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Israel’s Angry Mood

Although the conflict between Jews and Palestinians in Israel has been mostly about territory and nationality over the years, it is rapidly being aggravated and intensified by religious extremists on both sides. The upsurge in November of violent attacks by Palestinians, fueled by fury and powerlessness over the status quo, has alarmed many. A few weeks ago, there was a series of lethal stabbings, and, more recently, an assault on a synagogue which resulted in four fatalities, including the deaths of three rabbis. Many fear a third intifada is imminent or possibly even a religious war. Tensions are mounting, with no one clear how to de-escalate the situation.

A look at Israel’s chart shows us that this is indeed a time of great turmoil and potential for violence, upset, and agitation. From late October 2014 through early February 2015, there are a series of progressions and transits that point to a high level of disruption, unexpected attacks, and aggressive response. Solar arc Uranus is currently conjunct israelIsrael’s natal Mars (28Leo19) through February 2015, triggered by the transit of Uranus (13Aries) sesquiquadrate natal Mars, stationary from mid-October 2014 through early February 2015. To further accentuate the anger and aggressiveness of Mars, the progressed Midheaven is currently semisquare natal Mars from May 2014 to May 2015, with the same Uranus station conjunct the progressed IC from late October through January.  Any transit to this configuration is likely to activate its potential for sudden, fierce, and violent events (Mars/Uranus) that deeply disturb and agitate the entire nation (IC/Uranus). Recent circumstances bear this out, with transiting Mars (12 – 13 Capricorn) crossing square transiting Uranus during the series of stabbings in early November, and the transiting Sun (27 – 28 Scorpio) moving into a square to natal Mars, with the transiting Moon nearing a square to transiting Uranus, during the synagogue attack and its aftermath.

The upcoming days and weeks are likely to provide further agitation to these sensitive degrees in Israel’s chart, possibly indicating more disturbing and dark events. Transiting Mercury will square natal Mars on November 25- 26. Likely to be even more inflammatory, transiting Saturn will square natal Mars from November 30 through December 8, further exacerbated by transiting Mars quincunx natal Mars from November 30 to December 2. In addition, transiting Pluto will move into a sesquiquadrate with natal Mars from December 6 through January 5. It is hard to see this period, from November 25 through January 6, as not containing significant upheaval, aggression, and unexpected violence, with Israel largely on the offense in response.

Of great concern is the Saturn station from February 6 through March 27 quincunx Israel’s Venus (4Cancer49) which points to some grief and upset among the population, perhaps as an aftermath to the events of December and January. The Saturn/Venus combination suggests some sadness and difficulties. The final 10 days of March should also be watched for increasing tension and volatility, when transiting Uranus crosses the IC of the 2015 Spring Equinox chart drawn for Jerusalem (16Aries09).

Tea and Moldy Crumpets

If you are really hungry and don’t have many resources, it might make sense to use a lot of strong spice in a two-week old stew and then hope it doesn’t make you sick. But it is a dangerous gamble.

Today’s mainstream conservatives stand for many of the same policies that they have for decades, such as an unfettered free-market with minimal taxes and little regulation. Some of these ideas may have made sense in a bygone era, when capitalism was young and thriving, but they seem increasingly problematic and even dangerous in an era of exceedingly wealthy mega-corporations with little national loyalty and lots of carefully camouflaged, untaxable income.

Well-crafted restrictions and regulations are clearly necessary to protect the public from the huge, uncaring footprint of global behemoths, often unwilling to carefully police themselves and take appropriate action for dealing with their environmental and financial detritus. Moreover, some amount of taxed income siphoned from the untouched trillions buried offshore would do wonders for the needs of many nations struggling after the collapse of 2008.

As an aging capitalism moves increasingly towards oligarchy, a situation when more and more wealth and power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, balance can be restored with conscientiously constructed policy. But today’s Republicans seem incapable of looking at the modern world with an unjaundiced eye. To say that the old, rancid stew the Republicans offer is dangerous to the health of the nation is a vast understatement. But they season their toxic concoction with the seductive fires of righteous wrath and the piquancy of manufactured grievance of the Tea Party, and, in so doing, are able to effectively sell their tarnished wares.

