Dear Friend and Reader:
Thanks to this past Wednesday’s Aries New Moon conjunct Eris, I knew this would be an interesting week. That’s usually as far as I go with predictions; I don’t want to spoil the fun.
What we experienced was no ordinary New Moon. It was conjunct a relatively recent major discovery (Eris showed up in 2005 and was named in 2006, resulting in the ‘demotion’ of Pluto and compelling astronomers to define the word ‘planet’ for the first time).
Both Venus and Mars were conjunct Eris, adding a personal flavor and, thanks to Mars, a bit of extra zest.
And the whole performance took place in Aries — a sign associated with initiative, self-assertion and militancy.
When a new planet appears in an event so prominently, I call that a proving moment, and I wait to see what happens, so I can learn what the new planet is about. In world news, this week turned out to be pretty special.
For one thing, Maggie Thatcher, the ‘Iron Lady’ former prime minister of the U.K., kicked the bucket, with neither the people nor the media hiding its antipathy toward her. Thatcher waged war on Northern Ireland and the poor, established a new-style British economy that was based on finance rather than on production, and helped provoke the United States into Iraq War I. Her domestic policies included the controversial ‘head tax’, where everyone was taxed the same amount regardless of their income level. In short, Maggie Thatcher is viewed by most Brits as a disaster.
There were long-planned parties and champagne in the streets. Manchester United and Manchester City, two of the U.K.’s most powerful soccer teams, both refused to hold a moment of silence for Thatcher, not merely as a snub but rather fearing that riots would break out in the stadiums if they did. This was a good week to avoid a riot in a soccer stadium.
In Iran, there was a deadly earthquake near a nuclear facility. There was a knife attack in Texas, a weird, minor hostage situation and an incident in which a man tried to cut off his arms with hand saws at a California Home Depot. He did not succeed. But these incidents contribute to the idea that many people are approaching a snapping point.
In the United States, the Senate has taken up the deep philosophical question of whether terrorists, felons and those judged mentally incompetent by a court should be armed with toys like M4 Carbine assault rifles (that’s another term for the Bushmaster, which delivers bullets that make baseball-sized holes in the body of whomever is hit, and which dismembered young students in the Sandy Hook incident).
This is the question of the ‘background check’, which is already required by federal law, but which is subverted at gun shows, where the check is not required and therefore where those otherwise banned routinely purchase weapons.
Thursday, the Senate voted 68 to 31 to allow the background check question onto the floor for an up or down vote. That’s to say, supporters of the bill mustered up more than the 60 votes necessary to get past the filibuster promised by some of our more brazen senators.
Such is evidence that even our Reptilian overlords are vaguely responsive to public pressure. The NRA, which seems to be increasingly psychotic as the weeks go on, had threatened to mark the report card of any senator who dared even to allow the measure onto the Senate floor.
The vote took place as parents and other relatives of those killed in the Newtown massacre watched from the Senate gallery, after being brought to Washington by Pres. Obama aboard Air Force One.
The airwaves and cable channels were awash with the usual anti-gun control arguments, including the old story about the ‘slippery slope’: when you ban one kind of weapon, where does it end? First they come for the Bushmasters, and the next thing you know they’re confiscating your Glock, then your grandpa’s trusty old shotgun, then your .22 target rifle, then your Sears BB gun — and then they take away your pocket knife.
Other people are wondering: how big should the biggest allowable weapon be? If we refuse to draw the line at the Bushmaster, maybe we should allow civilians to have anti-aircraft or anti-tank weapons. Maybe civilians should have F-15 fighter jets, and we can do the Home Air Force reality show. Maybe we should allow people to have Cruise Missiles.
Or hey, maybe we should allow everyone to have nuclear weapons. Speaking of, this may be remembered as the week that North Korea threatened the world with thermonuclear war.
We’ve all been hearing a little about this, though I’ve noticed that cable news in the U.S. is playing it down somewhat.
