Jackson and Miranda Sing in the Key of Saturn and Uranus

Twenty-nine years ago, at the end of August 1987, Michael Jackson released the album, Bad. The seventh cut was “Man In The Mirror” released as a single early in 1988, and hitting #1 in March of that year. Saturn and Uranus in the late degrees of Sagittarius joined energies for most of 1988, signaling changes in worldwide political and financial systems merging with advances in technology and communication. Wall Street tumbled through Black Monday in October 1987. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Personal computing was never the same with the advent of the World Wide Web in 1990.

The sign of Sagittarius speaks to the individual attempting to navigate questions of higher law and freedoms including world philosophies, spiritual quests, and ways of governing. Sagittarian Saturn and Uranus are perfectly reflected in Jackson’s lyrics: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/I’m asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been any clearer/If you wanna make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

Saturn and Uranus conjunct roughly every 45 years. The waxing square of this cycle occurred in 1999-2000 with Saturn in Taurus and Uranus in Aquarius. The opposition followed in 2008-10, with a Saturn in Virgo polarized with Uranus in Pisces. The ebbing square will occur in 2021, with Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. The cycle’s rebirth/renewal will occur in July 2032, with Saturn and Uranus conjunct in the mutable sign of the twins, Gemini.  

Take a moment and reflect about your life in 1988. Consider on a personal level how the political structures and technological advances of that time period served as a marker, a spiral forward into a continuum of change that hit hard with the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001 and into the polarity of 2008 Global Financial Crisis versus the Arab Spring of 2010. In 2016 the world struggles as climate change threatens, the migrant crisis converges with the Syrian war and the US struggles with gun violence and political chaos. Fascism rises in Europe as it reels from militant terrorist attacks. Globally, financial fluctuations make economic inequality a painful reality.

Where to turn for relief? Listen to Lin Manuel Miranda freestyle what would become the opening song of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, in front of skeptical Washington elites in late 2009. Through the reclamation of revolutionary themes, aligned with diversity and strengthened by lyrical rap – American history has been reborn. Let the message rise up and bring hope to listeners around the globe. Individual efforts play a part in the larger cycle and help write the history that matters.

Saturn Square Neptune: Walk Your Talk

79 Woman walk beachSaturn at 12 degrees Sagittarius squares off against Neptune at 12 degrees Pisces in the sky today, both planets in retrograde motion. These planets’ energies tell of the tensions inherent between the hope of spiritual relief against the harsh realities of this world we call home. Retrograde motion implies an interior conversation, subjectively playing out in our psyches.

The planet Saturn is commonly characterized in myth and legend as an elderly man holding a scythe in one hand and an hourglass in the other. The proverb ‘as you sow so shall you reap’ succinctly captures the astrological spirit of Saturn. We toil in this earthly garden, planting our intentions and gathering the results of our hard work within the boundaries of time and space. Some may plant their seeds with fear and anxiety present, often as darkness descends with the sun. Other wiser souls will bend to the task at hand with the light of sunrise, gaining skill and maturity with each intention sowed and result won.

Neptune with triton in hand is visualized as a Roman god of fresh water and the oceans blue. Neptune rides through an aquatic kingdom in a chariot drawn by majestic seahorses, attended by mermaids and water sprites. Water is life and without it all would die from thirst. Astrologically, Neptune has come to symbolize the desire to quench a spiritual thirst. The 1960’s phrase ‘turn on, tune in, dropout’ conceptualizes the possibility of spiritual enlightenment and raised consciousness while intimating illusion and escape. Does one swim in the shallow waters of drugs, alcohol or virtual reality?   Do you choose instead to dive deep into mindfulness, prayer or meditation?

Saturn in philosophical Sagittarius tenses against Piscean Neptune’s kumbaya song of universal love. Practice what you preach. Walk your talk. Let your actions speak as loud if not louder than your words.

Astrology’s World View

 77 Multiple world globesAstrology offers a world view to those who would look. Like every other type of mental construct, astrology comes loaded with cultural baggage. Vedic astrological theory arises from a Hindu world view, while Chinese astrology is closely aligned with Confucian philosophy. Western or Hellenistic astrology grew in the firmament of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece.  These traditional archetypes of myth and legend travel through time and human development while continuing to add texture and shape to 21rst century practice. 

