The Second Coming of the Enlightenment

Earlier this week NPR aired a story about hedge fund Alden Global Capital buying America’s newspapers to downsize them and turn a profit. As “the business of America is business,” it’s not a surprise, at least at this stage of privatization, that those buying up newspapers are interested solely in profit rather than any dedication to the public good.

So what? We may say. The media exaggerates; is biased; is negative. But remember, in our digital age the media responds to our clicks. Our media is biased, exaggerated and fear-invoking because that is what we respond to. Complex, nuanced information does not sell well. While the Internet initially broadened our world, ironically it is now shrinking our world into individualized marketing pods. And many players are involved in helping us stay in self-contained universes.

As I listened to this news story, my astrological thoughts moved to Uranus which will go into Gemini in the mid 2020s. As Gemini is all about information and communication, I wondered what we would do if at that time there were no newspapers.

The Enlightenment

The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781 during The Age of Enlightenment which introduced a more rational, less deterministic view of human life. In Denmark, a German physician – Johann Struensee – befriending the mentally unstable and incapable King Charles VII – helped enact these enlightened reforms:

  • Abolition of torture
  • Abolition of unfree labour
  • Abolition of the censorship of the press
  • Abolition of capital punishment
  • Abolition of the practice of preferring nobles for state office
  • Introduction of a tax on gambling and luxury horses to fund the nursing of foundlings
  • Ban of the slave trade in the Danish colonies
  • Removal of penalties against those who produced illegitimate children
  • Criminalisation and punishment of bribery
  • Re-organisation of judicial institutions to minimise corruption
  • Re-organisation and reduction of the army
  • Reform of the state-owned medical institutions

How are these reforms faring today?

Looking through the list, a few could be re-implemented today all over the world. Torture might be illegal within the US borders, but since 9/11 has been openly pursued outside of our borders. Is there censorship of the press? Technically no but when the press is purchased to dismantle, then isn’t that the same effect? In many countries journalists are being assassinated. Bribery in the US was institutionalized for the upper classes as lobbying and corruption is now openly accepted as a political norm.

The issues of 18th century Denmark are eerily similar to the issues of today across the globe although the forms may have changed and marketing and public relations are used to mask realities.

Uranus in Taurus and Gemini

Today Uranus is in Taurus, about halfway through its seven-year transit. Taurus is a fixed earth sign and rules material life – body, house, earth.

Shifts in supply chain have provided enlightenment into the complex dependencies that create material comfort in the West. Consistency is a Taurus trait and Uranus has cracked the routines of Western life. While your news analysts keep trying to predict a return to normalcy, expect supply chain and financial volatility for the next four years.

After Taurus comes Gemini – mutable air, very different from Taurus. While Taurus loves routine, Gemini hates it. After seven years we may be more comfortable with a more flexible, fluid existence. Gemini is the mind, mental stimulation, socialization, information and communication. Gemini is fun – something we all want after the heavy earth energies of 2020 (many planets in Capricorn with Uranus in Taurus).

For me, Gemini is the journalist while its opposite sign Sagittarius is the philosopher. Gemini seeks the facts and Sagittarius tries to make meaning.

What will happen when Uranus is in Gemini and there are no newspapers?

This astrologer will trust in Gemini creativity that we will have a better way to have accurate, valid information.

The Second Coming of the Enlightenment

When Uranus was discovered on March 13, 1781 it was transiting Gemini (mutable air) at 24 degrees. In 2030, we may have another Age of Enlightenment as it returns to this position. On March 13, 1781, Pluto was transiting fixed air sign Aquarius and Neptune was in cardinal air sign Libra. Fraternity, liberty, equality – words of the French Revolution and words beloved by air signs. Air signs are social and these three outer planets in the three air signs brought “enlightenment” through rationality and exchange of ideas as opposed to religious dogmatism and immutable social position.

In the mid 2020’s, Pluto will move from Capricorn to Aquarius. Neptune will also move but not to Libra like during the 18th century Enlightenment but its opposite sign Aries.

What kind of enlightenment will the 21st century create?

With Neptune in Aries, I suspect the glamorization of warriors and warfare like the heroes of the Greek stories.  Maybe we’ll even see children named after the Greek and Roman gods.

We may worship warships.

Creating fraternity, liberty and equality in the 18th century was about land. In the 21st century, it’s about information, and other technology that moves through the air, invisible to the eye but affecting our lives. Wars are now digital – cyber attacks, microwave attacks and probably dozens of other invisible technologies.

How does one create equality in a digital world? What does equality even mean?

My thoughts go to the past, the Greek city-states. But air is about the future and possibilities, not the past. But guaranteed it won’t be boring and we must keep alert in a world of information play. Gemini likes to learn and we will need to learn quickly to keep up.

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Neptune “Spirits” – Dimes from Heaven

For several years now I have been finding dimes. Occasionally I find a penny; occasionally a nickel; but mostly dimes. In fact, I just counted 50 in the dime jar where I put them.

One day a couple years ago I was telling a friend about finding dimes. The next day I went to the gym, opened a locker and there it was – a dime — nothing else – no trash, no candy wrapper, just a dime.

It was sometime later an older relative that told me when you find dimes it is your deceased ancestors saying hello. Finally, an explanation that made sense!

My ancestors know me, know that I used to find money a lot when I was a child (Sagittarius rising). They would know that pennies wouldn’t be recognized as anything unusual. And they clearly know I’m not fond of nickels – too bulky for the value.

But dimes! Thin, grooved, silvery, worth ten pennies or two bulky nickels. My ancestors — especially my grandmother who used to let me have the change after paying for Saturday breakfast — would recognize my love of money and value and send dimes.

And my mother and father would send 50 of them because they liked to talk.

The Birthday Dime

So last weekend I was on my way to a relative’s 60th birthday party. Picking up the ice, I was ready to head over when a text from him asked me to pick up one additional grocery item.

Back to the store I went and found . . . a dime! A shiny, new 2021 dime, beautiful to behold.

