Discussion Thread

Barb will be posting an article in the early Comments section with themes connecting to the New Moon. Enjoy!

Time for a Break

Dear Friends,

I have been writing for Starlight News for about fourteen years, pretty much non-stop. At the moment, I feel the need to take a long break. I have some other projects I want to pursue, and I am finding it harder and harder to keep Starlight News going. I am, therefore, suspending the blog until further notice. It is possible that I may return for the beginning of election season next year or if there is some big crisis that demands interpretation. But for now, I just need a long pause.

I will still be doing chart readings in the foreseeable future. For those interested, contact me at nancy@starlightnews.com and we can set something up.

Love to you all,


Cold War 2.0

The Western alliance is becoming very agitated by the increasingly belligerent stance of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. In addition to Putin’s military assault on Eastern Ukraine initiated during his blatant reabsorption of Crimea into Russia last year, major disarmament pacts and consultations have been discarded in recent months, while fierce and more potent Russian weapons systems are being developed. In light of all of this, NATO’s concerns are growing over the effectiveness of its defensive umbrella. In short, the West is beginning to realize it needs a steep upgrade to counterbalance the building strength and assertiveness of the post-Soviet Kremlin.

According to the Russian birth chart, the most blatant period of relatively unobstructed Russian expansionism will continue through May 2015, with further issues and russiaconfrontations continuing through mid-February 2016, despite increasing difficulties and obstruction. Since August 2014 and continuing through September 2015, Russia’s progressed Sun is in a waxing conjunction with natal Jupiter (15Cancer13), while also trine natal Pluto (15Scorpio28) and sextile natal Venus (15Taurus09). The Jupiter/Sun combination here suggests expansion, success, optimism, and, potentially, recklessness and arrogance. This progression has been immensely heightened and intensified by the transit of Uranus (15Aries), adding a strong flavor of unilateralism and daring, through the spring and summer of 2014, and more recently, from mid-February to mid-March 2015. The continuing transit of Pluto (15Capricorn) from February through May 2015 has also greatly strengthened the expansiveness of Sun/Jupiter, while increasingly turning it into a power struggle with the West. More than anything, it is this configuration of Uranus and Pluto combined with the progressed Sun impacting natal Jupiter during 2014 and 2015 through May that is the hallmark of Russia’s current militaristic resurgence.

The progression of the Sun conjunct natal Jupiter, however, will continue to be quite strong through September 1, 2015, and, while waning, will be re-energized by another crossing from Pluto in December 2015 and early January 2016, as well as by the progressed Moon opposite natal Jupiter during January 2016. Moreover, transiting Jupiter will square the natal Sun (21Gemini10) during the second half of November 2015 and the first half of February 2016. These aspects point to further efforts of expansionism and audacity late in 2015 and early 2016. They are nonetheless likely to be less potent than the current episode without the full strength of the progressed Sun/Jupiter conjunction.

Difficulties are likely to develop for Russia, during this otherwise quite aggressive period, as of mid-June and continuing through August 2015. This is due to a very significant configuration that will be coming in the late spring and summer of 2015: the station of Saturn (28 Scorpio) semisquare the station of Pluto (13 Capricorn). Although the semisquare is a minor hard aspect, the fact that these two stressful planetary indicators remain within orb of each other from May 31 to August 15 greatly intensifies the anxiety and tension they represent. This will be particularly true for those whose charts are directly involved with this transit.

In the Russian chart, the maximum impact from this combination comes when both Saturn and Pluto will be in aspect to natal Neptune (13Capricorn48) from mid-June to mid-July 2015. In addition, Saturn will return to a semisquare to Neptune during most of August. Neptune in the Russian chart is in the 4th house, where it brings an idealized conception of the homeland. With both Uranus and Pluto transiting this natal planet over the last year, the heightened pride and idealization of Mother Russia has been apparent in the widespread support of Putin’s expansionist agenda . The prolonged Saturn station in the summer, however, is likely to pour the cold water of reality on this fantasy and add a level of agitation and concern. The added impact of Pluto will tend to push this process to a fanatical extreme that becomes a kind of self-sabotage.

During this same period we also find progressed Russian Moon conjunct natal Uranus (8Capricorn17) from June 2 through July 2, followed by the progressed Moon square to natal Mars (8Aries49), suggesting some unexpected and perhaps unilateral action (Uranus) leading to aggression, combat and anger (Mars), while coinciding with the disillusionment and profound angst of the Saturn/Pluto/Neptune combination.

