Thursday, December 31, 2015

A methane gusher & a Paris agreement…Out with the old, in with the new?

This past October 23, toxic methane gas, among the most troublemaking greenhouse gases, was noticed spewing into the atmosphere from an energy facility owned by the Southern California Gas Company. Even though the gas leak is now billed as the “worst environmental disaster since the BP Oil spill,” this story has been amazingly absent from mainstream media reporting, appearing instead in online news outlets and blogs—and then, only much after its inception! For example, it was not until December 23-24, 2015—two months later—that reported:

A runaway natural gas leak from a storage facility in the hills above Los Angeles is shaping up as a significant ecological disaster, state officials and experts say, with more than 150 million pounds of methane pouring into the atmosphere so far and no immediate end in sight.

The rupture within a massive underground containment system — first detected more than two months ago — is venting gas at a rate of up to 110,000 pounds per hour, California officials confirm. The leak already has forced evacuations of nearby neighborhoods, and officials say pollutants released in the accident could have long-term consequences far beyond the region.

Thankfully the Environmental Defense Fund became aware of the situation and released footage of the ongoing disaster to the press on December 17. Better late than never! We might wonder how long it would have taken for the news to break without the EDF’s actions.

Interestingly, this gas leak manifested just two months before the environmentally-conscious world celebrated the historic Paris Agreement—crafted during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (aka COP21), which took place between Nov. 30th and Dec. 12th. Both events are ongoing works in progress (the methane keeps spewing, defying engineers’ efforts to contain it; the Paris Agreement isn’t even official until it’s ratified in 2016-17) and although they seem to contradict each other, both events are expressions of similar, overlapping astrological timing. 

This, of course, poses a mundane astrology puzzle: how do these two events fit into the grand cosmic scheme? Do they cancel each other out? Do they represent the extremes of despair and hope that we can expect to live with going forward? Simply put, do One-plus-One = more than the sum of their parts?

Let’s look at the gas leak inception chart (below) first, set for noon, October 23rd, the day Southern California Gas Company reportedly noticed it had a big problem in its Aliso Canyon facility (geo-coordinates courtesy
 Scorpio Sun trine Neptune and the Moon (set for noon). A trine between water signs, especially involving the points we see here, could certainly reflect the release of fluids and gases. The lack of specific timing for the Moon is an issue, but the Sun and Neptune alone could account for the leak surfacing that day as well. Besides, the Moon was in Pisces throughout the 23rd, ranging from 1°+ at 12:00:01 a.m to 15°+ just before midnight, so whatever the exact timing, the Moon’s fluidity did play into the day’s major aspects. In fact, in Pisces—Neptune’s seat of power—the Moon may have triggered, or at least supported Neptune’s toxic display of power that day.

Venus, Jupiter and Mars in Virgo oppose Neptune, Moon and Chiron in Pisces. Virgo is concerned with health, the environment and pragmatic solutions to problems, so it’s possible that the Virgo trio worked to raise awareness of the toxic spill. This may have happened some time after methane actually began spewing forth, but the revelation on the 23rd would have evoked practical Virgo thinking: “you can’t solve a problem until you know what the problem is.” The EDF’s research into the magnitude and possible cause of the situation would be reflected here, as well. According to the Washington Post,

Scientists and environmental experts say the Aliso Canyon leak instantly became the biggest single source of methane emissions in all of California when it began two months ago. The impact of greenhouse gases released since then, measured over a 20-year time frame, is the equivalent of emissions from six coal-fired power plants or 7 million automobiles, environmentalists say.

In fact, the EDF has unearthed information about more toxic leaks of lesser magnitude that are also active in California—ironically, a state with among the most progressive environmental policies in the nation. Of course, Chiron opposite Mars-Jupiter speaks to the enormous, dangerous wound still being suffered by the residents of Aliso Canyon and beyond.

Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces (and likely the Moon); Saturn sextiles the Node in Libra. The square certainly could stress overwhelmed structures (gas wells, pipes, etc.), especially involving the release of fluids; the sextile suggests this disaster is a cosmic “teaching moment” of sorts and there is an opportunity to replace damaging environmental practices with better ones.

Uranus in Aries squares Pluto in Capricorn, opposes Mercury in Libra and inconjuncts Venus, Jupiter and Mars in Virgo. Venus, Jupiter and Mars trine Pluto. Uranus-90-Pluto continue to perpetuate tumultuous times. Environmental disasters are fair game for this duo, especially in situations that just seem to suddenly erupt into awareness, but are really the consequence of long-term policy choices, business practices, top level power-plays, social engineering, and so on. The fact that the news (Mercury) took two months to break (opposite Uranus) suggests there were forces (Uranus inconjunct Venus-Jupiter-Mars, the latter trine Pluto) that wished to “manage” the revelation and the crisis control effort. Again, from their coverage of December 23-24, the Washington Post reported:

About 1,700 homes and two schools were evacuated because of the leak, as noxious odors settled over Porter Ranch, about 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles. California officials have aided the company in a series of efforts to stop the leak, but the state officials say it could be weeks or months before the gas flow is halted.

In all fairness, we should assume that California media outlets covered this event more thoroughly than the national media did. However, we might all remember that the reporting that followed the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was much more immediate, ongoing and thorough. Not to mention, it was covered by every mainstream media outlet! What we don’t know won’t hurt us??

Meanwhile…across the “Pond”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, thousands of representatives from around the world flooded into Paris for the UNFCCC, which ran from November 30th to its extended conclusion of December 12. Not the exact timeframe of the California gas leak, but since both events are ongoing works in progress, they certainly overlap astrologically. The first event promises to dramatically roll back California’s (if not the whole country’s) environmental progress; the second event seeks to nudge the world closer to environmental sustainability in the face of fast-moving climate change. 