While the family of any astrologer gets used to some non-traditional thoughts, telling this relative that our ancestors were sending a birthday greeting might be taking it too far.

Should I tell him?

Astrologers are used to being laughed at so I decided to take the plunge and say, “Mom, dad and grandma say hi.”

And I got the expected result.

“Oh, really?” flat of tone, disdainful of manner.

If I was going to talk about spirits, I should have waited for the “spirits” to kick in. Then, I am guessing, the message would have been more well-received.

Neptune Spirits

Neptune rules the spiritual world – all you cannot see but believe exists. Neptune is where we lose our individuality and merge with the source. Neptune is image and film which takes us spiritually into an imaginary world where we lose ourselves. Neptune is also drugs and alcohol which do the same, but usually into the realm of unexpressed, vulnerable feelings.

Is the spiritual world in our imaginations? Or are our imaginations a link to the spiritual world?

Too much Neptune is too much of all of the above. With Neptune transiting Pisces, the sign it rules, since 2011, we’ve had a great increase in drugs (legal and illegal), excessive media consumption and emotional escapism. Maybe, too, there can be too many ancestors as we sometimes forget that in physical form they sometimes got on our nerves.

Neptune is a fog over a mystery. And if you figure out what it all means, no one will understand you anyway. How can you explain in words the heights of ecstasy or the hopeless feelings of the most desperate human?

Neptune rules the “spirits” both the ones who send dimes and the ones who make you kissy-huggy at the end of the party.

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The United States’ Pluto Return: Let Them Eat Vegetables

Back in the late 1980s I met a Japanese man who asked why my Walkman (hand-held device that played what were called cassette tapes) was so big.

Was it big? This is what they sell at the stores, I replied.

A few years later in while traveling in Japan I understood his wonder. At that time, the electronic devices being sold in Japan were not just smaller, but more prolific and innovative. In fact, Japan in the early 1990s is where I used my first keycard to open a hotel room door. While in the United States we were developing computing technology, we were still issuing metal keys to hotel guests.

Big has been a theme of this nation with its large landmass and plentiful natural resources. While at the pool the other day, I saw a swimming instructor teaching two toddlers. The exercise involved cookies.

What kind of cookies do you like?

Chocolate chip!

Do you like big cookies or small cookies?

One of the two girls unfortunately said “small cookies” which didn’t work well with the next step which was mixing the dough in the (big) bowl. She swapped “small” for “big” quickly.

American big may appear to be a result of our great natural resources, but it’s also a result of our trade and foreign policies.

The transits of Pluto in Capricorn (2008 – 2023) and Uranus in Taurus (2019 – 2026) affect the entire planet, but for each nation they mean something specific. For the United States, with “natal” Pluto at 27 degrees of Capricorn, it’s particularly rough because it’s an evolutionary cycle.

In spring 2022, the return will be complete. This is the end of a cycle. Take notes in your diary for your descendants.

Natural Cycles: Uranus in Taurus

Yesterday someone forwarded an Atlantic article about supply chain disruption and why it is occurring. Americans want more, it said, but supply chain is stalled. The supply chain disruptions are often with the parts of objects (cars, appliances) or the containers that hold them (cat litter).

Uranus is enlightenment and clarity and Taurus the body and all tangible, fungible items which includes your body and your house. Expect the entire seven years of this transit to involve supply chain volatility and more body changes. Uranus is a wave, not a line. Uranus is volatile, not “good” or “bad.”

For the people of a nation that can go into the store for boxed cereal and find it almost 100 percent of the time, this is a shock. But remember, people in other parts of the world live this way regularly.

What does it take to assure Cheerios are on the shelf 24/7, 365 days a year?

Americans are finding out.

Much of American foreign policy involves or has involved the control of supply chain from bananas in Latin America to oil in the Middle East. It’s not new, but as Pluto returns to its natal place in the United States horoscope, the control of the last 248 years is ending.

While it disrupts our routines, maybe it’s also time to understand how natural body cycles (Taurus) have been altered by Pluto in Capricorn’s need for order, control and authority.

Big Bodies

While Americans like big cars, houses, bank accounts, and big cookies, we do not like one thing to be big: our bodies. To the universe, we can’t send out the energy of “more, more, more, big, big, big” and then expect to have a small body. If astrology has taught me anything, it’s balance. Give me everything big except these one or two things is not balanced.

With an economy based on consumption, the United States is the world’s largest consumer and trash maker. If an economy is based on consumption, “more, more, more, big, big, big” is the goal. I believe our bodies will become healthier if we send the correct message to all parts of our lives, not just our bodies.

Constant Product

It took me a while to realize that I was seeing asparagus every time I went to the grocery. And I kept buying it so that now I’m a little tired of it. I kept buying it because that was my habit when asparagus was only available in spring locally.

Asparagus is available almost all the time now because it comes from Latin America. That’s certainly comforting, as a matter-eating human. Yet asparagus has now lost its specialness. It was a joy and delight to see its reappearance in spring.

Natural cycles have ebbs and flows and we’ve lost that knowledge through our consumer-based society that assures all products all the time with immediate delivery. Our bodies then too have lost that knowledge.

As a friend told me years ago, when she was young her large family would get new clothes at Christmas. It was special and with the other holiday events, made the season especially delightful. We’ve lost that specialness.

Supply chain disruptions have brought that back – if we can get over the compulsion to hoard. In 2020, months went by without chipotle sauce. It was delightful to see when it returned to the shelves. Appreciation and gratitude also increase when there is fluctuation. The fluctuation is simply a reminder.

Dependence on cheap foreign labor

Constant, consistent product also depends on cheap (or cheaper) and abundant labor. Currently two nations supply much of that less-expensive labor: India and China.

During the pandemic, Americans have also come to understand this dependence on foreign labor. Why can’t we make our own masks? We can’t make our own masks because we can’t compete with foreign factory labor.

While your Covid vaccine carries the brand name of the big pharmaceutical companies, much of the actual work is done by contract research organizations in these two countries with millions of scientifically-trained citizens who are less expensive than American scientists.