In support of this narrative, Vladimir Putin’s chart will have this same combination of Pluto and Saturn impacting his Sun (13Libra56), with Pluto square the Sun from June 8 through July 20, and the Saturn station semisquare the Sun from mid-June through putinAugust. This suggests that the building power struggle for survival experienced by Putin over the last year due to Pluto square his Sun, will be re-energized as of early June, while at the same time, the limiting, frustrating, burdensome energy of Saturn will overshadow Putin’s efforts from mid-June through August 2015. With Saturn also semisquare Russia’s Neptune (13Capricorn48) simultaneously, we can expect disillusionment and difficulty at least until the end of August.

The final protracted phase of Pluto conjunct the Russian Neptune and square to Putin’s Sun covers the period from late September through November 2015, suggesting another round of nationalist longing for the magical image of Mother Russia (4th house Neptune) and Putin’s rather paranoid power struggle in an encroaching and dangerous world (Pluto/Sun). With transiting Pluto and the progressed Moon aspecting Russia’s Jupiter in December 2015 and January 2016, there may be a brief burst of optimism or expansionism before this entire phase comes to an end. As we move into 2016, we find not only transiting Uranus square to Russia’s natal Saturn (24Capricorn12) but also transiting Pluto square to Putin’s natal Saturn (17Libra27), suggesting a much more circumspect and reined-in year for Russia.

It should be noted that the US Sun (13Cancer19) will also be under the protracted Saturn/Pluto transit from late June through mid-August 2015. This suggests that the US and Russia will be engaged in a battle of wills (Pluto) while each is also constrained (Saturn) by the need to not end up in open conflict. The Saturn station in a USchartsesquiquadrate to the US Sun from June 27 through August 10 points to many frustrating, intense, and seemingly stuck situations in the coming summer, including, but not limited to, the struggle with Russia. Pluto will remain in an opposition to the US Sun through early November 2015, followed by the final square of Pluto to US Saturn (14Libra48) in late November and December, after which some of the current high-stakes power struggles will begin to ease.


Hillary Clinton is the current frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president…by several orders of magnitude. No one else is even within striking distance. Until very recently, Hillary had done a masterful job of keeping a low profile, reflecting a profound understanding of the short attention span in the American psyche. After all, it is best not to wear down the welcome mat in a land that hungrily feasts on the new and exciting, and where titillation and gossip so easily supplant substance and mastery. This is the withered land of American political theater.

In the past week, Email-gate has erupted, a scandal over Hillary’s use of a private email account during her time as Secretary of State. As of this writing, it is still not clear why this was done, whether this was a clear plan or a path thoughtlessly stumbled upon, and who knew it was happening or even signed off on it. The Hillary camp seems to have been blindsided by the revelation and has not yet come out with a coherent response.

Unfortunately, it is Hillary’s tendency for obfuscation and her lack of clear, direct, open answers in a situation that can be interpreted in multiple ways, as well as a pattern of self-inflicted wounds that are becoming the narrative. Astrologically, the culprit is the growing strength of Neptune in her chart. As of February 2, Hillary’s progressed Sun moved into the potent one-degree orb of a square with natal Neptune (11Libra21), reaching its full potential on January 27, 2016, and then dissipating. In the past week, as this scandal has unfolded, there have been several transiting planetary triggers to hillaryactivate this Sun/Neptune progression: the Sun (11 Pisces); Venus (11 Aries); and Mars (11 Aries). Now that these have passed, it seems likely that the current iteration of media attention on this issue will diminish for a while, especially as the focus gets grabbed by the multitude of dramatic and often violent stories that will come from the transiting Mars conjunction to Uranus and square to Pluto, from March 9 through March 11.

Nonetheless, this heightened Neptune period will continue for a year, and Hillary is likely to get further pulled into the murkiness of the email scandal, as well as muddled into some other controversies, all of which strengthen the narrative of a stumbling, duplicitous and self-sabotaging pattern (Neptune). It is almost as if Hillary needs this year to fully find her sea legs, as she navigates the stormy waters of American political combat in its current and brutally hazardous form. (And this would be a useful counter-narrative to promote.)

The good news is that as this progression dissipates, there is a steady flow of Jupiter transits in 2016, supported by a strengthening of Hillary’s Venus throughout the year, that together portend a strong possibility of victory in the next election. Assuming the preferred, but unsubstantiated, 8 AM birth time is close to correct, the Jupiter station of December 2015 and January 2016 will be opposite Hillary’s Moon (22Pisces50), and the Jupiter station of January and February 2017 will be quincunx her Moon. Together, these point to likely success and optimism during two crucial periods.

