Yearly Archives: 2012

Weekly Forecast December 31: Mercury Enters Capricorn, Mars Trine Jupiter

Solstice Treat. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

Solstice Treat. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

For some reason, it feels as though we’ve had our New Year’s celebration and 2013 is already here … maybe because we survived the end of the world. Then, the Solstice is my winter holiday, and my annual celebration of this special day typically doesn’t involve champagne and noise-makers.

Of course, this also is my busiest time of year for astrological forecasts, so I’ve worked on New Year’s Day pretty steadily for the past 10 years. More about that later. First, I want to talk about an interesting item in the news this week, even though it’s kind of old news at this point (I guess it takes a while for things like this to make it into the mainstream).

According to astronomers, a new comet is heading our way that could be as bright as the Moon in 2013. We don’t know yet exactly how Comet ISON will behave; like the much-heralded Comet Elenin, it could break up, or it could get so close to the Sun that it has a meltdown. But if it lives up to early expectations, we could see a celestial phenomenon unparalleled in our lifetimes.

To make the event even more exciting, ISON will be conjunct Mars and Regulus in mid-October, right before the first eclipse in the new Libra-Aries series. In November, the comet will be at its closest point to the Sun, right around the time of a powerful Solar Eclipse in Scorpio and the second Uranus-Pluto square of 2013. Right now, ISON is moving very slowly through Cancer and isn’t visible to the naked eye. That won’t happen until September. Still, we have a visitor in our solar system, apparently a messenger from the Oort Cloud. I’ve been poring over charts all morning and afternoon but need more time to connect the dots. When I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Looking at this week, Mercury, our messenger-in-residence, finally leaves Sagittarius and moves on to Capricorn. Although he’s somewhat subdued in the somber sign of the Sea Goat, he’s more stable. More importantly, he’ll no longer be in mutual reception with retrograde Jupiter in Gemini. I thought the mutual reception might help us work through some details while keeping the big picture in mind – and perhaps it has – but I suspect it has been behind the lingering feeling that Mercury is still retrograde, even though he went direct more than a month ago. We’ll see what happens on Monday morning. Heck, maybe Congress will even come to its senses and pass measures to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

Also on Monday, Mars sextiles Uranus. Occasionally, these two do play nice together, and they’re also in mutual reception, which is even better. As I wrote last week, this is a superb opportunity to manifest thoughts into reality through action. I normally don’t advise acting on impulse, but this is one time when spontaneity could turn out to be beneficial. That said, it couldn’t hurt to think for a split second before you act.

Mercury sextiles Neptune on Tuesday – good for translating dreams and imagination into practical ideas. On Thursday, Mercury squares Uranus, and it’s back to impulsiveness, this time the dread “foot-in-mouth” syndrome. My advice is to avoid wearing stilettos.

Moving right along, the Little Guy sextiles Chiron on Friday, quincunxes Jupiter on Saturday, and conjoins Pluto on Sunday. Neptune and Chiron were conjunct in 2009 and 2010, and while the conjunction has separated, we’re still feeling some of the healing effects of that influence, especially when the fast-moving inner planets aspect Neptune and Chiron within a day or two. We’ve all gone through an enormous of amount of healing in the past two years. Many of you have told me how you look at things differently, how things that used to bother you don’t faze you anymore, you’re much steadier and calmer, and overall feel wiser and more mature. But we still have our moments, don’t we? Some of the core wounds we dealt with were so deep that we know they will always be with us, even though we are more adept at working around them. The thing is, Pisces feels so deeply and intensely that it may prefer to hide emotions, and Capricorn is the long-suffering, work-through-every-crisis sign. If you feel like you have to cry on Friday, then find a quiet, private place and cry. It’s OK.

Mercury’s quincunx with Jupiter isn’t likely to be more than a blip, although sometimes all it takes is a blip to crash your computer. The biggest Mercury aspect of the week is the conjunction with Pluto. This is when we find out where the bodies are buried and who’s got skeletons in their closet. Within yourself, you may have to do an assessment of your self-discipline. Yeah, I know, I hate it, too. We’d all like to banish the negative voices in our heads, but sometimes they’re telling us something we need to know, and it’s a good idea to listen to them. If, after serious consideration, you think they’re a replay of the Mommy Dearest tapes, you can tell them to go back to hell.

Friday is our happiest day of the week, when Mars trines Jupiter. Gee, he’s behaving so nicely this week, but it’s not going to last long. Next Monday, he goes right back to being a bad boy when he squares Saturn. But that’s then and this is now. Mars and Jupiter in air signs put some additional punch behind our ability to manifest big, bold plans into reality. True, Jupiter is still in detriment in Gemini, and he’s retrograde. Scratch “big.” But you can still be bold, and if your ideas are quirky and offbeat, so much the better. Do write down any flashes of brilliance, because they could come and go so fast that they get lost in your information-overloaded brain.

Before I go, I’d just like to remind you again that if you’re thinking of ordering your StarGuide 2013 Forecast, do it as soon as possible. I’m running a backlog of several days, so order now if you want it near the beginning of the year. Also, if you haven’t joined RealAstrologers on Facebook, please take a moment to “like” my new page. For those who have, don’t be shy about posting. Lastly, I’d like to ask that you also please take a minute to “like” my 2013 video on YouTube. It’s my advertising, and, admittedly, it’s a hard sell when I don’t do psychic love readings, messages from angels, or Sun sign horoscopes – what the majority of people seem to be looking for at this time of year. I hope to have some influence on that state of affairs in 2013, but that’s another story for another time. In the meantime, I need to stay afloat, and I sure could use your help getting the word out. Please feel free to share the video on your own pages.

