening star” phase, which is the phase of her most beautiful appearance, however she has also entered Virgo, the place in the zodiac that she least enjoys.

In Virgo, Venus is surrounded by the details that hold the world and everything in it together. Wistful about the fruitfulness of her Taurean home, Venus is swamped by minutia in Virgo, the necessary tedium and relentless service that makes abundance possible. However the work itself completely lacks the fertile spark.

Across the Zodiac, in Pisces, Venus is exalted in the sign of abundant oblivion, where details are left to others and, feelings rule. However, in Virgo, Venus’ brilliance is not recognized, her radiant smile and glamorous visage are a distraction from the work at hand. The abundance that she must impart wherever she goes, inflates the minutia so that the beauty of an entire work of art is forever tainted by a single inconsistent detail. For this reason, Virgo is known as the sign of Venus’ fall.

When Venus is in Virgo, there is a tendency to obsess over aesthetic detail, and a tendency to be critical of those things that are most beloved.

Virgo is currently host to Saturn and Mars, the two bad boys of the chart. While Venus will lighten things up a little, expectations of sweetness and light from her Virgo sojourn are a little off beam. We can expect criticism to rise under this transit, and angry criticism at that, until Mars moves on to Libra on August 19. The ever-impressionable Mercury will enter Virgo (its own sign) August 10, but that just means the bickering will be more articulate. There is, however, some hope in sight.

The coming Lunar eclipse (August 16) will take the emotional subtext from Virgo and transfer it to Aquarius. One of the compounding factors making the Virgo transits so heated is that they capture the attention of the emotions due to the lunar eclipse. Once this trigger is removed, the Virgo energy loses some of its emotional sting, which is a really good thing!!.

Lots and lots of nit-picking.

A great season for copy-editors, proof readers, and art layout people, where a critical eye is a great asset. For the rest of us, there will be greater obsession about details of appearance than is healthy. The weight-loss and cosmetic industries are probably in for an increase in trade as people become more self-critical.

If you have Venus in Virgo in your chart, chances are you are critical of anything and anyone you love. You may have guessed by now that this is not conducive to a cozy relationship. There are a few things you can do to soften the critical edge. It takes work but it can be done. Drawing on the Capricorn in your chart, take control of your first impulses. Drawing on the Taurus in your chart, take delight in the sensual side of your relationship. By drawing on the Pisces energy across your chart, observe with the eyes of love, see your partner as your partner wishes to be seen. It won't stop the critical edge, but it will give your partner something else to see as well!!

The Venus in Virgo person needs to make peace with the natural tendency to criticize if he or she is going to have a close and healthy relationship. The owner of such a Venus might be able to mitigate this with some real effort, but the critical impulse will always be there. The most useful place to put such a Venus to work is in copy-editing or other detailed work where critical thinking is an asset.

If you are attached to a Venus in Virgo person, you need to understand that criticism is often coincident with love for your partner. There are lots of people who can live with that. If it bothers you, however, you need to seriously consider your options. It can be mitigated, it can be put to more positive use, but it isn’t going anywhere.

Take Care


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Detroit Mayor Eclipsed?

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was remanded in custody today after breaking his bond conditions.

I gave a brief discussion of the eclipse in relation to the election the other day. Many of the same principles apply in Detroit, the charts are very similar.

Kilpatrick has avoided dismissal from office, and jail, many times in the last few months. His affair with a colleague and allegations of corruption surfaced after the release of IM records on his PDA.

The February solar eclipse in Aquarius had Neptune closely conjunct a retrograde Mercury. Neptune clouds perspective and retrograde Mercury tends to disperse information, so that an Aquarian eclipse that would normally hold the leaders strongly accountable to group mind was unable to make the details stick. Libra rising with Venus at the IC in Capricorn made the people determined to find justice, but the confounding factors so close to the eclipse degree meant that the case against the leaders couldn’t stick.

It was a “get out of Jail free” card from a public scrutiny perspective.

This same issue has been playing out federally, where leaders have been avoiding accountability.

However, the August eclipse has no such confounding influence, and comes with a burden for leaders to act in the interests and welfare of the people. It also means that there is no escaping the desire and interests of the people, and most of Detroit wanted to see Kilpatrick in jail from the day that this scandal emerged.

It has happened surprisingly quickly for Kilpatrick

This bodes well for those who would like to see justice done on the federal level.

Which Eclipse Chart?

I’ve made some references to eclipses at various times, and while the non-astrologer might accept that I know what I am doing (or that I am a crackpot), it occurs to me that those wishing to learn the art might benefit from working out what I am doing.

When deciding which eclipse chart to use for a reading, the astrologer first has to answer the question “What do I want to know?”. (This is actually a good question to ask before casting any chart or using any technique, but I am amazed at how many astrologers forget to ask it, and attempt to answer a question using a technique or chart that was never intended to answer their question… much like a doctor ordering a blood test when the most useful information would come from a urine analysis.)

