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.

April 2010 Pluto retrograde

This month sees two planets turn retrograde. A planet is said to be in retrograde motion when it appears to travel backwards from our earthly perspective. All the planets do this periodically and the faster moving bodies do it more frequently. The Sun and Moon, also known as the Luminaries are the exception and always move in a direct or forward motion. Astrologically a planet in retrograde will express itself in a more inward and personal way.
Mercury will be in a retro phase from 18 April through to 11 May. Mercury is the planet of communication, acting like quicksilver, fast and hard to pin down. It also rules local travel and our thinking process. Although it has become popular to expect everything to go wrong during a Mercury retro phase this is far from the truth of the event. The slowing down and backward motion provides us with an important chance to re-evaluate, re-negotiate or re-consider where we might otherwise have pressed ahead only to have to return to it later. Use this phase to catch up with the paperwork.
The slow moving Pluto is also about to turn retrograde, 7 April through to 14 September. The nature of this heavyweight ‘planet’ is to purify and transform all that’s not working towards our best interests. It does this from within and will often bring to light previously unrecognised problems that have been blocking our progress. Pluto acts as a purging agent and can sometimes feel uncomfortable. We are often quite attached to the things, habits, beliefs, relationships or structures that need to be cleared out to make way for a new and improved version! This is a great time to undertake any kind of psychological therapy, diet cleanse or detox programme. Pluto turning retrograde in Capricorn will remind us that our outer world is only as good as our inner world and that there is work to be done. Specifically it will show us where things are not working within our social systems, governments, financial and other institutions as a result of our collective human failings. Though we may have already seen the result of failures in our social structures we may not have seen much change in their way of operating. This important retrograde period is a big ‘reality check’ and will initiate a deep reconsideration about the long term sustainability of these organisations. Attention will have to be given to our personal social responsibilities and obligations to the wider community. During this Pluto retrograde phase we will see the beginnings of necessary change at the very grass roots of our society.

Astrology for March 2010

The Month starts in the wake of the “full on” Full Moon of February. With the Sun conjunct mighty Jupiter there was the feeling of it all being a bit extreme. Big events grabbed our attention and seemed to bowl us along as the high energy reached a peak. The rest of the month looks like it will be quite eventful too. A whole new wave of energy is released as Mars begins its forward motion again on the 10th. This fiery planet represents our drive towards our goals, desires and achievement. Whilst Mars, our warrior energy has been moving backwards there has been the need to postpone things or wait with some impatience. There maybe reason to be pleased that you didn’t push forward as the chance to re assess situations now proves its usefulness. Try to use the days around the 10th when Mars is at a standstill to gather your resources and don’t allow frustrations to turn into confrontations. People with planets in the first degree of the fixed signs, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus are particularly affected. As we move towards the New Moon on the 15th life might seem to be buzzing with news, ideas, conversation and revelation. Both Mercury and Uranus join up with the Sun Moon combination to form a very sparky dynamic in mystical Pisces. Mercury is quicksilver and always flitting from one thing to another, making connections and bringing new information whilst Uranus can act like a lightning bolt and give “eureka” moments. Expect fast witty exchanges as the whirlwind energy whips up new thoughts and exciting future plans. More new beginnings are possible as the Sun makes its annual entry into the first cardinal sign of Aries at the Spring Equinox on 20 March. The start of the new season is marked by a tense combination of planets that echo the transforming qualities of the whole year. Both Mercury and Uranus together with the Sun receive strong challenging aspects from Pluto and Saturn. To get the best from these powerful influences remain centred and avoid being drawn into arguments of ideology or conflicts of interest. Use the energy to tap into a creative stream of inspired thought whilst testing insights with sound reason. If you can reach up to embrace the “bigger picture” rather than focus on personal trivia, then you have achieved something worthwhile.

