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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the Week of November 18, 2007

Planet Weather for the Week of July 6, 2008

SkyWatch: Moon phase of the week: 7/10 -- The Moon enters Her First Quarter phase at 12:35 AM EDT, at 18 degrees of Libra. At the start of this phase, the Moon rises around noon and sets around midnight. By the end of this phase when She is approaching Fullness, the Moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise. 7/6 -- The setting Crescent Moon passes just to the south of Mars and Saturn in the constellation Leo in the western evening sky. 7/10 -- Mars makes a close approach to Saturn. This approach constitutes an astrological conjunction of the two "malefic" planets, usually not an auspicious joining (or, as we prefer to say, a "challenging aspect") and can be a harbinger of increased violence. At any rate, the two will be well placed for viewing together all week in the western sky after sunset. Space news of the week: Scientists just published a number of studies reflecting the results of the Messenger space probe's flyby of the Solar System's innermost planet earlier this year. Although Mercury superficially resembles Earth's Moon, its internal structure (as scientists are discovering) is quite different. For one thing, Mercury is almost 60% iron by weight with an iron core like Earth's that produces a strong magnetic field (the Moon has almost none). Messenger will make two more close passes next year and at last settle into an orbit around Mercury where it is expected to return a trove of data for years to come. Go out! Look up!

 Knowing when VOC Moons occur is key to planning your successful week!


The Void-of-course (VOC) Moon is a kind of limbo. As it reaches the end of a sign, the Moon makes no major aspect to another planet before it enters the next sign. VOC is best for less outcome-oriented activity, since VOC often means detours, distractions, drifting, or delays. If you want specific outcomes, or if timeliness is critical, don’t use a VOC Moon time. VOC is best for processing, imagining, creating, and open-ended activities, like parties, research, or cleaning your desk/closet for instance! It is said that when a new action is initiated during VOC, “nothing will come of it,” or energies go in unplanned directions, which may not necessarily be negative.


Week of 7/6/08 – Sunday, Monday (partially), Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the most active energetically and potentially very productive days – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement and/or producing results. On 7/6/08, the Moon is VOC/Leo from 6:04AM to 7:04AM EDT – On 7/8/08, VOC/Virgo from 12:21PM to 1:31PM EDT – On 7/10/08, VOC/Libra from 10:13PM to 11:35PM EDT – On 7/12/08, VOC/Scorpio from 11:06PM to 11:50AM EDT (next day)!



The following planetary energy patterns flavor the day and are felt or experienced often hours before and after their exact culmination. They remain effective, certainly until the next major planetary pattern comes along to shift the energy gears.


Mercury in mutable, air Gemini trines (120deg.) first Neptune/Aquarius @ 23deg. on 7/6/08 @ 6:47AM EDT and then opposes (180deg.) Pluto/Sagittarius @ 29 on 7/10/08 @ 5:49AM EDT this week. Our mental acuity is softened by Neptune’s dissolving and allowing character and toughened by the power of our desires and our various resistance to letting go of what must organically end. Use this week to deepen your understanding of what you are actually communicating non-verbally. Both Neptune and Pluto operate outside the realm of logic and invite us to tune into the energy that accompanies communication – things like voice tone, timbre, and other non-verbal body language. The idealism and dreams we foster with Neptune may be tested by various pressures, power-plays, or cross-purposes when Pluto gets into the act.


Sun in cardinal, water Cancer opposite Jupiter in cardinal, earth Capricorn @ 17deg. on 7/9/08 @ 4:39AM EDT. Four times a year Jupiter meets with the Sun in a hard aspect (conjunction, opposition and two squares), and the impulse is to expand or extend our awareness. Sometimes this happens unwillingly or through overexertion or overindulgence in some way, so as to understand our limits. With Jupiter there is always the impulse to take a risk, take a chance, and gather more of something or other into our experience. In that sense, this aspect is positive for those who always play it safe, willing to stand on the sidelines. This particular Jupiter in Capricorn has somewhat of a built-in fail-safe, since Capricorn is by nature conservative and cautious – so we can say that a calculated risk is most likely with this Jupiter. In these signs, the desire is to win and to gather more for home, family, and security. You may feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to secure your foundational quality of life.


