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Astro-logical Forecast for Thursday 2/13/2014: Building to a Full Moon in Leo

Drama!

The Moon in Leo is waxing to it fullness, exact Friday at 6:53PM ET. This suggest emotions are building to release — just in time for Valentine’s Day. When not issuing royal edicts, commanding your applause or sulking in a snit of wounded pride, Leo types are wonderfully playful and capable of being the life of any party.  The only aspect exact today is a smooth connection to the Leo Moon from Uranus in pioneering Aries, suggesting a day marked by innovation and unconventional associations. If you’re stuck at home because of the snow and ice and your heating system is still functioning as designed, it’s a good day for a fun break in your usual routine.

Meanwhile…

Regarding yesterday’s caveat about being careful on the roads around 6AM ET, given the potentially volatile challenge between the Moon and Mars (cars, action, outbursts), look what made headlines around that time. First, a stolen truck leads to a fatal collision with a bus in New York’s Greenwich Village…then, eight Corvettes are swallowed by a sinkhole in an auto museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

In other news, yesterday morning’s void of course Moon in “what’s for dinner?” Cancer had me positively drooling over this report of Tuesday’s state dinner at the White House — honoring the President of France. What a guest list! What a menu! What a swell party this is! Cue Ol’ Blue Eyes & Bing now, please — :45 into this clip — if only to hear them sing about the stars and colliding with Mars…

…and if you’d like more personal insights into what the stars suggest in your unique horoscope, here’s the 411 on astro-logical consultations.

Have a fabulous day!

 

 

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Wednesday 2/12/2014: Saturn Square Sun in the News; Shirley Temple Black RIP

The emotional security-seeking Cancer Moon goes void of course as of 5:51AM ET — and doesn’t enter Leo, the next sign, until 2:15PM ET. This suggests a twist or delay in your morning routine. Sometimes it’s as flaky as pouring water over coffee beans you forgot to grind beforehand, or having the waitress at the diner greet you with a cheerful “Good Morning!” when it’s 3 in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s sleeping through your alarm (especially with Mercury retrograde); fortunately, that kind of minor transgression is usually of no consequence during a void.

The only caveat I have with this morning’s Moon void is that it begins on a challenge between the sensitive, moody Moon and willful Mars. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed, perhaps? A little case of road rage? Be mindful in your morning commute…resist any temptation to engage in a scuffle or battle of words…otherwise, enjoy whatever wandering detour that may present itself.

The Moon’s ingress into Leo after 2PM ET finally gets the day in gear — likely noticeably so. Leo is a festive, playful energy that needs to shine and let others shine, too — even if it can be a totally bombastic drama queen on occasion.  It should lift any heaviness some may have felt during Tuesday’s heavy Sun-Saturn square. Party on, dudes!

Another planetary shift happens at 10:30PM ET. That’s when mental Mercury backs out of intuitive, empathic Pisces and into cerebral, innovative Aquarius, where it will remain until March 18th. Here’s to thinking out of the box for the next few weeks…

And now, the news.

Yesterday’s heavy duty Sun-Saturn square was reflected in at least one positive action by Congress yesterday, when this illustrious body actually raised the debt ceiling without conditions…at least until March 2015. Wow. Way to get serious — much to the dismay of the Tea Party, apparently. Thinking about the Tea Party — which did so well in the 2010 elections — made me wonder if Governor Chris Christie was first elected to office in 2010. Why? Because Venus was retrograde in November 2010, and there’s a greater than average risk of electing a candidate who later proves to be entirely unsuitable — a coyote date, if you will. And guess what? Chris Christie was indeed elected governor in November 2010. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Here’s another positive story along the Sun-Saturn sobering theme: a study just released about what make older people happy (and how it differs from what younger folks value). Not surprisingly, emotional and homeland security are tied in — thank you, Moon in Cancer. And Saturn refers to older people, doncha know…

Another heavy story — released on a day with Moon in Cancer disrupted by the Uranus-Pluto square — is about a vast study  “casting doubt on the value of mammograms”.  Cancer rules the breasts. Also heavy: Shirley Temple Black, the “darling of the Depression” (Saturn refers to depression) —  passed away on Monday night. I was surprised to read this in her New York Times obituary, especially in light of the story on mammograms hitting the headlines on the same day:

After winning an honorary Academy Award at the age of 6 and earning $3 million before puberty, Shirley Temple grew up to be a level-headed adult. At a time when operations for cancer were shrouded in secrecy, Mrs. Black held a news conference in her hospital room after her mastectomy to discuss her experience and to urge women discovering breast lumps not to “sit home and be afraid.” She is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.

