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"The reading was a partnership between the two of us; she did not simply recite planetary signs and meanings, but had a conversation with me, continually asking what I made of what she saw, and what I thought I could do to change the things I want to change.

When the names of other people in my life came up, she quickly looked up their charts on her computer and commented on their roles in my life -- painting a fuller picture of where I was, where I wanted to go, and how I could get there.

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--Bill W.
New York

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Astro-logical Forecast for Monday & Tuesday 2/22-23/2016: Sneak Peek at the Week; Harper Lee & Umberto Eco, RIP

Happy Monday!

I hope you are starting the week with efficiency, using the discerning faculties of the Virgo Full Moon (exact at 1:20PM ET) to perfect your boundless ideal in greater detail. Said “ideal” would be suggested by the Pisces Sun in an approaching meet-up with visionary Neptune (exact on Sunday). A practical technical analysis may lend itself to you, courtesy of a communicative flow between Mercury (mindset) and Saturn (structure; ambition) — that’s exact on Thursday. What will you do with this potential illumination?

Structuring and focusing an all-encompassing vision is a theme echoed in the Sabian Symbols for this Full Moon. Don’t know the story of these cryptic Symbols? Here it is. For the Sun at 4 Pisces: “a colored child playing with white children” (remember that these Symbols were channeled in 1925); for the Moon at 4 Virgo: “heavy traffic on a narrow isthmus”.  Huzzah for the ever-helpful Sabian Symbol guru Blain Bovee, who points out that “‘play’ is an activity that blissfully ignores boundaries, rules and narrowly drawn lines of convention and bias”; whilst the latter of the two Symbols suggests “a well-defined sense of procedure that narrows into a bottleneck situation”. We are advised, says Bovee, to apply these Symbols “with a mind to the challenge of being tolerant while following a focused, narrow path to one’s goal; crossing social and ethnic boundaries with childlike ease…bottleneck issues slowing progress…needing to get away…funneling energy towards the key thing”. Bovee offers many other insights too numerous to mention here, but are readily available in his wonderful book.

Keep on plugging with discernment on Tuesday, using Virgo’s practical and earthy drive. Note the potential for an ambitious reach or a wet blanket around 1:02PM ET, as the Moon is challenged by taskmaster Saturn. Depth of analysis is facilitated around 3:17PM ET, as Moon trines Pluto just in time for tea. The evening builds to an enthusiastic release around 9:44PM ET, when the Moon meets up with expansive Jupiter.

Get it off your desk on Tuesday if you can, as the Virgo Moon goes void on Wednesday at 9:22AM ET, wandering through the day without dynamic thrust until 5:41PM ET. You might focus on routine tasks that require innovative sorting and refinement.  I say this because Mercury (mindset, communication) is in an easy alignment with Saturn (exact on Thursday) and Uranus (exact on Friday).  Roll with the twists and flakes that may detour your efforts to move forward in a straight line; perhaps indulge in a creative outlet that takes you in an unexpected direction. Resist the urge to turn a picayune molehill into a mountain of crisis. Chill — and avoid impulse purchases, as those made during Moon voids have an odd way of proving themselves not nearly as useful as you hoped they would be. But don’t just take it from me. Test the theory for yourself.

Once the Moon shifts into gear in Libra at 5:41PM ET on Wednesday, it drives the next few days with a need for social graces in relationship, as well as an appreciation for rational discourse seeking balance. In the wee hours on Friday morning ET, the balance may be disrupted by the Moon’s weekly clash with Pluto and Uranus. It goes void on a face-off with the latter at 6:18AM ET, facilitating your plans to start your weekend early.

And now, the news.

At the start of last week, I opined that the relative lack of action among the planets suggested a set-up for a dramatic event, seemingly happening out of nowhere on a perfectly routine day. On Saturday such an event happened in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Six people were killed — and others wounded — by one man in a series of series of random shootings. What’s interesting from an astro-logical perspective is that the chart for the time of the first shooting — around 6PM on 2/20/2016 in Kalamazoo — paints a picture of a potentially violent outburst. Immediately we see lethal Mars (guns, anger, war) very strong in Scorpio, not in connection to any other planet (thus demanding attention by “running wild), but smack dab on the angles of the horoscope. Planets on the angles of the chart for an event say much about its nature.

