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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the weeks 12/18/11 & 12/25/11

Planet Weather for Weeks 12/18 & 12/25/11

NewsBits: End of a War! After more than eight and a half years, on 12/14/11, President Obama announced the end of the war of occupation in Iraq and the withdrawal of all U.S. troops by 12/31/11, although civilian assistance will continue. The end of the U.S. military occupation of Iraq is the fulfillment of a campaign promise made by President Obama. At the ceremony in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the President stated that, “It is harder to end a war, than to begin one.” Some sobering statistics of this war: over 4500 American lives lost and 32,000 injured, over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost and over $802 billion spent. A staggering cost of lives and money and what was accomplished?

Remembering the weeks before the US invaded Iraq, I couldn’t sleep – because I had dreams/nightmares of hundreds of souls/spirits leaving their bodies. Out of that agony, for me personally, my Worlds calendars emerged as I struggled to find expression for new worlds, better worlds, and inspiration to achieve peace.

The Iraq war began on 3/20/03, @ 5:33AM local Baghdad time, as the first bombs were dropped on that city and the United Stated commenced with an unprovoked attack without the support of the vast majority of the international community. It was an ill-conceived war based lies and false information and even worse judgment. The chart says it all – Pisces Ascendant (rising sign) with Jupiter Retrograde in Leo and opposite Neptune/Aquarius. The short description of this pattern would be confused intentions and goals, mixed with prideful bravado. Pluto sits at the very top of the chart indicating irrevocable and transformative, indelible change. Pluto is opposite Saturn/Gemini along the vertical axis of the chart and reinforces powerful, lasting and forceful change to the political landscape.

This war ended just a few days after the recent Uranus station @ 0 Aries (12/10/11), which is profound since the war first began just one day before the Spring Equinox when the Sun moves to the powerful point and new beginnings degree of 0 Aries! So the Sun of the war chart was conjunct the degree of the Spring Equinox. Uranus remains in a sign for approximately 7 years but typically enters a sign and then retraces its path (retrogrades) until it surges forward again to be fully invested in the new sign. This is what happened once Uranus entered Aries. It sat at 0 degrees from 5/27-8/13/10, for the first time, and then re-entered 0 Aries again on 3/11/11. Then it retrograded @ 4 deg. on 7/9/11, all the way back to 0 Aries, where it once again moves forward but never returns to that 0 degree again (for another 84 years). This also means that the war lasted during the entire cycle of Uranus in Pisces, and plans for ending the war were most likely very seriously drafted once Uranus changed signs (see above.)

Excerpt from Planet Weather 3/23/03: “US Goes to War! We pray for all those placed in harm's way. Some wise person once said that if there's even a 1% chance of resolving a conflict without the use of force, then apply 100% of effort toward that resolution. Many worldwide do not believe all efforts were exhausted. The Full Moon on 3/18/03 was tense as the outcome of the Azores summit brought a withdrawal of the newest resolution from the US and the UK and no further vote on the war matter from the Security Council. On the eve of the Full Moon 3/17/03 (and St. Patrick's Day) @ 27 Virgo stimulating the US Pluto @ 27 Capricorn (power, pressure, transformation), GW Bush made his war speech to the nation and essentially told Saddam Hussein and company to get out of town within 48 hours. This week is bracketed between the previously mentioned strong Full Moon phase and the Pluto/Sagittarius Rx station next Sunday re-igniting the USA Mars/Gemini.

The chart for start of war (3/20/03, 5:33AM Baghdad) has 19 deg, Sadge/Gemini as the vertical axis of the chart with Pluto exactly conjunct the Midheaven (top of chart)! It’s astounding that these degrees keep reappearing in critical events in this conflict, the Bush presidency and Bush natal, as well as the chart for 2003 itself. Additionally, the chart of Baghdad has Moon 18 and Venus 20 Gemini opposite Saturn/Sadge @20 deg.”