If the interest is changing trends in the personal or popular climate, we read an eclipse chart like a “super new moon”, or “super full moon”. For this purpose, we use the exact conjunction or opposition. In other words, we align the Sun and the Moon so that they occupy exactly the same degree, minute, and second of the zodiac signs they are in, The reason for this is that personal and popular trends are identified on the zodiac, the symbolic circle representing the path of the Sun through the heavens (relatively speaking), on which all of the planets are brought together for analysis.

A Solar eclipse represents a change in those things that persuade reputation and prominence. In other words, in any eclipse period, there is a particular energy that holds more sway than usual as “the subtext that has influence”. In popular political terms, this will be the focus by which the people can influence government. In personal terms, it represents the influence that will affect our reputation. This has a spiritual correlation with the things we find persuasive in any period.

A Lunar eclipse represents a change in the subtext itself. If a particular approach has influence in government, then what factors influence that approach? It is the Lunar eclipse that media and government need to pay attention to if they want to understand the things that influence the masses. In personal terms, the Lunar eclipse represents the influence that will affect our emotions or security. This has a spiritual correlation with the way we experience intuition.

If the interest is natural disasters and toppling of governments and other specific events, then this narrows the astrological analysis to the part of the world from which the eclipse is physically visible. The reason behind this is that we are looking at material phenomena, and therefore we need information relating to the material eclipse. When we are dealing with a visible eclipse, we want the moment at which the eclipse is at its most intense, “the instant of greatest eclipse”. This varies from location to location, and NASA conveniently supplies these data for various cities from which the eclipse is theoretically visible. In the case of yesterdays K2 eclipse post, I used the time at Islamabad because it was closest to the K2 site.

Learning how to read these charts is another matter, but the above gives the broad brush-strokes about which chart I use for what purpose.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If they had an astrologer ...

I read with some dismay that 11 people lost their lives in an ice avalanche near the summit of K2 in Pakistan.

When I read that the avalanche happened on Friday afternoon, I couldn’t help myself.

The ancients always used the time of greatest eclipse for their charts, whereas we tend to use the time of exact conjunction/opposition for an eclipse in modern astrology.

If anything prompts me to look more carefully at the ancient way of doing it, it is this chart.

Not only is modern bad-boy Pluto exactly on the degree of the ascendant for this eclipse on K2, the first degree of Capricorn is a hairs-breadth away from the ascendant.

As a modern astrologer, the Pluto on the ascendant of the eclipse chart for an expedition in the least hospitable climate in the world would be a dead-give-away to say “guys, lets look at another date.”

Were I an ancient astrologer without the advantage of Pluto, I’d still look at 0 Capricorn rising, Saturn’s position in Mercury’s home, and Mercury getting some uncharacteristic light and say “guys, lets look at another date.”

Were I a modern astrologer who is keen on the topo centric conjunction, the chart is virtually identical to this chart (a couple minutes earlier)… yep, you guessed it, .. “guys, lets look at another date”

There is not much one can say in hindsight on a tragedy like this except that astrology can be really, really useful sometimes.

Take Care


Monday, August 04, 2008

Readable Popular Astrology - Really!!

I found a most digestible form of popular astrology the other day (which is remarkable in itself, because mostly, popular astrology gives me a rash).

Elsa puts her spin on some difficult issues using some well-refined astrological intuition. She does not see the need to pry into the lives of others, nor does she pretend to be teaching astrology, and I think that’s why I can read it and enjoy it.

It has a lot more of “this is what’s going on and this is how it feels” than anything else, and a quite a few “this is what’s going on and this is what it looks like in the news”.

Its easy to read, its cute, its great for folks trying to get a handle on astro-symbolism.

Its a true astro journal. Some posts are better than others, but its always worth a browse when you have a lazy minute or two.

Well done Elsa

Sunday, August 03, 2008

2008-08-01 - Eclipse Astrology-US Election

August 1 Solar Eclipse and the US elections

The extreme northerly track of this eclipse suggests that the only places it will be detrimental in are the extreme north of Canada, the arctic Circle, Remote parts of Russia, Mongolia, and Northern China. The eclipse is visible from Beijing and therefore the Chinese need to be more concerned than any other group of people. I will not attempt a prediction for China, but the eclipse occurring in the 8th house reduces the potential impact considerably.

The USA, however, has the degree (exact zodiac position) of the eclipse rising at the moment of the exact conjunction (not the moment of greatest eclipse... it’s a long story, but they are different things), which is pretty remarkable.

Solar eclipses largely effect governments and rulers, Lunar eclipses have a greater effect on the people. This is a Solar eclipse, and it is in the home of the Sun, Leo, and thus the eclipse is about incumbent leaders in their own milieu.

This means that, while there is little potential for physical mayhem and destruction in the eclipse from an American point of view (because there is no visible eclipse from the DC standpoint) the eclipse still has impact in the USA, and its impact is in the part of the chart that speaks to the welfare of the people.

