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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the Week of 7/31/11 and 8/7/11

Planet Weather for Weeks 7/31 and 8/7/11.

NewsBits: Congressional Hardball – Where is the logic in holding the American economy hostage, and ruining the AAA credit rating that the US has always been proud to hold? The Tea party Republicans are adamant that only a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution will move them to vote for a debt-ceiling increase. This is surely irrational at best. An amendment to the US Constitution, for one thing takes time and debate and carefulness, and has no place as a coercive measure when so much of our financial reputation hangs in the balance, not to mention the ripples and effects it will have on the rest of the world’s markets. This whole situation is deplorable and lacks basic understanding of the consequences. Two weeks ago, in the last PW, it was clear that this situation would go to the 11th hour and so it has. But now what? Saturday 7/30 was a New Moon @ 7 Leo, bringing with it a promise of a new emotional cycle. This New Moon conjuncts the USA North Node, offering a look at where this country stands and the pride of its international position. The USA’s international influence will further be accentuated as the Moon moves along in Leo and opposes the USA Moon/Aquarius. My sense is that some congressmen will be swayed by the extreme crisis of this situation and although difficult and last minute, compromise will prevail. The USA is also in the last stages of its Saturn/Libra return, exact on 8/19/11, again demanding and requiring compromise and fairness. Early Monday morning 8/1/11 ET, the Moon moves into Virgo, a more flexible mood and in general greater willingness to problem-solve, with the added awareness of the Moon square the USA Uranus/Gemini, bringing home the realization of the dramatic consequences if compromise is not reached. My sense is again that there will be some temporary or contingency measures within the bill, such as agreement to bring a constitutional amendment/balanced budget to debate and vote very soon, but that the vote to raise the debt ceiling will be passed in time. Lurking in the background is transiting Pluto/Capricorn, retrograde and exactly opposite the USA Jupiter/Cancer @ 5deg. This constitutes the extreme pressure exerted by one party and the extremely urgent financial situation that we are facing.

Terror in Norway! Shocked Norwegians had to deal with a horrific tragedy on 7/22/11 when Anders Behring Breivik, an apparent anti-Muslim extremist went on a 2-part killing spree. First he launched a car-bomb in the government quarter of downtown Oslo and killed 7, and then he shot 69 young people attending the annual retreat of the left-leaning Labor Party on Utoya Island. The immense agony and pain he caused can only be imagined. Breivik wanted to make a statement about his growing frustration over government inaction regarding Norway’s immigration issues. The triggers to Norway’s chart are clear and Neptune’s recent entry into Pisces (4/4/11) is bringing out some idealogical extremism. The accepted modern chart for Norway is June 7, 1905 @ 11AM Oslo. Transiting Neptune @ 0 Pisces was energizing and approaching a conjunction with Norway’s natal Saturn @ 2 Pisces. This can be seen as the desire to create disruption to the system due to idealogical principles. The modern ruler of Norway’s Saturn/Pisces, Neptune sits at 7 Cancer and has received the recent station retrograde of transiting Pluto/Capricorn at that same degree. Transiting Mars/Gemini was just leaving an exact conjunction with Norway’s Pluto/Gemini. Lastly, telling more of the story transiting Jupiter/Taurus was exactly opposite Norway’s Mars Rx @ 8 Scorpio and square its Moon @ 6 Leo. This suggests an extreme action (Mars/Scorpio) of large consequence (Jupiter/Taurus) involving children (Moon/Leo). Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones through the misguided actions of a malcontent who felt the need to kill innocent people. and squaring Uranus (modern ruler of Aquarius in Scorpio)

Ander Breivik was born on 2/13/79, Oslo, Norway, time unknown. He has Mars, Sun and Mercury in Aquarius in that order, and squaring Uranus (modern ruler of Aquarius in Scorpio) indicating a very willful, rebellious spirit at least, and a fiercely determined mental attitude at best. There can be a detachment to Aquarius especially if coupled with other chart indicators. In the case of Breivik, containment, compartmentalizing is accentuated by a Moon/Virgo conjunct Saturn and Venus in Saturn’s sign Capricorn. Both are controlled energies and Saturn is the ancient ruler of Aquarius. There’s a strong sense of his version of the truth mingled with the desire to force and control the issues, even to the extent of harming others. Breivik has Jupiter at 1 Leo retrograde, which was stimulated by transiting Neptune @ 0 Pisces, bringing forth a strong ego need to be seen and recognized, which his early childhood history indicates was in short supply due to divorce and blended family at an early age.

Planet Weather has been published for 14 years!  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

SkyWatch for the weeks of 7/31 and 8/7/11

Moon phase for the week of 7/31: 8/6 -- The Moon enters Her First Quarter phase at 7:08 AM EDT, at 13 degrees of Scorpio. Skywatching events of the week: 8/1– The waxing Crescent Moon makes a close pass by Mercury. Their point of closest approach occurs just after sunrise as seen from the US East Coast, when both are still below the Eastern horizon, but they will still be visible close together the previous and following evenings. 8/2 -- Mercury also reaches His so-called "greatest eastern elongation" (setting as far behind the Sun as He ever gets) so should be readily visible low in the West together with the Crescent Moon after sunset. 8/4 -- The waxing Crescent Moon also makes a close pass by Saturn, although, again, their point of closest approach occurs when both are well below the horizon as viewed (or not viewed!) from the US East Coast. Again, they will set fairly close together the previous and following evenings.

