“The Squeeze”

The Squeeze

THESE are challenging times for sensitive, rational people to be alive. I can only imagine: it must be super duper weird.

We have just been through days with astrology so tightly strung, so balanced on the edge of a wedge, that the psychological pressure has at times verged on laughable. I speak for myself, and for quite a few people I’ve been in contact with, or who I’m observing like a sociologist, or occasionally wishing I could just pull the trap door on.

There are all kinds of responses possible. Many people are planning for the worst. I keep hearing little stories. This friend investing his cash in gold and silver coins, which he keeps in his closet. This or that company is doing its disaster planning, somebody saying lots of companies are getting into this. Financial markets jittery. A lot of concern about whatever antics Bushco is up to next. The past week’s nuke-u-lar bravado with North Korea. Oh yeah, and those seven guys busted down in Miami, who were doing jumping jacks late at night, who appeared to be brainwashed and were recruiting kids to al-Qaeda judo class and were gonna blow up the Sears Tower.

Most people are, for the most part, not talking about how they feel, or how we can respond together. The digital age means every iPod for himself. These are not the days of group process or community meetings. I don’t trust my email so much, as the Internet can seem to be a fantasy world of high-awareness, conscience and concern.

I can only imagine it’s difficult for young people, most of whom have not been given much in the way of independence outside the technological world, and who have come through schools which tend to strip away intellectual tools rather than strengthen them. I shower praise on teachers who relate values, who teach discernment and independent thinking; there were many who touched my life, and many still exist. But not enough, and what we are confronted with today is a lot to cope with. Everybody knows the ice caps are melting. Then you turn on the television and see reports of numerous wars, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, New Orleans still in ruins, economic hardship, the Emperor persecuting sectors of the population for his own political gain — and if you wrote this all in parable form, it would rival what you can read in The Bible.

My take is many people are scared, but we don’t know what we’re scared of. The ray of hope is…well, I don’t have a name for it. I ran into an old friend named Hawks the other day in New Paltz. We are both clergymen in the First Church of Common Sense. He is the Missionary to the Christians. I am Deacon of the Dorks. It had been a while. And he said, you know, awareness is rising. Whatever else you can say, people are more aware, even people who supported this whole thing in the beginning and are now seeing it was wrong — that counts as awareness rising. People who ‘voted their pocketbook’ and are now doing worse, and they know something went wrong — that counts as awareness.

Roxanne, whose commentaries appear regularly in my inbox, adds this: “I must tell you that I have felt like people are drawing a line in the sand, this is enough. It is a feeling that I have had for weeks as I wrote to you before it seems as if wrongs will be righted. This week the truth in my situation has started to come out, witnesses are coming forward and the whole ‘story’ is unraveling…The truth does indeed set you free.”

By now, you’ve read about the solstice astrology from two to 14 times, because I keep repeating it over and over again. In addition to the Sun simultaneously squaring the lunar nodes and aspecting the cardinal points this week, Mars and Saturn just passed a tight sesquisquare to Pluto — a fact which by itself appeared to predict a kind of triggering effect. If you look at that chart on what’s called the 8th harmonic (emphasizing 45 degree angles and related aspects), you get the most focused moment late last week. But the solstice itself, particularly pressing on the deeply sensitive lunar nodes, was an experience.

Ah, those nodes. They changed signs. This could be a sea-change, no pun on the North Node entering Pisces. Cardinal signs, where they have been for 18 months (Aries and Libra), have an aggressive “just do it” quality. Mutable signs (Virgo and Pisces) are nervous and thoughtful. They are as fixated on the past and present as they are on the future (not so for the cardinal signs, which just go forward).

Since this was all contained in the chart for the solstice, which had a precise grand cross active as the Moon was in the early degrees of Taurus, we get a chart that tells us something about the entire season — which, notably, concludes with a solar eclipse on Sept. 22, the last day of summer. This eclipse is getting a lot of attention from astrologers. It’s an odd one, in the last degree of Virgo, so close to an exact square with the Aries Point.

