Monday, March 28, 2011

Neptune into Pisces- let's get creative

"Screw you guys. I'm going home."

How do you feel when you think of the ocean? Of deep currents of water, moving and shifting, connecting the entire globe? It's an inspiring place, and has been for a great deal of time. In fact, recent new evidence of man-made tools on Crete suggests that early humans may have had far more sophisticated sailing technology, far earlier than expected (like, people were sailing when they were supposed to be thwacking each other over the head with mammoth bones).

In astrology, Neptune is associated with water and the ocean, as well as the symbolic and archetypal associations of water- the "spiritual waters", the waters of intoxication (beer!) and the emotional waters of whatever you'd like to call the psycho-spiritual mass that binds us- the collective subconscious, our spiritual connection, our sense of being one part of a vast energy matrix. Here's a snippet about Neptune from a post I did last November on the generational planets:

- April 4, 2011 – moves into Pisces.

- Neptune dissolves the physical world wherever it touches. It represents changes in consciousness, which can include idealism, spirituality, creativity, delusion, confusion, drugs and alcohol.

- Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and is a sign typically associated with empathy and compassion as well as confusion. Neptune last entered Pisces in 1847- A year later the Communist Manifesto (compassion and idealism) was published. Impressionist painters flourished (and drank a lot of Absinthe). Opium came into use, Darwin’s theories “dissolved” the old structure of Christian theological doctrine, and Anesthetic (compassion + drugs) began to be used in hospitals.

What if… Medical Marijuana? New philosophies about people and society? New drugs or vices? New discoveries in science that question religion (… or new discoveries in religion that question science?)

So what lies ahead as Neptune approaches Pisces? Famous astrologer Steven Forest points to a few possibilities, in this video from the last NORWAC (Northwest Astrological Conference):

Click here to see the video

As in most astrological events, there are positives and negatives. The guiding principle of Neptune in Pisces is that we will feel more, and that we will be opened up to greater metaphysical possibility. Anyone with a strong Neptune or Pisces element will understand this especially well. The challenge with such exposure is that it can be, at times, overwhelming... and people will seek to escape from it. Last time Neptune was in Pisces, the subject of Opium was one of international interest and conflict (including the second opium war in China), and Absinthe became a fashionable and widespread intoxicating beverage in France and elsewhere.

Neptune in Pisces may or may not facilitate encounters with the green fairy.

But, undeniably, Neptune opens doors that move people to explore what's on the other side. Many interesting developments seemed to be inspired during the last passage of Neptune in Pisces starting in 1847, and manifested more concretely during the following passage of Neptune through Aries (the Cardinal sign of pioneering manifestation). A few examples:

Mormonism: 1847 onward saw the presidency of Brigham Young and the development of Salt Lake City as a Mormon "Promised Land"
Theosophy: Helena Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophy movement, travels the world and takes inspiration from a variety of spiritual traditions.
Atlantis: A French ethnographer who translated the Popol Vuh, a sacred book of the Maya, began to speculate about a connection between the lost continent of Atlantis and Mayan culture
Oil (You might as well call it a theology in and of itself): In 1859, oil struck in Titusville, PA gave birth to the modern commercial oil industry.
India Pale Ale: British export beer originally made for traveling to colonial India becomes popular amongst people back home in England. A tasty example of increasing global connections.

What could breakaway Christianity, occult beliefs, oil and beer have to do with Neptune? Consider these developments. Mormonism taught that inhabitants of Native America were descendants of some of the lost tribes of Israel. Theosophy sought a concept of spiritual truth binding spiritual heritages from around the world. Atlantis, especially with the popular publication in 1882 of Atlantis: The Antidiluvian World by Ignatius L. Donnelly several years after Neptune passed through Aries. Oil began to develop as a resource not only useful globally, but available globally. And beer traveled around the world. These events, amongst others during the time of Neptune in Pisces, represent an underlying increase in the sense of global unity. Scholars investigating Atlantis saw the great cultural heritage of the Americas as being linked to those of the Old World through a common heritage, while Theosophy worked to demonstrate the common truth in world religions. Beer and Oil developed as lubrication, literally and mentally, for a world connected.

I admit, the idea that Indigenous Americans would need a common heritage with Europeans can be demeaning, and may well be connected to over a century of colonial mentality. But, if you take these developments in context (It was 1847 people! They didn't even have toilet paper! Until, that is, commercial toilet paper was mercifully invented while Neptune was still in Pisces, in 1857), you see that influential people around the world were seeking a system of unity and global consciousness.

