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The Mountain Astrologer 5
believe in the intelligence of nature,
or Universal Patterns, and feel that
astrology can show us (in symbolic
code) the ways to a deeper, richer, and
more loving way of being. Given that,
I want to emphasize the positive possi-
bilities in the intense planetary patterns
that will dominate in 2009–2014. But it
will take me a while to get to that point
in this article, because I also recognize
of us. The sky may not be falling, but
the ground will soon be shifting under-
neath us.
intensity? First, the outer planets com-
ration; second, this t-square (Saturn,
Uranus, and Pluto) happens at the
beginning of cardinal signs, which are
acknowledged by many astrologers as
the points in the zodiac where every-
one is affected. The Uranian astrologers
single out 0° Aries (and hard aspects to
it) as “the world point” and believe that,
for mass events, these zodiacal points
must be involved or activated.
Hades and Pluto
Much has been written in recent
years about the importance of Pluto
entering Capricorn in 2008.
astrologers have been anticipating the
forthcoming opposition of Saturn at 0°
Libra to Jupiter and Uranus at 0° Aries
— all squaring Pluto in June–August
2010. This has been called the “Cardi-
nal Climax.”
mental cardinal t-squares of 2009–2014
are missing one cardinal sign: Cancer,
moving personal planets. However,
the transneptunian “planet” Hades (F)
— used by Uranian astrologers — is
slowly approaching 0° Cancer and will
times between August 2010 and April
2012. Also, we are currently in the mid-
dle of a long opposition between Pluto
and Hades (in the last four degrees of
Gemini and Sagittarius) that will extend
through September 2008.
How to interpret all this? It could
be that the uncertainty, fear, or dread
many are feeling about the future will
become more widespread as Hades
The Years Ahead
and the Oil Crisis
That fear can bring the motivation —
and, hopefully, the willingness — to
make long-needed changes.
Hades, along with Pluto, Uranus,
and Saturn, is very strong medicine, and
the combination of these planets at the
most sensitive points in the zodiac repre-
sents changes that will reach deeply into
our daily experience of life. Outer plan-
ets have a way of “forcing” change —
certainly, most of us don’t actively seek
discomfort or uncertainty. The precise
forms that these changes will take are
impossible to predict in the long term,
but the energetic climate, based on the
interaction of these four symbols, can
be described. Bill Herbst’s article in this
issue of TheMountainAstrologer looks
we have a choice between globaliza-
tion and community as limits on global
resources are reached. Richard Tarnas,
in his recent book, CosmosandPsyche,
also explores this vital period.
I will add to what they are saying by
outlining a likely scenario, based on my
understanding of the astrological forces
in play and my extensive research on
resource depletion, “Peak Oil,” and how
Western civilization is structured.
Oil Is the Difference This Time
Certainly, outer planets have lined
cardinal points before, and civilization
has somehow plodded on. What makes
this time different? Well, the energy
source at the foundation of our way of
living — namely, cheap and abundant
oil — is about to become scarcer and
much more expensive, and we have
created a fragile economic system, with
a “growth forever” mindset, which can-
not withstand an extended period of
contraction without collapsing. We live
on a planet near its limit for providing
resources (energy, metals, good top-
human population. Something has to
give — we all know that. What astrol-
ogy points to is when it might give. And
I think the 2009–2014 period provides
an astrological climate in which dra-
matic change is likely.
Humanity has “fossil-fueled” itself
into a dangerous corner, and there is
one clear path of sanity: to cooperate
with these forces of change — symbol-
ized astrologically by Saturn, Uranus,
Pluto, and Hades — and to actually
To take in the gravity of the situa-
tion, of what the upcoming astrologi-
cal patterns may usher in, there has to
be some understanding of how much
we personally and economically rely on
the availability of cheap fossil fuels and
what happens when they are not as eas-
ily available. For readers who are unfa-
I suggest starting with books by Richard
Heinberg (TheParty’sOver and Power-
down) or James Howard Kunstler
ofSuburbia or ThePowerofCommu-
There are also many excellent Web sites
detailing the energy-depletion problem
and likely solutions.
I’ll just touch on a
few of the main points here.
Cheap fossil fuels have provided
each American with the equivalent of
the manual labor of 30 people every
day — think of them as “energy-
slaves.” The energy that affordable oil
and natural gas provide (gasoline, elec-
tric power, heating oil, etc.) allows us
F r o m t h e P u b l i s h e r
Feature Articles
Empire or Community
by Bill Herbst
Humanity faces many critical choices in
the decades ahead. Among them is which
road civilization will take: empire or
community. Bill Herbst invokes the outer-
planetary cycles as a guide in making his
prognostications — and he offers some
sorely needed reasons for optimism.
Mars, War, and the
2008 Election
by Philip Brown
Candidates for the 2008 U.S. presidential
election are already queuing up, so it’s not
too early for far-seeing astrologers to look
ahead to this watershed event. Naturally,
in the current climate of war, Mars is a
major player.
How I Used Astrology to Find
My Perfect Condo
by Christine Nuwayser Davis
Will the seller accept our offer? Is this the
right house? Will we move this year? These
are the questions this horary astrologer
asked and answered on the way to fnding
her perfect condo. As you can tell from the
title, this story has a happy ending.
Issue #133 • June/July 2007
45 Observing the Outer Planets
in Combination
by Donna Cunningham
Which generation do you belong to? Baby
Boomer? Gen-X? Or are you a Saturn–
Pluto, a Uranus–Pluto, a Uranus–Neptune?
Read on to fnd out how the outer planets
combine their unique infuences to defne
whole generations (even subgenerations)
of people.
Twelve Steps Out of Hell
by Chris Ogilvie
Here is the story of Alcoholics
Anonymous, as told by an astrologer
who has lived with an alcoholic. Chris
Ogilvie discusses the co-founders of AA
and the tremendous legacy they left to
all addicts, not just alcoholics, and their
families as well.
The Vedic Signs
by Hank Friedman
The signs in both the tropical and sidereal
zodiacs share the same names and many of
the same characteristics. But there are some
fascinating divergences in the meanings of
the signs as viewed by Vedic astrologers
against the backdrop of the distant stars.
Mercury Direct
Symbolic Substitution and the
Way of Participatory Astrology
65 Astrology’s Next Step:
The Power of Peer Group Work
The Mountain Astrologer
5 Publisher’s Article:
The Oil Crisis
8 Letters to the Editor
56 Newsmaker: Molly Ivins
by Pat Taglilatelo
58 TMA EcoPage
88 Astrology News
by Gloria Star
89 TMA Professional
106 Classifed Ads
108 Cartoons
by Michelle Kondos
110 Artist’s Showcase
featuring Suzanne Gardner

91 Where’s That Moon?
92 June/July Forecast Calendar
by Jeff Jawer
101 New and Full Moon Reports
• Gemini New Moon
• Capricorn Full Moon
• Cancer New Moon
• Aquarius Full Moon
by Stephanie Austin
105 June/July Declination Graph
and Astro*Carto*Graphy Map
TMA Departments
Forecast Section
The Planets: Neptune
by Dana Gerhardt
TMA’s Chart Challenge
Notes from a Novice:
Advice to the Lovelorn
by Jan de Prosse
An Introduction to
Solar Arc Directions
by Greg Bogart
Volume 20, No. 4
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© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer - all rights reserved
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The Mountain Astrologer (ISSN 1079-1345) (June/July
2007, Vol. 20, No. 4) is published 6 times per year (bi-
monthly) by The Mountain Astrologer, 436 Colfax Ave.,
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Goodbye, Skinny Jeans
— Hello, Saturn
by Jenny McCutcheon
80 – Article Particle
to the
InTMA’s “LetterstotheEditor”section,wedo
Dear TMA:
TMAis so wonderful. I love to see it
come in the mail. The articles are always
the best of the best.
I’ve read and appreciated all of
Dana Gerhardt’s articles, but this time,
with Jupiter and Saturn (TMA, Feb./
March 2007), I think she really outdid
herself. (I’m also writing her a note of
appreciation.) What great writing!
For many years, I’ve explored and
dealt with my own Sagittarius Sun and
Mercury in the 10th, with Jupiter in its
own sign conjunct a Sagittarius Mid-
heaven, yet I gained further fascinating
insights from Dana’s delightful Chicken
Bone and Magic Tablecloth parallels.
Thanks for being a shining light in
the astrology world!
Dear TMA:
I was intrigued by the article
by Diana Shaw, “A Visit from Pho-
lus” (TMA,April/May 2007), which
described events surrounding the tran-
sits by this Centaur asteroid to the
author’s natal Venus.
The diagnosis of a bladder tumor
in December 2005 brought to mind
another asteroid, Vesta. Eleanor Bach
— one of the pioneers of classical
asteroid astrology — suggested that
Vesta might be related to the bladder.
Degrees,Planet Watch Publications,
New York, 1986, page 62.)
Vesta in Ms. Shaw’s natal chart at
23°37' Pisces is close to the Descendant
and squares Uranus at the Midheaven.
(See chart on page 69 of the April/May
2007 issue of TMA.) On November 19,
2005, transiting Vesta was stationary
retrograde at 23°12' Cancer, forming
a very tight, water-sign trine to natal
Vesta. By mid December — the month
of the exact Pholus–Venus transit —
Vesta had retraced its steps to 20°34'
Cancer, in very close aspect to the
Ascendant/Descendant axis. Second-
ary progressed Vesta, at 27°34' Pisces,
was sesquiquadrate both natal and pro-
gressed Pluto at 13° Leo at this time.
Also in mid December, the Full Moon
at 23°48' Gemini tightly squared her
natal Vesta.
Fortunately, Ms. Shaw had success-
ful surgery and eventual recovery, with
one notable exception: As Pholus con-
joined natal Venus again, on October
8, 2006, she developed a urinary tract
infection, which was cured with antibi-
otics. I checked the Full Moon at 13°43'
Aries on October 6th, which was in trine
aspect to natal and progressed Pluto.
Vesta at 1°04' Libra was exactly sextile
natal Venus.
Dear TMA:
The word of the year for 2006, as
announced by the American Dialect
Society, was “Plutoed.” To be Plutoed is
to be demoted or downgraded — just as
the planet itself has been.
And Pluto is now a verb. To pluto
is to devalue, to humble, to make lesser.
Last August, the International Astro-
nomical Union (IAU) sent Pluto off to
join Ceres and Eris, by declaring him a
dwarf planet — and not even the largest
one. Like a youngster dismissed from
the grownups’ table, Pluto was sud-
denly relegated to minor-planet status.
The planetary “grownups” now number
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The Mountain Astrologer
eight, and thus the god of transformation has himself been
transformed, if only in the textbooks and dictionaries.
widow of Clyde Tombaugh (the man who discovered Pluto
when he was only 24) commented that she herself felt
somewhat demoted. According to Newsweek, she told the
ArizonaDailySun that she’d gone from being the wife of
the discoverer of Pluto to being “the wife of the discoverer
of a dwarf planet.” Bloggers ranted, and journalists wrote
editorials. Meanwhile, a nonchalant Pluto continued about
his business — demonstrating that, whatever we call him,
he is who he is.
In fact, not since his discovery in 1930 has Pluto been
so big. Small but mighty, he has reasserted himself into
mass consciousness. Pluto works in mysterious, and some-
times ironic, ways. An example of this can be found in the
way that Pluto acquired his name. In March 1930, at the
announcement of Pluto’s discovery, Time magazine specu-
lated about what the planet would be called, adding that
“naming the New Planet is a problem.” The problem was
solved by an 11-year-old girl named Venetia Burney. While
academic debate over the name continued, Venetia thought
about it over breakfast one morning and came up with
“Pluto.” Her grandmother submitted the idea to the astrono-
mers, and it met with approval.
The unusual history of Pluto’s nomenclature shouldn’t
surprise us, given that Pluto isn’t known for kowtowing to
convention. But now Pluto has an additional name. The
Planet Formerly Known as Pluto (and only Pluto) is now also
called 134340.
This minor-planet designation isn’t likely to change how
we practice astrology. But the emotional reaction of the non-
his dramatic re-entry into public awareness is symbolic of his
inherent power. Undiminished by his change of title, he con-
tinues on his quest for truth and change.
When I think about Pluto’s size in relation to his
potency, I’m reminded of the theory of relativity, which pos-
its that enormous potential exists within miniscule particles of
matter. Agents of monumental change often seem to operate
at minute levels: sperm and egg, stem cell research, atomic
power. Pluto’s force is fundamental and inexorable.
I would like to suggest an alternate meaning for the
word Plutoed. To be Plutoed is to be transformed. Our solar
system has now been transformed from nine planets to eight.
Symbolically, nine represents completion in readiness for a
new cycle. But eight! Eight is a number of change. Eight rep-
resents many of the same things that Pluto does: death and
regeneration, the letting-go of old orders so that new ones
in repose.
From the heart of our galaxy, Pluto has altered how we
think about our cosmic backyard. Perhaps his next task will
be even more profound.
10 www.mountainastrologer.com
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 11

a series by
Dana Gerhardt
— Peter Gabriel, “Here Comes the Flood”
When transiting Neptune strode into my
5th house of romance and conjoined my North Node,
I found my “soul mate.” Sean was a man with Nep-
tune on the Midheaven, a former co-worker I hadn’t
seen in years. He called me out of the blue, and the
hovering on the western horizon — conjunct the
Descendant, conjunct the Moon, and square the tran-
siting nodes. In our composite chart, Neptune was a
major player, conjunct our 12th-house Sun, square
our Moon, ruling our Midheaven. There had always
been this unspoken connection between us. And
I’d maintained for years simply dissolved. I found
myself staring out of windows. Lost in another world.
Even before we declared our feelings for each other, I
decided to take a sabbatical from my astrology prac-
tice. It was a 5th-house thing, I told myself. I needed
time to be creative — or, in case it should happen,
fall in love. As a full-time mother, corporate manager,
astrologer, and writer, I had no room in my schedule
for falling in love.
Student Section p. 12
And fall we did. The nights we
spent together stretched till dawn, talk-
ing, touching, laughing; we agreed,
it seemed, on everything. In the wee
morning hours, we rewrote our child-
hood histories so they seemed to con-
verge — him on his schoolyard, me on
mine, developing along parallel paths,
until the years that had kept us apart
One day, Sean bought some books on
Buddhist meditation — the very books
I might have bought. Were we One? In
earlier days, he’d been a wine connois-
We were drinking down the last of it,
exquisite wines 15 and 20 years old. I
wasn’t much of a drinker, but the intoxi-
cation seemed so integral to our Nep-
tune spell, I joked that, when his wine
cellar was empty, the relationship would
be over, too. I took him to my favor-
ite spot on earth, Big Sur. It had never
been so magical.
A week later, Sean had just one
Cabernet left. We were on the phone
when he suddenly stopped talking. He
was angry, but I didn’t know why. This
a sudden, interminable silence. But
that night, something turned in me. I’d
never been in a relationship lasting less
than a decade, but after four months
of this one, I didn’t want to play any
more. Our coupling had lost its magic.
To the silence on the other end of
the phone I said what I hoped was a
cordial good-bye, pressed the hand-
set button, stared at the receiver, and
shrugged. As suddenly as I’d fallen in
love, I had fallen out.
Was it true love or was it Neptune?
In the following weeks, as the fairy dust
dissolved, it seemed ever more incred-
ible that I’d been so crazy for this man.
Why the soul-mate swoon? Is that what
Neptune wanted? Does he take delight
in twirling us inside out with fantasies?
Astrologers often talk of Neptune transits
this way, as temporary derangements
of reality. We’re advised to be wary of
ourselves; we’re vulnerable to deceit or
imagination’s wiles. Western mythol-
ogy has just a few stories of the sea god
Neptune, but the most famous one takes
just this view. Odysseus is a decent man
who, after the Trojan War, wants noth-
ing more than to return to his beloved
wife and son. Unfortunately, he angers
Neptune (a.k.a. Poseidon), and the sea
god makes him lose his way. For ten
long years, Odysseus wanders in Nep-
tune’s domains, among fantastic crea-
tures in imaginary lands — the Lotus
Eaters, with their magic fruit; the Phaia-
kians, whom the gods visit openly with-
out disguise; the Laistrygonians, who
have supernatural powers. He and his
men are waylaid by women of sorcery:
Circe, Calypso, the Sirens. It is Athena,
the goddess of rational mind, who
Athena’s rivalry with the sea god is
an old one, pitting the conscious mind
against the unconscious. It’s said that
these two gods battled head to head for
the immortal possession of Athens, and
guess who won (the name is a big clue).
It is strange that the Greeks, as a sea-
faring people, should leave us with so
few stories of Neptune, a once-mighty
god second only to his brother Zeus. Of
course, myths undergo constant revi-
sion, like the canvases of masters getting
painted over and over. Philosophers
agree that, when the Greeks wrote Nep-
tune out of his leading role, this was a
critical turning point in Western mind,
going toward the rationality of the city
and away from the wild of the sea.
Poseidon appears only in fragments
after that, mostly terrorizing the shore
with his brood of monsters, demanding
god will take his revenge.
Over the centuries, civilization
keeps taming Neptune’s domains,
organizing nature’s chaos into scien-
ination’s deliriums into culturally sanc-
tioned forms of literature and art. So,
we shouldn’t be surprised by how the
god (via the planet Neptune) chose
to re-appear in the 19th century. The
moment Neptune shimmered into view
through Johann Galle’s telescope in
1846, the planet was gripped by a tight
conjunction to pragmatic Saturn in
Aquarius, the sign of science and tech-
nology — still strangled, it seems, by
civilization’s preference for the rational,
the structured, and the real.

Even so, Neptune has made his
presence known. After the planet’s dis-
covery, he rippled through the culture,
bringing us a renewed fascination with
ghosts and otherworldly dimensions, the
invention of anesthesia and the technol-
ogy of motion pictures, also Freud’s and
Jung’s explorations of dreams and the
psyche. But culturally, this is still fringe
stuff, not the starring role. So, Neptune
continues to send his monsters to ter-
rorize us. He gets no small revenge by
swallowing vast numbers of us with drug
and alcohol addictions, dissolving our
heroic leaders into media creations and
con men, numbing us via the trance
of the entertainment industry, invad-
ing our thoughts with the seductions of
Swallowed by the Whale
Knowing Neptune’s cultural history
doesn’t much help, however, when
you’re sitting with someone in the midst
of a Neptune transit. Like my neighbor,
who lost his younger brother and his job
and had a heart bypass when Neptune
conjoined his Sun. Or the client who lost
her mother to a sudden cancer when
Neptune squared her Moon. Or my girl-
friend, who began an ill-fated affair with
her married boss when Neptune con-
joined her Moon. I think of the count-
less thirty- and forty-somethings who,
in the middle of their Neptune square,

lost their dreams, their taste for life, their
sense of who they are. Try saying, This
is just delusion stuff, the revenge of a
dishonored god — or (in the more posi-
tive spin) an opportunity to become
more spiritual, to explore one’s imagi-
nation, to dabble in art. Try saying, Just
grab onto reality and don’t get blown
off course. The words will sound thin,
which is fair enough in a world that
doesn’t give much support for Neptune
tasks. But if the world doesn’t under-
Astrologers often
talk of Neptune
transits as temporary
of reality.
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 13
stand Neptune, we as astrologers should
be particularly wary of making the same
mistake. It often happens that the gods
we demonize are just the ones we don’t
Does Neptune want to punish us
or deliver gifts? Perhaps the best evi-
dence of Neptune’s intentions is not
what happens to people during his tran-
sit, but what happens within them. Nep-
tune does his greatest work below the
surface. That’s why it’s hard to reach
those in Neptune’s embrace. They may
be overcome with grief or delusion. If
they’ve lost something dear — their
health, their motivation, a loved one
— their eyes may plead for direction,
some way to make sense of the time.
But no matter how compassionate or
brilliant your words, likely none will hit
the mark. Forget about waking up those
who are dancing on clouds. Whether it
brings loss or euphoria, Neptune’s tran-
sit is an abduction to another world.
The feelings may be overwhelming but
impossible to put into words. If you try
to quiz someone about past Neptune
transits, don’t expect much of a reply.
It’s not like a Pluto transit, where every
moment is etched in memory. It’s more
like recalling a dream, or a drug expe-
rience, or an alien encounter. Much
is lost, sometimes the most important
parts. When I asked my mother about
the year of her Neptune square, she got
fuzzy. She remembered the year before
and the year after. The year after, she
said, everything changed.
Neptune transits are an arche-
typal trip into the belly of the whale.
When we enter Neptune’s sea, it’s as
though the self we thought we knew
dissolves. What’s left is swallowed into
the unknown. As Peter Gabriel sings,
home, you have no walls/In that thun-
der crash you’re a thousand miles within
inward. Or a part of us goes there.
That’s sometimes the trickiest mani-
festation of a Neptune transit. Maybe
nothing is happening on the surface
— no loss, no grief, no intoxication. But
try as we might, we can’t muster our
whole self. This I learned the hard way,
endeavoring to write a book the year
Neptune squared my Mercury. I had
hoped this would be an optimum time
to tap into new imaginative resources;
after all, I was writing about a Neptune
subject, fairy tales. Consciously, I was
motivated and determined, my agent
eagerly awaited pages, but the writer in
me simply disappeared. Swallowed by
the whale.
The Neptune journey is so deeply
inward, we can neither see nor touch it.
This is supremely awkward, given our
preferred heroic style. We want to face
it,fghtit,do something — but there’s
nothing to do in a Neptune transit,
except to have it. The whale’s belly is
both a death image and a womb image.
It’s an annihilation of self and a rebirth-
ing. Joseph Campbell likens the jour-
ney into the whale to the journey of a
religious pilgrim, an appropriate theme
for the spiritualizing force of Neptune.
“Allegorically,” says Campbell, “the
passage into a temple and the hero-
dive through the jaws of the whale are
identical adventures, both denoting,
in picture language, the life-centering,
life-renewing act.”
Life centering, life
that come to mind during Neptune peri-
ods — but should they be?
The month my friend Karen’s pro-
gressed Moon met her natal Neptune in
the 7th house of partners, her solar arc–
directed Neptune also changed signs.
When a planet changes sign by progres-
sion or direction, it signals a major shift
in the energy’s expression. The year of
What did Neptune invite? This mar-
ried musician (whose natal Neptune
Neptune brings us
astonishing visions
of what life at a higher
level might be like.
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f e
Student Section p. 14
After our Neptune
transit, we often
feel a greater sense
of communion and
opposes her Sun) went to a party fol-
lowing a performance, got drunk after
heavily imbibing some Neptune brew,
and placed her hand on the thigh of an
also-married colleague whose wife was
out of town. Shortly thereafter, a very
secret and, in her words, “deliciously
passionate” affair began. It continues
a year later. Both claim to be content
in their marriages, but this connection
between them goes beyond words. Each
feels that life without the other is impos-
sible now. Their affair is all the things
we don’t like about Neptune — a fan-
tasy, full of deceptions and denial. And
yet, as I’ve watched Karen unfold over
the year, she’s been neither blown off
course nor reduced to less of herself.
Quite the contrary, she’s become more.
Her love affair has inspired new inter-
est in all the Neptune things that used to
center her — her painting and poetry,
as well as her spiritual roots. She looks
and acts like a Sleeping Beauty who’s
been kissed awake. What did Neptune
want from her? Nothing less than being
reborn into a greater life.
Life centering, life renewing. When
you study the temporary derangements
of Neptune periods, this is where the
ecstatic ones begin and the harrow-
ing ones often end. When I consider
the multiplicity of good and bad events
associated with Neptune transits, I’m
reminded of the stories of gifted gurus.
Rather than teaching all students in
identical style, they tailor their transmis-
sions to the needs of each, being com-
passionate with one, cruel or abrupt
with another, sometimes academic,
sometimes playful. The students are left
scratching their heads, guessing at the
special wisdom of their guru. We often
do the same with Neptune. But however
this archetype manifests, his grace tem-
porarily refocuses us — out of our famil-
iar narrow world into a broader world
that matters. Through the initiations
of grief or ecstasy, Neptune brings us
peak experiences that give us astonish-
ing visions of what life at a higher level
might be like.
When Neptune visited my North
Node, I who had never believed in
soul mates thought I’d found one. And
via this mirage, I was awakened from
night my “soul mate” lost his glimmer,
I opened one of the spiritual books
he’d given me. It was then that a much
more enduring journey began. Per-
haps Neptune gives us something like
“inverse transitional objects.” Psychol-
ogy describes the teddy bears and imag-
inary friends of children as “transitional
objects,” helping to wean a child from
an undifferentiated identity with mother
into a separate sense of self. These
objects facilitate the separation process.
Perhaps Neptune’s inverse transitional
objectsaresignifcanttotheadult devel-
opmental process — helping to wean
us from our separate sense of self into
a realization of unity with the whole.
Our separate self usually wins the star-
ring role in youthful fantasies, which is
why, at the Neptune square, we must be
dis-illusioned of them. We must release
the dreams of the smaller egoic self, so
that wiser visions can rush in. After our
Neptune transit, we often feel a greater
sense of communion and compassion, a
boundaryless belonging, an overwhelm-
ing gratitude — a state of grace. We
reach an exquisite understanding, like
one with the ocean.
Neptune in Balance
When it brings enlightenment and
bliss, Neptune takes us into the heart
of life — which began on our planet in
the ocean, ancient Poseidon’s domain.
Astronomers keep probing the cosmos
and haven’t found this life-giving liquid
able? Rivers and oceans are mythologi-
cal Neptune’s gift to the Earth. Dream is
another. Our nightly descent into Nep-
tune’s realm is an essential life-renewing
act; deprived of dream, we lose our grip
on the world. Our nightly swim in the
invisible helps us to process anxiety and
desire. We download wisdom from our
higher self and tinker with our daily dra-
mas in order to bear them better.
Neptune is an ally. But how much
of his gauzy world do we need for
proper balance? Typically, we think
but more likely what’s required is sim-
ple harmony, the ratio that works. If
we use the ratio of water to land on
our planet as an instructive metaphor,
the Earth suggests that there should be
70 percent Neptune. And if this seems
too much, consider that our bodies are
largely water, too. Does this mean that
of Neptune, not just some but most of
the time?
It’s a trick question. Consider the
normal state of mind. If you’ve ever
meditated, you likely discovered that
your “normal” mental state is a constant
chatter of mostly self-important fantasies
and distortions. Most minds are caught
in an endless loop of fabricating stories
and then believing them. Walk down
an average city street, and the major-
ity of “normal” people you’ll meet won’t
really be there; they’re off on invisible
journeys. Consider, too, the countless
modern addictions — drugs, television,
smoking, working, shopping, eating —
that transport us to some netherworld. If
you’re worried about upping your Nep-
tune ratio to 70 percent, relax. You’re
probably already there. But these are
“faux Neptune” activities. Vacant fanta-
sies and addictive behaviors offer none
of the real treasure Neptune brings.
Neptune wants nothing less than
your genuine devotion. Examine what’s
on your personal altar. Not what you’d
like to see there, but what you actually
kneel to every day. Where do you spend
your time? There’s your worship. If it’s a
genuine Neptune activity or done from
an authentic Neptune spirit, you will feel
blessed as you perform it. Your life will
have meaning; you’ll feel a sense of
peace. Even when circumstances are
Neptune wants
nothing less than your
genuine devotion.
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 15
To honor Neptune
properly, we must
keep ego out of it.
gratitude and renewed understanding.
But if you mostly worship the Sun, this
The Sun is an emblem for ego,
the part of us that hungers for personal
satisfaction and glory. It’s instructive
that Neptune orbits at quite a distance
from the Sun, receiving just one-tenth
of one percent of the sunlight reaching
Earth. (One of the imaging team mem-
bers from the Voyager2 mission com-
pared Neptune’s light to the inside of an
unlit cathedral on a cloudy day
— how
appropriate!) To honor Neptune prop-
erly, we must keep ego out of it. Depar-
tures from reality are more often ego
trips than Neptune ones. When our
visions draw from universal sources and
nourish the collective journey, when
they celebrate not self but the sacred
in the cosmos, then we’re wrapped in
Neptune’s arms. To be there 70 percent
of the time would be heaven. Mundane
reality would be a Land of Bliss.
What is reality, anyway? Today sci-
ence gives us surprisingly Neptunian
descriptions. Solid materials disappear
into quantum mysteries, implying a unity
of connections that only mystics can
make sense of. Reality, the scientists tell
dependent on its observers. It is sourced
in the relationship between seer and the
seen. Theoretical physicists sound like
Buddhists when they say an independent
and objective world just doesn’t exist. If
we revisit Neptune’s discovery chart from
this perspective, Neptune’s conjunction
with Saturn takes on new meaning. Per-
haps it was Neptune gripping Saturn and
shaking up Aquarius, demanding a holy
merger of science and the sacred. Per-
haps it was a visionary invitation for all of
us to bring Neptune values like commu-
nion, compassion, and imagination into
the center of our culture. Perhaps it was
Neptune saying, “Drink up, dreamers,
you’re running dry.”
Neptune will return to its position in
the discovery chart in 2009. It’s not too
early to start your celebration.
References and Notes
1. Neptune was discovered on September 23,
1846 at 9:49 p.m. GMT in Berlin, Germany
(from Joylin Hill, TheDiscoveryofthePlanets,
AFA, 1985).
2. Sometime in midlife, transiting Neptune will
square its natal position in each person’s chart.
Around this time, transiting Uranus will oppose
its natal position. These two transits often co-
incide with the “midlife crazies.”
3. Joseph Campbell, TheHerowithaThousand
Faces, Bollingen, 1968, p. 92.
4. Thomas R. Watters, Planets:ASmithsonian
Guide, Macmillan, 1995, p. 170.
Dana Gerhardt, M.A.,isapracticingastrologer
Moon cycles. For more information, visit her
Find earlier installments of
Dana Gerhardt’s
Planet Series
. . . . . . . . . . . June/July 2006
the Moon
. . . . . . . . . .Aug./Sept. 2006
. . . . . . . . . . .Oct./Nov. 2006
. . . . . . . . . . . Dec./Jan. 2007
Jupiter & Saturn
. . . . . . . . . Feb./March 2007
. . . . . . . . . .April/May 2007
Student Section p. 16
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 17



So, you’ve been studying astrol-
ogy for a while now and you’re
wondering if you’re ready to start
interpreting charts for people —
perhaps even make a career of it.
Before you jump in with both
feet, wouldn’t it be nice if you
could road test your skills frst
and see how you score?
Or have you ever looked at a
client’s chart and wondered
if you’ve caught everything
important, or whether another
astrologer might offer a
different interpretation?

Well, The Mountain Astrologer
offers its ongoing “Chart
Challenge” to assist you.
Each issue, in our Student
Section, TMA will publish
a new anonymous birth chart
(of someone we know) and a
question or two about that chart
for our readers to answer.
TMA will ask two professional
astrologers to review the same
chart and answer the same ques-
tions. Their expert answers will
be included for you to compare
with your own results.
So, pit your wits and
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Compare Your Skills with the Pros
I feel that I am at a personal and professional crossroads in
my life as a wife, mother, and co-owner of the restaurant that
my mom and I opened three years ago. Am I in the right spot?
Should I continue putting my energies into the restaurant? Or
should I pursue another type of business in the service sector?
Chart Data and Source
“Sandy,” February 25, 1972; 6:00 p.m. PST; Grass Valley, California, USA
Answers are on page 84.
Sandy's Questions:
Student Section p. 18
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Ìn his book
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Using this method, the
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location, Aspects (to each
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progressed and transiting
planets). To learn more go
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 19
Notes from a Novice:
Advi ce to the LoveLorn
by Jan de Prosse
Feb. / Mar. 2007 • TMA p. 19
continued on page 86
Friends of mine sometimes want me to decipher
their charts. Since I’m not a quali fied astrologer, I
hesitate to do it, even for free. But I figure people can’t
complain about something that didn’t cost them a cent
(or the equivalent in Euros, whatever that may be). My
dearest wish, however, is to have my own “no-holds-
barred” psycho-astrological advice column prof fering
tough love à la Venus in Scorpio. I would call myself
Minerva. Here’s a sample of fering:
Dear Minerva:
I am bored and lonely and tired of waiting
for Mr. Right to show up in my life. Can you
tell me when I will fnally meet that certain
someone, the perfect person for me? I was
born on May 6, 1962 at 5:32 a.m. in Meridian,
Mississippi, USA.
— Sue Ann
Does this seem too brutal? Well, why mince
words! People want to hear the truth, so those
who are of fering solicited advice might as well
cut to the chase. At least, that’s how I look at it.
Correct me i f I’m wrong. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t
cast this fictitious chart, so please don’t write to me
saying things like: “What are you talking about ? Her
Jupiter is nowhere near a favorable aspect in 2012!”
etc. I’m just trying to make a point here. Don’t go all
serious on me. Please.
Here’s another example of the kind of advice I’d
like to dispense:
Dear Minerva:
My job is getting more and more
unbearable every day. I can hardly
drag myself out of bed to go to work
in the morning. Life seems entirely
pointless anyway. My wife left me
without warning four weeks ago, and
I’m still reeling. Can you offer me
any crumbs of hope? I was born on
August 23, 1930, at 1:31 p.m. in
Dordrecht, Holland.
— Hans
Dear Hans:
— Minerva
Student Section p. 20
An Introduction to
Solar Arc Directions
of the most reliable and
powerful methods of astro-
logical prediction is the technique of
solararcdirections. This technique uses
the motion of the progressed Sun to
determine the rate by which to “direct”
the other planets forward. Solar arc
directions are unlike secondary pro-
gressions, which examine the organic
movement of planets in the days imme-
diately after birth, with each planet
moving at its actual speed. Instead, the
solar arc method directs all of the plan-
ets and angles forward by one consis-
tent rate: approximately one degree per
year — the average daily motion of the
Sun and the yearly motion of the pro-
gressed Sun. The exact rate of the solar
arc varies slightly, depending on what
time of year you were born. The Sun
travels a little more slowly during the
summer months, and thus, over time,
if your birthday is in the spring or sum-
mer, your accumulated solar arc will be
slightly less than a degree per year of
life. Nevertheless, we can begin with the
assumption that all planets and angles
are directed forward by approximately
one degree per year of life; this enables
us to make some powerful predictions
about the unfolding of our natal chart
Using solar arcs, we can recon-
struct and anticipate the pivotal
moments of a person’s life at a glance,
by visually projecting natal planets and
angles forward to complete aspects to
other planets or angles and by approxi-
mating the dates when these aspects
would be in effect. Let’s examine the
chart of a woman I will call “Holly”
(see Chart 1, opposite). Holly’s natal
Sun is at 17°43' Sagittarius, and Venus
is at 24°10' Sagittarius. These two plan-
ets are separated by a distance of 6°27'.
This corresponds to the age of 6 years
and 6 months. When the solar arc (SA)
Sun was conjunct natal Venus, Holly
ative, artistic school; she adored her
teacher, and she had good friends.
Holly’s Ascendant is 24°25' Virgo,
and her Saturn is at 1°24' Libra. Sat-
urn is separated from the Ascendant
by a distance of 6°59', corresponding
to almost exactly 7 years of age. This
means that the solar arc Ascendant was
conjunct her natal Saturn at age 7. At
this time, Holly entered second grade
and felt rejected by her peer group. She
was traumatized in second grade, hated
her teacher, and developed a weight
problem and a poor self-image (SA
Ascendant conjunct Saturn).
The distance between her Mid-
heaven (23°43' Gemini) and the opposi-
tion to her natal Moon (1°24' Capricorn)
is 7°41', corresponding to the age of 7
years and 8 months. At this age, her
solar arc Midheaven (SA MC) opposed
her natal Moon. She had a better, more
supportive third-grade teacher, became
closer to her mother, and met her best
friend. She was healed by feminine
energy (the Moon).
At the age of 23 years and 3
months, Holly’s natal Jupiter at 1°07'
Pisces came to a conjunction by solar
arc with her natal Descendant at 24°25'
Pisces. She started graduate school and
got a good job (natal Jupiter in the 6th
house). Here, we refer back to the natal
placement of the directed planet. She
met an important professor (Jupiter)
ship (Descendant) with him.
Holly’s natal Ascendant at 24°25'
Virgo is separated from natal Neptune
at 19°03' Libra by a distance of 24°38'.
At age 24 years and 7 months, her SA
Ascendant was conjunct Neptune: She
was studying mysticism and religion at
a university and doing astrology and
Tarot readings. She accepted dona-
tions for readings but did not charge
money (Neptune: service, altruism). She
had a powerful out-of-body experience
in a dream where she was waiting to
be admitted to a mystery school. Dur-
ing this period, she was richly living the
archetypal symbolism of the SA Ascen-
dant conjunct Neptune.
Holly’s MC at 23°43' Gemini is
separated from an opposition to natal
Mars at 26°05' Capricorn (in the 5th
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 21
house) by a distance of 32°22', corre-
sponding to 32 years and 5 months of
age. Thus, the solar arc MC was oppo-
site natal Mars in the 5th house at that
age. At this time, she worked at a rock
music radio station; she was party-
ing a lot (5th house) and dating one
of the disk jockeys, a man who was
into cocaine and wild sex. Her life was
focused on sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.
She was constantly going out to clubs
and concerts (5th-house Mars).
Natal Pluto at 19°47' Leo (in the
11th house) is 35°38' away from her
natal Ascendant at 24°25' Virgo. At age
35 years and 8 months, when solar arc
Pluto conjoined her Ascendant, she
bonded with her husband-to-be when
his sister committed suicide. She learned
wisdom through an encounter with
death (Pluto). She lost a lot of weight
at this time, thus transforming her body
image: Pluto–Ascendant.
Now, practice this method with
your own chart. Using the average solar
arc (60 minutes, or 1 degree, per year),
approximate when your natal planets
will direct forward to form aspects to
your natal planets and angles. Then, go
back and calculate precisely when the
solar arc contacts occurred. What solar
arc contacts do you see in the future?
What trends do you anticipate? The
power of solar arc directions is that the
symbolism is very likely to manifest
visibly in our lives.
Calculating Solar Arcs
To calculate your solar arc direc-
tions, follow this procedure: Look up
your birthday in the ephemeris. Deter-
mine your current age in years and
months. Let’s say you are 40 years
and 4 months old. Count 40 days after
the date of your birth. This is the pro-
gressed date for your 40th birthday.
To account for the extra months since
your birthday, multiply 4 months x 2
hours = 8 hours. Add 8 hours to your
natal Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
of birth. Let’s review the logic of this:
By progression, one day after birth (or
24 hours) is symbolically equivalent
to one year of life (12 months), so two
hours after birth corresponds to one
month of life.
Do the calculations for your cur-
rent age. Find the progressed date
and GMT corresponding to your cur-
rent age in years and months. Now, cal-
culate the position of your progressed
Sun. Find the distance in longitude
between your natal Sun and progressed
Sun. In our example, this distance will
be approximately 40°20’. This dis-
tance is called the solararc. Now, add
this arc to each of your natal planets
and angles (Ascendant, Descendant,
MC, and IC). These are your solar arc–
directed planets and angles. Note any
current, upcoming, or recently com-
pleted contacts of solar arc planets to
your natal planets or angles. Pay spe-
cial attention to conjunctions, opposi-
tions, squares, semi-squares (45°), and
sesquiquadrates (135°) — the kinetic
aspects (so called because they tend to
be dynamic and change-producing). It is
easy to locate the conjunction, square,
and opposition. For example, the pro-
gressed Moon at 18° Cancer is oppo-
site Saturn at 18° Capricorn. But it is not
Cancer is also 45° (semi-square) to 3°
Gemini and 3° Virgo, and it is also 135°
(sesquiquadrate) to 3° Sagittarius and 3°
Pisces. Thus, any planet placed at these
degrees is receiving an aspect from the
solar arc planet. To use solar arc direc-
tions, you need to start paying atten-
tion to semi-square and sesquiquadrate
aspects as well, which represent 1/8
of the circle (45°) and 3/8 of the circle
(135°), respectively.
Chart 1:
Chart 2:
Using solar arcs, we
can reconstruct and
anticipate the pivotal
moments of a person’s
life at a glance.

