Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Buzz of Thought


The rising and falling buzz of cicadas fills the air today. This spring has been cold, and for the last few days, we’ve had the heat on, and the cicadas have been dormant. Today it’s gone up to 79°F, and I can see them looping through the air in front of my window. Many of them are the size of hummingbirds, but their flight pattern is very different, wild and zany. They careen along from one tree to the next, in search of love, or fun, or maybe just a really great tree.


We humans in this house are also coming to life, after the stasis of the pandemic. Just a few days ago, my wife and I went out and had an unmasked visit with a friend, complete with hugs. It was just like the old days, when people weren’t afraid of each other.


It’s a good month to reclaim lost territory, since Mercury will be retrograde almost all of June. Even after it goes direct on June 22, it will amble along quite slowly for another week. This is a good time to go back and pick up all the pieces that you’ve dropped along the way. This could include the relationships you’ve ignored, the words you haven’t said, and the longings you’ve swatted down.


But I have to warn you that it will be very easy to get distracted this month. You may go back to pick up some shiny thing you’ve dropped, and then find yourself wandering around in somebody’s back garden for days. That’s because Mercury is in the very mercurial sign Gemini, and it stays within 7° of a square to Neptune the whole month.


So your mind can’t be roped down this month, but will take the long way through every maze you come across. This isn’t easy for those of you who just want to get from Point A to Point B, but you may sometimes find that the backwoods path will also take you to Point B, although you may have forgotten why you wanted to go there.  


Neptune is the planet of imagination, illusions, hypnosis, fascinations, glamours, and addictions. Neptune and Mercury vie for the title of Trickster planet, and with the two of them in aspect all month, you can’t believe everything you see or hear. You’ll need to keep your wits about you.


The new moon on June 10 brings an eclipse, and again, there’s a very mercurial focus, with Mercury in Gemini nestled in with the sun and moon. You can expect an explosion of ideas, brainstorms, verbal power. Words sometimes seem like the most transient thing in the universe, constantly vanishing in the air. Even written words are common as ants. But like ants, they can form structures and patterns that last a long time.


And so this is the essence of this eclipse: the burgeoning idea, passed from mind to mind. At the same time, with that square to Neptune – less than 3° away from Mercury at the new moon – there’s always somebody who’s going to take your idea and twist it around. There’s no piece of information that doesn’t spawn a hundred distortions.


But there are some ideas that are meant to burst forth at this time. With Mercury retrograde, these ideas don’t have to be brand-new. Some of them have lived among us for centuries, a low-key hum in our ears. Often knowledge emerges from the earth, like the ancestors found in the African Burial Grounds in the middle of New York City. Buried information dusts itself off and enters the village square.


This is the meaning of this month’s eclipse: to renew, to remember, and to pass along. It’s not altogether an easy month, with Saturn and Uranus again squaring each other in mid-June. There’s a continuing fixed battle between inertia and progress, and we definitely see this in Congress, as the Republicans steadily block everything that comes their way. But as frustrating as this is, it doesn’t signify that nothing is moving.


We are moving all the time. Reaching out towards each other, minds open, thoughts dancing, discovering and rediscovering what is beautiful and real. Learning how to clear away the cobwebs of illusion and see truly – into ourselves, each other, and our world.

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Novelty of Sanity


A couple of nights ago, my wife and I snuggled together in bed for the evening’s entertainment, mainly watching the president give a speech to Congress. This is definitely not something we would’ve done in the last administration, not unless we wanted nightmares.


And afterwards, we turned to each other and commented, “He’s so normal!” “So sane!” This is still a novelty, a hundred days into Biden’s presidency. We just can’t get over it.


Biden wasn’t my first choice, back in the days when we had a whole roster of Democratic candidates to pick from. But I have to say I’m happy with him now. It’s clear that he’s working on what he promised to do. He’s gotten one constructive bill passed, and is putting forward others that are good for workers and the environment. Just the fact that he’s working, of course, is the most dramatic contrast between him and the previous occupant, who spent his days playing golf, watching TV, and vigorously massaging his own ego.


With Jupiter and Saturn now in Aquarius, social progress continues. Derek Chauvin’s conviction on a murder charge was ground-breaking, even though it left a lot of people exhausted and wondering what it would really change. After all, it’s just one man going to jail, while there are no doubt still a thousand white bullies out on the street, wearing guns and acting out their fear of brown skin.


