2012 The year ahead for Ireland

Using the 1949 chart for Ireland we can see that transiting Saturn opposes the Sun and Venus from late December 2011 until late September 2012. This is certainly going to make any financial progress hard work and we can’t expect the prospect of renewed prosperity, or regaining independence from higher authorities yet. Property prices are likely to continue to devalue. Saturn restricts and delays whatever it touches so any declaration of economic recovery can be dismissed as spin or misplaced optimism.

As Saturn passes through an area of Irelands chart which represents our outer image or political status it shows that national reputation and autonomy is compromised and we’ll see further restraints on the way the state can operate. The low points will come during late December 2011, late March and mid September.
Saturn’s job though is to make sure we have put down a solid foundation for building on in the future. It teaches us the hard way by making us face the sometimes stark reality we have been avoiding and we finally realise no one else is going to take the responsibility for our future.
During March and April there could be a serious disquiet and upheaval. We can expect to see strong opposition to the government and maybe even a sudden change in the ruling power or state. This influence emerges again in November around the time of the lunar eclipse so if we haven’t already seen changes in government then this might be the time.
Saturn moves into Scorpio in October and as the emphasis changes we could experience isolation from other countries and perhaps find that getting support from abroad is harder to achieve. We may find we have more firm restraints placed on us from abroad.
The Uranus Pluto square directly affects the area of the chart which represents Ireland’s economy and financial policy. It may take several years before we see the financial sector working in favour of the ordinary people. It is quite likely that the ruling government is at “war” with the people during this period.

This year we’ll experience increasing disparity between those who believe in taking and holding the power, wealth and control for their own personal enhancement and those who choose to share power and resources, contributing to the well being of others and trusting in them as a sustainable way of ensuring their own long term well being. Two very different approaches to taking care of oneself.

Astrology 2011

As we leave 2010 behind some of us may breathe a sigh of relief. It was a tough year all round. The tense cardinal T square that dominated the astrological pattern since 2008 has fulfilled its purpose. The financial, political and religious systems that we had in place have shown themselves to be broken, or at least in desperate need of an overhaul. Much of what we thought we were sure of in the world has to be redefined. We need to find new ways forward because going back isn’t an option. We start 2011 with an uncertain landscape. The astrology for this year reinforces the movement towards change and innovation with an absence of stressful aspects from the outer planets.

Jupiter, known as the great benefic, takes the leading role in the heavens this year. He represents our goals and aspirations, religion, philosophy, law, ideals and all that makes us bigger or better. The only negative side to the great planet is when under difficult planetary influences there is a tendency towards excess or too much of a good thing! This year though the theme is towards growth and increase in all that he touches. After a conjunction to Uranus in January, he makes a challenging square to Pluto in February, a difficult opposition to Saturn in March, an easy sextile to Neptune in June and a beneficial trine to Pluto in July and October. How these aspects affect you personally depends on where they fall in your own birth chart.

Using the 1949 chart (creation of the republic) for Ireland we see that this year the country is choosing or reaffirming its identity and path forward. This is a turning point, a time of transition and restructuring. Though the early year will be marked with changes, disruptions and adjustments as the months progress we can begin to see there are rewards for sacrifice, patience and perseverance.

A potent solar eclipse on January 4 marks the beginning of a 14 year cycle as it brings the expansive planet Jupiter together with innovative Uranus together in Pisces for the third and final conjunction. The previous two occasions last year were in June and September whilst making stressful aspects to Saturn and Pluto creating disruptive and volatile situations. Now in January we experience a harmonious trine to beneficial Venus instead. This is likely to highlight our true values with an urge to make a leap of faith or take a risk to achieve ‘being true to ourselves’. For Ireland as a whole this falls in the area of the chart which represents our communications especially amongst neighbours and kinfolk. It also makes a challenging aspect to Uranus in the chart which represents the people’s individuality and sense of freedom. This is a time for breaking out of old patterns, structures and routines and for discovering the uniqueness of the nation. Expect occasional periods of emotional excitability, unrest and instability. We will see more demonstrations which express the values of the country and an increase in radical activities which voice the desire for reform or revolution.

During February there is a need to look closely at the problems in the property market as Jupiter challenges Pluto on 25th and causes stresses in the global economy. Also with pressure from big finance the nation could feel the burden as Saturn opposes Ireland’s Sun. There may be a departure or break in leadership as politicians face up to individual responsibilities.
March is the time to get a shoulder behind the obstacle and give it a gentle shove. We are at another new cycle point indicating social and political change. On the 28th Jupiter is opposite Saturn which represents the established status quo. This half way mark in the great Jupiter Saturn cycle coincides with the Mars in Ireland’s chart. Successful action can be achieved if there is enough determination. This is an excellent business period, or time for initiating enterprises and starting new projects. It is also one of the best transits possible for making decisions and negotiating deals, just be sure to avoid the “get-rich-quick schemes”. A strong and assertive effort to put ideals into action is called for.

