Tag Archives: Comet ISON

Weekly Forecast December 9: Mercury Trine Uranus, Jupiter Trine Saturn

December sunset over Vashon. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

December sunset over Vashon. © Pat Paquette, 2013.

This week’s aspects are largely positive – emphasis on large, seeing as how Jupiter is involved.

The main event is Thursday’s favorable trine between Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is about growth, expansion, and exuberance, while Saturn is about limitation and structure. Usually, we think of “limitation” as a bad thing, but without limits, we’d have chaos. Structure itself is a limit. Think of the foundation and frame of a new home. It says, “This home is this size, in this place, built to withstand the worst weather in this region.” There may be some room for interpretation in the blueprint, but you’ve got a set plan. Once you decide on this design, all others are ruled out.

The characteristics of Jupiter and Saturn obviously are at odds, and with difficult aspects between these two heavyweights, conflicts can erupt between forces for broader inclusion and systems designed to maintain the established order. However, when they are working in harmony, great things are possible. Left to his own devices, Jupiter can go way overboard and attempt to do too much, too fast, ending in a crash-and-burn. With the discipline and patience of Saturn, ambitious goals are more likely to end in success.

If you’ll recall, Jupiter and Saturn were in a rare and powerful grand water trine in July. Back then, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune were all in the early degrees of the three waters signs. Neptune remains in early Pisces, but Jupiter and Saturn have advanced to the mid-degrees of Cancer and Scorpio, and will form two more trines, one this week and another toward the end of May 2014. This positive connection is something we can hang onto against the backdrop of the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square – and it is still very much active, as we can see in the uprising in Kiev.

Even though Neptune is no longer part of the grand trine, the Moon in Pisces fills in for Neptune in a grand water trine on Monday. The Moon moves through signs quickly, so this “lucky” configuration won’t last long. Still, there’s something nicely symbolic about the Moon in the sign ruled by Neptune (according to modern Western astrology). It’s as though Neptune will be there in spirit. Look for developments related to events in July, both collectively and in your personal lives. If you began a project or relationship back then and have experienced setbacks, just a little effort this week can move you forward – and you do have to make at least some effort.

I posted a note on Facebook yesterday saying I’d be late with this week’s forecast (I was struggling with the onset of a migraine) but that the week would be another positive one in general. Three readers left comments saying their weeks hadn’t been positive. I have to tell you that the previous week for me was not kind, either. So this is a good time to remind everyone that positive aspects such as the Jupiter-Saturn trine are no guarantee that you’ll have a great week, especially if you’re experiencing a challenging transit to your natal chart. My forecasts are in broad, general terms, and a quick look at the headlines confirms that the past few weeks have been relatively calm. The biggest news was the loss of a giant among men who passed peacefully at age 95, with tributes to remind us of what it means to sacrifice for truth and justice. The second biggest story, at least in the United States, was a gigantic snowstorm at a time of year when it does tend to snow. Of course, the folks who skidded off the road or froze to death likely didn’t have a “relatively calm” week.

Speaking of accidents (and I’ve written this before), it’s hard to predict accidents with astrology. We can see the tendency or indications of an accident-prone period, but that doesn’t guarantee an unfortunate outcome. Further, admonishing someone to “watch out for accidents” isn’t necessarily helpful. A few years back, I had a client who fell on a loose stair step and shattered her hip. There was no way she could have seen that coming, even with a word of caution to “be careful.” At times like this, being an astrologer can be very frustrating.

Back to this week, Mercury trines Uranus and squares Chiron on Tuesday. The trine with Uranus is signature for fast thinking and impulsive ideas. This is the light bulb flashing over your head, the eureka effect (just don’t slip getting out of the bathtub). Thoughts are so fleeting that you may forget them, so keep a notebook handy and write them down. Don’t assume you’ll remember them later.

The Mercury-Chiron square also has a positive side, in that human suffering comes into greater focus. With Chiron in Pisces, we can have compassion for those less fortunate, but we won’t necessarily do anything about it. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do. I genuinely hope that we’ll see at least one headline this week concerning solutions to poverty, unemployment, and help for victims of wars and natural disasters.

