Notre Dame and the Great World Cycles

I am still grieving the fire at Notre Dame, feeling a soul ache around the burning of the great cathedral, which has always lifted spirits to beauty from her place in the center of the city. She is the sacred feminine in all her glory. At the same time, the powerful outpouring of donations, the universal desire to see her rise again, gives us hope. A friend who works with stone masons told me almost everyone wanted to spontaneously offer their time to restore her. Perhaps it takes a fire to bring us together right now, to create a sense of purpose. The conjunctions at the end of 2020 are calling forth an urgency around community.

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Called to Meet the Past: The Nodal Axis Enters Cancer/Capricorn

This article originally appeared in the OPA journal

On November 15, 2018 the mean nodal axis shifts into Cancer/Capricorn ( November 7 for the True Node). These signs invite us to consider the past; they call us back to ancient events, both collective and personal. Even more significantly, as the nodal axis shifts into Cancer/ Capricorn it will move backwards into connection with Pluto, then with Saturn. The old authoritarian temptation is heightened by the south Node’s entry into Capricorn, the desire to find a ‘’big Daddy’ who will decide for everyone, and ‘take responsibility”

The ancestors call to us to step up and finish what they could not, to repair an error, to pay a debt. Sometimes we are pulled into circumstances reminiscent of another era, another time. The Nodes here ask us how to honour the past without being caught up in it.

Since April 2017, the South Node has been in Aquarius. One of the most striking tendencies during this period has been a powerful connection to ‘groupthink’. Whether on the ‘fake news’ side of the equation or classically liberal, many of us have been pushed into stronger identification with those who think the same way. A few rare individuals have taken a stand, breaking with their cohort, to call out for truth. The North Node in Leo asks for this kind of individual courage, invites individuals to speak out against a powerful tide of group mind. The recent death of John McCain highlights this polarity and is seen in the outpouring of admiration and tribute to his courage and strength of conviction. It is fascinating that this man, once honoured and admired, an incontestable hero, had begun to lose support, as chanted slogans replace thought. An us-versus-them mentality can be seen as a degraded expression of the Aquarian impulse to find like-minded souls.

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Women Usher in a New Era in US Congress

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Over one hundred women have been newly elected to Congress, marking a new generation of women in politics, and among them two Native Americans, and two muslims; a former refugee. For the first time, close to one hundred of the house Representatives will be women.

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Uranus Enters Taurus - The Difficult Marriage of Heaven and Earth

by Lynn Bell
first Published by Well Being Magazine 2018 Australia

In 2018 Uranus will enter Taurus for the first time in 84 years. Uranus is linked to the sky, Taurus is fixed earth, and as Uranus enters this sign, the electricity of the heavens reaches deeply into earth element. Earth resists, Uranus shocks. The pulse of the unfamiliar sets stones dancing, it can bring the inert back to life, or send cracks jolting through our foundations. Taurus is a sign or rooting and grounding, it helps us feel at home in our bodies, and in our lives. With Uranus in this sign, well-being may come to mean something different than it did in the past.

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Whistleblower Hervé Falciani - Uranus Square Sun

Hervé Falciani

Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer. Reprinted with permission.

Herve FalcianiOn December 22, 2008, the Swiss police took systems engineer Hervé Falciani in for questioning, then released him with instructions to return the next day. Instead, Falciani rented a car and fled with his wife and children to France. There he downloaded 5 CDs of data stored on remote servers, which he had garnered from his employer, multinational corporation HSBC’s private Swiss bank in Geneva. Those CDs, containing the encrypted data of more than 130,000 account holders in 200 countries, have been a slow-burning fire for the Swiss banking industry, and their contents have reaped billions in lost tax revenue for France, Spain, and other countries. This represents the most significant insider banking data ever leaked. The real story may be unfolding now, as the emphasis shifts from individual fraud to the banking system itself.

As in many whistleblower cases, Falciani’s motives have been called into question. Falciani traveled to Lebanon under a pseudonym in early 2008, and it is alleged that he tried to sell his lists to bankers there. He lacks the communication skills and clear humanitarian stance of an Edward Snowden. Falciani said of himself, “I’m no white knight, but there is something beautiful and exhilarating about establishing the truth.” (1) In his chart, Uranus at 18° Libra is exactly square his Capricorn Sun — perhaps the key aspect in his willingness to take such a risk (see chart).

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Lynn Interviewed by Kay Taylor

Lynn BellKay Taylor: I’m really delighted I could meet with you today. Let’s just start at the beginning with how did you come into being an astrologer?

Lynn Bell: I was a vociferous reader as a child, and would read anything you put before me, including cereal boxes and newspapers. So I discovered my horoscope when I was very young. I was desperately looking for some way to explain the behavior of people around me! I think astrology was the first thing I found that helped me. In the beginning I just read the horoscopes. Then  my mother, who liked to go to garage sales,  must have brought home Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs or some other astrology book. I started noting the birthdays of everyone I knew, and by the time I was eleven or twelve I was certainly aware of what a sign was and what they meant.

I got more seriously interested in astrology a little later. I bought the few astrology books I could find,   then ended up learning palmistry because I found  Bentham's  Laws of Scientific Hand Reading.  It was a back door into the language of planets.There weren’t any esoteric bookstores in the neighborhood I lived in, and I didn’t really meet an astrologer until I was much older. I was conflicted,  I would give my books away, then wonder where a particular book was, and ask for it back! But I couldn’t let go of it. It was never my intention to become an astrologer. It wasn’t on my radar. It was just too strong for me not to do.

