Astro Blog

The Dream of Dubai

If you happen to be on the moon some time, cast a glimpse down to Dubai on the Arabian Peninsular. Here a glittering palm tree shaped island will be visible shining into space – a man-made construction which contains more than 30 five-star hotels as well as residences for the glitterati like Brad Pitt, David Beckham, and other people who choose to be more anonymous. That is just in 2010 – two more paradise islands are planned, as well as a 300 island archipelago representing all the countries of the world. And another one featuring the universe.
Where is the world’s tallest building? The world’s only seven-start hotel? Which country currently has the most cranes in the world? The world’s largest indoor skiing slope? That’s right: Planet Dubai. Apparently when driving into town from the airport the visitor is greeted by billboards proclaiming “Welcome to Everything”, “Be Unlimited”, “Anything is Possible”. (Note 1)

You will not be surprised then to see that the horoscope of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which includes Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai, shows the Sun on the Midheaven conjoining and at the exact midpoint of Jupiter and Neptune in Sagittarius. What could be a better astrological signature for a country which expands out into the ocean creating fantasy islands that contain the world, the universe… well, Everything?

Dubai: 2.12.1971 12.00 25N18 55E18 (Book of World Horoscopes)

The United Arab Emirates were proclaimed at 12 noon in Dubai on December 2nd 1971 at the time of an exact full moon, with the Sun at 9.29 Sagittarius and the moon at 9.36 Gemini. What makes these degrees fascinating is that they are placed on the fixed stars Aldebaran- the Eye of the Bull – and Antares – the eye of the Scorpion. These are amongst the brightest stars in the universe, placed exactly opposite each other and they have traditionally been revered in the Arab world, far back in history when they formed the axis for the Age of Taurus. Furthermore, the epoch-making Pluto/Neptune conjunction of 1891-2 took place at 8-9 degrees Gemini, marking out a 492 year long planetary cycle, which encapsulates the iconic dreams and ideas of world history. With the full moon in Dubai’s chart activating this conjunction, it probably has a significant role to play for a half-millennium or so.

Which might explain why its ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum feels the call to build a 21st century Xanadu in a desert country with average summer temperatures of 40+ C and virtually zero rainfall. Really the place should not exist. In a Muslim society with strict restraints on alcohol and sex, there is no difficulty getting a drink or buying other more forbidden services. Despite the apparent openness, there is no parliament or political parties, and no trade unions either. Which is bad news for the approximately 50% of the population who are Indians and Bangladeshis slaving away in temperatures that can reach 50C and living in labor camps conveniently placed an hour or so away out of town.

The rise of Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been meteoric. In the early fifties the population was about 20,000, whilst now it is 1.4 million. (Note 2) Even 30 years ago it was mostly desert and scrub. But with the rise of Arab fortunes after the first Oil Crisis of 1972, prosperity came quickly. Interestingly Mercury is exactly stationary in Dubai’s chart, which means that at the country’s inception it had extended itself to the furthest it can go in relation to the sun. Overextended in fact in its sign of detriment. From 1972 to 1992 it progressed retrograde, conjoining Jupiter in Sagittarius on the way – once in 1983 and then in 2007 – which pretty much indicates its expansion period. In 2011 it will once again be at the degree at which it started – 28 Sagittarius, and in 2012 it will enter Capricorn and face reality, where it will go on to meet the Venus/Pluto square. More on this later.

After the 2nd Gulf War, with oil prices hitting the roof, the region had more money than it knew what to do with. Dubai has in fact very little oil, so it wisely adopted a policy of building up its image as an international center, both politically and business wise. “Where shopping is a lifestyle” as the billboards say. With no income tax Western investors streamed to the country, and it embarked on an orgy of building.

However, if the truth be told, today the skyline is dominated by half-finished skyscrapers, and the hotels and shopping malls are in trouble. Dubai has proved to be just as vulnerable to the financial meltdown as other countries. When the global financial crisis hit Dubai, prices collapsed by 50 percent in a year leaving projects unfinished or scrapped. The horoscope for Dubai is dominated by the full moon conjoining Jupiter and on a Saturn/Neptune opposition. Whilst Saturn/Neptune does show a desert state with fortunes founded on oil (from Abu Dhabi), and does show the ability to build a new city on millions of tons of rock transported out into the sea, the Saturn/Neptune opposition also requires an element of realism. In many ways the full moon in Dubai’s chart shows an extravagant dream built on the slave labor of poor immigrants – the Moon/Saturn conjoining the IC.

Although Sheik Mohammed has been much worshipped hitherto by the business community, the Sun/Neptune/Jupiter square Mars in Pisces in Dubai’s chart shows rulers who not only are visionaries… but also dreamers. He has forged ahead with fairy tale developments, wooing investors and creating his own massive speculative bubble. Dubai’s own development vehicle, Dubai World, shook markets in December 2009 demanding a moratorium on its $60 billion debt, meaning that it can no longer keep up payments. Abu Dhabi has reluctantly indicated that it will help, but other major developments are still at risk. The creditworthiness of Dubai has been downgraded by international institutions.

Financial markets try to make reassuring noises about Dubai, pointing to the oil revenues in the region and to Dubai’s status as a business center, but all the astrological indications are that the current crisis with Dubai World is not just a blip on the radar screen. It is in fact the beginning of a long process of economic restructuring that will not end until 2014 at the earliest. The transit of Pluto over Dubai’s Venus in Capricorn is the warning shot. Clearly money is going to dry up, or at least be subject to draconian lending terms. The United Arab Emirates has a Venus/Pluto square to start with, so this is a development that has always been on the cards, it was just a matter of time. Now with transiting Saturn on Pluto on the one hand, and transiting Pluto on Venus on the other, Dubai is caught in a vice, and the screw will be tightened in 2010, bringing the highest level of discomfort from July to November 2010, the latter date being the final square from Pluto to Venus.

The movement of progressed Mercury – as it returns to its birth position – will be a reminder of the latent folly in the UAR chart, and when Mercury progresses into Capricorn as 2012 starts, Dubai will start applying its first strong dose of reality as concrete steps will be taken to place limits on the unreal expansion that has taken place. A new iron administration will take control from 2012 to 2014 which embodies an acceptance of traditional business realities. In other words the concept “Be Unlimited” will no longer apply.

Other indications that the euphoric mood of Dubai will slump can be seen in the movement of the progressed Moon which has been in Libra and the 8th house since 2007, highlighting the architectural achievements with borrowed money. In February 2010 the Moon will move into Scorpio, still in the 8th house, and Dubai will find itself mired in debt.

Furthermore, transiting Neptune is now extending its tentacles to the UAR Ascendant which it will station on in May 2010 and subsequently transit three more times, leaving Dubai metaphorically submerged by the time the last transit takes place in December 2011. Fortunately Dubai’s geographical placement in the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf makes it immune to a tsunami, but there will be no immunity to the flood of dismay that the economic downturn will bring.

Of course Dubai will prevail, and in the future it will live out the dreams and fantasies of the world and the universe. With the Sun and Moon on Aldebaran and Antares – two of the four royal stars of the Persians, Dubai will continue to make fantastic architectural statements to the world once this time of crisis is over. But it will always be vulnerable to hubris – such is the nature of a Sun conjoining a strong Jupiter in the 10th house of a nation’s chart. Dubai is entering a period of contraction when loss and debt will eliminate its natural optimism for a while. It will enter a period of chaos, when there is no longer a clear sense of direction. The Neptune transit to the Ascendant may also have repercussions for the many immigrant workers, who will lose their jobs, but not want or be able to go home. The Pluto transiting Dubai’s Venus will see Sheik Mohammed losing investor friends… and discovering who his real friends are. Nevertheless it is worth noting that Dubai’s progressive Mars trines Dubai’s Sun from 2010 to 2011, and this could indicate that he will take an active role in leading Dubai out of economic danger in the years to come through courageous initiatives, not least in continuing to convince investors that Dubai has a future.

I do hope so… prices have already gone down for the Burj al Aran 7-star hotel. (Now starting at only $1500 per night).

Adrian Ross Duncan 14.12.2009

1. Guardian Weekly: journalist Jon Henley 11.12.2009.

2. Information from Wikipedia

Revolutionary Times

Normality is soon to be a thing of the past, and over the next half decade we will be witness to social, technological, political and personal transformations which will result in a world quite different to the one we know today. This could have been said in 1988 – just prior to the Saturn, Uranus and Neptune conjunctions opposite Jupiter, which precipitated the New World Order and fall of communism. It could also have been said of the mid sixties – just prior to the Uranus/Pluto conjunction opposite Saturn, which polarized youth and age and evoked a social revolution. It could have been said of the early 1940’s, when Jupiter conjoined Saturn in Taurus and squared Pluto going on to conjoin Uranus, which led to Germany’s seizure of most of Europe’s land.
But no historical period quite mirrors another, as no astrological combination is every exactly repeated. What makes the period between June 2012 to March 2015 significant are the seven Uranus/Pluto squares which take place over an unusually long period. (Note 1) But already in 2010 the wanderings of Saturn and Jupiter weave the connection between Uranus and Pluto, and therefore we are getting a taste of the extremes of behavior associated with these two outer planets. (If you want a visual expression of their craziness see Batman Forever, starring Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face – Pluto – and Jim Carrey as The Riddler – Uranus.)

Together Uranus and Pluto suspend normal moral behavior in favor of uncompromising change. Students in China during the cultural revolution in the mid-sixties threw their teachers out of upper floor windows on the grounds that their age and experienced had already corrupted their minds… Saturn was involved in this instance. When Pluto combines with Uranus, their mission is total revolution, and humanitarian concerns are sidelined.

Here in 2010 from April to July, Saturn returns to Virgo after making two squares to Pluto from Libra, and dwells in a powerful opposition to Uranus, which was exact on April 26th at 28 degrees Virgo/Pisces. This was the beginning of an extreme period of unrest, which was reflected in Europe by the financial crisis in Greece, which awakened great anxiety for the economies of Portugal and Spain and ultimately threatened the viability of the Euro. And in almost every country in the world, governments are trying to find a balance between cutting expenditure and dampening the subsequent social unrest.

But unrest is coming, and with unrest comes repression. Taking Thailand as an example, the government clampdown on protestors in mid-May 2010 – before Uranus had even entered explosive Aries – is an example of the choices the establishment faces, when confronted by its people. (Note 2)

Thailand. June 24th 1932 12.00 Bangkok AS 27.41 Virgo (Source BWH)

Although the birth time for Thailand is unknown, it is tempting to use the noon time, because the Saturn/Uranus opposition falls exactly on the Ascendant/Descendant axis. The transiting Pluto opposing Thailand’s Sun at 2 Cancer, shows the leadership dispute that lies at the root of the current unrest. What makes this horoscope interesting is the 1932 foundation year, when present constitutional system was established via a revolution. It was at this time that the last Uranus/Pluto square was exact, which predisposes this country to times in its history when extreme events wreak havoc… and the current repeat of the aspect may well be one of these times. It is worth noting that Mars in this horoscope has progressed and is now on the Pluto/Uranus square, which indicates dictatorial repression. And later, as the series of seven squares pick out the retrograde Venus at 10 Cancer, economic chaos and restructuring lie ahead, perhaps as a consequence of a second social revolution.

On May 28th – two weeks after this article has been written – Uranus moves into Aries, and almost immediately Jupiter also enters Aries, conjoining Uranus on June 8th at 0.18 Aries. Whilst Uranus in Pisces is prepared to play a victim’s role, it will not do so in Aries. The last time Uranus was in Pisces, Hitler was in jail and writing Mein Kampf, but when it came into Aries, he was well on the way to establishing his credentials as Führer (leader) of the Arian race.

Of course the Uranus/Jupiter conjunction is not malefic in itself, and it plays a tremendous role in technological development cycles. The last conjunction in Aries in 1927 saw the first transatlantic flight, by Charles Lindberg, which led to an explosion of pioneering international flights the same year. This was also the year when the Talkies began… all movies until that time had been silent. (Initially people were extremely skeptical… who needed to hear people speak, when you could see them?) 1927 was also the year of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which stated that certain experiments could not be relied on because the presence of the observer affected the experiment. This was a concept which revolutionarized scientific materialism.

We can expect amazing pioneering discoveries now, especially because the digital world is so unlike anything experienced before in history. A scientific group in the USA has in fact just created – for the first time – life. The controversial leader of the project, Dr Venter, is quoted as saying:

“We were ecstatic when the cells booted up with all the watermarks in place,” “It’s a living species now, part of our planet’s inventory of life.” For 15 years his research time had coded genomes until they could be chemically combined by digital software to create living bacteria. (Note 4) Primitive life forms can now be digitally created in the laboratory. Unfortunately his company is patenting tis process, which raises the prospect of someone actually owning the building blocks for life creation. Otherwise known as god.

The current Uranus/Jupiter conjunction takes place just once in Aries… the next two take place in Pisces, as both planets retrograde. This could indicate a summer of unrest, with a mopping up effect from August 2010 to March 2011. But in the explosive period from the end of May to early September 2010, anything can happen. Probably the USA will not be exempt, because the IC on the USA (Sibley) horoscope is at 1 degree Aries, indicating unrest – or more extreme events – close to the White House. In 1969 Jupiter and Uranus conjoined at the opposite point – 1 degree Libra on the Midheaven – just as Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. This current conjunction is the time of the World Cup which takes place in South Africa on June 11th 2010. This is obviously going to be a riveting and electric international event. The security had better be good though. The World Cup took place for the first time in 1930, as the last Uranus/Pluto square was building up.

