The Last Quarter Moon falls on Monday September 15 in late degrees of Gemini. Last quarter moons last about a week and are very good times to clear things away as you prepare for the New Moon that occurs the following week. This week finds Venus, the planet of relationships, but more the planet of values, at adverse relationships on Wednesday September 17. It is a good idea not to take too harsh a position for some idea or offer presented to you during this time with which you do not agree, because Venus does pass the adverse relationship by Sunday September 21 when it is in a solid support line with solid and anchored Saturn.

The solutions to the dilemma may start appearing on Friday and Saturday as the Moon effectively partners with energetic and directed Mars and then aligns with good luck Jupiter and innovative Uranus and intelligent Mercury through Saturday September 20. This is a perfect ending to the second quarter of the year as the third quarter arrives at Fall Equinox on Monday September 22 at 7:29 PM along with Pluto going direct on that same day! Decisions, choices and more decisions all play out over the weekend of the 20th and 21st

On September 4, news of the beheading of 31 year old journalist, Steven Sotloff was disturbing to me as was James Foley’s execution a couple of weeks ago. These young men, doing their jobs as reporters shows that there is an open season of ‘bull baiting’ by the terrorist group known as ISIS though killing journalists in the field violates all international law. It seems they will stop at nothing to get the USA to react. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families for the loss of these very young men who were doing their jobs while trying to weed out the truth in a chasm of propaganda. A few weeks ago, I listened to a forum where James Foley, an alumnus of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism (where I am also alum) discusses what he went through two weeks after he was released from a Libyan prison back in 2011. This YouTube video presents a fascinating interview in 2011 with Foley and is worth watching. He thoughtfully presents what a reporter in the field goes through in that part of the world.

James, a graduate of Medill in 2008, talks about his experience as well as his lack of experience in the field, the lessons he learned as a result of his arrest, and discusses his then naiveté that journalists were immune from any intervention by opposition forces because they were journalists. He discusses his 44 days in the Libyan prison, his experiences talking with others interred there that were arrested for speaking out within their country, the sharing of struggles, his fears, his faith and his release. This interview takes place just two or three weeks after his then release from the Libyan prison.

The day before his arrest in Libya he had been with rebel forces in the field covering the stories. When faced with what they thought was crossfire, he stood up and yelled, “Sahafee — which is Journalist — in Arabic”. A few minutes before that his colleague and photographer Anton yelled, “Help”, and was never heard from again. The rest fell apart. Foley was 37 years old at the time of the Northwestern interview. He was well trained. He was a teacher before returning to Northwestern’s Medill school for a graduate degree in Journalism. He attended various courses and boot camps preparing him for his work as a “conflict reporter”. He attended a Washington Program for international reporters who are threatened with hostile environments.

After this interview in 2011, he returned to the field, was again arrested while reporting in the field in Syria on November 22, 2012 and executed (by beheading) on or around August 19, 2014. Foley was born on October 18, 1993. Today, one of his colleagues and fellow journalist was kidnapped in Aleppo by ISIS a few months ago and became the second victim of this heinous crime. Like Foley, Steven Sotloff was young and was born May 11, 1983.

“The Committee to Protect Journalists reports at least 70 journalists, including Foley, have died covering the conflict in Syria since 2011. Of those nearly half — 46 percent — were freelance reporters, which is significantly higher than the percentage of freelance journalists killed worldwide. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, one-third of journalists killed worldwide were freelancers”

(source: cbsnews.com)

In looking at the chart of the USA, I tried to decipher where this nightmare lives in our current reality. Mercury is often associated with the news and reporting. The third and ninth houses of a horoscope are associated with reporting both nationally and internationally. Mercury, ironically, is also associated with commerce, trading, and exchange of information–the markets, which seem to be burgeoning at the present time — at least until today. In trying to understand why this is happening and whether it will continue to happen, my view is that it will. Though killing journalists in the field who are not engaged in any military activity is against international law, it seems that this safety measure is no longer viable. The world is out of control.

The group named ISIS is an extreme terrorist group which is currently bullbaiting the United States and its allies with these violent acts in order to get a reaction. My view in looking at the charts of the USA is that this will continue. Whether the USA reacts or not, or, is more strategic in its response is still to be seen. With its strong Mars in its chart, one of its lessons is to learn to think before it acts and have an effective plan B, which is always the lesson of any prominent Mars in a chart.