In the interim, transiting Jupiter will twice be semisquare her Sun (2Scorpio18) and sextile her Venus (16Scorpiio14), followed by opposite her Moon and semisquare her Venus. In addition, her tertiary progressed Pluto is in a multi-year square to her natal Venus through early 2020, and this will be bolstered by the Pluto transit of 2016 sextile her Venus, most notably from May 20 through July 5, and, more importantly, from November 1 through December 11. The tertiary Pluto/Venus progression, bolstered by transiting Pluto and transiting Jupiter at various times, will increase her personal magnetism and attractiveness as a candidate. The strengthening of Pluto can also intensify her discomfort with intensified scrutiny and add to her need for privacy, which her multitude of Scorpio planets already indicate.

I will go over further details of the election and inauguration period at a later time, but there is little to indicate a loss and much to indicate success, despite some of the missteps likely in 2015. It should also be pointed out that Bill Clinton will have the Jupiter station conjunct his natal Jupiter in January and February 2017, so he may be enjoying the situation even more than his wife.

Bibi’s Bubble

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel has recently managed to pour gasoline on the long-standing political swamp fires of Washington. Essentially, Netanyahu colluded with House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a speech in front of Congress that will attempt to derail American negotiations with Iran. Moreover, the White House was not informed prior to the scheduling of Netanyahu’s March 3 speech, making this a serious breach of the usual diplomatic protocol, especially as it falls just before the Israeli election. Republicans, who shamelessly manage to grandstand every issue with little attention to reality simply for the pleasure of attacking President Obama, now have the Prime Minister of Israel lending strength to their posturing. Unfortunately for Netanyahu, his antics have greatly diminished him in the eyes of many Americans, and many Israelis are also not happy about him injecting himself into American politics.

Astrologically, this is a difficult time for Netanyahu, and it is not clear that he will win his coming election. If he does manage a victory, he is nonetheless likely to be significantly weakened in some way. Currently, Saturn is stationary in a semisquare to his Moon (19Libra57) from February 8 through March 15. Though the Saturn transit will be waning by the time of the March 17 election, transiting Mars in opposition to Netanyahu’s Moon from March 16 to March 18 may be enough to give this stressful transit a final burst of potency. netanyahu

In addition, transiting Uranus is quincunx Netanyahu’s Saturn (15Virgo24), itself under a long-standing square from progressed Chiron, from February 7 through March 18. Uranus here brings upsets and problematic surprises that involve Netanyahu’s tendency for rigid dogma and inflexible thinking (9th house Saturn). Moreover, transiting Pluto is currently trine to Netanyahu’s natal Saturn, from February 7 through May 11, bringing the tumultuous and difficult Uranus/Pluto square into direct contact with natal Saturn during the entire election period. And finally, transiting Saturn is presently quincunx natal Uranus (4Cancer58) from February 9 to March 14, suggesting that he feels trapped in some way, most likely relating to the intractable situation he has created with the March 3 speech. All of these stressful transits began as the opposition and anger over the speech gathered steam. That their impact continues well past the time of the speech itself, and, in fact, close to or past the March 17 election, does not bode well for Netanyahu.

The Tel Aviv Spring Equinox charts for 2014 and 2015 also point to sudden, strong shifts spring2014jerusalemin the days leading up to and immediately after the election. Whether this indicates an actual change in leadership is not clear, but it is certainly possibly under these configurations. The 2014 chart, which has jurisdiction up until the March 21, 2015, Equinox, shows transiting Uranus, the planet of sudden, powerful and unexpected transformation, crossing the Descendant (15Aries20) for the final time on the day of the election. Within two days it moves into the last one-degree-orb of a square to the MC (16Cancer29), rendering this entire critical period one steeped in the potent feel of upheaval and change. As we move into the reign of the 2015 Spring Equinox chart, beginning in the early hours of March 21, we find Uranus conjunct the IC (16Aries09), waxing in potency through April 1. This again points to transformation and a powerful change in trajectory for Israel, characterized by swiftly moving events. The involvement of the IC suggests circumstances that impact the heart and soul of the people. spring2015jerusalem

Netanyahu’s opponent in this race is the Leader of the Labor Party, Isaac Herzog, born September 22, 1960. His chart also points to rapid and powerful changes around the time of the election. Not only is the Uranus/Pluto square in hard aspect to his Mercury (16Libra26) and possibly his Moon ((16Libra58, at noon, local time), during this critical period, but his progressed Sun is currently square to natal Uranus (23Leo44), waxing approximately through May 2015, and triggered late on the night of the election by the transiting Moon. Thus, he is undergoing significant changes in his life which may well include a potent shift in his political status.

It seems very possible that Israel’s government will change direction in this upcoming election due to Netanyahu’s intransigence and narrow-mindedness (9th house Saturn) being severely impacted by the Uranus/Pluto square, as well as other adverse aspects. Nonetheless, how these complicated and diverse planetary aspects will actually play out remains to be seen.