Security is exactly what Pluto in Capricorn is interested in. It is the solution to everything. This means surveillance cameras, extra police, control over the movement of people, the joy of the global database. As Jupiter and Uranus move into Aries, their message is freedom for the individual – at any price – whilst Pluto in Capricorn is interested in protecting the state – at all costs. As Saturn currently opposes Uranus and Jupiter, the incredible desire to break free is stopped by Saturn – it is simply impossible and impractical. With Saturn disposing of Pluto, the indications are that whilst Saturn is in Virgo it will serve the people, and whilst it is exalted in Libra until October 2012, the leaders of the state – Obama for example – will take a balanced and fair approach. But when Saturn moves in to Scorpio, which is does at the next presidential election in November 2012, all bets are off. Saturn in Scorpio sextile Pluto in Capricorn is successfully repressive… and may have to be with an economy that has hit rock bottom.

Uranus enters Aries tentatively, going retrograde at 0.35 Aries in July and returning to Pisces. Jupiter meanwhile, emboldened by its brother at arms Uranus, continues on, going retrograde at 3.24 Aries whilst in exact square to Pluto – an aspect that lasts for many weeks. The indications are that revolutionary behavior at this time is ill-judged and will be brutally stamped out. The last time Jupiter/Uranus conjoined in Aries in 1927 the palace of justice in Vienna was stormed and burned by an angry mob. Very appropriate. Angry mobs may want to mete out their own fiery brand of justice this summer and there are many places in the world this can happen. In Greece a government elected by the people to protect the laid-back social fabric of their society is being forced by the EU to impose draconic financial cuts, which the people find oppressive. Rather than contemplate a domino effect which causes the Euro to collapse, the EU must impose its will… Pluto in Capricorn. The Greek people are furious that the government they elected to protect them forces them to suffer even more.

Greece revolution – 24.03.1821 12.00 Kalavryla AS 19.25 CN (Source BWH)

Modern Greece was founded when the Ottoman occupation was overthrown on the last but one Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1821 when both planets where in exact conjunction to the minute of arc at 3 Capricorn… where transiting Pluto is in 2010. Subsequent horoscopes for Greece consistently show 3 – 6 degrees of cardinal signs to dominate completely. For example the July 24th democratic revolution in 1974 against the military dictatorship shows a Moon/Pluto conjunction at 4 Libra square Venus at 3 Cancer. The pressures on Greece are massive, and the government cannot survive 2010. Even Greek membership of the Euro seems in doubt. Nothing less than a total reconstruction of Greece can be effective… an iron hand will probably initially keep the people under control, but the Uranus transit in 2011 will bring unrest and revolution.

How this will affect the rest of Europe is uncertain, but with Pluto slowly approaching 9 degrees Capricorn – where the sun is every New Year’s Day, which is the date for the foundation of many European institutions as well as the horoscope for the United Kingdom – turmoil is indicated until 2015. Russia, China and the US horoscope are all profoundly affected by the transits of Uranus and Pluto, so we are entering an unstable period for the world with continued recession and increasing unemployment. Scapegoats will be sought, and the wise individual must refuse to be drawn in to mass movements that demonize specific groups. It is worth remembering that the last Uranus/Pluto square in the early 1930’s did not coincide with war… just extreme political movements and economic depression.

It is quite likely that the two retrograde conjunctions of Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces will bring innovative solutions to environmental problems, as well as radical and effective solutions to help the unemployed and underprivileged, as well as providing finishing touches to health reform in the USA. Also, when Neptune enters Pisces in April 2011, there will probably be extremely strong humanitarian forces trying to heal those who are victims of the coming changes.

As the Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are moving through cardinal signs in the coming years, this is a period of dynamic change rather than passive inactivity. What pays for the individual now is to act… to keep ahead of things. There is no status quo… everything is movement and this means taking personal initiatives for change. There are waves that need to be surfed, trains that need to be hopped on to, falling bridges that need to be sped over. After one initiative is taken, it is time to take the next, as each change rapidly becomes obsolete and consigned to the past. Therefore this is also a period of radical progress in all directions.

By the year 2020, with Pluto at the tail end of Capricorn and soon to enter Aquarius, and with the first of a 200-year cycle of Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions taking place at 0 Aquarius, a new era will dawn. At this time the repressive governments that were created to handle crisis will be swept aside. Technological change will sweep the last of an oil and coal based world away, people will unite in a one world state of digital union, and a new electromagnetic world of light will emerge. In the meantime perhaps we can find inspiration in the words of French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, who wrote – at another Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aries in 1762 – “Man is born free yet everywhere is in chains”. (Note 4) That was the state of things prior to the French Revolution in 1789, and now perhaps we are still slaves… to capital.

Adrian Duncan 20th May 2010

1. This aspect repeats itself about every 80 years, but you have to go back to 1755 – 1758 for the last series of seven squares.

2. The crucial date for the formation of Thailand can be traced back to April 6th 1782, when the capital was moved to Bangkok. In 1932 however the present constitutional system was established via a revolution. Interestingly Mars is at exactly the same degree – 1 Gemini – in both horoscopes.

3. Interview with The Guardian May 20th 2010.

4. Le Contra Social – 1762. This book expressed antimonarchist views and Rousseau has to take refuge in Switzerland to escape prosecution.

Resurrection in Chile

The life of a miner is almost impossible to understand for someone who has never been down a mine. 2000 meters under the surface the temperature is 35C and the humidity 90%. There is no light, except for the lamp in your helmet. So when the mine collapses – as it did for the 33 Chilean miners on August 5th, 2010 – and you have two days food rations to survive on, death seems a near certainty. Death is what comes to most miners under these circumstances. In China at the same time there was a mine explosion which killed 37 miners. (In fact over 2500 miners lost their lives in China in 2009.)The Chilean miners were into their 17th day of darkness and starvation when a drill piece entered their chamber on August 22nd. They we able to send a note saying “estamos bien el refugio los 33″ – all were alive and well – and from that moment Chile was galvanized into national effort to liberate the miners from the bowels of Mother Earth. Engineers, designers, psychologists and experts from around the world devised a method to keep the miners sane and to bore through solid granite. They went into action, expecting – if all went well – to have the miners out by December. The story of the resurrection of the 33 miners has become a metaphor of rebirth with political repercussions worldwide.

After all, it has been estimated that one billion people witnessed the rescue of the miners 69 days after their burial. People in Pakistan ask why – in comparison to their president who was in Europe during their catastrophic floods – the president of Chile was present at the mine and welcomed each and every miner coming out of the birth channel so laboriously drilled. Chinese miners ask what Chile can do, that China is unable to. Workers listen the words of President Pinera of Chile (whose approval ratings have soared to 86% – re-election anyone?) who said that from now on Chile would start aiming to become the first Latin American country in which poverty, bad working practices and injustice would be eradicated.

Traditionally Chile has been one of the more enlightened Latin American countries, giving strong support to the UN and other international organizations, and welcoming free trade agreements and open banking. In the West we tend to associate Chile with the 17 years of repression under General Pinochet, but in actual fact this country has been remarkable free of military dictatorship at other times in its history, in comparison with for example Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

Chile gained independence on February 12th, 1818, which was a time of the complete dissolution of Spanish power in South America.

CHILE: 12.02.1818 12.00 LMT – Santiago, Chile. AS 13.42 TA (BOWH)

Horoscopes in this period of history show that a new conjunction cycle of Uranus and Neptune began – a cycle which repeated once again in the early 1990’s with another dissolution of a dominant political entity – the Soviet Union. Napoleon had been defeated in 1815 and the European map was redrawn, and this awakened independence movements all over South America. In the horoscope for Chile, Uranus is catching up with Neptune in Sagittarius, and drawing ever closer to a square with Pluto, which in turn is conjoined by Saturn… an extremely unstable constellation, which brought revolution in Spain and the subsequent loss of Mexico and the rest of its colonies in South America.

Spain was not very happy about Chile’s declaration of independence and sent an army to crush the rebellion. This was thoroughly defeated at the Battle of Maipu on April 5th of the same year, which is an alternative horoscope that can be used for Chile. (Note 1)

In both horoscopes for Chile the Sun conjoins Venus. In fact, taking 12 noon as the timing for the independence chart, the Moon and North Node conjoins the Ascendant in Taurus, and this may well be an indication of Chile’s greatest resource – it is a major supplier of copper, which is traditionally ruled by Venus. Chile has thrived and prospered through these copper resources since 1818, but in the 1960’s the Cold War saw Chile being drawn in to the communist sphere of influence, which led to the election of President Allende, who promptly nationalized the US owned copper mines. As there were huge corporate US interests running major industries in Chile, and because the US did not take kindly to visits by Castro and Soviet officials, the US government started plotting the downfall of Allende.

It is difficult to know how much Allende contributed to his own downfall – his radical left-wing policies alienated students and workers alike. But the CIA financed the ultra-conservative forces in Chile and as recently released records show that President Nixon’s avowed policy was, quote, “Make the economy scream [in Chile to] prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him”, there were powerful forces arrayed against him. A military coup took place on September 11th, 1973, Allende was killed in the Presidential palace (or took his own life), and an era of brutal suppression followed under the dictatorship of general Pinochet. In fact about 3000 people lost their lives (and countless were imprisoned), strangely reminiscent of the 3000 people who also lost their lives under another infamous catastrophe that took place on September 11th … 28 years later in New York.

The military coup took place when transit Uranus was opposing the new moon conjunction Venus of the battle of Maipu horoscope. More significantly, Saturn at 3.37 Cancer was square Pluto 3.31 Libra. Saturn/Pluto aspects are the signature of repressive dictatorships, and in this case they activated the position of Jupiter at 4.52 Capricorn and Mars at 5.13 Cancer in the two 1818 foundation horoscopes.

It is interesting then that the mining drama in Chile also took place 37 years after the coup under the next Saturn/Pluto square… this time signifying resurrection for Chile.

MINE ACCIDENT: August 5th, 2010 12.00 Calama. AS 14.31 SC

I do not have the exact time for the accident, but the mine collapsed when the miners were having lunch in their shelter, which was very fortunate. Here we can see the massive T-square with Mars conjoining Saturn, both opposing the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction (still in Aries at this time) and squaring Pluto. The position of Jupiter at 4.52 Capricorn in the 1818 horoscope is powerfully stimulated by this T-square. This itself indicates are that there will be a major reform of the mining industry, which Jupiter in Capricorn symbolizes.

The unfolding of the drama deep inside the bowels of the earth in northern Chile, appeared to synchronize with the unique dance of Mars and Venus, as they conjoined twice with Venus entering Scorpio and moving retrograde, allowing the much slower Mars to catch up.

Seventeen days into their living burial, hope came to the miners, their families, and President Pinera who committed the resources of the Chilean state, and his own credibility, to rescue the miners from what at first seemed an impossible situation.

The horoscope for the discovery of the miners on August 22nd happened exactly as Venus moved through Libra to conjoin Mars. If Mars represents the men (in detriment in Libra) Venus was their savior. This conjunction exactly opposed the new moon for the Maipu horoscope. Furthermore, Mercury at this time had just moved stationary retrograde at 19.02 Virgo, exactly squaring independence Uranus and opposing independence Chiron. Surprising news for the healing of the nation.

The remaining 52 days was a media scramble that transformed the arid desert where the miners were buried into a hi-tech colony. But underground, as Venus and Mars entered Scorpio, the miners – now with food and communication – still had to battle with the darkness and desperation. We cannot know – yet – what they went through, but Venus will go direct in November and once again trace its steps through Scorpio. The miners had made a pledge of silence about the first 17 days, when nerves snapped and hysteria sometimes took over. However, with huge sums of money being offered for the full story, many details will come out during the period from November to January, when Venus makes its final pass through Scorpio. We will learn of the wives and mistresses left behind, and the way money can be used to get people to divulge secrets they would rather not.

RESCUE: First miner rescued 13th October, 2010 00.10 Calama. AS 4.30 CN

The first miner emerged from the earth – a second birth – just after midnight on October 13th. This rescue horoscope speaks eloquently of the rescue as the first man to be “reborn” emerges with the Descendant exactly on the Pluto/Node conjunction and Mercury exactly conjoining the IC – travel up the tube. Mercury is exactly opposing the new moon of the Maipu chart. By this time Mars had in fact overtaken Venus, which was now retrograde exactly on the South Node in Scorpio in the independence chart. Here the nodal axis from Taurus to Scorpio serves as a kind of birth canal, leading from the darkness underground to the blinding television lights above. The nodes are the escape route for Venus, uniting the men underground, with their women above. In parallel, during the course of the next day, the moon conjoins Pluto and the north node, and the god of the underworld releases his victims, allowing them to come back to the surface and a new life.

The actual date when all the miners reached the surface was 13.10.10, which – as President Pinera himself pointed out, adds up to 33. It took 33 days from commencement of drilling to reach the miners… one day per man. The diameter of the shaft was 66 cms. As Maria Segovia, sister of miner Dario Segovia said, “The 33 appears in everything, everything matches, it’s a miracle,” and the many devout Catholics in Chile point out that Jesus was 33 when he was crucified and resurrected.

The true miracle will be if mine owners review safety practices and improve conditions for their workers. The mine in Chile had actually been closed because of safety concerns and reopened because the price of copper has been extremely high. Miners worldwide have traditionally been exploited by corporations and governments. The bond of solidarity between miners and mining communities is extremely strong, but it is no compensation for the danger from accidents and lung disease that all too often claim the lives of miners. If the miracle in Chile is to have long-term impact, then Saturn in Libra must bring balance and justice in regulating that the heartless guardian of the mines… Pluto in Capricorn.

Adrian Duncan 19.10.2010

1. The Battle of Maipu took place on the new moon in Aries on April 5th, 1818 and ended at 14.30 with the defeat of the Spanish forces. Source: The Book of World Horoscopes – Nick Campion.

