Saturn comes to the Galactic Center in late February.

The Galactic Center, or GC, is a point at the center of our galaxy where there is a huge, intensely powerful Black Hole that emits enormous amounts of radio and other frequencies.

It falls at 27 Sagittarius and remains a very fixed point barely moving a degree over my lifetime.  Since astrologers have not been watching this point but for a couple of decades, there is little accepted doctrine about its meaning.

Recently Astrodienst posted an excellent article by Mandi Lockley that illustrated that “whistleblowers” almost always have a planet or significant chart feature at the GC. You can access  this article here:

Other astrologers have offered some additional insights about the GC, but I am not going to elaborate on those here. What I do want to point out is that transiting Saturn will make an exact conjunction to the GC in late February 2017.   My own view on transits maintains that the influence of the transiting planet is felt before the conjunction is exact. Therefore, if there is a Saturn/GC influence, we have been experiencing it for at least two or three months while Saturn has been within 5 degrees of  26 Sagittarius.

Have we seen a greater effort to squash and inhibit “whistleblowing?”  Has there been a greater effort on the part of whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing?

Chelsea Manning has had her sentence commuted with this transit, and there has been a great deal of attention being paid to “leaks” of all kinds.



Orcus, Pallas and Neptune and political activism.

I have been posting here about the USA Orcus return and how I see that as marker for the political changes and the upheavals that are happening in my home country of the USA. I had an article published at the website blog of The Mountain Astrologer last April about this which you can read here:

Here in the USA people are engaging in political activism like never before. The planetary energies that have contributed to the social and economic factors that brought on great disillusionment and frustration are certainly those of the outer slower moving planets. In recent years those include transiting Pluto opposing the USA Sun, Mars, and Venus while transiting Saturn has squared them. Saturn is now making a square to the USA Midheaven, Neptune, and Black Moon.  Also, the long transiting square of Uranus to Pluto over the past decade has marked a time of great frustration and desire for change.

But very recently we had a burst of political activism, certainly catalyzed by the recent  presidential election that occurred exactly with the USA Orcus return. I suggest that a close opposition of Pallas and Orcus may be at work now and over the last month.

Pallas is an asteroid  and therefore its influence will be less profound and of less duration than that of Orcus which falls in a class called Plutinos or minor planets.  It moves quickly through the signs staying only a few months in each sign.  In natal charts I have found Pallas  to be associated with political activism or advocacy work. I have not seen a prominent Pallas often in the charts of politicians in formal roles as elected officials or those who hold other powerful positions in institutions; but rather it seems to show up in charts of people who work behind the scenes or from outside the government often advocating for the underdog or the oppressed.

Orcus contributes to implacability, a fierce and often merciless determination to achieve its ends. Jeremy Neal has written about it in his seminal book Orcus as a force, that like Pluto, is associated with the underworld and with death and regeneration. In some myths, Orcus is an executioner often assigned the task of punishing or destroying the enemy or the ones who have broken oaths.  He is the one appointed to do the deed or execute the strategy that the powerful or the activists have deemed necessary.

This connection to the breaking of oaths is very interesting. Can the oath here be that of the soul’s sacred oath that is determined before it incarnates- that oath being to fulfill a certain spiritual destiny and take on and endure certain challenges or tasks?  Neal feels that Orcus challenges have to do with learning integrity, which is the ability to remain true to one’s principles and moral code.  I suggest that may include being true to our soul’s highest purpose, to that original oath.  Although the dark manifestations of Orcus can bring a blind determination for destroying one’s perceived enemy, it can also manifest in the spiritual transformation through tests of isolation and imprisonment which is the result of acts of moral courage and integrity.  It is a marker for tests that force one to find a core of one’s being and an authentic moral code.  I suspect that the current controversies concerning torture are part of this Orcan influence.

Pallas recently opposed Orcus and came into conjunction with Neptune.  The conjunction to Neptune being exact on January 31, 2017 and the opposition to Orcus on January 27, 2017. The Womens’ March, a remarkable manifestation of activism, was organized just as Orcus made its return to the exact degree and minute in the USA Natal Chart  in November and December of 2016 and also with a recent eclipse degree and the transiting North Node all at 9Virgo.  Pallas was transiting the USA Moon (women?) and was making a sextile to transiting Uranus, a planet of social conscience and collective political undertakings, at that time.

I have been following political news including much of the alternative and independent news outlets as these are the mouthpieces of the most radical elements. This is where many activist movements are often conceived.  Often what shows up in mainstream news or as an actual protest or organized movement had its start a few weeks or months before.  I find it very interesting  that the new Justice Democrats has formalized and gone public exactly with the timing of this Pallas/Orcus/Neptune configuration.