Student Section p. 22
Research recent, current, and
upcoming solar arc contacts to your
chart. Take note of what happened in
the past or what you predict may hap-
pen with future contacts. Carefully
study the unfolding of your natal chart
by solar arc direction from the begin-
ning of your life. Start with planets near
angles, and consider the length of time
it will take the natal planet to contact
the angle — to reach the angle by solar
arc. Identify correlations between the
planets and angles involved, and note
as closely as you can when this would
have occurred. You can do this at a
glance, calculating the distance between
the planets and between planets and
angles. Allot 5 minutes of arc per month
or 60 minutes of arc per year. Notice
the solar arc movement of a planet such
as Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn over another
natal planet or cluster of planets. Try to
recall whether any events in your early
life match the symbolism of the solar arc
contact. Then, go back and calculate
the timing of these arcs precisely. Keep
A Detailed Example
To learn any predictive method,
we need to study retrospectively. We
look backward into the past before we
look forward into the future. We study
events that have already occurred and
and planetary transits and progressions.
We study our own charts in depth to see
how we have responded to past plan-
etary contacts. We also study life histo-
ries, to see how a person’s natal aspect
patterns, transits, and progressions have
manifested. By studying past events,
we can begin to anticipate the outcome
of future transits and progressions: We
can predict. We begin to discern how
transits and progressions operate and
how they correlate with real-life events.
And we learn to be alert for comparable
occurrences in the future. This is how
we develop the art of anticipation.
Here is another example of a client’s
chart that vividly illustrates the power
of solar arc directions. Chart 2 (p. 21)
belongs to a woman I will call “Anne.”
When Anne was age 6 years and 3
months, SA Saturn conjoined her natal
Descendant: Her father, an undercover
CIA agent, suddenly disappeared and left
was a period of sadness, fear, and social
inhibitions for Anne. You might not have
predicted her father’s leaving, but you
would infer from Saturn’s involvement
that there might be issues related to the
father and possible stresses or inhibitions
connecting to others.
Now, note Anne’s natal Moon–
Uranus conjunction in the 4th house.
Some instability or change in the family
home and environment was indicated.
This came to fruition at age 8, when
the SA Midheaven opposed Anne’s
Moon. At the same time, transiting Sat-
urn was in Capricorn, opposite her
natal Moon–Uranus. Her family began
moving constantly, living in a series of
transient homes and trailer parks, caus-
ing Anne much emotional upset. At age
16–17, when the natal Sun progressed
to a conjunction with Venus, Anne fell
age, her SA Saturn was conjunct Nep-
tune in the 7th house; this was a period
of romantic illusions and disappoint-
ment, since her boyfriend was an alco-
holic who lied to her. Notice how the
potentials of Neptune in the 7th house
were brought vividly to life, including
Anne’s ability to devote herself self-
lessly to somebody else. At age 21,
when SA Venus (ruler of the 7th house)
was conjunct natal Jupiter, Anne got
married; she and her husband relo-
cated across the country, bought a
around this time, transiting Saturn in
Cancer conjoined her Moon–Uranus in
the 4th house. Saturn in the 4th house
marked the beginning of family life.
At age 25, when the SA MC
reached a conjunction with Anne’s
Aquarius Sun in the 11th house, she
became a nationally recognized leader
of an alternative, holistic health move-
ment (11th house); she also joined a
group healing arts clinic. Anne’s Sun
rules her 5th house (children). When the
SA MC was conjunct her Sun, she had
her second child; the birth was timed
exactly by transiting Saturn in Leo con-
junct natal Pluto in the 5th house. How-
ever, soon thereafter, Anne’s husband
started having an affair (transiting Sat-
urn aspecting natal Venus opposite
Pluto: relational complications, jeal-
ousy). At age 30, during Anne’s Sat-
urn return (when transiting Saturn was
in the 7th house), she had increasingly
serious marital problems, yet her pro-
fessional practice with her husband was
thriving. At the same time (age 30),
SA Jupiter reached a conjunction with
Anne’s Ascendant, and she published a
book that earned her lasting recognition
today, more than 20 years later. When
Anne was 35, solar arc Mars squared
her MC, and the solar arc Moon con-
joined natal Pluto; she went through
an acrimonious divorce (Mars), an
emotional crisis (Moon–Pluto), and an
upheaval regarding her children (Pluto
in Leo in the 5th house). She received
her doctorate at age 38, when her pro-
gressed Sun was conjunct Jupiter. It
is astonishing how closely events are
linked to planetary symbolism.
When Anne’s SA MC was con-
junct natal Venus in the 11th house,
her daughter got married. Let’s intro-
duce a little derived house analysis
— most often used in horary astrology
but also very helpful in natal astrology.
The 11th house is the seventh from the
5th house (children); therefore, it gov-
erns the child’s relationship or marriage.
Two years later, the SA MC opposed
Pluto in the 5th house; Anne’s daughter
divorced and became a single mother.
When SA Venus reached a conjunc-
tion with Anne’s Ascendant, her daugh-
The power of solar arc
directions is that the
symbolism is very
likely to manifest
visibly in our lives.
By studying past events,
we can begin to
anticipate the outcome
of future transits and
Solar Arc Directions
June/July 2007 • TMA p. 23
ter remarried, much more happily. The
effect of this SA Venus contact reso-
nated with the meaning of Venus’s natal
placement in Anne’s 11th house, the
house of the child’s marriage.
Anne herself remarried in the late
1980s, when transiting Saturn in Capri-
corn squared her natal Saturn and Nep-
tune in the 7th house — that is, under a
hard aspect of Saturn. Her second mar-
shouldn’t assume that Saturn is neces-
Anne’s Mercury in Capricorn con-
junct the Midheaven is a potent force:
She is a tremendous writer, and she
wrote all her major works during transits
of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus to her
natal Mercury. For the past few years,
however, her writing has been dormant.
Anne was in despair; there seemed to
be nothing else to say or write. But I
saw transiting Saturn in Cancer oppo-
site natal Mercury. Could it be that,
fairly soon, Anne would again be stirred
to write? When Saturn turned retro-
grade and formed the second opposi-
tion to Mercury, she was contacted by
a literary agent in New York about a
book proposal. She threw herself into
the new project with focus, energy, and
These kinds of retrospective life
studies teach us to assess planetary sym-
bols and the developmental tasks and
phases they indicate. And on this basis,
it is possible to predict or anticipate
future tasks and trends. Such life studies
teach us that astrology reveals the indi-
vidual path of development and the tim-
ing of certain types of experiences.
The Meaning of Events
If astrology’s predictive methods
are to be most helpful, it is important
astrologers are not concerned only
with whether events are good or bad.
Rather, the goal is to understand how
every phase of life is meaningful. Dane
Rudhyar said: “Every event is accepted
as a necessary phase in the ritual pro-
cess of existence …”
We need to go
below the surface of events, to the
deeper dimension of meaning.
When I was 12 years old, I had
solar arc Pluto sesquiquadrate my Sun,
plus a secondary progressed Moon–
Mars opposition (charts not shown).
On the day of a transiting Moon–Pluto
conjunction, I was hit by a car and
broke several bones. This awakened
me to the fragility of life (Pluto: emer-
gencies, brush with death). It was also
a classic manifestation of Mars as the
planet of mishaps and injuries. But
looking more closely at this event, I
was able to discern a deeper mean-
ing. Solar arc Jupiter was conjunct my
2nd-house cusp, and transiting Jupiter
opposed transiting Saturn in Taurus: I
rus and the 2nd house: money), which
sat in a bank account until I was 21;
this aided my development by enabling
extended period after college.
At the time of the accident, transit-
ing Saturn was stationary direct, exactly
square my Moon, and solar arc Saturn
was exactly semi-square my Moon: Sev-
eral nice nurses took good care of me
(Moon: women, caregivers, nurturing)
until my mother (Moon) arrived at the
hospital, and she was especially tender
and loving toward me. I grew closer to
my mother in the days and weeks after
this accident. I had a beautiful experi-
ence of the mother archetype. All my
needs were taken care of. Also, the
Moon–Pluto conjunction in Virgo in my
12th house was relevant. This was my
since my birth. In my hours in the emer-
gency room, I saw many gravely ill and
injured individuals. I became aware of
the preciousness of life.
Events are not black and white,
and they may have a deeper meaning
than is apparent on the surface. None
of this subtlety can be captured by an
approach to astrology where we sim-
ply say “that is bad” or “this is good.”
The interpretation of a chart requires
attention to the nuances of events, to
what Alexander Ruperti calls “the total
uniqueness of each moment.”
Chart Data and Sources
“Holly,” December 10, 1950; 12:28 a.m. PST;
Richmond, CA, USA (37°N56', 122°W21'); AA:
“Anne,” January 21, 1951; 10:18 a.m. CST;
Biloxi, MS, USA (30°N24', 88°W53'); AA: birth
1. Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala,
Vintage Books, 1973, p. 385.
2. Alexander Ruperti, Cycles of Becoming,
CRCS, 1978, p. 7.
Greg Bogart, Ph.D., MFT,isapsychother-
and Meditation: The Fearless Contemplation of
Change; Astrology and Spiritual Awakening;and
Rudhyar’s Astrology in Plain Language.Tocon-
We shouldn’t assume
that Saturn is necessarily
a negative or malefc
planetary infuence.
We need to go below
the surface of events, to
the deeper dimension
of meaning.
TMA’s Book Reviews
Are Online
New reviews are
posted at the beginning
of each month.
24 www.mountainastrologer.com
to house ourselves, pump water to our
buildings, travel, stay warm or cool,
grow our food, and produce our medi-
cines. We rely heavily on fossil fuels
for agriculture, since they are needed
to make fertilizers and pesticides and
diesel fuel for tractors and the trucks
that ship the food to us. Oil fuels indus-
try, the military, tourism, and modern
medicine/pharmaceuticals. Nothing can
replace oil for the energy it gives onthe
scaleneeded. Not nuclear plants, not
coal, not renewable energy (like solar
and wind power). If all the world’s cur-
rent grain and oilseed production were
converted to biofuels, it would sup-
ply only 13% of our current fuel use.

Unless viable alternatives such as bio-
fuel from algae are developed with the
speed and fervor of the Apollo Project
to land humans on the Moon, biofuels
will not be a major part of the solution.
Natural gas is a big factor in pro-
ducing electricity. We are now past
the peak of natural gas production in
the United States; a lot of gas is being
imported from Canada, even while their
gas producers are drilling more and
more small gas wells just to stay even
with current production.
In the U.S.,
25% of our energy comes from natural
gas, and more than half of U.S. homes
are heated by natural gas, including
almost all of the new construction.
Many experts believe that we are
either at the peak of global oil pro-
duction now or will reach the peak by
2008–2012. From then on, it is a (hope-
fully) slow but irreversible decline. The
exceeds supply, and shortages begin
to happen. Unless a sharp economic
downturn of the world economy inhibits
the demand soon, we will probably see
something in 2008–2015 like the follow-
ing scenario:
overcome their denial that global pro-
demand is still increasing, there is likely
to be panic — and that’s when the eco-
nomic dominos start falling. There will
be less oil exported as countries that
extract oil satisfy their domestic needs
the last year.) First come higher prices,
then spot shortages, then rationing.
That will lead to global competition for
countries that can pay more will leave
poorer countries high and dry (sparking
new wars over access to energy). Peo-
ple will tend to elect or tolerate totali-
tarian leaders who promise to restore
their access to gasoline or energy. And
as demand for oil is impacted by a div-
ing economy, there will appear to be
moments when supply meets demand
and gas prices swing lower, only to sky-
rocket again when global oil production
is reduced further by the overall deple-
tion trend, the next oil war, or another
natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina.
cant lifestyle changes are coming for all
but the very wealthy — either volun-
tary or forced by circumstances — prob-
ably before 2015. Because of the time it
takes to understand the problem, over-
come denial, react creatively, and imple-
ment the infrastructure for innovations
that might soften the transition, the shift
— which may last a decade — will likely
be chaotic and harsh, triggering a major
economic depression.
I think that Pluto’s discovery and
elevation to planetary status in 1930
symbolized, among other things, an era
of extreme concentration of power and
wealth (in corporations and govern-
ments as well as rich individuals) that
was made possible by cheap, abun-
dant energy in the form of oil — the ulti-
mate Plutonian underground treasure.
a planet, and the oil age is starting to
sputter and wane. The new planet Eris,
named after the goddess of chaos, has
been discovered at a time when conser-
Chart 1
December 21, 2009
12:48 p.m. EST
Chart 2
August 4, 2010
12:52 a.m. EDT
The Years Ahead
and the Oil Crisis
The Mountain Astrologer 25
on community resources are urgently
needed. There is already a ground-
swell of interest in these things as peo-
ple begin to pay attention to the science
regarding climate change. Perhaps Eris
will usher in a mass awakening and a
new tribalism based on local control
and stewardship of Earth’s resources.
Eris may also bring terribly chaotic cir-
cumstances. Some of the big questions
are how easily Pluto will relinquish con-
trol, how much that we value will be
destroyed in the process, and how long
that will take.
Charting the Course
Let’s look at some of the astrologi-
this challenging chapter of human civi-
lization. Chart 1 (opposite), the 2009
Capricorn solstice, sets the stage for
the Cardinal Climax. Notice that Mars
turns retrograde in Leo and opposes
a conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron, and
Neptune in Aquarius. Saturn and
Pluto have begun their long square in
Libra–Capricorn. Chart 2 (opposite)
in August 2010 is an eye-opener: An
exact t-square involving Jupiter, Mars,
and Pluto is aligned with a Saturn–
Uranus opposition as Hades enters
Cancer. The whole summer of 2010
will be intense and transformative,
but many of us may discover that we
have the restraint, strength of heart, and
expanded consciousness we need to
get through it. Chart 3 (below) shows
the June 2012 grand cross of the Sun,
Moon, Uranus, and Pluto, plus a t-square
formed by Jupiter, the North Node,
and Neptune. Chart 4 (below) illus-
trates a dramatic grand cross in 2014
comprised of Pluto (conjunct the
Moon), Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus at
13–14° of cardinal signs; it is shown
here because the U.S. Sun (July 4,
1776) is at 13°+ Cancer. This is prob-
ably a make-or-break year for all of us,
its economy have on the entire world.
The good news in all of this is that
we are getting the cosmic alignments
we need — just in time — to motivate
us to overcome our collective inertia.
These planetary patterns may help us as
a society to make the massive changes
that are imperative if we want to prevent
widespread unnecessary suffering when
the energy-rug is pulled out from under
us in the coming years. We can work to
create a sustainable, energy-conserving,
locally enriched life for our families and
communities. We can rise to our best
to meet the challenges presented: Isn’t
that what squares, t-squares, and grand
crosses are all about — meeting the
One of the reasons we use astrol-
ogy to look ahead is so that we can be
Chart 3
June 27, 2012
2:42 a.m. EDT
Chart 4
April 20, 2014
8:31 p.m. EDT
better prepared for change — physi-
cally, psychologically, and emotionally.
Of course, we can’t avoid the actual
waves of change, but my view is that we
can be of much more help to everyone
around us if we are as informed as pos-
sible. I invite TMA readers to elaborate
on this 2008–2015 time period and to
offer alternate interpretations explain-
more gentle or less traumatic to modern
(Editor’s Note:For TMAQueryand
References and Notes
1. See Ed Gillam’s two-part article on Pluto in
Capricorn in TheMountainAstrologer, Dec.
2005/Jan. 2006 and Feb./March 2006.
2. See TMA, Oct./Nov. 2005, for more infor-
mation about these transneptunians and, spe-
cifcally, the Gary Christen interview (in the
Mercury Direct section of that issue) for more on
Hades, which is associated with depth, decay,
mean and disgusting things, sickness, poverty,
that which is taboo, the occult, antiquity, and
what is deeply buried. Hades moves about one
degree per year.
3. Kunstler’s recent talk to the Commonwealth
Club of San Francisco gives the latest informa-
tion on what we are up against. For an audio
2 www.mountainastrologer.com
Empire or
Globalization and
in the 21st Century
In the four-million-year history of hominid
evolution, our ancestors lived on this planet
mainly as small groups of hunter–foragers living
in relative harmony with the natural world, just
one species among millions of others. Certainly,
we had bigger brains than most, and as omnivores
our niche was near the top of the food chain, but
our stature in the matrix of life on Earth was still
fairly modest.
Biological selection proceeded at its elegant,
glacial pace until recently, after the appearance
of our particular species — homosapiens. By
that time, we were genetically optimized to live
in extended social families, often matrilineal in
organization and usually pantheistic in spirituality.
With the onset of agriculture and the gradual shift
away from fertile earth-goddesses toward a more
distant monotheism, the social order changed. As
human settlements increased in population,
formerly egalitarian cultures operating
through sharing, partnering, and
mutual protection gave way to
authoritarian societies based on
ownership, possession, wealth,
aggressive patriarchy. Cultural
conditioning supplanted
genetics as the driving force
of our collective evolution,
with commerce our most
fundamental activity.
The Mountain Astrologer 2
Over the last millennium, and espe-
cially during the past two centuries, the
powers of civilization grew exponen-
tially. In the rush to manifest dreams of
abundance, convenience, and comfort,
we human beings saw ourselves as rul-
ers over nature. Although many social
philosophers and theologians counseled
a responsible dominion, business pre-
ferred total freedom for exploitation.
Commercial interests, especially among
industrialists and land developers, lob-
bied for an untrammeled, anything-
goes opportunism. The natural world
was widely seen as having no inherent
value other than providing economic
resources for human use. We threw cau-
tion to the winds with a stunning disre-
gard for repercussions, plundering this
garden planet for our own short-term
gain, to the point of the Earth’s (and
our) impending ruin.
The crises we now face cross all
political, cultural, and spiritual boundar-
ies. Humanity’s reign may prove tragi-
cally brief indeed, if we are unable or
unwilling to change how we live. The
changes needed are unlikely to be cho-
sen by a peaceful awakening of fore-
sighted wisdom. No, if we make the
changes at all, they will almost certainly
be the product of much pain, suffering,
well to prepare as best we can by realis-
tically considering our options.
cant choice among many in our mak-
ing the necessary adjustment: continued
corporate globalization versus relocal-
ization by revitalizing relatively auton-
omous human-scale communities. Can
astrology tell us anything about the pos-
sibilities for such a major reform of mod-
ern society and culture over the next
century? It can — but we need to set the
factors that help us to understand how
we collectively arrived at the current
Civilizational Astrology
As concerns mount for the future of
humanity, a subdiscipline within astrol-
ogy that might be called “Civilizational
Astrology” is rapidly gaining traction.
Though this is not a new arena of study,
by any means, interest in the astrol-
ogy of civilization is increasing, due to
the obvious dangers we already face
and the emerging crises in the decade
Numerous astrological techniques
can be used to glean information about
our shared evolution, including the pre-
cession of the equinoxes (the “Ages” in
astrology) and the changing sign posi-
tions of various slow-moving outer bod-
ies in the solar system (such as Pluto
leaving Sagittarius and entering Capri-
corn in 2008). Each of those techniques
is well known, but they are limited in the
amount of information and insight they
Far and away the most important
technique is the study of paired outer-
planet cycles. Any two planets from
Jupiter outward can be charted and
examined to reveal characteristic cul-
tural meanings and timing of shifts in
their cycles’ quarterly phase changes.
Primary among these are the six
paired cycles between Saturn, Ura-
nus, Neptune, and Pluto. These six
cycles form the backbone of Civiliza-
tional Astrology. Their individual phase
changes and sporadically concurrent
multiple alignments reveal the grand
panorama of the collective human strug-
shared dreams, to grow beyond illusion
into maturity, and to deal with reality
both as it is and as it might become.
Over the modern epoch since the
mid-19th century, seven critical outer-
planet alignments have stood out in
bold relief, with another just around
the corner in the 2010s. All these
include nearly simultaneous cycles
involving combinations of the four
outermost planets mentioned above.
cant astrological turning points in the
dramatic acceleration of civilization, for
better or for worse.
The Sidebar (p. 28) lists the major
outer-planet alignments, their respec-
tive periods (using 10° orbs), and a brief
synopsis of just a few of their more obvi-
ous correspondences to historical events
and social changes.
Background Resonance
For civilization, the most encom-
passing outer-planet cycle is Neptune–
Pluto; at almost 500 years from one
conjunction to the next, this is the lon-
gest cycle between bodies in the solar
system that represent primary astro-
logical archetypes. Longer cycles exist
among more minor symbols, but they
have neither the breadth of scope nor
depth of meaning that characterizes
This cycle charts the upwelling of
humanity’s deepest dreams, our long-
ing to harness power (Pluto) toward
the manifestation of collective fantasies
(Neptune). Who among us has not had
cally rising into the air to soar, loosed
from the bounds of gravity? After we
tury, space travel through the solar sys-
tem and beyond took over that niche in
human imagination. Our dreams have
always been the repository for visions
of shining cities, great personal wealth
or power, perfect health or immortal-
ity, and possession of beautiful objects
(including other human beings).
Since Neptune has a cycle around
the ecliptic of about 165 years, while
Pluto takes 245 years, their bi-millennial
conjunctions equate almost precisely to
three Neptune and two Pluto orbits. As
a result, their cycles align closely from
one to the next, with each successive
conjunction occurring about 5° further
in the zodiac. In addition, their oppo-
sitions occur on the same sign axis as
their conjunctions, and their quarterly
phase changes occur in signs of the
same modality.
This means that six full cycles,
encompassing almost 3,000 years’
total duration, are required to advance
Neptune–Pluto forward by one sign or
axis and into a different zodiacal mode.
Since the beginnings of civilization,
the movement of the Neptune–Pluto
Far and away the most
important technique in
Civilizational Astrology
is the study of paired
outer-planet cycles.
2 www.mountainastrologer.com
1847–1854: Uranus conjunct Pluto
• in the last degrees of Aries
• 1850–1853: Saturn forms a triple con-
junction with Uranus and Pluto in late
Aries/early Taurus
The Industrial Revolution gears up with
steam-powered ships and worldwide
building of railroads. Cumulative advances
in invention and production of modern
weapons change warfare forever. Radical
theories in natural sciences, politics, and
economics. The Taiping Rebellion kills
20 million in China.
1883–1900: Neptune conjunct Pluto
• in mid Gemini
• with three partile passes in 1891–1892
• 1889–1890: Saturn in Virgo forms a
First Quarter square to both
• 1900: The alignment ends with two
dominant oppositions — Saturn oppo-
site Neptune and Uranus opposite
Pluto on the Sagittarius/Gemini axis
The end of the Victorian era and the
beginning of the modern age. Industry
and invention, mainly for pragmatic pur-
poses of travel and convenience (electric
lights, internal-combustion engines). The
rise of corporate power. Idealized dreams
of modernity.
1899–1905: Uranus opposite Pluto
• on the Sagittarius/Gemini axis
• 1900: a grand opposition of all major
outer planets, with Pluto and Neptune
in Gemini opposed by Jupiter, Saturn,
Chiron, and Uranus in Sagittarius
Shocks in science as the Newtonian uni-
verse is challenged by Einstein’s theory of
relativity, which paves the way to quan-
begins. Continued stirrings of radical poli-
tics and social discontent.
1903–1915: Uranus opposite Neptune
• on the Cancer/Capricorn axis
• with eleven partile passes in 1906–
1910, the maximum number possible
between Uranus and Neptune
• 1908–1910: Saturn in Aries forms the
focus of a cardinal t-square with Ura-
nus and Neptune
• 1914: As Uranus closes out its opposi-
tion to Neptune, Saturn conjoins Pluto
in Cancer
Revolution in the arts. Fascination with
try and technology. Accelerated inter-
national emigration and demographic
population shifts from rural to urban. The
end of royal dynasties in China. Imperial
militarism in Europe and the eruption of
World War I.
1928–1937: Uranus Last Quarter
square Pluto
• in cardinal signs, from Aries to Cancer
• withfvepartilepassesin1932–1934
• 1930–1931: Saturn in Capricorn forms
a cardinal t-square
• 1931: Jupiter conjoins Pluto while
Neptune moves into the semi-square/
sesquiquadrate stress point, forming a
grand alignment of major outer planets
• 1936–1937: As the Uranus–Pluto
square ends, Saturn opposes Neptune
from Pisces to Virgo
The Great Depression. In the United
States, onset of FDR’s New Deal social
welfare and the labor union movement. In
Germany, decay of Weimar Republic and
rise of Hitler and National Socialism. Mass
purges in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Revolu-
tionary struggle for control of China. Initial
planning for economic globalization.
1961–1970: Uranus conjunct Pluto
• in mid Virgo
• with three partile passes in 1965–1966
• 1965–1967: Saturn in Pisces opposes
both planets during the exact period of
the partile Uranus–Pluto conjunctions,
making that three-planet opposition the
most precise, polarized, and concen-
Rise of grassroots movements toward
social equality through civil rights and
feminism. The appearance of ecology and
the beginnings of widespread concern
for the environment. Political assassina-
tions in the U.S. The Cultural Revolution
in China. The sexual revolution and psy-
chedelic drugs. The Vietnam War. Wood-
stock and the Moon landings. Polarization
between revolutions: in culture — alterna-
tive lifestyles vs. social conformity; in agri-
culture — small-scale organic farming vs.
corporate agribusiness; in medicine — tra-
ditional/natural holism vs. technological/
pharmaceutical allopathy.
1988–1998: Uranus conjunct Neptune
• in Capricorn
• with three partile passes in 1993
• 1988–1990: The period begins as a
triple conjunction with Saturn
• 1997–2001: As Uranus and Neptune
pull out of orb after a decade, Saturn
makes First Quarter squares to both,
to Uranus (from Taurus)
Collapse of the Soviet Union. Proliferation
of consumer technology, especially per-
sonal computers. Networking the planet
through the Internet and cell phones.
Economic globalization by transnational
corporations. Rise of religious fundamen-
talism as a political and social force.
2007–2020: Uranus First Quarter
square Pluto
• Alignment begins in late mutable
signs, from Pisces to Sagittarius, then
moves into cardinal signs, from Aries to
• with seven partile passes in 2012–
2015, the maximum number possible
for any Uranus–Pluto alignment
• 2010–2011: Saturn forms a t-square
from late Virgo into early Libra, with
Pluto at the apex (the so-called Cardi-
nal Climax)
• 2011: Neptune moves to the semi-
square/sesquiquadrate stress point in a
grand alignment similar to the cardinal
t-square in the 1930s
• 2014–2015: Uranus–Pluto square from
Aries to Capricorn forms a cardinal
grand cross with the July 4, 1776 U.S.
chart’s Sun–Saturn square from Can-
cer to Libra, again resonating with the
1930s alignment
• 2019–2020: Saturn conjoins Pluto in
Capricorn and then squares Uranus in
Aries as the Uranus–Pluto alignment
Major Outer-Planet Alignments, 1847–2020
The Mountain Astrologer 2
cycle through the zodiac has followed a
steady progression:
Aquarius (fxed):
10200 B.C.E. – 7300 B.C.E.
Pisces (mutable):
7300 B.C.E. – 4400 B.C.E.
Aries (cardinal):
4400 B.C.E. – 1500 B.C.E.
Taurus (fxed):
1500 B.C.E. – 1400 C.E.
Gemini (mutable):
1400 C.E. – 4300 C.E.
Initially, in the Aquarian and Pi-
scean periods of human myth-making
(called the Stone Age in history), social
groups emerged that were matrilineal in
organization, loosely egalitarian, and still
based around relatively small commu-
nities. During the Aries phase (Bronze
Age), communities grew into towns and
cities. Patriarchal hierarchies emerged
here, as did territorial conquest and
the subjugation or enslavement of for-
merly autonomous groups. Banking
developed in Mesopotamian temples as
a way of centralizing the exchange of
goods. During the Taurus phase (Iron
Age) of Neptune–Pluto dreams, control
then into kingdoms and theocracies.
Money itself was invented in China, ini-
tially as cowrie mollusk shells, then later
as precious metals minted into coins.
Starting in the 14th century — with
the onset of the Renaissance in Europe,
the Ming Dynasty in China, consolida-
tion of the Russias under Ivan the Great,
and the Samurai ruling class in Japan
— the Neptune–Pluto cycle entered
the current Gemini phase, where it will
remain for another two millennia from
today. Since the current phase began,
we’ve had two conjunctions of Nep-
tune and Pluto in Gemini, one opposi-
tion on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis (and
another to come in the 22nd century),
with three intermediate quarterly tran-
sitions in either Sagittarius/Pisces or
is revealing. The entire Gemini phase
of Neptune–Pluto activates wanderlust
— dreams of mobility, travel, and explo-
ration. Indeed, “discovery” of the New
World, linking the cultures of Eurasia
and the Americas, occurred less than
one century after the onset of the Gem-
ini phase. Also emphasized is intellectual
curiosity in discovering how the world is
put together. Science emerged here and
has developed rapidly since the Gem-
ini phase began. Human ingenuity and
invention are all brought to the fore-
ground of our collective yearning. We
want to know — by analysis, categoriza-
tion, and disassembly.
The presence in the cycles of the
mutable signs Sagittarius and Pisces
implies pursuit of truth through grand
ideas and philosophies, as well as the
emotional components of metaphysi-
cal faith and belief. Contrasts between
For civilization,
the most encompassing
outer-planet cycle is
30 www.mountainastrologer.com
science and religion are one crucible
through which modern culture has been
two very different approaches to know-
ing will likely continue, although they
tary basis in mutual support. Already,
the paradoxes of quantum physics
have given rise to parallels with certain
ancient spiritual insights of Taoism and
Buddhism, inspiring some physicists and
theologians to join hands. Many physi-
cal scientists and Christian fundamen-
opposite and mutually exclusive sides
of the cosmic fence over issues such
as biological evolution, the origins of
humanity, and the age of the Earth.
(Personally, I go with science on those
Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces
also reveal that limitless horizons of
possibility are now at the center of our
collective dreams of empowerment.
Knowledge is power, and anything
that can be created will be, for bet-
ter or worse. Crucially, however, the
fourth mutable sign, Virgo, is absent
future alignments of Neptune and Pluto
in this phase. The missing element of
earth in the mutable quartet means
that our collective fantasies tend to be
ungrounded, lacking any reference to
Virgoan understanding of whole, inte-
grated systems. The very cleverness
of our big brains may prove to be our
Over recent centuries, humans
have explored, theorized, extracted,
experimented, and manufactured with
wild abandon but without any sense of
bine, or synthesize anything we can
— regardless of the consequences. The
current tinkering with nature that is ram-
pant in the chemical, agricultural, and
pharmaceutical industries resembles
nothing so much as Dr. Frankenstein
and his creature. Enough virulent bio-
logical toxins are stored in laboratories
around the world to kill all of humanity
many times over, and the same applies
Empire or Community
to our rapidly degrading arsenals of
nuclear warheads. Respect and rever-
ence for the natural world have been
supplanted by our eagerness to manipu-
late, alter, and reshape the Earth for our
own purposes. In our insatiable curiosity
and childlike eagerness to wield power,
we have fallen headlong into the trap of
the sorcerer’s apprentice.
Given that the current types of
unconscious are unlikely to change in
the foreseeable future, do other major
outer-planet cycles offer an alterna-
tive or countervailing symbolism? While
both of the shorter Uranus–Neptune
and Uranus–Pluto cycles provide a con-
trast to the longer and more subtle tonal
background of Neptune–Pluto, it is spe-
challenging counterpoint.
Uranus–Pluto and the Choice of
Worlds: Empire or Community
Whereas Neptune–Pluto charts the
collective impact of our shared dreams,
Uranus–Pluto reveals the collective
and economic revolutions. Cultural
changes during Neptune–Pluto peri-
through social structures that remain
quickly integrated. Uranus–Pluto activa-
tions, however, are radical and shock-
ing. The existing shared beliefs that hold
society together are challenged, and
cultural institutions are broken down
by revolutionary attitudes that emerge
from the depths of collective conscious-
ness like magma spewed from a volca-
nic eruption. Old and new worlds collide
in tectonic crashes. Social upheaval is
the result.
The bipolar symbolism of Uranus,
which is akin to alternating current in
electricity, combines with the arche-
type of Pluto’s deep-seated raw power
for destruction and renewal to indicate
simultaneous but contradictory revolu-
tions that coexist despite their seeming
mutual exclusivity. Uranus and Pluto
together imply the sudden appearance
of new expressions of deep power well-
ing up out of nature or from collective
humanity. This can take the form of
coercive power used by an elite over the
masses through brute force, biased legis-
lation, or, more subtly, the psychological
mind control of propaganda. It can also
mean grassroots uprisings, where people
band together to take power, throw off
their shackles, and challenge the status
quo through social revolt.
In their most archetypal forms, one
direction of Uranus–Pluto eruptions is
related to Empire, and the other is con-
nected to Community. Both empire and
community are methods of social orga-
nization with deep roots in history and
human nature, although they could
hardly be more different in their mean-
ing and shape.
Empire is based on ownership of
land and resources, with economic pro-
ductivity and money as primary val-
ues, along with competition, conquest,
and domination. Perpetual growth is a
necessity, with gargantuan size a desired
result. Empires are monolithic, imposing
themselves on the environment. Power
is amassed and concentrated within a
vertical hierarchy of command and con-
trol, where standardization and con-
and dictates the limits of social mobil-
ity. The celebration of empire occurs
through spectacles meant to inspire awe
and to be viewed vicariously by their
location or interests shared in com-
mon. It may be based on private own-
ership, communally shared property,
or a combination of both. Coopera-
tion is a key value, as is mutual pro-
tection. Organization is dispersed and
decentralized, with a more horizon-
tal or egalitarian social structure. Scale
remains limited and local, with renewal
preferable to growth. Communities are
diverse, able to exist independently as
towns or, within larger cities, as neigh-
borhoods. Their development is based
Each community is relatively autono-
mous and different from others, but they
connect through a rhizome-like network
of interconnections, to share their vari-
ous commercial products and unique
cultural styles. The celebration of com-
munity occurs through festivals meant to
inspire joy, with active participation by
the populace.

The Mountain Astrologer 31
Empire and Globalization
Empire emerged over the past 5,000
years and holds sway in the current struc-
turing of civilization. Patriarchal, pluto-
cratic, and impersonal, empire works
through institutions — in the past, this
meant governments of city- or nation-
states and their bureaucratic social orga-
nizations, backed by military force should
economic power alone prove lacking.
The dominant institutions are either
owned or run by an elite group of indi-
viduals. Political scientist and longtime
researcher Thomas Dye has found that
the power to dictate major economic
and sociopolitical policy decisions in
the United States is concentrated in the
hands of a mere 8,000 individuals out of
a population of 300 million.