However one feels about climate change, deadly methane spewing into the atmosphere is an unhealthy, undesirable turn of events, so the timing of both events is ironic, if not revealing.
President Obama has extended himself further than any recent U.S. president when it comes to environmental responsibility and international agreements, but do his actions reflect the broader national agenda? Let’s consider the chart (below) for the Paris Agreement, cast for December 12th, 12 noon, in Paris, France:

Sun in Sagittarius T-squares Jupiter in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces. This aspect suggests the initial agreement will encounter a number of obstacles going forward, especially the distraction of military (Virgo) engagements and the threat of terrorism. (The relationship between Jupiter-Chiron and the “extremist impulse” is discussed at length here in a November 20th post). The Paris agreement won’t even be official until it is signed and ratified between April 22, 2016 and April 21, 2017 by “at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent" of global greenhouse emissions, so there’s ample time for things to go wrong.

Resolving a t-square usually requires directing one’s efforts to the “empty” 4th point opposite the focal point—in this case, 20°+Gemini—but it is worth noting that this point triggers the U.S. Sibly chart’s 7th house Mars (21°+Gem). Given the politics of the day, it would not be surprising if environmental priorities take a back seat to military ones in the U.S. during the 2016-17 period – unfortunately, other astrological dynamics ahead concur with this, a discussion for another day.

Bottom line, it appears that unless we begin viewing climate change as a bigger threat to our national security than we do terrorism (which it may very well be if California’s methane spill isn’t contained), American participation in the Paris agreement may suffer at least a temporary setback. The question is, will the rest of the world make up the 55% needed to keep the agreement alive until the U.S. can realign its priorities? 

Pluto T-squares Mars in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries; Sun in Sagittarius sextiles Mars and trines Uranus. This configuration certainly reflects the real disagreements and compromises required to achieve even this initial Paris agreement. It also points to the possibility, however, of belligerent action going forward, and while the Sun’s soft aspects with Mars and Uranus could be leveraged for the sake of climate action, the mustering of aggressive forces in this chart suggests that “soft” expressions of power like negotiation, diplomacy and cooperation will take a back seat to the more confrontational variety. It is possible that other developed nations view climate change as a top priority security issue, which would help to maintain the momentum and focus of the UNFCCC and put all this strident cardinal energy to positive use.

Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces; Venus in Scorpio trines Neptune. Saturn and Neptune clearly pushed the Paris conference goers to “manifest the dream” of climate change cooperation, but sitting quietly by herself in Scorpio, Venus perhaps manipulated the contents of the agreement in some way. Disposed by a hard-nosed, business-conscious Pluto in Capricorn, she may have used a little Scorpio subterfuge to win compromises that could undermine the agreement in the long term. A lot has been said about the agreement not being legally binding; we might wonder whether Venus and Neptune here charmed the participants into believing the force of law is unnecessary. Sure, 197 nations will voluntarily meet their commitments!

 So California speaks for all?
With its current crisis, California could in fact be considered an environmental microcosm for the global challenges faced by COP21 and the Paris agreement. Greenhouse gas emissions, drought, disastrous fire seasons, flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, tsunamis—California has dealt with them all, and to their credit, they have led the charge for the U.S. on progressive environmental policies. Without doubt, the same contradictory priorities reflected in the Aliso Canyon disaster were also reflected in the Paris conference, and the astrology confirms as much. Even so, we’re not powerless in this situation–let’s make it a Happy New Year!! 

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Revisiting the “Ghost of Christmas Past” - the Astrology of Dickens’ Christmas Carol

We know him from his vividly drawn characters and plots. We know him from his deeply humanitarian outlook, especially compassionate towards children in the grips of harsh, abject poverty and cruel treatment. Even during his 19th century lifetime, Charles Dickens was acknowledged to be a prolific literary genius; the popularity of his works—especially his classic A Christmas Carol—has only increased from that century until now. Given the state of our world today, the time is ripe astrologically to revisit this “ghost of Christmas past” and his classic work.

First, a bit of context…
Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth, England, where he grew up working to support his family instead of getting an education. Poverty wasn’t that unusual for the 19th century masses of people in early-industrial age Britain, but Dickens’ dilemma was unconventional in that his father was incarcerated in a debtor’s prison (a horrible institution that figured into Dickens’ Little Dorrit, among other works).

As for today, the percentage of children growing up in poverty has reached new heights in the U.S. and abroad, with the horrifying crime of child trafficking growing to magnitudes the International Labour Organization has found impossible to track accurately. Children are literally being sold by their parents or kidnapped for slave labor and/or sexual exploitation. The organization “estimates 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.” Astrologically, there are real parallels between these periods that warrant consideration.

“Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” 

If we are to believe his natal chart (below), Dickens’ curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge (described above) perfectly evoked the troubled father figure in Dickens’ life. Dickens’ natal Aquarius Sun and Chiron are disposed by a harsh Capricorn Saturn. In his 4th house of home life, this Saturn points to not just a harsh, demanding parent, but also a stressful, restrictive, painful home life. This likelihood is reinforced by Saturn’s square to Aries Mars in the 7th.  Interestingly, with both Saturn and Mars in ruling signs, and his Capricorn Mercury ruled by Saturn, Dickens was able to leverage those harsh energies to great advantage in his work. The plight of the impoverished working class of that period was his constant theme.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time…."1

“Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge.”

Over the centuries, Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge has become the model for more than just a miserable, greedy individual—he represents the stereotypical “Big Bad Billionaire” we hear so much about these days. The truth is, stereotypes can sometimes ring very true. As we’ve been hearing on the campaign trail (when we’re not hearing about Trump’s latest outrage), America is “Number One” among developed nations for a lot of unfortunate things, including:
·         a lack of guaranteed, universal health care for all
·         a lack of quality education for all
·         gun ownership (300 million weapons out there and counting)
·         the number of incarcerated individuals
·         alternatively, the number of billionaires.

We don’t need astrology to see that there is a connection between the items on this list: the economy and higher education are simply rigged against those who live from paycheck to paycheck, in favor of those on the very top, and this one dynamic generates all the other problems in turn.

“…My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house -- mark me! -- in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!"

