Grand Square Dancing

Grand Square Dancing

THERE ARE more squares in the sky right now than at the big hoedown, and the result this week has been a mad, chaotic dance. The latest but not last revision of the fixed grand cross that’s been hanging out since November was passing through town Thursday and Friday in the run-up to this weekend’s Full Moon.

When Venus clears out of the way and moves onto Gemini, the Taurus position in the cross will be taken up by the Moon in the chart for the Cancer solstice on June 22. As I explained last week, the sky is a grand cross waiting to happen. There is a slow-moving fixed T-square in effect; that is, Saturn in Leo, Jupiter in Scorpio and both Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius holding three points of the grand square (also called a grand cross) long term, waiting for anything to come along and complete the puzzle.

This is intimately involved with three major long-term astrological processes:

1. Jupiter square Saturn. This is the first square since the Taurus conjunction of those two planets in 2000 in the Year of the Metal Dragon. Any aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest known planets, is significant. Dr. Marc Edmund Jones described the square as the sense of a “last chance,” but as this aspect is in the first quarter (waxing) phase, I would say it represents a very large opportunity. The square represents a turning point of what began at the conjunction.

2. Saturn opposite Neptune. This is the first opposition since the momentous triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in 1989, which was one of those watershed years: the year of the Berlin Wall and the official fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as Tiananmen Square and many other world-changing events. The Saturn-Neptune opposition is the full expression of what began at the conjunction.

3. Chiron opposite Saturn. We are now at the end of a long process of Saturn and Chiron opposing one another a total of seven times that has been going on since 2003. In other words, Saturn and Chiron are now moving at about the same speed and have been in aspect a long time. The opposition began across Cancer and Capricorn and then moved into Leo-Aquarius as both planets changed signs.

All these planets opposite and square one another, and generally in aspect to one another, adds up to a heck of a lot more planets square one another. It all adds up to a lot of Saturn, as they’re the one thing all three processes have in common. And all in saturnian square or opposition aspects (4th harmonic, in 90-degree increments).

The grand square covers Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius (though there are important minor planets in Taurus, such as Sedna, a news item worth developing soon). Then, fast moving planets move through the mix of the slow ones, and make even more squares and oppositions — which gives you an idea of what we’re going through right now, as Venus is the latest planet to complete the grand cross from Taurus. Four times a month, the Moon comes through the configuration. Then, numerous times a day, the aspect structure becomes angular — that is, parts rise, culminate and set, and it’s picked up by the ascendant or midheaven, and is emphasized yet again (and again).

Of the three major aspects in effect, the Saturn-Neptune opposition is the most world-changing, associated with historical events such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Though the first exact opposition is not until late August, Neptune has a very wide orb of influence. The opposition really began when Saturn went into Leo last summer and the two planets were in opposite signs (which is one definition of opposite).

The opposition, combined with the “when the levee breaks” property of Saturn in Leo, made water disasters eminently predictable. It would not be a stretch to go back to the Asian tsunami and attribute that to Saturn-Neptune. I say this not as a way of retrofitting the astrology, but rather of seeing a pattern of much larger events associated with Saturn-Neptune oppositions throughout recorded history, which are covered in an excellent article and PowerPoint presentation by Arwynne O’Neill [the article will be linked below, and the PowerPoint slideshow made available to subscribers soon]. Note, as covered in the summer of 2005, Varuna, the lord of waters and the great equalizer, was making interesting patterns with the Sun and Moon, plus the USA chart and Bush’s chart, and this fills in part of that story too.

Points in the Saturn-Neptune cycle, such as the opposition, represent huge historical changes. And, as was the case with the fall of the USSR, they may seem entirely “unpredictable” and indeed outlandish propositions just a few years earlier. But no less real when they manifest.