Fighting with China, in particular, is biting the hand that medicates us. Who fights with their drug dealer? It’s the opposite of smart.

Loss of Control and Authority: Pluto in Capricorn

For the last 248 years, the United States has gained increasing control over global politics and supply chain. As Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, that global control began to wane. Recent political events are simply a response to that loss of power.

In case you haven’t kept up with the news, the United States has been under direct assault by cyber attacks, “Havana syndrome” or microwave assault of US diplomats, and huge disinformation campaigns across all media channels. That Americans are fighting with themselves and trust no one only serves our enemies.

The “trump” card the US is playing is that regardless of how much we are attacked, we still have the military might to blow up the globe.

But we can’t eat missiles. We can, however, eat vegetables.

Let Them Eat Vegetables

During the pandemic lockdown, grocery store shopping was a delight. So few people, so much fresh produce! Many switched to ordering prepared food (prepared by and delivered by others) to avoid the “others” in the grocery store. And after the early hoarding, packaged goods returned (and lots and lots of alcohol).

As noted above, I ate a lot of asparagus, as well as other fresh fruit and vegetables. If there was a disruption in fresh produce in my market I didn’t feel it on the consumer level.

Rather than mourning the loss of global power and control, it might be time to accept that we are getting the treatment we have been giving others. Research any consumer product to the labor-level and see who is doing the work, what they get paid and how the natural resources of their own nations are impacted.

While American pride may prevent it, it’s a good time to turn the next Pluto cycle (248 years) into Capricorn’s higher purpose – personal responsibility. Capricorn in extreme carries the world on its shoulders. But really personal responsibility means understanding the impact of our choices.

Rather than desiring a return to “more, more, more, big, big, big” we can simplify and reduce, as Capricorn is an earth sign and known for its frugality.

And we can eat more vegetables. It’s good for the body.

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Mercury Identity / Mercury Diagnosis

Westerners and Americans in particular tend to to disdain astrology. One of the primary reasons is that in the West we have strong individual identities and being told we’re aggressive because we have Mars in the first house of our horoscope makes us feel weak and powerless.

Am I aggressive because it’s my choice or because I must succumb to my fate?

And if we all share the desire to be individual and unique, isn’t that itself a cultural characteristic we learn and not truly individually developed?

It’s understandable. Who wants to think their unique perception carved like a fine glass sculpture through the experiences of life is simply a birth propensity?

Yet this same culture that disdains the powerless feeling of fate readily walks into the medical diagnoses that achieve the same results. It’s been increasing common since the 1990s (with Uranus and Neptune traveling through Capricorn and Aquarius – more on this later) to have identities based on medical diagnoses of psychological propensities.

The response might be that medical diagnoses are physical. What is astrology but symbolic nonsense?

Possibly your horoscope is your DNA described. And your DNA and personality simply carry the energies of the times. Physically you carry the energy of pollution and modified, mineral-less food. Psychologically you carry the hopes, dreams and fears of the times.

Astrology, I would argue, is much richer than medical diagnoses. Why?

There are ten planets in 12 signs in 12 horoscope houses which from my experience represent the themes of one’s life. As an astrologer, I encourage people to go into those themes rather than avoiding them.  Personally I believe much aberrant behavior is a result of missed themes, energy blocked. Your times tell you that you should be a housewife but you want to sing on Broadway. This causes a lot of problems.

Moreover, astrology has four elements:

  1. Fire – spiritual
  2. Earth – body
  3. Air – mind
  4. Water – feeling

Western medical diagnoses, in contrast, generally focus on three elements:

  1. Body
  2. Mind
  3. Feeling

In the East, I would argue there is more acknowledgement of the needs of the spirit, although in the 20th century much of that was eroded. Western medicine is by nature off balance because it doesn’t acknowledge the entire person in all four elements. Western medicine and American medicine in particular do not acknowledge spiritual lack of purpose which cannot be “cured” with medicine.

Astrology acknowledges the entire person.

Mercury: Gemini and Virgo

Mercury is the planet in astrology that rules the mind, or how we perceive the world. Mercury by nature is either in your sun sign or the sign before and after. Your “mind” is never far from your sun, or sense of self. Mercury is also the “clothing” of experience, or the image of it. Roses are the image of love but are not the love feeling.

Mercury “rules” two signs in astrology:  Gemini and Virgo.


Gemini is an air sign and the pure manifestation of mental energy. This sign seeks constant stimulation because the world is filled with magnificent people, objects and events. The goal is experience, all of it or as much of it that can be had during the many hours that Gemini stays awake.

Gemini is intelligent, articulate and fast. As such, it can also become the con artist as it outwits you in a number of ways. And, like air signs in general, it picks up on the images of experience. That is why its con-artistry is so effective – it gives the appearance of what you are seeking.

Che Guevara, the 1950s Revolutionary involved in the takeover of Cuba, wore a beret and smoked a cigar. Air energy says if I want to appear to be a revolutionary in the eyes of others, I need to wear a beret and smoke a cigar.

Stereotypes, I’ve often argued, are generally liked by humanity. That is, the positive stereotypes. What we don’t like are negative stereotypes. If we want to eliminate stereotypes, we have to toss out the positive with the negative.

If you want your beret and cigar to represent “revolution” to your fellow men, then you have to accept that the government will also respond to that image and deem you a threat. Image and stereotypes work in many ways.


Virgo in contrast is an earth sign. It is also very intelligent but focuses not on pure experience and intellect but on the physical experience of health, work, diet and animals.

Nervous by nature, Virgo is often the hypochondriac of the zodiac, every small physical aberration of daily life being blown out to major illness. Hypochondriacs get sick, of course. But Virgo is known for nervous dissipation due to its worrying nature.

Traditionally Virgo was the servant of the zodiac. To be in service, one must contain the ego or not have a strong one.  While Virgo may do one or the other, when defending the weak or helpless, including the animal kingdom, Virgo is a force to be feared by the opportunists of the world. This is the true service Virgo provides in complete disregard for self.