Yet, astrology can pinpoint interesting connections we may otherwise overlook. Before Ebenezer Scrooge encountered the “spirits” of Christmas Past, Present and Future, his times—the Victorian era in Britain—perfectly embodied the connection between an unbalanced economy and social ills. It was a time of great industrial-age empire building, but a time of great oppression for the working poor. It was also a brewing hotbed of change to the existing social order, and change was beginning to manifest. To see a glimpse of that impulse for change, let’s examine the chart for Scrooge’s debut in A Christmas Carol on December 19, 1843 (set for noon in Manchester, England):

Sagittarius Sun conjoins the Galactic Center and Node, sextiles Aquarius Jupiter, squares Pisces Uranus and forms a grand trine with Aries Pluto and Virgo Chiron. This amazing complex of aspects points to the universal theme evoked with A Christmas Carol and the enduring spiritual power of that theme. The Sun-Pluto-Chiron grand trine reflects, on the one hand, the painful wounds human beings inflict upon each other through entrenched power structures (and have done, throughout our evolution); on the other hand, it reflects the hopeful possibility of healing such wounds by disrupting the status quo (trine). We’ll see where the hope of change lies in the chart as we get to Saturn.

Jupiter disposes the Sagittarius Sun, GC and Node from Aquarius, and is in mutual reception with Pisces Uranus. Jupiter plays “cosmic Santa” here, keeping the tone of the story light and uplifting, despite the grim situations portrayed. Jupiter in Aquarius also embodies the impulse to humanitarian justice, and Jupiter’s connections (discussed here and in the prior paragraph) radiate this goal throughout the chart.

Jupiter conjoins Aquarius Neptune; Neptune is in mutual reception with Pisces Uranus. The amazing interdependence of these three planetary points reinforces the power of Dickens’ message and can be summed up in two key concerns of Pisces—compassion and finding joy in living. Expansive Jupiter is captured aptly in Dickens’ “Ghost of Christmas Present,” with his exuberant excesses. The custom of feeding and tending other needs of the poor during holiday seasons became embedded in Western culture during Dickens’ Victorian era. Making substantive changes to political and social policies that would render seasonal compassion less necessary is another story, although clearly, with these aspects, Dickens held out hope for such changes.

Big changes did indeed follow this period, as the trade union movement in Britain and the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe ushered in more equitable labor laws and social policies. The 1840s were particularly focused on labor laws—including child labor laws—in England; a hopeful sign at the time, 1843 (the year A Christmas Carol debuted) marked the institution of a 10-hour limit to a child’s working day!

Capricorn Saturn (widely conjunct Capricorn Venus) squares Pluto, sextiles Uranus and semi-sextiles Jupiter and the Sun-Node conjunction. In cardinal signs, Saturn and Pluto are especially focused on social change—usually carried out through the dismantling and “death” of existing social structures and the institution of a new order. Dickens captures this deathly drive toward change with his “Ghost of Christmas Future”—the silent “shade” who points Scrooge to the consequences of non-action with a horrific, trembling finger.

With Venus’ involvement here, the focus of social change would tend towards a more equitable deployment of resources. An opportunity was, in fact, opening up for a social revolution at that time (Saturn sextile Uranus), and this hard-nosed, waning Saturn-Pluto quarter delivered on it. Beyond this specific chart, the outer planet cycles of that period promoted revolutionary impulses as well: Saturn, Uranus and Pluto were co-travelers through the final degrees of Aries and Taurus during the late 1840s and 1850s (Uranus-Pluto began their new cycle at 29°+Aries in 6/1850; Saturn-Pluto began theirs in 6/1851 at 0°+Taurus; Saturn-Uranus began their new cycle at in 8/1851 at 4°+Tau). The pressure to provide social change and material well-being to the masses of people grew dramatically. It was high time (Jupiter-Node and Saturn-Node) for real change.

Pisces Mars opposes Virgo Chiron and sextiles Capricorn Mercury. This aspect would inspire compassionate action in response to deep collective dissatisfaction with the imperfections of life. It would also point specifically to the need for better healthcare for all. A new level of consciousness would be desirable to actualize the highest potential of this aspect—something the chart suggests was inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The healthcare issue is raised by Dickens in the figure of Tiny Tim:

"No, no," said Scrooge. "Oh, no, kind Spirit. Say he will be spared."

"If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race," returned the Ghost, "will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

In the story, Tiny Tim survives only because Scrooge relents, provides Bob Cratchitt with not just an increased wage so he could provide for his family, but additional assistance beyond Cratchitt’s employment. Anticipating Britain’s national healthcare system, Scrooge’s actions were the turnabout he needed to avoid Jacob Marley’s—the Ghost of Christmas Past’s—pitiful plight:

“… ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again.  ‘Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’”

The “ghost of an idea”
Dickens promised the “ghost of an idea” with his unforgettable 5-Stanza novella, and it’s a “ghost” that is once again pointing to the past for a better way to move forward. In the end, Scrooge proved that even the harshest characters and situations can change for the better:

“Scrooge was better than his word.  He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.  He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.” 

Merry Christmas to all, and a healthy, prosperous, peaceful New Year!

1(Please note that all quotes from Dickens cited in this text—seen in bold italics—are from

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

“The Great Clock of Worlds” Chimes Out a Joyful New Year…Happy 245th, Beethoven!

On December 16, 1770, roughly one Pluto cycle ago, Ludwig van Beethoven—the quintessential genius and giant of the classical music world, and an icon of the so-called “Romantic” era in Europe—was born in Bonn, Germany. Despite near total hearing loss as a young adult, Beethoven—living during the upheavals and chaos of the Napoleonic era—matured as a musician and composer. Dying in 1827, the artist lived through the horrors of the Napoleonic Wars and several years into the oppressive times that followed Napoleon’s 1815 defeat in Europe.  Two hundred forty-five years later, we are still moved by this giant’s passion and his music. More importantly, we might want to pay more attention to the chaotic times in which he lived as well, for they are returning to us, quickly.

