When I said last week’s forecast was going to be late, I had no idea it was going to be a whole week. I started writing it ten days ago and got totally overwhelmed, both by world events and the explosion of personal projects.
As you know from the news headlines, events have been moving very quickly. It’s almost as if time has been accelerating. That’s also true for many of us personally. Several readers have written tell me about unexpected good news and sudden breakthroughs.
For me, the pace has picked up to the point of mental overload, and my head is in a total muddle – Neptunian, but not in the way you’d expect. Last week, I was working on no less than six major projects plus a couple of smaller ones. I pulled three all-nighters, which obviously didn’t help concentration and focus.
Since there wasn’t a forecast last week, I’ll look back at the most important events and then discuss what’s ahead. There’s a lot to cover, too, with the New Moon last Wednesday and Venus entering Virgo on July 18, a week before she turns retrograde this coming Saturday. The following day (July 26), Uranus turns retrograde, just as he’s being squared by Mars. Whatever happens, it’s going to be explosive and messy.
On the world stage, there have been several major news stories all happening at once, with new developments occurring almost every day. In writing past forecasts, I’ve had two or three browser tabs open; in the past two weeks, it has been more like seven or eight, with a few tabs open for other projects I’m working on. It’s impossible to focus on just one story or one project at a time. In the past ten minutes, I’ve received two e-mails that required opening three more tabs. As fast as things are moving, some of what I’ve been writing for the past ten days seems like ancient history, forgotten as the next big crisis occupies the public’s short attention span. However, I think it’s worth going back over some of the big stories.
A week ago, Greece was forced into a punishing bailout agreement with Eurozone countries in a record-breaking 17-hour negotiating session that ended early Monday morning (talk about all-nighters). Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras then had to go home and try to sell the deal to a rebellious Parliament. Critics charged that the EU’s treatment of Tsipras was nothing less than an attempt to overthrow him and his leftwing Syriza government. That sentiment exploded in the social media, reflecting a widespread feeling among ordinary people that democracy has been hijacked by the gangbanksters and we have absolutely no say in anything. None. This sentiment is worldwide and is not going to go away.
The Greek people, meanwhile, have gone from dancing in the streets after soundly defeating the EU’s proposed bailout deal in a referendum two weeks ago, to wandering around “dazed and confused” over how the deal forced on them now is even worse. Predictably, once they got over the shock, anger set in. Riot police have been suppressing pockets of violence; at least, that’s what I read earlier in the week.
As of this week, Tsipras is still in office. He delivered the crucial vote to the EU, but he lost the support of members of his own party and reshuffled his cabinet to replace ministers who voted against the bailout deal. I don’t know, does that qualify as “overthrowing” a government? Was Tsipras forced to cave through some sinister means, or was he, as many suspected, only pretending to be the people’s hero all along? I admit, I was among the hopeful when Syriza took power. But I didn’t know anything about Tsipras, his background, or whether he had a record of standing up for the poor and disempowered. In any case, because Tsipras did as he was told, the European Commission sent Greece a €7 billion bridge loan, none of which went to the country, but was spent entirely on repaying loans to the IMF and the European Central Bank. Makes you wonder exactly who was being rescued in this deal.
One can’t help thinking that the whole situation is being staged – in other words, it’s all political theater, with callous disregard for the health and welfare of the people being used as pawns. In yet another twist (although it wasn’t a surprise to those who had been paying attention), the International Monetary Fund dropped a bomb into the deal by saying there’s no way Greece would be able to meet the repayment terms outlined in the bailout agreement. After writing last week’s forecast, I read an article by one of my favorite investigative journalists that mentioned a visit to Tsipras by the U.S. State Department in March. Somehow I missed that one, but I should have suspected it. It seems as though wherever Assistant Secretary Victoria “F— the EU” Nuland goes, regime change is not far behind. The article also mentions the IMF, with a link to a State Department briefing leaving little doubt about U.S. involvement in the affair.
The other “big deal” in the past week has been the conclusion of negotiations about the future of Iran’s nuclear program. It, too, has been a major bit of political theater, and one of the longest running shows on the Political Entertainment Network. Still, you have to admit that there’s some kind of cosmic synchronicity in the deal being reached at the same time that humanity reached the planet associated with the bomb. Pluto also is associated with the money and power of Big Oil and the global financial industry, both of which are licking their chops at the prospect of doing business in the country with the fourth-largest reserves of oil in the world.