The solstice cross includes the Moon, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn and Mars, and then by sesquisquare, Pluto. The solar system has been strung like an Aries Point fiddle. On one level, the pattern combines the picture of two of the more noteworthy eclipses of the past decade, the two big ones which marked the turn of the millennium: Aug. 11, 1999 (grand fixed cross total solar eclipse) and June 21, 2001 (Aries Point total solar eclipse the first day of summer, i.e., the immediately pre-Sept. 11 eclipse).

Yet with so much currently in the fixed signs, presumably some kind of FIXED plan is now in action. There is a program running, and commitments have been made. We have not seen the results. Many major aspects await perfecting — Jupiter square Saturn and Saturn opposite Neptune, in particular. The curtain has not come up. We can hear the stage hands rushing around on the other side, arranging the scenery, and the leading actor has just hurried by in the costume of a monk — but we don’t know what we’re about to be looking at, the scale that it will appear on, or what the story holds. But it is a kind of drama.

I must quote Jude once again — how much wake up do we need? How many people, discovering themselves having nightmares in the morning, choose to go back to sleep?

A Line in the Sand: Lt. Watada

THIS ONE is so good, I’m going to reprint the whole article. Here is somebody who is not sleeping. A first lieutenant based out of Fort Lewis in Washington State has refused to deploy to Iraq. I like his father’s quote the best.

Said Dad, “He took an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that’s what he’s upholding. We have people who have committed very egregious war crimes. My son has been ordered to kill people for no reason, and he has decided he can’t be a part of that. I’m very proud of him for that stand.”


This is an exact solstice chart, as the Sun is in the very first degree of Cancer. Aries is rising, and Mars has cleared its conjunction to Saturn and is pretty much free of the Grand Cross.

Lieutenant Watada Refused Iraq Deployment Orders Today
    By Sarah Olson
t r u t h o u t | Report

Thursday 22 June 2006

First Lieutenant Ehren Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse orders to deploy to the Iraq war at 2:30 Thursday morning. [Note on the time: for the chart, I am using the time stated on Watada’s homepage, which said he reported for duty and refused orders at 2 am. -efc] Hours before his refusal, Lieutenant Watada confirmed his steadfast opposition to the Iraq war: “I am opposed to this war and the misconduct within this administration. I am willing to sacrifice my freedom and my good name to end this war and save lives: both Iraqi and American.”

Georgia Tagaras-Gordon is a public affairs assistant at Ft. Lewis in Washington state. She says: “First Lieutenant Watada remained within his battalion headquarters during manifest this morning. No charges have been brought against him and none will be brought until his commanding officers can review the facts of the case.” She says roughly 4,000 soldiers are deploying with the 3-2 Stryker Brigade combat team. Lieutenant Watada is currently confined to base, and restricted to communicating only with his lawyer.

Eric Seitz is Lieutenant Watada’s lead defense attorney. He says: “This morning Lieutenant Watada has been restricted to base without any actual charges or proper process. By placing a complete gag order on Lieutenant Watada, the military has again shown that their first concern is silencing Lieutenant Watada’s speech in opposition to the illegal war in Iraq.” Seitz says he will immediately challenge these restrictions.

Watada’s mother, Carolyn Ho, flew to Olympia from her home in Hawaii to support her son in his decision. This morning she says: “My son’s decision to refrain from deploying to Iraq is an act of patriotism. It is a statement to all Americans, to men and women in uniform, that they need not remain silent out of fear – that that they have the power to turn the tide of history, to stop the destruction of a country and the killing of untold numbers of innocent men, women and children. It is a message that states unequivocally that blindly following orders is no longer an option.”

Bob Watada is Ehren’s father, and also joined his son in Olympia to support him in his decision. He said: “He took an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that’s what he’s upholding. We have people who have committed very egregious war crimes. My son has been ordered to kill people for no reason, and he has decided he can’t be a part of that. I’m very proud of him for that stand.”