Shirley Temple Black’s horoscope has Sun in Taurus and Moon in Gemini. This is a solid energy that needs to diversify, be clever, informed, intense and entertaining. Her Sagittarius Ascendant suggests a certain righteousness and need to express opinions. The gamboling/gambling spirit of the Sagittarius Ascendant (think of it as a first impression), is tempered by stern Saturn — suggesting a serious authority driving an expansive and meticulous ambition. See how those planetary patterns are expressed in this clip from the  film Curly Top, in which Shirley Temple has some serious opinions about animal crackers — presented in an informed, intensely entertaining Moon-in-Gemini way. Really, look at the authority in that tiny tot’s face. Does she mean business or what? RIP.

Astro-logical Forecast for Tuesday 2/11/2014: Mercury Retrograde/New Moon Stories; Saturn Square Sun

Another full day of Moon in Cancer, suggesting a need to focus on issues of emotional and home(land) security. Y’know, like Mom and apple pie — from scratch, if you please. Family. Nurturing. Your roots — and not the grey ones. Where are you from? Where do you belong? What’s for dinner? Something prepared with love and care, preferably.

A status-conscious indulgence in such matters may permeate the morning, courtesy of an opposition between the Moon and Venus (money, art, women, social expression) in pedigreed Capricorn.  This gives way to potential controls imposed or ambitions reached regarding a humanitarian or maverick agenda. And here we would be referring to an exact square between the Aquarius Sun and stern Saturn in Scorpio, exact at 2:57PM ET —  see yesterday’s forecast for individuals more likely to be personally affected by this gravitas. And get it off your desk today, as the Moon goes void Wednesday at 5:51AM ET, not to enter the next sign — Leo — until 2:15PM ET.

And now, the news.

In the New Moon forecast posted on January 30, I wrote that we could anticipate

…a lot of excitement, and Mercury will be retrograde through most it, suggesting some spectacularly misfired communication signals making headlines.

How curious then, to see not one, but several stories of “wrong-way” car crashes involving multiple fatalities. Here are two in Florida and California; here is one in Phoenix; here’s one in Argentina…and here’s actor Chris Kattan just plain crashing on the 101 Freeway.  But wait – there’s more. And it is frankly more in line with what I was thinking about when I wrote that New Moon forecast, as we add the seriously, seriously sobering potential of today’s Sun-Saturn square to other planetary patterns reflected in this spectacularly misfired communication snafu:

BAGHDAD — A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said. Full story here.

Seriously sobering.

In other news, another clear manifestation of shifting social paradigms (also suggested by the New Moon in Aquarius) happened over the weekend when N.F.L. prospect Michael Sam told the rest of the world what his college teammates already knew: he’s gay — and a really awesome defensive lineman, too. Deal with it. Meanwhile, the stock photo industry is beginning to change the way women are presented in its imagery. In another shift of paradigms, this one involving work, the Congressional Budget Office announced last week that the Affordable Care Act will allow a couple of million workers to leave the work force in favor of such things as retirement, spending more time with their families or starting their own businesses. But this did not stop the bewildering spin one might expect during Mercury retrograde (as in, don’t believe everything you read in the papers), combined with Neptune, as evidenced in some of those papers.