This unholy alliance of mainstream conservatives, with their old and repeatedly disproven ideas, and the firebrands of the modern Tea Party seems a partnership destined for big trouble. Already there is a feel among many that the Right has created a form of Frankenstein’s monster: an uncontrollable fringe that is incapable of flexibility in the face of reality. Facts are twisted or simply made up out of whole cloth to fit with an ideology based in fantasies of victimization and unbridled fury. When the nation’s legislature derives its purpose from this noxious brew, the country is likely to become ill.

The current battlefield in the immediate post-election season is shaping up to be immigration. The Right is practically apoplectic over President Obama’s pledge to craft an executive order on the subject following more than a year of congressional inaction and obstruction. In their twisted and misanthropic world view, letting Hispanic-American children, as well as foreign-born but legally-documented children of Hispanic descent, keep their illegal parents around to support and protect them is such an egregious abuse of power that it might even be grounds for impeachment. In reality, the steady stream of breathless vitriol frothing from the mouths of conservatives is vintage Tea Party hyperbole and has literally consumed the entire Republican narrative. Although the more practical mainstreamers would secretly love to find a way to mine that rich vein of Hispanic voters, their fear of the fringe’s political blood lust is palpable. But stress fractures are deepening within the coalition.

Two of the most prominent leaders of today’s Republican Party are Senator Mitch McConnell, the newly-elected Senate Majority Leader and establishment politician, and Senator Ted Cruz, the demagogic Tea Party firebrand. The birth charts of these two individuals point to significant difficulties in the coming months, likely indicative of a festering struggle between these two branches of Conservatopia. mcconnell

For Mitch McConnell, progressed Mercury has joined the conjunction of progressed Saturn and progressed Uranus (29Taurus20) beginning around August 2014 and intensifying through April 2015. This configuration will be crossed by an opposition from transiting Saturn (29Scorpio) from December 9 through December 18, 2014, and triggered by minor hard aspects from Pluto (14 Capricorn) and Uranus (14 Aries) from early January through early March 2015. Saturn will return to activate the waning progression during June 2015. In addition, transiting Saturn will square McConnell’s Sun (1Pisces26) three times over the coming year: in January, May and September/October 2015. These aspects all point to significant difficulties for McConnell in December 2014 and much of 2015, including obstruction, frustration, and the need to compromise or face failure.

Interestingly, Ted Cruz has natal Neptune at (1Sagittarius41) in an exact square to McConnell’s Sun (1Pisces26). Cruz will experience a series of strong Saturn transits to his Neptune at the same time that McConnell will experience a potent Saturn square to his Sun: in January, May, and September/October 2015. Saturn crossing Cruz’ Neptune will tend to squash unrealistic expectations and bring disillusionment and upset. During late 2014 and all of 2015, Cruz will additionally be under a progressed Sun square to his progressed and natal Saturn (15Taurus58, 16Taurus18). This aspect underlines the theme of frustration and points to the need for limited and incremental goals. Ultimately, it seems likely that the simultaneous Saturn transits in McConnell’s chart and those in Cruz’ chart are connected, indicating that each of these Senators will likely be a key player in the other’s struggles. cruz

As of the spring 2015, Cruz is also entering a particularly charismatic period in his life, which is likely to endear him to the base of the Republican Party and establish his influence and popularity in 2016, in a similar manner to what Sarah Palin did in 2008. Progressed Venus will be conjunct his natal Sun (00Capricorn31) through the Spring of 2016, followed by progressed Sun square natal Venus (17Scorpio53) from June 2016 through June 2017. These two back- to-back progressions point to Cruz becoming the darling of the Tea Party for the next two and a half years and a force to be reckoned with for those who would like to see politics as a means to solve problems rather than a way to inflame and agitate the masses.