During April or by the end of May we could well have taken that leap of faith. We certainly will have turned a corner and found new leadership. Also there is sense of invigoration as exciting potentials for enterprise emerge. Priorities are decided. Old contracts are torn up either metaphorically or literally and there seems to be hope on the horizon now. This is a quiet period astrologically but things are still happening in our daily lives and this is a chance to feel that some good work has been done.

June and July bring two more solar eclipses. On June 1 there is a positive aspect to Saturn which provides realism and stability and this is reflected in Ireland’s chart. On July1 the eclipse is followed on 7th by Jupiter making the first of three harmonious aspects to Pluto. This suggests the beginning of a phase in which a new style of business ventures or projects can prosper. These are likely to be successful when built on sound sustainable principles. During this time it is important to guard against any over speculation or false optimism. Non material gains are highlighted during these summer months with a reforming of social, spiritual and moral ideals.

Towards the end of July we may see some more unrest as the need to assert the individuality of the nation becomes an issue. There could be power struggles in several countries worldwide during August as the fight for control of resources reaches a peak. There maybe some hints of the issues we will have to face over the next few years as Uranus moves closer to making a difficult square aspect to Pluto. These undercurrents herald the movement towards a new social political balance globally.

The autumn months of the year don’t bring any major astrological events and the job of reforming our civil organisations continues. The mood is generally one of patience and perseverance with a good amount of constructive optimism thrown in. Ireland will continue to adjust to its new position in life and refine its vision for the future. Jupiter makes its third trine to Pluto on October 28 and the process of revitalising the social, financial and welfare systems towards their new potential has been firmly established.

The fourth solar eclipse of the year occurs in Sagittarius on November 25 and signals another ending of an era as it makes way for the next phase. Ireland has been through the first stages of re-inventing itself and has a clearer idea of the way forward. The next few years will see many other countries taking their own steps towards reclaiming their identity and integrity as the rebalancing process continues into 2012.

Forecast for 2010 and Astrological Outlook for the Future of Ireland,

The Astrology of 2010

The Astrology of 2010 shows us that it is not just another year. As the leading governments of the world resolve for us to recuperate from the recession, our personal lives are changing at an accelerating pace. This year prepares the way into 2012 and beyond. During these next few years our way of life as we now know it, will be radically transformed to embrace a new paradigm of thought and social conduct.

As 2009 drew to a close there was a general sense of having come through something. It was a difficult year for us at home and far worse for many in other parts of the globe. If you’re still here then it means you must have survived. Throughout last year the most powerful astrological configurations of the first decades of this century have been shaping up. Most of us have seen a huge change in our everyday lives as the “boom to bust” set in. It’s been hard to make plans for the future as the present circumstances are demanding that we give them our best attention. We’ve begun to acknowledge the reality of the economic situation which started to reveal its hard hitting impact in late 2008. Since then there has been a lot of water under the bridge – in many senses! For 2010 the main theme is ending the old and beginning the new. We reach a critical peak in a pattern that continues to play out and set the scene for the next several years. A dominant and tense T-square formation involves the potent planets Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. This rare and significant configuration activates three vital degrees in our Zodiac. This is a momentous year for us all.

A Critical Time for Ireland

While Saturn opposes Uranus in the sky they are both square to Pluto and they each touch critical points in the 1949 chart for Ireland. Saturn the traditionalist is holding the position of authority and public status. Uranus is the revolutionary and is making its opposition from the “grass roots” level of the chart. Pluto is the seat of power between them, challenging them both and it sits directly on Irelands Moon which represents the mood and response of the nation.

The first of five Saturn Uranus oppositions was during 2008 in Mutable signs Virgo and Pisces. This created the changeable conditions we’ve seen through 2009. The final opposition of 26 July is at zero degrees of Aries and Libra. These points mark the spring and autumn Equinox. Together with the Solstice points of Cancer and Capricorn they make up the Cardinal cross of the Zodiac. Cardinal signs mark the seasons and signify new trends, fresh starts and renewal. People with personal planets here will be most strongly affected by the transformation. This complex astrological pattern symbolically represents a dramatic period of upheaval and a turning point for the majority of the world’s population in which political, social, cultural, and economic challenges of the last decades reach a peak and demand resolution. The stresses involved in this dynamic will ensure we can’t carry on repeating our mistakes. We have to find a new way forward now. This is the beginning of a new era.

