Dark Knight of the Uranus-Pluto Square

Dear Friend and Reader:

It’s been a trying week.

Both the Moon and Mars moved through the Uranus-Pluto square, forming a grand cross on Wednesday shortly before the Cancer New Moon. With much of the United States engulfed in stultifying heat and humidity and many other places in drought, the weather as well as the astrology was wearing on the spirit.

Scene outside movie theater in Aurora, CO early Friday morning after the shooting and gas attack. Photo by Karl Gehring / The Denver Post.

As I wrote in Tuesday’s edition, the astrology had an emotional and potentially violent tone to it. Mars in Libra formed a square to Pluto in Capricorn (an aspect known for violent tendencies and emotional outbursts). Nearly simultaneously, it formed an opposition to Uranus (known for erratic behavior, shocking events and accidents).

The three planets formed a T, known as a T-square. The Moon then passed through this, completing a grand cross in the cardinal signs as the Moon approached its conjunction to the Sun (the Cancer New Moon) overnight Wednesday to Thursday. That New Moon began a new cycle — though the question is, a new cycle of what? This week there were three notable incidents of terrorism, one of which happened Friday morning.

For those of you in the United States who woke up and turned on your TV or the Internet, you were welcomed into the day by the news of an attack in Aurora, Colorado. This took place during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, a hit movie based on the DC Comics character Batman that premiered earlier in the week. At the late-night show, a 24-year-old gunman released a canister of toxic gas into the dark theater, then opened fire on the crowd. He killed 14 people and injured another 50 — and was taken into custody after the attack.

The chart has Taurus rising, which points straight to Venus in Gemini (That’s because Venus rules the Taurus ascendant, wherever it may be placed in the chart. The ascendant ruler describes the issue in question.) Looking at Venus is a reminder that overnight Thursday to Friday in US time zones, Venus passed by the exact degree and minute where it made its transit of the Sun in June, bringing out some of the energy latent in that event.

There may be more trouble to come. Venus is about to make aspects to three slow-moving points. Over the next day or so, Venus will make a conjunction to outer planet Chaos, and oppositions to Pholus (release of energy) and Ixion (amoral conduct; anyone is capable of anything) in Sagittarius. Once again we have centaur Pholus prominent in the chart of a mass shooting event (recalling the Tucson shootings of early 2011).

The perpetrator was clearly mentally ill, though like many of these people, seemed to be venting collective rage, as well as frustrated egotism. The most immediate aspect following the event was the Moon making a conjunction to retrograde Mercury in Leo. In our obsession with superheroes, what we actually create are anti-heroes (also known as terrorists).

Damascus Bombing Wednesday: An Inside Job

Earlier in the week, a bomb was detonated inside a meeting of Syria’s top military officials, shattering the government and weakening the military’s hold on the government there. The country has been engulfed in a domestic war for 16 months, though many outside forces are involved.

Map showing the locations of Syria (to the left, south of Turkey), Iraq and Iran (to the far right). Get out your magnifying glass and you can see Israel, toward the left, west of Jordan.

This bombing was the rebels (called the Free Syria Army) making their move to oust the Syrian government, which is lead by Bashar al-Assad. However, the incident took place inside the official government’s military headquarters, so it was by definition an inside job. The astrology suggests that the identity of the perpetrator is obvious and carried out the attack under the cover of broad daylight.

The next day, Iraqi officials confirmed the Free Syria Army had taken control of many of the Iraq border crossings, including the Abu Kamal border crossing on the Damascus-Baghdad highway, one of the most important trade routes in the Middle East. For the first time the government-controlled Syrian army tanks rolled into Damascus in response to the bombing and simultaneous fact of rebel forces moving closer to the government’s headquarters.

Then at one of the border crossings, Syrian rebels executed 22 Syrian soldiers as Iraqi soldiers watched. The message of this seemed to be, don’t even bother trying to stop us.

To understand the significance of Syria, take a look at the map. It’s located to one side of Iraq and Iran is located to the other. Iran and Syria are allies, and Iran and Iraq have long been enemies.

Chart for the Syria bombing has a full 9th house (note the planets highest up), suggesting that the attack was religiously motivated — and that it could have an international influence. Eris, the red oval with the arrow, is in the 8th house, indicating death and disruption for their own sake. The two blue planets are Pallas and Uranus, suggesting a political disruption.

