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    Pluto, Eris, And The Evolutionary Meaning Of COVID-19

    Pluto, Eris, And The Evolutionary Meaning Of COVID-19

    As I write these words, I am in voluntary self-quarantine. I suspect that many of you are too.  It’s the right thing to do. A few of you have contacted me, wondering about the astrology behind the pandemic, how long it will last, and how bad it might get.  I don’t know the answers to the two latter questions, but let’s peer into the crystalline mirror of the heavens and see what we can learn about the first one: why Covid-19 is upon us right now. I do think that we can at least get some sense of its purpose.

    Many astrologers have been pointing an accusing finger at the current planetary traffic jam in Capricorn, with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction as the main culprit, and Mars currently helping it along. Neptune in Pisces has a correlation with contagion too, as Maurice Fernandez has emphasized. All that is solid astrology, but it leaves out an important piece of the puzzle – one whose significance has been banging us over the head since 2005, but which astrologers still tend to ignore. That is the planet Eris, which is currently squaring the Pluto-Saturn conjunction, and doing so from the edgy sign Aries. That is what I want to explore with you in this newsletter. I believe the Eris-Pluto square is actually the heart of the matter.

    Many of you are probably only dimly aware of Eris. It still has not gotten the press it deserves in the astrological community.  Let me be the first to admit that I have not integrated it properly into my own teaching and counseling myself yet. That’s a big mistake, as I believe we will see clearly in the light of Eris’s unmistakable fingerprints in the current viral situation. 

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    SIX QUICK TRANSITS

    SIX QUICK TRANSITS

    Exciting, busy times here – with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all in Capricorn, and with my having my natal Sun and two planets there, I am feeling alive, engaged . . . and also run pretty ragged. Along with my usual client work, we are in the late stages of pre-production on The Book of Air, which should be out very soon. I’m also diving into writing The Book of Water, which will be the last volume of my Elements Series . . . whereupon I hope to finally get time for a vacation!

    In these four Elements books, my essential aim is to write down “everything I have learned” in half a century of astrological practice. (Saturn is especially fond of impossible aims.) Put any of the planets in any of the signs, houses, or any aspects to each other, whether natally or in motion somehow, and I have an instantaneous first impression of the core issues involved. All of that has to be put in the context of the rest of the chart, and that’s where the deeper arts of interpretation come into play. No book would be fat enough to include all of those integrative perspectives – but in these four Elements books, I at least want to record my “instantaneous take on those core issues.” It’s all “cookbook” astrology with its inherent limitations – but I remember how helpful those kinds of thumbnail sketches were to me when I was learning the craft. I spent a lot of time looking up configurations in Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit or the books of Charles E.O. Carter, Dane Rudhyar, or Ronald C. Davison.

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    Close Encounters of the Astrological Kind

    Close Encounters of the Astrological Kind
    Astrologer: Pluto is creeping toward your 7th house cusp.

    Client: Is that ... bad?

    Astrologer: Well, let’s just say that the God of Hell is entering your House of Marriage.

    Client: What can I do ...?

    Astrologer: Let me recommend an attorney and a psychiatrist.

    The dialog above is exaggerated, I hope. But maybe not. I know that I have dealt with its apparent aftermath in the counseling room many times. What is the impact upon a client of such a bleak prognosis? After hearing such dispiriting words, he or she may cringe before Pluto as if frozen in place before an oncoming train. An astrologer speaking this way might unwittingly poison a decent relationship with fear or suspicion — and do so right at a time when what is really needed is emotional courage.

    Let’s insert a second imaginary dialog, substituting Jupiter for Pluto. Here, the same fatalistic astrologer might paint a rosier picture. There is a new sweetheart on your horizon, one who resembles all the romantic films currently playing in your psychic Cineplex. A star! An angel! Generous — and probably wealthy enough to put a little muscle behind that generosity.

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    The Capricorn Great Work - Dr. King and the USA in Synastry

    The Capricorn Great Work - Dr. King and the USA in Synastry

    This post is the result of some research from an earlier paper I presented at the Queer Astrology Conference (QAC) in 2018 on Bayard Rustin. During my research on Mr. Rustin, I noticed that Dr. King’s chart and the US Chart (Sibly) had Sun/Pluto conjunctions on both sides of the synastry, which is significant.  When I mentioned this to Steven he was quite interested and asked if I would do a paper for his blog for Black History Month.

    I will present the basics of the US Chart and Dr. King’s chart using the Triad analysis (Sun, Moon, Ascendant) and Nodal Axis analysis including the rulers of the North and South Nodes. Then I’ll look at each chart from a synastry perspective, to examine the impact of each one on the other. 

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    The Awkward but Fruitful Marriage of Houses Three and Six

    The Awkward but Fruitful Marriage of Houses Three and Six

    We astrologers take the universe and all its possibilities that have ever existed or ever will exist, then we divide that huge pie into twelve slices. Each house of the horoscope represents an archetypal field of such epic proportions that it would require an infinite number of astrologers writing an infinite number of articles in an infinite number of Mountain Astrologer magazines to thoroughly explore any one of them. When Tem Tarriktar invited me to write an article about houses three and six, I breathed a sigh of relief — ah, only 1/6th of all infinity!

