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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the Week of 7/17/11 and 7/24/11

Planet Weather for Weeks 7/17 and 7/24/11.

Planet Weather has been published for 14 years now!  If you value its content and the information you've received, please consider donating. It’s easy to donate - click the DONATE button on my website  or send a check to 309 School St. Watertown, MA 02472. Thank you very much, it will help me continue to publish and keep you astrologically well-informed about planetary patterns as they relate to current events! Many thanks for all who have already donated - it lets me know the work is appreciated.  ~Cosmically Yours, Dorothy

NewsBits: The US Debt Ceiling! Congress is gridlocked. It’s time to cut Congressional pay! It’s pathetic. The talks grind on with no resolution in sight as the 8/2/11 deadline for raising the debt limit gets ever closer. Looking at the chart for the US, we see that the US is in the throes of its Mars return/Gemini, meaning that there is a flexing of muscles (Mars) and lots of debate (Gemini) and each side wants to be top dog. The bottom line is too much talk and not enough action. The US will have its exact Mars return (happens every two years) on 7/21/11. The day before and the day after may be particularly hot debate days, also because the Moon will be in hot and aggressive Aries (ruled by Mars) and focusing back on Mars energy. The Full Moon on last Friday (7/15/11) stimulated the US Pluto/Capricorn and its Mercury/Cancer and it was at that time that Standard and Poor’s declared that it was putting the US on a credit-worthiness watch and this could devalue the dollar. One of the sticking points between the two parties is rescinding the Bush-era tax cuts on the most wealthy Americans. Republicans don’t want this but the overwhelming majority of the American people do. So, why isn’t Congress listening? Who’s playing politics and why is Congress playing chicken? This crisis may go to the eleventh hour, since compromise is not in sight. On the fateful 8/2/11 deadline, Mercury turns retrograde, which could mean an incremental debt-ceiling raise (2 or 3 times), a plan proposed as an alternative if negotiations fail. The USA is also in the midst of its Saturn return in Libra, which takes place every 28-29.5 years. It is a time of reckoning and re-balancing.

Casey Anthony Jury Votes Not Guilty! Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her two-year old daughter, Caylee, is found not guilty by a jury of her peers to the astonishment of many. Casey Anthony was born on 3/19/86, Warren. OH (time unknown). Her daughter Caylee was born on 8/9/2005, 7:14 AM EDT, Orlando, FL, Data rating A (from a famed announcement on the wall of the Anthony home). Casey and Caylee have some remarkable connecting aspects as well as difficult individual charts. Let’s explore. Caylee was born with an exact Sun/Leo opposite Neptune/Aquarius. She was a little light, magical being and as is often the case with this aspect there can be victimization and or neglect. She also had Mars/Taurus square Saturn/Leo and that can be harsh and indicative of coldness. Both of these aspects in part refer also to the male energy and there was little talk of her father.

In Casey Anthony’s chart we find a strong Mars conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius and both planets square her Sun and Mercury in Pisces. This is a pattern of great struggle, of being pulled in many directions. Her fiery Mars/Uranus makes for willfulness and a desire to be free. Her Venus/Aries has a greater focus on self- gratification. Even without a known time of birth, her Moon is in Cancer and it could be opposite Neptune/Capricorn. She clearly had illusions and difficulties being a mother. A part of her wanted and loved being a mother and another part felt burdened by it. She was split. One day, something must have snapped and her responsibilities as a mom probably collided with her desire to be a free agent and indulge herself in fun and her own life of play. Cayleewas somehow sacrificed to that conflict.

Check out these beautiful Moon pics

SkyWatch Moon phase for the week of 7/17: 7/23 -- The Moon enters Her Last (aka Third) Quarter at 1:02 AM EDT, at zero degrees of Taurus, the sign of Her exaltation. This Moon rises late (just before midnight at the start of this phase) and sets early (around noon). This is the "daylight Moon" that people often see riding down the western sky in the morning with washes of sky blue where Her darker portions (the so-called “lunar maria" or “seas” – actually ancient lava beds) usually display themselves at night. Skywatching events of the week -- Four out of five planets now continue to be visible at various times during the night, beginning with Mercury, Who is becoming progressively easier to spot low in the West after sunset as He continues to trail farther and farther behind the Sun, followed by Saturn later in the evening. Jupiter and Mars are now "morning stars", rising ahead of the Sun in the early morning.

