Eclipses can provide windows on the past and future, and that’s especially true of a lunar eclipse in Scorpio. Pluto, ruler of Scorpio in modern tropical astrology, was named for the Roman god of the underworld, which morphed into the Christian concept of hell. But for some cultures – notably, the ancient Celts – there wasn’t so much an “underworld” as an “otherworld,” not underground but behind a veil. Julius Caesar remarked in his famous commentaries that the bravery of Celtic warriors stemmed from their belief that death on the battlefield meant only a brief detour to the otherworld.
Death and destruction are on our minds a lot lately, with deadly events three days in a row last week. Monday was the horrific explosion at the Boston Marathon. On Wednesday, a fertilizer plant exploded in Waco, Texas, killing 14 people and leveling the surrounding area. There was also a major earthquake on Tuesday near the border of Iran and Pakistan. Although the Boston explosion had the fewest casualties of the three, it’s the one that has dominated the news and unleashed the largest torrent of hate, fear, and ignorance. After all, one can’t hate the earth for moving or chemicals for reacting. Never mind that the factory owners previously had been fined for safety violations … or, for that matter, that the FBI had previous contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers suspected in the Boston bombing.
I predicted that facts would surface as Mercury approached a square to Pluto, but it seems that the Neptunian fog in the bombing chart is just getting thicker. The FBI claims it dropped its investigation of Tamerlan in 2011 because it didn’t have the right to keep an open file on a legal immigrant. Since when did that ever stop the feds? It’s also interesting that they mentioned the connection only after the suspect’s mother spilled the beans. Were they really going to try to get away with that? My sensitive Pisces nose smells rotten fish.
As I sifted through the news articles, one of the things that struck me most was the degree to which we are all under surveillance in a growing police state. This is Pluto in Capricorn, aided and abetted by Saturn in Scorpio. Some say it’s a good thing, that surveillance cameras helped quickly identify the suspects and provided irrefutable evidence of their guilt. Predictably, a lynch mob was ready to kill them on the spot, with no investigation or trial, and the citizens of Boston readily agreed to stay inside, turn off their cell phones, and close their businesses. As a drill for future uprisings and rebellions, the Boston lockdown was a resounding success. Homeland Security (sic) must have been pleased indeed.
While I was contemplating this trend and the possible scenarios under the Uranus-Pluto square, I came across a curious comment by veteran Washington journalist Howard Fineman in an editorial for The Huffington Post. “As if we needed any further proof, this week in Boston proves that there is no ‘over there.’ Ours is not a planet in which distance matters; nor does the passage of time. It may be that centuries-old grievances are erupting worldwide like volcanic lava,” he writes.
In other words, we’re all connected, not only in this time and place, but across all dimensions of time and space. And the veil between these dimensions is thinning, about to get thinner still with the eclipses. It’s a safe bet that Fineman isn’t a fan of astrology, but he sure was onto more than he thought when he wrote that apocalyptic sentence. I mentioned in last week’s post that I suspected the eclipses would open up a window on time, and I’ve also written a lot about the true meaning of the word “apocalypse,” which literally means “unveiling” – the lifting of the veil. What veil are we talking about if not the boundary that keeps us separated from other dimensions of time and space?Fineman begins his article with the eerie connection between 26-year-old Tamerlan and the historical Tamerlane, a 14th century warlord born in what is now Uzbekistan. Often called a successor to Genghis Khan, Tamerlane was born on April 9, 1336. (My source for this information is Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World, by Justin Marozzi.) Tamerlane is the English corruption of his given name, “Timur,” which means “iron.” Yes, as in Mars. Tamerlan Tsarnaev most certainly knew about his namesake. Hang onto your seat, because it gets creepier. Converted to the modern calendar, Tamerlane’s date of birth is April 17. That puts his Sun at 27 Aries, less than two degrees from the Sun-Mars conjunction in the Boston bombing chart. Tamerlane’s Saturn was retrograde at 6 degrees Scorpio, just 3 degrees from retrograde Saturn in the Boston chart. His North Node was at 2 degrees Aries – precisely the degree of Mercury in the Boston chart – and he had Pluto at 3 degree Aries. Pluto on the North Node strongly suggests someone with a powerful mission to transform. Of course, he also left unfathomable death and destruction in his path, another signature of Pluto. Asteroid Pallas in the Boston chart is conjunct Tamerlane’s Mars by exact degree. Pallas is named for the Greek goddess Athena, whose attributes included military strategy. In his own time, astrologers would have noted Tamerlane’s Mars-Jupiter conjunction as the sign of a great military leader. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Sun is at 27 degrees Libra, the sign opposite Aries. As it so happens, that’s the exact degree of the Ascendant in the chart for the Waco explosion, as well as for a similar explosion that took place in Toulouse, France, in September 2001. I don’t know yet what to make to make of this synchronicity. In ancient times, Libra was considered the sign of generals, but there’s no obvious connection to an explosion at a fertilizer plant, and as far as we know, Tamerlan wasn’t commanding an army in any sense of the word.