Which makes me think of another incident back in January I meant to write about as soon as it happened, because what was reported did not reflect what is suggested in the horoscope.  This was an alleged gang-rape of an 18 year old girl by five teens in a Brooklyn playground. It happened around 9:10PM on the 7th.  The first thing to notice is Neptune — planet of illusion, fog and alcohol — right on the angles of the chart. Other patterns suggest boundaries pushed, accounts revised and/or retracted, details blurred and  twisted and a potentially kinky expression of assertive energy. I did not believe initial reports in the papers, and I wondered why one reporter (and her editors) at one rag have paying jobs in journalism — see that initial write-up here. A week later, after the five teens were found, arrested and  charged, the case against them was “crumbling,” as murky and disturbing allegations involving the young woman’s father emerged. The DA apparently has until June to build its case for a grand jury.

I believe there were a few debates among the candidates running for president around that time. If memory serves, Neptune was on an angle at the start of each of those debates, too. Take that with a grain of salt.

If you’re a student of astrology and you just learned something new and exciting, why not express appreciation for the gift of knowledge right here. You would totally make my day.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush formally ended his presidential campaign just as transiting Jupiter hit 20 degrees of Virgo. Why is that significant? 20 Virgo was the degree of a potent eclipse in September, and as you may recall, Governor Bush’s horoscope was personally affected. The eclipse fell in his 12th house, close to his 23 Virgo Ascendant and square his Gemini Midheaven. Back in September, I noted that we needed to keep an eye on his horoscope in 2016, when Jupiter would trigger September’s eclipse. And speaking of eclipses, we have two of them next month, and you’ll find a bit of info on how eclipses can operate in that last link. As for Governor Bush, perhaps the third hit of Jupiter to his Ascendant and Midheaven in August will bring expansive opportunities, accompanied by shoes he can actually fill. By the end of this year and into 2017,  he likely be needing to get serious about core foundation and family concerns, as transiting Saturn hits the angles of his horoscope.

In other news, Umberto Eco — truly a one-of-a-kind novelist and scholar — passed away over the weekend. Looking at his horoscope, I expected to find eccentric/genius Uranus all over it. Yep. It’s there — sitting right at the top of the chart on the Midheaven, square to his Capricorn Sun and Mars. Those planets and that Midheaven have been under a high level of tension in the past couple of years, with transiting Uranus and Pluto supercharging them. Mr. Eco passed away with transiting Saturn exactly on his high-flying, big-picture focused Moon in Sagittarius.

Harper Lee, author of the beloved classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird, ” also passed away. I expected to see Uranian/Aquarian humanitarian themes in her horoscope, too .Yep, they are there. Ms. Lee is a Taurus, with her ruling planet — Venus — conjunct Uranus in Pisces, suggesting a need for sensitive yet avant garde social values and expression. Venus also rules her people-pleasing Libra Ascendant. Uranus trines the Midheaven, suggesting a need for that social consciousness to be expressed in her vocation. Additionally we see Mars conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius, in a complex and dynamic T-square pattern. They oppose Neptune — suggesting no small amount of energy and charisma —  and all three square a seriously intense meet-up between Moon and Saturn in Scorpio. This is a woman who would need to be appreciated for depth and substance. She is described by the NYT as “reclusive,” and her horoscope suggests that need, too.

It is fascinating to see that Ms. Lee’s 25 Libra Ascendant is about to be opposed by transiting Uranus starting in August of 2016, and again in May of 2017, then hovering around 25 Libra for weeks between  December 2017 and February 2018. Transits to the Ascendant from Uranus often suggest a fresh start, and horoscopes live forever.  Guess what’s planned for Ms. Lee around that time? A new production of “To Kill A Mockingbird”, written by Aaron Sorkin. This play has never had a Broadway run. A fresh start indeed — and potentially quite a splash when it premieres. Transiting Jupiter will cross her Ascendant in October of 2017 — how nice for a public debut. Transiting Jupiter will then conjoin her Moon-Saturn conjunction and engage and expand the other three planets in that T-square in the spring of 2018. Tony nominations, anyone?

UPDATE: have to add that Umberto Eco’s horoscope, as noted above, also reflects the “fresh start” potential of transiting Uranus to the Ascendant and/or Midheaven. And guess what? Mr. Eco had a book scheduled for publication this May….but now it will be published this weekend! Astrology is amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

Finally, because it’s always fun to end on a bright note — the weekend’s Leo Moon coincided with a heartwarming cat story. Did you hear about Kunkush? He belonged to a family of refugees who fled Iraq last fall. En route to their new home in Norway, Kunkush was lost on the island of Lesbos. Incredibly, he was reunited with his family last week. Roll heartwarming tape. Grab box of Kleenex.  Imagine a world where everyone treats everyone else with the kindness and care shown to Kunkush.

Thank you for reading this forecast. Here’s the 411 on consultations. I can’t imagine why you would not want to understand how planetary patterns are reflected in your own personal world. We will have an excellent and enlightening discussion together.

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