Without even discussing the actual existence of Atlantis, it's easy to see its significance as a unifying mythical tale. Lacking any discussion of religious particulars, Atlantis was seen as a real place of ancient wisdom lost and found again. It was a binding heritage of people across the globe. It represents the dissolved boundaries of space, time, and physical reality, without which people gained access to ideas that solidified in the following epoch of Neptune in Aries. Now, as then, we embark on 15 years of old boundaries washed away. We may find, in the waters that wash in, the inspiration for a new world, one that will take physical shape starting in 2026.

As things in the world become more and more dire, don't be afraid of these boundaries that wash away. Instead, look through them, and find the inspiration for a healing new vision of the world.

And have a nice, tasty beer to celebrate Neptune in Pisces.

Neptunian types and everybody: Are you feeling the upcoming change? What do you think of the developments last time Neptune was in Pisces? What dreams do you want to manifest? This is a great topic for a good discussion!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting ready for the Supermoon Saturday

NOTE: I have decided to indefinitely post-pone Chiron and Sea level rise part two (in which I planned to demonstrate, in a darkly humorous way, how sea level rise would inundate famous beer breweries) in light of the recent events in Japan. Chiron has a lot to teach us about this event, I feel, but it's not the right time to make light of things being flooded by the sea.

Anywho, events around the world the past few weeks have really taken off. The U.N. voted in favor of a No-Fly Zone in Libya which would essentially be the beginning of military intervention by foreign countries in the Libyan conflict. Meanwhile, Japan is still reeling from its horrible earthquake and tsunami, and while many sources claim that the nuclear crisis is becoming more stable, there is rampant uncertainty and concern.

While all of these events make for high emotional "tides", we can also look to the "Supermoon", march 19, for an increase in lunar energy here on earth. The moon is at perigee, or the point closest to the earth in it's slightly imperfect orbit. If you keep your eyes peeled near the horizon for moonrise, you'll see the moon a whopping 14% larger. Astronomically speaking, this slightly closer proximity to earth causes the larger appearance, somewhat higher tides, some "oohs" and "awws" from stargazers, and the chance to giggle at the hokus-pokus nonsense of astrological predictions.

I feel that astrology is an ever-present thorn in the side of the hyper-rational community. I'll be the first to admit that, no, I (nor any astrologer I know of) cannot go into a lab and arrive at a proven result for astrological phenomena. Sometimes, however, events such as today's Supermoon make it to the mainstream media, and it can go from a point of general curiosity to an old-fashioned scientific turkey shoot. Words like "nonsense", "medieval" and "ridiculous" get used quite a bit, and without empirical proof on your side, it's hard to defend oneself. You may see many articles about how the Supermoon could cause more disasters, odd weather, etc, and just as many articles about how there's no backing in science for it.

From an astrological perspective, however, there is a resonance between the heavens and events on earth. They are part of the same system, that transcends empirical scientific proof. "As above, so below." As such, the Supermoon is a reflection of increased lunar influence. However you describe it, the connection is there. And historically speaking, Supermoons have been associated with several seismic disasters, including: The Galveston hurricane of 1900, the 1989 World Series earthquake, several historic eruptions. Richard Nolle had an article in The Mountain Astrologer (click on his name to see) about his observations such environmental effects around the time of Supermoons.

Another interesting supporter of this theory is a former scientist of the USGS named Jim Berkland, famous for predicting the 1989 World Series earthquake. In this video interview he discusses factors that contribute to this "window" of possible seismic activity, while never mentioning astrology. Instead, he mentions the significance of the "tidal" energies of the Earth's groundwater and tectonic plates, which could be linked to the moon's activities. He also mentions the phenomenon of marine animal die-offs shortly before major earthquakes, possibly linked to animals' greater electromagnetic sensitivity.

This is an interesting crossover event, one in which both science (even if it's considered unproven or "fringe" science) and astrological significance combine with similar indications, as a wider than usual audience looks on. What is the indication? In short, a time of increased energy, of contraction and expansion, both emotionally and physically. And really, who can say where one ends and one begins? As we face a plethora of changes, the energy over these few days is particularly dynamic.

It took me a few days to write this article, but I am thankful that it took so long after hearing about a possible NEW oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico- discovered the very day of the Supermoon. In typical Yin, lunar fashion, it remains subtly hidden from the full view of mainstream media, and seems to be a story only accessible from small and local news sources. If you can find enough about this event, keep your eyes peeled for developments. The new moon on April 3rd may bring the energy of this event full-circle, and we may find out more. In the meantime, just ride the waves, and hang on through whatever might be churning under the surface of our lives...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saudi Arabia and Aries

Don't worry, I'm still studiously working on finding breweries to drown with sea level rise, though it's taking a bit more time than expected. Part two of the previous post will be coming soon. However, in the meantime I have an important topic to discuss- and that's Saudi Arabia.