But I’ve seen a lot of changes happening in this long life of mine. And even when there’s a definite victory, nothing changes right away. A law that passes, a good person that’s elected, a verdict that’s fair  – these things are celebrated and then forgotten. And then change seeps through, years pass, and you wake up one morning, and realize that it’s different. And it’s never different now. Now is just now. What you realize is that it used to be different.


Of course, there are also cataclysmic moments, when things take a sharp turn in an unexpected direction. These are the traumas carried for generations, never forgotten, only healed by years of peace and security. I think it’s easier to heal when you’re brought down by the elements, by fire or flood or a shaking earth, and much harder when you’re betrayed by other human beings.  These cataclysmic moments are often the impetus for the years of hard work that culminate in an election, a law, or a trial.


Aquarius is an air sign, cerebral, idealistic, and systematic, and its focus is on the wellbeing of the community. So this is an ideal time to move forward, to make as much progress as we can. This doesn’t heal all the traumas of the past, but it could help prevent some new ones from developing.


And yes, there continue to be blockages. Pluto is still in Capricorn, and Uranus is moving through the fixed earth sign Taurus. Uranus’ job is to keep us off balance, and lately it mostly seems to be taking the form of right-wing shock tactics. Uranus in Taurus is a contradiction, the rebel planet in the most change-resistant sign.


Will we be able to keep up the momentum on social reform, given these fierce pockets of resistance?  Will we be able to make change that lasts, change that heals?  Will we be able to create a new normal, in which people can wake up, stretch, and forget that it was any other way?


Jupiter is moving very quickly these days, and halfway through May, it enters a new sign, Pisces. It will only be here for a couple of months before retrograding back to Aquarius in late July and staying there the rest of the year. But it’s a little glimpse of the future, a look at what 2022 will be like.


I have two minds about Jupiter in Pisces, and that figures, since this sign is represented by two fish swimming in different directions. On the one hand, it’s the most spiritual and emotionally sensitive sign in the zodiac, and it could be deeply healing. It could foster a spirit of compassion that we haven’t seen in a while. It’s the nature of Pisces to dissolve the walls between people, to blur the differences, to see through to the soul.  


On the other hand, Pisces is also a sign that moves quite easily into a wholly different reality. It’s a sign that gives a particularly vivid imagination. Neptune has been there for the last decade, and during this time, strange conspiracy theories have sprouted up like mutant dandelions. Will this increase when Jupiter is in Pisces?  Yes, probably.  


What can we do about it?  Well, it will help that Saturn is still in Aquarius for another couple of years. Saturn gives a little bit more intellectual ballast. It asks you to run your beliefs through a rigorous line of questioning, and some people will be daunted by a few undeniable facts. But when people really, really want to believe something, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. All that matters is that it makes them feel better or more important, or it justifies something they grew up believing.   


And remember, it’s not just on the right that Neptune’s fantasies can proliferate. On the left too, we can be seduced by a patina of holiness, a tendency to over-idealize singular charismatic figures. We have to be careful not to turn into true believers.


We’ve got some wonderful, inspiring people on the left, and we can appreciate the work done by all kinds of people, elected and unelected.  But no one person is going to magically turn this thing around.  Let’s just hope for ordinary people who want to devote their energy to the common good. Let’s just hope for continued sanity.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Going Somewhere


Spring is officially here, but it’s not yet warm enough to open the windows and feel the breeze, at least not here in Maryland.  It’s a transitional time. We’re all in the middle of a seasonal shift. We’re going somewhere, but we’re not there yet.


On the evening news, I hear that there are new surges of Covid-19. I see young people partying in Florida without masks or social distancing. At the same time, I hear of more friends getting vaccinated every day. I’ve gotten my two shots, without anything much in the way of side effects, and my wife is supposed to be vaccinated this weekend.


So I feel safer. But I also feel like someone who has just sidled past a sleeping lion, and is just lucky that it didn’t blink awake at that crucial moment. I’ve never been so aware of being mortal. That’s partly because I’ve lost loved ones this past year, and others are still in danger. Not everyone has made it past the lion.