Thank you all for making 2012 a rewarding year. See you next year.

Wishing you a New Year filled with love, joy, and prosperity,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast December 24: Mars Enters Aquarius, Full Moon in Cancer

Solstice WishesWell, we’re still here – as most of us knew we would be. I’m so glad all the silliness is over.

Aside from the doomsday stuff, there was a lot of woo-woo floating around about how a big shift in consciousness would take place, with calls for focused meditation at the precise moment the earth aligned with the Galactic Center – which somehow magically happened to be midnight. I got mildly flamed when I pointed out in someone’s fervent Facebook post that the alignment took place years ago, in 1998. Couldn’t I just go along with a fantasy that brought joy to many people? Er … no. I believe in finding joy in truth and reality. It’s a lot more powerful.

I’m also happy to have posted my new video for 2013. I was seriously reminded that there’s a reason filmmaking is a collaborative process. At the very least, you need someone to monitor lighting and sound. Doing it alone takes a lot of extra time and energy. But right now, that’s what I’ve got to work with. On the positive side, I’ve been flying up a steep learning curve, which is a real thrill.

Also this week, I figured out how to create a Facebook page for RealAstrologers – about time! To get updates, just hit the “like” button. You also can leave comments and post your own photos and links. I know that this is a more comfortable way for many of you to participate. The best thing for me is that I get to see you! I have viewed the personal page of every one of you who have “liked” RealAstrologers so far. It is heartwarming to see your shining faces and to realize what a special group of people you are! It also has been amazingly gratifying to see where you’re all from. My site stats show that RealAstrologers has a presence in nearly 140 countries on six continents, but it’s quite a different thing to see your photos.

Turning to this week, we have a loaded Full Moon on Friday, with the Sun closely conjunct Pluto and the Full Moon forming a cardinal T-square with Uranus. I discussed the Uranus-Pluto square in my forecast last week, with comments about how it was connected to the Newtown shooting – from which we’re all still reeling this week. In my 2013 video, I show you some charts. I also want to alert you to a couple of excellent articles by Barbara Hand Clow. I went to her site on Friday to see what she had to say about 2012, since she has written a lot on the topic. It seems like she was done with that quite some time ago – rightfully so – and has turned her focus to the seven Uranus-Pluto squares between 2012 and 2015 and how this powerful configuration for change is affecting the planet. There’s a lot of wisdom and insight in these articles, but one thing that especially strikes me is her comment that the energy field of the Uranus-Pluto square is intensely creative, which causes our thoughts to manifest around us, so we are challenged to clearly and wisely intend what we want to create.

Full Moon in Cancer

Click on image to enlarge

This concept is especially relevant at the Full Moon, because there is a powerful connection from the Sun, Moon, and Pluto to Saturn, the Lord of Time and planet of manifestation on the physical plane. Saturn and Pluto form an exact sextile on Wednesday, and they’re in mutual reception for the first time since the Revolutionary War. The cardinal T-square is volatile, very powerful energy – kind of like an untrained Rottweiler. At this Full Moon, we have an opportunity to tame it. So often, negative thoughts circle around and around in our heads. In general, it’s a good idea to interrupt that cycle, but at this Full Moon, it’s critical that you concentrate your thinking on what you want to create – for yourself and for the world at large. As I’ve mentioned many times before, the key is to manifest with enlightened self-interest. Focus on specifics of what will help bring you closer to fulfilling your purpose and destiny in this lifetime rather than on vague, fuzzy thoughts of “whirled peas.” Although that would be good, too.

The ruler of this Full Moon is the Moon herself. In esoteric astrology, Cancer is the sign of manifesting spirit into physical form (see Ruth’s excellent article from the archives.) Spirit is energy, and your particular energy pattern is reflected in your natal chart. However, this isn’t a static picture. Through thoughts and actions, you change your energy field. It’s not unlike investing money. If you make wise investments, you end up with more than you started with. The alternative is to squander it and end up with less. At this Full Moon, you have an opportunity to decide how you want to “invest” your energy.

In the Full Moon chart, there’s also a harmonious sextile from Mars to Uranus, giving us yet another avenue to channel our thoughts into physical manifestation. The vehicle by which to so is very clearly spelled out: ACT! On Monday, the action planet enters Aquarius. The Water Bearer often is mistaken as a water sign, but it’s actually an air sign. Those two wavy lines in the Aquarius symbol represent the “waters beneath the earth,” which is esoteric language for the energy patterns from which physical reality is manifested. The air signs symbolize the intellect and thoughts, which are energy beings. So, Mars in Aquarius is very much about acting in accordance with your thoughts in order to create physical reality.

Right on cue, Ann Curry of NBC News launched a “26 Acts of Kindness” page on Facebook to honor the victims of Newtown. NCGR, an organization of professional astrologers, endorsed it, and so do I.

