Kingston, NY, Friday, Jan. 18, 2008

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The Aquarius Alignment of 2008

The Aquarius Alignment of 2008
Aquarius, the Water Bearer. Aquarius is an air sign, but his vessel is made of clay and it contains water. Aquarius is a complex sign, with origins dating back to ancient Egypt where the Water Bearer was depicted with a ruler to measure the depth of the Nile.
THE SUN is currently in Capricorn for a few more days, but planets are gathering in Aquarius. It's a cool setup. Aquarius is a cool, airy sign associated with novelty, invention and themes of social acceptance, and this chart is wearing some fancy shades. As I begin writing just before noon eastern standard time Thursday (in Woodstock), there is a precise triple conjunction of Vesta, Chiron and Mercury on the 11th house cusp.
Mercury talks, if astrologers (or anyone) will listen. This aspect is a cue to give a voice to that Vesta-Chiron conjunction, and I will do that in a few moments.
Also in Aquarius is Neptune. Mr. Blue has been there since the late 1990s, an artifact of the Clinton impeachment era -- the most impressive act of public deception leading up to the false flag attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. And there is the North Node, recently arrived in late Aquarius (its overall motion is retrograde, so it starts at the end of a sign and works its way to the beginning). The Moon's nodes tell you approximately where eclipses are going to happen, and we are indeed heading into an Aquarius solar eclipse, exact on Feb. 7. If you're reading any chart, remember: if you see the Sun anywhere near one of the Moon's nodes, an eclipse is in the immediate vicinity.
Somewhat off the charts is Nessus in Aquarius. Nessus is one of the small worlds, the third Centaur planet discovered and the first planet ever to be named by the International Astronomical Union at the recommendation of astrologers. It is not displayed by most commercial astrology software (with the exception of Solar Fire by Astrolabe). Nessus is an energy related to Chiron, which speaks to the theme of cause and effect. Nessus is like the point in a chart where we take responsibility for the actions of the past; we deal with the consequences; we see the results. Melanie Reinhart gives the key phrase, "The buck stops here."
One of the Aquarius keywords is interesting, and this alignment qualifies, particularly with an eclipse zooming in and Mercury about to do its retrograde dance over the whole arrangement. Aquarius is the intersection of group consciousness and the quest for individuality. We all walk this line, or at least we talk it. We want to be unique, but we have a need to be acceptable to others. Which one wins out? Usually conformity.
Few people feel acceptable to others when they are actually being themselves. Indeed, few things in our society are more antithetical to the quest for group acceptance than expressing one's individuality. The result is that most groups cease to be groups -- they are more like swarms of robots. These swarms set a price for acceptance, they set rules for patterns of behavior, and most sickeningly, they tend to establish the value of self-esteem. In other words, within most groups, there is only so much you can love yourself, love your job, love your husband, and so on. If you're in a group of people who hate life, you cannot love yours. If you're in a group of women who resent their husband or partner, you cannot love yours.
I am wondering, then, how Aquarius came to be the sign of individuality. It may be the result of so many people who are born under the sign Aquarius being the ones who value the need to be an individual more than the need to submit to group values. Aquarians tend to be inventors, which means making something new or solving a problem nobody else bothered to address -- including inventing themselves, no matter what anyone thinks.
The Aquarius Alignment of February 1962

The Aquarius Alignment of 2008
JFK inspects Mercury capsule with astronaut John Glenn to his right side, Feb. 23, 1962. Photo by Cecil Stoughton, the White House photographer, from Wikipedia.
Before I get to the three immediate topics of this article -- the Chiron/Vesta conjunction in Aquarius, Mercury retrograde in Aquarius and a brief introduction to the Feb. 7 eclipse -- I would like to point out the chart that inspired this week's writing. That is a solar eclipse back in February 1962, during an equally impressive Aquarius stellium.