But that was there, this is here, we might think. Astrologically, what happens in Europe does not necessarily stay in Europe!

In fact, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto know no bounds—their interactions and cycles forge the outlines of history as they go. As mundane astrologers like to monitor, history repeats itself along with these cycles, only with variations—like a great, symphonic piece of music than spans all time.

As we end this chaotic year of 2015, just two months shy of Beethoven’s exact Pluto Return (16°+Cap), I’d like to cast my astrological net backwards—not to post-French Revolutionary Europe in general (no protracted history lessons here)—but to one significant event that music historian Harvey Sachs points to for how it encapsulated the highest aspirations of that Romantic period. The event is the premiere on May 7, 1824 of Beethoven’s final symphony and masterwork—the “Ninth,” and its revolutionary, aspirational “Ode to Joy” choral finale. (click here to hear a recording by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Weiner Singverein Chorus – Herbert von Karajan conducting).
In the preface to his study of this glorious final Beethoven symphony and its times, Sachs says:

Thanks to its finale… the Ninth has become a paradigm for both freedom and joy, although it made its appearance in the middle of a decade in European history that was characterized by repression and ultraconservative nationalism, as Bourbons, Hapsburgs, Romanovs and other terrified dynastic rulers strove to spruce up and enforce the concept of divine right in the wake of the French Revolution and the upstart Napoleon’s imperialism. Through this single symphonic movement, Beethoven was, in effect, serving up a one-of-a-kind counterargument to the retrograde tendencies of the day… (3-4). 
Astrologically it stands to reason, therefore, that the chart for the Ninth’s debut can provide a window into those times—and as we’ll see, a window into the perils and possibilities of our present times.

After the revolution…
As Sachs notes and history shows, mass upheavals that threaten the existing power structures of a society always inspire a backlash, and a tendency for those feeling threatened to regroup and reconsolidate their power. We are seeing this dynamic in action in American politics, which underwent a revolution of sorts in 2008: However we feel about the consequences, against tremendous odds, America elected its first black president that year, and then reelected him in 2012.

In like spirit, other revolutionary movements followed abroad, including the so-called Arab Spring (beginning in 2010). Unfortunately, both amazing developments have since degenerated into turmoil in American politics (marked by a whole new level of extremism in our politics), and overseas, in downright misery.

The uproar caused by the Arab Spring (among other factors, for sure) left the door open for the accelerated rise of extremism with ISIS and other groups, and for the catastrophic civil war in Syria. 
Yet, the ideals of the Ninth and its “Ode to Joy” persist in our cultural zeitgeist—the question is, how will they manifest going forward?

Astro-historical parallels
Both Aries and Capricorn are associated with the highest aspirations of human societies, and both are represented in the Ode’s enduring call for universal brotherhood and liberation (Schiller’s original title for this poem was “Ode to Freedom”). The sobering reality is, the oppressive 1820s were marked by a new Uranus-Neptune cycle in early Capricorn (March 20, 1821, 3°+Cap – chart below) and became a prelude to a serious rise of anti-ethnic nationalism in France and in the 1848 revolutions that transformed Europe, sweeping the entrenched absolutist regimes away.

Echoing that period, we are currently experiencing the first quarter of the 1993 Uranus-Neptune cycle that began at 19°+Capricorn and became the launching pad for the sweeping globalization of commerce, industry and trade—a different, but to many, a no less significant kind of oppressive upheaval, for its economic and social consequences. Interestingly, both the U.S. and France have been experiencing the rebirth of anti-immigrant nationalism—in the U.S., with the rise of Donald Trump and his anti-ethnic agenda, and in France, with the rise of the National Front party and ultra-conservative Marine Le Pen.

To provide a bit of background before we examine the chart for Beethoven’s “Ninth,” let’s briefly consider the 1821 Ura-Nep conjunction chart (below, set for Greenwich, England) that preceded it :

Uranus-Neptune (3°+Capricorn) square Pluto-Sun (28-29°+Pisces). Even more dramatic than the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square we’ve been experiencing in the 2010s, this outer-planet tour de force in 1821 marked the onset of an aggressive, change-oriented Uranus and Neptune for years to come. Pluto remained within orb of this Uranus-Neptune square through its April 1822 Aries ingress—adding its own aggressive voice to the mix. Importantly, the 1821 square set the tone for the oppressive (in Europe) 1820s and 30s. As Sachs puts it, “The seething magma of protest in the German-speaking world would eventually erupt into the revolution of 1848, but throughout the 1820s and 30s it remained mostly subterranean” (77). In fact, anti-monarchist revolutions exploded across Europe in 1848, just as Uranus and Pluto were finishing one cycle and beginning a new one at 29°+Aries. The events of that tumultuous year certainly fit the extraordinary magnitude of this configuration.

MC -0-Jupiter-Mercury (Aries) square Uranus-Neptune. This tight configuration suggests the public was in the mood for freedom and liberation, and we can only imagine that the underground communication networks (Mercury) were humming. It takes time and networking to foment a revolution, but the growth of and impetus for those efforts were seeded here.

Saturn (Aries) opposes the Moon (Libra), conjoins Mercury and widely squares Uranus-Neptune. The Saturn-Moon opposition captured the aspirations of the masses for freedom and justice at the same time it reinforced the more immediate prospects for public discontent and frustration. Saturn disposes Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn, deepening the generalized feeling of oppression.

Node-Venus-Mars (12-13-14°+Pisces); the stellium forms quintile aspects with Uranus and Neptune and semi-sextiles Saturn. These aspects reflect how the inspiration of Uranus and Neptune manifested in idealistic action (some called it the “Cult of Liberty”, which made sense with the Pisces energy), and that this action found ample support when the moment was right. An interesting dispositorship network exists between these three areas of the chart—Uranus-Neptune are disposed by Saturn, Saturn is disposed by Mars, Mars and Venus are disposed by Neptune and so on, creating a sustainable circuit of energy and activity.

