“The Election From Hell, or, Mercury Retrograde Strikes Again.”

It’s really too bad that more politicians, government agencies, NASA, and the San Diego Chargers don’t regularly consult with astrologers. We could sure save everybody a lot of time, energy, and money. But I’m sure there is a perfect random rhythm at work in the world, that fickle finger of fate just waiting to teach us our collective karmic lessons. But what the heck was the lesson to be learned from this last election, November 7, 2000? There’s no simple answer, but some light can be shed on this debacle by looking at the astrological influences around election time, and the natal charts of the presidential candidates.

Well first of all, Mercury went retrograde at 16 degrees Scorpio on October 18 and stayed retrograde for 20 days until resuming direct motion at 29 degrees Libra on November 7, Election Day. Now, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Mercury, the planet of communication, goes retrograde, which appears like a backwards motion through the zodiac, several times a year. Planets don’t really go backwards, it just looks that way from earth because of the relationship of planetary orbits. But it might as well be going backwards, because reversals, cancellations, computer crashes, lost car keys, mechanical breakdowns, and general confusion seems to reign during these periods.

Don’t get me wrong; there are good things that happen, too. Babies with unusual thinking will be born, people from your past will resurface, and you may find solutions to old problems. But it is the contrary side of Mercury retrograde that goads astrologers to advise clients to rethink travel plans, delay signing important contracts, reschedule job interviews, and change dates for surgery. Murphy’s Law is just much more rampant at these times. So why chance it?

But this time we really didn’t have a choice. As fate would have it, Election Day just happened to fall on the last day of Mercury retrograde. It is my personal feeling that the most volatile days of the Mercury retrograde cycle are the day it goes retrograde, and the day it goes direct. That would be Election Day. Add a spacey Pisces moon at the top of the chart for Washington, D.C. that day, and voila, the perfect formula for mega- confusion. Pisces is also the symbol of the victim, the martyr, and the savior. It is a Christ symbol and signifies a shift in consciousness, or awakening, like the Hanged-man card in the Tarot. What a wake-up call for anyone who has been complacent about his or her right and responsibility to vote. The experience of this election has certainly caused a huge shift in awareness. We all know more then we ever wanted to know about the electoral collage, that network news truly is all an illusion, and that truth is often relative.

Another intriguing factor comes into play when looking at the birth charts of the two candidates. I have never seen such striking parallels, contrasts, and coincidences. This obviously must account for the resulting “dead heat”. Both men are Cardinal Signs, Gore a Sun Sign Aries, and Bush a Sun Sign Cancer. Cardinal Signs can be decisive, have leadership ability, and need to learn more about follow through. Aries is a super-aggressive fire sign, Cancer a magnetic, super-emotional water sign. They don’t usually get along very well. Both men have Leo on the Ascendant, or Leo Rising. In fact, their Rising Signs are only a few degrees apart. This means both men want to be king, have strong egos, like the spot light, can be stubborn and dictatorial, can also be generous and entertaining, and tend to be sore losers.

Planetary transits, the manner in which current planetary positions affect a person’s planetary positions at birth, can give amazing insight into the potential outcome of events. The planet Neptune is currently opposing Al Gore’s Leo Ascendant. This means confusion in relationships, bad advice from lawyers and advisors, unclear communications, concealed information, legal confrontations, completely unexpected events, powerful enemies, deception, suspicion, and lots of other really ugly stuff. Al has been under the influence of this transit for over a year. But George Bush is just about to experience the exact same transit starting February 2001! Truly fascinating.

Gore’s 9th house Aries Sun certainly seems presidential, but his natal Sun-Neptune opposition indicates a tendency towards self-delusion and lack of clarity. It could also tend to make him a “sacrificial lamb” or scapegoat. Bush’s natal Sun falls in the 12th house, which carries nearly the same meaning. His 12th house Sun in Cancer squares his natal Neptune, which can account for his problems with addiction and many secretive and unusual elements affecting his life path. Both Gore and Bush are likely to have problems with secret enemies. One has to wonder about future assassination attempts.