Virgo’s backpack stickers are causes, not images. Just watch your self-effacing Virgo walk right up to the poachers and tell them that they are doing wrong for the environment. No fear there.

Focus on diet combined with a worrying nature causes a myriad of allergies and food eccentricities for Virgo. Virgo food eccentricities have brought us food labels such as “artisan,” “fusion,” “eco-something,” etc.  by a generation influenced by Virgo (more below).

And the labels work as diners choose the “enlightened” fare over the, what, unenlightened fare? Enlighted here means low calories but for a fish to be enlightened, I think the fish would have spent a long time wresting with the mind.

The 1960s and the 1990s

In the mid 1960s in the heyday of hippie-dom in the West and political and cultural revolutions in the East, the outer planets of Uranus and Pluto were traveling through Virgo opposed by Saturn in Pisces. Uranus is enlightenment and clarity and Pluto is destruction and transformation. Saturn is limits and authority.

This time represented a challenging of authority, expansion of consciousness and desire to live communally. On the negative side, it dissipated into drug abuse and lack of purpose and new forms of control.

Those born during the 1960s birthed children in the 1990s. The energy of the 1960s contributed to the energy of the 1990s. The Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo produced a generation promoting sustainable living, healthy food and work-life balance. On the negative side, this generation also carries the Virgo anxiety represented by fear of germs, hypochondria and fear of criticism leading to perfectionism.

This anxious generation birthed children with Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn and then Aquarius. Uranus again is enlightenment and clarity while Neptune is glorification and apotheosis. In Capricorn, we worshipped business and all stakeholders and stockholders. In Aquarius, we worshipped technology. By the end of these transits, we had our Tech Gods.

The people born during these transits want to be Tech Gods themselves and were born with different wiring which was given a medical diagnosis of autism amongst other things. But don’t they need different wiring to handle the technology and rapid-fire changes of today?

ADD (attention deficit disorder) also increased in diagnosis during this time. Yet while driving through McDonald’s recently and watching the understaffed staff do three things at the same time (take a drive through order, cash out and get coffee) I wondered yet again how you can survive in our world without what’s called ADD.

Then in 2008, these children born in the 1990s experienced Pluto transits of their Uranus/Neptune. And this will continue for decades as Pluto finishes in Capricorn then transits Aquarius and these children become the new leaders. My guess is they will split into the Capricorn side (government, control) and Aquarius side (technology, community).

Mercury Identity / Mercury Diagnosis

Mercury is the interpreter of reality, is not reality itself. Both identity and diagnosis miss the spirit within, the missing element of Western medicine. Spirituality takes many forms and, I would argue, is still based on the personality.

When someone tells me their religious beliefs, they are describing to me their personality. That’s why spirituality is truly a personal, not group experience. Spirit is filtered through our perceptions and when we talk about it to others, it sounds like empty words.

This is probably why the spiritual traditions tend not to name the source. Neither your identity nor your diagnosis are the spirit within.

From the first stanza of the Tao Te Ching:

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

The named is the mother of ten thousand things.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.

Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.

These two spring from the same source but differ in name;

                this appears as darkness,

Darkness within darkness.

The gate to all mystery.

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I ♥ Uranus

Traditional indications of deceased ancestors communicating to us in the living world include flickering lights, creaking floorboards, “pennies from heaven,” and movement of objects. But not all ancestors are traditional. It’s possible some use the more obvious method of T-shirt sayings.

While traveling on the bike path on the right (physical) and right (cultural) side, I could see the jogger in my lane. Was she British? Had she spent a lot of time recently in Japan? Did she forget that she needs to be on the right (and right) side of the path?

Muttering a few judgments under my breath I came upon her, large smile on her face, her I ♥ Uranus T-Shirt clearly communicating her lack of concern and open understanding of her defiance of social convention. While I wasn’t wearing a T-shirt, it might have said, I ♥ Saturn because wanting everyone to follow the rules and giving them emotional signals of judgment and annoyance is definitely Saturn.

Uranus, and the sign it rules Aquarius, in contrast is defiance of the rules when the rules do not make sense in a legal, ethical or moral sense. Think Rosa Parks, defiant Aquarius and my personal hero for one day just saying, “No, I won’t follow your stupid rules.” Aquarius and Uranus gone bad can be excessively rebellious for no reason such as Guns ‘n Roses singer Axl Rose.

But it was a good message for the day as it definitely was Walk on the Opposite Side of the Path Day which I was then prepared for. And a “Let’s Go Crazy” T-Shirt thirty minutes later confirmed that I needed to put Saturn aside for a while and ♥ Uranus.

Were my own rebellious and creative ancestors sending a more direct message? Would stray sounds from the attic and flickering overhead lights really, clearly convey that it’s time to ♥ Uranus?

Uranus in Taurus

If the message is to love Uranus, then let’s look at what Uranus is communicating. This planet of sudden shock and awareness is traveling through Taurus which rules the physical body, tangible property, assets and ultimately our value system and sense of self-worth.

Treatment of your body indicates how you feel about your self. Are you worth taking care of? Or is everyone else more important?

Treatment of earth reflects treatment of self. Is the earth merely an external object meant for our use and pillage? Or is it a sacred, sentient being that provides the environment for a human life? Are we separate from nature or simply a part of it?

Cars are tangible items, ruled by Taurus. We (Americans) love them. When we take them to the shop and someone wants to charge us a lot of money to fix them, we get upset. This has always confused me as our love suggests we’d want the best and most tender care for this precious object.

Which reminds me of Bernie Sanders, who was a hot item when Uranus was in Aries conjunct his natal moon. Now that Uranus has moved into Taurus, his spotlight has dimmed and he has been dealing with body issues. And as such he’s also much focused on personal wealth and assets of the “middle class.” While I ♥ Bernie in many ways, I have to disagree with him on the cost of child care. Like many, to support an American (Over) Work Culture, he wants child care to be affordable.

Do we really want to pay someone a dollar an hour to watch our children?

