The Yod and the Moon

by Eric Francis

Moonrise, Cape Sounion, Greece Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I've had a difficult week. It seems to be going around. The Sun made its exact square to Pluto Wednesday; that was tense, and we've turned a corner. Though I doubt that most people reading this are struggling to the degree that people are in the devastated Gulf states region, or in Iraq, which has experienced one of the bloodiest weeks of unmitigated civil war since the US invasion set off chaos there; or in Nepal, or Northern Ireland, where rioting has erupted. It was a very Sun square Pluto week for sure.

But two issues in particular filled me with grief and made my blood boil at the same time. The first has been reading about people separated from their pets in the Katrina-ravaged states, sometimes having them forcibly taken from their arms. There is an animal rescue operation going, but it's not enough. It needs money and it needs help, actual physical help: as in get in your car with pet carriers and go, if you can.

Second was reading a Washington Post article by Jimmy Carter about how, unless we act to stop it swiftly, the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge will be turned by Congress into a vast oil drilling field, its hundreds of thousands of pristine acres ravaged by webs of pipelines, tractor roads and toxic discharge. This, to extract a tiny bit of low-quality crude as our petroleum-driven economy begins the convulsions marking the end of its time. Congress is always extremely generous with the oil business, and the Bush administration is home to several former oil executives; the acting president, of course, comes from an oil business family. But this is stupid.

It is clear that oil price gouging facilitated by Katrina is a pretext for sneaking this through Congress. Or maybe it's just what cartoonist Mark Fiore called Petrotheism (see PW blog for that cartoon).

While we hear much about oil itself, we don't hear much about what goes on behind the scenes of the industry. And it is shocking. In mid-August, the industry was already predicting the highest prices in history. Planet Waves is currently developing a research database pertaining to how the world has passed the peak production of oil, which includes damage done to super oil fields by extracting the oil too fast, as well as how major oil companies have lied about their reserves; how the Saudis have kept information about their supplies secret for decades; and how new North American wells are being capped till "the price is right." Reading these articles has not been an exercise in levity. Trust me, Robin Williams is funnier.

We've also been constructing a chronology of events and accounts of the hurricane floodwalls bursting in New Orleans, to examine the theory that underwater explosions at some point early Tuesday morning, Aug. 30, were responsible for some of the breaks. This might seem like a perfectly sinister, beyond-paranoid possibility -- had it not been done in the past. There are several other plausible possibilities for what happened, the results of which displaced 400,000 people and killed and injured many.

From the emails I am reading from the relief zone, as well as what is written in the alternative press, I can tell you that what we are seeing on the networks is a sanitized, dumbed down and shined up version of what is happening on the ground. This includes sidestepping the issue of global damage wrought by climate change and what may happen, indeed, what is happening, even under less than worst-case scenarios.

It is possible, however, to think of this all as the necessary step on the way to getting the world to a better place. It really is beyond belief that one single commodity, oil, is the master key to greed. One commodity that is ploughed into the ground to make food, that heats the water we bathe in, and that is used to make the computer you're reading this article on. One commodity that gets you to work in the morning. And to think that the White House is staffed with oil industry executives.

We may wonder why "Republicans" -- I am loathe to even call them that, as it seems to be yet another piracy scam -- refuse to admit that global warming even exists. But their violence toward those who do reveals something we need to look at. The oil industry controls the government and the oil industry is THE great producer of CO2, which is turning the Earth into a greenhouse. This is not merely denial on their part; it is intentional fraud. I would love to see the internal memos and technical papers being fired around amongst oil industry scientists, managers and executives admitting their early knowledge of the problem -- what in the law is called "scienter," or guilty knowledge. Shall we venture a guess as to how far back in history that knowledge goes? If the patterns of industry's early knowledge of environmental disasters hold true, based on copious studies of other environmental issues (cigarettes, PCBs, dioxins and others), we will probably find the most extensive and sophisticated documents, resources and computer models pertaining to the global warming issue within the private document holdings of the oil companies themselves.

These will be arranged neatly next to a folder full of press releases and public relations strategies designed to prove that the whole phenomenon is nonexistent, complete with fake studies that prove it's not happening or that the scientific findings are ambivalent -- therefore, media bosses will be put on notice that to report the truth would be "unfair." There will be the obligatory profit and loss statement that analyzes profits in different scenarios, such as if the public wakes up and alternative energy takes root, or if the government gets serious about regulations, and so on.

We have been hearing for years how oil companies have bought up alternative energy patents, thus suppressing new technology. Energy is the most abundant resource in the universe. When the stoplights went out in Los Angeles last week and there were pictures on television of intersections with the traffic lights out, the first thing I thought was: do we really need to connect these traffic lights by wires powered by oil while they bake out in the southern California sunlight?

So, it seems that the world is changing before our eyes. We are going through a concentrated of series of collective events. Marshall McLuhan, the beloved long-gone Canadian media philosopher, used to describe the communications networks of the world as a vast nervous system interconnecting all of us in industrialized nations. In the years since he's been here, we've learned that this interconnection also includes morphic fields that interlink us psychically; astrology is connected directly to this process.