I usually don’t write about quincunxes, but I do want to mention the Mars-Neptune quincunx on Friday. Mars is in Libra, the sign of his detriment. Mars operates best when he can be direct and get straight to the point, and Libra is too considerate of others to do so. Not that Libras don’t get what they want by other means, and that’s the risk here. Neptune can be fuzzy and confused, if not downright deceptive. The question is often asked in relationship counseling whether it’s OK to lie to a partner and under what circumstances. My general take is that if you’re lying to spare your partner’s feelings – and you need to be ruthlessly honest with yourself about your motivation – then it’s appropriate. If you’re lying to spare your own feelings or because you don’t want to get caught doing something you shouldn’t have been doing – especially if you agreed not to do so – then it’s time to put on your big-boy/big-girl pants and ‘fess up.

I’ve written that I’d have something to say about comet ISON, but I’m continuing to hold off, because observers still aren’t sure what happened to it. They’re waiting until what’s left of it gets farther away from the sun to determine whether it’s dead or mostly dead. After an initial announcement that it was dead, they said they’d called it too soon and that it appeared that something survived and was growing. That would have been symbolic indeed. Sadly, it now appears that there’s nothing left but a cloud of dust.

ISON watchers have compared the comet to the mythological Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and then fell into the sea and drowned. It’s a tempting comparison, but in the myth, Icarus was foolish and disregarded warnings. If you believe that comets are messengers from the far reaches of our solar system, then you have to believe that they are somehow conscious (or “whoever” sent them is conscious) of the danger awaiting them at perihelion. If ISON truly is dead-dead, then this had to be something of a suicide mission, important enough to sacrifice itself for. More as the story develops…

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

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Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aries, October 18

Aries Eclipse 13Friday’s Full Moon at 25°51′ Aries occurs with the first in a new series of eclipses in the Libra-Aries sign pair, although there are still three in the Scorpio-Taurus series, one of which is a powerful solar eclipse on November 3.

This Friday’s lunar eclipse is penumbral; that is, it passes through part of the earth’s shadow. It’s not as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse, which can make the Moon look a creepy blood red. Still, it’s significant astrologically, especially since this is the first eclipse in a new sign pair.

The ruler of this Full Moon is Mars, the planet of action and aggression. Since ancient times, astrologers have observed the movements of Mars to predict wars and other disasters. As I noted in my weekly forecast, Mars just entered Virgo on Tuesday (“Mars day”) and immediately conjoined Regulus, one of the four Royal Stars of Persia and sign of kings. Also in conjunction was Comet ISON, which isn’t visible yet with the naked eye. ISON will track with Mars through early November. During this time, Uranus in Aries moves closer to a square with Pluto, exact on November 1. On November 3, there is a total eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio, in a sextile with Mars by exact degree.

Although Virgo isn’t an aggressive sign for Mars, it’s no secret that hawkish factions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East are itching for another war. We narrowly averted an escalation in Syria, which I think we can attribute to the huge public outcry. Whoever was behind that venture has had to go back to the drawing board, and we can’t discount the possibility of black ops designed to instill fear and whip up public support for an armed conflict. While that sounds terribly conspiratorial, it’s not a stretch, given the countries involved. Regardless, the Mars-Neptune opposition in the chart for this Friday’s eclipse suggests major deception and cover-ups, whether they involve war or political battles.

Virgo rules public service, which includes federal workers and military personnel. Some of these people are furloughed under the U.S. government shutdown or working with partial or no pay, and they’re fighting mad. Virgo also rules healthcare, and there are plenty of people in the United States angry about that, too. Evidently, the deal to reopen the government currently on the table in the U.S. Senate involves creating a committee to discuss cuts in entitlement programs. In other words, the congressional infighting over the past 16 days is far from over.

Lunar Eclipse in Aries

Click on image to enlarge

There are some bright spots in the chart for this eclipse, including a supportive trine from Venus to Uranus (exact today). Uranus is the planet of rebellion and freedom. One of the better attributes of Aries is pioneering leadership, but the Uranus-Aries combination has a certain element of rebelling just for the heck of it or starting an uprising spontaneously with no clear goals – not a terribly effective method for fighting the authoritarianism of Pluto in Capricorn. Negotiation is a better strategy, especially with the Sun in Venus-ruled Libra, sign of harmony and compromise.