We who are still upright on this planet look at each other, check each other out, breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of each other’s faces. It won’t be too long before we’ll be able to appear to each other in three-dimensional form, wonderfully solid. It will be strange, as if a bunch of cartoons suddenly came to life, but I daresay we’ll get used to it!


This is the thing about spring. During the winter, everything is theoretical. Trees are reduced to bones, and flowers occupy a niche in our memory. In spring, all that theory becomes reality. There are buds everywhere. They’re alive, exuberant, immediate, and right on time. Every time I go outside, I see more of them, and I know that pretty soon my study window, now grey and flecked with rain, will be a mass of green.   


In April, there’s more momentum than we’ve seen in a while. It’s not just the drive to get everyone vaccinated. We also have this new Democratic muscle in Congress, and we just saw the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Today Biden unveiled a new infrastructure plan, full of great, practical initiatives. What kind of legs does it have? We’ll have to see.  


An abundance of new ideas are circulating. Aries is the sign of new beginnings, and the sun and Venus in Aries give fiery energy to every new possibility. And Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all in air signs – verbal, thoughtful, idealistic, socially aware. All these influences are excellent for problem-solving, studying, planning, debating, and working out agreements. It looks like something can happen, right? All these forces point to movement and manifestation.  


And yet there are also those static forces, holding everything back. The Covid bill was passed without a single Republican vote. And then there’s the voter suppression bill that was passed in Georgia a few days ago. There is a whole phalanx of people who are digging their feet in, putting all their energy (and lots of money) into resisting the forces of change.  


And I can’t say that these people won’t be in power again. It’s true that the political tide ebbs and flows, even though I believe that the long-range trend is towards freedom, justice and equality.  


The thing is that none of the outer planets are in particularly revolutionary signs these days. The overall energy is still conservative, for at least a few more years. And with Uranus, the rebel planet, in the fixed earth sign Taurus, there is a cadre of revolutionary conservatives, as contradictory as that sounds.


These folks want the world to freeze into a particular configuration that favors them. They want a world in which white people have all the power (and no ownership of their past actions), women know their place, gay people are hidden away, and there are definitely no trans people.  In fact, they don’t want anybody around who makes them feel uncomfortable. And they are willing to turn the world upside down and shake it to the point of apoplexy, to make it this way.


So, yes, grab on to something solid. Because we may see a lot of these people when Mercury, Venus and then the sun all meet Uranus during the last week of April. The full moon of April 26 is turbulent, and a lot of survival issues could come up around that time.


Still, I believe that, on some etheric level, the world’s minds are working together to solve all the world’s problems. This is a matter of faith, not evidence, because our species has knotted things up quite often, and sometimes in spectacular ways. Still, sometimes I tune into that buzzing network of hopes, dreams, illusions, breakthroughs, and expertise, and I’m suitably impressed. I’m not sure exactly where we’re going. But it’s not static.    

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Great Balls of Fire


The sun’s out today and it’s glorious. In case you’ve forgotten what the sun is, it’s this big round ball up in the sky that makes everything glow. The earth turns slowly, soaking it up from every angle, enjoying all those rays crunching along its spine like a good massage. As the earth turns, the glow changes color, going from pure brightness to old gold. And we earthly creatures are charged, enlightened, and healed.


And I hear it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow too.


I know there are still plenty of problems in the world. The Covid Relief bill is still being wrangled through Congress as I speak, and people are very ticked that the $15 minimum raise won’t be included. And of course, they’re right to be angry that a bunch of millionaires are making it tougher for working people to feed their families.   


Still, the idea of Congress doing anything at all – passing an actual bill – seems like a miracle to me, at this point. For the last few years, the House has been busy sending bills to languish and die in the Senate. So now that Congress is about to pass something that will aid actual people, I can’t help but cheer.   


And yes, I know how slim the Democratic majority is, how it’s hanging on by a thread, even though it represents the will of the people. I know that the Republicans are responding to their losses by coming up with voter suppression bills. But I’m still optimistic, especially when I think of how the demographic in this country is changing.   


There’s an astrological reason to be hopeful, too. The fixed Saturn/Uranus square, which was strong all last month, is at last breaking up. This aspect has manifested as a tense stand-off between the past and the future, between rigidity and revolution, between order and chaos. On the one side was fear, and on the other, wild restlessness. And many of us could feel both at once, in our personal lives and in the political sphere.  