That’s what I got paid back in the 1970s to “babysit.” My “client” next door (ruled by Saturn – I’ve been an astrologer my whole life – have always noted the signs even when young) used to count half hours and search for quarters instead of rounding up to the hour and shelling out the entire dollar.

Like all consumers, parents want the best service and lowest cost for childcare. But these childcare experiences are the memories children will carry for a lifetime. Having had only a few childcare experiences in my youth (in a bowling alley unfortunately), I wonder if some of the cultural changes occurring now are a result of the outsourcing of childcare for a culture that does not live in extended families.

But that’s Saturn again, wondering.

Taurus represents ultimately values. When people can and can’t “afford” certain things (within buying range, of course), they are indicating their values.  

How often are objects better taken care of than the body?

I ♥ Uranus

The I ♥ Uranus lady was taking care of her body when she displayed her enlightening message. And she might have been on the opposite side of the path to be farther away from traffic, all good things for the body.

And she was smiling, happy.

It was a good message and not as scary as flickering lights.

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A Crack in the Veil of Communication: Mars & Mercury in Virgo

Just as there are many branches of science or religion, there are many branches of astrology. The daily write-up in the newspaper – if the write-ups and newspapers still exist – is personal natal astrology generalized for a solar chart. The personal natal astrology you experience with an astrologer takes into account your date, place and time of birth which makes it specific to you.

In addition to natal astrology, there is horary astrology which tries to answer specific questions, electional astrology which tries to find auspicious times for events and mundane astrology which examines regions and events. And on top of that you have different types of astrology from different cultures (Vedic, Egyptian, Mayan, etc.). And, like all disciplines, variations on these traditional types.

As there are many types of astrology, there are many types of astrologers. Since starting this blog, I’ve become less interested in personal natal astrology and much more interested in mundane astrology. Most astrologers are involved with both the macro and micro energies – we all are individuals yet part of the times. Astrologers can’t avoid seeing upcoming events – like the conjunction of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in 2020 – and reflecting on it both in natal horoscopes and for the world at large.

The sun, moon, Mercury and Mars are considered “personal planets.” Jupiter and Saturn are social, where you meet society (like when you go to school or work). Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the transpersonal planets – far away, slow moving, they represent generational energies.

This blog tends to focus on these transpersonal planets. But not this one!

A Crack in the Veil of Communication

In the spiritual world the barrier between physical and spiritual energy is referred to as “the veil.” With both Mercury and Mars in Virgo (and now sun), it’s become apparent that the veil of communication has a crack.

Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, as is Gemini. Gemini (an air sign) is associated with pure communication, intellect, learning, stimulation. Virgo (an earth sign) tends to focus this intellectual energy into work, health and pets. Virgo is detailed and discriminating. Virgo is a perfectionist, afraid of criticism. Virgo is picky.

Both Gemini and Virgo are thinkers. Virgo being practical and less social than Gemini tends to focus the thoughts on work, routine, health, and diet. Virgo is a worrier, nervous often making itself ill through nervous tension and anxiety.

Being practical, Virgo is the identifier, labeler, and organizer. Virgo overwhelms itself with detail and can appear to be a disorganized Pisces (its opposite sign). Virgo misses the forest for the trees, which are being catalogued in a notebook somewhere.

So that’s Virgo. Mercury in Virgo is talkative, informative, full of detail and exacting.

Now enter Mars, the assertive principle and put it next to Mercury in Virgo and what do you have?

You have a lot of talking, for starters, with lots of detail. And with Mars pushing on Virgo you can have several results:

  • Passionate defense of position / too much information
  • Keen discernment / excessive criticism
  • Activism / complaining
  • Active planning / neurotic worrying

How much of what you want to say during a given day do you actually voice?

For some, it’s 100 percent and unless one is the 45th president, you generally get in trouble for this.

With Mars and Mercury in Virgo right now, the Mars forward drive can push into verbal form what normally spins through your head. Be careful.

Moon and Neptune in Pisces

As I write this blog, the moon is in Pisces, the mutable water sign that is opposite of Virgo. If Virgo is analysis, Pisces is synthesis. Virgo thinks; Pisces feels. While the Western world discourages feeling, it’s another antenna into experience.

Neptune has been transiting Pisces, the sign it rules, for ten years now. For the Virgos of the world, it’s been tough as what were once considered “facts” are now up for debate. One plus one may no longer equal two – it may be just your opinion as a very educated guy on YouTube said that one plus one actually equals three and has some cool charts to prove it.

Balance, the great lesson of astrology, is the goal. Thinking/feeling – not one or the other but both. We are taught thinking and feeling are opposites and believe one cancels out the other which I’ve learned is untrue. But it took awhile to understand this. Maybe you won’t agree. Maybe Mars and Mercury in Virgo will even motivate you to prove it.

You can have a fun and interesting day examining all of your personal “opposites.” During a meditation retreat I found a few fascinating ones.

Because of the Piscean opposition to Mercury/Mars in Virgo, when Mars cracks the veil of communication be prepared for emotional responses. Be prepared for some imaginative conversations. Be prepared to explain those things you didn’t mean to say.

Be like a Virgo – be prepared!

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Gods in the Age of Aquarius

Last year a friend had to explain to me the “Bill Gates” thing as I called it. The world’s first (or one of the first) Nerds-that-Took-Over-the-World, the college (Harvard mind you) dropout, the renegade garage-programmer was now being vilified. He was trying to insert microchips into our vaccines was all I could make out.

I’m confused, I told a friend. How does Bill Gates have anything to do with the pandemic? I thought he was enjoying the traditional Gilded Age lifestyle of the oil barons who got bored and turned to philanthropy. All good causes – mind you. But finding “cause” in your retirement is exactly the issue facing humanity – it’s too late.

Although my friend tried to explain it, I had to surmise that we are back into the theme of the last two thousand years – good and evil.

In the Age of Pisces, our gods mirrored those qualities: Piscean love (empathy); the Piscean fish (two fish swimming in opposite directions; the Piscean feet (washing others’ stinky feet); Piscean sacrifice (dying for you).

