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Planet Weather for Weeks 8/14, 8/21 and 8/28/11

Planet Weather for Weeks 8/14, 8/21 and 8/28/11.

NewsBits: Somalia – the Drought and the Children! Nineteen years have gone by since the last drought of this magnitude hit Somalia. Astrologically 19 years is a nodal cycle return – so we will examine that first. Currently the Nodes of the Moon are traveling through Sagittarius/Gemini (North/South respectively). These Nodes, because they are in mutable signs, share with all mutables, issues regarding distribution, whether information, products, etc. Of course with blocks to the free flow of mutable energy, trouble results. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter and essentially Jupiter expands. When this energy is blocked, it increases the scope and measure of the problem – so we have vast starvation and almost insurmountable and compounded issues resulting from the blockage of aid by rogue militant groups. Cholera has broken out as well as preventable diseases like measles due to the banning of vaccinations by militant political forces. In 1992, the Nodes of the Moon were also in Sagittarius/Gemini and it was in August 1992, through December 1992, that aid poured into Somalia to help with the starvation and related crises.

The chart used for Somalia is the date of its independence from Britain, June 26, 1960, 12AM, Hargeysa, Somalia. Its chart shows two areas of great impact. Transiting Uranus/Aries is sitting on its ASC of 3 Aries, expressing the intensity and the erratic nature of the militant action taking place and affecting thousands. This slow moving transit also expresses that an impending drought was foreseen and more could have been done to prevent it. The trigger was Mars entering Cancer and stimulating a grouping of five planets on the Cancer/Capricorn axis including in numerical order, Sun 4 Cancer, Venus 5 Cancer, Saturn 15 Capricorn, Moon 23 Cancer and Mercury 28 Cancer. This axis concerns basic human needs of food, home, family, security and exhibits great difficulties with structural elements of its society (Saturn/Capricorn opposing the four Cancer planets). In 1992, the triggers were Uranus conjunct Neptune/Capricorn conjunct Somalia’s Saturn and opposing its four Cancer planets. Transiting Mars was also in Cancer in the latter half of the crisis in 1992. When aid began in earnest in 1992, transiting Mars was in the previous sign, Gemini, opposing Somalia’s Jupiter/Sagittarius – reminding us of Jupiter’s way of behaving when negatively inclined, and that is to exacerbate and spread the disaster to huge proportions and yet there are options, such as aid.

Please give what you can – a generation of children are dying. CNN has a list of organizations that are reputable

Market Gyrations! The trigger was Mars in Cancer – the planet in the sign of its Fall – translation: is not as strong in expressing its intrinsic energy. However, in this sign, Mars tends to generate anger and acts emotionally when basic security is threatened. Three separate situations compounded the wild up/down swing of the US markets, as well as other world markets. The irritation and exasperation of Congress’s 11th hour passage of the debt ceiling increase, which played into the destabilizing decision by Standard and Poor’s US credit rating downgrade for the first time in its history. Stagnant employment figures created great insecurity but also confusion in the markets. There was a grand cross forming with first Mars/Cancer square Uranus on 8/9, then Mars/Cancer opposite Pluto/Capricorn on 8/11. All this just after Mercury/Virgo turned Retrograde (Rx) on 8/2, fueling the tension of a decision by Congress. Mercury Rx made an opposition to Neptune Rx/Aquarius on 8/8, and that was also the week leading up to the Full Moon/Aquarius and that always creates emotional volatility, especially with Mars in the Moon’s own sign! The last leg of the Grand Cross completes when Mars/Cancer squares Saturn/Libra on 8/25/11, the day before Mercury turns Direct. Mars/Saturn aspects typically embody contraction, delay, stalling, balking, blockages, and difficulty in reaching decision but at the same time a sense of needing to make a decision. That will be a cautious week, with some exasperation.