Moon phase for the week of 7/24: 7/30 -- The Moon enters Her New cycle at 2:40 PM EDT, at 7 degrees of Leo. Look for Her slender crescent low in the West after sunset in a few days. Skywatching events for the week: 7/27 -- The Waning Crescent Moon makes a close pass by Mars, with their point of closest approach occurring at 12:55 PM EDT, when Mars won't be visible; but the Moon will lead Mars into the sky well before sunrise. 7/28 -- The Delta Aquarid meteor shower puts on its annual mini-spectacle, with a peak of about 20 streaks per hour with no bright Moon to wash out the fainter streaks.

Space News and Weather: The Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully launched and docked with the International Space Station (ISS). This mission brought cargo and supplies to the ISS, as well as maintenance tasks on the part of the astronauts. This is a historic mission because it is the final flight of the entire Space Shuttle fleet, which will be retired from service when Atlantis returns to Earth later this week. The replacement space fleet will lack wings and will much more resemble, on a larger scale, the "space capsules" of the earlier Gemini and Apollo programs. Atlantis has a spot reserved at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. 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 7/17/11 – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (Sun enters Leo!) are the most active days energetically – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement with others, projects, and stimulation for producing results, or demands/challenges on your energy. On 7/17/11, the Moon is VOC/Aquarius from 8:23AM to 1:13AM EDT (next day!) – On 7/20/11, the Moon is VOC/Pisces from 7:15AM to 12:25PM EDT – On 7/22/11, Moon is VOC/Aries from 5:34PM to 12:58AM EDT (next day!)

Week of 7/24/11 – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (Venus enters Leo & Mercury enters Virgo) and Saturday are the most active days energetically – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement with other or projects, and stimulation for producing results, or demands/challenges on your energy. On 7/25/11, the Moon is VOC/Taurus from 9:12AM to 12:34PM EDT – On 7/27/11, the Moon is VOC/Gemini from 8:35PM to 9:11PM EDT – On 7/28/11, the Moon is VOC/Cancer from 7:03PM, all day on 7/29, and to 2:16AM EDT on 7/30/11! (that’s a long VOC!)

Summary: These are bold times and many people are taking unprecedented courageous action and deadly risks. This quote seemed apropos - “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt


Quote of Note: While Mars passes through Gemini – “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”Aristotle 

Planet Patterns and Cosmic Headlines:

The Sun enters fixed, fire Leo on 7/23/11 until 8/23/11. A fixed sign signifies the full thrust of a particular season. In the Northern Hemisphere, Leo finds us in the heat of summer! Ruled by the Sun, our very own star, it’s a time to elicit playfulness and warmth from deep within the winter self. What makes you laugh uproariously? What is it that allows you to really let go, be spontaneous and find the pure joy of being alive – the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair? Find it during this month of Leo and then keep it close to your heart for the rest of the year. “Summer gives us time to think about what we're doing, how we're doing, and why we're doing what we're doing.” Sentiment extolled by David Gardner of The Motley Fool. Check out this amazing investment info site,

Venus enters Leo on 7/28/11 until 8/21/11. Venus joins the Sun, so you have no excuse – open your heart and express yourself. Try to keep drama to a minimum though – except if you’re on stage! Leo does tend to find drama more often than necessary! Like all fixed signs, Leo feels and desires deeply and holds on to its image of itself, its opinions, and how life ought to proceed. So be prepared if you want to go toe to toe with a Leo. The key with Leos is to show appreciation for their warmth and generosity and positive spirit and the glow they’re willing to spread around to lesser mortals. LOL! In relationships, this is a time to be more demonstrative, express your affection and your generosity to those you love and who make your life happy and meaningful.

** Mercury Retrograde cycle - Mercury enters mutable, earth Virgo on 7/28/11. On 8/2/11 Mercury turns retrograde @ 1Virgo, and then slips back into the previous sign Leo, on 8/8/11. Mercury remains retrograde until 8/26/11, when it turns Direct again @ 18 Leo. We’re at that point again in the year when Mercury, the trickster, backpedals. Forewarned is well warned! Mercury barely makes it into Virgo and then has to retreat back into the fire and fullness of life, which is Leo. All the Mercury retrogrades this year take place in fire signs, making the mind and thought bold and spirited and wanting to take action on those sizzling ideas.