Pallas coming into conjunction with Neptune may also be marking this time of increased involvement in political movements. With transiting Neptune in Pisces, some may be experiencing a greater compassion for those who are not being served well by government policies. While for others this Neptune passage may be causing them to be easily influenced and carried away by their emotions, and causing them to be easily swayed or influenced by certain movements that appeal to sentimentalism or fear. The well-known Neptune trait that is associated with escapism, deception and illusion, and often blind idealism may be assisting the appeal to many social and political extremes. Neptune can be a force for great compassion and service to mankind, but it can also reinforce states of denial and self-deception.

It will be interesting to see if there is another surge of activist activity when Pallas conjoins with transiting Uranus in June of 2017, and perhaps when it again comes into tight aspect with Orcus in 2018 where it will trine Orcus at 10 Taurus.  Neptune will remain in Pisces for years, and its last passage through Neptune occurred in the run-up to the US Civil War. Curiously, many people have voiced that it feels that we are so harshly divided it is as if a civil war may be brewing.

Loners: a lighthearted look at loners in all 12 signs.

Astrologers frequently suggest that a certain few signs are prone to being “loners.” If the natal chart shows a predominant influence of Virgo or Pisces or Cancer it can indeed be a strong indication of a need for solitude. But a chart that displays all or most of the planets below the horizon will contribute to this, while a chart strong in those three signs if there are mitigating chart aspects, may not.

I found this list of “Types of Loners” at one of the astrology forums and added a few comments. It rings true and demonstrates that at times most signs feel the need to retreat from society but each sign does it in a its unique way.


Types of Loners
Aries : The pioneer loner. If you can’t keep up with me, I’d rather go it alone. Climbing a mountain or on some other adventure.
Taurus: I-enjoy-my-alone-time-loner. With my feet up, and glass of wine and peace and quiet.
Gemini: Writer loner or artistic hobbyist. Short spurts of withdrawal that don’t last more than a couple of weeks.
Cancer: Homebody loner. Making art or music or cooking.
Leo: Sulking-in-a-cave-loner dreaming of next big commission, business start-up, acting role, or love affair. But it’s temporary.
Virgo: Hermit, naturopath, herbalist loner. Happily taking care of their plants and animals.
Libra: Socially-incapacitated-via-the-birthchart-loner – rare but a few do exist. Often abusing substances until their social life/love life kicks in.
Scorpio : Paranoid loner. Door lock, chain lock, three deadbolts, a front door camera and a peephole.
Sagittarius: A new-intellectual-adventure-every-month- loner. Similar to Aries but more likely to be in a library somewhere or binge-watching Indie flicks.
Capricorn: Old-woman-of-the-mountains- loner. Living off the grid somewhere and/or stockpiling survivalist stuff. Or the entrepreneur loner, building a small fortune from home by day trading or working his Internet business.
Aquarius: Eccentric loner. Inventing something in their lab or garage.
Pisces: Artistic, mystic loner. Writing poetry, meditating, and wondering why they never feel like they “fit in.”

More on Orcus.

In my last post I wrote about the U.S. Orcus return that will occur at 9-09 Virgo in December and how I think this is driving the political climate here.

I recently read Jeremy Neal’s excellent text entitled Orcus and can recommend it as a thorough examination of this Plutino’s influence and the history of the mythology of Orcus. He sees Orcus energy as similar to Pluto in that it can make for extremism, implacability, and great strength during difficult life tests. But where Pluto often manifests in the compulsive need to control others and situations, Orcus offers spiritual challenges that manifest around the themes of integrity and authenticity which are created through crises of imprisonment, isolation, and moral dilemmas. These crises challenge us to learn self-control rather than external control. They ask us to become uncompromised in our ethical standards.

As I am watching the upheaval in both political parties, I am seeing that the populace does seem to be very hungry for more “authenticity” from their leaders. There is also an increasing awareness of the lack of integrity and the rampant corruption that is built into the political system. Perhaps this Orcus return, which I believe is well under way, will signify a tipping point in U.S. politics where a critical mass of the electorate will begin to commit themselves to working for true and deep systemic change.

Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and the USA Orcus Return

Yes, years before the USA Pluto Return, Orcus, “Pluto’s twin,” makes its return.

There has been much talk in the astrology community in recent years about the Pluto Return that will happen for the United States in 2025. On that date Pluto will return to the same degree it was on the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed. This has never happened before since Pluto requires about 245 years to make a complete orbit. Astrologer Michael Lutin has suggested that this will represent a new beginning or a death for our “empire.”[i] He and other astrologers have cited evidence that other empires have rarely endured a complete Pluto cycle without a significant decline. We can certainly say that it will be a once in a 245-year event.

[i] Lutin, M., “ Special Alert: Horoscope U.S.A.,” Vanity Fair, (online) December, 2006

The USA 2016 presidential election cycle is producing a never-before-seen enthusiasm for two non-establishment candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Could this be a reflection of the impending USA Orcus Return?

