Mercury Direct and News from Japan

Dear Friend and Reader:

Mercury stations direct on Sunday, arriving with several days of extraordinary and rare astrology — a kind of once-in-a-lifetime event as Mercury in Scorpio holds a long trine to Neptune in Pisces, covered in greater detail below.

On Sunday, we had a rare hybrid solar eclipse similar to this one that happened in 2009. The astronomy is illustrated above. The total eclipse on the left was photographed by Fred Espenak aboard a ship 2,200 km west of the Galapagos; Stephan Heinsius photographed an annular eclipse, positioned in Panama for the same event.

On the most basic level of this astrology, many aspects of life that were caught in weird entanglements or confusion may already be working themselves out. You may discover the missing information that you need to make some progress on matters that have seemed stuck. The ‘truth revealed’ aspect of Mercury stationing will be in full force this weekend as well.

These past few weeks of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio have arrived with a kaleidoscope of news that reminds me of the occasional headline summaries in Robert Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land — the story of the Martian who came to visit the Earth, which scenario unfolds while all kinds of other weird stuff is going on. Reduced to a synopsis, the news starts to sound like a description of some wild future, when in fact it’s our present moment, right now, even if right now feels like shooting the rapids without a paddle or a life vest and in some cases, without the canoe.

It’s been humorous to watch how the top story during Mercury retrograde has been a $300 million website that did not (and apparently still does not) work. It’s charming how they launched the site just as Mercury entered shadow phase and the issues only got worse. The fact that just 248 people were able to register by the third day is a good reason to pay attention to astrology.

Along the way certain other facts have emerged (in harmony with ‘the truth revealed’ quality of Mercury retrograde), such as what a scam the individual health insurance market is, and how it’s possibly becoming an even bigger scam in the changing environment of the insurance business — especially as participation becomes mandatory.

Current issue of The New Yorker spoofs the Obama Administration’s attempt to fix the website. But they seem to have got the idea from The Onion.

Pres. Obama’s often-repeated assertion that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” came unraveled as many people got cancellation notices, and some got fake cancellations from their insurance carriers designed to get them to upgrade to much more expensive insurance.

Lurking under all of these questions of high finance, huge profits and who is going to pay for $20 Tylenol capsules is the question of what we need to do to actually be healthier. I’m not seeing this question being asked, in all this talk of supposed health care.

How much disease in the United States is the result of just a few factors — genetically modified crops, high fructose corn syrup (pure GMO corn by the way), hydrogenated fats, processed meats, artificial sweeteners, diets based on simple carbs (such as bleached flour) and, as a result, rampant malnutrition?

What would addressing the vitamin D deficiency do to knock down the epidemics of cardiac disease and cancer? (Apparently quite a lot, for very little expense.)

As some look to the government to save them from themselves, the question of one’s health is deeply personal. While everyone should have access to the medical system when they need it, that bears little resemblance to what prevents illness and helps us to be healthy.

What we are seeing is not exactly a national movement for wellness. So far, it’s been little other than a vast corporate (not government) takeover of the medical system with a lot of faux political controversy mixed in.

For example, what has been termed Obamacare was engineered not by the ‘left’ but rather by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. It’s not the progressive solution (the government actually intervenes, or single-payer) but rather the fascist solution (government turns control over to the corporations, which are vested with government power).

Next, in News from Inner Space

Whatever has been going on within the confines of your personal cosmos in these weeks may have had the sensation of swirling events that may still feel unresolved. You may feel like you’re in the midst of a surrealist film, the kind without a script.

Saturn with auroras visible on the south pole seen by the Cassini Space Probe in 2010. At the time, reported: “Saturn’s aurora, a ghostly ultraviolet glow that illuminates the gas giant’s upper atmosphere near the poles, has a heartbeat that pulses in tandem with the planet’s radio emissions, scientists have discovered.”

There’s the sensation of ongoing reorientation, and the message that your transitions are happening whether you feel you’re ready for them or not.

Apropos of transitions, one week ago we arrived at the midpoint of the Uranus-Pluto square, the seven-stage aspect spanning from 2012-2015 (with a wide margin on either side) that has been defining what I’ve been describing as the 2012 era. This is an urgent, tense aspect between the planet of revolution and upheaval (Uranus) and that of evolution (Pluto), which is putting everything it touches under some strain and the necessity to reconsider its entire existence.

The fourth of seven squares happened Nov. 1, which has the feeling of a tipping point in the long experiment of social progress and the attempt to set things right that (from one point of view) characterizes our phase of history. Looked at differently, many are asking themselves what will wake up the population. The real question is what will get you out of your comfort zone and out onto the edge of personal progress, learning and challenging experience.

