Astrological Musings

Aquarius New Moon 2012The Sun and the Moon will unite in Aquarius at 2:39 am on January 23rd (Eastern) or 7:39 am GMT.  We call this the New Moon but it is technically the “dark” of the Moon – not even a sliver of the lunar light is reflected by the Sun.

The New Moon marks the beginning of the new lunar cycle, and it provides an energetic boost to us as well.  Each month we have a New Moon in a different sign, and the New Moon falls in a different house in our natal chart.  This offers us an opportunity to begin anew with a fresh slate and a clean vision.

The symbol for Aquarius is called the “Water Bearer” – Aquarius carries the emotional realm (signified by water) into the realm of the practical.  The traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, after all, and although we modern folks tend to focus primarily on the modern aspect of Aquarius as the eccentric (the gift of Uranus, its modern ruler) Aquarius is also the scientist and the innovative technician, both Saturnian models.

This New Moon is highlighted by Mars, which has slowed down to a station and turns retrograde just after the Sun and Moon conjoin in the New Moon.  When a planet is stationary its influence becomes more powerful, and even now Mars has slowed to a crawl and we are seeing reversals and surprises reflected in the world around us.  (See this article for more about  Mars retrograde.)

Mercury is in a harmonious trine to Mars on the day of the New Moon which will help the mind accelerate to keep up with Mars activity, and that will help us to channel the high energy that Mars will be beaming on us.

The Aquarius New Moon on the 23rd contains that beam of energy, and is focused on creative originality and new beginnings. Again we have a “double whammy” because the Aquarius Moon and Sun harmonize with Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius. Uranus inspires radical change to the status quo, and urges us to innovate our lives with new ways of thinking and ideas that seem to come out of nowhere.

We also have a square from Jupiter to the Sun and Jupiter now squares the Moon as well so there is some frustration as the our confidence expands and the soul yearns to find its highest expression in a world which is limited.  In addition, Saturn is within range of a square to the New Moon and seeks to cancel out Jupiter’s confidence with a healthy dose of self-doubt. A strong Jupiter influence can sometimes cause us to respond with a lack of sense, especially if we are more impulsive by nature and Saturn’s strong presence in this dynamic will almost ensure that this occurs if we fail to consider the practical implications of all that we do now.

Aquarius is all about change, and with so much Jupiterian and Uranian energy combining with the assertive strength of Mars right now, change is just about assured.  As always, we have a choice: we can either go willingly and trust the Universe to bring our lives into greater balance, or we can try to resist and hold on to the aspects of our lives which we know in our hearts won’t fit the new reality of our changing lives.

Aquarius teaches that change and innovation doesn’t have to be frightening – that transformation and personal growth fulfill our soul’s longing for purpose and connection to our higher selves and a life that is far beyond what we can conceive of today.

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SOPA astrologySOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act currently under discussion in the US House of Representatives.  At first glance, stopping online piracy sounds like a good idea.  I know that I myself have found plenty of my articles circulating on the Net under someone else’s byline.  But when you dig a little deeper into the language of the 75 page bill you find requirements that internet provides monitor the usage of its customers to ensure that rogue sites are not visited, and gives the Justice Department the authority to shut down websites that do not comply.

From an astrological perspective, the Internet is ruled by the planet Uranus, the giver of technology and innovation.  Uranus entered the sign of Aries last year, bringing the energy of aggressive force and self-orientation (Aries) into Uranian realms and intensifying the natural rebellious tendencies of Uranus.

Pluto is the planet of death, power and transformation, and it governs experiences that take us to the limit of endurance and then push us a little further.  In 2008 Pluto entered Capricorn,  the sign of social and economic structures.  Pluto seeks to consolidate power, while at the same time breaking down existing structures that are weak or corrupt so that they can be rebuilt, and the mission Pluto in Capricorn is clear: force the rebuilding of the very fabric of society.