Anyone educated in history is
familiar with empires from antiquity,
such as the Egyptian and Chinese
Dynasties, the Roman Empire, and the
European empires of Portugal, Spain,
ished during the 15th–19th centuries.
However, modern imperialism goes
beyond nation-states to include trans-
national corporations. These special-
ized entities, which are commercial
in charter and only political or social
to achieve their economic aims, took
hold during the massive industrializa-
tion of the second half of the 19th cen-
tury through the phenomenal growth
of various industries: railroads, lumber,
mining, steel, oil, textiles, and banking,
among others. Initially modest infusions
of speculative capital by individuals,
aided by governments, produced aston-
of the Robber Barons. Incredible private
fortunes were built as individual entre-
preneurs (Uranus) pumped the well of
collective resources (Pluto).
Industrial expansion continued far
into the 20th century in the automo-
tive, armaments, agricultural, chemical,
and construction industries. Sometimes,
20th-century industries were capital-
istic, as in the U.S.; other times, they
were state-run, as in the communist (or,
more accurately, totalitarian) Soviet
Union. Whatever “ism” they operated
under, however, such industrial empires
were all centralized and hierarchical
and always abetted by government lar-
gesse. Together, government and busi-
ness milked the Earth of her amazing
abundance; the cream was reserved for
and ladled off by those at the top of the
pyramid, while the diluted skim milk
trickled down toward the base. Dispar-
ity of wealth is a hallmark of empire;
even today, half the population of
humanity — more than three billion
people — lives in dire poverty, subsist-
ing on an income of less than $2 per
day. For about a billion of those indi-
viduals, chronic hunger is a fact of daily
Earlier empires used military con-
quest as their initial means of expansion,
followed by colonization (to siphon off
resources and products) and subjuga-
tion of conquered populations. Contem-
porary empires still maintain armies and
use invasion by force, but their preferred
method of expansion now centers around
activity through penetration of new mar-
kets for commercial goods and services,
plus the free movement of capital to
production and labor. That sentence is
a mouthful, but it basically means: Sell
more, pay less to do it, grow in size, and
This is called Globalization, the
removal of all boundaries and limits to
commercial development, creating a
global marketplace that functions as the
equivalent of a local market but on a
massive scale designed to accommodate
corporations rather than people. Though
the roots of economic globalization go
back to the 1930s, its implementation
was fervently embraced by big business
when the current Uranus–Neptune cycle
of revolutionary dreams kicked off in
Capricorn during the 1990s.
Community and Relocalization
On the other side of civilization’s
coin is community, which can be traced
back to the earliest hunter–forager tribes
of our distant past. Current accounts of
history and even prehistory would lead
one to assume that empire is the natural
order, since the melodramas of wealth,
imagination. Communal societies are
all but overlooked. In fact, however, co-
operative sharing in relative peaceful-
ness is much more ancient and deeply
embedded in our genetic heritage.
Empire is actually a very recent devel-
opment in anthropology, almost an
aberration, like a viral infection, calling
forth the extremes in human nature.
Evidence suggests that both agricul-
ture and animal husbandry were known
and understood by our ancestors, but
they did not choose those ways of living
until forced to do so by climate change.
As long as we lived in smaller coopera-
tive groups, humans found it much eas-
ier to live off nature’s abundance rather
than be chained to the labor-intensive
requirements of farming. At the end
of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, however,
global warming of tropical regions and
beings to seek out fertile land near riv-
ers and deltas, settle into permanent vil-
lages, and begin full-time agriculture.
By intensifying our labors to grow food
populations drawn to a central food
In community, we know well, or
are at least familiar with, most others in
our small group. In larger societies, how-
ever, people inevitably become strang-
ers to each other, increasing our anxiety.
Community is defned
mainly by location or
interests shared
in common.
32 www.mountainastrologer.com
Empire or Community
Authority takes over, promising to pro-
vide security and stability — but at a
profound cost. Equality is replaced
by hierarchy. Active cooperation is
replaced by passive obedience. The bal-
ance of masculine and feminine expres-
sion, so essential to community and our
genetic heritage, is disrupted. Personal
warmth and feminine nurturing end up
impersonal structures of masculine patri-
archy are institutionalized, running soci-
ety as a whole.
millennia, communal groups continued
empire or in areas that empire regarded
as devoid of resources. That changed
when Neptune–Pluto’s Gemini phase of
exploration began 600 years ago, and
it accelerated dramatically over the past
200 years, when the Industrial Revolu-
tion geared up and humanity’s popu-
lation spiked upward. When empires
communal societies, empire wins. Con-
sider the extermination of Native Amer-
ican cultures during the 19th century
destiny.” Similarly, the 20th century saw
the worldwide decimation of what few
indigenous populations of community-
based societies remained, as their eco-
regions were invaded and overrun for
resource exploitation, the geopolitical
maneuverings of empire, or simply the
encroachment of larger populations.
In a quite different example, the
demolition in the 1960s of New York
City’s Penn Station also demonstrates
empire’s callous disregard for commu-
nity. Built in 1910 atop an underground
railway terminal, Penn Station was the
thetic beauty and cathedral-like inner
spaces thrilled New Yorkers. In 1961,
the Pennsylvania Railroad, in league
with developers and moneyed inter-
ests, announced plans to demolish the
structure and replace it with Madison
Square Garden, a sports and entertain-
ment complex. Hundreds of civic orga-
nizations, neighborhood groups, and
architects’ guilds organized a concerted
protest, but to no avail. Penn Station
was demolished. The diverse com-
munities embedded in New York City
suffered an incalculable loss, but the
vation of that decade, however, the his-
toric preservation movement was born
out of that struggle.
Size Matters:
Large versus Small Scale
Right now, the relationship of com-
munity to empire is mythically equiva-
lent to the situation at the end of the
Cretaceous period of life evolution,
when tiny mammals scurried about
savanna grasslands, trying to avoid
being stepped on by huge dinosaurs,
which still ruled the world at that point.
munity is not a new development, as
mammalian species were — community
predates empire by millions of years,
while mammals appeared after dino-
saurs — but communities have been
pushed out, overwhelmed, and reduced
to a small niche in the rapidly changing
social environment of imperial civiliza-
tion. Like early mammals, they continue
to survive only because of their small
size and relative invisibility.
Just as the dinosaurs’ gargan-
tuan size allowed them to dominate
in a world of stable climate and abun-
dant food, so the huge scale of empire
has triumphed in civilization up to now.
And, just as the dinosaurs were wiped
out 65 million years ago by a major
disruption in the natural environment,
where their size and inability to adapt
proved fatal, so the 5,000-year run of
empire may soon end in collapse due to
another disruption of previously favor-
able ecologies, both natural and social.
This time, the catastrophe is less likely to
occur from a meteor collision or super-
volcanic eruption than from the results
of empire’s colossal scale and inherently
rapacious appetites.
We have become the proverbial
dragon eating our own tail. Numerous
crises loom just ahead, including immi-
nent exhaustion of natural resources
(not just peak oil but, more importantly,
soil depletion and watershed destruc-
tion), increasing toxic waste from wars
and poisonous industrial byproducts,
as well as unsustainable economic and
its powers, empire has been digging its
own grave and now faces extinction.
Admittedly, empire will not give up
of the elites in power. We are all part
of empire — plugged into the electrical
grid, driving automobiles, and resistant
to giving up our habitual conveniences.
Hybrid vehicles and renewable biofu-
els are now hot topics, but such “solu-
tions” do nothing to solve the problems
of resource depletion and industrial
toxins, since cars themselves are the
problem. Rebuilding our railroads and
barely discussed, however. In this and
other arenas — especially politics, eco-
nomics, and mass media — the myths
of modern empire stubbornly hold us
in their thrall. Great debates lie ahead
concerning the uses of science and
technology in transportation, the mili-
tary, medicine, and agriculture. If we
continue down the roads we’ve trav-
eled in those areas over the past half-
century, our future appears dim indeed.
On the other hand, we’re not going
back to hunter–gatherer groups, either.
The “back to the land” communal
experiments of the 1850s and 1960s
(during the last two Uranus–Pluto cycle
births) were utopian, naïve, and Lud-
dite. Permaculture eco-villages will
be nothing like the early settlements
of our ancestral lineage, nor will our
reconstituted towns, cities, and urban
enclaves resemble sentimental images
of America’s small-town past. To be
viable, relocalization must integrate
modern technologies and new social
structures customized for each com-
munity and bio-region, unlike empire’s
back through history and prehistory
for basic designs, but they will require
Modern imperialism goes
beyond nation-states
to include transnational
The Mountain Astrologer 33
more sophisticated and contemporary
The 2010s:
Disintegration and Awakening
The youthful movements that were
birthed (or rebirthed) during the Uranus–
Pluto conjunction of the 1960s — ecol-
ogy, feminism, social equality, peace,
reduced consumption, and sustainability
— are about to move from the fringes
to the center. Uranus–Pluto’s First Quar-
ter square will bring crises that cause
those movements to re-emerge after
their 50-year gestation, during which
they went underground in culture while
slowly gathering strength. Now those
movements are ready to grow again
into fuller, more mature manifestation,
called forth by sudden breakdowns in
empire. Political, economic, and cul-
tural landscapes are about to change
The year 2007 marks the transition
into this reawakening of alternate possi-
bilities. Although the confusion and pas-
sivity of the Saturn–Neptune opposition
peaks in June and takes another year to
fade out, the leading edge of radical
consciousness appears on the scene.
Uranus reaches the initial 10-degree orb
of its square to Pluto in May, and Sat-
urn begins its four-year opposition to
Uranus in November 2007. Look for a
steady rise in public outrage concerning
the inactivity and unresponsiveness of
those who hold the reins of power. By
the U.S. presidential election of Novem-
ber 2008, discontent with the status quo
will have struck a resonant chord.
As the t-square of Saturn, Ura-
nus, and Pluto activates from late 2009
through 2011, any of various triggers
could provoke breakdowns in social
stability. History tells us that empires
become most dangerous as they decline,
resorting to ever more extreme mea-
sures in desperate attempts to maintain
control. We are in that fading period
of the American Empire, and the years
ahead may be daunting. Critical mass
is reached in June 2012, when Uranus
The rest of the decade should be turbu-
lent indeed.
A particularly dark shadow will be
cast when Uranus and Pluto form a
cardinal grand cross with the Sun and
Saturn in the July 4, 1776, U.S. natal
chart. Over the 200+ year history of
the United States, whenever two outer
planets in Aries and Capricorn formed
a grand cross with the U.S. natal Sun in
Cancer square natal Saturn in Libra, the
corresponding economic event was a
Great Depression: in the 1790s, 1840s,
1870s, and 1930s.
The next one up is
in 2014–2015.
Reasons for Optimism
Many reasons for optimism exist.
We may be at the beginning of a new
awakening in mass consciousness that
will gradually grow through the 2040s,
when Uranus reaches its opposition to
We are all part
of empire, resistant to
giving up our habitual
34 www.mountainastrologer.com
Mars, War,
and the
2008 Election
taken on renewed importance. The Mars of the
United States is about to be powerfully affected by
transits and progressions. Mars in the U.S. horoscope (for
July 4, 1776) recently went retrograde by secondary pro-
In 2008,
the intense transiting opposition of Saturn and Uranus in
Virgo–Pisces will square the U.S. Mars in Gemini. Pluto
will soon be entering Capricorn, the sign of Mars’s exalta-
tion. And Mars features prominently in solar ingress charts
leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
In addition, the 2008 election will coincide with a
transiting Mars–Neptune square in Scorpio–Aquarius.
Both the Saturn–Uranus opposition and the Mars–
Neptune square will have a decided impact on the
next U.S. presidential election and on the horoscopes
of several presidential candidates.
Forming a background for these alignments is the
Iraq War — in many ways an embodiment of the U.S.
Mars–Neptune square. My article in the Dec. 2003/Jan.
2004 issue of TheMountainAstrologer looked at the
times ahead. The war began in 2003 when Saturn con-
joined the U.S. Mars in Gemini and squared the U.S.
Neptune in Virgo. In 2008, Saturn in Virgo will be squar-
ing that same Mars — and hitting the U.S. Neptune.
These coming alignments indicate the challenges and
The Mountain Astrologer 35
Chart 1:
U.S. Sibly
Mars, the Planet of War
In mundane astrology, Mars is
the planet of war, aggression, and the
armed forces of a nation.
Mars in a
national horoscope does not read-
ily exhibit the smoother edges of Mars
in some personal horoscopes, where a
strongly placed Mars can vent its energy
on something useful, like driving race
cars or becoming a surgeon. Mars fea-
tures prominently in the charts of coun-
tries that place a great emphasis on
their military strength. The horoscopes
for both North Korea and Nazi Ger-
many have a powerful Mars (charts not
shown). North Korea has Mars in Scor-
pio conjunct the South Node, showing
this country’s obsession with a strong
military. In the horoscope for Nazi Ger-
many, retrograde Mars in Virgo is con-
while Uranus in Aries tightly quincunx
Mars was a source of friction for the
Third Reich’s Red Planet. An elevated
10th-house Aquarius Mercury (conjunct
Saturn) disposits Mars in this chart.
Mars is exalted in Capricorn in the
so-called Scorpionic America chart,
and this aptly describes the U.S., where
military spending accounts for more
than half of the nation’s federal discre-
tionary budget.
This large budget has
enabled the U.S. to build armaments
that, in strictly military terms, are sec-
ond to none.
Mars’s red color and its mythology
have long been associated with events
that involve anger, passion, and war.
Recent photos sent from the Mars robots
show a desolate, rust-colored landscape
with wispy, orange-tinted ice clouds. It
laid waste.
Perhaps these scenes are the
metaphoric effects of an unbridled Mars.
Mark Antony invoked the full destruc-
tive force of Mars when he prophesized
about Rome in Shakespeare’s Julius
Caesar, a very martial play:

William Lilly relates Mars to furnaces
and places where bricks or charcoal are
Which U.S. Horoscope?
Mars in the U.S. horoscope has
cies and military decisions for as long as
the nation has existed. However, there is
still nothing even close to agreement on
the true U.S. horoscope. Although there
are staunch proponents for each of the
various U.S. horoscopes, I will be exam-
ining Mars in two of them: the Sibly chart
and the chart for the adoption of the
Articles of Confederation — otherwise
known as the Scorpionic America horo-
scope. Looking at multiple horoscopes
for important milestones in the creation
of a nation can allow for a fuller, more
nuanced astrological picture.
My references to the Sibly chart will
be to planets in signs and degrees, not
houses, so in fact any chart for July 4,
1776 will work for these purposes. I have
also found that the Scorpionic America
chart is very accurate when using pro-
gressions and analyzing recent events.
Mars in the U.S. Horoscopes
The U.S. Mars in Gemini (Sibly
chart) shows a nation that has a strong
interest in doing many things but has
long and a tendency to look at pieces
rather than the whole (see Chart 1,
below). Mars in Gemini can gain
strength from information, and that is
precisely what was lacking (or manipu-
lated) in the run-up to the Iraq War. At
the start of the war, Saturn conjoined
the U.S. Sibly Mars (and squared the
U.S. Neptune) while transiting Mars
squared the U.S. Saturn — a double
Mars–Saturn whammy.
3 www.mountainastrologer.com
In the Sibly chart, Mars squares
Neptune. When this square is activated
by transit or progression, it can denote
a lack of clarity coupled with an aggres-
sive response (see the Table: Mars
Timeline, below). When Saturn hit the
U.S. Sibly Mars in March 2003 — and
simultaneously squared the U.S. Nep-
tune — we sent armed forces into Bagh-
dad for what was supposed to be a
All three of these planets
— Mars, Saturn, and Neptune — were
active at the inception of the Iraq War.
In 2008, the Saturn–Uranus oppo-
sition will square the U.S. Sibly Mars
Table: Mars Timeline
Event Date U.S. Mars Alignments
War of 1812 War declared
against Great Britain
on June 18, 1812
Uranus quincunx U.S. Mars;
Pluto square Mars (Sibly);
transiting Pluto stationary
retrograde exact on June 18
Civil War — tide turns
against the Confederates
June–July 1863 Uranus conjunct Mars (Sibly)
War declared against Spain
after the USS Maine is
blown up
April 25, 1898 Neptune conjunct Mars
Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 Jupiter conjunct Mars; Sun
opposing Mars; Neptune
square Mars (Sibly)
Start of U.S. intervention
and buildup of military
forces in the Korean War
July–August 1950 Saturn square Mars (Sibly)
JFK assassination November 22, 1963 Mars–Venus conjunction
opposing Mars (Sibly); nodal
axis return, with South Node
hitting Mars (Scorpionic
“Gulf” war)
January 15, 1991 Uranus and Neptune both
conjunct Mars (Scorpionic
World Trade Center/
Pentagon attacks
September 11, 2001 Jupiter opposing Mars,
conjoining the nodal axis
(Scorpionic America);
Uranus trine Mars (Sibly)
Iraq War March 19, 2003 Saturn conjunct Mars and
square Neptune; Mars square
Saturn (Sibly)
(with Saturn conjoining Neptune), once
more bringing these planets into promi-
nence in the affairs of the nation.
Another recent astrological trigger
of martial energy worth mentioning is
transiting Pluto’s opposition to the Sibly
Mars, an especially close opposition at
the start of the Iraq War in 2003 that
became exact as the Iraqi insurgency
grew in 2004.
Turning to the Scorpionic America
chart (see Chart 2,opposite),wefnd
Mars conjoining the South Node: The
U.S. keeps unconsciously acting out the

Mars Retrograde
Mars recently went retrograde
by secondary progression in the U.S.
nation’s history. (Secondary progres-
sion advances the birth planets by one
year per day of the actual calendar.)
The progressed U.S. Mars will remain
retrograde for 80 years. Progressed
Mars retrograde does not happen that
often; Mars goes retrograde only once
every two years in the regular calen-
dar. This could signify that the nation
is entering into a long period of inner-
directed aggression — in the form of
more domestic policing, tighter home-
land and border security, and greater
citizen vigilance.
Mars in Cancer
Mars takes about two years to orbit
the Sun, staying approximately one-
and-a-half months in each sign, except
for the six months when it lingers in a
sign by slowing down and going retro-
grade. Starting in late September 2007,
Mars will move into Cancer and spend
rograding back into Gemini during that
time). True, Mars transits Cancer every
two years, but it rarely goes retrograde
and spends almost half a year in the
same sign as the nation’s (Sibly) Sun.
(The two most recent instances of Mars
going retrograde in Cancer occurred in
1960–61 and 1992–93.)

Throughout Mars’s lengthier
sojourn in Cancer, martial energy will
be hitting the U.S. Sibly planets in Can-
cer: the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Jupi-
ter. In a synchronous alignment with
the U.S. horoscope, transiting Mars will
be stationary retrograde when it hits
the U.S. Sun in mid November 2007;
then it will station direct on January 30,
2008, when it will be less than 3° away
from the U.S. Mars.
If we look at how Mars in Cancer
affects the Scorpionic America chart,
there is an equally striking alignment:
Mars will cross over the North Node in
November 2007 and oppose the Scorpi-
onic America Mars as it goes retrograde.
Again, this indicates that martial
U.S. as the country moves into the
early presidential primaries. The ret-
rograde motion of Mars symbolizes
the re-evaluation and reconsideration
of military force and the Iraq War —
already powerful issues that dominate
the daily news headlines.
Mars, War, and
the 2008 Election
The Mountain Astrologer 3
Chart 2:
The Saturn–Uranus opposition of
2008 — which will square the Sibly Mars
— is part of the cycle that began with
the Saturn–Uranus conjunction shortly
before the 1988 election of George H.
W. Bush. That conjunction coincided
with the breakup of the USSR, which in
turn led to the destabilization of the old
world order. We are now coming to the
opposition point of that cycle.
Alexander Ruperti, in Cyclesof
Becoming, wrote of the Saturn–Uranus
cycle: “Habit patterns will always resist
change and when the pressure of some
creative challenge is felt, the ego will
experience a sense of impending doom,
generating fear and resisting change.”

Saturn opposing Uranus stirs up the con-
quo and radical change — a battle of the
past versus the future being fought in the
arena of the present. This cycle has a dis-
ruptive effect. It is a harbinger of dramatic
social change, marking a dependence on
the past opposed by radical transforma-
tion that would “destroy that part of the
past which is essential to the future.”
There was a Saturn–Uranus opposi-
tion in 1919–1920 and again in the mid
1960s. Both of these times were marked
by radical transition and major transfor-
mation throughout the world.
The Saturn–Uranus opposition
in 1919–20 was in the late degrees of
the Leo–Aquarius axis and the early
degrees of Virgo–Pisces. The 1919–20
Saturn–Uranus opposition came within
3° of squaring the U.S. Sibly Uranus,
while Saturn (in Leo) conjoined the
Scorpionic America Jupiter. In 1920,
the world was recovering from World
War I, and there was a great deal of
anger about how that war had been
conducted. President Woodrow Wilson,
was extremely unpopular. Post–World
War I literature conveyed the angst of a
young “lost generation”; the USAtril-
ogy, by John Dos Passos, portrayed
the deep animosity against Wilson.
Warren Harding, now widely regarded
as one of the worst U.S. presidents and
whose term became mired in scandal,
was elected in 1920 as a result of dis-
affection with the nation’s past course.
Voter rebellion (Uranus) against the
urn is stability — the status quo — and
Uranus is the breaking or shattering of
the status quo.
We saw the same phe-
nomenon during the Saturn–Uranus
opposition in the mid 1960s. This is
not to suggest that we are going to
elect another Warren Harding in 2008
— just that his election embodied a
rejection of the past as part of the
Saturn–Uranus opposition. The same
dynamics will apply to the upcoming
Mars and the 2008 U.S. Election
On the date of the 2008 presiden-
tial election (see Chart 3, below, cast
for 7:00 a.m., when the polls open, in
Washington, D.C.), Saturn and Uranus
will form an exact opposition — a par-
tial planetary replay of the mid 1960s,
minus Pluto (Pluto and Uranus conjoined
in 1965–66). This powerful Saturn–Ura-
nus opposition will square the U.S. Sibly
Mars and hit the U.S. Neptune, thus acti-
vating the Mars–Neptune square. And
with Saturn conjoining the U.S. Neptune,
the nation’s illusions or ideals must face
hard reality.
On election day 2008, the second-
ary progressed Scorpionic America Sun
in Cancer will oppose Mars in that chart
and cross over its North Node (destiny).
The Saturn–Uranus opposition will also
hit several important midpoints in the
Scorpionic America chart, symbolizing
it seeks to resolve a war while heading
Uranus opposition on election day 2008
closely squares the Sun/Mars, Saturn/
Pluto, and Mercury/Pluto midpoints in
the Scorpionic America chart.
Charubel was the angelic name
adopted by a 19th-century astrologer
and clairvoyant. He created Sabian-like
word symbols for each zodiac degree,
and his degree symbol for the U.S.
Sibly Mars was remarkably prescient,
Chart 3:
Election Day
Washington, D.C.
3 www.mountainastrologer.com
Chart 4:
Ingress 2007
Washington, D.C.
Chart 5:
Libra Ingress
Washington, D.C.
considering this planet’s current associ-
ation with the Iraq War: “I see the Sun
rising in his brightness. It is on the hori-
zon, but all the other part of the sky is
covered with dark clouds, over which
hang the shades of a lingering night.”
Charubel comments further
about this symbol: “His [the native’s]
grand schemes prove failures. His sun
sets under a cloud while it is yet but

Ingress Charts
Cardinal ingress charts, cast for
four cardinal signs during the year, can
be good prediction tools. Capricorn
ingress charts are useful to preview the
full year ahead.
A Capricorn ingress
chart for the end of 2007, leading into
around the cardinal axis of Cancer–
Capricorn (see Chart 4, below). Mars
in Cancer opposes a stellium of Pluto
(in late Sagittarius) and the Sun, Jupi-
ter, and Mercury in Capricorn. Jupiter
at 0° Capricorn is partile conjunct the
Sun, showing enlargement of issues sur-
rounding the presidency (Sun) as we
move into the election season. Jupiter is
also associated with ethical or legal con-
cerns. The Saturn–Uranus opposition is
somewhat wide but beginning to form.
Throughout 2008, Pluto will be
conjunct or in hard aspect with the Sun
in all four cardinal ingress charts, mean-
ing that power and its uses (or abuses)
will be dominant issues in the national
and world arenas. This could also sig-
nify a growing global awareness of the
necessity to transform and empower
our fragile Earth. That Mars is opposite
Pluto — as well as three other planets
— in the Capricorn ingress chart shows
that military action (i.e., the Iraq War)
will be a major issue in the election.
Mars, though debilitated, is the most ele-
vated planet in this ingress chart. How-
ever, since this chart is setting the tone
for an election year, complete with pri-
maries and the election of a new presi-
dent, Mars’s position indicates that the
political debate will revolve not just
around the Iraq War but around the
appropriate projection of military force.
If we cast the chart for the 2008
Libra ingress — the last cardinal ingress
Saturn–Uranus opposition has moved to
the 4th-/10th-house axis (see Chart 5,
below). Any planet in the 10th house of
an ingress chart is key because the 10th
house denotes the leader and the gov-
ernment, as well as national prestige.
It is the most important house in mun-
Mars, War, and
the 2008 Election
dane astrology, so planets in the 10th
house of an ingress chart are highly
The great British astrologer Charles
Harvey wrote about the work of German
astrologer E. H. Troinski.
According to
terns in ingress charts, which he claimed
were worth observing and to which he
attached particular importance. He said
that Saturn or Uranus in the 10th house
or the 4th house — with the Sun in an
overthrow of governments, revolutions,
changes of government, beginnings
of new historical periods, or the death
of leaders.
All three of these factors
— Saturn in the 10th house, Uranus in
the 4th, and the Sun in the 10th — are
present in the Libra ingress chart before
the 2008 election. It will be an interest-
ing test of Troinski’s theory.
Mars and Saturn–Uranus in 2008
the horoscopes of a number of the top
candidates (as of this writing) in each of
the two major political parties. Several of
the candidates have a strong Leo pres-
ence (Leo Sun or a Leo stellium) and
will therefore be affected by the Mars–
Neptune square in Scorpio–Aquarius on
The Mountain Astrologer 3
was the top priority for my husband and me.
Though it took 18 months, some 125 open
houses, and one very patient buyer’s agent,
with plenty of help from my horary astrology
studies to guide our way.
As every astrologer knows, you can cast
a chart for the birth time and place of just
about anything. That includes people, cities,
businesses, and even questions. Horary is
the branch of astrology that answers press-
ing personal questions by casting a chart for
the time and place the question is asked:
its birth chart. Once you have the chart for
your question — which can be on literally
any topic under the sun, from relationships
to money to careers and thousands more
— a close study of the condition of the plan-
ets and their receptions and aspects with
you’re looking for.
Your natal chart can show trends and
tendencies, such as whether you’re likely
to own real estate in your lifetime, whereas
a horary chart comes straight to the point,
answering the immediate question on your
mind about “this property right here.” I’ll
show you three of the many real estate
horary charts I cast during our house-
hunting journey. Each one illustrates how
horary astrology can provide guidance as
you search — and can prevent you from
making some potentially costly mistakes.
40 www.mountainastrologer.com
Chart 1 Chart 2
Question 1:
Will the seller accept our offer?
When you hear a horary question
such as “Will we buy the house?” or
“Will we sell the house?” don’t just look
your answer! The 4th house and its ruler
tell you about the condition of the prop-
erty — an undeniably useful piece of
information. But what you really want to
know is whether the buyer and seller will
be coming to an agreement. And that
requires you to look at the other party’s
In October 2005, my husband and
I found a house that offered many of
the features we wanted. We liked the
single-family space; the clean, dry base-
ment; and the two-car garage. However,
the house had its drawbacks. What had
once been a decent-sized kitchen had
become, after renovations, a cramped,
narrow galley; the house had very little
yard area, bumping up into its neigh-
bors; and trains rumbled past, morning
and night, on nearby tracks. Nonethe-
less, we made an offer, and my husband
asked, “Will we reach an agreement
with the seller?”
Horary Astrology
In any horary chart, the querent
(the person asking the question) is rep-
resented by the 1st house and its ruling
planet. In most cases, the querent is also
represented by the Moon, unless the
another character in the story. Chart 1
(below) has Gemini rising; thus, my hus-
bandandIaresignifedby Mercury at
5°02' Scorpio in the 6th house and the
Moon at 5°16' Aquarius in the 9th.
Now, since we’re talking about the
purchase of a house, the 4th house of
land and immovable property and the
planet ruling that house can tell you
about the condition of the property. In
this instance, looking at the ruler of the
4th house told me something I wasn’t
expecting to learn: The property (rep-
resented by the Sun, ruler of the 4th
house) was in terrible shape. The Sun at
18°48' Libra is not merely in the sign of
its fall, but in the 19th degree of Libra,
where (according to tables of Ptolemaic
dignities and debilities) the Sun is at its
worst. Seeing that very negative testi-
mony gave me pause about the condi-
tion of our prospective new home.
The 4th house and its ruler can
provide critical insight into the condi-
tion of the property itself. But to answer
the question, “Will we reach an agree-
ment with the seller?” we need to look
at the other party in the transaction, to
see whether we can unite the buyer and
the seller in some way. In this chart, the
seller is represented by the 7th house
and its ruler. (I used the 7th house of
“any unrelated person” in this case,
because the seller had no particular rela-
tionship to my husband or me. John
Frawley points out: If the seller does
your brother or your friend, for instance
— you would use the appropriate house
representing that relationship, such as
the 3rd or the 11th, respectively.)
with Sagittarius on the 7th-house cusp,
Libra in the 5th house.
Can we unite this buyer and this
seller? To answer the question, we need
is about to form an aspect with either of
But a study of the chart shows that it
can’t be done. First, Mercury at 5° Scor-
pio makes no aspect to Jupiter at 26°
Libra. Second, the Moon at 5° Aquar-
ius would eventually trine Jupiter at
26° Libra, but that aspect is prohibited
A horary chart comes
straight to the point,
answering the immediate
question on your mind.
The Mountain Astrologer 41
urn at 9° Leo. Finally, to my puzzle-
ment, I saw that the debilitated Sun at
18° Libra (the property) was actually
moving to conjoin Jupiter (the sellers).
The conjunction would perfect when
An applying conjunction between the
property and the sellers tells me that the
house isn’t leaving their possession at all
— quite the opposite.
What happened? The sellers failed
to respond to our offer within the re-
quested time period, letting it expire on
the table instead. Rather than force the
issue, especially after seeing what this
chart warned about the condition of the
house, my husband and I decided to
continue our search elsewhere.
Question 2: Is this the right house?
Before you conclude that any
applying aspect between your key sig-
answer to your question, consider this.
Both parties have to be interested in
making the deal: interested in each
other (or in a common cause) and capa-
ble of bringing the deal to life. This next
chart illustrates how even a nice friendly
sextile between buyer and seller didn’t
produce a purchase-and-sale agreement
— because the seller was in no condi-
tion to sell.
Another single-family house caught
our eye in March 2006. This cozy home
on a quiet one-way street had been
home to one family for many years, as
evidenced by lovingly worn-down wood
pantry stocked with jars of homemade
marinara sauce. As other couples at the
open house examined each room in
turn, my husband and I sat in the back-
yard, looked at each other, and asked,
“Is this the right house?”
We talked for a few minutes and
buy this house? Would we be happy
as querents are represented by the 1st
house and its ruler. With Cancer rising
(see Chart 2, opposite), our only sig-
in the 11th house. Again, we look at
the 7th and its ruler, Saturn retrograde
at 5°13' Leo in the 1st, to see whether
we will come to an agreement with the
Can we connect the buyer to the
looks promising! We’re represented by
the Moon, whose very next aspect is
the sextile to Saturn, the seller. That’s
just the kind of immediate aspect we
want to see. However, it’s not a done
deal yet. As John Frawley teaches, in
order for the hoped-for event to occur,
three things are necessary: means,
motive, and opportunity. In other
words, each planet must be strong
enough to act (the means); it should
ideally show some interest in the other
party (the motive); and there should
be an aspect bringing the two together
(the opportunity).
In any horary chart, the
querent is represented
by the 1st house and its
ruling planet.
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42 www.mountainastrologer.com
Chart 3
How do you know whether a sig-
at its essential dignity (strength by sign)
and its accidental dignity (placement
in fortunate houses in the chart). With
the applying sextile between buyer and
seller, we’ve established an opportu-
nity, but it looks like this seller doesn’t
have the means to proceed. The ruler
of the 7th house, Saturn in Leo, is in its
detriment (essentially debilitated), plus
it’s accidentally debilitated by being ret-
rograde. Something tells us that this
retrograde, he might even change his
mind about putting his house on the
Because the question also includes,
“Will we be happy in this home?” we
examine the 4th house and its ruler.
Looking at this chart, what troubled
me about the 4th house is the presence
of the South Node, only four degrees
away from the IC. That’s not an opti-
mistic sign for happiness in that home.
Another technique I have learned,
charts, is to mentally pick up the que-
the 4th house, examining its essential
Horary Astrology
dignities in that sign and degree, to see
whether the querent would be happy
“inside” that home. (You can also
use this technique when asking, “Will
I enjoy this job?” by putting your sig-
enjoy this exotic vacation?” by putting
according to this technique, the Moon,
mum of essential strength. Between the
South Node and the ho-hum indication
of a Moon in its face, I concluded that
we could do better.
We did not bid on this house but
kept looking. As of this writing (Janu-
house’s having sold between March
2006 and today. I wonder if the seller
changed his mind about selling and
chose to keep the house in the fam-
ily after all. If we mentally pick up the
it inside the 4th house, Saturn is in its
exaltation in Libra: rather highly digni-
the seller values the place more than it
can possibly be worth. Perhaps he never
found a buyer willing to pay his price.
Or perhaps he decided that you can’t
put a price on a family homestead.
Question 3: Will we move this year?
As we’ve seen, horary astrology
buying questions such as the ones I dis-
cussed above. It’s also very good at
describing trends and a general forecast,
asked about.
Spending almost every Sunday
going to open houses can start to wear
on you — even when you have optimis-
tic Jupiter in the 1st, like I do. After one
particularly trying, unproductive Sunday
afternoon, my husband turned to me and
said, “I have a Question.” (I can usually
tell when he’s pronouncing “question”
with a capital Q, meaning, “Time to boot
up your horary brain.”) He went on to
ask, “Will we be spending another winter
in our current home?”
I’ve learned that there’s more than
to your question in the horary chart.
John Frawley writes: “For all its simplic-
ity, the method is unendingly subtle.”