If you pay attention just a little, you can feel a lot, which is not so pleasant. There's a seeming contradiction inherent: pay attention, thus feel the pain of the world. The solution for many is to go back to sleep; but we know it's time to wake up.

There are an extraordinary number of major astrological factors conspiring to help us do just that, but two stand out right now, as in RIGHT now (I've outlined many of the rest in my Q & A on Jonathan Cainer's site; see "Epochal Times" at this link). But it is not simply enough to wake up; we all must go through what many spiritual traditions describe as a psychological process, or process of undoing, to make room for energy and ideas that are lighter, clearer and based on cooperation rather than competition. A lot of people play a lot of games that waste time and create needless grief.

We have the option to cool it and set about the real business of life and living any time we want. We have the option to become teachers of peace, to hold people to their sanity, and to remind them that their clarity and authentic participation is needed in the world.

The Pisces Full Moon

Current event one is that we're moving into the Pisces Full Moon, exact overnight Saturday to Sunday from Europe through the Eastern U.S., and Saturday evening on the West Coast [exact time is 4:00:42 a.m. CED Sunday, and the chart is cast for Paris].

Here is the chart.

To start with, whatever it may portend psychologically, the Pisces Full Moon is psychic, it is mystical and it is dreamy. There is a lot of inspiration available if you stay on the intuitive levels, follow the thread of your dreams and listen to the subtle undervoices speaking to you through the day.

On another level, this lunation brings together three mutable signs, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, in a T-square that has an edgy, nervous feeling to it, as if we're pushed near the peak of something. The mutable signs are all nervous, they just each have their own style.

Notice that there is an exact Sun-Mercury conjunction in Virgo opposite the Pisces Moon. This is unusual and quite beautiful. It places the mental-creative aspect of consciousness into full polarity with the feeling-intuitive aspect. There is also the "intelligence versus delusion" metaphor thrown into the dance. Both sides of the lunation make a square to Pluto in Sagittarius is like a firewall between them, or a dangerous edge. It gives the feeling that if you go to either one side entirely, you won't ever be able to get back to the other.

Oppositions are not aspects of integration; they are aspects of confrontation. With such strong Pisces involved, though, you can't really expect a cockfight. Rather, it will be a subtle dance. The integration point, the action point, is Pluto, since it squares both sides of the lunation.

There is the feeling of inevitability, of immanence, almost like we're trapped inside a particular psychological equation but that we're pushing to break free from. Pluto in Sagittarius is the place we keep coming back to: seeking the meaning in it all, seeking faith in the face of spiraling global tragedy, seeking faith in the face of what we had hoped for, and seeking a way to balance the emotional aspect of how we feel, including feeling violated and isolated (Pisces Moon square Pluto) against needing to have the answers and work it all out mentally (Sun-Mercury in Virgo).

It would not be stretching things to call Pluto in Sagittarius the unifying principle of this Moon. It would also not be stretching things to call Pluto in Sagittarius the most divisive astrological placement we're dealing with now, because it's so easy to use to create the "us and them" mentality that is pretty much killing the world right now. The two sides to this are faith above all else, or ideology above all else. Both are toxic if you abuse them. Both can cut through the mental grease if you apply them well.

The Yod

Also marking the sky is an enormous transiting Yod. A yod is a kind of aspect where the planets form a triangle, but one other than an equilateral triangle (that's called a grand trine, where all the planets are [usually] in the same element). This particular yod is the standard 60-150-150 arrangement (a sextile and two quincunxes), involving Mars moving very slowly in Taurus, Jupiter in Libra and Pluto in Sagittarius. (There are other kinds of yods, another discussion for which we'll need to tap the brainwaves of Rick Levine.)

The yod is an aspect with a fiery nature. It is action oriented. The geometry is stable and focused; it looks sharp and potentially deadly, but also like it has the power to drive a wedge into something much larger than itself, and split open reality. It brings together three very different signs (Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius: fixed, cardinal, mutable; earthy, airy, fiery, respectively).

Yod is the "finger of God," and presently, the finger is pointing to Mars in Taurus, which is about to be retrograde. Mars in Taurus is also fiery. We think of Taurus as being an Earth sign, which it is; but it's earthy in the way that a blacksmith pounding on a red-hot horse shoe is earthy. We lack the element "metal" in the Western astrological system, so Taurus often stands in. The inner, often hidden nature of Taurus is a bit tumultuous, twisting and changing unpredictably, but deep beneath the surface. You would not know unless you had a strong Taurus placement, or a Taurus lover. Because Mars in Taurus is about to go retrograde, we're going to get the feeling this sign's inner nature.

The yod is pretty gosh darned exact as I write, and you can see it plainly in the Full Moon chart if you look at the degree numbers and not at all the chaos in the middle. Print the chart and draw a line from Pluto to Mars to Jupiter and you've got it. Is anyone thinking about earthquakes?

