Astrologers Plan Government Shutdown and Move into Aquarius

Astrologers planned yesterday’s shutdown of the US government.

This isn’t “fake” news. One doesn’t shut down a government with the sun at 29 degrees of Capricorn through whim and chance.

Not possible. Astrologers had to be present.

Capricorn is government and shutting it down at 29 degrees of Capricorn symbolizes that government is at the end of its tenure.

Only astrologers could plan this so well.

Rallies in the streets?

When I read this morning that the US government had “shut down,” I thought I’d hear cheering in the streets, great rallies of released emotion as the government is finally off our backs. No one likes the government, right?

No more taxes! Yeah!

No more regulation! Yeah!

No more government monitoring our air and water! Yeah!

No more unemployment insurance! Yeah!

No more trash pickup! Yeah!

No bailouts of collapsed financial institutions! Yeah!

We can take care of ourselves, thank you. It’s quite easy, I assure you, to rally one’s family, friends and neighbors to pick up trash and repair pot-holed streets. We can conduct commerce using digital bitcoin or possibly revert to gold and silver. We don’t need the government controlling money.

Freedom, at last.

0 Degrees of Aquarius

The US government officially shut down with the sun at 0 degrees of Aquarius. The talks leading up to it occurred in 29 degrees of Capricorn.

Capricorn is government, is authority. Humans are hard-wired to respond to authority which can explain why there is no cheering in the streets – the mind says “no” to government but the heart says, “yes.” At 29 degrees of a 30-degree journey, it’s the culmination of the energy.

Pluto, the great destroyer and transformer, is taking a long journey through Capricorn destroying and transforming governments, institutions and authority. The journey began in 2008 with the global financial collapse and government bailout.

Pluto gave us a chance in 2008 to get rid of the entire establishment in one fell swoop. We didn’t allow it to collapse. We saved it.

We chose to prolong the transformation in the way of watching a movie. If the police hadn’t made that stupid mistake allowing the killer to run free, there would be no story. You have to suspend disbelief to enjoy the story. With Pluto’s destruction of the economy, we simply believe the situation fixed and over. We shortened the story.

Aquarius, the sign after Capricorn, creates society through shared ideals. It’s the commune of Communism which became a dirty word, and rightly so. Coerced communism is authoritarian government hiding under a fancy name.

Brotherhood is the more old-fashioned term for sharing Aquarian ideals through platonic love. Aquarius the water-bearer is not a water sign – it is an air sign. Shared ideals are not shared emotions. You can be upset that your fellow commune member didn’t take out the trash leaving it for you; however, the ideal still remains and is no reason to create some “government” to make sure everyone does his or her task.

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, you know that we are all truly individuals and attaining consensus on anything from pizza toppings to strategic plan is all but impossible. This is the challenge of Aquarius, which is a fixed sign focused on its goals with determined intensity.

To overcome the challenge, Aquarius must develop ideals that allow flexibility to make room for those that don’t fit the ideal or to resolve the problems that inevitably appear with groups of humanoids. Aquarian ideals can inadvertently become Aquarian separation banning those that aren’t perfectly suited (which by my math is everyone).

The men’s smoking room, the sorority, the fraternity and the activist organization are all Aquarian manifestations. All are wonderful bonding experiences for those included. By the idealized nature of Aquarian groups, many are excluded as they don’t fit the selection criteria. Aquarius, a mental sign, can then become the emotional tribalism of Cancer (which rules family and emotional belonging).

Pluto will transit Capricorn through 2024. In 2023, it will go into Aquarius briefly then go retrograde (backward appearing) into Capricorn again. Aquarian energies will both emerge and be transformed after we regenerate our relationship with authority.

For many years we’ll have a back and forth of brotherhood versus authority.

Which do I trust more? The government or this group of people who say they care about clean air?

Shut it down

The government shutdown is the perfect opportunity to move directly into Aquarius and avoid years of struggling with authority. Pluto tells us to let go as our habits tell us to hang on.

Why don’t we let go of government while we have the chance?

In addition to authority, Capricorn represents responsibility. In removing the government, personal responsibility would increase exponentially. Americans live amidst a complex infrastructure and transnational dominance that allows us material wealth and the leisure time to enjoy personal growth.

Like teenagers learning to be independent adults, we need to accept that if we kick our parents out of our house, we have to do our own laundry. Parents often remind rebellious teenagers (Aquarius is also known for rebellion) of how much they truly depend upon parental support.

Yet at the same time, we can re-write all of the rules of the house. Maybe we don’t need to change clothes everyday, anyway.

The government has shut down. The opportunity is here.

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Saturn in Capricorn – Success and Failure

Those making New Year’s resolutions may have more success this year as Saturn has just entered Capricorn, the sign it rules. Saturn and Capricorn are disciplined and employ authority, rules, structure and caution to sustain that discipline. Think of driving a car on the highway versus driving a car in one of those amusement park rides – it’s much easier to drive when there’s a track or guardrails. In the free open space of the highway, discipline is much more difficult to maintain.

Saturn in Capricorn will provide some guardrails for those resolutions this year. From my membership at the gym, I’ve learned the “New Year’s Resolution” folks last a month, maybe two, on average. That means few make it past mutable, nebulous Pisces in March.

According to this Huffington Post article, only eight percent of people keep a New Year’s resolution. Statistics Brain has it at nine percent with healthy eating as the top resolution.

So why do we continue to make resolutions when faced with a failure rate of over 90%?

Success, success, Failure and failure

Success and failure in their original meanings regard the outcome of an action, such as fixing a mechanical instrument. It’s fixed or not fixed – success or failure. According to, the more modern meaning of success as a state of being appears to be a 20th century invention.

Our dualistic thinking requires an opposite for success which is failure. In today’s parlance, to be a failure is to be “a loser.” The successful are “winners” and the failures are “losers.” Our current American president is a very strong embodiment of this duality with his single-minded focus on “winning.”