Trends of 2010 – Part 2

Last month we looked at how the major planetary cycles will affect the first six signs of the zodiac using solar house astrology. These signs will be affected indirectly by the movement of the outer planets, but for the signs from Libra to Pisces, there will be greater personal change. Saturn moving in to Libra and constellating in a square aspect to Pluto will profoundly affect Saturn-ruled Capricorn and Aquarius, whilst Jupiter moving into Pisces, and further into Aries in conjunction with Uranus, is bound to make 2010 an exciting and unpredictable year for Pisces and Sagittarius.With the Saturn/Pluto square already having taken place on 15th November 2009, the signs are already there. The release of the disaster movie 2012 was for example one interesting sign. The control that Saturn always tries to exert becomes more obsessive when Pluto is involved, and this can lead to institutional oppression and its consequences. Fortunately an exalted Saturn in Libra stands up for justice and rights and actually disposes of Pluto in Saturn-ruled Capricorn. Drastic measures need to be taken, but they are less likely to be extreme. At the exact square world leaders announced in Singapore that the climate conference in Copenhagen would not take any binding decisions… they would have to come at a later stage. Greenpeace reacted with a banner saying “Your survival, your choice” – quite a polite protest, really. Legislation on climate change is very much related to the Saturn/Pluto square, and the anxiety it evokes, and will almost certainly be enacted whilst the aspect lasts.

For the individual affected by Saturn and Pluto, survival issues will be paramount and there will be a lot of anxiety to deal with. But the challenge of Saturn is to overcome anxiety through determination and perseverance, and through powerful alliances. Survival must not bring out dishonorable behavior, but neither must it evoke weakness. Long-term faith in ones abilities in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles is the way forward. After all, the Saturn/Pluto square is over in September 2010, and then it has a good run without problematic aspects. With retrograde Mars sextiling Saturn in February and March 2010, the indications are the Saturn is fully equipped to achieve its agenda.

If 2010 is going to be a year of transformation and empowerment for Capricorns and Aquarians, it is going to be quite a wild ride of Sagittarians and Pisceans. The year starts with Jupiter moving into Pisces, where it is dignified, but it races in into Aries, where it will be – together with Uranus – until September, and the last conjunctions of Jupiter with Uranus take place in Pisces, showing the combination of burning idealism and compassionate change. Early extremism will probably be dampened in the latter part of the year.

Looking at the last six signs of the zodiac, it is possible to get quite a good idea of general trends, just by studying the slow moving planets, and the retrograde cycles of both Venus and Mars:


The sign of Libra is sure to have an amazing year, and with Saturn in this sign until October 2012, there is a long period for you to build new life structures which will affect the important relationships in your life. You will already be feeling the influence of the Saturn/Pluto square on your family life, and this involves digging deep into sensitive areas that need transformation. It is important to grasp the nettle and eradicate bad family habits, or work on some sort of home rebuilding project, or to set limits in relation to authoritarian family figures. When Jupiter and Uranus move into your 7th house of relationships in June, an incredibly outgoing period begins. For the unattached Libra this will bring travel to exotic destinations, sudden meetings with exciting fringe groups or involvement with international organizations. For those in relationships it will be necessary to give partners more space, or to do some exciting – or even wild – things together. Partners may be gripped by a kind of craziness which goes against all the rules… and your better judgment. With your sign ruler Venus conjoining Mars in your sign in August, this is a time when there are positive relationship developments, but as Venus goes retrograde in Scorpio and Mars then catches up with Venus in October, it will be you who is compromised and partners who make the decisions. You will need to tread carefully – not least financially – in the last four months of the year.


The main issue for Scorpio from October 2009 to June 2010 is the retrograde and direct movement of Mars through Leo, which suggests that you will be able to express your creativity in your career, and gain recognition and prominence. Up until March 10th however, it may seem as if you are making very little progress and you may also have taken a few wrong turns or decisions that you have to change once more. Fortunately the influence of Saturn at this time means that you are helped considerably by people of integrity. There are a lot of developments in your working life this year, and the summer period is a time of radical change… a good time to seek some freedom from the power battles that are going on amongst colleagues, or even to change job. The most positive time of the year is when Mars is in your sign from September to the end of October. With Venus also in your sign this is an excellent time for love and sex, and you will be very much the one who decides how things shall be. The Mars/Jupiter trine in late October is a truly wonderful time for children, love and creative projects generally. December 2010 is the decisive period for you, and at the Mars/Pluto and Mars/Saturn square in the latter half of the month, you will be involved in a tough fight to get your views across.


Your sign ruler Jupiter moves into Pisces on January 18th when it immediately connects with Pluto in Capricorn, suggesting that this is an empowering time for you, when you eliminate unrealistic dreams on the one hand, and implement practical changes – especially in home and family matters – on the other. Economic reform is much on your mind, and there are ways of cutting back on expenses and making sensible investments in January. When Jupiter joins Uranus in Aries in June, the fun really starts. This is an incredibly exhilarating period for you, when you are willing to take some amazing risks and gamble on getting things right. It is all about spontaneous action, but there are serious questions about your judgment and you really need to avoid getting into financial troubles. Travel will probably on the cards, and the urge to express freedom and do exactly what you want is irresistible. However, with Jupiter returning to Pisces, together with Uranus, from September onwards, the focus is back on the home, where deep and satisfying changes take place in the autumn period. For some the year is about developments with children, and for others visionary ideals will be implemented in connection with the home and environment.


With Pluto in Capricorn until 2024, you have some interesting years ahead, but 2010 is all about the Saturn square to Pluto, which you already have had a taste of in November 2009. Clearly this is about dealing with power and the professional challenges that occur at an executive level. You will encounter people who are willing to use power without much concern for how it affects others, and you in turn will develop the will and character to overcome whatever is thrown in your way in the process. You may choose to stay in a particular professional position despite the pressure, or you may drop a particular career direction completely. Everything hots up when Jupiter and Uranus conjoin in Aries and shake up your domestic and family life from June to the end of August, and this is surely a good time to get away from it all. Far away. But if you remain in the firing line, this can also be a time when you make a break for it and pursue a new and original direction which promises space and freedom. It does seem that you are torn in several directions at once at this time. As you get familiar with the power games of the time, you gain strength and resilience. You manifest this incredibly strongly in December 2010, when Mars conjoins Pluto to give you superhuman powers. You’ll need to be tough, but be gentle with loved ones.


With Mars in your solar 7th house of partnerships until June 2010, and favorably aspecting Saturn, this is a great period for getting into the harness together with your partner to achieve a specific professional goal. There is much to achieve, especially in connection with getting your message out to others. The Saturn/Pluto square which repeats itself in February and August evokes a lot of anxiety about survival and existence itself, and you learn that everything starts with thought, and that through thought you can gain sovereignty over your fate. You fight a battle for what is right, and you fight from a position of strength. Uranus, which is also associated with Aquarius, changes sign on May 28th 2010, ushering a period of dramatic change for you when you are energized, brave and unstoppable. The choices you make in the summer period will give a strong indication of where the next seven years will lead you. Communication is the field in which you will excel and you will reach a lot of people with your message. Some international commuting seems to be in the picture too. Saturn retrogrades back into Virgo from early April 2010 to mid-July, and this period will give you the chance to deal with the economic issues that worried you in 2009 and enable you to find practical solutions, especially in matters connected with tax, banking and other people’s money generally. From July 22nd and onwards, you forge ahead with your lofty vision for the future, which brings breathlessly exciting changes.


With sign ruler Jupiter coming into Pisces on January 18th, you get off to the best imaginable start to a year that will prove to be extremely exciting, not least in the way you choose to define your talents and generate your income. January and February is the time when you clear out the cobwebs in your life, throw out those unrealistic dreams that never got you anywhere, and concentrate single-mindedly on what is really important to believe in and go for. There is no doubt that there is a certain amount of survival anxiety, and other people may hold the money strings, but it is all for the best and you work very hard to build up your credit. The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries on June 8th 2010 – which repeats, but this time in Pisces, on September 19th – is a rare occurrence that last took place in 1997, but this is the first and only time in your lifetime that it will happen in your sign. This is therefore the time to grab the opportunity of a lifetime and go for what really inspires you in life. For what you really dream of. This is where your future income can come from, and this is where your unique talents lie. July and August will be a very intense process for you and you tend to embrace an extreme ideology at this time, which risks alienating some important people. It is the soft values that you are so good at expressing, and the last part of 2010 will be a time when you express these values through a universal, humanitarian vision.

It should be said that astrologers have been looking at the year 2010 in awe for many years. It is so rare to see the outer planets changing sign simultaneously and forming a powerful T-square on the cardinal points – Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This heralds dynamic change. The time for action is upon us, and there will be little debate and discussion. Those people, who grab the torch and run with it, making a leap into the unknown, will be those people that end up with success. Hesitation is not an option. Anxiety may be a driving force, but it will bring out the best human qualities – chivalry, honor, courage, perseverance… and dramatic progress.

Adrian Ross Duncan 17th November 2009

Trends for 2010 – Part 1

As we head in to 2010, a series of extremely dynamic planetary constellations start shaping up, setting the scene for five or six years of dramatic change for the world. These patterns are reminiscent of the 1930’s when the world was struggling with economic depression on the one hand and political extremism on the others. The years of ideological battle, religious extremism and uncertainty connected with Uranus, Saturn and Pluto in mutable signs will soon be definitively over, and a new philosophy of decision-making and action will become dominant.
Major world capitals will undoubtedly go through important power battles and transformation processes in the coming years, as on every New Year’s Day the sun will be conjoining Pluto and square Uranus, especially between 2012 and 2016. In 2010 the Sun will constellate with Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto at every major ingress – the spring and autumn equinox, and the summer and winter solstices, which form the Cardinal Cross of the horoscope.

The first major long-term planetary cycle to consider is the Saturn/Pluto square, which is part of a 36 year cycle that started with the conjunction in 1982 – 1983. Saturn enters Libra, where it is exalted, on October 28th 2009, and already makes its first square with Pluto on November 15th at 1.41 Libra/Capricorn. Subsequent squares take place on 31st January 2010 at 4.19 degrees and August 21st at 2.56 degrees. This square signifies colossal battles in trying to impose principles of justice and fairness. We can certainly expect the pressure to pile up on Iran and North Korea at this time, and this will probably result in a successful limitation of both countries nuclear ambitions.

It is worth remembering that the 1991 horoscope for Russia has the sun at 3.26 Capricorn. If there is anyone who thinks that the balance of power between Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev will remain in harmonious, they will be proved wrong. (Note 1) With Putin thinking about becoming re-elected as president in 2012, there will almost certainly be an enormous power struggle taking place beneath the surface… and only one of them will survive it. Medvedev is said to be mild-mannered, but with a Sun conjoining the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo, and Mars in Scorpio, he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. And with his progressed Mars in a protracted square to Uranus and Pluto in these years, he is probably involved in a long battle for survival.

The other fascinating planetary cycle culminating in 2010 is the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, which first takes place in Aries, when Jupiter and Uranus simultaneously enter that sign in May/June 2010. Jupiter just reaches Pluto where it dwells in a tight square aspect in July and August, bringing a high degree of brinkmanship and ideological extremism. We can expect some dangerous threats at this time, and an enormous indignation about the abuse of government power. This presages a period of world revolution that takes place between 2012 and 2016.

Jupiter returns to peaceable Pisces to make its last two conjunctions with Uranus in Pisces in September 2010 and January 2011, which I am sure will be excellent for idealistic climate initiatives, and innovative technologies that help the planet.

The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aries however makes the period from the end of May to the middle of August extremely explosive. Considering that the (Sibley) horoscope for USA has its IC at 1.04 Aries, this can be uncertain times, perhaps dangerous times, for the White House. There is very likely to be domestic unrest in the USA at this time, and the rise of right-wing extremism in the form of militias will become a growing threat to the system.

But how will these dramatic planetary cycles affect the individual horoscope? To get a general picture, it works to make a solar horoscope for each sign, and then see which solar houses the outer planets find themselves in. Clearly this will be a major time of change for Saturn-ruled Capricorn and Aquarius… more so for Aquarius as co-ruler Uranus also changes sign. With Saturn exalted in Libra the trends will be positive, but power battles are inevitable because of the square to Pluto.

Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius and Pisces can also expect major changes, and with Jupiter most of the year dignified in its own sign, this will also be a positive year, but with unpredictable events in the summer as Jupiter enters Aries and conjoins Uranus.

This will also be an interesting year for Mars-ruled Aries and Scorpio, for Mars will be in Leo until June, completely untouched by aspects to the outer planets, which sounds like a lot of fun. For Venus-ruled Taurus and Libra, the most challenging period will be the retrograde cycle when Venus is in detriment in Scorpio from September to December.

This month’s article will deal with developments for the first six signs of the zodiac in 2010, and the following article next month will deal with the last six signs:


The main issue for Aries in 2010 is the placement of Saturn on the solar Descendant up until April and then again from July onwards. This shows a series of challenges in relationships that require hard work and commitment, but the likelihood is that the demands of other people are reasonable, and because Mars in Leo repeatedly sextiles Saturn in early 2010, the wise Aries knows how to live up to responsibilities. In fact this position of Mars is excellent both for love and children… also in the long term. With Pluto positioned on the Aries Midheaven, where is has been for a year or more, the effect of the Saturn square will be to evoke major professional power struggles. Autocratic leaders can try and impose their will on you, and this can lead to important restructuring at work. And with Jupiter and Uranus affecting the Ascendant from June to August, there are also likely to be radical changes in life generally. This could show a long and exotic summer holiday, but the summer break can very well result in radical career change or a move, which may take effect immediately, or may manifest at the end of the year when Mars conjoins Pluto just before Christmas.