A New Cycle of Experience

The last time we saw a similar pattern was during the early 1930’s when the major financial systems of the world experienced a collapse. What followed was the Great Depression, which then led to a radical new direction in many world governments.

During 2010 though, we have another dimension to the configuration which suggests this is not just a repeat performance. From mid April, Jupiter joins up with Uranus in this hard aspect formation. Both planets will be moving back and forth between Pisces and Aries through to 2011. Pisces and Aries are the end and beginning of the zodiac reinforcing the theme that we are moving into a new cycle of experience.
To fully understand the astrological significance of the momentous events taking place throughout this year we need to look at the key players and their positions in a little more depth.
Jupiter – Uranus
Jupiter is the planet of expansion, opportunity and speculation. The big planet is generally beneficial to all it encounters bringing good fortune and optimism. Increase is a good description of its action. Jupiter’s urge to increase can also lead us to excess and overindulgence or rash and foolhardy risk taking. The influence of Uranus also makes a risk taker but with a different twist. He will fight fearlessly for the freedom to be an individual. A rebel, he is capable of overthrowing the existing regime without a care for what is discarded in the name of the cause. Uranus can be a sudden bolt from the blue that shakes things out of a rut. It can be eccentric and stimulate thinking outside the box. Jupiter and Uranus in combination are a mighty force for change. This pairing can create entrepreneurship, individualistic thinking, ingenuity and long range speculation but can also represent radical extremism in all its guises. Watch out for a major scientific leap or breakthrough this year that will change our thinking and transform our lives for the future. Whilst in the sign of Pisces there is an imaginative element or otherworldly quality. This can vary from the inspired to the escapist. In Aries the energy is very different. There is a strong competitive and assertive energy which doesn’t take much time to think of consequences. It’s all action, impulsive headstrong and forceful. As this pair move into Aries and team up in early June expect some sweeping and extreme responses to the old established order which Saturn represents.
Saturn
Saturn also represents due care, responsibility and hard work. He is the ‘party pooper’ who opposes any extravagant or ‘accumulation at any cost’ attitude of the reckless Jupiter-Uranus in Aries combination. Sometimes he operates out of fear of change and sometimes it’s to prevent a disaster. Though whenever Saturn makes an appearance you can be sure there are hard lessons to learn. The lessons are described by Saturn’s journey through Virgo and into Libra. In Virgo since 2007 the lesson has been about our understanding of the Planet Earth as nurturer of life. The environment, our natural resources, food quality, and our vulnerability to the climate have all been major issues in the news headlines. At the end of 2009 Saturn moved into Libra but will just turn back to Virgo briefly this spring. The Saturn in Libra lesson is all about our relationships with others. Libra has equality and sharing on its mind. The sign of the scales is weighing things up and seeing how far it tips in one direction. We will have to address the balance now. Global inequalities will be shown up, and closer to home we have work to do too.
Pluto
At right angles to the Saturn opposite Jupiter-Uranus combination is Pluto. His position is challenging both ends of the argument. Pluto is symbolic of our two worlds, the inner, underworld or private life and our outer public life. Pluto’s dual characteristic is there to challenge our will. It shows us where we hold on to power to keep control and highlights where we have failed to take responsibility by giving our power away. It brings to light what we have hidden. Deep shame, guilty secrets and deception are all exposed. Any concealed self-seeking behaviour is revealed in its relentless task of purging and transforming. In Capricorn, Pluto is methodical and measured, he is practical and patient and he has a goal. The goal is that through diligence, utilising the tested and true methods which honour mankind’s higher principals, a more sustainable, durable way of living will be established. With Pluto you can choose to go along willingly or resist and struggle painfully. Whichever way you choose, Pluto is taking you anyhow.
The Year Unfolds
The year starts whilst energetic Mars is retrograde (appears to move backwards). It’ll be hard to get things moving. There’s a sense of enthusiasm to make a fresh start but this is hampered until Mars starts forward again on 10 March. Saturn also goes retrograde on 13 January and we revisit some of the same issues we had last autumn. If what we fear or can’t face has been suppressed and buried then the Saturn-Pluto combination forces it into the light.
Saturn started to make this difficult square angle to Pluto last October and repeats it in late January and Mid August. It insists that the dirty secrets of any underhand, self-seeking or exploitative behaviour are ousted from within, exposing those in authority that once held our respect. People used to being in control will resist for as long as possible but the power of Pluto ensures that we might see more figures in authority, the church and politics under close scrutiny. Many who feel let down will abandon their church, institution or political party and become increasingly cynical.

Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter encourages growth and moves into his own sign of Pisces on 18 January staying there until early June. In compassionate Pisces we’ll notice a greater tolerance for differences, a better understanding of human frailties and shortcomings. In Ireland, throughout the first half of the year there will be a strong emphasis on strengthening community ties. People will make more of their immediate surroundings, travelling less distance and getting more involved in local networks. We could see an increase in local initiative groups. Goodwill extends to our neighbours as we find new ways to share and give needed support.

Low Point for Ireland
When Saturn Squares Ireland’s Moon in mid March there is no doubt that life is not a bed of roses and the country is feeling it. The demands of the country’s financial responsibilities may seem heavier than ever and there are no external supports. The mood is low. People have lost faith in their leaders and pressure builds for the government to take whatever practical steps are necessary to move forward. This will create tension as there is still a need to rake over the past before we can move on.

With Saturn moving over the area of Ireland’s chart which signifies our political and financial status the emphasis is on the task of rebuilding and restoring the country’s damaged economy. During March through to May, attention will tend to turn towards internal affairs as the country tries to understand and make sense of its new direction. There are clashes as the government traditionalists want to continue to prop up the financial institutions and the reformers want radical changes to take place. There will be difficulties later if those in power don’t give some time to re-inventing our identity as a country and listening to the “common man”.

Sustainable Growth

As Ireland continues to work harder than ever before to strengthen its position the whole population will shoulder more of the responsibility. Mid March and early August events could bring home the reality of the situation. Sacrifices made now will be worth it in the long-term. The country’s leaders need to act responsibly and honourably at this time, because our international reputation is at stake. If those responsible fail in their duty there is a very real danger of falling from grace and damaging our political and financial standing in the eyes of others.

During late March and late July we have the opportunity for careful and sustainable growth. This can be a good time for expanding in business, or investing in property or real estate whilst there is a good balance between caution and optimism. This is when it is less likely to over-extend either financially or physically.

During mid June we experience the beginning of a new fourteen year cycle of opportunity. Although the effects of the new phase won’t become apparent for several years, now is the time to invest in entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainable long term projects. Throughout June there is a greater sense of optimism and investments are better rewarded. We have the opportunity to make long term investments in energy technologies, using our natural resources and developing community initiatives.

Social and Economic Struggle

The lunar eclipse of June 26 at 4° Capricorn conjuncts Pluto and activates the approaching grand cross involving the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, the Moon, and Saturn – all within 5° of the four cardinal points. This is a momentous event and likely to have a far reaching impact on the global situation as new information, technologies and discoveries show us new possibilities. The full effect of the eclipse will emerge as events unfold in various places throughout the world during late September.

During July and August, Saturn and Uranus will be completing the last of their five oppositions. At the same time, Mars will have just entered Libra to join Saturn whilst Jupiter moves into Aries with Uranus. This is the major Astrological configuration of the year and although it acts as a trigger point the events during these months will be unpredictable and unexpected. Expect though, a major social and economic struggle between the new and the old, the traditional and the radical, in which both sides spar and harden against each other. It is very much a time to choose one and leave the other behind. Prejudices increase, along with paranoia and general fear of the unknown, leading many to cling to false idols either defending or advancing them dangerously. What is needed now is a movement that leads us to what is “right” and also profitable. In the enthusiasm for a new cause or idea a little too much or ill-placed force can undermine everything. There is a general climate right now for making judgment errors. Unfortunately once made, there is usually no going back.
For Ireland the struggle is between the needs of its domestic life and its global presence.

New Innovations

Whilst Jupiter makes its retrograde journey from 23 July to 18 November across the area of the chart for Ireland that deals with communications don’t be surprised if you detect a lot of “spin” and insincere talk coming from every direction. This is a time when any spurious talk becomes apparent and the current mood could be quite damning. Jupiter moving backwards is also a great opportunity to do restoration work or revitalise failing businesses but not great for initiating new enterprises. There may be the need to put a lot more investment into projects but don’t expect the returns during this phase.

During late September and into December there is a chance to review and rebuild. Ireland has now been forced to realise the burden of national debt. This in turn is a challenge to rejuvenate the country’s economy. The major financial institutions will now have to operate in favour of smaller business and community ventures.
Into early 2011 there will continue to be struggles as opposing forces grapple with new ideas versus old systems. Many long range sustainable projects and new innovations start to emerge.

By the time Uranus forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn in 2012-2013 there will have been tremendous cultural, social and political upheaval which will further transform governments and political structures. The paradigm shift is underway.