I looked at both the USA chart and its Antiscia points (the reflection points of the various signs from either the Winter or Summer Solstice points (00°Capricorn and 00° Cancer). The drawing below shows the graph for easy reference and for those interested. In other words, the USA chart’s natal Sun sign is at 13° Cancer 19′. Its Antiscia (solstice point) is 16° Gemini 40′. Note how if you add these together, you get 30°. The USA natal Saturn is at 14° Libra 48′ and its Antiscia point is at 15° Pisces 11′. If a transit hits either the natal planet itself, or, its Antiscia point, it is considered to be or have the same impact.

I am also including a bi-wheel in this article with the natal chart of the USA in the middle and the Antiscia points of the USA chart on the outside wheel. It is as follows:

click to enlarge

Following this logic, I asked myself where this terrible series of events happening in the USA chart falls. The obvious is there, of course, we have had several eclipses at 14°Libra or Aries squaring the USA Sun and conjuncting the USA Saturn and we have another two coming up in October 2014 as well as in April 2015 close to the same degrees. Saturn is the classical ruler of Aquarius which falls on the USA third house — a journalist house — and that might be part of this. It also rules the second but for the purposes of this article, we are focusing on the third.

However, when we review the Antiscia chart and the transits to it, throughout 2014 transit Neptune has squared the USA Antiscia Mercury at 5° Gemini 48′ on March 15, 2014, again on September 12, 2014 and again on January 15, 2015. Transiting Chiron conjuncts USA Antiscia Saturn (our government as well as the ruler of the USA third) at 15° Pisces 11′ starting on April 2, 2014, September 12, 2014, and again on February 11, 2015.

The list goes on and on as well as the list of upcoming direct transits to the Natal USA planets like transit Pluto opposing the natal Sun starting on January 5, 2015; transiting Pluto squaring USA Saturn (government and third house ruler) starting February 21, 2015 and transiting Saturn semi-square USA natal Saturn on December 21, 2014, and through the summer and early fall of 2015.

In looking at the Solar Arcs which usually require a very close aspect (giving them about a six month window on either side), Solar Arc Mercury of the USA chart is square the USA Mars on April 21 2015, a symbolic signature for the distressing ‘beheading of our journalists” as well as some intricate parlaying with the stock markets and trading. As a former journalist, this series of stories has been distressing. It seems as Saturn gets closer and closer to its ingress into Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, the issue of fighting for the truth regardless of our fear will be more important than ever in recent history. I think our journalists who gave their lives for truth would agree.


Georgia and Kelly Surtees are co-teaching a class entitled, Moving the Chart Forward for www.Kepler.edu starting at the end of September. Kelly will cover secondary progressed movements in the first half and Georgia teaches the second half which explores the technique of Solar Arcs. Georgia also presents a workshop and a class at the October 23, 2014 SOTA conference in Niagara Falls, New York. The workshop is on Business Astrology and the class is on Synodic Cycles. Georgia also teaches a class on Antiscia for the Breaking Down the Borders online conference in mid-November. For more detailed registration information for all events click here.

The week starts out with a Full Moon at 16° Pisces 19′ — so those with lots of Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius in their charts are getting hit with some emotions kept buried for the last few months. This full moon is running close to Neptune, so we could be seeing some volatile activity in the markets as Mercury squares Pluto on the 9th and Venus oppose Neptune on the 10th and the Moon moves through Aries on the 9th and 10th triggering off that volatile Uranus Pluto square. Things calm down considerably at weeks end as we move away from the Full Moon and note Moon and Sun in great relationships with each other on Saturday, the 13th. That and Venus trine Pluto on Sunday makes for a weekend where we can get a lot done, get more focused and maybe fit in a social event or two.

On Saturday Mars enters fiery Sagittarius, which compliments traveling Jupiter over the course of the next few weeks, bringing lucky opportunities and a more positive energy into the marketplace and new visions and ideas for your business or office environment.

The week starts out with Labor Day one of the few holidays celebrated in the United States not related to either a religious or a conflict event. It was designed to honor those who work, who are employed and who keep working regardless of circumstances and who take responsibility for themselves and those they love. It is one of the few days in this commerce-centric nation that businesses really close down to give their workers some time to be with family and friends and regroup. This nation was founded on hard work and labor and the need to succeed and to serve. How appropriate that it falls during the time that the Sun travels through Virgo.