London’s Burnings! Mars in Cancer is certainly stirring up the emotions of people everywhere in various ways and by various means. England, it seems, is no exception. The most accepted chart for the United Kingdom is 12/7 1922, Westminster, England 15:28 GMT. First off, the UK is in its Saturn return. It shares that condition with the US! In fact, in January 2011, Saturn/Libra made a Station Retrograde exactly on the UK Saturn @ 17 Libra, which is a forewarning of an issue of government and security. The apparent trigger was again Mars/Cancer because the UK has Pluto Rx@ 10 Cancer and its Moon (the people) @ 23 Cancer. The people are angry, and the deeper issue is a Saturn one, as mentioned, which is systemic and deals with structures and government regulations and the need for reform of institutions and policies. Issues will most likely worsen, as transiting Pluto/Capricorn moves closer to an opposition to England’s Pluto/Cancer. The handwriting is in the sky – massive systemic transformation of outdated systems is the imperative of the times.

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 8/14, 8/21 and 8/28/11


Moon phase for the week of 8/14: There is no change of Moon phase this week! This is one of those rare weeks (two or three a year) when the Moon undergoes no change of phase, in this case remaining a waning Full Moon all week. Skywatching events of the week: 8/20 -- The Moon makes a close pass by Jupiter. Their point of closest approach occurs at 5:14 AM, just before sunrise as seen from the US East Coast, when both will be ideally positioned for viewing high in the southern sky. Mars and Jupiter are visible in the morning sky all week, and Saturn after sunset.


Moon phase for the week of 8/21: 8/21 -- The Moon enters Her Last (aka Third) Quarter phase at 5:54 PM EDT at 28 degrees of Taurus, the sign of Her exaltation. Skywatching events of the week: 8/25 -- The waning Crescent Moon makes a close pass by Mars. Their point of closest approach occurs after sunrise as viewed from the US East Coast, but the two will rise close together a couple of hours before sunrise, with the Moon leading Mars up into the eastern sky. Mars and Jupiter continue to be visible in the pre-dawn hours, and Saturn as an evening star.


Moon phase for the week of 8/28:  8/28 -- The Moon enters Her New cycle at 11:04 PM EDT, at 5 degrees of Virgo. Look for Her slender crescent low in the West after sunset in a few days. Skywatching events for the week: 8/31 -- The Waxing Crescent Moon makes a close pass by Saturn, their point of closest approach occurring in the early afternoon. The Moon will be separating from (and above) Saturn as the two go down together not long after sunset. Both should be far enough behind the Sun to be readily visible in the western sky after sunset. Mars and Jupiter continue to be visible in the pre-dawn hours, Saturn as an evening star, and now Mercury should be far enough ahead of the Sun to be visible low in the east before dawn.


Space News and Weather: NASA last week successfully launched the Juno space probe towards Jupiter, which it will reach in mid-2016. Scientists hope the Juno probe will help answer questions about the evolution of the early solar system and the basic nature of so-called "gas giant" planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, as well as scores of others discovered around distant suns. Juno will actually go into a polar orbit around Jupiter, a mere 3,000 miles above the planet's cloud tops. Given that Jupiter's massive clouds are the most colorful and turbulent in the solar system, we should be in for some spectacular viewing. 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 8/14/11 – Tuesday, Wednesday, 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 8/14/11, the Moon is VOC/Aquarius from 8:26AM to 8:54AM EDT (very short!) – On 8/15/11, the Moon is VOC/Pisces from 4:21AM to 8:01PM (the next night – a really long one!) on 8/19/11, the Moon is VOC/Aries from 7:50AM to 8:36AM.

Week of 8/21/11 – Sunday, Tuesday (Sun enters Virgo), Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Mercury turns Stationary Direct!) 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 8/21/11, the Moon is VOC/Taurus from 8PM to 8:53PM EDT – On 8/24/11, the Moon is VOC/Gemini from 5:34AM to 6:31AM EDT – On 8/25/11, the Moon is VOC/Cancer from 9:04AM, to 12:09PM EDT (next day!)

Week of 8/28/11 – Sunday (New Moon), Tuesday (Jupiter turns Retrograde), Wednesday, 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 8/28/11, the Moon is VOC/Leo from 1:12PM to 2:13PM EDT – On 8/29/11, the Moon is VOC/Virgo from 6:15PM to 2:25PM (next day!) – On 9/1/11, the Moon is VOC/Libra from 1:35PM to 2:48PM – On 9/3/11, the Moon is VOC/Scorpio from 3:42PM to 5:03PM EDT.