In the USA Natal chart (the Sibly Chart) Orcus falls in 9°09’ Virgo, in the ninth house. Orcus came to 8° Virgo in November of 2015 and stationed there in early January of 2016, and it will retrograde back to 6° Virgo in July. By August it will resume direct motion and station at exactly 9°09’ in mid-December. Although Orcus will move forward and retrograde over 9° Virgo for almost three years, it is well within a 3° orb of its return point at this time.

To add to the drama, there will be some additional celestial activity at 9° Virgo this fall. A New Moon eclipse occurs at 9° Virgo on September 1, 2016 and the North Node of the Moon comes to 9° Virgo in late November of 2016.
Some astrologers teach that eclipse points become “sensitized” degrees, and the first celestial body that transits the eclipse degree can be a trigger for an event. The event is then colored by the nature of the planet, the aspects it makes, and the house and sign of the eclipse. After the September 1 eclipse, Orcus will be the first significant body of our solar system to make this transit about a month after the North Node.

There are similar ties that connect the Orcus positions of these two unconventional candidates with the USA Orcus. In the birth charts of both Sanders and Trump, the natal Orcus position squares the USA Orcus position. Trump’s natal also shows his Sun in a stellium with Orcus, Uranus and his North Node all of which squares the USA Midheaven, Black Moon and Neptune. It also squares the USA Saturn and is conjunct USA Mars.

Sanders chart boasts a Virgo stellium of the Sun, the North Node, Neptune and Mercury all of which conjunct the USA Midheaven, Black Moon and Orcus. This stellium also squares Orcus in his natal, and his North Node exactly conjuncts the USA Neptune. His Orcus/Jupiter conjunction falls on the USA Mars and trines Saturn. Unfortunately there is uncertainty about Sanders’ birth time, but if we use the birth chart showing a 22 degrees of Scorpio Rising, his Neptune exactly conjuncts the USA Midheaven, and the USA Orcus return at 9° Virgo exactly conjuncts Sanders’ Midheaven.

In mundane astrology, Virgo is associated with health and healthcare, employment, wages and the conditions of our everyday work environment, labor unions, disaster preparedness, and the military. Since it is an Earth sign, it may also have some association to the natural environment. Ninth house affairs include higher education, religion and philosophy, the courts, air travel and shipping, imports and exports, immigration, and weather conditions around the coast. Quite a few of these seem to be big issues in this election cycle. Might we see catalyzing events of a dramatic nature or perhaps a clearly defined turning point?

The Sabian Symbol for 9° degrees of Virgo is “two heads looking out of the shadows.” This is a fitting symbol for these two candidates who are an expression of voters of both parties who seem to be looking for a way out of “politics as usual.”
Perhaps, the influence of these two candidates and this Orcus Return will usher in a new era in USA politics that will culminate at the Pluto Return in 2025.

If you would like to read more about how transits of Orcus have correlated or influenced events in the history of the U.S., Jeremy Neal’s text Orcus devotes an entire chapter to this topic.  He has also had a recent article published at the website of The Mountain Astrologer entitled “Orcus opposite Neptune: Then and Now.”

Family patterns in astrology

Recently, I did a natal chart reading for a male client who had five planets in Taurus. I went back through my hundreds of files, and I could find only one other with five planets in the same sign and a couple with five in the same house. When I spoke to this man, I emphasized how rare it is to have so many planets so close together at birth. A few months later he contacted me and asked that I prepare a chart and reading for his only sibling, his sister. When I saw her chart I was surprised to see five planets in Libra. Then I regained my “nothing surprises me in astrology” mindset and realized this was just a unique family pattern.

I see family patterns regularly, and they all are unique. Although the above example was a sample of only two natal charts which could be easily explained by coincidence, I am fortunate to have 11 siblings and 16 nieces and nephews whose charts I could use for a three-generation family pattern study. Thus, I undertook the analysis of these 29 birth charts of my parents and the two generations of their descendants. I tallied the primary triad signs: Sun, Moon and Ascendants since these are universally considered by astrologers to be the most important determinants of temperament.

At first glance of the charts there were a few patterns that stood out immediately with a preponderance of four signs that appeared in Ascendant, Sun and Moon positions: Aquarius, Scorpio, Cancer and Leo. I could see that none of these charts boasted five planets in a single house or sign. Clearly that type of stellium would not be a defining pattern in my family tree. However a quick analysis of the Sun, Moon and rising signs revealed results that would be difficult to ascribe to random coincidence.

In the natal charts of my eleven siblings and myself there is not one earth Sun sign. Since there are three earth signs out a total of twelve, one should expect to see an average of about a quarter of the charts boasting earth signs in any large sample. Admittedly, twelve is not a large sample, but this anomaly remains significant. This one statistic taken by itself could indeed be attributed to chance, however when I looked at the twelve rising signs in these charts, again there was not a single Earth rising sign among them.