This week, the North Korean government issued a statement: “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war due to the evermore undisguised hostile actions of the United States and the South Korean puppet warmongers.” (This was issued by the “Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee,” a hilariously named North Korean state agency.) It also said that North Korea “does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war.”
How considerate of them. Of course, it’s evidence they think this is going to be like the Hatfields vs. the McCoys, a contained little atomic war local to the Korean peninsula. This shows you they need to get out of the house more.
Meanwhile, for the past week or so, under the leadership of the world’s youngest head of state, 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un, North Korea had already been threatening to shoot its missiles at Guam, Japan and its neighbors to the south. [The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said it believed that North Korea could make a nuclear bomb small enough to put on a missile, but Secretary of State John Kerry rejected that idea. The DIA had previously said that Iraq was close to a nuclear bomb as well.]
For many, this episode was the first time they’d heard of Kim Jong-Un, unless of course you caught the story in February of retired NBA star Dennis Rodman visiting North Korea and allegedly being the first American that Kim ever met. Kim is known to be a basketball fan and idolizes its players.
Everyone is used to the gasbags up there issuing threats, but this particular threat was accompanied by the North Koreans deploying portable missiles believed to have a range of up to 2,500 miles. They didn’t fire them — they just set them up and pointed them at various places. Presumably, these were armed only with conventional warheads.
Various governments, including China, issued warnings to back off. China in particular said that no country had the right to destabilize the region or the world.
Kim Jong-Un took office in December 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il. Korea is mysterious and North Korea is even more mysterious; astrologers have had some trouble finding out Kim’s birthdate. (This is not uncommon for people from countries that use different calendars than we use in the West, particularly if they were adopted, and it presents an ongoing challenge to astrologers.)
But this week, Oregon-based astrologer Mark Lerner, who for many years published Welcome to Planet Earth, was a guest on Coast to Coast AM, and said he had Kim’s data — which turned out to come from a British astrologer named Paul Saunders.
Kim’s date of birth was known to be Jan. 8, but his year of birth was not known for sure; it’s either 1983 or 1984. Saunders noticed that Kim’s mother was quoted in the BBC as calling him the “Morning Star King,” and after doing some research rectified Kim’s chart to 1984 and even came up with a time. You can read how he did the rectification here. I think it’s good work.
The upshot is that on Jan. 8, 1984, Venus was shining brilliantly in the pre-dawn sky. (Venus is a planet and not a star, but the term ‘morning star’ refers to a planet rising in the east before the Sun rises, usually Venus.) The prior year, there was not a morning star on Jan. 8. So that kind of narrows it down to 1984.
When I saw the chart, I let out a little gasp: many of Kim’s planets fit snugly into a chart called the Nuclear Axis. That’s the chart for the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction, created as part of the Manhattan Project, which designed the first atomic bombs during World War II.
When planets or events like eclipses come into alignment with the Nuclear Axis chart (the axis referring to a band of space through Gemini and Sagittarius), there is often some kind of major nuclear incident. You can teach yourself astrology by taking the Nuclear Axis chart and comparing it to events like Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island.
The gist is that Kim Jong-Un is a walking, talking nuclear incident. He has many important planets in his chart aligned with the Nuclear Axis, and seems to have been born to provoke the issue into public consciousness.
I don’t know if he will start a nuclear war, but he’s destined to get us to think about that possibility, which would be healthy. He is young; he’s likely to be around for a while. And for many other reasons, this issue is not going to go away. It’s likely to surface in a big way in the late winter and early spring of 2014.
First, though, a brief note on the Nuclear Axis chart. This is the chart for the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction. The event took place back in 1942 in a lab under the grandstand of a football stadium at the University of Chicago. (You never know what’s going on under those athletic facilities at a big research university.)