A very brief summary of how this eclipse period works in the USA can be found in the components of the eclipse as they unfold.

The Sun is in Leo, its own sign. The degree of the eclipse is rising in DC, so the focus of the people is on the Government for this period. The eclipse itself has the Moon (mood of the people) passing in front of the Sun, in the sign of the incumbent government, which is also the ascending sign in the eclipse, and so it is the focus of the people in terms of their welfare.

The need of the people is great and the pressure is on the government to deliver. Had the government made any investment at all in the welfare of the people, this would be a time upon which it was called to share those resources, and help the people through some really tough times. I do not personally see how the current administration can do this.

Anybody who reads a news bulletin of any kind knows that the people are hurting in the USA. It is my personal belief that this government is unable to address the issues that the people are raising, and that the people will hold this against the government in the coming election.

The Government’s primary interest is in the war, and the cost of the war. It will be focusing on terrorism for the remainder of the Bush presidency. This is a bad tactic which will backfire, severely, at the polls in November. This obsession with terror and fear is well removed from the interests of the people, many of whom are far more fearful of the prospect of homelessness and joblessness.

The message that might come though from the government “believe that we can see better times together” needed to have sufficient investment of the administration in the welfare of the people over the last 7 years to have any cache now. In my opinion, that investment has been severely lacking for too many ordinary people.

In my “Trashy Novel Eclipse” post, I made it clear that there will be announcements coming from strange places at strange times during this eclipse period. I’ll be interested to see how that plays out, but I would not be at all surprised if the “dirty deeds” of the Bush administration are aired in the news media over the next few months. Now, how dirty those deeds actually are is a matter for the courts to decide, but the press will have a field day.

The premature and tainted appearance of Venus also suggests a loss of faith with in the leadership, but also a temptation to deception and exaggeration by the media. It cuts both ways, but it all comes back in the lap of the Bush administration, and I don’t think they have the political will or political muscle to fight it, nor have they made the investment in welfare to capture the imagination of the people in any positive way.

It all ads up to the people turning so strongly against the incumbent government that the democrats should win by a landslide.

Mr Obama would do well to study the rage and fury that will be leashed upon the administration over the next six months before his probable inauguration. It is this anger and frustration that will return to haunt the next president (regardless of who wins) if he fails to deliver.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

August 1, 2008 - The "Trashy Novel" Eclipse

An eclipse of the Sun is a moment in time when the Moon blocks the light of the Sun. In simple terms, the Ruler of Day is impeded for a moment by the Ruler of Night. The relentless forward march of the obvious things in life (indicated by the Sun) takes a back seat, for a moment, to the persuasive power of the subtle energies in life (signified by the Moon).

This eclipse occurs in the fixed tropical sign of Leo, the sign of loyalty, stability, and a bit of self-proclaimed nobility. For this eclipse period, the Moon usurps the authority of the Sun and so a period of "high drama" ensues. The already passionate sign of Leo is inundated with the very emotional energy of the Moon. Add to this mix the spirited communication from Mercury, piping up, in the wrong time and from the wrong place, with loyalty to Moon (Mercury is passing behind the Sun and cannot be seen because of the Sun's light. The eclipse makes him visible for a moment, and his position has him siding with the Moon, even though he is in the sign of the Sun), and you have a period of misrepresented loyalties, unbridled emotions and heated passions.

Yep, sounds like a soap opera to me, and it all dances around in Leo.

However,we're not finished yet. If this scenario isn't headache enough for whichever part of your life is dominated by Leo, there is one more kicker that makes this into a trashy novel plot.

Venus has spent a long time obscured by the beams of the Sun where she has been unable to shine. When she finally emerges from behind the light of the Sun, she will be in her glorious Evening Star mode, which is her most dazzling and beautiful persona and puts her loyalties with the Moon. She is not far from emerging, and as with Mercury, this eclipse will give her an opportunity to shine early.

There is one sticky problem with this otherwise beautiful apparition. Venus is currently opposed by Neptune, the planet of obscurity, deception and ‘kidding yourself when it goes badly’.

You guessed it; there is a love interest! All is not what it seems. There is malefic power at work behind the beautiful apparition and... well, I told you it was a trashy novel!

The two villains of our trashy novel (beautiful bad-boy Mars and simply sinister Saturn) are in the adjacent sign of Virgo, messing around in Mercury's business, (but Mercury doesn't know it yet because he's busy raising an untimely ruckus in Leo). While our villains do not play much of a role in our Leo melodrama, their presence in Mercury's pragmatic residence make Mercury a little more mean spirited and somewhat crankier than his usually ambivalent self.

The ever successful and ever optimistic Jupiter, is "up to his armpits in alligators" in Saturn's nocturnal home, being kept far too busy there trying to make something good out of his journey in Capricorn to be able to give any attention to our Leo eclipse at all.