The Aftermath

Now that the president and his party have been bloodied by the crimson tide of the November 4th election, the question on everyone’s mind is: What’s next? As previously predicted on this site, the planetary picture in President Obama’s chart and in the 2013 Inaugural chart looked exceptionally stressful through November 13th, which suggested a significant loss in the election. The Inaugural progressed Moon and tertiary Venus were both in aspect to Inaugural Saturn (10Scorpio48), waxing in impact through November 8, and transiting Saturn has been triggering Obama’s solar arc Moon opposite his natal Saturn (25Capricorn), while also in square to his Uranus (25Leo), from November 4 through November 13. Invariably, Saturn aspects elicit a contraction of potency and prestige, a need for focus, compromise, and discipline, and often indicate significant strain and frustration.

From November 9 through November 13, however, the nonstop political bloviating over the election’s decaying carcass is likely to be swept away in the face of dramatic events that once again highlight the larger struggles of our time. Mars will be activating the ongoing conflicts inherent in the transiting Uranus/Pluto square and likely bring about a surge of violent confrontations in the war against the Islamic State, as well the possibility of equally violent confrontations with Mother Nature in our feeble war on Climate Change. This will also be a period when brutal incidents and serious accidents and explosions are more likely.

Another period of significance is suggested from November 20 through November 29, during which both Saturn and Pluto will aspect the US Moon (27Aquarius12), pointing to a time of serious stress for the country as a whole. Many Democrats, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, will be impacted and upset by these circumstances, although it is probable that this configuration indicates something more than a political battle. There is likely to be some kind of sorrow and loss that impacts enough people and induces enough anxiety to become a national story.USchart

For President Obama, there is now a new energy building and a new assertiveness, despite the post-November 4 posturing for conciliation on both sides of the political landscape. Obama’s tertiary progressed Mars is opposing his Ascendant (18Aquarius03) from October 23 through January 5, followed by tertiary Sun square tertiary Mars from January 12 through March 7. The tertiary progressed Inaugural Node has also just moved into a square with Inaugural Mars (20Aquarius13) and semisquare Inaugural Uranus (5Aries14) as of November 3, 2014, through early November 2015. By 2016, through the remainder of the term, progressed Inaugural Mars will be square the Inaugural natal and progressed Node (23Scorpio31/44). Clearly some of this heightened Mars energy points to an increase in political confrontation and conflict over the next two years, although another strong focus will probably be manifested through the president’s role as Commander-in-Chief. It seems likely that the war on ISIS will intensify exponentially over the coming months during the final phase of the Uranus/Pluto square from November 2014 through March 2015, and almost certainly continue with the Pluto opposition to US Sun through 2015.obama

There will be times of serious setbacks and difficulties, as well as times of greater optimism and success for the president over the next two years. The Saturn transit to the president’s MC (28Scorpio53) which more or less coincides with Saturn sesquiquadrate the US Sun (13Cancer19), as well as a portion of the Pluto semisquare to the president’s MC and opposite the US Sun, points to some brief difficulties during the first half of December 2014, and some more extensive struggles from mid-June through mid-September 2015, the latter time frame simultaneous with a period of heightened aggression due to transiting Uranus sextile Inaugural Mars (tertiary Node). The Saturn transit opposite Obama’s Moon (3Gemini21) and quincunx his Venus (1Cancer49) in January 2015 and mid-April to mid-May 2015 are also likely to signify losses and complications of some kind.inaugural13

On the more positive side, Jupiter continues in Leo through early August 2015, bringing some very favorable times for the president and his agenda. This will be especially true during the Jupiter station conjunct the president’s Sun from mid-March to mid-April 2015.

But it is during 2016, when much of the smoke clears from the multi-year Uranus/Pluto square and the protracted Pluto transit opposite the US Sun, that President Obama will once again take on the persona of achievement and charisma that got him elected in the first place. There are numerous progressions in his chart that emerge at that time supporting this beneficial shift. It seems likely the country will be on firmer footing in many areas and President Obama’s legacy of success will be ensured before he leaves office.

November Stress

There is an anxious, edgy feeling in the US these days. It is not so much an overt, active fear, as it is a jumpy, cautious agitation and distrust. Some of this relates to concerns about the African Ebola epidemic spreading across the Atlantic. Some of it centers on simmering fears of “lone wolf” terrorists unleashing murder and mayhem in random acts of violence that could erupt, literally, anywhere. And some of it may be the slow burn of anger and suspicion over suppressed voting rights or police misconduct.