So, there's been a great deal of revolutionary developments in the Arab world over the past couple of months, particularly as Jupiter moved into Aries (the sign, ruled by Mars, of individuality, action, initiative, sometimes violence). With Egypt shakily stable at the moment, and Tunisia more or less the same, the focus has turned to Bahrain and Libya. Libya, in particular, appears to be a tough situation because there is actual full-scale warfare between the regions held by the rebel "protesters" and pro-government forces. As gas prices jump 30 cents in a couple of days, the effects of oil concern come into focus. Many experts have said that Libya's conflicts don't necessarily indicate a major reduction in oil supply, but general uncertainty by people in the petroleum market leads to increased prices. While people in these countries fight for their sovereignty and human rights, the biggest visible reaction in the rest of the world appears to be gas prices. I think it's safe to say that the world as a whole pretty much survives on oil, literally speaking- to the very fertilizer we use to maintain enough food to feed (almost...) everyone. It is no coincidence, therefore, that news about Saudi Arabia's own forthcoming revolutionary mentality has been rather hushed- panic alone about the effects of unrest in Saudi Arabia is enough to rock the petroleum industry, let alone actual supply changes. And yet, such unrest churns, on our social network/political unrest forum Facebook. Check it out:

"There are also activist calls on Facebook for a "Day of Rage" on March 11 in the austere kingdom and for a "Saudi revolution" on March 20." These two dates rang an astrological bell- they happen to be the exact days that Uranus (Mar 11) and the Sun (Mar 20, the spring equinox) go into Aries. Jupiter moving through Aries over the past couple weeks has indicated expansion into new territories, increased initiative, as well as impatience and even the potential for aggressive action. It has resonated powerfully with the events in the middle east, and as more planets move into aggressive Aries from the compassionate and dreamy Pisces, this fiery energy is set to increase. In the case of these two dates, we have Uranus- the sign of rebellion, new ideas, individuality and technology- and the Sun - the source of our energy- both moving into Aries. The sun does this every year at this time, as we feel the new beginnings associated with Spring, which begins at the same time. Uranus doesn't move into Aries all that often- the last time was 1927 to 1935. Somehow, the planned dates for these two events in Saudi Arabia match up with not only the ideals of Uranus (rebellion) and the Sun (life) moving into Aries (fiery action), but also the actual days. The next few weeks could see some serious action.

For added insight, let's take a look at the chart of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia together:

(It should get a little bigger if you click on it). Though it's already obvious in our policy decisions, you can see that Saudi Oil fuels our wealth in the conjunction between Saudi Arabia's Neptune (outer ring, right side of chart) and the U.S.'s Venus, in the 7th house (the house of relationships and cooperation). Oil is associated with Neptune, linked in the house of partnership with Venus, the planet of beauty, wealth, and love. And boy, does Saudi oil fuel our wealth and happiness.

In another handy article from the LA Times:

And even though Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states of the Persian Gulf have nominally remained U.S. allies, they, not we, hold the key strings in the relationship. The United States continues to support and aid these regimes despite their authoritarianism. If the sheiks of the Persian Gulf decide to put down popular unrest with the same fervor Libya has, the hands of U.S. foreign policy almost certainly will be tied.

This paragraph sums things up pretty well. Neptune can be a confusing, even stupefying or deluding planet in situations where "the path is lost". This magical substance, petroleum, that casts such a spell upon our country, can leave us unstable, and like an intoxicating liquor (also associated with Neptune) only makes us forget the problems with energy infrastructure in the U.S.

There's a lot more connections about these two charts that need to be discussed, but I'm just going to focus on Uranus and the Sun, since they are preparing for such a big change. These two charts are the "birth" charts for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. If we consider the transiting planets, in the sky right now, we see that Uranus and the Sun are about to cross the very bottom point of the chart- the Imum Coeli, or Nadir line- the base and foundation of, in this case, the U.S. As Uranus and the Sun pass this point, they make an exact square to Saudi Arabia's Neptune we discussed earlier- an aspect signifying uncomfortable structural change and conflict in the interest of long-term stability. Whoa.

These dates, organized on Facebook, seem to be almost "awaiting activation" from transiting Uranus and the Sun, giving energy to the structural upheaval facing that intoxicating Neptune and its thirst-quenching oil. But, then again, maybe those days are just representations of a conflict concerning the world of Sheiks, Oil and Independence.

... I would say that, but for the fact that Facebook was one of the chief tools of the Tunisian Revolution. Which inspired similar movements in Egypt, Bahrain, and now Libya. Unfortunately for the United States, we are in a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't." If there was a revolution, and the House of Saud took action to put it down, the U.S. could support the rebels (who, as in other Arab countries, are chiefly concerned with the establishment of good old-fashioned democratic rights, just like we "gave" to Iraq) and risk losing the stability of Saudi oil... or they could support Saudi Arabia in putting down such protests, more or less openly admitting hypocrisy in the name of that oil. Such a difficult situation exemplifies the energy of the square aspect. It's gonna be an uncomfortable couple of weeks for the world of Big Oil. Get ready...