Currently Active Paradigm-Shift Patterns -- Back Stories: Repeats and elaboration of the major configurations affecting all of us currently.

Jupiter entered fixed, earth Taurus on 6/4/11 until 6/12/12. Jupiter stays in Taurus without moving back into the previous sign, even when it turns retrograde (it remains in Taurus), which only happens about every three years. Most of the time when Jupiter turns retrograde in any sign, it moves back into the sign before and then its retrograde cycle moves between the two signs. We might speculate that this can grant us greater relaxation and stability from the fast and furious and sudden changes that we’ve all witnessed since the beginning of this year, at least, while Jupiter was in fiery Aries. Stable and practical with a certain amount of sweetness, abundance, or favor is the message of this giving Jupiter in a Venus-ruled sign.

Neptune in mutable, water Pisces turned Retrograde @ 0degrees on 6/3/11. Almost two months after Neptune first entered Pisces, it makes its station retrograde and leaves Pisces on 8/4/11 to complete its cycle in the previous sign, Aquarius. Neptune returns to Pisces on 2/4/12 for the extent of its stay – until 3/31/25. So, we’ve had a taste of Neptune’s dissolving energies and the power of the water! Anyone with planets near 0deg. of any sign has been especially imprinted with Neptunian themes such as paranormal experiences, illumination about some life themes or experiences, and secrets leaking out, or even some funky illness. Neptune energies can also manifest as melancholy as we review dreams that may not have materialized, make necessary adjustments, all the while maintaining our faith in life, spirit and the meaning of it all.

Neptune entered mutable, water Pisces for the first time in 164 years on 4/4/11. Neptune turns Retrograde on @ 0deg. on 6/3/11 – Neptune returns to Aquarius on 8/4/11. Neptune re-enters Pisces for the duration of its 14 year cycle on 2/4/12. This planet’s sign change is the biggest news in April and has consequences for the next 14 years. Now we have the third outer planet making a sign change since January 2008, setting in motion a series of conditions and events that have global long-term effects. There is much to say about this momentous passage and we only get a taste this year, since Neptune will retrograde back to Aquarius from 8/4/11, through 2/4/12. Neptune is entering the modern rulership of its own sign Pisces and expresses itself quite naturally here according to its intrinsic nature. We can expect the need for greater sensitivity and environmental protections, as the harm we have done to the planet becomes more obvious. [And Gaia thinks seriously about giving us an eviction notice.] We may witness the formation of new religious groups and a reformation of existing religion as we know it. Secrets may be exposed and more leaks of information that some people may not wish to be revealed. On the positive side, new artistic accomplishments will flower in all fields, especially music, but all across the artistic spectrum. In essence it is a cultural call for greater refinement and attunement to what we often take for granted or fail to notice.


Neptune was discovered in 1846, and entered Pisces on 4/26/1847 through 1861. Oddly enough, Uranus was also in Aries (although farther along in the sign) when Neptune entered Pisces for the first time (since its discovery). This is only the second time, after Neptune came into our consciousness awareness, that Neptune is transiting Pisces! Both Neptune and Pisces are tricky. They operate on a completely different level. Pisces is known for its hyper-sensitivity, compassion, diffusiveness, spirituality, dream-like imagination, second-sight, idealism, patronage of the arts, and the ability to dissolve barriers of all kinds for greater unity. Negative manifestation includes: dissipation, neglect, addictions, deception, drugs, theft, scandals, and secrets. Neptune leaves Pisces on 3/31, 2025. A few highlights of Neptune’s last transit through Pisces include: new social movements, such as Marxism, emancipation of slaves, the start of the US Civil War, the California Gold Rush, the Romantic movement in music, and transcendentalism. You can be sure we’ll be discussing Neptune’s amazing journey through Pisces in future issues of PW.

It’s not even a month since Neptune entered Pisces, which we have not experienced for 166 years! As we begin to integrate with this complex novel energy infusion, you may notice a greater sensitivity or subtlety. Neptune dissolves barriers and that is one of the reasons a positive Neptunian response often allows greater compassion for human error and human frailty. Neptune deals with the unseen and the unnoticed and often accounts for spiritual breakthroughs and even paranormal experiences. I believe that this transit of Neptune through Pisces will loosen the boundaries between the material realm and the spiritual or energetic realms. Many of us will experience more than can be easily explained through the measurable functions of science. This can be a time of high magic but also the stripping away of illusions and deceptions and unless one has a strong inner core, the disillusionment we find may destabilize us. Practice faith in the joy of being alive and the true mysticism of that fact alone, no matter what your religious beliefs may be. Neptune is magical and a component of magic is addiction, as we seek to recreate the transcendence of blissful states that allow us to escape the harsher realities of everyday life.