Excerpt From Planet Weather 3/28/03! “War in Iraq! The early initiative of the war plan bogged down shortly after the Pluto retrograde station on 3/23/03. The war chart has a 29 deg. Pisces Sun, called a critical degree, and spells unpredictability, meaning that the original character of the war will tend to shift and change and have far more complexity than initially planned…You can imagine that the US as liberator is losing its charm as families see their loved ones blown to pieces. By inserting ourselves in Iraq, we are setting off a chain reaction in the region and unleashing unforeseen consequences that will have lasting effects.”

SkyWatch for the weeks of 12/18/11 and 12/25/11

Moon Phase for the Week of 12/17: 12/24 -- The Moon enters Her New cycle at 1:06 PM EST, at 2 degrees of Capricorn. Skywatching events of the week: 12/22 -- The Ursid Meteor Shower reaches its peak during the predawn hours just about the time of the Winter Solstice when the Sun enters Capricorn a bit after midnight EST. The Ursids are one of the "bit players" among meteor showers and were only discovered at the start of the 20th century. But some streaks should be visible, especially before moonrise. The Ursids appear to originate from somewhere between the Big and Little Dippers (Ursa Major, "the Greater Bear," and Ursa Minor, "the Lesser Bear") hence their name. These constellations should be high in the North-Northwest when the Ursids peak. The Moon also makes a close pass by Mercury just before sunrise, which may also be visible depending on conditions.

Moon phase for the week of 12/25: None! This is one of those rare weeks (maybe twice a year or so) that passes without a change in Moon phase. Skywatching events of the week: 12/27 -- The Waxing Moon makes a close pass by Venus. Their point of closest approach occurs in the early morning long after both have gone under the western horizon. But the two will set close together the previous evening, with Venus slightly above and behind the Moon.

Space News and Weather: Lovejoy evades fiery death! This past week, the so-called "Sun-grazing comet" Lovejoy looked as though it would graze the Sun just a wee bit too closely this time around as it passed through the Sun's corona to within 87,000 miles of our daystar's surface. The Sun's corona is basically the Sun's "atmosphere," a halo of hot gas extending well over a million miles from the Sun's surface and reaching temperatures of over two million degrees Fahrenheit. As NASA astronomers watched the comet pass behind the Sun, they fully expected to have seen the last of Lovejoy. Imagine their surprise and delight when, a few hours later, Lovejoy emerged from the other side, more or less intact after its close encounter with a giant thermonuclear furnace....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 12/18/11 – Sunday, Tuesday (Venus enters Aquarius), Thursday (Winter Solstice), and Saturday (New Moon) 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 12/18/11, the Moon is VOC/Virgo until 3:06AM EST – On 12/20/11, the Moon is VOC/Libra from 4:49AM to 5:33AM EST – On 12/22/11, the Moon is VOC/Scorpio from 4:49AM to 7:03AM EST – On 12/24/11, the Moon is VOC/Sagittarius from 6:36AM to 8:47AM EST.

Week of 12/25/11 – Sunday (Jupiter turns Direct on Christmas Day), Wednesday, Thursday 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 12/26/11, the Moon is VOC/Capricorn from 8:36AM until 12:14PM EST – On 12/28/11, the Moon is VOC/Aquarius from 4:32PM to 6:45PM EST – On 12/30/11, the Moon is VOC/Pisces from 8:37AM to 4:48AM EST (next day!)

Quote of Note: “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any god-dammed wars in the first place.” -- Sally Field, activist actor

Summary: This two-week issue encloses Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve – all potent holidays and times of celebration in various ways and opportunities for depression and sadness. We are in the between time of the end and a new beginning but also between the ending of a potent Mercury retrograde, an eclipse, a Uranus forward station, a Jupiter forward station, and the beginning of a Mars retrograde. It’s good to be prepared. Set your goals but remain flexible.

Planet Patterns and Cosmic Headlines (Detail):

Venus enters fixed, air Aquarius on 12/20/11 until 1/14/12. The prevailing relationship ethos is to step back and look at the big picture to see the truth. This position of Venus is a bit aloof or distant. It dislikes exaggerated displays of emotion and prefers a cool, logical approach. Aquarius is a fixed sign and will stay the course, however erratically the relationship is defined. Because Uranus seeks the truth, it will generate relationships that are unconventional and creative and styled according to the people involved. This is a good time to get some fresh air into your relationships, take a trip, break patterns to liberate each other from assumptions and habits that may be stifling.

