Blizzard Hits Big Board

Stay away from the corner of Wall and Broad streets this week, my friends. The New York Stock Exchange incorporation chart is getting hit every which way. Transiting Neptune, Mercury, and Mars are hovering around the NYSE’s natal Pluto, which is at 23 degrees of Aquarius.

The transiting Aquarius trio is also making a square to the Big Board’s natal Sun and Mercury in the late degrees of Taurus. All in all, expect a bloodbath in the U.S. equity markets this week, with the possibility of circuit breakers being activated.

Hat Parade on the Hill

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I’ve become like those obnoxious gossip columnists who pat themselves on the back every time they get something right. Forewarned is forearmed, right?

O.K., President Obama didn’t sport a topper and neither did Mrs. Obama, but nearly every one of the million people who gathered in Washington D.C. today for the Inauguration was wearing a hat.

Last year, I made a bold forecast of a millinery revival in 2009.

Back in August, I also predicted extremely cold weather this winter after Pluto moved into Capricorn. Well, most of the Northeast and the Midwest has been in a deep freeze, and guess what? Folks are wearing hats!

My nomination for the best hat on the Hill today goes to Aretha Franklin, who sang God Bless America. Hallelujah for hats, I say!

Here’s a photo of Aretha in her hat, courtesy of http://www.nola.com, and a nice one of Ted Kennedy, courtesy of AFP.

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Shake, Rattle, and Roll

I’m playing catchup today. I haven’t had time until now to report that I lived through my first California earthquake, on Thursday, Jan. 8. It was a mild temblor — only 4.5 on the Richter scale — but it was relatively close, in nearby San Bernadino. (Yes, that’s temblor. For years, I thought it was “tremblor” too.)

Residents of California and Nevada no doubt already know about this nifty earthquake Web site, but I’m linking to it here nonetheless. Also, here’s what the blog LA Observed had to say about the quake.

I say that I lived through my first Golden State quake because there have been a couple on the East Coast that I’ve felt in the past 30 years. This one was a lot more fun than those, which were jolts.

This one was a mild rattling that lasted about a minute. Kind of a like an amusement park ride that you didn’t have to pay for. Lest anyone think I’m making light of the destructive force of quakes, fear not.

I wanted to point out that Michael WolfStar has got a provocative item on earthquakes in his column this week at StarIQ. If you’re a West Coast resident, you might want to mark Jan. 25 on your calendar. That’s my husband’s birthday and also the day of a solar eclipse that WolfStar thinks could be the trigger for a major quake.

Macintoshes for McCain? Umbrellas for Obama?

Here’s a link to a story saying that bad weather on Election Day would favor GOP Presidential candidate John McCain.

When you consider that destructive Mars in water sign Scorpio is going to be squaring the stellium of Neptune, North Node, and Chiron in Aquarius at the same time Saturn in Virgo will be opposing Uranus in Pisces, storms are a strong possibility.

Forget the bailouts for the banks and the possibility of a second stimulus check. The ultimate get-out-the-vote incentive this Election Day could be rain gear. I can see fashionable trench coats from Brooks Brothers paid for by the Republican National Committee and bright blue ponchos emblazoned with an “O” that fold up into fannypacks for the Democrats.

A hard rain’s a gonna fall, as Mr. Dylan once sang.

Haiti’s Heartbreak: Forgotten After Four Hurricanes

This is a post I’ve meaning to write ever since I heard my hero Dr. Paul Farmer on the radio a couple of weeks ago.

I know we’ve had our storms here in the Gulf of Mexico and on Wall Street, but Haiti has been hit by four consecutive hurricanes — Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike.

Mia Farrow has a piece up on CNN.com about her recent visit to Haiti as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador that tells the story.

If you want to help and you want to make sure that your dollars (battered though they may be) go directly to help Haitians, please contribute to Dr. Farmer’s Partners in Health. The nonprofit organization provides free healthcare to a half-million Haitians living in the Central Highlands through Zanmi Lasante (Creole for “Partners in Health”).

Like Marjorie Orr, I can’t gain a lot of insight by looking at the Independence Chart for Haiti. She’s got an earlier chart that she’s been studying that seems to reflect the extreme weather and suffering.