The period of influence of the Full Moon is plus or minus three days, so get to work on Tuesday – which also happens to be Christmas Day. What better time to think about what you want for yourself and your family of humanity in 2013? Speaking of which, I’m now offering StarGuide 2013, a new yearly forecast. Please check it out. (StarGuide Seasons for Winter 2013 also is available. If you prefer, you can go straight to the order page.)

Wishing you much Yuletide love, joy, and prosperity,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

2013 Yearly Forecast and New Video

I can’t believe I finally managed to upload this video. I’ve been working for the past three days with little sleep to get it posted today. I finished it just after 11 this morning, only to find out that the compressor needed 11 hours to process a 6-minute video! I was resigned to it and spent the time putting the final touches on my 2013 page. Then, with a little over an hour to go, my iMac shut itself off! It went to sleep and wouldn’t wake up. I thought I’d have to start over, only to find out that somehow, miraculously, the file got saved. So, here it is! I hope you enjoy it.

If you’d like more information about my new StarGuide 2013 forecast, I created a special page for it. There’s a sample there, too (or just click on this link to view a sample for Hillary Clinton), so you can see how it’s different than the StarGuide Winter 2013 forecast. These reports work well together, if you want to get them both. Or, if there’s a particular month in the year for which you’d like additional details, you can wait until about ten days before the first of that month and order a StarGuide Monthly. I’ve tried to give you lots of options. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about which one is right for you.

In other news, RealAstrologers is now on Facebook! If you like it, “like” it!

I’ll be back on Sunday with my regular weekly forecast. In the meantime, wishing you a Happy Solstice and happy start of the new Mayan time cycle! Wonder how they’re doing up on Bugarach (I climbed that mountain in 2000 and can tell you it has some weird, powerful energy, but that’s another story).

Weekly Forecast December 17: Sun Enters Capricorn, End of the World

Where to now? © Lastdays1 for Dreamstime.com

Where to now? © Lastdays1 for Dreamstime.com

We got a wakeup call last week, and in typical Uranian fashion, it wasn’t anything we could have predicted.

What we know about Uranus is that the worst shakeups happen when we’re most in need of drastic change but resist, for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s because we’re so out of touch with what we really need that it never occurred to us to change anything. More often, though, there’s a voice just beneath the surface telling us that something has to give, but listening to that voice would require so much destabilization in our lives that we ignore it. Sometimes we even deliberately silence it.

The knee-jerk reactions to the Sandy Hook school shooting were predictable. The religious right says we need prayer in schools and the right for citizens to defend themselves with guns. The liberal left says tragedies like this could be prevented with stricter gun-control laws. If there’s any light in the darkness of this horror, it’s that deeper discussions seem to be emerging into the mainstream that transcend the finger-pointing and politicization. What does it say about the level of dysfunction of our society that it took the execution of 6-year-olds to start waking up to a meaningful dialogue?

As astrologers, we try to make broader sense of events. The usual method is to look at the chart for the event and the person responsible. Through newspaper reports, we learned that Adam Lanza, the shooter, was born on April 22, 1992, in Kingston, New Hampshire. We don’t have a birth time, but we can cast a chart for noon.

First of all, neither chart conveys the horror of this event, nor is it an appropriate use of astrology to judge someone’s character based on their chart. Second, without a birth time, there’s too much missing to draw any real conclusions. A noon chart for Adam gives him a Moon of 8 degrees Capricorn, making the first look at the chart startling, because transiting Pluto is at 8 degrees Capricorn. We need to stop right there and remember that the Moon travels through 12 degrees in a day. But then what if we had an accurate birth time of, say, 1 a.m.? That would put Pluto right on his Ascendant. Suddenly there would be pronouncements that he was having a bad Pluto transit.

My point is that we need to take great care in not making charts fit events or people. Sometimes there is no immediate explanation in the chart – just as there is no immediate explanation for how something like this could have happened in the first place. Now, I suspect that if we had an exact birth time, we might be able to dig a little deeper and find some clues. But even then, we have to remember that we are not slaves to our natal chart.

We also have to keep in mind that when we are in the midst of radical, outer-planetary cycles such as the Uranus-Pluto square, events correlating to this signature can happen at any time. Uranus came out of retrograde the day before the shooting. In my mind, this is significant, and it’s why I see this tragedy as a harsh wake-up call.

Those using the event to promote a political ideology are still sleeping. We’re so far beyond that point, it’s frightening. I think not only of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook, but all of the children in the world killed, maimed, and emotionally traumatized daily by war and violence. The recent bombing of Gaza – an act publicly supported by President Obama – resulted in the reported deaths of 167 people, including 35 children. The AP photo of Jihad Misharawi holding the body of his dead baby, killed in an Israeli airstrike, is indelibly burned in my memory.

But I am heartened – as much as one can be in the light of such demonic events – that it’s finally dawning on more people that deeper issues must be confronted, including the disturbing truth about psychiatric drugs – particularly the widespread use in children. According to a neighbor, Adam was on medication for an unspecified personality disorder. A related issue being discussed is our society’s approach to mental health. Eventually, though, we’re going to have to address a societal structure that requires so many people to take drugs to be “functional.”