This past Sunday’s rare, combined annular-total solar eclipse in Scorpio vented some pressure, kind of like when your ears pop from the altitude, only reaching down to your soul and equalizing the pressure between levels of yourself you may have had no idea existed.

The largest-known volcano in the solar system — the Olympus Mons, three times higher than Mt. Everest — is located on Mars. Photo: NASA.

The eclipse conjunct Saturn was and remains a reminder that while we are in physical bodies, time is a limited resource. What are you doing with the time that you have? What limits on banality are you setting for yourself?

Along the way, Mars and Chiron came to full opposition on Oct. 31, and because Mars has been slowing down a bit (just ahead of a monumental retrograde that takes place early next year in Libra), the opposition has lasted a while.

This is an aspect illustrating and calling for clarity and contrast; it represents the full expression of both Mars and Chiron, which work beautifully together, as both are in the warrior spirit. I could summarize its message as: get over yourself and do what you have to do. If you’re going to play the game, play it to win. Make your seeming disadvantages work for you.

Events of the past few weeks have represented one of the peak moments of our grand water trine, which consists of Jupiter in Cancer, Mercury, the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio, and Chiron and Neptune in Pisces. Water is that beautiful Sun-drenched stuff that surrounds your sailboat or extends along the beach, in which you can drown in a matter of seconds.

Mars in Virgo has provided the remedy to all this water: keep your focus. Make decisions based on real information. Work with precision. Use your energy wisely.

Then, Mercury Stations Direct

The next major event on the horizon takes place as part of the water trine, and it is impressive. This weekend, Mercury slows to a station in early Scorpio, making an exact trine to Neptune. Actually, there are two exact trines, one on each side of the station direct, with the three events each separated by about 24 hours.

Sholem Aleichem crater on Mercury. Photo by MESSENGER spacecraft, 2008.

Mercury trine Neptune is one of the most clairvoyant aspects, particularly when Pisces and Scorpio are involved. Intuition is worth more now than ever. There can be a miraculous flow of creativity, intuition and empathic contact with others, including those in realms besides this one. Remember we are still in the ‘thin veil’ territory of Scorpio; Mercury trine Neptune is about as thin as it gets.

The first exact trine is Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4:35 pm EST. Then the station direct happens about 24 hours later, on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:12 pm EST. Then the second exact trine happens 24 hours after that, on Monday, Nov. 11 at 3:46 pm EST.

The overall result is an unusually long experience of an exact Mercury trine Neptune aspect, blended with the shifting perspective of the station direct. Normally this would last for a day or so; but due to Mercury’s minuscule daily motion as the station direct happens, we will have access to it for about six days, which began Thursday or so and lasts until Wednesday.

Then Mercury makes the last of three trines to Chiron — just as good, not as long-lasting. To sum up, in the ‘truth revealed’ tradition of Mercury retrograde and especially Mercury stationing direct, there is a hearty message of ‘seek the truth and you will indeed find it’. It’s not the unavailability of truth that makes it seem so elusive — it’s the unpopularity.

And Finally, News from Japan’s East Coast

Now for the freaky, surrealist story you may not have heard about. The problems persist at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. As everyone knows, there was a massive quake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 that caused a series of catastrophic failures in nuclear reactors. [Note, we have compiled a list of articles, resources and astrology charts related to Fukushima.]

Photo of the tsunami striking the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The wall designed to hold back the sea was crumbled as the huge wave washed in. Photo: US EPA.

The three plants that were operating — units 1, 2 and 3, all experienced total meltdowns. That is, the reactors ran out of control, overheated and the blend of uranium, plutonium and many other toxic radioactive isotopes melted through the containment structure and have disappeared into the ground.

Yes, three massive nuclear reactor cores melted into the Earth, never to be recovered. If those cores keep melting, they have the potential to reach the deep aquifers that provide water to the 40 million people in the greater Tokyo area.

It is astounding to think that an electric utility lost three reactor cores, which are gradually boring a hole in the Earth on the way down to the water table.

This, however, is the lesser of the two problems. The more serious problem involves Unit 4, which was closed for inspection at the time of the incident and therefore did not melt down. But the containment structure was severely damaged by the explosion in a nearby reactor.

Each of these plants has something called a spent fuel pool. Nuclear fuel, whether new or spent, must be kept immersed in water at all times, so that’s where the old fuel is placed and, in the case of Unit 4 (because it was being inspected), where the new fuel was being kept.

Fukushima Unit 4 was damaged by an explosion in an adjacent reactor. Offline at the time of the tsunami, a vast amount of fuel in its reactor pool is vulnerable to another earthquake.

There are more than 1,500 fuel assemblies in the Unit 4 pool, which is so fragile it cannot withstand another serious earthquake — and earthquakes happen frequently in that part of the world. These rods must be removed, one by one, by manually controlled robots.