Saturn in Capricorn is going to challenge our beliefs concerning success and failure. Capricorn’s worst traits – calculation, meanness, lack of imagination and excessive ambition – arise from the feelings of failure and compulsion for success. Capricorn as mountain goat must climb ever upwards. As sea-goat, its original glyph, it has the tail of a fish. We hear it’s lonely at the top so the sea-goat eventually looks toward the water, true emotional connection with others rather than structural connection, in older age.


While each sign has a compulsion toward its representative energy (the Aries must lead, the Taurus must collect, etc.), there is learning as part of those energies.

According to Psychology Today, success is also tied to feelings of worthiness:

Our successes are important to us for deep psychological reasons. From the vantage point of the unconscious mind, they stand for more than mere outside achievements. They stand as evidence of our potency, competency, and capability. They serve as reassurances that we have The Right Stuff—the psychological resources to make it in this world. They tell us that we are safe, that we can survive.

Deeper still—from a psychoanalytic view—our successes are linked to an essential belief in our own goodness. To the unconscious mind, being successful means being good. And being good means being worthy—worthy to exist, worthy to keep on living, worthy to be kept around. At the deepest level, still, being good means that we are worthy of being loved. And being loved ultimately is what matters to us most.

Capricorn, then, must be a success to feel worthy and is drawn to what is traditionally deemed successful (business, government, authority). Success for Capricorn must be social, not personal; this sign represents then our social consciousness and how we fit into the world around us. In the horoscope, it’s represented by the 10th house and can indicate the career chosen.


While not all of us have the planet Saturn or sign Capricorn prominent in our horoscopes, we all have the planet and sign somewhere in the wheel called the horoscope. The horoscope is, dear readers, a mandala in which we are all truly the same.

Even those not openly drawn to authority may be unconsciously drawn to social acceptance. For example, have you ever disliked a book/film/music only to be told that it’s a classic or that the critics loved it? Another way I see unconscious Saturn is the person who is laughed at for his/her endeavors until those same endeavors are recognized by a larger social group. This, to me, is very common. We don’t trust our own ability to assess until some critical mass is in support.

As Pluto has been transiting Capricorn since 2007 and represents an evolution of that energy, I’ve been writing a lot about authority. We are hard-wired to obey authority yet at the same time our ability to see the humans behind the authority is greater than ever which is creating a schism in our response. Like teenagers, we want freedom but still, secretly, desire some parental guidance.

Failure as part of success

While we’re experiencing a great deal of Capricorn energy right now, and there’s more to come, what we are moving toward is Aquarius. In 2024, Pluto will start transiting that sign.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uranus and Neptune were transiting Aquarius, the fixed air sign associated with ideas, revolution, genius and technology. This was the initial rise of technology that is creating some unique challenges for the Capricorn social system today. We have an American president who uses the 140-character Twitter mechanism to communicate to the world.

Technology arose from entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is not a rule follower waiting to discover what position he/she will have in the new reorganization; the entrepreneur is guiding his/her own process of invention and success. It’s Capricorn in its self-reliance but Aquarian in social networking needed for accomplishment.

One of the best learnings I’ve personally received from entrepreneurs is that failure is part of the process. Failure is not the end point where one gives up the goal.

Failure as part of success is an evolution in Capricorn energy. The climb is not necessarily up but can span in many directions. Entrepreneurial success today still looks to “monetize” in the Capricorn sense of the word which needs tangible outcome. Yet, these are the seeds for future growth of the Aquarian energy which seeks ultimately to have a more perfect, rational society.

Communes are an Aquarian ideal. Our planet developed that into Communism which can’t be imposed by authoritarian rules but by shared agreement. Government and commune are mutually exclusive.

I’m expecting that when we reach the Aquarian transit of Pluto, countries will be thinking more as a whole. The challenge then will be about inclusion (Aquarian brotherhood) and how to deal with the imperfections of the perfect society.

New Year’s Resolution

This year as you face your New Year’s resolution, think of it in the entrepreneurial sense. Saturn in Capricorn can provide the extra disciple needed to push through the first temptation to abandon the resolution. Saturn might also get nasty and tell you how bad you are for not going to the gym every week since you are spending a lot of money on membership (based on a true story).

Like a good entrepreneur, push past the failure. Make Saturn in Capricorn your friend.

Related posts:

Saturn in Capricorn: End Goal Personal Responsibility

Three Capricorns in Ebbing, Missouri

Pluto in Capricorn blogs

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Saturn in Capricorn: End Goal Personal Responsibility

On December 19, Saturn will transit from Sagittarius into Capricorn where it will feel right at home as Saturn rules Capricorn. Café Astrology has a nice description of this transit which describes all things Capricorn including desire for conservation, need for control, fear of scarcity, “firming up” government and themes of aging.

The challenge of astrology is taking one aspect and interpreting its energy through the interaction with all of the other energies occurring at the same time. What’s extremely relevant to this transit is that Pluto has been transiting Capricorn since 2008 and will continue into the early 2020s. In a year or so, Saturn will meet up with Pluto.

Saturn ultimately is the energy of contraction and limits which includes rules and laws. Authority is where Capricorn manifests this desire for order and control. We all like Saturn when we get to a four-way stop. No Saturn stop sign and there would be a lot of chaos. Yet we get resentful that we have to stop our speedy and consistent pace.

Pluto is the energy of transformation which often starts with the compulsive need to destroy in order to remodel what is stagnant. Pluto is transforming Capricorn energy. The stop signs are being destroyed. What do we now do at the four-way stop?

If you like things the way they are, the Saturn and Pluto transits are not for you. If you think you don’t like things the way they are, the challenge is on.

Authority’s Last Stand

Around the 2020 US election, Jupiter will join the fun when Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto will travel closely in Capricorn. What a coincidence, to have three planets transiting the sign of authority during a time and place when there is both a loathing of authority and a longing for fairness, which depends upon structure to enforce.

What an interesting challenge for the citizens of the United States! Get your notepads ready as these are times that will need to be recorded for posterity.

