This week is another Last Quarter Moon, time to wind things down. The New Moon, new beginnings, is on Saturday November 22 at 4:32 am (Pacific) and 7:32 am (Eastern)at 00° Sagittarius 07′ along with Chiron stationing to go direct at 13° Pisces 05′ on Sunday October 23. Chiron has a lot of different meanings. Many call him the ‘wounded healer’ but I prefer referencing him as a hybrid thinker. He has a unique ability to combine the old and the new and act as a bridge between the two. He crosses between borders and boundaries of perceived limitations.

He was last in the position approximately 50 years ago on. Between April, 15 1963 and February 12, 1964 he teetered back and forth on this degree. The year 1964 was the first full year Lyndon Johnson became president because of the assassination of John F Kennedy in November 22, 1963. He presided during a time of great strife and change in the USA implementing the civil rights act after the escalating civil rights strife, making decisions that would change the course of the Vietnam war and many other issues involving extreme political change in the USA.

Chiron is often the planetary body indicating the possibility of intelligent solution if we are dealing with intelligent people. This is supported by the fact that on Saturday before the New Moon, the Sun enters Sagittarius. This is the sign of possibilities, vision, learning, larger ideals and ideas. With Chiron direct in Pisces and Sun in Sagittarius there is tension, but tension is the push we need to get something moving in the right direction. Since they are mutable, it requires a certain level of flexibility. If you get too tight, then options do not present themselves.

Mercury reaches its shadow position on Monday November 10 at 2° Scorpio. This is the same degree of the late October eclipse, which was accompanied by Venus, so I think this could be a really happy week. Lots of good energies surround us this week as Neptune stations to go direct on Saturday November 15. Prior to Saturday, Mercury sends off a great aspect to Neptune, giving any writing projects — poetry, scripts, thesis, stories, blogs, and video commentaries – extra juice. Because Neptune is turning direct throughout the week, planning that dream trip could be part of the week’s activities.

On Sunday November 16 Venus enters freedom loving Sagittarius. Sagittarius energy is about learning new things. Between November 14 and 16, I am speaking at the Breaking down the Borders online conference. My topic is on Antiscia (Solstice Points) and is presented on Friday November 14 at 8:45 am Pacific Time. If you care to register, please click here for information on that and other events.

Even if you don’t, Mercury seems to be doing a lot this week and Mercury is the symbol for the student, the negotiator, the ally in the underworld, the intermediary that carries and conveys information. With Mercury in great aspect to the Moon, to Pluto at week’s end talk as much as you can so that you are really heard. If you don’t understand what is being conveyed to you, keep at it until you both understand each other. If it gets heated, then take a break, then go back. It will work out.

Tuesday is Election Day. A lot of people believe it is useless to vote, but it really isn’t. If we don’t vote, we lose our right to be part of our nation and our nation really needs us to participate right now. Whether Democrat or Republican or Independent, it is important and this particular election is really important as our nation faces a fulcrum of choice as to which direction it must go. With the Full Moon on the following Thursday at 14° Taurus 26′ and 14° Scorpio 26′, it falls on what we call critical degrees.

This particular degree set of 45° points, or, what we call semi-square in astrology are turning point degrees — some are expected, but often they are very unexpected and a surprise. I always think of the semi-square as the trick aspect of change…in other words, you are walking through the field and a snake, hidden, gets you! How you choose to react to that sudden and unexpected event, is exactly the lesson of this week. If something comes at you, out of the blue, don’t answer immediately and try to not take it personally. This is good advice for those running for office during this crucial election as well.

With the Sun trine Chiron on October 5, there is a lesson in everything that happens this week. Listen to your first intuition rather than what others tell you is correct. Our guts were operating long before we had language!

Before we start this week’s forecast, there are two things to remember — Halloween falls on Friday October 31 and Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 am on Sunday November 2. In addition, the week has the energy of direct Mercury imbued as part of the overall experience. The Sun is in some very pleasant aspects with Neptune, triggering the imagination for either that costume, or, that class or business idea you’ve been mulling over. Venus and Neptune are also working in tandem, so there are probably a lot prettier costumes of choice this year than in past years.

The First Quarter Moon on Thursday October 30 is about getting organized for the weekend projects or activities since on Saturday November 1 Mercury and Jupiter as well as Venus and Pluto are working together. This could be a good weekend to plant winter vegetables, rototill the soil to get ready for winter (Northern Hemisphere) or spring (Southern Hemisphere).

This is a week of another eclipse except that this one is a New Moon or, Partial Solar Eclipse at 00° Scorpio 15′ and it is in line with Venus who also enters Scorpio earlier in the day. New Moons usually signify new beginnings and with Venus in the mix, new beginnings in relationships, new views of values, and new approaches to spending are all possible. Again, eclipses don’t often show their complete face during the time of the eclipse (it is, after all, a dark moon when there is a new moon), but in 90 or so days around January 20, 2015, the rest of the story, or, how this new relating cycle plays out is more apparent.