Uranus is likewise too busy in Pisces to interfere with the eclipse. Neptune, as we said, is turning the beauty of Venus into a deceptive illusion from his position in Aquarius.

Pluto is taking in the melodrama from his vantage in Sagittarius and pushing the players to come to a useful and meaningful conclusion... or kill each other... he really doesn't care.

In personal terms, our trashy novel eclipse will play out in whatever part of you life that Leo represents. Our natal Sun represents the part of us that deals with image and impressions, and our trashy novel will play out in a way that reflects the relationship between our sun sign, and the sign of Leo. Our rising sign (which we need a birth time to determine) is the part of the zodiac which makes us self-aware. When we read our rising sign, we are looking at a very general impression of how the eclipse might play out in terms of how we actually see ourselves.

For everybody

Many issues that have been hidden will be broadcast under this eclipse; secret loves will come to light and cause misunderstanding. I am expecting to see a surge in expose type scandal that is actually more hype than substance. This is the stuff on which modern media thrive, I think the rest of us will be tired of it by the time the next solar eclipse turns up.

In terms of personal development, a solar eclipse is effective until the next solar eclipse, which in this case occurs January 26, 2009.

Moon in Leo will be the times to watch. Aug 27-30, Sept 24-26, Oct 21-23, Nov 17-19, Dec 15-17, Jan 11-13.

Folks with natal Sun or Moon or Ascendant in Leo are in for a particularly challenging eclipse period.

Sun in Aries

The eclipse will be mostly entertaining from your perspective. Avoid the temptation to stir the pot by feeding the rumor mill because it may have financial repercussions you hadn't thought of. Be aware that secrets involving fun and flirtation will be hard to keep. Expect a change in the way that children, innocence, fun, and play enhance your reputation and work to your favor.

Aries Rising

It will be hard to avoid drawing attention to your inner child under this eclipse. You may find that your normally playful nature is becomes somewhat insecure. Go with it, run with it, but keep the accent on innocence and play, rather than willfulness and immaturity. Be aware that new love will not be what it appears to be, and keep in mind that your own secrets will be very hard to keep.

Sun in Taurus

Your personal priorities and your professional priorities are going to be in conflict for a while. Your values are going to be in competition, because you can't do everything. Be careful to seriously consider all the repercussions of your choices, and then settle for the choice that is most mindful of your core values, and does least harm overall.

Taurus Rising

This eclipse is going to bring a clear conflict of interest between the things that matter to you most and your sense of security, whether that is your home and family or your personal interests. Maintaining your sense of security through the next six months may draw your attention away from your long term personal and career objectives.

It is this type of tension that helps us sort out our priorities. By listening to the demands of the things that make us secure, we shore-up our career and personal objectives. Using this period to get the balance right, to pay due attention to the things that really matter, is the key to making it work for you.

Sun in Gemini

Your reputation in your local community will change under this eclipse. This is a time when comfortable values will pay bigger dividends than lofty ideals. You may be surprised by unexpected (though fleeting) prominence. You may also be the subject of a local scandal of some sort.

Gemini Rising

Your role as "communications hub" will be enhanced by this eclipse, with some recognition for the role you play in the lives of others. Beware that juicy gossip will be ripe for the picking, but it will bring you undone if you indulge under this eclipse. This is one of those times where increased popularity brings with it increased responsibility. If the two go hand in hand, you will progress to better things. If you let your popularity go to your head by repeating juicy gossip in order to increase your notoriety, it will backfire in a spectacular manner.

Cancer Sun

There is a change afoot in the way that your talents are seen by others. You have a chance to be recognized for your ideas under this eclipse. Be aware that empty flattery will have an agenda attached.

This eclipse period will help you see the difference between genuine appreciation (which most Cancer's love) and empty flattery (which less scrupulous souls will use to get you to do what they want). Try not to be too disheartened when you see the difference.

Cancer Rising.

A change in your money situation is likely under this eclipse. Some good ideas that have been "hiding in plain sight" will come to light over the eclipse season. Be careful of "get rich quick" schemes, though, because some of those will present themselves as well.

Leo Sun

Leo has the dubious honor of hosting this eclipse. Leo, a sign renowned for loyalty and stability, will undergo a change during the eclipse period. If you are prepared for a change, and are willing to accept it, you will fare better than those who resist it. Your reputation and standing with others may also change, be mindful of this and try to make the best of it. Be aware that there will be no secrets this next six months, minute details will have a way of taking center stage, and scandal is waiting in the wings, looking for an opportunity to surface.

Leo Rising

Change is the one constant in life, and the wise will be ready to embrace it rather than resist it. This eclipse will bring a change in the way you see yourself and the way you present yourself. Expect some insight into an obscure problem. Expect some deception regarding values and valuables. All financial offers and incentives need to be put to the reality test..(which is good advice anyway, but very important for Leo rising folk during this eclipse period).