Mars in mutable, earth Virgo conjunct Saturn/Virgo @ 5deg. on 7/10/08 @ 2:12PM EDT. When Mars meets Saturn, the need is to pause, to stop, to re-evaluate. The moving force, Mars, meets an obstacle, Saturn. There’s often a bit of seriousness, even harshness, or coldness with this combination. Issues may seem to be black or white, right or wrong to some, and in some circumstances, and the energy can be tough and unyielding in its determination. With any conjunction, something ends and a new cycle begins. Because Mars is both your available energy and the direction or goal you are heading toward, it’s also a great time to determine whether you want to continue in the same direction or change course. An issue from the past may be part of what you have to resolve in order to move forward.


Mercury enters Cancer on 7/10/08 @ 4:17PM EDT until 7/26/08. Communication turns to the quality of home, family, and all associations that are part of your normal daily and weekly routine. Nostalgia may seize you and cause you to travel back in time to memories that you’ve saved in your mental files. Conversations may be more emotionally revealing or forthcoming. We may get to know each other on deeper and more human levels.


Venus enters fixed, fire Leo on 7/12/08 @ 2:39PM EDT until 8/6/08. This fiery Venus ruled by the Sun wants attention. Your relationships will demand more of that attention now. Plan something fun! Isn’t there something you can celebrate in the next month? Is there some way you can show just how much you appreciate those special people in your life? Leo is about the heart, love, and creative expression. Who are the people that fill your heart with joy, that make you laugh, that are loyal and loving? This Venus wants to immerse itself fully in the play of life. Expect some drama and bold expression too. It comes with the territory.


NewsBits: Liberation and Rebellion! Hostages held in a Columbian jungle for six years were rescued on 7/2/08. These people suffered a terrible ordeal but one with a rare, happy ending. Fifteen hostages, including three American contractors – Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes were freed. The most famous of the 15 was French/Columbian national Ingrid Betancourt, who was captured while campaigning for President of Columbia. She was abducted shortly after she made a speech asking rebel leaders to stop the kidnappings. Against the advice of the government and the military, Betancourt and her troupe entered a demilitarized zone where there was heavy fighting between rebels and the Columbian military. She was abducted by the Columbian rebel group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) on 2/23/02. Ingrid Betancourt was born in Bogota, Columbia on 12/25/61 (time unknown). Her mother, Yolanda Pulecio was a former Miss Columbia and also served in Congress helping the poor in Bogota, Columbia. Her father, Gabriel Betancourt, was minister for General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla dictatorship (1953-1957), served actively in governmental positions, and headed the education commission of the Alliance for Progress in Washington, D.C. under John F. Kennedy. The Betancourt family is one of Colombia's oldest aristocratic families, descended from immigrants from northern France. Ingrid Betancourt went to school in France and has dual citizenship through her first marriage to a Frenchman. Her chart shows her strong will and her own rebellious tendencies. She has 4 planets in Capricorn, including the Sun, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn. Her Mars, exalted (functions particularly well) in Capricorn sits at the very powerful 0 degree Solstice axis and exactly trines Uranus @ 0 Virgo, granting her the willfulness to stand up to Columbian corruption, and also lead her into extreme danger. She has Saturn in Capricorn, which indicates among other interpretations, a debt to society, to protect and defend, or to parent. (As an example, Barack Obama was born earlier in the same year and also has Saturn in Capricorn.) Betancourt has the Moon in strong, bold, loyal, and courageous Leo opposite Jupiter/Aquarius and square Neptune/Scorpio. This configuration is called a fixed, T-square and although inspiring, is also stubborn and has the potential to create (obviously) complex and difficult times in one’s life. Venus/Sagittarius in her chart contributes to her spiritedness and forthrightness but was also a contributing factor to her sense of invincibility in the face of clear and present danger. The most obviously descriptive aspect on the day of her capture was transiting Neptune/Aquarius exactly conjunct her Jupiter. Once can only imagine what all of these hostages went through and the fluctuating hope and despair they must have felt as the years passed by. The rebels were tricked into believing the hostages had to be moved, by fake orders from higher FARC leaders and by military that had infiltrated and masqueraded as another supportive rebel group.



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Opinions and interpretation/analysis expressed are the sole intellectual property of Dorothy Oja. PW emerged from transcripts of a weekly radio show in 1996.

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