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The Astrologer's Newsletter - November/December 2008

World News

by Jenni Harte

Poverty in the Great Depression
At the end of the year, and nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st century, please indulge me a little philosophising. I've been wondering, how many financial institutions have been using, or considering using astrology as a tool to help forge a new economic model lately? Whether or not, if they'd been listening to astrologers' conversations in recent years it's likely many of them would have done things differently. Too late now but there's a part of me that is encouraged by these tumultuous times. Here's why. It was always going to take some short, sharp shocks to get the attention of all the passengers of spaceship Earth. Crisis focuses the mind and this is a time when most minds will be firmly focused on different, more streamlined, ways of living. We will learn a lot from elders who lived thru times of privation. Jupiter in Capricorn and Saturn in Virgo put the spotlight on practical matters, the glare is relentless.

And it's hardly unexpected. Even those who DON'T use astrology have known for years that the explosion of personal debt and surging housing costs would eventually result in an unwholesome economic stew and resulting heartburn of plunging stock markets, vanishing pensions and plummeting house prices. All with nosebleeding speed. So while we take little pleasure from having been correct we can also take heart from what must surely be the best possible opportunity for a mass consciousness raising session - world wide. Neptune and Uranus in mutual reception are managing the project - Humanism 101.

Instead of spending money (and time, traffic and petrol) on things we don't even need, we're all getting to grips with learning to do with less…less everything - and strangely, it's not so bad. Pluto in Capricorn is obviously in charge after only a brief outing in the first half of the 2008. Only a dwarf planet? Yeah, sure.

Now where do we go from here? And how will we get there? Well, with the astro-signature of Saturn opposite Uranus, future success in all things won't be based on the same ole/same ole. One definition of crazy is doing what you've always done but expecting a different result. Forget that, time to think outside of the box and that's what Uranus is about. And what of Uranus in Pisces, surprising victims, unusual health care, unexpected service, and a fast growing concern for more humanistic ways of living/being. Umm, and the occasional revolution, too. Most important - Human Revolution.


John McCain
The few weeks before the Full Moon 14 October 2008 brought the fastest moving global challenge of the 21st century as transiting Mercury stationed direct and the international economy almost collapsed. In fact, things moved SO fast that news editors, financiers and politicians (to say nothing of the rest of us) struggled to make sense of events. The front page headline in the Daily Mail on Saturday 11 October was 'Worst Week Ever'. Add into the mix a US presidential election that pits Uranus (Obama) against Saturn (McBush), black and white, male and female (moose huntin' notwithstanding). All in, this is arguably the most radical moment in the world since the dropping of the bomb in 1945.

I watched the US election debates, live at 2am BST, all of them. John McCain suffered in the final debate (all of them really), transiting Uranus conjunct his Saturn in the first house disrupted his maturity as it has done all thru the campaign and makes him appear unstable and erratic. And he wasn't helped at all by transiting Mercury stationed near his own Mercury, in fact, in his recently (October) ‘acclaimed' New Stump Speech - meant to create a new image - he simply repeated, almost verbatim, huge chunks of his August Republican Convention speech! Astonishing and poorly judged but Mercury is a trickster and in this case a Mercury return bit McBush on the behind (yes, I meant every pun). John McCain: 29 August 1936, 18.25, Colon, Panama, 9 N 22, 79 W 54. Asc 6 Pisces. Data: BC

Barack Obama
Obama, on the other hand, an eloquent speaker, had transiting Venus in Scorpio bang on his MC sextile his Saturn and transiting Mercury doing a tap dance sextile his Mercury and Sun. For Obama, the trickster danced right into his hands. Obama also had a help from transiting Mars in Scorpio, exactly conjunct his Neptune in the 9th giving his philosophical vision an extra boost from behind the scenes, firmly but gently projecting transiting Neptune on his Ascendant. Frankly, transits or otherwise, John McCain could never win a debate with Obama…it would be entirely Obama's to lose. Barack Obama: 4 August 1961, 19.24, Honolulu, Hawaii, 21 N 18, 157 W 51. Asc 18 Aquarius 03. Data: BC

The US Presidential election will be going on as you're reading this column in a few weeks' time. Even before global economic upheaval moved the goalposts, Barak Obama always exudes a classic Aquarius ascendant dignified, intelligent, compassionate and cool - he's a very cool guy. On the cusp of the Aquarian Age (remember that?), people around the world are hoping for an Obama victory because the man himself carries the present hopes and dreams of us all. He has, however, admitted he's not the Messiah. We know McSame's Moon is in early Aquarius but his proud (vain) Mars in Leo trine his most elevated planet, Jupiter in Sag, champions the old news of war and ideology - he's a fighter but that's apparently it. Transiting Pluto's nearly done with all that and as it moves onto McCain's North Node at 1 Capricorn 26, he will have to find a new way into the future, his past is past.


Headline We've Been Expecting Wall Street: Fall of the Fat Cats! From 16 October. This headline comes as transiting Jupiter has just opposed the US Sun at 13+ Cancer (Jupiter opp Jupiter at 6 Cancer) in January 2008) and during the rest of 2008 will oppose both US Mercury 24+ Cancer and Part of Fortune at 26+ Cancer in the 8th house and conjoin US Pluto for Christmas! In addition, transiting North Node, Chiron and Neptune have been in long residence in the US 2nd house, not helpful for clarity in the nation's financial affairs. You almost have to feel sorry for those Wallstreeters who won't be able to afford a small country with their annual bonuses…almost but not really.