TEPCO, in cooperation with U.S. engineers, are about to begin the process of removing the fuel from Unit 4’s pool. This is an extremely risky process, by which I mean that if it goes wrong (if the fuel assemblies are not immersed in water, if they touch, or if there is another earthquake), there is the potential for a far worse situation than we’ve already had at Fukushima.

Even spent fuel can reach criticality (the fission process can begin). This is similar to what happens when a nuclear plant is functioning, with one difference — a working nuclear core has control rods that can slow down the reaction. The spent fuel pool is like a reactor core without the control rods. If a reaction starts, it can run out of control.

The scene could become so radioactive that it cannot be entered by workers ever again, and also be emitting so much radiation and heat that even robots cannot function there. A mishap could quickly soak the West Coast of the United States and eventually all of North America in nuclear fallout.

View into the the spent fuel pool of Unit 4, suspended in a fragile building 100 feet above the ground. All the fuel must be removed by manually controlled robots, which could take years.

The fuel is covered in zirconium alloy cladding, which is flammable and explosive. One small mishap can set off the entire pool, which could spread to a nearby common fuel pool, where 6,375 more spent fuel assemblies are kept.

Removal of fuel from Unit 4’s pool was originally scheduled for this month, after many months of preparation. It may still begin in November and is expected to take well over a year to complete, if it goes well. Decommissioning the entire site will take decades, if it’s ever complete.

Now, here’s a question. Have you read about this anywhere, or seen it mentioned on cable news, or network news? I have not. It’s as if the whole thing is not happening, except if you go looking for the information. On one level it’s available, and on another, the gatekeepers who could inform many people what’s happening are not doing so.

Instead, we got a propaganda film shown on CNN on Thursday night, called Pandora’s Promise, about how nuclear power might be the only thing that can save the environment.

