Current Astro-Overview


Let's step back a bit and take a panoramic glimpse at our present astrological position.

It's a good time to do so, as we're now headed into the next set of eclipses, the super-powered new and full moons that I think of as 'chapter-markers', demarcating six-month-or-so chunks of our lives into episodes that come to a sort of climax around when the eclipses hit.

Since the last eclipse period, centered around the Jan 26 solar eclipse in Aquarius, we have all seen tremendous amounts of broadening development. On the societal level, this chapter has coincided with the first phase of President Obama's term, along with a turning-up of the volume on macro-level discussions about global economics and health care and how decisions made in nondescript offices and plush boardrooms affect each and every one of us. Chalk this chapter's expanding philosophical dialogue about the self-serving profits of the few vs. the rights of the many to the Jan 26 eclipse's conjunction to Jupiter in Aquarius, benefic advocate for collective justice. What remains to be seen, of course, is whether the dialogue will lead to any substantive action on behalf of the collective.

I'm hinting here at the ongoing effect of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (which is also conjunct Chiron), one of the two major astro-influences of 2009, with its potential both to bless us with a surge of collective hope and to blind us from holding certain individuals to task for not caring about what's good for the whole. Aquarius, the sign of the conjunction, can be guilty of promoting feelgood Kumbaya ideologies that blanket over uncomfortable power dynamics (and the feelings they generate) with intellectual notions of humane-sounding fairness. It's also a sign often associated with technology and its ability to draw us closer together into the proverbial global village… while, at the same time, mediating our actual human contact with electronic screens and wireless networks.

One notable example that intertwines these characteristics: the post-election unrest in Iran, fueled in strength by Iranian citizens' use of social-network Twitter. Suddenly, folks here in the US became 'part' of the protests by switching their time settings to Iranian local time, supposedly to confuse the Iranian government's attempts to crack down on Twitter connectivity, and by overlaying a green filter atop their profile pics to signify solidarity with Mousavi's opposition. On the one hand, Twitter provided the world greater access and speedier distribution of information about what was going down on the ground in Tehran, heralding much media talk about 'the Twitter revolution' (a Jupiter-Neptune in Aquarius concept if I've ever heard one). On the other hand, an actual revolution has not, as of now, occurred in Iran. And while it's a sincerely heartfelt gesture that our global tech-savvy citizenry is showing its oneness with Iran's social action through Twitter, I question whether such a revolution can happen via smart-phone (Jupiter-Neptune delusion?). Like it or not, real power-shifting revolutions often require real bloodshed rather than computer-simulated models of it—and only the Iranian people, if indeed so inclined on a large enough scale, can fight this fight.

(Tangent: Follow astrobarry on Twitter.)

Paralleling the same timeframe of this now-closing chapter inaugurated by January's eclipse was Venus's retrograde (links here and here) in March and April… an event which not only had us reevaluating what and who we find most dear, but which resulted in Venus traveling through Aries nearly nonstop from early February (within a week of the eclipse) through early June. Mars joined Venus in Aries from mid-April, adding fire to fire and enough action-instigating momentum to ensure what was planted beginning in February would bear fruit by June. And over the past month or so, having both Venus and Mars in earthy Taurus brought some much-needed grounding to the scene, to determine which Aries-initiated actions would prove sturdily sustainable… and which were merely an impressive show of pyrotechnics. The most recent happenings, then, represent the logical progression of intentions and attentions first focused upon back in late January and early February, at the last eclipse and upon Venus's first steps into Aries. Aries is the sign, after all, of pioneering self-possessed leadership. What was begun under its mega-influence earlier this year now plays out—as well as augurs (as I wrote earlier) what else is coming in mid-2010, when Jupiter and Uranus conjoin in this fire-starting zodiac zone.

Looking ahead, if we take the next set of eclipses to represent the page-turning move to a new chapter-chunk of the storyline—a solar eclipse on Jul 21 in the last degree of Cancer, flanked by two lunar eclipses on Jul 7 and Aug 5—we can finally expect a crisp batch of developments, somewhat less directly related to what's transpired so far in '09, to begin over these coming few weeks.

First Venus (Jul 5) and then Mars (Jul 11) will move out of Taurus and into Gemini, a sign in which our curiosities about various alternative possibilities, partnerships and prospects are ripe for non-committal exploration. Without a doubt, we've already stirred a lot of new stuff to talk about in 2009… and throughout July, we'll find numerous beneficial opportunities to connect with pals and peers over what we ought to do next. For these next several weeks, the best thing you can do to advance toward your goals is to circulate rampantly. We must become our own tireless messengers, conversational rather than brooding, if we hope to spread our passions far enough outward that they fall on the most enthusiastically receptive ears.

By mid-August, Saturn will finally be treading his first new steps of '09, proceeding beyond the retrograde-shadow path he's been retracing all year so far. Saturn's advance into fresh terrain means each of us—and the world at large—will have new work to attend to, further areas to address from the soberly responsible Saturnian view. This shift in Saturn's role is only further emphasized by his move into Libra (the sign of his exaltation) in October, his first sign-change since entering Virgo in Sep 2007. And of course, all this Saturn newness occurs against the continuing backdrop of his epic opposition to Uranus (the third of five exact peaks arrives on Sep 15), which bespeaks of the mind-addling need to counterbalance his responsible restraining tendencies with Uranus's wildly upending radicalism. Truly a complicating balance.

But Saturn will not stay indefinitely in Libra, returning to Virgo in Apr 2010… which also means he'll already be entering the shadow of his next retrograde by mid-October. In another interesting parallel, Mars will also enter a retrograde shadow in mid-October, due to the fact that he'll spend almost three months retrograde (Dec 20 09-Mar 10 10) and nearly eight months in Leo. I know we're getting way ahead of ourselves on this one, but suffice it to say for now that this Mars retrograde (also in a fiery me-first sign) makes a nice matching bookend to the Venus retrograde we already endured.

In summary, the main point I want you to get from this overview is a rather simple one: We are presently entering a new phase of activity, offering the first inklings of 'something markedly different' in several months. From now through mid-October, we'll advance in a rather straightforward fashion… until we hit the next real snag in the process (that is, Mars's retrograde), which could then catch us in something of a recycling feedback loop through May 2010. Then, come mid-2010, all bets are off. That's when we see some of the most dramatic astrology many of us will ever witness.

Between now and October, my dears, insist on thrusting yourself into virgin territory. Within these next few eclipse-sparked weeks, surprising openings are likelier than usual to arrive at your door. Barge through, and jump in. As 2009 enters its final months, the path will become thornier and thus more treacherous to navigate. You'll be thankful then to have made the strides you'll make now, should you grab this flag and run with it.