With Neptune in Pisces, the drug issue will come to the fore. Neptune rules drugs and all mind-altering substances, and he’s in his element in the Fishes. The twelfth house, ruled by Neptune (in modern astrology), rules mental hospitals and prisons, so these issues also are going to be more prominent. In the meantime, society is going through an extreme breakdown under the Uranus-Pluto square. I was just reading about a rash of mass murders of school children in China over the past two years. A Chinese newspaper quoted an expert – ironically, an American college professor – who attributed the attacks to stress caused by rapid social change, increasing disparities in wealth, and lack of treatment for the mentally ill.

We have another three years of Uranus and Pluto, so it might be a good idea to start paying attention to real issues and not throwing up smoke screens of gun control and school prayer. We also need to take a hard look at our own lives and make an honest assessment of what we need to change.

The subject of sweeping change is all the more poignant this week as we approach the supposed end of the world on Friday. Now, frankly, I’d be happy to end the world “as we know it.” There’s way too much suffering, and our problems seem so insurmountable as to be impossible. But the world will continue, and we’re going to have to change.

This week’s aspects pale in comparison to current events, but here’s a quick rundown:

On Monday, Mercury opposes Jupiter, in mutual reception. I’m hopeful this will have some relation to negotiations between Congress and the White House to avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” I am pretty sure, though, given what I see in the charts, that we are going to have some cutbacks. How much and for whom remains to be seen.

On Wednesday, Venus in Sagittarius trines Uranus. Parties will be more subdued this year – I wrote that in last week’s forecast, and it’s even more true this week – but parties will happen nonetheless. We need an outlet from all the grief and sorrow, even if it’s only temporary. Still, the grief won’t be far from our minds, with Venus squaring Chiron on Thursday.

The Sun enters Capricorn on Friday, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. He immediately forms a happy sextile with Neptune in Pisces. This suggests to me that there might be a brief sign of hope for peace on earth – especially next summer, when Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune form a grand trine.

Speaking of the Big Guy, Jupiter forms a quincunx with Pluto on Thursday and with Saturn on Saturday – the Yod that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in. More importantly, Saturn and Pluto are in sextile and mutual reception, suggesting that breakdowns will happen faster in order for new, more sustainable structures to emerge. Yes, that may mean we don’t get everything we want for Christmas. But, as the old Rolling Stones song goes, we may get what we need.

Wishing you all much love, courage, and peace in your hearts,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast December 10: Uranus Direct, New Moon in Sagittarius

Ice on Fisher Pond. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

We’re well into the holiday party season, but we’re not partying like it’s 1999. I guess that’s because it’s 2012, and people are anxious about more than a Y2K bug.

I’ve been getting nearly 100 hits a day on an old Q&A post I wrote in response to a kid in Saskatchewan who asked, “Is 2012 really going to happen?” It’s so funny to see this search phrase turning up repeatedly in Google. What exactly does that mean, “Is 2012 really going to happen?” Not only is 2012 happening, it’s almost done. Then 2013 is going to “happen.”

So, OK, I know what he really meant, and I addressed those concerns in my response, which probably was way over his head and way over the heads of anyone with little or no knowledge of astrology. Fact is, there’s nothing simple about 2012. Something important is happening. There’s a major planetary shift occurring, and while it’s not limited to 2012, this has been an exceptional year in an exceptional astrological cycle. The Uranus-Pluto square continues for another three years, with the last square occurring in March 2015 and the period of waning influence lasting another year after that. You don’t need to be an astrologer to understand that we are in extraordinary times, and even those who aren’t spiritually inclined can sense it.

I’m working on a 2013 forecast and accompanying video that I hope will provide some relief from all the anxiety.

In the meantime, the holiday spirit should pick up this week with amplification of the Sagittarius vibe. Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius loves to have a good time, and parties are definitely their thing. On Monday, Mercury returns to Sagittarius after dipping back into secretive Scorpio on his retrograde path. Then we have a spritely New Moon in Sagittarius on Thursday, and Venus joins the party on Saturday. The only bummer in all of this is that Jupiter is retrograde, and in Gemini, the sign of his detriment. It’s sort of like having the Big Guy at your party, but he’s getting over a bad case of strep throat, popping antibiotics, and worrying about all the paperwork piling up on his desk. It does put a bit of a damper on the festivities.

There’s an additional reason to exercise some discretion this week. Right after entering Sagittarius, both Mercury and Venus form a square with Neptune – Mercury on Tuesday and Venus on Sunday. Neptune rules dreams, delusions, and altered states, whether through meditation or mind-altering substances. Although these two squares are quick and relatively harmless, they do increase the likelihood of miscalculating your limit and misinterpreting what you see and hear. Maybe that guy you meet at your fourth trip to the punchbowl really is the soul mate of your dreams, but it won’t hurt to check him out for a week or two before running off to Vegas.

New Moon in Sagittarius

Click on image to enlarge

The biggest news this week is Uranus returning direct within a few hours of the New Moon. The Awakener is waking up, and we won’t know until he does whether he’s going to ask for nice cup of coffee or bolt out of bed swinging a hammer. He’s in a close fire trine with Mercury at wake-up time, so I suspect he’ll come out swinging and ready to ratchet up his Awakener role a few notches. Our beliefs are being shaken up, and yet integrating the new information into our thought matrix is hard to do. There’s a reason we have mental defense mechanisms. Without them, we’d have breakdowns – and that’s exactly what’s happening for many people right now, in one form or another. We live in exciting times, but they are incredibly stressful.