In November 2020 during the next US election, Mars will be in Aries making a wide square to the Capricorn energy guaranteeing election strife that will make the past look quite tame. As this blogger has been watching politics for some time, I can say that from 2012 to 2016 the nasty in campaigning increased exponentially compared with that I’ve lived through. Historically it’s always been nasty but we seem to have crossed a new threshold of “all is fair in love and war.” We now have non-state players such as Wikileaks involved with no clear agenda but disruption.

With Saturn in Capricorn, I feel that there is going to be a desire to return to some order. If the pendulum swung to bring us a president without the least bit of structure, we may swing to the other extreme in the need for stability.

Authoritarian Armageddon is how I’m referring to these energies. It’s easy to see the authoritarianism without but we must also look for it within. Watching the moving Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, we see a woman fueled with anger at her daughter’s death and the slowness of authority to find the killer. She lashes out at authority, which can be thrilling if you find yourself disappointed in authority’s effectiveness. Yet at the same time, she wants authority to disregard civil rights if necessary to satisfy her need for justice.

This movie represents clearly the current American conflict with authority. If authority had satisfied the woman’s need for justice by DNA profiling the entire globe, authority would have made even more enemies.


Two other generational (outer planet) transits occurring as Saturn is in Capricorn is the long transit of Neptune in Pisces and Uranus finishing a transit of Aries and moving into Taurus.

Capricorn and Taurus are earth signs while Pisces is water. Astrologically, these are in harmony. The preponderance of earth and water will be tough for the fire and air signs that need to have a little fun mixed in with life’s duties and responsibilities. The earth and water sign energy will have us focused on practical matters including the earth itself, money and property. Uranus in Taurus will create sudden changes with these items.

Saturn in its ruler Capricorn in harmonious sextile with Neptune in its ruler Pisces gives me the sense of some new forms of martyrdom. Capricorn is serious and Pisces is sacrificial. Add Pluto and Jupiter to this energy and we’re in for some self-immolation, literal and figurative.

While there are serious matters long-overdue on the planet which Capricorn and Pisces are well-suited to address, levity will be needed as seriousness is focused on the truly imperative.

Pisces brings us empathy and spirituality. When in dysfunction, Pisces escapes into fantasy and substance abuse. We’re already seeing a lot of this with the rise of opioid addiction and the rise of media addiction from online gaming to binge watching. It’s interesting that we say “binge watching” as that clearly likens it to over-eating. Unlike food, we can’t purge it back up.

End Goal – Personal Responsibility

Saturn and Capricorn are ultimately about responsibility. Pluto transiting this sign demands evolution in this area.

In our current aspects of Uranus in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn we’re seeing what is demonstrated in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri – taking the law into our own hands. Personal responsibility, in contrast, demands cooperation within the structure of society.

Imagine, if you will, trying to form a community committee to build a highway from one city to another. Trying to get a few people to agree on one pizza is difficult enough. If you work in a corporate setting, you’re probably having anxiety just thinking about it.

Personal responsibility means that there is no government to blame. We are the government, always, through our decisions both large and small. Each of us is a participant in our culture and therefore is always involved in its rules. We are involved in creating classes; for the few to overtake the strong involves dividing the many so that they don’t respond effectively.

The world around us is the world we’ve collectively created through millions of decisions every day. I once talked with a woman who said there will always be war because her religious beliefs said there would always be war.

If we believe there will always be war, there will always be war. This is Saturn in Capricorn.

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Three Capricorns in Ebbing, Missouri

It can be tough to explain astrology. Astrology is complex symbolism that can take years to learn frustrating those who don’t want to ignore friends and family for untold hours as they cast and try to interpret charts. You need a little bit of an obsessive nature to study astrology.

For example:

In 2008 Pluto began a transit of cardinal sign Capricorn. In 2011, Uranus began a transit of cardinal sign Aries. Both being cardinal, they create a square aspect which is tense and frustrating. It’s like a family gathering where two relatives who don’t speak find themselves in the same room. The energy simmers until there are random, sudden explosions.

Did the analogy help?

If not, there’s a movie out now that can help explain the Pluto / Uranus square.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri describes a woman’s efforts through the use of billboards to arouse the police force to investigate more vigorously her daughter’s homicide. I’ll be describing some scenes in the film so this is the official spoiler alert.

Three Capricorns

Pluto is a destroyer and transformer of energy. Capricorn is the earth sign representing worldly success and is drawn to authority and structure so is practical, ambitious, serious and cautious.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a full-frontal assault on authority figures. There are three clear Capricorn authority figures: the police chief, a priest and a dentist.

The police chief is the most obvious authority figure. There are several other police officers in the film but the chief is the “good” cop who has a conscience, wisdom and insightful humor. He exhibits patience with others where he seems to know them better than themselves. In this way, he’s the only mature figure in the film, a positive image of a Capricorn.

Unfortunately, the good authority figure is dying, is “ebbing” away (in his words, he doesn’t want to watch his body ebb away). We are then left with the bad authority figures, although a replacement good cop arrives later in the film.

The priest and the dentist are very minor characters occurring in one scene each. Our woman berates the priest with no regard for his exalted status. He has no authority to a woman rendered anarchistic by grief.

The dentist, too, is Capricorn as this sign rules the structure of the body including skin, bones, teeth and knees. The dentist decides to punish the woman (by his own authority) by drilling her teeth where it’s not needed; he learns the hard way that her anger knows no fear as she turns the drill on his fingernail.

Pluto in Capricorn

Movie reviewers might have some issue with the crimes that go unpunished in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and there are several. But this is what the movie is about – the complete breakdown of authority and of rules that make sense.

Our main character respects no authority. Yet at the same time she expects authority to overstep its boundaries to help in her particular situation. To help solve the crime, the grief-stricken woman suggests lining up the entire city, the entire country, the entire world if needed to find the person who committed the crime.

Does she truly hate authority?

Pluto is destroying Capricorn authority and structure. It began in 2008 and will last through 2023-2024. The first casualty of Pluto was the banking and financial system. It’s moved through other structures and now is destroying the idea of government. We have some time before it culminates then changes signs (into Aquarius).