Retired-Colonel Ann Wright resigned her position as a US diplomat in 2003 to protest the Iraq war. She is in Washington state as well today, and says: “I am very proud of Lieutenant Watada for making his stand of conscience. He is standing up to say this is an illegal war. This is a type of analysis that everyone in the military needs to be looking at. The war in Iraq is, in my opinion, an illegal war of aggression, and a war crime. Ehren has every right to refuse to deploy to Iraq in opposition to this illegal war.” Wright says she hopes others will be inspired by Lieutenant Watada’s stand.

Lieutenant Watada says he has been receiving support from around the world since his June 7 announcement that he would refuse to deploy to Iraq. He says he has also been receiving support from individuals within the military, at every rank and level. Others have called him a traitor and a coward. To that, he says: “I took an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies. And that means we have to make our leaders accountable. We have to uphold the laws and the values of democracy – and the elected officials are servants of the people and they must be held accountable to us. We will not tolerate deception or taking us into war based on lies and betrayal.”

Lieutenant Watada concludes that: “It’s all really about what are you willing to personally sacrifice. If you believe that this war is wrong, that we must end it in the very near future, that you want to support the troops and bring them home alive, it takes people acting on this belief. Can you imagine if there were a million people in Washington every day, what kind of impact this would have in ending this war? If we don’t hold our leaders accountable for what they have done, they will continue to violate the law, they will continue this illegal war, sacrifice more American lives and continue with further death and destruction.”

Anti-war organizers have called for a solidarity action-set on Tuesday, June 27, in cities around the country. For information on these actions and the latest developments in Lieutenant Watada’s case, see http://www.thankyoult.org.

Semper Fidelis

“ALWAYS faithful” — the motto of the United States Marines. In this week of the Aries Point, one thing we’ve learned is that seven of them and one sailor have been charged in the kidnapping and premeditated murder of 54-year-old a disabled Iraqi named Hashim Awad in April. Given that war is usually a license to kill, this is noteworthy and, given the astrology, particularly the Aries Point balanced on the lunar nodes, a turning point.

CNN reports that Awad was a disabled veteran of Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980s, a war which the United States funded both sides of (Iraq as the official ally, and Iran as the unofficial ally). “The troops, all assigned to Kilo Company, allegedly removed Awad from his home and shot him to death,” the network reported.

This event may well fade into the long, sad history of Bush War II, but depending on what we learn, it may be another My Lai massacre. Whether or not it’s remembered by most people, it will shape opinion and we have an example of something that reveals a layer of truth and undermines faith in the official version of events. It is a myth-destroying event, and because it is an Aries Point event, it will have personal impact wider than can be seen, measured or even noticed.

There are other examples that stand out. With a New Moon exactly on the Aries Point in 2004, the Seattle Times published the first photo of the war dead returning by airplane. It was taken by Tami Sicilio, a contract worker from the Seattle area, who was assigned to the night shift at the cargo terminal in Kuwait through which bodies are shipped home. This revelation — very shocking and controversial at the time — was soon followed by a Web page called The Memory Hole gaining access to hundreds of such photos. Images of deceased troops returning home had long been banned by the Bush administration.

Here is Sicilio’s photo; it may ring a bell:


Then on May 5, 2004 — Beltane, one of the cross-quarter days, related to the solstices and equinoxes — Sixty Minutes published the first photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad, abuse, much of which in turn dated back to an eclipse in another cross-quarter: the Harmonic Concordance of Nov. 8, 2003. In other words, while many people were celebrating a moment dedicated to enlightenment and awareness, that very weekend, some of the worst known atrocities were taking place in Iraq under the dark light of a Taurus total lunar eclipse (and being photographed). Here is an article from that timeframe, which may ring a bell:


It’s easy to forget these things, in the onslaught of history.

Let’s take a look at the chart for the United States Marines, a highly educated, well trained fighting force that can wage coordinated battles on land, sea and air. The Marines are the elite fighting force, in many respects the pride of the United States Military.