Part of waking up is being reminded of what we’ve repressed. Mercury squares Chiron on Friday, triggering dormant memories and old wounds we’d rather not think about, especially during the party season. It’s hard to go to a festive event where everyone is making merry and to feel like you’re the only one who can’t get into the holiday spirit. It’s OK. You have my permission to feel grumpy and out of sorts. Rather than trying to stuff it down so you won’t make others feel bad, talk about it with someone you trust or write about it in your journal. You may be surprised by what comes up in the process. There’s a reason for the phrase “rude awakening,” but it beats staying in state of delusion.

Then, there’s always the blue pill.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Jupiter, Earth, and theInner Journey of Sagittarius, Part II

© Bezik for Dreamstime.com

Under the guardianship of Jupiter, Sagittarius resonates with the highest truth of our spiritual nature, but before this is realized, the Sagittarian personality has to let go of all mental conceptions that are mistaken as truth. Sooner or later, the Sagittarian personality realizes that his beloved mental concepts actually obscure his perception of truth.

The weighing of opinions only prevents the perception of truth.
~ J. Krishnamurti

Following the preparation of the soul in the preceding eight zodiac signs, Jupiter steps in to bring a magnificent expansion of consciousness, the likes of which we have never known before. This is different than the higher consciousness that we experienced in Libra under the influence of Uranus. The touch of Uranus is like being zapped by a lightning-bolt flash of insight, which gives us a taste, a glimpse into higher consciousness. When the lightning flashes, for an instant we can see more than usual, but when the lightning stops we are in the dark again. Jupiter is very different. As might be expected with Jupiter, our awareness is being expanded on a much grander scale. Jupiter invites us to expand our own mind to embody the highest consciousness as our own highest mind. To expand our sense of self on a universal scale, so that we become it. From this perspective we see the universe, as ourselves.

Once we have embodied the expanded awareness of Jupiter on a grand scale, we are ready to receive the higher teachings of Gaia, our Earth Mother, and discover our true role as custodians of this beautiful planet. We first felt Earth’s influence in Gemini, albeit in the form of a subtle hint to our grander purpose from the hierarchical level. Now in Gemini’s opposite sign of Sagittarius, after the full expansion and embodiment of higher mind brought to us by Jupiter, we have the awareness to realize who we are and why we are here. From this higher expanded consciousness we know ourselves to be an aspect of Gaia herself. We realize the truth of no separation, and that we are here to contribute to the evolution of Earth herself by being a conduit for divine love and light.

The result of all experience in any sign of the zodiac should work out as an expansion of consciousness.
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

With the expanded awareness that Jupiter brings, we know beyond doubt, from our own experience, that earth is a living being, as is the whole solar system, and we know our own vital role within it. Earth has always provided. Not only does she feed, nourish and sustain us, but she is the physical field of experience through which we cultivate higher qualities. For example, through our own suffering we develop compassion for the suffering of others. She provides the foundation for our spiritual evolution. Following the expansive embodiment of higher mind in Jupiter, we mature and are ready to offer service back to Earth herself. We are ready to return the love of our Mother.

In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan talks about two stages on our spiritual journey, discipleship and initiation. We become the disciple during the experience in Scorpio, which means we have purified and transformed our lower animal urges and are ready to discipline ourselves by focusing on our spiritual goal. The experience in Sagittarius, under the guardianship of Jupiter and Earth herself, assists us in staying focused on the path (discipleship) and holding steady until we reach our goal of initiation in Capricorn.

Every life experience or cycle of life experiences should work out as an initiation into a wider field of awareness, of expression and of resultant contact.
– The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

In this context we don’t mean initiation as this term is most commonly used, as in a ceremonial rite of passage into a manmade group or society, but rather in the sense of starting or beginning something. In this sense we initiate a new stage of human development and evolution in which we are fully aware of ourselves as soul-centered beings.

It is precisely the conditions provided by Jupiter and Earth that causes Sagittarius to raise his vision beyond physical goals and set his sights on goals of a more spiritual nature. This naturally leads to the initiation of the next stage of our spiritual evolution in Capricorn. The soul purpose of Sagittarius is to uplift humanity through the revelation of truth and wisdom. If you have Sun, Moon or Rising Sign in Sagittarius, your work is to question everything. How do you know what you know? You are here to release mental conceptions, thoughts, ideas and words, and seek the highest love-wisdom of universal mind, beyond the limitations of the lower mind.

Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast December 3: Lunar Aspects, A Brief Respite

Just how big is the Big Guy? A thousand times bigger than Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

The first thing I do when I sit down to write the weekly forecast is to mark up all the week’s planetary aspects in my Llewellyn’s Daily Planetary Guide. Well, I could barely believe my eyes when I saw that there are no major planetary aspects this week!

That certainly makes up for last week, when I pretty much had to write a book, on top of a video explaining the lunar eclipse. The manifestations of the eclipse and the significant aspects surrounding it are still unfolding this week and will continue to do so for another week, possibly even a month, until the next Full Moon, which falls on December 28.

