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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the Week of September 10, 2006  

SkyWatch  Moon phase of the week: 9/14 -- The Moon enters her Last Quarter phase at 7:15 AM EDT, at 21 degrees of Gemini. The Last or Third Quarter Moon makes her grand entrance late at night or early in the morning and is often seen in the southern skies well after sunrise, including, in this case, the moment of her phase-change. Skywatching event of the week: All week -- On a clear night you can see Uranus! Without a telescope or binoculars, that is. Uranus is currently very well placed and, with the Moon in the last part of her waning phase, this week is a good time to spot the seventh planet. Uranus is barely visible to the unaided eye on very dark, clear nights during the evening hours among the stars of the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer, in the southeastern sky. Uranus is also currently at its "full" phase, and so is about the brightest that it ever gets. Look for it to move slightly from night to night through Aquarius. Space news of the week: We have ignition, we have liftoff! After five launch delays because of bad weather and electromechanical problems, Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to begin completing construction of the International Space Station (ISS). Atlantis is now in orbit and should rendezvous with the ISS within the next day or so. Falling foam from the redesigned external tank was a minor problem during launch but apparently caused little or no damage to the Shuttle's heat shield tiles. Go out! Look up!


This week Monday, Thursday and Friday, are the most active and possibly the most productive energy days. The longest Void-of-Course (VOC) Moon time, during the day, is on Thursday 12PM to 10:53PM EDT. VOC is best for less outcome-oriented activity, since VOC often means detours, distractions, or delays. If you want specific outcomes, or if timeliness is critical, choose another day. VOC is best for processing, imagining, and open-ended activities.

Mercury enters cardinal, air Libra on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 @ 4:58PM EDT until 10/2/06. Energies are rapidly moving into the cardinal (active) air sign, Libra. Mars is already there and the Sun joins in on 9/23. Libra is a funny sign – it wants harmony but is often too willing to compromise against its own needs, and then feels shafted by the process. Libra does not enjoy confrontation and so manages countless ways to say something nasty or provocative without ever being crass! Libra has the gift of the subtle insult down pat. All this, because it simply cannot bear direct and pointed toe-to-toe action. After all, it is ruled by Venus (where Venus is in the chart will tell the tale), and so it resorts to sugar-coated barbs or snubs of not saying anything at all, or not calling or worse – not inviting you to that special event!  Then again, there will be that other Libra who takes a page from Aries and will tell you exactly where you have been very unfair and how you’d better shape up. OK, so enough of that – after it expresses its displeasure, Libra will work hard to regain the harmony of the relationship. Here’s where it gets its other reputation as the negotiator, mediator and one who carries the banner of equality. Use this time to determine whether communication needs to happen to rebalance your relationship matters. It’s also a great time to forge new relationships.

Mercury/Libra conjuncts Mars/Libra on Friday @ 4deg., September 15, 2006 @ 3:01PM EDT. This can be one of those times when you see people lose their cool and their politeness and tell you point by point (Venus is currently in Virgo) just exactly what needs to be fixed to make life completely perfect. This will be a hot point in any negotiations you are seeking, so look out for land-mines. Once the hot points are identified, negotiations can continue with renewed vigor.

The Sun in mutable, earth Virgo squares (90deg.) Pluto in mutable, fire Sagittarius @ 24deg. on Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 11:33PM EDT. This closing square – as we move toward the next conjunction of the Sun and Pluto in December, reminds us of how we have changed over the last year. It is a moment of alertness and perhaps vulnerability, even bittersweet regret at what we may have had to leave behind or morph into something more viable, in the ending of a cycle. In the mundane world, this can express itself as tension between differing political agendas (so what else is new?) and someone pressing their own agenda strongly. This can mean threats, non-compliance, secretive agendas, or other favorite political maneuvers.

Venus in mutable, earth Virgo opposes (180deg.) Uranus in mutable, water Pisces @ 12deg. on Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 1AM EDT. Use this energy to create a surprise – something beyond your normal routine in your partnership. Wake things up, shake things up, and create fresh new laughter and alertness. In the mundane world, this aspect can mean someone operating erratically or unconventionally, which may or may not be a good thing. In any case, this aspect will not allow you to stay complacent or asleep – its nature is to shock you to another level of awareness. Unfortunately, this can also mean unpleasant surprises in those parts of the world where discord reigns.

NewsBits: Israel lifts Blockades! Last Thursday and Friday, Israel lifted both air and naval blockades against Lebanon, even though its kidnapped soldiers have not yet been retrieved. Part of the cease-fire treaty was the unconditional return of the two soldiers kidnapped on July 12, 2006, by Hezbollah. The fact that this has not happened and the rising pressure from the soldiers’ families and Israeli citizens may make the upcoming Solar Eclipse a flashpoint, since Israel seems to be complying with the cease-fire agreement but Hezbollah is not. The Solar Eclipse of 9/22/06 is at 29 Virgo (always a volatile and unpredictable degree, also occurring just before the Fall Equinox), which makes a square (90deg.) aspect to Israel’s Jupiter @ 27 Rx Sagittarius, and a semi-sextile (30deg.) to its Mars @ 28 Leo. Israel surely feels that its compliance with the terms of the cease-fire needs to be equally met by the other side. Tension is likely to mount with this Solar Eclipse as each side determines how it will react to this latest discrepancy in negotiations and agreements. Israel has indicated that its ground troops will leave Lebanese soil by the time of the Jewish New Year, which begins 9/23/06, and is one day after the strong Solar Eclipse. On that day, Jupiter/Scorpio is nearing an opposition to Israel’s Sun/Taurus @ 23 deg. and squaring (90deg.) Israel’s’ Saturn/Leo @ 16 Leo. The Last Quarter of this year remains tense, with planetary station points from Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn making tight aspects to both Israel and Lebanon/Syria’s charts. However, my guess is that Lebanon will release the two Israeli soldiers and retreat to marshal its forces for another day in the future, because, I think, we all know, that this rage and resentment is not over.

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