Well, my friends, while there is argument about when the Age of Aquarius is / has truly arrived, I think we are there now. Pluto will move into Aquarius in 2023 which I think will seal the deal on this movement of “ages.”

Good and Evil

Hollywood movies began to bore me around 1977 when I saw the first Star Wars (“A New Hope”). While the country was enamored of this “space age” tale, all I could see was the regular old “save the princess” fairytale.

Couldn’t others see that?

A very boring story, my pre-teen self thought, wrapped in hokey packaging.

I’ve come to enjoy that movie but still find the “special effects” somewhat ridiculous. An “evil” empire would certainly have more skilled fighters, at minimum.

Astrologer Liz Greene through her amazing intellect and published works explained it to me about ten years later (with help from Carolyn Myss and Joseph Campbell). The world runs on archetypes and the prince / princess story is one of many. Had I understood what Joseph Campbell calls “the hero’s journey,” I certainly could have figured out the backstory of our Star Wars tale immediately.

If you really look at most Hollywood movies, the theme generally is good/evil or transgression/redemption. Dualism is the higher theme which runs the United States from entertainment to politics. We often say, “There are two sides to every story,” when really there are complexities, numerous, to every story.

Having worked in data for many years, I also know that complex stories do not go far and frustrate the listener. You have three seconds in the United States to explain your position.  In response, most stories in our culture are made dualistic which provides a sense of quick understanding and emotional comfort.

Tech Gods and Tech Devils

If the Age of Pisces brought emotional gods who washed our feet, the Age of Aquarius has brought us tech gods that provide us “convenience” through technology.

That the Tech Gods will be split into good and evil should not have surprised me. As the Tech Gods did bring a lot of information, I keep thinking that is all we need.

Yet the Tech Devils have come in and inserted ridiculous “information” into the mix so that we do not know the true precedence or validity of information. In a very fascinating yet terrifying manner, information has been made useless.

If I were to assign a Tech Devil, or at least Tech Villain, I wouldn’t have chosen Bill Gates. I would have chosen those that are trying to index all data and allow others to pay money so that the information is presented in beneficial ways. Or I might assign villainy to those that are tracking all of our movements and combining that with our physical features. Or maybe I would choose as Tech Evil a firm that helps authoritarian governments maintain control.

Gates may have contributed to my own personal panoply of Tech Bad Guy Behavior, but I have a feeling he was chosen for a reason. It’s called scapegoating.

Gates was born in the Pluto in Leo generation (“Me Generation”) with Jupiter conjunct Pluto and Uranus in the early degrees of Leo. The Saturn in Aquarius transit opposes Leo and has created a barrier or boundary for Gates with the people he would normally connect with.

If our Tech Gods must be balanced with Tech Devils, someone must be thrown into the fire. Gates with his Leo generation desire for self-expression gets to be the sacrificial victim.

Sacrificial victim – this must be a leftover from the Age of Pisces. Or maybe we are still there.

Ages are two thousand years in duration. The exact line of “then” and “now” is fuzzy, fuzzy by decades or even a hundred years.

Hopefully if we’ve learned anything in the Age of Pisces, if we’ve truly internalized the messages of peace and love, we can toss out the dualistic thinking and examine all of our Tech Lords and decide whether technology is serving humanity (Aquarius) or if humanity is serving a few Gods.

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The Loss of Corporate Culture

If, dear readers, you want to know Ohio, I recommend that you drive the whole of I-71 from Cleveland to Cincinnati (or Cincinnati to Cleveland), a north-south axis. This is a cross-section of Ohio. I-70 which is the east-west route won’t do it, although it seems to be a ley line of both weather patterns and drug trafficking.

While on I-71 the other day with the cross-section of Columbus, I felt like I was at the amusement park dodgem car ride. That’s what it’s like. Funeral slow, Indianapolis 500 fast, aggressive and reckless – it was all present.

And, once again, I reflected that humans are their truest selves while in a car – we are all Aries (first sign of the zodiac, me first, go faster, get out of my way). But when we get to our jobs – corporate or otherwise – we (hopefully) become civil and polite.

Corporate culture is ruled by Capricorn — our social selves, reputation, our place in society. We’re all politicians: in our cars being our true selves then becoming our public selves when we step into a building or work site. Not all people have a disparity between the two – some people drive politely and courteously then act that way at work. Or the opposite – drive folks off the road and drive people crazy at work.

In the horoscope, the first house represents your car self (on I-71) and the tenth house represents your work self.

Pluto in Capricorn

As the planet of destruction and transformation, Pluto, which has been in Capricorn since 2008, symbolizes the corporate (and government and social) destruction has occurred and has yet to be re-built. Pluto will enter Aquarius in 2023-2024.

While much of my life has been spent in corporate culture, I can’t say I’ve always been a fan. Yet as corporate culture wanes, I’m now recognizing its benefits to society (and myself).

While it would be exceedingly naïve to say corporate cultures all promote cooperation, there is a level of cooperation (so close in spelling to corporation) needed for a large organization to be productive. The balance of cooperation and competition (not as close in spelling to corporation but similar) is needed for success. There are, of course, some corporations that thrive on ruthless competition and are considered elite – the elite don’t need to cooperate.

When corporate wellness programs began, I did not like them – it felt like interference in what should be a relationship between me and my doctor. Yes several years later, I realized there really was no relationship between me and my doctor – she wouldn’t recognize me on the street. Doctors are pressured by insurance to act quickly and spend most their time looking at computers, not patients.

So the corporation, which has the burden supporting the nation’s healthcare coverage, became an active leader in healthcare.

In recent years during this Pluto-in-Capricorn transit, social interaction has degraded to the point that every disagreement with a public official results in death threats, true conversation is impossible and collective problems have no way to be solved.

Pluto-in-Capricorn is also authoritarian and those of an authoritarian nature can derive great benefit from this transit. When there is chaos, there can be support of the perceived “strong man” to counter it. Unfortunately, these “strong men” are often “straw men” who both create and “solve” the problems.