(Recall the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, for which the United States provided weapons to both sides: Iraq was officially our friend, and received weapons above boards; Iran was our enemy but received weapons secretly from Reagan and Bush, in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.)

It took several of us a while to find the time of Wednesday’s bombing. I finally obtained a close time by calling the AP foreign desk, which provided a close approximate time, confirmed by other news reports which characterized the time as “mid morning.”

The chart, which you can see here, has the feeling of kicking through wet cardboard. All of the angles (for example, the ascendant and the midheaven) go into mutable signs, which says they have nothing solid to grab hold of. As is being reported elsewhere, it confirms that the Syrian government is extremely unstable and could easily collapse. The chart also has a full 9th house, pointing to the religious obsession that seems to characterize every act of violence in our era of history.

It seems that most people don’t have the common sense to understand that God doesn’t blow people up, though admittedly I stopped reading The Bible because it was too violent.

The Independent’s Middle-East correspondent Robert Fisk has suggested that the Syrian government will not fall as fast as some people expect, and the astrology suggests he may be right. While the mutable signs can lack solidity, they can also represent slow processes. In other words, this could be a stalemate situation for a while.

What we need to watch is the stability of the whole region, which appears to be under siege. Many interests seem to be pushing for a war against Iran. If that happens, the problem here is, at what point does everything go out of control? Said less politely, how willing are these battling forces to risk nuclear war?

Israelis Killed in Bulgarian Suicide Bombing

Speaking of Iran — there was one other act of terrorism this week. A suicide bomber set off a bombon a bus filled with Israeli youth outside a Bulgarian resort, killing six and injuring at last 32 others. And it seems like this event is being used to create a war against Iran.

The Associated Press reported that, “Israel suspects archrival Iran of being behind several of those assaults. The two nations have long been in dispute over the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has warned it will use military force to curb Iran’s program if it must because it believes Tehran wants atomic weapons — a charge Iranian officials deny.”

The Israeli premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that once again, “all signs point to Iran,” adding, “This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world.” Netanyahu also added a direct threat: “Israel will react strongly to Iran’s terror.”

One problem with the theory that Iran was behind the bombing is that he presented no evidence for his statement; and the suicide bomber had an allegedly fake Michigan driver’s license. There’s some dark humor in that, but it’s not really so funny. Not this week, anyway.


Friday, July 20, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #911 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Late Cancer Birthdays

As the Sun makes its way across the last degrees of your sign, it makes a powerful aspect to a planet that hardly ever gets mentioned, and which doesn’t even have a name — 1992 QB1. For those born in the last days of Cancer (approximately July 19 through 22), this point is square your Sun, and the message is one of making contact with the deepest layers of who you are. I call the process of 1992 QB1 “coupling” — not in the sense of getting married or hooking up, but of encountering who you are deep within yourself, and bonding with your inner being. This encounter might feel like meeting yourself for the first time. Potentially this will emerge from a sense of struggle, like you’re backed into a corner — then you get to pass through a kind of bridge within yourself and have that inner meeting. One theme is sexual: to some degree we’re all alienated from ourselves, particularly as concerns our sexuality. One of the most pronounced, and unique, themes of QB1 is healing that alienation, which is another way of saying seeing ourselves and making peace with who we are, deep beneath any layers of guilt, shame or scarring. Feel for that healing impulse, and spend some time naked looking in a mirror.

Early Leo Birthdays

The Sun’s ingress into your sign Sunday comes with a reminder to be aware of three themes in your life, however they may manifest: alcohol, avoidance and devotion. Run through each of these themes and note the progress you’ve made since your last birthday. Personally I am of the belief that intoxicating substances (as they are often called) play a vital role in human consciousness. While many opt for strict rules or, alternately, overindulgence, I advocate cultivating a sense of fully conscious appropriateness. Terrence McKenna has suggested that it was psychedelic mushrooms that spurred pre-historic humanoids into divine or cosmic consciousness. We have all noticed that people have a desire to transcend, though what often happens is that this healthy tendency is captured by the impulse to avoid. Now that we live in a culture where everything is a drug (and usually, a crude one, designed as a numbing influence), we have a hard time locating the boundaries, and adjusting them as necessary. Perhaps the bigger question, then, is what gets you to transcend your ideas about who you are? What do you do that liberates you from your known mental and emotional tendencies, and shifts your perception into a new vision of yourself and the world? For all Leos, though particularly for those born in late July, this will be a central theme of your coming solar year.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You have the gift of healing, though you may not think of it that way. Yet an unusual event or development in your life may help you understand how this works. All healing involves release from the past. Often it happens when we reach a point where there seem to be no viable options — and then suddenly one manifests. You could say that the process begins with refusing to admit that something is a ‘no win’ situation. The sense of a trap is an illusion, and it’s the one that you have to see through — though it’s also a hint that you’re close to the solution. Then, ask for help from your higher power. Another thing to remember is that healing comes from within. If the healing situation is about you, then that connection would be from within you. If you’re assisting someone else, the connection that resolves the situation comes from within them, and that’s where you need to look for it. In other words, remember to focus on an inner relationship no matter who is involved.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may be feeling the desire to cut loose — to do all the things you might not ordinarily do, because your boundaries are too firm (or said less politely, because you’re wound a bit too tight to try). Remember that this is an emotional impulse rather than, say, an intellectual one. Tapping into it will require that you let go of one of your ideas about what it means to be safe — or rather, one of your false ideas. People make up a lot of ritualistic notions about what protects them, ranging from their lucky T-shirt to not having sex before the third date. Try to be mindful of when you’re leaning on something like this. There’s also something about the fear of consequences based on a past situation that seemed similar. Yet does it really apply? And were the consequences that bad? Anyway — all of this may end up being academic, as you follow an impulse to set yourself free. Remember to keep some condoms and the number of a taxicab company in your pocket.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You seem to be brooding over something when, by all rights, your life should be going pretty well. The central issue seems to be a struggle over something that’s shaken your confidence in yourself. I would ask, however, whether it was your actual confidence that was shaken — or your false confidence. I know that it’s not typical to think, Wow, that sequence of events really took a toll on my false confidence, but if you ask me, that’s the basic scenario. One aspect of this is doubting how smart you are, or how useful your knowledge really is. You would go a long way through clarifying those questions. You will go further by developing and deepening your mind. By this I mean reading and writing. Modern society’s concept of intellectual nutrition is the equivalent of high fructose corn syrup. This isn’t good for anyone, but you in particular need more — and you need it now. You need to read, you need to write, and I suggest you do so daily: not about yourself, but about the worldly subjects that interest you the most. Then, you’ll figure out how smart you really are.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Recent events have served to level the playing field of your life, giving you a more accurate perception of who has what power, and why. One result is that you’ve figured out you’re more influential than you think, which is a good thing because we’re talking about your existence. This would be a good time to consider any additional encumbrances that you have. It no longer serves you to be carrying around all of the unfinished business of the past — or to live with the feeling that you are. While you may not be able to resolve everything, all at once, there are one or two core issues that bind together nearly everything that troubles you. Over the next few days you will be able to recognize what these issues are and how they influence everything else. By focusing on what’s most important, you’ll be able to unravel what has seemed like a knot with no beginning or end. One clue I can offer is that this involves your sexual confidence. This question holds the key to your self-esteem, and your ability to see others at eye level.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — What is the role of jealousy in your life? The question comes up right around when the Sun enters your birth sign this weekend. There seem to be two competing forces at work: the desire to include as many people as possible, and the desire to exclude whoever you don’t really like. Said another way, one energy source is guiding you to be open, loving and experimental and another energy source is saying, take control. These are incompatible, and you may be having some trouble figuring out which is the trustworthy one. If you set aside the subject matter and just sniff the energy, it will be a lot more obvious what to choose. Also, notice that you may be dealing with a prejudice about someone or something, rooted in a recent past experience. If you let that judgment go, you will find this situation a lot easier to understand. As for jealousy, how would you live if you and the people close to you were immune? Tell yourself the truth — what would you do?