Weekly Forecast February 9: Mercury Direct

Winter gems. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2015.

Winter gems. © Gretchen Friedrich, 2015.

Welcome to yet another week in which there are no major astrological aspects but that nonetheless is dominated by tension.

In the past couple of days, I’ve read countless commentaries by folks who feel sure we’re headed for “total war” as the West confronts Russian President Vladimir Putin over events in Ukraine. Putin met on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande to negotiate what observers call a last-ditch effort to avoid an all-out war. The three world leaders are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday in the Belarus capital of Minsk to work out final details of a peace agreement.

Reports from Friday’s meeting at the Kremlin were dismal, yet I was encouraged that another summit was scheduled at all and that it will include a parallel meeting with opposition leaders in eastern Ukraine. The negotiations are urgent, given talk in Washington of sending lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military to suppress the uprising, which was a backlash against last year’s Western-backed coup. The rebels are backed by Russia, and while it would be a mistake to ignore the historical divisions within the country, the situation has escalated to a dangerous proxy war between the United States and Russia. It’s telling that the United States wasn’t invited to the meeting in Minsk, although Merkel is flying to Washington to consult with President Obama on Monday.

It didn’t sound to me like all hope was lost. But now reports are coming out of Donetsk that Ukrainian missiles have hit a chemical plant there, sending up a mushroom cloud. Social media were buzzing that it was a nuclear explosion. I’ve spent the past two hours searching for more information, but there was little but speculation on Twitter. Finally I found this report on Russian state-sponsored news, in which Kiev is quoted as taking responsibility for the attack, but denying that they knew what they were hitting when they fired artillery at the city. Militia fighting on the government side say the target was a munitions stockpile. We should know more by morning. We’ll also know whether the Minsk summit is going to proceed. It’s hard to imagine that this was anything other than an attempt to sabotage the negotiations. In every war, someone profits, and they are threatened by peace.

The coup in Ukraine occurred last year, two months before an exact square between Uranus and Pluto. At the time, I intuitively felt that, of all the unrest in the world since the Uranus-Pluto square began approaching in the summer of 2010, this was the “big one.” So here we are again, just over a month before the seventh and final pass of what is arguably the most important planetary alignment of our lifetime, and once again, we’re asking the Big Question.

Yesterday I encountered an interesting phrase, “New World Disorder.” It’s a takeoff on the New World Order, which, depending on who you talk to, is either a new era of cooperation between East and West or an evil conspiracy by a secret cabal of elites to bring the entire world under one totalitarian government. There’s no doubt that the balance of power in the world is shifting under the Uranus-Pluto square, with the United States losing its grip on the role as the world’s only superpower. While the latter is necessary, the world is indeed plunged in disorder and chaos while the breakdown happens.

Meanwhile, Saturn in Sagittarius and his approaching square with Neptune in Pisces are shaking up religious beliefs. Religion for many is a personal choice that has nothing to do with world affairs. In many modern industrial countries, religion is separated from government by law, which may lead to a false conclusion that there is no relationship between them. But our national and cultural identity is built on religious principles. Many people are coming to realize, for example, the connections between Christianity and capitalism. Humanity is evolving beyond narrow religious dogma to a state in which we connect directly with the cosmos through the real “mind,” as opposed to using the intellect to memorize doctrine, debate whether God exists, or establish rules for what makes a person “spiritual.”

Beyond that, religious beliefs affect how we see the world and our place in it, and that has a direct effect on our external reality. What we manifest in our lives may be through conscious intent, or it may through unconscious patterns. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we manifest according to what we think, feel, and believe, and some of that – maybe much of it – is laid down in early childhood. Since the collective is made up of individuals, we collectively manifest according to our cultural beliefs. When the conservative Right laments that the breakdown of “family values” is tearing apart the fabric of our society, they are right. And that’s not a bad thing. A collective made up of individuals who believe in narrow-minded, paternalistic, hierarchical religious values is going to manifest a material reality that eventually will make the world uninhabitable. As individuals within that collective begin to change their beliefs, the “gods” are figuratively overthrown, and chaos reigns until the new order is established.

That’s where we are now. It would just be really swell if that chaos doesn’t include nuclear war or some other heinous technological demise.

Some time ago, I read this thought-provoking article by writer Nozomi Hayase, who has some fascinating observations on how psychopaths are running the world. The antidote she suggests is kind of what I’ve been saying all along:

Healing of the world requires knowledge and a deeper understanding of what has become so evil in the world. It also challenges us to have courage to confront the darkness and recognize it as a shadow that embodies the light. This is a radical love that recognizes the interconnection between good and evil. The awakening of this love within reconnects us to chaos – its unhindered autonomous force of imagination. This is, as psychologist and Jesuit priest Ignacio Martín-Baró (1994) witnessed, “an opening against all closure, flexibility against everything fixed, elasticity against all rigidity, a readiness to act against all stagnation.” … Images start to flow. We can move toward a decentralized future where all life is regarded as sacred, where we listen to one another in dialogue. ~ Nozomi Hayase, “Radical Love: An Antidote to the Pathology of the Corporate State.”

The only astrological event of any importance this week is Mercury’s return direct on Wednesday. Typically, we experience the worst delays and communications mix-ups a day or two on either side of his shift in motion, so give yourself extra time to get from one place to another or to accomplish tasks that require input from others. If you lose something (like, for instance, your dry cleaning), wait a few days before accusing someone of stealing it. Chances are, you’ll find it right where it’s supposed to be.

Last week I heard the best Mercury retrograde story ever. It all started when Taylor Swift made a comment about Mercury retrograde in an MTV video. The Washington Post did a story, filled with the predictable snark. Then they quoted the communications director for an association of astronomers – you know, the scientific guys – who explained why it was all a bunch of superstitious hooey. Trouble is, he got his facts backwards. He said Earth orbits the Sun faster than Mercury. It’s the other way around. Big oops!

Fortunately, Mercury will be direct before Friday, which is the 13th. Heaven forbid we should have to deal with two superstitions on the same day. The Moon will be in Sagittarius all day, which should lighten things up a bit. Friday get-togethers after work can help alleviate some anxiety, even if it’s just for a few hours.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. The Moon starts out in Sagittarius but enters staid Capricorn at 5:24 p.m. EST. This isn’t an exuberant placement for the Moon, and emotions don’t flow easily. But you can still be real, with the right person in a quiet, intimate setting.

On Sunday, the Moon amplifies the Uranus-Pluto square. It does so a couple of times a month, so this isn’t a huge big deal. But since we’re getting close to the event itself, we might feel some extra pins and needles.

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.

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