The liberatory power of art—Beethoven’s “Ninth”
There’s no doing justice to the amazing movement-by-movement description Sachs writes about this incredible, transcendent symphony, but a short excerpt captures the spirit of his description and ushers us into the piece’s most memorable movement, the choral “Ode to Joy.” As Sachs says,

We ought to take a deep breath—symbolically—with the singer, because we have, in a sense, “made it.” We have survived the first movement’s brutality and despair, participated in the second’s harsh struggle, and been purified by the third’s glowing acceptance of life as it is. What Beethoven wants us to experience now is all-embracing joy. For this is the moment in the work in which Beethoven most unequivocally declares his aim of helping to liberate mankind through art. (154)
It is the range of emotions, soulful humanity and soaring aspiration contained in this symphony that is reflected in its debut chart. Please note that the chart has been cast for 8 p.m. because the records show it was an evening concert, but I was not able to find the exact time for that debut. With that in mind, let’s consider the highlights (chart below):

Taurus Sun trine Capricorn Uranus-Node-Neptune. Taurus Saturn widely conjoins the Sun and both trine Virgo Mars. Aries Venus disposes the Taurus points and opposes Mars. If 8 p.m. was in fact close to the time Beethoven’s “Ninth” debuted, the Sun-Uranus-Neptune trine may have been a grand earth trine, with the Moon and MC in Virgo. Even without this added earthy momentum, however, we can appreciate in this chart the gravity, humanity, sensuality and artistry of Beethoven’s message. We can only imagine how witnessing the Ninth for the first time would have been a total mind-body-soul experience.

Aries Pluto T-squares Cancer Jupiter opposite Capricorn Neptune. The aspirational nature of Jupiter opposite Neptune is at its most expansive here, but challenged by Pluto’s aggressive square from Aries, the aspect evokes an heroic, mythic tone that fits the magnitude of the Ninth. Sachs captures the spirit of this configuration perfectly when he points out that—in the wake of the staggering death toll and destruction of the Napoleonic wars—Beethoven felt that Europe had become “a vast prison for the human spirit.” As Sachs puts it,  “he wanted to help light the way for humanity; he wanted human beings to realize their high ethical potential….” (87).

The earthy dispositor network at work here (Mars in Virgo disposes Pluto; Virgo Moon disposes Jupiter; Saturn in Taurus disposes Neptune) likely accounts for how deeply and thoroughly responsive the audience was to Beethoven’s work that night in May, 1824, and for its enduring use in events that celebrate humanity’s transcendent yearnings ever since.  

What happens in Europe doesn’t stay in Europe…
Interesting parallels exist between this tumultuous period in European and American history.   The 1820s in America were occupied with territorial expansion and the consolidation of continental power, perhaps best symbolized by the December, 1823 “Monroe Doctrine.” Sachs points out that this attempt to consolidate American hemispheric sovereignty was actually supported by British King George IV because it discouraged Spain from continuing to colonize countries in the Western hemisphere. In fact, banishing Spain from South America facilitated the revolutions staged by Simon Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre in 1824—the same year the Ninth debuted with its message of liberation. (78)

Obviously, American expansionism was also oppressive to many—and a prelude to the vicious turmoil of the Civil War. The northern states leaned toward industrial development of their economies; the agricultural southern states built their economies around the availability of slave labor. Clashes that cut to the heart of American identity arose as westward expansion and the addition of new states to the Union forced Congress to grapple with whether the new states would be slave states or free states.

Significantly, the so-called “Compromise of 1850”—a last-ditch attempt of that Congress to ease those North-South tensions—was hammered out with great drama during 1850, just two years after the European Revolutions of 1848 and the same year Uranus and Pluto launched their new cycle at 29°+ Aries. The first shots of the Civil War were fired less than 11 years later. In these polarized times, it seems we are heading down a similar path, updated for today’s unique challenges.

A work in progress
Seeded in the 1960s Uranus-Pluto conjunction at 17°+Virgo, the disruptive, revolutionary, transformative effects of the ongoing (2010-2017) Uranus-Pluto square from Aries to Capricorn are definitely a work-in-progress. The significant events associated with this square are too numerous to mention, but we can hardly miss the net aspirational nature of this powerful first quarter. Even though the news is fraught with torturous contradictions, divisions and chaos, if we step back a bit from the daily morass, we can see that overall, American society and humanity-at-large have struggled for two chief goals during this Uranus-Pluto period—liberation from oppression (both
perceived and real) and a socioeconomic order that is more
humane and sustainable.

Will Uranus and Pluto ever deliver us to the “promised land” of freedom and equality in perfect, sustainable societies? Clearly, this duo has its light and dark sides, and humanity fully embraces both, so the prospects for Utopia are slim. However, choosing to aspire higher despite our conflicted natures and times, has perhaps been the overarching theme of this latest Cardinal square cycle.  In pragmatic, problem-solving Cardinal cycles, issues left unresolved from prior cycles tend to resurface and create havoc, so they can be recognized and solved. We have no shortage of unresolved issues—hence, the “work in progress.”

Since 2008, we’ve seen the deepest polarization in American politics—perhaps since that disastrous 1850 “compromise!” As the aggressive energies of Uranus and Pluto have taken hold in our public discourse, politics has been marked by an almost panicky attempt by Republicans to recapture their glory days, by any means necessary. Unfortunately, if Trump’s campaign is any measure, they’ve chosen the low road to that end, tapping into people’s darkest fears and biases to gain poll numbers, instead of choosing to evoke the “high ethical principles” favored by Beethoven. Does any reasonable person think we can solve the serious problems facing our nation and the world by sinking into those fears and biases?

Joy, beautiful divine spark…thy magic reunites what habit brusquely separates…all men become brothers…
The soaring poetry of the Ninth’s final choral movement—the “Ode to Joy”—flies in the face of disaster, division and hatred (yes, deep, deep hatred is poisoning life in this country). It’s easy to forget that the poem was written by another idealist of that Romantic Era—Friedrich von Schiller, who, Sachs reminds us, “…believed that humanity needed to achieve freedom through the experience of art before it could achieve political freedom.” (154) Chances are, we won’t experience freedom at all until our politicians live to heal the nation’s inner divisions instead of exploiting them.