Summary: Compared to the week of 8/7/11, the week of 8/14 is relatively calm. We’ve passed the intensity of the Grand Cross (see above/below) and the week leading up to the Full Moon in Aquarius (surprises galore!). WED 8/17/11 may get your knickers in a twist – so keep your cool (hydrate!) The week of 8/21 may bring some bittersweet tastes into your life – season change is upon us (again) in more ways than one and the need to regroup for the 4th quarter of the year.

Quote of Note: “Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Planet Patterns and Cosmic Headlines:

** Mercury Retrograde (Rx) cycle - Mercury is still Retrograde (can you tell?) and remains retrograde until 8/26/11, when it turns Direct again @ 18 Leo. Mercury entered mutable, earth Virgo on 7/28/11. On 8/2/11 Mercury turned retrograde @ 1Virgo, and then slipped back into the previous sign Leo, on 8/8/11. Mercury barely made it into Virgo (1deg.) and then retreated back into the fiery, spirited, bold, fullness of life, which is Leo. All the Mercury retrogrades this year (we’re at 2 of 3) take place in fire signs, making the mind and thought bold, dramatic, opinionated, 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. When Merc retrogrades it opposes that position and explains, in part, the confusion of ideals and the twisted ways of dealing with solving problems that embattled Congress and created universal anxiety in the financial markets. This Rx is a harbinger to help us take 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. Finding the optimal functioning of the heart is the esoteric message of this retrograde.

Venus enters mutable, earth Virgo on 8/21/11. Virgo, being an Earth sign is always a sobering influence, and Venus moving into Virgo brings with it practicality and a desire to organize on various life levels. We need to plan now for the harvest of the summer crops (metaphorically too) and the ideas that were buzzing and percolating while we were lounging at the beach or lake and schmoozing with family and friends. Just hours before Venus moves into Virgo it makes an opposition to Neptune, having just recently slipped back into 29 Aquarius. This is bittersweet, and we may chance to trip along the path of memories and turn wistful at dreams and ideals that have passed through our lives, and how all those events and people have contributed to where we find ourselves today. This run of Venus/Virgo can be a tonic of mending relationships and expanding our network of new ones, as the most active aspects to Venus during this time are flowing connections, mostly positive with Pluto/Capricorn and Jupiter/Taurus. So, there’s relative harmony and cooperation as people are mostly focused on repairing and trouble-shooting all those life’s loose ends. And remember, Venus in Virgo likes to work and be productive – this is a good signal for finding jobs and needing assistance for various projects and…possibly, purging and paring down.

The Sun enters mutable, earthVirgo on 8/23/11 until 9/23/11. Virgo means transition and the process of gathering, sorting, filing and preparing for the next season. Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, is still retrograde, which may mean that we have more than our share of work to do and that some of it may have to be repeated, or may not pass the quality control test. Take your time even though you may be at deadline. It’s better to be late than to rush and have to start all over again. Mercury turns Direct just a few days after the Sun enters Virgo, on 8/26/11. The Sun/Virgo makes a flowing, mostly positive connection to Pluto/Capricorn on 8/28/11 and another flowing, mostly positive connection with Jupiter/Taurus on 9/2/11. The Sun reinforces Venus already in Virgo and the need for an appropriate work ethic, as the season changes.

Mars entered cardinal, water Cancer on 8/3/11 until 9/18/11. Mars stays 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 we know the havoc that created in the world stock markets! The last aspect in the grand trine sequence is Mars square Saturn/Libra on 8/25/11. Saturn typically halts the action of Mars and can mean delays and digging in – this aspect takes place just as Mercury is about to turn Direct the following day, 8/26/11. It can indicate a difficult decision or an inopportune set of circumstances, a stalling, a balking, or an inability to compromise (so what else is new?)

Jupiter in fixed, earth Taurus turns Stationary Retrograde @ 10deg. on 8/3011 until 12/25/11. Retrogrades always imply a review. With Jupiter the review time takes us back to 6/4/11, when Jupiter first entered Taurus. Jupiter supports expansion, risk, and a feeling of possibility, learning, traveling and a desire for the finer things. During the retrograde be sure to take the time to review the ideas and plans you set in motion, or wanted to launch and refine, redirect, re-intention your process. Jupiter in Taurus does not like to rush, so be sure to take your time and also take your pleasure.

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 made its station retrograde and left 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 turned Retrograde on @ 0deg. on 6/3/11 – Neptune returned 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 of Neptune in 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.