For Taurus, 2010 promises to be somewhat more stable than for the rest of the zodiac. With Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces for most of the year, the emphasis will be on friendships and group allegiances, which can be very idealistic and very favorable too. With sign ruler Venus conjoining these two planets in February, this should be an excellent month for your social life, especially if you consider joining environmental groups or creative organizations. The long transit of Mars through your 4th house until June shows dynamic developments at home, with the emphasis on live-in partners who know how to live life, and on children. The Saturn/Pluto square may only affect you indirectly, mostly from restructuring in the work environment, perhaps due to draconian job cuts. With Venus conjoining Mars in Libra in August, love will happily be on your terms, but the last four months of the year are more challenging, and at this time the focus in on power structures in relationships. You will have to tread very carefully. As Venus is in Scorpio at this time, you will probably not feel secure enough emotionally, and you may obsess about not having enough control in your love life. As Venus slows and makes a long conjunction with Mars in Scorpio in September and October, relationships will be passionate and you will be dependant on the will of your partner. If you don’t mind a bit of domination, this can be quite rewarding.


For Geminis, 2010 starts with intense mental pressure that culminated over the preceding Christmas period. With Pluto in your solar 8th house in this period of your life, you are moved to uncover your inner demons and work on psychological complexes that are normally buried. The Saturn/Pluto square brings power battles on an inner level, perhaps evoking anxiety about relationship security and your erotic life. This square aspect may also affect children, with whom there can be intense battles of will. When Jupiter and Uranus come into Aries in the summer period, there can be dramatic developments in your relationships, but because so many exciting events happen socially at this time, you can probably seek refuge with friends and exciting groups. This is an excellent time for personal development. This is also good year for career expansion, particularly if you can work on something idealistic, either socially on an ecological front, or creatively via art, film or music. There is a growing sense that you are not getting job satisfaction with what you are currently doing. The end of 2010 is eerily similar to the beginning, with deep self analysis which hopefully will make your relationships more meaningful and deep.


As a Cardinal sign you will be profoundly affected by the placement of Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus in cardinal signs in 2010. Furthermore, the lunar eclipse falls on 4 degrees Cancer/Capricorn – exactly on Pluto – on June 28th, which suggests that there will be significant developments for partners and in relationships generally, probably in the form of a transformation of power balance. With Saturn affecting your 4th house of home and family, you can expect a favorable consolidation of your domestic situation, but because of the aforementioned relationship developments, there can be considerable upheaval or a specific family crisis, which recedes towards the end of the year. The Pluto/Saturn square can also indicate implacable enemies, and you will need to mobilize total family solidarity to handle them. The Uranus/Jupiter conjunction in Aries brings a foretaste of amazing career changes from May to August, and this is the time to go for independence and innovation, especially in terms of technological advance and radical international initiatives. The end of July and beginning of August is likely to bring you and your family to an exotic location. This is also a time when there can be a sudden move because of career developments, which will become even more exciting in 2011.


With saucy Mars in Leo until June, 2010 will prove to be a very stimulating year for you, and there is a good chance you will be spared the upheavals that affect many of the other signs. The first part of the year is excellent for creativity and for love, and you do your best to live life to the full. The solar eclipse in February in Capricorn emphasizes the many upheavals that take place in your working environment this year, and it is likely that some colleagues will disappear as major restructuring takes place. It is unlikely you will be in agreement with the general autocratic line at work, which may incline you to change your work environment after the summer. This is an excellent year for studies and travels, and the summer will almost certainly bring a journey to a distant and exotic destination especially in late July and early August. If your education is important to you, there can be a radical change of direction at this time, perhaps because you cannot bear to be limited by the system. This is also an interesting time for partnership, and exotic possibilities may arise – especially when you are on your travels.


The Saturn transit through Virgo ended in late October 2009, and this, along with the opposition to Uranus probably brought a lot of challenges and changes in personal relationships. With Saturn now in Libra, the focus is more on averting financial crisis through taking new initiatives. Love involvements at this time tend to be very erotic and intense, bringing considerable psychological insight, especially in the summer, when you can be involved with someone who is untraditional but also rather unreliable. Saturn actually returns to Virgo from April to July, and this may be a time when you have to put the final touches to lifestyle and relationship changes that began a few years back. As Virgo is an Earth sign and Mercury ruled, and the three retrograde cycles of Mercury take place in Earth signs, this will be a very constructive year for you, when you consolidate your footing and are ready to make the most out of the future. As Mercury conjoins Pluto at the very beginning and the very end of the year, it will nevertheless be a very intense period, especially in connection with children, or, if you like to live on the edge, love affairs. Having said that, with Jupiter in your opposing sign Pisces most of the year, this is an excellent time for a harmonious relationship with a kind, creative and generous person.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20.10.2009

Note 1: Putin is born on 7th October 1952 at 9.30 in St. Petersburg and Medvedev is born 14th September 1965 in St. Petersburg.

Neptune in Pisces

It’s been a long time. Neptune was discovered on September 23, 1846 and as it takes 165 years to go around the Sun, it is only recently that it has returned to its discovery position, which was 26 degrees Aquarius. One year after its discovery Neptune entered the sign it was later to have rulership over… Pisces. We have just experienced a Neptune birthday, and on April 4, 2011 this enormous planet will enter Pisces once again. This is going to be quite an event.The discovery of Neptune coincided with worldwide social upheaval, which was mostly peaceful. In 1848 the Communist Manifesto was published, which was a response to the inhuman conditions in expanding cities where new factories were sprouting as a result of steam power and industrialization. This was the period when Charles Dickens wrote his novels of social realism, and social democratic demonstrations shook the capitals of Europe. This was also a time when painters like Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Monet made their impressionist paintings, expanding the world of fantasy and imagination. On the scientific front Darwin’s theory of evolution completely undermined Christian tradition. The first photographs were taken, ultimately leading to the coming world of the movies. Anesthetics were used for the first time in hospitals. Opium became a socially acceptable drug. The accepted reality of the day was undermined and new spiritual, emotional and political realities took form.

Here in 2010 we can now document the movement of Neptune through each of the twelve signs, and await a new spiral of Neptunian evolution. The function of Neptune is to expand our experience of so-called reality by introducing new dimensions of consciousness. It is a unifying force, making us aware that we are all in the same evolutionary boat. Neptune reveals the illusion of generally accepted truths. What we think of as truth is in the last analysis a relative concept. Whatever personal truth you hang on to as a buffer against reality, Neptune is happy to dissolve it. Awareness of the human condition, which for a large part is suffering, and an identification with fellow sufferers, gives the potential for the awakening of compassion, which is the spiritual enrichment that Neptune offers.

The collective influence of Neptune can especially be traced in the dominant media and myths of the time. Neptune in Libra showed the idealization of Hollywood romance, and the reality of the dissolution of the iconic relationships of celebrities. Neptune in Scorpio was free love (meaning free sex) and the drug scene of the 1960’s. Neptune in Sagittarius was the Star Wars period culminating in film star President Ronald Reagan’s dream of a space-based missile system. Neptune in Capricorn was Wall Street and the idealization of greed. And the recent transit of Neptune through Aquarius from January 1998 to April 2011 has coincided rather nicely with the ban on smoking in public buildings (who would have thought that possible?), the surge of the internet, all those Facebook friends, the democratization of the cinema through YouTube, Dot Com crashes and DreamWorks, aided and abetted of course by Uranus in Pisces, which for much of this period has been in reception with Neptune.

But the tone of the world is about to change, and it will change because of social unrest, which is the inevitable result of the draconic restrictions that must be imposed by governments trying to weather the meltdown of capitalism. For that is what the transit of Pluto through Capricorn represents, and when Pluto finally enters Aquarius in 2024, there will be little that remains of the autocratic structures that are currently being put in place to safeguard the banks and corporations whose survival is currently threatened.

There were 180 million unemployed people around the globe at the time the Great Recession started (which was when Pluto came into Capricorn in 2008); this figure has increased by 30 million in the last two years, the largest increase being in the United States. (Note 1) Youth unemployment in Spain has doubled to almost 40%. Workers in Europe are accepting pay freezes and pay cuts. With the replication of the Uranus/Pluto square from the 1930’s – but this time with Pluto in business-Capricorn, rather than nationalistic-Cancer – this recession is just about to bite. Any recovery will be excruciatingly slow, and it will be largely jobless. The loss of jobs in the US means that people are getting evicted from their homes, some to live in their cars, and when they cannot pay for the cars, then in tent cities springing up all over the country.

That is why Neptune is needed in Pisces. Forget the dreams of billionaire fortunes made by internet startups and social networking sites; what is needed now is universal concern for the millions of economically displaced people who have to resort to state handouts and charity. You could become one of them. The awareness of the suffering of the underprivileged has scarcely begun. What we will see over the next few years is the extreme polarization of right-wing solutions, which is part of the Uranus/Pluto effect in Aries/Capricorn, in contrast with left wing solutions, reflected by the Pluto/Neptune sextile from Capricorn to Pisces.

This process will take place in stages, with initial awareness and concern as Neptune dips its toe in the Piscean ocean on April 4, 2011, retreating to Aquarius again from August 5, 2011 to February 3, 2012, after which time there will be 13 straight years with Neptune in Pisces. Early in this period there will be good governance reflected by Saturn in Libra, which can be characterized as the time of President Obama.

It is when Saturn moves into Scorpio, in reception with Pluto in Capricorn and trining Neptune, that things get interesting. This combination is a strong counterpoint to the survivalist dictates of the Uranus/Pluto square, and shows a serious mobilization of state compassion. Generally this will coincide with left-leaning governments worldwide, though there could just as well be right-wing quasi-dictatorships. It is worth remembering that the year Neptune entered Pisces for the first time – 1847 – the Communist Manifesto was published with the memorable words “Workers of the world, unite!”

2013 is the year when the Saturn>Pluto>Neptune pattern really kicks in. Saturn enters Scorpio immediately trining Neptune, goes on to sextile Pluto then retrogrades to make a long trine to Neptune in June, July and August 2013.

The intersections in the above graph show the aspects between Pluto/Neptune/Saturn

The Saturn/Pluto sextile is tough love. The need for a transformation of existing state, business and banking structures will be strong, but nobody is going to use democratic methods to ask anybody for their point of view. This is emergency surgery, performed by powerful rulers through secretive and autocratic methods. Taxes will be ruthlessly imposed with a view to alleviate the social disasters of the time. There will be corruption and the rooting out of corruption. Industry barons will do all within their power to maintain their advantages at this time through strong links to government. But they will also be moved to reach out to the disadvantaged to alleviate their suffering, if only to burnish their image.

It is difficult for us to imagine at this stage the plight that society will find itself in. To give an example: On the exact day when Chiron, which is after all a very minor planetary body, moved into Pisces, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, leading to the biggest pollution disaster in American history. The oil poured out of an open wound in the ocean floor for many months and – in true Chiron fashion – could not be healed. There is a strong likelihood that the entry of Neptune into Pisces will have even more far-reaching consequences. No doubt this will bring a very strong focus on nature and the environment in the coming decade, but it will be the social conditions of the human family that will take precedence. Neptune’s arrival in Pisces can also bring fears of epidemics (note 2) but in the long run this influence is sure to bring wonderful advances in medicine, just as the last transit through Pisces brought chloroform and the wonders of anesthetics, as well as the first collective health schemes.

The transit of Neptune through Pisces will see the beginning of the ascendancy of Africa. In fact it was when Neptune entered Pisces in 1847 that the first African colony gained independence, when slaves freed in America returned to Africa and declared Liberia an independent country. Slaves liberated an enslaved land. It is likely that the growing worldwide food shortages can be alleviated by more effective farming in Africa, which currently is very inefficiently cultivated, and the riches found in agricultural, mineral and oil reserves will finally bring prosperity.

The sensitivity of nations to food shortages will probable be one of the major sources of unrest in the developing world in the coming period. Here in 2010 drought and fires in Russia have led to a ban on wheat exports and prices worldwide have risen over 60% leading in turn to the danger of food riots in countries that traditionally import a lot of wheat, like Egypt. Back in 1847 there was famine in Europe, and over the next 13 years two million immigrants arrived in New York… over a million being Irish. (Note 3)

In response to shortages, harvesting the sea will also be undertaken on a vast scale in this period, and with mass production of factory fish, a much greater awareness of the ecological downsides of the process will dawn, leading to more humane standards for fish. Extraction of oil from the ocean will play an even greater role, and as a shortage of oil begins to threaten the smooth functioning of industry, vast undersea reserves will be exploited in previously pristine environments around Greenland and in the Arctic.

Neptune in Pisces will bring a global focus on the suffering of humanity and a corresponding urge to alleviate this suffering through social change. The social upheaval that shook Europe from 1848 – 1850, as the Communist Manifesto was translated into every European language, resulted in a revolution in Czechoslovakia (successfully suppressed), in Austria (suppressed but serfdom abolished and emperor abdicates), Budapest, Berlin, Milan and Rome, Ireland and Britain (the Chartist movement). In France students and workers seized Paris, and a new French Republic was proclaimed. Thousands of workers died as the French military put down the revolt. France was the European country most marked by the entry of Neptune into Pisces, and the 1848 revolution led to the abandonment of the monarchy and the establishment of the Second Republic, founded with a Sun/Neptune conjunction in Pisces. (It did not last long).

Neptune’s influence in a sign is not necessarily as drastic as that of Uranus or Pluto, but it reaches deep and subtly alters everything. For example it was after Neptune entered Capricorn that the Iron Curtain was torn down and the Berlin Wall fell. This was the beginning of a new political order in Russia (and the world) which initially caused immense hardship for the people. But there was euphoria too for those who felt liberated from decades of repression. When Neptune entered Aquarius in January 1998 (which it did simultaneously with Bill Clinton saying those famous words: “I never had sexual relations with that woman” – the biggest and funniest media lie ever) it was the time when the world was bewitched by the virtual world, and dot com millionaires made their fortune. We all relocated to cyberspace and people dematerialized to reappear as ghostly presences on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the rest. A global unification was created, but digital revolution also created the web of financial structures that brought financial chaos and dissolution.