Over the next few years  the revolutionary fervor that we have seen over the past year with Uranus in Aries will continue as Uranus and Pluto face off in a challenging square (90 degree) aspect.  As the power structure (Pluto) finds it more difficult to control the freedom (Uranus) of the masses it will seek more egregious measures to do so (Pluto) , which will be followed by more resistance and rebellion (Uranus).

You’ll notice during this period that the power brokers appear to work from both sides, such as in the case of Rupert Murdoch who is one of the more vocal supporters of internet censorship through SOPA in the US while simultaneously fighting for freedom of speech in the UK wiretapping scandal.

The Internet began its existence as a wild and untamed forum for free expression, but power brokers have long sought to harness and control it for financial gain.  This dynamic is perfectly symbolized by Uranus in Aries (individual freedom) vs. Pluto in Capricorn (business and power).  I suspect that this issue, in a variety of forms, will be one of the major factors in the Uranus/Pluto square over the next few years.

For one of the most cogent articles about SOPA, see this article on the Huffington Post by 16-year old Aaron Wang in which he clarifies:

The bill itself even reflects the inability of Congress and the entertainment industry to grasp a correct understanding of the Internet. The bill allows for the blocking of a domain name but not the numeric IP address. Users can still access the blocked website if they know this IP address. This completely contradicts what the bill stands for — it blocks websites most popular to Internet amateurs like Facebook and YouTube, while tech-savvy users can easily search the IP address of their favorite illegal movie streaming website and access it. What we get as a result, is the censorship of the Internet similar to that of China, Iran, and Syria.

Over the next few years it will no longer be possible to remain complacent.  Just as in the 1960s when Uranus and Pluto conjoined and social upheaval and transformation was inevitable, each of us must determine which principles are important to us, and be prepared to fight for them.

My friend Beth Owls Daughter writes that 2012 is the Year of the Hierophant according to the Tarot numerology system. The Hierophant in the Tarot is traditionally associated with the Pope as a symbol for religious structures and dogma.

The word Hierophant comes from the ancient Greek that means ta hiera,“the holy,” and phainein, “to show.”  In ancient Greece the hierophant was the priest who interpreted the sacred mysteries and was the bridge between the spiritual experience and the individual worshiper,,just as the Pope later took on that role.

Beth quotes Caitlin Matthews (creator of the Arthurian Tarot)

The ancient Tarots make this card a Pope, while the more recent ones return to an older tradition of the hierophants of the Greek Mysteries.  Both Pope and Hierophant draw upon earlier traditions and represent important concepts. Drawing upon pre-Christian Roman religion, the Pope is called the pontiff or bridge who, in his own person, bridges this world and the other.


The ancient Mystery Religions were largely about the revelation of myth through dramatic representation or sacred ritual.  This is still an important part of our divinatory profession whereby the Tarot-reader bridges the everyday and the deep worlds for the client, through the medium of the cards’ story.


Beth also posts a Tarot spread created by Ms. Matthews to work with the energy of the Hierophant, the arbiter of the “Triple Crown” as she says of Fate, Free Will and Destiny. If you are a Tarot aficionado you may want to try this spread, but we all can use Caitlin’s outline of this spread as a map to unwind our past so that it lays out before us as a map to our future, without using a single Tarot card.

Wisdom of the Years Behind Me.

Begin by making a list of everything you have learned from the experiences that you have been through during your lifetime.  We often find that the most difficult and intense times of your life (often denoted by transits of Saturn and Pluto) are the times in which we gained the most insight and wisdom and deep understanding.

Sometimes it helps if we begin by listing the most intensely powerful and challenging experiences of our life, and then extract the gifts that came out of those experiences.

How I Wisely Traverse 2012



While there is nothing particularly significant astrologically for the year 2012, this is the year that Uranus and Pluto make their first exact square after coming close in the summer of 2011.  When the revolutionary (Uranus) and the destroyer and rebuilder (Pluto) face off in battle, the result is often intense and always involves endings and new beginnings.

What in your life are you ready to let go of?  Where is change needed in your life, and what do you need to do in order to achieve a flexibility of spirit so that this transformation can occur?