The political parties have been so divided, especially since the Republicans – formerly a bunch of conservatives – took such a wild swing into Crazytown, following their fearless leader, the champ of delusion. Meanwhile, the Dems have become more moderate, and are focused on science, the rule of law, the Constitution, and a basically realistic approach.


The Democratic leadership has also become more responsive to its large Black voting base, and I think this helps a lot with the realism. Survival is all about strategy, and Black people in this country have had a lot of years to master this. Picking your battles carefully, learning from both failures and successes, you live to fight another day, and your children’s children survive as well.  


Whatever is driving this new, more grounded approach, it means that a lot of us are tentatively exhaling, for the first time in a while. Things can change for the better, even though that means constant negotiating and compromising. There’s progress, even if it’s inch by inch. There are some safeguards, even if they just consist of a few more sane people in higher positions.


Yes, I know that the Saturn/Uranus square will come back twice more this year, once in June and once in December.  So we will be dealing with some very stubborn conflicts all through 2021, whenever we move forward. I know that there will be young white guys slinging guns on themselves, looking at the mirror, and thinking they can get away with anything. And there will be old white guys who will be crafting lies to feed them.


And even though things improve in March, there will still be plenty of activity in Crazytown, since there will be strong Pisces and Neptune influences. Neptune is the planet of delusion and illusion, fantasy and mirages, tricksters and con artists. So some folks will really ramp it up, using their amazing creative gifts to convince other people that Democrats have a gigantic sucking space ray that will seize their guns, and probably their grandmother’s china as well. And people who are afraid of something, but aren’t sure what, will leap at the chance to put a face on their fears.


But Neptune is also the planet of spiritual growth, and so people will be praying, and meditating, and trancing themselves out in various ways, and many of these people will happen across a cavity somewhere in their chest area. And when they investigate, they may find it’s overflowing with this amazing, beautiful energy. They'll feel the love pouring forth -  for their neighbor, for the planet, for all people, even those they thought were their enemy.


It could happen. In March, some shutters could open wide, and some people lean out their windows, and feel the heat of the sun. We could all forget our differences, and just let it pour down on us.  



Monday, February 1, 2021

A Changing Landscape


There’s so much going on, so many changes. Last month, I couldn’t write, though. Just as 2020 came to an end, my only brother died, and I was flattened into silence. It’s still hard to believe, but it’s time to climb out of this hole and look around again.


There are some things that are the same about this landscape. Covid-19 is even more lethal, but now there are vaccines, and they’re being distributed, if slowly and imperfectly. It was the promise of Saturn and Jupiter both going into Aquarius, that science would once again be respected.


Science, truth, information – these things comprise the home turf of Aquarius. As a fixed air sign, Aquarius’ role in the zodiac is to pin down what’s true, and to promote it. This involves experimentation, research, and a willingness to consider every possible idea, which is why Aquarians are often seen as wild, different, far-out, or outrageous.  


And of course, many Aquarians are harassed or persecuted during their lives, because they’re several steps ahead of everyone else.  People with the sun in Aquarius like Charles Darwin, Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Huey Newton, and Angela Davis. Or people with Aquarius rising like Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, Emmeline Pankhurst, Thoreau, Ralph Nader, or Barack Obama.


Of course, not all Aquarians are progressives. Their most common trait is a willingness to argue everybody else into the ground, based on the truths that they have determined. Most Aquarians are open-minded enough to take new evidence into account, and change their minds if necessary. But if they held their positions lightly, they wouldn’t be as effective in making change in the world.


February is a very Aquarian month. It begins with the sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn all in this sign. Mercury spends the whole of February in Aquarius, mostly retrograde. The old order is represented only by Pluto in Capricorn.  


When the Capitol was stormed, on January 6, this Aquarian surge had only just begun, with Jupiter and Saturn there. Capricorn was still the dominant influence.  You can see that event as a threshold event between the old and the new. As the face of the old order, Trump was holding on to the past with everything he had. But Democracy itself is an Aquarian phenomenon, and we were moving inexorably into the new Aquarian phase.


Of course, what we know in this country as democracy is not a purebred beast, any more than all those Aquarians I mentioned were wholly dedicated to a progressive vision. There is no purity, except in the dreams of idealists. Everything on this earth is mixed – every person, every idea, every manifestation.  


