Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Looking ahead to 2017: volatile times with the Sibly Progressed Lunar Cycle's 3rd Quarter

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Sibly chart will begin the 3rd Quarter of its 8th progressed lunar cycle, which ends on March 25, 2024, when a new cycle begins. The coming transits and outer planetary cycle milestones (not to mention eclipses) during this time period all concur that this time frame will be significant—I would argue they will be all the more significant because they will be unfolding within this closing progressed 3rd Quarter.  

By tracking significant planetary factors within that national cycle, we can examine not only the broad strokes of our history and current events, but some of their more telling details and nuances. 

This 3rd progressed quarter context will provide an underlying theme for the coming 7 years—finishing unfinished business; clearing out outworn realities and healing divisive wounds so the way is open for something new.

Even without considering this progressed cycle, mundane astrologers are abuzz with the prospects of this post-Election 2016 period—with good reason. For starters, a powerful total solar eclipse (visible in the U.S.) will transpire on August 21, 2017; Uranus moves into Taurus in May, 2018 after separating from its long square with Pluto; the current Libra Saturn-Pluto cycle wanes rapidly and begins anew at 22°+Capricorn in January, 2020; the Jupiter-Saturn cycle reboots at 0°+ Aquarius in December that same year (a highly significant turning point); transiting Pluto returns to its U.S. Sibly chart position at 27°+ Capricorn in February 2022, and in March, 2023, Pluto shakes the earth off its feet and steps into electric Aquarius. 

One year later, in March, 2024, the Sibly chart begins its 9th progressed lunar cycle at 19°+ Pisces. And so it goes.

These are just the broad strokes—the Cosmos will be filling in the blanks with all sorts of interesting comings and goings within that 2017-2024 timeframe. Today I’d like to focus on background theme provided for us during that period by the Sibly progressed lunar cycle.

What goes round…
The nation’s progressed lunar cycle (roughly 30 years) reflects the evolution of the U.S. as an astrological entity, and with its predictable stages it reveals the always amazing ways in which history repeats and builds upon itself.  

Because the Sun in a mundane, national chart represents the Executive (president, prime minister, monarch, etc.), and the Moon reflects the citizens of that nation, the relationship between these two luminaries speaks to the relationship between those key government stakeholders. Since the Sibly chart features a forward-thinking, rebellious but collective-minded Aquarius Moon, and a growth-and-security oriented Cancer Sun, it’s no surprise that Americans have had a love/hate relationship with government from the get-go.  Even more interesting is how that relationship has evolved over 240 years of history—it’s all there to see in our national progressed lunar cycle. Judging by today’s “government report card” polls, the People-vs.-Washington face off has never been more tense. According to this cycle, our widespread desire for deep change is right on schedule. 

Let’s rough out the picture:

Progressed New Moon
Progressed 1st Quarter
Progressed 2nd Quarter
Progressed 3rd Quarter
Cycle Mode
Cycle Triplicity
Sibly House(s)




27°Aq-27° Tau




4° Pis-4° Vir




12° Pis-12° Sag




Anyone watching national and world events since 1994 knows that American life has changed a lot during this period (recent polls suggest not for the better overall). Our role and stature in the world have both taken a beating; our economy has shed millions of well-paid jobs and replaced them with a part-time/ “on call” service-oriented economy that undermines the so-called “American Dream” in a long list of ways; our public infrastructures, many school systems and a number of key cities have sunk into crisis from lack of investment. Environmental degradation and climate change are observable, increasingly costly realities—certainly an escalating trend since 1994.

Adding to the overwhelm is the war-making pattern we’ve carried forward with us from the 20th century: somehow, every so many years there’s another military intervention looming on the horizon—just often enough to keep our national budget priorities seriously out of whack. With the rise of terrorism we’ve seen in this 3rd quarter of the 1982 Saturn-Pluto cycle, the geopolitical dominance games we’ve been playing in the Middle East are being revealed for what they’ve always been—a Faustian trap. We’ll consider how this is also playing out within the progressed lunar cycle.

Perhaps at the root of all the above, an overwhelming flood of so-called “Wall Street” money (shorthand for the combined weight of corporate and other vested interest money) was gradually unleashed on our political system during this 1994-2016 period, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.

Is it any wonder we’ve seen deep public anger expressed in this election cycle? The desire for fundamental, systemic change that would break all the no-win patterns we’ve developed is truly palpable. Fortunately, the last quarter of the progressed lunar cycle approaching in March 2017 appears to support progress in this direction, but it’s not likely to happen in one 4-year election cycle. 

In fact, if it isn’t undermined by “yet another war” or serious internal unrest (more on this ahead), any progress we make is likely to happen in a series of “two-steps-forward, one-step-back” stages of change. Several key astrological milestones will chime in along the way, but the background music (so to speak) for the unfolding change will start its “3rd movement” (progressed 3rd quarter lunar cycle) beginning on 3/2/2017, with progressed Sun at 12° Pisces and progressed Moon at 12° Sagittarius. As noted, the 3rd quarter will close out the 1994 cycle and set the stage for the Sibly chart’s 9th progressed lunar cycle beginning on March 25, 2024 (see Table above).

Let’s examine two biwheels for this event: Biwheel 1 shows how the new quarter compares to the U.S. (Sibly) chart; and Biwheel 2 shows the transits in force when that new cycle launches.

Biwheel 1: (inner wheel) natal, USA (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) USA (Sibly), day-for-year progression for March 2, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. GMT, Washington, D.C. 

Interchart T-square: Progressed Moon conjoins Sibly ASC (Sagittarius) and opposes Sibly Uranus/Mars (midpoint) & DSC (Gemini); Progressed Sun (Pisces) squares this opposition from the Sibly 4th. Nations develop “itchy trigger fingers” with intense configurations like this; our U.S. executive in 2017 could be inclined to shoot first and think later, simply to assert his/her dominance and authority. A dramatic incident could stimulate such a reaction—hard aspects to the Sibly horizon have figured into past attacks, most notably on 9/11/2001. Such incidents have a way of galvanizing Americans to rally around Washington (especially a new Commander-in-Chief) and to oppose an outside enemy rather than each other. There is justified concern about growing internal unrest (progressed Sun in 4th square Sibly Uranus), but we may want to think twice about using an external conflict to put off dealing with internal divisions. This progressed 3rd quarter is our opportunity to confront and work on internal divisions.

Progressed Mars (Rx Libra) conjoins Sibly Saturn (Libra) and trines Sibly Mars/Uranus (Gemini). Mars conjunct Saturn in Cardinal signs denotes aggressive impulses, although with Mars Rx by progression since 2006, the actions we’ve taken as a nation have tended to fall short of the desired results. Saturn rules Congress, so pressure will be brought to bear on them to act—the P (progressed) Mars trine to Sibly Mars/Uranus suggests an attempt to assert dominance that may or may not unfold as planned. Pressure on Congress to fund a military campaign could also be indicated (see below for Venus’s involvement).

Interchart T-square: Progressed Venus (Aries) squares both Sibly Mercury (Cancer) and Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) and sextiles Sibly Moon (Aquarius). Adding to the intensity, Mars disposes Progressed Venus in Aries, and she in turn squares Sibly Mercury, ruling the 7th house of open enemies and the 10th house—a Virgo house that speaks to the U.S. military’s involvement in the world. Venus also squares Sibly Pluto, ruling the Sibly 12th, suggesting a more behind-the-scenes dimension to government activities—especially in regards to negotiations, resources and finances.

Other possibilities exist for this configuration besides military action—i.e., major legislation passed during this 3rd progressed quarter to radically reduce prison (12th house) populations and perhaps to reform the corporate prison industry. Unfortunately, we may also have to be wary of the growing Zika virus threat (Pluto’s rulership here is reinforced by Neptune’s natural affinity for the 12th). We now know that Zika can be transmitted sexually, so Venus’s role here could be especially strong in Aries. The P Venus sextile to Sibly Moon suggests the public will be motivated to participate in whatever transpires (5th house Sibly).

Progressed Mercury (Aquarius) conjoins Sibly Moon (Aquarius), trines Sibly Mars and inconjoins Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Mercury rules the Virgo Ascendant of this progressed 3rd quarter chart, making Mercury’s position in Aquarius more potent than we might expect. Mercury rules public media communications, and with these aspects we can expect a frustrating lack of transparency (P Mercury-Sibly Neptune) when it comes to military or health (Virgo) matters and to the actions being taken in our name on the world stage (Sibly 10th). We are likely to see a major recruitment effort (Mercury trine Sibly Mars) for these projects.

Biwheel 2: (inner wheel) natal, USA (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Transits, March 2, 2017, 1:56:40 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.
Interchart T-square: Transit Mercury-Sun-Neptune (Pisces) square Sibly ASC-DSC axis (drawing in Sibly Uranus/Mars); Transit Mercury-Neptune trine Sibly Venus-Jupiter-Sun (Cancer). This t-square reinforces concerns mentioned with Biwheel 1—especially with the Sibly’s volatile Mars/Uranus (midpoint) in Gemini. Pisces Mercury-Neptune square that midpoint also raises concerns about public health and possible epidemic threats (see the 4/29/16 post here for more on the Zika epidemic), although the trine to Sibly Venus (ruling 6th house)-Jupiter (ruling ASC) and Sun (ruling 9th) may soften the threat. Trines tend to unleash both positive and negative dynamics, however, so this will be something to watch.

Interchart T-square: Transit Venus (Aries) opposes Sibly Saturn (Libra); both square Sibly Sun (Cancer); Transit Venus also trines Sibly ASC (Sagittarius) and sextiles Sibly DSC (Gemini). This tense cardinal t-square suggests that Congress and the Judiciary will be under fire to accomplish something major—confirming a new Supreme Court Justice could be the issue, but other deep conflicts could erupt over national budgets (Venus) and Executive powers (Sun). Pretty much the status quo, only here the stakes appear to be pretty high. In belligerent Aries, Venus could be pushing for higher defense budgets, or—worst case scenario—for imposing martial law.

Interchart T-square: Sibly Mercury (Cancer) opposes Sibly Pluto (Capricorn); both ends square Transit Uranus-Eris-Mars (Aries); the Aries points trine Transit Saturn (Sagittarius) and inconjoin Sibly Neptune (Virgo). With Sibly Mercury’s rulership of the 7th and 10th houses, this tense set of aspects raises the disruptive potential of the overall Biwheel. The late Aries gathering here (including Venus trailing behind Mars-Eris-Uranus) square Pluto and trine Saturn is a volatile, discordant mix—there is likely to be a whole lot of head-butting going on. I don’t want to overstate the negatives here, and disruptive events may not follow immediately, but because this chart represents the beginning of an entire cycle phase, we’ll want to watch the entire 2017-2024 time period for volatility. Passions are running high this election cycle and there will be winners and losers, which could result in a great deal of unrest on the streets, ratcheting up the existing tensions between some groups.

Naturally, tensions caused along our borders, or as a consequence of controversial immigration policies, could also run high and are reflected in the Aries-Virgo inconjunct to Neptune. One particularly tense period for all these reasons could be the one surrounding the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse (visible across the U.S.). Discussing this eclipse in detail will require an entire post (soon).

Interchart “Wedge” aspect: Transit Jupiter (Libra) sextiles Transit Saturn (Sagittarius) and Trines Sibly Mars (Gemini); Transit Saturn opposes Sibly Mars and squares Sibly Neptune; Transit Jupiter opposes Transit Mars-Uranus and semi-sextiles Sibly Neptune. It’s worth pointing out that Transit Saturn also conjoins the Galactic Center (26-7° Sagittarius) and overlays the Sibly 1st house, suggesting that the nation’s foundational character—its essential “personality”—may be about to undergo some kind of shocking (Mars-Uranus trine) revision. Between the dispositor network connecting Aries Venus, Libra Jupiter and Sagittarius Saturn, and the aspects also in play, we could see a drive to express power and confront opponents more aggressively and more expansively. 

Aspects to Neptune point to possible infrastructure and epidemic challenges. This is reinforced by T Jupiter’s conjunctions to Sibly Saturn and to Progressed Mars (shown in Biwheel 1)—all opposed by transiting Aries planets. It appears we are pushing our systems (Jupiter-Saturn) over their natural breaking points, and this can manifest in a number of ways.

In the Transit chart itself: Node (Virgo) trines Moon (Taurus) and Saturn (out-of-sign Sagittarius); Moon disposes ASC (Cancer). Given Saturn’s position near the Galactic Center, it appears the Node is pointing to a new reality unfolding in a somewhat discordant (out-of-sign trine) manner. It’s worth noting that this Transit Node also conjoins the Progressed ASC (Virgo-seen in Biwheel 1), which reinforces that our nation is evolving into that new reality, whatever form that takes. It appears there will be public support for this direction—Transit Moon trines both Virgo points. Grass roots tension is likely to persist over this direction: Sibly Uranus (ruling Sibly 3rd) squares Transit Node. With Transit Node over the Sibly 9th, international trade and/or immigration issues could be implicated.

Interchart Grand-Square: Transit Chiron (Pisces) opposes Sibly Neptune (Virgo); this axis squares Transit Saturn opposite Sibly Mars (Gemini). Chiron has been transiting within orb of this configuration since spring, 2015, so it has quite possibly stimulated some of the intensity of the current election. None of the candidates will emerge from this campaign unscathed—nor will the election process itself, which is hardly recognizable. Our tolerance for each others’ opinions and values seems to be at a new low, while cynicism and anger about the control “others” (including the global economy and would-be immigrants) wield over our destinies are at new highs.

Mars on the Sibly DSC speaks to the anger-driven surge in xenophobia we’ve seen; unfortunately, pursuing that path only compounds the wounds instead of healing them. The “new direction” noted above with T Saturn’s presence in the Sibly 1st will confront this trap—the grand square always demands that we solve thorny problems through conscious choices and persistent action. Can we accommodate each others’ views on these issues (mutable grand square)? Is there perhaps a “third way” out of our entrenched divisions? Finding the latter may be just what “Doctor” Chiron ordered in this 2017-2024 period.

Mutable matters
In the meantime, it might help to remember that the disruptive qualities of mutable cycles do serve a greater purpose; certainly during this 3rd quarter phase we have an opportunity to face a lot of old national demons and decide once and for all where we want to stand as a nation and a people. Are we a viable, united country going forward, or aren’t we?

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: robertsonraye@gmail.com. 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.