I spent an hour on the phone with Mark Lerner Wednesday. He’s the astrologer who did most of the early research on the Nuclear Axis, and who first demonstrated the effect. He informed me that there’s a one-hour discrepancy in the time of the first controlled reaction, based on conflicting reports of whether the stated time — 3:25 pm — was in Central Standard Time (CST) or Central War Time (CWT, which was like Daylight Savings Time, but year-round). Fortunately, both charts have Taurus rising, so they cover common territory.
After interviewing him for an hour on the topic, I was still not satisfied that the CWT chart was actually wrong, potentially because I could not connect all the facts without the documents in front of me.
I mention this to let you know that I’m aware of the issue. Till I sort it out in an article devoted to the topic, I’m going to stick to the chart I’ve been using over the years, since this chart works (the one set for CWT, with early Taurus rising). Note that the one-hour time difference does not change the location of the Nuclear Axis itself — that involves planets in the first half of Gemini and Sagittarius.
See if you can find that axis in the charts. Gemini is the green II and Sagittarius is the reddish arrow pointing upward and to the right. They are opposite one another. The axis runs straight from Gemini to Sagittarius and is indicated by the purple lines going across the middle of the chart. See it? Great!
Okay, now take a look at Kim Jong-Un’s chart (here it is in larger size, side by side with the Nuclear Axis). The thing about anyone 29 years old is that they’re still in the midst of their Saturn return — one of the most significant thresholds into adulthood. The U.S. founding fathers had a good point when they set the minimum age for the presidency at 35 — long after the first Saturn return. Kim is a head of state who is in many ways still a sheltered child.
Atomic Boy Wonder has many of his planets in Gemini and Sagittarius. Look at that whole collection to the left side of the chart. That’s the 12th house — the house where everything has a veil thrown over it, and you cannot really know for sure what’s going on. It’s a perfect description of North Korea — a whole clump of activity tucked into the elusive 12th, behind a scrim or veil.
And it’s loading up the Nuclear Axis. Kim also has his Moon in Pisces, which is sensitive, emotive, easily influenced — and exactly square the axis. He has an emotional investment; it’s easy for him to get dragged in, and that Pisces Moon under such stress does not look like any form of stable. (In fact, the Moon is at the point of a T-square and is extremely unstable.) Note, when something is square the Nuclear Axis, such as this Pisces Moon, that counts full score.
There are other interesting things about his chart. He has Mars in Libra right on top in the 10th house, the house of the president, of the king, of the CEO. That is not what you would call diplomatic — it’s rather aggressive and insensitive. Mars is not comfortable in Venus-ruled Libra. Between that and his Pisces Moon, I think little Kim thinks that he’s perceived as a girly-man.
Pluto is right there; so really he has a Mars-Pluto conjunction in his 10th. He can be a little autocratic, which I guess fits since he’s actually a dictator. This accentuates the sensation that he has something to prove, and that warfare might be his chosen means.
I think we have an actual problem on our hands with Kim Jong-Un, especially if North Korea persists in its nuclear development program. When this incident blows over, we may have a new, major episode or series of incidents in the spring of 2014 when Mars is retrograde in Libra. A lot of astrologers are watching this one, and I will say now that it’s likely to be the subject of frantic prediction. This is because Mars will be passing through the Uranus-Pluto square three times, and Jupiter will be in the picture, making a grand cross.
One last chart — that of Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea earlier this year. He went allegedly on the occasion of a basketball event. Kim loves basketball, so you can imagine it was a big deal to have Rodman sitting there with him. Rodman’s natal chart has important planets on the Nuclear Axis, which drop into the puzzle perfectly.
Yet the chart for his trip to North Korea is the really impressive one. I think it would be hard to stuff more planets into Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces — all on or square the Nuclear Axis, some with stunning precision. We might wonder what exactly Rodman was doing there and what exactly he said to Kim. We will probably never know that for sure, but what we do know is that this whole nuclear escalation incident took place shortly after Rodman’s visit. Clearly, he didn’t have a calming effect on Kim. He had some other effect.