Neptune in Pisces will bring a need for spiritual content. Not the digital psychics and clairvoyants who have thrived with Uranus in Pisces, but for compassion-centered altruism. People will withdraw from the small comfort of a Facebook universe – sell your shares now (it’s a bubble) – and seek privacy and seclusion. Suffering will be too real for dabblers in spirituality, and true solidarity will be found in helping people who are in situations where – but for the grace of God – you could find yourself.

Adrian Ross Duncan September 17, 2010.

1. The Guardian Weekly September 10th, 2010. (Larry Elliot – “When austerity is not enough”)

2. When Neptune entered Pisces in 1847 15,000 people died in a flu epidemic in London. There was also a serious economic depression in England at the time.

3. “The People’s Chronology” pp 446. James Trager 1979.

Realizing the Self

When people discuss the question of fate and free will, they tend to forget just how deep in the past the root causes of our existence lie. As we deal with life day by day, and moment by moment, we are actually dealing with the consequences of actions that we took earlier, sometimes many years earlier, and sometimes, if you believe in reincarnation, many lifetimes earlier. Our actions in the current moment are completely conditioned by our view, and this view was in turn conditioned by individual perceptions and conditioning all the way back to birth. So-called free will is extremely limited under these circumstances. You are going to do what you have always done, because of the unstoppable dynamics of your personal psychology.
But there is a way.

No amount of rational analysis, decision-making or resolve is going to get you out of the prison bars created within your own mind. But the mind itself has a quality of self-awareness that – if all distracting thoughts and emotions are stilled – enables it to observe its own workings. The farther we go towards stabilizing this self-awareness through mindfulness or meditation practice, the closer we get to seeing the stream of causation in our personal history that robs us of the capacity to make meaningful change.

If, using mind training techniques, you tune in to the constant stream of thoughts, you will discover that in the beginning thoughts will arise all the time. There may be pauses for shorter or longer periods of time, but soon the mind latches on to a thought or idea, and off it goes. You can catch it, stop, continue to focus on your breathing or your body or some other kind of support, but off it will go again. Perhaps this constant electric flurry is what we understand as astrologers as Mercury. It is the trickster, and however you strive for mental peace, it will use your own meditation process to lure you off track.

Mental impulses seem to well up from the ocean of the unconscious without apparent logic or reason. But if you sit long enough you might discover, that as the world revolves on its axis, and the planetary angles activate your own planetary patterns in sequence, then there is a kind of logic to the thoughts and feelings that arise. If Mercury is at 20 degrees Sagittarius and square Mars at 21 degrees in aspect to Neptune at 22 degrees, perhaps when the moving Ascendant axis hits 20 Sagittarius, you start dwelling on an injustice – a situation that is in your opinion not right or fair – which you then get angry about, and then feel helpless and sad about. Every day. Every day you carve deeper valleys in your psychological landscape through the same series of thought processes. Where is free will here? And how much stronger and more intense will this be when a passing transit, Uranus conjoining Mars for example, shakes up the configuration?

Being aware of this process changes everything. From an astrological point of view the awareness itself has nothing to do with Mercury. Thought cannot monitor itself. It has to do with the Sun, which is the one constant in the busy spiral of activity of Mercury, Venus, Mars and all the other planets as they revolve around the sun.

The sun – or self – is in its basic nature untouched by the activity of the mind and Mercury, by attachment and Venus, by aggressions and Mars, and if you are centered there and observe the workings of the trickster and his associates, then a different kind of process starts to happen. Thoughts still unfold, feelings mild or violent still arise, but centered as you are, you observe them coming and going out of the corner of your eye, as it were. The difference now is that you are no longer giving them any energy. They will ultimately wither and die like a planet without water.

If though patterns stem from a powerful history of deceit connected with the Mercury/Mars/Neptune configuration for example, this astrological cactus will not wither overnight and will probably survive for years before receding from consciousness. But the actions you have previously taken based on the unconscious impulses from this planetary pattern will be modified, because you have become a witness to the energy in your consciousness stream. You do not want to water that particular plant. At this point it is possible to talk about free will.

The sun itself has universal qualities shared by all the stars in the universe. The paradox is that if through mindfulness training you can rest in the central core of your self, then there is a powerful awareness of the strength of personal identity. Yet ultimately this self-aware Self sees that the idea of separate identity simply does not reflect the true state of things. It is through a strong self that you can reach the idea of no-self, just as the sun and the stars share the quality of starlight.

Astrology teaches that the sun reflects identity, and with the position of the sun in any one of twelve signs, the personal identity is circumscribed by the sign it is in. What follows is a description of the sun in the 12 signs, with an emphasis on the sense of self and its strengths as reflected in each of the signs.

The sun in Aries gives access to a fiery energy which can be channeled without delay into dynamic action and brave initiatives. There is a core enthusiasm in your nature, and an unquestioning sense of personal identity. You are out there in front, inspiring people by example, with few doubts about where you are going and why. You are guided by the principles of chivalry and honor. When you turn within to meditate on your inner core, and shut out emotional and mental distractions, you find the living power of fire within, which transforms into a dynamo of energy… a fountain of creativity.

The sun in Taurus puts you in touch with the rock solid and fertile power of the earth, evoking in you a sense of being completely grounded and stable. Whilst deep in your inner being there is complete calm and equanimity, you have access to enormous strength that can be channeled into constructive deeds for very long periods of time and without exhaustion. You are a rock others can rely on, and while others bend with the wind, you stand firm. You are strongly associated with Nature and fertility and when you go within, you draw inexhaustible resources from your roots which go down to the very soul of Gaia.

The sun in Gemini gives access to a multiplicity of talents linked to all facets of the mind. The world of thoughts, contact and communication are a playground for you, as you dance from one thought to another without holding on. Restlessly exploring the myriad of connections in the world, you are like a spirit of the air, enchanted by the constantly changing scene. When you still the ceaseless activity of your mind, you discover the very nature of thought itself, and are fascinated by the dark twin of duality which mysteriously emerges from one source, one union, one being.

The sun in Cancer tunes you in to a world of feeling and connectedness, awakening in your soul a desire to give birth to and nurture the people and things you love and are deeply attached to. To live, for you, is like being a part of a rushing river – a process of constant change which you react to with a whole spectrum of constantly changing emotions. You feel a sense of belonging, to the world and to the human family, and you are instinctively motivated to fiercely protect what you love. Going within you discover a world of overwhelming emotions, and in these emotions you discover the energy and power of positively motivated feeling.

The sun in Leo puts you in touch with a burning furnace of power which is the throne of your identity as a human being. You know that being a powerful individual, securely centered in yourself, liberates creativity and enables you to be a shining light for others. Strong in yourself, you radiate the idea of life as celebration, and gather others into your benign orbit. When you turn within, free from disturbing thoughts and emotions, you can sense the inner central mandala of power that lies at the seat of your identity – a stable core that emanates inexhaustible spiritual power.

The sun in Virgo brings an ability to apply analytical thought to solve problems, and motivates you to offer your services to others with an unselfish spirit. You have an instinctive awareness of what works, and know how to arrange the parts to make an efficient whole. When you apply your discrimination to your inner life, you understand the interaction between the smallest components of the body in subtle play with thought processes. You know exactly how the movement of the wings of a butterfly can create a tempest, and you apply this knowledge in rituals, health awareness and ecological consciousness.

The sun in Libra awakens an understanding of balance and motivates you to create harmony in outer relationships and discover inner poise. Your ability to tune in to others and meet them exactly how they are makes you a true peacemaker. You know what is right and just. Beauty and taste reflect for you an expression of the natural harmony of the world. When you turn within you can quickly attune to an inner world of balance and visualize the pure energy of color and sound. Here opposites resolve… the masculine and the feminine, the left side and the right side, the outer world and the inner world, and as your scales settle in equilibrium, you find inner peace.

The sun in Scorpio means that you feel things intensely, but privately, like a pebble being dropped into a deep well. In relations with others you sense all the emotions under the surface and exercise strong control. Once you have mastered your own anxiety you are able to empathize deeply with others and somehow, almost magically, empower them. Turning within you feel the maelstrom of your desires and passions and instinctively realize the transformative and purifying power that lies in immersing yourself in your emotions. In the deepest roots of your being, where fear is transformed into power, you find access to an inexhaustible source of energy.

The sun in Sagittarius evokes a fiery awareness and burning desire to understand the meaning of your life. Restlessly inquiring, you travel to the farthest reaches of the earth – and of your mind – gathering ideas and investigating beliefs. You are motivated to share with others what you learn, and find a mission in spreading enlightenment to the collective. For you, it is the most natural thing in the world to turn within, because you instinctively know that the world outside is an extension of the world within. Applying the wisdom you have gathered from mentors or all shades, you embark on a long journey to discover the inner guru, the mind itself. Only here is your thirst quenched.

The sun in Capricorn brings the opportunity to be master of the world you live in, and to learn mastery of the world that lives within you. You are willing to bear whatever burden is necessary to reach your long term goals, and you do this uncomplainingly. You dutifully offer support to those who follow in your footsteps, and obedience to those in whose footsteps you follow. The discipline for spiritual practice comes as naturally to you as the discipline to make progress in the world. When you turn within, you systematically and patiently develop proficiency, slowly removing the obstacles in your path, overcoming self doubt and become an example to others.

The sun in Aquarius awakens in an appreciation of humanity – the wonderful uniqueness of the men and women who cross your path. You are there for them without judgment… open, tolerant and accepting. You feel united with your fellow human beings, understanding instinctively how they are connected – what happens to one of them happens to them all. The space you give to others, and expect for yourself, is also the space you find when you go within the expanses of your own mind. You discover how the power of consciousness and conscious thought is like a tool that can make changes in the inner world and the outer.

The Sun in Pisces immerses you in an ocean of thoughts and feelings that seem almost to encompass the whole of humanity. Empathy is a natural condition for you, as you sense what people feel even before they do. When you have learned to orientate yourself in this ocean of impressions, you give people unconditional love, acceptance and understanding, sensitively offered with humor and humility. Accessing the riches of the soul through meditation and mindfulness is your natural birthright, but you do not seek personal happiness; satisfaction for you can only come when other people also can experience the rewards. Only then can you enjoy the rewards yourself.

If you do dwell in contact with the power of the sun in your horoscope, resting in your self and observing thoughts arising like waves and sinking back into the ocean once again, then you will also notice that you bring with you a certain attitude, which is not only characterized by the sign position of the sun, but also by any planets that aspect your sun. If Saturn is there, you will be a hard taskmaster, rounding up and suppressing your thoughts, and treating your Self in an authoritarian manner. If Jupiter is there, you may be seduced by success and fall from the sky through hubris. If Uranus is there, the very clarity you achieve may disguise unconscious rejection of the emotional cradle in which you rest. Neptune could lead to an inability to rest in a strong sense of self, and a tendency to merge all too soon with the cosmic ocean. Pluto could bring total success in whipping thoughts and feelings under control, with a corresponding sense of inner deadness.

In other words the mirror of the self itself needs to be polished and purged. But this is achieved through the alchemical ability of the Self to reflect on itself without thought. There is more than enough energy in the sun to clean itself of impurity. If you ever make it there, you will have all the free will you will ever need.

Adrian Ross Duncan 16.08.2009

Stories as Therapy

You have probably heard the story about the rabbi and the poor farmer who came to him for advice. With a wife and four children to feed, and just a small overcrowded hut to live in, his main problem was the lack of space. On his first visit the rabbi advised him to move his goats into the house and come back after a week. Puzzled but obedient, the poor farmer faithfully followed the advice. A week later the rabbi asked him how things were going. “Terrible” said the farmer, “the house is even more crowded”. So the rabbi suggested he move his chickens into the house, and to come back if things did not get better after a week. The following week the farmer stated that it was almost impossible for the whole family to exist in the house together with the goats and the chickens. “Don’t worry”, said the rabbi, “Next week take your cow into the house, and let me know if things have improved after a week.” After the week had elapsed, the farmer was beside himself with desperation. “Hmm…” said the rabbi, “Let’s try something new. Put the cow, chickens and goats outside the hut and come back to me after a week. The next week the rabbi asked him how things were going. “Life is wonderful”, said the poor farmer, “you won’t believe how much space we have”.
And it’s true, isn’t it… everything is relative. The human mind has an amazing capacity to look at life, and instead of smiling with satisfaction at the 95% of life that is pretty good, it focuses on that 5% that is dreadful. That 5% is like a fly that buzzes around the food when you are enjoying a picnic on a beautiful summer’s day.

Recently I had a client who had built up a brilliant dot com business, which he subsequently sold for so much money, that he could live a life of luxury from the annual interest. He was visiting the country and stayed with a couple who had been married for 25 years and had two gifted children who were soon to attend university. This couple were in a state of constant worry about their finances. My client on the other hand, was spellbound by what he considered to be a well-functioning and happy family. In his new world he never knew the true motivation of the women who sought out his company, and he had not managed to settle with a partner.

When working with clients, a simple intervention technique is to change perspective on the situation. The horoscope tends to show an equal balance of good fortune and bad fortune. Difficult aspects involving Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will reflect life situations which people strive to overcome and thereby develop wonderful character traits like determination, solidarity, empathy and psychological insight. Fortunate aspects and strong planet placements reflect resources that are constantly drawn upon bringing happiness and satisfaction. It is almost always possible to place client experience in a different frame, so that the client appreciates and enjoys the good fortune rather worrying about the problems.