And yet, mixed as all manifestations are, there is always something that predominates and that gives things their shape. And so the democracy that we have, here in the US, flawed as it is, has a rock-hard concept at its core. It’s fixed, just like the fixed air sign Aquarius. It’s a stubborn belief that people should choose their leaders, and it took more than Trump’s scattered and ill-organized power plays to upend it.


And now that democracy has shown itself strong enough for another go-around, now that Aquarian principles have prevailed, where do we go from here?  Joe Biden has gotten a good start in the two weeks since taking office, getting rid of some of Trump’s most damaging mandates, via executive orders. Correcting old injustices is an excellent use of a Mercury retrograde. McConnell tried a feint, which didn’t work. And now there’s a Covid-19 relief bill being wrangled in Congress.


Joe Biden, by the way, has no planets in Aquarius, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. We all knew he wasn’t a trailblazer. He does have his sun and moon in fixed signs, however, and so he has the ability to stick to a position, once he’s taken it. Kamala Harris, on the other hand, has Saturn in Aquarius right at the top of her chart, forming a great trine with her sun and ascendent, so she is very much attuned to this moment in history, and she has both the forward vision and the determination to make things happen. Of course, she has a more pivotal role than most vice-presidents, as the deciding vote in Congress.  


I wish I could say that it will all be smooth sailing from here on out, but there’s a very sharp, divisive aspect affecting us all this month: the square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. Saturn is generally the rigid, conservative planet, but now it’s in a progressive, enlightened sign. Uranus is the rebel planet, but now it’s in a solid, earthy sign. What this means is that the progressives are the mature, grown-up ones these days, while the conservatives are the ones acting wild and crazy.  


It’s easy to become fascinated with Q-Anon and their ilk, just because they’re so strange. On Inauguration Day, I was mesmerized by the stories about them sitting around their TVs, just like I was. But where I was admiring Michelle Obama’s outfit, and enjoying Lady Gaga’s voice, and getting all excited about Kamala being sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, they were on the edge of their seats, expecting all the Democrats to be arrested and dragged away any minute. Then they were all disillusioned that it didn’t happen.


The cruelty of the Trump era is what I see reflected in his followers, including the ones who are inhabiting their own alternative realities. And these are strange times we live in, when the headwinds of change have to blow so strongly, and overcome so much resistance, just to promote policies that aren’t cruel. The bottom line is that we all have the right to live, to love each other, and to vote.  Why is that so controversial?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

What Is That Alien Form in the Sand?


At last, we’ve reached the last month of this seemingly endless year. It’s been so strange, all these months of nothingness - no travel, no beaches, no family visits, hardly any sightings of friends. The year stretches behind us like the surface of an alien planet – desolate, unpopulated, with an unfamiliar wind blowing grit in our faces.


But my wife and I have been among the lucky ones, and we know this. We’ve made it to this last month of 2020 with our health, our marriage and even our work intact.  And now, looking ahead to December, I’m seeing change. There’s something different forming – there, beyond the dry, shifting sands.


The election of Biden is part of that. That was just under a month ago, and at first, we were all celebrating wildly, all over the world. But since then, we’ve had to deal with DT trying in every way he can to overturn the results. Every morning, reading the news, I’ve felt some dread about what he was going to try next, and whether there was a chance he would get away with it.  It’s only thanks to local officials, and no thanks at all to those higher on the political food chain, that he’s been stymied. 


Right now, Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn are all still in Capricorn, within 6° of each other, so the old gang of crusty cynics is still in power. They’re disgruntled, chewing over the dip in Republican fortunes, but still working out ways to keep their firm grip on minority rule. Some of them will stay ensconced for another couple of years.


But December is not a stagnant month.  The first shock comes with the solar eclipse of December 14.  It swoops in, illuminating the scene like a strobe light. With the sun, moon, Mercury and south node all in the fire sign Sagittarius, it’s passionate, zealous, and spontaneous. It’s all about cutting loose, activating a new vision. An eclipse sets the tone for the six-month period until the next eclipse, and this one looks especially unrestrained. Something will be off and running.  Or someone.


It doesn’t escape my attention that December 14 is the day that the electoral college votes, and when the election is officially over. Is this eclipse a cosmic welcome sign to President Biden and Vice President Harris?  No offense to Joe, but it seems a little flashier than he is. Kamala Harris’ rise to political power is more revolutionary, however, and her chart dovetails nicely with the eclipse chart, making a great trine in fire signs. So maybe this is about her.    