I don’t know what to make of this connection, but I think it’s pretty strange, particularly in the context of a volatile and easily influenced young dictator who is vying to have his country be a nuclear contender.
What we’ve seen this week is how volatile the world is, and how on edge some people in it are. The North Korea nuclear issue is just one example of what we usually have to tune out to make it through the day. There are many others — issues both collective and individual; griefs that we must be witness to or bear personally; the sense that there is only limited opportunity to get out from under the strain or off of the treadmill. Looked at one way, many of us have good lives, complete with food and shelter. Looked at another, the psychic strain of existence increases constantly, and grows more complex.
We are all under a lot of pressure, much of it unacknowledged. The astrological events of the past week or so may have focused that in your life, and hopefully you’re someone who can deal with pressure and who has healthy ways of blowing it out or expressing it creatively. But not everyone has the opportunity or knows how.
Many people are trying to cope by using medication — which sometimes works pretty well and sometimes makes matters worse (it’s necessary to figure that out for yourself). Many medications intended for physical ailments (ranging from those designed to help people quit smoking to diabetes drugs) have significant psychiatric side effects.
As part of the gun debate, we are seeing some awareness of the need for better psychiatric treatment so that we can stop in advance some of the people who do these mass shootings. As part of this, it’s necessary to acknowledge the extent that mental illness is on the rise, and start to understand how and why that is happening. And if ‘better’ treatment means more drugs, we really better consider the known effects of those drugs. Many have a ‘side’ effect of inducing suicide in some patients, which means they likely have a spectrum of other non-helpful effects in some people.
The most important thing we can do is learn to take care of ourselves, and take our own healing process to heart. We can also be aware of who is in distress around us, and extend an offer of help, or at least to talk. It may be your boss or someone who works for you. It may be a neighbor, friend, relative, your partner or spouse.
The events we’re seeing dramatized in the world are merely an expression of what’s going on within the hearts and minds of many individuals, including ourselves. I would say that we’re at a point where healing is no longer a luxury.
We may be figuring out that we’re not going to solve anything with bombs, guns, control dramas or aggression — though what to do about these things is another question.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, April 12, 2013 #945 | By Eric Francis
New Moon Vibrating: Late Aries Birthdays
The Aries New Moon is present in your solar return chart and in many ways will set the tone for the year. You’ll need to strike a balance between your own individuality and welcoming others into your life. It may not be easy to make them feel warm and cozy while you’re having an explosion of self-presence in the world. However, it remains true that many people are intimidated whenever others display the meekest attempt at confidence, so make sure that you’re not restricting your choices based on the fears of others. It will be easier for you to find others who already harmonize with your emotional tenor or point of view than it will be to condition others to the way you think and feel. I suggest you reconsider the old idea that it’s possible to ‘make a relationship work’, since that implies someone feeling compelled to change. Meanwhile, another reason the partnership discussion is timely is because Saturn is moving through your solar 8th house, which is a reminder that it’s time to renegotiate all of your agreements and ‘sacred contracts’. Your newly emerging power of individuality is certainly giving those old agreements and the people connected to them a workout, and the more willing you are to let go of the past and embrace the present, the easier it will be for everyone.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are starting to find your voice and your confidence, which you may have discovered is easier if you encourage others to find theirs. I would say there are two kinds of confidence, at minimum — one based on the idea “I am better than you” and another based on the idea “we’re all growing, and we can support one another on this trip through the unknown.” Over the next week you will have opportunities that you can meet with a spirit of competition or mutual support; the choice is yours. To embrace the latter option, you would need to consider the idea that what you offer to others increases, particularly if what you’re offering is an idea or a feeling. You have plenty of these things to go around, particularly ideas. You’re also figuring out that you value your freedom above all else, particularly your freedom of thought and expression. That’s something truly collective, available to everyone or not at all. I suggest you lead the way.