But the ruling planet of Aquarius, revolutionary Uranus, is also a major factor for both candidates. Interestingly, Uranus has a special relationship to politics because of its association with social consciousness and rebellion. Uranus transits are major indicators of change in a person’s life, both personally, and publicly. In Al Gore’s chart, transiting Uranus is opposing his natal Saturn. All of his life structures are being challenged. He feels uneasy, like he can’t depend on anyone or anything. Problems suddenly surface and hidden tensions erupt. Enemies are formidable, and answers are hard to come by. This is not exactly a great transit to have when you are trying to get elected to the highest office in the land, but it makes sense. Transiting Uranus is also loosely opposing Gore’s natal Mars, which is making him feel rebellious, explosive, angry, and super-assertive. This definitely makes him want to fight. This guy is in a very warlike mood, and if he were to become our next president, if would probably surface in his foreign policies.

George W. Bush has a very different Uranian influence operating in his chart. His natal Moon and Jupiter are conjunct in the sign of Libra. Interestingly, both men have Moon-Jupiter conjunctions in their natal charts, generally a sign of a fortunate birth and dealings with the public. In Bush’s case, transiting Uranus is trining his natal Moon-Jupiter conjunction. This usually indicates movement, change, emotional growth, unexpected breaks, and plain good luck. No matter how difficult or confusing life might seem for George W., he’s got lucky stars right now, and that’s all there is to it. As I am writing this article, there is still no decision, but I feel George W. will most likely be our new leader, which was my prediction back in January 2000. If this is true, a president with the ruler of the 1rst house in the 12th house will have a most unusual term in office. I can’t wait to see what kind of mysteries, twists, and turns are in store. Hopefully, Bush will pull in his intuitive wisdom to help guide the country, and not resort to 12th house behind-the scenes tactics to get what he wants.

When all is said and done, our new president, whomever that might be, is going to have a hell of a time and will need our support, no matter what our party affiliations might be. It is my hope that we, the people, start to take a more active role in choosing our leaders and deciding what our country stands for. This process will test all of our beliefs, and help us gain more clarity about our hopes, dreams, and wishes for this great country and ourselves.

On a more personal note, Happy Holidays to everyone! Don’t let the stress get you down, and remember, the beginning of the New Year is a great time to get your own chart updated.

The Year 2000 has arrived, but what does it mean?

Well, step into my parlor and I shall attempt to explain. The long awaited date is here, and that in and of itself is cause for much excitement. Some people actually thought that this would be ” The End of Days”. The apocalypse did not manifest, and I am truly hoping this might prompt certain religious groups to reevaluate their beliefs. Others wondered if we would have a technological meltdown of grand proportions from the infamous Y2K bug. But our collective will power, optimism, and hard work have insured our survival. The theme song for this year ought to be “We can work it out.” Life has found a way. So, as this New Year gets off the ground, it really does seem like a good time to celebrate. But reality is calling to us. What lies ahead and how can we best prepare for it? Astrology can really help shed light on coming trends, both personally and globally. In the following article I will give you some serious hints to help you to get in sync with the cosmos.

Here’s the first big hint. People with predominantly fixed signs in their birth charts, that is the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in the sign of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, are still in for the biggest changes and challenges. Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus, and Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius will make sure of that. Another big hint has to do with people with mutable signs prominently featured in their charts. This would be individuals with their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Pluto in Sagittarius is the operative in this scenario. So, those of you who know you have these positions on your natal chart, listen up! If you don’t know, now’s a good time to contact an astrologer and find out. Remember, astrology is not an about predictions that are absolute or set in stone. It’s more like a weather report, outlining the most likely conditions we can expect to deal with. And as we grow and evolve as beings, we begin to have more control over the way react to these conditions. Remember that we have free will. But before I go into the personal arena, let me give you an overview of the year in a broader sense to get you started.