In the meantime, all we have this week are lunar aspects, unless you count events like the Sun quindecile Admetos or Venus inconjunct Eris – which I don’t. The Moon is in Leo on Monday and moves through four signs, as it does in the course of a week, making aspects with the Sun and eight planets along the way. Astrologers who write daily horoscopes often use these aspects, but I tend to ignore them, because they are fleeting, and there’s simply no way to write anything meaningful about them that you can use. You’re more likely to feel the effects of the Moon aligning with a personal planet or chart angle – and even then, only briefly – and that’s not anything I can address in a weekly column. The best I can do is to reiterate the importance of being familiar with your own chart and knowing how to get information about your transits on any given day.

Mercury is picking up speed following his return direct last Monday. I’ve had several stops and starts over the past week, but in general, the frustration is easing up. One of the predictions I made about Mercury’s return direct in Scorpio was that we’d get a flood of details about things hidden, at least since Election Day and possibly longer. Yesterday while browsing the headlines of HuffPo, I came across a long and very detailed article by Julian Assange highlighting stories that have emerged in the two years since WikiLeaks published a vast archive of U.S. diplomatic cables. Although these details aren’t new, the retroactive look at government secrets is very much in keeping with Mercury’s return direct in secretive Scorpio.

On Thursday, Mercury conjoins the lunar North Node, the third pass in his retrograde cycle. If we regard the North Node as a symbol of purpose, destiny, or some other special significance, then Mercury’s back-and-forth crossing of this point should be interpreted as a message containing necessary information about these themes. The biggest event that happened in this period, of course, was the re-election of President Obama. My whole approach to the election wasn’t to support the candidate with the “right” ideology (i.e., the one you agree with) but to accept the right candidate for the extraordinary times we’re in. Although, as an astrologer, I have my view of what the next four years are going to be like, I also know that unexpected events can happen that radically alter the world as we know it, and there’s no way I can predict these events.

In looking at some charts for this week, the only other thing that stands out is a Yod that reflects the lunar eclipse chart and that will continue into next year, with Saturn and Pluto at the base and Jupiter at the apex. This is as good a time as any to discuss Yods. I’ve been changing my mind about them, based on research. When I first heard about them several years ago, I’d had no experience with them and so took it on faith from other astrologers who did have experience that there was something very important about them. I recently came across an old article by Chris Brennan that reminded me of what happens when information circulates the Internet and becomes “fact” by virtue of appearing in so many different places. When and where did this view of Yods come from? It’s not in any of the ancient texts and in fact is a modern invention. In my mind, that makes it untested. In researching how other astrologers come up with their interpretations, I’ve read many good arguments, but there is a lot of disagreement about what Yods mean, if anything. That’s to be expected with a new idea. The same thing is happening regarding the asteroids, which is why I also approach them with caution. Right now, all we have are a lot of theories. Before you can prove anything, you need a theory, so theories are great – provided you keep in mind that they are just that and don’t take them as goddess-honest truth.

Yods are said to be rare, and according to some interpretations, they represent unusually difficult challenges. Who doesn’t have difficult challenges? According to others, they indicate a special purpose or destiny. I haven’t seen any kind of systematic study showing that Yods are any rarer than, say, a T-square or a grand cross. And certainly, those configurations carry much greater weight, as they involve major aspects. A quincunx (sometimes called an inconjunct) is a minor aspect – not to be entirely ignored, but also not to be elevated above major aspects. It’s tempting, as one advances one’s astrological knowledge, to find lesser-known aspects, planets, asteroids, fictitious points in space – whatever – and to hone in on them, simply because it’s something new and carries the aura of advanced knowledge. These new ideas are all very interesting and can add richness and complexity to chart interpretation, but they shouldn’t be regarded as substitutes for the basic building blocks of astrology. The conjunction is still the most powerful aspect, and aspects to personal planets are more significant than outer planetary aspects. Pluto conjunct your Moon? You bet you’re going to feel it. Pluto in a Yod with Neptune and Vesta? Not so much.

I know that a lot of people will disagree with me and might say they have personal experience to prove their point. My response is that it’s extremely difficult to “prove” which astrological aspect correlates to an event or personality trait. It is all too easy to see connections that either aren’t there or that are weak and to miss others that are more compelling. This is one of the biggest dilemmas facing astrologers, and the more planets, asteroids, and chart patterns such as the Yod we throw into the toolbox, the more difficult it is to find the right tool to hit the nail. Sometimes you really just need the hammer, and that’s that.

One thing that’s certain is that we have an exact Sun-Jupiter opposition this evening (December 2, 8:45 p.m. EST), with the Earth in between and Jupiter the closest he’ll be to us until 2021. There’s a terrific article on the astronomy of this event at EarthSky. Financial astrologer Ray Merriman considers this aspect one the key signatures in market reversals. Keeping in mind that Jupiter is in the sign of his detriment and retrograde, it’s nevertheless an annual event worth noting. You’ll notice this aspect most if you have personal planets or chart angles at 9-13 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces).

Before I go, I want to announce that the StarGuide Winter 2013 Forecast is now available. Turnaround time is three-to-five days, so keep that in mind as you plan your holiday shopping.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Jupiter, Earth, and the Inner Journey of Sagittarius, Part I

© Bezik for Dreamstime.com

Sagittarius season is upon us once again, bringing with it an opportunity for deeper wisdom and the possibility to recognize and focus on our spiritual goals.