I was going to write a lengthy bit about the ongoing controversy involving Woody Allen, Mia Farrow and their adopted daughter, Dylan – since I mentioned it last week. Suffice it to say, all of the horoscopes are “hot”. Dylan is having her first Saturn return, suggesting an urgency about establishing herself in the material world and as an adult. Allen’s horoscope has been and continues to be hit by major transits from nebulous Neptune, suggesting  potential bewilderment, idealism, illusion and/or success in the arts. It is also directly affected by today’s heavy Sun-Saturn square. With Farrow, her horoscope has also been dealt a serious focus suggested by transiting Saturn, and her “make it happen” Capricorn Moon is currently supercharged by the disruptive, emotionally intense Uranus-Pluto square.

Point is, I have yet to see anyone make headlines who did not have intense activity in his or her horoscope, and what’s amazing and helpful about astrology is that we can use it to anticipate periods of intense development. What’s that saying? “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Something like that…

Mercury retrograde is an excellent time to REview your life with your astrologer. Here’s the 411 on scheduling a personal consultation…I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Monday 2/10/2014: Sneak Peek at the Week

As of 1:33AM ET, Moon enters sensitive, watery Cancer, seeking to fulfill its need for emotional/homeland security. This drive flows smoothly until around 9:27PM ET, when rebel Uranus makes its weekly disruptive connection to the Moon, suggesting a flash of insight or sudden jolt. Pluto follows up with a possible power play or catharsis when it connects with the Moon at 3:04AM ET on Tuesday. You are more likely to be affected by the Moon’s engagement with the Uranus-Pluto square if you have a planet or angle at 8-13 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn.

Exact planetary patterns are relatively light this week, save for a Full Moon on the 14th — Valentine’s Day — which suggests the potential for illuminations in relationship. More on that later in the week. The other aspect of significance — mentioned in Friday’s forecast — is a challenge between the Sun in Aquarius and “wet blanket” Saturn in Scorpio at 2:57PM ET on Tuesday. Somebody’s great humanitarian ideals hitting a proverbial brick wall…or just the sound of crickets? You will feel this second pattern more personally if you were born around the 11th of February, May, August or November…or if you have a planet or angle at 23 degrees of Scorpio, Taurus, Aquarius or Leo.  An ambitious reach, serious focus or necessary control could well be on your plate…and if you don’t know where your planets and angles are, consider ordering an Astro-Basics Report, described here.

Your Moon voids for the week — not ideal for scheduling meetings you wish to be of consequence or making major purchases — are as follows: Wednesday 5:51AM ET until 2:15PM ET; Friday 10:13PM ET until Saturday 2:25AM ET — so really, not too much of the double space out whammy potential of a Moon void combined with Mercury retrograde. Get to work REviewing, REseearching, REconnecting, REcharging and RElaxing…

I’ll do a news round-up in tomorrow’s forecast…

Mercury retrograde is an excellent time to REview your life with your astrologer. Here’s the 411 on scheduling a personal consultation…I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Friday 2/7/2014 & the Weekend: What’s the Buzz

A warm welcome to those of you who have recently signed up to receive these forecasts by email. And a big thank you to those of you who have shared my musings with others — so much appreciated — and to those of you who have clicked the big yellow DONATE button on the left hand column of the Daily Forecast page:  much, much gratitude indeed. I am delighted to keep you up-to-date planetary patterns.

The Taurus Moon has been void of course since 11:49PM ET last night and won’t be fully engaged in the next sign, Gemini, until 1:44PM ET. Combined with Mercury’s recent retrograde, the potential for flakes, delays and other twists in your efforts to move forward in a straight line is higher than usual. Mind the void survival strategy: chill out; don’t panic; remember that crises that crop up during Moon void are often much ado about nothing. Be patient, even though your valiant efforts may feel like herding so many cats.

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi begins at 11AM ET — yes, during the void. Well, that should be…interesting.  Would you like to watch it live? Here’s how to do that; otherwise wait until the U.S. official broadcast several hours later.  Once the Moon does enter Gemini around 2PM ET, there are still no exact aspects until 8PM ET, when retrograde Mercury challenges the Moon, followed by nebulous Neptune. That should also be…interesting.

Important Safety Tip: SLOW DOWN — in words, thoughts and travel. Our brains may not have adjusted to the mental shift; don’t take it for granted that what you say is being understood, or that you have all the facts straight.  This is especially important given that Mars, planet of action, is in a highly charged relationship with reckless, unpredictable and accident-prone Uranus. Slow down!

