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The 3/29 Cluster

Dear Friend and Reader:

Last week I spelled out the concentrated sequence of astrological events that is keeping the pressure and tension on right now. We are in a moment with a lot of Aries and a lot of Pisces, exploring a kind of paradox. The Sun is in Aries, pushing things ahead, but Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, emphasizing the past and working things out in a deep, invisible way. Much other activity involving Pisces and its rulers continues to dominate the psychic atmosphere, including the long square of Jupiter and Neptune.

Mercury's change in direction (properly called a station-direct) occurs Saturday afternoon in the UK, morning in the US, and very early Sunday in Oz. The shift may be subtle, or it may be palpable, depending on how sensitive you are. From the look of the charts, it should bring some relief from the strange, invisible sense of psychic accumulation.

At the moment, Mars in Gemini is getting into that mix, aspecting the Jupiter-Neptune square -- though it seems to be letting pressure off rather than applying it. Overall, this is a rather unusual situation of Mercury station direct, occurring in one of Mercury's opposite signs amidst so much other activity. In many ways it has been downright weird. You can do a quick reality check -- what is going on in your life, or the lives of those around you?

At the moment everything is being amplified now by a rapidly approaching eclipse in the first degrees of Aries, which has a ring of history to it. We are very much under the influence of the eclipse, with the Sun crossing the lunar North Node today and tomorrow in preparation for the eclipse. Astrology students may note that whenever the Sun is conjunct either of the lunar nodes, there are eclipses in the vicinity. That is what the nodes tell us: that when the Sun reaches near that point, there will be eclipses. This holds for all charts, including natal charts.

Whatever may be our current personal situation, history is definitely in the making. For those of us inside this pressurized bubble of time and circumstances that is life on Earth right now, we may feel as if nothing is moving. But looked at in hindsight, we will see that there was nothing but movement compressed into a very short time.

In part, what we are about to experience dates back to the not-too-distant past. Historical events each have their own ongoing story, for those who would look. A single point in time commences a sequence of events that can be tracked astrologically, using the original event as a reference point. The U.S. presidential inauguration of January 20, 2005, is an excellent example -- and we've been looking at that chart in this column since August 2004, some months before George Bush and Dick Cheney were supposedly reelected.

Of course, you cannot be reelected if you weren't elected in the first place. When I'm in a good mood, I find it entertaining how many people are sure that Bush and Cheney stole the first election but won the second one legitimately, and that this viewpoint is somehow considered sensible. The 2004 election chart was dropping with slime.

Yet the non-astrological world was onto the situation as well. Anyone who followed the '"hack the vote" story by Paul Krugman in the New York Times, or who knows the names Wade O'Dell or Diebold, realizes that the second election had its problems as well. But, somewhat miraculously, it led to an inaugural ceremony, and that ceremony has a chart, and that chart is presently a central horoscope for our nation.

Because astrology is mathematical, the inaugural chart gave us two dates to look at, both of them previously published in this space. The first was October 28, 2005; the second is March 29, 2006. In the summer before the election, I suggested that late October would be about when the media would start to figure out what was really going on. Not a very precise prediction, but I'm not here to dictate, just to give the weather. The first date turned out to be when Scooter Libby, a high level Bush administration official, was indicted for obstructing justice in the Valerie Plame spy-outing case.

I recognize that this is seen by many as one of those business-as-usual items, or another scandal du jour, but given the national security issues involved, and the fact that the alleged crimes involve covering up other probable crimes committed in the run-up to the Iraq war, it really is a big deal.

The Libby indictment marked what we could reasonably describe as a serious downslide in the credibility of the Bush administration, notably, at a time when similar events have been occurring in the Blair administration. In the three-plus months that have followed since the Libby indictment, a more serious issue, also involving espionage, surfaced: the fact that the National Security Agency has been spying on the American people, without the authorization of the court system.

Bush has taken responsibility and said the spying program will continue, using the old Nixonian argument that whatever the president does is legal. But whatever he may have thought, it didn't work so well for Tricky Dick, as spying on the American people was listed in the articles of impeachment that were never used because Nixon quit just in time. (And then, if you recall, he was pardoned.)

While the Valerie Plame spy-outing story has failed to capture the public imagination or spark off much of a debate, mainly because it's so complicated, turning the NSA loose on American citizens has got a pretty good discussion going. Neither issue will vanish, and given the approaching cluster of events in late March -- what I am calling the 3/29 cluster -- we are set up for some interesting developments.

It would appear that something entirely new comes to the surface in late March, some time between Mercury stationing direct on March 25, and the first few days of April. The epicenter of a cluster of astrological events is a total solar eclipse on March 29. This eclipse happens in the sign Aries, close to what is called the Aries Point -- the first degree of the first sign of the zodiac. Though the eclipse occurs on the ninth day of the spring, that is, eight days and 12 hours after the Sun has entered Aries, experience shows that it's well within the degree range of a worldwide event.

Eclipses have a wide reach across both space and time, and Aries always delivers high amperage.

The Aries Point has as its theme "the personal is political." Events that involve this point have the quality of bringing a lot of people together, and giving the news an extraordinarily personal feeling. We get the sense that we're somehow personally involved, that we must take action, or that we will actually be affected by world events. In today's atmosphere, when nothing seems to matter, this usually points to pretty noteworthy news: news that feels like it matters.

The fact that the inauguration chart goes off the same day as the eclipse offers some insight into what might be developing, and is, of its own, a truly stunning synchronicity. The inauguration chart event (in the progressed horoscope, in case you're curious) involves the Gemini Moon opposing Pluto in Sagittarius. It would seem that something, some action of the administration, backfires. Could it be attacking Iran? Well, it would be something that self-destructive.

Something occurs that divides the population: Gemini (division) Moon (the population) opposing Pluto: an emotional force that people respond to without even really deciding. In Sagittarius, we have something that might be religious, is surely international, and could involve bankers (for instance, in China or Saudi Arabia). There is money involved; the issue of the squandered wealth of the nation may come home to roost. Will it stick around for breakfast? We shall see.

There is a third factor. That is Pluto reaching the Galactic Core for the first time in the history of the United States. Pluto, with a 248-year orbit, was on the Galactic Core at the time the founders were coming up with their ideas for a better way to run a country, and recognizing that the colonies had fallen under the tyranny of the English monarchy.

Pluto on the GC is astrology of enlightenment and awareness. Pluto, a soul-level force, reaches the center of our local cosmos, which has some very high-minded themes, and if it could talk would sound a lot like Martin Luther King. This process stretches over the next two years that it will take for Pluto to cross and clear the GC, and this will be a dominant theme of the final years of the Bush-Cheney presidency.

Events surrounding March 29 are the first big turning point in that story. It would seem that, once again, we get another shock that wakes us up to the urgency and critical nature of our moment in history -- for a while. This one may do a pretty good job. Yet what is genuinely frightening is how many awakening events like this go by and how few people seem to care; how many people cannot be bothered, because the "news," "politics," and the "fate of the Earth" are rarely equated as one concept.

The 3/29 cluster should help speed things along, and it comes at a good time -- the spring -- when protest is both possible because the weather is breaking, as well as traditional, and allows a nice energy vent after (those of us in the northern hemisphere) being trapped indoors for six months.

This is one of those points where it will be possible to shed a few layers, drop some baggage, and leave at least some of the past behind. That we'll be seeing some intense news at the same time will add excitement and a touch of devil-be-damned at a time that can, by all indications, be a momentous and inspiring era in our lives, as long as we rise to the adventure.

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