Uranus in Aries

Pluto in Capricorn is squared by Uranus in Aries. Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars (the God of War) the first sign of the zodiac centered on self including self-assertion, self-promotion and impulsiveness. Square to Capricorn is frustration with authority, taking authority into one’s own hands and struggle between the needs of the self and the needs of the society.

Uranus is the planet of sudden change, awareness and consciousness. Uranus is breakthrough. In Aries, we have self-realization and self-actualization.

It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to watch the anguished mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri breaking all rules of decorum to demand justice. The exhilaration comes from the vicarious venting of anger toward what is unfair and corrupt. Terror comes from the impulsive behavior the mother exhibits without the slightest regard for the feelings of others (especially her son).

As you’d expect from fire energy, we also see actual fires and fire bombs in the film. When authority responds in negative ways, they must pay by fire.

Neptune in Pisces

Does the Pluto in Capricorn square to Uranus in Aries make more sense now? Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dramatizes the tension we are seeing in American culture with the role of authority versus individual rights.

While Pluto and Uranus have been creating tension, the movie does leave out the third outer planet transit – Neptune in Pisces.

Neptune rules Pisces so is at home in this mutable water sign. Neptune is the spiritual, creative energy of a generation. Neptune is also the ruler of film, drugs or any form of imagination or escapism.

We don’t see a lot of Neptune in the film. Our extreme weather events include both fire and water; in the film we see only fire. Neptune in Pisces in its purest manifestation allows us cross boundaries to merge and share experience creating compassion and empathy.

Neptune and Pisces in negative manifestation are escapism. Notice in our world the rise of alcohol and drug abuse during these shifting times.

Neptune may be exhibiting itself in the response evoked by the film. While misguided, watching the mother’s anger allowed me to feel and purge my own feelings of anger. At a certain point, I’d had enough. But I could imagine going on this roller coaster again when feelings of anger or frustration become too great.

The Square Ends

While this film exemplifies the current square of Pluto in Capricorn / Uranus in Aries, the transit will soon pass. Next year Uranus will begin to move into Taurus. It will bounce back and forth between Aries and Taurus (called retrograde) during 2018 and in 2019 will move forward in Taurus for seven years.

While I can’t imagine the challenge of individual versus authority (and society) will magically end at that time, the movement from Aries to Taurus will provide a new focus. Then it will be about fixed earth-sign Taurus concerns – money, property, assets and the earth itself. Hopefully by then Uranus in Aries will have asserted individual rights for the next phase of our evolution.

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Do you own your culture? Uranus in Taurus says “no.”

When they say they we want our America back,
our America back,
our America back,
when they say they we want our America back,
well what the fuck do they mean?

Jill Sobule “America Back”

The comment that one is “proud to be” a certain nationality has always struck me as an odd statement. You had no choice in the matter (to most beliefs) so what else could you be? You don’t often hear “I’m proud to be human,” possibly because we are all human and the animals amongst us do not care,

Cultural identity seems to be tied to self-worth which of course is important but will always be threatened because culture is like water – it moves and changes continually. As Jill Sobule sings (full video below), when Americans say they want our country back, what do they mean?

The culture from 100 BC when the Adenas were building mounds? The culture from the 1400s when tribes roamed freely in search of food and shelter? The culture from 1776 when slaves tilled the fields and we split from the British? The culture of the Industrial Revolution and factory work? The culture of the World Wars? The 1950s? The 1960s? The 1980s?

Which culture do they want back?

The Cult in Culture

While working in a bank many years back, a senior leader said he wanted the corporate culture to be like “a cult.” (Good luck with that, dude, I thought to myself). Then I realized that “cult” was part of the word “culture.” Only then did I see that a cult was simply a sub-culture struggling for dominance.

The characteristics of a cult are often found in culture with the predominant characteristic being that you are born into the culture – it surrounds you and you can’t get out (called “milieu control” in cult psychology). When you are finally able to physically remove yourself (assuming no political barriers), you have already internalized the culture from language to food. It’s inside of you – there’s no getting it out.

In times past, you might spend your life not seeing another culture. Today’s technology has broken the barriers of physical space so culture now flows beyond natural boundaries.

In wanting “America back,” I would analyze it simply to mean that they want the cult back. The cult could be from any time or place of comfort, but would be limited and finite, as culture never is. Cults often implode through this very containment of energy. Culture, in contrast, is always evolving.

Uranus in Taurus

The astrology you ask, where is the astrology?

Uranus is currently finishing up its transit of Aries and will next year begin to step into the sign of Taurus. Aries is fire and self assertion (in case you haven’t noticed). Taurus, in contrast, is fixed earth.

The energy symbolized by Uranus is the energy of inspiration, awareness and enlightenment. It’s often of a sudden nature, like inspiration itself.

Is Uranus good or bad? I’m often asked in readings.

Like all energies, it’s neither. If you suddenly realize that your spouse is cheating, you might think it bad. But the awareness is important to your growth and development. Scientists and artists of all sorts tend to like Uranus inspiration when that idea coalesces or appears in the mind’s eye. Uranus is breakthrough. Discovering a cure for a disease would be the mark of Uranus, even if it took years in the coming. Uranus can be preceded by much work; it’s not divine intervention but the moment of happening.

When in Taurus, this Uranus awareness will come through things related to earth energy – the earth itself, home, objects, work settings and money. Earth is dense so the energy of Uranus may feel shocking as it takes a lot to make earth change. The strike must be more intense.

In another fascinating twist, some of our famous cult leaders were born in the sign of Taurus. Taurus is a fixed sign as are Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Fixed signs are focused and determined so are best at leading; you’ll find fixed signs as leaders in many countries. Taurus may be good at cult leadership because the boundaries are firm, something that provides comfort for an earth sign.

Do you own your culture?

Wanting “America back” is a possessive statement, as though someone has stolen something that is mine. Yet culture is not an object; it’s a fleeting state. It involves all the individuals participating at a given time.

If we think we own our culture, Uranus in Taurus should change that. Uranus will probably shake up both boundaries and cultures. A rise in cults may occur in reaction to this change. Cults in the age of Uranus in Taurus will probably build physical boundaries between themselves and others.