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — I know it’s the peak of summer where most of my readers are, and that’s not exactly good for motivation — though you’re in a point in your life when it’s time to make serious progress on your professional development. You may be doubting this very thing, or be caught in some kind of paradoxical thought-loop about what you want to do, what you don’t want to do, and what you need to do. I have mentioned before that you tend to have a kind of double life where your career is concerned; that fact alone leads you to waste time wondering what to do. I suggest you set aside that mostly intellectual debate and start making some progress toward one actual goal. If you cannot decide what is the most important thing, work on one thing that you know is meaningful toward you, and stay focused on it till your birthday — then re-evaluate. The thing you choose to pursue may be a new inspiration that emerges from owning up to a fear lurking in the back of your mind. Pay attention — this could set you going in a very interesting direction.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There is a difference between justice and revenge, and now is the time to sort that out. You seem to be angry at something or someone — perhaps a situation where a partner is playing it so cool that you can see your breath even in the afternoon heat. It’s important that you keep expressing your feelings, to someone you trust who is willing to listen and give honest feedback. You’re running the risk of your anger building up over the next few weeks, then bursting out suddenly — all in all, an unhealthy scenario. This isn’t necessary, if you can stay in contact with your feelings. Look for opportunities to vent pressure before you find yourself in a spot so tight you don’t know what to do with yourself. ‘Venting’ would include creative expression, sexual expression, some form of physical activity and — probably more important than anything — sharing how you feel in a safe place with someone you trust is objective and has no agenda for you.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your current situation is presenting you with a test of your leadership abilities. That translates to putting to work a skill set that includes communication, negotiation and psychology. The first step is going to be sorting out the motives of everyone involved (including your own). Then you need to go one level deeper and understand the insecurities of everyone involved (including yours). Basically, there’s a risk of those insecurities taking over the situation, unless someone can see through that and sort things out. That would be you. Now, you won’t be any good at understanding the motives and the insecurities of others unless you understand your own, so that’s the place to start. You also need to be the one who holds the overall goal clearly in mind. One last thing — for the foreseeable future, beware of the involvement of alcohol in the workplace, and among anyone in the company after work. Pay attention to this. Clarity is not optional.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — A partner or friend may be exceptionally reactive over the next few days, and I suggest you avoid doing what aggravates them. I am not suggesting you walk on eggshells — only avoid doing what you know will work against everyone. That said, you cannot control anyone else and you may simply need to back away and allow them to have whatever kind of reaction or response they are going to have. In that case, your patience and willingness to make space for them will be helpful. For whatever reason you seem to present some difficult challenges for this person. You put them in contact with some of the things they fear in themselves the most — though if they can get past that layer, their experience of you will be an actual experience of spiritual growth. Be patient — and practice the very flexibility and open-mindedness that you keep insisting they show to you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Make sure that fairness is on top of your list of things to aspire to over the next week or so. You want to be fair, and also give the impression of being so. Do not seem arbitrary. Include as many people in your decisions as you can. It’s a fact of your situation that you must take charge, though there are several ways to do that. Particularly in the business world, we live in a time of power exercised for its own sake — and you now have the power to replace that with something better. I suggest you apply your political skills and think for the future. Know who your best allies are, and put them to work for you. You’re approaching a point where you will need to make a decision where you may not have the flexibility to be as open as you do now, and the goodwill and trust that you build over the next few weeks will help you significantly when this time comes.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — There’s a strong emphasis on getting clear in your relationships, and this will come into focus starting Sunday when the Sun enters your opposite sign Leo. Until then, I suggest you focus your energies on getting clear with yourself, while you have the time and space to do so — or rather, the inclination. You’re aware of needing to work through something deep that’s about you and nobody else — and stepping into taking action. It’s too easy to project this inner situation into a relationship, then lose track of what’s really going on with you. There’s something in your chart that suggests you’re moving beyond treating your relationships like a drug, or a kind of religious cult experience where you are the devotee. This is a matter of power — or you could say it’s about owning your power. It’s essential to maintain awareness of the difference between the idea and the reality. If you’re trying to manage your feelings (or those of someone else) with avoidance of any kind, that is not the reality.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The Sun’s annual trek through Leo is your invitation to focus on two things — your healing needs, and getting your work in order. Both are so fundamental to your wellbeing that you have the ability to set the tone for the rest of your solar year by focusing yourself on these two basic goals. Here’s a short sketch of some goals indicated by the astrology: First, I suggest you do a review of the role of any drugs or substances in your life, from tobacco to drugs to alcohol to prescription meds. Assess the degree to which they harm or help you. Second, there’s a question about balancing work and recreational time. Pisces is not only a productive powerhouse sign — you draw a good amount of self-esteem from getting the job done well. Yet you can take this a bit too far sometimes, and now is the time to balance that out. Finally, there is a question of balance in your relationships. The scales of give and take don’t seem to be level. The time to correct these situations is sooner rather than later.

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