The Sun enters cardinal, earth Capricorn on 12/22/11- the Winter Solstice - until 1/20/12. The Winter Solstice is a magical door opening to grounding and commitment. It offers the sweetness of knowing where you stand, without frills and falsehoods. Capricorn rules the bones, so it is the bare essentials, the strongest parts of ourselves that endure. During Capricorn we need to ask what is most enduring, and what is worth our commitment of time and energy, which are finite.

Jupiter Stationary Direct @ 0Taurus on 12/25/11, Christmas Day! Whatever good was held back or delayed will now move toward you, that is – if it was already heading in your direction. Ask your astrologer to map this out for you. A planet changing direction is always a big event and with Jupiter, the biggest planet in our Solar system, expect some magnification of events – maybe even exaggeration, and also some surprises. Jupiter/Taurus is generous with whatever resources it has and is patient and enduring.

**Mars Retrograde Alert! Mars entered mutable, earth Virgo on 11/10/11, and remains in Virgo (including its retrograde time) until 7/3/12! Yes, you read that right – this is a long time we will be spending working and reworking loose ends and generally cleaning up mess after mess without end, not to mention editing, renewing, repairing, and renovating. Little things are likely to trip you up. Perfection is a huge job and never ends, so you’ll have to give it a rest lest you stress yourself out. Mars turns Retrograde in Virgo on 1/23/12 until 4/13/12. A Mars retrograde can generate anger, as the planet of action and assertiveness is harnessed and pulled back to re-do what it thought it had already completed. Mars chafes under this kind of restriction. The thing is, you have to face the music – or at least reality – and go with what’s there and what you can’t budge. You may however, maneuver around it if you’ve let go of ego enough and are savvy enough to be flexible. Who knows what you will find as you take some cosmically dictated detours. Bring a snack!

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

Neptune turned Stationary Direct on 11/9/11 until 6/5/12! The scandals leaked out – Herman Cain’s sexual harassment skeletons and child rape abuses at Penn State University. With this surge forward again, Neptune soon leaves the sign Aquarius not to return for another 164 years! Neptune is now moving steadily toward Pisces, where it Stationed @ 0deg. on 6/3/11 and sat at 0 degrees between 4/4-8/5/11. On 2/3/12, Neptune returns to 0 deg. Pisces and will then continue its journey through Pisces for the next 14 years, until 3/31/25. We can only imagine what changes in the culture and our sensibilities this will bring. There is a grand focus on the environment and greater sensitivity within the web-like network that binds us closer together than ever before. New visionaries will emerge, as well as new ways to believe and questions of what to believe. The way in which each one of us is connected to and responsible for every other living being on this planet will become increasingly and utterly apparent.

We’ve only 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.

With Neptune’s foray into Pisces, 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. 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. Ed.] 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. 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.

We’ve only had four months of Neptune in Pisces so far in 2011, 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.

Pluto turned Stationary Direct @ 4 Capricorn on 9/16/11 until 4/11/12. Anytime an outer planet slows down, stops, and reverses direction, its characteristic energy is amplified. Pluto is our slowest moving planet [Yes] and for several years now it has been processing the growing discontent with systems that have failed us and failed to provide the kind of security society expected. We’ve experienced various breakdowns collectively and personally yielding quite a bit of instability and insecurity. This station could very well deal with financial issues and the pragmatic concerns of unemployment, but more directly where the money is, who is holding it, and why lending isn’t forthcoming. It is quite possible that a bottleneck will open and more money will flow to fuel jobs and fund business. At least these seem to be the issues surrounding this Pluto Station. (The gold bubble and Germany’s bailout in the Euro crisis with defaulting Greece.)

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 Jupiter cycles (3 years). Jupiter turns Direct @ 0deg. on 12/25/11! Most of the time when Jupiter turns retrograde in any sign, it moves back into the sign before and then its retrograde cycle spans 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. There are possibilities, if we look for them.

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 entered cardinal, air Libra on 10/29/09. The full cycle lasts until 10/6/12. 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.

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 the most.

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General editing and science editor, John Flagg.
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.