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The Astrologer's Newsletter - March 2009

World News

by Jenni Harte

We begin with an ending since this issue of Transit will be the last printed version. So, before launching into my usual cherry-picking through the news big-up to our editor, Val Dobson, for being so accessible, patient and easy to work withÖthank you Val. Iíd also like to thank Transits previous editors, Nick Campion who encouraged me to get this column going back in the 90ís. My thanks too to Adam Smith and Kim Farnell (who first put Transit online) all of whom managed to be graceful about my last minute submissions, such is the pace of news it became harder to stop writing even (or maybe especially) when my deadline loomed. Quote Kim who said, "I love the sound of deadlines as they go whooshing past." Or something to that effect...too right.

And now the news.

I know it's come and gone but happy belated 200th birthday to Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin who most of you will know shared a birthday on 12 February. So, a shout out to two of the men who helped to define our modern society. Aquarians, of course. Both 12 February 1809. Lincoln: Harbin County, Kentucky at 'around sunup' (call it 6.45 LMT) 37 N 34, 85 W 44, Asc 19 Aquarius. Darwin: 3.00 LMT, Shrewsbury, England, 52 N 43, 02 W 45, Asc Early Sag. With all that Aquarian energy around their birthdays, their birthdays couldnít possibly go unremarked.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Begins Reformation! In an effort to modernise his country, the King has 'swept aside several bastions of ultra-conservatism.' Not only has he removed two of the most powerful enemies of reform, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith, the chief of religious police (who headed the dreaded mutawa - the brutal commission responsible to promote virtue and prevent vice) and Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan, the country's most senior judge (who recently ruled it was ok to kill tv channel owners who broad cast 'immoral' programmes). Other religious hardliners have also been dismissed as King Abdullah begins to break the grip of the ultra-conservatives.

Even more exciting is the appointment of Saudi-Arabia's first woman minister on Saturday 14 February. Nora bint Abdullah al-Fafyez (US educated) was made deputy education minister, the head of a new department for female students. This is a massive breakthrough in a country where women are still not allowed to drive. Saudi schools have been widely criticised as breeding grounds for extremism (terrorist training) and there is now great hope that the reshuffle indicates the countryís real desire to reform itself.

The astro-significators are potent. Saudi's (BWH chart 288) nodal axis was being squared, exactly, by the transiting Mars-0-N Node-0-Jupiter all at 9+ Aquarius, conjunct natal Mars. Chiron Neptune and Sun were also in Aquarius, everything packed into the first house in an unprecedented change of identity. Saudi-Arabia-Riyadh: 15 January 1902, 3.45 (GMT), Riyadh, 24 N 38, 46 E 43. Asc 25 Capricorn.

Gordon Brown never did have a honeymoon period when he was anointed Prime Minister but no doubt he longs for one, just one before the Conservatives stretch their lead over Labour to unreachable heights. The global credit crunch (and its knock-on effects), climate change (which is happening 'faster and more dramatically than expected'), wars in Iraq, Afghanistan (which have a high cost both in terms of lives and money) the Middle East and Africa (which are dispiriting at the least if not as directly expensive for the UK), and the publicís complete and utter disenchantment with uber-materialistic values have all served him poorly (or is it the other way 'round?). In any event, he's not having a good time of his premiership. In early February 2009 he was insulted by President Sarkozy of France (who slated his puny reduction in VAT as 'useless') and Jeremy Clarkson of car TV fame, who called Gordon a "one-eyed Scottish idiot." Whatís going on? For a start, it's not easy being a 12th house person in the public eye, anytime. Just now, however, with transit Uranus on his N Node, Mars and Venus, and transit Saturn opposing (on his S Node) he probably didnít feel much like celebrating his birthday this year. Saturn returns, direct, later this year to hit the same planets and then, immediately comes his Saturn return (1Libra). This isn't his best year and pressure and criticism are likely to continue right into 2010. The s**t's flying and Gordon's only respite is the fact that transit Pluto has finally got off his natal Chiron at 1 Capricorn! Poor ole Gordon Brown: 10 February 1951, 8:40 UT, Goffnock, Scotland (55 N 48, 04 W 20. Asc 15 Aries 16. Data: Caroline Gerrard.

Nobody Saw It Coming? If you believed Gordon, assorted reporters and economists, the credit crunch came like a bolt out of the blue. Excuse me? That's complete bull, here's a brief list of astrologers whoíve been warning of this situation for years. Christeen Skinner (UK), Bill Herbst (US), Jessica Murray (US), Robert Wilkinson (US) and Phillip Sedgwick (US). And lots of others we could add but that's not the point; this meltdown hasnít come from nowhere, it does have precedence and it was widely predicted and published by these and many other astrologers. When will 'they' listen and learn (or is it learn to listen)?

Respect (no pun intended) to George Galloway who's leading a £1million, mile long, 100 vehicle convoy of trucks, cars, a fire engine, 12 ambulances and even a boat (for the fishermen) being driven by volunteers, mainly British Muslims, from London to Gaza. Fantastic story, it should have made headlines, but George, being George, it didn't. All the vehicles as well as the goods they carry, including bed linen, shoes, clothing, food, medical equipment, tools and even nappies have been donated to the people of Gaza. Galloway, a Leo with Mercury and Pluto conjunct the Sun - and pretty much everything transiting Aquarius (at 15/2/09) opposing his stellium - expects to deliver the lot directly to the people of Gaza. He's a genuine humanitarian. Say what you like about him, and I have, this man does what he thinks is right and the rest of us be damned. And you know, he is right. The Lunar Eclipse on 9 February spotlit his Leo-ness. Unfortunately, transit Neptune opposing his natal 12th house Pluto rising also delivered the arrest of three men by counter-terrorism police, the three, following months of surveillance, had intended to leave Britain as part of the convoy, unknown to Galloway. Controversy dogs another 12th house politician (also Gordon Brown above).