In order to look ahead, we need to observe the outer planets. Their relationships are changing more slowly, so we have time to step back and look at the big picture. The outer planets affect for much longer periods of time, so understanding them can be a key to some of our major life lessons. I’d like to start with just a few words about Pluto. Every body else is going to be busy talking about the planetary alignment in Taurus this coming May, so I thought I’d dare to be different. On New Year’s Eve, Pluto was highlighted because of its conjunction with Chiron. Pluto rules transformation, death, rebirth, power, regeneration, and our deepest psychological motivations. It has been suggested that Chiron symbolizes healing of karmic wounds. Pluto is the only major outer planet this year not in a fixed sign, that is until Saturn briefly moves into Gemini for a couple of months in late summer. This sort of gives Pluto a free hand, as the other outer planets in Taurus and Aquarius will be busy engaging one another. So to me, this suggests a great year for spiritual awakenings and releasing from restrictive patterns from the past, along with that healing energy from Chiron. Sounds like a good year for therapists and healers, and those of us who need to go see them.

Pluto entered Sagittarius in January of 1995, and is nearly halfway through the sign. It will exit the sign and go into Capricorn in 2008. As I mentioned before, Pluto leads us to areas of rebirth and transformation. Sagittarius is related to politics, religion, justice, law, higher truth, and education. Pluto’s entrance into Sagittarius marked a period where our belief systems would be put to the test. This is a time when political and religious tensions will run high. People will be willing to fight for their beliefs, which in some cases will be positive, and in others cases will lead to fanaticism. No one can forget events like the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995, as fanaticism and terrorism reached new heights on U.S. soil. But Pluto is also forcing us to find new ways to resolve our differences and to respect each other’s rights and freedoms. We will still be dealing with riots, rebellion, and terrorism, but it will force us to take action and find solutions. Let us hope that our fight for freedom does not result in a complete authoritarian backlash in 2008, when Pluto enters the sign of Capricorn.

On the personal level, Pluto in Sagittarius is spurring all of us on to get more in touch with our spirituality. We are being prodded to expand our philosophy, remove blocks to becoming more educated and aware, and experience situations that call for tolerance and understanding of others. We also may have realized our own personal need for more freedom and adventure. Patterns that we have unconsciously developed that have killed our optimism or our spirit of fun will be challenged. This Pluto cycle will point out the need for an open mind, and positive action. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

I often turn to the spiritual or symbolic meaning of the particular degrees of the zodiac to get more insight as to the higher meaning of a specific time period. Dane Rudyar’s well known book, ” An Astrological Mandala”, describes the 360 degrees of the zodiac in spiritual and psychological terms. It is a beautiful book to assist you in deepening your understanding of astrology, and I highly recommend it. The Sabian Symbol for Pluto at 11 degrees of Sagittarius on 1/1/00 is as follows: “A flag turns into an eagle, the eagle into a chanticleer, (that’s a rooster), saluting the dawn.” The flag is an obvious symbol of our political allegiance. The eagle is definitely an American icon, a symbol of our freedom. Eagle also has deep meaning for Native Americans, symbolizing wisdom, illumination, and connection to the Great Spirit. The rooster crowing at the dawning of a new day has always been a symbol of hope and renewal. In the year 2000 I feel we should strive to bring our highest ideals into reality. Together we are heralding in the future. The keyword for the symbol of this degree is Annunciation. This word is often used in a sacred context, referring to the angels announcing the coming of Christ’s birth to the Virgin Mary. There is a new order being born.

This is our wake up call. It’s time to put our beliefs into practice, for ourselves and for our world. Looking at the big picture, I feel that this year represents a crucial turning point for the United States and its future role as a world power. The U.S. will definitely be asked to step up to bat in key international struggles this year. India, Pakistan, and the Middle East are just a few of the areas that I expect to see in the spotlight.

But on a more personal level, in the year 2000, people born between on the following dates should take special note:

  • Sagittarians born between December 1st and December 6th. Pluto is conjunct your Sun.
  • Pisceans born between March 1st and March 6th. Pluto is square your Sun.
  • Geminis born between June 1st and June 6th. Pluto is opposing you Sun.
  • Virgos born between September 1st and September 6th. Pluto is square your Sun.