The fun-loving gregarious sign of Sagittarius is associated with freedom, truth, optimism, travel, adventure, spirituality, religion and philosophy. What do all these have in common? The search for ultimate truth and freedom. The true freedom that Sagittarius seeks is liberation of the mind.

Following the journey of the soul through the 12 signs of the zodiac, after the final struggle in Scorpio the way forward becomes clear. Scorpio brought necessary purification and transformation in preparation for the experience in Sagittarius:

The Archer has to acquire and hold a steady eye, hand and stance prior to firing the arrow which, when rightly directed and correctly followed, will carry him through the portal of initiation [in Capricorn]. ~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

Last month, we saw how Scorpio was the last of the signs of challenge (or crisis) and here in Sagittarius we have the first of the signs of service. The soul is now matured and ready to fulfill divine purpose with confidence. Throughout this series we have been looking at how specific planets provide the necessary conditions for each stage of our soul’s growth and development. Three planets are important to Sagittarius: Jupiter (at personality level), the Earth (at soul level) and Mars (at hierarchical level). For our purposes here in understanding our evolution from personality-centered beings to soul-centered beings, we will be looking at Jupiter and the Earth. It is just interesting to note that once again we have the influence of Mars at a much higher level of consciousness than he would normally be associated with!

Scorpio is a sign of purification which sets the soul on a path of discipleship (discipline), so here in Sagittarius the experience is one of discipline, focus, and direction. Jupiter is a planet of expansiveness and higher mind, so his role in conditioning us at personality level is one of expanding awareness and consciousness. It is through the influence of Jupiter that one realizes there is something higher to aim for: a bigger, larger, grander picture of ourselves beyond our small, limited mind.

Jupiter invites us to expand our vision, our awareness, and our experience of ourselves. Initially the earliest inkling of self-awareness shows up as self-consciousness, as we mentioned in Leo. Jupiter’s expansive influence in Sagittarius invites us to expand our experience on all levels, so we can expand our awareness. Taken to extremes at personality level, this expansive tendency can lead to self-indulgence and leave our Sagittarian friends with an expanding waistline! However, it is important to note that although Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, it is largely comprised of gas. The symbology here implies expansion beyond the density of physical matter. Jupiter encourages us to expand our minds.

Jupiter’s role is to create the conditions to guide us from small mind to higher mind. When we are in small mind we are limited by mental concepts and ideals. We impose limitation on ourselves by creating mental concepts and then adhering to them as though they were truth. When we know the difference between small mind (personality level) and higher mind (soul level), we see a distinction between religion and spirituality and begin to understand why both are associated with Sagittarius.

When we follow a religious path, at first we adhere closely to a creed or code of conduct. Although religious traditions are mental constructs, they have been created for the ultimate purpose of taking us beyond religion itself to experience higher spiritual truth. It is a path that someone created. The danger lies in mistaking the path itself for spiritual reality, and this is one of the pitfalls of Sagittarius.

In Part II, we’ll discuss how expanding consciousness with Jupiter increases our awareness of our connection with the Earth.


Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast November 26: Mercury Direct, Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Astrologically, this is a huge week, with three important conjunctions, Mercury turning direct just before a lunar eclipse in Mercury-ruled Gemini, and everything connected.

We’re already seeing the effects of the planetary configuration in the eclipse chart, which is complex and exceedingly rare. The Mars-Uranus square peaked on Friday, and right on cue, there was a huge explosion in Springfield, Mass., followed by a tragic fire on Saturday at a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A small gate. © Pat Paquette, 2012.



I predicted in last week’s forecast that the Mars-Uranus square might be mitigated by the conjunction of Venus and Saturn, favorably angled to Mars and Pluto. In the case of the Springfield explosion, this seemed to be the case. How likely is it that a blast that size in a major city like Springfield would result in no fatalities? According to a story by The Associated Press, officials marveled how the “blast occurred when a day care center next door was closed. The center’s building was heavily damaged.” In the chart timed for the explosion, Venus and Saturn were in the fifth house, which rules children. Vesta, an asteroid named for the Roman goddess who protected the community, was on the Ascendant.

And yet, the chart for the Dhaka fire has almost the same Ascendant, with Venus and Saturn in the fifth house as well, and as we know from news reports, at least 124 people died, most of them women. The only apparent difference in the charts is the position of the Moon, which in the Dhaka chart is at a near-exact inconjunct with chart-ruler Mercury, stationed (stopped) in preparation for returning direct tomorrow. According to news reports, emergency exits were blocked, and the workers were trapped.

This is a good reminder that astrology can’t tell you “what’s going to happen to you.” Our actions do count, and we can affect the outcome of situations. According to news reports, the Dhaka factory was tagged more than a year ago for unsafe conditions – by, of all ironies, Wal-Mart, one of the factory’s leading buyers and a corporation not known for great working conditions. We can choose not to heed warnings, and sometimes we even get away with it. Then, when astrological conditions change, we pay.

What’s so tragic here is that the people who paid with their lives had no voice. That, in a nutshell, is what the Uranus-Pluto square is all about. The more people rise up and protest, the more forceful the backlash from the authorities becomes.