The mythology built up around them is like an enormous castle, and dates back to the earliest days of American history. Here is their chart, set for noon as no time is available, which yields a rather interesting ascendant — 30 Capricorn. The Corps are a Scorpio, appropriate enough: they have that intensity. You never think of a Marine as being a grunt soldier or a drunken sailor.

Jupiter in Gemini? Forward in all directions: Land, sea, air. With a lot of Pluto transits the past couple of years, and Uranus about to come in for a square.

The degree of the Moon is also pretty interesting, for two reasons: one, it’s about to be opposed by Pluto in the next year or so. Two, it’s just one degree shy of the Sept. 11 Moon, that odd void-of-course Moon at the end of Gemini. When Pluto reaches 27 Gemini later in the year, it will oppose both the Marines and the Sept. 11 Moons. It’s not just a job…and it’s surely going to be an adventure for the Marines the next couple of years.

Wiki on the Marines


Wiki on the My Lai Massacre:


Two New Moons of Pluto Named

THIS was a great week to name something Hydra. Astronomers are just astrologers with telescopes (or spectrascopes, or blink microscopes), often more intuitive. This week, Hydra, discovered in 2005 and named P1, was given the name as the second moon of Pluto. P2, the third moon, was named Nix.

Pluto’s first Moon, Charon, was discovered in 1978. It is so close in size, and in distance, to Pluto that the two are considered by some astronomers to be a binary planet.

Here is some Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charon_(moon)

According to Space.com, the two additional moons “were discovered in May 2005 using the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists now think the two moons are roughly 37 and 31 miles (60 and 50 km) in diameter. Charon has an estimated diameter of about 750 miles (1,200 km).”

And, in 2006, one was called Hydra. We are certainly dealing with the many-headed monster these days, after whom she was named. We meet the Hydra in the tales of Heracles; killing her was one of his great missions. She is the metaphor for whatever keeps showing up with a new head; same thing, new face. Heracles finally managed to kill her, and then used her blood to poison his arrows, and was ultimately killed by that same poison — the same one that he used to kill hundreds of Centaurs, including Pholus and Nessus, and which injured Chiron. The Hydra’s blood is certainly a pervasive toxin, and depending on how you look at it, responsible for much death, or transformation. Here is abit on her:


As for Nyx, whose spelling for this occasion has been amended to Nix in order to disambiguate this discovery from two other prior ones called Nyx (I don’t quite understand this, as the rules call for the use of a unique name for a new discovery), she was the goddess of the night, perhaps equivalent to the Egyptian Nut.

Wikipedia tells an interesting story. “In Book 14 of Homer’s Iliad, there is an interesting quote by Hypnos, the minor god of sleep, in which he reminds Hera of an old favor after she asks him to put Zeus to sleep. He had once before put Zeus to sleep at the bidding of Hera, allowing her to cause Herakles (who was returning by sea from Laomedon’s Troy) great misfortune. Zeus was furious and would have smote Hypnos into the sea if he had not fled to Nyx, his mother, in fear. Hypnos goes on to say that Zeus, fearing to anger Nyx, held his fury at bay, and in this way Hypnos escaped the wrath of Zeus. From this it can be seen that in at least one major early Greek tradition, there was at least one entity that even almighty Zeus feared.”


According to Space.com, “In addition to their relation to Pluto, the names were chosen because their first initials, ‘N’ and ‘H’, are also the first letters of New Horizons, the NASA spacecraft launched in January towards the Pluto system. The Hubble Space Telescope was providing support for the New Horizons mission when it spotted the tiny satellites.”

More on Pluto in the weeks to come.

Worth Repeating: from the New York Times

Apparently, spying on everyone’s cellular calls and MySpace.com is not enough. This, from today’s New York Times:

WASHINGTON, June 22 — Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.

Stuart Levey, an undersecretary at the Treasury Department, in a file photo. He said the program “has provided us with a unique and powerful window into the operations of terrorist networks.”

Data provided by the program helped identify Uzair Paracha, a Brooklyn man who was convicted on terrorism-related charges in 2005, officials said.