Now, don’t run screaming from the room yet. These powerful astrological influences, known as transits, are not to be feared. Not in my philosophy, anyway. But these particular types of Pluto transits symbolize endings, transformations, and rebirth. In some cases this might mean the ending of a job or important relationship. Or it may symbolize a big revelation about the meaning of your life in some key area, like your marriage or your spiritual path. You may feel that you are in a time of great personal challenge, but it represents an unprecedented opportunity to grow. This is a time of shedding your old skin. If you see situations around you ending, don’t hold on to the past. Pluto brings to light deep unconscious or subconscious patterns that have been dictating our behavior. This can be a rude awakening and can sometimes be quite painful, but the benefit of such growth is immense. If your present circumstances have been built on rigid or negative beliefs, change is inevitable. This is all about your higher good. At this time you will be able to see what sort of karma you have been accumulating. This shift in your awareness will enable you to eliminate toxic patterns of behavior and really begin to turn over a new leaf. This also may mark a period in which latent talents and abilities that have been dormant for many years may surface. Also, those with the Moon or Ascendant between 10 and 12 degrees of the signs mentioned above will most likely be having similar experiences.

See, Pluto really is interesting! But I guess I’d better mention the other planets, too. There’s big news about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, With Uranus and Neptune in groundbreaking Aquarius, the theme of spiritual and social revolution has been running strong. But here’s the rub. Jupiter and Saturn in conservative Taurus are running contrary to the Aquarian New Order. This conflict will be highlighted during the month of May. There is a planetary alignment in Taurus, right in the beginning of the month.

Three key aspects; Saturn square Uranus, Jupiter square Uranus, and Jupiter conjunct Saturn follow this alignment. Three strong possibilities are suggested here. First, political tensions and uprisings are likely. This could indicate warlike tendencies coming to the fore. Also, the old guard is ousted, and the new regime makes a bid for power. This sets the stage for Republican domination in the White House. Elsewhere, more resignations and military coups are likely.

Next, international and national financial concerns will be prominent. This could be a time to carefully watch the stock market. A conservative swing could be on the move. Personally, I feel the Taurus planets will continue to stimulate financial opportunity, even if temporary setbacks or controversy arise. Concerns about money, debt, resources, and ecology will take center stage during this period of time.

Last but not least, this combination of planets is sometimes responsible for earthquakes and other natural disasters. The Grand Cross in fixed signs last August proved this point. It set off an amazing chain reaction of quakes in Turkey, Greece, Japan, and Mexico. I think we might be in for some big California shakers between May and June of 2000. Three eclipses in July could also stimulate earth changes. I do not feel this will be anything we can’t handle. It’s just more likely to happen.

Now it’s time to get up close and personal. I’m going to give you forecasts for each of the sun signs for 2000. Sun sign predictions are by nature general. This is not intended to take the place of an in depth analysis of you natal chart, but I’ve attempted to be as specific as possible. So, here goes.

Aries: Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius are fanning your flames, stimulating new social connections and creating interest in spiritual matters. Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus may make your feel like you are chomping at the bit when it comes to money and business. Be patient. I know that’s hard for Aries to do, but you will see gradual progress in these areas this year. Pluto in Sagittarius is sending you positive energy to become more powerful and make important changes with ease. You are in a period of growth and expansion. Take advantage of it.

Taurus: Attitude is everything this year. Help arrives in February as Jupiter enters your sign. All the hard work of the past year and a half is starting to make sense. Your responsibilities might still be great, but you’ll start to see light at the end to the tunnel. Getting your finances in order will still be a concern this year, with some definite improvement. The likelihood of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune still giving you fits is high. If you can muster up a winning attitude, you will be able to remove many obstacles and illusions, if you are ready. Do things that help to decrease stress. Keep a cool head in early May. Then, you’re over the hump.

Gemini: Most Geminis are having a good time, receiving cool airy energy from Uranus and Neptune , encouraging their creative and mental pursuits, and opening up social opportunities. But those of you with birthdays that fall between the 1st and the 6th will experience a Pluto/Sun opposition this year. This could truly challenge your status quo. Be ready to face issues head on. Change and adaptation are your friends. This could be a milestone year for you, letting go of the past and beginning anew. Be aware, pay attention, and seek advice and help if you need it.

Cancer: Moon children are being helped along by the stabilizing energy of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus. While others might experience Taurus cycles as conservative and boring, Cancer finds Taurus very comforting, and this could mark a time of achievement and confidence building. This should be a good year for personal and professional advancement. The partial solar eclipse on July 1st is at 10 degrees of Cancer. This could be an important month with significant and fateful events that will shape your future. This may be more profound if you have a Cancer planet close to the degree of the eclipse.