Meanwhile Back in the UK

Transiting Mercury stationed direct at 8 Libra, exactly on the UK's Asc immediately following the Full Moon on 14 October. For the UK it meant scrapping the SATs, the school exams for 14 year olds after a controversial 15 years since their implementation. Saturn opposition anyone? The Daily Wail's front page headline 15 October read 'The School Test Fiasco' and this follows the summer chaos (also Mercury Rx) when thousands of pupils waited for delayed and/or incorrect results - most certainly Mercury Rx f****ps.

Madonna: She's bored of being Lady of the Manor, bored of Guy Ritchie and bored of England. Well then, time to go home, eh? Mercury's Rx visit in Libra was apparently the last straw for her marriage and as transiting Mars approaches opposition to her Mars at 15+ Taurus, it's over. Transiting Chiron (in the midst of her Chiron return) and North Node square her Mars and oppose her Uranus, a breakup is predictable. BTW, Madonna's Mars is only a few degrees from the UK's but her fascination with the UK and the British male - as with all her fascinations - has been relatively shortlived. With a natal stellium of Pluto, Mercury and Moon conjunct her ascendant in Virgo, her fickleness is as legendary as her need for control. Madonna: 16 August 1958, 7.05am, Bay City, Michigan, 43 N 35, 83 W 53. Data: Clifford

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse suffers (well, I care) as only a Sun Mercury square Moon Neptune can which is a great shame because she (unlike another diva mentioned above) is such a huge talent. Unfortunately, transiting Saturn will be joining her natal Sun for the rest of 2008 and S/Rx there on New Year's Eve, not completing it's conjunction until August 2009, then conjoining natal Mercury and all the while Saturn squares her Moon, Nodes and Neptune. There's lots else but this Saturn transit defines her next year and unless she gets stuck into hard work and learns more mature strategies for managing daily life, she'll continue to find it extremely difficult. Expect a lot more drama. Amy Winehouse: 14 September 1983 (no time) Enfield, 51N 40, 0 W 05. Data: Her website

Bad News: World Hunger Day 16 October got barely a mention in the press, overshadowed by the economic crisis…precisely when such an event should be a top priority given that we have the technology to feed the entire planet. Speculation and selfishness are to blame according to Pope Benedict, Barbara Stocking, head of Oxfam and Jaques Diouf, head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.

Good-ish News: Petrol prices in the UK have begun to drop after the highest prices at the pump were reached in July. Major supermarkets have been most instrumental but Gordon Brown has had a go at suppliers as well. The volatility of worldwide petrol prices has been staggering but the price of crude oil had slipped from a high of nearly $150 a barrel this summer to below $70 at this writing. The word, however, is volatility and if OPEC slows production prices could rise again soon. Fill that tank while it's cheap/er and stop driving everywhere!

Better News: An overzealous interpretation of EU law has meant a number of cases have gone to court to prosecute grocers for selling produce in pounds and ounces. Calculating Mercury, stationed direct on the UK Ascendant put paid to that stupidity and the law will be relaxed in future. You can happily buy your bananas in the UK by the pound (weight). Mercury S/D 1, stupid laws 0.

Sunspots - NOT! 2008 has been a year of virtually no sunspot activity at the low point of an 11 year cycle. Apparently Sol hasn't been so quiet since 1954, the year Europe and the US expressed concern about fallout and disposal of radioactive waste, the hydrogen bomb was tested at Bikini and the US submarine Nautilus was converted to nuclear power. Quite what this means to 2008 is unclear but as a new sunspot cycle builds there is much discussion about building new nuclear power stations. Here France and China seem keen to do most of the construction.

There are many countries with a Saturn Uranus opposition and from right now and into 2010, we'll be hearing about them especially Barbados, Belarus, Gambia, Iceland, Malawi, Maldives, Nigeria-Coup (!!!), Sikkim, Singapore and Thailand, as all these are Virgo Pisces oppositions. And Russia - numerous Russian charts will be highly sensitive to these repeated oppositions. Iceland has already evidenced the opposition, only weeks ago it had the highest per capita income of any nation, suddenly that's all changed and after a generation of growing wealth, it's all gone horribly wrong and they now look to Russia for help. These charts can be found in Nick Campion's The Book of World Horoscopes.

We should frequently remind ourselves that our known universe has expanded beyond all imagination. Even further out outer planets, numerous Centaurs, asteroids and dwarf planets populate our solar system and beyond- heck, new solar systems. too.

Astronomer Michael E Brown
This is the time when technology, spirituality and practical matters have to combine is new ways. Evidently humankind has reached a new level of consciousness that's only just beginning to grapple with these new dimensions in space…or else, why would we have found them? Pluto's journey through Sagittarius, Chiron in Aquarius conjunct the North Node, mutual reception between Neptune and Uranus - we've reached beyond our own universe to the Multiverse we now truly inhabit, with new signposts to mark the way. If only London could get it's road signs sorted out (sigh).

Finally, a heartfelt thank you and goodbye from the Kuiper Belt and us to astrologer-friendly astronomer Mike Brown (left), co-discoverer of several dwarf planets. I don't know where he's going from here but thanks to astrologer Philip Sedgwick for the headsup.