Uranus re-entered Aries on 3/11/11, and remains there until May 2018. This is the biggest news of March and beyond, and heralds a new upward spiral in social and cultural evolution. Last summer, Uranus teased us by parking itself and remaining only at 0deg. Aries (the powerful degree of the Spring Equinox) from 5/27-8/13/10. Now it really means business – it has engaged into its full cycle. Any planet in the first sign of the Zodiac wants to start a fire, begin something new, innovate, and create or reinvent something in its own image. This combination can certainly be aggressive, bold, courageous, willful, and because of the influence of Uranus, unexpected and explosive. Most of the previous text was written well before the popular uprisings (conflagrations) in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and other parts of the Middle East.  We are seeing the effects of individuals asserting themselves in their striving for personal freedoms that they believe are their birthright. Repressive regimes will no longer be tolerated. Aries represents the new and renewal – as it emerges from the dreams of the previous sign, Pisces. It burns with the fire of justice and courage to be free at any cost.

Saturn in cardinal, air Libra turned Stationary Retrograde (Rx) @ 17deg. on 1/26/11. Saturn remains Rx until 6/13/11. We’ve had our share of challenges, burdens and tasks, now haven’t we? When a planet makes a station, it is demanding that we recognize its energy and pay particular attention to the message it is transmitting in our lives. In general, Saturn in Libra addresses the questions of balance, fairness, relationships, negotiations, and compromise. With Saturn there is always some kind of evaluation, some testing of standards met or not, and have we achieved what we set out to do in the various areas of our life? If we feel we are out of balance, then we will want to rebalance, or renegotiate the contracts we’ve made. Saturn will be backtracking now, to refine those imbalances and to test the rebalancing that you’ve begun. What is it exactly that makes for harmony and contentment in your life? All Libras, Aries, Cancers and Capricorns are feeling this testing more – and this current retrograde segment affects those born between early to mid-April, July, October, and January. Ask your astrologer where and how this Station degree affects your chart.

Saturn entered cardinal, air Libra on 10/29/09. The full cycle lasts until 10/6/12. Saturn retrograded back into the last three degrees of the previous sign, Virgo, from 4/8/10-7/22/10. What can we expect? Let’s speak to the greater implications of this 2.5-year Saturn-sign cycle. Saturn is exalted in Libra. This so-called “essential dignity” means there’s more of a commitment to promote cooperation and harmony among equals. Or, we can say, that is the primary striving in this combination. The collective will be more focused on what is fair and equitable and what is not. Generally, the message is to find the imbalances and rebalance as needed. Where are you giving your commitment and attention? Are the returns you receive what you really want? If not, then adjust those commitments and relationships for greater equality and fairness. Saturn in Libra also asks – what matters and what is valuable? When there is real value, it is easier to make a commitment for a longer time and with greater attention and intention. All major relationships and, in particular, those with Libra/Aries Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, will be put to a greater test. Saturn in a cardinal sign is more proactive than in other signs, and you may find that you seek order from recent chaos and productivity from prior stress and mess. 


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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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MINDWORKS services include: Timing and Electional work (dates for surgery, weddings, business openings etc.), Composite/Davison Relationship and Couples analysis, Children's Profiles and private tutoring. Meta-Coaching sessions involve eliciting the astrological and sacred dynamics of your chart to empower realization of your goals and find satisfaction in self-expression. An active writer for national magazines and online sites, collections of Dorothy's articles are available upon request. Dorothy writes a weekly ezine, Planet Weather, published for the past 15 years for enthusiastic subscribers, which includes social, cultural and political commentary. She has frequently appeared as a guest on TV, hosted her own radio shows and has been interviewed in the print media. In October 2000, Dorothy published her text, Compatibility & Conflict for Romantic Relationships, as a computer interpretive report, followed by Compatibility & Conflict for Friendship and Business in October 2002. Her first book, Planetary Resonance was released in May 2012. Dorothy currently serves the community as Chair of the ISAR Ethics Committee including Ethics Awareness Training.