Leo: Another fixed sign, like Taurus, many Leo’s have been in the hot seat for change. Uranus in Aquarius began changing all the rules for you back in 1996, Neptune started mystifying you in 1998, and it’s still happening. But you’re getting much better at navigating the new territory. You have been put into new roles and are motivated to keep changing. Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus keep you working hard for your money, but it will pay off. Pluto is also sending positive energy to fire signs, so you’ll have what it takes to get through this busy year. Beware of stress in May. That would be a good month for a brief vacation. Lunar eclipse on January 20th and July 30th may set off important new cycles for you. This may be more apparent for Leos born between July 24th and August 1st.

Virgo: Jupiter and Saturn set the stage for Virgo progress in 2000. This should be a nice burst of enthusiasm for business and educational goals. Virgo productivity could be very high. But the Virgos born between the 1st and the 6th of September are going through a Pluto/Sun square. Which could bring about a bit of an identity crisis. Stay centered and focused, and get moving to get yourself free of past restrictions. Remember, you have free will You don’t have to stay in stultifying situations. This may be a time to reevaluate your goals and your path. This could result in a new cycle of progress and success.

Libra: Libra should have it pretty good right now, if you’re not busy getting in your own way. You are receiving spiritual and expressive vibrations from Uranus and Neptune to help you get in touch with your higher self. You may find yourself drawn to explore the arts or writing. This should also help you expand your social calendar and business possibilities as well. Sextiling rays from Pluto in Sagittarius make you feel invincible. Taurus planets Jupiter and Saturn will encourage you to stay grounded and practical at the same time. Make the most of this year and get ahead.

Scorpio: Saturn in Taurus has been putting you through your paces and by now you’ve had enough and are ready to let go of the struggling. Use your will power to remove obstacles. Also be sure to recognize areas where you can simply let go of control and go with the flow. It’s time to cut your losses and strike out in new directions. Keep your cool in the beginning of May while that Taurus alignment opposes you. If you’re not careful, you could become embroiled in some hefty power struggles around that time. Not that you should have to put up with wrongdoing, but know your limitations. This too shall pass. The squares from Uranus and Neptune should actually help you get motivated to change for the better. Pay attention to your health.

Sagittarius: Pluto in your sign is begging you to be reborn. You are in touch with the intensity and power of Pluto. It’s kind of like having a tiger by the tail. You must make friends with the tiger, and channel this power, or he might turn around and bite you in the butt. You may be ready for big changes, perhaps a move or a new job. Carefully evaluate your relationships. Are you being too pushy or unreasonable, or is it the other way around? Don’t allow hidden agendas mess things up. Conversely, don’t try to sweep important matters under the carpet. If you were born between the 1st and 6th of December, you are experiencing a Pluto/Sun conjunction. You will have a life-changing year, internally, externally, or both. Embrace changes and emerge a winner. If you find yourself going through a complete meltdown, get help. Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius will stimulate your mind. So, think up some great new solutions to old dilemmas. Money could be an issue, more conservative tactics might be in order. Release the past, be aware of your role in power struggles, and keep your chin up. This is actually good for you.

Capricorn: Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus should spur you on to overcome any inertia you may have been experiencing. Now is a time to really apply yourself. You need a list of specific goals that are attainable. Your sense of fun and creativity might be making a long awaited comeback. This is a good time to pay attention to your body and your need for recreation. You are probably responding to Uranus and Neptune in subtle ways. You may find yourself drawn to new people and unusual projects. Go with it. You could use a few new friends. A partial lunar eclipse on July 16th and partial solar eclipse on December 25th , both in Capricorn, may bring about important events for you. Pay special attention to days surrounding both of those dates. They could signify unusual opportunities or experiences and psychic awakening.

Aquarius: Spaced out and restless? It’s time to channel the cosmic mysteries form Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius and turn it into something big. You need a goal now. That will turn the Taurus squares from Jupiter and Saturn into momentum instead of frustration. Seriously, with a balanced attitude, you could move mountains this year. Be prepared for the unexpected. It should be positive. Money and responsibilities may make you cranky, but all in all, you’ve got what it takes to solve your problems. Chill out in early May. Tensions may run high around then. Your psychic energy is going right through the roof, so listen to your inner voice. You will most likely be right on the money. A partial solar eclipse on February 5th could bring in significant events that will affect the rest of the year.