My frame of cultural reference is through the lens of Western astrology. My training has been influenced and lead by a team of modern 20th century astrologers who in turn were influenced by the great lights of Alan Leo and Dane Rudhyar, among many others.   Known as psychological astrology, modern practitioners such as the trained Jungian analyst and astrologer Liz Greene, the humanistic astrologer Noel Tyl, and the archetypal, transpersonal astrologer Richard Tarnas have moved the astrological community into what some would call the 21st century, post-modern era. Robert Hand said it best, “Post-modern astrology will not be a fatalistic fortune-telling astrology, it will be an astrology of enlightenment, self-realization, self-actualization and consciousness, that just happens to include all of the rest of astrology.” (This quote is taken from an article posted at

Theory shapes praxis. When a client joins me in a reading, together we are exploring the potential of their natal chart, the possibilities of the current transits and the trends associated with their solar return and secondary progressions. My intention is to offer a map of possible roads to take, complete with cautionary sign posts and alternative routes towards the client’s self-actualization and cosmic enlightenment. There are mundane questions to answer – “should I go into debt and buy the house?” as well as larger concerns – “what is my purpose in life?” Both queries are equally important and necessary to a life well lived.

78 Man Perched Mountain Looking CityInterested in this world view? Are you open to the synchronous connections between yourself and the cosmos? Then get started! Find an astrologer in your area that is competent and humane and get a reading! Send me an email at and let’s set up a consult.  Your world view may never be the same.

Orlando On My Mind

Heart with Eye

The people of Orlando are on my mind. Are they on your mind too? My sorrow runs deep when confronted by such a senseless loss of life. To the mothers, partners, lovers, children and friends who lost a dear one, please accept my deepest sympathies. May all people of good will gather against the tide of violence and stand firm in shared compassion and love. One life lost to a gun shot in hatred is one too many. Let not race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity divide us, but instead bind us together in shared humanity. Rise up within your communities and demand legislation that bans the sale of assault rifles and controls other gun purchases.   Vote for the politicians who support gun control. Reach out and ask a gay family member or friend how they’re doing. Go to a vigil, attend a Pride parade. Retain your hope, work for a better day and share your faith in a brighter tomorrow.

Five Retrograde Planets in April 2016

74 Honest Eds in MotionCelestially, five planets appear to be moving backward in the month of April, 2016. Of course Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are orbiting normally up in the sky.   The backward or retrograde motion is a visual illusion from our perspective on earth. Symbolically important in astrology, retrograde motion indicates a period where revision, readjustment and rethinking occurs in the areas of life influenced by the planets.

Imagine you’ve been invited to a party at a friend’s house this afternoon. Jupiter in Virgo throws the bash, but in retrograde motion revises the guest list and in true Virgo discrimination rechecks with the caterer to see that vegan delicacies will be served. Mars in Sagittarius talks politics with anyone who will listen, revising opinion about Donald Trump after the latest primary results. Saturn in Sagittarius nods gravely and shares revised vacation plans to a favorite Greek isle due to anxiety over the immigration crisis. Pluto in Capricorn interrupts and tells of an urgent re-evaluation of all off-shore finances. Mercury is the last to arrive and mumbles about a website going down and how the concept of social media in our daily lives needs to be totally rethought. You stumble off to the bar and order a stiff drink.

Retrograde motion is an astrological gift, your opportunity to reconsider the areas of your life where these five planets vibrate. Revise, rethink and re-imagine in the areas of the planets’ foci. The personal planets Mars and Mercury require our attention in intimate, daily life patterns. Mars dares to achieve through personal assertion of will and less prudently in the aggression of battle. Take a moment to readdress your daily get up and go to get it done areas of life: sexual drive, career attainment, irritations and hot button, anger driven issues. The way a city dweller responds to a Mars like push on a crowded train commuting to work could lead to revised plan to buy a bike and cycle to work. Mercury communicates person to person through all mediums. Review the minutia of daily communication such as emails written, tweets entered, contracts drawn up and directions verbally given. Glitches, confusion and misunderstandings will be common. Take the time to straighten the lines of communication out before becoming completely tangled up.