It doesn’t seem possible to own or possess culture any more than you can own or possess the fantastic time you had at last night’s party.

In America (The United States of America, that is), the tribes that lived on this land in 1492 didn’t own the land. The entire concept of owning the land was incomprehensible. The American culture that arose based itself on ownership of land and people. Fast forward 200+ years and now companies own genetic code. Ownership is expanding.

Do we own our culture? I think not, but Americans may try to own it as we’ve tried to own since our founding. It will be interesting to watch this desire for ownership as the energy of Uranus creates shocks and shifts to all we find stable.

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Ten Thousand Emojis

When my iPhone updated so that I could have 500 more emojis, I wasn’t too excited.

I don’t have 500 emotions. I don’t need to waste electricity and battery on emojis, iPhone. What’s more, I consider myself emoji dyslexic – I don’t really understand but a few of them.

Years ago I accused a friend of having only five adjectives to describe the world (to satisfy your curiosity they were heavy, ugly, crazy, jealous and tacky). I don’t have the courage to count my own. While I believe they would be greater than five, they would probably be far less than those represented by the emojis on my iPhone.

Ten Thousand Things

In astrology, there are four elements – fire, earth, air and water. Emojis, as emotions, are represented by water.

Earth represents our tangible, three-dimensional world. In Chinese, all the things of the world are described as “ten thousand things.” There are clearly ten thousand objects in the world. If I walk through Target, I can see them.

Categorization is our cure to manage the unwieldy ten thousand objects. The top two categories in Target are hard goods and soft goods. We can also categorize many of Target’s offerings as consumer packaged goods. Or we can create other categories that lasso the unruly ten thousand into numbers we can count with our fingers.

Air describes thoughts and socialization; it is the world of idea and image. Are there ten thousand thoughts? That doesn’t even seem to cover half of what goes through our minds daily. We are bombarded with images from marketing to social media communications more than any time in history. A friend pointed out that we make more decisions in a day today than our ancestors did in their lifetimes.

Clearly there are ten thousand thoughts.

Fire represents the spirit, intuition and creative possibility. Are there ten thousand “things” represented by fire? While we could count possibilities and outcomes, fire energy doesn’t seem as “countable” as earth and air energy.

We might also analyze the object of fire desire – love, inspiration and enlightenment. For the spiritually inclined, all these roads lead to the same place although in our human confusion we think they are different.

We see this often in a consumer culture as there are some who continually want new objects, but those objects never truly satisfy. Earth signs tend to derive genuine pleasure from the objects of the world. The over-spending fire sign rarely does as they are seeking something beyond the object that is never contained in the object.

Water, as previously noted, represents the emotions and connections to others. What we describe as emotions (rather than thoughts) does seem to have some volume; I’m just not sure there are 500 emotions. You might carry many emotions about one situation, but 500?

Water focuses on family, intimate relations and communal spirituality. Water is the focus of many a book and movie. There are surely ten thousand books and films. But do they contain ten thousand different emotions? Emotions are like categories – there is love and it is applied differently to parents, siblings, friends and spouses. But we know it has the same core.

There seem to be far fewer emotions than thoughts or objects. But it seems similar to fire in that there are a few basic emotions that guide most of our actions.


Are emojis really emotions? Or are they thoughts?

Ask around the table at your next gathering – what is the difference between a thought and emotion? It’s a tough question and an interesting one to explore if you meditate. It’s also interesting to hear others trying to explain the difference.

My own astrological exploration is here.

Emojis, also known as emoticons, might be better described as “thought-icons.”

Throughout history we’ve shared our thoughts and emotions with others through theater, the written word, motion picture and now social media. It’s not an uncommon or new experience, really.

What’s different with social media is the brevity of the expression. Emojis are part of that brevity. Emojis have no backstory; they are the punchline describing how the words or images are meant to be received. Emojis are the last page. Emojis provide information (this is meant to be a joke) and instruction (you’re meant to laugh).

While I have enough emoticons for a lifetime, I suspect there will be many, many more coming. As objects of the world, we know there are ten thousand of them.

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Jupiter in Scorpio

In my early days of practicing astrology, when a person had a natal planet or transit of the 8th house of the horoscope, I dreaded having to explain it.

The 8th house, which is ruled by Scorpio, presides over “sex, death, taxes, inheritance and transformation.” Except for the sex and inheritance, most people avoid 8th house topics. In contrast to other houses of the horoscope, such as the 7th house which rules partnership, 8th house energies don’t seem to occur daily (except possibly for the sex and inheritance).

What do these energies have in common?

While we bloggers all have different motivations, my own is to process information which occurs in a creative way through writing. In writing about astrology, the 8th house and Scorpio energy has finally coalesced for me into a clear meaning.

Scorpio is about emotional connection through penetration – boundaries are broken. With Libra, the sign that precedes Scorpio, we have partnership. Many look to this house to understand the romantic life yet that’s not what it’s truly about. Libra connects mentally as it’s an air sign. While it appears overly consumed with relationship, it’s not always emotionally connected.

The next sign, Scorpio, in contrast connects emotionally or doesn’t desire to connect at all. With Libra, you may get married. But with Scorpio you have sex, share money, share living quarters and possibly even share names. Your energy is now merged with another’s.

Sex, death, taxes, inheritance and transformation all involve merging of one’s energy with the external. Sex is penetration. Taxes involve an external entity taking our earnings. Inheritance is the giving or receiving of personal property. Transformation is the re-engaging of our original energy which has been lost through our interactions with others.

Scorpio and the 8th house are also associated with the occult. Occult interest is also a penetration of “the veil,” the division between this world and other realities.

Jupiter in Libra

Jupiter transits a sign for a year. Jupiter is expansive and often brings bounty of energy. Expansion, of course, is not always positive and expansion of the waist line is one physical effect of Jupiter. Excess can also occur with Jupiter.

With Jupiter in Libra this past year, I thought partnerships would be expanded and enhanced. Possibly this occurred in many lives around the globe as who can track the energies of billions of people? In each of our horoscopes, it plays out differently.