I happen to think that our new familiarity with Pluto is the biggest story of the week – bigger than the Greek debt, Iran’s bomb, evil psychologists supervising torture programs, the official opening of plunder season in Ukraine, Hillary holding court in Congress, yet another mean-spirited Republican candidate for president, the millions of dollars going into buying the White House, and the many other important events unfolding at mind-numbing speed. However, I don’t understand this bizarre world love affair with cute little smiley face Pluto. Unless that, too, was encouraged to divert attention from the Man Behind the Curtain.
I’m not buying all this nonsense about discovering that Pluto “has a heart after all.” Anyone with a passing knowledge of astrology knows that love for all mankind isn’t one of Pluto’s more endearing qualities. And it’s not like the Romans were driving around in their chariots with I♥Pluto bumper stickers. No, I think the encounter with Pluto is going to coincide with something on a parallel with the discovery of the bomb. And that “mysterious” heart photographed by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft doesn’t look like a heart to me. It looks more like an explosion.
When I looked online for images of explosions, the first thing that popped up was a plume from Mount Kīlauea in Hawaii. Call it the power of suggestion, but when I looked at that image of Pluto again, sure enough, it resembled a volcanic explosion, with the mountain at the base of the heart. I pulled both images into Photoshop. You see what I got. Now here’s the creepy part. Less than 24 hours later, Osk sent me an e-mail with a link to the newly arrived photos showing mountains at the bottom of the “heart.”
I did a little reading up on Kīlauea and discovered that it is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The latest eruption began in 1983, but in June 2014, a new lava flow formed, and by December, it was close to destroying an entire village. According to news reports, the danger was pretty much over by March 2015. As you may recall, Uranus and Pluto were in the sixth of seven exact squares in mid-December, and the last one was in mid-March. In astrology, explosions are associated with Uranus, especially when in hard aspects from Mars. Pluto is the destroyer and would take more time to break things apart if not for the impatience of Uranus. Pluto, we also should note, is midway through the sign of Capricorn, which is associated with mountains.
I was deep into Kīlauea when a Facebook friend posted a link to an article in the latest issue of The New Yorker, titled “The Really Big One.” It wasn’t about California, but about the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest, which lies along the Pacific Rim of Fire. When I’m riding the ferry on a clear day, I can see three of the volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. Mount Rainier, the most sought-after view in the local real estate market, actually is classified as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It’s not as though I haven’t known about this since moving to the Seattle area ten years ago. I’ve read the USGS report and have been to preparedness meetings. It was just the timing of it that shook me. More creepiness.
But there are many different kinds of explosions, and events can be earth-shattering without the ground actually moving. In astrology, Pluto represents debt – with Pluto in Capricorn, perhaps a “mountain of debt.” Financial astrologers like Ray Merriman have said all along that Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in 2008 would bring financial reckoning and a need for belt-tightening, also known as “austerity.” I just reread an article he wrote for June/July 2012 issue of The Mountain Astrologer, in which he talked about a coming “debt explosion.” You can read the entire article on his website.
More recently, economists are sounding the alarm about another financial bubble about to burst, one that could trigger a total collapse of the banking system. Just as we didn’t get a lot of reporting about the real source of the Greek debt crisis, we’re not being clued in to the real state of the economy. John Helmer, the journalist I mentioned above, wrote a cryptic piece recently implying that we’re not hearing about it because those who know are being paid for their silence. How Plutonic is that?
Ray Merriman contends that where we are in the Uranus-Pluto cycle indicates the birth of something new rather than the death of an era, although I would argue that the birth we’re witnessing is growing out of the ashes of a system that is no longer sustainable. If you’re up for a long, very demanding read, there was an article in Friday’s edition of The Guardian about what the new system is going to look like – to the extent that we can know. It got hundreds of comments, many of them not very complimentary, but what the author wrote resonated with what I’ve been writing in this (cyber)space for years. It’s sobering, but it’s also encouraging. Here’s a quote that particularly struck me:
“By creating millions of networked people, financially exploited but with the whole of human intelligence one thumb-swipe away, info-capitalism has created a new agent of change in history: the educated and connected human being.”
