Astrology News

October 2016 Newsletter

Mars Out of Bounds - More Than Anger

by Tony Howard

Stephanie Starnes YogaNext month I’ll give my first public conference lecture on out of bounds planets at the ISAR conference in Costa Mesa, CA. Since transiting Mars is currently out of bounds (through October 30), I thought I’d share some Mars out of bounds charts with you as well as a calendar of important aspects during this transit (you’ll find that below).

While doing research for my lecture, several patterns emerged as I pondered the names of well-known people with Mars out of bounds. Perhaps my favorite is that Mars out of bounds is strongly associated with innovation, trendsetting and originality in one’s art or societal contribution. I love it that this positive expression of Mars out of bounds is prominent. Because honestly, I was expecting to mainly see the violence, conflict and aggression side of Mars.

It’s true that there are some fairly dramatic examples of violence associated with Mars out of bounds. For instance, Aileen Wuornos, the woman who shot and killed seven men between 1989 and 1990, had natal Mars out of bounds in Capricorn. But there are far more examples of human drive and ingenuity. That made me excited, not only because it's good news, but because it reminded me to keep my perceptions of Mars open – to let the charts teach me what Mars means, and to use my preconceptions to direct my inquiry rather than allowing them to restrict my thinking.

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September 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to Discordia: The Current Uranus-Eris Conjunction

by Steven Forrest

Leo in JulyIf Pluto is a planet - and most astrologers, myself included, still say it is - then, like it or not, distant Eris is a planet too. The two bodies are about the same size. Both orbit in the dark deep-freeze beyond Neptune. We know all about Pluto’s direct impact on our lives. Most of us have scars to prove it. Should we expect anything less of Eris?

The astrological jury may still be out on the power of Makemake, Haumea, Sedna, and the rest of the “trans-Neptunians.” But Eris is way bigger. I believe it is time to say that everyone who claims that the jury is still is out on Eris is just not paying attention. I also believe that its current explosive conjunction with Uranus underlies much of the chaos in the world’s current headlines. Notice how you can hardly post “have a nice day” on Facebook without someone drawing parallels between you and Adolph Hitler? That’s the fingerprint of Eris.

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August 2016 Newsletter

Mars Conjunct Saturn - Concerted Effort Wins the Race

by Tony Howard

Mars-Saturn conjunctionThe big news in the astrology blogoshere this month is the Mars-Saturn conjunction on August 23. Seeing these two so-called malefic planets come together might give you pause, but with Mars moving briskly forward and Saturn at a standstill, this transit will be over before you know it. It might help to think of this as a “trigger” transit – a faster transit that sets off a slower transit. In general, slower transits make a more lasting impression because they have time to “cook.” Faster-moving planets often trigger events that engage with the bigger-picture story told by the slower transits. In this instance, Mars will activate the year-long Saturn-Neptune square that has been in range since last fall.

Here are the technical specs: Mars, at 6° Sagittarius, will apply to the conjunction with Saturn, at 9° Sagittarius, on August 17 within 3° orb. As transits apply within 3° they really start to heat up. As the conjunction forms, Saturn will be at its slowest, since it stations direct at 9° on August 13 and doesn’t move to 10° until August 30. The station emphasizes Saturn’s impact. On August 23 the Mars-Saturn conjunction will be exact. By August 25, Mars will begin separating from the conjunction.

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July 2016 Newsletter

A Leonine July

by Steven Forrest

Leo in JulyThe devil is in the details. So are the angels sometimes. In my transits and progressions work with clients, the focus is always on the “big picture.” That grand evolutionary perspective emerges most clearly when we reflect on the slow-moving, theme-building planet — basically the transits of everything out beyond Mars, plus the progressions. In the counseling room, it is usually practical to ignore the little “firefly” transits of Mercury and Venus, or the Sun and the Moon. They go by so quickly that they don’t have much time to develop depth and complexity of meaning. But they sure “work!” Let Mercury transit over your Sun, for example, and your phone is ringing like crazy and your email inbox looks like Obama’s.

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June 2016 Newsletter


Big Transits This Month

by Tony Howard

Mars retrograde will wrap up in this month as it stations direct June 30 at 23° Scorpio. If you’ve been in a holding pattern with launching new projects, keep holding this month. Focus your time on strategic planning and reworking your plans. Or redo your action steps on projects that have had setbacks or interruptions. If you have planets near 23° Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, you’re sure to notice the station, when an influx of Mars energy will constellate as it sits at a near standstill for several days.

Mars asks us to get in touch with our will. If frustrations have come up it could be because you’re not getting exactly what you want. If you are at all unclear about what that is, the anger coming up can give you good information to make it painfully obvious. Use that information to figure out what you need to change or adjust when Mars goes direct.

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May 2016 Newsletter

Is Planet Nine Real?

by Steven Forrest

ObservatoryWait a minute! Didn’t we find the ninth planet eighty-six years ago and name it after Walt Disney’s most famous dog? No, Pluto’s now a dwarf, remember? (But who dares to tell THAT to Pluto?) But wait another minute! Astrologers have been calling the Sun and the Moon “planets.” since the beginning of astrological time—so that makes ten planets, not counting Pluto. But we WANNA count Pluto! Ask any astrologer—or at least any modern astrologer. (Some of the Classicists don’t even want to count Uranus or Neptune . . .) But, then, if we DO count Pluto, we had better count Eris too. Eris is about Pluto’s same size and mass, and if one’s a planet, then the other must be.

Like a lot of things in the modern world, such as turning on a television set or adjusting a thermostat, counting planets is a heck of a lot harder than it used to be! And it looks very much like it is about get a whole lot harder. Evidence is mounting for the existence of what astronomers are tentatively calling “Planet Nine.”

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April 2016 Newsletter

Getting to the Higher Ground with Mars and Pluto in April

by Steven Forrest

Mars Station in SagittariusThere is a divine, evolutionary purpose behind everything that happens in the astrological sky. For me, that is the foundational principle of our craft. Aiming ourselves toward the higher ground is what it is all about — and there is always higher ground, no matter how grim the astrological configuration might appear to be. I believe in that principle fervently. It is elemental to everything I teach, write and practice with my clients.

But I’ve got to say, my knees got weak when I looked at April’s planetary patterns. On April 17th, Mars makes a station, turning retrograde, at 8°54' Sagittarius. The next day, Pluto also stations, at 17°29' Capricorn. That’s two potentially scary planets, both getting very intense at the same time.

I will stick to the best truths I know here: this combination of energies represents an open evolutionary avenue for us all. There is higher purpose in it. Astrology is the mirror in the sky. Everything that arises in the sky reflects something arising inside of us, and it is all about our evolution. Sometimes certain conditions need to coalesce to create necessary opportunities. Sometimes those conditions are frightening ones. Whatever it may look like, everything reflects evolutionary necessity, and there is always a way to get it right.

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