And indeed, Chart 3 (below) shows
two prominent indications that our cur-
In order for the hoped-
for event to occur, three
things are necessary:
means, motive,
and opportunity.
The Mountain Astrologer 43
3. Frawley gives an example of this technique
in TheHoraryTextbookon p. 220; it is used
to determine whether a querent’s child will do
well at school.
4. Frawley, TheHoraryTextbook, p. 163.
Christine Nuwayser Davisenjoyswatch-
new condominium. She has completed
is certifed at NCGR Level III. She prac-
christine@askchristine.info; or telephone:
rent situation was about to change. First,
we see the Moon in a waning Balsamic
phase, only 16.5 degrees from conjunc-
tion with the Sun. This is a clear symbol
of a cycle coming to an end. Second,
house), has just changed sign, leaving
in that apartment for six years, and my
husband had joined me there for four
clusion that this long-term situation was
ending and that we were on the verge
in its term at 9° Scorpio, close to the
Ascendant: a positive sign of good for-
tune for us.
Sure enough, a couple of weeks
later, we viewed a condo we had
seen and loved but ruled out as being
too expensive; now that its price had
dropped, we put in an offer, and after
several days of counteroffers and negoti-
ized our purchase of the condo in the
last few hours of summertime, on Sep-
tember 22, 2006. The testimonies of this
chart described the situation perfectly.
Author’s Note:Manyofthetech-
book,Christian Astrology(1647).But
Chart Data
Chart 1: October 11, 2005; 8:57 p.m. EDT;
Medford, MA, USA (42°N25', 71°W06').
Chart 2: March 5, 2006; 1:21 p.m. EST; Med-
ford, MA, USA (42°N25', 71°W06').
Chart 3: July 23, 2006; 2:13 p.m. EDT; Med-
ford, MA, USA (42°N25', 71°W06').
References and Notes
1. John Frawley, TheHoraryTextbook, Appren-
tice Books, 2005, p. 167.
2. John Frawley, TheRealAstrologyApplied,
Apprentice Books, 2002, p. 4.
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t last, an Instruction Manual that
explains step-by-step how to interpret
and evaluate Astro¯Carto¯Graphy
(ACG) Maps. With this ACG Tutorial you
will choose the best location for your self, add
ACG Map interpretations to your repertoire
of skills, and increase your income.
Oѫen, clients come to me, some crying,
¨An astrologer told me I should move to this
location to be on my Venus-line. Ѯough I did
fall in love with a handsome guy and live in
a beautiful home, I've been more miserable
than ever." Ѯen I look at the Map and, as
suspected, discover the advising astrologer
didn't notice the location they suggested was
ALSO under the infuence of Saturn.
Ѯe missing ingredient in most ACG Map
readings is accurate measurement. Had the
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recommended the above mentioned client
move 30 miles east to a location where they
would be living happily under the infuence of
Venus but without any of those burdensome
Saturnian undercurrents.
Ѯough Jim Lewis' original ACG Manual
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to accurate Map evaluations.
In this Tutorial, along with an accurate
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personality types are likely to respond to the
diĒerent planetary lines.
These Planetary Risk Assessments are
illustrated with many case histories from my
years of experience analyzing ACG Maps and
guiding my clients to the locations that are
best for them.
≠ Why diĒerent planets require diĒerent
distances. I illustrate when 1/4" is safe and
when 1/2" should be considered.
≠ How to prep a Map to make it come
visually alive assisting you to zero in on the
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≠ How to go beyond the superfcial, over
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planets eĒect on diĒerent personality types.
When Venus may OPU be the best place to live.
And why, if you are living on a Saturn-line,
you should probably leave immediately.
≠ How to determine what health problems
each planetary line indicates and how moving
to a better location can oѫen improve health
and overall well-being.
≠ Why ACG Maps can be an important
tool in relationship counseling; and how the
quality of a relationship changes, for better
or worse, as a result of living on diĒerent
planetary lines.
≠ You will learn how to handle diēcult
cases when there are no great places to choose
and how to evaluate a family of three or more
when not everyone gets their best location.
≠ In addition to my 33 years as a professional
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as such, I have been introducing ACG Maps
to the feng shui community as Global Feng
Shui - ¨change your location, change your
life." Having done over a thousand ACG Map
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individual is living in the wrong geographical
location as indicated by their ACG Map. My
conclusion: frst choose your geographical
location, then choose and decorate the house
utilizing the best feng shui.
≠ I also demonstrate why mapping programs
for the home computer are inadequate to
provide an accurate assessment. Ѯey are
good for spot checking but should never
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Teacher of medltatlon and metaphyslcs, and professlonal astrologer slnce l973.
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The Mountain Astrologer 45
Observing the Outer Planets
in Combination —
My 40-Year Fascination
Editor’s Note:Thisarticleisdrawnfromthe2009editionofTheOuterPlanets
ince the late 1960s, I’ve been fas-
cinated with groups of people born
during years when the outer planets
born from 1946 to 1948 with Pluto and Sat-
urn in Leo. I was a “newbie” social worker at
a prenatal clinic in New York City and found
striking similarities in the lives of young women
born in a certain year who were patients at my
clinic. They tended to have serious and persis-
tent problems stemming from abuse or other
betrayal during childhood. Their personalities
were uncannily similar — scrappy survivors
with feisty attitudes and serious trust issues. I
found many common patterns in their horo-
scopes: The Pluto–Saturn conjunction tended
to be woven tightly with inner planets — in
aspectto the Sun or Moon or conjunct inner
planets in the sign of Leo.
Contrary to what I had read in several
astrology books, I observed that aspects be-
tween the so-called impersonal planets
seemed to have a profound impact on indi-
viduals and the major events in their lives.
Far from being impersonal, Pluto and Saturn
had gotten extremely personal with the young
women at the clinic! The parallels in these
young women’s lives hooked me on explor-
ing how natal aspects between the outer plan-
ets affect individuals.
I then became fascinated by the Uranus–
Neptune trine in the charts of people around
my age, at peace and civil rights marches,
women’s movement meetings, and (later)
at astrology conferences. The group lead-
ers made me feel so unworthy: They were
so much smarter, better educated, more
advanced in their thinking, more committed
to changing our world — more everything!
This Uranus–Neptune trine dominated their
charts, formed many aspects, and was often
part of a grand trine.
4 www.mountainastrologer.com
Outer Planets
I understand people born with these
outer-planet aspects, not through theo-
ries but through decades of observa-
tion and experience. They appeared at
my social work jobs and then in my pri-
vate therapy practice. Mostly, they came
year after year, and together we dis-
sected their charts and lives to under-
stand their inner dynamics, mindsets,
attitudes, yearnings, and disappoint-
ments. With my background in social
work, I couldn’t help observing the pow-
erful interactions between their private
lives and current social, economic, and
cultural developments. Outer-Planet
People — those with more than one
of the outer planets prominent in their
charts — cannot readily separate them-
selves from the prevailing winds of the
collective. Our history is their destiny.
You may wonder why I include Sat-
urn aspects in this method. No, Saturn
is not on the usual list of outer planets,
but Saturn doesn’t work like an inner
planet, either: While it transits a sign, it
has a lasting impact on the natives of
that sign and the areas of life ruled by
that sign. The social, cultural, and histor-
ical changes and challenges that come
about during a Saturn aspect to Ura-
nus, Neptune, or Pluto have a distinc-
strong Neptune–Saturn, Uranus–Saturn,
or Pluto–Saturn aspects also have a dis-
bination integrating the outer planet’s
qualities with many of Saturn’s traits.
Saturn adds a top note of toughness to
the outer-planet blend, even to Nep-
tune’s blurred edges.
The Outer Planets
through the Zodiac
During the years when an outer
planet passes through a sign, the issues,
concerns, and areas of life that matter
most to that sign become pressing issues
for the world at large. Major historical
events and social trends of an era relate
to outer-planet placements and aspects.
I call this marchoftheouterplanets
throughthezodiaca key to under-
standing how history progresses. For
instance, an outer-planet transit through
Sagittarius creates important changes
in the areas of law, education, and for-
eign affairs. When the sign being tran-
sited is Virgo, we see changes related
to the workplace and health care. For
the 1960s group with Pluto and Uranus
conjunct in Virgo, their greatest chal-
lenges — health and the ongoing quest
for a satisfying career — mirror the qual-
ities of that sign and aspect.
The signs Cancer through Aquar-
ius have experienced a series of outer-
planet transits during the 20th century
andourfedgling21stcentury.Table 1
(opposite) shows the key concerns of
I observed that
aspects between the
so-called impersonal
planets seemed to have
a profound impact on
The Mountain Astrologer 4
Table 1
Outer-Planet Transits through the Signs
Sign & Matters Ruled Outer-Planet Transits* Other Relevant Hard Aspects to That Sign
Cancer: family, home, roots; mother-
hood; women’s health & reproduc-
tion; breasts; food; security; old age; real
estate; instincts; habits; moods
Neptune 1901–1916
Pluto 1912–1939
Uranus 1948–1956
Saturn in Cancer 1944–1946, 1973–1976, 2003–
2005; squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
in Libra; oppositions from Uranus & Neptune in
Leo: children; romance; recreational
activities; show business; drama; royalty;
hedonism; generosity; self-expression;
the heart itself
Neptune 1914–1929
Pluto 1937–1958
Uranus 1955–1962
Saturn in Leo 1946–1949, 1975–1978, 2005–
2007; squares from Uranus in Taurus 1934–1942;
squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in Scorpio;
oppositions from Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius
Virgo: health&thehealthcarefeld;
work & our attitudes toward it; the work-
ing class; co-workers; employees; job
satisfaction; types of jobs & how they are
Neptune 1928–1943
Pluto 1956–1972
Uranus 1961–1969
Saturn in Virgo 1948–1951, 1977–1980, 2007–
2010; squares from Uranus in Gemini 1941–1949;
squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in Sagittar-
ius; oppositions from Uranus in Pisces
Libra: marriage & divorce; partnerships
of all sorts; equality in relationships; jus-
tice; beauty & fashion; diplomacy; fair
play; peace
Neptune 1942–1957
Uranus 1968–1975
Pluto 1971–1984
Saturn in Libra 1950–1953, 1980–1983, 2009–
2012; oppositions from Uranus in Aries 1928–
1935; squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
in Cancer; squares from Uranus & Neptune in
Scorpio: sexuality; wealth; uses &
abuses of power; secrets; the occult;
healing; psychology; death & the after-
life; national & personal debt; terrorism;
Neptune 1955–1970
Uranus 1974–1981
Pluto 1983–1995
Saturn in Scorpio 1953–1956, 1982–1985, 2012–
2015; oppositions from Uranus in Taurus 1934–
1942; squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in
Leo; squares from Uranus & Neptune in Aquarius
Sagittarius: established religions &
religious leaders; ethics; education;
advanced learning & thought; pub-
lishing; law; foreign relations & travel;
Neptune 1970–1984
Uranus 1981–1988
Pluto 1995–2008
Saturn in Sagittarius 1956–1958, 1985–1988,
2014–2017; oppositions from Uranus in Gem-
ini 1941–1949; squares from Uranus, Neptune &
Pluto in Virgo; squares from Uranus in Pisces
Capricorn: professions; career; big
business; the corporate sector; execu-
tives; bosses & our attitudes toward
them; status; expectations & attitudes
about success
Neptune 1984–1998
Uranus 1988–1995
Pluto 2008–2024
Saturn in Capricorn 1959–1962, 1988–1991,
2017–2020; oppositions from Uranus, Neptune &
Pluto in Cancer; squares from Uranus, Neptune
& Pluto in Libra; squares from Uranus in Aries
Aquarius: social movements, social
change; technology; popular trends;
the Information Age; freedom; equal-
ity; revolution; adolescence; rebels & the
Uranus 1995–2003
Neptune 1998–2012
Pluto 2023–2044
Saturn in Aquarius 1962–1964, 1991–1994, 2020–
2023; squares from Uranus in Taurus 1934–1942;
oppositions from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in Leo;
squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in Scorpio
Pisces: creativity; spirituality; psychic
gifts; mysticism; service vs. servitude;
welfare agencies; chronic care; prisons;
fraud; oceans; epidemics; pollution
Uranus 2003–2011
Neptune 2011–2026
Pluto 2043–2066
Saturn in Pisces 1964–1967, 1994–1996, 2023–
2026; oppositions from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
in Virgo; squares from Uranus, Neptune & Pluto in
*Years of overlap are due to the retrograde motion of the outer planets back and forth across the cusps of the signs. Ingresses of outer
planets into signs are taken from TablesofPlanetaryPhenomena,2nd Edition, by Neil F. Michelsen with revisions by Rique Pottenger
(AstroComputing Services, 1993).
4 www.mountainastrologer.com
those signs, plus the outer-planet tran-
sits during the past century. Notice that
all outer planets, in succession, passed
through Libra between 1942 and 1984:
Neptune was in that sign in 1942–1957,
Uranus transited it in 1968–1975, and
Pluto was there in 1971–1984.
Important and unprecedented
changes in relationships occurred dur-
ing those years. The nature of marriage
and commitment continues to evolve,
but in that era, new models of connec-
tion — and disconnection — appeared.
Given how relationships have changed,
wouldn’t people with personal plan-
a far different matter than Librans of
being a Libra these days! I’m particu-
larly struck by the struggles of those
born with Pluto and Saturn conjunct in
late Libra during 1981–82. Members
unless they are richly endowed with
looks, money, and status. Potential
mates are often chosen — or discarded
— according to how hot they look and
how successful they appear to be.
We’re all deeply affected by the
changes and endings that occur while an
outer planet transits a sign. We struggle
to adapt to such changes and the trou-
blesome challenges that they present.
However, the generations and subgener-
ations born with those natal placements
never know anything but the altered re-
ality that such changes bring. Their earli-
est experiences shape the expectations,
beliefs, and strategies that they bring to
the matters of that particular sign.
Table 2
A Quick Guide to the Astrological Subgenerations
Years Subgeneration Years Subgeneration
1939–40 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto square 1973–75 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto square
1941–43 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune trine 1976–77 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus square
1941–43 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus conj. 1978–80 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune square
1944–45 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune square 1981–83 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto conj.
1946–48 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto conj. 1987–89 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus conj.
1951–53 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune conj. 1988–98 . . . . . . . . . Uranus–Neptune conj.
1952–58 . . . . . . . . . . . Uranus–Neptune square 1989–90 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune conj.
1955–56 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto square 1992–94 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto square
1955–57 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus trine 1996–97 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto trine
1958–59 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto trine 1998–99 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune square
1962–63 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune square 2000–02 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune trine
1962–69 . . . . . . . . . . . Uranus–Pluto conj. 2001–02 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto opp.
1965–68 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus opp. 2002–04 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus trine
1965–67 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune trine 2005–07 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Neptune opp.
1970–72 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto trine 2006–08 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Pluto trine
1972–74 . . . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus trine 2007–10 . . . . . . . . . Saturn–Uranus opp.
Outer Planets
aspects are even
stronger if the two
outer planets aspect
personal planets.
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The Mountain Astrologer 4
Most people born during a certain period have the same
outer-planet aspects and, if those aspects are strongly woven
into the chart, share similar personal dynamics and life issues.
Being part of an astrological subgeneration is somewhat like
being a Vietnam veteran: a life experience with immense
social repercussions. The soldiers who fought in Vietnam are
a recognizable group — even a historical entity — since many
of them have struggled with the impact of their common
experience through all the intervening years. Their challenges
are psychological as well as sociological. The experience of
being a veteran of that war casts a profound shadow over the
existence of those physically or psychologically scarred by it.
Their lives have never been the same — nor have the lives of
their loved ones.
The same might be said of the eight million children who
were prescribed Ritalin and other drugs for hyperactivity and
called them the Ritalin Generation.
They belong to the group
born in the 1990s, while Uranus and Neptune were within
This explosion of youngsters diagnosed with ADD, HDD, and
autism is both a sociological and a generational phenomenon,
because there are so many of these kids. Individual children
and families faced with this kind of problem have their lives
arranged around it, and so do the schools and other commu-
nity agencies that deal with such populations.
Are you wondering which subgenerations you belong to?
Table 2 (opposite) shows aspects in effect during parts of cer-
subgeneration if the aspects overlap, as they did in the com-
plex 1960s. Not everyone born under an outer-planet aspect
is equally affected, just as not everyone who came of age in
the 1960s went to Vietnam or lost a loved one there. And not
every young person born in the 1990s is autistic or hyperac-
tive. Many of the aspects listed in this table were within orb

for six years or longer but were not equally important in the
charts of everyone born in that era.
How do we know whether any of these aspects are
important enough to become a dominant theme in a person’s
life? People deeply involved in working to integrate the ener-
gies and concerns of two outer planets tend to have both of
them in high focus in their birth charts, such as when both
aspect the Sun, Moon, or Midheaven.
Conjunctions are the
most potent aspect because of the merged energies of the two
planets involved. Outer-planet aspects are even stronger if the
two outer planets aspect personal planets, are part of a stel-
lium of three or more planets, or form a multiple conjunction
trine. The aspect gains greater importance if the signs and
houses associated with those planets are also emphasized —
the 11th house and Aquarius for Uranus, the 12th house and
Pisces for Neptune, and the 8th house and Scorpio for Pluto.
1. See Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, TheIndigoChildren:TheNewKids
HaveArrived, Hay House, 1999. According to this important book, the
years between 1995 and 2000 and continues to rise. By the end of 2000,
some eight million children were taking Ritalin.
2. I use orbs of up to 10° for a conjunction, 8° for an opposition, and 6°
for a square or a trine.
3. It seems to me that aspects to the Ascendant (except for the conjunc-
tion) do not have enough impact to be included, whereas aspects to the
Midheaven have a powerful effect on the life direction and career.
Donna Cunningham, MSW, along-timeTMAcontributor,isan
50 www.mountainastrologer.com
Twelve Steps
Out of Hell
Editor’s Note:Shorterversionsofthisarticlehavebeenpublishedasfollows:“12StepstoHeaven,”
in Transit(apublicationoftheAstrologicalAssociationintheU.K.),November/December2006;and
“12StepsfromHell,”intheNew Zealand Journal of Astrology,December2006.
of Alcoholics Anonymous. “Why?” you ask. Well, Neptune beckons us into transcendence,
and one of the low roads to that is alcohol. Jupiter induces excess and optimism, and Saturn
demands responsibility and limitation. Alcoholism is a worldwide epidemic that isn’t much dis-
cussed — we’re in collective denial. In 2004, the World Health Organization estimated that
there were 76.3 million people in the world with diagnosable alcohol-use disorders.
In the United States, approximately 17.6 million people — about 1 in every 12 adults —
abuse alcohol or are alcohol-dependent.
And 500,000 are between the ages of 9 and 12.
2002, there were one million violent crimes in which the victim perceived the offender to have
been drinking at the time of the offence. Two-thirds of those victims who suffered violence
from an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol
had been a factor.
Nearly 25% of Americans who are admitted to general hospitals have alcohol problems or are
undiagnosed alcoholics being treated for alcohol-related consequences.
The Mountain Astrologer 51
Chart 1:
Chart 2:
First Meeting of
Bill W. and
Dr. Bob
In the United Kingdom, about 1 in
4 men and 1 in 7 women drink more
than the safe levels. Approximately
33,000 deaths per year are related to
drinking alcohol; a quarter of these fatal-
ities are due to accidents. It is estimated
that 3 in 10 divorces, 4 in 10 cases of
domestic violence, and 2 in 10 cases of
child abuse are alcohol-related.
dation, debt, disability, divorce, disease,
and death all dog the drunk.
A typical alcoholic isn’t a tramp on
a park bench, a troubled veteran, or a
rock guitarist; it’s a child in school, an
airline pilot, a dentist, a minister of reli-
baseball player, a shop assistant, a truck
driver, the President.
Another reason I thought about
Alcoholics Anonymous when I saw the
Neptune–Jupiter–Saturn combination is
that I lived with an alcoholic for several
the bleak despair, isolation, and huge
emotional toll borne by those who love
an addict.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was
founded on June 10, 1935 in Akron,
Ohio by two alcoholics: Bill Wilson and
Dr. Robert Smith (known in AA circles
as Bill W. and Dr. Bob, respectively).
The organization was based on the prin-
ciple that one alcoholic can help another
as no one else can.
Innovative for its time, AA offered
a free self-help treatment program for
everyone; it framed alcoholism as a
disease, not a moral weakness, and
regarded the route to recovery to be a
spiritual one. Psychologist Carl Jung
held the view that there was only one
hope for alcoholics: a genuine spiritual
enced Bill W. The AA 12-step program
(see www.alcoholics-anonymous.org for
details) requires spiritual work as well as
replacing denial with responsibility. Sat-
urn requires that Neptune must be hon-
oured and expressed in a healthier way.
Is this shown in the chart?
The midday “solar sign” chart for
AA (see Chart 1, below) does not
reveal the strong 12th- and 11th-house
emphasis one would expect in an orga-
nization that offers anonymity and
group support; this might lead to con-
jecture as to the exact birth time on that
basis. (In cases where the birth time is
unknown, I use the so-called solar sign
chart, set for noon at the place of birth,
with zero degrees of the Sun sign on the
Ascendant and equal houses.) However,
the Venus–Uranus square in this chart
everyone, regardless of age, race, gen-
der, faith, social class, occupation, or
sexual orientation — alcoholism is indis-
criminate. The Sun is in Gemini, the
sign of communication; this is a strong
element in AA meetings, where mem-
bers are encouraged to share their sto-
ries (Moon in Libra, Mercury square
Mars) and support each other. Deep
and lasting relationships are formed
(Pluto conjunct Venus) as members bare
their souls and face up to their demons.
The Sun is at the apex of a t-square
involving a Saturn–Neptune opposition.
Saturn is in Neptune-ruled Pisces, a sign
that longs for oneness and escape. Nep-
tune is in Virgo, the sign of healing and
service. The North Node is in Saturn-
ruled Capricorn. AA’s mission is absti-
nence from alcohol, leaving behind the
inappropriate self-nurturing of the Can-
from Jupiter), and doing this just “one
day at a time.”
on June 10 — the date of Dr. Bob’s
last drink — the seeds of the organiza-
tion were sown a month earlier on May
I lived with an alcoholic
for several years, and I
experienced at frst hand
the huge emotional toll
borne by those who love
an addict.
52 www.mountainastrologer.com
(see Chart 2, p. 51). This chart has a
Neptune–Moon conjunction in Virgo in
the 11th house, opposed by Saturn in
Pisces and squared by Mercury in Gem-
ini — a beautifully symbolic signature
for AA. The Sun–Jupiter opposition is
a reminder that the problem inherent in
alcoholism is excess.
The growth of AA has been strik-
ing, especially in its early years, and
continues today. In 2002, there were
more than 100,000 AA groups in 150
countries, with a total membership of
approximately two million recover-
ing alcoholics. The AA model is still
the most successful treatment program
for alcoholism, and its 12 steps have
been successfully adapted to treat other
addictions: narcotics, overeating, gam-
bling, and compulsive spending.
The Founders
What similar astrological themes might
Bill W. was born in East Dorset,
Vermont on November 26, 1895 (see
Chart 3, below). After a troubled child-
hood, he became an alcoholic at age
stockbrokers and became quite rich until
the market crashed in 1929, probably as
a result of the insider-trading schemes
that he himself was involved in. (Tran-
siting Pluto in Cancer was squaring his
Venus at the time.) He struggled with his
addiction for years and was locked up
in a psychiatric hospital several times.
By 1933, Bill and his wife Lois were liv-
ing on charity in her parents’ house, and
he was an unemployable drunk. Then
one day, he met an old drinking buddy,
Ebby Thacher, who (he was shocked to
religion.” Bill had long held religion in
contempt, but Ebby asked, “Why don’t
you choose a God of your own under-
standing?” And this simple comment
stuck with him. Shortly afterward, while
Bill was again incarcerated in hospital,
recuperating from a drinking bout, he
had a vision (later described as a “spiri-
tual experience”). He claimed that his
obsession with drink vanished at once,
and he became sober. This was on
December 11, 1934, just as transiting
Jupiter conjoined his Saturn, having
recently trined his North Node in
Neptune-ruled Pisces.
The following May, while Bill was
on a business trip to Akron, he was
tempted to drink again after a deal
failed. Instead, with the sounds of the
hotel bar in the background, he phoned
local clergy from the lobby, to ask if they
knew of any alcoholics he could talk to.
He had suddenly become convinced
that he could save himself by helping
another alcoholic. This led to his meet-
ing Dr. Bob, and from their friendship
was born Alcoholics Anonymous.
Bill’s big Sagittarius Sun (trine Jupi-
ter) opposing Pluto describes his path
from excess, via a long descent into the
Underworld, to being reborn and then
to helping others along the same 8th-
house journey through the creation of
Chart 3:
Bill W.
Chart 4:
Dr. Bob
Helping other alcoholics
is still regarded by AA
as a fundamental part
of each member’s
road to recovery.
Bob and Bill
The Mountain Astrologer 53
what became an international fellow-
ship. This is also echoed in his Scorpio
stellium and the powerful Venus trine to
Neptune and Pluto.
Bill’s Sun, Neptune, and Pluto
all square the nodal axis, and Saturn
trines the North Node. Transiting Sat-
urn had been exactly on his Pisces
North Node on May 12, 1935, the day
he met Dr. Bob. With that encounter,
Bill W. came into his spiritual destiny.
His Mercury–Uranus conjunction shows
how he was able to take ideas from a
variety of sources and shape them into
the extraordinarily successful 12 steps.
After his death, he was named by Time
magazine as one of its 100 heroes of
the 20th century. He was described as
a “healer.”
Dr. Bob was born on August 8,
1879 — coincidentally, also in Vermont.
He began drinking heavily in college
but managed to qualify and practice as
a medical doctor and surgeon. In his
autobiography, he described his life as
a drinker: “During the next few years,
I developed two distinct phobias. One
was the fear of not sleeping, and the
other was the fear of running out of
liquor … If my wife were planning to go
out in the afternoon, I would get a large
supply of liquor and smuggle it home
and hide it in the coal bin, the clothes
chute, over door jambs, over beams in
the cellar and in cracks in the cellar tile.
I also made use of old trunks and chests,
the old can container, and even the ash
container. The water tank on the toilet
I never used, because that looked too
easy. I found out later that my wife
inspected it frequently.” Deceit as well
as denial goes with the territory for the
drinker. So does social isolation. “Dur-
ing all this time we became more or less
ostracized by our friends. We could not
be invited out because I would surely
get tight and my wife dared not invite
people in for the same reason.”
Every route to sobriety had failed
Dr. Bob until, at age 45, he met Bill
W. He then realized, like Bill, that only
another alcoholic could really under-
stand his problem. He also held the
view that the “spiritual approach was
as useless as any other if you soaked
it up like a sponge and kept it to your-
self.” The purpose of life was not to get
— it was to give. Dr. Bob (see Chart
4, opposite) had his last drink on June
10, 1935, when transiting Saturn con-
joined his Jupiter in Pisces and opposed
his Mercury in service-oriented Virgo.
Bill W. handed him that last beer to help
him deal with the shakes before he per-
formed a surgical operation.
square between Neptune in Taurus and
the Sun in Leo. His Capricorn–Cancer
nodal axis exactly mirrors that of AA.
Saturn in the sign of its fall squares the
nodal axis, suggesting that Dr. Bob
struggled until he found his own form of
self-discipline and then pioneered a new
Virgo–Pisces is the
axis of codependency.
Alcoholics are often
supported unwittingly
in their drinking and
denial by loved ones.
54 www.mountainastrologer.com
Chart 5:
Lois Wilson
path to sobriety (Saturn in Aries). Dr. Bob’s Neptune conjoins
Mars; alcohol sapped his drive until he found a spiritual moti-
vation that inspired him to personally help more than 5,000
alcoholics without charge. Helping other alcoholics is still
regarded by AA as a fundamental part of each member’s road
to recovery. Every AA meeting starts with the words: “Our
only purpose is to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to
achieve sobriety.”
A Fami ly Affai r
What about the other side of the story? “Alcoholism isn’t
a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play.”

Alcoholism affects the lives of those connected to the drinker:
spouses, children, parents, friends, colleagues, employees,
neighbors, customers, patients, passengers. Al-Anon is an
organization modeled on AA, which offers support to the
friends and relatives of alcoholics whether they are still drink-
ing or in recovery. Alateen is an offshoot which caters spe-
of alcoholics. Not only can such troubled childhoods lead to
great unhappiness, but patterns often repeat in families. Bill’s
own father was a heavy drinker.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 by Lois Wilson, Bill’s wife.
Together with Anne Smith, wife of Dr. Bob, Lois had been
working with wives and families around the country from the
beginning of AA. She was born on March 4, 1891 into com-
fortable circumstances in Brooklyn Heights, New York (see
Chart 5, below).
Lois was well educated and artistic, but her marriage to
Bill caused her great suffering. As her husband declined, she
was forced to become the breadwinner and endure chronic
disappointment as well as homelessness. Like others in her
situation, she believed that she could help Bill and employed
many tactics over the years to try to get him sober. Eventu-
ally, she realized — as have so many other spouses, parents,
The Mountain Astrologer 55
and friends, before and since — that her
attempts were futile. Her experiences led
her to extend the AA support model and
12-step program to include people close
to alcoholics. Lois had found it hard
when her now-sober husband insisted
on bringing alcoholics home with him
to dry out. Often feeling excluded, she
grew resentful of Bill’s fellowship meet-
ings. One night, she saw a line of cars
outside their house; in each car, a lone
woman sat waiting for her husband to
emerge from Bill’s meeting. Impulsively
(with her Moon in Sagittarius trine Mars
in Aries), she invited these women in for
tea and lemonade, and they began to
share their feelings and their rage about
their husbands’ alcoholism and its effect
on their lives. Although Lois did not
was to give birth to Al-Anon.
The by-now familiar astrologi-
cal themes are shown in Lois’s chart.
She had a Pisces Sun and a Sagittarius
Moon. Her Sun receives a tight oppo-
sition from Saturn in Virgo, the sign of
healing and service. This indicates the
challenges she faced in trying to heal an
“escape artist”; no doubt, it also gave
her the backbone to endure the hard-
ship of the early and middle years of
her marriage and to launch an interna-
tional support organization at the age of
60, just after her second Saturn return.
This Sun–Saturn opposition echoes the
opposition of Saturn in Pisces to Nep-
tune in Virgo in the AA chart. Virgo–
Pisces is the axis of codependency.
Alcoholics are often supported unwit-
tingly in their drinking and denial by
loved ones who cover up for them,
shield them from the consequences
of their actions, and tolerate appalling
behavior. Tough love requires the oppo-
site. Drinkers will stop only when they
choose to do so (often after hitting their
own rock bottom) and are prepared to
take responsibility by facing up to the
truth: “My name is Bill and I am an
Lois’s Sun–Saturn opposition lies
square across her nodal axis, which
combines the international sign of Sag-
ittarius with the communication sign
of Gemini. The North Node is con-
joined by a Neptune–Pluto conjunc-
tion in Gemini, symbolizing a powerful
transformation in thinking about alco-
hol addiction and its fallout. Her Venus
in Capricorn is at the apex of a t-square
with Uranus in early Scorpio and Mars
fellowship that she founded, with its
serious purpose and eclectic member-
ship. The Gemini North Node is ruled
by Mercury in humanitarian Aquarius,
which conjuncts Jupiter and squares
Neptune and Pluto. One could almost
believe that Lois came into this life with
a mission. Somewhat overshadowed by
her husband, she made her unique con-
tribution to the world by transmuting
the victim shadow of Pisces into spiri-
tual compassion for others who were
suffering as she did. Alcoholism touches
and damages many lives apart from the
drinker’s, and Al-Anon recognizes the
need for wider healing.
Part of the Solution
The codependent Virgo–Pisces lies
across my Ascendant–Descendant axis.
It took me some considerable time to
realize that my supportive efforts toward
my ex-partner were part of the problem,
not part of the solution. After that pain-
ful realization, I just needed to muster
enough courage to give him an ultima-
tum. I left him three weeks later — an
action that he claimed saved his life, as
it allowed him to hit bottom. He began
the process of recovery when transiting
Saturn squared his Sun, which natally
squares Neptune. He has been dry for
four years now; he runs his local AA
group and is training to be a counselor.
His “rebirth” began in a detox clinic
aptly named Turning Point, but AA
support was critical in the early days
of his sobriety and has been important
ever since.
AA has been growing for more
than 70 years and has helped mil-
lions; still, alcoholism and other addic-
tions are an even bigger global problem
today. Maybe, as a collective, we need
a new leap in consciousness, as indi-
cated by that transiting t-square of Nep-
tune, Jupiter, and Saturn in 2006. There
are better ways to deal with our emo-
with booze, coke, cake, gambling, or
Last year’s t-square was accompa-
nied by Pluto in Sagittarius (the sign of
excess), the transiting North Node in
Pisces, and Uranus (the planet of inno-
vation) also in Pisces. Is it time for a
new approach to addictions? Can we
get past our collective denial and face
what is happening around us? We live
in a binge-drinking culture of socially
sanctioned, drug-induced escapism,
promoted heavily as the sure route to
a good time. The outcome is a collec-
tive hangover. The year 2007 brings
hope and opportunity in the form of the
Saturn–Neptune opposition and opti-
mistic Jupiter in Sagittarius. Can we all
become part of a new solution?
Chart Data and Sources
Alcoholics Anonymous (foundation), June
10, 1935; time unknown (noon EST is used);
Akron, OH, USA (41°N05', 81°W31'); X: date
without a time; see www.alcoholics-anony
First meeting of Bill W. and Dr. Bob,
May 12, 1935; 5:00 p.m. EST; Akron, OH,
USA (41°N05', 81°W31'); per AstroDatabank,
Liane Thomas Wade gives 5:00 p.m. in the
We need a new leap
in consciousness,
as indicated by the
transiting t-square of
Neptune, Jupiter, and
Saturn in 2006.
Bill and Lois in 1953
5 www.mountainastrologer.com
Newsmaker Chart:
Molly Ivins
August 30, 1944; 10:12 a.m. PWT (+7:00)
Monterey, CA, USA (36°N36'01'', 121°W53'37'')
Rodden Rating: AA
Source: Quoted BC/BR
Source Notes: Jack Fertig quotes
American journalist and liberal
political commentator Molly Ivins was
noted for poking fun at Texan culture,
politicians, and especially “Country
Club Conservatives who are inter-
ested in nothing more than their own
Ivins grew up in an upper-middle-
class neighborhood in Houston, Texas.
Her father was the family disciplinar-
ian, a conservative Republican who
was general counsel and then president
of Tenneco Corporation. She admit-
ted to having many arguments with him
about their widely divergent political
views and claimed that she had trouble
his strictness. She also credited him with
her tough exterior: “I believe that all
the strength I have comes from learning
how to stand up to him.” In 1998, her
father, who was suffering from cancer,
committed suicide by shooting himself.
As a teenager, Molly Ivins was tall
and large for her age and felt out of
place at her private high school. She
would later comment that she felt like
a “Clydesdale among thoroughbreds.”
ing in her
mother’s and
er’s footsteps,
Ivins graduated
from Smith College in
1966. She subsequently
spent a year in Paris at the
Institute of Political Science and
earned a master’s degree at the Colum-
bia University Graduate School of Jour-
nalism. Not long after landing a job at
the HoustonChronicle, she was hired
by the MinneapolisTribune and took
off for Minnesota. By 1970, she was
back in Texas as co-editor of the Texas
Observer. One of her beats was the
state legislature, which she humorously
called “a reporter’s heaven.” Once,
when the legislature was getting ready
to convene, she wrote: “Every village is
about to lose its idiot.”
The editors of the NewYorkTimes
were so impressed with her writing that
they offered her a job in 1976. She
in the newsroom, often walking around
feet, calling to her dog whose name was
an expletive. She wasn’t crazy about her
editors sanitizing her work, either. She
later commented: “The NewYorkTimes
is a great newspaper; it is also No Fun.”
After several assignments for various
bureausandoffcesoftheTimes, Ivins
for the DallasTimesHerald. That paper
closed its doors in 1991, and she spent
the following year at the FortWorth
Star-Telegram. Her column was syn-
dicated by Creators Syndicate in 1992
and was subsequently published in sev-
eral hundred newspapers.
The Mountain Astrologer 5
Ivins never married. She was a close
friend of the equally irreverent Ann Rich-
ards, former governor of Texas. She
and was published in 1991. Its title came
from billboard ads paid for by the Dal-
lasTimesHerald in her defense, after
readers and advertisers expressed their
of a congressman: “If his I.Q. slips any
lower,” she had written, “we’ll have to
water him twice a day.” She was a harsh
critic of fellow Texan George W. Bush
and usually referred to him as “Shrub” or
“Dubya”; she co-authored two best-sell-
ing books about him: Shrub:TheShort
Bush (2000) and Bushwhacked:Lifein
GeorgeW.Bush’sAmerica (2003).
In 1999, Ivins was diagnosed with
breast cancer. She died of the disease
on January 31, 2007 in Austin, Texas
at 5:24 p.m. local time, according to the
Star-Telegram. She was 62.
For Further Information:
What Do You Think?
Although Ivins was born in Califor-
nia, she grew up in Texas. That state
provided a lot of fodder for her humor-
ous columns, books, and commen-
tary poking gentle fun at Texan culture,
attitudes, and behavior. She usually
reserved her most biting wit for those
who, in her opinion, had gotten “too
big for their britches.” Arrogance, pom-
posity, and abuses of power invoked
her acid tongue. With one well-chosen
word or phrase, she could give a verbal
sucker-punch to the object of her disdain.
A liberal and proud of it, she took great
pleasure in skewering conservatives.
President George W. Bush was one of
her favorite subjects, and she adamantly
opposed the Iraq War, urging Americans
to protest loudly. Let’s analyze her chart
for clues to her abilities and attitudes.
• Ivins was an avowed liberal. Though
she often argued with her father, a
staunch conservative, he was quite
on her and the strength that she said
she learned from him? What does her
• Whatinthechartshowsherprolifc
writing skills and her ability to por-
tray people and their actions or opin-
ions with terse, humorous, sometimes
acerbic descriptions?
• With a Virgo stellium that includes an
exact Sun–Jupiter conjunction and
with her Moon in Capricorn, earth is
the dominant element in her chart.
What might the predominance of the
earth element add to our analysis of
her personality, her political views,
her motivation, and her work?
You are welcome to participate
in the conversation at www.astrodata
chart and a detailed biography; you can
read others’ answers to all these ques-
tions and add your own comments.
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Using your ENTIRE CHART !
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uses only one planet at a time)
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5 www.mountainastrologer.com
TMA’s EcoPage
s I write this in early April, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC) has issued
a report on the likely consequences of
global warming (see www.ipcc.ch for
the report). It’s time to act! Why not
take action rightnow to start reducing
our “carbon footprint.” In addition to
all the energy-saving ideas presented
in last issue’s EcoPage, here are more
suggestions you can choose from. Start
with the ideas that you feel are possible
in your circumstances or those you can
put to use right away, and then build
momentum from there.
The solutions to reducing our
personal carbon emissions generally
revolve around two things: conserva-
tion and relocalization. Conservation
is something we all know about: Make
do with less, don’t waste anything. Relo-
calization eliminates our dependence on
large industrial energy sources by reduc-
ing consumption through more local
production of food, energy, and goods;
relocalization also increases a commu-
nity’s self-reliance by developing the
local economy, governance, and social
Problem: Though the United
States accounts for only 5 percent of the
world’s population, Americans consume
26 percent of the world’s energy. The
transportation sector consumed 35% of
the nation’s energy in 1990; this sector
is 97% dependent on petroleum.
Solutions: Why do smaller cars
generally get better gas mileage? They
weigh less. “Parasitic weight” is the extra
weight we don’t really need to bring with
us when we have to transport ourselves
somewhere. Usually we haul around
3,000 pounds of metal and rubber —
our cars — when we drive. Why not take
public transportation or ride a bike? If
your trip requires a car, what about get-
ting rid of any extra weight in the car, like
that 30 pounds of junk in the trunk you’ll
never use? Or share a ride or save some-
one else a separate trip instead of taking
two cars. That cuts the parasitic weight
in half. If you combine errands, that can
really cut down on the number of miles
you drive in a year.
Problem: In 1997, U.S. residents
consumed, on average, almost nine
times more electricity than the rest of the
world. Residential appliances, includ-
ing heating and cooling equipment
and water heaters, consume 90% of all
energy used in the U.S. residential sec-
tor. About 81 tons of mercury are emit-
ted into the atmosphere each year as a
result of electric power generation. Mer-
cury is the most toxic heavy metal in
existence (U.S. Environmental Protec-
tion Agency).
Solutions: By taking appropriate
energy-saving measures, by 2010 the
U.S. can have an energy system that
reduces costs by $530 per household
per year and reduces global warming
pollutant emissions to 10% below 1990
Just by using the “off the shelf”
today, we could cut the cost of heat-
ing, cooling, and lighting our homes
and workplaces by up to 80%. Replac-
ing one incandescent lightbulb with an
means that 1,000 pounds less carbon
dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere,
and you save $67 on energy costs over
the bulb’s lifetime.
Turn off lights, TVs, computers,
and electronics when not in use. Acti-
vate “sleep” features on computers and
printers. Unplug appliances or chargers
when not in use; these electronic devices
continue to draw electricity even though
they’re not turned on.
A decrease of only 1% in industrial
energy use would save the equivalent of
some 55 million barrels of oil per year
— oil worth about $1 billion.
Producing Food
Why not plant a garden this year?
Get used to growing food, even if it is a
small vegetable or herb garden in your
yard or in pots. Planting fruit trees (on
your land or on a volunteer’s land) is
another way to produce food locally.
Turn your lawn into a food-producing
statement! Neighborhood gardens can
strengthen community and enrich the
quality of life while reducing the amount
of food that has to be shipped to your
area on big polluting trucks. While
you’re at it, start composting. Certain
vegetable waste that you might normally
throw away can be composted and pro-
vide fertile soil for your new garden. If
you can’t maintain a garden, consider
shopping at your local farmer’s market.
June/July 2007
The Shaping of the Now
Symbolic Substitution and the Way
of Participatory Astrology
by Bruce Scofeld