I have written plenty about the influence of Neptune in Aquarius, being the kind of mass delusion that we live with — from television dictating reality, to moods dictated by the pharmaceutical industry, on down. Neptune’s opposition to Saturn represents a confrontation with the solid reality of Saturn. But the thing about water, that is, Neptune, is that it always finds a way. Water always gets through; nothing is really waterproof, in the long run.

Still, Saturn is strong and there is likely to be an increasing level of ideological (i.e., Neptune in Aquarius) chaos as the exact opposition forms, as belief systems fail, and as what is true vs. what we don’t want to be true will become increasingly apparent. There are plenty of people today who simply cannot handle what is so, and if you watch television with any sensitivity, it’s abundantly clear that there is a vast agenda co-mingled with what are, really now, an astonishing number of drug and beer commercials. The message “shut down” is everywhere, including that being delivered by the overwhelming intensity of events and how they are presented.

There is another factor in this equation, and it may account for some of the early action of Saturn-Neptune, and the intensity of the aspect. That’s the fact that Uranus is in Pisces at the same time Neptune is in Aquarius. These two planets rule one another’s sign placements. That is, Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces, and Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius. The two are now occupying one another’s signs.

This is called “mutual reception.” It would seem that this ancient rule works with modern planets, given the intractable quality of belief and perception that we seem to live with in our era. There are many ways to interpret a mutual reception; it can be helpful, offering an unseen option; or it can represent a hostage situation between the two planets.

This pair of planets and the corresponding pair of signs present a challenge to most people because they are somewhat above the wavelength of normal consciousness. The higher vibrations of Aquarius and Pisces are for the most part unavailable to usual perception. Where we might have the gentle mysticism and compassion of Pisces, we tend to have addiction, mass hypnosis and deception; where we might have the egalitarian spirit and community consciousness of Aquarius, we have a kind of lock-step mentality and electronic haze. Together, these two factors can serve to keep a lot of people in a trance, and feeling that “if it’s okay for me than it’s okay.”

But we may ask what is the incentive to wake up and face the challenges of the world. Most people are completely convinced they don’t make a difference at all; most are completely unaware of any phenomenon such as power in numbers or the ability for people to change their beliefs and influence the world around us. And awakening to what I will reluctantly describe as reality is usually met with pain, not the reward of awareness. Humans, particularly Americans, strive to avoid pain at any cost.

What gives? Hmm. Well, I have given up on the belief that “bad things” wake people up. Many of us have asked for a long time “what will wake people up?” and the proposed answer is often, “a huge disaster, maybe that will do it.” However, we now have used the world as a Huge Disaster Testing Lab, to very little avail.

Maybe the answer to the question is, what will prevent people from going to sleep? It’s a little like the cure for cancer. The cure for cancer is less dioxin to start with. There are psychic toxins in our environment, and like many toxins, they have an addictive quality. You could look at it another way, which is that the spiritual frequencies are being jammed with negativity — and most of it comes with commercials. In the midst of this haze, it can be very difficult to remember the Earth, remember one another, remember why we came here, and remember love. Difficult, but not impossible.

Related article: Heavy Water by Arwynne O’Neill
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Did They Really Kill al-Zarqawi?

Last minute note: Jude informs me that the U.S. military is reporting that al-Zarquawi survived the air strike and was taken alive. But as of this morning on CNN, he was dead. So once again we get him both killed and alive; he is certainly useful. I’m not going to change my text at all — I think I cover this point pretty well at the end…

Second last minute note…there may be an issue with the time zone in this chart, whether Baghdad time is currently three or four hours off of GMT. I’m going to stick with my interpretation here, and if I need to do this chart over again, I will. That would make a good discussion of the “wrong chart.” But let’s cross that pontoon bridge when we come to it.

SPEAKING of negativity with ads…before I get into this chart, here are some comments from Planet Waves news watchers on the alleged killing of “al-Qaeda” leader al-Zarqawi and the supposed (probable) fomenter of civil war in Iraq. The US military reported that he was killed June 7 in an air strike at 6:15 pm local time in Baghdad. This is the chart.