Virgo Sun

Eclipse events are going to seem mostly distant to the Virgo. You are likely to be mystified about all the hoopla and drama, particularly when you have far more practical things to be concerned with. Getting involved in the drama will do more harm than good for you.

Virgo Rising

The hard-won lessons of facing the "real you" are going to bear some spiritual fruit, particularly if you are spiritually inclined. For the more pragmatic, there are some changes afoot that will affect you indirectly through large corporate, financial, or medical institutions.

Libra Sun

This eclipse will effect your reputation Libra. The fallout of the high drama will make it difficult to know who to believe. Others may find it difficult to trust you. It is best to ride out the eclipse period with as little reliance on your reputation as possible.

Libra Rising

There will be high drama amongst friends and associates which will affect your ability to make and keep effective networking opportunities open. Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster over this eclipse period. Try to avoid meddling with the crises as they emerge. Offer dispassionate advice where it is required of you.

Scorpio Sun

Like Libra, Scorpio needs to be careful of its reputation during this eclipse period, however the stakes are higher for Scorpio, because the fallout affects career, not just contacts and friends. Scorpios who throw themselves into their careers over the next 6 months may find it to be counter-productive. It is a wiser thing to let the eclipse pass, and repair the damage later, rather than to try to invest in your reputation under this eclipse.

Scorpio Rising

Scorpio rising is going to find the demands of work and career requiring far more attention than they usually do. You need to be aware that your words may be perceived as particularly troublesome. The need to balance your priorities will be paramount over this eclipse period. You need to give the career the attention it requires, without feeding the irrational nature of the eclipse. Its a tough call, but forewarned is the first step towards forearmed.

Sagittarius Sun

Your reputation (or lack of reputation) as the "goto" person for ideals and inspiration will take a bit of pounding over the eclipse period. Your opinion will nevertheless matter. Be careful, use it wisely. Be as dispassionate as possible.

Sagittarius Rising

Sagittarius rising is going to experience a change in the academic faculty. If things have been cloudy, they will clear up. If they have been clear, they will get foggy. Either way, the Moon's dominance of the intellectual house will your mind a very emotional place to be, much of your thinking will be tied up in the "trashy novel" indicated in my opening remarks.

Capricorn Sun

Capricorn may find itself in the unfortunate position of being vilified in a situation that is completely beyond its control. A difficult period in which a "nothing to lose" approach will serve you better than panic or attempts at self-justification. Press forward with the things that really matter, Capricorn, and ride the storm.

Capricorn Rising

Other people's business will grab undue attention for Capricorn Rising over this period. There will be dramas and dilemmas affecting the way you deal with the resources of others. If you are in a sexual relationship, you can expect an uncharacteristically emotional time of it, if you are settling estates or dependent on the resources of others you can expect a more difficult time than usual for this eclipse period.

Aquarius Sun

You may find yourself in the position of "scapegoat" when high dramas and bad soap operas play out in the lives of others. With Chiron and Neptune resident in your sign, attempts at clarifying the situation in the heat of the moment will be misunderstood. All is not lost, however, there is healing for you and for the other party once the emotional heat has passed.

Aquarius Rising

Aquarius rising will feel the heat from partners and others involved in committed business relationships. The situation is made more complex by a subtle, ongoing difficulty Aquarius Rising folk have had with personal confidence. Your ability to see yourself reflected in your partner (business or personal) will allow for the level of compassion you need to make something good out of an otherwise difficult 6 months. It will take some work, but it will be well worth the effort.

Pisces Sun

Pisces will need to pay particular attention to physical appearance to avoid unwarranted criticism from others. Much like Capricorn, there's not much you can say or do, except keep your own mind on doing the best you can with what you have and let the darts of others fall where they will.

Pisces Rising

You are likely to observe the melodrama of the eclipse play out in your work-place. Keeping your nose out of the drama will be the best you can manage. you may also find yourself with mystery aches and pains that have no apparent cause and no apparent cure. Get good medical advice, it may all blow over, it may not, but the situation will be much clearer in January.

Obviously, a list like this can only cover tendencies in the broadest brush-strokes possible. The effects of the Leo eclipse on your life will be determined by many factors, the most important of those being what planets you have in Leo and what is happening with those planets in the heavens. Your age and other factors are used by any professional astrologer to asses the actual effects of the movements of the planets in your life.

For more information on astrology and how it works in your life, visit my website.

If you have a specific question relating to any aspect of Astrology, post a comment, and I'll address it.

A birth-chart can be erected for free from

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why Astrology?

Why do I do this? Why don’t I do something else?

I was erecting an imaginary conversation in my mind’s eye with a person who is reading astrology, and in my opinion, really shouldn’t be. I think the person lacks the depth of understanding requisite to be a practicing astrologer, however there is no regulation in the field, and any buyer of astrological services has to be aware that some astrologers are not up to the task.

Anyway, in the course of my ethereal “conversation” I sat this person down and asked, sincerely, why do you do astrology?