Do you fall down, you millions?
Do you sense the creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy,
Above the stars he must live…
Joy, joy drives the wheels in the great clock of worlds…

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all you star-watchers!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at:

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Saturnalia for Our Time – Winter Solstice 2015

A few minutes shy of midnight on December 21st (Eastern Standard Time) the Sun will enter Capricorn and thus begin the final quarter of the astronomical/astrological year (which begins every March as the Sun enters Aries at the Spring Equinox). While the Capricorn ingress is given less predictive weight than the Aries one—often used to predict the general tenor of the entire new astrological year—the winter solstice still holds considerable importance as we close out the calendar year and look forward to the first quarter of the following calendar year.

In ancient Rome, in fact, Saturn—the agricultural god and Lord of Capricorn—was a deeply-venerated god whose “festival of light” spanned several days leading up to the winter solstice.  Deeply attuned to the cycles of nature, the populace hailed the “return to light” marked by the solstice because—simply put—survival depended upon it in their agricultural society.  Reportedly, December 25 was celebrated by ancient Romans as the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus—the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun.” Long before Christmas supplanted Saturnalia as the winter festival, people reveled in the longer days and shorter nights that would quickly follow each winter’s end.

People didn’t just revel politely, though—Saturnalia was reportedly a raucous affair among ancient Roman partiers, “characterized by role reversals and behavioral 
license.” Slaves and masters reversed roles symbolically for a day (with differing accounts of how far that went), class hierarchies were turned upside down, free speech reigned without recrimination, and so on. Saturn’s oversight of social structures and legal restrictions was suspended as the Romans “let it all hang loose” in the god’s honor. By some accounts, war couldn’t even be declared. 

The tradition of an end-of-year “blow-out” has morphed over the centuries, of course, but is the behavior of people during the ever-extending Christmas period really any different? Employers typically treat their employees a little more like equals during Christmas (maybe Saturnalia inspired the first worker “bonuses?”), people routinely blow-out their diets, exceed their budgets and max their credit cards, and those on a quest for hot ticket sale items feel liberated to stampede over each other and brawl like street thugs on “Black Friday.” And war, thankfully, couldn’t be declared—Congress won’t be dragged back to Washington until January.

Astrologically, the winter solstice chart gives us a “sneak preview” of conditions that will prevail during the final quarter of the natural, astrological year. Not surprisingly, in this drama-filled year, the coming winter solstice chart bears special consideration. Simply put, it’s a pretty raucous chart as befits the season. Set for Washington, D.C., the chart is shown below:

The Sun falls in the 4th house of “the homeland” and other lunar issues. At 0° Capricorn, the Sun only widely conjoins the IC, but we might still view this final quarter as a symbolic “end” of sorts—certainly, if Trump has anything to do with it, an end to “politics as usual.” A great anxiety over security—a top priority for Cancer/4th house—has overwhelmed us lately, and this anxiety is likely to persist through the quarter. How we act out in the wake of this anxiety will be a matter of American destiny and identity, with the Node falling in the 1st house of this chart and the 10th house of the USA Sibly chart (also conjunct Sibly Neptune).

The Ascendant falls in Virgo; Jupiter and Node in Virgo rise, straddling the AS (12-1); MC (Gemini) falls square Jupiter-AS-Node. As recently pointed out by astrologers Theodore White and Terry MacKinnell, mutable signs are prominent during these unstable-feeling times, and this chart certainly echoes that point. This appears to be a “restrained growth” quarter—the focus of the growth being in Virgoan pursuits such as military, healthcare and other service industries (12th house), but with Jupiter turning retrograde in early January and remaining so into May, frustration is likely to build over those potential areas of growth.

We’re already seeing the saber-rattling that precedes military buildup, so that will probably proceed as expected, with the inevitable Congressional scuffles reflecting Jupiter’s retrograde. (Obamacare) may report record enrollments for 2016 (the deadline passes before Jupiter’s retrograde). Human service organizations—especially refugee- and minority-oriented ones—should feel more empowered once Jupiter goes direct in May, however by that time the Aries ingress (equinox) chart will be the guide.

Despite the impending retrograde, the solstice chart indicates Jupiter (and thus Virgoan energy) will influence almost every facet of life during the first quarter, through its complicated network of aspects in the chart. Namely…

Jupiter sextiles Venus (Scorpio); Mars (Libra) conjoins Jupiter/Venus midpoint. Opportunities in the finance/employment sectors look positive here, but with Jupiter retrograde, they may take longer to bear fruit than anticipated, which could stir some frustration (Mars semi-sextile Jupiter).

Mars trines the MC and is disposed by Scorpio Venus, which trines Chiron. Mars opposes Uranus (Aries). This aspect supports the potential for aggressive actions and suggests that a fair amount of pain and frustration will be released (Mars trine MC; Venus trine Chiron). Uranus falls in the 7th, house of enemies, so we can’t rule out the possibility of antagonistic events.

Jupiter opposes Chiron and squares the MC; Chiron sextiles Mercury.  An article posted here, dated November 20th, discusses Jupiter opposite Chiron more thoroughly as it appeared in the November 13th Paris attack chart, but in the context of this solstice chart, these points straddle the AS-DSC horizon (Jupiter 12-Chiron 6), with Jupiter squaring the MC. This reinforces the point made in that earlier post that social/economic discontent can promote extremist ideologies and actions. The MC square suggests that discontent could happen within our national borders.