The reality of the situation is that no matter how bad things are, they can actually get worse. There is always something to be grateful for. There is always someone in a far worse position. And if you focus on the 95% of life that is good for 100% of the time, you will be happy all the time. Astrologically the trick is to identify the good aspects, because they unfailingly show talent, success and pleasure. (Note 1) This technique works best with something like Sun trine Jupiter (euphoric vision) or Venus sextile Jupiter (pleasurable talents) rather than with aspects to Saturn, Neptune and Pluto which always bring some challenges, sorrow and upheaval even when the aspect is good. When people fully appreciate the amazing good fortune that good aspects represent they inevitably feel grateful.

There are times when you have a pretty clear idea about what a client needs to do, but for one reason or another, it is difficult to tell them. Recently I had a client who had been married for many years, with two children he loved, but dissatisfaction in the marriage, particularly sexually, led him into one secret love after another. A Gemini, with almost all his planets in mutable signs, he was a multitalented person who danced his way through life. But with Saturn in Pisces on his Descendant, his partner was mysteriously discontented. He wondered aloud: could he just glide through this period with periodic love affairs without disturbing the equilibrium of his marriage?

Consultation chart: July 2nd, 2009 14.30 Copenhagen

One glance at the consultation chart reveals that this client is in deep trouble and that trouble is going to get deeper. He is represented by a dignified Venus in Taurus in the 8th, ethically challenged, as it were, by its square to 5th house ruler Jupiter… those love affairs. The square to Neptune gives a deeper shade of deception, and the fact that Venus is on the fixed star Algol, suggests that his head is on the block. His wife is represented by Mars in detriment in Taurus, which is soon going to hit Algol and square Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter. To stir this sticky pot a little more, the Moon is in fall in Scorpio, soon to make an opposition to both Venus and Mars.

It was time for a metaphor. I had the feeling that no matter what I said, this person was unlikely to change and reluctant to face up to the reality of his position. Do you know that feeling of having left a cheese at the back of the fridge? Months have gone by. One day you see a dark object and you reach in to remove it, whatever it is. As your fingers sink into the soft and furry exterior, you begin to wonder. It is when the stink hits your nostrils that you remember the cheese. Now here is the question. Should you put the cheese back and hope it will go away? Or do you have to take it out – take everything out – and give the fridge a thorough clean to remove all the fungus spores?

This is an effective Moon in Scorpio metaphor, because this placement often suggests putting things on ice, bad tastes and smells, and trouble stored up for the future. Whether the client will work with his wife to resolve their mutual dissatisfaction, I am not sure. But he won’t forget that cheese.

Well-chosen metaphors should mobilize the sensory system that is involved in as vivid a way as possible. Positive Jupiter metaphors would conjure up visual panoramas, negative Jupiter metaphors the intellectual discomfort that arises from that wagging moral finger. Positive Saturn metaphors would conjure up the physical evidence of status, negative Saturn metaphors the crushing weight of setbacks. Positive Uranus metaphors the exhilarating excitement of social interaction and discovery, negative Uranus metaphors the anaesthetized numbness of remoteness and separation. And positive Neptune metaphors should access the sense of oneness with the world and nature, whilst negative metaphors could conjure up the poignancy of being alone.

Sharing your inner feeling

There are consultations that seem to get nowhere. A layer of fog descends. You may feel bored, irritated, insecure, stupid. It is at this point that an amazingly effective technique can be used that completely blows away the fog and electrifies the consultation. It is fair to assume that whatever you, as the astrologer, are feeling in the consultation, other people who are part of the client’s life are sure also to feel. You are the 7th house in the consultation chart, and your experience of the client is valid evidence. This knowledge is dynamite. I had one young client with a Moon/Mars conjunction in Aries in the 6th house, who could only keep her work for a short period at a time. At some point she lost her temper, downed tools, and walked. The odd thing was that I too felt more and more irritated as the consultation progressed. I summoned up the courage and told her how I felt. She lost her temper and got up to leave. I pointed out that she was free to go, but if she wanted to have a satisfying work life, she would be better off staying, which she did, and the consultation proceeded with a new authenticity and honesty.

Presenting your own feelings as evidence requires clarity – you don’t want to mix your own issues up with the client’s – and bravery, because you almost always have to reveal your own insecurity or vulnerability. I recently had a very rewarding experience with a client who had come about 12 times over the last decade. I never felt comfortable with this client; I knew she was good at astrology, a member of Mensa, and basically I did not think I could tell her anything that she did not know already. Finally I said it. The client had a strong Mercury/Pluto/North Node conjunction square Jupiter, which is a characteristic signature for someone who is extremely sensitive to both ignorance and intellectual arrogance. When I told her how I felt intellectually insecure, it opened up a whole area in her horoscope I had never previously grasped. For as a child genius she was exposed both to her teachers and fellow students as a child, and she had carefully concealed her intellectual brilliance to avoid the pain of isolation, which apparently was typical behavior for people with extremely high IQ’s. But this concealment had the unwanted effect of putting other people off balance, which is what had continually happened to me.

This kind of mirroring is extraordinarily effective in circumstances when you feel that something must be done to get the consultation moving. It has to be based honestly on what you feel, and not actually projected onto the client, which will only activate defense mechanisms. Mercury/Pluto clients, who can sometimes drone on, evoking exhaustion, can be disarmed by explaining how you find it difficult to get a word in. Moon/Uranus clients, who can sometimes evoke the sensation that you are a disembodied, can be reached when you share this feeling. Mars/Jupiter people, who can make you feel incompetent or stupid, can suddenly show understanding and empathy when you let them know this. It is a rewarding experience both for you and the client.

Relativity, metaphors and mirroring are three techniques that just require imagination, honesty and sensitivity – useful skills in the astrological consultation that do not require special training. Mirroring/sharing kick starts consultations that risk petering out into irrelevance. Metaphors sneakily slip through the defenses of people who don’t want to confront uncomfortable truths. Understanding the relative nature of reality makes people appreciate what they have got, instead of worrying about what they haven’t got. It is the understanding that it is best to have just enough of something – not too much, and not too little. That to live in a western country with prosperity, family, health and work is a tremendous privilege, no matter what challenges arise.

Adrian Ross Duncan. July 7th 2009

1. Please see section on Resources in my book: “Astrology: Transformation and Empowerment”.

Trends in 2009

The year ahead promises to be more exciting than most as outer planets line up to bring preliminary fireworks, where we can expect and even bigger show in 2010. The big players in 2009 are the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which as Barack Obama intimated, is to bring “change we can believe in”. The first opposition took place exactly on the US election, and two more follow: on February 5th at 20.37 Virgo/Pisces and September 15th, 2009, at 24.43 Virgo/Pisces. Seen from a sun sign viewpoint, this will be a very major influence for Aquarians in regard to their economy, emotional life and security. Capricorns are also likely to experience this opposition as a period of seismic change, especially in connection with their convictions and beliefs and in relation to travel and education. But of course Virgos and Pisces will profoundly feel the pull of this opposition in relationships, as they strive to bridge a gap that seems intercontinental in expanse.Secondly Jupiter conjoins Neptune three times, on May 27th, July 10th and 21st December at 26.28, 26.02 and 24.18 Aquarius respectively, and clearly this conjunction will evoke a wave of popular sentiment, whether euphoria or disappointment is difficult to say. Each time Chiron is also involved, so there might me an element of suffering, or a whole lot of healing. Again Aquarians will be profoundly affected – it is going to be quite a year for this sign – and there will be an enormous expansion of influence for them on a collective level and in relation to dreams and their spiritual life.
As Jupiter and Neptune are considered rulers of Pisces, this sign will also experience deep changes in relation to inner life, dreams and meditative experiences. It can be a time of inner chaos bit amazing spiritual growth. For Sagittarians, ruled by Jupiter, this conjunction falls in their solar third house, which is sure to bring enhanced curiosity and motivation to learn about artistic and spiritual subjects, as well as some pretty exotic travels. By airship or balloon probably.
By the beginning of 2009 Pluto has moved back into Capricorn, where it will remain for the next 14 years. In sun sign and horary astrology this means that every time a planet enters one of the cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn – they will undergo an intense process of crisis and transformation. This is particularly noticeable when Venus moves into Aries, because it repeats an 8 year cycle of retrograde movement, moving retrograde at 15.26 Aries on March 6th and squaring Pluto on February 6th, April 3rd and May 2nd at 2.26, 3.18 and 3.06 Aries respectively. Exciting times for Libra where this takes place in the 7th house of partnerships… not least because Venus is joined by Mars in May. A rather passionate time. Of course Aries will also be profoundly affected by this constellation too.

For the Mercury ruled – Geminis and Virgos – the triple conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter in January and February should bring amazing results intellectually and socially, and this will be a good time for relationships – of a liberated sort – too. The retrograde period in May and June in Taurus squares the Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune triple conjunction, which can lead to some dodgy judgments, not least economically. The Mars ruled can await the retrograde movement of this planets in Leo in December. Quite romantic, especially for Aries.

Finally the solar eclipse falls at 6 Aquarius in February and 29 Cancer in July, whilst the lunar eclipses fall at 20 Leo in February and 13 Aquarius in August, which will affect all twelve signs in different ways, though Cancer and Leo tend to be the most sensitive.

The following, then is an analysis of the general influence on the 12 signs in 2009. It is worth remembering that you may be sensitive to any or all of these influences in one way or another, because a particular planet may be strong or activated in the coming year, or because of your Ascending sign, so it could be beneficial to read all signs, and if something strikes a chord then read it closely.

The year starts with your ruler Mars in Capricorn and conjoining Pluto, suggesting both a crisis and a breakthrough in your career. With Pluto in the career area of your solar chart until 2023, you can expect a number of upheavals, but in this early stage these is liable to be an acute confrontation with autocratic leaders. A career transformation brings you much more power and control. April is a time when the old makes way for the new in relation to work and colleagues, but it is also a time when you have a strong desire to experiment with your life and find deeper spiritual meaning. A new intense relationship, or even a love affair, may take place at this time. Certainly, when Venus conjoins Mars in your sign as May begins, squaring Pluto, there will be a crisis and transformation in your personal life… the passion is red hot. Life gets very interesting towards the end of the year when Mars enters Leo, where it will be from October 16th 2009 to June 7th 2010. As this relates to children and love, as well as creative projects where you put your identity on the line, you can expect to have a happy and romantic period at this time, and if you are looking for children, they will surely come along.

With the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction (together with Chiron) taking place in your solar 10th house of the career throughout 2009, you can expect major developments in this area. You have lofty dreams and get involved with large social or artistic movements, the professional expression of spirituality and healing, or visionary international projects. For someone who is normally very grounded, this is in fact a time when you surround yourself with dreamers, which will not always be comfortable or safe economically. You are gripped with idealistic fever in April, but during the course of May you can feel under strong psychological pressure, especially if you happen to get involved with a secret passionate relationship at this time. This is also a time when ideological passions run high and can put you under threat. Socially 2009 is a time of change as you build a bridge from the old to the new. Children can be an extraordinary responsibility during the year, either traveling far, or making changes which are difficult for you to adjust to.
The Saturn/Uranus opposition is turning many things in connection with your family and your career upside down. This is a time when a need for change in your professional life affects the domestic status quo and somehow you have to juggle the needs of the family with professional realities. You may need to move or change job, and there highest stress factors are at the end of April when a whole lot of unpredictable changes happen in the leadership – though it is an exciting opportunity for change. August to October is also a period when there are a variety of demanding issues that need to be addressed and cannot be solved without hard work and organization. This is also a year when international travel in on the cards, preferably to an exotic destination, an island, a ship or somewhere by the sea. This is a magnificent period for expanding your awareness of alternative subjects like astrology, healing etc. and for making contact with international groups with a humanitarian or spiritual agenda.
With Pluto firmly in your 7th house of relationships until 2023 this is a time when you need to address the power balance between you and others. You need to give up control on the one hand, yet maintain your personal power on the other. There will be periods of the year when these issues are acute, particularly around the New Year when you may find yourself under attack from a particularly implacable person. Also the period at the beginning of May shows similar power battles, though this is more likely to be connected with career issues. These are basically times when you need to harden your resolve and overcome anxiety in taking new professional initiatives. There are major developments in connection with abroad through the whole of 2009, and you can build a bridge to strong professional organizations working hard to bring change. The end of April is remarkable in this respect and can bring some exotic journey. Financially you can be very fortunate getting finance, but don’t let your dreams get the better of you, especially at the end of January. All in all this will prove to be an exciting year, when your horizons expand considerably.Leo
This is a year in your life when you continue to build up a solid defense against insecure economic trends that threaten to destabilize your good efforts to consolidate your economy. In a way you are torn between dangerous gambles and the path of safety, and this is especially apparent in the Spring. With eclipses falling in your sign this year, there is also an emphasis on making deep-seated changes both in your personal life and lifestyle, and in relationships. And with the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune falling in your solar 7th house of partnerships, it is in this area that the most extraordinary changes take place. For many years now, relationships have tended to be fluid and a little chaotic, but in 2009 many dreams are activated. You tie your hopes to a hot-air balloon that can take you to magical places, but who knows where it will put you down? At work there is continued restructuring, and this becomes extremely intense in early May. Intense differences of opinion at this time can bring a general clear out in the work environment with new colleagues replacing old.

2009 is a year of extraordinary developments in your working life, perhaps because of a new influx of colleagues, or perhaps because the area you work with is much more creative or idealistic. This is a good year to work with large groups, with advertising and with idealistic projects. However it is also a time of chaos, or you are torn between letting go or keeping your feet firmly on the ground, particularly at the end of May when there is a risk of bad judgment. With Saturn in your first house and in opposition to Uranus in the house of partnership, there are enormous adjustments to be made in relationships. You may as well resign yourself to a year of change and unpredictability, which becomes particularly acute in March and April. If you fall for someone at this time, you can expect quite a roller-coaster ride. The months from August to October are also significant in this respect as you try to create order, instead of allowing things to continue in an unstructured way. This is a good time to organize supporters to get your own agenda through even if other people are dreamy or unreliable.