From Family Culture to Corporate Culture to Individualized Culture

Corporate culture began when Pluto entered Cancer in the early 20th century. Corporate culture replaced family, town and community culture. Nations across the world embraced “isms” that separated family and clan that once were connected by blood and proximity.

After family and clan broke down, we had the “Me Generation” (Pluto in Leo) that focused on self-expression and self-actualization. Pluto in Virgo then focused on work/health/environment. Pluto in Libra changed the nature of relationships (even the fact we call them “relationships”). Pluto in Scorpio transformed intimacy and shared finances (rise of debt vehicles). Pluto in Sagittarius brought the enthusiastic excesses that Sagittarius is known for before heading into the more conservative, cautious Capricorn. With Pluto in Capricorn, we are seeing the transformation of social structures.

Several times in 2020 during the height of Capricorn energy (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all in this sign), I was able to see the positive side of what corporations can bring: cooperation, volunteerism, awareness of health and awareness of diversity and cultural inclusion. These activities were traditionally in the scope of government which discarded (fully and finally) any concern with the promoting the highest good for society.

If we do rebuild the Capricorn structures, they will be built with Aquarius bricks. If things go well, groups of individuals will join not just to be angry and wreck havoc, but for other idealized goals. Aquarius is an air-sign and detached so generally Aquarian goals are around making a society more rational, equitable and organized.

On the negative side, Aquarius is a perfectionist that cannot accept that systems created by irrational humans can never be perfectly rational. This can lead to elite organizations and “You’re Not Welcome Because You Litter” signs on the front door.

Hopefully we are evolving and not simply devolving. It has taken the loss of corporate culture for me to understand its benefits. Life continually changes and no energy lasts forever. But hopefully Pluto in Aquarius will find a heightened way to bring a culture to a point where it can have conversation and work together to make positive changes.

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Smelling Rats in the 21st Century

Chatting with an airport stranger about the current pandemic, he like others believes he had it prior to its “official” arrival in the United States. Humans like beginnings, middles and endings so illness, too, must have a birthdate. But many, including this airport stranger, believed they had the illness as early as late fall 2019.

How do they know?

Amongst the symptoms that are similar to cold and flu are two that stand out – the loss of taste and smell.

As he mentioned these symptoms, it occurred to me that if we have only five sense (taste, touch, sight, hearing and smelling) that without taste and smell, we’ve lost 40 percent of our perceptive abilities.

If you couldn’t taste, feel touch, see, hear or smell, would you exist?

Descartes famously concluded that because he had thoughts, he had existence. The Buddhists consider “object of thought” a sense – our reality being the collective objects of thought. Descartes might have been onto something big, but remained in the human realm.

What does it mean to lose 40 percent of our senses? While taste and smell don’t seem as important as sight, hearing and touch, we might be missing more than pleasure.

Smell Idioms

Senses allow us to perceive but also screen for danger. If in the Middle Ages (and modern day Russia) taste was absent, think of the ease with which poisoning could occur. No one would taste the hemlock in the stew.

If we had to give up a sense, smell seems like it might be the easiest to relinquish, reducing pleasure but maybe not as much a danger-screener as the other senses, although it is needed to avoid being caught in a fire. But first let’s examine the idioms involving smell.

Something smelling “fishy” indicates something doesn’t feel right. Since fresh fish tends to decay quickly, even fish lovers can understand this. Smell prevents us from eating rotten food but extends to the avoidance of rotten situations.

But how about when someone says “I smell a rat?”

Rats, like any other object on earth, emanate smell. But unless you have a rat infestation, do you more often see them than smell them?

Smelling “a rat” is to sense the trickery and deception of others and suggests our sense of smell is somehow involved. Maybe there’s a science behind hormones emitted when we trick and deceive. Smell here also implies discernment, the ability to know without strings of logical formulas that something is not appropriate for us.

If we can’t smell, will trickery and deception run rampant?

Astrology of Senses

Astrology weekly provides what it calls “generally accepted significators” of the five senses in Western astrology. It’s assigning a planetary ruler as such:

Sight – Mercury

Touch – Venus

Taste – Mars

Smell – Jupiter

Hearing – Saturn

On this website of Vedic astrology senses are described in relation to the elements of which there are five (as there are in Chinese astrology):

The Five Organs of Sense

The Sattvic attributes of the Five Elements are the Organs of Sense.  They are as follows:

Ether is ruled by Jupiter and causes the Sense of Hearing. Through Hearing we acquire knowledge from Sound.  For a person to be able to hear, Ether must be present. Conversely, for someone to have poor hearing, Jupiter must be afflicted in the horoscope.

Air is ruled by Saturn and causes the Sense of Touch:  Through Touch we acquire knowledge from Tangibility. For a person to be able to feel touch and differentiate the object of touch, Air must be present. Conversely, for a person to not be able to feel or lack acquiring knowledge through touch, Saturn must be afflicted in the horoscope.

Fire is ruled by Mars and causes the sense of Sight.  Through Sight we acquire knowledge from Light and Colors.  For a person to be able to see, Fire must be present. Conversely, Mars must be afflicted in a horoscope if the person has poor eyesight.

Water is ruled by Venus and causes the sense of Taste:  Through Taste we acquire knowledge from Flavors.  For a person to be able to taste, Water must be present. Conversely, Venus must be afflicted in the horoscope if a person has a poor sense of taste.

Earth is ruled by Mercury and causes the sense of Smell.  Through Smell we acquire knowledge of Odors.  For a person to be able to smell, the Element of Earth must be present. Conversely, a person has a poor sense of smell if Mercury is afflicted in the horoscope.

Because the organs of sense are Sattvic, they are elevating in nature and pure when the organs of sense are working properly. They are Sattvic because one acquires knowledge through their organs of sense.

Smelling Rats in the 21st Century

From a Western planetary perspective, for me Mercury seems to rule all of the senses as it’s the interpreter of reality. Mercury as messenger of the gods is the link between the energies represented by “the gods.”

