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Late Weekend 12/17-18 Post: Mercury Retrograde Alert; Mars in Pisces; Going to Carolina in My Mind

Party on, dudes!

Since 8:15AM ET on Friday, the Moon has been in rip-roarin’ regal Leo, cruising without interference to fulfill its need for love-love-love me do. How can you shine — and help others shine, too? Buy them a warm and fuzzy gift. Pay them a compliment. Get together and play. On the downside, watch out for other kinds of plays made by would-be drama kings and queens.

There’s no Moon void to deter your shopping this weekend, save for one hour between 11:55AM ET and 12:53 PM ET on SUNDAY. After that hour of potential cranky twists and flakes (the void begins on a combative face-off between Mars and the Moon), Moon enters Virgo, getting everything organized and sorted for the last week before the holy-days. And perhaps putting back in order whatever feathers were ruffled over Sunday brunch ET.

BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS. Did I mention BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS?  Mental Mercury is slowing to a dead stop, turning retrograde at 5:55AM ET on MONDAY. There is no need to panic or grouse!

Those who know just enough about astrology to make them dangerous often curse Mercury retrograde, and that’s a shame. It gets a bad rap because we are geared, in this crazy modern age, to always be thinking, doing, moving FORWARD. Ya know what that gets you? Burn out! We need our down times, and Mercury retrograde is a perfect time to give our minds a rest — and an opportunity to review our progress over the past few months. Why else would your computer, phone and/or car choose this time to malfunction? Because you are supposed to be slowing down.

Be prepared for travel delays, scheduling screw-ups,  computer crashes, having to repeat what you’ve just said, misunderstandings, people you haven’t seen in years showing up on your doorstep and having to repeat what you just said. Take advantage of this prime opportunity to review and rethink a project you may have abandoned. It’s probably worth a second look.

Get out your Rolodex and reach out to people. Trust that they will be delighted to hear from you. Take a break from your routine. Take a vacation. Unplug your computer and cellphone.  Avoid signing contracts, making major purchases (especially mechanical ones) and losing patience. Make sure the restaurant you’re meeting at is still in business. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers and ignore the juicy gossip at the water cooler. Do plan on RElaxing, REviewing, REsearching, REorganizing, REgenerating, REconnecting and REcreating.

A key survival tactic to Mercury retrogrades is FOCUS. Your mind is tuned inward. Your autopilot is not reliable. FOCUS and triple check before transmitting thoughts and speech in any form.

Mercury retrogrades have a curious way of revealing what’s been hidden — often in plain sight.

Mercury will turn retrograde allllllmost exactly on a meet-up with dirt-digging Pluto at 15 degrees of Capricorn. So close — but no cigar? In terms of whatever revelation that could tip the balance of power if thoroughly reviewed? On a day when the Electoral Collage meets to vote on whom shall be declared fit to become the 45th U.S. President? With Moon in Virgo needing to get it right? The plot thickens…

Mercury will travel backwards through practical, status-seeking Capricorn — back to 0 degrees Capricorn (the prominent Aries Point) on January 5th. It backs further still into sloppy Sagittarius — to 28 degrees (where it was on December 1st),  before turning direct on January 9th. During that period of sloppiness and prominence (Jan 5-  Jan 9), the 115th U.S. Congress will meet.  Mercury will finally meet up with Pluto at 15 Capricorn on January 29th — let’s see how what’s going on in the headlines then compares to what’s going on in the news on Monday.

Now is the time to get your 2017 Really Useful Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide Bookmarks(which includes this upcoming retrograde).   They are $3.88 for one and $5.99 for three — cross my palm with silver via my Cosmic Tip Jar and I’ll send them off to you pronto — and I’ll need your snail mail address.

No sleeping on Monday — there is no Moon void. You might want to note your dreams that morning, as the Virgo Moon will be in touch with nebulous Neptune. You might need a double espresso to clear the fog — but proceed with caution. Also of note on Monday: Mars — symbolizing action and anger — leaves rebel Aquarius and plunges into the soulful waters of suffering Pisces — about an hour before Mercury turns retrograde.

Frankly, Mars is not particularly comfortable in Pisces; it’s like putting a hot poker into a vat of water. What do you get? Plenty of steam! Point is, Mars is more comfortable in an element which allows it to be direct, whereas the nature of Pisces is diffusive. Not only that, but on January 1st, Mars will be aligned with nebulous Neptune, ruler of Pisces. What does that suggest, you ask. On the plus side, it is excellent for glamor, charisma, show-stopping Hollywood spectacles, healing, faith and sublime escapes. On the down side, it can facilitate con artists and deceptions of all kind, fanaticism and seamy scandal — often in government and religious institutions. Actions taken or proposed may not be what they seem to be — especially with Mercury retrograde — so read the fine print if something lands on your desk on the last week of the year.

And now, the news.