From an individual standpoint, how this eclipse unfolds for you depends on where it falls in your natal chart. In general, though, relationships are a key theme. Just about everything in life depends on relationships. How many people fail at their jobs, not because of incompetence, but because of office politics? People often get ahead through networking and who they know. If you have a health condition, your relationship with your doctor, alternative healthcare provider, or psychologist can be key to the healing process. Relationships with classmates and teachers can have a last impact on your life and career. And so forth. Aries is self-reliant and needs a great deal of freedom, while Libra needs to be in a relationship to feel whole and fulfilled. Friday’s eclipse highlights these two extremes. If you experience conflict in a significant relationship, try to observe the dynamics in as neutral and detached a manner as possible. Who wants what? How do they get it? If they don’t get it, how do they respond? Is their response appropriate?

The square between Venus and Chiron focuses our attention on how we have been wounded in relationships. With Chiron in Pisces, this can include relationships in other lifetimes. I don’t know anyone who has entered a new relationship with a blank slate. Some people are aware of what they’re carrying from the past, but most aren’t. It’s a tough balance, and it takes a lot of honesty, trust, and self-knowledge on both sides to work through conflict.

Trust could be especially hard to come by this weekend, when the Mars-Neptune opposition is exact. If you suspect that someone isn’t being upfront with you, it might be wise to hang back for a bit and just observe. A little investigation might be warranted, but make sure you don’t abuse someone else’s trust in the process. Reading someone else’s e-mail is a no-no, unless you have ample reason to believe they’re plotting a murder.

Mercury is stationing to turn retrograde on Monday. Be sure to back up computer data starting now. If you are working on important correspondence or contracts, it would be better to wait until after November 10. However, this may not be possible. We don’t always have a choice. At the very least, read the fine print. With Mercury in Scorpio, it’s possible that there are hidden terms and conditions. Secrets may be exposed during this retrograde. Take care to ensure they’re not yours. Many e-mail programs automatically fill in addresses after you type a letter or two. I don’t have to tell you where that can end up. Mercury stations in close contact with Jupiter, suggesting that any errors are going to be real whoppers.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast October 14: Mars Enters Virgo, Full Moon Eclipse in Aries

Detail of Newton, by William Blake, 1795-1805.

Detail of Newton, by William Blake, 1795-1805.

I just heard the term “apocalypse fatigue.” Apparently, it has been around for a couple of years. I’ve been so busy analyzing charts for future crises that I didn’t notice.

The term is attributed to columnist George Will, who coined it to describe the scare tactics used by the media to boost ratings. Every crisis is positioned as the end of the world as we know it, from global warming and nuclear radiation leaks to the shutdown of the U.S. government and failure to raise the debt ceiling. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Eventually, even the dimmer bulbs on the marquee sense that they are being taken for a ride.”

Nonetheless, this constant state of fear is indeed exhausting. People are close to the edge as it is, struggling to keep their lives together in the face of policy decisions that benefit the wealthiest at the expense of the poor and middle class. When you’re this stressed out, it’s not a stretch to believe that doomsday is right around the corner. Screaming headlines make it worse, and I have to believe this is deliberate. Keeping people constantly off-balance makes it less likely they will band together to confront those who are stealing all the wealth. Of course, it helps to keep them fighting against each other, too, and nothing divides the U.S. population more than entitlement programs, the current focus of talks to end the U.S. government shutdown.

On some level, this is all just history repeating itself. It’s how tyrants have attempted to control the masses for thousands of years. However, there is no denying that these are extraordinary times.

As an astrologer, I attempt to put current events in the context of planetary cycles. Since we’re in the midst of a highly disruptive square of Uranus and Pluto, that’s my main focus. We’re about to have another exact alignment on November 1, the fourth of seven passes between 2012 and 2015. In the meantime, we have a lunar eclipse this week, and Mercury turns retrograde a few days later. There’s also a solar eclipse on November 3. Astrologically, we’re entering the most volatile period of 2013.

I don’t want to add to the stress load with dire predictions, and anyway, it’s not as though we don’t have a clue at this point what some of those scenarios might be. Instead, I’ve been looking at previous Uranus-Pluto cycles for clues about how the present cycle might unfold. Before I get into that, I need to explain another unusual event this week.

