Pick It Up Yourself


Don't take my word for it… Test-drive your astrological intuitiveness.

We're a week away from next Wed Oct 13's solar eclipse in Libra, and you may already feel that last page of the chapter turning in completion, on to the first page of the next new one. In my opinion, eclipse periods are simply the best time for amateur energy-feelers (or vibe-readers or name-your-metaphysical-metaphor-masters) to 'pick up' strong cosmic sensations from the ethers… that is, if you are so inclined. Eclipses, which occur every six months or so in groups of two or three, portend narrative turns or climaxes. One general trend gives way, rather abruptly, to another, signaling progress and tonal shift.

I read the entire time span from around 1-2 weeks prior to the first eclipse through about 1-2 weeks following the last as the eclipse period, during which sensitive folk can actually sense the percolating movement begin to rise. Sometime today or tomorrow, if you think of it, pause for a few moments, and see if you feel it… a churning in the tummy or a tightening of the upper abs, chills along the outside of the skin, raising hairs on end… or maybe it shows up in your vision, giving a heightened glow to things, brighter lights or blurs in the periphery… tingles in the arms or legs... It feels like you know something is about to happen but you don't know what (or is that a mild fever?).

By this point, you either think I'm crazy (if you don't already) or you know exactly what I mean. Some people are simply more attuned—instinctively or by being consciously open—to changes in the atmosphere, whether you want to explain them by astrology or seasonal climate change or a shift in social thinking from combined shifts in individual thinking. Do we need to choose only one explanation?

October 04 is one of those moments where stuff is just happening, and you don't even have to check the planets to know.

The upcoming presidential election in the US, for instance, is just a month away, and a lot can develop between now and Nov 2. Even the mainstream press are preparing for an 'October surprise'. What it is, and which way the tides will consequently turn, remains as up in the air as the election results. Dwelling on this episode of American politics as a signifier of astrological trends, I know I make myself vulnerable to the charge of being US-centric. I can't deny that charge—though, at the same time, I staunchly defend my interpretation of the magnitude of this election as hugely meaningful for the entire world. And its major theme, as I see it, is directly linked to the motifs of Libra, the sign of this upcoming eclipse and the current home of the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. Jupiter's presence here is particularly significant, as its entry into Libra two weeks ago signaled the beginning of a yearlong (through Oct 05) expansion in principles of justice, compromise and peacemaking balance.

I read an articulate opinion piece by an American on al-Jazeera.net describing how the Iraq war put the world in a unique position. As the article points out, for the first time since the Cold War ended and the US became the sole global power, our country chose to shirk the UN-sponsored collaborative route and go it alone (or, more properly I suppose, with a 'coalition of the willing') in a major combat role, alienating much of the world community in the process. As Jude Wanniski writes, 'It is clear to informed Americans that if the rest of the world could vote for president, Sen. John Kerry would win in a landslide,' and then he goes on to list poll percentages that show staggering support for Kerry from the citizens of Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Italy.

The topic was featured front-and-center in last Thursday's debate, when Kerry presented his alternative to the unilateral Iraq stance by asserting the US should only take preemptive action if the situation "passes the global test… and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons." Bush, meanwhile, reiterated his strong, resolute and unwavering brand of leadership. Bush critiqued Kerry for staking national security on the authority of foreign governments. Kerry critiqued Bush for refusing to adapt his leadership to the changing reality in Iraq.

But whether you favor Kerry or Bush, their core disagreement on this issue epitomizes the qualities of Libra and its opposing sign Aries. The Aries-Libra polarity is quite simply about self vs. other… do we fiercely forge ahead toward our own self-interest, or do we react and respond and readjust toward mutual agreement? Important point here: Neither pole, Aries or Libra, is right. In fact, either can be quite wrong if followed too far down its logical extreme without the opposite to balance it. Interesting reminder: Bush's Midheaven (a key point in the natal chart signifying professional esteem and public reputation) is in Aries, while Kerry's is in Libra. The Libra eclipse will have an effect on the election, but as I've stated, it may or may not favor the Libra-on-Midheaven candidate. (Bush, incidentally, has a Libra Moon of his own… though I identify his candidacy with Mars, the ruler of Aries.) The end result will eventually spotlight qualities of alliance, diplomacy and togetherness—but that might not happen right away, and most likely not in the way we imagine it'll happen.

In our own non-election-related lives, the Libran planetary lineup in conjunction with the solar eclipse is politely encouraging us to join forces, exchange ideas, and be prepared to concede in one area to gain more in another. One of the benefits of calming the self-purposed direct actions is to allow ourselves room and time to receive whatever might be coming as a result of the eclipse. We can inadvertently miss the interpersonal positives that show up, if we're too busy lamenting the way our own personal plans have been dashed or upturned. As situations change and develop, don't hesitate to share your concerns or anxieties with others. The more tummy-twirls or body-chills or hairs-standing-on-end you feel around certain individuals, the higher the potential that he or she has some interesting feedback to provide or assistance to chip in.

One last note. The Oct 13 eclipse falling at 22 Libra triggers the natal Uranus and Pluto placements of certain members of my generation. I'm curiously interested in finding out if anyone among these groups goes through any intense life-changes during these next few weeks.

Uranus is activated in the birthcharts of those with birthdays in the approximate zones of Nov-Dec 1972, Feb-Apr 1973 and Sep-Oct 1973—this eclipse could set sudden chaotic events into motions that lead, over the course of this year, to extraordinary liberation in areas where you previously felt stuck (just don't fight the pressure if you feel it building up… let go, go with it and you'll be better than fine).

For those with birthdays around Dec 1979-Mar 1980 and Sep 1980-Nov 1980, natal Pluto gets the eclipse energy—the effects could initially be either subtle or strong, but they will be deep, initiating a year in which you come to realize how truly powerful you are by facing some dark demons (careful, though, with how you try to wield your power… no unnecessary conflicts with authorities, okay?).

Sun-sign Librans in general are in for a momentous year ahead (happy birthday!), but especially those 1973 and 1980 Librans. If you have anything of note to report on this, I'd love to hear it… email me at barry@astrobarry.com.