There are many other factors this week, mostly pleasant with Venus and Mars and Mercury and Jupiter working in compatible exchanges with each other. On Saturday October 25, Mercury finally goes direct at 16° Libra 49′. This is very close to the Total Lunar Eclipse of early October and might suggest a resolution to something that came up earlier in the month. On Sunday, Mars enters its exalted sign of Capricorn so be ready for some really hard work and some really hard play over the course of the next few weeks. Like a bulldozer knocking down the sediment in the foundations of our lives, you find yourself taking chances and making choices over the course of the next few weeks that are long overdue!

This week’s energy is a bit more contained and calmer than last week’s. There are several wonderful aspects encouraging productive projects and positive outcomes from prior unrefined proposals. Tuesday October 14 has Venus and Jupiter working with each other to find the right fabric, materials, or people with which you can work well. On Wednesday October 15 the Sun and Mars work together providing a booster shot of energy and on Thursday October 16 excellent aspects with conjunctions between Sun and Mercury (often signifying change in trend in markets) as well as wonderful Mercury to Mars aspect for good trades and refining contractual agreements. This continues through Friday and into the weekend as the lovers Venus and Mars dance the dance of relationships.

The highlight of this week is the Total Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday October 8 at 15° Aries 07′. This is an intense degree for the USA as the USA Saturn is at 14° Libra. Saturn is about government and full moon eclipses often ‘throw out’ things, people, present new perspectives and throw out emotional issues as well as old jobs that no longer server. They cut back the deadwood in organizations and governments! In Libra, lawsuits many abound during this period bringing new perspectives to legal stances long outdated. We don’t usually see these changes at the time of the eclipse, but often feel or experience them about 90 days later, which, in this case, is approximately mid-January 2015.

For those of you with many planets in middle degrees of cardinal signs–Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, there could be some very big changes surrounding the anchor parts of your lives — changes in how you deal with your health, your homes and their upkeep as well as families, your very intimate partnerships, as well as your professional lives and careers. This is often good and by no means a bad thing. Because there are many other wonderful aspects this week, there is great support for change by choice.

With the Sun opposite Uranus on Tuesday and then Venus squaring Pluto on the very same day as October 8’s eclipse, many of the changes are about voicing your thoughts and opinions in a positive and productive manner so that all ideas and thoughts are on the table. Other ways this might manifest is that challenges coming out of the blue require immediate attention. It is not a good idea to delay this attention and procrastinate on responses, although that may seem the easier thing to do. This allows all of us to confront and shift and change the manner in which we relate and become far more productive and positive.

I don’t know why people hate Mercury retrograde. I think it is a great time in which to re-think plans and ideas and come up with something even better as it goes direct. With that said, yes, Mercury is retrograde for the last time this year starting on Saturday October 4 at 10:02 am (Pacific) and 1:02 PM (Eastern) in the water sign, 2° Scorpio 17′. However, we feel it slowing down a few days earlier and this could make for some sluggish thinking.

We have some cushion with Venus entering intelligent and balanced Libra at the beginning of the week on Monday September 29 around 1:52 PM (Pacific) and 4:52 PM (Eastern). The good news is that with Venus moving through Libra and being the balancing agent between Mars (motivation and direction) and Jupiter (opportunity and good luck) over the course of the next few weeks, that Mercury retrograde between October 4 and 25 acts as an intelligent tempering agent for the many changes of October as we enter eclipse season starting next week. The sign of Libra through which the sun is moving at the present time needs more time than others because it has to think things through before making decisions, but they do need to learn to get off the fence and make those decisions — always a challenge.

With Venus moving through Libra along with a productive First Quarter Moon on Wednesday October 1 we ease into that Mercury retrograde. Make sure that you get all those little nitpicky things done before the weekend, because the Sun and Pluto and Mars and Chiron at adverse aspects to each other on the same day that Mercury is retrograde (October 4) may not be such a walk in the park.

This is a big bang kind of week with lots of news that isn’t expected — some of which may be unwelcome, but much of which clears the way for positive changes for the future. As the Fall Equinox kicks in on Monday September 22 at 7:29 PM (Pacific) and 10:29 PM (Eastern), Pluto also goes direct at 10° Capricorn 59′ earlier in the day. Usually when Pluto goes direct (by itself) we find ourselves making choices (or choices are made for us) where a great deal of risk is involved and we have to choose sacrificing something we really believe we cannot live without. But that is the price we pay for evolutionary change and new levels of understanding. With the New Moon at 1° Libra and fast on the heels of Pluto direct, it is time to plant new ideas (seeds of thought) as well as the beginning of some winter gardens (depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere) .

Opportunities through organizations, classes, groups, friends and even acquaintances come in starting on Thursday July 25 (also Rosh Hashanah) as Jupiter trines Uranus at 11:19 am (Pacific) and 2:19 PM (Eastern). This is a great time to make those calls, send out those resumes, write down ideas for business plans, design a class or talk with someone who can help you design it. But don’t jump in just yet with that plan — give it some time over the next few weeks to rethink some of the finer points. This is the perfect action for that Mercury retrograde which beings next week.

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.