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus returns to your sign in a few days, though before it gets there, it’s completing a trip through your sensitive 12th solar house, Aries (along with many other planets in that house). This is likely to be coming with various experiences of being lost and then found again; debates over whether and to what degree you exist in the world. You certainly exist, though when there is so much pressure to change, to evolve and to become, you might have those moments of deep questioning. I suggest that you stop, look and listen — rather than question or judge. You will feel calmer and more grounded if you tune into your senses. You may even find it easier to experience the sensation of being carried over a limit or a threshold, into a new space of self-awareness. The feeling may be something akin to releasing yourself from the prison of a certain kind of self-concept, which may currently be limiting your ability to know and feel who you actually are.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury is done slogging through Pisces (where it’s been most of the year), and is now in fire sign Aries (as of April 13 at 10:37 pm EDT). This is likely to speed you on your way, at the same time you become aware of the solution to a particular problem you’ve been grappling with for months. That is difficult, given that you crave proceeding with total commitment in whatever you do. Over the next few days, you may have one idea after the next for what direction to turn. Let these ideas emerge, and evaluate them without judging them. By early next week, they may suddenly all add up to something truly unusual — something so life-changing you will need to pause for a few days and reflect carefully on the implications. You may choose to let it go, in which case I suggest you move on quickly. Yet if you choose to go this new route, put your plans into motion immediately and without delay or hesitation.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The current days you’re in are likely to come with one breakthrough after the next on the vital matter of career. Not so long ago, you embarked on a path that was totally different from anything you’d ever done. This has likely brought many developments in your life, and now is the time to assess those changes and make some refinements. The truth is that you’re genuinely an innovator and pioneer, though you may not feel like one. What we do almost always feels ordinary, and it’s usually a good idea to avoid telling yourself how innovative you are. So please let me tell you. You are a visionary influence on your environment, particularly your place of work and especially the people you collaborate with. I suggest you invest some energy into focusing the efforts of the people you work with; you’re a kind of spark plug in that fuel-rich environment. It looks like you’re on the brink of a breakthrough, one that will benefit you and everyone who shares your goals.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You are a success magnet right now, and the only thing that could possibly stop you is self-doubt. Therefore, if you feel any of that, refuse to feed it, justify it or rationalize it. It might help to know that what you think of as your doubts are really those of someone close to you — a parent or early caregiver — though they may feel like your own. You are no doubt aware of an evil tendency for one generation to pass its fears and limitations along to the next. If you’re a parent, make sure that this tradition stops with you; this means not accepting the doubts that others projected onto you, which is the one thing you need to do in order not to pass them along to others. While you’re often inclined to work hard and earn what is yours, your real gift is that of strategy. You’re in an unusual and brilliant moment to consider any problem or complex situation you may face, and bring to it the certainty that there is a solution, if you can tune into it.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be feeling released from a bogged-down relationship situation for the first time in months. This may involve a person, it may involve a pattern or it may involve a feeling. It’s gone on so long you may have forgotten that other possibilities are available. You’re now being presented evidence of many, many other possibilities, including a big reminder about the whole notion of change and why it’s a good thing. There is nothing wrong with stability, but worshipping stability in service of fear is indeed a toxic psychic factor. One way to approach your current moment is how it’s a study in agreements. Every relationship is about mutual agreements on one level; what you’re discovering about yourself is that you have some genuinely original ideas about what works for you. You may also have a parallel idea that those things won’t work well for others, though I suggest you drop that prejudice and assert yourself. Ask people you meet what is true for them, and tell them what is true for you — without delay or hesitation.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to have unleashed a whole series of rapid changes, and you may be wondering whether you’re in control of your life. I suggest you not ask that as a general question, but rather that you identify specific areas where you have the ability to make decisions, and others where you seem to be at the mercy of other people or of your circumstances. Start with where you know you have the power to choose and try making some decisions. You’re likely to experience the other factors coming into focus and gaining a sense of clarity as you do. I would remind you that your life is not about having fixed values. You have an odd tendency to be inflexible just when you need to stretch and flex the most. You will feel more strength and less chaos when you open up and consider things from a diversity of viewpoints. There is likely to be a clear meeting place between you and someone you care about, if you’re willing to move with what is, in truth, a rapid flow of developments.