DT is the most lawless public figure we have right now, so I wanted to see if the eclipse will affect him.  I was shocked to see that the sun and moon are right on top of his moon/sun opposition, and the nodes are closely aligned with his nodes, as well. So yes, this indicates a sudden, dramatic shift for him, an acting out of his particular karma.  


What could he possibly do at this point?, I ask myself, but I know that his imagination exceeds my own. He’s done things I never imagined that a U.S. President would do. Will he somehow manage to get “his” Supreme Court to keep him in power? Will he decide to end his presidency with some big, punchy gesture? Or could it be that he’ll take this moment to flee, to take off for another country?  That would certainly fit in with the Sagittarius theme of liberation, since it could save him from prison.     


But whatever happens, it’s not the end of the story. Just a week after this eclipse comes the winter solstice, and the chart for this is also really striking. On solstice day, Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct, at 0° Aquarius.  These two planets come together once every twenty years, but it’s been more than six hundred years since they did it in Aquarius, and more than seven hundred years since it happened at the first degree of any sign.


 So the winter solstice is a sudden switch in tone, away from the wildness and dash of fire, towards the cool intellect of air.  Jupiter and Saturn together in the fixed sign Aquarius create stillness and clarity, and the restlessness of Sagittarius vanishes like a candle-flame before a strong breath. 


Aquarius is one of the most idealistic signs in the zodiac, dedicated to democracy, the rule of law, and freedom from tyranny. It’s about reason, logic, science, and truth. If DT did manage some sleight of hand in December, this winter solstice chart looks like an enormous reaction from the citizens of this country, with support from around the world. The streets wouldn’t be wide enough to hold us all.


At the solstice – and afterwards - the focus will be on determining our role in the community.  Jupiter and Saturn represent the positive and negative poles of society – on the one hand, expansion, and on the other, restriction. With Jupiter, you grow through aligning yourself with the interests of the community, and with Saturn, you conform to the duties, responsibilities and restrictions that society imposes.  Together, Jupiter’s optimism tempers Saturn’s rigidity, and Saturn’s caution tempers Jupiter’s extravagance.


During this strange year, 2020, small everyday gestures – wearing masks and social distancing – have been an expression of caring for others in our communities.  At the same time, we haven’t seen much of the Jupiter side of the social contract – the expansion, the festivals, the opportunities. All of these have been curtailed. But starting in December, Jupiter will take its place by Saturn’s side, reminding us that there are a million ideas still percolating in the group mind.


I’m reminded of that strange metallic rectangle that recently showed up in some public land in Utah, disappeared, and then reappeared in Romania. Everybody immediately thought of the alien object from the movie 2001. This definitely seems like an illustration of the shift in time that we’re living through. We’ve been walking through an empty landscape, and now we see something strange, something disquieting, just ahead of us. What will happen when we touch something new?  How will it change us?


2020 has taught us a great deal.  It’s taught us patience, and it’s taught us more about what we owe to each other. We’ve studied silence and isolation. Some of us have learned to meditate, and others have learned to bake bread. But times are changing, and now we have new things to learn. Where will the next phase of our evolution take us?  Who are we becoming?


Monday, November 9, 2020

The Cusp of Change


Saturday was bright and mild, and we were at the library, one of my favorite places in the world, when we got the news that Biden had passed the 270-electoral-votes threshold. That afternoon, as we visited old friends that we hadn't seen in a while, the champagne came out. We were still being cautious – masks on, social distancing – but it felt good to be with the only lesbian couple we know who’s been together longer than we have.


On Saturday night, we couldn’t turn off the news – after being too depressed to turn it on during the last four years.  Over and over, we watched clips of Joe thanking the Black community, and Kamala telling us that she might be the first, but she wouldn’t be the last, interspersed with footage of people in every city, celebrating in the streets.


My wife remarked that the reporters were trying hard not to look as happy as they felt.  That must’ve been pretty hard, after four years of being insulted and constantly accused of lying. It’s not easy to do a good job when you’re routinely accused of doing a bad one.  


So I’m really feeling the shift. It was just a week before the election, in the middle of a spate of dank, rainy days, that my stepmother died. But now it is possible to say, “She would have been happy about this.” The memory of her broad smile is a balm.  