No Moon void on Saturday; just one communicative connection between the talk talk talk Gemini Moon and innovative Uranus. Good for innovative REviews and REorganizing information. Another possibly quiet day on Sunday, with a Moon void at 4:08PM ET – entering Cancer at 1:33AM ET. The next big planetary pattern happens on Tuesday, and we may be feeling a build to it now. And this would be a potentially ambitious reach or serious wet blanket, suggested by a challenge between karma cop Saturn in Scorpio and the life force-giving Sun. Watch the headlines…

Now that Venus is direct as of January 31st, some of us may experience a few changes of heart after falling madly in lust with an unsuitable partner during Venus retrograde. Exhibit A: Author JK Rowling just announced she regrets pairing Hermione up with Ron; she wishes Hermione had ended up with Harry. Zounds!

Meanwhile, I saw many wiggy items reflecting the pixie dust potential of the current oh-so-close hook up between Mercury and nebulous Neptune in dreamy Pisces. First, know that music is a Neptune theme, as is deception. How about this headline: “In Japan, a Beloved Deaf Composer Appears to be None of the Above”. With Neptune, things may not be what they seem.

Drugs are also a Neptune theme. There’s an article by actor Russell Brand — written a year ago — but making the rounds again on Facebook — about his past addiction and current sobriety. If we looked at Brand’s horoscope, do you think we’d find a strong Neptune aspect in it? You betcha.

Back to Neptune and music, with more Neptunian showbiz razzle-dazzle thrown in: Clay Aiken is running for Congress — in North Carolina. Add the empowered and emancipated feminine power of last week’s Venus (women, art) hook-up with potent Pluto to the mix, and you’ve got a much-talked about appearance by two women from the punk band Pussy Riot on The Colbert Report. These Uranus-Pluto disruptors of the status quo were freed from a Russian prison at the end of December, as the Sun and Mars engaged with the never-ending Uranus-Pluto square, suggesting the potential for an outbreak. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Last, but not least — an item reflecting the potential for emotional overkill — on the part of women, possibly involving aesthetics — also suggested by the challenging connection between Venus and Pluto. Check this out: “Statue of Underdressed Man Terrorizes Wellesley College”….and the artist responds to the outrage here.

Oh — one more thing: Mercury retrograde is an excellent time to REview your life with your astrologer. Here’s the 411 on scheduling a personal consultation…I look forward to hearing from you…have a great weekend!

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Thursday 2/6/2014: Mercury Goes Retrograde

Moon continues its sojourn through material security-seeking Taurus, diligently working to turn your inspiration into something of substance.  A challenge to your New Moon agenda may arise, given the First Quarter Moon at 2:22PM ET. Be patient whilst sorting it out, especially with mental Mercury bathed in rose-colored visionary fog and officially turning retrograde at 4 degrees of Pisces, exact at 4:43PM ET. Make sure the person you’re speaking with is actually on the same plane…or planet. Mercury will turn direct on February 28th.

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, mechanical breakdowns, 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.

You’ll have plenty of time to adjust to the shift and chill when the Moon goes void at 11:49PM ET, not to enter Gemini, the next sign, until 1:44pm ET. Ship it today if you can — preferably before Mercury goes retrograde.

Mercury retrograde is an excellent time to REview your life with an astrologer. Here’s the 411 on personal consultations.

 

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Wednesday 2/5/2014: Steady & Surreal?

The intense drive of Monday and Tuesday likely calms down, courtesy of the Moon’s ingress into steady, earthy Taurus at 4:46AM ET. Now is the time to consider how to give form to the bold initiatives suggested by yesterday’s (relatively New) Moon in fiery Aries. Organize, and likely re-organize, given that Mercury is at its station, about to turn retrograde tomorrow at 4:43PM ET. DID YOU BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS YET? This include iPhones and other “smart” gizmos. The only stories I want to hear of people upset because their address books were vaporized are from people who do not read this forecast ;)