Jupiter and Saturn retrograde periods are usually interior revisions with Pluto retrograde the most interior of all. Jupiter themes center on expansion, abundance, luck, extended travel, the rule of law, higher education and philosophies. In retrograde, Jupiter’s natural expansion tendencies will grow sluggish. Saturn worries about earthly burdens, boundaries, fears and limitations while demanding applied discipline leading to mastery of those anxieties.  Saturn burdens and limitations appear to increase in retrograde motion and mastery takes longer. Pluto hides dormant in our transpersonal, collective shadows. Suddenly from deep within cathartic, explosive renewal occurs to ensure the family, group, tribe or culture survives. In retrograde, the pressure to eliminate, purge and transcend may center  on old, unresolved “from the gut” issues.

Take a moment and reconsider these energies in the flow of your own life. If you have a natal chart handy, consider in which house (area of life) these planets are currently traveling. Note the sign each planet currently is in (describing the character of the planet’s energy). Are they in contact (in conjunct, square, opposition and with luck trine) any of your natal planets?   These are clues as to where and how you should be applying this celestial redo. Take your time, these planets are symbolically moving slowly backward – and you should too!

Retrograde Motion

  • Jupiter Retrograde began on Jan 7, 2016 at 23 degrees of Virgo and ends May 9, 2016 at 13 degrees Virgo.
  • Saturn  Retrograde began on March 25, 2016 at 16 degrees of Sagittarius and ends August 13, 2016 at 9 degrees Sagittarius.
  • Mars Retrograde began on April 17, 2016 at 9 degrees Sagittarius and ends on June 29, 2016 at 23 degrees Scorpio.
  • Pluto Retrograde began on April 18, 2016 at 17 degrees Capricorn and ends on September 26, 2016 at 14 degrees Capricorn.
  • Mercury Retrograde begins on April 28, 2016 at 23 degrees Taurus and ends on May 22, 2016 at 14 degrees Taurus.

The Sun and Adele in Taurus

The seasons have turned with the Sun moving into Taurus today, April 19th where it will remain through May 20th. The bull charging against a perceived enemy or simply standing still upon the far hill symbolizes the stubborn, enduring strength of this fixed, earth sign. Wise friends and partners of those born in Taurus will present their suggestions or arguments cogently, while always allowing the bull to say no before attempting to change their mind.  

There is a sensuous, pragmatic appreciation for the pleasures in life with the Taurus soul stoically gathering those items they believe will sustain their comfort – whether it’s money, a house, social status or career success.   Venus, who knows a few things about personal pleasure, rules Taurus and confers artistic gifts or tactile appreciation of form and function.

The area of the body associated with Taurus is the neck, including the thyroid and larynx. The melodious Taurean voice may erupt into song (Adele, born May 5th) or peal with laughter at the slightly off color joke just told. Either way – there is an unpretentious charm when they laze about or stride forth through life. Make room or get out of the way- Taurus is in the house.



Plutonian Solar Returns

43 Coffee Record Here Comes the SunMary Fortier Shea is an accomplished astrologer who wrote the classic “Planets in Solar Returns”. With an MA in Counseling Psychology, Shea writes with compassion regarding the application of this predictive art for those who would use a solar return to plan ahead. Her gentle yet clear direction to take the high road in the manifestation of a solar return interpretation challenges her reader to grow in universal truth, while alerting them to other possible outcomes.

A clear example is given in her discussion of Pluto in the Solar Return’s 12th house. Pluto’s key concepts are incremental: a desire to maintain the status quo, an urge to purge or eliminate and the final growth towards transformation. In the shadows of the 12th house, Pluto stirs the unconscious into growth usually hidden behind the curtain of everyday activities. Whether the struggle centers on psychological angst rippling up to disturb the peace or hidden motives consciously applied, change is in the air. What that change is will become more apparent as Pluto begins to move towards the Ascendant and 1st House.

