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This Week's Specials

Planet Weather for the Week of September 3, 2006                                                                                                            

SkyWatch – Moon phase of the week: 9/7 -- The Moon reaches perfect fullness at 2:42 PM EDT at 15 degrees of Pisces. Sky watching events of the week: 9/7 -- Lunar trifecta! This month's Full Moon also comes with a lunar eclipse AND lunar perigee, the closest approach the Moon makes to us in its monthly orbit around the Earth. The double bad news is that the eclipse is only partial and only visible from Africa across the Indian Ocean but not from North America. The good news is that the coincidence of lunar perigee makes this the largest-appearing Full Moon of the year.  Sky factoid of the week: This is the ninth Full Moon of 2006. Some calendars and almanacs list this as the Harvest Moon but it isn't. The Harvest Moon is the first Full Moon AFTER the Fall Equinox and occurs on October 6 of this year. Space news of the week: As the Space Shuttle Atlantis prepares to lift off from Cape Canaveral sometime during the coming week (depending on the weather), the Pluto controversy continues (see NewsBits for details).  After at first seeming to broaden the definition of "planet" to include asteroids such as Ceres, as well as Pluto's moon Charon, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) abruptly reversed itself and "demoted" Pluto to its new category of "dwarf planet" (along with Ceres, Charon, and the newly-discovered Xena, a body both larger and much more distant from the Sun than Pluto). This "killing of Pluto" as a full-fledged planet raised a much bigger stink of protest than the IAU was expecting, so the whole question of "What is a planet?" seems far from dead. Stay tuned!

Go out! Look up!

It’s an exceptionally active week with planetary phenomena. This week Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, are the most active and possibly the most productive energy days, although with the Full Moon eclipse approach, we may be distracted! Sunday has the most productive energy, of all this week. The longest Void-of-Course (VOC) Moon times, during the day are on Wednesday 5:29AM to 2:56PM EDT, and on Friday, 5:01AM to 2:23PM 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 in mutable, earth Virgo making aspects to first Uranus (180deg.) and then Jupiter (60deg.) on Sunday, September 3, 2006, suggests a lively day, being good for errands, connections of all sorts, and stimulating conversation and activity. It’s also indicative of a restless curiosity – mental gymnastics, reading and information gathering. Sudoku, anyone?

Pluto in mutable, fire Sagittarius turns Stationary Direct (SD) @ 24 deg. Pluto’s next retrograde is on 4/1/07 @ 28deg. A planetary station, particularly an outer planet station and in this case the most distant planet (I’m still calling Pluto a planet!) – well, it’s a BIG event. A focus is placed on this point in the Zodiac and the emphasis remains sensitive. If you have planets at this degree or within a degree or two, that planet’s energy will speak more loudly in your life over the next months – until Pluto’s next planetary station. Pluto stations often bring violence or other unpleasantness from the deep unconscious collective. On a more positive note, a Pluto station can increase positive research in many areas of life. For personal use – a Pluto station can bring greater insight into the conundrums and complexities that perplex. If you can be emotionally honest with yourself, the revelations may even change your life, by altering the way you think, believe, or behave. Needs and desires are forefront. The pressure of unmet needs, the hunger or frustration of ignored needs can create great tremors in the psyche and on our little blue planet. (That’s still a planet – whew!) Announced this morning, and certainly part of the Pluto station energy, is the arrest, north of Baghdad, of the second most senior Al-Qaeda figure in Iraq, Jumaa Farid- al Saeedi, aka Abu Human or Abu Rana.

The Sun in mutable, earth Virgo opposes (180deg.) Uranus in mutable, water Pisces on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 @ 6:54AM EDT. This is an annual event, and in these signs, indicates a time of the year when we have a greater awareness of the scope of our daily lives – the nitty-gritty, the schedule, the minutiae, and how that makes up the tapestry of our lives. The stress points show up as well, but it’s a great time to troubleshoot and find out how to resolve them. One way, is to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. This aspect is classic forest vs. trees issues.

