I probably don’t need to tell you that we’re in volatile, dangerous astrological territory.
This week, there is a total lunar eclipse, the third of four in a row, known as a “tetrad.” It comes on the heels of a total eclipse of the Sun two weeks earlier, which occurred just hours before the Aries equinox, one of the most powerful points in the zodiac. At the peak of this week’s lunar eclipse, the Sun in Aries is in close alignment with Uranus and in a square with Pluto.
Even though Uranus is moving away from the square with Pluto, it will be close for several weeks and thus will remain a major underlying signature in world events. Uranus is the planet of revolution and rebellion. In fiery Aries, he’s unpredictable and explosive, often literally. Pluto in Capricorn is about established wealth and power, but Pluto in general represents breakdown and destruction, often deadly.
Jupiter, meanwhile, is stationed to turn direct on April 8 after being retrograde for four months. Stationing planets appear to be stopped in the sky, and during that time are considered more powerful in astrology. As it is, Jupiter carries a lot of weight in astrological analysis, and he can act as an amplifier. Jupiter is in fire sign Leo and thus represents a power booster to the explosive nature of the Sun-Uranus-Pluto configuration.
Events in the past week have been consistent with these astrological signatures, and they demonstrate how one planetary configuration can manifest in multiple ways. There was another freak plane crash in a string of bizarre accidents that have occurred during the Uranus-Pluto square, including two downed Malaysia Airlines flights, neither with an explanation and one of which disappeared entirely. In addition to rebellion, Uranus rules technological innovation and air and space travel. Uranus also is the eccentric or “freak” of the zodiac.
On Thursday, four buildings exploded in New York City when construction workers accidentally ruptured a gas main. Two of the buildings collapsed. On Friday, Ukraine government forces began shelling a village held by the Donetsk People’s Republic, one of the two states that claimed independence following the Western-backed coup in February 2014. Since an agreement signed on Feb. 11, 2015, the ceasefire had been tenuous and not observed completely by either side. I figured there would be a major violation this week, possibly serious enough to throw the entire peace process into question. The United States was not a party to the agreement, reportedly a deliberate snub by European nations concerned by U.S. unwillingness to compromise with Russia.
The war in Ukraine is widely seen as a proxy war between the United States and Russia, which is why this particular situation is extremely dangerous. This week’s Full Moon eclipse falls at 14 degrees Libra, conjunct Vladimir Putin’s Sun and the U.S. Saturn. I wrote about this last year as we were approaching the epic cardinal grand cross. When the formation was at its closest, Uranus was at 13 degrees Aries, Jupiter at 13 Cancer, Mars at 13 Libra, and Pluto at 13 Capricorn. That represented an enormous amount of pressure on Putin’s 13 degree Libra Sun. I remarked back then how interesting it is that we don’t refer to the conflict as between the United States and Russia or between President Obama and Putin, but between the United States and Putin. It’s amazing how astrology works that way.
I’ve been looking at a lot of charts over the past week, trying to identify patterns that might give us a clue about whether and when a major war will break out. Based on eclipse and Aries ingress charts for Washington and Moscow, it looks like Russia’s conflict with its immediate neighbors will escalate, with continuing economic and information warfare with the West, led by the United States – essentially what we’ve got now. The ingress charts for both countries are good for six months and then have to be recast at the Libra ingress (September 23). This is the second most intense period of 2015, after the one we’re in now. The Libra ingress charts for both Washington and Moscow are more belligerent, and Mercury will be retrograde at 14 degrees Libra, once gain emphasizing U.S. attempts to block Putin’s goals, which will not have changed. What happens in the next two weeks between the United States and Putin – a week on either side of Saturday’s eclipse – will give us a clue of the cause of the breakdown in negotiations this fall. It’s possible that Ukraine is just a part of it. There’s also a possibility that international terrorism will become a more significant bone of contention.
I also looked at various charts around the start of both world wars. World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia (11 a.m., according to historical records). The chart has 15 degrees Libra Rising, with the Moon at 13 degrees Libra on the Ascendant. It’s difficult to imagine how a war of immeasurable devastation could begin with the Moon and Ascendant in the sign of peace and diplomacy. But Libra also is the sign of balance. The reasons for World War I were convoluted, but according to some historians, a major factor was a shift in the balance of power as the Ottoman Empire collapsed and the major European powers jockeyed for control of former Ottoman lands and supremacy over one another with their “high-tech” weapons. As long as they were relatively equal, none would venture to invade another’s territory, because there was too much of a risk that they would end up in a costly war.
World leaders attempted to find some balance after World War I, which they believed was so horrific that humans would never again go to war. But in many ways, the balance was tipped even further, setting the stage for World War II. The “balance” that emerged from the second war was an opposition of two global superpowers armed with enough nuclear weapons to annihilate each other and the entire planet. Peace supposedly would be maintained through “mutual assured destruction,” the theory that neither side would launch a first strike, because there was too much of a risk that it wouldn’t hit its target in time to prevent a counterattack.