On the world stage, relationships appear to have taken a nose dive into dissensions. Did Jupiter not help in any way?

In hindsight I realize that the entire transit of Jupiter in Libra was squared (in 90 degree angle) to the lengthy transit of Pluto in Capricorn which began in 2008 and won’t end until 2024. Jupiter in Libra wasn’t allowed to balance the Libra scales and provide fairness and justice in relationships. Pluto in Capricorn as it transforms authority did not allow the balancing to occur; we may be even more out of balance than we were before this transit. But that is how the cycles churn so possibly Jupiter expanded our knowledge of imbalance rather than correcting it.

Jupiter in Scorpio

Jupiter moves into Scorpio in a few days. In contrast to Libra, Scorpio energy will play better with Pluto in Capricorn. The relationship of Scorpio and Capricorn is considered more positive (a sextile) at 60 degrees.

Neptune has been transiting Pisces for several years now and will continue for several more. Scorpio is a trine to that energy which is also considered a harmonious aspect.

Uranus is finishing its transit of Aries and will move into Taurus next year. It will never make a full opposition to Jupiter in Scorpio although it will be in the opposite sign.

Jupiter last transited Scorpio from late 2005 to late 2006. If you recall, this was just before the great housing market collapse at the end of 2007.

Scorpio rules shared resources so includes taxes and loans. Its opposite sign, Taurus, rules accumulated assets and one’s own earnings. In 2018 Jupiter will be in Scorpio and Uranus will enter Taurus so I’m expecting some changes to the home and financial markets.

If in 2007 we learned that the housing market was over-leveraged, possibly in 2018 we’ll learn about more loans that will come due with borrowers unable to pay (my friend is predicting the next financial meltdown will occur with the bazillions in student loans defaulting as the price of education is way, way too high and some may not understand that their loans are not federally backed).

Jupiter in Scorpio will expand our connectivity in both voluntary and involuntary ways. Taxes, too, may increase or change form but generally will not shrink. Jupiter does not contract; it expands.

Sexual issues and other types of emotional boundary crossing may be in the spotlight as Uranus in Taurus shakes up then re-sets boundaries. Physical earth will probably also be affected as we can already see from the recent hurricanes and earthquakes.

Scorpio rules the genitals reproductive and sexual issues arise when Scorpio is prominent. In the fall of 2006 as Jupiter transited Scorpio the first HPV vaccination legislation was introduced (in Michigan).

Occult interests may increase during this transit. The X-Files television show launched as Jupiter was in Libra; however, Pluto was transiting Scorpio at that time. I once attended the lecture of the metaphysical writer Barbara Hand Clow who said something interesting – if you see on TV that little green men have disembarked from spaceships, it’s probably fiction.

Scorpio penetration of the occult “veil” is not science fiction; it is emotional and is about perception. Men and spaceships are Taurus – the objects of the three-dimensional world.

Speaking of emotional plane, Scorpio is a fixed sign describes feelings of an intense nature including love, hatred and obsession. Letting go is a lesson for Scorpio and one we’ll all share during this transit. Loving deeply is so nice; hating deeply, not so much.

Sense of Humor

In the coming years, we’ll have Jupiter in Scorpio-Sagittarius-Capricorn, Saturn in Sagittarius-Capricorn, Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn. There will be a lot of earth (Taurus and Capricorn) and water energy (Scorpio and Pisces). In contrast to air and fire, earth and water are more serious and heavy, especially Scorpio and Capricorn.

While we’re facing some serious issues as a planet as represented from these placements, we’ll also need a bit of air detachment and fire enthusiasm to help us through these times. The sense of humor is unique to each sign but more than ever we will need some air and fire ability to sometimes laugh at ourselves.

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The Structured Generation

The outer planets of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus symbolize generational energies. Pluto takes the longest time to transit a sign – 20 years – so folks currently living on the planet have Pluto in Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius or Capricorn. The Pluto in Cancer generation is passing as the youngest of that generation are now in their 80s.

Pluto as a generational marker indicates how we are transforming and evolving as a generation. Pluto is often seen as destructive as the compulsion to change will not abide any kind of rational resistance.

The Pluto in Leo generation is what we call the Baby Boomers and they are now approaching the age of retirement and beyond. The societal rifts that this generation caused can be seen as an evolutionary leap into individuality. Prior to this generation, I’m not sure the generations even had a name. The Pluto in Leo folks said “we are a group.”

This group broke from the family and clan represented by Pluto in Cancer which preceded Pluto in Leo. We have evolved through several signs and are now experiencing Pluto in Capricorn which is the sign opposite of Cancer. After breaking family ties and family obligation (and this did happen in more cultures than the US), we’ve now come to identify with Capricorn – corporations, brands and social organizations.

It’s interesting that in the 2016 US election, the top three candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – all have Pluto in Leo. We seem reluctant to break with this generation although former president Barack Obama had Pluto in the early degrees of Virgo. We elected a new generation then, like a rubber band expanded too far, retracted back into Pluto in Leo.

As the Pluto in Leo generation is moving into retirement, the energy will shift whether or not we embrace it.

The energy in the US is shifting – we can all feel it. But how is it shifting?

The Structured Generation

While today there are several Pluto generations in positions of responsibility, as the Pluto in Leo generation ages out of these responsibilities, the Pluto in Virgo and Libra generations are next in line.

Ken Ward’s Astrology has a nice summary of the dates/energies of Pluto in the signs:

  • Pluto in Cancer (1914-1939)
  • Pluto in Leo (1937-1958)
  • Pluto in Virgo (1956-1972)
  • Pluto in Libra (1971-1984)
  • Pluto in Scorpio (1983-1995)
  • Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008)
  • Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024)

While Pluto in Capricorn is very recent, we’ve been experiencing this energy since the 1990s in an evolutionary way – through our children.
Capricorn represents structure, rules, authority, hierarchy and social organization. Corporations, institutions, education, organized religion – these are all ruled by Capricorn.

In late 1988 and early 1989, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all began a transit of Capricorn. Saturn passes through signs in two years; Uranus seven years and Neptune 15 years. As Pluto now transits Capricorn those individuals born with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn are experiencing a very intense transit to an already challenging aspect. These individuals are in their 20s and often have parents with Pluto in Virgo.