For those of you who saw the recent West Coast earthquake discussion on, based on GPS satellite observations of Vancouver Island slipping about 3mm toward Japan, you can rest easy. The current astrology is intense, but it would seem (if you look at the history of really big quakes) that we're on the wrong side of the equinox to have The Big One that Vancouver's little slip (which occurs cyclically, i.e., is a normal event) may eventually portend. We can save worrying about that till the last week in September or maybe the Oct. 3 eclipse. And if we get past that point, we're probably cool until the last week in December, on the anniversary of the Asian tsunami. In reality, these slips indicate an earthquake that could happen any time in the next 200 years.

I cannot guarantee you, however, that Dick Cheney is not out there with some kind of gadget jack-hammering on the Cascadia subduction zone. But if you see him, please take a picture and send me another email for my End of the World As We Know It collection.

Mars Retrograde in Taurus

This has slipped up on us. As of today, Mars has less than two degrees of cover before it reaches station-retrograde on October 2 in the 24th degree of Taurus (Sabian symbol: "An Indian warrior riding fiercely, human scalps hanging from his belt." Oh, nice. I think I looked that one up months ago and made sure I promptly forgot about it. For the sake of history, I would remind everyone that it was actually whitey who ordered the collection of Indian scalps for cash.)

Mars will be retrograde from Oct. 2 through Dec. 11. The shadow phase spans from Aug 12, 2005 through Feb. 5, 2006. The total duration of Mars in Taurus spans from July 28, 2005 through Feb. 18, 2006. Consider that Mars, which takes two Earth years to orbit the Sun, spends about six months in one sign (the sign where it's retrograde) and then the other 18 months in the other 11 signs. It's a little like a slingshot.

Your obsessed (or worse) research department at Planet Waves has been digging into this one. Here are a few selected tidbits; more on the Cainer Q&A page next week; the patterns are still coming into focus.

Did you know, for example, that on September 18, 1926, there was the Great Miami Hurricane -- a storm that devastated Miami, Florida, leaving over 100 dead and causing several hundred million dollars in damage; equal to nearly $100 billion dollars today? Me neither. So let's see, two of the worst and most devastating hurricanes in U.S. history, both affecting major cities, occurred with Mars about to station retrograde in Taurus.

In fact, the positions of Mars in both charts are separated by just three degrees. And to think that The New York Times doesn't have an astrologer. Maybe that's because astrology reveals the whole business of Earth reality as an illusion. How could it work otherwise?

On November 24 of the same year, with Mars retrograde in Taurus, the village of Rocquebillier in the French Riviera was almost destroyed in a massive hail storm (one extra well placed hailstone would have done it). On November 27 of the same year, Mt. Vesuvius erupted. After the retrograde, an earthquake in Yugoslavia left 700 dead. So we have a lot of images of fire and the Earth associated with Mars retrograde in Taurus in the neighborhood.

Here is a good one. On December 23, 1973, immediately following a Mars retrograde in Taurus, OPEC doubled the price of crude oil, leading into the "energy crisis" of the mid-70s. Oil is a good image of fire and the Earth and here we are, back with Mars about to be retrograde in Taurus having another energy crisis.

Perhaps the crown jewel of the lot is that immediately after the Mars retrograde of 1990-1991, President George H.W. Bush, smelling the astrology like an ork sniffs for elves, began the bombing of Iraq, a war that had a lot to do with oil in particular and energy geopolitics in general.

What is noteworthy is that the current transiting Mars has made conjunctions to or will be making conjunctions to the Mars position in all of these charts. The sky is ringing with history.

On the Inner Level

There is an eminently personal dimension to Mars in Taurus, because Taurus is one of those signs that is closest to the core of a human being. Taurus is the symbol or the biopsychic computer that handles the issue of self-esteem. And we all know that Microsoft Windows runs a lot smoother most of the time.

Current developments in part involve the positions of two centaur planets -- Nessus and Hylonome -- that spent many years in Taurus and are thus present there in the birth charts of millions of people, spanning from the mid 1940s through the late 1950s. I've currently got this one under the microscope and will tell you more about that next week. But to sum up, the issue of self esteem is coming up mightily for the Baby Boomers.

But regardless of when you came into the planet, this Mars retrograde will be starring in the corner of your chart where you have Taurus placed, and it will affect all the planets you have on the fixed cross -- that is, in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. Mars will provoke change, progress and potentially conflict; it will be up to each of us to monitor that on the inner level and also to make sure we take the high road in our personal dealings. The good thing about conflict is that it can, if we let it, lead to resolution. Or even revolution.

With Mars, it's too easy to stoop to the level of aggression and more challenging to rise to the theme of teaching peace. With Mars retrograde, we risk taking inner conflict and projecting it outward as if it were somewhere else. Given what we are seeing in the world around us, it's time to be really conscious about what we choose.++

-- Additional Research: Lise LePage, Kirsti Melto, Dan Miller, Arwynne O'Neill & Sara Thronton.

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