Saturday, 1 January 2011

Astrological Review of the Year ~ Part 2

2010 is over…but there’s still time for a quick look back over some of the year's big news stories from an astrological point of view. Some of the stories angered us, some upset us, some awoke our compassion and others served to remind us of the strength and grace of the human spirit.

January to June: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Oil Spills and Elections

January ~ Earthquake in Haiti

On January 12, at 4.53 local time, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, the epicenter 15 miles WSW of Port-Au-Prince. The earthquake almost totally devastated the capital, which was already suffering from extreme poverty and lack of basic infrastructure. Casualties have been estimated at upwards of 200,000.

Astrologically, the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction falls in the 8th House of the chart for the Earthquake (set for Port-Au-Prince). In previous posts I have associated this triple conjunction with health issues and the resulting health issues from lack of hygiene and overcrowding are unfortunately ongoing, with deaths from cholera and other diseases still claiming many lives almost one year on, with over a million Haitians estimated to be living in unsanitary, overcrowded camps, leaving them vulnerable to increasing violence. As you would expect with the conjunction in the 8th, the disaster resulted in a huge outpouring of international compassion and monetary aid, but this has not been without scandal (Neptune) with accusations that only a tiny proportion of the aid was released by as late as July.

At the time of the earthquake, Haiti was having its Saturn return and it’s a grim observation that this Saturn return – which was accompanied by the transiting square from Pluto - has led to the country having to completely restructure itself, a long, slow, hard process.  Another indicator of the drama was the lunar eclipse on 31 December 2009, less than two weeks before the earthquake, falling exactly on Haiti’s natal Sun at 10 degrees Capricorn. Additionally, there was a build up of planets in cardinal signs, a phenomena sometimes associated with earthquakes, including Sun, Venus, Mercury, North Node in Capricorn and of course Saturn and Pluto.

For more on the Haiti Earthquake (and to see the charts) see:
Haiti: Astrology of a Disaster by Pathea 
Astrology of Haiti Earthquake by Planet Waves 

April ~ Grounded by Ash, Drowned in Oil

For several months, Iceland’s Mount Eyjafjallajökull had been periodically erupting, but when eruptions resumed on April 14, the resulting cloud of ash grounded most of the air traffic into and out of Europe for almost a week, leaving thousands stranded and disrupting travel worldwide.

Naturally, the volcanic eruption and ensuing crisis correlates with the Saturn-Pluto square, but a closer outer planet alignment (and a part of the same picture) was the last of the Saturn-Uranus oppositions in the mutable signs. Disruption ensued and the status quo was challenged, as our freedom to travel (Uranus) was curtailed (Saturn). Jupiter’s applying conjunction to Uranus only served to expand and exaggerate the problem.

For a more in-depth look see:
Astrology of the Iceland Volcano by Lynn Hayes 
Aviation Shutdown by Jamie Darkstar
Rollan McCleary looks at Iceland’s chart and makes some interesting observations

On April 20, The Deep Water Horizon drilling rig exploded, taking the lives of 11 men. It took BP almost three months to cap the leak, by which time over 5 million barrels of crude oil had flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, causing environmental and economic disaster.

Astrologically, we can look to the Saturn-Pluto square (oil, the rupture of the earth), connecting with the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries (science and technology, the call for urgent action, the finger pointing at BP and its CEO Tony Hayward). However, it’s the Neptune and Chiron conjunction in late Aquarius (which was transiting conjunct the Moon of the USA) that really completes the story. The Earth’s very structure (Saturn) was wounded (Chiron) and ruptured deep underground (Pluto in Capricorn) by the oil (Pluto) leaking (Neptune) into the sea (Neptune). Notably, Pluto was conjunct Ceres (Mother Earth).

Astrologer John Wadsworth looks at the charts for the spill, for the USA, for BP and for Tony Hayward and makes some excellent observations in The Astrology of the Gulf Oil Spill 

May ~ Parliament Hangs

On May 6, under a Mercury Retrograde, the UK went to the polls and the result was a hung parliament, which led to what has predictably become a very uneasy coalition government between the right wing Conservatives and mid-centre Liberal Democrats. A few days before the election I looked at the election chart in detail and predicted the coalition government (although between Labour and the Lib-Dems ~ a bit of wishful thinking on my part), but my analysis of the chart stands up pretty well. Read it here:
UK Election Day Chart
July to December ~ Floods, Riots, Wikileaks, 33 Chilean Miners and a Taste of Freedom

July/August ~ Floods and Blood Diamonds

In July, monsoons brought mass flooding to Pakistan, leaving almost a fifth of the country underwater. Around 2,000 people lost their lives, but the devastation affected over 20 million.

Lara Owen looked at the chart for Pakistan on her blog and observed that its natal Mars at 0 degrees Cancer on the MC, was under assault from the transiting cardinal t-square of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, forming a moving grand cross in the chart. Not an easy picture, by any means. It’s also worth observing that while the Haiti earthquake led to an outpouring of compassion and aid from around the world, there was a feeling that there was less sympathy for the plight of those in Pakistan when disaster struck there, which not surprisingly angered (Mars) many there.

The War Crime tribunal of Sierra Leone’s former dictator Charles Taylor, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after supermodel Naomi Campbell was called to give evidence, revealing that she had received alleged ‘blood diamonds’ from Taylor.