is said that we have only the Now.
According to New Age best-selling
author Eckhart Tolle, being in the
Now is a state of mind that is not driven by
the past or the future.
One should not resist
the Now or contaminate it with ego attach-
ments, including obligations from the past
and expectations of the future. In the process
of letting go of whatever poisons the Now, one
achieves a powerful liberation. The Now is
not the past or the future — it is nothing other
than the focal point between the two — and
acceptance of it opens one to a world of pos-
sibilities not imagined in ordinary functioning.
Being in the Now produces a powerful change
of consciousness that frees oneself from iden-
tifying with what Tolle calls the “pain-body”:
years of conditioned thought patterns and
habitual emotional reactions. In my reading
of Tolle, it appears that being in the Now is
a kind of nonjudgmental passive response to
the Flow of Time that transcends condition-
ing. But what does the Flow of Time look like
to one who is immersed in astrology?
Astrology is a mapping technique for
dynamic systems — for the Earth, for life,
and for the human experience of the Flow of
Time itself. Each moment is coded with lay-
ers of astrological symbolism such that time
becomes a fow of information. At the moment
that you are reading this text, the Moon is
moving through the zodiac, forming aspects
to your natal planets and activating your natal
midpoints. Other astrological points are also
operative, and as each minute passes, a dis-
cernible series of triggers occurs in your mind
and in shifts in your environment. With the
astrological script on the view screen, the Now
appears to move in a linear fashion, from past
to future. But it is not that simple. The astro-
logical script is not just linear; it is also cyclic,
and every moment is composed of portions
of many cycles that make the Now not only
unique but also familiar. If you really know
and work with astrology, the Now is not the
same for you as it is for someone who doesn’t
see these subtle subtitles at the bottom of the
reality “screen.”
And exactly what is the Now? For most of
us, it is this exact second — or now this one.
But if you step back a bit, the Now is today.
Today, you may need to make a decision, so
you are doing it in the Now. But Now could
also be this week or this month, when viewed
from the perspective of a lifetime. In geol-
ogy, the Now is the Holocene, the last 10,000
years, the time since the last Ice Age. Or Now
could even be the last million years, from the
perspective of the 13.7-billion-year age of the
Now is a relative concept, but it is the only
moment during which transformative creativ-
ity can occur. And I think this is what Eck-
hart Tolle is getting at: that we can change
only when we are freely creative, and that
can happen only in the Now. He urges us to
fnd our deeper self and move with the fow,
not obstruct it. This way of being differs from
the predominant Western view, which is more
controlling and requires us to impose our will
on the Flow of Time. So, whether the Now is
this second or this year, it is a moment of cre-
ation, and Tolle suggests that we honor it with
childlike openness, rather than deny it or force
it to conform to our expectations in some
way. Is the Now really a place for astrology
Mercury Direct
Symbolic Substitution
to operate? Does astrology, with all its think-
ing about symbols, aid in navigating the
Now? Or should it be dropped in favor of pure
Life — physical, emotional, and men-
tal — moves in cycles. Suppose your adren-
aline levels are rising. Astrology tells you
that transiting Mars is square your Sun, and
at the same time, the planet that rules your
1st house is transiting through Aries. It is
Now, and you need to make some plans for
the next two days. You’re not sure what to
do this weekend, but there are some possi-
bilities. You can visit your parents, but you
know your brother will be there, and that may
mean a fght. You’ve been invited to a party at
a friend’s house, but your ex just might show
up. There’s an art show at the local museum
that you want to see; however, you promised
a friend that you’d go with her at some undes-
ignated point in the future — but you have to
call her to see if it works with her schedule,
and this may be inconvenient for you. There’s
always the option of renting a flm at the video
shop. What do you do?
A Mars transit rings a certain kind of
bell in one of the nooks and crannies of your
brain — your emotional–territorial circuit. It
triggers a part of you that wants to stand up
for yourself and solve your own problems.
It’s an energy surge that is about autonomy,
personal survival, and conquest of the envi-
ronment, physical and social. It can also be
a component of the ego and the pain-body
that Tolle describes in his writings. Still, you
have to make some decisions. Enter astrolog-
ical thinking. The symbolism of Mars square
the Sun is certainly not about social interac-
tion at all, unless we’re talking hand-to-hand
combat. Are you ready for a fght just now? Is
there any beneft to being in a situation where
you may need to back down to keep things
civilized? Or is a confrontation appropriate
in some way? Would a drive to the museum
involve traffc problems? Are conditions ripe
for an accident? If so, then why bother with
that sort of activity? Mars is about self —
yourself — not necessarily you and other peo-
ple. It governs action, making something or
repairing something. You can wait around for
an accident or an argument to happen, or you
can use that energy in some other way. You
can grab an ax and chop wood, or you can do
a workout at the gym by yourself. It does mat-
ter what you choose to do, and in this case,
Mars symbolism becomes a guide to choice.
You need to swap one possible pathway for
another, become a conscious participant with
the Flow of Time, and thus modulate the qual-
ity of emerging form as the present moment
unfolds. You are ready to practice the art of
symbolic substitution.
The Warrior Astrologer
Like most other important inventions and
discoveries in recent centuries, the origin of
the theory of symbolic substitution — origi-
nally called astrological alchemy
— can be
traced to the state of New Jersey. I recall that
in the early 1980s, Dr. Barry C. Orr actually
coined the phrase “symbolic substitution”
during a discussion we were having about the
implications of electional astrology as a life
discipline. Specifcally, symbolic substitution
(SS) is about choosing to act in line with the
Flow of Time by using astrological symbol-
ism as a road map. The trick is to consciously
substitute one possible future for another. It
involves taking a kind of astrological global
positioning satellite (GPS) reading, interpret-
ing the symbolism, and then creatively impro-
vising the cosmic script that you write as you
participate with the unfolding of events. It’s
about choice — but not willful manipulation
of the world for personal ends. Symbolic sub-
stitution is absolutely responsive to the Now;
it is ecological astrology in the deepest sense,
because it considers a range of possibilities,
not just the willful needs of the ego, and par-
ticipates in a much larger system.
Knowing that ancient (and not so ancient)
electional astrologers had been engaged in
pushing the boundaries of the fate vs. free will
debate, Dr. Orr and I sought to understand
exactly what they were really attempting to
do at this interface. On the surface, it seemed
that some ancient astrologers were doing
things to avert an expected fate. For exam-
ple, Renaissance astrologer Valentin Naibod
(1527–1593) locked himself in his house to
June/July 2007
avoid bad transits to his chart — but thieves
broke in and killed him anyway. He did not
practice SS. Some astrologers and astrologi-
cal traditions have used anti-Saturn or anti-
Mars devices, among other planet repellents.
Examples of this sort of thing include the
remedies, talismans, and charms that Vedic
astrologers sell to clients; these are believed
to draw out specifc planetary energies and,
consequently, modify one’s fate. To some
extent, this approach does bring one in con-
tact with items ruled by specifc planets, and it
essentially attempts to invoke planetary sym-
pathies. But it does not involve much choice,
free will, or creativity; it is about controlling
the Now. Another example of desperation on
the part of astrologers trying to manage the
planets (as opposed to the planets manag-
ing them) is the complex system of mirrors
used by John Dee to focus planetary light
rays on the body or on objects — presum-
ably, to achieve a certain talismanic effect.

It seems clear that these early astrological
remedies were mostly designed to circum-
vent one’s destiny or fate, and they should be
rightly understood as a kind of astrological
ritual magic. But the electional astrology that
we call SS is something different.
Traditional electional astrology, without
the remedies and gadgets, appears to have
been used in two ways: The frst way is an
extension of the notion that there is a right time
for everything. Planting in the spring when the
Sun is at the vernal equinox is a good exam-
ple; another might be picking a specifc herb
when the Moon is rising. The second approach
is one where a person attempts to manipu-
late the world by acting at the right time —
like gambling at a precise moment or using
good timing to enhance one’s actions, which
are ultimately driven by an inner desire (Tolle
would say the ego). In the frst case, actions
are taken in such a way as to be in tune with
the natural rhythms of the Sky and the Earth.
There is an attempt to join with nature, to con-
sciously become part of the process, but it
involves doing things that are part of a regu-
lar cycle of lifestyle activities. Creativity and
improvisation are not major components of
this kind of electional astrology. In the second
case, human desire and will are the driving
forces, and the planetary factors are seen as
a means to an end. This approach may actu-
ally be predatory and manipulative in some
respects, and it continues to be of inter-
est in modern times to business types
who seek astrological counsel. These
two approaches have very signifcant
differences, but the frst one is closer to
the doctrine of SS and the astrology of
the Now.
Symbolic substitution describes a
process of choosing that incorporates
astrological symbolism and requires
a deep understanding of one’s inner
processes. It requires both insight into, and
detachment from, one’s desire nature and
psychological conditioning. One leaves the
ego behind. It is the way of the warrior astrol-
oger, a way of moving through the world and
through life that is bold, on the one hand, but
extremely conscious, on the other. The warrior
astrologer does not hit the world over the head
but reads the world — the Now — and bends
deftly with its rhythms, to fll the needs of the
world at that moment. The practitioner of SS
must be well versed in astrological symbol-
ism, immersed in self-knowledge, and rooted
in the present. The past and the future are not
the concerns of this truly free practitioner, as
these are not important reference points and
could be extremely misleading, even danger-
ous. The goal of the symbolic substitutionist is
to participate with the complexity of the living
universe in the constant creation of the Now
as experienced in the Flow of Time. This work
is not for the fainthearted.
You are standing at a crossroads regarding
your dead-end job, and your spouse is pres-
suring you to make a change in order to make
more money. Is this really an astrologically
appropriate time to make a change? Your past
and your culture’s “normal” expectations tell
you to make the responsible choice and stay
within the bounds of whatever society and your
spouse deem logical and appropriate. Even
Tolle acknowledges that being in a relation-
ship can complicate moving through the Now
— which is different for each individual on one
level (the natal chart) but the same for all of us
Whether the
Now is this
second or this
year, it is a
moment of
Mercury Direct
Symbolic Substitution
on another (the mundane aspects). The war-
rior astrologer considers both levels of astrol-
ogy when assessing the Now.
The Now is pushing on you. Your rational
ego says you should give yourself a month to
fnd a decent job, and you should immediately
start looking in the newspapers. But external
reality is not cooperating. Saturn is conjunct
the ruler of your 6th house and squares your
Mercury and your Midheaven. You get desper-
ate and begin to practice New Age ritual magic
in the form of creative visualizations and affr-
mations; still, nothing changes. Contrary to
your most superfcial wants and needs, this is
not a time of opportunity for you on that level.
Perhaps you need some time to develop new
goals. Externally, you are at a red light, and
you will only become stressed over the diff-
culties you would have to face in achieving
unclear goals just now. And you will become
even more stressed because your signifcant
other is stressed about your apparent lack of
progress and about what others might think of
her for being married to you.
There is hope with creative maneuver-
ing. The warrior astrologer and SS practi-
tioner stops the world and studies the astrol-
ogy of the larger moment. You see that the
progressed Moon will change signs in six
months and will enter Capricorn, the real sign
of career. A month after this passage, the ruler
of the 10th house will make a favorable aspect
to Mars, the ruler of the 6th, and Saturn will be
well past its square to the Midheaven. All of
this suggests that the Now is not the time to
make a change that involves public and work-
related life. Your ego is trying to defne the
Now as your past history wants it to be. But
the astrological code says this is a time for
reaction, not conquest — a time for consol-
idating your position, getting organized, and
being patient with the Now. But there must be
some action. Knowing that Saturn is square
your Mercury and the progressed Moon is still
in Sagittarius but void of course, you choose
to seek temporary work organizing legal mat-
ters. Or you look for a temporary job that
represents a closure of some kind, maybe
a sporting goods store that is taking inven-
tory or even closing down. You seek a tempo-
rary job that is like one you’ve done before. In
other words, you don’t look for the next step
in your career. And if you look for things that
are actually described in the astrological Now,
you will fnd opportunities that are appropri-
ate and true for you. Will others judge you to
be impractical, or are you creatively partic-
ipating with the fow of events? The answer
to both may be Yes, and you will have to live
somehow with those around you who do not
see the complex but readable layer of orga-
nization that constitutes astrology and colors
the Now.
Symbolic substitution is a way of con-
scious participation with the environment. It
is a way of achieving creative ftness. Dar-
win saw ftness as the ability of an organism
to adapt successfully to the demands of the
environment. If you’re in water, you grow fns;
if in air, wings. The physiologist L. J. Hender-
saw ftness in terms of the environment
itself: Life seeks the place with the best ft. If
you’ve got fns or wings, you fnd water or air.
Both views emphasize the right tool for the
right job — what might be termed creative ft-
ness. With the right ft comes health. Health
is the capacity of a system to recover from
insult or injury, and this is made possible by
creative ftness, which reduces stress. A knee-
jerk response to complex astrological condi-
tions that is coming from your ego can result
in loss of health, but a creative response to the
Now confers power.
You are walking through town on the way
home from work. You have some time and
were considering doing some shopping. You
glance at your sidereal watch and see that the
sidereal time is 12:44. This tells you where
the Ascendant and Midheaven are and, more
importantly, that your natal Venus degree is at
the Midheaven and your natal Jupiter is on the
Descendant. You are, at this very moment,
experiencing a paran: a simultaneous angu-
larity of two or more planets in your natal
You also happen to know that the Moon
is about to trine the ruler of your natal 11th
house of friends. The Now is speaking to you
with vivid astrological symbolism. You turn
left and enter the nearest bar — and seated
there is a Sagittarian friend you haven’t seen
June/July 2007
for months. You have moved consciously and
creatively with the fow of the Now.
Planetary Circuitry
The astrological chart is a time-slice,
a map of a dynamic system — which could
be you! The planets mark circuits of imprint-
ing that are activated by precise astronomi-
cal cycles.
In a deep sense, the planets are
your past. You are mostly your Moon during
your frst couple of years, and the personality
and circumstances of your mother and other
caregivers make huge imprints on your young
brain at that time. Food is the focus of infant
life, and that need is imprinted on you then.
For the rest of your life, your Moon position
— when activated by transit, progression, or
other astrological means — tunes you into
mothers and food, mother surrogates, or oral
gratifcation. The SS practitioner understands
a transit to the Moon to mean that this level
of functioning, the lunar bio-survival circuit,
is the realm of possibilities from which substi-
tutions need to be drawn. When your Moon is
activated, what do you do in the Now? Go to a
restaurant run by women? This could work if
the natal Moon is not afficted. If it is afficted
by Neptune, maybe it would be better to wash
dishes at a dinner for an invalid female friend.
Of if your Moon is afficted by Saturn, eat only
simple foods and observe formalities around
Saturnian females. You are limited only by
your creativity, not by astrology.
Between ages 2 and 4, the Mars emo-
tional–territorial circuit is activated, and the
imprints taken under the circumstances of
that time of your life become the basis of your
future Mars experience. These are the years
when you learn to stand up for yourself and
say No to others who challenge you. You also
learn to control some critical muscles in your
body. How others react to you and how well
you learn will shape your future. Mercury,
the rational–cognitive circuit, kicks in at age
three-and-a-half, when important kinds of
perception and learning occur, but it is also
very potent around age 13, when you could
become infuenced by ideas that shape your
vocational choices. Venus’s socio-sexual cir-
cuit is imprinted between ages 8 and 16, but
mostly right on those particular years and
midway between them at age 12. A socio-
sexual crisis on those birthdays cuts deep.
Maybe sweet 16 birthday parties refect an
ancient “remedy” of sorts for this time of
imprint vulnerability. The socio-cultural plan-
ets Jupiter and Saturn make imprints con-
cerning caretaking institutions (schools,
hospitals, etc.) and social norms (police,
authority), respectively, at around ages
6–7 and 12 and 14.
By age 18–19, we Homo sapiens
are pretty much done with imprinting,
and the rest of our life is concerned with
managing what happened to us. Our
imprints are not literal structures, but
they are triggered in the brain by anal-
ogous recognitions (things “ruled” by plan-
ets) and are, therefore, accessed through the
powerful symbolism that was discovered by
ancient astrologers. These imprint circuits
are deep within us, but by practicing SS we
can creatively manage, even transform, them
and consciously make our way down the path
toward genuine freedom.
What about fate and free will? Do peo-
ple really make conscious choices, or are
we really just bozos on the bus of destiny?
Is moving with the Now without calculation
always safe? Is SS a mirage, a quasi-scientifc
deception? If you believe in predestination,
then you must believe that you are not really
making up your own mind and exerting any
real free will at all on the world. If “it is all
meant to be,” why bother to think? Are you
acquiescing to a higher power or order, and is
this the factor, deity, or cosmic principle that
guides you forward and causes you to make
the decisions you make? In a deterministic
worldview, you are assuming that life is not
haphazard and that it all means something.
But if that is the case, your choices are more
or less unimportant. Does this also mean that
you are relieving yourself of the responsibili-
ties of free choice and its implications? And is
this kind of belief paralyzing?
The universe we live in is certainly
stranger than we can imagine — and will prob-
ably remain that way, no matter how much we
learn about it. Still, there are reasons not to just
You are limited
only by your
not by
Mercury Direct
Symbolic Substitution
give up and take the easy road, fip a coin at
every crossroads, or believe that some deity is
using you as a vehicle. If there appears to be a
choice between fate and free will, the true indi-
vidual will always choose the latter. But look-
ing deeper into biology, it appears that both
our genetic makeup and our childhood devel-
opment cycles are more likely the source of
our fate — and of what Eckhart Tolle loosely
refers to as both the ego and the pain-body
(our years of conditioned thought patterns and
habitual emotional reactions). We may enter
the world with two sets of genes from our par-
ents that control our appearance, our bodily
functions, and even the way we tend to think.
However, the unique circumstances of our
development are powerful modifers that mod-
ulate the unfolding of our personality.
The astrological time-slice called the
horoscope maps out these imprints and allows
us to see their activations in time. Many read-
ers of this magazine have become immersed
in astrology and have begun to live more con-
sciously as recognition of the astrological
order around all of us becomes clearer. When
it comes time to take this astrological living a
step higher, there is the way of symbolic sub-
stitution. Astrology is indeed the conscious
way of navigating the Now, and its proper use
is a path to higher consciousness.
References and Notes
1. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiri-
tual Enlightenment, New World Library, 1999.
2. Here is a quote from The Timing of Events: Elec-
tional Astrology, a book I wrote in 1980: “Astrological
alchemy is the art of envisioning, through planetary
symbolism, the realm of possibilities at a particular
point in the future and creating through visualization a
chosen reality. If your image fts the symbolism well,
it will be actualized and you may be spared the pos-
sible agony of allowing your conditioning to rule your
experience. This exercise of free-will is at the core of
electional astrology.” (Antipodes Astrologicon)
3. See John Dee, John Dee on Astronomy (Propae-
deumata Aphoristica) (1558 and 1568), ed. Wayne
Shumaker, trans. J. L. Heilbron, University of Califor-
nia Press, 1978.
4. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Joseph
5. A paran (short for paranatellonta) comes from
ancient astrology, where it designated the simultane-
ous rising of one body and the setting of another. In
modern times, it has come to defne the simultaneous
angularity (placement on the MC/IC and Ascendant/
Descendant) of two or more bodies. This can happen
with transiting bodies or with the positions of natal
6. See Bruce Scofeld, The Circuitry of the Self: Astrol-
ogy and the Developmental Model, One Reed Publica-
tions, 2000.
© 2007 Bruce Scofeld – all rights reserved
Bruce Scofeld, C.A., NCGR, is a practicing astrologer, lecturer, and author of sev-
eral astrology books. He is an instructor at Kepler College and has been involved
with NCGR’s education and certifcation program for 25 years. Bruce is the author of
The Circuitry of the Self: Astrology and the Developmental Model. He has also writ-
ten four books on Mesoamerican astrology. Visit his Web site, www.onereed.com, for
more information about Mesoamerican astrology. You can contact Bruce at P.O. Box
561, Amherst, MA 01004; (413) 253-9450; or through his Web site.
June/July 2007
Astrology’s Next Step
The Power of Peer Group Work
by Bob Mulligan
November 2002, astrologers from
around the world turned off their
cell phones and embraced the high
mountain air of early winter at the Ghost
Ranch in New Mexico for a life-transforming
experience, the Astrologer’s Retreat. This was
a groundbreaking encounter for all of us. The
power of our peer supervision model surprised
even those of us who have been doing this
form of group work for many years. All the
astrologers had their own unique experience,
but all were positive. We responded to each
other with a deep honesty. One well-seasoned
astrologer told me that this was the most pow-
erful and signifcant event of her life.
Defnition of Peer Group Work
A peer group is composed of consulting
astrologers who meet to discuss specifc con-
sultations. These groups serve both the emo-
tional and professional needs of practicing
astrologers, thus creating a practical founda-
tion for an astrological community.
All astrologers who see clients need to be
able to discuss what goes on in their consult-
ing room. Just talking about your client work
is therapeutic, but it is even more helpful when
you can do this with another practicing astrol-
oger. And a group of practicing astrologers is
even more effective.
Historically, our astrological community
hasn’t supported this type of process. Yet,
every other helping profession incorporates a
process of peer review. Sharing experiences,
ideas, and problems is a necessary and healthy
step toward standardization and collective
advancement in any feld. The process of peer
review improves our professional competency.
As this form of openness among colleagues in
astrology becomes a normal adjunct to every
astrologer’s practice, the public will come to
expect a certain standard of service. This type
of sharing will eventually encourage the gen-
eral public to form a more accurate picture of
the astrological profession.
Peer work allows astrologers to under-
stand each other better. We can build a stron-
ger sense of community through dedication
to a set of principles held together by a com-
mon vision. This was Ray Merriman’s assess-
ment in his article “Building an Astrological

During this period of world consolidation,
the astrological feld is becoming a more uni-
fed community. Every astrological organiza-
tion participates in this globalization of the
marketplace; we see a continual elevation of
client expectations as they collectively hold
us to higher standards.
Today, development of our feld is not
as dependent as it once was on discovering
and practicing more refned and proven tech-
niques, although this is always important.
Through peer work, professional astrologers
are now becoming increasingly conscious of
their effect on their clients. When our service
improves, the general public may form a more
realistic idea of what to expect from astrolo-
gers. Peer work is a method of administering
to the needs of professional astrologers and,
through them, to each of their clients.

Two major roadblocks have impeded
the natural development of peer supervision
groups: Ethical astrologers don’t violate the
confdence of their clients, and astrologers
don’t easily trust anyone else with the details
of their practice. Peer group work gives every
astrologer a chance to share problems and
concerns without creating either of these
Mercury Direct
Astrology’s Next Step
After astrologers have completed their
studies and begin seeing clients, peer groups
provide a direct method of personal growth
and a way to improve counseling skills and
clarify business practices. Peer groups offer a
safe, structured, and positive environment for
this added dimension of self-understanding.
These groups form a “blueprint” for the pro-
fession to take its next step forward — making
a continuing source of personal renewal avail-
able for astrologers throughout their profes-
sional life.
In 1974, I started my career as a profes-
sional astrologer. At the time, there was very
little interaction between astrologers, and
none (that I could fnd) seemed to be avail-
able to help new astrologers earn a living.
In 1989, a group of like-minded astrolo-
gers formed an organization to talk about pro-
fessional astrological issues: how to set fees,
when and where to advertise, business ethics,
methods of earning a living, geographical and
cultural differences, the distinctions between
astrology and psychology, and (more impor-
tantly) how astrologers can help and sup-
port each other. This group is now known
as the Organization for Professional Astrol-
ogy (OPA). The system we created to sup-
port each other is the peer supervision group.
Even though we have borrowed many tech-
niques and ideas from other felds, this work
is specifcally designed for astrologers.
This technique of peer supervision was
developed over twelve years of trial and error.
We had many explorations (and we still exper-
iment) to discover what methods give the
most solid results. Peer supervision is now the
backbone of our work in assisting each other
in the astrological profession.
Purpose and Goals
The purpose of peer group work is to bet-
ter understand ourselves and our clients. Most
astrologers who are fortunate enough to partic-
ipate in a peer group have seen their business
expand. As an astrologer’s business increases,
the quality of the client work tends to improve.
In other words, practice makes perfect.
Peer supervision allows astrologers to re-
evaluate their work with clients by gaining
access to a variety of professional opinions.
The group provides an opportunity for getting
help with problematic clients, noticing when
repeating issues with clients indicates that the
astrologer has a diffculty, and learning about
various strategies applicable to astrological
As astrologers, we want to offer bet-
ter, more consistently useful astrology to the
public. We also want astrologers to live more
fulflling lives. Peer group work helps us to
achieve both of these goals. Ultimately, peer
supervision inspires astrologers to refne their
work. Since astrology itself is a path of self-
development, these groups assist in their own
way to unravel the mystery of life for each
Guiding Principles
When astrologers engage in peer supervi-
sion, we meet as equals. This is different from
going to a teacher, a therapist, or another
astrologer for advice. This is an opportunity to
submit some aspect of our work to our peers
for review and comment. An atmosphere of
trust is necessary for the work to be effective.
As peer work has evolved, we always look for
ways to increase the bond of trust between the
members of each supervision group. We have
discovered some principles that help to fur-
ther this goal. These principles have, in turn,
found expression through a small set of sug-
gested guidelines.
These guidelines are intended to encour-
age openness and a feeling of safety in the
company of our colleagues. As we become
more open and trusting and less defensive,
we can delve deeper and deeper into the real
issues that have held us back as astrologers.
We become increasingly available to each
other as we learn to trust and to discuss our
feelings openly. This connection between peo-
ple makes it possible for us to overcome our
personal limitations and barriers and allows
us to maximize our potential as astrologers.
To a certain extent, the rules for each
group will vary slightly, depending on the
competence and experience of the members.
June/July 2007
Also, the unique style and personal prefer-
ences of the leader of each group will infu-
ence procedures.
The rules may change, from time to time,
as we fnd better ways to accomplish our goal
of improving the methods of modern astrol-
ogy. This outline of rules for peer group work
is intended to express attitudes and a meth-
odology for building a healthy professional
astrological community.
Here are some basic guiding principles:
1. Maintain confdentiality. It is important
to protect the identity of our clients. When
charts are passed out to the peer group, the
name of the client has been removed. The cli-
ent’s name is never used in the discussion.
The astrologer must have good reason to
assume that no one in the group will recog-
nize the person by the description. Astrologers
should, therefore, avoid using the chart of any
client who is a public fgure or well known in
the community.
2. Respect privacy. Everyone in the group
keeps the proceedings of the session in strictest
confdence. This means that group members
don’t discuss what goes on in the group with
others outside the group. Furthermore, dis-
cussions about charts and consultations take
place only when the group is in session. This is
an important boundary. Astrologers don’t gos-
sip or carry on side conversations about a par-
ticular chart or client after the session is over.
If necessary, the group can revisit a past case
history the next time the group is convened.
3. Keep group sessions closed. This means
that a new person cannot join the group when
the group is already engaged in discussion of
a member’s interaction with a client. This prin-
ciple is usually interpreted to mean that the
session doesn’t start until everyone is pres-
ent, and no one leaves while the discussion
is going on. Breaks are important. The group
should take a short break between each chart
example. Most ongoing groups expand on this
principle by not accepting new members into
the group during a year of monthly meetings
but open the group to new members at some
time of the year. In the Boston peer group, for
instance, there is a time every fall when poten-
tial new members can attend meetings for a
few months to see if they want to become a
member of the group; the group would then
be closed for the rest of the year. Limiting the
group creates a feeling of safety, which allows
ever-deepening bonds of trust and respect
between the participants.
4. Remain positive. Comments and sug-
gestions should be aimed at encouraging each
astrologer’s strengths. We must avoid attack-
ing each other’s weaknesses. Professional and
personal weaknesses are best addressed with
a teacher, therapist, or other astrologer. The
major purpose of the peer group is to instruct
by acknowledging, encouraging, and support-
ing each other.
5. Focus on the interaction of the client
with the astrologer. De-emphasize the astrol-
ogy. Make the session about the astrologer’s
relationship with the client, not about the par-
ticular person’s chart. Practicing astrologers
constantly endeavor to do better astrology.
However, this is not the proper place to take
up that study.
6. Be willing to be open, both as a presenter
and as a group participant. Because the group
is restricted and confdential, group members
can develop trust in each other. Groups can-
not be very successful if the participants are
not open and honest with each other during the
group meetings.
7. Know your limits. Know when a client
referral is a good idea — to another astrologer,
type of professional, organization, or group.
Peer supervision groups can play an invalu-
able role in helping their practicing mem-
bers to establish healthy boundaries with their
8. Accept different styles and systems.
Every astrologer will have a unique way of
approaching a client session and a differ-
ent way of counseling. We need to be able to
accept these variations in approach and sys-
tems, e.g., Vedic, Chinese, classical astrology.
Some larger communities and groups will have
practitioners representing many different sys-
tems. Tolerance and diversity are healthy.
9. Talk only about appointments that have
already happened. We don’t look at charts of
clients that the astrologer hasn’t yet seen. To
Mercury Direct
Astrology’s Next Step
discuss upcoming consultations is a very use-
ful and valid study technique, but it is a waste
of time and energy during peer group meet-
ings. We must focus on our interactions with
existing clients.
Leadership and
Overall Guidance
We use a peer model for this work because
we have the greatest chance for genuine
transformation when we are working with our
peers. Also, people are more inclined to be
open and constructive when they know they
are on equal footing with the other members
of the group.
Each group needs a leader who is trained
to facilitate the process. This person must
keep the goals in mind, maintain the focus of
the discussion, and steer the group back to
the topic at hand when the discussion strays.
The leader decides when the major work is
over and when to change directions.
The OPA group leaders have received
various forms of training. All have been par-
ticipants in other peer groups. They generally
have good ideas about what works and what
doesn’t work. Even when group leaders get
together to do peer supervision, one of them
must be in charge of when to start and end a
session, when to switch focus, and what kinds
of questions to ask.
In the frst peer group meeting, the leader
will present a chart and case history of a prob-
lematic client to the group, explaining what
happened and sharing the residual discomfort.
After this presentation, in each subsequent
discussion throughout the day, each partici-
pant presents a case history and receives
feedback from the rest of the group.
The pace of the work should be brisk
enough to keep everyone involved and inter-
ested. This can happen only if the members of
the group have been pre-screened. Everyone
in the group needs to be actively seeing cli-
ents. This doesn’t mean that a person must be
earning all — or even part — of their income
as a professional astrologer. It just means that
everyone should be able to offer up a chart
from a client consultation without stumbling
over the technical aspects of the astrology.
There comes a point in a peer group dis-
cussion when the attention of the participants
seems to wander; this is when the work on this
client is done, for the time being. The group
leader, and maybe the whole group, should
feel free to acknowledge this.
A Client Example
A wide variety of issues are discussed with
each case history: How did the client come to
see the astrologer? Did the astrologer and cli-
ent have reasonable expectations? How did
the astrologer feel toward the client? What was
going on in the astrologer’s life at the time of
the appointment? and so forth.
Astrologers need to trust in the peer group
and the group process in order to present their
most challenging cases to the group. Often, we
want to exhibit the charts of clients that show
us in the best light. After all, we are present-
ing to our peers. Sometimes, when we are dis-
cussing a case that is truly diffcult, we aren’t
so willing to admit what really went wrong. But
if we are brave enough to do this, the group will
help us to see some things we might otherwise
have missed.
I have taken the extra precaution of ask-
ing a few of my clients for permission to use
their case histories publicly. This following cli-
ent, whom I shall call Sofa, allowed me to use
her case in this context:
Sofa is a successful businesswoman.
She asked me to help her decide what to do
with her life. Her consultations with me, at the
time, were diffcult because she would ask me
to sort out the strangest predicaments. She
would ask my opinion, I would offer it, and
then she would argue against it. I would assert
the alternative. She would argue against that.
We would go round and round.
Someone in my group suggested that
perhaps her attachment to her suffering was
stronger than her desire for love and accep-
tance. This person was right. I knew it as
soon as I heard the comment. This noticeably
altered my work with this client. For one thing,
we were able to discuss her need to be a mar-
tyr, her feelings that she was special, and her
addiction to being smarter, better, more right
than anyone else. Our discussions eventually
June/July 2007
allowed her to see more clearly the founda-
tion of her decision-making and, therefore, to
make better decisions.
One-Day Workshops
and Weekend Retreats
At the one-day workshops that OPA con-
ducts, each participant is assigned to a group
composed of fve astrologers; one of these is
the group leader. During the day, each partici-
pant will present a case history, starting with
the group leader. Immediate benefts come
from improving counseling skills, but an addi-
tional blessing is learning how to develop inti-
macy with other astrologers.
Groups may be pre-selected as they are
at the OPA weekend retreats, to achieve a bal-
ance of age, geographical location, level of
experience, synastry, etc.
Couples and close
friends are separated into different groups.
This allows the group energy and intimacy to
build more rapidly. Trust becomes the element
that lets the group function harmoniously.
In small towns or outside major metro-
politan areas, peer groups have functioned
over the phone, but local groups are usually
formed from astrologers living in the area.
This is a more random method where circum-
stances construct the group. For the OPA one-
day meetings, as well as our annual retreats,
we have found that pre-selected groups work
better than random selection.
With an ongoing local peer group, the
inherent imbalances in the participants are
usually worked through in time. For a week-
end retreat, when groups are pre-arranged to
achieve a good mix of participants, less time
is wasted getting to the deeper aspects of the
peer supervision experience. This is why pre-
registration is necessary.
Continuing Work
After attending peer supervision work-
shops, some individuals have taken the ex-
perience home with them and started a local
group. Sometimes, astrologers become en-
thusiastic about the work but then fnd it hard
to generate this same intensity of interest
among other astrologers in their area. It takes
time to build up a workable local peer super-
vision group, but as many past participants
can tell you, it is well worth the effort. If a
local group is not an option, you can still get
supervision a variety of other ways: via a per-
sonal supervisor, group work over the phone
through teleconferencing, e-mail contact with
other astrologers, and so on.
Some entire groups from past work-
shops have stayed connected with each
other. The participants of one of the
groups e-mail each other at the Full
Moon every month. A group that I was
a member of has maintained telephone
contact, and we all assist each other
with various aspects of our careers.
Some participants have made arrange-
ments for individual supervision from
one of the members of their group. Struc-
tured sharing with another astrologer friend
can be very helpful.
Peer group work is changing the face of
astrology by helping the feld become a more
standardized and accepted profession. Astrol-
ogers have some responsibility to help to dis-
pel the general public’s misunderstandings
about astrology. We need to be available to
demonstrate astrology’s inherent usefulness
and truthfulness. The perception of the gen-
eral public can be improved as astrologers
themselves better understand what transpires
in their sessions with clients.
Peer group work
is the next step in presenting a more unifed
service to the public. Unity of purpose con-
veys a more professional image to the world
and helps astrologers to take their own work
more seriously as a realistic guidance tool.
When astrologers talk to each other in ear-
nest, then amazing insights can arise. We
have all the tools we need. Now is the time to
put them to good use.
OPA can help you stay involved in peer
group work in three ways: (1) We have an
astrologer’s retreat every year. This is a
greatly expanded version of the peer supervi-
sion workshop. (2) In our monthly e-news and
our quarterly newsletter, “The Career Astrolo-
ger,” we offer discussion of various processes
and techniques of peer supervision work. (3)
Peer group
work is
the face of
Mercury Direct