With the Independence Chart, Pluto has been trining the Moon in Leo, which squares Neptune in Scorpio natally. Even though a trine is viewed as a favorable aspect, you have to look at the planets involved and their natal aspects, I believe.

Here’s the chart for Haiti, thanks to Astrodienst. Transiting Jupiter is squaring natal Uranus in Libra so one gets a sense of how volatile the situation is there.

Earlier this year, there were riots in Haiti about rising food prices. According to Farrow and Farmer, the situation is quite desperate now because the impoverished government has no resources to provide food, water, and medicine in the wake of the hurricanes.

I know that I’m not alone in suffering from disaster fatigue these days. But how can the richest country in the Western Hemisphere turn its back on the poorest one?

Is Gustav Another Katrina?

It’s a chilling thought and one that I don’t have time to fully analyze right now. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is taking the threat seriously and is leaving the Democratic National Convention in Denver, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

If you want to learn more, please read this excellent post from Wall Street Weather, which notes the upcoming New Moon in Virgo is conjunct the Sun of the Hurricane Katrina landfall chart.

Even though it’s said that lightning can’t strike twice in the same place, evidently hurricanes can.

If you’re a weather freak and want to keep an eye on the Big Easy, the ultimate source isĀ  Mark Schleifstein, who writes for the Times-Picayune. Here’s his one of his latest articles.

Pluto in Capricorn Brings Cooler Temperatures

I’m not the first astrologer to make this observation and I’m sure I won’t be the last: Colder days are coming.

In fact, they arrived in January with Pluto’s passage into Capricorn. The word is that 2008 is shaping up as the coldest year this century (which admittedly hasn’t been going on very long), according to this story from the BBC.

I can’t find an item that I clipped from yesterday’s New York Post, but that article said the cold spell was especially strong in the first half of the year. As astrologers know, Pluto made a test run through the frigid sign of Capricorn from Jan. 25 to June 13 before backtracking into the fire sign of Sagittarius, where it will remain until Nov. 26.

Then, Pluto will go back to chilly Cap until Nov. 19, 2024. During this time, some of the concern about global warming may die down. Of course, cooler temperatures may not be enough to offset the greenhouse gases that will be produced as more and more consumers in emerging markets buy automobiles and more coal-fired plants come on line around the world.

So don’t think I’m predicting an end to the Green Revolution. I’m still a tree-hugger, I promise you!

I’m just advising everyone to take good care of their sweaters because we’re going to need them this winter and for quite a few winters to come. Do you know where your sweaters are right now?

Since I first posted this piece, The Farmers’ Almanac has released its 2009 edition, with a colder than usual forecast for most of the country this winter. “Numb’s the word,” the almanac says.

Mars Oppose Uranus: Explosive Times

Angry Mars in Virgo is moving to an opposition with electrical Uranus in Pisces. The explosive aspect won’t be exact until Aug. 6, but we’re already starting to see some of its manifestations.

Today, a terrorist attack by an Islamic separatist group in Western China killed 16 policemen. The Chinese government has stepped up security in and around Beijing in anticipation of the Summer Olympics, which begin Aug. 8, but areas outside of the capital appear to be vulnerable. Here’s an AFP story.

Yesterday, in India, a stampede at a temple set off by rumors of a landslide killed 145, according to Reuters. The blog Aquarian Solutions connects the deaths at the temple to the Mars/Uranus opposition in a post here.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but over the next two days, watch out for explosions, accidents, broken bones (particularly involving feet, which are ruled by Pisces), destructive storms involving the sea, chemical fires, and earthquakes. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, shark attacks, like the one that allegedly hurt Ryan Seacrest, since Pisces rules fish. On a less dramatic note, there could be an outbreak of salmonella traced to tainted fish.

Since Virgo rules work, look for labor-related disputes or strikes in the next few days, particularly involving civil servants or health-care workers.

It’s Hard to Have a Happy Birthday Under House Arrest

I’ve been thinking about the fate of Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi ever since the cyclone hit Myanmar, as the country is known under its current oppressive regime, in early May (See “Laura Bush Takes the Lead on Myanmar,” http://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/laura-bush-takes-the-lead-on-myanma/

I’ve done some Internet searches but haven’t been able to learn how the cyclone affected the residence where the woman popularly known as “The Lady” has been held under house arrest by the Myanmar junta since 1980. I did see in the Wikipedia that the government extended her detention for another year on May 27, three weeks after the cyclone hit.