In 1989, astrologically one of the most important years of the 20th century, the Soviet Union was broken up, leaving only one superpower. Without the balance of an opponent, the United States quickly adopted an imperialist attitude and embarked on a strategy to ensure that it would never again have an opponent as strong as the Soviet Union. That strategy included programs to turn the newly independent Soviet republics into open market economies. If necessary, steps would be taken to overthrow uncooperative regimes.
So here we are, in a state of imbalance so pronounced it’s a wonder the planet hasn’t flipped and started spinning on its side like Uranus. And, in an irony of cosmic proportions, the one person most widely recognized around the world as representing the resistance to the empire is a Russian, and his Sun is at 13 degrees Libra. World War III may or may not happen – and if it does, it won’t be like the other two – but something big has to happen in order for the balance to be restored. Fortunately, humanity as a whole is in a higher state of consciousness than it was during the first half of the 20th century, thanks in part to the counterculture movement at the beginning of the Uranus-Pluto cycle in the mid-1960s. In another strange bit of synchronicity, the 1965-66 Uranus-Pluto conjunction fell at 16-17 degrees Virgo. The chart for the beginning of World War I that I described above has Libra on the Ascendant, with chart ruler Venus just short of 15 degrees Virgo and Mars at 19 degrees Virgo, both opposite healer Chiron at 18 degrees Pisces. In the chart for this week’s eclipse, Chiron is at 18 degrees Pisces.
Before I go into the rest of this week’s astrological lineup, I want to mention another air and space “explosion” that took place this past week. Early Saturday, a Soyuz rocket blasted off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan, carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut to the International Space Station for a year-long mission to study the physical and psychological effects of long-term space travel. Their research is a preliminary step toward a manned mission to Mars.
When the current Uranus-Pluto cycle began, the United States and Russia were engaged in a space race as part of their military programs. The Russians beat the Americans when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, became the first man in space. However, the Americans in 1969 were the first to put a man on the moon. The one-year mission will be the first for the United States, whereas Russia sent cosmonauts into space for a year or longer in the 1980s. For all we know, they’re terraforming Mars already. Considering how things are going on Earth, it can’t hurt to have a backup planet.
On to this week … The Full Moon is on Saturday at 8:06 a.m. EDT, six minutes after the eclipse reaches totality. The Sun forms an exact square with Pluto on Sunday and is exactly conjunct Uranus on Monday, April 6. Mercury, the planet of communications and negotiation, enters Aries this Monday (March 30) and next week will do a repeat of this week’s solar aspects.
Also on Monday, Venus in Taurus forms a harmonious trine with Pluto. Temporary peace is possible, and financial deals are profitable. In romantic relationships, Venus and Pluto in earth signs suggest a sensual passion that is hot without leaving burn marks. Possessiveness and a need to control are still there, but they can be managed.
On Tuesday, Mars enters Taurus, the sign of his detriment. Mars in Aries can be warlike, but in his own sign, he has appropriate outlets for anger. In Taurus, Mars seethes silently and if pushed too far, either implodes or charges like a bull. Mars in Taurus also can be stubborn, refusing to budge in a dispute. Positive outlets for Mars in Taurus energy include moderate physical activity such as a long hike, lifting weights, and sex.
On Wednesday, Venus forms an easy sextile with Chiron in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. Healing bodywork such as massage or a seaweed wrap is especially relaxing. Being around water also helps relieve stress. If you can find a peaceful place with some solitude, sit quietly with yourself and just “be.”
Thursday’s Mercury-Saturn trine brings clear thinking and an ability to see how beliefs can distort reality. You’re less likely to waste energy spinning your wheels and will get more accomplished. Comments can be blunt and insensitive, which may save time but can leave hurt feelings. News reports are fast and might actually contain a grain or two of truth.
Also on Thursday, the Sun forms a powerful trine with Jupiter, as the big guy is stopped in preparation to return direct next week. Even in times of chaos and uncertainty – or often because of them – unusual opportunities can come along. The general rule of thumb for eclipses is that if someone else makes an offer, take it, but don’t initiate new projects on your own for a day or two on either side. If you get a flash of inspiration, write it down and come back to it later. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but the one downside to this aspect is that there is a tendency to be overly optimistic and to rush right into anything that sounds good without stopping to think. You’re capable of a lot, but don’t promise more than you can comfortably deliver. This is important to remember at a time when so many people are complaining of stress and exhaustion.
The Moon enters Libra on Friday at 3:07 a.m. EDT, beginning the countdown to Saturday’s Full Moon. If possible, look for ways to bring much-needed balance into your life. (Jinn is sitting here trying to convince me that the secret to perfect balance and happiness is to bring out the feather toy.)
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.