Pisces: Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus should help you make positive and practical decisions about home and business this year. The emphasis will be on creating greater security and establishing foundations. Those born between March 1st and 6th will be experiencing a Pluto/Sun square. You may be asking lots of questions that seem to have no answers at the moment. It may be time to chose a different path in the career area, or even in important relationships. Even stable situations may call for some adjustments. Use your inner calm to help navigate the frustrating moments. This year will prosper for you if you try harder. Focus and adaptation will be key words for you. Use the Pluto square to overcome excessive guilt and worry. Don’t buckle under. This phase will ultimately lead to growth and really powerful changes for the better.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year! Chinese New Year is coming, and it’s the year of the Dragon, which should be extremely exciting and eventful. The Dragon will bring us powerful political changes coming from behind the scene, and advancement in medicine and law. Here are a few of my New Years Predictions for the Year 2000.

  1. George Bush is our new president.
  2. US military activity in the Middle East possible by mid-year.
  3. Tensions run high in Pakistan and India, with war a likely outcome.
  4. Earthquake activity high in May and June, Los Angeles, San Francisco and northern California could be affected.
  5. A possible brush with death or assassination attempt on President Clinton.
  6. UFO sitings and the discovery of a strange celestial phenomenon.
  7. China could get some seriously bad press concerning religious persecution and human rights violations.
  8. Important medical developments arise in cancer research.
  9. The Saint Louis Rams have a good shot at the Super Bowl.
  10. The Saint Louis Rams have a good shot at the Super Bowl.

Meditations on the August 11, 1999 Solar Eclipse

It seems that we are living in a time of prophecy. And depending on which prophecy your talking about and how it’s being interpreted, that can be either exciting or terrifying. There are a few dates that are standouts, but one that seems crucial to many astrologers is August 11, 1999. On this day there will be a solar eclipse,( a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon), at 18 Leo. The eclipse is part of a larger configuration know as a grand cross. The Sun/Moon at 18 Leo will oppose Uranus at 14 Aquarius, while Mars at 16 Scorpio will oppose Saturn at 16 Taurus. With most of the heavenly bodies in our solar system lined up near one the of these four corners, this aspect pattern sort of resembles a cosmic tug-of-war. Grand cross configurations occur fairly regularly, many of us were born with them in our own birth charts. What makes the August 11th pattern so unusual is the simultaneous eclipse and the emphasis of the middle degrees of the fixed signs, which are particularly potent areas of the zodiac. This does add up to a huge amount of dynamic tension. Many people have decided to label this date as ominous, particularly in light of recent world events and certain rather suspicious ancient prophecies, such as Nostradamus and the Aztecs. In my opinion, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that this event portends inevitable disaster. However, I don’t want to underestimate the importance of what is happening. This event has been anticipated for decades and represents a powerful turning point in history. We may also see profound turning points in our own personal lives as well.

So, what is this all about, you might ask? One source I read sited a very similar astronomical event in 110 B.C., and from all available historical data, the world seems to have survived. But the number of prophecies pointing at this date is certainly interesting. Most notably, Nostradamus, who to my understanding sites July 1999 in one of his most famous quatrains. I will take a great liberty and give you my translation of what he wrote. In the year 1999 and 7 months, from the sky will come a terrible king. Resurrecting the great king of the Mongols. Before and after, Mars reigns in his happy hour. Now, this is not the easiest thing to figure out, but obviously points to some kind of warlike event. Some believe it signifies the war to end all wars, some say nuclear disaster, and perhaps an attack from hostile aliens. Quite frankly, this does not have to mean any of those things. But one has to admit, war and the threat of war is a powerful reality in our world right now. Perhaps this year will mark some kind of turning point in our awareness concerning war.

Strangely, the Aztecs also site a nearby date, August 13th, 1999, as the end of a significant 1,248 year cycle. Apparently, some feel it represents an ending or disaster. Others feel it marks a more spiritual kind of shift. Could this be a symbolic death and rebirth in our collective consciousness?