Of course, when we ask a question like that of another soul, we have to be prepared to answer it for ourselves. This prompted some navel gazing, and now I’ll inflict it on you all.

The short answer to the question “why do you (Rod Smith) practice astrology?” is “I can’t be anything but an astrologer.” I mean, sure I can work at any number of different jobs, and I may have to do one of those for a while as I regroup and work at building a larger clientèle, however, everything I am as a human being is tied directly, or indirectly, to my astrology.

From the moment I laid eyes on astrology as an integrated mathematical system, I could not put it down.

I had seen the sun-sign columns and dismissed them as a crutch for the feeble-minded.

The astrology I was introduced to when I asked my bother Carl, “so, how do I construct a chart, and what are these squiggles all about?” had nothing to do with feeble minds. The mathematics and physics were not particularly difficult, but they are daunting if you are not a math person. The symbolism of the planets is also daunting if you are not a metaphysical person. Thankfully, I am both.

I had been observing human behavior and asking big questions for a long time before I ever erected an astrology chart, but once I erected that chart, I understood humanity in a way that I have never understood before. Its as though a thousand of my most pressing questions were answered in that one chart. The next chart I erected answered a thousand more.

When I could lay the planets on a chart, and see their interactions working in the lives of those around me, I was gone, hook-line-and-sinker.

It took about two years of obsessive work with charts and harmonics and numbers and potentials to really grok astrology as a system for understanding people. It worked for me in a way that nothing I had ever looked at before could work, and more importantly, it worked in the minds and lives of the people in my world. I could help them make a real difference in their own lives, and so I did.

So, the answer, -why am I an astrologer?.

Because I live to make a difference, and astrology is the best tool I have to accomplish that end.

Take Care


Certified? (maybe I should be...)

UPDATE: I finally received word that I passed the Level 1 exam, with a score of 94 percent, I'm not sure which questions I missed, but I am pretty happy with the score - My apologies for the silence, but one of Life's little dramas has had this Cancer boy sleeping across town - our marriage is fine but a friend needs an adolescent-sitter, and a Cancer out of his home tends to be rattled.

Anyone who knows astrology recognizes that I know my stuff. There is no question about that… and of course, a person who knows no astrology has no idea whether I know what I am talking about or not. It may come as a surprise to some that I have never taken formal training in astrology.

My brother, Carl Smith, taught me the basics of astrology in the mid 1990’s, and taught me the harmonic system he had developed over a period of 25 years using his own criteria for what works and what does not.

I had always taken a profound interest in what makes people tick, and so his astrology meshed with my human understanding quite well.

It was Carl’s philosophy that, if he taught me the very basics, my own interest would drive the understanding home and chart the course of my astrological education. He insisted that I work by hand until I had become familiar enough with the process to find and correct my own mistakes.

The first 20 charts I erected began with a set of tables, a calculator, a compass, a ruler and a few coloured pens. With practice, I could erect one in an hour or so, and then check it for errors a couple of hours later, before I plotted it on blank paper to erect the chart.

When I began using harmonics, (shortly after I started studying astrology) I created a method for calculating potential aspects by hand that took 15 hours per chart…. I think I got it down to 10 or so… I was looking at every potential aspect for every chart object that could exist for every multiple of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, using a proportionally decreasing orb (for the non-astrologer… lots of math and a complex procedure)

Because my handwork with arithmetic is prone to random, seemingly careless errors (though I can swear that what I do looks right when I do it) every process required an arithmetic check, which I also devised.

I was very quick to borrow a computer from another brother (an old Mac Classic) so that my hand-cast charts could have the harmonics crunched on a spreadsheet (which I designed myself) in a fraction of a second longer than it took to input the data.

I eventually began using free astrology software, and was able to cast charts in no time at all.

It turns out that the astrology I thought of as entry-level is a considered high-end specialty in the greater astrological community.

I have spent a lot of the intervening years working out what “mainstream” astrology looks like, and have sought to educate myself on the relative usefulness of the many layers of astrological interpretation that are available out there.

My specialty always was the astrology of personal development. My most recent interest has been in ancient astrology. A study I find to be fascinating because it is so different from what I already knew, and yet it has, at its foundation, the same fundamental mathematical consistency that is the trademark my modern work.

So, to the point of this post.

I sat my first ever astrology exam last Saturday, on my 49th birthday. The most important part of the exam involved the manual construction of several charts.

I had erected about twenty charts by hand in the lead-up to the exam, so that I could again become completely comfortable with the procedure involved and become aware of the types of errors I am prone to make. Finding the errors I made in the practice charts, and resolving them, made it possible to spot the errors I made in the exam and fix them.

Erecting a chart by hand ensures that the student has a working knowledge of the principles that go into chart construction. The student is introduced to time as measured by the clock, and also time as measured by the rotation of the earth. These concepts in time are essential to the accurate construction of a chart. The student is also introduced to how the shape of the earth (more specifically, one’s position on that shape) affects the shape of a chart, and how Southern Hemisphere differs from the North.