The Vedic perspective makes sense to me more than the planetary alignments. Having always had the nose of a bloodhound, the relation to earth seems accurate. And relating each sense to acquisition of knowledge is quite insightful.

If we gain knowledge from our senses and lose two are we losing 40 percent of our knowledge?

In early 2020 at the “start” of the pandemic, we had a great lineup of planets in two earth signs – Taurus (Uranus) and Capricorn (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto). Neptune was (and is) in Pisces which according to the website noted above relates to taste.

Capricorn is also associated with authority. In early 2020, the governments of the world all responded to the global pandemic in the same way. This is a first in our known Earth history. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 but is in its final phase of this sign and bringing our destruction, transformation and evolution in this area to conclusion.

Since this great lineup of planets in Capricorn, there is no longer in my country (if there ever was) logical and rational conversation but arguments about what is real. While the spiritual side of me is pleased that we are finally questioning what is in front of us, the practical side of me understands there is danger if there is no shared reality. The arguments have become so weak from a logical perspective that there is no reason to even talk anymore (which actually might solve a lot of problems).

If we can’t share reality, then maybe the sense of discernment is no longer necessary. Maybe as our life moves from physical to digital, we no longer need smell and taste. Maybe we only need sight and hearing for life lived via a computer or phone.

Is touch the next sense to go? I suppose we need that to use our phones and keyboards.

Can we live with sight and sound alone? Are we sure that everything we see and hear is real? How often are we fooled by smell in contrast to sight?

How will we “smell” the rats?

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Shirley MacLaine’s Enlightening Life

In a bit of spiritual synchronicity, a few days ago I wondered what Shirley MacLaine was up to. Then, browsing through my antenna TV channels the next day, I stopped at the Dick Cavett Show and one of his guests that night was Shirley MacLaine.


First, a moment about the Dick Cavett and his interview show(s) that aired from the late 1960s until the mid 1990s. As we get older in any place and time, I know, there is a nostalgia for the past. I’ll admit that up front as I say that I wish we could have Dick Cavett or clones of him doing all of the interviews of all people in all news shows today.

Kind and humorous but penetrating, Cavett evokes in his guests conversations that are varied, interesting and utterly unique. He allowed guests to be themselves and say what they wanted to say. Maybe because of that, so many guests came and shared how they’d been misunderstood. In fact, during his interview with MacLaine they talked about image and Cavett noted, “People don’t know what we are like from the images they get.”

Shirley MacLaine

The Shirley MacLaine interview with Dick Cavett noted above and linked below occurred in 1972 when she was campaigning for George McGovern for president of the United States.  At that time, she had published her first book Don’t Fall Off the Mountain where she wrote about her life beyond acting, her early life and her interests in traveling and politics. This was years before her book Out on a Limb (1983) where she explained her spiritual awakening while in her 40s.

The New Age image is now the one most associated with MacLaine. But if we pay attention to her 1972 interview, she was already an enlightened individual. In her campaigning she explains that in meeting people all across the country she discovered that:

The thing they’re most concerned with is the truth.

[People think] Corruption is synonymous with leadership.

[People think] And honest person can’t govern.

Too bad we didn’t listen to MacLaine in 1972. Maybe today we wouldn’t be mired in a social-media manipulated world of gumbo-jumbo information where you can’t get two people to agree on the temperature.

MacLaine saw in 1972 the need for truth. That was her journey and now it is ours.

MacLaine’s Enlightenment

That we don’t know another’s experience until we are in their shoes is more than true. For those who believe in reincarnation, it seems to me the reason for it. For many, they have to find themselves in slavery before they commiserate with the slaves. And they have to find themselves born into wealth and privilege to understand the responsibilities and social response that comes with it.

Or, we could understand each other now and avoid all that. The arts seem to help with understanding others’ realities.

MacLaine’s Mars/sun conjunction in Taurus and moon/Neptune in Virgo have both recently undergone aspects relating to enlightenment and spirituality.

Uranus the planet of enlightenment (and shock and sudden change) is traveling through Taurus and changing our relationships with our bodies and earth.  For MacLaine, the direct hit was in the 2018 – 2019 timeframe. Possibly she had body changes at that time; possibly her own enlightenment; possibly an expression of pent-up anger with that Mars/sun conjunction.

Natal moon in Virgo is conjunct Neptune, the planet of spirituality (and fantasy and escapism). The current transit of Neptune in Pisces is glamorizing and spiritualizing double Pisces Mr. Rogers as well as all media, alcohol and mood-altering substances. This is an interesting aspect for MacLaine because moon is reactive and in Virgo is a difficult position because it “thinks” its emotions rather than feeling them. Neptune rules the sign opposite of Virgo so makes the Virgo in constant search for the perfect this and the perfect that. Idealism is extreme with this aspect and the constant chase for it.

Neptune first entered Pisces in 2011. In the few years after that, Neptune would have been opposite MacLaine’s natal moon/Neptune conjunction in Pisces indicating disillusionment. Disillusionment has a negative connotation but is ultimately good because it means clarity, a Virgo goal if there ever was one. MacLaine’s daughter published a book about her disillusionment with her mother in 2013 – that must have been tough and provided a lot of clarity about how another felt.

Pluto’s transit of Capricorn is opposing MacLaine’s native Pluto in Cancer. Pluto in Cancer tore apart the family structure for most cultures which is now at half-life having been replaced by corporate life and social media life. My guess is as MacLaine gets older, like many she has some nostalgia for old-fashioned family life. When we get older and social life shrinks, human encounters become more meaningful. I probably won’t be around when the digital generation experiences this but am curious how they will deal with it.

In early 2023, MacLaine will experience her third Saturn return at 26 degrees of Aquarius. This transit of Saturn in Aquarius brought “social distancing.”  If MacLaine is social distancing herself now, in 2023 we may hear from her. Maybe she’s got another book in the works explaining her Uranus and Neptune transits. With Uranus and Neptune, you never know what surprises await.


Dick Cavett show with Shirley MacLaine, John Lennon and Yoko Ono

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