Chiron sextiles Pluto in Capricorn as Mercury conjoins the same point. Mercury and Pluto form a grand trine with the Moon (Taurus) and Jupiter. The public mindset and media output may range from outright dreary to doggedly determined and antagonistic this coming quarter. Falling as they do opposite the USA Sibly Sun (13°+Cancer), Mercury and Chiron here are likely to fan the flames of anti-government feeling. On a more positive note, the nation’s labor force (Mercury rules Virgo) may see more tangible benefits from their efforts (Mercury trines the 8th house Moon in Taurus). For instance, campaigns to raise the nation’s minimum wage may bear fruit (although again, every improvement may take more time than hoped for with Jupiter’s retrograde). The public mood should improve as these expected improvements unfold.

Venus conjoins Jupiter/Mercury midpoint. This aspect reinforces the importance of patience and pragmatism (especially in light of the Jupiter retrograde); again, this mindset (Mercury) should lead to eventual practical benefits (Venus).

Saturn (Sagittarius) continues its square to Neptune (Pisces).  For more about this ongoing aspect and its influence on recent events, please see previous posts (November 15 and December 2). In this chart the duo is placed in the 3rd and 6th houses respectively. Interestingly, Saturn and Neptune form no other major aspects here, but in mutable signs they will certainly enhance the influence those signs already wield in this chart. It seems they may form a sort of background “hum” of tension that will impact the mood of the nation via the media (Saturn in 3rd). Jupiter disposes Saturn (which lacks strength in Sagittarius), but Neptune is at its most powerful in Pisces and Jupiter co-rules Pisces with Neptune, so the public could be overwhelmed with a flood of media hype that effectively radiates the confusing influence of Saturn and Neptune throughout the entire chart.

We can already anticipate this will be true as Election 2016 enters its last 12 months, but military enlistment (6th house Neptune) will also be a focus—reinforced by this Neptune’s square to Sibly Uranus (also in the 6th). Certain other 6th house occupational fields such as healthcare could also be highlighted. It could be a tough flu season, as Neptune rules epidemics. 

Of course, the public discourse regarding immigration and refugees will continue to be confused and distorted by the Saturn-Neptune square, which will make it difficult to settle upon coherent national policies. The square will be separating over the course of the upcoming quarter, but will still be within orb when the Sun enters Aries and ends this winter quarter. On the upside, the 6th house Neptune in Pisces may point to a public increase of compassion towards those struggling travelers (3rd house Saturn in Sag) seeking asylum in our midst.

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at:

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trump the Enigma

So, is Donald Trump a fascist or isn’t he? …that seems to be the question roiling so many in the media (and on social media) these days. It’s a question we should all want answered, too—his persistent base of support will impact the 2016 election, one way or another. Mundane astrology can lend insights that elude other analysts, so even though we probably all have better things to do this time of year, let’s take a look at this quandary.

To lay a bit of groundwork for the discussion, I’d like to offer the following from history professors Federico Filchenstein and Pablo Piccato, writing for the New York Times: Concise and exactly on target (IMHO), they point to the strength of Trump’s support with people who would probably not consider him a fascist, but who nevertheless “like his anti-democratic way of playing democratic politics.” They go on to say:

For them, he represents antipolitics: their idea is that Trump transcends politics as usual. They support his statements not only for their contents but also because of their populist style. Trump’s followers believe in his self-presentation as a lonely hero of the people who is fighting the political elite. Their dislike for existing politics fuels their apathy toward Trump’s extremism.

The professors then briefly draw what they see as the parallels between Trump’s behavior and policies and those of the prototypical “fascist leader:”  

In a context very different to our own, fascists used this sense [dislike for existing politics] to provide an authoritarian answer to collective concerns. The true fascist leader did not have to explain his policies: he was a man of action who could do no wrong. He was followed because he was believed to represent what an entire people wanted. Most voters often supported fascists despite their most extreme views because they believed in their talk of order, economic improvement and national uniformity.

It makes perfect sense—who wouldn’t want a “man of action who could do no wrong” leading the country to “economic improvement?” Under the current threat level, that sounds perfectly reasonable—but the “national uniformity” aspect of the fascist agenda is where post-World-War II American politics usually draws the line. Donald Trump has decided to storm over that line, however, and according to the writers, there’s a good reason his support only seems to grow the more outrageous he becomes:

Trump’s followers want a country that looks, believes, talks, eats and drinks the same. They want to go back to a country without diversity, which never existed except in the reactionary images of the past. This idea derives from a longstanding fear of difference and nationalism that in Europe caused much destruction. Against a meaningful democracy where all people who are living in the country can participate, Trump’s supporters want a similarly reduced version of America.

As in the 1930s, when Hitler’s supporters bought into the fear-driven idea that the “Others” in their midst were to blame for the hardships they were experiencing, so it is today. Hence the Trump enigma. So, would a Trump presidency be likely to repeat fascist history on American soil? Let’s consider what astrology can tell us, using the example of Hitler’s dictatorship as a basis for comparison (triwheel below). Inner wheel: the USA Sibly chart (to establish today’s political context); Middle wheel: Hitler’s dictatorship (“Fuehrer” title official August 19, 1934, cast for noon in Berlin, Germany); Outer wheel: Donald Trump’s natal chart (AA: BC/BR). Please see an earlier post here, from 9/22/2015 for more on Trump’s relationship with the Sibly chart (and hence his viability as a presidential candidate).

Trump’s Sun-Moon (Sagittarius-Gemini) stretches across the Sibly 1/7 axis, exactly opposing/conjoining Sibly Mars (21°+Gemini) and t-squaring Sibly Neptune (22°+Virgo). Trump’s Uranus-0-Node (17°-20°+Gemini) ties into the whole configuration via conjunction with his Sun. Military adventurism (Mars) and delusions of “exceptionalism” (Neptune) are joined at the hip in American history, forming the basis for our “American Dream” national ideology, and Trump taps into that “Dream” exceptionally well with his tough “anything goes” rhetoric (Mercury disposed Uranus) and ego-driven sense of destiny (Sun-0-Node). His laser focus on security issues is driven by his Cancer Mercury, also disposing his Gemini Sun and trigger-happy Uranus. His claims that he is not a bigot—“I love everybody”—despite great evidence to the contrary, is probably related to his sociable Jupiter in Libra, disposing his “say-it-like-he-sees-it” Sagittarian Moon.