The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database.

[Long article, lots of mysterious stuff about banking in Belgium. http://snipurl.com/s6j6 ]

Planet Waves Weekly by Eric Francis
Friday, June 23, 2006 – Weekly Horoscope #616

Happy Birthday Cancer!

How would you define your turning point this year? You seem to be at one of those places in life where you could go either way — but where you know the right way, the necessary way, and the way you want. Fortunately they are all related right now, if not the exact same thing. You may have the sense that you’re the one who builds your destiny, but what you are really doing is shaping your own character. The shift you’re really experiencing is the one from a life where the world tends to sculpt and form you at its will, and one where you are the primary factor determining who you are.

The thing to remember is that the turning point has already come. If you feel like you are being born now, it is the result of something that happened yesterday, last week or last year — but the effect of which is just becoming apparent now. The dominant energy is that of living out a plan, and of fulfilling a commitment. In a sense, your path has been chosen, and you may not always feel like you remember making the decision, or even like you are the one who did the deciding.

You did, in many small increments that have added up to where you stand at this moment. A long series of eclipses through your 10th solar house, dating back some six seasons, has reinforced a series of goals that have changed the course of your life. At times this has seemed like a series of unpredictable disruptions, but at others, like the hand of fate was picking you up and putting you where you need to be.

At the same time, you’ve found the patience and strength to work through many of your worst insecurities. But this has, at times, been the experience of plunging into them headlong. I would propose that it’s been an experience ranging from unpleasant to harrowing at times — nobody likes to face their fears, but we like to be done with them. But, like doing any deep work at the roots, the progress and success are satisfying like little else.

The 4th and 10th houses create an internal system wherein how we address our security needs, and our insecurities, directly relates to how we express ourselves in the world, what we are able to achieve, and what kind of reputation we have. Along this axis, we confront the fear of being visible. So, these past couple of years have been a time of coming out of your shell. And this process has completed just in time for you to find yourself sailing on the high seas of life, needing to live out what is the most important to you in a way that is tangible and meaningful.

I suspect you know on some level that nothing else will work. Many factors are conspiring to foster both your independence, and your interdependence with others in relationships that are intense and at times demanding of your full attention. No matter what is important to you and how critical you know this is, others can seem to show up with competing or rebellious ideas or behavior you just don’t understand. This can leave you feeling very ‘adult’ in nature, and perhaps shocked that you are saying some of the things you are — in terms of what many be your newfound reverence for tradition. That may also translate into a phase of your life when the concerns and values of others are becoming increasingly important to you, or inescapable.