In the US chart, Pluto is in its final crossing of a semisquare to the US Moon USchart(27Aquarius12), from October 22 through December 3, an aspect that describes a state of tension and wariness held in check only by the ongoing vigilance necessary to prevent some kind of overwhelming harm. Interestingly, it was on October 22 that the Canadian Parliament was attacked by an unstable “lone wolf” with a criminal history who was a recent convert to Islam. The US terror threat level was raised shortly after that attack and remains elevated.

As this Pluto transit to the US Moon unfolds, there are some periods during which the tension it describes is likely to be intensified. When transiting Mars joins Pluto from November 9 through November 10, we may see an upsurge of aggression and anger that moves the simmering agitation from back burner to full boil. Of greater concern is the Saturn transit square to the US Moon, from November 20 through November 29, which will join the Pluto transit semisquare the US Moon as it enters its most potent phase. This seems likely to be a very stressful period for the US, bringing some kind of sorrow, anxiety, and trauma somewhere in the country. The transiting Mercury conjunction to Saturn on November 25, joined by the transiting Moon conjunct Pluto, may be a significant trigger for upsetting events.

Also occurring now in the US chart, transiting Uranus is square to the US Sun (13Cancer19), from October 12 to November 8. This transit brings with it sudden, explosive, unexpected, and shattering events. In the past few weeks, we have seen the collision of an airplane and a helicopter near Frederick, Maryland, on October 23, and a plane crash into a building in Wichita, Kansas, on October 30, as well as the explosion of the unmanned resupply rocket for the International Space Station on October 28 and the explosion of the Virgin Galactic shuttle on October 31. There was also a school shooting in Washington State on October 24. By any standard, this is an unprecedented number of incendiary events in such a brief period and seems likely to be connected to the current Uranus transit.

In the next few days, the transiting Sun will be quincunx transiting Uranus on November 5 as the election results become more clearly known, signaling a sudden and unexpected transformation that impacts the country. Although many expect the Republicans to take the Senate, should this actually happen, it will still send shockwaves through the country. On the other hand, Democrats keeping the Senate would also be unexpected and shocking to many, so this transit alone cannot be seen as determinative. Nonetheless, there will be a lot of agitation on November 5 one way or the other.

Just as Uranus begins to separate from its still-active square to the US Sun, transiting Mars will square Uranus and oppose US Sun, from November 11 to November 12. This suggests violent or very disruptive circumstances of some kind with significant consequences. Severe and dangerous weather is always a possibility during such Mars transits, but we should also be concerned about other kinds of dramatic and dangerous situations, especially with the back-to-back transit of Mars conjunct Pluto (11Capricorn37) followed by Mars square Uranus (13Aries10) from November 9 through November 12. A serious increase in violent confrontations in Iraq and Syria is likely during this configuration, as well as the potential for random acts of aggression domestically. Moreover, should the grand jury refuse to indict Darren Wilson, the killer of Michael Brown, at this time, a very angry and widespread reaction is quite possible.

We are now in the opening act of the final phase of the Uranus/Pluto square, from November 2014 through mid-March 2015. During November, both the US Moon and the US Sun are caught up in this transit, thereby bringing situations that involve the US both domestically and abroad as a part of the equation. The addition of Saturn during the last 10 days of November is likely to be especially indicative of difficulty. Whether we are talking about Ebola, the war against ISIS, domestic terrorism, or racial tensions in the country, the developing events of this period will be transformative and stressful and their impact will reverberate for a long time.

Election Musings

It has always been difficult for me to predict congressional elections. There are too many variables involved. A candidate may win, but his party may lose. A candidate may lose, but he may be getting married the next day (this actually happened) or he may go on a vacation after a long, grueling campaign. The president’s party may win, but his administration may be involved in other very stressful events. All of these factors can cloud the astrological picture of an election outcome. Moreover, I almost never have accurate birth data for candidates other than in presidential campaigns, which adds another enormous handicap. The following are some musings I do have on the coming election, but the many caveats should be kept in mind.