They must be talking about some other planet.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 #974 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you have something to say, then say it. I understand you may be hesitating, but I suggest you not miss this opportunity, and that in support of that, you not give yourself excuses to chicken out. Yes, this is one of those situations where you don’t know the effect that revealing something intimate may have on a personal relationship. But you can surmise the effect of not doing so, which is to remain stuck or feeling like there’s no space for you to be yourself. In fact there is space, and you can test that out by being clear, straightforward and explicit, and not holding back any aspect of what you think, what you feel, or what you want. You risk flipping the whole situation from something that feels stagnant to something that actually turns you on.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The ongoing revelation known as your life is about to teach you something about yourself. This is likely to fall into the ‘what you’ve known all along’ category but somehow missed or failed to take conscious note of. With Saturn making its way across your relationship angle, it’s essential to keep your eye on the bottom line, whatever that is for you. You know that stability and commitment are your basic foundations. What the stars are now saying is that in any structured relationship, there must be room to change, grow and exchange ideas that can actually influence the situation. You have a safe container. Now, the question is how far you will go to use it in a creative and evolutionary way. In other words: you have selected your relationship style for a purpose. Now is the time to put that purpose to use.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Any health issues you’re facing are likely to be stress related. Those are the ones that don’t show up on X-rays, blood work, urine tests, CAT scans or dog scans. They’re the ones that most doctors miss or cannot quite identify. If you’ve recently sought medical advice, you might want to seek a second opinion from someone who specializes in the mind-body connection; but more to the point, I suggest you personally look at the connection between what you are feeling and what you’re experiencing physically. This may involve your role in a sexual relationship. You may be over-exerting yourself in some way — that is, trying to impose your will on someone, or alternately, someone may be trying to exert their will on you. Time management could be a question; it’s become clear, if nothing else, that you must pace yourself, and that others must support you in that.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your life will not spin out of control if you give yourself a little room to experiment. It may seem like existence has been denying you some of the deeper pleasures you desire, though it’s also true that on some level you’ve been avoiding them. This may be because you’re not in the mood to take risks, or because you’ve been pursuing what you regard as more practical matters. In any event, the weather and the tides are shifting, and you’ve been seeing signs of this on your personal horizons for a week or so now, perhaps longer. This is a deeper re-evaluation than it may seem on the surface, involving harmonizing your personal needs and desires, your desire to play and express yourself, and a spiritual dimension. As for the latter, Jupiter in your birth sign is reminding you that the whole concept of ‘spiritual’ is useless unless it leads to happiness and pleasure.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You seem to be doing a pretty good job at avoiding being emotionally overwhelmed, despite having a number of excuses to feel that way. You have the ability to withdraw part of yourself into a secret location. I suggest you avoid that tendency, though, and move in the opposite direction — that is, stay close to the surface of your awareness. Be present for yourself and the people around you. Maintain some equilibrium between your inner life and your immediate environment. Said simply, you’re better off if you reveal to others how you feel, which may not involve explaining it in detail but rather with a simple statement and allowing yourself the space to be exactly as you are. This is not about there being no place to hide; it’s about opening the windows and allowing in fresh air and sunshine.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — There is little point trying to organize the mental details, an exact plan or trying to get control by collecting all of the information that’s out there. You’re probably feeling the inclination to exert your power that way, an impulse that can be better directed. There’s a very good point to knowing where you stand with yourself at all times, even if you don’t have words for it. In other words, the most vital information you can have is your own opinion, and what your intuition is telling you. You don’t need to know what everyone else thinks or what is motivating them; you merely need to know what is motivating you, and put that information to work. While you’re sometimes reluctant to trust your intuition if you don’t have some other form of data, you’re now in territory where your hunches can trump what seem like hard and cold facts. That’s the problem with them — their inflexibility. Notice that your intuition will keep you responsive to your feelings and your environment from moment to moment, updating you constantly.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — I suggest you respond to a burning desire rather than denying it or trying to pretend it’s not affecting you. You may have tried to compartmentalize this one many times, and it hasn’t worked. Now you get to burst out of those compartments, and it’s probably going to feel awesome. It could be awesome in that orgasmic way, or like when a shard of glass that got embedded in your skin years ago finally makes its way to the surface, tearing the skin to get out but it feels awesome because it’s finally getting out. Or as is most likely, a deep inner truth that you’re finally coming to terms with, which is arriving with an awesome sense of relief. It’s a beautiful thing to actually feel committed and passionate, and to put the two together. It’s awesome when you allow yourself to acknowledge the love that you feel.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) –Think of this moment as a focal point where numerous themes, issues and story lines both intersect and diverge. Everything you’ve done has led you to this point, and you can take your life many different directions from here. You may know this on one level, yet you seem poised to discover it on another. There is an image in your chart about bringing these two levels of awareness together — and stepping fully into what you know, including what you know about where you’ve been. There are some experiences you don’t want to repeat, and others that you want to explore more deeply; you’re also becoming aware of what you’ve never done before that you simply must experiment with. Most significantly, there are places you want to go, by which I mean with every cell of your DNA sending the same message, and I suggest you make plans to visit at least one of them within the next six months.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — At a certain point, you’re going to have to think of yourself as being something other than emotionally wounded. It’s true that you’ve suffered some injuries; everyone has, and you have a few that stand out in comparison to the people you know. It’s just that carrying around that idea makes something that happened in the past realer than it is, and realer than it needs to be. You may not be able to directly address the past situation; you may not be able to resolve it. But information is becoming available from another part of your consciousness which may show you two things: one is how you’ve put what happened in the past to good use, and I do mean very good use. The other is that while you may have some memory or personality matrix organized around this past event, you have in fact moved beyond it, and no longer need to define your personality or the trajectory of your life around this thing.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) –It’s not easy to take even a single step outside of the reasoning that love is good and lust is bad, which reasoning is based on the notion that there is some actual distinction to be made. Sure, checking out someone’s ass as they walk down the street is different from deep and abiding friendship. Yet that fact alone does not make one bad and the other good, or one fake and the other real. Both are natural, and for your purposes, what is natural is healthy and related to everything else that’s a fact of nature. At the moment your tendency is likely to be running in the direction of lusty passion, a sensation that’s going to grow stronger over the next few days. This is more likely to put you into the company of people you’re in harmony with.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You can finally divorce your parents. It’s about time. The thing about some divorces (if not all) is they make it easier to move on and be friends. The thing about divorcing your parents is that this makes it possible for the kid who is grafted to them, or to an idea of who they are (or were), to step up and be an adult. It’s not easy to see the influence that unhealthy bonding with mother and father has, especially if that influence is everywhere. You have reached the point in your life when you know it’s time to be your own authority. That’s the only way to get over what some call ‘authority issues’. It’s not necessary to project authority onto others, then rebel against it. I would say that if you want to be happy, it’s necessary to claim the right to run your own life. It’s not easy but it is possible — now.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — If you knew how protected you are, you would worry a lot less. Yet you still have a layer of learning, or programming, that says you have to be vigilant every minute, and to discern, in advance, the influence that something will have on you. I would point out that vigilance and fear are two different things, and that you’re now at a different level of learning. You have mastered, or at least reached, an advanced level on certain skills, including problem-solving. While at one time you may have learned that it’s not a good idea to use your ability to get out of trouble as an excuse to be careless, you can now count on it a little more. Yet something else is working for you, which is a guidance system that it’s taken you years to cultivate. This is a form of vigilance operating beyond normal awareness, working in the background, and with considerable support from what you might think of as spiritual agency. You can trust it; events in the coming days will show you that.

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