In doing the work and understanding the concepts behind the work, the student is more able to conceive the chart as a function of real space and real time. Reinforced with every chart constructed by hand, its the necessity to do accurate work, which is a great mindset with which to approach a reading: because when it comes down to it, there is a lot at stake when an astrologer is are actually reading a chart for a real person. Taking it seriously is always a good thing for a reader.

The rest of the questions were the sort of stuff that one would expect from an entry-level exam. Nothing terribly challenging though you do have to be on the ball.

All up, by my own assessment, the test was a fairly good indicator of whether a person has a basic knowledge of astrology. NCGR have done a great job in that regard and should be commended for it.

The most difficult part for me was trying to "turn on" to a chart that I 
have not placed any investment in at all, and for which there is no personal consequence, and nothing at stake beyond a multiple choice answer, proposed by someone I don’t know.

That’s difficult.

I am fairly sure I passed the exam. A friend of mine likened this turn of events to Evel Knievel taking a driving test. While I enjoy the flattery, I feel I had to work a lot harder than that to make sure I got it right… there again, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t invest a lot in making sure I get it right when there is actually something at stake.

Take care


Thursday, March 06, 2008


Well I got that wrong.

One of the fun parts about basing a prediction on a single indicator is that the result is binary, it either works or it does not.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about the way the transit of Venus through Capricorn and Aquarius was going to play out.

The change candidates both took enormous leads, and the establishment candidates have really struggled, which is precisely opposite to what I said would happen!!.

So, the Ascendant ruler (venus) is not the defining factor in primary election results.

What I did notice, is that both McCain and Obama had to emphasize their experience over that period, with McCain billing himself as the “experience” candidate, and Obama mostly answering the charge of inexperience, though the latest result in Ohio and Texas might mark a turning point in his effectiveness on that issue.

I can see how Venus visiting Saturn’s homes (Capricorn and Aquarius) was important in the campaigns, but rather than determine the nature of the vote (which is what I expected it to do) it determined the nature of the debate. If I expected the candidates who represented the establishment positions to do best on their “natural positions” in the debate, I now know better.

That being the case, as Venus enters Pisces, ideology should dominate the debate until March 20.

We live and learn

Take Care


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Presidential Election 2008

Election 2008

UPDATE: While much of this prediction was filled with the wishful thinking that accompanies many astro forecasts, I have left it up because I need to remember what it is that I got wrong. There are more recent posts on eclipses, for which I hold more hope, and I'llleave some of the ancient stuff until I have learned more about using it.

The Capricorn ingress, regardless of where you live in the world, had the Sun tightly conjunct Jupiter (the voice for change) and Mercury (attention to details), both of which had just entered Capricorn.

For the USA, the Capricorn ingress determines America's fortunes for the first quarter of the year.

In my (very experimental) brand of mundane astrology, the Sun represents the “image” and often the perceptions of a nation.

The Sun overpowers both Jupiter and Mercury in this quarter, and draws energy, attention, and influence from them.

Jupiter in Capricorn is trapped in Saturn’s (conservative reality) coldest and darkest domicile. Jupiter is unable to affect real change, unable to do very much, however transits of favorable planets through Jupiter’s domiciles (Sagittarius and Pisces) are going to give it a little shine and a bit of influence in what is otherwise a challenging quarter (and year for that matter) for those wanting to challenge the status quo.

Mercury in Capricorn is not as hamstrung as Jupiter, and is well accustomed to handing its influence over to the Sun. Mercury is deeply influenced by Saturn

So why are Obama, (the democratic voice for change,) Huckabee, (the bible-belt’s voice for change), and McCain, (the republican wild-card) having strong early showings if Jupiter is so badly placed?

The answer is probably found in Venus (queen of values and valuables) in transit over the quarter. Venus adds a bit of shine to whatever she touches in transit.

In the Capricorn ingress chart, Venus is in Scorpio, which is by no means her favorite place to be. However, in Warrior goddess (rising before the Sun) mode with her ruler in really bad condition (Mars retrograde in Cancer), she’s having a better time in Scorpio than usual.

Venus, emboldened with a sense of power and urgency, enters Sagittarius, the diurnal domicile of embattled Jupiter, and so she invigorates Jupiter for a brief season. Now remember that Jupiter is handing its influence over to the Sun, the perceptions and image of the nation, for the duration.

The long and short of it?

The “voice of change” will have two surges of popularity this quarter, the one we are experiencing now, which ends around January 24, and another around March 12 through March 20. The intervening period will see “establishment” candidates surging forwards.

This suggests that Clinton is likely to win Super Tuesday, and probably the Democratic nomination.

The GOP is harder to pick, but I think Giuliani will have a stronger showing than expected.

From the March 20 equinox to the September 22 equinox, the perceptions of the nation will be split. The administration will manage to avert a recession, however this delay in the inevitable will make things much tougher in 2009. The administration will “look good” overall.