This slower lunar pace may allow for a productive use of the dreamy/spacey mental atmosphere suggested by an oh-so-close connection between Mercury and nebulous Neptune. I compare this to yesterday, where in my Aries Moon-driven, rushing-about haste, I experienced a number of weird communication and thinking snafus, e.g., not being able to find phone numbers that were clearly included in emails, Skype on the fritz (impacting a consultation with an exceptionally cheerful and adaptable client  — it all worked out fine); emails sent into apparent black holes, etc. Remember the focus of this New Moon cycle is this: TURNING IN/tuning in…to your intuition, so you can connect with Source and remember why you are here. If you do not think you know how to pay attention to your intuitive sense, there are plenty of books, DVDs and meditation workshops to guide you.

Meanwhile…

Last year, I remember thinking about the movie version of The Life of Pi and how it perfectly reflected  Neptune themes of spirituality, fantasy and being lost (at sea!). How interesting, given mental Mercury’s connection with Neptune, to read this week about Jose Salvador Avarenga, who claims to have spent the last 13 months adrift in the Pacific. Life imitates art; art imitates life.

Drugs are also a Neptune thing, gosh there are a lot of headlines on the home page about that. Ross William Ulbricht  —  the “mastermind” behind Silk Road, a website that apparently facilitated millions of dollars in illegal drug selling and money laundering — has been indicted. Mr. Ulbricht is 29, and having his first Saturn return. This happens to everyone around 28/29; it’s a powerful transit suggesting a sense of urgency about establishing oneself as a responsible adult…those I suspect there’s much more going on in Mr. Ulbricht’s horoscope. Also of note; four people have been arrested and 350 bags of heroin were discovered in connection with actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s heroin-induced demise. Finally, CVS, the largest drug store chain in the U.S., announced it would stop selling cigarettes by October. Wow.

Lying is another Neptune keyword, and I was doing some research on that when I stumbled across the cosmic joke posted in yesterday’s forecast. Here’s another surreal (Neptune) giggle from the  lengthy bit I found  on the connection between lying…and laughing:

A dog goes into a telegraph office, takes a blank form and writes: ‘Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof.’

The clerk examines the paper and politely tells the dog: ‘There are only nine words here. You could send another “Woof” for the same price.’

The dog looks confused and replies, ‘But that would make no sense at all.’

Now for a limited time: the Cardinal Grand Cross Special. Find out how this important planetary pattern will impact your horoscope in 2014. If you were born around the 2nd of April, July, October and January, you are likely to find this mini-consultation especially helpful. Ditto if you have a planet or an angle around 9 – 14 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn.

 

 

 

Astro-logical Forecast for Tuesday 2/4/2014: It’s Elementary…

Another day of proactive drive, courtesy of the Moon in RAMbunctious Aries. There’s an easy balance this morning, which flows unimpeded until 6:14PM ET, when the me-me-me Aries Moon may clash with the relationship-oriented Mars in Libra. Let the conflict fizzle out with a sigh, as the Moon will be void-of-course from then until 4:46AM ET.  Remember that crises that crop up during voids are likely to be much ado about nothing. Chill!

A couple of patterns dominating this week: first, a dreamy/delusional flirtation between nebulous Neptune and Mercury in Pisces may result in fuzzy thinking and communication. Hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. What does your gut tell you?

Second, a carry over from last week: status-conscious Venus in Capricorn, just getting up to speed as it now moves forward, is close enough to ruthless Pluto to feel things oh-so-deeply — and sometimes just over the top. So, no…you’re not crazy. It’s a little weird out there…and intense. So how about a cosmic joke:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: ‘Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see.’

Watson replied: ‘I see millions and millions of stars.’

Holmes said: ‘And what do you deduce from that?’

Watson replied: ‘Well, if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like earth out there. And if there are a few planets like earth out there, there might also be life.’

And Holmes said: ‘Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.’

Get it off your desk before the Moon void begins at 6:14PM ET…did you BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS YET?

Now for a limited time: the Cardinal Grand Cross Special. Find out how this important planetary pattern will impact your horoscope in 2014. If you were born around the 2nd of April, July, October and January, you are likely to find this mini-consultation especially helpful. Ditto if you have a planet or an angle around 9 – 14 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn.