This is the chart that presaged the phenomenon we know of as The Sixties, which crystallized (another Aquarius keyword) with the Kennedy assassination and then when the Beatles touched down 12 weeks later at Idlewild Airport in New York City 12 weeks later -- notably, with the Sun in Aquarius.
Many astrology students go digging in the 1960s, in part because many of them were born there, and because it was one of the most distinctive phases of American social and political history. If you go poking around the Sixties, you're going to find this chart and marvel. It feels like finding the secret engine room of all that happened during the decade that ensued.
Commercial versions of this chart give you an alignment of Mars, Saturn, the Moon, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, the South Node and Jupiter. Try reading that out loud. If you switch to either Solar Fire or a non-commercial chart service, you'll discover two Centaurs (Pholus and Chariklo), and something called 1992 QB1. Chiron in Pisces has just covered the territory. A few years earlier when Chiron was in Aquarius, we experienced the Beat Generation, which opened the way for the social and creative experiments of the Sixties. The solar eclipse of Feb. 5, 1962 is a full activation of this alignment, just like the solar eclipse of Feb. 7, 2008 is the full activation of the current Aquarius alignment.
The two charts talk to one another; in other words, when you pile up a dozen or so planets in Aquarius now, you're also vibrating that chart from back in the day. Notably, the early 1960s, before the Kennedy assassination, were a moment when the American Dream perhaps had its most vivid potential. A young man was president, and even if you hadn't voted for him, you could still respect him. The civil rights movements of the 1950s were finally getting results. The economy was good and the horrors of the Vietnam War were still under the rug.
But the Aquarius alignment foretold, mainly, the social eruption that was imminent and which it seems only Bob Dylan saw coming. It was an extremely interesting in between moment when the ground was rumbling and there was something in the air.

It was quite a year, but it seems they all were in that era. All of the following facts are from the Wikipedia 1962 chronology. Technology -- an Aquarian subject -- was astonishing news on many fronts. A couple of weeks after the eclipse, John Glenn, piloting the Friendship 7 spacecraft, became the first American to orbit the Earth. Twelve European countries formed the European Space Agency (ESA). It was a time of heightening tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis later that year. French President Charles de Gaulle called for Algeria to be granted independence, beginning to heal the vicious colonial war between the two countries. Telstar, the world's first commercial communication satellite, was launched into orbit and put into operation the next day.

The Aquarius Alignment of 2008
President Kennedy in a crowded Cabinet Room during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Photo from Wikipedia.
Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home. Rachel Carson, a nurse and author, published the book Silent Spring, spawning the modern environmentalist movement. The first black student, James Meredith, registered at the University of Mississippi, escorted by federal marshals. The term "personal computer" was first mentioned in the media. In a Nov. 3, 1962, New York Times article reporting John W. Mauchly's vision of future computing was detailed at a meeting of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers. Mauchly stated, "There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot be master of a personal computer." On Dec. 14, the U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 flew past Venus, becoming the first probe to successfully transmit data from another planet. By year end, the Vietnam War was beginning to seep out of the shadows. After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield became the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress. Indeed, Mansfield became one of the war's most vocal critics and helped bring it to an end a decade later.
While We're Here: The 1962 Taurus Alignment

If you look at the 2/5/62 eclipse chart, you will see that there is a stellium (a row of planets) in Taurus as well. Vesta is in Taurus, square the whole Aquarius lineup. A square is not a conjunction, but it brings in the energy at pretty full strength and (more importantly) in a dynamic way. Squares stir the pot. Vesta was very much a question of that time: could we open up to all that energy and let it flow through us? That is the theme song with Vesta. Think of the world vessel. Vesta will become a vessel for whatever we want, whatever we allow.
The image in the glyph is a chevron with a fire burning, which represents the core creative and sexual fire of humanity. Typically in the United States and the rest of the New World, Europe and Asia, we assign our fire primarily to what we term "work" -- something boring and obligatory. Some have noted that Vesta is associated with shame, which would explain why we avoid.
Imagine what it's like living in a time just before people decide -- in some numbers -- that they are tired of being oppressed by ideas, conventions and social norms. It's like this energy is surging upward, wanting to break free of the psychic prison it occupies. That prison is a function of society, but it's also within us. There must be some struggle between fear/apprehension and the need for release from long bondage.

The Sprint to 2012
Photo by Dani Voirin.
Lust, Love & Jealousy:

A Valentine's Day Astrology
Special Edition by Eric Francis

IN THIS special edition essay and horoscope covering all the signs, Eric focuses the lens of process and astrology on love, lust and jealousy.

This special edition includes clues about where to find what you're looking for -- and how to use jealousy and competition to make your love life hotter and freer, not more chaotic. You'll find ideas for you and hints about your partner or love interests, all-but-guaranteed to move energy and get the discussion going. In this first-of-its kind special edition to be delivered Feb. 7, Eric combines astrology and sex writing like only he can do. Pre-order now for just $9.99.

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