I had a teacher Wendy Ashley (Wendy@WendyAshley.com) in Portland, ME, who talked about various relationships between the constellations and the myths. One of the constellations related to Virgo (as I recall) was Bootes, or, The Ploughman. Wendy’s take on this was that this was a workman, a ploughman, who works and tills the fields even though he is lame. He does it because he is dedicated to caring for those he loves and sacrifices regardless of his condition.

This is a week in which to review this story for those who are not working and who wish desperately to work and take heart that opportunities are there very soon as we move into the First Quarter Moon on Tuesday September 2 in Sagittarius. If you need further education or training, then keep working but take those classes even if it requires more energy and time. This is a great time in which to decide this as the academic school year begins and many certifications as well as vocational licenses are offered even through Adult Education programs throughout the nation.

For those who choose to not work (but can) because they think that welfare and other government subsidies are better than going out there to make a living — well, karma is rough — and will play out considerably in the next two years as Jupiter begins moving into a square to Saturn and many government subsidies and programs are cutback and prices rise.

And, of course, for those who really cannot work because of an unfortunate disability or lack of opportunity in your immediate vocational sphere — perhaps it is time to give some time and thought to talking with young people, helping out in some small way in your community with the expertise derived from living on this planet for so many years. There are many organizations like the Abilities Organization (which I’ve recently come to know and love) in Florida — contact information (Frank de Lucia at Frank.Delucia@servicesource.org). This is an organization which focuses on helping those with disabilities to find their ‘ability’ regardless how extreme their disability. Theirs is a labor of love that returns itself tenfold.

With Mercury entering Libra on Monday and moving our thinking towards cooperation and relating and Venus entering Virgo, the sign of service and sacrifice, on Friday — this is the perfect week to honor those that work and take care of those who cannot.

I love New Moons and Monday’s New Moon at 2° Virgo 19′ is of particular importance as it presents each of us with the question of whether we are being too perfect, expecting perfection, and whether or not we are being realistic or not. The thing to remember with this New Moon is to not beat yourself up because the 10% of whatever you did didn’t go right — and then forget about the 90% of what you did was great! None of us are perfect. We expect much of ourselves and others and hyper vigilance when many planets are in Virgo is best put to good use by writing, editing, cleaning out closets, cabinets, dumping old stuff. Get the physical mojo going on and get that picky and critical stuff out!

This could include letting go of a few stocks or equities or properties or things that really are clogging up the forward movement that you so desire at this time of year. Taking an inventory of those things you don’t want and making plans to release them (again stocks or stuff) is a great preparation for the tumultuous days of October coming soon. By the way, if any of you ever have the opportunity to hear George Carlin’s great routine on Stuff, you will get what I’m talking about!

It is also a great way to handle some of the other activities of the week as traveling Venus and Mars (the relationship planets) confront hard driving Saturn (July 26), Mars (July 27) and Mars and Saturn kick the week in on Monday creating opportunities for finding project managers, administrative assistants and technical specialists — these folks can help you decide whether or not you want to keep that ‘Palm Pilot’ from the 1990s!

As the week begins, the vibe of Jupiter Venus is still with us. Extending into the late afternoon, one might not feel like working that much and the markets may be reflecting a ‘lazy’ pattern. However, it is temporary as the week unfolds and the Moon enters Cancer on Wednesday August 20 and begins many positive interactions between Neptune (visions and dreams and inspiration), Mercury (thinking), Mars (energy and motivation), and Chiron (learning and coaching). This makes for easier emotional communications.

However, Mercury is very involved in the week as well, which means the head and the heart are working together and many ideas show up out of nowhere either by day or by night in dreams. As the week comes to an end and the Sun enters Virgo on Saturday August 23, we head into a busy month of thinking, getting back to school, finishing up summer projects and vacations and getting down to the business of planning — both our financial year as well as our personal year.

The Last Quarter Moon of any month is always a week to wrap things up. The Last Quarter Moon begins on Sunday August 17, but first we have to get through the emotional purging of the Full Moon of last Friday. This is a week to clear up and clean out ‘stuff’ –whether in a portfolio where stocks or equities are losing monies, or, a garage where that old rocking chair that needs fixing needs dumping. Venus leaving retentive Cancer and entering Leo on Tuesday July 12 helps this along as does practical Mercury entering its own sign Virgo on Friday August 15 just before the Last Quarter Moon.

The Sun and the Moon work well together this week supporting our emotional needs with our life needs, some of which are needs for personal and emotional support. With Moon entering anchored Taurus on Friday and Saturday and then Venus Jupiter conjunction throughout the weekend, this is quite possible — and if you need help, just ask and it will be there.