Chart >>

Melanie Andrews in the UK writes, “I read the readers comments on the BBC news reports, only one other person seems to have picked up on the fact that it was such a casual thing, oh yeah they HAD to go and bomb and kill so and so, they were bad, and now everything is going to be ok? Since when was it ok to just go and knock someone off, without even the media (I’m disappointed in the BBC coverage) analyzing or questioning it? Isn’t one of the classical examples of civilized society supposed to be that people who have done ‘wrong’ are brought before society through law and court to stand trial? I don’t remember everyone rubbing their hands in glee as the ‘lets just go and kill any fucker that stands in our way’ law was being passed? Well not in the UK, anyway.”

Judith Gayle in Missouri writes, “Well — I’ll confess that I haven’t followed Zarqawi enough to speak to this topic credibly. I know he wasn’t al-Qaeda, despite our insistence that he was…and despite his name change to get under the American’s skin — ‘al-Qaeda’ was once a scant handful of people, scattered to the wind now and doing their own thing like a many-headed hydra; all of which Bush was warned about just after 9/11.

“Is Zarqawi real or is he Memorex — like bin Laden, that’s a HUGE question. That both of these men have been used for Bush’s purpose is beyond denial; that any of their ‘communications’, that is, their alleged public statements, remain suspect, is beyond question. What IS real enough is that he was a local leader of insurgents, and that he was responsible, at the least, for the beheading of American, Michael Berg. Beyond that, he was a handy phantom to use for propaganda on both sides.

“This is ALL CNN is talking about today — I guess the print media is going nuts too — and frankly, I’m clueless about what the big deal is [besides it being the first ‘success’ Bush has reported since the Hussein boys were bagged].  But not much success when you count up bodies — however much blood Mr. Zarqawi spilled can’t touch the river of gore that runs through the Iraqi streets on a consistent basis…and everyone involved agrees that his death won’t stop that and, in fact, might even increase it.

“The Iraqi people are celebrating his elimination — I guess that makes it a good thing.  But a Big Deal? Nahhh — bump in the road. Everybody including Senator Joe Biden has this one bit wrong — we haven’t even begun to fight the actual war in the Middle East, the one for hearts and minds. Until we do, we can kill off a monster a day and still be marking time for the real game to begin.”

Now as for that chart, for when an F-16 came through and bombed a house that he and six others, including one woman and one child, were occupying. Oops, one other question: how is it that two 500 pound bombs were dropped on a steel and concrete structure, and yet the big guy’s corpse was removed from the rubble heap with just a little bruise on his cheek?

Okay, the chart. Sagittarius is rising. Before moving on to the traditional planets, note that there is a newly discovered planet in the 1st house, close to the ascendant. The planet is called Ixion, and it was first noted in 2001. Here is my delineation, from an earlier Planet Waves article called “Worlds Beyond Neptune”:


“Ixion, a Plutino discovered in 2001 and orbiting in just over 247 years, is named for a mythologized former king, a descendent of the god of war, Ares, and, notably, the first human to commit murder. Would-be rapist of the gods (in particular, Hera), betrayer of friends, master of ingratitude and squanderer of second chances, he’s the forefather of all Centaurs save one – Chiron, who descends from Kronos. Ixion suggests ‘what we are all capable of’ and points to the common thread among all forms of violence, physical or emotional. Ixion is the pattern or psychological construction which says we cannot change our inherent nature no matter what the consequences or punishment. He relates to the collective memory of ‘original sin’ (murder, not sex) and how this is recalled, perhaps subtly, in any experience of desire, transformation or passion. The remedy for Ixion afflictions is gratitude.”

This is an interesting planet to be rising in the chart for the alleged murder of an alleged murderer, whose death is attributed to betrayal from within. Nearly all the themes of Ixion are covered, and we have an interesting ‘proving’ or demonstration of the planet’s themes. We can make a little note in the margin of the astrology notebook: when al-Zarqawi killed, Ixion was rising.