Astrology’s Next Step
We are happy to send a group leader to a
particular area to conduct a weekend work-
shop in peer supervision and to help form a
local group.
The OPA-sponsored astrologer’s retreat
is part of our continuing effort to improve the
lives of professional astrologers. Our group
leaders get together in person twice a year —
just before the retreat and six months later —
to review the whole process for themselves.
OPA has expanded the peer supervision con-
cept to a four-day experience. (Editor’s Note:
See ad on facing page.)
Peer group work helps astrologers to
develop intimacy and trust. It allows us to
practice our astrological and counseling skills.
This gives us a better understanding of our-
selves and the options in our own lives and ulti-
mately makes us better astrologers. Let us join
together to transform the feld of astrology.
References and Notes
1. Ray Merriman, “Building an Astrological Com-
munity,” from How to Start, Maintain, and Expand
an Astrological Practice, 3rd edition, Organization for
Professional Astrology, 2001.
2. In my book, Between Astrologers and Clients,
I present the point of view that under ideal circum-
stances, when everyone is free to express their own
unique creative energy (and everyone stays involved
in the group process), the synergy creates a more
useful and dynamic conclusion. Ignorance is the
only enemy; no one should intentionally do anything
unethical or harmful.
3. Through the years, we have experimented with
the correct composition of pre-selected peer groups.
We now try to establish groups based on the concept
of genuine peers — people in each group being as
close to the same level of experience as possible. This
means that beginners are in a group with other begin-
ners, and long-time professionals are in a group with
other professionals, etc. Ideally, each person has no
previous relationship to any other member prior to the
formation of the group.
4. One of my reasons for writing Between Astrologers
and Clients was to clarify exactly what goes into our
work. This is very fertile ground for more thought and

© 2007 Bob Mulligan – all rights reserved
Bob Mulligan is a full-time professional astrologer who sees clients and operates The
Mastery of Astrology™ correspondence school. Both his chart interpretation program,
Indra, and his book, Between Astrologers and Clients, have received high praise. Bob
is the current president of the Organization for Professional Astrology (OPA), which
has members in 28 states and 8 countries. Bob is a single parent with fve children. He
has received personal guidance from his spiritual master, Meher Baba, since 1970 and
still travels to India every year. Give him a call: (239) 261-2840; fax: (239) 435-0967; or
e-mail: bobmulliga@aol.com; Web site: www.theastrologycompany.com
The Mountain Astrologer 1
InternationalE-MailLetter, vol. 260 (November 30, 2003); however,
her source for this time is not indicated.
Bill W.(WilliamGriffthWilson),November26,1895;3:00a.m.EST;
East Dorset, VT, USA (43°N14', 73°W01'); B: from the book, PassItOn,
AA World Services, 1984.
Dr. Bob (Robert Holbrook Smith), August 8, 1879; time unknown (noon
LMT is used); St. Johnsbury, VT, USA (44°N25', 72°W00'); X: date with-
out a time; date obtained by Phil Brown from the “Public Records Div.
in Vermont.”
Lois Wilson, March 4, 1891; time unknown (noon EST is used); Brook-
lyn Heights, NY, USA (40°N42', 74°W00'); X: date without a time; see
www.steppingstones.org/loisstory.html; www.theloiswilsonstory.com
References and Notes
1. WHO GlobalStatusReportonAlcohol, Geneva, 2004, p. 7 (www.
2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): www.
3. www.drug-statistics.com/alcohol.htm
4. U.S. Bureau of Justice: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_c.htm#alcohol
5. www.drug-statistics.com/alcohol.htm
6. www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23068675
7. See “The Doctor’s Nightmare” (Robert Holbrook Smith’s autobiogra-
phy in AA’s “Big Book,” AlcoholicsAnonymous).
8. Joyce Rebeta-Burditt, TheCrackerFactory, Macmillan, 1977.
9. William G. Borchert, TheLoisWilsonStory:WhenLoveIsNotEnough,
Hazelden Publishing, 2005.
Chris Ogilvie isanastrologerbasedintheEng-
Alcoholi cs Anonymous
for the OCT/NOV 2007 Issue
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The Mountain Astrologer 3
The Vedic Signs
Since mankind’s earliest days on Earth, the
movement of the Sun across the heavens has gar-
nered our rapt attention. We can measure the Sun’s
path from two different vantage points: in reference
to our own position on the Earth, or in reference to
the backdrop of the stars. For many purposes, such
as hunting, planting, harvesting, and other seasonal
events, observing the Sun’s passage relative to one’s
physical location has been of vital importance. The
movement of the Sun (and the planets) across the
for selecting propitious times for both mundane pro-
ceedings and spiritual rituals, for navigation, and for
predicting astronomical events.
Astrologers also use both methods of reckon-
ing. Western astrologers use the seasonal or tropical
zodiac, where the signs are based upon the annual
movement of the Sun in relationship to the Earth.
The tropical sign of Aries begins at the point in the
sky where the Sun crosses the equator going north
sphere), around March 21. Vedic astrologers, how-
ever, use the stellar or sidereal zodiac, where the
sidereal sign of Aries is determined by the placement
of the stars in the zodiacal constellations of the night
sky. For the 21st century, the Sun enters sidereal
Aries around April 15.
the seasons, weather, and light and dark affect us,
whereas the sidereal zodiac reveals our place among
the stars, our place in the Universe. Since the signs
in both zodiacs have the same names and many of
the same characteristics, this can confuse astrologers,
leading some to believe that one zodiac must be right
and the other wrong. But in fact, those who use the
tropical zodiac do so in ways that differ from those
who employ the sidereal zodiac. It is vitally important
to emphasize here that, in the hands of a talented
practitioner, all methods of astrology using either
zodiac can offer accurate and profound delineations.
Author’s Note:Theexamplechartsthroughoutthisarticleusesignsinthesiderealzodiac,notthetropicalzodiac.
4 www.mountainastrologer.com
The Vedic Signs
But how did both kinds of signs
end up with the same names? The most
likely explanation is that, during the
early years of Western astrology, the
tropical and sidereal zodiacs were virtu-
ally aligned (at most, only a few degrees
apart), so there was little need to dis-
tinguish between them. In fact, many
Western astrologers today don’t real-
ize that the signs they use (in the tropi-
cal zodiac) no longer occupy the same
space as the constellations they were
originally named after. For example, if
you look up at the night sky when the
Moon is in the early-to-middle degrees
of Virgo in a Western chart, visually it
will be traversing the constellation of
Leo. Astronomers sometimes try to use
this fact to deride modern astrology,
not realizing that a zodiac based upon
the seasons is just as valid as one based
upon constellational positions.
As implied above, the two zodiacs
have diverged from each other. Because
the Earth is not a perfect sphere but is
wider at the equator, it wobbles in its
orbit; as a result, the seasons and the
position of the Sun relative to the Earth
shift in relationship to the constella-
tions. In fact, the tropical sign of Aries
coincides with the constellation of Aries
for only a small fraction of the 26,000-
year precessional cycle.
Within Vedic astrology (also called
Jyotish), the difference between the
zodiacs is called the ayanamsha, which
means “falling back portion.” Vedic
astrologers reckon the beginning of the
positions; the most commonly used
ayanamsha (called the Lahiri or Chitra-
paksha ayanamsha) is based upon the
position of the star Spica as marker of the
beginning of the sidereal sign of Libra.
Using the Lahiri ayanamsha, the
two zodiacs coincided in 285 C.E. The
difference between the zodiacs grows by
only about one degree every 72 years.
Today, the difference between them is
approximately 24 degrees. Therefore, a
planet at 25° Cancer in a Western chart
is at about 1° Cancer sidereally, and any
planet earlier than 24 degrees of any
tropical sign will move back to the previ-
ous sidereal sign. This divergence con-
tinues to increase, so astrologers must
come to terms with planets being in one
sign tropically and in another sign si-
dereally. Nevertheless, each zodiac has
exceptional value withintheastrological
The purpose of this article is to
show how Vedic astrologers use the
sidereal signs. (Note: Vedic astrology
also makes extensive use of the sidereal
zodiac in its system of lunar mansions,
the nakshatras. See Linda Johnsen’s
tras in recent issues of TheMountain
One clear illustration of these con-
trasting approaches lies in the fact that
Western astrology textbooks usually
have delineations of all of the planets
in each of the signs, but Vedic classical
texts do not. The early references give
interpretations only for the rising signs
and occasionally for the Moon signs.
The later texts that offer planet-in-sign
meanings do so by categorizing the
planet in the sign of another planet, not
in a sign itself — for example, Mars in a
sign of Venus, instead of Mars in Tau-
rus or Mars in Libra.
Most Vedic classics interpret the
rulers of houses (by house, strength,
aspects, etc.) in great depth, but house
rulers are rarely delineated in most
Western astrology textbooks. The entire
Vedic system of approach, in other
words, is oriented toward planets and
using signs as indicating planetary rul-
erships, as opposed to focusing on the
qualities of the signs themselves.
This is not to say that the signs lack
meaning in Vedic astrology. As you can
see from the section below, the signs
these are secondary to their planetary
owners. For example, if a planet is in its
sign of exaltation, a Western astrologer
Table 1: Unique Meanings of the Rising Signs in Vedic Astrology
Aries . . . . . . round eyes, weak knees, poor appetite, concealing facts, sexy
Taurus . . . . . heavythighs,sacrifcing,happyinthemiddletoendoflife,
enjoys young women
Gemini. . . . . fond of dance and music, likes being indoors, sexually indul-
gent, a mind reader
Cancer . . . . . henpecked, many friends, walks fast, few sons, owns many
houses, wealthy
Leo. . . . . . . large chin, reddish eyes, obeys his mother, wanders in hills,
Virgo. . . . . . drooping arms and shoulders, few children, takes advantage
of others’ wealth
Libra . . . . . . spiritualdevotee,intentonbeingfrst,brave,hastwonames,
merciless in arguments
Scorpio . . . . lotus marks on feet, sick early in life, separated from parents,
honored by rulers
Sagittarius . . short, always engaged in work, destroys his enemies, won
over by kindness
Capricorn . . . weak legs, vitality, lazy, has affairs with older women, wan-
derer, lucky, shameless
Aquarius. . . . greedy, clever at causing hurt to others, fond of perfumes,
Pisces . . . . . drinks a lot of water, scholar, sharp vision, fond of his wife,
grateful, very lucky
Astrologers must come
to terms with planets
being in one sign
tropically and in
another sign sidereally.
The Mountain Astrologer 5
sees it as strong. A Vedic astrologer, how-
ever, immediately looks at the strength of
the planet that rules the exaltation sign,
and if that planet is weak, then the exal-
tation would carry little weight. Simi-
larly, if a planet is in the sign opposite its
exalted sign (which Western astrology
calls “fall”; and Vedic astrology, “debili-
tation” or neecha), then again the Vedic
astrologer looks at the planet’s disposi-
tor; if the ruler of the debilitation sign is
strong, then the debilitation is not only
ameliorated but can in fact indicate
remarkable abilities. This way of thinking
about the profound effect of dispositors
upon planets is a central and valuable
approach in Vedic astrology.
The Vedic Rashis
The Vedic term for astrological sign
is rashi, which means a “heap of stars.”
Whereas modern Western astrology is
Table 2: Vedic Classifcations of the Signs
Rashi Ruler Abode Dosha Quality Direction How Rises Fertility
Aries Mars mineral lands Pitta Moveable East Back Barren
Taurus Venus farms Vata Fixed South Back Semi-fertile
Gemini Mercury pleasure haunts mixed Dual West Head Barren
Cancer Moon lakes and ponds Kapha Moveable North Back Fertile
Leo Sun caves and forests Pitta Fixed East Head Barren
Virgo Mercury boudoir Vata Dual South Head Barren
Libra Venus the bazaar mixed Moveable West Head Semi-fertile
Scorpio Mars fintyregions Kapha Fixed North Head Fertile
Sagittarius Jupiter barracks Pitta Dual East Back Semi-fertile
Capricorn Saturn rivers Vata Moveable South Back Semi-fertile
Aquarius Saturn water-pot Mixed Fixed West Head Semi-fertile
Pisces Jupiter the sea Kapha Dual North Both Fertile
very theme-based — most of the quali-
ties of Taurus, for example, clearly cor-
relate with each other — Vedic astrology
is more nonlinear; there is no attempt
to merge the various meanings of each
sign into coherent themes.
The fundamental fact is that Vedic
astrologers conceive of and use signs
differently than Western astrologers do,
and the differing sections of space actu-
ally have divergent meanings. We see
this in the classical Vedic interpretations
of the signs. In Mantreswara’s 16th-
century classical work, PhalaDeepika
(trans. S. S. Sareen, Sagar Publications,
1992), the sign of Aries is associated
with fear of water — a quality not typi-
cally ascribed to tropical Aries in West-
ern astrology. (See Table 1, opposite,
for all of the rising signs.)
and mutable — are associated with the
same signs as they are in Western astrol-
ogy; however, they have their own
names and meanings in Vedic astrology.
Cardinal signs are called moveable and
indicate travel and restlessness; fxed
signs keep the same name but indicate
little likelihood of travel; mutable signs
are called dual and indicate alternating
Table 2 (below) shows that rashis,
Western astrologers
consider planets to be
weak in the opposite
sign to the one ruled,
but Vedic astrologers
do not.
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unique ways, which expand upon the
meaning of each sign.
As you can see from Table 2, the
rulership of each sign corresponds with
the sign rulerships used in Western
astrology until the 20th century. The
symmetry of paired rulers is a beauti-
ful thing to observe (see Figure: The
Symmetry of Sign Rulerships, right).
Vedic astrologers were very careful not
to disturb this rulership scheme, even
after they introduced additional points
into the chart.
The abodes listed in Table 2 are a
few of the many physical locations asso-
ciated with each sign. These locations
were used for a variety of purposes,
ing where to build a house. The three
they are used to assist astrologers in the
diagnosis and cure of disease and in
making nutritional recommendations.
per, heat, and assertion; Vata has a
windy quality indicating sensitivity, ner-
vousness, and susceptibility to cold; and
Kapha has a watery quality indicating
heaviness, lethargy, and slowness.
The signs’ directions are used for
Prashna (Vedic horary astrology) and
Vastu (the Vedic counterpart of Feng
Shui); the fertility attribute addresses the
likelihood of having children. The man-
assess whether a child’s intrauterine and
signs is central to the Vedic concept of
the aims of life. There are four basic aims
of life: Dharma, which indicates integrity
and the search for life purpose and corre-
and 9); Artha, which indicates livelihood
and security needs and corresponds to
the earth signs and houses (2, 6, and
10); Kama, which indicates involvement
in relationships and the pursuit of plea-
sure and corresponds to the air signs and
sha, which indicates the goal of enlight-
enment and the lessons in letting go
and corresponds to the water signs and
houses (4, 8, and 12).
Paul Newman is an excellent exam-
ple of a person with strong dharma,
integrity, Newman has Jupiter in Sagit-
tarius in the 1st house and Mars in Aries
in the 5th house. On a more shadowy
side, Charles Manson’s charisma gave
The Vedic Signs
The Mountain Astrologer
he has Mercury and Venus (lords of air
houses 3 and 7, respectively), as well
as the Sun and Jupiter, all in Venus’s
sign of Libra in the 7th house (charts
not shown). Manson manipulated and
seduced his followers with drugs and
sex, powerfully playing upon their pur-
suit of pleasure.
Planetary Strength and Stability
Both Western and Vedic astrologers
see planets as strong in their own signs
and signs of exaltation and weak in their
sign of debilitation. Western astrologers
also consider planets to be weak in the
opposite sign(s) to the one(s) ruled, but
Vedic astrologers do not.
Besides using exaltation and debili-
tation as indicators of planetary strength
and weakness, Vedic astrologers group
planets as friends, neutrals, and ene-
mies to each other. When a planet is
in the sign of a friend, it is strong (but
not as strong as in its own sign or exal-
tation). When a planet is in the sign of
an enemy, it is weak (but not as weak
as in debilitation). When a planet is in
the sign of a neutral planet, its strength
is mediocre or average. (See Table 3,
To use Table 3, it is important to
understand that the signs of exalta-
tion, ownership, and debilitation super-
sede the considerations in the table.
For instance, even though the Moon is
a friend to Mars, Mars is debilitated in
Cancer. Similarly, even though Jupiter
is a neutral planet for Venus, Venus is
exalted in Pisces.
Knowing the strength of each planet
is of major importance. It allows Vedic
strongest planet has the greatest effect,
although very weak planets can have
potent disruptive effects). Jyotishis
(Vedic astrologers) also need to assess
whether any of the positive combina-
tions in the chart (the positive yogas) are
of real consequence. The rule of thumb
the quality of a person’s life, at least one
planet in the combination should be
strong. In Tom Hanks’s chart, for exam-
ple (not shown), Venus in its own sign
of Taurus in the 10th house is a major
indicator of his fame and success. In
fact, Hanks has three planets in their
own signs (the Moon in Cancer, Mer-
cury in Gemini, Venus in Taurus) and
two others exchanging signs in his chart
(Mars in Aquarius and Saturn in Scor-
pio), which gives them strength. (Yogas
are discussed at greater length in the
next section of this article.)
Another way that signs are used by
Vedic astrologers is to assess the stability
of planets. When a planet is in its sign
of exaltation or debilitation, that planet
becomes unstable and exaggerated in
houses it occupies, rules, and aspects,
as well as those of the planets it aspects,
become destabilized. (Other causes of
instability are retrogradation, combus-
tion, the New and Full Moon, and plan-
etary wars, where planets are within a
degree of each other.) A good exam-
ple of planetary instability is the chart
of Adolf Hitler (not shown). In his 7th
house, he had the exalted Sun in Aries
and a planetary war between Venus and
Mars; he himself, his primary relation-
ships, and his closest advisors were very
unstable, and he and his generals exag-
gerated their own importance.
Table 3: Planetary Friendships
Planet Friends Neutrals Enemies
Sun Moon, Mars, Jupiter Mercury Venus, Saturn
Moon Sun, Mercury Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (none)
Mercury Sun, Venus Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Moon
Venus Mercury, Saturn Mars, Jupiter Sun, Moon
Mars Sun, Moon, Jupiter Venus, Saturn Mercury
Jupiter Sun, Moon, Mars Saturn Mercury, Venus
Saturn Mercury, Venus Jupiter Sun, Moon, Mars
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The Network of Rulerships
Perhaps the most important use of
the signs in Jyotish is their role in house
rulership. As mentioned earlier, the ruler-
ship systems in both Vedic and ancient
Western astrology are identical. The
employment of house rulers in chart
delineation, however, is more developed
in Vedic astrology than anywhere else.
In Jyotish, combinations of two
or more astrological factors (which are
called yogas) create conditions that
either raise or lower a person’s pros-
pects beyond the ordinary. A yoga can
be as simple as a planet strong by its
house grouping. Or a yoga can require
several different conditions to be met.
Thousands upon thousands of yogas
the majority of these yogas use sign rul-
ple, in Harrison Ford’s chart, the ruler
of the 1st house (Mercury) in the 10th
house, in its own sign (Gemini), is one
of the major indicators of his fame (see
Chart 1, below).
Please remember that in Vedic
astrology, as in ancient Western astrol-
ogy, each house was equivalent to one
sign, so the terms “sign” and “house”
became interchangeable. This is called
the Whole Sign house system, in the
West, or a Rashi chart, in Jyotish. For
example, if the Ascendant is in any
degree of Taurus, the entire 1st house is
occupied by the sign of Taurus.
The intricacy and importance of the
network of house rulerships in Jyotish
should not be underestimated. To have
the ruler of a supportive house (all the
houses except 3, 6, 8, and 12) in a chal-
lenging house (especially 6, 8, or 12)
indicates challenges for the themes of
the positive house. For instance, Mari-
lyn Monroe’s 5th-house lord, Mars, is in
the 8th house, and she had many preg-
nancies, all of which were terminated by
abortion. Her chart will be delineated in
greater detail below.
Similarly, to have two supportive
house rulers together in the same house
portends particularly well, not only for
the themes of both houses ruled but
even more so for the house occupied. In
other words, the ruler of a house carries
its themes into the house it occupies and
aspects. In Harrison Ford’s chart (Chart
1), his 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, and 11th lords
are all in the 10th house, as indicators
of great 10th-house success; however,
because the 12th lord is also there, he
had many obstacles on the road to fame
and fortune. Fortunately for him, the
strongest planet is the 1st and 10th lord,
Although this discussion of house
rulerships may seem daunting, it actu-
ally becomes quite easy to apply. If the
ruler of a challenging house is strong
(and in a house other than one it owns),
then the themes of the house it occu-
For example, if the 6th-house lord (indi-
cating adversaries and illness) is strong,
then one’s opponents or illnesses are
compare the strength of two house
lords; e.g., if the 7th-house lord is stron-
ger than the 1st-house lord, such people
are likely to marry “above themselves.”
In Princess Diana’s chart (not shown),
her 7th-house lord (Venus in Taurus) is
lord (Mars in Leo).
Exploring the chart of a famous
person can further clarify the Vedic way
of using the signs in a chart. The chart
of Marilyn Monroe, previously men-
tioned, illustrates several principles (see
Chart 2, below).




The Vedic Signs
Chart 1:
Harrison Ford
Chart 2:
Marilyn Monroe
Perhaps the most
important use of the
signs in Jyotish is their
role in house rulership.
The Mountain Astrologer
Let’s start with Saturn in Libra,
because it is the strongest planet in her
chart. It is the lord of houses 7 and 8,
and it is located in the 4th house. As
lord of the 7th, it represents her part-
ners, who were indeed exalted in the
eyes of the world (they included Joe
DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, President
John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Mar-
lon Brando, and many others). That
same strong planet, Saturn, in the
house of home and mother (the 4th)
expressed itself as the 8th lord when
Marilyn’s mentally ill mother tried to
smother her; her mother was later com-
mitted to a mental institution. It is not
generally desirable to have a strong
8th lord because its strength mag-
include incest, rape, sexual scandals,
emotional challenges, and addictions
— and all of these played a major part
in Marilyn’s life. This powerful Saturn
also aspects the 1st house, so Marilyn
experienced a profound sense of isola-
tion wherever she went. (Vedic astrol-
ogy emphasizes the special aspects cast
by Saturn — e.g., Saturn aspects the
house ten houses ahead of itself, count-
ing inclusively.)
Marilyn’s Sun, on the other hand,
is in a weakened position in the sign of
its enemy, Venus. The Sun as the 2nd
apartments, with a “party line” (shared
telephone), and having huge money
battles with the studios, even though
she was famous and a great money-
maker for them.
Marilyn Monroe has a powerful
“passion combination” in her chart.
Venus as lord of the 4th house is oppo-
site Saturn as lord of the 7th, and
Saturn is very strong (exalted and retro-
grade). Saturn being both exalted and
retrograde indicates instabilities cre-
explains Marilyn’s widespread sexual
activities and the impermanence of her
primary relationships. Saturn’s destabi-
her 4th lord, Venus, also accounts for
her having lived in more than 45 differ-
ent residences during her short life.
Even though Jupiter and Mars do
not have much strength (both are in
neutral signs) and are placed together in
the 8th house, their rulership of the 9th
and 10th houses, respectively, creates
one of the most profound yogas for suc-
cess, which certainly manifested in her
life. Her fame came from being a sex
symbol — an 8th-house theme.
Finally, Mercury in Taurus has both
strength and weakness. (Note: In Vedic
astrology, if a planet is both strong and
weak, both qualities are seen to mani-
fest, instead of nullifying each other.)
Mercury is in the sign of a friend, Venus,
which gives it strength, and very close
to the Sun (combust), which weakens it.
Marilyn was known to those close to her
as having an excellent mind (showing
Mercury’s strength), but she was usually
Jyotish offers a treasure
trove of accurate and
powerful natal and
predictive techniques.
0 www.mountainastrologer.com
Skinny Jeans —
Hello, Saturn
he winter after my son Robbie
was born, I mentioned to my hus-
band on several occasions that
we should close the ice cream shop.
Having a six-month-old baby and own-
ing a business was becoming too much
for me to handle. The long, cold winters
in Ohio were always tough for an ice
cream business, anyway. Our custom-
ers didn’t want to leave the warmth of
endure the bitter Ohio air in pursuit of
something cold to eat. We had suffered
year, since several large corporate-
owned ice cream chains opened within
two miles of us. We were barely making
enough to pay the lease on the space
we were using — and certainly weren’t
making enough money for me to collect
a paycheck. Not to mention, my jeans
were becoming miserably tight from eat-
ing all that ice cream …
Saturn is like your favorite pair of
jeans that you won’t admit are too small
and you insist on wearing them any-
way. Every uncomfortable moment you
have them on your body, you’re
painfully aware that you’ve out-
grown them.
Not heeding Saturn’s
nudges will feel like the
uncomfortable minutes you
spend sitting in those restrict-
ing jeans, unable to take a full
breath for fear of popping a but-
ton and revealing the truth: that
you’ve outgrown them and it’s time
ready to admit that the same old
jeans aren’t working anymore, you
can’t feel the utter bliss and comfort
that come with wearing the new jeans
thatdoft.Thejeansyou’remeant to
wear. The life you’re meant to live.
When you’re thinking of the planet
Saturn, an image of a round rotating
planet surrounded by a large belt of
rings probably appears in your mind.
Astrologers believe that the rings sur-
rounding this wise planet represent
restriction, structure, and responsibility.
They believe that, wherever Saturn falls
in your astrological chart, you will feel
its effects and learn major life lessons in
that area of your life.
Saturn is notorious for making
you fully aware of your limitations. For
instance, my Saturn falls in Leo, which
also happens to be my Sun sign, so
while Leo is typically dramatic, gener-
ous, and outgoing, I’m also nervous,
cautious, and rigid. This poses some
interesting challenges for me, due to the
opposite effects of the two planets com-
peting with one another. The placement
of Saturn in my chart also indicates that
I’ll have a great desire to express myself
creatively andextremediffcultydoing
so. Creativity is usually a no-brainer for
gant) lion, but I have the nag-
ging voice of Saturn telling me
to be cautious and structured.
I’m interested in the
effects of Saturn right now,
because I’m personally expe-
riencing what is known as the
every 28–30 years, Saturn will
make a full circle around your natal
chart and end up back where it was
at the time of your birth. Saturn will
get nice and comfortable in its natal
sign for a little over two years. Many
people will experience this period as a
harsh emergence into adulthood, but
astrologers recognize that this discomfort
corresponds to Saturn’s return to its start-
ing point in the birth chart.
you may begin to question every-
thing you’ve done in your life up until
that point. You may become painfully
aware of any shortcomings and wrong
paths you’ve taken on your life journey.
It’s typically a time of career shifts, the
beginning or end of important relation-
ships, or the birth of a child. Major life
adjustments happen during this period.
If you are headed down the wrong path
and refuse to acknowledge the nagging
feeling that things need to change, Sat-
urn will make sure you become aware
of this — and he will not always do so
Although the changes I’ve experi-
enced have come on somewhat gradu-
ally, my life has essentially been turned
upside down over the past several
years. For starters, I left a stable com-
pany I’d been with for eight years as a
risk analyst to open my own ice cream
shop. I had the ice cream shop for two
years before becoming pregnant and
giving birth to my beloved son, Rob-
bie. One year following the birth of my
son, I was forced to close my ice cream
shop because of competition from sev-
eral large corporate companies that
moved into the area, and I wanted to
meet the needs of my baby boy. Since
then, I have been staying home with my
son while attending school full time in
To say that my life has changed
would be an understatement. I’ve tried
every career path available to me over
the course of three years and have set-
tled into the perfect path for me. Another
interesting consideration is that Saturn
falls in the 10th house in my natal chart,
professional and social image. My pro-
the majority of the transformations that
Saturn has brought to me over the past
several years.
The changes I’ve gone through
have been, I believe, a direct nudge
(or maybe a kick in the rear) from Sat-
urn. The busy and hectic life I was living
before Saturn returned to rock my world
The Mountain Astrologer 1
it to be at the time. It seemed like
I could never do enough, succeed
enough, earn enough, etc. You get the
picture. Saturn forced me to slow down
and realize that I need to stop look-
me to understand that real content-
ment comes from within, and true sat-
isfaction comes from being happy with
where you are right now.
I now understand that success is
I’m doing and less about others’ per-
ceptions of what I choose to do. I
realize that satisfying everyone’s expec-
tations for me doesn’t bring personal
trying to acquire money because I re-
alize that, as long as my needs are met,
what truly matters is that I feel proud
and pleased with how I’m living my
life. Maybe that’s just the lion in me
talking, but I’m pretty sure “Old Father
Time” is primarily the one I have to
thank for this realization.
I’m not saying I’m ready to throw
away all my skinny jeans and never look
back. But I know that the new, right,
and comfortable jeans sure feel good
now. So, while I bravely brace myself
for the next lesson that Saturn has in
store for me, I will accept the reality of
my pleasant life and appreciate how
perfect it is for me and where I’m going.
Thank you, Saturn.
Jenny McCutcheon is a freelance writer,
a recent graduate of the LongRidge Writer’s
Do you have an opinion about an article you just read in TMA?
We welcome Letters to the Editor that are brief, concise,
and civil, whether or not you agree with the author. Mail to:
Managing Editor, c/o TMA, P.O. Box 970, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924,
or e-mail: editorial@mountainastrologer.com
If you want to write for us, please consult our Writers’ Guidelines
on our Web site, www.mountainastrologer.com
— or write us to request a copy.
2 www.mountainastrologer.com
Empire or Community
Pluto at the harvest phase of the 1960s
cycle. Humanity may yet redeem itself.
We may rediscover our connection to
nature and pull back from the brink
of destruction of Earth’s life-systems,
saving ourselves in the process. We
can apply ingenuity to positively inte-
grate the necessities of mass civiliza-
tion with the essential needs of human
nature by scaling back our industries,
economics, and consumption. Living
more simply carries a whole range of
habitual convenience could be offset
by decreasing alienation and increas-
ing empathy with others. We may learn
again the pleasures of knowing our
With the end of Pluto’s passage
through Sagittarius and its entrance into
Capricorn, the culture wars of religious
fundamentalism will wane, although
churches will remain magnetic nodes for
social networking within and between
communities. The monolithic institu-
tions of national government will crack
and crumble as Pluto in Capricorn is
challenged by Uranus in Aries, but local
governments and smaller-scale social
organizations will pick up the slack,
encouraging civic participation.
get our attention. This is not merely
about “global warming,” which is only
the most recently popular catchphrase
for a whole phalanx of ecological dep-
redations. Nor is the crisis merely about
government policy and unsustainable
economics, although the strong possibil-
ity of collapses in those realms over the
next decade will surely rouse us from
our slumber. No, we need a reawak-
ened understanding of our interdepen-
dence with nature through regard for all
life on Earth, not just human life.
Descartes’ philosophical mind–body
split that separated us from nature back
in the 15th century must be rescinded,
even if the ultimate healing takes centu-
ries to achieve. In reforming civilization
away from empire’s pattern of tragic
destruction, we can begin to recover our
reverence and wonder at being part of
nature in the ongoing creation of Earth
and cosmos. Finally, we are caretakers,
not rulers. By our very success as a spe-
cies, the responsibility for maintain-
ing the interconnected life-systems of
our small and amazing planet now falls
to us. No more of this nonsense about
“conquering nature.”
Uranus in Aries square
Pluto in Capricorn is
about creative individual
responses to dire collective
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Ecstatic and visionary
contact with the divine.
Ritual and Meditation
The union of tantric paths:
Tantric Buddhism, Hinduism,
Paganism and Shamanism
The Mountain Astrologer 3
References and Notes
1. See Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the
Streets:AHistoryofCollectiveJoy (Metropoli-
tan Books, 2007), for a discussion of the dif-
ferences between the spectacles of hierarchical
mass societies and the festivities of smaller com-
2. Thomas R. Dye, from Who’sRunningAmer-
ica?(Seventh Edition: TheBushRestoration,
Prentice-Hall, 2001), an ongoing series of stud-
ies concerning those in positions of author-
ity and power who control industry, banking,
investment, insurance, education, media, law,
private foundations, civic associations, key
federal government posts, and the military.
Quoted in David Korten’s TheGreatTurning:
FromEmpiretoEarthCommunity (Berrett-
Koehler, 2006).
3. See Robert Gover, TimeandMoney:The
EconomyandthePlanets (Hopewell Publica-
tions, 2005), an astrological history of econom-
ics in America, for a discussion of these grand
cross correspondences to Great Depressions.
Bill Herbst lives in
has been a full-time
astrologer in private
the evolution of their
Uranus–Pluto suggests that some
of this long-overdue change in con-
sciousness can occur by individual
efforts, with the rest necessarily legis-
lated and enforced. The old distinc-
tions of liberal versus conservative may
lose relevance as left-wing socialism
and right-wing capitalism merge. Future
generations in the 22nd century and
beyond will almost certainly look back
on our notions of personal freedom as
extremely irresponsible. Freedom for the
next waves of human beings will mean
personal empowerment through conse-
crated service to collective humanity.
The Uranus–Pluto conjunction of
the 1960s saw the birth of this awareness
in infantile and adolescent forms. The
Uranus–Pluto square of the 2010s will
move it into young adulthood through
urgent, pragmatic exigencies. Uranus in
Aries square Pluto in Capricorn is not
about ideologies but rather creative indi-
vidual responses to dire collective emer-
gencies. Some of our responses will be
piecemeal, and most will be messy. As
Humpty Dumpty falls and shatters, we
will glue him back together, with spit and
bailing wire if necessary.
Then, in the culminating Uranus–
Pluto opposition of the 2040s, a new
and different type of civilization will be
formalized and put into place. The story
of humanity will have reached another
chapter. Some of us who are already
older will not live to see that day, but
that’s all right. To resurrect a phrase
from the 1960s, we have the choice in
the decade of the 2010s to become part
of the solution rather than part of the
Relocalization is not merely about
economic sustainability, nor is it funda-
mentally about survival, although those
may soon be real motivations for mov-
ing in that direction. Relocalization also
means enhanced quality of life, joy in
social participation, and the shared ful-
mary bonds of marriage and family.
Active communal involvement has been
largely lost in the U.S. over the past cen-
tury, diminished by the urban beehive
and suburban isolation, buried by con-
sumerism, suppressed by the corporate
state, and nearly killed outright by the
passively hypnotic trance of television.
Rejuvenating the gentle pleasures
of belonging by becoming stakehold-
ers in a community is a basic spiritual
need. As human beings, we are here
together on this planet for a very short
time, and we might as well celebrate
that fact with the people who live near
us in our neighborhoods, towns, and
cities. We may not all be One in the lit-
eral sense, but the revitalized experience
of togetherness in work and play within
real communities may move us a little
closer toward the actual experience of
that sublime cosmic truth.
Let us begin now.
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4 www.mountainastrologer.com