Moon phase for the week of 8/7: 8/13 -- The Moon reaches perfect Fullness at 2:57 PM EDT, at 20 degrees of Aquarius. In Native American and folk traditions, this is the Corn Moon (sometimes the Fruit Moon) in anticipation of the proverbial Harvest Moon up next. Skywatching events of the week: Mercury and Saturn will be visible in the evening sky after sunset, and Mars and Jupiter will be visible in the early morning sky before dawn.

Space News and Weather:  The Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully landed at Cape Canaveral, completing its final mission as well as the final mission (the 135th) of the entire shuttle fleet. The International Space Station (ISS) will now be serviced by robotic supply vehicles, and crew rotation will use the Russian Soyuz space capsule. In other news, astronomers have discovered yet a fourth moon orbiting distant Pluto! The moon, temporarily given the romantic name P4, is the smallest of Pluto’s satellites, somewhere between roughly 10 and 35 kilometers across. Pluto's largest moon Charon is some 1000 plus km in diameter, with Nix and Hydra in the range of 30-110 kms give or take. P4 orbits between Nix and Hydra. Not a bad collection of moons for a celestial body whose status was recently downgraded to "dwarf planet"! 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 7/31/11 – Monday, Tuesday (Mercury turns Retrograde), Wednesday (Mars enters Cancer), Thursday (Neptune re-enters Aquarius), and Friday 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 8/1/11, the Moon is VOC/Leo from 2:20AM to 4:42AM EDT – still on 8/1/11, the Moon is VOC/Virgo from 7:38PM to 6:04AM on 8/3/11,(the Moon is VOC all day on 8/2/11) – On 8/5/11, the Moon is VOC/Libra from 7:57AM to 7:58AM EDT (1 entire minute!) – A very strange week for VOC Moon energies.

Week of 8/7/11 – Sunday, Monday (Mercury enters Leo), Tuesday, and Saturday (Full Moon) 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 8/7/11, the Moon is VOC/Scorpio from 11:15AM to 11:21AM EDT – On 8/9/11, the Moon is VOC/Sagittarius from 4:25PM to 4:38PM EDT – On 8/10/11, the Moon is VOC/Capricorn from 4:34PM, all day on 8/11/11 until 11:47PM EDT.

Summary: Intensity increases as the debt-ceiling deadline looms and negative debt ratings seem inevitable. Mercury is slow and ready to retrograde on 8/2 and Mars enters a new sign, Cancer on 8/3, and Neptune retrogrades back into Aquarius to complete its biz there on 8/4. This combination of conditions creates increased tension.

Quote of Note: “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” – Ben Franklin

Planet Patterns and Cosmic Headlines:

** Mercury Retrograde (Rx) 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. Fire Mercury increases spiritedness and in Leo stubbornness and pride too. The fact that Mercury reaches 1 deg. Virgo before it retrogrades and spends the majority of its Rx cycle in Leo is a nod to Neptune , which spent just four months in Pisces @ 0 deg. This Merc Rx opposes that position and explains, in part, the confusion of ideals and the twisted ways of dealing with solving problems that embattle Congress. This Rx is a harbinger of taking a good look at how we engage with others to repair broken functionality and the nature of compromise itself. How do idealism and pride mix when basic functions are at stake? Does taking a stand trump all other considerations? When must one yield and compromise and when must one stand firm? These are lessons for all of us as we seek to manage this complex Mercury retrograde.

Mars enters cardinal, water Cancer on 8/3/11 until 9/18/11. Mars makes a change of pace and moves into the ebb and flow of feelings, moods, habits, and the various concerns of the family, tribe, and people we have gathered close to us. Cancer is an insecure sign until it feels it has assurance that it will be safe – its feelings, its home, family, food, and other basic necessities. In these realms Cancer will fight. Mars remains in Cancer for six weeks and in that time will form sequentially a grand cross by squaring or opposing the other three planets in cardinal signs – first Uranus/Aries on 8/9, then Pluto/Capricorn on 8/11, and lastly Saturn/Libra on 8/25/11. We are in critical times and the need for big changes and unprecedented action is apparent. The question is, can we be wise in the face of crises and keep our head in the midst of it all?

Neptune retrogrades back into fixed, air Aquarius on 8/4/11 until 2/4/12. What did you experience between 4/4/11 and now, while Neptune was giving us a taste of how it works in the sign of Pisces? These little seeds of inspiration are now up for evaluation and will reappear strongly (if they survive) once Neptune enters Pisces for the duration of its 14 year cycle (until 3/31/25) on 2/4/12. A Neptune station breeds a good amount of uncertainty and often doubt, so take it slow and imagine yourself in the scenario that you are contemplating before you make a firm decision to plunge forward. As Neptune completes its cycle in Aquarius, technology must begin to yield to the human factors that technology serves. Does technology have soul? Where will you yield and soften the borders of your logic and understanding to arrive at true compassion, and a non-judgmental attitude for yourself and others?

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 on 8/30/11(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.

We’ve only had four months 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.