With the election of Barack Obama in November, Change has come to the world, and it is as if the euphoric effect of the coming triple conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius close to the USA Moon can already be felt. In this second article on sun sign influence for 2009, we will be taking a closer look at the last six signs. In this respect the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction is going to be extremely important for Pisces and Sagittarius, whilst the Saturn/Uranus opposition will profoundly affect Capricorn and Aquarius.

Starting with Libra and Scorpio, it is the condition of Venus and Mars that needs to be studied. Libra is particularly marked by the fact that Pluto has moved into cardinal Capricorn and therefore affects Libra’s solar 4th house. And as Pluto is traditionally associated with Scorpio, its move into a new sign is likely to have a deep affect, especially in areas connected with education and communication:

This will prove to be an extraordinary springtime for you in just that area you are most attuned to – relationships. At the beginning of February, Venus leaves Pisces, entering Aries and a kind of time loop that will not be over before the end of May. In these months Venus goes retrograde and direct again squaring Pluto three times, and thereby knitting together the two domains of relationships and family. Acute issues need to be resolved at this time, and as Venus is in “exile” in Aries, you will find yourself in a compromised situation in relationships, and a situation that requires decisive action too. The home is subject to some upheaval that may be connected to a renovation, or because of new relationship developments. You will not be afraid of taking drastic action for the sake of partnership, though whether this is wise is another matter. Amazingly the retrograde movement of Venus allows the much slower moving Mars to catch her up, and this happens at 29 degrees Pisces just after Mars has passed over Uranus. A fizzy brew! Therefore the single Libra will be swept off his or her feet at this time by a person who has just been through some revolutionary change. Everything will be turned on its head as both planets square Pluto around the end of April. Venus spends the rest of May and June “catching up” with Mars, and they conjoin once more at 14 degrees Taurus on June 21st. This time you are in control, but as they both move together to square the momentous Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron conjunction, you are likely to be struggling with a raging torrent of feelings prompted by strong desires. Whew!

The year starts with a Mars/Pluto conjunction, so you are feeling empowered, ambitious and strongly motivated to learn and explore in January, not least around the 24th when Mars trines Saturn, which is an excellent time for commitment to a group. As mentioned in the Libra section, Mars goes on to conjoin both Uranus and Venus in April in Scorpio’s solar 5th house. This is an excellent time for love and romance, and a brilliant time for matters connected with children too. But whatever happens, it is likely to be quite a surprise. When Mars and Venus foxtrot together into Aries to square Pluto, there will be upheavals and power play at work. Scorpios will be implacable and fully in control at this time. Just as Mars and Venus enter Aries together, they also enter Taurus within a few days of each other. Relationships are like glue at this time, and lovers cannot leave each other. But the sojourn in Taurus in June and July is a situation when you are very much dependant on partners, and the simultaneous square to the precise Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron conjunction around July 6th is a chaotic time in relationships – and for the family environment too. It will be quite a year for Scorpios, and it gets more interesting in December as Mars goes retrograde at 19.41 Leo, which means that well into 2010 there will be major career breakthroughs in the field of creativity. A very powerful and successful time.

After a difficult but constructive year in 2008, the coming year promises to be a wild ride on the swings and roundabouts of hopes and dreams. On the very last days of 2008 Mercury conjoins Jupiter – which effectively brings partnership issues to the fore, and in a very positive way. With Jupiter entering Aquarius on January 5th, and Mercury making three conjunctions with Jupiter, the last one on February 24th at 11 degrees Aquarius also involving Mars, then partnership bonds will be cemented at this time… and it is good for children too. What an exciting month this will be! It is almost sure to bring travel, or electrifying developments in regard to personal development and education – a brilliant time for expanding networks. In May, June and July, Jupiter – the ruler of Sagittarius – makes its long-lasting conjunction with Neptune, and this brings a period of euphoria as you get swept up in a movement that is like a mass wave of emotion. It will feel like being on a balloon or a spaceship, and the important thing with this kind of travel is knowing how to come down to earth again. Jupiter goes retrograde and catches up with Neptune again just before Christmas, so the whole year will be flavored with lofty ideals connected with creativity, music, film, humanitarian and ecological ventures. This will later be known as the Obama effect.

You already tasted the entry of Pluto in Capricorn for a few months in 2008, but now it is here to stay, and the year starts with a powerful conjunction of Pluto and Mars in your sign, which means you are here to rule. It is a period when your will is supreme and you can realize your ambitions through sheer force of personality. You also experienced the opposition between your ruler Saturn and revolutionary Uranus in November 2008, so you know what it is like to straddle history, using the past as a springboard to launching a new future. These momentous trends continue in 2009, and probably nothing is settled before the last Saturn/Uranus opposition on September 15th. Mid-September is an extremely significant time for you … a time for cementing partnerships in a period of change and for making contracts too. It is the crowing point of a period of apprenticeship and learning connected with bridging two cultures. You have passed the test, and when Saturn enters Libra on October 29th you gain distinction and recognition. This brings a whole new phase in your life connected with status and career, and a whole new set of power games too. Put on your suit of armor!

Though 2008 was a year of respectable achievements, life has not been so kind over the last seven years, and it is about to make things up to you. Firstly Jupiter enters your sign in January bringing a period of optimism and expansion. Think back to the last time this happened in 1997-98. As Jupiter goes on to conjoin Neptune (and the mini-planet Chiron) in from May to July (and later in December) you will discover and use some extraordinary talents. Perhaps this will seem like a dream come true, and the indications are that you will be on Cloud 9 much of the time. Please take your parachute. Don’t let any dream get so big that it pops like bubble gum, leaving a sticky mess. Early July is especially a time when you can find yourself splashing helplessly about, especially in connection with family matters. What keeps you realistic in this period is Saturn in Virgo, which opposes Uranus, meaning that economy continues to be in major transition and needs constant adjustment and organization. But this is the time when you complete a revolutionary cycle of personal development, and when Saturn enters Libra at the end of October, a new period of hope and optimism begins. There is a snake in paradise, but you have the antidote to its poison. The world opens up at your feet, and you start feeling very international.

The two remaining oppositions of Saturn and Uranus focus your attention on relationships in 2009, and it can seem like having to control wild horses pulling in different directions. You have been extremely hard working and responsible in 2008, building up alliances, lifting burdens in friendships and groups and working conscientiously with others generally. Yet there is also a strong desire to be free to do your own thing. When your ruling planet Jupiter moves from Capricorn to Aquarius in January you will want to shed responsibility and work with your dreams and fantasies in a much more creative way. The year ahead is therefore a time when the greatest pleasure comes when you have the time to be on your own to really investigate inner issues – a kind of preparation for 2010 when you are ready to surf on a wave of personal fulfillment. This is a year when you tend to be in a dream world – far less realistic than in 2008 – and your escapist tendencies are stronger the ever. But if you are interested in spiritual development, this is a year when you can merge with something much greater than yourself and have a kind of cosmic baptism.

When reading these sun sign trends, you may find that there are certain events connected with another sign that seem to fit your situation. This is as it should be – your actual horoscope shows all 12 signs which all have some kind of area of influence. It could be said that you resonate with certain planets at certain times, and this could mean that you can learn something from all the signs. Have a happy 2009.

Adrian Duncan 20.11.2008

Prediction & Psychological Transformation

When royal astrologer John Dee consulted with Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century, he almost certainly gave her good advice about matters of state. He certainly chose an auspicious day for the coronation (note 1) as Elizabeth had a long a successful reign that spanned 44 years. But there are some things her probably did not do. He probably did not dwell on the fact that her father, Henry VIII, had declared her a bastard and disinherited her. He probably did not dwell on the psychological consequences of her father having her mother beheaded for supposed adultery. He probably did not reflect on Elizabeth’s ability to have a rewarding love life after her quasi-incestuous relationship in her mid-teens with Thomas Seymour, the 2nd husband of her stepmother and guardian Catherine Parr. (Note 2)

In other words Dee did not dwell on the psychology of his queen or any other of his powerful clients, which might also explain why he survived to the ripe old age of 82. The last thing these people wanted to know was what kind of responsibility they or their upbringing had for the events that befell them. Prior to the 20th century the job of an astrologer was to map out the range of possibilities that lay ahead for their clients, and in this way offer them guidance about their future. And the astrological body of learning at this time was finely attuned to give the best results in this area. Techniques were many and rules innumerable, but the keen student could apply these skills and answer concrete questions about what fate had in store. That they also were accurate is attested to by a study of renaissance masters like William Lilly, Nostradamus, Marcilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa and Paracelsus, to name but a few. Their clients wanted to know what would happen, and they did their best to tell them.

Which is in quite strong contrast to the spiritual and psychological approach that has characterized astrology in the last century. Rejecting fatalistic and deterministic views, giants like Alan Leo, Grant Lewi, Dane Rudhyar and Liz Greene have been major figures in a slow evolution to a predominantly psychological interpretation style, where the role of prediction became smaller and smaller and more and more incompatible. This integration of esotericism and psychology is probably connected with the post-Renaissance discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – planets which open up areas of the psyche that were previously considered fated.

In a sense this evolution reflects the evolution of different models of viewing the universe. Prior to Newton (born 1642) the world view in the West was dominated by Christian philosophy and religion. Newtonian thinking mapped out a universe of action and reaction, which subsequently led to explanations of astrology in terms of cause and effect. Einstein mapped out relativity, leading to and understanding of astrology in energetic and psychological terms. Recent theories about the quantum universe can be used to explain astrology in terms of acausal synchronicity. None of these theories are true, and none are false… they are just relevant within the context of history. Civilization will always reinvent ways of redefining experience as human consciousness evolves. Over the past 2000 years individual consciousness has evolved from being subsumed by the collective through religion, to the development of the individual ego, to which psychological astrology is addressed.

In the last 25 years of the 20th century, psychological astrology really took off – not least because of works by Jungian-trained Liz Greene, of which “Saturn – a new look at an old devil” is perhaps the best known. Astrology went from being merely descriptive to explaining the psychological roots of behavior and thereby providing the client – at least theoretically – with the ability to become conscious of what previously had been unconscious and unexplained. A boom in astrological literature at this time brought heightened awareness of transits, leading to an understanding of the horoscope in terms of personal development and psychological growth.

In the very same period I visited an astrological colleague who had obtained a first edition of William Lilly’s “Christian Astrology” – ink blots and all, who spent painstaking months removing stains and blots, finally publishing the first 20th century edition of this classic work. (Note 3) The startling accuracy of these techniques led to a growing number of horary astrologers and horary astrology schools. Enthusiasts embraced horary skills with the zeal of new converts, and they have fought – often amongst themselves – to preserve the orthodoxy of the teachings. With the incredibly work that has subsequently been done by Project Hindsight (Note 4) practicing astrologers today have access to a original texts dating back to the very origins of the subject covering all forms of astrology and all forms of predictive techniques. So along with psychological astrology, traditional astrology has also flowered and expanded.

When I was editor of the Astrological Association Journal at the end of the 1990’s the split between those astrologers who practiced predominantly psychological astrology and those who practiced horary astrology was pronounced. And this split is still pronounced. In its extreme form horary practitioners reject psychological considerations and simply concentrate on the factual answer to the matter at hand. On the other hand psychological astrologers are at a loss as to how to integrate therapy with prediction. And when predictions do come into the picture, primarily with the interpretation of transits, then they are couched in terms that lack specificity.

The nitty-gritty is that when the psychological astrologer is asked by the client about outcomes, he or she cannot – and will not – supply them. To work therapeutically with a client, and then to pronounce an outcome in advance seems counterproductive. Conversely the horary practitioner happily provides the outcome, if it is clear, but is unable to give the client any tools to deal with it.

But this split between the psychological and the predictive is unnecessary and unhelpful. It is illusory to see traditional astrology as separate from a “modern” psychological astrology – it is all the same body of work in constant evolution. But right now there are many clients having an incomplete experience of the potential of astrology because of the lack of integration between prediction and therapy. The kind of client who in the eighties or nineties was satisfied with a psychological profile is dead and gone. People also want practical guidance about how to lead their lives, and this practical guidance can provided by what was once called Horary Astrology. In Europe the same study is called “The Astrology of the Moment” – in other words it is about what is happening here and now.

All things happen at the intersection between subjective consciousness and objective experience. The experiences that arise to greet our consciousness are dependant on innumerable factors related to previous actions. The way we deal with these experiences is dependant on our character, and the horoscope is a map of our character. It is a map of past actions and potential future actions – in the sense that a map of the London Underground is a map of London. The horoscope needs to be populated by the attention of the astrologer and client, just as the traveler, map in hand, sets out to explore London. The horoscope maps the past and present, but you get to co-create the future through your actions here and now.

The horoscope for any given moment is a map of the intersection of personal consciousness with time. It reflects exactly what is relevant about that moment for the individual. That is horary astrology. The horoscope for any moment deemed significant by the individual will inevitably reflect the essence of that individual’s interaction with the world – it could not be any other way. The planetary positions will exactly reflect not only the dynamics of the moment, but also the events leading up to it (previous aspects) and the events that are to come (aspects about to be formed). Even the timing will be provided by the movement of the planets and the sweep of the angles.

The astrology of the moment is no more than the same transits used by all astrologers, including those who work exclusively psychologically – just with added detail. Instead of looking at the headlines, the small print becomes visible. The added ingredient is the significance of the moment and the horoscope for the moment, which can be interpreted as a full chart, house rulers and all. Instead of explaining, for example, a Jupiter transit as a general theme, it is then seen in a specific context. Seeing such a theme in context is a huge advantage when working therapeutically.

