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This Week's Specials
Planet Weather for the Week of July 9, 2006

Planet Weather for the Week of July 9, 2006


SkyWatch Moon phase of the week: 7/10/06 -- The Moon reaches perfect fullness at 11:02 PM EDT, at 18 degrees of Capricorn. Skywatching event of the week (and the year): The year 2006 is the year of a major lunar standstill! Major lunar standstills occur every 18.6 years when the gap between the Moon's highest course across the sky and her lowest course within a two-week period reaches the maximum possible angle, roughly 57 degrees or nearly one-third of the entire sky. In practice, this means you can see the culminating Moon go from being almost directly overhead in one part of her cycle to just skimming the southern horizon in another part of her cycle two weeks later. The absolute maximum difference in the Moon's high and low points (as now, near Full Moon)  occurs on 9/15/06, but the lunar standstill is very visible all year and was marked and celebrated by Native Americans including the Maya, as well as Stone-Age European cultures. One such place is the ancient Callanish stone circle on the Scottish Isle of Lewis, as old or older than the better-known Stonehenge. The builders of Callanish designed the site to track lunar standstills using standing stones to mark the Moon's progress across the sky. Various groups are making pilgrimages to this site to celebrate the lunar standstill of 2006. (There won't be another major lunar standstill until 2025.) Astrologically, lunar standstill years are expansive, high-energy times with some of the quality of a well-placed Jupiter in a chart. Space news of the week: Maybe the lunar standstill helped account for the successful launch of the Discovery Space Shuttle despite Mercury being retrograde! This was the first ever Shuttle launch to occur on July 4, as an appropriate celebration of the American pioneering spirit. The shuttle also docked successfully with the International Space Station two days later, bringing much-needed supplies. The remainder of the mission will focus on spacewalks to assess possible damage to the Shuttle during launch. Hopefully, any damage is entirely minor. Go out! Look up!

Venus and Mars meet the heavies (Neptune & Pluto) this week!

Venus in mutable, airy Gemini trines (120deg.) Neptune in fixed, airy Aquarius @ 18 deg. on Sunday, July 9, 2006 @ 11:36PM EDT. Don’t be surprised if you are waxing nostalgic under the beams of this aspect. It contains a high degree of sensitiveness, romanticism and idealism. Add a bit of fantasy and you can have quite a day of it! Not to mention vivid dreams, since this aspect takes place late at night! Use the lead-up to the culmination by making sure you have relaxing time or creative time – it will make you happier and less frustrated to dwell in magical spaces of your own design – or use the energies to lend a helping hand – because compassion and caring is also activated with this pattern.

Mercury turned Rx (retrograde) @ 1 Leo on 7/4/06 @ 3:34PM EDT. (Mercury entered fixed, fiery Leo on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 @ 3:57PM. However, Mercury reached 21 Cancer on 6/18/06, the degree at which it will turn direct. Although not technically retrograde motion – that time period (6/18/06 – 7/4/06 and 7/28/06 - 8/12/06) represents what is called the “shadow.” Between those two times is the technical Rx cycle. The degrees 21Cancer to 1 Leo will be revisited during Mercury’s retracing and are all sensitized because of the Rx cycle. These degrees are transited three times (this is the case with all retrogradation) first forward motion, then retrograde, and then forward again! We can say that the time before the actual Rx is a foreshadowing offering indications of what may occur during the actual retrogradation. To fully understand this particular cycle make note of what was happening for you in the 2 weeks before the technical Rx began. The time after the actual retrogradation is a synthesis and conclusion time regarding the issues that emerged during the previous two phases of the cycle. Your professional astrologer is equipped to help you understand your personal Rx cycle. On 7/10/06 Mercury retrogrades back into cardinal, watery Cancer. Mercury turns direct @ 21 Cancer on 7/28/06 @ 8:04PM EDT. Mercury re-enters Leo on 8/11/06.

Mars in fixed, fiery Leo makes a trine (120 deg.) to Pluto in mutable, fiery Sagittarius @ 24deg. on Friday, July 14, 2006 @ 3:05AM EDT. Venus in mutable, airy Gemini makes an opposition (180 deg.) to Pluto/Sagittarius @ 24deg. on Friday, July 14, 2006 @ 1:27PM EDT. Men exercise their power and virility and women express their attractive magnetism. This sizzling combination all takes place on the same day. Not only dealing with interpersonal relationships, it also concerns adversarial situations such as Iraq and that between Israel and Palestine – just two examples of hot spots. This intense energy will be expressed somewhere in the world. The issues are ones of power and control and also where the yielding will take place. Excessive power creates intensity and unless it is stepped back and contained, it’s explosive, and then goes out of control, having a life of its own. On an individual level, consider your power and it potential – how are you using your personal power and your innate talents and abilities? Be aware of where you place your bets, where you invest and what the yield is.

News Bits:

Death of Ken Lay! The pressure that Ken Lay has experienced during the last two years of his trial and ultimate conviction in the enormous Enron scandal took its toll and he supposedly died of a massive heart attack on July 5, 2006. (4/15//42, 6PM CWT, Tyrone, MI – Rodden AA rating). Saturn/Leo conjuncting his Pluto last summer and Pluto/Sagittarius opposing his Mars/Gemini, also over the last year elevated the pressure physically, resulting in the heart attack. Of course, along with this was his understanding that he was facing the rest of his life behind bars. Pluto/Sagittarius approaching within 1 degree of a square to his Neptune/Virgo in House 12 may have made that realization too difficult to endure and, as it turns out, to live through.


Shuttle Docks with ISS! Fortunately as it looks now, there is little damage to the shuttle. And yet, everyone is carefully examining the debris that hit the shuttle at launch and one gap-filler (a heat-resistant spacer between tiles that prevent abrasive contact when the shuttle's skin flexes and vibrates) was sticking up approximately a half-inch. As mentioned in last week’s PW issue, launching so close (1 hour) before the exact Mercury Rx is not the wisest of decisions, but then we have to forgive NASA, for they know not the value of astrology! Let us hope the return trip to earth will be safe for the team of astronauts.


The Heat is on (again)! Israel and Palestine are in a heated battle once more, which is not surprising when you know that the chart of Israel has Mars in Leo and that is where Mars is transiting in the sky presently. (Israel 5/14/48 16:32 EET, Tel Aviv, IsraelBook of World Horoscopes). A Mars return to a nation or person’s birth position takes place approximately every 2 years, and in an area already at high voltage, this is just the spark to set off another incident. The state of Israel has four planets in Leo – Moon, Pluto, Saturn and Mars. So, it is experiencing not only a Mars return but also its second Saturn return (a once every 28 +/- transit)! Powerful matters are sure to unfold in the next year while Saturn transits all of Israel’s Leo planets and finishes with a conjunction to its Mars @ 28 Leo by August 2007. This is a potent time to decide and determine the future of Israel and its relationship with Palestine. Let us hope that some new strides and decisions will be made to bring a calming to the tensions in this area. We can hope that some reason and wisdom will emerge and we can support those efforts each in our own unique way! Peace begins at home, it is said!



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