The closer we get to Wednesday’s Full Moon eclipse, the closer the planets will align, with the Sun right at the midpoint between Mars and Pluto on one side and Saturn and Venus on the other. I can’t get over how extraordinary this alignment is, and I expect that the manifestations of it will be equally as remarkable. I see the possibility that it is a small window, a narrow gateway, to accomplishing the impossible and finding resolution to the greatest conflicts facing humanity. I was thinking “war and peace,” when a link popped onto my screen for indie films about war and peace. I just love synchronicities.

In that context, my “big news” is relatively minor. Nevertheless, it was a major accomplishment for me to complete my first video for RealAstrologers. It’s a week later than I planned, with several problems I wasn’t able to resolve, despite several all-nighters. I definitely was tempting fate trying to do work requiring exacting detail during Mercury retrograde, but there was no way around it. With better planning, I’d have had the video done by the first of November, but I’ve also had a backlog of reports. Some of the things that went wrong in the video-making process would have been laughable for an astrologer, if not for the time and frustration – we know that this is exactly what happens with Mercury in “reverse.” I was seriously not amused that my program kept crashing when I was nearly done. Right up until the 11th hour, problems made mountains out of small, routine tasks. But I did have some fun, too, and I learned a ton – a major function of Mercury.

For sure, I’m not the only one who’s been tearing my hair out. On Wednesday, I got the following e-mail from a client:

Normally I heed well your warnings on Mercury retrograde. A week and a half ago I decided to purchase a new fridge, to replace the 30-year-old one in the house … After many problems it was delivered last Saturday and has yet to freeze an ice cube. I have had to toss much food, lose a day’s pay to a repairman, who said he can get a part in December, and lose my mind to the point of getting sick. As it stands right now I will be getting the useless one hauled out and new one in tonight. I will never blatantly disregard your warnings again!

The good news is that we have only one more day of this, and then we’ve got the green light … and how!

Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Click on image to enlarge

Most of this week’s aspects appear in the chart for the eclipse, starting with Monday’s Sun-Uranus trine. This is where I see the biggest potential for good surprises. We’ve had enough bad ones lately – then, nothing really surprises us much anymore … OK, maybe I shouldn’t have written that. As we found out with Hurricane Katrina, trines can be “good” for something other than humans. Nature is neutral and couldn’t care less how weather affects us. Likewise, the Universe is neutral. Our limited notion of “benefit” is just that – limited.

Also on Monday, Mercury returns direct. This is critically important, given that Mercury is the ruler of Wednesday’s eclipse. Mercury went retrograde in Sagittarius but returns direct in Scorpio, the sign of backroom deals, spies, and corporate secrets. It’s hard to imagine what kind of shocking information will come out in the next two weeks. Will any election results be overturned? The United Nations has declared Washington and Colorado in violation of international treaties for voting to legalize pot. This is just too bizarre for words. And what about Petraeus and Benghazi? I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop – namely, confirmation that the U.S. “consulate” in Benghazi was a CIA outpost, that this was not a secret in upper echelons, and that the Republicans’ faux outrage is a diversionary tactic. As for the impending “fiscal cliff” – well, who knows what surprises lie in store?

Later on Monday, Venus conjoins Saturn, immediately followed on Tuesday by the conjunction of Mars and Pluto. There is some deep symbolic significance here in that Venus and Mars are the quintessential male and female, that each is aligned with a “superpower,” and that those superpowers are virtually indistinguishable, due to their mutual reception. How much difference, really, is there between the one political party and another, one country or another? The polarities anymore are not between political parties or countries, but between social classes – those with political and economic power, and those without it. Protest movements around the world seem to identify more with one another than they do with their own national identities, with fast global communications as a means of connecting. This is the wave of the future.

Venus formally aligns with Pluto on Wednesday and with Mars on Thursday. The one factor that may make an immediate difference in U.S. national affairs is the number of women in Congress. In general (note emphasis), our values are different, with relationships being more important than dominance. I know that there are countries ahead of us in this regard – Iceland, for example. The vanguard is followed by the mainstream.

The one planet I didn’t discuss in my video was Jupiter, who is not far from the Moon in the eclipse chart. The conjunction is a bit wide to have much impact, and Jupiter is retrograde and in the sign of his fall. But there’s a little extra “luck” here nonetheless, plus some amplification of the power of the energies of the eclipse in general. So, even though it’s only a penumbral eclipse and you may not even see it, there’s a better chance that you’ll feel it in some area of your life.

I’m really excited about this week, and I’m especially looking forward to getting my work back on track. One of my first tasks (after taking care of client e-mail and some backlogged reports) will be to create the template for the StarGuide Winter 2013 Forecast. I just love it that some of you have pre-ordered before I even announced it. I’ll have an update in next week’s forecast.

In the meantime, much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Lunar Eclipse in Gemini, November 28, 2012

I finally finished my video on the upcoming lunar eclipse. Yay!

Trying to do this kind of detailed work during Mercury retrograde has been a challenge, to say the least. Anything that could go wrong, did – everything from compatibility issues between my editing program and my new camera to a bad bathroom bang trim. The setbacks and delays were so numerous that I almost gave up a couple of times. All I could do was laugh, knowing that everything that happened was a supreme validation of astrology. And it was great fun to create the motion graphics, complete with exploding Gemini and imploding Pluto.

I’ll post my regular weekly forecast later today, so check back this evening. There’s so much going on this week! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my first video for RealAstrologers.