The Wisdom of the Years Ahead of Me

When you look ahead along the timeline of your future, what do you see?  Is the future blank and filled with fear?  Do you see a long and open road that is ready to be populated with people events?  Do you have a dream, a vision or an idea that can carry you into your future?

Whether or not we have a vision for the future, we will create it out of what we carry in the present.  Creating a vision for our future timeline is not the same as making a plan: the work of visioning requires a higher and broader view and a desire for a sense of purpose.  The transformation of the Uranus and Pluto square will continue through 2015.  Consider where you would like your life to be when this Great Transformation period is complete.

This Tarot spread also lays out three defining tools:

The Hand I’m Dealt (Me and my Fate)

In the astrological language, the hand we’re dealt is the birthchart.  This defines the potential of our personality and whether certain areas of life will be difficult for us or easy and harmonious.  Modern-day astrologers have learned that fate and destiny are two different things, and our free will is the determining factor of how one becomes the other.  The family we are born into, the circumstances over which we had no control – these are our fate.  What we do with that fate is up to us.

Looking along the timeline of your past, how can you define this hand that you were dealt?  What are the tools that you were given either to facilitate your progress, or to create challenges for you to overcome?

The Game I Play (Me and my Free Will



How we play the cards we are dealt is up to us.  Say you were beaten by your father.  Are you going to allow that experience to create bitterness and rage that will destroy your relationships and your future?  Or will you seek the help that you need to find the empowerment and compassion from the experience that can help you to become a mentor and healer?

This is where the path of Life becomes interesting.  We read about Free Will every day in the newspaper: how some people surpass incredibly horrific life experiences to accomplish great things, and others turn to a life of crime.  It’s all a question of how we play the game with the cards we’re given.

The Hand I Create (Me and my Destiny)

The question over whether or not we have any control over our Destiny is a thorny one and has been the subject of much debate.  Most dictionaries define Fate and Destiny as being synonymous, but my own belief is that they are quite different.

Using this triad of experiences, our Fate is the hand we are dealt, and our Destiny is created by how we play the Game.  Through the Free Will we have been given, we can make choices in our life that can alter the trajectory of the life that we are living.  In my theology, our higher self and celestial teachers assist in this process, speaking to us like the proverbial angel on the shoulder, helping to guide us towards the Right Actions that will help our destinies to unfold.

Most of us spend a great deal of our lives listening instead to the little devil on the shoulder which urges us to react in habitually patterned responses rather than break free of those bonds.  It takes wisdom and attention to learn to tell the difference between those two voices.

Where has your own voice of old habits and patterns held you back from making the transformations that are needed?  Where can you make better choices which will help you to break through the blocks to bring you closer to your own Destiny?

This is a beautiful exercise for the New Year and I thank Beth and Caitlin for their inspiration.  Please share your experience in the comments!

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natalee holloway declared deadIt’s interesting how astrology continues to work even after a person has left their physical body.  I happened to see that Natalee Holloway has now been officially declared dead, nearly seven years after her disappearance in Aruba in 2005.  Seven years is one Saturn cycle, which naturally also intrigued me to look into this a little further.

Natalee Holloway (born October 21, 1986, Clinton MS, time unknown) disappeared on May 30, 2005.  At the time, transiting Saturn was approaching a square to her Sun which culminated on June 30, 2005.  At the end of December transiting Saturn conjoined her Sun and less than two weeks later Natalee was finally declared dead at yesterday’s hearing.

Saturn presides over endings and the cutting off of things, as well as situations in our lives that challenge and test us.  Important events in our lives often come in seven year cycles, and because Saturn takes 28 – 30 years to make a complete cycle within the birthchart there are generally 6-8 years between Saturn cycles.  I’ve written about the “Seven Year Itch” and the fact that many marriages end at the seven-year point.

For Natalee Holloway, one transit of Saturn to her Sun witnessed her disappearance, and the next transit to her Sun witnessed her final demise.

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