Let’s take a step back into the 1990s when all was well with the world . . .

At that time, technology was rising as a major component of our lives. My friend in technology tells me often how technology has improved our lives, made things easier. He is correct, but why am I busier than ever? When did I become a doctor to be on call 24/7 for every email and text? Why does everyone want everything now even when they don’t use it now?

Technology is a bit like physical roads. The more roads you build, the more cars there seem to be. The more technology I have, the less leisure time I seem to have.

The more technology we’ve developed, the more we’ve structured, categorized and measured our lives. Today in my country, many children’s births are scheduled. I’ve often wondered as an astrologer how this affects the birth chart; in reciprocal symbolism, I can say Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn reflect the scheduled lives of scheduled children.

My generation often reflects on our childhood lives and how compared to today they seem remarkably free – we went outside and played in what was a neighborhood of people we knew and our parents yelled for us at critical times – meals and bed. We got in trouble, this is true. Like young puppies and kittens, we wanted to touch, taste and smell the world around us. Today, in contrast, there seems to be a fear of the world around us.

Today children have structured lives of child care, play dates and remote monitoring. When we eat, we measure calories and analyze our food. Now we even wear arm pieces that measure our physical activity. We are constantly connected socially through technology yet entirely removed. Social media provides measurements on the responses to our postings from number of views to emotional feedback.

Since the Saturn/Uranus/Neptune transit of Capricorn, there has also been a rise in the labelling of individuals who are seen to lack emotional connection to others. It’s quite fascinating that our world is consciously moving away from emotional connection to others yet we view that as a problem in those that appear emotionally unresponsive.

Also during this time, the number of corporations declined dramatically and those that remain are larger than ever. Corporations with immense control over monetary and natural resources are now functioning as new form of government.

For the love of Pluto in Leo

Was the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump a reaction to an over-structured world? Why would a country that measures every breath it takes choose for president a man of remarkable unpredictability?

Capricorn respects authority and possibly the post Pluto-in-Leo generations are looking for a return to authority that they can truly respect (respect being a major driver of Capricorn energy). The Pluto in Leo generation is very open about creative personal expression and possibly the generations with strong Capricorn influence need this type of infusion of unstructured individuality. For Leo, existing is its own meaning; for Capricorn, existing means being ambitious, useful and productive.

Capricorn respect for authority includes respect for older individuals and tenured institutions. Both Sanders and Trump may represent what is older, traditional and foundational. While you may not see Trump as “traditional,” I would argue that he’s a “man’s man” in an older sense of the word.

Ultimately Pluto in Capricorn is asking us to transform and evolve our social structure. The generation with Neptune and Uranus in Capricorn are the ones who will carry this challenge as Pluto is crossing over this aspect in their horoscopes.

Soon, Pluto in Leo folks will not be here to generate enthusiasm. Pluto in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio generations are next in line to carry the torch of social responsibility. In Virgo, there is focus on work and health. In Libra, there is focus on partnerships and social interactions. In Scorpio, there is focus on intimacy and shared resources.

When Pluto moves into Aquarius in 2024, we will most likely have societies with new focus based not on clan or corporation, but on individuals sharing common goals. Those common goals will be focused on the energies of Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.

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Donald Trump Pardons Himself – Or Does He?

In late August, President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of criminal contempt of court. On the following Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press, round table participant Michael Gerson of the Washington Post said that Trump pardoning Arpaio was Trump pardoning himself.

Is Gerson a secret, closet astrologer?

Trump was born June 14, 1946. Arpaio, June 14, 1932. Two peas in the Gemini pod. Spot on Gerson!

As with any two individuals born 14 years apart, the charts have many differences. Jupiter takes 12 years to travel around the sun (and the horoscope) so it can be in the same sign in different generations. Saturn the the planets further out in the horoscope take a while to travel around the sun and reflect generational differences.

What’s the same and what’s different about these two June 14 Geminis?

What’s the Same?


As noted, both are mutable sign Gemini which is represented by the twins and suggests a certain duality existing in the basic personality. Gemini is ruled by Mercury and you’ll note recent news stories referring to Trump as “mercurial,” another good astrological call.

Gemini is here to experience, explore, process, categorize and employ idea and intellect. The gifts of Gemini, which can make it faster and cleverer than those around it, can be channeled into chicanery.

As a sign of changeability, it’s not common to see Gemini fixated on the institutionalized control of others. Gemini likes its freedom and is not known for trying to trap others in co-dependent situations. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) and earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are the signs that tend to focus on rules, purpose, obligation and duty. These signs will follow through on stated goals even if they no longer believe them through a sense of identity and pride.

Gemini, like its companion air signs Libra and Aquarius, does seem to enjoy playing the rebel. Unlike earth signs, it’s quite aware of the trends in the environment and can both follow them loyally or reject them entirely creating its own styles and trends.


The other interesting aspect that both men share is Venus in Cancer. Venus doesn’t travel too far from the sun so can only be two signs before or after your sun sign. So while there are many Geminis with Venus in Cancer, both Trump and Arpaio have intense aspect to this pleasure-seeking planet.

Trump has Saturn conjunct while Arpaio has Pluto. Both aspects suggest difficult early family life with lack of that comforting, nurturing feeling you get from Cancer. Both seek it desperately but for Trump family life was filled with rules and rejection while for Arpaio it was filled with power struggles and domination.


Trump has Uranus conjunct his sun (and opposite moon in Sagittarius) which creates the uber unpredictability for which he is known. Arpaio has Uranus trine sun which provides the energy and inspiration of Uranus but not quite as much unpredictability.

As Uranus has recently made a return to its natal position in Arpaio’s chart, he’s experiencing the Uranus-in-Aries sense of self that is one of his life energies. At 85 that must be refreshing as it’s a time when the Aries “self” is diminishing.

Trump is experiencing a less energizing aspect – transiting Saturn opposing sun and Uranus. Saturn tries to put the brakes on energy in demand of integrity. In Sagittarius, Saturn is demanding that the walk match the talk.