Shea reminds us that there are many levels to interpretation and manifestation with Pluto as with all the planets. “Personal motives must be put aside to truly understand the Plutonian process and work with it in its purest form. Those who are pure of heart and mind and soul become universal receptors, receiving information that needs to be on the earth plane. For this, there is no need for compensation or glory; it is enough to know.” Astrology is often associated with Uranus – the Great Awakener that shakes and rattles with lightning bolts of new understanding. The study and application of astrology though requires Plutonian transformation. Shea understands the complexity of such a transformation and provides counsel through the lens of Solar Returns. Congratulations are in order if Shea’s wise guidance wends its way through into other parts of your astrological toolkit.

Aries New Moon – Full Speed Ahead?

71 Man  Run Alley Grafitti WallThe New Moon emerged in Aries today with the Sun, at 7:24 AM in Toronto. Aries lights the primal fire within and with the Moon and Sun encourages us to align our hearts and minds into direct action. Start your engines and prepare for takeoff, the ram knows only full speed ahead towards the Full Moon in Scorpio on April 22nd. Scorpio desires the realization of our dreams, the fulfillment of our goals and has the intense discipline to pull it off.

This beginning moon cycle is aligned in conjunction with Uranus in Aries, and trine Saturn in Sagittarius. There may be no moonlight, but fire aplenty as Uranus welcomes change and Saturn harmonizes it into reality. Pluto squares the Moon to provide a bit of tension. Is the developing intent of this Moon bound by brute power or transcendent nurturance?

The key is to note Mar’s retrograde movement in Sagittarius beginning April 17th. As we stand under the evening sky, Mars appears to be going backward from our earthly perspective. Psychologically, this is the moment to slow down the blazing drive to the finish line, revise your actions, and rethink your goals. Full Moon perfection is still possible if the Aries will of the New Moon aligns with the transcendent polarity of unselfish Scorpion desire.


Alex Newell – This Ain’t Over

Alex Newell, vocalist, dramatist and entertainer extraordinaire. Born August 20, 1992, in Lynn, Massachusetts with birth time unknown, and natal chart cast for 12:00 Noon. Known for being a cast member on the hit show Glee and for soaring vocal performance, Alex’s birth sign of Leo is captured through video via vocal performance fireworks. This is a larger than life lion who will shine against all adversity and who performs with every breathe taken. Taurus Moon brings stability to performance gifts as well as an earthy sensuality. Paired with Jupiter and Venus in discriminating Virgo – weather wearing fur, feathers or a tailored suit – Alex rocks with style and self-aware wit. The outstanding opposition between natal Pluto in Scorpio and Alex’s Moon in Taurus speaks to an intense, larger than an ocean of tears emotional life. Listen to any song Alex embodies – “This Ain’t Over” is a great place to start, and the intensity of this opposition pulses through. I leave you with the latest video to enjoy from Alex – though I guarantee you this outsize Leo soul will be heard with any luck for years to come.

Panama Papers in Cosmic Synchronicity

15 Nasa Star Cluster

April 4th’s biggest news item was the leaked Panama Papers, which tell the tale of numerous public figures’ association with off shore bank accounts allowing them to hide their very substantial wealth as well as to duck the taxman. In an example of synchronous connection (a perceived meaningful coincidence) the Sun at 15 degrees of Aries was in an approaching square with Pluto at 17 degrees of Capricorn. The “Pluto”-crats shady deals were shone the light of day for the entire world to see.

Today on April 5, 2016,  Iceland’s Prime Minister Gunnlaugsson has resigned under extreme public pressure over alleged financial improprieties. The public fallout will continue to bubble as the Sun joins with Uranus, in exact conjunction on Saturday, April 9th. Fresh revelations will be published and sudden changes will occur based upon the public’s new understanding of their politicians’ financial hanky-panky.

The Panama Papers echo another sky event recently experienced that continues to echo in the world at large – the Uranus in Aries square with Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus in Aries calls individuals to new information, thought patterns or ideas which were previously held in the public’s unconscious. Popular uprisings, quick political downfalls, regime changes will continue even as Pluto in Capricorn demands the legitimacy of the status quo. The energy of these two planets has no moral agency. The energy is there and each of us with free will and intent applies it in our daily lives and reads about it in the larger public sphere. Cosmic synchronicity at work.