Looking at last week’s astrology, the most significant event was Wednesday’s New Moon in Cancer. The Sun and Moon were in a close square with Uranus, while Mercury and Mars opposed Pluto by exact degree. Together, they formed a wide T-square. This week, Mars squares Uranus, completing a “translation” of the Uranus-Pluto square that began a few days before the New Moon. The position of Mars, reinforced by the New Moon, may account for the sudden flood of events that date back to the 2011, when the Uranus-Pluto square was within range of influence. Nearly four years ago to the day, The Guardian ran this headline: Greek bailout deal: how the figures break down.
The other major event last week was on Saturday, when Venus entered Virgo. She barely dips a toe in before turning retrograde this Saturday. For all of this week and most next week, she’ll be stopped at 0 degrees Virgo. Jupiter, meanwhile, has advanced to 27 degrees Leo, so the two “lucky” planets are still tracking closely. That’s the good news. The sobering news is that both planets are in a tight square with Saturn, who’s stopped at 28 degrees Scorpio in preparation for returning direct on August 2. There are worse aspects with Saturn, but nonetheless this is a worrisome configuration, particularly with Venus retrograde. When planets are stationed – meaning they appear to have stopped moving in the sky from one day to the next – they have a stronger vibration, which translates to more dramatic events on earth.
For the Maya, retrograde Venus was a sign of war. I once heard her retrograde phase called “Venus with fangs.” When she stations, she’ll be conjunct the fixed star Regulus, called the “heart of the lion” because of its position in the constellation Leo. Due to precession, the lion’s heart is now at 0 degrees Virgo in Western tropical astrology. I know, it doesn’t make sense. Regulus is the sign of kings and world leaders. Watch the headlines for a calamitous fall from grace. Jamie Partridge, who is more of a fixed-star astrologer than I, has an interesting blog post about what we might expect during this Venus retrograde.
What we’ll likely see with Venus and Jupiter squaring Saturn is a repeat or next phase in circumstances that manifested at the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on July 1, but there will be more commitment and responsibility required. All those positive e-mails I mentioned earlier came on the heels of that conjunction. I had my own breakthrough, a sudden video editing project. I didn’t actually start working on it until the week before last and finished it last week (you can see it here). It was a great project, with a terrific director and good material to work with, and it could lead to more work. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am, but it has added to the physical and mental overload.
That also was right about the time I began working on several projects for the Bernie Sanders campaign. Some were minor, such as designing brochures. The major project is a video. We shot it at the Strawberry Festival on Saturday. I’m super excited about it, because the people I interviewed spoke so eloquently and from the heart. Again, the downside was the physical overload. I was in full sun all day in 90-degree heat, and despite drinking plenty of water. it took me all of Sunday to recover from heat exhaustion. I’ve also got a wicked sunburn. That’s a good example of how even overwhelmingly positive developments can have a challenging side when Saturn is involved in an aspect.
Complicating matters further, Uranus also is stationed and turns retrograde this Sunday, the day after Venus stations. He’ll return to 16 degrees Aries, where he’ll return direct in late December. At that time, Pluto will be close to 15 degrees Capricorn. Although the square isn’t exact, it’s close enough that we’re going to feel it, just as we began seeing its manifestations on earth toward the end of 2010, even though the first exact square wasn’t until 2012. In other words, it’s far from over. But you already knew that. This week, Uranus is a ticking time bomb, with a square from Mars on Saturday, less than 15 minutes after Venus turns retrograde. Mars-Uranus combinations are volatile.
Thankfully, there are some positive aspects this week, although I’m not sure that they’re strong enough to cushion a serious blow. On Tuesday, the Sun in late Cancer trines Saturn, and Mercury trines Saturn on Wednesday. Work is taxing, but not impossible, and it’s productive. It’s rewarding to be exhausted after a day of accomplishment. If you’re an artist or writer, you could be blessed with a shower of inspiration. Creativity gets an additional boost when the Sun enters Leo on Wednesday. Mercury follows on Thursday, and the Sun and Mercury conjoin in Leo later in the day.
That’s it for this week. There’s a lot more activity next week, and hopefully I’ll be more on top of it. But maybe not. Somehow I think this may be the new normal. Or, I should say, “the new new normal,” since it seems like we just had a new one a few months ago.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2015.