As already noted, Trump’s Saturn is in Cancer. Arpaio’s, in contrast, is in Aquarius. While Cancer is (cardinal) water and Aquarius (fixed) air, what they have in common is a sense of group. Cancer is the family and generally boils down to a sense of belonging. Aquarius is about group goals and missions such as with charitable causes and idealized societies and community living. With Saturn in these signs, both lack a certain connection to the group, Trump emotionally (water) and Arpaio intellectually (air).

What’s Different?


The major difference is moon sign. As noted above, Trump has moon in Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, Arpaio has moon possibly in the fixed water sign of Scorpio. That would explain a more consistency of purpose and fixation on certain causes.

Scorpio is very different than Gemini. Gemini is light and playful; Scorpio, heavy and somber. Being fixed water means emotional intensity to the point of obsession. Scorpio can’t let go or forget while Gemini is always looking for new, interesting stimulation.

The mixture of Scorpio/Gemini makes for someone inconsistent in various ways but intensely anchored to certain strong feelings both positive and negative.

If Arpaio does have this consistency of purpose, that’s very different from Trump who changes his mind and positions daily. While some may find that quite frustrating in a leader because a leader, how shall I say this, is supposed to lead. But in contrast to Arpaio, it can be refreshing that Trump has the attention span of a three-month old kitten.

Astrology describes the soup of life and the balance of signs, modes and elements ultimately makes for balance. Like soup, you don’t want too much corn, or too little salt, or a base that overrides all the flavors.

Trump may believe he pardoned his kind in pardoning Arpaio in a great statement of solidarity, but he actually pardoned an entirely different energy – an energy with focus.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Shadow Hero

Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton – that’s all you hear today. The local library newsletter of events has several events on the schedule about Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton, “American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States,” has been our new hero since the opening of the musical Hamilton on Broadway in 2015.

While I haven’t read much about Hamilton or seen the show on Broadway yet, Hamilton for me is the man who proposed a national bank. Is this the Hamilton who is now in our attention? Or is there another Alexander Hamilton out there who plays sports or has a tech company?

While I’m always happy to see my country focused on history, the chasm between this interest and how politicians are received is quite stunning. Imagine Hamilton had run for president in 2016 talking about financial systems, especially in the two-minute time frame of a political debate. He probably would have been deemed a “policy wonk” and yawned off the stage. There were some candidates who dared to speak of the Constitution, but they didn’t make much progress in the election.

Prior to Hamilton, our last foray into media history was the mini-series about John Adams (2008), our second president. While the series had some popularity, Adams didn’t take hold in the American psyche quite the way Hamilton has.

Pluto in Capricorn

In 2008, Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn which rules authority and structure. Capricorn is your society regardless of its characteristics. Capricorn loves authority and follows the rules. When Pluto the great destroyer and transformer entered that sign, the rules changed.

The first change was in Hamilton’s playground, the financial system. We learned there are some flaws in the system and that a few individuals can take a global financial system to its knees. In the recent US politic election, all past protocol was destroyed. The old rules are gone and the new rules, if we are fated to have any, have not yet been established.

The United States was “born” with Pluto in 27 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto will return to that position in 2022 for the first time since the nation’s founding. Prior to that in 2020 Saturn and Jupiter will travel with Pluto in Capricorn so I expect the next election to be even more volatile than 2016. We are going through a pull-the-rug-from-under-us evolution of Capricorn issues of structure and authority.

Adams and Hamilton

The John Adams mini-series launched right as Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008. Hamilton came later at 13 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto in Capricorn brought some interest in historical figures.

Alexander Hamilton appears to have been born in 1755 or 1757. Without a year, we’re at a loss for his horoscope. However, if he was born on January 11, his sun is in about 21 degrees of Capricorn. We have a Capricorn hero for Capricorn time.

It’s interesting that our current president is the anti-hero, bucking all the rules, insulting people, and generally exhibiting behavior that is the opposite of the Capricorn old man – Trump is the eternal child who refuses to grow up and follow rules.

Hamilton, then, might be the shadow side of that energy. We’ve projected our immature child onto the public stage but are also identifying with the mature, intellectual man who wants to discuss banking and taxation.

The Real Capricorns

When I toss out the extant Capricorns on the public stage, you’ll get a sense of how Hamilton might be received today.

Three Capricorns ran for president in 2016. One of the more prominent is Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Known for his self-centered meanness, even his most ardent detractors admit of his strong intellect and ability to debate.

Libertarians Rand Paul (senator from Kentucky) and Gary Johnson (former Governor of New Mexico) made little headway during the election. Martin O’Malley on the Democrat side wasn’t able to topple his Goliath Capricorn-establishment opponent Hillary Clinton or the anti-Capricorn establishment opponent Bernie Sanders. Pluto in Capricorn suggests O’Malley will be back in 2020.

Our past Capricorn presidents have been Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon. Which of these men could win an election today? Wilson and Nixon were also known for intense intellect and focus on policy. Fillmore and Johnson – I’ll have to read more on these guys. Or maybe there will be a Broadway play so I can save myself a few hours . . .

The King and the President

Don’t think I’m insulting Capricorn here. The attraction to Hamilton suggests the desire for the strength and executive ability of Capricorn. It also suggests a need for stability. As much as we claim to dislike government authority, part of us craves it.

Our conflicting desire for Capricorn and rebellion against it is best demonstrated by this awesome photo from December 21, 1970 as the sun was entering Capricorn (photo from Smithsonian magazine).

Two very famous Capricorns – President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley – met in the White House and shook hands. These are the two faces of Capricorn influence. Capricorn climbs the mountain to get to the top. Nixon and Presley each climbed a different side of the mountain but ended up at the the same peak. As the saying goes, it can be lonely at the top and both men seemed to have experienced some isolation at the end of their lives.

Alexander Hamilton is the new Nixon-Presley of our Pluto transit of Capricorn. He’s a self-made man, statesman and developer of systems that provide security. And with the opening of Hamilton on Broadway, he’s also a rock star.

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