All this hard year, we’ve been dealing with this tight grouping of restrictive, serious outer planets in Capricorn. We’ve all scaled down and done without, and many of us have lost someone. To me, this election is a sign that we are moving into Aquarius territory. Aquarius is a sign of change, even a sign of revolution.


In 2020, Saturn moved into Aquarius for a few months – April through June - igniting and amplifying racial justice issues. Although the conservative reaction to this was repressive and violent, there were a lot of people paying attention. White people started reading and thinking more, and Black people gained more access to the media, and found more ways to tell their stories. To me, this seems like a preview of the coming years, when Jupiter, Saturn and finally Pluto break up their little conservative cabal and move into Aquarius.


But I can admit now I was anxious about Election Day. Mercury was stationary – that is, its position was fixed in the sky, due to an optical illusion caused by our perspective here on earth. It was in the middle of a two-week square to Saturn, the most conservative, stern and recalcitrant of those Capricorn planets. Mercury was in Libra, the sign of justice, and it was fighting for its ideals, trying to draw away from the gravitational pull of so much fear, resistance, tradition, and denial.


At the same time, because Saturn is all about structure, this Mercury/Saturn square may have added a certain amount of organization and discipline to the vote-counting procedures. Everyone seemed very focused, ignoring the Trump hordes that kept flipping between “count the vote” and “stop the count”.   In Nevada, a ranting Trump supporter interrupted the registrar’s press conference, but still had no particular effect other than to be mocked on social media.


So we won the presidency, but winning the Senate is unlikely – although it would be quite wonderful if it happened. But, as it stands, the Senate will be able to block a great deal of much-needed legislation. And, of course, as I write this, Trump refuses to concede, and is contesting the election, although none of his claims have any legal weight. It’s clear that the whole point of this is to rally his base and keep them excited, perhaps indefinitely.


Still, things progress. It’s only now, on November 9, that Mercury is pulling away from that square to Saturn, and things begin to move ahead. Plans are taking shape, and organization will become easier and more effective. There’s less drag, fewer delays. Mercury enters Scorpio tomorrow, giving more focus and determination, but less transparency.


Scorpio is a sign of the underground, of depth charges and shadow selves. And so, during the rest of November, conspiracy theories will grow like weeds in the back corners of vacant lots, far away from the sun. They’ll tangle people up, and make it hard for them to move freely from one thought to the next. But many of them will burn away when Mercury moves into fiery Sagittarius at the beginning of December.  


Much of our stagnation in recent months has been due to Mars, which has been retrograde since September.  It will go direct this coming weekend, on November 13, and that will also help us move forward. However, for the rest of the year, it will still be in the conflict-prone sign Aries, so I expect plenty of skirmishes of all kinds.


But there is good trouble, as John Lewis said, and any open, honest discussion of goals and ideas is positive. In December, when Jupiter and Saturn move into Aquarius, there will be a lot more of that happening. This is a sign of logic, objectivity and perspective. December also sees the last of the outer planet conjunctions, and I believe this will be the last peak of Covid-19.


Even with Jupiter and Saturn moving into Aquarius next month, there will still be a staunch old guard that will fight against any possibility of real change for the next couple of years. Pluto won’t move into Aquarius until the spring of 2023. That’s when the political picture will realign itself – probably in the elections of 2022 - and so by 2023, there may be enough progressive influences to start really solving bedrock problems. And perhaps by then Covid-19 will be truly gone, and we can walk out into the sunshine, gather together in celebration, and embrace each other.


Step by step, we are moving towards a more rational time. In 2021, we won’t see peace, or domestic tranquility. We won’t see an end to the underbelly of political thought, the Nazis and Confederates who keep crawling out of the cracks and fissures. This month, in November, it may seem like they’re more of them than there ever were. But we are moving, slowly and definitely, towards a time when science will regain all its ragged prestige.   


I’m absolutely in favor.  Let the scientists emerge, and I don’t even mind if some of them want to disprove astrology. This is our best chance against a deteriorating habitat, the best chance to end suffering, to stop the constant waste of human resources. May our young ones choose thinking over just believing.  Give them the freedom to learn, and to experiment. And with technology, common sense, cooperation and hope, they can create a future that we can all live in.