This is best illustrated with an example. (Note 5)

Natal Chart: Client Mar 11th 1963. 14.28 Copenhagen (AS 15.41 LE)

Consultation 1: Jul 13th 1990 16.00 Copenhagen (AS 13.01 SC)

Consultation 2: Aug 13th 1991 16.00 Copenhagen (AS 2.36 SG)

Two visits from a client, with a year and a month in between, replicated her natal Sun-Jupiter conjunction straddling the 9th house. Each time she came, the consultation chart picked up the theme of seeking happiness with lovers abroad, probably indicated by Jupiter ruling the natal 5th house. It related to the fact that her father used to take her on holidays – traditionally they visited a popular island resort (Pisces) as a “special treat”– but the holidays were an excuse for the father to get away from the mother and conduct a secret affair with another woman, in what was a yearly ritual.

The daughter, with Mercury in Pisces in the 8th, opposite Pluto-Uranus, kept this deadly secret throughout her childhood, but not without exacting a material quid pro quo from her father over the years. Obviously deeply impressed by this recipe for happiness, the daughter kept replicating it ever since. In each of her visits to me she was involved with a married man in another country, who she hoped would leave his wife for her. After all, with Saturn in her natal 7th house cusp, where was the appeal in being married?

It is easy to see that armed with the horoscope for the moment, the start of the consultation, the astrologer can see how a life theme – the Sun-Jupiter conjunction partially in the 8th and partially in the 9th house – is reflected in circumstances here and now. Instead of a general interpretation of the Sun-Jupiter theme, it is now possible to be specific. The potent energies of the present despair connected with the dream of a hoped-for partner, who is in fact already married and a thousand miles away, can be mobilized in the therapeutic process. It is comparatively easy to show how the client’s choices are unconsciously programmed by past experiences. And once this awareness dawns, the client cannot wait to change. This person did drop a history of love affairs shortly after the second consultation, married and had children. The fact that she had to come twice, and both consultation charts showed Sun-Jupiter in the 8th-9th houses shows that I did not do the job properly first time, but got a second chance.

It is tempting to think that this correlation between the birth chart and the consultation chart has been cherry-picked. It is a good example, but in fact this kind of correlation is the rule. I have had clients come with aspect patterns that could only have happened astronomically twice – once at birth and once at the consultation. At the very least clients will come with powerful natal aspects repeated with modifications at the time of the consultation. Planets are often at the exact same degree; the same combination of Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus will be found in the same signs; the Ascendant and houses are the same… there are many variations, but almost invariably the consultation chart will be a neon sign, pointing to exactly those themes in the birth chart that are relevant for the client today.

What a tool this is to the psychological astrologer! And at no cost. No new techniques need to be learned, no new skills acquired. Yet this method is the traditional method. William Lilly used the consultation chart as a rule, rather than the birth chart. Astrologers in India are adept at this – even dispensing with the horoscope altogether. Placing their staff in the ground and observing the time through the shadow it casts, and being cognizant of the position of the Sun, Moon and planets, the consultation chart is already there, with its message of past actions and future results. This is the astrology of the moment, pregnant with meaning.

In traditional horary some practitioners maintain that there are circumstances in which a chart cannot be interpreted. The word “strictures” has been coined to signify astrological configurations which prevent interpretation. These do not apply in the consultation chart. If the client turns up with the Ascendant in the last degrees or the first degrees of a sign, for example, it merely reflects something important about their situation. (That is: whether something is being wound up, or a new situation is about to develop). The same applies to whether the Moon is void of course, whether Saturn is in the first or seventh house, and all the other considerations which might traditionally be thought to prevent judgment. There are no circumstances in which the consultation chart for the client’s arrival can not be interpreted. Otherwise interpretation rules are as we know them: the client is represented by the Ascendant ruler, his partner by the Descendant ruler, his boss by the 10th house ruler, his home by the 4th house ruler etc.

When the astrologer adds the chart for the moment to the consultation process, it is like someone discovering for the first time that they have needed to wear glasses. The sudden clarity opens up many new perspectives. Not only is there a tool for precision therapy, it also becomes possible to answer quite detailed questions. What practicing astrologer has not had a client pose questions that are extremely difficult to answer if you are only relying on transits and progressions? Should my mother go into a nursing home, or stay in her house? My boyfriend wants to move in – is this a good idea? I have a potential business partner – is it someone I can trust? These are the kind of questions clients expect astrologers to have answers to… and with the consultation chart you do.

The astrological consultation can be a life-changing experience for the client – a time when the raw energy in the client’s psyche is exposed, and being exposed, ready for change. The snapshot of time afforded by the consultation chart reflects clearly the events leading up to the meeting and the current situation. If you identify the actors in play – the people and things the planets represent – then this chart also maps out the future. Prediction is suddenly brought back into the psychological equation. How are you going to handle it?

What can’t be done is to work on the client with, say, a Moon-Uranus square, showing how emotional shock and separation has created an unreal and glassy barrier between the client and his loved one, and then say: “You’ll separate in 5½ months”. Experience shows that even good astrologers get predictions wrong quite a lot of the time. Concrete predictions without the involvement of the client are quite unhelpful. Clients tend to ignore them; they don’t sink in. On the other hand, when clients are invited into the prediction process they get enthusiastically involved, and there is a likelihood that the predictions will be correct.

Specific predictions about the future can be made if the details of a client’s life have been explained by the client. The fewer the details the more difficult it is to be specific – at least that is my personal experience. There are literally millions of permutations in a person’s future, if you have no idea of the framework. Looking at an Underground map it is possible show someone the way, but it is impossible to imagine what it will be like emerging into the hectic crowds at Piccadilly Circus or Times Square, if you have never been there. Only the client knows what it is like to be the client; without the client’s involvement prediction will fall flat.

Prediction in this context is the co-creation of a desirable scenario by the client with the guidance of the astrologer. Events do not come out of the blue – or at least it is very rare. The car is not going to crash; the plane is not going to be hijacked; the client will not win the lottery. Normally events unfold exactly according to the wishes and drives of the client. What a client builds up in life is a combination of hope and experience – Jupiter and Saturn. The mind is in a constant state of wishing for a desired scenario, whilst taking account of the current limitations. The transits of the outer planets represent more subtle forces that can seem outside the client’s control. Thus transit Pluto might show an existential battle that is draining a client of energy, Neptune an inner sense of meaninglessness that undermines the life nerve, Uranus a restlessness and desire for freedom… and these feelings may be more or less unconscious. The astrologer can help define the goals, refine the hopes, and explain the evolutionary processes of the outer planet transits.

When the client comes to the astrologer, there is often tremendous lack of clarity about the future. Clients are not at first so interested in what psychological patterns make them tick, but they are very interested in what to do. They feel perhaps that they have a variety of choices. You feel that you have a good idea via transits and the consultation chart, which way things will go, though you may be wrong. Prediction is now the art of aligning the genuine desires and needs of the client with the indications you see in the horoscope.

In the following example the client came 6 minutes earlier than the planned time of 10 a.m.:

Consultation chart: March 14th 2008. 9.54 am Copenhagen. (AS 27.59 GE)

Birth Chart: May 16th 1963. 17.20 Copenhagen (AS 27.24 LI)

The birth chart showed a tight T-square with Saturn at 22.51 Aquarius conjunct the Moon and opposite Mars at 21.40 Leo, with a Sun-Mercury conjunction in Taurus in 8th House. The consultation chart (transiting) Neptune is within 3 minutes of arc of that Saturn. Her Mars-Saturn opposition is echoed in the consultation chart by the exact sextile that takes place between these planets that day showing her enormous drive for professional success. The current Venus-Mars trine reflects the very same trine in her birth chart. The Sun-Moon square in the consultation chart with an orb of one degree reflects the Sun-Moon square with the same orb in the birth chart. Both the birth chat and consultation chart Ascendants are at 27 degrees.

This is a good example of the client’s expressed wishes for the future being out of harmony with the astrological indications. The client launched into a description of her plan to sell a new health project to the corporate world and wanted to know about her chances. But the consultation chart shows the main players in transition – the Ascendant will soon change sign, and there is imminent change for Ascendant ruler Mercury, where it will enter the opposite sign from its rulership (and will therefore be out on a limb), and furthermore oppose Saturn, which hardly bodes well for success. And clearly with transit Neptune activating the Mars/Saturn opposition in 2008 and the Sun/Moon square in 2009, the realization of ambitions and attainment of material security is simply not on the agenda. Further probing revealed that the client was had been off sick with stress for four months, which is clearly indicated in the consultation chart by the separation of the Moon in the 12th house in square to Uranus by four degrees (reflecting her natal Moon/Uranus opposition). So basically the client was in no state to fight the battles that she had in mind amongst the big players in the health industry.

The psychological astrologer could focus on many things, but obviously the Moon/Saturn conjunction in the 4th opposite Mars indicates a relentless and dominating mother, who managed to maintain a glassy distance to her child, and punished her physically when she was out of line. With transiting Neptune going over this pattern and squaring the Sun and Mercury in Taurus from 2008 to 2010 it was highly unlikely that she would have career success, and highly unlikely that she would attain the economic security that the Sun in Taurus in the 8th longs for. But the T-square also shows a stubborn determination, so, despite being off work with stress, she was still driving herself hard.

With the consultation chart ruler in the 10th going into Pisces to oppose Saturn, quite clearly she was not going to realize her plans. My first job was therefore to disavow her of her belief in the possibility of career success in competition with large and successful health care firms. Really this idea is reflected by Mercury in Aquarius conjoining Neptune and the North Node, and Mercury would be moving out of Aquarius within the day. The Sun’s conjunction with Uranus and sextile to Jupiter in the 8th showed the big players.

Psychologically speaking the meaning of Neptune’s transit over the T-square is to soften up the ambitious and oppositional approach which she has to life. Generally this softening up occurs because initiatives run into the sand, the ocean undermines the cliff. Failure is the engine of change, bringing surrender, and with surrender come acceptance, spiritual depth, nuance and insight. My client’s “stress” was a trick of the psyche to stop her in her tracks until she had redefined her views about what was important about living.

What was not conducive to happiness was to continue a pattern of behavior that required her to battle against the odds. That is what she did in childhood. She was beaten into submission but survived by switching off the emotional signals (Moon-Saturn in Aquarius) and putting up a stubborn fight. Punishment was met by defiance; when pushed, she dug her heels in.

To get the client to realign to a more empowering view of the future requires working with past and future in parallel. Holding the future scenario in mind – she had to drop her doomed enterprise – the strategy is to get her to reconnect with the emotions connected with her difficult childhood, and evoke an awareness of certain decisions she made at the time to hold out, no matter what. With the dawning of realization it is then possible to turn the attention to the future once again.
Her main concern was for security – she must battle it out and win… it was a matter of economic survival. But that’s tough, because her economy will be undermined in the future with the Neptune transit to her Taurus sun. It would be foolish to imagine economic security in the short term. So what are the bright points?

The bright points are: she his married, her husband has a good job, so he can support her (as indeed he is doing while she is off work with stress). The ruler of the 7th house (partner) in the consultation chart is Jupiter, in partner’s 2nd house, where it will retrograde to trine Saturn during 2008 and also sextile Uranus… he is earning more money all the time. She owns her home and there is plenty of equity in the property. And with current house prices, that is a lot of money. So what is the problem? She has enough to tide her over during the next 2 years. And she agrees.

Now she is already feeling better because the prospect of struggling for success is in reality overwhelming for her, and the idea of letting things flow whilst her husband provides the security is having growing appeal. But what should she do with her time? What she should do is what Mercury will do… enter Pisces, oppose Saturn, conjoin Venus, ultimately activating the Jupiter/Uranus sextile, though that is some time into the future. Mercury has actually been retrograde in Aquarius and had conjoined Venus earlier, and then Venus had gone ahead. Now Mercury, gathering speed, was about to conjoin Venus again, but this time a Venus exalted in Pisces. What story is that?

The story is that she has written a book for her child (Venus and Mercury rule the 5th house in the consultation chart). Whilst she had been off sick, that was what she did. She liked doing it. She did not like struggling to find clients for her health business, but when she sat down to write that book, time went by and she felt happy. Should she try to get the book published? Well, if she does it will be rejected – Mercury opposes Saturn – the book is not good enough, yet. What will happen is that as Mercury reconnects with Venus and then travel together through Pisces until activating the Jupiter/Uranus sextile, she will continue creative writing. This may also be good in the long-term for success in the health industry, but probably because of some innovation or alternative approach.

The client liked this scenario and left with a feeling that she could survive a couple of years of financial insecurity with the resources offered by her husband and property, and that she could advantageously use her time being creative. At the same time she had a psychological understanding of the inner dynamics that made her stick at something that was not going to bear fruit. In this way the consultation satisfactorily integrated quite a detailed scenario for the future, with some psychological realization and change.

A good astrological consultation interweaves past, present and future into an integrated whole. Rediscovering the past is not enough in itself; the insights of the past have to be integrated in a plan for the future, and the plan for the future is waiting to be discovered in the consultation chart and expanded upon with the combined resources of client and astrologer in an empowering act of co-creation.

Note 1: Coronation of Elizabeth I: January 15, 1559 12.00 LMT
Note 2: The consequences for Seymour were not so good. Catherine Parr had him arrested for treason and beheaded.
Note 3: Catriona Mundle who helped restore this first edition is still practicing as a consultant in England.
Note 4: Project Hindsight was founded in 1993 astrological scholars Robert Hand, Robert Zoller and Robert Schmidt and is dedicated to translating original astrological texts.
Note 5. This example comes from my book: “Astrology: Transformation and Empoerment” Red Wheel-Weiser 2002. (Page 220)