President Obama’s chart and the Inaugural chart suggest a very difficult month through mid-November 2014. We have already seen this manifesting in the recent complications and setbacks in the conflict with the Islamic State. It seems possible that these same aspects do not bode well for the November 4 election, suggesting a loss of the Senate for the Democrats. For a year, through April 2015, the president is under a solar arc Moon opposition to natal Saturn (25Capricorn20) which will be triggered by transiting Saturn (25 Scorpio) from November 4 through 13, and further activated by transiting Mercury (25 Libra) on November 5. In addition, the Inaugural progressed Moon is currently quincunx natal Saturn (10Scorpio48), while tertiary Inaugural Venus is square natal Saturn, with both of these intensifying through November 8. It may be that there are other pressing and stressful events the administration is dealing with during these early November days, but the November 4 election seems a likely source of disappointment.obama

Most of the Senate races I have been looking at give very mixed indications. The Kentucky race between Allison Lundigren Grimes and Senator Mitch McConnell is one example. With transiting Jupiter square to McConnell’s Mars from November 1 through November 10, it is possible he will manage to win, but, if he does, it seems likely to be a pyrrhic victory. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind should McConnell win the Majority Leader position, with progressed Mercury conjunct progressed Saturn and progressed Uranus (29 Taurus), a difficult and frustrating aspect that will continue to intensify through April 2015 and will be triggered numerous times by transits of Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto over the coming months, as well as by transiting Mercury on November 7 and 8.

It is the latter aspect, transiting Mercury quincunx this Mercury/Saturn/Uranus progression on November 7 and 8, followed by transiting Saturn opposite natal Uranus from November 14 to 23 that also suggests immediate difficulties for McConnell and may point to a ray of hope for the Democrats. Saturn will also make its first crossing square McConnell’s Sun (1Pisces26) from December 27 through January 8, suggesting significant complications, disappointment and frustrations as Congress opens. It is certainly possible he may lose his election or the Republicans will not win the Senate with these planetary indicators. His best hope is the “herding cats” scenario which comes under the theme of “be careful what you wish for.” We shall see.

Allison Grimes’ chart is much more upbeat in November and December, which could indicate either a win or maybe just a post-election vacation to the Caribbean. I think we can hold onto some small hope for this race despite the polls. Transiting Jupiter will be trine to her natal Mercury (21Sagittarius15) from November 1 through November 9 and again from December 26 through January 7. In addition, the Jupiter station will light up her progressed Venus (22Scorpio) semisquare to progressed Sun (7Capricorn) from November 10 through December 12. In other words, she seems pretty happy in November and December, indicating either a win for her or just relief that it is over and she did reasonably well. The Saturn transit conjunct her Sun from December 24 through January 2, coming before the new Congress begins, could easily point to the chore of her move to Washington.

There are a few other races that offer some cautious possibility for prediction despite the lack of comprehensive birth data and the other numerous caveats already discussed. Rick Wieland (D) may manage to beat Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota. Greg Orman (I) may oust Pat Roberts (R) in Kansas. Kay Hagen (D) looks like a possible win against Tom Tillis (R) in North Carolina. On the other hand, David Purdue (R) may well defeat Michelle Nunn (D) in Georgia, and Dan Sullivan may pick up Alaska for the GOP against Mark Begich (D). I also think Mary Landrieu (D) may lose to Bill Cassidy (R) in Louisiana.

Should the GOP manage to take the Senate, it is hard to see how much more obstruction of the president’s agenda they will manage. Perhaps we will see an increase in their usual extortion tactics, especially if Americans continue to sleep walk through the political realities of our time. Let us hope that Harry Reid will be able to push through a significant number of appointments in the lame duck period before the coming storm. The Mars translation of the Uranus/Pluto square from November 9 through November 14 is likely to bring some kind of dramatic political brawl, as well as the usual uptick in explosive conflict, violence, and severe weather conditions. There is always the slim possibility that the Democrats will keep the Senate, especially after some delayed election results. This story is yet to be told.