This completes the fluid Sun-Moon-Mercury circuit that keeps Trump’s name in the media as the perceived “champion” of security issues, a cause that is helped tremendously by his Mercury falling at the Sibly chart’s exact Venus-Sun midpoint, encompassing Sibly Jupiter in the process. Simply put, he has staked out a claim as being the mouthpiece (Mercury/Gemini Sun) for American security issues at this juncture. Everyone else sounds “weak” by comparison.

Trump’s Sun-Node-Uranus trines his Jupiter (Gemini-Libra); Trump’s Jupiter conjoins Sibly Saturn and squares Sibly Sun (Cancer)—it also conjoins Hitler’s Dictatorship Jupiter (19°+Libra). Trump’s natal Gemini stellium-120-Jupiter speaks to his charisma and ability to defy political “gravity”—the more extreme he is perceived to be, the more attention he gets, which further fuels his extremism. The inability of the President and other members of Congress (including current presidential candidates) to effectively challenge Trump’s popularity can also be seen here. By tapping into the nation’s Sun-90-Saturn with his Jupiter-Gemini stellium trine, Trump simply “trumps” both the Executive and Legislative branches. With Trump’s Gemini points (especially Uranus) conjoined Sibly Mars, an extreme manifestation of this configuration would be an all out “coup d’etat.”

Das Fuehrer
As the interchart connections suggest, Hitler’s dictatorship benefited from similar social/political momentum—seen in its 1934 Jupiter trine with a powerful Saturn in Aquarius. This trine represented the culmination of Hitler’s aggressive consolidation of political power in Germany (from his appointment as German Chancellor on January 30, 1933 to the Parliament’s merging of German Chancellor and President positions on August 19, 1934, giving Hitler the title of “Fuehrer”), and it represented the readiness (trine) of the society (Jupiter-Saturn) to accept his leadership!
Not surprisingly, several expert mundane astrologers (including Barbault, Baigent, Campion and Harvey) point to a correlation between strong Saturn-Uranus connections (especially strong in Aquarius) and right-wing, authoritarian “politics of Order.” As for Jupiter’s role, the social perception of growth opportunities is reflected in its placement. The Libran echo between Hitler’s time and our own, as embodied in Trump’s candidacy, points to the troubling ways in which Libran issues such as fairness, equality and law can be used and abused for political ends. We need to be concerned with how this Libran energy plays out, as Jupiter will widely conjoin Trump’s Jupiter from 12°+Libra, supporting Trump’s deep connections to the Sibly chart, on Election Day, 2016. More on this in a future post.

Trump’s Mars (26°+Leo) trines his Sagittarius Moon and sextiles his Gemini stellium, conjoins the Hitler’s Dictatorship Sun (25°+Leo) and opposes the Sibly Moon (27°+Aquarius). The Trump-Dictatorship interchart connection speaks to the “Alpha Male” role in which Trump has cast himself, and we should not take for granted that, if elected, he would defer to the Constitution as the ultimate law of the land. Rather, with Mars-120-Moon, disposed by his powerful Sun-Jupiter trine and the opposition of his Mars and the Sibly Moon, he would simply claim his policies (his Will) reflect the will of the People and proceed to do as he sees fit. Trump’s answer for any criticism is to cite his poll numbers. 

Trump's Mars-Sibly Moon opposition also explains the magnetic attraction his so-called “carnival barker routine” has for such a large percentage of the American public. America has always had a love-hate relationship with monarchy (Leo), but we can be taken in by a tough-talking New Yorker who sounds like he’s stepped right out of a crime drama too. Trump—living his lavish, billionaire-style life in phallic “Towers” named after himself—plays us like a piano.

Trump’s Saturn-0-Venus (23°-25°+Cancer) conjoin Sibly Mercury (24°+Cancer) and oppose Sibly Pluto (27°+Capricorn). These connections fall over the Sibly 2-8 axis, creating a complex web of power dynamics that tap not only into our security issues (heavy cardinal Saturn-Pluto energy), but into “big money” interests (Venus-Pluto) as well.  These connections also speak to Trump’s ability to use the nation’s Mercury “podium” to promote preemptive, exclusionary “build-a-wall” defenses (Saturn in Cancer). In turn, this helps him cultivate the “speak-truth-to-power” narrative that informs his every “tweet.” Positioned as his Venus and Saturn are, it’s also likely that his ambition goes beyond matters of defense: this 2-8 axis stretch also encompasses control of the nation’s resources, and the use of “defense” as a strategy for exploiting the resources of others as well. It gets even more complicated…

Trump’s Venus-Saturn in Cancer sextile Sibly Neptune (22°+Virgo) and conjoin Dictatorship Mars-Pluto (22°-25°+Cancer). It’s worth pointing out that 1934 Pluto fell opposite Sibly Pluto, and with today's transiting Pluto edging its way toward a return to its Sibly position, Pluto might just be trying to tell us something. "What goes around comes around" with Pluto, suggesting we may be seeing a karmic repeating of history. (For more on the Pluto dynamics we need to watch for in the near term, see my posts here from October 10, 13 and 16). 

All together, these connections point to how the founding illusions of nations and their repressed “shadows” (Sibly Neptune and Pluto) have a way of resurfacing, and that the worst periods of history are reflected in the charts of would-be “leaders” who catalyze this process.

Bottom line, if Donald Trump is able to co-opt American democracy with a fascist-style agenda, it is because his agenda conjures up this shadow we have long denied. Donald Trump may be the poster child for those who see the inevitable, extreme pole of capitalism (he is a billionaire business man, after all) as being authoritarian, fascist control. One way or another, the pressure to face these national karmic demons will mount as transiting Saturn and Pluto conjoin to start their new cycle in 1/2020, and as Pluto returns to Sibly Pluto’s position between now and 2022, so we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at:

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved.