Thursday, January 13, 2022

Unfolding illuminations and the January Cancer Full Moon



"Our ancestors understood that civilization cannot develop unless it is rooted in the power of the heart to give birth to a feeling world... 

They knew that without feeling, we cannot bring justice into being. And they understood that without the inward journey to develop soul, creation cannot continue to unfold. The message is clear: without the creative energy of love, we cannot create a true civilization. And when we cannot create, we destroy.”--Betty Kovacs, Merchants of Light



If you've been keeping track, you'll know that the potent Capricorn New Moon that helped kick off this new year of 2022 will be culminating on the 17th with a glorious Cancer full Moon, certainly a reminder of the wise observation cited above: when we create and nurture what is true and worthy in the life around us, civilization thrives; when we do not--or cannot--destruction is sure to follow.

We were vividly reminded this past week, marking the 1st anniversary of the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, that destructive forces are certainly at work in the U.S. at the moment, and they're targeting not this one building--as significant and symbolic as it might be--but the entire democratic system of government that it represents. That's a weighty possibility to ponder.

The assault grew out of Donald Trump's refusal to simply accept defeat in 2020, as anyone who engages in a political contest potentially must on occasion. Instead, he willfully laid the groundwork for, and propagated his "Big Lie" about the 2020 election being "stolen" from him. Spinning alternative realities has always panned out for him in the past--why not this time? 

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)
Even one year later, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary, Trump refuses to admit that Biden's election was absolutely legitimate. Just this week, in fact, Trump attacked GOP Senator Rounds (R-SD) for dismissing Trump's fraud claims and saying the 2020 election was "as fair as we've seen." Speaking truth is the necessary first step towards making constructive progress in our torturously divided society, and all political persuasions are charged with this: IMHO, we should all give Rounds a lot of credit for his courage in this.  

As for that basic premise about the certainty of destruction when we cease being able to create, no principle or dynamic is more fundamental and essential for the survival of this planet and its biodiversity, and lest we forget, we humans are only one of millions of species at stake in this survival. 

But this month's full Moon will remind us that it's not enough to simply create; we must also nurture and protect what we have brought forth, and that takes care, compassion and yes, love--at times even the "tough" variety. This is the wisdom of watery Cancer and its earthy opposite, Capricorn, I think: Both energies are deeply attuned to the creative imperatives of Life: Cancer, from the more primordially instinctive and nurturing Lunar perspective, and Capricorn from  the more sanguine Time-and-gravity-bound, worldly perspective of Saturn. 

Interestingly, astrology considers all water and earth signs to be "yin" in nature--so more receptive and passive than "yang" alternatives such as Aries and Libra. Notice that all four of these signs are considered Cardinal, however: they simply provide different approaches to achieving the goals and ambitions that typically drive Cardinal dynamics in our personal and collective lives.  Aries revels in the creation and protection of Self, especially the nascent "warrior" Self; Cancer focuses on nurturing its creations' biological and survival needs; Libra seeks harmony through a reasoned balance of Self and Other, and Capricorn prods its creations to develop and structure the Self through effort and discipline.

These dynamics work with equal force and importance on both personal and collective levels, of course, but it seems almost unnecessary to point this out: if our times are telling us anything, it's that these levels are intensely interdependent, and that the more we embrace this fact, the better our chances will be of surviving and thriving into the future on this planet. 

As we'll see illustrated in the chart for this month's full Moon, all four Cardinal signs are playing key roles in these times, in fact. Underlying it all, I think, is the project of birthing a new human perspective that honors and embraces our role in the Earth's creative odyssey. 


The astrology

In fact, home, family and the birthing of a new world that embraces a healthy, responsible new perspective are all at stake with a Cancer-Capricorn lunation. Let's consider Chart 1 below on its own first, and then, to explore the U.S. context for this moment, we'll set the lunation chart next to the U.S. Sibly chart in Biwheel 1. Not surprisingly, given the times and the myriad challenges that seem to have converged all at once on the U.S., setting these two charts together enhances the drama considerably. 

Chart 1. Full Moon, January 17, 2022, 6:48:16 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.

It's hard to miss that the "star" of a full Moon chart--the Moon--is actually the handle of a "bucket" configuration in this chart: every other major point in the chart (set for Washington, D.C.) is found in the western hemisphere (houses 4-9)--only the Nodal Axis seems to bridge the two hemispheres, holding it all together with its trine-sextile "wedge" formations with both the 12th house Moon and the 6th house Sun. The implication of this seems to be that if we focus on a constructive path forward, we can usefully manifest and integrate personal, social and collective priorities. 

The only problem with this is that half the nation seems bent on forcing us backwards (So. Node) into the past (the movement afoot to roll back women's reproductive rights and to suppress voter access to the polls comes to mind), while the other half is freaked that we haven't been able to create much forward momentum (No. Node) with the challenges of climate change. IMHO, not being able to achieve consensus on things as critical as the fundamental principle of one-person-one-vote and mitigating/reversing climate change feels like the country is caught in the grip of a mental illness at times; we'll be able to dig deeper into this when we look at Biwheel 1 below. 

Meanwhile, there's good reason for concern; as long as some deep-pocketed economic priorities are allowed to stifle our climate change progress, it seems that every step forward will be reabsorbed by the fossil fuel industry's purposeful inertia. From the New York Times:

"America’s greenhouse gas emissions from energy and industry rose 6.2 percent in 2021 as the economy began recovering from pandemic lows and the nation’s coal plants roared back to life, according to a preliminary estimate published Monday by the Rhodium Group.

The rebound was not a total surprise: The nation’s emissions had plummeted more than 10 percent in 2020, the largest one-year drop on record, after the initial coronavirus outbreak triggered widespread lockdowns and energy use plunged to its lowest level in decades. As restrictions eased and economic activity picked back up, emissions were expected to bounce back.

'If anything, last year’s rebound in emissions was lower than it could have been because the pandemic is still causing disruptions and the economy isn’t back to normal,' said Kate Larsen, a partner at the Rhodium Group, a research and consulting firm. 'Emissions are still well below 2019 levels.'"

This, as one senator from the coal-mining state of West Virginia is wielding disproportionate power over what legislation gets passed and what doesn't. 

The "good old days?"
Notice that Venus remains retrograde in Capricorn and that in this chart it semi-sextiles Saturn (Aquarius), squares Chiron (Capricorn-Aries) and trines MC-Uranus (Rx, Taurus). Creative, earth-focused progress is spotty, at best, right now--not too surprising under the influence of two retrogrades, but frustrating and painful, nevertheless. Saturn's 6th house position conjunct a retrograde Mercury (Aquarius) points to labor shortages and upheaval. Saturn's square to Uranus Rx, with Venus disposing that Uranus Rx suggests to me that companies are likely staying afloat, despite an absence of healthy, "normal" productivity. 

Between supply-chain bottlenecks in our harbors and serious worker shortages, some due to the heightened numbers of COVID cases--(Mars in Sagittarius rules the 9th and squares Neptune-Pallas in Pisces seems to also reflect both of these issues), the sluggishness could continue to take a toll on a lot of economy-related systems. Neptune falls in the 8th house here, reinforcing this economic sluggishness. 

The headlines today spoke to the human dimension of all this, announcing that U.S. COVID-related hospitalizations reached a new high this week, and it's probably reasonable to assume that they will continue growing into the full Moon next week. We can see that with the 12th house Moon in this chart--hospitals are one of the "institutions" associated with the 12th house of "undoing." Vaccinations could help prevent a lot of this, of course, but with NEPTUNE TRINE this Moon (Pisces-Cancer), we probably can't count on rational decision-making being the norm. 

Meanwhile, our healthcare workers are suffering ever greater levels of burn-out and trauma from dealing with it all--perhaps one of the examples of disruption that we see in the Eris (Aries) t-square to the Full Moon axis (Cancer-Capricorn). Volatile issues like that are likely to continue dividing us in the short term, in other words. 

Still, there may be a silver lining as well, especially with Jupiter (Pisces) t-square the Nodal Axis (Gemini-Sagittarius). It will also soon move into a sextile position with Uranus Rx (Taurus); both of these aspects support what could be amazing activity and development in the auto industry these days, with all the major brands bringing more and more electric vehicles to market and infrastructure money flowing to install a more robust network of charging stations. It seems they finally see profit in the transition to a green energy economy; hopefully more industries will follow suit in a bigger more obvious way too, in the wake of these energies. 


EV production is scaling up and sales are soaring.
There are less glowing possibilities with the Jupiter-Nodal Axis t-square, if we trace the ruler-and-dispositorships back to Saturn (Aquarius) and Neptune (Pisces)--this chart's two final dispositors. Chaotic times with the pandemic are likely to persist like a dull toothache in our collective, despite attempts to move things forward. A certain percentage of the American people have apparently decided they are not going to cooperate, no matter who or what is harmed by that decision, and that creates a great deal of inertia that drags out any hope for forward motion. More such passive aggression is certainly likely with the Mars-Neptune square here; we'll consider this and the potential for further corruption more deeply with Biwheel 1

Let's take a look. 

Biwheel 1: (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Full Moon, January 17, 2022, 6:48:16 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. . Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.

Notice here that the Full Moon axis (Cancer-Capricorn) cuts across the Sibly 8-2 axis, conjoining Sibly Mercury-Pluto and transiting Pluto (Capricorn) as it does. The U.S. is within the last month of its long-awaited Pluto return at this point, and this lunation clearly wants to draw our attention to that all-encompassing reality. I have written extensively about this return process, but this chart allows us to look at the dynamics driving that return with fresh eyes. Clearly, it's about our values (2nd) and the choices we make about the gaining and use of resources (8th); as anyone who has followed our unadulterated history knows, there's a lot of karmic baggage to talk about within those parameters. 

Today we're struggling to resolve some part of this within the same basic brutal corporate culture that created the problem in the first place: our votings rights dilemma comes to mind because it represents the remnants of the slave economy that (face it, it's the truth) built this nation. It's hard to miss that Sibly Pluto and Saturn (disposing Capricorn) have shaped the sometimes ruthless, but always "detached" mindset (Sibly Mercury) of this nation towards its own people--I suspect that the "rugged individual" myth that took shape during our exploitative Wild West years has served corporate bottom lines and other questionable purposes exceedingly well over the years.

This view is reinforced by the Aquarius Sibly 3rd house, ruled by an air-sign Saturn-Uranus trine (Libra-Gemini) and housing the Sibly Moon-Pallas conjunction (Aquarius): we don't expect to be coddled by our government in this country, but we do expect Justice, and those two dynamics are often at odds. Sibly Moon semi-sextiles both transiting and Sibly Pluto at the moment and widely inconjoins radix Sibly Neptune (Virgo). There's always been an uncomfortable disconnect between the human needs of all (Moon) and the ideals we profess in this nation (Neptune), a fact fundamentally expressed in the Sibly Neptune-Pluto trine: our national ideals (Sibly Neptune) have always been filtered through and modified by the influence of our corporate power dynamics (Sibly Pluto). Needless to say, we're experiencing the deeply difficult revisiting of all these historical dynamics today, with Pluto's transiting return to Sibly Pluto and Neptune's transiting opposition to Sibly Neptune.

All of this was at stake when Trump released a violent mob on the very heart of our democracy at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but that's only the most headline-grabbing and visually dramatic way in which we've been revisiting all these difficult Neptune-Pluto dynamics. The insidious, widespread effort in GOP-led, "red" states to suppress the vote of anyone opposing them is probably of more long-term concern because it threatens our very Federalist system of democracy and if we don't get this right, we'll be getting a host of related issues wrong at the same time. 

Not that GOP candidates winning is "wrong," if it's truly the uncorrupted will of their constituents--it wouldn't be healthy for either party to win all the time. What's key here is not the winning itself, but the manner in which a party gains or loses power, and that's all about the health and integrity of our democratic institutions. Unfortunately, the Neptune-Pluto dynamics of the moment leave the door too open for corruption, misinformation and deep-pocketed interference in democratic systems, all for the purposes of gaining total power

Italian dictator and Hitler ally, Benito Mussolini
History is littered with those who covet that sort of control, and they have almost always used the pretext of "Law and Order" as their tactical means of achieving it. We very seriously need to learn from history here: as today, Saturn was also in Aquarius in 1933 when Hitler seized upon the disordered atmosphere created by a cardinal 3Q Uranus-Pluto square (Aries-Cancer) as a pretext for violently imposing Nazi rule.  From the U.S. National Holocaust Museum website:

"On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down due to arson. The Nazi leadership and its German Nationalist coalition partners exploited the fire to persuade President Paul von Hindenburg that Communists were planning a violent uprising to derail Germany’s "national renewal." They claimed that emergency legislation was needed to prevent this. Commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, the resulting act “For the Protection of the People and State” abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship."

The fire itself could well have been a Uranus-Pluto event, with Uranus in fire sign Aries; needless to say, the arson has always been considered "suspicious," since it served one man's ambitions as perfectly (and as immediately) as it did. Hitler blamed the Communists for it, which helped him tap into powerful corporate fears and gain corporate support for his extreme measures, and he tapped into the public's fears by using the pretext of "protecting" them from the spectre of Communist violence. Sound familiar? It was the same pretext that drove 1930s Spain into the arms of the fascist Franco dictatorship that persisted for decades, and it's a pretext that has morphed into the playbook for several recently lapsed democracies. 

The fact that we're now in a different phase of the Uranus-Pluto cycle than the case was in the 1930s could be one source for optimism; however, the stakes in heading off the forces of Fascist nationalism that have been awakened since the 2010s, when the 1965 cycle's 1Q square (7 hits in all) unfolded with Uranus again in Aries, but Pluto in Capricorn, couldn't be higher. This 1965 cycle conjunction in mid Virgo coincided with massive Civil Rights movements and the passage of the Voting Rights Act; African-Americans were simply done with being treated as if they had no legal rights as citizens, and rightly so; this oppression (often violent) wasn't acceptable then, and it's even more unacceptable now. Yet, some small, but radicalized segment of our population longs for the good old days of Jim Crow because they've convinced themselves to fear being "replaced" by people who may not look or worship like they do. 

This latter fear--regarding how people worship--is far from an incidental issue these days, in fact.  As we speak, it's being exploited by a deep-pocketed campaign by Christian nationalists to return this nation to its so-called "Christian roots." And to throw out our Constitution in favor of Bible-based rule, while they're at it.  An extended excerpt from journalist Katherine Stewart's amazing study entitled "The Shock Troops of the Next Big Lie" is in order here:

"But Mira Vista [the estate of Pepsi heir James B. Lindsey] is something more than a home. It was also listed as the address of the James and Joan Lindsey Family Foundation. A search of the foundation’s public reports appears to turn up, proportionally speaking, little of the kind of community-centered philanthropy characteristic of other wealthy locals. Instead, the records show a vast and steady flow of contributions to leading organizations in America’s Christian nationalist movement. Every year over the past decade, the Lindsey Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations such as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, WallBuilders, and a faith-based media company called Mastermedia International, and lesser amounts to other groups like the Council for National Policy, a networking group for movement leadership.

'We are a Christian country. And the Founders were—definitely—and our founding documents were written under prayer each day of the writing,' Joan Lindsey has said. On the eve of the 2020 election, she announced that 'this election will either preserve faith’s sacred place in our country or destroy it.'

From 2019 to 2020, the Lindsey Foundation funneled at least $500,000 to a new organization, Faith Wins, intended to mobilize pastors at conservative churches to bring out the pro-Trump Republican vote. Faith Wins is part of a Lindsey-backed coalition called The Church Finds Its Voice. In many respects, the Lindseys’ investment in Faith Wins and The Church Finds Its Voice follows a long-standing pattern in the Christian nationalist movement of backing projects to turn America’s network of tens of thousands of conservative churches into a powerful partisan political machine.

But there is also something novel in the Faith Wins project, and it sheds much light on the direction of the movement in the aftermath of the Trump presidency. Unlike pre-Trump get-out-the-pastors projects, Faith Wins has made concerns about 'elections integrity' a central part of the message for its target audience. The pretense is that this is intended to shore up public confidence in elections. The reality is that the group is consciously helping to lay the foundations for the next iteration of the Big Lie."

And all this, in a nation that purports to honor and demand the separation of Church and State--an essential element in any pluralistic democracy. Apparently not here anymore, however, especially when it comes to elections and partisan power. Or to imposing their brand of religion on others, like it or not! Again, nothing new here and quite a predictable strategy: trigger Neptunian fears (deep pockets are good at that), and then bring on the Saturn-Uranus control measures to "solve" the problems (often not even real) that we're told we should fear. 

Needless to say, the pandemic and other difficult Neptunian dynamics like the "Big Lie" and the Opioid epidemic that keeps resurfacing in the news, have enabled a lot of scary power-mongering to proceed unnoticed behind the scenes while we've been distracted. Why do  would-be authoritarians simply hate the free press and do everything they can to discredit and question its veracity? Because the press sheds light on what's going on behind those scenes that many power-hungry individuals would rather we didn't see. As the Washington Post motto goes, "Democracy dies in darkness." All the more reason everyone capable of doing so needs to shed light! 

Bottom line, it seems that we're far from out of the woods, even though I wonder if our current stage in the Uranus-Pluto cycle really lends itself to what the authoritarians in our midst are trying to do. I frankly worry that our current Saturn-Uranus Rx (Aquarius-Taurus) dynamics could be manipulated to create a crisis, however, and I'm concerned also that the "bucket" formation found in this Full Moon chart leaves the task of resisting that authoritarian drive up to "We the People." Or should I say, "We, the Exhausted People?" Yes, there are supportive forces at the top, as reflected in the trine/sextile formations the Full Moon axis forms with the Nodal Axis (mentioned earlier), but those bridging dynamics can be put to less helpful ends as well. Then there's the pandemic (Neptune), which is creating a tremendous drag on our mental and physical resources, with little end in sight. 

The antidote to an out of control Neptune, of course, is the healthy intervention of  rule-of-Law-conscious Saturn. This describes, in fact, what's going on in the House Select Committee that's investigating the January 6th insurrection. As they wrap up their proceedings in the coming months and turn over whatever recommendations they have for indictments or further investigations to the DOJ, we'll get to see whether Saturn's waning 3Q with Neptune (the cycle is now in balsamic phase) is going to be an obstacle to Justice or not. Consider the importance of Saturn in this Full Moon chart, (disposing the Sun and thus the ASC, through LEO, and co-ruling the DSC with Uranus; Saturn's basically charged with providing a counterweight to the heavy background "noise" of Pluto and Neptune. Exactly Inconjunct Sibly Sun (Executive), this Saturn can either be put to constructive use by Biden, or it could remain--like Senator Manchin--a frustrating thorn in his side. More to come on this in a future post!

Given our impending Pluto return (first exact on February 20th), it makes sense that we're collectively questioning or trying to process where we've come from in our grand experiment in democracy, but I will go out on an optimistic limb here and say that I don't quite see the astrological conditions we might expect for a Reichstag Fire-style overthrow of our system.  Yes, January 6th and all the planning that went on behind the scenes for that day in Congress came too close for comfort, but I suspect that the really serious threats are happening much more gradually and, as noted, in the shadowy realm of deep-pocketed influence campaigns. 

Investigators have uncovered that 5 states sent forged elector documents after Election 2020.
Pluto's cozy relationship with this lunation speaks to these perils and it's high time they be "illuminated" as only a Full Moon can do. I can't think of anything that illustrates this point better at the moment than the stunning new revelations about five states having sent forged GOP elector documents to Congress and the National Archives in the wake of the 2020 election, seeking to overturn Biden's win in those five states, and that what appears to have been a coordinated effort may, indeed, have something to do with Trump's then-Chief-of-Staff, Mark Meadows. Can't say that surprises me; Meadows has just recently been recommended for indictment by the January 6th House committee investigating all this, but this latest development probably adds to the list of things they subpoenaed him to discuss. I'm sorry to say my home state of Michigan was one of the five, which also included Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin.  

Deep-pocketed campaigns like the ones that produced January 6th also gave us the current composition of our highest Court, of course, which is already posing one of the biggest threats to our fundamental, but deeply misunderstood principle of the separation of Church and State. The Court has mirrored the toxic state of our politics for far too long, and it's been catering to corporations and Christian nationalist interests far too open-handedly, as well. Unfortunately, this problem probably won't be solved in the short term unless some pretty shocking reforms are forced. 

I suspect by the time the currently waning Saturn-Uranus cycle begins anew in 2032,  serious reform may be possible, but in the meantime we have to contend with what could be the oppressive winding down of the current cycle and an upcoming Jupiter-Neptune cycle launching in Pisces that's likely to further erode the boundaries between Church and State, among other potentially corrupting developments.

No doubt, we'll need to revisit this issue in future posts. For now, however, Jupiter and Neptune are lying low in their balsamic phase at the bottom of the Sibly chart, as investigations into who was really behind the January 6th assault on the Capitol swirl around them. As always, the investigators clearly need to "follow the Money!" 


Final thoughts 

One constructive way we might also want to "follow the Money" is to consider the heavy price we are collectively paying every year for the political inertia that keeps us from doing something significant about climate change. The Washington Post recently detailed these facts from just one year, 2021:

"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that at least 20 individual billion-dollar disasters occurred in the U.S. in 2021, the second-most on record. From tornadoes to floods, fires and hurricanes, the year featured a number of catastrophes, many of which were made more severe by human-induced climate change.

Racking up a price tag of more than $145 billion, the disasters of 2021 combined into the third-costliest year on record dating to 1980, according to NOAA. At least 688 people were killed. The only costlier years were 2005, which featured Hurricane Katrina, and 2017, during which hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall.

The 2021 billion-dollar disasters include exceptional heat and drought in the western states, a rash of wildfires, a punishing cold snap in Texas, four tropical storms and hurricanes, and eight severe thunderstorm/tornado events."

According to the New Republic, faced with all this and the assurance that such billion-dollar events will become more and more frequent, conservative think-tanks are apparently doubling down on writing model legislation that they want to push in state legislatures--legislation that would make it "an unlawful, discriminatory practice for financial institutions or insurance companies to assess higher premiums, surcharges or interest based on a company’s fossil energy holdings.” 

Actual state bills have come out of this effort, such as Texas Senate Bill 13, which "direct[s] state comptrollers to 'sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities' of financial institutions that are found to 'boycott energy companies.'"  In other words, state pension funds will be forced to include fossil fuel investments in their holdings or be accused of discrimination! What a breathtakingly devious way of preventing progress at all costs!

Finally, here's a thought I would challenge everyone to ponder going forward about this month's Full Moon passage. Since Earth exactly opposes Sun, this means that when the Moon is in full phase, the  Earth and Moon are "conjunct"--this time in the lovely, nurturing sign of Cancer. How does that reality alter our perception of the full Moon's gifts of illumination and objectivity? I welcome your brief comments and ideas on this and will happily post all that are thoughtful and respectful.  

Be well and safe out there, everyone! 

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact:

© Raye Robertson 2022. All rights reserved.