Now for a traditional horary reading of the chart. Let’s take the ruler of the ascendant (main actor) as the Coalition. Let’s take the ruler of the 7th house (open enemies) as al-Zarqawi.

The ruler of traditional Sagittarius, Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio, represents the Coalition. That’s an appropriate enough symbol for the United States: the supposedly benefic, expansive, (expensive), secretive and controlling death dealer. Placed just four degrees from the 12th cusp, we have the image of someone or something on the edge of reality, with a very wide and invisible influence.

The ruler of Gemini, Mercury in Cancer, exactly occupying the cusp of the 8th house (death, transformation) is a pretty accurate symbol for the death (8th house) of a slippery character (Mercury) at home or in a ‘safe house’ (Cancer).

But as was the curious thing about the Sept. 11 chart, the two adversaries are trine one another. The Sept. 11 chart also has the ‘enemy’ represented by Mercury and the government was represented by Saturn and the two are in an exact trine, meaning that they were collaborators. This trine is nearly (but not quite) as impressive. The implication is that the coalition killed him, but that they really killed one of their friends; or at the very least, someone useful.

Mercury is applying to Jupiter (its degree number is lower and it’s moving faster; that means the aspect is forming, not dissolving). The ghost of Al Z (he is alpha and omega) will be back, at some point, as that Mercury-Jupiter trine aspect perfects. Indeed, it would seem he never really goes away, and that his phenomenon will increase as Mercury trines Jupiter (sounds like increase to me).

One last bit. The Moon is the ruler of the 8th house of death and transformation and what we have is an 8th house question, since it relates to the nature of the death of someone. The Moon will tell us part of that story, and it appears to be void of course (by the modern definition, not making any new aspects in the current sign). However, and this is a big however, the part of fortune is applying to the Moon, and it will finish its aspect (an opposition) before the Moon changes signs. Fortuna is on the 5th cusp: a gamble. Square Pallas Athene in Capricorn: a risky political gamble.

Remember: somebody wins every bet. Who won this one?

What have we got? I think they killed him. As conveniently timed as it was, right in the middle of the perfect Cheney-BushCo train wreck, despite the fact that he’s been “killed” a few times before, I think they succeeded. Will it have an effect? The condition of Luna and Fortuna suggests that somebody won, probably by accident — big time.

Planet Waves Weekly for Friday, June 9, 2006

Happy Birthday Gemini!

In times like these, all you can do is trust your feelings. And you can indeed trust them, which is another way of saying trust yourself. Whatever challenges the fixed grand cross may portend for all of us as individuals and for society, for you it represents access to your integrity, and the ability to see and experience life from many perspectives.

Most notably, because of the importance of the air signs in your chart, Chiron and Neptune transiting your solar house representing contact with your ‘higher self’, your spiritual guidance and your ability to see the long-range picture are at their best — but the information you need will not come wrapped in a bow. You will need to earn your knowledge, but it will be all the more meaningful and personally valuable for your having done so.

The keynote of any true spiritual path is learning discernment: making real decisions about what is true for you, and what that means in the larger context of the world. Because Aquarius is involved, that context becomes increasingly meaningful as time goes on. Your relationship to groups, your community and moreover, collective belief systems, is one of the ‘great themes’ of this time in your life. So it would make sense to look at why you believe what you believe, that is, how you got there; what its relationship to dreaded conformity is, and how it is you go about changing your beliefs.

Both the Aquarius and Neptune factors suggest this might not be so easy, but the presence of Chiron implies a shocking or confrontational quality that raises the moment to full awareness. There is a reason you cannot take your beliefs for granted, which at the moment you may not quite see but which will, in time, show itself.