In one last bit of trivia, you might remember Tamerlane as the title of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The collection in which it appeared was published in Boston in 1827, not under Poe’s name but by “A Bostonian.”
I’d like to hear your thoughts.Returning to our era, let’s have a look at Thursday’s lunar eclipse, which promises to be intense. The Full Moon is at 5°46′ Scorpio, opposite the Sun at 5°46′ Taurus. Mars is still in conjunction with the Sun by less than 2 degrees, while the Moon is conjunct Saturn by three degrees. Put another way, we have a Mars-Saturn opposition superimposed on a lunar eclipse. Although modern astrologers don’t look at Mars and Saturn with the same fearful eye as our medieval predecessors, we nonetheless can’t ignore the challenges implied in an opposition between these two bad boys. Mars in Taurus is less aggressive than Mars in Aries, and perhaps the worst tension will be due to stubborn resistance and stonewalling. In general, there’s a feeling of sorrow – not that we don’t already have enough losses to grieve, and that brings up the point that much of what has happened in the past week could correlate to the eclipse. Nothing says eclipse-related events can’t happen before the eclipse date. In some cases, they can occur months in advance. So, although it’s not a bad idea to stay alert, I don’t think we need to hide under the bed.
There are two strong energy outlets in this chart, which is some cause for hope that we can spin challenges into opportunities. First, the Sun and Moon make a harmonious sextile/trine to Neptune. On the positive side, this is a reminder of how connected we really are, and not just to those we sympathize with or agree with. Neptune and Pisces, the sign it rules, are associated with deep compassion and empathy. It is through Neptune’s idealism that we can strive for a better world, while Saturn injects practical considerations and Mars represents action. The downside of Neptune is the tendency toward escapism, whether through drugs and alcohol, compulsive shopping, too much television, or any number of other addictions. Sure, we need to give our minds a rest from all the dismal news, and I certainly understand the urge to drown our sorrows. Just don’t stay there for too long.
The second outlet is a trine from Venus in Taurus to Pluto in Capricorn. This is a lusty, passionate combination that typically is interpreted as good for your sex life. And it might be. But Venus and Pluto also are about wealth and finances, and Pluto is, above all, about personal power and transformation, while Venus is the planet of love. There is strong energy here for transformation through love. For clues about how you can best use this energy, look at where Venus and Pluto fall in your chart. If you don’t know where that is, you can find out by ordering your StarGuide Spring forecast, which is now on sale for 25 percent off. It includes interpretations of all three eclipses, plus the New Moon in Gemini on June 8. The monthly report for May also is ready.
As I mentioned last week, the festival of Wesak falls at the Full Moon in Scorpio. In Eastern countries that go by the sidereal zodiac, Wesak will be celebrated at the next Full Moon, which is on May 25 and also happens to coincide with an eclipse. Since Wesak is essentially an Eastern festival, I feel that it’s more appropriate to celebrate it according to the sidereal zodiac. I’ll explain more about the differences in the zodiacs in Thursday’s Q&A. In the meantime, I’ll be making preparations to make full use of the energies of this powerful Full Moon in Scorpio. I don’t say that lightly, as my experience last year shook me to the core.
But isn’t that the point?
Wishing you all unconditional love and infinite courage,