With this in mind, I welcomed the chance to kill some time at the Vassar College Bookstore yesterday while a friend’s daughter took a tour. I was lucky to find a book about Aung San Suu Kyi and to learn that her 63rd birthday was June 19. Kind of funny that it was the day before I found the book.

The Irrawaddy.org, an excellent resource on the struggle for freedom in Burma, reported that four democracy activists were arrested as they released sparrows and doves in honor of Suu Kyi’s birthday this week: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=12849

I’m going to embellish this post later, but if you’re interested in the life of one of the planet’s most courageous women, please go to Michael WolfStar’s excellent article on Burma and Suu Kyi, whose father was Burma’s answer to George Washington. You can find the link here to the article and natal charts for Suu Kyi and the country of Burma: http://www.neptunecafe.com/burma.html

I immediately notice that Suu Kyi has the North Node, ruling the collective, conjunct a restrictive Saturn in Cancer, the sign that rules home. The world (North Node) has been watching her life under house (Cancer) arrest (Saturn). Saturn in Cancer conjunct North Node also illustrates that she’s carrying the weight of her family’s legacy in Burma.

Suu Kyi has Jupiter at 19 degrees of Virgo, so she’ll be having transiting Saturn on her Jupiter this fall, as transiting Uranus in Pisces opposes Saturn in the sky. This could be a chance for release or escape since Uranus often leads to breakthroughs.

I’ll post more on the charts later myself, but it would be interesting to see how the storm manifested itself from an astrological point of view. In the meantime, here’s an article about U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice paying tribute to The Lady, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, on her birthday: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080619/pl_afp/usmyanmarpoliticsoppositionsuukyi_080619134007

I’m surprised to find myself on the same side of an issue as Condi, but there’s a first for everything!

Pluto on the World Axis: Welcome to the Inferno

Now, I know it wasn’t 96 degrees in the shade everywhere yesterday, and I’m sure not everyone’s corporate communications network collapsed. However, I’m definitely feeling Pluto as it crosses the world axis at 0 degrees of Capricorn, as it prepares to move back into the fiery sign of Sagittarius from June 13 to Nov. 26.

Civilians may ask: “What’s the world axis?” It’s a good question. The world axis is 0 degrees of the cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — and is considered a powerful position. So when planets move through this area, astrologers pay attention.

With Pluto in Cap here for the next few days, I’d say there is a greater than normal chance of a financial crisis or global banking disaster. Of course, we’ve been experiencing that nearly all year, and the stock market seems to have taken it in stride. But this event may be unexpected. Friday the 13th may turn out to be bad luck indeed for some bank presidents.

In terms of Pluto’s retro back into Sag, here’s a good macro take on it: http://www.astrologyinsights.com/events/current.html I’ll have more to say about Pluto’s last pass through Sagittarius in the coming days.

On a micro level, I’ve got Mars at 29 degrees of Sag, and I can already feel the intensity being turned up. Natally, Mars sits in my third house and rules my seventh house of partnerships. We’re suddenly down two people at work just as vacation season is starting and I took on some extra work that is due this Friday.

Oddly enough, Reinhold Ebertin in the classic midpoint guide The Combination of Stellar Influences, says Mars/Pluto can be “piecework,” which is a good description of the kind of publishing jobs I do. With Pluto heading back to my Mars, everybody wants their work done immediately.

A speaker at one astrology conference I attended (can’t remember who or when) said that if he could have only one astrology book, it would be COSI (the acronym for Combination of Stellar Influences), and I’ve come to feel the same way. The version I have has a violet cover, which makes it easy to locate on the bookshelf.

My social life is suddenly heating up now that I’m back on the East Coast, but many of the invitations seem to fall on the same day, putting me in a state of conflict. There’s a good Mars word for you.

All of this is by way of an apology for ignoring my blog, which I’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Maybe you’re dealing with Pluto problems yourself. Certainly, it’s felt as if we were living in the realm of the underworld the last few days on the East Coast, with the heat wave we’ve been having.