This brought to mind a comment my Dad would make from time to time about how other men in his circle had children who were accountants, dentists and even plumbers: all very practical occupations and some quite affluent. Yet, he had spawned a tribe of “gypsies” who were an assortment of “musicians, writers, artists, political organizers and an astrologer.” Indeed the dearth of earth was very apparent in the vocations and lifestyles his progeny chose.

My Dad was a writer in his youth and very involved in community work and volunteering later in life. The Moon is his only Earth planet in a strong fire chart boasting the Sun in Aries and Leo rising. My mother is a Sun in Sagittarius, Libra rising with the Moon in Gemini. Her chart ruler falls in Earth along with Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn. Thus, both parents have what most astrologers would consider a good dose of Earth (one has a Moon- the other the ruler in Earth) though it is not the dominant element by any means. As a couple they managed to raise twelve of us and provide a stable home where my mother lives today at the age of ninety. This may not have been the case if both parents’ charts were completely lacking in Earth.

Next, I tallied the Moon signs by element. Here I found three Earth sign Moons, a number more like one would expect in a random universe. Even with this sudden appearance of Earth, this finding also reinforced the theory of family patterns since my Dad had the Moon in Taurus. Neither parent had an Earth Sun or Ascendant and none of their children had either of these two Earth features. But one parent had an Earth Moon, and that pattern repeated in his children.

The Fire and Air sign legacy in their children’s charts was a logical pattern based on my parents charts, but where all that Scorpio and Cancer came from is still a mystery: five siblings have these signs rising, four have these Moon signs and three have these Sun signs. Regrettably, I do not have birth times for my grandparents to see if that is where I might see a past history of Cancer and Scorpio.

Next, I analyzed the third generation of the 16 grandchildren. Again, I tallied the Ascendants, Sun and Moon signs to see if the Earth element would repeat it’s statistically weak representation in this generation or perhaps there would be a new pattern or no pattern at all in these three metrics. The results are very similar and for brevity I will summarize:

Again there are few (only two) earth sun signs, and few (three) earth rising signs , but five Earth moons. This trend seems to suggest that the dearth of earth is lessening, but the predominance of Fire and Air is still obvious. And the Moon signs again are where Earth is showing up with the greatest frequency.

The most interesting finding of this analysis is that of my nieces and nephews who have Earth signs in their primary triad, all are the progeny of one of my only two siblings who have their ruling planets in Earth and/or their other parent has a strong Earth chart. It should be expected that the astrological patterns of both their parents would have influence lessening the influence from my own biological family.

The enchanting dance of duality in the zodiac.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Nature is comprised of dualities that seek to always balance each other.

So it is in astrology. The dance of opposing forces is very evident in the progression of the twelve zodiacal signs as well as in the dual nature of opposite signs.

Each sign is a reaction to the previous one: Aries is all bluster and impetuous energy; Taurus is the sign that balances all that impulsiveness by being cautious and patient. Taurus resists change; Gemini pursues it. Gemini is flighty and commitment avoidant; Cancer craves security and familiarity. Cancer wants to mother you and keep you safe at home; Leo asks you to have courage and go out into the world and perform. Leo believes all his of creative impulses must be good; but Virgo will only put her name on something that she has toiled and worried over in an effort to create perfection. Virgo needs solitude; Libra wilts when alone. Libra avoids conflict and exploring the darker impulse of his nature; Scorpio is relentless in his examination of his darker side (and everyone elses’ too.) Scorpio is secretive and guarded; Sagittarius is an open book. Saggy is an optimist and a dilettante; Capricorn is focused and tends to depression. Capricorn wants to create institutions and gain personal power within them; Aquarius wants to destroy the social norms and wants everyone to share the power equally. Aquarius is mystified by his feelings and values reason above all else; Pisces lives in his feelings and sees where reason is limited. Pisces would like to meditate all day; Aries can’t sit still. And so it goes.

Astrologers have written about these dynamics before and in much greater depth than I have here. But the point has been made about the duality we see everywhere in nature. Not only do the successive signs participate in this dance of duality, but so do opposite signs. Opposite signs are like two sides of the same coin and have common essence and remarkable similarities in addition to their obvious contrasts.

Aries and Libra are both cardinal, proactive signs and will fight for fairness.
The fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio both value productivity and have great determination.
The mutable signs of Gemini and Sagittarius share restlessness, curiosity and mental energy.
Cancer and Capricorn are security conscious and capable of great focus.
Leo and Aquarius offer leadership especially with the welfare and education of youth and the future of mankind.
Virgo and Pisces ask us to examine our values, our methods and our motives to prepare us for a higher, better expression of ourselves by surrendering that which holds us back.