You may decide that you have too many obligations and too few options. You can make the most of what you have by following your sixth sense to the pathways that lead you from one reality to the next. But I suggest you do one thing, which is that wherever you may find yourself, always keep your eye on the exit. I don’t mean to teach a policy of insecurity, but rather, when you don’t have many options, getting out is always one to keep in mind. If you ever need to use it, you can always start over, which isn’t such a bad thing to do every now and then.

Beliefs and ideas about money and resources are a key part of the total equation, as Venus works its way through your 2nd solar house (Taurus). Are you willing to change what is important to you, or are those same few things going to be a continuous factor, despite your environment?

Mars about to make a conjunction to Saturn in your 3rd house of ideas suggests there is something of a battle raging. You may sense the urgency to change your ideas, to change your physical location, to shift your relationship to the community, or to be in a community less stuck on traditional values and more open to the kinds of things you’re becoming aware of.

But this can be a gentler process than you may imagine; it’s less about revolt and more about recognizing what is becoming meaningful to you now, as opposed to in the past, as opposed to what was important to your family, and as opposed to what you’re supposed to think because that’s what everyone around you thinks. Please remember that there are great rewards for individual thinking and for being willing to express your unique individual values your own way. Those rewards will come sooner than you think if you express integrity as a hint of originality rather than as the need to be like anyone else, or the need to go to war with your tendency to do so.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Courage is not for the faint of heart. Indeed, those who love are the most likely to take chances because they feel safest in the world. But even as you discover how brave you are, it seems you must face an old fear that has been lingering in your life, and that time has come to do so. Mars working its way toward Saturn in your 5th solar house — that of passion, risks and creative expression — tells part of this story. Few people comment on the reasons it’s so challenging to go past our low expectations of ourselves, or our beliefs that we’re not truly creative — and one of them is plain, simple fear. Perhaps it involves going further than you’re ready with a particular commitment. Perhaps it involves anticipating the shock of awareness when you burst into your true reality, and the fear that others will respond negatively. In any event, it’s now the factor at center stage.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You seem to be getting restless for changes in a domestic or emotional situation. This has been going on a while, at least as early as last summer. At times it’s felt like living in a house on fire and at other times, it’s felt like wishing an earthquake would come along and level everything. At other times, you’ve been able to live with the feeling that something would eventually change; and at yet others, wondered just what this would be, when all you seem to need is stability. You’ve likely endured this mix of emotions for months, and the urgency for movement is boiling up inside you all at once in that curiously Taurean way. A decision is called for, and if you make that decision when you’re feeling safe, and have at least two meaningful options to choose from, you’re much likelier to make a choice that works in the long run. But choose you must.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
There are times when the idea of something is more frightening than the reality. I would daresay this is more often true than not, because the mind is incredibly creative and one of the things that it tends to create is fearful scenarios that rarely come true. However, given your current circumstances, I suggest you pause and ask yourself what you’d do if you really had faith in the people around you. Ask yourself what they would do if they had faith in you. The truth is, they do, and when you make peace with the inherent state of cooperation in your world, it will be a lot easier to feel like the world is on your side, like time is on your side, and most of all, like you are on your side.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Sacrifice is an idea deeply engrained in the human psyche. It’s true that we must often make sacrifices, but typically, we’re stuck in the belief that there’s not enough of anything to go around; and that to have what we need, we have to give up something else that we need. How would you live if you were certain you already have the basic resources you need to make your life work? How would you live if you could actually negotiate with people in your environment to facilitate the changes you need to make? Keep these questions close at hand. And rather than the idea of sacrifice, pay attention to what you have that others would benefit from and which would facilitate a greater level of sustainable economy and community than you’re accustomed to.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Touch the world gently and speak in a soft voice, because your words and actions have far greater impact than you may think. It’s as if everything is amplified, and your vibes have profound influence on the feelings of others. But they also have impact on you. What you see, think, feel and accept into your perceptions from any source, particularly an inner source, is greatly emphasized at the moment. It’s a Mighty Mouse Moment, wherein how you see the world affects how the people around you see the world. Therefore, I suggest you see a better world, work for a better world, and as a result demonstrate to others that it’s worth bothering with. The implied message is that all your power comes from your ability to change and grow without being told to do so.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You are someone whose faith is hard to shake. When something troubles you, however, it can be quite distressing. You can get nervous, you can freak out, you can start making strange decisions, but in the end, you come back around to faith. So why not start off there and save yourself all the trouble? If you need inspiration, take a look at your fabulous t-shirt collection. Remember all those fabulous been there’s and done that’s in your life, and if you’ve had enough, decide it’s really and truly time for something new. Meantime, I suggest you sort out the subtle difference between hope and fear. Hope is not the most positive emotion, in my view; it’s kind of like the fear that something good will happen. You deserve better, which is steady confidence in yourself. Despite your current concerns, this you really can have.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
If you feel like you need to go from one emotional high to the next, just do it consciously. That won’t take away too much of the fun, and will make it easier to land with your feet on the ground when the time comes, which sooner or later it will. But you can touch the ground running, and in the midst of your explorations of the astonishing possibilities, which may include some rather unusual sensual or sexual places, you may just find something that really works for you in the long run. Are you adding something new, or opening up a space within yourself to explore a potential that was already there? Probably the second one, but the so-called outer world is still a pretty appealing place at the moment, and you seem in no mood to settle for second quality, medium size or mild pepper.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
If you truly aspire to succeed, be careful about expressing jealousy toward the success of others. In truth, you have nothing to be envious of. Your recent achievements have been exceptional, and lately you have the energy necessary to handle the responsibilities that come with so much authority. There is, at this stage of your life, little that you cannot accomplish and a great deal that you can create, move, shape and change for the better. Make sure you bring as much sensitivity to your personal and professional relationships as you do the boldness that can come so naturally to you right now. And remember to balance rebellion and respect for tradition. The best revolutionaries have a healthy streak of the traditional within them.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You may find yourself going on a crusade for justice these days, though I suggest you keep checking back with your motives. The issue is not as simple as it seems, and you need to make sure that truth is a factor in the equation. There is, unfortunately, not one truth right now, but if you look carefully you will see that there is one way of viewing things that is more true for you, and you may not notice it right away. It will take some time to sort out the facts, the characters, and the scenario, and until you do I suggest you make decisions that you’re capable of either going back on, or which leave the door open for another choice in the not so distant future. Then, remember to choose when the time comes.