February 2009

Several interesting Astronomical events occur this month. Astrologers study the relationship between the cosmic occurrences and activities or trends taking place on planet earth. Because the movement of the planets can be calculated with great accuracy we can compare them to centuries of historical hindsight. What can’t be calculated is the appearance of comets which have been gone for so long that human beings weren’t even walking upright the last time it passed by! This is the case with Comet Lulin, discovered in 2007. Traditionally comets are considered portents or omens of great changes or important new eras. Lulin has been around the “back” of the Sun and will be passing at its closest to earth in February. Early in the month the comet rises around midnight. Lulin is expected to reach its peak of brightness on the night of 23rd as it passes south west of Saturn. Watch for it rising in the eastern sky ahead of the Sun, before the dawn. It may be visible to the naked eye where there’s no light pollution. On the 27th the comet will pass just south of Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the Lion, considered by Astrologers to be the star of “Kings”.
We also have a Lunar Eclipse on the 9th. It’s not total and won’t give much of a show. It’s most visible over Western Canada and Western USA, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, and East Asia. Solar eclipses which can only occur at New Moon strongly influences socio-political arenas whereas a Lunar eclipse which happens at Full Moon is generally much more personalised and will be felt in our emotional responses. This can signify a change in the “mood” or attitude of the population as a whole. An eclipse is often precursor to some kind of crisis, which actually means ‘a critical decision or point of change’. The timing can be either before or after the actual Eclipse, triggered by another significant planet passing over the same degree. Mars the planet of assertiveness, drive, desire and conflict touches this point on the 2nd March which might just be the day when a contentious issue is brought to a head.
As distraction from daily concerns, take advantage of the cold clear night skies to see Venus as she continues to shine stunningly throughout February. Look for the large, very bright “star” in the southwest after sunset. Jupiter, Mars and Mercury line up about 30 minutes before sunrise on 22nd with the waning crescent moon just to their right. Watch for the new crescent moon near Venus in the western sky after sunset from the 27th.

Moon Horoscope

Both Neptune and Mercury turn to move forward once more at the beginning of November. This can increase confused thinking with attempts to hide or conceal information for a few days. The fog should be clearing by the New Moon on the 9th and we have a week or so to recover lost items, missed messages and start new projects. The New Moon falls in Scorpio this month which can make everything seem quite intense and there many be several undercurrents that are hard to name but can be felt all the same. Do still be aware of the possibility of deliberate deception as the New Moon makes a difficult angle to Neptune before moving into “high-minded” Sagittarius on the 11th. There is a brief window of opportunity to be grabbed before Mars turns retrograde (appears to move backwards) on the 15th continuing through to the New Year. We then have plenty of time to reflect and reconsider our plans for reaching our goals or ambitions. It is wise to refrain from too much exertion now as there is not so much physical energy available and burnout is liable to occur if you push on too hard. Those people who try to force their ideas on others or insist on conflict rather than negotiation during this time may find their efforts thwarted or plans backfiring during the next two months. With Venus moving into her own sign, Libra on the 8th until early December, there is a general desire for goodwill, peace and harmonious relationships which can have the effect of pouring oil on troubled waters. Certainly things can take unexpected turns around the Full Moon on the 24th as Uranus, the planet that relates to eccentricity, surprises and the unusual, begins to move forward again. Generally be prepared for a few false starts before things settle down, as this month has the hallmarks of change and re-direction with all this planetary shuffling going on. Be patient though as it may be some weeks before the new direction is apparent.

The next New Moon is at 17° Scorpio on the 9th November at 11:04 pm and the Full Moon is at 2° Gemini on the 24th November at 2:30 pm

Solar Lunar Eclipse

Eclipses happen every three months and always come in pairs. Last month we had the second Lunar Eclipse of 2007 at 5 degrees of Virgo-Pisces on August 28. On September 11 at 19 Pisces we experience the second Solar Eclipse of the year. Its visibility is confined to parts of South America, Antarctica, and the South Atlantic. Both eclipses will shut some old ways of life down forever (as all eclipses do), leaving us opportunity to embrace the new and everything that we’ve prepared for up to now. Although all Eclipses take things away, this one should be harmonizing and balancing. We’re all about to be educated on a practical level, learning through forms of “right actions”. Saturn’s entry into Virgo on September 2 coincides with a trine of Saturn to Pluto that helps to facilitate change and transformation. On an individual level Saturn in Virgo is ideal for you to review your daily life and determine if your life reflects who you are. Take a long, slow look at the way you organize your life, from thinking processes to daily habits. Increase health awareness, and generally clean up your act. Its critical faculty works best where organization, system and order are required, but not at the expense of your spirit. Adding to the picture, two planets will change direction during this month: Pluto turns direct at 27 degrees Sagittarius – one degree away from galatic center, on September 7; and Venus turns direct at 17 degrees Leo on September 8. Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld is the planet that most represents the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. Venus is the feminine aspect of the divine. She represents our values and the qualities of life that will make us happy. She describes our ability to be receptive and vulnerable. These two days represent the nexus for the most intense period during this month. Transformational events frequently happen during Pluto stationary times; Venus being stationary adds to the intensity of the pre-eclipse period.

The next New Moon is at 19° Virgo on the 11th September at 1:45 pm