Astro-logical Forecast for Monday 2/3/2014: Sneak Peek at the Week; Phillip Seymour Hoffman, RIP

Well, OK! Is the game over yet? Yes, the Super Bowl is over, and after a looooong Moon void in dreamy Pisces. Was there a surprise upset in that game? Did the underdog win? You tell me. Meanwhile, as of 11:55PM ET Sunday, Moon is now fully engaged and charging through impulsive, fiery, pioneering Aries. What are you waiting for? Get to work! Planetary patterns suggest a high-octane day.

Be aware of the potential for a flash of insight or sudden jolt around 4:17PM ET, when rebel Uranus meets up with the Aries Moon. A power play or other catharsis may be yours around 9:15PM ET, when Moon is squared by ruthless Pluto. In between, expansive Jupiter adds its two cents with an infusion of optimism, generosity and/or bombast. An indulgent/self-indulgent connection between the me-me-me Aries Moon and Venus in status-conscious Capricorn wraps up the night.

The biggest planetary shift this week is Mercury turning retrograde on February 6th for a three week-long opportunity to review the progress you’ve made since the last Mercury retrograde, which was in November. No whingeing, if you please. These REview periods are necessary. They offer opportunities to REconnect, REsearch and RElax. Make space for those activities and you can actually have fun — really! Just do me a favor and BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS NOW. Electronic gizmos have a strange way of going on the fritz during Mercury retrogrades. Sometimes there are total meltdowns; other times the fritz will happen…and then be mysteriously resolved once Mercury, which refers to mind and communication, moves direct. More on the particulars of this Mercury retrograde later in the week what it means for you, etc.

Moon voids this week — schedule critical meetings and launch dates around them and avoid the malls: Tuesday 6:14PM ET until 4:46AM ET Wednesday; Thursday 11:49PM ET until Friday 1:44PM ET.

Lots of news to report. First, the continuing changes in our social paradigms were out in force in a few of those nifty Superbowl ads. Well, last week’s New Moon in Aquarius invited us to consider 1) tuning in to our sole/soul purpose; and 2) like it or not, we all wrestle with the same issues. We all put our pants on one leg at at time. We’re all in this together…and there was the adorable Cheerios family back in a new Superbowl ad to prove it, not to mention everyone in this historic ad for Coca-Cola. The latter ad features “America the Beautiful,” a song with lyrics written by a professor of English at Wellesley College — and here’s the story behind it.

Plenty of “news from underground” reflecting last Friday’s opposition between Pluto (lord of the underworld) and Jupiter: a deadly volcanic eruption in Sumatra and more lava spewing forth on Mt. Etna. Regarding news involving energy and resources, the proposed Keystone pipeline is one step closer to approval, as yet another Canadian train carrying “thick crude and other hazardous chemicals” derailed in Mississippi. Meanwhile, some states are actually facing budget surpluses, and battles are expected over how to spend all that money…as California and other Western states are facing a serious, serious lack of water (as projected in earlier posts,  given Neptune in Pisces).

In other news, the never-ending Uranus-Pluto square, suggesting massive disruptions of the status quo, was reflected in this front-page story about “the largest migration of people in human history,” as villages in China are demolished and their residents move into cities.  This morning, yet another article about America’s vaporizing middle class hit the NYT home page: Barney’s is in; Loehmann’s is out.

Seems like there’s always a headline reflecting the nitty-gritty, down and dirty potential of Saturn’s current transit through Scorpio: sex (abortion, contraception, rape),  death and money (debt). Really, am I the only one noticing how often these issues are in our face in the past year? Today we learn that abortions in the U.S. are at their lowest rate in three decades. Capital punishment has been generating controversy, as certain drugs used to execute Death Row inmates in the U.S. are no longer available. And over the weekend, the NYT published a letter from Dylan (a.k.a. Malone) Farrow about the sexual abuse she states was inflicted upon her by her adoptive father, Woody Allen. The Daily Beast also had a take on this story (from the documentary filmmaker who made a film about Allen) and so did The Onion (from Mr. Allen himself — bearing in mind that The Onion is a satirical publication).