(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
If you don’t want other people to push you around, then don’t push yourself around. The situation you’re in calls for steady, calm reasoning. It also calls for you to make some changes and adjustments that require you being a balanced mediator with yourself, rather than a dictator or being arbitrary in any way. The compromises you need to make with yourself are not things you need to give up, but rather, things you need to allow yourself to accept. If you meditate each day on what you need to accomplish, you’ll find gentle ways to guide yourself into getting it done. It’s true, the next few weeks will require an exceptional amount of work, but that’s all the better reason to apply your effort carefully.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
People are looking carefully for your response to a particular situation, and they are likely to gauge how they feel based on how you feel and what you say. We need you to be at your analytical best, your most observant, and ready to state what few others have the courage to mention. It seems you really do have the solution, but then that’s because you understand the problem. It will still take some more time to turn your knowledge or awareness into a breakthrough, though the key is likely to turn when you take a potentially adversarial situation and turn it to your advantage. Therefore, look carefully to any challenges as holding the key to success.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You may feel driven to go on a kind of social justice campaign, or to defend the rights of those who have less than you. You have the correct opinion; you just need to make sure it comes across with your most eloquent finesse and style. At the same time, I suggest that under the kinds of intense focus your life demands at the current time, you make sure that your priorities are balanced, and that you know when is enough work. Look for solutions anywhere you detect a problem. Pace yourself carefully, and move from one project to the next, remembering to rest, breathe and drink water. And don’t forget the human world. It’s still there, and you need it.

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