The coming Mercury retrograde in your sign will give you a well-deserved opportunity to review everything you’ve been through the past two years. There is rarely time to think in this world, and rarely time to consider the past in a way that’s both personal and a little detached; we don’t have the skills. But the astrology is giving you access to something that goes a bit beyond skill, and indeed may impart something crucial you have been wanting for a long time. This is a gift of clear communication with yourself, of exploring the nature of the understanding you have with yourself, and finding out where you stand in life — big picture, deep inside.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You’ve got so much passion and energy that you may not quite be feeling socially acceptable. After all, real people are not full of fire and electricity. But I suggest you keep giving yourself permission to be alive, and to live like your life matters. You’re a fiery person by nature and you have only to gain by expressing yourself at full strength, no matter what anyone else may think, and by that, mainly I mean making choices that work for you. You have the guts to take risks nobody else will take, and the time is now.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You’re poised for an unlikely success that’s the direct result of your experience, wisdom and long-term commitment. You may not have thought about this particular idea for ages; indeed, you may have set it aside long ago, but the world seems to be ready, and for many reasons that’s important to you. But what is more important is that you’ve overcome a nagging fear that was holding you back. It took a long time, and in truth, you thought it would take forever to work out this particular insecurity.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
It’s amazing what a great teacher anger can be, if we listen to what it has to say. It’s not a great way of life, but if we listen to it and use it, and feel it as power rather than as weakness, it’s another story entirely. Often, anger comes as a result of not following what’s really important to us. Suddenly, the light is indeed dawning over what is most important to you, and more than feeling entitled to have the world be that way, you simply know that you must do what you need to do. That will be an act of trust, but you cannot deny your feelings any longer.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
With the Sun’s entry into your sign this week, you may have the feeling that the course of your life comes down to one decision you need to make. Rarely is this as true as it is now. But you don’t need to push. The change is coming naturally, and is part of the natural landscape of time. The best thing you can do is not resist progress, and to allow a financial question to work itself out gently. For a while it’s seemed like there was just barely enough to go around. But now you can do something about it, one step at a time.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
There are times when Leo really is about being a lion, and this is one. The extraordinary planetary alignment that is now developing in your sign will eventually pass by as the weeks and months go on, but you will feel more confident, courageous and mature as a result of what you’re living through — as long as you do it consciously. When you look back, you may wonder what it was that was holding you down, or what it was you were resisting. In hindsight, it will seem like less than it does today, but you have the power to look through the illusion right now.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You need to keep a sense of proportion. Certain issues are much smaller than they seem, but others may be larger. A little old-fashioned discernment will go a long way toward helping you sort out which is which. Ask yourself how you’ve responded to similar situations in the past. Weigh the situations of your life on a sense of what is right and wrong in the world around you. I recognize that it may be difficult to think things through logically at the moment, but I suggest you make a real effort to do precisely that. Start with the basic facts and see what they add up to.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You’ve finally reached the tipping point on a long and challenging journey in your professional life. The most vital thing you can do is relax and trust that people have confidence in your talent, leadership and vision. Certainly, the demands on you are high right now, and at times you may be unsure who is a friend and who is a foe. But you are a friend to many, and can afford to have confidence in yourself. Meantime, the people who you can really trust will prove themselves simply by being dependable and level headed.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You are very much in charge, but it’s also clear that you need to delegate. There is only so much authority or responsibility any one person can handle, and it would seem you’re close to your limit in one area when an entirely new aspect of life or work is calling upon you to take charge and blaze out new territory. You can, and you will, find a way to make this happen. Part of having power is the privilege of organizing yourself in a way that works for you, and I suggest you begin to use that option sooner rather than later.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
There are those times that really push our faith, and these are the moments to muster up most of the stuff. This comes naturally to you, and you know that your state of mind affects everyone around you. It seems you’ve had a breakthrough where it comes to trusting the universe. It would appear from the look of your charts that you really did have to lay down cosmic law with the cosmos, and for some strange reason it worked. I think you got an assignment at the same time, but your bow and arrow have been newly refurbished, and your horse is ready to run.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
People seem to be driving a hard bargain lately, particularly close associates or household partners with whom you have contractual agreements of some kind. Recent activity involving finances, shared resources or tax issues demands your leadership and experience, but you must be flexible and go out of your way to make sure everyone is treated fairly. This is all about everyone keeping their word, but it’s also about you looking out for your best interests, and making it clear that that’s how life is going to work. This benefits everyone — and one sane agreement will lead to the next.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Has your life ever been this intense? Well, perhaps, but never in this particular way. It seems that after a long spell of nothing much happening, everything is happening at once — and this is the time to pick and choose what you want. This relates to people as much as it does to things; any relationship energy that was stuck, stagnant or waiting for the next ice age will definitely have melted by this point, and whether you realize it or not, you’re getting a lot of attention. Use it wisely, because it does, in fact, give you some excellent options.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The past couple of weeks have kept you extraordinarily busy, and you’ve felt like you’ve had no choice but to rise to the occasion. Now, you have a different occasion to rise to, which is a total re-evaluation of your priorities. You can take a deep breath and a sigh of relief that you’ve finally reached this point in your life. But where, exactly, should you begin? I suggest you start with two “s” words: space, and safety. Give yourself enough space to live, including the mental and physical kinds. Second, keep clear about what allows you to feel safe, and make that a priority. The rest will fall into place.

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