In the wake of this week’s Full Moon and other patterns noted in the last forecast, I expected a few ice shelves to fall into the ocean — metaphorically speaking.

“Aleppo is now a synonym for hell,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York this week. It is humbling to confess that I can’t remember all the reasons why and all the parties involved in the war that has been going on for years in Syria — Syria is where Aleppo is, for geography-challenged Avid Readers. It’s like the war in 1984 — George Orwell’s prescient dystopian novel a must-read and/or worthy re-read in the aftermath of Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune (fake news; thought control) and Uranus square Pluto (upheaval of the status quo). The war’s been going on for so long — and no one can remember since when or why. It keeps people in a state of tension and fear. This week, the hell that is life in Aleppo got even worse.

Meanwhile, some may recall that at the end of November a court ordered North Carolina to redraw 28 electoral districts, finding that they were unconstitutional and discriminated against Latino and African-American voters. A special election is to be held at the end of 2017 — unless the federal judge’s ruling is overturned by the Supreme Court.

Republican legislators who oversee redistricting blasted the decision in a news release:

“This politically-motivated decision, which would effectively undo the will of millions of North Carolinians just days after they cast their ballots, is a gross overreach that blatantly disregards the constitutional guarantee for voters to duly elect their legislators to biennial terms,” Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Bob Rucho said in the release, adding that they have already appealed the original U.S. District Court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This week, Republican legislators staged a coup. A Democratic governor — Roy Cooper — will be sworn in next month. The Republican legislators, working with the current Republican governor — Pat McCrory — spent the day passing a slew of bills in a special session expressly intended to curtail the governor’s authority. Stunning. How can this be happening?
Not a day goes by when I do not remember first reading  — around 2005 or so — astrologer Bill Herbst’s sobering essays on how the seven squares between Uranus and Pluto (2012-2015) might be reflected in world events. He’s the one who piqued my interest in learning how planetary patterns are likely to be reflected in world events….which led to me developing my own passion for what we see in the daily headlines. Herbst pointed out that the last time we had a square between Uranus and Pluto was back in the early 30s — with rebel Uranus in warrior me-me-me Aries (where it is again now) challenging Pluto.  Mussolini and Hitler played roles suggested by Uranus in Aries — e.g., electrifying  and eccentric demagogues. Bill Herbst correctly anticipated over 10 years ago that this most recent Uranus-Pluto square would likely coincide with the rise of other rebel and eccentric (Uranus) leaders (Aries). And here we are.
Back to North Carolina…
Governor-elect Roy Cooper (D-NC) was born on June 13, 1957. Like Donald Trump, he has a 22 degree Gemini Sun — which means it was hit by this week’s Full Moon — and it will be opposed by transiting Saturn in January — the first of three hits, like Trump. Saturn refers to control, authority and limitation; the Sun is life force; ego energy. Unlike Trump, Cooper has Moon in Capricorn. He needs to make something happen with his diversified intelligence; he’s not desperately seeking respect. Still I’m intrigued — let’s see what kind of controls and focused advances these two men playing on opposite teams will experience around the same time in 2017.
Like Trump, Cooper has a planet or point at the end of Leo, conjunct the fixed star Regulus. This star is strongly connected to matters of honor and reputation, but the conventional wisdom caveat for people with a strong Regulus is this: “success if revenge is avoided.” Really. Hmm. In Cooper’s case, he has Pluto conjunct Regulus — so matters of power and transformation are tied to integrity and honor. In Trump’s case it’s his Leo Ascendant and  Mars — how he needs to be seen and how he needs to act. The total solar eclipse of August 21st happens at 28 Leo.
I wish we had a birth time for the incoming governor, but even so, his horoscope is hot in 2017. His Jupiter (expansion) is at 22 Virgo, and transiting Saturn squaring this planet suggests a serious structuring effort, tempering exuberance. Other measurements suggest an intense application of effort and force, possibly innovative and daring, though with transiting Neptune squaring his natal Saturn, reality is likely to be surreal or confounding in the near-term.
In other news…
A few quick stories reflecting illumination of information — and the fallout of this week’s Gemini Full Moon. First, Facebook is now fact-checking and flagging fake news. Second, if you have Google Chrome, you can get an extension that will fact check every one of Trump’s truth-twisted tweets instantly, courtesy of the Washington Post. Third, Google Chrome users can also get an extension that will change every image of the president-elect into an adorable kitten. Pepper the Thanksgiving Cat is lobbying hard for that one — and with her Mars in ruthless Scorpio, odds are she’ll prevail. Let’s close with the ever-cheerful NYT columnist Gail Collins, dashing off thoughts about the bromance between Vladimir Putin and the instantly-morphed adorable kitten that’s now on my computer screen.
Thank you for reading this forecast. To find out how Saturn may be streamlining your sphere of influence in 2017, schedule a personal consultation — or consider giving a consultation as a gift this holiday season.