Mercury is juggling its communications this week and trying to ‘negotiate’ some deals — perhaps without wanting to do any work! It is important to pay attention to this backstory as we start the week. Sales are often made because the person presenting the product is a master of presentation — but — is this what you really want? Are you being sold something that gets you off the track of what you really want? These are the things to think about and figure into your plan. A more pragmatic approach is possible as the weekend draws closer and the Sun and Saturn are square to each other. Earlier in the week, the best way to deter any impulsive buys is that ask for time to think about and then research it heavily as Saturn and Chiron trine each other on August 5. Finding someone who is a specialist in the field and who is also a neutral party is the artillery you need for moving beyond a mesmerizing opportunity that seems great as we see the light of the Full Moon at week’s end on Sunday. :)

This New Moon (new activity) week starts out with a bang as Venus and Pluto confront each other. Is it time to draw your line in the sand with regard to either personal or professional relationships stating this is ‘my dance space and this is yours’?? Perhaps it is. It is also a week in which to make some choices with regard to budgets, values, working with others in a group setting and setting some clear parameters — as Venus and Uranus square off with each other on Thursday July 31 when Mercury, the planet of communication, also enters fixed Leo.

As the week unfolds, we see great support with Venus — the clearer the conveyed need a the beginning of the week, the better the result at week’s end as Venus is in great shape with support from steadfast Saturn and Chiron. Getting it done is what it is all about this coming weekend. Watch the physical activity — make sure you stretch before you start!

The week may start out with a sudden surprise with regard to your technology as Uranus retrogrades on Monday July 21 at 16° Aries 33′. This probably isn’t any real news, but it is the signpost in the road that you really do have to address this issue and putting it off will only make it worse. The other way this might play out is that out of the blue you get help from a friend, a group, or an acquaintance who can guide you in a better direction for this undertaking. As the Sun enters Leo on the 22nd and then conjoins good luck Jupiter on Thursday July 24, this is the window for getting some pretty creative help from those younger who might even be your children.

At week’s end on Friday July 25 Mars finally leaves Libra and enters Scorpio. The long run of Mars traveling through debilitating Libra since late 2013 is finally over — and now it’s time to get to ‘it’ and get things done as Mars travels through Scorpio over the course of the next few weeks meeting Saturn (focus and direction) as it plows through. More help and assistance comes as the New Moon in Leo on Saturday July 26 also aligns with good luck Jupiter. Not a bad week as it ends — maybe even time for a little fun!

The big news for this week is that Jupiter enters the sign of Leo on July 16 where it remains until summer 2015. This same week Mercury, the planet of communication, arrives at its shadow position on that same day (i.e. Shadow position is where Mercury started going retrograde on June 7, where planning might have gone awry. However, with it finally back on track, clarity returns along with sanity! Saturn also goes direct on Sunday July 20 at about 16° Scorpio 38′. This means that delays in organizing or planning, the should I or shouldn’t I do this thinking, and the decision to change management, businesses, or marketing and publicity programs moves in a more positive direction. Though the week begins in a sluggish manner, it whips everyone into action by the weekend!

Now that Mercury is direct and heading to its shadow position (where it really kicks up the energy) on July 16, get ready for lots of activities from July 15 to end of the month, much of which is discussed in the coming weeks. This week, however, is about getting as much done as possible even though you continue to feel somewhat scattered as Venus ambles through Gemini.

If you’ve been making that list of ‘things to do’ or ‘people to call’ or ‘information to research’, then this is the week in which to get as much done as possible.

Some very nice windows of opportunity open up between early evening Monday July 7 through July 8 at about mid-afternoon. Rest for a few hours, then kick things up again as the Moon enters fun loving Sagittarius on Tuesday night.

July 9 is when the transiting Sun and Chiron are in a nice relationship to each other encouraging some healthful activities or healthy reinforcement for future health practices. Organization is the name of the game on Thursday July 10 and continues as the Moon continues through Friday and Saturday, that energy continues. Any construction, cleaning out or organizational activities are welcome and a great use of the over abundant energies out there.

The Full Moon on July 12 at 20° Capricorn 03′ is over the top. It is aligned with transiting Jupiter and often called the ‘drinking moon’. With Jupiter (over-exaggeration and void–please see article at michaellutin.com or at our website), really think twice before jumping into whatever looks good…

And please think twice before getting behind that wheel or letting your friend get behind the wheel.