Weekly Forecast March 17: Sun Enters Aries, Mercury Conjunct Neptune

Storm in Hjørungavåg, by Gerhard Munthe, an illustration for  Olav Tryggvasons saga, 1899 edition.

Storm in Hjørungavåg, by Gerhard Munthe, an illustration for Olav Tryggvasons saga, 1899 edition.

This week marks the beginning of spring and the end of the astrological year. We’re also heading into the most volatile period of 2014 and arguably the most tumultuous since the summer of 2010.

You might ask how much crazier it could get. Violent revolutions for “freedom and democracy” that depose democratically elected leaders. The United States and Russia in a new Cold War. A plane gone mysteriously missing without a trace. And now a U.S. government-funded report suggesting that industrial
civilization could collapse within a few decades.

Of all the crises in the news, I’m most concerned about the apparent showdown between the United States and Russia, especially now that Crimea has voted to leave Ukraine. It’s not that both sides have huge nuclear arsenals. It’s more about economics (isn’t it always?) and who has control of limited energy, food, and water resources. And by “who,” I’m not talking about countries, but entities that have no national allegiance. Did you know that Ford and ExxonMobil have billions of dollars invested in Russia? U.S. and other Western-based corporations also have billions at stake in Ukraine. We learn from news reports that President Obama spent an hour and a half on the phone with President Putin. But I’d like to know how many hours each of them is spending on the phone and in private meetings with the heads of Monsanto, Chevron, and Coca-Cola.

I often get discouraged by the comments on popular online news sites such as The Huffington Post, CNN, and The Guardian. It’s as though there’s a big vat of red Kool-Aid and another vat of blue Kool-Aid, and everyone has drunk one or the other. Maybe it’s a Neptune-in-Pisces thing. Every now and then, someone leaves a comment showing that they haven’t been fooled by corporate media spin or distracted by info-tainment “news.” Of course, they tend to get either ignored or flamed. Still, it means there’s a glimmer of hope.

But I digress. Back to this week …

Most people think of the Sun’s entry into Aries as the first day of spring – or, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the first day of fall. For astrologers, the Aries ingress (a fancy word for “entering into”) is an occasion to cast charts to get some idea of what’s in store for particular counties. For the United States, we cast the chart for Washington. This year, I also looked at the Aries ingress for Moscow.

2014 Aries Ingress

Click on image to enlarge

The charts are telling, on their own and viewed together. First, both charts have a cardinal sign on the Ascendant, indicating that they are valid for three months. After that, we have to cast another chart. The Ascendant in the chart for Washington is conjunct the U.S. Sun by exact degree. Jupiter is on the Ascendant, opposite Pluto conjunct the Descendant by exact degree (which means Pluto is opposite the U.S. Sun), both in a square with Uranus in Aries. This is a critical time for the United States. There is something “fated” or destined for the country in the events of the next three months. Pluto on the Descendant can indicate powerful enemies bent on the destruction of the United States, likely in secret. They may have financial concerns as well, and it’s possible that Pluto represents powerful figures in global finance. That’s one possibility. Another is that whatever happens in the next three months triggers a radical transformation for the United States. These two possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive.

2014 Aries Ingress, Moscow

Click on image to enlarge

The Ascendant in the Aries ingress chart for Moscow is conjunct the Sun of Vladimir Putin by exact degree and the U.S. Saturn by 1 degree. Uranus is closely conjunct the Descendant, with Mars, the planet of war, rising with the lunar North Node. In mundane astrology (the astrology of world events), the first house represents the country as a whole. Mars is retrograde in Libra, which is consistent with a renewal of Cold War politics. This sounds ominous, but it looks pretty good for Russia and Putin. Neither he nor the Russian people want war, certainly not on their soil. We see that in chart ruler Venus, the planet of peace, in the fourth house, which rules the people of a country and the land itself.

That said, there’s enormous pressure on Putin from every quarter – at home, abroad, by Russian oligarchs, and outside forces who want Russia to open its markets and increase foreign trade. It seems that in every article in the Western media, Putin is Russia. The ingress chart indicates that Putin’s biggest concern is improving the economy and maintaining Russia’s position in energy markets. A proposed “free-trade” agreement between the United States and the European Union would endanger Russia’s edge as the major supplier of energy to Europe – much of it via pipelines running through Ukraine.

These charts are valid through the Cancer ingress on June 21. When I cast the new charts for Washington and Moscow, I was astounded to see the same degrees on the Ascendants as in the Aries charts. There are differences in the house positions of the planets, indicating some shift in focus. I’ll have more on the Cancer charts later, but at first glance, it appears that fated events in the next three months will continue to unfold through September. In the meantime, we have a lunar eclipse coming up on April 15 that’s exact to within one arc second of the position of Mars in the Aries ingress charts. This is of major significance, and since Mars is the planet of war, I think we can expect conflicts to escalate. Remember, war doesn’t necessarily have to be missiles flying back and forth over the North Pole. We just might get a glimpse of war in the 21st century looks like.

Other than the Aries ingress this week, we also have Mercury going back into Pisces on Monday. The Messenger drifted into the sign of dreams and foggy thinking in early February but barely got to 3 degrees before going retrograde and returning to Aquarius. For poets and artists, Mercury in Pisces is a particularly creative time – provided you don’t waste it getting drunk and high. I have known some artists who thought they worked better in an “altered state,” but as a writer, I’ve always found it to be problematic. You think you’re writing something brilliant, only to sober up and find out it’s unintelligible. In any case, creative souls may find that they don’t need mind-altering substances while Mercury is in Pisces. Whether or not you’re creatively gifted, pay attention to your dreams this week, especially on Saturday, when Mercury conjoins Neptune. Keep your dream journal handy. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been having a lot of strange dreams lately, with a lot of rich material for analysis and interpretation. But if I don’t write them down the instant I wake up, they vanish.

The only other major aspect this week is on Tuesday, when Venus forms a supportive sextile to Uranus. The conventional interpretation for this aspect is suddenly meeting a new love interest or some other surprise involving romance and friendship. And that could apply here. However, this aspect is potentially significant in the context of escalating conflict, because there’s a path for the tension to “flow,” and the outlet is the planet of peace in the sign of freedom and human cooperation. Let’s watch the news and see whether there’s a sign of a truce of some sort early in the week. After that, all bets are off. Depending on how the T-square of Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto is transiting your chart, you could notice some relief, especially in matters of relationships or money.

I feel like a broken record telling you that we’re about to go through another storm, but this has been the “new normal” for some time now, and it will continue through at least the middle of next year. Those who have the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Midheaven in the middle degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are having a harder time than others right now, but all of us are experiencing elevated stress and anxiety. Humanity is unloading a lot of collective trauma, which is a prerequisite to living healthier lives in a sustainable environment. We’re witnessing a transformation of epic proportions.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.