In the meantime, the momentum for change will take on a life of its own, strong in the minds of the people and in the media, however no longer influecing the reputation and perceptions of the country.

It is interesting to note that Pluto returns to Capricorn for the first time since the inception of the US, meaning the entire world, and the US in particular, is in the process of redefining the word “establishment”. By September, Pluto will be back in Sagittarius. We will get a glimpse, however, of what these two can accomplish when they share Saturn’s nocturnal domicile.

I’m expecting some instability over the summer as the people become increasingly frustrated over their own power being eclipsed by the overwhelming influence of America’s political and religious institutions.

With the Fall Equinox on September 22, the final crunch for the presidential election is due. The GOP will pull out all stops, the debate will turn vicious and it will be about illegal immigration and social justice. The rhetoric will get really twisted and weird, it will pitch American against American, but the election will go, convincingly, to the Democrats.

So there you have it. From what I can see at the moment, Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. I don't particularly endorse her candidacy, but I think she'll take it regardless of what I think.

Take Care


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The political year ahead, Ypsilanti

For the first quarter of the year, Ypsi’s fortunes are determined by the Yule ingress chart of 2007 (December 22, 2007, 1:08:14 am).

Unfortunately, this ingress chart is a real mess as far as getting anything productive done is concerned. While the Moon’s dominance of the MC should bode well for the Mayor and City Council, its 8th house position and its complete lack of dignity or direction bode very ill. With Mars in Cancer, retrograde and close to the MC, the dominant issue is “a battle lost”. While I’d like to say “get over it guys”, they stopped listening to me a long time ago, when I came out against their ill-fated tax.

With any luck, the Mayor will get accustomed the new reality as the quarter progresses, and we can look forward to better things from him later in the year.

The people are dominated by Venus who is in turn dominated by Mars. With a focus on resources and how to make the best use of them, the people appear to be getting on with the job, while the Mayor and City Council are “crying in their beer”.

Grass roots groups also appear somewhat scrambled and disorganized, we should expect to hear more from those organizations (and perhaps any organization that might evolve from the SCIT campaign) later in the year rather than this first quarter.

The income tax campaign served to galvanize a bunch of strange bedfellows into the opposition campaign; it will be interesting to see what comes of it.

In March, the ingress of the Sun into Aries (March 20, 2008, 12:48:49 am) marks the beginning of the astrological year. This particular Aries ingress chart is effective in Ypsilanti from March 20 until September 22, when the Libra ingress chart will become effective for the remainder of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

There is a nasty event of some kind brewing for City Council early in May. This is likely to shake the council at its foundation, and the community is likely to hear about it a week or so later.

The City Council is looking much stronger during the Spring and Summer. It looks like they might actually “get a clue” and start listening to the grass roots. There is likely to be a large conference of some kind in mid-late June, the sort of thing that will bring the City and the grass-roots to the same table to really hash-out the issues. The devil will remain in the details, there will be no perfect solutions from this to-and-fro, but it represents a step in the right direction. The people need to be ever vigilant to make certain that their interests are well represented. There is a possibility that City officials may try to paint a more severe position than is actually warranted.

Jupiter in Capricorn in the 2nd house rules the ascendant (the people) from the sign of its fall. As we have already discovered in Ypsi, this year is a time for coming to terms with the excesses of the past and making sober, responsible plans for the future.

The people are going to feel somewhat awash over the Spring-Summer season, not yet secure in “the way ahead”, yet feeling the need to get something concrete going that will set the city’s financial path on a more secure footing. Resisting the desire for a “quick-fix” will be difficult.

Grass roots groups need to solidify their positions over the Spring and Summer, as it will be up to them to supply balance and call for sobriety from the Council in the fall.

With the arrival of Fall comes the chart (September 22, 2008, 10:44:46 am) that will carry the city through the end of 2008 to the Spring of 2009.

By this time, the Mayor and City council are likely to be on the path towards a new plan. This plan will be supported by the people, however it is entirely unrealistic in its execution.

It will be the job of grass roots groups, again, to bring reality back to city hall. This should not be difficult to do, but it needs to be done. Wishful thinking has created our current mess, and wishful thinking will bring the city further undone if it is left unchecked.

The chart makes a strong reality check necessary, and it also makes it possible. The good folks of Ypsi know deep down that the way ahead requires a strong dose of realism. This does not mean that they are going to like it when it is dished out. It may be that those calling for realistic solutions will feel like they are bashing their head against the wall, however they will prevail. There is a great deal of strength to their position, though they will be unpopular at first with both the general public and the council.

The November elections will serve to put the burden for the city’s future squarely in the lap of the people.

To sum up, the year ahead will be strongest for all concerned in the spring and summer. The habit of unrealistic idealism in City Council is hard to break, but the increasing strength of grass roots organizations towards the end of the year will have greater effect.

I hope everyone enjoys a happy and prosperous 2008.

Take Care