No stranger to controversy, Campbell’s chart has Neptune on the MC opposite Sun natally, describing the fashion, beauty and glamour, but also the scandal and accusations of deceit that seem to follow her around. Venus in her chart, in the last degree of Gemini, was at the time of the court case being transited by the Saturn-Uranus opposition, so controversy and exposure (her Venus sits on the private becomes public Aries Point) seemed destined to come her way.

September ~ The Power of a Pluto Transit

On September 25 British politician Ed Milliband, known for his left wing stance, took a surprise victory over his brother David in the election to lead the opposition Labour Party. While David was the favourite to win the contest, it was Ed who had transiting Pluto exactly conjunct his natal Sun in early Capricorn, so the power was always going to be his!

October ~ Los 33 Mineros

On October 13 the World rejoiced as the 33 miners trapped underground in Chile were finally all brought back to the surface. After 69 days trapped, it was the longest time anyone has ever been underground and survived. Overjoyed relatives, who had been living in Camp Hope beside the mine, were there to greet them as they rose to the surface in the space age Fenix capsule, one by one.
This story, with Pluto in Capricorn (Hades, under the ground, the fight for survival) conjunct Ceres (Demeter, mother earth), evokes the Greek myth of Hades releasing the abducted Persephone to her mother Demeter from the darkness of hell to the light and hope of Earth. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in mutable Pisces symbolizes the space age technology that was adapted in a race against time in order to free the men. And of course, the Neptune-Chiron conjunction in Aquarius stands for the hope and brotherhood of the trapped men and of those waiting for them in Camp Hope. Nobody could fail to be inspired by the bravery of the men, proof of the enduring strength of the human spirit against the odds.

For more insights, see Lynn Hayes’ Musings on the Chilean Miners 
See also Resurrection in Chile by Adrian Duncan Ross at World of Wisdom, which looks in detail at the charts for Chile, for the mine collapse and for the rescue.

November   ~ Dreams of Freedom in Burma

On November 13, Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was finally released after being detained for 15 of the last 21 years. The Oxford Astrologer blog took at look at the themes of Moon-Neptune ~ sacrifice, dreams and spiritual yearnings ~ an astrological signature in Ms Suu Kyi’s natal chart, the chart for Burma and the chart for her release date. Read her analysis here:  Aung San Suu Kyi: Embodying the People’s Dream 

November also saw the US midterm elections, with the Democrats retaining the Summit, but being pummelled as the Republicans took the House. This was no surprise to anyone and a good example of how the changing sky was reflected in events. Obama’s message of hope and change you can believe in was a perfect channel of the Saturn-Uranus oppositions, by the time of the mid-terms we had been through the Saturn-Pluto squares – hard work, losses, grim reality and politically, a move to the right, most notable in the rising stock of the Tea Party Movement. Jupiter and Saturn, at the opposition phase of their cycle, points toward a time of austerity, following the expansion phase of the first half of the cycle.

December ~ A Fight for the Right to Information

In the UK, a series of increasingly violent student protests against the government’s plans to raise university tuition fees came to a head on December 9 when a car containing the heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla was attacked. However, much of the anger has been directed at Lib-Dem leader and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who in his pre-election manifesto pledged not to raise tuition fees. Now, as part of a coalition government with the Conservative party, he has been forced to vote for the raising of fees. In Clegg’s chart, if the 6am birth time is reliable, Saturn was transiting his Midheaven (symbolizing the restrictions placed on him in bringing his pre-election promises to bear and the need to face reality and take responsibility publicly, thus making him an easy scapegoat). The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction has been transiting his third house (education) Saturn, so it’s not surprising his ideas have been upset. (Clegg data: 7 Jan 1967, Chalfont St Giles, UK, approx 6am).

In the UK 1066 chart, transiting Saturn has been squaring natal Mercury (restrictions to learning) and in the 1801 chart, Saturn has been squaring natal Sun. In both charts, Pluto in Capricorn has been hovering close to the angles for some time and with the revolutionary energies of the upcoming Uranus-Pluto squares also hitting angles of both charts exactly, we can expect many more protests and direct action to come over the next 2-3 years. Life as we know it on this small island is about to take an evolutionary leap.

Also in December Julian Assange becomes one the world’s most talked about men, after releasing diplomatic secrets on his Wikileaks website. He was subsequently arrested in London after rape accusations, but released on bail. Meanwhile, ‘Hackivist’ supporters of Assange caused havoc to banking and retail websites in protest against efforts to close down his freedom of speech website. In Assange’s birth chart, a rebellious Sun square Uranus and a freedom fighting Mars in Aquarius square Jupiter are a good reflection of his anti-establishment work. Saturn in Gemini in the 7th (the restriction of public information) opposes a Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in the first (leaks and scandal of big proportion). There’s also a Scorpionic feel to  the chart (the keeping and exposing of secrets) with the Moon and possibly the Ascendant in Scorpio. Additionally, Pluto (that which is buried and unearthed) makes aspects to Mercury (news, information), Venus in Gemini (the value of information) and Jupiter in Scorpio (skepticism about believing the ‘received’ beliefs of others,  – in this case the establishment view – especially as Jupiter is part of Assange’s Saturn-Neptune opposition. This story, I believe, will run and run.

For more on Assange’s chart, see Darkstar Astrology’s piece, which looks at Eris and The Shadow Side of Julian Assange from Astrotabletalk. 
Birth details for Julian Assange: July 3, 1971, Townsville, Queensland
Mountain Astrologer gives a questionable birth time of 2.05pm 

And that's that! Another year’s over and a new one’s begun and guaranteed, it too will be full of drama and also full of hope.

Happy 2011 and see you soon.

With love,

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