As always, what do YOU think of the events in the middle east? Will the U.S. take action at all, or if it does, what will it do? What do higher gas prices mean for the rest of the world? Share your thoughts!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chiron and sea level rise, part one: What's Chiron?

Have you ever heard of Chiron? It's a "short-period comet" orbiting between Saturn and Uranus and is variously referred to as the "wounded healer" or "rainbow bridge". In addition to its literal position in the solar system as a "bridge" between the slowest of the inner planets and the start of the outer or generational planets, in astrology it represents the connections between the physical and non-physical world. It is associated with wisdom and mentorship, as well as healing- though an appropriate image may be a shaman speaking to the spirits to intervene in the disease, rather than the institution-based health methodologies. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a centaur with a conscience. While most centaurs focused their energy on wine, misbehavior and just generally "gettin' their freak on," Chiron was a refined, cultured mentor, adept astrologer, and healer. Chiron was wounded himself, but was unable to cure this wound. This is the significant image for astrologers- Chiron as a player in the horoscope represents both an area in which we have deep pain, wounds or insecurities, and yet through this experience have great wisdom and healing power to give to others.

Understanding Chiron can help puncture the wall of physical reality that seems to surround us. Chiron can be particularly challenging, as well, because it forces us to open wounds that we may have long covered up and chose to ignore. Fitting with the theme of Chiron as a Shaman, however, it seeks to heal, or at least understand and work with, the wound itself. Modern medicine, in contrast, in some ways may focus more on treating symptoms in the interest of maintaining one's ability to function in society and feel "okay."

Chiron works in the generational realm of astrology as well, especially considering it's proximity to the outer generational planets. It was discovered relatively recently- 1977, during a time of increased "shamanic" awareness- in the environment, in increasing fascination with "new age" ideas, the further development of astrology, etc. More recently, it moved into the last sign of the zodiac- Pisces- last year on April 20, 2010. Pisces is associated, as the culminating sign of the 12 zodiac signs, with sensitivity, compassion, concern for the world at large and especially the world's oceans and sea life. Pisces has a shamanic energy itself- a sensitivity to the non-physical world which leads as much to Pisces' potential for spiritual awareness as a potential for confusion, non-action and martyrdom. What else happened on April 20th, 2010? The Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up.

If you've seen my previous post, "The Day Before Jupiter Moves Into Aries", you'll have a little understanding of the significance of the anaretic degree of Pisces. It's a point of final culmination before bursting into the assertive leap forward of Aries. Here's a short quote from that post:

"So, the challenge with "packing our bags" at 29 degrees of Pisces is that what we take with us and what we leave behind aren't going to be entirely clear."

The last time Chiron was in Pisces was 1960-69. This was a time of increased sensitivity and compassion in connection with the world around us, and especially the great aquifer of the world's waters (such as the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring). In 1969, at the anaretic degree of Pisces, can you guess what happened? If you guessed The 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, you'd be right! This horrible ecological disaster off the coast of California washed big fat globs of unignorable oil on the pristine beaches of the super-wealthy residents of Santa Barbara, and was one of several, if not the major, nitro boost to the budding development of American environmental stewardship. Oil had been growing and functioning in a non-physical dream world of infrastructure development without issue, fueling a comfortable way of life in the physical world of American wealth. Chiron, almost as a last warning after 10 years of struggle to increase environmental awareness, crossed the bridge between the worlds and brought oil literally to people's doorsteps. It worked, it helped... as much as it could.

What's at stake in our world now as the environment suffers, and policy makers continue to "cover up the wound"? Chiron is back to show us what we can lose, as well as how we can come together with wisdom and heal ourselves and our wounded earth. Chiron has 8 years with us in Pisces, but it's clear that we need to start examining our wounds now. We don't even know the long-term consequences of the Horizon Oil Spill... and what about global warming and sea level rise?

Lots to think about as I end part one of this post. I recognize how hard it is to feel the compassion that Chiron in Pisces demands, especially if you're comfortably using a computer with a Cappuccino or a nice brew (as I admit I am now). So... for all you lovers of British and Belgian Beer...

In part 2 I use sea level rise to KILL YOUR FAVORITE BREWERIES! We'll examine some maps in part two that you can't ignore...

Do you remember the Santa Barbara Oil spill? Were you affected by the Horizon Oil spill? What can we learn from the environment? Worried about a brewery and want me to make sure to include it in part two? Leave a comment!