Follow-up story: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who gave one of the Republican rebuttals to last week’s State of the Union speech, stated in a CNN interview that she absolutely supported laws that gave women equal pay for equal work. Further investigation revealed, however, that while she may support said laws in principle, she has not actually voted for any of them. Given her horoscope — especially the challenging connection between Mercury (mindset) and nebulous Neptune, this idealistic spin on hard, cold facts is not surprising. Prior post on her horoscope is here.

Last, but not least, acclaimed actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman died yesterday, as most of the Free World now knows. I could not help but think of two planetary patterns that happened the week of Whitney Houston’s sudden death, especially since I gave a talk about it a couple of weeks ago. Houston passed away just as Venus (art, money, women, social expression) made challenging connections to Uranus and Pluto..and also just as Mercury (mindset) was about to meet up with nebulous Neptune (drugs, illusion, film, music, spirit, escape). Same patterns are happening now.

We do not have a confirmed birth time for Mr. Hoffman; the Sun changed signs from Cancer to Leo on his birthday — July 23 1967.  It would take considerable time to test potential birthtimes, and our interest in looking at the horoscope is not to find out what sign he is, but to confirm certain transiting and natal patterns we could expect to see, given recent events.  Drug addiction? We’re probably going to see a strong Neptune. Sudden disruption of the status quo? We’re probably going to see the horoscope impacted by the never-ending Uranus-Pluto square. For starters.

A quick glance at the noon chart, and we’re immediately drawn to an exact square between heavy Saturn at 12 degrees of Aries and mental Mercury  at 12 degrees of  Cancer. Well, there you go — that somber, disciplined pattern has in fact been under fire from the Uranus-Pluto square, augmented by additional pressure from Jupiter and Mars. Right? Everybody with me on this one? Anyone born 9  to 13 days into the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn…or with a planet or an angle at 9 to 13 degrees of these signs is most likely experiencing pressure to change…that can, if managed effectively, lead to empowerment and emancipation. Really. Book a consultation with your astrologer and plan a strategy! What are you waiting for?

In Hoffman’s case, the pressure on Mercury would suggest high tension to the nervous system/mindset/communication;  the pressure on Saturn (from Pluto especially) suggests hard, hard effort under threat of loss…likely feeling overwhelmed in recent months…and as it turns out, he did check into a rehab clinic last year after reliance on prescription drugs segued back into heroin, an old demon.

Natally, a  Mercury-Saturn square suggests the potential for great mental discipline/focus…but also depression. Interesting to see this line from his obituary in the New York Times:  “…perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation…who embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway…”  The word “burdensome” is an apt word for hard Mercury-Saturn configuration. But oh what awesome mental powers, too.

Contrast the rigid Mercury -Saturn square under fire with a potentially bewildering square between Hoffman’s natal Neptune at 21 Scorpio and his Moon in Aquarius. Yes…a strong Neptune in the horoscope, as we might suspect. The Neptune-Moon square suggests a need for idealism;  drugs, film, illusion, sacrifice, escape, spiritualism would be potential experiences and/or expressions, and it would be a helpful for an actor/chameleon to have this resource in a toolkit. Not surprisingly, this Moon-Neptune square has been under pressure from a heavy Saturn transit, suggesting issues with structure, ambition and reality. Side note: Dennis Rodman has Neptune on his Midheaven, and it was just hit by transiting Saturn. Guess what? He has gone into rehab — again.

Also of note in Hoffman’s horoscope: a midpoint picture involving Saturn/Pluto, the Aries Point and Chiron, the wounded healer. In consultation with a client with this aspect pattern, we’d expect to find a ready discussion of a prominent “skeleton in the closet,” along with prominent suffering of a pain that defies integration. Mr. Hoffman made no secret of his struggles with addiction. At age 46, Hoffman was at a key turning point in life. Truly a sorrow that he did not survive the heavy pressure and tension suggested by the horoscope. This, too, would have passed. RIP

Mercury retrogrades are excellent times to REview your life with an astrologer. Here’s the 411 on consultations…