And what are astrologers saying? Well, everything from the collapse of world economic stability to “earth changes”. But those are the extremes. After sifting through an enormous pile of articles and data, the core message from reputable astrologers is much more logical, and not so prone to sensational predicting. The actual path of the eclipse begins off the coast of New York, crosses the Atlantic to Europe, the Balkans, over the Iran/Iraq border, and down through India. The destinies of these parts of the globe could be more profoundly affected. And since the effects of eclipse are said to precede them , we can already see that these areas are in the throes of great change. One of my favorite astrologers, Maya Del Mar, who regularly writes for Mountain Astrologer, points to Baghdad as a landmark of astrological activity during the eclipse. Saddam Hussein, a Taurus, might be particularly fired up in August, which could spark a higher degree of tension worldwide.

I hesitate to make sweeping predictions, but it is my feeling that no matter what happens around August 11th, we will prevail. A heightening of political turmoil would make sense to me, especially in light of the planets and signs involved in the grand cross. The Sun in Leo has an association with kings, i.e. world leaders, and their destinies. The Moon stimulates changes that affect public awareness. Uranus in Aquarius symbolizes revolution, social reform, and sudden, explosive changes. Mars in Scorpio suggests secretive, potent, and powerful aggression, perhaps sparked from past resentment. Saturn in Taurus represents conservative authority figures, financial institutions, and the status quo. With these forces in this proverbial clash of the Titans, the energy will build up and must find a release somewhere in the form of action. In times of critical mass, people of greatness tend to rise to the occasion. I think this may be one of those times. On the positive side, this event may mark a great increase of tension that forces people to mobilize to find solutions to difficulty. Remaining centered, logical, and courageous will help all of us get the most out of this unique opportunity for change. This is a time of global identity crisis. We are questioning our leaders, our values, our violence, our technology, and ourselves. This has already been an incredibly dramatic year, with terrible violence in our high schools in the U.S., the specter of Y2K looming in the back of our minds, scandal in the White House, and war. Perhaps this eclipse will stimulate a deep and profound awakening in us to change the course of our destinies.

At this point, I would like to turn to Dane Rudyar’s Astrological Mandala for some insight into to the symbolic meaning of the degrees of the August 11th grand cross. For the 18th degree of Leo, which is the Sun/Moon eclipse, we go to the next degree, 19 Leo, which is as follows. The symbol is that of a Houseboat Party. That might sound a bit strange, but the underlying meaning of the symbol is that of freedom from social rigidity and enhanced interpersonal contacts. This can mean an escape from our routine existence and a connection to a freer flow of our vital energies.

The symbol for Uranus at 14 degrees Aquarius,(which rolls over to the following degree at 15 degrees Aquarius), is that of Two Love Birds Sitting on a Fence and singing Happily. The meaning of this symbol is Beatitude. Inner happiness is our reward for our contribution to society. Understanding the duality of spiritual reality, the Yin and Yang, creative and destructive, helps us unify, resulting in ananda, or spiritual bliss and oneness.

The symbol for Mars at 16 degrees Scorpio,(which rolls over the following degree at 17 degrees Scorpio), is A Woman, Fecundated by Her Own Spirit, is “Great with Child”. This powerful Goddess image signifies faith in the divine and the sacrifice of the ego in order to live the Transpersonal Way.

Finally, Saturn at 16 degrees Taurus, (which rolls over to 17 degrees Taurus), is the Symbolic Battle Between “Swords” and “Torches”. “Refusing to depend upon the past, the seeker turns warrior, fighting anew the eternal Great War.” This represents the soul’s struggle against the ego-will, which only knows how to manipulate the material and intellectual world. It is a polarization of our values, fighting to bring spiritual values into balance with our material experience.

When I look at these symbols together, I see an awakening of social and spiritual consciousness, and the birth of a spiritual warrior within each of us. This will be my meditation for August 11th, 1999. Look to your natal chart to see which houses and planets will be affected in your own life. This may point the way to your particular area of personal transformation. Remember, whenever we create positive change in our own lives, the world benefits.