Obamamania Over? Probably not, in fact he's only just got started so it would be ridiculous to say we've already fallen out of love with him. Of course, some have but I expect theyíre the ones who also believe 'God' created earth in 7 days (with slight apologies to those who think thatís how it happened). Obama simply canít work fast enough for them. For myself, and most of the rest of the world, however, heís off to a good start no matter how his opponents - whoever they are - wish it wasn't so. For all its obvious challenges, he DID announce immediately he was inaugurated that he would close the embarrassing Gitmo. He's admitted he was wrong - re various desired appointees - now tell me which other leader in the free world has had the stones to do that? Ever? He HAS got approval for his almost $900billion rescue package. Hey, give the guy a chance to walk his talk and he will, heís been elected because Saturn and Uranus agree, US politics and its economy were broken and cannot be mended, only changed. And, do not underestimate the power and contribution, fashion aside, of Capricorn First Lady, Michelle, much more to come from her, no doubt. Barak Obama is a man of uncommon intelligence, with a big heart and the desire to do his best for the American people in the worst environment of any incoming president since Roosevelt. Shut up and give the man a chance. My Barry: 4 August 1961, 19.24, Honolulu, Hawaii (21 N 18, 157 W 52). Asc 18 Aquarius. Data: BC

Teleportation: My only real wish to contribute to science - Iíd be happy to experiment with teleportation. Itís always appealed more than a traffic jam to the airport, a long crush of passengers trying to check in, and security guards inspecting my see-thru baggies of personal hygiene items. To say nothing of the depressing, over-priced airport environments. So, how's that going weíve wondered. Actually, pretty good; not good enough for me to arrive in Goa in a moment (if only) but it has already worked with photons. Now scientists are working with ions, which they say are better candidates for quantum memory. Hey, donít ask me to be more technical Iím an astrologer, but itís to do with longer retention and the ability to transmit 'information' from one location to another by relay. This is exciting, complex, but very exciting. For now, however, we humans still have to depend on aircraft. Saturn in Virgo is a particularly good placement for this fiddly stuff. The unfolding of this area of research seems to be yielding results but the universe gives 'it' up grudgingly.

Sexist. Sexist??? Virgin Atlantic Airways has recently been condemned, by some, for their TV advert celebrating 25 years in business with a parade of lovely young women in vibrant red uniforms. Personally, I think the retro-ad is brilliant and will probably get a well-deserved award, itís fun, itís got a pumping music track and itís NOT, in my opinion, the least bit sexist unless you can call a line-up of pretty girls sexist. How sad anyone thinks beauty is sexist. Whatís up with that anyway? Oh, Virgin Atlanticís got natal Neptune at 0 Capricorn opposite natal Sun, Venus and Mercury in the first 3 degrees of Cancer and transit Pluto has just crossed the lot. Did someone mention glamour? Jeez, itís only an advert - get over it! Virgin Atlantic: 22 June 1984. Data: Companies House. Anyone know what time that first flight from Gatwick to Newark Airport took off or landed?

The globe was battered by extreme weather in February. Snowstorms brought the UK to a halt, massive fires devastated parts of SE Australia and killed hundreds and storms raged around the planet. Flying was dodgy too, it seemed hardly a day went by in the first half of February without a plane crashing somewhere in flames (and this is unusual, air flight is probably the safest way to travel. But Saturn opposite Uranus, transiting Moon and the inners thrown in to kick things off. And industrial strikes havenít even begun in earnest - but they will. Itís a helluva time to be alive wherever you are but if you are, count your blessings and hope for a lovely spring.

Space Accidents = Space Junk. Also in February, the first collision of satellites in space occurred, creating two massive debris clouds with hundreds of pieces of junk. These bits may or may not re-enter the atmosphere, talk about 'heads up,' beware plummeting rubbish. I wrote about this problem years ago when my curiosity about the potential for accidents with all that stuff hurtling around the planet got the better of me. Anyway, it finally happened on 11 February, 500 miles above Siberia at about 4.55am (GMT) as the Moon in Virgo approached Saturn in opposition to Uranus.

No Money, No Family - Pauper Funerals Increasing: With so many people now growing old and dying alone, with no family or friends able to pay for funerals, taxpayers foot the bill for increasing 'paupers' funerals. Local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales have seen a sharp rise in people dying without funds to bury them, the current cost to these councils is up to £4million a year and rising. Graham Easton, spokesman for the British Institute of Funeral Directors said, "Within the next 10 years more and more people in their 50s and 60s who are more than likely to have been married or divorced, will be found dead with no family or friends who are traceable." But with the cost of a council funeral at nearly £1000 the recession is making them increasingly difficult to fund. A government officer said, "Our ageing population is growing and so is the worrying picture of isolation and loneliness." Baby boomers, plan ahead - none of us gets out of here alive! Pluto in Capricorn bites.

And so it goes. Goodbye TransitÖ