    My aim here in this brief article is not to offer an exhaustive analysis of these two vast subjects. Instead, I aim to explore the curious, awkward linkages between the two of them. Underlying everything is the fundamental paradox that both merges and divides houses three and six: They are forever joined at the hip by their common association with Mercury, while they are simultaneously forever at loggerheads via the fact that they square each other.

    “Rulership” is a fraught question in the modern astrological world, with many arguments about modern versus classical rulerships. Some astrologers object to the notion of specific planets intrinsically ruling specific houses. To my way of thinking, rulership is essentially about an energetic affinity. In my own practice and teaching, I employ (for example) the notion of Mars being the natural ruler of both Aries and the 1st house; Venus, of Taurus and the 2nd house; and so on. From this perspective, Mercury, as the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, also “rules” houses three and six. Semantic arguments aside, the foundation of what I want to present here is that there is an underlying pattern of common astrological DNA linking the 3rd house to the 6th via their shared symbolic association with Mercury.

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    Astrology And The Twelve Steps Programs

    Astrology And The Twelve Steps Programs

    Throughout the centuries, many people have been brought to their knees by addictions of various sorts. Many of them have found healing in twelve step programs based on the model of Alcoholics Anonymous. As most of us know, these programs of recovery are not limited to alcohol issues. They have spun off similar programs for drug dependencies. With only a few modifications, there are also twelve step programs for food addiction, sexual addiction, and codependent behavior. In a similar vein, there are the ancillary programs called Al-Anon and Alateen for people who have been in intimate involvements with friends, lovers, or family members who have suffered from such addictions. Those programs are based on the same twelve steps too.

    No surprise: many people engaged in recovery have also turned to astrological counsel for support. Over the years, many such souls have found their way to my office. As a group, they are impressive. I have learned a lot from them. To overcome a disease such as alcoholism requires two virtues in abundance: first, courage – and, second, enough humility to recognize and admit the existence of the problem.

    Inevitably, as an astrologer, I’ve often wondered about why there are twelves steps, not ten, or some other round number. Could there be some interlock between astrology and these life-saving systems? At one level, I’m confident simply saying “of course there is a connection.” No one needs to believe in astrology for it to work. Twelve is an organic, magic number, woven into all archetypal processes, not just astrology. That’s enough evidence for me right there.

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    Jupiter Enters Capricorn - What Does it Mean for You?

    Jupiter Enters Capricorn - What Does it Mean for You?

    by Steven Forrest

    Jupiter dominates the astrological headlines this month. As most of you probably know, it crosses out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn on December 2nd. The old astrologers called Jupiter the "Greater Benefic." One piece of corroborating evidence lies in how nicely it cooperates with astrologers, taking about twelve years to get around the Zodiac – and thus conveniently spending about one year, give or take a little bit, in each sign. This passage is no exception – Jupiter remains in Capricorn until December 19, 2020, when it crosses into Aquarius.

    When Jupiter does that, Saturn will have already been kept waiting for it there for three days. The two heavyweight planets of the solar system form their every-two-decade conjunction in very early Aquarius on December 21, 2020. 

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    Are Intercepted Signs a Problem?

    Are Intercepted Signs a Problem?

    When a sign is completely swallowed up by a house – never touching a house cusp, in other words – it is said to be “intercepted.” I get a lot of questions about that astrological situation so I thought it would be a good topic for a newsletter.

    Let me start by saying that in some systems of house division, interception is just not possible. Many astrologers nowadays are drawn to the old ways, using traditional “Whole Sign houses.” No interceptions are possible there, since, if you have Gemini rising, everything in Gemini is treated as being “in the first house.” Houses and signs are conflated in that Whole Sign system, so interception is simply not relevant.

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    Healing the Collective Hurt

    Healing the Collective Hurt

    by Steven Forrest

    The month of October brings us a hot combination of Scorpionic energies and quite a lot of nodal stimulus as well. This promises to provide us all with a bouncy ride, but one which might do us all a lot of good. We will see it reflected in our own lives and hearts, and it will certainly leave its signature on the headlines.

    One quick take-away is that this panel of astrological energies is guaranteed to bring out the best in the best of us, while simultaneously accentuating the worst in the worst of us. All in all, I expect that bodes well for the kinds of people who are motivated to read or listen to this newsletter. 

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    Botched Transits and Progressions

    Botched Transits and Progressions

    I got a great question from a client a few weeks ago. I felt it was rich enough territory for a newsletter. Let me open with her words:

    “When you have come through a major transit or progression and totally fail to get it right, what does the high road look like from there? In practical terms, we often just have to live with whatever consequences that may become a non-negotiable part of our lives after a less-than-optimal response. Life goes on, the stars continue to spin, new challenges await. But is it worthwhile to ask if any of the higher potentials of a "botched" transit/progression are actively recoverable? Or is it simply a time to assess, acknowledge the loss and the lesson, and move on?  Is it all, you know. . . starlight under the bridge once a transit is over?”

    Let me get rolling here with a question that has become a cliché: is there really any such thing as a mistake?  I’m a Capricorn, so my answer is pretty simple: yes indeed – mistakes are part of life. The word serves a useful purpose and we need it in our vocabularies. And when we do make mistakes, there is always a price to pay.

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