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Planets are collecting in your opposite sign Taurus these days, and that is likely to present you with options. Yet you’re unlikely to see and feel those options unless you let go of an old perspective that you’ve been struggling with like gum on your soul. You may feel like some prior commitment is making it difficult for you to be in the moment. At the same time, you seem to be on a quest to stretch into new territory, especially in your relationships — though that’s challenging you to be real from moment to moment. One image I see in your solar chart is the need for a more flexible idea of commitment. Our society seems to have three modes: friends but don’t you dare think of sex; the drunken one-night stand; and marriage. None of these reflect actual human feelings or social needs, nor do they give you much wiggle room to experiment. I would propose three alternates: let’s explore life together and see what we learn; sex with friends is better than sex with enemies; trust is the foundation of love.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may be feeling a tug away from experimental and creative mode, into get-serious mode. I would recast this another way — your experiment is starting to get results, and it’s time to act on what you’re learning about yourself and your environment. It’s true that you need something solid to work with, and you’ll soon have that opportunity to an increasing depth. Said simply, that something solid is a sense of purpose, though this may be the last thing you are inclined to trust. I understand there’s something about the times we’re living in where we think that ‘meaning is meaningless’. (In academic terms, this is an aspect of postmodernism.) You can get around that one by connecting with the fact that sincerity is always meaningful. One by one, planets are moving into the angle of your chart that describes healing, focus and service. The energy in your life will cool down in degrees, though the gradually diminishing raw heat will leave plenty of fuel and oxygen for passion and purpose.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your chart looks like you want to spend a few nights at the Super 8 so that you can get a bit of sanctuary. If so, I suggest you do something like that — get away for a few days, or even overnight, and spend enough time alone to figure out what’s going on with you emotionally. Other people will be happy to share their opinions, and they will, even to the point where they drown out your ability to sense what you’re feeling, what you need and what may be prompting you to feel insecure. If you have the desire to take some space, how do you feel when you consider doing it, or enact the plan? If you’re feeling any guilt, then you know you have some solid emotional material to work with. The presence of guilt would imply that you’re under the influence of someone, verging on control. I understand that you have a lot to take care of, though help is there if you ask for it.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This whole responsibility thing is getting tired, I know. Or at least it has its low moments and its more meaningful ones. Yet you seem compelled to go there, and to develop that aspect of who you are. I would propose that you’re doing this at the right time in your life; it’s one of those necessary aspects of existence that you need to be in harmony with, as a prerequisite for happiness. Let’s put it this way: regardless of whatever else you may or may not be, you’re not a slacker. You can trust that, and in doing so, I suggest you not push the whole responsibility bit too far. You need to have fun, and I suggest you attend to that sooner rather than later. I am not, however, talking about the kind of fun that’s a diversion or entertainment. I’m talking about the kind of fun that’s about being in creative harmony with your purpose, with the service you offer and most of all with a job well done.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have a lot to offer the world — especially right now. You also have plenty that you want to do and experience. I suggest you emphasize that rather than what you have to offer, since no matter what you’re doing, people will benefit from it. Let’s put it this way: What if you didn’t have to prove yourself to anyone? What if you needed no validation of your ‘worth’ whatsoever? How would you live differently? The truly beautiful development in the current astrology is that you can indeed experiment with living this way — and explore what it’s like. Your self-esteem fuel tank is just about all the way full, and you’ve tapped into some unusual mode or source of confidence in yourself. This will allow you to shift your needs to wants, which in turn defines them as something fun rather than something in response to any urgency or survival need. I suggest you proceed with the confidence that your survival needs are all met, or will be met without a fuss.