Venus enters mutable, earth Virgo on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 @ 2:15AM EDT until 9/30/06. More than anything, Venus in Virgo is practical and shows affection in the little things that can make life run more smoothly and with less stress. While Venus passes through Virgo, consider your work, your craft, and your skills and determine whether they are being put to the best use possible. Venus makes strong aspects to Uranus, Jupiter, and Pluto in its transit.

Lunar Eclipse, Full Moon @ 15 Pisces on Thursday, September 7, 2006 @ 2:42PM EDT. This eclipse gains more importance because it is within one degree of the last Uranus Station Retrograde on 6/19/06, and may bring some erratic, unexpected and explosive energy to the fore. If this degree is highlighted in your chart – this is where you will be awakened more than before. Eclipse points remain active often for more than a year and again emphasize a point in the zodiac.

Mars enters cardinal, air Libra on Friday, September 8, 2006 @ 12:19AM until 10/23/06. Mars is now ready to balance the scales, which is always a tough job. The sign of the mediator, negotiator, etc., this position seeks to understand opposing sides. On a personal level, however, the sense of cooperation often makes it indecisive. Since Libra is ruled by Venus, harmony is high on the list, and creating a lack of harmonious relationships is painful to this position. This does not mean there will be no conflict, and this position knows its adversary well, since the focus is on the other, and so has a better chance to destabilize situations if it wants to. Still and all, the thrust during these six weeks is toward forging relationships that are balanced and equal, or at least satisfactory to the parties involved.

News Bits: It’s all in a definition! What is Pluto? While lawmakers, religious leaders, and the general public debate what a marriage is, scientists have created an uproar with their new definition of what a planet is (or isn’t). Pluto’s recent demotion from the planetary family had the news media calling astrologers (including this one) for comments.  Pluto was discovered in 1930, and since then astrologers have debated its symbolic role in astrology, as well as its rulership. The majority of astrologers agreed that Pluto is a so-called “higher octave” of Mars (an expression of the same symbolism as Mars on a higher plane and with doubled intensity) and gave its rulership to the sign Scorpio, which previously had Mars as its ruler (in addition to Aries). Other astrologers have considered Pluto and the other two “outer” planets, Uranus and Neptune to be in a separate category, as agents of transformation. Over the years this writer has leaned in the latter direction too. Metaphorically, Pluto has been associated with death and transformation, so named after the lord of the underworld. Pluto is said to rule the collective unconscious and the dynamics of politics and psychological conundrums with which the collective (or person) is struggling. Pluto is being demoted as it nears the degree of the Galactic Center in late Sagittarius (27 deg.), during a time of collective struggles with the philosophies and ideas it believes to be true and just, and worthy of believing, including religious dogma. Now the planet Pluto itself, has been transformed and officially called a “dwarf planet.” From astrologers’ years of working with and tracking Pluto, we know that being small is not any less potent – the transformations that Pluto transits bring to individuals, and to nations, is nothing short of a death and rebirth in some way. Let’s look at the discovery chart of Pluto for some answers. Pluto was discovered on 2/18/1930 @ 4:13PM MST, Flagstaff, Arizona. It seems that scientists have had their eye on Pluto’s status more seriously since about 1997, when Neptune entered Aquarius and shortly thereafter made contact with Pluto’s Mercury/Aquarius @ 3deg., then Neptune crossed the horizon at House7, at 6deg. Aquarius, and gradually came to conjunct Pluto’s Mars/Aquarius @ 9deg, creating identity confusion and disintegration. In the week of the announcement by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the sky was dominated the first of three Saturn/Neptune oppositions in Leo/Aquarius, positioned neatly in Houses 1/7 in the chart of Pluto. As Saturn/Leo moves through its cycle it will oppose Pluto’s Sun @ 29 Aquarius (9/07), followed eventually by Neptune conjunct its Sun (4/11). This is certainly an identity crisis for Pluto but then that’s exactly what Pluto deals with – who we really are, our motives, our desires, and the expression of our empowerment. The Saturn/Neptune opposition of which there will be two more is the aspect that speaks to the uproar by scientists who are struggling for new definitions of the cosmos, based on new information and much more powerful technology. We’ll see how this all settles out. Never underestimate the power of Pluto, it works best in the dark, underground and unseen – keeping its secrets close to the vest until it is good and ready to emerge!

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