Our Astrologers Answer
TMA asked two professional astrologers
to review Sandy’s chart (see page 17
of this issue) and answer her questions.
Their answers are included here, so you
can compare them with your own!
April Elliott Kent Responds:
Let’s pretend for a moment that I
know nothing about your career except
what I see in your chart. Gemini, the
sign of communication, is on the Mid-
heaven (your career angle); its ruling
planet, Mercury, is very close to the
Descendant (your relationship angle).
Saturn is conjunct the Midheaven and
square the Sun, symbolizing tenacity
and discipline. The Moon is in creative
Leo, and the North Node is in the 5th
house of creative pursuits.
So far, this looks an awful lot like a
writer’s chart to me, with the strong Mer-
cury and Saturn and an emphasis
on creativity. With the Sun and Mer-
cury in Pisces and with Neptune heav-
ily aspected, the writing subjects would
likely be of the nature of Pisces/Neptune:
fantasy or poetry or self-help. This chart
might describe a novelist, screenwriter, or
playwright, preferably working in collab-
oration with a partner. With Virgo rising,
she might be an editor or technical writer,
perhaps for the health care industry (Sun
in Pisces in the 6th house). And Pisces
souls are often drawn to counseling as a
profession, too.
But I would never have looked at
your chart and guessed you were a res-
taurateur. I suspect this won’t come as
ourselves asking whether we’re on the
right path, the answer is usually “No.”
When something feels right, we seldom
think to ask whether it is right!
That said, I imagine you’ve enjoyed
many aspects of the restaurant business,
including the exciting and dynamic
work environment (Aquarius on your
6th-house cusp), plenty of social inter-
action (Moon in the 11th house in
Leo), and caring for people (Jupiter in
the 4th house).
In many ways, too, the time was
right for this career move. When you
opened the restaurant three years ago,
your progressed Midheaven in Cancer
(the sign of nourishment and mothers)
was trine your natal Sun, so going into
business with Mom — especially a res-
taurant — made sense! But your natal
Moon is conjunct the South Node,
symbolizing your path of least resis-
tance. Not a path of ease, necessar-
ily (running a restaurant is never easy),
but one that did not require you to
assert your personal creative vision as
fully as you might have done on your
own — or even with a different busi-
ness partner.
This year’s lunar eclipses in Virgo
and Pisces (in March and September)
make close aspects to your Ascendant
and Sun, symbolizing a strong urge to
assert your individuality. I can’t shake
the feeling that you are getting lost in
this business venture — that it’s some-
one else’s vision, not yours. I doubt it
started that way; three years ago, tran-
siting Uranus conjoined your natal Sun
and squared your Midheaven. You
probably envisioned the restaurant as a
means of achieving greater professional
and personal independence.
But partnerships generate ten-
sion, and relationships between moth-
ers and daughters are emotionally
dynamic! Your natal Moon in dramatic
Leo describes a powerful, exciting mom
whose vibrant personality allows you to
recede into her shadow when you want
to feel safe (Moon conjunct the South
Node). You share a strong bond, but
with the Moon in a wide square to Mars
in your chart, it’s a relationship with vol-
atile, even competitive, undertones.
Since April 2005 (when transiting
Uranus moved into your 7th house) and
in particular since April 2006 (with Ura-
nus beginning its transit over natal Mer-
cury), you may have started to chafe
under the constraints of your business
partnership. There have almost certainly
been challenges in combining your
professional responsibilities with other
important relationships in your life.
2006, when a solar eclipse conjoined
your natal Pluto and squared Jupiter.
Perhaps there was a dramatic and over-
whelming spike in your workload at the
sis. That same month, a lunar eclipse
in your 7th house brought relationship
issues to a critical point.
Eclipses signal moments of cri-
sis, and the 2007 eclipses light up your
1st and 7th houses (personal identity
and relationships), as well as the Mid-
heaven, Saturn, and the Sun (busi-
ness and personal achievement). It’s no
and professional crossroads! In combi-
nation with transiting Uranus pressur-
ing natal Mercury, I think it’s unlikely
that you’ll stay in your current work
environment much longer.
Speaking of relationships, many
astrologers would eye transiting Uranus
in your 7th house for the next six years
and think: “Well, thatcertainly looks like
relationship trouble!” Perhaps — but
only to the extent that those relation-
ships demand too many compromises
and too little freedom to be yourself.
The relationships that help you to feel
empowered, appreciated, and encour-
aged to pursue your passions may also
face challenges but should withstand
Uranus’s push for more freedom. But
any relationships where you feel invis-
ible, constrained, or exploited will have
to change.
The Mountain Astrologer 5
and a strong desire to communicate
with them. Your Midheaven is in Gem-
ini, also ruled by Mercury, and Saturn
is very close to your Midheaven, so
you are a good teacher and organizer.
However, Saturn is opposite Neptune
and square your Sun, so you do feel
burdened by your work.
With your Pisces Sun squaring an
angular Neptune and your Moon in Leo
conjoined the South Node, you have
a need to nourish your creative side
with music, dance, poetry, or photogra-
phy. Venus in Aries in the 8th house is
opposite Uranus and Juno in Libra, so
you may need to manifest your creativ-
ity in a more unusual way than you are
doing now. Running a restaurant and
taking care of your children keep you
quite busy but do not provide an out-
let for your more creative and spiritual
sides. The True position of Black Moon
is 20°47' Libra, conjoined Uranus
and Juno in Libra and opposite Venus;
this may symbolize that the Libran
area of your life, the area of harmony
and beauty, has been hidden from
access your creative side. With the Black
Moon Lilith in Libra opposite Venus,
you may feel that you are not able to
express your deepest love through your
Jupiter in Capricorn in your 4th
house of the home is in a grand trine
with Mars in Taurus in your 9th house
and your Virgo Ascendant. This grand
trine in earth signs is certainly a gift
in the practical/material realm; you
also could do well working out of your
Your natal horoscope is also strong
in healing energy, with your Sun in
the 6th house and your Ascendant in
Virgo. Your secondary progressed Moon
is now in early Scorpio, so this might
be good for you to study massage or
another type of healing modality. Since
you have an angular Neptune, you
would do well with color healing, sound
healing, or even homeopathy. Perhaps
through healing others.
The planet Uranus will be transit-
ing your natal Mercury all year long, so
a change in pace. Uranus rules your 6th
house of service and health, so it may
be advisable for you to close the restau-
rant you operate with your mother. With
your natal Moon conjoined the South
Node, you have had issues to resolve
with your mother, and running the res-
taurant with her may have enabled you
to work some things out. This could be
the time to move on.
Transiting Saturn in Virgo will
square your Saturn in the fall of 2007,
so this is not the best time to open
another business, but it might be a
good time to study a healing modality.
Saturn will also square your Neptune
and oppose your Sun. Then, Saturn
will cross your Ascendant at 9° Virgo,
in December 2007. It does not com-
plete the transit of your Ascendant until
August 2008. Saturn entering your 1st
house can signify a time when you will
manifest your new direction to the out-
side world.
Your secondary progressed Sun is
conjoined natal Chiron in the 8th house,
indicating a time to heal yourself and
do some inner work. You have come
into a more creative phase of your life.
Solar arc Mercury is conjunct your natal
Venus, and both your secondary pro-
gressed and solar arc Ascendants are in
Libra, so this is certainly an auspicious
time to begin some creative work, per-
haps some type of writing.
If you were to open another type
of business, you might think about
managing a dance studio, where vari-
ous kinds of classes are taught, and you
could take some of the classes as an
studio. This would help to satisfy your
Piscean nature.
I think that a combination of indi-
vidual creative expression and working
with people through healing is prob-
in your chart. Then, you may feel more
and wife.
1. For more about solar arc directions, see “An
Introduction to Solar Arc Directions,” by Greg
Bogart, elsewhere in this issue.
2. Black Moon is a mathematical or energy
point. In the article,“Lilith, the Great Goddess,”
Verena Bachman says: “She is the second focus
And what’s next for your career?
First, abandon the notion of a single,
perfect career that will satisfy you for-
ever! People with mutable signs on the
Midheaven are usually happiest working
in at least a couple of careers concur-
rently. If you want to stay in the restau-
rant business, opening a second location
or offering a new service such as cater-
ing could satisfy the need for variety. Or
perhaps you can gradually scale back
on your hours at the restaurant and
develop a secondary career on the side.
In December 2007, Saturn in Virgo
will station and turn retrograde close
to your natal Ascendant, heralding an
important time for taking control of
your personal and professional affairs.
By the time progressed Mars crosses
your Midheaven and squares your Sun
(fall of 2008), I expect that you will be
fully engaged in pursuing a new career
path. Ideally, your new career(s) will
build on what you love about the res-
taurant business but incorporate more
of your creative talents and blend more
harmoniously with your family life. Per-
haps you’d enjoy writing about food
rather than preparing and serving it —
or lending your talents as a communi-
cator to a charitable organization that
feeds the poor.
My warmest wishes, and best of
luck, wherever life takes you!
April Elliott Kent isa
ifornia. Readers may
gy.com) or visit her
Marcia Starck Responds:
I have used the natal chart with
Chiron, the four asteroids, and the Black
Moon Lilith in the Koch house system. I
have also used transits, secondary pro-
gressions, and solar arc directions.
strong theme of service and communi-
cation. With Virgo (the sign of service)
on the Ascendant and your chart ruler,
Mercury, conjoined your 6th-house
Sun, you have a need to help others
point of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth; this is due to the fact that
the Moon does not orbit in a circle around Earth but in an oval. In
the Black Moon or Lilith. There are some similarities with the Moon’s
nodes; like them, she is a calculated point and like them, there is a
True and Mean Black Moon. The Black Moon has both an evolution-
ary and shadow side. Where Lilith is in your chart you have some
sort of an opening that allows the pure female energy to enter your
chart and life.” (This article was published in Aspects, the journal
of Aquarius Workshops, in 1999.)
Marcia Starck isinternationallyknown
mation on psychological and spiritual
www.EarthMedicineWays.com; e-mail:
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Chart Challenge
— Minerva
Okay, so the world may not be quite
ready for me yet. Many people prefer to go
about their sorry little couch-potato lives,
drugging themselves into a stupor in front
of the telly, rather than face reality and get
of f their duf fs. The way I see it, I’ve got my
work cut out for me. Send me your cards
and letters. I promise to respond to them
all … eventually. Oh, and apologies to those
who publish real, useful astrological advice.
Notes from a Novice
continued from p. 19
Jan de Prosse is
Managing Editor of
The Mountain Astrologer.
She graduated from high
school in Stockbridge,
Massachusetts —
Norman Rockwell’s
4. My favorite starting points for information on Peak Oil are: www.
energybulletin.net; www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net; and www.theoildrum.
com. Good sites explaining relocalization are: www.postcarbon.org;
www.apple-nc.org; www.timebanks.org; www.communitysolution.
org. For great video interviews, see: www.peakmoment.tv
5. For data on potential crop conversion to biofuels, see: www.
6. See the interview of David Hughes about Canadian natural gas
and oil conducted by Julian Darley: www.globalpublicmedia.com/
Tem TarriktaristhefounderandpublisherofThe Mountain Astrolo-
The Years Ahead
and the Oil Crisis continuedfromp.25
The Mountain Astrologer
misperceived by the general public as
being ditsy. (Often, the gifts represented
cult to express or unseen by others.)
Notice that, throughout this delin-
eation of Marilyn Monroe’s chart, the
signs were used only to determine
planetary strength and house ruler-
ships. This is how Vedic chart analysis
is typically done.
Vedic astrologers use the sidereal
signs effectively with methods that differ
from those used by many modern West-
ern astrologers. Jyotishis do not focus
on the psychological makeup of the sign
occupied by each planet, as many West-
ern astrologers do; instead, they place
their attention on what signs and houses
the planets rule and how the planets are
strengthened or weakened by the signs
they occupy.
Employing the sidereal zodiac, Vedic
astrologers assess temperament, success,
life challenges, karma, and many other
life themes in ways unknown to Western
astrology. Jyotish offers a treasure trove
of accurate and powerful natal and pre-
dictive techniques.
Chart Data and Sources
Diana, Princess of Wales, July 1, 1961; 7:45
p.m. GDT; Sandringham, England (52°N50',
00°E30'); A: Charles Harvey quotes data from
her mother.
Harrison Ford, July 13, 1942; 11:41 a.m.
CWT; Chicago, IL, USA (41°N51', 87°W39');
Tom Hanks, July 9, 1956; 11:17 a.m. PDT;
Concord, CA, USA (37°N59', 122°W02'); AA:
Adolf Hitler, April 20, 1889; 6:30 p.m. LMT;
Braunau, Austria (48°N15', 13°E02'); AA: Zenit
11/1933 quotes birth record.
Charles Manson, November 12, 1934; 4:40
p.m. EST; Cincinnati, OH, USA (39°N09',
Marilyn Monroe, June 1, 1926; 9:30 a.m. PST;
Los Angeles, CA, USA (34°N03', 118°W15');
photo of BC in TheCuriousDeathofMarilyn
Paul Newman, January 26, 1925; 6:30 a.m.
EST; Cleveland, OH, USA (41°N30', 81°W42');
Hank FriedmanisrenownedintheSanFran-
and Vedic approaches. Hank is now offering
soulhealing.com) offers software reviews and
The Vedic Signs
The Moon Makes
The British newspaper TheInde-
pendent (January 21, 2007) published
an article by Roger Dobson, “How the
Moon Rules Your Life,” noting that Pro-
fessor Michael Zimecki of the Polish
Academy of Sciences claims to have
uncovered documented links between
Earth’s Moon and human behavior.
Dobson reports that the study explored
correlations of variations in lunar cycles
with what humans eat and drink and
found a connection between certain
points in the lunar cycle and human
hormonal levels. Zimecki’s paper, “The
Lunar Cycle: Effects on Human and
Animal Behavior and Physiology,” ana-
lyzed dozens of studies that account for
a correspondence between lunar activity
and human behavior and health. More
details about his paper appeared in the
(U.K.)DailyMail online (www.dailymail.
co.uk) on January 25, 2007, in an arti-
cle by Victoria Moore that listed several
conclusions presented by the professor:
He postulates that a Full Moon could
spur increases in criminal activity and
that there seems to be a close relation-
ship between lunar cycles and women’s
fertility. He also cites a study that links
lunar cycles with bladder problems,
more, google the professor’s name.)
Geocosmic Alchemy
in the Press
The recent “Geocosmic Alchemy”
conference of the National Council for
Geocosmic Research (NCGR), held in
Baltimore, Maryland on March 8–12,
2007, has garnered positive attention
from the press. A pre-conference “Secret
Zodiac Walking Tour” of Washington,
D.C., hosted by astrologer Mark Kuen-
zel, had an additional guest: a reporter
from the Fox Network. Despite the win-
try weather, the tour was a success, and
participants commented that they were
amazed at the astrological symbolism
appearing in prominent monuments
and works of art in our nation’s capital
city. The Fox videotape will be used in a
yet-to-be-released television special. On
March 9, 2007, the BaltimoreExaminer
newspaper published a story by Danielle
Ulman about the preconference Research
Symposium. Her article opened with:
“Astrology is not a belief or a religion, but
an academic study …” She noted that
astrologers were seeking to clarify astrol-
ogy and that the conference provided an
opportunity for astrologers to share their
an astrological conference, PlanetWaves.
net offered live online reporting that fea-
tured interviews with speakers, delegates,
and vendors. Eric Francis and the crew
of PlanetWaves are also expected to be
present at “The Blast” Astrology Confer-
ence in Sedona. Now that we have so
many resources for spreading the word
about astrology, outreach is growing in
exceptional ways!
On the Wrong Track
They crop up like weeds — the
musings of skeptics associating astrol-
ogy with ridiculous ideas. On February
18, 2007, the Associated Press released
an article about the annual meeting
of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS); par-
ticipants at this conference were dis-
turbed by the apparent paradox that
Americans know more about basic sci-
ence today than they did two decades
ago, but there is also a growing belief in
“pseudoscience.” Several of the speak-
ers threw astrology into the second cat-
egory. Carol Susan Losh, an associate
professor at Florida State University,
expressed concern that so-called pseu-
doscience “can speak to the meaning
of life in ways that science does not …
What does astrology speak to? Love
relationships.” She noted that belief in
horoscopes is much stronger among
women than men. In another instance,
Professor Jon D. Miller (Michigan State
University) stated that “most readers of
horoscopes are women, contributing to
the listing of ‘female’ as a leading neg-
ative factor in science literacy.” Okay
… that made me mad! Now I’ve been
insulted twice.
Promoting Pluto
The New Mexico State Legislature
declared March 13, 2007 to be “Pluto
Planet Day.” The astronomer who dis-
covered Pluto spent years living and
working in New Mexico, and Pluto’s
demotion by astronomers to the status
of “icy dwarf” did not sit particularly well
with some citizens of the state. Now the
legislature has decreed that, when Pluto
passes over New Mexico in its orbit, it will
In Memoriam
Well-known astrologer, futurist, and
humorist Hannibal Guidice succumbed
to pancreatic cancer on January 18,
2007. Hannibal was born on January
14, 1939 at 2:03 p.m. in New Haven,
Connecticut. He focused much of his
research on the horoscope of Jesus and
co-authored the stage play, TheMessage
Gloria Starisaprofessionalastrologer,author,
The Mountain Astrologer
Professional Directory Page
(not available for online version)
0 www.mountainastrologer.com
Professional Directory Page
(not available for online version)
PacifcTime GreenwichMeanTime
NW=New CR=Crescent FQ=First Quarter GB=Gibbous FL=Full DS=Disseminating LQ=Last Quarter BL=Balsamic
Where’s That Moon?
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
June 1—10
Overview: We’re still vibrating from the Full Moon in Sagit-
tarius on May 31 that was conjunct Jupiter and square Uranus, and
the reverberations are likely to continue until the New Moon in
Gemini on June 14. Mars in Aries keeps the energy fowing with
a wide-open trine to Jupiter in Sagittarius on June 4, followed by
Venus’s entry into dramatic Leo the next day. Relationships heat
up and passions rise with this energetic trio. The Sun, our giant
ball of life-giving fre, enters the picture with an opposition to
Jupiter on June 5 and a square to Uranus on June 9. A reckless
spirit of rebellion is presiding now, perhaps striking a blow for
freedom or inventing a whole new identity. Sun–Uranus squares
are explosive but rarely life-changing. However, this one links
our central star to the perspective-jolting Jupiter–Uranus square
that began in January, returned in May, and will fnish on Octo-
ber 9. The Last Quarter Sun–Moon square on June 8 is closely
aligned with Jupiter and Uranus to electrify the atmosphere and
trigger earthquakes, both geological and personal.
The Sagittarius Moon dominates an aspect-free Friday(June
1). This lunar placement usually evokes an optimistic mood,
enabling us to overcome the petty hassles of the day. The restless
quality of this lunation is heightened by Jupiter and Uranus’s con-
nections with the next and most recent lunations, which makes
concentrating on current events especially challenging. How-
ever, some settling appears likely on Saturday(June2), when
the Moon enters earthy, responsible Capricorn at 8:09 a.m. This
sometimes somber placement can provide much-needed order in
these volatile times. A tense Mercury–Saturn semi-square (45°) in
the morning brings another dose of sobriety, even moroseness.
Still, a little mental focus can be an asset for dealing with mun-
dane matters effciently. The only aspect on Sunday(June3)is
an awkward Venus–Pluto quincunx (28°02' Cancer–Sagittarius).
This edgy 150-degree angle between the planets of pleasure
and hunger means that pleasure can be elusive, and the drive
to attain it might even be compulsive. Allowing a shift back and
forth between comfort and need may stretch the boundaries of
relationships and deepen our awareness of desire.
We’re charged up with energy on Mondaymorning (June4)
as Mars in fery Aries forms a trine with Jupiter in Sagittarius — both
in their home signs. This rare event may not produce dramatic
results, since trines represent a harmonious convergence of forces.
Yet, enormous power is available for launching new enterprises,
taking on physical challenges, or battling for our beliefs. A squir-
relly sesquiquadrate (135°) between Mercury and Neptune in the
afternoon (7°00' Cancer – 22°00' Aquarius) can fog up mental
guidance systems, so the mighty thrust of Mars–Jupiter could be
way off the mark. Imagination is a gift of Neptune, but it’s weak
on precision, reminding us to look before leaping. At 4:15 p.m.,
the Moon leaves serious Capricorn and enters intellectual Aquar-
ius, allowing practical considerations to recede so that ideals and
invention can take priority. The Moon in Aquarius is somewhat
contradictory, because it combines the most personal of planets
with the most impersonal of signs. This would normally put a chill
on relationships, yet that’s unlikely with Venus’s transits on Tues-
day(June5). The Goddess of Love forms a sesquiquadrate with
extravagant Jupiter at 9:40 a.m., before entering warm-blooded
Forecast Calendar for June/July 2007
All times given are in Pacifc Daylight Time.
For Eastern Time, add 3 hours; Central Time, add 2 hours;
Mountain Time, add 1 hour; Greenwich Mean Time, add 7 hours.
Leo at 10:59 a.m. Venus in Leo does not merely need approval
— it requires adoration. Whether this is a delightful opening of an
innocent heart or the ego-centered demands of a damaged one,
the stakes are higher now. Ideally, the generous side of Leo will
prevail, making Venus’s transit a period of sharing without keep-
ing score. The Sun, Leo’s ruling planet, opposes Jupiter this after-
noon (14°55' Gemini–Sagittarius) and continues the theme of
excess that dominates the day — going too far, saying too much,
and demanding more than we should. Still, if Jupiter is wise, we
can expect joy, understanding, and hope to prevail.
Wednesday(June6)is relatively quiet. At 7:57 a.m., the
Gemini Sun trines Chiron in Aquarius, giving rise to healing
conversations and alternative ideas about overcoming old
wounds. At 10:24 p.m., the Moon enters Pisces. The lunar shift
from airy Aquarius to watery Pisces is an exchange of objectiv-
ity for connection. Pisces knows no boundaries and represents
the capacity for complete emotional connection. But Piscean
compassion applies indiscriminately to strangers, family mem-
bers, and animals. There are no signifcant planetary events on
Thursday (June 7). But a full 24 hours of the Moon in Pisces
can complete the transition from concept (Aquarius) to feeling.
Pisces engages body, mind, spirit, and soul. Communion on
many levels is possible. But lack of boundaries can be confus-
ing, since your emotional antennae are wide open, making it
diffcult to discern whether the knot in your belly is a result of
a personal issue or a psychic impression picked up from some-
one you passed on the way to work.
At 4:44 a.m. on Friday(June8),the Moon in Pisces forms
a waning square to the Sun in Gemini. This Last Quarter square
marks a turning point in the monthly lunation cycle; it crosses
the Sun in Gemini’s dream of endless options with the Moon in
Pisces’s desire for total union. This contrast is relatively mild.
However, Uranus’s conjunction with the Moon and square to the
Sun, along with Jupiter’s opposition to the Sun and square to the
Moon, crank up the confict between Gemini intellect and Pisces
emotion in nerve-wracking ways. This creates an environment of
excitement and excess — a whirlpool of ideas and feelings that
can’t be organized by any previously known system. There’s a
need to break from the past, even from the present, that can pro-
voke fghts and prompt threats to quit jobs or relationships. Yet,
this Sun–Moon square is also rich in information that is beyond
ordinary logic. Flashes of insight and intuition can sweep away
mental cobwebs to reveal bright new pictures of the future. Stay
fexible in your thinking, because these rapidly changing images
may notmake sense at frst glance. At 2:26 a.m. on Saturday(June
9), the Moon enters fery Aries, the zodiac’s frst sign. At 1:08
p.m., the Sun squares Uranus (18°37' Gemini–Pisces), delivering
a one-two punch of high-speed emotions and higher conscious-
ness. This is a day for spontaneity, so keep your schedule as
open as possible. Independence reigns, although it may hamper
cooperation and compromise. Uranus stirs rebellion, too, so it’s
natural to want to break some rules, even your own. There are
no signifcant astrological events on Sunday(June10), but the
dynamics of the Moon in Aries are enough to keep the fames of
excitement burning.
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of June 11—17
Overview: The New Moon in Gemini on June 14 and
Mercury turning retrograde the next day are this week’s head-
line events. The Sun–Moon conjunction in the sign of the
Twins generally spawns ideas by the score, but laser-beam
Pluto opposing the New Moon focuses the mind on one task
at a time. Gemini’s ruling planet, Mercury, slows down well
in advance of its turnaround on the 15th. This, too, puts a
restraint on the high-speed fow of information common to
Gemini season. Besides, business is more important than busy-
ness this week, with responsible Saturn hooking up with both
the Sun and Mars. It’s time to act on what we already know,
rather than seeking additional data. Gemini loves choices,
but this planetary environment rewards results.
Monday(June11) is a great day to go to work, if you’re the
least bit ambitious. A strong-willed Sun–Mars sextile (20°09'
Gemini–Aries) harnesses energy and directs it with frm inten-
tion. When heart (Sun) and muscle (Mars) are aligned, produc-
tivity is very high. At 4:29 a.m., the Moon enters earthy Taurus
to put our feet solidly on the ground. This fxed sign adds endur-
ance and a steady burn of emotional fuel to help us to sustain
effort over long periods of time. The Sun sextiles Saturn in Leo,
as Mars trines this constructive planet in the afternoon, continu-
ing the hard-working theme of the day. The Mars–Saturn trine
is in creative fre signs, and this harmonious alignment helps to
keep the fame of desire burning, to overcome fatigue and blaze
through resistance. There are no signifcant planetary aspects
on Tuesday(June12), but Monday’s momentum should con-
tinue to provide plenty of force to forge ahead.
The tone lightens a bit on Wednesday(June13), starting
with a Sun–Neptune trine at 12:30 a.m. (21°56' Gemini–
Aquarius). This imaginative alignment may be more active
in dreams than in our waking lives, but it does weave a
supportive web of faith to raise our hopes. Forgiveness is a
common Neptune theme, especially useful during a period
when getting things done tends to be more favored than
the quality of our experiences. At 5:24 a.m., the Moon
enters Gemini, which is normally a source of inspiration.
This light, bright air sign is open and bouncy, but today’s
Moon is close to the end of its monthly cycle, so it carries
more of the weight of the past than usual. One of the com-
mon experiences with the Moon in Gemini is a tendency to
talk so much about feelings that we become disconnected
from them. Ideally, we gain objectivity from this detach-
ment. However, the mind is good at telling stories that may
not correspond to what’s going on in the deep, dark emo-
tional world within. Credibility evaporates in the lightness
of words that skim the surface to avoid descent into the
complexities of irrational emotions. A gentle push is pos-
sible with a Mars–Neptune sextile that combines force with
feeling. Action taken with compassion and intuition mixes
strength with responsiveness in a sweet dance of spirit and
matter. The New Moon in Gemini at 8:14 p.m. on Thurs-
day(June14) is rich in contradictions, but this diverse sign
shows us how to adapt to countervailing winds. Pluto’s
opposition to this lunation demands focus and decisive-
ness. Power struggles are common when the Lord of the
Underworld is in a hard aspect to the Sun. Regeneration
is one of its gifts, though, so emptying ourselves of out-
moded attitudes can quickly clear the way for new forms
of expression. Eccentric Uranus square the Sun–Moon con-
junction doesn’t squeeze like Pluto — it shocks, awakens,
and explodes egos and identities with lightning strikes of
awareness that change circumstances in an instant. Fortu-
nately, brave Mars, a well-armed warrior in his home sign
of Aries, supports the Sun and Moon with a clever sextile,
giving us the power and the quick reactions necessary to
avert disaster and turn crises into opportunities.
The tempo slows on Friday (June 15) as the Moon
moseys into Cancer at 6:45 a.m. We may want to stay cozy
under the covers, especially after yesterday’s hyperactive
New Moon. Self-protection and nurturing come frst now,
so don’t rush headlong into action without eating a good
breakfast frst. Also, Mercury turns retrograde (11°36' Can-
cer), so quick decisions may well be wrong-headed. Its
backward cycle in Cancer, a sign of memory and personal
history, is especially rich for recollecting emotional expe-
riences before they disappear entirely. Conversations will
be colored with more feeling, until Mercury goes direct on
July 9, increasing our chances for intimate discussions that
touch the soul. There are no notable planetary events on
Saturday(June16). Cancer’s cuddly mood shifts on Sunday
(June 17) at 10:25 a.m. when the Moon enters expressive
Leo. The fxed fre sign is proud, strong-willed, and creative.
This is a time to play and prance, to experience the power
of personality, even if we go over the top now and then.
There may be ego clashes, but in some ways it’s healthy
for individuals to think of themselves as the center of the
world. Dominating others or demanding all the available
attention is clearly immature, but confdent expression of
one’s talents and personality is not.
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of June 18—24
Overview:The Sun has the starring role this week with
an opposition to Pluto on June 18, its entry into Cancer on
June 21, and its First Quarter square to the Moon on June
22. Sol’s opposition to penetrating Pluto often forces you
to concentrate your attention and eliminate individuals or
activities that aren’t top priority. Struggles arise when you
resist letting go. The Sun’s Cancer ingress is the summer
solstice (winter in Wellington, New Zealand) that marks
a turn toward the warm and fuzzy feelings of the season.
This frst water sign defnes emotional needs that are not
necessarily rational or easily explained. However, Cancer
refects a hunger for security and a sense of belonging, on
an instinctual level, that is the foundation of all relation-
ships. This issue arises more clearly when the Moon in
partner-oriented Libra forms a waxing square to the Can-
cer Sun on the 22nd. This can be a critical time for sorting
out the conficts between our needs and social obligations.
On June 23, Uranus stations retrograde, diminishing overt
revolutionary impulses while we reconsider the price of
freedom and unconventionality. Macho Mars turns mel-
low on June 24 when it enters bucolic Taurus. Anger still
exists, but it’s tied to a slow fuse.
A Sun–Venus semi-square on Monday morning (June
18)gets the day off to a sensitive start. This tense aspect
between the planets of identity and values makes idle
comments feel like major criticism. The Sun–Pluto oppo-
sition tonight (27°38' Gemini–Sagittarius) creates a shad-
owy background of pressure and uncertainty that can also
undermine trust. A tough Venus–Pluto sesquiquadrate on
Tuesdaymorning (June19) underscores the complexities
of relationships and personal values that are under the
microscope now. Obsessive desires and intense repul-
sion dramatize issues that should be explored, but being
kind to oneself and others can increase the potential for
real understanding. The tide turns in the afternoon when
a delicious Venus–Jupiter trine (13°10' Leo–Sagittarius)
counters our Plutonian fears with an air of optimism. The
shortages of love and resources that we’ve been feeling so
acutely may lift quickly as opportunities for both become
apparent. The Moon’s entry into Virgo at 5:45 p.m. usu-
ally indicates contraction after outgoing Leo’s reign — but
not this time. Instead, this effcient earth sign fnds effec-
tive ways to employ the pleasures and assets revealed by
There are no notable astrological events on Wednes-
day(June20).However, Thursday (June 21) is active with
a Mars–Pluto trine from Aries to Sagittarius that’s excellent
for focusing initiative, cutting through clutter, and fnding
the power and passion to overcome obstacles. The solstice
at 11:07 a.m. shifts the solar feld from Gemini’s airy obser-
vation to Cancer’s emotional engagement. A Mars–Jupiter
sesquiquadrate in the evening can unleash philosophical
battles rich in hyperbole. Cancer’s insecurities may fan
rhetorical fames, but inner peace allows differences of
opinion to be expressed in friendlier terms. A late-night
Venus–Chiron opposition (15°08' Leo–Aquarius) reveals
chinks in the armor of love and uncertainty about one’s
worth. Self-pity adds fuel to the Mars–Jupiter confagra-
tion; compassion contains the fre.
The Moon moves into Libra on Friday(June22)at 4:43
a.m. Indecisiveness is a possible problem, but objectivity
about emotions is a plus. The contrast between Libran social
awareness and Cancerian feeling-based reality peaks at 6:16
a.m. when the Moon forms an exact square to the Sun. This
First Quarter square is a major turning point in the monthly
lunation cycle. The power to form new patterns is especially
strong now, since this aspect occurs with both bodies at the
very beginning of cardinal signs. The challenge is to navigate
between Cancer’s insularity and Libra’s desire to make new
connections. One dilemma is whether to stick to a safe and
familiar base of operations or seek out new partners. As with
all planetary contrasts, the answer is that both perspectives
are valid. In this case, a willingness to discuss your concerns
openly allows you to build trust and develop alliances. Isola-
tion will not work, but excessive compromise can water down
basic principles. Uranus turns retrograde on Saturday(June23)
at 18°42' Pisces, which is kind of like an ageing hippie cut-
ting his hair and getting a job in a bank. The rebel goes under-
ground, but true liberation takes place on the inside anyway.
Mars moooos into Taurus at 2:27 p.m. on Sunday(June24);
this can feel like a signifcant slowdown after the Warrior Plan-
et’s stay in its fery home sign of Aries. You will likely be more
cautious before advancing into new territory. But Mars in Tau-
rus can be a sensual journey; basking in pleasure on the way
is more important than rushing to your destination. However,
at 5:26 p.m., the Moon’s ingress into Scorpio, Mars’s other
traditional home sign, is not a sign of a mellow mood. Libran
logic gives way to emotional score-keeping that serves well for
in-depth psychological work but is capable of wounding with
jealousy and resentment.
June 21, 2007 • Washington, D.C.
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of June 25 — July 1
Overview:The third and fnal Saturn–Neptune opposition
on June 25 announces a major shift in the cosmic landscape.
The face-off between the planets of matter and illusion can
fnally put an end to fruitless fantasies and give form to dreams
ready to be realized. The Full Moon on June 30 pits the Sun in
sensitive Cancer against the hard-boiled Moon in Capricorn.
This lunation across the security axis of the zodiac contrasts
the subjective needs of Cancer’s inner world with the objec-
tive demands of Capricorn’s ambition and sense of obligation.
As with all polarities, we needn’t make an exclusive choice
between the two, though — the challenge is to navigate skill-
fully from one to the other.
The Saturn–Neptune opposition on Monday(June25) at
21°47' Leo–Aquarius marks a signifcant turning point, per-
sonally and collectively. Fraud could be exposed, and public
policies founded on illusions may fnally collapse under the
weight of reality, but foundations for noble enterprises can be
formed. Individually, this is a time to commit to your ideals.
Take concrete steps to meditate, work out, sign up for a class,
or schedule regular service to others. If you undergo a pain-
ful loss of hope, recognize that the dissolution of one dream
makes way for another, even better one. For the spiritually
oriented, Saturn–Neptune gives form to faith and reveals the
substance of the subtle realms. A short-term change of tone is
likely on Tuesday(June26), when Venus forms an itchy quin-
cunx with Uranus (18°41' Leo–Pisces). Restless feelings can
put relationships on edge, but a fexible attitude can change
the discomfort of uncertainty into the excitement of discover-
ing new delights.
Wednesday (June 27) starts with the warmth of the
Moon entering outgoing Sagittarius. This upbeat lunar
placement is forward-looking, optimistic, and frank. Shar-
ing feelings in a more open way is possible, but the need
to paint things in rosy colors can lead to denial of deeper
and more complex issues. The tone shifts in the evening, as
Mercury in Cancer forms a semi-square with silent Saturn
in Leo. Words can get caught in our throats; we fear say-
ing the wrong thing. Perhaps it’s simply the challenge to
articulate our thoughts that slows communication. Patience
and precision can help us to make our point clearly. Mer-
cury passes from one hard aspect with Saturn to another (a
sesquiquadrate) with Neptune at 10:32 a.m. on Thursday
(June28),carrying the message of the outer-planet opposi-
tion that occurred on Monday. Mercury’s conjunction with
the Sun a little more than an hour later connects ego and
intellect, which can support powerful personal communi-
cation. However, overidentifcation with one’s ideas can
inhibit fexible thinking. The Sun then forms a sesquiquad-
rate with Neptune and a semi-square with Saturn, which
could indicate a moment of choosing between dreams and
reality. A strong but supple will can be a healthy ally to
bridging the gap between the two; rigidity is more likely
to lead to failure.
A Mercury–Venus semi-square on Friday (June 29)
adds tenderness to conversations. This can make for very
sweet interactions but also requires some diplomacy to
avoid hurting tender feelings. The mood toughens at 3:05
p.m. when the Moon enters earthy Capricorn. This is the
traditional sign of the Moon’s detriment, representing the
contrast between the personal qualities of the planet and
the public responsibilities of the sign. Emotions are often
repressed in the interest of taking care of business, but a
sense of purpose and discipline can be useful. Capricorn’s
taste for order will probably be shaken by a Mars–Uranus
semi-square at 4:43 p.m. (3°41' Taurus – 18°41' Pisces).
Instead of following rules and schedules, this pair prefers
to make up their own as they go. A struggle between the
forces of order and independence could ensue. Yet, diff-
cult as this might be, it is also a chance to renovate a sys-
tem using new methods to make it more effective. The
Full Moon on Saturday (June 30) at 6:50 a.m. occurs in
the midst of an unusual atmosphere. This opposition of
the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn is generally
rooted in familiar feelings and ambitions. However, the
Mars–Uranus semi-square is still attracted to strange and
different things. And a Venus–Neptune opposition at 8:31
a.m. (21°42' Leo–Aquarius) blurs the lunation’s security
issues with a desire to escape reality. Social planets Venus
and Mars, in connection with transpersonal outer planets,
stretch us to recognize our essential security, even in the
midst of radical change.Venus’s conjunction with Saturn
on Sunday(July1) would normally be considered restric-
tive or depressing but might actually provide the ground-
ing we crave now. Even if we are not thrilled with life, this
aspect offers clarity and helps us get our feet back on the
ground. Mercury sextiles Mars (4°58' Cancer–Taurus), giv-
ing some forward thrust to ideas and some intelligence to
our actions. At 10:24 p.m., the Moon enters Aquarius. This
sign change encourages experimentation, allowing us to
loosen our grip on old patterns and fears to invent a new
future for ourselves.

Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of July 2—8
Overview:This week is exceptional in its lack of general
planetary activity. On July 3, the Sun and Jupiter carom off
one another in a quincunx that separates identity from beliefs,
while a lack of conviction is hidden behind overstatements
and self-justifcation. The Last Quarter square of the Moon
occurs on July 7. This waning right-angle aspect between the
Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Aries represents a cardinal
dilemma. Cancer, the cardinal water sign, needs to feel safe
before advancing, but Aries, the cardinal fre sign, is more
than willing to leap into unknown territory. The Cancer Sun
has to come out of its shell and battle the enemy without
experience or even a plan. However, intuition is common
to both fre and water, so using this instinctual and nonra-
tional response may resolve the dilemma.
Monday(July2) begins with an energetic bi-quintile
between Mars and Jupiter. This 144-degree aspect, two-
ffths of a circle, is part of the creative quintile series discov-
ered by Johannes Kepler. This clever connection between
Mars in Taurus and Jupiter in Sagittarius shows practical
ways of working today to reach the goals of tomorrow.
The healthy integration of two energetic planets in other-
wise incompatible signs weaves a web of utility on what
could be a diffcult-to-manage day. Mars and Jupiter are
also linked by Venus, which is at their midpoint today.
Artistic and romantic Venus adds sweetness and perhaps
romance, picking up on the combined energies of passion-
ate Mars and outgoing Jupiter. The Sun–Jupiter quincunx
(11°39' Cancer–Sagittarius) that’s exact at 4:13 p.m. on
Tuesday(July3) is a destabilizing event that makes it all
too easy for us to slip off the tracks. The normally cau-
tious Cancer Sun may be emboldened to make promises
it cannot keep. The high expectations of Jupiter in Sagit-
tarius can threaten our inner needs for safety and security.
Judgment may be skewed toward taking unnecessary risks
— or avoiding reasonable ones. The hope is that the Can-
cer limits of tribe, tradition, and habit will be expanded
by the Sagittarian vision of a wider world.
At 3:52 a.m. on Wednesday(July4),the Moon enters
Pisces, the universal solvent that dissolves all boundaries.
Our emotional radar is wide open, picking up signals from
everywhere. Psychic awareness increases, but it can be
diffcult to separate our own feelings from those we pick
up from others. We may feel lost in a sea of emotions for
which we have no responsibility. Observing without tak-
ing action is a helpful frst response.Your own fears and
desires, if ignored, will return until they get your attention.
There are no signifcant astrological events on Thursday
(July 5), but the Moon’s ongoing presence in Pisces will
continue to supply inspiration and imagination for creative
and spiritual activities.
The Moon enters Aries at 7:57 a.m. on Friday(July6),
just in time to pick up the pace leading into the weekend.
The Aries Moon is spontaneous, encouraging impulsive
actions and knee-jerk reactions. Expressing unfltered feel-
ings could shock others, triggering equally strong responses.
The Aries Moon might eschew diplomacy, but it provides
a spark that puts people in motion. The need to take action
allows projects that have been stalled to fnally get moving.
Pioneering activities are common now as the desire for nov-
elty drives us to take risks. A Sun–Chiron quincunx at 5:33
p.m. (14°33' Cancer–Aquarius) can be a whiny aspect of
revisiting old pains without resolving them. Chironic kvetch-
ing only reinforces weakness. Looking at wounds with a fresh
perspective can help to heal them.
At 9:54 a.m. on Saturday (July 7), the Aries Moon forms
its waning square to the Sun in Cancer. Cancer’s reluctance to
take risks may be overcome with the help of expansive Jupiter’s
trine to the Moon. The urge to advance appears to be greater
than the fear of the unknown. A Sun–Neptune bi-quintile this
evening nourishes our ambitions with faith and fuels them
with imagination. The tone shifts on Sunday(July8),when the
Moon enters Taurus at 10:54 a.m. A desire for comfort over-
takes the need for activity in this docile sign. Indulging the
senses on a slow Sunday is an excellent way to partake of the
gentle Bull’s inherent love of pleasure. This is largely a day of
rest and relaxation, with one planetary exception on the hori-
zon: a Venus–Pluto trine (27°08' Leo–Sagittarius) that peaks
at 6:04 p.m. If the harmonious quality of the trine dominates,
this represents the potential for deepening connections and a
healthy alignment with desire. Pluto’s trine can help Venus to
shed outmoded social patterns and unfulflling tastes and attrac-
tions and to rediscover hidden talents or gifts. Still, this aspect
links the opposing principles of ease and transformation, which
may appear in the form of dissatisfaction in relationships. Rec-
ognizing what doesn’t please us can be a painful revelation but
could provide the impetus to change that is needed to save a
relationship by returning to its core. Venus–Pluto can reveal
riches, but the path to their discovery can take us down a dark
and scary road.

Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of July 9—15
Overview:Information starts to fow more freely this week
as communicative Mercury turns direct on July 9. The change
is likely to begin as a trickle, with Mercury slowly increasing
the fow in the days ahead. The New Moon in Cancer on July
14 is one of the key starting points of the year. This cardinal
water sign gathers emotional force and gently urges us for-
ward to turn those feelings into action. Instinct tends to be
a stronger guide than intellect in this sign, but don’t under-
estimate the magnitude of change that can ensue. Cancer is
not as overt about its ambitions as many other signs, but its
desire for security and its need to nurture new growth are
applied with powerful persistence that can erode the biggest
obstacles. Vivacious Venus tones down her makeup and her
wardrobe when shifting from brassy Leo to discreet Virgo on
the 14th. Greater caution in relationships is to be expected,
but this earthy “virginal” sign is more interested in the joys
of the senses than its reputation suggests.
Mercury’s direct station at 2°28' Cancer occurs on
Mondaynight (July9),so this generally fast-moving planet
planet will be virtually standing still all day. The planet is
given more weight now, as the power of ideas and words
increases. Therefore, it’s best not to rush to judgment on
critical issues but allow questions to sink in before respond-
ing. At 2:25 a.m. on Tuesday (July 10), Mars and Jupiter
form an awkward quincunx (11°05' Taurus–Sagittarius) that
makes it harder to hit your target. Small jobs can turn into
mountainous tasks, minor irritations might trigger war, or
time and energy are wasted by poor planning. Avoid push-
ing hard unless your effort is totally under control. At 1:10
p.m., the Moon enters mutable Gemini, which can distract
attention and diffuse your drive. But this lunar placement
supports communication that makes it easier to resolve
emotional issues. There’s an openness to alternatives that
helps us to work around intractable problems and disarm
stubborn individuals. A trine between the Sun and Ura-
nus at 10:33 p.m. (18°34' Cancer–Pisces) supports the
experimental mood of the day. A spirit of discovery can
help to overcome ego problems, and invention is a gift
to even the most literal-minded person.
Mars forms a tough sesquiquadrate with Pluto on
Wednesday(July11).This heavy-duty aspect brings urgency
and a sense of survival that belie the breeziness of the Gem-
ini Moon. We feel the need to fght for what’s right, but
the potency of Pluto can make it feel too dangerous to pull
Mars’s emotional trigger. Rather than express the explosive
force of our anger, we may hold it in, which is kinder to
others but not healthy for ourselves. The key to using the
intensity of Mars–Pluto aspects is to focus passion like a
laser beam. This gives effective expression to the urge to
purge or transform, without messy collateral damage. At
3:39 p.m. on Thursday (July 12), the Moon moves into its
home sign of Cancer. This connects us more directly to our
emotions and our past. Some people could fnd it easier to
fall into a well of old habits. But others will be able to nour-
ish current interests with the wisdom of personal, familial,
and cultural infuences.
The only aspect on Friday(July13) is a Sun–Neptune
quincunx at 10:11 p.m. (21°25' Cancer–Aquarius). This
slippery relationship is rich in fantasy. There is some poten-
tial for spirituality, but confusion is likely. Friday the 13th is
not an astrological concept, but this one may be less than
fortunate for those who are willing to fool themselves or
buy into the illusions of others. The Sun and Moon join
together for the New Moon on Saturday(July14) at 5:04
a.m. The union of the key planets of identity should align
conscious will with instinct to chart a sure course for the
future. However, nebulous Neptune is in a quixotic quin-
cunx to this conjunction, which can send Cancer’s pro-
found need for security on a wild goose chase. Avoiding
get-rich-quick schemes and too-good-to-be-true daydreams
is highly recommended. Nevertheless, Neptune does offer
hope of escape from narrow prejudices and assumptions
about what nurtures us. It is appropriate to try out new ideas
outside the old familiar nest — in small doses at frst. Clan-
nish Cancer may actually be open to admitting new peo-
ple and ideas to the tribe. The seeds of every New Moon
need time to take root, so protect your newly sown dreams
from Neptune’s excessive fantasy by using discrimination
in thought and deed. Venus’s entry into Virgo at 11:24
a.m. is ideal for the job, because this sign knows how to
separate the wheat from the chaff with intelligence and eff-
ciency. Venus is essentially kind, but she’s on a mission to
make love work, make art real, and enhance relationships
through competence and service. At 7:43 p.m., the Moon
enters Leo to lift spirits and encourage heartfelt expressions
of love and affection. Some drama is to be expected, but
taken in a playful vein, this gives us a chance to feel young
and creative again. There are no signifcant astrological pat-
terns on Sunday(July15).

Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Week of July 16—22
Overview: There are crosscurrents of beginnings
and endings this week. Mercury, recently turned direct,
is picking up speed and catching up on unfnished busi-
ness from its recent retrograde cycle. We are also early in
the monthly lunation cycle, which is another indicator of
growing hopes and plans. But the Sun is winding up its
annual stay in Cancer, giving us one last look at the past
before forging forward into Leo. Decisions about where to
let go should be signifcant now. The Sun’s sesquiquadrate
to Jupiter on July 18 is so expansive that we may actually
believe endless growth is possible. However, the Sun’s
quincunx to Pluto on July 19 shows that pruning is prob-
ably necessary. The frst aspect’s tendency to overdo things
will add more pressure to the second aspect’s need to
make changes. An inventive Mars–Uranus sextile on July
20 can provide rapid answers and unconventional meth-
ods to address these issues. The Sun strides into proud
Leo on July 22, reducing the focus on Cancer’s memories
of the past to concentrate on the present.
The planets are calm on Monday(July16),with no
signifcant activity to report. But at 2:39 a.m. on Tuesday
(July 17), the Moon enters Virgo. This lunar placement is
benefcial for handling details and analyzing emotions.
Unconscious habits reveal their underlying patterns, an
important step toward changing them. The challenge of
the Virgo Moon is to be clinical instead of critical. Judg-
ments tend to create resistance so that change becomes
more diffcult. Stick to the facts about yourself and oth-
ers, rather than editorializing. The Moon in Virgo is not
ideal for intimacy or imagination but can be very effec-
tive for developing psychological awareness and emo-
tional clarity that will make it easier for us to draw closer
to others later.
On Wednesdaymorning(July18),the Sun–Jupiter ses-
quiquadrate brings a wave of optimism that could lead to
overcommitment. Enthusiasm is great, but with the Moon
in Virgo, comfort comes from being able to manage every
detail. Another expression of the Sun–Jupiter aspect is to
have strong opinions. We may tend to overstate our case,
but a little backup from the Moon in Virgo can fll in the
details and strengthen our position. However, a fact-fuzzing
Mercury–Neptune sesquiquadrate on Thursday (July 19) at
3:04 a.m. may be more than the Virgo Moon can bear. This
complicated combination mixes information with idealism
and data with desire in a way that sounds impressive but
is hard to translate into reality. Confused communication
and misinformation are possible. Yet, this aspect also offers
imaginative thinking and sensitive conversations where
sharing feelings is more important than getting the details
right. The tone shifts at 12:53 p.m. when the Moon enters
Libra. Although this is an intellectual air sign, Venus-ruled
Libra is more interested in art than in science. Beauty and
social skills are valued over hard data. Libra often fnds it
easier to skirt the truth than to hurt someone’s feelings. Yet,
the denial of reality in exchange for a moment’s peace can
undermine trust in the long run. At its best, Libra values
relationships enough to be straightforward, as kindly as
possible. The Sun–Pluto quincunx at 3:44 p.m. (26°53'
Cancer–Sagittarius) has a tendency to stir up issues of power
and control that we may be tempted to duck. But denial
during a Pluto transit is like borrowing money at a high rate
of interest; we may be able to avoid paying right away, but we
wind up incurring higher costs over time.
The Mars–Uranus sextile on Fridayafternoon(July20) is
not bound by anyone’s rules. This dynamic connection of action
and inventiveness unleashes creative ideas that don’t ft into
any category. We have the freedom to explore new methods of
work or play, fresh approaches that can be both exhilarating and
productive. Passions needn’t be repressed with Mars in Taurus
now; even anger can be expressed without dire consequences.
Planetary activity is quiet for most of Saturday(July21), until
the Libra Moon squares the Cancer Sun at 11:30 p.m. The lin-
gering effects of the Mars–Uranus sextile allow a rapid release
of tension, if we don’t stay stuck in tradition. The Libra Moon
introduces new people or modes of behavior into the familiar
world of the old Cancer Sun. Alternative ideas and attitudes
are the new blood needed to ensure continued vitality in the
future. We can’t deal with contentious individuals or concepts
that oppose our own until we accept them. At 1:18 a.m. on
Sunday(July22), the Moon enters mysterious Scorpio, where
emotions and the give and take of relationships are measured
and examined at a deeper level. A Mercury–Saturn semi-square
at 4:57 p.m. may frustrate communication but simply demands
clarity so that information can be absorbed. The Sun enters Leo
at exactly 10:00 p.m., passing the baton from Cancerian nurtur-
ance and gestation to Leonine self-expression. This is the last
time for 29 years that the Sun and Saturn will both be in Leo.
Use it to explore the power of your personality and achieve
your fullest creative potential.

Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
July 23—31
Overview:Venus turns retrograde on July 27 for the frst
time in more than 18 months. This represents a signifcant shift
in the social landscape. The planet of love and relationship’s
backward turn begins a period of introspection and review,
until it turns direct on September 8. A more careful analysis of
values, resources, and partnerships has been under way since
Venus entered systematic Virgo on July 14. A strange chapter
in this retrograde story plays out when she returns to outgoing
Leo on August 8. The contrast between the reticence of retro-
grade and the heartfelt enthusiasm of fery Leo can produce a
pattern of alternating social boldness and withdrawal. The Full
Moon in Aquarius on July 29, however, is far from shy. This
opposition of the Sun in Leo and the Moon in sociable Aquar-
ius is one of the most festive lunations of the year. The polar-
ity between Leo’s need for individual attention and Aquarius’s
group consciousness is not especially diffcult now, since there
are no challenging aspects to the Full Moon. Celebration, not
struggle, is its purpose.
Mercury and Jupiter form an unstable quincunx (10°16'
Cancer–Sagittarius at 2:47 a.m. on Monday(July23).This
diffcult-to-integrate alignment between the planets of fact and
philosophy can lead to exaggeration. Emotional attachment to
an idea may give it more importance than it deserves, so take
time to absorb new information before turning it into a state-
ment of principle. On the other hand, we should express judg-
ments gently, since an offhanded comment may be blown out
of proportion. On Tuesday(July24),at 1:29 p.m., the Moon
moves from emotionally intense Scorpio to risk-taking Sagit-
tarius. This Jupiter-ruled sign supports a freer expression of
opinions that feels liberated to some and crude to others.
The self-protective nature of the Moon is less evident, so
raucous humor and outlandish statements are more common
now. If you feel a strange desire to leave behind a perfectly
safe and normal life for the exotic locale of a goat herder’s
tent in Morocco, don’t start selling your furniture just yet.
The urge to escape the old routine can be satisfed in less
dramatic ways. Besides, a square between Mars and Nep-
tune at 4:10 p.m. (21°10' Taurus–Aquarius) offers tender
touches and acts of compassion and sacrifce — but mostly
tends to misdirect our efforts and drain our energy. Keep
a close eye on your inner fuel supply to avoid running out
of gas on the highway of misplaced dreams.
The planets do not engage in any major activity on
Wednesday (July 25). Thursday (July 26) begins with a
high-frequency sesquiquadrate between the Sun and Ura-
nus (3°16' Leo – 18°16' Pisces). This disruptive aspect
could undermine any inclinations to compromise. Both
the Sun and Uranus are willful, and this aspect provokes a
high degree of individualism. An intense need for freedom
can lead us to rebel against rules that aren’t particularly
oppressive. However, being fexible reduces the potential
for destructive behavior and increases inventiveness and
originality — qualities that this aspect also offers. At 11:21
p.m., the grown-ups take over as the Moon enters super-
responsible Capricorn. The need for order and authority will
be more evident over the next couple of days. But one of
the challenges of this sign is a penchant for operating from
a perspective where relationships are more about control
than cooperation. Leadership is valuable for accomplish-
ing worldly tasks, but intimacy is better served by mutual
respect and an open sharing of ideas.
Venus’s retrograde turn at 2°57' Virgo on Friday
morning (July 27) is not likely to be dramatic — but mean-
ingful over time. The love planet is already introverted in
process-oriented Virgo, so her backward turn here is a
subtle shift. Still, it presents an opportunity to re-examine
current relationships, sources of pleasure and money, and
our longstanding beliefs about attraction, partnership, and
self-worth. Deconstructing these things can be an enrich-
ing experience when the purpose is to clean, repair, and
reinvigorate. But if we’re too caught up in criticism, the
value is lost. No relationship is perfect and, like life, it’s
an ongoing process rather than a fnished product. Self-
examination conducted with kindness rather than cyni-
cism can free up potential to attract what we truly desire.
Mercury, Virgo’s ruling planet, forms a semi-square with
Venus on Saturday(July28)that requires special handling.
This is a highly sensitive aspect when it occurs so close to
the Venus station. Words carry greater power than usual
and thus give casual comments the weight of major judg-
ments. At 8:26 p.m., Mercury’s trine to Uranus (18°13'
Cancer–Pisces) opens our minds to unusual perspectives
and brilliant new ideas.
Heightened intelligence and open-mindedness are
further supported by the Moon’s entry into Uranus’s home
sign of Aquarius at 6:14 a.m. on Sunday(July29).We have
the capacity to look at our feelings with more detachment
now. Instead of taking everything personally, Aquarius rec-
ognizes that so many of our reactions are simply human,
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcStandard GreenwichMean
rather than unique. However, the cooling trend of the Moon
in this sign is partially countered by its opposition to the Sun at
5:48 p.m. All Full Moons are emotional high tides, periods when
the contrasts of lunar yin and solar yang tend to polarize and
dramatize feelings. The Leo Sun is certainly dramatic, but the
Moon in socially conscious Aquarius is less personal than most.
Social and political events may play out the contrast between
the dominant individual (Sun in Leo) and the democratic will
of the people (Moon in Aquarius). The intensity of ideas and
principles is more likely to produce friction than intimacy.
On Monday(July30),Mercury quincunxes Neptune (21°01'
Cancer–Aquarius), which can lead conversations off course and
produce faulty data. The mind needs a break from the mundane,
so give yourself some time to escape through music, movies,
fction, or fantasizing. The Moon moves from airy Aquarius to
watery Pisces on Tuesday(July31) at 10:40 a.m. However, the
soft sweetness of this transit is starkly contrasted by a tough
Mars–Saturn square in the afternoon (25°53' Taurus–Leo). This
demanding aspect allows little room for error, punishing careless-
ness with immediate consequences. Focus on one task at a time
and be patient; this can produce lasting results. The effort and
discipline required are signifcant but will be richly rewarded.
Jeff Jawerhasbeenaprofessionalastrol-

Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcDaylight GreenwichMean
Key to Astrological Symbols
BEGINNERS: Planets occupy signs and form exact aspects
to one another when separated by the designated number
of degrees. The midpoint between any two planets is de-
termined by fnding the place in the zodiac equally distant
from those two planets. The North Node and South Node
are astronomical points (not physical objects) determined by
the intersection of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth with the
Earth's orbit around the Sun.
Coming in the Next Issue of TMA
• The New Solar System, by Steven Forrest
• Deborah Houlding on Virgo
• Vedic Astrology Primer: The Basics
• Eclipses Explained
• Donna Cunningham on Venus–Neptune
• The Neptune-in-Sagittarius Generation
• Dana Gerhardt on Pluto
• Forecasts, Cartoons, and much more!
Don’t miss a single issue of TMA
Subscribe at www.mountainastrologer.com
Geocentric Aspects,
Ingresses, and Stations
PacifcStandard GreenwichMean
June 14, 2007 — 8:14 p.m. PDT
June 15, 2007 — 3:14 a.m. GMT
Gemini New Moon – June 14—15
by Stephanie Austin
SabiansymbolsarefromDaneRudhyar,An Astrological
Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Sym-
bolic Phases,VintageBooks,1973.
of Gemini invites us to be ever curious, always open to
sign, Gemini represents the development of language, logic,
and intelligence, as well as our ability to interact with our
immediate environment. If there is no word for “xyz” in our
may be unable to even perceive “xyz” because it is outside
our frame of reference. This New Moon reminds us of the
power of words and the power of the mind.
Pluto, the planet most concerned with what is out of sight
and out of mind, is opposite the Sun and Moon. Pluto repre-
sents the force of the unconscious; and in Sagittarius, the pro-
something can be problematic, rigid beliefs hinder us as well.
Pluto’s opposition to this New Moon helps us to see through
the social and religious programming that has kept us in fear
and isolation. Pluto is the archetype of death and rebirth; his
ongoing conjunction with the Galactic Center, the heart of
our Milky Way Galaxy, indicates that humanity has reached
an evolutionary threshold. The current challenge is the shift
from duality to unity, from the illusion of separation to the
realization of the divinity and interconnectedness of all things.
Mercury, Gemini’s ruling planet, is poised to turn retro-
grade on June 15 at 12° Cancer, echoing Pluto’s directive
to get out of our heads and into our hearts. In 2007, all
three of Mercury’s retrograde stations occur in water
signs, doubling Mercury’s travel time through Pisces,
Cancer, and Scorpio. These retrogrades offer oppor-
tunities to clear emotional blockages, enabling us
to feel connected with our higher self (Pisces), with
our emotions (Cancer), and with others (Scorpio).
When retrograde, Mercury invites us to spend
more time in the upper and lower worlds, listening
to our intuition and integrating what has been bur-
ied in the unconscious. Moving backward in Can-
cer, Mercury directs our attention inward, to catch
up with our inner child, heal old wounds, and elimi-
nate what’s unhealthy for us.
Uranus, the higher octave of Mercury, is also
approaching his yearly turn retrograde on June 23 at
19° Pisces. Watch for important revelations, stay extra
Awakener’s retrograde phase in Pisces (until November 24)
helps us to spot doorways and alternatives we might have
missed earlier. Uranus in Pisces says: You have access to
divine intelligence. Ask. Listen. Give thanks. Then act.
Neptune trines this New Moon and makes its third and
Aquarius; this also encourages us to trust our inner guid-
ance and embrace our divinity. Neptune’s three oppositions
February 28, 2007) have further dissolved the illusion of
duality, reminding us that we are spirit (Neptune) masquer-
ading as matter (Saturn). Those born when Pluto was in
the middle degrees of Leo (1947–1954) have had the most
insistent wake-up calls to fully claim their creative power and
share their unique gifts. For everyone, the Saturn–Neptune
opposition has illuminated the gap between our ideals and
our current reality.
The Sabian symbol for this New Moon at 24° Gem-
cles: “Children skating over a frozen village pond; the use
of inhibiting circumstances for the development of charac-
ter and a transcendent approach to the environment.” This
New Moon advises us to remain open-minded and open-
hearted: “There is no path to truth, it must come to you.
Truth can come to you only when your mind and heart are
simple, clear, and there is love in your heart; not if your
June 30, 2007 — 6:50 a.m. PDT
June 30, 2007 — 1:50 p.m. GMT
Capricorn Full Moon – June 30
Full Moons are excellent times to see how far we have
come and to decide whether to carry on or change course.
The Sun in Cancer asks: Are we happy? Are we grow-
our dharma? Are we manifesting our life purpose? This
Full Moon makes it easier for us to recognize the difference
between what we are doing, what we think we should be
doing, and what we really want to do be doing. It offers a
strong spiritual imperative for releasing family patterns or
social pressures and remembering our soul intentions.
the development of the emotional body and the importance
of feelings. It is also the most feminine sign, the archetype of
the mother and child and the principle of nurturance. Chil-
dren are naturally in touch with their feelings; they know
what they need and easily express themselves, unless they
ern cultures, most people are taught to ignore or override
“what they want to be when they grow up.” If we are told
that we are “too sensitive” and “boys don’t cry,” if we think
feelings are a nuisance or a weakness, we lose the valuable
information they offer. We then hunger for something we
by Stephanie Austin
can’t name and get trapped in overeating, overwork, or
body remembers and stores unexpressed emotions, hold-
ing them until we are ready to experience them or until ill-
ness induces us to face them. This Full Moon illuminates our
emotional baggage and urges us to unpack it.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Cancer marks the sum-
mer solstice, the longest day and the time of year when
everything is burgeoning. In contrast, Capricorn heralds the
depth of winter, when resources are scarce and the penal-
ties for irresponsibility are immediate and severe. In Can-
cer, we need to grow; in Capricorn, we need to grow up.
Capricorn demands maturity, rewards effort, and teaches
consequences; in return, it offers autonomy, integrity, and
our duties and commitments. Where do we need to take
more responsibility? Where do we need to maintain our
boundaries? Where do we need to respect our limits and the
limits of others?
At this Full Moon, Mercury conjoins the Sun, stimulating
exchanges with others and communication with our higher
self. As the one Olympian god without a permanent resi-
dence, Mercury represents the facility of the mind to roam
between the conscious, subconscious, and imaginal realms,
as well as between past, present, and future. The proxim-
ity of the Messenger of the Gods to the Sun facilitates being
able to see and understand things in a new light.
Neptune at 22° Aquarius sesquiquadrates the Sun
and semi-squares the Moon, supporting reconciliation
and the dissolution of parental conditioning. Neptune,
the esoteric ruler of Cancer, helps us to feel a sense of
kinship beyond blood relations and thus draw upon
a much larger source of support. Venus, the arche-
type of love and beauty, closely opposes Neptune
and conjoins Saturn, extending the opposition
that Saturn and Neptune have been making since
last summer. Venus in Leo says: Love yourself.
Saturn in Leo says: Do what you love. Neptune
says: You are Love.
The Sabian symbols for this Full Moon
invite us to recover our sense of wonder and trust
in the support of the spiritual realms. For the Sun
at 9° Cancer: “A small, naked girl bends over a
knowledge and for an ever-elusive understanding of
life.” And for the Moon at 9° Capricorn: “An angel car-
rying a harp; the revelation of the spiritual meaning and
purpose at the core of any life situation.” This Full Moon
helps us to put the past in perspective and embody more of
our essence. “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me
datta Maharaj)
July 14, 2007 — 5:04 a.m. PDT
July 14, 2007 — 12:04 p.m. GMT
Cancer New Moon – July 14
by Stephanie Austin
New Moons are always good times to envision our future
and set new intentions. A New Moon in Cancer invites us to
taking good care of our body? How’s our mental hygiene?
Are we conscious of our thoughts? Our feelings? Our soul
desires? What are we yearning for? This New Moon reminds
us of the importance of monitoring each level of our being.
The crab provides an apt metaphor for the sign of Can-
cer. Like the crab, we must periodically molt and let go of
We outgrow clothes, habits, ideas, jobs, and relationships.
Just as a child’s requirements change, adult needs change,
too. The crab offers further analogies. If we have too thick
a shell, we become isolated and imprisoned in our own lit-
tle world. Too thin a shell, and we are unable to meet life’s
challenges. Too far from the water, too removed from our
emotions, and we shrivel rather than thrive. Where this New
Moon falls in your chart is where you are molting, requiring
extra nourishment, and preparing to go to the next level.
Several alignments potentize this New Moon, making it
tune at 21° Aquarius closely quincunxes the Sun and Moon,
expanding our identity and extending our sense of family to
those who share our ideals and goals. Neptune, the principle
of unity consciousness, blurs boundaries and distinctions so
that we can recognize our interconnectedness. A quincunx
(150°) is in some ways more challenging than an opposition
(180°); in Cancer–Aquarius, we’re required to integrate
water with air (feeling with understanding), cardinal
and feminine with masculine (transcending gender
differences). Neptune’s passage through Aquar-
ius (1998–2012) coincides with quantum leaps
advance in collective consciousness. The Internet
access that allows virtually instantaneous, world-
wide communication is a physical representation
of telepathy, a skill that will eventually become the
norm rather than a paranormal ability. Neptune’s
quincunx to this New Moon awakens our aware-
ness of more subtle realities and tells us that we are
part of a worldwide web of like-minded souls.
Pluto at 27° Sagittarius is very close to the Galac-
tic Center (exact on July 17); such a conjunction, which
only occurs every 240 years, represents the closing of an
era and the dismantling of the beliefs and structures that
supported it. This is the second of Pluto’s three exact align-
ments with the Galactic Center (GC) at 26°56' Sagittarius.
October 28, 2007. Like remodeling a house, things can
get quite messy until the new constructs are in place. Pluto
also represents the shadow and the necessity to confront all
that has been suppressed, in order to ascend to a more uni-
Rebirth reminds us that, just as there is no real death but
only transformation, there is no real darkness — only places
where light (i.e., consciousness) has not yet shone. Pluto’s
conjunction with the GC activates our cellular memories of
other times and dimensions, holding open a door to a much
more expanded awareness of who we really are and why we
came to planet Earth.
This New Moon represents a time of reunion with for-
gotten parts of ourselves and with those who share our val-
ues. It’s never been easier to move beyond our wounding
and into our wholeness. Our feelings will guide us, like a
Geiger counter, toward what we need to do, whom we need
to meet, and what we need to know. The Sabian symbol for
22° Cancer suggests that our feminine side is growing and
ready to explore new vistas: “A young woman awaiting a
sailboat; the longing for transcendent happiness in the soul
opened to great dreams.” Watch your day and night dreams
around this New Moon, and remember: “You grow only by
coming to the end of something and by beginning some-
thing else.” (John Irving)
July 29, 2007 — 5:48 p.m. PDT
July 30, 2007 — 12:48 a.m. GMT
Aquarius Full Moon – July 29—30
by Stephanie Austin
What is your passion? How do you want the world to
visions. The Sun in Leo advises: Remember your divine
essence and mission. Be true to yourself. There has never
been, nor will ever be, anyone exactly like you. The Moon
in Aquarius says: You are not alone. There are many who
share your dreams and ideals. Come together. Co-create
the future you wish to live.
Jovial Jupiter at 10° Sagittarius is trine the Sun and sex-
creativity, and audacity. Jupiter, the largest planet in our
solar system, is associated with the principle of expansion.
The myriad encounters of the ancient King of the Gods with
ity of the divine; his transit through Sagittarius encourages
the exploration of new horizons, new truths, and new reali-
station on August 6. We’re preparing to act on what we’ve
learned since April 5, when Jupiter stationed retrograde at
20° Sagittarius. We’ve eliminated some old beliefs, raised
our sights, and are now ready to take a big step forward.
since the mythic Goddess of Love and Beauty stationed ret-
rograde on July 27 at 3° Virgo. Venus rules affairs of the
heart; her once-every-two-years retrograde phase offers an
tionships or artistic endeavors. Venus retrograde in Virgo
asks us to become more discerning and less judgmental; in
Leo, more authentic and less self-conscious. New priori-
ties emerge by September 8, when Venus stations direct
at 17° Leo, and are more integrated into our lives by the
time Venus crosses 3° Virgo again on October 11. Venus’s
extended proximity to Saturn (within 16° from mid June
to mid October) highlights issues around self-esteem and
commitment. How can we be more loving, both to our-
selves and to others? What do we need to work on? What
do we need to accept?
On July 25, Saturn crossed 25° Leo, the degree where
it last stationed retrograde on December 5, 2006. Since
last December, we’ve become more mindful of how we are
expressing our creativity and power; it is becoming more
our path. Mars’s close square to Saturn (exact on July 31
at 26° Taurus–Leo) and its quincunx with Pluto (exact on
August 1 at 27° Taurus–Sagittarius) press us to concentrate
on our next step and eliminate distractions. Saturn says to
Mars: Go for the gold. Work toward what you really want.
Pluto, the higher octave of Mars, impels us to examine our
assumptions and to recognize where we are not walking our
talk. Saturn’s trine to Pluto (exact on August 6 at 27° Leo–
Sagittarius) reveals where each of us can make a difference.
The Sabian symbols for this Full Moon suggest that we
stay focused on our highest ideals and prepare to take
a giant leap forward. For the Sun at 7° Leo: “The
constellations of stars shine brilliantly in the night
sky; the power of basic spiritual values which refer
to man’s common humanity and to all enduring
archetypes.” And for the Moon at 7° Aquarius: “A
child is seen being born out of an egg; the emer-
gence of new mutations according to the great
rhythms of the cosmos.” The world is changing.
We are changing. This Full Moon reminds us:
“There are only two ways to live your life — one is
as if everything is a miracle, the other is as though
nothing is a miracle.” (Albert Einstein)
Stephanie Austin, M.A.,isanastrologicalcounselorspecializing


23°27' —
Graphic Ephemeris of Declination – June & July 2007
Diagram generated by Janus 3.0
Map reprinted with permission of Astro Numeric Service
10 www.mountainastrologer.com
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election day. The following summary
(charts not shown) is not intended as
an attempt to predict a winner, but
rather to examine the huge impact that
the Saturn–Uranus opposition will have
on the 2008 election.
Hillary Clinton: The Saturn–Ura-
nus opposition will sextile (Saturn) and
trine (Uranus) her Scorpio stellium. On
election day 2008, Mars will hit Sena-
tor Clinton’s Mercury (and Neptune will
square it), thus triggering the Mercury–
Saturn square in her horoscope.
John Edwards: The Saturn–
Uranus opposition will exactly square
his Gemini Sun. The Mars–Neptune
square will hit his Pluto in Leo.
Rudy Giuliani: Mars will square
his Jupiter in Leo, and Neptune will
oppose it.
John McCain: His Saturn–Nep-
tune opposition in Pisces–Virgo will
be conjoined by the transiting Saturn–
Uranus opposition at the election.
Barack Obama: The Saturn–Ura-
nus opposition will hit his Virgo Mars.
Mitt Romney: Uranus will conjoin
his Pisces Sun, and Saturn will oppose it.
This brief overview shows how much
the national political scene in 2008 will
be tied into the 2008 election’s planetary
alignments. Not only will the planetary
patterns discussed in this article affect the
U.S. and its future, but many of the lead-
ing presidential candidates will feel these
Chart Data and Sources
Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947;
8:00 p.m. CST; Chicago, IL, USA (41°N52',
87°W39'); DD: conficting/unverifed; Astro-
from Clinton and a news article).
John Edwards, June 10, 1953; 7:02 a.m.
EST; Seneca, SC, USA (34°N41', 82°W57'); C:
The time given here is from two sources, but
is given for Edwards’ birth.
Rudy Giuliani, May 28, 1944; birth time
unknown; Brooklyn, NY, USA (40°N38',
73°W56'); from “Rudy Giuliani” Wikipedia arti-
cle (http://en.wikipedia.org).
John McCain, August 29, 1936; 9:00 a.m.
EST; Coco Solo Air Base, Panama Canal
(09°N22', 79°W53'); A: from mother’s mem-
ory, as reported by his staff.
Nazi Germany (the Third Reich), January
30, 1933; 11:15 a.m. CET; Berlin, Germany
(52°N32', 13°E25'); from Nicholas Campion,
TheBookofWorldHoroscopes(BWH), Third
Edition, The Wessex Astrologer Ltd, 2004,
Chart 126.
North Korea, September 10, 1948; no time
available; P’yongyang, North Korea (39°N01',
125°E45'); BWH, Chart 179.
Barack Obama, August 4, 1961; 1:06 p.m.
AHST; Honolulu, HI, USA (21°N18', 157°W52');
W. Mitt Romney, March 12, 1947; 9:51 a.m.
EST; Detroit, MI, USA (42°N19', 83°W02'); A:
Frances McEvoy quotes him.
Scorpionic America (the Articles of Con-
federation), November 15, 1777; 12:46 p.m.
LMT; York, PA, USA (39°N58', 76°W44');
According to AstroDatabank, David Solté “used
the minutes of the Continental Congress to nar-
row down the passage of the Articles of Con-
federation to a few hours between 11:00 a.m.
and 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 15, 1777, when they
the chart to 12:46 p.m.”
U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776; 5:10 p.m. LMT;
Philadelphia, PA, USA (39°N57', 75°W10');
BWH, Chart 370.

References and Notes
1. Progressed Mars turning retrograde in the
U.S. horoscope was nicely explored by Bryan
Trussler in “America’s Mars Does an About-
Face,” in TheMountainAstrologer, Oct./Nov.
2006 (reprinted from ISAR’s International
Astrologer, Winter/Spring 2006).
2. Here’s what astrologer Charles Carter has to
say about mundane Mars (in AnIntroduction
toPoliticalAstrology, L. N. Fowler & Co. Ltd,
1980): “Mars rules the armed forces and also all
trades that minister to these … It is also related
with Uranus it may cause explosions, both phys-
ical and emotional, and has relation with revo-
lutions …”
3. Wikipedia article, “Military budget of the
United States” (http://en.wikipedia.org).
4. The Web site Astronomy Picture of the Day
has posted pictures from the Mars robots (http://
5. William Shakespeare, JuliusCaesar, Act 3,
Scene 1 (online text at http://www.online-litera
6. William Lilly, ChristianAstrology, Astrology
Classics, 2004, p. 68.
7. The reference to the invasion of Iraq as a
“cakewalk” comes from a 2002 Washington
Post editorial (“Cakewalk in Iraq,” February
13, 2002, p. A27) written by Ken Adelman, a
former assistant Defense Secretary.
8. Mars went retrograde in Cancer in 1975, but
it was at only 2° Cancer when it stationed ret-
rograde, so most of its retrograde period was
spent in Gemini.
9. Alexander Ruperti, CyclesofBecoming:The
PlanetaryPatternofGrowth, Earthwalk School
of Astrology, 2005, pp. 202–203.
10. Ibid., p. 202.
11. Wikipedia article, “United States presiden-
tial election, 1920,” (http://en.wikipedia.org).
12. There were other planetary alignments at
work in 1920 besides the Saturn–Uranus oppo-
sition, including a Jupiter–Saturn conjunction in
Virgo. The Jupiter–Saturn conjunction is often
associated with changes in government and
national direction.
13. “Charubel,” The Degrees of the Zodiac
Symbolized: A Symbolical Interpretation of
EachDegreeoftheZodiac, Astrology Classics,
2004, p. 12.
14. Ibid., p. 12. The second half of this book,
TheDegreesoftheZodiacSymbolized, also
contains the degree symbols formulated by
Sepharial. Sepharial’s symbol for the degree
of Uranus in the Saturn–Uranus opposition on
election day 2008 is rather interesting — simply
“Two daggers crossed” (p. 132).
15. Some astrologers who use ingress charts pre-
fer to use the Libra ingress or the Aries ingress to
ricorn ingress works well, because the winter sol-
stice is when the Sun begins moving north from
the equator, and this is closest to the actual start
of the new year. Charles Harvey discusses the
pros and cons of each of these ingresses as poten-
tially designating the start of the year, in Mundane
Astrology,pp. 249–250 (see Note 17).
16. Charles Carter, An Introduction to Politi-
calAstrology, L. N. Fowler & Co. Ltd, 1980,
p. 92.
17. Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion, and
Charles Harvey,MundaneAstrology, Thorsons,
1995, pp. 245–249. Charles Harvey discusses
Troinski’s work (which is not available in Eng-
lish) in a chapter titled “Ingresses, Lunations,
18. Ibid., p. 246.
Philip Brown has been studying astrology
since1994.Hisbook, Cosmic Trends: Astrol-
ogy Connects the Dots,wasrecentlypublished
Mars, War, and
the 2008 Election
10 www.mountainastrologer.com
Michelle Kondosisaportraitartistandastrol-
ogerlivinginNewOrleans. Shecanbereached
Michelle Kondos
The Mountain Astrologer 10
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