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The Twin Mirror

hurricane IrmaIn a year where the world has been spun around, turned upside down, where shock and surprise seem almost constant, Nature has now delivered a mirror for the destructive energies in the collective psyche. Hurricanes north of the equator spin counterclockwise, a direction in many indigenous traditions for the undoing of things, the dissolving of what has been built, the destruction of order.

At times, the insight that comes from astrological reflection can be disturbingly accurate. The specter of multiple fires in the West, and unbreathable air, the record-breaking heat, the twin hurricanes bearing down on highly populated regions of the US, fill us with dread for those whose safety and security will be upended, whose lives may be in danger. These twinned destructive forces parallel the dangerous split in the American political psyche. In the heavens, Saturn has been stationing opposite Mars in the chart for the Declaration of Independence. Mars is both courage and war, while Saturn often brings us face to face with the consequences of our actions, and with fate. President Trump has his Gemini Sun exactly there, conjunct the US Mars, with Moon opposing. This connection to the warlike Mars archetype of the US chart is not unusual in US presidents, but combined with his own powerful and uncontained Mars, conflicts of all kinds have been heightened.

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Living With Family Connections

family chartOriginally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished with permission.

Tolstoy once famously said that all happy families are alike, while every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This provides us with clues when we look at family heredity. Gifts tend to repeat in straightforward ways, while difficult patterns twist into varying forms of expression. In this article, I look at a few of these patterns as a way of encouraging reflection on the myriad possibilities that connect us to our family of origin using an astrological context. When doing this kind of work, I pay most attention to similarities in individual horoscopes over generations — resonances shared by members of the same family. These may be house placements, similar aspects, or repeating signs, and will describe an inherited pattern which, once identified, can illuminate family dynamics. In this work, it makes sense to use wider orbs — up to 9° for conjunctions and oppositions, 8° for squares and trines, 5° for sextiles — since they describe a more inclusive connection between a large number of charts. When I venture further into individual compatibilities or entanglements, I look more closely at the charts’ inter-aspects, as one does in traditional synastry.

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The Cloud of Possibilites

Stormy Skiesby Lynn Bell

The world emerging in front of our eyes is one many of us could not have imagined.  When the team at the Oxford English Dictionary chooses “post-truth” for its word of the year, it ripples through the solidity of our world. Our pluralism used to be a cause of celebration. Now it feels slightly dangerous, divisive. As author Michael Lewis recently said, “the world is a far less certain place than our mind is prepared to be in.” Quoting Amos Tversky, he adds “Reality is not a point; it’s a cloud of possibilities.” Our clouds have suddenly shifted into unexpected patterns.

New eras are born when the old certainties die, and the collective imagination goes into overdrive. We seize on new myths that help us deal with uncertainty. Astrologers recognize this as the archetypal influence of Neptune, a planet that generates dreams and possibilities, those motors of collective human behavior. The emotions underlying those visions are also part of Neptune’s influence, vague feelings of longing for a golden age, the desire to be connected to the divine, the collective hysteria of a mob.

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Coming To Meet : Saturn and Mars

frustrated man

Mars and Saturn are a bright portent in the evening sky.  For ancient astrologers this was an ominous pairing of two malefic forces.  The urgency and desire of Mars meets the unbearable constraint, the impassible limits of Saturn. But if we step back and reflect, this may not be such a bad thing. Mars is impulsive and immediate – it speaks to instinct, survival and war. The many eruptions of violence in the collective over recent months have shown what unbridled Mars can look like. Saturn’s blockages may be wearying, yet they may also serve to limit the excesses of Mars.

All energy lies first within the self, and so the real struggle may be between desire and frustration. We have choice about how to navigate limits that come from others, from outside. When we want something that isn’t happening, we may insist and push and insist again until something fractures.  What is broken now could stay that way for a long time.  In the next few weeks, our desires will come up against constraints of time, of discipline, of maturity. There is a before and after this transit that has weight and duration.

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Losing Our Heads - Mars and Uranus

Rousseau La Guerre

So far this summer is all about the red planet run riot, Mars and more Mars. An angry immigrant uses a rented truck as a weapon in a grisly massacre that forever changes a moment of national celebration. Restaurant tablecloths become blood-stained shrouds, covering the corpses of children, wives, husbands, lovers. Grief. Horror. Just a week before, in Dallas, a disgruntled veteran felled police, destabilizing the just reclamations of the African American community, and dangerously heating passions throughout the US. More policemen were targeted and killed this weekend. In Turkey, a military faction launched an attempted coup, leaving many dead. In Orlando in June, a homophobic Muslim American rained death on a gay nightclub. Bombs exploded at Istanbul airport, in central Baghdad, and a favorite cafe in Dacca became a scene of gruesome terror.

We all have Mars somewhere in our charts, with its red-hot urgency, its reactivity. Mars gives us vitality and passion, it enhances raw energy, hones the will. It is only when it functions outside the civilized self, when it overwhelms consciousness and replaces it with hatred or revenge, that Mars unleashes War. Then it leads to destruction, death and loss. The Mars energies in many parts of the world have been unleashed. When this happens, it is very difficult to pull them back – Mars is the fire that keeps burning, the blood that keeps pumping, the bullets flying.

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