On Tuesday, Mars enters Virgo and immediately conjoins fixed star Regulus – which actually is at the heart of the constellation Leo, but due to precession is calculated at 0 degrees Virgo in the tropical zodiac. Astrologers have used Regulus for thousands of years to predict the fate of kings and kingdoms. As of this weekend, Mars and Regulus are quite close and easily visible in the predawn sky. What you won’t see is the triple conjunction of Mars, Regulus, and Comet ISON, because ISON is visible only with a telescope. Even though we can’t see it yet, and it may not be as spectacular as astronomers earlier predicted, I still have to think this rare alignment is significant – all the more so, as it occurs just four days before a lunar eclipse in Mars-ruled Aries.

In making predictions about ISON, astronomers have cited the Great Comet of 1680, called “great” due to its exceptional brightness and extraordinarily long tail. When it was discovered, the Great Comet was in Virgo, close to conjunction with Mars, and it wasn’t yet visible (it was the first comet discovered by telescope). And here’s the kicker: Uranus and Pluto were just past a square in Aries and Cancer.

The entire 17th century was pretty much one Uranus-Pluto cycle, which began with a conjunction in 1597 at 9 degrees Aries (the exact degree of Uranus in the upcoming square with Pluto) and ended with the next conjunction in 1710. During that cycle, Galileo and Kepler were making waves with new astronomical discoveries, both using the controversial theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Isaac Newton used Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to formulate his theories of gravity and its effect on planetary orbits, and he verified his calculations by observing the Great Comet of 1680. Thus it became known as “Newton’s Comet.”

The more research I do, one thing becoming clear is that the most significant events related to the Uranus-Pluto square will take many years to play out. Think about the discoveries of the 17th century and how the Scientific Revolution in turn led to the Industrial Revolution. Who at the time could have predicted such a future?

I took special note this past week of the award of the Nobel Prize in physics to Peter Higgs, the scientist who discovered a subatomic particle that binds matter together. The particle was named the Higgs boson in his honor but is popularly known as the “God particle.” Scientists hate that name, and yet I think it’s fitting and prescient. I believe the discovery could lead to new techniques to intentionally manifest matter from energy, something we already can do with our thoughts, but not consistently, and often with unwanted side effects (I call them gremlins). If you think this is too far out there, think about how far out the theories of Galileo and Kepler were in their day. Galileo spent time in jail for heresy.

What I find even more intriguing is the idea that current discoveries in physics might reunite our concept of spirit and matter. As a result of the scientific discoveries of the 17th century, Western academia stopped thinking of them as one. A new scientific arrogance took over as the universe was seen as a soulless machine. It was the beginning of a materialist worldview that one could argue is the underlying source of many of the crises confronting us today.

All of this a very long way of saying that while the crises we’re facing in the wake of the current Uranus-Pluto square may be serious, other events happening in the background probably will be of more consequence in the future. Politics in the 17th century were every bit as incendiary as they are now, if not more so. Europe was split between Catholic and Protestant, and extremely destructive wars were fought over religion. Alliances changed, and international boundaries were radically redrawn. But none of those events had anywhere near the impact on humanity as the work of Newton.

The probability of a global financial meltdown and a shift in the geopolitical balance is high, given the dramatic celestial events concurrent with the approaching Uranus-Pluto square. And yet, if the past is any indication, discoveries are being made right under our noses that have vastly more significant implications for humanity. We can’t possibly know how these developments will change the world, but we know that this is the time to look for them. I gave the Higgs boson as an example. What else can you think of?

There is my antidote to apocalypse fatigue.

Since this post has gotten so long, I will write a separate post in a day or two on Friday’s eclipse. Right now I have to catch up on reports. For those of you who have been waiting patiently for more than two weeks, my apologies. I received an unexpected flood of orders for my revised StarGuide fall forecast when I still wasn’t up to speed, and then on top of that, the keyboard on my laptop died. I had a new external keyboard within a couple of days, but until my fingers are retrained, I’m typing the same word over three times. Apcalyse apocalupe apocaluyse. AARGH!

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

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.